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Category Archives: Thoughts

The insights, grumpy ramblings, and irate rants of two would-be hermits!

SOLD!

We’ll be closing on our house this coming week and if that seems fast to you, consider how I feel!  The house market it apparently smoking hot because we had three offers within three days of putting the house on the market.  I’ve always maintained that when the time is right, things will fall into place.  Let me tell you…  This has only strengthened that belief.

Everything is going so well, CC and I are both slightly dazed, but that hasn’t stopped us from snapping and snarling at each other.  The stress of getting everything together has been horrendous, but we knew it was going to be, so we’ve been really clear about not getting to upset about being short with each other.  That’s gone a long way towards keeping the peace.

Now let’s talk turkey.

We’ve hauled away four to five times the amount of stuff that we’re taking with us.  Good stuff.  Stuff that someone somewhere is going to be overjoyed to have.  When we started there was a horrible feeling of insecurity that went with getting rid of it all.  We’d put something on the pile to go with us because we couldn’t bear to part with it, but as the hours and possessions passed, we’d revisit the “going” pile and pull stuff out and shake out heads at ourselves.

Many of you might be thinking that we’re paring down to nothing, but that simply isn’t the case.  I’ll give you a good example.  I have a hand-crocheted wall hanging of my last name.  It’s beautiful!  I’m not taking it.  Why?  Because as beautiful as it is and as much as I appreciate the time and effort and thought that went into the making and giving of this gift, it is NOT my ‘style’.  I’m not in love with it.  I’ve kept it because I felt bad about throwing it out.  For someone else, it might be just the thing, but for me…  not so much.  CC and I discussed it and we concurred, that it just wasn’t our thing.  On the other hand, I have already packed up my seed collection and the baby doll that my grandmother made for me when I was a little thing.

The difference is love.  There is no point in having a bunch of stuff that you don’t really love cluttering up your life.  It weighs on your mind, even if you never consciously think about it.  I know because my load is lighter with every load we haul to the thrift store and each treasure that I unearth from the clutter.

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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in Thoughts

 

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Someday has finally come!

CC and I have been saying for years that we were going to sale out and move back to the country where we belong, but we kept putting it off for this reason and that reason.  Lately, my health has become such that putting it off is no longer an option.  We have to get out of the rat race and move to a more laid back life.  We’ve had some concerns about uprooting BG, but in the end we don’t think it is really going to be a bad thing.  Let’s face it, we’ll all be much happier when she’s got more room to run around.  There is going to be some adjustment, but honestly there isn’t one of us that this move isn’t going to help.

We’ve put the house on the market and despite the fact that we’re in the process of sorting and packing, it will start being shown today.  I’m embarrassed for people to see it looking like it does, but who knew we had so much crap!  I mean, I knew we had a lot of stuff we didn’t need, but this is ridiculous.

I’ve found shoes that wouldn’t have fit BG last year and the worst part?  She never wore them!  They were in a box full of clothes that we were waiting for her to grow into.  We never even opened the box when any of it would fit her.  In our defense, she has a grandmother that sends several boxes of clothes every month.  Still no excuse.

 

We also have a lot of duplicates.  We have them because this one doesn’t do this very well, but it is great for this and so on.  For a laugh, I took a moment and looked at what a good one would cost that did all these things well.  I wasn’t laughing.  For the price I spent on all the cheap ones, I could have had one good one that did everything well.  I know exactly how it happens.  I see the price of the quality item and quell.  Instead, I buy the cheap one and when I get it home, I’m not happy with how it does this or that.  Then I go out and spend more money for one that says it fixing that problem.  The only problem with that is that is doesn’t do something else as well as the first one, so I wind up keeping both of them.  If I had just spent the money in the first place, I could have had one that did everything well.  I know, you know what I’m talking about.  I didn’t use an actual item in this example because there were too many of them.
The whole process would be too depressing, if it were not for the fact that getting rid of the crap is such a relief.  You literally feel like you’ve shed actual physical weight.  This feeling of relief made me realize that all those self-help and organization gurus are absolutely correct; having less is more freeing.

What this means for us moving forward boils down to several key points.

  1. Assess everything that we want to bring into the house for function and quality.
  2. Assess everything we have on a regular basis to see if it is still relevant to our lives.
  3. Change our mindset of more being better.  (Quality beats quantity.)

The thing that I’ve learned from this is that spring cleaning is not a joke.  It is important in this day and age to assess constantly.  We, as a society, live in houses that are so much bigger than what we really need that we accumulate stuff we don’t need.  Let me explain.  There are three of us and we’ve been living in (half of) a 1700 square foot house.  Half of that total is downstairs.  Do you know how much we actually used downstairs?  Two rooms; one was the laundry room and the other was filled with our books.  We’ve gotten rid of no less than three huge boxes of books just because we don’t read them, they aren’t that good, and we don’t want to move them.  That’s sad.  We’ve had those books for at least the three years we’ve lived here and we don’t even want them!

So let’s look at the math.  Assuming that the library and the laundry room take up half of the basement, that’s about 425 square feet.  Add that to the upstairs that we actually use and you come up with 1275 square feet.  That’s not that big of a house by American standards.  CC and I discussed it and what we came to realize is that if we had more land outside out house, we’d spend more time outside, which means you could probably shave even more off that number.

Smaller house – less money spent.  Less crap – less money spent.  Less money spent – less money needed.  Less money needed – more options for everything!  Think about it!  If you didn’t have to pay for all that crap that you really don’t use or want, would you still have to work as hard?  Would you be able to live on the income from the job that you’d really enjoy, but maybe doesn’t pay as much as you currently need?  Could you cut back to part-time?  How much (in money and other stuff) is your lifestyle costing you?  Do you really love it that much?

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2015 in A Penny Saved, Thoughts

 

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Wounded

I like this and I’m not sure why, but that’s okay… I’m okay not knowing why for now. I’m sure it will come to me.

Art Veronica

She was hit, hit hard. Does she have the will to survive... Pray hard She was hit, hit hard.
Does she have the will to survive…
Pray hard

©Veronica
Acrylic/Canvas
16 x 20x 1/2

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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Thoughts

 

For All of Those Who Serve… military or not

The following poem was emailed to me and I wanted to share it.  You do not have to support war in order to support the warrior that goes to war because he or she thinks it is the right thing to do.

THE FINAL INSPECTION

The Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
‘Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?’

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘no, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
‘Step forward now, you Soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.’
~Author Unknown~

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Thoughts

 

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Moses, the Second Coming

I love Dilbert. Like the immortal Calvin & Hobbes, the cartoon carries a pithily accurate set of observations of our society.

In this episode one of the riffs is about people staying home when they’re sick. Or not.

Right now I’m tending to DG because she’s home with a cold and the remains of an allergy attack. I’ll ignore the allergies – suffice it to say that some people need to recognize that they live in a country with relatively plentiful and clean public water, and need to utilize this utility instead of gallons of cheap and noxious perfume or cologne.

She’s sick because it’s the latest round of what’s being boomeranged between her coworkers, who won’t/can’t stay home. Why not? Because management is more stupid than most and actually punishes contagious employees for at very least refusing to spread disease to themselves and the thousands of public they have close contact with every day.
Likewise, they’re all sick because people choose to go out in public each day while ill, spreading the crud as if they were tipping those who serve them.
Crud you, too.

Do we really need to realize the prophesied second coming of Moses? (Read the judeo-christian bible(s), they explain a lot about american culture, or at least Dilbert.) I mean the dude’s claim to fame was really that he revolutionized public health back in the day, regardless of perpetrating genocide and misogyny.

I may be on a soap box here, but I firmly believe that ignorance is the core problem here. Ignorance of basic public health (despite the commercials), ignorance of basic personal health, biology, business and history.

Which costs more, to excuse an employee from attendance or Smog Forbid actually dole out the sick day pay they were promised at orientation, or to work them until they can’t and have spread the health to everyone else? Not to mention the customers who either have the sense to stay home when they get sick (from employees) or to avoid the petri dish that is your workplace.

But it isn’t just contagion. One of DG’s coworkers was injured by a faulty elevator – sustained a serious concussion, as it happens. The woman couldn’t function, but no one would help her. They just shoved paperwork in her hands and gave attitude with it. Never mind that she couldn’t get herself home, figure out the paperwork and frankly needed an ambulance and worker’s comp (which she didn’t get, either).
People at large don’t know when it’s time to stop soldiering on or to stop demanding such of others.

Not that I have a problem with our armed defenders, but somehow everyone who doesn’t act like a Marine in a war zone is treated like a hypochondriac. As a result we have a decided public susceptibility to disease, a host of prevalent, chronic conditions and a rising cost of getting things treated when they get out of hand. I’d prefer that people have an affordable, easy access to certification that they’re sick or injured and don’t have to work and the basic education to care for themselves. And no, I don’t believe that Johnny Carry Gun should or needs to demand money from everyone to fund this convenience. This is a fairly easy matter for employers to create, and that I believe would save them money.

Right now the common situation is that one needs a doctor’s note in order for an absence to be excused. That means that said employee shells out, say 4 hours of pay for a copay, plus Rx costs, if they have insurance. Whereas a simple clinic that only certifies in writing that yes, Bob was contagious or too ill or injured to perform his duties, needs _______ modifications, etc. No treatment, no ongoing care, no Rx that isn’t necessary for a swift recovery, but maybe a sheet of paper or info link saying what to do for self care. Things like what over-the-counter medications actually cure, what simply alleviate symptoms and when a recovery can reasonably be expected.
Oh, and a compulsory education course for management and admin, whose duties include sending people who appear contagious and not antagonizing employees who aren’t skiving.

In short, have the sense the gods gave Girl Scouts in the 50s.

-Cappy

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Thoughts

 

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Why?! (Thanksgiving Thoughts)

Why do people spend a fortune in time, money, and tears visiting people who only make them unhappy for a holiday that is reserved for nothing more than celebrating all our blessings.  My job puts me in a unique position of being able to observe all these families that proclaim loudly how much they love each other, but the moment you add travel they are at each other’s throats.

I’ve dug into why everyone is so miserable and it usually boils down to one thing.  They are traveling to visit family that only makes them miserable because of DUTY.  What kind of duty makes us spend time with people who only make us feel bad about ourselves?

CC and I made a pact when we got together that we would not inflict stupid duties on each other like that.  Have we done it anyway? Yes.  Are we trying to give up the habit.  Yes.  Why?  Because we genuinely like our life and the direction it is headed.  Our families do not like, approve, whatever you want to call it.  The disapproval comes out as silence and avoided eye contact.  It comes out as snide comments.  It comes out as out-and-out rude comments and angry condemnation.

Why!?  Why would you inflict that on yourself?  Why would you inflict that on the spouse and children you claim to love more than anything?

But I love my family too, you say.  Do you?  Or do you feel an overwhelming need for their approval and acceptance?  They’re supposed to love and accept you, that’s what love does.  But do they?

Now for the hard question.

Are you accepting of your own children?  Are they going to be miserable coming home for the holidays because all you do is nitpick and condemn? Or are you going to change the pattern?  Are you going to say I love you and mean it?  Are they, their spouses, and their children going to be laughing their way through their holiday travels, giddy to be going HOME to you who will welcome them with open arms and loving acceptance?

Here is my gift to you:

Welcome! Come on in to our warmth and acceptance.  Spend your holidays with us.  No, you don’t have to buy us presents, but a healthy appreciation for a good joke, kettle popped popcorn, and maybe a glass of good mead would help.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Thoughts

 

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Hey, genius!

Ah, sarcasm!  My friend, my standby…  Wait, I wasn’t being sarcastic this time!  You really are a genius!  In fact, everyone is a genius, but if Beethoven had never been introduced to a piano would we even know who he was?

Unlikely!

Instead of putting yourself down, why not take a moment to jot down the things you totally rock.  Don’t worry I’ll wait while you go get a paper and a pen that actually works.

Seriously! Get up! Go make a list of things you’re good at.

Now on the other side of the page write a list of things you’ve thought or been told you suck at.

Done?  Good.  Now mark off the ones that really don’t matter to you personally or that you aren’t passionate about.  All that’s left is the things that require research, experimentation, and the grit to keep pursuing.  Nobody ever got called a genius about something they weren’t passionate about.

Not passionate about anything?  That actually happens in our society.  The passion is beaten out of us by day to day living in some cases.  In other cases, certain people in our lives beat the positive right out of us.  As the child of an abusive parent, I know this all to well.

My solution to not being passionate about anything is to simple start trying lots of things; from crochet to fence fixing to blue water sailing!  There is something out there for everyone, but in most cases there are a lot of things out there for each individual.

FIND YOUR PASSION(S)!

When I was growing up, I was told that I would never be any good with plants.  I was told that I was ugly.  I was told that I was stupid.  I was told that all my ambitions were silly.  I grow a garden that has inspired more than a few of my coworkers and neighbors.  My daughter looks just like me and she makes people run into things when she smiles at them.  That just leaves my ambitions…

When I was a child I was going to be a cowgirl.  I was going to have a ranch.  I was going to have a garden and live like the people back in the old west that were completely self-sufficient.

My dream has changed somewhat.  I no longer want a ranch, but I’d love to have a much smaller homestead with milk goats, chickens, rabbits, a huge garden, and that self-sufficiency that I still crave. How is that an unrealistic goal?  Sure it’s a long way away in a lot of ways, but I’m on my way the moment I start.

Truth be told, I’ve already started right here in suburbia.  I already have a garden and my city just changed the law.  I can now have chickens in my backyard as long as I can obtain the permit.

Guess what I’m researching right now!  That’s right! Chicken coops and yogurt making, and cheese making and plants for this coming year and…

image

 

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Thoughts

 

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