28 August, 2011

on the upswing

Just like that, the weather is cooling down, we're charging off in new directions, and help has arrived from generous family.

We went ahead and sold what was left of our stocks; they've been going up and down for years, but down more than up, and we decided that money would serve us better now than in some hypothetical future when the economy suddenly 'recovers'. I don't think we want the economy to return to what it was, but there you go. Then today my parents offered us a generous amount of money and we can pay our bills, and catch up on the ones that we fell behind with.

I have never fallen behind on a bill, ever, so the fact that this happened is a sign that we were far too busy and need to pay attention. We also have found ways to cut our costs even further, which is awesome, and we will still be able to manage some special treats for Asher's birthday on Sunday. (4th! wow!)

We've joined up with a local gleaning group, which is like a food pantry but we pay a monthly dues ($10) and volunteer at least 3 hours a month. This past week Milt took Asher to their community garden and they had a blast; he's planning to just go each week, and wants me to go too. I'm waffling; I love gardening, but we've got the wild card of Adin to factor in. We'll figure it out though; they are planning to overwinter the garden, and I definitely want to be involved in that.

Our own garden is holding steady; put in some more donated tomatoes, the garlic needs to come up, and the quinoa and tomatilloes are looking good. My one surviving bean plant looks pretty but doesn't seem interested in either growing or setting fruit, so it's just hanging out for now. There is a gorgeous thistle growing next to the box; once I find my battery charger I'll be able to take a picture of it. The queen anne's lace is starting to fade; it was gorgeous, and the volunteer blackberries are fruiting nicely; I am cutting out the canes as I harvest each one; they are a really vicious form of blackberry and need to come out, but the fruit was very nice and didn't need any help from us. I am planning on replacing it with some thornless varieties next year; they grew so well under the pines where nothing else did, so that' some more yard reclaimed for usefulness.

Spent the day just sorting and cleaning and working on projects; put a new seat in the wooden doll stroller/walker/shapes play activity thingy we bought Adin for his birthday, went to the farmer's market and got some produce and a few little baskets of blueberries, took Asher out to see what size bicycle would fit him (16" wheel) and now waiting for a reply from a craigslister with a promising bike. Good day all around. Tomorrow will be even better.


22 August, 2011

stumbling blindly

It's been an interesting 2 weeks. I don't even know how to get started, or where I'm going with this.

Main thing on my mind is that I don't know what to do, or what I am doing, or should be doing, and not because I lack direction or ideas; i have so much I want to do, right now, and so much I need to do, right now. SO I guess I'll just bullet-list this one. Maybe.

1. We owe money. Nothing new, we are pretty amerikun in that regard. Thing is, we are really really sick of struggling. It sucks. I have been trying to find a job, trying to find some way to make money to help with our bills which don't seem to be getting any better. We cut our power usage, SO much, which is awesome, but we are still paying hospital bills and now owe our awesome new doctor another $500 on top of that, plus credit cards and car and mortgage and blah blah blah so the only consistent income I have found is online surveys. I've made $40, which, yay, that's a credit card bill or somesuch, but not nearly enough. I went and interviewed with an amazing local designer for a seamstress position but she told me today that she hired someone else and my stomach dropped. It's hard to keep being positive, to keep on knowing that everything really will be fine when everything I try to do has not been working. I had a yard sale and made $2. yeah. my etsy shop has only made enough to cover the listing fees, if that. no one seems to want to buy anything I have to sell. We decided to sell our wedding rings, because they were really expensive and they don't match, so we would take a little of the sales money and buy a set from an independent artist that actually matches. Well, so far all I've had is people on ebay offering $450 (for a $2000 ring) and I am almost at the point that I may accept it. That's one medical bill, right there. We need to put in flooring, we need to replace the heater, we need to hire an electrician because our wiring is being weird, we need to pay for gas so the job that at least one of us can keep going to work and make money to pay all these bills. The truly, truly frustrating part in this is that I know I have talents and skills and I work really, really hard, and it doesn't make any difference right now. ugh.

2. My family is worried that I am depressed and my children are in an unhealthy environment. Which is frustrating. Yes, I am frustrated, yes I am struggling with a lot of things right now, but no I am not depressed, and yes I do actually know the difference. Also, no, my house is not a health hazard! holy crap! Talk about making someone feel inadequate though. Wow. Now I get to be paranoid that whatever caseworker we get for foster care feels the same way as the well-intentioned but apparently filth fixated family member who started this. Then what? If my only option in this life is to neglect my family in order to keep my home obsessively clean then I am opting out of this whole thing. We will live in the woods. Thanks. Plus now I wonder if all the times my friends made nice comments about my home they were actually thinking 'Oh My God what a hell-hole!'. Which is fun.

3. There is so much I want to do, and I. can't. even. start. Due to time+money+support. Which is difficult, so I am stepping back on a lot of projects right now. However, there are things I CAN do. I am going to keep going on my etsy shop. I am going to have a garage sale this weekend and try again. I am going to relist my rings, again, at a price that won't leave me feeling robbed. I am going to keep on playing with my kids and cuddling and drawing and enjoying my time with them. I am going to keep cleaning whenever I darn well feel like it, because I like things clean, and not because I am worried about other people's opinions. I am going to leave the explosion of stuff in my living room right where it is and take a nap, because I was blessed to spend the last 4 days at an amazing conference with amazing people and I am incredibly tired and really wound up with IDEAS. So basically, more of the same. but MORE.