"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Aug 9, 2018

Keeping America Hungry

Yesterday was my appointment to review my public medical and food stamp eligibility. I turned 62 last fall, so as required by law I was transferred from the Supplemental Security Income program to regular old Social Security, and things changed.

Switching over wasn't frightening, because contrary to my current situation I used to have good jobs and dutifully contributed to the community-pot; but since my Social Security is more than the $750 limit, my food stamps dropped from $175 to $112 a month.  It was tough enough, but c'mon already...

Surprise, surprise; but I was't.  I knew it was coming, since I've learned that whatever they giveth, they taketh away. My monthly increase through social security comes to about $200; and yesterday I was told that not only would my food stamps be reduced, but I'd have to pay a bit over $100 for my Medicare, since I'm no longer eligible for the Oregon Health Plan.

"But I'm (supposed to be) a Christian Scientist; do I HAVE to pay for the medical?"

Yes, but wait...there's something called the Pickle Amendment, I'm not making this up.  Check the link for a more accurate description, but basically it's aimed at protecting indigent people, previously covered under SSI, who are thrown off the rolls because they suddenly receive their Social Security. Named for a Congressman during the '70s.

According to the nice lady, even though I'll have the automatic deduction for Medicare, the Pickle Amendment (might) allow me to be reimbursed for most, if not all, of that. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for that judgement, I can tell you; but it seems like a waste of energy, not to mention taxpayer dollars, to administer something which should be available for everyone.

So a friend just delivered what is surely to be the first of many care packages, above. Lea knows I'm not crazy about fresh, healthy food, but when you're hungry you'll eat most anything.  Even the homemade grape jelly.

As I said, this was no surprise; and our President wants to take even more away, go figure.  I'd like to see The Donald try to live on $30 a week for food and see if it changes his tune at all. At least he'd be less of a porker.

So while I try to think of anything except the elephant in the room I'm glad, at least, that  I'll be losing weight without trying hard.  This photo is not me now, at least not yet.

But the strangest thing happened while enjoying menopause on the boat, in the tropics:  instead of gaining I dropped weight at an alarming rate. My partner swore I had a tapeworm because I ate like a horse, but the pounds kept disappearing.

120 pounds felt good; 115 and I needed new clothes. But by 110 I was scared I was dying, so I asked a physician friend if he thought something was wrong.

"I'll ask you what I ask my patients:  how do you feel?"


"Then don't worry about it."

So I didn't. I bottomed out at 103, and then my weight started climbing.  I worried that like a pendulum it would not only reach my original weight but surpass it to the opposite extreme, but that didn't happen. Back it went to my usual 129, until I started packing on the pounds with those half-gallons this past spring.

But those days are gone, and the days of hunger pangs will return.  Last night I was woken by one of those 'pangs', and even though I have a fridge full of food I forced myself to live through the deprivation, for practice. Mom would say, It builds character, but Dad would retort something about not needing that kind of character.

I was once so hungry I declared, fist in the air ala Scarlett O'Hara, "If I can't BUY the foods I'd like, I'll PAINT them."   I got as far as this Ben & Jerry's half-gallon, painted inside the unplugged refrigerator on Ruff Life, before I sold her and entered the third act of my life.

Then please take a moment to consider things from this biased point of view, and imagine (alter-ego Amy's) thoughts as she witnesses the number of obese Americans on the rise. Yes, it's sometimes hormonal, but more likely than not it's our lack of self-discipline   And yes, it's also people on food stamps, which is why I advocate restricting items like candy, soda, and even ice cream.  It's not a necessary food group, no matter what we've been led to believe.

It's all good.  Amy's been riding my widening ass over our accumulated excess baggage; who's riding yours?  No, there's nothing wrong with being massively overweight unless we're talking airline seats; or when Jabba the Hutt shoves those with lesser bulk away from the frozen food doors, it happens.

Tino, God bless him, was not overweight but his cholesterol must have been through the roof, plus he smoked.  Dead at 47 from a massive heart attack. That happens, too.

So ga'head: boycott that new series which has been claimed to indulge in fat-bashing; I'm with you.  LOADS OF LARD IS LOVELY INDEED!

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