Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Here we are, the day before Thanksgiving. Not where we thought we would be, even a few weeks ago. I had thought we were having Thanksgiving Dinner with Tom's family in Ohio. Instead, we are still driving around looking at houses, even today. Packing boxes.
We don't even get to have the grandkids for Thanksgiving, as we would of done since we are in town, because there is no place to put them. We sit among boxes and packing materials. We eat off of TV trays, as we can't get to the table.
As I may of mentioned in the past, I really hate last minute things.
Today, we drove out to the storage unit we have rented for the past 11 years... and guess what? The owner is retiring... so even that stuff will need to be moved. Someplace.
Breaking with tradition... we are having bratwurst for Thanksgiving meal. I had suggested steaks, but Sam thought brats would be good. I cooked a turkey a couple of weeks ago, and just haven't bought another. We have been trying to 'eat down' the stuff in the freezer.
Tom's vacation week hasn't been much of a "vacation". We haven't found anywhere to move to, but we have been looking. Everything isn't yet packed, but we have been packing. It seems like every time we think we have found a place- the door shuts. While we technically have until the 18th to be out of this house, reality will make that more like the 14th. That is Tom's last day off before our deadline. He gets home after dark... the boys both work until dark-thirty... and I am realistically unable to move most of this stuff by myself.
We do have a lot to be Thankful for.
Blessings abound.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winds of Change

I had to drive in to town a few days ago. A cold front was moving in. The sky was glowering and bleak, and the winds were whipping the leaves from the trees. November was announcing that Winter is upon us. A word dropped into my heart, as I marveled at the fierce raining of leaves from the trees and the wind buffeting the car.

The winds of change are blowing.
They are blowing hard and fierce.
Prepare for Winter coming.
Make warm your snug nest.
Changes are coming.
Prepare your heart.
Changes are coming,
 stripping bare.
all you need is to let go,
let blow.
Like the leaves from the trees
moving on.
The dormant season is here.
 The time for unseen growth.
Let go, and let the winds blow.
 The winds of change.

As most my family and friends know, we are having to move. This time, the house actually DID sell. We have to be out by December 18. That is a month from tomorrow.
Our own search has not fared well. Yesterday, we almost "settled". We made a verbal offer on a place that "would do"... but neither Tom nor I really liked . At.All. But, it was "adequate". And we could "make it work".
After getting home, before the offer was signed and official.. we changed our minds.
If you are making one of the most major purchases of you life... do you settle for "It will do"? Settle for, "I hate it, but we have to do something?" Do you spend more money than you have ever spent in your life on something you really don't LIKE? So, We are back to looking. We may have to find an apartment for a few months.
God knows what we need. He has that perfect place out there, waiting for us.
Keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Two posts in two days.... What do you mean I am procrastinating?

Sigh. It is true. Since I know we HAVE to move... somewhere... soon. I really OUGHT to be packing.
Instead I balk. I spend a part of each day scanning the real estate web sites for potential homes, I suggest possibilities to Tom, we do some drive-bys. I play games of solitaire, and I Skype with my family. Very deftly avoiding packing.
Yesterday I cooked a turkey. I had thawed it several days ago, planning to cook it Monday. Sam asked me to please not cook it Monday, as that was the day of the Chili dinner fund-raiser at the Mennonite church, and the boys planned to attend. So, I didn't cook the turkey Monday. I set out a small packet of carne asada steaks, to fix for Tom and I.
Since I have been home without wheels, and Tom getting home early (his last week of training classes!), He went with me to buy groceries Monday afternoon. I got a call from Dan on our way home: "What was I making for supper?"
"Uh, aren't you going to the Chili Supper?"
"We got the date wrong, the Chili Supper is tomorrow" (Tuesday.)
I had to stretch the carne asada to feed four. (Slivered up, cooked with cabbage and onions... it was good!) But this also meant I HAD to cook the turkey yesterday- it was well thawed. Which also meant it was cooked on the Chili Supper night. A fifteen lb. bird for two people. Yes, we generally do have leftovers. :) We just happen to have a LOT of leftovers at the moment. Not only turkey... the boys brought home leftovers from the chili supper.
 Tonight: choose your meal!
This is Veterans Day. We have many veterans in our family. And it is also grand daughter Dakota's fourth birthday! She was born 11/11/11.  Happy birthday to little "Critter".

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

And what a week it has been!

Friday, Mr C got Sam's truck running. Hooray! I "assisted"... if you want to call going to the gas station to buy gas and following the repaired truck home "assisting".  Friday night started out as busy as could be for my fish fryer job. On an average night, I use up the first five gallon bucket of thawed fish somewhere between six thirty and seven.  This week, I was ready for the second five gallon bucket by six. Then it slowed down... and I didn't quite use up the entire second bucket.
Saturday morning, Mr C and I went to see a house. We even put in a very good offer. (This surprised me, it usually takes a week or more for any offer to be made on a potential house.) After two full days of suspense, we got an answer! The home owner accepted an offer from someone else. So we are back to house hunting. (I don't remember if I mentioned that a person who has looked at the house (we live in) three times now, told me he had made an offer to our landlord. He had not yet heard back whether his offer was accepted or not, but this does make our finding a place imperative.) And we haven't heard a word from our landlord.
I have remarked that it seems all we have to do is make an offer on a house- and it sells. To someone else. This has happened three (or four) times in the past couple of years. We are a boon to the people selling homes in NW Arkansas.
I am at peace with not getting this particular house, yet unsettled at not knowing what we are going to do. I have been told interest rates are going up in January... all these years of low rates, and  we don't buy. Then when we HAVE to buy, rates go up? I am pacing the floors.
Please be lifting us in prayers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

And I am doing this.... why?

Sometimes we get into ruts without even realizing it is happening. I am sure everyone has probably heard the story about the woman who was making her Grandmother's recipe for roast beef. She always started by cutting the roast in half. One day, her own daughter asked her, "Why do you always cut the roast in half?" And the woman didn't know. She called her Mom, and asked her why did the roast need to be cut into half before it was cooked? Her mom didn't know, but it was how HER mom had shown her to do it. So she got in touch with her mother... who had the answer. "Because the whole roast wouldn't fit into my roasting pan." Three generations had done something a certain way, for what was an inconsequential reason.
  Sam's truck (still) isn't running, so we have been sharing two vehicles. I took Sam to work this morning, and when I got home had to turn around to take Daniel to work. We have been doing this a couple of weeks now. Last week and this week, Tom has had a class at work, lasting from 8-3:30pm. So he gets off before either of the twins when they are working their regular jobs. As I was driving Daniel over to the Oklahoma state line, I realized- I was driving him over and would be needing to pick him up tonight, when he could well have driven himself. I didn't need the car for anything today. Tom would be home well before Sam needed to be picked up. I was driving him to work because I have needed to have the car on other days. Whether to run errands, or pick up Sam before Tom got off at 5:30... it had become one of those things a person does, because we had BEEN doing it like this. I could of saved more than a gallon of gas!
On another note entirely, I am certainly enjoying one thing about the cooler weather. "Winter" foods. Tonight (I am sorry, Trim Healthy Mamas!) is Chicken and Dumplings. I used leftover roasted chicken leg quarters, home canned poultry stock, leftover mashed potatoes, chopped carrots, celery, and onion.Dash of sage. Once that simmered awhile in the slow cooker, about half an hour before Mr C was due home, I cut up some frozen biscuit dough and dropped the lumps into the boiling soup.
 I have had three bowls now.
Must. save. Some. for. boys.

In the past two weeks, I have made beans; chili; soup; roast beef; stew; soup; saurkraut, taters, and brats; and now the chicken and dumplings.
Comfort food.

Monday, November 2, 2015

And... it's November!

Sam's truck is still not fixed, although the parts (fuel pump assembly) have been ordered. The entire gas tank had to be removed... it is sitting out on the porch awaiting the new pump. O'Reilly was going to have to order the pump... some $500! But we found one from a reputable place online for "just" $300. Meanwhile, I am playing taxi, with more than 100 miles each day put on the car. Tom has a class he is in the midst of- three weeks long. It is disrupting his "groove". It is five days a week, instead of his usual four days.
Another disruption: the time change. Can we just pick a time... one way or the other... maybe split the difference? and stick to it year around? Our older electronics changed themselves back an hour LAST week.... which was wrong. Now it is dark by 5:00 pm, and makes me crazy! (Oh wait, maybe I was already crazy...)

Since Mr C can't do the Monday morning grocery shopping- I have had to do it. In order to NOT add an extra trip into my taxi service, I head on over to town after dropping off my last worker. Aldi doesn't open until 9, I drop Dan off at 8:00. So I get the WalMart items first. Today, I was just finished at WalMart and walking into Aldi across the street, when I got a text message. The realtor wanted to show the house. Not a 24 hour notice, a "we want to show the house in 2 1/2 hours" notice. I was in the middle of buying groceries...
So, I bought my groceries. Got home, and put them away. THEN started in on the house. Basically, I had to empty last night's clean dishes from the dishwasher, and load in this morning's crop. I had to sweep... these floors ALWAYS need swept! I don't care if they were swept three hours ago, I can sweep up a half a dog if I swept again now. And the little faux lady bugs are swarming. I have cleaned hundreds up off the floor, out of the sinks, off the walls and beds. I just slid stuff from the boys rooms out of sight... my bed was already made, and the bathrooms had been deep cleaned Saturday.
Turned out this guy had looked at the house before... he MAY be making an offer.
Here is my project, I covered the notebook with fabric to make a photo album:

And that's about all for now. With Mr C home early, I can get supper going sooner! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Not Much Doings

Howdy, Y'all.
In my last post, I said Summer hadn't got the memo that Fall is here. Fall did make itself known this past week. Tom even turned on the furnace yesterday for its trial run. (It's fine. And all the dust is now burned off, so even better when we do have to have it.)
Sam's truck wasn't quite as fixed as we thought it was. It ran almost a week, then, on his next day for class... he called and said he was having to have it towed. $100 and a new fuel filter later, it was running fine. Until Mr. C drove it to work. It is still sitting in the parking lot there, having stopped running (again!) as he was on his way home for lunch. Mr C has spent three days troubleshooting- and one or two more tests will determine if it is the fuel pump. A second $100 was spent on a fuel pump relay- so if  the new relay isn't bad- it is looking more and more like the fuel pump. Meanwhile, we are sharing two vehicles getting four people to work.
Mr C's routine is being disrupted for the next 3 weeks. A class from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Mondays through Fridays. Eight hour days instead of ten... so an extra day to get up. Not that he isn't already UP... but they have thrown off his groove. Mondays are grocery store days, and running errands. Mowing the lawn (Which is about done for the year, anyway) and house hunting online.
For "my birthday present", I went to town and hit Hancock Fabrics and the Hobby Lobby. I got a big three ring binder, and fabric and padding to make my own custom photo album. I also got a 12x12 "photo album" and refills at Hobby Lobby. I wasn't paying good enough attention, and ended up with scrapbook pages- 50 sheets of 12x12 plastic covers that aren't sectioned off to hold photos. (I remedied that by ordering some photo pages to fit the 12x12 album from Amazon!)
I also got some fleece to make a stuffed animal for a grandbaby. I know what I WANT it to look like, but I am not always successful on translating my vision to actual fabric. Looking on Pinterest for patterns just gave me even more ideas.
 Yesterday, I got my sewing machine out, but before I could set it up, I went in search of the iron. I THOUGHT I knew just where it was in the pit of despair laundry room. Mr C had teased earlier that he guessed he was going to have to clean up his own dresser, since he had given me quite a few weeks and I hadn't done it. His dresser is in the laundry room. The laundry room here not only holds his dresser, but a full sized mechanics rolling tool box, a six foot chest freezer (for those of you who may have six foot chests), a washer and dryer, a refrigerator, a kitchen Mini-island/ microwave stand, a small portable storage pantry, a dehydrator, and a closet overflowing with items that I refuse to take to storage. (The storage unit isn't climate controlled, and all my books come out mildewed, and photos ruined.) There is a whole lot more stuff in this room, which is more of a garage than an actual laundry room, as we lack an actual garage. ANYWAY- the room is a perpetual disaster area. I couldn't find the iron. I chided myself: "What are you doing starting a fun project when this room looks like this?"
  Tom was off working on Sam's truck, but Dan was here. I set him to lugging and toting.. and we emptied the room of all but the major appliances and stuff inside the closet. By the time Tom got back, the entire living room and kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off, as I had stuff stacked everywhere. With his and the boys help, I scrubbed the room down, pushing appliances away from the walls and sweeping and mopping. I did some rearranging... and eventually most of the stuff found its way back into the laundry room. (I found the iron!) And left out my three totes of crafting and sewing supplies. I can work on my photo album cover this afternoon without guilt!
  This morning, I took people to their jobs, then bought a small supply of groceries. Mostly, it was NOT groceries, but cleaning supplies we were out of. I would think it weird that we run out of all the cleansers at the same time- but we really don't. We run out of something, and substitute some other product, until it too, runs out. We continue substituting things until we are out of everything... so it seems we have to buy it all at once.
I suppose I will get started on my projects. Have a blessed day!