Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

Just in time … Friday Fragments! 

I got 5 more blocks pieced together yesterday.  I am not sure how many more to go.  I had some calculations done of how many blocks I could piece together out of my strips, but I cannot find that now.  I’m just going to piece blocks together until I run out of my strips.

Our end tables should be finished and ready for pick up today.  That means that I’ll be able to get back to hand quilting my blue and white Irish chain.  Perhaps I’ll piece log cabin blocks this afternoon and sit in the recliner and quilt while watching the Cardinals game tonight. 

My legs are really aching today.  We did a lot of walking while in Hilton Head … we spent at least an hour each day walking along the beach.  My legs were already feeling the effects of all that walking when I had to make multiple trips up and down the stairs to bring up DD’s stuff that Salvation Army is going to come pick up today.  I didn’t realize that I was that out of shape.

DH went to the dentist yesterday … found out he has an abscessed tooth.  He was surprised to hear that … he hadn’t been having any pain.  He’s on antibiotics … we’re praying that he won’t have to have it pulled and a bridge put in. 

The State of Illinois, in all its wisdom, has decided to get its financial affairs in order on the backs of its retirees.  I retired from the state university here, and because I had over 20 years of service, I was entitled to State-provided health insurance.  Knowing that I’d have health insurance was one of the reasons that I felt that we could afford for me to take early retirement 3 1/2 years ago.  Now the State has decided to renege on its promises to its retirees and to eliminate our health insurance.  Which means that for the next 4 years (until I’m eligible for Medicare), I’ll be paying for my health insurance.  And I’m one of the lucky ones.  Because state employees do not pay into Social Security, many haven’t paid into Social Security for the obligatory 40 quarters to be eligible for Social Security benefits and as a result won’t be eligible for Medicare (although paying into Social Security is a double-edged sword … it will make us eligible for Medicare, but any Social Security benefits will be cut significantly because we are receiving a pension from employment where Social Security was not withheld from our earnings).  I cannot deny that the State is in trouble financially and that it needs to do something to get things back on track.  And I cannot deny that the State pension system needs some overhauling (too many stories like the former teachers' union president who spent a few low-paid years teaching in the 1970s, before his union career and then ended up retiring on a $185,000 annual pension based on his much higher union salary or union officials who weren't teachers to begin with and were allowed to get into the teacher pension system with brief teaching stints … including two union lobbyists who got in on that system by merely substitute-teaching for one day and then were in line for large pensions based on their union salaries).  But not at the expense of those of us who put in decades of day-to-day service.  Ok, I’ll step down off my soap box now. Embarrassed smile

This Sunday is Mother’s Day.  To all you moms (whether by birth or by heart): 


  1. Oh no.. I hope the antibiotics take care of that tooth too. Dental pains are horrible

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you! hope you have a good day.

  3. Wow I didn't know that and I didn't know that Illinois was in trouble too. I also didn't know you could opt out of Social Security either.
    That is interesting. Paying for insurance is no fun at all. I eats up so much of our budget.
    I am glad you got your quilts pieced. Didn't you write on your blog about how many you would need? It seems like I read that and we talked about it when I was piecing my quilt at the time.
    I hope you have a lovely Mother's Day. I hope your husband's tooth gets better and no dental work.
    Bye for now,

  4. I work for a state university. They just announced they are changing our health insurance for retirees. But if you are retired or eligible to retire in the next couple of years it doesn't affect you.

    I don't think it is right to go back to people who are in one system and change them. Future retirees yes you could do something, but not present ones.

  5. Good morning! Hoping your hubby's tooth heals without all the other possibilities happening. It just kills me what dental work costs....I can't believe that story on your insurance. That just seems soo wrong. They shouldn't be able to back out of what you had been promised and were counting on. Medical insurance costs are just through the roof! Soo sorry this has happened. It has got to be so frustrating. Sounds like you are coming right along on your quilt! Have a wonderful Mother's Day! HUGS

  6. Some days I don't like being a part of this state! The thing about the health insurance doesn't seem fair. What I think is (was) even less fair is that those of us in SURS at a 2-year college NEVER got out retirement health insurance paid - I was there almost 30 years. Go figure! Hopefully they'll just keep my pension coming - it is far, far below $185K so they should be able to afford it!

    Hope you can have a great weekend. Happy Mother's Day!


  7. It's kind of scary the things they are wanting to do with our Public Employee Retirement System here in Ohio too. I have the time put in to retire, but we're not quite set financially yet to do it. But I'm afraid we'll lose a lot of our benefits if I wait too long. Just trying to be careful and not wait too long, but not jump in too fast.

    Hope all goes well for you.

  8. Hi there, Each time hubby's old company changes the health care benefits, I grumble but he says to remember it is a benefit and not guaranteed. We have no dental or vision coverage and our deductible on our health care is so high.
    Sorry that this happened, I have to wait another five years for medicare too.
    Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day.
    Hugs, Noreen

  9. So glad your getting so much quilting done. I couldn't even finish reading what Illinois is doing to you. How can take away something that you gave to people. It makes me sick. Our whole country is going to he** and I don't know how we are going to come back.

  10. Oh wow, what a nightmare about the insurance benefits and worse yet it is an expense you didn't think you'd have ot deal with on paying for your coverage. Hubby's mom was ocnsidered a state employee as a teacher; she too didn't pay into Medicare/Social Security so she didn't get her 40 quarters in. For her to get Medicare insurance, they would have to pay premiums (I think it was quarterly).

    Glad you go ta chance to get some quilting done! I hope you have a great Mother's Day too!


  11. eager to see your quilt
    hope your legs feel better
    enjoy your weekend

  12. As a Wisconsin teacher, I totally hear you on the budget balancing in ways that do nothing to cut costs but break previous commitments. I feel for people in the private sector who've been through similar cuts, but that doesn't really take the edge off. (Now you've got me worrying about whether or not I've been paying Social

    I suppose beach walking works muscles we never knew we had :)

    Happy quilting this weekend! Thanks for linking up! :)

  13. I'm afraid when it comes to balancing state and federal budgets, no one wants THEIR entitlements to be the place the belt is tightened.

  14. Social benefits...Medicare...and Retirement Funds...they're all so frustrating for some. I too am a lucky one, but it's all because of Bud's retirement. Not mine...if I were to draw on my SS Benefits, that means that Bud's retirement would nearly be cut in half. Not, for now, I'm opting to not draw on mine. Sad, but true. You're screwed one way or another.

    As for your go girl!! Sounds like you're keeping quite busy. I can't wait to see 'em all when finished.

    Sore muscles? Ya, I can understand that. During our patio revamping my back and shoulder muscles got a good work out. LOL


I am SO glad you stopped by! No proving that you're a robot here ... I want to hear what you have to say! ;-)