Well, I was able to get in touch with everyone or their answering machine. We canceled. Not enough people are going to be able to come, soooooo....no sense going through it all. I will, however, be trying again in the next month or so, because I may as well try, try again! :-)
Now, leaving that topic behind, we did in fact get more snow. Not much, however. It melted overnight, which is fine. It is nice to have it slooowllly soak into the ground. Some still ends up in the ponds, of course, but even though we had a wet spring/summer/fall, late fall into early winter has been very dry--not good for the wheat farmers. Not good at all, especially given the poor crop that they had this last year, when they had drought, and then late freezes. Killed crops all over. And not just wheat--peaches, nuts, you name it. They were all affected.
So this year, we are praying for bountiful crops. And not just the farmers. All the us need to be praying too. There were crop failures across the board, from wheat, to corn, to soybeans. The fruit and nut crops in California are toast, thanks to the enviromental folks' insistence on cutting off the water to the central valley. Not to mention many many other crops reliant on that water...so if things are expensive where you are now, stock up as you can--they aren't going to be getting cheaper. And if you have the means and wherewithal, plan a garden. Container garden, even if you cannot do anything else. Every little bit helps. And it is far better for you.
I know that many of us know that the economy stinks. So many folks out of work, some who have not been able to find anything in so long, that the unemployment benefits have run out. Unfortunately, I don't see that getting any better, any time soon. Not that I am some great economist, but honestly, look at the policies being put into place, legislation, court cases where the judiciary is legislating, the international economic outlook is bad, just based on markets..but taking a look at the food situation--so many crop failures, not just here in the US, but overseas as well? Folks, things are going to get ugly. Please, buy some extra food, put up some stuff while it is available at a reasonable price...cause I don't doubt that soon, it will be completely UNreasonable. Or not to be had for any price...
I'm not sure if any of the rest of you have noticed, but there is inflation going on right now. We're already seeing it, in sneaky ways. Where manufacturers charge a dollar more, and reduce the size of the packaging--sometimes, so subtly, that you don't notice it until you really LOOK. A friend of mine, a year ago, purchased some biscotti from Sam's Club. Got the same package this year. But the biscotti inside the package, are 2/3ds the size that they were last year. And she paid more (she keeps receipts, given her line of work). I've seen it--in the diapers I buy for #4 & 5. (I'd go to cloth, but oh, no. These two are regular little firemen, iykwim!). The Walmart brand has been my 'go to' purchase for them. They were reasonably priced $13.98/box of 82. A few months back, they changed the packaging, just a bit. I didn't notice it, until I got home, and sat the new package down on one I had bought previously. It was smaller! And then I looked at the amount of diapers in it...they had dropped the number of diapers, to 70. And I knew, when I had picked them up, that they had bumped the price up a dollar, to $14.98. So now, I am paying $15...for fewer diapers. Given that 12 diapers is a day's worth for us around here, and I know that that would be a good two days' worth, for someone with only one baby, this is significant, especially if you are on a tight budget and can only buy what you *need*, and only enough to get you from one paycheck to the next. Used to, one of those boxes would last me close to two weeks. Now? I'm lucky if I can stretch it to a week and a half. It does add up...
In another example--the size of cans of tuna. A while back, not that long ago, really--tuna was in 6 oz cans. Now it is 5. And some folks have reported seeing even smaller cans--for the same price as the old 6 oz cans! Sugar, used to be in 5 pound sacks. Now, it is 4 pounds--and you are still paying an arm and a leg. I counted myself blessed to luck into a sale locally, for 4lb sacks of sugar for $1.50-1.59 each. Between $.375 and $.40 a pound. Walmart, has their "Great Value" brand, for $2.98 for 5 pounds. $.60 a pound!
The sugar crop was one of those that took a pounding this year, btw, folks, so be forewarned, prices aren't likely to go down anytime soon. If you are like me, and bake, or can, and know you will need sugar this summer--buy it now. Put it in a rubbermaid tote in the bottom of a closet. Seriously. You'll thank yourself later, when you have to take two and three looks at the price on the shelf, and sugar is through the roof.
Our farmers, all over the US, took a real beating this last year. The mono-culture method of farming, prevalent since WWII, has become a real liability now. These farmers, deeply in debt for seed, equipment, herbicides/pesiticides, fuel, and the like, are now in real trouble. They didn't have a crop this year, in many places, and in some, barely anything of salable quality. Now they are in hock, and their farms are being sold at auction, just so that they can pay their debts. If they will be able to do that. Family farms are being abandoned, simply because of a single year's crop loss...
Now think on it...permit me to indulge myself in a bit of a rabbit trail, here..
If there weren't enough successful crops this year, to feed a good many people...if the farmers who attempted to grow these crops, are not farming anymore, thanks to their overwhelming debt loads, and the ground is lying fallow...and so no new crops are being planted for *this* year...are we not in WORSE shape, than we were previously? Fewer growers, fewer things actually being grown, equals fewer things being harvested. Fewer things being harvested, leads to less food making it to the markets--whether as fresh, frozen, canned, or processed. If it isn't there, it isn't there. Now, supply/demand says that we'll see the demand increase...even as the supply dwindles. And the prices will reflect that--the companies will charge what they CAN for the food, because they know that people cannot live without it. People *do* have to eat. Period. We can do without cable, we can do without cell phones, or land lines. We can do without eating out, or going on vacation. But we cannot live without food.
This is just food. Prices per barrel for oil have gone up, to almost $80/barrel as of my last check. So petroleum products go through the roof, too, thanks to the passed on costs of manufacture--this will cross all over the market, since we need fuel to get the non-petroleum based products to market, too. Any and all products created at any point with any form of petroleum (everything from plastics, to inks, to cosmetics, to clothes) are going to see a big rise, as well...since we not only have the transportation costs, but the costs of the petroleum going into them as an ingredient.
And so the prices are GOING to rise. There's just no way around it. And yet...yet...the government insists that prices haven't risen. That there is no inflation. That there won't be any inflation...
Hm. Is the Emperor naked? Who is the man behind the curtain, and why does he want us to not see reality? How much worse is it, than I have seen, and talked about here?
I hate the feeling that I am being manipulated. I hate knowing that the powers that be, out there, are pulling strings, trying to get me to watch the right hand when the left hand is off doing something nefarious, freedom-infringing, and certainly far more important...the big question to me, is, if they want me to look here...if they are continuously trying to draw my/our attention to this 'big event' or that, where else do I look. I almost feel like I've been out wandering in the woods at night...and come across someone doing something illicit. They don't shoot me...no...they put their flashlight beam right into my eyes, while their "associates" clear out with whatever it was they were doing/getting into--causing me to be temporarily blinded to their activities. And by the time my vision is clear, the signs of activity are gone, and all that remains is the aftereffects. I cannot "prove" illicit activity, but I can darn well deduce from what is left, that something hinky was going on.
So yes. I am angry. I don't know what to do next, but I do know, "do *not* look into the light. Look away. Check around the area--see what is going on "behind the scenes". Don't read the front page, read pages 15-20, of your newspaper. Follow their trails. Overlay the information, like it seems our government security forces cannot do. See what really is going on, and see what they do not want you to see...and then talk about it.
Because I am sick and tired of being treated like a child who is incapable of understanding. I am sick and tired of my government, and its lackey's, telling me I have nothing to worry about...that Uncle Sam will take care of me.
Because I know that the way he wants to take care of me, involves the invisible, yet substantial, chains of slavery...of subjugation...of servitude. And I want nothing of it. Get your greedy mitts off of me and mine, "Uncle"--believe me--I am teaching my children about you. And the tricks you pull. And your vile scheme to overtake our liberties, to have us hand them over on a silver platter, and with nary a thank you, take those precious, God-granted freedoms, and throw us all into some socialistic nightmare of a future.
No thanks. Keep your chains. Keep your servitude. Keep your mindless obedience. For all that I have undying faith in my Creator, you, most certainly, are not He. And I will not surrender to you. I will not let you take me and mine. I will fight you to my last breath...I will not let you take this blessed freedom, this sweet liberty, no matter the cost.
For those who propose such things as good and beneficial for all--I will pray for His mercy on you. May a spiritual 2 x 4 whomp you upside the head before it is too late. And to paraphrase a friend of mine's blog title/header--may you willingly fall to your knees before the Lord, lest you be shoved to them.
And may His mercy, and goodness, fall on us all. For I fear we will need it sorely in the new year to come...