Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Awards and all the rest.....

If you have not discovered Vee at A Haven for Vee yet, you are missing something great. She kept a HUGE secret from us all, and then just happened to poddle off and get married! Wonderful news!

And then, because she is sweet, she passed on an award to some random people, including me. Here it is. I am the world's worst acknowledger and passer-onner (and I have just invented those words, which I do believe you should all use immediately and frequently, of course) of awards. I get these amazing awards, and then I a) forget to acknowledge them, and b) forget to pass them on. I am unworthy. Grovel. And I hereby apologise to all and sundry who were gracious enough to think of me. I am reformed. I think. I hope. I will do better.

So I am passing this on immediately to 3 of the many people who make me smile, or laugh out loud, and who are, by definition, Just Plain Fun to Read.

  1. Crystal at Be the change you want to see
  2. Chris at His Unfinished Work
  3. Jo at Moodscape

Here you go ladies! You are all a delight. (And so are all the rest of you too, people.)

There is a great deal to think about out there in the blogging world right now. Are we heading into a Depression? Recession-proofing. Simplifying. De-cluttering. Taking our writing to a new level. Retirement. Moves. Precarious work situations. Illness. Soaring fuel costs. Greener options. Self-sufficiency. Concerns.


Babies are being born, children are heading to college. Gardens are blooming. Young ones, and the not so young any more too, are getting married. Adventures are being planned and shared. Fascinating questions are being asked for us to ponder too. More about those later.

It is all about balance in a way. The hard part is striving to arrive at a reasonable balance. Good/bad. Pessimistic/optimisitc. Practical/impractical. All we can do is try to make the choices which can make a positive difference to our own lives, homes, and communities.

Here in the UK, we may be a little further down the road than those of you who live in the States with regard to going "green" and trying to conserve resources. Never mind actually affording power or fuel in the first place. Our energy costs have been stratospheric in comparison for years, so the era of big cars never really arrived here. Smaller houses, a relatively extensive public transport system and incentives for insulating homes have all helped to make us aware of other options. The global warming issue has been real and pressing and part of our government policy for years. Now, we have no choice other than to use those alternative options, and be thankful they are there in the first place. Our local supermarket has now instituted a pay for bags policy, and it didn't take long for us to remember to take cloth bags when we go shopping. Every small thing makes us more aware. In Switzerland, they have had this for years.

Recent government meetings with the energy chiefs have made it clear that our gas and electricity costs, which have already gone up around 40% in the past year, are about to rise at least another 40% in the next couple of months, which will mean something like 16 million households being plunged into fuel poverty. That is the statistic of people who are paying out more than 10% of their income on fuel. Crazy stuff. Bring in Granny, who is crochetting blankets like crazy. She is going to be much in demand come winter time. (Memo to self: ask Mum to teach me how to crochet too).

One of the great discoveries I have made locally, is our Freecycle website. Just google Freecycle, and the odds are there is one near you too. It is a wonderful way to find the things you need, and to get rid of those you don't need too.

I rather suspect that, over the next few months, we will all be posting about ways to save or cut out things. Cut down costs, live simpler lives. Thank God for the Internet, and the opportunity to share ideas. We will all be learning from each other, and that is going to strengthen this community and in turn, help the real communities we live in.

And about those questions ......

Britt-Arnhild asked us what or where our favourite places were. This is something I need to think about. Fascinating question, and sifting through possible answers is great.

And Ree asked how different our lives were to the way we imagined them 10 or 20 years ago. Are we where we imagined we would be? Do we mourn unrealised plans? Are we happy, no matter what the circumstances? And she had 1526 responses. I got up to a couple of hundred while reading the comments. Absolutely fascinating. I need to think about this too, and perhaps do a post on it. Maybe you would like to look back and ask yourselves the same questions as well.

Anyway. That is me for now. I have loads of ideas today. But now I am off to physio.

I will be back.


Penless Thoughts said...

I appreciated this post very much, Linds. You gave me a little view of the difference between the U.S. and where you are in Europe. We have definately been wasteful and SPOILED here. I see the need to make adjustments as a good thing. Very thought provoking post. Especially about where we imagined we'd be 10-20 years ago. I may pick up on that.

Britt-Arnhild said...

My best way of going green is to find pleasure in the small things, in everyday life. One of the main purposes of my blogging is to stay in that focus.

Thanks for your post and thoughs.

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

Congrats on the award! You are so very deserving! :-)

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Yup, things are a'changin' and ever shall be, but so many important things never do. We'll have to hang on to those.

The one thing that we have in the U.S. that creates extra challenges is that we have so many rural areas that are twenty miles from anything.

Lots to think about in this post and I know that I can count on you to provoke further discussion in the days to come.

Edith said...

Appreciated this post...and there is lots to think about. I like the question about where we expected ourselves to be in 10-20 years...my life certainly is not what I expected it. So...I will try to post sooner on that. I'm happy and mostly satisfied...trying to find ways to conserve. We will see.

I will have to take time to catch up on your posts - am falling behind. Hopefully soon.

Have a blessed day.

Needled Mom said...

Congratulations on your new award.

This was a wonderful post and gave me many things to ponder.

I can go green as long as they don't make us use those flourescent bulbs. I simply cannot see a thing with them so hope they reconsider that plan.

We were paying for bags in Epsom when we lived there in the 1970s. I always carried my own bags for the things that I could not fit in the bottom of the pram. One good thing about brinning your own bags is that they DO NOT tear and spill the contents.

I do think all the awareness has helped people look at their own practices and realize that we can all do better with so little effort.

Susie said...

Hi Linds,
What a cute award and I think it's very well deserved. Love the new words you've coined, as I'm a terrible "passer oner" myself. It's just so tough to choose from the loads of blogs I read.
Lots of interesting thoughts to ponder here today, most particuarly how I envisioned or life ten or twenty years ago.

Jo said...

Thank You, Thank You Very Much!! My response as I bow to my adoring public and step in front of the microphone to accept this wonderful award that has been bestowed on me. What an honor it is for me to accept this award. It is indeed a humbling experience. Congratulations to you my dear Linds as the recipient of the original award which enabled you to honor the three of us (a small number of those that admire you) who are addicted to your blog as a daily read. :o)

With that said, I need to let you know that I have scronged up some AAA batteries that will fit Chris' remote. You can keep the ones you took out of it, Ahhh Hmmm... I hope they energized you sufficiently....lol

Great post Linds. Very thought provoking and calls for some serious soul searching. The kind of post we all need to get that grey matter pumping and clearing out the cranial cobwebs.

Hugs Sweety.

Crystal said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, LInds! This is my very first blog award and I am honored, and especially so since it came from you.

I posted on Ree's blog about the 10 years ago and it was so interesting to read other's thoughts. The last 3 years have been amazing as I have chosen to step out of the fast and furious world of societal expectations. I am in utter bliss - busy simplifying, enjoying our granddaughters, cooking from scratch and creating. And in the process, I am driving less (20,000 km this year instead of 40,000 last year), am serene and much closer to my Lord in my faith journey.

The energy crisis still requires more of me but we live in the country and Canada is even more spread out with fewer people so the public transportation options are non-existant. More to consider and change in this area. When I was visiting Heather last week, I found out that their local huge supermarket chain store has gone completely bagless! First one in Alberta - yeah for them!!!

You do inspire me with your thoughts and writing. I know that if I had not started blogging and found you (and others) I would be stale and monotonous in my thinking and writing. Thank you for being a wonderful friend and inspiring blogger. Enjoy your award!!

Barb said...

I suspect that what's recently happened here in the states, with our gas prices, is just the very beginning of the greening that's going to become absolutely necessary. People are still in shock that gasoline has risen in cost, so much and so fast. This is going to change the way we do everything. It's a little painful, of course, but I think it's a good thing.

Congratulations on the award - you certainly deserve this one. I always enjoy catching up with you.

PEA said...

Hello dear Linds:-)

Congratulations on the well deserved award!! I made up an award page so that I could put all my awards on it...what do I do? Forget to put them on that page! lol So you see, you're not the only one who forgets stuff like that! hehe

You always write such interesting posts...we certainly do all need to minimize our expenses and live a much simpler life if we don't want to end up in the poor house with the way costs for everything are going up lately! In a few of our supermarkets, we've had to pay for the bags for years now...I bought myself a few cloth bags to reuse every week. I have a vegetable garden and grow my own veggies so that I don't need to buy any at all throughout the summer...that saves a bit of money in itself. I've always said people are going to have to start growing their own food like they use to do in the old days. As for the gas prices, it's $1.42 a liter here ($5.68 a gallon) so I've learned to do my errands all in one day if I go into the city instead of going 2 or 3 times a week.

I'm so glad that the wedding went so well last weekend...I loved seeing the pictures and your flowers looked fabulous!! Wonderful job, dear Linds! xoxo

Chris said...

Oh!! Congratulations to you, m'dear!! And many, many thanks!!!

As for the green, I'm now purchasing cloth grocery bags like crazy and always forgetting to take them in with me when I shop. As I forewarned you, we plan to purchase a Smart Car in October when the car is paid off, and we have recycling of paper and aluminum at work in full force. If I could ride a bike to work I would, but with traffic I'm afraid I'd be signing my own death warrant.

And thankfully, the batteries Jo got me are rechargable. :)

meggie said...

It seems we here in Oz & also in New Zealand have been really conscious about saving the environment for a long time, too. No houses allowed with open fires, to save pollution. We have always had to save water, as well as electricity, so we have a headstart perhaps on some countries.
As to the way we saw our lives... a good thing to ponder.

Barbara said...

Congrats. on your award Linds.

Hope your knee is improving.