Medicaid Approved

Mom’s application for Medicaid benefits has been approved. This would seem strange to her fifteen years ago self because it would ever have occurred to her that she, the upper middle class wife of a psychiatrist, would need these benefits that are targeted for those “whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.”   America’s Health Insurance Plans (HIAA), p. 232. Retrieved from Wikipedia 1/12/2018.

But a variety of bad decisions, lies of omission, shirking of responsibility and failures to plan have landed my mother in the tenuous position of needing government aid. 

And one of the disturbing ironies is that she is, at once, frivolously spending money as part of an addiction to a home shopping channel, and needing government benefits. She doesn’t have enough money to pay for all of her health needs, even if she weren’t charging like a wounded bull, and at the same time she has too much. 

And we resent it. If she has so much money to fritter away, why doesn’t she give some of it to us? Over the last two months, she’s made about 40 purchases from the home shopping channel, most frequently  pieces of jewellry. 

What is she buying all this jewellry for? She doesn’t get out of bed, let alone go somewhere that warrants new jewellry. A few years ago when I was visitting, she had a pile of knit sweaters — I mean like 15 of them — that she had no use for because they were too small for her and too big for me. 

A program I belong to would call it a massive case of denial. Somewhere in her she imagines that she will go out to a concert, a movie, a Broadway show, wearing this jewellry. 

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Teenage Giggles

Abby and Gina were born one day apart — Gina on the day Abby was due, and Abby on the next. Gina’s mum and I were the oldest in our mums group and it turmed out that our husbands worked together at CSIRO. We all have remained friends over the 17 years since our girls were born and Abby and I are staying with them while back in Perth for the Ultimate Frisbee Under 22s national competition.

Tonight is our last night. Abby is sleeping on a mattress in Gina’s room and the noises that emerge — the secret giggles, even if they are at our expense, tell me that we have done many things right where our kids are concerned.

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Friends from my book group all got together today on the occasion of Abby’s and my visit to Perth. Suzie booked two tables — one for the mums — Ann, Carolynne, Carol, Bridget smaller one for the four daughters: Abby, Gina, Elisheva and Alice. 

I went to the bar to order my bubbly, As soon as I tasted it, I knew I made a mistake so I gave it to Carol and went back to the bar.  The young woman who had served me the first time. She had (at least) two tattoos — one that said “The show must go on!” and the one is music to     Once Upon a Mattriess. Can’t go on  tonight…

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It’s a Shellacking: Labor Wins Landslide Election.

It was a shellacking for the Liberals in today’s Victorian State election. And, in our own electorate of Bentleigh, there was a swing of 12% toward Labor and away from the fear-mongering Liberals.

And that’s all I have to say right now. 

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Scoring Points

I watched Abby score a point today as part of her third game in the first day of the Under 22’s national tournament of Ultimate Frisbee. The team, the Blue Devils, had lost the first game of the day and althought they also lost the second game, I did see her make an awesome catch and score a point. 

To do this, I had to break with a history of missing her spectacular moments in sport — first Netball and now Ultimate Frisbee.  I feel it’s the same history as It also requied breaking with my history of working pollsites on election day and being off on a toilet break or coffee break just when the candidate was stopping by the site I was working. I don’t know how it kept happening through the various electoral campaigns I worked on, but it did.

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Something About Friends

There’s something about being with old friends, and something special yet again about being with friends you have raised your kids with. These are friends we spent time with, day in and day out on camping trips, cooking and eating meals together, spell eachother some by watching kids. These are people who witnessed so many fights between Simon and me, and like a marriage our friendships grew from it. Over coffees and teas, wines and whines. When you see eachother before the civilising first cup of  tea in the morning or after too many glasses of wine by the campfire. Collapse on their sofa without asking permission.  Those are friends. I think I’ll keep them. 

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Erecting Fences

I’ve been grumpy about our soon-to-be neighbour ever since the box of chocolates arrived at our door to make advance amends for the noise and inconvenience that would be coming as the existing house was demolished and the new one built in its place. 

It’s not so much that the chocolates were rubbish, which they were,or that the house being torn down was worth saving, which it wasn’t. It’s more that it’s part of the greater trend of people moving into the area so they can send ctheir chldren to McKinnon Secondary College.  People like us. 

Except we moved into this art deco house and the neighbours are most likely putting up another two story cement Garage Mahal, as Simon calls them. We haven’t seen the plan, but no one seems to pull down the old houses to build something nice.

Then I got really grumpy when the new owner started in about putting up a higher fence than the one we’ve put up. I was not happy about it because I like the fact that houses on our street have short fences and it’s not rocket science. No sooner has he apologised for the disturbances on the way (which is friendly) but the first thing he needs us to agree on is to have less to do with one another. “We’re your new neighbours. Keep Out.” 

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Plantar Fascitis

With only a few weeks left before our family’s camping trip, I’ve injured my foot and i now have plantar fascitis. The cause of the injury was what I’d begun doing to get more fit: bouncing on my mini-trampoline. So I have to give that away for now, while I rest.  I’ve been foiled and Im going to really work at healing this because this is the first camping trip in year and we’re all looking forward to it, Simon especially. Non e giuto!

An illustration showing the plantar fascia ligament running the length of the foot from the heel bone to the toes.
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Forgive Your Present

In her book I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, Barbara Sher has a section in which she calls upon the reader to “Forgive Your Present.” I have not gone through the process she describes in her book but I got a preview of what it means tonight with my daughter.

It’s the night before her final exam in Methods, a Maths unit including Calculus and other demanding components I’ve never done.  She is reaping the consequences of having avoided working on this, something she admitted to me the other day. Now, she is so angry with herself — angry she procrastinated, angry we didn’t get a tutor, and more. I see that she can’t let go of her anger enough to do the only thing that makes sense given the available time: review the areas she is strongest in so that she can at least tackle those questions. 

It’s so clear to me, looking at her situation that all the anger she is feeling is wasted effort. She is angry at things she did or did not do, all of which is now gone. 

The Serenity Prayer pleads:

God,  grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (the past), the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. It couldn’t be more clear to me that she has no power to change the past — what she could have done/ shold have done. But she has, or probably has, the power to focus a little  tonight and consolidate her learning in one possible area. My  goal is to get her to forgive her present-give up the frustration that she isn’t further along. Because only in that state will she be able to think clearly. 

Abby has made the Under 22’s Victoria Mixed Ultimate team and I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity to visit my good friends in Perth. They are organising for the book group to move to Sun wons. 

Iday night so I can see alll the girls andAbby can see all the girls her age.

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Australian Under 22’s Ultimate Championship

Schedule for Under 22/s in Perth

Abby has made the Under 22’s Victoria Mixed Ultimate team and I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity to visit my good friends in Perth. They are organising for the book group to move to Sun wons. 

Sunday night so I can see all the girls andAbby can see all the girls her age.

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