Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunflower Serenade: A Fun summer Read

It’s county fair season all across the land. In fact, we just entered Mom’s artwork in her county fair while I was there last week. Brought back fond memories.

I grew up in a town of about 2,000 in Wyoming. The county fair was one of the highlights of the year, especially for us 4-H’ers. I remember summers filled with cooking and sewing in preparation for the fair. I can still remember the anticipation of entering my exhibits and hoping for blue ribbons and the “best of” 4-H prizes (which I won four years in a row). It was also great fun to explore both the animal and homemaking exhibits, ride the carnival rides, watch the parade, and of course, eat snow-cones and cotton candy. Unfortunately, since we’ve moved to California we’ve only attended a county fair a couple of time. Big city fairs just don’t have the same feel as those in small town.

Tricia Goyer’s Sunflower Serenade rekindled my small town memories. It’s a fun summer read with a GenSandwich link. You can read more about the book below and on the blog tour.

About Sunflower Serenade: A small-town summer...
The days are long and lazy, the corn is high, the sunflowers are in bloom, and everyone in Bedford, Nebraska, is gearing up for the biggest event of the summer: the annual county fair. But when a Nashville music producer approaches Bob about using Heather Creek Farm to film a country star's new music video, he and Charlotte are faced with a dilemma. Will they allow the glamour and enticements of big-city life to encroach upon their peaceful home? Will the excitement of celebrity drown out the simple joys of summer?

The Home to Heather Creek series features grandparents raising their grandkids. Charlotte Stevenson's world is turned upside down when her daughter, Denise, dies in a tragic car accident. She ran away at eighteen and Charlotte has never forgiven herself. Now, Denise's children, abandoned by their father, are coming from California to live on Heather Creek Farm in Bedford, Nebraska.

Charlotte is uncertain about her ability to care for three grandchildren who are not thrilled to give up the beach and sunshine for snow and farm chores! But she sees a chance to make amends and will do whatever it takes to keep her fragile family together. Feel the courage, strength and commitment of this family as their lives unfold in the Home to Heather Creek series.

Want to win an entire set of the Home to Heather Creek series? Playing on one element of the book - big city entertainers vs. old county fair – the contest for this blog tour is City Girl Goes Country! Share your funniest story (about you or someone you know) about a time when you as the “city girl” goes to the country or “country girl” goes to the city. Enter the contest here.

To buy book:  These books are not available on Amazon, but must be ordered from Guidepost. The books come in a series and you can order those at the link. However, if you just want to order Every Sunrise you must call the customer service number (1-800-431-2344).

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Can We Put a Price on a Healthy Society?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received comments on some of my posts from apparent supporters of ObamaCare. I responded in the comments, but thought it might be helpful to bring a response to the main page. I think it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of my readers grapple on a regular basis with health care for themselves and their aging parents. For us, it isn’t hypothetical. It’s real life.

So, is this simple an economic issue? Can we put a price on a healthy society? First and most simplistically, yes. There is a price to everything and we have to set priorities. Failure to do that as a nation and individually has gotten us in the situation we're in today. We have to be responsible in spending and in developing programs for anything. And bottom line, each and every American needs to accept responsibility for himself or herself. Yes, we are used to having the best of everything, and frankly, I believe that the free market system can continue to provide a pretty good life for most of us. But we can't do and be and provide all things for all people and expect our nation to survive, especially if everyone isn't pulling their weight.

But more important, supporters make the assumption that ObamaCare will result in a healthier society. Most people who understand health care and economics believe that it will result in a much LESS healthy society. Let's be logical. First, take a look at the nations that have national health insurance. Look at the wait times for appointments and procedures. In England people are left waiting in ambulances for hours because the emergency rooms can’t keep up with the demand. In Canada (2007), citizens waited an average of 18.3 weeks for non-emergency surgery, 9.2 weeks for a specialty consultation, and 10.1 weeks for an MRI. Compared with the US, that's not an improvement. Second, let's be logical: there is simply no way to provide more care and cover more people for less money (or even with the same amount of money) without rationing. Can't be done. So how do we decide?

First, the problem isn't a 47 million-person problem, as the media and Democrats would have you believe. It's about a 12 million-person problem (those who want health insurance and can't get it and who are here legally). A 12 million-person problem does not require an overhaul of the entire system. It may require some tweaks to the existing system, but recent polls suggest that 83% of Americans are content with their health care. Like the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Second, although it’s hard to find comprehensive data, it’s safe to say that a majority of the health care problems are the result of life style choices. Until we as a people become more responsible for ourselves and the choices we make, any health care program is little more than a thumb in the dike.

I think it's time that we all take a deep breath, realize this is not a problem that needs to be solved yesterday, and logically and rationally fix only what's broken. What do you think?

Labels: ,

Monday, August 03, 2009

So Long, Status Quo: What I Learned from Women Who Changed the World

If you’re looking for an inspiring and motivational read for the summer, may I recommend So Long, Status Quo: What I Learned from Women Who Changed the World by Susie Flory.

Susy’s life was a lot like her couch – comfortable, uninviting, and safe. Then she discovered the stories of nine women who sacrificed personal comfort and convenience for a cause greater than themselves. Now I’ve read and appreciated a lot of inspiring books, but Susy took it a step further. She got up off her sofa and did something inspired by each of these women. She sold her jewelry to provide clean water to Africa. She co-authored a book to challenge The Da Vinci Code. She fasted. She took a mission trip to Cuba. She allowed these women to challenge her complacency and in the process, developed a new outlook on life.

I confess that as a Boomer, I’m sort of in between active and passive. I want to do a lot of things, but my stamina and energy fight me most of the time. I was inspired by Susy to try something new every day. Even if it’s something as simple as driving a different route or ordering something other than my “usual,” change is good. I’m auditing a class I don’t need this summer, just because it’s interesting. What are you doing to stay sharp? Involved? Interested?

Labels: ,