Monthly Archives: September 2008

Almost done moving…

With the help of our fantastic friends, we got nearly all of our stuff moved yesterday.  Today the husband and I are back at the old place getting the rest of our stuff and getting the apartment clean and shiny.  Yesterday’s weather was great for moving -not too hot, but not too cold and sunny for part of the day.  It misted a little bit, but the rain held off until after we were done last night.  All in all, things went well.  Many thanks to our fantastic friends and family for helping us out.  We really, really appreciate it!

I’m off to do some cleaning…


This Saturday – Free Admission to Many Museums

Many museums, as well as some zoos and arboretums, are participating in Museum Day 2008 – a day where you can get free general admission (limit of two people per household) to many museums.  You must present an admission card to get the free admission.  You can find a card in the September 2008 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine or print one off here.  You can find more information here, as well as search for participating venues.  The Smithsonian Magazine and a few other sponsors are making this possible.  If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and don’t want to spend a lot of money, try visiting a local museum.  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to take advantage of this, as we’re moving this weekend 😦  I’m trying to figure out how I can sneak in a visit to our local zoo, though…

Thanks to JD over at Get Rich Slowly for sharing this.  I knew nothing of this until I saw the post on his blog.

Packing and Moving Week

We’re moving this weekend and our apartment looks like it.  It seems that we have no flat surface available.  I’m trying to determine how it is that I have packed so much of our stuff, yet still have no empty countertops or tables.  It confounds me.  It makes our already-crowded apartment seem even smaller and more crowded (having an extra couch crammed in here doesn’t help).  I just keep telling myself that we’re moving in a few days and that I can handle this until Saturday.  Sometimes it even works!  I’m trying to clean as I go so that we don’t have to clean everything after we move.  Hopefully it won’t seem so overwhelming that way.

We get in to our apartment on Saturday, but we’re not getting our moving truck until Sunday (I discovered it’s much cheaper to rent the truck on Sunday).  My mom, smart woman that she is, suggested we pack up the kitchen and bathroom on Saturday and get them all set up at the new place.  She’ll be heading over to help us load up one of our cars and her car, then she’ll come to the new place and help me unpack and set up the new kitchen and bathroom (thanks, Mom!).  On Sunday, we’ll be moving everything else.  We’ll have Monday and Tuesday until noon to clean up the old place, have our final walk-through, and turn in our keys.

The fluffy Collie will be spending the weekend at the kennel.  She gets all stressed out when we move, plus it will be easier to move boxes and furniture if we don’t have a dog standing in our way (she excels at being in the way).  Once we’re all moved in at our new place, we’ll go get here and bring her home, hopefully much less stressed than if we had kept her around during moving.

I’m off to go rest up for work tomorrow (and then more packing).  Have a great rest of the week!

Paying Your Doctor Bill Up-Front: More Hassle Than Using Insurance

If I were to look at the different methods of paying a bill at the doctor’s and rate them according to how quick and easy they were, I’d probably rate them like this (one is easiest):

1) Pay up-front

2) Mail a check after getting the bill

3) Have the clinic bill my insurance company, get insurance statement, get bill from clinic, then pay the bill.

Here’s how it apparently works

1) Have the clinic bill my insurance company, then pay the bill.

2) Mail a check after getting the bill (one and two may be tied).

3) Pay up-front.

That’s right, paying up-front requires the most hassle, work, and run-around.  Hubby went to the doctor the other day.  Since he doesn’t have insurance, we told the office we’d be paying with a check before we left the office.  So we’re thinking that Husband will see the doctor, they’ll give us a total, and we’ll write them a check.  Silly us.  For starters, they didn’t even know how much to charge us.  The clinic manager thought we got a discount but first she had to call someone else to find out.  Turns out we don’t get a discount.  Instead, there’s a flat fee for paying up-front (which turned out to be half the amount I was expecting pay – yay!).  Great.  So we pay our bill.

The next day, the clinic manager calls us back.  She tells Husband that there was a form they needed him to fill out and sign because he paid his bill in-person, right after our visit.  Wait, what?  We’ve already paid our bill, you have our money, and we need to fill out a form to do that?  Husband tells the clinic manager his e-mail address and says he’ll fax it back tomorrow.  The clinic e-mails Husband, but they don’t actually e-mail him the form.  Instead, he gets an e-mail telling him he has to sign up for an account on the clinic’s website so he can download the form.  Remember, all we did was pay our bill in-person before we left the clinic.

Let’s review:

1) We paid our bill, in full, at the clinic as soon as Husband’s appointment was over.

2) The clinic had to make a phone call to determine how much money we owed them.  They didn’t know, they couldn’t punch it in the computer to figure it out.

3) The next day, the clinic calls us and tells us they were supposed to have us sign a form so we could pay up-front.

4) In order to get the form, Husband gets sent to the clinic’s website where he has to create an account to download the required form, before he can print it, fill it out, and fax it.

I think it’s a lot easier to let the clinic bill you.  They send you a bill, you send them a check.  Except if you don’t have insurance you have to pay at the time of your visit (or maybe that was the other clinic).  At any rate, if you don’t have insurance to bill (which can be a hassle in and of itself), be prepared for lots of extra paperwork and run-around – all because you paid your bill right away!

Need a wedding photographer?

I have no affiliation with either of the blogs or parties mentioned below.  My only “connection” to either one is as a reader of Nate’s blog, Confessions of a CF (Cystic Fibrosis) Husband.  Nate and his wife are continually promoting cystic fibrosis awareness and working to raise money for research.  I’m simply trying to help get the word out.

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, you may want to check this out.  Kirsten, of Innate Photography, is auctioning a wedding photography package.  Why, you may ask?  To benefit Nate & Tricia Lawrenson’s Great Strides Walk, a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis.  All proceeds from the wedding will go to the Great Strides Walk.  Kirsten is based in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but she will travel anywhere, so don’t think you can’t vote if you don’t live near her.  I’ve looked at some of the photos on her blog and she does some really nice work.

A Look at the Life of the Frugal Vet Tech Student: Work Day

Here’s what a typical non-school day looks like for this girl:

6:00 AM – Get up, get ready for work (some days I sleep a bit later).

6:30 – 7:00 AM – Pack up the dog and leave for work. The dog usually comes to work with me. What time I leave depends on how much I have to do at work before I open.

7:00 – 7:30 AM – Arrive at work. Let the dogs out. Feed and water them. Clean up any messes. Administer any necessary medications. Make sure the kitties have food and water.

8:00 – 11:00 AM – Check pets in and out, take reservations, answer questions, assist the groomer, etc. Other tasks I may work on include making the schedule for the next month, doing some book keeping, updating records, or write notes to my staff.

11:00 AM – Depending on my work load, I may or may not punch out around 11. If I have a lot to do, I will often work a few extra hours. If I don’t have a lot of extra work, I’ll punch out and either stay here and work on my own stuff (like this blog) or go elsewhere. Every once in a while, I will go home and have a nap. Other times I’ll run errands. Now that school’s in session again, I will often head to my favorite study spot – Caribou Coffee – get a yummy drink, and settle in to one of their comfy chairs for a few hours of studying. Some days I bring my laptop so I can do online classwork, other days I leave it behind, lest I spend my time reading blogs instead of doing homework.

1:00 PM – Time to head back to work and let the dogs out again. If we don’t have a lot of dogs and I have some walks to do, I may do one or two during this time. Sometimes I clean kennels or do other cleaning, too.

2:00 PM – Office is open again. Afternoon tasks are very similar to the morning tasks – answer phones, check pets in and out, give tours, help the groomer, do book work. Sometimes I do some more homework. Other times, if I’m not expecting any pets to arrive or leave, I’ll spend some time cleaning kennels.

5:00 PM – Dinner time for the dogs. This can be a five- or 25-minute project – the time it takes is determined by how many dogs we have.

5:30 PM – The evening person comes in. The evening person closes up the office, does some cleaning, checks the cats again, and lets the dogs out one more time before bed. Some nights I’m the evening person. On nights I’m not the evening person, I usually try get out of here between 5:30 and 6:00 so I can spend at least a little bit of time with my husband before he has to work.

6:00 or 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM – Arrive at home, have dinner with my husband, and see him off to work. After he leaves for work I do assorted things around the apartment.

10:00 PM – Bedtime, so I can rest up and before I do it all over again the next day!

Wondering what a school day is like? Stay tuned – that post is coming up soon!

Mmmmm, jam…

Right now, I’m listening to jar lids “pop”.  I love that sound!  My jars of jam finished boiling a few minutes ago and now they’re sitting on the counter.

I started making jam the summer we got married.  I had never made it before and had never helped anyone make it.  One day, I just decided I wanted to learn how to make jam.  Off to the library I went and came home armed with a few good books.  My mom helped me make my first batch.  We ended up with a peach sauce instead of jam, because we ended up nearly pureeing the peaches instead of chopping them, but the sauce was really good!  Since then, I’ve made cherry jam, pear jam, plum jam, and more peach jam.  It’s really not as difficult as it seems at first.  It does take some time, but it’s relatively simple process: Wash up all your jars and lids, chop the fruit, combine the fruit with sugar and lemon juice, boil it, add the pectin, boil it some more, put it in jars, put lids on, boil the jars of jam, let them sit, then enjoy!  There are no complex steps, but the instructions do need to be followed carefully or your jam won’t set or may not seal properly (in which case you can re-process it in the boiling water or just refrigerate it and use it up before too long).

I haven’t determined if making jam is more economical than buying it at the store (perhaps I’ll run down costs in a future post), but it tastes sooooo much better than the store jam. There’s also the satisfaction I get from making the jam and then eating something I’ve made.  If you like working in the kitchen and you like eating jam (or have a lot of extra fruit around), try making some jam.  The results will be tasty!