Repurposing | Wine Box Wall Storage

Several weeks ago my mother-in-law gave me a beautiful wine box that I instantly fell in love with.

Isn't is beautiful!

The only problem was that I spent weeks looking for anywhere in my house to put it but I just couldn't find somewhere that it was just perfect.

I knew I wanted it in my living room or kitchen area, so it was more visible.

And the it occurred to me...why not put it here!

Not on the shelf...under the shelf.

We always have cables and memory cards and my external hard drive just laying around the computer desk (see on the left side of the computer!)  And while the cat leaves the cables alone...he absolutely adores a new set of ear-buds.

So I decided that this would be the absolutely perfect storage solution...and it would fill the blank space of having to remove a shelf to make room for our monitor.

Literally less than five minutes later, after adding two hangers to the back:

I was done!  And that empty space is now filled with this!

Which is not only lovely to look at, but now houses everything I'm so thankful not to be hiding under or behind my computer right now!

It's a win/win to me!

Blessings In Disguise

You can open the newspaper on any given day and see names splashed across it of people committing a crime or a social taboo that earns them the humiliation and publication of their sins for all to see.  And while I'm a very firm believer in "You do the crime, you pay the time", sometimes I read it and I sympathize for that individual or their family.  Sometimes my cheeks blush in embarrassment for them in what they're going through.  Because sometimes it's not a lifestyle or a habit that earns them the spotlight but one little decision. 

And because it's a difficult thing to be the focus of public speculation.  It's hard being a topic of hot gossip.  While, on one hand, it gives you thicker skin than you had before...on the other, it also coats you in a layer of paranoia that you've never dealt with either.

I learned all too well as a small-town single woman who fell pregnant with a baby whose father she wouldn't publicly disclose.

Try that on for size and see how much gossip it'll get you. 

If you've read my life story I wrote in 2009 (Learning to Live With Me), then you know the general story of the hows and the whens and the whys.

But I've never--publicly or privately--been able to word some of the things I felt and thought and went through during that time.  And quite a bit of it I doubt I'll ever be able to bring back to the surface. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Ty, I knew I couldn't hide it.  I abhor abortion (as is my prerogative) and so the first thing I knew I needed to do was tell someone so that I wouldn't even be faced with the temptation to consider such a thing.  I might have made an unwise decision, but I had no right to make another living being suffer the consequences so that I could take the easy way out. 

I also made the choice that I needed to be the one to tell the people I cared about.  And with the exception of my parents--thank God my sister was willing to step in for me the second I squeezed her hand....the thought of hurting them with my news felt like it would shatter me (more on that later)--I sat face-to-face with those that deserved to hear it from me and owned up to everything myself.

The night after we told my parents, I told the guy that I'd only recently started seeing.  Not a fun conversation telling the guy you've been seeing for two weeks that you're six weeks pregnant.  But he obviously deserved to hear it from me.  

The next night I had planned to tell the biological father--which I had major reservations about--but my own father intervened and asked me to hold off long enough to think it through because once it's said, it's said and there's no taking it back.  I knew that as soon as he heard that I was pregnant, he would obviously know that he was the father, but it didn't have to come from my mouth and then he could make the decision on his own as to if he wanted to play any part in our lives.  (Note:  I know everyone's wondering, yes, it would later be discussed with him. He would eventually--and voluntarily--sign over his parental rights so that Jason could adopt Ty)

That night, instead, I went to church and then followed the pastor's family home afterwards so that I could talk to them about it before they found out elsewhere.  I was very involved in that church and honestly tried to live my life in a way that honors Christ which is why I would also stand before our church congregation the following Sunday and tell them myself, as well.

But even though I was--I felt--handling things as best as I could, I still felt this all my command of the English language I can't even find a word for it. 

When you know what society expects and when you know how people talk about the failures, mistakes and misgivings of others, you become constantly aware of that when you're the one in the spotlight.  You know exactly who is saying what about you because #1--you've heard them say it about others, and because #2--people report it back to you as if it's something you actually want to know.  ("I just thought you should know...and I wanted you to hear it from me" is a literal translation of "I know this will upset you, but I wanted to see your face when you found out" in most cases)

And the more you hear those "I thought you should knows" the more and more that you believe people are talking about you--whether they are or not.

Since I didn't publicly disclose the father of my baby, that seems to have added fuel to the fire.  An individual cornered the parent of one of my high school boyfriends (I was out of college by this time and long ago split from that ex) to ask if the baby was her son's and demanding that she needed to know.  This individual had absolutely no connection to me, my family, my friends or even anyone that might be connected to the father's side.  They were just nosy and curious and thought they had the right to know my private business.

And they weren't the only one who felt that way.  If I could have avoided the public completely, I would have.  I got cornered in Walmart, the Courthouse, the gas station...numerous places and people would flat out ask me to my face who the daddy was.  I would tell them--as politely as I could--that since it wasn't a public matter, I had already told the people who needed to know and wasn't telling everyone else.  And yet they would press me even beyond that.  I had two instances where individuals got outright mad at me and one even told me that it was just as much their business as it was my own!

The politeness ended there, of course, and I walked away.  That individual wasn't friend or family and barely registered as an acquaintance, but to pregnant and hormonal me they just became Public Enemy No. 1 as far as I was concerned.

But these people weren't counted among my family and friends.  And had it just been contained to them, it probably wouldn't have hurt or humiliated me as much.

When I stood before my church to tell them myself that I was pregnant and that I wanted my church family to hear it from my mouth, the response was overwhelmingly supportive.  Many of them reassured me and even stated that they would never have been able to do what I did in standing before everyone and making a public admission.  They had my back, they loved me, and they would be there for me.

But that only went so far because in successive weeks I was singled out in the sermons.  "Whoredome" was addressed many times while the preacher stared me down as if I were a demon trying to devour the blameless faithful of the congregation.  I stepped back from the level of involvement I previously had with the youth group, realizing that my example was compromised, but I left the church altogether when I was told (via email) that I should be glad that I wasn't born 2000 years ago because I would have been stoned to death.  When I realized that members (leaders) of that church would have been the ones casting the stones instead of intervening as Christ did, it was a very painful awakening for me.  Had I not been as strong in my Faith as I was and am, the leaders of that church (and their unloving, unforgiving example) would likely have turned me off from Christianity entirely.

Now, let me go back and take another road.  Let me explore the flip side of that coin.

Let's go back to the people who are family and friends.

After the initial surprise of my revelation to my sister, she kicked into excitement before I had really made it into accepting it as a reality.  I was still embarrassed by the situation and dreading telling our parents and she was already buying onesies and teddy bears!  But that's my sister, there's very little she does that she doesn't do with her whole heart.

Which is why I knew I needed her to be there when I told my parents.  I don't know why it was such a big deal to me because I knew I would have their love and their support no matter what I did.  Our relationship was based on love and respect and trust.  We never really had curfews in high school or college.  We had a relationship that where as long as they knew where I was and what I was doing and as long as I made it home by what they would consider a reasonable time, we were good to go.  I knew what behaviors they expected of me and what activities were acceptable and unacceptable.  And that was our relationship and it worked for us.  I respected them and they respected us and we just really didn't have that many problems (especially comparatively). 

But any girl who's ever been a Daddy's Girl can probably imagine why it was so hard for me to tell my parents.  It's a difficult conversation to have with parents, but throw in the level of admiration and respect that I have for seemed as impossible as climbing Everest when it should have seemed as simple as tying a bow.  I can't explain it and I can't explain why I can't explain it.

But the end result was a grin the size of the Grand Canyon on my dad's face.  I don't think he even had to process it, he just leapt blindly into the joy of "I'm going to be a Grandpa!"  And my mom did, too, but she's where I get my logic from.  I could see in her eyes that everything was going to be okay, and I could see that she was stepping through the logical steps of how everything was going to be okay. 

She helped me mark off the to-do list.

Proper diet & vitamins--check
Shopping sprees--checked that one several times! (this was her first grandchild, after all!)

The only thing they hated about my pregnancy was that I didn't have a husband to lay next to me at night and excitedly talk to my belly and make plans together about the future.  I wouldn't say they hated it (that's certainly not a word that anyone could link between them and my little boy that they so adore)...just that they wished for more for me.  Like good parents do.  They want the best for their kids.  A baby is a wonderful thing no matter how it happens, but they shared the joy and excitement of their pregnancies together and would have loved it if I could have had that experience then, too.

My friends were stunned by my news.  There's that small town stigma that the girls that get pregnant outside of marriage are sluts or girls who just give themselves to anyone.  My pregnancy wasn't consistent with that and so it was surprising and shocking to them that such a thing could happen to anyone.  (Funny how when you're young, you think you're immune to such things just because you're a good person with no bad habits.)

Family friends were the same as my parents.  I have good family friends that--to this day--still have not asked me who the father was or what I was thinking or how it happened.  It wasn't important.  I was important and the baby was important and all the trivial details just weren't.  They cared about what mattered and they helped to form the net of security and support that helped to fend off those who did care about the unimportant things.

In the end--just as I saw in my mom's eyes--everything was okay.  Everything was better than okay.  My sweet little baby Ty came into our lives at just the perfect time.  He was the joy needed to help us out of a period of sorrow.  He was laughter that helped dry our tears.  He is the catalyst of who I would become and who I currently am.

In that brief but memorable period of hurt or embarrassment, I learned who I was and who my true friends were.  Not only that, but the whole course of my life was changed.  What I did for fun, who I spent my time with, what I looked for in all drastically changed.  My priorities were rewritten almost from top to bottom.  I'm told that I became a more grounded and relateable person. 

I'd always assumed that I'd eventually be a mother because that's just how life happened, but I wasn't one of those women whose goal was to become a mother.  But you know how they say "Being a mother just changes you".  It changes you indeed!  I think my genetic makeup is sometimes the only thing that wasn't altered!

But because--for a short period of time--life got hard it had the opportunity to get better.  Because I was hurt, I got to heal.  Because of the friends I lost, I cherish the faithful ones all the more.  Because I was supported and loved, I know--by example--to be supporting and loving, myself.  Because I felt embarrassment for having done something wrong, I was given the opportunity to be proud of myself for owning up to it and doing something right.

And because I made a mistake, I learned that--in the end--the consequences of our actions typically result in an insurmountable blessing we would never have experienced otherwise.  We just have to persevere through the difficult period of "doing the time" to see it for the blessing it becomes.

Murphy Says...

Do you ever have one of those days where it seems like you can't do anything right and everything is going wrong?  July has been one of those days for me.

Cousin Murphy apparently came for an extended stay at the Harris Household.

Everyone knows Murphy. 

He's the one that (accurately) said "What can go wrong, will go wrong."

My Daddy always added that line at the end of it that amended "and at the worst possible time."  And today I say "Amen" to that!

Murphy got an early start in June when he Yellow-lighted my husband's PS3.  Not anticipating any of the following problems we'd face, Jason decided that instead of waiting untill his birthday or Christmas to replace the PS3, he'd rather get a replacement now and consider it his present when those times came up.  At that point in time, we could make it work financially without any major issues.

And that was where it all began. 

Our freezer took a temporary hiatus at the beginning of the month that cost us all of our frozen treats, ice cream, and a good bit of meat, too.  Fortunately, I noticed the puddle of bloody water while most of the meat was still at refrigerator temp, so not all was lost.  Thank the heavens. 

The following weekend the leather on two of my door-panels peeled away after the heat disintegrated the glue that was holding it in place.  Having dealt with this on another door last summer, I knew that to replace it with OEM parts would be $550-$700 per door.  Or to get an automotive shop to fix it would be $75 for the one door.

We weren't touching those just yet, though, because it also appeared that I would need new rear brakes on my car, as well.

I priced that out and it was going to be $180 no matter how you diced it.  (Fortunately my Daddy swept in and saved the day and gave my car a complete once-over.) 

During the time that my dad had my car and was working on it, we were preparing for The Boy's birthday party.  I had set aside that Friday night to do all the cooking so Saturday could be a quick clean-up before the party.  However when we came home that night we found we had no electricity.  We got as much done as we could without electricity (which was basically just putting together and filling the favor boxes) and then we hung out as long as we could before we were forced to retreat to a hotel that night for some rest.  The ETA for repairs had started at 6 pm, then got pushed back to 10 pm, 12 am and 3 am.  They finally got it restored at 1:30.

The next day I blew through all the preparations and got everything done just in time.  My dad returned my car in perfect working order.  Whatever was causing the noise when I braked has since ceased and no rear brakes were needed.  At just under 80,000 I'm only halfway into the ones I have.  The lack of that repair bill was such a pleasant surprise that we decided that since I'd already separated the cost of the brakes out of our budget, we'd put that into fixing the leather door panels on the car.  We just had them do all four of them so we'd have it all over and done with.  Since we were doing all four, it cost significantly less than it would have to do them separately at $75 a door.

How soon we forgot how Murphy works. 

Within 24 hours of getting my doors fixed I dropped my new-ish bottle of Coach Poppy perfume and broke the sprayer top off of it.  I didn't lose (much of) the perfume, thankfully, so I can still buy an atomizer and only be out that cost instead of the whole bottle.  (Super glue wouldn't hold the glass together, I tried)

And within mere hours of that, we were driving down Interstate 540 headed to Oklahoma to see my cousin and her new baby when we heard this God awful noise of something hitting my car and my sunroof shattering.

I guess if there's an upside to this it would be that whatever hit us appears to have only hit the sunroof so there's no body damage to my car.  And the glass held in the frame and stayed (overall) intact.  Plus the sun shade was closed at the time so no glass or fragments would have come in even if they'd splintered free (which happened when an 18-wheeler sped past us with such force that it sucked the broken glass up in such a way that it now not only appeareed to have been hit from the inside instead of the outside, but it whistled in the 70 mph wind for the rest of the trip, too.

We got to my cousin's house and her sweet FiancĂ©, Mic, taped it up for us to help weather-proof it and keep the glass from falling in on us (should we open the sunshade).

And of all times for this to happen, it couldn't be during the month-long drought we experienced last month, it has to happen when we're finally getting afternoon showers several times a week.

Thankfully....I'm insured.  While it will cost us a deductible to get this fixed, it will cost us much less than it would to cover it all ourselves.  And thankfully--as my mom pointed out--we didn't have to endure what some of my former coworkers have to deal with when the windshield busted out one hour into a 6 hour trip in the cold of winter. 

However, I still wish Murphy would bugger off and leave us alone!  August can't get here soon enough!

My Little Nut

This is what Ty brought home from daycare today.

His socks, obviously, but they're full of nuts.

"What are you going to do with the nuts?" I asked him.

"I'm going to make a nut store," he replied.

"Oh really?  Are you going to sell nuts for planting or for eating?"

"For planting.  That way people can plant them and grow nut trees."

"Oh," I commented.  "So you're going to be kind-of like a forester?"

He turned to me seriously, "Mama, do you know that being a forester is dangerous?"

I looked at him equally as serious, "It is?  What makes it so dangerous?"

"You could be in the forest and a tree could fall and a nut could hit you on the head and there could be a forest fire.  All at the same time.  And you could be knocked out on the ground and you could die.  It could really happen."

"Oh my," I commented.

"So that's why I'd rather play in the woods than the forest."

Facebook Fail | Facebook Etiquette for the Oblivious

"I'm tired of Facebook."

Who here hasn't heard that line whined to them in the last month?  (Or been the one to make that statement themselves)

And it's usually followed by a string of reasons why Facebook annoys them.  So instead of fussing and whining about Facebook (and its lack of etiquette), I decided to educate instead.  There are a lot of social rules that are being bent, broken or completely disregarded and they lead to a lot of frustration  


This is probably everyone's biggest complaint about Facebook, so let's start there.  Too many people put too much stuff out there.  Keep your private life private.  Many things on Facebook just shouldn't be made available to the whole world. If you have Taco Bell for supper and it doesn't agree with you, that's really something better left between you and the toilet.  However, if this is something you feel you absolutely must to share with a few of your friends, keep your overall audience in mind and learn how to use groups to control who can see what.

It's Facebook, not a Diary

If you want to document every little detail or event in your life, you should probably invest in a diary or journal (or do like me and join a free diary site!)  In the old days there were two categories of communication:  "Things that are okay to say in public" and "Things you shouldn't say in public".  Anything that falls in the latter category (gossip, fights, rants, etc.) would be better suited for a private diary than on Facebook.  Or--and here's an idea--if you have a problem with someone or are currently fighting with someone, you should probably sit down together and have a real life grown-up conversation with them so you can express your feelings, hear their feelings, and then figure out a resolution to whatever problem you have with them.  You in the old days.

Consider your Audience

I think everyone has the same issue that I have; I have probably 10 good "real life" friends (not including family) and yet I have close to 700 Facebook friends, of which, only around 100 make it into a group that I feel like I can actually be myself with.  So when I want to post a comment or picture to Facebook that might not be something all of Facebook would be interested in (or have any business knowing or seeing), I limit it to a group (mine is generically named 'Favorites') that I feel like I can trust or share more about my life with.  This also applies to my security.  Certain parts of my information are only viewable by my 'Favorites' because some of my friends, I don't know well enough to know if I could trust them with it.  This is also why, when I'm on vacation, I change my statuses and pictures to only be viewed by those 'Favorites'.  Obviously, I could trust them to know that I'm out of town and my home would be easier to break into without incurring hospital (or funeral) bills as a result.  The other 600....I might not be able to trust so well.  So I simply change my settings so that those other 600 aren't privy to that information.


Just like the Taco Bell scenario above...there are some (actually, a lot) of things that you're going to do during the course of the day that aren't really Facebook material, even if you really want to share with the world that your flossing your teeth at that very moment or that you bought a bag of carrots at the grocery store on your lunch break today.

The more uninteresting and mundane your content is, the more likely you are to lose readers, subscribers, or 'friends'.

This also applies to photos.  When you're uploading photos to Facebook, try to narrow it down to the most interesting or the ones that best tell the story of what was happening.  Sure, it was cute when your one-year-old grabbed a fist-full of cake and smeared it all over their face, but instead of posting 10 nearly-identical pictures taken within a 5 second time-span, try taking pictures that are noticeably different.  The less overwhelmed your audience is, the more likely they are to "ooh" and "ahh" over what you're sharing.

Friending and De-Friending

Speaking of friends...did I mention that I have close to 700 friends on Facebook? 

Many of my friends on Facebook are only my friends on Facebook.  I don't know most of them.  If all of my Facebook Friends were to stand in a crowd together and I had to name each of them (without the assistance of Facebook), I guarantee, there's no way I could match a face with a name on more than half of them IF I was provided with a list of names to choose from.  I just don't know most of them well enough. 

I know of them, at least, or I wouldn't have allowed them to add me as a friend.  But there's not a real relationship there.

On the flip side of that coin, as I stated above, there are about 100 of my friends that I know and I know well enough to consider that I can trust them or share more things about my life with them than I could the general public. 

If I defriend someone in the first group, it's less likely to mean something to them than I would if I defriend someone in the second group.  And so I keep that in mind. 

If someone is showing up in my feed too much or I don't agree with things they have to say or if they're just getting on my nerves, I look at what group they're in.  Do I know them personally?  Do I value their feelings?  If yes, I hide them from my news feed.  I have several options for this.  I can opt to see "All Updates", "Most Updates" or "Only Important" updates from that friend, or I can unsubscribe from them entirely, which means that they're still my friend, I just don't want to see their activity in my news feed.  Then I'm not bothered by them and they're not going "Well that was rude, Ashley unfriended me!"

Or, say I have some frenemies on my friends list that I want to keep tabs on (or let them see how fabulous my life is), but I don't necessarily want them seeing everything about my life, then there's a delimma, right?  Wrong.  This is where it goes back to privacy settings.  My little 'Favorites' get to see every little thing I do, think or post.  My frenemies, however, are quite limited.  They're the ones that will pick apart and judge anything that doesn't fit into their neat little box of who they think I am or should be.  So I put them in a neat little box of their own in what I allow and don't allow them to see.  No unfriending necessary.

Cause unfriending on Facebook is often viewed as rude.  Or childish.  Or evasive.  Or any other negatively associated adjectives.  So unless there's a major issue between myself and another person that warrants my de-friending them...I just adjust my own settings to allow for what or who I do and don't want to see.  And if there is a major issue between myself and another person, I tend to think that it would be better to sit down together and have a real life grown-up conversation with them so I can express my feelings, hear their feelings, and then figure out a resolution to whatever problem I have with them before I defriend them.


Let's have a quick lesson on what tagging is.  If I'm uploading a picture and one of my Facebook Friends (or their child or spouse who doesn't have a Facebook page of their own) is in it, I would tag that friend to show them (and their own friends) that they're in that picture.  Or, if I'm writing a status that directly involves a friend, I would tag them so that they know I'm talking about them. 

Now that we've established what tagging is and is meant to be, let's move onto the fact that tagging unrelated individuals is VERY over-used. 

Instead of showing that someone is in or directly related to a photo or post, it's come to be an "I'm tagging you because I want you to see this" kind of thing. 

Except that by tagging them, you're no longer giving them the option to view your content, you're forcing (or demanding) that they do which can come across--understandably--as rude.  Especially if you're a frequent or repeat offender.

Application Overkill

So you like to play games or read your horoscope or see if the latest app that promises to tell you who's been checking out your page really works?  Good for you!  But be aware that the rest of Facebook probably won't be interested in knowing your high score so be careful with what applications you allow to post on your behalf and use a little bit of self-control when it comes to sending out game or app invites to your Facebook friends.


I don't think this unclear Facebook feature is as widely used anymore (not in the 16 and up crowd, at least) as it once was, but should you opt to use it, poke with care.  Because this feature is vague in what it means or is supposed to mean, it obviously means different things to different people.  For some, it's like waving as you pass them on the road...just a quick "hi" gesture.  For others it has a more flirtatious meaning.  So be careful in starting a poking contest unless you know how your recipient is going to interpret it. 

Runaway Status Conversations

We've all had this happen before. You post a status and two (or more) of your friends start having an unrelated conversation in the comments section of that status and you're held hostage to every little notification that results from that unrelated conversation. 

Not fun.

Don't be that friend.  Either take your conversation to the other individual's wall or have it in a more private venue via a message.  I would say "Your friend will thank you", but they wont, but at least they won't inwardly curse you, either.

The Group Message Reply All

This is yet another travesty we've all fallen prey to at one time or another...  One person send out a message to a group of people, including you, and every reply to that conversation thread is distributed to every individual that received it.  Even better is when the reply is personal or private in nature but is distributed to 50 strangers.

When you get a group message, take an extra second to make sure that you're replying only to whom you intend to reply to.  If you want all of the recipients to know how amazing your date last night was with recipient #37's (recently) ex-boyfriend, then by all means, reply all.  But don't say I didn't warn you!

Event Invites

No one wants to be discluded from the latest and greatest of going-ons in their area.  But the key word is "In their area".

Would you believe that I got invited to a birthday party for someone I don't even know?

Of course you would!  It's Facebook!  We've all been invited to birthday parties for someone we don't know.  But the kicker was that the party was in Canada!

And I'm in Central Arkansas! 

Obviously I wouldn't be able to make it to the birthday party.  And obvioulsy the person who was sending invites sent them to every person on their friends list. 

Be courteous of your friends, don't save a few seconds of your time by wasting a few seconds of theirs.  If they're not in the same state or country as your event, they're probably not going to be able to make it unless you or the purpose of your event just mean that much to them.

eCommerce via Facebook Statuses

So you're trying to earn a little extra money by selling (insert latest fad here)?  Great!  You should start a Facebook PAGE for your business to promote it. You should invite people to join it that you think might be legitimately interested in what you have to offer.  You should get an online presence out there so that people see what you have to offer.  However, you should not use your personal Facebook page as your main solicitation point.  You should not spam every single Facebook friend with invites, messages, or photo tags about your latest money-making scheme effort.  You should not let your business content overshadow your personal content.  

The point of Facebook is to connect personally.  

If you become that person who gets hidden from everyone else's News Feeds because you're only using it to promote your're the person who is no longer connecting or promoting your business.  No personal connections equals no financial connections.

So in short--or not short, you know I can be long-winded--basically it comes down to being mindful of others.  Without all those friends on your friend list, your Facebook experience would be lacking.  You'd have no one to like, look at or comment on your content and we all know that those little notifications on the Facebook bar are the first things we look at when we log in.

Be more like that person you enjoy seeing in your Facebook feed and less like the one you hide from it.

Doctor Do-Little and the Blood Pressure Bill

A month ago I went to go subject myself to the humiliation of an annual gynecological exam. 

The horror of the exam alone is enough to give you nightmares, but this particular instance has been even worse after-the-fact than they typically are.  And not just immediately after-the-fact (I hate that squishy feeling.  I know Eve ate the apple and all, but does the the Curse of Eve have to be so all-encompassing?)
Anyway.  Anyone remember this instance? 

What an expensive conversation THAT turned out to be!!  Because my blood pressure was high, the OB/GYN asked me to go see my PCP to get my blood pressure checked.  So I made an appointment for the very next day, which I went to, paid my $30 copay, and was told to monitor and document it for the next month and come back and pay another $30 copay when I report my findings.
So, I did.  Today was my follow-up appointment with my PCP (The Doctor actually providing the care for the temporary blood pressure issue).  All is well and good.  Case closed.  "Come see me if you need me."
Except that the OB/GYN made a note on my chart that my blood pressure was elevated.  So their office billed two separate visits to my insurance company totaling $385.  (Note:  I was there for one visit only.)

They charged my insurance $185 for the examination that I was actually there for.  And then they charged my insurance $200 for a separate visit (Again, I was only there for one visit....) because the doctor made a note on my chart that my blood pressure was high that day.  $60 of that bill is being reallocated to me as a specialist copay.

Because, you know, of all the doctors to see for high blood pressure, I'd choose to see a gynocologist....

And because, you know, asking me to go see my PCP to get it checked out really constitutes providing billable care or treatment.

So my expenses on this little issue are now doubled because of a note made on a chart that had nothing at all to do with that visit or any care received by that doctor's office on that date. 

Needless to say, I'll be checking out other OB/GYN's in the future.  Whenever we decide to expand our family someday we'll have enough bills to worry about without getting bogus nonsense like THAT thrown into the mix.

Sidenote:  During the exam in the awkward conversation that you have with the doctor as you try to pretend they're not doing what they're actually doing, I commented on my dislike of the squishy stuff and she laughed and said she couldn't force herself to do the exam without it because of how horrible THAT would feel....if only her office staff extended the same courtesy.