Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bacon and the end of summer.

Matthew was making bacon this morning, and held out a spatula with a piece for me, right out of the pan, and instead of getting a plate I picked it up barehanded. I have blisters on my thumb and a finger. You can guess what my vegetarian daughter had to say about THAT.
We have been winding down our summer, getting in field trips and trips to the lake with friends. Of course, as long as weather holds, I plan to keep doing that after school starts, when the kids have finished their work. Incentive!
Tomorrow I get the joy of taking the kids to the Department of Licensing with me. Why? Because they are not open on weekends. My birthday is Thursday, so I need to get it done.
I have plans for Thursday, since it is a first Thursday. Seattle Asian Art Museum, Greenhouses, supper at Thai Heaven, Sci-Fi Museum. And, of course, cake.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lutheran jokes

Children in a grade school class were encouraged to bring something to school for show and tell to teach others in the class about their religion. A Catholic child brought a rosary, and explained how it was used to pray. Everyone was very interested. A Jewish child brought a menorah, and explained the Festival of Lights, and Passover, and the class was fascinated.
The Lutheran child brought a casserole.

Lutheran Air Lines
If you are traveling soon, consider Lutheran Air, the no-frills airline. You’re all in the same boat on Lutheran Air, where flying is an uplifting experience. There is no first class on any Lutheran Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows 1-6, bring rolls; 7-15, bring a salad; 16-21, a main dish, and 22-30, a dessert. Basses and tenors please sit in the rear of the aircraft.
Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by freewill offering and the plane will not land until the budget is met. Pay attention to your flight attendant, who will acquaint you with the safety system aboard this Lutheran Air 599.
“Okay then, listen up: I’m only gonna say this once. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly going to be real surprised and so will Captain Olson because we fly right around 2000 feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably indicate the Second Coming or something of that nature, and I wouldn’t bother with those little masks on the rubber tubes. You’re gonna have bigger things to worry about than that!Just stuff those back up in their little holes. Probably the masks fell out because of turbulence which, to be honest with you, we’re going to have quite a bit of at 2000 feet … sort of like driving across a plowed field, but after a while you get used to it. In the event of a water landing, I’d say forget it. Start saying the Lord’s Prayer and just hope you get to the part about forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, which some people say “trespass against us,” which isn’t right, but what can you do? The use of cell phones on the plane is strictly forbidden, not because they may interfere with the plane’s navigational system, which is seat of the pants all the way. No, it’s because cell phones are a pain in the wazoo, and if God meant you to use a cell phone, He would have put your mouth on the side of your head.
We’re going to start lunch right about noon and it’s buffet style with the coffee pot up front. Then we’ll have the hymn sing; hymnals in the seat pocket in front of you. Don’t take yours with you when you go or I am going to be real upset and I am not kidding! Right now I’ll say Grace. “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and let these gifts to us be blest. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may we land in Duluth or pretty close. Amen.’”

Four clergymen met regularly for a weekly breakfast. After a long while they thought they knew each other well enough to confess to each other their most worrisome transgressions. The first pastor told the other 3 he had a problem with alcohol. His problem was so bad that his congregation began to whisper about it - which caused is wife to be embarrassed and ashamed. The second pastor told the others that he had a gambling problem. He was so far in debt that his children may not be able to attend college. And that made his whole family very angry. The third pastor sheepishly admitted an addiction to pornography. He told the others that he surfed the net looking for photos of acts that he and his wife may perform together. When he showed a particular picture to his wife she was immediately offended and became quite upset. The fourth and final pastor hemmed and hawed, making excuses and asked to be exempted from the confession table. The other 3 were indignant. “We confessed to you, now you have to confess to us!” they all demanded, in unison. After unusually strong words and strident remarks, the fourth pastor agreed to confess. “My greatest fault,” he said, “is gossip!”

How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Lutherans don’t like change.

you know you’re Lutheran when…
…you hear “May the force be with you” on Star Wars and cannot help but reply, “And also with you.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reality check

Today, with nothing more pressing on my docket, I decided to cycle to library. Piece of cake, right. I used to cycle twice that distance, to and from work, every day.
13 years and a few pregnancies ago.
Yeah, it kicked my ass.
All this means is I have more to reach for. I WILL do it again, as much as weather allows.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care Reform Reality Check

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage
Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick. Learn more and get details: 8 common myths about health insurance reform
Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make. Learn more and get details: 8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now
Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market – were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more:
Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job. Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more:
Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more:
Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more:
Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more:
The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more:
Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more:
The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform. Learn more:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Doing something right

Because sometimes they give you indications.

last week Matthew was talking about his upcoming week. When he got to Sunday he said. " Only three more days til Sunday! I love Sundays! I love church!"
Olivia has taken to eating lightly boiled green beans. As a snack.
And Andrew- he is a crazy boy, but so full of love and empathy. He has taken to writing random people notes during church that say "God loves you and I do to." ( sic). Sweet boy.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Easiest Crochet Shawl recipe

Originally uploaded by gojirama aka romanylass
My first attempt to actually type up something I made up!
NB: This pattern is free, as I think all information should be.Yarn: JoAnne's sensations Boucle or any similar weight boucle.
Gauge is not important for this project.
N hook.
Crochet a loose chain this is the length of your wingspan, in mutliples of 9. PM and turn chain. Chain 13 and slip stich in 8th stich from chain. Do this all the way long the length of the chain. You can remove marker now. If you miscount a little, don't worry! This "recipe" is very forgiving and you can fudge it a little!
Next row and all other rows; slip stich down the edge of the end loop to the middle chain (7th)slip stich, chain 13, slip stich in 7th chain of next loop, continue to end. Turn and repeat. You should end up decreasing by one loop each row-continue until you are making only one loop. Cut yarn approx 3 inches from shawl. For the fringe, cut 3 6 inch lengths for each loop. Use crochet hook to attach 3 to each loop. This look great in a contrast yarn! Enjoy, and don't be shy about commenting!