Tomorrow We Find Out

Tomorrow we find out how much Obamacare is going to cost us.  It’s got me quite anxious.  It is already a burden, financially, to pay for the coverage Elizabethe and I have.  I hate to think it might cost us more.

Someone said they are grateful that under Obamacare everyone will have medical insurance.  I’ve read a lot about the topic.  That simply isn’t the case.  If you’re poor, you already qualify for Medicare – that won’t change.  But if the government doesn’t consider you to be “poor”, how is this going to impact you?

Here’s some facts I’ve got off (the official Obamacare site):

  • You must select a coverage from your state’s exchange.
  • If you don’t enroll, then you will pay a fine and you will NOT be covered by insurance. (Nothing new there except the fine.)
  • If you do enroll, and you don’t have enough coverage, you can still rack up medical bills that can financially drive you in to bankruptcy. (Nothing new there.)
  • Pre-existing conditions won’t keep you from getting insurance (that’s good)

The fact of the matter is simply this… until they release the actual costs and what we qualify for, nobody knows how this is going to affect us.  Facing the unknown can always be scary.

Walking on a Sunday in the Grove

I’m really amazed at how many people come to Palmyra and think they can see it all in 1/2 a day.  It took me 3.5 hours to walk the grove today, and I only quit because I had to get home to start dinner.

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Sitting in the Grove


I mostly took pictures to submit to the church and decided to model of for my own pictures.

Towards the end of my walk, I ran in to a few people, but the first 3 hours were pretty quiet.

Sisters Graham and Killen came to dinner tonight.  I fixed a stuffed squash and a egg dish with greens and an apple crisp for dessert.

Design Flaw

I found the reason I keep bending mower blades is that the deck lifter cable had jumped the pulley on the right and the right blade would dig in on corners.  So, with new blades on the deck, I disassembled the pulley, routed the cable over the top, and reinstalled it.  Before I started I made sure the deck would rise and lower evenly.  It did, so I started mowing.

About my 2nd lap around the yard, I had an impression to check the deck.  The left went up when I raised it, but the right side did not raise.

I shut off the power to discover the cable had jumped the pulley again.  Putting on my engineering cap, I tried to figure out how I would re-design this mower to avoid this problem.  I can’t believe that I’m the only one with this Cub Cadet LTX 1042KW that has experienced this.  What the cable lacks is a tensioner.  When the wheels lift the mower deck, the cable can easily slip off and come down between the frame and pulley.  If this were a car, it would be recalled for this design flaw.

I managed to complete the lawn driving very slowly.  (Personally, I think you should be able to drive a mower at full speed without issue.)  But, we live and learn.  I know some of the things to look for the next time I buy a lawn tractor.

House Work Working on the House

After my one and only client today, I changed clothes and started working on the house.  There’s a lot of touch-up painting and patching to do.

Why is it paint never matches?  I know, it fades on the wall, but I never can seem to feather it in to the new paint tone.

Owning an old house I know what paints I won’t re-buy.  First, I won’t purchase Valspar again from Lowes.  It doesn’t cover very well.  It seems watered down.  Second, I won’t buy Sherwin Williams.  The previous owner used Sherwin Williams and its all cracking and peeling.  I have some Bear that was used on another project, and it seems to cover well and I haven’t seen any places painted with it peeling.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a paint guarantee meant they would come, scrape, and repaint for free?

Yeah, I’ve always laughed at paint guarantees.  They’ll give you the same paint if that paint fails in the warranty period.  Why would I want to do that?  Besides, you still have to repaint.  THEY should be the ones that have to repaint it.  Gotta love guarantees like that.  (Some will refund your money.  Hmmmm maybe I should try that with the Valspar from Lowes.  I think I have the receipts from that.)

They finally replaced the blade on the mower deck.

I tell you, it hasn’t been my week for home products.  I’ve had light bulbs with 10 year life burn out after 3 years.  I’ve had premium paint not cover the previous color, and I had to wait a week for a blade that should have been in stock.  (Yes, I went directly to the dealer.)

Looking on the bright side, all these things have given me a bit of a break during the week.  After all, I can’t mow the lawn with out a blade.

Adirondacks with Temple Missionaries

Elizabethe and I went with the temple missionaries to Old Forge.  We drove to Utica where we caught a train up the mountains to Old Forge.  Once there,  some of us took the ski lift to the top of the mountain where we had a wonderful view.

The train ride took about 90 minutes and they had an open baggage car where you could take unobstructed pictures out the open door.

Here’s a few pictures from the day…

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A Train Full of Missionaries
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Elder and Sister Donaldson on the Chair Lift
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Autumn Colors and Rapids
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Autumn Colors
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Lake Behind the Trees

Scheduling 101

Scheduling 101 teaches me that when you have a well planned day things are going to take longer than planned.  It is no wonder why you always wait for the doctor or dentist.   You get a new appreciation for what they go through when you have days like this.

See, it works like this…

You have an appointment at 11:30am, but you need to leave by 11:00am to get there on time.   That appointment ends at 12:30pm, so you scheduled your next appointment for 1:30 allowing yourself an extra 30 minutes.  Oh, but wait, that 30 minutes got gobbled up when you had to talk to someone after your getting out of your 12:30 appointment.  And so on, and so forth…

The day’s gone, and I still have things on my “to do” list.  It’s not like I had extra time on my hands, and I didn’t squander any time.  Things just take longer than planned.

On the other hand, had I given myself an extra 30 minutes between each item I’m sure I would have felt like I had too much time on my hands.

I will admit, there are a lot of items scratched off my “to do” list.  It just feels like there are things I should have worked on but I didn’t have time.

A New Coat for Moroni

I learned today that the Moroni on the temple was replaced.  They swapped him with one that had a new gold leaf coat.  The old one is now going to be re-coated and placed on another temple.  I kind of wish I would have known so I could have covered it for my missionary assignment.  But, I guess it will take some time before all the local members and church departments know what my mission is all about.

Elizabethe and I met our son-in-law, Jason, at his hotel this morning for breakfast.  He’s in Rochester speaking to some retirees about their Medicare options.  He said he got to choose where to meet so he picked Rochester so he could see us.  (Amber picked a choice husband.)  We had a nice conversation before he had to move on to go to his speaking engagement.

In our missionary meeting today my questions about BYU logos and military uniforms were answered.  Yes, I can show BYU logos, but not any non-church college or university.  Yes, I can photograph people in military uniforms.   I know there are going to be some Ute fans that are disappointed, but the church doesn’t own the U’s trademarks because it isn’t a church-owned school.

House Repairs

Today was set aside for some of those little, annoying house repairs.  This meant walking around with a bucket of paint to get those places where something banged against the wall, or where some paint had started to peel.  Then you have those cracks that need a little spackle, sanding and paint.  Light bulbs needed replacing too.

It is amazing how exhausting those little things can get.  And, if you try to do them as you find them, you spend all that preparation time for one little thing.  It’s easier to set aside a day like today to do them.

It is also a time when you discover which paint cans did not get labeled.  You sit there and ask yourself, “Is this the paint for the bedroom?  Or, is it for the downstairs bathroom?”  Of course, the only real way to tell is to shake it up, stir it up, and then go test it.  All of this takes time.

At the end of the day you realize you have to schedule another day to go back after the spackle has cured, and the touch-up paint has dried, only to go over things one more time.

It looks like I will be busy Friday.

Autumn is Here

Autumn is finally here and we have been seeing some change in colors over the last couple of weeks of summer.  I think the colors will peak early this year.  The weather is cooling off, and today was a cool and overcast.

We fed the elders dinner.  I made some new potatoes, roasted salmon and some mixed greens with bacon and white balsamic vinegar.  We had a bunch of bread pieces in the freezer so I made some bread pudding for desert.

I put a poster up in the foyer about my new calling.  I didn’t get many “takers”, but I think people are still getting used to it.  I think I’ll have to make an announcement in priesthood next week.

Hill Cumorah Anniversary

Early this morning, several missionaries met at Hill Cumorah, were shuttled to the Joseph Smith Farm, and walked from the farm to the hill in commemoration of Joseph Smith, Junior, receiving the golden plates.  The large group was escorted by a sheriff deputy who kept us safe from the early morning traffic.

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Hill Cumorah Walk Participants


The story can be found at, but it was in 1823 that Joseph first visited Hill Cumorah under the instruction of a heavenly messenger named Moroni.  We was shown some gold plates with writing on them, but was instructed to return annually to the same location.  In September, 1827, Joseph received the plates and by the gift and power of God translated them to what we now know as The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Today, approximately 50 of us walked the route from the Smith Farm to the Hill Cumorah.

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Atop Hill Cumorah


That was a good workout for the morning.

From there I went to Books Etc. in Macedon where they will be displaying some of my work on the walls.  My work will be on display until November 30th.  There will be an open house on Friday, October 4th, in the evening if anyone wants to stop and see the display.

Elizabethe and I are heading back to the hill to watch a movie about the Book of Mormon tonight.  Perhaps we might see some of you there.