Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First trip to the ER

We made it nearly four years (3 years, 363 days) before we had to make the dreaded trip to the ER.  Thankfully, it was not a major emergency, but Oliver did come home is a splint.   He fell off the arm of the couch and landed on his side, on his arm.  For a while, I wasn’t sure it was that bad, but it kept bothering him and I eventually realized he had limited movement.   So, the doctor’s office said go the ER for x-rays.  We have a Children’s Hospital at Emory University so the boys and I headed over there.  Three hours later we were going through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru for the promised chocolate shake. 

Oliver was quite the trooper.  The nurses and staff seemed entertained by his willingness to chat with them.  He always had something to say.  “My birthday is soon.  Birthdays have lots of cake and ice cream.”  He got upset after the x-rays.  He wanted to take off the little hospital gown.  “It is bugging me.”   He wasn’t so sure about the splint at first, but he let them put it on.

We got home close to 9pm.  Benton was asleep. Oliver ate chicken strips, drank his chocolate shake and told his dad all about the big day. 

This month has been crazy.  Jasmine, Benton’s eye infection, the fleas Jasmine left behind, and now a broken bone.   AND, we’re celebrating their birthdays with everyone on Saturday.  So, 2 cakes to make and decorate, food to prepare, a house to clean and gifts to assemble.  Wish me luck. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

I can’t help myself...

Although I have lived in Atlanta more years than I like to admit, I am and always will be an Alaskan.  Other than being a mother, there is no other group I identify with more than Alaskans.   I read the Anchorage Daily News everyday.  I keep up to date on all the politics, scandals, bear attacks, festivals, construction and social issues in Alaska, and Anchorage in particular.

So, the day McCain announced Palin as his running mate, I can’t say I was surprised.  There has been much speculation in the political blogosphere.  I wasn’t surprised, but boy was I shocked and a little outraged.  My first thought was about her lack of experience and if McCain had lost his mind.  I could go on and on, but I’ll just say this, the argument that she has foreign affairs experience because Alaska is neighbor to Russia (as stated by dozens of GOP folks) is the most ridiculous thing I have heard.   It takes a skilled politician to say that with straight face.

All the rumors and social issues are completely irrelevant to me, this is about a person who is not ready to lead this county.  She lacks education, experience and knowledge about anything outside of Alaska. 

Which brings me to her first interview.  She looks and sounds like someone who crammed for a test.   She could not have an intelligent conversation, let alone and eloquent debate about national security issues.   I can’t wait to see more.

Her supposed expertise in national security is in energy.  Alaska supplies oil for 3.5% of America’s energy supply.  Doesn’t sound like much, but McCain says she knows more about energy than anyone else.  Please. 

As an Alaskan woman, I am horrified that she has become THE national icon for Alaska.  I have read many of the articles lately about Alaska and our oil based economy.  Many make Alaskans sound like a bunch of folksy people living off the taxes of the working class Americans of the Lower 48.  In particular, this Time Magazine article was the pretty embarrassing, and the numbers are questionable.

Palin’s ridiculously simple plan to help people with their energy bills,  emphasizes that image.  Handing out cash is so much simpler than coming up with a real solution like subsidizing rural Alaska’s skyrocketing heating fuel oil (which is significantly more expensive than Anchorage’s natural gas) or investing in infrastructure.  I can’t even guess how many communities in Alaska do not have adequate sewer systems, sewage treatment or even landfills.  Totally disgusting, but Palin hands out $1200 to every man woman and chid, totaling about 730 million.  Millions of which will go back to the Federal government in taxes, instead of staying in Alaska.  Surely that money could have been used in a better manner, but it was a quick way to make people happy.  Her 80% approval rate is not as impressive when you realize she just handed everyone a big check.  Where is the foresight?  Where is the leadership?

By the way, the Alaska Permanent Fund check that Alaskans receive is different than the Energy Relief check.  It was actually an innovative idea created nearly 30 thirty years ago to plan for the future.  The resources of Alaska belong to the people and the State earns various royalties and taxes when these resources are used.   At least 25% of all income that comes into the state is put into a savings and investment account.  50% of the interest earned, average over 5 years is pulled out for legislative use and some is sent back to the residents of Alaska.  The other 50% stays in the Permanent Fund.

Alaska is a place where no one pays state income tax, most don’t pay property taxes or even sales taxes.  Palin’s “maverick” personality, as it is being touted, is baloney.  She went after big oil, because that is where the money is at.  She took the Bridge to Nowhere money.  She, notably, dropped the “Thanks, but no thanks.” line from her stump speech when she gave it in Alaska this week.    She has gone after pork barrel money better than most Alaskan mayors.  She doesn’t care that Federal money is actually your money.  She only changed her behavior recently because it makes her look different from Ted Stevens, who has recently been indicted.  No need to be associated with him, if you are about to become the vice presidential nominee.  Out with the old, but in with a younger version of the same.

Want to learn more?  Check out www.factcheck.org or read the Anchorage Daily News
Click here for an interesting review of her interview last night. 

By way, I can’t believe her audacity to speak about national security on 9/11.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A new bag for Melanie

So, again without purchasing a pattern, I came up with this bag for Melanie.  The idea was to create a nice, but small diaper bag.  I hope she likes it.  I think I ripped out one seam, so overall I think my pattern worked.  Although, next time I might make the sides a little wider, but this bag should easily hold a couple sippy cups, diapers and personal items.  I’d also like to figure out how to put in a zipper closure on top.

I’ve had a bit of a bad attitude lately.  I noticed that I wasn’t sewing, exercising, or even cooking good dinners.  All sure signs that I was slipping into a slump.  Sewing this bag helped me feel creative again and I am pretty happy about how it turned out.

 This is just life with Benton.  He did this during lunch to pull my attention from sewing and back to him.  Good thing he is so cute!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Sadly, we had to say good bye to Jasmine today. 

She has been apart of Dan’s life for nearly 14 years and so, a part of mine for 10.  Although I have lived with her for the last 7 years, she has always been Dan’s dog.  Loyal to the end. 

She was a great hiking companion but was just as happy to hang out at home.  She was truly a loving dog who gently welcomed home both our boys and eagerly awaited their falling snacks. 

While remaining ever faithful to Dan, she managed to keep her eye on Oliver and Benton.  When Oliver came home from the hospital, he slept on my side of the bed.  For the first time ever, Jasmine started sleeping next to my side of the bed.  Later, when Oliver moved to his own room, Jasmine could often be found in there or sleeping beside Benton in our room.  Even this last weekend, she  found her way to Oliver’s bedside. 

She clearly loved all of us and would defend our home as loudly as she could. Lately though, her days and evenings were about Dan.  She had grown tired in the last few years, but she always perked up when Dan came home. 

She will be greatly missed.