Saturday, January 24, 2009

I can't take it any more

the hate mail that is

All during the election my inbox was filled with nasty, lie filled hate mail about our new president ---- from people who are either "distant" relatives or supposedly friends

During the last 4 or 5 years I have become something of a political junkie. When we lived in California my views were considered to be middle of the road to nearly conservative. Now that I live in Colorado, I'm considered to be a flaming liberal --- and my views have not changed.

This morning I went through my email and found yet another one of those nasty emails -- I snapped --- I sent back a one line reply -- "please don't send me any more of this hate mail"

the letter in question came from a cousin of my mother's, and I'm risking family feuds, but I just don't want to hear it any more

we need to stop the way business has been done with hate speach and spreading of lies and move on to working together to fix the truly horrible mess our country is in

we need safe roads and bridges
we need new renewable power sources
we need responsible health care

so much to do and so much is being wasted on just being mean


Friday, January 23, 2009

no, what do I REALLY think

about health care in this country, that is

On this blog have been some of my larger "rants" on this subject, and I have to say, this may not be one of them, but I just need to "get it out"

It's been a loooonnnngggg week

My dad was supposed to get a biopsy done this week on a "swelling" around his voice box. Turns out the specialist had actually wanted him to have this done back in October, but neglected to clearly communicate that information to my parents at the time.

Then, when the specialist sent his little report to their "primary care" doctor, it just went into the file, and the primary care doctor never asked them if the biopsy had been taken care of either.

Oh yes, and the biopsy didn't get done this week either because my dad is in the hospital with pneumonia, and now they want to wait until he recovers from that.

And then there is the medication issue.

A while back the doctor prescribed a medication for my dad to aid in his digestion (since his last cancer surgery he has had issues with this). Problem is, the medication they prescribed induces Parkinsonian-like symptoms, that can become permanent if you stay on the medication.

So, one of the doctors told my parents that there is a medication that does everything BUT the side effects. But it's not available in the U.S. After several MONTHS of dealing with the Canadian pharamacy and trying to get an acceptable prescription from the doctor, my sister recently discovered that the "no side effects" medicine is available in Great Britian --- OVER THE COUNTER!!!!!

Insert appropriate swearing here!!!

I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it until it gets fixed --- the health care system is seriously broken --- it has nothing to do with health OR care ---- it's all about how much money the drug companies and the insurance companies can make.

It crossed my mind Tuesday as I watched them wheel Teddy Kennedy out on a stretcher that fixing health care has been his life work, and he's hanging on to get a real reform passed and to a president that will sign it.

We better all hope it happens.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Not their day to die

This post could be sub-titled "or, why I refuse to fly", but that is not my real point to this post.

My grandmother used to say that each of us has a certain appointed number of days here.

I'm not so sure I believe that --- too fatalistic for my experience, and I believe in free agency which gives us choices and chances to impact what happens in our lives.

But I also believe that every choice and decision we make impacts every choice and decision we get to make (or must make) thereafter.

I find it really interesting how the pictures from this plane ditching in the Hudson make it look like the people are all walking on the water, just waiting for those ferry boats to come by the stop and pick them up.

And actually, it seems like the guy that could almost walk on water was the pilot. By all reports, there just couldn't have been a better guy in the pilot's seat to handle this situation. I think he deserves whatever the highest civilian award for bravery and service there is.

Whatever choices, decisions or fates were involved with this group, it just wasn't their day to die.

It gives us a view of what a real hero looks like --- a pilot "doing his job", and ferry boat captains and passengers suddenly finding themselves "in the fray", making that decision to go toward the danger and help save another person's life.

What would I have done?

What would you?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blogging --- am I doing it right?

Almost every day that I'm on my computer I check out a favorite blog or two (and I have a LOOOOONG list of "favorites" bookmarked -- some of you know who you are!).

Some days some of my favorites have posted, and some days not --- sort of like the way that I post (when the spirit moves me)

What puzzles me most are the ones that seem to look different every time I see them, like the writer has an unending fount of templates to use.

I'm thinking about what Marshall McLuhan said "the medium is the message"

I guess it's all about what your blog is to you. Since I think of mine as a sort of on line journal, I think that explains why the template doesn't change much --- from me it's about what I have to say (or babble about)

just sayin'

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This post should be subtitled "I really don't like change unless it's my idea"

For the past 6 months I have been part of a local quilt group.

It was fun.

Once a month we'd get together, show off whatever we'd been working on, stitch a bit, talk a bit, and have lunch (potluck)

Now there's been a change in the routine

It seems that there were several of the ladies that want to do "classes" -- ie: teaching each other techniques

Ok, I guess I'm outa here

Why? you ask?

#1 -- every class they have planned for the entire year involves piecing -- a fine technique, wonderful in fact if you're wanting to whip up a quick quilt top on the machine -- it's just not what I'm doing right now

#2 -- because I'm working on applique art quilts right now, doing the classes would mean I'd have to go and BUY materials to do them, and then I'd have to figure out what to do with whatever gets done in class -- also not what I had in mind doing right now --


just when I was having fun

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unabashedly stolen

Over at Kay's Thinking Cap she posted a list of things she's done.

Since she invited folks to do so, I stole her list and made it mine.

The stuff I've done is in RED

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to a charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo.
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown my own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill. (Ok, it was a "Mental Health" day!)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (in the winter I do this a lot!)
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (accidentally)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (several, actually)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (they wanted to hire a relative).
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Ridden an elephant

Ok, a lot of the things I haven't done involve traveling -- as on a airplane -- which is not likely to happen folks!!

Interesting to review, though

What does YOUR list look like?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

thinking about Spring

It's January

Right now it's not so cold that we have frost on the tree -- in fact what we do have is brown snow

Last weekend we had snow, and since our back yard faces north, the snow takes a long time to melt from there

and since there is construction going on in the field right behind us, the 50 mph winds we've had for a couple of days has turned what's left of the snow and ugly, dirty looking brown

I wish it would either finish melting or we'd get new snow (I can't believe I said I wanted snow!)

All of which has me thinking about Spring --

and Summer --

and gardens

Have you ever noticed how the seed catalogs start to arrive right after New Year's?

I'm thinking I'm not the only one that needs a bit of a lift and there's nothing quite so uplifting as thinking about eating yummy stuff right out of my own yard

We got some new catalogs this year -- my favorite being the one that came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds --- the art work is adorable, the seed prices are reasonable and they have seeds for some plants I remember from my childhood and you can't get anywhere locally

We've worked up a list of what we're going to order, and soon we'll be going out and measuring the space then working up drawings of what will get planted where

Funny, we've lived in this house now for 7 years (the longest I've lived in one place since I left my parent's), but last summer was the first year we actually did serious gardening. I guess we're finally "here".

The DH has built me a frame to use for compost -- I need to paint it then we can put on the chicken wire to keep the labrador from digging in it for those tasty morsels -- you know, egg shells and coffee grounds and apple peel or potato peel -- the joys of gardening with a big black dog

Seed catalogs are our reminder that Spring is coming!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Ghost of Christmas Past

When I was a child my grandmother would set up a snow village on top of the piano.

She would put down a layer of batting and set up the little houses and trees.

Back early in December I was talking to my mother about decorating for Christmas.

My folks don't decorate anymore, not even a tiny little tree, and she was asking me if there were some of the things that I wanted.

I told her that someday I'd like to have the snow village that my grandmother used to set up.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened one of the boxes from my mother to find these little cardboard houses inside.

These are the ones! I don't know how old they are, though I remember them from the late 1950s and I doubt they were new then. Each one has the opening in the back for the old style Christmas lights.

We're getting ready to take our Christmas stuff down now, but next year I want to get a string of small LED lights to put inside these.

Yes, it's definately the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Almost 12 Days of Christmas

I know, you're all tired of the 12 days of Christmas.

In fact, most places have gotten past Christmas, past New Year's and are already thinking about Valentine's day.

A lot of folks think of the 12 days of Christmas being the 12 days BEFORE the 25th of December. Actually it's traditionally the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany which is January 6th and is the day celebrated as when the Magi arrived.

We leave our tree up and light it until January 6.

And in recent years as our children have gotten older and have their own lives, as do my sister and her husband, sometimes the Christmas get together actually occurs with them closer to Epiphany than Christmas.

We had our family gathering at my folks house on Saturday. These gatherings usually include presents and food and a good deal of chaos -- Eight adults in a small space, everyone talking at once plus the usual mess of wrapping paper, boxes and ribbon from the unwrapping.

My sister was obviously reading my wish list this year. These were the presents I got to unwrap:

A box of pins!

Ok, you may not get how great this is, but these are an essential (and time saving) item for quilting projects.

And since I've had at least one quilt project and usually more going for quite a while, this will keep me happily moving along on those for this year

Off of her knitting needles to my hands -- lovely mitts to keep my wrists and hands warm while allowing me to write, sew, knit, draw or even type!

She had made me a pair of these last year (in bright red) and now I have a pair to wear and a pair to wash --- a wonderful thing!!!

I really love this heather-y blue yarn

There was also a package of Christmas blend coffee -- yummy --- sorry no pictures, I couldn't wait to open it and so I'm enjoying a cup-a, as I write this morning

and this book

I had read on someone else's blog (sorry, I can't remember who) about this book back when it came out in the fall and I really wanted to read it

It's great

One of the things in the first chapter talks about how long and cold and dark the month of January is and what you can do to "winterize" your mind.

I'm trying to put into practice 2 of the things

1) seeing the sunrise and the sunset every day and enjoying every precious minute of daylight


2) repairing something with my hands -- sew it, glue it, Fix It! I'll be mending a pair of jeans and a couple of shirts today

Sometimes when we have this family gathering I learn something new.

To say that my dad is not a great communicator would be a major understatement. So I was really amazed to hear him say how pleased he is that my sister and I are not only sisters, but have learned to be friends as well.

I know he's been hearing horror stories from one of his neighbors about one brother stealing from the other, and perhaps that is what put this on his mind.

But, yes, given that we are about as different in most ways as two sisters can be; that for most of our adult lives we've lived too far apart to even see each other for years at a time, we are friends.

So, I choose to start the new year instead of making resolutions that I probably wouldn't keep just to say how grateful I am to have a sister that is my friend ---

For all the gifts and all the times you've pulled my butt out of the fire --- thanks sis!