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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soap Box Time

I have a few grumbles to get off my chest this morning…

It’s so disheartening to see how we seem to have lost our way in this country.  My current disquiet stems from the wet carpet we found in the house last night.  (We had a VERY brief, but intense rain storm yesterday evening.)  We started investigating, at 9:00 p.m. of course, and can only figure that the vent stacks above the furnace/air conditioner and hot water heater on the roof must be leaking.  They probably weren't sealed on the roof.  Also discovered a lot of water between two storm windows in another room, so we’re guessing the outside windows probably aren’t even caulked either. 
Guess that’s what one should expect with a brand new house, right.  NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Why don’t we (in general) build anything with pride anymore???  We don’t learn trades or crafts?  We want everything fast, cheap and easy, no matter the ultimate price (which we can’t see in the short term, so we don’t even consider it at all). 

No one learns to build and create something that will last a lifetime anymore.  Because that’s hard.  It’s too much work.  You get dirty.  Instead, stuff gets slapped together and then they move on to the next customer.  What do they care that the dishwasher wasn’t installed properly and leaked water all underneath the new kitchen cabinets?  Or that those windows leak water into the house.  Or that the plumber’s putty is all coming out from around the drains in the sinks.  Or that they forgot to install entire electrical outlets.  Or that the linoleum is loose and therefore bunches and tears when you try to move furniture and appliances around.  Or that they ripped the linoleum while building the house but just sort of glued it back down (that’s the ONLY place where the linoleum is glued down, by the way).  Just slap some paint or sheetrock over it and no one will ever know, right?  Why is that the standard now, instead of doing things right?  Why does it just BARELY meet minimum code instead of done right and exceed minimum code?  And we’ve seen this in every house we’ve lived in.  Doesn’t matter who built it or where it is. 

So if that wasn’t enough to be on my soapbox about, this morning as we’re driving to work, on the way to drop hubby off (at least we can carpool into the big mean city – YAY!), we drive right by the county’s office for public assistance, and see two women and six kids piling out of a brand new Lincoln Navigator.  Now perhaps shame on me for jumping to conclusions, but we see this over and over and over again - this was not an isolated observation.  People in line using their food stamp debit cards to buy food and then paying cash in a separate purchase for their beer, cigarettes, etc. that can’t be purchased with the card.  Where I come from, you make a choice between spending the money you earn to buy food for your family or spending it on the likes of beer and cigarettes.  And why do many of them have thousands of dollars in tattoos and iphones and new(er) cars?  Where I come from, you have to make a choice between cell phones/tattoos/entertainment and paying your own rent – not expecting someone else to pay the rent for you.
I’m sorry if I offend anyone’s charitable sensibilities.  We give plenty and often to a variety of charities.   But I don’t appreciate being among the only 50% in this country that are paying all the bills while the other 50% pay none of them.  And before long folks, if we don’t do something different, those of us paying all the bills will be in the minority.  We personally went through two job losses due to layoffs and many other horrible, financial pitfalls in the last two years.  But we never stopped paying taxes through all that.  We never stopped paying for our own groceries and rent.  We buckled down, pared down and got through it somehow (and are GRATEFUL to both be gainfully employed again!!!!!!!).  I never even sought or received any kind of assistance while I was putting myself through school as a single mom.  Probably could have qualified.  But didn’t try.  I worked full-time, went to school part-time, raised my son, kept a roof over our heads and food on our table.  It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely doable.

We’re headed in a bad direction these days.  Makes me want to be more self-sufficient than ever.  The more we can do for ourselves, provide for ourselves, the better off I feel we’ll be.  Because the gravy train is going to crash sooner or later.  Our economy, our national debt, our sense of entitlement, our laziness is going to catch up. 

Okay then.  I’m done.  Just had to get that out.  Will return to our regularly scheduled homesteading adventure tales next time.  ;)

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"The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark." ~ Barbara Hall

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