Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Simple

I like the rain and it's back! We live in a convergence zone so the clouds blow by quickly. The sun bursts through and then is gone again. I can look out the windows and see sunshine with rain drops falling sideways because of the wind. I don't mind being out in it because most of the time it's the lightest rain. I find it enjoyable. It just washes away all the muck and the dirt even makes the air seem cleaner. The rain smells good. I love to lie in bed at night with the window open and listen to it falling.

It's back and it makes me happy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

For Those of Us Without

Hi, my name is Jamie, and I am uninsured.

Oh, wait...this blog spot is not anonymous. But it feels like being uninsured is a nasty, dirty, little secret to be kept mum about, just like alcoholism, drug addiction, or gambling. That it is something one should only talk about in a small anonymous group of people. Grown people act shocked when they hear this news. Parents scold. People question.

Are you serious? Have you checked the cost of private insurance lately? How about Cobra coverage, it's more than I pay out in rent each month, for fucks sake. How is anyone who is working for a business that does not provide health insurance able to afford it? I am currently a waitress who is paying for my own very expensive education. I'm sorry but there is not an extra $300 a month in my budget for insurance. That's just the way it is right now.

Recently, I overheard four men who were truckers talking about this very thing. One of them mentioned he paid some $750 plus dollars a month to keep his family of four insured. First off, kudos to him for taking care of his wife and children in that manner. Secondly, are you kidding me? OMG. He didn't know I was listening, but I wanted to go over and pat him on the back. This having much to do with once being married to someone who resented having to put me on his health insurance at work. I could imagine the sacrifice and discipline it took pay for the coverage.

Now, I'm not going to launch into a great debate on this whole heath care dilemma of the moment. I actually do not know if President Obama has the answer, but I do know we need a different way of doing things. Let's say I whole heartedly agree with Dr.Grumpy , one of my favorite bloggers and neurologists. He has a very valid point...so please read it and come back to me. I have a pleasant medical surprise to share.

Lucky, Blessed, Fortunate and Any Other Synonyms That Mean We Are Just Damn Lucky

In this "Girl World," as I call it, there tends to be drama. The Academy Awards does not know of the sector it is missing from its voting category, but I digress. It hasn't touched me personally, thank god, as I have a zero tolerance policy but still...it exists. I was warned about it from other friends before entering the lesbian arena as a full time participant, but really thought they were overstating things a bit.

Turns out I was wrong. Funny thing about that. But here is what it boils down to-April and I are just plain old damn lucky.

We are kind to each other. We don't try to manipulate one another. We talk about most everything, even the stuff one would rather pretend does not exist. Even things that make us wriggle in our skin because the truth of it is painful. This includes money, aging parents, ex's, difficult friends, past mistakes that we are still paying for, whether or not to give up the over priced cable we have become so accustomed to, children, moving, and where to go on vacation. Really there isn't anything (except those things out of respect for one another) we haven't discussed or will not be able to discuss.

Like any relationship, there is always compromise. There is consideration, but it is consideration that I am happy to give as this woman gives me so much. On top of that, she gets me, she just does. She gives me time to write, she even edits and proofs much of what I write. She'll tell me if something I wrote makes absolutely no sense, without hurting my feelings. She is supportive of me being back in school, even though it means less time for us and me spending another 12 weeks with my head in a book. I have to study to get good grades, and I do. They don't just land on my transcript without effort, which in turn means sacrifice. Since we get along, and we do have fun together, when I am enrolled in school I feel like our "norm" lacks. We miss one another.

Why do I divulge this? Because what I realize it that truly it could have gone a complete other direction for us. Like so many other couples we know, there could have been hidden needs that were left unsaid in the beginning. Bad habits that were put aside, could have come bubbling up to the surface eventually, demanding to be adhered to again. Images that appeared as real, turning out to be false. If you've been in relationship, you know the devils of which I speak. We've all faced them once or twice and some of us even married them for god only knows what reason. I too am not unguilty of falling for a fake. When it comes to love and lust there are so many places where one can drive off unwittingly into a ditch, only to realize it months (dollars, opportunities, promises, days, years) later it feels like an eternity has passed.

So, as of late and recent reminders, I once again must put to words just how lucky I am. Just amazingly so. Thank you April, for being who you said you were.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back In School

Rehab for Horders

I've blogged about the program on the A and E network before but after last nights episode I think something is amiss.

Basically, to have any sort of success it seems to me there has to be another way of working with a person who is afflicted with this demon. Truly. It is painfully obvious to me that the "organizer" who slowly and patiently works with the possessed is not enough. Neither is the therapist who, as my better half so lovingly put it, "mollycoddles," their client.

By the time most of these hoarders make it to having help come in they are past the road to ruin. They own so much shit and crap and it lies about everywhere the eye can see. Their homes are full of "stuff" piled high and low. For most of them a pathway from room to room is the only open space remaining. Their refrigerators are filled with moldy out dated food. Their floors must need to be replaced once cleared, given the rot and smell. Inevitably, these people seem to be drawn to animals. Kitty litter unhinged, ugh!

From the outside looking in, most of these homes appear to be uninhabitable. But, we know they are not. There are families locked inside them both physically and mentally. Many have lost relationships, friends, family, and any social aspect they may of once held in their homes. The saddest story was yesterday when even the children were removed from their family due to this nightmare.

Failure to change is the running theme with this diagnosis. Not an organizer, not a therapist, nor loss of any anything else seems to be able to chase away this rabid bug. It appears to take hold of the participant and simply owns them. It appears to me quite hopeless. And yet. I have a better idea. Albeit, it's really another A and E program. Intervention.

No one is going to be "cured" or "helped" in three small days. Do you realize how many days it took for most of these homes to end up looking like they do by air time? For most, it has been a long painful obsession over many years. So here is my proposal...

Long term rehabilitation for the hoarder. Yep, just like Betty Ford. 90 days and up to six months, locked-in, inpatient care. I don't care if it's 12 step, or massive therapy but something has got to be able to unhook the need to fill your self up with "stuff." It's an addiction, a habit, just like any other addictive disease. Can you imagine the emptiness a person who has this need must feel? And then, if they didn't already feel empty and lonely enough they create a situation that in the end only creates more social isolation.

I don't know if we've ever had a first lady who had this malady, but if we have it's time for her to come out of the closet and open up a rehab center. Good God, they say there are at least 3 million people in the country who are faced with this problem. I'd say that would keep a number of therapist employed and rehab facilities open for quite some time.

In addition to that, instead of slowly pawing through pile after pile and box after box why not work with the ill from the inside. To give them hope that upon their release they can go home they can truly start over. Other then photos, everything else is tossed. Leaving of course necessities like clothes, food, furniture, etc... No storage lockers and not a million a one plastic boxes labeled full of crap. They arrive home to a clean out, uncluttered, non-critter infested home.

Hopefully, after serious therapy and not just 3 days the homeowner can truly feel free at home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Urge

I don't want to go to work I want to stay home and blog, paint, create...Cautrell that I met at the Fresh Paint expo says it perfectly for those who don't understand. Sometimes you just can't hold it in anymore!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do You Have An Over Loved Pet?

April is in Montana without me. Of course, we share our camera and since it is with her I thought I'd ask my readers for help.

If you have a pet you love and a photo you want to share, won't you share it with me? I would love to post it on my Daily Overload Pet Photo space.

E-mail me at puggieluv @ msn dot com - look for your picture! Make sure you tell me your name, and the name of your pet! And anything else you want to share about your pet pic!

Thanks for Your Help!


Sweet Peas

My wonderful sister-in-law Lizzie took this photo. She is also a lover of the sweet pea. Anytime I smell them I am immediately transported back in time. When I was a little girl my Grandma Johnson would line the concrete cinder block fence in her backyard with sweet peas. She had what seemed like to me miles of them covering her fence when they were in bloom. In reality they probably covered a 10 foot width and went up and over the 7 foot fence. All I know is there there were enough of them to completely immerse your sense of smell. The blooms were so sweet with fragrance being in her back yard was heady feeling. So whenever I see them today, I can't help but bend down and inhale their scent.

Exactly Why Being Right is Not So Important to Me and Apologizing Is

Thursday, September 10, 2009

High School Is Ancient History

I graduated from this school, almost 30 years ago. Yep, I'm that frickin' old but that is besides the point.
Here's the deal. I'm having issues with people from that many years ago wanting to be friends on Facebook. I just don't get it. Honestly. Especially, if we were never friends to begin with or even acquaintances. I don't even recall having one conversation with you, ever. I just don't understand your interest in me.

Yes, I have some friends from High School on my Facebook page. And, yes I suppose they were part of the "inner sanctum" I was a part of way back then, but really the majority of them (especially "my girls") and I have stayed in touch. We have remained friends. We have remained in contact all these years and loved and supported one another. So forgive me if I reject your friend request.

I would naturally think me rejecting your friend request not once, not twice, but many more times than that would give you a hint. But no, I open my Facebook to see you there again today. I realize that even the nicest note I could write to you will make me sound like a stuck up snob. You don't know me well enough to know that I'm not. I'm just picky who I let into my personal space these days. I have absolutely no desire to relive high school, none what-so-ever. On top of that, you have befriended many people who's behavior and treatment of others I absolutely abhorred back then. I'm really not interested in finding out if they have changed. Really.

In addition, my life is full. I am busy. I'm in school taking some of the toughest classes I've ever encountered. I have a rockin' relationship with a women I adore. I moved away from California and it does not pain me in the least. (Except being away from my friends and family!) So, for me Facebook is an easy way to keep in touch with them. Not with people who were 1 in a High School of 2,400 who have some weird need to be my friend on Facebook. It's not personal, I swear. I really don't remember us ever having any communication. I do recall seeing you at the one and only reunion I attended. I seem to remember that you may be an attorney and live in the Pacific Northwest, but I'm not positive.

I don't look back at those years as the highlight of my life, or that I am forever a little beacon that bloomed in Cerritos and went on to great things because of it. Trust me, I don't. It was just school. Yes, some of it was fun. Some of it was worth it, but now I look back and wonder why I didn't get out at 16 and go on to college. I was that bored with the simple classes and the man-boys that taught us. My being involved in school was the only thing that kept me in it. There are no glory days I want to relive, really.

All that said, today I hit the friend button and added you. I can only say I feel like I've been stalked on Facebook and I just didn't see a way to handle it gracefully.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vacation ~ Some Spots and Shots

So, this is my face on vacation. Happy, happy, happy. This was probably the most relaxing vacation I've taken in the last 10 years.

If you get the chance, drive down to the Oregon Coast. It is truly a site to behold. The coast is different from any other I've visited or lived upon. Green trees cover the mountains and hills to the east of the coast. The dunes that lead to the beach are thick with long grass and cool sand. Driftwood lies upon the beach where ever your eye lands. In the morning when the tide is out there are tide pools to be found that hold little treasures. We happen to see a small purple crab running to hide from our view.

We specifically stayed in Rockaway Beach. Is is the much less commercial cousin to Cannon Beach. Loved it. The locals were all very friendly and the main strip of town was packed with yummy fresh seafood. We had delicious fresh halibut, smoked salmon, and of course found a local mexican food restaurant. My Pina Colda was perfect and the food delicioso'!

We headed down to check out the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The cheese was had by all. The freebie's line long but worth it. We managed to avoid the ice cream that day! It was interesting to watch the process of cutting, weighing, packaging it up, and having it ready for sale. I felt sorry for the workers, who have to feel like hamsters in a cage with people watching them from above all day long. I wanted to flash the guys as they looked up, but we all figured it would get us kicked out of the place, so I resisted! Just thought it might lighten a very long and boring day.

The dunes at the beach. I realized I miss hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. It was so peaceful.

Mom was a good sport and we had many laughs! The captain of Cannon Beach and mom.

It was a great trip, one that I could have extended for a full week of beach living. We will return!


Our container garden is over flowing with red, ripe, sweet tomatoes. I had a salad for dinner tonight graced with their presence and they were so delicious they overjoyed my tongue with their taste. If store bought tasted this sweet I would buy oodles full and never wince about the cost! Thanks to my gardener!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

House Guests

House guests are wonderful, but lead to lack of blogging. That's all there is to it. But, it's been a fun month!