Saturday, November 27, 2010

burp! Thanksgiving was great!

Thanksgiving was great - had dinner at sister Janice's house and her whole menu was delicious.  My daughter Beth and grandson Zachary went with me, so it was a good family outing.  We missed my son-in-law Chuck terribly but he is still in Wyoming and North Dakota trying to stay employed with the oil riggers.  The labor market here in town still isn't much, so he has been working far from home and not getting home very often.

Christmas shopping season opened with the plaza lights being turned on.  We put up our Christmas decorations and it's now time to think about how to celebrate the season.  Many of our relatives are having financial difficulties this year, so we intend to keep it simple.  Tonight my sisters and brother and their spouses and I will be getting together for our annual birthday steak dinner at Jess & Jims.  We have been doing this now for about 15 years and everyone really enjoys getting together and having a good meal.

I've been in a candy making mood - never tried that before, but it seems to be not that hard.  You get in the baking mood or the cooking mood or the candy mood every once in a while and the things you make are always so much better than the commercial product.  The only problem is to control your hunger after you make a big batch.  I find it's best to enjoy the making and then to enjoy the giving away to others that works best - otherwise I get saturated with too much of a good thing.

I hope that this Christmas all families can be together and share their love enjoy the season.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday November 24, 2010...Excuses from home

Holy cow!

Has it been that long since I put anything on this blog?  Time slips away so easily.  I was wrapped up in the election and then thoroughly depressed with the results (that's one excuse).  There has been a lot of sickness around this house (Beth, my daughter, and Zachary, my grandson, have been taking turns getting sick with one thing or another (that's another excuse).  It isn't that I haven't been thinking, maybe just not as clearly as usual.  But now that Thanksgiving is coming and holiday season is approaching, I'm starting to make my lists and checking them twice.  Most of the leaves have fallen and the grass has finally stopped growing so I mulched the leaves once and probably need to do that one more time before the winter freeze.

I've been watching the antics of the financial gurus and hoping that they don't completely destroy the economy.  Right now I'm seeing more unemployment in our family than ever before in my lifetime, so that tells me that this recession is dangerous and may have long term effects on all of us.  It would seem that the high-flying days are over for now and everyone will have to tighten up their finances to survive the coming troubles.  It feels like the middle class has really shrunk and that it may not come back very soon.  When I was a kid, a high school graduate could usually find a job in the manufacturing field - here in town we had Ford and GM and Pontiac and Vendo and Armco and Western Electric and many other major manufacturers who have mostly gone.  Now a kid needs a college degree to find any kind of self sustaining job and many of those are going overseas.  For a while it looked like we would have jobs opening up in the service sector but India and China have started taking many of those away.

We are becoming a nation of haves and have-nots with the have-nots growing in number.  Perhaps once the financial disarray clears up and our dollar reaches a lower value, we will begin growing the manufacturing base again?  It may be a painful adjustment till then.  Most of the people today are not aware of the lifestyle changes that had to take place during the depression, in fact many haven't even heard of them.  Life has been so good for so long that everyone expects that it will always continue that way - but the future may be a bit harsher.  Time will tell.  We have had a good run without any serious calamities such as war or famine here in the United States and we have all enjoyed the freedoms and opportunities, so I can't really complain if we hit a snag now.  Just keep a level head and look out for your neighbor.

I'll keep looking for that holy cow and write a bit more often.