Saturday, December 19, 2009

Turning the Corner Again

It's going to be a very busy week for me. I'll have to do overtime to get all my work done. Thought I'd better post something while I have a work-free day.

We had a great Solstice party/potluck/gabfest/jam session last night. The turkey was moist and tasty, the assorted pot-luck contributions were all wonderful, and the weather was much nicer for driving than last year! Not as many people as previous years, but good friends all. I heard a thing on NPR a few days ago about writing your own Christmas cards. My favorite was from a caller sharing the card she'd written...

"Many things have lost in value this year. But our friends keep appreciating."

I like that. Yes, it's been more of a roller-coaster year than usual. I've been very blessed to be in a secure job. Seems like everyone has a friend who has not been so lucky. Some of our high spots were a good sales week at the Weiser Fiddle Contest, two weeks of violin-making workshop, and finishing his first violin for hubby. A fun week at dance summer school, a raise, and a great gardening season for me. Another year of getting to know all our good friends even more, and re-connecting with long-lost friends on Facebook. Plus we're spending the holidays with my parents - something I treasure more and more as we all age.

In some ways, we can look at the hard times as a silver lining. We've had to think more carefully about how we spend money. But in doing that we've grown more of our own food, started canning and preserving for the cold months, and cut down on the expensive processed stuff. A friend who recently discovered an allergy to corn has got us taking another look at what we eat, and how we can reduce our intake of the ubiquitous "king corn". What a long-term project that's going to be! I may end up making my own granola.

Another change I'm making is to use more cash rather than the debit card. All those banking fees cost money for the local merchants you may be trying to support (like us!), which makes things more expensive for the buyer. And why the heck should we give even more of our money to the banking system than we have to? Although I don't usually make a big deal of my new year resolutions, using cash more often is one way I *can* make a difference. If you want to know more, have a look at this web-page; Use Cash.

The actual solstice event is Monday the 21st. On the darkest day of the year we remember that the corner is turned, the light is already growing. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and a much better New Year!

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