Thursday, October 30, 2008

The most important question

At first I briefly considered not posting this. Then I had to wonder why. I have been helping out at the local "get out the vote" headquarters. If you know me, you know where I stand. I respect your right to your opinion and expect mine to be respected in turn.
And...after all, this IS Bubbie's Blog! It's my soapbox, so I'm standing up!

Friday, October 24, 2008

back to the road trip

I had to pull out the vacation photos. Looking at them again brings back the good feelings. This spot was especially serene. We were at a cottage home on the Pamlico River. The last two pictures were taken from the ferry we took from Bath to Aurora, North Carolina.

Bath is a very quaint little town that is full of interesting history. It was North Carolina's first town, created in 1705. Bath was home to Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard the pirate.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm giving you all a break from my vacation pictures. I can't just sing "la la la everything is bright and shiny " today.

I'm just not feeling it.
I'm concerned.
I'm frustrated.
I feel saddened and helpless.
I'm pissed.

The state of this country's health care is not just a cauldron of political spit and the usual blather.
It's a sin, a shame, a pox on the asses of the donkeys and elephants alike.
Oh, I's all about the bottom line. Democracy being used as an excuse for runaway capitalism. Profits are privatized. The losses, well..they're ours.
Today, I'm tired of the losses. The loss of lives. Real lives. Real people that did what they were supposed to do. They worked, payed their taxes, kept insurance, and then faced what should not be an insurmountable hurdle.

A friend of mine called me this morning. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She worked as a manager of a large chain store for many years. She had one surgery (which although major was treated as an outpatient and sent home the same day). Then another surgery to get what they missed the first time around. (ooops) Then chemo and radiation while out on term disability. Before her treatments were completed and she got a free and clear to return to work from her doctor, she had to return to work for at least 32 hours a week to continue to receive her health care benefits so that she could continue to have treatments and medical care.
But, I'm jumping ahead. While out on disability and receiving only a percent of her usual wages she was unable to pay her utilities and rent. All calls for assistance to the usual walk-for-this-or-that charities went unanswered. They had no funds to disperse for anyone in need. She lost her apartment, has no car, and the copays she owed the surgeon's and various doctors and labs went to collections too. She moved in with her elderly mother who barely manages on her social security. Now she walks to her job that she must keep whether she is up to it or not for her insurance.
The story isn't over....
Another lump. She was told she needs to go out of town for special testing, and see the surgeon again. She has no car. She has no sick time. She owes the surgeon from the previous surgeries.
She's tired. She feels defeated. She can keep walking to work, to keep her insurance and her paycheck until she can't and the cancer gives her fewer options than she already has.
Then there's me on the other end of the phone. What comfort can I offer? I can taxi her to appointments. Appointments that she sees no reason to keep and canceled.
She and I had a mutual friend that passed away several years ago from the same disease. I remember us both tending to her through her long ordeal. Now it seems like yesterday.

I urge you to look at this health care issue from a more personal perspective. Whether it is from a perspective of someone with a chronic condition like MS or someone fighting a diagnosis of cancer. Whatever your personal political leanings, and whatever your current health, this story could be yours, or your son's or daughter's.

Read what the candidates have to say on the issues
. Get out and VOTE. Demand CHANGE.

Monday, October 20, 2008

more from the road...


To continue the sage of my two week road trip, the first location we purposely made a stop at was Todd, North Carolina. You may not find it on your map. I only found one other reference to it on Google. This general store is about all there is to see except for the beautiful surrounding countryside. I had been there once before many years ago, and wanted to return.

From Todd, we went north to cross the state line into Virginia. Virginia's gas stations had gas, western North Carolina didn't most of the time. I had no interest in running out of gas on some rural mountain road.

The last two pictures in the previous post were taken on route 58 going east in Southern Virginia. A very pretty drive if you have the time to avoid interstates like we did.

I'll let you off the hook for the locations pictured in this post.The first is Clarksville, Virginia. We stayed on Buggs Island Lake. At this point we just relaxed for a day. Had a very nice dinner and walked the historic downtown. After driving all the curvy mountain roads it was a nice change to be back on flatter land. The only problem I had with the area is that it was totally devoid of cell phone towers. Everyone had to guess where we were and when we might be expected.

The next stop was Virginia Beach. The giant statue of Neptune is located at the board walk by 31st. It was a beautiful day to walk the boardwalk.
We spent a couple of nights there before moving on.

Now you may have noticed my new flagrant attempt at self promotion to the side of my blog. Yes, I have registered on Zazzle. I had designed the poinsettia painting to be reduced as a holiday card, so when a certain Ms. Fromage (today I'm French, just yesterday I was British) suggested I sell some things on zazzle, I went over to check it out. It would be nice to make a little extra moola from my efforts, so...oila! I'm zazzling

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

next stop...


The locations for the pictures in the last post were: Mount Mitchell State park, in North Carolina.
At over 6000 feet it had it's own weather system and I was unable to get any pictures that weren't totally in clouds.

The large red building in the valley is The Orchard at Alta Pass.
The picture was taken from the overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You could hear the banjo music all through the valley.

Next stop was Blowing Rock. One of my favorite stops because of all of the fine galleries in town, also the best bisquit breakfasts I've had anywhere are at Holly's. I was happy to see that it was still there.

From this point on we had to be cautious about where we were going next, how far and when. There wasn't any gas to be found at the stations in western North Carolina. Just as well, it gave me more time to wander the shops.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

vacation stops 3 &4


Here a two pics each of the next two stops on our trip.

I have been getting reorganized (as if I ever actually was organized) now that we're home. Provisions to buy and cook. Clothes to launder and bills to pay.
Speaking of food, I miss eating out. All in all a delightful experience. There was not one "hairy" incident! Of course we stayed off the main highways and ate more at locally owned establishments than the famous chains that are always placed near the exits.

As I said, I took over 400 pictures in two weeks, so I have tons of reference material to draw from and I am anxious to begin painting again.

My health has been good. I've had no MS problems. Well, no new problems. I think I'm just getting used to what has decided to stay with me. The lack of humidity, and the cooler temps made me so much more comfortable. I did a fair share of walking, and very little of it on flat terrain.

Not shocking, and true to Bubbie form, I went to work yesterday for the Campaign for Change/Obama office downtown. I spent the morning making calls. I feel like I need to do some small part, given the state of the union. My speech was good, no stumbling for words and sounding like the village idiot. As long as I'm in good form I'll go back more next week.

Now for the answers to the last post....
The first stop was Chimney Rock. Personally, I don't see the resemblance to a chimney, but who would name it Pud or Stubby?
The second stop was the town of Burnsville. A cute mountain community with a downtown square that was having a quilt show when we arrived. Upon learning that it was a dry county, it quickly lost it's charm and we were off...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

vacation pics

and then...

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I'm back! We were gone two weeks. Our travel itinerary changed last minute due to a nor easter and then by the availability of gas at the pumps. All and all we had a great time, wandering through five states on the roads less traveled.

I took over 400 photos. For fun, I've decided to chose two pics from each interesting location and see if they are recognized by any of you loyal Bubbie-heads (all three of you).

To be fair I'll tell you that we drove from Florida and never strayed from states that had borders on the Atlantic. One of these days I vow to venture west of the Mississippi, maybe next year.