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Friday, February 17, 2012

Size Does Matter! Post #9

Too short, no mail!
And the mail continues to be an issue. I find this pretty amusing. The first day we had our new mailbox up, we received one piece of paper in the box. It was a notice from the mailman. Our box is too short! Frank used an existing post (how nice of someone to leave it behind!) and mounted our box on it. But the mailman says all boxes must be the same height. We now have a post office box - at least for the next six months. Frank will wait for Lance to help him tackle burying a post at the right height.

We're taking all kinds of measures to cut costs. Living on a fixed income is a strange phrase - unless you're a salesman who receives varied amounts of commission or in a field where royalties are part of your income, aren't most people living on a fixed income? We've always been on a budget. For years, I've been able to tell you exactly how much we spent in any given month on food, gas, utilities, clothes, hair, fun and several other categories. The only difference is now we have much less to spend. The other difference is that Frank is taking a more active part.

Frank found the Safeway Store site. Safeway is the big grocery store in Chino Valley. He plans to do some price comparisons to see if it's worth the gas to drive into Prescott Valley to go to Fry's. Fry's is usually touted as the store with lower prices. The Safeway site lists all their specials and has coupons you can print off.

I've been paying attention to gas prices. This never concerned me before. A penny or two from one station to the next - who cared? Now I care. The best price I saw yesterday was $3.43 at the Safeway Store gas station. A few blocks down the road it was $3.68. Plus, both Safeway and Fry's give cents off their gas with each shopping trip.

Another cost issue is health insurance. Frank has the VA. They are wonderful! I dropped my insurance and am now taking advantage of my Native American heritage. This will save us about $500 a month.

I am a member of the Choctaw Nation. I'm actually Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee. But my great grandparents chose Choctaw for registration. Because I am a direct blood descendant of someone on the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory (commonly called the Dawes Commission Roll), I am eligible to receive medical care at the Indian Hospital in Phoenix. Between the years of 1898 and 1906, Indians that registered their families secured some benefits for their ancestors. Thank you, Great Grandpa and Grandma!

As I understand it, most doctors at the hospital are working off medical loans or are doing stints for other reasons. My first visit yesterday was with a dermatologist. I have to be seen every three months because of the melanoma I had removed last October in Minnesota. I learned a bit about him as well as how the system works. We had a rousing political discussion in regards to the state of health care and the political climate. There have been many cutbacks with the Indian health care system and there are rumored to be more. He doesn't have his own office, a nurse or a secretary. He typed all my info into the system as we talked. He skirted the normal appointment procedure to ensure I get my visit in three month. I liked him (even if we are not politically aligned). He's in his thirties and I breathed easier when he told me he has another three years at the hospital. My mother has a friend who's only medical care is at the Indian hospital and she has nothing but positive words. Here's hoping my experiences with clinic care will be as good.
On the way to Flagstaff

We celebrated Lance's birthday by taking him and Christie to dinner in Flagstaff. We joked it would probably be the last time at the Outback but it may be more truth than joke. Had a great time as always. Looking forward to their move here next month. Maybe we'll be adapted to our new surroundings just in time to get adapted to sharing the space!

16 comments:

  1. I learned something new about you. If you had ever shared your past heritage with us, please accept my apologies for not remembering. Glad to hear you like your doctor. As for the mailbox, have you looked at that picture? The mailboxes of are all different levels. They aren't all at the same height. I think they're picking on you - OR - they just want to see your beautiful smile walk through the post office door. ;^)

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    1. Who knows if I'd ever mentioned it, Jody. And as for the mailboxes - they are kind of helter skelter but that shortest one is ours. I guess there is some magic height we came under!

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  2. Interesting post, as always. Too bad about the height-challenged mailbox.

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  3. And so the adventure continues. It never ceases to amaze me, the picayune things that crop up to annoy us. What? The postman drives a Greyhound bus and can't reach the mailbox that's three inches shorter? If he can put a note in the box, he can put mail in there. LOL - I love railing against injustice. So interesting about your heritage. Are the docs who work at the hospital of native heritage too? I'll be interested in hearing more stories about your opposing view doctor in the future! Thanks for the great story--I always look forward to it!

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    1. I saw the mailman - drives a green jeep with "mail truck" on the side. But yeah, what's the big deal? As Jody pointed out, they aren't very uniform anyway. Nothing in Paulden is uniform so who knows what his thing is? At the hospital, all the office staff I've seen are Native American. I've only visually seen two doctors - one Caucasian and one of oriental descent. Then there are military staff of various heritages. My sister has seen one oriental doctor and one nurse practitioner who she thought might be Native American. It's a real mixture when you take in the patients - almost fun to go to the doctor.

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  4. We have Safeway in Tahoe. Go online and you can create an account and get great cutless coupons and just for you specials. My thrifty tip for the day!

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    1. Thanks, Jannine. I told Frank and he said he hadn't created an account. I added that to his to do list which he just loves!

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  5. Thank goodness for the Indian Health Care. We can't retire because of my health costs- $20,000/yr!! Dennis has Medicare, which is absolutely wonderful. Had to chuckle about Frank's "short" mailbox. Just because he's shorter than everyone doesn't mean his mailbox can be!! Just saying...lol.

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    1. Ugh, Karen. Bummer for you. And when Frank got nailed for putting up a short mailbox, well, yes, I did have that thought. LOL

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  6. I think it's very amusing that Native Americans get free health care, but other American citizens don't. Why aren't you all rioting in the streets!

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    1. ALL Native Americans don't get free health care. In AZ it is limited to the ones whose relatives registered during that short 8 year period and do not have other health care options. When I lived in Minnesota, there was no such thing for me. Some of the tribes took care of their own but not the same system as here. It's actually very spotty.

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    2. Hi, Brenda--
      I have no Indian blood in me except when I'm pregnant, but I go way back with IHS. I gave birth to 3 babies at the IHS clinic on Standing Rock. Back in the '70's the spouses of enrolled Indians could use the clinic for all services, but that changed sometime in the '80's. I believe you can still get pre-natal and postpartum with an Indian child up to a year. Our children are enrolled, but eligibility requirements have changed for enrolled Indians as well, and even though there is IHS in Minneapolis, it's income based. Indian people who are enrolled--for the Lakota the blood quantum is one-fourth--should be provided with medical care because it's a treaty right. But we all know how little those treaties mean. It's been one legal battle after another. You are fortunate, but you should know that it isn't just your long-ago ancestors who secured your care--although, clearly, they got a better deal for their descendants than many others did. During the last half of the 20th century and into the 21st Indian people have fought for their rights in court. Without their efforts, the Termination and Relocation policy of the 50's and 60's would have finished off what was left of tribal lands, closed tribal rolls and and negated treaties. Quite the travesty, and so few Americans really know about it.

      Those of us who do need to shout it from the rooftops and write write write. We need to let people know that American Indians aren't getting anything for free. They have paid dearly, and the return has been meager. So keep blogging and writing and shouting from the rooftops, Brenda. If you're living in Indian Country, you know the real score.

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    3. Kathleen, you are a wealth of information. I didn't know about some of this. I know when my sister lived in MN, she tried to get set up but maybe she didn't understand the system. Or made too much even though she didn't have insurance. I'm going to have to read about the Termination and Relocation policy. I do know Indians have had to fight for existing treaties. I'm glad the Choctaw requirement is bloodline without regards to percentage. I don't live in Indian Country. If I moved to Oklahoma, I would have access to more. Speaking of which, it is on my bucket list to walk the Trail of Tears one day which my ancestors experienced. Thanks for your information. And I will try to help others to understand Indians do not get anything for free.

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  7. hi there!! fun to read your continuing adventures --still sad you left MN....but the place sounds very cool....have Frank put a block on top of the mailbox post, then the box....the postman's comment is surreal that they have to be the same height, in the evidence of your photo!! and by the by we are Verizon, too!!!! give a call ....Marilyn

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    1. Cool, you're Verizon! Thanks for commenting.

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