Archive for the ‘Life and Other Stuff’ Category

By land or by sea, turtles are awesome. They are the quietly intrepid explorers of our world who have been around for 157 million years, give or take a few, sharing the planet with everything from dinosaurs to us. They don’t talk. They don’t tell jokes or perform tricks. They make very unaffectionate pets—and yet few people don’t stop to watch a turtle just sitting in the sun or swimming about in a tank.


Here’s a painting (sorry, it’s already sold!) by Adirondack landscape artist Sandra Hildreth, called “Big Snapper in East Pine Pond” (oil, 9×12).

“I was out in my solo canoe on East Pine Pond, in the St Regis Canoe Area, and spotted the curved shape of the shell (the carapace) from some distance, not sure of what it was. I had my camera, with a good zoom lens, and zoomed in to see it was this very large snapping turtle that actually seemed to be dozing, resting on top of some dead trees in the water. As I drifted closer I actually wondered if it suddenly dove into the water, would it create a wake and capsize my canoe! Of course not… but the shell was probably close to 24” long – hard to judge the size in the painting. It did hear me coming, lift up it’s head, then quietly slipped into the water like a submarine. So it was just a pleasant memory that I wanted to record in paint.” SANDRA HILDRETH

The Earth is home to approximately 327 species of turtles, living all over the world, on land and in the sea, according to Wikipedia. Sea turtles became a separate class around 110 million years ago.

What are they watching? What do they think about the world? We carry images of turtles as being wise creatures, slow and patient—the ones that cross the finish line. Will they still be here after we are gone? Turtles pose questions, they don’t answer them.

Personally, I harbor the hope that if I come back after this life, it will be as a sea turtle, encircling the globe, swimming free through the worlds oceans. They seem peaceful. They live their lives and don’t bother anybody or anything, but they come in contact with every part of the planet, silent, observing all.


“Righteous the Sea Turtle” by Marianne R. Schmidt (Acrylic paint, 24 X 30 on gallery wrapped 1.5 canvas)

“I try to affect people’s emotions in a positive way when I paint. If one of my pieces can bring a smile to someone’s face and glorify God then it was worth all the hours it took me to create it. I have become rather fond of him as many folks have told me it is their favorite piece from me so far.” MARIANNE R. SCHMIDT

Learn more about sea turtles and how to preserve them from the Olive Ridley Project.

Or just enjoy reading stories about them:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

The Lathe of Heaven Ursula LeGuin

The Phoenix and the Turtle William Shakespeare

The Slow Waltz of Turtles Katherine Pancol

The Turtles of Oman Naomi Shihab Nye

Turtle Diary Russell Hoban

Turtle Moon Alice Hoffman

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Dr. Seuss


© Copyright 2017– Arts Enclave.



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If you’re wondering what’s going to happen to your healthcare insurance, you are in the company of millions.

No one, including Donald Trump, can predict what changes are coming. Trump is not a detail person, and despite tweeting that “there will be healthcare for all,” he doesn’t get the massive complexity of creating healthcare policies for a nation as large as the US.

He is talking about Universal healthcare—that big scary word that everyone despised when former President Obama first presented the notion back in the beginning of his presidency (and when others presented it during the decades before). Now Universal Healthcare is a Good Thing. It is, in fact, a Trump thing.

But what will the search for Trump’s bigger-better-more-important-than-ACA-unihealth do to the existing system? And what will it mean to you?

I decided to get some answers from someone on the front lines, insurance broker Jesse D. McDonald, who has worked for more than 20 years with the changing healthcare laws in CT.

Jesse offered his very well-informed perspective on where things may be headed. Here are some of his insights – but you should listen to the full interview for yourself!


Highlights of my interview with Jesse D. McDonald of Modern Insurance, Milford CT

BIG CHANGES AHEAD: When could we see changes that actually affect policies?

Even fast actions are not likely to affect 2017 coverage.

“Usually, major pieces of legislation are forward-looking and are not going to be retroactive. The defunding of aspects of Obamacare—which is going to be mainly subsidy related—is going to be forward-looking, and 2017 is pretty much etched in stone….The only thing anyone can do right now, especially given the uncertainty of what’s to come is to make sure they have coverage now in place.”

You have another 4 days left to obtain coverage through the ACA for 2017, which starts on March 1st. If you don’t have coverage, visit www.healthcare.gov for information.

COVERAGE: Why is having coverage now important if it’s going to change?

“One of the Republican healthcare plans being put forward is from the incoming Health and Human Services Secretary representative out of Georgia named Tom Price, who is likely going to be confirmed…His healthcare plan has a stipulation that preexisting conditions are going to be covered under health insurance plans in the future, but only if you’ve had 18 months of continuous coverage in effect, as of the time the new system starts.”

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: What’s happening there?

“Now [on Obamacare], as soon as you’re approved for coverage, from Day 1 your pre-existing conditions are covered. I think it’s going to be very difficult for Republicans to go back on that in any way.”

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Trump said that he plans to “give healthcare to everybody.” The Republicans revised that to mean “access to healthcare for everybody”. What does that look like?

“These are really broad terms and they sound like semantical distinctions between somebody advocating for some form of universal healthcare system—and not realizing that he’s saying that—and his political party saying that they don’t believe in a government-run system, ‘We want the market to take care of it.’”

“The deeply-held belief of many Republicans on healthcare policy is that the market will come up with solutions for gaps in our healthcare system. Some of those ideas are not necessarily wrong, there’s just some disagreement about how viable they really are in the real healthcare world.”

“Either way, both these statements are very broad political appeals to voters and they don’t really mean anything. At this time, there’s no concrete legislation drafted and submitted to congress…”

“Trump’s goal is health insurance for all. He has a lot of confidence in himself, the President-elect, and his goal is to win, and do better than Obamacare, which will mean even more people covered. And he believes that plan can be implemented quickly.”

                                                     – Jesse D. McDonald


REPEAL AND REPLACE – How fast can a replacement be put in place?

Trump’s order calls for replacement ‘within the hour of repeal…’

“I think policymakers, lawmakers—which are the congresspeople and senators—they know these things don’t move that quickly….This is a prediction on my part: you’re likely to see some sort of a resolution that repeals ACA over a timeline which keeps it in effect for longer than they would have liked to while they craft their replacement.”

INTERSTATE INSURANCE: All plans are currently state-based, meaning you need to be insured in the state in which you declare residency, and if you move, you lose your insurance. Many artists, particularly performers, travel and often move. How should they look to ensure continuity in coverage?

“The Affordable Care Act has a couple of things that protect people in regards to mobility. One is, even though you have to purchase a policy in your state of residence…If you have a medical emergency in any other part of the country, the health insurance you have has to consider those services as in network, as if you were home…Another thing is, if you do move…you do have 60 days to buy a new policy so you have time to get it in place.”

Interstate policies, according to Jesse, are not feasible for a number of reasons.

So, how freaked out should we be?

“There are many people who are very anti-Obamacare, and they have listened intently to what politicians have said during the campaigns and they’re expecting Obamacare to go away overnight and something bigger and better to come in and save the day. You can’t count on that. Healthcare legislation is complicated…”

“Having coverage in effect now is the best thing you can do…Because until the law is repealed, if you go beyond January 31st with no coverage, you can’t buy coverage again until November for the next year—and that’s dangerous in and of itself.”

“It’s very wait and see. I don’t think anyone should be freaked out at this time.”


1) Get covered!

2) Keep up with changes

3) Ask questions

“Make sure you ask questions. The best information is going to come from an independent health insurance broker that is a member of an organization called The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)…our version of a Bar Association.”


Jesse D. McDonald, of Modern Insurance in Milford CT, is available to answer questions for people who have or are seeking healthcare coverage in the states of New York and Connecticut. He can be reached at 203-882-9805 or by email at jesse@modern-healthinsurance.com



NYTimes – Jan 21, 2017  Trump Issues Executive Order Scaling Back Parts of Obamacare

USA Today – Jan 23, 2017  GOP senators outline first Obamacare replacement plan

Money Magazine – Jan 17, 2017 – HR2300 Here’s the plan Trump’s health secretary pick doesn’t want to discuss

The Fiscal Times – Nov 30, 2016  8 Big Changes Under Tom Price’s Obamacare Replacement Plan

CNN.com – Jan 16, 2017  Trump’s HHS pick doesn’t want to flaunt his own Obamacare bill at confirmation hearing


© Copyright 2017– Arts Enclave.


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