Being Poor


The people who keep track of this kind of stuff keep telling me the Great Recession is over. Maybe on paper. Maybe for Wall Street. Maybe for our millionaire Congressmen and women.

 However,  for the millions of people who can’t find a job and who are falling below the poverty line in record numbers since 2008, this recession is NOT over. Far from it. The recession may never be over for some of them.


A recent study completed at Indiana University says:

………the severity and extended duration of the downturn have inflicted long-lasting damage to individuals, families, and communities.


The Great Recession has left behind the largest number of long-term unemployed people since records were first kept in 1948. More than four million Americans report that they have been unemployed for more than 12 months. [Emphasis mine.]

What is most troubling about these numbers is that they largely reflect the remnants of what was once a thriving middle class in America.

Living at the basic poverty level for a family of three means you earn less than $19,000 a year.

Could you live on $19.000 a year? What would you have to give up to live on only $19,000 a year?

All too often the poor are invisible to us.

I used to teach in an inner-city school. I saw poverty and the effects of poverty up close and personal in the faces and the eyes of seven year olds five days a week, 50 weeks a year.

I used to judge.

I had one seven year old, I will call him John, not his real name. A bright rambunctious first grader whose father was never home. The child needed a father image. The mother came to a parent-teacher conference or two. Never saw the father. Used to complain to the other teachers how much this boy needed his  father. Just another absentee father I would say.

He finally showed up at the last parent-teacher conference of the year. He said he just had to meet this teacher his son loved and talked about so much.

Here is the real story. John’s father was working a full time job and a part time job. He was also going to school part time to get an associate degree so that he could get a better job because, as he said, I want better for John and my other children.

I was ashamed I had ever thought so poorly of this man. He deserved better. Much better.

I vowed then and there never to judge again.

I often say my students taught me more than I ever taught them. All I taught them was book learning. What they taught me were life lessons.

I recently read an excellent post entitled Being Poor that illustrates what it is like to be poor from the vantage point of the poor.

I am reprinting a portion of it below with written permission of the author, John Scalzi. His blog is titled, Whatever.

Whatever has been in existence since 1998 and at 5.4 million people, is one of the most visited sites ever on the net. He writes about what ever he wants to. I encourage you to take a look. You are sure to find something you like.

Being Poor (an excerpt)

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is your kid’s teacher assuming you don’t have any books in your home.

Being poor is deciding that it’s all right to base a relationship on shelter.

Being poor is a cough that doesn’t go away.

Being poor is not taking the job because you can’t find someone you trust to watch your kids.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn’t have make dinner tonight because you’re not hungry anyway.

Being poor is knowing you’re being judged.

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger’s trash.

You can read all of the observations at Whatever by clicking this link: Being Poor. Many of them are real eye-openers.

Featured Recipe    Bacon and Cheese Appetizer Bites

I love to eat. I love to cook. Therefore, I also like reading about foods and cooking. I am always searching for great recipes.

I stumbled upon a mother lode the other day. Where has this cooking and recipe site been hiding all my life? is a fantastic site full of great recipes and so much more. Their article section has some wonderful tips and ideas for you. This site is so good I am adding it to “My Favorite Sites” in the right hand column of this page under the “Recent Comments.” This site is a wonderful resource for great recipes, tips, and so more for you. I encourage you to check it out.

I found today’s Bacon-Delicious recipe at this site and Steve Stiffler gave me permission to reprint the recipe here for you. This is a Hungry Jack recipe.

And are you going to like it!!!!

Best of all: 5 minutes prep time and 10 minutes to cook.

Place these little darlings on your Super Bowl table with your chicken wings and a salad and people will bow too your culinary abilities. I predict these little bites will out shine any commercial on the Super Bowl this year.

For me the hardest part of making this recipe was not eating some of the bacon bits as I crumbled them.

I also made the first batch a little too large. So I only got 20 bites total,  not 24. I have that problem all the time. I make cookies and candies, and biscuits too large too. *Sigh* Oh well! They were delicious anyway!

This is what you will need for 24 appetizers:

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray*

½  cup sour cream

1 tablespoon water

1 cup Hungry Jack Buttermilk Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)

½ cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled** 

2 tablespoons butter, melted


*I confess. I used the brand already in my pantry.

** About 8 slices of bacon.

Here is what you do:

Heat your oven to 400°F.

Fry or microwave the bacon nice and crisp and then crumble.

Spray cookie sheet with no-stick cooking spray while bacon is cooking.

Mix the sour cream and water in medium bowl until well combined.

Add the pancake mix, cheese and bacon pieces.

Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. I only put 12 bites on a baking sheet. So I had to bake these in two batches.

While the bites are baking melt the butter. I do this by simply placing butter in a small pan and putting it on top ofthe oven.

Brush the done bites with the melted butter, and sprinkle with some paprika.

Serve warm.

Wait for compliments!!!

Bon appétit!!!


No-Stick Cooking Spray                        $0.04

½ cup sour cream                               $0.64

1tablespoon water                               $—–

1 cup Hungry Jack Buttermilk Mix           $0.50

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese          $1.29

¼ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled      $2.08               

2 tablespoons butter, melted                $0.18

Paprika                                              $0.10

Total cost = $4.83
Cost per appetizer = $0.20 each

Quote of the Day

You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live.

William Shakespeare


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