Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The start of the garden

Well, here is the start of me growing tomatoes (and other lovely produce). My hubby was supposed to take a picture of the before, but he told me later he couldn't find the camera and then got distracted and forgot. I thought he took the picture and was only slightly peeved. But anyway, this little plot of land was covered in weeds and had no border. Now it is mostly free of weeds and mostly bordered up. I hit grass at the end and that stuff is a bear to tear out. I am hoping to get more done this weekend. Yipee! There is nothing tastier than a homegrown tomato with a little salt. Just eat it like an apple. YUM.

Friday, February 19, 2010

extra things not on the list

I would also like to take pride in some tasks I actually accomplish that aren't on the list. The list is really mostly motivational. It is super easy to get caught up in the whole working mother thing and not do anything else. I am not sure I am even doing working or mothering that well on many days. Therefore I feel pretty good when I get something done.

Here is a painting I painted myself. I wanted something for one of the walls in the house and I tend to prefer my decor to have a sense of humor. It is a copy of a t-shirt I liked called something like, "Nothing Rhymes With Orange". See if you get it. It makes me go ha ha.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear Political Type Person

Well, I wrote my letter to a politician. In fact, I decided to send the letter to my representative, my state senators and the president. I will include the letter below. Try not to vomit when you see how much we spent on healthcare last year (can you guess what the "something I care about" is?). I urge you all to do the same. I feel empowered.

Mr. President:

I am writing this letter because I am deeply concerned about healthcare reform. You see, I am one of those people that falls in the middle and I fear I will be left out. I am middle class. My husband and I are 36 and both work, but I work for a small company that does not provide insurance and my husband is self-employed. We have two children under the age of four. We pay $736 each month for insurance. It is breaking us to pay that amount and we have had to split up our policies so that my husband and our daughters are on a lower deductible policy and I am on a higher deductible policy that offers maternity coverage in case I become pregnant again. Our insurance would be a little more affordable or the deductible could be less, but affordable, low deductible policies do not offer maternity coverage (a fact that I find appalling). We are trying to be responsible citizens by paying for health insurance.

The problem is, because we pay for health insurance, we cannot afford to pay for healthcare. Last year, between paying bills from the birth of my youngest and an unexpected hospital stay when she was 2 weeks old, coupled with regular medical expenses, we hit our maximum out of pocket. That amount added to medical expenses not covered by our insurance, such as eye care and dentistry cost us over $11,000 over our monthly premiums. We live paycheck to paycheck. That means our medical bills become credit card debt. And now with the shaky economy and my husband’s business suffering, that debt is not getting paid back. Now we are at the start of a new year and new deductibles and I am very afraid.

Healthcare reform is not going to help me or my family by making sure we have insurance. We are relatively healthy and are insurable. We aren’t at the bottom of the financial barrel (although we are starting to feel like it), so I don’t believe we will be subsidized. We need lower premiums and reduced healthcare costs to survive. I live in fear of every letter that comes from my insurance company that my premiums will have increased again- last time it was an increase of $150 per month. Most families don’t have that kind of money to play with. Every dollar has its place and we are not making more money. We are making less. Why are the insurance companies getting more? We need a lower deductible. We need to have more affordable coverage so that I can also afford dental insurance for my family because we now only go the dentist in the event we have something wrong instead of having preventative care. I shouldn’t have to spend anytime playing out the pros and cons of my or my family’s health against the cost of medical care.

I am scared that healthcare will reform will not happen at all, but I am almost more frightened that it will pass but I will still be in the same boat.

Please don’t forget those of us in the middle. We are insurable. We have insurance and we pay our premiums, but we can’t afford them and we can’t afford to go to the doctor.



Casie Waller Tabanou

States and Capitals

Still working on it. Actually spent a decent amount of time quizzing myself this weekend and I am doing much better. Close...very close.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thith Ith Hard

Thith Ith Hard

(imagine the lisp...it makes it more funny...get it?)

So, I can check origami off of my list. My total sweetie of a best friend came to spend the night with me and as a gift with purchase, she brought an origami kit. Ooohhh, Aaaah. The box was filled with brightly colored squares (including some labeled as fancy foil!). My four year-old couldn't wait to tear into it. We were excited. We thought origami would be conquered easily. We were wrong. Here is an example of the directions. Let me preface this by saying that the directions start after you are supposed to have accomplised basic fold 1. Basic fold 1 was created by evil monks in Tibet or something that are laughing at the stupid American girls who will spend an entire night trying to figure out something that is called basic but has about 12 steps.

Of course these directions are for the very advanced crane (to be conquered later in this blog), but you get the idea.

I started with a car. It seemed cool and easy. I was wrong. I think it took me 30 minutes and many do-overs to get this:

Then I tried to do a sailboat cuz the best friend figured that out about the same time as I got the car working.

This is sort of sad sailboat, because the paper ripped out of sympathy because I think I nearly had an aneurism trying to figure it out.

Then I tried the parrot.

Mr. Parrot did not make me want to die as much and I think he turned out really cute. But Mr. Parrot could in no way have prepared me for... THE CRANE.

You know how in movies, you will see some angsty teen or a prisoner or something and they will show the passage of time by all the origami cranes they made. These people who make lots of origami cranes are crazy people. Origami cranes are on par with water torture. If they want the terrorists to talk, they should force them to figure out how to make origami cranes. When one has completed an origami crane, one has a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. But I assure you that this is a feeling you will never want to have more than once.

The thing that I find most interesting about my origami experience is that I thought I would make some origami, and then I would know how to make origami. I couldn't even have told you what I did while I was doing it. Sometimes I would just keep folding the paper until it looked right and then Ali would say, "How did you do that?" and I would scream, "I DON'T KNOW!" Origami is indeed an art. I may try again. I still have a box filled with fancy foil paper, but I need a break. I think origami might be like math. And although I don't want to perpetuate any ideas about girls and math, I am happy to perpetuate the absolute truth that my brain and math are vineagar and water. Thith ith hard.