2/19/2017

Healthy Kids

One of the reasons I care so much about what is going on politically in regards to healthcare in this country is the impact it has on children. Poor in America have enough trouble feeding their children. If they can’t afford to live they can’t afford healthcare. Without adequate healthcare, they are more likely to have a need for medical care and it needs to be affordable.
There are over 45.7 Million Americans living in poverty.  Can you  imagine a family of four living on $23, 550 and having to obtain medical insurance on a competitive market? An individual in poverty makes a max of $11, 490 annually and if put on a high risk pool would have to pay more in premiums for healthcare. I ask you how, on what? This might be a single father. This is a reality for 13.5% of Americans.

Let’s assume economists are wrong and that no recession is going to happen in the next several years so things won’t get worse for those at poverty level. Let’s assume that no one else loses a job and falls into the poverty level and some come out of it.  We are still talking about 13.5 % of our country’s population.  Currently Medicaid (for those at poverty level and children) combined with CHIP (special insurance program only children are eligible that have parents that make slightly too much for Medicaid and it is administered by State government) have nearly 70 million people on these plans, 1 in 5 people in our country!

Keeping that number in mind, is it any wonder protestors are shouting in the street that a Medical Care Plan in existence can’t be pulled out without being replaced immediately for the poor in society?  Children that are sick deserve treatment. This is not an uncivilized country that we live in that should be calling on the United Nations or Mission Trips from foreign counties to help sick children needing medical attention. There is enough money in America to care for medical care for youth and their care-takers/parents.

What psychological effect does it have on children to see their parents ill and not getting help?  Having a chronic illness is grueling. Not being able to get treated for it is worse. That is a stress on an entire family but on a child, to try to process it is very hard. These children have a hard enough life living in poverty. Our nation should have some sort of obligation to its youth. They deserve at least medical care and a parent that loves them to be around and support them. There are not enough parents to go around to foster these children.

If the issue isn’t addressed, know that there are currently 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. It is not without its problems finding good homes to foster children. 100,000 of these children are looking for adoptive homes. Thus, the children whose parents need medical insurance, if it is cut and they can’t afford it, Republicans must feel their life has no value. There lies a greater question, are Republicans putting these children in poverty homes into a foster care home?

The foster care system is already well over a $22 Billion dollar program of tax payers money. Even with continued reforms, children that have been placed in this system suffer at least one form of abuse. Many experts say the system is beyond hope and needs to be completely abolished. I was shocked to learn 74% of inmates have been in the foster care system and 80% of all prisoners on death row have been in this system as well!

As a nation with so many youth in poverty-stricken homes, until that changes, knowing health is a major factor in all areas of life, politicians must make healthcare affordable for the least of our brothers and sisters. I am not saying which system is best, which plan, I simply know penalzing those that are chronically ill isn’t the answer. They already are spending money continually on medication. Their life is already lived at half-mast. Why would our government want to knock them down more?  Certainly there are other ways to save money besides making children lose their live, their parents or their grandparents prematurely?  Even middle-income Americans struggle with insurance premiums and drug costs. How in the world can a unwed mother on a minimum wage afford increases on Medical family policies?

We must, as a nation, recognize we have fought wars side by side against enemies. We have waved our flag to stand united during war times and joyful celebrations. To turn our back on neighbors that are fellow Americans simply because they don’t make as much money is not only un-American but cruel. Simply because their lot in life is less does not mean their life has less value in God’s eyes. Certainly we can band together and support that medical advances are for everyone’s benefit, most especially for children. They deserve to have their parents healthy and their lives free from disease. 


We are the world, yes we all are the children. 

2/07/2017

Florida Agrees with Me, Still

I am finding living in Florida quite agrees with me. I am still lost once I leave our community pretty
easily and would be SOL without a GPS and a cell phone. But luckily, with Jim retired, most of the
time, we are together. And yes, we actually find we do get along, better now than ever. Without the
stress of a job, life seems easier to take. And so, here are some updates on our life in the land of palm trees and a much closer drive to the beach!

Jim has been a part of a horseshoe team. He and the guys bond over twice a week practices and then competing with other communities in the area once a week. He started off feeling inadequate as some of these men are quite good!  One of them has won huge prize winnings over the years at nationwide competitions.  His name is Daniel Jack. The way we remember his name is it sounds like a drink, Jack Daniels, Tennessee Whiskey.  He is French and speaks with quite an accent, at times hard to understand.  He has taken a liking to my husband as if Jim is under his wing in the area of horseshoes. Jim says it is because he is so poor at it! But, he is getting much better, the more he plays!

I have gone up before, on an off day, when Jim has been practicing and, as luck would have it, Daniel is there to give Jim advice. At first it made him quite nervous. Did I mention Daniel has been known to throw 298 out of 300 ringers? Well, that didn’t happen the day he was paired with Jim! But Jim played his best 8 games ever so now apparently the advice is paying dividends!  Maybe one day Jim will go on the national circuit and you will hear of him in the news for horseshoe champ! (Don’t bet on it just yet!)

I have been busy volunteering at Thomas Promise. This is a program that packs lunch packs for the needy children in the area to take home on Fridays to help get them thru the weekend. I go up on Mon. and Tues. mornings with a group of women and men to work on this and thoroughly enjoy being a part of this project that started about 4 years ago. If it sounds easy, about the time I go home, I feel like I need a nap! I have never seen so many Ramen noodles, spaghetti o’s, oatmeal packages and cracker snack packs in my life. They get several things, some volunteered and some have to be bought. I wish more folks understood the need for these types of programs.  Some of the schools in this county aren’t served due to lack of funds and space.  But I feel pretty blessed to be able to do my part.

We still manage fun times for just us. One of the beaches we hit one afternoon we had packed lunches to eat.  Our plan was to just sit out and soak up the sun and read. A seagull swoops down and while the sandwich is in Jim’s mouth it literally pulls it out of Jim’s mouth. Another one comes from the other side of his head, honking and screeching at the other bird, extremely agitated because he thought he had eyed the sandwich first. The sandwich hit the ground as did my chair when I bounded out of it flying towards the water screaming. All I could think of was the movie The Birds and running for cover.

Now I have learned, since that day, seagulls, that I use to enjoy on the beach on leisurely trips to Florida, are a pain. Anytime they see food, they want to become your BFF and hang onto you like a
vulture does to roadkill and you literally can’t shake them off. You can wave things at them, and they keep coming back. We eat on shifts, one to flag them away while the other eats, or stay covered. 

I cannot believe our orange tree is showing signs of producing orange oranges, verses green ones! 
They had been green fruit that turned to blackish and fell off up to now. It has proven to both of us
that we were not green thumbs at anything.  We actually have had a few, meaning 2. But it is a start so I am overjoyed! I feel like a fruit tree grower. Don’t burst my bubble; it has taken me 10 months to get here!


In remembrance of our dear Charley, we have a statue out front in our landscaping of him. We don’t
see it, obviously, when we are in the house, but when we come home from anywhere or walk, we spot it. It is welcoming to see the reminder and sad at the same time, that he won’t be inside the door wagging his tail. We needed to let him know that our home is not our home without him guarding it. Our neighbors, even though it is somewhat hidden on the side of a bush, have all commented on Charley out there which warms our hearts that they care and miss him too.

We found ourselves finally at Busch Gardens and bought our annual pass so we will be going frequently, time permitting. It is so much nicer than we thought it would be. I have never been a bird person but the ones there are unreal, types I have never seen, exotic, some making weird noises, colorful, and you’re able to see some birds without cages. 

There were many of other activities, shows, animals too. All the roller coasters were just not going to
go well with my migraine that day.  I can't imagine flipping upside down with a throbbing head pain! We are  going to love being close to the Park with free entry now. Already too, first time in, we got over the experience of getting separated and lost. He calling me, me texting him, missing where we were suppose to meet up, its my fault not describing it well enough, his fault for not being there at the right time, etc and you both land up mad over a half hour or more later! You know the drill, don't say you don't!By the time you do, neither is talking to the other! And then, you land up laughing about it!

Florida is sunny so much of the time that it makes it impossible to go around with a frown on. The weather simply won’t let you do that. So regardless of what is going on, health wise or otherwise, we find the palm trees keep us looking up, the ocean waves keep us looking outward and the warm weather keeps us moving forward with happiness.