What Happened?

I thought the bazillion-dollar bailout, or excuse me, rescue plan, was supposed to help invigorate our straddled economy.  Obviously, it was insufficient in instilling any confidence.

The drop in the stock market yesterday felt as if the plague had swept in as the world responded negatively to the financial crisis brewing in the United States.

I hope by the time you are reading this the stock market has somewhat stabilized.

But what if it hasn’t?  And then, even if it has, what is really happening to our place in the global market?

What will it take to recover from this?

Everyone I speak to has very personal concerns about their financial future, feeling as if they are in economic free-fall and can’t yet see the bottom.

It seems cutting back and living within one’s means is becoming very en vogue.

What are you doing without these days in order to survive rising prices and the uncertainty of the future?


Not all the decorations at the Noble Pig House are cute and pretty.  What kind of Halloween house would we be?  I bought this terrifying owl from Martha Stewart years ago.  It’s very big, at least a foot tall.  When perched atop a piece of furniture, it really scares the heck out of you when you walk by.

Of course we have crows, at least fifteen of them.  I love to collect fallen tree branches, spray them black and make a spooky tree.  It’s very eerie with these scavenger birds sitting on the limbs.  These birds are very realistic and are the exact size of real crows.  Freaky.

Yes, Martha had vultures as well.  But we only have two of these.

During Halloween, beware of my request to grab some wine out of the wine rack.  You will be scared out of your mind when you find who inhabits the empty bottle spaces.

And they have many friends.  Again, blame Martha, she twisted my arm.

Post a Comment


  1. Betty 1

    The thing is that these CEO’s of these companies saw a money maker a few years back and damn the torpedo’s. We have been planting, canning,freezing foods for the winters. This year I cashed in “before” the stocks came crashing down around our footsies,,,,a bunch of Bellsouth stock. We have made sure that we only went to the store/Costco for the staples, made 1 auto trip for many errands.This has been going on with my husband & myself for the last 3 years. We’ve been gathering monies & paying off bills,I am unable to go back to work in any standing walking position,my husband who is 75 has gone back to driving school-bus PT. My husband is in excellent health, passed all the physical requirements of driving, + all the visual, mental. So we are truly blessed. We have been giving our extra foods from the garden to the local food bank. This is what we are doing to survive the crisis.

  2. Diane 2

    This bailout is a joke – for years banks and financial institutions have made immense profits. Now they’re demanding money or risk throwing the world economy into ruin.
    In the UK the economy for the last ten years has been based on people taking out massive personal debt, immense mortgages (House prices in Cornwall are 23X average wage! Minimum I’ve seen elsewhere in the UK is average house price is 8X average salary)
    People haven’t a hope in hell of being able to pay back these mortgages – but banks didn’t case whilst house price inflation was happening at an obscene rate.
    Since 2003 house prices on my street have gone from 45k to 125k. That’s insane. People don’t earn more. The mad lending has fueled this price increase and now the banks have to be careful who they lend to.
    People are being outraged by being asked to save for a deposit before they can have a mortgage. I think that’s essential – and used to be compulsory not many years ago.
    House prices need to come down – but I think some of the bailout is actually intended to keep inter-bank lending going so they can keep the silly lending going, but it’s not working.
    Ireland has given savers an unlimited guarantee, Germany almost got there but not yet, and the UK is thinking of increasing the savings limit to 50k.
    People who’ve been frugal and saved and not splurged are frightened now that the banks will go broke and lose their savings.
    The people who’ve gone mad and took out massively insane mortgages and now can’t pay it back will be repossessed and end up homeless.
    The banks are to blame for this, the government is to blame for this and the people who’ve borrowed madly have to hold their hands up too.
    Some people stood by and said it was insane and for 4 years they’ve been ridiculed – HousePriceCrash.co.uk has a forum full of people who’ve been aware of the lending madness for years and have refused to take part in it.
    The solution has to be to stop the silly mortgage lending and let people pay off their debt somehow.

    Thanks for the spooky photos – they’re scary! Or am I just used to finding half eaten and sometimes live mice in the house (thank you cats) so I don’t think I’d cope very well with these?

  3. Katie 3

    No,no, silly the bailout takes TIME, according to the prez. Forget last week when it was all, “the sky is falling! the sky is falling!”

  4. Debbie 4

    Love the critters!

  5. Not sure which part of this post scares me more– the economy or those FREAKY decorations. The latter are certainly more fun! I wish I could T&T at your place!

  6. Laura 6

    I’m a chicken…so I am skipping over the political portion of this post and going right to the rats.
    Hate them and LOVE them all at the same time.
    Want some.

  7. Dee 7

    Whoa, freaky! Yeah, the rats are a lot scarier than the birds. (Notice how I’m ignoring the intellectual bit of this post?) I’m just keeping my head down and ploughing on.

  8. Laura 8

    For those of us who dont and never did have money in the stocks it all looks the same down here… we are not doing anything different. The bailout is a joke.
    I love /hate the decorations LOL… the owl is cool the blackbirds are pretty cool the rats are gross and the vulture is pretty cool. I do believe you have the biggest collection I have ever NOT seen it makes me grin… I dont believe I have the first piece of halloween decor… nope none… and thats ok too :)

  9. Becky 9

    Love the birds and critters. At first glimpse, I thought the owl was winking.
    My son is having his own financial crisis. He may another statistic. Losing his home. Sad.
    I just don’t get the bail out thing. They worry about one company when we have a whole country of people about to be homeless. Sad, sad, sad!

  10. I’m pretty nervous especially while having to pay for a new baby in a few months.

  11. Tammy 11

    I have been peeled to CSPAN for a few days seeing WHAT is going on in Congress without the spin.

    They discussed before they voted the package in that it would take weeks – possibly a MONTH before the systems were in place to actually distribute the money to the proper channels, have an oversight committee ready, create the detailed standards and stipulations, etc. They joked tongue-in-cheek like that the economy was still going to tank and they were stuck between a rock and a hard spot – if they didn’t vote fast the public would blame them for economic failure. But they surmised that even with a rapid vote and response, it would still take so long to get the “program” up and running, therefore it would still fail.

    Congress in action.

    Don’t believe the media hype – watch CSPAN when in doubt and get it straight from them.

  12. Who cares about the economy when you are posting pictures of freaky ass fake birds?!!!??? Those birds will haunt my dreams forever more, ever more.

    (bad dum bum CHING)

  13. Lore 13

    Those crows are really freaking me out! They’ve got the scaring job down to science

  14. MsMVNJ 14

    Wow…this has got to be the scariest thing you ever posted!!!!

    Seriously, this didn’t happen overnight and it won’t get fixed overnight. If anything I hope this acts as a wake up call that you can’t keep living on borrowed money or time, that there other things more important than consuming what you don’t need, and that community is the critical key to making this country strong again. We need to bring a sense of responsibility back home. Buy local, support small business whenever possible and it’s okay to live well within your means.

  15. MsMVNJ 15

    BTW, finding a couple of mice in my winerack ain’t enough to make me stop drinking these days!!!

  16. Good grief that is some scary stuff — and the pictures are freaky, too!

    Yeah, it’s a mess, no doubt about it. I walk down the grocery aisles with a calculator now, and I rarely leave the house because I just don’t have the gas money. Now I have to worry about my retirement funds and my emergency savings? I feel like I’m being bled dry.

    On the other hand, I have always shopped small and locally and I think that’s a big key. We’ll see.

  17. Yep, every bit of it is scary. I work in a restaurant, and I truly think that’s where most people are making their cuts. I’m making about 2/3 less than I was making 5 years ago at the same job. People are drinking less, sharing meals more, or just not coming in. And I can’t blame them, cause we do the same thing.

  18. Bunny 18

    I think Martha has a real scary dark side *shudder*.

  19. melissa 19

    We ditched the cell phones, Direct TV, Serious Radio etc. We just did that. We have some big equipment that is not used often (but still needed) that we will attempt to sell to pay off some bills (no health insurance)so that we can make certain to get through the winter and beyond if something happens.
    I love love love the creepy stuff.

  20. Having a Halloween birthday (Oct. 30), I get spooky gifts all the time, mostly from my mother. Last year I got the bat that matches the crows and owl. He is still hanging from the ceiling in the family room. I need to find one of those vultures for her – she will LOVE it!

  21. Marlene 21

    I think you know my feelings on this situation and with Hard Working Man losing his job last week…things have been rough. You do what you have to do, but it is refreshing to see everyone moving towards simplyfing their lives…maybe everyone will lose lots of weight, heart problems will become less, and we can become a more calmer and gentler nation…wait a Bush said that once, right? Nevermind. THanks for this great post.

  22. Marcy 22

    k, the owl is creepy. the ravens a bit eeek, the mice? yuck… I do blame Martha Stewart….

  23. Sassy 23

    I have`nt a clue as to if this bailout will work or not, i don`t think the general public believes it will.

    My Daughter who works for an investment company is worried. 100% of her calls yesterdy was people taking their money out of investment programs. That is not good, people are panicing, and i guess i can`t blame them.

    We have cut down our gas consumption greatly, Doing everything in a day rather. We unplug everything to save on electricity, I buy canned goods on sale to stock up, when i come across them, cuz, man, i see depression in our future.

    We don`t have an investment plan, so we don`t have to worry about losing that but, i am still frightened. I`m 54 and i have never lived during such uncertain times, and that includes the viet nam era.

  24. I can’t begin to tell you how far I’ve cut back on my grocery bill. We also got down to one modem and run a wireless network at home now. Christmas is going to thin, not my usual extravegance.
    We’re saving everything we can.

  25. very spooky decorations. love the mice.

    I have to say, that I haven’t much changed the way I eat. I shop mostly at the farmers’ market and buy in-season vegetables and don’t eat that much meat. I don’t have kids or own a house so my expenses are minimal, but I’m really not changing much. Is it bad that I think this crash is sort of a good lesson for everyone? I mean, it’s definitely teaching people to live more modestly. why is that so bad? we’ve gotten so use to cheap cheap cheap everything.

  26. I just love your blog. I love the fact that every time I come here, I never know what I’m going to get! I started out with the bailout and then it’s rats in the wine rack. You are a gift to blog readers everywhere.

  27. Erin 27

    Those are great decorations. The birds look so real. Love it.

  28. This financial thing feels like riding a roller coaster–and I dom’t like roller coasters. I’m confused about the bailout–from what I understand it was very neccesary–but who knows?

    I lOVE your creepy crows and rats!!

  29. Marjie 29

    Um, I can do without the rodents.

    Did anyone ever think about the fact that the whole basis for this crisis is laws that date back to Jimmy Carter requiring banks to loan money to uncreditworthy people? Of course these Wall Street houses packaged the deals and resold them. That’s what they do – move money. No, it wasn’t right, and I’m not saying that. But the root is deeper than the financial world. As for me, I spend what I need to, save the rest, and plan to wait out a recovery.

    Did anyone else see the report on Fox about a book predicated on the notion that FDR’s bailouts prolonged the Great Depression?

  30. @ Margie: yes, I remember the fall out of those law by JC and the S&L crash that happened in the 80’s. I feel like we’re reliving that nightmare all over again. I wonder if the interest rates will go up to 17 % like they did in the 80’s.

    @ NP: Love the Halloween stuff. I should have photographed the REAL RAT my lab, Rylee killed the other evening. She was proudly carrying it around the backyard by the tail. Ewwwww! All I can figure is the nasty thing made the mistake of coming under the fence from the field next door.

  31. Lara 31

    Those are VERY creepy! And you crack me up wtih the mice on the wine rack.

  32. Teri 32

    Yes, yes, you’ve got to believe (as Katie above said) it’s going to take time. Maybe if we click our heels together three times and hope real hard it will come true!

    Good God woman! How long does your Halloween House take you to put together??? Okay, you have me beat when it comes to loving Halloween. You truly are the QUEEN OF HALLOWEEN! Someone get this woman a crown!

    Creepy mice! I would never reach for the wine because I would be thinking, “what if a real one crept in there during the night?”

  33. ELRA 33

    The bail out doesn’t make me feel secure about the economy. Your vultures and rats, they both look scary, but not as scary as what we are facing now!

  34. The ecomony really has us “spooked” we are shifting our spending from what we might have wanted to only what we need. Holidays will be light that is for sure…

  35. Yikes. On all fronts…..

  36. I think this is a topic that is huge right now and I thought it was interesting the radio show asked us to talk about it tomorrow too – who US? – haha.

    We’ve had some interesting comments in our blog entry on the same thing. I feel for people who are having to cut jobs in their small businesses … as well as for the people losing those jobs and houses. It’s tough.

    We’re in the buckle down mode. I’ve been doing My Little Business as my full time gig for a little over two years. Worst case scenario, I will have to take a temp job to get some extra cash, but so far, we’re managing to stay within the budget we’ve created. Christmas will definitely be much thinner this year.

  37. Tammy 37

    I hate rats…but your rats are scary-cute.

    The financial mess has really affected us. I was laid off from my job 6 months ago and just extended my unemployment another 13 weeks….that gets me thru the end of the year.
    My hubby is in construction and we are just holding our breath for winter.
    If we have to start selling off some of our material things…so be it. It is just “stuff”, at least we have our health and family.

  38. Your rats and vulture freak me out.

    I think we’ll either have to cope with being in a recession or our last ditch efforts will send us spiraling into a depression. Ben and I have always been frugal, but we’re cutting back a lot lately. I didn’t mention it on my post today b/c my job is to amuse, not distress, but another reason I don’t bake much is because of the cost. With two people, it’s not logical to make tons of cookies and cakes. Plus, you don’t need them all the time. So I’ll have to save my baking dreams for Christmas and use them to whip up some cheap and tasty gifts!

  39. Candy 39

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that all those billions were handed to the very people who got us into this mess. I’m not feeling all that reassured myself.

  40. krysta 40

    i think subconsciencly hit the nail on the head… the rats, vultures, and crows are going to picking over this for awhile… dark and scary times, my friend, dark and scary times.

  41. Kim 41

    I hae missed you Kathy! My hubby and I have been feeling the pinch for over a year now as we own flooring and home improvement stores. Sales have been down for a least a year actually a little more than that. We had to consistently cut back and we are cutting back even more – closing one store that has been under performing and watching everything carfully.We are hoping to be able to ride that storm out. I am so proud of my husband though – he is doing everything humaly possible to keep his contractors working and busy and he is networking like a mad man. He is such a hard working guy!

  42. Mrs. L Mom 42

    Now your house is the one I want to go to for Halloween. I love houses that are decorated scarey.

  43. tipper 43

    The bailout was a joke in my opinion. Its too big of a mess to fix by trying to wipe the slate clean. We are trying to cut back in every area-and trying to put up some extra necessities-like food.

    Love the birds-they’re my favorite decoration so far. I think I could live with them year round.

  44. phillygirl64 44

    I beg your pardon…

    -Martha (no, not that Martha)

  45. Sandie 45

    Ha! Great pairing of the rats with a post about the economic stability and financial state of our nation. Maybe you should move the rat photos a little closer to the top of this entry…

  46. Amber 46

    Oh yeah…love the critters.

    And to everyone, if you do not like the mess we are in. Call your Senators and Congressmen and the White House. Call the companies that have done this. Like I said in Cathy’s post about bullies, “silence and acceptance is what they hope for”. If we make it easy for them, then we really have only ourselves to blame.

  47. I love the birds, but the rats are squicking me OUT!

  48. Holli 48

    This is a very uncertain time for many. My husband works for a company in which during a time of war does very well so a job loss isn’t an issue for us…thankfully. But I have asked him to move some investments into a more conservative area as to alleviate concern about retirement. Though, I have found myself cutting coupons and frequenting stores that in the past I wouldn’t, to save some money. I have also cut back my road trips to Texas to visit friends due to economic concerns.

  49. Natty 49

    Your use of the word “bazilion” reminds me of my favorite GWB joke:

    George Bush was receiving his daily report on the war. During the report, he was told, “Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.”

    George shook his head again and again. Tears came to his eyes. He put his head in this hands.

    His staff was astounded. They had never seen him react like this. Then he asked, “How many is a bazillion?”


    To answer your original question, we are in full buckle-down mode. We’re watching our pennies and reconsidering some financial moves we were feeling ready to make. We were hoping to start house-hunting but that’s just not going to happen now. We’re kind of putting financial progress on hold and just sort of hoping to hold steady for the next months, maybe years.

    It sucks but our jobs are fairly recession proof and our needs are low. Hopefully, this hard time in our nation will bring families and communities closer together and people will start to see that they are a resource for their own survival– people will begin to cook, garden, learn to fix things, entertain themselves and so on because they will have to. It’s going to be hard but maybe there will be a plus side.

    I am so buying myself some vultures!

  50. Tracy 50

    We have dropped cable tv completely, cut eating out drastically, lived with the temp in the house at 80 degrees all summer, cut our driving way down, wearing the clothes we already have, wash the dog ourselves and are shopping more frugally for groceries.

    We had already made changes in the past several years- like not taking our a second or getting into a crazy mortgage and driving used cars (with no car payments) and having no credit card debt. Additionally, many years ago, we quit the newspaper and magazine subscriptions, quit buying books and dvds and music cds (the library has a lot to offer), quit drinking sodas, and dropped the land line phone.

    It is really is amazing all of the things we can live without and still be happy/content.

  51. Erin 51

    The economy scares the bejiggers out of me. I have no idea how many more ways we can find to cut back, honestly. It’s not like we live crazy now.

    And your decorations also scare the bejiggers out of me, just so you know. :)

  52. Mike 52

    These are the kinds of times that make me wish I could just draw a border around my yard and call that my own country, isolated from all this other garbage that just gets my blood boiling. And lol about the decorations

  53. Those mice and birds are scary! I don’t think I could have them laying around. I’d constantly be thinking I had real vermin! We’re frugal by nature so I’m not sure what we’ll be doing to tighten the belt.

  54. I am LOVING all your Halloween decorations! I know I said it before, but I would love to see your house first hand on Halloween. I’ll bet it’s a blast.

  55. If you want some networking suggestions in the flooring industry – Please shoot me an email and I am happy to give you some thoughts – I have been doing commerical work for 20 years and have been able to keep my head above water by thinking outside the box.

  56. sharon 56

    EEK! Those birds scare me! I suppose that’s the point of Halloween decorations, huh?

    Just don’t check any investment/401k/IRA account balances or earnings graphs. I did that today, and it’s just a painful, long downhill.

  57. LB 57

    Part 1/2

    It’s interesting that Cathy’s post talks about this crisis affecting America and asks a very specific question about what we are doing to cut back and survive the uncertain future, yet most people comment on the decorations.

    Where are the suggestions?

    Come-on People… isn’t part of the problem we are facing as a Nation the greed, over consumption, and massive consumerism? It’s from the top on down and most of us are a part of it.

    I mean, really, who needs 18 birds and eight rats for Halloween decorations, let alone what else has been in storage waiting to come out? Think of the time and gas spent acquiring all this stuff, the space needed to store all this stuff, and the time and energy getting the stuff out, setting it up, then taking it down to pack away for another year. And let’s not even thing about where it was made (probably cheap China crap) and who made it.

    All of this becomes a viscous cycle. What ever happened to a simple carved Pumpkin on the front porch and a few simple decorations like Mom & Dad used to have?

    The comments on this post seem so representative of the average American… ‘head in the stand’ and ‘ignorance is bliss’.

    Did this post cause the majority of you to examine your lives and priorities?

    Does anyone think if they really need Cable TV with ALL the Premium Channels? The last time I watched there were 500 channels and still very little worth looking at, especially with children. So scale back, try Netflix, use the Public Library, or read a book.

    How about Fast Food? Convenience? Well, that is debatable by the time you spend however long in the drive through and the driving to and from, wasting more gas, to pick-up a manufactured food product that has questionable health and nutritional benefits. How about cooking at home, getting your kids involved, teaching them some life skills, and putting something reasonably health into your body?

    Coffee? Fine, so you’re addicted to caffine, but do you really need to support a global chain that operates their business like this < “>http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=97a_1223259570>? Buy a coffer maker, get beans/fresh ground from a local vendor and make your own to save money.

    Health Club Membership? Why do we pay an initiation fee, a monthly fee, then who knows how many fees on top of that for classes and personal training when we can just walk around our neighborhood or the park for exercise. How about find a friend and use the buddy system.

    How often do you use your home phone? A recent AT&T survey found that 43% get less than one call per day while their cell phones get 7-10. A land line is becoming a luxury many are starting to do without < “>http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/snip-nearly-one-fifth-of-homes-have-no-landline/>.

    Haircuts, manicures, and massages? Why not save some money are use the local community college or training school. Students need the experience and you get the benefit of helping the school and saving some serious money.

  58. LB 58

    Part 2/2

    Books and Magazines? This reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Jerry asks George why he needs to keep the books he’s already read. And it should get a lot of us thinking, why do we do this. It only creates the need for more space with bookcases and then lends to clutter. How about using the library or sharing with friends. Sure, you may have some favorite books you want to keep but I’ve seen many households with one-two books cases stuffed with books, many not even read. And there are many online resources to exchange books with others and/or sell like paperbackswap.com, bookmooch.com, and swaptree.com.

    Movie Theater? It’s great to see the latest flick but do we really need to go several times a month? And buy the expensive treats to go along with it too? The average family of four spends $65.00 to go to a movie. Now do that a couple times a month… are you serious? Since the average movie is on a four month release cycle to DVD why not just wait and get it on DVD (see below).

    DVD’s and CD’s? Again, the library is a great resource. Sure, you have your favorites that you want to watch/listen to again and again so they are worth owning (physical copy or digital download), but do we really need 100+ DVD’s (the average number a USA family owns) or 200+ CD’s (again, the average number in the USA). You can also try swapadvd.com and swapacd.com.

    Gardener? We are a nation leading the world in obesity so perhaps getting outside each week to enjoy some fresh air and cut our own lawn is a good thing. And who know, you might actually meet your neighbors and strike up a conversation.

    eBay.com and Craigslist.com can be a good resource to buy and sell items. Craigslist.com also has a Free, Wanted, and Barter section. And don’t forget Freecycle.org, a global community of like-minded people who help one another.

    What are the lessons we are teaching our kids? Being a massive consumer should not be one of them. I was talking with some Mom’s recently and the average number of Barbie dolls each of their girls had was seven. Seriously, seven dolls? Does your child really need this many? What happened to the days when we had 1 or 2 dolls?

    We complain about all the clutter in our lives and then buy bigger homes to store all the stuff we buy and clutter we create. Most people can’t get control of the clutter and are so embarrassed about the condition of their homes that they don’t have people over for play dates and to entertain. How about having less stuff so we can enjoy our lives instead of spending our lives acquiring and managing the stuff?

    For those who want to make changes, this is one source of information (a great video)…
    < “>http://www.storyofstuff.com>

  59. Nancy 59

    I’m with you. Scary. Although, maybe the silver lining to all this is that people are starting to live within their means. What a concept, huh?!

  60. Nancy 60

    You make some interesting points.

    I saw a “news” story (if you could even call what we see on tv news anymore)where several people were being interviewed about the current economic situation. I heard comments like, “Now I’m going to have to wait to buy a house until I can afford the one I want,” and, “I try to limit the use of my credit card so I can pay the full balance each month,” and, “I have to walk to work because I can’t afford the gas to drive.”

    What amazed me was the way the media made this sound like it was a bad thing! I kept thinking, this is how my parents lived and how they raised me-if you can’t afford it, DON”T BUY IT!

  61. Mrs. L 61

    Dang that Martha has good stuff :). I have a couple of large crows hanging around in the garage waiting to come out and play for Halloween.

    As for what we you doing without these days in order to survive rising prices and the uncertainty of the future? Well, maybe a little panic first and then just trying to cut back here and there.

  62. Didn’t know Martha had things like that. Good job or I might have bought a vulture and where in the world would I store it now?

  63. Leah Q 63

    I am back in school to go into a different career…. a bit the bullet, through what monies I had into this…to go into a career that should be near recession proof – the medical field to be come a patient care technician…. is it hard? you bet – I do not have a job, am am going through my savings, but it has provided me with many interesting ways to serve up food, learning new leftover food secrets, to saving monies on my grocery bills. – going out is a thing of the past except for once a month.

    Nor do I buy the large amounts of paper towels, deli bought coffee, etc. I am grateful for everyday that I have to learning my new trade…as I drive to school I see so many migrant workers standing around hoping someone will stop by and give them one day’s worth of work..and to think of the families they are trying to support…

    I have written a variety of posts on this subject in other blogs, posts…. its interesting to learn what everyone else is doing….

  64. Shirley 64

    I can handle the owl, the crows, but not the vulture or the rats … although I could ignore the rats to get to the wine. ;-)

    I am trying not to get wrapped up in fear and worry, but being “prudent” about many things. Ironically, since our economy is built on consumerism, our prudence will make the economy worse.

  65. I like the rats….on a lot of different levels…

  66. KathyB. 66

    The world finances ARE scary….but your critters are haunting our place. When my husband and I came home late Saturday night we startled an owl in the middle of our gravel road, then today, I saw a raven fly over our pond, and my husband watched a turkey vulture eating something by the side of our neighbor’s driveway…hope the rats don’t show up .

    I hope the financial scare calms down, but maybe this is a wake up call for all of us to do what little we can in our own lives, living within our means and learning to be content with what we have,

  67. Rita 67

    i just sold my property at the last minute before the price dropped further in hong kong.

    my stocks are all on hold…awaiting economic recovery. the outlook is gloomy, but i was investing for long term, so no worries.

    now…just keeping my eyes on property prices…i might be able to snatch something good ^_^

  68. Oh my God Cath where did you get those mice??? I hafta have them! I just have to!

  69. sassy 69

    Who needs 18 birds and 8 rats????? Anyone who LOVES Halloween, that`s who.

    As for all the comments about decorations on this post? Every single minute of every single day all we hear about is doom and gloom. Some people just choose to comment on the lighter side of this post, there is nothing wrong with that.

    Everyone is being forced into making changes in their lives, and they are. But, we put our foot down on Halloween and Holidays.

    I won`t give up my cable AND i read books, every single night. I`m keeping my cable as long as i can, thank you very much.

    Perhaps if you had 18 birds and 8 rats, you might be able to lighten up, when the opportunity comes along.

    I rather doubt the average americans have their heads in the sand when they are losing their retirement fundd, their futures. Sheesh

  70. Kristen 70

    We recently scrutinized our credit card bills (gulp) and realized we do make some purchases that are not necessary. However, hubby and I always bring our lunches to work, and never carry balances on our cards, so we aren’t doing too badly after all. I LOVE your site, btw – I love pigs, which is how I found you in the first place (don’t ask), I LOVE wine, and I LOVE your sense of humor. The halitosis post and the feet/socks post made me guffaw out loud at work. :)

  71. Alisa 71

    We’ve been cutting back for a while now. It’s probably all my fault the economy is failing really, I didn’t realize quite how often I went to Target.
    I love your decorations. Especially that owl!

  72. Egghead 72

    We have been cutting back for a while now. Like I have not bought one Halloween decoration this year…hard to do but I don’t need any. I also let all of my magazine subscriptions expire…didn’t have time to read them all anyway. Stuff like that.

    Those crows, vultures and the mice look so real. Wow! Those are so cool.

  73. Hmmm. I started to write a response to how I have been tightening the belt for a while now…. but I became inspired to write a blog about it. So for my to-long-to-be-a-comment response…. just check out my blog! link to jaclynbailey.blogspot.com

    For the record, I love your holiday decorations! Instead of becoming enraged at your consumerism (seriously lighten up a little people!) I choose to take the stance that 1. you probably live within your means or you wouldnt be able to be starting your own winery. and 2. technically with all your “gross consumerism” you are actually bolstering up our economy. Especially if you make the attempt to buy american. So spend away if you can! Who am I to judge you! Plus I love your sense of decorative style! Keep it coming!

  74. Lots of cutbacks. Fewer meals &/or drinks out. More subways instead of cabs. making lots of changes as who kows what is in store…

  75. grace 75

    ick. i gasped audibly when i scrolled down to that owl, which would’ve been fine if i wasn’t in a public place… :)


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