"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Oct 14, 2019

"When I'm 64"

That's my tune this week as I hit another milestone.  Each year I treat myself to a gift even if I've nary a dime, when a hot rotisserie chicken from Walmart made me deliriously giddy all the way home. Yesterday I ordered a pair of finger-less knitted gloves for less than $10 because it popped up on my screen while Yahoo-ing.  I couldn't resist; it was totally impulsive but not entirely frivolous, if you've ever lived in an RV in the winter.

But that's not really my idea of a special gift so I'm putting some ideas down in print, which I tend to comprehend better than sound.  Let's see:

1.  Give up any acquaintances who support Donald Trump.  I don't want that kind of ugly thinking in my experience.  Family members don't count.

2.  Sell my RV, which for some reason is a desirable model; find an overseas location without a mandatory quarantine for animals; pack up BC for a nicer country than ours is becoming; and see how we land on our feet.

3.  Closer to home: store the RV; pack up BC; head for Canada, where pot's legal everywhere; and search for other ex-pats, and moose, just 'cause.

4.  Stay put and finish Ruff LifeStarting today, from my lips to God's ears.

I CHOOSE: # 4; a bit of 1; and begin planning 2.  Too cold for Canada now.

What will YOU do when Trump is re-elected by the brainless, bigoted bullies of #1.

Oct 11, 2019

Who Will Replace Walmart?

That's what I'd like to know.  Years, no, decades ago I wouldn't have been caught dead inside a Walmart, Dollar Store or Goodwill, but since I went broke they've been my go-to shopping destinations, as touted in previous posts.

But no longer.  Now, every time I reach for a sheet of Great Value's Ultra Strong paper towels I'm pissy, because I don't like being played for a fool.

For eons I've been picking up Walmart's private-label split-sheets* because I found them comparable in size and absorbency to my lifelong favorite, Bounty, but definitely cheaper.   The package, shown above, claims 2 double rolls are equal to 4 regular rolls.  Please take a leap of faith and trust me when I claim that I'd know what I'm grabbing even if blindfolded.  I had to invent my own holder (a mini-flag holder) because Great Value's Double Roll wouldn't fit into the paper towel space provided in my 21-foot, motor full-time home.

I stuck with Great Value even as their price rose over time to $3.67 per package (in Oregon) because it was still cheaper, but enough is enough.  A few weeks ago I went to grab my staple when, to my dismay, the shelving was entirely empty of Walmart's brand.
"What happened to your paper towels?!" I asked the fellow in alarm.
(sic) "We're changing some brands, but never fear...Great Value towels will be back on the shelves shortly."
So what happened?  When the shelves were re-stocked Great Value used similar packaging but the size of each paper towel roll was smaller.  I gave the package an embarrassing squeeze and looked at the end  to see if I was wrong, but no, the size was definitely smaller; however, the price remained the same.  I kept scanning the over-sized, industrial-steel shelving expecting to discover their mistake, but there wasn't any.  Two smaller rolls at the same price yet with the same claim.

Sep 20, 2019

Bloom Where You're Planted

My last Hope Village composite-painting was finished this past Saturday, the day I picked up Sis at the airport for a nice, long visit.  I feel like I can breathe again; the pressure's off.  Mom used this "Bloom Where You're Planted" expression throughout our lives, i.e., make the best of your situation, and to me it sums up the 'mission' of the community.

This piece is primarily focused around the Garden, carefully tended by residents, some of whom are gardening for the first time.  They proudly show off their HUGE zucchini and abundance of strawberries to visitors.

Pastor Chad had originally asked me to somehow show the Before and After of the village but I couldn't figure out how to properly present that; so I painted the garden as if we 'ripped' off a bit of the top page to reveal the Before.  Not great, but let's give me an A for effort.

A tiny square in the center, Clean Sweep, represents the program in which residents volunteer to give back to the community by sweeping the sidewalks of Medford.  They perform an important P.R. role; letting the homeless know about services available, and the merchants in town appreciate their efforts.

I'd planned the graduate figure from the get-go, but as time went along I realized that not everyone would be completing their high school or college degrees; but we are ALL graduates of the School of Hard Knocks.


Then there's the dog park, can't forget that.  Resident's best friends are welcome in their tiny-homes, but there are times when their pet must be left alone.  Underneath I tried to pair two seemingly dissimilar personalities joined in friendship, which is the point.
So throughout this painting we have the growth of the garden and the cooking and consuming of their bounty; but my favorite snippet is Mustard Mountain.  You know the saying,

“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ’Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Nothing.

P.S. The top of the mountain is Mt. McLoughlin. elev. 9500 feet; and the bottom is Table Rock. a local geological formation.  Only my imagination combined the two but the idea made me laugh, as I hope it does others.

And gee whiz, I never did post the largest painting:
This HAS to count if I ever meet St. Peter.

Sep 11, 2019

9/11 TODAY

When are we going to just make today a national holiday?  I dropped my car off at the mechanic's first thing, then dodged Halloween candy and employees with orange hair inside Walmart.  President Trump was on when I turned on the TV this morning, but it took me a moment to remember why.  I assumed he was firing somebody else.

I'd vote for another holiday, even if it's necessary to get rid of one we don't really need any more.  I've already advocated for a National Harriet Tubman Day, so kids would learn more about our history than a face on a piece of paper crumbled in a pocket.  Which would you say?

I'd also vote for free school lunches for ALL of America's children.  I'll even pay taxes, even though I don't own any.  Doesn't it tear your heart out to hear stories of youngster's chicken nuggets savagely ripped away and replaced with a cheese sandwich, simply because Granny was $9.74 overdue?

Instead, let's continue supporting the minuscule segment of our uber-wealthy population by buying their over-priced brands; attending their over-priced events (at our own peril); and driving up their advertising revenue by following every online thought and action, instead of living a genuine life.  Gee, what else would there be to aspire to?

Solemn September 11th, everyone.

P.S.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (my painting project) and luckily it's NOT an oncoming train.  Should be finished by this weekend, from my lips to God's ears.

Aug 15, 2019

Benefits for Illegals

"They took away my food stamps," one gal from the Village explained to me the other day, "because I don't have utility bills,"  once she obtained temporary housing and was no longer on the street.  

I know that sounds crazy, but I experienced a similar situation a few years ago at one annual evaluation.  Instead of listing my electricity separately from my monthly rent, I included it.  I pay my 'landlord' a lump sum which includes electric, water, sewar and garbage; which is usually how it is living on someone else's property, unless they have separate meters.  All of a sudden my SNAP benefits went from something like $175 to $35.

"WTF?!!" When the woman explained the insane rule to me, I said, "Well, nothing's changed in my pocketbook from last year to today, so put it back the way it was!!!"  Fortunately she did, and I have a note to always keep my electric amount SEPARATE.

At last year's eval I relinquished my last bit of pride and put my name on the list for Section 8 housing.  When I checked the county's list the other day, I was number 3866.  At my SNAP meeting last week, before we even started, I asked if my current food stamp amount could possibly be re-evaluated, since yada, yada.

"The Computer figures it out automatically, sorry.  It only looks at X, Y and Z,"  and the questioning began.

My SNAP benefits had already been cut in half when I went from SSI to SS; and when we were finished the other day HAL took away another $20 in benefits, because my Social Security increased 2.8% last January along with everyone else's cost of living adjustment.

So ask me what I think of illegal immigrants and social benefits.

Aug 9, 2019

A Simple Solution to Gun Violence

I don’t know why this hasn’t hit be before now, but for years I’ve said, “I’m so far behind I think I’m first,” and here’s another example:

A reporter was commenting on one of the latest shootings, take your pick, in a general sense,
“We need to have stricter background checks; ban assault rifles; anything to keep him from gunning down more people.”
Things being equal, how come we don’t hear about all the FEMALE mass shooters?  Where are they?  Women supposedly live under the same laws as men, so why is half of the population able to control our impulse to (at times) shoot every man in sight and the other isn’t?

Women have historically been the caretakers of their children, husbands and home; and if that isn't enough to make you crazy I don't know what is, so what's their excuse?

Perhaps it would be simpler to only permit women to own weapons, which men could use under supervision.  Then, if a man runs amok, the woman’s responsible not only for restitution for the victims, but for punishing her charge; and you KNOW it would be harsher than any limp crime bill.

Makes you wonder.
Original gourd art designs Copyright 2019 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.