Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
But then, Thursday, Pat McCrory makes a statement that a huuuge load of fuel is coming in and there'll be enough for everyone soon. We drove to my parents' house this morning and there was not a station on our way in Charlotte that had gas. There were a couple in Union County, and those had lines down the street with cops directing traffic. My conspiracy theorist side believes that the announcement about the "massive shipment" of fuel was probably not true at all, but was just an attempt to stop the hysteria. The problem with that, though, is that the announcement of lots of fuel is going to send people out in droves as well.
My inner conspiracy theorist also toyed with the idea earlier today that the news media just wants to see how well they can control the populace. I know that's far-fetched, and it's really just got to do with the rabid, blind, ruthless pursuit of ratings, but, were the media wanting to get a gauge of their own power, this gas shortage has most definitely proven to them that they are able to incite almost primitive behavior in otherwise decent human beings.
We got gas several days ago, so we were not worried, until today when Joey had only 1/4 tank, and he'll definitely have to drive up to school Friday, so we needed to get him fueled up. We finally found a station on the way home that had just started to develop a line, so we only had to wait for twenty minutes or so, and the man running the station was doing his best to direct the traffic to keep things flowing and to keep people honest. It wasn't a terrible experience. I still have half a tank, so I should be okay for most of next week.
Honestly, I can't even imagine what it's like for those people with huge gas-guzzling vehicles right now. I am so thankful that we have two cars that get over 30 mpg. I'm also hoping that our society takes note at how over-dependent we are on oil. I doubt they will, as we seem to be the only area affected and thus, no one is talking about us on a national level, but it really brought home the idea to me of living more locally and smaller, or at least getting in shape so one can ride distances on a bike;).
So, we're spending the evening at home to keep from wasting gas. In full frugal mode, we've got the windows open, letting the cool breeze in, have the lights off and are using the natural light from outside, and will be eating out of the pantry tonight. Tomorrow, we'll just go to church and do our grocery shopping on the way home, and then we will be in for another night.
I've got our menus planned for the next week, and Joey and I have planned for it to be a little more expensive week than normal because I really want to stock up on staples. This gas experience has really gotten me thinking about having a stocked pantry after seeing how possible it would be to end up stranded, needing to live off our own stores for weeks at a time.
The older I get, the more I begin to understand this world and the cycles in which it runs. To my grandparents who lived through the Depression, this is nothing new. To my parents who went through the last Recession and gas rationing, this is nothing new, but to my generation, this is devastating, and it's worse than it's ever been, because we're more dependent on conveniences than we ever have been. Generations past have known how to take action to live in a self-sufficient manner. We're used to cell phones, mp3 players, cable, microwaves, supermarkets, cars...and were these things to be taken away, we wouldn't know what to do.
Employment focus is more and more on the financial markets, which are starting to prove themselves to be a house of cards of sort, based on greed and money that doesn't even exist...which all works very well until it's time to settle up and there's no way to pay. Few of us still focus on the work of our own hands...we don't need to because we can just import it from a third world country.
It all concerns me. I love technology just as much as everyone else (except cell phones. I hate them), but I'm just concerned that we're not as balanced of a society as we used to be...we're always a people of excess...if ONE is great, then ONE HUNDRED must be even greater!! We fail to understand that there is a place in this world for every task, for every specialization, and once we start to move the basic rudimentary jobs away, we're making ourselves more and more dependent on others to meet our basic needs.
We weren't always that way....this country was founded on the ideals of working together as a community to provide for ourselves, without being under someone else's thumb. Now, we're only interested in passing the "boring" or "annoying" jobs off to someone else so that we can do something more sophisticated. It's like we've completely forgotten that sometimes it's necessary to do things that we don't necessarily want to do, just because we know it's good for us to do them.
Sorry...no solutions here. Probably not a whole lot of facts and statistics either. Just my feelings from watching the mass hysteria in Central NC and hoping that whoever is elected will take these things to heart and pay attention to the proper direction that we need to take our country.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I went out to mow the lawn Tuesday with the reel mower and saw some strange, unidentifiable objects in the yard. I moved closer to them and it seemed as though they were GIGANTIC mushrooms. I tapped one with my foot and, as I suspected, they were hugely gorgeous mushrooms!! They were bigger than a human head, and were absolutely magnificent. One of them looked like a giant butt, haha!!
- continued water conservation, which should get easier now that it's getting to be cooler and we have less reason to need to take more than one shower per day.
- reduced electricity and natural gas useage. Last year, we went the entire month of November without turning on the heat, and even when we did, we left it at 62 only so the pipes wouldn't get too cold and the Kins wouldn't be uncomfortable. We plan to do the same this year, but most likely will aim for using the gas logs less too. We will also continue to work to use the residual heat from the stovetop and oven when we're cooking, and we'll be eating lots more "warm meals" (i.e. soups and stews that can be made in the crockpot)
- Stocking up on canned and frozen veggies and fruit so that we can make good, hearty, healthy, delicious meals all winter.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I had a nice dinner tonight with my friend Donna...we caught up as we hadn't seen each other for a few months since she, along with her husband and others, have started a new church in the Waxhaw area. It was nice to talk again, to get to be myself and not get overwhelmed with everything around that seems to be spinning out of control.
I spent more time on the cowl today:). WIP (or perhaps CIP) pics will have to go up tomorrow...it's too dark to take some now. And I'll probably need to pull out that shawl again soon...it would be pretty crappy to neglect that for my beautiful cowl;).
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I feel so off-kilter, like life is getting away from me. When I'm home, I'm tired and don't want to do anything. For some reason, it seems as though I can always turn our money over to God and be a good steward financially, but when it comes to time itself, I'm unable to get things together. I hate feeling like I'm barely getting enough done to string myself along through the day...surviving, but not thriving.
I started knitting a cowl yesterday in some Bernat Denim Style that I had in my stash. It's my first attempt at circular knitting and I had to frog it and restart three times, which was also frustrating. I'm moving along pretty well now, though, so I'm feeling good about that.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
I leave for my trip to Jacksonville on Wednesday. I'm nervous about getting there by myself, but I'm also excited because I feel like it's something that I need to do. And I won't be totally alone because my coworker and friend Elizabeth is going too. I just have to fly the first leg by myself.
I'm definitely going to incorporate swimming into my routine. The pool looked so inviting tonight when we walked by after doing our routine in the weight room. Honestly, there weren't all that many people in the pool, either, so it looked like I would be able to get a lane. I joined this awesome website; registration is free and they personalize a workout for you so that you can begin a swimming program. I'll probably start that Saturday since I'll be gone until Friday. The hotel we're staying at does have a pool, though, so if it's warm enough still, I may try to do a little swimming there.
The shawl is still coming along. Our knitting group meets tomorrow night, so that will be fun. I took some pictures tonight, but they turned out very poorly because of the lighting in the living room and the deep red color of the shawl. I'll try to take it to work tomorrow and get some pictures there where there must be some better lighting.
Oh, what a day.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
We're going to start next month taking out $100 cash and having that be our grocery budget for the month. I'm excited. I think it'll help us focus on stocking the pantry and shopping the sales. I don't want to be so reliant on Wal-Mart, and I want to feel as though we've always got enough in the pantry.
Part of why we're doing this is because we're going to join the Monroe Aquatic Center next week after I get back from Jacksonville. We've decided that it's worth the money to have a good place to work out and swim (I love to swim for exercise), and when we were looking at how much we spend each weekend eating out, if we cut back to one take-out meal per week (and possibly just share one entree), we've more than made up for the monthly fee. We've always been very dedicated when we have a gym membership, and we're feeling like this will be the best way to use that money. The Aquatic Center is AWESOME from the website...they have everything, and it's much cheaper than the YMCA.
There'll probably be another post later as I've got a WIP that I need to show off:).
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
- Riding in the truck with the windows down listening to John Mellencamp
- the golf carts at Ocean Lakes
- Getting annoyed that my mom wanted to stay on the beach for 14 hours every day
- waking up at 8:30 in the mornings
- going to breakfast with my mom
- Lunch with mom and Bobbie on Wednesdays
- swimming in the pool in the backyard
- sleepovers that could last for the whole weekend
- helping plant the garden
- jumping through the sprinkler
- summer movies!
- going out for ice cream
- playing cards on the porch into the night
- riding bikes
- Seeing Hanson in June of 97
- Walking and Harmonizing with Crystal
That's about all I've got. I was thinking about it earlier today while pondering the summer's end. I wish summer still held the same free, glorious feeling as it did before. Now, every day is the same. I hope to get that rush at the end of May again someday. I'll always love fall most, but it was nice to feel free...
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tuesday, I overslept and woke up two minutes after I usually leave for work. I had remained "unwashed" on Monday, and thus, I had to go almost a full two days without a shower, which made me feel skeevy and gross all day. On a positive note, though, I ended up getting to work at the time that I actually WANT to get there, so I've been able to adjust my schedule so that I'm spending more time at home. I also read some great tips from One Green Generation about natural skin care. Since reading it, I've been using Vitamin E Oil as my moisturizer on my face, and my face already feels and looks better. I'm back to using it on my arms again too, so the scars are starting to lighten up.
I overslept again on Wednesday, but only by ten minutes that time, so I wasn't too upset. We went to the library and they didn't have the novel that I need to get for my book club, but I did get two Stitch 'N Bitch books and Hollywood Knits which have been interesting and informative.
Thursday, my tongue started to hurt. Dad had his 6 month stress test. Band rehearsal was cancelled. I found, when I got home, a giant blood blister on the side of my tongue.
This morning, it hurt even worse. I burst it (gross) thinking it would heal more quickly. Now, I have an even more painful exposed ulcer. Blah.
My seaming didn't go so well, last night. It looks a little like a six year old tried to stitch the top together. It was my first attempt at any kind of seaming, much less kitchener seaming (hope I spelled that right). I probably should have just done the traditional mattress stitch or something like that, but I just thought it would look better to have them "seamlessly" woven together. I'm going to block it before I seam up the sides since there's been so much rolling.
I've also taking to reading Green apples-a knitting blog. It's not that I'm amazed that so many people my age are knitters, but it does give me hope to see that other people have started only a few years ago and are now so good. I wish I could be as good a knitter as she is, though. It's amazing how quickly she finishes her sweaters and how good they all look. If there are any other knitters out there in blog-land, I'm really interested in knowing how you got started and how you dealt with the painful process of learning and making horrible objects that you could never wear. It would help to have some encouragement to keep practicing. I really do love it. I just love looking at yarn and needles....I love knitting so much that, were it a person, I would hug it. I'm just so impatient. I want to be an expert already. I want to be churning out beautiful cabled sweaters already.
I'm so ready for fall. Sometimes, at work, I'll look out my window over my cubicle at the sunny day and pretend that it's cold outside. It's not too much of a stretch as it's already getting a little chilly in the mornings, but it's still getting to 90 in the afternoons, which I can do without.
Oh, and, did you know that orangutans have eyelashes? I just thought it was cool to see.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Joey's personal library embosser came yesterday and he loved it. I think my tank top is going to turn out ugly, but I have to actually finish something. I keep reading other people's knitting blogs and wanting to do that kind of stuff so badly, but I feel like I'm never going to get there.
*sigh*. Guess it's just one of those days. Don't know why. I was productive at work and got a lot done. Got good books at the library. Took some apple butter to Joey's parents and they fed us dinner. Got the rest of the evening to relax other than putting the clean dishes away and loading the dirty ones. But, somehow, I still feel....meh.
Hopefully there will be a better blog tomorrow. For now, I apologize.