Seeing My Life Through A COVID-19 Lens

It’s almost 5 AM on this Monday morning. Normally, I would be trying to grab at least one more hour until the alarm clock buzzed me out of bed. The house is silent and the kids are fast asleep. They used the weekend to complete homework assignments due to them not having anything else to do. In two hours my husband will get up and log into his computer for the start of his work day. It is the new normal that so many of us are seeing right now.

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I’m wondering if I should make eggs for breakfast today, but I now have less than a dozen. The health professionals are telling us to watch our trips to the grocery stores because we are playing an alternate version of duck duck goose every time we walk out the door. So, the idea of eggs for today’s breakfast is slowly starting to fade away. Rice or oatmeal will be the winner for today’s breakfast which will more than likely be the winner for days to come.

Putting food rationing aside for a moment, I noticed something new about my husband. Perhaps it wasn’t new, it was just forgotten. Our cat had a kitten and we named her Penny. My husband is so gentle with Penny and loving. I forgot that side of him. He has a nurturing side that’s so alluring and comforting. When the girls were little, he was the same way with them. I love to see their interactions. He’s able to relate to them and laugh with them in ways that I cannot. I fear I lack a sense of humor, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to crack a joke.

I’ve noticed that my girls are turning into young women. They are doing their homework and trying to be brave. There are days that they miss their friends terribly, but they keep in touch with them over social networking platforms. While I am scared just like many of you are, I am also thankful.

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Two years ago when I gave up my job to spend more time with my girls, I struggled with the decision. I couldn’t help but think back to the dying toddler that required my final permission after the parents gave theirs to be taken off life support. I couldn’t help but think about how they hunkered down in her room praying for a miracle. They moved all her favorite blankets and laid them upon her tiny little body perhaps thinking that in some small way, it would make her come back to them.

There was a lesson to be learned that night. The lesson was how we look at time and spending it with those we love. So many of us have been guilty of feeling prideful over items that can be replaced at any given point. I had this walnut European piece of furniture that I used to love. It was for a long time my pride and joy until one day a group of movers lost all the required pieces to place it back together.

This is a painting of the wall unit I lost many years ago. Yes, I actually painted a picture of it.

I remember feeling so sad after I had to trash the pieces of wood and say goodbye to those memories. However, it wasn’t the end of the world. There would be other pieces of furniture. As I started to process the death of the child, I often thought about the European piece of furniture. It was here today and gone tomorrow. It was nothing more than a cold, solid, storage space taking up room in my house. However, my children were warm, sweet, caring, living, loving, and deserving of so much more than the material junk I was trying to bring home to add value to our lives.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t worry about replaceable things. Value those lives that can never be replaced and focus on loving your loved ones harder than ever before. Hug longer, kiss harder, and let this be your defining moment. Months ago we were planning on finding our perfect eco-friendly house, and now we are just trying to stay safe and healthy. Life lessons keep coming. Have a great day.

Searching For Eco-Friendly Housing Proves To Be A Task

After a weekend of house searching and researching, we are still no closer to finding the perfect eco-friendly home. We have been looking for the perfect eco-friendly home for at least three weeks now. We want something that doesn’t harm the environment and something that doesn’t break the bank. Our current neighborhood doesn’t allow solar panels, so we have been looking at neighborhoods surrounding the area as close as five minutes away and 20 minutes out.

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The first issue, I have noticed is the pricing of the neighborhoods that allow solar panels. The least expensive house in one of those neighborhoods is around 189,000. If you add in the 20000 for the solar upgrade you are looking at least 200,000 for the house. I would like to find a house around 120,000 to 150,000 thousand and then add all the eco-friendly addons. However, I have yet to find a neighborhood that allows them in the areas with cheaper housing. I am not debating the Green New Deal, but I really wonder how anyone would work that sort of thing out given the obstacles of finding eco-friendly neighborhoods. Some of the older houses would not be able to sustain the upgrades needed for solar panels even if the neighborhoods allowed the houses to do the necessary upgrades. Where would the money from the new roofs come in and the money for the panels? Perhaps, we need to start building more eco-friendly neighborhoods and slowly start moving people in that direction.

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I have land in the country that would allow us to build, but it is at least four hours away which would take the children away from their friends. I am not trying to do that because the children need their support systems, so we have to find a peaceful medium. It is all a little confusing to be honest. We talk about going green, but there are many HOAs that frown upon the addons for solar enhancements. If we are going to get serious about going green we need to get serious about rewriting some of the rules outlined in HOAs across America.

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I am having difficultly understanding why HOA groups are allowed to dictate what I can and can’t do in a house that I aim to buy. If I want to help make our environment better it is a good thing. So, at this point we are still looking and searching for that perfect neighborhood that offers the chance at eco-friendly living without reaching into the 200,000 range.

With the current issues in Saudi Arabia and the risk of going into another war, I think now is the time for all of us to get serious about going solar because we do not know what will happen in the future. Oil wars are not cheap and I do not want to be a casualty of war. So, I will continue looking.

Trump’s Second Term Could Give Birth To Less SSI For Many

An article came out in Forbes on 8/23/2019 detailing how Republicans aim to get Trump to cut Social Security and Medicare. We have known for a while that these programs have been on the brink and if Trump gets a second term we might see some real movement in revamping them system.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/teresaghilarducci/2019/08/23/trumps-second-term-plan-for-social-security-starve-the-beast/#4bfbb55f3794

Many people use Social Security and for a large percentage of people, it is their main source of income. Due to our national debt nearing 21 trillion dollars the government will have to take drastic measures to balance the books. At this point the Republican Senators are hinting at a much needed overhaul.

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We know that the system is currently flawed. In prior articles, I wrote about people who used the Social Security system as a way to scam benefits. The problem comes into play when an entire country gets caught up in a whirlpool of drama because some people are cheating the system. I would caution leaders to be thoughtful when dealing with this situation. Perhaps, the overhaul is needed in the screening of people trying to apply for services.

I do not want to see our elderly people thrown to the wolves over circumstances that they cannot control. I would like to see tougher guidelines for parents placing their children on SSI and the use of preschools if the children are able to attend them. Sadly, I have seen people get diagnoses for their children as young as 5 years old. I worked a case involving a mother who had all three of her children diagnosed and was currently awaiting her diagnoses. When I questioned her about working, she stated that she wanted to take care of her children. Ironically enough, she continued to leave them with other people.

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When I worked in mental health, I saw these situations all the time. People would come in trying to perfect mental illness because their loved ones told them that hospitalizations were the way to go. We have to break this cycle. Eventually they would learn just enough information to get their benefits. After three or four stays at a mental health hospital you learn all you need to know about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. It truly is sad that the scammers are mixed in with the people who really need the services. In the end it just overburdens the system and forces unwanted results on those who really need services.

I am sure we will hear more on this story in the near future. I have mixed emotions about slashing benefits that help the elderly. However, I am tired of seeing people take advantage of loopholes. Yet, I cannot help but wonder how much this current administration has helped to add to our debt situation and if slashing these programs will stop the bleed.

Poverty, Violence,Climate Change, and Reunification with Loved Ones According to MarraKech Conference Make Up The Reason For Immigration

If you really want to know what’s going on check out this video. I could tell you, but it’s better to hear it from the people who know about the issues due to their location. I was floored to see that climate control is one of the issues that is bringing people our way.