Gratitude 15December16 Cool Yule

Tis the season for a little Christmas music .. Bette Midler Cool Yule

Today I am Thankful

  • My desk is clean — Yay!
  • Tonight is my first mosaic class.
  • Just happy, that’s all. That’s enough.

A reminder to do something nice for someone less fortune than you. Hold a door open, buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you, donate to a charity, a prayer for someone in heaven, or give someone a smile without one.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 14December16 Checking It Twice

zchristmas-card-14As we head into the single digit countdown to Christmas, I am checking my list twice. With the gift portion out of the way, I want to start focusing what I am hoping will be time spent with people I love over the holidays.

With everyone so busy, I know it may be a quick hour here and there, and I am alright with that. A cup of coffee, a meal shared, a movie, a class or just time hanging out. When the holidays are over, the gifts are nice. The memories are better.

Today I am thankful

  • A really restful night sleep.
  • My “To Do” list is so small – love it!
  • A grandbaby day is always a good day.

During this season of giving, if you are able, please don’t forget those who are less fortunate than you. The smallest gift can change a life.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 13December16 It’s That Simple


I have this in my journal. It reminds me the choice is mine. Whatever I am facing — how small or how big — doesn’t decide how I react to it, I do. I will allow it to make me a stronger person or a weaker one. It’s that simple.

Today I am thankful

  • My baby girl is home.
  • It’s cold, but, it’s blue skies and the sun is shining.
  • I discovered Honest Honey Green Tea. Yummy.

As we head into the season of giving, pay-it-forward. If you see someone less fortune than you, please give if you are able. Blessings.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 9December16 Research, Process, and Accept

lifes-challengeWhen I fear something, my tendency is to panic before I face the challenge head-on. As illogical as that sounds, and my logical brain tells me that, my emotional brain usually wins out. Which I guess explains the medication.

Then I go about researching, learning, and finding my peace with whatever the challenge is ahead of me. Through that process of education and exploration, it takes away the unknown element and fear. It calms the emotional brain. It allows logic to provide the reality of checks and balances.

It’s the reason I love words. The challenge of explaining the complexity of something to the simplicity of anything. It is why I am content researching topics online for extended periods of time. Process Development and Training was my job, and I miss it with all of me.

I wrote a blog earlier this week that generated a lot of attention. I bbkingwrote in raw terms about my fear. The words formed in print expressed my panicked mind frame with the realities of my life added to it.

As a person who needs to research, process and find acceptance. I began that journey as a continuance to that blog and I found some interesting data.

With every budget cut and change that comes out of Washington, that affects me, I want to know how I will be affected. That takes away the fear. I can prepare. So, in addition to my commitment writing letters, and getting involved in local government. I was comforted by what I found.

  • Percentage of households led by a single mother with children under age 18 living in the U.S. in 2015, by the state. (they will be losing their head of household credit on taxes) .. Top 5 – Louisianna, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia *Minnesota #41
  • The Top 5 states receiving the most in federal aid as a percentage of their general revenue.(It was announced states not in line with Trump agenda would begin losing federal funding beginning early 2017 including housing)  2016’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States Top 5 Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee *Minnesota #43
  • 7 States With the Most People on Food Stamps (Paul Ryan just announced this program will have 23 billion cut from it) Mississippi, District of Columbia, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana *Minnesota #46
  • Top 10 States With the Highest Number of Medicare Beneficiaries. (Paul Ryan has announced privatization of Medicare) California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania *Minnesota couldn’t find ranking
  • States with the Most Americans on Disability (With a change to the Social Security program will come a differential to those on disability) West Virginia (9% of all working age population of state receives disability), Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi *Minnesota couldn’t find a ranking
  • 5 States with the Most Social Security Recipients (Will affect all if SSI is privatized) Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, West Virginia, Vermont *Minnesota couldn’t find ranking
  • Here’s a Ranking of the Most Heavily Armed States in the US (Just in case this all goes to hell, and there’s a revolution or civil war) Wyoming, Washington, DC, Arkansas, New Mexico, Virginia *Minnesota #26
  • These States Have the Most to lose with an Obamacare repeal  California, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Washington, Pennsylvania *Minnesota #42

our-destinyToday I am thankful

  • There is always hope.
  • Revamping my budget for the umpteenth time this month.
  • Tonight the Holiday Train is coming to town! Yay!

It is going to be a rough ride for a while. I take comfort in knowing I am a #gratefulsurvivor. And a reminder to myself, in my hardest and darkest times, is when I have been my strongest. #diamond

affectionately yours, Laura


Gratitude 8December16 Home Sweet Home

There is no place I would rather be than home. And on a day like today — outside of my private world — it is 20 some degrees cold, overcast cloudy skies, and rumor has it, we could be getting some snow.

winter-cottageI have no commitments and nothing I have to leave the sanctuary of my home for. Happily, I am snuggled in with Christmas crafts, a book, writing some, and the occasional peak at the internet to make sure the world has not ceased.

I don’t understand people who need to be constantly on the move and in need of being around other people. My comfort with myself and being content at home must puzzle them.

Tomorrow I will have to bundle up and go into the world — until then — I am going to snuggle a bit deeper into my blanket and enjoy my day.

Today I am thankful

  • The invention of cable and internet.
  • Meatloaf and baked potato for dinner.
  • Reconnecting with old friends is always fun.
  • My stack of paperwork is once again dwindling.

Stay warm and safe out there!

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 6December16 Giving Thanks


Today I am thankful

  • My coffee is extra good this morning!
  • Afternoon with family
  • Crazy great stats from yesterday’s blog. Thank you for reading!

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

affectionately yours, Laura


Gratitude 5December16 Five Letters


img_2659I am a disabled American who lives on a fixed income. Social Security and Medicare are two key components that support my ability to live and function. Let me re-type that. To live and function. What separates me from being homeless and without medication, is my ability to get Social Security and Medicare support.

I live in a 350 square foot studio unit. I drive a used Honda. I have very minimal material possessions. I live within my means. Trust me when I say, I am not balling by any means.

A splurge on a bottle of wine is big spending. My entertainment budget is my Comcast bill. A class every three months has to be saved for. Extra’s are usually unexpected gifts. My Christmas is saved for all year. I am a discerning shopper. What I have I am grateful for. My life is the reason I write a gratitude blog. It keeps me grounded in reality.

As word comes out of Washington the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being repealed, Social Security is being privatized, and the top cabinet members of our new government are billionaires multiple times over — I get the distinct feeling that someone like me is not very important. And there are many “me’s” in the United States of America.

My plan if the ACA is repealed, or I lose my benefits, will be to go back to how it used to be for people who couldn’t afford to be seen or pay for their medications.

Instead of me paying a co-pay for a $150 doctor appointment, I will be sent to the emergency room for a consult. The bill paid by the taxpayers will be upwards of $3,000. If I can’t pay for my monthly medications of $200, I will spend 72 hours in the hospital and be sent away with a month supply at an estimated cost of $35,000. The bill? Again, courtesy of the taxpayers.

That is the plan. That was the reason that the ACA was negotiated with the insurance companies and the government, to begin with. To stop the emergency room and hospital stays from people who can’t afford to do otherwise. Make people buy insurance and pay co-pays, go to appointments. Make it affordable.

Add those folks who were, to the people who will and what an expensive mess it will be. Sadly, I have nothing. There is nothing that can be taken from me. They can’t sue me, garnish my wages, and I can’t declare bankruptcy.

fullsizerenderI and millions like me have nothing. No house. Nothing of value. I have some used movies the government might be interested in. A 2005 desktop emachine I am typing on now? Wait. I have a jar of Ashes of Ex-Boyfriends! Oh. Wrong thing to say?

And the billionaire’s at the top? Well, the tax codes are being adjusted to protect them, so they don’t have to pay. Guess who will? That’s me, waving at you! Hello, voter!

I was told not to worry. If I get suicidal, just hospitalize myself. Yes, the government will eventually send the bill to the taxpayers to the tune of about another $40,000 each time, depending on how long they keep me.

I wrote five letters today to my state representatives and senators. I asked them how they were going to protect me. My concern is primary. This isn’t how I want to live. I don’t want the ACA or Social Security as we know it to go away.

I didn’t choose this disability. But, this is the hand I was dealt. I will play it the best I can. I want to be as self-sufficient with as minimal assistance as possible. I am a proud woman. I will continue to write, call, text, email, and boycott until I can’t anymore. My life depends on it.

Today I am thankful

  • My best friend is truly amazing.
  • My holiday tree makes me smile.
  • I did it. I started. I did something to initiate a change.

Many of my family and friends do not understand why I took this election so personal. No income, homelessness and no medication. That is what made it personal to me.

While you are able to look the other way from the disgust of your candidate, for the benefit of your party, your vote has put my life in jeopardy.

Now I can only pray you will be there for me when my life falls apart because of your vote.

This is my life.

affectionately yours, Laura