Friday, January 26, 2007

House Guests

I must be crazy. I know some of you think I'm crazy because we have lived in a yurt with no electricity or running water, or because we have moved across the country a few times, or because we live in a house that is only 530 sq feet. But this time I know I'm out of my mind.

My mom and her husband are coming to visit next week. They are going to be here for a week or two and they are staying with us. Yep that's right, we are going to squeeze 2 more people into a house that is already too small for the four of us. I don't think my mom understands how small the house is. She visited when we were working on the floor, before we moved the furniture in, and I've sent pictures of the inside since we've moved in, but it's not the same as actually standing in the middle of the room surrounded by stuff. We have only 1 bathroom which presents a challenge on a normal day, I'm not sure what's gonna happen when we add 2 more people into the mix.

It'll either be fun or we will kill each other, I'm not quite sure which. While they are here we should increase the amount of space we have by 250 sq feet so that will help, unfortunately we won't be adding another bathroom. Malachi will finally have a room of his own, which makes me happy. He doesn't seem to care but I do because he sleeps 10 feet from the TV so when Paul and I want to watch movies that aren't appropriate for the kids we have to use the laptop in the bedroom and I'd much rather watch it on the big TV.

So we will see how things go. I wonder how long they can take it before they get a room at the local motel...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


For those that know me, you know I'm not a morning person. So pancakes for breakfast is a rare treat for the kids. I will on occasion make them pancakes for lunch but my making breakfast is something special.

As I read through some posts on the homeschooling list I'm on, I was struck by a few off-handed comments about the time these people got up. They were mentioning that they didn't get up at 5:30 but *gasp* 7:30. Okay I'm gonna let you in on a secret, I don't normally get up until way after 8, sometimes as late as 9. That's right I like to sleep in the morning. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to get up early but I can't do it. Well I can and do on those Sundays we go to church, in fact I don't get up in the morning but the middle of the night, 4:30. But I spend the rest of the day feeling off and grumpy.

So yep, I'm a bad mom who makes her kids fend for themselves for breakfast normally. I like to get school started by 11, if I'm lucky, and my house is always a mess because of how small it is.

Oh and just in case you are thinking that I get points for making pancakes from scratch this morning, I admit that those are Bisquick pancakes.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Which Classic Heroine Are You?

Anne Shirley

The loveable redhead of "Anne of Green Gables." Anne lives on Prince Edward Island, and never ceases to astonish it's inhabitants. She's a writer, matchmaker, and can generally be found getting into some scrape or the other. Gilbert Blythe, one of her dearest friends, is in love with her, but she refuses to see it for many years.

Which Classic Heroine are You?

I'm not all that surprised. This is one of my favorite books right behind Pride & Prejudice. I see a lot of myself in Anne, constantly getting into trouble and being somewhat strong-willed. Besides, Anne is my middle name!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Working outside the home

This happens every once in awhile. A very well meaning friend will suggest that our financial struggle can be eliminated if I just got a job. I think this happens because most of our closest friends don't have children and don't think about the costs involved in working outside the home.

I don't think it's a bad thing that this comes up, it always gives me an opportunity to reevaluate what I already know, the costs are too high. So yesterday I was told that I could do this if I want to. This is, of course, assuming that the kids were put into the government indoctrination system.

Here is what I came up with:
The costs for daycare after school and school holidays $12,000-$15,000 per year
The costs for a second car including the payment, insurance, gas, and maintenance $8,000 per year
The costs for appropriate clothing and supplies for the kids $1,000 per year
The costs for work clothing for me $500 per year
The costs of increased medical premiums and copayments since we are currently on a plan that has the premiums determined by income $4,000
The costs of increased taxes $4,000
The costs of more prepackaged foods for lunch and dinner $2,600

Assuming I could find a job making $30,000 per year, the grand total that we would add to our current income is -$2100. That's right it would cost me to work! That's not even counting the costs that aren't monetary. So could I work outside the home? Sure but the costs would put us in a worse financial situation not a better one.

So for the sake of argument let's consider all those non-monetary costs:
The kids would have maybe 2 hours a day with their parents
Lorna's medical condition requires her to take a steroid medication which suppresses her immune system, how many times a year would she end up in the hospital? From past experience when she was in daycare, twice a year. That's not even counting how often she got sick and didn't require hospitalization.
How would Malachi deal with being in a classroom, he has a difficult time now because he spends much of his time in his own little world.
Who would do the laundry and clean the house? Who would take care of the animals? When would I have time to cook?
I could go on but I think you get the point.

I do not have the ability to be a wife, mother, and worker. Something has to suffer and it would be the first two because if you let the worker part suffer you lose your job. So how is working outside the home going to solve our problem? It isn't. In fact I think it would just cause that many more problems.

So thanks to the friend you brought this up! You have helped me to remember why I quit working in the first place.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Washer repairs

They won't be happening today which means I will be outside using the washtubs since we are out of some necessary clothing.

I didn't get a confirmation call last night which should have tipped me off that there was a problem. I took the phone with me everywhere I went this morning so I wouldn't miss the call from the repairman. But the call never came. Instead Paul got a message on his cell that the repairman went to the house but we don't live there and they don't have our updated home phone number. What?!!? I gave all that info to the woman who I made the appointment with, she obviously got Paul's cell number added. We had a long coversation about our new home phone and address. I distinctly remember because I explained that everyone has a different city listed. It seems she forgot to update the screens or something.

So I called the appointment center only to get a rude young woman who claimed it wasn't her problem because she didn't make the original appointment! My thing is that it is her problem to fix because someone where she works dropped the ball. After getting very upset I was able to speak with someone who apologized and set up a new appointment for tomorrow.

I just want my washer fixed, why is this so difficult? To top it all off the guy who helped me today was too busy to update their records properly as to the fact that we have a maintenance agreement on 3 large appliances so now I have to fix this so I don't get charged. I'm just glad I have all the receipts handy!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Pipes and Laundry

Our pipes made it through the low temperatures of the past few days. We did have a slight problem yesterday for a few hours but got everything thawed and working.

My washing machine didn't make it though. It started spraying water out of the back panels and when we opened it up found a break in the water inlet. It's still under warranty until August so the repairman is coming tomorrow. Unfortunately we have laundry piled up everywhere and it looks like I'm going to have to break out the washtubs and wringer.

I would love to take it all to the laundromat but I can't since I don't have transportation during the day and they close at 6. Not only that but looking at the price to do a small load of clothes I don't think it would work anyway. My only fear is that the repairman will have to order a part and we will have to wait for weeks before he can fix it.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Well our infestation turned out to be something more serious than I thought, so yesterday saw us spend $200 at the doctors getting prescriptions for ourselves. Now I get the task of stripping everything again, I started yesterday. I now have enough laundry to keep me busy for weeks. Seeing as the temps are hovering around 30 this morning I need to wait until the booster pump thaws before I can start any of this glorious work. To top it all off, everything is supposed to be washed in hot water and dried on high. Problem is we only have cold water to the washer and no dryer. So in lieu of all of that I can soak stuff in the bathtub before washing it or I can let it sit for a week before washing it. I'm doing a little of both. The most important stuff is getting soaked but it's very difficult to wring out bulky items like the pillows.
I'm starting with the oldest stuff first, which has been sitting outside for a week already. Maybe by the time I get to the newer stuff it will have sat long enough and I won't have to soak it. The worst of all of this is that we have exposed our friends to this nightmare since we were unknowingly contagious up until this morning.

BTW, they are projecting temps of 10 tonight, this does not bode well for our pipes or drying laundry. At least I can never complain about my life being boring!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I didn't make it

That last cross stitch is still sitting here unfinished. To top it off I didn't get the frame for the first one in time to give it to the people it was intended for, maybe next time I see them. My life of crafting was interrupted on Saturday morning by needing to tear the house apart. We had an infestation of little bugs throughout the house. I had to not only clean the house thoroughly but I decided to strip the beds and wash everything. I'm still washing everything, I'm down to about 6 loads left. Maybe I can get it all caught up by the end of the weekend. This is one of the few times I hate not having a dryer, it makes a large chore huge because I can only do so many loads a day. But at least it looks like we got rid of the critters.

I did manage to find inexpensive frames for both the olive wreath and the one I'm currently working on. That was an accomplishment in itself. Hopefully I'll have both of them finished and framed soon.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

One down...

I finally finished the project I blogged about yesterday

Now to find the right frame and get it all together quickly. It's an odd size, 6.5 inches in diameter, so I'm hoping to find a square frame 7 inches or larger. I can always put a mat around it if the frame is larger than needed, that might actually make it look even better.

Now to finish the other one.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Still catching up

This is how far I've gotten on what should have been a Christmas gift but I'm hoping will be an Epiphany gift.

It's supposed to be an olive wreath but as you have noticed it doesn't connect together yet. I'm still not finished! The sad thing is, I have another slightly larger project still in the works and both need to be finished by Saturday afternoon. Can I do it? I hope so but my hopes are starting to fade.

We have all been sick for the past few weeks. I think we are on the downhill side with just the lingering coughs holding on. I still am not caught up on everything that needs to be done and I'm trying desperately to finish all the outside work by this afternoon. We have a large storm headed our way that is expected to drop a few inches of snow tomorrow night. It's amazing how these things require so much prep. I need to get all the laundry finished and dried before it hits since we hang everything on a line and I can't have wet stuff hanging out there for days after. I need to get the firewood covered as we just filled the wood holder. I need to get all the cardboard under the carport or there will be a soggy mess outside. I don't have time for all of this, I need to finish these gifts! So instead of doing anything I'm hiding in my bedroom updating my blog.

Maybe I'll get a chance to finish these gifts on Thursday evening and Friday since it'll be too messy to do anything outside...