Friday, December 31, 2004

Waiting For Big Daddy, Thinking About Health Care

I'm waiting for Big Daddy to get home. He called to say he had to stop by one site and then would be home. Then I can go shopping (all by myself!) and get things for the party tonight. I had invited my old friends Jim & Melissa to come, but they can't make it. Jim had a little snip,snip surgery (to put it politely) and isn't feeling up to the festivities tonight. I need to go talk to my doctor about some sort of more final birth control as well.

Once, an older, wiser friend of mine, Rosemary, asked why we only wanted one child. She thought it was a shame that so many educated young couples were only choosing to have one child. She said we were the people who should have more than one, because we would raise such extraordinary children. I hope I can raise an extraordinary child. I just can't afford to have more children and provide for them in the way I was provided for.

We had a pregnancy rider on our health insurance, but it was costing us an extra $300 a month. $300 a month! We can't afford another baby. Basically we can't afford the health care to cover it. Are you listening Mr. Bush? Are you listening, anyone in Washington? No, of course not. But we of the middle class can't afford to have health care to protect our families. We make too much to receive aid and not enough to afford the financial burden we must shoulder ourselves (So much for government by the people, for the people). With B.D.'s old job, we didn't worry as much. His company paid for a large chunk of our health coverage. The new company does not. Although that may be changing soon, due to B.D's influence.

Jim and Melissa are paying for their new baby out of pocket. It was a normal delivery with no complications, but it was still very expensive. Monkey was the $87,000 baby. That's $87,000 for delivery and follow up care in the NICU. That is just the hospital bill. It doesn't include the prenatal care. Everything was fine up until the delivery. If we hadn't had the health care we did then, I don't know what we would have done. What do people do who have no health care?

My mother could not understand why her children should have to worry about health care. Why we would have to worry and pay so much of our monthly earnings to health insurance companies. She was a government employee and still, although retired, continues to receive somewhat decent benefits. While we were young, she never had to worry about whether she or my father would be able to afford to take care of medical expenses for the children.

My brother and I have explained that entrepreneurs (like my brother), teachers in private schools (like my sister-in-law and myself until recently), or those employed by smaller companies (such as B.D.) have to pay a lot out of pocket for our healthcare. This concerns her and she thinks it should be different, but would she ever vote differently? Would she ever vote to change the situation. Of course not. Dear God, NO! She was raised to vote Republican, even if she didn't like the person. An example - she would call John Ashcroft a complete idiot, but she would still vote for him. My father too. But then again, he gets Christmas cards from Charleton Heston... I digress, sorry.

Anyway, I hope Big Daddy gets home soon. I want to get my shopping done and think of something more pleasant for awhile.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The End of the Day

We went out for pizza tonight. Oh, how I love the Mellow Mushroom. I had a couple of Highland Gaelic Ales and a lovely banana pepper, black olive, mushroom and onion pizza brought to us by our server, Olaf. It was incredibly crowded for a Thursday night. It must be the holiday thing. Monkey behaved quite well, which always makes me happy. She's now asleep. Hooray!

Some friends are coming over tomorrow night to ring in the new year. We'll just lock all of the 1-4 year olds in a room together. Actually the kids always do better than the parents...

Big Dady is talking on the phone to a woman from church. They are planning the Epiphany potluck. B.D. has been pegged to do a mess of barbeque. These North Carolinians can't get enough of his Kansas City style bbq. Kind of funny. I should probably stop typing and go back to living. I've got lots to do tomorrow.

What I Do When I Can't Sleep

Does this look like me? Charlie thinks so. It must be the wine glass. I made it at
chin chin!


I truly hate anime. Perhaps I don't understand it fully. But, it's so... argh! Oh, and I can't stand the use of "peeps" to mean people - as in "my peeps". Peeps are little marshmallow confections covered in fine sugar with waxy eyes, generally available at holidays and thought to be indestructible.

Good Morning 7:24 a.m.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I Just Don't Get It

I've been checking out other blogs. What is the deal with writing in cApiTal/LoWweR caSe letters? That is one of the most annoying things I've ever seen! Isn't it difficult to type that way. I just don't get it.

It's Been a Long Day

This is the first day I've put Monkey in "big girl" panties. She's had two accidents today. Both times she had a total melt down after she wet herself. Maybe this is the way to go. I think those pull ups are too much like diapers. She never really felt wet. I've just got to remember to watch her and help her make it to the potty on time and keep up the positive reinforcement... ugh.

The dogs were barking earlier at something. It could have been the bear, but I don't think so. I think he's hibernating by now. It was probably something much more scary like a raccoon or something even more exotic, like the pit bull down the road. At least once a week they bark at something we can't seem to see.

My friend, Quiche Lorraine, is having her 40th birthday in May. She is going to have a themed party based on a 1983 high school prom. I'm going to take off on my own, if I can swing it. Now I just have to find a prom dress! Right now she is trying to decide on the theme song. I get to design the invitations. Now if only I could find some gay guy to go as my date, it would be just like high school. I don't think Big Daddy would mind.

On a more somber note, the death toll from the tsunami keeps rising. We are now hearing stories of survivors. I haven't had the news on the television on much because I don't want Sophie to see all the carnage. I can luckily shield my two year old from the death and destruction. So many others in the world aren't that lucky. We forget about the awesome and devastating power of nature and then it reminds us with swift, indiscriminate force just how powerful it can be. My prayers go out to all the suffering.

I've been reading Chickens in Your Backyard by Rick and Gail Luttmann. It was a Christmas gift from B.D.'s grandfather. I'm preparing for my new role as chicken farmer. It's got to be easier than potty training Sophie. All I can say is the dogs, bears, raccoons, and chipmunks better stay away from my little chicks when they arrive.

1:40 p.m.

Look Up!

From the Asheville Citizens-Times:
Early Risers looking to the sky will be treated with a view of five planets during the first few weeks of January, according to astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in Rosman.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible - a relatively rare event.
In the predawn hours of New Year's Day, stargazers should be able to see Saturn if they look low in the west. The planet should be visible in the edge constellation of Cancer. At the same time high in the south to the left of the moon, they'll see two bright objects. The brighter of the two is Jupiter.
Searching the sky, you'll also find Venus, Mars and Mercury.

Visit PARI at


Well, I'm not sleeping. I went to bed two hours ago, now I'm wide awake. I'll have a glass of milk and a leftover Christmas cookie. Maybe that will help.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Another Day as Mom - I'm Tired

We had another playdate today. We met for lunch and then went to the children's museum. We haven't been to the museum before. It's an o.k. kind of place. It's not that fancy or elaborate. I kind of felt like I was paying $9 to play inside. Monkey had a good time so I guess it was worth it.

The news has been inundated with reports from Asia after the Tsunami this week. I'm trying to digest it all. Death tolls of 50,000 to 60,000 are staggering. That's more than the population of my home town. All those lives just wiped out in a matter of minutes.

I didn't sleep last night. Not because of the Tsunami. I'm not sure why. I haven't been sleeping well lately at all. Too much floating around in my head. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some sleep tonight. I think I need to take a nice hot bath. What I really need is a day or two to myself. I think I should go check into a hotel and do nothing. I'd take some good books and order my food in. I asked for this for my birthday and Christmas, but nobody took me seriously. I'd feel much better I'm sure, if I could sleep.

I started work on a children's book today. I hope I can stick with it. I think it may be a good idea. I've got an audience to try it on at least. It just takes away from what little time I have to paint.

I need more time.

Monday, December 27, 2004

A Play Date

Sophie and I are supposed to meet my friend, Tonia, and her son, Jacob, at the park in a little while for a playdate. It's 38 degrees outside. That's fine when you are running around like the crazy toddler that Sophie is, but it's a little chilly when you're the momma stuck on a park bench. I will just have to be active; besides, So needs the fresh air. I should start getting Sophie bundled up, but Tonia is always late. It's a 15 minute drive to the park, so if I leave when we are scheduled to meet we may get there at the same time.
Tardiness is one of my greater pet peeves and I always seem to have one friend that it perpetually late. If you are late, you better have other character traits that outway the tardiness. Tonia has a lot of good qualities, so I let it slide.
I really haven't met that many people since we moved here in April. Staying at home makes it a little difficult to meet new people. I think too that many people our age with kids just don't have the extra time and energy to expend on new friendships. Our neighbors (the few that we have) are seasonal, older or just plain scary. I can handle "country" and "mountain" quite well, but the Ingles down the hill with their abundance of confederate flags, their Pontiac Firebird up on blocks and their numerous pit bulls, just don't have a lot in common with me.
I was supposed to see an old friend of mine from camp. She's visiting her parents that live in Asheville for the holidays. She was going to call, but I haven't heard from her. I'm not sure how long they are staying. I'll probably hear from her once she gets back to Birmingham. Oh well. I should go get Sophe ready to go.

8:04 a.m.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Do Nothing Day

Today was a day to do nothing. I did do some cleaning and laundry. Watched a lot of end of the year T.V. shows. Played some games with Monkey and read her new books. The farthest I went from the fire today was a chilly walk down the hill to get the paper. I like this staying at home for the holidays thing. I could get used to it, I think.
Tonight is a full moon and I'm loathe to turn on the light in the office because I like looking at it out the window . The wind is picking up and clouds are scuttling by awful fast. The dogs are in here. Biscuit is laying on the futon and Chelsea is on the floor. Monkey's gone to bed and Big Daddy is in the other room watching the Simpsons. I wish I could think of more to write, but my brain is in do nothing mode.
Happy Boxing Day.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

I'm feeling a little like an adult today. Big Daddy and I managed to put together Monkey's rocking horse, place all the presents under the tree and load the stockings with goodies last night. We awoke this morning and hung the stockings and made coffee before Monkey woke. It was nice not to have to spend all our time traveling just to be on someone else's schedule for Christmas.
Yesterday we went to the afternoon church service at church and then came home and made a nice dinner - standing rib roast, roasted potatoes and green beans. We ate some christmas cookies and read The Night Before Christmas, then Monkey went quietly to bed.
This morning was classic Christmas. Monkey was a pro at opening presents. No more fumbling. She gutted each package and had the gift out in seconds. The grandmothers were over generous this year. I suspect it has something to do with not being able to see her. My mother managed to call before 7 a.m. (her time) to wish us a Merry Christmas. We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of biscuits and gravy. Now we have time to play with all the new toys, try on the new clothes and just enjoy each other's company. What am I doing writing?
Later this afternoon we are going to go visit my friend, Tonia, and her family. The kids can play together and we adults can enjoy a little wine and good company.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Getting Ready for Christmas

I jumped in and started a blog. I need somewhere to put down thoughts and I keep losing journals. Can I lose a webpage? Probably. I've got some baking to do this morning. I need to make some more ginger cake. We've got to make one more trip to the store. They were out of eggs last night. How does a grocery store run out of eggs? Oh, and I can't forget the cat food. I might as well get started. I think Big Daddy just finished making breakfast and I need more coffee.
This will be Monkey's first Christmas with a fireplace. It's also the first where she has some concept of what is going on. She wants Santa to bring her a horse and a mountain bike. I think he'll be able to handle the horse (the rocking variety, not the other just yet). I think we'll wait a few more years for the mountain bike. Although, I think she's getting a little big to be riding on the back of mine...

My view before the leaves fell.