Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Struggles, My Guilty Conscience

There are a lot of things going through my head right now. I think my childhood looked to be pretty conventional, I had a Mom and Dad, older brother, younger brothers and little sister. What isn't conventional is the inner turmoil I've felt throughout life for things to be in order. My older brother has autism, this has always necessitated a certain amount of extra work for my mother. She started working when I was little and she would come home really tired. I felt a certain amount of responsibility to try and make things easier for her. Clean the house so that she wouldn't be stressed out, help with dinner.

Through the years as I've grown and made certain choices in my life, I've felt a sense of responsibility to do the best that I could with the circumstances that I've been given. I was a young mother and my husband made choices that led to many difficulties for me. We lived with my parents for a time because we were very poor, I lived with debilitating depression. I felt a sense of dread when I was in that situation, I wanted to fix things, all of my siblings were still at home and I felt like I was adding a burden to my parents that was unfair to them. I felt a great deal of guilt. So I worked hard, I went to school and I tried very hard to make due with the amount of money my husband made so that we could move out of my parents home. I was in school for a long time, my mother watched my children and my sister has helped with them even when she was very young.

I've always had some amount of inner conflict about the amount of control I had over my kids schedules and what they were watching on TV and/or the amount of video games that they played with my brothers. I wanted to be this shining, perfect mother and I've had to compromise in order to become educated. My relationship with my husband was complicated as well, I wanted to be the perfect wife, I wanted to have a stable, happy family. But I had to let those ideals go when it was clear that my husband was abusive and had abused my sister and my daughter. If only I had realized sooner! I wish I could say I would have been able to leave sooner but I know that I didn't have the support or resources I needed to leave.

Now when I go to my parents I still feel a sense of responsibility. I feel a bit of guilt and unease. For one thing, my siblings all are still living at home, it's a frustrating situation because there is a reason for the extended adolescence of my siblings (autism, ADHD, medical issues) but also I can see that my siblings are fighting to get an education as well and that gives me hope. But the strain that it has taken on my parents is difficult to see. Also the state of our family home induces guilt and shame in me.

It's a story of an interconnected chain of events that has led to a difficult situation. My father won't stand up and be the leader of the family, in a way he can't because what is there for him to be in charge of? All of us are adults. My angel mother still works every day and is trying to repair her home but the task is so great, there is so much to do and she is getting older. She has been in charge of our holidays and traditions and it has taken a toll on her. I wish I could swoop in, clean house, fix things and give her the rest she deserves... but I've only got a limited amount of physical, mental and emotional energy to spare.

I guess I'm feeling frustrated tonight.

SG 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Unconventional Wisdom

My Toastmasters Speech from Today

What we eat affects our state of well being

I'm not sure if you've heard the term "Hangry" it's a tongue in cheek term for the feeling of being hungry and how that makes people feel angry at the same time. This is a simple example of how food, or lack thereof affects how we feel emotionally and mentally.

For many years, I struggled to live my daily life, my world was a dark place. It was hard to concentrate, hard to wake up in the morning, hard to face the world. My stomach hurt all the time and I didn't know why.

I've learned that food can affect us at a deep level and it's only rarely that we realize it.

We all have prevailing ideas about what eating healthy is, conventional wisdom

In our culture, we are encouraged to stay trim, fit is the new skinny, avoid fat yet eat healthy fat, go low carb. Eat whole wheat, especially wheat bran it keeps you regular. Soy is good for your heart health. Eat a spectrum of food of differing color it's healthy.

Sometimes conventional wisdom is wrong

I learned a difficult lesson about 10 years ago, and that was that nature has a way of balancing us out when we try to control it.

I felt that I was overweight, I was about the same weight that I am now, maybe a 5 - 10 pounds more. I decided that I needed to take control, so I joined Weight Watchers.

At first it seemed like a miracle, I followed the program strictly and obsessively and I was losing weight.

If I felt lightheaded I drank more water, I was obsessed with food but I didn't realize how bad the obsession was. I found tricky ways to make the foods I craved cost me less points and started to eat bran muffins to fill me up and something called TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein which is a product made from soy to replace meat. Who needs meat anyway, it's cruel that we kill animals so that we can survive.

Well I got to a point where I could feel no emotion, the medical term is "Anhedonia." I felt no pleasure at achieving my goal weight of 120 lbs, I looked in the mirror and still felt fat. I didn't feel sadness either. I felt empty.

Eventually I went into a tailspin, at one point I was too weak to lift my baby daughter and my brain felt dry, I couldn't speak my mind. Yet I was still obsessed with following the WW program.

Then something odd happened. I added walnuts to my cereal. Somehow that little bit of fat triggered an intense feeling of well-being and happiness. That sparked a desire to figure out what I was doing wrong, I still felt confined by the WW program and tried to fit more fat into that model, eventually I had to let go.

That was the hardest thing

I let go of the conventional wisdom, I put ideas on trial and I tried out a lot of unconventional things.

It all came back to food

I found through trial and error that I do a lot better when I don't eat anything with gluten in it and through a very bizarre episode of an angry fit of rage I found out that milk triggers an emotional response for me (I feel anger, sadness and my ears ring when I drink a lot of milk). I cut these things out and felt quite a bit better but still had lingering issues, I finally paid a visit to an allergist who identified some other allergens

Sometimes people feel bad when I tell them I can't eat certain things. It's hard for them to understand that knowing that I shouldn't eat these foods has been a big blessing. I no longer suffer from debilitating depression, anxiety, chest pain and illness. For the most part.

Conventional wisdom led me astray, it was unconventional thinking that led me to the truth.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Happy Moments

Tonight was another moment of serendipity for me. I showed up at my parents house just as my brother's home teachers showed up. They asked my brother about his production company and he points at me, so I jump in and tell them all about the studio and how things came together then mentioned that we don't have morning hours because I have work and my brother has school. So one of them volunteered to man the studio on Tuesday's and Thursday's haha, so we now have an 'employee'. He'll only come record people if they book during those times, and we won't have to pay him unless he records someone so that works perfectly. :)

Let me tell you I am pretty chuffed that someone wants to man the booth during the day for us haha

He's coming by tomorrow to learn the ropes so to speak. :D

SG

Friday, May 19, 2017

Good Moments

So I feel sometimes that my blog is dominated by the hardships I face and it can get a bit tedious to read through my old posts seeing page after page of frustrations. So I'm making a conscious effort to record moments that were good. This afternoon I had a few good moments I want to jot down before the happy feelings get away from me.

I went out to lunch with Darrin, he has been a good friend to me for a long time. I don't have many long time good friends so I cherish the ones I have. We went out to lunch and had a good conversation, he gave me several good ideas for my little recording studio and he gave me an update about his sweet Dad. That made me pretty happy.

Then getting back from lunch I met 2 of my other long time friends on the stairs and got big hugs. That pushed me into endorphin overload and I'm now really, really happy. :) Plus it's Friday :)

I hope you are having a good day.

SG

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Perspective

I had a nice walk today, there's a pretty nice trail by a nearby park, with an incline hill at the beginning and a flat stretch for quite a long ways that winds through a cute little neighborhood with a regrettably busy street that runs through it.

Something that I was reflecting on during the walk and when I got home is that if the focus for exercise is on improving looks then it can become something that is a destructive, obsessive or harmful force in our lives. Acknowledgement that improving looks is a piece of the motivation for exercising with the inner motivation turned towards improving health and mobility is a more sustainable and fulfilling goal.

Motivation is something that can be misunderstood, for instance the motivation to go to school or to learn. When I was a little girl I thought that I needed to know everything in order to be acceptable to other people. There was a perfectionism in me that drove me on to keep doing things even when they became boring or difficult. A sort of self torture in a way. I disconnected from others because I was afraid to let go of the task that I was doing. Worried that I might not pick it up again if I stopped.

This might sound like discipline, in some ways it was and is, but I was irrational in my discipline doing things sometimes just for the sake of it rather than taking a balanced approach to them. This caused stress and disconnection with others.

I've grown out of some of those tendencies. Partially they came from the fact that my world was a dark place for a long time, that was a side effect of eating foods that were not good for me (gluten, dairy, soy, cashews, etc.) Not many people talk about the effects of food on the mind but I understand the correlation because I can see a difference between then and now.

Partially the stressful tendencies came from fear. I was fearful of not having my fathers approval. He would sometimes rail on my brother asking him if he had a brain, berating and belittling him for simple mistakes or carelessness. My brother even took the brunt of my mistakes and carelessness because even if he said he didn't do it my Dad didn't believe him. So I felt that if I was perfect, if everything was clean, if I knew everything, did everything right... then I would be acceptable and worthy of love.

It's a tendency that has been hard to break over the years even with my new found freedom from the utter darkness that surrounded me for a big part of my life.

Another thing that I was thinking about is that sometimes our present moment can seem to be all that there is. That the happiness we are feeling will continue on or the sadness will not leave. Those transitory feelings are an illusion.

Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" really speaks to me because it is a reminder that we need to be able to put things into perspective and that striving to be balanced will help us to be successful.

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same

And that's all she wrote.

SG


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The best of days!

Today started out pretty ordinary, morning routine, get the kids to school but then I got to work and stumbled across an inspirational speaker Kyle Cease and I really understood and appreciated his message. It opened my mind to the ways that I can let go of past regrets and open up to all of the possibilities that are around me.

Then I had the honor of attending Toast Masters and being the Timer. I was able to get up and speak during table topics and I didn't completely lose my train of thought nor sound like an idiot, always a bonus.

I felt so great that I was walking on rarefied air and everyone seemed to notice that.

Then one of the most exciting things happened, I got to go home and earn $200 bucks from a client who came over to record a demo in our booth. An actual, voice over booth client! :D

He came in and there was no hesitation about our location, our set-up or anything! A benefit to the condo that I moved into at the beginning of the year is that it is right off of State Street. Now that might not seem like a benefit because we have a noisy street to put up with, but for a business it is a prime location!

So now I am looking at the possibility of being able to work from home, it's a part time opportunity at the moment but it definitely has potential to turn into a full time career!

Exciting times!

SG

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Word Paintings - What they Mean to Me

I came up with the term "Word Paintings" to describe the vivid recollection of memories or descriptive writing that I sometimes like to do. I haven't created a "Word Painting" in some time now. I will pick the habit back up soon...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dreamer

Alternative speech for Toastmasters tomorrow

Last time I spoke, I spoke about finding my voice. I described to you the difficulties I have faced, and my hereditary family silence. Today I will speak to you about dreams.

I have always been a dreamer. My father came home with a diary once from a trip that he had taken, he said he bought it in China town.

It was beautiful, it had a shiny green cover embossed with different symbols and the paper was patterned with catfish and boats.

What I held in my hands was to me a glimpse into another world and I dreamed of parasols and china dolls as though someone had transported me into another world.

I was not content with dreams though, I turned many of my dreams into reality.

By brother Daniel, just 18 months younger than I was my traveling companion in the land of dreams.  We sailed the high seas out in the snake-pit on a section of bush pushed down by some planks.

We built our own carnival, with bean bag toss, pinball machine and rides in sleeping bags down the stairs.

It's a good thing my parents never really knew what we got up to.

We built a boat out of 2x4's and plywood, which never got to the river, but it did serve as the platform to our rope swing.

As an adult I have fallen into the void at times, where no dreams can surface, that is when I have been facing my reality and fighting for a place in the world. I've been fighting the demon foe called poverty, and burnished the sword of determination to finish school.

A tiny sliver of a dream surfaced after I was done though, a little bit of a leftover dream from my scheme of a grand and beautiful house. A place to record music, a place to sing, a place of literature, a place to dream.

So when I found myself in the position of needing a new home. I put my feelers out and had my real estate agent send me links to affordable places. Suddenly, in the middle of Year End turmoil a link to a condo with 2,200 sq ft. came through.

I pulled it up and as I flipped through the photos my heart sang. A tiny backyard for a garden, a room for each of my kids and 3 bathrooms, a large living room and family room and then, the bonus room. I knew what that would be for.

I went that night to see the place, and it was exactly as I had hoped. I walked through each room until I found the bonus room and there it was, the large walk in closet, there I would build a voiceover booth. In the rest of the room a dance studio for my son.

Why, you might ask would I want such a thing? Dear friends I don't know, I could tell you my youngest brother is a sound engineer and was very happy I built this booth.

But that was not the reason, not really, the reason is that it is a part of a dream and I need to have a place to dream.


Thank you

SG

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Scenes to the Play of Life

Some thoughts I've gathered going through my week:

Life is like a play and different people are in different scenes

When we are little we play the role of baby, then child, then teenager, as we pass into adulthood we play the role of young adult, adult, middle aged and old aged.

The young have difficulty understanding the roles of adulthood and in some ways adults forget how to play the roles of the young.

Life has always been hard, I'm not saying that in a fatalistic or pessimistic way but it is a statement of fact.

I remember clearly hoping for the next stage in life thinking that I would escape the uncertainty, loneliness and difficulties of the stage that I was in. To a certain extent I now look back at the seemingly carefree days of my youth and longing for simpler times (when I wasn't in charge of making sure everything was OK).

The characters in my play when I was little included my grandparents, my parents, my brothers and sister, my cousins, aunts and uncles, the kids at school and the kids in the neighborhood. In the auxiliary scenes were people in my church, my teachers, principal etc.

I had a certain world view, my days were spent at school, at church and at home. I had difficulty making friends because I am a deep thinker and most of the time it was hard to convey my thoughts to others. I liked to play with dolls, do my hair and make-up, a lot of the same things as other girls but I have never been able to just think of shallow things. In the back of my mind were the stacks of books that I wanted to read, the things I wanted to influence and change (in my family), and the projects I wanted to take on in my own fantasy world. I wanted to have fun, I had a lot of fun, but it was usually me coming up with wild schemes and plans, I was always thinking of something new to do. It was hard for me to relate to other kids, other girls especially. I was a Tom Boy I suppose though that terminology seems to have changed. I can't say that I felt like a boy so I will stick with Tom Boy.

I was lonely, in my own world trying to learn about everything, I broke out of that world when my cousins would come over and when my brother and I would play video games. There again I would play video games and even got addicted to them but I felt some amount of shame for wasting my time so I found myself turning away from them.

My desire to fit in led me to make stupid decisions. Like going along with my "friend" who went shop lifting. Luckily I got caught and had to talk to a judge and that ended my shoplifting career. What was not so lucky for me was that I wanted to have a boyfriend, that desire led me to become a young mother.

And the scenes of my life changed.

As a young mother I was still a teenager so I still felt the desire to play and do fun things. This led me to put up a swimming pool outside of the window in our kitchen and climbing through with my kids. I still liked to watch Pokemon and play the game. I was jealous of my cousins who could still go out on dates and I really just lost touch with them because they couldn't relate to me and we couldn't do a lot of teenage things together.

The player in my life were still the same but with the added dynamic of a husband (who was still a teenage boy) and babies who needed me to be a mother.

I had a great desire to be the kind of mother they deserved, and I desired to go to school in order to be a good example for them.

Fast forward to my life now. My children are all growing up, my youngest is 10, I've been divorced from my first husband now for 6 years and separated/divorced from my second for 6 months. I don't know how this stage of life is supposed to work, I get the whole going to work and providing for my children aspect but I no longer go to church so that whole community of people and set beliefs is no longer there. I made breakfast for my children this Easter morning, and gave them small Easter presents but they will have to wait to do their Easter Egg hunt at my parents. Then that is getting awkward, unless my nieces are there the only one who is still technically a child is my youngest girl at 10. This developing stage of my life is me, without the support of a husband, without that consistency... and it's weird. Who do I let into the scenes of my life's play now? I don't exactly want to be in a relationship right now, I don't think I've found the right person, I don't know if I will ever find the right person. The person who I thought was right, turned out to think I was the wrong person and left... and that has been really hard for me. I gave my heart, my hopes and dreams to someone and the relationship that we had... and now it's gone.

That is the play of my life right now, the scenes don't make a lot of sense to me. I don't really know how to play this part, but I will figure it out.

SG






Saturday, April 15, 2017

Projects!

This is the speech I am preparing for Toastmasters. I am going to give it this Thursday.

I love projects! Ever since I was a little girl I was always up to something (some would say "up to no good").

Have you ever built a Rube Goldberg machine? I think they are so much fun to design and build, so time consuming but so satisfying.

I created a gumball machine out of cardboard and car tracks, I was a bit obsessed with gumball machines when I was little.

My brother and I created a magic box out of a refrigerator box, we stacked a smaller box on top and put in a "trap" door, so cool!

I created a pulley system between my window and my friends in the neighboring window, so that we could pass things back and forth in a basket. It was so much fun!

I hated to wake up in the morning so I built a pulley system out of thumb tacks and string so that I could turn the light off after my mom had turned it on.

Sadly the boat my brother and I created out of 2x4's and plywood couldn't even be moved let alone float on the river (as we hoped) but it did become the platform for our rope swing later on.

There has always been something energizing about coming up with new things to do. My youngest brother and I recently started to record some things together, he is in the audio engineering program at UVU and I just think it would be awesome to record music and voice-over's, so we make a good team.

Last fall, when I found myself in a situation of needing to get a new home, I kept my eye out for one with a bit of extra space.

We were in the middle of the Year End crunch time at work when a link came through from my realtor to a Condo in Orem that I could afford with 2,200 sq ft., so I pull it up and start glancing through the pictures.

First of all I was attracted to the small piece of land behind the condo, space for a garden! Then I came across the picture of the 'bonus room' and I was convinced that this was the place for me!

So I call up my realtor, he gets me an appointment to see the place that night, I get there and walk through it and the whole time my little checklist of things that I want in a home are being marked off… the only thing I didn't like was the set up of the kitchen and the flooring in the upstairs rooms.

The 'bonus room' was exactly what I was looking for, I could see the potential for a recording space right away. Plus the rest of the space would be perfect for a little dance studio for my son, he dances Break Dance and Hip-Hop.

So I put in an offer, it was accepted and I ended up with my very first condo!

Then it came time to get everything, I was a fanatic for a while there, researching and gathering all of the pieces together.

Now that my space has been created, and I can explore this new opportunity to learn how to speak.

On to my next project, I don't know what it will be yet, but I know it will be fun!








Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Comfort Zone

I keep trying to write today and keep getting stuck.

I finally got caught up at work! Hallelujah! I had to put in some extra hours but it was worth it knowing that tomorrow with the new COA coming by (whatever a COA is... controller I think) I will not be behind and can focus on going to lunch and listening to him say stuff... without worry.

Each day that I am at work I wonder how the grownups in my life ever had time for a life and how I never noticed if they didn't? 

It's so draining to do the same type of work, every single day and yet I am treading water I know I am. I've been treading water for years waiting for the right time to make a move. 

There's too much of impatience in the world though and I have been basically doing the same thing every day, yet I have been learning each day and the role has changed with the years a little at a time. I've had to step out of my comfort zone, a little bit here and there and I have grown so much. It's sometimes hard to believe that I was still unsure of how to properly send and email when I first started, I was that ignorant of the workforce. There have been many times when I have felt that I should be doing better work but then this job has become a security blanket of sorts through the difficulties of my life over the past couple of years.

I have stepped out of my comfort zones but I will crawl right back in if I'm not careful. Like giving speeches for Toastmasters at Adobe... I'm supposed to be writing the next one but I am stuck, I just don't know what the best thing to speak on is so I've got many different speeches started. I want to talk about how I get crazy projects going but there are so many and they are of different varieties. Sometimes I make things sometimes I create things. Sometimes I gather and sometimes I discard. I have bits and pieces of stories written as well. I should pull them all together and make a book of random, disjointed thoughts... think it would sell? Haha

~SG

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Some old thoughts about religion on a Wiki that my friend and I put together several years ago

Thoughts:

Why are humans so compelled to religion? Why do we feel good when hearing about others religious experiences?

Case in point - I attended sacrament meeting today. First was a talk by a lady obsessed with family history and recording personal histories (I can see the validity of this to a point, but it can become an all consuming obsession). It was interesting to hear stories of her pioneer ancestors though I couldn't help but wonder the whole time how human beings get caught up in a psychological battle with themselves about what they believe. About how comforting it is to be a part of a movement, a group that seems to have things all worked out and how it is harder to face the void and meaninglessness of life and persevere making your life's meaning be what you want it to be. I was flipping through facebook on my phone while contemplating this. Then her husband got up to speak. He told of the extreme circumstances that he faced. His wife left him and took his two younger boys. He was left with his older son who developed a serious disease. He was in a car accident. He lost his job. His hair was falling out due to the stress. He turned towards God and while on taking pictures at his brothers temple wedding a woman who came out of the temple radiating happiness came up to him and told him that she felt impressed to tell him that God loved him. I've gotta tell you this story made me tear up. I've been there. I've been so poor that looking for spare change in the house would be pointless since we had scoured it many times. I've been harassed by debt collectors at 5 AM while my husband worked in a different state. I had to get on my knees and ask for guidance and I've found it. I've had encounters with people who seemed like angels to me since they appeared at my lowest states. AND it's hard to turn from believing in that to not believing because there is that something inside that wants to believe. BUT it feels the same way as believing in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy did as a kid. AND a lot more evidence (or lack there of) points to the religion as a fraud... but what a fraud it is.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ice Breakers Speech for Toastmasters

Yesterday I gave a speech for Toastmasters called "The Icebreaker" project. Toastmasters is an organization that is set up expressly for the purpose of developing speaking and leadership skills. Years ago I joined a different Toastmasters chapter and went with my friends to several of the meetings. I got up a few times to do "Table Topics" which is giving an impromptu speech and that just killed my desire to get up and speak because my mind would blank, my throat would tighten up, I would nearly pass out and basically I would mutter a few things and sit down. That was the wrong approach, I was not confident or organized enough to be a part of Toastmasters back then... but I think I am ready now.

I talked about myself, "The Icebreaker" is an introduction to who you are, the title "Finding My Voice." Basically I discussed how it is difficult for me to give speeches and it has been difficult for everyone in my family to speak up because we all have struggled with some type of illness or another that affects the brain and how it organizes thoughts into speech. My older brother has Autism, a disorder where the brain ineffectively filters out the input from the world, sensory overload, and thus makes expression difficult. My younger brothers (my youngest brother in particular) struggle with ADHD and that too makes expression difficult. I and my younger sister have struggled with Major Depressive Disorder and health problems that have made it difficult to speak up.

This speech was very raw and I made myself very vulnerable by discussing these things, as well as the difficulties that I faced as a young mother striving to get through high school and college. I am pleasantly surprised that I was able to give this speech, in a coherent manner and without fainting. My next speech is set for a couple of weeks out, I'm going to put even more thought into writing this one and practicing.

SG

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The times that I need a husband...

Most of the time I can get around life alright, I can get a mechanic out to fix my car, I can hire someone to do things for me around the house (or have a friend come help), there are many things that I need a man to help me with but I need a husband when I am scared and not sure what to do.

I've been dealing with an achy tooth since last Friday. I called for an appointment that afternoon and suffered it out over the weekend. I hate taking medication but I made an exception and took some pain killers reasoning that it was only for a short amount of time and that the dentist would fix it on Monday. Well, I went in on Monday and they took a picture, yippie! Then gave me antibiotics and sent me home with an appointment 2 weeks out. Boo. I don't like antibiotics, they mess up the gut microbiome and cause all sorts of problems. So I wanted to avoid taking them. Well I called the Dentist up and asked him if he would take me sooner, he had me schedule something for the next morning. Yay! I went in, had the procedure (which was extra painful for some reason) and I thought it was surly over, nope! My face stayed swollen all week and Friday I discovered an abscess in my gums. So I ran to the doctor to get a shot of antibiotics (less likely to mess up the gut) and I thought that would help. NOPE So now I'm dealing with this weird abscess thing on the side of my gums and it's getting more and more swollen and like it wants to pop. So I try to pop it myself and what do I end up with? No relief, more pain, and WORRY about what the hell is going on and what I should do about it.

At this point I just want someone to say, "I'm taking you to the doctors and getting this fixed." But I don't have that person, I actually didn't have that person with my ex-husband either but that's a different story. I need someone to be calm when I am scared and to take over when I am not thinking clearly. I don't need helpful (unhelpful) comments from the sidelines, I don't need sympathy, I need help.

I guess I wouldn't necessarily need a husband if I had someone else who could help me all the time but dang it I sure miss the convenience of having a sturdy friend/lover to rely on all the time. :/

This is the kind of situation that makes me very, very lonesome and probably less sensible than I should be... :/

SG





Sunday, March 19, 2017

Compassion

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən/
noun
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
"the victims should be treated with compassion"
synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity
"have you no compassion for a fellow human being?"

To me compassion is a root word. It's definition is encompassing of the many human feelings that make relationships work. Without compassion we have coldness, hardness, intolerance, no mercy, no kindness, no charity.

If we haven't experienced a lot of compassion then we might not understand or be compassionate towards others. We may be intolerant of others faults, especially when we are intolerant of our own faults.

I don't know if reiterating this very human concept is going to solve any of the mysteries of human relationships for me, I do know that as much as I want to be more compassionate towards others I often fall short.

It is the loving look in your eyes, your caress, the way you hold me and kiss me that tell me that you value who I am. My defenses drop when I am offered a taste of what I am missing in my life. I've learned that things are not always simple, that beauty is fleeting and that one moment will change into the next, ultimately we come back to ourselves and we must be compassionate for the quiet soul who resides there.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Growing up

The question we all ask ourselves when we are growing up and that others ask is "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I think that question is flawed, we can't peer into the future and see what kinds of opportunities are available to us, we have certain aspirations sometimes but that doesn't necessarily mean that if we pick something when we're little that we will get to do that. 

It's not impossible for a kid to pick out what they want to do, certainly, but it's improbable. I think that the most important thing is to set a goal and start to work towards the goal but pay attention to the opportunities. If an opportunity comes along it may be disguised as a hard or difficult experience. I certainly wouldn't have guessed that I would be going down this road to having my own little recording studio and dance studio. The path that took me here was a broken heart. If I dwell on that, especially the anger that I feel at times, then my progress is impeded. I have to let the bad feelings go in order to let the good ones in. I'm really excited! We are so close to being done! This whole crazy, wild project has been the most fun I have had in a long time. :)

Goodnight Internet land

SG

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Two Grandmothers

I'm here to tell you about my two Grandmothers, Grandma C my Dad's mom and Grandma D my Mom's mom.

Grandma C was an upstanding career woman. She was the head operator for Mountain Bell before her retirement. She helped to form the Orem Womens Club and served as club president several times. She always had perfectly coifed hair, well maintained nails and dressed in a classic style that was timeless. She smelled of Chanel and always had a Tic Tac in her pocket for a kiss on the cheek. She raised two boys who were 10 years apart in age due to the fact that my Grandpa served during WWII. He took a bullet on D-Day recovered in France then went back out, only to get hit again and sent home. Grandma came from a good family, she lived with her parents during the war and took care of her mother. She took care of her Young Women when she was a leader, made them all quilts. I strive to be like my elegant, caring, well organized Grandma C.

However she's not the only Grandma that I knew. I knew Grandma D for 4 years, she was hit by a drunk driver while on a walk with my mom the day after my fourth birthday. My Grandma D was a strong lady, she raised 9 kids by herself after Grandpa D left. They were poor, so poor that my mom talks about sewing her own clothes and remaking others for herself. They all lived in the red house in Provo. Garden out back, unfinished basement. My grandmother used to sew as well. She made me a Raggedy Ann doll, she made them for all of us girls. She made other kinds of dolls and clothing for us grand-kids. I had a beautiful, multi-colored yarn blankie that she made me with a silky yellow edge. She made one for my dolly as well. We lived with Grandma D, I loved her and thought of her as my only Grandma... Until she passed away. Then I was confused, I kept hoping to see her again, but she never came. We moved to a new place and I was daydreaming outside with my blankie as company but when I was called in suddenly and I forgot it, I forgot about it all night. The next morning I woke up in a  panic and flew to the backyard to look for my blankie but it was gone. I was inconsolable! First my Grandmother and then my blankie! I was told that my Grandmother was going to take me to the store to buy a new one. But it was Grandma C and not D that came through the door to take me, who was this impostor!? I reluctantly went with her but we couldn't find a multi-colored blankie with a silky yellow edge... We found a yellow one with a yellow edge and that had to do.

These are my two grandmothers. I admire both of them, both strong, beautiful and gracious women.

SG

Friday, February 24, 2017

Molly Mormon No More

For most of my life I have wanted a nice home and a happy family. I was the puritanical "Molly Mormon" doing everything I could to learn skills that would come in handy during the impending doomsday. I learned how to grind wheat, make bread, can and pickle... Cook all sorts of things. I wanted to home school my kids, teach them the way to be. Hold Family Home Evening every Monday, go to church on Sunday... Do my visiting teaching, have the visiting teachers over. All of the Mormon puritanical ethos I embraced. Pure in deed, thought and modest in dress. All of my beautiful, idealistic beliefs went 'POOF!' when I had to question everything about how I was eating (asking why I was sick from a perfectly normal diet) and then in that questioning everything mode I questioned every belief that I had previously held. Aggravating to my faith was the continual push that I felt to stay with an abusive, manipulative husband that I should have left many times over. Then I got pushed out into the cruel and unforgiving workforce when I decided to be strong and divorce my husband. I wasn't prepared, smart and educated, yes, practical experience, no. It's been a long road.... Tonight I am going out with my friend Rita to a place that plays live music... Can you believe that I have never had a friend to go out with like this? I have had cousins but not friends. This is new for me, infinitely different from the "Molly Mormon" that I once was... Yet still deep down I miss that ideal...

SG

Value and Trust

I believe that we place a value on ourselves based on several things, our family, our social economic status, our education and I think in many ways our self value is helped or hurt by the things that happen to us.

I feel like I have been racing my whole life to catch up, always a bit behind the class so I was put into what they called 'resource.' This was an embarrassing program to be put into, the perception among the kids in the school is that there was something wrong with you if you were in resource.

I am not sure why I've always been a bit behind... I think though that it has to do with perfectionism. I've always thought deeply about things and while I was off thinking deeply the other kids had moved onto other things.

This trend has plagued me, on through every aspect of my life. I've felt under prepared as a mother (of course I was since I started young). I felt under prepared for college... I was, I had to start with my elementary school math book in order to get up to speed with math. It's still a difficult subject for me. I was under prepared for graduate school... Under prepared for the workplace (terribly). All of this has left a mark on me, the feeling that I am not as good as others. That if I could only learn enough about important things like math and the workplace then I will be accepted.
Well that aspect of my life is a big part of under valuing myself.
The next big thing that makes me under value myself is my social economic status, not rich.
Then... Being rejected by the one person I chose to be with.
There is a part of me burning to fix all of my perceived short comings, so that I can prove that I am worth more than what I perceive my value to be at.

It's this desire that has me frustrated over being rejected. It's like someone recognized my shortcomings and decided that I wasn't worth being with. It's not like I logically don't know that being with someone who cannot talk through things and forgive me for my shortcomings is to be in a bad situation... I know that being out of and away from that is better for me. But it is the rejection, the sheer, utter rejection that is eating me up inside. I thought I had found 'the one' but that beautiful feeling of being close to someone slipped through my fingers into the sands of time.

So I've taken a good look at my motivations for wanting to be friends with my ex. The motivation has been a hope that in some small way he would acknowledge that I am someone he is sorry to have lost. Thus mitigating in a way the rejection. 

I realized that I can't live my life going forward trying to get that acknowledgement from him. I realized that he doesn't value me as a person and I don't need to be waiting for him to do so. I just need to let it go. With that clarity I took to Facebook to un-friend him and most of his family (except the one sister-in-law who loves and supports me). I'm not sure if having a conversation with him about this decision is just another way I would be seeking acknowledgment or not so I'm leaving that decision to another day.

It has been a waste of time and created a misinterpretation of my motives trying to gain that acknowledgement to prove myself worthwhile. But I was persistent because I was trying to get a reaction from him that I expected but wasn't getting.

Something that is becoming clearer is how untrustworthy he was. Trust is built through revealing some of yourself to the other and being vulnerable, you can't trust someone who doesn't reveal anything about what they are thinking, feeling and/or doing.

Anyway it's getting late. Good night internet land.

SG

How a nice girl can turn mean

I've always striven to be nice, or lets say I have always wanted to be well liked and I thought that being nice was the way to achieve that. I feel what I perceive others are feeling pretty deeply and that's always put me in the position of trying to see things from other peoples point of view.

On the other hand I get overwhelmed by other people at times and disconnect from them a lot. I used to have the habit of getting wrapped up in the outcome of other peoples choices and I guess in a way my best intentions of love and concern for them were also wrapped up in a bit of judgment that they were not doing things, life I guess, the way I thought they should. My happiness was so wrapped up in other people that I resented them and their mistakes vs. Loving them despite their mistakes.

All that being said, I over analyze, myself and others motivations and intentions. So although I am trying to be nice and a good person I fall short sometimes... Often.

I think that human beings can get so wrapped up in keeping score that we can get caught in a cycle of pettiness. Doing little things to even the balance on the score card. We feel resentful for doing so much and not being appreciated that we will do little things to take back some of the good things that we feel that we contributed to the relationship. Or get back at the other person for the hurts that they have dealt us.

At least in some ways I think that is what has happened in these final stages of my relationship with my ex-husband. I felt resentful in the hurts I was dealt, the mistrust I was shown, in a way fulfilling his perception of me as someone to not trust. I left our pictures in the bedroom of the condo we shared together, and other mementos because I wanted him to feel some of the pain that he had inflicted on me. I also insulted his hobby of doing a radio show because I thought he was talking badly about me. I feel bad about being petty and I feel bad for trying to get more of a reaction from him. Perhaps I was a bit more blatant because I know that he doesn't show his reactions and I just wanted to see something of the pain I've been feeling...  Not nice, I truly know it.

I want to be genuinely kind and that is hard to do when lashing out in pain. How have you overcome this problem? Or have you? Let me know in the comments.

SG

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Foolish Sunday

Again I've had to learn the lesson that it's sometimes better not to know what other people are thinking about you.

It's a bizarre world that we live in. Our sense of self, our self identity, is developed through our interactions with others. Yet if we allow our identities to be developed entirely upon what other people think of us then we could end up with a very distorted sense of who we are. Some people really like us, some do not. Some think we are proud, others humble. Some think we are attractive, others do not. Really in this world there is so much subjectivity that if the determination or agreement upon every matter of opinion had to be reached then we should just live in a world of all is null and void. No opinion matters and nothing matters.

But we live in this world where there has to be a balance of identification with others points of view and our own, a reconciliation of the facts so to speak. When one side of the equation becomes unbalanced then all sorts of grievous errors in judgement can take place.

There also has to be a balance between what we let other people know about us, what we tell the world, reveal and what is kept hidden. If all were laid bare then the thought is that other people could then make a fair judgement of who we are and their opinion of us would be valid. In point of fact though it is impossible to outline and relay all that there is to know about our lives, our past, our motivations. In some sense we can find that while one person understands what we are relating, another person does not and that has a lot to do with their background, familial and experiential.

The process of forming relationships is tenuous, especially when you tend to overthink things like I do. It is extremely upsetting to get wrapped up in a misinterpretation of someone else's words and motivations, especially third hand.

I spent a rather foolish day crying and being upset on Sunday. I'm not proud of the way I handled the perception that someone I cared about thinks of me as a manipulative know it all. I don't even know if that's true. What is true is that I don't have any idea what other people truly think about me, and I probably am better off not knowing.

SG

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Focusing Lens

I have been lost to myself for a while now. Disconnected from the people and things that make me happy.

Today I spent quite a lot of time with my Dad, brother and son. We didn't sit and talk but our time was spent in action, getting the materials to finish up the dance studio/audio recording studio. It was a relief to have them around, I have been isolating myself from other people... mostly because I've been trying to get so much done at the house and everyone tends to gravitate to my parents house.

Another thing that's made me feel disconnected is having so many things in a state of disarray. Things that make up pieces of my character have been in boxes and bags in disorder. I took the time to unpack my books today, I love my books, old books, popular, historical, informative (subjects like Excel, sql, EFT trading etc.), cook books, health books, exercise books... unpacking them made me realize how I like to collect information.

I keep coming back to the same interests and themes in life and I am hopeful that with this fresh start I will be able to pull the pieces of myself together.

No wonder I've been feeling so disconnected and lost. It feels like a lens has been placed in front of my eyes and I can see all that has been wrong for me and what is right for me.

Have a good night internet land.

~SG

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Annie Melissa - Strawberry Girl

I was born and raised in the Provo, Utah area. My mother taught me the basics of cooking, my father handyman and scouting basics.

My parents value knowledge and I gravitated to learning early on. I love to create order out of chaos, and I am interested in a wide variety of subjects. Very straightforward and determined I was able to attend school, despite the setbacks I faced of being a young mother. I wanted my children to grow up with a respect for education and did my best in school, receiving the 'Dean's Merit Scholarship' and ranking on the Dean's List and graduating Cum Laud from Utah Valley University in 2006, majoring in Accounting. I had the opportunity to go back to school in 2014 and graduated from the MBA program at Utah Valley University, August of 2016.

I have stacks of books that I will probably never find the time to read, though I have read many of them. I feel that books hold the potential seeds of greatness and I love the power that they have to change hearts and minds. I always gain a new perspective when I read of another persons life or get a refreshing sense of new imagination from reading fiction.

I have many hobbies. My mother taught me how to sew and the fundamentals of cooking. I have used these skills creating clothing (when my kids were little) and good meals. My favorite cooking creations have been the most challenging, lasagna, spaghetti, and Tamales all from scratch. I learned alternative ways to cook when I faced food allergies, it is an ever evolving skill.

I love to dig in the earth and help good things to grow. I spend a lot of time in the summer outdoors, gardening, it always brings me joy!

Music is an ever evolving flavorful experience for me (in a similar deep sense that cooking is an evolving skill). There is so much out there to evoke emotion. to uplift and to mellow. I love music, the exception being rap which I just can't seem to develop a flavor for.

Art is also a passion, I love to paint and draw! I am a copier for sure but that's how talent is developed.

Travelling has been a surprising and wonderful thing for me, I never imagined I would be able to visit some of the places that I've been, Australia, Ireland and Germany. All beautiful, and interesting in their own ways.

I've always thought it would be wonderful to narrate a book, or to do other recording and to that extent I'm setting up a space for that in my new home.

That is me, passionate about life.

Annie Melissa - a.k.a. Strawberry Girl

Friday, January 27, 2017

Simple Post for the Day

It is so easy to lose sight of what you want out of life. For me I usually lose sight of that when I am under stress. I have this idealized image of what I want my life to be like and it seems like a pipe dream because I have yet to be able to realize this image.

Mostly it involves balance, being able to spend time in doing what I want to do, not just what I have to do.

I've been so tired for many months because of Edgar leaving me. He left right at the beginning of the busiest season for us at work. I performed horrendously at work during that time and almost lost my job, yet somehow I was able to pull out of the funk, find a condo to buy, pack up my home with tears running down my face and with the help of some angel friends and family get the minimum amount of painting done on the condo and all of my stuff moved over to the new place. It has been a constant stream of activity to get there. Painting, flooring, unpacking. Now I basically feel like resting but there is more to do.

At work they have pigeon holed me into a contract processing role and given others the bigger responsibilities. I have been resentful and hurt but I am trying to see the positives to this (I can focus on other things, balance my life). I have things I want to do with my time and spending it obsessively learning sql or other programs for work is not really what I want to do (though it would make me more competitive so I keep coming back to it as something that I should probably do).

What I want to do, get my house into order (wash and paint baseboards, put them back on, get dishwasher back in, get fridge hooked up to the water line, fix microwave, get new rug for living room, new furniture for living room, paint my bathroom, install dance floor downstairs, install soundproofing (to block sound from going out and coming in) and configure audio recording room with sound foam (to disperse reverb). Plus, put my desk together, and Angie's dresser.

THEN I can play around with my little audio recording projects. I've gotta talk my friend into helping me set up my computer...

So that's where I'm at. I want to have a nice steady relationship where I don't have to be too stressed out about. Hopefully. I definitely want to avoid wasting my time with guys that are looking for a hook-up.

Have a good one folks of the internet. :)

SG

Monday, January 23, 2017

American Freedom, Fight!

First Published 7/6/2010

Is that what you wanted America, mollycoddled living? Minds melting into mush as you endlessly feed off of stupidity?

Where did your fighting spirit go?

Daring, radiant life

Have we all retreated into dark corners, refusing to be stirred for humanities sake?

Enough!

I would rather live and die by my own two hands then go complacently into socialism.

Think! There are consequences for complacency.

Men and women have fought and died for our freedom, given all that they had so that we could choose.

Do you choose to be swallowed up in wallowing self pity over your lot in life or do you choose to embrace all that you have and fight the oppression of idiotically run government?

Live Americans, breath the air of freedom, taste the soil of salvation.

Do not be oppressed by the hidden crown.

(Elitists that are in control)


Fighting for Freedom - Idealism

First published 7/25/10

I am an idealist, which is difficult at this point in time. Why? Because it is so hard to live the ideal.

Ideally, I should still be married. My kids should have a stable, normal home. I should be there for them instead of working...

Yet I live in the land of reality where normalcy has been redefined, my son Sione is often gone to his fathers home and I am often not there for my kids physically or emotionally.

Ideally, I should move from this place, the landlord doesn't give a care for this duplex and has let it go down bad.

But in reality, I am stuck here, I don't earn enough money at what I am doing which is in some ways a self inflicted fate and in some a reflection of the economy.

Self inflicted because when I went to school I chose to have another baby instead of going into the workforce and thus I haven't gotten the experience that I need to have to make more money.

A reflection of the economy because jobs are simply scarce.

and so I deal with reality...

Fighting for Freedom - The reality of it is that we are being shanghaied into socialism, yet isn't it all of our responsibility to avoid government programs, avoid creating the need....?

Yet reality says otherwise, I cannot afford to pay for health insurance... it is as simple as that. I am now eligible for it but it will cost me $200 dollars a month that I don't have, if I put the premium on my credit card I would still end up paying for it plus interest at some point probably when I receive a tax return? How ironic!

Could I get the government to pay for my premiums? Perhaps

Could I get the government to pay for my housing? Yes

Could the government give me all this and would it be fair? Yes, Yes, Yes and NO!

How ironic that I am now faced with this reality!

That the very programs that I abhor and am fighting are the programs that I am forced to turn to!

Yet I still have a will, I can still fight this

But through the sacrifice of time with my kids, study of Excel to improve my job skills... yes but from the time with my kids... another job, yes... but it will take from the time with my kids...

Yet it is all I can do for idealism isn't it? Ideally I would stay with them, feed them healthy food and knowledge...

Ideally....

I hope I'm doing the right thing

Economy

First published 7/7/2010

So, what is going on in the economy?

I want to see if I can think through this thing.

First of all there is Adam Smith and his invisible hand. In this model there is a certain demand for products, there are x number of buyers and the number of sellers will increase until it is not profitable for new sellers to come into the market. If more people demand a product there will be an incentive for more sellers or increased production.

What happens if buyers cannot afford a product? If there was no credit they would not buy it. What happens if buyers don't want something anymore? Sellers reduce there price, and some sellers quit the business.

So here is a couple of things that have happened in our economy. The government has had some favorite projects. Since the Great Depression, they have been subsidizing farmers. This is supposedly to help small struggling farmers cope with losses. (There could have been a different solution to this I think. There is an insurance product to help avoid losses, farmers pay there premium every year. Some years are good and some bad. When disasters strike the insurance pays out).

Anyway, here is partially what has happened because of government subsidizing. It's not really, small farmers that are helped (it is usually big agribusinesses). The government comes in and pays people to not farm this or that. You get half a million for not raising x crop, what a deal. The government also suggests crops, like corn, soy, wheat for the farmers to raise. Guess what? We've got a lot of corn, soy and to a lesser degree wheat (there has actually been problems with not having enough wheat this year, corn and soy are more profitable). These crops are highly genetically engineered, highly covered in pesticides and highly profitable. They use them as fillers in almost every food out there (making almost all processed foods contaminated and GMO).

They use corn to make ethinol to "suppliment" our gasoline (incredibly this does not work out as a benefit to the environment). They also use corn to make the lovely detrimental High Fructose Corn Syrup (which leads to people getting fat, sick, and actually easily controlled because they don't have enough energy to question what is going on. Do I sound like a lunatic? Maybe, but I have experienced the energy drain. Then vs. now? Now is much better, never again HFCS or GMO's) They use corn in a lot of other things as well.

Soy, lovely soy. Toted as a health food, incorporated into almost every food out there. Soy is one of China's 5 sacred foods. Guess what? That was because it was used as a nitrogen fix for their fields. They never even ate it for millenia until they figured out how to ferment it, alot. Then they only ate it in very small quantities. Why? Because it is a known toxin, it is highly indegestible, an accumulator plant that takes up all of the nasty chemicals that are sprayed on it. American's get a hold of soy and they run around toting it as a cure for womens menstural problems, heart disease, etc. . . Telling everyone of how healthy the Japanese and Chinese are because they eat it. Well, it's true they eat a little bit, but not nearly the quantity that Americans have been eating. I have also seen reports that Soy is contributing to the feminizing of American men (i.e. they are growing breasts, and there manhood is getting weaker). Look for the Weston A. Price foundation online for more info.

Wheat is also a problemetic crop, it is not that wheat is (or was) not nutritious. It used to be very nutritous. Yet wheat too has undergone many changes in not to short a time. It has been genetically altered (to increase the gluten content), it is highly sprayed (to keep away pests) and it is highly refined (to feed Americans obsession with white bread). As an interesting side note, the ancient egyptians were the only ones that could afford white bread in antiquity, because they had slaves that they forced to go through the tedious process of seperating the wheat germ from the berry. It is also interesting that the egyptian rulers had dental cavities and more problems with illness than there slaves. So Americans come along and figure out how to do the separating with a machine and then they make everything they can out of their "white" flour.

How does this all relate to the economy? Well the subsidized crops are not or were not in great demand until they became subsidized. Then because we had so much of this stuff we creatively put it everywhere. The subsidizing of corn has led partially to the world food shortage (because other crops have not been grown and there have been failures in wheat crops). There are other ways that this relates but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

Well actually, the failure in crops, the massive hunger, has led us to have to pay for food aid. Large scale farms, create a great demand for oil. Oil is a limited resource that is running out, we don't have very much so we help defend oil producing countries and go to war (Iraq and other wars) to defened and aquire oil. (See the movie A Crude Awakening). This leads to massive spending, which leads to massive deficits, which leads to inflation (the government prints money without gold to back it up), which leads to things being unaffordable.

In comes the white knight, the credit industry. If we can get a loan then we can "afford" a car, a house, in some cases food and clothing. How dare we save our money, it's UnAmerican. We need to buy more, that's what good ol' Pesident Bush told us to do after 9-11. BTW we were in big trouble, even then and they all knew it. So the subsidizing of our lifestyles has made the cost of everything to go up (partially, remember inflation from printing too much money?).

More demand for a product, clothes, cars, houses, makes people want to get in to sell the product. So more clothes are made (as cheaply as possible, since they are meant to be used a short time and then thrown away), more cars are made (as cheaply as possible as well), more houses are made (also a lot of times poor quality).

How is this bad? Well think of it, everyone is not satisfied with what they have, they need new clothes, new cars, a new house. They don't want to save there money, so they are given loans. As long as they are working this is alright, right? Not really. They are now beholden to others, they are virtually slaves. But they are willing to do this, they get to drive their nice car, live in their nice house, wear their nice clothes. (Unfortunantly a lot of these people will be driving no car, have no house or clothes, sad).

Then what happens? It all starts to fall, the price of gas increases, the price of food the price of clothes. The demand for houses keeps going up, so people keep building. There are so many people building, the price of materials increases. The price of existing homes increases. What about those people who want to save their money 20% down and then an affordable mortgage? They want a home they can expand and put their own labor into for extra equity. Well too bad, the competition has forced contractors to build homes with all the extras, with finished basements, and a spa out back (please come buy my home). Guess what, the price of everything has increased (incredible how can this be happening). Very few people can afford to save 20% down and they can't even find a home with an affordable mortgage (houses cost to darn much). So "hero" loan officers come in and offer you a chance to get into your home, take out a loan for the principle and a loan for the down payment. Now you know and I know that something feels quite wrong here, but everyone is doing it, it seems to be working for them.

Now BOOM, it all explodes. We have too many homes, that cost too much (builders are dying here they put so much money into the homes they built, should have built smaller and more affordable). They file bankruptcy, they cant build anymore, they are out of work. Everyone out there who decided to buy their dream home they can't afford has been working two or three jobs. Maybe both mommy and daddy both, but guess what they can't do it anymore and they lose their home. This adds to the amount of homes for sale on the market. People cant afford their new clothes so retailers can't sell their clothes. People are putting money on credit cards to buy food, guess what they are still going to have to pay the piper. Banks are in trouble, because they have lent money to people who have overextended themselves and are going bankrupt. So guess what? We have banks going bankrupt. Where does it end?

Here comes the government, they are going to "Bail" out the banks. In all seriousness, and I am scratching my head here, do they really think that this is going to be a long term solution? Bail out the banks, what a joke. Everyone in America is suffering. Even those that lived on a budget, saved their money and didn't buy a home they couldn't afford. Some of them are reaping the benefits of their thrift and are now getting affordable homes. Some of them, still are not able to buy a home. Why? Because they have lost their jobs, they have used their savings and feel like they are getting no where (That's us). So what would bailing out the banks do? Perhaps temporarily this would calm the stock markets. It would also, reward people, executives, for there poor behavior. It would create 700 billion dollars more of inflation, this is an indirect tax on all of us. As if the war and spending on all of the natural disastors of the last couple of years has not hurt us already. Inflation, means the cost of living (everything) will continue to rise. Is this bailout a solution, NOT AT ALL. I don't know what the solution is, but I know that the underlying instability of the economy right now is scary and it leads me to my solution.

To be happy with what I have and grateful, to make a garden, to walk if I can to buy my food. To take care of the environment (I haven't even gone into how all of this is indirectly related to how poorly we have been treating the environment). I also haven't gone into a diatribe about how the GMO's and poor eating habits of Americans are increasing the cost of health care creating the big demand for the health care industry (health care, I think it should be sick care). Which also strains our economy and makes the big guy's rich and the rest of us poor and sick. That triad can wait for another day, there is a lot to say about that.

Anyway, I am sure I have left out a lot, and that there are other perspectives out there (one which my neighbor holds is that this crises is from the cost of foreign oil, give me a break). If anyone can expound on this futher please comment, it would be interesting to see other perspectives.

~Strawberry Girl