Dear friends. This is goodbye. Not goodbye from the blogging world of course! I have decided to move my blog over to Blogger, I like the looks of it over there better. As for editing, we’ll see. But I have transfered my entire blog over to jessperryfamily.blogspot.com. So, anything you can find here, you can find over there. I will leave this blog up and running for reference, and so you can get to the new blog. So, for now, see you later!
I came up with this for lunch and it was o-so-tasty! So I thought you would enjoy to try it. It was an open-faced tomato sandwich, the closest thing to a bruschetta type I could get. When I made this, I used Tofutti brand cheese (dairy-free), but you can use whatever cheese you would like. It tastes just like real dairy cheese, without the dairy of course. So here it is, enjoy!
Tomato Cheese Sandwich (Open Faced)
1 thick slice homemade white bread (or french would work as well)
1 thick slice of large vine tomato
1 slice of mozzarella cheese (or cheese substitute, Tofutti brand is great)
Toast bread (if desired), place tomato on top of bread and cheese slice on top of that. Microwave just long enough to slightly melt cheese, then let sit to cool again (tastes better if it is cold). Sprinkle garlic salt just to taste, and enough basil to look “pretty”. Healthy treat, and it tastes great!
This would be my third post about Blue Cross, and probably not my last. I checked my online status yesterday, and it looks as though BCBSM has removed my group conversion status, therefore taking away my waiver which means I now still have to wait the 6 months for any pre-existing conditions. This should have never happened to me. My application was stated as received before the end of October, which was well in the time frame for having my waiting period waived, but they have refused to give that to me. So the next next is speaking to the State Representative, and going higher if we have to. This is just ridiculous that they would try to get as much money as they can without paying anything they don’t have to. I don’t believe that BCBS is there to “help the people”. If I had a better choice I would leave the company immediately. I just wish I had more power to do something, to make them pay. I can’t stand this.
So…for those of you who read my post titled “Blue Cross, You’re Evil” this is for you. An update.
Hubby called BCBS today to get his plan switched to the plan that I am working on getting (switching from Flexible Blue to Individual Care Blue) because the ultimate goal was to get our whole family on the same plan instead of two different plans as we have been for years. So he switched. Then I asked about my plan. Apparently my coverage is effective now, as of February 1st (thanks for calling me back Blue Cross lady, and letting me know-oh wait, you didn’t). Since my coverage was effective, I asked that hubby, B and I all be merged together in one family plan, because that is what we were told to do when this whole process started back in October, by a Blue Cross agent. This is what we were told: we cannot merge our plans because we are both on group conversion plans. Hubby was never part of a group plan, so I don’t understand why he has group conversion. I have group conversion, and after the whole mess that we went through I decided to not do a group conversion so I didn’t have to back pay, and just accept the pre-existing conditions waiting period…which has been waived I am told…and the only way to merge our family into one is to cancel both plans and start over (which, would raise our costs, and we would have waiting periods). So to make more sense of all that, basically we will have to pay more out of pocket a year than expected due to being on separate plans STILL, but as far as we were told today my waiting period has been waived, which totally contradicts everything I have been told up to this point. So I guess I won’t complain, unless, that is, if BCBS comes back another time and says “oh wait, that was wrong, we’re not covering THAT” which would make me so very angry, so much more angry than the first mishap that this company had with me. But this is the process up to now. But at least I finally have a contract number, which is something I have not had and have been waiting for for FOUR MONTHS. Can you believe this process took over FOUR MONTHS? Yeah. It did. But that’s all I have to say about that.
On another note, American Idol is not so exciting this year. Last year was great. It’s just not thrilling to watch, and they hardly show any audition at all, it’s just a bunch of recap. I hope the show gets better because last year was really fun to watch, or I just might not be a viewer for a while. There are plenty of shows that could capture my attention…well, if I were to actually watch more tv and find out what those shows were. Books. Books are calling me. Maybe I can get a lot more reading done. It took me three months to read the last book (“The Story We Find Ourselves In” Brian McLaren), and this week I started a new book and hope to finish it soon (“Ms. Understood” Jen Hatmaker). Happy evening time friends.
Earlier this week, James and I decided to try out the HealthMaster food emulsifier from Montel Williams. I have really been wanting a VitaMix blender, but the cost is O-SO-HI, like close to $500 high. Yeah. So we discovered the HealthMaster, and I started to do all sorts of research on it, reading several reviews to decide if it would be worth the cost. It was half the cost of the VitaMix at $199. The only bad reviews I read were from people who had not used the product properly, or who didn’t like the recipes that came with it. Sorry, but a bad recipe doesn’t mean a bad product. Adjust the recipes. Not everyone is going to like everything. So, after much contemplation, we decided to get the blender. At first we tried making a few random things, and it was not going well. I was not impressed. there were chunks in our blended mixes, and the whole thing was just rather difficult to use. I was about ready to give up. Until today.
Today I decided to just use my imagination and come up with some great things. And once I learned how to properly position myself to twist and lock the blender and lid (you will understand if you ever see one) and realize that I needed to add more liquid to the mix, things turned out differently. I made a potato soup for lunch, and then followed up with a wonderful smoothie…the smoothest smoothie I have had in a while : ) So I have posted the recipes below for you to try. One more note about the HealthMaster, it cooks! Now in this recipe I cook the potatoes slightly first to get them softer, but when you put ingredients into this blender for 4-8 minutes, the friction of the blades create heat which then cooks the food. Don’t worry though, it blends so fast that your frozen treats won’t melt (unless you leave them blending for a while). Anyway, here are my wonderful recipes! Enjoy!
3 medium potatoes quartered
1 sweet potato cut in 3 or 4 pieces
1 large carrot chopped
1/2 large onion
2 garlic cloves chopped and crushed
1-2 cups chicken broth
bacon bits (optional)
In a large pot, combine potatoes, sweet potato, onion and garlic with enough water to cover the potatoes. Allow to boil, then cook over medium heat until tender. (I left potato skins on, but peeled the sweet potato once it was soft). After tender, place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor with the chicken broth and most of the water from the pot (can use more or less). Puree everything together (or use food processor or whatever device you have) for about 4 minutes (or longer depending on your machine). Once everything is smooth, add bacon bits, enough for your own taste. (The HealthMaster turned this into a creamy soup without any milk product at all!)
Strawberry Banana Smoothie (with Apple)
1 honeycrisp apple cored
6-8 frozen strawberries
1 large ripe banana
1 1/2-2 cups vanilla soy milk
Mix all ingredients together in a blender on “mix” cycle, then switch to purée until smooth. (The HealthMaster mixed everything so well it was just so creamy smooth and tasty).
I just have to start this post by saying that this post is totally to vent, so if you don’t want to hear someone whining for a bit, you might just want to not read. I am just SO ANGRY lately at BCBCM! And, what is going to frustrate me even more is that my computer cord is broken, the battery is dead, so it is probably going to take me a long time to post this due to the fact that my computer shuts off every time it gets bumped at all. And I already have to take a break from posting, Braedan is having his self a little tantrum. Man.
It has been a few days since I actually started this post, and I am much calmer at the moment. James and I just got back from seeing Avatar, which was AMAZING by the way! I loved every minute of it. Makes you really think. I thought it was a very cool, much more modern twist of Pocahontas meets Fern Gully and add a few millenia. Awesome. But back to my previous version of this post.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield. The anger. So angry. Very angry about their whole company. I lost my insurance as of September 1st due to leaving my job, and so I was going to purchase individual coverage from BCBS. In order to get the 6 month pre-existing condition period waived, you must enroll within 62 days of losing previous coverage (and a few other rules, which I had met all of). So I enrolled at the beginning of October. Their records show that they received my application about October 23rd…well in the correct time frame of getting all that waived. Awesome. So I give it about 6 weeks and keep waiting and calling to find out the status of my application, and every time I called was told that my app was approved that it was just waiting for a contract number now. OK. So I call at the beginning of December, and was told that my contract was active as of November 15th, but that a contract number just had not been generated for me yet…ok, so I was going to have to pay for more than a month of coverage that I could not use? Mind you, I did not even go to the doctor during this time because of no insurance…to save on the bills. No way was I going to pay-but I just waited to see if I would actually be charged for that time. Weeks and weeks go by and still NO WORD from BCBS. So, about 2 weeks ago, beginning of January, I decided to call again just to see what the hold up was. APPARENTLY there were some temps in during the season, and my application was never pushed through. SO we had to start all over again. Very frustrating. The woman on the phone took all my information and resubmitted my application and my biggest question was about the waiver. I had done everything I was supposed to and would have been eligible to have the pre-existing condition waiting period waived, but she was going to call me back after her boss spoke to the underwriters. So goes a few days.
After a few days I receive a call back and this is what I was told. I either had to back pay to September 1st and do overlapping coverage (from when my last coverage ended) or take the date of February 1st and have the waiting period. WHAT?! Your company screws me over with this and you tell me I have to PAY? Excuse me, but I did everything that I was supposed to do. I met all of the eligible criteria, and HAD my application gone through like it SHOULD HAVE because it was already IN THE SYSTEM, there would have been no problem. AND I would have had coverage in November. So I told her no, and that they needed to figure this out. So I waited again. And this is what they said: Instead, I could either take the original date I wanted, November 1st and back-pay or keep the Feb 1st date and still have the waiting period. This is UNACCEPTABLE! How can this company think they can just take someone’s money like that because THEY MESSED UP?! I was so angry. We were so angry we decided to pull our application completely. We were livid! This was after going back and forth and back and forth and they would not budge. How completely unfair is this? This is just unreal. I understand why they chose November 1st, because that’s the date I SHOULD HAVE HAD only IF my application was processed in time. But it wasn’t. And since their company messed up and ruined my time frame, they should have still allowed me to have a waiver. Because now, I am starting all over again, and I don’t get a waiver. If I didn’t need the coverage and could find something better, I would go there. But I can’t, not with all the times we need to go to the doctors and hospital etc. Can you see how I would be so angry? Do I have this right? I think I do. And all I can say to Blue Cross is SCREW YOU!
Ok, I know that wasn’t very nice of me to say. But I am angry. About this whole thing. I’m sorry, but if your company messes up, own up to it. Don’t make the customer have to pay for YOUR mistakes. Now I have a pre-existing condition that I can’t get any help for, and if an emergency arises, I will be out big big big bucks because of this whole mess. I can almost say that I hate Blue Cross. I really can. This is not the first issue we have had with them. But that is my story, this is my complaint, and I feel a little better getting this out, but no amount of words can explain the back and forth frustration we have had with this. I have only touched the surface. Just so angry. And now I must go find something to make myself feel better. And hope that my gallbladder doesn’t burst in the process. Because BCBS isn’t going to pay to fix it. The end.
I had a few ask about the recipe for some o-so-yummy soy no-bakes, so I decided to post it here! I think I will start to post more dairy-free recipes on here for those who either prefer not to have dairy or who (as in my case) have children or family members who cannot have dairy. I have learned to adapt many recipes, and I’m still learning as I go, so here is one of the good ones! Enjoy!
Soy No-Bake Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 stick of margarine (I used a soybean margarine)
1/2 cup peanut butter*
3 tbsps cocoa
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
3 cups quick 1 minute oats
Mix sugar, cocoa, margarine, and soymilk. When it comes to a full rolling boil, boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and mix in all remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfulls onto wax paper or tin foil. Once they are hard they are ready to eat! (Or, as in my case, you can eat them hot straight from the pan!)
* For peanut free cookies use sunbutter instead of peanut butter. It is a sunflower seed substitute, and tastes great. For a nuttier taste overall in your chocolate no-bakes use almond milk instead of regular or soymilk. Makes a whole new taste of a dessert and still yummy!