Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


MontanaMama's Journal
MontanaMama's Journal
December 15, 2021

It's Christmas Time, Let's Just Survive.

My new holiday anthem...

December 14, 2021

Health insurance: Ever been presented with a choice where there's no good choice?

It happens this time every year...I have to choose a health insurance plan for my little family of three for the next calendar year. We're self employed and so options are few and they are outrageously expensive. The Affordable Care Act did a lot of good. For example, insurance companies can't charge more for pre-existing conditions and they can't deny coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. That said, insurance companies base premiums on your age. My husband is 60, I'm 57 and my son is 16. We're healthy, thankfully, and still we pay through the nose for our insurance. I can't take the chance of being uninsured and having something catastrophic happening where we might lose our house or business. That said, I'm sitting here fuming over my "choices".

Here's the lowdown:

Pacific Source:

Gold plan with a $3000 per person deductible is $2170 per month
Silver plan with a $4500 per person deductible is $1955 per month
Bronze plan with a $7000 per person deductible is $1674 per month


Gold plan with $2900 per person deductible is $2474 per month
Silver plan with a $4400 per person deductible is $2204 per month
Bronze plan with a $6500 per person deductible is $1797 per month

Mtn Health Coop
Gold plan with a $1000 per person deductible is $2125 per month...with that low deductible this plan has a $6500 max out of pocket and is HSA ineligible
Silver plan with a $4400 per person deductible is $1912 per month
Bronze plan with a $7000 per person deductible is $1668 per month

All these plans cost more than my mortgage and yet I have to choose one. This is all that is available on the individual market in Montana. I get why people work at jobs they don't like just to retain the health insurance benefits. I am furious because we don't cost any more to insure that a member of Congress. Why can't we buy into their plan?

Rant off.

November 29, 2021

It was over 60 degrees in western MT today.

The witch of November let us off easy this year. I know we will pay a price for this sooner or later but damn…it was a stellar afternoon. Here’s a few pix of my hike today…it was just heavenly. Nova even found a watering hole to play in.

November 25, 2021

Doing Thanksgiving dessert a little differently this year...

Never been a fan of pumpkin pie and I just made a pecan pie a couple weeks ago. I decided to make gingerbread whoopie pies. Gingerbread to honor my dad because it was his favorite. I miss him terribly and Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for me for that reason. I thought this was such a cheery thing to make.

I cannot wait to eat these tonight with a fine glass of bourbon. Here’s to you dad. ❤️

November 5, 2021

Just got boosted! #funkycoldmoderna

My staff and I just returned from getting our Moderna boosters. Everyone but me had the two Moderna vaccines...I had the single J&J back in March and took the Moderna this time. I'm excited to have this over and done. I picked up lunch for the crew on my way back to work so we could all celebrate together. The one staff member who wasn't vaxxed quit 3 weeks ago with no notice. We're in a pickle as far as being understaffed at the moment but he needed to go and I'm glad he's gone.

November 3, 2021

Hey Virginia.

I’m sorry about the election tonight. I know what this feels like. In November 2020, MT slit its own throat in our election. We have a horrendous Governor and legislature. It just sucks. It’s disheartening and infuriating. I’m with you tonight.

Love, Montana.

October 22, 2021

Update on the Eurasian Dove I rescued back in June.

We call him Ragamuffin...RG for short. He's been flying free since early August and he runs with a flock of about 17 or so doves. I never thought he would live a day after I found him on the ground with his dead sibling after a thunderstorm let alone grow to thrive and and be accepted by wild doves.

My favorite thing? RG flies in every evening for happy hour with me. I take a glass of wine out to where I feed the doves and he swoops in to join me for a few precious minutes...sometimes he is there waiting for me if I'm late coming out to the garden.

He will sit in my lap for some neck scritches or on my shoulder just to rest. He will usually hop on my head to preen my hair before flying off for the evening. It moves me to tears that he chooses to do these things...sometimes with his pals looking on from a distance. When they fly in closer, I leave RG to his friends so they can fill up on food and water before dark.

I don't know if RG will migrate out for winter or stay. I guess we'll see. I love this little bird so much.

October 4, 2021

I know a woman who is not vaccinated against Covid.

Her husband has just been diagnosed with Covid. He's in their home and quite sick as I understand it. He's been staying in the basement while he has been ill. This woman is a technician in respiratory therapy and is apparently at work today per the text that she just sent to a mutual friend. The friend texted me and wondered if this should be reported? The woman in question is leaving her current position at a hospital 45 minutes away for a job here in town. I don't know which facility she's working in at the moment. I didn't think these people could still shock me but I'm pretty upset by this.

My gawd...my vaccinated kiddo woke up with a scratchy throat and I kept him home from school today as a precaution. What the hell is wrong with these people?

ETA: My friend who told me about this woman being at work and being a close contact is going to try to extract where this person is working so we can report it.

September 28, 2021

I got an email warning from my identity theft insurance

that my email address and possibly the password were found on the dark web as a result of the Anonymous hack of Epik.com. I have no clue how my email could have landed at Epik of all places. I changed my password as soon as I got this news. I have have freezes on all my credit reports and will watch them too as a precaution. I'm curious if anyone else has gotten a message like this?

September 22, 2021

One of my employees likely has Covid. UPDATED

He shows up for work yesterday and tells my husband that his wife is positive and has had symptoms for around 5 days. That means that she had symptoms at the end of last week when he was at work with us. He told my husband that he’s had a runny nose and a slight cough through the weekend. I am SO freaking mad.

The wife apparently got one vaccine but regretted it and did not get the second shot. I believe this guy is unvaccinated. By law I’m not allowed to require employees to have vaccines nor am I allowed to even ask if they’re vaccinated thanks to our thug Governor. Everyone else at our business is vaccinated because we’ve all happily shared that fact.

The good news is that we’ve got lots of personal space around each of us and none of us have spent any significant time in Mr. Covid’s work area. My husband and our other employee work in a separate building and I have a private office away from all of them. Our par time employee hasn’t been in the shop for two weeks so he’s safe. The local health department told me that none of us can be a close contact of a close contact. I’m not worried that any of us will become sick.

We sent the employee home for the required 10 days. That’s 10 days of quarantine IF his wife self isolates. If she does not, his quarantine should actually begin when hers ends. We obviously cannot control what they do at home…we can only hope they’re telling us the truth.

Here’s my dilemma: Do I pay this guy to stay home? Last spring, we had another employee whose spouse became very sick with Covid. At that time, we had an active PPP loan and we paid that employee to stay home and quarantine. The PPP program has run out and we no longer have those funds available to us. There’s a part of me that wants to incentivize this employee to do the right thing. But, he hasn’t done the right thing so far. On the other hand, I don’t want to reward his willful ignorance and defiance about the vaccine and the disease by paying him while he is home. He put us in potential danger. The fact is, he’s costing us a ton of money by being out of the shop… We can’t fill orders and are really over a barrel until he gets back. I have a part time employee who is going to come in and help us out here and there which is wonderful. I want to do the right thing and I don’t know what to do.

UPDATE: I just found out I can pay this guy up to 80 hours of lost wages due to Covid-19 through September 30th via the ARPA National Paid Leave program. So, my un-vaccinated employee gets 7 days of paid leave courtesy of the US tax payers. Problem solved. It pisses me off, however that he gets rewarded by a system that he clearly disrespects. At least the funds don't come out of my pocket...well they do but I'll get a refund in a couple months.

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Montana
Home country: USA
Member since: Mon Oct 31, 2016, 02:23 PM
Number of posts: 23,568
Latest Discussions»MontanaMama's Journal