To straw or not to straw

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun, and today is Friday the 13th.  Plastic drinking straws are probably not good for the environment. We use a lot of them and some big companies like Starbucks have decided to discontinue their use.

During my holiday shopping adventures, I noticed alternatives to the plastic disposal drinking straw being sold in stores everywhere. They come in cardboard, plastic, and metal.

My husband and I went out for lunch earlier this week and we were given ice water and asked if we wanted a staw.

I have pretty much quit plastic when I have a choice. I can do that because this is America. 🙂

In fact, I can drink ice water without a straw of any kind. I am that talented. Cardboard straws don’t appeal to me at all and washing out a straw for re-use doesn’t appeal to me either.

A plastic straw is used for a few minutes and then discarded, and take up to 200 years to degrade, but will never fully biodegrade. That was all I needed to know to stop using them.

Giving up straws doesn’t seem like a hardship at all. I gave up buying any kind of beverage that comes in or is served in a plastic bottle or cup, giving up straws is even easier.

Selling your stuff to “make money”

I keep seeing these ads on how to sell clothing and household items as a way to “make” money. The items being sold are items that the seller already owns.

spare change

To make money that way a person would have to sell the items for more than they paid for them so that there is a profit.

Most of the time people who sell items that they have used get less for the item than what they paid for it which means they lost money. Buying stuff and selling it for a lower price than you bought it for isn’t a way to make money it is a way to lose money.

If your closet is filled with items that you don’t need or want you might want to stop buying stuff for a while.

In the advertisements people, mostly women are using the money to pay for vacations, cars, and houses. A better and easier way to save up for a big purchase is to buy less instead of reselling used items every month.

Buying less has other advantages. It doesn’t help billionaires fund moon exploration or run for president but buying less might mean being able to live in a smaller home or apartment which can save enough money each month to pay for vacations and cars.

Moving is good for the economy

If it seems like people do not move as often as they used to it is because they don’t.

From my favorite economist:

“Just 9.8% of Americans changed their residence between 2018 and 2019, the lowest percentage since such record-keeping began in 1947/48! This new low is occurring amidst the weakest population growth on record, limited immigration and an aging society. Most troubling, however, just 20% of those between the ages of 18-34 (Millennials) moved this year, down from 29% as recently as 2005/06. Reduced mobility reduces economic opportunities and GDP growth.” Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D.

It is easy to see how reduced mobility reduces economic opportunities and GDP growth. My business is impacted directly. I have far fewer clients who are relocating due to job changes and many of my past clients mostly stay put.

Is the fact that people are moving less often a glitch or is it part of a new normal?

I should probably mention that I have lived in the same house for 30 years . . .

Let them eat fruitcake

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last weekend I managed to acquire 25 of the 26 ingredients to make a fruitcake from the recipe my mother and grandmother used.

Making the cake is quite the process. It is hard to keep track of all of the ingredients but I have a system. The recipe I have was missing a couple of instructions but I figured it out and updated the recipe.

It takes at least an hour to measure and mix the ingredients. I have one bowl that is large enough to hold it all. Once the batter is ready it goes in the oven and bakes for 4 hours.

Once the cake cools, which takes at least 4 hours it gets wrapped in sherry soaked cheesecloth, and put in a container which I keep in a cool place. I check it every couple of days and add a little more sherry.

There isn’t anything like my boozy little fruitcake. It will be ready to eat by December 20th but I’ll wait until Christmas eve.

I think the reason why people don’t like fruitcake is because they have never had a good fruitcake.

The ingredients are not as easy to find as they used to be. I generally have to visit at least 4 stores to get it all.

fruit cake ingredients
fruitcake ingredients