Thursday, November 19, 2009


If you looked out your window and saw this cat staring at you what would you think? Would you rub your eyes to be sure you were really seeing what you thought you were? Does he look wild? Does he look like he wants to attack? What is he thinking? Does he remind you of a cat you might see in a scary movie? Well, appearances can be deceiving.

We're staying in an RV park this month while we pay off our bills, get tires, tuneups, make travel arrangements, and decide which health insurance to get. Gary is still working so we can keep our current health insurance. We are in an indecisive quandary about getting health insurance when Gary quits his job. The quandary is I know I won't be paying for health insurance, I'll be gambling. The insurance company will be gambling we won't go over the deductible and we'll be gambling we won't either and that we won't need any care at all.

The least expensive insurance we can get is with a $10,000 each deductible, 30 percent copay, and $35 office visit and it's about $250 per month. That's $3000 a year, plus $10,000 each, that's $23,000 before the insurance pays anything and that's before we go to any doctors or fill any prescriptions, etc. We might as well pay cash since we are basically healthy. Except we aren't young and the odds are against us. Unless we had plenty of money, it seems we are encouraged to either not have insurance or not go to the doctor unless something major happens. For now we plan to eat right, not do any high risk activities, and hope all our body systems stay in perfect working order. If Gary and I can both get jobs where employers paid for part of our insurance we'd be better off. Gary can get a job easily, perhaps in another area I can too. But with this economy, not so sure. I hear Starbucks pays benefits even for part time employees.

our RV

The other morning I was sitting at the dinette in our motorhome and my cat Butter was looking out the window very intently. We happen to be parked next to a beautiful grove of eucalyptus trees which makes our RV space very private.

cat lady RV

more cats
one under picnic table too

You may recall I met several characters here in the park and one of them was cat lady. After our initial introduction we've never seen the cat lady again. I think she's a recluse. Cat lady told us all the cats she feeds were abandoned by people who previously lived in this RV park. The day we met the cat lady she introduced us to a few of her cats.

Bones coming to greet me

Anyway, I thought my cat Butter was looking at a bird in the eucalyptus tree beside our RV but as I turned my head I saw Bones, one of cat lady's cats, staring right at me. Now if I hadn't of met Bones beforehand, I might have thought I was looking at an apparition. If I look straight out our window I'm at an eight foot height, which means Bones was a long way up in the eucalyptus tree. Bones has a scrawny body, a lumpy face, and a very penetrating stare unlike any other cat I have encountered.

Bones jumps up to be pet

Apparently Bones was wondering about me and my three cats in our RV and picked a perfect vantage point to survey us from the tree outside, but as you can see Bones is a very sweet cat. Bones reminds me of Peter and Laura's cat, Ginger. What do you think? I guess cats are a lot like people you can't judge them by their appearance but have to get to know them.

Here's a Twighlight Zone moment. I just realized Bones is another cat with a name which begins with a "B". If you are curious about that, please read the story about my yellow tabby cat Butter and how he got his name. My other two cats are named Binky and Betty. Bird Man appears next so be sure to check back again.


  1. I don’t know what to say about your insurance dilemma, I know friends I have in the States without insurance have got ill and bee up the creek so to speak, I guess we are very lucky in Europe to have free healthcare. I think maybe you should go for it though.
    I love the cat Bones and such great photographs of him. He does look like Butter too.

  2. Hi Kitty, thanks, your healthcare in Europe, didn't you actually pay for it with higher taxes on your income? And is it all covered and you pay nothing no matter what you need done or do you pay a portion. I am now researching some through the Potter's Council to see how they compare. I think we really have to get something due to our ages or the law of probablilities. I just hate paying something for nothing but maybe it isn't for nothing, just very expensive along with everything else we need. C'est la viv

  3. Great cat photos! Love the name Bones too :o)

    OK, I'm going to get on a (small) soap box here...
    In 2000 I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia (AML) -a COMPLETE and utter shock to ALL family and friends. I had never even had a broken bone or any surgeries, EVER. We had owned our own businesses and THANKFULLY at that time had Blue Cross catastrophic coverage. Sort of what your describing, high payments, not so great coverage. BUT within the first month I needed to be hospitalized at the University of Washington Medical Center (out of state) we had hit $130,000 in bills... For 6 more months I was in necessary treatment we WERE NEARING OUR CEILING OF $1,000,000...
    And things went WELL FOR ME -that was with no real complications!!! I'm in full remission and we will, hopefully, FOREVER keep some sort of insurance. PLEASE stay covered and not become one of the uninsured statistics that ruin American lives everyday. One of the leading causes for bankruptcy is a health or medical crisis...

  4. Hi Cindy, thanks about the photos, Bones is another special cats Thank you for being so frank and sharing your health and insurance openly here. I am so glad you had a good outcome and so happy to know you. I have decided to get the least expensive insurance and hopefully we both remain well till we can get Medicare or Gary gets VA or until we get relocated and we both get jobs with benefits. It really is too big a risk for no insurance like you say. My brother just had surgery for a broken thumb and it was $93,000 because he needed pins and muscle repair so even for something minor like a broken bone it will definitely cost more than we can come with, that's for sure. I just wanted to voice my concerns with the whole insurance payment options because it all really does seem unfair as you say. Never sick and never using insurance and still having to pay all those years. Hopefully all the years I have paid will pay off in the end and if not that is even better, as health is more important than money. Our lives were almost ruined recently even though we had insurance just because of reduced income, lack of job opportunities in this area, poor health, and a few medical bills so I know what that is like for sure. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

  5. Wow I never would have ever thoughnt Health care was sooooo expensive in the States... How do people cope with it... We complain about our "Medicare" system in Canada, but I'll appreciate it the next time I need their services...

    I hope you stay in the good health !

    and Cute Kitty!!!

  6. Hi Linda,

    My fear is that our government and health professionals press on with making our health system here more like your one! By the look of those appalling charges, we've still got a long way to go, thank goodness! I find it awful that people in a "caring" profession can extort so much money out of the sick and injured! Sadly, I can see that you have little option but to insure in order to safeguard against financial ruin.

    Anyway, on a much brighter note, traa laa... Bones does look very like our Ginger (except that Ginger is much rounder!), the penetrating stare reminded me of him right away.

    The RV park looks a nice place with the trees and the open spaces.

  7. Bones really has a spooky look, so intense. I have never seen Ginger except in complete and glorious repose (that cat knows how to chill).
    Good luck with your insurance. Thank goodness I am old enough for Medicare, otherwise I'd have to work part iime just to pay for the insurance. Yep, we do need change.

  8. Hi Linda, Your cats look like just like mine, especially 'Butter' except his name is Buster. We affectionately call him 'Butter wutter' or 'Buster wuster'. Re: health insurance, you have a few other options. Most states have a discounted insurance program for small businesses and people collecting Unemployment benefits. In New York (where I live), it's call 'Healthy New York', in California, it's 'Healthy California', etc. You can choose from a list of providers. I pay $350 a month for total coverage & $20 co-pay (including my children). I've had my own business (LLC)for years and deduct this from my taxes as well as other expenses. You could set up a pottery business under an 'LLC', and even if you don't make a profit the first few years, deduct this from your taxes if you file jointly with her husband. There are lots of online websites to form an LLC under $150. An accountant can help you with this, but there are good books to guide you through the process as well - is a good start. Two recent articles to read about LLC and deductions: and Hope this helps!

  9. Hi Gwen, thanks, the cost is rather shocking isn't it. One has to make a ton of money just to stay healthy and scientists keep saying people aren't healthy here and are over weight. I better not get started on the reasons why for that and save that for another post.

  10. Hi Peter, I thought your country had the same healthcare system as England, Canada and Europe - why are they wanting to change it?

    So Ginger has a penetrating stare too? I know most cats look intently, but as you can see Bones has a different look in his eyes, not sure what it is, perhaps he has had a tough life and is wary. Since Bones lives outside in the elements he is very lean. It seems all the cat lady's cats are like that and small in stature, perhaps all inter-related. Thanks, hope all is well with you, Laura and Ginger.

  11. Hi Patti, thanks, Bones is real spooky, luckily I didn't see him on Halloween. I actually wish we were eligible for Medicare, but we have a few more years for that, hopefully we both make it that long. Ha.

  12. Hi Sue, wow, I am so glad I met you through the blogs, you are a wealth of information and I appreciate your taking the time to explain all the links and ideas to me. I know have a lot of research to do this weekend and I am sure it will all be helpful to me. And the LLC is something I have wanted to do before, but thought it was difficult, but it seems the internet is a resource for everything nowadays and wonderful people like you are so very helpful too, thanks so much. I know other folks will benefit from this topic too.

  13. Hi Linda - Glad you're keeping some form of health insurance. I know how tempting it is to fly solo without it, but not worth the risk. Looks like you got some great advice in the comments!

  14. The way I see it, the government isn't doing the best job helping us taxpayers so I believe that we all as individuals need to help each other get through this mess with whatever knowledge we have. My accountant encouraged me to convert my 'S' corp to an LLC years ago so I wouldn't have to pay state tax on unearned income; I even write off his fee. It's much easier setting up an LLC these days with the web as a resource. I've gotten quite a few friends on the bandwagon. Good luck with it. I always enjoy reading your blog.


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