Tuesday, December 27, 2011


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Well, 31F this morning is better than 24F Sunday morning so we had better consider the very real possibility we have a heat wave rolling through.
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I came across a blog about 8 months ago that caught my eye. I liked this Bloggers no nonsense and realistic understanding of life and I liked her interesting writing style. She is passionate about her beliefs and is not afraid to get her opinions out there.  She gets a fair amount of flak sometimes but I admire her spunk and honesty in dealing with that.
DSC_0084Today we met fellow Blogger Debra Argosy from, FIND AN OUTLET.  Debra is an animal person and has taken in many area stray and mistreated dogs and cats over the years, sometimes at risk to her own safety. A special person indeed:))
Deb & her partner Jim along with furry little Max rolled into the Ranch today about noon.  Deb & Jim are from nearby Bisbee and we had been corresponding by email for awhile.
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We always appreciate meeting down to earth people and we found Deb & Jim just that kind of couple. With our common interests, likes and dislikes, I don’t think any of us took a breath for the whole 5 hours we sat outside on the Ranch house porch enjoying the warm Arizona sun.  We just rolled easily from topic to topic.
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Of special interest to Deb and I were our blogs.  We were able to compare notes, ideas, and feelings.  Deb & I are both people who write how we feel.  I would have to say today’s blog conversation with Deb was the longest conversation I have ever had with a fellow blogger about blogging, which by the way, happens to be one of my favorite topics.  Had we stayed on Darby Wells road longer over near Ajo a few weeks ago I’m sure RV SUE & I would have had some longer talks about our blogging thoughts and ideas as well.
All the best guys & hope to see you down the road again sometime.
In Sunday’s blog I talked about maybe having to change some of our future traveling plans.  There is not a single reason for this, but several.   One of those reasons has to do with medical insurance we Canadians have to purchase before traveling in the States.  I don’t think you folks here in the States have to do that when you travel in Canada but I’m not sure about that. 
For us, whether it be for 6 months or 6 days, if something seriously happens while we are here in America we are basically not covered by our normal insurance which in Ontario is called OHIP.  My additional insurance coverage this year to travel in the States was around $800.  In 07 I had a kidney stone problem in Colorado that my insurance paid for which was around $700.  I was then penalized for having that stone for the following 2 years by having my rates hiked. 

I know for a fact many RV’ers have been stopped in their tracks by high insurance costs & those high premiums have abruptly ended RV travels for many Canadians.  And, many folks cannot even get coverage at all anymore depending on the severity of their illness.  Traveling in the States without insurance is a huge gamble for any Canadian but it is gamble many folks choose to take.  A serious injury or illness far from home can mean instant financial ruin for anyone.  Medical costs are huge and bills have to be paid.  A serious hospital stay or injury can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and with no insurance coverage the individual is on the hook for the entire amount. 
Because of my recent and upcoming medical encounters our insurance company is once again involved.  How much of our as yet small medical costs they will cover remains to be seen.  Remember, we are dealing with an insurance company here and that means their focus is on their profit margin.  One thing is certain, I will once again be penalized for submitting medical bills and my insurance rates will of course escalate next year.  How much at this point remains to be seen.  It could of course become cost prohibitive for us, or depending on future medical findings, coverage could become non existent.  And no, I am not being negative nor am I complaining, I am simply being realistic with my thinking.  But,  not wanting to get ahead of myself too far let me just say I will not be stopped from traveling by some insurance companies profit line!!!!
Here is how and why the realities of travel change may be necessary.  Based partially on the above reasons we may have to consider Georgia or northern Florida as a closer destination to home in the future if for no other reason than plain simple logistics.  At best, we are only a two day drive from the Canadian border and home.  Also a less costly flight taking only a matter of hours could be an important factor.  Friend of mine years ago fell off a ladder in Florida severely breaking a wrist.  No insurance coverage so his wife loaded him up with pain pills and quickly drove him back to Canada where his wrist was operated on several days later under our OHIP coverage at no charge.  Good thing they were not in Arizona or California.
Other reasons influencing our future travel plans are the following…..The bulk of Kelly’s family is in New York, Florida and Ontario.  My only two aging and remaining family members are in Florida and Ontario so these factors combined with others (warmer weather) are all things that we have had under consideration.
So, where would we stay in Florida or Georgia if we decide to pursue that option??  An RV Park….Never!!  Boondocking….not likely because we just don’t feel it’s the way to go there.  How about a small 3 to 5 acre totally private piece of property with a small house or mobile on it in a quiet north western rural part of the State??  Now you know what we have been doing on our computers these past days.
It’s a buyers market out there with a lot of properties on the market at great prices.  I have logged a fair few hours these past days flying over northern Florida properties in my Google Earth plane.  Kelly finds the properties through Real Estate sites and I fly over them to see how close the closet neighbors are and what part of the State the properties are in.  No visible neighbors would be our number 1 priority.
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Anyway, none of these plans are written in stone and my heart remains in the Southwest, but just wanted to share with readers what we are thinking….and why.  If I have anything screwed up about the insurance companies, their policies or medical coverage either in Canada or the States maybe somebody could accurately straighten me out about some of that stuff.  In fact someone just straightened me out about a bird I had misidentified in Sunday’s blog.   It’s a Scaled Quail and not a Gamble’s Quail.  I stand corrected…..again:((
GROANER’S CORNER:((  The patient was lying in bed, still groggy from the effects of the recent operation. His doctor came in, looking very glum.
"I can't be sure what's wrong with you," the doctor said. "I think it's the drinking."
"No problem," the patient said patiently. "I'm sure by tomorrow you'll sober up."

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
BAYFIELD BUNCH PHOTO ALBUMS https://picasaweb.google.com/117858411710794543295
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.


  1. nice to meet a fellow blogger that is on the same wave length as you, Al..would have loved to be a fly on the wall and listened in on your conversation..
    now I am going to have check out her blog too!!
    as for the medical issues?..last summer we submitted a bill for over $1400 for one stitch in my knee when we were in Oregon..it was paid by our extra coverage..now as for our insurance for next year?..we will have to wait and see!..we wish you luck with the upcoming medical things you are going to have to deal with!!

  2. That little Max sure is a cutie !

    As for the future - well, as the saying goes, make the plans, don't plan the results.

  3. I think there are a lot of out-of-the-way places in Florida, as I know several backpackers who have posted pictures of the Florida Trail and it seems to be very beautiful and remote. However, Florida is flat, so I would prefer the mountains in Northeast Georgia, although if you don't like the c*ld and the sn*w words, you wouldn't like NE Georgia in the wintertime!

  4. Always nice meeting a fellow blogger, a great way to spend an afternoon.
    Hope your search for the perfect place goes well.

  5. Boy, do I hear ya about both the weather, and elders back home..We use to go to Florida every year with the kids..It can be damp and cool in the Northern part during winter..We also stayed at some nice corps parks on Lake Okeechobee one August..but..ya gotta make reservations a year ahead if you want to go during Winter. Keep planning..Half the fun of travel is the anticipation. I wish you well with your stone..

  6. Sometimes life has a way of deciding things for us.

  7. Try talking to the financial department of whatever hospital your using. Sometimes you can negotiate the bill or they may be able to provide financial assistance. I've done this in the past and have had good results.

  8. I can't say I enjoy reading Deb's blog because her topics are usually very hard hitting and gritty. But I definitely look forward to reading her blog. She is amazing. I'm sorry you may have to leave the southwest because I know how much you love it. But like Judy said - sometimes life just doesn't let us do what we really want to do. So we adapt and make the best of it. I will look forward to seeing the southeast through your eyes, if that is what you decide to do.

  9. It was great to see Deb on your blog. Yes, she is a straight shooter and a courageous woman. I'm always glad when a new blog post pops up on Google reader.

    I'm curious: do you buy your US coverage from a Canadian insurance company (is there such a thing?) or a US insurance company? I've never quite understood that.

    Between your current medical issues and your virtual explorations of the SE, you're sure keeping busy!

  10. Al, I was sure you had a son and grandchild in addition to the two still remaining family members you mentioned. Do they live in Ontario too?

  11. Al, your link to Deb's blog leads back to this post.


  12. I am from Florida, I really want to recommend Franklin County to you. It gets cold in the winter, about the same as where you are now. BUT, there is only ONE traffic light in the whole county! NO Walmarts or shopping malls! There is Piggly Wiggly and IGA for groceries, both well stocked and the best Mom and Pop run businesses you can imagine! If you like seafood..... hey let me tell ya... Apalachicola and Franklin County is thriving because of the wonderful seafood industry and unbeatable seafood restaurants in the whole state! No chain store restaurants here, ALL Mom and Pop's restaurants! Great friendly folks live there too! We usually winter there, this is our first year in NM! If you want more info, email me. I even know a realtor or two! Grin! Oh, and I forgot to mention it's right on the Gulf of Mexico with the most amazing sugar sand beaches! I am having trouble posting today, this is Geri from www.phunnyfarm.blogspot.com/

  13. travel insurance has to be bought in the country you reside in permanently. (hope that answers that question on the comments).

    Medical expenses are much higher in the US than in Canada. There are far more regulations for doctors and hospitals in Canada with respect to billing (caps on how much you can charge for certain things).
    Having said that, there is no such cap in the US. Which means that IF you have medical insurance the BILL will be higher (deep pocket theory) than if you paid yourself.

    Yes your insurance will go up. Like anything else insurance related once you have a claim the premiums increase. Even a car accident does that right?

    Lots of people opt to pay on their own at the hospital or clinic they visit. When we were in California, my brother broke his ankle. The insurance would have covered it, but my parents opted to strike a cash deal with the clinic instead and only used the insurance for the larger issues we may have encountered (like a plane trip home).
    Insurance is good for the larger issues you may encounter that you can't afford to pay yourself but if you can cut a deal you may be better off in the long run.

    Insurance can get expensive if you have to use it for smaller things.

    On a different scale, alot of brokers stopped selling travel insurance because of the fine print and the lack of knowledge. It also isn't that profitable so not a good product for an insurance broker to bother with selling. (loss ratios are awful).

    Shopping around however can save you some money on your travel insurance but the older you get the more expensive it will be for sure.

    Hope this helps the business side of it?


  14. Is that $800 for one month or the entire time you are here? Is it for just you, or for Kelley as well?

    If it is for the five or six months, is a bargain. Even if it was only four months it would be only $200 per month! If it went up to say $1100, it would be equalivant to having paid $300 for your current problem. It's all in how you look at it.

  15. You social butterfly!
    I still love your blog. We have a cold front passing through and may hit a low of 58 tonight. Still love the small town lifestyle on this island.

  16. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, Franklin County is about 70 percent national forest land and you can boondock for 2 weeks and move on a few miles doen the road... Cash Creek is one of my favorites! Apalachicola National Forest and Tates Hell is a state forest is what makes up most of the county! Geri

  17. I totally know what you mean about medical bills. If the $$ are something you can afford to pay out-of-pocket consider negotiating for a direct payment w/ the hospital (without the insurance). It's always cheaper for the hospital to go direct and they're usually willing to talk. I did this earlier this year for a head injury. The "insurance" bill would have been $1,400. I paid $800 after negotiating for a direct-payment w/ the hospital. The bonus is it won't affect my rates next year.

    As for FL. Don't give up on boondocking there if that's where you decide to go. There are possibilities for dispersed camping in all the FL forests.


  18. Enjoyed your divergent post today. Motormouse's little pal looks like Yoda. Interesting fur. There are lots of things to enjoy about Florida but they will definitely provide different scenary. I enjoyed the Forgotten Coast when I was there last summer. Hope things work out for you. Different isn't always worse--just different.


  19. I loved seeing your photos of Debra, since I have read her blog ever since you first posted it on yours. She writes so eloquently about such important issues yet doesn't share many photos so this was a real treat. Although her recent cemetery photos were amazing. Speaking of photos, that new header shot is breathtaking, Al! Wow

  20. Beautiful and cute dog it is. I like your post.
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