Facebook Chats

On Friday I was checking my friends’ status updates and general goings-on on Facebook. I was chatting with my sister, which I regularly do, when my back-door neighbor popped up and starting chatting with me.

For me that was strange…my back-door neighbor is really shy, and even though she requested my friendship on Facebook, we’ve never really talked in real life. We’ve lived here 3 months and the winter has driven me inside. I promise, I will start getting to know my neighbors better when Spring comes. But I digress. I’ve talked to my back-door’s neighbor’s husband at church at lot. He’s much more out-going than she is. Their daughter is in our Sunday School class and she’s a very nice, sweet kid. She’s played with our daughter on occasion and sometimes they walk to school together in a big group.
So for me, it was really weird that she would start chatting with me on Facebook when, hello, she lives right behind, and with no fence up she could have just walked across the yard and knocked on my back door. It was also really weird because she’s never talked to me before in real life, so it was kind of weird to do it for the first time on Facebook.
She asked me how I was doing and we exchanged the usual pleasantries. Then she told me that they were trapped in London and needed money to get back home. Um, weird considering I saw you walking around your house last night. Then she told me they had come to London spur of the moment and were robbed at gun point at their hotel and they lost everything but their passports. She never came out and directly asked me for money, just kept telling me how awful and scary London is and how they need help.
Of course I saw red flags all over this and immediately knew it was a scammer. I called the hubs, who has our church directory on his phone, and got their home number to warn her that someone had highjacked her Facebook account. While this scammer was trying to goad me into offering help, I wrote, “that’s so weird that you’re in London when I’m looking at you right now standing on your back deck talking to your daughter in the backyard and you’re not holding a computer.” Whoever had highjacked her account logged off and went offline immediately.
After that I went outside and talked to my neighbor to warn her. She said she already knew and that another one of our neighbors had acted like she had fallen for it when they chatted with her and had gotten all the scammer’s information so she could pass it on to the proper internet authorities. She told me that someone had hacked into her email and Facebook and changed the passwords on her so she can no longer access them. How scary and violating. She’s contacted the administrators of both sites asking them to shut down her accounts.
How sad that the first time I really talk to my neighbor it’s about a crime perpetrated against her.
I just think it’s funny that the scammer chose to try to scam the one person who has the clearest view of my neighbor’s house in the entire world. Most of the windows face toward my house and I can always tell if they’re home or not. I hope the scammer knows the jig is up and will stop all of this. Probably not. They’ll just move onto the next victim until they get caught again. They’d have to grow a conscience in order to stop, and that usually doesn’t happen with sociopaths.
So this is a warning to all my friends…if you have a Facebook account…change your password often. Same goes with your email. Be careful about the sites you visit and the information you input.

A Personal Story

People may wonder why Universal Health Care for all Americans is such a passionate issue for me. I believe that the government of any nation should be there to help the citizens of its nation. Others throughout history have thought the same thing. That’s why we have public schools, public libraries, police, fire department, infrastructure, etc. We used to have a government for the people and by the people. Now it feels like it’s a government for the corporations and by the corporations. I’m not blaming any certain person or political party for that. Both parties are basically bought and paid for by corporations and special interest groups.

I just wanted to share my own story about my how health suffered at one time because I didn’t have health insurance.
When the hubs and I were married in ’99 he had a job that offered insurance. Thank goodness. I was fully aware that now that I was getting married not only could my parents no longer claim me as a dependent on their taxes, but their insurance would no longer cover me. Being novices to adulthood, the hubs didn’t add me to his insurance the proper way and so we had to wait for open enrollment at the beginning of the next year to do it. It was only for 4 months away so we thought it would be no big deal.
And then winter came. And winter does havoc on my asthma stricken lungs. Then something else happened. My inhaler ran out of medicine. My inhaler is my lifeline. I don’t leave home without it. Next I developed a really bad cold. Colds always go straight to my lungs. I would cough until I would give myself an asthma attack. The only problem was I didn’t have an inhaler to stop the asthma attack.
I’m very aware that people can die by having an asthma attack. I’ve read the news stories and also my doctor has made me very aware of my need for a “rescue inhaler.” They call it a “rescue inhaler” because it basically rescues you from death.
Not having insurance I couldn’t renew my refill. And we couldn’t afford to pay for a new one out of pocket. At that time, I think I was making $7 an hour, and the hubs was making something like $12 an hour. We could barely afford to make ends me, let alone plan for things to go wrong.
Because I didn’t go to the doctor my cold got worse. Finally the hubs decided to buy an OTC inhaler, but this did nothing for me. My asthma is different than most people’s. I have chronic asthmatic bronchitis. Which basically means when I have an asthma attack I can breath as deep as anyone else…I just can’t expel my breath. Most asthmatics have the exact opposite problem. Even though this happened 10+ years ago, I can still remember how scared I was. We were only a month away from open enrollment, could I afford to basically not breath until then?
I went to work during this time because I had to. Not only did I not have sick pay at my job (and we couldn’t afford for me not to work), but getting someone to cover my shift at that job was next to impossible. It was also the Christmas season…the most busiest season for my job of the year. My Mom stopped in to visit me one day and as aghast. She told me that’s the worst she’s ever seen me look. She said I looked close to death and was angry at my employer for making me work in that condition and not sending me home. I told her we couldn’t afford for me to miss a shift. She urged me to leave immediately and see a doctor. I couldn’t afford that either. Without insurance I couldn’t afford an out-of-pocket doctor’s visit. Let alone trying to find a doctor who will accept a patient without insurance. I was also worried that they’d send me to the hospital (I’m always hospitalized when I have pneumonia and I was pretty sure that this is what my cold had developed into) and I certainly couldn’t afford a hospital stay in the thousands of dollars.
When she found out I didn’t have an inhaler, my Mom was enraged. She was mad at the hubs for filling out the insurance papers wrong, she was mad at me for not coming to her and asking for help, she was mad at my work for not recognizing a severely ill person and sending them home. Luckily for me I worked in a grocery store and she marched right over the pharmacy and renewed my inhaler prescription and paid for it out-of-pocket.
Breathing in the abuterol was like oxygen for a normal person. Within a few days of getting my medicine my breathing returned to normal. The cold went away, now that my body and lungs were strong enough to fight it off. My sister got married during this time. She was staying with us (she lived out-of-state at the time going to law school) since my parent’s house was a zoo of family members from out-of-town. Between my horrible, awful cold and my sister contracting the stomach flu, the hubs had his hands full taking care of us both.
I could have chosen to go to the doctor and suffered the financial consequences, but I was too scared to. If my Mom hadn’t bought me a new inhaler I probably would have just gotten sicker and would have ended up in the ER. Who knows what could have happened to me? I’ve almost life to asthma a few times, I wouldn’t doubt that I could have lost it this time. I can’t even bare to think of the hubs being a newly wed widower.
There are thousands of stories like mine across the country. However, a lot of them didn’t turn out well. People have died. People have gone into financial ruin. People have been bankrupt over not having insurance. It’s truly sad and maddening.
So what’s the solution? I don’t think the health care bill in Congress right now is the solution because it doesn’t contain a public option. However, it’s better than nothing and bills are constantly changed and amended over time to make them better.

Well, I haven’t lost all hope yet…

If you think it’s a socialist plot and it’s wrong, for goodness sakes drop out of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. But if you think it’s good enough for your family, shouldn’t our health insurance be good enough for the rest of America? That’s what it gets down to. Why have this double standard?”

-Sen. Dick Durbin addressing members of Congress at the Health Care Summit

God Bless Keith Olbermann

I too have stood in a hospital room watching my parent, my mother, in the most horrific pain imaginable while she begged me to find someone to kill her. There are no words to describe it. You can’t know how you’re going to feel until you’re in that situation. Thank goodness not once while she was dying of cancer did my parents have to worry how they were going to pay her medical bills. HOW DARE anyone say that we Americans don’t have the right to die in dignity, to live with health, and to not worry about going into debt to try to save our lives or the lives of someone we love. HOW DARE people let their politics become more important than the 45 million people who go uninsured each year in this country because they don’t have money. HOW DARE the politicians line their pockets with money from insurance companies while real people, the ones who do the living and dying and working in this country, suffer. HOW DARE. How dare…
Comments on these videos on Youtube have been disabled because of hateful comments made by heartless trolls.

Rantorific Thursday

Okay, the phrase “All Because Two People Fell in Love” seriously, seriously needs to be retired. In my job I visit a lot of homes and I didn’t know that that phrase in vinyl lettering on a wall was required by Mormon law. This phrase usually adorns the walls of home with family pictures beneath it. It annoys because it’s not because two people fell in love. It’s all because two people had sex and made babies.

If you have this on your wall, I sincerely apologize. But c’mon…its’ so cliched it doesn’t mean anything anymore.
The End.

Best Gift Ever

I think most people have seen a picture of their parents on their wedding day. Barring the fact that some people’s parents never were married or have very acrimonious divorces. Still, I think that’s a common thing. My parents never had pictures of their wedding day. They told us that they either had left the cover on the lens of the camera and pictures didn’t turn out, or that they forgot to put film in their camera. I had kind of accepted the fact, because there was no way I could change it, that I would never see a picture of my parents the day they got married. They had only known each other 7 weeks when they got married. They eloped to the Justice of the Peace’s office. They had invited two friends as witnesses and then took them to lunch at IHOP afterwards. They drove up the Maryland coast for their honeymoon. They were married for 36 years.
We’ve been cleaning out my parent’s house for the last 2 years. My mom was a pack-rat, to put it nicely. She had a very hard time throwing anything away. Recently my Dad and brother found a huge box of pictures, my Mom’s old scrapbook, and a bunch of pictures on slides. My step-mom said that she would digitalize the slides for us. Today I got an email from her with the slides. At first they were pics of my Dad in Vietnam. They were really cool to see because I’ve never seen them before. And my brother looks so much like my Dad that it’s freaky. Then I scrolled down a little bit father.
It took me a minute to realize what I was looking at. They were pictures of my Mom and Dad’s wedding day, outside of the courthouse. I burst into tears. In 31 years 6 months 2 weeks and 5 days of living I have never seen pictures of my parents on their wedding day before. Literal tears streaming down my face, I called to the hubs and showed him. They look so young. They look so happy. They look so in love. This is such a huge, huge gift to me. Such a sweet, sweet surprise. I can’t even put into words the joy I feel looking at these pictures. I love you Mom and Dad!

My parents August 13, 1971