All posts by XingfuMama

Amateur photographer seeking beauty in both the memorable and the mundane. Sharing pictures, stories and meditations from here and there.

A different kind of prepping

Another Wordy Wednesday for me.

My Pinterest feed has been popping up a lot of “prepping” articles lately, leading me to believe that a lot of people are very pessimistic right now. I understand that. But I think the “preppers” have the wrong end of the stick.

With the passing of RBG, the T-party has embarked on yet another power grab. It’s getting boring.

The US Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on anymore.

Give up protesting, kids, the first amendment** is toast at this point. Also, protesting just gives the T-Party a target, and attention, for reprehensible behavior. But, also…

The real risks right now are fiscal. But don’t panic, prepare.

Vote…and prepare for a depression

Medical expenses are no joke, and medical insurance is not cheap.

The Affordable Car Act is gone, give it up. There is no way to save it. If the Senate flips and Joe Biden is elected president, there might be a new plan, maybe even a better one, but don’t hold your breath. If the senate doesn’t flip, forget it. The Republicans haven’t ever done anything meaningful on health care and they won’t start now.

We all need to take stock of our finances and figure out how to manage without health insurance if you get COVID (or anything else) and cannot work. COBRA insurance costs an arm and a leg, and paying for it may mean some serious sacrifices if you have not accrued some savings before hand.

Remember that POTUS has already signed an executive order that de-funds Medicare and Social Security until the end of the year. The promise to make that permanent means that NOW is the time to get your finances in order, before the payments stop.

Figure out how you will manage without Medicare and Social Security. If you rely on the Affordable Care Act, figure out how you will either manage without health insurance or pay the increased costs.

Spending money stocking up on beans and ammo* may not be the best use for it. A better idea is to make sure to have money on hand. A massive pile of bullets or beans won’t help you pay medical bills…And if you don’t pay those you may wind up on the streets. And those streets are already full of people who went that way before you. The best shopping carts are gone. (That is a reference to an old Dilbert cartoon.)

It also means not borrowing more and paying down any debt you have, maybe giving up on a few luxuries like high price cable, Disney or Netflix.

We went down to one, paid-off, older car a couple of years ago. Savings on insurance alone were big. Maybe you could live in a more modest house…that could save a bundle. I’m putting off things like new carpets (my current one is about 40 years old) and my rummage sale wardrobe is holding up quite well. My husband likely never will finish replacing our fence, but we saved $20 grand over having it done by a contractor, and the dogs aren’t really inclined to roam…

Think through your medical choices and get your will in order

Like the teachers who responsibly made out their wills as they were being forced back to work, we all need to think about how we will manage.

While I plan to keep hiding away in the basement, wearing a mask when I do go out, and generally avoiding people to prevent getting sick (or making others sick), I have already decided that I do not plan to seek any treatment if I do get very sick, from COVID or cancer, or what-ever, in hopes that there will be something left for my son to inherit.

The younger generation is at a tremendous disadvantage: the plethora of jobs created recently are pretty much crap, like serving beer, delivering Amazon packages, and driving Ubers, with low pay and no benefits.

I do sometimes wonder

Will The Economy (as measured by stock indices) eventually reflect what’s going on in our homes?

*Most of the articles on “prepping” are very thinly veiled marketing to get you to spend (waste) a bunch of money so the authors will get rich.

**Second amendment folks shouldn’t get too cocky: they will be next.

Trump and The Rs have effectively de-funded police

I wrote to the mayor and a city council member who represents me about policing a while back, and they have both written back this week. In an interesting twist I realized that the senate Republicans and Donald Trump by not giving financial aid to cities and states are forcing them to cut all services drastically. Many, if not most cities and states rely heavily on sales taxes to fund basic services.

Unlike the feds the cities and states cannot print money. So in an ironic twist the Republicans have already made cuts. Do they ever think things through?

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 38

A PHOTO CHALLENGE OF PLACES WE SIT…OR MIGHT SIT…OR ART ABOUT SITTING

Welcome to week 38 of the Pull up a Seat Challenge in 2020.

Take a load off and share a favorite perch by linking your post to this one, either with a comment or ping-back. For more detailed directions go to Pull Up a Seat page.

It is always fun to see the variety of ideas this theme evokes.

Continue reading Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 38

Pondering freedom on a smoky day

People were free. They went out into a tinder dry world and set fires, because they were free to set off fireworks and build campfires and no one could tell them what to do.

Now we can’t leave the house, again.

Technically we are “free” to do so, but…

The air is a sickly yellow color. It’s worse than the pandemic restrictions. Before I could take the dogs for a vigorous walk and exercise, now I have to avoid breathing deeply; it’s even unhealthy for my dogs. I got us take out at the local diner last night and spent the evening coughing.

We aren’t free to breath clean air.

Pandemic freedom

USA style

A similar “freedom” phenomenon happened with the pandemic here in the USA. People had to be “free”. They went out and did what they wanted, the virus took hold and people died, and were maimed by the virus.

The people who got sick and died and their families and loved ones had their freedom eliminated by someone else’s freedom; someone who thought that being unable to go out to a bar and party was an outrageous infringement of their rights.

Swedish style

I watched a video about Sweden’s response to the pandemic. It is held up by many as a shining example. But there are actually some key differences between lying about the severity of the virus and pretending it is safe for people to pay no mind to it and what Sweden did.

In Sweden the government told people the truth about the virus and what they could do to stay safe. They requested that everyone do their best to keep the virus under control. AND THEY DID!

They trusted their government and the doctors and did as they advised. They were free to make decisions and made ones that supported the common good.

Smoke light

The smoke that blew in overnight made the sunlight diffuse with a slight golden cast.

Air quality is pretty poor here, so it’s not good to be outside right now, but I have to walk the dogs and the light was pretty on the flowers along our path this morning.

My heart really goes out to everyone who is closer to the wild fires. In Seattle the air is bad: itchy eyes, congestion and scratchy throat bad (at least for me). It reminds me of being in China. We seem to get a stretch of this every year of late.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 37

A PHOTO CHALLENGE OF PLACES WE SIT…OR MIGHT SIT…OR ART ABOUT SITTING

Welcome to week 37 of the Pull up a Seat Challenge in 2020.

Take a load off and share a favorite perch by linking your post to this one, either with a comment or ping-back. For more detailed directions go to Pull Up a Seat page.

It is always fun to see the variety of ideas this theme evokes.

Continue reading Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 37