Thursday, April 14, 2016

Practical Things and Aimless Ramblings.

I was thinking of how glad I am that I am able to create practical things.  If I need a new dishcloth, I knit one.  Ditto with dish and hand towels.  It takes a little (okay, a LOT) longer to create a pair of socks, but I can do it.  For the most part, I can make what I need.  The only drawback - if it is, indeed, a drawback - is that I cannot create something practical in five minutes. 

Lunch knitting project.

This got me thinking about how thoroughly instant gratification has permeated our lives.  At work, the sender of an email expects to hear back from you in a nanosecond and gets their undies in a bunch if it doesn't happen, no matter how unimportant that answer is.  Planning ahead takes a backseat to 'don't worry, we can get it at Wal-Mart at 8A on Sunday if we need it.'  Forget to take something out of the freezer (say, that WM frozen high-fat, high-sodium family-of-twelve-size pizza)?, nuke it.  Most of us (present company - yousguys - excluded) have forgotten how to take basic care of ourselves and provide for our needs with our two little hands.  No wonder so many people are angry.  Anger is most often fear-based and I would bet that most of those who are angry have gotten themselves to the point where they must rely on others (government) to provide for their basic needs.  If that doesn't put the fear of God into you, I don't know what will.  It seems that common sense has left the building.  I am surrounded every day by people who feel that they are entitled to everything just because they exist. 

Coming into or out of the city every day, there is a fellow who plants himself at a rather inconvenient traffic light.  He holds a sign that states he is a veteran of the Navy, homeless and would appreciate some help.  It is an inconvenient light because there are three lanes of traffic, jam-packed with drivers who are chomping at the bit to rocket off as soon as the light turns green.  This fellow used to stand, smoking away, which made me think that - if he would stop smoking, he could save quite a bit of money right there - while at the same time, what business was it of mine that he smoked anyway?  I had a few brief conversations with him while I idled at the light and mentioned that his smoking might be putting a crimp in his donations.  He smiled and agreed.  I didn't see him for a few weeks and then I saw him this morning.  Sans cigarette.  He smiled when he saw me and shouted - "I quit!"  I gave him five bucks.

Ending this string of aimless wanderings, I will leave you with a snapshot of my morning.  Frantic knitting until 6 - change to barn clothes and feed the pups and kitties.  Out the door to the farm.  When I pull up at the barn in the morning, the calves start bawling.  It is so loud, you can hear it outside with the doors and windows shut.  When I stagger in with the first two pails of milk, the farmer is very happy to see me, as the noise level dims slightly and continues to do so with each double feeding until I have finished feeding Monkey and Tulip, the last of the eight.  I have given them all names, which the farmer finds very entertaining:  Daisy (my girl), PIA (do you need a translation?), Pixie, Dinkle, Monkey (as in Chunky Monkey), Tulip, Legs, Butthead.  I then toddle down the aisle and say hello to Jasmine and sneak her more grain (of which the farmer is quite aware), then out to the car with a quick stop to feed various feral barn cats at the old farmhouse (the farmer insists on putting down rat bait, even though I have pointed out on numerous occasions that it is either bait or barn cats).  I refuse to feed them at the barn, because I don't want them tempted by poisoned rodents.  Sigh.  Then back home to do my own outside chores.  Then a quick (sometimes too quick, if the sight of my hair in the office mirror is any indication) transformation into working girl and off I go.  It was a little more difficult to leave this morning because the birds were singing and there was a bright spring sun glinting through the trees, giving me the feeling that maybe, just maybe, spring is back for good.


Fiona said...

I am always amazed how people expect Barn cats to do their job. Then I was taught by a father who fed his barn cats well so they had energy to hunt exceptionally well! He hated gopher poison and we used to spend hours shooting gophers so we didn't poison hawks or other birds of prey. As you would expect locals thought he was a bit weird! There is something about bird song in the AM!

Mama Pea said...

Love your ramblings. And agree, agree, agree with all you said.

PIA? Yes, I do need a translation. (I live in the woods.)

How DO you get done BEFORE LEAVING FOR WORK IN THE BIG CITY all that you do of a morning? At what point in the schedule do you put on and take off your Wonder Woman outfit?

Susan said...

Fiona - Exactly! I started out feeding the two barn cats (one disappeared, unfortunately) and am now feeding a neighbor's cat - they apparently don't feel the need to provide food for the poor, skinny thing.

Susan said...

Mama Pea - Pain in the A**. You, apparently, live with nice people. As a matter of fact, I know you do! I do it by not thinking about it. Honestly - I just put one muck boot in front of the other and move forward. If I DID think about it, there would be wine for breakfast every morning. :)

Theresa Y said...

In regards to your paragraph on being self sufficient, no truer words were spoken. People need to slow down and start learning to take care of themselves. Depending on other people and the government to supply their needs seems to have become a full time job for a lot of people. In my opinion, too much technology too. We don't even have verbal conversations with people anymore. and my sister who has school age children says they don't teach cursive writing!! And they go to private school. On another note, its nice to see you name your beasties. I do too. I have 4 chickens. The names are Winkin', Blinkin', Nod and Nessa Rose...and they all live up to their names :-)

Michelle said...

I love-love-love the ending to your homeless veteran paragraph! You rock!

kymber said...

i agree with and love your whole post! and wine for breakfast? oh dear i am going to turn into a raging alcoholic (since i can only eat mush wouldn't sipping wine all day be better? and wine has lots of good nutrients in it, no? bahahahahahah! i'm having wine for breakfast tomorrow. forget those stupid cashew milk with the super greens! it's wine from here on in baby!)

bahahahahahahah! sending love. and honestly - i don't know how you manage it all - but kudos for you for doing so!

your friend,

Kristina said...

I loved your post today. I should have read it before the bus arrived, as my chatty kids kept interrupting me. You are one busy gal.

Sue said...

Another fine post!
I'm glad you gave him $5--for quitting! Good for you.

And did you see Amazon has a button that they will sell you for $5---you push it if you run out of something and they ship it to you.
Um---that's about as bad as it gets........isn't it? What marooons!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

But WHY are we so hooked on instant gratification? Because the pace of society is so fast today that no one has the luxury of a more leisurely approach to meeting our own life needs (like cooking and sewing and etc etc). No, all our time and energy go into meeting super-high productivity expectations at work.

Sandy Livesay said...


Great post my friend. I totally agree with you on the instant gratification thing. They're so many people in our country who rely on it daily. God forbid the SHTF, they wouldn't survive. It's also become a disposable society. Prime example instead of having a good vacuum which should last for years. Manufacturers are making cheesy vacuums in hopes the customer will end up buying a new one to replace the broken one.

Homemade stuff just tickles me to death. Since I've learned how to crochet, I enjoy making my own dish cloths. I used to go into the big city and go to the farmers market at the university to get my dish cloths (they were homemade as well but not by me). Now I just make my own (including afghans, and scarfs). Learn to make socks will be a project of the future.