Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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A Humdinger of a Humbug

I am soooo not in the Christmas spirit this year.  I normally love to do all the things.  You know, decorate everything that can have garland wrapped around it, Christmas Tree up Thanksgiving(American) weekend, baking, gifting, more baking.

Not so much this year.  It doesn’t even feel like it should be here.

TheBrit and I did go weekend before last and bought a real tree.  I haven’t had one in ages.  Years ago I bought one of those pre-lit deals.  Swore I’d never have a tree I’d have to put lights on again.  But I thought, what the heck, maybe the smell of the real deal will put me to rights.

It stood in it’s stand bare for a week.  Finally  this past Sunday I decided perhaps I should put something on the Frasier Fur that has been sacrificed for my pleasure. So there it is:

 

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I’ve bought one gift. A Star Wars Planetarium for my nephew.

We decided that since we’re not in the jingliest of moods we’d do some things for other people to get outside of ourselves.  We saw a panhandler sitting on the corner in nothing but a undershirt, a pair of trousers, and shoes.  As we were headed to that hell on earth, otherwise known as Wal-Mart, we decided to get him some boxes of non-perishable food and a hoodie.

We handed it to him, still in the bags, through the car window along with a little cash and wished him a Merry Christmas.  He said, “It’s Christmas?  I didn’t even know it was.  I don’t keep up with it anymore.”

At first TheBrit was a bit concerned as to what he might purchase with the cash.  “I don’t care what he does with it,” I said, “If I lived on the street like that I’d probably want a drink, too.  Plus, many homeless people who do drink only drink beer as it’s an appetite suppressant and it’s cheap. They don’t necessarily drink to be drunk.  The drink to not be hungry.”

Then we went by a local restaurant to pick out a child’s name for the local Tree of Giving campaign.  The wish lists are supplied by local school system social workers, The Children’s Advocacy Center, The Methodist Home for Children, The Local Battered Women’s Shelter, The Local Recreation Center and The Sheriff’s Boy’s Ranch.  There were only a few names left.  We picked one and purchased everything on the child’s list plus a little something extra, wrapped them, and returned them to the drop off location.

I should be more thankful, I know.  I have so many reasons to be.  I’m still having a humdinger of a humbug. Bah!

I’ll count my three biggest blessings and cuddle with them.  Here I am with two of them doing just that(the hubs doesn’t want his countenance published):

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35 Comments

Class Warfare

 

These are the words of a “white trash hillbilly from the holler.”

He and his compatriots are not looting.  They are not vandalizing.  They simply know the score.  Their coal jobs are gone.  They were unhealthy occupations when they had them.  They need a living wage and they know they aren’t going to get it from the incoming administration without a fight.

They are realists.  Pragmatists.  Even without an education Nic Smith is thinking critically about the promises made and the outlook for his future.

You don’t have to have a college or university degree to see what’s plain in front of your face.

The last time I bought a pair of blue jeans was about a year and half ago.  They came from…*gasp*…Target. They are made by a company that is a staple in the denim industry, Levi Strauss.  They used to be a symbol of Made In America.

When I look at the tag it says they were made in Bangladesh.  Or possibly Brazil.  I’m not sure which because both locations are on the label.  They were not made in America.

They might have even been made in a sweatshop by a seven year old who was paid ten cents.

I don’t know.

What I do know is the manufacturing of Levi’s jeans isn’t coming back to America.

Manufacturing and mining as we knew it fifty years ago isn’t coming back to America.

People need a living wage and everyone can’t be a white-collar worker.

We are going to have to be innovative and creative.

Clean energy would be a great avenue to explore but the incoming administration seems loathe to explore that.  They jettison climate change and EPA regulations in favor of “clean” coal, whatever that is, and fossil fuels.

Welcome to 1950.  Except it’s nearly 2017.

I would say that I feel discouraged.  Except I don’t.

I know that there are enough of us, the us that wants positive change – not just change at any cost – to come up with new and better ways to sustain ourselves.

The government is not the United States of America.  The people are.  People like Nic Smith give me hope.

We don’t need to cut and run.  We need to dig in and fight.