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Showing posts from November, 2015

Kindness

Kindness can have a far reaching legacy.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/shopper-honours-generous-stranger-matthew-jackson-who-died-a-day-after-buying-her-groceries-20151130-glc1kg.html

How to use a smart phone frugally

Top tips for smart phone use on the cheap:

1. Limit, or switch off, data use
2. For internet capabilities use free wifi, or home wifi where that works out cheaper
3. Limit and/or do not play games, use social media
4. Use a pre-paid phone and plan
5. Think about the best rules for you based on your circumstances.
6. Just use the phone for calls, text, and photos
7. Do not use it for playing movies, limit music downloads
8. Limit downloads

I've figured out how to use my new smart phone, that is as I type, wending its way here, frugally.  I'll just use it as a phone and camera. 

That's right, I'm going to buy a whizz bang phone, and use it like my basic phone, just with better pictures. 

I'll be switching off the data, or at the very least only purchasing a small pre-paid data pack.  I will certainly be switching off any automatic updates when I figure out how to do that.  I don't tend to play computer or phone games, so that's no problem.  My strict social…

Live without a mobile phone

For reasons of personal safety, and the lack of public phones, I will continue to have a mobile phone.  Public phones have been removed from my state due to vandalism.  There may be one or two in whole state but certainly not enough to run to in an emergency.  I've been in too many situations, such as a car accident, where having a phone was invaluable.  So, I'll always have a basic phone, even if I turn it off all the time. 

I would recommend that parents, where applicable buy their teenagers a basic pre-paid phone for personal safety reasons.  I would wait as long as possible and put some boundaries around it.  Let's be honest, even the wisest person can get addicted to texting, it can be a lot of fun.  I would be smart though, you've got to give people freedom, don't you?  Not an easy gig being a parent. 

Some people, live without mobile phones.  You might like to read their perspective on life:

https://peanutbutteronrye.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/my-life-without…

Some people hate smart phones

In the interest of balance, and in the light of my news that I am finally buying a smart phone - the budget model, it should be noted that some people apparently "hate" smart phones.  To be fair, I think the hate of smart phones, probably has more to do with the behaviour of people who own them and their inability to turn them off, and get some perspective, than the phone. 

If you want to feel smug and superior, and consider buying a basic throw-down-the-stairs-almost-unbreakable phone, there's these:

http://www.browndailyherald.com/2012/03/19/husted-13-why-i-hate-smartphones/

http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/021114-9-reasons-i-absolutely-refuse-to-get-a-smart-phone/

I'm not that worried about a smart phone disconnecting me, I've got family that will happily tell me that I'm developing an addiction.  I love talking to people including strangers who are interesting and welcoming, I value family and the best doctors I know, in terms of giving me attention…

Bought forty cups of coffee at once

I finally managed to ruin my small, not so smart, touch screen phone.  It tried to stop working last week, but I figured out what the problem was.  All I needed to do, to get a signal again, was take the battery out, squeeze the sim, replace the battery firmly, and all was well.

I've previously dropped the phone down two flights of stairs, dropped it on concrete and tiles multiple times, and other than the odd scratch the thing looks expensive and was nothing compared to most people's phones.  I'd buy it again, but the camera was less than spectacular.  It's actually fairly good for landscape, and pretty good for close ups, but it's hopeless for people. 

Where photos and memories are taken into account, people are really important to me and I'd like to be able to take a photo where people look human rather than aliens.

The software was pretty non-existent and it's not compatible with 4G which I read means that I am unable to access better deals from my ph…

To shop, or not to shop

Today in the UK and the US some people are out shopping for bargains, I believe it's called Black Friday, which here in Australia only reminds me of bush fire seasons.  There are a few nasty bush fires currently wending their way around our country, including unfortunate loss of life and property particularly in South Australia where two lives have been lost, many animals, and 35 houses destroyed with many more condemned due to bush fire.  Unfortunately the fires have been wending their way through farm land already impacted by drought.  Another is reportedly threatening more homes in Perth, WA.  There was one recently in Tasmania that is currently under control, but again, close to homes, and could light up again.

Did you know that the term, "Black Friday" may have originated from the financial crisis of 1869?  Hilariously ironic, don't ya think?  I've been lazy with this particular piece of research and just checked out Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B…

Tea confusion

I've been wondering about whether or not to restrict my tea intake after having a particularly bad thyroid (under-functioning) day, when I had green tea the night before.  The evidence seems to be inconclusive.

Green tea is not recommended for people with Graves/hyperthyroidism (over functioning thyroid) so is likely good for someone with hypothyroidism (under function).  Even when I've had periods of hyperthyroidism, I find any kind of tea calming, coffee not so much, I'm already buzzing when I'm like that.

I must admit, I've been drinking less caffeine overall lately, but it has more to do with having the flu and recovering than anything else.  I've been told by more than one medical doctor that viruses have a nasty habit of causing hormones to go haywire which is one of the many reasons we all tend to feel miserable and grumpy with flu/cold/48-hours-of-hell, also known as my-doctor-says-it's-just-a-bug.

My bad day probably had as much to do with my body ad…

Focus on baking

I was the only person silly, or courageous enough, to go for a walk out side tonight before the night time dark and more rain descended.  It was lively with the chilly weather.   Was I ever grateful to be wearing a warm polar fleece!
I managed mainly walking with the odd sprint and jog in-between.  It seems to have flared up my chronic fatigue/S.E.I.D nicely and the flu is still sticking around to boot.
Still overweight, and being careful to eat moderate servings and nourishing food.  Hoping I will be able to keep walking in between painful flares.
Drinking elderberry tea which I find is best prepared in a flask so it's still hot after it's infused for fifteen minutes.  Logged in to social media account for two minutes.  Will continue to stay away and focus on baking, at least for the moment!  
Enjoy using google plus linked to this blog and blogging which is probably enough for the moment.  The social media account I am talking about can be both strangely addictive and aggrav…

Obsessed with all things baking

Refreshing my memory on gluten free sourdough, and figuring that I might have more to learn, much more, I stumbled across this blog.  If you enjoy baking bread, or just prefer reading about it, you might like this:

http://meditationsandbread.com/


Muffins and vanilla infused goodness (edited 7th Dec 15)

I just made three vanilla bean infused treats for baking and daily indulgence.  I made a big jar of sugar and vanilla bean which I believe once infused can be topped up time and again.  I made sure I scored the bean down the middle before placing it in the sugar.  Another jar will be vanilla bean tea and I also have some vanilla bean coffee concocting away.  They would make easy Christmas presents if you were so inclined.  Nice and quick and easy.  A bow and pretty tag will make them look gorgeous.

I was so overwhelmed lately with my thyroid being completely out that I have not been able to cope with making a simple present like that!  Beginning to lose a little weight and look a bit more like myself which is a relief!

I also just fed a new batch of sourdough I'm hoping to turn into edible gluten free bread, assuming you agree that oats are gluten free, the Australian Coeliac Society does not agree, UK and US do.  This is probably asking a bit much but we'll see how I go.  I s…

Looking after myself

Today, having reviewed my budget and deciding on a few parameters last night, I received one of my online packages I bought a couple of weeks ago.  I ordered some elderberry tea in the hope that its reputed health benefits will help my body cope with flu recovery, liver detox and the fun that is SEID/Chronic Fatigue.

I'm not going to make any statements about it healing my SEID, nor am I going to give up.  For the moment, I will be enjoying the dried elderberries steeped in hot water for at least fifteen minutes.  I'm using it as a general tonic alternative for liquorice without the bloating and water retention.  Some people should not drink elderberry tea, particularly diabetics as it can interfere with some medication and blood sugar.  Pregnant women are best advised to also avoid elderberries unless stated by their doctor.  If you are considering a new herbal something to take, talk it over with your doctor.

Today, I looked after myself, despite a particularly nasty chroni…

Budgeting the lazy way

I did a quick weekly audit of my bank account.  There's money in my account which is always a good thing.  Even better, there's money in my savings account.  Not as much as I'd like but I've had much less in there before.

Placed some money in savings and concluded that I'd basically not spend any more money until next week, if I can help it.  Not exactly a complicated approach to budgeting, now is it?

I will have to buy some medications, petrol, may need to go to the doctor and for a little extra frisson of excitement will search for some new to me jeans from the op-shop.  No more than ten dollars, unless they make me instantly look like a denim clad goddess, I might spend twelve dollars then!  A few flattering t-shirts from the op-shop if I can find them are also on my personal shopping list.

I look forward to losing a little weight and fitting into some slimmer-than-I-am-now-and-healthy jeans with the combined affect of thyroid hormones, liver cleanse, generally…

A little liver clean (edit)

It's been a while since I've used milk thistle to help my body heal.  Yesterday, it occurred to me that it might help my body do its thing, and heal another layer of nonsense out of its system.

I took some milk thistle, and while in the past the process has been fairly smooth running, this time it's been decidedly unpleasant with its side effects.  There's nothing fab about giving the liver a kick when it needs it, and mine clearly does. 

I suspect that at least some of my weight gain is due to the combination of a slow metabolism and sluggish liver, caused in part, by a slowing metabolism.  That, and I've been doing my best to kick the residual EBV (Epstein Barr) out of my body and go for a long term cure of SEID.  I'm not there yet, but it's not surprising my liver might be overloaded.  As if that was not enough, I've got Coeliac disease, which tends to put extra pressure on the liver.  I need to rejuvenate it!

While milk thistle is known for its stro…

Drawing pictures, a frugal necessity?.

Apparently, the new adult craft activity that shows that one is cutting edge is adult coloring in. Nothing wrong with that.

I do find it funny that people have special books and special craft supplies for things that I've always tended to do.

Like the seriousness that was, and still is, scrap booking and stamp craft.  Both crafts I admire, but generally do not find relaxing.  I admire people that do those things well though.  For me, one page, and that's enough for me, for 12 months, sorry years.  Scrap booking raises my blood pressure because I just lack the patience for it, and it's all got be perfect, and creative, and the pressure!!! I feel almost a traitor to my gender admitting it, but there must be other women that find it stressful, can't just be me.  I'd rather go for a walk, or do the ironing and get someone else to do my photos while I clean their bath.

Admittedly, there was that serious low paid worker stage, but spending time around children tends to…

Another daily dose of torture

Made myself go for a schlep down and up and up hills this afternoon.  Forty five minutes of walking torture and I swear I came back looking fatter than when I left!  Ah, yes, that thyroid disease again.  Very frustrating.

I guess I could be glad that I am learning patience and compassion for others who put on weight by looking at a cake and walking past the bakery.  I'm not glad, but I am getting more patient most of the time, due to lack of energy.  I get energy in fits and waves and my patience is similar.

I felt a little better than yesterday when I also put myself through walking torture.  I think part of it is that my body is still fighting off the end of the flu.  It's a tenacious little bug (sometimes, a good descriptor of myself)!

Early retirement tips

Some myth busting from Forbes about retiring early.  Most of these points are relevant to US readers only but you might find it helpful to think about.

For financial advice, find a paid professional you trust, and proceed with caution.  Never forget, there are no guarantees with financial advice, and it's your money.  The article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2014/09/26/dont-let-these-7-myths-stop-you-from-retiring-early/

On the farm: other blogs I like

I've just been reading this blog about frugal living and life on a farm in the US. 

A thoroughly enjoyable read:

http://www.suburbanhomesteading.com/


Only had a cursory look at this website, something for me to note, and look at later!
http://chickensintheroad.com/ Apparently, according to chickensintheroad.com, "frugal is the new black."  I should be right then!
And, last but not least, this is also for me, as much as for you,

a blog started by a couple when they were financially up the creek and badly needed to find a way to fiscally responsible adult land, and their adventures on a farm:

http://www.thefrugalfarmer.net/
Enjoy!

On influencing lemmings

Given that at the best of times, I tend to have limited energy, I've decided that I am going to have to pick my moments when it comes to influencing.  Such is my frustration with the general level of debate on social media that I am considering shutting down my account.  For the moment though, I've decided to manage my news feed and stay in contact with some people that post things that get on my sensibilities. 

Still, I may just quit.  I'm not sure the benefits out weigh the irritation.  Perhaps I never should have started going down that particular rabbit hole.

I managed a long, slow, hike around the neighbourhood this afternoon.  It was lovely to be out in the fresh air.  Missing my pre-flu fitter self but I guess with a bit of patience and work she might come out and play again.

I've been watching a bit of stand up lately to ensure I do not lose my sense of humour.  Keeping off social media and/or managing it, may just have the same affect.

Accept evil?

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

The Soldier

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the "protestor to burn the flag." Father Denis Edward O'Brien US Marine Corp I will never forget.  Always grateful.

PM Malcolm Turnbull's response to Paris

I've noticed that some of my PM's words and general communication has been skewed by some members of the journalistic bent.  So, I found Australia's PM's website.  In the interest of fairness, his response is here:

http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/statement-paris-terrorist-attack

Bring it

Having suggested, none too sweetly, but overwhelmingly respectfully, that my mother's interaction on some internet forums, was verging on the addicted and looney side....well, I pretty much, did the same thing.  Okay, not the same thing, but similar enough to confess my humanity. 

I'm not being driven quite as nuts by the trollop I am reading and I am unlikely to save most ignorant experts.  It's amazing how people can be an expert on a subject, they clearly, know nothing about.  The drivel being expressed by many at the moment, about war, would be the equivalent of me pretending I am an expert on car mechanics. 

Perhaps not the right analogy because I actually do surprise a man or two with my knowledge from time to time.  I'm just not so good at the pulling things apart, and putting them together.  Well, I could pull them apart...then I'd likely be swearing a lot.  And, thinking back, eventually figure it out.  Not the best analogy, too much time listening and w…

Positive thinking - finding your inner sheep

Dare to suggest that telling people who are suffering to "think positive" is cruel and you will be abused.  Want to know why?  Because the people that espouse so called "positive thinking" do not want you to think.  Positive thinking is a philosophy used to silence the masses.

If someone has shot civilians in cold blood, as has happened recently, then the sane response is fear.  Do we give into fear and not act?  That is a question that will need to be answered by our leaders.  I think that to not act when we have credible threats to civilians is cowardice.

Sometimes surveillance is the best response, and I hope and trust that our top brass have that sorted.  I remain concerned that retired top military personnel in both the US and Australia suggest that we need to act, and much more than is currently the case.  I question our watching when generals are telling us to take action.  

If someone shot your family then I am certain that the sane response is to not tel…

9 minutes weights, and snooze

I managed nine minutes of gentle lady weights, before I had to stop.  The whole chest pain, due to flu recovery thing, kicked in.  So I stopped.  I was not pushing myself or anything.  Mild pain, stop.

Today, well, if a woman is honest I spent most of the day asleep.  Then the rest of it online wasting time looking busy, with a sore throat and the odd sneeze and cough.

I did eventually get up and help fix dinner, throw some greens in the freezer, cleaned the odd dish and then did some gentle weights and the odd pilates move.

Found my back was worse after exercise yesterday.  Most annoying but part of the healing process.  I will keep at it, gently.  The scar tissue is breaking down and my back is showing signs of healing.  Some of that might be the warmer weather.  Definitely a happier back when warm.

Action beats inaction

Passivity is fast becoming a pervasive message on places that I electronically visit.  A Bond movie was on tonight, on free view television, Quantum of Solace starring Daniel Craig (2008).

I'm just going to put my English graduate head on for a second and say that the opening sequence is brilliant in its timing, execution and cinematography.  The intelligent writing, smart art direction and special effects, along with acting that drew me in an distracted me, and I needed the distraction, were quite simply breath taking.  Such a cliché, breath-taking, but it's a cliché cause sometimes it's true!

There, along with the movie, White House Down, which I only just realised was released in 2013, give me hope. 

Hope that in the face of tragedy, against all odds, the good can, and does win.  It takes action though, it takes "constant vigilance", and it is scary.  To not acknowledge the fear that goes with action is idiocy in my opinion. 

Action in the face of fear is co…

Australians racist?

Brigette Gabriel's story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=960TpXRnT8g

Tony Abbott on Australian response to terror

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-says-australia-needs-to-do-more-to-tackle-isis-toxin-at-its-source-20151114-gkz941.html

Shocking news

Shocking news on our headlines world-wide.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone effected by terrorist attacks.

Do you want to be part of the passive majority?

Brigette Gabriel answering a question on why all muslims are portrayed badly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3NzkAOo3s

Action movie instead of lullaby

Yes, I'm the kind of woman that likes a good action movie.  The only flaw in my occasional foray into adrenaline (I don't like them very violent, more special effects, and implied), is that it's not exactly the best way to prepare to get myself to sleep.  I do find men with muscles, and masculine protective instinct quite comforting, however.  Quite refreshing given the current state of the world.

Still with flu.  Beginning to feel a little better.  Finding the balance of thyroid hormones and support supplements which helps.  Enjoying herbal teas and a shambolic, yet clean, environment. I guess you could call it cosy with a modern cottage vibe.

I recommend half a teaspoon of coconut oil in your flat white tomorrow.  Some might tell you it's got health benefits, and maybe it does, but today I'm just going to tell you that it tastes good.  Oooh, so good.

Housing Boom?

6225 properties currently listed for sale in Tasmania, around 850 properties were sold last year in Tasmania.  Housing boom?  Seems the only thing booming is properties for sale.

B vitamins protective for Coeliacs?

Stumbled across this research related to the potential protective effects of B vitamins on the general health of people living with Coeliac Disease.  Worth reading if you are living with Coeliac disease and working to manage it:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303102612.htm

Open shut cleaning

I'm taking an open-shut approach to organisation and cleaning at the moment.  I keep opening cupboards, thinking they need cleaning, and shutting them!

My cupboards could do with a bit of a clean.  I had a dream/ nightmare that I was being drowned in stuff last night, so my subconscious could do with a clear out.  Right now, I'm still with flu, so a little slackness won't hurt too much. 

Tomorrow, I might just clean out a drawer.  Or a shelf.  Or throw three things out.  Some small step tomorrow, in any case. 

Today, I'm still resting, keeping an eye on my mum whose keeping a fever going nicely, drinking tea and vaguely keeping the house habitable.  Good enough will do.

Herbal tea and foot patches

After months of extreme patience, I've finally received my foot patches from China.  I made sure I bought them before they run out, but my first package winged its way around Beijing and decided it preferred the atmosphere there, thanks very much.

These foot patches were priced well and seem better quality than my last lot.  Ah, the black goo that comes out my feet, certainly puts the theory that it's just water from the body to bed.  I tried to replicate the look by adding water to them, and this is simply not the case with quality foot patches.  I'm not sure how much it helps with the flu, but it doesn't hurt, and will likely help with the chronic fatigue/SEID in the long run.

With flu still today, I spent most of it in bed.  Managed to pick a salad, make some yogurt, clean the dishes and make herbal tea to share.  Made a herbal tea to help with flu from fresh ginger, honey and lemon verbena picked fresh from the garden.  Spent the evening getting philosophical with …

Have coffee, will travel

Blog worth reading on travel in Asia, writer currently on the road (Vagabond Journey).

Found this article worth reading about fear around coffee:
http://www.vagabondjourney.com/mold-mycotoxins-coffee-and-health-effects/

Fascinating history on Singapore's coffee culture:
http://www.vagabondjourney.com/singapore-coffee-or-kopi/

Tips on making cheap coffee while travelling:
http://www.vagabondjourney.com/get-coffee-cheap-when-traveling-abroad-make-it-yourself/

Not asleep (may help US home owners)

I know, the title reads like my lack of sleeping may help US home owners.  Alas, for both of us, that simply isn't true.  If I find a way to make that work, you will be the first to know!

This link, looks useful to US home owners.  Please seek advice from a trusted adviser, I do not know enough about this scheme to recommend it.

https://www.onesmartpenny.com/landers/pages/mortgage-refinance-gr.html?utm_campaign=osp&utm_source=nmx&utm_adgroup=native&utm_term=halfthetime-prez&medium=060115

It's called the HARP scheme and apparently it's due to run out in 2016.  Again, seek financial advice from a fee based professional who understands the way the scheme works and takes the time to understand your circumstances.

Look at me advocating for myself

Good grief, reading most news lately about disability services and disability news makes me ill.  I've been reading about young children being given major surgery, allegedly to make the children/ person with a disability's life better.  
I've been reading about stunting growth with heavy doses of oestrogen and hysterectomies.  I find myself thinking that this treatment is inhumane in most cases.  The UN is currently considering whether Australian procedures are torture and how to face this.
 At the most, I can come at tube tying, or continuous use of the contraceptive pill to eradicate periods if they cause distress.  I can even come at other hormone therapies, although they are risky if they are being used this way.  
I have major problems with hysterectomies being performed when they are major surgery and take away any possibility of women having any, or low sexual response to a partner if they wanted to in the future.  They likely increase the risk of osteoporosis.  Ane…

Smugness will get you nowhere

Smugness will give anyone a false sense of security and confidence.  Anyone can think that life will always work their way.  Thinking that life will be easy, because it currently is, is easy.

Preparing for, considering the possibility, that life might throw a curve ball, is much harder.  It requires character, compassion and discipline.  Compassion to see others suffer, and consider that it might be me.  Character to spend time with others who suffer, to look at ways to alleviate suffering, to explore things that we are each called to do.  Discipline to put resources away in times of plenty.

I find smugness irritating in the extreme.  Give me compassion, character and discipline any day.

That being said, I was smug about my possibility of winning a board game last week.  Funny thing is, I lost.  We always lose when we are smug, even just because we miss other people when we thumb our noses in the other direction.  We miss so much joy and happiness too.

While shopping in (coffee articles)

While shopping online, looking at presents for people, I got a little distracted. 
You might enjoy these coffee related articles with a cup of something hot:
How 50 cups of coffee can change your life:
http://www.inc.com/peter-thomson/50-cups-of-coffee.html
New York Times on the potential benefits of coffee:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/upshot/more-consensus-on-coffees-benefits-than-you-might-think.html?_r=0
And, this, controversial, and interesting:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-04-21/buttered-coffee-could-make-you-invincible-and-this-man-very-rich
Disclaimer: This is for entertainment purposes only, for dietary and medical advice, seek the guidance of a qualified medical doctor or affiliated professional.

Tried to leave the flu

I went out today, hoping that I would be able to recover from flu related fatigue by going out and leaving it somewhere more interesting.  I'm just at the knackered and sleeping stage.  The worst of it seems to be over.

I went to the library, dropped off books, skimmed the newspapers, and walked away from the sneezing, coughing masses.  Hardly see the point of going out and picking up another virus, along with a book! 

It seems that my thyroid has had quite enough of co-operating and swinging along nicely, and has decided it'd conveniently stop working and walk away and rest.  Who knows, it might come back online again, once I'm over this flu. Thyroid hormones are helping me get my weight back down to something a little less voluptuous.  I'm a little overweight but it's mainly water, I feel like a walking water bed.  I'm feeling a little less like a non-hungry elephant woman.  Nothing more insulting than eating less, and weighing more.  Particularly when you&#…

Fatigued from flu

The title says it all, I am fatigued from having the flu.  I'm finding it difficult to sleep because I feel all over the place.  It's strange that I can feel tired and yet not sleepy.  Trying to balance my hormones but they are always affected by viruses.

I just watched a couple of videos of comedians on ABC online which is free to me at the moment.  I needed the laugh.  Reading the news and media is largely doing my head in.  It does not feel like the news.  It feels much more like agendas, rather than healthy debate.

I am struggling with my weight.  I am not lacking curves at the moment.  I guess it beats being too skinny and I look healthy and strong.  I was feeling a little stronger in general before this virus hit.  Not sure how much of this is my thyroid.  I think some of it is. 

Learning to be kinder to myself, and other people.  It really does take age, and difficult circumstances, to a certain extent to really grasp some of the pain of others and to develop compassio…

Women with autism

I'm learning more about autism.  Well, I'm trying to read more and make sense of it all, but it's not simple to understand, or particularly easy to deal with.

This article, alone with another one I read this week, suggest that good instruction in behaviour by someone who cares can powerfully shape a person's brain for the better.

Certainly worth thinking about.  It may relate more to higher functioning people (article relates to girls) who show signs of autism.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annanorth/why-women-with-autism-are-invisble#.nwbGkyzR90

Lost 50 billion under couch

It seems, if I understand the Australian financial news correctly, that the banks miscalculated market share by landlords to the tune of 50 billion Australian dollars.  According to the ABC, this works out to 4 in 10 houses owned by landlords.

With many landlords using their house as collateral the financial implications could be decidedly interesting.  If a landlord finds themselves in financial stress due to job loss, health issues, or tenants leaving, then they could easily lose both the leased property, and their own.  If a parent has signed on as guarantor, then they face the possibility of homelessness as well.  I fear that the domestic violence initiatives which include building more shelters, may be to house the housing moguls of today, if they structured things so that losing everything is only a paycheck (or rather lack of) away.

I notice that banks are all making changes that reflect the strain and risk they are under.  In part due to regulators requiring that banks hold m…

Doomed to repeat history?

It seems to me that my reading about the recession of the late eighties, early 1990s in Australia, and many other parts of the world show parallels with the current climate.

This article was written in 2005 for the Sydney Morning Herald:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Opinion/How-the-recession-we-had-to-have-built-a-decade-of-prosperity/2005/02/08/1107625210623.html

 "The surge in the terms of trade at the end of 1987 and the ridiculous lending of the recently deregulated banks had created a property frenzy and surging demand."

The interest rates were brought up to 17% for six months in order to control a debt fuelled property bubble due to risky lending practices.

It seems we never learn as a society.  History is important, it can save us all heart break if we are willing to listen to wise advisors and learn from mistakes.

Tough welfare

I personally trust the New York Times as a reasonable news source.  I've just been reading the following article to try and understand the cuts to the food stamp program in the US, which targets people under 50 who are deemed to be able to work.

I've always worked, studied or volunteered when able to.  However, I found as a volunteer more often than not, I was treated as a slave and never offered paid employment when it became available.

Studying, though valuable, is pretty demoralising, if the work is not available at the end of it.

Telling people to work is pretty pointless if more people are looking for work, than is available.

The pressure on food stamps and other welfare programs are a failure of the system, not the people.  In my experience here in Australia, the people on the lowest welfare payments are usually most likely to contribute to the community anyway.

For my US readers, can I ask that you read this article, and others you can find from quality news sources, and…

Herbal tea and sleep

I seem to have had a flu like virus.  I hope I'm over the worst of it.  I spent most of today sleeping off the fatigue and yesterday throwing everything except antibiotics at it, as it was thinking about making a home on my chest. 

I've been drinking plenty of herbal teas, taking vitamins, drinking some electrolyte drinks to keep my body balanced, plenty of fresh fruit, some light food, frozen chocolate milk cup, honey lemon and ginger drinks, and I even added in some homeopathic remedies in for good measure.  The worst of it now seems to be sinus and throat pain and sheer exhaustion. 

Lots of rest, black and herbal teas.

I hope I'm getting there! 

I'll go to the doctor if I must but let's hope that's knocked it on the head!

Once a victim, always?

I have been heard to say, that there are some people who on winning a million dollars would find some reason why it was a problem.  It wouldn't matter what their circumstances were, they would find some reason why they had no responsibility and everyone should feel sorry for them.

You might find these articles worth reading:

http://www.zurinstitute.com/victimhood.html

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/12618#.VjbopdIrLIU

http://www.empoweringparents.com/Im-a-Victim-So-the-Rules-Dont-Apply-to-Me-How-to-Stop-Victim-Thinking-in-Kids.php

http://thedeclination.com/victim-culture-the-celebration-of-failure/

http://www.thecornellreview.org/president-obama-slams-coddled-college-students-microaggressions-and-culture-of-victimhood/