They say the grass is greener on the other side, meaning where you are now doesn’t seem as good as where you could be. People leave marriages thinking a different relationship will be better. Leave jobs thinking the next one will be so great! Move to a bigger house just knowing that then life will be perfect. Wait to be happy when…when we have kids… when the kids are grown…when I get married…when I get divorced…when I get a job… when I can finally retire…

Another way to look at it is:

The grass is greener where you water it.



Something I read years ago:

“The centipede was happy quite

Until a toad in fun

Said, ‘Pray, which leg goes after which?’

This raised his mind to such a pitch

He lay distracted in a ditch

Considering how to run.”

Mr. and Mrs. San

Back in the 1970s there was a movement to create a relationship-neutral title for women. “Mr.” for men was already relationship-neutral. A man was Mister whether he was married or single. Women were Miss until they married and became titled Mrs. So we came up with Ms., a female form of Mr., which did not indicate whether the woman was married or not.

Fast forward to 2014. I was on a mock jury. The presenter, an intelligent, educated millennial, surprised me by assuming that a woman who had chosen the “Ms.” title on an application form was declaring herself to be single. Somehow Ms. has come to be viewed by some as a shorter way of writing Miss, an unmarried woman.

At first this disturbed me, since I was there for the fuss involved in getting a relationship-neutral title accepted. Then I thought about it. Our culture clearly still cares whether a woman is married or not, more than they care whether a man is. We want the label right up front, so the neutral label has at least partly reverted to a relationship indicator.

Compare this to the Japanese method. In Japan, everyone is addressed with the respectful title of “san.” Except for family and very close friends, all are referred to by their last name, and the title san. Brack-san, Smith-san. If there are two Smiths present, then John-Smith-san and Sue-Smith-san. Not only relationship-neutral, but gender and age neutral as well.

Too bad I don’t have the energy to start another social movement to get us all using san. It wouldn’t last anyway, we still want to categorize people and put the label on right up front.

The Glass



The Glass

Pessimist: the glass is half empty

Extreme pessimist: the glass is half empty with a dead bug floating in the polluted water

Optimist: the glass is half full

Dying man in desert: it’s not enough

Drowning fly in the glass: it’s too much

Paranoiac: What did you put in my glass?!?

Biker: Glass? We don’t need no stinkin’ glasses!

Buddhist: I accept that the glass contains the right amount of water

Zen master: the glass is an illusion

Sheldon Cooper: Glass, as anyone of the least intelligence knows, is an amorphous solid material that exhibits a glass transition which is the reversible transition in amorphous materials (or in amorphous regions within semi-crystalline materials) from a hard and relatively brittle state into a molten or rubber-like state. Glasses are typically brittle and can be optically transparent. I will not bow to petty social pressure by stating whether I personally view this particular glass as being half full or half empty.

Scientist: the glass is full, half water and half air

Engineer: the glass is the wrong size for its function

Scientist: the glass is full, half water and half air

Jesus: he who drinks of this water will thirst again


Wonderful review

I am so moved by this review. “Tightwad Gazette of the 21st Century” is exactly what I wanted people to think about it:

“Great book!, February 18, 2014

By Lita McRiley “Sorlina”See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely (Kindle Edition)

This book is jam-packed with tips, ideas, and strategies for saving money. It’s the Tightwad Gazette of the 21st century… internet addresses for DIY help, encouragement for readers, personal anecdotes, this book has it all. To top it off, it’s delivered in a light, easy to read style that isn’t preachy or judgmental. A very helpful, and enjoyable, read!”

The Tightwad Gazette has been the “bible” of thrifty living. My hope was to make it the ‘old testament’ and mine the ‘new testament’, and it seems I have succeeded.


In A Handbasket

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

This was written by…


Scroll down…..









– Socrates, circa 400 BC

Each generation believes that the next generation is uniquely degenerate.

New Year’s Changes

This year instead of making resolutions I’m making changes. Too often resolutions spring from idealized notions of how we “should” be that have nothing to do with our current reality. So we bend ourselves out of shape for a few days or a few weeks and then feel like a failure when the idealization doesn’t take.

This year instead of vowing to “be more positive”, I changed my budget so I’ll always have enough gas money to go somewhere. This will reduce my isolation which should in turn raise my spirits. Considering my transportation is a little scooter that gets 80 miles to a gallon and can’t go very far anyway, this is well within reach of my current reality. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else.

I pored over Google maps until I found a route to Walmart on which it’s safe to go 15-25 mph. So now I can take my own self to Walmart and don’t have to impose on friends for a ride once a month. Carrying in a month’s worth of food at once was killing me. Now I can go once or twice a week and bring back a normal amount of stuff and it will all be so much easier. This should also raise my self esteem and let me feel more positive and independent. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else.

I noticed I get all grumpy when I stay for church after Bible class. So duh, how hard is it to think hey, why don’t I leave right after class? I noticed I get all catty and critical when I converse with one particular person. So hey, converse with someone else hereafter. I could glorify this as “avoiding the occasion of sin” but what it really is is that I just want to feel peaceful and happy. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else.

I’d been eating more carbs than my body is really happy with. Rice is so inexpensive and beans are standard poor-people food. I was melting cheddar cheese over pretty much everything, as a substitute for meat or poultry, even knowing that dairy foods aren’t really the best thing for me. It’s time to admit that it isn’t working for my particular body. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else. So, I’ll go back to lots of chicken thighs and sometimes some beef. Tons of vegetables and not very much rice or beans at all.

In past years I’ve created lofty (for me) fitness goals like walking a mile every day. I realize that for many people that’s a minimum, but for me it’s quite a reach. So this year all I have to do is get on the treadmill every day. Maybe I’ll feel crappy and get right off again. Maybe I’ll be full of vim and vigor and walk a mile. It won’t matter because what matters is I got on the treadmill every day. Bodies are designed and evolved to move. Writing at the computer is not movement and riding a scooter doesn’t count either. So I get on the treadmill every day because that’s what a body needs and it’s something this body can realistically do.

Is what you’re doing working? Can you realistically do something else?