Archive for June, 2018

The Penultimate Herbal Wisdom Class

Monday, June 18th, 2018

After 25 years, I’m bringing this free class series to a close. June 19 is the penultimate (next to last) class and July 17 will be the close. June’s class is an open forum for questions of any kind. The last class will be one of my favorites “How to Talk to Plants and Avoid Giving the Impression of Lunacy”.

Both classes are free, at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tearoom, and are from 7-8:30.

Why stop now? Things have canged a lot in 25 years. Back when we started this class sponsored by The People’s Food Co-op I was mostly concerned with maintaining the bulk herb section for the co-op. It had been acquired from The Herb and Spice Co-op around the corner, and without dedicated herbailts on hand I feared few would know what to buy and why.

That goal has been met. It is a thriving section, and knowledge of herbs and bulk herbs has vastly increased over the decades.

I also wanted to provide some easy to access quality herbal information to our area. Now, there are plenty of people who can do that. Back then, I was one of only a few practicing herbalism.

I wanted to make growing herbs and harvesting weeds more normal. This has been a great success, with dandelions flourishing in many yards without embarrassment or remorse. Plantain is an up and coming match for dandelion, and in general people are more willing to look at weeds for food and medicine.

My work is done? Well, there is always more to do. But I don’t have to be the one to do it anymore. 25 is a nice solid number. At 10 classes a year, thats 2500 classes. I’m guessing that means around 25,000 people. Some come back, some pass through. it’s a reasonable guess.

Please join me for the last two classes. It will be a joy to teach them, and I admit a relief to be done after 25 years! For more information check out the People’s Food Co-op website

Affordable Care Act Appeal Process is Terrifying

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

I haven’t seen any other posts on this topic, so let this serve as a warning/informational piece. I was turned down for ACA support for 2018, I was too sick in 2017 to complete some needed paperwork in time. I filed an appeal as soon as possible, early January. Since then I’ve been asked for more and more and more documentation, and been steered into some strange dead ends as well. Finally they said a bit more than a month ago everything was complete and a determination was about to be made. Nothing. I called and called,

last week a representative stated it was the craziest appeal she had ever seen, she used the word “insane” and promised a supervisor would contact me within 48 hours. Nothing. I called today and all she can say is sometime it will be determined. No explanation, nothing other than they need time to be sure to make the best determination. I pointed out six months was too long. She tried to tell me they’ve had the appeal only since January 22 so it was only four months. Four months from Jan 22 actually would be May 22 – but that seemed like an argument too bizarre to continue.

Of course, once the appeal goes through,If it’s in my favor, I wait for the insurance company BCBS to reimburse me. And I’m certain that isn’t a quick process.
I asked her to note in my file that if I don’t hear back this week I’ll contact my elected representative for help and to let them know how bad the process really is.

The part that brings me anguish is what in the world does a person without resources do? The vast majority of Americans have a few thousand in savings at most. A case just like mine could have required over $12,000 in expenditures that may or may not ever be reimbursed – or much more. Yes, this is the sort of system that kills people. That is very real to me right now. Maybe sharing the story will help, maybe going to Dingell’s office will make this more obvious.

I am profoundly lucky, and absolutely privileged. I never imagined that would in fact save my life. If you think sharing this would help in any way, please do.

Health care in this country is indeed insane, and here is just one more example. My own illness and brush with death was pretty terrifying this last year. But so is the health care “system” that I’ve reluctantly become a participant in.