We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wall of TP: Stockpile begins

Thanks to couponing, I have gotten this huge stack of TP for less than $75-- more than 360 rolls or .20 each.  My husband wants to work for the helicopter contractor in Beeville instead of the Army Depot.  Since, this will mean a cut off his driving time daily -- savings of two hours; I support him.  However, I am also aware if the contractor has layoffs.  The general rule of thumb -- last hired is first fired in the civilian world.  That is okay too since with a 'stockpile' finding a job is less stressful when supplies are plentiful but cash is not.   Does anyone else do this or am I an over eager suvivalist?

I have the sickness, so far my list of surplus is:

20 tubes of Toothpaste cost was only $7.80 vice $25
30 (100 oz) Purex/All Detergent $75 vice $150
(I also have supplies on hand to make homemade laundry soap for 800 loads for only $20.)
15 bottles of shampoo for $8 vice $18.75
40 lbs of pinto beans for $7.00
20 lbs assorted 1 lb beans for $15.80
100 lbs of rice for $11.00
12 lbs pasta for $6.86

We have a pantry fully stocked, deep freezer full, and hopefully with our garden being planted.  All will be set until whenever.

A dollar saved brings us to owning our home out right quicker.  Our plan is to have our house which we purchased in 2005 paid off by 2015.  I hate owing money to anyone.  No mortgage means more freedom....... I hope I hope I hope~!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Planter Boxes, Baby Goats

Daddy gives advice:

Zephyr wants to try.
Notice the tongue, hard at work....

Our yard is greening, spring is knocking about.

Babies Pices (white ear closet butt) and Almond

Please say prayers for TSUNAMI friends

My over the pond sister Mixednut and Chappie are in the path of the TSUNAMI.

I cut and pasted this from Mixed's (KATs) blog.

"Preparing for disaster

Beautiful sunny day here in Hawaii. We are waiting for a possible tsunami in the next half hour to hour, but lasting for several hours after the first waves arrive.

The sirens have been going off since 6am, first every hour, then every half hour, now every 15 minutes. We are not in an evacuation zone so we are just sitting tight at our house. But it is weird. We live on a busy highway, but just 35 minutes ago all major roads were shut down to any traffic except emergency vehicles. So it is quiet until the sirens wail again.

How did we prepare when the first sirens went off? We immediately started baking. And doing laundry. Filling the bathtub after each of us got a hot shower. Loss of electricity on these islands is major, sometimes not getting turned back on for months. We don't know if we will have any electricity soon. They even shut down the waste water stations. Those have been known to be hit and badly. Good thing all our laundry is done. Phones are charged up, and the wheelchair is charged. Gas stations ran out of gas, and stores just closed after having unbelievable lines, selling everything from toilet paper to rice. This happens every time there is an impending disaster here. Luckily our gas tank was filled just yesterday and we have plenty of non-perishable foods.

My sister came over because she lives alone, my daughter and grand daughter live next door and I'm getting ready to go over there and play games. We do this when we have disasters. Families draw close. On our news they are showing entire neighbor hoods gathered at high ground, having what looks like a tail gate party, the grills are going, everyone is sitting on their beach chairs. All the beaches are closed, the police will not let anyone get near the water. Its like a party, but with stress, since we have seen disasters here in paradise and they aren't pretty. Hurricane Iniki wiped out the island of Kauai, there was not a single tree with leaves left on it after winds of 270 mph. There was no electricity on that island for 3 months, there was no regular phone service for longer than that. You could not buy batteries or flashlights ANYWHERE in Hawaii for months and months. So we prepare. It might come to naught, but we are ready. Our prayers are sent up and now we will play some games and try to relax. Catch you on the flip side, and our hope is that we are not water logged in the next few hours.

Hugs, and waves ~~~~~~~~~~~~ from Hawaii,


Blog found here:

Say prayers for those affected by the quakes in Chili as well.


Hubby is home, Our order is made

       Today, after hubby gets back from shopping for his tools and equipment.  He is building me 3 garden boxes.  I can't wait - home raised tomatoes!  Has anyone else noticed Burger King has posted a sign about a shortage of that fruit?  I also plan on putting in some crooked neck squash and replant my herb garden.  

       Raised beds means less chance of surpising a diamondback, copperhead or, coral (yes we have those here).  His first three will be built 2 (W) by 8 (L) to get the hang of it, we will put chicken wire on the bottom for drainage, for lighter construction and, to keep out moles and ground hogs.  Later will will have to enclose them to keep out racoons -- they are some mighty thieves I tell you!

       Also, I have ordered 20 each replacement pullets of Buff Orphington and Americanas.  I have also pre-ordered 30 pearl keats.  I can tell spring is right around the corner; trees are producing buds and birds have returned to our yard.  Mrs. Parker is out of the rabbit business but has numbers of those who are selling rabbits.  I guess we will have to bite the bullet and just pay for them from a private dealer. 

      I really hope he finds the mini-tractor he wants.  Personally, I just want him to make a decision as to size and model - buy it.  We will always have need for such a tool and it would make gardening and yard upkeep so much easier.  Yes, I can drive a tractor.  (ANYTHING HE CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER--- right---LMFBOH!)

    What I also have to do soon, it find a grape seller and order 4 to 6 muscadine vine starters. I was told by the local nursery that variety will not survive here but, I had one doing extremely well until the 7 frosts we had the last 5 weeks. I just bet, If I kept them inside until they are two year vines and had a better established root system; out of the 6 -- I could manage at least 2 for reproduction and vine establishment. (SORRY I DIGRESS)

     Thanks Mrs. Sharkie for sending a bottle of muscadine wine.  I am so green with envy.  And I can't wait til dinner time to pop the cork.  And the boys loved the chocolate chip cookies, dang you are a great baker.  Zephyr has the little stuffed bear you sent sitting atop the candy easter eggs. LOL I love it, he is hatching gummy bears he said.

     Guess what?  Yesterday I actually line dried 5 loads of laundry.  Now Kelley says she hates the feel of cardboard clothes.  Let me tell you, I wash with a downey ball of vinegar and one of fabric softner - then dry.  If our pants or towels get stiff due to no breeze, I just pop them in the dryer on air dry with a old shoe or two.   I have manually calculated it costs our home electric bill .89 cents for each load of laundry I dry inside.  So after a $400 January bill, I am back to using the line as much as possible since I wash minimum of two loads a day. If I have to dry inside, I will wait until after 9 p.m. when the night time rate drops.

Problem solved.......... I am cheap! (frugal)

Okay, off to finish our spring ordering for gardening and animal husbandry

Friday, February 26, 2010

FSAFEDS = Bureaucracy = Government

BETTER WORD is:  Disambiguation


Girlie, you will find navigating the private insurance landscape to be quite the same as the government's.  Why?

Simple, because all businesses have their own self-imposed form of bureaucracy.

However, disambiguation is a better choice of word:

'offices/agencies/businesses' set up a rule of thumb which appears to be just and weed out the dishonest. What this means is the FSAFEDS have to comply with laws / policies / rules that a board or governing body decided was simplistic in nature and not open to interpertation. 

Now what does this mean here: 

Simply that I (Joe Blow) has not figured out the technicalities of the FSA's process for reimbursement.  And while, I trust this office has all my families' paperwork in one file be it hard paper copy  or electronic.  This assumption on my part is fallicious reasoning in nature to trust in a system that I did not create.


Yesterday, Carol from the FSAFEDs did call me to talk about claims 1 and 2; and said they are under review with the caveat ---- this claims may be reimbursed. 

Good Thing because I have already submitted claims 3 and 4 with number 5 sitting in the wings. 

Let me say here, Carol is professional, caring and is doing her best to educate me on this process. 

With that said, when a 'federal' system works; it either works well or dies a slow painful death. 

This whole FSA (Flexible Spending Account) is designed to cover out of pocket medical expenses since most AMERICANs do not meet the criteria for tax deduction purposes at the end of the tax year based upon their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).  This is why there is a 'standard deduction' since it is based on a fiscal assumption by the IRS; most are too lazy to keep financial records for out of pocket expenses for their family. 

Also, the use of FSAs actually may keep a tax payer in a lower tax bracket, personally I would rather stay in the 15% tax bracket instead of the next level since we are at the lower end of the '15%' and would actually lose more cash flow. 

tax brackets found here after deductions (AGI): http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm

For the record, our claims thus far this year for out of pocket medical expenses are around the ballpark of $365 dollars so far.  This will rise since we all need new glasses and have dental visits scheduled.  


Kelley I hope this makes sense.  I do feel like Little Red Riding Hood navigating the Big Bad Woods trying to avoid the Wolf.  Will I do this again next year; more on that later? 

But, you know my penny pinching arse..............

IF I can make a penny hollar and beg for release before I let go of it. 

I will; because money is a finite commodity.  Either you have it or you don't; we don't really believe in using credit for everyday living expenses with the exception of our home.

Thoughts from inside the coop's money vault

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Well I have been thinking.......

This weekend while I have my hubby home, I am going to order from Mrs. Parker’s 20 each of Auracanas, Buff Orphington, and guinea keats.  We have to replenish our stock this year with fresh pullets and cockerels.  Last year's drought wiped out lots of our birds -- it was just unavoidable with heat index over 110 most afternoons with many heat deaths.

I will probably purchase two and one male rabbits; this means my husband with his awesome skills will be building me a rabbit hutch similar to the one he built for Psycho Cock (May he RIP) and his harem.

For the rabbits, what I have envisioned is a raised hutch – three room condo type of arrangement for them so, the male can be safely kept away from the mommas-to-be when they have matured. Nope, I have never raised rabbits, but what the hay. I had never kept chickens before either when we moved here in 2006. So, I will have a learning curve.

I will start up my vintage Brower incubator the second weekend of March. I want to raise some more yard chickens (MIXED MUTTS) for the deep freezer. My yard birds will be free-ranged with only scratch grain at night in their coops and of course the cockerels will be culled after two-three months.

Our next project will be constructing raised garden boxes. And if anyone has any idea how to keep critters like ground hogs, raccoons, and skunks away. Please share your wealth of knowledge. I would prefer raised boxes at least with 3 foot retaining walls. YEP, I have yet to see a rattle snake climb up into boxes but, I guess it possible. We had a plethora of snakes last year: racers, great plains rat snakes, grass snakes, and a few diamondbacks.

So close-up shots I took of snakes found here:




Sleepy Face versus School Rage

I snapped a couple of pictures of my sleeping beauties.  Zephyr looks so peaceful; resting assured mommie is about to wake him up with kisses and belly rubs.  We surprised dad last night by showing him, Zephyr can add single digits; we have been practicing this since he will enter Kindergarten in the fall.  Whenever, we shop together

I used coupons to teach him numbers and have him find the 'right' ones on the store shelves. He is excited about going to school.  That is until he finds out he will not get his way or be the center of mommie's world anymore in the classroom.

Saenz is not so happy about being awaken with a camera flash.  His morning mantra and battle cry.  I HATE SCHOOL!

I really wonder if he needed to start Head Start at 4 however, I was active duty serving in Portugal at the time.  Head Start was better than being in daycare all day and was more structured.  Can you believe my fifth grader has been in school for 7 years already?

No wonder, he sees school as a usurper of his child hood!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FSAFEDS Diatribe

As you all know, I wrote on here about the FSAFEDS.  To vent over the frustration of not being reimbursed for legitimate medical items we have purchased on the advice of a licensed by the state of Texas allergy specialist.  LOL

So, I was contacted by Carol via telephone last week, who said she would look into our submissions that was on Thursday. This is the kicker.  I have around $400 in other claims awaiting processing because 


We can't seem to get someone to approve the items as instructed to us by our family specialist for our son Saenz.


"On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:15 PM, FSAFEDS wrote:

Dear Mrs. Malissa Torres,

Thank you for your email about your right to appeal a denied FSAFEDS claim.

To submit an appeal, you must write to FSAFEDS and request a review. Include any additional information and/or documentation, such as a Letter of Medical Necessity, that supports the reason(s) you feel your claim should be eligible for reimbursement. To obtain a Quick Reference Guide regarding the Appeal Process, please visit our web site www.FSAFEDS.com. This guide can be accessed under the Quick Links section, by selecting the Quick Reference Guide link. Submit all written appeals by:  Fax: 502-267-2233 or 866-643-2245 for those outside the U.S.  OR  Mail:   FSAFEDS  P.O. Box 36880 Louisville, KY 40233

If you need further assistance or have additional questions, please feel free to contact us again via email at FSAFEDS@shps.com, or call an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor toll-free at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Thank you,


I had to give myself some cooling off time before replying.

My answer back to the 'canned email.'


First, This email with your company's response above inquiry will be added to my blogspot.

I was contacted by an employee last week, named Carol.

She informed me, that as a supervisor she would be reviewing our submissions.

We have included:  A. Doctors explanation or Letter of Medical Necessity (not on required form).   B. A letter explaining my son's treatment for his allergies to include the purchase of: 
allergen specific bed products such as: mattress/box spring covers, pillow covers

Eucerin skin products to alleviate his skin allergies as a result of his nasal or environmental allergies

Special Allergen Reducing air conditioning filters

C. A form as required to show the doctors licensure information to include contact information.

Secondly, again my question is this computer generated email is too vague in reference and to which submission is the FSAFeds referring to -- considering the number of submissions we have already forwarded. What did Carol find out?

Did she contact the Allergy Specialist for any further information?

I am trying very hard to retain my civility and professional decorum however, this faceless / voiceless mode of communication is quite frustrating. All I want to know is exactly what information is missing? WHY are our claims being denied? We are not being given any sound professional assessments as to what on our end; what we are not doing correctly to further facilitate these claims.
Respectfully, M Torres on behalf of Mr G. Torres"

Mind you, now my husband is so disgusted by this round and round with this governmental agency that, we went to buy a fax machine for use just with FSAFEDS.  Just to deal with sending in our forms, over and over to include our begging of them to reconsider their opines.  He is tired of going to another office to fax information to FSAFEDS only to have it lost or denied.  Can't say that I blame him. 

So my title with use of DIATRIBE equates to their wearing us down and prolonging the claims process.  Is it any wonder 80% of Americans feel their government acts without citizens' best interest in mind?

Last blog rant dealing with this subject found here:


I turned up the heat

Man, who would have thought it.

South Texas cold and wintery; but a damp kind of cold which cuts right through our normal clothing.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr, been so chilled I am wearing socks. AND I HATE TO WEAR SOCKS.

Our animal tally this fine Feb 2010........

We have three pigs, one a pregnant sow with two of her last offspring named Lumpi and Limpi.

Four boer goats, Aries (maybe pregnant), March with two kids, Almond her own -- Pices who was orphaned with Hilliary died on the 13th. I still can not believe she had three.

Six guinea fowl, whom I think I am enamored with because they are so dang ecceltic in personality. My favorite thing to do here is to watch them -- bully up on Sprocket the Spanish Rocket. He is a Rhode Island Red, who believes in miscegnation.

Well, the guinea do not. After Sprocket is found to be forcing himself on a guinea hen. Out comes the guinea gang RAISING CAIN and grabbing Sprocket by any means necessary. Much to the detriment of Sprockets' manhood (calling card) --- tail feathers.

See the guinea take turn chasing Sprocket with one usually clutching his tail and skiing through the back yard. (Think of a skier behind a motor boat a river, with water spray marking where the skier has been claiming territory.) In this case the water spray would be normal South Texas dust, the skier would be a guinea, and the boat being ridden like the wind Sprocket; it's a hiliarious site I tell you.

However, since Sprocket has been misbehaving so much. The guinea have now taken to grabbing him by the neck. ROFL, Sprocket now has a mullet of feathers under his comb but is missing those on his neck. Way funny stuff, especially when he does his stately MAN DANCE before crowing and looks like that spitting dinosaur from Jurrasic Park.

Then we have an assorted collection of araucana hens who are watched over by our first natural born chick born April First, 2007. We named him Uno; he is a red feather footed banty mix. I love watching him especially from behind when he is struting and calling his hens -- his feathered legs look like chaps and he is rightly bow legged.

Last count, we have 40 birds -- whom we free range during the day and feed scratch grain before closing them up at night. Soon, I will be ordering more Auracanas and Buff Orphington hens for eggs; our birds are now about three years old and will stay pets.

Our next project, will be rasing rabbits for meat and sale. We hope to get to a point where not only we own our home out right but, to homestead it for most our needs. The best part of all; having something to pass on to our sons along with the knowledge of taking care of one's family and raising animals respectfully.

Just thoughts on a gloomy day

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tear Jerker and Beautiful

What is strange and something I am glad to see.  Folks supporting their military.  It was not long ago, after 9/11 while about in uniform. 

I was called a 'baby killer.'

All I could do is smile back, shake my head and say; Thank You. 

Thanks to my Hawaiin Sister for forwarding this to me. 

Click here: Thank Your Military Thank A Soldier Causes


Sunday, February 21, 2010

RELIEVED: My teats are ~:>


March took in the kid orphan.  It only took

1st day after birth being teethered head and leg.
2nd day after birth being head teethered.

TODAY Momma March and her two kids are resting together, freely.

I was really worried because she was head butting, biting, and kicking Pices away.  She still favors her natural born baby -- Almond.  Yet, for now he is nursing and playing with his adoptive sister.

Ya'll Have No Idea how much work Pices was having him in the house.

3 - 4 Feedings daily
2 loads of clean towels a day
His baths to get the smell of goat pee off him
Plus disinfecting his sleeping compartment.

NOT TO MENTION his crying jags. LOL


IF YOU put a baby kid in a totally darkened room; they will settle in and go to sleep.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Okay March is a Resistant Mother

 Man,  I am starting to stress about March not wanting to suckle Pices nor Almond.  I keep going out to check on those three.  I just checked her teats to ensure both were flowing well. 

Yep, she has plenty of milk and her bag is rather large.

So, next  I took her water.  NOT IN A BUCKET but a cup.  This time she drank well sounded like she was sipping through a straw.  Hope that was the fix and hand fed her hay. 

Both kids tried to suckle from her but March just keeps pushing them away.  If this keeps up I will have to tie her other hoof til she gets used to those little noisey critters demanding her teats. LOL 

(I actually know how she feels though about nursing this first few days.)


I know she is not too young as a mother, she is eleven months old.  What bothers me is, she was impregnated when she was not ready by Obama Lama Ding Dong 1 when she got her head stuck. 


Man I really miss Hilliary............................

A New Kid in Town --Almond

Yesterday, before my husband got off from work.  I emailed him to see if he could pick up Saenz from school because I thought March (Obama & Hillary's daughter) was in labor. 

I could tell he did not believe me but, he agreed.  See with goats, the first labor is usually Hard and Fast. This was March's first pregnancy as well so, I wanted to be there in case she had trouble.

Sure enough less than an hour went by,  I had Zephyr outside with me entertaining baby Pices.  And in a flash, Plop out came the kid.  Zephyr called her Almond.

So welcome to the world baby Almond. After this with the help of my husband; we moved March and her kid ALMOND to a holding pen since Aries was butting the baby. Then we got Pices and I rubbed after birth onto him, to see if March will allow him to nurse with her kid.

Well March is not liking the intrusion so:

We tied her head with a tether to a pole and one of her hind legs. LOL Well greedy eater PICES does not mind getting jostled a bit by Momma March and took to nursing. March is not happy but we will wait a day or two to see if she allows him to feed with her baby -- ALMOND.

IF she doesn't accept him but stays with her own. Great

IF she accepts him I am okay with bottle feeding him.

BUT if she doesn't accept them both then they will be reared together on a bottle.

Either way, it will work out because I am keeping the two kids together.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Coin Toss = The Truth

I have always heard there are two sides to every story however, I disagree.  The truth is a three sided coin, one heads, one tails and then, there is the middle.  A bumpy rim with dips and rises. 

I read his manifesto found on this link:


The plane crash in Austin was horrific.  What I believe Mr. Stack was doing: 

a. killing himself,

b. attempting to rack up a body count to assauge the machine of government he spoke of,

c.  making a symbolic choice of the IRS building,

d, ramming a phallic shaped (aircraft) device to the federal office space.

Now on to my thoughts:

1.  The burning of his home with wife and child inside?  I just don't get this because he was not only destroying his life but attempting to destroy his family.

2.  This man was seriously depressed to the point of mania.  I firmly believe that by writing out his frustrations is just deepened his resolved to strike back.  I wonder if he sought help from a mental health professional.  Did his wife and child not notice his life spiraling?

3.  While I notice in his writing he takes no personal responsibility why is this notable?  A. He was so mired in his own pity that he could no longer see the light at the tunnel.  B.  If their financial issues were so dire then why not change locations or sale assets?  C. He was 53 and still time to build a nest egg for retirment so why all the self-centeredness?


Yes, our government proclaims we are a free nation. 

This is not true

We are a nation of laws made by lawyers,
upheld by judges,
enforced by the legal system,
and massaged by the judical system to keep building its power.

Our goverment system feeds on the weak by:

baffling the masses (sheeple) with bullshit and duplicitious double speak
patting us on the head with one hand
looking for the knife over us
then stabbing us in the back with the other

Now for Mr. Stack.  To me, you left behind not only a legacy of terror but took the easy way out and was too self-centered to care.  Yes, you are (were) a terrorist.  You also destroyed innocence of your child which in my estimation will cause so many ripples in the 'pond of her life,' your cowardly act will have far reaching effects for generations.

My question to all those out there:  Are we just worker ants following the scent trails of others that went before us?

Another sad day in America

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I got a bit terse with FSAFeds via email

Let's see, we looked forward this year to using this Flexible Spending Account since, Saenz has chronic allergies.  So we have to fill out paper work and fax the forms but guess what?  Forms get lost -- lets tally at least the six times of missing paper work in 6 weeks:

1.  Second claim -- missing
2.  Letter Of Medical Necessity missing needed for first claim -- DENIED: not the right form had to be accomplished.
3.  HIPPA letter -- missing adding myself to hubby's acct
4.  LETTER of MEDICAL NECESSITY (LMN) FORM -- Missing on other claims denied
5.  HIPPA Letter resent, I can talk to folks.... YEAH FOR ME, bad for them
6. ANOTHER EMAIL, LMN not needed for OTC, what I thought the form was lost?

So, my email as I sent it to them.

To Whomever is Our Case Worker,

And with all due respect; please print this out for our case file...................

   Personally, This round and round over what is and what is not allowed is perfectly spelled out in the website. We know what is allowed for Saenz's Allergy treatment. However, one or two of your employees does not know or has not read the tables found on your (FSAFeds) website. Not only have your agents (case workers) have lost our paperwork numerous times creating 'due burden to the public --- Torres Family' which is against the Paperwork Reduction Act US CODE Title 44 but, have denied reimbursement for:

" Allergy Products - HCFSA Potentially Eligible ExpensePRINT THIS PAGE

Eligible expenses include products and home improvements to treat severe allergies. Examples include:
Electro-static air purifier
HEPA furnace filters and HEPA vacuum cleaner filters (only the difference in cost of the HEPA product minus the standard product can be reimbursed.) (waiting to submit - due to the repeated denials for claims)
Humidifier (future purchase)
Home/automobile air conditioners
Special vacuum cleaners for persons with respiratory problems (only the difference in cost of the special vacuum cleaner minus a standard vacuum can be reimbursed)
Special pillow cases, mattress covers, or other bedding barriers that provide protection against allergens to alleviate an allergic (DENIED though LMN was given and claims submitted in January 2010 and will be submitted again.)

condition "Note: See CAPITAL EXPENSES for important information and guidance."

   Another point: As I know not all OTC items such as Saenz's Eucerin/Aquaphor may or may not be allowed for his CHRONIC ALLERGY condition that still needs MEDICAL attention and was prescribed by a doctor with a letter of medical necessity. Special note should be given that Saenz is a dependent child, under the age of 13, with special needs...................

Found in the JUKEBOX on the FSAFeds website


Aquaphor by Eucerin For more information, see the OTC QRG.

   Next, we will be getting our carpeting replaced and tile installed. I do understand, that carpet removal will not increase our home's value (capital expense) -- the tile will thus, will only be submitting the form for carpet removal.

Another point to make this may also be allowed by definition with the LMN given by the allergist.


Next item we will be providing a form and reciept for:

NASAL STRIPS HCFSAX Nasal strips or sprays that are used to alleviate snoring or reduce nasal congestion are eligible for reimbursement from your HCFSA. Examples include:

Afrin Nasal Spray, Breathe Right, Dristan Nasal Spray, Snorezz

Please refer to OTC Quick Reference Guide.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.

    And when is the FSAFeds Debit Card program going to be implemented? Seriously, this program would just eliminate the constant flow of paper back and forth, would fit in the goverments' TITLE 44, eliminate the need to waste paper, loss of paper records along with following guidelines with the four Rs mandated by federal government.

   Lastly, with all this added 'leg work and resubmission' your employees have also angered our sons Alergy Specialist Dr, Stafford to the point where he answered FSAFeds inquiry with a sharp retort not commonly found from a medical professional. And I may add, all this second guessing is bascially calling myself (MALISSA & GILBERT TORRES) thieves when in fact, the monies deposited into the FSAFeds are being put there by my husband Gilbert. So, if this email correspondence has caused alarm, I apologize on one hand.
 However, on the other I dislike being called dishonest by faceless government employees who have made an assumption that I have not thoroughly read FSAFeds website, policies, regulations on what is and what is not allowed. So please forward our case to a supervisor....

Malissa Torres,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mr. Salad Fingers gets ridden

This is James (Boo) trying to load Mr Salad Fingers in the truck.

So Boo, jumps about. And takes a turn at riding MSF.

He is doing a pretty good job!

Mr. Salad Fingers is being stirred by his tail to the truck.  Ms. Honey and I was sitting on the back of my pick up truck dying laughing at BOYS BEING BOYS.
Mr. Salad Fingers has other plans.

Sad Day at Hoe Hen Inn

Our beloved goat, Hilliary was pregnant and gave birth to three goats. The first was stillborn, the second was large with a twisted neck, we had to help her have the third one.

Here is her picture from last years belly update:


This is what the birthing process looked like with Kids March & Aries.


Sad thing is, there was nothing we could do for Hilliary. The birthing process took all her strength and she must have torn on the inside. Hilliary passed away in her sleep last night.

I have her precious baby kid indoors. I named him, Pices. He is so adorable and I will be his momma. Here is his beautiful yet, starving little face.


I am so sad and weepy today. Ms. Hilliary was my beloved pet. I will miss her furry kisses at the morning and evening feed. We still have her daughter March & Aries but, they don't have her gentle soul and take more after their dad, Obama.

We sold, Obama to a lady with a large herd. You do need to move the stud around to keep the blood lines fresh.

Next I will post pictures of Mr. Salad Fingers getting ridden by our neighbor boy, when he was being loaded up for market.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Welcome Baby Kid: Pices

We fought hard for the triplets but, so far only this little kid seems viable.  His name is Pices.

Pices dad, has been sold to Mrs. Honey and is now in a larger herd.

Mr Salad Fingers, our wild boar hog has been sold for meat.  So here is the picture of our new kid on the block.

Here is a website I use for kidding season.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Being Right Sucks Buns

I knew this was coming with the Ft Hood's Major Hasan.  Everyone was so concerned with his medical training and the cost payback for his training to the US government / Army.  The leadership was more interested in doing what was 'right' for the Corps vice the individual.  In this case it cost 13 lives and many wounded.  This is one example of individual need transferring over to a horrific act of violence.

The man was washed under the system because he was Muslim.  He was not censored for his horrible 'testifying' to his patients -- those walking wounded that were attacked by Taliban or Al Quada on the front lines.  On and on, no one wanted to be labled a racist for making him either separate over extremist views or religious beliefs he held.  

If you want to read my rants go back to November 2009. 

Today, I found this article in the Wall Street Journal. 


"FEBRUARY 9, 2010 Six Faulted Over Fort Hood

Military to Discipline Officers for Failing to Report Views of Suspect in Texas Shootings."
YES, we are our brothers keeper.  As leaders, if we do not take care of our people even those without stellar performance reports -- we fail to be leaders and should be held responsible.  Major Hasan also should face the death penalty for all those he killed but, to do so would martyr him.  Here is another kicker, those 6 or 8 officers that was in his rating chain will now have a ripple effect throughout the medical community.
Any thoughts?
Inside a soggy coop

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wax on; Wax off

Yeppers, it was nice not to feast on the carrion called the US MEDIA I am officially off my NEWS FAST.

While I am dedicated to helping my husband retired (transition to a part time job) before he is 70.  LOL yes I realize you can stop earlier but; we tend to like eating. Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find my spring break reading list delivered to my door:

The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bill
Super Feakononmics
Better Groceries for Less Cash
America's Cheapest Family
But Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon

This light reading will get me on track to see how other folks cut their costs in this economy.  I am super hooked on clipping coupons, cash back purchases and rebating.  What I have noticed is US companies are on to 'CLIPPERS' and have decreased the monetary size of coupons (and product sizes) by up to 30% in one year.  YES I said 30% as they have increased their cost per unit. 

Now what most folks ask me why do you not buy store brand and in this I will tell you.

We waste less with quality products for instance:

STORE BRAND BREADS are just white sugar baked into a loaf.

Store brand breads are great for grilled cheese (velveeta) or breakfast toast.

But, store brands does not have the fiber and is full of chemicals thus, my boys just do better cognitively using whole grains products.

Health & Beauty Products:

I do like these items better for their quality as well.  Why pay 3 cents less for a bottle of shampoo that does not do the job like the national brand?  Another thing, we have extremely hard well water so, a watered down product just doesn't do the job in my personal opinion.  Mind you, I only buy these items in bulk, when on sale and with coupons which brings the cost down to the level of free or darn near the cost of store brands.

COUPONING TAKES work........................ Yes, ladies it takes work up front but well worth it.  But, not only are we using great products but are also paying off a mortgage early with our savings.

(AGAIN this is my opinion and what works best for our family dealing with learning / behavioral issues like: IRLENS syndrome, chronic allergies, and ADD; changing our diet have made a huge difference.)

So, if you are interested in what I have learned just come over to my other blog on
SHOESTRINGBUDGETS here on blogspot.  To read our about our journey.

IT'S my husband's job to bring home the money and my job to save money until we get that slip to our home.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sometimes I flounder

Today, I have decided to take a break from all media.  NO NEWS

Really since I seem to take on the ILLS OF THE WORLD and make them personal.  I have to FAST for 24 hours. 

What irks me is; the human race is designed to look for patterns.

THUS lottery goes on and people still play because someone wins.


THAT the United States has troops in nearly every country especially in the Middle East and Africa?  LOL, DOH  I have been saying our President will start using troops to bolster the economy.  Yes, I can see the pattern of the Obama Administration skipping down the same path as the others before him.

Can you imagine, all the Guardsmen and Reservists coming home to displace workers who are already teetering on the brink of a fiscal quagmire of which; some is their own doing?  By law, those men and women get their jobs back but -- what happens when that business is closed or has downsized? 

As I fast from the media yes ---- I have not even opened MSNBC, ABC, Washington Post, LA Times or the many other sources I check almost daily online.  I am having fun by organizing coupon inserts complete with a cheat sheets of what savings are within.  Zephyr is keeping me company by counting to 30 over and over. 

Will this fast matter a hill of beans to anyone.........................

Probably not


I am keeping my sanity while playing with my 5 year old

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lady Al Queda: humsssssssss

Okay, for a few years I have been absorbing all the news stories about terriorists who are or happen to be muslim.   What is striking to me is?????????????

In a world with millions of folks, terriorists seem hell bent on destroying those with opposing views.  Which in itself in my personal opinion is a classification of crazy.  So, why is it any surprise that a female stepped forward to do such a thing.  What I am concerned with is many of the leaders or followers are educated here in the US.

Secondly, US media seems to be 'cherry-picking' stories as which ones will be more horrific to bring in advertising dollars from folks: WATCHING TRAIN WRECKS.


While I understand it is more sensationalistic to show case these folks to do so may sell papers.  But this only heightens their sucess and brings others into their fold.

What about talking about the 'home-grown' folks we have here?

How many children, women, people of color, or homosexuals  are assualted each day in this country?

A US paper version:

Al Jeezra's version:

Newsweeks version:

Now for another thought   If you control a populations' women -- you control and or limit their future.  If a female population is denegrated then the population will have no problem denegrating others.

Thoughts from inside a soggy coop......