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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A puddle

So today I found my self tonight on the floor in a puddle crying. I think the stress from the last two weeks finally hit. I started to think about the money part of this. If something happens between now and then the L&I checks come in we might not make it.

Every new day we are hit with something, it may not be big, but when there is no good coming into a life the hits add up. Like yesterday I wanted to start getting Christmas out and I found this BIG guy. Yes, the picture is blurry, I was running for my life. We left the shed open in hopes he would leave, but we finally had to shoot him.

I think about my mil and I know she is frustrated and just wants to get up and go on with her schedule. But her whole life changed on the 13th. That lady doesn't know how to slow down and let her body rest and recover.

I think about my sil. She took over mil's bills, and all her medical. And I know she worries being so far away from mil.

I worry, but I'm only 30 minutes away. But I (we) have fallen so far behind on life as it is. I have two in the midst of getting braces. I have to make eye appointments but have to keep putting it off. Hell I keep putting so much off. On the other hand, I (we) can't do stuff for mil, she needs to do everything for herself. I can't sit there and baby sit.

Then you worry about the future. In a way I wish our house was bigger, would just be easy to move her in and bring PT and OT and such here daily. But my house is small and noisy and very lived in. As in not clean and tidy. Our floors are cleaned daily and dishes done daily and such, but we live in a small house and not a place for everything. On the flip side, she wouldn't want to live here, she likes her town, she has loads of friends and likes to be close to everything.

Then you have the medical fight. I found out today my mil was only approved until today for rehab. She won't be kicked out that isn't the problem. But I feel for my sil who has to call and do more appeals and work with rehab and getting her approved for another two weeks plus. It's almost like a second job with all the calls and things you have to organize. There isn't anything I can do much to help.

I know down the road I will have my turn, as my parents get older daily. At one point since I'm the oldest I'll have to go in and take over their bills and deal with their medical . I'm scared to death on what I will walk into with them. And since my mother and I rarely talk I have no idea what to expect there.

***making a note here or a what ever. In my family (family line) it has always been the oldest that goes in and takes care of the parents. I guess I never thought of anything different. Sigh. ***When something is up with a family member you know to call the oldest. **** IDK I wonder how things work in different families. I see people at rehab that you never see family come and visit. You see them go into a care meeting with no one, and you wonder. Do they really have no one, or does their family really not care? Always something going through my mind these days****End of note***

Then I think what would I consider as good news? And it utterly stumps me. Maybe a week of calm? A week of peace? A week without any major worries? IDK I'm stumped.

Christmas is coming and the boys want to set up today. Well ok they wanted to set up last month. They are so excited and I'm freaking out, I still have some pricey lego sets to get and I don't know if that is happening. They certainly deserve a good Christmas for all they have put up with this year. Although teaching them how to roll with life that is for sure. They have spent a lot of time alone since the 13th. We fell behind on school since the 13th. They have been doing dishes by hand since the 13th.  

What I wouldn't give for some shocking good news. Just  WOW good news. News that makes you smile for a week no matter what hits you good news.

But I will wake up tomorrow and I will figure out how to pay for food and gas this week, and I will run in and check on mil and do her laundry and hang her Christmas lights. I will spend the afternoon painting next door, trying to wrap that up sooner then later. And I will try and roll with what we get hit with tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

When It Rains It Pours

Tell ya, the next person that says that to me is going to be slapped! It's not pouring it's DUMPING. Tell ya this has been the year for dumping, you start to recover from the current dump and BOOM you are hit again and again and again.

So here was my November the 13th. I get a call at 1:20 pm from hubby, he fell out of a truck and landed hard and he HURTS. But he thinks he can drive home, we only have one car, so either he walks or drives? So he makes it home and one look from him and up we go to urgent care for x-rays.

2 freaking hours later. Nothing is broken you are on light duty go home. So run that by work and he is taking the next day off and do all that paperwork. Finally long after dinner head home.

Although I'm driving those back roads and guess what comes at me? A Deer, I saw him and hit my breaks, but the deer and I know what is coming. I look and I have a ditch so good bye deer, I'm not going in a ditch. I was able to stop enough and slant my van that we just brushed each other, he turned and ran back and I have no damage. Thank God. So get down that road and go across a bridge and I hear popping. Oh crap my tires are going. But I keep going? OH wait it's Sunday the game is on and the idiot in the area likes to shoot off fire works.

So get home and start to calm down and get hubby on a heating pad. And we get a call. CRAP before hubby was off the phone I was in the van heading north. My mil was being rushed to the ER. 5 hours later she was told it was arthritis and go home. Hum no? she is slurring her words, her left side is weak. she can't stand on her own. But yet according to the doctor it wasn't a heart attach or a stroke. 

So they admitted her and I went home. More tests and such and she was done, she wanted to be moved to the rehab place. Oh Thursday I moved her over. About that time we found out the doctor didn't do a head CT to check for a stroke. One assumes if you say no stroke you have done a test for a stroke?

So hubby ended up being down for about two weeks. He tried one day to go back and lasted about 4 hours. But he was done and in pain and wanted to go back to the ER. I wanted to call him a baby, try labor my dear. So the ER doctor said. there is nothing I can do, it hurts, now you have to go to PT since this is your second trip here. LOVELY.

PT places are two weeks out. Finally found one that could see him sooner then later. Got him into PT on Wednesday and by Friday he was back to work. Yes, he got the joy of working Black Friday. But he is back to work! So two weeks without a pay check. LOVELY. yes it's L & I pay, but I've never done L & I and have no idea when or if we will see a check? And for how much? We will be ok barely, we are using the money we had set aside for the second car. But on the other hand I don't use as much gas as I've used in the last two weeks. So at some point that money will run out.

Went up every day if not twice a day when mil was in the hospital. That is a 30 minute trip just up. Her first week in rehab has been a bumpy ride. And many trips up and back. One day kid you not, three trips to town and back. Although she has turned a corner now and is doing great and we as family can back off. She has to do the work, we can't do it for her. So I went up today and probably won't be back until mid- week to pick up laundry and to see if she has any needs. Today she wanted to re-learn how to use her cell phone. So we did that.

Strokes are hard. We got lucky, her mind is all there and she can talk, but she is very week and is learning how to do things again. Been very frustrating I'm sure. Here she was doing great, walking 2 miles a day and such. and BOOM. We are going to move you back in life. She can recover.

So I'm trying to finish up next door, they wanted it done by Thanksgiving. Not happening. But they understand. I'm working on Christmas. Swags slacked off with me not being home. So finishing up Christmas for the boys is going to be really hard. Luckily we started early, but the finishing will be hard.  

You add in the house. Oh the house. So every appliance is on life support around here. At one point all four were down at once. So we got the fridge working again. We tore it apart, we found the fan we fixed it, we somehow put it all back together it's still working. Went and got the part for the store. We had a fire LOVELY and the part where you put in the burner was burnt out. We got the part before someone got hurt. So onto the dishwasher, I've been trying to figure it out. But hell with the two weeks I had I finally gave in, had hubby call the place where we bought it, It's under warranty, so they will be here next week. And now the microwave. oh it works, I just have parts all over the house. Can we say duct tape?

Yesterday was the first day of me sleeping. Just sleeping, and not waking up to an alarm clock, not waking up at 6 or 7am and my mind is going worrying about my mil.

But I'm tired, it's been a hell of a year. What I wouldn't give for some good news? Some really good news? What I wouldn't give for a family that I could call and say hay, I need help can you come and spend a few hours with the boys? My mom is hooked on pain drugs and drinking, don't want that around the boys. My dad, nope, my sister, hum no.

Seriously I'm ready for a good cry and some good news.

The photo above is a bees nest we had to kill this past summer. It was HUGE.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Boys

My Boys In Their Fancy Clothes.

Yes, I'm still here: New Bags

Yep, I get the award for sucking at blogging this year. In all fairness. It has been utter chaos around here. We had a family emergency, which lead to a family death. Which lead to me rushing to get new "fancy" clothes for the kids, I made new ties and had to go hunting for new pants and shirts because they have out-grown their old fancy clothes. Dang the prices at goodwill these days for clothes!

Hubby has a horrible work schedule. Right now finishing up a week of 10-7's so he isn't here to help with school and by the time he gets home he is just done. I have to make him dinner, put the kids to bed and then he crashes. Leaving me to do EVERYTHING.

I'm doing school, I'm trying to close down a garden, I'm still canning. And then things I have needed hubby to do, he isn't doing so I have to break down and do them. Goats needed a new hay bin. got to the point it couldn't wait a second longer. So I made a hay bin this week. I go all day long and that doesn't include the freaking neighbor.

Oh the neighbor lets talk about a neighbor. She hired these guys who do not speak English to add a room. Totally illegal, it's so illegal, that her insurance caught wind of it, came out to see it and then dropped her. So illegal that the county has been out, but so far no note from them???? So we pointed out some things, like not having a flat roof in WA state?  She finally had the guys stop and wants us to finish up the room. ARG. but we need the money right, We just don't have 5 minutes to rub together. So that has been all me. Now that I'm onto sheet rock you really see the mistakes that have been made. But because of their mistakes my job will look like crap, which pisses me off. You tell me you can't come off a square surface like a house and not make everything square? The 2 x 4's going up, they are all different sizes, the beam is so in the wrong spot. So it's taking us a long time to hang drywall because it takes like an hour to measure and cut out a board/section. Although should be done with drywall on Thursday, go into mudding and taping, Let that dry over the weekend and then I'm on my own again, painting and putting in the floor. And being done and telling her no more until well after the first of the year if that.

Seriously why do people think I do nothing but sit on my butt all day? By the time I finally get the garden closed it will be time to re-open it again. Carrots should have been canned months ago, but were finally pulled today. I still have pumpkin to can. Our stove is dying. One burner has burnt out, at the connection, so we are down to three burners. that is so very hard to work with when you are canning.

I have so much sewing and researching to do. The piles and piles of research, that doesn't include the binders that some of the piles have finally made it into.

Some of my sewing, we needed new grocery bags. So very badly. The straps are all broken off and holes and yeah I'm done and I'm not buying anymore. So I designed a bag, it was ok, re-designed it, and love it and has made it many times over. It's not an easy bag to make, as there are three layers to make it really study. But it's so worth it in the end.

And then you add in the stress of life? Ethan starts his appointments next week, they run for a few weeks, so a lot of running him back and fourth for the dentist and braces and such. I made those appointments for after the election because if someone wins I loose insurance and I will just cancel those appointments. Then we sit down and try and figure out how to save for two kids and braces?

I've been using the money from working next door to buy meat. I just picked up 80 pounds of chicken, and we got all that processed and into the freezer in one day. We've had a sick goat, must have just been a stomach ache because she is fine now, but the joy of chasing this thing down. And then I finally got pepto and tums and since I had her I wormed her. The next day she was fine and eating again. So ok then. Thought for sure it was her time, but I guess not? But they are all about 11 years old so it's a matter of time anyway.

The stove, I'm trying to drag it along, but how long before it's just toast. I think my dryer is going? It seems to run for a very long time these days. Need to look into that. Our toilet is still leaking need to find money to fix that. We have a list a mile long of stuff to fix and do and nothing is getting done.

Need to process onions, need to plant garlic. Need to do this and this and that. ARGGGGG

Yeah, so I suck at blogging right now.