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Rambling thoughts on a Sunday

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Funny how seldom I post anymore. I used to be so regular about it. My heart just isn’t in it any longer. I think it’s because I find myself so down in the dumps that I realized I mainly blog in a whiney, poor-pitiful-me sort of way. And I hate that. My sister is a big whiner. And she really isn’t that bad off, but you’d think she was. It irritates that heck out of me, and I find myself doing it here all the time. Ugh.

Part of it, to be fair to me, lol, is that I haven’t got anyone else to complain to. I don’t really have friends (I have problems with that, but that’s a blog for another day) and I can’t complain to my sister (she won’t just listen and sympathize, she either tries to tell you why you don’t have it so bad or why she is at least as bad off as you if not worse) I won’t complain to my daughter (because that would just make her feel bad, and none of it is her fault) and I can’t complain to my husband (most of it IS his fault, but he feels bad enough already, and it would just make him crankier). I guess what I need is a therapist! Or some friends. My younger sister was the best – she would sympathize, let me get it all out, then do something crazy to make me laugh and I’d feel better… but since she left us all for the much, much greener pastures of Heaven, it kinda sucks.

I’m totally feeling sorry for myself because after nearly 16 years of being a stay-at-home-mom (which I LOVED by the way) I had to go back to work full-time. I hate it. Not only is the job pretty annoying and crappy, but I don’t get to do all the stuff at home I have always enjoyed doing… taking my daughter to this and that lesson or rehearsal, doing school with her – we homeschooled, remember – crafting or even just the housework. I was never a career-minded kind of gal, and I certainly don’t want to start now.

And my husband. I think he’s even more depressed than I am, so he does… pretty much nothing. His business will never take off if he doesn’t work it, and he doesn’t. And he has all the time in the world since he got himself fired from his last piddly job. It’s hard, because with all the other crap I had issues with him over, the one thing I could always fall back on was “at least he’s a good provider”.  Now I got nothing. Okay, that’s not entirely true… he is still a pretty good dad. Except for the grumpiness. But still pretty good in that respect.

Well, there I am again… whining. But this blog is my substitute friend/therapist, so I have to get it out someplace. Guess no one has to read it!

 

Twists and turns on the path of life

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Yeah... what that says!This is the road sign of my life at the moment. Because things have gotten a little upside down recently. It’s okay; just not the way I want it to be.

Two months ago I had to get a full-time job. I don’t want a full-time job; I mean, I had one – wife, mom… I was busy in this job, and I loved it. But, Kiki was tired of school-at-home so we decided to put her in a private Christian school… so she could “experience” “real” school. My full-time job was to pay tuition and gas to get her the 30 minutes each way to school and back. I was grieving, in a way, as this meant I wouldn’t get to participate in her school the way I’d want to – no room-momming, no volunteering, no field trips… because I would be unavailable. Stuck at work.

I’ve never been a “career minded” gal. It’s not that I mind working – I mind doing stuff that I don’t give a crap about. But this was so Kiki could do school, so I put my mind to the task. Then just before school started, the lovely government decided my husband no longer deserved the unemployment he’d been getting – even though he was supposed to have 9 months left. We did two weeks of school before we realized my paycheck had to go to paying bills and there was no possible way we could keep Kiki in the school. I cried for two days – for the loss of the school, the loss of her chance to experience that, for the loss of my freedom, for the fact I would have to work full-time even though the entire reason for doing so was now lost.

One week after we pulled her out of school, we got the letter that the government had been mistaken, and we got several weeks back-pay and his weekly unemployment started back up.

What the crap???

Kiki took it all better than I did. Even in those two weeks, she realized everything I had told her was true – high school is not really something to get excited about. It was not all she had thought it would be. She is also an amazing young lady – she believes beyond a doubt that God has other plans for her – if He made it impossible for her to be at that school then obviously she needs to be somewhere else. Her faith is an inspiration to me, to be honest. I wish I had as much as she.

Of course, I am still stuck in the job. After all, I made a commitment and I don’t feel like I should just up and quit. Besides, before we were just barely scraping by, so this job is a blessing, in a way. My last paycheck (yeah, the entire thing) bought shocks and struts for my car. Most of this last paycheck bought my daughter contacts and a visit to the doctor for a much-belated check up. My next paycheck will buy new tires for my car, since the old ones are pretty much bald. All things we couldn’t have done without my job.

So I try to be thankful. Even thought it’s a stupid and really annoying job. I have remembered what it’s like to live for weekends. I miss my family, as the hours I work make me miss dinner, and my husband is off school-bus-driving before I wake up in the morning, and he goes to bed right after I get home. It’s also weird because although I like most of the people I work with, I have realized I am old enough to be most of their mothers. (No exaggeration – I am actually older than some of their moms. I don’t feel that old.)

My husband hates the fact that I have to work, mostly because he knows how much I love being a stay-at-home-mom. And he wants that for me. He also wants very much to work, but no one will hire him. I know why – his job is to grow our business, and God isn’t going to let him have a job to get in the way of that. I’m convinced of this.

That knowledge doesn’t make him feel better. He feels like a giant loser who no one wants to hire and who can’t provide for his family.

I am praying that this is just a season. Hopefully, a short season. And in the meantime, I try to remember to be thankful for the good things that I have.

And for the occasional mocha.

Living – and loving – the lazy life

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Last week my little family did some housesitting. Oh, sure, I complained like crazy about doing it. Like, how it was going to be a big pain having to pack up the stuff I’d need for being there (hmm, pajamas, sweats..) and then decent clothes to wear to work. It’s also much further to my job, and my husband had his own business so all his supplies are at the other house… blah blah blah…
But wow! We had a fantastic week. The first two days we sat in our pajamas and watched movies (okay, we also watched the first 2 seasons of Sherlock… I am soooo addicted to that! And I can’t believe it’ll be ages before the next season…! But I digress…) We ate when we wanted to eat… what we wanted. We watched what we wanted, when we wanted – no news!! Yay!! I didn’t have to play 20 questions when I left the house; I just left. It was awesome.

 

As much as I don’t want to get a full-time job, I have to admit it might almost be worth it if we could have a home of our own…

 

When “easy” projects go bad ~ re-covering a chair

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My daughter has been suffering thru the entire school year with a semi-broken desk chair; until fairly recently I had the brilliant idea of pulling one of our old chairs out of storage for her to use. Yeah, okay, that’s not like a flash of brilliance, is it, to use something you already own but forgot about? Our stuff has been in storage for far too long! Two trips across county and five years in storage… urrrrrr. Anyhoo…

What a great plan! So I took her to the fabric store to pick out some material she’d like the seat covered in because that’s easy to do. I mean, I’d done it before and it was easy.

I don’t know what went wrong. Well, first of all, the seat frame was broken (the thing is over a hundred years old, I don’t blame it) so I asked my dad if he could fix it. Well, would fix it… of course he could. And as expected, he did a better-than-necessary job. But. Whereas before I would have just tacked the new fabric over the old (which I had done once, and apparently, as dad discovered while pulling it apart, had been done 4 times previously!) well, he stripped it down to the hundred year old cotton stuffing, so I had to start from scratch.
Here you can see all the holes in the frame from the multiple tacks used over time to hold all that fabric –IMG_1578

Mom helped me sew some muslin around the inner wire frame, then dad put all the parts back together… I just needed to recover it. Just.

I got it started so nicely, all smooth front and back. When I turned it over to check it out, I realized the pad had slipped back so you could feel the wood frame in front – because that’d be comfy. Plus, there was a weird lump. I didn’t remember there being any lumps. So I had to pull out the tacks and start over! I hate that. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise though because that weird lump turned out to be an old rusty upholstery tack that somehow had gotten stuck up in the pad – someday some poor sitter would’ve gotten stuck in the bum! I decided, since I was back at step 1, that a hundred years of sitting had made it kinda wimpy, anyway, so I asked mom for some batting and put another layer of soft on the seat. Much better.

At one point my husband came out and tried to help me. Why? WHY?? He’d love to think of himself as “handy”, but he’s just not. I mean, he does a lot of good stuff, but he is no craftsman. So, after he messed things up, and lost a couple tacks on the shop floor (a shop I quite often go barefoot in) I kindly (sort of) told him I was done with his help…

By then I was cranky, and quite possibly having a hot flash, so I got in a big hurry and managed to pinch my finger with the hammer. I don’t think I’ve done that in… decades.

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Of course for the life of me I couldn’t get the stupid corner to tuck correctly. I re-did it three times then used the old family cry of “good enuf fur who it’s fur”.

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The back corners worked beautifully, of course.

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I have this curse of perfectionism that causes me to quite often not do things at all, because I know I can’t do them perfectly. It’s why it took me weeks to get around to doing this chair once I had the idea. I hate little imperfections in what I make. I am working on overcoming that… which is why I will call this chair fine, even if the corners annoy me, and I wish the seat were firmer, or more stuffed. It’s fine. Dad will screw the seat back down for me tomorrow, and it will be just fine.

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And Kiki will have a desk chair to sit at her school computer. Now that she has 3 whole days of school left in this year.

…sigh…

That’s okay. She’ll still have a desk in her room, and she can still use a chair to sit in.  If not I’ll recover it and put it in my room! Ha.

 

I think my brain is going to blow up

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Do you ever have a problem that turns into a series of problems? That you see no resolution to? I am having one of those, and my head is becoming tired and dizzy by spinning in circles around the not-to-be-seen solution to my situation.
You see, it’s one of those issues where I need to fix ‘A’ but to do that I need to do ‘B’ but in order to do that I need to do ‘C’ which brings me back to how in the world then can I do ‘A’?!?!

See, Kiki hates online school, but has no desire to go the large public high school. And I hated my large public high school and have no intention of subjecting her to that. Not to mention the whole worldly indoctrination that goes on in our public schools these days. The only  reason we did online this year was so she could have the “proper accreditation” so she could go to a “real school”. (We did a homeschool co-op for 1st – 8th grades). So.

We found  a private, Christian school that we intend on sending her to for – hopefully – the rest of her high school years. They gave us a scholarship of 50% off which is the highest they go, so with that we think we can cover it. Then, we got an unexpected check in the mail that exactly covers the registration fees, so that was cool!

Here’s the problem…  the school is in a tiny town in Outer Slobovia. If we move closer to school, we will be a ridiculously far distance from church (and we don’t just go to church on Sunday – we have small groups and youth group and various other things we like to go to).  Also, in order for us to move out at all, it’s been determined that I need a full time job. Which, A. I hate the thought of. and B. Where? When? How? Do I get a job during school hours, or after school, and how then do I get her to school, and participate in things, and do I work close to home (which will be Where??) or do I work close to her school (right! Middle of nowhere, remember)… It’s like everything has to come together and I don’t know where to start! Okay, we started with the school… but now what?

I know God knows. He can see the big picture where I can’t. But I wish He’d let me in on it, because the stress is sending me over the edge.

Not to mention the stress I am feeling from Kiki’s upcoming birthday… but that’s a post for another day.

Sheesh.

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How is it I never get on this spot any more? I’m not exactly overwhelmed with busy-ness. Just sort of… overwhelmed with life. Good stuff has happened… nothing horrible has happened… but, still. I can’t seem to crawl out from under this heavy, wet blanket of – well, not quite depression, but close. I will come back to talk more later, but now it’s time for me to head off to work. But I had a brief moment, so thought I’d drop by for a quick visit.

A New Year, a change in the weather ~ yikes it’s cold!

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Yeah, Yeah, I know. It’s winter. I live in Idaho. But seriously… this is ridiculous. Let’s see, right now it is… 7 degrees. They are forecasting that the temperature in the morning will be minus 4 or thereabouts. brrrrrrrr!! It used to be this cold, the first time we lived here. It just seems like it hasn’t been like this the last several years. But now? Global warming my eye. 

It’s so cold I couldn’t bear to make the outdoor cat sleep … well, outdoors. He has a bed – well, a blanket in a box in the shed – but it’s so cold! Poor kitty. So I made him a spot out in my dad’s garage, and dad didn’t argue. He says cats are spawn of the devil, but he has a soft spot in his heart for all animals, regardless. 🙂  It’s nearly 60 in the garage, so I think that’s a big step up.

It makes it rather hard to follow through – oh, shoot, to even begin! – that wonderful ‘resolution’ of getting out and walking every day! Yeah, I don’t think so!

Just as I’ve been typing this (altho I admit, I am also watching a movie, so it’s taken longer than you’d think) it has dropped to 5.5 degrees…

Thank the Lord for warm homes, fireplaces, snuggly beds and hot tea.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you have a Merry Christmas?

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I can’t believe it’s over. It’s like you wait forever – like, an entire year!!  😉 – for Christmas to come, then zoooom… it has come and gone just that quick.

This year was worse than most, because the flu hit my family with a vengence this year. Kiki and both my parents were sick for a full week leading up to Christmas, so not only did we not get to do most of the “getting in the Holiday Spirit” things we do each year, but since I was the only one well I had to do all the cooking and cleaning and what-not, so it was just not my favorite time. Also I think I was fighting the flu myself, so I spent alot of time feeling woozy and nauseated, albeit never actually sick. Alan came down with the flu on Christmas Eve, so he was pretty out of it today as well.

I also didn’t bake hardly anthing this year. I always make frosted sugar cookies, fudge, coconut balls, pecan tarts, and a few other things. This year between feeling rather icky and being overwhelmed with chores and nursing the sick I just had no desire to bake… maybe because I had no real desire to eat, either. But I wish I had some now!

On top of all that, my sister’s side of the family decided they didn’t want to risk getting sick so they opted out of coming over for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner because our house was “too germy”.  I am almost wicked enough to hope they all get the flu anyway – almost, but not quite. It’s a pretty nasty flu.

All that being said, I still had a good Christmas. I love Christmas. I go completely overboard trying to make it an awesome time for my daughter, and once again I did not fail in that! She was thrilled with every gift she got, even tho I found a good bit of it on Craigslist and at the local thrift stores. I did great at thrift shopping this year! I don’t normally do that, but since we are sooo very broke, it seemed like a good idea – and it worked out well.

Of course we try to focus on the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Christ. I feel like I was a little slack on that this year…

I am sure I try a little too hard to get all the “right” gifts for my daughter, which I am sure goes back to my own childhood (and, well, into my adulthood) in which my parents never really got me what I asked for. I mean, they asked us to make a “wish list”, and then never got me any of the things on it. Don’t get me wrong – I have good parents, and they meant well.  I can totally understand why I never got a horse, even tho it was the #1 thing on my list for – well, forever. We didn’t have a place for a horse, I get that. What was hard is that no matter what I wanted, what I got was… tweaked. Like, say I asked for a Veterinarian Barbie… I would get something close, but not that. And the thing is, it wouldn’t even be super-close. Like I wouldn’t even get “Doctor Barbie” which at least is practically the same thing… I would get some other sort of  doll. It was always because there was some sort of logical reason why they item they bought me was “better”. Maybe it was cheaper, maybe it had did more stuff or came with more accessories or whatever… so I mean, they thought it was a good thing they were doing. But, it wasn’t. I wanted, well, what I wanted. I had some reason why it was the item I wanted, but it didn’t matter I guess.

Which is why I have this… obsession… to get my daughter exactly what she wants for Christmas. I don’t mean she gets every item on her list (I’d have to be a millionaire!) or that she even gets everything that my limited budget would consider a lot spent – I just mean, if I get her something on her list, I get her as close to exactly what she wants as I can. Like, when she was little and asked for a particular American Girl doll, she got that exact doll. Not a different American Girl doll that was on sale that holiday, and certainly not some other doll that was close but… not.  This year I spent hours looking for the exact scarf she had described to me. So, yeah, it’s nuts… but she’s never been disappointed in her Christmas. For good or bad. This year was no exception even though I had very limited funds to draw from. I was creative, so it all worked out!

It was also nice because I myself had nothing in particular I wanted. All I really, really want is a home of my own, and since no one can afford to buy me that, I didn’t anything special, so everything I got was just great!

But now it’s over. And it seems like it came and went far too fast. Tonight my niece asked Kiki to spend the night and she just called to say goodnight, and she’s having a great time. I love that she gets along so well with her cousin, and love that she’s enjoying her time. But I am feeling kind of sad and lonely, and wish she was home with me. I guess we can have fun together even if it’s not Christmas, right? But, I am totally feeling that “after-the-holiday-letdown”; you know what I mean? Plus, tomorrow is back to work for me, so it’s back to the regular old grind and I really wish I had some time off to just enjoy my family, especially since Kiki is on break from school.

Well, I hope you and yours had an amazing Christmas!!

Thanksgiving ~ Family, Friends, Food, Frivolity…Fractiousness, Franticness,Freaking out….

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Well, here it is… the first pie I have ever made. Well, besides ice cream pies; I do those fairly regularly and quite often on request. But, this is the first time I ever made a non-graham-or-other-cookie-type-crust with an actual pie-ish filling. Which is weird when you consider all the baking I do… but somehow pie crust seemed like something I’d never be able to do correctly. And on my first attempt, I was right… I did up a ‘test’ crust and it was kind of… well, rubbery. How did that happen? So I tried another recipe, and I think it’s going to be good… I didn’t do a test on again, but I did have a few scraps left over so I baked them separately and they were pretty good. It will be interesting to eat this tomorrow and see how it is! Geez, if it was cookies I could have eaten some already, so I’d know if they are worthy of being shared.

The other item I made for tomorrow’s celebration was silly rice crispy turkeys. Which were way harder than they sounded in the instructions.

Alan’s comment was something along the lines of “You do realize there is no longer a houseful of small children running around, right? It’s all teens and adults?” He’s just sore because he wanted me to make a Chocolate Pecan Coconut Tart we’d found a recipe for, and after the whole pie stress I said I’d save that one for Christmas… it just seemed like too much effort. Kind of like why I bought 2 rolls of Pilsbury cresent rolls instead of my originally intended homemade rolls.. because I’ve never made yeast bread before, either, and I guess I only felt up to one new possible disaster!

I haven’t been home with my own family for Thanksgiving in several years… we usually travel to see my husband’s side of the family – but this year we simply can’t afford that, and I am actually really looking forward to spending the day with my family here, even though it’s meant more work on my part!

We have all the extended family plus we always invite a few friends who don’t have other family or other places to go, so it’s a lot of fun. Well, so I have heard! I am excited to be a part of it this year.

Mostly I am hoping not to get sick, as I have been feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and just slightly ‘ukkk’ for the last couple days…

                                    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours