..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gas/Diesel

We own a gas truck and a diesel truck and both are guzzlers. There is nothing we can do about it. We can't sell either one for enough for a downpayment on something new so we are stuck with them. Thank God, we live in town and everything I need is usually within 5 miles. Stan has a 22 mile commute one way. I'm trying really hard to stay close to home or not go anywhere in order to save money. A year ago it took $50 to fill up my big diesel truck but this week I put $70 in and it only filled it 3/4 of the way full. Considering I was trying to be on a self-imposed $100/week budget which covers my diesel, groceries, medicines, dr visits, minor purchases... Well, my budget is out the window with the rise in fuel costs. I've really tried to use coupons, store brands, sales, make cheap meals, meatless meals, plan my trips, shop thrift stores, etc. Basically trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep my costs down. A year ago we were eating steak every week, meat with every meal, I didn't use coupons very much and I bought name brands that I'd used for years.

Please don't think I'm poor-mouthing. I'm very aware of the many blessings Stan and I enjoy. I think back to 1977 when we got married and we made $5.00/hour COMBINED! We have come such a long way in 33 years and Stan makes more money per year than we ever dreamed of. We live in a 3,000 sq ft house that is lovely and comfortable. We each have vehicles and we have retirement savings. I give God all the glory! We couldn't take our next breath without Him so we know every blessing we have is due to our Father in Heaven and the greatest blessing is our salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ!

I hate to talk politics on my blog because people have almost visceral opinions on politics. In 51 yrs of living I have learned that there are no political parties that are virtuous or have all the answers. If you know me, you know that I'm politically conservative and usually vote Republican (although my Uncle Glenn Reese is a Democrat and I vote for him because I know him and how seriously he takes his responsibilities as SC State Senator). But I don't believe that Republicans can save this country. A good portion of my family are what I call, Yellow Dog Democrats. They would vote for a yellow dog rather than a Republican. That comes from the old Great Depression days and President Roosevelt. But I know that Democrats can't save this country. I know that there is foul corruption in both parties and immoral goings on in both parties. I have no illusions that one or the other can "save" us. Only God can "save" us. Only God blessed this country, only God sustains this country and only God knows all the answers for our future. It makes me sick that we are so busy deleting God from the public forum despite the fact that He built this country, He sustains it and He can tear it down this very moment. We are totally dependent on God and yet we are so sure that we don't need Him! We look to the government to take care of us, to supply our needs and we expect it to be done NOW! It must make sense to us and be done according to our dictates or we decide there is no God! How arrogant can we be? But we are and we are tempting God.

But let us not forget that there are many of God's children still in America. I'm not perfect, but I believe in Jesus Christ and He is my personal Savior and therefore I am one of God's children. Those, who are saved through their belief and trust in Jesus Christ, are God's children and He will not forget us.

But let's think a moment. Let's think a little deeper than most of us do. After 9/11, President Bush took almost too much time to move in to Iraq. All of us wanted to send our military in there as soon as we could get them transported over there. We knew that Sadam Hussein used mass destruction weapons on the Kurds (how have we forgotten that?) so he had the potential to do terrible damage. We may not have found nuclear weapons but Hussein had plenty of time to sell what he had before the war got started. But, nuclear or not, he had shown his ability and willingness to kill the Kurds in his country. We saw the torture chambers in the jails and heard the stories of torture. We know that Al Queda and the arab terrorists are willing to do anything to bring down America. But we seem to have forgotten all this.

We also know our economy runs on oil and we get a big chunk of our oil from the Middle East. Everyone said former President George W. Bush went into this war in Iraq because of the oil. I agree, I believe that was his primary goal-to stabilize a section of the Middle East so that oil would continue to flow to America. The human rights goal was probably secondary, it was probably mostly about the money. But was he so wrong? When I see the prices of gas/diesel quadrupling in price, I realize he may have done the right thing and President Obama is probably doing the wrong thing. Once America indicated that it was tired of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting and voting for Obama, the arab terrorists have been wreaking havoc over there.

I think President G.W. Bush's attempt to stabilize the area with our troops may be what helped us keep the prices in line during most of his presidency. And since everything is transported, the gas/diesel prices have caused the price of everything to go up and up. A loaf of bread that used to cost $1.50 is now over $2 and it is due to the cost of fuel. Tractor trailer trucks, airplanes and trains all use fuel and wheat has to be transported to baking facilities and then has to be transported to grocery stores and the result being prices for a loaf of bread is going up. And that doesn't take into account how the oil prices affect the farmers who use diesel in their tractors and in their pickup trucks or how it affects the seed companies who have to get the wheat seed to the farmers in the first place. It's a domino effect and every domino has a fuel cost built in so that by the time we buy a loaf of bread that cost has been passed down to us.

In Bush's last 6 mos, I think the arab's were watching our presidential campaign with bated breath. If a Republican got the presidency then they knew we would try to retain our hold in the Middle East so our oil supplies could remain flowing. But if a Democrat got the presidency, it would indicate that the American public was tired of war and tired of our men dying in the Middle East and a Democrat president would want to look for ways to pull out. That being so, they were poised to begin as soon as we left the area. We began to pull out of Iraq last year and the void has been filled with the radical violent groups and this unrest and upheaval is affecting our ability to keep the oil flowing.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't have the answer! I don't know what is the best thing to do! I have a nephew and a nephew-in-law that served in Iraq and I can't stand the thought of any of our young military personnel dying over there. I would love for these radical idiots to go to war and kill themselves off. Unfortunately, innocent people are caught in the middle of these factions and those who survive have to do what they have to do to survive. These criminal elements aren't just hurting themselves. And, the oil that comes from that region is what makes our world go around.

Our military was in the middle of these warring, radical, murderous people to try and keep as much peace as is humanly possible in that area and it was to insure that Americans could have the oil they need to live their normal lives. It also was to protect us from those who train radicals on how to terrorize us in our own country (like 9/11). Our military was successful. As we can see, since we pulled most of our military out late last year, the area has become a caldron and oil prices have shot up.

Do I want our military to go back into Iraq? As I said, I hate that any of our youth have had to spend any time in that death trap and that any have lost their lives. I hate that families have had to be without their loved ones for months/years at a time or have lost their loved one over in that God forsaken place. But, on the other side of the coin, we are seeing the results of that withdrawal in a rise in oil prices which is affecting everyone in the world. The economy is in a shambles for basically 3 reasons, the debt (much of it our own fault); corruption and greed (again, within our own borders); and, the cost of oil.

I listened to President Obama this afternoon. One of the reporters asked him how long we would let the human rights abuses go on in Libya before we took action. That is so familiar isn't it? It was the same thing we asked President Bush when we heard about Saddam Hussein's abuses... "How long will we wait before we do something about the human rights abuses?"

But I agreed with him when he said that we need to keep a focus on finding new ways to wean ourselves off of our oil dependency. I firmly believe in my own heart that we have the technology but our businesses are suppressing and killing this technology because their profits are derived from oil and oil dependent mfg (such as manufacturing cars). In the short run, it's not in their best interests to re-tool top to bottom for something new. Long run... it's in everyone's best interests, but it's an expense and cuts the bottom line and profits. So, they continue to stick their heads in the sand and avoid the question. I can only hope that Obama is able to do something about this. I'm sorry President Obama, but I haven't got a clue how you can do it but I hope you can! We need renewable and sustainable energy! But considering the overwhelming re-structuring, from the top down that this would require, I don't have a lot of hope. I'm afraid it may take a total dismantling of our economy, wiping out our way of life as we currently know it. And, if that happens, we are vulnerable to losing our country altogether to violent groups. Much like what happend to Russia in 1918.

OK, that's all I'm going to say about politics. I have a very pessimistic, scenical look at it and I hope I'm wrong. I know mankind is evil. We are born with an evil human nature and our natural tendencies are towards evil. We cannot expect the unsaved to act in any other way than evil. None of us are above doing evil because it is what comes naturally to us.

God is our only hope! We are all sinners and in need of a Savior. All of us suffer from the consequences of the sin in our world. Thank God, He loved us enough to make a way to be saved from our evil and sin. He loved us so much He sent His only Son to die for us and save us. We can now be forgiven if we trust in Him. He is the only Way to be forgiven and go to Heaven when we die. No matter how nice, good, kind, or sweet we try to be, we are still sinners and if we don't accept Jesus Christ, then we will go to hell for eternity. God has provided the way to be saved from this horror! He never wanted any to go to hell. He provided a way of escape. Jesus submitted to a horrible death in order to save us!

And God is the only one who will save our country if He deems it to be saved. It won't be a certain charismatic leader or a political party or a revolutionary group or a lot of money or a new program...

If anything good happens, it will be because of God's mercy and grace. We don't deserve His mercy considering how we've publicly treated Him in our government. But He is merciful. We don't deserve His grace considering how greedy and corrupt many businesses and organizations have become. But He is full of grace. "Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more."

I am humbled by His love, grace and mercy. If I were God and I saw how people hated me, I would wipe them all off the face of the earth and into hell without a second thought. I'm so thankful that He hasn't done that because if He had done that, I would be spending eternity in hell with the rest of you. Instead, He made a way for us to be saved so we could spend eternity with Him! Oh, how thankful and grateful my heart is. Is it any wonder that I love Him!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Household Plastic



With the push to be more "green" I did a Google search on plastic wrap and bags with the idea of finding ways to store and re-use plastic. You can keep your plastic food bags and wraps organized. That way you aren't purchasing duplicates.






















You can wash and dry plastic food bags. Some people use a small clothesline and clip the bags upside down. Or take some wooden skewers and a couple of small glasses to make your own dryer.


You can use wooden dowels to make your own dryer for the plastic baggies.



You can re-use plastic baggies or plastic grocery bags and household plastic containers. Here are some great ideas from imaginative people that I found on the Internet about new uses and re-uses of household plastic.

Twelve plastic food bags can be used as a quick filing system for monthly receipts. Hang this up at your staging area (as you go in and out of the door) and slip receipts in it as you come home.



For holding game and puzzle pieces.



Keeping makeup together. If you use certain makeups together then use a plastic baggie to keep them together. For instance, you use certain makeups for your blue outfits, then keep all blues together in a baggie.



A tip! When you freeze your food, freeze it flat and then stack them.



Freeze homemade baby food, herbs, concentrates, broths in old ice trays. Once they are frozen, toss them in plastic freezer bags for the freezer.



Grate all your cheese into a food baggie so that it's easily available when cooking or garnishing.



Place a cup hook near an appliance and put the manual, schematics, parts lists and leftover pieces in a plastic baggie and hang from the cup hook. That way it will always be handy.



Fill an empty bottle with water and place it in your commode tank to save water.



Use to make a mini green house.



Use to hold computer cables. Organize your cables and keep like ones together.



Use baggies to keep stuff together in your diaper bag, picnic basket, gym bag, purse.



Keep your leftover change in baggies.



Use baggies to hold nails, screws, nuts and bolts, picture hangers, etc.



Place your recipe in a baggie to protect it from spills splatters while cooking.



Using a clear plastic bottle to make an attractive vase.















Using a plastic DVD spindle package to hold a bagel sandwich.



Making a sprinkler with a plastic bottle and used plastic pens.



Using green plastic bottles, cut up and made into this neat mobile.





Using a plastic lid for a spoon rest.



Use plastic baggies to protect your iPad, tablets, and other electronics. This can protect it from spills and splatters while you snack, eat lunch or drink coffee as you read.



A device that allows you re-use plastic grocery bags for recycling.



Crochet plastic grocery bags into shopping bags and other things.













You can make your own food storage bags without having to purchase plastic bags to begin with. You can also purchase these bags. They have to be laundered so I don't know how much you really save but it's a thought.














One tip that of mine is to save the wax bags that our cereal comes in and use it for our sandwiches.

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