Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Knew?

Of the many things that our new rats will eat, the fresh kale cut into little bits, the strawberry tops, the lab blocks (a kind of pressed tan cube of "complete" nutrition that they try to hide by burying in the shredded newspaper at the bottom of their cage), it is to my utmost consternation and frustration that they turn up their little pointed noses at the very, very stale wild rice that my family also rejected many years ago.

Yes, I did have many-year-old wild rice wrapped up in my cabinet. I'm sure I'm not alone. I know people who still have 20 year old spices in their cabinets--that they use on a very rare basis, which is why they have 20 year old spices in their cabinets.

Also, the rats don't seem to know that they are "rats". They have no self loathing or self esteem issues. They just placidly sit on my kids' shoulders surveying what they know of the world, relaxing to the point of gently purring in my kids' ears.

I guess I can't foist off rejected food stuffs on them any more. What a waste.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Food Confession

I saw them sitting there, so cheery and innocent on an end-of-stand display at Trader Joe's. I've heard of them, known their name forever and never really understood what they were, or how they looked, smelled, tasted. And, so now I know.

I don't like kumquats.

There, I've said it. Make of it what you will. I'm free.

Monday, March 29, 2010

John Adams Mandated Healthcare Insurance

Some of the extreme thinkers on the right (think Teabaggers and Republican Attorneys General of some states) may need a better understanding of our shared history in this country. They may need to understand what the founding fathers did have in mind for us and not incorrectly refer to them and their ideas. Turns out it is supremely American to mandate health insurance. It's not unconstitutional. Say what?! Yes, you heard me. Check out this link to a post at DailyKos. Here's the title: President John Adams Signed a Law Mandating Employed Sailors to Purchase Healthcare Insurance

I can only conclude that he did that because it was vitally important to ensure (or insure--get it??) the good health of the citizens of our young nation. And, when you think about it, when wouldn't it be vitally important to ensure the good health of our citizens?

Way to go J. A.!

Below is an image of the Gadsden flag. The Gadsden flag comes from Admiral Gadsden who flew it high and proud during the first Naval mission to intercept British war ships bringing in supplies to the British soldiers in the colonies in 1775. This flag is so symbolic of independence and courage and later became emblematic of the marines.

Isn't it interesting to now know that President John Adams enacted legislation to protect sailors, a few years after this flag so proudly flew. Early America was united. One of our founding fathers mandated health insurance. The vision of America then was one of a courageous, healthy and whole nation.

The right has taken this image as iconic of their struggle against big government, perceived threats to the Second Amendment etc. Maybe it's time to take it back. I think they're wrong about the history of this country. I think they're wrong about our iconic imagery too.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Fashion Loss

I used to rock leggings in the 80's and 90's. In the 80's I wore an over sized shirt, or perhaps a shaker sweater (both with shoulder pads) over my leggings (with or without stirrups) which were tucked into my cute suede slouchy boots. I rocked it. I had the big earrings. I had the perm.

In the 90's I wore my black leggings with big clunky heeled frankenstein boots under a sheer, black crinkly broomstick skirt that almost swept the ground. My hair was sleek and pulled back. My lips had on matte, really drying, couple shades lighter than espresso lipstick that stayed on all day. I was Euro chic.

Now leggings are back and I hate them.

I can no longer wear them. Either I don't have the body to do so anymore (and I don't), or I don't have the perky, spunky, energetic age to do so (and I don't).

When will togas make a come back do you think? I could rock those.

Enjoy the blast from the past and picture me wearing leggings and being mad at Reagan...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bringing You up to Date

The homeschooling conference last weekend was a smashing success. There were only a couple of glitches, but on the whole, I think everyone had a good time. I know my family did.

The presenters who held workshops for me all were well liked--they did a great job. I've thanked them and they all let me know that they want to return next year, because it was a good experience for them too. So, despite the two presenters dropping out and leaving us high and dry and needing to fill ten workshops at the last minute, everyone and everything else worked out.

Today, my son came screaming up to me where I was still snuggling in bed with my daughter (the kids come in the moment they wake up in the early morning and come for a snuggle and talk in our bed). He had been in the downstairs bathroom and the toilet was overflowing. You know, overflowing like how you see in movies where it seems improbable that anything could behave like that in real life, and yet, sometimes art imitates life.

My son was both panicked and laughing as he ran to me which made me alternately skeptical about his veracity and then mad as I realized he was laughing in the midst of a crisis! Don't laugh in a crisis situation--keep your cool!! KEEP YOUR COOL!!! Calm reaction on my part, eh?

There was at least an inch of standing water on the bathroom floor, when I got there. It was starting to just seep into the adjacent laundry room and was being wicked into the family room carpet outside of the bathroom door.

I rolled up my pant legs, ran into the bathroom, and tried to see the shut off valve under the toilet. Find it--find it!! I found it and gave it a good hard turn where it crumbled in my hands. WTF!!!! It worked though, before it crumbled.

The kids ran and got me towels and old cloth diapers and I soaked up the water and washed towels and mopped the bathroom floor. That bathroom is now out of order--no one allowed in.

(May I interrupt here? Attention young mothers of cloth diapered babies:

Don't ever throw out your diapers. They will be invaluable rags for many, many years to come. Save them and use them. Yet another reason to cloth diaper...)

Here's an image of how the water looked flooding the bathroom floor--yes, it really was this bad...

I called my industrial designer husband who was disgusted that the one time in however many years we have needed to use the toilet shut off valve, it almost didn't work and is now broken. Which brings me to health care reform.

My husband when he was my fiancee, filled with the promise of our future life together, was having a tightening of the chest, a racing of the heart, a breathlessness, an overwhelming feeling of panic. My God--what could be wrong?!

He had never gone to the doctor. He spent a decade not making a claim. The insurance people lost no money with him.

We rushed ourselves over to a hospital emergency room, without getting the OK of his HMO people first, and had him checked out. Turns out there was no real health issue, but we didn't know that at the time. We didn't know he was not having a heart attack, we just knew there was something wrong.

The next week, he had a stress test. Fine--nothing wrong. I started to put it all together... Might my fiancee be freaking out about our upcoming wedding? Might he be physcially manifesting all of his anxiousness in his typical male way instead of connecting with someone and talking about it?

Yes. Yes, he was.

No, I am not offended that my husband thought he might be dying when he was about to marry me... Why do you ask?

Getting married is a big deal. It is supposed to be a lifetime commitment. Having heart attack symptoms before the nuptials might make you think long and hard about the direction your life is taking. It might make you be sure of what you're doing. Or, you don't connect any of that and are unaware of the mind/body connection and think you are having heart problems just as the mainstream doctor thought.

HELLO! We're getting married in two weeks--do you think my fiancee is freaking out about it? Could that cause his symptoms? Why do doctors not ask questions about your life? Why do they not ask about your lifestyle--what you eat, drink, how you exercise, or don't? Why do they not ask what's happening to you as an individual? This doctor didn't.


No. That was ridiculous and wouldn't stand.

I called them and berated them for having the audacity to not cover any kind of claim my husband might have made after not EVER going to the doctor for a decade. I told them that we didn't know he was not having a heart attack and that it was absurd for them to ever expect people to call for permission to go get help when they thought their lives were in danger. I told them that we would not pay any of those bills, that they had better, and that it was arrogant and nasty of them to even think not to cover my husband.

The insurance person put me on hold for a couple of minutes, talked with a supervisor and then got back on to tell me that I was right. No, we would not be responsible for any of those bills.

Damn straight we won't.

Others are not as lucky as I was in that phone call. They get stuck with bills that they shouldn't get stuck with. They get turned away. They get stiffed. They can't go to a certain doctor because he/she is not in their pool. Health care in this country has been messed up for a long time. Now, things are turning. It's about time.
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