Birthdays, Ice Makers, and Medicare? part II

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
Thomas Jefferson


Okay, so yesterday we left off with the rant of a poor husband who had just turned 65 and found out he had to pay for something he was forced to sign up for, against his better wishes, with no option of opting out–aka–Medicare.
The whole choice but no choice scenario
And we were left with the laughter of a thousand far off voices when he mentioned he thought Medicare was something the Government did for free for it’s “seniors”—not that he’s a senior.

And just as we begin to recover from his near apoplexy over receiving the initial Medicare bill, we pick up right where we left off. . .

I quickly call me aunt.
When all else fails, always call Martha. . .

“Yep, you pay”
“If he was drawing Social Security, it would come out of that, but since he’s not, hence the bill.”
We thought it was a free service.
Hysterical laughter now from the receiver of the phone.

The following morning, the bill was gone. My hope was that he carried it to work in order to pay it, otherwise I suppose I should be looking for us a new home, say in, Argentina or Bolivia. Isn’t that where you go when you need to hide out?

Let’s switch gears for a minute.
Since there was indeed a birthday and a rather memorable one at that, we need a present right?
A good present.
Enter the ice maker.

We have an LG refrigerator. LG refrigerators are known for having notorious dysfunctional ice makers. I even wrote the president of LG, just after we got the fridge, complaining. I was told we could call in a service order to request a replacement, of which I did. Number two ice maker was equally as poor.

Each evening I hear the same litany regarding “that sorry ice maker” and how a refrigerator he had back in 1920 made better ice then “that sorry thing over there”
Over there is against the wall in the kitchen and as for 1920, I exaggerate just a tad

When I was mulling what to get for his birthday, I had an ingenious thought!
A marvelous thought!
As in the best present ever sort of thought!
Enter the small portable ice maker!

I did my homework.
I researched all the little ice makers I could find information on, reading reviews and consumer reports. I settled on a Smart Plus (Smart + )
I ordered it from Amazon.
I love Amazon but that’s for another day.

In a couple of days FedX pulls up to deliver the ice maker.
I put a bow on the box and wait for the big day.

On that special day marking the 65th year on the planet, I bring out the big box with the big bow.
“I told you not to get me anything, we need to save money and here you are buying presents. . .what is it?” as a smile forms on now a childlike face.

He digs into the box like only any kid would and could.
He finally realizes what it is . . “OH WOW–AN ICE MAKER” (you should be hearing childlike glee as you are reading)
We read the instructions and I explain that I’ll need to thoroughly wash it out and run a couple of test batches first in order to get that “made in China” smell and taste out of the machine—as in yes, it is indeed made in China.
He’s happy.
I’m happy.
It’s a good birthday.

The following day, I run out to the store in order to buy a couple of gallons of distilled water as I understand that distilled water makes for clear cubes. And yes, this machine is to make the round tube like cubes, not the half moon things he hates out of the refrigerator.

I plug it in, add the water, set the controls, wait a tad—then woosh, the little machine churns out water.
Ok, maybe it’s not cold enough yet.
Again Woosh, again water.
I feel around inside the little ice making tubes.
They are not cold.
Hummmmm. . .
Not cold at all.
Aren’t things like refrigerators, freezers and ice makers suppose to be cold?
Again, I reset the numbers.
Woosh, water.
Again, woosh, water.


Wait a minute.
When you plug in a refrigerator, large or small, aren’t you suppose to hear a motor? A motor like in a compressor??
The freaking compressor is not coming on.
Are you freaking kidding me!!!?
At this point I think I kicked the open drawer by my foot which was open and housed my mixing bowls. I now have 4 less mixing bowls.

When my husband comes home, I break the bad news hoping that he’ll know how to make it work. Maybe I’m not plugging it in correctly?
He pittles with it and declares it to be indeed a dud.
The compressor will not come on.


I’m furious.
“Can you get your money back” he asks almost pleading for the affirmative.
“Yes danmnit” as I sadly put the thing back in the packing styrofoam and into the big box.
I contact Amazon.
They issue a packing mailer and I proceed to write a “to whom it may concern” letter to Smart +
lambasting an ice maker made in China. . .why can’t an American Company produce a product in America, using American ingenuity, putting Americans to work, where American workers take pride in producing quality American products???? What’s happened to this country???!!!!


The perfect present goes back from whence it came via UPS.
The following day, I go to the mall in order to buy a back up present–the standard boring dress pants and shirts. Same ol same ol birthday goods–with these high end dress clothes, from a very reputable and long established high end American men’s clothier–with their very high end clothes being made in. . .wait for it. . . Malaysia.

(Picture my head hung very low) UGH!

Oh and did I mention that the insurance company sent out a giant booklet regarding the birthday boy now being a part of Medicare. And no, I couldn’t tell you if it is A, B, C, D, E, or F. . .
Seems that since he is now enrolled in Medicare, he’s no longer to use the doctor, his primary healthcare doctor, here in our town, he’s been using for almost the past 25 years–as Medicare says he must go elsewhere.


Bolivia eh???

6 comments on “Birthdays, Ice Makers, and Medicare? part II

  1. David says:

    We have an a fridge with an ice maker that works just fine. The cold water dispenser, however, does not. For some reason it randomly freezes. Every now and again it decides to work again. Like after a 36-hour power cut a few summers back. And then it freezes again.

    Good luck with the Medicare thing Julie. Grateful for our National Health Service, although everything is not well there! But at least it is free (at the moment) although it is funded through taxpayer contributions.

    • I often think the US could learn a great deal for other countries with regards to our healthcare—but what a mess we seem to stay in instead 🙂
      But if I can’t find humor in it, we really would have a mess–so humor is truly the best medicine —
      I hope you and your wife are enjoying your time together this weekend but I can imagine the silence in the house is a bit overwhelming 🙂
      blessings David–

      • David says:

        The silence was strange Julie. No voices shouting out “MUM” from different parts of the house. But we did enjoy having time together and a meal out on Saturday evening. John (14 year old) arrived back at church at 12:00 on Sunday, but I am now in Bulgaria on business so it is just Marilyn and John for the next three days.

      • Well, I’m certainly glad you all found some time to carve out for yourselves. Our son is an only child and it was always the three of us up until he was a teen and learned to drive 🙂
        Now that he’s recently married and will soon be 26, I do enjoy my quiet time—but we are fortunate that they are living about a mile from us for the time being—maybe it was all the years teaching but the silence of the house is rather enjoyable 🙂
        Bulgaria eh, that sounds adventuresome. What sort of work do you do David that takes you to Bulgaria? There is a beekeeper from Bulgaria who follows my blog as I in turn follow hers. Her honey and recipes have looked yummy. She has been silent for the almost the better part of the year—so I trust Bulgaria is trudging along despite the near turmoil.
        That is one thing I envy about those of you who live in England and throughout Europe–the wonderful access via train, to neighboring lands with relative ease and quickness. My heart has always been somewhere in Europe—finding myself living somewhere quaint yet full of history and charm. But I suppose we all think of where those places may be.
        I have a teaching friend who works with an IB program at a private boarding school just south of London. She is German, married to a Finn who does legal work with the EU, she travels a great deal with her school, providing humanitarian outreach for her students in Romania and Rwanda, with the latest adventure taking them to India. I travel vicariously through her endeavors—as teaching here never seems to lend itself to much adventure 🙂
        Safe travels David and I wish you God’s blessings for you and your entire family—

  2. Oh my, what a frustrating day you had! I’m so sorry. And you were trying to be such a wonderful birthday fairy and those darned old china men spoiled the whole thing. What a bummer!!! I wish I could help with the Medicare thing but I know nothing about it and that suits me just fine. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂

    • First, I can’t believe in Texas you don’t have to sign up—maybe it’s a state by state thing. I have my school insurance, which I’ve had since 1983 but when Gregory was to turn 65 they told me that he must sign up for Medicare or else my premiums would drastically increase. But I don’t know the difference between their increase as we are now basically paying for two insurances—and neither of us are none too pleased, as you could no doubt gather from my funny little post. 🙂
      I do try to make my misery at least funny 🙂
      Secondly, I’m certain the skilled Chinese probably think their products to be most efficient—but when we can make the same here with what use to be pretty darn good quality—I just don’t get it—-and I wasn’t waiting around for another ice maker to be delivered.
      Today I’m switching gears back to just pictures and prose—that is until the next little life’s adventure rolls around 🙂
      Hugs on this Monday for a splendid week 🙂

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