Monday, April 27, 2015

Great weekend

I love weekends when I feel like I accomplished a lot.  I took off work last Friday and had a great day.  I did a little shopping and I cleaned house (a little spring cleaning).  Saturday Ron took Mike to a baseball game so I was able to work uninterrupted all day.  No phone calls.  I finished cleaning out two closets and then I mowed the yard.  That was a surprise for my sweet husband. 

Yesterday we went to church and then had Mike over for dinner.  Mike had a great weekend and so did I.  

This Saturday we are going to take Mike on a little road trip.  We are going to go to Poteau, Oklahoma which is just 22 miles west of Ft. Smith, Arkansas.  It is about a 3 1/2 hour drive.   That is where our parents are buried and we are going to the cemetery to take flowers.  I don't like traveling on Memorial weekend so we thought we'd go this weekend.  Hopefully we can see some of our cousins while we are there and have lunch.  I'm looking forward to the trip.
 95 days until retirement............can't wait.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Stick em Up Pardner

Guns, guns, guns, everywhere guns.  You sure aren't popular if you aren't supporting the rights of every Tom, Dick and Harry to carry a gun anywhere they go.  Especially in Oklahoma.  The town where I live is holding their annual music festival this weekend.  They had announced that no guns would be allowed and the city was immediately sued by a gun rights organization called The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association .  

Now, first thing to know is that there is alcohol at this event and lots and lots of people.  The event planners feel that alcohol and guns don't mix.  I'm in complete agreement with them.  But a judge has ruled the City cannot order the police department to enforce a "no guns" policy at the Music Festival thus striking down the "no guns" policy. 

Now I have no problem with guns and hunting and all the recreational activities associated with guns.  That's fine.  I have a problem with the vigilantes that think they are fighting crime by carrying a weapon.  Somehow I just don't feel safe with a bunch of paranoid gun toter's around.  If the good guys and the bad guys all have weapons how can I tell them apart?  


My girlfriend reminds me that she "took the class" and therefore it is ok for her to carry a concealed weapon.  Really?  A 3 hour course gave her all the skills she needs to be able to determine when to use a weapon?  I kinda think I'll leave that up to law enforcement.  



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Raindrops and daydreams

As I came in the building this morning dodging raindrops and hoping lightening didn't cause me to start my retirement earlier than planned, I was daydreaming about retirement.  I was thinking how wonderful it will be to be able to choose to sleep in during a thunderstorm.  What a luxury that will be!  Our dog Bella had no desire to get up this morning and I thought to myself, she has the right idea. 

Unfortunately I feel like Ron and I are wishing our lives away or at least the next 3 months of it because we are so anxious for retirement.  I am excited but also a little sad to think about not being around people who are like family to me.  I spend 8-10 hours a day with my co-workers and have formed deep friendships with a few of them.  It is hard to imagine not seeing them every day.

I am however excited to start new relationships through volunteer work and other involvements.  I horrified my husband when I told him the first thing I'm going to do is volunteer at the local Democratic Headquarters.  That's the first thing on my list.  Then I plan to volunteer at my daughters school 2 days a week.  I would love to serve on the school board but that may be a conflict of interest since both my daughters are teachers.  Something I plan to check out.  And I would like to become a hospice volunteer.  So I do not plan to be bored.  There are so many things that interest me and I want to do but I have to be careful not to wish even one day away. It all goes too fast as it is.




Friday, April 17, 2015

Good News



Congress repealed the Medicare SGR formula.  After 17 previous holding actions going back to 2003 the Senate clinched the approval of a bipartisan bill that repeals the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula for physician compensation and averts a 21% pay cut.  This will freeze Medicare rates to pre-April levels through June and then raise them .5% the second half of the year and will continue to increase .5 each year from 2016 to 2019.  

What does this mean to us seniors?  Well, anything that is done to stabilize or increase the Medicare provider rate will go along way towards maintaining physician access for seniors.  More and more physicians have elected not to see Medicare patients because the reimbursement rate was too low.  Hopefully this will help the situation.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

This has been a long and busy week.  Lots of meetings and fundraisers going on this week.

I'm trying to get myself prepared for another election year.  I feel my blood pressure rising already and we haven't really gotten started yet.  My (few) Republican friends on face book are already doing their Hillary slamming so I can tell it will be a long year.

I make a list of Senate bills that have been important to me and then check the voting records of all candidates.  I only looked at the 3 Republican candidates out of curiosity since we have no idea who will get the nomination.  Of course they were nay voters on everything that matters to me.

example of some of the bills:   S 2569 Bring Jobs Home Act – Prohibits tax credits for outsourcing
 

S 25278  Protect Women’s Health from Corp. Interference Act of 2014   The purpose of this Act was to ensure that employers that provide health benefits to their employees cannot deny any specific health benefits, including contraception coverage, to any of their employees or the covered dependents of such employees entitled by Federal law to receive such coverage.
 

S 2199 Paycheck Fairness Act - an extension of the laws established by the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which makes it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.
 
S 2223 Min. Wage Fairness Act - a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to increase the federal minimum wage for employees to $10.10 per hour over the course of a two-year period.
 
S 815 Employment Non-Discrimination Act 2013 - A bill to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  

I like to have a comparison list of the two candidates.  What amazes me is how uninformed many of my friends are and how they simply vote for the party and not the candidate.  They absolutely refuse to think for themselves.  And forget about what candidates say that's just campaign talk.........look at their voting record if you want to know how they will represent you if elected.