Saturday, March 14, 2009

How Has the Recession Effected You?

CNN is asking viewers to post videos on how the recession is effecting them personally. I don't have a video camera but it got me thinking. Clearly I have not been able to afford to make home repairs. It has been months since I have been to Lowe's Home Improvement Center. They no doubt have missed me.

Actually just coming up the money for the heating bills has been a bit of a stretch. We seem to be at that point where incomes are going down but prices have not yet followed suit. In fact, the amount my rural co-op pays for electricity had a huge spike. Greed on the part of corporate executives? Surely not!

I certainly stay home more even if the house is a lot colder because I have really turned down the heat in an effort to be able to reduce utility bills. And evidently I am not the only one. People are eating out a lot less or ordering in like pizza.

I write a cooking column for a local newspaper and had decided before the news on Domino's bottom line it the news to focus more on good old home cooking and comfort food. Even I, a single person, dropped Ragu from my shopping list and made a huge pot of Mother's Spaghetti Sauce with Italian sausage. I froze some of it in the large cups of a muffin tin and then popped them out and into a freezer bag so I can just pull out a serving of sauce when I want pasta. Pasta is my comfort food of choice.

I also find that I am altering my schedule in my home to fit the temperature in various parts of the house. My studio hours for painting are between 10 and 2 because the sun streams through the studio windows and warms it up. I watch DVD's in the evening (cut off my satellite TV) from Netflix which is enjoying a boom in this economy. I can sit in my easy chair with Afgans over my lap and shawl around my shoulders and knit or crochet another warm object.

I go to bed when the sun goes down and snuggle up on propped pillows with "bed jacket" and read until I am sleepy. I wake up and put on hoodies and long johns and head to the coffee and the morning computer dose with lap blanket.

And I just don't dash off to the store because I need one or two items. I carefully make a list, consider the price, and the necessity before dropping by the store on a group of errands that finally must be run.

I feel somewhat guilty that I am not buying things and shoring up the economy but as an artist my income is down and there is not a lot of excess income to spread about beyond the necessities for me and my fur kids. My sister has just adopted a rescue dog. There are a lot of those these days. People that cannot afford to feed them are dumping them in rural areas hoping one of us pet lovers will pick them up. I have all I can care for as it is and know I would feed them before me if it came to that. Course I could use the reduced rations to look model thin. They already have great figures. Hopefully none of them gets sick because I don't know how I can afford the vet bills just now.

Oh, and I am probably blogging more and going out with earth friends for lunch far, far less.

What about you? What ways has the economy effected you?