Thursday, June 28, 2012

Is overreacting covered by my HMO?

Imma try not to get heated here, let's see how I do...

I held my previous job for 5 years. The last 3 of those 5 years I was miserable. My hours got cut to the minimum. Raises were frozen company wide. Health insurance went up every year and the plans got worse and worse.

I made less than I could've made working at McDonalds full time because of these things, but I stayed. Why? Because I had healthcare coverage for me and my daughter. My wife's healthcare is so wildly expensive that if we were on hers she'd make half her paycheck each week.

Flash back to March. I get laid off. COBRA (Continued health insurance) is more than I make on unemployment, making my income negative dollars. Because of my wife's job and insurance we're having a very hard time getting my daughter on Medicaid until I find a new job. So we're both uninsured right now. We just can't get sick or injured. We're not allowed. My wife can't leave her job in a terribly hostile work environment until after our new baby is born ini August because of the healthcare.

You can throw around words like Socialism and Communism or just say reactive bullshit like "Fuck America" or "I gotta go somewhere else!" all you want. (Try Canada.. oh wait, they have socialized healthcare too. Ok, Mexico... oh wait, you'll get a staph infection if you go to a Mexican hospital for a paper cut...)  But I think this is a great plan and only wish it'd go into effect faster so I can worry about one less thing at night.

I have enough on my plate.

What I've Been Up To

Hey, long time no post!
Not that there's much to report on here, of course.
The wife is still pregnant. I'm still unemployed. The kid's still a kid. Oh-bla-dee. Oh-bla-dah.
I figured I'd share this spring/summer's project, though... the "garden".

See, we live on the second floor of a duplex. While we technically have full access of the whole yard, our relationship with the downstairs neighbors is less than stellar... so we keep to our own side.
Sadly, our side has very little sun and no real space for a garden. So we did what apartment dwellers have done for years... we took to the sky! (or something)

I already had a window box that I've used with varying degrees of failure, so I went out and got one of those "Suspended Tomato" jobbers and got a couple more container planters from my mom.

Then we got some seed starters and dirt and some green bean & basil seeds.

I thought it would be a fun project with my kid to grow our own veggies from seeds. Every day we'd check their progress, bla bla bla....

She was more interested in growing sponge animals in warm water.
Lousy instant gratification.

So after a while I was able to transplant our basil and beans to our window box along with a free (mostly dead) flower from HomeDepot. (They were giving away free flowers for Mother's Day. The bud fell off in the parking lot and the leaves were mostly withered, I didn't have much hope, but I humored my kid by planting it anyway.)

Around this time we started our hanging tomato plant. I've never seen one of those things actually work before, but I figured I'd try it out.

I also "repurposed" one of our two mailboxes into a planter for parrots beak

Add to those a hanging basket of Mother's Day impatiens, a small planter of petunias, and mom's old strawberry planter full of blue ageratumcreeping wire vine, and mint, and a window box outside the kitchen for Lemon Balm and Oregano and I was spent! (Oh, and some on-a-whim sunflower seeds for the yard itself.)

Flash forward a bit...

Things are established.... the beans grew like crazy, had about a dozen beans total, dried up and haven't done squat since.  The tomato plant started slow, but is now weighed down with green green tomatoes. (They take sooooo long to ripen!)

The dying Mother's Day flowers exploded under a little TLC....

...and the basil is three times bigger than it was in this picture. 

The kitchen window box (on a shelf I made myself, thankyouverymuch) is doing well, though it doesn't get as much sun as I'd hoped. But whatever, I have fresh oregano and lemon balm I can pick right out my window! 

The sunflowers are growing, despite the constant attack of either beetles, slugs or both... even the ones my daughter planted under the porch are doing ok.

So.... yeah. This was just a really long, picture heavy way of showing off my mad green thumb skillz.
See, even in a cruddy duplex you can make something green survive... just make sure you water the living shit out of everything every day.