Welcome, November!

November

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

Clyde Watson

Today I am thankful

  • It is a calm and peaceful day.
  • Those I love are doing well.
  • A dollar store solar turkey I bought makes me happy. When the sun heats it; the turkey waddles back and forth!

We are heading into a season of giving. If you are able, pay-it-forward all year round.

affectionately yours, Laura

How Many Digits is a Trillion Dollars?

The United States government reported today that our federal debt is about $21,597,941,304,882.14*. To clarify, that does not include state and local debt or entitlement programs. Like Social Security — you know, that program you pay for out of your check every payday.

benjaminsI began researching this to feel better about my own limited budget. I just figured out my healthcare costs for next year, and to say the least, I will have about $00+ fewer dollars a month available to me.

Math is a challenge for me, so I actually had to count the digits of the trillion dollar figure. Fourteen digits. I rounded up the change. Are international phone numbers that long? This is nothing. It is anticipated that in 2019, we will be upping that debt total significantly to $22,700,000,000,000 approximately.

I did some reading and I learned a few things. Debt and deficit are not the same thing. I will now be paying attention to these numbers. As of today, USA deficits are at $770 billion. The Treasury Department is reporting that is a 17% increase from last year.

Remember, it is all about the Benjamin’s.

To pay for our deficits (bills), the USA borrows money to pay off our debt (the money needed to fund our deficits.) A significant amount of our debt money comes from foreign countries. China, who we are playing trade wars with, holds over one trillion of our debt. Saudia Arabia, the country we are threatening over an alleged journalist murder, is another. We are also in debt to Japan. Those appear to be the largest ones.

So, imagine you have a sugar mama who borrows you whatever cash you need. The only catch is, she tells you she can call in that loan with interest at any time. Did I mention your sugar mama’s interest is much higher than your maxed out Visa?

Over the next decade, foreign countries borrowing to us will earn about seven-trillion dollars in interest on USA debt. As rough as the USA is talking in the international community, being in debt to these large and resourceful countries puts us in a position of weakness.

But what about here at home? Our states, cities, our personal lives. The greatest downfall is debt hurts economic growth. For most people, you will see it in your wages and the bottom line of your take-home pay.

We’ll start with how much you earn. While everything looks sunshine and blue skies now, “The Congressional Budget Office projects that average income in 30 years will be $5,000 less per year if the national debt continues its current trajectory.”

You know that new buzz phrase “fake news?” The raving about the great economy we are in is just that — fake news.

If I understand this, the higher our deficits, keeping in mind we just added a new budget1.5 trillion dollar tax plan, increased 606.5 billion military spending and the issue of the Great Wall of Mexico remains with 1.6 billion already approved. The more debt and the more we borrow will result in higher interest rates.

And at some point, our sugar mama will come calling for her dues with interest.

I do not have any credit cards, but family and friends do, high debt forces higher interest rates on homes, cars, and credit purchases.

Where will our government find the money to pay for the debt? No surprise there. Government programs to help people and entitlement programs. In addition, many programs lost funding and/or were downsized. Some seemed to disappear — environmental, civil rights — and many regulations have now been eliminated.

While I am freaking the fuck out over my health care costs and budget for 2019; most Americans are not. A CNBC Poll in June 2018 reports fifty-four percent of those polled thought the economy was good or excellent.

There is a saying “Want to make a lie seem true? Say it again and again and again.”

Today I am thankful

  • I have a meal in my crock pot.
  • Rainbows are in my living room from the crystals in my window.
  • It is definitely fall season.
  • I get to stay home today!

People don’t pay attention to issues until it affects them.

When they are placed in a position to adjust their means of living. When they can’t afford their designer coffee or when a vacation becomes a “staycation.” If you need to look at your cable or cell service and check options to downgrade your service. When it is time to write that check to the Internal Revenue Serice (IRS) or like me, the reality of the cost of health care becomes a life factor.

Then it becomes personal. 

For me, it gets basic — do I buy food and gas or do I shake things up a bit and not get my medication this month?

affectionately yours, Laura

Give Your “Melons” a Good Squeeze

 

via Google search

via Google search

During my last physical, my doctor encouraged me to be attentive to my breasts even when not doing my monthly breast exam. Just knowing the size, shape, and feel of your breasts will signal any significant changes.

Currently, in 2018 breast cancer statistics predict 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.  This year alone, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.

Of these and previously diagnosed cases, 40,000 plus women will lose their lives to breast cancer this year.

Since 1989 and the result of increased awareness, early detection through screening, and treatment advances, death rates have been decreasing. But it is never enough if we lose even one woman to this cancer.

More than 3.1 million women as of January 2018 have a history of breast cancer. That number includes women currently being treated and those who have finished treatment.

This statistic is critical right now.

Breast cancer is considered a pre-existing condition. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA|ObamaCare) insurance companies would provide free breast care screening and were unable to turn away women with pre-existing breast cancer-related disease.

Under new proposed changes to health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid — coverage for pre-existing illnesses will result in diversion to high-risk pool insurance or at insurance companies discretion — no coverage at all.

I have posted several links below for you. The National Breast Cancer (NBC) website has an informative website and has an excellent site for breast exams. The Very Well Health website has an easy to understand and extensive breast cancer information overview.

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam

http://www.verywellhealth.com/breast-cancer-4014752

via Google search

via Google search

It is estimated “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers detected are by women who in the process of doing monthly self-exams detect a lump.”

Ladies, take a moment today to give your melons a good squeeze, your life may depend on it.

Today I am Thankful

  • To the Virgin Mary for prayers answered.
  • A glorious day that is blue skies and sunshine.
  • I am writing. What a struggle.

Writing about breast cancer is a reminder of how precious life is. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.  Don’t put off till later what you will wish you had done today.

affectionately yours, Laura

 #gratefulsurvivor #warrioragainstdarkness #breastcancersurvivor

Resources: National Breast Cancer Organization (www.nationalbreastcancer.org), Breast Cancer Organization (www.breastcancer.org), Very Well Health (www.verywellhealth.com)

Welcome, October!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there is an October.” Lucy Maude Montgomery <3L

Today I am thankful

  • My Pumpkin Spice Latte 🎃
  • The color of the leaves as they are changing.
  • My house is clean. Best. Feeling.

The quote by Augusten Burroughs, “I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

One would think writing is easy. You still down type out your thoughts, hit send, and boom. Mission complete. Unfortunately , unless you are really gifted it does not flow that smoothly.

Heading into October — it is my intention — to begin writing again. However there may be flaws up ahead.

affectionately yours, Laura

Hello, September!

The first flash of color always excites me as much as the first frail, courageous bloom of spring. This is, in a sense, my season–sometimes warm and, when the wind blows an alert, sometimes cold. But there is a clarity about September. On clear days, the sun seems brighter, the sky more blue, the white clouds take on marvelous shapes; the moon is a wonderful apparition, rising gold, cooling to silver; and the stars are so big.

Faith Baldwin

Today I am Thankful

  • Heading into fall, my favorite season
  • A good night sleep
  • So grateful for the people I love in my life

Have a lovely day.

affectionately yours, Laura

Hello, July!

I have hope

in who I am becoming.

I have belief in every scar and disgraceful word

I have ever spoken

or been told

because it is still teaching me

and I have hope in who I am becoming.

They say it takes 756 days to run to someone you love

and they also say that the only romance worth fighting for

is the one with yourself

and I know by now

that they say a lot of things,

people talking everywhere

without saying a word,

but if it took me all those years to learn myself

or teach myself

how to look into the mirror

without breaking it

I know for a fact that it was a fight worth fighting.

I stood up for my own head and so did my heart

and we are coming to terms with ourselves.

Shaking hands, saying ”let’s make this work

for we have places to go

and people to see

and we will need each other”

So I have hope

in who I am becoming.

It’s July

and I have hope in who I am becoming.

~Charlotte Eriksson~

affectionately yours, Laura

Women Not So Well Behaved

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. It is often mis-credited to Eleanor Roosevelt or Marilyn Monroe.

It was written by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian. Her original quote was actually “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

Today, 600+ women were arrested protesting for the reunion of parents and children who have been separated at the Mexican border. Women willing to take a stand to have their voices heard.

Today I am thankful

  • My tribe.
  • Home.
  • The view out my window.

I give thanks to all the women not so well behaved raising awareness and making history.

affectionately yours, Laura