Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring showers...

Lead to snow here in Colorado (and eventually spring flowers). It never fails. We need the moisture, no doubt about it but I am ready for spring and I've been reveling in the early blooms I've seen here and there. Today while the snow is falling outside my window, I was editing some of the pictures I took last year to brighten a gloomy day.
 A wild columbine- so rare to spot. It's scientific name: "Aquilegia (common names: Granny's Bonnet or Columbine) is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants that are found in meadowswoodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, known for the spurred petals of their flowers." The Colorado Blue Columbine (A. caerulea) is the official state flower of Colorado.* 
There is of course a whole sad reference to the Columbine which I won't recount here but the flower is undeserving of such remembrance. It is a beautiful, graceful flower that graces the landscape it dwells in. 
 A wild rose- "Rosa arkansana (Prairie Rose or Wild Prairie Rosesyn. R. pratincolaR. suffulta,R. suffulta var. relicta) is a species of rose native to a large area of central North America, between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains from AlbertaManitoba, and Saskatchewan south to New MexicoTexas and Indiana."*

The rose has a whole section in Wikipedia which discuses it's symbolism but just briefly I thought it's classic symbolism was interesting. Isis was just one of the goddesses to whom the rose was sacred. Her rose appears in the late classical allegorical novel The Golden Ass as "the sweet Rose of reason and virtue" and saves the hero from his bewitched life in the form of a donkey. 

The ancient Greeks identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite as did the Romans with their goddess of love, Venus. "In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose", means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice."*
And this is a beautiful flower we have growing in our front garden- the Poppy. "Poppies are herbaceous plants, often grown for their colourful flowers. One species of poppy, Papaver somniferum produces edible seeds, and is also the source of the crude drug opium which contains powerful medicinal alkaloids such as morphine and has been used since ancient time as analgesic and narcotic medininal and recreational drugs."* Not this one though. It's a common poppy and simply provides beauty. 

However, reading on...  "Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.
A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death."*


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The awe factor

Well I can't help myself! I had to share the news that I have a new baby granddaughter- Leyla-Rae.

She is a week old and already lifting her head to see what's happening in the world. I'm planning visits to the museum for a few weeks from now to begin filling the little mind with the wonders of the world- I'm kidding, of course but I do plan on taking her early and letting her play in the Space room and romp among the dinosaur bones. I plan on having many happy hours teaching her fun stuff about mummies and tombs. Such fun! 

Its lovely to have such good news right now because its still been rather bleak around here. I am hoping springtime will cheer me up- as it usually does. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why Insurance in America sucks pt. 4 (this time I'll be brief) and...

Actually this isn't so much about insurance as medical care because in general the problem is medical care- which includes dental. Part of the reason that medical care sucks in the United States of America is that there are too many hidden costs and you don't find out about them until after the fact.

You don't find out that your insurance won't pay for a new dentist in the office you've been going to for years until after he's done a full round of X-Rays on your mouth because you assumed that the office took your insurance when in fact it apparently depends doc by doc. You have to ask! Buyer beware!! 

You can't find out the doctor's office is going to charge you for the experimental treatments they offered (or how much!) so that you can decide if you want to buy the device the doctor is recommending (not covered by insurance) until weeks after you had the appointment because in some cases the front office doesn't even know- their billing office makes those decisions.

You can't find out the difference in cost of one emergency room visit from another- so unlike other markets you can't shop around. But that's not how the "free market" is supposed to work: i.e. I can go from one car dealer to another to find out who is going to offer me the best deal or if Argonaut Liquor is offering a wine on sale I can get Keg Liquor to give me the same wine for the same price. But you usually won't/can't find medical care costs up front and can't choose which is going to be cheapest or ask them to give it to you for the same price. And no, you don't always get the best value for your money. I mean after all, a urine analysis is what it is. Do you need to pay $500 more for it at one hospital than at another?

So that's all I'm going to say about that. For now. Except that I think we are all suckers for not screaming at our government to give us a single payer option and giving it to us now. They can pay for wars that go on and on and on without any kind of result and not bat an eye but doing the right thing on healthcare is too expensive. Well, that's not the reason, I know, but I am not going into a political rant right now.  :)

Quack, Quack.

It's been pretty dry and fairly warm here (except for a couple of days when we dipped down with the whole country into the ungodly cold temperatures a few weeks back) and there's not a whole lot of snow around. We could go on some nice walks except for my shoulder still makes it difficult so these are pictures taken from last year...
What I'm reading? 
I've finished reading a friend's novel right now and giving him some feedback. It's a good solid literary work and I hope he finds a publisher although it's a struggle out there as we all know. 
Hope things are going well where you are!


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