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.