My new ride, Fraelsi

My new ride, Fraelsi
Fraelsi means Freedom in Farose

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July's almost gone

And I still have a lot of grass and weeds in the garden to clean out, the plum trees need me to clean up under them, the flower beds need cleaned out..the list is long.
But I am wearing steel toed work boots every day and working in them here at home, I have 2 pair to get broken in, 1 pair is wider and higher topped and those are the pair State Farm will be re-imbursing me for. That is going ok, I think the back of the left heel is having more problems with the damaged boots than the right mangled foot is.
Mike is here, hauled cars into IL late last week and now is waiting on checks to get into his bank so he has fuel $$ and can then book cars needing moved and be working again. I didn't expect him to come and then end up waiting on funds to be back on the road. But it is his business and his job, not mine.
I did finally get my disability pay problems resolved and should see that deposited in my checking account either this Friday or next. I only get 18 weeks total and it's now almost 28 weeks from when I had my accident so it's taken almost 4 months to get this paperwork problem resolved. It seems that it's been faxed and faxed and not scanned and keyed into the correct file--and NO one working there could find it or get that corrected???
Mike and I did go look at the land I am interested in, and do drive bys with the 2 places with homes on them that are on my 'wish list' and we also went and looked at modulars and found a floor plan that was very workable.
The settlement will be tied up as fast as I can get that done once this is settled, I have several places/people who will help me with investments and I have a list for that move out of town dream. And know which new vehicle and even which salesman I will be going to.
I still might be getting a lawyer before it's all done, and did discuss with Mike why his insurance agent and the lawyers she knows and trusts are NOT who I will be dealing with. They are in Utah, I am in IL and I will have a lawyer here whose office I can walk into and meet with in person. Everything will end up in some sort of trust that will secure it for my blood heirs, and for my use.
I have confidence in him being able to support himself and to also buy things he wants or needs or feels are important. I did not explain that includes a sofa or couch for my next home. That is and will continue to be a very low priority item for me...I have never been a person for laying around on the couch and so it's not important.
My foot has made good progress but there is no way to know if I can work long term at Cargill until I am trying to do that job. I sure hope to be back there before the end of Aug. and to be able to stay long term.
Our doll club went by train to Chicago to public day with the UFDC convention, or at least some of us were able to go and had a great time. I was suprised at how well my foot tolerated the trip and all the walking and standing around I did. And I had great fun.
I am not happy about the situation with Mike's financial bind but as I have already invested $$ into his business when I was out with him in March, and I have far too many responsibilities of my own, I will not scramble my budget and finances to help him out. He might eventually re-imburse me what I have already paid into fuel and meals and the new ramps, but I am not concerned about that money. I am just not going to put any more into his business other than pay some on the cell bill with Verizon, my phone adds $10/month to that bill and I have no problems paying on it and paying more than my cell services costs. But I am not going to be playing tourist now, or doing any other helping him out, and I am not doing a lot to entertain him.
It's not a vacation that he is on, it's supposed to be working and expanding his area of car hauling so he can work on building this relationship he wants with me. I have no problems doing my share of work but from the very beginning, before this accident, I was very clear about my life being here. I will not relocate from this area, the accident will not be changing that.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I got the mowing done, foot was not impressed but the job got done and the place looks better. I will have to water later but for now I am staying out of the heat outside.
I am doing a lot of thinking about what I will be able to do, physically in the future, have some big decisions to be making and need to look at a lot of different issues and what I really need and want. Lots of different angles to consider.
Today the mail had the green card, so someone with Standard Insurance signed for the forms 7/14 and no one can claim (again) that the rest of my disability pay from the plant is being held until they get more medical information from my doctor. I would like to see the rest of my disability show up in my checking account by Friday the 23rd but know they will drag it out as long as they can.
I can't find the doll pj pattern I wanted to work with but do have a nice summer dress pattern and plenty of fabric that would work with it, plus fabrics that would make great summer shirts. I need to get out some fabrics that will work for more cargo pants also, have some that looks like camo somewhat and could do a couple pair out of that. If I don't sell some outfits soon I will be running out of room for them.
Mike says he's loading 3 cars to haul from Salt Lake to Peoria, and will leave Monday. I don't know how long the trip will take, or how well the truck and trailer will make the haul but I decided a couple months ago that Mike's trucking business is His business and I am not going to worry, advise or invest in it.
I have a lot to work on in my own life, my finances are not in good shape, my house is a mess, my garden is overgrown, I am still healing up from this car accident and from this most recent surgery and still have a lot of pain and problems wearing shoes any length of time.
Right now there are at least 2 places up for sale that would work for me, once I have my settlement, the 1 with the huge house and no screening from the highway, and the 1 that is just land and maybe more than I really want to manage. Both have good points and bad ones. And neither might be still for sale when I am finally have my settlement from this accident.
The foot really hurts, I had thought that by now I would have far less pain. I do know the surgery has helped but I am just not healing as fast from this last surgery as I thought I would. The surgery scar looks good though and I am putting a lot of cocoa butter cream or emu oil on it several times a day. I am just so tired of hurting like this all the time. I am not getting a lot done while I spend so much time down on the futon or on my bed. Brusing, the bone where the shaving/chipping/filing took place, the nerves that got moved around, streached, frayed. I think it's those nerves that 'twing' and have me to the point of screaming that is the worse. I know all the pain is reduced from jsut after the surgery and just after the staples were removed.
Well, nothing good to watch except music videos, being up on my feet has me almost in tears from pain (again) so I need to figure out what I am going to do to get through the hours.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bernadette's Closet is Open

I finally got some doll outfits done, the photo shoot done and edited and an 'for Sale' album up at Kish Chrysalis group on far no sales but some interest. So, this is a start, later than I had planned last fall or the first of the year, but I am making progress.
And Ben is helping me with the weeding in the garden so that is going faster, my foot is letting me do more shoe wearing so that is helping and it is also letting me sleep a bit more.
And I have been looking at companies that make geo-dome homes/kits for home ideas for that land I looked at. I know I am a long way from settlement for this accident but I am making some plans and decisions about what I need to do with the settlement. At least 2/3 of it will go into investments that will help make me an income.
I hope to go back to work and be self supporting once again but know I have to plan for the years ahead. So, investments that make and re-make income do really matter. And setting them up so they stay working for me matters too.
I hope to have enough settlement to take 1/3 and pay off all my debts, buy the out of town place of my choice and do the work needed there to have what I want for a home and green house, water system, machine shop building. And I have a max amount I will spend so if the settlement is at or over 1 mil, the $ figured for home site does not get to increase too.
Mike thinks he will be able to haul a load to Peoria area by sometime next week, I will be gone Wed. night and Thursday, and plan to talk to Jason at State Farm early next week and see if I can pick up my lost wage check Wed. while I am in town and not need to come back for it Friday.
I know I will have a long and fun and busy day Thursday with the group from my doll club going by train to Chicago for Public Day at the UFDC Convention.
And it's great that I and possibly another of our group will be doing a 'sleep-over' with Cindy so we don't have a long drive before we get on that train around 6 am. Another fun thing for me and I will be taking Cindy some outfits from Bernadette's Closet for her dolls as a hostess gift.
Our temps have some down some but not a lot and it's very humid out, even this early in the day, but I am enjoying summer, even if I cannot do all the things I had hoped to be doing.
It is now just past 6 months since the car accident, my foot is still healing from the surgery done on June 21, but it is making good progress and I really do think I have a better chance of being able to go back to Cargill and my job there in supply.
Mike has a long way to go with getting his trucking business on solid ground, financially and he will have to do it on his own, I cannot help him at this time and when I have the settlement, I will not put money into something that is not a solid investment and with good books I can look at and know what I am investing in.
I do think in time Mike can turn his trucking into a profitable business but he will have to do it on his own.
And I will not be getting married now either, just too many financial issues lurking to attach to my income/property/settlement from his IRS obligations, and his past marriage. I have plenty of my own problems to deal with, my own financial issues to take care of and I am not at all willing to share out this insurance settlement to pay off some one else's debts.
But I do a lot of thinking and day-dreaming about what I would do with that 20 acres I looked at, and have a 'game-plan' for the house on 4.6 acres I looked at. It's currently a short property list for buying and either or both might be sold before I have my settlement but at least the realtor and I know we can work together to find what I want. She has enough info from me now and has met me so won't be wasting her time or mine showing me things that are not workable for my needs and wants.
Now it's time to get this posted and get bibs on and go work out in my garden for a while, before it gets hot.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

looking at land...

Well, it's been 3 weeks since the last surgery and I wore sneakers today and went to look at 20 acres that are for sale...grass and weeds and a blank canvas I could do a lot with. Cornered on 2 black top roads, not a bad drive into Beardstown or to Cargill for work.
And the foot is making progress, better progress than my bone dr. and I expected..I am not yet dancing but I am sure walking better and I expect to be down at the Y walking and riding the stationary bike within a week.
I don't feel I will be ready for Cargill and 8+ hour work days, 40+ hours a week by Aug. 5, my next dr. appointment but I am feeling like there is a good chance I will be going back to my supply clerk job before fall has really set in..hope, hard at it.
And I have some doll outfits ready to do a photo shoot and then put up for sale at 1 of the on line doll groups I am in. It would be great if some or all of them sold, I can always make more clothes for my dolls, LOL, sell what they are wearing and make more and put them up for sale..that would be fun and make a bit of play $$$.
I do have plans to buy land or a place out of town with some of my settlement money and invest the rest in long term stuff that will pay me an income, and then re-invest that If/while I am earning that Cargill paycheck. I want some place to build a small garden and a life I really like with more privacy and space.
It won't be easy, and it will be my place and my decisions alone. Unless someone is willing and able to invest financially the same amount of money I put in, it stays just mine....and at this time Mike is struggling to pay his bills on time and keep his truck and trailer licensed. He has back income tax return to file and pay income taxes, he might have debts from his marriage with Annette to deal with so I am not willing to gamble my settlement, or paycheck or credit on anything that is not on solid financial grounds.
I have worked hard for years to have what I do have here, and I have made some really bad choices in the past and learned some hard lessons from them. I will not be putting my name on any joint bank accounts, and I will not invest any money into anything that is not already a solid and profitable business.
Buying a home with some land out of town with some of my settlement funds is not the same, it is a home and garden that I cannot turn this small property into. And it will not be an 'us' or 'we' thing. My vehicles are mine, not 'community' or 'family' propety, and while I am willing to 'share' my home and bed with a man I do care about, I am not doing any partnership or giving that same man much 'vote' or input into what I decide to buy, how I decide to invest and that list goes on.
We are both in our 50's, with grown children and past marriages/relationships. I don't expect someone to support me, to pay my bills or take care of me. I also am not willing to support them, or pay their bills or take care of them.
There will not be any vacations, trips to Europe or other places that I pay for, unless I am going alone and it's my earnings that I have saved up for that settlement is not going for such foolish things. I don't plan to buy what I do not want to have, and I do plan to have my life run the way I like it. Being able to support myself gives me the right to be my own boss, and if some man wants a 'partnership' he will have to be a true partner, that means both financially and work wise. And that means being able to put both the $ and the work in before he gets much of a vote.
I'm thinking a geo-dome for a house, and no huge whirlpool bath tub, whirlpool, maybe, but not huge. I am seeing a lot of money and work in planting trees for windbreak along property lines on the west and north, and fencing along the property line, I want to know where my lines are and I want others to know also...
Look into wind generators, solar power, sand points and solar power for that along with electric back up.
It will take a machine shop/garage and a green house, a very small tractor and some equipment and a green house. A lot of planned out irrigation and water lines laid out and a raised road bed into the property, and power and phone lines.
So, now I have 2 places on my list for potential places to settle into, and I have a foot that is feeling more like it just might make it back to Cargill and give me back some of that life I worked so hard to build here.
And I have a start at that dream of mine for selling my own label doll fashions, some hand work on a few things and some photos and I will have be putting BERNADETTE'S CLOSET out there for others to see, and hopefully buy...
I will honestly say I do feel Mike has a lot of work to do with his trucking business, at this time he will stay based in Utah, and I am ok with that. But we do not have much of a relationship with living over 1000+ apart,and we are not building much of one any time in the future. It's just not possible.
That does not mean I am 'dumping' things, but I am being practical and realistic about things. Dreams are nice but they do not fix leaking roofs, put groceries in the house, keep the heat bill paid in the winter, the phone and internet service paid for.
I do think Mike will be able to pull his trucking business out of the hole it happens to be in right now, but I already invested money in that business when I was out west with him this spring while I was still in the cast. Now, it's up to him to take care of his business and I will work on what I need to do here.
I have a lot of paperwork to keep dealing with, and bills here to keep track of and keep paid. A garden that needs a lot of hours of hard work to clean out the grass and plum trees that need picked and cleaned up. I have sewing work I want to get done and knitting projects to take care of. And the therapy program my doctor and I agreed will work best for my and my foot.
So, both of us have some very seperate responsibilities to be working on and taking care of. He will be out here when he can make it out this way, not to relocate at this time but he hopes to be soon hauling out this way now and then.
It's not perfect but it can be workable for both of us as long as we both understand our lives are seperate and will be staying that for for the forseeable future.
This accident has changed how I look at the future, and what I see long term for my life and direction. My 'roadmap' for life was torn to shreds and now I am looking at working out a new roadmap and direction. And it does need to be my decisions and what I feel/know will work for me long term.
And I do not feel it is selfish to be firm about some things, it's not 'our' place as long as I am the 1 who has paid for the land, the house construction, the improvements, and so forth. I do not look at Mike's truck and car hauler as 'ours', in fact I do not want any part of it. It's not a good financial investment and if I want to throw away money I will buy a lottery ticket or another doll for my doll collection, shoes for my dolls, patterns to sew with...

Friday, July 09, 2010

And the foot still hurts..

But I drove myself to Springfield and did my errends there, met with a realtor here in town and made an appointment to see a property next week, had supper with friend Nancy, talked to Mike on Skype and worked on the camp shirt pattern I am trying to adjust for the Kish dolls.
Nancy kept telling me how bad my foot looks. It looks better than it did with the staples in..and better than it did the day after the accident..ok, so I didn't get to see it then..but you get the idea.
Yes, there is a lot of swelling, and it's expected, and pain, yes, I was told. It will slowly go down, it will improve, at least to a certain point. We do not know that point until foot gets there and stops improving...
There is a quilt show in Jacksonville I would like to go to tomorrow if the foot is up to that. And if I can get 1 camp shirt made that fits ok I want to do a couple photos outside. And the plums need picked, put them up on freecycle and hope I can get people to come for them.
It's not raining and I am so glad of that, the house needs to dry out, the lawn needs mowed and I need to clean out the weeds and grass in the garden as I am able to.
Mike thinks he will be here by early Aug. but I don't expect that to work out. If I count on him getting here by a certain date I will be setting myself up for disappointment. But he thinks the truck is ready for the trip and all the scales and DOT checks that coming here will mean.
He and I have a lot of things to work out, learn where each of us draws those lines. I am far more independent and self-suffecient than any woman he has been involved with has been. And I am not willing to do much joint accounts, have been burned that way, I do not want my name on his accounts and his name will not be on mine.
I have been living on my own and going my own way for a very long time, even when my sons moved here for work I did not change my solitary ways. They were adults and it was not my job to cook, clean or do their I do not plan to become the cook and housekeeper for any man.
This insurance settlement will be my business and I will choose my own investment assistance and my own lawyer when and if I feel the need for one. And what it buys will be in my name alone or in a trust that only my blood/genetic decendants have gain from when I am no longer living.
Mike will have to accept that I will not be very involved in his children's lives, have no interest in becoming 'Grandma' to his grandkids or want to become business partners unless he is able to put 50% or more of any start up costs.
My vehicles will be mine, he will need to own and maintain his own, it's not my job to provide any one else with 'wheels'. That might sound selfish but I have provided my own transportation and supported my own transportation and figure if I can do it, then any one else can also.
I will live in my own home, and I will pay the bills there, but if anyone else wants to eat, they better help buy the groceries, do the cooking and pull their weight with work needing done.
I won't be paying for any one else to have great vacations, I don't plan to make life 'easy' for any one.
This accident has changes a lot of things in my life but it is not changing who I am and what matters to me. It has taken me a long time to become the woman I am, I have paid a very high price for some of that learning and will not let a large insurance settlement turn me into a fool.
I also will not judge Mike by anyone else but by his own actions.
It will take me a long time to get my credit back in good shape because of this accident. I worked hard to repair it after the foreclosure in MO, and did not have it back to where it was when Con-Agra shut down. Now it's going down the tube again and I will accept that and know I can rebuild it once the settlement is paid out and I get things back in order, some debt paid off and my life back on some sort of track that works for me.
Life is really good, but I work to make it good, it does not just happen that way. I have a long way to go to rebuild my life and make it into something that works for me, but I do know what does not work for me.
I hope to go back to work at Cargill but now can accept that I might not go back to my job, but I will do something else and I will make life work and like what I make it into.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

No Staples!!!!

The staples came out, and that was ouch and more ouch, think 1 out of 10 didn't hurt when removed. The new x-rays look good, Dr. Mulshine was able to remove ove 1/2 inch of bone edge and smooth it, this should help the tendon in that area and the nerves which apparently were running across that broken edge of bone.
There is a lot of swelling that will slowly go down, I am not back into shoes yet but once I am I can start back to walking at the gym at local Y and also stationary bike when I feel ready. I think this, once I am healed up, will increase my odds of returning to my job at Cargill. And I am all for doing that.
The foot will always be deformed some, but I think it will be more tolerant to being used as a foot, I know I have a ways to go yet but at least I am making some progress once again.
And we got rain again, and the roof leaked, both in the night and then in the rain that started before Julie and I got back to Beardstown.
So, this ended up being a very great birthday...and Ben and Tamara took me out to pizza then we girls gave in and watched Zombieland or some such thing with the movie can be returned to Kim.
And I am thinking a geo-dome would be the great house to live in on that land I don't own but hope to some day..few acres and a little market garden, a job I love, a home in the country I love, place for my sewing and books and dolls...ya, I could really think my life was going well again...
Foot hurts right now but I am winding down and will soon be tucked in and sleeping. Had a long and busy day but it was a really good day.
Tomorrow I need to call American Family on my supplimental income insurance claim and see where the paperwork on that it down...
Got the 'have to pay' bills written down for Friday so will have that organized and should be up to driving myself, oh, that sounds great!!!
Maybe the weeds and grass in the garden will get worked on again, that sounds good, along with getting plums picked and I can mow my own lawn again.
Have patterns and fabrics for doll shirts/tops and the blue thread I needed to sew some of the stuff I have cut out...progress, progress...
Back to the doctor 8/5 and hopefully by then I should have most of the insurance battles and bugs worked out for a while...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Foot hates Staples

The foot is miserable, the staples come out tomorrow..the foot is recovering from the surgery, no new problems, it is just staples and the surgery ouches..
The plums are getting picked, as I can find people to come pick them and take them away. I am working on some knitting projects and on some doll clothes projects. Ben is up in Rushville and I really like having my place to myself, just wish his stuff was elsewhere, and stored under the house in the utility area Does count as 'elsewhere'.
The kid north, Nick, had his vehicle side-swiped last last night, the kid that did it was parked a couple blocks up the street at his mother's place. Crime quickly solved by Beardstown police..I really do have good neighbors whose house was broken into and robbed while they were out of town on vacation, thieves were rapidly caught, most of the goods were returned..
Heat index is high today and the garden is turning into a weedpatch once again. I need to be battling that and will as foot allows--which is not nearly enough right now to keep up with the growth...
Budget is going to be snug for a while but have property taxes and house insurance to make and know I will rest better once both are paid. I will keep battling Standard Insurance for the rest of my disability pay, and I will call American Family about the supplimental income and see if they have all the paperwork they need to get that claim started and the first check to me..
It's going to be ok, I will make life work for me..but the reality is that I will be making it work for me and there is no one for me to fall back on. I have great friends, my sons are not bad guys but they have lives of their own to work on.
So, I am ok with the independent and on my own stuff. Had a lot of practice and have learned the hard way to not count on, not depend on and not put much trust in any man to be there. Not saying men are bad, just that my life works far better with far less problems IF I do not depend on a man to 'come through'. Words are great, but are meaningless without the actions that back up those words..and once said, yes, I do watch and see if the actions are there to accomplish what was said.
I know I have personal issues of my own, and financial issues that also are my own making and my own responsibility. But I have for years been taking care of that and will continue to do so. It will take me some time to get the balance back after this accident and the financial damage it has done to me, but it will happen and I will get out of the red and in the meantime, I rarely am getting deeper in the red and each month actually climb some out, not much but any step ahead is better than a step behind, even staying in the same place is better than sliding back a bit.
So, do what I need to do here, have laundry basket with clean things that need put away, have plenty of dirty stuff to wash, have letters to write, a package to send off to Jake, doll tops to create...and most of the time I really like the life I have. Not the accident, but I am dealing with that, and will continue to deal with that.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Fresh Plums

The plums on my trees are ripe, and the trees are loaded. I also was not able to spray with dormant oil this Feb. or with anything for bugs after blooming times. So the Japanese beetles are rampant and so are several other nasties--but I still have a lot of fruit and have been doing some work cleaning up the dropped plums and weeds.
I know I am so very fortunate with all the insurance coverage I have that is helping pay bills for me and support me. I know I am fortunate that my son and his gal pal were not badly hurt and that I did not get more injured that I have been.
And I have a great support team that is helping me, my friends here, my internet friends, the prayer groups that have me and my foot on their list.
So, all in all, I cna say that this weekend, when we celebrate the founding of this country I live in, it's a good weekend, regardless of the opinion of my blasted right foot. Hope every one has a very good weekend

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Miserable foot..

I know I am whining, but this blasted foot does not want to quit hurting, and I know getting the staples out will help and that happens 7/6. Today is 7/1 so that is closer than I was 3 days ago. I know this surgery will help some and that the pain will lessen once the staples are out..after the foot gets over that 'project'.
Jake called from Darwin Australia the other night, just had a minute or 2 but he's fine, happy and has t-shirt and coffee cup for mom, Mom asked for post card mailed from there that she can rub in his older brothers faces. He's going places they only dream of seeing, he has steady paycheck and the other 2 don't even do much job hunting as far as Mom can see...that might explain why I keep knitting socks and sending boxes to that son and don't do much for the other to earn those 'mom perks' once you get old enough to work...
I do have some doll things cut out today and will work on them in a bit, doing some of that 'down with foot up' stuff that does help lessen the pain and the swelling.
Later I need to go talk with the union chief about a few things, go to Wal-Mart and get more wrap so I can re-dress the foot..and I need a shower so that means bagging the foot so it stays dry.
But I am able to shower far easier than with the cast and the cast was on 5 or 6 weeks, and I survived that pain and the walker and know I am walking, not even using the cane most of the time, I am running my sewing machine, working in my garden some so I have made progress.
It's been a long, long recovery but I have gained some each week.
I know that I won't ever be back to where I was before this accident. That fact took me a long time to accept but I have walked through that rough patch and have it behind me. And I am looking at what I can do, what I can build for my life 'post accident' and know I can make a good and content life and I can do it 'on my own'.
But I also know that beyond doubt, all the best 'cards' are in my hand when it comes to car accidents, no medically documented prior medical issues to complicate what is prior problems/damage and what is NOW, no weather issues to be partially to blame, and the clearly at fault driver had very good insurance, as did I. And we both had valid license, I was slowing down to try and avoid/lessen the accident.
So, money-wise, I will have a large settlement and I am already working on investment ideas/plans and I am going to be mean, nasty and hard about this settlement. It has to provide for my life, and for a long life and for any up-coming medical issues that show up down the line.
And I know that before this surgery I didn't have very many days in a row that were this painful. Well, I did but had moved beyond that place, so it stinks to go back to spending so much time down with my foot up.
I know most of me is ready to go and do things, the right foot might never be ready for that, and there are things the right foot will Never be able to do..but I am very fortunate and count my blessings every day..just whining about the hurting that gets really vicious and mean the past few days.