Most of last week looked and felt like spring. All of the snow melted, and birdsong filled the mornings. Then, on Friday winter returned with snow squalls, high winds and bitter cold temperatures. It's still pretty cold out today, but we'll be back in the 40°s and 50°s over the next few days--balmy temps compared to yesterday's 12°.
Our employee based health insurance (through COBRA) runs out this week, so I've had to enter the labyrinth of that nasty dragon known as the Massachusetts Health Connector--the state's health insurance "market place". I won't bore you with the horror of the experience, beyond saying that this monster is even worse than anything you may have heard about it. The thing is, "in the old days" we could have gotten group health insurance through the Builder's Association since my husband's business is part of that industry. But, to appease the dragon, the government has made it The Law of The Land that one must obtain health coverage through the "state market place". I put this term in quotes because a) in a market there are many competitive options, and b) the Health Connector's customer service department is made up of call centers located in other states. But I digress... We must now pay the dragon a monthly tithe that is double the cost of the insurance we had with my husband's former employer. In return, we will escape heavy government fines and imprisonment. That is all. We will not receive health care; there are no doctors who accept the dragon's pitiful terms. If you think I am kidding, then it is because you have never had to enter the labyrinth.
My next task of the month is to untangle the depressing mess that is our complicated tax situation. I expect sleepless nights and stomach pain--fun times!
March makes me feel like Elvis looks in that last picture.
I do not believe in silver linings or lottery tickets (the lottery is just another shitty state entity that takes money from the people it has made desperate) or that "everything will turn out fine."
I do believe in:
Cookies and cinnamon buns. My gram died when I was twenty-one, and I have been craving her chocolate chip cookies ever since. It turns out they were the Original Toll House Cookie recipe! Can you believe it? I've tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes over the years, but never the original recipe. They are the best. I'm in heaven. :) Daughter number two made cinnamon buns from this recipe, and they were amazingly luscious, soft, fluffy, and cinnamony.
The power of pets to lift the veil of artifice that surrounds modern life and to connect us to what's Real. We are
crazy lucky, because we have dogs, a cat, a rabbit, guinea pigs, a snake, fish, chickens, and parakeets to love. We were especially lucky this week because:
1) Emmeline bought herself a baby budgie she named "Alfie". He's a gorgeous violet and
yellow male that she has already managed to hand-tame. We have hopes that he will learn to
2) A section of fencing fell down in the wind and our Presley (boxer-dog) followed his nose out
of the yard and on an adventure through the neighborhood. We are so grateful that he did not
get hit by a car down on the busy road.
The goodness and generosity of my children. Daughter number one surprised me with a skein of gorgeous 100% BFL sock weight yarn from Adelaide Cottage in the "Cherry Cordial" colorway and a tiny silver pine cone progress keeper. The package arrived beautifully packaged in a polka dot bag and wrapped in tissue. Shauna even tucked a bag of Red Rose caramel apple tea inside. This gift lifted my spirits and made me really happy in the midst of a difficult week.
The ideas of people who see beyond the propaganda of the corporate media machine. As a lifelong registered democrat, I never thought I would see the day when I would take back my membership, declare myself an independent, and stop watching the news, but here we are. Neo liberalism is neo conservatism without the smirk--and evil is evil whether it comes in the guise of republican or democrat. We, as a people, are being massively manipulated these days. This is short and worth the read, as is this. This is long, but worth listening to--even if you disagree--if for no other reason than to hear John Waters' Irish lilt.
The constancy of nature. The red-winged blackbirds are back and the robins. I saw a flock of white-throated sparrows in the woods. And pussy willows. : )
Manual writing. It's a wholly different thing from what comes out when you sit at a keyboard and computer screen. For one thing, it lends itself to doodles, illustrations, and other marginalia. I love the scratch of pens and pencils on paper. I also love my old Hermes 3000 manual typewriter that is currently stationed on my kitchen island for quick "walk by" notes. Try this for a week and see what happens: fill one page every day. With anything. Stories, verses, thoughts, ideas, sketches, dried flowers, feathers, stickers, sequins, maps, quotes, poems. Don't try to make a product, just open yourself to being true. In a week, see what you've got: where you've been and where you might go next.
Until next week. ♥