6.30.2020

Rooting for the Bison: if you're an idiot and you get close to wild animals to take a selfie or a photo, you DESERVE WHAT YOU GET. Personal responsibility you moron.

Glancing over headlines I saw this news story........

California woman gored by bison at Yellowstone National Park after getting within 10 feet to take photos

... and I said (out loud) GOOD!  GOOD! GOOD! GOOD!  Serves you right!!!!

Idiot.
A damn, entitled, stupid idiot.

________________________



For the record... this is me and my daughter
staying in our car and NOT GETTING CLOSE TO THE BISON.
Like intelligent and respectful people do.










Dear Customer Service - I'm weighing the stress, frustration and hatred of dealing with you verses just paying this bogus bill. Is this your evil plan to begin with to make me give up and just pay it? Brilliant.



So the first thing on my mind is we had a very boring dermatologist visit for Mr. Coffee and we just got copies of 3 of the insurance claims.  Remember the good old days when a doctor's office and the hospital would send you ONE bill and they were in charge of dividing up all the charges to the various people they used for the visit or service?

Somehow, over the past 8 years it's become the norm for everyone who looks at you, your chart, says hello to you or even just passes by your room and peeks in can (and do) bill you for it.  So, a regular old check-up at the dermatologist for a skin check turns into a bunch of different bills.  Most all were covered because it's just a preventative well visit but they often 'test' spots that look like they may be suspicious.  So 2 little scoops, tests done, tests clear.  All healthy.  But we have a bill for the 'lab' work.  No idea why but it seems when everything else is covered it's always the 'lab' bills that come in as due. 

And I have to be honest... I despise dealing with the idiots that answer the customer service lines so much that I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up paying this JUST SO I DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEM.

Sad but true.

My husband says  to call and fight it.  This one bill is basically an entire grocery shopping trip for us... but he also admitted that it's easy for him to say because he's not the one having to talk to idiots and fight it.

I THOUGHT I was ready to go to battle this morning.  I had 3 cups of coffee in me.  The copy of the claim in front of me.  The phone number scribbled down to call and the phone in my hand.

But I wimped out.

I'm a wuss.  Or I'm just not mentally and emotionally ready to deal with them.

(For the record we've worked for this company and thus, had this insurance for about 5.5 years now and in that time we did have ONE absolutely wonderful, intelligent, articulate person who knew her job, knew what she was talking about and didn't just make shit up to get you to think you had the situation figured out and would hang up 'happy' and therefore, make their numbers look good for customer service because when you find out they lied to you and you have to call back AGAIN to deal with the EXACT SAME THING, you'll get someone else to talk to so they don't give a crap).

This young woman was absolutely AWESOME and because of that, she was apparently promoted.  Sigh.  Once she was promoted, we've never ever ever in 5 years had another intelligent being at the other end of the line.

I'm rambling.   Perhaps it's procrastination... ha ha.  Because I'm pretty sure I've talked myself out of having to call and have come to terms with paying for the bill?  Although it still irks me because I KNOW FROM PAST EXPERIENCE if we make them resubmit the bill, it will probably either be covered 100% or will be paid to some extent and we'll probably end up owing about $45 of it.

But you have to go round and round with insurance companies and doctor's offices and hospitals now just to get them to do their jobs.  Typically they've "submitted the wrong codes" and they see that immediately when you call to inquire.  If they can easily and immediately see that a wrong code was used, then why didn't someone notice that BEFORE I had to call 3 people over the course of 2 days and wait on hold for 47 minutes each time?

Because people are lazy.  And sloppy.  And want to earn a buck without doing their jobs.

This is the news story that I read this morning that was on my mind when I started to chat about MY bill that should have been covered; 

Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408.


Because yes... this is exactly what happens.  Every damn time.  This is not an anomaly.  This is the norm.  And in the article you will see the quote "don't worry, your insurance will pay for it..."  which is something we hear ALL THE TIME.  And I've learned to then say to the doctor, resident, nurse or other medical staff:  NO THEY WON'T.  THEY WILL PUT THIS ON OUR DEDUCTIBLE, WHICH IS SKY HIGH AFTER OBAMA SCREWED UP THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, SO WE WILL BE PAYING FOR THIS OUT OF POCKET.

And every single time, the doctor has backed down immediately from ordering that 'extra' and un-needed test, service, etc. that they use to pad their pockets because 'insurance will pay for it'.  When they know WE are paying for it, suddenly those extra things?  It's no longer even needed and never was to begin with.

And... wow, so many side topics on this topic.  I best just stop... and drink more coffee.  BUT IF YOU READ THE COMMENTS BELOW THAT STORY you will see we are all in this together - we've all had it happen, it continues to happen and everyone knows about it.  The insurance companies and doctor's office back down IMMEDIATELY when the crazy bills are brought to light of day through social media and news media 'help' segments.   




.....Meh, it's just the coffee talking again.




______________________________________________________






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6.29.2020

Turning down the radio so you can see better......


 
Yesterday Mr. Coffee and I had to go somewhere and I was driving.  As I approached a busy intersection I did what I always do at that corner, and have for over 8 years now; reached to turn the radio down... so I could see better.  :)  It's true though!  You can just concentrate better if it's quiet.  

This week one of my daughters sent me a photo she took of her 4 year old on the deck.  He had just told his brother, "Shhh!  Be quiet!  I smell something!"

_______________________________________























6.28.2020


Updates: The Rae Dunn inspired plates (not done); The lower level repainting - golden khaki walls to light gray, and painting dark wood furniture white/light gray

Brainstorming ideas....
Good Morning coffee friends -

It's a lazy, early, quiet morning here in the Coffee Haus (it's just 6:40 am now). I'm on my 2nd cup of coffee, Mr. Coffee is off today but in bed, obviously.  It's just me and the birds awake now, as the dogs are snoring in their beds near me.

I don't have much to chat about this morning.  Although, I'm wondering how some of my old coffee friends are doing.  There are some I stay in touch with through email and such, but there are others whom we've lost touch and if any of you are reading this this morning, please either comment below (at the very bottom of the posts) or drop me an email.  You know how to reach me!  :)

  

Trying different ideas
I never finished the plates I mentioned in the previous post because I've just not found the design I like that feels right yet.

I've tried the Rae Dunn influenced.  I've tried script.  'Forgot Your Phone?" word searches and other puzzles.  FARM FRESH style photos and logos.  Flowers. Leaves.

Blah.

The photos are of my dining room table at this very second (yeah, for real) as I have various "TEST" images, words, fonts printed out on paper to brainstorm and 'trial and error' what I think I might want.  Meh.  So far none are speaking to me, saying 'yep, this is the design/font/word/photo' I want to use.

I'll continue to brainstorm.

We have to go to a family members home this morning to cut some barn wood for a bar top - but later we'll head back home to start todays project - repainting the lower level.  The bathroom was started - and we are loving it - so we are doing the whole basement (FINALLY!).  And since Mr. Coffee is helping with the walls, I've started to repaint, repurpose and recycle some of the wall decor, the mirror, etc.

Yesterday I painted the heavy, dark espresso wood bathroom mirror white.  Eeek!  It was a big step but I plan to paint the matching wood sink base as well and the mirror was a 'baby step'.  I was a bit nervous as once I took white paint to that dark wood there was no going back... but I loved it!





Ok!  Time for me to brew one last cup of coffee, check some email accounts and then... get dressed and start my day.

Thanks for popping in!  Remember - if you plan to buy anything from Amazon (anything AT ALL - groceries, decor, car parts, books, furniture...)  please considering clicking one of the affiliate links from this page.  Any link will take you there.  Thanks so much!











6.27.2020

Thinking I'm going to Rae Dunn the bathroom remodel a little bit... simple, plain, clean and white.






This is an old coffee ecard but whenever I see it I can 'hear' it being said by Raj from Big Bang Theory.  The way he says 'adorable' kills me.








Lots of projects going on around The Coffee Haus. Lots. And all different things.  And other things that aren't projects but still time consuming.  Sometimes, I just need to chill with hot coffee.

I loved the laundry room repainting and remodel so much it spurred me on to finally update the lower level bathroom.  So easy to ignore since I never go down there and it's mostly used by Mr. Coffee - who doesn't care if it's decorated in early 2004 era browns. 

This morning I'm continuing to try to nail down a design idea for some DIY decorative plates.  Yesterday I donned my mask and stuffed my purse with Cloxox wipes and hand sanitizer and ventured out to find bathroom decor in grays and whites with a 'farmhouse' theme... but not really.  I don't like 'farmhouse' so much as farmhouse-ish mixed with 'beach' and 'vintage chic'... kind of?

I can't explain it, but I know what I like.

We had some decorative plates in that bathroom with a great iron holder that will no longer match, so yesterday I bought plain white square plates in the right size (appetizer plates basically) and have been trying to come up with a design I like to either paint, stencil or Modge-Podge.

I'm leaning towards something Rae Dunn-ish.  You know - basic white with tall, skinny letters spelling out the item or a related word on it.  (I've posted about her before as I have some of her espresso coffee mugs, even though I don't really decorate my home in this style, generally speaking.)
  








I also am taking a deep breath and going to repaint a big, heavy, dark brown, wood, free standing sink base/cupboard.  Lots of intricate wood work and carvings but it's very dark and heavy and I think it will be 'adorable' (Raj again!) once lightened up to match the new gray and white neutral theme.  But... a bit intimidating.  It's currently unhooked from the water sources and pulled away from the wall but will have to have Mr. Coffee lug that heavy thing out to the garage so I can work on it.

Yesterday I bought some wall decor, a shelf for another bathroom we are currently updating, some new bath rugs, guest towels, blah blah blah. We have out of state family visiting next month so at least I have a "project must be done by...."

Tomorrow Mr. Coffee is going to help me paint.  He said he'll do the walls if I do... everything else.  So tomorrow I hope to refinish the big sink base/cupboard, paint the large bathroom mirror frame, paint the towel holder and decorative wall fixtures, put up a new shower curtain, switch out the bathroom decor, put in new towels, a towel/robe rack holder and... whatever else!

But today... Walmart.  For paint.  Lots and lots of paint.

_______________________________________









Pump Sponge Holder



   Rae Dunn Inspired Vinyl Decals for Canisters. Q-Tips, Bobby Pins, Hair Ties Decals. JUST Decals!

6.26.2020

When you are thinking of someone you haven't seen in 15-20 years and suddenly... there they are!

This morning I barely woke when Mr. Coffee left for work, but drifted back to sleep until I woke for the day at 5:am.  In that hour that I slept, I had a very simple dream, but one of those that leaves you feeling a bit off when you wake.

I know, I hate hearing other peoples dreams... I'm sure you do too so I'll keep it short and only the part that has me feeling like there was something more to it. 

I was walking down the hallway of a building.  Just before the exit, there was a doorway to my left.  Glancing in, I saw a small apartment.  It looked as though a very simple, elderly person lived there.  But there was a sweater on the floor, a couple things out of place, a grocery bag had fallen to the floor and the groceries had spilled out.  The door was open and no one was in the room.

I suddenly realized an elderly person had indeed lived there, but what I was seeing is the aftermath of them being treated by emergency EMTs and taken to the hospital.  Something (heart attack?  fall? stroke? seizure?) had happened when they arrived home from getting groceries.  The grocery sack had fallen.  They fell, emergency responders came, their brown sweater removed and thrown to the side, a few other things fallen, moved or strewn about.

I wanted to clean it up for them.
So I went in, picked up the sweater, folded it, laid it on the  couch.  Picked up a fallen blanket, did the same.  Was getting ready to pick up the bagged onion and a bagged bell pepper that were on the floor next to the brown paper grocery bag, when there were other people in the room.  One was a nun.  Older.  She thanked me for helping.... I felt like I knew her in some way but I couldn't place her.  I also felt like she had lived in this same room at some point in her life, years (like 50) ago.  And that the room was near a church. 

And then I woke up. 
I can't shake the feeling I 'know' the elderly person in real life, who had the medical emergency and... passed away?  I never saw them in the dream.  But I was left with the feeling that they had not been able to be saved.  And I was doing the little I could for them by cleaning up the mess and spills left when they collapsed/fell.

I was trying to help and mourn in my own little way.

I'm kind of waiting to see if I get any news my way in the next couple days that anyone I know passes. 


____________________________________________


Unrelated coffee talking: I lost touch with an old childhood friend years ago.  He and I went to a small elementary school together, church together, grew up friends.  He became friends with my boyfriend (now husband) as well.  After school, I married and he went into the military.  He was stationed in Germany for a time but when he got back to the States he was stationed just about 45 minutes from where we lived - 1000 miles away from all our (and his) friends and family.  He often came to spend weekends with my husband and I - getting away from the military base, away from the single-soldier lifestyle and just chilling with us and our baby daughter.  For about a year we did this, then he moved, we moved... and although we caught up a few times after that if we were both in our old hometown at the same time (rare) we lost touch.

About a week ago I was wishing I had his contact information.  I had read in our hometown paper, his Mom had passed away.  I wanted to offer my condolences but didn't have his information and I don't use Facebook and thought it might be odd to just 'google' him and send something to a random address I found on him.  So I let it go, but it's been on my mind and bugging me for a week that I really wish I had his contact, and should I just send a card to his address I found on Google even though he didn't actually share it with me himself?  Would that be too creepy/weird of me when I haven't talked to him in 15-20 years?

SIDE NOTE:  Last night my best girlfriend (who lives about 1000 miles away)  texted me with a photo of a couple old recipes she found in her Mom's old recipe box she had inherited.  This is weird because she never usually texts, she doesn't cook, and has little interest in recipes.  She's a fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants kind of girl who maybe uses Snapchat once every 2 weeks, and texts about once every 3-4 weeks - important things or photos of her family kayaking or somemthing.  But not random photos of boring things like old recipe cards.

Recipes:  There was one from the Mom of my old (lost) childhood friend, and another from her Mom; we were chatting about because it served 1000 people and we both laughed wondering why in the world her Mom had an old recipe for stew that would serve 1000 people!?  The text messages were going to a 'group' message - just me and one other number I didn't recognize except it was from my old home state (where my best friend lives).

I was in my pajamas, in bed, reading a book during this very short 2-3 text exchange.  

But then I wondered;  who was this other number/person she texted these two recipes to?  And why?

Was the other phone number someone who also knew my friends Mom?  Someone who likes old recipes?  One of her own 9 siblings?  Was it another one of our childhood elementary/church friends?

Suddenly I had a feeling I should text that person and ask... because I had a strong feeling I knew who it was.  

I picked my phone back up and texted:  "Is this John?"  followed by:  "I was just wondering who else Jennifer might have been group texting her Mom's old recipe to!"  Adding a smiling face.

It took about 20 minutes for a response (I don't blame them, I'd be a little creeped out too).  

"Yes, it is John."  :)   And you?"

"Meritt"

I suddenly got a very excited reply!

He couldn't believe it was me - and he was blown away.  He said how much he was excited to find it was me, as he wondered how me and my husband were, and he's missed us.  We chatted a little bit, just catching up very basic info; and agreed to do a phone or video call later this weekend to catch up... on 15-20 years.  LOL.  


So cool that just a few days ago I was wishing so badly I had contact with this person
and suddenly, out of the blue, they were included on a random group text to me.

And now... we have each others contacts again... and hope that maybe we can fit in a visit this summer!






6.25.2020

Coffee Talking.... renewing drivers licenses, getting a newborn social security card and waiting for my passport renewal... all during COVID-19.

Mr. Coffee left for work around 4:am and I fell back to sleep.  I woke later to him calling me from work to let me know he had pulled his drivers license out of his wallet while he was waiting on 'hold' on a call earlier and had noticed his license expired 3 days ago.

What is funny is that his only question to me is where I went to get my STAR id renewal (literally right before COVID quarantines hit). 

He just assumed he'd pop in and get his DL renewed too. 

Ummm....  the boy has no clue half the country is still shut down during this COVID virus. 

Seriously.  His life hasn't changed one bit through this all so it's easy for him to forget. 
He was an essential worker so he continued to go to work just like normal.  And his company didn't have any safety measures in place at all for the first almost 2 months of quarantines so he wasn't wearing a mask or gloves or anything out of the ordinary.  He doesn't do the errands or shopping or appointments to keep our household running so again, he didn't pay attention to things like me wearing masks to the grocery store and only shopping certain hours.  

He works his a$$ off at work - his normal work day is around 12 hours plus an hour commute each way - so his life is basically getting up at 3:30 am, getting ready for work, going to work, working an exhausting schedule, driving home, working out in the basement, eating dinner, watching tv and going to sleep to do it all again the next day.  

I guess he just assumed he'd pop into the DMV or a courthouse and get his license done as if it were still 'normal' out there in COVID land.

So I just spent about 30 minutes researching his options in our state, county and the surrounding counties.

Because the two courthouses nearest us that do regular renewals are both closed.  The DMV I went to for my STAR renewal is closed.  I made a list of what IS open and found one about 10 miles from where he works that is SUPPOSEDLY open with regular 8-4, M-F hours.  I texted him all the information but I haven't heard back if he'll attempt that one tomorrow or not.  It's probably going to be a madhouse.... even more than DMV's are.  Which are terrible even on a random Tuesday in 2019 before COVID.  LOL.

On the flip side but similar topics:   A family member had a new baby last month and his new social security card came right within the 2 weeks span they normally come... so the SS offices for newborn social security cards are doing well.  

However, I sent in all my paperwork, photos and passport for a passport renewal in March.  They received it and accepted it ONE DAY before they shut down their offices. LOL.  At least it got there in time to be 'in the system' so I know it arrived!  The notice on the passport site says all the paperwork, passports and photos were being kept secure during this time while they were closed... so, fingers crossed they really were.  Passport offices are slowly opening up on a 'limited' basis.  They say they are processing passports as they arrived.  I don't like having my passport, all my information and my photos floating around 'out there' so I'll breathe easier when I have them all back in my hands!!!


____________________________________________















6.24.2020


“The irony of vandalizing a monument to those who died to end slavery is lost on the morons who don’t know their history.”   -Joe Walsh, a member of the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park


_____________________________

Good Morning!  Not sure what today holds for me... I had considered hiking a new trail about an hour away from here but when I checked the weather it says we are going from 40% rain to 80% throughout today.  Yet, at 8:am, I don't see 40% of rain... I see the sun.

Considering it's an hour away, I have a feeling I'd drive there, get stuck in the start of a storm and have to drive an hour home again in a strong pour down.

Plus, Mr. Coffee informed me at 5:22 pm yesterday he had today off. "Giving you a heads up I'm off tomorrow!"  -  a heads up?  He was on his way home.  I guess telling me at 5:22 pm instead of when he actually walked in the door at 5:45 was a heads up??  But him being off always throws me off my game for the day.

So... perhaps, maybe, get started clearing out the basement guest bathroom and taping it off for the painting I keep procrastinating?  Running to Sam's Club for a couple items I need?  Not sure yet.  I'll decide over one more cup of hot, strong coffee.

Quick update to yesterdays post regarding the friend-of-the-family baby watch:  Baby delivered around 5:30 pm by c-section; a healthy little girl. 

Sorry this morning's coffee talk is.... disjointed, and doesn't even really say anything.  I've got two dogs shuffling around me, a husband I hear on the other side of the wall awake and moving around and I think getting ready for the day, and a huge bug of some weird sort flying around the big office window trying to find a way out... looks like a cross between a wasp and a fly.

Concentration is not happening.



_____________________________





 First Fallen: The Life of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the North’s First Civil War Hero

Without Warning: The Saga of Gettysburg, A Reluctant Union Hero, and the Men He Inspired

After the Civil War: The Heroes, Villains, Soldiers, and Civilians Who Changed America

6.23.2020

Sixlets and Skin Colored Walls: it's just the coffee talking

I had high hopes about today.
That was last night around 2:30 am.
Once today happened however?  Meh.

So it's coffee and watching Emily Blunt and John Krasinski interview montages on YouTube for a bit.
That instead of hiking a trail.
Because with some things open and some things closed and other things partially open, or only for certain hours or open but parking and buildings are closed...

Gah.  It got too overwhelming to decide where to go or what to do.
And then it rained all morning anyway so... there's that.

The list of things I could or should do today is quite long.  That's actually another list I had in my brain 2 nights ago that I planned to do... yesterday.

We have a guest bedroom closet packed full of bins and boxes of wedding paraphernalia. We had a family wedding last summer that I did pretty much everything for; so we have about 30 bins and boxes of everything we used and after it was over, I was so mentally and physically and emotionally exhausted from the whole hullabaloo I just packed everything away and decided to deal with it some other time.  I swear, I bet I have leftover reception cookies in one of those boxes.

I know I have a bunch of blue and white candy of all sorts from the 'candy bar' - because I snuck up last night and grabbed a handful of Sixlets to munch on out of one of them.  I, the girl who hates chocolate, doesn't care for sweets and doesn't eat sugar at all... have a weak spot for what my husband calls the cheapest, grossest chocolate ever made.  Every other chocolate I can pass up easily as it would make me hurl.  But Sixlets?  What magical spell is on me that I love them?  (I'll put a link at the bottom of this post to some of them on Amazon if you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about.)

That same guest room where the boxes take up the entire closet is another 'project' I've not prioritized.  It was the bedroom of one of our kids who has flown the nest.  The walls and ceiling need to be painted, the old bookshelves repainted or replaced and basically the room needs to be put together as ... a room.  The last couple years it's served as a lackluster guest room for anyone visiting with a baby as we have a crib and changing table in that room.  Mostly it's used by toddlers and babies so it's easy to move to the bottom of the priority list.

Speaking of which... repainting the basement.  Long term readers of It's Just the Coffee Talking will remember when I gave my husband a paint sample of a really pretty khaki gray tan color to get at the store for me.  He went to a store that didn't carry the brand of the sample so he got it 'matched' and came home with 2 gallons.  As I've done all the painting of all the houses in all our marriage... he was going to 'help' me this time and started to paint the basement for me.

Yay!  Right?
Wrong.
Not the brightest bulb... the paint did NOT match the sample.  Not even close.  What he came home with was more a peachy skin color.  And he proceeded to paint our ENTIRE BASEMENT with skin colored paint.

In true Mr. Coffee fashion, his answers to my exclamations over this disgusting, stomach turning color that was now all over the basement and made me feel as if I was standing inside a giant's stomach was;  "I didn't notice" it was not a color match to the khaki-gray sample and  "I didn't think about it" as to how he could continue to paint every single wall this horror movie 'skin covered' wall color.

I repainted the stairwell and I painted the guest room in the basement but the rest of the walls I've ignored and I clench my jaw when I walk through that portion of the house. 

Ironically  (?) the topic came up last weekend when we were visiting someone and Mr. Coffee mentioned he should 'help' me repaint it since he's the one that painted it the awful color to begin with, and that after I told him it reminded me of cadaver skin all over our walls, that's all he can think of now when he looks at it.  Skin covered walls.

Not only do we need to paint the basement, but that lower level bathroom as well... and redo the decorating.  It's a 'was cool at the time' bronze, silver and gold with brown bathmats and towels.  UGH.  Needs to be updated.

And that's just the tip of the "PROJECTS WE NEED TO DO" iceberg.  And by 'we' I mean 'me' because that's how Mr. Coffee rolls.

But what am I doing?

Sitting here, sipping hot coffee, glancing at my phone for updates on the 'baby watch' situation as we wait for a family friend to give birth today and........  and trying not to think about how big my butt is probably getting from doing so much 'sitting' during the last 3+ months of quarantines.

And that my friends.... is all blathering ramble.

Don't mind me.

It's just the coffee talking again.









The products related to this post..........


  Original Sixlets Chocolate Candy Twelve Ball Tube Display Box




  Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll Coffee K-Cups for Keurig Brewers, 24 count box


Happy News: little guy born at just 21 weeks is going home

You can only digest so much negative, horrible, anger-inducing news before it starts to eat your soul.  I've mentioned a few times that over the past year, I only delve into the news in small bites, and only when I can stomach it.

This morning I was clicking around to news sources looking for happy news.  Things that had absolutely nothing to do with... well, everything else.

And my eyes went to this photo because... baby!  And oh how I love the little ones.  Plus, it's fitting as we (collective 'we' here) are on baby watch today for someone we know.  The little one wasn't due until July but Mama had high blood pressure and preecclampsia so they are inducing and delivering early.  She's in labor now (as of this posting) so yeah... babies on the brain!

This is the little guy caught my attention... born at just 21 weeks.  Most hospitals and doctors won't (wouldn't) attempt to save a little one if the Mama is less than 24 weeks along.  Luckily this little mans mom said;  Don't you tell me 'no'... you TRY.

And they did.



Source:  https://disrn.com/



Youngest surviving preemie ever, born at 21 weeks weighing 13 ounces, is going home

When Jemarius' parents, Jessica McPherson and Jemarius Harbor, Sr., came to the hospital in premature labor last December, they remember telling hospital officials that despite the odds, they wanted them to "try."
"I just want you to try. As long as you try, that's all that matters to me. Don't just up and say that you can't do it. Just ‘cause you haven't done it doesn't mean it can't be done."
Now, hospital officials have done what "can't be done," as Jemarius has graduated from the NICU, into the world.

Jemarius' survival eclipses the previous record for the youngest surviving "preemie" by four days. Lyla Stensrud was born six years ago at just 21 weeks and four days. Examples like Jemarius and Lyla reaffirm the conclusions drawn by a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics that found when provided active rather than palliative care, over 70% of babies can survive a premature birth.


______________________________________________


When I read this, I was remembering a news story from what I believe (?) was the mid 90's.  A little baby girl born early that weighed 12 oz. (I recall her being compared to the size of a can of Coke).  I don't recall if her mama died in child birth or what the story was, but I seem to remember Daddy was the single parent, a truck driver and the size of a small mountain.  To see this itty bitty baby laying in his hand... wow.

Which is probably why I remember this story 20+ years later, right?

Anyway!  So I did a quick internet search and found a great (because it's quick and easy to read but full of information) story about some of the worlds smallest preemies!

Source:  https://www.verywellfamily.com/worlds-smallest-preemies-2748663

Rumasia Rahman

Born September 4, 2004, Rumasia Rahman and her fraternal twin sister Hiba were born at 25.6 weeks gestation, just over 15 weeks before their due date. At birth, Rumasia weighed just 260 grams, or 8.6 ounces3 — about the size of a small cell phone. She was 9.8 inches long. Rumasia's twin sister Hiba was more than twice her size, at 1 pound 4 ounces and 12 inches long.

Rumasia and her twin were delivered early because their mom suffered from severe preeclampsia,4 which can cause babies to be smaller than average for their gestational age. Although she was very tiny at birth, Rumasia grew to be a normal school age child. She had laser eye surgery for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and wears glasses, is smaller than other kids her age, and has mild motor delays, but shows no other long-term effects from her premature birth.

Melinda Star Guido

At the time of her birth in August 2011, Melinda Star Guido became the second smallest baby in the U.S. and the world's third smallest baby to survive long enough to leave the hospital. Melinda was born at 24 weeks because her mom had dangerously high blood pressure. She weighed just 9.5 ounces at birth.5

She used supplemental oxygen at home to treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and had to have surgery to repair a patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) and laser eye surgery for ROP. Her brain is free from any bleeding from intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), an excellent sign for her future. She went home after 16 weeks in the hospital, weighing 4.5 pounds.6

"Tom Thumb"

Perhaps the world's smallest surviving baby boy is a German baby nicknamed "Tom Thumb" because his parents prefer to keep his identity secret. "Tom" was delivered in June 2009 at 25 weeks gestation. He weighed 275 grams, just over 9.7 ounces.7

Madeline Mann

Born in 1989, Madeline Mann was the world's sixth smallest surviving preemie, born at 26.6 weeks gestation. Although she weighed just 280 grams at birth (9.9 ounces), Madeline is a healthy young woman who attended college.8 Although Madeline is only 4 feet 7 inches tall, wears glasses, and has asthma, she has no other long-term effects of her premature birth.

Kenna Moore

Kenna was smaller than a soda can when she was born on Jan. 9, 2012, at 9.6 ounces9 . She was born at 24 weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina after her mother suffered from high blood pressure. She came off her feeding and oxygen tube at the age of 3 and is a healthy, thriving little girl who wears glasses.10

World's Youngest Preemies

The babies listed above have all had remarkable outcomes, and show no major developmental delays. It is important to note that these babies, although all very small, were all born at 24 weeks gestation or later. At such a young age, every day spent inside mom is very valuable and helped these babies to mature beyond their small size.

Medical science is improving all of the time, but babies born at 24 weeks or earlier are at risk for a number of long-term effects of prematurity.

The outcomes for micropreemies are not always as good as for those born later, even if they are smaller. There are always miracles, though, as proven by the world's youngest surviving preemies. A few 21-week gestation preemies have survived, including these two cases:

James Elgin Gill

James Elgin Gill, a Canadian man born at just 21 weeks 5 days in 1988, set a record when he was born for world's most premature baby.11 James was born so early that he was expected to die at birth or — if he survived — to have multiple and severe handicaps. James beat all of the odds, growing to be a healthy adult.

Amilia Taylor

American baby Amilia Taylor was born at 21 weeks 6 days in October 2006.12 Because Amilia was conceived by in vitro fertilization, her gestational age can be pinpointed exactly, an impossibility for most infants. Although she needed oxygen at hospital discharge, was anemic, and has mild osteopenia, she is otherwise healthy.






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On the same page as my 'happy' news of the babies, I did see a list of trending stories.  Sigh.

This.
THIS.
T H I S.

'Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.' - G Carlin




6.22.2020

The circle of life... goodbye little birds

I wish Mama Bird had built her nest in a higher place - because this morning as I stepped out the front door I saw a bit of the nest on the ground in front of the planter and I knew immediately what I would find.... yep.  The nest was ripped apart and empty.

Well, empty save for one broken egg.  But the two baby birds were gone.




I checked back on the security camera and I had no movement alerts during the night - although, because of the placement of the camera, the night vision sucks on this particular house cam.

It 'reflects' off the brick ledge during the night and shrouds everything else in pitch black.  Unless there is light (even a speck) or something walks in front of the landscape lights to make them flicker, I wouldn't have had an alert.

Although I couldn't see what or when the nest was attacked and emptied, sadly I see the moment when Mama Bird discovered the murder scene.

Video shows her arriving at the nest at 5:39 am with a big 'something' in her beak to feed the littles.  She hops up, stops, looks around and spends the next 3 minutes continuously looking around before giving up and flying off.

It made me so very, very sad. 


I know it's the circle of life and all that.  But it still hurts my heart.  

As for what might have gotten to the nest?  The list is long.
Yesterday I noticed a murder of crows in our front yard and trees.  They were insanely loud and obnoxious.  I watched them a bit and wondered what in the world was in the area to make them gather here and go nuts, and hoped they would fly off and find somewhere else to gather.  Intelligent, but horrible birds.   We have a number of any and every kind of bird here but I don't really think it was a bird that got the nest.  

During the night we regularly have raccoons, armadillos, skunk, cats, coyotes, bobcats, oppossum, squirrels, rats and flying squirrels.  I have a flying squirrel on the security camera from two nights ago - dropping in, landing on the brick ledge in the photo you see above, looking into the camera and turning and scurrying off to the right. There's a good chance it was a raccoon or a squirrel that attacked the nest.  (Yes, squirrels, especially gray squirrels, love to eat eggs and baby birds... even mama birds if they can get them).   

And now, I'm off to sip some coffee and start my morning.  A bit sad but trying to remind myself it's how the world works in nature. 














6.21.2020

Well, hello there baby birds!

Like many people, the layout of our home means we primarily use the garage/basement door to enter our home, not the front door. Because of this, I don't often look at the two large planters I have decorating the stairs and front entry.  Luckily Mother Nature usually sends enough rain to keep the flowers and greenery in them alive, but sometimes she goes a couple weeks without sprinkling us with moisture and the planters get dried up and mostly... dead, before I remember them.

Yesterday I was expecting a delivery and my phone app said it was 6 stops away, so I thought I'd take a rest and sit on the front stairs to wait.

As I walked out the door and glanced down at the planter, I realized it was dry.  Very, very dry.  As in... almost all the flowers were brown, dead and laying flat on the cracked soil.  There were a few signs of life in the pansies and snapdragons, but the only thing still standing tall was the Dusty Miller in the middle.

I went into the house and filled up two empty gallon jugs to water my poor, neglected planters; hoping most of the flowers would bounce back with some fresh moisture. 

I started to pour water into the center of the planter, right on the Dusty Miller plants.  As I poured, I realized there was a bit of a build up of old dried leaves and pine straw, etc. gathered in the center around the stalks of the plants.  I decided I'd better grab that little rat's nest of dried refuse and pull it out.

As I poured water with my right hand, I was started to grab the 'mess' with my left, all the while was lost in thought about other things... just mindlessly doing the task while my thoughts were busy elsewhere.

That's when my eyes finally the got message through to my busy-brain that there was a bit of moss in that 'mess' and I stopped mid-grabbing to take notice.  There was moss and pine straw mixed in with the dried stems and leaves because I was currently "watering" a little birds nest!  

Poor little guys!  They just got a nice bath... ha ha.

I carefully pulled back the sticks a bit, saw some movement, a little bit of 'new baby bird' featherless skin, a few more of the scrawny ugly new 'feathers' that are so ugly and uneven as they start to grow.  I was trying to touch and move the nest as little as possible so I couldn't see well, but there seemed to be two newborn little birds in there, and at least one of them moved.

I quickly pushed the 'mess' back in place and hoped my fumbling wouldn't cause Mama Bird to leave the nest for fear of her safety now that a human had discovered it.

I emptied the water into the sides of the planter and went back into the house to watch for my delivery guy, but also for a Mama Bird.

About 5 minutes later I opened the front door to stand and gaze around, hoping to see a little Mama and sure enough there was a very upset and LOUD little tiny bird flitting around on the branches of a small landscape tree about 15 feet away.   Yay! I closed the door and watched through the window.

I watched as a cute little bird hopped around the stair landing, the tree, the ground... and soon was stealthily getting closer and closer to the planter with a large bug or grub in her mouth.

She was being all Ninja like!

Two steps, look around nonchalantly... a couple more steps...  la la la... don't mind me, I'm just a little bird dancing around on this front landing.... a couple more jumps in the general direction of the planter but not looking at it.... ho hum, move along all you other mean birds and various animals, nothing to see here....  two more hops.... now to the other side of the planter near the brick corner and... she disappeared.    I didn't see her.  Did she fly away?

Then I saw the tall Dusty Miller wiggle and move... Mama Bird had snuck in the nests back door with dinner for the littles.  Yay!  My clumsy human fingers pawing at the nest didn't keep her away.

This morning as I sipped my coffee I opened the front door and looked down at the planter.  I wondered if the little birds were still there, still ok.  I gently tried to look in through the small opening but I couldn't tell.  I used one finger to move the leaves and stems just enough to get a peek... and something wiggled.

They are still there and still alive.  You can't seem them well in the photo, but I've bothered them enough. 




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For those wondering about Mama Bird.......


Mama Bird looks (and sounds) like she is a Carolina Wren. 



The Carolina Wren is a small rusty-brown bird with a prominent white eye stripe and a very loud voice. Their call is a loud melodious “TEA-kettle TEA-kettle TEA-kettle” or “cherry cherry cherry.” To avoid predators, they prefer to nest near humans, in planters, decorative door wreaths, or even in an old boot. Carolina wrens will call at any time of the day or year.

The Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a small bird in the family Troglodytidae. It is approximately five and one-half inches in length with a deep rusty-brown colored back, buff colored underside, light colored throat and prominent white stripe above and beyond the eye.

FUN FACT: Carolina Wrens form pair bonds at any time of the year. After finding a partner, the two birds remain paired for life.










  Carolina Wrens: Their Family Story

  Perky-Pet Wren Home


  Nature's Way Bird Products CWH1 Cedar Wren House, 8" x 8.875" x 8.125"