Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Memory

This morning, I refused to watch the news, and I will not watch it at all today. I'm having to good of a day. I woke up, got my husband off to work, and my son off to school, continued with my normal morning routine. Finally, the sun is shining! Received a phone call with plans for Easter Sunday. We will be going to my sister in laws house. I was told it was a pot luck, red neck dinner. I am in charge of the bread and salad. I'm thinking of peparoni bread, and italian bread. Now, I'm not baking the bread from scratch. I take a tube of Pilsbury Italian bread, unroll it, fill it with peparoni, and roll it back up, and bake. It will go well with the spaghetti and meatballs. Don't you think?
Of course, I lost track as to WHEN Easter Sunday is. It got me thinking what we can do for my son this Easter. We have an agreement, that he earns certain things by doing his best in school. Which, in turn, will show with his grades. When my son was younger, we would have a mini egg hunt, using those plastic eggs. On small pieces of paper, we would write a place(ie..check the washing machine. Inside that egg, the paper would read..go inside Dads car) and stick in inside the egg. It was great watching him go all over the house, and outside. The last egg would always say, "Check under your bed!" You would think he'd have caught on. Either he truly never did, or he was enjoying the egg hunt just as much as we were. Under his bed would be his Easter Gift. My son is a health food nut. So, candy was never an option. So his gifts would be a toy, or a dvd or something like that. One year, my son, decided he wanted this video gamer..I think it was nintendo? So he saved bottles and cans, put the thing on layaway(he has been able to get quite a bit and go places just from bottles and cans). He had paid for half of the unit with the bottles and cans. So we decided to pay for the other half, and got him a game to go with it. When he found it, the look on his face was PRICELESS!! That Easter morning has to be BEST EVER! What is yours?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This is a topic I have started over and over, but deleated several times. But, then I thought, why not? So, here it goes....
I was watching an interview today, and someone said "Studies have shown bullies only bully 'unpopuliar kids'" I in turn said "NO! Say it isn't so! Are people THAT BLIND they NEED to do a study?! Sad...very very sad"
Here is why I say that. I am a parent of a child who has spent most of his life being bullied by his peers. From being physically hit, sucker punched, pushed, to others spitting in his food when he got up to get a napking or whatever and they mixed it into the food. Would you believe that a kid took the mouthpiece to his clarinet and put it down his own pants and returned it? It did. How gross is that? The result, my son is very shy, a home body really. He is affraid to put himself out there, and make new friends. A senior who doesn't want anything to do with school. Hates being there, but at the same time, he doesn't like to miss a class. He is very grade conscience, especially because he will be attending college in the fall. Altho, he lacks self confidence. Whenever we say something possitive, he always respond with "ahh you're just being nice." or "so and so is just agreeing with you".
In my experiences, bullying happens because it is allowed. These kids are not "the populiar kids" but are populiar for being bullies. These are the kids that have behavioral problems. They know who to pick on. Usually the ones who won't or can't fight back. We have what is called "No Child Left Behind Act" which overshadows "0 Tolerance" the school preaches. The result, the kids that want to do well, learn, are the ones who are left behind. Too many times, teachers are made to stop class, and wait until these kids settle down, never really addressing the problem. There have been times these kids threw furniture. I've always wondered whether or not these kids really have behavioral problems, or just not taught what is acceptable. I know that doesn't really happen in school. One of the things we've been told is that teachers cannot send kids to the principals office because it makes them look bad, and they could loose their jobs. Another thing I was told was "they are working behind the scenes" with these kids. Really? So is that suppose to make it OK that they don't address a situation or problem when it occures? Truth be told, because nothing is being done whether it be because the teacher is affraid of loosing their job, are "working behind the scenes", they are allowing the bullies to do what they do best.
Parents of bullied children/teens see what happens to other bullied children/teens, validating their fears as this issue has come to the forefront in the news. It is so sad that it had to take several tragic endings to make people realize how serious this issue is.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care Rant....

This morning I was watching the news. It seems that President Obama's Health Care Reform passed. All I am hearing is how this is wrong. People are going to pay for those who take advantage of the system.
I'm not saying there are those who take advantage of the system, but please don't put people in the same brush strokes. The issues I've had to battle in the past, and looks like I'm still battling, are...
Insurance companies limit treatments, deny surgeries and treatments. Where did they get their medical degree? Even when the specialists, surgens, call the insurance and tell them it IS needed, the person is STILL denied.
People are denied insurance because of "pre excisting conditions". From what I understand, and I admit, I could have misunderstood, that in this reform, insurance companies cannot deny anyone because of a pre excsisting condition. If they do, they are fined like $5,000. So, does that mean they will have to pay the fine, AND turn around and insure them? Will they then turn around and refuse treatments and or surgeries needed? They've been known to do that before.
In the local news, it has been said that Mass. was the blue print used for the reform bill. Well, I live in Mass. If this is what they are using it is completely USELESS!!
Let me tell you my experiences with it. First, you have to have insurance or you will be fined at tax time. I had to apply twice for my family. My husband and I were both denied insurance because we had "pre excisting conditions", and he is a Veteran. The second time, I had to abbandon the fact that my docotors have deemed me physically disabled. My son and I "qualified" for an insurance that we had to pay for. However, when going down the list of family history, it was brought to my attention that if he or I were diagnosed with something that runs in our family, we would be dropped. I could not even be seen by the doc for my disability, I would be dropped. Long story short, it only covered one physical a year and eye glass frames. Nothing more!
As for my husband, a Veteran, was denied. He is a diabetic, which is considered a "pre excisting condition". Yes he can go to the Veterans for that, but not much more. Unless, that is, if he should be in the doctors office and mentions something, or they notice something. But, keep in mind they are only open what use to be known as "Bankers Hours" . If something should happen, or he gets so sick he should be seen, he should be able to go to the emergency room. Well, here is another little tidbit. Hospitals are so overwhelmed that they send people away that don't really have insurance(Veterans fall under that), that they deem not life threatening.
How do I know all of this happens? I've lived it! Still am! See, if you loose your job, or are laid off, you will loose that health insurance. Then you are forced to try to get it on your own. It isn't an easy process. But remember, even if you HAVE insurance, you might be fighting an loosing battle if you should get sick. I have not heard one word about denying treatment or denying surgery. I've been denied both.
Now, my husband has returned to work, was called back from where he was laid off. We are waiting for the insurance cards. We are covered from day one he returned. It is suppose to be one of "The Best" insurance companies in this state. However, this insurance has denied and limited treatments.....I've lived it!
Why hasn't anyone said word one about this issue? This is the real problem. But I guess, when you are someone who doesn't matter to the system for whatever reason, this isn't a problem.
I find it funny that when it is mentioned that the state of Mass, already has the reform, and are proud of it. I'm sorry, but denying people much needed treatments or surgery, is not something to be proud of! Ignoring the fact that people are still being denied insurance because of pre excisting conditions, is not something to be proud of! But then again, what do I know? I've only been living this. By the way, no one has been able to answer these questions. But at the same time, all I hear is that people will be paying for those who take advantage of the system. What about those who have never taken advantage of the system?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The wedding

Today was my nephews', Scott wedding(my sister, Nancy son). Hard to believe my sisters baby boy was getting married today. As I sat watching as he and his new bride exchange vows, there was a flood of memories. I remember when he was born. It doesn't seem that long ago! I remembered how Scott and my niece, Katie(Scotts sister), would spend the night. Mom would watch them. The kids would stay in my room, and I would be on the couch. At Christmas, I had a desk top Christmas Tree in my room. Scott and Katie liked to decorate it. They loved to play in my room. I would play the guitar(not well, mind you) and they would sing along. Eventually, I would go over their house on Saturday nights so Nancy and her husband, Gary could go out. Sometimes they were only next door. At 16, how cool was I? Staying over my sisters house, helping take care of her kids.
My new niece, Natalie, is a beautiful young woman. I'm so happy they found each other! They are so good for and with each other. So much in love! My wish for the newlyweds is that they welcome any challenges they will face knowing they are not facing them alone. That they continue to be as happy as they are today. Congratulations, and much love Scott and Natalie!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I honestly thought today was going to be one of those days you wish you could start over. Boy was I ever wrong! As I've mentioned before, my husband was laid off. Well, he has been laid off for a year. Having trouble finding work, the company he was laid off from was giving him all sorts of "false hopes". It was months of getting the run a round. So, he thought he would call, letting them know, he needs to know what is going he getting called back? If so, when? If not, then he would pick himself back up, dust himself off, and go on from there. Honestly, we were thinking that he would not be called back. It has been a year after all.
When he called, he actually got a person! That NEVER happened before. When I realized he was talking to a person, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Eventually, he turned to me, in shock asking me which shift he wanted. He is the one who has to work there. He needs to make that decision. He hung up the phone, says he starts back to work on Monday, but with a cut in pay. Words cannot express how happy we are right now!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Crochet City

As a young girl, I was taught to crochet by my mother and my Aunt Helen. I remember making grannie square pillow shams and afghans. After moving into my house, a very dear friend, and new neighbor, showed me some of the things she has crafted. She is very talented, even taught me a few things. Eventually gained confidence in trying different things, and different crochet patterns. I never thought to take pictures of them until recently. One of the patterns she taught me, was a mile a minute heart afghan. Here it is.....

I even did a baby afghan for my great nephew. All I did was cut the amount of hearts per strip, and the amount of strips.

I used one scane per strip(the center), always having extra, just not enough to do anything else with. Or so I thought. I decided that maybe I could make a pillow sham with the extra. The more squares I did, I thought it would make a nice afghan. Here is that one...

Here is a close up of that block pattern using pastel colors.

My cousin, Christine, and I would get together a few times a month. We would work on whatever project we had going on. She was working on this beautiful afghan. I knew I had to try making one. She sent me a copy of the pattern. I made one for my son. Now, this one took approx 3 years!! I swear the colors danced around...LOL. Here is the front.

Here is the back side...they look like mini pockets...VERY COOL!!

My husband started hinting around for one. I told him to pick out the colors. I am still working on this one. He wants it big enough to fit a queen size bed. It is so heavy, that he has to hand it to me. Right now, I'd say it is just over half way done. Like the one I made my son, it is very warm. Here is the back side...
Here is the front side....

Actually this afghan isn't the only one I'm working on. I'm also working on the block heart, and a heart strip afghan. I run out of yarn on one I go to work on whichever one I have yarn for. I use yarn that doesn't have a dilot number. So, I'm able to buy a scane or two at a time. I have also been trying to create either a block or a strip with a peace sign. It is much more difficult than turning the strip into the block. But, I think I'm getting close. It is a great pass time. When I tell people I am in "Crochet City", everyone knows I am sitting here crocheting.

Friday, March 5, 2010

They're Wrong! I Do Matter!

As I enjoyed my gourmet lunch, a can of Beefaroni, I reflected on the events of the past few years, because of a conversation I had with someone yesterday. I made a brief mention to it in a prior blog. I had a conversation with someone yesterday that stirred up quite a bit of emotion. I've always found writing whether it be a letter or just a sort of journal entry, very cathodic. So, I thought, why not blog about it? This is long, and might even be considered controversial?
I was diagnosed as physically disabled, but am unable to collect disability. I've applied twice. I was alone the first time. It was a very degrading experience. Being made to show what cash I had on me. Asked how much money I had in the bank. Asked what I owned that I could sell for money. Now, I ask you, what does that have to do with the fact that specialists along with my primary care diagnosed me with a physical disability that prevents me to work? I was told before I left that I did not qualify for disability even tho, I cannot work. Truth be told, I cannot even go grocery shopping anymore. So, I decided to fight the decision. I made calls to different lawyers. Again and again, I was left feeling degraded. That tends to happen to someone when they are told "the government set regulations so that people like me(lawyers) don't have to pay for people like you(me)." Can you imagine? Every time I completely lost it. I did not ask for this! I went to my primary care to seek treatment, to fix whatever was happening from my lower back on down. Instead, I was sent to specialists, had to endure multiple tests, and physical therapy. Only to be told to go apply for disability.
In the meantime, my husband was laid off. My primary care told me to try again. So, I followed his advice, with a twist. This time, I did not go alone, nor did I go to the same branch office. I went to a different town. Made the appointment. It was different in so many ways. First, I was given paperwork for my primary care and I to fill out. My husband came with me. A few days before the appointment, I fell. My face to shoulders were swollen and bruised, my teeth are loose and could hardly talk from the fall(all I could do was count the amount of times my jaw hit the unpaved drive..4X's). So we get to the appointment, sit there, while we were supposedly helped. I don't know if you could say what happened was help. This person was busy on her computer, never asking questions for about 15 or so minutes. I finally turn to my husband and say loud enough so she could hear. "ya know, she is entering a lot of info without asking anything!" She didn't even look at the paperwork I was told needed to be filled by me and my primary care. According to her, there was enough info in the system that she didn't need to ask me anything. That is, until it came time for her to ask how much my husbands unemployment insurance was. Again, I'm stumped. What does my husbands income have to do with the fact that I can no longer work? Since when did his income dictate my health? Once again, I was denied. Then this supposedly helpful person decided in her infinite wisdom to be sympathetic. She failed miserably!! I will give this person her due. She was being patronizing. Telling me how she understands what I am going thru. One more time, I lost it. There I was, swollen and bruised, and in her face. She knows what I'm going thru! She has absolutely no idea what I was/am going thru. She is at least healthy enough to work! She can help provide for herself/family! I can't work! I can't help provide for my little family! After my rant, I started to walk towards the exit, but had to sit down. The room started to spin, so I grabbed the closest seat, and just collapsed and the flood gates opened. At which time, a security guard came to see if I was OK. My husband assured him that I wasn't feeling well, and was upset. I, on the other hand, just looked up at this guy, and thru the flood told him to walk away!
When we made it home, I decided to start writing letters, and make phone calls to local, state government. What those lawyers said to me after the first time I applied was playing in my head like a broken record. There had to be someone out there who could, at least, explain how my husbands income dictates my health. This was done over this past summer, and I have not received one phone call. The only response I received was an email filled with gobble-dee-gook from a Senators office. I had to call the staff member mentioned in this email. In that phone call, I was asked to send a letter asking for help. Talk about things that make you go "hmmmmm". I said something like this phone call is the result of an email I received because I sent an email asking for help. She took down my phone number and said she would get back to me. As with all the other phone calls, and messages I left, she never called back!
There is another aspect of this journey, which is health care. Since my husband was laid off, we lost our coverage. I won't go into it too much, other to say I was approved for a state insurance, while my husband, a veteran who is also a diabetic was denied. There was a monthly premium, that I could not needless to say...once again, I'm not insured.
I was told in the conversation yesterday, I shouldn't have given up so easily. Really? I gave up easily? I didn't give up! I am being ignored! I've learned in the grand scheme of, for lack of a better term, the system, I don't matter! So now, when people ask "how are you?" I just grin and bear it, while saying "I'm good" as I hold back the tears. I'm not good. My health has gotten worse since. I cannot even be seen by a doctor. I have no insurance, no income other than my husbands unemployment insurance. In other words, I can't afford it. So once again, I don't matter! During that same conversation, I was told to start over, and apply for disability again. I have thought long and hard about this. I'm not really in the mood to be patronized, degraded, or even ignored. But, if I decided to apply for the third time, there would have to be someone with me. Someone whose job it is to help people like see, despite what the system has said from their lack of actions....I do matter!