Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Crazy, Scary Stuff

Saw this incredibly accurate meme on Facebook this morning.   It truly has been a crazy-making couple of weeks.   Hurricane Irma hit most of Florida.   The predictions ranged from bad to apocalyptic.  The Carribean (including Puerto Rico) got apocalyptic.   Central Florida got bad.  We actually made out pretty darn well, and given the possibilities, have much to be grateful for.   

Luckily we had plenty of warning.   So were able to lay in the necessary supplies (water, ice, canned foods, etc.).   Our youngest, his fiance, and their roommates rode the storm out here.   They pretty much took over the first floor of our house.   They are all in their 20's now, but we've known them all since they were in their tweens & teens.   I love them all dearly.   They are the perfect house guests (cooking & cleaning up after themselves).   They are also noisy.  Happy noise to be sure, but noisy.   My mother hid in the guestroom, I finished a needed reorg of my office, and Hubby compulsively watched The Weater Channel.   

We survived with none but minimal damage.  The kids went home on Monday (even though they did not get power back until Wednesday), my mother went home on Tuesday when her power came back.  I thought that all was well.  Not so much.

Thursday morning I woke up to an odd message that turned out to be from my Mother's emergency alert.   She had collapsed in her apartment, and was being taken to the hospital.   She had a stroke.  The first 24 hours were pretty scary.   My brother, SIL, & oldest son came from Jax.   Youngest son & our future DIL came as well.   At that point, the situation looked pretty bleak.  We thought we were saying goodbye.   Then, she turned around (YAY!).   In fact, she was moved to rehab last night, and is expected to make a full recovery.   I saw her today.   She is tired, but her spirits are high and she is determined to do what she has to, to be able to move back into her apartment by herself.   As BFF pointed out "She is a tough old bird".

So, with all of the scary drama of the past week, we still have much to be grateful for.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mr. Rubio, please do not kill my kids....

Dear Mr. Rubio, et al:

Please do not kill my kids.

Last weekend, Nick, our 24yo son, experienced what he describes as “the worst asthma attack of my life”. It came on suddenly. For the first time in his life, his inhaler did not work. A co-worker took him to a local ER.

​​There, he was given two breathing treatments, oxygen, and six steroid pills, before his breathing was once again at a healthy level. The next day, he was still having trouble breathing. He was able to get an appointment with his GP, who gave him additional medication, allayed his fears that his childhood asthma would once again become a chronic problem (unlikely), and scheduled a follow-up appointment. Four days later, he is improving, and hopeful.

​​Here’s the thing, were it not for the Affordable Care Act, Nick would not have health insurance, despite working a full-time, food services job, while saving to finish college. He might not have gotten the same level of care at the ER (if he went at all). He would not have been able to see his GP the next day (necessitating another ER visit?). He would not have been able to afford the necessary medications. His choices would have been incurring unmanagable debt, or risking death. Make no mistake, asthma properly managed is a bother. Unmanaged? It is deadly.

​​Our younger son (also a college student), has severe asthma, and will require (unrelated) drastic spinal surgery. In addition, as a child, he struggled with a pediatric seizure disorder. He has survived 21 years only due to quality health care. Cut him off, and we could very well lose him.

​​Today, the Senate votes on the Affordable Health Care Act. Our son’s lives (along with 24 million others) depend on affordable, accessible, quality, health care. I, and millions of others, have called, emailed, snail-mailed, Tweeted, Facebooked, marched, waved signs, spoken out, on this issue. We have pleaded with our government not to abandon the sick and frail among us.

​​We are not Democrats. We are not Republicans. We are aging, middle-class parents of two responsible young men. This is not (nor should it be) a partisan issue. The right and means to care for ourselves and others is (or at least should be) a basic human right. We are blessed to live in a country that offers some of the best health care in the world. How sad would it be if only the weathly could afford it?

​​I can say, and mean, that I will never vote for anyone who votes to take away life-saving medical care from mine and others. I can say, and mean, that I will actively work against anyone who supported the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In the end, though, nothing would make up for the suffering and possible death of my children.

​​So once again, in this very public forum, I beg the US congress not to risk my children’s lives in the name of scoring a political victory.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

So, knitting and social justice, it’s not a new idea.   There is an excellent article here.  Just type “social justice knitting” into Google and you will find tons of fascinating information about knitters, past and present, stepping up to the social justice plate.

You probably already know that there will be a Women’s March on Washington this Saturday (the day after trump’s inauguration).  However, did you know about the Pussy Hat Project?

I have been knitting these pink hats for weeks.   First, I made some as Christmas gifts for all of my friends who will be at the main Women’s March on Washington.   Then, I felt like knitting more hats, so I made a few to send to the main distribution location in VA (My local yarn shop owner donated yarn for hats once she found out why I wanted pink worsted & heavier when my usual habits run to blue/grey/black lace).  Then, Hubby asked for a hat (I love that guy).   Then, while knitting at a meeting for the sister march in the Orlando.  (There are over 300 sister marches worldwide!), people started asking about hats for our march, so I ordered a bag of pink yarn (cotton, it’s hot where we live), and will bring as many as I can finish by Saturday afternoon.

Please do visit the march website and read the group’s platform, then, if you are thus inclined, join us at a rally.   Every one of like mind is welcome.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A few months ago, a life thing happened that knocked me for a loop.   A thing that we desperately did not want to do, was forced on us (by “forced” I mean that there were absolutely no other moral options, and by us, I mean even in the toxic abyss that is my family of origin, Hubby sees us as a team.   That man is a god).

Migraines, insomnia, & stomach upset ensued.  For the first time in my life, I could not lose myself in books.  My hands would shake so much that I could not knit.   I found it very hard to leave the house, and when I did, I could not interact with other people.  It was ugly, and I have fought too hard for my emotional health to allow it to go on (It is ultimately easier (?) not to go to those dark places, than it is to climb out).

What really made a difference was finding a journal app that worked for me (Day One), and dumping everything I was feeling into it.   Good, bad, admirable, not so much, it all went in there.

So what did I do?   I set clear expectations and boundaries.   For me, that is the easy part.  Thanks to years of therapy (the duct tape of life), I know darn well how things should be.   Harder is enforcing those boundaries.   Mostly, I’ve done well with that one, but it is a daily battle, it does get old, and I do get tired.

It has been almost six months.   The situation has improved, but still pretty much sucks.   At least our home is back to being a safe space (That all by itself makes a world of difference).   I’m finally, and only recently, able to focus enough to hide in a good book.   Knitting continues to be a solace (I’ve been test-knitting, which I did not think I would like, but actually love).   I am looking for a volunteer opportunity that would be emotionally lightweight but still of use (literacy?).   I am intrigued by the mission of “WritersResist.org”, and with that in mind, am going to try to reanimate my blog.  Knitting and social justice, not an original idea, but I like it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A few days ago, in an aspirational moment, I made this my Facebook profile picture.  This is what I believe we should be striving for, but I am not there yet.   The truth is that I can not seem to stop being afraid.

I've said from the beginning that Trump would win, and that it is not Trump himself who scares me (I grew up in the NY metro.  He is just a shallow bully, who has less intelligence, money, &/or influence than be brags about).   It is the people who voted for him, the "Deplorables", who terrify me.  

I believe he won because the American electorate was both overestimated and underestimated.   I think there was a belief that despite his rally numbers, most people would not really be willing to put a bigoted, racist, xenophobic, avowed sexual assailant in the White House.    On the left side, I was hearing a lot about how important this election was going to be.   How it was a fight for the country's soul.   There seemed to be little acknowledgment that the other side also understood the importance of voting, of maintaining their world as they understood it,  that all those people who were willing to be seen shouting vile slogans and waving hateful signs, were not going to suddenly find themselves unable to vote for the guy who told them that their anger and hate were good things.   Who does not want to hear that they are right?    Trump won, not despite his hate & lies, but because of them.   This election did not determine the content of our country's character, it revealed it.

For me, it has been a slow, painful slide from believing that most people are good and kind, to most people are more than just willing, to shoot first, and ask questions later (figuratively, in this case, literally would be a whole other blog post.)

As a woman I am afraid.   As a Latina, I am afraid.   As domestic violence survivor, I am afraid.   As an assault survivor, I am afraid.   As the mother, of two young men who have embraced our message to stand up, and speak out for what is right, I am afraid.   As the wife of a man who still believes that we have to keep fighting for love, equality, & equity for all, I am afraid.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lisa's Lesser Evil Oatmeal, Craisen, Chocolate Chip, Walnut Cookies

    • 2 sticks (8Tbsp) butter, softened
    • 3/4 Cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
    • 1/2 Cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
    • 2 Tablespoons Water
    • 1-1/2 Cup King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
    • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
    • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
    • 3 Cups Quaker® Oats (old fashioned, uncooked)
    • 1 Cup Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar Craisins
    • 1 Cup Gheradelli Chocolate Baking Chips
    • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Heat oven to 350°F. 
Beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. 
Add eggs, vanilla and water; mix well. 
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. 
Add oats and mix well. 
Add Craisins and mix 
Add Chocolate Chips and mix 
Add Chopped Walnuts and mix
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. 
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; 
Remove to wire rack. 
Cool completely. 
Store tightly covered.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Love Wins

Love Wins Wrap
I was just so please with the recent SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage, that I decided to knit myself a rainbow and wrap myself up in it.   If you would like to do the same, feel free to use to download my new pattern "Love Wins" .   It's free on Ravelry.