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nadine_mn's Journal - Archives
Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion
Sat Nov 26th 2011, 01:25 AM
There are all kinds of stories here on DU - stories that make us laugh, cry, get so mad we have angry exploding emoticons, etc etc. Many of these stories educate us, expand our worldview or just give us a new perspective.

Without getting into all the "tis the season" crap, I just want to say that whenever someone here posts a story about a random act of kindness that they have shared with another human being, it does more than just warm our hearts - it inspires us to do more.

I read earlier today a thread from kpete - the man who had a job but couldn't eat for 2 days

and a sub-thread where when of our dear DUers helped out someone they hired.

This thread gave me the usual liberal warm fuzzies - I love it that kind of stuff. But I realized later today that more than just warm fuzzies, it was probably influential in my own RAK.

We were driving home northbound on a busy hwy (2 lanes each side, intersected by Interstate 94)around 4pm Black Friday afternoon. I happen to look over and see on the southbound lane a man walking on the side of the road and further up I see a disabled vehicle by the off ramp (we were going north and east, this was coming from the west and heading south - so no where near us). I took the next exit, hopped on 2 more hwys to turn around and finally was able to pull over to the guy. We asked him if he needed help - a ride, use of a cellphone anything. This poor kid - 20 or so - looked a little stunned that we pulled over and asked if we could take him to the nearest gas station - I said hop in.

On our way to the gas station (sadly BP - snort), he told us his car had run out of gas - he had been on his way back from trying to pick up his paycheck but because of the holiday it was delayed a day and he needed that gas money. He had already walked to the gas station to call for a tow but it had been over 2 hours. When I heard he just ran out of gas, I said "well we can fix you right up" - we got him a gas can and filled it up. While my husband was paying, I was talking to the guy and not only did he not have a paycheck, but he was also fired. He just looked so miserable. He didn't ask us for anything - not money, not gas, he was just grateful for the ride to the gas station, I volunteered the rest.

We are by no means well off - I have been out of work since late 07 (had a brief 9 month grant-related job last year) - but we are lucky to have enough. We brought him back to his car, let him use our phone to notify his folks, and left him on his way.

Hands down we would have helped if he had been stranded on our side of the road - but I think it was that little bit of extra love from DU earlier today that inspired me to go out of our way and cross the highways to get to him. I wish we had cash on hand to give him too, but we rarely carry $$.

So the point of this story is not "yay look at me - I was nice" but to pass on the good vibes in hopes that someone who reads this may go that extra EXTRA mile (we already know DUers go the extra mile).

Maybe this why so many RW thugs have that perpetual constipated look on their faces - doing good for others is good for the soul - so conversely screwing people over must suck the soul right out of you.

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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion
Tue Nov 15th 2011, 08:03 PM
I am not normally someone who cries easily (despite my prior journal entry to the contrary) but talking to my husband tonight about the recent OWS evictions and destruction of property, the countrywide violence by the police against our own citizens, I just started to cry that our President has not denounced the brute force that has been directed at those protesting.

I am not saying he should co-opt the movement, I understand that people will disagree about the right to camp out (I believe for the record as long as its peaceful, they should be allowed to camp out in public parks), and I understand that with every protest there will be a few asshats who get violent just for the hell of it. But for crying out loud - how much more can we tolerate?

But overall, the brute force that has been directed nationwide - not a few rogue bad cops - and the tactics of media blackouts, and so on... if this was any other nation (esp one that had oil), our leaders would be up in arms about supporting democracy and decrying the force used against a country's own citizens.

I feel numb in some respects - how can this be happening here, in 2011, with a Democratic president? How can he not say something at least along the lines about not turning on peaceful protestors?

I am just outraged, frustrated, and saddened that even in Obama continues to ignore this issue I still have to vote for him.
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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion
Sat Nov 05th 2011, 12:36 PM
So I have been looking forward to today for a month... there has been advertised at the local Lutheran church a craft sale and Scandanavian Tea for today, everytime we drive by the sign I got excited.

I am a very, very lapsed Catholic. My grandparents (who I have posted about at length in the past) were the most wonderful people on earth. My grandma was first generation born in the US (as was my grandpa - his family was from Mexico) - her parents came from Norway and Sweden to Minnesota. She was raised Lutheran and had to convert to Catholicism to marry my Grandpa. My grandparents died in 2008 and 2009 and left a huge whole in my heart. I give this little bit of info as to help understand the rest of this post.

I was at the craft sale today and was kinda overwhelmed with missing my grandma - seeing lefse being made, rosemaling demonstrated, all the crafts and then the smorgasbord of little sandwiches, swedish meatballs, soup etc. My grandma would have LOVED it and she would have been there with me explaining some of the traditional food etc. I was already getting a little choked up.

The food was being served cafeteria style - pick your items and pay at the end. While I was in line, there was an older woman next to me who wasn't able to carry her soup and other items, and the server was telling her she could go pay for her soup and then come back for the rest. That seemed like an unnecessary hassle to me - so I offered to hold her plates so she could get all she wanted in one trip. So together we walked down the food line, she was picking out stuff (and adding plates for me to carry! which made me laugh) and a couple of times asked for the bigger portion. I wondered if maybe this would be her one warm prepared meal of the day and we talked about making some of the cookies and stuff, and again just remembered my grandma so much. So when we got to the place to pay, I told her I was treating her (it was only $5) and she got all teary and called me her angel - she asked if I went to the church and I said no, just here for the crafts and again she said she believed I was an angel sent to her.

I started getting teary and told her that she was doing me a kindness because this is the kind of event my grandma would have loved and she had died 2 years ago, the woman smiled and said "so I am your grandma today" and I said yes.. she said "I am 82 is that close to her" and I started to really get choked up because my grandma would have been 82. We hugged a few times before I helped her to her seat and her friend waiting for her.

She has no idea how much that brief meeting meant to me as I sit here missing my grandma so much, I hope that I brought a small measure of joy to her day.
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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion
Mon Jun 27th 2011, 05:40 AM
Its been awhile since I have climbed up on my soap box, so please be tolerant of my rant.

First, let me get my bona fides out of the way lest someone post that I have no idea what I am talking about.

I have been poor -- ooh nasty poor, homeless and hungry poor as a kid. We once lived in a trailer in a swamp in Louisiana, we didn't have a frig, just a little cooler that we had to walk to the store everyday to fill with ice so I could have milk. This was in the 70's before a lot of social programs that so many take for granted today were in place. When my mom remarried, her husband moved us to Nevada and then left us there... with nothing, no family, no money, no job, no home just a car. My mom made it work for about a year, I was 8 but finally she couldn't do it anymore, sucked up her pride and we moved back to MN.

As a kid, I thought it was an adventure - now as a grown woman I cannot imagine how scary that was for a 28yr old single mom, raised in the middle class to suddenly be alone in the desert.

My mom was (and still is) proud and going on food stamps - those ugly multicolored pieces of play money that advertise to the world (esp in a small town, which is why we drove 30 miles to Duluth when we moved back home to buy groceries) you are on assistance - about killed her. Going to the food shelf and getting groceries stamped with "donated" on it and coming home with a reminder that we were dependent on others to get back on our feet.

I for one am glad that some of the stigma of being on any type of assistance is being removed... EBT cards are great compared to the embarrassment of food stamps (and the cashiers at the store who act like you are scum when you hand it over. No that is not just my imagination, I worked as a cashier at a grocery store when I was older and wanted to smack the crap out of some cashiers who would look down their noses at others who paid with WIC or food stamps).

Of course some people, some even who are here on DU act as if being on welfare means recipients should wear some scarlet letter of shame - their purchases be reviewed (what!? no junk food if you are receiving food stamps!!! How dare you buy cigarettes or alcohol with whatever left over money you have!!! OMG are you wearing a designer label - stone her!!!) and their homes inventoried to make sure they don't have any luxuries.

This pisses me off to no end. Poverty can strike at anytime - losing a job, losing health insurance, divorce, a major illness, natural disaster. All it takes is one major event, or a ripple effect - your car breaks down and you can't afford to get it repaired, you live in an area without reliable or accessible public transportation and can't get to work etc etc. Your child gets sick, your boss makes you choose between your job or staying at home with your sick kid.. these events happen everyday. Bouncing back from this is not easy.

So when you lose your home after losing your job, you take with what possessions you can fit -maybe its nice clothes (the ones you wore to work or could afford to give your kid), an iPod, your TV etc. After depleting whatever savings you have for a new place to rent or staying with family, maybe you need to apply for assistance to help out. Someone sees you with your nice clothes, your cellphone and god forbid an EBT card and immediately judges you as scamming the system.

Scammers exist.. do not get me wrong.. I have met them. No matter what we do, no matter what safeguards we put in, there will always be those who cheat the system. Frankly I admire these people. I have worked in domestic violence centers, worked with women who needed to find a safe home but had no or shitty credit, who had become so defeated they had no idea how to get out of a cycle. The red tape in trying to find ways to get around waiting lists for affordable housing, scraping up money for 1st and last months rent, trying to get a woman out of a temporary situation (the shelter) to a safer one took up so much of our time that we rarely had time to help the women deal with the aftermath of domestic violence - the emotional toll and help that shelters were originally set up for was second to housing. But some of these scammers, these workers of the system, bless them - they taught me ways to help victims and ins and outs of a system designed in theory to help, but in actuality just revictimized people.

I am not one to begrudge anyone whatever small comfort they can find - be it cigarettes, alcohol, junk food, or cable tv.

You don't what happened to the person to get them to where they need to be on welfare. My mom trusted and loved a man who abandoned us - her heart was broken, she was scared out of her mind and alone. When we moved back home, she was already broken down and the shame of moving back in with her parents, daughter in tow was a lot for her to bear. She had already felt punished - for trusting, for loving, for wanting a better life. If she wanted to go out a have a drink, or buy me a gift she maybe couldn't afford, or have a cigarette instead of putting that money towards a down payment on a house - who is anyone to judge. We eventually moved out, she eventually bought a house - maybe it could have been a few months or a year sooner if she didn't take us to get nice clothes, or buy the latest Michael Jackson record (cough - ya I am dating myself a bit), or go out with her friends once and awhile.

But as a child, that return to normalcy - laughter, name brand cereal for breakfast instead of that hideous generic black and white brand crap, my mom smiling, music, and fitting in with other kids in school - well that went a lot further than some of you may think.

I love that so many people say - well save money by going to a thrift store to buy your clothes. Well, here in the Twin Cities you can great deals, barely used clothes, name brands and fashionable stuff at our thrift stores. Try living in a smaller town - you are lucky if there is a thrift store (usually you depend on rummage sales) and there is nothing like the shame of going to school in a town of 3000 people and having some kid point out that the clothes you are wearing were their old cast offs. Thank goodness I was too fat to fit into any of my peer's clothes, witnessing that humiliation with my friends was bad enough.

I am sick of so called progressives who are so willing to judge those who have little to nothing. Direct that misguided self-righteous anger at those who have the power to make a difference and choose not to - they are easy to spot. There are about 535 of them in Washington DC, a few hundred in your state's capital.

I am off my soap box now, flame on if you must

Edited for spelling errors

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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Apr 22nd 2009, 06:49 AM
Like many crazed socialists, far left extremists (sigh..or America haters as Fox calls us), I have been quietly stewing over some of Obama's more conservative decisions.

However, when earlier he announced that he was not going to pursue prosecution for those just following orders on torture... well I was ready to revolt and secede. Hey I am in Minnesota, I can declare myself part of Sweden - we have Ikea and Swedish sister cities so there.

But an interesting thought came to me as I have been watching and reading the news... what is Obama is *gasp* smarter than I gave him credit for?? By taking some of these conservative stances (ie hey that's not we voted for - we want more change), he is forcing more and more debate out in the open. Watching Jonathan Turley and Keith Olbermann so publicly decry the President's decision on handling of Bushie torture, I realized that when angry citizens start calling their Congress people - it 'forces' Obama to change his mind. So now instead of it looking like he came into office to play politics or get revenge (as rethugs would say), when he changes his mind.. or now leaves the door open... it is the will of the people.

Right now the rethugs in Congress would vote no on a bill introduced by Dems to have Reagan added on Mt Rushmore... they are taking their 'stand' by saying no to everything - even more conservative stuff and of course things that benefit their own constituents. They look and sound so ridiculous that if later on Obama were to request more liberal legislation on areas in health care, education, environment - when rethugs vote no - no one will take them seriously. It will be just more of the same.

Or maybe I am just tired and want change so bad that I am reading more into everything.

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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Dec 19th 2008, 01:34 AM
I wasn't going to weigh in on this because I know many of my points have probably been stated more vehemently and more eloquently by othe DUers.

But dammit, everytime I hear a clip of Obama stating that he has always been a "fierce advocate" for gays and lesbians, my blood pressure goes up and I need to breathe deep.

Because you know what, you can't be a "fierce advocate" if you openly discriminate against a group of people. And yes, saying that one is against gay marriage is discriminatory. It isn't a word choice= civil unions vs marriage, a lifestyle choice, or a social issue to disagree on. It is discrimination pure and simple. It's not even about being a homosexual or marriage.

It is about the Majority having a legal right to do X and a Minority being denied the same right.

Obama's statement:
"And that's how it should be, because that's what America is about," Obama said responding to a question at a news conference about his and Warren's differences on social issues. "That's part of the magic of this country is that we are diverse and noisy and opinionated."

Discrimination is not a social issue... it is a civil rights issue. It isn't open for 'dialogue' in my opinion, especially to a Constitutional law scholar.

And frankly, I don't give rats ass about who Bill Clinton or any other president had speak at his inauguration - I am talking about right now. After the travesty of Prop 8, this is a slap in the face to everyone, not just the GLBT community, although it is especially offensive to them.

The crap about uniting and reaching across the aisle... you know who Obama should be uniting and reaching across the aisle to? The GLBT community. Because they have suffered and continue to suffer hate and discrimination, and especially after Prop 8, now is the time to show that you are united behind the rights of all Americans.

The argument that it is only a 90 seconds - that is 90 seconds of worldwide attention to a man who preaches hate - yes hate. Likening gay marriage to incest or pedophilia is hate.

And Obama's comment about oh well we agree on issues like poverty and global warming... sorry not the same as denying an entire class of people the right that the majority enjoys.

Ok I am done for now - I just had to say it... I am pissed, though not surprised. A long time ago, during the primaries I stated I wasn't a big fan of Obama and I was accused of being racist. I quit coming to DU for awhile, until the nomination was final. I voted for Obama. But I couldn't campaign for him because of his remarks about not supporting gay marriage and the whole Donnie McClurkin thing.

As someone who went to law school and studied civil rights and that pesky Constitution, I expect someone like Obama, who studied the same stuff (and clearly scored better on his exams than I did) to know discrimination when it rears its ugly head. To know that civil unions for gays and marriage for heteros is not unlike separate but equal. And I don't care if you don't agree or don't like it or if your god says nooo its bad, discrimination is unconstitutional.

Flame away, I don't care because on this issue I am right.
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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Dec 04th 2008, 08:42 PM
Rarely do I claim to be an expert on anything, but on elder abuse prevention and victim support, I consider myself not only an expert but a damn good one.

Many of you have heard of the story regarding the teens charged with elder abuse in a Minnesota nursing home. /

Before I was wrongfully terminated (as determined by a Minnesota employment law judge... not just me being bitter) just over a year ago; I developed the only crime victim services program that focused soley on elder abuse (both domestic and institutional) in the state of Minnesota. For 3 1/2 years I successfully ran the program and turned it into a nationally recognized resource for elder abuse prevention. I personally trained over 4,000 community members, nursing home staff, law enforcement officers, attorneys, social service workers etc across the state. I was the first person to be recognized and testify as an expert witness on elder abuse in federal administrative law proceedings here in Minnesota. I also worked with hundreds of victims and their families. I have also worked as child abuse advocate and a domestic abuse advocate.

About 2 years ago I trained the staff at the Albert Lea Good Samaritan home.

Here is what you need to know about elder abuse:
(if you want specific cites to the resources, let me know)

1. Elder abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the country. Conservative estimates are that for every 1 case of elder abuse reported 5 go unreported, however more believe it is somewhere between 14 and 25 unreported cases.

2. Roughly 90% of elder abuse is domestic - the perpetrators are family members or spouses. Of that 90%, a majority of the abusers are adult children.

3. The effects of abuse on elders are more devasting than on other populations: as our bodies age, we are less resilient and it is more difficult to physically heal, if someone has been financially exploited, it is nearly impossible to get the money back and unlikely the elder will be able to go back to work to get their savings or retirement money back, and the emotional abuse of having your children be the perpetrators often causes victims severe depression.

4. Elder abuse is difficult to define: First what constitutes an elder varies state by states - some states say 55, some say 60, some say 65. Some states have elder abuse laws that state that if a person is say 60 and abused, then it is elder abuse (whereas if they where say 59 and abused, it would be assault). Many other states, including Minnesota have vulnerable adult laws. These laws apply to anyone age 18 and over who due to physical or mental disability are considered vulnerable. If you are an inpatient resident you are automatically considered to be a vulnerable adult. There is also confusion as to what is consider abuse and should neglect and self-neglect be included. Because there isn't a solid definition, it is difficult to legislate and prosecute.

Those are some of the facts - clearly I could go on and on...

I will not comment on the specific incident in Minnesota, because it is only a scratch on the surface of the abuse that exists.

So what can you do personally?
If you have a loved one in a nursing home - visit and visit often. Your family member or loved one is less likely to be abused if the staff know that someone will be checking in on them.

Recognize the signs of elder abuse, which can be difficult if the person has dementia. But please know this... many times a dementia patient who is being abused will have their behavior change drastically. Their behavior change is written off to the dementia, but sudden changes don't happen overnight. Patients with dementia or with Alzheimer's are more likely to be victims because they cannot tell, if they could they usually are not believed, and because they are the most difficult to treat (they require more care and patience by caregivers). This does not mean that they deserve it, it just means they are more likely to be on receiving end of frustrated abusers.

What can we do as a community?

We need to demand higher wages for nursing home staff. This may sound odd coming from an advocate for victims, but in my work I was shocked to learn that on average nursing home aides (those responisble for bathing, changing, feeding, grooming our loved ones) earn less than parking lots attendants. It is a sad comment on our priorities that we pay the person watching our cars than our elders.
Hospitals will on average pay $10-15 more an hour for aides who do the same work as nursing home aides, however they require at least a year experience. So what happens is that nursing homes have constant turnover - up to 400% a year.

We need to demand greater staff to resident ratio. The average nursing home resident of 10 years ago is very different than the nursing home resident of today. More and more elders who would have been in a nursing home 10 years ago are now in assisted living facilities. This means nursing homes usually have more chronically ill and dementia residents. These residents need constant care and staff trained on working with dementia. However instead of staff increases, there are staffing decreases and less training.

We need to demand assisted living facilities to be regulated like nursing homes. This is a crisis waiting to explode... without regulations anyone can call themselves an assisted living facility, but states do not have the oversight on care. With our country getting grayer, more people moving to alternative residences we are going to have more cases of abuse coming.

We need to prosecute perpetrators of abuse - these are heinous crimes NOT pranks.

This is longer than I intended and I am just getting revved up so I will leave it to you DU... if you want more information, resources or specific information on resources please let me know and I will gladly post more.

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Posted by nadine_mn in The DU Lounge
Sun Oct 19th 2008, 11:15 PM
Everynow I need to laugh until I cry.... relieves stress and this always does it for me

What to Do With Hotel Soap

Dear Maid,
Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,
S. Berman

Dear Room 635,
I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Kathy, Relief Maid

Dear Maid - I hope you are my regular maid.
Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.

Your regular maid,

Dear Mr. Berman,
The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM.Thank you.

Elaine Carmen

Dear Miss Carmen,
It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don't get back before 5:30 or 6PM. That's the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bath-room shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM.Thank you,

Elaine Carmen,

Dear Mr. Kensedder,
My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager

Dear Mrs. Carmen,
Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don't want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here. All I want is my bath size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don't know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don't know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen

Dear Mrs. Carmen,
Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory. As of today I possess:

On the shelf under medicine cabinet - 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
On the Kleenex dispenser - 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
On the bedroom dresser - 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet,
1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
Inside the medicine cabinet - 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
In the shower soap dish - 6 Camay, very moist.
On the northeast corner of tub - 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
On the northwest corner of tub - 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.
Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.
S. Berman

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Posted by nadine_mn in Minnesota
Sun Oct 12th 2008, 02:52 PM
OK yes we are late getting one... but we have always been procrastinators.... hell I didn't get my engagement ring until a few days after we were married (so don't take it as a sign of lack of support - just lazy support)

They recommended that we bring in our sign each night (and I said well ya, because as I have read on DU they are being stolen) well not just stolen, but burned

Nice racist touch there...

I have insomnia.... some night I am going to leave the sign out, sit in the dark with my baseball bat and wait for some bigoted asshole to take my sign

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Posted by nadine_mn in The DU Lounge
Tue Oct 07th 2008, 03:38 PM
Its a long one but you beats GD and I will have pics

12 years ago my husband and I met - at the time he had a 2 yrold collie mix named Ed (its a she - but that's a different story). He rescued her when he was in college - the whole litter had been taken away from their owners because they were beaten and starved. The pound was going to put the whole litter down, and my hubby had to save one - so he said the first one to come to him he would take home. She had rickets, mange, was malnourished and very scared but he nursed her back to health (at a time when most college guys were partying) and when I met him she was a beautiful, loving, friendly and sweet dog

Hubby and I moved in together about 6 months after we met (mainly because I was done with law school and had to move out of student housing and it was move in or for me to move back home), and like any young couple we decided to have a "baby": a lab mix puppy named Lienie. Ed took to him ok - she was very patient with him - he would "stalk" her, then pounce on her head - she would act surprised before tossing him off, and they were very close:

After about 6 months, hubby and I "broke up" - lol... for all of a minute - he moved back with his parents, and I moved into a swinging bachelorette pad (we moved in together too soon yet we still cared deeply for each other). He would bring Ed over visits for me and Lienie...soon he was staying longer - you get the idea. Anyway, Ed had always been a very mild-mannered dog, still would have anxiety attacks, and just so sweet. One day while playing in the courtyard of the apt complex, Lienie (he was still under a year old) was playing catch and he was sooo focused on the tennis ball he was oblivious to all else (like most labs). Ed was on the other side of the courtyard sniffing and sunning herself. Well the ball went towards 2 white foo-foo ankle biters who had been barking at him the whole time... he didn't care he just barged towards them for the ball - well the 2 little dogs started to attack him. Suddenly, there was a brown blur, and Ed had raced across the yard, placed herself between the dogs and Lienie, barked once and they backed off.

We were stunned - we had no idea she could move so fast, that she was that assertive, and that she was that protective (because she loved to pick on Lienie). So for the last 12 years, Ed has always been protective of Lienie and from that day she has been the alpha dog in our pack (which now includes a cat and another lab mix). She isn't as protective of our lab mix Jasmine - she has been training her to be the next alpha. If you ever read or study wolf pack behavior its fascinating, and its true the female alpha will groom her sister or daughter to take her place.

Well now Ed is nearly 14, and has some hearing loss, and a compressed disc in her spine that she is receiving steriod treatments for pain, and is at the end of her wonderful life. Lienie is almost 12 and has bad knees from years of tennis ball catching, and is feeling the years.

Ok so all that back story to lead up to this

Yesterday, I was taking the Lienie and Ed outside, Lienie was on a tie out (because he still thinks he can chase stuff and bad knees or not, I still can't keep up with him) - Ed was wandering off leash (because she has a hard time going to the bathroom, she likes to be off by herself). Suddenly a neighbor's white foo-foo ankle biter (I think its a Westie) came into a neighboring yard and starting towards our yard. Ed is usually very friendly towards other dogs - barks once, wags her tail and is very sweet. Well she looked at that ankle bite, slowly walked towards it (stalking) and the Westie kept approaching. Suddenly my old girl hopped/waddled (hard to describe because she is old and it wasn't a run) towards the dog and it ran off. Ed came towards me, (standing out there like a doofus calling to her) with a look in her eye of pride, her head held high, and swaggered. Lienie, as always was clueless to the impending foo-foo danger, she ushered him in the house and then promptly took a nap.

It brought tears my eyes that after all these years, after all they have been through (fights, cuddles, new pack members, illness, surgeries and moves) she is still so damn protective of my baby.
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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Sep 14th 2008, 09:40 PM
As evidenced by the "hard-hitting" Gibson interview, Palin is an idiot. In fact, Bush almost seems smart in comparison to "you can see Russia from Alaska" Palin.

And I remember with glee watching the Gore/Bush debates... remember those? Al Gore smacked Bush around, and I believe once or twice Gore had a look on his face of "are you kidding me.... there is a contest between him and me?" - or maybe that was my reflection.

And then that "librul" media spin hit - 'member that? Gore was "elitist" and Bush was an average-joe getting beat up by smarty pants.

For the Dems, the debates won't sway our vote - nor will they for Republicans. But those pesky undecided, independents, and those too lazy too pay attention and think Obama is "muslin" - those people will watch the debates. Obama and McCain in theory should be evenly matched - McCain has been in Washington forever and Obama is intelligent, I don't see the media saying McCain was picked on.

But Biden and Palin - deep down I know many of us want to see that wolf murdering, lying, lipstick-wearing, Tina Fey glasses wearing, idiot get thumped by Biden. Man - I would want to push Biden over and say oooh ohhh let me debate her. But to those who have not made a decision on who to vote for, I can see a repeat of the backlash that Gore suffered from for being umm smart.

In a country where C students are Presidents, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices, there is a disdain for intellectualism. At least that is my opinion - after all, Bush still has a positive approval rating, people are actually debating whether or not evolution is "real" or just devil talk, global warming is a "myth" and abstinance only education and promise rings are considered sex ed.

I know I have offended someone in this post - and all I can say is... oh well, get over it.

I don't have an answer, I am just pointing out my fear.

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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Sep 10th 2008, 10:38 PM
I don't give a rats ass about "change" and that is not going to get my vote - ever. The fact that McCain is using that as a slogan is so laughable its sad. And Obama needs more than just that word, because we had a hell of lot of change with Bush.

Why? Because its a myth at best, a lie at worst.

Every campaign keeps stressing "change" - who said change is always good thing?

Last year at this time I had a job I loved, 2 relatively healthy grandparents and a reason to smile everyday.

Now I have been unemployed for almost a year, one grandparent has died, and one is in hospice. Change sucks sometimes. You bet I am having a pity party - you are all invited.

In 2006, Democrats won because they promised change - they were gonna shake things up, do something about the Iraq war, the criminals in office.... blah blah and you know what? Not a whole hell of a lot changed. And when the votes and opportunities came to deliver on that pledge - many backed down.

And a lot of times, change is complicated. Obama (or any Dem) isn't going to be able to gallop into Washington on a mighty steed and deliver on many of his campaign promises. Why? Because deep down people resist change, fear change, and if things are going well (ie people getting rich, people staying in power) they are going to fight as hard as hell to stop change.

I worked with domestic violence victims for many years, and one question is always asked - why do they stay? The answers vary - fear, love, economic, kids, religious beliefs etc. But 2 always surface: (1) "I can change" the abuser or "they promise to change" and (2) the unknown (living alone, making ends meet, starting over)=change, is scarier than the known.

So what am I voting for? Integrity... don't laugh - I believe it exists. Not honesty, because no one is honest all the time - we all lie - to ourselves, our loved ones, strangers, DMV - white lies, whoppers, lies of omission etc. And that's ok - I want to be lied to at times.

When I am driving and think I ran over a squirrel or rabbit and I ask my hubby - did I hit it? I don't care if there is fur on the windshield - his answer will always be "no" because he knows I don't want to hear the truth. When I get scared and ask if everything is going to ok - he says yes, even though it may not be. Its knowing when to the truth needs to be said - no matter how much it hurts, or how scary it is - and when it matters, that is what is important. For our leaders, truth matters not so much in their own private lives vs as telling the truth when its a matter of public policy. To Hillary as a wife - Bill had a duty to be honest. To us as a country, all he had to say was 'none of your damn business'. Bush had a duty not to lie to us about why we went to war - I could care less if he slips up and has a drink now and then, if it meant he was honest about Iraq.

To those who say Obama should fight dirty - I hear your anger and frustration, and yet I want Obama to rise above it - to stay true to his integrity. Our other Dems should step up and fight - why so quiet in the face of all this bull shit.

I admire Dennis Kucinich for pushing impeachment - no matter how much support (which is growing) he has or if other members of Congress mock him. Whenever Dennis whips out his pocket Constitution I smile and have faith - because he believes in it. I don't care how many times he has been married or any of that crap... he stands up for what he believes in - even if he is in the minority.

You know, if Palin stood by her first position - in support of the bridge to nowhere - I could respect that. Hey if that's what her constituents want - then by all means fight for it. I may not agree, but hell ok. But to say she was against it - and not even say, well after consideration I decided it was a bad idea, but to act as if you were never for it - that is what galls me. Its ok to think things over, to admit you were wrong - but to act like it never happened or to try to rewrite history - that disgusts me.

So enough of this change crap - just say what you mean and mean what you say. I may not always agree but I will respect you for it.

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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Sep 03rd 2008, 08:49 AM
Personally I think 17 is way too young to have a baby... however if Jamie Lynn Spears can do it and now the VP nominee's daughter can, then maybe I am old-fashioned.

I am not going to discuss whether or not Bristol should have decided abortion (obviously not now... but earlier in the pregnancy) - I am pretty sure that decision was made for her.

But so many republicans and fundies are praising Sarah and her daughter for keeping the baby and for Bristol marrying the father.

I know nothing about the father Levi... the self-proclamed f'ing redneck, salmon poacher, and now famous for his little swimmers. But really... 18 and 17 - is that really a good age to get married? How much of a decision was Bristol and Levi's versus parental pressure? Why is this seen as "doing the right thing".

Now I know that there are plenty of people who married young or married their high school sweethearts and have wonderful marriages. And I know 17 is young but not unusual to have a baby... but to me it seems like less of a choice these young people made than a choice that was made for them... and that is not fair to them or their unborn child. So I guess my concern is less about their young age and more about how much say they have... I would probably feel the same if Bristol was 20.

My mom was a single mother most of my life (she divorced my dad when I was 3.. then "for the sake of" me remarried him and then divorced him again by the time I was 5). I always find it insulting this idea that a child "needs" 2 parents (and of course those parents "must" be a heterosexual father and mother rather than 2 moms or 2 dads ). Yes it was financially and emotionally harder on my mom, but she was happier (and safer because my dad was abusive) without him in our lives. The difference in my life was that my mom had the love and support of her 5 brothers and her parents. I was (and am) loved and cherished by my family which more than made up for not having a father around.
Parents who stay together for the sake of their kids are not doing the kids any favors, IMO, because that underlying tension and unhappiness can be felt by kids. And that is such an awful feeling - when your parents aren't happy and it shows.

I am 36 and I have been married to a wonderful man for close to 10yrs. We have no human kids.. just furry ones, and our marriage has had a lot of ups and downs, and we don't have public scrutiny (other than our respective in-laws) focused on us. Bristol's marriage will be media fodder for as long as it lasts... a strain I would not wish on anyone. Marriage is a huge life event, so is the birth of a child, and obviously so is having your parent a vice-presidential nominee. To be an observer rather than a particpant in these events is unfair.

So rather than fundies praising this young marriage... I would rather see counseling (be it spiritual or not) to help ready these 2 to be parents first, spouses later.

Sorry if I inadvertently offended anyone
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Posted by nadine_mn in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Aug 20th 2008, 10:02 AM

So I have been watching and reading the growing media coverage of "saving money"... how to cut food costs, fuel costs, etc. Websites, local news, etc all have cute little articles showing a spunky and thrifty caucasian "roughing it" : ;jsessionid=5CEC57BCB47A84C58ED6BBEF586721EA?contentId=7241041&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1

I think my favoite is the Gourmet Meal from the Dollar Store

"I've never seen canned potatoes"

Seriously... $1 per item is frickin pricey.. and that is assuming you have everything else we take for granted (cooking oils, spices, etc).

Poverty isn't fun, it isn't an adventure, it isn't about being creative by going "retro" (as in sooo last season) at H&M, it isn't a passing thing.

Now I know these type of stories are aimed at those recently experiencing a budget crunch, but the effect .. at least to me... is trivializing what it is like to really struggle.

I am fortunate now.. even though I have been unemployed for the last 10 months.. my husband makes enough that we still have luxuries like internet, cell phone, but it is tight. But there was a time when I had to drink powdered milk because that was affordable (shudder seriously nasty), when knowing which grocery stores had the most accessible dumpsters - you would be surprsied at what good stuff gets tossed, knowing when Goodwill had 50% off stuff, and how to juggle bills so that you are never on-time but not getting shut off either. I have had power, phone, cable etc shut off more times than I can count... even when we have a storm and the power is out, I first call to make sure our bill is paid.

None of the 2nd hand stores shown are the kind most likely to be frequented by low income people... Goodwill, Savers, Disabled Vets -these are where the bargains are and only get highlighted in Oct when the same human interest reporters are doing "cheap Halloween costume ideas". Once my husband balked at buying pants at a thrift store and I asked him.. what do you think happens to the clothes we donate? Are you better than the person who is buying your shirts and jeans? That made him think and now he is a lover of 2nd hand shopping too.

I know what it is like to be at the food shelf and dreading more creamed corn and mac & cheese... NOTE to all well-meaning food donors... mac & cheese assumes you have milk and butter... that can be expensive. Canned chicken instead of tuna was a treat, and so was any type of snack food.. because everyone needs to snack.

I love when people criticize low income people for eating fast food... that dollar menu is cheap and fills the belly, and when you have been working a long day or double shift... no one wants to go home and be "creative" in the kitchen. You want to eat, watch tv, and then go to bed before doing it all again. Praying the car starts, or walking to the bus stop and spending nearly 2 hours between transfers and stops to make sure you keep your minimum wage job, hoping your kids don't get sick because you can't pick them up from school, and hoping you don't get sick because you can't take time off.

And if you can't afford a car, or no access to a bus... well then ride a bike! Really? Because its not just on nice sunny days you have to ride that stupid bike, its also rainy, humid or cold ass winter days. And what kind of bike do you have? Nothing Lance Armstrong would be caught dead on... nope some used, broke down 2nd hand bike. Arriving to work all sweaty in clothes you have to try to wear 2 or 3x before washing because its expensive at the laundromat (and have you biked to the laundromat with you and your kids clothes?). Low income people don't have the luxury of good health either... so that bike ride.. can be frickin murder. And nothing screams "call child protection" then picking your kids up from school on your ten-speed.

The people doing these "human interest" stories are always so relieved to be done with their "challenge" and go back to regular life.

When do the thousands of Americans living below the poverty level get to be done with their "challenge"?
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Posted by nadine_mn in The DU Lounge
Thu Aug 14th 2008, 05:08 PM
Oh man... some of you may remember my post from earlier that my grandfather (who was like a dad to me and I was very close with) passed away 10 days ago.

Well I grabbed some of his clothes when we were up for the funeral last weekend. I took his well-known and well-worn clothes (that really couldn't be donated anyway) with the intentions of making myself a quilt so I could always have a hug from him.

My uncles think I am morbid, my grandpa's sisters think its sweet, my mom and my husband both know that I am the queen of fantastic ideas that crash and burn on follow through so they are waiting to see if I really make the quilt or just keep his clothes in a bag somewhere.

Please note that I will be using the term quilt loosely.. I am competent at best (thanks to my patient grandmother) at homemaking skills... I can do it but it aint gonna be pretty. I have never made a quilt before and after reading books on how to make one... became pretty intimidated. I let a friend borrow my sewing machine (which when I was on my quilt kick several years ago, sat in a box unopened for too long). My friend has not returned the machine or my recent emails regarding the death of my grandpa. So I am gonna handstitch this thing which may go from quilt to pillow to hanky.

Ok back to why I need a hug... I washed my grandpa's clothes, and in his pockets were a hanky and a comb... I cried but made it through yesterday. Today I began cutting "squares" - again a loose term...more like square-ish swatches.... and sewed two pieces together, and I am pretty proud of myself... 1. because I actually started it, and 2. because the backside (which no one sees) may look rough but the front is pretty ok.

And my first instinct was to call my grandma (my biggest cheerleader and the most patient woman on earth) but I can't because she is in the nursing home and it would be too hard for her to talk. Then my next thought was that my grandpa will like it - then I remembered he is gone... and I won't see him again.

I know he is with me and all that... but just the weight of realizing he is gone and I can't see him or hold his hand or get a big bear hug... all that just hit me all at once and I am crying like a baby.

I have been pretty devastated for the last couple of weeks - every day crying but it was getting better, until now.

My husband will be home soon, he reminds me of my sweet and loving. He has been amazing through all this, but I am sure he is getting sick of me being such a wreck.

I know this is all part of the grieving process...but it doesn't make it any easier.

and so I need a hug... preferably squeeze the stuffing out of me.

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