Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bread Farts

So this weekend I was cleaning out the fridge. Not my favorite job, but it was pretty bare and hubby decided to do the grocery shopping. His mantra is 'he who shops decides what we eat.' Since I don't feel like dragging the monsters three with me, he can do it. As usual, my mini crowd congregates while I'm elbow deep in suds cleaning the various parts and drawers. My oldest holds up my container of yeast and asks what it is.

"It's yeast, honey."

"Okay, what does it do?"

"You make bread with it."

She gets a quizzical look on her face and asks how.

"You have to wake them up."

"Like this?" violently shaking the container.

"No, honey. You have to put some in warm water to wake them up. Then you use it in the dough."

"Okay mom...then what?"

Honestly, I didn't know how to tell her about the science of making bread in a simple way. So I said,

"It farts."

"It FARTS?!?!" (Laughs hysterically)

"Yep. You know those holes in the bread you eat? That's created when the yeast fart."

She gallops off to tell her siblings about this, cracking up. I only hope there's a good amount of time between now and the next time we visit my in-laws. I have a funny feeling this new found science of theirs will come to revisit. You see, my MIL is a lady. And when I mean lady, I mean there's no such thing as a fart in her house. She's informed my children they do not fart, they pass gas.

Not skipping a beat, all three come running back into the kitchen.

Little Man: "Mom, does bread fart?"

Little T: "NO! It PASSES GAS! (doubled over in laughter)

Me: "Yeah, you wait and think about THAT the next time you eat lunch!"

Honestly they seem to be delighted with the idea. My kids are as sick and twisted as I am.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Best of Intentions

Yesterday we went shopping. On one of the endcaps were beach towels on sale, a large stack of them were of the American flag. I looked over at Hubby and said, "There's just something wrong about that." Knowing me as well as he does, I didn't have to explain it. He just nodded with a slight smile and said "yeah". The reference went right over a nearby gentleman though, who got his huff on:

"There's nothing EVER wrong about the American flag!"

Me: "To wipe your wet butt on?"

He drew in his breath to continue on his soapbox, then halted. The mental connection must have clicked as the wind went right out of his sails.

I'm sure the product was made with the best intentions and all, but perhaps they didn't think it through. Maybe that's why they were on sale.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'll Save Me, Thank You! Part 2 of the Obesity debate.

Perhaps you saw my little rant a few months ago on the 'story' that obesity contributes to global warming, or how a New York Congressman wants to ban any fast food restaurant within a 500 feet radius within a school. The first sentence is linked to it if you missed it and care to read it first.

Part two of this rant presented itself just a few weeks later, although it only recently gained more press due to it's relevance to the Healthcare Bill President Obama is attempting to pass. Commonly called the 'soda tax', it would tax "soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages," according to the Wall Street Journal. Do you honestly think it will end there?

Recently Alabama was rated as the second most obese state in the nation. In response, all Alabama state employees must pay a 'fat tax', a $25 surcharge on their health insurance. As Fox News reports, "But there's a way to avoid the fee: Get a check-up at an in-office "wellness center," where nurses will check for diabetes and hypertension and measure blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels and Body Mass Index (BMI). The idea is to encourage employees to act responsibly, lose weight and lower their health care needs. But critics say it will humiliate and stigmatize obese employees and amounts to nothing short of a "fat tax." Here's the catch: ALL state employees have to pay this tax. The only way to avoid the fee is to go through the humiliating process described above. It's an IN-HOUSE wellness center, which to me equates to being forced to step on a scale in your boss' office. Then the results are sent up to the insurance handlers, who are your co-workers, who then also know your results...private health results they don't deserve, nor should they know. That is something that should be between a patient and their private doctor.

In my view the soda tax simply opens the door to more 'sin' taxes, which are already being considered on the federal level. Right now one could argue the tobacco taxes or an alcohol tax. But what is next? Potato chips? It's just another way to bilk money out of the American public by making it palatable (pardon the pun) to step on others' rights. Proponents say it's designed to discourage 'unhealthy behavior'. Really? I think that's a load of crap. So instead I thought of a better way to handle this problem:

If this administration is so concerned with obesity and the health of Americans, perhaps we should have federally funded gyms. These gyms could have a physician, nurse, nutritionist and personal trainers on staff. They should also have child care available with certified child care providers, so all Americans could take advantage. Think of it: The physician could assess and recommend a work-out regimen for you, who would be in direct communication with your personal trainer. Your personal trainer would be then properly notified of any relevant medical conditions and how that applies to their job. The nurse could assist in this process, as well as be on hand (as would the doctor) if any health emergency or accident occurs at the gym. The nutritionist would also be in direct contact with the physician (having more medical knowlege on each patient) and can council people accordingly. Maybe each gym could have a pool for fitness and hydrotherapy, and on the side have lifeguards who could also be certified to teach swimming to children. There's another safety issue we can address on the national level!

Now I hope you realize I'm not serious, right? The cost alone would be astounding. But with a government that's not afraid to spend obscene amounts of money on rediculous projects with OUR money, is it so far fetched? Spending time on the CAGW (Citizens Against Government Waste) website is enough to make one sick. Government pork isn't the focus of this particular post, but I think the government is more concerned with finding ways to tax us rather than have the actual concern they claim to have for the people they serve. That's obvious by how most, if not all our representatives and senators haven't read the sweeping healthcare bills being proposed. Even Rep. Conyers, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee seemed incredulous that we should actually require him to read the bills he votes on: “I love these members that get up and say, ‘read the bill!’ Well, what good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you’ve read the bill?” Oh, and 'The Bill' he's discussing is YOUR HEALTHCARE BILL. Here's a thought, Rep. Conyers! Maybe you should DEMAND TIME TO READ IT. EACH VERSION YOU COULD POTENTIALLY VOTE ON. That is your JOB.

No, instead they seek to blame, tax and humiliate 'fat' or 'obese' people as a social ill, and acting as if taking this action will save us from ourselves. As if we needed to be saved by the almighty government. No, it's just another handy scapegoat the government uses to justify taking more money out of our pockets.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cranky Neighbors

Dear Miserable Lady Who Lives Up The Street:

Just because my children ride their bike past your house, it does not make them 'crazy kids', which you mutter as they pass by. They don't need you to sneer 'stay off my property' or 'keep away from my vehicles' either. The street is a public place, on which they are free to ride their bikes. It's not their fault that when you park your massive SUVs under your tiny carport there is only about an inch of clearance between your property and the street. My children rode their bikes on the side of the road, on the proper side of the road. The middle of the street is unacceptable, as is riding against traffic.

I would also like to remind you that people who complain the loudest are often guilty of the issue they complain about. That is evidenced by the shed you had to have moved because, yes, it was your shed on someone else's property. And you know what? The owner probably wouldn't have cared, except you were so busy yelling at her relatives to stay off of 'your' property so much they simply had enough of you. Oh, and by the way? They were never on YOUR property at all. They had permission to be where the were.

Moreover, I resent the fact that you repeatedly felt you had the right to yell at my children at all. You never discussed anything with me like a civil human being, instead you came at me with your mouth firing like a double barrel shotgun. When you couldn't get compliance from me you turned to insults and 'threatened' to speak to my husband about it. I invited you to do so. I noticed you haven't taken me up on my invitation.

I humbly suggest that you rethink this whole notion of your property rights. It doesn't give you the right to be an asshole or tread on the legal rights of others. Nor does it give you license to threaten and bully children. In conclusion, I understand your daughter-in-law (who is also our neighbor) will be having a second baby soon in addition to her 2 year old son. Soon she will find herself where I am now, with multiple children going in opposite directions and can't be shadowed individually every second of the day. Will you treat them as you've treated my children? I doubt it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do You or Would You Self-Censor?

How do you feel about people you personally know reading your blog? Like your family or people in your community, that you see and talk to on a regular basis? If you knew they read your blog, would that change how you write? Would you or do you self-censor?

The anonymity of the internet and blogosphere allows for free expression, and I wonder if part of the 'free' expression of ideas derive from that. I'm not talking about language, per se...but rather would you feel free to fully state your opinions?

Wonderful Nothingness

Today was a day of NOTHING. Wonderful NOTHING. We didn't clean, didn't scramble to do all the chores that need doing, nada. Instead hubby read, I stitched, the kids played. Hubby jumped in our little pool so the kids could climb all over him. I stitched so much I used a full spool of Kreinik. Oh no! So I just HAD to buy more this evening (well, I did actually...) and a few extra skeins of the floss I'll need for the project. LOL (Kristin, when you stitch yours, make sure you have extra skeins and spools. You'll need them.)

T is looking a LOT better. The swelling is gone, all that's left are the residual scabs that are drying up. She is happy and playing again. Little Man is still miserable though, he's still very itchy and it looks like more spots are breaking out on his legs. Poor guy was in tears tonight over it.

In other news, the kids should be fully enrolled in cyber school and we should be getting the materials within the next few weeks. We're still trying to plot out where each child will have their workspace in the house during their school hours.

Tomorrow will have to be a cleaning day, that's what happens I suppose with kids and you take a day 'off'. LOL

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Random Randomness

It's been an insanely busy week, not in a bad way...but in the typical summer way. For those of you who don't know, I'm a brownie leader for my daughter's troop. We're incredibly blessed to have all the parents eagerly involved in the troop, for which I am very grateful. One of the moms created a 'sleepover' for the girls, where we spent a day working on badges and the girls slept overnight in tents. She made booklets dividing the girls into groups that went to rotating stations. They learned basic knots, made 'rocks' with plaster of paris, made a shoebox habitat for their animal of choice, and dug holes to observe what happens under the earth. This mom was even very accomodating to those of us with younger children, who also participated in the activities depending on their abilities. We even cooked over the fire and in the evening made s'mores. The mom that arranged this has also agreed to help lead the troop next year, which I'm very excited about.


This week we also took the kids to an amusement/water park. It's the closest thing we've come to a vacation this year, and the kids were delighted. They swam, played and rode rides to exhaustion. The park had a great array of rides for the younger age groups without being exclusively for the 'baby' set, including roller coasters. We were there from the park's opening to almost closing and never rode the same thing twice, and didn't even ride everything!


Little T has poison ivy, which she is highly allergic to. Her face is swollen, including one eye that was swollen shut, the other eye almost swollen shut. We rushed her to the doctor who gave her a shot and put her on medicine. It has helped immensely, and this morning Little T exclaimed "Look mom! I can BLINK!" as she fluttered her still swollen eyelids. Little Man has poison ivy too, but doesn't seem to be allergic to it like T is. Keeping them from scratching like crazy is quite a job!


We keep a small garden, which has 7 tomato plants, 4 pepper plants and some green bean plants. Our garden is a bit, well...retarded. While my tomato plants are over 4 feet tall, the pepper plants are about 4 inches tall, and the green bean plants range from 2-6 inches in height. They're all healthy and everything, just not growing. Now I grew all of these plants from seeds, so go figure! I even started both the pepper and tomato plants back in March with those little peat pots. The green bean plants have beans that jut out from underneath because the beans are longer than the plant itself, I think.

Anywho, today is a Ketchup day. You know, ketchup on the laundry, ketchup on the cleaning, ketchup on the yard work, ketchup on the blog. LOL I hope everyone is having a great day!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Little Man's results were as we expected. The scope of the test is meant for older children, so he simply hasn't been exposed to some of the concepts which skewed the results of the testing. The psychologist said he is definitely gifted material, but that he should be retested in 2-3 years. It was explained that the children have to have a particular score regardless of age, but there is rapid cognitive development until approximately 10-11. That doesn't solve Little Man's current problems in school, however. The psychologist wants to meet with his teacher and be proactive for next year. My daughter had this teacher last year, and while she's very nice, Little Man will still be in the predicament he was in previously. One of the reasons I'm also putting my daughter into cyber-school is that her Math scores suffered horribly, under this same teacher Little Man will have this upcoming year. Her reading and Language Arts scores were sky-high, but her Math scores were low because she'd read a book tucked under her desk instead of paying attention. Needless to say I'm not getting the warm fuzzies based on previous experience. In the meantime I've been researching how to better help my children educationally, to get them out of this rutt of apathy. If this is a child's period of rapid cognitive development, why would I trust the school district to dole out more of the same?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Today Little Man goes for his testing to see if he will get into the gifted program. If he does, he can transfer his GIEP (Gifted Individualized Education Program) to the Cyber School. Since he is so young he may not get in yet. They usually don't like to test this early, but are doing so at my request. The fact is Little Man is completely bored at school. He hates busy work, isn't challenged at all, and spends his time entertaining himself in non-academic pursuits, which usually land him in trouble. I cannot take another year of it, and neither can he.

This week my older two are in a Bible Day Camp. They look forward to it. Yesterday Little Man got into a row with a girl in his class who is also at the camp. He doesn't like her and told her he's 'sick of her stuff'. The Pastor running the camp told him he needed to 'forgive and forget'. Little Man whirled around and said "I did forgive. But the Bible says nothing about forgetting." When the Pastor challenged him he pointed to his Bible and said "SHOW me the rule." I have to say I'm proud of him. First of all he recognizes that the Bible is the standard in Christianity. Secondly, he's not afraid to question and seek the answer. The Pastor is a great guy, and said he'd dig out his concordance and look it up. This is the same child who wanted to know how (in detail) Jesus defeated the devil in the story of the resurrection. When I tried to explain it to him, he handed me my Bible and said SHOW ME. I admire that he takes nothing at face value.

Well it's a good thing the Pastor is as cool as he is. Last year at the camp Little Man would equate every spiritual lesson to an episode of Spongebob. That's a guy of great patience.

Anywho, tomorrow should be quite telling when he meets the school psychologist. They will administer an IQ test among other things. Even if Little Man doesn't get in now, the psychologist said he would discuss with me if he'd be a candidate in a year or so, as the test is designed for children who are 9 or so. It should be interesting.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If you can spare some prayers, please!

A very dear friend of mine (An SBC, Sister By Choice) called last night, rather overwhelmed. Her husband, also a friend of mine, has been in a motorcycle accident. He was stopped at a light when he was hit from behind by an SUV. The impact was so hard he doesn't even remember the accident at all. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet, which certainly saved his life. He was rushed to the hospital, and it is nothing short of miraculous his injuries weren't worse. He has a concussion and whiplash, no broken bones but lots of sore muscles. He was released from the hospital but can barely walk. He hasn't been back to work, but will be seeing his doctor today.

The kicker in all this is that the driver in the SUV gave the police all fake information. Apparently the police took his paperwork at face value and didn't verify anything. The insurance card he presented is a company that doesn't even exist! The phone number is fake too.

Overall I know things could have been a LOT worse. Naturally my friend is very worried about her husband, since in the days since the accident he has not been physically well at all. She is also worried about their finances, since he is not working and they are not sure when he'll be able to go back. The chances of recouping their loss is slim, but he is ALIVE and in ONE PIECE.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


When I was a kid, I loved Richard Scarry books. In Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, one of the challenges in the book was to find Goldbug on each page. Usually he's tucked away in the corner of a window in one of the vehicles on the page. The little guy in the picture is indeed a GOLD BUG...he didn't seem real! So I touched him lightly and he flew on my porch. That's as close as I could get without compromising clarity, even after cropping the picture. They are actually called the Golden Tortoise Beetle, and like to eat the leaves of the Morning Glories. That explains it, since I have a bunch of them. Very cool!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alec Baldwin to write a book: ON PARENTING

I saw this on the news this morning, and quite frankly couldn't believe it. As if that wasn't ironic enough, Mr. Baldwin announced it in an interview with Playboy. I haven't ready the Playboy article (although it is listed in the Google search), because I have KIDS. I don't want to have to explain the images that may pop up, know what I mean? In searching for other articles, Yahoo was the best I could find, without going to the direct source.

Here's a tip, Alec: calling your daughter a 'thoughtless little pig' should be under "things not to say." You're the adult, she is a child. Period.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's A Great Day!

Today is my day 'off'. My house is empty and silent for the day while hubby takes the kids to see grandpa and grandma. Hooray!

The quiet is bizarre. And peaceful and wonderful. So while I enjoy my cup of coffee, I will probably break some kind of record in the speed it will take me to write this blog post. Meanwhile, I'm mentally making a list of all the things I hope to accomplish while the rest of the family is away. You'd think I'd be painting my toenails or something, right?'s more a case of 'where do I start first?' There's weeding in my garden, cleaning the kids' rooms, or breaking out the sewing machine and dealing with the pile of hemming, darning and sewing that needs done. My daughter earned 20 badges in brownies this year, and wants them sewn onto her sash say yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday, hubby and I managed to finish painting our family room. It's now a cool shade called red stone. Not long ago we also painted our living room, in an awesome color called teepee brown, which is reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake. We also painted the trim in both rooms a muted off-white color. It certainly beats the wood panelling that was there before!

Well it's time to stop talking about all I'm going to do and actually DO it. Have a great day!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Un-Charter-ed Territory

Since enrolling our first child, our local school has been a major problem. I've written about this before, when my daughter was in Kindergarten. After witnessing how my son has fared, we're coming to the conclusion that the overall school policy is the largely the problem. With my youngest entering school in the fall, we're simply not comfortable sending her, or my older children, there in the fall. That being said, we're exploring our options.

I've never seriously considered homeschooling before. I believe children can benefit from being in the school setting, from gaining independence, peer-to-peer relations, experiencing diversity and benefit from the wide range of expertise of specialized teachers in music and art. There are many wonderful teachers and school districts in public systems. Unfortunately, due to the lack of structure and lack of real consequences for poor behavior my children are not performing to their full potential.

I have to admit that I was really looking forward to this September. After almost 9 years, all my children would have boarded the bus. For once I could complete household tasks without constant interruption, or could run an errand without being asked if we can stop at McDonald's. I could go to the Dentist without worrying that my children are running amuck in the office, and complete grocery shopping in record time. At home Nickelodeon wouldn't be blaring in my ears anymore, and I could think for more than a minute or so without being asked for a drink, snack, or asked yet another question.


Yes, the BUT. The BUT that knows it would be another year of heartache, watching my kids slip into apathy about education rather than be excited about it. The BUT that knows by the time I'm notified of an issue at school, a month of misbehavior would have gone by that my children have lied to me about every day they got off the bus. The BUT that knows my son would be busy creating his own entertainment in class because he's just that damn bored. The BUT that knows my daughter would be reading the book hidden in her lap instead of paying attention. Early elementary school is supposed to be fun and exciting, and instead they are bored stiff and lost in the pond of other kids. Yes, POND. This is a TINY school, you'd think that would be to their benefit, right? I have no problems being involved with their education, and will lend my support to teachers...all of which have been informed of that early on. My concentration in college was education, so it's not like I don't understand the process. Instead the teachers seem to want to kick me out of it. I'm supposed to be their puppet that solves their problems the way THEY want it solved, instead of letting me be the parent of my own child.


We have been looking into cyber-schooling, which is essentially homeschooling on steroids. It would be through the public school system (statewide), with flexible options tailored to meet the learning needs of the child. For example, since my son is a fast learner, he can be in a self-paced program which allows him to move ahead, thereby alleviating the boredom. My daughter would be in a virtual classroom taught by a state-certified teacher in an interactive format. There would be additional work for her to complete as well. Best of all, you are in continual contact with teachers and are assigned a Instructional Specialist with whom you are required to have a conference with on a bi-weekly basis. If you need them more often they are available. I like that the child's progress is monitored continually this way, so I can fix it or help.

Technology is only partially used to teach and reinforce lessons, so there is still a massive parental effort involved. The program provides the framework and support of certified professionals rather than leave you out there in no man's land. The lesson plans are clear and all materials are sent to you. Yes, I do think about how the plans I had would be brushed aside. But I'd rather put in the effort now for their future than send them back to the school where they crush the spirit and wonder of my kids.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blogosphere, be scared...really scared...

I have an exciting announcement for my vast (*sputter, cough, cough, snort*) readership! Okay, really it's for the passer-by who got sidetracked on a web-search. Worthy nonetheless. Many of you know that Kristin over at the Dragondreamer's Lair is a sister-by-choice to me. We've known each other for years and visit each other as often as we can. Because of that, I've also come to know her hubby, Vic. I was very excited to learn that Vic has started his own blog, The Warped Musings of my Inner Self! So today I wanted to give you insight as to why this is such an exciting announcement.

Vic is hilarious, but only if you can keep up. The speed of his speech rivals that of an auctioneer. He's clear, just talks very fast. As a native New-Englander I've been accused of talking too fast, but I've got nothin' on this guy. Now I can process what he's said and fully digest the humor. ;-)

Kristin has called Vic's humor 'warped', which while true, is only a partial description. It's also very sharp and intelligent. We can banter flies at a fast pace, which usually means the conversation takes bizarre side-paths. Did you know he can do an amazing impersonation of Poe from The Teletubbies? Then there's the Canadian Conspiracy Theory, Tales from A Call Center and all the political punditry you can stand. Vic's an easy-going guy, but a straight shooter. An eclectic mix of Southern Charm and Puerto Rico.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

Today I'm feeling a little nostalgic. You know, kinda like when your grandparents say things like "When I was your age..." followed by some statement that refers to old times being better times.

Does your town have a Memorial Day parade? Our town doesn't, and neither does one in the general vicinity. We have one in the summer, but on some non-descript day in the middle of July. Not on a day of national importance. I think that's pretty sad. When I was a little kid, the Memorial Day parade was a big deal. We'd meet up with my grandparents at the town square to watch. When the parade led off with the color guard, hats were removed and all right hands were placed on their hearts. Adults instructed their young children to do so as well. It was considered rude NOT to. When the veterans marched by, my grandpa would crouch down beside me and cheer as they went by to encourage me to do the same. I didn't understand war or what our veterans had done for us. Nor did I understand as we stood in silence at the cemetery, that the 21 gun salute was to honor the fallen...those soldiers that have given the ultimate sacrifice so I could be free.

My grandfather was a first generation immigrant from a country continually threatened by communist rule. He understood how precious freedom is. He understood that freedom isn't free. In those small actions, he was imparting this to me by teaching me respect for our nation.

As a teen in high school I was in the marching band. I was now in that same parade, wearing a full wool uniform as we played patriotic songs down the parade route, usually in 85 degree heat. At it's end, we stood at attention during the entirety of the ceremony at the cemetery while the sweat dripped. We didn't dare move. While I had somewhat of an intellectual understanding of what war was, and how precious our freedom is, I can't say I had a personal understanding of it. It wasn't until my friends were shipping out for the Gulf did I even start to gain that knowledge. But in those early days, as I watched those parades as a girl it was teaching me respect...respect for our flag and what it represents, respect for our veterans, respect for our soldiers, and for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for the greater good of the nation.

In the current environment where political party tends to rank over nationalism, I encourage all of you to remember how great a nation America truly is. No, we're not perfect. But it's because of our soldiers past and present that we have freedoms most other nations cannot enjoy. It's because of these freedoms you can even criticize our leaders, or vote them in (or out) of office. I hope I can impart this sense of respect for our soldiers and veterans to my children. It is because of them, everyday citizens who chose to serve our nation, who not only made our country, but continue to make our country great.
Photo Credit: Flags-In Ceremony at Arlington Cemetery. You can read about and see more photos of this event, which occurs every year. On the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as 'The Old Guard' and other available servicemen and women place small American flags in front of every grave marker at Arlington Cemetery, as well as the Soldiers' and Airmens' Cemeteries, which total over 280,000.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who Pays for Lap Band Surgery?

Someone I know is considering lap band surgery. She is in her twenties and on welfare. Imagine my shock to learn that lap band surgery is covered by Medicaid?!?!
If you have insurance, find out if your plan includes coverage for lap band
surgery. While it is true that lap band surgery was once considered experimental
or investigational, it is now accepted as a covered weight loss surgery
procedure by many insurance companies including Medicare.

Lap band surgery can be a viable option for people. It is a personal choice. However, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth to learn that my taxpayer dollars will pay for it. On the same site listed above, they admit that the cost of this procedure can run from $15,000 to $25,000! Another site details this:
Many people meet the qualifications for Medicaid or Medicare assistance,
which covers the cost of medical care for many people. Sometimes they will pay
the entire bill, sometimes a co-payment is required. To be eligible for
Medicaid, you must have a limited income as well as meet certain other
requirements, including age, disabilities, citizenship, income and other
resources. To qualify for Medicare, you must be age 65 or older, under 65 with
certain disabilities (many people with morbid obesity are categorized as
disabled under the Social Security Act), or have End-State Renal Disease
(permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant).
determine if you qualify, you should contact the appropriate social services
agency in your area. If you do not know where the local office is located, the
address and phone number can usually be found in the front of most telephone
books under government listings. You can also visit the website for either the
CMS ( or HHS ( if you want to search
for additional information.
Source: aboutlapbandsurgery

I cannot stress enough how this offends me. Recently my husband's employer raised the paycheck deduction for our piss-poor insurance by such an amount we had to drop it. It was a choice between paying our bills or having coverage that didn't even cover prescriptions. I couldn't afford to buy my daughter the Singulair she needs for her asthma ($102 per month) even when we had the insurance.

I don't begrudge those who need medicare or medicaid. It provides life saving and life sustaining checkups, medications and procedures for those who need it. I just don't feel lap band surgery qualifies, especially for someone in their twenties. With our taxes sure to be raised with all the new government programs starting in the near future, it offends me even more. I'll leave you with this quote:
A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take
everything you have.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


While slurping down cereal, the kids and I had a talk about adulthood. Like most children, they can't wait to be adults. My video game addicted son has dreams of letting his kids play video games any time they want. LOL

Daughter: "You know why we pretend to be adults? So we can practice being one before we are an adult."

That's a pretty good observation. I go on to explain that it's tough being a kid because you don't have the freedom of adulthood, but adults have responsibilities children don't, such as providing all the things their kids need. Adults realize that being a kid can be pretty cool. I want them to enjoy where they are in life.

D: "So you want to be a kid again so you can pretend to be an adult again?"

I don't tell her this, but I hated being a kid. I have no desire to go back to those days. If I was going to turn back the clock, I'd take the early twenties. But really that's not a discussion to have with her.

My son interjects:

S: "You know what I want to be when I grow up? A plumber. Then all the water faucets in schools would work."

No kidding!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Environmental Activists

We've had rain of some kind every day for a week straight. As soon as it was dry enough, the whir of lawn mowers could be heard around the neighborhood. Today my husband was mowing the back patch of our yard, which in spots was as high as mid-calf. The girls ran out and started screaming at him (to be heard over the mower). They pleaded with him to SAVE THE DANDELIONS!!!! He didn't stop, so they ran around insanely plucking as many as they could. Then they ran into the woods to pick these dainty little purple wildflowers to go with them and presented me with a Mother's Day bouquet. They are now in a vase.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pollen, Asthma & Swine Flu

My 8 year old daughter has asthma. Now that my car is covered with a coat of pollen, she has begun wheezing due to allergies. We usually go through a bout of flare-ups during seasonal changes and when abrupt weather fronts go through. So yeah, this is prime time for this to happen. It was 90 yesterday, 60 today.

As moms with children with asthma can attest, this creates a problem with the school. I usually get a letter threatening me with a fine from the magistrate if my child misses any more school days without a doctor's note. I haven't gotten one yet, but I'm expecting one. And not for anything, but those co-pays add up! The result is that we're very careful about how often we let her stay home. If she doesn't have a fever, she goes to school. Isn't that what I have her inhaler at the school for?

So this morning my daughter wakes earlier than usual, climbs in my bed and we watch the news together during her nebulizer treatment. Then we're off to the races. Two hours into the school day I get a phone call from her: "Mom, I think I have Swine Flu." I could barely keep from laughing. "No I'm just kidding, I was coughing and threw up a little so the teacher sent me to the office." Little smartass.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Giant 'G' is lit in the sky...

Those wandering in from various parts of cyberspace, here is the backdrop: Gabe is my best friend Kristin's youngest son. (The link is a video of him from her blog) Last summer Kristin had an unfortunate mishap involving her lawn mower, a bent blade and some four-letter words. The result was the beginning of an obsession, to go along with his current Volcano obsession.

I picture Gabe wearing a reddish-orange outfit with black boots and a red cape. He is Volcano-Man! He can melt metal with his black gloves and laser vision. Of course he can fly, he jumps off the couch regularly. His stunning finishing move is the eruption! (He doesn't need special powers for that one. He's 3.)

Dear Gabe:

I need your help! My husband has bent the lawnmower blade! He tried to fix it, but it didn't work. Can you help me? Now he wants me to go to the store to buy a new one. I wouldn't know where to start! But you could soften the metal just enough with your special gloves to straighten it out, couldn't you? Hitting it with a hammer isn't working very well. Maybe your laser vision? Or maybe you could just use that to cut all the grass? Please come soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Global Warming Caused by Obesity?

This gem of a news story is brought to you today by London's Sun Times. Well this news must be a big sigh of relief to many of my neighbors, as I happen to live in coal mining country. Perhaps now their jobs will be spared. Despite whether you believe in Global Warming or not, this is rediculous. As if many overweight people don't feel bad enough about themselves, now we're literally putting the weight of the world on them too. Now I certainly have more than a few pounds to lose. While I'm not sure if I would be considered clinically obese or not, that threshold seems to lower daily. I believe there is an over-simplification by the skinny populace as to why people are or become obese. If the answer was simple, the diet and fitness industry wouldn't be the million-dollar industry it is. Obviously they are missing key components that can't be waved away with a simple rote answer.

So does this mean the EPA will shut down fast food restaurants? That's not such a stretch anymore. New York City Councilman Eric Gioia wants to ban all fast food restaurants within 500 feet of a school. Given NYC's population, that's almost every block. I wonder what would constitute as 'fast food'? Would that only hit the big chain offenders, such as McDs, Wendy's or BK? Or would that include pizza joints? Sub shops? Chinese food? Where does it end? Since when is it the government's role to decide what is available where in the public arena? If Dad wants to take Junior out for a slice after school, that's his business. Maybe the schools should pay more attention to the mystery meat on their own lunch menus. How about removing chocolate milk? My kids' school even has strawberry flavored milk. They don't get that at home.

I'm not sure if I should laugh at these news stories or be scared of them. Whatever happened to personal choice and personal responsibility? How about real support instead of blame? How about treating overweight people with respect and dignity instead of staring in disdain? Here's a thought: maybe magazine covers should feature HEALTHY women instead of size zero anorexics?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time or Beauty?

This is a question for the guys, but ladies feel free to chime in. And yes, I seriously want to know.

So men, if you had to choose one would you:

A) Sacrifice the time and money to have a beautiful wife


B) A wife who doesn't wear makeup and believes in the phrase 'wash & go'. Her nails are not manicured. But there is no 'waiting'.

The news had a segment about makeup tips to appear younger without the cost of plastic surgery. A celebrity makeup artist showed how to conceal facial aging signs by use of color and technique. At the end of the segment, one of the male anchors grumbled "Great, now you ladies will spend even more time in the bathroom."

I found that to be hypocritical. Why? Because men are visual creatures. And don't give me any crap about how 'beauty is in the inside'. That may be true, but there's a reason pretty girls get asked out first and more often. And yes, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. But when a woman is done up right, men like it. Men may not like the waiting, or the money spent on makeup, hair dressers or manicures, but they sure like the result.

I posed this question to my own husband. He couldn't (or wouldn't) answer. Maybe he had visions of dollars flying out of his wallet or tapping his foot outside the bathroom door more than he already does. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So why DID the chicken cross the road?

A recent email explained it in a variety of ways, with differing points of view:

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

SARAH PALIN: You betcha he crossed the road, but let's not talk about that, let's talk about energy policy, and how gosh darn hard it is for a middle-class hockey mom to manage the budget of the only state in America with a massive surplus, especially while surrounded by countless Russian and Canadian chickens we have to keep an eye on.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure - right from Day One! - that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken...What is your definition of crossing?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain... alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

SIGMUND FREUD: The chicken felt the urge to cross was stronger than the need to stay. This could be due to some repressed childhood experiences.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Name That Vehicle Contest!

Do you name your vehicles? There's something about naming a vehicle that gives it personality. These cars are in desperate need of that. They are begging for it. Both are owned by my friend Kristin. For a larger view of each vehicle, click on their picture. Be creative! Winners will receive a prize! We'll be taking suggestions until Friday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Book Lovers Rejoice!

Love books? Don't have the time to read? A fellow blogger posted about this wonderful site called Libri Vox. They are a volunteer organization who seek to make all books in the public domain available as audiobooks in Mp3 format for free. Now you can put audiobooks on your Mp3 player! They have an extensive catalogue with many classics available for download. It's an ongoing project, so check back often. What a cool service!