I haven't started any new projects lately. Instead I have been trying to move some of the UFOs (unfinished objects for any non-needleworkers) to the finished column. I have been making a little progress there. After the 1st I will start new things but right now finishing seems the more appropriate action.
As I noted before, the assessments of both the old year and the old decade are flying thick and fast. And, as I also noted before, many assessments, on both a national and personal level, indicate that for the most part we have been running like crazy just to remain in the same spot. However there are some areas of movement but the direction seems to be backward rather than forward. I will let others write about the broader social and national scenes. I will look at the personal instead.
We have frequently commented here how everything old seems to be new again. Ten years ago our weekly grocery purchases would have included cake mixes and frosting, packaged macaroni and cheese, ice cream, dry cereal, frozen pizzas, soft spread margarine, packages of shredded cheese, Tide laundry soap, a name brand soap for the dishwasher, frozen fruit pies--just to name a few of the items that are no longer on our shopping list.
Why these items are no longer on our shopping list is a bit complicated. The easiest to explain are the Tide and dishwasher soap. We no longer use the dishwasher. We would have to double the number of dishes we have (not enough storage space) and wash only every 5 or 6 days to get enough dirty dishes to fill the dishwasher to the point where it would be economical and efficient. So instead we buy the really cheap dishwashing soap and do up the dishes every day (or every other day if we get a bit lazy.) I grew up with Tide and used it most of my adult life. But then the men in the family usually had jobs that involved getting clothes very dirty and often greasy. We no longer need that kind of cleaning power and the cheaper detergents get our clothes clean at a fraction of the cost.
The other items fell off the shopping list due to a concatenation of factors. We noticed how the packages either no longer contained the customary amount of product (ice cream, dry cereals, margarine), suddenly changed the size and quality of the ingredients (pizzas, fruit pies, pot pies), or the flavor changed as they changed the ingredients in response to the latest food fad (dry cereals, lunchmeat.) Bottom line: we make our own cakes, fruit pies, and pot pies from scratch; we use stick margarine; we go out for ice cream occasionally; if we get a yen for a pizza, which we haven't lately, we will go out for that also. Many of these things crept onto the shopping lists 20 or 30 (or more) years ago so in eliminating them we are stepping back to patterns and products older yet. Or we discovered how much sugar, salt, or preservatives were included and decided to either do with out of make from scratch so we knew what was actually in the final produce. Or we discovered how much water was added to the meat we were buying and decided to get something with less processing.
I think I will end this entry now. A lot more changed over the last year but those changes should be considered on their own on another day. See you next time.