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People are attacking Social Security Insurance (SSI) as though the retirees who receive checks are somehow draining the system. Not so, those of us who are RETIRED (that is retired from a JOB) have paid dearly (as did our EMPLOYERS) for the privilege of receiving monthly checks from Social Security. The people who are draining the system are the ones receiving benefits for NOT working because of “disabilities” or food stamps because they can make more money NOT working. I have seen young men on street corners with signs asking for money because they are hungry while in the same neighborhood I have seen “Now Hiring” signs. Where does the responsibility begin and end? I am not talking about those in abject poverty who are trying to make a go of it and just need a helping hand for a while. I’m talking about career freeloaders who are milking the system for all they can get, while retirees are facing no COL increases and increased deductions for Medicare coverage, which we also paid for in our working years. We worked in areas where we saw first hand the misuse and totally fraudulent use of EBT cards, government handouts, free this, and free that. It disgusted us then because WE were the ones paying for their livelihood and trying to make ends meet with what we had left over from our taxes.  Our government has added people receiving SSI checks, be it welfare, disability, or whatever to the program that we as workers paid into for all our working lives.  These people are reaping the benefits of our generosity, while draining the system of money meant for the retirement of working people.  President Johnson cause this debacle when he transferred SSI to the general welfare fund.  I’m not condemning people who genuinely need a helping hand…for a while.  I’m addressing the career freeloaders who know how to play the system.  How else could persons wearing diamonds, driving Lexus and purchasing exotic foods be using EBT cards and ADC.  Having more children in order to add more income to their household by the increased money given for dependent children is fraud too.  What is our government doing to the very citizens who have striven to take care of themselves and NOT be a burden to society.  Let’s get serious about transforming this system to something workable.

The first step the government needs to take is to audit all those on welfare to see if they REALLY qualify and then if they don’t, cut them off. If the present administration has been so successful in increasing jobs, then why are so many more on welfare than ever before? If Obamacare is so successful, why are so many people unable to cover the deductible on that wonderful health insurance and choose not to have coverage. Seems to me that those who were responsible (and probably insurance poor) are the ones getting hit harder with higher payments.

The problem we have is that excessive wasteful spending has been going on in our government for too many years. The country is living on borrowed money and time. I have not seen any attempt by those in office ANYWHERE to try to get our spending back in line. I know my husband and I have to watch every penny to be able to pay our bills on time and not overspend. That should be the norm with our government too. It’s NOT their money they are spending on ridiculous programs or wasting on fraudulent handouts, it’s OURS!

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In light of the past horrible massacre of innocents in Orlando Florida, many people have decided to take one side or the other.  I’m not sure there are two sides to this ongoing story.  I would think we are all one people with different ideas about religion, politics, sexuality, family, race, and on and on.  My mantra has always been,”we are all working towards the same place or end or wherever, just taking different paths to get there.”  Right or wrong, it’s what works for me.

We have all made judgments about certain individuals which are truly not any of our business.  Why do we insist on making everyone the same?  My thoughts on the LGBTQ situation (which shouldn’t be a “situation” at all) is that we need to stay out of other people’s bedrooms.  God made everyone who they are and who are we to question God’s plan?  People are who they are.  If those of another persuasion want to enjoy themselves in a club, then they have that right.  I haven’t heard of any murders occurring in a strip joint, which definitely exudes sexual exploitation.  How smarmy is it to have naked/half-naked women slithering up and down a pole for the enjoyment of those perverted individuals who think that this is acceptable behavior for anyone?

Using the Bible to justify actions against those whom we think are “different” is no better than Muslims who have condemned Christians to Jihad.  The fact that this murderer was possibly Muslim and a member of ISIS is not the only aspect of this crime that should offend us.  Those of us who are Christians, non-Christians, Jews, Catholic, Baptist, Protestant – all denominations should uphold the rights of all to be who they are.  We all bleed the same.  Why does different sexual preference cause such an outcry among people of faith?  My thought is that their faith is not true.  The ten commandments should be the basis of faith, not the man-made declarations of religious organizations.  The two greatest commandments are:  “Love the Lord with your whole heart, your whole soul and your whole mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.”  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

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It’s been one of those days.  I have them more frequently now than before.  I don’t know why, I just feel discombobulated or something similar.  I did accomplish all I set out to do this week for a change.  Maybe that’s it…I finally have everything done for now.

If you read my book blog, you know that I’ve posted 6 or 7 reviews this week and that took a lot off my mind.  That doesn’t mean that I read all those books this week, though.  Sometimes I put off writing the reviews if I can’t think of anything to say about the book or the author.  I usually like the books I read, but sometimes there is a clinker.  I have had requests from authors to review their books, but have had to decline because I have such a stack to finish.  I may not live long enough to do that.

I gave the house a lick and a promise this week because we really did clean well last week.  That took a load off.  I can’t stand to have the sun shine in the windows and see the dust accumulated on the hardwood floor, nor can I stand the detritus that attacks the counters and floors and bathroom fixtures in between cleanings.  I try not to look, but then I stick to the floor and it’s all over.

I love to crochet and decided that I would try something new….a sweater!  I was so diligent…I measured, counted stitches, blocked the pieces, sewed them together with a very fine seam, or so I thought.  When I finished sewing in the sleeves and adding the trim, I found that the only person who could wear the thing would have to have the body of an orangutan.  The sleeves just weren’t the right length for the sweater.  I think I’ll try a poncho next.  If that doesn’t work, it’s back to hats, and blankets.

The dog received a bath this morning…he hates them, but I was ready for him.  I wore some old jeans, an old knit top and my old slippers ( I should have forgone the bra and undies too), and turned on the garage sink.  As soon as I dumped the little devil in the sink and soaked him down, he tried to climb up my head.  I got as wet as he did, although he got cleaner.   The clothes line in the garage is draped with my duds.  That’s why I have doggie cologne to use when he needs a bath.  I get to put if off until I am forced to take action.

This is the first entry I have written for my blog in quite a while.  I usually can think of great things to write about just as I am falling asleep in my comfortable bed and I am not about to get up to write.  I should though,  some of my somnolent thoughts are the best.  In the morning I don’t remember diddly, of course that continues all day.  I can’t remember anything…my kids’ names, did-I-take-my-pills, why-am-I-in-this-room…that sort of things.  What makes it worse is my husband can’t remember either.  We spend our days just wondering – who? what? where? when?  It’s hell to get old.

 

 

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Fear and Faith

Ok, you all know from past blog entries that I am a cancer survivor…five years now.  So, today I had my annual mammogram.  I never used to worry about them because I didn’t have anything to worry about!  However, now, after going through all the medical crap that comes with experiencing and treating the big “C”, anytime you have to revisit that it is cause for concern and not a little worry.

Today, however, I went with no apprehension since it’s been five years and I’ve had nary a problem.  Today, it was different.  I had the mammogram and was waiting for my results when the technician came back and said that the radiologist wanted another mammogram done on the breast where my cancer had been.  I really did not worry because that has happened before and everything came out fine.  Today, he also wanted an ultrasound done.  There was something there that he wasn’t sure of.  So I had the second mammogram done and the ultrasound.  THEN the radiologist (same one who did my pre-op before my cancer surgery…nice man) came into the room and did ANOTHER ultrasound himself.  He sat down and looked at me and I looked at him and then he said that he thought it would be a good idea to do a biopsy, but that he couldn’t do it the usual way because he couldn’t get to the suspicious tissue…I would have to undergo a stereotactic (mammographically guided) breast biopsy.  That sounded a little scary to me, but I said “Let’s get to it!”  I also told him that if there was any chance that I had a recurrence of breast cancer that I was going to have a double mastectomy.  I’m not fooling around with this stuff again.  For heaven’s sake, I’m 68 years old and I really don’t need them anymore anyway.  I would probably look into reconstructive surgery though just so I would look better in my clothes.  Lord knows I certainly don’t and wouldn’t look better without them.  I couldn’t call Rich because he wasn’t near a phone, so I thought, ok, sister…just do what you have to do…you can deal with anything.  I prayed fervently to God that he would spare me, but I told Him that I could handle it whatever happened, so just be with me.  I was getting ready to schedule the biopsy for later this afternoon, when the doctor came back into the room and said that he’d been checking my previous years’ mammograms and had decided that the change he saw was because they’d switched to digital mammographies and that would account for the discrepancy in the tests.  He said that I did not need the biopsy and that I could go home.  I said, “Are you SURE??”  He said that he was and I just gave him the biggest hug ever.

Some days are like that.  You can be on the brink of despair one minute and catapulted to extreme happiness the next.  I hope that these days are few and far between though.  Today really took that starch out of my shorts.  I feel like I dodged a great big bullet.  The difference between fear and faith is a thin line, but when you have faith, the fear is manageable.   My hope is that we can all trust in God and have faith that no matter what happens, we can always count on His presence in our lives.

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It always happens like this…when I dread going somewhere or doing something more often than not I end up having the time of my life.  I sort of felt that way about attending my 50th class reunion.  I know my husband was not too keen to go, but then our wonderful friends, Jackie and Steve (I went to school with Jackie) went with us.  Steve and Rich entertained each other (and also visited with mutual friends and acquaintances) while Jackie and I mixed and mingled.  It was SO good to see everyone who came.  Some I recognized immediately.  Luckily there were name badges with our senior yearbook pictures on them in case we didn’t remember how we looked.  The organizers did a fantastic job getting this shindig together and everyone seemed to have a really good time sharing with each other.  I know I was worried that I would be older looking, plumper (as opposed to fatter), and generally not as well-weathered as everyone else.  I fretted about what to wear, which black pants would look the best, did I trowel on enough make-up to fill in the wrinkles, did I manage to get all those chin hairs that hung down my neck, and on and on.  I fretted for nothing.  Once we met up with Jackie and Steve, I could tell that we were going to have a great time.  It also probably helped that my horoscope showed five stars that day.  I don’t really put stock in that, but it never hurts to cover all your bases.  It also shows that no matter how many years separate the times you spend with each other, it doesn’t matter.  Jackie and I just picked up where we left all those many years ago and I am so blessed to have her as a forever friend.  Rich and I are blessed to have them both in our lives.  Let’s hope it’s not too long before we see each other face to face again.

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Well, it’s time…I guess…time to realize that we are getting older.  You know when you receive notice that your 50th anniversary of high school graduation is upon you that you are certainly no spring chicken anymore.  That’s what is facing me and my classmates in September…a reunion!  I’ve known that this was coming for a while now and tried to make plans accordingly.  I was going to lose 50 pounds, then it was 25 pounds, then 10 pounds.   Now I’ve decided just to eat and fill out my wrinkles.  Maybe that will be enough to make me seem younger than I am.  I wonder how many of the women will be wearing those “slimming” black pants or dresses; I know I will.   I wonder how many will visit the beauty shop to maximize their assets…doesn’t help me much.  It’s really funny, but you remember your classmates as they were and you know you are NOTHING like you were, so you want to minimize the aging process so that you look better-just like they are going to look.  You just KNOW that your classmates weathered better than you, are going to be much slimmer than you, have fewer wrinkles and more fun stories.  At least that’s what you think before you attend.  Then, you arrive at the reunion and find that everyone has aged 50 years just like you and there’s not a damned thing any of us can do about it.  The guys will probably have “Done Lap Disease”, that’s where their bellies lap over the rest of them…and they were so handsome 50 years ago.  As for me, I will trowel on the makeup, fill in the wrinkles, pat on the preservative and hope for the best.  We women will probably compare our body shapes, apple, pear, triangle to see who is exercising and eating healthy.  I will not be one of those.  I figure at this point it really doesn’t matter much at all, as long as I’m still here.  Rich isn’t too keen on going, but we promised our friends that if Steve went, then Rich would too.  Jackie and I can handle anything, at least up to this point.  We’ll see how we feel the day after.  Lord, I hope they don’t expect us to dance the way we did back when.  If I get all these body parts jiggling too much, I may never be able to stop it…and the image that I have in my mind about that is not to be believed.  Tapping my foot against my cane may be as active as I can manage.  So, I am looking forward to seeing all those lovely girls and handsome guys that live in my spotty memory.  Let’s see how we turned out!

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Here we are.  Rich and I have both been retired since June 30th of this year.  We thought we would be bored to death in two weeks, after we cleaned and cleaned out all of the closets, the cabinets, thrown away all the clothes that did not fit any more.  We were wrong.  Our lives have been in a whirlwind ever since we handed in our keys.  Don’t really know why, but that’s the way it’s been.  We did get the closets cleaned out, but that was only because the shelf broke in one of them and EVERYTHING came tumbling down…on my “widdle head”.   That was before we left for the weekend to visit Sr. Jane, Rich’s sister, along with the siblings.  When we got home, we spent the next week cleaning up everything.  That was not fun.  Now we need to have a garage sale.

Our grandchildren have visited more since we’ve retired and that’s always a lot of fun. Those little ones are SO cute and loving.  Our 18 year old granddaughter has moved into her own apartment while going to school.   We are going to call and visit her as soon as we are not busy for one evening.

No kidding, our calendar is FULL.  I really am looking forward to getting snowed in this winter.  I’m going to love it.  I want to curl up on the couch with a good book and a warm afghan and a hot toddy.  Sounds good to me.

Right now I am sitting at a desk at a Baymont Inn in Fishers, IN, working on my blogs.  We are staying the night here and then driving to Leo, IN in the morning to meet up with a college roommate of mine for lunch.  Then we are all getting together (Jane & Larry, Nita & Rex, Ellen, and Rich and I).  Then we are going to storm Shipshewana’s many  quilt shops, eateries, etc. on Tuesday.  Can’t wait to get together with my ‘”old” friends.  We have a lot of catching up to do and I am quite certain that we won’t run out of anything to talk about.

OK, I’m done for now.  This probably has not been one of my most interesting blogs, but I’m really tired and my brain is definitely in a sleep mode right now.  I will try to be more myself later.  Don’t stop reading my musings…everyone has an off day now and again.

For this time…’till next time….

Pita

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Amy Drown

Writer, Editor & Photographer

Life...In My Own Words

Reflections of a PITA (Pain in the What?)

I'm Hooked on Books

My Book Review Blog

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