MamaDog Woofs

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just don't go!

Robert and I have set ourselves an interesting challenge this week. Basically, we want to see how long we can go without stopping at the grocery store!

I woke up this morning thinking about how much money is tied up in food, in all of our kitchens, that isn't being used. How many cans of soup do we have? And an extra box of pasta bought last time they were on sale, or that bottle of barbecue sauce because we wanted to try the new flavor from our favorite company..... How many dollars have we ALREADY invested in 'staple' food goods, or items in the freezer, that is just sitting there?

So this week we're trying something different. I'm going to make a list today of all the 'main menu items' I find in the cabinets and freezer. For his part, Robert must pick every day what we're going to have off that list.

This may sound like common sense and I'm certain some of my readers are laughing and shaking their heads at me right now. That's really OK with me. (laughing too) But seriously, when was the last time you really thought about it? I wonder how much money I can save by simply using what I already have because it's here, rather than picking up what I happen to be in the mood for that day? And how much better will I be eating by simply forcing ourselves to think about it ahead of time? How much effort, shopping time, gas, recyled material, trash..... it's really a bigger idea than it seems like at first. How many people in the world would wish to have simply the chance to make my choice? Leaner days are here for everyone, and I surely don't have money to throw away. How long have I had this habit? But that's it, it's only a habit, and I can change it.

We've pledged to do it together and I'll keep everyone posted. Anyone else want to try?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Karma, where art thou?

Karma, as they say, is a boomerang. The idea of karma can be found in many diverse cultures throughout history- far more than I realized until I did a simple internet search on the subject. It's so diverse there isn't even 'the symbol of karma'! We all know it though. "Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you." "What goes around, comes around." "Do good deeds and you will be rewarded in kind." For the really learned types, it's the "Ethics of Reciprocity". Short version-- do bad stuff and it's gonna come back to you. You may not know how, you may not know when, but it's COMING back.

Now to tell the rest of the story, I have to back up just a bit. Several years ago my family lost our father to cancer. A member of our family (you know, those who are supposed to love and CARE for you) took advantage of the opportunity created by his confusion and problems caused by drugs toward the end of his life. The short version is that many things which should have been shared appropriately were not. It's not the money. It's that this person could have taken that chance to do the right thing and formed a deeper relationship with us as her last surviving close relatives. Instead she threw us to the wolves. I have made a personal choice in my life to never, ever, speak her name again. She is officially known as "that person formed known as Aunt." I know it doesn't hurt her a bit, but it that's MY choice.

This morning my mother called with a story to read out of the paper. Since she knows I refuse to credit her with a name, she substituted the word "Bump" trying to help me laugh about what was happening.

Bump was feeling poorly and stopped at a local store on the way home to buy a paper. At the spur of the moment Bump purchased a large scratch-off lottery ticket and won. Bump won ALOT of money. Big five-figures type of money. Bump won the largest amount ever won in our county. Bump is now famous, appearing on papers and in the news for winning this really significant amount of money.

After proclaiming loudly that God has ** NO ** sense of humor, I began to see exactly the opposite. OH yes He does. He knows ALL about Karma. Like a pendulum, this second large dose of money is going to come back like a boomerang, because Karma won't be denied. No matter which of the world views you choose which embrace Karma, no matter this life or next, Karma is out there waiting. I'm glad I won't be standing next to her when it comes back her way....taps her on the shoulder....smiles...and says "hey, remember MEEEE?"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ignorance is.....bliss?

I have developed into a real information junkie! It's amazing how often I turn to the internet while watching tv, or reading an article, and quickly do a search for more details. I honestly can't imagine NOT wanting to know if something is true, especially in our modern age when most information is available at the click of a keyboard. Which brings me to and an interesting pattern I've begun to notice over the last couple of years.

A long time ago I learned about Snopes as an excellent place to verify rumors and urban legends. We've all received them-- shocking stories of 'almost rapes', deals that are absolutely too good to be true, or even pictures that look amazingly real and spectacular.

If the email is sent to me by someone I care about, and seems to have upset or worried them, I'll usually go to Snopes and verify it. Then, I'll email them the results. I'm only trying to ease their mind and let them know that it really IS better to just dial 911 (which works EVERYWHERE) as opposed to trying to reach the Highway Patrol by dialing *77 (which DOESN'T). I certainly want to know the truth! I want to know if those pictures are real, or if that child really is trying to do a good thing and help people.

Turns out, nobody else does. I have never gotten ONE response from someone saying "Oh thank goodness, I'm glad to know that!" It turns out ignorance is bliss. People who forward emails, for whatever reason, in general really don't want to know if it's the truth or not. They feel good for having passed along something they feel is helpful, that might brighten someone's day or warn them of a possible danger. They really don't want to know that it's all a hoax and has been passed around on the internet for a decade.

I don't suppose I'm ever going to get that. If you're like me, and you want to know, check it out! The next time you read something that sounds off, or vaquely familiar, roll on over to and look! You might be surprised at the truth you uncover, and all the folks on your email list will thank you.