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!