Bureaucracy At Work

I hope y’all will give me a cyber pat on the back because I finally finished the requested Social Security disability paperwork. It was quite difficult for me because I just couldn’t find a way to truthfully say, I sit on my butt most of the day because I’m afraid of falling when I go outside

The question that baffled me was about what I did all day. I had to ponder that for 2 whole days, and finally wrote it up at 2:30 AM. Eventually I did get around to admitting my falling fear, and do hope it makes me sound normal if there is such a thing.

After mailing off the dreaded paperwork, I called the Mobile (AL) office to inform them (because my 10 days was way past due). 

Nobody answered the phone and I couldn’t remember the rep’s extension; so I redialed and this time pressed “0” for the operator. The phone rang and rang. I stopped counting after 10 rings and finally hung up. Then I went rummaging around for something with the rep’s extension number. When I called back I immediately got her and we chatted a bit.

Now I can truthfully say I understand why people get so frustrated with the government bureaucracy. When I worked for St Louis’ OSHA office we spent $20,000 of our budget buying a computer phone system like the one I heard this morning, but weren’t allowed to really use it because our Regional Administrator wanted a live person answering phones. 

I must admit that after this morning I can understand why people get so frustrated and mistrust the government, especially since I sometimes feel that way too. But I like to think that things haven’t changed that much in the 13 years I’ve been retired from government service, and hope that together we can make it better. Onward…

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It’s been pretty hectic around here since I applied online for Medicare. Weeks later, my Medicare benefit and Social Security are finalized and I’ll be getting $238 monthly from Social Security in addition to my Government pension. Alas it seems that I’ve also requested disability due to my limited vision, and have received forms in the mail that must be filled out and returned to Mobile, AL.

For years I’ve been a pack rat because I kept so much paperwork, but you never know when you’ll have to verify something (like salary or employment). Well recently I pitched a bunch of paperwork I thought was no longer needed, and I was wrong! Now I’m trying to find something that shows how much money I was making from  2000 – 2005 and where I was employed after I retired from OSHA in 2002. Naturally I can’t find a paper copy of an old resume, and even logged onto my old computer to see if I might have it on the hard drive along with my old scripts and poetry. No such luck; so I started rummaging around again and did find old award paperwork and some awards too.

Makes me feel better to be reminded of sacrifices I made as a single, working mother (and the extra money was nice too). Now I hope I can locate what I need to fill out this dang disability paperwork. Onward…

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Mailbox Musings

Walked to the mailbox and hoped to see a letter with happy news or some money.

Neither was found; just more bills to ponder and worry over.

No wonder I rarely venture out to the box. Just can’t stand the angst I discover inside.

Can’t help but wonder if that’s the reason why sending letters is so out of season!

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Phone Tag, I Hate You

For the past week I’ve been playing phone tag with a Social Security Rep. You know the scenario, she calls and leaves a message; I call and leave one…  Well all that changed Monday when I called again and left another message and stayed home waiting for the call back which occurred at 8:15 am Tuesday (April 21) morning. 

I wasn’t prepared for such an early call back and was in the kitchen getting some ice tea at the time. By the time I reached for my cell I had cut the lady off (which is something I do quite often with my cell). I quickly called back and heard the annoying “The office is currently closed…” so I tried to connect with the rep’s extension, and after calling back 3 times I finally succeeded. She’s a very nice lady and I may get lucky and get a little disability stipend if Social Security agrees that I really can’t see out of my right eye (unless you consider grayish white blobs).

Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from a rep at the Mobile Social Security Office re my disability claim. I answered her questions and she asked if I were willing to see an eye doctor of their choosing. I said yes, and now I’m hoping that if I do they’ll pay for it. Meanwhile the worst that can happen is I won’t get any disability, but my little Social Security check will pay for my Medicare Part B. Can’t wait to get my $238 May 1 which will decrease when Medicare starts in July.

Now what can I spend this money windfall on? Oh yeah, groceries. Onward…

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Random Photos


Love the mats in the Ladies bathroom in Dothan’s Flowers Hosp. Won ‘t have to worry about slipping in here.


Me. Could another hair cut be in my future?


Mom, Dad, Sis, me (bottom left) my neice Nikki and Feisty Dog sometime in the ’70s


His & her sinks in an Abbeville, AL restaurant


My phone is challenging my techno ability today (in case you’re wondering why the toilet photo’s on top and this blurb’s located here). Have a great day! Onward…

My inhaler. Yeah the doctor finally believed me.


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Ha Ha I Beat You

Tomorrow is that dreaded April 15th; the day that once ushered in visions of flowers blooming and birds singing to celebrate Spring. Now this blighted day brings nightmares of people dressed in black with hands outstreached screaming “Pay me!”

For many, April 15th is a day of dread, and I was worried that I would be one of those people. I haven’t slept in my bed for almost 2 months because it’s been piled up with envelopes containing last year’s receipts.

I had procrastinated (as usual) because I didn’t want to face the daunting task of figuring my taxes; so when I finally did go to the library to pick up the forms, imagine my shock to discover there were no forms available! So, once again I ignored the gut churning feeling that I really should do something about my taxes.

I was so good at ignoring my common sense that I almost missed the filing deadline. Now I could rationalize my excuses, but what’s the point. I just didn’t want to do it because it makes my eyes burn and I wind up seeing through a fog (if I’m lucky). If my luck decides to desert me, I’m left with wavy lines flowing like little streams before my face (which might not be too bad, except it disrupts my equilibrium).

Just about the time I was remotivated to work on compiling receipts my printer died, and that distressed me because I’m not a flexible person. (I’ve been trying for years to overcome this, and I think I’ve improved… Honest!)

Every time I’d enter my bedroom, I’d glance at the envelopes, and sometimes I’d even move them around to make room for me to sit, but I just couldn’t get motivated to tally anything up. (I mean my eyes would ache just thinking about it).

Sis kept telling me to file an extension so I could stop obsessing about those little envelopes; so I finally decided to research what I needed to do. Surprise, by the time I’d finish figuring out what my tax liability would be, I could have the 1040 filled out ready for mailing. It’s been a long day and I even power napped on the couch for 4 hours (when I could no longer tolerate the burning eyes and wavy lines haunting me), but I’m Done ’til next year. Take that Tax Man!



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Missing Pieces

 My son Bernard (bearded one) with his 1/2 brother Walter during their very first meeting. (Photo courtesy of my wonderful daughter-in-law, Alexa).


There’s a hole in my heart that only you can fill.

I’ve known of you for years but never imagined how it would feel to finally meet and greet you.

Since I was little I’ve yearned for you wondering what it would be like to see you and speak your name.

Today that day has finally come and I’m so greatful for this moment. Welcome into my life, Brother.


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