Well, someone finally thought to ask about the condition of small business. I find it extremely interesting that most politicians and economists appear to believe that small business is the backbone of the economy and so few have really focused on how small businesses are weathering our economic storm. MSNBC has a story this morning that does so in the usual sketchy and unquestioning manner that is the mainstream media's modus operandi. There is no mention of any action by any government to help 'save' small business. We have bailed out the banks (at least for the moment). The Federal Government provided some loans for the auto industry. As we listened to the morning news we suddenly noticed this lack of focus on small businesses. I forget now which story triggered the notion. But one of us asked how often someone went out shopping for something they normally got at a small store only to find the store gone. Or, as we have often done, driven a route we knew well and were startled to see something new or a blank space where a familiar store used to be.
It isn't even mid-winter and I am already itching to get tomatoes started. I have two 30 gal. containers for tomatoes and peppers. I have collected a dozen (plus or minus) egg cartons for starter trays. I have a nice collection of plastic tubs from cottage cheese, cream cheese, and margarine for transplant pots. I plan to use the plastic we have on the windows (after we take them down, of course, to fashion a cold frame so I can set plants out a bit earlier. Now I find there are some varieties of tomatoes that have been bred to be more cold tolerant. The How To Garden Guide has a few listed. I wonder if some are locally available. Will have to spend some time in the garden shops looking at the seed packets.
The Crochet Dude has a problem I totally understand. Cats (and dogs, I suppose) absolutely love crocheted or knitted things to lay on. And if mommy (or daddy) is working on the piece, so much the better. And if you are not working on a crocheted piece they look at you with that wounded look that says "What are you doing THAT for? It isn't even good to lay on." I really have to take up some small pieces that don't require a lap.
I have been hearing a good bit on TV about Oprah's weight problem. How could I not, living near Chicago. Here is a link to her on-line magazine that details her struggle. One of the bloggers I normally check into every now and then, the Crusty Crone at The Crone's Corner, mentioned her disgusted disbelief that Oprah would go through four doctors before getting an accurate diagnosis. I totally believe it. Last spring Mom suddenly gained weight and slept a lot more than usual. She has been on thyroid medication for most of her adult life. Even so her primary care physician had no idea of how to diagnose her condition. Luckily the doctor sent her to a specialist who got the condition under control. After close monitoring (every three months since last spring) she is back on a twice yearly schedule for seeing her doctors. During this process, however, we became aware of a different problem. The specialist insisted on prescribing Synthyroid and refused to substitute the generic. He said that the generics do not give accurate test results, a problem he does not see with Synthyroid. But Mom's drug plan, which otherwise is very good, includes only a generic medication in its formulary. As a result she has to pay four times more to get the Synthyroid. This is something I would love to see changed. If the doctor has a legitimate reason for prescribing the name brand then they should cover it. I think the insurance companies should question doctors, as should patients. They should not overrule them.
I think it is time to enjoy the brief bit of sun we are getting and clean up the part of the sewing/computer room I have been avoiding for the last couple of days. Stay warm and safe, everyone.