February 24, 2022 Thursday: Brace Yourselves, I’m on a Rant.

“Astronauts use Linux because they can’t open Windows in space.”

Jay’s Pun-A-Day calendar

The pun was from a few days ago, but thank goodness for our space program. We have satellites and can see what’s happening around the world from an aerial view. That’s both good and bad. There goes our privacy, but we can see for ourselves what’s happening in Ukraine. It’s amazing how satellites in space have such clear photos and great reception. If I stand in certain areas in our house, I have no cell service.

I didn’t want to veer into world affairs, but here goes. This whole situation of defending another country’s borders is crazy when our own is wide open. We’re not allowed to defend it anymore. The fact that we were energy independent two short years ago, but now depend on other countries for our energy when God blessed this country with so many natural resources but we can’t use them makes no sense. That has always bothered me. Why NOT use our own resources? We employ our people and keep our own country safe that way. When I heard about how much we buy from other countries, from feed for animals to food for our people, no wonder we’re going to be bracing ourselves for higher prices and more inflation. Ever since I took my very first airplane flight at age 14 to visit a friend, all by myself, the flight attendant’s words struck me and I’ve never forgotten: “If you are traveling with a young child, put your own oxygen mask on before you attempt to help others.” That makes so much sense. How can you help anyone else if you aren’t secure yourself?

Why on earth did this dimwit President think it was a good idea to close the Keystone Pipeline and now we have to buy from other countries when we are so blessed with our own? If you’ve read about my little barn, you know that I have a small solar powered fan (for ventilation, not to generate power for the structure), that works great. But what do you need to make them? Fossil fuels and guess who supplies a majority of our solar panels? China. Who is watching all of what is happening in Ukraine? China. What about Taiwan? What about electric cars? Where do you get the energy to power them? Or where do the chips for everything come from? Or to build them? What are they made of? Where do the batteries come from? Doesn’t it all go back to fossil fuels for the source of all of the manufacturing? I wish I understood it better but it doesn’t make sense to me. Never has. I can see how it’s an interesting option, but how it’s been implemented has affected us all. If you want a solar powered house, I’d love to hear about it! I talked to a person at length about her electric car a few weeks ago and she was very excited and shared a lot. I’m still not ready, though, but with my love of gadgets, I’m interested. Why am I even talking about this? You know that I’ve been doing my belated paperwork all week if you’ve been reading. It’s been an eye opener about what real unchanging expenses I have. Like? Feed. Shipping costs. Spinning.

Think about it. Where are products that YOU buy, made? I made a real effort last year, despite my foggy state, to have my yarn spun and socks made in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Why? I thought that in addition to lower shipping charges, that I’d embrace my local resources and employ local mills, manufacturers and people. They are all facing the same challenges. Hiring qualified people, finding and replacing machine parts, higher shipping costs. I have a lot of fiber in many pipelines. Most has been over a year in the works, and this year, I had an entire batch of socks that was less than desirable even after approving samples. Let’s just say that we had to start over.

Now that I’m feeling more healthy and clearer, I’m ready to tackle more on my own processing. That will reduce costs. If I don’t have to send it anywhere, shipping costs will be cut a bit. I want to offer more raw fiber to those of you who love to process your own. And that sock machine? That’s goal one after I get these books to the accountant. I can feel the logic coming back to my brain. It’s been an interesting few years for me. Was this triggered by covid? Probably or maybe not.

Why today for this rant? I guess because all of these things are occurring at once. My awareness of how prices started inching up over 2021 and affected my bottom line and will now probably go even higher, and the world situation didn’t have to happen. Who is in charge?

Now to the last thing that got me going. We were watching our favorite “Bewitched” last night and in this episode, Darrin had a very important client who he wanted to impress. Sam decided that she would make her own cocktail dress the “mortal way” to make him proud. Except it was harder than she thought. Of course, her mother, Endora, has her two cents and convinces Sam to go to Paris for lunch (remember that they are witches and can do that) to see her favorite designer’s new spring line and maybe pick something up instead of making her own. Sam resists her mother, who Jay and I always say is the devil because she’s always tempting Sam and playing with everyone without their knowledge, but in the end, Sam wiggles her nose and wears one of the famous designer’s dress to dinner. All of the other wives beg her to make them a dress and Darrin says that she can do it for them (because he thinks she did it without using witchcraft). Well, I don’t want to give it away, but I loved how Sam repeatedly says that dressmaking is a real skill that she doesn’t have. As a dressmaker, that was a real treat and surprise. When everyone thinks they can do everything these days, that was music to these ears. Can you see it? The halo on my pug cup? That was a coffee drip. Maybe that’s what I need. A pug to distract me. Maybe, maybe not.

So, when you have a decision to make, to buy on Amazon or to buy from a local maker or producer, farmer or artist, I hope you’ll choose to shop local. Their prices may be going up and they depend on all of us. We all need to support each other.

I have to get back to monitoring the situation. I know. I was supposed to be stepping away from the news. Somehow our tv screen has changed to extra big and we can’t figure out how to change it. We’ve tried every possible format to no avail. Did that happen with the cable sale? Who knows. The market is down big time and I can’t read the ticker.

In the meantime, do something you’ve never done before. Find your passion and explore it. Every single day is a gift. Especially now. I’m off to tend my passion.

Have a blessed day!

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