Penny Pinchers and Grasshoppers

Well! That was a week I wouldn’t want to experience very often, satisfying as it was!

The full-time job I started last Monday is working out very well thus far, and I anticipate it will continue to be pleasantly challenging. I think I may have landed on my feet there, fingers crossed that I’m not looking at it through rose coloured glasses.

The part-time job I started on Thursday is a different kettle of fish entirely. Not so keen on it, truth be told. A lot of unpaid time seems to be “suggested/implied” to get up to speed, if that continues I will just have to turn in my resignation. I am also expected to gather information during office hours, which I cannot do because I have a full-time job during the day. Neither of these expectations were revealed by the employer before I accepted the position. Pressure and stress. The other issue with this position is that the agreed upon 20 hours a week has blossomed into more than 40 hours in the first seven days. I can’t manage that many hours in a week in addition to a full-time job. I’m complaining already, it does not bode well, although it might just be startup jitters.

Attila and I are home together this afternoon and tomorrow. Attila is just now preparing to head off to work, I am getting ready to work at the new part-time job from home, for the two remaining paid hours I’ve been allotted for today. This afternoon we are both free to attend to our personal life.

Our last hydro bill was very high, because we heated the house with electricity for three days while we visited the little house in the city; it costs around $15 per day to keep the house above freezing when we are away on mild winter days. We’ve laundry to do to, which must be done late in the evening, very early in the morning or on weekends to take advantage of the off-peak prices for electricity, which are around the same prices we used to pay for all our electricity. Bread baking is now a mandatory weekend task, my bread is presently rising in the oven. Tomorrow we will prepare a lot of next week’s food to be taken in lunches and to be heated in the microwave for our dinners.

I think we are what I’ve heard called “penny pinchers”; we certainly must watch where every last penny is spent in order to keep our ship afloat. No one ever led me to believe that life would be easy, and for that I am grateful. I suffer no disappointment on that account.

The Girl Guide Motto made a lasting impression on me: Be Prepared! A large number of people regard efforts to be prepared as “anticipating things that won’t happen”, or “over-thinking”; two phrases of advice I received while in training at my new part-time job. While one can obsess about the unknown, which is not desirable, the intelligent approach toward responsibilities is to prepare for eventualities, particularly in environments with limited resources, tight schedules and possible safety issues. It all puts me in mind of the fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, a cautionary tale told for centuries (see Notes). Or even the old sayings, “a stitch in time saves nine”, or “If you command wisely, you’ll be obeyed cheerfully”, both taken from Fuller (see Notes).

We have an election coming up on Monday. We always vote, for all the good it does. I have no particular political affiliations, never have had, probably never will have. The profession of politician is fraught with situations that would compromise my integrity and irritate my soul, were I to venture in that direction. Still, there could be individuals uniquely situated to navigate those waters and maintain personal integrity. Haven’t ever observed this happening, personally, but the laws of the universe declare that anything is possible! So I vote.

Worldly Distractions


-2 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -2.0°C
Dewpoint: -2.0°C
Humidity: 100 %


“To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
1844 – 1900


The Ant and the Grasshopper

“The fable concerns a grasshopper that has spent the warm months singing while the ant (or ants in some editions) worked to store up food for winter. When that season arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and upon asking the ant for food is only rebuked for its idleness. Versions of the fable are found in the verse collections of Babrius and Avianus , and in several prose collections including those attributed to Syntipas and Apthonius. In a variant prose form of the fable, the lazy animal is a dung beetle which finds that the winter rains wash away the dung on which it feeds. In its Greek original, as well as in its Latin and Romance translations, the grasshopper is in fact a cicada.
The story is used to teach the virtues of hard work and saving, and the perils of improvidence…”


Recorded in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British, 1732

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Maybe just the full time job is enough? Don’t over work yourself, your health is more important! (I know I couldn’t do it.)


You might just be right Joan! Within a week or so I’ll know for sure, I won’t give this new part-time job any more than that to straighten itself out.