There can be ONLY ONE.

I don't know how other people cope with life events like Jeff's accident. I barely even know how I am coping with it, and it's my brain inside my skull here. I don't have a ton of insight to give you.


I vote we make something good out of this mess: something positive out of something painful, something warm and comforting out of something horrific.

So I'm giving away one new, custom-designed quilt to a lucky winner. All you have to do is answer one question:

How much did UAB bill to our insurance company for Jeff's stay?

Mind you, this number is not what we are paying out of pocket -- we're paying a co-pay for the hospital stay, plus some incidentals for various procedures. I knew the number would be staggering, but opening up the envelope and seeing the price of what it took to save Jeff's life ... let's just say there's a person out in the world last night who took a reeling, stunned, tearful phone call last night from me.

I can't, and won't, let that number define Jeff's recovery. So let's find a way to make that number about something else.

Here are the rules:

  1. Anyone can enter. You don't have to be in the USA.
  2. One entry per person.
  3. Your entries should be in American dollars and cents.
  4. You have exactly seven days from the timestamp of this post to make your guess. The entry was posted at 2011-03-31 15:27:43, Central time, so that means you've got until Thursday, April 7 at 3:27:43pm Central time to get your guess in.
  5. Keep your guess private. Don't post your guess in any comments you make here or elsewhere.
  6. Quilt will be twin-sized -- or smaller.
  7. Quilt will be made to your specifications, but I swear on all things holy that if you choose a Baltimore Album quilt, your heirs will get it instead of you.
  8. You have first naming rights on your quilt.
  9. You choose the pattern and the color scheme.
  10. You may have some of Jeff's hospital gowns in your quilt, if you like.
  11. If you have personal fabrics you'd like included in your quilt, I'll be happy to do so. (Assuming they are compatible -- I'll talk about it with the winner.)
  12. There are a very small handful of people who know the answer to the question. You know who you are. You are all close friends. I ask you kindly to abstain.
  13. There is no entry fee.
  14. The winner will be the person whose answer gets the closest to the actual billed cost. In the event of a tie, I'll either do a random drawing or make you fight a deathmatch or make you both quilts or something.
  15. I will announce the winner on, on twitter, and on facebook. Don't enter if you're not okay with being announced publicly as the winner.
  16. Void where prohibited by law or by large cats. Know the law and the claws.


  1. The bill wasn't a round dollar figure. So be sure to add in cents to your guess.
  2. To help you formulate your guess: Jeff spent 48 days in the ICU at UAB, along with another 13 days in the trauma/burn nursing unit, before being discharged to a rehab hospital.

Happy guessing, and let's all be grateful for insurance. :)


I entered only because I'm curious if I'll be even remotely close :)

Life is so precious. 

By the way, if you're wondering what a Baltimore Album quilt is, they look like this:

Made by Georgeanne Wrinkle. I'm pretty sure some of those ribbons are Best of Show, Mayfest 2002Baltimore album

['Baltimore album' by mellicious, used via Creative Commons]

Lots of small, intricate appliqué...

Total stab in the dark... 

Having seen (just now) the Baltimore Album sample, I'm intrigued...

Wonder how good my guess is!  :-)

I used to volunteer in the discharge area of the ER for Crestwood and I remember being staggered by how much silly little things like pillows cost. We'll see if I got it close. :)