Beautiful day

Bluemont Park and the Four Mile Run.  The level treeless area in the center was a rail station on the Dominion Rail-line and now serves as play areas. (Schmidley, 2014)

Bluemont Park and the Four Mile Run. The level treeless area in the center was a rail station on the Dominion Rail-line and now serves as play areas. Arlington VA ( Schmidley, 2014)

Do you have a peeve?  I do.  I am tired of the media referring to Arlington County as a suburb of Washington, or worse, Arlington City.  The County of Arlington, named for the Robert E. Lee plantation, was part of the District of Columbia until the nineteenth century and along with part of what was the city of Alexandria from the Colonial Era, formed what would have been the Southwest quadrant of DC, before it was returned to Virginia.

Highly urbanized, today Arlington (and part of Alexandria) is part of the Central City of the Washington Metropolitan Area. National Airport, where Washington’s temperatures are recorded and transmitted is in Arlington County, as are the Pentagon and the National Cemetery. Although much of the military has been removed under the Base-Realignment and Closing Act (BRAC), much still remains.

The Post announce this morning that the area no longer has bragging rights over being the most congested metropolitan area in the US.  Owing to some downsizing of government, or realigning of the both the civilian and government  workforce, the Washington area is not as congested as it once was. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing in terms of the economy, but apparently for the remaining commuters it is a good thing.


I came home from the dentist office with $3,000 fewer dollars and have another $1,500+ to go.  I was in miserable shape and high as a kite on drugs.  I think part of my problem with teeth stems from all the episodes of the vomiting I had as I got used to the meds I have taken for the past ten years, following a heart attack and stroke.

Two of the meds I take are for stomach acid reflux (GERD) and bile acid.  Owing to a defective sphincter muscle at the bottom of my stomach, bile acid backs up into my stomach if I eat meat or anything very greasy with animal fat, which is why I seldom eat red meat.  As a result, my cholesterol levels are fabulous.

So, for lunch yesterday I had Sole Almondine at one of our favorite eateries.  I realized when I got home, I had chewed up the inside of my numb mouth, and I have a very fat lip today.  Nevertheless, I managed, while sitting in the dentist chair, to read another chapter in my March WWI book (Clark) on my little Kindle, which I can hold in one hand (thanks for the tip Linda).


 This morning, I continued compiling information for the 2013 taxes by adding my prescription drug chits from the pharmacy, which came to over $2,000.  This sum represents copays, and does not include expenses for “over-the counter” stuff.  So you see some of us are not getting “free” drugs under Medicare Part D.  David has a Medicare Advantage Plan, so he has dental insurance and his prescription drug charges came to just over $1,000.

I also pay for my employer health plan coverage and long-term care insurance.  David’s old company covers his health insurance (and would have covered mine, but we kept our health expenses separate after we married).  He has a long-term policy he pays for, as well as a dental plan through his company. To compile our medical expenses, I must sum at least ten components. Even then we will probably not reach the deductible amount.  There is no free lunch…..


30 thoughts on “Beautiful day

  1. Pingback: Nature Notes (#251)~Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson | ~RAMBLING WOODS~

  2. Back in the day, like other U.S. Forest Service folks, when called to DC I stayed in Alexandria and took the bus to our offices in the Agriculture Building. I always enjoyed walking around in Alexandria in the evenings. There was plenty of traffic in the Washington area, and busing it was the preferred way to commute. Later, we often stayed in Rosslyn near a Metro station.


  3. Don’t get me started on this drug/copay stuff!! I’ll leave it at that. We have a great federal insurance [thank goodness]-just hope it’s not taken away from us with this Obamacare crapola.

    Love the winter setting in your photo. And as much as I like history [and D.C.] I did not know that Arlington was named after anything associated with R.E. Lee. Hmmmm.

    And taxes….just got ours done yesterday. Becoming a chore that I don’t look forward to filling out. LOL


  4. Ouch for your fat lip! It sounds awfully painful. Dental work is so expensive and dental insurance doesn’t cover all that much. My mother kept insisting she was lucky she had dentures because then she doesn’t have to go to the doctor. I see her struggling with dentures too, so it’s not exactly a happy solution.


  5. We must have the same lovely insurance plan you have because we have huge copays on our prescriptions. But never enough for the tax thing. And no dental insurance. But so far (knocking on my wooden head) we haven’t had any huge expenses there. Although I lost a filling last year and that was bad enough. But nothing like what you are going through (either pain- or money-wise).


  6. That is a beautiful winter scene. The media often gets places wrong. They call where I live Raleigh-Durham half the time like it’s one city. That’s a pet peeve with me. Funny how much it bothers me since I live in Raleigh and the company I work for is based in Durham but they are two very distinct places. I refer to where I live as the triangle area a lot which is accurate and includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the Research Triangle Park as well as Cary and a few other towns but it’s totally inaccurate for the media to say Raleigh-Durham as if it’s one city.


    • Thanks Carver, I love this park.

      Having spent many years in NC, I know Durham and Raleigh fairly well. We always thought of them as separate cities, but with growth in the corridor between them, they have merged into one Metro area according to the federal government. However, They are/ were culturally distinct places for a long time. David is a UNC graduate, as is his daughter.

      I think Duke is in Durham? Calling these rivals by one name is like calling Newark NJ and NYC by one name.


  7. I remember when hubby had to have some serious gum work done on his mouth when we first married. Could not afford the cost, even with insurance, so he went to the dental school. The first time all went well; the second trip, not so much. So sorry for your health issues.


  8. I too have a medicare advantage plan, but the copay on my new breathing spray was to be 135.00. Normally my copays are six bucks. I told the doc I couldn’t afford it, and tho she got me some at no cost to me, I’m not using the new stuff. I had a copay of a grand for my new crown. So keep me posted on that knee.


  9. Another government lie! I’ve been thru Washington DC twice in the last few months, and I can say from personal experience that the place has the most congested traffic I’ve ever seen, and it gets worse every single time. I’ll swear to that on my Bullfinch. On the bright side: after we all pay our medical bills we won’t be able to afford to drive — and the traffic situation will get much better!


  10. Isn’t it funny that your beautiful day had a slightly warmer temperature whereas the one I wrote about today had a slightly cooler one!
    The medical ‘system’ in different countries can sound so involved to those not used to it – I don’t think any amount of explanations could help me understand the one in your country.
    BTW do you live anywhere near the sight of the huge snowball fight we saw on the news the other day?


  11. When you get to be our age, you need a pharmacist’s license to understand all the meds we take and how they interact with each other. Why can’t it all just be combined into one pill called the “Happy” pill?


  12. Gee, what a life. I wish you had better health. I should talk. I wish I had excellent health, myself. It’s nice to blog, though, isn’t it. I find it fascinating to read about how other people live their lives.


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