Monthly Archives: January 2006

People in My Life – Thank You (with Pictures)

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This is a work in progress…I finally got all the pictures added and now the hosting site is down and has been for some time. To transfer all the picture to another site will be a project and I will do it…but who knows when…my apologies…

 There have been people throughout my life who have made a big impact in one way or another. I would like to take this time to thank these people. Undoubtedly, I will leave some people out as my memory isn’t what it once was…but as I think of them, I will update this blog. For the most part, this list is in no particular order…

 

My husband, Charlie – Thank you for loving me the way I am. Thank you for your loyalty. Thank you for being a wonderful and responsible provider for your family. Thank you for your unending integrity. Thank you for being a great father. Thank you for accepting that I am not perfect. Thank you for your honesty and your devotion. Thank you for your love.

 

My daughter, Cassidy Rosita – Thank you for showing me what true, unconditional love really is. Thank you for your beautiful smiles and your sweet kisses. Thank you for making me smile even on my worst of days. Thank you for reminding me that life is always worth living and living well.

My mother, Becky DeGroot – Thank you for being the best mom you could be. I have been difficult through the years as I am sure many daughters are, but you have always loved and wanted what was best for me. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my parent when I was a child and for being my best friend as an adult.

  My father, Edward ‘Marty’ Jocius – Thank you Dad for teaching me how short and precious our lives truly are. Thank you for your humor and wit. Thank you for watching over me as I truly believe you to be.

  My stepfather, Randy DeGroot  – Thank you for always being there when I need you. Thank you for helping me when I need it the most. Thank you for taking care of us all of these years. Thank you for being more of a father than our own father. Thank you for caring for us and loving us.

  My step daughter, Mackenzie EileenThank you for teaching me that it is possible to love and care for a child that is not of blood relation. Thank you for teaching me that patience is an important virtue to learn. Thank you for teaching me that we all need to be silly sometimes.

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I No Longer Have a Home

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I no longer have a home. The city in which I have lived my entire 31 years has become a place I am ashamed to call home. This city has become a cauldron of heartless drones. This city is filled with people who would rather save a penny then save a life. This city has had its heart turn to stone and its soul sold to the highest bidder. I no longer have a home.

 

A terrible thing happened this week. Please see the following link for details and comments people have made on this story.  The comments made seem to be a reflection of the muck this city has become. The comments have me reeling in digust for my neighbors.

 

http://www.journaltimes.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=3635

 

People make mistakes in their lives. Id bet that pertains to every one of us. Who, in their young lives especially, have done things which could have pissed off another person, or could have been judged as wrong or even illegal? Now imagine being killed for that mistake.

 

So many people are trying to get a Concealed Carry Gun Law passed in Wisconsin. Can anyone see how this is going to create a war zone. It is going to turn every individual into police, judges, and even executioners.  

 

I am sad on this cloudy, cold Wisconsin morning. I have a gnawing in the pit of my stomach and a sour taste in my mouth. I no longer have a home.

Color Me Impressed (and hopeful) WI State of the State Address

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While listening to Governor Doyle’s State of the State speech last night I actually found myself applauding (my 16 month old daughter found that amusing) and even felt a bit choked up at times. Most of what was discussed I find to be so important and I am so hopeful that this is not just a bunch of excitable pipe dreams. Below is a list of topics he outlined in his speech (list from AP found on http://http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/13648355.htm ) and my thoughts on each of them:


Creating a new health insurance program for children called BadgerCare Plus. The effort would merge 500,000 individuals currently enrolled in three different programs into one.

As I understood it, he is proposing a healthcare plan where families of all incomes can CHOSE to enroll for their CHILDREN. He claims that he believes no child should ever be without health insurance. I, of course, believe this as well.

Creating a large, low-cost insurance pool for Wisconsin employers designed to address the cost of catastrophic care.

I think this is a wonderful idea. Horrible things happen to people from all walks of life. This will cut insurance costs for employers which will in turn benefit employees and our communities. Lack of jobs, outsourcing, and high premiums can all begin to be addressed by solutions such as this one.

A new financial aid package for college. Wisconsin eighth-graders who sign a pledge agreeing to maintain at least a B average in high school, take certain courses and stay out of trouble would be eligible. If they go to a public Wisconsin school, the state would guarantee them grants, loans and work-study jobs to pay cover the cost of tuition.

Again, I think this is great. Students and parents will all have to be accountable in order to receive these benefits. College has become almost a necessity in this country and it needs to be affordable. And students need to start seeing it as not only a possibility, but as their goal, starting from an early age.

An expansion of Wisconsin’s Family Care program, which provides long-term, community based support for low-income seniors and the disabled. Services range from the meal delivery to help administering medications. Doyle has touted it as a cheaper alternative to putting seniors into nursing homes.

I didn’t even realize how much of a problem this was. I never, thank God, have had to think about this. But one day, it could be likely that I will. Many elderly and disabled are living in outrageously expensive Nursing Homes when less expensive solutions could be made available. They can live more independent lives while still getting the care they need and deserve.

An initiative aimed at helping Wisconsin capture 10 percent of the stem cell research market by 2015. Doyle plans to direct the Department of Commerce to spend $5 million to recruit companies that find practical applications for stem cell research. The initiative includes efforts to promote Wisconsin as a leader in the field.

Here is where I actually applauded in my own living room. I thought "This man has got some balls!" Many faces in that room in Madison did not look pleased, but the ones that did were hooting and hollering!! And I am hooting and hollering right along with them. I believe Doyle’s quote was "Politics will not get in the way of curing diseases." I just wish our federal government was so clear minded.

$6 million to help people with rising heating costs. The effort would give 30,000 Wisconsin families an average of $200 in state heating bill assistance this year.

This is for families who make 40k or less a year. So, while it still leaves me with a high heating bill and no assistance, I applaud this. This can help so many people. And lets face it, they need it more than I do. He also is asking for this to be an emergency action to go into effect asap so that people can be helped right NOW!

$9.5 million in private venture capital for startup businesses in northeastern Wisconsin that has been deemed the "New North."

Great!! New jobs..Who could argue with that??

A tax credit for poor parents working at least 35 hours a week designed to ensure their incomes meet the federal poverty level of $19,350 for a family of four. The credit would cost the state $22 million in revenue in its first year, helping an estimated 9,000 families with 26,000 children.

The most important part of this ‘poor parents working at least 35 hours a week’ !! This is NOT a hand out to baby poppers sitting on their asses day in and day out. This is for hard working parents trying to make a decent life for their families! One of the biggest problems in this community is the fact that children are being raised in hopelessness. This breeds crime. Helping these families will benefit ALL of us and will keep people working because it won’t be more beneficial to collect welfare and state aid. As Doyle said (or something to the effect), ‘There is no state aid better than a good paying job.’

Outlawing the practice of "health care dumping." Doyle said profitable companies such as Wal-Mart should not deliberately manipulate their benefits so that employees qualify for state-funded programs such as BadgerCare.

This is a no-brainer. Shame on them.


He also mentioned starting a 4 year old kindergarten program. This is such a great idea. Not only a four year olds more than ready, getting an earlier start will only encourage their social and learning growth. Also, this will really help working parents who are struggling to pay for the high cost of child care. What a fabulous idea.

If you read my blogs, you know how I feel about gas rates and the abusive oil companies. Doyle is just as pissed as I am and is working hard at taking on these seemingly untouchable corporations.

To this day I refuse to consider myself a democrat or republican. While I lean towards the democrat philosophies because they tend to put people before the mighty dollar, I also agree with my republican friends about ridiculous hand outs to unproductive citizens. I support gay marriage, abortion rights, and other liberal plights. But I also feel that civil liberties are being taken advantage of and ballooned to unnecessary proportions at the expense of the majority. While I still refuse to consider myself a Democrat. I fully support Governor Doyle. His views on education, stem cell research, and healthcare are just a few of the reasons he is clearly doing (or trying to do) what is best for our state and ultimately, our country.

School Fun

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Numbers counting

One two three

Adding subtracting

Math is for me

 

Writing Spelling

A story to read

My favorite class is

Language indeed

 

Finally, gym day

I can run at last

Remember my sneakers

So I can be really fast

 

School is fun

My teachers are great

And I always love

To participate

 

Sometimes the days

Can seem so long

Sometimes I get my

Schoolwork wrong

 

But that’s okay

Because I want to learn

And I do my best

So good grades I’ll earn

Munich (2005) – A Review and a Learning Experience

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"It costs dearly, but home always does," said by Mathieu Amalric who played Louis in Steven Spielberg ‘Munich’ is all telling and should have been the bi-line for this film.

Entering the theatre I knew nothing of the subject. I was born in 1974 and have literally never heard a single thing about this tragic event. Perhaps that disabled my experience, perhaps it assisted me in watching from a fresh perspective, I am not sure. Not being a historian by any means and not being well-educated in the plights of our fellow humans on the other side of the world, this movie taught me an abundance of what I should have already learned years ago.

Spielberg, being an obvious Jewish supporter, I thought this work would have been much more biased. Instead he beautifully and intellectually demonstrated that all involved are human at their very core and are all simply fighting out of loyalty and love of home. Neither side was portrayed as monsters, heartless terrorists or simple assassins. We, as spectators, were able to sympathize with the entire situation.

This movie was phenomenally acted, beautifully written, and the direction was executed in Speilberg’s usual magical essence.

I believe that this world was meant to have no boundaries. We were all meant to have a home, and that home is simply earth. Land is that on which we walk, I do not believe it is what makes us who we are. So much torment, death, and destruction in the name of Land, Home, and God. It is so sad when what we all need to realize is that belongs to each of us in our hearts, not below our feet.

Letter I Received from WI State Rep Lehman

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Remember this when it comes time to VOTE!!!
 

Dear Ms. :

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding the outrageously high heating costs Wisconsin residents are facing this winter.  I share your concerns about how middle and low income families will fare under this burden.

 

Since January of 2002 the top ten major public oil companies have pocketed profits of more than $125 billion.  The Energy Bill signed into law by President Bush last year gives the oil industry $6 billion in tax breaks over a ten year period.  While the best solution would be for Congress to restore the Windfalls Profits Tax, it is doubtful this will happen.

 

Last month I joined Governor Doyle at his public hearing in Milwaukee requesting representatives from the five major oil companies to explain why industry profits rose so dramatically following the spike in gasoline prices in recent months.

 

In addition, I am the author of Assembly Bill 873, which would place an assessment on large oil companies’ windfall profits at the state level.  These proceeds will then be returned to Wisconsin residents in the form of a tax credit to be used for the cost of fuel and electricity to heat our homes.  I have asked that the Republican leadership in both houses of the legislature convene a special session to pass my proposal and to look at other ways we can help families meet their high heating costs this winter.

 

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your comments with me.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if I may be of further assistance to you.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

State Representative John Lehman

62nd Assembly District

 

JL/jms

Pleading for Reason

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The following is a letter I will be sending to The Journal Times as a letter to the editor as well as to all my local/state politicians.
 
Here is the link to the online letter on The Racine Journal Times Site:
 
 
Here is the link to the online letter on The Milwaukee Journal Site:
 
 
 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I am writing in regards to the newest approval for Electric and Gas price increase reported Wednesday January 11, 2006.  I am pleading for our local and state politicians to take a good hard look at how much this is affecting the average person in Wisconsin. I understand that it may be hard to realize the dramatics of these approvals while holding a six digit salary. But I need to express that these rate increases are going to devastate many people in our communities. Between the rates of electricity, gas, and healthcare, we are going to experience personal financial ruin in this state.  While the elite few are lining their pockets with our last dollars, the majority will be suffering. I for one will be sure to vote only for politicians who openly express not only their genuine realization of these problems, but also the ones who demand changes. Republican or democrat, it makes no difference to me. And soon it will make little difference to anyone as long as we see our bank accounts dwindle to nothingness.

 

Last month my WE Energies bill was $296. I have a 1200 sq ft home. We purchased a new furnace in the fall and put added insulation into our home. We have taken many steps to be energy savvy. Yet, our bills rise and rise to ridiculous proportions. We are able to get by on a month to month (paycheck to paycheck) basis fairly comfortably. But that not only will not last for long, I can’t imagine how many others will financially survive at all.

 

Something has to be done, plain and simple. And I, for one, want to know what our representatives and politicians are doing about these out of control predicaments. I want to know who will be the ones to stand up against our current administration who are simply allowing this abuse to continue and escalate.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Regards,

King Kong – A Review

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Before reading this review of Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005), it is important to know a few things about me in order to understand the significance of some of my points.

First of all, I have never, ever, even once in my life seen any version, new or old, of King Kong. I never read any books about it, comics, magazines, nothing whatsoever. I knew some of the basics…big giant ape somehow ends up in New York, falls for a blonde chic, and he ends up dying on top of the Empire State Building. Basically, that is all I knew.

Secondly, I never have seen any of The Lord of the Rings movies and know absolutely nothing of them or Peter Jackson’s talent beside the fact that my brother, an incurable dork at heart, has tortured me over and over with his incessant bickering about ‘having’ to see these movies. I will, I will, I promise.

The last thing that bears some significance is the fact that I take drugs…prescriptions for anxiety and a fast heart rate. Both of these drugs not only calm me by blocking adrenaline, but also slow my heart rate considerably. This is only important to know due to the fact that during these 3 hours of watching King Kong, my heart raced the entire time regardless of my medicated blood stream.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I knew it looked worth watching. I thought it was likely a promising adventure.  The effects appeared to be fascinating.  I figured I would enjoy it. All of the mentioned proved to be true, and then some…and some…and some…and some. One thing about me I forgot to reveal earlier is the secret of my thimble sized bladder. Yes, I have to pee a lot. You all now know this fun fact about me. Anyway, there was not one single moment during this film that I could have spared 2 minutes to run to the bathroom and whiz. Seriously, this movie was jammed with back to back action and I didn’t want to miss a minute of it.  

The breaths in between the adventurous, hair pulling scenes came in the form of basic human…and simian…emotion. When first hearing about a movie where a beautiful woman and an ape fall in love, I thought to myself ‘Okay, WHATEVER!’.  But watching the connection, the compassion, and the mutual lonely sadness between the two made so much sense of the ridiculous story.  I mean really, what woman doesn’t want someone to protect them despite grave danger? Who wouldn’t crave for someone to stand tall, pound their chest, and scream out “She’s mine!”? And what male wouldn’t dream of a pretty blonde to juggle and dance for him? Really, it all makes perfect sense.

The pure, unadulterated heart from which this movie beats is what makes this one of the best stories ever.  The hair-raising, striking, and beautiful direction, editing, and effects made this one of the films ever. Brav-freakin-o!!

There is one more thing I would like to add.  I would like to make a formal apology to the guy seated in front of me. I am sure that my snot sniffling sobbing and my long abdominal trying not to cry out loud breaths were quite annoying. For this, I apologize.