28 AUG 2014 :: Sorting and Deleting posts

Finally, I have finished updating my blog site to a small historical record (with some links that are on my website) and the new beginning.  :-)  Lets see if we can keep this going now!

It was strange reading through old blogs. Some had pieces of thoughts I want to repeat, so those will make their way into new postings. Memories came back. Smiles at what I thought was important at the time.  Some I was glad to get rid of!  :-)  We change, we stay the same...it is good to remember what we have gone through.

I have been cleaning up my Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. I discovered "Notes" yesterday and created my first one. That may be something I do more of. The biggest challenge with social media for me is the vast numbers and sorting through the pile to get to the information I really need to see.

I am drawing back on  Twitter accounts and then going to sort through the pages to figure out which ones are most important for my needs.  It seems there is only one way to do that: by creating a list of @ addresses.

Facebook has other issues. We will conquer those, too.  :-)

There is lots to get done today. I am getting more and more organized, finding the limits of my time and my body, and my finances. Next week may become a better blogging experience for all of us. I hope. Writing takes time, and I like to keep hard copies of things I include in serious articles. I have to find a way to do that. Files on topics that are essential to me will help me include more reference materials.

In discovering social media I am also discovering things I don't want to know. Protecting my life from their harm, and trying to utilize social websites for the goals I have, is a huge goal I am finding. The "bad guys" seem to violate our lives way too much, and too often. Christians will have to find a way to separate and thrive in ungodly environments.  We better ALL pray for GOD to show us the way through technology.

  • I hope your weekend will be filled with happiness and family/friend/fellowship time/rest/recuperation.
  • Make sure you honor the Sabbath. GOD recovered the Sabbath neglect in a harsh way, that must mean it is very important to Him.  Find your peace about how that is done in His eyes.
  • Read the Bible and listen for GOD's message to you.
  • Eat healthy foods in moderate portions, and don't forget to enjoy it.
  • Splurge in something that really makes you feel happy.  :-)

GOD willing, I will return to blog on Monday.

27 AUG 2014 :: Keeping Up With the Goal!

Here I am again...pretty soon this will be all routine, but for now it is a process. Some days are harder than others.

Right now I would like to sleep for awhile, hoping to feel more normal, but laundry is in the washer and soon needs to get to the dryer.

I went to get an x-ray this morning...hopefully it will say what is going on inside me. Since I paid $5 for a transit day pass to get there, after my x-ray I made the long trip to get printer ink for my printer and my son's copier. I also picked up some food because I rarely get out. Then I went to the nearby USPS to get 10 forever stamps.

I didn't know if my body would make it home, but we did. I rested a little, ate some lunch, and then started to do my "chores" that had to be done.  :-)  "Dishes and laundry are never-ending," as my comment goes. Now I am trying to get this done. Today it is a chore...and I am not inspired.  :-)

If I can possibly make it, I will try to take the bus to one more grocery store so I get the most I can from my transit pass. I normally can't do that very well...but I may try. I get ill, sometimes for two or more days when I try too much...but money is a motivator to try.  Getting old, getting ill, neither are a great experience.   (Those are words of warning to you young people.)

I may go ahead and write again later, or save my energy for tomorrow...but I think I will go for now. We don't see things very well when we are tired. :-)

May GOD help your day to be better than mine. I don't know what is going on in the world today, but I pray the GOD will help us get through it. I wish everything could always be perfect (By who's standard, I don't know!), but we have to survive whatever happens.

I hear a lot of people describe life in different ways and my view always comes to mind when I look at a river. The water just keeps going. It doesn't matter what happens, the water just keeps going. We have to see the larger view, the process, the things we can control and the things we can't. Today's joy and pain and struggles will all pass and we will face new moments tomorrow. Let's make every day a better day...that's a reasonable goal.

26 AUG 2014 :: Cleaning up the past

I have started going through my past blogs to delete the ones from years ago. I will try to read them, print them to file somewhere, and remember what has already been said, what needs to be said again, etc.   I haven't decided what number of blogs to keep available...maybe two or three years...not sure. Once I have more to refer to, that may go back to the past calendar year only. I will probably decide as I go through my posts.

Writing can be such a challenge. Finding the details you want to include, or using the newspaper as a reference to a topic that matters...I would like to get more organized and include the places where I get my information without becoming an encyclopedia.  Opinions, but with references.  :-)  Maybe by next year we will have this process figured out.

Today (this morning) was a lot of household chores and getting food ready to eat.  I watch my food to keep from wasting the money it represents. I am working on portion control, trying to eat more veggies and fruits (which perish if you don't keep up with them), and figuring out calories. I should have been so aware when I was younger.  :-)   

But, with poverty and food stamps (currently $189 per month), you live on what you can afford and prayer. In the past that included emergency food boxes and soup kitchens. If you have children and the cupboards are getting too bare, you have to search for other places to get food.

Without children to feed, I am able to make some "luxury" food choices these days -- fruit and veggies, things I wouldn't normally buy. I am trying to budget in the Farmer's Markets and see what I am able to get with $10 or $20, depending on the month. I am also able to explore more bulk foods and things I have only read about...like steel-cut oats, almonds and walnuts, organic foods, etc. Using bulk, dehydrated refried beans, and dried foods help to extend my food budget. I am learning how to use them and most are considered healthier to eat. 

Dried pineapple is becoming a sweet treat. I read an article or watched a video somewhere that said it was a good substitute for candy and other sweets.  I think I agree.  I absolutely love the Apricot Logs I get in bulk form...it's hard to stop eating them.

Steel-cut oats have become my oatmeal of choice. I have been cooking them about once every week or two, and freezing what I won't eat right away. I discovered that a portion of oatmeal (and pasta) is 1/2 cup. I am moving toward preparing individual portions (with portions of dried fruit, walnuts, and brown sugar) and freezing them ready-to-use. It should work out great for my calorie counting...and I have discovered that eating the oats makes me "full" for a much longer time. I don't want it as a constant, forced choice, but it is a great option to have in the frig and ready to eat.

Eating less is a process. When I am active, I am never hungry, but I don't have that option right now. I need to eat smaller amounts and figure out how to exercise in my present situation. For me, the portions listed on food packaging is so very small. I end up eating two or three portions, and that gets discouraging. I am getting better at it. I want to lose the added weight I have collected, so I have it as my goal to get back down to about 140 lbs. over the course of a year...hopefully by next summer.

It would have been nice to have know these things as a younger person, but senior years are a diet issue I hear, so I will hopefully benefit from all this education and effort.  :-)

25 AUG 2014 ::

Monday...again.  Week 3.  I'm beginning to think about the directions I should go in blog writing... planning some topics to focus more heavily on.

Homeless issues are really important to me because I was forced into that situation so often. If the economy falls, there may be a lot more people on the streets and in our missions. I like the vendor programs that help homeless people sell newspapers and magazines on the street for income. I think the programs that deal with this group could operate housing (apartments) and ground-floor retail for the people they are involved with. Create community sponsorship programs that would purchase subscriptions to support individual vendors. And find more ways to generate income and training with the ground-floor spaces in the apartment buildings mentioned above. They generally exist in the inner city, but could expand to other commercial areas in larger cities.

I also advocate for small housing options, sometimes called micro-housing, tiny housing, and other related names. These are usually 400 square feet or less, sometimes more. I have seen storage buildings that are big enough to be emergency housing, and much better than having to exist on the street. We could create a KOA-type property with units like these for people with pets, people in cars and trucks, people who don't want to live at a mission, and more. They would allow people to lock their belongings up when they leave, and protect themselves when they sleep. For ownership, however, a real home is necessary...even a small home.

I first came across the concept at Rural Studio, a program at Auburn University in Alabama. They called it the $20K House. Since then I have discovered all kinds of housing being developed. You can probably search for them at YouTube and find videos I have seen. I have been trying to decide what the optimum space would be to build for one person or a small family.  I started out at 15x20, I think it was. Then I went up to 30x30. This seems reasonable and might fit into the small budget I have in mind. I am also considering 40x40 because I am thinking of long-term permanent housing.

Along with my desire to build housing for Working Together staff and members, I want to see these units available for purchase to homeless and low-income households, preferably on land that can be used to provide their own food. I don't think it helps anyone to be subsidized...flexible payments is my goal.  The government could invest in the building and sales of housing for the poor. It would bring stability to the ones that are struggling and begin the process of creating future assets. Shared acreage is a solution, but poverty households need to be on transit lines to deal with all their other needs. I think there are lots of solutions. My view is that the powers that be have to WANT to do something before there's a chance of it happening...of course, GOD hasn't provided for me, so I can't do it...yet.  :-)

And water issues are very important to me because we can't live without water. We need it for our own survival, and our food sources require it. No water, no food.  Everything else ceases to exist when there is no food...and no water.

I like to keep photos I find on water issues...to remind me of how important the issue is in other parts of the world. I had one newspaper photo I especially wanted to laminate for my collection. It was women in another country trying to pan out water from a very small, dirty, water gully. I don't think it was a river, or a creek.  May have been, but it was nearly dry. These terrible water sources lead to disease and death. I'm not sure boiling this dirty water would make it safe.

The newspaper here said we have lost a lot of our underground water sources in the length of this growing drought. Another article said the dams were going to release water to prevent another loss of the salmon run. It seems they all died off a few years ago because the water level was too low. (I am wondering how all the radiation from the Japanese nuclear reactor is affecting the life in our oceans. Salmon go out to the ocean to grow and then come back to spawn the next generation. In time, all the pollution in our oceans and rivers and water tables is going to hurt us...possibly kill or maim us.)

These are just a few of the topics I hope to write on in more detail as time goes by, GOD willing. I am concerned about growing violence, education, prisons, seniors, computers, and many other topics. I hope I can organize my life and find the freedom and provisions I am praying for to reach these goals.

I better get going for now...see you tomorrow, if GOD is good to me.  :-)