Friday, October 27, 2017

Being as cheap as I wanna be.

I'm thrifty not stingy. That is a huge restaurant size can of beans I'm using to make Chili. I'm predicting leftovers.
I wanted to get back to posting on Wednesdays. However, I have had a busy week playing solitaire on my computer and making sort of Halloween threats on Pat Hatt's rhymetime blog. I say sort of in that the most important part of the message is that it rhymes.

Occasionally, I get up and do some work around the house, a bit of cleaning, pay attention to a dog. In other words, the area around my desk looks like a bomb exploded. If you keep your eyes on the screen, there is no pandemonium going on around you.

I've noticed there is a new blog platform called patreon. I'm not impressed in that I will avoid those bloggers. I feel guilty reading what they have written and not making a donation. I shared a video about a month or two ago and took the time to like the page the video came from. I noticed in my Facebook feed, the videomaker would like me to sign up to donate a dollar a month. I deleted the video.

Some bloggers on other platforms have a donation request on their sidebar. I don't follow them either. There are so many good blogs out there that I don't need to add them to my list. In my opinion, ads are the best way to make money. I do buy the books of fellow bloggers.

I pay for the NY Times, The AJC, and The Washington Post. I've made a donation to The Guardian.

Social media is a mixed bag. I think it is great when people have an emergency; others can help them out with crowdfunding.

I don't like people soliciting for money they should save up for themselves. A ridiculous request to me was a couple with seven children who wanted money to have an enormous second wedding. If that same couple wanted money to take their kids to the State Fair, that is OK in my worldview.

I feel a bit of disappointment with teenagers trying to collect money to go on a mission trip. If they feel that strongly, they can mow grass, wash cars, babysit or save their allowance to pay their way. The saddest ones are the petition to pay final expenses for someone.

I do make donations for several reasons. People don't always have family and friend to help them during hard times. This is the  blog of a man who found himself homeless, On the road with Al and Ivy I found his story compelling.

Medical catastrophe gets a donation from me. My sister's stroke burned through a lot of my life savings. She had good insurance and will eventually get disability from her federal job. But that may not happen until June of next year. A full Year and 8 months after her stroke. Hospitals and other medical firms like labs use bill collectors.

I got a nasty bill collector letter, a bill from an ambulance company and a refund from paying the ambulance bill due to her insurance paying them on the same day. Another ambulance company had some very nasty bill collectors. The man on the phone from the ambulance company did not understand why I was so agitated. He said he was sorry.

Sometimes I donate to an animal. You have to be very, very careful donating to animal rescues. Some of them are quite generous to the organizer. It is one of those facts of life I wish I had not learned. I already have a problem with having absolutely no expectations from my fellow human. It makes it a lot easier to accept disappointment.

My big caveat to giving is to give locally or to an individual. I feel peeved when I make a donation and two weeks later there is an appeal for more money. Almost all large charities do this. During Hurricane Katrina, I gave to the ASPCA and state of Louisiana. I get regular calendars and preprinted labels from the ASPCA which I toss. I did hear from Louisiana a few times for donations. I gave them nothing more.

I give to the arts. Not a whole lot, but tossing in a few bucks to a young filmmaker is good. I also buy books that I may or may never read. One time I went to a book fair with $50. The first table I stopped at had a $45 coffee table book which was great. I didn't buy it. I bought a bunch of books between $3 and $15. Spread the wealth is my mantra.

Friends who create fundraisers probably will get a few bucks from me.

We hear a lot about entitlement. I know when I quit a job to take another one. I discovered the amount of clout I had given up after I made the transition. However before leaving the first job, I had no idea that it existed. We all have a framework of entitlement. I was more prepared for old age in that I grew up lean so I learned to live on less. Fortunately, I eventually made enough to have a cushion. I'm not sure that cushion will be there in ten years. But I might not be here either.

So in all humility, I think all of us depend on one another. I'm lucky in that I can pay my way.

Asking for handouts is not a good system. It is inherently unfair. People who know a lot of people or have a tragic story that gets picked up in the news can do quite well. Meanwhile there are some who really suffer. I believe in a government sponsored safety net for us all.

The second part is that the system is rife for exploitation. I feel a bit used when someone collects money for a need and later I see them living high on the hog. I think this causes some of the cynicism people feel about welfare. I had a student with two children who lived in a better place than I had for most of my life and drove a better car than I did. However, I do believe in the welfare system and believe in the value of social programs. I did witness children struggling with poverty.

From personal experience, some hardship can be endured. My dad had a friend whose father did not lose his money during the 1930's depression. My grandfather lost everything and my dad faced a lot of hardship. He felt a little envious of this man. In the early 1960's during a real estate bust, which happens in the real estate field at least once every ten years, this man lost everything. His solution was suicide. My dad would tell this story in that he recognized his friend was disadvantaged in not learning to cope with the vagaries of life.

How do you feel about crowdfunding? I got more opinion but this thing needs to end! I got to post some nonsense over at Pat's blog.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nothing happens faster than the week between writing blogposts except for updating your dues each year with an organisation. I remember when I had six posts a day ready to go. I remember someone who did that many posts in a day. Like a marathon, you have to pace yourself, unless you're a marathon champion.

This week, I shall cheat a bit. Which means I will share what I have really enjoyed on the net.

Number 1 involves a dog of course.

Number 2 is I took the time to watch Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 of the Harry Potter series. Is it sacrilegious that at a few points I thought could these two have the fight to end all fights, I'm ready to call it a night. That said, I think J K Rowling is brilliant to have written such an engaging series.  Nothing to share with number 2 but my opinion. I have satellite television and one or more of the stations run the Harry Potter movies back to back on a regular basis.

Number 3 is something you all may know about. It is the Write Edit Publish bloghop of Halloween based stories. They are all a quick thrill to read. I haven't submitted. I would describe my tour of hell tomorrow. But hey, most of you are very familiar with grocery stores.

Write, Edit, Publish blog's October Challenge

Cheers and imagine me and my dogs howling at the moon tonight. lol Take care, Ann

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Keep bouncey houses at grandmas.

If anybody my age takes the knee, they are showing off. A childhood friend of mine has had both of her knees replaced. She injured the first knee in a bouncy house with her grandchild. And get this, she injured the second one in a bouncey house with the same grandkid.
This lovely bouncey house costs 2 grand.
You can get a cheaper version at Walmart.

I don't think it is hanging around her grandchild that is the problem. They got to start carding people going into bouncy houses. The gatekeeper needs to be a teenager who can say with a straight face and authority, "Grandma, you are too old to enter this bouncey house."

It's not bouncey houses that hurt knees.
People are free to own all the bouncey houses they want. They just have to be educated on who and how a bouncey house should be used.

It's ironic in that the people who will purchase a bouncey house are usually old enough to injure their knees. Once again a teenager at the register is handy. They will give a forty-five year old a senior discount and lavish them with praise. "You are one cool old lady!"

One thing I do is take care of my joints. I have mild arthritis. What has weighed on my mind the past few weeks is my mortality. I know I should just be glad to be alive. So many people do not make it to 61. Plus I got two good knees and no urge to enter a bouncey house.

The last time I went to the nurse practitioner; I got a heck of a lecture about exercising more, eating less of all the good foods which for her information I rarely eat. I argued with her over cornbread. My A1c was 8.5.  I got the message which I didn't appreciate.

My great aunt Faye quit smoking the day before she went to the doctor. She knew he was going to insist she quit smoking. She knew she could tell him she quit. But if he told her; it was going to be the damnedest thing to do.

It is just that malaise of not living my life to the fullest. I don't know where I get the outlook where I feel like I should achieve something, learn something, clean something. Because lately, I get little done. I think this is a mid-life crisis. I tried to have my crisis at the more appropriate age of 51. But I was busy.

At 55, I got a little crisis building going. I worked out several hours a day and ate to lose weight. I started my journey of writing the great American novel. And somehow bang here I am. I can't even have a decent mid-life crisis in a timely fashion.

Plus I don't give a rip about a lot of things. I better start giving a rip about some paperwork I have waiting for me. Well for my brother that I need to complete. I do have the temptation to take him to the social security administration and have him deal with the matter. He turned 65 this year. During 2016, he made a little too much money and they are going to take that whopping 261 dollars they give him a month away. Maybe, I don't know what they are going to do.

However, I better make a beeline to the Social Security Administration with my hat in my hand and "grin and shuffle" to get it straightened out. If I get Madame Sourpuss or her friend Mister Looksdownalongnose, I make an excuse and get out of there to come back another day. Actually I have not done that yet; but, it is an alternative.

Plus, I need to get the car oil changed and the tires rotated.

But tomorrow is Wednesday and I'll be taking my weekly journey through parallel hells. Last week, I had to cut one of the journeys short. I needed to pick up my brother. Although my mom was thoroughly exhausted, she was not happy. It is hard to have to hurry and be on someone else's schedule. My mother has always been a hard worker and an independent woman.

We are leaving at 9am tomorrow. Early in the day, she has more energy. My mother enjoys this one big outing each week. I'm glad we can make it. And it is not really hell. I better stop complaining or I will spend time in purgatory sweeping a grocery. I used to think my purgatory might be lunch room duty. But I know the good Lord knows I have mellowed. My hearing isn't what it used to be, and I will probably start throwing peas with the kids.

My sister who is recuperating from a stroke is a night owl. I am one too. The problem is that I got changed into a lark by all these early birds and the schedule we keep. But her waking hours are waking the owl in me. One night she woke up at 10 pm and was curious what I was going to fix for supper. I made her a peanut butter sandwich al dente with a very fine chilled coke zero.

I hope your week is going well. I've got to get busy on my novel or purgatory may be finishing one of them.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The field in front of my house is covered in gold and pink. The morning glories are brilliant along the roadway.

I walked the dogs as I pushed the trashcart down to the road. The temperature was cool. The full moon was rising as the sun was setting which doesn't happen that often.

Then in the distance, the coyote call was feigning injury. All my little wolves gathered close. I left the trash truck to the side of the driveway. I picked up my mother's two dragons.

The newest dog, Little Red, is going to be a large dog. However, he was quite scared in that he is probably about 8 months old. My brother's dog Buttons wanted me to carry her. Being a 20 pound chihuahua, the twenty five pounds I was toting was hard enough. I didn't run. But I walked briskly. Fortunately, I have fencing that comes up the driveway for about a tenth of a mile. Once I got to that point, I put my mother's precious dogs down.

My little dog is ferocious and he walked proudly defending the pack. He makes me think of the man whose picture has gone viral standing and flicking a bird to the shooter in Las Vegas. I know many think he was crazy or drunk. But I have known a few men and women who had that defiance in their soul. I think of the movie Braveheart with Mel Gibson about the life of William Wallace.

At least the coyote is only wanting dinner. I'm sure they will discover what motivated this man.

I learned to fire a rifle and pistols as a child. My dad had strict rules. We basically shot beer cans in the creek. My dad did not allow us to shoot turtles. I understand why people want to own weapons. I don't understand why people don't know that regulating their use could prevent some of these tragedies.

In Georgia, we have an open carry law. You are supposed to have a license for this. However, it is illegal for you to be questioned about this decision. Unlike concealed carry, you do wonder if the person has been cautioned that they are the first person law enforcement will take down when shots are fired in a crowd.

I have a friend whose brother was shot by law enforcement behind a Waffle House by police. There was a huge fight going on. Her brother took the gun that was present and held it in the air. If he had put it inside his pants or concealed it somehow and walked away from the fight he might be alive today. His mother told me his clothes had multiple bullet holes in them.

I wasn't going to write about the shooting. It is a burden for us all. I had a Facebook friend who contacted me about the senselessness. I think he knew what a country music fan I am. However, I love the country music from the 60's and 70's the best.

I just wish people would think long and hard before they pay $25 and receive that free bumper sticker that advertises an organisation. Money can be motivation of an organisation to be pig headed and I am talking about the NRA. I'm not against people owning guns. But I am against this mania we have about owning a gun. The more untrained people with firepower; the more horrible incidents are going to happen.

Even with training, what about wisdom. My dad always taught us, you don't shoot someone for stealing your car. A car is a thing. A person should not die for a thing.

Feel free to give me your opinion whether you are for gun control or not. I'm from the South. We make up our history from day to day. The fact that a hundred years ago, not everyone could afford a gun. The expense of a gun and ammunition reduced the number of gun deaths. But lets not let any facts get in the way.

The world has a lot of cruelty and injustice. September 30th in Los Vegas gives us all pause. I could shoot that man a bird too.


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