To get a leg up in life, keep your feet on the ground, your ear to the ground, your nose to the grindstone, your head on your shoulders, your shoulder to the wheel, your eye on the ball, your finger on the pulse, your chin up and your hand in. Being limber helps.


In our family, I am generally the one who tries not to waste things (‘you’re going to eat that?’ Charles will say of a perfectly good leftover) on the theory that ‘best if bought before’ gives you another few days to consume it (surely they don’t expect you to eat it right there at the check-out) . . . plus what may be weeks or months more in the refrigerator, when it is not, perhaps, ‘best,’ but still ‘very good,’ ‘just fine,’ or, at worst, ‘edible.’

I am only halfway through a half gallon of apple cider marked ‘ENJOY BY 06/29/08’ but still enjoying it. And not because it’s become hard cider – it’s still sweet, and only, at most, a tiny bit off.

My point in this is not to poison you – do not under any circumstances follow my example expecting me to accept liability for the consequences. This is microbial madness.

Rather, my point is that it is I, not my profligate beloved, who generally comes up with ways to scrimp or save.

And so it is with no small pride, if a touch of surprise, I tell you that Charles has truly gotten with the program, turning out lights, riding his bike to work, buying lemons for decoration (a centerpiece of lemons already being cheaper than flowers, and then you can eat them) (as in: lemonade) – and generally living lighter on the land.

All brought into sharp focus the other day when he came up with something entirely new. One of those, why didn’t *I* think of that? moments.

You may get your shirts back from the dry cleaner differently, or – truly living light on the land – you may just wash them in cold water and hang then on a line to dry. But we get ours folded in individual clear plastic bags. The bags are made from natural gas, which is better than oil; but they’re still no friend to the environment.

Likewise, the various Hefty, Glad, and Ziplock bags – not to mention Saran Wrap – we use to save the aforementioned leftovers.

So here’s the breakthrough: instead of throwing out the shirt baggies, Charles realized, we can put them in the drawer with the Ziplocks, each one of which costs anywhere from a nickel to a quarter, depending on the size. And while a shirt baggie won’t work well for everything, for many things it works just fine – saving that nickel or quarter, and cutting roughly in half the number of disposable plastic bags we consume. (Speaking of which, these are really handy, too, and they stack.)



‘I have a record of putting my country first.
And that’s why I chose Sarah Palin to handle our unprecendented economic challenges and lead the Free World should I become incapacitated or die.’
– John McCain*

* The first sentence is a literal quote. The second sentence – not spoken by him – follows ineluctably. No?


Watch her on CBS News explaining why Alaska’s being next to Russia really is an important foreign policy credential:

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.


I hesitate to include this link, because Sarah uses language grandchildren shouldn’t – and it’s not even bleeped. Then again, it’s gone mega-viral, so you’ve probably seen it already anyway.


Two comments from many on

abc3 said, “If McCain were serious about suspending political activity to work on the settlement, he would not have blindsided Obama by issuing his press statement before he and Obama had agreed on their bipartisan statement. At that point, he chose political advantage over bipartisanship.”

GoHuskies2004 wrote, “…He blindsides Obama, and then he talks about bipartisanship out of the other side of his mouth. Even this conservative can see right through this ridiculous effort…”

☞ It would have been more impressive if they had been deadlocked before he got to Washington and then reached a deal. Instead, they appeared to have reached a deal – and then he got there. Let’s hope for better today.


Well, I’m sorry. If it’s any consolation (and I know it’s not), the friend who had me thinking this might be a good idea lost tens of millions of his own. I hope you lost less.


Comments are closed.