It wasn’t over…

The last time I blogged was exactly one month ago.  It feels like just yesterday.  Well, that lovely September day brought more surprises than I knew what to do with…

Power Off by jamesmuckia on flickr

'Power Off' by jamesmuckian on flickr

Just as I was leaving to pick up the kids, the power got turned off.  GREAT.  I did what every helpless person does and took a deep breath, nodded my head, and – oh yeah, I bawled my little heart out!!!  That lasted about 15 minutes and with no cash to turn the power back on, I felt hopeless.  I came close to throwing something through the window (as if THAT was going to solve my problem, sheesh).  Instead, I got this bright idea to look in my jewelry box – still owning a small collection of gold pieces, nothing extravagant – they were something of value that could produce some much needed cash.  Back in the day, I used to wear a ring on every finger along with several bracelets and necklaces – can you say, Mrs. T?!  LOL  (If that wasn’t funny you’re probably too young to remember the A*Team.)  Anyway, once I made up my mind about which pieces had less sentimental significance, off on a field trip to the pawn shop I went.  This is where the fun began.

The power bill was $215.86.  Somehow I had to come up with it…SOON!  Well, I picked up my kids from school and headed straight to the gas station.  The cashier insisted I enter the pin # to my checkcard so the transaction would ring up as a debit, but I knew I had nothing in my account to draw from so I insisted he process my purchase as a credit.  After a couple of tries, it went through and I was able to fill the tank halfway and get a phone card to reload my cell phone (nevermind the $35 in nsf fees I’ll pay later).  I wasn’t happy at all that I had to resort to that, but I really had no other choice.  Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul, yikes!!!

I arrived more hopeful to the pawn shop.  For some reason, I wasn’t surprised to see that the place was busy.  Not a lot of people were buying; most were in line waiting to be told how little their items would be worth.  When it was my turn, the nice young man (he couldn’t have been older than 21) inspected my items and asked the most peculiar question.  “Are you Catholic?”, he said.  I responded, “No, I’m Christian, but not Catholic – why?”  “All your gold is 14k and Catholics only get 14.”  That was a new one to me!  I used to be Catholic, but I never picked up on that one.  I guess you notice those things working in the pawn shop business.  Who knew? He offered me $185 for everything.  Before he could open the drawer, I dared to ask, “can you make it an even $200?”  I had no idea what I was saying, but I was a little desperate, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.  He gave it to me.  I was grateful.  Then, I sat in the car brainstorming.  $200 down, $15.86 to go.

I got home and went through the books on my bookshelf.  Again, deciding which books I wouldn’t miss or could get me more than 50 cents.  I filled a box and headed to the book store from where I left only $10 richer.  So close, yet not quite there…uughhh!!!

By this time, my husband had gotten home and after I filled him on on the exciting details of the day, he made a phone call to a buddy who lent him the rest.  Finally, around 6 in the evening, I was able to make the full payment and call in my receipt number to get service restored.  It didn’t happen right away.

sad rain by yu+ichiro on flickr

"sad rain" by yu+ichiro on flickr

It poured down rain that entire evening, which might be why it took forever for the serviceman to come.  We snacked on what we could for dinner and lit candles for some light.  We waited patiently.  I laid in bed for a  while, feeling upset about the whole situation.  But, I refused to let it keep me down so I sprung out of bed and invited everyone to go out in the rain to play!  Crazy, huh?  Yeah, that’s what they thought too!  PARTY POOPERS!  Only one taker – my daughter.  We slipped off our shoes and stood outside letting the water drench us.  We laughed and enjoyed ourselves!  Later, we each took showers and although most of us were already asleep, our power came back by midnight.

Whew!  What a day!  Everything seems to work out in the end.  Like Mary Hunt shared today in her Everyday Cheapskate newsletter:

“TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST, BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO.”

Please God, help us to be tough!

Off to a great start

Not really – that’s just me being sarcastic to mask my disappointment.

So far, I put toothpaste on the wrong toothbrush and put my shirt on backwards!  LOL  I’m laughing now, but inside it’s not looking so pretty.

Warning: Venting (aka whining) session forthcoming.

I’m the Queen of Optimism so don’t expect this often.  However, every now and then I have to let it out.  I have zero minutes on my cell phone, my gas tank is on E, we’re out of body wash so I showered with shampoo.  I’m tempted to return some shorts to the store that my mom gave me just so I can get cash.  Of course, I’d probably just get store credit because I don’t have a receipt…and I would probably run out of gas before making it to the gas station…and without any minutes left on my cell phone, I would end up walking home in the scorching heat – getting nothing accomplished!  Geez!!!

Have I mentioned how THIS ECONOMY SUCKS!  Sorry, I don’t usually use that word.  But it does! I know I’m not the only one struggling – just look at today’s big story: “Wall Street Meltdown.” No, I don’t follow financial news, nor do I know exactly what that means.  I just know it’s bad all over the place!

We might just be having ourselves a meltdown any day now if something doesn’t come through soon…and now I’m wondering why on earth I’m wanting to blog about this!  Do I really want to remember this 5 or 10 years from now?!

GOD, I KNOW you have something amazing in store for us!  No, we haven’t been as obedient as we should be and I know that there are millions of others out there that deserve it more than we do, but lately we’re really feeling the pressure.  We’re coming to you, seeking your guidance, anticipating, expecting, hopeful that you’re working things out and that this bump in the road is necessary.  I understand that without this, we couldn’t appreciate that future blessing.

Enough of the whining.

  • I’m grateful that I have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and running water to brush my teeth.
    by waihey on flickr

    by waihey on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I have a clean shirt to wear and that the shirt I chose to wear today came from someone I admire.

    by Vaguely Artistic on flickr

    by Vaguely Artistic on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I could take a warm shower.

    by petervanallen on flickr

    by petervanallen on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I own a cell phone and that although I can’t purchase a phone card at this time to refill it, at least I still have the use of my home phone.

    by Unkoine on flickr

    by Unkoine on flickr

  • I’m grateful that I have a car that got my kids to school this morning and that if I don’t have enough gas left in the tank to pick them up, my parents are just down the road so I can call them (grateful for them too!).

    by theres no way home on flickr

    by theres no way home on flickr

  • I’m grateful that you allow me stay home and be a mom.

    by Super*Junk on flickr

    by Super*Junk on flickr

  • I’m grateful that although I have what feels like a million things on my TO-DO list, I can pick and choose what to do next.

    by shaderlab on flickr

    by shaderlab on flickr

  • I’m grateful that although my hubby works hard during the week and carries the heavier load of providing for our family – financially, he still loves and honors us with Saturday dinners and Sunday breakfasts.

    by Rick Rack Attack! on flickr

    by Rick Rack Attack! on flickr

  • I’m grateful that even though you’ll probably come through at that 11th hour, we’ll glorify Your name and add it to our testimony that will help others get through their “bump in the road.”

    by sgs 1019 on flickr

    by sgs 1019 on flickr

There are many more other things for which I’m grateful.  Right now, I think I’m feeling better.  My hubby’s pancakes (leftover from yesterday’s breakfast) are in the microwave.  Today’s first load of laundry is waiting to be hung outside.  The bathroom door doesn’t know it yet, but it’s about to get a message painted on it.

It could be worse – A LOT WORSE.  Let’s see what today’s Daysie page says…

“WE SEE THE POSSIBILITIES IN OTHERS, BUT DO WE EVER DREAM OF THE POSSIBILITIES WITHIN OURSELVES?”

Hmmm…

Feel the love

It seems like such a long time since I last posted. I’m going to vent today (good venting, though)…

Many times in the past, I would have complained about how much ACTIVITY there is in my life. But recently, I’ve felt truly *blessed* to have so much going on!

Just the other day, for example, I tried keeping count of how many times my phone rang. I talked with so many people that I lost count!!! After the first 3 or 4 calls, I started to wish people would forget my phone #, but then as I got more calls I began to realize how good it felt to be in contact with the people in my life.

Think about it – each time your phone rings SOMEONE is thinking about YOU. They’re not dialing for pizza…or calling their neighbor…or the other hundreds of people they could be calling. NO! They’re calling YOU. Granted, some calls people get aren’t always good ones – bad news, bill collectors, telemarketers, etc. Regardless, the fact that someone’s mind is thinking your name and has something specifically to say to YOU, kinda feels nice. There are MANY things I could complain about, but I don’t think a ringing phone will be one of them anymore.

Friday evening, I spent time with a friend. Her husband’s grandmother had passed away so he had to fly home for the weekend to attend the funeral. She was feeling down and needed to get out of the house to vent. She’s always so full of energy and I felt it was my job as a friend to spend some GIRL TIME with her so she could get back on track. We walked the aisles of a craft store and she signed up for a painting class. Then we had some ice cream and just talked. I’m glad I made time to spend with her – girlfriends have to be there for each other when times get rough and not just when things are going well!

My brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew were in town this weekend to help us clean out my mother-in-law’s apartment. She’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s for some time and it’s progressed to the point that she can no longer live on her own. So, she’s been moved to an assisted-living facility. My husband and I are struggling with whether or not we should keep her there, move her somewhere else, or fix our living situation so she can live with us. Unfortunately, the latter is the most challenging option right now because as much as we’d like to bring her home with us, we don’t have the space or the funds to do that. The plus is she’s doing well where she’s staying and family can visit any time.

This weekend, we sorted through the belongings in her small apartment. For my husband, it was a trip down memory lane as he came across things from his childhood. For his brother, the visit was a bit of a shock. For all of us, the clean-up was more work than anyone anticipated. With my husband working and my brother-in-law living 4 hours away, it’s going to be my job to organize a yard sale in order to sell all the things my mother-in-law had accumulated over the years. We have already donated a huge load to Salvation Army, but there’s still more to sort through.

Looking on the bright side (something I always try to find), and what I told my husband…it’s better to have gone through this “process” now, rather than later when she passes. It’s probably God’s way of easing the blow. It sounds horrible and it’s not something we want to think about, but it is the reality we may face in the near future.

We’ll see how it goes.

Today’s Daysies thought:

THE BOND THAT LINKS YOUR TRUE FAMILY IS NOT ONE OF BLOOD,

BUT ONE OF RESPECT AND JOY IN EACH OTHERS’ LIFE.”

~Richard Bach

I pray your ‘family circle’ bond is strong!

MY FIRST BLOG ENTRY!

My first blog entry…WOOHOO! I don’t know why I’m excited, but I am! For a while now, I’ve been reading random blogs and have been entertained by the experiences others share. Way back when, I used to keep a journal, but my pen could never quite keep up with the thoughts in my brain. Blogging, I hope, will give me the much needed opportunity to vent. We’ll see where it goes. I hope anyone reading enjoys the journey…

Last night, I spent WAY more time than I should have on Photo Express altering a pic of myself…I LOVE digital photos and one day hope to learn PhotoShop and/or some other “advanced” photo-editing software. I take my camera everywhere I go! There aren’t too many pictures of myself in my photo folders so when I find one I like, my creative side kicks in and I can’t help but embellish it. One day maybe, I can look back on my pics and see improvement as I learn new techniques.

My DAYSIES calendar (from which I read a quote every day) reads today:

“IN YOUTH WE LEARN; IN AGE WE UNDERSTAND.”
~Marie Ebner-Eschenback

HOW TRUE THAT IS!!! If we all knew then what we know now…HA!