Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Do Windows!

Not sure where this whirlwind of energy came from, but I’ll take it!  I’m thinking my VitD must be kicking in.  Let’s hope this round takes.  I really like feeling normal!

At any rate, I got quite a bit done today: I cleaned my windows.  Inside and out.  It was above freezing, not really windy, and bright and sunny.  The windows called me by name.   They are beautiful.  The daylight coming in is somehow different. I have a nice, clear view of the outside.

Which sparks a debate: are windows worth the effort?

Of course they are.  However, my contrary friend from B.C. disagrees. I think this stems more from her odd inkling to refer to slurpee flavors by their given names (Super Sunshine Raspberry Circus) instead of the correct nomenclature (by color).  This might be fun to discuss here at some point in time; she’s done that topic (in)justice already. The Great Slurpee Debate

But I digress.  Window work… Do you do windows? 

It doesn’t really take much time.  I just take vinegar and water, a scrubby sponge and a squeegee  and make it happen.  About twice per year.  Not only does it allow better quality light to come in, it makes the whole house feel clean.  I also get a chance to clean the casing, which can get really ucky. 

So tell me all about your window washing ways!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Woe is me??

So life is slow and good right now.  Well, aside from the hemorrhaging money part.  The “check engine” illuminated the other day, and the whole re-tighten-the-tank-lid thing didn’t help.  Allergist fees - $100, vet fees - $250; now the mechanic costs… good thing we’ve saved up, eh?  Otherwise we’d not survive this whole living “quarter employed” deal!

Yeah, somebody call the whaaaaambulance here.  I’m not in danger of losing the house, and I have a kitchen full of food.  I also have a wonderful family, better friends than I deserve, and so much more to be thankful for. 


Because every day is the weekend when you’re unemployed!

I have no plans for the weekend.  Other than taking the boys to the gym to swim, maybe, and church on Sunday.   And homework.  Let’s not forget the homework!

Allergy update

My eyes are mostly normal now, but they ached all day.  I had no idea swollen eyes hurt.  But they do.  Gumption was lacking today, on account of the eyes.  I might just go back and get that epi pen, anyway. 

Allergy testing!

So today I went to the allergy doctor.  Instead of the uncomfortable poke-your-back-with-irritants test I was expecting, they drew blood.  I guess allergy testing has made some vast strides!  So we’ll hear what the deal is with the almonds in a week.  So I get to go back and pay another $50 copay.  Joy.  Though I’m still grateful to have insurance, so I won’t complain (too much).

Of course, I am having some reaction to something now.  It’s frustrating to not know what is going on.  I took some pictures.  No, it’s not just me with my eyes partially closed, they are puffy.  And the photo with my eyes closed… can you see the crease in the lid from the puff?  My right eyeball feels like it’s going to explode along with the sinus cavity behind it.  So I can’t sleep.


Class Discussion

Another reason I can’t sleep is that I keep thinking about a discussion in class tonight.  I disagreed with quite a few members in class about something, and I left out a critical detail in my reasoning.  It was an assumption on my part.  I’m frustrated with myself.  Though I’m not sure why I’m giving the issue such an audience, as (forgive me) they are all very young and entirely inexperienced with office politics and general business “stuff.”  So it wouldn’t have mattered.   But my 10+ years experience with that very topic in addition to my education in that topic shouldn’t be dismissed.  It really bugs me.  I guess I feel like I don’t fit in. 

I need to focus on the prize.  In 2 more years, I’ll be able to find a job where my skills and knowledge ARE appreciated. 

Austin Bomber

I’m so disgusted with the event in Austin, TX, today.  Domestic terrorism over frustration with politics.  Seriously?  Killing innocent people, somebody’s mother or father, sister, brother… over frustration?  Pathetic.  I have a string of names I’d like to call this guy… a software engineer who couldn’t get a job.  (REALLY???  That’s one of the more stable career paths these days) Yes.  Killing innocent people will fix it alright.

I suppose I hope he was mentally ill.  Seriously mentally ill.  That would make his action somehow more forgivable.

I’m going to try to get some sleep.  Hope you all are having better luck than me tonight!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blogs, the Better Sleep Aid

I haven’t been waking up rested, so I thought I’d try the Trazodone again.  Bad idea.  Seems as if I wake up in the middle of the night when I take it, and then can’t fall back asleep.  I’m hoping writing down my thoughts will calm my mind so I can sleep.  A bowl of cereal will probably also help (with the sleep, not with my dress size).

Go, go, go, busy, busy, busy!

It’s been busy!  Playdate, Vet appointment, Thesis class/meeting at school, grocery shopping… Yeah, I was barely home today.  I remember feeling important or somehow validated when I was “barely home” in high school… now it’s just exhausting!

Healthcare Access

So this week in Health Law, we’re looking at the volume of uninsured and healthcare access.  I’ve come to a few conclusions.

Healthcare should not be tied to employment.

  I think I’ve mentioned this before.  Why, oh WHY is it illegal for insurance companies to offer services across state lines?  Why can we not buy health insurance like we do car or homeowner’s insurance?  People shouldn’t lose insurance when they lose a job… or I suppose I should say, people who are left with half (or less) of their income on unemployment shouldn’t be saddled with deciding whether or not they could/should/would pay 4x as much for health insurance when their pay has been decimated.

I’m frustrated as to why there hasn’t been one simple bill to take care of this problem.  It’s a huge barrier in the industry.

Imagine being able to really shop for insurance.  Instead of employers offering their limited plans, there would be so many possibilities!  Perhaps employers could offer a tax-free subsidy instead of the current method.  Think of the cost savings for employers there!  How many HR administrators does it take to manage health insurance at any given business?  Why do businesses need to specialize in health insurance as well as their core competency?

We need to stop counting those living here illegally as “uninsured / underinsured.”

  Yes, there are sad stories and good people out there.  Yes, they work hard.  However, there are legal means to live here and become a citizen.  I don’t think our country should be burdened with the duty to provide health insurance to the population of the world, which is where our current path is taking us. 

We need to admit that some people simply make “bad” financial decisions.

  Many people who “can’t afford” health insurance CAN AFFORD expensive cars, iPhones and the corresponding spendy data plan, new TV’s, etc.  Most of these people DO understand the value of health insurance, but they don’t prioritize it like they do housing and food.  We have a culture with a screwed up view of priorities.   STUFF has become a priority for many.  This is also why we have so much consumer debt.

Granted, there IS a problem.  I’m not denying that.  But let’s stop with all the political correctness here and look at some of the real underlying issues.  We can’t fix it by looking at surface data.  There is a level of personal responsibility that should be expected.

Now it’s time to see if I can catch some ZZZzzzzs.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

It’s a Good Day For the Gym

I say this mostly because the boys need to be busy.  Oh, MY!  The last couple days have been filled with fighting and roughhousing.  It’s nice enough, perhaps we can go to the park, too?  I’m a bit nervous to take them swimming as it gets busy on the days school is out.

Though I’m not sure we’ll be able to go… Swing is in desperate need of a nap.  He’s been all attitude the last couple of days.  I think I’ll get them some warm lunch and then see if sleep happens. 


I have doors and windows open, and I’ve swept off the porches.  I hope Spring sees that as a welcome sign and decides to make her way to my area!  I’m ready for the sunshine again!

I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can clean my windows!  Not that I love the chore, but I do love the clean windows!  I guess there’s nothing keeping me from cleaning the inside windows, but it seems silly to do it when the outside is dirty.  Though I guess it IS warm enough to do them now.  … 


I’ve made an appointment for our pooch to go the vet.  I think he’s diabetic.  He’s put on a lot of weight this last year, and he’s drinking lots of water, and isn’t always able to control his bladder.  Poor pup (and poor carpet!).  We’ll see what we can do.  He’s 10.  Not getting any younger, but he’s still my pupper love.


Snow 043

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

It’s Valentine’s day!  I was greeted this morning with a lovely card and many hugs and kisses! 

I took the little Valentines to Starbucks yesterday for a little treat.

Valentine boys

Tonight we’re having a store bought rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes, salad, and a yummy trifle.  MMMmmm, Chocolate cake, vanilla pudding, cherries, and whipped topping!  The woodsman will be pleased to come home to such fare!

I took the boys out for some pictures quickly the other day.  These are the best of them.  Silly me… rainy / cloudy day near sunset.  So I had to turn off the flash, extending the lens time, so they are a bit blurry.

011021  029

Two moving targets.  Yeah, didn’t get a shot of them together.  It gets harder and harder!  Though I think the first shot of Cosmo is pretty decent.  I might play with a bit… desaturate and/or BW all or part.  I love Cosmo in that hat!  Swing was adorable, but was constantly in motion.  The least blurry picture of him has a beer can in it.  Croppable, I suppose.  LOL

Nothing else interesting going on, really.  School is fine.  I got one essay back.  18/20, but no comments as to why I missed two points.  Bummer.  I like knowing what the target is.  At least the grade is decent enough!

Washed the car yesterday.  So of course it rained today.  My bad!

I have an allergist appointment on Thursday.  That will be interesting.  Perhaps I’ll get lots of answers!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vitamin D-Day… again

Well, folks, apparently my summer course of high-dose vitamin D was insufficient to bring my levels above the “severely deficient” line.  So I’m on the D again.  Weekly pills of 50,000 IU. 

I’m thinking I should be able to write off the family’s trip to Mexico as a medical expense, since there’s not enough sunlight where I’m at for my body to synthesize the vitamin D from the UVB rays.  How horrible.  I’ll have to lay in the sun to get healthy.  Pity me.

Seriously, though, I will be sure to spend some unprotected time in the sun each day UP HERE (the Mexico sun will be too intense to go without sunscreen, methinks) to see what I can do to increase my levels.  I’m surprised the first course “didn’t take.”  I can’t remember if I was at 18 or 22 before, but I’m up to 24 now, and the “line” is drawn at 30.  I hope this course does the trick!

I did see some 2000IU pills at Costco today.  I do have a liquid D3, and when that’s out, I’ll get the pill form. 

Next time you need a blood draw, PLEASE request a vitamin D check!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I’m a Lucky Girl

I really am.  I have a fantastic family.  Outside of that, I have some fantastic friends, and their family.
How many people can say they are still close with people from their childhood?  Not many.  My friend's family lost someone special last week.  As much as it pains me to be powerless to heal their hurt, I feel so blessed to be part of their circle.  While they were hurting, they took time to make ME feel special. 

Yeah, I’m a lucky girl.  And Erika, I WILL be collecting on that deal for an evening coffee with you… one of these days!

Healthcare is not a FREE Market

Did you know that hospitals have to get permission before opening?  They have to prove to the government that there is a need for their services.  They have to get what’s called a  “Certificate of Need.”
What other industry quashes the competition with such a tool? 

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the basics of supply and demand.  The more supply there is of something, the more the demand is relieved, and the price goes down.  The less there is of something, the more people want/need it, the more they are willing to pay for it, and the price goes up.

I’ve said for YEARS (because all the decision makers consult me, NOT) that health insurance is a layer of insulation over the health market. When people aren’t using their own money, they make purchasing decisions differently and suppliers innovate and price their products differently.

Couple this with the elimination of natural competition…
I’d like to see the following (because I’m a shining beacon in the dark, dreary world of healthcare politics):
  1. Eliminate the requirement for the “certificate of need.”
  2. Allow insurance companies to compete for business across state lines. 
  3. Phase in a scheme that combines a health savings account with an insurance plan, including a fair incentive to not overspend.
Anyway, these are my thoughts at this point.  I’m sure they’ll change, but not drastically.

More Food Room

I met a woman today.  She walks a mile in a few times per week to volunteer in the church thrift store.  She also walks in every week to attend services.  WALKS.  This time of year, we usually have a foot-ish of snow on the ground from December to February.  And She slipped and broke her leg a few years ago, and got some snow cleats.  So she can walk to church—several times per week. 

She got food today, but she was worried about taking too much to be able to carry on the bus. 
And here I thought I was doing pretty well for carving out three whole hours per week to volunteer.  The excuses I’ve made to not participate in stuff are so so so whimpy.  This lady WALKS to volunteer when she’s qualifies to be a recipient of the help.  I have so much, and yet my help in comparison is… nothing.

Last week, we were packaging up diapers (6 diapers to a package), and were talking about how we didn’t have any size 4 diapers.  This couple who was in to “shop” with us, heard the conversation, and bought a case of size 4 diapers because they wanted to give back.  A CASE.  Wow.

People are awesome.  That is all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The food room

So today I began volunteering at my church’s food room.  Mind you, I’m not sharing this for accolades or for any reason related to the ego.  So please don’t comment in this regard.  I’m sharing this because it’s a fantastic window into my humanity.

Anyway, It was a great experience.  I really enjoyed helping people, and I think I made people feel comfortable while receiving charity.

I had to check my bias at the door.  It wasn’t as easy as I’d like to say it was.  That’s not to say my attitude was horribly troublesome, but my heart was lacking some of the charity that I thought was there. 

I quickly learned to identify that some patrons “worked the food bank circuit.”  And some patrons weren’t overtly grateful.  At first I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  But then I realized: “SO WHAT!”  These are PEOPLE.  They need FOOD!  I get to go to the grocery store every week and spend plenty of money to feed my family.  I get to pick items without high fructose corn syrup or MSG.  I get to buy organics.  I get to buy the expensive berries whilst saying to myself “I could blow money on berries or blow money on chips, so at least I’m being healthy.”  I get to be a snob.

I got to be the face of God to these people today.  In a very real way.  I don’t know what these people are thinking or doing, and I could very well be one of them.  They don’t get to be food snobs.  Their lives are hard enough today that they have to set aside their pride and come ask people for free food in order to feed their family.

I got to be the face of God today.  I’m the one that needs to be grateful and happy.