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Friday, June 29, 2012

Sometimes I can't stay quiet....

My blog - my opinion:

I am not surprised with all the uglyness and division that the US Supreme Court decision stirred up when it made it's decision yesterday about the Obama-led Healthcare law being constitutional.  It was the perfect time for the opposition and the pundits to grab hold and run!  

But it frustrates me when the talk is so dividing even when the plan seems positive.  I really can't see what everyone against it is so upset about.  There will be those who are now uninsured that will have to find some health insurance by 2014. That is true.  They have 2 years to make it happen.  And, yes, they will have to PAY for it.  We ALL have to pay for our health insurance.   And, up to this time the people who have insurance have been paying for the unisured through insurance companies premiums anyway.   EVERYONE needs to have health insurance!  One medical emergency can wipe a person/family out - due to the high cost of everything connected with the doctors and hospitals, etc.  If a person without insurance goes into a hospital now they DO get treated, but the insured people (you & me) pick up the tab for them.  If they go bankrupt we pay for that too.

At least the new law will put the burden back on the person...that's more "individual freedom" in a way.  Hear that Republicans?    I truly believe that the GOP has come out so strongly against the healthcare plan because when Obama took office they vowed to do anything and everything to stop him from being successful.  It doesn't matter if it's good or right for the country.    Let's not forget that Mitt Romney set up a similiar health plan for the state of Massachusett when he was governor there.  But, now he's against it?    hmmmm

Politics and pundits filling the 24/7 cable new networks are getting in the way of the right thing for America. 

I know I sometimes think I'm just little ole me and I can't do anything to make a difference, or can't go up against such a big, powerful political  machine.  It's easy to turn a head and ignore it...instead of speaking out.   But, sometimes issues like HEALTHCARE should not be ignored.  I want to see all people have an insurance program that allows them to go in for treatment, especially before it becomes an emergency, perhaps life-threatening (and more expensive) situation.  I want to have insurance companies ACCEPT everyone, with no regard to "previous conditions".  I don't care what people label it.  Call it socialism.  Fine.  We have that with SOCIAL Security, and with many other needs in this country. 

It's the right thing to do!  We can't always live together with the mindset of "only if it's good or me."  We have to think of our neighbor.  "Love your neighbor as yourself."  I believe we can love them by making sure they have a health insurance  program with their name on it, so they can go to get treatment and be healthy. 

My blog - my opinion.   



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hodgepodge: Living in the USA !



We are all so blessed to be living in the USA!  As July 4th approaches, let's think about the unity AND the diversity we all share and enjoy here.  Joyce asks some good questions in this week's Hodgepodge:

1. What do the words "freedom" and "liberty" mean to you?  Does your mind wander in the direction of not being persecuted or discriminated against OR does it head in the direction of doing what you want? 

When I think of these words and the power they give us, I think of the ability to make personal decisions and to live the way we feel is best for ourselves.  Our country was founded on the rights to pursue what we want to....BUT (and it's a big but) there must still be laws to follow for the good of all.  And, even though freedom and liberty are wonderful things, the right to have them doesn't mean you can hurt others or live without regard for other people's well-being.  We all celebrate freedom but we must also celebrate fairness for all!

2. Nathan's  sponsors a hotdog eating cotest every 4th of July.  Last year over 40,000 people attended the event and almost 2 million watched on TV.  The winner ate over 60 hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes.  How do you like your hotdogs? 

First, that contest is DUMB and crazy!  It shows what people will do for a moment of glory and I'm sure a nice cash prize.  But, that's the freedom we have in America!  ha.    How do I like my hotdogs?  Pretty simple...    just some ketchup on top please.

3. If you were going to enter an eating contest, what would be on the menu?

If I didn't have to think about calories, I'd say ice cream! It would go down very easily and taste yummy!  And, it has nothing to do with the fact that my hubby has been in the ice cream profession most of his life!

4. Do you run your house more as a dictatorship or as a democracy? 

I know as my daughters were growing up I ran it as a dictatorship. Mom ruled!    Now, it's possibly a democracy with the hubby.  Although, I still consider the home "my arena" since he is away working so much.

5. Where was your favorite summer place as a kid? 

Our family has been going to a chautauqua-style town on Lake Erie since I was "wee little".  The town is Lakeside, Ohio. It's a gated place, where when you enter you go back a hundred years.  It's a wholesome place. A religious retreat.  A family vacation spot.  My parents built an A-frame cottage there when I was in high school.  I think I have only missed a summer vacation there during my early motherhood years when we lived in California.  In fact, I'll be going there in just a couple of weeks from now.  I'll do a little PR plug for Lakeside: it has morning Bible studies and devotions, offers lots of fun activities in the lakefront park...shuffleboard, basketball, mini-golf,  boating, swimming, a large playground, etc.  Each evening in the summer there is entertainment in the huge auditorium.  Everything from live music to comedians to movies to dance troupes.  All are "family friendly" .  The town is mostly made up of cottages for rent.  There are a few little restaurants. 

6. Do you have a guest room?  Would you want to stay in it?

Yes, we have a guest room!  (Joyce - why do yo ask? Want to come stay??)  When you live by the beach you HAVE to have a guest room!  We get lots of visitors...and that's great!  Yes, I would stay in it because I have set it up nicely and it has a very comfy bed.

7. Next Wednesday America celebrates her independence.  Do you have any special plans for the 4th of July?

Yes we do!  It has become a tradition here to go to the local parade in the morning.   Then we squish on the beach for the afternoon - its the most crowded day of the summer.  Then back home for a bar-b-que.  And we finish the night off back on the beach!  Where we live fireworks are legal and for sale, so many people bring fireworks to the beach and set them off at dark.   The tradition is to bring your beach chair and favorite beverage and sit and watch the fireworks go off up and down the beach - and sometimes right over your head. It's quite beautiful! I'm always amazed at how some people come with boxes full of fireworks.  The display goes on for a long time.  It's awesome!

8. My Random Thought.  Have a wonderful and safe holiday everyone!   I look forward to having a house full and having fun.  I also want to stop and be thankful for our great country - and leave politics behind for the day.  But, I also want to remember that we are one country in this world, all a part of God's creation. As we celebrate the USA let's pray for ALL countries and leaders.  Let there be peace.








Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hodgepodge: Summer travels and more

It's time for the weekly Hodgepodge questions and my answers. As always, I love to hear your responses too, so feel free to add your thoughts.

1. What song says Summer 2012 to you?   Luke Bryan's "Drunk on you". The song is fun, and hot, and it makes you sing along!  It starts out:
 "The cottonwood fallin' like snow in July. Sunset, riverside, four wheel drive and a tail light circle.  Roll down the windows, turn it on up!
Pour a little crown in a Dixie cup, get the party started...
Girl, you make my speakers go BOOM BOOM! "

2. What's your favorite quintessential summer food?  Ripe, juicy tomatos.  Corn on the cob.  Burgers on the grill.  Sorry... I couldn't narrow it down to just ONE item. 

3. The NJ Turnpike rest areas are named after people who lived or worked in New Jersey:  Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, J. Fennimore Cooper, Molly Pitcher, Joyce Kilmer, Thomas Edison, and Grover Cleveland. Of those listed, who would you most like to have known?  Why?   Gee, thanks Joyce, for reminding me of the NJ Turnpike.  Ugh!   I have been on that road too many times.   As for who I might like to have known, I think Clara Barton.  You got to be impressed with a lady who went into the battlefield and nursed all those soldiers back to health and gave them a "woman's touch".   Can someone tell me who J. Fennimore Cooper is?  Ha!  Guess I'll have to google him.

4. At what age did you move out of your parents' house and what prompted the move?  The first time I moved out (temporarily) was to go off to college.  At the time we were living in Maryland and I went to Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.   I did my freshman & sophmore years there, then unsure of what I wanted to do, I took a year off and lived and worked in Columbus.  After that year I came back and moved into my old room, and finished college at Towson State University as a "commuter" from home.   I then officially moved out after graduation and got an apartment with one of my best girlfriends and we lived together for a few years until I married.

5. What's more satisfying to you - saving time or saving money?   Tough question, because at times both can be good - and at other times it doesn't matter.  I think it depends on the situation and perhaps the amount of time and money we are talking about!  I won't haggle over a few dollars.  I also don't get satisfaction out of "shorting" someone else.  As far as time goes...  it's precious. It's finite.  I try to appreciate it - not save it.

6. Name something you think brings out the best in people.   People are definitely at their best when serving others because they genuinely care about others and want a "common good" .  I think people who give do it because they know their blessings come from what God has given them. 

7. Are you taking a vacation or a "stay-cation" this summer?  If so, where will you go?  If it's a stay-cation have you made special plans to fill the time?    I am fortunate this summer to have a little of both!   In a few weeks I will travel to our family cottage on Lake Erie, where we  meet for a week each summer and reconnect.  I'm especially excited to meet my newest great-nephew this year!  My "stay-cation" happens over the 4th of July week when both my daughters and a bunch of their friends will be here to spend time at the beach and to enjoy all this area offers!  This has become an annual event too.  We go  watch  the local parade, cookout, and watch fireworks at night on the beach. This year we have a river property too - and boat.  So, let the fun begin!!!!

8. Random.  Summertime is my favorite time of year!  I love the warmth, and I love the family time. I love the food, and the activities!   There's not the pressure of other seasons and holidays.   Summertime is relaxing.     Do you feel the same way?  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Daughters

One of the reasons I decided to start blogging awhile back was to put down my thoughts, and to "pass along" my wisdom (what I have of it) and joys - especially to my daughters....and, to write ABOUT my daughters!   (Sorry girls....)

I'm one proud mama! 

It took me awhile as a new, young mother to find my way in life.  It was a time period when many women were having babies and continuing to work fulltime.  I wasn't sure if I should "juggle" both and I wasn't sure what I  "needed"  to make me complete.  And, when I first quit working to stay with my daughters I struggled just saying  "I'm a homemaker."  

But I quickly realized I didn't want anyone else raising my girls. I didn't want to miss anything they did. I didn't want to miss the milestones, but I also didn't want to miss the little daily changes.  I wanted to be there - to teach them, to read to them, to laugh.  I wanted to experience it all.  Oh, yes, it included some frustrating times.  Some days I was tired - and some days they were tired and cranky.   Motherhood was not always easy.  But, the good times definitely outweighed the hard ones. 

Let me say right now that I was blessed to have a husband with a job that brought home enough $ that I could stay home.  He was supportive in every way.

I was able to take my daughters to Gymboree, and then to Girl Scout meetings, to many, many music lessons, and to go with them on field trips.  I was a a "room mother" and a Girl Scout leader and a Sunday School teacher.  I was a parent volunteer in the school's music programs and with the county orchestra.   I guess I should thank my daughters for "allowing" me to do these things without too much eye rolling.  I'm sure there were times I embarrassed them.  Ha! 

They were great years!  I get melancholy when I think back on those fun years.

Today is the younger daughter's 24th birthday.  The older one had her 26th just 12 days ago.  They are no longer children.  They are educated, and living and working on their own now. They are supporting themselves.  A mother's job done.  Both girls have turned out beautifully.  I take a little credit. yes.  But I also know it "takes a village" and alot of prayer over the years.  We had alot in our favor: a faith in a loving God, a great extended family, and we lived in a town that offered many choices for children.  

My daughters have been blessed to grow up in a family with a mother AND a father who love them unconditionally.  

So, today, I celebrate who they are. I'm very proud.  I'm very thankful.  I'm full of love for them!

Happy birthday daughters!!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sum - sum - summertime!

It's been such a great week, and I'm still recouping from my trip to the CMA Fest in Nashville, but I
 will make time to answer the weekly hodgepodge questions.   Some of the questions are about summertime, my favorite time of the year! 

1. In what way are you your own worst enemy?   Can you say "open mouth, insert foot?"  My mouth gets me into trouble sometimes.  I don't mean to say something hurtful - really.  I NEVER want to cause another person a sad moment, or be disappointed in me.  But, it happens.  I regret it when it happens and am usually pretty good at beating myself up afterwards.  I just wish I could learn to "think" abit more before I talk. 

2. Jacques Cousteau's birthday was Monday, June 11th - ever been scuba diving?  Is that something you'd like to try? What's your favorite 'under the sea' creature?   I have never been scuba diving and I'm a big wimp when it comes to "adventures of the ocean".  I went snorkeling once and couldn't enjoy it because I was too worried about breathing right through the thing.  I prefer to LOOK at the sea from the beach or a boat.   My favorite creature?  I think I'd have to say the loggerhead turtles.  Here in South Carolina right now the mama turtles are coming up to the dunes right now to lay their eggs.  Each morning volunteers scour the beach for the paths they make in the sand.  When eggs are found, the volunteers count them, and cover them so people and other animals can't get to them, and watch and wait...  and when the babies arrive and head to the ocean there's a huge party! 

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable are you in and around water? (1 = not at all, 10 = very).  Do you know how to swim and if so, how and when did you learn?   I am an 8 around  water.  I "respect" the sea and do worry about undertows, etc.  I do not like swimming in the ocean for that reason.  But, I love swimming in a pool for exercise.  I'm an adequate swimmer.  I learned when I was about 10 or 11 I think. My parents took me to swim lessons at the local Y, and I'm glad they did.

4. What's something you do to motivate yourself to tick an item off your to-do list?   First, I really DO make a list.  Then it feels really good to scratch it off!  I'm a morning person so I tend to do my errands and to-do work early in the day so I know I can relax and veg in the evening. 

5. What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor?   A good neighbor is someone who is friendly and helpful but not overbearing.  They will help you with vacation needs (mail, papers, etc) and keep a watchful eye for unusual things going on.  I'm fortunate to have good neighbors (are you reading this Coleen?) that are there for me when I need them.  Yes, I think I'm a good neighbor back.

6. Who loads the dishwasher at your home?  Is there a right and a wrong way?   I load it.  And I unload it.  I don't get volunteers. Ha!!    There is not a right or wrong way but I do have a system that works.  I have learned the best way to cram as much in as possible and still get everything washed well.

7. You know it's summer when __________.    It's summer when schools let out and the beach vacationers come here to our area.  Everything gets busier...the store, the traffic, etc.  But, that's ok.  The local economy depends on it.   I love hot summer days, and warm evenings with an ocean breeze...  so do others.

8.  Random thought:    I spent 4 days in Nashville this week.  I attended the CMA Music Awards and the CMA Music Festival.  It was hubby and my second time going because last year we LOVED the event so much!  This time did not disappoint.  If you love country music, and love the atmosphere that goes with it....then give it a go next year!   It's thousands of your closest friends gathering together to hear the best country music offers in a fun, filled area.  Music everywhere, and "meet and greets", and exhibits, and good food and drink....and more!   

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer thoughts in this week's Hodgepodge - time for graduations and weddings

This week the Hodgepodge questions deal with thoughts of early summer, i.e. graduations and weddings.  It's the time of year we dress up and celebrate! 

Here are Joyce's questions, and my answers.

1.  How many students were in your high school graduating class? Did you know most of them, if not all of them?   I had a rather unusual circumstance for my last year of high school and graduation.  My family moved the summer right before my senior year.  We moved from Ohio to Maryland, from a rural town to suburbia near a large city, and from a small high school to a very large one.  Now, I know many of you think I should have been pretty PO'd at my parents for doing this to me.  But, I remember thinking it was a fun adventure.  I guess I was ready for a change.

So, the senior class that I graduated from was very large. I want to say there were over 700 kids in it. But, I don't remember the exact number.   I certainly didn't have time to get to know many of them.  I met a girl who lived near me, and we got on the bus at the same corner. Her name was Joelle and she was friendly and helpful.  I also knew a few others my age from church.  

My old high school kept me on their books and have continued to invite me to class reunions and I appreciate that. I have only made 2 of them, but they have been fun - mostly because I got to see my two best girlfriends from high school, Paula and Terri.  We called ourselves the "3 muskateers".  We were best buddies - and did most everything socially together.  They are the ones that I think of when remembering the good times in high school.

2. What was the last thing you photographed?  I carry my digital camera in my purse and am really into taking pictures - all the time.  So, the last pic I took was this past Sunday evening.  My hubby and I met up with my sister-in-law and her fiance' at a restaurant hosting a special thai dinner, sampling sake to go with it.  We had fun, and I took a pic of them having their first sips of sake.

3. Pickles.  Love 'em or loathe 'em?  If it's love, what's something you eat that needs a pickle?   I like pickles.  Most kinds.  I don't crave them (didn't even when I was preggers) but I do like them occasionally.  I like a pickle with a burger and I also liked chopped up pickle mixed into my chicken or tuna salads.

4. What's a stereotype you seem to perpetuate without meaning to?  That I am my mother's daughter!  ha!  The nut doesn't fall far from the tree.  I joke, but I am pleased to be like my mother in many ways.   She was a sweet, caring woman.  She was mild-mannered.  She had a beautiful smile.  So, if I have those attributes then that's good.  But,  I also know as I age I say things and think things that she did - and thought I never would! ha!

5. Ever been horseback riding?  If so, is it something you enjoy?  If not, do you have an interest?  Did you watch the Kentucky Derby?  Will you be watching the last leg of the Triple Crown this weekend?   I went horseback riding once, when I was with my hubby on a company trip. It was a "reward trip" in New Mexico with others from the company and their spouses.  I was VERY frightened, and was put in the front of the line, right behind the professional leader.   I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been a riding experience through a meadow or on the beach.  But this outing was a horseback trip along the rugged mountainous terrain of that area.  Think back to old black & white western movies.  That's what it was like.  I must say my favorite part was arriving at the campfire site at the end and having a big glass of wine.

I did not watch the Derby this year, although sometimes I do.  And I will not be watching this Saturday because I will be in Nashville for the CMA Music Fest (Fan Fair) and will be busy enjoying all it offers.  I suppose if we happen to be somewhere with a TV nearby we will watch, especially since a Triple Crown winner is possible. 

6.What's your favorite "wedding" movie?  I think it's "The Wedding Date" with Debra Messing.  I have watched that movie over and over.  It's funny, kooky, and sweet.  I like the music in it.  It seems to be a movie that pops up on TV on evenings when I can't find anything else to watch.  I'm quite content to just watch it again!

7.What is one tourist attraction in the USA you'd like to see in person?  I would like to see the Grand Canyon.  I can't imagine how huge it is!   (Guess that's why it's "grand"? ha)  

8. My random thought:  I leave later today and will be attending the CMA Festival in Nashville for the next 4 days.  Hubby and I went last year and surprisedly loved every minute of it!  I knew I would like it because I love "live" concerts, and country music speaks to me.  But hubby liked it alot too.  We also toured the Country Music Hall of Fame, and took a tour around the Franklin area (home of the stars), and went to the Grand Ole Opry and to Ryman Auditorium.  This time we have tickets to attend the celebrity softball game for the City of Hope.  I also signed up to hand out Josh Turner postcards one afternoon.  He's a "local" South Carolina country singer with an awesome deep voice.  We will of course go to the concerts each night at the LP Field, and enjoy some of the daytime ones too.  We have some friends coming this year - friends we haven't seen in awhile.  I look forward to seeing them and sharing the country experience together! 

Have a great week everyone!