28 thoughts on “Picture This”

  1. above is sample of a Charleston palmetto rose on a sweetgrass basket
     
    Sweetgrass Baskets
     
    The coiled sweetgrass basket is a historically significant example of African cultural heritage that was transported across the Atlantic by the people of West Africa. The first known baskets in the Lowcountry of South Carolina appeared during the late 17th century and were fanner baskets used for winnowing rice. The agricultural baskets were made of bulrush, sweetgrass, and split oak. By the 1890s, sweetgrass baskets began to evolve from agricultural use to household items. Sweetgrass basket sewing is viewed as a gift from God. The craft is usually learned from childhood, as it requires a great deal of patience and creativity. Each artist develops their own style, and each basket is unique. Baskets are still made by hand today as they were generations ago and have become a much sought after art form in the lowcountry.  Each basket is meticulously handmade, so variations in size are to be expected and add to their charm
     

  2. blood on your hands now, mitch
    wapo:
    Three dead in national parks as shutdown wears on
     
    Trump administration officials decided to leave the scenic parks open even as the Interior Department has halted most of its operations — a departure from previous extended shutdowns
    […]
    In 1995 and 2013, respectively, the Clinton and Obama administrations made the decision to close the parks altogether. Officials concluded that keeping the parks open would jeopardize public safety and the parks’ integrity, but the closures also became a political cudgel for Democrats because they exemplified one of the most popular aspects of federal operations that had ground to a halt.
    In January 2018, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made the decision to keep national park sites as accessible as possible in the event of a shutdown. Trump officials forged ahead with the plan — but that shutdown lasted only three days.
    The current shutdown enters the third week on Saturday.
    Several former Park Service officials, along with the system’s advocates, said in interviews that activities such as viewing animals and hiking outdoors can carry a greater risk when fewer employees are present.
     
    Diane Regas, president and chief executive of the Trust for Public Land, said the group has sent a letter to President Trump calling on him to close all national parks. In an interview Friday, she said administration officials may have underestimated the broad scope of what it takes to maintain these sites.
    “I think we all know that not having bathrooms is a nuisance. What I think people forget is, not having adequate sewage treatment can be dangerous,” Regas said. “When you bring people together, running these parks is like running a small city.
    “I think we all know that not having bathrooms is a nuisance. What I think people forget is, not having adequate sewage treatment can be dangerous,” Regas said. “When you bring people together, running these parks is like running a small city.
    [continues]

  3. carl Hiaasen at Miami herald
    A ‘big, beautiful wall?’ Yeah, right . . .
     
    Eight futile questions about President Trump’s ever-changing plan for a southern border wall:
     
    1. Why won’t Mexico pay for it, like Trump repeatedly promised?
     
    Mexican officials won’t pay for the wall because they’d have to be idiots to do it, and Trump can’t make them pay. It was always a silly demand, and Mexican leaders probably had a big laugh about the whole thing in private. If anything, they were astounded that so many Americans were gullible enough to fall for Trump’s idea.
     
    2. Can’t we ask another country to fund the wall? How about Guatemala, where many of the refugees are coming from?

    We’d actually have a better chance if we asked the Koch brothers, David and Charles. They’re ultraconservative mega-donors to Republican causes and are collectively worth about $107 billion. They could write one check and pay for the entire wall, including landscaping. Unfortunately, Trump is pissed off at the Kochs, partly because they support a plan that would allow a path to citizenship for “DREAMers,” the children of illegal migrants.
     
      
    So that narrows down the list of super-wealthy sources for private funding to Warren Buffett, Paul McCartney or the Kardashians, none of whom have volunteered to donate to the president’s wall.
     
    Which leaves the rest of us taxpayers stuck with the tab.
     
    3. How much of the wall is already built?
     
    The U.S. border with Mexico is 1,954 miles long, and about one-third of it has had security fencing for years. Some sections are being upgraded, projects that were budgeted during past administrations but for which Trump naturally claims credit.
     
    Roughly two-thirds of the border is owned by states and private landholders, making it impossible to construct a “big, beautiful” contiguous wall. The legal battles would drag on for so long that the grandchildren of Trump’s grandchildren would be in assisted living by the time the court cases got settled.

    4. How much will it really cost to build what Trump wants?
     
    On the campaign trail, he told voters that a thousand towering miles of wall could be erected for only $4 billion. People cheered wildly. Then they went home from the Trump rally, and their fifth-graders tried to explain to them that the $4 billion estimate was, like, absurd. Basically joke math.
     
    Once he was in office, the president starting saying the wall would cost $10 billion. Then a report leaked out from the Department of Homeland Security estimating the true cost at $21.6 billion.
     
    5. So the $5.6 billion that Trump wants in the new budget is only the beginning?
     
    It’s just a number that somebody in the White House dreamed up — big enough to look like a serious commitment, but not so big as to provoke giggles and outright mockery.
     
     
     
    6. So how tall would the wall actually be?
     
    Trump originally announced that it would be 55 feet high and insurmountable. Then the projections shrunk to 35 feet or 40 feet.

    Last year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency began installing 30-foot see-through panels to replace 2.2 miles of existing barrier in Calexico, California. Another 20-mile segment in New Mexico will feature slatted panels with heights as low as 18 feet, including a five-foot “anti-climbing” plate.
     
    Some of the new wall portions are being embedded six feet into the ground, with additional concrete anchoring to discourage tunnels. This might be effective if it were done at every vulnerable point of the border, but that’s another fantasy scenario.
     
    7. So, wait — is it a wall, or is it a fence?
     
    Trump now says he doesn’t care what everybody calls it, but he does.
     
    A feverish crowd chanting “Build the Fence!” isn’t nearly as ego-pleasing as a crowd chanting “Build the Wall!” And even “Build the See-Through Wall!” doesn’t pack the same punch.
     
    8. Let’s say the Democrats cave in and this thing actually gets funded. How long would it take to finish?
     
    There’s a three-mile stretch of Interstate I-95 near Daytona Beach that road contractors have been widening for four years. Just three miles.

    That happens to be a complex project, but it’s child’s play compared to piecing together a thousand miles of supposedly impassible barrier. The job would take ages even if they were using Legos.
     
    So the answer is that Trump’s “big, beautiful” wall will never get done — and when it doesn’t, none of us being asked to pay for it will be around to say “I told you so.”

  4. daily beast:
    During Friday’s meeting at the White House over the ongoing shutdown standoff, President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made little substantive progress as Pelosi and Schumer urged Trump to reopen the government by Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the meeting.
    One of these knowledgeable sources told The Daily Beast President Trump kicked off the meeting with a rant lasting roughly 15 minutes that included his $5.6 billion demand for a border wall, and threatened that he was willing to keep the government closed for “years” if that’s what it took to get his wall. He also, unprompted, brought up the Democrats who want him impeached, and even blamed Pelosi for new Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib saying at a party earlier this week that Democrats would impeach the “motherfucker” Trump. (It is unclear why Trump would think Pelosi was responsible for this.)
    Trump proceeded to tell the room he was too popular to impeach.
    Along with saying the word “fuck” at least three times throughout the meeting, the president bizarrely stated that he did not want to call the partial government shutdown a “shutdown,” according to the source. Instead, he referred to it as a “strike.” (Many of the federal employees affected by the weeks-long shutdown have been working without pay. That is essentially the opposite of a strike.)
    [continues]

  5. Getting ready to go pick up our new kitty. We now know that she is about 9 years old and her full name is Princess Leia Organa. Can’t wait to meet her!

  6. Sturg…  beautiful baskets!  I did find some for sale on etsy….  some of them are quite expensive.  But to that I say…  good!…  it’s great to see such wonderful craftspeople getting good money for their wares.

    Jamie…  good luck to you and your cousin.  I’m sure your kitties will miss you.

  7. My retirement home in the fog off the Potomac River.  It is breezy, damp/wet and fifty degrees.  Not pleasant to be working outside.  So, inside work.
    Love the basket.  Somethings are functional and beautiful.

  8. renee, bet she took the kitties with her or at least finds a way to get them there once she settles.
     
    Jamie, make sure to not over extend as sometimes happens to good Samaritans like you.  remember to take good care of the caregiver so the caregiver can keep giving care.

  9. Son is taking care of kitties and grandson is moving downstairs so they will have someone to keep them company at night. 
    I’m researching TAKL and PODS to help with all the heavy work to get her settled somewhere.
     

  10. Jamie, you are Wonderful!
    Hit pause for a second. Others out there– correct me where I am wrong. Medicaid will pick-up what medicare and other insurance/personal resources won’t cover. Medicaid won’t count her owned dwelling as being a forfeitable asset—don’t convert it to cash which they will grab. Don’t pay any of the rascals debts. Does she have any children/grands to give her physical support?

  11. That’s not quite true about Medicaid  Medical in California if your expenses exceed a certain amount for example nursing home – your property is fair game and at least in California they do try to recover the costs.

    But most counties have some sort of seniors services agency and I’m sure they do in Fresno and they can refer you to all sorts of help. If the pension is a public one – there may be help of an appeal.
    http://fmaaa.org Fresno’s

  12. KGC, thanks for jumping in. I think the HHS provides for removing the “home” designation from a dwelling once an owner stops living in it. For instance, if she moves to a relative’s house, etc.

    You’re absolutely correct about seeking local, available, support.

     

  13. Again not in California – the property would have to be transferred to someone else as long as it remains in the client’s name   it is eligible to be a recovered asset at the time of the client’s death.

  14. Shame on a husband or wife who doesn’t take extraordinary measures to protect a vulnerable spouse from financial or healthcare disaster.

  15. The Medicaid discussion hits home for me. Dad is eligible but so few assisted living places take it. Gonna be in Orlando all month sorting it out. Biggest headache is cleaning out the house for sale. Sadly there’s not much of a market for antiques anymore.

  16. Craig
    Try the County services for the aged — they may be able to help you.   Here at least the County is pretty good as a resource.   We have several friends who have had similar problems resolved in part helped by county references and advice.   They will certainly know what is available.

  17. Craig… both Rick and I, being the eldest in our families, went through much headaches taking care of elderly parents and estates.  Everything you do… won’t have to be done again… just one step at a time.   And remember your own mantra….  this too shall pass.
    Best of luck to you and your dad!

  18. craig, this handbook and some others from fl dept of elder affairs might have some useful info for you and your dad:
    First published by the Florida Justice Institute in 1980, the Older Floridians Handbook: Laws and Programs Affecting Older Floridians explains and describes, in easily understandable language, laws and programs that affect elderly Floridians and their families.  The Handbook goes into many subjects that older Floridians may be interested in, including public benefits, health care, wills and estate planning, advance directives, housing, taxation, and more.  It includes a particularly useful reference section at the end, listing a wide variety of agency referral contact numbers.  With a generous grant from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the pro bono assistance of several private law firms, FJI has published updated editions in 1988, 1992, 1998, 2007, and 2016, to keep up with rapidly changing developments in the law.  It has proven to be an invaluable resource for our State’s seniors and their families, as it provides them with the kind of information they need to be able to live healthy and productive lives.
     
    The sixth and most recent edition, which incorporates important changes made by the Affordable Care Act, is here.

    more too here:  
    2018 Summary of Programs and Services
     

    This document is produced by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and updated periodically to provide the public and the Legislature with information about programs and services for Florida’s elders. Services and programs for elders vary in relation to consumer needs, demographics, funding availability and legislative directives. This Summary of Programs and Services, unless otherwise noted, contains information and data compiled as of January 2018.
    Go to SOPS 2018 PDF file

    Table of Contents
    Complete PDF
    SECTION A – GENERAL OVERVIEW
    SECTION B – OLDER AMERICANS ACT (OAA) PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
    SECTION C – STATE GENERAL REVENUE PROGRAMS
    SECTION D – MEDICAID PROGRAMS
    SECTION E – OTHER DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS
    SECTION F – SERVICES AND UTILIZATION
    SECTION G – APPENDIX

     

  19. media should start counting the deaths related to the shutdown that are beginning to pile up. 

    we also need a little street music in front of the wh and senate playing a  variation of the old chant “Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?” if they can come up with something that rhymes with trump and mitch.  

  20. Sturgeon,
    I loved the picture thanks for posting. I echo Craig when I say that we miss your comments. Too many of our trail hands have gone silent as of late we need you.🙂

  21. Have been looking into assisted living facilities over the past few weeks. The whole Medicaid thing is complicated and frustrating. Some places accept it, others don’t and still others will accept it after a specified period of time. Usually two years. It makes choosing a provider very difficult.

  22. Will watch the Seahawks and the Cowboys later today. Afraid the Hawks will have their hands full playing the Cowboys in Dallas. Should be interesting.

  23. Patd, Mrs P & I went out for a late lunch after shuttling most of the Christmas decorations to the attic and watched the last 5 or 6 minutes of the first half and a of the second half. Great win for the Tide – 1st win over Kentucky since 2013.  They tried hard to give it away in the last couple minutes but thankfully they weren’t successful at that.  
    When I’m not snoozing I’m watching the Colts  beat down the Texans. Be interested to see if DeShaun Watson remembers how good he and his offense can be. 

  24. Craig
    since your dad is a vet does Florida have any Veterans homes and did he serve during war time if so he might qualify for Aid and Attendance  medical benefits You might talk to his VA counselor for help if you haven’t done so
    For Mrs Jack’s  father(an old WWII vet) his aid and attendance payment  plus social security more than covered  the cost of his assisted living. It wasn’t enough to cover his later needs for a nursing home. But Missouri has a number of veterans homes we got him on the waiting list and  they provided care for the Aid and attendance benefit and we paid out of his social security for personal items and vocational therapy that helped him deal with his parkinsons
    Jack

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