Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back on my list

I started the quilt about 2 years ago. It called for my attention this past week. There it was, calling my name. Has that happened to you? I promise it called my name! Anyway, I had some trouble with my sewing machine while paper piecing, so I set it aside. How sad, it is so lovely and I just dropped it. It is my plan to start back to piecing the rest of it.

It has always been a lovely piece and being away from it awhile has drawn new enthusiasm for me to finish it. 

I simply adore the intense colors !

My goal is to complete it by the end of the year!

Friday, July 4, 2014

City of Memphis Council Decision hits home!

 This is my husband, Sammie

This post is to honor my husband for the hard work he has done over his years as a police officer and to bring attention to the public facts they may not be aware of, regarding why this topic is such a big deal to those that it affects. 

My husband's career in Law Enforcement started long before I meet him. He joined the Memphis Police Department in 1974, he served 28 years then took retirement in 2002. The retirement is not near enough to live on, so he took his Real Estate exam and passed. He was a natural in this job, since he has worked with all kinds of people and is very comfortable doing so. It did not get us rich, but it did pay the bills and he enjoyed it.  When the market took a hit, so did we, as did many other Realtors. He knew he had to do something else, so he gave up that dream and went back to Law Enforcement.Approx. 2005 he obtained a position in the Police Services at the University of Memphis, as an investigator. Make no mistake, he is NOT a security guard, as I have heard him called! He puts on his uniform everyday, along with his badge and his gun. 

In his years over service with the City of Memphis, he worked every department or every crime you could think of, I especially remember the days he worked Homicide and Robbery. There really is no way for the average person to know what it is like to be married to a Police Officer. I am extremely proud of my husband, when he works he gives it his all, he puts his heart and soul into, though he would do that no matter what job he did, that is just how he is! 

This recent fight with the City of Memphis over healthcare reform is hard for the public to understand if they do not know of anyone affected. This is a different environment that the private sector, which I did not understand either. As an ordinary person going into the private workforce, you interview and if offered a position are presented with a compensation package. This package usually consists of Salary with benefits, not always, but in most regular jobs I ever had, it worked that way. For instance, years ago I worked at Nike, I was offered an hourly wage plus healthcare benefits, customary in most workplaces. The hourly rate was lower than I really could get elsewhere but the company offered many other perks, like access to the Nike store, where my family and I could shop at a discounted price, we had product giveaways a couple of times a year and we had a fitness center to encourage good health. If we committed to working out 4 times a week we were allowed to take a one and a half hour luck to do workouts. We had aerobics classes, a workout facility and showers. So the perks were many and I said yes, of course.

Anyway, here is were things get different. When my husband was hired, they paid into a PENSION plan INSTEAD of SOCIAL SECURITY. Police that never did any other work, do not have Social Security because they never paid into SS. Did you know that? Only at such time they are otherwise employed, and start paying into SS would they have any. Trust me when I say, you can not live on an Officer's salary well, and you sure can't live off the retirement. One of the components of the Officer's salary IS benefits. These benefits are NOT FREE, they pay healthcare premiums as do the private sector and them the City pays their part. In our case, what the City has decided means that my husband will have to provide 100% of his health insurance coverage and I will not be covered. Since he has a history of cancer, now all gone, but he will most likely be charged more than a younger, healthy individual. All of this is not by choice, it is forced on him now after all he has given and continues to give to the City as he is still employed and fighting crime in Memphis! 
So you know, the City of Memphis has not contacted us in anyway to let us know the details, so I don't know what happens about pre-existing, IF we stay on their insurance plan at the 100% rate. The information we get is on the news like the rest of the public watching.

We are extremely blessed because we can get on the healthcare plan at his current position once open enrollment comes around. 

My daughter in law's father never worked anywhere but the Police dept for the City of Memphis and is on disability. He has a legitimate physical disability he qualified for many years ago and has not worked another job, so no Social Security and will be responsible for paying 100% of his health insurance. Over a year ago, he was asked by the City of Memphis to re-qualify or prove his disability! He has complied with all their requests and still can no get an answer of what the City determined was legitimate. His only line of information, if his check hits the bank, he still gets his disability. Neither he nor his wife is able to work at this stage in their life and stand to lose everything they have, which by the way, is not much! These retirees are not living high one the hog…..

Some in the private sector have made comments such as 'Welcome to the real world', REALLY? I assure you that the men and women in our Fire dept and Police dept. DO LIVE in the REAL WORLD! Know this, the average person could NOT handle the job the MPD and MFD do on a daily basis. The Police leave their families at home each day, never knowing if they will return or not. In Memphis, there is a good chance you all not! Crime runs wild through the City as it is already understaffed and this is not going to help. Many current officers will leave Memphis and who will take their place, where is the incentive to put their lives on the line each and every day? Police rarely get appreciated for the work the do, they face the worst of the worst, they get shot at, cussed at and ridiculed constantly. 

Ironically, my husband served as a Firefighter when in the Airforce, so he has been in both positions. My grand father was a Fire fighter in Brownsville TN when I was young I remember taking him dinner to the firehouse. When he passed, he was the Fire Chief. The men and women of MFD leave their families at home alone for days depending on their schedules. 

This decision to cut healthcare benefits for Retirees has hit home for our MPD and MFD.Our health insurance was never free to us, it was part of our compensation. Imagine losing your health coverage at your job and your salary not being adjusted, THEN would you understand? I hope this will shed some light on the subject for the general public.  I don't know that anyone will even read this post, but I had to write it! This troubles me deeply for the officers and firefighters and more importantly, the PUBLIC, they will suffer the most, if PUBLIC SAFETY IS NOT A PRIORITY to the City of Memphis. It would appear that ship has sailed, but NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT!


Please forgive any errors, I am too exhausted to proofread this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Simple pleasures, too cute not to share!

Brooklyn came to visit last weekend, I would say she came to see me, but I think it is more likely is was Bella! What a cute couple! I think she gave Bella a run for her money!

Haven't taken time to blog and seriously have not missed the feeling of needing to. Mom is back home and doing pretty good right now, things are crazy and if I thought it couldn't get crazier, I was called for jury duty for July 14, to August 29th!  Since I live in Fayette county, I will report in person on July 14th for my first day. Only time will tell if I serve or not, good news, the courthouse is only about 10 minutes away from my home, short commute and gas. If I serve, I think it will be very interesting. I don't sit still easy, very anxious, but I feel it is my duty and I can't do anything about it anyway, sure don't want to go to jail! ha!ha! Anyway, enjoy the wonderful shot!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A much needed visit from Kamryn

This weekend, I got to keep my grand daughter Kamryn for the night! She is pictured here holding my mom's white faced cockatiel named 'Smokie'. He is not used to being out of his cage, mom isn't able to chase him around the room, so he is not all that happy with most humans. Lucky for Kamryn and me, he likes us!! She was so delighted here when he perched on her hand!!!! He also sang some lovely melodies for her! I think he can sense that she is very kind and she loves all animals!! I did not photograph the frog she caught in the back yard and played with half the night!! She is fearless!!

Mom is still in rehab for her latest recovery and is doing a little better, but not what I would like to see. I want to see her go home and enjoy her life at home!!! I think it may be a little too soon to know for sure when or if that will happen in the near future. I appreciate all the caring and support I have gotten from all my blogger friends!!

Have a great day!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Would you like to give this quilt a good home?

This picture reflects the colors the best of the 2 photos. I found this hand pieced and hand quilted quilt at a local Antique store and just had to have it. Since that time, I have decided that it needs a good home and I do not have anywhere to really display it, so it is just stuck in a pile of other quilts without a purpose. It has not been bound, and it does have some holes in the top. It measures approx. 55 inches square.
If you are interested in giving this quilt a good home, please email me so we can work out the details. You can write me, ChristineballardATbellsouthDOT com. If you are remotely tech savory, you will understand.

Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you soon!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

The gift of TIME

This photo was taken of my mom and I at her house Christmas 2013.

Mom was being introduced to a 'selfy' which she had no knowledge nor,  was she interested, but she went along for the ride.

This lovely rose is at my mom's house. I took a photo to show her on my IPAD at the hospital.

These amazingly beautiful wonders are also from my mom's, and photographed this week. I shared the images with her from my IPAD.

Make sure to treasure the gift of TIME, today and every day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photos to fuss over!!

Oh! duckies!

I like this one! Why can't I take him home?

Bubba lets us take a picture of him! He is not so fond of the limelight, he would rather be doing anything else, but he adores his sisters!

Oh! this is my absolute favorite!! Just priceless!