Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Grass Grows Under Their Feet

It is just like them. I thought that I would have one of my three aunts give me their impressions of my mother and of her other two sisters. I have called each of them today. All I get are their answering machines. My aunts are on the dark side of eighty. (The picture have posted is several years old.) They are active, engaged, and need social secretaries. They have the common and sometimes the not so common challenges of aging, but they keep moving.
Each of them kept moving through their lives powered by their own passions,while following their callings. Let me explain.
Mary, my mom, was a full-time homemaker and mother of six children. Don't yawn! She touched every heart and soul she met. She filled every stomach. She taught me how to: devour a book, cook, entertain, and bake. She introduced me to Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddie, Lerner and Lowe musicals, 10 p.m. Saturday Night movies and so much more. There are several blogs planned focusing on Mary. My mom has left this earth, but her presence always is with us.
Janet, my aunt,the oldest sister,and my godmother is a wonder. Her story is amazing and demonstrates the strength of women. She expanded my life through travel. Gave me an excuse to laugh more and to find fun. She always allowed my true self to be present (that will be an entire blog). Her passions continue to be family,service and travel. Her strengths include tenacity and independence.
Cecilia, my aunt, the youngest sister is the musician. So aptly named, her passion is singing.Her musical accomplishments endless. She gathers strength from her religion. She taught me what learning how playing an instrument can do for one's life. She encouraged my singing.
Lillian, my aunt, and a religious sister, more years than she allows me to print. Her gift of service to God is enhanced by her faith, intelligence, tenacity, and faithfulness. She has been my faith touchstone. She taught me how to reinvent myself.
There are stories to tell about these women. This blog is to honor them during Women's History March 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women's History Month 2010

Decades have passed and even though I praised these women and honored them often, it is time to place them in cyberspace. These four women are remarkable. They are sisters born before World War II of an industrious immigrant mother. Each followed a path different within the confines of the society that they were living. Yet, each were able to break the mold expected of them. Each were able to strike out and make their own imprint in the lives of their children, friends, and communities.
So during this Women's History Month, I would like to blog about what I learned from each of them. Follow me as I tell you about my observations as seen through the eyes of someone growing up watching ordinary women living extraordinary lives.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Who's health care bill is it?

Yes, I understand that National Security is important. I do believe that unemployment is first and foremost on every one's mind. We still have to keep an eye on the banks and the movers and shakers on Wall Street. But, today as I was eating my oatmeal and perusing the Wall Street Journal (that I acquired through my sky miles points because I don't fly airlines that charge for baggage), I found part of the current American malaise. We see only ourselves. We don't see the collect whole. We are Iowans, Californians, South Dakotans, Utahns, New Yorkers, etc. Our representatives in D.C. only think about their state. In large states, only their districts and what is really good for their district so they can get something done for their district so they can be re-elected. "We the People" has vaporized into some mythical enigma that was created by the founding fathers that we only refer to when we feel the need.
Who are we kidding? The headline on page 4A of The Wall Street Journalstates "Health-Care View Hurt Dorgan's Bid." The article goes on to state polls talking about conservatives and liberals. It is "them and us" speak. We are no longer looked as a collective that want good for ourselves, our neighbors, and future generation, but what we want now. We are not thinking about the future. We are not walking in our neighbors shoes. We are either for an issue or against. Compromise is never discussed in the written media, on the radio waves or viewing media. Whatever happened to balanced journalism?
Hey, I am not done yet, but you can stop reading if you like.
On the same page, there is a picture taking up about a sixteenth of the page of Karen Ignagni,president,American Health Insurance Plans. The headline states "Battle Over 'Exchanges' Regulator- Health Insures Seek State Oversight;House Democrats Prefer Federal Government." Now before you get you knickers in a bunch about governmental control. Let me remind you about he airlines, the phone companies, and the banks, all companies who once had tight regulations and then had then relaxed or taken away.
But let's get back to the picture. They show this petite woman fighting for insurance companies to have the state's make decisions about insurance regulation. The article stated that "more than 170 House Democrats joined a conference call with Ms. Pelosi" about this issue. (Take note who is working through the holiday.)
Once again, its about them and us. the state against the federal government. Did anyone ever consider that they are one and the same. We the people vote for both the state officials and federal officials. To simply put the American people haven't figure it out yet, but we truly are the government. We need to let those elected officials know it. We have the control to tell them what we want done. Not the insurance companies and their lobbyists. We know what kind of insurance we need. We know what we want to pick.
We must be vigilant and pay attention to what is happening. Just don't watch one TV station, listen to one radio station, read one newspaper, if you want change you need to work at it! Read and listen to mulitple news options. Try the PBS stations they have multiple balanced broadcasting like in the old days when journalism was balanced.
You are the only one who really has the power and control. It is not enough for you to write about your complaints to your representatives in D.C. You must talk about it with your family and friends. Tell them who to write to or even give them phone numbers or emails. We the people have to band together to make the change happen not only in the polling booths, but on ever important legislative issue out there.
So, my friends start changing how Congress works one district at a time. Email, call, or write, but make you position known.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is anyone paying attention to your healthcare "benefits?"

It is my 63rd birthday and while I was showing off pictures of my beautiful granddaughter, the charming and industrious technician giving me a pedicure was asking me about my technological savvy. "Do you text? Do you Skype? Do you email? Do you send photos with your phone? Do you have a Facebook account?"
My answer was yes to all her questions and then I added, "I even do automatic bill pay!"
She then asked me, "Do you blog?"
Meekly I replied, "No,"
"Someone as technologically gifted as you doesn't blog!" It was at that moment I made up my mind. I will begin blogging today. It is my birthday. A beginning of a new year. I have been totally frustrated with my fellow Americans for the past six months for not speaking up on so many issues that I am taking the plunge and going out into cyberspace to see if there are any American citizens that are as mad as I am.
You see the Congress of the United States is treating its constituency as non-entities. They don't see us a real people with real issues. How many of you have had your insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays been raised,not to mention your medication list shorten this year? I am not talking about medicare. I am talking about the Americans who have healthcare benefits through their employers or buy it themselves. Do you still have dental benefits,healthcare savings plans, just to name a few?
Okay? Now how many of you have had an emergency surgery in the past six months, in a car accident, need specialized eye treatment, needed medication that your insurance provider does not cover? Insurance is great until you need it. Right!
Have you told your representative in Congress and your senators what the price of your insurance is for your family, your child in college who is no longer covered? Do you know what your representative and senator pay for their insurance premiums? Before you think you are having something taking away from you if we have a national healthcare program, check out what is happening to what you do have.
For those of you who don't have benefits, go to the library and get on the internet and write to your representatives and tell them what your life is like without healthcare. Advocates for the undercover and non-covered get them them computers and form letters. Congress needs to hear from the people. Healthcare providers don't stay out of this diaalogue, join in and help your patients.