Monday, March 22, 2010


It's history! It's over. I might not be able to get my teeth fixed tomorrow, but I know I can someday. I also know that I won't have to pay some ungodly price that seems to rise each month when I go to the pharmacy for my husband's medicine that suppose to be covered by Medicare.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Health Care Reform

Last Easter I reported here and in the newspaper how when I stopped at Aldis to buy some last minute items for our holiday dinner, I was shouted down because I attempted to allow a handicap man slip in front of me in line. I can't tell you how incensed I was then, and now. It just really blew my mind that people could be that heartless. More so, it bothered me because it was Good Friday. I had to wonder if these people would celebrate their Christianity two days later, and how could they.

The day before yesterday I saw something even more sickening. I was watching Countdown with Keith Olberman. Lawrence O'Donald subbed for Olberman because of the death of Olberman's father. My sympathies to the Olberman family. Anyway, O'Donald showed a clip of a Tea Party protest. A man moved as close to the protesters as he dared. He sat down in the street and held up a sign reading 'I have Parkinson Disease.' He was quickly assaulted by protesters, all men, demanding to know if they were to be expected to pay for the old man's medical expenses. These men took dollar bills out of their pockets and threw them at the old man. "Here, I'll pay for you." They laughed and threw more. It was a frickin' joke.

I didn't find it funny. Especially since my Mom died of Parkinson disease. It is a particularly ugly death. Along the same lines as Alzheimer, it affects the brain. It begins with a small shake in the hand, and deteriorates to the point where the victims have no control over their muscles. Most die of strangulation because they can no longer swallow. Along the way, most victims succumb to either Alzheimer or dementia. My Mom had the most horrible hallucinations at the end. They terrified her. No matter how hard we tried to assure her she was safe, she didn't believe us. She cried horribly thinking that she was caught in the middle of a fire, or that the woman in the bed next to her would kill her. When she finally passed, it was a thankful weight off our shoulders. She went to be with God. I knew she wouldn't suffer anymore.

Then there's this old man, sitting in the street, while these people protested health care reform. They laughed at him and threw money at him as if he were a bum. Not only did they wish to take away any help he might receive from a health care system that works for everyone, but they took away his dignity as well.

What makes me more angry than anything is the idea some of these people believe that those of us without insurance want a handout. I've worked all my life. I've provided for me and my family. The first time I ever had to ask for help was the most humiliating moment of my life. Most of us feel this way. Most of us have the pride of being able to support ourselves. That is until recently. It is getting harder and harder to make living. We are working harder and harder, if we can find work at all. And yet there are still people out there who think that there are enough jobs and all we have to do is get off our sofas and go look. I'm sorry, it hasn't worked that way in a long time. The very people who complain the most about people living off the government are the same people who caused the crash or sent our jobs overseas.

What I find saddest is that the men who taunted the old man will find out why we need health care reform. At least one of them will go bankrupt or will know someone who will go bankrupt because of a broken healthcare system.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Good morning all;

Can't say there's much happening in this neck of the woods. It's that time of the year where taxes and FAFSMA's have to be filed. I got both out of the way early. After having struggled to gather the information for the FAFSMA's and then having to wait for Social Security to confirm the information last year, I thought for sure that I had to do this early as it would take just as long. To my surprise, not only was it easier, but both Ed and Becki's Pell grants were confirmed almost instantly. I can only assume that the information I typed in last year carried over into this year's reports. I have no doubt I have the initials wrong. I'm just happy I got the information right. I don't know how either one of my kids would have made it to school without them.

Sheeba and I take Becki to the train every morning. Becki is usually dragging while Sheeba is clamboring to get out of the door. Damn dog actually talks to me about it. I mean it, too. She doesn't just bark. She actually moves her mouth as if she's trying to form words and tells me, 'Woo, woo, woo.' It makes my morning. Usually Becki leaves in a decent mood because of the dog. As she tries to exit the van, Sheeba moves to the front seat. Becki usually gives her a big hug and says goodbye. I kind of get a wave and a growl. That's fine. I used to look at people who smiled in the morning and demand they take that smile back. No one should be allowed to be that happy at that ungodly hour.

Anyway, we take Becki early four days a week, and then in the early afternoon on Friday. Last Friday I dropped her off and started home. When the train left the crossing, I took the tracks and rounded the corner. As I came upon the next block, I came across something furry in the middle of the street. I wondered if it were a cat or a raccoon. The coloring was a close call. Then as I watched, this thing stood up and shook itself off. It was a raccoon and it looked injured. That scared me. It was about 1:20 and school would be out soon. There has to be more little kids in that area of town than in any other. Anyway, I got home and called the cops. The dispatcher told me that they had cops all over that neighborhood looking for it. I guess I wasn't the only one concerned about the little kids.

Whether they picked it up or not, I don't know. I brought it up only because it amazes me the amount of wild life live in this area. I mean the Forest Preserves are within a couple of miles, but this is an extension of the City and unrelenting urban life. How they survive, I don't know. It is a concern, especially since wildlife does carry a number of diseases that can be passed on to pets, like rabies.

On that cheerful note, I bid you a great morning. Just don't smile in my direction.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Chicago, the place where we really dye the River green. Early this morning someone from the Plumbers Union would have been out, in a boat, just west of the locks entering Lake Michigan, pouring a environmentally friendly green food coloring in the water to make it appear an unnatural shade of green. This is a tradition going all the way back to when the old Mayor Richard J. Daley resided in City Hall. That would be about 50 years ago.

I've read quite a bit about Ireland and St. Patrick. Apparently, if there was a St. Patrick, and the Mother Church tells us that there wasn't, he would have come to Ireland first as a Spanish slave, having been kidnapped and sold in his youth. He was classically trained by Spanish monks who mourned for his situation. He was brought to Ireland then as a child, and returned later, after his liberation, and after having been ordained a priest. He was said to have converted the last hold out to Christianity, who just happened to be the greatest king of Ireland. Off hand, I can't remember his name. Anyway, St. Patrick was credited for chasing the snakes from Ireland and into the sea.

St. Patrick is the saint we hear the most about, but he isn't the only saint revered as part of Ireland's history and culture. There's St. Brendan, St. Bridget and St. Columba as well. Not one of them, though, is credited with wielding that big stick and driving the serphant's of hell from the land.

Here's a little known fact. The leprechaun is indeed a part of Irish folklore. The thing is, it's a little known part. We here in America has made it bigger than it ever was in Ireland. More than anything else, he was a pest that hid in the grasses and played tricks on passerby.

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields and,

Until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand

And may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

General Complaints

Good Morning All.

It's been nasty here in Chicago. The fog settled in late the night before last and has been with us for two days. It is finally burning off. Thank God.

Life has been relatively quiet here. Scrambles is growing like a weed. She's now five months old. Becki swears she hates the kitten because she got scratched. In spite of that, she found a hot pink collar with fake diamonds. It really looks pretty against Scrambles gray and white fur. Because she got a new collar the other two each got one as well. I had to laugh the other day when I caught Mike and Scrambles play fighting in the middle of my bed. Both pushed up as tall as they were capable of, and damn it if Scrambles wasn't as big as Mike. I always said he was critter size. Give Scrambles a couple more months and I'll be able to slap a saddle on her back and ride her around the block.

The other day Mike and J.J. got in a huge fight, worse than usual. I should have expected it as it's been a while. It spilled out of the kitchen and into the hallway. Fur flew like leaves in the fall. I started screaming! Suddenly Scrambles charged out of the kitchen and into the front room, and right into the back of the sofa. She was terrified! I swore I would get down and dirty with these cats if I had to. How dare they upset my baby!. I threw Mike's a** out right away, and I tried to comfort J.J. My black cat isn't very aggressive and Mike is. Truthfully, my black cat is passive aggressive. Even if I sympathize with him, my guess is he started it. Anyway, I was concerned more about Scrambles. Every so often she peeked out of the sofa to check the hallway. It looked like Mike really frightened her. At least an hour passed and I had to finally let him. She saw him and she ran out of the sofa and jumped on his back. Looking back now, I have to think that if she was frightened of anything, it had to be my screaming.

I'm happy we got her. J.J. was beginning to act like an old man. It seemed once he lost his mom and grandmother, he aged. He is 11, but he's always been so playful. When Scrambles first came, and she wanted to play, it irritated him. Now suddenly they're chasing each other back and forth. It's like he has a renewed vigor, and for that I'm glad.

I've had a lot of feedback on my thank you from our Angel group. Most of it has been in the neighborhood of 'You forgot my name." Ah, sorry. What I don't get is why people I've known most of my adult life suddenly have to call me Judy. Not just once either. I've gotten emails with the name spread across each paragraph. Judy this and Judy that. Damn it, people, I don't answer to that. Not since childhood when I had no other choice.

I have to go to Social Security today. We filed our income taxes online. It was rejected because Bill's birthday doesn't match up with their records. I'd like to know how that happened. My God, he just renewed his driver's license. The Secretary of State's office has a direct line to Social Security. I know because they caught a discrepancy in my birthday. I had to have it changed two years ago before they would renew my license. Bill, though, got his without a problem. Not to mention he's on Medicare and collects his Social Security. We didn't have a problem then either.