Wednesday, December 2, 2009

more thoughts about the state of world issues

Matthew Hoh has it right - Al Quaeda is not based in Afghanistan - they are based all over the world because they have a huge presence on the internet. No war, no matter how many men and women we send into harm's way, no matter how much money (that we don't have) we throw into combat, no matter how many politicians banter and debate - NO WAR - will end the terrorist threat to any free-thinking Country. The terrorists have won the battle if not the war - they have us scared to death of our own shadows, of what might be. That is very sad, in my opinion. We can't legislate and make policy based on what if's. We have to be prudent and intelligent. Right now we are neither. I voted for our President and I greatly admire him. However, I so greatly disagree with this latest decision that I felt I just had to post here. That's all for now....sleep tight (and dream of PEACE!).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

controversial opinions herein: Proceed at your own risk!

Some thoughts on issues/items in the news today:

Crib Recall:

While I don't disagree that cribs that are unsafe should be removed from the market and that secondhand cribs should not be purchased from yard sales or e-bay, I find it fascinating that people who smoke around their children, put cereal in their babies' bottles to get them more full so they're sleep, give their kids unregulated herbal supplements to help them sleep through the night (so they, the parents, aren't so tired in the morning) etc.... may be more outraged at 5 (albeit needless & sad) infant deaths than by the potential harm they, themselves, may cause their children. And that they may sue the manufacturer for neglect while they, themselves, are potentially neglectful.

Additional troops to fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan:

Is anyone listening to the troops themselves, who know that Al Qaeda is not in one particular part of the world or one particular country, but all over the world? In this day and age of internet and technology, they are able to spread hatred world-wide in record time. Thinking that pouring additional dollars into fighting in Afghanistan is going to "win the war on Al Qaeda" is ludicrous. It's like saying that bombing one Ku Klux Klan gathering place is going to win the war on racism. Hatred, terrorism, and political and religious intolerance know no borders, so a "war" against them, on the ground with troops, is not able to be won. Do I want the troops to have further support so they are better protected? On one hand, you bet! But in the wider scope of things, I don't want more troops in harm's way.

Oprah ending her talk show:

Had to end with something less serious. I say, do whatever makes you happy, Oprah. You're rich enough, who cares if the leap to your own cable network leaves you less effective, a lesser impact on pop culture?

That's it for now!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What the He** is Wrong With Me?

I just had this thought...remembering, for some reason, every idiotic mistake I've made in my life. Not very productive, but thought-provoking all the same. I've tried to make square pegs fit in round holes so many times....and then I am surprised when things don't work out the way I'd envisioned. What's wrong with this picture?

The last few weeks have been filled with sadness. Two friends, each at only age 48, have passed away in the past 3 weeks. A young man - only in his early 30's - who was a resident at Citizens was taken off of tube feedings, taken home, and passed away on Wednesday. It's been rainy and a bit gloomy, and I am facing my first Thanksgiving in 18 years without Tori by my side. And I'm still fairly-newly separated. Ugh.

I know there are thousands of things to be thankful for, and I am taking a few moments every morning to remember those. But today, for some reason, the "what-if's" are taking over my thought patterns. If only I had realized when I was younger what I really wanted in a relationship, if only I had communicated that more effectively for 22+ years, if only I did what I knew was best for me instead of what feels good at the time....the list goes on and on.

I have cried more in the past 3 weeks than I have laughed. I have worked long hours in a job which, thankfully, I love, but I am exhausted. I am having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We're heading into Holiday Season, and I want to be joyful, be grateful, be happy....am hoping that things turn around soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

nearly a whole day without internet...yikes!

Found out today what effect having an internet outage has on me, and it is NOT pretty, I tell you! I felt as if I'd been cut off from the whole world. Then I went to work for a couple of hours and the phone and internet went down THERE, too...talk about feeling like a jinx! Anyway, I'm back up & running thanks to Annette at Apple Tech Support, who was very kind and patient with me as she helped me get my wireless router back in order.

Over the past 2 weekends, I've found a bunch of old photos and other memorabilia, and have had fun scanning stuff into my computer and posting pics to my Facebook. It is amazing to look back and see how my life has evolved. Very cathartic.

Busy week - I'm going to be a vendor at my very first holiday bazaar as a Close To My Heart consultant...I have to get off of the computer and get more sample stuff made! Plus, I have to figure out how to take and process orders so I can send them in when they roll in.

so, between prepping for the show, trying to straighten up the house, working, and generally staying busy, I am a bit overwhelmed...but at least I'm not bored. Boredom is the worst thing, so how can I really complain??!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The first of my Truth About Healthcare Reform Blogs...

From www.nationalhealthcouncil.org. As non-partisan a group as I could find on the Web! :

Health care reform will put more decision making in the hands of patients and doctors. It will NOT enable the government to make individual treatment decisions.

The health reform legislation before Congress preserves choice and decision-making for patients and would improve the coordination of care for patients. Every proposal being considered would allow individuals to choose their own health plans, providers, and hospitals; none of the proposals would prevent patients and their doctors from choosing the best possible care.

THE REAL TRUTH: Health care reform will require insurance companies to offer a minimum level of benefits. It will NOT result in socialized medicine.

None of the major health reform proposals under consideration propose a government-run health care system in which the federal government is the single payer or provider of health insurance. Proposed legislation allows the government to set a standard level of covered benefits that all insurance companies must provide. This standard would establish a minimum on benefits but would not preclude insurance companies from offering additional benefits if they so chose.

Health care reform will expand Medicare benefits. It will NOT lead to euthanasia for senior citizens.

Health reform proposals look to expand Medicare benefits and reduce out-of-pocket costs for certain Medicare services. In fact, the House bill proposes to enhance Medicare benefits by closing the coverage gap for prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D program. The bills before Congress also would create a way to pay physicians for talking to patients about advanced care planning. Patients regularly consult now with their health providers to plan for end-of-life needs, such as advance directives and palliative care. Under the proposals before Congress, these consultations would continue to be voluntary, would not promote euthanasia (which is illegal in 48 states), and would allow physicians to get paid for the helpful information they already provide to patients.


The National Health Council is the only organization of its kind that brings together all segments of the health care community to provide a united voice for 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Made up of 115 national health-related organizations, its core membership includes 50 of the nation’s leading patient advocacy groups. Other members include professional and member- ship associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major pharmaceutical, medical device and bio- technology companies. The National Health Council brings together diverse stakeholders within the health community to work for health care that meets the personal needs and goals of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Learn more about the National Health Council at www.nationalhealthcouncil.org.

This & that..I'm baaaacccckkk!

I have to get serious about posting again. Too much is going on in the world globally and in my life specifically not to blog about it. So, here goes...

Many of Tori's friends are now in college, which makes the reality of her going off to school in less than a year all that much more freaky. I enjoy keeping up with several of them on Facebook, and am also having fun sending some USPS surprises to them occasionally. Getting "real" mail while in college is much more fun than all the electronic communications, so I try to give them something to look forward to! Anyway, reading about their studies, their extracurriculars, and just seeing their posts about national and global issues is really cool.

So Tori's college search/application process continues. She has her heart set on attending The Hartt School, which is the conservatory program of the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. We visited in September and she will visit again in December for her audition. All of her application materials are submitted and we'll know by the first of the year whether she's accepted, wait-listed, or denied admission to the program. It's a very intensive Musical Theatre program that sounds as if it would be ideal for her. the campus is nice - about 7800 students total, but only 25 or so accepted into each musical theatre "cast" (as they call their classes). We'll just have to see how everything pans out.

I continue to be amazed at her abilities and talents. She is being asked to perform and audition for many projects and I am just so proud of her. Not to be a true "dramamama" - God forbid - but I, of course, think she's going to make it big some day. Fingers crossed and prayers said!

I continue to be swamped at work, and overwhelmed with stuff here at home. I need to get ready for a yard sale in the Spring and to get the house ready to go on the market in April or so. I have found several condos & townhouses in Frederick that are priced right and I'd love to go look at, but I don't dare. I have to sell this house first. So if anyone reading this is looking for a lovely circa 1880's home on .68 acres of land with a huge Morton Building and beautiful formal garden, please come see if you'd like to live here!!!

October was a tough month. September 30th marked the 8th anniversary of mom's death, & October 7th would have been her 83rd birthday. The 25th would have been my 23rd wedding anniversary, and my high school friend Eddie Cooney lost his battle with pancreatic cancer that same day. Tough all 'round. But on the upside, Halloween was fun. Gotta take what I can to inject humor and fun!

So now November is well upon us. Hard to believe, truthfully. So much has changed in my life since February 2009. This year will go down in my personal history as one of the most challenging yet most growth-filled, right up there with 1993 & 2001. I need to scrapbook those 2 years as well as this one to remember and share with Tori and her future family that we can overcome challenges and come out better on the other side.

I think that I am going to either start a new blog specifically about political issues or infuse this one with specific blogs about policy related issues. I truly believe that most people either for or against certain things have no idea why they are for or against them...they just sort of go with the flow and believe all they hear from one specific media outlet or another. I want to do some research on some hot topics and try to present the best arguments of both sides, and then pontificate on which I agree with and why. I have the innate ability to see both sides of issues and understand both, but I definitely have my opinions on one or the other as the better solution or "side." I am hoping that this will help people see that they can't believe all they hear, they need to be better informed before spouting off about things, and they should try to understand the other side even though they will likely feel strongly about their views. I think that we need more of this out there on the web and in the media in general. Maybe this little blog can get the ball rolling!

So, on to a busy Sunday. "see" you 'round the cybersphere sometime soon!


Friday, July 31, 2009

New Blog Post after 5.5 months away...

I've been away from my blog for nearly half a year - hard to believe how quickly time flies by! I have decided to renew my efforts to post regularly for several reasons:

  1. I have entered a new phase of my life as Bruce and I decided to separate on July 1st after 22.5 years of marriage. A whole new world has been opening up to me, and I have a lot to say about that!
  2. Our Country entered a new era in January with the inauguration of Barak Obama. I have been hesitant to post too many politically-themed items on Facebook because I don't want to seem rude. I'm OK having friends who think/feel differently than I on political topics, but I'd rather discuss them on a less occupied space than Facebook. If they want to weigh in on my comments, this blog seems a more civilized space in which to do it. Or, if they don't want to read the blog, they don't have to!
  3. Tori is entering her Senior year of high school, with everything that entails on the way. Senior portraits, new class schedule (including enrollment in Advanced Music Studies at T.J. High School in the mornings and regular classes at Linganore in the afternoons). It will be wonderful and stressful and news-full....so I can blog about all of that!
  4. I am dedicated to rediscovering who I am and what I love to do as I prepare to become an empty-nester. I am hoping to blog about that, too.

So, as you can see, I'll be covering anything and everything on my blog in the coming days/weeks/months/year(s). Stay tuned!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grief, Faith and Elation

This past week has brought more emotions to the surface for me than I ever believed possible in 8 short days. Saturday, February 7th marked a milestone in our family, the last day during which Bruce's brother, Chris, was alive on this earth. On Sunday, February 8th, at about 2 p.m., Bruce got the news that Chris, at the young age of 43, had died in his sleep. We began the long journey into grief, trying to figure out how to plan a memorial in his honor and how to forgive ourselves for our parts in his unhappiness. Together, we finally agreed that while we may not have been as involved as we may have been in Chris' life, he was an adult and made decisions that only he had control over.

Faith helped me immensely, as I physically felt the results of prayers that so many of my friends and family members were sending up on our behalf. I have faith that Chris is no longer in pain, that he has met is Maker and is on a better path. I have faith that I am where I'm supposed to be, living the life I'm supposed to live, and that there is nothing I could have done differently to change the outcome of Chris' life. I have faith that, with a little help from my friends, I will be OK.

Elation came on Friday, just hours before the memorial service, as we found out that Tori will be portraying Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie at Linganore the last weekend in April. We needed that good news to buoy us in this time of grief. She was lifted up to sing at the Memorial - Blue Wind from the musical Spring Awakening - a haunting song that reflected the sadness we were all feeling. So many people came to the memorial - many of Chris' friends from the writing group he worked with, friends from school days, family friends, and many of my dear friends from work, theatre, and girlfriend circles. They will never know what their support and presence meant to me - words can't adequately tell them.

So, onward we go...winter is waning and soon the green shoots of Spring will be popping up everywhere. We may see one or two more snowfalls, but the very most dark part of Winter is on the way into the past. We have all of the rites of Spring to look forward to....singing competitions, Easter, Spring Break, and the musical. Tori's Junior year of high school is winding down, and college visits are on the agenda.

Life goes on....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ugh

There's a GI bug going around at work, and guess who's caught it?? Yup. Aches, headache, and gunk. Not fun. So much for 2009 starting out well.

Actually, I have an optimistic feeling that once this is over with, everything will be A-OK. I am reading some really interesting, albeit a bit out-there, books by Sylvia Browne, recommended and loaned to me by someone at work. I've always believed in a spirit world, and this just takes it a step further. I've decided to record what I can remember of my dreams as I've always dreamed very vividly and I want to see if there are any patterns there that may help me get out of the rut I've been in for quite awhile. We'll see.

I hope to soon post some pics of my side of the family gathering this year. We had a great time at Kevin's "new" place. It's right on the water and he's done a lot of work to fix it up.

Well, not too much energy today, so more later....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wow - 2009!

Seriously, I sort of forgot I had a blog to maintain - Facebook has become my new addiction as of late - I'm on there waaaay more often than I should even admit. So, here's what's been going on in my world:

Work: Very busy, but there's a light at the end of the no Admissions/Social Work Director tunnel. I am hoping that we will hire a new colleague for me to work with in January. I can't tell you how much that will help! I'll be able to do more of the fun, creative stuff and less of the icky stuff. Lost some very special residents these past few months, and that is always so difficult. But I do feel honored that I was able to spend some time with them and know them, if even for a short time.

Home: Always something to do that I don't feel like doing. Like cleaning. Or just de-cluttering. Or just moving off of sofa. Yes, it's that sad. On the upside, the house is still standing - with a puppy, there's always the possibility that it won't be! And with the high winds as of late...well, we lost our American Flag for a while as well as various & sundry other items that we had decorating our landscaping. So yes, it is good to have a place to call home.

Family: Bruce is still travelling to NC every week, but has been home for a couple of longer weekends due to the holidays. He continues to put up with me, so that's a positive thing, I think. Tori is...well, she's 16 and that about says it all. She's been dating Travis for 6 months, which is sort of freaking me out, but other than that, her life is all dance, voice & drama. She'll audition for the Spring Musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" later this month and then rehearsals will start for that, leaving her with little free time. What free time she does have will often be spent on homework and starting the college application process - or at least figuring out her top 5-7 schools so she can apply when the time comes. Right now, it's looking like Marymount Manhattan, Towson U, and Columbia College (Chicago) are her top 3. We'll just have to see how it all works out! Various members of my extended family have faced some real challenges in these past several months, and any prayers are very much appreciated!

Me: Um...still overweight and wanting to change that but not caring to put in the effort it requires (just being honest, here...). Heavily involved in the Fredericktowne Players' Board - come see "Grace & Glorie" the last weekend in January or the first in February at FCC!!! Trying to find time here & there to scrapbook and make cards. Very much enjoying the company of my friends when I can. Loving reconnecting with so many special people on Facebook - have found several folks from my high school days recently and we're planning some mini-reunions. I am really psyched for those! Have also reconnected with some Hood-lums through LinkdedIn and Faebook, and that is fun too!

So, those are the highlights. It's 2009, people! Time for a change, time to kiss crappy 2008 GOODBYE! Time for....well, let's just see what the New Year brings, shall we? Pease & love to all who have made it this far....post more soon!