October 2008

Downsizing Your Life

I recently saw a segment on the Today Show where some people in Portland, Oregon are building really, really small homes because they’re affordable, easy to maintain, easier to clean . . . just easier in life.
What a concept!
I’ve been saying it for years:
Big houses, big cars, big Stuff equals Big bills, Big mortgages, Big stress, and often Big unhappiness.
And now look at the mess we’re in.
Everyone is pointing fingers. I say the fault of this...

Recession (dare I say it) can be summed up in one word: GREED.

And yes, it’s the greedy bankers and the lenders, and the people who wanted all the “good things in life,” even though they couldn’t afford it . . .

First off, their idea of the good things in life is sadly misguided. Because when it all comes down to a genuinely good life, you really need only this:



A belief in something bigger than yourself, call it spirituality, God, whatever. . . .

And okay, you also, of course, need a job (hopefully, one that gives you some kind of satisfaction), and a decent roof over your head, and food. That’s about it. Oh, and gratitude for it all. It’s a known fact that people who appreciate what they have—even if they don’t have much—are generally happier people.

Here’s the little house I grew up in Lakeline, Ohio, isn’t it cute? Even had the proverbial white picket fence. . . .



 And although there were five people in it (my mother, brother, me and my grandparents), we were, for the most part, pretty darn happy in it.




 Okay, end of this soap box. On to the next. . . .




Buy a Damn Newspaper, Will Ya?


Sorry to sound so harsh, but this is important!


Calling all of you who love getting up every morning - or at least Saturday and Sunday morn - pour your cup of coffee, tea, or juice, and sit down and read your newspaper. It’s a wonderful simple luxury.


While many of us like to get our news via the Internet, most of us still like holding that news print in our hot little hands, turning the pages, folding it on the table alongside our bacon and eggs or oatmeal, enjoying the photos that goes with the stories.


It’s as comforting as a big piece of apple pie, isn’t it?


Well, imagine, if you will, one day your favorite newspaper no longer existed. That you no longer had a choice but to go on the Internet for ALL your news, including what’s happening in your own hometown?


Just wouldn’t be the same, now would it?


And especially if you spend plenty enough time at the computer, thank you very much. Now you’re forced to sit there at the desk with the mouse, clicking away and wondering why your eyeballs hurt.


Believe me, you’ll grow tired of this practice soon enough and wish to God you had that newspaper over there on the counter or end table, just like old times.


I sincerely believe that most people who now depend on the Web for all their news, still likes to read a real newspaper, particularly with local stories in it.


As we all know, newspapers and magazines across this great country of ours are in big trouble, struggling to keep their readers and advertisers. They’re being forced to offer buy-outs for longtime veterans who’ve been faithful to that newspaper for decades, and who many of us have enjoyed reading, and are as familiar with them as a family member.


So what can we, the little people, do about this threatening situation where our papers are nearly on the verge of extinction?


Take a break from EBAY and ADVERTISE in your own newspaper, for starters. SUPPORT your newspapers by SUBSCRIBING to them, or picking one up Every Day on your way to work, or school or wherever life takes you.


Hey, even my dog, Cody, likes getting the newspaper every day J





Many people don’t give their papers a moment’s thought – assuming they’ll just always be there, like white bread.


But folks listen to me -  they won’t. Not if you’re not buying it, or advertising in it.


They will soon cease to exist and that’s one problem we can’t blame the politicians for. . . .


 And speaking of newspapers and politicians (now you just know where this is going, now don’t you?). I might as well say a few words about. . . .


What’s on Everyone’s Mind




Warning: The following is a political message. But I promise it’ll be short and sweet.




Okay, first off, let me say that I’m a pretty open-minded gal and I weigh all sides of every issue. I am not left (though I am left-handed), nor right, and sometimes I’m even wrong (just ask my husband). So I am not going to try and sway any of my readers one way or another as I know I’m not all that influential, anyway. But there are just a few things that I simply must comment on because, after all, that’s what blogs are for. . . .


That said, here we go.


Now I understand Sarah (who is now on a first-name basis with just about everyone, right Joe?) has to be awfully nervous throughout this whole predicament she’s found herself in, being plucked into the media so quickly and all. I myself would be a total wreck. And I admit that I can be intimidated easily. But then, I’m not running for Vice-President of the Untied States of America.


Therefore, I have to admit to being a little queasy when Sarah seemed so intimidated by Katie Couric in that now infamous interview (the whole confusing content I won’t even repeat as we all heard the many blunders, thanks to Saturday Night Live).


But she appeared particularly nervous when asked what newspapers she reads to keep abreast on current events. You could actually watch her mind go blank.


Now, I know how that can happen – been there, too! But I also know, for sure, if little ole me was asked that question by anyone I could at least mention my hometown newspapers. And I’d be proud to be able to give them a little national plug, besides.


But when she said “All of them!” Well, all I can say to that is, she’s a whole lot busier than I thought. After all, there are literally thousands of publications in the U.S. (least for now, see above).


Wow, she must be some kind of speed reader. . . .


That said, I will admit, that as a woman, I was glad for her sake she redeemed herself a bit at the Vice President Debates, though everything sounded awfully rehearsed.


Which was when I started thinking about it, I realized just why she asked Biden as she shook his hand, if she could call him Joe. . . .


It was a day or two after the debate, I was talking to a few friends about her performance when it suddenly hit me (ok, call me slow). It was now obvious when she piped in that “Say it ain’t so, Joe” remark that she was just waiting for the perfect time to use that – thus, why she wanted to call him Joe in the first place. Pretty sly there Jane, and not in a good way.


And yet, Biden remained very respectful to her the entire time, and always addressed her as “Governor” never once called her “Sarah.” He treated her like just another debater. I have to say, that cool. I like respect.


One more thing that bothers me that as a mother I just can’t shake. Lots of moms have to work full-time jobs, but having a child with special needs, a pregnant teenager, along with three other children (well, one is in the service, so we’ll go with two) who need their mother. Well, shouldn’t she be home as much as she can with her family instead of traipsing around the country talking about family values??? Seems my sense of family values and hers differs. . . .


I’m just sayin’, okay? No need to email me with an ongoing dialogue on the subject.




All that aside, I will only add this - with all the passion I can muster:


Please do not vote for a person because of the color of the person’s skin, or their gender. Or not vote for a person because of the color of his skin. That’s just ignorant.


I’m just sayin’. . .




I don’t care who you plan to vote for (well, actually that’s an out-and-out lie right there, but that’s beside the point). I’m just worried about two things. I want to beg you all to do your research, watch all the debates, and make an intelligent decision on the issues.


It is hard to hear how some people are measuring the candidates. Some folks are listening way too much to propaganda and this disturbs me greatly. So please do your homework! Even McCain publicly stated that no, Obama is not an Arab (which sparks the question, do you really think all Muslims and Arabs are bad people?)


I have to agree, it’s all getting a little nuts. And like all of you I’m sure, can’t wait for it to be over. Though I have to say, the conversations have been - mostly – enlightening.


But don’t forget to go into both candidates Web sites and learn what they really represent. And remember: Everything you read may not all be the exact truth (after all, this is politics) but least you’ll be more informed than just listening to those TV ads, or hearing other people rant. (And boy, I’m learning fast to keep my opinions to myself - well, except for this blog because it is, after all, my blog.)


And watch “Meet The Press” on Sunday mornings. Now that’s a great show!


This is the most heated election I can ever recall, with everyone being very adamant about their opinions, even the misguided ones. There are some big, serious issues, and whoever gets in will have to deal with the legacy of what’s been left us by the former administration, so voting this year is more important than ever.








This was an unpaid political message, but thanks for your time. . . .




Next month – the Big Announcement!


Stay tuned, as they say. . .