Today’s post is brought to you by the warmest socks on earth (alpaca), baklava for breakfast, and my excitement for new upcoming creative projects

I’m beginning January 2018 with $7 in the bank account, $20 cash, and a $25 Visa gift card. We just paid November rent, making us two months behind on rent now BUT we aren’t behind on anything else at the moment. There’s no urgent needs right now that would require money, except perhaps additional firewood. The deep cold continues and we’re going through wood rapidly but I have a good source for wood if I need more right away.

Our SNAP balance is $0 until the 9th (then it will be $210) but we’re good on food. Much of that is thanks to kindness of others.  We also could not get through without the biweekly food pantry.

In December I was in a cooking rut and we were eating terribly. Lots of Brown Food (chicken nuggets,tater tots,etc). Depression was a big factor but I was also feeling tired of making the same meals over and over again because I just didn’t have a lot to work with and just could not summon the mental ambition to be creative with what I was working with. I was really hating cooking for awhile there.
Once older kids started coming home from college, the extra help around the house  relieved a lot of stress on me and I started making decent meals again. Mostly a lot of my kids fave comfort foods they missed while away at college. Pierogies with spinach and onions, egg rolls, mac and cheese, chili… that stuff I make with cabbage and lentils. They CAN cook for themselves but you know…Mom does it better, I guess.

The food pantry gave out turkeys for Christmas dinners and we were given a lovely holiday food box from Vineyard Church with a ham, potatoes,corn,butter,milk, and treats. We had the ham for New Year’s. The butter was super helpful because my oldest spawn appointed himself as stuffing maker a couple of years ago. He follows Matty Matheson’s recipe. The 1st time he made it, I jokingly asked , “What the hell? Did you use an entire pound of butter or what?” HE DID. He uses less butter since then but lordy…we seem to go through a lot of butter in this house, especially with the big eatin’ days.

The pre-Christmas food pantry was wild. There was a Santa there for some reason. No kids there so adults sat on his lap and Santa was rather saucy. He also sang a song about eating roadkill, which I tried to get on video but all you can hear is an older man standing next to me telling my husband about how he’s afraid old and disabled people are going to be sent to the gas chambers. But you can’t even hear him well enough for me to post that. It was certainly the part that was most worth listening to.
“They keep closing all our programs! They just want to get rid of us”. Later he told me this story about being given an F in school by a teacher who was mad that he talked about gas chambers during the Holocaust. She told the class that didn’t happen. His father put his military uniform on , went down to the school, and told the teacher and the whole class a very non-watered down version of everything he saw as a soldier in WW2.  I’m always amazed when I hear other’s experiences in school being taught about the Holocaust.  When I was in school, it was no holds barred. Graphic, concise, full depiction. Nothing censored. My kids,too. We all feel like we could go our whole life without seeing another documentary about it because what we learned was so thorough and it was intense. A lot at once, which may have been the intended effect because the saturation made a lifelong lasting impression. My husband finds that in his adult life, he’s learned a lot more about it than he did in school but he was still given the important basics.
This past summer when Nazis were marching with tiki torches, I was shocked at the people who were so ignorant about what Nazis did. Jewish people were sharing  stories of what their families went through and the reactions from people was mind boggling. “I can’t believe any of that happened.I never heard about any of this is school.”…from educated adults. It dawned on me that this has to be why more people aren’t seriously alarmed by the rise of  fascism,neo-Nazism and hate groups here. They wrongly think if you laugh at them or ignore them, it will end them.  Mind blown. If not everyone knows the full extent of what that brand of hate leads to, they can’t be alarmed by it and if they aren’t alarmed, they aren’t going to have the inclination to even try to fight it. I’m deeply troubled by this. It’s the same mindset that leads people to believe the government will never take away rights or food/assistance to poor families or medicare from old people. They think anti-poverty activists are overreacting about the future for poor and marginalized  people. I would much rather overreact than be complacent and just let things happen.

I don’t even want to get into people pearl-clutching over whether it’s ok to punch Nazis. I’m not much of a resolution maker but punching Nazis in 2018 sounds like a good one.

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