Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Health Care

I heard on television that the United Nations now ranks the United States as 37 in the world in health care. So why are we paying the big bucks for health care when we are number 37 in the world. We are the only country in the world who charges so much for health care. We should have single payer health care or the public option in the United States. The people in the United States got sold out in Congress.

What I don't understand is backward diagnostics in this country and the lack of adequate equipment to diagnose. How can one be diagnosed with 4th stage cancer after several years of complicated blood tests, being seen by medical experts, and have it not show up? Where is the hand-held scanner that instantly tells you what is wrong in your body with recommendations for vitamins and treatment? We are backward in medical care in this country. Doctors and nurses seem to be smart and seem to care but just how far away are we in this country from the guessing of 100 years ago? Doctors and hospitals seem hesitant to share information which just might solve some of the problems. Equipment should instantly feed the numbers into the computer so it doesn't have to be entered by hand.

Some doctors and nurses have abused their position and the public trust. No doctor or nurse should be using their position of power for their own personal agenda. A doctor or a nurse who has caused harm should not be protected.

We need better medical security so that a hospital or doctor can communicate with a pharmacy without fear of who they are communicating with. Itemized bills are a thing of the past. Why is that? Is it because there are just too many items with outrageous charges?

Someone needs to clean it all up. Where are the Democrats with courage in Congress who have a voice and want to vote for the public option and single payer health care? Where are the Democrats with courage in Congress who want to make sure that health care is held accountable?

China and Education

China is now number one in education in the world. They are first in math. First in reading. First in science. They are the best and they worked hard to get there. I admire what they have accomplished. I admire excellence. I'm not surprised because usually the best students are from China in American classrooms.

We struggle in the United States. We don't seem to care about excellence. We would rather protect inadequate teachers than make sure that students come first. Great teachers need to be rewarded. Excellence needs to be rewarded and celebrated.

Tax Cuts for the Rich

I'm disappointed and shocked that everyone in Congress is so willing to give tax cuts to the wealthy. Democrats seem to be wearing Republican clothing and no one seems to remember the financial disaster just prior to President Obama being elected in the fall of 2008. I don't get it. Where are the strong Democrats who care about fighting for the people who are poor and disadvantaged without a voice? Where are the strong Democrats who care about fighting for the elderly and senior citizens? Where are the strong Democrats who care about doing what is right because it is the right thing to do and refuse to take the perks and money from public interest groups?

Why would anyone even consider giving 7 billion dollars to the wealthy in this country who don't need it when millions are without health care, millions are or have lost their home, millions are hungry, and we have such severe need? Corporations should pay more. The wealthy should pay more to solve the problems in this country. Corporations and wealthy individuals shouldn't be allowed to get away with robbing this country again and again and again.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Perfect Life

If my life were perfect, I would be a best selling writer and go on book tours to meet my readers. I would dress like Mary Higgins Clark and buy beautiful pieces of jewelry from jtv.com. I would have the house of my dreams with a huge kitchen with plenty of room for entertaining friends. I would laugh and have fun often. My husband would make me laugh. We would travel. We would have a vacation home near the ocean. We would enjoy great restaurants, live music, broadway plays, art museums, and zoos. I would probably never stop smiling.

In reality, life isn't so perfect.......but I have many things to be grateful for and I'm good at making my own fun no matter what happens around me.

Writers Digest

The latest issue of Writers Digest Magazine came in the mail yesterday. I have already read half the issue. It's full of great writing inspiration, ideas, and motivators to get a writer writing. I love reading writing magazines, writing books, and writing. It's part of me. Maybe I will never have a novel published or more articles published or my poetry appreciated but I write anyway.

I'm grateful for Writers Digest Magazine. "USING FRUSTRATION, HURT AND ANGER TO FUEL YOUR WRITING" by Bill O'Hanlon really jumped out at me in this Big 10 issue packed full of articles every writer needs to read. Often when things happen to me or I feel victimized, I keep it inside and not write. This article talks about the power that transfers onto the page when you write about it. I guess I should write a memoir about living in Alsea the last 10 years, and then another memoir about my feelings and experiences with religion, and then a memoir starting at the beginning in Libby, Montana. I guess my question that keeps raking at me is so I let myself write my heart out with novels or memoirs or juvenile fiction........will it arrive at the destination? will it be wanted? will it be taken out my house when my husband and I leave for a few days? Yes, I feel insecure about it. Number 9 says "write yourself out of or through a crisis," and number 6 says to "write to deal with fears or trauma." I've lived through too much loss and trauma. Maybe I should write how I want my life to be.

Atlas Shrugged

I have been having fun reading ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand. I have read some of her books in college and I am revisiting her writing. This book is about trains, which I love, and a great heroine, Dagny Taggart. It is a mix of philosophy, business, and great drama. I have been reading the 35th anniversary edition while listening to the audio book at the same time so I can become completely lost in the story.

It's fun to read about d'Anconia Copper Mines when it makes me think of my grandfather who was an engineer at the Anaconda Copper Mine in Great Falls, Montana. My grandfather died a month before I was born so I didn't ever get to know him.

The perfect place to read this book would be on an Amtrak vacation as you cross the country from one coast to the other and back again.

My Garden

As I was watering my garden this morning and walking around my yard, I keep being reminded of things that have changed at times when we have been away from Alsea. Take for example, my Shasta Daisy......... The first thing that was done to it was a cutting of the center. I didn't do it. My husband didn't do it. I didn't give permission for anyone to do it. Then the crowded multiple plants stuck together were taken away and out of my yard leaving one plant. I didn't do it. My husband didn't do it. I didn't give permission for anyone to do it.

This kind of stuff happens when we are gone away from Alsea and I want it to stop. I come home to find the center branches out of new trees cut off to prevent it from growing too tall. I know how to do all this stuff or I can look it up in a gardening book or in a gardening magazine or look online at all the great gardening websites. I went through the OSU Master Gardening program in 1999 in Salem, Oregon so that I could learn more about gardening.

No one has the right to come into my yard to tend my yard and garden. No one has permission. I have lots of No Trespassing signs posted and I need to put more up along our 3.68 acres.

The point is that it makes me feel like until this mystery is solved, until I know who is doing this, until it is stopped, I can't leave with my husband for any length of time. I don't have the money for expensive cameras and monitors.

No one also has permission to come into my house. So many things have been missing over the years like photos, journals, books, original art. What is the point of drawing and painting when some of the art that I am most proud of was stolen? What is the point of writing when it is stolen out of my house? How do I protect myself from people coming into my house when I am gone? All kinds of things have been missing--fabric, documents about my inventions and the e-mails to the engineering department at OSU, letters, things I have written, etc. Not fair. How much do I have to lose?

Either it is a professional crook or someone is abusing their position of power and authority to get into my house.

Guess I am staying home. Guess I am not going to Ohio or Washington since no one is helping me prevent and solve the problem. I wrote to two national political leaders with no answers or response. I guess I have to give up all my dreams because everything I try is squelched. Guess I was born into the wrong area, the wrong time, around the wrong people in order to bloom and become all I can be.

Young & the Restless

I've been watching the Young and the Restless on CBS for years. The neverending story teaches, entertains, and shows what can happen as the characters interact.

I love Victoria and Billy together. The fun, joking-around magic, when they are alone away from their battling families, take me to a place in my heart that is full at the moment that I watch. It's rare when the chemistry between two actors dazzle and radiate off the screen in this way. Victoria and Billy need their own prime time show but there has to be lots of fun and joking around with lots of laughter.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Publishers Weekly

On page 132 of the July 19th, 2010 issue of Publishers Weekly is an essay that every children's writer, every teacher, every person who cares about gifted children and anyone who loves books MUST read. All children's writers need to read it to see what an impact they make when they take the time to reach out and communicate with readers and how important it is to visit schools.

"Tour of Duty: Why one children's author keeps visiting schools" by Lynne Jonell is worth the price of this issue. I read it to my husband. The first paragraph is what every first paragraph should be and after I read that to him, he agreed to listen to the rest. I didn't get very far before I started choking on tears since I feel passionate about gifted children. I had to stop more than once. It is a powerful essay. Gifted children should be taught in schools on three levels--at their academic level in all subjects and above their level to challenge and for enrichment. Review should not predominate but be kept to a minimum. Now in most public schools throughout the country, gifted children only review. Sad and tragic! President Obama is working hard to encourage excellence in schools but there are few takers for the incentives. I guess we care more about protecting teachers than in protecting the rights of children to learn and to encourage teachers who motivate. Oregon rejected it.

Lynne Jonell's latest book is HAMSTER MAGIC. After reading this article, I can see that her books need to be on the top of the list of all book buyers for children. President Obama bought her book, THE SECRET OF ZOOM for his daughters.

Publishers Weekly is a must read for writers to keep current with what is happening in book publishing. Anyone who loves books can use it as a list of what to read. What I love most are the interviews and articles about and by writers.

Tiziano Ferro

I have a new favorite singer--Tiziano Ferro from Italy. I watched the 2010 World Music Awards. Tiziano Ferro won as best Italian artist. He was the best part of the entire show. He sang "Breathe Gentle." He's young. His music transcends all age groups. Passion exudes from every pore as he sings. He's a world performer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

CBS Watch Magazine

I subscribe to CBS Watch Magazine because CBS is my favorite of the three major network channels. I consistently watch CBS more than any other channel.

The last CBS Watch Magazine had a feature on the Mentalist, one of my favorite shows. Simon Baker is a surfer from Australia who is magic on the screen. I wonder if he knows Aussie pro surfers Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson?

I haven't received the last issue in the mail. I saw it mentioned on television. It's a feature on NCIS, another great CBS choice. So........just where is my issue?

2010 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon

My son, Benjamin ran in the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon. He came in 13th place overall and first in his age group. He had a finish time of 2:47:39. He's sponsored by Seattle Running Company. I'm so proud of him.

Anna, my granddaughter, wanted to run with him when she saw him at the 18 mile marker. She's only 1 1/2. She's amazing, just like her Dad.

Favorite TV shows

My top three favorite television shows are Huge on ABC Family, and Eureka and Haven on the SyFy Channel.

Jersey Couture

Jersey Couture is one of my favorite shows on the Oxygen Channel. It's all about Diane & Co. in Freehold, New Jersey which is an amazing dress boutique with a large inventory of dresses for prom and any formal occasion that can cost from $500 to $10,000. Diane and her daughters, Chrissy and Kim are smart business women who are not satisfied until they find the perfect dress for their customers. This reality show is fun to watch and they are entertainers and funny on the show.

It would be fun to work at the shop so I could have the opportunity to be part of it. I think they should have an additional service for their hard-to-please customers. A computer program or a large notebook with different fabric choices and designs could make a custom choice possible. The woman could choose from a variety of fabrics, colors, and designs. For example, a woman could pick a kelly green silk, with three quarter length sleeves, long length, and a slimming fit. Prompts on the computer program could help make choices easier with tips for what looks best on what figure. All measurements are added into the program. If the woman has original design drawings to incorporate into the dress, this could be given to someone in the store. If there is enough time before the event, this unique design made for the woman who walked through the door could be made for her by seamstresses or a dress designer that contracts with Diane & Co. This way a woman would receive the dress of her dreams and feel certain that her dress is an original that is made just for her.

They have a "fluff me" service for weddings to help the bride get ready for her important day. I wonder if they rent gowns for weddings for all members in the wedding party with a complete fluff me service for all the bridesmaids, bride, and mothers?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Barefoot Contessa

I watch Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network Channel because I really love the show and I like her. She's fabulous and a wonderful cook. I wish I could be friends with her. She's nice and kind. Her husband is really handsome. It's cute how she dotes on him with all his favorite dishes and he loves everything she does.

She made the most fabulous chocolate cake that I want to make. It must be full of calories with the 3 sticks of butter, cream cheese, buttermilk. It looks yummy.

Cooking is a gift to share with others. To sit around a table and share a great meal is a celebration. Dr. Andrew Weil said in one of his books that if you eat an unhealthy meal at a table full of friends and family, the food doesn't have all the harmful consequences as if you are alone, stressed, and lonely. I bet there is something to that.

All My Children

I'm a new fan of All My Children, a day time soap opera. I love Erika played by Susan Lucci. She's a true fighter and inspirational heroine. On Monday she had quite a speech in her hospital bed after surviving a plane crash and time in the wilderness.

She said, "Surviving those mountains, it's made me stronger than I ever was. I have never been so sure of who I am and what I want than I am right now. If I get hurt so be it. If I have to fight the Greenleys of the world, bring them on. One thing I know is that I will not hide and I will definately not surrender. I have survived too much, way too much, to run off and hide because I'm afraid I am going to get hurt again. I will live the life I want with a man who wants the same things I want. I will take the pleasure with the pain and the good with the bad and I will never give up. That's for sure. I will never ever quit. I will have the life I want because I am committed to living every moment to the fullest."

Great writing! It would be fun to split off into clones and go out to be everything I can be. One of me would look for a boss to work for like Erika. I would want to work a 80 hour week and make piles of money, live in a big house, and wear nice clothes.

Soap operas are a life saver for people who are alone. They give you a dose of friends without all the complications. You can see all the problems play out in the television show without having to get into the muck. Easier..........

Wild Birds

We feed wild birds at our house and I also try and grow plants that will be food for them. We hang up two hummingbird feeders. We put up two black thistle feeders for the American Goldfinch. We have four sunflower seed feeders for a mix of other birds. We put out a couple of suet cakes a day. We also put out dried corn cobs in a feeder. So we get a lot of birds. We have most of the feeders under the eaves of our house to bring them up close to the window so we can see them. It's so much fun to watch them. I love it and so does my husband.

Right now there are six American Goldfinch on the black thistle feeder next to the window as I am typing. My favorite bird that comes is the Evening Grosbeak. They are so beautiful. My husband thought they were parrots that escaped when he first saw them come to our feeders.

I've heard how the black birds are predators and drive away the other birds. Phooey! If you put out enough food for everyone, there isn't any fighting. I have ravens who come and patrol the yard like sentinels. Ravens are very intelligent and have been known to talk and warn people of danger. I have to admit that I'm not that warm and fuzzy about the starlings.

I love the Stellers Jays. We have a large group of ring-tailed pigeons that come. Yesterday I counted 15 on one feeder. They even stood on the backs of each other to get the sunflower seeds. We had to put a large board under neath one of the feeders so it could be a platform for the bigger birds since they had a hard time getting at the seed. Before the large birds would have to flap their wings while trying to get a sunflower seed. All the wild birds are welcome in my yard. I love them all.


I have two indoor cats. They are exclusively indoor cats and I've had them for a long time. We got them at the Humane Society in Salem approximately 14 years ago.

First came Angel who was needed since I found a mouse. She had been returned to the Humane Society twice before and we were told that if we took her back, it would be the end of her. She wouldn't let me hold her any time I wanted and I wanted a cat that I could hold any time I wanted. I had a dream and dreamed of an orange and white cat. I sent my husband out to look for an orange and white cat and he came home with Thomas. Thomas is perfect. He would let me hold him all day, everyday, if I wanted. He follows me around the house. He loves crunchy cat treats. He mopes around the house if I am gone and gets angry if I am gone for a couple of days. He turns his back on me, refuses to purr, and doesn't lighten up until I've been home for several hours. I found a cure for this pouty behavior. The last two or three times I have left him alone, I have left phone messages that he can hear in the house telling him that I will be home and that I know he has all the food and water he needs and that I love him. It works. He feels connected and is excited to see me when I come home. It helps him not feel so insecure. When he was a kitten, he was left to starve in an abandoned building so I think this is why.

My cats are indoor cats and never go outside. This way they don't eat the wild birds, catch fleas, or get run over. When we went to the Humane Society, they had us sign a paper that said that we would keep them indoors and we agreed. They said that the life of an indoor cat was 12 years or more and the life of an outdoor cat was 3 years. Well, it's true. My cats are 14 years old and counting. They run around the house, love cat treats, are healthy and are fun.

Cats are more independent and maintenance free than dogs. I've been wanting another Basset Hound, a senior Basset Hound but then I remember what it is like to be up in the middle of the night because they have to go outside. Cats are easier. Although I admit that I would be mighty tempted if I saw the saggy, moanful look of a Basset Hound who needed a home. Basset Hounds aren't yappy or drag you along when you go for a walk. They are mellow and easy going. I've always loved Bassets. Maybe someday.........


My husband asked a doctor recently, who is an expert in this area, a question for me during a visit. I wanted to know what is the secret to having a friend and getting along. This doctor said, "You have to agree with everyone and what everyone says, if you want to have friends and belong in a group."

I guess this is my problem. I don't want to give up my own opinions or identity. I can't be invisible. I can't give up who I am for the sake of blending in and belonging to a group. It is much more important to me to find the truth and to learn than to belong. I have too many questions. I am much more concerned with knowing I am right at the moment and am honest than in always agreeing. I need to be able to express concern, if I have it. People don't need to agree with me. That's not what I want because then it would be boring. How can you learn from people, if everyone agrees?

So I have no idea where I belong. I guess I belong right where I am--staying at home reading stacks of books.

I have wanted to find supportive people of my goals and dreams, and from whom I can learn. I can't afford to travel far. I can't afford memberships. I'm not sure where I belong. And if it is the truth that you truly have to agree with everyone, then I don't see how it can work.

I work hard to be nice and be supportive of others. I enjoy encouraging people but I'm not willing to say yes when I feel no or say that the sky is green when I can see that it is purple. I don't believe that a true friend would ask this of me. I guess I am dreaming and what I have wanted is nonexistent.

I don't understand why everyone needs to agree in order to work together. The joy of being around others is the learning about the differences and other points of view. Why does everyone have to agree? I guess I just don't get it.

A book is a much better solution to learn from and find support or entertainment.

A few years ago I thought I had found a friend with similiar interests who had a husband who I thought would get along with mine. It seemed to work until she had my whole life planned out into the future. I don't have time to sit on the phone for three hours and then do it again the next day.

I guess I don't want to get into the mess of relationships either because having a friend means that you take on their mess too. I have enough to deal with.

Publishers Weekly

I was shocked that the United States doesn’t corner the book publishing market in the world!

The June 21, 2010 issue of Publishers Weekly lists the top publishers of the world. How many times is the United States listed in the top 50? Not 50! Not 45! Not 40! Not 35! Not even a whopping 25! Only 10……….
#2 Reed Elsevier--UK/NL/US
#8 McGraw-Hill Education
#11 Cengage Learning --Canada/US
#12 Scholastic Corp.
#13 Wiley
#14 Houghton Miffllin Harcourt-- US/Cayman Islands
#19 Harper Collins
#27 Simon & Schuster
#28 Readers Digest
#46 Perseus
Who is in the Number One spot? Pearson in the UK.
Germany is also on the list 10 times!

Red Bull

I received a sample of Red Bull in the mail.

I have a story about Red Bull. When I was waiting in line to audition for Biggest Loser in Portland, a truck drove up with Red Bull advertising on it and handed out free samples of Red Bull. I went over to take one. I was grateful. I stuck it in my purse to save it. I’ve never had one before. I waited in line for 11 hours with all the others who all shared hope in their hearts to be on Biggest Loser. It was getting so hot and stuffy when we finally got inside. The line was wrapped around inside the building as it was on the outside. I was out of money. I couldn’t buy water. I couldn’t afford the pizza, they were selling. At the 10 ½ hour point, I was almost done for. I had run out of steam. I thought I was going to faint or pass out. Then I remembered the Red Bull in my purse. I took it out. I couldn’t even open it myself. I had to ask for help. I drank it and it was really good. I had no idea what it would taste like. Then I waited and the magic happened. I started to feel better. I got my second wind and a few more hours of energy. At the 11 hour mark in line when I was about to audition for Biggest Loser, I was ready and rejuvenated.

James Patterson

I love James Patterson. He’s my favorite. Someday, if my ship ever comes in, I’m going to have a huge library with floor to ceiling book cases. In one of the book cases will be signed first editions of all of James Patterson’s books.

Buy all his books at your nearest bookstore. If you haven't discovered him yet, you'll want to read everything he's ever written.

Right now I’m reading JUDGE AND JURY. Again he came to rescue.

On page 98 is the paragraph. It’s about a judge who is being harassed by the mob.
“This was in my bed last night. In my bed, Mr. Cavello! Under my covers. The evening edition broke around seven. My house was completely locked up and alarmed. No one has been inside since four that afternoon. You have an educated guess as to how this got there, Mr. Cavello?”

This is what has been happening to me. It started in Gates where we lost everything and continued for the last ten years in Alsea. A crook or someone official abusing their power position?

When I got to page 98, I didn't feel alone. I felt connected. I know what it feels like to have someone go through your things and not be able to protect yourself. I know what it feels like to feel so powerless. My solution until I know this is over is to stay home.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oil Spill and BP

When corporations cause harm, they need to pay. Consequences must follow.

BP has destroyed the ecosystem of the Gulf. There's no end in sight. Businesses and careers have been damaged and destroyed. Families have lost their income. Fish, birds, and wildlife have died and are being harmed. Tourism in the area is damaged at millions of dollars a day. The clean up is hazardous to those who do the work.

When businesses cause harm in the course of doing business, they must be responsible. They must be held accountable. There has to be consequences.

Large corporations are acting like bullies and spoiled little kids who want their own way and do not want consequences. Yes, they must pay for the damage. Yes, we need to make sure that businesses can not do this again. A fine for misbehavior isn't good enough. Assets should be frozen until the damage is paid.

I applaud President Obama for expecting and callling for consequences. This can't keep happening in this country.

We are a global community. When one section of the world is damaged, it directly effects other areas of the world. We need to work together to make sure that someone who is out for greed and money isn't allowed to destroy without consequences.

If there were consequences in place, the oil industry would have invested in money to prevent accidents like this. Their major investment is in PR. PR isn't going to get you out of this one, BIG OIL.

Alsea Valley Voice

I was the editor of the print edition of the Alsea Valley Voice from July, 2009 through April, 2010. It was fun, at least in the beginning. I loved writing articles, interviewing people, encouraging new writers, and working to showcase talent in the area. I loved volunteering in this way.

What made it hard at the end was when people in the area and leaders would promise articles that they did not deliver. I was promised 8 items for the April issue that I didn't receive. I had hoped for 12. I was told that I expected too much. What made it even more frustrating was that when I started to write more, I was criticized by some for making it all about me. I guess interviewing people and writing articles with my by-line was too much of Wendy for some. Oh, well.......... I guess they want an invisible editor and invisible writers that showcase the area.

I figured that someone more connected to the community would do a much better job of getting more articles so I quit. Within 5 days time after my e-mail resignation, the board met, found a new editor, and someone came to my door to get everything. They jumped at the opportunity so I fade into the background again. Will I surface again to volunteer in Alsea. I doubt it. Every attempt seems to end the same way. I'm not wanted here and I'm not valued. Simple as that.

Staying Home

I've been staying home for the last couple of months. I've only left my property twice. Why? Almost every time when my husband and I have left, we come back to find something missing or changed. Until someone gives me answers, help or I find a solution, I'm not going anywhere.

This has been happening ever since we moved here 10 years ago. Why? It's harrassment or a really good crook or someone abusing their official power position who picks things up here and there when they enter our house. No one has our house keys. No one is given permission when we leave to watch the place. We have a security system. So how is this happening? Bush created Homeland Security and no one has addressed potential abuses of the right to enter someone's home without a search warrant.

I've spoken out against leaders. Is this why? Roadblocks show up with every attempt to succeed. Some have told me that I must have really made someone mad. I don't blindly follow. I think. I question. I read. I investigate. I speak out. I value the truth and the law. I wish I had gone to law school. No one bothers attorneys. An attorney is armed with the law.

My husband called Benton County Sheriff Department and was told without proof, there is nothing they can do. I've called too. Not even a report was filed.

So do I give up on dreams? Do I stay home to protect what little I have? One person that I discussed it with agrees that this is a great way to make someone feel insecure. The last thing that was taken was a large plastic bin of fabric I bought on sale that I was saving to make quilts for my grandchildren. The retail price of the fabric has to be close to $800. I think this is why things like this are taken because who would believe someone that fabric was stolen.

Should I quit writing too? What is the point of trying and putting in effort to find roadblocks in every direction? I can't afford to do many things so money limits what I can attempt.

I'm great at finding the good within the limits of what is possible. I'm great at finding something to do within the financial limits or within the selections available. I am never bored. I change directions. I enjoy knitting, quilting, watching TV and movies, sewing, gardening. There are so many books I've wanted to read. But what is the point of creating when you are stopped? What is the point of writing when you are not allowed to flourish? Do I give it up?

It's hard when you don't have friends or a support system. It's hard to be isolated without a network of people to consult who want you to succeed and who want you to win.

Sometimes I feel like I live in the wrong state or country. A new book being published in August is an important one that is reviewed in the June 14th edition of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. WERE YOU BORN ON THE WRONG CONTINENT?: HOW THE EUROPEAN MODEL CAN HELP YOU GET A LIFE by Thomas Geohegan discusses the difference between the lifestyle in Europe as compared to the United States. Geohegan argues that "the middle class is the real beneficiary of European social democracy--its members reap free education, free child care, free nursing home care, guaranteed vacation time, and generous unemployment benefits--while their white-collar American counterparts struggle to pay for the same." It makes me want to live in Sweden or Germany. Order it from www.amazon.com or go to your nearest bookstore to order a copy. Think. Don't just blindly believe what those around you tell you to believe. Read. Question.

Rise of the New Right

The MSNBC special on Hardball, "Rise of the New Right" was scary. Leaders of the Conservative Right and Tea Party Members are calling for arms, inciting violent behavior, and talking about "taking out" those who do not agree with them. They are talking about revolution and violence. So...how is this different from definitions of terrorism?

The more I listen to leaders on the right, the more I shake my head and wonder about their ability. Angle of Nevada has PR people cleaning up her website. She's the one who suggests chickens to pay for health care.

Many on the right go to church. What does this say about churches? Any church which spouts hatred, violence, and the desire to harm others isn't even in the category of spirituality or religion in my opinion.

Hot in Cleveland

The new situation comedy on TVLD is a hit. This pilot comedy starring Valerie Bertinelli has all the ingredients for success. Betty White is fabulous! I love the characters. It's a Boomer Sex in the City.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Oil Spill

I wonder when Congress is going to put laws in place that will prevent future oil spills from happening. I wonder when Congress is going to quit wasting time, quit taking money from special interest groups and work hard for the United States of America and the good of all. It isn't okay for a large corporation to pollute and destroy. Safeguards and preventions must be put into place so this can't happen.

We have President Bush to thank for the carte blanche policies that has allowed Big Oil to do what they want.

The reason why I am a Democrat is because I don't believe that local governments can govern without the check and balance system of the federal government. Someone must be the watch dog to make sure corruption is rooted out.

How much of each day in Congress is spent efficiently to bring forth solutions and answers? How much time is wasted? How much of the process in Congress prevents solutions, action, and resolution?

The damage caused by this oil spill in the Gulf impacts tourism, wildlife, the fishing industry, all cities along the coast and many miles inland, and will take years to recover. The assets of all who are responsible should be frozen and should pay for this damage.

So You Think You Can Dance

The first show of auditions in NYC and Miami were glorious with so much talent. I love Adam Shankman and Mia Michels. They cry at the extraordinary and the genius. I was crying with them. I love to see talent and the exceptional. I love to see talented young people who work hard, endure, practice, and who persist. I also love Cat Deeley. I love to see what she is going to wear each week plus she is so nice. Everyone's great on the show for they delight in the best and the finest in dancing. They encourage and direct it and give it opportunity to shine and bloom.

I'm excited to see what happens and all that follows. This is one of the best shows on television. It has encouraged dance, competition, and young people all across the country taking dance classes who dance their hearts out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Banned Inventions

Isn't it time to take a look in the file of "banned inventions" to find new and better ways for energy resources at a time when oil and natural gas has worn out its welcome?

I remember watching on the Science channel and seeing a program about Motor Development International MDI in Nice, France who has produced a car that can run on water vapor. It needs only one tank of gas to run from NY to LA. Isn't this a much better idea? They already have cars and trucks made.

Senator Jeff Merkley

Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley, my Senator, is a HERO for standing up to Big Oil and saying "No!" to offshore drilling along the Oregon Coast. It takes courage to do this. He's a hero and I'm proud that he's the Senator from Oregon.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oil Spill

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening the environment, life in the ocean, tourism, cities along the ocean, and the qualify of life in the area.

It is outrageous and ridiculous that President Obama should be blamed for this.

BP obviously didn't put measures in place to prevent this from happening. If they didn't anticipate problems and have a plan, they shouldn't be drilling in the first place. All oil companies and natural gas companies that are drilling with accidents should be held accountable. They should pay for the damage. They are responsible.

We need to use other energy sources and stop relying on oil and natural gas. There are oil spills in other parts of the world that have seriously caused harm to wildlife and fish. This should be stopped.

We need to halt and seize assets. With this much damage, oil and natural gas shouldn't be given the opportunity to drill.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Amtrak Cascades

I love trains and I love traveling by the train. I recently went to Seattle on Amtrak Cascades to visit my son and granddaughter. Traveling by train is my favorite way to travel. Everyone is so nice, professional, gives great service. It is so much easier than driving to travel by train. You can relax, read, look out the window, work on your computer, or eat in the Bistro car.

The Bistro car has delicious food selections at reasonable prices. James in the Bistro car is efficient, personable, and nice. He's great on the loudspeaker.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Amtrak is 20% more energy efficient than commercial airlines and 28% more efficient than cars. Traveling by train is a green choice.

The next time you plan your vacation go to amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

I looked in the maps across the United States and I was shocked and surprised that there isn't a train route linking Cleveland, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio or Columbus, Ohio to Cincinnati, Ohio. There should be a direct route from Cleveland to Cincinnati through Columbus, in my opinion.

Everyone I talk to on the train enjoys traveling by train. There are businessmen, students, attorneys, grandmas visiting grandchildren and families. It's so much easier and you are well taken care of.

Be sure to take your headphones because they show movies.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Biggest Loser

I auditioned for Biggest Loser last Sunday. I stood in line for 11 hours at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland with hundreds of others who had hope in their heart of being chosen until there was no hope. I arrived at 8:15 a.m. and went into the room with a group of others at 7:20 p.m. I was number OR1354. Outside there was rain, wind, and the cold. Inside the lobby of the convention center, it was warm because of all the people.

There were so many nice people in line with me. It was fun to watch, listen, and talk to the people. If I had it to do over again, I would have interviewed everyone who would talk to me so I would have plenty of material for lots of articles. I didn't. I wish I had. There was one lady from New York who was so funny. She came up with so much great material. She could easily have her own popular sitcom on television. There were four people who stayed together in a group ahead of me. I wish I had asked for a business card. One worked in real estate, another was a mortgage broker. One was an attorney. I liked them all and if I were to pick friends out of the whole bunch, it would be them.

Maybe I'll never see anyone in line again but it was a moment in time that we all shared. I'll never forget it.

There were so many people that it showed me that every major city in the U.S. with a television station, could hold a competition like Biggest Loser. There would be plenty of people who would want to be on the show. Portland, Oregon has Nike. All you would need are trainers and a big gym plus a place to house the contestants for a couple of months. It would help a lot of people and it's possible.

My Philosophy

I have decided that my philosophy is enjoy what you have and be nice along the way. You can work towards dreams but they don't happen right away and sometimes they don't happen. All you can do is appreciate what you have and be nice to anyone you come in contact with.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Southwest Airlines

My husband and I flew Southwest Airlines from Portland, Oregon, stopping over at Las Vegas, and then on to Columbus, Ohio to see our son graduate from The Ohio State University.

Southwest Airlines enjoys high customer loyalty. Many refuse to fly with any other airline. One reason is that you can depend on Southwest Airlines. They are generous with their snacks and there is extraordinary excellent service by all. Everyone is nice and they do their best to serve your needs. I witnessed a flight attendant who was extraordinary in helping people with their needs, luggage. He went out of his way to help people. I was impressed with everyone who is connected to Southwest Airlines.

Spirit magazine can be found in the pockets of the seats in front of you. Read it next time you fly Southwest. There are always great articles. I read one article twice because it was so good. The article was called "Brooklyn's Back 40" and it was written by Manny Howard in the March 2010 issue. It was all about a guy in the middle of Brooklyn who transformed his backyard into a farm. He brought in 5 tons of new soil in the 40 by 20 foot space. He ended up with chickens, potatoes, herbs, corn, beets, celery, rabbits, cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, garlic, leeks, beans. Did everything work? No, but he learned and he ate from his garden and so did his family. It was wonderful to read. Another great article was about Burbank, California which made me want to move there because of the great walking paths, small town feel, close proximity to all the great directors. Burbank is where they make the movies that make people cry, laugh, and entertain.

Dale Chihuly

My favorite contemporary artist is Dale Chihuly. I had the opportunity to see his glass art in Columbus, Ohio a couple of weeks ago at the Columbus Museum of Art. His creativity expressed in glass spills out of bounds and explodes off in all directions. I love it! I'm always inspired when I see a Chihuly.

I first saw his glass at the Portland Art Museum years ago at an exhibit. Now for the second time, I got to see his genius in Columbus.

Someday I hope to see his museum in Tacoma, Washington. He's a genius and no one even comes close in any art medium, in my opinion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jodee and Daniel

On Saturday we spent the day in the beautiful home of John and Barbara Spera in Canton, Ohio to celebrate the engagement of Jodee and Daniel who will be married in October. Over 30 family members and friends gathered to celebrate the engagement. I was so happy to meet everyone. Barbara, a teacher for 37 years could easily write a best selling book on entertaining and include all the delicious recipes she served. John is easy-going and has plenty of jokes and light-humored stories to make everyone feel welcome. Their large two-story home is something out of the pages of Home and Garden.

I instantly loved everyone and on the ride back to Columbus, I told Daniel that I want to be adopted by their family and live on the next street.

I'm happy for Daniel that he has found the woman that he loves. Jodee is intelligent, highly organized, considerate, kind, and nice. I'm happy to celebrate their love on this happy occasion.

The Ohio State University

I'm so happy to be in Columbus, Ohio. Yesterday we saw our son, Daniel graduate from The Ohio State University to receive a MBA. It was thrilling to be in the Jerome Schottenstein Center to see graduates receive their diploma. I'm so proud of Daniel and happy about all the opportunities in front of him. Nothing has ever been handed to him. He's worked hard and planned ahead for everything he's received.

I loved hearing President Gordon Gee speak and tried to video most of his inspiring words that encourage all to be the best they can be.

The commencement address was given by Curtis J. Moody the CEO of the largest minority-owned architectural firm in the nation. He received his degree in architecture at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture. His speech was inspiring and will be remembered.

I had the opportunity to go to a special dinner for graduates receiving their masters from the Fisher School of Business. I was the proud mother taking photos as her son received honors for the Deloit Business Plan Competition. It's obvious the highest standards of students and faculty are expected and encouraged at The Ohio State University.

I wish I could be part of it all too. Everyone was welcomed as a member of the family of The Ohio State University. Everything is better in Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, and especially at The Ohio State University.

Daniel was very kind to send us tickets to come to see him graduate. I'm so proud of him and grateful for the opportunity to experience for a few days a glimpse into his world. He's one of the best people I know in the world so I love to spend time with him.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I spent 3 hours and 45 minutes writing this morning. I had a great time and got a lot accomplished. I am going to write first thing every morning when I get up to work on my writing projects before I start anything thing else.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Reading People

Sometimes I know things about people, as if I can see right into their heart. Other times, I can't. I guess it is because I pay attention, look for clues about people, and watch. People are fooled all the time though. Just watch the news. Look at famous people, like Tiger Woods. He was great at fooling everyone. People who are in the news or famous need to realize they need to live a scandal free life. They need to decide to be good at all times. Everyone, if they want to avoid heartache, need to decide to be good at all times.

You can't be too careful now days. Women, especially need to be careful. Young people are often told that it's best to stay in groups and stay in public places. I think this is good advice for everyone. You can't blindly trust, especially these days. Unfortunately people who are dating now, it is almost a good idea to have the individual of interest to be checked out with a police background check, a medical exam, and other ways of digging up information about their family and friends. Sad but true.

I'm glad I'm married. No matter how imperfect my husband seems at times, he's a jewel compared to some you read about in the news. Next month, I will have been married for 38 years. That's a long time to know someone. It's comforting that we share the same memories. It's fun to play canasta every day. It's great that I can ask him a question and he knows the answer.

OSU Socratic Club

I went to the final debate of the year put on by the OSU Socratic Club. Victor Stenger debated William Craig. Both are philosphers who debated the existence of God.

Victor Stenger is Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. www.colorado.edu/philosophy/Stenger. His letter that he wrote to God echoes my sentiments about why does God allow so much pain, violence, injustice, etc. Victor Stenger seems like a gentle genius. He probably knew Carl Sagan and belongs to the Planatary Society.

Friends of the Library Book Sale

I went to the Friends of the Library Book Sale in Corvallis on Sunday, February 28. I got there about 15 minutes early and there was already a line at the door. I brought a small plastic bin with handles built into the sides to carry my books. The price for the last day of the sale is $5 a box. There were many sizes of boxes in the hands of people in line. One couple had two large boxes each on wooden carts with wheels. They were prepared and I figured they have done this many times before.

I got in the door and there were books everywhere. It didn't look like this was the third day and that the library had already made $33,000 from the sale. There were books in boxes under the tables and there was wall to wall people so it was hard to move around freely. I had to make a decision where to look. I wished that I had scoped out the building the day before so I knew the layout of the tables and what books were where. I first went over to the table with the sign that said history books. That group of books was picked over and I only found one reference book about Presidents so I headed on over to the mystery books and found several. Then I found literature and stayed there the rest of the time. I found collections of short stories, books on writing craft, poetry and drama anthologies. It was glorious. I was happy to be there. A couple of different times when I was shoulder to shoulder with other people, I looked to the person next to me and said, "This sure is fun, isn't it!" They looked at me as if they didn't share the same level of enthusiasm. Well, I was happy to be there. I went in and out three times for a total of $15 for hundreds of dollars worth of books. I found real treasures and I'm so happy I went.

When I went to my car the first time, Rachel Beck, a reporter for the Corvallis Gazette Times asked me if she could talk to me about the sale. Since I was happy to meet her, I said yes. It was fun to talk to her and I ended up on the front page of the paper on Monday, February 29.

Am I going to this sale next year? You bet!

When I got home and took inventory of the books I bought, the first book that I read was a book of interviews of famous writers. The first interview I read was all about Jean Auel. Her interview is inspiring and I wrote to her the next day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rhode Island

One school in Rhode Island fired all the teachers because all the kids were failing and the teachers didn't want to do what is necessary to help them. This is a big victory for kids and education! Congratulations to all the courageous and strong administrators with guts!

Health Care

Unless there is single-payer health care, not all people in this country are valued. The only ones who are valued are those who have money and a great job. This means that the poor, the ones without opportunities, will be left at the curb without care.

I'm disappointed in Democrats in power who have cared more about their own self interest and not the American people when they had a chance to stand for single payer health care. When you have the power and don't use it, it is worse than not having it at all.

President Obama is trying hard to find common ground and has taken incredible verbal abuse from those around him. I'm disappointed that he doesn't do what is necessary. All great leaders throughout history have had violent opposition. Your enemies will never agree with change. The rich have a stake in maintaining status quo. I had hoped that President Obama would stand for those without and be the voice to help right wrongs and to forge a new path.

Free health care has always been trounced by the medical establishment. Why did I believe that anything would happen?

Greed seems to rule in this country. In the Corvallis Gazette Times yesterday I read that a credit card rate of 59.9% is legal now. How can that be legal? The Supreme Court has recently declared that a business or corporation is now an individual. This means that in the next election, we could elect Goldman Sachs. Wow! One in four houses are upsidedown in equity or more is owed than the property is worth. Yikes!

The rift between the rich and poor is becoming wider and wider. What can you do? Grow your own food, if you have land. Save, if you can. Don't buy unless you need something. Trade and barter services, if you can arrange it. Do the best you can until the end.

Sure I wish I could be rich too. I think everyone does. I've love to get manicures and pedicures every month, have a massage once in awhile, buy clothes, buy the gifts I want to buy for my family, have a big house with a great kitchen but things didn't work out this way. There are millions of people who don't have what they need, let alone what they want.

The rich seem to feel they have a right to all the money. It's never enough what they have and they don't want or feel the need to share. They feel entitled. They feel they have a right to everything they want, the best schools for their children, the best jobs, the best the world has to offer. They seem to feel that those whose life wasn't as blessed aren't as good as or as intelligent or as disciplined or as worthy as they are or the poor would have what they have too. But if you stack the deck so the smartest of the poor can't reach the rungs on the ladder, how can you climb up? You need help. You need opportunities. You need education. You need mentoring. You need someone to show they care about you and value the potential within you.

For my birthday tomorrow on February 25th when I turn 62, I dream that something will change in the hearts of those in the House of Representatives and Senate in Washington D.C. and that all will remember why they ran for office. I dream that they will remember the hopes and dreams they had of making a difference for those they represent. I dream that they will have the courage to come forward and join hands with those around them, forgetting difference, and foregoing the money offered to them by lobbies. I dream that they will right the wrongs and stand for what is right. I dream that they will value all the people who live in their state to give them opportunities to go to school, to have health care, and to have a job. This is what I want for my birthday--single payer health care for all, a great job, and the opportunity to get my masters degree. Another big wish is that all my children and grandchildren will surprise me and magically show up at my house for dinner.


So far this year, these are the books I have read:
Under the Dome by Stephen King finished 01-03-10
Becoming Like God: Kabbalah and Our Ultimate Destiny by Michael Berg 01-14-10
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown 01-16-10
The Courage to Survive by Dennis J. Kucinich 1-20-10
Treat Your Customers: 30 Lessons on Service and Sales at Dairy Queen by Bob Miglani 01-24-10
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown 01-31-10
I'm Proud of You--My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan 02-21-10
Twlight by Stephanie Meyer 02-21-10
Plan B--Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott 02-24-10

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fashion Bug

I stopped at Fashion Bug last night before going home to Alsea. I'm soooooo happy that I did. They are having a great clearance sale. I found two perfect blouses for me. I've been looking for blouses like this at bargain prices for years without success. They are white blouses with ruffles down the front and on the cuff. They remind me of my favorite blouses that I wore in high school and college. At $8 with quality fabric, I can afford them. I'm so happy that I walked in the door! Perfection!

Olive Garden

Les and I stopped in Salem at Olive Garden on the way back to Alsea. I love Olive Garden. I don't need to go beyond the soup and salad to be happy and I could eat it every single day for the rest of my life and have a great big smile on my face. Les had the mixed grill, which was a perfect choice for him and I had the soup and salad. Perfection! I love the music when I dine at Olive Garden. They play my favorite kind of music with Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin crooning in the background.

OHSU Heart Screening Results

My Framingham Risk Assessment is 6% for heart disease!

My blood pressure results 134 over 82.
My blood glucose results non fasting was 98.
My BMI was 46. Yikes!
My waist circumference was 56. Yikes!
My HDL was 46.
My Triglycerides was 252.
My LDL was 151.

I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to be screened for heart disease. I'll be 62 on February 25th and I have cause to celebrate! Thank you OHSU for your big heart, help, and the opportunity to talk with compassionate, intelligent professionals.


Yesterday, my husband, Leslie, and I drove to Portland to go to OHSU. Les made an appointment for me to have a mammogram so I could be checked. We had a great day. I love Portland--OMSI, Portland Art Museum, broadways plays, live theater like the Neil Simon plays last year.

Why do I go all the way to Portland to get a mammogram? I used to get checked through the Komen Foundation but they stopped helping me. I had breast cancer in 1993. A great surgeon in Salem, Dr. Van Roselyn did the lumpectomy. The almost 2 inch lump was cancerous. I didn't have radiation or chemotherapy. The lump was incapsulated. When Dr. Van Roselyn found out that it was cancerous, he went in again to scrap out more tissue to make sure it was clean. I haven't had a problem since but I felt what I thought was a lump last week so I needed to be checked. I've found out through my husband's difficulty in getting medical answers that not all doctors are created equal so we drive to OHSU.

The tests showed that I didn't have anything to worry about so I'm not going to worry. I dropped my worries about breast cancer in the waste bucket as I walked out the door. The lump I felt was probably milk glands. A doctor checked and said that the pain I feel on my right side when I am resting can't be explained. I wonder if there is a problem with my stomach--a tumor? Les laughed and said that a doctor would laugh at that one since I'm fat.

Anyway I am grateful to be checked. I'm not going to worry and I'm grateful to have been seen.

When I walked through the building to catch the tram to get the mammogram, I noticed that OHSU was given a free heart screening so I signed up. What a wonderful service! I love going to OHSU just because you are surrounded by smart people who care.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daily Life

Not every person is born into wealth or has everything they want. It's just a fact. Everyone does have the choice to live the best life they can, make the decision to respect others, live a life of integrity, work hard on projects important to them, and to be kind to others. This is possible for everyone.

Alsea Valley Voice

I enjoy editing the Alsea Valley Voice. I put it together myself using Microsoft Publisher at home. This is the most fun that I've had in Alsea since moving here 8 1/2 years ago. My last issue, February 2010 is my favorite since I started in July.

I'm working on the March issue right now and have six pages finished. I finish by the 23rd of the month so that I can turn it over to be printed and folded. It's mailed around the first.

It's wonderful to be able to say that you love what you do. Even though this is a volunteer effort, I get lots of enjoyment and pleasure in creating the pages each month. I love to interview people to showcase talent and their uniqueness. I love all the writing by other people who live in the area. I'm concentrating on doing the best I can each month and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Alice in Wonderland

I really want to see Alice in Wonderland at the movie theater with popcorn and diet Coke. It's going to be a great film with Johnny Depp, my favorite actor.

Kerwin Values Survey

I took the Kerwin Values Survey at LBCC last week and learned more about my value system and what's important to me.

I learned that my "must have" career values are
1. come up with new ways of doing things
2. work with ideas
3. use my imagination
4. work at a place that shares my values, principles, ideals
5. be visionary or cutting edge
6. be contributor of ideas
I learned that my "like to have" career values are
1. work with people I respect
2. be respected
3. contribute to society or world
4. be artistically creative
5. be passionate about work
6. have money for the extras and luxuries I want

Years ago I took a test that said that the most important thing to me is to learn. Second was to achieve goals, and third was to be around people.

It's fun to learn about myself and narrow down what's important to me. Writing matches most everything and is never boring. I may not be able to achieve all the dreams I have or have had. My possibilities might seem narrow to some but not everyone is rich with unlimited resources. I do have the possibility of study, learning, reading books, writing, gardening, and exercising. My days are full and I have so much to be grateful for. My life may not have the balance I would like with family, friends, and opportunities but I do have many things to be thankful for. I believe that as long as I work hard to live each day the best I can, be kind to others, work hard that it will be enough. Not all is possible for all people. I was not born to riches. Everyone has the choice to live their life with honor, with intrigrity, and to make the decision to be the best they can be within the framework of what is possible for them.

Health Care

I have given up about health care reform. I'm disappointed in how things turned out. I live on positive thoughts to get me through without health care or savings. I rely on trying to exercise and eat healthy.

I'm concerned though and need to be checked.

All people deserve the right to free health care. This just shows how little people are valued.

I figure that I'll do the best I can and if something goes wrong, that's it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott wrote one of the best books on writing of all times, BIRD BY BIRD, and is always listed as a favorite of writers.

I am in the middle of reading PLAN B--FURTHER THOUGHTS ON FAITH by her. Anne Lamott is Presbyterian. I have to share with you a paragraph on page 110 when she talks about what David says about the Church of 80% Sincerity because I think it's realistic and truthful. "...Everyone has to come to understand that unconditional love is a reality, but with a shelf life of about eight to ten seconds. Instead of beating yourself up because you feel it only fleetingly, you should savor those moments when it appears. As David puts it, 'We might say to our beloved, Honey, I've been having these feelings of unconditional love for you for the last eight to ten seconds.' Or 'Darling, I'll love you till the very end of dinner.' "

I seriously considered becoming a Presbyterian until I witnessed the OSU debate with Marcus Borg, an Episcopal and the Presbyterian minister who told Mr. Borg that he wasn't a Christian. I thought it was mean and incredibly judgmental. The condemning and better than thou attitude just makes it difficult for me to deal with.

I went to one service at First Presbyterian in Corvallis and found the service very nice. I liked it but evidently not everyone thought I fit in.

One lecture with Marcus Borg at the Presbyterian Church was interesting. This was my first experience. I found the room filled with many women in sensible shoes and practical clothes that seemed to come out of an Eddie Bower or LL Bean catalog. I thought it was nice.

I know one Presbyterian couple who live their life doing everything right and good. I admire that.

I guess I question too much. I believe that if there is a God, that he made everyone and loves everyone and just wants everyone to get along. I don't find this kind of consensus anywhere. Everyone wants to think their way is better than anyone elses. I'm just going to stay to myself and try to live the best life I can. I don't claim to have answers or to be better than anyone but I sure know that I don't like to see people condemn one another.

Robert Downey Jr.

I've always loved Robert Downey Jr. He's brilliant on screen. I enjoyed him on Ally McBeal. When I heard about Sherlock Holmes, I had to see it.

My husband and I went to see it on Tuesday. Tuesdays are the day for $1 popcorn and $1 pop so that's a great day for us. Our son, Benjamin gave Leslie movie coupons so we went to see Sherlock Holmes.

Robert Downey Jr. should win best actor for his performance. Sherlock Holmes is intelligent, playfully entertaining in a macabre sort of way, and definately appeals to all suspense and mystery lovers.


I loved the movie, Avatar. I've never seen anything like it. The story line is important, the cinematography will win an Oscar. It's the best movie I have ever seen and deserves to win several Oscars and an Oscar for best motion picture.

When I was sitting in my comfortable seat in the audutorium, eating my popcorn and drinking a diet Coke, I was thinking that if the future has movies like this in it, I can't wait to see more.


Catherines is having their great twice yearly 80% off clearance sale. The store is always full of amazing bargains at this time of year and is the BEST time to shop for anyone who must be careful with their money. I purchased several tops that I'm proud to wear, a suit, a coat, and a pair of black pants. I'd love to go again and see what's left. You can't feel too guilty when you come home with a top that was regularly priced around $36 and you get it for $7.

What I love about Catherines is that I can count on quality. As long as I take care of what I buy, it lasts for years.

Dennis Kucinich

Congressman Dennis Kucinich from the great state of Ohio is a hero and lives a life of courage. His autobiography is inspirational. THE COURAGE TO SURVIVE is the story of courage growing up in Cleveland, and facing repeated obstacles and medical challenges. I'm glad I read it. I wish I had read it years earlier. I can't wait for more writing by him and hope that he writes a candid and honest story of his time as a congressman. He was a presidential candidate and could be again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Under The Dome

Stephen King's new bestselling suspense novel is Under the Dome. It's a riveting read about a small town community, the corruption, the hidden darkness within people that comes out during stressful emergencies, and the valent effort of a brave few to right wrongs. It shows how out of control people get and the lack of judgment and how people trust leaders without question. It shows how people don't think but act and act badly. It shows how crowds take on a life of its own and how dangerous it is to be in a crowd that's out of control. It shows religious people who weren't so religious on the inside or religious in their behavior.

As I was reading I thought of my favorite artist, Peter Paul Breugel and his crowd scenes of people. I thought about this book looking into the souls of all the people under the dome and looking at all that goes on. Then it made me think of how I feel when I see all the lights of Seattle at night and wonder about all that is going on behind the lighted windows--the drama, the families, the sadness, and people working late. I look forward to the next novel of Stephen King, the master story teller.


My main goal in 2010 is to lose weight, get healthy, and eat healthy. Without my health, I can't accomplish other goals.

My other goals are to read a book or two a week, write every day, work in my garden, quilt, and work on other knitting or sewing projects.

I subscribe to The Writer, Writers Digest Magazine, and Poets and Writers. I have what I need for encouragement, direction, and great advice. I have lots of great books to read. I have the time to write.

I want to expand my raised beds in my garden. Now I have seven raised beds that are four feet by eight feet made out of 2 inch lumber. They are 18 inches high. I want to plant more varieities of fruits, vegetables, grapes, berries, etc. I want to add flowers all over to make it beautiful all year during the growing season.

I volunteer to edit the Alsea Valley Voice. That's a large segment of my time during one week a month. That's my service to the community.

I need to watch out for my husband and concentrate on what I need to do here at home.

Candycane Lane

There is an amazing street named Candycane Lane in Ravenna, which is part of Seattle. Ben and Amanda took us to see the Christmas lights on the evening of the 25th. We walked on both sides of the street along Candycane Lane. My favorite house was the one with the large sign that listed the kids who were naughty and nice. Under the nice list, the second name was "Anna Rose." This is the name of my granddaughter in Seattle who is almost one years old. The house instantly became my favorite. It made me smile and feel all warm inside, even though it was quite chilly outside with patches of ice on the sidewalk.

Photo Letters

I took lots of photos of family while we were in Seattle with family. We left on the 24th and came back on the 28th. It was a great visit.

When I got home, I created and mailed 25 three-page photo letters for family and friends of the trip.

Racha Noodles & Thai Cuisine

On Christmas day for lunch, we went to Racha Noodles and Thai Cuisine on Mercer Street in Seattle. Ben and Amanda brought little Anna and Daniel was with Jodee, his fiance. We had a wonderful lunch all together. I ordered Yum Veggies with brown rice, and jasmine green tea. It was delicious and I didn't have to worry about calories.

For dinner, Ben and Amanda baked a delicious turkey with all the trimmings. It was perfect with almost everyone at the table.


I love trains. I've always loved trains since I was a little girl.

On December 24th, my husband and I boarded a Superliner. We left Albany, Oregon at 1:30 p.m. and headed for Seattle to visit with our son and family for the holidays. I've never been on a Superliner before. It was a double-decker, complete with sleeping cars, and plenty of room. We sat upstairs in one of the last cars in coach. There was plenty of leg room. In fact, the lady across the isle, said that she came from San Diego and was headed to Seattle. She said there was plenty of room for her and her husband. He slept on the floor while she spread out on the seats above. The car ahead of us said "arcade room downstairs." I didn't check it out but I did go exploring a little bit when I was searching for the dining car. It had a formal dining car with reservations and a menu with $17.50 meals. There was also the snack station downstairs with plenty of delicious food to keep you fed during your time on the train. I also found a car where all the seats faced the large picture windows so you could gaze out at the gorgeous scenery and talk with family or friends. One mother was traveling with her daughter to Whitefish, Montana, which is close to Libby, Montana where I was born.

As I was riding on the train thinking as I looked out the window, I was thinking about all the stories on the train and all the people. I was thinking about a novel I might want to ride about a woman who never leaves. The idea reminded me of a wealthy woman from England on one of the cruises we went on years ago who won the cruise miles contest because she never leaves the boat.

We learned about Whitlock, Washington that was announced as the place with the world's largest egg!

I walked by a guy reading a screenplay and another sketching wonderful art. Another young woman had her laptop reading poetry she had written. People read books, and create. Grandmothers visit their grandchildren. Businessmen travel to their meetings. Students go to universities. People attend football games. All the passengers look interesting and have stories to tell. They travel by train because they don't have to fight traffic or the weather. They can spread out and enjoy the ride in safety. It's a great way to travel and my choice.

Second Opinion on PBS

I watched Second Opinion on PBS this morning by accident. I've seen it before. I was switching channels but the dialogue caught my attention and I stayed. The Director of the Undiagnosed Disease Program from the National Institutes of Health was on the show. He spoke about the "enormous number of people here and abroad who come to them without a diagnosis." What caught my attention was when he said, "We fail most of the time." And then to make it worse, he said, "In fact, we would be proud of a 15% success rate." So 85% leave without a diagnosis. This goes back to the numbers about evidence based medicine which sites that 15% of medicine is evidence based and 85% is guesswork. A cooincidence? I think not. The panel of experts discussed this issue and seem to be satisfied with the fact that most of the time there isn't a diagnosis and that as long as you try, it's okay. One of the doctors said, "Even if you are wrong, it's okay because you continue to work toward it." Is it really? When it is your life and your bank account and your house up for sale because of medical bills, it is really okay? When are we going to start demanding excellence, answers, and competence within the medical community? Is it really okay to have to pay for zero answers, mistakes and failures? Wouldn't it be a money better spent to join a gym, eat healthy food, and hire a minimum wage compationate person to be encouraging and supportive?