Monday, December 2, 2013
Things have been okay lately... Some money stress, well, yes! I'd love a Christmas miracle of $1500 to get out of the "two-week behind on everything, adding late fees to it" and getting little stocked up on groceries, but I don't think that'll happen. About a year ago I got behind on our monthly bills and haven't been able to get caught up. It's ironic since we only have the mortgage, car insurance,cell phone, cable/internet (which I'm working on getting down to just internet) and two small loans that I would be behind on all of it except the mortgage. I was talking to a friend and they said "well if it's only that much you need, just catch up..." easier said than done. Of course, this is the person who inherited their property and I don't think they've ever gotten behind. But enough about that, because really... I've decided to simplify Christmas this year and feeling much better about it. Homemade or small-shop-in-town consumable purchase for everyone on my list. And I've shrunk the list... It was one thing to buy for nieces and nephews when they were small and easily satisfied, but when they are old enough to have children of their own, on the state system and use their tax return to get a new tattoo, they can be off the list. Or if they are teens who have parents that buy them the newest techno gadget, they won't be thrilled with a book from an aunt that they really don't acknowledge anyway (and I live next door). Instead, I have adult children who I can help with things they really need (one daughter is getting glass bowls with lids for food storage in the fridge and a new hot water bottle). I am also going to give the goodies and jams and jellies a couple weeks before Christmas. That way the days before can be spent relaxing instead of a baking frenzy! The only cards I will send are to my sister who lives in an assisted living facility and people that need cards (through The Angel Card Project) I discovered them last year and my 4-H club and I sent out a lot of cards and felt great. I also signed my sister up to receive cards from them and she loved it... she said her mail box was stuffed full! I'm downsizing decorations and sorted through with Lyndsey to get rid of those that didn't have an emotional attachment and it feels great. Also, today I found out I won a drawing at one of my favorite blog friends, Michelle at Boulderneigh a beautiful on-line advent calendar by Jacquie Lawson. I had fun tonight just playing with it (it has puzzles, etc, built into it). I went to the post office, and along with all the depressing bills, I got an envelope that I could tell contained a rewards coupon from our feed and hardware store. We routinely get $5 and $10 off coupons, so I waited to open it. When I did, wow... it was such a blessing. It was $93...now that is 4 bales of alfalfa and a bag of chicken feed, or 2 bales alfalfa and a bag of dog food, or 1 bale of alfalfa and flea meds for the dogs (Bella is miserable right now). So many hard choices, but a good hard choice to have to make. It helps me ease my troubled mind on finances a bit... Thanks for listening. Even though I'm stressed re: money, sharing it with you and getting some happy surprises really makes it a good day!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I like to be at home. Don't get me wrong, I love people and like to get out and do fun things, but having a farm means that hours spent away from the property means that I get behind, I spend more money because I don't have time to cook, etc. The last month has been go, go, go! A couple weeks ago, I went out of town with my mom and little sister on a Friday morning and got back late Sunday afternoon. We went to a couple casinos (my mom's treat), spent some time with my older sister and took her out to lunch. Then, last weekend, I went out of town Friday after work with Kaitlyn (my oldest) and Lyndsey (the youngest) and we drove to Portland (6 hours one way) for Kaitlyn's baby shower. We got there Friday at 11:30 pm and got back Sunday night at 9:30 pm. Then, two days later, (yesterday) Lyndsey and I drove back to Portland (another 6 hours) to go to a Aaron Carter concert (Lyndsey's pre-teen crush). I didn't want her driving that far alone, and she wanted me to go with her. Now, when a 17 year old senior in high school invites momma to go to concert with her, trust me, no matter how much my inside was kicking and screaming, momma went. And actually, I had a ball. Watching Lyndsey yell and dance and have the singer toss her a rose was so fun. But, we had to drive back today so I could work tomorrow. We got back at 4:30 pm. I work tomorrow and then start getting ready for the garage sale I am having Saturday. Saturday night, I'll be baking for the Project Graduation bake sale on Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon I am having a baby shower for Kaitlyn for friends and family from here. I think I hit my quota for the next year... Luckily next week is only 3 days of work and then the Thanksgiving holiday and 4 days off. Maybe I can finish up my winter prep and then relax a bit.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I don't really know why I choose the "title" I did. Years ago, if you were a hard worker, you got a job, you were paid and promoted and rewarded and if you liked the job, you kept the job. People weren't afraid to work hard and get dirty. Even the jobs I worked at that were considered "beneath others" I worked hard at and took pride in myself. Nowadays, it seems like very few people will work those jobs. Everyone wants the great job, high pay and no responsibility. The few that are hard-working and earnest enough to get their hands dirty are given low-pay, no praise and kept to minimum hours so they can't get ahead. Where am I going with this? I am a mom who is so proud of her daughters! They all got jobs while in high school. My youngest worked 3 jobs this summer! Not one, BUT three! My oldest worked all through college, maintaining a 4.0 GPA while tutoring athletes and working at a credit union. My middle daughter, who lives in the Portland, Oregon area, has struggled to find work that she could do around her college schedule. After postponing college because of financial struggles, she got a job as a barista in the coffee portion of a Borders bookstore. With perserverance, she got into the bookstore part of it. To a book lover like her, this was a job from heaven. Of course, Border's closed. She went to work for Blockbuster, which was close to her apartment, so if her clunker of a vehicle broke down, she could walk. She wasn't thrilled with the position, because it was erratic and low hours, so she found another job at an educational store called The Learning Palace. It was a great job as far as hours go, and a day shift so she wasn't out at night. It closed... So, back to Blockbuster she went. They had realized she was a valuable worker so she was getting more hours and better treatment. Well, if you've seen the news, you know that Blockbuster is closing. She got the news today. If she stays til the end, they'll pay $2 more an hour and give her two weeks of pay after they close. I know that retail is getting tougher and tougher. People who shop the middle-priced shops can't afford to spend money, it's easier and cheaper to shop on-line, and so businesses that do face-to-face stuff are closing. Now, once again, as a momma I am worried for my Michelle. She's a hard worker, right now all she wants is to be able to pay her living expenses and enjoy a few treats now and then... But jobs and employment isn't that simple anymore! Because we struggle with finances I am not in a position where I can help her. So, I'll worry and try to support her from afar! 6 hours away makes it hard to help out! I wish sometimes I could wave a a magic wand!
Monday, November 4, 2013
Well, not necessarily in terms of meat for the freezer (though Steve got a nice buck early in the season), but memories were made with father and daughter that they will treasure forever. This last weekend I went out of town with my mother and sister (we hit a couple of Oregon Casinos and I got to spend time with my middle daughter who I don't see often enough). Lyndsey was groaning a bit, typical teenaged daughter-stuff... "Mom, he's gonna want me to go hunting with him... He's going to want to "bond" with me... He's going to make stupid jokes...". The usual routine. Turns out they went out to dinner, he cooked dinner for her one night, they went hunting and took silly pictures, (didn't see any bucks, but that sounded pretty common this year) and teased each other unmercifully. I'm proud of them both... Steve takes Lyndsey's attitudes way to personally these days and Lyndsey has a hard time accepting her father's somewhat "suffocating" love of her. It was good for them to have to be alone without me! The woods have a way of softening the emotions and I'm grateful for that.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I turned 50 last Saturday. Really didn't bother me a bit. The body feels a bit creakier over the last few years, but the mind is still as sharp as a, um, well.... dang it, lost it for a minute. Seriously being 50 is okay, and becoming a gramma in February isn't fazing me. However, Lyndsey turning 18 in January and graduating high school in June is freaking me out! No way is my baby girl that old. Steve & I got married with 3 kids between us, then had Lyndsey about 4 years later. We've never been "alone" meaning no children living in the house. I'm a bit freaked out about that! But, there are some benefits. No more school shopping on Labor Day weekend (maybe we could go camping?), no more parent groups for fundraising and no more painful school concerts, etc. I'm actually pretty proud of the gray hair!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
I get mad, pissed off, irritated... This is what I posted on my facebook page today "To my fellow hunters: I like to hunt, but a huge part of it is being immersed in the beauty of our woods. We have beautiful little creeks, huge rocks with moss dripping off them, colors of orange, yellow and red in the leaves. However, a few of you insist on tossing your beverage containers (95% of which are beer cans and bottles) alongside the road. I try to pick up what I can, but it doesn't help when you just toss out another one. If you are drinking while you are hunting, my guess is there is a couple of other laws you are breaking along with the beer. Also, why do you have to leave big piles of toilet paper right alongside the road? Come on, quit spoiling it for the rest of us!" I have a bunch of locals who hunt around here, maybe some of them will see it, and if it's not them, maybe it's someone they know. It's more than likely just the local drunks and teens who aren't really in it for the hunt... it's about the bragging, the illegal side of it that they participate in! Grrrr...
Sunday, October 20, 2013
A goblin has gotten into my laptop and I’m unable to type on blogger. This is a cut-and-paste from Microsoft. As soon as the winter preparation is done, I’ll go to the library and bring everyone up to date. Anemia is slowing improving with vitamins and diet changes. My birthday is coming up, everyone think “laptop, laptop, laptop”.