Cold & Fumes

Nothing destroys motivation like cold weather and fumes. Fumes and I believe the cold is tipping the scales in favor of snuggling in a warm blanket and drinking hot tea for the rest of the day. The end of my project is sooo close. The lacy beast is sitting in my kitchen with 1 coat of varnish and waiting for 2 more. I am excited to have it finished but I think some rethinking is in order.

I had planned {love that word, I could do a whole post of the word planned} on finishing one room at a time with no set deadline. Or at least focusing on one room at a time until completed. However here I sit on the couch by the woodstove, which is making the farmhouse somewhat warm, rethinking that. My head and stomach are bemoaning the work going on.

The cold is preventing me from working in the garage or even running back and forth from house to garage. It is a whopping 3º F with a real feel of -20ºF. At those temps a window cracked is a no. Even using low VOC I start to suffer without a open window. So here I sit drinking hot tea near my wood stove, thinking of ways to warm up our garage or the room in the barn. How do you keep your workshop warm?

Excuses

That is what I have been making.

I have been making excuses. Apparently I had an epiphany the yesterday. I make excuses. I am too tired. When I am actually just feeling lazy. I don’t have enough upper body strength. Okay that may be true, but find a way to work around that. I am not good enough at it. Then lets try harder, try again, show some perseverance.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I definitely believe that one. I make excuses a lot with the projects on the house. I don’t have enough skill. I can’t use that tool. I’m busy with such & such. If I really wanted this house finished, and the addition done, I would get off my butt and do those projects I can’t do and stretch myself in the areas I lack. I have been reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian and I think that may be opening my eyes to the laziness in me. Seriously, if my hubby can work 3 jobs and still manage to work on the house as he does. What in the world is my problem that I can’t I do more?

I got whammied with a blog post by Reality Daydream {previously Sawdust & Embryos} and Facebook post by Nicole Curtis  both saying how when life knocks you down you should just get back up again. Not to give up just because you stumbled. Now sometimes God knocks us down when he doesn’t something to happen a certain way but sometimes he wants us to work harder or in a different way {with or without knowing we have His help & sometimes only because of His help}, to get us in His place He has for us.

fall stay down

{This meme seems to fit the epiphany, but I couldn’t find the exact link for it.}

2016

2015, I would say it was about average. It wasn’t the most exciting, thank God. I turned 34. Not sure if it is because of getting older that I am feeling that I am running out of time. Our house sits not finished but thankfully I didn’t set a goal to finish it last year. Looking back over the last 2 new years posts, I feel like it was an epic fail. This last year we spent way too much time trying to get rid of the new car we bought and at the chiropractor for when I threw my neck out. Always something.

The last year has me realizing a lot of things. I obviously can’t follow thru with a resolution…like millions of others. I am my fathers daughter, which 75% of the time is not a good thing. That money is tight and will be that way unless something changes.

Instead of setting goals or resolutions, this year I am going to try and make changes. Instead of trying to finish rooms, I am going to try and finish projects, yes projects! I am going to try and be more like my mother. I want to end this year in a better financial situation the last couple of years. Pretty Simple, huh?

First, it has become very apparent of my intolerance to voc fumes. Even with ventilation {i.e. open windows} I end up with a migraine. This year I will not be as busy in other areas so I can plan my staining and varnishing projects for outside or in the barn. Usually the periods that are perfect for finishing were also my busiest times. I am also going to explore non-voc stain and varnish options.

Secondly, I know most women would never want to hear they have become there mother but it would help me immensely if I was more like my mother. I am going to try and read one book a month that I know my mother has read and helped her as well as trying to read my Bible more. I know this will require early mornings since it is the quietest part of my day {not a morning person} and earlier bed times. The first book I am reading is The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.

Third, bring in more money and budget, budget, budget! The hubs already works 3 jobs, yes 3 jobs. He has been known to work 7 days a week. Four of them before sun up and after the sun goes down. The other three days from 3 am until 4pm. Sometimes this has caused a great strain on our relationship, but it helps that 2 of the 3 jobs we can go pester him. I had thought about making and selling furniture. After a certain desk project {blog post soon} I realized that my hubby has the building skills not me. I have the visualizing and finishing skill. We are still considering this, but as a joint effort, not a me effort. This is one the pieces we are working on now, it is a piece I designed from a photo off Pinterest.

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I am also looking into becoming Medical Transcriptionist. It is the sort of thing I would like and can be done from home. There is a course through Career Step promoted by Dave Ramsey. He is very picky about who he supports so I am sure it is nothing scam like. Down side, the $3000 price tag. Which we do not have at this moment or the option to do payment plan. This may be in my future sooner than later, possibly after a bathroom remodel that the hubs will be doing with me assisting.

Any who, here is to the new year. May it bring perseverance, a change of character, and new and perfected skills to a better life.

Sprayer? …or the painter?

Seriously, I am beginning to hate paint.

I always loved painting. Terracotta pots, walls, watercolors…I loved doing it all until last year. The dreaded turquoise. Granted it was a beautiful piece, I loved the finish, but it started out as a nightmare. You can read about it here.

Part of the nightmare was the excitement of using a score questionable purchase. We had gotten a Black & Decker HVLP Smart Select Sprayer on clearance at the local farm & home store. I had picked it up because my hubby is NOT a painter of any sort. I thought it perfect for painting the house. Granted it would take me longer than a “big” sprayer, but it would definitely take less time than 1 woman and a brush. Well I thought it was the perfect time to give that baby a test run. Perfectly sanded and sitting in the garage was that soon to be turquoise beauty. All ready for primer. I checked the viscosity with the little cup and it should have been fine and all I got was glops of paint shooting out. I thinned some more, and still glops everywhere. Now I would like to point out that I can be really good with a can of spray paint and knew to move your whole arm not just your wrist, still glops. After all the frustration of trying to get the other part of the bathroom set done, I wasted little cuss words time on the sprayer. I cleaned that sprayer up and threw  put it back in its storage bag.

Fast forward to today…working on a x-mas present and the primer has to come out.  After getting one side of it painted I start thinking that it would be nice if my paint sprayer was nicer. Halfway thru the primer, I am on my phone looking at Rogue Engineer and Ana White, searching to see what kind of sprayer they use. After an hour and a half getting 90% of it primed and I am ready to go buy a sprayer!

While the primer dried, I started researching sprayers {that don’t need compressors} that I could run out and get on this rainy, Sunday afternoon.

Awesomely Skilled Sexy

I love my hubby. He is awesomely skilled sexy and I am so jealous!

He got off early today and so we took the opportunity to work on one of the 6 Xmas projects. He started on the bigger one, while started a group of smaller ones. People may not think this but I suck at execution. I can dream up some of the coolest ideas or finishes or design pieces of furniture from a inspiration piece. Yet when I tried to actually build it the simplest things will mess me up. Seriously, I have a hard time hanging up towel bars. UGH!

My hubby managed to finish his “present”, me? I managed a migraine, wasted hours, and a smidgen of work done. He tried to cheer me up, which only sort of works when your more frustrated than sad. Shaking the sawdust off I told him I was glad that he was awesomely skilled sexy and I wished I was too…he told me I was awesomely sexy and that he preferred me that way. ♥

Festive DIY

After an interesting week of mostly lows, I finally managed to get Christmas tree decorated and in a festive mood…for the most part. I still feel blah and stressed, but things will hopefully look better next week. Here is a picture of my tree…xmas tree 2105.jpg

I actually like it a lot. I did not use any of my special ornaments; the hallmark ones or the vintage ones from my great grandmother. We will be moving the tree around a lot so I was not going to chance breaking one very special to me.

Any who, I have been working tonight on brain storming inexpensive diy gifts for family. It seems hard to find ideas when the ages range from 1 to 28. Especially on a tight budget. Some gifts I know I will just end up buying. Definitely for my own 2 kids, which is sad since both my hubby and I have some mad diy skills between the both of us. It is just really hard to find the time to do them when the kids are not around.

I have one big project for a niece, something  or things for my in laws, two sewing projects that are started but require clear focus and patience to finish, and lots of small diy projects that my kids will be thrilled to help me with…as long as they get a set too. Thinking about these gifts make me so excited for Christmas!! I know that each handmade present will be cherished because it came from mind, heart, and hands.

Money, Money, Money…

Like the ABBA song…all the things I could do, if I had a little money…money, specifically the lack of, has been on my mind this last week.  Not only because it is Christmas, but because we got another lovely hospital bill. What a way to ruin what little holiday spirit I had this year. Gah, who would think a simple echo would be over $3000! And my insurance thinks this is reasonable.

Well this starts the whole depressive thought process. Does not help that I am tired and worried about how I am going to find time for making x-mas gifts and finding money to buy the rest before I opened the envelope.

I had tried budgeting, cutting back, and doing Dave Ramsey and snowball method, but when you are already not having splurges like cable/satellite, coffee, or day trips to the mall it is awfully hard to find a place to cut back. {Granted I know we have done some improvements to the house that were not necessities, but I am willing to own up on these.} It is also kind of hard to do this when both adults in the house have a different opinion on where you stand financially. Seriously, the funnest thing we have  consistently is Netflix and that is the form of the cheapest DVD plan they have. I started a journal last night, kind of a food journal sort of thing only for money. I am going to track all the outgoing (like I am eating it) cash or debits. I am also adding little plus amounts from cash we get from an elderly family member. Usually that cash does not make it to the checking or savings and is blown on lunch or breakfast out. Granted it is not consistent income, but we are getting it and I want to record it for accuracy.

It is hard to budget, save, and pay down debt when you already are not spending a whole lot on non-necessities. It is harder still when you know there is no way your hubby can take on a 4th job to help pay for your medical bills (which is probably 75% of our debt). Even harder knowing that there is not a job you can do to help your hubby that does not require either degrees & experience or being physically able to do the job. It is so frustrating!!! Then you think you find the one thing that may help your situation…and you can not figure out a way to pay for it. Even with the financing options.

The most hurtful part of it all is the fact knowing that no matter how hard I try to get rid of my medical debt, it is still there. Growing with each phone check, each office visit…and that there seems to be no way of adding positive cash to the negative situation.

 

Occupancy

My mom got a camping tent at an garage sale for $5. It’s just a two man tent but the kids are loving it.

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Have you ever noticed how a tent will be labeled as a one-man, two-man, or four-man tent {some can get really big, but you get my drift}.
We always found it hysterical that something would be labeled to fit 2 people and it would only barely fit 1. As I was laying on the massage table at the chiropractor, it dawned on me that cars are that way too! Take the Jeep Patriot, it has a occupancy listed as 5 people. 5 people!! Has anyone sat or even looked in one? Some days it is barely enough room for a family of 4. I think next time I look at {or any of y’all look at} a newer vehicle I will be looking at the max occupancy and dividing it in half. Because my 5 person vehicle comfortably fits 3.

So Many Levels of Depressing

My hubby has been working on an old farmhouse…sigh not mine.

There are some many levels of depressing with that statement. There are 3 main reasons why this is so depressing to me.1) It was a beautiful old farmhouse with lots of functionality to it. I hate seeing old houses destroyed…converted into something they were never meant to be. This place originally had gorgeous wood floors on the main floor, upstairs still has its wood floors but they are not nearly as pretty. It was originally 4+ bedrooms and 1 3/4 baths. All the rooms are/were decent sized. Each tenant that has lived/used it has sucked more and more of its character out of it. The thought of what it once was and what it could have been breaks me. I know, I’m a total sucker for old houses. I thinks its the fact that I see past the debilitated exterior and see the promise in it. Like it’s just screaming for someone to fill it with joy and laughter.

2) This place would have been a perfect fit for us if it wasn’t for its location.  It had all the basics for us. We never would have had to seriously think about additions or such. The basement and foundation were in considerably better condition than our house now. It has a good sized lot. The garage is attached. The location? Right next to a busy highway.

3) Probably the most depressing thing about it is it’s not mine. Mine, ours, sits half finished. Projects have been “resting”, most over 4 years. Livable, but not finished and every day less functional.

ABC’s of a Homeschooling Mom

I love my kids and I love homeschooling. Yes we homeschool…thru the good, the bad and the ugly. For some people it is an easy decision, others not so much. I was homeschooled and loved it. Sometimes it is amazing, wonderful, and beautiful. Other times it can feel like “why am I even attempting” or “no way am I good at this”. Below you will find the ABC’s my mom and I came up with in our exhausted, migraine filled, somewhat sleep deprived brains.

A is for Annoying
  “why aren’t they in school?”
B is for Boisterous,
in which boys always are.
C is for Catatonic,
a horrible state.
D is for Doubtful
they will live to there teens.
E is for Excuses & Eye Twitches
of which I get a lot.
F is for Fruit Loop,
not just at breakfast.
G is for God help us…
a frequent prayer.
H is for Hair Raising,
the things my children do.
I is for Irritating,
my husbands interruptions.
J is for Jubilant,
the feeling when finished.
K is for Kinesthetic,
the way my kids learn.
L is for Looney Bin,
where I may end up.
M is for Migraines,
they give me many.
N is for NO.
O is for Overwhelmed,
from looking at curriculum and finding the best.
P is for Patience,
at the end of the day I have none.
Q is for Questions,
they never end.
R is for Radical,
my family members think I am.
S is Sibling Rivalry,
need I say more.
T is for Temper Tantrums,
at least 5 a day.
U is for Uncanny
the things they pick up.
V is for Valium,
why do I run out so quick.
W is for Wasted
time, energy & air.
X is for eXhileration,
when grandma takes them for the night.
Z is for Zzzzz
thank God for bedtime.