Our Birthplace

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

it seems that very few people give credibility to any of the occult practices, yet everybody is interested in it. My particular interest was astrology but during the course of my study I met people from every corner of the universe. LOL I must have met at least a thousand people who claimed to have some sort of occult ability, and quite of few of them were very adept at what they practiced - my wife's sister-in-law the tea leaf reader for example. Even thought I was a practicing astrologer, I never lost my skepticism. Learning about quantum physics answered a few of my questions, but there are things like your office receptionist that simply have no ordinary explanation. Only a few of those thousand special souls I met had what I would consider some credible occult talent. It's because I could not explain their ability, quantum physics notwithstanding, that I hold a belief in things beyond human perception. It's not magic and it certainly isn't science as we know it. I'm sure there is a logical explanation for people who could read your mind and foretell your fortunes precisely. Many folks claim they can do it, but I've only met a few reliable sources to that end.


Your wife works for a great company and an even better store manager. Getting all those "free" goodies just because she works there isn't the way all businesses work. Motorola never gave left overs to their employees, and it was nearly impossible to buy any of their products from the company. When I inquired why that was the case I was told there is no way for accounting to account for income from it's employees. Even then I knew enough to understand it was line of BS, but for all the wonderful things that Motorola did for it's employees, they never shared their products.

A good buddy of mine at Motorola was in maintenance. In the days when we were making processors for Apple Computer the plant was fully equipped with Apple computers. Lisa's were all over the place. I used one myself that had the signatures of the design team engraved on the chassis. It broke beyond repair eventually and got tossed, but today it must be worth a small fortune. My buddy in maintenance saw one of those Lisa's in a trash gondola on the shipping dock. He did some dumpster diving and retrieved it and was headed toward the back door to put it in his car. He was intercepted by the company security people, fired on the spot, and escorted unceremoniously out of the building - without the trashed computer. He was accused of stealing but never was prosecuted. My guess is they did it just to create an example. Motorola didn't want ANYBODY rummaging through their worthless trash and taking it out of the building. Nope. No way.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

I knew a lady with excellent ESP, but as she said, it is not what you think it is, at least with her.
She could not tell you what you were thinking, but sometimes, with some people, far and few between, she did.
This is what got me thinking about our brains working on certain frequencies.
One thing she was very good at was finding lost or missing children.
But in nearly every case she worked on, she had to spend days, sometimes weeks with the child's mother before getting something, and then most of them were dead ends at first. She claimed it was probably because they were already dead. The only ones she ever really found were those who were still alive, and held somewhere within their geographic area.
But finding 1 or 2 out of every 10 kept authorities calling her to help if she could.

Debi works at Ace Hardware, and gets a fantastic employee discount. Plus there are certain coupons she can use on top of the discount too. Not many, but a few. Such as one that has a cash value, not a discount amount. In other words, there is a difference in one that says five dollars off, and one that has a value of five dollars in cash toward a purchase.
Many returned items cannot be resold, and the manufacturer don't want them back. In some cases, they have to remove a part making it not functional and discard the item. But some smaller things they would just throw away. Also some display items can be sold as a display item, but if they don't sell after so long, employees get to take them if the boss gives them to them to take home. It is never anything worth more than a few bucks though, usually under 20 dollars retail value.

We had a friend of the family who drove a commercial garbage truck that picked up those big dumpsters. He always checked what was in them before either dumping them or loading the larger long dumpsters onto his truck.
Legally he could not take anything out of the dumpster until it was off the companies property and he was in a public area.
Nearly every time he picked up at a super large discount store, he would come straight up to behind our greenhouses and toot his horn. Usually only one or two people would run out and check what was in there, and if it had some good things, they would tell him to toot twice more, as a signal to other employees to run out and help unload some stuff.
They had an unwritten rule that no one person got the stuff right away, it all got moved up to the far end of the loading dock, then while on lunch or breaks they could look over what was there and put their name on the items they wanted. If more than one wanted a particular item, they had to wait until after work to dicker with each other over it.
If nobody wanted something they took out, the next time he stopped by with stuff, after getting stuff out, they would toss the older stuff back in, hi hi. Heck, I wound up with a matching set of stereo speakers and a couch once myself, plus a few odds and ends of things, like a toaster without a handle, a couple of cordless drills with no battery, etc.
Another guy got a small refrigerator in perfect shape, not a single dent in it after being tossed in the dumpster. Only one of the bars on a door rack was broken but still there. He glued a piece of plastic behind the break and you couldn't even tell it was ever broken.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

Seems like a hundred years ago when I was staying in a hospital for a few days; kidney stones I think or some such thing. All rooms were double beds in those days and a fellow who wasn't quite put all together properly was in the next bed. He was pretty normal in every respect but not right mentally. He told me he could read people's mind. Uh huh, sure. My wife came to visit and he got to talking with us. He said again he could read people's mind but only in a certain way. If we thought of a playing card, he could tell us which one we were thinking about. 1 out of 52 are pretty good odds even if he was guessing so that I asked if he would give us a demo. He agreed. Wife and I thought of our cards. He came up with mine almost immediately. He had to ponder a while for my wife's card and finally admitted he could not read her mind. This might lend some support to the idea of people being resonant in some way.


I have a feeling there is a lot more dumpster diving going on than we are suspecting. I've heard stories like yours a few times and am always fascinated by what retailers simply toss away. The sad side of that story is I've also heard of people who forage for food that way. About a week ago there was a program on Public Television showing a couple guys doing just that. They were retrieving some pretty good looking food from dumpsters and taking it to food pantries. Yes, the pantry knew where it was coming from.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

I do know there must be some type of ESP between mothers and daughters, and sometimes their sons.
You hear about things all the time where a mother will suddenly stop what she's doing, because she felt something was wrong. And in many cases, there was a traumatic event by their daughter, and sometimes their son.
This happens enough there are scientists still looking into it, but not really getting anywhere.

We shop at a discount grocery outlet store that has grown to have many stores, and along with it the quality of items and prices keep going up too. Many of their products come from the big grocery store warehouses that are overstocked or items are slow moving and getting close to their expiration dates, but usually still months away on canned goods.
But a lot of their items are as fresh if not fresher than the grocery stores too.
Now that they've added meats, it comes straight from the same places the other stores get theirs.
And bread is interesting too.
Only because one of Debi's cousins used to work for Kern's Bakery I learned a lot about certain breads.
For example: They only made Rye bread once a week, no matter who's label went on the packages.
Rye is sealed in cellophane but not bagged in vinyl until they know where it is going.
Our little store gets both Arnold brand, and Pepperidge Farm brand.
Both were baked by Kern's when Kern's was in operation.
1/3 of the Rye bread they made went to a certain warehouse labeled as Arnold.
The other 1/3 went to another warehouse labeled Pepperidge Farm.
From the warehouse they go to the individual stores who carry those brands.
With Pepperidge Farm, after three days, the Rye bread goes to their day old store.
With other stores, the bread is swapped out and goes to the distribution center where our store gets the bread.
Now realize the bread being sent to the warehouse on the second weekly shipment is the same bread that is already three days old, since they only make it one day a week.
However, that being said, we still have 1/3 of what the bakery made in their inventory.
Almost all of the bread not shipped out will go to Walmart, Aldi, and of course our little chain of stores.
To make room to make this weeks batch of Rye bread styles.

White breads are more interesting. They are made daily and go right to the retail outlets, never seeing a warehouse.
There are colored wires holding the bread bags closed. And the driver will remove any loaves that are three days old.
A few stores they are removed on the second days second delivery.
From there the driver then stops at our little store and Aldi and others.
What he picks up from the secondary stores goes to the feed store co-op for farmers to use for hogs, ducks, etc.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

Rye bread is my favorite kind. When I was growing up we lived next door to a bakery. The neighborhood was mostly Polish immigrants and the bakery catered to their needs. There were two kinds of rye that mom wold buy, the dark and the light. The dark was pumpernickel and a bit heavier texture than the regular rye. Thus, I grew up eating Polish Rye or Wonder bread. It's quite a contrast but back in the day Wonder Bread actually was more like bread than silly putty.

Most places I lived were not catering to a specific ethnic group. Thus the rye bread I was able to acquire came in a wide variety of styles. The Belden Deli in DesPlaines, IL, was my prime source for Jewish Rye and a reasonable substitute for what I craved. There were several local bakeries in the last town I lived. Each one reduced the number of rye loaves they made or simply stopped making it. Panera (St Louis Bread Co) sold rye by order when I first moved here, but they no longer will do that. So, getting any bakery quality rye bread has become impossible.

Pepperidge Farm is the most readily available rye bread in O'Fallon. They too favor the seedless variety where I love the caraway seeded kind more. But, that mass produced rye is nothing like the limited supply bakeries would produce. The fact that Pepperidge Farm Rye will circulate two or three times longer than white bread says something about what they put into it to last so long. I'm not sure I want to know; the choices for an edible rye bread in O'Fallon are getting limited.

I have made my own, and I clearly understand why it's impossible to find artisan crafted bread anymore. It's expensive and doesn't always turn out to be retail quality. I miss those old Polish bakeries, and I don't want to learn how to make corn bread - although I hear it's pretty easy. :grin:


Scientific investigation of the occult is a waste of time. None of that is science. It's a lot like psychology, which isn't fully accepted everywhere either. You have to deal with norms when investigating the metaphysical and not repeatable lab quality testing. True scientists can't be bothered with such nonsense.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

I had forgotten to mention something about Rye Bread the other day.
They run so many through the ovens so fast, some of them are not completely done.
Done enough, but not quite all the way done.
The loaves are weighed and any that are overweight are sold as seconds.
A loaf of Rye bread is divided into three sections. For lack of another term, grades A, B, and C.
The center section is grade A, usually goes to restaurants.
Grade B is the large end, goes to upscale and chain stores, and Grade C the narrow end goes to local grocers and smaller chain stores, or discount stores and places like WalMart.
Sometimes you can find both Grades B and C in some stores that are known for selling day old bread.
But you'll never find a Grade A loaf of Rye in a store, since restaurants get it all and use it up fast.
I actually think to keep up with the restaurant orders, they are shorting the grades B and C by a slice or two, hi hi.
Oh, if you hit a loaf of Rye that seems a little too gummy in the middle, those are the seconds, some still end up in good grocery grocery stores.

I don't know if the Arnold brand is available there or not, but between Arnold and Pepperidge Farm, Arnold was a higher quality, slightly different dough formula, just as all brands are.
The very best Rye bread I ever had came from Red Brick Oven backeries. They only had like four or five stores, but two major size commercial bakeries where they baked many brands. I don't remember the name of their commercial bakeries though, but they were also part of a larger group of bakeries, like National Bakeries.

Debi makes three different types of corn bread, usually has a new batch going every three or four days.
I don't normally like southern corn bread and tease her about it probably being made from horse corn, hi hi.
Every once in a while she will make sweet cornbread like we had back home in St. Loo.
But she came up with a new recipe a few years after we were married, which she says is a royal pain to put together, but it is the best corn bread I ever tasted. She was raised on horse corn, hi hi, so thinks it is too sweet for her likin'.

There are a lot of things we know that work and work well for some, but scientists have no idea of the how or why.
Like why does 1/100th of a dose of something that is known to work at the regular dosage, work better for some folks at 1/100th of a dose? And then we have the Homeopathy were the dose is 1/1000th or less of a dose, and it too works for some. Could be psychological effects making it seem to work for them, like a placebo works for some, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

I read an article way back when, and you probably did too, where some experiments were done with morphine. All the test patients had morphine grade pains but only half of them were given the real thing. The other half got the placebo. Yes, some of the placebo people experienced the same relief as those who got the real thing. Pain, however, is a state of mind. It's like hot and cold or any other sensory perception. The brain has learned to use pain as a warning that something isn't right. So, if you can get your brain to ignore the warning, you feel no pain. I have had some limited experience with pain control using hypnosis; no chemicals involved whatsoever. My dentist was amazed, but not totally surprised. The scientific method deals with cause and effect in the physical world. When we get to metaphysical levels, science is ill equipped to deal with it.

Your details about rye bread are pretty interesting. Oddly enough the best rye bread I've eaten was not in a restaurant. But, then, you are talking about commercial bakeries. All the food in restaurants is of a different quality than what you can buy retail. I did a side trip to Google and could not find Red Brick Oven Bakeries anywhere. They must have existed before computers. LOL There is a plethora of Brick Oven pizza joints.

Cornbread is a staple of southern cooking, to be sure. Not much of it appears on the menus around here, but there is no shortage of it at Schnucks or Deirbergs. I hear that putting sugar in your cornbread will get you excommunicated, but to be honest I don't know that I could discern one from another style. I have a bag of corn meal that I use when I make pizza. I sprinkle it on the pizza pan in lieu of olive oil. Never had pizza dough stick to the pan when I used a corn meal coating. It's a popular method for baking breads, from which I obtained the idea. Part of the problem I have with corn bread is the carb count being so high. It's almost as bad as the high gluten flour they use in bagels. Both are awesome tasting foods, but they play hell with the blood sugar.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

I have read several articles over the years about the various experiments people have done to see what the affect are.
Some of them had to do with medicine, some with memory, and some trying to prove our brain does not store information, but our brain acts like a transmitter/receiver. They had some mighty valid points about that last one.

Red Brick Oven Bakeries were in St. Louis County from around 1920 or '30, up to around 1970 give or take.
Their retail outlets were in Rock Hill, Crestwood, and two other places further north and south of those two.
I would guess one was up by Chain of Rocks, and the other down near Jefferson Barracks.

Their commercial plants were in Jefferson County, Fenton area. And one was in Franklin County I think.
Not sure if they had a commercial bakery in St.Louis County, unless it was just across the line into St. Louis.
Come to think of it, they may have one near Anheiser Bush south plant?

You just got me to searching also and I could not find anything out either.
Neither Commercial or Industrial bakeries brought up anything I remembered.
Interestingly enough, besides searching St. Louis, I also searched Knoxville, and Kern's is not on any list either.
Maybe they don't call them bakeries, hi hi.

I know Jiffy Mix makes the kind of Cornbread I grew up with.
But down south here they use another brand, that is definitely NOT sweet cornbread, hi hi.
It's all my wife uses so I should know the name, just can't think of it off hand.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

I am totally stunned by the fact that Google does not actually know everything; no knowledge of Red Brick Bakeries. :bleh:

Good old Jiffy Mix. Back in the old olden days me and a few cousins started a Friday Afternoon Club. There was no purpose other than to get together and pretend we knew how to run a meeting. We would nominate motions and second them, just because we knew that's how things were done ... someplace. LOL There were dues that had to be paid. I don't recall exactly what they were, but it could not have been more than a nickle a week. It probably was more like a penny or two. Well, the club didn't last long. It did last long enough for us to have enough in the treasure to buy a cake mix and celebrate. You guessed it if you guessed it was a Jiffy Mix cake. Back then it was 10 cents for a box of mix. Well, mom contributed a few things such as the icing and the oven to bake it, and she was gracious enough not to charge us for her time and effort. Also, much later in my life, I recall making cornbread from one of those Jiffy Mixes. It was just a curiosity and very easy to do. I'm thinking all I had to do was add water and mix it. I don't recall ever making cornbread again until well after I was married. Again it was just an odd thing for a special dinner one day. I'm pretty sure I've had some down here in Missouri, but I don't recall at the moment the exact circumstances.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

You got me laughing because you brought back some really old childhood memories of clubs we formed.
To counter a small group of boys who formed the Avoid Cooties Club, our little group formed the He Man Woman Haters Club. No Dues, and it probably only lasted a month or two if that. Early grade school years.

We had a few others when I was in 6th through 8th grade, and many of us belonged to different clubs at the same time.
I belonged to both the Flip-Card Club, and the Penny Toss Club. The nuns put a stop to the Penny Toss Club as soon as they found out about it. Called it Gambling, hi hi. But they didn't call the Flip-Card Club gambling when the flip-cards were actually more valuable, hi hi.

I belonged to some proper clubs in high school, the Chess Club, the Ham Radio Club, and a few others. This is where I got my first taste of Roberts Rules of Order.
Later in life I was elected President of Parents Without Partners. At the time I was elected, our Chapter 478 membership was down to under 70 members and falling rapidly. If we dropped to 50 we would have to merge with Chapter 11.
I worked hard and had some excellent helpers, and during my first term I brought the member ship up to over 150 and during my second term we crossed the 200 member mark, which is at what point a new Chapter could from as we split. Nobody wanted this, so we had 20 members who like to party move over to Chapter 11. We got back down to like 172 members when my term was up. I was no longer eligible since I was getting married.

I've belonged to many clubs since those days, am still a life member of several, although they were back home and I never joined any down here, other than writing groups I rarely go to now.

Red Brick Oven Bakeries.
I did learn that the name of the outlet stores were simply Red Oven Bakery.
They were located in Rock Hill, Crestwood/Sunset HIlls, Florissant, and Fenton.
Their two commercial bakeries were taken over by Missouri Baking in the early 1970's.
The outlets stores either closed or were taken over and renamed by new management around 1972 to 1974.
I could find nothing on Google about them either.

I wish you didn't get me into hunting for info on this.
I have found a few things in comments by folks on different historical websites.
From what I can ascertain from the comments.
Red Oven Bakeries were actually owned and operated by Lickhalter Baking Company.
Their commercial bakeries were only temporarily taken over by Missouri Baking.
Also, their commercial bakeries had little to do with the retail bakeries they owned, other than supplying some products for resale, and of course the ingredients.
After Lickhalter sold out to Missouri Baking Company, Missouri Baking Company lost several large accounts.
This is when the retail bakeries were sold and Missouri Baking was going to close as well.
Freund Baking Company picked up the commercial accounts lost by Missouri Baking and since Missouri Baking was already tooled up to handle those products, Freund bought their buildings and equipment.
This info was gleaned from comments in like 20 different places I scoured, and may not be accurate.
I just found out that Freund Bakery sold out to American Bakeries, but American kept the name Freund and all of their holdings after 1968, and for another decade did not change any names of existing plants.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

Among your many other talents, you provide ample evidence to show you are a Super Sleuth as well. I must apologize for my curiosity about bakeries. I had only a perfunctory interest in the Red Brick Oven Bakeries and did not intend to challenge your research abilities. I know you are good at it because of what you already provided me about your family history. Anybody who can gather that amount of detail would certainly be able to link Red Brick with American Bakeries. I think you documented a pretty good chronology and I also realize it's all hearsay; not allowed as evidence in court. However, you probably are the only person on this planet who knows about the evolution and devolution of Red Brick Oven Bakeries. Your ancestors would be proud of you. :grin:

Missouri is looking like a friendly place. Well before we made the decision to move here I was thinking it was about time in my life to do what the elephants do -- I subsequently discovered they really don't do this, but still. I knew I wanted to migrate to somewhere and find an ancient burial ground on which to live my final days; probably alone. This is looking like that place, but I certainly don't know much about where I landed. My whole life was played out in and near Chicago where I became intimately familiar with the details of it's being. I don't know much about O'Fallon and less about the state of Missouri, but I do know this. We live within two miles of the first mail box to be erected in O'Fallon. Don't know how my wife figured that out, but she did. So ... learning about ghost bakeries that disappeared decades ago adds to my familiarity. I will die a happier person now that I know all this. :lol:

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

I know you could do this, but here are a couple of articles you may be interested in.

https://www.ofallon.mo.us/history-of-ofallon

https://ofallonmohistory.com/

After I moved here to Knoxville, I sought out old business that were still in operation, that my wife who lived here all of her life never knew anything about. And although it is now gone completely, the one she enjoyed visiting most was an old print shop that still used wooden type and made wooden plates to print large things like theater wall posters and the like.

They were very close to closing down when I convinced the owner to take us through his printing plant.
It was so much fun for both of us, Debi told him he should have tours of the place and charge a few bucks since he spent so much time with us. She said what you showed and told us about should be considered a grand tour, and cost at least 20 bucks per person.
Although we don't know for sure, but about a month later we saw an add for tours through the old wood type printing plant. I forget now how it was worded exactly, but it was definitely a catching ad. But apparently it didn't help him stay afloat much longer, because when my son was here to visit and I wanted to take him, it was closed, and under renovation for a retail store.

They did have a more modern letterpress plant as well, but it also closed in 2012.
It was the old wood type and wood plate location that we thought was awesome to tour and see in operation.
Apparently it closed a few years before their more modern plant.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

Thank you for the O'Fallon History links. I have already looked up a few, but these two are new to my experience. By coincident the second article talks about Fort Zumwalt, after which a school district is named in O'Fallon. Just before I came here to read your missives I paid my real estate tax bill and the Fort Zumwalt School District was responsible for a good two thirds of the cost. As an aside, the personal property tax bill was just over $100 because the assessed value of both our cars amounts to something like $1,600 in total. I was thinking of buying a new (used) car, but now I have second thoughts. LOL

I think I might be interested enough in that old print shop to take a tour. I wouldn't give up $20 per person, however. That's just cheap ol' me talking, but I'm certain it's well worth that amount. I'm not surprised that the tours didn't last long. There are only so many local folks who would be interested in that kind of amusement. I don't know what kind of tourist traffic you have there but obviously it isn't enough to keep the old print shop operational.

We have a very old stone church on Main street which I'm sure is a left over from when the town was founded. Wife tells me there are a couple very old houses (cabins?) too somewhere near that church. I am not a member there but it looks as if that stone building is where all the services are conducted. Immediately adjacent to it is a modern school and a few other recently build structures. It's all very well done and makes me think the parishioners are a wealthy lot. I think of the contrast between the two every time I pass by. That old church is out of place, but it apparently is an original.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

One thing I hated about Missouri was its high personal property tax on vehicles.
And when we were already low on funds and Ruth bought that 36,000 dollar Blazer, although she was making the payments on it until she died. I was then stuck with the payments until I got it paid off, but the PPTax on it was 600 bucks a year.
My real estate tax bill, being in St. Louis County was also very high, it was over 1,200 bucks a year. And after I moved south, the person who bought my house said his taxes were not 1,750 per year, it jumped that much due to the resale.

I think for that 20 bucks, they also got a movie style poster with their name on it too.
When Debi and I went through, he gave us the grand tour and charged us nothing at all, and he spent a good hour explaining each part of the operation. It was obvious he was proud of owning the place, and keeping it up and running.

When I was doing old home renovations, and some historic home renovations for others.
I hit a house that was built around a Sod House, with Log Cabin extensions, eventually all hidden with modern exterior and interior surfaces. I think I mentioned this one time on this forum.
I had to drill through a wall that was like 20 inches thick, and found the area between the two modern walls was clay and roots. A talk with the owner who said yes, the original home was a sod house.

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yogi
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

You are right about the personal property tax being outrageous. Personal property tax should be illegal. LOL Now that I've been here more than four years, it's plainly obvious that the cost of living is well below what it was up in Illinois. They did not have a property tax over there and I was warned to expect it here in Missouri. Then I discovered the yearly license plate fee here in MO is $17.50 per year per car. It was $102.50 in IL. If and when I purchase a new car, I fully expect the cost of ownership in MO will exceed that of IL, with one exception. The price of gasoline in the county I lived in up north was taxed something like 30 cents a gallon more than surrounding counties. This was due to anti pollution laws that forced the refineries to make a special blend just for Chicago metro area. Why my tax dollars had to pay for the refinery expenses never was made clear to me, but that was the explanation for the higher tax rate. The best deal offered by the state of MO is that premiums I pay for supplemental health insurance are a tax write off. At least that is what they told me last year when I did not have to pay any Missouri state income tax. So, all things considered, taxwise, it's a wash. The cost of governing is the same in IL as it is in MO. They simply collect the taxes in different ways.

The cost of things besides tax is roughly 20% less than what it was back in Roselle. I read that stat when we first moved down here but never really noted any difference. My income has remained the same, more or less, during the four years I've been here, but my checking account is now seeing a surplus to the tune of 20%. I can't pinpoint why that is, and I can see it is going to change in the future. I just got the quote for my supplemental insurance for 2021. The cost increase for me is $80/mo, or $960/yr. Haven't figured out yet what the wife's increase is. So much for not paying MO state tax that is less half of that increase in insurance premiums. I guess I should not complain too too much about the insurance. I never have to pay anything for healthcare. Drugs is a different story, but even there the co-pays are reasonable. The premiums are not.

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Kellemora
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Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

Before I moved south, Property Taxes were supposed to be 1/3 of what they were back home.
That was a BIG FAT LIE! My taxes here are like triple of what I paid back home, after the city annexed us.
They have a lower tax rate BUT assessments are much higher, and DOUBLE IT because two separate entities collect property tax at roughly the same rate. If my house here was the same size as my house back home, I could not afford the taxes on it, because they would be over 2,400 bucks a year.

We are supposed to be able to get our tax rate frozen at what it is the year we apply.
Tried that half a dozen times, they say we make too much money to get the freeze, and even if we did, we have to have it refroze each and every year, so it still goes up, just with a one year lag is all. So it is not really worth the hassle to save 20 to 40 bucks increase each year.

If we were allowed to keep our existing medical insurance when I turned 65, that policy covered everything, including drugs. And it was only like 85 bucks more than I pay now on three policies that don't cover much of anything.

I sure hope people are smart enough not to fall for that Plan G scam, also known as the Advantage plan. The only advantage is for the insurance companies. It covers diddly squat of what you need, and a lot things you don't need.

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yogi
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Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 21:49

Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

The sum total of Social Security benefits for me and my wife excluded us from property tax freezes in Illinois. When we toss in the income from investments there was no hope for us. That freeze had to be renewed every year in Illinois too, by the way. And, the freeze was not actually what the name implies. If we did qualify, then our real estate taxes would only be allowed to increase by 5%, I think it was. Might have been less. The straw that broke our camel's back was the year the real estate taxes doubled and that brought us to nearly $10k. Amazingly, the tax bill went down for a year or two after they doubled it due to the Great Recession. Since we had a triennial assessment of the house, the assessed value never went down. They did adjust the rates, however. It all came back up and was increasing at a breakneck rate when we left. They also had something called a Homestead Exemption, which meant we got a few hundred dollars knocked off our real estate taxes just because we lived in the same house for ten or more years. That too had to be renewed yearly. Apparently the Country Treasurer is adverse to keeping records for more than a year.

Health insurance is a bit like buying automobiles. One size does not fit all. Those Advantage Plans are great for certain individuals who remain healthy. Us sick old buzzards get some relief but not enough. The problem is something I alluded to earlier. After age 65 people need more healthcare than prior to that age. That means the insurance companies are paying out more claim money, which necessitates more premium money to be collected. Only Medicare which isn't 100% coverage can actually handle the increased medical costs. So, the remaining costs can be covered by supplemental insurance which costs about as much as regular insurance prior to age 65. My insurance company figured they are going to pay out about $900 more next year to take care of me, which is why they raised the premium. I doubt that will be true in practice. However, after age 80 I do expect the expenses to increase and those extra premiums I'm paying now will get used up pretty quick.

Mom had to have surgery to unclog a main artery. This resulted in some heart problems, and since she was hospitalized they also found COPD issues. Well she was in and out of the hospital for around 3 month. I estimated the bills to be slightly over $250k of which mom ended up paying very little. No way in Hell did she pay that much in Medicare or any other health insurance premiums. Yet, all her bills were covered. Private insurance to cover that kind of payout is out of reach for most of us. Thank the gods of government sponsored Medicare whenever you get a chance.

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Kellemora
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Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 17:54

Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

I know when I bought our house in Creve Coeur, which was actually in St. Louis County, just outside the Creve Coeur line, our taxes were only 650 bucks that first year. The way our mortgage worked, our taxes were included in it and placed in escrow and they paid it, so we didn't notice it going up that much at first, because our monthly payment only went up about 20 bucks a year, but after about 5 years, we were paying 100 bucks a month more due to the escrow payment part.
After I refinanced the first time, I had to pay the taxes myself, which was OK, until that tax bill came. Then I decided to put it back as an escrow payment and glad I did. My new mortgage company paid us 2% interest on money we had in escrow. Today that is more like only 1% or less, hi hi.

Most of my life I had Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and Blue Major. All together they only came to around 250 a month, and with each kid it went up about 50 bucks is all. But the price started climbing and fast, it jumped from 350 to 500 bucks, and then up to 700 bucks a month, which was more than I was making, so I had to drop it. Thankfully, that was right after I started at MRTC and had insurance coverage benefits for the entire family. But after I left there to work at the flower shop in place of my dad, once again I had no insurance so had to find some. I did get a good family policy that only cost me around 180 bucks a month and it covered nearly everything. But as you said, when young, we didn't have many medical bills, not even with the kids.
If you look close at your Medicare Summary of EOB payments. You'll see they don't pay out very much at all. Apparently the doctors have to eat most of the cost themselves. My EOB always shows how much the doctor charged, how much is allowed, and how much they paid, then we would be responsible for the rest. This is where my supplemental insurance takes over and that EOB shows the amount they were responsible for, and how much I would have to pay the doctor or hospital or whomever. In some cases the amount I owe is more than I think it should be after reading my policies. But they always have a reason I owe that much, hi hi.

Without looking up again, I forget how much I pay to Medicare each month, how much for Supplemental, and how much for the Drug Plan. But when you add them all together, it is quite a bit really. I posted the listing on here not to long ago.

Speaking of taxes again. My uncle Herb bought the house behind him on a different street and moved in.
It was a slightly larger and nicer house, but the taxes were about half of the house he was living in.
He didn't change towns or school districts, but the Alderman's district was different. Now what that had to do with property taxes is anyone's guess. The only other difference was he also voted at a different place too.
I found similar things when I was buying houses to renovate. One large all brick two-story home, the taxes might only be 650 bucks a year, and another smaller one-story frame house two streets away, the taxes were 1050 per year. 1980's prices by the way. The humongous brick home I bought on California Street, the taxes were 850 a year. Less than two years later they were over 2000 dollars a year. Glad I sold that one when I did, hi hi.
I know the reason the taxes went up though. All the houses on that street were renovated and sold to the yuppie crowd for big dollars. I sold it before the yuppies were interested in that street, drat, hi hi.

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yogi
Posts: 7264
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 21:49

Re: Our Birthplace

Post by yogi »

Every year at tax time I look up what I pay for insurance. All my life insurance policies are being paid by the interest they earn. I've had them since I was first married, and those policies were bought with ones cashed in and issued before I married. Real estate taxes here in MO were slightly under $2000 the first year, but then, we didn't live here the entire year. Four years later they seem to have leveled off around $3700. Then there is healthcare insurance. Considering what I and my wife pay into Medicare and the supplemental, and the drug plan, we are enriching a few insurance companies to the tune of $13,000 a year. That will go up next year. I have indeed looked over those EOB's and was just as amazed as you are. Those charges and reimbursements are negotiated so that for whatever reasons the healthcare providers accept what you see there. Do I end up getting $13,000 in healthcare and/or drugs each year? It's close, but probably less than that figure. My wife had a breif hospital stay a couple years ago and I know at least twice that annual premium cost went to the hospital. So ... in any given year I am not getting what I pay for. In the long run, however, I don't see how those insurance companies stay in business. All I know is that I have very little out of pocket expenses, plus, as a retiree, Motorola reimburses me $1,200 per year to cover my medical costs. We are too late to do anything this year, but come next October we will be evaluating what is available at that time. I'm pretty sure we could get a better deal.

Medicare is a wonderful thing and it works very much like the insurance you had from previous employers. That work insurance is dirt cheap because it is group insurance. The company is considered to be a single client by the insurer and figures it's costs on the average for each individual. Some people use a lot of it and others use none. Thus on average the monthly premium is much lower than you could get for individual private insurance. Motorola paid most of that monthly premium as a benefit. Drugs were included. As it happened, when I left Motorola they allowed me to keep the group coverage until age 65. It had something to do with my long term service (36 years) and the fact I was asked to retire voluntarily. The insurance was part of the severance package, but only if I signed a note promising not to sue them for being fired. It was worth it.

I had only one face to face encounter with the county assessor regarding my taxes. My house was literally the smallest one in the neighborhood; less than 1500 sq ft living space. I was paying the highest taxes - the taxes are publish and one year I was shocked to see what was going on. So, me and the assessor had a face off. His story was that my house, unlike all the others in the neighborhood. was all brick. That raised the taxes exponentially for some reason. He told me I could appeal to the board, which would meet in a few months AFTER my taxes were due. So, where I lived it was the kind of house you had and not the size that determined your liability. There also are such things as congressional districts; you know, those things presidential electors represent. The lines for those districts are drawn by the politicians in power at the time of redistricting and they do come down the middle of some property lines depending on what political party the owner is registered to vote for. Grrrr.

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Kellemora
Posts: 4915
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 17:54

Re: Our Birthplace

Post by Kellemora »

Yes, when I was working for others, if they had group insurance I would definitely join, because they matched half the cost.

But once I was out on my own, I still managed to get into smaller group policies by belonging to trade groups for awhile. But then after a while I moved on and finally had to pay all of my own and my families insurance. Expensive way to do it, but at least I wasn't under employers thumbs so to speak.

I had to have this house reappraised by the county assessor because he just ups it every year automatically.
It went up a little more when I had new siding put on the outside over the concrete block stucco.
But I never let them do the inside appraisal after I did the new bathroom, and especially not after doing the new kitchen.
Those two renovations would have doubled my already double taxes for sure.
The only thing I have to make sure of is I keep my homeowners insurance policy amount about half way between county appraisal and FMV which is something they look at also.
One insurance company who sent me a quote on my house had the face value of the insurance more than triple of what I'm currently carrying. No house in my whole area has ever sold for that much.

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