Wednesday, March 11, 2009

E is for Endurance, what else?

Sometimes that's just all you have left. You stand up to the crisis at hand and you just plain endure. You get dressed, you put on your make up, and you just keep going. You make it through one more day alive, intact, and whole. You endure the bills, the bankruptcy, the divorce, the sickness, the natural disaster. Whatever it is, you just endure and live to fight another day. And By God, keep your sense of humor!!!

The lyrics below are to what I consider my theme song, I'm Still Here by John Hartford. I first learned of the magical musician in the late 70's and he's become one of my heroes. If you click through the link, you'll see him in action with his fiddle and his dancing feet. When I first heard this song at the tender age of 18, I had no idea how much it would mean to me in the coming years.

I'm Still Here, by John Hartford

Now trains are runnin' towards each other
Shotguns are pointed at my head
Tornado clouds are formin' at the crossroads
H-Bombs are fallin' towards my bed

But I'm still here
I'm still here, and how 'bout that?
My city may be fallen, but I'm still here.

Assassination squad has got their orders
Repossession man is on his way
Landlady's givin' me her notice
I'll be pitched out with trash now any day

But I'm still here
I'm still here, and how 'bout that?
I may have lost my lunch box, but I'm still here.

"When you're going through Hell . . . keep going" Winston Churchill

Friday, March 6, 2009

D is for Desiderata

My good friend Mama in Wonderland reminded me of this piece. So lovely. So wise. And so perfect for endurance.


by Max Ehrmann, ca. 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

C is for Coupons

Coupons, we all use them. I'm not going to insult your intelligence. But did you know that manufacturer's websites often carry coupons online? Sister Cheesecake Maven brings us this idea. I usually buy store brands, which are often less expensive than a name-brand with a coupon. However, if you have a favorite product search their website! Here a few brands that we found:

Procter & Gamble

Does anyone out there have an experience with websites touting printable coupons, good or bad? I'd love to hear from you. Email me at

B is for Biscuits

But we already covered that. See below.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A is for ALDI

Now that I've joined the ranks of the impoverished I have discovered the poor man's mecca, and it is ALDI. If you've never shopped there, here's a primer.
First, bring your own bags and boxes.
Second, have a quarter handy. You put your quarter in the slot on the grocery cart outside, and it unlocks from a chain. At the end of your ALDI adventure, you put the chain back in your cart and your quarter pops out! Keeps the carts coming back, and they don't have to pay extra folks to bring them all in every hour. Then again, if I'd walked away fast, I would have a fabulous cart for a quarter and I'd be ready for my life as a homeless person.
Third, lower all your expectations for organic, locally produced, high-end, artisan food. ALDI sells staples dirt cheap - perfect for families in survival mode like mine. We came out of there with 3 large packing boxes full of potatoes, onions, canola oil, cereals, brown sugar, frozen pizzas, chocolate chips, bananas, pasta, graham crackers, and plenty more. I KNOW this load at my usual store would have cost over $140. We paid $85!!! We ventured across the street to a normal grocery store for a few "extras" like hamburger and store-brand pop. We left there with 2 weenie little grocery bags full and a bill for $118!

However, there are just some things I can't bring myself to buy there, like meat, milk, and eggs. I still have SOME standards.