Friday, February 29, 2008

Sub prime rate mortgages are forcing people to lose their homes or declare bankruptcy. I understand that Secretary Beneke is slashing interest rates to prop up the economy. Why aren't those mortgage rates going down if interest rates are going down?

Credit cards: don't get me started. One daughter can't answer the phone. It is bill collectors. One grandson closed out all his credit cards, but still owes on them. Another grandson has ruined his credit . A third grandson is on disability social security for a mental condition. Credit card companies try to get him to sign up for a credit card. The words: predator eats people and their lives, comes to mind.

During President Ford's term, the country has galloping inflation. Every week, at the grocery store, I would see a new and higher price sticker stuck on the top of the can, over the old one. Prices went up weekly. During that time, banks would not lend money for mortgages because the money would be paid back with cheaper dollars down the line. The inflation rate was higher than the rate that banks could charge for a mortgage. President Ford gave out buttons, "WIN". This meant, whip inflation now. Sure.

The solution for inflation and stagnation at the time was to repeal the usury laws. Remember in the movies, the gangster would charge outrageous interest rates? That's called usury. If you didn't pay, they broke your legs. It was funny in the movies. With the usury laws repealed, banks could raise their interest rates above the inflation rate. People could get mortgages. Credit card companies took advantage of the removal of the top interest rate allowed. Now credit card companies are the gangsters, in my opinion. They get you hooked. You pay and pay for the rest of your life. Some people have committed suicide. Do you find something wrong with this picture?

To me, the solution is to simply pass new usury laws that would cap the highest interest rate that a company could charge. Unfortunately, those same, rich corporations are funding the political campaigns of our elected officials. I see no movement to get the new law passed. In fact, Bush is funded by one of the credit card companies.

See the movie, now in DVD: "MaxedOut"

You can make a difference in several ways: don't go into debt. Save for a purchase before buying it. If you can't do that, then you can't afford it. Keep informed through consumer report sources, such as the magazine, Consumer Reports, Clark on your computer, various other sources including government information. can write your representative about this problem. You can also call in radio talk programs, write letters to your newspaper. ...Don't allow automatic withdrawal from your savings account and above all, don't get another credit card.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The floor man just left. I think I will put my feet up for the rest of the day. Why do I get sick in the middle of projects? Could it be that other people bring germs into the house?

The asbestos abatement people have come and gone. I paid the bill for the removal of the old floor, for the legal landfill burial of the tiles , for an industrial hygienist to test my air and for the test results to be filed with the state.

Final design decision was to go with old fashioned linoleum. My goal is to have a kitchen as green as I can make it. Linoleum is made from flax seed and linseed oil....all natural material and renewable. The new floor looks great. I am very pleased.

The range and refrigerator are in the living room at the moment. I am washing dishes in the bathtub upstairs. It is a little tough on my back, but this is only temporary.

Decision was made to keep the old sink. I like the old fashioned sink. It has two drainboards. It is enamel over cast iron. It should last my lifetime. The only trouble is, that also means keeping the sink base. The metal cabinet went to the local auto body shop to be stripped and repainted. I bet it will be beautiful when I get it back. I can't wait until it is re-installed under the window with the sink top installed on it. I can wash in the kitchen again. Joe said I could have bought a new base for what I am paying the auto body place, but the existing base exactly matches the sink. Don't care if I paid more.

Joe was here to repair a hole in the wall, discovered behind the sink. That is how the mouse got in. He also took down the cracked plaster ceiling over the basement stairs. Electrician wired up a receptacle for an overhead light. We had a mess of plaster dust, but as they say, you have to break eggs to get an omelet. You have to make a mess to get a new kitchen.

The next step will be to work on the walls. They are plaster. Sanding and sealing is needed before the walls are painted. I want the walls done before new cabinets are ordered. End of progress report for now.
There is a rubber band around me. You can't see it, but it's there. I was born with it. So were you. You have your own rubber band. I've seen people do poorly thought out things to their rubber band. They fare poorly for those decisions.
The rubber band is symbolism for personal boundaries. All that is within the band, is familiar. All outside of it, is unfamiliar. We tend to stay comfortable within our band and become uncomfortable outside of it. Outside of this band, is new experiences, people We don't know, skills to learn, places to visit We've not seen. Outside, can be threatening.
To stay within the band, is to let fear govern your life.
Developmental philosophy says that when We were born, the familiar circle was only mother. As We grew, We became aware of father, siblings, the place called home. All that was incorporated within the band.
Later, the kids down the block, church, relatives, the mall...other places...became familiar parts within the rubber band. School enlarged it some more with teachers, learning and experiences, and children who became our friends or tormentors. As the rubber band grows, the person in the middle may become uncomfortable. It takes effort to learn new things, to learn social skills, how to handle a bully, how to speak up when things aren't right, to express your own opinion and your own feelings.
I know of people who refuse to venture outside their comfort zone. They stay within the band. They refuse the growth tasks before them. They don't want to know what is happening outside their door. You know them as the ostrich clan.
Then the death element of the rubber band surfaces. The band gets smaller and smaller. The person inside the band becomes isolated, frightened, choked off from life. One by one, activities are dropped. "I don't do that anymore". They don't add new interests to replace interests that are outgrown. The final stage is death, alone, isolated, without growth, without friends, without experiences. How many people do you know that have not grown? It is a shame, a waste of human potential
To say yes to life, means stretching your personal boundary. It takes effort to learn a new language, move to a new community and make new friends. Just think how much better off you are because you made the effort. Check back to the old neighborhood and see the people who are still there. You were once just like them, but not any more. You've outgrown the old gang.
Some times, people don't respect your personal boundaries....or you don't respect the other person's boundaries. What is that man doing in your living room? He's a thief. What are you doing, giving advice to a colleague when it isn't asked for. You've overstepped your boundary. The spouse who bullies his mate has overstepped his boundary into the spouse's boundary. A lot of harm done. Neighborhood gossip, getting a lot of facts mixed up....should shut up. Helping yourself to something that belongs to someone else? Put it back.
Your task in this lifetime is to grow. Your other task in this lifetime is to respect the personal boundaries of the other person. Nurture them if you have a chance, but don't trample on them .
This story is a fable. Don't put your head in the sand. Say "yes" to life experiences.