About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Much Ado About Something

It's been an odd couple of weeks  -  a lot to do, no time to write about it, and a lot of up-and-down-and-back-and-forth without really getting anywhere.

I did get to spend a weekend with my friends in Seattle, though, and it was wonderful.  I just wish I could afford to get down there more often.

Why do some men seem to go out of their way to find the most difficult, time-consuming way possible to do the simplest things?

All I wanted to do was pick the ripe apples off the old Gravenstein tree in the side yard.  So I went out back and asked Big Guy for one of the dip nets from the fishing gear.  Well, no, I couldn't do that, because the net was too big and I'd knock down too many apples that weren't ripe and on and on ... but he'd fix me up something much better.  Okay, fine.  Two hours later, after much banging and cursing which I studiously ignored from indoors, he proudly presented me with a new, hand-made-just-for-you-dear ... dip net.  Yep.  It's slightly smaller around than the one I would have used, and the handle is almost a foot longer, but overall ... it's a dip net.  Well, after thirty years with him I know when to keep my mouth shut except to smile sweetly and thank him.

So this evening I have a few gallons of apples to wash, peel, chop, and cook down.  The actual canning (or freezing, if I get too tired) will happen tomorrow night.  And by the weekend, lots more apples will be ripe and I'll start over. 

There isn't much progress to be seen in other projects.  The pink sweater sits forlornly on the needles, no longer than it was two weeks ago.  The basement doesn't look any different, although a fair bit of stuff did get either tossed or relocated.  Lots of laundry got done, but no mending, and my workroom is pretty much untouched.  And yet I feel like I've been working non-stop on all kinds of things ... trouble is, most of what I've been doing has been just catching up on the housework that didn't get done while I was in Seattle.  Because of course, Big Guy and J "meant to do it" but somehow it never happened.  Story of my life.  Sigh.

The apples and the basement have to be the top priorities for the next couple of weeks.  The apples because, well, once they're ripe they won't wait, and the basement so that the guy who's coming next week to give us an estimate on installation costs will be able to see what he needs to see and measure where he needs to measure.

Oh, and can anyone tell me how I managed to acquire the head cold from hell this week?  My head is pounding, my sinuses are throbbing, and my nose has already been wiped raw.  Total misery  -  but I'm doing my best not to share it with anyone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Even More Randomness

How did it get to be Tuesday again already?

I definitely need more days between Friday night and Monday morning ... sigh.


On the up side, daughter J starts her new job tomorrow  -  cue much rejoicing.  In her words, "I didn't spend thousands of dollars on culinary school to be a part-time receptionist!"  So she is thrilled and excited to be back in a kitchen, and we couldn't be more pleased for her.

Daughter P is also sending out resumes in a search for a better job; she's not been happy where she is, and not been treated with any kind of respect or consideration whatsoever ... but in these times, any job is (sometimes only marginally) better than no job, so she's stuck with it so far.  But she deserves better, she's worth more than she gets where she is, and we're all hoping something decent comes through for her.


I'm not at work today  -  stuck home with tummy troubles  -  but there's a lot I can do from here, and I'm trying to help out as much as I can.  My co-workers know they can call me any time, and I've done a lot of the background scutwork, as it were, already, which frees up their in-office time for more immediate / urgent things.  Yes, I'd get a paid sick day anyway, but I feel better about staying home when I can still pick up at least part of the load. 


The basement cleanout isn't going as quickly as I'd hoped.  I refuse to give up on it, though  -  I'm determined that this year will be the year that the big house-open-to-the-elements project happens before December 20th!  Ideally, both the furnace installation and the living room window replacement will both be finished by the end of September ... I'll keep you posted.


I'm heading down to Seattle after work on Friday for a weekend with my bestest friend in the whole world (apart from Big Guy, of course).  Sooner or later they will be moving, so I've earmarked a few weekends this fall to help her junk out some of the house.  We did a couple of rooms two years ago and had tons of fun, but there's so much more to do, and I promised her long ago that when the time came I'd be there.  Besides, a weekend away, with someone I love but don't get to see very often, is never a bad thing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Random Bits, Large And Small

I can't decide which I dislike more  -  the days when life is just one damn thing after another, or the days when life is just the same damn things over and over and over ...

Now, I'm not talking about my job, which is pretty much a combination of those two kinds of days.  I knew it would be like that when I went in, and there's enough variety to keep it interesting, and I'm pretty darn good at it.

I'm talking about the time I don't spend at work.  The hours spent in the arms of my loving family.  The hours that went pretty much like this, every two minutes, all weekend long:

Mom, I need you to ...
Where's the damn ...
Mrow ...
Honey, can you come out here and ...
Why isn't there any ...

Which is why I didn't get back here to post over the weekend.  Honestly, a five-minute stretch without anyone wanting anything would have done wonders for me!

There's a good chance that some time in the next few days I'll be posting big signs all over the house that say, in large red caps:




I went to work yesterday morning secure in the belief that at least there I could pretty much know what to expect and get some actual work done ... Not so much.  The phones just would not stop, the problems popped up like mushrooms after a rainy night, and the whole day's work was done in ninety-second increments between phone calls and frantic e-mails.  By the time I got home last night, all I managed before I fell over was getting changed and stuffing a sandwich in my face.  Today was a little better, but I'm not holding my breath for tomorrow.

On the home front, I just keep chipping away at things.  Every time I walk into a room  -  any room  -  I look for one thing that needs doing, and do it.  Wastebasket full  -  empty it.  Cat bowl empty  -  fill it.  Something out of place  -  put it away.  Something missing  -  go find it.  You get the picture.  At the end of the day it doesn't seem as though I've done much, but by the end of the week there's a noticeable difference.  Works for me.

I've booked a vacation week mid-September to have the old furnace hauled away and the new one installed.  I'm optimistic about having most of the cleanup done before then  -  or at least enough of it that nothing will impede the installation process.  The real hurdle will be getting the Big Guy's cooperation; he won't do anything during the week because he "worked hard all day" (so did I, son) and he won't do anything on the weekends because he "needs to get the truck running to haul all the crap away".  Sigh.
Since this is a three-payday month, I'm also pushing the idea that the single-glazed living room window can be replaced this month  -  or at least, before October.  I've even offered to use the third paycheque to pay professional installers.  Of course, Big Guy is no end offended by this ... he and his buddy G replaced all the other windows in the house, and did a fine job.  But the truth is, if I left it to him to install this one, I'd be waiting until about this time next year for him to "get around to it".  Not to mention that his favourite time of year for big projects involving exposing the whole house to outdoor temperatures is ... the week before Christmas.  I can't figure it out.  Last winter, he decided on December 21st to paint the kitchen ... doors & windows wide open for days, during the coldest week in the recorded history of this area.  Granted, December 2009 was not his fault  -  we'd had it on good authority that the roof could wait until April, which turned out not to be the case, and we had roofers up there ripping everything back to the bare rafters and replacing it all, right up through December 23rd.  December 2008, he refused to put up the Christmas tree until the living room was painted ... I'm scared to even think about what he might pick as the pre-Christmas project this year.  Probably the damn window.

And something that warms my thrifty little heart:

March 2010, after paying a $900 annual water & sewer bill, I decided to take advantage of the city's free water meter program, and had one installed.  May 2011, I got the quarterly metered water & sewer bill ... and found that since were were no longer paying the city's "flat rate" but only paying for what we used, we still had  -  ta daa!  -  almost $300 credit.  I got the August bill today  -  and we still have a $22 credit.  I'm a very happy water-conserving camper tonight!