Because You Want to Know

I’ve been a little AWOL.  Remember back 8 months ago?  Let me help you with that.  We were getting our house ready for sale.  Things went a little slowly at first.  Hubby listed our home on MHVillage.com  (Mobile Home Village).  That was all, for a while.  We were going to sell our home without a realtor.

We got two leads on our house from the  website.  One early on, the next one a week ago.  Finally we put an ad in the local newspaper, and a sign on the road.  The sign on the road brought in the calls.

Many of the calls were from people with one or two thousand dollars, looking for owner financing.  No thank-you.  Were we asking too much?  Hubby and I disagreed.   Finally, two weeks ago, we had two people making offers.  We got a price very close to our asking price.

Closing on a mobile home is a very easy thing.  For the seller there is a three-step process: Pay the years taxes, collect our money, and sign the title.  That’s it!  We were done.  The buyer had to pay sales tax ($14.08), sign on the appropriate line, and submit it for a new title.

We don’t have a new home to move into.  We do have a camper.  We have decided we can move into our camper, and take our time looking for a house.

We examined our moving options.  The most expensive option is a pack and move from a moving company costing around $6000.  This option is the easiest on us.  We decided we would rather save the money from moving to our new home, for purchasing our new home.  We are not as young as the last time we moved ourselves, plus we have more stuff.  We are pacing ourselves, and moving our stuff into our storage locker.

I am exhausted after little more than a week of cleaning out our storage locker (requiring several trips to Goodwill), packing up the house, and several trips with boxes to the locker.  We are about half way done with the packing.

We have another week-and-a-half before the deadline to be out of the house.   I have aches and pains in places I’ve forgotten about.  When the rain came we were relieved.  We had a good excuse to sit at home.  We needed the rest.  We needed help.

“Ask and ye shall receive,” the good book says.  A neighbor offered his help.  Just when  we needed help.   During breakfast at McDonald’s a couple sitting behind me was talking about how tired they were, and how badly they had slept the night before.  As we were leaving, we passed them walking along the road.  Hubby said they were trying to get across town.  We decided to give them a ride.

Turns out a family argument had them sleeping under the stars on a fairly wet night.  They were on their way to another family member’s home.  The family argument also created an interruption to the man’s employment.  We asked him to help us move boxes and furniture.  More help!  He was ready to come right with us and get to work.  We told him Monday would do.

We rested most of the weekend, and will be ready for the week ahead, with helpers!   We are now getting to those things we need every day to live comfortably.  Our kitchen is slowly being packed into boxes, and soon we will have nothing left to cook with, and nothing to eat off of.  Our entertainment system is half in a box, and half still in use.

We are slowly filling our camper with all the things we are going to need for our first extended stay.  Plus, we are bringing our house plants, those things that cannot be stored (anything that might explode), our dog, and two cats.  Oh boy!  I’ve read much about living in a camper, but the implementation phase is about to begin.

What fun we will have!

Our Worldly Worries

CNN Logo

You recognize it.  This is the news logo of an organization some politicians rail against.  In fact as I write, Hubby is watching (therefore so am I) and news is breaking about the previous president warning the current president about the fired member of the current cabinet.

Lisa A. got me on this topic with her blog posting “What The Fu*k is Going on in This World.”  There is so much disturbing news, I’m surprised that we aren’t all curled up in little balls with the covers over our heads.

Airlines, not so friendly.  Over crowded flights, no more meals, no smoking (thank-goodness) , no cell phones, and no room leads to customers lashing out at each other or attendants.  Commercial airlines don’t seem to care about safety as they ask a father to hold his young son in his arms rather than in a car seat strapped safely into the airplane seat as the airline recommends, and which the father dutifully paid the full price for.  People are threatened with arrest, and dragged off of airplanes with bodily injuries, and lame apologies.  This is the news we see.

You want customer service?  You think the airlines would have a vested interest in keeping the customer happy?  It is obvious the commercial airlines don’t have to care. There is no government regulation for them to worry about.  People need to travel for business, to visit family, to satisfy their desire to see the world.

Airlines have cut the number of flights, decreased personnel, cut everything they can, and added more and more seats packing people in like sardines.  The commercial airlines have you right where they want you.  Each commercial airline is like the other.  There is no advantage to the customer of one airline over another.

Healthcare is what I wrote my representative about.  I got a very nice letter from Senator Portman (R).  I expressed my concern about family with preexisting conditions, and another on Medicaid.  I can’t tell how Portman will handle the Senate review of healthcare.  I am glad for his response.  Countries with national healthcare include:  Canada, England, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy….

For reasons I fail to understand, it is believed that the compassionate pharmaceutical industry will do the correct thing. Hospitals will always put the patient first as mandated by law, and will absorb the cost, which we will all pay for.  Doctors will take care of you if you are in need, by sending you to the emergency room where they have to treat everyone.

So why am I shocked that Hubby’s diabetes medications have dramatically jumped in cost.  My mother refused the most effective asthma medications, because of the cost.  She flat refused to let the pharmaceutical industry get an outrageous profit from her treatment.  Those with life threatening allergies have recently had to contend with the EpiPen 400 percent price increase.

So what do you think?  Do we need any government regulation of healthcare?

Passing costs on to the states is not a plan I support.  Passing healthcare to the states will increase state budgets, and unless we get a federal tax cut large enough, who will want to pay more in state taxes.  (This also applies to education and other cuts proposed by the federal government.)  I may be wrong, but don’t American’s want a simpler tax system with fewer loopholes?  Don’t we also want to pay less tax overall?  Does moving the services from the federal government to the state government satisfy any of the goals?

 

Natural Inclination

20170428_193504All pictures taken with my Samsung Tablet.

My oldest granddaughter is a mini me.  Her mom, my daughter, is constantly trying to motivate with prompting, prodding, and cajoling her to get things done.  Putting her toys away requires arranging everything just so.  Her favorite giraffes, collected over her 13 years of life, must be arranged properly.

Her dolls must be in the proper dress, their hair coiffed, positioned in a certain way surrounded by accessories.  Her personal items are on display.  Her bed is a beautiful display piece.  In fact, everything she does is done in a slow, studied, deliberate manner.

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As you can imagine, everything takes a lot of time.  Writing a sentence or paragraph for a school assignment takes forever, because she needs the perfect topic and thought to express.

This is not slacking.  This is not being lazy.  Everything she does, must meet the vision of her aesthetic.  Everything must be as perfect as she can make it.  I so want to take this burden from her.  Sometimes, good enough is enough.

This loving, thoughtful, considerate, artistic child, is often moved to tears with the pressure to get things done.

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When she does anything, she does it completely, with no short cuts.

I find myself doing the same thing.  Recently, I’ve been rebelling.  Instead of sorting the forks by kind and size, I just toss them in together.  The t-shirts, normally turned with each one added to the pile so it won’t tip over, are just getting stacked, and they have no room to tip laying in the dresser drawer.  But I will admit, it doesn’t feel right.

You might think I’m meticulous.  No!  I don’t have anyone to motivate, prompt, prod, and cajole me.   It is just too exhausting to do everything to that standard!  Instead, I do nothing, letting the clutter pile up, and things go undone.

I follow the 80/20 Rule for every day chores.  The 80/20 Rule tells us that 80 percent of the work is accomplished with 20 percent of the effort.  The remaining 20 percent, to really get things fully completed, take 80 percent of your time.

When I really want to get things done properly, I give it the entire 100 percent.  (This may be why I have yet to write a book.)  When I finally do set about a project, everything is so nice.

This is a tendency we can’t control.  The best we can do, is not let it control us.

 

(Happy Birthday sweetie!  Thank you for letting me use your room.  Your party was great.)

Reframing The Negative

I might be wrong, but I think nearly everyone experiences anxiety or depression at times. I think that is part of being human, and learning to deal with anxiety and depression makes us happier and healthier people. This will add to that skill set.

Thank you.

From Sand to Gemstones

I will probably always be a student when it comes to a way to combat negative emotions. I know I’ve written a few times about the different ways to fight when you’re down but I was told today that sometimes rewriting needs to be done. At least if not for y’all, for me. 

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Warmth

 

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Photo by April E.  Sutton taken with my Samsung Tablet.

The weather is warm and the blankets are draped on the blanket stand.  The stand was crafted by Hubby, and I applied the decorative finish.  A simple, attractive, and useful item gracing my daughter’s home.  Our boys were given similar blanket stands.

Hubby doesn’t have a workshop currently.  We live in a dollhouse, and have been investigating other housing options.  The choices are making me crazy.

We could move our dollhouse but the properties we have seen so far are a distance from where we want to be.  Purchasing and preparing land for a home is not a do-it- yourself project, and not worth the trouble unless you are going to be happy in the location.  We want to live closer to our daughter.  What about the boys?  The move would shave time off of the travel time to their homes also.  Our family is spread out like dandelion fluff on the wind.

If only I  could pull my family around me like my favorite warm blanket on a cold winter day .  It would be wonderful having my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren surrounding me with their warmth, even on the warmest days.  We could have a picnic.

Earth Day Thoughts

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Flapping mallard rising from water taken at Shapwick Heath by Dr Chrissy on April 4, 2011

Beleaguered scientists around the world join ranks in support of the science supporting the theory that human activity is contributing to global warming in the face of a political climate that questions the legitimacy of science.

Scientists really know how to march on Washington.  With clever signs and rock music, scientists join tree-huggers on this Earth Day.

Beginning in 1970, Earth Day was  conceived as a day of education by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.   Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 1995 in thanks.   The first Earth Day attracted 20 million Americans, and is now celebrated around the world.

Earth Day attracts people concerned about air and water quality, those who want to preserve our natural world, and today includes those who are concerned about global climate change.

There is an empty six acres across the road from our home.  An old house is falling down, and the “For Sale” sign has been posted on the property for the entire six plus years we have lived here.  The place is a protected wetland, and is protecting a tiny endangered frog.

This six acres has become a refuge for birds, that sing me out of bed many mornings from spring to fall.  As long as I have been able to have a restful night, I am happy with the bird song, but there have been mornings I have closed the window to the noise.

I imagine there are other critters hiding in the grass, brush, brambles and trees of the area.  Critters such as rabbits, bugs (which birds and frogs might like), lizards, snakes, mice and rats.  It is an entire habitat of wild creatures, taking sanctuary from the roads, mowed lawns, manicured, and sterilized areas surrounding it.

Local residents are livid!  The local residents risk fines to dispose of grass clippings and other yard waste with no other place to put it.  Their sympathies are with the property owner, unable to sell the parcel, all because of a little frog.

Mankind often sees itself as stewards of the plants and animals of our world.  I hope we can take the science of how plants, animals and our own actions interact to shape our world, using it for the benefit of all life on our plant.

There is a milkweed shortage.  It has weed right in its name.  It is not a plant we find desirable for our yard, yet people are trying to hide these plants in among prettier plants. These people have learned that butterflies, specifically the Monarch Butterfly, need milkweed to nourish their offspring.

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Monarch Male, August 31, 2003 by Captain-tucker

A business man sat looking out his office window, and noticed ducklings unable to make it out of the water of a man-made water retention pond.  The low area attracted ducks who loved to swim after the rains.  Being the owner of the company, the man was able to re-shape part of the bank to allow ducklings to get in and out of the water easily.

I hope we figure out how to be good stewards living in harmony with the earth, and not place our immediate gratification and profit above the life and wonder of earth’s creatures.

By Any Other Name

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Shadow, photo by April E. Sutton with Samsung Tablet

My beautiful girl.

Pretty girl.

(thump bump, crash, bang)  Grace!

Vampira.

Killer!

My sweet baby.

Mommy ‘s girl.

Miss Thing!

Ungrateful cat!

My shadow.

I am pleased to be the chosen one.

 

 

 

Protect Your Rights Now

What if I were to tell you that your most basic rights were being stolen from you.  The right of self-determination.  The right to use your time and live your life the way you see fit is being systematically stripped from you.

Pretty scary isn’t it?  But the really scary part is that you may not even realize it is happening, until it is too late.  We are systematically being manipulated into giving up control of our lives to others.  They say our lives will be easier, safer, and more productive.  Our needs will be anticipated and all the rough spots smoothed over.

It may be that the very fabric of our society will unravel if we don’t release our control to them.  You ask, “How can this be?  Is this a joke?  Are you kidding?”

No, I am not kidding.  This is no joke.  This is the absolute truth!

The media you use everyday, to make your lives easier, is actually controlling you.   Do you doubt this?  Remember the movie, You’ve Got Mail?  Every time the notification comes up, they runs to the computer to check the message.  We do the exact same thing.  If it has been awhile, we check anyway.

You've Got Mail Poster

All day long our phones ding, whistle, or chirp with notifications to let us know we have a message, important advertisement, a friend on social media has posted an important picture, or we have a new like or comment on our blog.  We rush to our phones to see what is going on.  Our phone is by our side at dinner, and in our hand when we are talking to someone.  In a meeting, and even while driving, we keep that phone in view just in case.

The apps we use each have features to keep us engaged with them:  a like occasionally, an emogie,  an attaboy of absolutely no monitary value, but panders to our need to belong and be accepted.  As we become increasingly connected technologically to our world, the control of our devices gets stronger.

We develop feelings of anxiety when we can’t check our likes, and heaven forbid our numbers dip.  Even though it isn’t a competition, we constantly check for the validation of another follower, our shares, and our likes across social media.

Knowing of this control by our devices is not enough to break their control.  We must make a conscious choice and make an effort to take our time back.  This technology connects us, and we value that.  We can chose to break the habit of constantly checking.  We can take some time that is technology free.  We do not need to respond to every notification.  We can set down our devices, and use our hands for something else.

Our society will not unravel if we don’t know immediately that we have another like.  In fact, we may feel refreshed, and still feel the connection and affirmation after we get a few other things done.

 

Note:  There were several notifications that flashed upon the screen while I was writing this.  I ignored them all as I crafted this post for you.

A Better Place

20170408_103108Miss Penelope P. Pincer of the Antelope Valley.  Photo by April E. Sutton taken with my Samsung Tablet.

Buster waiting for a romp,

through meadows of lush grass.

Squirrels to catch for a good wrestle.

Your little stuffed tiger carried and protected,

Until the brute sent her ahead of you.

Oma and Opa waiting to pet you,

Allowed on the best chair,

shedding and dirt a thing past.

Every pocket has a tasty treat,

With piles of blankets to dig into a nice bed.

Allowed on the grass, and welcome on laps,

Belly rubs and ear scratches,

The body healed of aches and pains,

Contentment radiates like the sun,

Patiently waiting for the ones you love.

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