Monday, February 9, 2015

RANT RANT RANT... that was your warning.

I don't like to rant... okay so everyone who knows me knows that's a lie (which I try not to make a habit of doing) but it's been a while so rant it is:
Why the Military Healthcare System sucks: (I've probably already blogged this before?)

1) it's free - (prime who don't pick their own providers) anything that's free, comes with an undesirable level of service, I mean you wouldn't want your real estate agent to list your house for free, you wouldn't want your mechanic to work on your car for free, and you certainly wouldn't want your dentist to drill into your teeth for free right?

2) if you decide to go standard chances are you'll get better service, but you also will no longer have access to that free stuff they call health care, (see #1) which may require you to adjust your budget and we all know how well those emergencies pop up with our children...

3) We don't use it enough in my family to warrant the necessity of having it free but the times we actually do need it (this is where the rant comes in) getting an appointment that isn't a few weeks out is like going to the dentist and having your teeth drilled.
"well Mrs. Brown our first available appointment is not until the 26th, you can call in everyday at 6am to try and get something sooner"..... ARE YOU F'ING KIDDING ME!! I just told you the finger (middle finger which I want to show you right now) is swollen, it looks like someone lobbed off an extremely large mans finger and replaced mine with that one. There's a lump the size of BB in there so that makes it difficult to  make a fist (which if I could I'd like to punch you with).. Obviously this is what's in my head but instead I politely say, 6am everyday okay.. to which she says "or I could transfer you to the clinic directly to see if they have anything sooner"
I thought you just said first available was the 26th? Again what I want to say but instead I say "that would great".  Oh it doesn't get better upon transfer (did I mention I've already been on hold 12 minutes)..

4) When you are a professional receptionist/administrator/secretary (whatever you call yourself is fine with me) have a level of tact and decency to the PATIENT you are on the phone with... "yeah" and "maybe ummmmm" are not appropriate professional words.
So I once again explain the situation and he says "ummm looks like we don't have anything available with your Doc until the 23rd"  I say what about another doc? He says "yeahhhh, ummmm"  I don't even give him the chance I just say "so I should call the appointment line back or you make me an appointment" he says "yeah"    [deafening silence inserted here]    I say yeah...???? so I should call back? He says yeah, I say okay then he says okay and HANGS UP!

5) Back to it's FREE - so when it's completely free, (I'm totally generalizing here) people tend to take advantage, they go to the ER for a scrape (which I have done, so I'm guilty too) they schedule appointments for a 99 degree fever and a cough (which I've been guilty of too - hey first babies are scary when they get all crazy with a little temperature and a dog barking cough), but just maybe... if there was a minor co-pay for health care and treatment with the Military (even prime) and instead of saying oh you have free healthcare and here's what it equals out to in your pay for the year... GIVE IT TO THE SOLDIER IN HIS PAY, then he can choose his health care for his family.

6) Because I'm on Prime if I decided I wanted to go to a healthcare provider in Tricares network off post and even would agree to a co-pay, Tricare says I'm not allowed because I have prime.
And if I did that without asking permission and asked that Doc to bill my insurance, Tricare would come back and say "no we aren't paying that she didn't ask permission"....

How's that Obamacare working out for everyone? Do you experience the same discontent??
Medical insurance even with Gov't. assistance on it has turned out to be extremely expensive for a large majority of hard working Americans... If I tried to insure my family of 6 with Colorado's Healthcare help... whatever it is.... the cost is roughly $900 a month!!! HOLY CRAP! AND THAT'S NOT EVEN ANY DENTAL COVERAGE!!! How the hell is anyone supposed to afford that?

Further, Free health care that's what happens when it's free.... waiting forever to be seen, the doc gives you 20 minutes of their time (15 of which is spent going over previous medical history and height and weight), you get an "eh" diagnosis, or none at all I've actually been told "I can't figure out what it is" Only a week later to discover the idiot that did a spinal tap on me punctured through my spinal cord and I had a leak.. that an SF Doc fixed for me in 5 minutes after a week of agonizing pain and "we don't know what it is"......

I just hate it.... Don't get me wrong I am grateful to have healthcare I truly am and my kids pediatricians have always been pretty decent for the most part.... except when Emily was a baby and the shot person gave her an extra shot of HIB instead of the shot she was suppose to get... or that time Aiden was literally projectile vomiting and they had us sit in the ER covered in vomit for 3 hours while we waited for him to be seen.

Where was I going with this?? Oh yeah... I think that I'd rather have the what ever amount of money they say my husbands coverage is a year included in his pay and we can pay co-pays and pick service providers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What Could Possibly Be Next?

Agh.... Ebola in TX, Enterovirus 68 affecting children in CO, MA, NY and who knows where else that hasn't been reported yet? ISIS on the loose in Iraq and Syria. Our current POTUS promising "no boots on the ground" which seems likely to be some kind of statement that will end up going down in history as one he shouldn't have ever made since guess what.... we have boots on the ground!! Then there's the Ebola in Africa where they've now found it necessary to send our troops to help build treatment facilities and tend to the infected. My thoughts on this... you don't want to hear them, they start with F end with YOU!! and no thanks. I'm not too concerned that Andy will have to do either of these things at this point so that's a small reprieve from the normal uncertainty that comes along with being a military spouse when you hear things like troop movement and deployment and sending troops. I am concerned however, that a few of my friends husbands may have to be in one of these places.  I'm not really sure if it was Andy which one I would think was worse? At this point everything seems dangerous, but fight the enemy he knows or the biological enemy he doesn't know. Scary world we're living in these days.
But, we drive on.
I had a moment of clarity in my morning this morning as I sat here at my desk reviewing the latest and greatest Eco Cabins Floor Plans and looking over renderings that quite frankly need to be re-done and contemplating weather or not I should mark through them or wait for President Business to arrive. The mountains that I see everyday never become less than perfect in my eyes every time I look at them and sitting here in this moment, the clarity is... I have a pretty decent life. 
I'm surrounded by beautiful scenery here, I have a career here, I have some pretty great kiddos (well for the most part, currently my 10 year old has managed to make me yank out a few select sections of hair- oh you know the usual, can't find homework, talking in class etc etc.), my husband is the best I could ask for. He never really complains about much of anything except when the kids don't help out around the house or he's feeling a little cranky. For the most part he's supportive of what I've been up to and is happy as long as I'm making money. I have amazing co-workers, a very supportive team. And I have the bestest friend you could ask for right around the corner, so I can go have coffee, watch shows, and make her cook dinner for everyone 2 or 3 nights a week. And when I need to vent right now, she's right there. Don't get me wrong I do have more than one bestest friend. I have 2, the other one just lives across the country. He also gets to hear me vent and bitch but I picture him holding the phone 2-3inches from his ear, throwing back shots of CPT because I imagine when I call and he sees its me he says shit and a just skips adding the coke. 
In any sort of other reality I can't picture life being any better than this? Well except with a ton of money and no worries. But would it really be a life worth living if we didn't have something to worry about? 
I'm worried about college right now.... graduating senior.... who knew this year would be so damn expensive? I hope this will matter to me in 6 months? Why you ask? Ebola scares the hell out of me.... on that note, off to buy more hand-sanitizer. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tragedy In The Real Estate Community

Today we learned that Beverly Carter Real Estate Agent from Arkansas was killed. After searching for her and finally arresting the suspected kidnapper, the police were able to find where she was located. Her body was found in a shallow grave 25 miles from her last known location, where her car and purse were found. It's a terrible tragedy and I feel so bad for her husband. She told him where she would be and when she didn't come home he reported it and the police started their search.
I try to think about what I do when showing homes. I think about how many times I may have put myself in dangerous situations? How many times have I walked into a home first? How many times have I not told anyone where I would be? How many times have I not brought my gun with me? How many times have a met a client at a property before actually meeting them? How many of my clients know where my home is? What am I doing to protect myself? What am I doing to protect my clients?
These are all the things I need to review in my head to remind myself to be more diligent. To remind myself that not everyone in the world is genuine.
As Real Estate Professionals we are just thinking about what we want to do to help someone find their dream home. Or sell their home. We are not thinking about the fact that we don't really know who we are working with sometimes. In the moment where someone is calling you excited about purchasing a home, you're not thinking about "what if this person wants to kill me?" You're thinking about everything that needs to be done to make the purchase run smoothly.
I've been making my mental list this morning and writing things down to try to come up with a better plan to make sure, even though I'm there to find everyone their dream home, that I am ready and willing to protect myself.

1) Pre-qualify them with a lender: then you know their credit has been ran and you have that lender looking out for your safety as well. AND you have SOMEONE who has their name, social, address and everything about them.
2) Leave the addresses of homes you are showing with at least 2 people plus someone in the office: This allows 2 different people the opportunity to check on you throughout you showing day.
3) Text/Call my 2 people when leaving each home headed to the next: They can track your movement that way.
4) Keep my cell phone at the ready to be able to hit that emergency button: Automatically connects to 911 so at least the line is open and they can dispatch police.
5) NEVER SHOW A STRANGER HOMES: Face to face office meets are necessary so that someone else has seen the face of the person you are showing homes to.
6) If you absolutely must show a home without an office meet (like one of your own listings someone called off the sign) it's a texting day in age: at least have them text a copy of their DL so you can have it and leave it with your 2 people.
8) Concealed CARRY IS A MUST!!! No matter if it makes the client uncomfortable. Find them a new real estate agent.
9) YOU ARE FIRST!! THEY ARE SECOND!!! Show homes only during the day. Set your hours, if they can't work with you during those hours YOU DO NOT NEED THAT CLIENT!! You cannot possibly help everyone.
10) Know your surroundings! Look for every possible exit and retreat from the property before you show it. Never walk in the home first.
11) THIS IS YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BUSINESS MAKE IT SO! Do it your way. Or don't do it!!

Food for thought and I'm going to keep revising my plan and perfecting it. Stay alert stay alive. Now I'm not saying this is the norm because it isn't every one of my clients has been amazing. However, my gut NEVER lies to me. There's been a couple times in my real estate career I have given showings and clients to men in my office or a team because I didn't feel comfortable taking that client out. And when my gut says "Bran, this is not a good idea, something is not right" I LISTEN. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

so what am I doing then?

The mind is a terrible thing to waste... it always stands out to me, it always has. But the reality of the situation is I just cannot grasp why this seems so crucial to me, yet I'm so bla-zay about it. I mean seriously... what. am. i. doing. with. myself. right. now. that. has. any. relivancy. over. life? When am I going to pull myself out of this rut that has become my day to day? When am I going to stop letting nay-sayers hold me back and finally grab onto the firery reigns of hell and go for it? When am I going to start realizing my dreams and full potential? When am I going to stop whining about what I can't do and start living what I can do? When am i going to wake the hell up???

When will I ever get there? This is my pity me for the moment blog... but I don't live here... why don't I live here? Because I'm damn better than that, and for all the stupid shit I've been through and done in my life, it seems that I've done a few things at least right and that must count for something... right? 

I just can't imagine what it is I'm suppose to take away from turning on this computer and logging into a blog that I haven't touched since January 2, 2014? That seems odd that at this very moment in time I would find it necessary to take myself here to remember what it actually looks like and what the last thing I may have posted was. Looks like the same old same old, but for some reason I feel like I have something to say... and it feels like something that every one should get the opportunity to hear me say... oh I know, I now have goals and ambitions... we will see if my argumentative brain has any discouraging words to crush the fire I feel inside... like its my time... I gotta do something....

Stay tuned... I don't have all the answers yet.... but, I have cool shit in mind....

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year In Review

Another year has come and gone and I can't help but wonder where the time goes? It seems to move much faster the older I get and I'm not happy with that. But I had a very good 2013 as did my family and I thought I'd take a moment to share it with all of you before my dementia kicks in and I forget it all.
Lets see.... 2013 started with a New Year's Eve party since Andy and the rest of the 110th had finally returned from Afghanistan in December of 2012. Yep he's been home a year and there's no deployments on the horizon (knock on wood). I got to spend time with some of my favorite girls and we had a blast, did up the New Year right and rocked in 2013. 

Shortly after the New Year started, my dearest friend Jean had a stroke. It was very scary for everyone. Normally I wouldn't put her business out there like this but it's important for me to share with all of you the signs of a stroke and how you might be able to save someone's life. I was able to get Jean to the hospital in time for them to administer TPA Drug (which can reverse the effects of a stroke if given within 4 hours of the stroke). In hindsight I should've called 911 and I should've done it when I was on my way to her house and she could not communicate with me on the phone. It took her a couple of weeks in the hospital and a few months of therapy to be fully recovered but she is doing better now. I'm thankful to have her and Dylan in our lives.

Momma (GMA Toni) came to visit us in March, she tried to leave, ended up having to catch a plane right back to Colorado Springs from Dallas on the day she left due to massive snow storms that basically attacked the entire northern US.

It's VEGAS BABY!! I took my first ever girls get away vacation! I went to Vegas with my Bestie Jeanie. I couldn't believe I went anywhere without my kids!! Andy did really well the entire week I was gone and they all survived! It was my first time to Vegas and I had a blast! Did some gambling, drank a lot, acted like a tourist, stayed up all night, slept very little and just enjoyed everything about it. We went for NASCAR weekend of course so not only did I go to Vegas for the first time but I also went to my first ever NASCAR Race! I got to see Dale JR. race it was awesome! There is nothing quite like the rev of car engines and them zooming by you, and there is for sure nothing like NASCAR Fans!!!

The rest of the Spring saw cool temps and us getting ready for summer. Baseball season for Billy and Dylan was great! They played a really good season and only lost like 3 games.

 Nelson came to visit which we enjoyed. He got here just in time to watch Billy play at SkySox Stadium for Little League.

Colorado saw another devastating fire happen local to us. Many wild fires happened but the Black Forest Fire hit very close to home. We helped Jean pack up her home and come stay with us for a few days as everyone was uncertain which way the fire was going to travel. 500 homes were lost. Many people were displaced, but Black Forest has started to rebuild. 

This summer we visited Missouri. We spent time with Grandpa Dickie and Grandma Gail who had just moved back to MO and bought a big house with lots of land for the kids to play. We had a lot of fun! Well, minus that snake I ran into leaf blowing. That was not fun. We also went to Ben & Amanda's for 4th of July.

After returning home to Colorado, we packed right back up and headed for Mississippi with Jeanie & Dylan to visit Aunt Carolyn and Aunt Kathy. While in Mississippi, we took an over night trip to Nashville, TN and saw Uncle Donald and Aunt Kristen. This summer was full of vacation and fun times We had a summer to remember for sure.

Grace reached huge milestones this year! She started kindergarten and turned 5 years old!

Emily also had a big year as she turned Sweet 16! And got her driver's permit at the end of this year.  It's crazy for me to think that this little girl of mine is becoming quite the young lady, is a junior in high school, is driving and will graduate next year! Who Knew? 

The boys are doing great as well. In fact we're all doing pretty well. 
Andy works a lot as usual. We see shift work again, which we all hate but we survive. 
I got my real estate license in July. I decided to take some huge leaps in my career this year. I made a move to a new company called Z, Inc., in September. It is a venture capital company and business consulting firm. It's the parent company to Eco Cabins LLC, which I've been left to my own devices with. You'll have to check out our websites and FB pages to learn more about that. I love both companies and all the other opportunities that have been made available to me through the move. In November I decided after much thought and consideration to transfer my real estate license to a new company that I thought would help me better build the future I am looking to for myself and my family. Nextage Realty Pikes Peak Properties is where I now call home for my real estate license. With my moves I took my first ever business trip and have been enjoying the crash courses in business management, building and marketing I've received over the past few months. 

We saw good friends leave us this year. Particularly Starre and her family moved away. Jean G. and her family moved away. And Rachel and her family moved away. That is the part of the Army I never really can get use to, it's always sad to say goodbye. I miss you ladies.

In November, I had to take a rush trip home to NY. My Papa passed away and next to my Nana that is the hardest thing I've had to go through. I take comfort knowing that he is with her now and they both watch over me from Heaven. I know they are quite proud of the woman I've become.

The end of the year was easy peasy. We celebrated Thanksgiving with friends, we enjoyed our Christmas together as a whole family and we rang in the New Year excited as ever about what our next year holds. I hope this finds all of you well and enjoying the first couple days of your new year.