Wednesday, August 26, 2009

National Healthcare Reform

I stand firmly on the side of reform. I believe we need to make sure everyone can have basic healthcare. In my past, I lived without insurance coverage during my twenties because my employer didn't offer it and I made so little money (I lived below the poverty line) that I couldn't afford insurance even if it was available. Most of the time during those years, I couldn't even afford to eat.

Years later I had a decent job and I had what I believed was good insurance coverage. I ended up in the hospital for a few days to the tune of $10,000.00. My insurance company refused to cover my stay or surgery. They said I had a pre-existing condition. According to the terms of my insurance policy, for it to have been a pre-existing condition, it would have had to have been diagnosed by a doctor previously. It was never diagnosed because it was not discovered until I ended up in the hospital. Sure, I could have gone to court to fight it, but I didn't have the money for a legal battle and the insurance companies count on that.

Now, the biggest expense I pay out every month is for insurance premiums for myself and my two kids, student loan payments run a close second. We in the U.S. pay more per capita for our health coverage than people do in other countries, yet we can't afford to get sick. We're at the mercy of insurance companies who can refuse to cover us for basically any reason and then we're liable for the medical bills. This has to change. Below is an interview with a woman who was insured, yet went into debt of over $100,000.00 because her insurance wouldn't cover her cancer treatments.

Maybe it's a simplistic solution, but if the poor, the elderly, military personnel, government workers, and members of Congress all have access to healthcare, and those programs seem to be working for them, why not open this coverage to the only people left, the middle class? What do you think?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


B got his driver's license today.

Blog Time

To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau: "My life has been the [blog] I would have writ, / But I could not both live and utter it."

We've been sooo busy here. We've gone to watch the waves of Hurricane Bill, we've attended a minor league baseball game, had dinners with friends, went to see a Neil Diamond tribute band and all while things are crazy busy at the law office and school is preparing to start back for all of us next week. Plus B is in the process of taking his driver's test and so much outdoor work is being neglected that we're getting behind. So much for that productive morning of the last post, eh?

I've got pictures and stories to share, but not enough time in the day to do it. I am still checking your blogs though, so get writing! I'll be back soon, I hope.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Morning People?

Are there any morning people out there? You know you're a morning person if you automatically wake up around dawn without an alarm. You know you're a morning person if you can't even remember what sound your alarm makes because it's been so long since you've heard it, always waking up before it goes off.

I don't know why I keep farmer's hours. I always have and as much as I like the idea of "sleeping in" it really drives me crazy when I do. I feel like I've wasted a good part of the day. I just can't help it.

Early mornings are when I have ALL my energy about me. By 2 in the afternoon, I'm useless. So when I get up early (6ish) I usually quietly go about the business of cleaning house, cooking, doing yard work before it gets too hot, that sort of thing.

This morning when I got up just after 6, I went out back and cleaned off the deck. I watered all the plants and shrubs, on and around the deck. I took the clippers and went out back and pruned back the raspberry bushes that had once again, taken over the back side of the garage. Then I weeded out the grasses in the brick pathway I'd made.

Next I cleaned out a cooler that had been sitting on the deck for a couple of weeks. Melted butter and rotting chicken are not pleasant things to clean. Next I started a load of laundry, unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher, loaded the dirty ones. I cleaned old food out of the refrigerator and the cupboards, I made two quiches, a spinach one and a pesto one. I folded laundry, made coffee for M, all in under 2 hours.

After breakfast and a quick perusal of the Sunday paper, I watered all the plants on the front porch, then M assisted me while we put another coat of drywall plaster over the sheet rock that her brother had put up. He covered the exposed chimney in our bedroom because it made our room hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. The chimney stuck out a bit, so we were plastering the surrounding walls to come outward to meet the new drywall.

After showering, going out for lunch, picking up groceries for a cookout tonight, I came home and made a blueberry/peach pie. Okay, it's 1:45 and I think I'm done for the day. Does anyone else do this? Is this a trait of morning people or do night people do it too, just on a different schedule?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Harper's Ferry, Antietam and camping

In an effort to avoid summer re-runs on t.v. and the exhibits and testimony I need to go over, that I brought home for a trial on Wednesday, here is what we did a few weeks back when we went camping.

Where do you go to find the C&O Canal,

the convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, and stand where Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia all meet,

walk on the Appalachian Trail,

and tour a really well-preserved Civil War era town, as well as Civil War battlefields?

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

Harper's Ferry was a layover for Meriweather Lewis before he met up with William Clark for their great trek cross-country.

It's also famous for the 1859 Raid on Harper's Ferry to take the Abolitionist John Brown, who was planning a war against the slavers.

He held up here in Harper's Ferry before the slavers caught up with him.

So today, the old downtown part of Harper's Ferry is part of the U.S. National Park system.

All the buildings, shops and cobblestoned streets are well-preserved.

You can go into the various stores that existed in the mid-1800s and see what they would have looked like, what types of merchandise they would have carried, etc.

It's a really beautiful town

a large portion of the downtown is built right into the rock hills that surround the area.

Within 20 miles of Harper's Ferry, in the midst of miles and miles of pristine farmland

sits the location for the "converging storm of iron," the Antietam Civil War Battlefield.

Here's a quick video I took down by the river and the C&O Canal. I don't think you can see the river through the trees though. It was really pretty there.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.08

I just took this political quiz that I saw on another blog. I wasn't surprised to be a lefty, and only mildy curious about the Libertarian bent. Where do you stand on the Political Compass?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Food for Thought

This is a topic I've been asked about in the past and as recently as a couple of weeks ago. I came across a series of articles on the topic and thought I'd share.

I "came out" as they say, to my family and friends, when I met and got involved with my partner just before my 37th birthday. My coming out, however, was not like most people.

I wasn't one of the people who knew from a young age they were gay, or had attractions to the same sex. There's still a part of me "in denial" about being gay, because I am still not attracted to other women, just my partner.

Nope, I was always attracted to guys, boy crazy as a young girl and fell passionately in love with a number of men. I married a man and worked like hell to make that relationship work for 7 years before finally giving up.

When I met my partner, what attracted me to her was not that she was female, but rather that she was the right person for me. She had all the qualities I had been looking for in a romantic partner, my whole life. She wasn't one thing to me that was attractive, she was the total package. She had the looks, the personality, the intellect, the sense of humor, the maturity, the education, the kindness, the honesty, the basic human decency, etc. that I'd only ever found one or two of those items in any of the relationships I'd ever been in before. Luckily I had enough sense to pursue my dream partner regardless of what society would say. I haven't regretted it ever, and this is SO by far and away, THE BEST RELATIONSHIP I've ever had in my life.

I was reminded of this by a series of articles I came across on the ABC News website. Here were older women choosing female partners, some for the same reasons I did. It was the right thing for me. No hidden agendas, no secret closeted past, no anti-men attitudes (well, except for my ex-husband), but it was refreshing for me to hear other women, who have never identified as gay, discovering the same thing as me. The right person is out there for you, they just might not come in the package you always thought.

Here's a short conversation between the ladies on The View trying to make sense of this.The View Clip

ABC News Story on Kelly McGillis and other celebrities.

ABC Story on the "Gayby Boom" a Gay version of the Baby Boom.

Last full day in Europe

Ahh, all good things must come to an end.  Our European vacation is drawing to a close.  We leave Nice this morning to drive back to Barcelo...