Saturday, May 26, 2012

feast or famine

I remember distinctly the day that I was introduced to the devastation of the eighties market crash, only it was twenty years later. At the time it was going on, I had nothing invested so it was a non-issue for a young mother struggling to balance work and family life. Even when the bottom started falling out over the predatory lending practices of big banks, I wasn't concerned too much because after all these years I STILL have nothing invested. Why you ask? Because I'm a single middle aged woman struggling to hold a family together and can't afford it, though I doubt if it would go to a bank if I did have something to save. The past few years have convinced me that middle men are not the best ones to handle my personal finances. The good news is that I don't carry much debt by today's standards. The bad news is that the cost of living has risen such that I'm operating at a salary level about 2% less than it was two years ago. Big Ernie giveth and taketh away...that's the way things are going. With fuel levels at , if not decent, much more manageable prices, families can afford to go a little more and pump up the economy with their hard earned dollars. It seems like a no-brainer to me....keep the price of oil at a reasonable level and everything else falls into place. That's why we are where we are today due to years of bowing down to the Middle East because they control the market. And they laugh all the way to the palace!

My dream is to get to the point where I can live on my monthly salary without visiting the loan sharks or begging for loans from people who love me and wonder what I'm doing with all of it. I haven't bought new clothes, including scrubs, or shoes in several years. What I currently wear was handed down by somebody who went to a job with a different dress code, God love her. I was perusing the list of the fifty top paid CEOs in this country and found a shining example of what happens when the big fish eats the little fish. Baxter Healthcare was at one time a leader in the sale of many medical products. My friend Jim worked for them for years, and found himself jobless when they were bought out by Dade/Behring and ultimately were sold to the Siemens corporation. Guess which investment company pulled off that deal? Starts with a B and ends with a Romney. They flipped that company to the tune of millions of dollars that went to THEIR companies and left the little guys without jobs. Kinda sorta like the beginning of what has culminated in out economic demise, so to speak. If he can do that for a paying job, just think what the possibilities are for our federal coffers!

For the first time in several years, I have hope for the future of this country. Little by little the dirty little lies are being exposed and folks, especially the younger ones, are fed up and opting for a different more self sufficient way of life. One friend commented that her husband was spending too much money on his gun collection and he gently reminded her that when there's nothing else to barter with, guns usually do well. And I see that coming as a lifestyle, for all of us. That's not a bad thing, by any means. You've got a gift or talent that you can market? Trade it for something you need. I could care less what the Euro does because that's not my problem, nor is it the problem of this government. We will however have to suffer the consequences because it's all a big game.

My first pot of basil died so I stopped by the crack feed store to pick up some more. They were out of the larger leaf variety so I chose a "boxwood" species that is cute as hell. The leaves are the size of oregano leaves, but the smell is pure sweet basil. Dude said he could smell it when I walked in the door! It sits in a pot next to rosemary and chives and that's about it for farming 2012. I'll be doing good to keep that alive in this scorching heat.

Sawmill was good...not too busy but steady. When I was on the way home I noticed this lady sitting in the crossover to my road and her car was smoking. She was sitting there with the door open trying not to burn up and I asked if she needed help. "No, honey. They're on the way, but thanks! Makes me thankful for cellphones, ya know? I also happened up on a guy at the sawmill who was lost as a goose and needed direction and clarification. All it took was a few steps and a couple of phone calls and he was good to go. It never ceases to amaze me how little time it takes to care when you're in the mood to slow down and listen.


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