Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Medical Heroes

Medical Heroes who have the courage to stand up against the status quo and say that we need health care for all should be applauded and given recognition. It's so easy to go along with the medical power brokers and the money machine that drives the bucks into the supposed non-profit hospitals. It is easy to keep silent and keep out of the arena of public opinion so you don't risk your own job or suffer the rath of those holding the reins.

One such medical hero is in Benton County, Oregon. His name is Dr. Cosimo Storniolo who is an Internist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. On Sunday, April 27, 2008, his letter appeared in the Corvallis Gazette Times which said that there's enough money in Benton County to care for every county resident and he called for action to make Benton County the first in the nation "with a fully insured population."

Another medical hero is Elaine Broske, M.D. who has an office in West Salem. She's my husband's doctor who watches out for him. She also has great courage and is brilliant.

Dr. Storniolo is the doctor who put my husband in the hospital immediately to save his life after checking him at the Benton County Health Department. Nurses and doctors at the Lincoln Clinic said, "Go to Storniolo." "He's brilliant." "He'll know what to do." [Les went to the Lincoln Clinic in Corvallis for months and just before he saw Dr. Storniolo, he was going every week for a checkup.] I agree with the assessment. He is brilliant and beyond that he has courage and strength of character. He's a REAL doctor with heart who cares about people. Hats off to you, Dr. Cosimo Storniolo. I sincerely hope you can make the dream of health care for everyone come true and I'll be happy to volunteer to help you.

Craig Ferguson

I watched Craig Ferguson the first time live on television doing standup at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. This guy's funny! He's refreshing plus he's charming and cute. He goes right to the edge and then has this boyish grin that makes you want to reach into the TV to hug him.

Now I've started to tivo The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson so I laugh at least once every day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Snow in Alsea

It's been snowing in Alsea today. There's snow in the hills surrounding our house and we drove through snow coming home from Yachats around noon. There's a hummingbird sitting on his perch looking bewildered outside our dining room window and a Steller's Jay screeching from the maple tree in front yelling, "Where's the suet?" The birds emptied the feeders in the front window in a day and a half.

When we walked in the door, the temperature in the house was 51 degrees and this is April 20th. The pellet stove is going now. It's good that we bought 3 tons of pellets this winter and that Les fixed the stove.

I think that the plants are confused. "Is it time to bloom yet or not?" With snow on the ground, I think that some of the plants have decided to wait or haven't figured what to do. After all, peas should be coming up right now ready to harvest since I should have planted them in early March.

Overleaf Lodge

On Saturday night, April 19th, Leslie and I stayed at the Overleaf Lodge in room 106 that opens onto the historic 804 trail next to the ocean in Yachats. On the 17th, Les and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. We eloped to Reno on April 17th in 1972 so long ago.

The 804 trail is perfect for walking or running. It sure made me want to run, run, run......... I did take off for a few brief moments in my New Balance running shoes that I bought from 1-800-551-5558. My shoes wanted to fly.

Before we checked into the Overleaf Lodge, we had fish and chips at the Blue Whale in Yachats and then for dinner went over to Waldport to eat at the new Subway.

I had such a nice time. Anyone who loves the beauty of the ocean, great trails, and a resort hotel where they spoil you rotten, needs to stay at the Overleaf Lodge in Yachats. The free continental breakfast is amazing. I loaded up on fresh fruit and fruit juice. Then I decided to partake of the blackberry scone that was loaded with berries. I didn't try it until we checked out and then I wished I had grabbed another. Delicious!

I took some great photos of a spectacular sunset and this morning I took five pictures of a bird posing on the end of a stick with the ocean waves as the back drop. I wanted to get a spectacular ocean photo with a seagull swooping by at the right moment but it didn't work out. Maybe next time.

On Saturday night Les and I went into the lobby and played canasta to 5,000 points and he won. Then I found this exquite chess set next to the fireplace that was calling my name. The pieces were carved into the shapes of birds. Les and I played chess the night before at home so on Saturday night with this great chess set, I won.

We also enjoyed the spa and sat in the warm bubbling water next to the windows overlooking the ocean. Perfect!

Anyone who wants to get away for a perfect weekend, call the Overleaf Lodge in Yachats and make a reservation. 1-800-338-0507 You'll come back every chance you can and you'll have a wonderful time.

This was a Christmas gift from our son, Benjamin and his wife, Amanda who live in Green Lake, Washington. Thank you! Green Lake is part of Seattle and has that amazing walking trail around Green Lake that everyone loves.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Olga Ellen Victoria Appelgren Peterson

My Aunt Ellen, my Dad's youngest sister, died on Thursday, April 10, 2008. Her name was Olga Ellen Victoria Appelgren Peterson, and she lived most of her life in Wolf Point, Montana. She died at the age of 98. She was born on 12-16-08 in Winthrop, Minnesota. Both her parents, my grandparents, were born in Sweden.

Up until a couple of years ago, most people would have a difficult time keeping up with her. She scrubbed her kitchen and bathroom floor on her hands and knees because it wasn't clean enough unless she did. For years before Christmas, she made 50 DOZEN krumkaka (Swedish cookies) to give away to people at church, family, and friends. She didn't just read a book once in awhile. She believed it was important to be well informed. She felt it was your duty and your obligation to keep up. She read Time Magazine, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report at the same time. She read countless other magazines, journals, and several national newspapers. She read the classics and any book she felt was important to read.

My Aunt Ellen was a country school teacher. She held high leadership positions within the structure of the Lutheran Church in Montana. She taught at the university. During the summers, she took a small trailer up into the mountains to teach the Hutterite children. She was a writer who earned extra money writing articles for GRIT Magazine.

She was a doer. She had tremendous strength. She was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. I was always proud of her, her strength, her courage, and all she accomplished. She was the one who took care of people and nursed them back to health when others needed help.

I love you, Aunt Ellen. I will miss you. My Aunt Ellen could do anything. She was one of the greatest influences on my life. One of my biggest regrets is that I haven't had the money in the last few years to spend time with her by taking a month, staying at a motel, and just listening to her. My Aunt Ellen believed it was important to be kind to everyone, work hard, and help others.

Christopher Vogler

On Saturday, April 12, I had the opportunity to learn from Christopher Vogler in Newport, Oregon from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. He wrote the WRITER'S JOURNEY, an important book for any writer who wants to understand the mythic structure common to all great stories and screenplays. He was brought to Oregon by Oregon Writer's Colony.

I'm so glad I went. I've already read his book through twice and now I'm going to read his book a third time. One of the most important lessons from his book for me in life and in writing is about the threshold guardian, what it represents in life and how to deal with them when you meet up with them.

Christopher Vogler is rich with stories. I loved listening to him and learning about story structure. He just came back from Ireland. He has read thousands of scripts and he knows what are the ingredients of a winning screenplay. He's worked for Disney and all the major movie studios. He's worked with some of the greatest stars and on some of the best movies, like Anna and the King. I love Jodie Foster. He must know her. How does it get better than this? He lives a magical life filled with meaning, creativity, and he works to help writers.

His website is

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bike Race

On Friday, 4-4-08, a sea of bicycles flowed past my house. It made my heart soar. I loved and admired everyone in the race. It was glorious to watch.

Everyone on a bike in this race are living their life, a healthy life, and are winning. They are not sitting on the sidelines watching. Individual sports need to be encouraged and supported.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Green Velvet

My parrot died on 4-1-08. He was beautiful and my heart is filled with memories. Here's a poem I wrote for him.

Green Velvet
By Wendy Haber 4-2-08

Green Velvet to wrap your bones
To give homage and honor
To your words, the joy you gave us,
Your companionship, and your life.

For 29 years we called you Pablo.
You made us laugh. You made us smile.
You called our names.

“Oh, you’re so cute!”
“Hello, Sweetheart!”
“I love you soooo much!”
Filled the silence in our house.

As you sang the words of the
First two lines of
“I left my heart in San Francisco,
It never failed to bring a smile.

I was proud to know you and
Proud you were a member of our family.

How could you be gone so quickly
When I expected you to outlive me!
Now, you’re with Aaron sitting on his shoulder—
His buddy, his solace.

I’ve kept every green feather
from the bottom of your cage.
A precious gift, Now a reminder.

On 4-1-08 at 11 p.m. you died.
One minute you were drinking water,
The next minute you were gasping for breath
At the bottom of the cage.
I opened the door to pet your sweet head and
Talk to you softly and you were gone a moment later.

I held you for hours close to my heart
Rocking you like my baby sad to see you go.
Tears well up easily in memory of your love
I’ll miss you, my friend cradled in green velvet.

Green velvet to wrap your feathers
As you lay on a piece of Howard’s blanket.
A final resting place under a tree with a bench
For you to sit on my shoulder and sing in my heart.
Good night, my sweet friend.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Public Safety

I'm concerned about Highway 34 at Mary's Peak between Corvallis and Alsea. The 2 1/2 miles of curves needs to be closed and straightened for the public safety. Yesterday when I drove home from work, I noticed cracks next to the mountain side at one place of the road and the road seems like it is slightly tilted. After mud slides last month, it looks like if a logging truck or semi came at the right time, the road could collapse under the weight. There is a place under the blacktop where the integrity of the road is giving way where the water and mud flows out from underneath that can be seen on the opposite side of the curve.

Someone once said to me that a fault line runs parallel to the hill going up to Mary's Peak on the way to Corvallis. I've recently noticed deepening cracks at the side of the road that keep getting wider.

Recently, a large piece of road equipment fell into a ravine between Alsea and Waldport as it was trying to fix the road. The workman was killed. We don't need another tragedy.

There is another big safety hazard. The bridge at Fish Hatchery Road needs to be widened. You can come around the blind curve approaching Fish Hatchery Road as you drive to Corvallis and more than one time, I have approached the bridge with a logging truck in the middle of the bridge with no room for me as I slam to a stop. The vegetation on the blind curve approaching the bridge needs to be cleared so you can see what is coming onto the bridge too.

My husband came around this curve two years ago to find a truck parked in the roadway ahead of the bridge as the driver sat inquiring about the fishing along the river. A line of about eight motorcyclists were crossing the bridge in the opposite lane so the choice was between rear ending the truck, hitting a motorcycle head on, or trying to get to the right of the truck near the guard rail. He chose the guard rail which caught his left bumper and kept him from going into the river.

This is not okay. We need to take care of these things before someone is seriously injured or killed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I've been collecting Confucius quotes, writing them on paper, and taping them near my computer.

Here are the ones I've collected so far.

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

"Silence is a friend who never betrays."

"Speak the truth, do not yield to anger, give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods."

"Success depends upon previous preparation and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure."

"Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself."

"Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes."

"Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! Virtue is at hand."

"If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?"