Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Governors Landing Campground - Lake Amistad - Del Rio, Texas

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Search of a new Electric Rate Plan

Mother's electric rate contract plan ends on February 3, 2013.  It is a good thing that I looked closely at the bill because the notice was hidden on the fourth page.  Have I mentioned that I don't like CPL?  Well, I don't...they have the most stupid people in customer service and their monthly statement is like a darn puzzle.

The first person I spoke to... Deborah it was...must of been new because she kept on putting me on hold to get answers to my questions and when she didn't she referred me to their website.  I almost hung up on her when she offered to transfer me to another person.  Great maybe I can speak to a competent employee...wrong!  I was transferred to "Estephan" another imbecile.

Is it me or am I asking for too much?  All I wanted to know was what rate plans were available and where I could read about them.  I do not think that is a very difficult question!  Damn in comparison to those two, I would be considered a genius!  CPL...I need a job and I am available!

HEB always has some guys offering you new electric rate plans and wouldn't you know it this last time we went they were nowhere to be found.  Yeap, that is about how my luck runs :-(

This afternoon I went into town to run some errands.  Decided to stop by Ross and check out their purses when once again I found very little inventory.  You might recall I blogged about this in December, per the sales lady they sold out of purses daily.  Being the holidays that was understandable, but now?

With bare shelves it was easy to spot a purse to my liking but it had a spot on it and I mentioned it to the cashier.  He said "let me see if I can give you a discount".  He opened up a binder, scanned it and it knocked off $6.00 of the purchase price...needless to say I was a happy camper or should I say shopper? :)

Gas prices sure have gone up lately.  Even though I still had 2/3 of a tank decided to fill up.  No telling what it will go up to tomorrow.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Repeat of Yesterday

The weather was a repeat of yesterday... breeze and warm.  We had a lot of errands to run and wanted to get them out of the way before the cold front arrives on Wednesday.

Our first stop was the Driver's License office.  Though mother no longer drives it is still a good idea for her to maintain her license.  She had just passed her vision test when the system slowed to a crawl.  The young clerk told us that it was statewide and it was not allowing them to process payments.  Asked us to sit down and wait or come back later.  We chose to wait.

It is at times like this that I feel fortunate to live in a small town like Del Rio, where the lines are not long and I can come back on another occasion if I wanted to. My best friend had to take a day off from work just to renew her drivers license in Houston.

The only other person who chose to wait was a young man whom I could not help but notice from the angle of the picture on his license to be a minor.  I am sure he was happy that he could now get a regular grown up license.  I am so glad in my day there was no differentiation if you were a minor or an adult!

I wondered what chaos it caused in the Driver License Bureaus of the big Texas cities like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.  During our wait several people came in, stood in line only to be told the system was down and they could wait or come back at another time...none waited.  After about 40 minutes the system was back up and we were paid up and out of there!

One of our other errands was to pick up chicken that was on sale at HEB...believe it or not...at Houston store prices!  That is one less thing I have to bring back next time I go home.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Warm Breezy 81 Degrees

This morning I woke up to a very pleasant 63 degrees.  Though cloudy at first, the sun finally made its presence felt and it warmed up to 81 degrees.  It was the perfect kind of weather to do your fine washables and that is exactly what I did.

I had not had a chance to download the free anti-virus software for my netbook that came with my subscription to Road Runner.  Decided I needed to take care of that chore and without even knowing it the old anti-virus expired today!  Wow, true to my procrastinating ways...

Want to welcome two new followers to the blog.  The first is Garland Girl of Crap Happens Acres http://craphappensacres.blogspot.com/

The other is Dayton C.  Welcome aboard!

Hope you had a chance to gaze at the full moon tonight.  I tried my hand at photographing it but I was not successful.  I definitively need to ask Santa to bring me a new camera this year!

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Mexican Bargains

As I stated in my last post I spent $7.47 USD on my parking fine and tolls to and from Mexico. Being the bargain hunter that I am, I just had to find a way to make up the difference.  Judge for yourself but I think I more than made up for it.

Billy Bob posted his recipe for his famous cherry chocolate cake that looked quite delicious.  If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I can not cook to save my life. So what is the next best thing?  Go buy a chocolate cake...

                                                  $39.90 divided by 12.55 = USD 3.18

I like jalapenos but I find that there is no consistency in their level of hotness. You never know if you are getting a mild, a medium or a hot crop until you get home.  I do not find that to be true with Serrano peppers.  Serrano peppers at HEB go for $1.78 a pound and they have been quite high in Mexico as well.  Today I lucked out and found them at $9.90 pesos for a Kilo.  Remember folks a kilo = 2.2 pounds.

                                     I bought .865 kilos for 8.56 pesos or .68 US cents for almost 2 pounds
                                                                       or .34 US cents a pound

In the make-up department I found Pond's Oil Control press powder for 28.90 pesos the equivalent of $2.30 USD.  I do not know how much they sell for in the States but I can darn sure tell you it would be at least twice that amount.

This receipt has nothing to do with the press powder.
 It is so you could see a close up of the price of my next bargain.

Are you  ready for my biggest bargain yet?  Here it is........................

A bottle of Don Roberto - Tequila Reposado - Reserva Especial 100% de Agave 1.75 liters for the unbelievable price of $99.00 pesos, yes folks that translates to $7.89 USD....now tell me that is not a GREAT deal?  Even with the State of Texas liquor tax of $4.25 for a bottle of this size it comes to $12.19 USD.

I am not a liquor drinker, I prefer beer but I can certainly appreciate a good frozen margarita from time to time.  Though this is not the best Mexican Tequila it will work great in Terlingua as we pass a bottle around a good roaring campfire.  If you will recall last year my friend brought down an ice chest full of jello shots, so this will be my contribution to this year's cause.  I Googled it and the price range was $40 to $59 dollars.  Anyone out there know for sure?

You are probably saying by now...well Belinda I don't buy chocolate cake, I don't eat serrano peppers, I don't use press powder and I sure as heck don't drink Tequila.  Well it doesn't matter silly...all that matters is that "I" saved a lot of money on this day that more than paid for the fine, the tolls and then some. :)

I forgot to take into consideration that I stopped at my mother's Dentist office to schedule an appointment for some work I need done.  His assistant said if I had time he could examine me now and there would be no charge. He did so and I came away with an estimate and his US telephone number so there would be no international long distance charges incurred on my part. Just that visit alone saved me another trip to Mexico.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, January 25, 2013

All Paid Up

After wasting all day Wednesday waiting on a call back from Medicare decided I probably would not be hearing from them on Thursday either.  So off I went to Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico to pay my parking meter fine as the 75% discount ended on this date and I had no idea what the actual fine amount would be.  They fail to mention this small detail on their parking ticket...they only make reference to the 75% and 50% discount.

La Tesoreria (The Treasury) is located inside La Presidencia Municipal (the equivalent of our City Hall) a futuristic looking building that was built in 2009 and that I have featured before on this blog.

When I first read of its opening it said that it had a library as well as free WIFI. Today I learned that was not the case. It houses city offices and you can only tap into to their Internet if you have the code or are an employee. Well that makes me feel better since the Val Verde County library in Del Rio does not have WIFI either.

My fine with my 75% discount came to 31.00 Mexican Pesos.  The exchange rate today was $12.55 to buy dollars and $12.80 to sell dollars.

31.00 divided by 12.55 =  $2.47 USD

Considering that it cost $3.00 to cross to Mexico and $2.00 to cross back my fine came to $7.47 USD. Well I am all paid up and don't have to worry about getting a boot placed on my vehicle or being hauled off to jail for an outstanding parking ticket!

Remember I was considering getting a free Tetanus as well as a Flu shot to offset the toll cost?  Decided the fine was low enough that I could nix that idea.  However you know me, I had to find a way to offset my loss and I found some great bargains, more on that in a future post...

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Doesn't anyone take pride in their jobs anymore?

Last week I refilled one of mother's prescriptions using HEB Pharmacy's  telephone system.  She was out of refills so I knew it would require her doctor's approval.  Yet each time I called using the same system was told it was waiting on the physician's approval.  Figured since she had an appointment today perhaps he wanted to see her before refilling it.  Nope, he said he faxed his approval to them last week but he gave me a prescription just the same.

I went in person and was told that her doctor's office never faxed an approval so they did not have her medication.  Got in line to have the prescription filled and told the technician of my problem with their telephone system and obviously the doctor's office with  their electronic fax.  Would you believe that her computer showed the opposite of that dumb girl's?  Her medication was ready to be picked up.  She glared at the girl and told her she needed to pay more attention!

Spent a good part of the morning on the telephone with Medicare Advance Resolution Center as I did not want to be turned away by mother's primary physician's office this afternoon like we were from her Oncologist office last week. Turns out Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Contractor (MSPRC) did not give me the complete information that was to be included in the Exhaust of Benefits Letter from State Farm to Medicare so I have to go back and have them write another letter. Doesn't anyone take pride in their jobs anymore?

It has been cloudy and windy but not cold and the forecast calls for mild temperatures in the 70's...so I guess I have no more excuses and got to tackle those leaves :-(

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

First 2013 trip to Mexico

On Friday January 18, 2013 we took our first trip of the year to Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico.  With the holidays our hairdresser had been very busy so we decided to postpone our visit to her shop until today.  Both of us took an instant liking to  her last year when we came upon her establishment and mother has sent a lot of clients her way.

We are glad her business is growing even though it does entail longer wait times.  Today I miscalculated said time and ended up with one of these:

My first parking meter ticket in twelve years
Unfortunately it was Friday and the city offices close at 3:00 p.m. except for the Department of Public Safety that is open 24 hours but have no idea where it is located. The good thing is that if you pay it within the first six days you get a 75% discount.

Mexico has a very strong vaccination campaign for its citizens and residents even before the H1N1 outbreak of a few years back. I remember they had vaccination booths set-up inside the grocery stores and it was free to anyone who wanted one while at the same time it was hard to find the vaccine in the US and if you were lucky enough to find it you paid a hefty price.

Mother and I were considering getting a tetanus shot but when we got to the hospital found out they quit giving them out after 2:00 p.m.  The nurse told us we could get free flu shots as well but I am kind of leary of that vaccine.  I need to research it further and who knows I might decide to get it to make it worth my while since I have to return to pay the fine and spend $3.00 to cross to Mexico and 25.00 Mexican pesos to cross back to the US (the equivalent of $2.00).

Wanted to give a warm welcome to Capt. Joey who recently signed on as a blog follower,  Thank you for your readership.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Medicare Red Tape

Today was such a beautiful day. Sun was shining and even though it only got up to 63 degrees it felt much warmer.  I was in such a good mood I even went to the laundromat!  I lucked out there were only two other people there and no screaming tykes :)

The reason I came back so soon from Houston was because mother had a doctor's appointment on Monday (blood work) and today (she would see her doctor).  Mother said that they had called on Friday and asked her to come an hour early to fill out paperwork.  I thought nothing of it since they usually make you fill out new paperwork each January even though nothing has changed.

When we got there I was asked by one of the girls in the accounting department if I could go into their office because there was a problem with my mother's insurance.  She said that Medicare was no longer her primary insurance, that it was showing State Farm to be her primary insurance due to a car accident she had had back in 1999!

I told her she in fact had an accident back then when a drunk driver slammed into the back of a car and that car slammed into my mother's vehicle when she was at a stop light.  Thankfully she, my uncle, aunt and cousin were ok.

How that accident that took place thirteen years ago is now showing up in her Medicare record is a mystery.  The clerk or whatever she is said that my mother's appointment would have to be cancelled until this was resolved because Medicare would not pay for it.  I was incredulous, they were more interested in getting paid than in my mother's health.  Did they forget that when they took her in as a patient they made me sign that I would be responsible for paying her bill in case Medicare or her secondary insurance did not pay?

She told me I had to go to the Social Security Office which is what we did Tuesday morning only the coldest morning to date.  There I was told that we did not need to have come, that the doctor's office should of provided me with the number to Medicare.

Called Medicare and spoke to three different departments.  I lucked out and got a lady named Anissa who knew her job well and told me all the steps I needed to take including getting an Exhaust of Benefits Letter from State Farm.  She also told me to tell the accounting department at the Oncologists office that I was working with MSPRC (Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery) and that they would be paid just like they had been paid for the past four years.

Our local State Farm office is owned by the husband of a friend of my mother's and she was very helpful as well.  Could not believe that a doctor's office would do that but told us that was not the first time she had heard complaints about them.  Unfortunately they are the only game in town as my mother does not want to go see another Oncologist in San Antonio or Houston.

This little error will take about 30 days to be resolved.  Thankfully my mother has been in remission for two years otherwise I would have thrown the biggest fit they have ever seen at that doctor's office.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Now that that's over with...

Now that that's over with...remind me to NEVER go four months and nine days without going home to Houston!

Needed to have stayed a lot longer, there is no way I could have squeezed into a week what I did not do in four months.  More on that on a future blog.

Thanks for your advice and comments on the prior post but I guess I did not make it clear that when I dropped Cricket Communications (had an air card) that pretty much did away with my Internet connection in Houston or any other city where they have a presence.

Guess I could have gone to McDonald's but besides having nothing on the menu to my liking...there is the issue of little children throwing temper tantrums and screaming at the top of their lungs...that is just too much at least for this girl to handle.  Makes me want to go up to the parents and slap them around so they will teach their kids some manners!

One thing I am very happy with has been the purchase of my Magic Jack Plus which along with Road Runner (our new ISP) helped me stay in touch with mother for free.  She would call me from Del Rio and if I needed to talk to her I called her from Houston.  Neither one of us has long distance service on our respective landlines.  I set up my Magic Jack Plus as a Houston telephone number so I just dialed it as a local number.  I seldom recommend anything but if you want  phone service with a number and area code of your choosing along with unlimited long distance service and without having to have your computer on 24/7 this is the way to go.

Both yesterday and today have been rather physically and mentally taxing but that is for a future blog as well.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

First 2013 Trip to Houston

Have I mentioned how I really do not feel like going to Houston?  Well, I don't but I have postponed this trip long enough.  Have been packing all day and my mother's living room looks as if I were going camping to Terlingua instead of heading East on I-10.

I do not know why I have been feeling so uneasy like some type of sixth sense.  For good measure I packed my gun this time around.  Had everything on my checklist but my house keys.  Could not find them for the life of me.

I have so many boxes and when company comes, I have to shuffle them around and in a hurry I get sloppy and put important things in places where inevitably I will not remember.  Such was the case today, it was a miracle I found them.  Of course one of my neighbors has an extra set but she takes so many medications for her aliments that she is sound asleep most of the time and can't hear the telephone.

This evening I went to say good-bye to Walter and fed him a little extra horse pellets for good measure.  I am literally beat and I need to get some shut eye for the long drive tomorrow.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cloudy and cold

Well the snow the forecasters predicted thankfully did not materialize.  I was worried about Walter and had hoped his worthless owner would have at least put a tarp to keep him dry.  He must be unemployed as he has been home since November.

Since I no longer have a broadband connection, I will be without internet when I am in Houston.  I have therefore been checking out the grocery store specials so I can stock up on the many things we need but that are too expensive in Del Rio.

For those new to my blog, Del Rio, Texas only has one grocery store that being H.E.B.  In Houston this same store has lower prices specially at their low cost store Joe V's  http://www.joevsmartshop.com/.  A 5 pound bag of russet potatoes is going for $1.37 that same exact bag of potatoes is selling for .50 cents, yeap you heard right 2/$1.00 with an additional $15.00 purchase which with their low prices is doable.

Sure wish they offered bargains like that here in Del Rio where the people do not make the same wages as they do in Houston.

Having no other choice had to go to HEB to pick up a couple of items and who would I run into? None other than that worthless plumber!!!  His wife and him were right in front of me, so I could not pretend I did  not see them. Guess Santa did not grant me my wish with regards to him either, as Ben in Texas used to say grrrrrrrrrr!

Today it was cloudy and cold with the occasional sprinkle but tomorrow promises to be a much prettier but specially warmer day.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Snow tonight?

The weather forecast calls for rain turning to snow after midnight.  Mostly sleet and a light dusting of snow.  Do I believe them?  Not really, but we will see.

Guess my trip to Houston will once again have to be postponed due to weather issues.  Make no mistake I am not looking forward to going either.  Who knows what I will encounter when I get there.

With the holidays and company, I had not had a chance to catch up on my mail.  Received some interesting correspondence from Life Line Screening for some low cost test that include:

  • Stroke/Carotid Artery Screening
  • Heart Rhythm Screening (Atrial Fibrillation)
  • Chronic Kidney Disease Screening
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
  • Osteoporosis Risk Assessment
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
All six screening are being offered at a price of $169.00 which is a great price considering when I was going to have my cholesterol levels checked I had to fork out I believe $175.00 or was it $185.00? for just one test.

They are going to be in town for just one day but you had to call to pre-register which I did but was told I had to pay in advance to get an appointment.  I thanked him kindly and hung up.  I don't like to pre-pay for anything and for all I know it could be a scam.

Which leads to my question...has anyone in the blogsphere heard of this company or been tested by this outfit?

Whether it snows or not it is cold out there.  Bundle up and stay warm.

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I am tired of fireworks...

I am so sick and tired of fireworks, I could puke!  On New Year's Eve you would have thought an atomic bomb went off at midnight...and even though illegal...heard the distinct sounds of gunfire and NO it was not coming from Mexico but from right here in good old US of A!

The fireworks they did not pop on New Year's were popped all day Tuesday and into the night.  So needless to say had to wet down everything including my poor tent.

Today was spent raking leaves in order to fill the trash bin only for the trash truck not to come around!  Was hoping to leave for Houston tomorrow but does not look like that is going to happen.  Oh well...have not been there in four months what could waiting a couple more days hurt?

Good night.  May you all have Terlingua Dreams.