Monday, April 7, 2014

THE EAGLETS ARE HERE!!!

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!!

I am SOOO excited!  My poor "Golden Years" brain had completely neglected to snap to this year's Decorah Eagles nest.  Some of you may recall that they had built a new nest last year which did not have a camera so we were unable to monitor the laying/hatching/fledging of last year's eaglets.


I am SOOO happy to tell you they installed a camera over the summer and that we have eaglets!!  Here is the info for 2014:
2014 timeline: 1st egg laid 2/23, 2nd 2/26 and 3rd on 3/2. Hatch dates: 1st egg 4/2 9:22AM, 2nd egg 4/3, 3rd egg hatch in progress

You may take a peek at the nest and the babies by clicking here:  Decorah Eagles Nest 2014.  While I do not keep this up & running 24/7 at my house, I do admit to checking in on them frequently when I am spending time at my computer.  Looks like Daddy Eagle has been hunting quite a bit.  I think I can see 2 squirrel carcasses as well as a fish in the nest.  :)  It's easy now.  When those little guys get bigger, it's going to be a full-time job!

I was going to post some pictures I have taken recently but when I remembered this, I felt it was far more important!  The third egg is cracking but the eaglet is not yet out.  Should be soon!!  Stay tuned!


Until next post...

Monday, March 24, 2014

SAD, PATHETIC, AND UNBELIEVABLE

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies.

I know it has been a while since I posted.  I had plans to attend the Jasper (TX) Air Show the weekend of March 15th.  The weather did NOT cooperate so we did not even go.  Sigh.  It is always a highlight of a year so I was saddened.

Since the Air Show did not work out, I held off thinking it had been a while since I attended the local Gatorama (part I & part II).  It was held this past weekend (March 22nd) but the heavy morning fog and overcast day did not make for motivation to attend.  Missed that one, too.

So... while being nearly housebound due to inclement weather the past couple of weeks, I turned my attention to my friend, "Ginnie", about whom I posted previously.  For those who have been following this and are interested, I have very pathetic news.  I have heard back from the Governor's selected contact (Office of Elderly Affairs) with absolutely no help whatsoever.  Very nice lady called me... but she had nothing to offer.  I have not yet heard back from the Senator's office but I emailed again today to ask for information about where things stand.  I'm quite certain the young lady there will have nothing to offer me either and is likely just not wanting to call me with the bad news.  I'm afraid my friend will simply have to go on with chronic pain and no help with doing the simple things we all take for granted.  It is so incredibly frustrating.  The takeaway from all of this is to die young in Louisiana.  Do NOT reach a point where you need assistance with a few things you are not able to do.  There is no one there to help you unless you have a family member (or more) who is concerned with your well-being AND has the financial ability to pay someone privately to help you out.  Is it the same way in other states?  I don't know.  This is the one that matters to me today.

I promise I will not post again until I have something positive to post about.  I wish I could have given you something interesting or positive today.  My apologies for being unable to do so.  Thank you for being loyal and bear with me!!

Until next post...

Friday, February 21, 2014

"WE CAN JUDGE THE HEART OF A MAN...

... by his treatment of animals.”  (Immanuel Kant)


So... if we agree with that quote, then could we take a leap to:

"We Can Judge the Heart of a State by its Treatment of its Elderly."

IF that is agreeable, then I would have to say that the State of Louisiana either has NO heart at all or, at best, an infinitesimal one.

Look out.  Here comes the rant.  I am going to TRY to keep it as succinct as possible.

There is a woman here, we'll call her "Ginnie", who worked for my family for 34 years.  Since my mother's death in 2001, I have tried to help her when I could.  She was born in 1917 which makes her 96 years old at this writing.  I have stayed in touch and, upon my return to assist my elderly aunt with her business & health issues, I have spent some time with this woman as well.

"Ginnie" has had both knees replaced, long enough ago that there is no longer any benefit to her from that.  She lives with chronic pain.  One hip was also replaced a number of years ago.  She had a double mastectomy in 2009 after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 92.  She had no children and she has no relatives living here.  The daughter of her best friend was like a daughter to her... but she passed away nearly two years ago leaving "Ginnie" with no one to check on her every day.  After that, I began trying to get "Ginnie" some help.  Just someone to check in on her and make sure she was okay.  The saga began.

In September of 2012, I helped "Ginnie" complete the paperwork to (hopefully) move her over to Medicaid so we could get help from Long Term Personal Care Services (LTPCS).  Her net Social Security check was less than $600/month and she was paying nearly $260/month from that for her Medicare Supplement policy!!  We received a letter indicating she made TOO MUCH (!!!) to qualify for full Medicaid (WHAT?!?!?) but she was set up as a QMB (Qualified Medicare Beneficiary).  That has helped in that the Medicare premium is no longer deducted from her Social Security check and she was able to stop paying the $260/month Medicare Supplement premium as Medicaid became her new Medicare Supplement.  At least she would have more money to pay her bills each month.  That was somewhat helpful.

Here is where it gets ridiculous.  I called the Louisiana Office of Aging and Adult Services to try to get her some in-home assistance with cleaning and cooking.  Her home is in disrepair and very difficult for her to navigate with her walker, which she needs to use.  She has fallen several times in the house.  In September of 2012, I was told (by a government employee "automaton") that only those on "Full" Medicaid (which "Ginnie" was not) qualified for Long Term Personal Care Service.  She DID qualify for the Community Choices Waiver which would provide her with a worker in her home... BUT... at that time, they were processing applications... (wait for it!)... dated MARCH OF 2008!!!!  Are you KIDDING me?!?  Those are applications completed FOUR-AND-A-HALF YEARS ago!!!  I'm not sure we have that much time to wait!!  "Ginnie", after all, had just turned 94 at the time.

Fast forward.  I thought perhaps I should call and try again in February 2014... just in case the income threshold had changed and maybe "Ginnie" would now qualify for the LTPCS in-home?  Get this, folks.  I can't find anything out about her Medicaid status until that office processes her signed authorization for me to ask questions.  Sigh.  In the meantime, they did tell me she DID qualify for the Community Choices Waiver (sound familiar?)... BUT... they were now processing applications... (wait for it again!)... dated JUNE OF 2008!!!  Let me do the math for you.  From my first conversation with them in September 2012 to February 2014 is 17 months.  They have managed to get through applications from March 2008 to June 2008... 3 months.  It has taken 17 months to process 3 months of applications.  Do you wonder why it takes so long at the Drivers License Bureau?  Wonder no more.  The efficiency curve in the world of bureaucracy is a reverse curve.

I really have no idea where to go from here.  All I can tell you is that I see people using all manner of government issued assistance they don't need to buy things they don't need.  I see people driving new Cadillacs getting disability payments they don't deserve as they head to the casinos to lose some more money.  I see people getting free cell phones & more service than I choose to pay for (talk/text/data).  But I don't complain since I would rather have no cell phone than ask the government for one.  That's just the way I am.  But I do NOT understand why a 96-year-old woman who has worked hard her entire life and remains fiercely independent, living alone and making the best of it, cannot get the state to pay for SOMEONE to check on her and help her do the things that are hard for her to do.  It just seems like the right thing to do.

I remain highly concerned about and less-than-pleased with our government.  I will be mailing a printout of this post to the local State Senator and to the Governor of the State.  It won't do any good... but maybe I will feel a little bit better.  Or not.

Until next post...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

IT'S SNOWING DOWN SOUTH!!

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!!  It has been a while which is my fault.  Somehow, things just got away from me at the beginning of this year.

So... for those of you from the South, what I am about to share is no surprise.  However, some of my faithful readers are NOT from the South and may find the information interesting.

Southern ladies (of a certain age) know exactly what is meant by "It's snowing down south."  Some of you may think I am referring to our southwest Louisiana snow event of Friday, January 24, 2014!!  I do have some photos to share with you... but true snow is NOT the primary meaning of the quote that is the title of this post.  If you are not from a time when ladies wore dresses and skirts with a slip beneath them, let me enlighten you.  When one was dressed in the items just described and another lovely Southern lady sidled up to you and whispered, "It's snowing down south.", you immediately headed toward the nearest ladies room in order to adjust your slip!!!  What she had just discreetly told you was your slip was showing!!  Horrors!!  Completely unacceptable.  Had to be remedied before you could consider anything else!!

Now then... since you have been educated in something that probably doesn't matter any more (do you or anyone you know still wear a slip?), let me share a few shots of the REAL snow we experienced this past Friday.  It started late on Thursday evening.  When I went to bed, I figured it would stop soon and there would be no sign of it Friday morning.  I was completely wrong!!!  (Al?  Remember me?  You have heard from me before about your "global warming/climate change" fallacies and I have to say this is simply further proof you need to SHUT UP!!)  We all awakened to a very lovely quantity of snow on the ground... where it remained until about mid-day on Saturday!

My apologies for the poor photos.  Apparently when I uploaded them from my phone to my computer, I did something incorrectly.  But I think you get the idea.





While I have actually shared a couple of snow events with you previously (2010 and 2009), this one actually put out enough snow for folks to build short snowmen!  The kids were having a blast and I promise you most had never seen anything like this before.  What fun for them.

So... just know that living nearly in the Gulf of Mexico does NOT save you from crazy cold weather... although it won't happen very often.  My sympathies to those friends living in the North/Northeast these days.  You guys are getting hammered with crazy cold... and it looks like it's going to continue for a while.  Stay inside!!

I do hope your weather has been pleasant and your toes remain warm.  :)

Until next post...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

HAPPY 2014!!!

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!!  A Happy, Healthy, & Prosperous New Year to you all!

The holiday season was uneventful here.  That's a good thing!  In fact, I find myself typing to you with nothing to really report.  Hmmmmm.  My apologies!

The spousal-unit & I made a Lake Charles run before he left for Texas on December 23rd.  During our errand-running, we came across the following item which created a need to stop and get some shots!  I think most of you will get a chuckle out of it.

The first shot was nearly facing into the sun... but I wanted to capture the number of "stickers" on the windows.  The second shot was from the other side making the business name easier to read.




*Chuckle*  We just got such a kick out of a stretch Volkswagen Camper Bus!!!  Don't know if it actually goes anywhere or if it just remains parked outside the business.  Either way, it's definitely an eye-catcher!!

As I sit here typing with our temperature at 46 degrees F (where it has dropped since our high of about 62 degrees F early this morning), I remain grateful.  The television meteorologist is telling us the overnight lows in International Falls will be -30 degrees F.  That is before any wind chill factor.  BRRRRRR!!!  Keep it up there, please?  My blood is not thick enough to handle that!  We do have a forecast of overnight lows tonight and the next two nights of 25, 19, and 26 degrees F, respectively.  That might make my early morning walking a little chilly but I do have silk undies to go under about three more layers!  We'll see exactly how brave I am in the morning.  Do you think I should call my friend, Al?  You know... the one who invented the Internet?  Maybe he should know the record lows that are being reached in the lower 48?  Might make him rethink his stance about the planet's climate.  Nah.  Probably not.


At any rate, there is nothing to report to you today but I wanted you to hear from me early in the new year.  I will try to find more interesting things to share next time.

Until next post...