Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What the world needs

More of

Less of

Now repeat in front of a mirror.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Coming to Terms with Things

OK, the world is going straight to hell--> the economy, global warming, peak oil, and Sarah Palin seriously running for VP. Add in rising unemployment, two wars, and screwing the next generation. It's a real mess.

And while the world is going straight to hell, I am sitting under an incredibly blue October sky in the shade of a 100 year old oak tree muching still warm from the oven banana nut bread and watching the butterflies in the garden.

Since I've already done the only thing I can do to straighten out the mess--voting to throw the lot of them out, I may as well come to terms with things as they are and enjoy the pleasures that come my way.

Thought for the day:

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails. William Arthur Ward

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life is full of surprises.

Things that I never thought would happen.

1. I never thought I would grow old. It just never occurred to me. Old people were old and I was not.

2. I never thought that I would have a career. Growing up in the 1950’s, I assumed that I would maybe teach for a couple of years and then stay home, have kids, and be a happy homemaker. Well, I did teach for a couple of years and I did stay home for several years but I didn’t like teaching and was bored and broke staying home.

3. I never thought I would miss my parents for the rest of my life. You’re supposed to grieve and get over it. But I still miss talking or writing to my parents.

4. I never thought I would enjoy cooking—and sure enough, I never have…

5. I never thought I would love cats. We were dog people until JMM and TSM went to the animal shelter and brought home this tiny bit of white fur that purred in my hands. Turns out I am a complete sucker for anything that is warm and purrs; who would have guessed.

6. I never thought I would do a blog. Well, for most of my life, there weren’t any blogs so I guess this isn’t too surprising.

7. I could never have imagined having such a loving marriage for 40+ years. I loved JMM when I was 17 and have loved him more every year. The same goes for my precious daughter; I have loved her more than life itself for over half my life. What a blessing to have shared my life with these two.

8. I never thought of myself as an artist but I think now of my quilting as an artistic expression.

9. I never thought I would vote a straight Democratic ticket but early voting starts tomorrow and I can hardly wait!!

10. That’s it—the rest of my life has been carefully and thoughtfully planned for and successfully carried out…LOL To tell the truth, most of the time, it’s just been winging it.

Thought for the day:
When you are 20, you worry what others think about you.
When you are 40, you don't care what others think about you.
When you are 60, you realize that others were never really thinking about you in the first place.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Government by Lay-away

Boomie at http://wastrelshow.blogspot.com/ has a post up about lay-away making a comeback. Those in my generation remember lay-away but for those who grew up with credit cards, it was a system by which if you wanted to purchase something, say a dress, you went to the store and picked out the dress, put a portion of the price down, the merchant kept the dress while you made monthly payments (usually 3 to 6 months); when the payments were complete you took the dress home. There was no interest charged. You got the merchandise only after it was completely paid for.

I was thinking that this is a concept whose time has come (back) only now we will put the government on a lay-away plan. You want a bailout? No problem, just $100 billion a month for 7 months and you've got your bailout!! Want a war? Great, $100 billion for 10 months (or if you are in a hurry $200 billion for 5 months) should cover a moderate sized war. There are some great possibilities here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mad Men

We've been watching the television series Mad Men on Netflix DVDs. I have really mixed feelings about it. It is extremely well done--good story lines and the acting is just the best. I remember the fashions, the hairstyles, the furniture, even the avocado telephones. I remember the prevalent haze of cigarette smoke and I remember the way women were treated. But I don't remember it as unremittingly unhappy as it is portrayed and I don't remember the alcohol everywhere, all the time. I wouldn't want to go back to the limitations on women that was the norm in the early 1960s; I have certainly benifitted from educational and employment opportunities and most of all from the ability to control my own fertility. The availability and acceptability of birth control has made all the rest of the improvements in women's lives possible. But there is something about the show that I just don't like--not everyone drank, smoked, and was unfaithful to their spouse--and Mad Men makes it appear that they did.

Sirius Radio

I have a long commute to work and like to have something to listen to on the way. Sometimes I have a good book on CD but many times I have nothing but the radio to listen to. They say that television is a vast wasteland but I am here to tell you that if television is a wasteland, talk radio is a vast cesspool. Today my dear daughter took my van to the Car Toyz store and had a Sirius radio installed. I registered and activated it online. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to having a selection of commercial free stations to listen to--music, news, NPR, Martha Stewart, and even Oprah!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How about a nice guillotine?


I am beginning to identify with the French peasants of the 18th century. Perhaps a few lopped heads would have these and the other CEOs who have raped our financial system thinking twice about landing their golden parachutes and finding themselves on the steps to the guillotine.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Social Network

Maintaining relationships in today's fluid culture is difficult. We move often and work/commute long hours. Previous generations had extended family relations which was sometimes a good thing and sometimes not so good. JMM and I have moved many times and for the last 20 years I have worked full time. I have no family left with which we have any relationship at all. We do maintain family relations with JMM's brother and sister and their spouses. DD lives half a continent away and depending on where her career takes her, most likely she will continue to live at a distance. So it looks like if I am to have a social network, I will have to make it myself.

It is easy with my long commute & work hours and fatigue from CMT to just withdraw but quite frankly, it is lonely and boring. There are several avenues that I want to look into: There is a new Episcopal church which is close to us (well as close as anything is out here in the cow pastures). I also want to see if there are any book groups or nature groups.

We shall see how this progresses.

Thought for the day:
"We can do no great things; only small things with great love." Mother Teresa.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tina Fey

Since this blog is a Palin Free Zone, I'll let Tina Fey do the honors.


The Wall Street Financial Meltdown

I did our quarterly financial statment today. While it wasn't pretty (our retirement accounts are down by $36,000), the meltdown didn't wipe us out by any means and we won't be needing any of it to be withdrawn for another 5 years. Our debt on the house (our only debt) dropped by $14,000 which certainly brings a smile to my face. We have good health, good jobs, and a deep & abiding love for each other; we live quietly and have modest expenses. I am very displeased with the way that mortgages and other forms of credit were freely poured out with no regard for ability to repay which caused this mess in the first place but I am not overly concerned with our situation.

Now for what I more concerned about: Our nation has developed an "I want what I want and I want it right now" mentality. Get it now and pay for it (maybe) later. We squander our resources and shackle ourselves with debt to worship at the altar of More. We do it not just as individuals but as a nations--useless wars and foreign interventions. Don't we have enough to do at home? Couldn't we husband our land and water? Couldn't we tend our poor, sick, and elderly? Couldn't we provide a loving, nurturing education for our children? Wouldn't we then be in a better position to help others?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dealing with Health Insurance Companies

I had to spend time yesterday on the phone with United Healthcare. They paid for my mammogram but rejected the radiologist’s fee for reading it. Just the usual insurance company harassment; they are betting that a percentage of people will just see the bill and pay it. I took the time and trouble to call them, tell them that it was absurd to pay for a mammogram but not the reading of it, and get them to agree that it should have been paid and that it will be paid.

JMM and I are in good health, are well educated, and have health insurance. How do people who have major health problems cope with the onslaught of bills and insurance paperwork?? How about people without health insurance at all??

The American public is so screwed by our healthcare system.