Update about blog

Life follows art!

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Blog off...

Hope that doesn't sound like swearing!
I'm not feeling well...so won't be blogging for a while.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Aging with Dignity

Long term care insurance that the state of Washington has just made into law!
 See article in The Olympian HERE.

From a blogger (Time Goes By):


TGB reader John Gear sent this story about Washington state enacting the first insurance program for long term care.
”All residents will pay 58 cents on every $100 of income into the state’s trust. After state residents have paid into the fund for ten years—three if they experience a catastrophic disabling event—they’ll be able to tap $100 a day up to a lifetime cap of $36,500 when they need help with daily activities such as eating, bathing, or dressing.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill into law last Monday. You can read more at The Nation and The Olympian.
This is not to consider how much skilled nursing care costs (which means Nursing Homes - which is covered mostly by Medicare/Medicaid) and that this is just a drop in the bucket for those who need assisted living type care.  Assisted living is the step between independent living and skilled nursing care. But this is certainly a great step in the direction to meet the needs of our growing elder population which can still live independently with some help.
The Olympian says:
Under the new law, premiums of 0.58% of wages will start being collected from employees by 2022. Starting Jan. 1, 2025, people who need assistance with at least three "activities of daily living" such as bathing, dressing or taking medication could tap into the fund to pay for things like in-home care, home modifications like a wheelchair ramp and rides to the doctor.
To be eligible, workers will have had to have paid the premium working at least 500 hours per year for three of the previous six years in which they're seeking the benefit or for a total of 10 years, with at least five of those paid without interruption.
According to AARP of Washington, 70% of residents 65 and older will require some type of assistance to live independently.

Read more here: https://www.theolympian.com/latest-news/article230361474.html#storylink=cpy
Democratic Sen. Guy Palumbo said that the bill is "not only the morally right thing to do, but it's also fiscally responsible for the state of Washington."
"Rather than making people buy their way down into poverty, we're trying to do the right thing to make sure they can age with dignity," he said.
Washington isn't the only state that has contemplated long-term care, but it moved the fastest on creating a defined insurance policy.
Hawaii has adopted a public cash benefit for caregivers of the elderly. California is considering a ballot initiative on a public long-term care financing program.
Michigan and Illinois are beginning to study public programs for those not on Medicaid, and Minnesota's human services department has proposed two alternative private financing options, according to Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at the nonpartisan Urban Institute think tank.
Last year, voters in Maine rejected a referendum that would have provided home care to all seniors and disabled people regardless of income.

Read more here: https://www.theolympian.com/latest-news/article230361474.html#storylink=cpy
In my case, as a 76-1/2 year old retiree, I've lived here in Black Mountain NC s12 years and eaten away much of my savings. I'm now happily a resident of a senior complex of apartments serving about 70 units.  We have some income-scale assistance through the state of North Carolina, which means our rent is based on our assets and our debts. Several of my neighbors receive home visits by home-health agencies, and are enrolled in programs providing bathing, medication, dressing and/or household assistance.  
We also have a great transportation program to doctors offices, and several of our local pharmacies give deliveries.  My neighbors in their 90s have a bit less mobility than I do, but also can attend the daily lunch program (M-F) provided at cost by the Council on Aging.  Probably at less than cost, getting a balanced meal for $1.50 donation. Even MacD's can't provide that. The senior lunch program is provided at a local Senior Recreational Center, where a lot of other activities are available to offer us the most important health benefit of socialization...most free of charge.  We have a lot of senior people who live here in the summertime, and are happy to take part in the lunch and other recreational activities, while they have left their winter homes closed up elsewhere.   So this lunch program is a good deal for anyone over 60. Actually all the recreational activities are available to any age residents.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hope in the face of devastation over time


Lost Words Blessing song

Thanks to the Lost Words book, with beautiful illustrations by Jackie Morris (her blog Here).

This is to counteract the facts, which came from the UN, and from this article from MIT...which are telling of the slow killing of our planet and extinction of our species (as well as a million others.)

May we each do whatever we can to show compassion to others, human or otherwise.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Reality...or time travel and quantum physics

I recently considered this question again.


But I also recently re-watched the movie

Wikipedia includes some critical analysis of the film Here.

Quantum physics and reality...yep, the relationship isn't exactly answered, but there are a lot of questions that come to mind while watching this "entertaining" feature length film.

Have you seen it?
What do you think of time travel, especially related to quantum physics?

Just a thought.

Quote for today:
Our family often teaches us our biggest soul lessons--the most important karma we're here to work on this lifetime.
Madisyn Taylor, Daily Om

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Rain...either welcome or "go away."

Way back when our ancestors depended upon crops they raised, rain was part of the cycle of plowing and planting in the springtime.  It occurred to me when seeing a neighbor who lives up a steep slope scattering seeds on the slope yesterday...probably grass seed.  Not using anything but his hands and a bag under his arm. At any rate, everyone around here knew it was going to rain all weekend.

Well, my slightly gardening mind thought, "put seeds out before rain" is a good idea. Then I thought, they will all wash down that slope and not grow.  We'll see what happens.

This is a nice steady gentle rain this morning (Saturday.)  I finished my first cuppa coffee, put on raincoat and Nothinz (same as Crocs) plastic shoes and pushed up the umbrella and got in the car. Went past the closest coffee place, then my favorite one.  I was headed for breads...something freshly baked at the Tailgate Market.

In 8 minutes I was parked in the almost empty parking lot.  Then I saw the difference a little rain makes for the market...about 1/4 the number of tents were up...all huddled together.  And not many folks buying either.  The Mudbuddies were there! They were talking and keeping things slightly dry.  I walked by the egg people, and she was drying each egg in the carton.  I found a cinnamon roll, and paid the $3 price.  If I'd gone to a grocery and got packaged ones, I'd probably get 6 for that price.  But not whole wheat nor with local pecans.

I also bought some fresh-from-New-Bedford scalllops...they are shipped in a gallon can overnight.  They were on the ocean floor just days ago.  Yum. Tonight we have something with a white sauce and pasta...probably some cheese and sour cream in that sauce.  And butter.  I'll roast some garlic and asparagus and have some brown rice. Yes, today I am enjoying tastes.

So I am home here at computer, wiped the sticky sugar off my fingers, and have made fresh coffee.  I opened a door to the tapitap sound of rain hitting leaves and ground, and buildings.  Once I'm outside I hate the closeness of being inside without fresh air.  When I get up in the morning and its cool like this morning, I usually close my windows.  None of my neighbors are out so cars around here are all parked.

While I enjoy my present situation, I think of how flooding is probably happening from these very rains in other areas.  That is the harmful aspect of rain.  And yet many farmers chose (once upon a time I guess) to plant on river-bottom land.  These spring floods would leave the soil extra rich for crops.  And they were expected yearly.

When the Corps of Engineers built levies and dams all over, the floods were supposed to stop.  So the land didn't get replenished with natural nutrients, and when a flood did occur, it damaged homes and buildings built where the floods didn't go before these man-made structures existed.  I kid you not...some environmental scientists have said so. And look at all those photos on the news.  I lived in Houston TX for part of my life, and still have relatives there.  Drainage is a big problem on flat land with lots of concrete.

I am pretty neutral in feelings towards rain.  I am able to co-exist with it. Fortunately my home is safe, and as I just described, I can move about in it.  I wonder if my ancestors, in early American colonies and even before, in western Europe, knew which land was good to grow upon, which would be too marshy, and which made good pasture for animals.  Of course they did!  But I haven't a clue.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The emotional life when thinking of politics

I hate to watch national news...it's edited by corporations that own it, and they are partial to (i.e. give contributions and thus own) the powers that are "running our country."  I know that phrase is questionable, but their lack of action regarding gun control, for example, is a way of running the country.  Politics has always been dirty business.

Another !!! school shooting, May 7, 2019  Do you know how many children were killed or injured? Do you know how many children were traumatized? And their parents? This can not become a norm.

So for my sanity, I occasionally skip watching the news, and listen to a local PBS radio broadcast.  It includes more of what I'm interested in. Unfortunately, all those chilldren and their lives being impacted by those guns are still reported. I have 4 grandchildren still attending public schools.  My adult son works in one every day (in Colorado no less.)

I discovered a direct correlation between world events, political maneuverings, and my ability to sleep well.  Have you noticed that in your life?

"Look at this agonized little face, and feel his pain. He will never forget today. He survived a school shooting today in Colorado. The NRA, and it’s bought and paid for politicians own this." as posted on May 7, 2019 on Facebook.

So waking from a troubled sleep used to be a time I'd ponder what I'd eaten late in the evening, as Scrooge thought of a partially cooked potato as the source of his ghost visitations. Now I'm more inclined to consider the emotions that are piled upon my head.

I'm about to start a new practice to sooth my anger.  I'll listen to soothing music (streamed classical on the computer into some little adequate speakers) and do a bit of inspirational reading after completing the various end-of-day tasks.  I'll let you know if I sleep better.  That, and I may try a glass of milk.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Getting over the Anti-Vaccination life

I was raised in Christian Science, where the belief is that the same power that Jesus used to heal is available through prayer today.  So until I was a young adult and left home at 21, (in 1963) I never had any medical treatment, nor saw a doctor.

I received a smallpox vaccination at about 5 years old, in public school in Houston, (in 1947-9). My mother was terrified, and I was given a lollypop. But within a few years we moved to St. Louis where I and my sister would attend Principia, a Christian Science school (kindergarten through college) where no vaccinations were required.  There were sometimes epidemics that happened after I left the college, and I heard that several students died.

At 21 I became a Flight Attendant in my first job away from home.  Then I got all the vaccinations needed to go overseas.  No polio vaccine was available for the job. And I was no longer a Christian Scientist either.

I got my children vaccinated, though measles, mumps and chicken pox weren't available as vaccines yet...so they suffered through them.  And when they received the polio vaccines, apparently I was exposed to the virus when bathing them. I found out later.  So none of us caught it.

Recently I realized I haven't yet healed from my own surviving of this childhood.  Who knew.  I'm going to be doing some therapeutic work to embrace that little girl that I carry around within me, who cried from infections, coughed through colds and allergies, had fevers without aspirin, lost my tonsils to a fever rather than a surgeon, and lived without antibiotics until I was past 20.

So I just wanted to share this is my burden that I'm healing from.  All the wonderful inspirational quotes that I read, the alternative health practices that I sometimes share, come from my perspective as an adult. I have the choice to live my life with responsibility, joy, love, anger toward injustice, compassion, and good health.  Yes, I believe healing comes from a positive attitude, as well as the use of scientific discoveries like medicine and vaccines.  I am still angry toward parents who abuse their children's health and safety by not using available medical practices.  It's the children who suffer most.

Sharing this with 52 Ancestors on Facebook Group  "Generations Cafe  ..topic is nurturing.  I'm sure my parents were loving and nurturing, but their faith was their choice...mine is different.

Join  Amy Johnson's Crow's Facebook Group  "Generations Cafe 
 to read posts from other bloggers taking part in
 the 2019  "52 Ancestors" Challenges 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Budding...care for the delicate beauties around us

Post-Beltane thoughts - Wonderful ritual the other afternoon (Sunday) for Beltane. Women sharing their younger self stories...then singing...then dancing.  I left a bit early, and missed doing a Maypole dance.  They are so colorful and fun, but my energy went down after our meditation on our younger girl selves.

I got in touch with my 12 year old budding self. It brought back the old feelings related to criticism, pain (emotional and physical from no medical care) and lack of support for the delicate flower that was me...and it left me in tears.  I had a hard childhood, and many of the other women did too.  We all had one thing in common, that we survived, and thrive today.

And I was given a flower crown, though I missed making one for myself.  I am thankful for the thoughtful gift from one of our leaders of the ritual.

My thoughts are still dealing with how a budding beautiful child needs to be given nourishment...and I think today of my wonderful grandchildren.  And I also remember the sweet boys that grew into the men that are my sons.



Me and Russ

Me and Russ



Quote for today:
Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Each of us has limitations...some pretty invisible

I'm wanting to do something this evening...but alas, by 3:00 pm I've had an attack of coughing.  I feel lazy, and wish I could get up and do things...but the cough gets worse.

Bron- Kee- Eck'- Ta - Sis.

This is the cough that follows me like a shadow throughout the day. Then suddenly I'm unable to continue whatever I'm doing...I quickly tire as I cough (unfortunately loudly) and try to catch my breath.  I now have a 2 coughs per breath method.  I have to repeat it in a 3-4 breath series to get the mucous out of my lungs.  Apparently my bronchial tubes have been enlarged, which makes it harder to get mucous cleared.  So says the doctor.

Usually if I'm doing a regular day, just walking around doing household chores, maybe shopping for groceries, or spending 2-3 hours at work on clay or the computer, I don't have bad coughs until late in the evening.  I know when I lie down, that posture will increase my likelihood of coughing.  And even just sitting back on the couch to watch TV triggers it.  So standing and sitting at a desk are best postures for me (I've learned.) And not getting tired!

A nice warm mug of tea does sometimes help.  There are special teas to help with breathing, and these herbal recipes are great. But I have to be prepared to cough every night.

I don't want to visit people, nor have them over to visit me in the evenings.  I do a nebulizer treatment each night, which uses a saline solution to hopefully bring the mucus out to be expelled.  And an albuterol solution is inhaled also, which usually makes breathing a bit more efficient.  I do the same treatment in the mornings, after sleeping pretty well all night. And in the morning I seldom have more than a few coughs.  I also use a cortical-steroid breathing treatment twice a day, and an over-the-counter mucous-thinning agent.

Oh you have your own infirmities, I'm sure. And I'm sorry to spend so long here detailing this one of mine.  It's not contagious, which is the hardest thing to tell people when I have coughing attacks in public. My son said I needed a sign around my neck saying as much.  But it's also not curable.

So I try to volunteer to do things that I can do at home in my own time, but (perhaps unwisely) have actually signed up to be an afternoon docent at the museum scheduled twice a month.  I sure hope I'm able to do it.

Incidentally, for the last 2 hours I've tried to sleep, with constant coughing interruptions. And then typing this for the last 15 minutes. Sitting erect no cough. Lying down, lots of coughing.  So my lungs are wanting me breathing upright, not prone. OK... it helps me keep my back strong, anyway.

Friday, May 3, 2019

It's spring here!

 There are volunteers hauling boxes of produce from a truck to a long table...here in my "senior" apartment complex.

 Bounty and Soul is part of our Manna Food Bank, helping provide the less affluent of our community with food.  Here is Sally (a resident) on the left, talking to a couple of volunteers from the Food Connection, another great not-for-profit organization.  They bring food in meals already prepared but that weren't served from various kitchens in conference centers or other dining sites in the area.  These prepared meals would have been discarded otherwise.

Volunteers talk with our elder residents while the tables are set up with the free produce.  Bounty and Soul will offer the whole Black Mountain community the same vegetables the next day at St. James Episcopal church.

 We just draw numbers out of a hat to determine what order we go through as a line to pick up the fresh vegetables and fruits.  This system is a great improvement over the old one, where first come got first served.  We came close to some fights and certainly some harsh words as to who was in line ahead of whom, in the past.

Friends Nancy and Sharon had their springtime pink outfits on the cheer everyone up.