Friday, October 2, 2015

A Friday Chat ( about this & that )

Hi !
Come in, come in, it's starting to get cooler now in Montreal ( have you noticed - since you're standing at my door LOL ? )

So when we last left off I mentioned that we were going to spend the day walking around Old Montreal.

Which we did....................we walked a lot actually.
And then we stopped at a restaurant ( with a heated terrace ) and had Fish & Ships..............
I'm not joking - that's what the menu read - which is kind of cute considering we were down at the Old Port.
Fish and Chips apparently does not translate well from English to French.
I mentioned it to the waitress who had no idea what I was talking about - she truly thought it was called fish and ships LMHO !

Then we strolled down to the water and lo and behold I noticed something new down there.
An urban zip line !!!

Suzan says - Oh WOW !  Look what they have !
John says - I've never noticed that before
Suzan says- It must be new - wanna go up with me?
John says - Are you crazy?
Suzan says - C'mon it'll be a blast
John says - I'm not going up on that thing !

Here's the official ad for it

Suzan says- Oh my gosh - I'd love to try that !
John says - NO - you're not going up there


As I started walking towards it .............
John followed me into the booth -

John says - You really are crazy -
John says - Oh my God - you have to sign a waver....................that can't be good

But I was already zip signing away as he stood there shaking his head.

To be honest with you the hardest part was walking up all those stairs - but holy cow - I WENT ON THE ZIP LINE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you think I could talk John into this one ???

As I was sailing through the air with the greatest of ease I thought - Wow - I wonder what parachuting would be like?
I've officially got 3 1/2 years to prepare myself for the big one - parachuting on my 60th - I think I'm going to do it guys !!!
The thought that I'll be 60 before I know it is far more surreal to me than jumping out of a plane, let me tell you !

Well now anything else seems boring to talk about lol....................let's see.
Evan is doing wonderfully - I don't know if I ever mentioned this but here in Canada Ashley gets to stay home with him for a year on maternity leave - and his Dad gets 6 weeks paternity's truly a wonderful thing ( they didn't have that when my kids were born ) and allows for such bonding.  I don't think of it anymore because it just is - but every now and then the thought crosses my mind - that of all the things our government allows for - this may be one of the most important ones.
Well that and health care. ( I'm not a lover of our government - at all - but these things are 2 of the things they do right )
And now I want to ask you guys something .............because according to google analytics 95% of you are Americans...............why is there such conflict over national health care in the States?
I'm asking because I truly don't understand.
Do most families have insurance to combat medical costs?  Is the insurance affordable?
What about the families that can't afford it?  Are they seen for free?
I truly DO want to be educated on this !
We didn't always have it - I remember my Mother paying for doctor's visits when I was younger - there's an interesting read HERE on how the Doctors and Insurance companies tried to fight it.

I was outside yesterday scraping windows in the front.................we still have more shutters to install - and 2
ladies were walking by................they were chatting in French and I was concentrating on what I was doing so didn't realize they were talking to me until one of them yelled

" MADAME ! "

Wow - that's the first time I've received a compliment on the OUTSIDE of this place
It's far from magnificent - but it bolstered my spirits a little.- I could have zip lined without a zip cord LOL

My computer died's been driving me insane ( so slow it's ridiculous - I don't even know how I blog on it ) my SIL came over yesterday and gave it an emergency operation and it's working again - but barely  so I'm now officially on the lookout for a new one.  Any recommendations ?

Chris de Burgh...............
A lot of you didn't know who he was !
( Hazel/Laura/Ethel - he's huge in Europe and Canada ! )
I haven't seen a show that incredible in many many years .................holy moly - it was " magnifique " !

Apparently he's most famous for " Lady in Red " ( he actually came down from the audience and danced with some of the ladies dressed in red while he sang it - so I SHOULD have worn a red dress ) but here in Montreal I'd say his most famous song is " Spanish Train ".................from the 70's - ( God and the Devil playing poker )


John just made me a cup of tea...................and brought it upstairs to the office for me.
Normally once I'm finished the tea I go downstairs - get a rag - and clean the stairs because he inevitably spills it on his way up.
( it's a small price for having tea brought to me )
This morning he dropped the entire container of milk on the kitchen floor - so a mop will be in order
( that's a huge price for having tea brought up to me )

So I'm off to wash floors.....................and back to working outside
It's cold - oh my gosh - it's cold here the last couple of days ................I'm amazed that the leaves haven't started turning colors yet..............if I were a leaf I'd be orange by now let me tell you !

Have a wonderful weekend everyone -
Love you all to the moon..................


  1. Good morning, Suzan. I am back to blogging and visiting and it feels good. I have missed your zany posts. Congrats on the zip line! Poor John-they just don't "get" so many things, do they? lol
    I could write a book on the health care system and I will email you in a bit with what I know about it from a health-care standpoint. It is wonderful that they can stay home with a new baby for that amount of time! Wow!!!!
    Have a good weekend. Lots going on here-as always. xo Diana

    1. Welcome back Diana !!!
      Maybe that should be your next book Lady Di LOL ???

  2. I hope you share as well the comments on health care from the American perspective. I once sat at an outdoor restaurant in Florida and listened to a woman who was terrified that the Democrats would win the election ( it was quite a few years ago) because they wanted universal health care. She was so disgusted with the concept that she almost spit. On the other hand, we also spoke last year with a struggling single mom who was working several jobs waitressing in West Virginnia who opposed it because she was trying to make ends meet with her jobs and support her day care age son.... she saw it as another tax. She seemed to believe that without being forced to pay for medical insurance she could have done other things with the money.... I don't get it either.

    1. I think I'd be more terrified of medical costs as a single parent than a tax - especially since it's so minimal ! It's all what you're used to I suppose..............I hear a lot of people opposing it - but I also hear a lot of people for it. Ours is pretty good but I think in Europe it's even better ! Anyway - our maternity and paternity leave are pretty incredible !

  3. Hi! To answer your question about health insurance in the states, I don't know about anyone else but my employer pays 50% of my health insurance so I am left with about $450.00 per month out of pocket. I still have a deductible I have to meet for large medical expenses and even then I am responsible for about 20% of the total cost. I also have to pay a co-pay of $25.00-$50.00 for each Doctor office visit and a co-pay for prescription drugs. By the way, this is only medical and does not cover vision or dental. I don't know why other Americans are upset about government healthcare. It hasn't helped me but it hasn't cost me anymore either.

    1. Thanks Diane - I had no idea that employers contributed to it so that clarifies my confusion a little - thanks so much!
      450.00 a month still sounds hefty to me though - especially if there's a deductible AND you have to pay 20% of the total cost - that can be huge if it's a big medical emergency, right?
      We have to pay our own dental - children are free until a certain age ( can't remember now but it might be 8 ).

  4. Hi Suzan,
    Congrats on the zip line. I bet that was a real rush. You go girl! OMG about our health care in the US!!!! I think Diana said she will email you on it. It is so costly here. Terry and I pay out 1600 dollars a month for our benefits so with him not working it is so costly for us. Ours is good insurance not the best and it cost the two of us that much to be insured. People with out health care get benefits through medicaid but it is not good and we all pay for that as tax payers. So it is a mess here and the cost of things is so high here. To go to a doctor, meds etc. I know of people that have lost everything because they had cancer and their insurance benefits maxed out and they had to sell everything to pay off the medical bills. So all in all it is not a good system here. Lots more to it but I will take up all your comment space lol! Happy Friday. Have a great week end.

    1. Oh Kris - that is an unbelievable amount to pay - I can't believe what I'm seeing here - 1600 dollars a month????
      I know people ( Sarah Palin included as she once stated ) that live close to our border come here to get their meds which are apparently cheaper - but I had no idea insurance was that high - I don't think we could afford an expense like that !!!
      Thanks so much for sharing - hope you have a wonderful weekend too

  5. What a brave woman you are! I don't think I could ever do that, not because I'm scared of heights, I just never trust the companies that run those things or carnival rides, etc. I wish America would adopt that maternity leave policy. Not for myself but for my daughter later on (much later on I hope). American's don't completely understand the new healthcare system. Before the new healthcare program, if you were uninsured and needed medical attention many people just showed up at the emergency room for minor treatment because they couldn't turn you away. Puts a huge burden on the hospitals. I don't know much about it because I've always had health insurance through employment. It's a mess quite frankly and I don't know who or how they can fix it. So I won't say much more. I'm sure there are many of your readers with a much deeper insight then me! What a lovely compliment from the two ladies walking past your home! It's getting cold in the Chicagoland area too! I'm going to miss the warm summer.

    1. Well Debbie - thank God I read your comment AFTER I went on that thing LMHO - I never thought of the people that run it !
      I didn't realize you could just show up at a hospital and not be turned away - at least there's that ! I didn't realize insurance was so expensive in the States - see Kris's ( Junk Chic Cottage ) above's comment.
      It's been soooo cold here the last couple of nights - great for sleeping and THAT'S IT - that's the only good thing about it LOL. I'm going to miss summer dreadfully this year ( winter seems to get harder every year - don't you think? ) Have a wonderful weekend

  6. I can't help you on the health-care thing, because we have Jim's military insurance ~ very different than what most here in the US have.
    I will say that I believe many here are afraid of national health care (Obama's Affordable Care Act) because it seems "socialist" to them, and that doesn't go over here in capitalistic USA. Maybe that is an oversimplification, but then there is nothing wrong that, either!
    I would love to see maternal and paternal leaves here like you guys have ~ I worked with so many younger women that had to go right back to work. So true on the bonding thing...

    Congrats on getting the compliment about your house front! See ~ you SHOULD show us all a picture!!

    Hugs ~

    1. Well I can tell you this Bobbie - I think you treat your vets with far more respect than we do here in's shameful really how some of them have to fight for their benefits here.
      As for society helping everyone ( socialism ) a little of it goes a long long's not communism LOL !
      We're not a socialist country - but we do have socialism aspects I suppose ( all I can think of is health care but there's probably more - it's Friday and I'm tired LOL )
      I think they were talking about the shutters Bobbie - most certainly not about the front of the house!
      Have a happy weekend xox

    2. Oh Susan our vets here are treated horribly when it comes to their health and benefits. I know this because my husband is a disabled vet. He suffered for 21/2 years with hip pain going from walking with pain to crutches to not being able to dress himself or get in and out of bed by himself. The VA was not finding out what was wrong with him, one Dr. even told him the pain was all in his head. Finally we went to a private Dr. and his first visit discovered he needed both hips replaced. It is wonderful to have him up and walking again, I am just so angry he had to suffer for so long.

    3. Also I forgot to mention we have to drive 3 - 4 hrs. to Los Angeles VA Dr. appointments and 3-4 hrs. back home if traffic is good, longer if not.

  7. Suzan, the problem with Obamacare is that it duplicates health care for the needy (they already have Medicaid available) and creates a costly mess for everyone else. If they want to really help people, they could've put in a system that covered everyone for the basics and the traumatic care (such as cancer) and let people pay for supplemental insurance for other needs. Basically we in the U.S. are paying more for our insurance (about 20% more) to pay for very little benefits for others. The real joke is Medicare, which everyone who reaches 65 has to go on. One still has to carry the insurance you already carried, plus pay an extra $114.00 per month for part B because Medicare A covers only hospitalization. Part B helps with doctor's visits. And, Medicare goes first so you can't even use your medical insurance (but still have to carry) because your own insurance can't pay for anything that Medicare pays for. And, the real rub is, Doctors do not want you as a patient if you are on Medicare! Why? Because Medicare only pays a small part of what the doctors charge so they don't want you as a patient. An example: If my husband was 64 and not eligible for Medicare, our high quality insurance we and our employer pay monthly for would have paid for his laser eye surgery for cataracts. Because he's required to be on Medicare, he had to pay out of pocket $1600 per eye...yes, $3200 for both! Just remember that nothing is free here. There is always a gotcha with our programs. Medicare is a tax on the worker his whole lifetime. But, our country gives it away free to people in this country who don't work. It is not sustainable and only really benefits the insurance companies who continue to get paid for medical insurance, but do not have to provide hardly any coverage for the insured person.

    1. Wow - this is far more complicated than I thought - for some reason I thought once you reached 65.00 medicare covered everything ! 3200 for eye surgery out of pocket seems absurd when you have insurance -
      The hospitals are government run here - so doctors basically earn the same amount - there's no gouging ( is that the right word? ) One doctor cannot charge 10 times more than another doctor. There's people that aren't crazy about our system apparently but I've never met one - everyone I know is very grateful for the system ( we may grumble at times because it can take 2 weeks sometimes more for a doctor's appointment but personally that's a small price to pay for me ) Where our system needs help ( badly ) is with our emergency rooms - they're horrible to be honest with you - you can sit there for hours and hours and hours...............
      Thanks for the information !

  8. You're one Brave lady or a nutty one, not sure which, for going on a Zip-Line.
    No way on God's green earth would you catch me on one. I like my feet planted above ground and not below.
    Have an enjoyable weekend and happy painting.

    1. Not bad for someone who's afraid of their own shadow basically, right???
      Don't put a mouse in front of me.................but sailing through the air was incredible !
      Happy weekend to you too!

  9. I read with interest all these comments. The AFHCA has been very good for us. My husband was in a terrible car wreck years ago, and he received a settlement in the form of an annuity which will pay as long as he lives. It is tax free. Therefore, his declarable income is so low that he is eligible for a supplement which means he has really good insurance for about $116 per month. A lot of our neighbors have been downright ugly about it, claiming that "they" are paying for his insurance! It is astonishing the ignorance and selfishness of people who do not understand how the whole thing works. One clarification: people can't just show up at a hospital and get treated. If they show up at a private emergency room, which means at a "for profit" hospital, they will get triaged, stabilized, and then sent off to a public facility where indigents are treated. A hospital is a business just like any other, and they will go broke or the standard of care will suffer if they don't make sure somebody is paying. Many doctors will not take medicaid patients (or medicare ones either, anymore) because they are not getting reimbursed for their services or the reimbursement is so small that they cannot operate any more if they do. The whole Obama care thing has two sides, and many people have been helped, but many others have been hurt. I do not know what the answer is. A national health system seems like a good idea to me, such as the parental leave you mentioned, but we have heard on this side of the border that people in your country and Europe die while waiting for treatment.

    On a lighter note, you are a braver woman than I to do that Zip-line!

    1. First of all I'm so sorry to read about your husband - hope he's ok.
      I have a friend in Wisconsin who's now paying 800 a month - half of what she paid before AFHCA and she's thrilled
      I have other friends who seem to be paying more - I don't get. At. All.
      I think that " people die waiting for treatment " is propaganda - I really do - once during one of your elections there was a commercial of a lady ( on an American network ) - saying that she almost died waiting for an operation and had to go to the States to save her later came out that she was paid to do it - as in an actress.
      I had a breast reduction - my doctor scheduled me for 30 days after Mother's was scheduled 2 weeks after.
      I'm sure there are cases where the wait is longer but not if you have cancer - or not that I know of anyway.
      You know each side of the border has their horror stories - on this side we hear of people that die because they didn't have insurance - or went bankrupt because of an illness - I think it's each side trying to prove to itself that they're doing it the right way -
      Somewhere in the middle would probably be just about perfect.
      I'm glad your story has a happy ending though !
      Thanks for enlightening me !

    2. No -- thank YOU. I didn't realize that each side was telling such tales about the other.

    3. Like children - standing on the other side of a line ( quite literally ) pointing fingers LOL !!!

  10. I had a Dr from Canada years ago. He said that he would soon be going back to Canada because he was tired of all of the unnecessary surgeries that are done here in the states.
    I would love to have national health care. My husband retired and we live totally off his Social Security, which isn't a huge amount but is plenty for us. In our state we opted out of "Obamacare" (which nobody understands anyway) so although we are below the poverty level our Medicaid requirements don't include income levels like states that have it do. Which means, I am screwed if anything happens to me. We aren't required to have insurance because the gov realizes we can't afford it but that also means we DON'T make enough to get help. Yep, you read that right. :/ My husband on the other hand gets free health care, dental, etc because he is on the American Indian Tribal Roll. He is only 1/64th but his "tribe" only requires that you have an ancestor on the 1923 tribal roll.

    1. Oh my gosh Nancy - that's so scary - not being covered at all.
      On a lighter note I was thinking I could never move to the States because of health care - but I'm 1/64th Cree ( or Algonquin ) - omg - does that mean I'd be covered LMHO???
      I wonder if there'll ever be national health care in the States - seems to me it's a natural progression ( we didn't always have it here in Canada - I distinctly remember my Mother opening her wallet to pay for Doctor's visits )
      And I just thought of something else............I don't think Doctor's make house calls anymore and that's another memory I have - the Doctor coming to the house...........maybe they still do that in the States?

  11. I saw Chris de Burg live in Halifax fax when I was in my early 20's, so that was over 30 yrs ago! OMG I bet you had a great time! Luba was his opening act, I still love her. Yes, c'est magnifique indeed! It is cold here today and still raining. The tropical storm that hit Weds overnight caused water damage to drywall in new addition. So all that on the storm side had to be replaced along with insulation and vapour barier, both up and down. Two steps forward, one back is how it goes here. Hoping it is completed before Christmas! Have a lovely weekend. We are hoping Joachim goes out to sea and misses us! xo Patty

    1. Oh Patty - this was the best one yet - I swear to you - ( I've been to all his shows )
      He has a new song out - The hands of man - made me cry
      These are the hands that build cathedrals
      These are the hands that feed the world
      These are the hands that kill the ones we heal
      These are the hands of man
      You tube it - it's just beautiful ..............
      OH NO - not your newly done dry wall - well if that's not the worst gone Joachim !
      You try to have a nice weekend too.............TRY -
      I'm doing the front door tomorrow - John's putting up the second set of shutters ( doing one set a week may well bring us into Christmas also LOL )

  12. I'll go on the zip line with you, Suze! Skydiving, too! It's so much fun! I love your enthusiasm and spontaneity. What a fun day you had. xoxo, T.

    1. Hazel/Laura/Ethel - do you have an email address where I can drop you a line - you're a no reply blogger !!!
      You can send me it via my email

  13. You are braver than me. I really wanted to go on the one at Whistler when I was in Canada a few years ago. I have a good insurance policy as I pay for Advantage - so far so good.
    Have a great weekend.

  14. I soooo want to go zip lining. I went parasailing in the Bahamas 25 years ago and loved, loved, loved it. If I had been with you, I would have been in front of you in line t go zipping. I know a lady on line in Belize and they have zip lining there and if I ever go visit, she promised to take me LOL. I am 76, so better get it done in the near future. As for the insurance in the USA, I have no idea how it works. But I was without insurance for about 3 years. When I went to the doctor, I paid for the visit and then I got insurance and was surprised that they charged the insurance co more than me w/o insurance. My daughter who worked for a doc said it was because the insurance companies would only pay so much, so they had to charge more so they could get paid what they would normally charge. Anyway, people without insurance go to the hospital all the time and treat it like a doctor's office. The (not for profit) hospital will treat them and the people with insurance are the ones who end up paying for them. That is one reason so many U S citizens recent the illegals. If congress had not been embezzling from Medicare and Medicare for the last 50 years, there would be plenty of money for us (seniors) to have free medical care and a decent monthly payment to live on. I did read that if you are using Obama care and you get breast cancer at age of 76 and above, it will not be covered.

  15. About the treatment of vets — I don't think it's that good, but I'm not a vet and I don't know a vet. I do know that there are problems with that system. First, there are few places where vets can get treatment. Second, there is a tremendous backlog. Third, the military doesn't accept that there are illnesses, mental and physical, that come out of war. When they finally admit it, it is too little and too late. They don't know how to treat it. And, fourth, and there was a fourth, but it left my mind. Oh, well...three is enough, I guess.

    About civilian healthcare — Katie had to sign up for it, but when we found that we would have to pay over $400 a month, we decided to take the penalty, which wasn't much the first year — maybe about $350 (The penalty was dependent on income.). She would get "catastrophic" coverage, which meant a $6000 deductible per year. She only visits her doctor (the county health clinic) about 4 times a years. It didn't make sense. She was working as an adjunct instructor at a community college teaching 3 classes. Because of ACA (affordable care act), her classes were reduced to 2, otherwise, they would have to consider her full-time and give her other benefits. They were not ready to hire her as full-time, so she had to teach another class at another community college. The next year, we tried to get a waver, because it would still cause a hardship to pay that much money a year for essentially no benefits. They lost our paperwork (that was submitted in the same envelope as the application), and it became such a fiasco, we gave up and resolved to pay the penalty again.

    The people who couldn't afford to pay for insurance no way/no how, they were allowed to sign up for Medicaid. The problem is that some (many ?) states opted out of Medicaid. Our state was one of them. It was a political (read Republican, in our state) decisions. So, we didn't even have the option to sigh up Katie for Medicaid.

    I don't know what we would have done. We felt doomed. Luckily, she was hired full-time at the college where she was working. There are so many people who are left out. It is a good idea, but we didn't benefit. And, there are many people who will remain in the situation we were. And, still with no Medicaid coverage, other people will suffer. People go without care until it's too late, so they die earlier. I guess it's the republican's way of sorting it out.

    (Also, this made it an easy out for companies to NOT hire people full-time. They could work them to death by giving them just enough hours so they wouldn't qualify for full-time benefits. So, many companies are taking advantage of this.)

    The republicans fought this law all the way. I think they believe that if you can't afford something as basic as healthcare, you don't get it. Of course, most of us aren't well-off enough to be able to afford the high costs of our care. Even though they fought it the whole way, they didn't come up with any alternative. (The same thing is happening with Planned Parenthood, but that's another can of worms for another time.)

    So, essentially, in our state and many others, people have fallen through the cracks. The poorest don't get healthcare. They get care for acute situations, like gun shots, broken bones, etc. because hospitals can't refuse to care for them, but they don't get preventive care or continuous care, like for the flu, diabetes or hypertension. What a way to live in America!!!

    Through all of this, I had Medicare. It's the only thing that has saved me! Even as Katie is working full-time now and has benefits, for me to be on her healthcare — even with my Medicare coverage — it would cost us about $500 A MONTH! We won't do it.

    Essentially, they system is broken, and since those in Washington, DC have all the healthcare they need, they don't see fit to fix it for the rest of us.

  16. Well, Suzyq, I think I'll pass on the zip-line. I can't even do the rides at the carnival. '-)
    Happy Week!

  17. Congrats on the Zip Line!! So brave and I really want to try it. Maybe in 3.5 years for my big one!
    Health care is a mess down here. My children were upper middle class but didn't have any coverage as they got off of their dad's insurance. They couldn't get 40 hr. per week jobs because the employer then had to put them in as an insured employee. They have all finally gotten full time jobs and benefits but it was a few scary years until they did.
    The people I have talked to with Obama Care have had to pay more out of pocket than what they had before so for them it didn't help.
    We always prayed our kids wouldn't get sick. If they did there was a county hospital to go to. County hospitals for us are good hospitals. No hospital was ever to turn away a patient for lack of insurance. So why did we need a health care system?
    Those of us that were insured had to pay more for services to offset those that couldn't pay. So in effect we already paid a health care tax.
    I've never understood. It's a mess.
    Thanks for asking though. ;)

  18. Kudos to you for going on that scenic zip line Suzan. I don't know, I've done zip lines but that one kinda scares me. Sky diving at 60 - You Go Girl!
    I'm not a fan of our government either, but I agree with you 100% that they got it right on our maternity & paternity leave benefits. I can't imagine my daughter going back to work right now at six months - Westin still needs his Mommy.
    I'm so glad you posed the question about the US health care system - I don't understand the opposition for a universal health care system either. After reading some of the comments here, I'm even more confused. I can't imagine paying those kinds of $$$ for health care insurance. We are so lucky here in Canada. Can you imagine how much our daughter's would be paying right now if they had given birth to our grandson's in the US!
    On a lighter note, glad you enjoyed the Chris deBurgh concert. I am probably one of few Canadians who was/is not a fan of his music.

    1. Thanks Marie - that zip line was absolutely amazing !
      He put on one of the best concerts I've seen in the last 10 years - it was really just spectacular !
      About our health care - I'm so happy that Evan gets to be with Ashley for a year's truly a blessing !


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