“The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days.” ~ Sue Monk Kidd
Sick today. A family of gerbils has moved into my ears, creating a wonderful muffled sound. And a miniature Mike Holmes (from “Holmes on Homes”) is wielding a jack hammer in my sinuses. (Aside: If you like home renovation shows, “Holmes on Homes” is the best; Corey and I both love it.) Today is one of those days that calls for a nightgown and a book.
Other than this wonderful news, not much going on. Cold and rainy outside. Dogs are sleeping. Brett is playing “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” an early Christmas present from my mother. Tomorrow, he is getting his picture taken for the yearbook; we never got his senior portraits made, and tomorrow is a make-up day at his school for pictures, so we’re going to do that for now, and maybe get his formal portraits made next year.
Alexis dropped by on her way home from work to chat a bit, which is always a nice diversion. I had a few smaller purses that I am passing on to her. Even though my daughter has inherited my propensity for being a bag lady—and in some ways she has surpassed it by having different bags for different items—she has still not succumbed to the big purse addiction that I have possessed for years, which is a good thing.
One bit of good news (relatively speaking): I have a new phone line, same old POS phone. After getting six text messages in a row from Eamonn, I realize now that I did not miss having a phone at all, but since I get calls from doctors and other bureaucracies, I really needed to have a number to give them that wasn’t Corey’s since his phone will be with him on the boat come January.
Funny how I could live without a phone but not a computer. Maybe that’s because the computer does not make noise and interrupt my train of thought.
Thought I’d share a poem, this one by William Stafford:
You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or in the silence after lightning before it says
its names–and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles—you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head—
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.
~ William Stafford
Here is Ray Montagne’s “Be Here Now,” a perfect song for a rainy day:
Daniel: Don’t you know anything you can tell me?
Miyagi: Hai. No get hit.
Miyagi: You remember lesson about balance?
Miyagi: Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?
Massive thunderstorms in the area last night. I had to turn off my computer as I did not want to chance another freak power surge like the one that took out half of the house’s electronics a couple of years ago. So unfortunately, I did not get to post.
It was an incredible storm: brilliant flashes of lightning and resounding thunder. I’m glad that none of our current dogs are afraid of thunderstorms. Murphy, our last lab was terrified of storms and fireworks, and it just broke my heart to watch her. Her eyes would get big, and she would try to crawl under any piece of furniture that she could find, which is kind of hard for a lab.
Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that with Tillie, Alfie or Shakes. I believe they could sleep through just about anything, unless of course air happens to be circulating outside the door, in which case, they must move en masse to the living room and bark hysterically until someone yells at them to shut up. Then they all retreat back to the bedroom and become sleeping lumps again.
Miyagi: [shrugging] … Because sometimes, what heart know, head forget
Well Eamonn penned his first batch of thank you notes today. I was very proud of him; even though I gave him the three basic sentences that any thank you note should have—acknowledgement of being remembered, thanks for specific present, and closing thanks—he took it a step further and personalized all of his notes. How nice.
And he hasn’t given me any grief about imposing the thank you note restriction before he can actually have gift in hand. I thought for sure that he would quibble with me, but he has surprised me, so I need to take back any mean things that I may have been thinking about him, not that I would ever think any mean things about eldest son—after all, I’m his mother, and in my eyes, he can do no wrong . . .
Perhaps he is on a new path. We’ll have to wait and see. Let’s move along. Shall we?
Daniel: Hey, where did these old cars come from?
The gardenias are in full bloom, and I’m keeping the house full of freshly-cut blooms. The front butterfly garden is starting to come into bloom as well. I’ll try to take some pictures and post them once we begin to attract butterflies.
That’s the highpoint of the summer season for me: watching all of the butterflies and moths dance through the blooms and leaves. I know, small things, but hey, I believe in appreciating beauty wherever I can find it.
About beauty, I’m featuring a few more picture from Janson Jones’s Floridana Alaskiana blog in this post. He has been doling out the photographic gems from his Florida trip in between other posts, and I’m loving all of them.
Miyagi: Daniel-san, never put passion before principle. Even if win, you lose.
Speaking of Janson’s blog, I had to pause when I read his most recent posts on what is going on in Anchorage. Apparently there is a big brouhaha in the Alaskan city over a proposed gay rights ordinance. According to Janson’s post, the protests are over “Anchorage Ordinance Number 64, which is intended to provide extended and protective rights to gays and other minority groups in Anchorage.”
Now let me pause here. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know how I feel about this issue. I am completely stupefied that society is still fighting over whether or not the GLBT segment of society deserves to be treated just like everyone else. But after seeing some of the signs being hoisted by the opposition, I must confess that I am beyond stupefied, beyond mortified. I am flapping my gums speechless (well, almost).
As you can see from the smaller sign in the picture on the right, the holder is purporting that “gays recruit children.” I thought that Ellen Degeneres clarified this particular nonsensical position years ago when she made it clear that for every person recruited, said gay person receives a toaster oven. It’s a joke, people. I mean really: “recruits children.” That is just feeble, uninformed, and sadly ignorant.
Or let’s take this sign: 98.5% of America is straight. That one really blew me away. I’m sure that it would shock many of these sign holders to find out just how many people in their lives are gay.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, “Nearly 550 people have signed up to testify on the ordinance, which would add ‘sexual orientation’ to the list of classes protected from discrimination. Classes already protected include race, ethnicity, age, sex, marital status, and others.” For me, this just seems like a logical addition, an affirmation of civil rights, if you will.
The article continues: “In general, they argue that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be protected because of their immoral lifestyles, or that protection isn’t needed because discrimination doesn’t occur, or that passing the ordinance opens the door to same-sex marriage in Alaska and they don’t want that.”
I had my Irish up (which is pretty hard when you’re Filipino, and I hope that that idiom is not considered derogatory as I’ve used it for years) over the whole situation, but Janson, ever the logical, reminded me that “the fact that there were only three cops (that I saw) standing watch and smiles on most folks’ faces (most, but not all) is a reminder of what we do and can have in this country (violent nut-jobs excepted)—non-violent, peaceful activism, regardless of the merits or rationality of any given side’s actual argument. A few decades ago, rocks would’ve been thrown at the pro gay rights crowd and they wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate side-by-side.”
Janson’s observations were that instead of the opposing sides being physically separate, the pros and the cons were on the same side, mingling, and there didn’t seem to be any hate-speak going on.
Personally, I find that pretty amazing. I know that I fly off the handle pretty quickly when I learn of or see such things, and it’s nice to have a calmer voice reminding me of just how far those of us who believe in equal rights for all people have actually come.
That being said, we still have so far to go. Even President Obama’s recent Presidential Memorandum allowing for some extended benefits, such as visitation or dependent-care rights, to the same-sex partners of gay federal employees seems like a grain of sand in an hourglass that is bypassing the candidate of change.
DADT (don’t ask/don’t tell) was supposed to be repealed. Remember that promise? We’re still waiting . . .
Perhaps Obama plans to mete out change in tiny increments so that he isn’t shoving it down the throats of the Neo-Cons. But geez. DADT seems like such a no-brainer, at least to me.
Daniel: You think you could break a log like that??
Miyagi: Don’t know. Never been attacked by a tree.
On to other things . . .
I learned today that the insurance company through which I receive my long-term disability benefits is denying my request for an upgrade of 6 percent as I paid for that option when I was actively employed by The George Washington University. Quelle surprise. The upgrade is supposed to be allowable for any non pre-existing conditions.
Well, my fybromyalgia was not diagnosed until November 26, 2007—after I had already been put on LT disability. However, just as I expected, the company found four pages of reasons as to why I do not qualify for this additional benefit for which I paid. Apparently, the doctor who diagnosed me did not list all of the criteria needed for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia according to the “American College of Rheumatology criteria.”
What is it with insurance companies that they will gladly take your money in premiums, but they will nickle and dime you to death over benefits owed you?
I really hope that Obama’s supposedsocialist health care reforms will somehow trickle down to me because my monthly premium for health care is unbelievably high, and it only covers me, not the rest of my family. Thankfully, the boys are covered by their father’s policy until they are 19 unless they are in college. Corey was covered by his former union, and that’s one of the things that we’re keeping our fingers crossed over until he gets his new job.
Daniel: Wouldn’t a fly swatter be easier?
Miyagi: Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.
I wonder if there is anything else that I can bitch about in this post? Not in the mood to tackle Rush today. That’s usually a post by itself. The situation with the mortgage? Too depressing. The Virginia Gubernatorial race? Not ready for that one yet. The current state of Izzie the Trooper’s health? She’s in the shop now getting an estimate on how many arms and legs they want to make her run again.
I did see something completely sweet today, though. Brett’s two gerbils—Ben and Jerry—were snuggled up in the corner of their home, spooning. It was an aww moment.
Let me leave you with this tidbit of information: PETA (yes I believe in treating animals well, but these people are way over the top), objects to the way in which President Obama killed the fly that was dive-bombing him during a television interview. If you recall, Obama slapped the fly in a Mr. Miyagi move and nailed it. PETA has sent the President a fly trap that will catch the fly, and then said pest can be released outside.
Okay. I don’t believe in killing crickets or praying mantisssses or ladybugs or similar beautiful insects because it’s bad joss. But flies create maggots. Maggots make me gag. Big time. Flies also transmit diseases. The Black Plague of Europe anyone? Remember rats? Flies? Lots of dead people. Unfunny.
PETA needs to get a grip. The President wasn’t shooting wolves from a helicopter or field dressing a moose in the Rose Garden. Those things are appalling, and we all know of someone who boasted about doing them. Killing a dirty fly that feeds on feces? I’m sorry, but I have to give the Prez a big Miyagi “hai” for that one.
I need to go read and put ice on my head. More later. Peace.
Daniel:You’re the best friend I’ve ever had.
Miyagi: You… pretty okay, too.
Oh yeah. The whole Karate Kid thing? I know. I’m a dork.
If you are interested in becoming a part of a blogging community, go to Condron.us, where you will find blogs on a variety of topics. Click on “Add Your Blog,” and select the category that best describes your post. While you are there, peruse the blogrolls or add comments to the forums. Condron.us is a wonderful way in which to increase your blog’s traffic as well finding blogs with similar focuses as yours.