Friday, December 31, 2010

Examples of retirement

There have been three major impressions of retirement for me.

First were my father's uncles.

One retired to farms in Pennsylvania
after years in the Navy.
The memory is going out to Uncle Evan's farm,
seeing the cow behind the barn
and watching him work on carving a table.
He loved it all-
and pointed out the hand of God in the mist.

Uncle Ned lived in a small "flat" in the city.
Retired and blind by his work as a
lithographer for the government.
He painted walls and canvas.
My aunt put the pins in for him to follow.
He died shortly after we visited.
She lived in a "manner house"
for fifteen years more,
We wrote each other once a month.
Her kind letters got me through some tough spots
in my marriage and life.

Second there was my mother's aunt.
She retired to a trailer in California.
Not far from the beach
the community was totally '60's senior.
Yup, flamingos and all.
she and her husband were a hoot
lots of laughter whenever we visited.

None of these people had loads of money.
All were cared for
by family in the last few years of life.
What I noticed the most is they were simply
Happy.
There was a sense of peace around them.

I am beginning to see how I can get to "that place".
There is a sense of peace of just being with the land.
There is a joy
in watching someone do
something they have always wanted to do.
I don't feel the need to
"accomplish" anything more
than just being available to my family
and enjoying my life.

Hopefully, when my great nephews and nieces
visit many years from now
they will walk away knowing it is possible
to simply be happy
for at least one season of their lives.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't know what I am doing...

but that has never stopped me.

The part time job I took
is full of paper.
The real job is all about
personal contact and trust.
Today was spent stuffing
envelopes and folders.
"We ran out when we got to you.
We might be too busy to help
when you get started." seem to be
the words said more than once.

Forgot what it is like to work the
second end of a ladder.
I'll figure it out,
take notes,
and fix it as I go along.
Until I am done I may
have to go a bit
Coo Koo
On my way to this job- an hour ride-
NPR was broadcasting results from
an international high school math and science exam.
Chinese came in first- with all of Asia close behind.
They interviewed the headmaster of the school
that achieved the highest results in the world.
"Of course," he said, "our students are amazing.
The problem is they have never learned how
to critically think.
They do well in Asian universities,
but when they get to the US they are
confused by creating and thinking
instead of simply solving.
Give them an equation,
the answer will follow quickly.
Give them a problem,
the answer is slow and lots of
equations are applied."
This information has been present to
US teachers for years.
It is good to hear a headmaster of a
"superior" school, state what we
know.
Move forward - but don't become Asia!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best friends forever

Our dog and grandchild have bonded.
Their favorite thing to do is look out the windows at the squirrels.
Yup, that is the Grandchild with the binoculars!
We miss them already.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Four generations in 24 hours.


Yes, we are the crazy people who fly on Christmas day.
We started at 6 pm on Christmas Eve in Phoenix
and ended at 12 am on Christmas day. Flying and opening and laughing and playing.
It was all good.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

A time of year for reflection of
what we have been given
by the grace of God.

I visited my Father's graveside yesterday.
My good memories with him filled
the crevices of my mind.
He provided many great Christmases
for such a large family.
He began a trend.
There has never been a Christmas I
have been in need.
That is, indeed, a blessing.

My husband, children and mother are all
well and happy
another blessing.

We tend the most beautiful land that
we know of on the earth.
To some it may just be the trees,
or the fields,
or the turkeys
but to us it is home
and that is a blessing.

I am not good at tending friends,
but I still have some that I can call
at a moment's notice
and I can be there for them
or them for me and
that is a blessing.

As much turmoil as my siblings give each other
they are still family
and that is a blessing.

I was born in the greatest country
and that is a blessing as well.

So, it is time for you to take account.
There are many gifts a newborn brings
which ones are dearest to you this year?

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My favorite time of year

This was my first nativity. It was painted by my blind- yes blind-Uncle. I love this painting. It began my obsession with nativity sets.







I inherited this from my Fran.









This was the first one we bought for the kids.








Hong Kong













After being bombed in Saudi I went into pottery mode. Confined to a compound- I made these


and several more.







In Flagstaff I fell in love with these.
And I continue to look and love them all.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The stockings are hung

With family traveling, the stockings have to be hung early.

We are ready for Santa

Now, we have to prepare for Jesus!

Spent five hours getting Medi Alert
set up for mom.
She fell on Wednesday-
but did not tell me personally.
A few hours on the garage floor:<(
Thank goodness that "older teen" down the street
walked down to see if she needed help.
I heard it through the grape vine.
I don't think there will be a fight over
wearing the pendant anymore.
It will be installed next week.
I am SOOO glad there are programs like this one.
Phoenix has many to choose from because of the population.
She doesn't want to move, nor should she have to.
I can see mom in her house for many years to come.

It is hard to think there will be a time
without my parents
during the Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Powerful words

I was reading my favorite PF blog: Get rich slowly
I had to share with you this comment:
"James says:

I used to be super career driven. I used to be an uber-entreprenuer. I used to carefully manage my budget. I used to think we “could do without”. Then, a very wise older gentleman changed my life with this:

“You only have 10 summers with your kids”

Think about that… the first 4, they don’t remember, the last 4 (14-18) they don’t want to be with you. Each time I consider spending a weekend doing something to save $ at the expense of doing something fun with the kids, I think of that phrase.

Sure, I’d love to reap the rewards of compounding gains on my fat RRSP. But if it comes at the expense of seeing my 5 year old’s face when she sees Belle at Disney world, I’d rather work a few more years in retirement or even… eat dog food when I’m 95 (at which point who cares)."


It reminds me of how often my sister and I seem to talk about our childhood. Here we are at 53 and 56 and it seems like the only years to really reflect on are the 10 we were in the childhood house with memories. We both went on to do some amazing things- but those years formed us. It is amazing the details we remember!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Calling people you do not know

My part time position is hourly.
This beginning part is calling people.
I don't know any of these people.
They are under the threat of losing some funding if they do not comply.
This is Kansas and I am given every courtesy.

There is an anticipatory edge on most voices.
One more test for their students to take.
More papers to fill out.
It is an extra burden on schools who already struggle to keep
the students' attention
so they are not deemed, "School of Failure".

Traveling to the Nebraska border will be a feat in the dead of winter.
The roads are chilly at five am.
One callee already told me she would call if the roads are too bad.
It is Kansas, and people are kind here.

Kids are even chillier when you are laying an exam in front of them
and then announcing the results
will not be given to the school or the district.
"Do as well as you can."

Still, there is something quite good about seeing how
the width of the population tests in six weeks.
Some schools will encourage their homeschoolers to sit the exam.
Others will bring in the local private schools.
Being a part is....interesting.

Calling someone I do not know....
Do able, but no longer
a favorite part of my life.
A part time "retired position".
One never knows whose life will be touched
if I am careful and watch what I am doing.



It is time to check your pantry.

There are two times in a year for a pantry check.
Christmas and the beginning of summer.
Gleam out extras and take them to the homeless shelter.

Some of the things are extras that are bought during the year.
They are ready to rotate.
Some are travel items.
Since hotel stays seem to be more common these days,
extra bars of small soap and body lotion are in abundance.

Going through closets is another task.
Coats and boots are taken to the homeless shelter as well.
Good will is not open at 2 am when a family might arrive.
Little presents that were forgotten
are wrapped and taken there as well.

Being thankful for what we have is the most important
part of this process.
I am thankful, every day, that I was born in this country
with the rights and freedoms I enjoy
With the ability to make enough to keep my family safe and fed.
It is a great nation.
Only for the grace of God, I was born here!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Should homemakers be allowed to collect Social Security?

A dumb old Maxine joke about health care
came to my inbox again
today.
This is the result.

Social Security is a slippery slope.
As it slides away, there are a few touchy questions
we should be asking.
Most of us are forced into putting money into the system.
That was not a problem until "they" have started
to question whether "we" should not get as much
in the end.
How about those who never contribute?
Their spouse may have,
but they never worked outside the home.
You don't put in. You can take out.

To make this argument for the other side.
If you work, you are allowed to contribute
much more to a 401K than an IRA.
This disadvantages the homemaker.
If the homemaker chooses,
the spouse should be able to significantly support an 401 for them.
Maybe the 401 could have a "government match".
Then the homemaker could have plenty
even if the spouse dies- or divorces them.
The government match acknowledges
that children need to be cared for.
OK- our government does not acknowledge that
but it is a thought.

The days of supporting the unemployed is over
as far as I am concerned right now.
If we, as a society,
are unwilling to care for our people's health and finances
until they are 67,
why should they start, ever?
Why should there be social security or Medicare?
The two of us have paid into a system for 30-40 years EACH.
Why should the people who never contribute, benefit?

Cut them all off.
Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Disability,
how about the subsidy for Mental handicaps,
Autism, Blind and physical handicapped?
Let's not pay taxes at all.
OK- we can pay road taxes.
That is a pay as you go system.
Land taxes- no way!
Those who make loads of money will be fine.
The rest can buy insurance and work
until they choose not to.
Those who depend on schools,
libraries, hospitals and such
too bad.

Rush Limbaugh has a nice house in Costa Rica-
no residence in the US.
Maybe we should all move there.

I will start to try to convince at least one man
in my family to go into medicine.

What do you think?
Do you think I am tired of congress?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Home

What did I miss the most? Clean air, my husband, the internet and the grocery store.
What did I miss the least? Not much. It was 80 in Los Angles and 7 in Kansas but, I like the change of season and snow (as long as I am inside).
I ment many wonderful retired educators.
The trip made me realize, again, that travel is not my favorite thing anymore ESPECIALLY when it does not bring me to see or be with my family.
Happy to be home.
Happy Birthday to my oldest!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Darn proud

We have so many friends who bucked the system and home schooled their children. They realized as military families they would have even less control over the schools that their children attended. I got a note from one of them today and it made me think back at our different experiences. I was the chicken- opting out for regular school.

Their starts were for various reasons: religious tone in classrooms, non reader, suggestions that their child needed medication, two moves in the middle of the year. They started slowly and worked on reading and math - with the other parts of the curriculum fitting in nicely as they lived the day. I've observed everything from unschooling to "the total purchased curriculum package".

Some sent their children to private (usually Catholic or Christian) high schools. Others had their children attend community college after they were sixteen.

Most of my friends are at the end of their "careers". The ones with seven or nine children have a few still at home.
I love hearing the news. One blogger I follow has four in college right now. You can see her under Choosing Joy. Renee has her second heading out. A friend has one who went on to be a lawyer, two girls in college and a son who is an auto mechanic (and five at home). Several of the children in different families have joined the military (as engineers). One has a firefighter with several more at home in the wings.

What I know of almost all of the homeschooling families is that, unless the rare occasion arises that home school was about controlling the child not the environment, all of these children have gone on to be a key part of society. They are active in their churches and community organizations. They are getting married in a reasonable way- with the knowledge that they will be married for life. They tend to be self confident, beyond the normal teen. They are mission orientated and do well on college campuses. They have the backbone it takes to make it.

Yup, I am darn proud of these families. I hope they realize it!

A new position

Tomorrow is D day.
Leaving for LA for a training.
Position is temporary and sounds interesting.
Missing the house already.
Wondering what the details will be.
My way of lucking into things continues.
Send some good wishes my way
when you have a spare moment
will you?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Budget chart

This is very enlightening.
Here is the basic US Budget in a chart.
One of my favorite Bloggers- had it on his site today.
Go check out the part of the government you are most interested in!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Continuation of the budget

We are quickly learning that we did not plan well for present season!
Presents set in about the same time as cold-
the budget moves slowly to the "are you kidding me?" side.

Upbeat? The market is good.
We continue our 15% for the year.
We sold AVAV, KMB, HOG and GOOG
We bought some more F and NFLX.
That is it for our trades this year
unless we see something suddenly happen.

We were relieved that we had sufficiently calculated
to save enough for house insurance,
car insurance
AND house taxes.
Those are all paid.
Whew. Now we save for next year.
I did not anticipate taking down a large tree this year. Bag worms- it had to go. He told me that the other pine will be gone by next year. Fortunately, that one is smaller. We can take that one down by ourselves.
It would have been nice if we could
use it for fire wood. Nope. Twenty five
foot tree and the wood goes into
the gully for erosion prevention.

Scott is winterizing the barn this year,
in anticipation of spending more time
building doors through the winter.


The down side? Travel budget is being put
into the mix for things like "just one more tiny car" or
"need that tool" stuff. Distance travel is slowly
moving further into the distance.
House repair money is going to winterizing,
which makes me nervous.
One major thing seems to go out
every winter.
Starting the winter with a pot of gold
makes those issues much easier to
deal with.

The north wind is blowing
down into the teens tomorrow.
Winter is here!

So far, so good.
How are you faring for the end of the year?

It was a beautiful time in Seattle







Timely posts

This post is very sweet. Thirty-five gifts your child will never forget.

We came home to leave-less trees. The winter season is upon us. This time of new beginnings is so good. A time to store away and wait for spring. It is a bit like pregnancy. Exciting in the beginning, long, and sometimes scary, in the middle, expectancy finally takes over and preparation for the new begins.

I love winter! (and in three months you can remind me that I wrote that!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just visiting

The difference between visiting my daughter and my son is intensity:>)

Our daughter is at home with our grandson full time. I admire their family determination to provide the best care for their child. Any other decision would put a different type of pressure on their young family that would not be easy to handle. The experience of working in the area might be better for her career- but not for their lives.
When visiting her household, there is rarely a minute to spare. There are places to go and things to do. Scheduling works around a toddler schedule- consistent in food, fun and sleep. As I say, no house is large enough for four big personalities for too long;>)

Our son works- often 14 hour days. When he gets home he is zapped. At least an hour of random computer time before the wind down begins. The weekends are non stop- but they are only two days long.
We have lots of down time here. We take over his media and lounge on the couch- lol. We might go and see the sight- but then there is traffic out there and neither of us know how to get there or home. Too much effort. We begin to think of all of the things at "home" we should be doing.

We love to visit both homes. We know our children love us. BUT

Guests, like fish, stink after five days. Both households were visited for seven days this fall. We forgot the rule. Hopefully, they will want us back. Five days next time:>)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quilting?

It is something that begs me to explore.
The draw of quilting is something unique.
It is not a family tradition.
My grandfather died young and my grandmother worked many hours to provide for her family.
Domestic arts slipped to the background.
Instead my teen years found me hanging out with Mary.
Her family was the epitome of domestic arts.
Through her, quilting entered my life.
None of my quilts from the past live with me.
No one actually believes that there are quilts in my past,
but they are out there- somewhere.
So, this morning when I found http://www.quiltsforkids.org/about/
my curiosity began anew.
Maybe, just maybe, this will be the winter of quilting!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When your children grow


What does it mean to be a family?
There are now three families where there was once one.

Understanding family tree didn't really happen until our daughter married. The tree extended and we now have a new son and grandson. Amazing how that works.

With the extension of the tree- there is more looking at the stock. "He looks a lot like Uncle J." "That is exactly what my grandmother used to do"". A real combination of B family and G family- stubborn, know everything and always right!" " Marriage is until death- so you may as well work it out:>)" " Holding babies is so much more important than having a job outside the home!"

Sometimes it is a wonder to me that it has taken so long to really begin to appreciate what we have. Our family is at every stage right now- elderly mom, retired couple, married with a child and single man. The tree continues to grow straight and tall.

Baby N almost three years ago!




Giving up old friends- the cars edition

When we military moved- we sold. Usually out of "can't take it with you" mode. We also sold my Jeep to a college kid. Black is still worn in memory.
It is coming time to retire my Sebring. Lovely little convertible with less than 75,000 miles- in my world- a mere baby.

Here are the options:
Drive it to Phoenix and offer it to one of my family members for a very good price. What happens if it breaks because of a broken heart shortly after it is sold? Auntie N is the worst person on the earth!

Sell it to a soldier in the spring. The soft top down. This is a great car. Good option. Sadly- next winter it will die a slow death of ice and snow.

Take off the tires, put it in the barn and let it sit. This gets a chuckle from a few- but I can see a fully paid for car being pulled from storage if something happens to our other two vehicles.

Just get over it and sell it in Phoenix. There is a wedding in March. Plans to drive out are in the works anyway.

It is a perfectly good car:<( My frugal self is fighting with my practical self. Cars cost money, another mouth to feed even if it is only for 3,000 miles a year. Is it that- or the actual admission that we simply don't need two cars AND a truck while being retired? AGGGG!




Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday.

Some people poo poo Black Friday as a day of gluttony.
Not me.
It is a win win for the retailer and me.
The checkout clerk this morning said she was getting overtime
She was thrilled with that.
The managers are happy to see people shopping again.
Our family will get some things that we need,
and even some things that we want,
at a much better price than normally priced.

This year Walmart was on line!
A good thing, I hear their lines were around the building.
The PX was under control of the MP's
(as if military people don't know how to do a line).

There is nothing wrong with shopping on a sale days.
The chat in the lines was fun
Between the moms getting things for their babies
and the soldiers getting the latest camera
It is all fun- on a budget!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Planes, Cars and Ice

Flying was not so bad.
Our tiny TSA was comfortable and chatty.
The turkey baster made it through.
The plane was packed-
Meaning two open seats on a large plane.

The rental car counter has become the hardest sale place
that I have been on the recieving end for years.
Enterprise- ow! There must have been ten items,
"you really should buy this coverage".
"No!" It was worse than buying an new car.
Finally we got to "choose" our car.
Personally, just give me the keys and let me go!

The roads in the Tacoma area are icey
People are not used to driving on them.
Some whizzed by at 70-
just to find them spinning a few miles down the road.
I am an Arizona girl
so my Idaho hubby did the driving:>)
I am sure the drivers appreciated that.

Being with our son for Thanksgiving is special.
We miss our daughter's family terribly.
We are thankful for all of our family as they
celebrate Thanksgiving all across our Country.

Life is good!





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And WHY do I like being retired?


It is the most wonderful time of the year.
The turkeys and families are gathering.

We will become friends with the TSA screeners,
I am sure.
There are four of them here.
We have three flights and one gate at our airport.
It is "manned" by
A great group semi retired Americans.
Being retired we are relaxed
and just roll with what they have to do.
I get it. They are not the maker of the rules.
Maybe I'll make Christmas cookies for them later in the month!

Small town friendliness, travel, flexibility,
being smart about "saving up" that "travel envelope" money,
all a part of the retiring and enjoyment for us.

Happy Thanksgiving to the travelers and non travelers alike.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last day

I met a little guy two months ago.
After I substituted in his classroom twice he said,,
"Hey, I think that if you worked with me I could learn how to read."
Amazing.
After 25 years I have never had a child approach me for a specific need like learning to read.
Maybe it was just assumed that I would do it.
Our journey began.
Cleared calendar for two months- an hour every day.
Last week he read his first book. WhhhhOOOO!
Today he both recognized and recorded all of the sounds of the alphabet. He finished by reading his sixth book (and stacking a group of books that were next.)
Tomorrow is a meeting about him. He had a introductory plan with preliminary Special Education intervention.
What he got was a double dose of Phonics
He reads.
No SPED for this young man. He knew what he needed. He asked. He got it.
Now it is time for him to practice and me to move on.
He was right.
I needed to slow down and help.
He needed to read.
Amazing that he picked me to work with.
Smart kid!

Have I told you lately how much I love my life?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We had a little visitor today

Bobcat.
Not my picture.
The one we saw was probably full grown. He was resting under the slide, staying out of the rain and scoping out the bunnies.
This is our third sighting.
I think he is making himself (assuming it is male) comfortable for the winter. The spring runs most of the winter and there are plenty of downed trees for dens.

Remind me to wear some jingle bells when I go traipsing across the trail. The winter is the only time it is clear enough to go!

Let the wood work begin





My husband has asked for wood work tools every Christmas and Birthday since we were married. There has not been much variation on the theme. The first project was finished and shipped to our son.
Yesterday we traveled about two
hours to make the first major purchase for "the rest
of his life".
White oak.
It is beautiful!
He is going to make all of the upstairs doors into solid wood. The lumberman chuckled," You'd better have ball bearing hinges. Those babies are going to weigh a ton."

So, the line is forming.
Inside doors,
table for our daughter,
bedstead for my sister,
desk for our son.
Good thing they are buying the wood. This is one habit that will be difficult to fit into our everyday "needs".
Even if it is a bit of a budget buster the look on my husband's face when he touches the wood is...priceless!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Always check to see what is going OUT of fashion


Those who REALLY know me, know that I do not know the first thing about fashion. In general I can be found purchasing something just as it is leaving the fashion show room.
Wha La!
Two days ago I found this purse (no my dear sister- it is not even close to leather).
I want a purse for the training I am traveling to. The one I carry is tiny. My little angel said, "Look at those big purses! They are SO in fashion!" This purse was lonely at the bottom of a heap. The first price was well out of how much I have ever spent for a purse (Ok- so I have never spent over $80. on a purse- you got me there).
My fashion angel has often lead me to such deals. She must get a good chuckle when it goes out of fashion the next month.
This purse suddenly became a need instead of a want.
The purse had been marked down. And marked again. "Reasonable for a travel essential", my brain processed. It is enough for some books and a laptop ( seeing my other sister cringe that I would consider FILLING the purse).
Good shoulder fit. And, I might look semi fashionable, while trying hard to look professional, at the set of meetings.
I got to the register- it was "50% off the last price hour"- lol. I got it for... well, I am not going to tell you since it was almost embarrassing to watch the check out lady's eyes get so wide. She checked the tag three times.
Madame huge, clunky, black, "fashionable" purse will make the three trips this December, and maybe the 30 trips to schools from Jan- March. Then, I promise, it will be sent to the Good Will because I know it will be terribly out of fashion by then!
Now if I could just get her from bugging me about my tiny sun glasses....

Somedays you just have to see a baby:>)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First snow!


Snow is so hard to see when it starts.
The clock struck twelve noon and the snow is coming quickly. I'll get a good picture when it stops.
Snow!

The last

Many people try to get things finalized by the end of the year. My goal is to be done to start anew by Advent.
Starting over
The leaves are gone from the large trees - the end of the liturgical year
The evergreens continue- just as Christ's everlasting care for us to always be able to see to the next season.
My books will close at the end of the month for the year. Taxes will be paid, stocks will be sold and bought to begin the new year fresh, debts reviewed and paid off, cards off to old friends.
Advent is a time to start a new.


The last days of fall


Next week is Thanksgiving.
Even though it is still a full month away from winter, fall is waining.
It is beautiful, but a bit nerve racking.
Are we ready for the winter?
Can we survive another ice storm in January?
God provides.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dinner for ?

We travel to see our son on Tuesday.
First we were going to eat at the hanger
then at another's house,
and now--- we are making dinner for some of the single guys (I guess the gals are headed home).
Thanksgiving dinner on post is always an adventure.
There is always someone who "forgot" at the last minute.
Rounding up people is an exciting prospect.
The Army is a family.
No matter where we are- it grows and changes.
And so, the tradition continues.
While others sit with their extended family-
we sit with whomever shows up at the table.
I sure hope the pie turns out this year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Missing Dad

Four years ago today.
Seems like yesterday- and a million years ago all in one.

This is one blog you should not miss
http://sixyearmed.com/
She is amazing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fifteen years

How close- but how far in time.
http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9511/saudi_blast/11am/

The article is wrong. There were 7 killed and over seventy injured. One of the injured later died in the Pentagon on 9/11.

It was a very long day- month- year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11th














My sister and her husband celebrate
THIRTY TWO years together today.
So much for the predictions that teen marriages do not last.
Here they are with my son- a soldier and a veteran.
Somewhere are the pictures of my husband, father and father in law in uniform....
In the digital age, I have no excuse!

Read the findings for yourself

Yesterday and today the news was filled with one minute takes on the "debt commission". Looking for the entire report was almost useless. The New York Times put out this. It is the slide show of what the co-chairmen put together.

First glance to me, pretty scary. Our health care and my husband's retirement pay are seriously in question. BUT, I would be willing to give in those areas for a flatter tax and some of the cuts for second homes/crazy business cuts. Why should anyone be able to write off their car and gas for work? (Or, to put it in my world: Why should I pay for your car if you don't pay for mine?)
The US needs to seriously stabilize. The Social Security piece also looks do able. Personally, I would LOVE to see the "survivor benefits" for children go away- and most of the disability benefits as well. Harsh, yes, but they didn't pay in- so why should they get anything?

My surprise- why are they not cutting the Department of Education? What a waste. Education SHOULD be local. I can see some subsidy for the low income areas- but the department itself is a waste of money.

BTW- vesting retirement for military at ten years- great for the service member. Will we have much of a military if that happens- probably not. If you have been in that long you can make far more in corporate America.

What areas of government do you, personally, have actual knowledge of? What could be cut from it? What part of government are you willing to cut (that will affect your quality of life) in order to balance the budget?


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remember Glenn Beck is LDS


My LDS family is kind and generous. One thing that I always have to remember is that their religion depends on preparing for the time and place of the end of the world. They have a large food storage and recently added a 72 hour disaster bag. We do have a food storage of sorts. It was well used when we were iced into our house for a week!

Glenn Beck exemplifies "being prepared" when he predicts the price of bread at $24 a loaf sometime soon. Yes the price of corn has doubled- but it was a banner year for corn in the midwest. Russia lost their crop.
Being in Kansas- my thoughts are that we will find other ways to eat (probably healthier ways) if that comes to pass.
Our family journeyed through some tough times- and we survived. Part of that type of survival is why we are in Kansas on 17 acres ;>)

My faith reminds me to keep my soul as clean as I can. Being prepared for the end is a matter of constant vigil of my moral self. My end may be today even if the world end isn't for millions of years. Looking around at how to make the world a better place is part of my faith- not fear that my own style of living will end tomorrow.

My days of wondering if Glenn is right are pretty much over. I don't buy gold. (Did you know Rush and Glenn both have large shares of gold companies they advertise?) If the end comes and my soul is not ready- what is the purpose?




Can you see our turkeys as they wander back into the fields in front of our house?
Days like this one are hard to beat. The mist is in the afternoon air and the fall leaves have painted the fields.
This is the time of year I love living in Kansas.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sometimes we forget them

There are prayers being asked for the "Darkhorse" Marines. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan as you read this.
Please remember them in your prayers.
Here is the article.

Monday, November 08, 2010

29th anniversary of the day we met

There are occasions one remembers clearly. In our house we are more apt to remember the day we met than the day we married.
The day we met the wind was crisp outside. The teachers were all at the officer's club relaxing and eating dinner after a long day at work. My sponsor showed up with a guy in tow. That guy was covered in "field mud" and all we could really see of him was his blue eyes. Crystal blue.
He sat down next to me and whew- I hardly remember anyone else at the table. We talked for about four hours that night. Five or six the night after.
Along with the daily motorcycle rides came long conversations about life and living, people we admired and just everything else. Daily travel was either to the restaurant up the hill for dinner or a "new" town to see up the Main River.
He proposed to me in Berlin over Thanksgiving. And again on the first of December when he was promoted. So quiet, yet so bold.
This is the month we celebrate our time together. Strangely more important than the day we married.
The day we met.
November 6, 1981.
Next year we will be overseas for our anniversary of the day we met- maybe in Germany at the restaurant at the top of the hill. I wonder if it is still open?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The days of visiting are coming to a close.We have enjoyed may things together.Life is good, especially when you get to enjoy it with a three year old.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Living in an international neighborhood

I had forgotten what living in an international neighborhood feels like.
The trick or treat door answering was left to me
as the grandbaby and parents went to
trick or treat around the area.
I saw fairies in every color and shape tonight.
Some were struggling with the
English words
some were shy
lots of thank you and
happy halloween day!
It was wonderful.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A day in history


Traveling to Mt Vernon today
once again makes me
happy to live in this simple time.

I do not have to cook in a house
outside so that the main house
does not burn down.
I can travel to see my children
without worry of mud or cold
trapping my wagon wheels.
I am able to invest in many companies
who invest in making life better all
over the world.
I am able to listen to any style of music
by a simple wander through the itunes
section of my computer.
I can communicate with friends
far and wide.
It does not take days or years.
Our country has come a long
way since the time of
George Washington.
We journey forward
It is such a pleasant thing to
journey with the next
generation.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The things you learn when you travel

For the first time I flew over the lake next to my house. Our place is at the end of the dam. The longer I live at our house, the more amazed I am that I live in such a beautiful place.


At swim class I learned that my fear of completely plunging in is just a part of life. Can you see the energy he is trying to divert to his hands? He trusts his instructor, but there is also the hesitancy. I put energy out and am nervous to see the end results as well.
Continuing to learn as I grow up. Travel brings some things into focus.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm running away!




"My bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm staying here
just outside your door
I hate to wake you up
to say good bye.
But the dawn is breaking
Its early morn
the taxi's waiting
he's blowing his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could cry."
I love this song.
Not really lonesome.
Excited to see my grandchild and his family.


I'd thought I'd leave you
with a headline today.
My county decided that
they could not raise the
taxes.
So, instead,
they have raised our property values!
Yes, we are the only place in the nation
whose house not only never lost value-
but have increased in value.
None of the houses of any
price have sold in my neighborhood.
Owners have dropped the prices almost
$50,000. and still no takers.
County says,
"Well, at least your taxes did not rise!"
I will pay several hundred more
in property taxes this year than last.
Our sales tax is now 10%.
Let's put it in perspective.
A family member in Phoenix pays the same
property taxes that I do.
Her house is worth double.
She also has access to libraries and
good streets.
I love Kansas. I love Kansas. It is worth it?
AGGGGG!