Saturday, December 31, 2016

Where did 2016 Go?

So apparently there is a "New Year" right around the corner?

What?

So it left me thinking where did 2016 go? Well it went to hospital trips, and rehab trips, and lots of running around, and lots of rushing around here to get things done. Had a very rotten garden season, a lot of it was because of weather. As it was the talk of the town, everyone got tomatoes late. Well those who waited, my neighbor didn't. Cracked me up when I was sinking in Tomatoes and she was well, hum Not.

Well I make goals. Things I want to get done for the year. I don't use the R word.

I honestly would love things to settle down. Way too many balls in the air for us. I would finally like to make a decision on if we are moving or not. And move or well not. Until this decision is made I don't know if I will have a garden or not.

And I am so itching for a garden right now. Getting the seed catalogs in right now, sure are not helping.

If we are staying and expanding, I want to totally redo my garden area.

But if we are moving I need to design and put in a new garden area.

We could stay here on our tiny 1/2 acre and expand. We are now bursting at the seams of this house. So we need to do something. And this is the year to decide something. Every time in the past we sat down to look at houses and then planned an outing, we could get a call one of the in laws were in the hospital. So postpone things for awhile and get back to it months later, and then it happened again and again and again.

I've been researching the family history. We have our line traced clear back so that isn't the issue. The part I'm more researching, are the aunts and uncles and extended family members. And their photos and stories. I have ten tons of stuff printed, and as I print I try to keep it all organized and labeled. Who are we connected to, we are actually connected to a famous actor which is kinda cool. Do you think we can get him to come to the next family reunion?????

Oh I need to start planning the next family reunion.

I need to get the photos from the last reunion printed and that book done.

Need to get back on bone broth. That stuff really helps with my pain. I have horrible side pain. It helps so I can now go days without the pain. So I have a new pot brewing I started today. Had to stop months ago because there was no time to go and buy bones, there is a special shop down south I hit.

I worry about the future with the upcoming job loss. I hope we can figure out something.

I just want things to settle down. I want peace. Calm. I want my husband to stop falling out of trucks.

I think once we get the big decision made everything else will fall into place. Just hope we can figure it all out. I hate being in the in-known.


Merry Christmas...Your Fired

Ok so it didn't come out like that, but it's what the company means. My husband was told within the next ten years his job will be gone. As the place he is working for will now become 90% food and a very small home department. Over the next ten years the stores as they are remodeled will go into the new store model. And in the next ten years they will all be changed over. New stores going up will be with the new model.

So to me this makes no sense. As I like going there and getting food and home items. So I as one think this is one big mistake. But who I'm I right? Oh right a shopper. I'm going to miss their garden department.

So this year alone with this company we have taken a big pay cut. We no longer receive holiday pay. And now we need to make plans on what to do when that times comes?

What I wouldn't give for him to find a job that he actually likes, that pays ok and doesn't jerk you around as a person.

So here is to an in-certain future!.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas



The before 


So many Lego's so little time.


This actually showed up like this, Amazon apparently forgot the box???? Boy did they get a phone call! Luckily our mail lady knew I was buying Christmas and she snuck it to me without Tucker seeing.


Oops, didn't see the naked child before the happy boy? He does have bottoms on.

To the after.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Lights


Didn't do a lot this year, although did a bit more then last year. New this year are the trees. I actually like the trees. The 6 smaller trees are tomato cages turned upside down and covered in lights. The big tree, is actually our very old inside Christmas tree. We got this tree the year Ethan was born, we went to take it out of the box this year and it came out in pieces. We were about to get out the super glue to attempt to patch it when we were gifted our in laws old tree. So we stuck our tree outside and covered it with lights. We patched up the candy canes and put those up. These are made from pvc 4 inch pipe. Standing a tall 8? feet tall.

Next year I would love to learn how to make presents to have them sitting out there among the trees. We shall see?

Barbie Christmas Clothes





So I have this niece who likes Barbie, I know as a young girl I would have LOVED hand made Barbie clothes. So of course I'm going to do this for her. But with my month utterly nuts, I got such a late start and an early finish. As my sister texted, well be over in an hour. CRAP. I have more dresses planned and such, but oh well. The two dresses up above are my own design. It started out as a skirt I was thinking of but, couldn't get the waist right, so I hiked it up and added trim and it worked.

Toying with doing more of these and selling them. Yeah, toying. The issue is time, But I'm hoping as life starts to calm down a bit, I can just sit and play? But my focus now is to find calm in my life and somehow muster through Christmas. Christmas spirit is something I do not have.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Catching Our Breath

So feel like it will take months to catch our breath. These last few months of one thing after another. So many things were put on the back burner. Well I'm starting to move a few of those things slowly to the front burner. Today I got all my bags I'm giving for gifts all sewed and wrapped. I had so many bags in different processes of getting done.

Soon the Barbie sewing will happen.

I have a house that is an utter mess. I need to wrap my head around Christmas. I can forget cards again this year. Sigh. I have a garden to think about and plan or not plan. Just so many things and so little time.

So one thing that was or will be soon moved to the front burner is our savings. Or well lack of it. When hubby got hurt I quickly pulled money out of savings and into checking and just went light on life, but mortgage and bills have to be paid. But we were told that L&I would kick in and we would be ok. HUH. We were paid 200 dollars for 13 days of work missed. Like really? Now we make squat, but that is more then squat. Or well less then squat, depends on how you look at something I guess.

So put that 200 into savings and I'm trying to attempt to get back on track. Except we got hit with a very high SS tax payment this week? Hubby is asking work about it because we have never paid that much in SS taxes? So our food money was really tight this week and not a spare cent to hit savings. It's always something.

So I need to rebuild savings and not just rebuild it. But really build it up. We got lucky this time around that hubby was only out two weeks. Next time could be worse?

But got me thinking it's hard for us to save. Like really hard. But got thinking what if I thought of it like a debt? We would hammer it down until it was nothing. What if I take a number like 5k and just throw every cent at it until it was down to nothing. Although in turn not down to nothing, but up to 5k?

So I think I will get a notebook and pick a number and record every penny until we are down to zero. At the same time I am going to attempt to take about 5-10 out of food budget every week and pay down the house. It won't be a lot I know. but every penny will help us get ahead.

We have got to get back on track. So after Christmas watch out because I'm bringing out the hammer.

*If anyone has any Christmas dust to spare I could use some, really, really not in the Christmas spirit around here that is for sure. Like I want to pack it all up and take down lights and yeah. I just need a really good and calm 2017. Do you think Santa will bring me one?*

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snow Day

It's dumping snow right now. We are sitting at about 3 inches and counting.










Monday, December 5, 2016

ARGGGGGGG

So November 13th happened. My husband fell out of a truck and I knew he couldn't work for a few days. (It ended up being two weeks) I assumed he would get sick pay or something. But I went ahead and moved the money we were saving for the second car, over to savings. Just in case. Well then we got word we are not getting sick pay, but L&I pay for the missing days.

Hum, well ok I can use that money as we need and then put that check back into savings and all should be well.

NOT.

Got the check today. We are getting paid 200 dollars for two weeks of work missed. Hum really? 200 dollars for two weeks? Something doesn't add up there.

So math wise I'm out of savings over 400 plus dollars. Which I guess I will have to let go and start saving all over again.



The problem is our lives are up in the air. So even the thought of trying to save is a hard thought right now. I still have Christmas to finish up. My budget is off, we have gas for the second car to buy, that I need to fold into the budget. Our new second car needs an oil change. Just stuff. nothing like being hit with stuff.  I just need to sit down and work hard on the numbers.

I am grateful my husband is back at work and this next payday should be a full one. It just happens to fall on our hard week. We have one really hard week a month. Sometimes two.

But I really need to sit down and work hard on numbers because having that savings, even though it was ear marked for something else did really help. It allowed me not to have a panic attack well I was up helping my mil during her recovery and such. So my next year that will be the main focus I think. Not only rebuilding what I lost, but have a fully funded emergency fund.

Need to sit down and figure out what number a fully funded emergency fund is and then how to get there.

Here's to hoping that next year I can say emergency funds ROCK?????

Sigh

Like really 200 dollars for two weeks? Stunned.

I don't know how to start this post

So we all have that day in our heads. It's the day the bottom fell out of our world and things were never again the same. So now you have to adjust and find a new normal. And that is hard because I hate change period. My day come in November.

So with my mil's stroke (?) we assumed weeks if not months of rehab. I assumed 1-3 trips a week up to rehab. I expected laundry duty. I expected us as a family to come together in a month or so and talk, will there be more rehab? is she ok to go home with 24 hour care? does she want to think about different living arrangements?

What I didn't expect was the call I got last Friday, saying she joined her husband up in heaven that morning. She was a fighter and I fully expected months and months of work ahead of her/us. I expected a few more years with her.

So in such a short amount of time these boys lost two Grand parents. This one was hard on the boys. We were able to prep them with Pops, but because we didn't see it coming with Grandma so we didn't prep them. We didn't take them up to say good bye. We did go up for a visit on Thanksgiving.

So now my world is in chaos, I'm sure in time things will settle down. I just hate having so much up in the air. We have a house to clear and a house to sell and an estate to settle. It doesn't fall on me, but I'm doing what I can to help. I cleared my husband's schedule so he can go all over town with his sister coming up. And I will be there to help pack the house. I went in all ready and cleaned out the fridge because the garbage can is so tiny it will take some time to fully clear the house of food. I did all the laundry I could find so we can do nothing but sort coming up. I know the little things will help.




Just weird being in their house. You fully expect my mil to come walking down the hall. You expect her to walk her outside to your car because she has to check the mail. I have plans to make tater tots tomorrow, she ALWAYS calls when I'm up to my elbows in potatoes. And it takes a minute to not only answer but put her on speaker because my hands are covered in potatoes, but kid you not she always calls during that time.

So this year has just sucked for us in so many ways. I feel like this year I have climbed a mountain I'm hoping I'm over the top and on my way down, because If I have to keep climbing I may not make it. It's been a tough year. But it's time for a break. I just hope next year is calmer. I hope it's shorter. I hope it's quiet and boring. I hope to find time to just sit in the garden. Although I was planning a small garden because I assumed I was to spend time away from home helping my mil. So I need to think now.

Peace. Just need some Peace and smooth days ahead right now.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Let's Talk About Christmas


So lets talk about Christmas shall we. Let's get real about Christmas. Let's get really real about Christmas.

So I have a mother that SUCKS at giving presents, she has from day one. Tell ya socks are not Christmas presents a child can get excited over. After how many years of her Christmases I find it very hard to get excited about Christmas.

And now that it's about the kids, she still SUCKS at giving gifts. Although her gift giving has changed. She now lives at Wal Mart and loves to shop their Clearance. The odd things my kids have gotten. You just roll your eyes and wonder what the hell this lady was thinking. A year or two ago, I had one child in tears because he opened all her gifts and yeah, everything then went into the goodwill box.

We also live in a really small house, so loads of gifts just won't fly here.




So about 20 plus years ago at a Thanksgiving my Aunt Marci (yes really two Marcie's in the house) said something that really got me thinking. She said no one gives practical gifts. Like TP and paper towels. So I thought and it made sense. So guess what she got that year for Christmas? I got the biggest box I could find, I filled with all sorts of things like TP and paper towels, new kitchen towels. Kleenex. Completely shocked everyone that year and she LOVED it.


So the next year my Grandma took over and got everyone Costco TP, that tree that year, oh boy, big packages of TP under the tree. She passed and my mother did it about once and then went back to her old ways of Wal Mart clearance. Sigh. one year I got a red plastic wine bucket and a very ugly Christmas blanket. Like really?


Do you all have that one person that just sucks at giving gifts? It's like giving a gift card for coffee to someone who doesn't drink coffee? What the hell do I do with them? I finally found someone to take my stack off my hands.


So in thinking, I like to think about the person and find something that fits them. More then often I think do they have a need over a want? When someone needs something, a gift card for coffee isn't going to make someone excited. I just read about a lady, she does very well and doesn't want anything from her family. But she goes to the store and loads up on meat and takes it to her family and fills their freezers. After that takes them to fill up on pantry items. It feds them for 3-6 months and takes a load off their mind. Does someone need a hand up, a worry off their mind verses an ugly shirt?

Could someone use a big box of TP? What about the gf person in your life? Flour is pricey, could they use a big box/bag of something. Would a gas card help with a worry?

I'm not one that believes in black Fridays, or what ever Saturday is, or cyber Monday. I don't believe in spending gobs of money, well one I don't have gobs of money. I do believe in planning as early as one can. Here is my thinking, let's take canning for example. If lets say my mother on her weekly trips to Wal Mart. If she were to get 2 box of canning lids per week, one small, one Large. It would costs about 3 bucks a week. If she did that for 52 weeks. And if someone were to hand me 104 boxes of canning lids how excited I would be. And it only costs her 3 dollars a week. So think about that, can you break down your gift so it costs a little every week.

With the kids, so happy I started so early this year. We made their lego list long in advance. It allows me to saving 10 plus a week and get a set here and one there. All they are getting is Lego's.

So I'm asking you to think about the person, truly think about them before going out and spending money on something they do not need or want.

OH let me leave you with a story. So a few years back, don't even know how long. we were living without heat. We had a space heater and we were trying hard to save for another one before getting the house heater replaced. But saving for that was going to take a long time. So Christmas comes and we are cold, it doesn't dawn on my mother that we need heat or money for the heater or anything. We got Wal Mart crap that year. So we loaded in the car and took back the cart load of crap. I was grilled by the check out lady and an officer. But we got back enough money to buy a space heater. That ended up saving us that winter. It wasn't until the next winter rolled around. I made a gamble, I rarely do that unless I know it's a sure thing. Well it paid off and we got a check and oh the crying I did, after a call to think the lady, told her she just bought us a house heater., we ran up and bought a brand new house heater. Which in turns is a lot cheaper then running space heaters.

So think about the person you are giving the gift too. Don't go into debt, it's not worth it. Challenge yourself to do Christmas without debt. If you truly can't afford it, just say sorry I can't do it this year, or challenge yourself can you trade something and barter for your gifts. Can you give of yourself? There is so much you can do and give of yourself without racking up debt. And can you step away from the Wal Mart clearance so that my mother has some crap to buy.