Surprise, Y’all!

Autumn Fundraiser 2013, Day 6

Surprise, y’all!

Tip jarYou’d never guess what we’ve decided: the Autumn 2013 Fundraiser is officially over today. We passed all expectations, so why not finish on a high note a few days early? Oh, except for the traditional wrap-up the Baron will do in the next day or so to announce the final list of donor locations, and anything else he finds worth mentioning.

Is this a smart marketing decision on our part? We haven’t a clue. All we know is that you’ve been exceedingly generous this time, and our needs for the coming quarter are met, so why keep begging asking?

So, you say, what are these “needs” and how do you know they’re “met” now? Well, let me explain, first via one of my very favorite songs and then with a more prosaic answer which involves a fellow named Murphy (this singer is not Murphy):

In other words, it’s karmic, dude, maybe as karmic as that fine guitar work. Everybody gotta get up and dance whilst I explain what happened at Schloss Bodissey and the Famous Fundraiser of Autumn 2013…

…All week the Baron has been telling me each day that the totals were surprisingly good. Then today, when a generous gift from Big D (that’s Dallas to all the rest of us) arrived, the Baron said we’d made our goal for the quarter. My immediate response was, “well, why don’t we stop?”

[Yeah, I know we’ve got a ways to go on the full total for our roof repair, but we’re now ahead on that plan. Besides, Murphy the carpenter says we’ve got several more quarterlies to go before it will be warm enough to fix the roof. So it turns out we can take our time after all… everything in its season, right?]

Ever since these fundraisers began, we’ve never looked past the immediate needs of the next three months. To try to see further than that is to invite worry and we won’t go there anymore. The Baron had a job, and then he didn’t. He looked for work that would permit him to check in on me (instead of being gone several nights each week, which was draining on us both) but the same economy that threw him out of a regular job wasn’t forthcoming with one meeting our special needs. So we buckled down, counted our blessings, and (on the advice of one of our mentors) began the tradition of Quarterly Blegs. Eventually, we came to this point: learning enough to know when to say “when”.

Here’s how we do that: first, we look at our expenses for the coming quarter. Sometime I’ll give y’all a fuller accounting, but the Baron is trying to teach me to write less lengthy posts, so let’s just say our basic expenses look like everyone else’s, but a tad smaller: food, utilities, gasoline, car/house repairs and taxes. Plus the Baron always allows twenty-five percent extra for Murphy.

Who’s Murphy? Oh, he has several guises: maybe the fellow who runs into us at a stop light (we have a high deductible), or perhaps it’s Murphy the grocer who starts charging more for food. Just recently it was an unexpected plumbing emergency when the pump on the well started cutting off and on for no discernible reason. We attempted an Irish quick fix by hitting the pump with a hammer — it does work for a bit after that, but the day came when the malfunctioning little doo-hickey refused to respond anymore to abuse. So we had a house call and a chat with Plumber Murphy while he replaced the part and then we paid him, grateful it wasn’t any more serious.

Or there could be a time when one of our eyes (among the four we share) goes bad and we have to visit the retinal specialist for a different kind of chat followed by a poke in the eye. On the way out, we might stop by Dr. Murphy’s billing department to pay for the visit. Or rather, to make a partial payment on the visit.

See what I mean? The Baron is right: twenty-five percent for Murphy is a good rule of thumb.

Okay, having established that baseline outgo plus you-know-who, we begin on income — that’s where you come in:

  • First, though, we take a careful chunk from savings;
  • Next we add the expected income from any computer projects we’re sure the Baron has coming up, or any prospective editing jobs. Those are erratic, but payment is prompt;
  • Finally we add the incomes together, subtract the outgo + Murphy, and voila! we have the total to aim for in the quarterly fundraiser.
  • Oh, and a tithe to Vlad, our irreplaceable video man, without whom we would be lost.

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So, you may ask, from whence comes the wherewithal for trips to places like Warsaw? From the kindness of European friends who insist that the Baron be there, that’s from whence. I’m very glad he gets the opportunity to make his annual Counterjihad pilgrimage, but we both know it can only happen now if others make the arrangements. The day may come when that’s not possible. It will mean the passing of an era and the passing of the torch, but he has tried to prepare some of the younger generation to replace him at the table.

And the fact is, he can still participate in the group from afar for a long time to come. It’s a toss-up who will be closed down first, Europe or the U.S. We don’t worry overly much about that — it’s beyond the scope of these Quarterly Traditions.

Besides, as the Buzzard said when the farmer blew that chickenhawk to Kingdom Come… well, listen to the song again to see what he said.

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Yesterday we had donations from the following places:

Stateside: Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Dallas

Near Abroad: Canada

Far Abroad: Australia, Germany, Norway, and Sweden

We’ll see you in the winter, but not real early — “At the end of winter when afternoons return”, as Wallace Stevens once said.

The tip jar in the text above is just for decoration. To donate, click the tin cup on our sidebar, or the donate button, on the main page. If you prefer a monthly subscription, click the “subscribe” button.

2 thoughts on “Surprise, Y’all!

  1. I saw this very encouraging item just as I signed on to donate. Congratulations! and may the next one be even better! I still think God would like me to donate so I am going to. I hope you will count it in your tally.

  2. Gratias plena! We surely appreciate your donation no matter where the impulse for generosity arises.

    Beside, the Baron is uncertain about my early cut-off since ‘you never can tell about Murphy’…he doesn’t like fooling around with dates and deadlines and traditions. Like, who would cut short the Twelve Days of Christmas and miss the pipers piping or the drums drumming?

    There is much to be said for customs, especially given that Traditions was the theme of this bleg. OTOH, our themes usually go sideways…so if it turns out I got this one wrong…well, there’s always the next Octave of Blegging…

    I never did get to my planned post on how I learned to cook Italian while living in the Italian section of a town outside Boston (northern and southern Italian food is as different as is soul food from New England chowder), or the deep pleasures of Cajun cooking which I got to know while living in New Orleans and having a friend from Ville Platte.

    But beyond filé gumbo the story of how the Cajuns got to Louisiana from Canada just goes to show that “all God’s dangers ain’t a muslim” to paraphrase a book I read once. Funny how some cuisines develop – or fail to do so – in a vale of suffering like forced exile.

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