Month: October 2015

Halloween Skirt (And Official Voting Skirt)

Here’s Anya’s Halloween skirt:

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It’s a basic circle skirt — the circle was cut for a 23″ waist. A 4.5″ strip of fabric was then cut to 24″ and made into a 2″ wide waistband and attached to the skirt. I then ran 20″ of 2″ elastic through the band & gathered the fabric. This allows the skirt to be pulled over her head or hips. Plus it means she might be able to wear it next year ūüôā

And in a bid to not have a skirt used just once, it is also her official election day skirt — blood-suckers, skeletons in the closet, ghosts/mummies/reanimated corpses (how else would dead people vote?).

Federal Spending – And Opportunities For Savings

Whenever I hear debates about reducing the federal deficit, I think of the¬†saying “penny wise and pound foolish”. It means making efforts to save pennies without watching the larger amounts — someone who drives a H2 fifty miles to work each day but¬†foregoes a cup of coffee to save a buck.

We want to reduce the federal deficit; but we cannot touch¬†military or social security and Medicare spending. And Medicare is 15% of that 28% for “Health And Human Services”. If we start our savings plan by declaring over 50% of our spending off-limits, we are either looking at HUGE cuts in the remaining not-quite 50% or we’re going to fail before we’ve even started.

We could abolish entire departments — say HUD, EPA, NASA, Education, and Labor — and eliminate all foreign aid and only reduce our total federal spending by 9%. Now 9% of 3.4 trillion dollars is still a lot of money (although an interesting academic experiment is to get a group of people together and discuss what you’ll cut in the federal budget. You¬†may find yourself saying, with all seriousness, that we’re only looking at ten million dollars. It isn’t worth the time we’re taking to discuss it.). ¬†But we could reduce Health & Human Services, Social Security, and Defense by 3% each and save the same 9%.

Looking at discretionary spending, the picture becomes even sillier. This means we’re ignoring obligatory payments like social security and Medicare. Defense and homeland security is 54% unto itself!

Whenever someone tells me they won’t¬†cut entitlement programs and won’t touch military spending (or will increase it!),¬†but they’re still going to balance the budget without raising taxes … I assume they are outright lying. Wishful thinking that incomes will increase and thus increase¬†government revenue is¬†sound budget planning. I know the Republicans dislike the CBO because they don’t include “revenue increases¬†we think will happen” as income … but until you start to see those returns, I don’t think you¬†can stake your financial solvency on them.

Christmas Dress (Kinda)

Anya’s Christmas dress is not actually a dress — I’d had a picture in my head of a cream colour shirt in a small metallic print fabric with a green skirt. I found a beautiful small print fabric (Robert Kaufman Winters Grandeur Metallic Small Vines Ivory) that I wanted to use for the skirt. Problem was that I didn’t really have a specific shirt pattern.

Random internet searching didn’t yield anything … and then, voila, Pinterest randomly e-mails me a picture of an almost-perfect pleated shirt. I say almost because it’s winter … so I need some kind of arm covering. I’d first through about making a green velvet jacket … but that is a little more effort than I could put into it. Seems a lot easier to make a long sleeved shirt than making a whole other piece of clothing.

I can order the fabrics!