Saturday, January 21, 2017

And The Beat Goes On

First orders of the inauguration day were to remove the LGBT rights page and the Climate Change page from the Whitehouse website Also a suspension of the small deduction in the costs of FHA mortgage insurance for first time homebuyers. According to incoming Press Secretary Spicer, the Donald only signed 3 innocuous Executive Orders. So, liar-in-chief is still liar-in-chief and transparency is kaput. Since liberalism no longer has a real voice in government, I'm going to remind the Alt-Right of that whenever they start whining about how hard life is getting. Even my Conservative daughter-in-law woke up. She posted in Facebook the Dow and Nasdaq results. The price of gas and the unemployment figures so that she could go to her Memories Page to see just how great America becomes.

We want all the things, even when we don't have the ability to afford them. The last time my husband and I went out to eat was on a birthday of mine. It was so long ago, I don't remember what birthday.. On the other hand my husband's children go out to eat every week and they complain they haven't enough money for other things. Youngest and wife go to the movies every week as well. How long ago was it since I went? Well, the movie I saw was "Platoon". Now we watch them at home. Cheaper that way.

When I worked I saw a lot of people living in the Senior buildings who used to run to the corner convenience store as soon as their checks came in and they'd drop $20 plus dollars on Lottery tickets. After not making back the money, they'd take themselves out to the closest fast food place for a lunch. After that they'd head to the smoke shop to buy a bag or 2 of tobacco and a box or 2 of tubes to roll their own cigarettes.  Next day they'd order a pizza for delivery that would cost them another $12 or $20 bucks depending on whether or not the order included wings. Within 4 days they would have spent $50 to $100 of their Social Security check. When food stamps came they'd spend all of it in one trip to the grocers and the last week of the month they'd be at the Food Pantry.  I always found it odd that they could slow down their smoking to last the full month but couldn't see that all the rest of the spending is why they were out of money and food a week to 10 days before the check came. Senior buildings and property are smoke free facilities here. The walk off the property a few times a day probably did some of them good.

I hear how hard it is and how different it is from when I was younger. They aren't kidding. When I was younger, my parents had a home of their own and only 1 car. We had a TV antenna on the roof and could only watch 4 TV channels. None of our entertainment cost a lot of money because it didn't happen every week. We didn't have cake, candy, cookies, ice cream or pie every day. They were treats. Without freezers to keep it in, ice cream was bought by the pint and consumed when we got home. Sometimes during the summer a trip to the ice cream parlor happened. Today's kids get these things almost daily and they live with the things it took years for their parents to gain. Somehow they think they can do all the treats, have all the things they're used to and still have everything else they want.

They aren't prepared for life. Somehow they think it's going to be perfect all the time and easy to have everything they want without muss, fuss or bother. I look at life like this. It's waking up in the morning to the most glorious sunrise you can imagine and then turning away from the window only to step in a puked up hairball with bare feet. Today's kids have to be anesthetized with whatever drug of choice they consume. When they feel the heat, they rage at everything and everyone else. They expect easy street all the time. That's just not the way it works. I wonder what would happen if parents actually taught that? I'm thinking we might find out since we have a new broom in the White House and I'm pretty sure things aren't going to change for the better. I'm just glad my parents taught me about life so I know I can get through whatever happens in one piece.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It Was A Great Idea Until It Wasn't

The shelf I need to decide what to do about is 7 feet long and divides the kitchen from the living room. The above pictures show what I did over Christmas which just doesn't work for me. I'm thinking that part of the problem is that everything was a similar height and lined up like they were facing a firing squad. Of course, I didn't realize that at the time, I just did things and then ignored what I didn't like.

I don't understand it sometimes. I lived in a home that was cluttered and crowded with too much stuff and I never had as much disappointment at how my things were displayed as I do here. What I tried to do was use furniture that I had before that had been used for other purposes and it didn't quite work. The other problem here is that everything is a neutral color. 

Wall color in all rooms except the second bath and smallest bedroom is taupe. In the bedroom there is a forest green carpet that somehow makes the walls in there look sage. I haven't done much in there except to purchase a throw rug for next to the bed to hide the holes in the carpeting. We will be replacing that in the future and the multicolor rag rug works fine to brighten the room even though I haven't gotten in there with decorating ideas yet. I'm still stuck in the living room.

I have depression, antique and vintage glass and porcelain treasures that used to be displayed on multiple small corner shelves in the old dining room Here I had to use a 7 foot tall bookcase which is dwarfing the items in the case because the case is too tall and has too few shelves.

See what I mean? 

I need to find a smaller case of some type. Something where the shelves are closer together and the empty space doesn't dwarf my treasures. I also need the case to be a darker wood color. The other thing I want to change in the living room is the 2 shelf cabinet that is next to the entrance door. I'm looking for a vintage round pedestal table for that spot. I saw one in a vintage shop just before Christmas and since it was right after I moved here, we had spent all that money on getting things hooked up and also paying the taxes, I didn't buy it. I'm afraid to go look and find it sold. 

The decorating issues I am going to address will be resolving themselves as time goes on. I will probably make mistakes but they're learning experiences and eventually I'll have things the way I want them.

My kitchen was the easiest part. I just have to stand in the middle of it and try to remember where I put things.

The backsplash is grouted slate tiles and the flooring is ceramic tiles that replicate slate. With the hickory cabinets and the black appliances, it's perfect the way it came. I love the ceramic cooktop on the stove, it's so easy to keep clean. I do, however, have to con someone into cleaning the oven. My knees will not allow me to kneel on this flooring. I tried, it hurt so bad I couldn't stay there. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lost In Thoughts About Nothing

One of my favorite 60s hits is "Gimmie Some Lovin" by the Spencer Davis Group. It's one of the 10 or 12 songs that will actually get me off my butt to dance to. My husband is watching "Last Man Standing" with Tim Allen on the Hallmark Channel which just advertised the Valentine's Day movies set to that song. Sung by a female. No, just no. I'm not big on covers by other artists even on songs that aren't my absolute favorites. I can handle the Blues Brother's version, but not this advertising female's rendition. Now, Joan Jett singing that song I could get down with, but all I can say about what I heard is this. Joan Jett she ain't.

The one thing I miss about no longer having DishNetwork TV is the SiriusXM channels. I can't turn to The 60s on 6 and listen to Cousin Brucie and the best hits of the 60s. I do have a 60s channel on Spectrum Cable but it's just not the same. I turn it on during the day when I'm doing housework but haven't heard anything that makes me want to boogie with my broom, mop or vacuum cleaner. The only saving grace with Spectrum Cable is it's cheaper than Dish was and it includes phone service.

Which, now that I know what our expenses are here, leaves me with discretionary funds. I can now take art lessons at the local art and community center or I could do a Sip and Paint party. I can take a drive to Hobby Lobby and not have to pinch the pennies and settle for the lesser quality paint brush. I could even join a gym...NAH! My joints wouldn't survive the first 10 minutes. Where was all this extra money when I was young enough to enjoy blowing it? Oh, right, being saved so I could have a home of my own.

Now that I have the home, there are a few little decorative things I'm thinking I might want. With 2 cats, real flowers in the house can get tricky, but I have this long shelf that I feel the urge to have something sitting on it that will provide color. It's winter. Everything here is cold and white and beautiful in it's own way, but inside where it's warm, it feels happier when there is color.
The couch has color enough, but the shelf above it is soooooooo bare. I think I'll go shopping on Thursday. I'm going to look for containers, artificial flowers, some floral foam and moss. At the Dollar Tree of course. I've seen the prices and to be honest, I've been penny pinching for so long it's a habit. Trying my hand at florals will keep me off the computer, away from politics and will give me some color. Until I find something I like better, it'll work.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Taking A Deep Breath

Sitting here thinking about things and deciding if I wanted to actually say something. While my mind was wandering I noticed we now have emojis. Not necessarily good ones but they will say what I think if I care to use one.

They even have the "pile of poo" that I am so tempted to cover the page with but in the interest of preserving my sanity and my blood pressure, I'll refrain. I'm also finding that I'm needing to refrain from speaking to almost everyone except family and maybe 2 other people since they are so gleeful over the election results and what's going on in Congress this week.

If I hang around my other blog site, I will learn to hate so much that I might never be able to stop. As it is I've blown up in a blog post over family members of mine with serious ailments that might be left out in the cold, including my grandson. Oddly, the biggest troublemaker there looked past what I said and asked me about my grandson's condition which no one else much saw fit to do. Fortunately, no one disagreed with me to the combative point either. I am not sane at the moment and my blood pressure is sky high. Again.

I'm trying to get past what has happened and have some hope but it's getting harder. I have decided to unplug from social media except for contact with family and those who have the same political leanings that I do. And when I feel the need to write, I will come here where nobody much reads me.

It's not worth working myself up into a stroke or heart attack over what has happened. I just need to stay away from those who feel the need to spout off against everyone who disagrees with the election. Especially when they're crowing about crybaby libs or liberal whiners while they clap their hands about taking health insurance away from the low income working person even if they're in the midst of treatments for catastrophic illness or like my grandson who at 19 has COPD and needs expensive medications to breathe. When I think about my nephew who at 9 has to live wrapped in gauze bandages and spend every month at Upstate Children's Hospital trying to fix his feeding tube. He has epidermolysis bullosa and his prognosis is...well...I don't want to talk about him now. It's too depressing.

Since moving here when I use the laptop I sit in the kitchen at the table. My cats are not allowed on the table which they normally abide by. Yesterday I was sitting here trying not to go off when Butterscotch popped up between me and the laptop and started butting me in the face with his head. He was making little mewling noises and purrs while he would put his head against me for a second or so. It caught me by such surprise I didn't even chastise him. Probably because I needed a hug and he was the next best thing.

I have the tools to heal myself of my anger and worry. I just need to take responsibility for myself and use them. I don't want to start arguing with people. I've saaid what I believe and if they wish to consider me to be a whining liberal then I don't need to argue with that, I need to let them go and ignore them.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I am settled in enough to enjoy my first Thanksgiving in my new home. I still have more work to do unpacking but the kitchen, living room and bathrooms are done. The bedroom needs a few additions to add some color and interest but it is capable of being used for it's purpose as is. The only remaining rooms left to do are my art room and hubby's office. Those will wait until I have rested some. My joints are protesting and I'm wise enough to know when to ignore and when to rest. 

Tomorrow I will be spending the day in the recliner with my feet up watching the snow fall and whatever movies I find interesting. With all the work I've done, I earned it.

I was fortunate enough to be outside taking pictures of my home when the cows were leaving the barn after milking. It's an interesting process to watch since it occurs for the most part in single file with the occasional pair that look like a couple of friends sharing a walk together. Life is beautiful when you look around you with peace in your heart and joy in your eyes.. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mama Wasn't Always Right

My mind has wandered into the vast lands of Joy and Blessings. Two weeks away from the move and the upcoming holidays which are my favorite times of the year. In the midst of the purging and packing I got a laugh out of how I do things. Some people would just pack and not bother to clean things first. I clean things before packing and since I don't use newsprint for the breakables I can just unpack without cleaning. Some people don't clean things either before or after. I guess they figure it was cleaned at some point and that is enough.

I will admit that all this purging and packing has been creating sore muscles and this morning there was a difficulty getting my knees to bend without complaint. It's a lot of work that I don't normally do so I expect these temporary issues. I also was comparing my endeavors to that of my Mom when she found it necessary to move when she was my age.

In 1996 my Mom's husband died and she found it necessary financially to move into a subsidized senior apartment. She asked for help which all of us provided. The problem was, she didn't do a single thing herself. She and her husband were living in a two bedroom apartment with attic space and frankly she wasn't the best of housekeepers. Things were usually just shoved into places where they were promptly forgotten and this was a smoker's home.

My uncle, his wife, their 2 kids and myself worked in this apartment daily to clean and pack for her move. Every week my Uncle would go over and cart bags of trash down a flight of stairs to the street. While all this was going on my Mom sat in the kitchen reading a book, twirling her hair around her fingers as was her habit and smoking cigarette after cigarette.

Everything we packed was marked keep or give on the boxes. We asked her to look at everything after we left to see if we had it right. Every day she would tell us it was fine. We took 10 huge boxes of clothes, after we washed them, to the Salvation Army. After we packed what she wanted to keep, we found on moving day that we had discarded 150 bags of trash. Not all in one day, but over a 5 week time frame.

Now, we worked like dogs to get her ready to move and after she moved we heard how we lost things she wanted to keep. The day of the move some things disappeared into the home of one of her step-daughter's but that wasn't our fault. They were returned when mentioned as missing with one of those oops, we took the wrong box home with us excuses. No real harm there unless she hadn't asked them to check if they had it by accident.

All the work we did and all she did was be lazy, complain about our efforts and blame us for the attempted theft. I finally lost my temper with her one day and told her that had she gotten off her lazy ass and done something she wouldn't have anything to complain about but since she chose to sit on her ass while the rest of us sweated ours off she could suck it up and shut the hell up.

This tirade on my part got me the usual "I don't understand how hard it is to suffer with so much pain" lecture. I'd find out when I got to be her age how little of the things I used to do would be something I could still do.

I am exactly the same age now as she was then. I have a hip that will need replacing eventually and a look at my spinal xrays show that I have chalk instead of that lovely healthy looking translucent appearing bone. I'm also 30 pounds heavier than she was then. I am cleaning, purging and packing all my things with no help at all and little damage beyond the soreness and stiffness of age. What a con artist she was! I've been giggling at this for 2 days now and it's making me silly.

I now know how lazy she really was since there were times that I felt sorry for her with all her pain. I have found that the more you carefully do, the less overall pain you have. And, since I do all the time instead of just when I need to in order to move, I won't have 150 bags of trash. I've managed this with only 1 extra bag of trash a week. Mostly my husband's clothes that no longer qualify as gently used.

Life really is what you make of it. When you actually do something to make your surroundings something to be enjoyed, you are moving enough to alleviate some problems that will eventually lead to more pain. And constant whining about how hard life is. Quite the opposite of Joy and Blessings I should think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We Can Do This

I keep pinching myself to make sure I'm awake. Packing for the move begins in earnest tomorrow. In addition to that I will have to buy drapes for 5 rooms, lamps, end tables and something to display my knick knacks on. I checked the price of curio cabinets and darn near fell out of my chair. We have overhead lighting here so we don't have more than 2 lamps. There is no overhead lighting there so in order to see anything I'm going to need to spend money.

I will have to go over there to vacuum and mop floors. With all the guys tracking in and out to get things done the floors got filthy. I just realized I'm going to need shelving paper for the kitchen cabinets. We hope to move in by November 5. I'm not wonder woman so if I manage to get everything done and moved by at least the week before Thanksgiving, I'll be happy. Working by myself here and I am 67 years old.

I will have help carrying most things but I did buy 2 smaller plastic totes that I can handle when I pack them. I figure I can use them for clothing, sheets, towels and some of the kitchen items I will want to put away. And I am still going to keep downsizing. I don't believe there's anything in the kitchen that I will get rid of since I did that after Christmas and haven't purchased anything since.

I just remembered we are going to have to buy a water cooler. The well hasn't been used in 2 years. After peering down in it my husband decided to shock it. The water will be fine for washing up in and doing laundry but without spending the money to have it tested, we are leery about drinking it. Besides, I like the taste of filtered water better anyway, especially when it's cold. I need to find out where Youngest buys his water. He has the same issue with his well that we have with ours.

The power is turned on there, the fuel tank has to be installed. We will need to insure we have the money to have that filled. My husband thought the new furnace was propane but it's kerosene. With the much better insulation in newer manufactured homes plus the energy efficient furnace and fewer windows, we are going to delay putting in the woodstove. If for any reason the power goes out during the winter, we have a propane heater that we can use to stay warm. Also, since we actually own this home and the land, we can get a generator as well.

The big deal for us is the reduction in monthly expenses this move will create. Here I pay a lease for the land of $325 a month. There I will only have taxes which will cost us around $100 a month. Maybe less when we sign up for the STAR Program next year. Heat should cost us more but not enough to be concerned over and that can be reduced if we install the woodstove next year. Electric will run close to what I'm paying now because all appliances are energy efficient and TV and Internet will be cut in half with the ability to sign up for cable. Even if that goes up in a year it still won't cost any more than I'm paying now.

For the third time in my life I'm going to be a home owner and this time I won't lose it due to catastrophic illness or a change in finances. My income is fixed and we have good Medicare  supplements. We're working hard to stay healthy which helps. With the expense reduction we will have time to rebuild what we spent which will give us a little nest egg in our older age. Now I just have to survive the move.