Friday, October 31, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I like to think that the above photo symbolizes the current crisis in financial markets, the downturn in the global economy, the plunging in housing prices, the deeper job losses and the state of despairs in our country. That thought gives me hope, just like when the gloomy weather is over and the winter snow storm is gone, the green grass will once again covers the ground, the trees will blossom with flowers, then producing fruits to nourish the people and we will again enjoy peace and prosperity. I want to believe that there are a lot of smart people out there who know exactly how to calm the markets and how to stop the global economy from plunging into the worst downturn since perhaps the Great Depression. Some analysts talk about a painful recession might be the only way for the markets to correct itself and to work the problems out of the system. In the meantime, Mr. Financial Expert, what should we the average working Americans do?
There again, he stood at the corner, on the main street, this time with his light jacket as the weather was getting chilly. Probably the same person who was there during the summer heat while the motorists driving by in their air-conditioned vehicles. I feel terrible, almost guilty that he was there when it was drizzling. I thought of how much his life would change on November 5th. Would he still be there holding the sign, "Liquidate - Everything Must Go - 60-70% Off", earning minimum wage, and planning for the next temporary job? Does he have a family to support? Should I tell him about the websites I saw that would help him make $5-7K a week working from home? How about the ad "Make Money Doing Nothing"? Or perhaps he is pursuing a college degree and this job fits into his class schedule. So there is no need for me to feel sorry for him. How do we as a society help people who no matter what kind of assistance programs available would always remain in poverty?
When my family first came to America, my Dad worked as a dishwasher. I also got a job as a stock clerk and together we took care of our family. Along the way, we became self-sufficient, earned college education, become homeowners and have always been proud to be Americans. That is what America is built on, individuals taking responsibilities, work hard, do your best and not waiting for distribution from the government. I would like to have all the money Mr. Bill Gates has, but I would not want the government to take his money and give to me. (Note: Please no political comments. I don't care for my blog to be bombarded with heated exchange from discussions between two campaigns. ALL political comments will be rejected.)
I knew the cold weather was coming when I witnessed the squirrel storing the apple up high on the beam of our patio. I looked out the kitchen window and watched the squirrel busy gathering food for the winter. Below is one of the last apples still hanging on the tree, bare branches with most of the leave already fell on the ground. I guess it is time for me to get out the heavy blankets, the sweaters and the snow boots.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Here are a few things I learned from the training with CERT - Community Emergency Respond Team. Also adding to what the Lone Gunman wrote about items to have in case of natural disaster.
Canned foods - Remember to also buy those that don't need can opener or have can opener that does not need electricity.
Water supply - Keep a minimum of three gallons of water for each person - one gallon per person per day - two weeks' worth of drinking water if you have storage space.
First aid kits, clean clothes, towels, whistle to signal for help, heavy duty large trash bags (to keep things dry), and flashlights with extra batteries, keep all these items in a sturdy backpack.
Develop an emergency plan for your family, where to meet and the best way to connect in the event you got separated, unable to come home or roads were impassable.
Up to this point, I donated almost 60 books to the local library and all of the music cassette tapes. The library even accepted old records, but not used text books! The photos above showed the stack of text books from my graduate school at Saint Louis University. You could tell one of my study habits was marking the pages with colorful mini post-it notes (photo below). From these titles, Power of the Press, The Four Theories of the Press, Ethics in Communication etc., you could also tell that I majored in communication (journalism & public relations). The price tags were somewhere between $60-100 for each of these textbooks and of course they didn't hold value after each semester because the professors assigned different books or required the latest edition. The school bookstores would pay less than $15 for these books. I was too lazy to participate in the exchange with other students.
To this day my husband still complained about the time when he carried two heavy suitcases back to Michigan after a visit to NYC. That was during Thanksgiving in 1988 when CP came to NYC to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. In preparation for the move to Grand Haven, CP asked me to fill up the suitcases with my earthly possessions. I did not have much then since I lived in a small rented room in Woodhaven. CP claimed that he almost dislocated his shoulders carrying the suitcases full of textbooks from Hunter College. I could not recall exactly what those textbooks were or how long I kept them after I moved to Grand Haven. For now I am keeping the textbooks from SLU and will get rid of them when we are ready to move to a retirement home :)
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
According to a brochure published by the Missouri Department of Conservation, explaining why leaves change color - in good seasons, the fall color may change slowly from mid-September to a peak in mid-October. Aside from contrasting temperatures, other factors also affect fall color. In the fall, shorter days and cooler nights mean there is less energy (the sun) for food-making for the whole tree. When trees don't have enough food, the green disappears and yellow, red, orange, purple appear. The more sunshine during the day, the more red and vivid bright colors are created.
Taken advantage of the warm sunny days the last two weekends, first we moved the furniture into the living room to steam clean carpet in the family room, the bathrooms and the kitchen. The following weekend, it was the living room and the dining room gotten their annual deep cleaning fun. We had all the windows open and the ceiling fans on full motor. It took only a day for the carpet to dry but we tip toe around to avoid leaving foot prints. It feels so good walking on clean carpet. We cleaned the bedrooms in the summer when we slept on the futon in the basement because it was too hot upstairs and we were too frugal to turn the air-condition on full blast to battle the heat.