14 MAY 2015 :: Shopping healthy or eating junk food.

Today was a food day.  I had to get groceries because I was running out...and I wanted to try out my newly purchased cart for carrying things as a bus traveler.  I spent more than half of my food budget today...and the battle to buy healthy foods is always present.

I suppose this is a battle we all face... day after day.  Do we only choose foods that are healthy for us, like veggies, fruit, whole grains, skim milk, or can we also choose some of our favorite junk foods?  :-)   I am trying to improve my diet, but I just can't seem to give up things like chocolate, sugar in my coffee, chips, and dressings. 

My downfall today was Doritos... again.  I needed to get some chips so I could eat the bean and salsa dip I made several days ago.  Plain tortilla chips would have been a little better, and cheaper, but Doritos were on sale and I LOVE the flavor of Nacho Cheese Doritos. I went ahead and bought them, planning to stretch my portions as long as possible.  My problem is, once I start eating them, I tend to keep eating them, and eating them, and eating them until they are gone!  Not a good thing.

I really like most healthy foods, like carrots, broccoli, chicken, pistachios, avocados, squash, cheese, brown rice, oranges, spinach, almonds, tomatoes, whole wheat bread..., but I have found they are really expensive for my budget.  Finding solutions for the healthy versus cheap food dilemma has been a constant challenge.  Today I was trying to get as much food as I could for the least amount of money.  I think I told you already that my food budget is food stamps, and that my allotment has been reduced to $126/month since February.

Doritos are usually not accessible to me unless they are on sale and within my splurge amount.  Uncooked popcorn is my primary snack food and what is both affordable and relatively healthy.  A lot of my food stamp budget is used to resupply staples like oil, butter, condiments, baking supplies and spices.  Pastas are a big item on my list. I use it as an emergency food, including boxed meals like Spanish Rice and Mac-n-Cheese.  Fresh fruits and veggies, meats, and cheese have to be fit into my supplies when they are on sale, if they get purchased at all. 

My hope to spread my food budget over the four weeks of a month didn't work out well for May, but I will try to do better in June. 

13 MAY 2015 :: A long day with lots of small tasks

I guess I was busy today... lots of little things that needed to get done, took too long, had to wait for the computer to work right...and then there are always distractions.  :-)

I have been trying to work out a budget for my small income and great big dreams.  This has been a lifetime issue... unfortunately.  It isn't because I didn't try... I just didn't commit myself fully to the amassing of wealth.  I called having conflicting goals... family goals, family issues versus the time and money commitment required to establish a business.  I went "dormant" more than one time, some times for a long time. 

Now I am dealing with health issues that limit me, and still seeking GOD for the ability to establish Working Together before I die.  Tomorrow I go to the doctor again, and I am preparing my "end of life paperwork" as quickly as I can.

These are the things that are... not what I would like them to be.

As I go about my day, I come across amazing things I would like to share on this blog or one of my others.  I am trying to work out a way to keep track of them and share them later, when I actually get to a computer for my blog posting. 

A few minutes ago, after looking at my emails, Yahoo news items came up and I browsed through some of them... ONE article link was about the use of wood pallets for housing (one from a project for homeless people so it would be affordable, another that looked like a shipping container variation), offices (both indoor use as desks/walls/ceilings and outdoor as part of the structural design), and outdoor seating (an interesting curved wall thing that looked like it was at a college  :-).

Another story that was on Yahoo was about a family losing their children because they are different.  I haven't followed the story fully, just seen the headlines as I was rushing from one duty to another.  It seems they are living off the land in Kentucky. I'm not sure that is such a good idea for winter, but part of what I did read was the government officials couldn't find anything unhealthy with the children, any of them.  I hate to think of what will happen to them in our foster care systems...which can be worse than the original situation.  With ten children, I doubt they are all together... which causes other problems.  (I think the State likes to separate kids while they look for some evidence to justify their actions.)  The power of the government is like the power of Rome over the Jews... it is what will happen as we move more deeply into prophecies about the End Times.

In one of the local news programs there was a story about clearing out the homeless... again.  This is a continual effort, but the solutions are never found.  I think it is because they foolishly think they can "eradicate" poverty and homelessness.  The Bible tells us that the poor will always be with us, and that is really true.  It is part of the cycle of living... some are poor, some are wealthy, and most are in-between.  Having endured too much poverty and homelessness, I have developed my own set of beliefs and solutions, most important :: to create PERMANENT housing options that are safe... like home ownerships, coops with people who have already grouped together, business partnerships as a transition to income sources that matter to the person/s involved, and more.  I think I already told you about my KOA-like campground for people who want to stay outdoors or need a safe place to start their climb in.

I could write for a long time on these issues... we better move on to other topics.

In my browsing of Etsy shops this week, looking for things I might want to buy, I have reviewed my "favorites" lists and remembered some of the wonderful things I found there.  I have decided to buy something to see how a customer experiences the buying process.  :-)  It should be fun.  I will also do the same at fiverr... finally.   Not having ANY cash is always a real challenge...I have only had money for a short time.  I am trying to catch up with some of the things I wasn't able to do, or think of doing.

I know my website needs attention, but I have been seeking GOD for what to do about it. There are things attached to my situation that I can't share.  I have great needs.  I have been hoping GOD would help me with them... much sooner than now... but, so far, He hasn't.

I think I have written too much already. I am still trying to figure out my ideal posting length, and this seems long enough.  Pray for me, if you can...if you would.  Working Together has always been meant to help many, many people...starting with me, probably.  :-) 

12 MAY 2015 :: How history affects today, and tomorrow.

I find it hard to be motivated in the morning anymore... When I was young I could stay up all night easily.  When I had children, I became a day person.  Now that I am older, I don't have a fixed schedule and take naps on those days when I need them.  I suppose that is the way it goes for most everyone...in general.  :-)

I winder what the world seemed like for people who lived through the industrial explosion... the wars and the years it took to recover from them...  talking movies, electric lights, the first space shot, the sexual revolution, computers... or more than one of these.  Our lives don't happen in isolation, we are part of the history that is being created as we live.

When we look at history as a long timeline, it seems different.  We can't really look at history in its fullness because the different topics (or themes) have so many details in themselves.  For example, looking at women's fashions would be one timeline; education would be another; religion, politics, and crime would be other timelines.  To understand the changes in all of history, in all of society, all over the world, these separate topics would have to be combined somehow. We would need to see how they affected each other, how they affected people (individually and collectively), and how they affected the future of their times.

I guess I am trying to share the way history is created in small steps, in multiple years, in a gathering of events that seem to be separate but they aren't.  Like pollution... it is a combination of air quality, water purity, food production, earth healthiness, manufacturing, shipping, trees and plants, fish, animals, human excrement, transportation, incinerated medical waste, sewage accidents, nuclear leaks, engines, oceans and lakes and rivers, mountains and plains and deserts, refrigeration, stoves, BBQs... I suppose I could go on for a long time.  The point is that all of these things, and more, combine to create pollution in some way...and pollution will eventually kill us, even if we don't see it fully right now.

You would need a timeline for each of these parts of history to understand their total effect on life, on the earth, on today and the future.  It's not easy to see all those details, to see them in context, to make changes that will benefit the world and make the future better.

When we vote, the challenge is to find people who will do the most good for all of us, Republican and Democrat (and other parties), not just the immediate needs we see in our individual lives.

When we make personal decisions, the challenge is to make the best choices available to us... and to keep making better and better choices as time goes by.

I don't think change asks to happen, it seems to arrive and grow as we encourage it. Change can be good and change can be bad, sometimes it is both.  Computers and technology will be changing our world more than we can comprehend right now.  The influence of robotics is suppose to grow exponentially over the next 10-25 years, which is the lifetime and retirement of my grown children and babies being conceived right now.  What we consider "normal" right now will not exist. We have no idea what will be discovered and developed during these years.

History doesn't happen with just one change.  It is a lot of different events that happen at the same time and create a domino fall toward other events.  I hope we can prepare for some of the changes that are on their way....

11 MAY 2015 :: Obama and sin

I heard a quote from President Obama this morning, on the local radio version of Jay Sekulow's weekday program (aclj.org).  The quotes I heard were about Obama asking GOD to bless Planned Parenthood and when he stated that if one of his daughters made a "mistake" he wouldn't want them "punished" with a baby. 

I was pretty much livid.  I wanted to sit down at the computer and write this post then, but I decided to wait.  I find my anger hasn't gone away.  Just sharing it now brings up all that emotion again.

How could he make either statement and claim he is a Christian!?  I have never understood this view, even though I know there are others like him.  :-( 

If GOD says "Thou shalt not kill," I would think that would include abortion...especially when the Bible says that life is in the hands of GOD and starts in the womb. There are countless reasons why someone might become pregnant, and they can't all be seen in the first moments when it is discovered.  When you kill an unborn child, you are affecting all of the lives that child would have come in contact with throughout their life...including yours.

The topic of human killing also brings up the subject of war deaths.  The life of King David and his sin with Bathsheba combines both issues.  In studying the Bible myself, I believe GOD's view about war is demonstrated in the different ways GOD acts toward David's actions.  He was a warrior that killed many, many people in wars, but GOD didn't punish him (or anyone else) for (honorable) wartime killing.  When David decided to kill Bathsheba's husband when he couldn't hide the sexual activity that led to her pregnancy, it eventually led to a severe punishment by GOD...and affected the lives of many others. 

I have wondered many times how that judgment might have been different if David had confessed earlier, on his own, and repented of what he had done.  But David didn't confess or repent.  He thought his sin was hidden, that life would continue without a response from GOD, and then the prophet confronted him. 

In GOD's view, the punishment was equal to his sin...violence would never leave his house.  In addition to that consequence, the child conceived in their sin died (by GOD's Hand). We have no way of knowing why GOD chose to make Bathsheba pregnant with their only encounter, but He did.  I imagine it was part of how GOD deals with all sins, bringing it to the light of day when we would like to pretend otherwise.

President Obama should know this.  His daughters will never be able to hide their "mistakes" any more than others can.  GOD will always bring it out in the open, somehow, in their futures.  Killing a child doesn't erase our sexual sin, it only compounds it...creates a worse sin.  It doesn't matter what you do, pregnancy has a consequence.  There are better choices than killing the innocent life that is growing in your womb.