Monday, January 16, 2017

Remembering Martin Luther King

I was young, very young, when Martin Luther King spoke and changed the world.
One might think that a middle class six year old white kid would not have memories of such days.
You might also think that Phoenix was such a wonderful mix
that the speeches and actions made no difference.
You would be wrong.

My dad was a news person.
I remember watching the news with him
every evening in the den.
My Dad made sure that, those of us who were interested,
heard and saw everything.
We were not shielded.

JFK being shot,
the War
The LBJ speeches

I remember sitting in front of the black and white

I remember watching the people being attacked with dogs.
I remember Dad "swearing" as people were hurt for their rights.

And I remember "the Speech".

I remember going to "South Phoenix" with him
to help in the Churches "down there" when people,
mostly of Hispanic and a few Black,
We also helped the police who attempted to separate the protesters from the disrupters.
Keep in mind, I was six.

When I was seven he made sure we all went to JFK's grave
I remember standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
and looking out
and being amazed
that it is where Dr King spoke.
A little kid
looking at the expanse
of where once stood a great man
and so many people.

It formed me.
At seven.
It is why I taught for 30 years.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Moving forward- again

End of the year review of finances
The first year after a move
always seems to be so expensive.
Glad that part is finally done and the house is in shape.

We started a savings category for re roofing the house,
making the master bath handicapped accessible,
and replacing the refrigerator
in the next few years.
We have tried to save for that type of expense in small accounts:
Car account (was emptied in June and is beginning to refill),
Large house repairs,
Filling the propane,
Yes, we have an emergency fund
but none of these are emergencies and we like to pay cash.
Plan ahead.

Our allowance system seems to be working well.
Our groceries are a bit out of control,
but now that we are settled
and I have figured out a food bank/household budget,
it will come into control.

I will be doing my trips to see mom four times a year
starting next month.
That usually wipes out the travel account.
Phoenix is not a cheap place.
Thinking about using air bnb to establish a relationship
with someone who wants to share their house
four times a year for a week.
I hate to give the hotels that kind of money for a place to just sleep in.
Maybe I can help someone make their mortgage!

On another note

There was lots of time of emoting these last few months
Many posts were written and not published
We lost a very good friend over the election
I can only be called a hateful, bigoted, deplorable so many times.
There are many reasons to vote for or against people.
Tolerance is simply not in some people's vocabulary
at least tolerance for ALL people- not just the causes they champion.
I have never felt incapable of putting out my POV until now.
Sad really. Sad.

And so, we move forward.
The homeless still need to be fed.
The grands still need to be held.
The kids still need to be moved across country
Friends still need comfort when their children are in a mess.
I have miles to walk before I sleep.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rounding up the ends

I am one of those few people who will admit that they LOVE Black Friday.
There are a few things that are significantly less on that day.
Next year, with old brick and mortar stores closing, it might not be as fun.

Today I dropped off some of my last finds.
Take a hint from me and indulge in this find next year.
Kid coast go on sale on Black Friday.
Last year my budget allowed for ten of them.

This year it was fifteen.
If you take up my challenge,
just dropped them off at the elementary and middle schools.
Kids will be warmer and so will you.

Lots of books under the tree this year.
My oldest grand is quite a reader.
He finds his "core reading" at the library.
We fill him in with humor and mystery.

And then there are a few great Pirate books.
Having a grand who is old enough to enjoy
such things is a pleasure.

My inventory of "stuff for winter" is completed and filled in.
We are ready to begin to enjoy some of the summer harvest
in pies, stews and cobblers while it is snowing.
The wealth of fresh will help the days go ever faster.

Tomorrow we begin the end of the year look back
and budget for next year.
Without actual income coming in anymore,
the looks are a bit tighter,
but never too tight for one more

Almost Winter Solstice, then Christmas, then New Years.
The ends are almost complete.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The weather is cooling

Delaware has been having its normal warm fall.
We just got back from California and Thanksgiving with the "kids" and their kids.

Tonight the rain is coming down and the temperature is dropping.
Glad to see winter begin to sweep in.

Starting my projects for winter.
Five sets of hand warmers for the littles in my life are first.

I am thinking of making a car seat warmer for my smallest grand.

My next project will be to take apart a normal travel pillow
and rework it into an aroma therapy pillow for my daughter's terrible neck.
This one is filled with micro beads.
I will refill it with rice and lavender from my garden.
I'll save the micro beads for a different project.

Outside, the garden is covered with leaves.
Almost all of the dead plants have been cut back.
We took off the cages for our blueberry bushes before we left on our trip.
forgot to put them back on,
and ended up with blueberry stubs---again.
Darn rabbits!

Our propane tank will be checked tomorrow and filled for the winter.
I am thankful for a full tank
knowing it can be accessed even if all of the electricity goes out in the area.

Life is good!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Stocking up!

This time of year is when I hit the Dollar Store and Walmart.
Stocking up for the "day packages" that we give out.

What is inside?
Chemical hand warmers and stretch gloves
toothbrush and paste
small bar soap
cracker packet (like peanut butter crackers)
socks and
a dollar.

If I find good sales, I also stock up on:
winter hats,
more socks,
coffee packets,

On Black Friday I always pray that JC Pennys will have their coats on sale.
I try to get some in the medium kid size.
They are great to take to schools in January.

Every little bit helps.
It gets mighty cold here.
I just keep them in my front seat.
Every homeless person is a person first.

This year there is a particular Salvation Army we plan on giving lots of these things to.
We know someone, who chooses to be homeless at this point, who uses their showers.
We are going to do towels and sheets for them.

Do you have suggestions?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quiet night with an almost full moon

The family has been here for the weekend
A three year old can drive the entire household crazy
But mostly we were laughing.

Haven't turned on the news much
Tired of the violence and mean speak

Full moon tomorrow
that explains everything!

Rearranging my retirement portfolio

Yes, it is that time of year for me.
There were already some big moves for me
and they will continue.
Not a financial planner- to say the least,
but a stock picker for sure.

Tesla. Gosh, gotta love that founder.
Sometimes a dreamer needs as much backing as s/he can get.
Love his passive solar and batteries.
And Mars- something for my grands to dream about.

Cardinal Health has been through the ringer
Hope it comes out the other end.
Maybe Ford will start making US autos again-
that would be nice.

Looking for companies that put money into inner city projects
It would be nice to invest in Baltimore
but their mayor just gave a huge contract
to a German company
with no real care for the unemployed in the area.
I'll have to look further.

Love the rails. Wish BSN had not been purchased by Buffett
He pushed out the small investor for his mega hedge fund.
Maybe Canadian Pacific?

Have no interest in solar mirrors
 (reflecting heat back into the atmosphere is not a great idea).
Wind energy- nothing like killing off migrating birds.
Those wind areas are the flight paths.

Maybe if we put a bit into updating nuclear.
Hummm- that might be an area to look into.

Elder care robots....

Seems I have lots of research to do.

I feel confident in this type of market.
Invest in the US.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Silent Majority

What an election.
It was one of the toughest I have ever witnessed--or read about.
Now my prayers begin again
in earnest.
Term limits and getting rid of the electoral college should be priorities.