Tuesday, January 19, 2016

why we need single payer universal health care despite the AFA
the AFA (affordable care act) is not sufficient for the majority of americans who have been forced to buy into it (or face huge penalties) and no matter how you "tweak" it, it still plays into huge profits for the insurance industry.
here is the reality.
employers are dropping their employee coverage and forcing their employees to buy into the AFA. this is happening everywhere and costing these employees more than they were paying prior. example: i have a friend who will now be forced to pay $100 more per month than she did and in return gets less coverage.
insurance companies are still controlling who you see and how much you pay. example: my sister lost her insurance so chose an “affordable” policy under the AFA. she was thrilled to have “affordable” insurance until she found out that no one in her area would accept it. no doctor, no hospital. so she has insurance but cannot find a place who accepts it because every doctor, clinic and hospital in her city is tied into United Health Care.
people are forced to buy in the AFA only to find the insurance they need is NOT affordable even if the premium is. you see, while the premium may be cost effective, the coverage is not. people are finding out that with the huge deductibles they can’t afford medical care and that it’s costing them a lot more in the long run than what they had prior. in fact, it’s costing them their health.
so far the only ones i’ve seen personally who have truly benefitted from the AFA are those of very low income who qualify for free extensive coverage through medicaid. in ohio medicaid provides several insurances for those people at no cost with excellent coverage. and this is only because Gov. Kasich agreed to expand medicaid. (not a fan of his, but this is one truly good thing he did for ohio’s low income people.)
with the AFA what we have is a health care system still governed by the insurance companies, i.e. , corporations making big profits. unfortunately this is how money in politics works and why Bernie Sanders is so opposed to corporate campaign funding and why he and anyone with common sense would realize that we need a single payer health care plan that works for everyone. so far the only ones who have good, dependable ad affordable coverage are those on medicare or medicaid. yes, the AFA made insurance available to those who otherwise may not have had that option before, BUT it did not make healthcare affordable to the majority of americans. the name “Afforodable Care Act” is rather oxymoronic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

fear, greed, prejudice...is it just me that's confused?

people continue to confuse me daily. i know i'm not always the sharpest crayon in the box, but if you believe in god (as you say you do) and you believe in love (as you say you do), and you believe that god is love (i assume you do), then why deny refuge to those escaping the killing and suffering in syria? people think that by taking in refugees it somehow takes away from you or "us". here's the thing, it's doesn't! the only thing that takes away from us is the political system that gives billions and billions of dollars in tax breaks and refunds to corporations time and time again. and it's the corporations who hide their profits in tax havens offshore that take away from us. and it's the revolving door policy of our government consistently hiring former corporate employees and putting them in washington. truly, if you believe in god and love then you will open your arms and hearts to those who suffer, be they americans or syrians, christians or muslims. and if you really have any kind of faith in god or reality you'll believe there is enough in this world for everyone. and there actually is. we just need to work seriously to get some balance in the world and as americans, particularly in this country. and to begin this process we must be united, not separated by race or religion. we must exercise the power of the people to change things.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

years ago i visited a country restaurant in smithville, ohio called "The Barn".  they served the best broccoli cheese soup EVER. later, in our local newspaper recipe section someone shared a recipe for broccoli cheese soup that sounded as if it might be similar to what i had loved at The Barn.  i tried it, it was and after that became a family favorite in my house.

here's that recipe for those who, unlike me, :( can still handle a good share of cheesiness.  it is delicious!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
(makes 4 qts which is a lot unless you have a family to feed.  you might want to cut the recipe down.)

2 T. butter
1/3 c. onion chopped fine
sauté' these together for 3 minutes.

add 3 c. chicken stock or 3 c. water with 3 chicken bouillon cubes
cook until dissolved.
bring to boil and add:

4 oz. fine egg noodles
1 - 10 oz package frozen chopped broccoli (or equivalent of fresh)
1/4 t. garlic powder
cook all this until noodles and broccoli are tender (about 5 minutes)

stir in 3/4 lb. velveeta cheese, cubed and 3 c. milk.
cook and stir until smooth.  do not boil.

you will love it, i promise!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ohio Homestead Exemption for Property Owners Saves Money on Taxes

you qualify for a property tax reduction if:

  1. you live in ohio
  2. you own a home
  3. you're 65 or older OR disabled

from http://www.tax.ohio.gov/faq.aspx:
The homestead exemption allows low-income senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans, to reduce their property tax bills, by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all local property taxes. For example, through the homestead exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 is billed as if it is worth $75,000.
The exact amount of savings varies from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners saved an average of about $435 per taxpayer during the 2011 tax year. The tax exemption is limited to the homestead, which Ohio law defines as an owner’s dwelling and up to one acre of land. The value of the exemption may not exceed the value of the homestead.
To apply, complete the application form (DTE 105A, Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses), then file it with your local county auditor. The form is available on the Department of Taxation’s website and is also available from county auditors.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Outside my window the sun just recently rose and is casting it's light on the trees across the street, creating shadows on the lawn.  the oaks and maples maintain their leaves yet, in shades of gold while most other trees have become skeletal until Spring.  squirrels scamper to and fro, foraging for the coming cold.  Pampas grass sways just ever so slightly.

I am thinking this will most likely be one of the last and truly nice fall days here in Ohio.  

I am thankful for so many things, but thinking of my dogs, Reggie and Juju and how much love, comfort, companionship and enjoyment they bring into our lives.

In the kitchen I have just put fixings for split pea soup into the crockpot.  the dishes still need done.

I am wearing my nightgown still, long and white with blue-green flowers on it.

I am creating a multicolor triangular shawl.

I am going to our local meat market today to stock our freezer for the month.

I am wondering if I'll find my way back to the simple woman I used to be.

I am reading 'Catcher in the Rye' because I've never read any of the classics, old or modern.

I am hoping to feel more awake and lively sometime soon.

I am looking forward to 'Sons of Anarchy' tonight.

I am learning just how much I've let go of who I was five years ago before my husband died and how much I miss that person.

Around the house everything needs caught up.

I am pondering the holidays approaching soon and trying to decide exactly what we're doing.

A favorite quote for today..."If not now, when?"  I need to remember this because it's applicable in every way.

One of my favorite things is a sense of order which right now is lacking in my life.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
do laundry, get groceries, sort items for donation, list on etsy.

A peek into my day: 
dogs out, dogs in, dogs fed, give meds to sick dog, (repeat, repeat, repeat) prep what's for dinner, start laundry, get dressed, go to store, coffee, home and carry on.  that sums up just about every day.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

once upon a time...

...we didn't have the technology to communicate and connect with others like we do now.  if you're my age you probably think about that now and then.  if you're younger probably not so much.  i remember still the days when you not only took the time, but had the time to sit down and write a lengthy letter to a friend or relative.  today we text or call or message via facebook, etc.  we know what our friends are eating, drinking, doing, did, where they're at, going to or have been, what they bought, how they feel on a moment to moment basis, what games they play and the list goes on.  it seems we simply can't be without our cell phones and our aps.

i'll say this, i am grateful for the ability to communicate easily with my family and friends at any given time, yes.  and oh how i love the internet for searching out information, whether it's researching a particular subject or looking for a new recipe.

now i sometimes hardly believe in the concept of good vs. bad in some of cases.  technology is one of them.  it's what you make it.  it has such great benefit in our lives.  at times.  the point i'm trying to make here is that we all complain at one time or another about how busy and stressful our lives are.  yet we can't seem to put our phones or computers aside long enough to give ourselves a break.  just look around at what's happening.  i watch children walking home from school every day.  are they talking or laughing amongst themselves?  rarely.  they're all too busy with their attention on the phones in their hands. adults?  the same.  if they're jogging or walking they have their earbuds in or are busy looking at their phones.  i can't tell you how many times i have had pedestrians walk out in front of my car because their mind was on their phone, not on their surroundings.  (i promise i won't even get into drivers on phones.)

and, what's really oxymoronic is that while we're in constant communication with others we've forgotten how to actually be social in our immediate surroundings.  i'm sure i'm not the only one who has had friends over and had the time together interrupted repeatedly by someone's cell phone.  well, (sigh) there goes any chance of a deep or meaningful conversation.  we just don't often seem to get far enough in face to face communication to actually get to the heart of a matter before we need to answer a call or a text, or wait until after our friend does.  as technology has enabled us to broaden our social network we have actually become less and less capable or willing to participate in face to face communication.  i think that is a very sad thing.

do you know how to simply sit with yourself?  do you take time to listen to you?  can we stop scrolling or texting long enough to really connect to each other and ourselves?  commit to it!  yep, that's right.  why not commit to a routine of turning off your device for an decent amount of time each day?  spend some time getting to know yourself.  take a walk, sit in the park, be creative, meditate.  or meet a friend for coffee and actually spend that time with them, really talk, make eye contact, phone turned off and in your purse or pocket.  don't you even look at it.  better yet, be brave enough to leave it at home if you're not going far.  just think, in the days before cell phone we had no choice.  seriously, it's not such a big deal.

my point is this.  we clutter our lives every day with so much that's not only unnecessary but actually takes away from our peace of mind and quality of life.  all this unnecessary information and time spent sharing needless data adds to our mental overload and takes away from our being present enough to enjoy life in the moment.  too much input, too little time, freedom and actual awareness of the moment=STRESS.  i don't know about you, but daily events are often stressful enough without my adding to it needlessly.  turn your phone or tv or computer OFF.  relish some down time. find out what your breathing sounds like, hear the sounds of nature, smell the air, feel the creative experience, experience what's real; the life and beauty within and around us. it's what helps us recharge and be better able to deal with all the other commotion our day may present.   get yourself some peace!  it's available if you want it.  and it's free!

just a few ideas on real socializing

  • designate a technology free day for yourself.  you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
  • or if that sounds like too much to handle, begin with a technology free hour each day.
  • if a group is going out to dinner, have everyone put their cell phones in a pile in the center of the table with the agreement that whoever reaches for their phone before actually leaving has to foot the bill.  
  • actually have sit down dinners at home with the family.  all phones off and away from the table.  take this time to really communicate, listen and reconnect face to face.  if you can't do it every day, try to at least once or twice a week. 
  • have a family game night.  no tv, no phones, no computers, no playstation.  how about a card game, a board game or some story telling?  or even a popcorn fight!  :)  
  • get together with friends.  take turns hosting get togethers (dinner, picnic, potluck, game night for example).  no phones allowed!