Dentists & Grocery Store Prices, Oh My!


I'm sure you've already figured out we're not having Java Talk today. I had to go out to the dentist early and just got back. Which means I haven't had anything to eat or my COFFEE.

I went in for one tooth, but it was another that was in worse shape. Did you know a crown is $1300 nowadays? 

I have dental insurance, so for one crown my part is over $800. I put down half and will be fitted for it next week. Then it will be the other side for a crown.

Heaven help us with all these things being so expensive these days. I don't know how on earth families manage.


Then I was so exhausted and hungry and anxious over that bill that I didn't want to drive miles to the Walmart. Not to mention it's quite hot and imagine wearing a tall steel boot in this heat. So stopped in at our local supermarket. 

Prices on food now! Did something happen in the last two weeks to drive them up so?



The morning glory is going crazy. I put it through his eye and now every time I see it I kind of get the heebie-jeebies. I know it doesn't hurt. But a poke in one's eye?



Look, look! I brought over some cuttings of my passion vine a few months ago, and now they're coming up. See the five-leafed leave? 


Over at the other house, it was this that went so crazy and up the trees. So I'll have to keep an eye on it.



This makes absolutely no sense to me, but see Charlie? He's obsessed with the bag worms high up in that tree. At least I guess that's what it is. Nothing else there. 

I've told them about them, so I guess whatever happens will happen. You won't see me climbing that tree.



As usual, Abi couldn't care less about bag worms. She just keeps a wary eye on me to make sure I don't get out of pocket.



The chewed up Hyacinth Bean vines are covering Mr. Sun's face. I hope they at least bloom. Whatever is getting to them is a real chomper. 

Okay, I've got a haven't-had-my-coffee headache, so I'm going to get a bowl of cereal and get it started. 






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63 comments

  1. I hate the dental prices too - your crown is more than mine are though. For my old dentist he would charge around around $900 and I paid $400 with insurance, then he retired and I found a new dentist and the amount is $1100 and I have to pay around $520 - $560 depending on the tooth now - I wonder why they vary in price so much - I am in a small town area and you are in a larger city? maybe that is part of it, I do not know but I do not know how people afford dentist if they do not have dental insurance.

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    1. About four years I got one in Tyler, TX and it was around $600 I think. I was sort of shocked when they said it was over $800, and then told me that was just my part! Jeez!

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  2. My husband and I also need dental work done. But even with insurance, it is way, way too much. Then the dentist say how you need to keep your teeth up at least once a year. I don't know how a person can do it!!

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    1. I can't imagine how families do it with children.

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  3. My daughter's braces that she wore for several years in Jr High, well, the teeth moved drastically several years ago. So our regular dentist wound up redoing just the bottoms again. His rates were so much lower. She even said he was much more comfortable t work with than the recommended orthodontist. Wish we would have gone to him in the first place, but we weren't even aware he did them as she'd been seeing another specialist. So don't discount your regular dentist! I have to have cleanings every 3 mths, I am thankful for dental insurance.

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    1. I'm very thankful for dental insurance too. This was a regular dentist A dentist office of all women.

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  4. I have to have a crown put on in September.. Have no idea how much it's going to cost.. I do have dental insurance which I'm thankful for.. Just had a cleaning and my insurance pays for that once a year..
    If I had known that my daughter's teeth were going to move out of shape after she had her braces taken off, I don't think I'd have had her have them at all. She had to have four perfectly good molars pulled before the braces could be put on..
    I see very young children with braces and I think the orthodontists are doing that just for the money.. That's just my opinion.
    Your vines are growing great.. I hope they'll all come back for you next year.,
    Mr. Sun seems to get his face covered wherever he is.
    We're supposed to get some rain tonight.. I sure hope so, because everything is drying up and it's too hot to go out to water.. I may have to do it anyhow.. Don't want to lose my plants..
    Charlotte

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    1. Hot as heck when I was out. I come home and the skies get very dark and it's been raining.

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  5. I firmly believe if you must pay that much, you should be able to wear the crown on your head!!! Sorry you are suffering!

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    1. Shoot, it should be a crown for my head of solid gold!

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  6. love your flower pics!!! angie

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    1. My flowers perk up and smile after it rains. It is thundering now.

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  7. Oh my goodness...your pups are extra cute today!!!!
    You are right, everything today is so expensive! I have cut way down on surfing blog Land, as it is hard for me to remember that I can't have everything I see!!!! Even flea markets, and such are getting more expensive today....when we people who want to buy for our selves, have to compete with people who buy and sell for a living, I find I get priced right out of a lot of good "junk" I am very frugal with what I spend...at least I try!!!!!

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    1. I'm really not all that tempted to buy. Where on earth would I put more stuff?

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  8. Brenda, there is a product called NEEM that is all organic and safe for plants, it is made of garlic - and I just found out about it this year from my youngest daughter - who found out about it from her fiancee - and this stuff is awesome, I have had very little chewing up my garden since I am using it. Highly recommend.

    Sorry about the crowns. Hubs has 6 so I hear ya about expense. /comforts you.

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    1. The ones I'm having to have are replacing old crowns!

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  9. Oh we have two things in common, common crowns and my hate relationship with food prices. I have insurance too, but I had to have a root canal and crown and my part was 600.00 and my dentist was kind enough to break it down to three payments. Normally he never does that, but I guess since I have been with him for 12 years he cut me some slack. Food prices. I eat picnic food, meaning I do not buy alot of meat or fancy foods. I buy lunch meat, pickles, crackers, cottage cheese, grapes, fat free pringles, weight watcher's breakfasts, cereal and milk and my diet coke. I just want to scream like some insane person when I walk out of Walmart. $50.00! And that is for a week, for one 145 pound person. UGGH. I cannot imagine feeding a family of four, well yes I can, I used to do that, but I know darn well prices were high, but this has gotten out of control. My co-worker lives near a 99 cent store and they have a great produce section...so payday, I think I may check that out.

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    1. Oh I have a mouth full of crowns, which were around the price you quoted. I don't have dental insurance so they were a pay as you go sort of thing. Now I have moved to another state and have to find a new dentist, which I dread, but there is one lady I am considering. She is holistic and I want here to remove my silver fillings and replace them with white composite, which is safer. I have no idea what that will cost (4 fillings), not to mention cleanings. But hey, it beats dropping dentures into a glass every night.

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    2. Food bills are insane! My husband, daughter and grandson live with me, and right now we are supporting my daughter and grandson til she can find a job and get back on her feet. I can't even begin to tell you what my food bills are. I also buy a lot of organic, which is a bit more but I don't care, health prevention is very important to me. Organic food is cheaper than being sick. We don't take fancy vacations, we don't gamble, we don't go out that much. So I would rather spend the money on the best quality I can find. And I am sorry to say Brenda, it's not at Walmart. Anything with soy or soy oil, corn or corn oil, canola oil, or standard produce is loaded with pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMO's) that has not been proven to be safe. Don't listen to what the FDA, Monsanto, or any of the Grocery companies (Pepsi, Coca Cola, Kellogs, Qaker) tell you. If it ain't labeled organic, it is full of chemicals, mostly Round-Up. Round-Up has been proven to cause cancer, but the big food companies don't want you to know because it would cost them billions. Sorry for the rant, but everyone has their own crusade and this one is mine. Google around and read the research on the dangers of Round-Up ready crops by Monsanto. Don't mean to be scary, but wouldn't you rather know what you are eating?

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    3. I would have danced in my boot if it had only been $600. Shell shock...

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    4. You got that right. I grew up with my great-grandmother, and when she took her teeth out at night, it was quite a sight.

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    5. Oh, I know what I am eating. But I try not to think about it, because I can barely afford food that is bad for you!

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  10. I feel your pain - physical and financial - over the dental bills. Despite taking excellent care of my teeth, I have bad ones. Seems every time I have my 6-month visit, there's another cavity or crown to be done. This past spring, I had a crown and my first root canal. The crown was about $800 out-of-pocket and the root canal $650ish. Now I have a cavity underneath another crown that needs to be taken care of, plus another crown to be done. I've been putting it off due to dental phobia and the $$. Good thing both my husband and son have good teeth! Yes, grocery prices are insane. We don't eat much meat and I guess that's a good thing, as it's so expensive. When I do buy meat, I buy organic chicken breasts, handmade sausages at the butcher, or grass fed beef. We can afford it since we only eat it once in awhile and there's just the two of us now. I'm good at doctoring up leftovers, too. For instance, we had some leftover mashed potatoes. They're pretty gross heated up as leftovers. So I mixed them with egg, flour, scallions, corn cut fresh off the cob, and some shredded cheddar cheese. Formed into patties and fried in a skillet. They were delicious!

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    1. You need to write an ebook of how to fix food out of leftovers. My creativity does not run in that direction. I also have a cavity underneath a crown. I'm lucky nothing hurts yet. I do not have a phobia about dental offices. Oddly enough, I almost go to sleep. I find it relaxing. Strange, huh?

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    2. Brenda, you are too funny...I have no qualms about going to the dentist....I fall asleep alot! It is very relaxing to me. Something about my head tilted back and all the blood rushing to my teeny brain.

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    3. Frankly, I'd rather have root canal than a pelvic any day.

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  11. Root canal and crown 2300. We have a large, time consuming garden that is finally paying us back from all the labor. I buy what I call "used" meat (it's a joke) which is meat that is marked down . If it looks grey or watery gross chicken I will pass. But hamburger marked down from 359 to 249, you bet.

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    1. I very rarely buy meat. I find I can get buy with fruits and vegetables, some frozen. I'd been trying to eat almonds the past few weeks, because they're good for you. Know what the dentist told me, they are known to tear up your teeth!!!

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    2. I meant "get by." Guess "buy" was on my mind.

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  12. Brenda, Every time I get any dental work done...I keep thinking, "I hope I am not throwing good money after bad"...and in the end lose all my teeth anyways. It's a scary thought. The last root canal I had is already done and crowned and it still hurts. I know things take time to settle down...but really it's been months. I think it may be okay to lose all our teeth, cause who can afford food at the market anyways. LOL. Stay strong girl, xoxo,Susie

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    1. Hey, if it's still hurting, something is wrong. I've never had one hurt past a day or two. I think I'd get a second opinion. You may have an infection in there. Yeah, if we lose all our teeth, we can eat baby food. Wonder what it costs nowadays? Then it won't be too long till diapers. The circle of life continues...

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  13. Coach, glad you got your coffee!! LOVE that first flower photos; brilliant, but cannot look at the plant poking through the already punched out eye. Ouch!

    Poppy

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    1. I know. I looked out there while ago at the poke in the eye, and thought to move it. But it's already grown all around. Might just have to snip it off. Poor old rusty thing.

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  14. My hyacinth bean vine is finally taking off but it was touch and go. This hole-in-leaf thing seems to be everywhere...at The Oregon Cottage blog ( and she's in Oregon / I'm in PA. ) she was having the same troubles this summer.

    Food: well I know pork prices are sky high due to that horrible virus. I think that drought and other weather problems around the USA must be affecting the prices as well. Yet we have less and less farmland and local farms etc so i can't see how it is going to get any better.

    As to feeding a family...I'd say my son's family will be getting a break in about two weeks in regards to buying tomatoes / my plants are full of 'em ! :) Whatever's eating leaves around here doesn't like tomato leaves ! :)

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    1. Nothing much eats herbs. Except my dogs. I guess they know what's good for them.

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  15. I'm so sorry about the dental work costs. I can't afford to go to the dentist! Every time I go to the grocery store, any of them, things I always buy seem to have all jumped another dollar or two. Today I finally bought some fruit, since I normally don't want to pay the prices. $2.49 a pound for some nectarines!! And the lemons are 4 for a dollar and aren't any bigger than golf balls!! Tomatoes went up here two years ago and never got cheaper. I used to live on yellow squash all summer and it was so cheap for many years. Now it's a splurge too.

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    1. I was thinking of you, Gina, when I grabbed some toilet paper and it had a dollar coupon on front. My mind is not as perky as it use to be. Halfway home I realized I'd never taken the coupon off to use it.

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    2. Well, stick it in your wallet and use it next time! You KNOW you are always going to buy toilet paper, so why not get that dollar off. I find toilet paper to be rather expensive. They know you have to have it. My method for coupons is to use them for things I always buy. I don't bother with coupons for things I don't buy every month. That cashier should have taken it off for you when it was scanned at checkout. Thanks for thinking of me.

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  16. It is just ridiculous what dentistry costs..and groceries..I can't afford meat anymore unless it is marked down or on sale for a very good price..I absolutely hate shopping for groceries any more..It seems like every month I get less for the same amount of money..There is no money to go somewhere for fun any more..There is no money here to put back for emergencies any more..Sorry to complain Brenda..I guess I can blame it on you for starting it..lol..Well at least we know we are not alone..Oh yeah..what is a bag worm??

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    1. Yeah, I started this sad discussion. Bag worms are literally bags of worms. I do hope one doesn't fall on Charlie Ross's head. I told the apartment and they don't seem too interested in doing anything about it. The branches are on the roof. You're supposed to torch these bag worms. Burn them out. I told the Russian maintenance man and he said if he did anything he'd use Sevin. And I'm scared to death of that stuff with my dogs. Heck, with me!

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  17. Oh, take it out of his eye! It's freaking me out. I had my first (and I hope only crown) two years ago and the whole process was weird. It seems like everything else is all high tech now, but the dentists are still stuck in the 1950's. Well, the did have a fancy way to take x-rays now, but still some of the stuff seems barbaric. Sorry about the cost. I think I payed close to that for mine also.

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    1. This one of those My Dentist places. I found it on my dental insurance website as one of the closest to me. And you know how I am about using gas. This place was very high tech. I'd never had a dentist take my blood pressure. Told me it was too high, and that was BEFORE the exam. Okay, okay, when it quits raining I'll take it out of his eye if I have to cut it down.

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    2. The vine has been removed from said eye. It was longer than when I took the pic a couple days ago, so now it is a garland around his neck.

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  18. Everything is so expensive! Yikes! I need to go to the dentist soon! Dreading it for sure.

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    1. I had not been to the dentist since I moved here. Then I got dental insurance at the first of the year. Kept meaning to have my teeth cleaned and still haven't. I try to take care of my teeth. I figured I'd better not put this off. It will just get worse. Going to stop my nightly bowl of ice cream though. Darn. I looked forward to that all day. Sad, isn't it?

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  19. Replies
    1. Abi is a diva. She bosses Charlie terribly. I have to hold her so he can eat. She may not want to eat, but she will stand guard over the food so he can't eat. He out weighs her by two pounds, but that doesn't seem to matter. Oh, and Charlie is deathly afraid of gnats. If I see him slink low to the ground under the bed or a blanket, I know there is a gnat in the house.

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  20. Brenda, bag worms are yucky looking and all, but they don't harm a tree. The will eat leaves, but no permanant damage will happen to the tree. The leaves will grow back. I work for the Parks Division here in St. George, Utah, and we don't worry about bag worms.

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  21. Oh, I'm so glad you told me! I thought I was going to have to watch a tree die! And that would have been awfully sad.

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  22. I too have noticed that food prices have gone up this summer. It makes me beyond crazy that the fresh, healthful food costs more than junky processed food. All of the meats that we buy and stock up on when they are on sale are at least $1 per pound more now, even at Sprouts. For those of you who have the 99 Cents Only Store -- GO. I came home with two bags chock-full of veggies this morning for $9.50! I'm not exaggerating: 4 portobellas, 2 heads of cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, 1 big zucchini, 2 huge yellow squash, 3 orange and 3 yellow bell peppers. It would have easily been $25 any where else, even at WalMart. Often they even have 3-packs of organic romaine, and pricey veggies like spaghetti squash and butternut squash. The cooler was full of different varieties of juice and large packs of yogurt too. I also shop at Aldi a lot. But it's still expensive, even in a competitive market like ours, where we have over 20 grocery stores less than 5 minutes from our house.
    **and sorry about the crown :( Maurie needs a mouthful of them, ugh.

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    1. I've never even heard of the 99 Cents Only Store. I don't think we have those. Everyone told me to drink a certain type of milk, maybe it was almond milk? But sheesh, I can't afford it at those prices.

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  23. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that you need 2 crowns! I have one in my mouth and remember it being expensive and time consuming. It cost me even more because I have to have laughing gas for any dental work. I have a very sensitive gag reflex and they practically can't work in my mouth without it. Count your blessings that you have dental insurance though. My mom doesn't have it and has to pay full price for everything. She's in her 80's and at that age you can have more problems with your aging teeth. Yes, food prices are bad. I am glad that I'm using the savings catcher plan at Walmart though. I've already saved a total of $22 since I've started using it! I saved $5 today in fact. We're supposed to get a Costco soon. It's almost finished, so we plan on becoming a member and buy some food and paper goods in bulk to save money. I'm really looking forward to shopping there during the holidays.

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    1. I heard we may be getting a Costco. I had forgotten that you'd mentioned this savings catcher plan at Walmart. Have to check on that.

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  24. Love your little sunbeam peeking through the vines and that sweet puppy face.
    Food prices are outrageous. I hate going to the market.

    I feel every bit of your pain concerning the dentist. Just did a root canal/crown for a total of $2200.00. If crying would help I'd start today. We need to go to work for a dentist. My friend works for one and has for about 20-years...Beautiful teeth on the cheap as she has gotten all her work done at cost.

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  25. Sorry to hear about you having the expense of the dental work. Dental work is so expensive, that it is truly a worry to financially plan for it. In the midst of a toothache one is willing to pay, say, or do just about anything to make it stop. I used to have a huge dental phobia, after breaking a tooth this spring and having the pain from that, my dental phobia has been replaced by tooth break/ache phobia, and then by dental cost phobia/shock. When my tooth was hurting, I was begging to get in to see the dentist, toothache (my first) trumped dental phobia hands down.

    The other day, while eating dinner, my husband asked me what was that I had in my hair. I answered "bobby pins?" He said, "No, that thing, there on the side of your hair". I reached up and pulled something out of my hair and it was a bagworm! I threw it into the trash. I could have used your Charlie's bagworm pointer/hunting expertise that day. He would have alerted me sooner than my husband. Apparently, Fuzzy is oblivious to bagworms. Our spruce tree has bagworms on it. I had brushed under one of the spruce limbs while watering the flowers. So the bagworm had been in my hair more than two hours. The bag was moving when I pulled it out of my hair. Our tree needs to be sprayed, but I don't know what would kill bagworms but not be harmful to bees or hummingbirds. The hummingbirds spend quite a bit of time in and around that tree.

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  26. The cost of everything is out of this world. One can only imagine what it would be like to be so stinking rich that you never had to worry about spending money. Oh well, we live in a different world then they do, and no doubt we appreciate what we have compared to the rich who have it all and are still never satisfied. I have to say that your sun on the fence is so pretty. It was pretty at the other place too. I have looked my eyeballs out for something similar but haven't had any luck. Those bagworms are nasty creatures. my husband told me once that the only way to be rid of them was to set a match to them and burn them....and he did. heavens, they were on my redbud tree that his mom had given me when it was just a wee seedling and I was so sure he would burn the tree down. The worms burned up fast, it was gross. They were squirming all over the place, yuck.
    (((HUGS)))
    Susanne :)

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  27. Thats is why I got all but 16 teeth pulled 8 in front and 8 in bottom remain. All big teeth are gone. We had bad winds here. Elec was off for 3 hours. Love your pictures! Gas has come down but food is high. Hard for us I do understand. Take care Brenda!

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  28. Everything is so expensive these days. We have a dental college here at the University of Kentucky. I have my dental work done there and it is about the third of the price of regular dentists. I am lucky to have it. They need to get rid of your bag worms before they eat up your tree. They are pretty disgusting. xo Laura

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  29. I feel for ya. We don't have dental insurance and it cost a fortune for Abby to have those wisdom teeth pulled a few months ago. Since they "put her under", they called it surgery and I'm sure that justified the millions of dollars it cost. And speaking of teeth, I just dropped Milo off at the vet to have some of his teeth pulled. My heart was yanked right out of my chest. And I know it's going to rip money right out of my wallet when I pick him up. Last week it was $500.00 for both dogs to get their yearly shots. I, too, wonder how folks do it. And everyone wants their payment THAT DAY. Hubby is a stickler for saving for a rainy day or else that dog would be suffering bad toothaches.

    I don't know what bag worms are. Are they disgusting? You should put something on the leaves of that plant before it spreads. The leaf to the bottom right of the photo looks like it has powdery mildew. That happens when the leaves get wet so it may need more sun and be careful not to spray the leaves when watering.

    Did you get my email yesterday?

    Jane xx

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  30. It's funny that you started a Java Talk and didn't even mean too.
    Hubby is having a crown today.....how strange is that. I am way overdo for my checkup. I was going to Aspen Dental and had some really bad experiences. I got in the same day to a great dentist that repaired the blotched up job that A.D. did. Loved this dentist but our insurance doesn't work there. So I have just put it off. I need to decide what to do.
    My teeth will hurt for months after an appointment.
    Oh the grocery costs........they have seemed to sky rocket lately. I am gluten free because of Celiac. The prices are almost double. I rarely buy meat besides chicken breasts and ground beef. I stick to the more expensive grounds. I bought organic ground turkey and beef at the Farmers Market this week.
    My son is on disability. He can't afford healthy foods for the most part. His food stamps, assistance from his church and our assistance is still barely getting him through. Plus he doesn't make good choices but then that's his disability.
    My other kids each have two kids. They spend a fortune at the store.
    I certainly don't know what the answer is. Eating healthy is expensive.
    I feel sorry for the elderly that have to spend most of their money on prescriptions.
    Your flowers are beautiful. Love those pups. It's my big dog that is afraid of everything. My Yorkie will growl and bite the big dog when she is upset. Poor Piper. He wouldn't hurt a flea.
    Have a nice week-end. Stay cool if you can.

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  31. I have (had) terrible teeth my whole life. I went that route with root canals and caps, crowns and bridges only to have them break, fall off or rot from underneath. Now I have no teeth to worry about because they were just so bad. As to food prices I can't believe how expensive everything is getting. I have been doing more and more shopping at produce junction, dollar stores (watch the expirations dates), Goodwill, thrift shops or online yard sales for things I need. I have also been going through my stuff and purging things I don't need or want any longer to get some extra cash on hand. It's just plain crazy!!

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  32. Sorry to hear about the visit to the dentist! I had going to the dentist!! I hate the prices that they charge!! I hate how everything is going up, up , up, except the amount of money people make!!! I know my hubby has not a raise since 2009! I am trying to be more cheap and I do not go out buy the latest fashions or gadgets anymore. I used to be an avid scrapbooker and card maker. I would go buy the latest paper packs, gadgets, and other embellishments for each season or holiday. I stopped that after my 5th back surgery in 2010. I have a room full of paper, stamps, punches, cricut machine with lots of different cartridges. I decided to stop!! I use what I have and if I run out of glue or other adhesives then I use a coupon for it!!! I appreciate all of your types and ideals for living on a budget! Your fur babies are just too cute and sound a lot like mine, spoiled rotten! I hope that the bag of worms does not fall why Charlie is out there looking up at it!!!
    Have a great weekend!
    Hugs,
    Lynn

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  33. Sorry about the tooth. It is just as much to have a root canal under one too - hubby has had two of those this year.
    I spend as much on groceries now, tith just the two of us, as I did when I had three teenage boys (and all their friends) at home.

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