2.03.2009

Is it just me, or is 2009 more expensive?

Expense Number One: Gallbladder surgery
I had a gallbladder attack in December (or, so I was thinking as I was collapsed on the floor in the staff room at work with pain radiating around my torso and trying not to vomit) and an ultrasound confirmed that I have multiple gallstones. For many women gallstones will go unnoticed, but for me -- I have the curse of the family gallbladder. Causes of gallstone formation are not known exactly -or they're not easy to explain to laypeople- but bile and cholesterol are most likely involved, and stored bile can become too viscous. Stones can be blasted, but surgical removal is the only way to guarantee that the stones won't come back. They can get stuck in a duct and cause other complications, so I'm convinced this is something that has to be done.

Expense Number Two: Basement Remodel
I'm excited about having the basement remodeled. I have a disgusting 100 year old basement, and a staircase that is not in good shape. The stairs definitely needed to be redone, and having the work done on the destination (i.e., the basement) will give us new and more space in the house. It was a nerve-wracking, yet easy decision to make.

It's also been a bit of a challenge, and I have learned the lesson yet again to trust my instincts. We're working with a reputable company, but I was a bit frustrated with the designer/salesman with the way he smoothed over details with us and didn't seem to hear us in October when we said that we wanted the work done in February. I wrote it off as my not knowing how to react to schmoozers, but his lack of attention to detail is staring me in the face in the form of cracked walls upstairs after his recommendation to remove load-bearing posts to make way for the concrete. The support beams (one was bowing, and as it turns out, rotting - but the main one needed to stay) were not incorporated into his plans, I think.

Expense Number Three: Flooding in the Pacific Northwest
We had a lovely vacation to Portland and Seattle in early January. I had booked everything through hotwire.com, and knew that it wouldn't be flexible when I booked flights, hotels and rental car at great rates, but I wasn't planning on changing plans. The plan was to fly into Seattle, drive to Portland, and then drive back up to Seattle via the Oregon Coast. Lovely, right?

Unfortunately, I-5 (the ONLY way to get between Seattle and Portland by car) was flooded. The main purpose for the trip was to visit our people in Portland, so we ended up flying (the purchase of the one-way tickets meant automatic pat-down from the TSA) and getting a ride back to Seattle. We left the original, pre-paid car in Seattle and rented a different one when we got back for the same price. We also had to forgo the pre-paid hotel in Seaside. Sadness. The lesson taught is that it can be better to work with a travel agent. You never know when you're going to be flooded in, or need to change plans for any reason.

And just a note -- I think anyone who reads this blog knows that lack of posting doesn't mean I've fallen off the face of the Earth. My way of dealing with the stress of extra expenses and the general displeasures of winter is to quilt, read, dork around on facebook and watch BSG. So I'm not blogging as often.

1 comment:

Rosco said...

I hope you all feeling well and your stress level is a little bit lower!