In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Economy Seems Alive & Well

I did a little shopping (for others) with my mom while she was here, which meant I had to make a return.  I hate to shop on Saturdays, or any day, this time of year.  I have stock piled toilet paper and toothpaste, I do not want to get in a cash register line unless I have to.  So after work yesterday I headed out.  At approximately 12:30 p.m. the lot in Target was packed.  Inside was worse.  Pure craziness.  Was there some secret sale I was missing out on?  I thought the economy sucks and no one has any money.  I traded out, bought some Ibuprofen, downed 3 in the car and headed to Petsmart.  That place wasn’t so bad, but busier than normal.   From there I had to go to the post office, eeeek.  Long lines, xmas packages and e-bay sales.  I’ve stood there with 25 e-bay boxes myself and now, I print out the postage sticker online, call the post office and they pull up to my house and haul it off, for FREE!  So by the way things were looking yesterday, I can’t tell our city is suffering much.  People seem to be dropping $$ in full force, in our town anyways. 

Talking with my sister yesterday, was an entirely different story.  She lives in Florida, enough said, if you follow any news.  That state was top in home foreclosures, until recently, they were just passed by Nevada.  I do feel bad for those that have lost their jobs.  What I don’t understand, is a bank, that says “you qualify for a $200,00 loan on a $50,000 a year income” and the buyers go “OK.”  I remember the first house we bought.  The bank said we qualified for a $92,000 loan.  Our jaws dropped, we were making about $32,000 a year between the two of us at the time.  Did we take that loan?  No way.  We went for the $54,000 home, it was brand new, and it was affordable.  We still had money left for one car payment, gas, food and insurance.  I don’t get it.

My sister is one of those “lost job” individuals.  She worked for a huge building company, HUGE.  Everything has come to a screeching halt, offices shut down, model neighborhoods are empty, lawns are tall.  She said it’s odd, like driving through a ghost town in many places.  Lots of people have just packed up and left the area.  People that have lived there for 25+ years.  She can now drive to work in half the time she could this time last year, not too many snowbirds.  Her husband is also in building and construction, on the water feature end.  He works very little, but will be doing 11 pools in Palm Springs, CA in January.  For now, she’s back to working retail at a ritzy kitchen store.  Four years ago she worked there at Christmas, it was packed, registers were cracking.  This year, it’s way different.  I suppose because not everyone can afford to pay $800 for a coffee pot this year. 

I love this kitchen store, it has lots of cool stuff, and some of it will last a lifetime.  But they are also very wasteful.  If they get something in, and it has a scratch on it or a chip for instance, they take it outside (another person goes with you, to be sure you do the deed) and compact it.  She’s had to compact Emile Henry platters and All-Clad cookware.  Not kidding.  Stuff like that makes me sick.  Everything they sell, must be perfect, no scratch and dent here!  Ridiculous.  The store is located in a high-end, beautiful, outdoor Mall.  A few nights ago, the fancy jewelry store was robbed at closing, at 9:00 p.m.  She’d left her Gucci watch there to get a new battery, no word on that yet.

I don’t get the people that “camp out” in parking lots on Black Friday either.  The only time I shopped on Black Friday, was once, when I was pregnant.  And apparently, delirious.  What can you possibly need or want, that possesses you do to that in order to save like $15?  And what could you possibly need or want so bad, that you must be the first person to grace the store at 5:00 a.m. and trample a person to death?  A person that got up in the middle of the night, to simply unlock the door, for $8 an hour? 

I’m not anti-holiday, I’m not.  I just feel like there’s so much more to it than all “that” and I think lots of people have lost it.  Credit card spending is out of control.  For instance, my parents recently closed their video store.  The credit card company was holding their money for 45-days before depositing it into their account.  Whoa.  Kind of crazy.  Especially when you rely on cash flow to pay business bills.  People were dropping $200-$300 on movies, per transaction, on plastic.  They finally had to put up a sign.  No credit cards over a certain $$ amount, cash only. 

I did read somewhere the other day, that Missouri is running low on their “unemployment funds.”  What happens then?

I borrowed this from Post Secret.  Not because I want everybody to “go under” not at all.  It’s just exciting to know perhaps, some may be forced to change their ways, be more simple and get back to basics and shop responsibly!

george


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Walnuts Keep Falling On My Head

I love Fall.  I love the leaves.  I love the smell of the wood the guy burns next door.  I love the cool air and the walnuts falling from the trees.  Ever since I moved here, like 5 years ago, I’ve been picking them up.  I used to do it all on hands…and knees.  We have a few walnut trees in our yard.  Our home is 50 years old and the trees are much older.  Our largest walnut tree, shades our deck and is home to an awesome rope swing and a ton of squirrels.  We call it the beast.  Every other year, it over produces walnuts.  You can’t walk outside without twisting your ankle.  Plus, I have this thing for straightening things up.  So I guess that’s why I like collecting them.  My way of cleaning up nature.  

I have received as much as $300 for walnuts before.  I do our yard, the guy’s yard next door and my in-laws on the other side of us.  I also take our riding mower and the little trailer and head down to the walnut fairy forest around the corner from our house.  I picked up forty-two, 5 gallon buckets of walnuts.  I gathered most of them today!  What a great day to be outdoors. 

Whenever I’m out picking up the walnuts, I think of all the people, that are stuck inside, in a cubicle someplace, wearing nice clothes while I’m out in my sweats and old tennis shoes enjoying the day.  It’s hard work.  You have to have a lot of walnuts in order to get much cash.  It’s also a dirty job.  After you store them, they get all nasty, and this icky sludge accumulates in the buckets.  Milk crates work the best, so do burlap sacks, they let the air circulate.  Last year, my husband bought me one of those walnut picking tools.  It’s like a big basket, on a stick.  Reminds me of a pregnant paint roller.  No more bending over! 

 

Sometimes, I don’t like this tree.  It drops big limbs.  And walnut trees are really messy.  Leaves.  Stems.  Sticks and walnuts!  But, I hate to think of it not being there.  We’d miss the shade it provides for our western facing backyard.  I’d miss gathering her nuts.  I’d like to know how old our beast is.  This tree reminds me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings.  I purchased this cool tree face from my friend at the Urngarden.  Now our tree, really is Ent-like!  She creaks and groans and gives me extra cash this time of year!