Thursday, March 31, 2005

Monthly Update(or so it seems)

I seem to only be doing blog entries about every month or so. In some ways, I'd like to be doing them more often, but I'm not, so that's why this one got the title it did. And considering how hard it often is for me to come up with entry titles, I'm glad this one was so easy, lol.

Katrina's due date with #2 is now 8/25. But, since we know it'll be a C-section, the actual birthdate could be as much as a week before that. Which is kind of interesting, since exactly a week before that is 8/18, which is Tim Powers' birthday, and he's the baby's namesake if it's a boy.

And we'll know the gender sometime in the next week or so, since Kat went for an amniocentesis last Thursday. That was actually her 2nd, but the first one didn't work out, since the baby got too curious and too close to the needle. If the 2nd one hadn't worked out, we weren't gonna go for a 3rd try, so we're especially glad that it did. Of course, finding out the gender was NOT why she had the test, but that is one of the results that you get from it.

In other "news", the impossibly noisy people living above us moved out(!), and a mother and her 2 kids moved in. I didn't meet them till they showed up at our church, at nursery, my last Sunday there(in Nursery, not my last Sunday @Church, lol). They've been back every week since, which is a good thing. But they haven't been in nursery much, cuz the girl, Olyvia, is old enough to stay in service till the "big kids" leave and go to the older kids CE class and the boy, Jonathan, is going thru a phase where he's uncomfortable around female strangers. Iow, he'll prolly only be down in nursery when I'm there(or when Jeff Schiavone's there?), at least for now.

We finally had our first deacon's meeting with Randy last month. We're getting the church an official website and domain name, and Randy's seriously looking into evicting Little Acorn at the end of this school year. All of this is good news, imo.

Baseball season's approaching and I'm excited, as usual. I've been looking forward to this Saturday's "Blue Rocks BASH" for over a month now, and that's not even a live game! Naturally, it's supposed to rain on Saturday, but they'll still have it, we'll still go, and we'll hang out in the Quarry if we have to.

I'm trying to spend less time online, more time with Becky, and more time getting things DONE around the house. I started taking actions and DOing things to get our apartment a little(or maybe even a LOT?) less "clutterized" yesterday, and I feel very good about that. It'll take a lot of discipline, determination, and general "stick-to-it-iveness" to keep it going, but I'm really gonna try to make it happen. And to KEEP it unclutterized once I GET it that way too!

I'm also trying to speed up our debt repayment process. I sent a payment of over $500 to one of our credit cards about a month ago, which FINALLY got it back under limit(and even left some leeway under the credit limit) for the first time in awhile. It really felt good, if not great, so it motivated me to do more of the same with other creditors.

Things with Cambridge are progressing nicely. Yes, it's slow, but things didn't get this way overnight, so they're not gonna get all fixed overnight either.

But, as slow as it is, it's really starting to look good. I forget exactly when we enrolled with them, but it's been about a year. Which means that we've only got about another year and a half till ALL the bills we put with them are PAID IN FULL!

Some of them are already very low already. 2 or 3 of them are already below $100. Of course, the biggest part of it is that we haven't been able to use any of the accounts we put with them since we enrolled. Paying something each month isn't the hard part, not using the card/s and re-upping the balance on it/them IS.

Kat got a raise last month. It was a cost-of-living raise/increase, but it may have also included her annual raise, we're not yet sure. Either way, it was nice, and she's now making the most she's ever made at any job anywhere!

We're going to try to continue living on what she was making before the increase and put the difference in each check into savings. We're really gonna need that when she's out on maternity leave, since she'll only be getting about half-pay for those 12 weeks. We'll be ok, but having "extra" saved up won't hurt either.

Once she's back at work after the baby, we want to get her 401K(or whatever they call it in the nursing profession; it has a different name, I just forget what it is) started up. We've got NO retirement fund/s or investments right now, and the savings we'll be doing for her maternity leave is the first "savings" we've had in a long time. And, as my dad would say, "That's not saving, that's only deferred spending". We've got life insurance, and I'm pretty sure Kat's got a pension where she's working, but it won't be enough. My dad's "retirement stool" analogy is a hard one to forget, and impossible to refute.

But even tho we're still in significant debt, don't have any savings or investments, and aren't anywhere near able to afford a car anytime soon, we're still doing MUCH better with our spending habits. Among other things, we haven't put anything on credit OR been to AC in over a year. Even tho the former of those is little more than a "consequence" of enrolling with Cambridge, I think they're still both significant achievements. As is enrolling with Cambridge(and keeping with it; not defaulting on it or ever being late on a payment) as well.

We DO want to get a car relatively soon tho. No, not before the baby comes, and prolly not anytime in '05, but the sooner the better. At the very least, I want to get my license back, so we can rent a car for trips to Kat's family and elsewhere.

When I first sat down to do this entry, I expected to be mentioning Terry Schiavo a lot sooner than now. I don't really want to get into it in depth, but suffice it to say that I think the courts did the RIGHT thing here. Not only am I NOT in agreement with the vast majority of the "religious right", or the "conservatives/conservative Christians", or the(so-called) "Pro-life movement" here, but their hypocrisy, utilitarianism, double-speak, and other unsavory tactics with regard to their stand and statements on and about this issue/s totally disgusts me! It almost makes me sorry to identify myself as "pro-life(a dangerous "buzz word" to use, even before the Schiavo circus)", or as any of the other terms that seem to be used to describe her parent's supporters(and her husband's demonizers)!

I can't wait to watch "Countdown with Keith Olberman" tonight. He's been a rare voice of objectivity in all the reporting on this, and his perspective on the overall "circus" should be refreshing as well. I'll prolly also watch Dennis Miller's show tonight. He's conservative without being a lemming, so I'm sure he'll have a unique take as well, and as always.

As many of you already know, I watch the 700 Club rather regularly. I don't agree with everything they say or support there, but I still support their ministry - especially Operation Blessing - overall. In fact, we became members of the 700 Club this year and hope to increase our giving there in the not-too-distant future.

Anyway, there was a feature on today's program(and you can watch today's program, as well as any in the last 2 weeks, online at ) about the fact that several homosexual activist groups are planing a TEN DAY pro-homosexual event, called the "world pride parade", IN JERUSALEM this August. They gave a web address to go to where you'd find(among other things) a petition AGAINST this planned event to read and sign.

So, I went there, read the petition, and signed it. If you'd like more info, go to And if, like me, you don't need any more info to know that you want to(read and) sign the petition, go to
I don't often post or forward stuff like this(via e-mail), but I'm making an exception here.


At 4:28 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I totally understand where you're coming from on the Terry Schiavo issue.

I consider myself pro-life, even though I can't bring myself to identify with many, if ANY, of the organized aspects of the "Pro-Life Movement".

It's my perception that a lot of individuals and/or organizations that declare themselves to be "pro-life" are, in reality, better described as "anti-abortion". And there IS a difference, at least to me. That's why I find it hard to align myself with the vast, vast majority of organized pro-life movements and spokespersons that I've seen in action.

In my mind, being pro-life means a LOT more than just opposing abortion. It also means standing up for the lives of persons who are post-born, in ways like supporting education for all people and making health care available to all people. (In all countries, not just the US.) It involves making things like affordable, competent day care widely available, so that the people who opted to have their baby instead of aborting it can WORK and earn a living, if they need to have a job to support their family.

It even means... and I don't want to ignite a firestorm by saying it, so I'll reiterate that this is what it means FOR ME... opposing the death penalty. It took me YEARS of pondering this issue and praying about it before I finally reached the conclusion that I can't honestly call myself pro-life and support capital punishment at the same time, especially since our justice system is far from perfect at determining guilt vs. innocence. My conscience rebels at the premise of opposing killing the unborn, but agreeing with killing the post-born, regardless of what that post-born person has done. If it's not OK to kill, then it's just plain not OK to kill. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" doesn't have an "Unless the following conditions are met..." qualifiers attached to it. So now, my stance is that people convicted of murder should face life WITHOUT PAROLE, rather than the death penalty.

I repeat, that's MY take on things. I won't be offended if persons reading these statements disagree with me, because I trust that whoever thinks otherwise will have thought and prayed long and hard before arriving at the conclusion that they've reached. And I trust that anyone who chooses to respond to my comments on Jeff's blog will respect Jeff enough not to post a FLAME if they hold an alternate opinion. Debate = good, flames = bad. ;o)

Anyway... most pro-life demonstrations I have seen revolve around anti-abortion, without addressing most of the other points I've mentioned. So I'll keep on doing what I can to support the list of issues that I, personally, consider to be pro-life, even if I don't register myself as a member of any official pro-life groups.

Returning to the story of Terry Schiavo... the most heartrending issue, to my mind, is that I understand why people would support BOTH sides of the argument. I certainly understand why her husband supported the removal of the feeding tube. I told MY husband, and parents and friends, that if I'm ever diagnosed to be in a persistent vegetative state with ZERO hope of recovery, please call the priest, donate my organs, and PLEASE let me go to my Maker. If I can function as a human being on any level, and that includes coming out of the medical crisis with disabilities and/or cognitive impairments, then I am still able to FUNCTION AS A PERSON and I say "continue my treatment". But if there are literally NO thought processes of any sort taking place, if my brain is so damaged that all my body is able to do is breathe and digest, but not think, then it's unfair to my soul to leave it stuck in that kind of limbo for years on end. I can't speak for anyone else, including Terri Schiavo, but *I* certainly would support the removal of MY feeding tube if I were ever faced with the same medical condition, and prognosis, as she faced.

And yet, I understand 100% why the Catholic Church objected to the removal of the tube as "euthanasia". There's a BIIIIIG slippery slope there, any time an action is taken that causes a human being to lose their life. If it becomes OK to terminate the life of a person in a persistent vegetative state, does that get used as a precedent for withdrawing treatment for persons with other medical conditions? Does the "withdraw treatment" get applied to persons with SOME perception of, and ability to truly interact with, their environment? To persons who have FULL awareness but zero ability to care for themselves (ie, spinal cord injury patients like Christopher Reeve)? To persons I've met via my volunteering with deaf-blind organizations, who not only have vision and hearing loss, but learning disabilities as well? When the line between "NO euthanasia ever" and "It's OK in some cases" gets erased, where, if anywhere, does it get re-drawn?

So I can understand where people on BOTH sides of the argument are coming from. And the entire story is heartbreaking no matter HOW you view it. There's no happy ending and no winner to be found here. I hope that Terri Schiavo rests in peace and that her family and friends can all come to terms with her passing and be at peace with it.

P.S. And even though *I* would have wanted MY feeding tube removed, if I were in Terri Schiavo's condition... I *did* mention earlier that "if it's not OK to kill, it's just plain not OK to kill". And removing the feeding tube is, in effect, KILLING the person. Am I contradicting myself? Yes and no. (LOL, no pun intended there.) Patients have the right to refuse treatment, after all; yet, euthanasia is known as mercy *killing* for a REASON. There ARE no clear-cut or easy answers here. :o( May God be with any families who are faced with such a devastating list of options. I don't envy them one bit, and I wouldn't presume to judge any decision they make, as long as it's based on their honest beliefs of what's best for the patient.

Whew, what a missive. Are you sorry you permitted comments to be made on this blog post yet? ;o)


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