Ramble #1

Wow, things change quickly in New York state! But I am glad we live in Rochester and not NYC. I like my green space. I have never talked about myself before, but I just feel like talking to…whoever wants to read. I don’t even know what to call it, so it’s a ramble, I guess (though I’ve considered calling it a mumble).

But I live in present,

not dwelling on the past,

nor conjecturing about the future.

not blaming any person or group,

not fearing the unknown, focusing energy on today.

Sanity is much easier that way.

 

My husband is still unemployed (next week exactly 2 years after the layoff), but he’s supposed to start a new manufacturing job on the 30th. So far we’ve heard nothing from the company, or any government entity, that would indicate he’s NOT going to start work. We are going on the cautious assumption that no news is good news. We’ve been through so much these 2 years that we are simply…waiting. We are ready to deal with whatever happens, because we no longer live at either extreme. That’s been shaken out of us. We’d be disappointed, but not like we would have been before.

My daughter’s coffee shop job at the hospital is “on hold” starting today. The company will rehire any employees when circumstances allow. She’s rather relieved, actually. It had been tense there with all the restrictions being instituted. She’s trying to come to terms with this “free time” in her own way. It’ll take her a week or so, I think.

I’m self-employed as an interpreter and my jobs are mostly evaporated. I’m supposed to work the Census starting in April, but….we’ll see. I really need to use my time well and catch up with paperwork quickly. I’m taking a class at our local community college (Arabic), but now we’re going online. THAT will be interesting. Especially doing an upcoming midterm. We’re supposed to be doing writing as part of the grade – how’s that going to work?

My son is the only one still working as the (PT) Cargo Lead at the airport – loading and unloading cargo from cargo planes. Not much people contact there, and plenty of fresh air. When he comes home he studies for four CLEP tests needed to finish his first two years of college. But he can’t take the exams until colleges open again, so he’s moving ahead with studies and will see how many he can do when the time comes. In general, he’s feeling the pressure.

They’re both still under 26, and it’s a good thing neither has moved out yet; it would be very hard on them right now. As now-former-homeschoolers, we know how to stick together and support each other. I grew up in places where I saw this modeled, and it has many benefits.

 

I changed to a (mostly) plant-based diet a few years ago for my health, and my family mostly follows. We all feel better. But if they want cheese or eggs or hot dogs, they buy them. Occasionally I have a small “celebration day” with them, but it doesn’t tempt me to go back. It’s also MUCH cheaper, even if I buy organic.

I’m getting better at it – I have more recipes, and I even bought a new cookbook that I am really enjoying because the recipes are simple and most are delicious. I’m glad, because I had started to get really bored and needed new inspiration. I have even some found good recipes using beans (dry or canned), which really pleases me. My favorite so far is a black-eyed salad, which is 5 Star! Nice change, because before this I had never found a way to eat them that didn’t make me want to just pass for that meal.

 

The garden is awaiting me. Sigh…I wish I could plant early vegetables, but I have invasive jumping worms, which is a disaster! The soil is like coffee grounds on the top, and the lawn is spongy. There is a possible control, though – I need to find someone with hungry chickens to bring them over and we’ll sit outside in the sun and breeze, drink hot beverages, and talk while watching them root through the mulch for those destructive monsters.

 

I am grateful that we are not sick, though we each have our own personal physical issues, but except for my son’s Type 1 diabetes, nothing seems acute. Now that my daughter is home for a while we may go for walks in the morning. I’d like that, and I definitely need to get some exercise.

 

That’s enough for now. Time to get some last minute things done before, like get some Duolingo time in (I’m doing Hindi and Arabic) before I lose my streak. I have, however, been putting in less time, recently. Of course. Been a little preoccupied.

 

An old hymn has been running at the edge of my mind, so I will share. It helps me, anyway, and I love Guy Penrod.

God sent his son, they called him Jesus,

He came to love, heal and forgive.

He  bled and died to buy our pardon,

an empty grave is there to prove our Savior lives, and

 

CHORUS

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know, He holds the future.

And Life is worth the living, just because He lives.

 

And then one day, I’ll cross the river

And I’ll fight Life’s final war with pain.

And then as death gives way to victory,

I’ll see the lights of glory and and I’ll know he reigns.   (chorus)

In Praise of Frugal Pleasures

It’s not necessary to have new things, formally planned events, or spend much money in order to enjoy yourself. Today we just stayed home and did necessary projects while the kids had time with their friends. Then we decided to grill and eat outside and later had friends over for monster marshmallows. The priceless pleasure of the evening was accomplished with mostly free or cheap items.

  • A Canopy. The greatest pleasure and most often used! We put it up on our driveway over a month ago because it’s very hot there in the afternoon and it gives a protected place to eat outside, work, park the car, etc. We liked it so much that we weighted down the legs and left it up. It was free. A few years ago neighbors were getting rid of two damaged canopies, so I cobbled one good one together from the two and in one (long) afternoon we had a working canopy.
  • Round grill. Picked up curbside one garbage day. It was in very good shape (and better than the one we had).
  • Wood (including the kindling). Collected over time from our black walnut tree and other wood from our property. Very dry, no fire starter needed (just some newspaper).
  • Four plastic chairs. Curbside castoffs because they had UV discoloration. I used a stainless scrubby one very rainy afternoon and made them look like new. Added to the two we already had we now had enough for family plus some friends.
  • Aluminum folding table. A garage sale find – a few dollars. Great for leaving up outside because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t rust.
  • Floral lights. Also a garage sale special, and strung around the edge of the canopy makes it very festive at night.
  • Citronella bucket candles. Curbside collections after a family moved.
  • Metal stand. Curbside treasure. Put a citronella candle on it.
  • Three Hurricane lamps (use candles). Garage sale finds. The candle were free.
  • Zucchini. A garden gift from a friend. Sliced lengthways, Italian dressing poured over them and grilled.

Things purchased new:

  • Steaks and marshmallows (both on sale).

The evening – priceless.

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