Monday, March 16, 2009

The economy and how it affects us

I am posting this for some friends on boards that would sensor the post due to "trigger words".

I live in West Michigan and I work in Manufacturing and this is NOT a good combination to be in right now. Where i work we make all different plastic parts including automotive, furniture and trash cans. The building i work in makes mostly office furniture and we also make trash can lids. We make them for many cities all over our country. In fact, if you have waste management you are probably using one of the cans we make right now, or if you live in any of the cities we have made them for including Miami-Dade county and Chicago you are using one of our cans.

Well the factory that makes the cans is laid off this entire week so we are not making any lids. The factory we supply furniture for has laid off hundreds of people so we are not making as much furniture either. This means we have cut back. We are now on 4 day work weeks and we are lucky to get that. I average about 30 hours of work per week. We have also taken pay cuts as well. This week alone i worked Monday and I have today (Tuesday) and Friday off so unless I use my vacation time i will only have a 24 hour check.

They are predicting we will be on 4 day work weeks all through this year into next year.

Also in our city limits is a GM plant that will be closed by the end of the year. My Dad works at that plant (or rather worked, he is unemployed now after 30 years of service). Also we have a Delphi plant that is at the end of our road that has been laying people off regularly for quite a while now. My step mom and sister work at that factory. I can only assume that when the GM plant closes our property values will plummet more but our taxes will have to go up to make up for the difference. Good thing I wasn't planing to sell the house anyway.

My sister-in-law also worked for Chrysler and she now also has no job. My Mother-in-law finally had to sell her Mothers house in Saginaw but had to let it go for $11,000! and it's a nice 3 bedroom home in a nice neighborhood.

I have faith that the company I work for has a good sense of business and they have not done anything shady with us yet, it's all been upfront and with as much advance notice as possible. I have worked there for 10 years now and am on for the long ride. I'm not jumping off the waggon but am just wondering how many people will still be on it when the ride is over and if I will be one of them.

If I dabbled in frugality before I'm learning to swim in it now!

We are at lest lucky in the fact we have no credit debt just the mortgage, home equity and a student loan which puts us in a better place than alto of others our age.

I'm a upbeat person and have a happy disposition... I may not always know why but it works for me!

Drying home made noodles

I love to make home made chicken/turkey noodle soup. And I love even more adding home made egg noodles to the soup. I don't have allot of space to dry them and after doing it the way my step mom did growing up by draping them around the edge of the bowl I needed a better way. When you drape them around a bowl they really don't dry well (or at all in some cases). So I came up with this after visiting a Civil War enactment camp and seeing the ladies with their noodles draped on strings running from their tent poles.

I got a set of small clear plastic hooks that had 6 in the package. i placed 3 hooks on the sides of my cupboard that border my kitchen window. Now all I have to do when I want to make noodles is string a strand of kitchen twine through the hooks and drape my noodles over the lines. This keeps them off the counter so I can do other things and out of the reach of the kids. These lines have many uses including stringing apples to dry or peppers or what ever you desire. When not in use just tuck away the twine somewhere and all you have are some tiny hooks left.

Here is the recipe for the noodles (I don't use baking powder):

1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

Combine egg, salt, milk. Add flour. (For thicker noodles add baking powder to flour before mixing.) Nneed dough into a tight elastic ball and Separate into two balls and let rest a bit.
Roll out dough very thin, and dust with flower.
Roll dough into a tube and cut with sewing thread wraping the thread around the log and crossing the ends and pulling it through the dough. Break strips into desired length and spread to dry. Let dry for approximately 2 hours.
Drop into hot soup--cook for about 10 minutes.