Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thanks USAA


Blairsville, Georgia  (high 67, low 43)


It warmed up nicely yesterday to about 68.  Our overnight temperature last night was only down into the 50’s, but on Sunday night we hit 34 degrees. 

We are expecting overnight temps all the way down to 30 degrees later this week.  Brrrrr.  That is pretty cold for us Floridians.   Might it be getting close to time to head south?

We decided to invest in a quartz style heater since it’s going to be so cold, and we hate running our noisy furnace.

We bought this heater from Walmart  This one has a fan and works pretty well, and is quieter than either our heat pump or furnace.   It’s tall and has a small footprint, so that it doesn’t take up much valuable space.

Source Green Heat Infrared Heater  Tower Design  Heating  Cooling    Air Quality   Walmart.com

We hung around home yesterday, and got a few chores done.  It was a  beautiful sunny day and the sky was clear and blue. 

We aired up the tires on the motor home, which involves starting the engine, and airing up the motorhome.   When we left Florida the temperature was in the 90’s.  It’s now much cooler and our tire pressure was getting low as it gets cooler.   You need to consider that air expands in warmer temps and what is the correct pressure in the summer is not the same in the colder winter months.  We saw first hand what a difference temperatures made when we used to store an inflatable dingy in our garage in Tampa.   It would be nice and hard during the heat of the day, but overnight would be soft and spongy from cooler temps.

So…after he aired up the tires, while the chassis was lifted up, Al decided to clean and lube the levelers and steps.  He also dumped the air from the air filter which is a job we don’t do as regularly as we should because we never remember it until we’ve dumped the airbags and lowered the chassis.  

After reading Paul’s blog about the tail pipe, I made sure Al checked ours.

I spent my morning checking on Medicare.  Mr. Al will be 65 soon and I had a few questions.   Of course, I couldn’t get my answers on the website, so I had to call Medicare directly.  I got a message saying the wait time was over one hour, and would I like a call back?   I left my name and phone number, and was surprised when I actually got a call back in an hour or so.   I got some answers, but then found I needed to call Humana, which is the company that manages our retiree medical coverage from USAA, (my old employer).  It appears that between USAA and Medicare, we will be pretty well covered with minimal out of pocket expenses.   At least that’s what I think.  We shall see!

Of course they couldn’t tell me what the Medicare deductible will be for 2014, only 2013.  Wouldn’t you think they would know by late October?   

I was happy to find that USAA had not dropped medical coverage for it’s retirees, like so many other companies that I’ve been hearing about.   I had also heard about many people having substantial rate increases, and was again pleasantly surprised to see minimal increases for our health and dental, and vision.   Thanks USAA!   Our old boss, General Tom Draude always told us to “do the right thing.”   If we had a member on the phone that needed something and we weren’t sure if the rules would allow it, he said do the right thing and I’ll stand by you.   And he did.  He was a great man who sadly died way too soon.   That’s the model USAA lives by and they did the right thing by us as well, and I very much appreciate it!


So….on Sunday we found a really cool place nearby.  We decided to take a fall foliage drive along the nearby Richard Russell Scenic Highway.  It was pretty, but the fall foliage is just beginning.


As Al was driving, I was looking into the woods as usual, in the hopes of seeing a bear.  I did!  I saw what I think might have been a  baby bear.   Of course, we turned around and tried to see him again but never did.  Al was mad!   :) 

We came across a nice little park called Raven Cliffs.   It had a nice 2.5 mile trail to the cliffs.  We didn’t hike it, but supposedly you pass by 6 waterfalls on the way to the cliffs.

This was a sign posted at the beginning of the trail.

No repelling.  No problem.


We will go back when we have more time and do this hike. 

We saw this crazy sign eating tree.


There was a beautiful mountain stream and apparently many people fly fish for trout there.

The water levels were down so that we could walk in the stream along the rocks and see all the beautiful rocks.  I guess it’s the kid in me, but for some reason, I love to pick up rocks!







We hung around the stream for a while then headed out for other roadside parks. 

Al and Mt. Yonah

I believe this is Mount Yonah.


I see the sun has finally broken through the clouds, so it looks like it’s going to be another beautiful day, so I better get moving.


  1. We love USAA. Sounds like it is / was a good company to work for. I have been a member for 35+ years and have never had a bad experience. Glad the insurance looks good for your retirement with them. Nice photos!

  2. I sure wish we could qualify for USAA. I have heard nothing but great things about them. You are so lucky to have worked for a company that you admire, too few people have that experience. I'm a rock lover too. They are just beautiful.

  3. What good news to hear your out of pocket insurance expenses will be minimal. Sounds like you worked for a great company.

  4. Glad USAA did right by you, they truly are a great company.

    Who is that lady in the red coat? Never saw her on the blog before... :c)

  5. Those of us lucky to still be covered under employer's insurance need to count our blessings. That OCA could put a damper on some full-timer's futures.

  6. Great news on your retirement health care plan. In reading a few blogs, I've noticed a lot of folks who are experiencing similar outcomes and are quite relieved.

    Nice photos - the fall colors of the trees are fantastic.

  7. I have a fondness for rocks too. I get it honestly as my mother and grandmother did also. In fact I have some of their rocks. LOL We spent the day today working on my rock garden. Since we had been gone for a while it had gotten out of hand with weeds growing up through them. Enjoyed your photos today!

  8. Loving your fall colors there too, keep warm.


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