Tuesday, December 27, 2005

For Christmas

I got a reading log book – I’m excited to get started. I just finished The Secret Life of Bees and started The Life of Pi.
The last fiction book I read was The Historian. I’ve applied for an opening in the children’s department of the library I work in. I read Snowflake Bentley last week in the Caldecott section of picture books. My last children’s fiction book was Because of Winn-Dixie. I haven’t seen the movie, but the book was EXCELLENT!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Migraine Christmas

The children are all snug in their beds and I should be stuffing their stockings, but blogging instead. It feels like I haven't slept in a week. Half of my head feels like it's been blown off and I didn't get my migraine medicine refilled dammit. The lights on the tree are driving me nuts. I'll go back to bed for an hour or two, then get up and drink coffee to see what that'll do. Hopefully the spots in my eyes go away and there will be some cheer in my Christmas Day.

Wishing everyone the best of holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Making a list

Today I went Christmas shopping. It was 12 degrees F outside this morning at 7 when my husband and I went to the garage. He drove the Aztec and I drove my car - without heat (one of the reasons it was going to the shop) and ran out of washer fluid halfway there. After dropping him off at work, I took the Aztec for a day of shopping. Since it was before 8 a.m. and Target wasn't open yet, I stopped by Home Depot. Did you know that Home Depot opens at 6 a.m.? I'm supposed to be picking out a countertop for our new cabinet and by extension the rest of the kitchen. No luck with that - On to Target! After that, the mall. By then, it was only 9:30 but as I shopped, more and more people appeared. Mall walkers were replaced by shoppers and by 11:30 it was crowded.

I love buying cool stuff that I'm excited to give to people. Some things come from my list, but others just appear on the shelves in the store. After an afternoon nap, I met my daughter for a snack. It's so enjoyable to hang out with her. My car was going to have to be kept, so I had to get going to pick up my husband, but on the way he called to say they finished it so I could go straight home. Too bad there was two slow spots on the expressway. Good news: the car repair was less than we thought!

Lastly, I worked on Christmas cards. Left to do: wrapping, a few more gifts, cards - oh and we don't have our tree up. Still, good for one day.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Holiday Blues

I've been feeling quite blue lately. No motivation to do much of anything, which means the house is messy, dinner is whatever can be heated up and naps are in abundance. I keep going over accomplishments that are being made - some Christmas shopping done, grocery shopping, conferences at school, work, dog to the vet, mammogram and making the bed every morning. There's probably more, but you get the idea. So even though I feel as if I'm dragging along, things are managing to get done. A visit to the beauty shop for a cut and color resulted in complements from husband and step-son! My son is on break for two weeks, so a few less things to do there. My strategy for coping is reducing stress as much as possible, calling the psychiatrist (who increased one med) and waiting patiently to feel better. I think it's starting to work.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Go strait to hell - do not pass Go

This man claims self-defense in nun's death because she reached for her bible. He shot her five times and it seems that he did this for a rancher or group of ranchers. This area of Brazil has been a hotbed of violence over land ownership of rain forest. So there's two sides - ranchers who own land and have to make a living on the one hand. The other side is made up of settlers and rain forest advocates that are demanding land reform. There have been 1000 deaths in the last 10 years!

No matter which side you think is wrong, shooting a nun five times is gonna get you sent to the fiery big house for sure.

What would you sacrifice your life for? Besides my family, I haven't worked myself up to feeling that passionate about anything.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You don't know what it's like....to be me

Children of the mentally ill, an article from an Australian website devoted to adults, adolescents and children with mentally ill parents, gives an intro to what it's like. Programs like Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA) are geared toward focusing on yourself and your growth. Abandonment sums it up - feeling like the rug has been jerked out from underneath you again and again. A firm foundation of parental love is non-existent. Adult children have lost trust, hope, control.

Our family went back and forth between normal and dysfunctional as the roller coaster of manic-depression ran through. I became an 'emotional perfectionist'; always wanting to be in control, to feel normal. After many bouts of depression that weren't responding to treatment, I was diagnosed with manic-depression myself. Wow - what an utter failure. Shouldn't that be the absolute worst thing? Like finding out you have a terminal genetic disease. But, hey - perseverance is one thing I learned and listening to the pdoc(psychiatric doctor) was another. No hospitalization, no suicide attempts, no days and weeks in bed or staying up all night rearranging furniture and no drug and alcohol misuse or abuse.

Hopefully, my kids have come through and know they are loved, have a rug to stand on, can trust in me and themselves, have hope for the future while acknowledging that God is in control.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Science faces 'dangerous times'

It seems as if progress has stopped and we are moving backwards. Both science and faith are vital to the human existence. People can and do live with both. When science meets God offers a discussion on this topic.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Anti-Flag on MySpace

Lyrics to 1984 by Anti-Flag:

Who would Jesus bomb? Yeah, who would Jesus kill?
The double talk is past surreal
The word of god is now the word of hate
War is peace, and freedom is the police state
Can't you see the writing on the wall?
Democracy lays trampled on the floor...

You better believe that...
Hell yeah I'm confused for sure what I thought was the New Millennium is 1984!
Mr. Orwell from the grave, adding fresh ink to the page
As the unpresident declares an endless war...
Welcome to 1984!

Feels like Nazi Germany, and Hitler on TV,
As the unpresident spews homophobic speech
You say the Allies fought a war to end extremist fascist law
So tell me NOW what the fuck are we fighting for?

I just can not take it anymore
Democracy lays trampled on the floor...
Man, isn't freedom great?!?!

Hell yeah I'm confused for sure what I thought was the New Millennium is 1984!
Mr. Orwell from the grave, adding fresh ink to the page
As the unpresident declares an endless war...
Welcome to 1984!
Now we've got...
Armies of peace, armed to the teeth, delivering death to make the world a better place
So celebrate the weapons spending, say a toast to Armageddon, raise some hell!
We're headed straight to hell!!!

Hell yeah I'm confused for sure what I thought was the New Millennium is 1984!
Mr. Orwell from the grave, adding fresh ink to the page
As the unpresident declares an endless war...
Welcome to 1984!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Free? Speech

Democracy in action! The pentagon paying for good news in Iraq -- that'll show 'em how it's done. The baby democracy can learn by our great example.

This should help the president's rating.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cable ala carte

This is what I've been saying for years! Why pay for cable channels you don't want or use? The cable company and the less poplular channels need you to. Hopefully, the consumers of cable will drive the market and thus improve cable for everyone.

Monday, November 28, 2005

What's Yer Hobo Name?

John Hodgman was on the Daily Show. He was undescribably hilarious, stumping Jon Stewart at times. He lists 700 hobo names in his book and reads them online.

It takes almost an hour. I'd like to get the book - I'm listening for "Boxcar Dilday"'s name LOL.

A Few More Things

The EU met with the Mediterranian countries and now Israel, Arabs Back Anti-Terror Code .

According to this World News Article regarding the Gaza elections, there were some people who didn't notice.

And since it was a EU-MED summit, we weren't there. Although maybe we are keeping and torturing terrorists there. But we're not sure what to say about all of it. CIA claims: US needs time for reply.


2 Things

I've managed to accomplish today - run the dishwasher & throw a load of towels in - hmmmm....Basically things that operate by pushing a button and/or turning a knob. This seems like enough for one day - the first day on my own while my sweetie is gone on business. The next two weeks will be spent trying not to become a total lump on the couch or sleeping as continuously as possible in bed. An insurmountable lethargy sets in when he is gone, even though a running list goes through my head of things to get done, get caught up on or even enjoy. Some housework, cleaning up, decluttering the bedrooms, planting those bulbs dammit, joining the natatorium, getting a haircut, a massage, a manicure... serious doubts exist that any of this will happen. My head hurts now - I'm going to lie down.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Reading Glasses

At first, needing reading glasses was fun - picking out a funky pair with a cool case and the thing you fasten them on to hang them around your neck. I had a red pair when I worked at Target. I bought three pair from Target's dollar bin. Only the red pair survive and that's only because they are in my mailbox at the library where I work because I HAVE to have them there. But the other three? Hmmm...there was a pair for my purse, a pair for the living room and a pair for the bedroom. The first pair had to go - it was the weakest strength and no longer worked. So that meant there had to be movement of one or more of the other pair to where they were needed at any given time. Of course, a pair got misplaced and now I have travelled to my mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving with the last pair in my purse, but every time I look for them I can't find them. I've seen them once in the bedroom, used them once in the kitchen and have no idea where they are now. Now I hate wearing them. My frustration keeps increasing every time I go to read something - newspaper, book, computer screen - and can't find my glasses. The crossword wasn't even fun this morning. The next pair will have to be a ball and chain around my neck advertising to the world that I'm a middle-aged woman.

My mother-in-law called to let me know she found my glasses - now I have a spare pair there!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Grocery Shopping

What a chore grocery shopping can be! It's especially hateful in bad weather. There are so many steps. Having a menu and making a list can be optional, but make things easier in the long run. Usually I just make a list of what we're out of and forget at least one or two things so that they have to carry over to the next list. Cutting coupons can save money, but take time. Usually I cut and keep the coupons until they expire. On really good days, I'll have cut coupons for what's on sale and have a triple coupon to go with it - SUPER-SHOPPER!! But at the very least, the first step is to get in the car and go to the store. Then it's get the item from the shelf, comparing prices, put it in the basket, repeat. Next the items get put on the conveyor where the cashier swipes each one, the bagger puts them in bags, the bags go back into the cart. The cart goes out to the car, the bags go into the trunk, car goes home, bags go into the house and one by one each item gets put away. It really just wears me out. But I should be thankful that we have food and a car is such a blessing after seeing prople walking with bags of groceries. This morning there was a woman with a red coat, three plastic bags and one paper bag of groceries that I did not stop to ask if she needed help. I suck.

Monday, November 21, 2005

God is/is not every/anywhere

We can teach about religion in public schools, but not teach religion.
The truth about God in public schools - Yahoo! News

God is all over our government !
Atheist sues over "In God We Trust" on money - Yahoo! News

Including the FDA!
At FDA, religion tops science - Yahoo! News

Longtime Physician To Head FDA Office Of Women's Health (sure glad they didn't stick with the vet)

Herald.com 11/15/2005 Report: Politics blocked contraceptive pill Hmm...is that religious politics?

Plan B could be a place of compromise - in with the morning after pill, out with partial birth abortions.

Monday, November 14, 2005

From Folk to Punk

Friday night folk music; Sunday night punk rock. Took my son Chris to a Pennywise concert at the House of Blues in Cleveland. Sitting behind a rail a step up from the mosh pit felt safe physically. Chris got to touch the lead singer when he came down towards the crowd, so that was a highlight. Knowing more than half the songs made the concert very enjoyable although I felt like a 45 year old freak being at a punk concert. Listening to the lyrics and observing the crowd, it looks like the youth of today are in good hands heading in the right direction. The messages that came across to me were make up your own mind; have your own opinions and beliefs without forcing them on others; be aware of your world.

Someone does need to explain that mosh pit thing though. WTF

Friday, November 11, 2005

John Gorka

We're off to The 39th Annual Kent State Folk Festival tonight to see John Gorka at the Kent Stage. Our friend Ben is coming from Michigan. Usually we call him from any folk venue to make him jealous since we seem to live in a folk music mecca here. But first my darling will install a new window in the front room. Tomorrow the boys will blow in insulation. Such industrious creatures they are.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The New Blender

For my birthday, I asked for and got a blender. In fact, it was the very one I looked at in Target that same morning. When I told my husband that I wanted a blender, he asked "don't you want a food processor?" Apparently, he wants a food processor. So the blender has a food processor attachment. It is glass also - nice. We've made smoothies every day since my birthday, which is what I wanted the blender for. Well, if truth be told, I want to make milkshakes, but we'll be making smoothies until my weight/cholesterol/blood pressure goes down. And then we'll just continue with the smoothies.

Another blending thought has been the blended family thing. We've been married 2-1/2 years. My son lives with us and my husband is picking up his son at the airport today. He is coming home from Miami where he was with his girlfriend the last couple months. The daughters (one for each of us) are out on their own and haven't lived with us. We are beyond the 'adjustment/it's all new to everyone' stage and onto the 'this is our family' stage. I want everyone to be happy - mistake number one since that's impossible. Coming from a blended family, I think I'm overly sensitive to the resentment that can build; although my mom came from a blended family and it seemed like everyone accepted the situation. Maybe that's just from my point of view when I was a child being around my aunts and uncles. What's funny is that out of our four kids, the one that seems most ok with it is the one that had the most trouble with us in the beginning. I guess you never know how things will turn out. I hope we can continue to commit ourselves to doing what's best for everyone. For now, I'm going to tidy up the house while hubby is gone & think about a 'welcome back' celebration of sorts for my stepson. I hope he likes smoothies!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ding Dong - Stern is Gone!

How happy I was to hear that Howard Stern is moving to satellite radio! Ever since he came onto my favorite classic rock radio station, I have boycotted the station. Not that I mind a bit of political incorrectness or bawdiness, but I just couldn't stomach Howard and the idea that so many people were actually entertained by him. Even people I know. I believe I surprised a girlfriend one evening when I refused to rent Private Parts with her. He's on the same list as Jerry Springer and televangelists, which reminds me of mom and dad. When I was a young adult, I remember how upset my mom was that the Bakers had not been good stewards of the money she sent them.

The first Christmas after my divorce when my kids were with their dad, I spent the night at my step-sister's. Late in the afternoon, I was ready to take off for home - I had been there since Christmas Eve, gotten up with my nephews, eaten dinner with the family. Everyone was glued in front of the TV watching the Jerry Springer tape my dad had gotten for Christmas. He had retired that year and was sinking into the daytime TV quagmire. When I said goodbye, they all jumped up - surprised that I would leave during the show!

I don't do daytime trash TV or televangelists or radio shock jock shows or checkout tabloids. I just can't.

Enjoy the orbit, Howard.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Falling Up

Normally, this time of year is a downer for me. As soon as the days start getting shorter, the seasonal affective disorder kicks in. But this is the second year - maybe even the third - that I've felt great. My husband and I went to a bed and breakfast in Madison, Ohio. We went to a winery Saturday night and a tavern on Sunday, spending some good together time together. My life, my mental state, my marriage all seem surreal to me when compared to my past life. I can remember walking at lunchtime when the trees were brilliantly colored, the sun shining and thinking what a beautiful day and feeling worse than dead inside. What a very long way it has been. The secret is perseverance - never, ever give up or give in. Gratitude goes through me like waves. My life is more than I could have imagined and the reason it happened this way is my husband. God must have answered not only my prayers, but all the prayers of all my friends and family when he brought us together.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Are hurricanes bad for the economy?

Wondering how the country's economy is doing after all this disaster? Who knows? There's a different story depending where you look. I found this and that . There's more than two sides to this story - it depends on who and where you are. Displaced? Unemployed? Everything you own destroyed? Wrong place at the wrong time. Own energy stock? Work for a reconstruction company? Don't live in the south? Could be good. How do individual people's economic state add up to a country's economic state? I'm not an economist. I hope that people remember when they are breathing their sigh of relief that a hurricane victim still needs help getting their life going again.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005

Mental Health Parity

When the body is ill, that illness is covered by insurance. The brain is a part of the body. Actually, the most important part if you consider stories such as Terry Schiavo's. The brain controls the rest of the body physically and houses the intellectual and emotional. We live in our brain, but if it gets sick, my insurance company makes me pay 3 times as much to see my 'brain doctor' as it does my family doctor. Plus there is a limit as to how many visits per year I can go to the psychiatrist or psychologist.

Why? My guesses:

  • Insurance companies claim diagnosis is too objective e.g., no blood tests.
  • Stigma - mental illness affects behavior and that can be scary.
  • The misconception that it is not a bona fide illness even though it is widely accepted in the health field as biological and/or genetic.

Mental illness can be fatal by suicide. Most mentally ill are not criminals, although most criminals have a mental illness. People with mental illness want to get better, feel good enough to work and take care of their families, and be treated with the same respect that cancer, heart, and diabetes patients get treated.

Some states have mental health parity. Ohio does not. Does yours?

Beacon Journal 10/07/05

Mental illness deserves to be treated like any other ailment.
Ohio has won a five-year, $14-million federal grant to help transform mental health services. Gov. Bob Taft announced the award Monday. The grant was worth notice. It is another step forward in what is proving to be a long and difficult road: ensuring that mental illnesses are treated with the same urgency and level of care as other diseases.
Critical to this goal is providing health insurance coverage on a par with the coverage for other physical ailments. On Tuesday, a state Senate committee suspended hearings on a bill that seeks to do just that. Once again, on the question of parity in mental-health coverage, the Statehouse is dragging its feet, presumably analyzing the potential impact, a pattern of legislative zeal that has killed one parity proposal after another during the past 18 years.
The inaction has not been for lack of awareness that mental illness is devastating. Or that effective treatment enables most patients to lead productive lives. Or that inadequately addressed, mental illness exacts a heavy toll on the health-care system, social services and families. An estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of children in the child welfare system have a mental illness diagnosis. Among the homeless, 30 percent have a serious mental illness, as does 40 percent of juveniles in the justice system.
Senate Bill 116 proposes coverage for mental illness comparable to that for other conditions. The bill is limited to mental illnesses that are biologically based (such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar and depressive disorders). Further, the bill nods to businesses, its staunchest opponents, exempting those that show the coverage would raise the cost of their health insurance by more than 1 percent.
Taft has opposed mental health parity bills on the grounds they impose costly mandates. In this instance, a separate bill to cover equipment and supplies for diabetics has become the convenient obstacle that could snuff the parity bill. The shame is Ohio pays a heavier cost for the failure to act.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This is Pop!

This is Pop!

Among lots of other interesting web pop culture stuff, great links to Lost , my favorite new show. I had to rent Season 1 to catch up on missed episodes.

Ancient Library

Ancient Library

This site is from the guy who does LibraryThing.com, a site you can catalog your library so easily. Just type in the title of your book, select it from the list and it's on your list with all the info.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

mocove on 43 Things

mocove on 43 Things

43things made the world a little smaller. This link shows how my husband and Chuq met at a Red Cross shelter in Louisiana while volunteering.

Animal Planet :: Panda Video Cam

Animal Planet :: Panda Video Cam

On Monday, October 17th, the National Zoo will name the baby panda cub. According to tradition, panda cubs are named on their 100th day. Check out the site to see pictures of the cub's exams and videos of the vets taking care of him reporting on his progress.

Monday, October 10, 2005

OK, time for something useful or interesting or both. Today was painting class. We are working on mountains. The class is in acrylics and I've been taking it for a year at www.cvartcenter.org

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My first post on my first blog. I will need some practice with this plus navigating around.