Thursday, September 17, 2009

End of an Era

Sniff, sniff. Today we had a tried and true member of the family given it's last days. The minivan we bought when we bought our house has met it's match. We have finally reached the point of no return with car repair vs. car payment. We've had this one longer than we've had Younger Celting.

No more Pirates of the Caravan! No more green mom mobile. Instead it seems we will be following Laurie's lead and going for a Sienna. We looked at a few different minivans tonight, but the Sienna seemed far and above everything else. Good options, workable price, and comfortable. The worst drawback was that there aren't any decent colors except the red. Celtic Consort won't hear of red. He claims a jump in insurance. Instead it seems as though we will end up with a sand colored one.

The good news is that I'll finally have a brand new vehicle. While the car was new when we bought it, I didn't really get to call it mine. I don't drive it very often. The van was always mine. And this will REALLY be mine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Okay I've been trying to keep the negativity to myself but I can't be quiet anymore. I'm tired of people jumping to the most horrific conclusions on the debates that are in the forefront of the news these days.

First, the smaller issue: Obama's address to schoolchildren. I feel I can comment here as I'm a parent of two school age children (Grades 2 and 6). Near as I can tell, our President decided to speak to our children about staying in school, working hard, and furthering their education. The benefits of which would be richer, fuller lives, opening multiple opportunities.

Now Celtic Consort and I are slightly off the beaten track. Neither of us hold a 4 year degree but are fairly self educated. While we both started off to get a 4 year degree, we both emerged on different paths and feel we are better for it. We don't hid that fact from the Celtings. We, in fact, encourage higher education but also recognize that one must forge their own path and not be a follower. Elder Celting is a perfect example, I can see a typical 4 year degree probably won't suit him. He will probably end up in some sort of art related training. Younger Celting is the one to chase a master's degree.

So will someone PLEASE tell me what is so horrific about the President telling kids to go to school to improve themselves? There are days I roll my eyes about Obama but I can't see what all the hubbub is about. Our school district recorded the address "for future review." What a crock! If you only feed your child's minds with one option, how are they supposed to tell good from bad later? How do they know how to discuss pros and cons and make a decision based on facts and not propaganda? I'm sick of national decisions based on sound bytes.

This brings me to my second topic: National Healthcare.
I'm in the thick of this one folks. I've spent almost my entire professional career working for health insurance companies. How I ended up doing IT there, I'm still not sure. However, it's kind of hard to back away when MY HEALTH COVERAGE is through my employer. Two young boys and a husband doing skilled labor is a big incentive to keep as many benefits as I can get. I know because I've also been on the other side of the fence; a single mom making $200 too much a year to be covered by Medicaid while I went to school full time and waited tables. I dreaded every sniffle. Imagine, I'm serving people food with goodness knows what kind of infection because I can't take the time off to get checked out, let alone pay for it. I've seen letters to the editor talking about how health coverage is a luxury like a cell phone or cable. That these "whiners" should pay for coverage before those items. Umm, yeah, I lived in my aunt's attic because I didn't have money for rent and yet I was "whining" because I couldn't see the doctor?

Get it straight folks PEOPLE DESERVE HEALTH COVERAGE. Not people like "us", EVERYONE. The same people bemoaning the proposed system and pointing to horror stories elseswhere are the same ones who are living in fear of swine flue. They are the same ones who expect antibiotics when they have a viral infection because they don't get that it won't help. They are the same ones who would shirk away if someone remotely ill looking came up to them. They are also the ones who would cry foul if they were caught up in the wrong side because they were sick too long or were bankrupted by medical bills caused by something beyond their control. It's not people not working, it's also the people getting cancer and losing their job because they are too sick to work. It's the folks who are hit by some drunk driver causing life long injuries which take their ability to work, their savings, and their homes.

You want to prevent a pandemic? Give people a chance to catch it early. How many people will die from a pandemic flu because they didn't go to the doctor when it was just an achy feeling due to lack of health care coverage?

You know what this reminds me of? In Tudor England during outbreaks of the "sweating sickness", people of the court would escape from London to their country estates to isolate themselves in order to avoid getting sick. The poor had no choice, they were stuck in the city. Guess who filled the body pits?

Do YOU want to be classified as "unworthy" of treatment?