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2018-11-10 - 12:14 p.m.

I am happy to have spent last weekend finally cleaning my bedroom and the bathrooms. Felt great to get it done!

Long overdue for a deep clean.

Decluttering is another story as it is such an ongoing task. Progress made; bag to be brought to the thrift store once itemized.

Itemization is not worth it I know, but its a habit and I might as well keep it in the event it becomes worth it again.

Non Profits are being significantly impacted by tax code changes that were not well thought out.

I first became truly aware of the impact when I received a letter from a local non profit which used to provide Christmas gifts for needy kids. I benefitted from them the years of unemployment or underemployment and was so saddened to notice that in the most recent years when I went to volunteer at the same event at Christmas time, their ability to help those in need was greatly diminsished. They could not afford to rent the large warehouse space they previously used so had to downsize what they could offer. They also lost some local municipal funding when there was a law put into effect that religious orgs could not be supported by some funding streams at a national level which then affected the local municipal support.

This year I received a PLEADING letter literally begging for support for them to stay afloat to help the most needy. Their donations are down tremendously, a trickle of what they used to receive and are struggling to be able to do even a fraction of what they used to do.

I can tell you first hand many in my area relied on this for their kids to have anything at Christmas.

It is not an exaggeration that the impact of our recent policy changes of increasing personal tax exemption.

What I find most frustrating however is that I myself can't do much more as my income diminished (no longer have a tenant- and that was $10 K a year !); and I have more teens in my home so my expenses have increased.

So I have to provide for my family, like so many others, end up self absorbed in my own personal prioritization- despite best efforts.

Its just disappointing.

So at the library as I still choose not to drop money on a laptop or fancy cell phone in my personal financial prioritization choices.

I still choose to try to pay down debt and live with appreciation of the simple pleasures of life.

I am so grateful for family and friends who help me out when I need it.

This week the highlight was that I stopped by the farm of my friend to pick up some eggs. As due to a recent divorce (think perhaps becoming final- my friend refuses to talk about it VERY HURT and closed); well- also cause I was friends with this COUPLE and when any comments that slam the other are said I have this awful habit of TRYING to only listen but at some point then try to point out the good and that after the pain is over maybe my friend can see the good in the person once loved .

You can't feel that depth of painful agony at the loss of a relationship if you didn't have depth of love.

I know this.
I know the pain will pass... but its a long road.

So I get the lack of trust.

But I try to offer support as BOTH of that couple were a great support to me ten years ago as I navigated my own divorce. They are BOTH friends to me. I have tried the challenging thing of supporting both when I have been called to do so.

It's a hard thing to do to try to love your friends when they are having a hard time loving each other. So I stayed away a bit... but realize friends don't abandon you in time of need.

So trying to be a friend .

Trying to be giving and supportive in the appropriate ways I can. The little ways.. like stopping to buy my eggs from the farm, enjoying a glass of wine and company and just BEING chill in companionship for a little while. There was fire roaring outside on this crisp chill Autumn night I worked late and when stopped by was delighted to relax a bit. I also borrowed a lap top and got some logistics done that we on my MOM "TO DO" so that was a relief: Planning for school trip travel, bus reservations, payment of fees etc...

And in the end, since there is not a whole family there, but my friend is still cooking like doing so for a whole family I left feeling SO CARED FOR. I left with all this fruit that went into a smoothie I enjoyed for breakfast then next two days (Pineapple Banana- the melon was too overripe), a dish that was reminiscent of beef bolognaise which I swear I have not tasted anything as wonderfully cured into a smooth gravy with such flavor since the fabulous CHEF made it for me years ago.
I half wonder if this is the same recipe cause I did meet that professional chef from this friend ! DAMN that leftover dish I ate for lunch when working from home yesterday so just incredible.

Then today, before going off to run errands I enjoyed some grilled Mahi Mahi.

I work today , and while one teen reacted in disdain at the thought of leftovers which she said " I am not eating it. I don't know what's in it"; thankfully the OTHER teen was receptive when I told her what leftovers were in the fridge.

As I was leaving my friend had said "Hey take some of this for the kids" so I told the one that they were intended for them. She was not convinced but at least the other will eat something other than Ramen today while I am at work.

I am so grateful.

So today I am going to do a quick Target run to pick up dog food and a few essentials (after checking the bank acct) before work. I intended to visit a dear friend who is a rehab place- but tomorrow will do so after church as I got moving too late after enjoying a lazy morning of a few long walks with the dog and reading Steinbeck.

I am getting such a kick out of Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath is on the reading list of my 9th grader, and I at first thought "Really"? COME ON haven't they changed the damn list in the past 30 years? How about something RELEVANT to the world these kids navigate today?

I expressed that fear to the teacher who assured that they end up supporting the kids in study of what they are interested it. They just don't really want to freak out some of the parents it seems but some of the subject matter that the kids REALLY are drawn to to navigate the REAL issues of their lives today.

The schools do a pretty good job of protecting the security and sense of well being of some worrisome parents while STILL educating kids to think for themselves and broaden their consideration of ideas beyond the narrow views some parents present.


Truth be told, The Grapes of Wrath is hilarious in its early chapters! I am finding it just as amusing as Tortilla Flat, as I flip between the two books.

After reading a bit, I have to agree, the stories do seem timeless and still very relevant.

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