Monday, September 28, 2009

Determined to Lose Weight

I started a new blog--Determined to Lose Weight

I decided that I have been staying the same weight for the last year with little change. I've been exercising but I need to concentrate on getting down to a healthy weight. I used to weigh 135 to 150 in high school and college. I want to look good again and I want to feel good again. I figure that if I hold myself accountable in a blog for a year, maybe, just maybe, I'll lose weight.

I have already made the discovery this month that it helps to exercise in the evening before bed. I sleep better and I lose weight in the morning.


I have been watching surfing on television the last few months. I've never surfed in my life. I have just learned to swim in 2006. I DO love the ocean and it is fun to watch for a few moments the beauty of surfing with precision moves amidst the huge waves.

Surfing should be in the Olympics as an Olympic sport. A surfer must be very athletic and strong. I don't see why there should be a question about this since they have ribbon twirling as an event. Roller skating should be in there too.

I've been watching John John Florence. He was featured on Fins and I watched it this morning. I've seen him before. He was 13 in 2006 when the film was made. He lives on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii so he surfs every day and surfs with some of the best surfers in the world. I'm a fan and will look for him to win surfing competitions in the future.

Liberty House

On September 22nd, my husband, Leslie, and I drove to Salem to the Salem Conference Center for the Champions for Children Luncheon for Liberty House. Our daughter, Gretchen Bennett is the Executive Director of Liberty House, a non-profit in Salem that is "committed to keeping children healthy and safe." Children who walk through the doors of Liberty House have experienced abuse, usually sexual abuse. The staff hear stories that shouldn't happen to any child and all have the courage to stand up with courage to help these children.

The luncheon was a great success. The large room was crowded with enthusiastic supporters of this important work. Gretchen spoke and I felt a mother's pride as I took a couple of photos remembering how she used to debate in high school and in college at Lewis and Clark College. There were two large screens on both sides of her projecting her image, so the people in the back could see. Gretchen has always been a leader and now she's committed to doing this important work to protect children.

A brave woman spoke as a survivor of childhood abuse as early as 5 years old. As she told her heartbreaking story, I thought of how often people misjudge behaviors of teenagers and don't listen to them. Many people judge instead of trying to understand. I'm guilty of this too so it made me more aware and more willing to just take people as they are. Danielle is changing hearts when she speaks and will help to make important changes that are desperately needed. It's so important to listen to young people and to carefully watch changes in their behavior.

Alsea Valley Voice

The October issue of the Alsea Valley Voice is finished. There are 16 pages. I thought I had it done on the 23rd but late articles came in and changes had to be made. I'm happy with this issue. More and more people who live in the Alsea Valley are writing and expressing their opinions. On page 15 is a great health care debate with Steve Moore on one side and Mimi Stout on the other. This is wonderful to see people expressing their opinions and defending their side. I'm working hard to encourage all voices in the area to write. I put on the front page, "The Alsea Valley Voice is the VOICE for all people living in the Alsea Valley in Benton County Oregon. If your voice isn't represented, write a column, essay, or article."

I'm having fun with the paper and want to do it for many years to come.

The Alsea Valley Voice started in January, 1998 so I am one of many editors who have worked on the paper.

I'm going to work on getting some new advertisers so no one has to worry about the number of pages or the cost of paper.

October 15th is my next deadline when I will be starting to work on the November issue. Right now I have a couple of days to do something else.

Ms. Bradford's Blog

I just subscribed to Ms. Bradford's Blog. She's my grandson's first grade teacher and she's amazing. I haven't even met her but I'm so impressed with everything I've heard so far. For one thing, she keeps grandparents in the loop of what's going on in her classroom. That's pretty terrific! My grandson, Jack loves her and loves going to school. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to see photos of Jack and hear what's going on in room 116 at Myer's Elementary in West Salem.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I love interviewing people. It's fun to learn about other people and what's important to them. I finished writing up two interviews that I did recently for the Alsea Valley Voice.

I'm having fun with the Alsea Valley Voice. I am working on the October issue. I received permission to publish monthly. This is the most fun I've had since I have moved here eight years ago.


I just learned about Acorn and it's work to give legal help to the poor in major cities across the country. I'm surprised at the reaction in the news right now, because of what I have witnessed by attorneys in the courtroom. Why would Democrats abandon this program that helps the poor?

I have witnessed myself in the Benton County Courthouse and the Marion County Courthouse, when I was called to be a juror, attorneys counsel crooks on how to be smarter, how to get away with it the next time. I was shocked at the time and outraged but this happens every day. Criminal attorneys always help criminals survive and work to get them out of legal trouble. This is hard to see or watch but it happens.

Just because there are attorneys who cross the line doesn't mean a great program to help the poor get the essential legal help they need, should be torn apart. Bullies seem to rule and people need help. Republicans and conservatives are working to cut off help to the poor on all fronts. It isn't right and Democrats don't seem to have the backbone to stand up and debate this issue. All people, rich and poor, have the right to legal representation. Attorneys have the potential to be great heroes and defenders of right. Acorn is a fine example of helping the poor get the help they need with volunteer attorneys.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dental Care Crisis and Health Care Crisis

My husband’s filling came out in a back tooth. He pulled out a book he bought years ago at the Army Surplus Store called WHEN THERE IS NO DENTIST. It’s for helping people in third world countries. I guess we live in a third world country here in the United States. He went to the store today to buy an over-the-counter product to replace tooth fillings. He brought it home and I acted as dentist. I shouldn’t be placed in this situation. I’m not a dentist. Everyone who needs dental care should receive it in this country. Everyone should receive preventative care for dental needs and all health care. We need single payer health care in this country.

I need to see a dentist too. Doesn't anybody care out there? Do the greedy and the rich have to always dictate what happens in this country? We need single payer health care so everyone has preventative care.

Maybe all those people who enjoy sending their kids to school at public schools who cry that single payer health care is socialism should have to pay to send their kids to school. Public schools for all children, which is important, is just as much a socialist program as health care for all.

Danger of Cell Phones

Yesterday I watched CSpan and the testimony in the Senate about cell phones causing brain tumors. I believe that Senator Teddy Kennedy died from using his cell phone over the years which caused his brain tumor and cancer. Senator Arlen Specter was asking questions of a doctor who tried very hard to be careful not to reveal too much information that could start a panic about cell phones. Cell phones are big business in this country. Almost everyone has one and people feel the need to have the latest model with the most features.

After listening to the testimony given, I felt alarmed about the usage of cell phones and spoke to my children about my concerns. I have been receiving e-mails the last few years about the dangers of cell phones and this testimony which wasn’t conclusive convinced me that cell phones are as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Children should not be using a cell phone because their brains aren’t fully developed. You should never use a cell phone on a train or in an area where the reception is not strong because the radiation is stronger. If you are at home, you should buy a land line or regular phone. If you do need to use the cell phone, don’t put it up to your ear. Don’t use a blue tooth because it directs the radiation directly to the side of your head, just as if you were holding the cell phone directly to your ear. Use a small ear piece connected to a long wire, if you need to use a cell phone.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I've always admired Walmart as a business model. Walmart managers know instantly what products are in the store. They know prices. They know instantly what was ordered and when it's coming in. There is no excess. There is no cheating happening anywhere. There is transparency and accountability. Walmart was started to sell American products. They sell more goods now from all over the world than other stores. People who can't afford to shop at other high priced stores can count on low prices at Walmart. I wish I lived close to a Walmart. I would apply for a job.

If health care were run like Walmart, we would know instantly what was going on. We would know that prices are being charged that are many times what it should be. We would know that accounts are being charged more than once. We would see the excess and would be able to cut. Walmart has transparency and accountability. I know of no other business as efficient.

There needs to be transparency in health care. Health records should be shared so that doctors don't have to keep redoing tests. I guess doctors and hospitals don't like sharing records because it lets others see potential errors, mistakes, and actions that shouldn't happen.

If our government and health care were run like Walmart, there would be accountability and transparency.

U.S. Representative Barney Frank

I called the office of Barney Frank, the U.S. Representative from Massachusetts this morning to leave a message to say that I applaud his great courage to stand up for single payer health care and for being a strong voice for all of us without health care. I'm impressed that he stands up for all issues to help people. He's a political hero at a time in our country where most politicians are bought and sold. Many politicians today disregard what is best for this country. They stand for greed and the interests of the rich.

I enjoy watching C-Span when I get a chance and I enjoy the strong voice of Barney Frank.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Walking Bridge in Salem

There's a new walking bridge in Salem over the Willamette River connecting downtown Salem to West Salem. It used to be used for trains as a rail bridge. Gretchen showed us this amazing addition to Salem. We parked close to Gilbert House, which is a toy museum and we walked onto the walking bridge. Lizzy and Jack rode their bikes across and back. It was so nice. I loved it. Everyone who lives close to the bridge in West Salem is lucky to be able to cross on foot and walk to shopping in downtown Salem. We also walked to see the new tile globe at the other end of the walking path next to the Willamette River. The globe is 25 feet in diameter.

Everyone living in Salem can enjoy the walking bridge and the great walking trail next to the Willamette River. Every city should have all these advantages and beautiful places to exercise.

Public Schools

It is interesting how so many people in the United States take for granted that there are free public schools so that children can learn. Many parents who enjoy the benefits of sending their children to school free without having to worry about paying tuition payments to private schools, oppose single payer health care so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of prevention and emphasis on care for all. I guess it is situational ethics. They cry out that it is socialism for us to have health care for all but they don't see it is socialism to enjoy free schools.

Maybe all those parents who protest that the President of the United States, President Obama, address school children to work hard in school should have to pay tuition at private schools.

President Obama's School Message

I understand that President Obama had big plans to address school children all over the United States to tell them to work hard, persist, and study. I didn't get to hear the speech yet or read it. What I don't understand is why all this opposition. It is appropriate for President Obama to address the children at the school. He's the President of the United States. His message is important and inspiring.

I guess Conservatives and Republicans want kids to not study, not read, not work hard to be the best you can be. I guess Conservatives and Republicans want kids to pray their way through school and hope they will get good grades without doing all the work.

Hollywood Nails

Leslie and I stayed at our daughter Gretchen's house in West Salem from Saturday through Monday nights to visit with family. Ben, Amanda, and Anna drove down from Seattle. Daniel and Jodee flew to the west coast from Ohio. We had a nice time visiting.

On Monday, Jodee treated the girls to pedicures and manicures at Hollywood Nails in West Salem. I've never had a pedicure before. It was fun and wonderful. Hollywood Nails does a great job at spoiling you and making you feel special. It took over an hour. Lizzy who will be five in November was happy to have her toenails painted too. She'll be going to Brush Elementary for preschool. Gretchen has done this before and so has Jodee. It was my first time and I enjoyed every minute.

I comomented that it we had more care than a visit to the doctor. The chair had special massage features. Our arms and hands were massaged. Our feet, ankles, and part of our legs were massaged. She lady who worked on my toes said that it is recommended to come at least once a month. At $35 for both a manicure and pedicure, it is affordable for most women. We sure had a nice time. Thank you, Jodee!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Mad as Hell Doctors

On the front page of the Corvallis Gazette Times this morning is the wonderful piece by Bennett Hall "'Mad' M.D.'s head for D.C." What a great story about medical heroes going to Washington, D.C. to fight for people who desperately need medical care and to fight for single payer health care.

Doctors Paul Hochfield and Mike Huntington from Corvallis are the local heroes on the front page of the newspaper. I can't thank them enough for their courage. They are fighting for me and my husband and the millions of people all over this country.

We need single payer health care. Nothing is impossible. Many said it was impossible for President Obama to get elected and he is the greatest President we have ever had in the history of the United States. This is the time for everyone who needs health care and believes it is important to stop greed in the health care system to support this effort by doctors. Call your senator and U.S. representative to tell them you support single payer health care. Nothing is impossible, if people work together to make it happen to end greed and to put care of people and prevention first.

CNN has been doing a series of excellent stories of health care around the world. Every country has better coverage and better care for its people at less cost than the United States. I would have better care in Cuba!

I sure would like to travel with the caravan to cover the story. It would be the story of a life time and I could appear on C-Span BookTV, one of my all time dreams.

God bless the amazing doctors who step forward with great courage to make a difference and stand strong for single payer health care. They are my heroes.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Editorial in the GT

There was an editorial in the Corvallis Gazette Times on September 2nd asking for fresh suggestions to stop the spread of meth.

So I sat down and wrote a page and a half. I sent it to the Publisher and City Editor of the Corvallis Gazette Times, Sheriff Simpson, and Governor Kulongoski. I sent them a copy of the article I wrote in Listen Magazine in 2004 about meth use in Benton County after interviewing staff and youth at the detention center.

I believe in prevention and I don't see anyone fully using the opportunities out there to make a difference. When a woman is pregnant, she is thinking about what is best for her new baby. Hopefully, she is married, has enough money to take care of her child, and can plan for her new baby with his/her best interests at heart. However, not all children are born into this type of family. There is an opportunity to make a difference and change the course of what doesn't have to be, when a woman is pregnant and comes into contact with a hospital, doctors and other professionals.

Here are a few of my ideas to prevent problems in the first place so no one has to go down that road leading to meth...
1. Classes need to be held on how to be a mother and a father.
2. Professionals who see a new family who might be a risk, need to act. Some families need special attention to prevent future problems. If intervention is needed to prevent abuse and possible future criminal behavior, the time is at the beginning to intervene. Some parents shouldn't be parents. Babies need to be protected. All babies who are born have the right to the best future possible to develop their fullest potential.
3. Churches and synagogues could make a big difference with couples at the time when new parents are planning for their new family. This is a time when young people are vulnerable and open to what is best for the new baby they are bringing into the world. This is the time to make a difference by actively approaching these new families.
4. Public education needs to start before birth. Research shows that babies can learn to read and learn math. The future of our country is questionable at this time. What better way to make a dramatic change and big impact, than to give each new baby coming into the world the best chance for a bright future by starting to teach them before birth.

In other words........Prevention is KEY.


There have been three suicides in Alsea in the last eight months. That's three too many and something needs to be done to change the conditions. There needs to be a large community center that's FREE. It should be open to kids with lots of games, equipment, pool tables, etc. There needs to be a place to play bridge. There needs to be lots of exercise equipment that fills a giant room so people can stay healthy and exercise during the rainy winter.

There needs to be a ductless heat pump in the community center so that the heating and cooling are at the lowest possible cost or windmills need to be on the property or solar energy on the roof. All people should be included and should be made to feel welcome at all activities. There should be dances and live music. There should be lots of fun things here. We need public transportation that goes from the coast into Corvallis and back. We need lots of things but most of all a FREE community center where everyone is welcome and can call it a safe place to enjoy being around other people. That's my two cents.............

Big Brother

I’m in the middle of watching Big Brother. Either Jeff or Jordan is going home, I’m sad to say. I like both of them. They’re a cute couple. The more I learn about Michele, the more I like her. She’s smart and she’s good at competitions. So now I’m for Jeff or Jordan and Michele. Michele has a Ph.D. and her husband calls her a nerd. That’s okay to be a nerd. The best people in the world are nerds.


I wait and I wait and I wait to find out why. Why have I been treated like a criminal or terrorist or stupid or nuts. I have never done anything against the law. I have spoken out against injustice, crooks, and greed. I guess I have stepped on some important toes. If people who have worked hard to ruin my reputation and close doors for me because of their sins, it needs to stop. I deserve to win and a chance to reach my potential. We have an alarm system and yet someone has still gotten into our house. That tells me that it’s someone official with power to bend the law. I wait for someone to give me answers. A real friend would tell me the truth. So far—no friends, only questions. If I had the big bucks, I’d hire a lawyer and a private investigator. Sometimes I want to move far, far away. I’d go to Sweden, if I had the money, but I stay waiting to find out the truth as to why. It’s probably a mormon. I like people who are direct without an agenda and who don't try to manipulate. Most of the time I just work hard to act positive, treat people the way I want to be treated, and look for the potential in others. Sometimes it's hard to move forward when someone keeps pulling my leg back every time I try to walk forward. I keep trying. Every day I work hard to make it a good day, a productive day. Maybe I'll never find out why but it would help me to find understanding, perspective so I can leave it behind.

Ductless Heat Pumps

We just got a ductless heat pump and it is wonderful. Now we have air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter for at least half the price we have paid in the past. State and federal government rebates are available for installing a ductless heat pump. We learned about this program through the magazine from Consumer Power.

We have been using a pellet stove and have used 3 tons of wood pellets each winter. Last year we paid over $750 for pellets plus the over $100 a month for electricity.

Les got four bids from heating and cooling companies. We picked Pace in Corvallis. They are located at 1557 SE Crystal Lake Drive. Their phone number is 541-753-4328.
We were convinced that Pace would give us the best service, the best price, the best product with professional courtesy. We are very pleased and are happy with our choice.

Ductless heat pumps have been used in Europe and Asia for years. A ductless heat pump can heat and cool your home for as low as $200 a year. Amazing! We are expecting a drastic reduction in cost for heating and cooling. Why haven't ductless heat pumps been popular in the United States? Because we don't care about saving money in this country. Companies can get away with pushing high cost furnaces and other heating systems that rip all of us off.

If you want an estimate, call Craig Briggs at 541-753-4328. He'll tell you all about it. You can trust his professionalism and service.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


When I was younger, I put doctors on pedestals and rarely questioned them. Now I realize that they know far less than people believe. Just because they are confident and earn the big bucks doesn't mean they have answers. Only 15% of medicine is evidence based, which means that 85% is guesswork.

I recently learned that the legal perimeters for a resident was that they couldn't work longer than 80 hours a week and couldn't work longer than a 30 hour shift. If you were in ER at a busy hospital, how would you feel about a resident making life and death decisions about you after working 70 hours that week and they were finishing a 30 hour shift?

Exercise and healthy food can heal so many problems in your body. That is my choice. I don't have health care so that is my ONLY choice. I think it is by far the safer choice.