February 21, 2012

V-day, Airplanes and the 1st Amendment

Hope you all had a nice Valentines Day.

I had a pretty low key one. Which was just fine by me.

I did get a nice surprise at work from PB. Look at these beauties........
Totally unexpected! They are gorgeous, smell good and are pretty to look at. And yes, that is how my desk looks every day.

I got PB his favorite smelling candle from Bath and Body Works. It's one of the large ones, so I got one of those cool silver holders to put it in. He liked it a lot!

Tomorrow I leave on an airplane. I am flying to Phoenix. I have not been on an airplane in almost 13 years. Ugh. Not looking forward to it. But, I must go. My Grandpa is pretty sick, and he is getting up there in age.

In order to get a cheap flight, I am going to bounce around the West Coast like a Mexican Jumping Bean. 2 airplanes there, 2 airplanes back. Ironically, I have a layover in Las Vegas. Why is that ironic? Well, I have always wanted to go to Sin City. Just not like this. And, not to be stuck at the airport for 90 minutes.

I am not a good passenger. In a car, on a motorcycle, on a plane. Once we are in the air I am fine. Unless............ there is turbulence. Then you all better back the fuck away. The deep breathing starts, the silent tears run down my cheeks, I begin muttering to myself and cursing my fear of heights. Awesome.

Will be offline for a few days. I know you will miss me and all, just try to keep it together ok?

I have saved the best for last. Just like Vanessa Williams sang about......... you know that song is going to be stuck in your head now!!!

Guess who found my humble little blog? Wait for it......... none other than HeeHaw! Who, to no one's surprise, doesn't like the way he is "represented" on here. Well, here is what I have to say about that.

This is the GREAT United States Of America. Land of the free, home of the brave. We have this great thing, founded MANY a moon ago called the 1st Amendment. Loosely translated: the freedom of speech. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances

Here is what I have to say about it: If you don't like what I have to say, what I have typed and what I have put out there in cyberspace for others to enjoy, DON'T READ MY BLOG. You aren't hurting my feelings.

I will not apologize for what is said here. I am not hear to make sure YOUR feelings aren't hurt. I don't have to worry about what I say here, how it looks, how it sounds or how it feels. Cause this little blog? It's ALL ABOUT ME.

February 16, 2012

Another Bonehead Move

Well if HeeHaw was writing the story, the title of the post would be "Where I put my financial needs before my children's health"......... Ugh.

I know you are ready for the latest installment of "What bonehead move can we make today". Fasten your seat belt and away we go!

Last weekend, Doodle was experiencing some intense dental pain. She told me a certain tooth was bothering here. Not sure if a molar was growing in or not, I gave her some Children's Motrin and decided to wait another day or so to see what happened.

Turns out, the pain intensified, so I made an emergency appointment with her dentist. When he came out to talk to me after examining Doodle, the news was not good. She either needed a root canal, or the tooth could be pulled. Man. The dentist gave us a referral for the Endodontist. After giving us a prescription for Penicillin to reduce the swelling the infection is causing.

I put in a call to schedule the procedure. HeeHaw has health/dental insurance, so I gave the endodontist this info so they could research the out of pocket cost. They tell me it will $357 after all is said and done. That figure is after insurance......... if you didn't have insurance that would go up to $1220. Wowzers.

So what am I supposed to do next. Call or "email" HeeHaw and LL. An email is drafted, including the cost with and without insurance, when the appointment is for, and all about the meds she is now on. I fill Doodle in on when her appointment will be, and what the procedure means. I let both HeeHaw and LL know that I can go ahead and pay the full cost and they can pay me back their portion in 30 days.

Wouldn't you know, I get a call from HeeHaw later that day. He is starting a new job ina few days, and after talking to his friend who works for the new company, HeeHaw has decided to put off Doodle's procedure because he is CERTAIN it will cost less.

He goes on to explain that he has talked to Doodle, and she isn't in THAT MUCH pain, so she is willing to wait another week to 10 days to have her root canal done. What? OMG. I do a little freak out. Not going to lie. I explain to HeeHaw that there is NO WAY he can be certain of what his new dental plan will cover....... oh wait. Yes I can. Thanks to a little detective work from CHB, we found the employee info on health and dental plans from the place where HeeHaw will start his job.

Guess what? The plan is the VERY SAME as the one we have right now. I even called the endodontist to ask if they had experience with this insurance plan, and wouldn't you know? They had a copy of the coverage plan right there......... again. SAME PLAN. SAME COVERAGE. SAME DEDUCTIBLE.

So I call HeeHaw back to let him know. HeeHaw and LL are content with waiting until they are for sure what the coverage will be.

Meantime, Doodle will run out of meds in the next 72 hours. I think the pain has gone away because the infection is receeding and the swelling has gone down. Well, as soon as she comes off those meds, there is a chance that the infection and swelling will come back, causing even MORE pain than she has now, or had within the last week. 

Several issues present themselves with this:

1. In order to save a buck back in October, HeeHaw asked me to wait to get Doodle's filling taken care of because he was going to be starting a new job. This would be in the SAME tooth than now requires a root canal. At age 12.

2. Why do I continue to let HeeHaw push me around when it comes to monetary issues? Everyone knows I do it, I know I do it........ but why? It's not like I EVER expect to be paid back.

3. How is it that HeeHaw and LL are so comfortable risking the safety and health of MY children? Doesn't that seem a bit off to you? LL wants so desperately to be "mom"....... isn't this something a "mom" would take care of? Beating HeeHaw over the head with his own stupidity?

Now we have to wait. HeeHaw asked me to wait until Monday to see what the coverage was. I can't wait to say "I told you so" when I find out I'm right....... Jackass.

February 9, 2012

WA State Senate Bill 6239 about Gay Marriage


Over the weekend the above picture was circling around Facebook. Did you see it?

This has been quite the hot topic for my little 'ol home state of Washington in the past month or so, as Senate Bill 6239 (read more about it here) is being presented to the Governor this week.

See this article in the Washington Post for more information.

The run down on the bill is this: taken directly from the wording on the SB6239:

It is the intent of this act to end discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation in Washington, to ensure that all persons in this state may enjoy the freedom to marry on equal terms, while also respecting the religious freedom of clergy and religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies and to determine which marriages to recognize for religious purposes.

CHB's stepdaughter, ALG, posted the above picture with the caption "I could not have said it better myself". Several people commented on the picture, including myself, CHB, and aunt and Grandma to ALG.

The discussion was intense, thought provoking, emotionally probing and exhilarating. There were some very passionate comments, some interesting questions and issues raised.

Until the bottom fell out and all hell broke loose. ALG's Grandma (BT) (bible thumper) and Aunt (HTT) (holier than thou) (I know, not nice names but hey, this is MY blog so there) got involved. 

BT and HTT girded their loins, lifted the hem of their dresses, grabbed their microphones and bibles and stepped right on to their soap boxes. By the way the "discussion" was going, I knew this was coming. What I did not expect was the emotions that this debate churned up for me.

See, CHB has another stepdaughter. KS. KS decided a few years back to go through the change and become a man. So she is now a HE. And BT and HTT refuse to recognize this LEGAL, BINDING change.

Now, KS did not ASK me to defend HIM. I just felt compelled to say something. And I did. Well, that started a torrent of even holier posts, as well as slamming those of us who didn't agree with BT and HTT. Facebook and email tirades started flowing like water from a broken fire hydrant. Fast, furious and with incredible pressure. Making an incredible mess in it's wake.

I have personally struggled with this issue for many years. When HeeHaw and I got married, I converted to Christianity. We went to church, took our children to Vacation Bible School and prayed over most meals. As my marriage started to crumble, and consequently I got older, I started to question some of the beliefs of the faith I adopted.

I had always had issue with the blatant intolerance of HeeHaw towards homosexuals. I often wondered why being gay/lesbian was SO offensive to the religious community. I had never experienced in my life a homosexual telling a heterosexual that they must agree with their lifestyle, endorse it, or even like it. I often heard what equalled racial slander towards homosexuals not only from HeeHaw but from the more vocal members of the church. Always said with intolerance, hatred and nonacceptance.

So, while I practiced Christianity, or tried to, while I was married, I secretly was angered by the injustice of this faith. Well, once I was divorced, I took a hard look at myself, what I stood for, and what I believed.

Today, I am at a place that while I still believe in a higher power, I simply can not get behind organized religion. The all or nothing of most religions angers me. Now I know that most people I have talked to from the religious community are fine members of society. They don't try and argue with you when they disagree. You can have a rational, intelligent conversation about your fundamental differences.

And then there are the "others". You know who I am talking about. The ones who want to shove the Bible down your throat. Preach at you for your shortcomings and sins. Quote verse after verse about how society is backwards and the ONLY way to Heaven is through the church.

But.......... I digress. Back to the issue at hand. This "debate" on Facebook really has my panties in a bunch, for several reasons.

1. Why it was ok for BT and HTT to voice their opinions, but when anybody voiced opposition to that, WE were called the intolerant ones?

2. Is MARRIAGE really a biblical term? According to www.dictionary.com here is how marriage is described:

mar·riage   
noun

1. a. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. Antonyms: separation.

b. a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage. Antonyms: separation.

2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage. Synonyms: matrimony. Antonyms: single life, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, singleness; separation.

3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage. Synonyms: nuptials, marriage ceremony, wedding. Antonyms: divorce, annulment.

4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.

5. any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song. Synonyms: blend, merger, unity, oneness; alliance, confederation. Antonyms: separation, division, disunion, schism.

3. Why is it ok  for family to bully us, and we have to accept it?
 
4. When you post something on Facebook, can you be held accountable for what OTHER people post as comments?
 
If the religious community actually took the time to READ this bill, I think they would see that WA State is not trying to CHANGE their beliefs. WA State is asking that the gay and lesbian community be given the same LEGAL rights under the law that a man/woman marriage has.
 
If, as BT and HTT are saying, they don't want us to use the word "marriage" then I am sure we can use the word civil union. Because really? Who cares what you call it? Doesn't every American have the right to love who they want? Be loved in return? Celebrate that love?
 
If you replace "gay rights" in any sentence you could easily put us back 50-100 years. Replace it with African American, Women Business Owners, Bi-racial marriage, Women's right to vote..........
 
The Bible, as I'm told it was written, was from God's word. There are a lot of good things in there: love thy neighbor, be honest, be faithful, help your fellow man. But there are a a lot of things written in there that are not extremely relevant to today's world. Men having multiple wives. Women being put to death for cheating. Spare the rod, spoil the child. An eye for an eye. (How many murderers do you know that get LIFE In prison instead of being executed for their crime?)
 
Doesn't the bible also say that the ultimate judge is God himself? And when you stand in front of him on Judgement Day, if he had issues with how you lived your life you wouldn't be granted access to Heaven. If this is the case, who are WE to tell someone else what to do, how to live or who to love? Shouldn't we take care of ourselves, do what we believe is right and be judged by who WE ARE and what WE HAVE DONE?
 
I wholeheartedly support Gay Marriage. I don't think that we have the right to tell people who they can and can't love. Period. You know that if I told a woman she COULDN'T love a man, that would start another holy war! By allowing gay marriage I just don't see how that "offends" the religious community. If you don't like, you don't have to support it. You don't have to love it. You don't have to perform the ceremonies in your church. So what are you complaining about? Seriously. If you don't like it, go live in another county/state/country.
 
I welcome your comments, as always! I would love to learn more about this Senate Bill, and if I have misinterpreted it. However, if I have offended you, don't ask me to apologize.

February 3, 2012

Positive Thinking or Divine Intervention?

I am not one of those uber positive thinkers. I will admit it.

Most of the time I am an optimist, but not so over the top that I can't see reality still. Does that even make sense? Just nod and pretend like you understand what I am saying mmmk?

We, PB and I, having been waiting for S-E-V-E-R-A-L months to get word that he was not only qualified for, but accepted in to the latest experimental treatment at the cancer center.

PB is WAY more patient than I have been. I hate seeing him in pain, and as we visibly see the tumors getting bigger, it can be hard for me to bite my tongue, because all I really want to do is SCREAM out in frustration.

Every month PB faithfully goes to the doctor. Sits there, gets poked, prodded and asked 5 thousand questions. Every month he gets scanned to see how his tumors are doing. And every month the doctors keep saying soon. Soon.

I am beginning to hate that word.

So 3 weeks ago, we got the news we have been waiting for.......... PB was approved for the study! Oh, can you even imagine his elation, let alone mine? We were on Cloud 9 folks. It was awesome.

And then the bottom fell out. A week ago. Ugh.

PB was told that in the beginning that there was only 75 spots open for this experimental program. No worries. He was one of the lucky 75. And then a week ago was told that not only was there someone else who was sicker than he was and might get in to the study instead of PB, but now there was another issue as well.

What? Are you kidding me?

PB and I have spent the last week in agony. He more so than I. This is his LIFE we are talking about here.

Now, like I previously mentioned: I am not an overtly positive thinker.

But this week? Anytime this subject came up I was practically exuding positive waves of energy. I refused to believe they would not have PB as part of the study.

Yesterday? We got the call from the doctor we have been waiting for.

HE GOT IN!!! OHMIGODYES!!!!

He starts in 2 weeks. Huge sigh of relief.

Can't wait.