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!