Opinion

I Use to Say That Too.

I use to say that too, that people weren’t victims, that they have control over the way their lives turn out. But, after spending many years working in low income housing communities, and hearing children discuss which gangs their daddies were in, which color bandana they wore, watching their daddies and brothers and uncles get shot and killed, I will never again say this. One little 8 year old boy cried on my shoulder and asked me to pray for his momma cause he found his little sister dead in the bed. He didn’t know that Jesus could help him too. He thought Jesus was just for those other people who didn’t live where he lived. He will grow up to be a man, maybe living in the same area, maybe with the same experiences as his father. Sometimes the trauma we experience, which I have no real understanding of, undeniably shapes our futures. Some can escape the damage, but for others, its nearly impossible. I learned an important lesson. I will hold my tongue before I speak. I will search for the pain behind another’s words and actions. I will love and accept, even if I don’t understand. I have not experienced much in my life, and chances are, neither have you.  

Family Life · Homestead

Early Arrival Surprise

The baby goats got to come home a little early! They were due to arrive in May, but I begged and pleaded. Finally, the breeder decided let us have them a week early. We picked them up and drove home with two goats in our truck bed.  It was quite the funny experience; however, I realize this is probably a totally normal and boring experience for “actual” farmers. They seem to be adjusting really well to their new home. The first night they cried every time we walked away. Their cries were MUCH louder than I expected. All our neighbors now know when snuck goats into the city limit. Oops!

We put up a temporary shelter for them with some pallets since our mini barn isn’t built yet. (Hopefully, its going up within the next week or so.) Finally, to get them to be quiet, I propped up some things in front of their little shed so they would be totally enclosed. They liked this set up MUCH better and were quiet the rest of their first night. Today, they are playing, munching on all the fresh tall grass in their pen, and looking very happy. Just a few hours after their arrival, they seem to be settling in perfectly!

Homestead

Farm Fence is Up!

The fence was a two day process and measures about 80x80ft. It will house the goats that are coming in May and all the chickens. There is talk about the possibility of a mini horse, but we will see how this goes first. The first day we spent measuring for the fence, digging holes and placing the corner posts, and pounding in each t-post. My dad came to help since we had never put up a farm fence. He brought my boys a four wheeler and that made their day! They’ve already combed some awesome trails through the woods behind our home and spent one entire day “muddin” as we called it when I was growing up in Kentucky! Outdoor life is the best life for a kid (and for grown-ups like me.)

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Day 2 was used to install my repurposed gate and stretch the wire between each corner post. This process is definitely easier with a few extra hands. My oldest son was on the four wheeler controlling the winch to stretch the fence as tight as possible. The fence looks amazing a pretty much disappears into the landscape of our yard. I never knew I could be so excited about a fence! This means it’s almost time for the baby animals to arrive! It’s been a dream to have a little land we could spend our lives on and this place is just that!

This weekend we plan to put in our garden and get the corner posts in the ground for the mini barn going inside the fenced area. Next week, we hope to start on the barn! I’ll post updates as we go along!

Homestead

Mini Backyard Pine Forest

Before

We have so many beautiful pines on our property behind our home, and they were a mess! The kids jumped in, and we spent a couple days cutting out the lower branches and dead limbs. See my husband with the saw in the bottom right photo?

After

It looks like a park back there and its my new favorite spot in the yard. I love when pines umbrella over head giving you the richest forest-y smell in the world!

Beyond the tree line are some gorgeous, VERY OLD trees we wanted to play in. We cleaned it up a bit and found the perfect tree for climbing! Still trying to determine what type of tree it is. Possibly sassafras? The largest sassafras in the world is in Owensboro, KY, which is a short drive from us and thought to be at least 300 years old. So, this one might be a few hundred years old too!

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Below is the future home of the fencing and shed for the baby goats arriving in May!

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If you are curious about our new home here in Indiana, here it is! Also, this is a great photo of the amazing sycamore tree!

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Come back soon for fencing and shed progress for the cute little goats!

Healthcare

Biden on Healthcare: Who’s Got the Right Idea on U.S. Healthcare Delivery?

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Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is promoting a healthcare outline that is similar to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but attempts to improve upon several of its aspects (Laszewski, 2019). Although the ACA created some improvements in healthcare delivery, such as the expansion of care (more people received access to healthcare) and promotion of public health (global health issues), there were unsuccessful components represented by the skyrocketing premiums and deductibles. Biden outlines expanding Medicaid coverage further by making Medicaid available to all low-income consumers in every state (Laszewski, 2019). A substantial part of the expansion is the plan to remove the cap on individuals and families receiving federal subsidies, so no one pays more than 8.5% of their income on premiums. More people could actually afford their healthcare. Consistent with the ACA, Biden wants to increase budgeting for community health center development, improving upon public health initiatives.

In contrast to the ACA, Biden plans to improve upon the individual health insurance market. According to Laszewski (2019), Biden proposes the development of a public option to be marketed alongside private insurance options, giving Americans three options: Medicaid, private insurance, and public health insurance. Biden’s outline partly builds upon the ACA, making healthcare expansion even broader and further reducing the number of uninsured people. Fan, Yan, Coyte, & Yu (2019) found that public health insurance leads to better health outcomes and long life expectancies. A public health insurance option may level the playing field. Private insurance companies will be forced to compete with public prices, reducing the imbalance of coverage and provider options between people with different socioeconomic statuses (Laszewski, 2019).

Another benefit of Biden’s plan, according to Laszewski (2019), is increasing community health budgeting, which is more consistent with a population health model of care delivery rather than a medical model. Population health focuses on preventative concepts such as nutrition and lifestyle. The medical model is the traditional American way which focuses on treating disease in each individual, rather than preventing it.

HOWEVER, with all of this said, I still have a problem with Joe Biden. I will not vote for him as president of the U.S. because of his views on Planned Parenthood. But, does it not make sense that we work together on healthcare, democrats and republicans, and find a middle ground on changing our healthcare delivery system? I do not think that Biden having a bad concept in his outline (funding Planned Parenthood) means that all his ideas are bad. There are some great ideas here! We are at a standstill in our country. Although some concepts, such as abortion laws, are improving, other aspects of healthcare delivery in the U.S. have stalled. Oh, how I wish our appointed officials could sit down and find a way to move forward.

Margie Huff, RN

ARNP/FNP Student at University of Southern Indiana

References:
Ebel, B., Cassidy, E., Trujillo, M., & Orleans, T. (2019). Organization of care. In J. Knickerman,& B. Elbel (Eds.), Health Care Delivery in the United States (pp. 170-171). Springer Publishing Company
Fan, H., Yan, Q., Coyte, P. C., & Yu, W. (2019). Does public health insurance coverage lead to better health outcomes? Evidence from Chinese adults. Inquiry56. doi:10.1177/0046958019842000
Landry, A., & Erwin, C. (2019). Organization of care. In J. Knickerman, & B. Elbel (Eds.),
Health Care Delivery in the United States (pp. 36-38). Springer Publishing Company
Laszewski, R. (2019). Joe Biden’s health care plan would fix the individual health insurance
system. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaszewski2/2019/12/22/joe-bidens-health-care-plan-would-fix-the-individual-health-insurance-system/#211d74d51f93
McIntyre, A., & Song, Z. (2019). The US Affordable Care Act: Reflections and directions at the close of a decade. PLoS Medicine16. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002752
National Academies of Sciences (NAS). (2016). Removing barriers to practice and care. In S.H. Altman, A.S. Butler, L. Shern (Eds.), Assessing Progress on the Institute of Medicine
Report the Future of Nursing (pp. 39-56). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK350160/
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). (2020). Access to health services. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/Access-to-Health-Services
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). (2020). Health related quality of  life and well-being. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/health-related-quality-of-life-well-being
Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (PCNP). (2016). Five new studies: Nurse practitioners expand access to health care, lower Costs, improve outcomes. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.pacnp.org/news/277542/Five-New-Studies-Nurse-Practitioners-Expand-Access-to-Health-Care-Lower-Costs-Improve-Outcomes.htm
Russo, P., & Gourevitch, M. (2019). Organization of care. In J. Knickerman, & B. Elbel (Eds.), Health Care Delivery in the United States (pp. 103-107). Springer Publishing Company