Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders was the shining star standing up for single-payer health care in the Senate. If I were to rewrite the script of when he stood up to read the 700 page document in the Senate, I would have each Democrat Senator walk up to stand next to him in an unpresidented show of support for REAL CHANGE. If I were in the Senate representing Oregon, that is what I would have done and I would have encouraged others to stand beside me.

Bernie Sanders also negotiated great gifts for Vermont and so did Senator Baucus from Montana. Senator Sanders got $600 million in Medicare help. Senator Baucus got Medicare coverage for victims of asbestos exposure. Senator Dodd got $100 million for a new hospital at the University of Connecticut. Senator Nelson from Nebraska got a gift worth $100 million because now Nebraska is exempted from paying expanded Medicare costs. What did Oregon get? NOTHING!

Everyone forgets the lessons of 2008 and why President Obama got voted into office. I plead that Democrat leadership and people of conscience will rise up and stand strong against Republican bullies. And what happened to Senator Leiberman? Guess he got picked by the Republican party to be their spokesperson to carry out their agenda. Guess he got lots of money to pull it off.

I plead that Democrats in the Senate will grow a backbone, join hands, and not allow the hope of everyday Americans to be extinguished. We need single-payer health care. We need wealthy Americans and businesses to start paying their share. We need good jobs. We need quality education so we can compete in the world market place.

We need change--real change. Change cannot happen without a cap on greed and a harness on bullies who refuse to respect the rights of all Americans to dream and hope for a better tomorrow.

Survivor Samoa

I wanted Mick or John to win Survivor Samoa. Mick made it to the final three but he didn't get one vote.

Russell played the best game of Survivor ever in the history of Survivor but it's hard for me to respect his game play or like him. He found idols without clues. He manipulated, lied, and cheated. He poured out canteens of water. He burned socks. He called women "dumb ___" and played everyone. He outmanaeuvered, outplayed, and outlasted but he didn't win.

The game of Survivor is an amazing play of how people interact, choices, relationships, and how people react under pressure. I would love to be on the show and see how I do but I couldn't eat the disgusting "food" you have to eat.

Julia Sweeney

Over the weekend, I watched a documentary written and performed by the comic, Julia Sweeney called LETTING GO OF GOD. It's about her struggle with religion, all her endless questions, and her inability to find satisfactory answsers. It's all about how I feel. She's great, funny, and I like her just the way she is. She's telling the truth and unfortunately in this world today, you see very few religious people who live up to their own words that they say they believe in.

Danny Deckchair

Danny Deckchair is a comedy made in Australia that is fast paced, keeps you laughing, surprised, and interested. It's great writing and supposed to be a true story. It's about this guy who just doesn't fit in or is appreciated. He ties helium balloons onto a deck chair and literally floats up and into a different part of Australia where he is loved, appreciated, and blooms. It's a great story and a great movie.

I feel like Danny. Maybe I need to buy some helium balloons and see where they take me............

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Applied Knowledge in Education

Classes where the knowledge is applied and integrates what is learned multiplies success in the classroom.

What classes do this?
Physical Education
High school newspapers and yearbooks

What's sad is that PE, music, and drama are often eliminated in schools.

Here in Alsea, there is a wonderful English teacher, Patsy Jones who encourages her students to take photos, write, and put all their dreams into words. I know she is encouraging one student who is almost finished with a novel.

The Junior Class has just finished working on a logging calendar project as a fundraiser. Everyone worked as a team to make it happen and they are on sale now at John Boy's Mercantile in Alsea, Oregon for $15.00. Or write to the Alsea School at PO Box B, Alsea, Oregon 97324 or call 541-487-4305

My son and his fiancee gave my husband and I flowers for Thanksgiving. They were beautiful. Flowers are always a wonderful gift. This wasn't the original order. There was a problem so my husband called. The company sent two dozen roses to make up for it.

It is my hope that I can plant enough flowers in my yard so that I can have flowers for most of the year.

Keith Obermann

I watched Keith Obermann last night on CNBC for the first time. My husband has been talking about him. I guess a few months back, he set up free clinics at several cities across the country to show members of Congress the great need for health care reform. Members of Congress refused to come to see what would happen. There were so many people who needed help, people had to be turned away. I'm not surprised.

What I am happy about is to see the great courage and strength of Keith Obermann who speaks out on the important issues of our time and stands up for people without a voice who desperately need help. I admire him. He's a hero in this time of so many who let money shut their mouth and stop them from speaking up against injustice.

Warren Buffet and Bill Gates

I watched a special presentation on CNBC with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates at Columbia Business School. The room was filled with hopeful MBA students who want a chance to have the life of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. I learned a lot from what they said but also from what they didn't say.

Warren Buffet said that in 2008, it was an "economic pearl harbor," and that the "dominoes were really lined up." He also said that "having sound principles take you through everything." Warren Buffet said that "nothing has gone wrong with our system," and there is "equality of opportunity."

I don't buy this "equality of opportunity." There is opportunity if your family has already in position with money and connections. If you have money, there are opportunities and if your family is connected to the "right" people, you have promise. I'm sure that it is true that every MBA student in the room has a great future. They are at Columbia Business School.

What about the other kids who are brilliant without the money and the connections? Not all schools are the best environment for gifted and talented children. Not all teachers are capable of teaching to the high end of ability. Most are clueless of what to do. Yes, there are many who try very hard, are sincere, and are doing their best. Is it really fair to expect a teacher to teach to a wide range of ability in a classroom with few resources? Bill Gates said that our educational system in this country is lacking and needs to be fixed.

U.S. News and World Report just listed recently the top 25 schools in the United States. There weren't any in Oregon!

After thinking about this event with these great men who have accomplished their dreams, I believe the answer is to work hard and never give up. Work hard to learn all you can and get as much education as possible. You have to be serious now more than ever before and use every minute to your advantage without wasting any time. Warren Buffet said "to do what you love" and success will follow.

If things don't drastically change in this country and if, as Warren Buffet says, that "greed is alive and well," then there is a significant number of people in this country without a future, without opportunity, without hope for a better tomorrow.

I'm going to concentrate on reading, writing, growing my own food, taking care of my home, and doing what needs to be done to watch out for my husband. Will I get to go back to school? Will I get to get my MFA in creative writing? Will I get a job where I am challenged and where I can grow? I don't know but I do know that it requires mentors who know answers and are successful at what you want to do in life.

Burlington Northern

Burlington Northern is a freight carrier. Warren Buffet said at Columbia Business School that railroads are "environmentally friendly and the most efficient" for moving freight. It can move "1 ton of freight 470 miles on 1 gallon of deisel." It sounds great but I would need to compare what it costs to move freight using semis on freeways. If this is true, there should be an explosion of new rails across America to move freight.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I signed up for Facebook. When I started the process, I found a lot people already in my folder. Most of them I didn't know. I clicked on everyone anyway. I thought that it was great that I already had people who wanted to be my friend. My family said that I should only keep the people who I know so I deleted everyone I didn't know. We'll see how this works out. I'll just keep it how it is for now.

Dangerous Bridge

I've lived in Alsea for 8 1/2 years. There is a bridge on Highway 34 between Alsea and Philomath that I feel is dangerous.

The photo above is of the bridge crossing the North Fork of the Alsea River at Fish Hatchery Road on Highway 34 facing west on the way to Alsea. It is a blind curve when you come around the corner from Alsea because the brush isn't cut making oncoming traffic invisible. The bridge is narrow, too narrow. The sign says that no pedestrians are to walk on the bridge, however, I have witnessed several times when this rule was not followed. The sign "One Way Traffic for Trucks and Buses" is confusing. What does this mean? Who has the right of way--cars or trucks and buses? I have seen black skid marks on the pavement several times, especially during the summer on both sides of the bridge. One time when I came around the corner going east towards Philomath, I had to quickly stop at the side before the bridge because a logging truck was in the center of the bridge straddling the yellow line going towards Alsea. Years ago my husband came upon this bridge going east and found people walking on the bridge, cars parked on the bridge, and motorcycles were headed towards the bridge coming from the opposite direction. He crashed into the side of the bridge so he wouldn't hit anyone. This is not a safe intersection or bridge. It needs to be fixed.

What needs to be done to fix the problem? In my opinion, the bridge needs to be widened and a pedestrian walkway needs to be on the other side of the bridge railing. It's a fact that people need to go from one side of the bridge to another because this is a big fishing spot where people come from all over to catch salmon. The sides of the road needs to be cleared of all brush so you can see around the blind corner. The signs needs to be changed. In my opinion, this is a serious accident waiting to happen. Why do changes like this come only after several fatalities? Why can't people recognize the danger and fix it?

Ben Haber

My son, Benjamin Haber was in Kentucky yesterday running in the National Cross Country Championships. He ran for Seattle Running Company. He came in 5th on his team and he came in 140th over all. He called me from O'Hare in Chicago. I'm always proud of Ben. He runs back and forth to work every day. He's amazing. He said there were over 50 teams that entered.

Health Care

I've been watching Book-TV on CSpan 2 on Saturdays. They have been broadcasting live testimony in the U.S. Senate on health care. Yesterday Senator Orin Hatch from Utah spoke about working with Senate leaders in both parties. He is the strong voice that works hard to defeat needed change in this country for health reform and to keep the status quo. Republicans and Conservatives are fighting hard to prevent health care reform that would bring relief to those who need help. The Republican way hasn't worked.

I believe strongly that everyone deserves quality health care. I believe in a single payer system so that everyone gets preventative care and doesn't have to worry about cost. Insurance companies keep raising premiums. The cost of medical care keeps rising even though most hospitals are nonprofits. No one seems to understand that you can't have needed health care reform until you cut the costs, stop waste and fraud, and put a cap on greed. Health care reform isn't going to work until the rich and corporations start paying their fair share. Otherwise, people should just tell the truth that there isn't enough money to take care of everyone and that a large population of the sick, elderly, and infirm will die without care. Last year greed ruled. CEO's took millions in bonuses they didn't deserve. Ponzi scams ruled and billions were stolen from investors. Protection needs to be put into place so this will never happen again. Either people in this country are valued or they aren't. I believe that every human life has value and that everyone deserves to have health care. It should be a right, a basic human right.

Maybe the truth is that only the rich have the right to care. Maybe only the rich are valued and the rest of us don't matter.

President Obama was voted into office to bring about real change. Health care reform is needed. Real reform to help everyone. I believe that everyone matters and that major change is needed.

10 Most Influential People

Barbara Walters interviewed the 10 most influential people in 2009. Michele Obama, the First Lady, was selected as most influential and I agree. I admire and respect her. She's an attorney, a perfect mother, a great role model for all women, and a great example to everyone. She exercises every day. I'd sure love to know her daily exercise routine.

Tyler Perry was my second favorite of those who were interviewed. His interview was touching. He said he is most proud of helping his mother and seeing that she got to live the life of Mrs. Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. This a soap opera that I have watched for years. He's a kind man and didn't grow up having an easy life. I love his writing and his characters as he plays them in the movies.


I've always wanted a quilting frame so I could hand quilt. My husband and I made one and I love it. It's made out of two by fours and it takes up a lot of room in the front room. This is my third day quilting and I'm having a great time. I plan on making lots of quilts for my grandchildren.


I made a turkey last week for me and my husband. Then I made 10 turkey dinners to put in the freezer with turkey, gravy, stuffing, peas, and mashed potatoes. It works great to have these dinners in the freezer for times when I don't want to cook.

The Middle

I enjoy the new comedy sitcom on TV, The Middle. My favorite character is Brick.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Health Care Reform

I'm disappointed that health care reform is so difficult to achieve. Democrats have the votes needed to make the public option a reality and yet they drag their feet and find reasons why it can't happen. With our economic system gutted by Republican greed, there are so many reasons why health care reform is needed. We need a basic level of care for all Americans.

I don't have health insurance. I don't have savings. I don't have a job.

I am trying to exercise and eat healthy to prevent problems, which I think is the answer anyway.

In the last few years I have lost my blind faith in doctors. I used to think that having a M.D. after your name, meant that you knew all the answers. Now I know that only 15% of medicine is evidence based, which means that 85% is guesswork. I've come across too many doctors who do not know answers and yet you need to pay them anyway. It makes me think that a significant number of doctors have come down with TDD, which seems to be going around in many professions. What is TDD, you ask? TDD = Too Damn Dumb

So just when are Democrats going to get the backbone and vote for the public option?

I am for singlepayer health care. I'm for having large corporations pay their fair share so that we can have a basic level of care in this country. I'm also for wealthy individuals who make over $250,000 a year to pay their fair share. Tax loop holes need to be plugged. There shouldn't be people who are homeless or hungry. People who need health care should get it without having to worry that they will go bankrupt. Congress needs to put a cap on greed to solve some of these problems in our country.

Odd Fellows Hall Writing Event

I went to a writing event at the Odd Fellows Hall on Thursday, December 3rd. I was happy to hear writers read their writing and to meet new writers. They served a free baked potato dinner. It was so nice of them to hold this event. I'm glad I went.

Ted Cox from Old World Deli talked about his book, MURRAY LOOP. You can buy it at Old World Deli. It sounds like a great book to read and give as a gift. He didn't read from his book but if you like Oregon history, you will want to read MURRAY LOOP.

Paul Turner read a couple of essays from one of his books, PRANCING LAVENDER BUNNIES. His writing is clever and funny. It's about motorcycling and travel. It's worth buying for yourself or as a gift.

Both of the books above are self published and worth reading. It's also important to buy books by Corvallis writers and Oregon writers.

One woman read her children's book to everyone with the title, COYOTE MAKES A MOUNTAIN. It was amazing.

So much talent in the group.

Kathy read part of her essay on antics in Catholic School in England--funny and great writing.

Betty McCauley was there and she read one of her essays. She teaches life writing at LBCC. I listened to one of her stories recently in a writing critique group about hats. It was clever, like her. It's definately worth taking her class. A book is published of writing by the students in the class so you have great memories to take away from the class and you are published. Betty's daughter, Jane used to teach English at Western Oregon University. Now she teaches at a university in Northern California. Jane is brilliant, just like her Mom.

Cold in Alsea

It's 5 degrees in Alsea. It's cold. It's Scandinavian ski sweater weather. No gardening in this weather.

I'm 1/2 Swedish. I've never been to Sweden but I've always wanted to visit. Three of my cousins from Swedish visited me here in Alsea a few years ago. It was amazing to meet them. They all had the familiar smiles and I felt such a deep connection.

I've never had the opportunity to learn to ski. Now I ski on Wii Fit and I love it. It's much safer and warmer. No avalanche hazard.

Friday, December 04, 2009

OSU vs. U. of O.

The civil war game between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon took place last night and the University of Oregon won.

I'm happy. I will always side with the University of Oregon because of...
Steve PreFontaine,
Bill Bowerman,
the summer program for gifted children,
Melissa Hart who teaches English and who pubishes great articles in The Writer.

Editing Blog

My goal is to edit my entire blog during this month and finish before January. I will be able to do this as long as there are no computer problems. This will, however, prevent me from meeting some of my other goals but at least it will be done and out of the way.

Some of my blog entries are getting in the way of my progress to move forward. This blog has been my way of reacting to the injustice I have felt and experienced. It is my truth. Everything said in this blog is true from my point of view. I have reacted like a victim in the past and not always stood up for myself. In a way, this blog has been my attempt to stand up for myself.

As a person, I am on many levels of ability and growth. I am continually trying to move forward and grow. I evaluate myself at least four times a year with the goal to improve. All you can do is work on yourself. You can't change others.

The question is do I erase my truth as if it never existed because it makes others uncomfortable? Do I have the right to stand up against things that have happened that were unfair and unjust? I think so. Maybe I should publish a memoir.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Nancy Drew

I used to read Nancy Drew books. That started my interest and love of mysteries.

Little LuLu

I loved Little Lulu as a little girl. I saw a Little Lulu doll this evening in a doll collection. I remember buying every comic book about Little Lulu that was sold as soon as I could turn the pages. I had stacks and stacks of Little Lulu comics. My Dad would buy me a $1.00 worth of penny candy, which was a lot in those days and $1.00 worth of funny books or 10 comic books.

I still have a drawing that I drew of Little Lulu when I was a little girl. If you are around my age, your parents probably read Dr. Spock. His book was the parent's bible. Dr. Spock recommended enemas. I drew a picture of Little Lulu having an enema, of all things and she didn't look happy. My husband had to endure enemas too, thanks to Dr. Spock.

It sure would be fun to see some Little Lulu comic books. She was a positive, strong role model for little girls.

Gifted Children

I was part of a conversation this evening in a group of intelligent women who are in a writing critique group. The conversation turned to gifted children. I feel strongly about this subject and spoke my mind. It wasn't the politically correct thing to say in this group.

I believe strongly that all children have the RIGHT to be taught at their level. Yes, social interaction is important but each child has the right legally in Oregon to have an education which develops his/her potential in the classroom. This is not being done for gifted children. Most gifted children are skipped or left to assume duties of the teacher or allowed to be bored. More attention is paid to the lower end of the IQ scale than to the greatest potential in gifted children. It's a national tragedy. It's a global tragedy. I should write about how gifted children are destroyed every day in public schools.

If a child is bored and active, many schools recommend medication. Medication should never be used on a child whose brain isn't developed. Just read about the research of Dr. Daniel Ammen and the brain! Many teachers in the past have skipped kids, which isn't the answer either. Play is important. Being around kids your own age is important too. Still......children have the RIGHT to learn at their level.

The State of Oregon has a law that says all children have the right to learn at their own level. Too much time is wasted in the classroom with bored kids who must put up with nonsense and baby stuff. It's unfair to put labels on these kids which makes them less than they are. All children should be allowed to bloom and reach their potential without labels. Is it easy for teachers to have to feel responsible to teach the wide range of potential in a classroom? No. Do I sympathize? Yes. However, it is still the RIGHT of the child to learn at their level--their LEGAL right, their moral right.