Good morning everyone and Happy Friday once again! I know many of us here in the states are looking forward to a three-day weekend full of fireworks and barbecues, as our nation celebrates its 235th birthday. In comparison to other countries, we’re just learning how to walk age-wise, where our old homes are considered new constructions, but I’d like to think we’ve done a pretty good job of getting on our feet in that time. We’ve stumbled and have fallen along the way, but because we have so many liberties other countries do not, I choose to be an optimist and believe we’re learning from our mistakes and strive to do better. Sure we could be more streamlined, but again, we’re still growing.
Here at the day job, I’ve been given the task of cooking for everyone and their significant others this afternoon, and even though we’re considered a small company, it’s a pretty hefty number for a one-(wo)man show. I did all the menu planning throughout the past couple of weeks, and yesterday I put my super-couponing skills to work at several grocery stores. I get a 15% commission on whatever I save the company (I knocked off a solid 73% in savings with this haul!), so for me, it was hard work but a total win-win.Cooking is such a personal and spiritual experience for me, having been raised in a restaurant family. I’m looking forward to incorporating some magic(k) into the food, spreading some love and good vibes straight to the guys who make having my job possible. My kitchen is my altar, my utensils my tools, and because the office doesn’t have a dedicated kitchen, I get another chance to play with my camp kitchen gear. Squee! We’re taking over the back area, and I’m hoping some of the folks who reside in the condos above our storefront office will join us for some deliciousness.
How will you be celebrating this weekend? When I was growing up, we were that family – the one who put on our own display that rivaled the city’s. Illinois even back then was a no fun-stuff zone, but Indiana had all the goods. Dad would load up the trunk of his boatmobile luxury sedan, plus score a gross of M-80s from a friend of a friend, and we’d have a helluva time. During the day, we kids would amuse ourselves with bricks of Black Cats, witch whistles and bottle rockets, and once night fell, out came the Roman candles and mortars, baby! Just ask Joe Dirt what the good stuff is!
However you do it, even if your family isn’t quite like mine, please remember our animal companions and familiars don’t much care for the sound of things blowing up (or stuff crammed up their butts [not funny, Joe!]). Therefore, they may need some additional stroking and comforting. Also, please practice safe fire magic(k), and be sure to rake up the bits of paper and sticks the next morning. Critters can choke on that stuff, not to mention explosive residue is not food for them anyway.
Before I get to the big announcement, I wanted to go ahead and get some important news out of the way:
- John Allen, General Named To Head U.S. Afghanistan Force, Endorses Obama’s Drawdown Plan Yep, our President is scaling back on our troop count in Afghanistan, and the guy put in charge is all about it. Now while we can debate on it not being quick enough, I’m again going to take the optimist side and say it’s a step forward that should be applauded. However…
- U.S. War Costs Reach At Least $3.7 Trillion And Counting … we can’t ignore this shiznit has cost our taxpayers a ridiculous amount of money. We got Saddam, we got bin Laden, and we’re continuing to capture more and more of his cronies. Yes yes, just like a hydra, you lop off one head and two grow in its place, but I don’t foresee chopping off the thing at its base being anywhere near feasible. After all, the base includes a lot of innocent people, and only sick bastards want that kind of blood on their hands. So yes, we’re scaling back, but as Ryan’s Chaplain said to him, it’s probably going to be another twenty years before we’re completely out of there.
And lest I be remiss in sharing some of the important PSG/military-type news, especially in regards to having such a spiritual need, please view the following:
Per the description:
Earlville, IL – On Tuesday, four Circle Santuary ministers were ordained by Rev. Selena Fox at the 2011 Pagan Spirit Gathering. Among those being elevated were leaders in the DC region. Debby Morris from Maryland was ordained, along with Dawnwalker. Jeanet and David Ewing from the Northern Virginia Pagan Nextwork were scheduled to be ordained on on June 22nd as well, but a family emergency meant they needed to leave the festival early. All four newly ordained ministers work in military ministry, and this was the first time Circle has had a military ministry ordination. Best wishes to all those newly ordained.
I wish I could have been in attendance for that, but unfortunately, the day job is extremely busy this time of year, as is the record label, so I was only able to make it the final weekend. Even with such a limited amount of time there, it took me several days afterward to decompress and acclimate back into Mundania. I wrote up a recap which you can find here.
I’m still talking about all my adventures there to the fam, working at least the hubster over to come with me next year. Stonehouse Park has some interesting energy there, very lively yet serene at the same time, making me want to head out there for regular camping. It’s right by a state park, so there is definitely plenty to do around there. And, it’s close enough to Chicago to where a getaway is not out of the question, with stores and banks I frequent in neighboring towns. What’s not to love? I truly hope PSG 2012 will be held there next year!
And now for the big announcement!Last night, I did the final count on the PNC Clip for the Troops! campaign via the Overseas Coupon Program, and the final tally is $1,152.94!! That’s an incredible amount of coupon savings for our adopted post. As you probably know, I’m one of those “crazy coupon ladies” with a packed binder full of coupons of everything and anything I can score a discount on. I don’t get the 99% savings you may have seen on TV, but saving 50-65% on any given trip, even including clothes and dining out, makes me and our family’s budget very happy. (Some things I don’t have a coupon for, which is fine – sometimes, ya just gotta have it!)
I’ve always preached the gospel of frugality, as I come from an impoverished background (by American standards, anyway). However, I try to do so with our sanity and our Earth in mind. Needless to say, I don’t have a giant stockpile (a couple weeks’ worth of food is about accurate), and I buy as many healthy and environmentally-friendly products as possible – yes, including organic and vegan foodstuffs! (That’s why I only have one newspaper subscription, because I don’t feel I can repurpose that much extra newsprint.) And, I only buy stuff we actually like and have a use for. Therefore, I simply can’t use every coupon I come across. From all these extra slips of paper lying around, the idea was born.
My feeling is if we can collect over $1000 in coupons without even really trying, imagine what we can do if we really put our heads together! I spoke to Selena Fox about the campaign at PSG, and she seemed really excited about it. You see, this is a charity/fundraiser of sorts that doesn’t require anyone to show up in person, give money they don’t have, donate labor their bodies can’t handle or even represent one locality or another. All this campaign takes is a few extra moments of each person’s time, doing something they may already do. It only costs a stamp or two and an envelope, and I pretty much do the rest. And by us sending over these coupons, it helps military families on a very tight budget, and we do so without a Bible or any strings attached. All they know is the batch came from a bunch of Pagan folks. That’s all. I’m not including Scripture, or spells, or incense (though they do have a bit of an embedded dragon’s blood scent to them haha). If they wish to thank us, and of course that would be nice, there’s always a return address included and a sticky note thanking them for their service and sacrifices.
So hey, let’s hope we hear back, and yes, let’s get more folks involved! If you’d like to help out, please mail your coupons to:
Lori Dake – PNC Military
PO Box 306
Chicago, IL 60690-0306
Send only manufacturer coupons (not in-store promotions), and no older than two months expired. Overseas commissaries accept them up to six months expired, but they still need time to get there and dispersed. I’d like to be able to adopt more posts and bases down the road so more families can be helped out.
Thanks again, and I will be back next Friday!
Take care, and have a fun, safe and wonderful holiday weekend!