Mothers Day Weekend

Today is Mother’s Day 2017 – and its been a beautiful weekend here.  Friday was a cloudy, chilly, unpleasant day – but then about 5 p.m. the sun broke through the clouds and it just got better and better as the weekend rolled on.  Saturday was warm and sunny and we readied the garden for planting by raking back last fall’s leaves that were covering and protecting it and tilling up the soil with our electric tiller.  I was glad as I began digging into the moist earth to see there were many earthworms that call the garden home.  Later we pressed the earth down around the Roma and Early Girl and Super Sweet tomato plants we had purchased a few days ago and set the sprinkler in the center of them all.  Mr. Austerity set it so the sprinkler will click on and off on a set schedule – to help them become established and keep them moist over the next few weeks.  This spring has been especially wet, so we want to be careful that the plants don’t end up with blossom end rot – a condition that ruined much of our harvest last summer.    I love tomatoes and their fresh from the garden taste in our salsas and on sandwiches.  I am always so hopeful when I put the garden in – that it will yield enough fruit to make it worth the work.  I’ll let you know if that turns out to be true.


Selling Our Stuff

We are trying to sell a few things and we are struggling with how to do this. How do you market used item to get the most money and sell them reasonably stress free. Not on Craigslist, that’s for sure. Years ago we put our car on Craigslist when we bought a new one, a few people came to look at it and one of them bought it. Simple. Last week we listed our van for sale and it’s been nothing but weirdness. Multiple people emailing to ask if it’s still for sale and when we reply yes – nothing. Are they just taking a poll?  Someone arranged a time to come see it and when they were late to the prearranged meeting place we checked with them via text to see how long they would be. They wrote back they didn’t have enough money and weren’t coming.  Did they just count their change jar – how do you suddenly realize you don’t have $2000?  At least five or six people sent stupid low “cash” offers sight unseen. Were they thinking we’d let them pay by credit card if they paid full price?  And don’t get me started on the ridiculous grammar in some inquiries – they have to be from a teeny bopper in a far off third world country playing internet pranks for entertainment. It’s a good car,  a brand with a solid reliability reputation at a very affordable price. Why isn’t an honest buyer coming our way?  

Avatar Arrives

Avatar – what pops into your head when you read that word? Do you think of the little photo of yourself posted in the profile of your social media accounts? Or possibly of the characters that live within online gaming? Or even the incarnation of a Hindu deity such as Vishnu – Webster’s definition of the word. Does anyone think of the 2009 sci-fi movie of the same name. The movie featured some special effects that were billed as ‘advanced for their time’. And….. OK, so I’m at a loss to think of anything else. It had limited appeal and fairly quickly fell off of the radar screen of the majority of the public. If you haven’t seen the film, don’t waste your time – you’d be underwhelmed by the effects, and assaulted by its in your face, preachy, stereotypes that pass for a story line. Civilization is evil, the military is evil, native tribal people groups are peaceful….I can’t remember the rest as it was borderline ridiculous. But this week its making its way back into the headlines as Disney prepares to open a new World of Pandora themed land inside of its Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom park. When I think of the amount of capital and resources that was invested into this new area it is frustrating – this is valuable funding that could have been allocated to build attractions based upon or linked to Disney’s own stories and characters, which have a proven track record of timeless and multi-generational appeal. Early videos are surfacing of the two attractions that will open this month. The first is a short (3 min) boat ride down a river in Pandora – with a view of the banks and trees that are grown over with the native plants and animals in this fictitious world. The other is a flight simulation ride through the landscape and countryside of the fictitious world of Pandora. Other features of this new area are footpaths that will light up at night – and plants that will appear to glow in the dark. Its so disappointing to me that Disney is serving up what amounts to a video game/virtual reality experience as their latest offering. I’m sure I’ll take time to visit Pandora when we go to WDW in February, but this new area won’t have me rushing to my travel agent to visit Orlando any sooner.

B Movie Sunday

Mr. Austerity collects movies and he’s got a pretty large collection.  Mainly he likes to collect Disney movies on VHS format.  He has over 200 Disney films in his collection and he spends a lot of time at thrift stores sorting through the bins to find movies to add to it.  His collection includes classic animated films, cartoons and features, nature films, live action films, and propaganda and marketing films produced during World War 2 to sell war bonds to fund the war and generate support for the war.  He also loves to find obscure Disney titles that were distributed by Anchor Bay such as Watcher In The Woods and The Legend of Lobo.  Which leads us to our latest pastime; B Movie Sunday.  We’ve found a nice way to cap off the weekend and ease into the workweek by kicking back on Sunday evenings and enjoying B movies.  It started a few weeks ago when he’d found a title called The Running Man, a 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  It had a promising premise and smart storyline, but cheap special effects and lame dialog were enough to qualifiy it in the B category.  All in all, it was  entertaining enough to hook us on this new pastime and send Mr. Austerity in search of more films like it, which was no problem at all for him.  Trust me when I tell you the thrift store bins are full of them.  I won’t recount all of the titles we’ve enjoyed over the past few weeks.  But one in particular is worth noting.   It combines several of our favorite things, locations like Treasure Island Florida and Walt Disney World, a cast that includes Hulk Hogan and Mrs. Garrett (Edna Rae) from The Facts of Life and a stealth speed boat named Thunder. Combine all those, blend at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, and you get Thunder In Paradise!  I won’t review the movie here because Mr. Austerity has published an excellent review on his social media and I’m going to steal that for my next post.  All I’ll say is that the same cast and crew filmed a TV series of the same name that lasted for one season, and I cannot wait to watch it.  Maybe we’ll start a new B TV series Sunday night sometime soon.

Mrs. Austerity  

A Loving Memory

We were all together with Mr. Austerity’s family last week to honor the memories of such a wonderful person’s passing.  I’m so thankful for his family and that I am able to be a part of it.  His mom and dad are like parents to me and more than that, close friends.  We spent so much free time hanging out with them when we were a young family.  I’ll always cherish those memories.   Its so comforting as a family to listen to the stories of how the person you love and respect impacted the lives of others.  Those who attended the memorial shared with us so many of the kind and generous ways that our beloved dad/father-in-law/grandfather had touched their lives.  He loved serving others and worked tirelessly in his community and even was elected to serve in their Silver haired legislature multiple terms; traveling to the state capital to draft and present bills that were adding into legislation.

Mrs. Austerity

We’ll See You Again

Yesterday morning at about 2:30 am Grandpa Curtis’ breathing slowed and then stopped.  Because of his Do Not Rescusitate order, the hospital staff allowed him to slip away peacefully.  Just an hour earlier he had requested that his nurse give him a shave and brush his teeth, and she took care of the requests for him, leaving him resting comfortably once she finished.  We received the phone call at about 3 am from Mr. Austerity’s brother, and we were both sad for our loss but also happy for Grandpa.  He had been confused since the last surgery, his always sharp mind now playing tricks on him about the people and the surroundings and causing him to respond in ways his pre-surgery self never had.  He had begun asking for prayer that God would take him home, and by His grace, He did.  Now its a new season for all of us who loved him and depended on him, including his precious wife, whom he married 15 years ago.  She’s become as beloved to all of us as she was to him, and while she’s a strong and independent woman, we all want to be a support to her as she adjusts to life without her husband and we adjust to life without him too. 

 I’m so thankful that I was his daughter-in-law and can’t wait until the day when I’ll see him again.   

Mrs. Austerity 


The Light at the Homeless Shelter

Last week I had the privilege to head a team from my workplace down to a women’s homeless shelter to serve them a feast of pizza, chicken wings, salad, cold water and fried fish. The last item (fish) was a freebie given to us by the pizza shop we purchased the food from.  Just as we were about ready to serve the food I snapped a photo.  I continued to take photo’s to document our event. The women loved the food and were so grateful for it especially the fish! We played music and danced and then we reluctantly packed up and went back to our comfy suburban homes. I decided when I was at home to look at the photo’s we had taken that night. One of the photo’s immediately caught my attention. The photo showed us at the tables getting ready to serve the food and a bright light is over us with beams of light shooting out and downward. I would usually just assume it was the sun or some bright outdoor light shinning into the lens. I realized that we were on the east side of a 2 story building with the sun low in the western sky and their was no exterior lighting where the light was emanating from. I believe this was a supernatural light that was not visible to our eyes but was picked up by the digital camera. I always knew God was with us when we served the poor but never thought I’d pick it up so awesomely in a photo.