How Low Can They Go?

How Low Can They Go?

It disturbs me that with every stroke of his pen, Trump is pulling another plank from the platform that upholds the lower-and-middle classes of this country. From hobbling workers' rights to decimating healthcare, his and the Republican’s policies are making it tougher for people to live with dignity and be fairly paid for their hard work. So many hard-won fights over so many decades are disappearing before our eyes--workers' rights, women's rights, LGBT rights, minority rights, healthcare rights.

Now the Republican-majority House and Senate are proposing a new healthcare law that guts the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and threatens to leave up to 23 million without health care coverage.

Those between the ages of 50 and 64 will see premium rate increases that will drive many of them to forego insurance altogether. Whereas the ACA prohibited charging older people more than three times what young people were charged, the American Health Care Act (AHCA, aka Trumpcare) will increase that difference to five times as much.

The House Republican Trumpcare plan eliminates the income-based tax credits and subsidies available under the ACA, replacing them with age-based tax credits ranging from $2,000 a year for people in their 20s to $4,000 a year for those older than 60.

The Senate plan is different in that tax credits will vary by income at a lower eligibility level than under the ACA. Sounds good, right? But the credits are smaller because their value is tied to the cost of less-generous insurance than under the ACA. What does “less generous” mean? 

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You Deserve Pleasurable Post-Menopausal Sex

A friend of mine, at the age of 55, was in a new relationship that was heading towards sexual intimacy. Concerned because she had not had sex in three years, and knowing from experience that it could be a painful encounter because of vaginal dryness, she asked me—a sexually active woman in a twenty-seven-year marriage—what I used to combat that discomfort.

I had a great recommendation, based upon my own experience. The first time I had painful intercourse with my husband, I was astonished. Vaginal dryness came on seemingly overnight, and our lovemaking had to be halted. The next morning, I called my gynecologist’s office and asked to be worked in that day. You see, I love having regular sex with my husband, and I was certain there was a medical remedy to keep that viable, and there was.

My doctor prescribed Vagifem 10 mcg, and after using that small vaginal suppository only a few times, I was back to normal, and so was our sex life.

Vagifem is an estrogen replacement suppository consisting of estradiol. It treats the underlying cause of menopause-related vaginal changes by helping to replenish the vagina’s lost estrogen. It’s used primarily after menopause to treat changes in and around the vagina, including atrophic vaginitis (dryness and soreness in the vagina) and dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse.) It is also beneficial in preventing UTIs. The cells lining the vagina are basically the same cells that line the urethra and the bladder. When the vagina is dry, the bladder is dry, and UTIs occur with greater frequency.

There are other such treatments for these afflictions, including patches, ointment, and vaginal rings; but the Vagifem suppository has been very effective for me, so I happily recommended this simple treatment to my friend. She saw her doctor, got a prescription, and began using it. When sexual intimacy occurred the following week, she experienced no discomfort with her new beau. Wonderful, right? I mean, here’s a medical solution for a painful condition, a remedy that can be prescribed by your doctor, and it is covered by insurance.

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Roe v Wade - 43rd Anniversary The Legacy of CHOICE

Roe v Wade - 43rd Anniversary The Legacy of CHOICE

REKINDLING THE TORCH OF CHOICE

Those of us who are over 50 have reached that comfortable age when we no longer have to worry about an unintended pregnancy. For us, the issue of reproductive choice has faded in importance. But for our daughters and granddaughters of childbearing age, it should still matter—now more than ever.

Those of us who became sexually active in the 70s had protections in place to safeguard us from unwanted pregnancy. In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that unmarried women could legally be prescribed birth control pills. And then in 1973, the landmark Roe v. Wade decision gave women the right to make decisions about whether or not to have an abortion. These protections are still largely in place in 2015. However, with the aggressive anti-choice agenda being pushed by state and federal lawmakers, that may not be the case by the next presidential election.

I’ve always advocated choice, simply because I felt another person should never have any say over any decisions regarding my body. Choice dovetailed with the years I became sexually active, and my reproductive choices were protected under the law.

Legal protection of women’s reproductive choices has been under relentless assault for some time, and those efforts are escalating. Republicans in Congress, emboldened by their new majority, introduced five abortion restrictions in the first three days of the new legislative session! Their proposed restrictions would severely limit women’s access to abortion. Politicians are inserting themselves in the most private and personal medical decision that should be left up to a woman and her doctor.

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Do Book Awards Matter?

There was a debate raging on LinkedIn recently, when someone asked the question, "What value do you put on authors when they describe themselves as 'Award Winners?'"

Responses ranged from vitriolic to meh to upbeat--the last provided by award-winning authors, for the most part.

I don't describe myself anywhere as "an award-winning author." I do say, "Author of the two-time award-winning book, Moral Infidelity."  My input on that LinkedIn thread was that I thought I wrote a good book, I wanted validation, and so I entered two contests--and I won in both. And yes, there was a fee for entry to both The Great Southeast Book Festival Book (GSBF) Award Contest ($50), and the Readers' Favorite (RF) Book Reviews and Award Contest ($89.) This *fee* sparked a lot of, "If you have to pay for it, it has no value" comments.  

Not so, I exclaim!  Paying a modest fee to enter a competitive, professionally-judged contest is by no definition “pay for play.”  Sure, there are vanity presses out there that will publish you or promote you strictly based on what you pay—that is totally different. When I learned from the President of Readers' Favorites, James Ventrillo, at the awards ceremony in Miami on November 21, 2015, that there were over 600 entries in my category of Fiction: Thriller General, I felt there was indeed value in that award. I had won a bronze medal--third place--in a category that was highly competitive. In fact, there were two silver and two bronze awards in that category; and as Mr. Ventrillo explained, there are five judges awarding points to each book. In my category, there were actual ties for the silver and bronze awards. So, technically, I was in the top five of that category. Still, I feel my book has been, well, validated.

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Writing With Purpose

Writing With Purpose

I have just self-published my third book in 15 months, and although there has been a great deal of satisfaction in writing those books, I know I need to take a breather--but my "purpose" in writing them won't allow me to do so!

I self-published my first two books, MORAL INFIDELITY and DOUBLING BACK TO LOVE, at the age of 59. Yes, quite a late age to start a career in writing. In this, my 60th year, I published Book 1: HE'S JUST A MAN: Making the Most of Your Womanly Power.

All of my books embrace the concept of women standing in their own power. The escalating assault on a woman's reproductive choices, especially her right to an abortion, compelled me to publish MORAL INFIDELITY, a book about a hypocritical pro-life governor whose mistress becomes pregnant, and the choices he is forced to make when an unintended pregnancy threatens to ruin his life. Choice  takes on a whole new meaning for him.

DOUBLING BACK TO LOVE is about a woman who asks the question, "Why does it have to come down to choosing just one man, when no one man can give me everything I want?" She won't be shackled by conventionality and duplicitous morality in seeking love.

Both of those books are works of fiction.

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An Author's Anthology Journey

Other than hitting a best-seller list, can you imagine anything that could be more rewarding for a new author than to have her second novel ‘plucked from the many’ for inclusion in an anthology with nine other authors?

When Jennifer Theriot approached me about joining the Peace, Love, & Romance anthology, I was honored, but also hesitant. Was my book a good fit? Could it hold its own against the books written by Amazon best-selling authors?

But of course I said, “Yes! Thank you!”

And so began a journey that has proven to be exciting, angst-ridden, educational, scary, but ultimately, rewarding. It has been such a pleasure to get to know this group of dynamic, marketing-and-computer-savvy, driven, hard-working, and most of all, talented women. They took a newbie under their wings, and took me to new heights.

I’m grateful to my fellow authors for their enthusiasm that pushed me along when I flagged, for their encouragement while I was learning, for their optimism in the face of setbacks, for their commitment to success, and for their belief in the talent of every author included in the Peace, Love, & Romance anthology.

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EasyBlog - Latest Blogs Module

25 June 2017
Rebecca's Blogs
It disturbs me that with every stroke of his pen, Trump is pulling another plank from the platform that upholds the lower-and-middle classes of this country. From hobbling workers' rights to decimating healthcare, his and the Republican’s policies ar...
01 July 2016
Rebecca's Blogs
A friend of mine, at the age of 55, was in a new relationship that was heading towards sexual intimacy. Concerned because she had not had sex in three years, and knowing from experience that it could be a painful encounter because of vaginal dryness,...
22 January 2016
Rebecca's Blogs
REKINDLING THE TORCH OF CHOICE Those of us who are over 50 have reached that comfortable age when we no longer have to worry about an unintended pregnancy. For us, the issue of reproductive choice has faded in importance. But for our daughters and g...
02 December 2015
Uncategorised
There was a debate raging on LinkedIn recently, when someone asked the question, "What value do you put on authors when they describe themselves as 'Award Winners?'" Responses ranged from vitriolic to meh to upbeat--the last provided by award-winn...
18 August 2015
Rebecca's Blogs
I have just self-published my third book in 15 months, and although there has been a great deal of satisfaction in writing those books, I know I need to take a breather--but my "purpose" in writing them won't allow me to do so! I self-published my f...