It’s the principle … Tenacious Grace

I have had a very difficult time coming up with a title for this one.  I have had to repeat the story in my head several times, all the while SHAKING IT side to side repeatedly,  to make sure I am not overlooking something.  I have also had to discuss it with a couple close friends that could handle the exorbitant amount of swearing that came out of my mouth as I told yet another, “I’m getting screwed” story.

Now that I have “tamed” my vocabulary a bit, I feel that I NEED to share this story.  I need others to know that the way I am being treated isn’t right, and that I am going to Fight for myself.  I hope if you find yourself in a similar situation you fight for yourself too.

Here’s the story…

At the beginning of April, I received the  annual email from the IL Secretary of State’s office stating  “you have not yet renewed your Illinois license plate registration which expires 4/30/2019″… yeah yeah I know, more bills.

On April 7th, I decided I might as well get it over with and send my payment.  ( Two things you can’t avoid Death and Taxes Right?)  and hey……They even let you pay it online for a $3.00 convenience fee…whoopy!  I clicked the link in the email and was directed to their website.  While I was there I learned about the state’s Benefit Access Program, which they say  “allows for the Secretary of State’s office to provide for a reduced-fee license plates aimed toward senior citizens and persons with disabilities with specific qualifications.”   Ok THIS part did excite me.  (If your sole income is from Social Security disability, you really know what I am talking about).

I attempted to apply for the BAP, but kept receiving error messages.  It appeared that that part of their website was down.  (How convenient?)  Shrug, well I had to renew my plates anyway and the website said,

If you have already renewed your license plate sticker and paid full price, and are now part of the Benefit Access Program, you may be eligible to request a refund. Call the Secretary of State’s Office at 800-252-8980 for more information.

so I went ahead and paid for my plates.

On Monday, I went back to the BAP’s website, jumped through their hopes and surprise, surprise…. I qualified.  (not surprised at all). page 1

Next step ask for a refund.

I tried to apply for a refund online.  For some reason that didn’t work….website down again?….hmmmm? So I called the number listed above.  The woman I talked with said, it must just be too soon, give it a couple days and try again.  Ok did that.  Same problem.  SO, I called again.  I talked to the same person (yes I do keep track of dates, times, and names of people I talk to after learning the hard way it is a necessity).  During this second call she said that she would submit the information for review for me.  I thanked her and assumed the matter was closed.

IT wasn’t.

page 2

HUH?!?!?!?!?

Remember this statement…..

If you have already renewed your license plate sticker and paid full price, and are now part of the Benefit Access Program, you may be eligible to request a refund. Call the Secretary of State’s Office at 800-252-8980 for more information.

This statement is from their website!!!!!

I feel like they should have included the free “how to keep an idiot busy keychain”

idiots busy

 

 

You know the one that has

<– written on both sides….

 

 

Ok so ANOTHER phone call.

This time the person I spoke with said, ” Oh you will have to download the required forms and send your sticker back to be reviewed”  Huh?!?!  I said…

  • HUH?!?!?
  • I have to return this sticker to buy this same sticker again?!?!?!
  • You can’t just issue a credit?
  • You do realize that it is almost the end of the month and I need to have a sticker on my car to avoid a ticket or penalty right?!?!?!?
  • Can I go to the DMV and return the sticker to buy another sticker?
  • @#%$#^#%&#^%&&&&&

Her response was, ” Um yeah it is a bad system.  Would you like me to send you the forms?”

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…………………..  Uh, yes please?

Since that call, I have been to the DMV…they can’t help.  I have received and filled out these forms

page 3

The forms, along with my sticker, are going in the mail today.  I can not purchase another sticker for my car (believe me I have tried) yet the only way I MIGHT get a refund is if I sent my sticker back and hope they have mercy on me?!?!?!?

So what do you think will happen next?  Will I be arrested or ticketed for not having a current sticker?  Will they refund me?  Will this game of cat and mouse ever end?

Just for shits and grins I googled why we have laws and this is what I found….

Laws protect our general safety, and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people, by organizations, and by the government itself. We have laws to help provide for our general safety.

So who protects you when your government is the ones screwing you?

Have you ever experienced similar red tape?  I would love to hear about it!

My apologies

I have been more than absent as of late, and I apologize for not having said anything to those of you that follow my thoughts.    Now that things have slowed down a little bit, and I feel like I am on more steady ground, I would like to first apologize for “disappearing”, and secondly, Thank those of you that reached out to me in my absence.

Before I continue, let me start by saying that EVERYONE is OK, or at least will be….

insert my usual SMH here 😛

While I am used to spending my time at doctor’s appointments, thankfully the days I normally spend in the hospital are much fewer.  However, this month I feel like I have been living in hospitals.(on the visiting side).  In no particular order…. my dog had to have surgery.  My brother was in the ICU for internal bleeding.  My best friend decided he was jealous of my new hardware, so he had a pacemaker put in, and finally, Thing One had an emergency c section and my new grandchildren arrived 8 weeks early.

For MY medical news, my foot still hurts like hell and I have been doing lots of pt (pain and torture, physical therapy…whatever you choose to call it), but I am finally out of the boot (as of 8:00 am this morning).  Either botox or PTNS isn’t working, and I’ve been to busy to follow up with the doctor on the next step.  So let’s just call that part of life very pissy. 

Then of course you have the Holidays…probably enough said on that note.  Although, on unlike Thanksgiving Day last year, this year everyone was healthy and together.  So that’s a definite bonus !!!  The “featured picture is my Dad and my kiddos “other halves” playing life size jenga.

Whatever  you are doing for the holidays, I hope that they find you and your loved ones safe and together!!!  I have missed you all and will be back soon, but for now my plate is overfull.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Everything is ok, …..but

Have you ever gotten THAT call?

“Everything is ok…… but”

Even though, I don’t like receiving THAT call, it think it works much better for me than, “Ive got some bad news, or “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?”  Before the person delivering the question has a chance to finish their words, my brain has already begun to imagine the worst….. PLEASE just get to the point.  NOW!!!!!

Today I am going to start with the good news….Thing One and the babies are ok, everyone is ok.  In fact there really isn’t any BAD news, scary news when I received it, but all is well.

So the story,

I’m at a friends house trying to help her deal with some bad news that she has recently received, when my phone rings.  Caller id reveals that it is Thing One’s husband Z.  Since she is pregnant and way to early to go into labor, my first thought was oh fuck, and before I even answered the phone, I grabbed my purse and started making my way towards my car.

Z “Have you talked to thing one yet?”

Grace: “No what’s going on?”

Z: “No one is bleeding or dying or anything, but the doctor has sent her to the hospital and I’m on my way now”

Grace:  “This hospital?”

Z:  “Yes, I will call you when I find her”

I think I said goodbye to my friend.  I tried to obey most of the traffic laws, and headed to the hospital.  While speeding, driving there, I realized I had better call Einstein.  But what do I say?  Should I call now or after I have seen THING ONE?  I know that because he is at work, he won’t actually answer his phone unless I call multiple times, and even then maybe not…. so maybe I should wait?!?!?  But what if what I find there is really bad, he should be there, maybe I NEED him to be there?!?!?

I called 3x, and then left a message, repeating my phone call with Z and telling Einstein that I would call or text as soon as I had seen Thing One.

Let me say again that everything is and was okay.  Without going into too much detail, the doctor has now placed Thing One on Bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy, but both her and both babies are doing fine.

Now that all the panic has passed, I wonder if I handled it the best way.  I am grateful that Z knows me enough that the way he told me was the best.  He knew I would assume the worst, but would also want to be there immediately.  But that’s me.

How about you?  Have you ever had to be the bearer of bad news?  I know no one likes to receive bad news, but do you ask for the good or bad first?  Does it depend on the circumstance?  What are your thoughts?

Shower Highlights

I am pleased to report that not only did everyone, myself included, survive the shower on Sunday, but I daresay everyone also had a good time.

The afternoon started with each guest choosing a baby related name to be called instead of their own name during the shower.  They were then given name tags with their “new names” and a safety pin to be surrendered if they called someone by their “real name” instead of their new name.  Some of the names used were projectile vomit, spit up, nipples, and I choose Diarrhea for my tendency to have diarrhea of the mouth.

Once everyone arrived, each guest was asked to introduce themselves with both their real name and their new name, and a story about how they met or knew Thing One or her husband.  In hindsight, I think the introduction was the “best part” of this game though.  I lost my pin almost immediately and was Diarrhea so many times I had almost forgotten my own name.  The kids really had a blast with this part….. smh

Once everyone had been introduced, we started the first game in which Thing One and her husband had to change a baby using only one hand each.  While they did do a good job of teamwork, I am glad to see that they may “need” a little help from Grandma.

If you would like to see the video, it is posted on my youtube channel here.

As predicted, there were many comments about how they should be changing two babies since Thing one is having twins, which prompted the next game in which each participant was given two babies, one to change and one to hold while changing the other.  KR won this contest in terms of the speed at which she was able to change twin a while holding twin b (46 seconds), but I think Z’s brother J took the cake for his creativity while changing the babies.  (he placed one in his lap and laid the other on the floor, speaking to both dolls the entire time as if they were real)

The next game played was trying to see how many safety pins each guest could find in a bowl of rice while blindfolded.  They each had one minute, and I believe the winner found 11.  The winning video for this game is here.

I think the most popular game played was guessing of the size of Thing One’s baby bump.  Each guest was asked to cut a piece of yarn that would be closest to the size required to wrap around her tummy.  While most people we not even close, the most notable were…

(left) Brandon’s guess of 6 inches….there is a reason he has held status of her best friend for so long

(center)  The winner with an exact measurement

(right)  A SLIGHT exaggeration on my friend Jessica’s part.

While people were eating and socializing, we asked guests to feel free to decorate a bib or a onesie.  In hindsight, I should have included stencils for the table, or advance notice that we would be doing this.  While again, the kids had a blast, most of the adults were “shy” to participate fearing their decorating abilities were not up to par.

The shower ended with the opening of gifts.  I have over 300 pictures to go through from the day, but to share a few more before I go.

I won’t claim I’m a professional, but the appetizers and deserts we made turned out ok, and it was a blast making them.

Twilight Zone Morning

Ok not quite twilight zone, more a I need more coffee morning, but I’m rambling anyway.

I woke up this morning and had peed the bed. While I can’t say this hasn’t happened before, it’s not supposed to happen.  I just had bladder surgery  a month ago, and PTNS this week.  I am supposed to be “pee free” for a few more months at least :(.

Ok whatever, I opened my bedroom door and found my Mom sleeping on my couch.  Hmmm that’s not where I left her last night.  I went to the bathroom , cleaned myself up, and proceeded to let the dogs outside.

While going through the kitchen, I was met by thing 2’s boyfriend looking super chipper, telling me all the animals had been fed except for D.O.G. (who sleeps with me).  I let the dogs outside, and came back in to find a cup of coffee waiting for me on the counter. ?!?!?!?!?

I stood at the counter trying “figure out where I was”, and I glanced down at the letter for a driving class beginning at 8:30….oh fuck did I get Another speeding ticket and forget about it?  Crap crap crap

Then my phone went off, it was the 4th “Are you awake text” from one of thing 1’s best friends.  ( They had been coming in since 5:30).

D, picked up the letter and headed toward the door.  Ah yes…it was his ticket, he had class.  (I’m very surprised I was able to put that together, and even more so that I told him the answer to number 15 on the test is 12-15 inches.)

Four cups of coffee later

I have finally been able to put most of the pieces together.  Let’s go back to the beginning.

The peeing thing.  Ok, this one still makes no sense, and will require a call to the doctor, but at least I was wearing depends last night and had slept on a waterproof pad, so clean up was not terrible.  I am a bit nervous that I am having an MS flare, or that I will have to start looking for yet another treatment, but I will not allow myself to dwell on that til next week.  (I’ve got more important things to do)

My confusion about seeing thing 2’s boyfriend looking all chipper at 8 o’clock in the morning.  As I mentioned before, apparently HE had to attend the driving class.  Let me elaborate on my confusion more.  First of all, D works overnights.  The NORMAL interaction between us in the morning is ME heading out the door telling him the animals have been fed.  I normally tell him the coffee maker has been set up for him.  And I am usually the one who has to attend the driving class.

When you receive a speeding ticket in Illinois, you have the option of attending a 4 or 8 hour defensive driving class.  If you pay extra to attend the class, pass the test, and stay ticket free for 6 months this will keep the ticket from appearing on your record so that your insurance doesn’t increase.  I have attended the class enough that I can teach it.  The question to the answer I gave him as he walked out the door was, ” How far from your chest should your steering wheel be positioned?”  The answer on the test is 12-15 inches, although I still maintain it SHOULD be, however far you need it to be….smh

The multiple texts from KR

The last time I had a morning interaction with KR and Thing One, it was to fight to wake them both up at 10 in the morning after a sleepover.  After answering her, “are you awake” text, I am happy to report that it was for  an exciting reason.  KR is pregnant.  Both girls have been texting back and forth for hours planning how their children will also grow up being best friends etc……  I have to smile here.  For many reasons.  I am glad that KR feels I am important enough to receive one of the first, I peed on a stick calls.  I am excited that both girls are in a much better place than I was when I found out I was pregnant.  I am excited that they have both matured into beautiful intelligent hardworking woman.

Why is my mom on the couch?

I’m still not sure about this one.  I’m also not sure why I am letting her sleep.  (payback’s a bitch) 😛  I do know why she is here though.  She came to stay the weekend with me while we get things ready for my daughter’s baby shower tomorrow.  I am so lucky that I was raised in a family that is so tight nit.  My heart is so full this morning.

I hope you all have an incredible weekend.  Lots to be done here, and more coffee to drink.