The Easel Life

The struggle of an artist to set up an easel, and keep it set up, might be good comic material.

An interesting parallel between art and life – what more do we ultimately need in front of us: Something that holds or supports our work, that which we are creating, and the tools we need at that moment.

Everything else, all that other stuff we are tripping over or working around,  is just an incomplete project, someone else’s project, or clutter.


Helping your Family

Xpost of my comment on a dear abby 28 July post from a kid who is upset that her room is filling up with clothes and dust:

Unloved: Whose clothes are these ?   Is it your stuff, or is your mom using the room for storage of her things or stuff she is planning to sell or give away ?

Either way, it sounds like your mom could use some help with cleaning your room or other household chores !

A good way to get love (or friendship) is to start the ball rolling by offering a bit of the caring and help that you would like to see others share with you.

Talk with your mom and see if she’d like to make a date with you to work together on your room sometime this week, for just an hour or two or maybe just 15 minutes to start.  Also plan to do something together that day you’d both like – a girl’s afternoon – watch a show together, or make lunch, or go for a walk or picnic outside.

If your mom can’t work with you even when you ask nicely, maybe because she’s working all the time, or if she uses drugs or alcohol, or is sick or tired a lot of the time, then talk with other adults in your family and at school to see if they can help find someone to work with you on making your house a better home.

Good luck !


“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make others happy

One of the best ways to make others happy is to be happy yourself”

Quote from a manual for accomplishing one or more of the above, which can be found here:

Many thanks to Gretchen Rubin for her research, practice, and experimentation on this topic !

What would happen if . . . penalty charges . . .

What would happen if penalty charges on mortgages and credit card payments were:

  1. prorated – with any partial payment received by the due date the penalty would be reduced by a prorated percentage
  2. reasonable – as in never greater than the scheduled payment – ideally capped at less than half the scheduled payment

With a fixed (non-prorated) penalty there is a definite disincentive to make any payment that month given a situation where choices must be made about which bills to pay first among several bills to pay.  Especially with a large penalty, such as on a mortgage payment – why make a partial payment and still be hit with a full penalty during a month that a cash flow shortage is causing multiple other bills to also be hit with a penalty if they’re not paid first that month?

With a non-reasonable penalty, such as $39. on a $20 payment, there’s a strong disincentive to do business with that merchant – the credit card itself becomes a reminder of being hit with outrageous fees reminiscent of parking tickets.  The former causes some people to have negative associations come up with anything associated with that merchant’s brand, the latter causes some people to avoid an entire street or neighborhood when choosing where to shop.

What would happen to debtor/creditor relations if . . .

Thinking about the consumer debt crisis, mortgage defaults, US debt ceiling:

What would happen if  . . .

Any payment made – on a credit card, mortgage, or other debt –  would have a cap on the % going to interest – for example, be split 50% to principal, 50% of the payment going to any accumulated interest or fees.

With 50% of each payment going to principal, the lender’s return on investment would still average at least  50 -100%.

Assuming new purchases on open credit cards, and/or a large mortgage debt, or a corporate or country debt in the millions or more, the unpaid principal would continue to accrue interest, with any remaining unpaid interest and fees paid off at the end of the loan and/or whenever the remaining principal on revolving debt totalled less than half the payment.

A large benefit of this would be to avoid the “trapping syndrome” where a consumer or debtor is led to feel that their only ways out of the debt are to either walk away from the debt, or remain in the unhappy drudgery of an indentured slave trapped with continual payments for life.