I thought I'd regret not getting another terrier, but he has proven to be an excellent partner in hiking as well as cuddling.
The Message went like this:
Urgent! Return your absentee ballot today! Did you know that whether you voted is public information?
Your neighbors will know if you voted!
Don't let your neighbors know you didn't vote.
IF you don't vote in the November 2022 General Elections, You're telling your neighbors that:...
[yadda, yadda, yadda, propaganda stuff...]
Your neighbors will know!
The next day we got a flyer with the same message.
Both parties are calling like nimrods and leaving dire messages on our landline.
Another disturbing phone call is the Amazon Scam. Not done by Amazon, but by scammers who repeat the calls every 15 minutes telling us that Amazon has gotten a suspicious charge on your account, in the amount of --- choose your amount --- please call 1-888-XXX-XXX and press one to talk to an account service rep.
I had to unplug our phone to stop the repeated calls.
Yes, we have a land line because my cell doesn't have any bars in our house. I have to walk outside and away from the house to make or receive a call.
Then I got an email saying that I had a suspicious charge on my PayPal account. Yeah, that was pretty funny. Paypal has an expired card on file. No worries. I only used PayPal 7 years ago...once. Since I never used it I deleted the account and had them remove my data.
I can easily check any charges pending on my charge card and those that have been posted. If the credit card company gets an odd charge they will notify me in a way I won't explain here. However, it works and is very efficient. Charges above my norm or in a place that is not usually used by us are flagged.
There is also a very easy way to dispute charges which has been very successful.
I do wonder how many people fall for the scams that are via phone or email?
Speaking of that, on another note.
I had to do some investigating on an insurance claim for hubby.
He is a Veteran with Community Care that is local. His ER visit was billed to the VA and not Community Care. The VA said the claim could not be processed as it was to go to the CCN [Community Care Network]. The Hospital instead billed Medicare -- WRONG! -- I called them on it and explained the process to the billing department.
A month went by and the Hospital Billing Department said 'It just wouldn't go through'.
Which to me translated to: We won't make the effort to rebill the proper Insurance.
Today while waiting for an oil change I called the CCN folks at the Madison VA and found out that payment through the CCN Insurance had been authorized in July the day after the ER visit.
So I used Secure Messaging to pass that on to the Billing Dept and the specific person who told me I was wrong. Note this, Secure Messaging becomes a part of a patient file, no hiding by saying -- I didn't get the message!
I provided the Auth number and suggested they pay Medicare back and bill Optimum UHC. It would be considered fraud to bill the wrong insurance and get paid. Even worse when it is Authorized Care for a Veteran, he/she should NOT be billed.
So I often wonder, how do some of our elderly deal with these issues? The world is scary and invasive. Rotten phone calls that feel like threats. Scam phone calls that are confusing.
Hospital billings that are incorrect.
And I wonder.
How on earth can we stop it?
A few years ago the VA system offered me a job as a Patient Advocate. You know what? That would be a great job. However, right now I have my hands full advocating for my own Veteran.
I have a standing 'date' so to speak with a young mom who also works full time. We meet on Tuesdays and go for a walk.
This time we went back to the Mason Land. I'm not sure why it is called that, perhaps because someone named Mason may have owned it. The land was passed down through family ties. Anyway, it is there and we went back to it today.
We just walk and brush bust and look for interesting things. We wander in the woods, collecting burrs on our clothes and ducking branches.
We were searching for fungi after the rain we had yesterday. And we found some. Mostly it was either dried up stuff or tiny little fungi blooming in the moisture from the rain.
There was an old chair we found tipped upside down at the base of an old towering oak tree. I flipped it over and proclaimed it to be Olive's new Remote Work Office.
She gave me a look and then laughed and sat in the chair and posed like this:
I told her that I loved to find old chairs that hunters have left in the woods for selfies. Why not?
[Years before those fancy fold up hunting chairs were invented, hunters brought out old metal chairs and set them in the woods. Heck, that may have even been before tree stands were invented! Tree Stands? I have my own opinion on them...but I won't write about it here. I wrote about THAT in 2010 A Hateful Woman or Stupid Man Invented Tree Stands.]
Here I am in my New Office:
Yeah, in case you are wondering, we don't wear our good clothes while rummaging through the wild woods.
Good conversation and laughter are things we both need. She as a young mom and a hard worker, me? Well,... you know me.
We take this time once a week to goof off for about an hour or so.
We explore. Laugh. Point out strange and odd things.
We found Yellow Fairy Cup Fungi:
There was Homer, Jethro, and Zelda.
Oh but there were so many more, but those were the three out of about a dozen Sunday morning that caught my eye and the focus of my camera.
While sitting in a tiny blind in the dark and waiting for the deer to may---beee show up and maybe NOT show up can be boring.
However I listened to the birdsong and peeked out as the day went slowly from dark to dim, to sunrise. I heard and saw both Robins and Bluebirds along with the constant cry from the pack of Crows that live nearby.
A rabbit slowly came out of the brush and nibbled on some plants not far from me.
Slowly some young deer came out of the woods and entered the meadow. It was a surprise as I'd just looked and they were not there and...then they were.
So some gals watched and others just ran off.
Zelda said, NO Way!
Eventually Homer decided to follow.
All in the pursuit of love, right?
Monday morning was a bit of a dud, but I did get to watch a squirrel do some interesting things. We all know they bury nuts right? They do, but this guy did something different.
I know squirrels bury their nuts, but I didn't know that they hid them too!
Here he is burying his nut
and then covering it up with oak leaves.
Isn't nature just amazing?
The last time I was on the Wintergreen Trail was January 14th of this year.
I met up with Aurora and we went to explore it in all of its Fall Splendor. We hiked it on the 20th. When I look back on our last fall hike together, I discovered had been on the 19th of October last year! Wow!
Talk about just about making it the same time two years in a row.
Looking back again, I noted that Charlie and I hiked the Wintergreen Trail on October 30th of 2021. In fact, it must be one of my favorite spots to go to since I can look back and see that I hiked this trail on the average of 3 to 4 times a year in the past.
This trail is fantastic in all seasons. The only time I have not hiked it, is when the trillium is blooming in the spring alongside the trail.
In damp warm weather, the trail area shows off with amazing fungi/mushroom finds along with ravenous skeeters. In the winter, there are ice formations if you know how to look for them.
In the fall? It is just amazing with the leaves coming down on the trail and the dense pines along the bluffs.
The morning light filtering through the trees was magical on the trail.
I really just love the yellows that the maples drop. They make the forest floor glow for a few days until the leaves dry up.
In places where the leaves where really thick, Charlie had to wade through them. He didn't seem to mind as he was really on the look out for Chipmunks and Squirrels.
There is one spot to always stop at and take a deep breath. It is an small bluff that overlooks the Kickapoo River. Every single time I take this trail I take a photo of it. Over the years, the trees have changed due to floods, but two seem to preserver on the banks despite the river's attempts to move them.
This is this boxelder seems to shrug off the river's efforts to send it downstream. There is the other one just south of it that holds fast too.
I've climbed out to the lower rock in all seasons just to sit and enjoy the view. I rarely go on the weekend as this is a pretty popular trail. I like to have this spot all to myself. Aren't I selfish?