June 28, 2008

On Pain of Health Care

I understand all about pain. All over pain and specific. Last year, I gave up and went to an Apple computer to see if the smaller keyboard would help. What a waste of time that is.... I love the Apple because it is so portable and small but it does not help with the pain. I know I don't have arthritis because of the many visits to the rheumatology doctors. But good grief....the less I type, the more it hurts. This time off with no regular typing is making me far more sensitive to the pain I feel in my right palm. And that's new. The good news is that I am getting the rest I have needed for such a very long time. I am debating with myself on whether I need to go back to work full time or if a part time job would be good enough to handle the expenses and health concerns. I really should have a sign made up...Will Work for Health Care. What will happen, I wonder, if we get universal health coverage? Will employment figures go up? Or will they decline as people realize they don't have to make themselves sick with employers who don't believe that a worker could possibily be in such pain that working is a daily challenge? Personally, I think universal health care would free us up to be more involved in what we want to do -- rather than what we need to do. But that's probably an idealistic view because no matter what health care, we all need the money for essentials. Food for woman and beasties gets more expensive with the cost of transportation, gas gets more expensive due to government malfeasance and incompetence in following through on Energy Independence started by the Department of Energy back in the late 70's and early 80's. And with energy continually rising, everything else becomes more expensive. Back yard mower companies I use have a surcharge on their services to pay for the gas they need to work. And I cannot begrudge that at all. Meanwhile, employers are cutting back on the people they have on staff because they want to cut back on high health costs. Which is what I believe ultimately put a lot of us old timers at my former firm out of a job. Downsizing due to economic reasons....bah, humbug. It was simply a really good excuse to get rid of secretaries over 40 who used health care and who were dedicated to the firm. The two most untalked about issues in the current election are these ... health care and energy. Lots of lip service but no real gut understanding that the decisions made by law makers insulated by their own health care will never understand. And energy decisions cut off at the beginning of implementation by Presidents from Ronald Reagan to the present who make deals but are blinded by the soothsayers in Wall Street and the Fed who say limiting the possibility of energy cartels and companies to make a profit will cause a downturn for investors. If the government is for the people...just who are those people? Investors or voters? It is just a puzzlement to me.

June 13, 2008

On Matters of ...

Faith is expensive here in Northern Virginia. Building Funds, prayer book fees, temple security fees, not to mention religious school fees. Nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, don't get sick. You might be charged for a visit from the members on the Sick Committee. I mention this because for the first time in 20 years, we as a family are free to wander away from our first temple. Our children are out of religious school and their friends scattered to the four winds. So we decided to look around and check out options nearer to home. Gas is at such a high price that it just makes sense to worship closer to home. But at the prices I am seeing? It is a hummer. I just don't know whether it makes fiscal sense. The price of gas will not be going up enough to balance the cost of an 800.00 building fee for new members. There are no special discounts in membership for single parents or for singles who are over 29 at all. I will keeping looking but as I said earlier, faith (at least organized) is expensive here in Northern Virginia.

June 8, 2008


Those of you who read these pages -- you know who you are -- understand that I live for rescue. I drive 30 to 60 miles each weekend getting to and from the Friends of Homeless Animals Shelter and the cattery I love. Each time I drive out, I think about things. Life, work, not work, cats and death. I can't help thinking about death because the side roads are littered with dead deer, racoons, skunk, squirrel, crows and turtles that get hit. The untold toll of hit-and-run accidents with wildlife is huge. And this weekend, in particular, I thought to myself about the trade offs of life. The fact I can get around so much is due in no small part to inventors like Henry Ford. But there are trade offs to being mobil. The dead animals are one part. The soldiers who died for the gas in my tank is another part. The environment is a third part. The cost of being mobil is not cheap. Gas in my area is over $4.05 for regular. Daunting. The prices have cut into the number of people who come out to the shelter to see the cats or who come out to volunteer. Trade-Offs. Eastern philosophy calls it ying and yang. Male and female energy. Medieval philosophers likened it to the wheel. You are up and you are down. Personally, I prefer the Buddhist analogy which is short, sweet and easy to understand..."life is a bumpy road." To which I would add, the view of the world from the top of the bump as you gasp for breathe is worth the sore behind. But that's just my view and if I could, I would figure out a way to save all the animals who didn't ask to be bumped by progress, environmental pressures, and cars. May all beings be blessed....

June 4, 2008

Ah, Mrs. Malaprop

I finally had to break down and ask my go-to word person if there is a word to describe what happens when I use a word that sounds like the word I meant to say but means something radically different. Relief is spelled malaprop.

Fiddler on the Roof -- or in my case -- Floor

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free;Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.-Chuang Tsu
Monk in the City
This is today's reading from Buddhist Wisdom. Completely on point for me with signing my severance papers and looking at the empty spaces in my life at home. The experts say to always have a hobby to prepare for retirement. I have several but no money to fund my life, my cats, my rental unit, my gas, etc. It is a challenge but reading the quote above reminds me that like a fiddler on the roof it is all in the balance at the still point.