Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Senior Citizens in America

America is not known for it's great treatment of its aging population. The exception is Hawaii, which I saw first-hand when I had the occasion to live there. I have a young friend who spends 24 hours a week taking care of an 80-some year old woman who had a stroke 4 years ago. Practically every single week, my friend gets a desperate phone call from one of the woman's daughters. She can't find anyone to take care of her mother on a particular day or that weekend. The call usually comes on Thursday night or Friday morning and she needs someone that day.

Now, the pay is not great, the job is at times boring, but at least the lady is very nice and easy-going-but that's not the point. This family wants their mom to remain at home and I can certainly understand that. What I can't figure out is why this one particular daughter spends so much time calling random people to take care of her mother and SO much energy giving any and every excuse in the book as to why SHE can't.

There are 5 grown kids and I don't know how many grand kids in this woman's family. The desperate daughter seems to live the closest; about 30 miles away. The youngest son lives an hour and a half away, but he visits every other weekend, practically without fail, buys her groceries, fixes things around the house (granted, I believe he owns it) and pays all her bills and the people who take care of his mom. But, everyone else just can't seem to fit taking care of their mom into their schedules.

I'm just not sure what that says to anyone reading this, but I know what it says to me.

I had the pleasure of spending 48 hours with the woman last weekend. I have never met anyone in the family, but the desperate daughter hired me Friday morning OVER THE PHONE!! I packed a bag and drove 40 some miles to her house. It is a well-maintained brick house with a nice yard in the back. The lady is partially paralyzed on her left side and needs some help getting into a standing position, dressing, washing-well, you get the idea.

I ended up with quite a bit of time on my hands. I couldn't locate the vacuum, couldn't reach the paper towels, had no idea how to take her blood pressure, the Library was closed. She would have liked to have gone to the Library and I would have been happy to oblige her. Oh, well. So instead, I made her pudding (she doesn't like chocolate!) Made all the meals through Sunday night, swept the patio and kitchen and read two full books. Her daughter called twice, but never to talk to her mom. When I asked my charge when the last time the daughter had been up to see her she told me it had been several months. Oh, my.

We had a nice time, this nice lady and I did. We chatted about her family and life. We struggled several times getting her up because she is larger than I and I am very small, however, my mom had strokes 30 years ago and I have never let her fall and this lady would not on my watch, either.

I just got a note from the son this A.M. He is placing an ad in the paper for full and part-time caretakers. Wanted to know if I knew anyone. Well, yeah, 5 to be exact. I think the family needs to step up a little. And maybe they should check out the people who they send to take care of mother.

I have to say, this experience has given me something to think about. What if I need help in the future? What will my 4 kids do? I used to joke that one would lock me in the basement, one would lock me in the attic, one would put me in a home and one would take care of me. The question is: "Which one would do which one?"

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

britney spears' hair

The view after shaving my head:

There are so many people in the news (or quasi-news) business talking about Britney Spears shaving her hair off that I have to comment.

This girl has been in the public eye for over half of her short life. She has been at the top of her game, made some miss-steps, had two children in a short period of time, gotten married, divorced - and all of it before she has had a chance to turn 25. Whew! I'm tired just typing all of that. Someone besides Rosie O'Donnell needs to give her a break.

I get what she did. I did it myself 3 years ago next month. I was at the tail-end of a breakdown that had lasted for years. Sure, I may have been 41, but I was feeling the effects of not being able to be in control of much of what was going on in my life. I sat outside, chopped off my long hair, then shaved it to 1/8" all around.
It was something that I alone COULD control. I didn't ponder it, I just did it. It was shocking, yet undeniably freeing. And my head felt VERY light! Inside and outside of my head.

It was just what I needed. It helped clear my head, it really, truly did. I felt strangely empowered and within a few months, I got part of myself back that had been missing for a long time.

I hope this young girl is able to save herself. Maybe this is just her first step.

IT'S ONLY HAIR, for christ's sake. It grows back. It grows back better, richer, shinier for having been shaved off. I, too, came back better than I had been. Spiritually richer, better in mind, shinier somehow. Out with the old, in with the new. Good luck, Britney.

Friday, November 17, 2006

An Open Letter to Senate & House Members

The past 14 have been rough on the American public. You spent way too much time and money investigating Clinton and really, all you came up with is that he lied about sex. Big deal; from the looks of things, some of you have too, and some of you have lied about much more than that.

The past 6 years have been truly the worst in my 43 years. You got us into a war (conflict?) based on lies. Too many young men and women have died for the sake of oil and Christianity. Oh yes, that’s right. I remember the president’s “Crusade on Terror.”

You have allowed fear to rule. And you have allowed us all to be stripped of our basic freedoms and hope, of all things. Nice job!! That must have taken so much out of you that 93 days of work was all you could give us.

You have all lost touch with THE PEOPLE. Remember us? The DECIDERS?
Do you REALLY want to represent us? I hope so. If you do, keep these things in mind:

This government is supposed to be FOR us, whether we are gay, white, black, Asian, Muslim, poor, rich, etc. You are NOT to cast us aside any longer for Corporate America or the Religious Right.

The playing field is NOT even. We all don’t have equal rights or chances. You have the power to fix this. Rehabilitate those in prison; it’s cheaper and better for society. Let felons vote after they’ve paid their debt in full.

The poor and middle class keep losing. No one can live on the current minimum wage. Try it for a week. Or how about Social Security? That’s not a livable wage either. Stop trying to prevent people from trying to climb out of the black hole of poverty.

Stop trying to define family and marriage. They are what we want them to be.

Increase the Social Security income cutoff. Begin free healthcare with every newborn baby and increase the age every two years.

Tax the corporations and wealthy at a higher rate. How much money does one REALLY need? Our economy would be stronger with more people being a part of it.

Stop the idiotic immigration stuff. Where the hell did YOUR families come from? Why is it that it is a huge issue when the immigrants have browner skin? Historically, this is true.

Stop acting like we aren’t smart enough to understand the issues. Apparently it is partially our own faults that you act this way. We’re truly sorry. NOW KNOCK IT OFF!!

Medicare Part D is a joke. I’d be homeless and eating out of garbage cans if I didn’t have family to live with. Medication would take over half of my meager Social Security after I surpassed my limit. MUCH more later……….We’ll be watching you all.

Fibromyalgia Sucks

Current mood: determined

Fibro sucks. Yes, it does. I hate the aches and pains in my joints, the needle-shooting pains in my feet, and most of all I am SO SICK of my left breast hurting. Who the hell is using it for a punching bag? And my doctor wants me to have another mammogram. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Not for a while, anyway.

I decided a long time ago, though, that I may have fibromyalgia, but I WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO HAVE ME!!!
I should be doing my homework.................


I really AM a Patriot
Current mood: contemplative

Here's the thing: Life is not supposed to be that hard. If life seems really difficult, it's time to step back and figure out what the hell you are doing wrong.

The only reason I know this is because I have lived for a while, and sometimes things got to be very difficult, but the older I've gotten, the more I know that while it isn't easy, we're usually the one getting in our own way.

I totally forgot, until just now, how pissed off I was about the suspension of the Colorado school teacher who actually ASKED HIS STUDENTS TO THINK!!,,11069-2072905,00.html

The schools are so busy trying to satisfy the religious right and the most worthless of all programs: No child Left Behind that they seem to forget that we are actually going to expect these kids to be productive and informed members of society.

It should come as absolutely no surprise that there are some pretty scary similarities in the way both Hitler and Bush's administrations accomplished things.

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

"Patriotism does not oblige us to acquiesce in the destruction of liberty. Patriotism obliges us to question it, at least.
--Wendy Kaminer, 2003

Question authority!

Remember: "No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots." Barbara Erdreich

Random rants

what's pissing me off right now......... Current mood: cranky

Lucky for anyone reading this, not a whole lot is pissing me off right this minute, however; these are the things that are (in no particular order):

That we have not yet impeached the president.

That the hippies of the 60's, who were so set on making and keeping our government honest, grew up, abandoned us, and now spend all their time chasing the almighty dollar.
Thanks for the apathy, folks. What a fine mess you've gotten us into.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

People who don't recycle. Really, would it kill you?

The ridiculous state of Social Security and Medicare.

The idiots who want to outlaw abortion.

The F-ing freaks who make weird laws about sexual preference and the things that people do privately in their own homes. I mean, SERIOUSLY, what kind of pervert wakes up in the morning thinking that we should outlaw that kind of stuff?

OH, now I know: The religious zealots who secretly practice what they preach against!! How very, very Christian of them.

Friday, November 03, 2006

corporate welfare

Corporate Welfare (Don’t Get Me Started)

The purpose of corporate welfare seems to be a way for corporations to rid themselves of tax burdens by basically encouraging cities and/or states to offer them incentives to locate or relocate in their area(s), leaving the unpaid tax burdens on the communities for a very long time; that includes the people that they end up hiring.
The cities and states need to offer these incentives and abatements to entice the corporations and companies to bring economic development to their particular areas. The problem is that someone will have to pick up the tab for any of these bribes in both the short and long run, and it falls on the individuals in those communities, and they are generally those who can least afford the extra expenses, and most likely would not be allowed to draw any type of personal welfare, even with the additional tax load put upon them by a business.
It seems that our government has lost its collective mind to pay multi-million-

dollar companies to do the very things the companies are in business to do, or that the government has done itself. In the case of Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, the government closed the facility, and then ended up offering almost 400 million dollars, between city, state, and federal governments, to re-open it for pretty much the same duties it had. In the past two years, they have added a 1 billion dollar incentive that is to create 6,000 more jobs, at a cost of 166,666 dollars per.
I realize that locating or relocating of some of the businesses would be beneficial to both the companies and the areas they move into, however; according to our “free market” system, the move would benefit both without gross misuse of tax cuts and dollars from anyone. That also means that big business gets the welfare and small businesses and individuals get the shaft.
My guess is that government, whether they are local, state, or federal, are uninterested in the welfare of people, it is only interest in the bottom-line for corporations. In my lifetime, we have had wars on poverty, drugs, and terrorism-all established by the government and they have all done nothing to abate or end the problems; they only cause them to become worse.
Corporate welfare is unfair. It is unfair, but I have learned that life is unfair. We have over 1 million homeless in our country. We allow laws to be passed that put or keep non-violent people in prison for years or the rest of their lives without giving them any reason to have any self-respect, most of them poor minorities. The rich keep getting richer in the U.S. and that’s the way they like it, whether it is their corporation, or themselves, anyone else be damned.
If we insisted that our government spend the money on actual solutions for our poor, disadvantaged, and minorities instead of pork-barrel spending that seems to only perpetuate the problem in many communities, we may get somewhere, but that would entail making new laws that actually prevented government officials from taking money from the companies or their interest groups. That is where the biggest problem stems from. When we learn that we must first take care of people before business, we may get somewhere.