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Friday, September 25, 2009
What Now?
So we walked around the yellow house, then stopped in at Coldwell Banker. The realtor we had talked with at the blue house was out, but we learned from her colleagues that 1. Yellow house under contract, 2. Blue house coming back on the market.

Never a dull moment, my friends.

Complete set of blue house photos here.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Jay is five today! He got his red fire truck cake (just don't look too closely!) and Daddy took him out and bought him a bike with training wheels and a good outdoor ball to play with, and then after dinner he opened his wrapped presents- a Sesame Street DVD set spanning the years from Daddy's birth to just after mine, a church outfit complete with turtle tie ("I love turtles!" said he), and a set of Math Machines from Aunt Cathy, Uncle Josh and Jonah. A card with some cash in it arrived from the Pennsylvania branch of the family (to save, or to spend? I wonder what will happen with it!) He had a great birthday and even shared his math machines with his brothers (there are four, after all!) We also got to go to the They Might Be Giants concert in Raleigh on Saturday (in preparation for which, we had to purchase MP3s of "Here Come the ABCs" and "Here Come the 123s")! All in all, Jay's had a great 5th birthday, and he's still got a gift or two in the mail!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009
Engineers or Architects?

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Friday, September 18, 2009
Is Next?
The realtor listing the blue house mentioned she had expected a yellowish house on Fifth Street to hit the market... I guess this is it!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009
It's "Done"

At least, we're done. My feet still hurt, though they hurt much, much worse before I spent most of the day sitting in a cushy chair at work. Two hours of sleep doesn't do much for the recuperation process.

Anyway, we got rid of the icky nasty carpet & padding and the stained walls (Christina even filled in the dents!), so I pronounce it a major success. The flooring people will be here tomorrow morning (unfortunately, I can't be here on a Thursday morning!), and we'll figure out something more presentable to put down (OK, for us to have put down!)

For now, we'll take it.

(More photos here)

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Work in Progress
I couldn't live with the carpet in the dining room any longer. While we were at it, it seemed like the scribbles and yogurt stains ought to go as well! My devoted, generous and energetic friend Chistina is ably assisting (yes, she is shooting at the wallpaper border which was also consigned to the scrapheap)! I was thankful to discover that the easily discernable lumpiness at the location of the hearth was not a disaster. Thanks to my internet informant (whose grandparents had lived here), I was not the least bit surprised to discover the hearth!

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Saturday, September 05, 2009
Daniel's Favorite
Daniel loooooves Bo'. We were wandering through Dollar General, spending some of the money Jonah's grandma gave the boys. John and Isaac had no shortage of items on their wish lists, but Daniel was a bit more inscrutable (given that the answer to every question is "no"...) Finally, something in the workbook/ giftwrap aisle caught his eye. "BO'! BO'!!". Daniel had spotted a VeggieTales workbook. I found a different, slightly pricier one ($2 vs $1) that included a poster & a growth chart, so that's the one we bought. Several times a day, Daniel will stop on his way through the living room to point out his favorite tomato. I didn't manage to capture the full measure of his enthusiasm, but this'll give you some idea!

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Meet Horsey

One of Isaac's two favorite people. Number one? Uncle Todd. (Horsey is a piggy bank)

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Hot Dog!
Yes, we are looking forward to the They Might Be Giants show!96+

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Thursday, September 03, 2009
I Am Not A Monster
Can't we tone down the rhetoric long enough to agree on some very basic premises?
- It is a great tragedy when a person dies prematurely for financial reasons
- It is a tragedy when a person becomes indigent or bankrupt due to medical expenses
- It is most appropriate for the patient to be in charge of decisions regarding the level of his or her own care
- Individuals have many opportunities that go wasted to improve their health through lifestyle choices
- Divorcing costs from decision-making leads to unnecessary expenses
- The profit motive has fostered many great advances in the field of medicine
- We can't afford all the guns AND all the butter (economics 101 [or 10], anyone?)

I'm open to nominations! What else can we agree on?

I think people should be able to buy catastrophic coverage (which is not legal in many [most?] states) and pay for routine treatment on their own, even if they need to compensate by buying an older car, a smaller house, or a less rad TV. I think doctors, nurses, and hospitals should have to make their charges public. Those things alone would drive down health care costs considerably. Churches should be providing primary care services for those who still can't afford it.

I think we need to face the fact that most of us can afford to spend a LOT more on our health care than we do now. If you had to give up unlimited texting for a year to pay for a medical procedure, would that really be a tragedy? Medical care is very important, and now that we have the array of technologies that we have, we should expect cutting-edge treatment to be expensive. Because it is. Budget for it.

On the political side, here are my comments:
Funny to see the Democrats turn into the party of black and white. "Health care is a right". There are different standards of care, and even with the most extreme treatment available, nobody lives forever. There are treatments that incrementally prolong someone's life. We can't keep everybody on them forever. Who would you like to be in charge of deciding when to stop resuscitating you, putting nourishment in your feeding tube, defibrillating you, or pumping oxygen into your lungs? What does "fair" mean in this context? One size does not fit all.

(I'm probably more testy than a Christian ought to be, but I'm so tired of the "they're cold &%^$8#@ who don't care about poor people")

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