Monday, January 20, 2014

Goodwill Score

Check out my find  at the Goodwill today.

It was only $6.96, and came with 2 mugs, a magnet, some crackers, and a bottle of "Firehouse Ground Cocoa".

So awesome. And I wasn't even going to stop in today.

(If you're interested, you can see more of my shopping/deals at my Shopper Blog.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm Here

It might not look like it, but I'm here. Technically, I'm over at my Coupon/Deal Shopping Blog these days. I kind of got dragged back into Big Deal shopping...I think it was a remnant of Christmas shopping. It'll probably wear off soon.

Otherwise I've been doing some organizing around the house. Carried off a load of stuff to donate at the Thrift Store a couple days ago.
Also stopped into the Consignment shop and asked about consigning some clothes.

J's uniforms and work things were scattered all over the house, since there's no room in any of our small closets for it. I came up with an idea to consolidate it all in one place.
I had the idea to get one of those tv armoire's with doors and drawers...the same day I had that thought, someone gave one away on Freecycle, but I missed out. Booo.

Anyway we had a large shelf-cabinet on out carport J had brought home from his cousin's back in the summer (or maybe a couple of summers back, I can't remember). It came with shelves, but no shelf clips, so we had to buy those, and fashion a rod...I thought I had a dowel around here somewhere, but couldn't find it, but I did find a stick Kevin had whittled the bark off of and made a walking stick out of. But he doesn't walk, and I needed a closet pole, so it worked out.

It's really big in my small-sized livingroom, but it was free and does the job, so can't complain too much.

J got a new window installed upstairs (we've been slowly replacing the windows over the years as we can afford one here and there), and we (we being he) ran a couple of water pipes to what will be the new kitchen.

Did I mention we're remodeling to move the kitchen again? Yeah, back into the old kitchen. Where I should have left it to start with.

I can hardly believe how much I'm getting done here lately. I usually pretty much shut down after Christmas and don't move in the Winter. And usually Winter isn't even as cold as we've had it some days this year. Down into the 20's a whole lot, and even down to 3* at one point, in the 'teens the next night.
I've still been just chugging right along.

It's probably the "New Year" thing, like how some people start diets and saving money and all. It'll probably wear off soon, too.

I am going to try to keep on keepin' on, though. I feel better when I make any progress, even a little bit of progress.

(Apparently this post was All About Me, haha.)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted

Cruising through Pinterest, I see a lot of Inspirational Quotes, many of which I enjoy and find helpful in my life.

But one quote I see quite a bit of is, "No Regrets", or "Regret Nothing".
I guess that's a nice quote for people who haven't made mistakes in their lives, or aren't living the repercussions of mistakes they've made.

Unfortunately, I'm not that lucky. I've made a lot of mistakes in my 40+ years.
When I was a lot younger, I could say "My bad" and move on and try to do better.
Now, though, I'm at a point where I look back and see every stupid decision I've made, and know that I can never go back and get a re-do, and even being a changed person now with some future still ahead of me doesn't lessen the sting of some of my regrets.

I could fill an entire blog with all my regrets, but the one that stands out the greatest to me, if I had to pick one thing to share with a younger generation, it's that I didn't bloom where I was planted.

I love my parents dearly, but I was born independent and stubborn as hell. All I wanted as a kid was to grow up and have my own house and live my own life.

I have no idea why I was so adamant about that. I didn't have that bad of a homelife. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, how I wanted to do it, and not be told otherwise.
My parents did the best they could, but I was hellbent on being my own Boss, doing my own thing.
At home with my parents was the first place I should have bloomed where I was planted.

Upon further thought, I guess I have an idea where my independent streak and other issues came from, but that's another story for another day.

At any rate, for some reason I don't really know now, back then I didn't seem to have any idea that I could move out on my own, on my own. I had to get married. So I found a guy to marry.
I really did think I loved him, at the time. I think.

He worked while we dated. I graduated high school and we got married two weeks later. He quit his job that same week. We had to move in with his parents.
It was a set-back, but it was okay, because I had big plans.

I found a job, he worked sporadically, and my Dad helped us find a little spot of land with a tiny mobile home on it for $4500.00.
After awhile I got pregnant, and we needed a larger place to live, but he had bought another car, only worked occasionally, and we couldn't afford it. I tried renting out our place, so we could afford to move a bigger place, but that didn't work out.
Eventually my Dad bought us a new single-wide trailer, and had it moved in the day my oldest son was born.
A couple of weeks later, the furnace in it caught on fire, that trailer went back, and he bought us an older used one from a trailer park being closed down.

He and my Mom had to have it moved, set up, underpinned, and the few repairs it needed made, and built a front porch. My ex did what he did best, nothing.
He and I divorced about a year later. I got the property in the divorce, natch.

That's the second place I should have bloomed where I was planted.
I had a job, a decent place of my own to live, my parents enjoyed keeping my son, so me and my sister would weekend in Panama City Beach, FL at my parents' condo.
Life was good then.

But I guess it didn't seem like it was so good at the time, and apparently it was because I thought I needed a man. I met and fell in love with a horrible, toxic guy that made me and my life completely miserable.
Holy hell, to think back on that now.... Nope. That's done.

Anyway, then I got together with my current husband, who was totally the opposite, and fell in love again.
He moved in and we both worked and life should have been pretty pleasant.
Except I was a total drama queen, and really unhappy with my lot in life.

I didn't like where we lived. The land, the lack of a yard, my garage leaned, the trailer wasn't big enough, or right, what I wanted. I wanted a house. A big, old, country house with a wrap around porch and a nice, flat yard.
Or, after a point, just any house.

I remember being so miserable and unhappy and hating that trailer. I had J build on a deck, then I had him turn the deck into a room. I rearranged and remodeled and re-everything I could to try to fill whatever want or need or void I had going on.
But I could never get out of that trailer.

But when I think back to that trailer now, it had a bigger, better kitchen than I've had ever since, and a nice, roomy livingroom, and it was clean, easy to clean, and the plumbing and electric and gas was good.
Sure, the bedrooms were small....well, the boys' bedroom was small. Ours was about the same size as the one we're in now, 20+ years later in a much larger house.
Instead of needing more room for all the stuff that was crowding us out, I should have had less stuff.

Two year later, J's Grandpa passed away, and J inherited his house and 3.5 acres.
The house was very old, very dirty, about as small as the trailer, but square instead of rectangular, in much worse condition. But I was so.freaking.happy to have a house.
We moved in and set about remodeling it right away.

Well, I came up with the ideas of what I wanted done, my Mom and Dad came to work, dragging J into having to help.
The thing I never really saw, or didn't care to see, was that J didn't want to do all that work. My Dad's idea of relaxing is remodeling a house, but J's is not.
Not to mention, it was his Grandparents house, he didn't say so, but he probably would have preferred leaving it like it was.

Which in hindsight would have been the best thing. We should have made the needed repairs, gave it a good cleaning, and left it alone.
Because he didn't want to do the work, it took all our money, and time, and I still wasn't happy when it was done.

And now, all these years later, I see all these wonderful house ideas on Pinterest, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think, that old house had those things like real plank walls, real tongue-and-groove sawmilled wood floors and ceilings and a tin roof. A real, old porcelain farmhouse sink and original clawfoot tub.
All things I got rid of in effort to update and make it a "nice" house, like my parents did to the houses they bought/flipped.

But even after getting the house, and remodeling it, I still wasn't happy. I hated the house. I wanted to move. We needed a bigger house. (Way before Pinterest and Ikea.)

My lucky break came along a couple years later, when the County wanted to buy part of the land to build a three-lane-road to the new high school they were building down the street.
J didn't want to live next to the road, either, so it didn't take any effort to convince him to take the money they paid us and put a down payment on the house we're in now, in the next county over.

I found this house, and wanted it without looking at any other houses. It was old, and big. It was like a mansion to us, at the time. It had been divided into two apartments at some point, and had 2 kitchens, 2 livingrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 4 bedrooms. Enough room for everything I ever imagined.

Without even getting an inspection - I stupidly didn't think one was necessary since I of course had a ton of remodeling projects dancing in my head, I figured if there was anything wrong we'd fix it while we were working on it anyway - we put down a down payment, hired a horrible local company to install central and air conditioning, bought some new furniture, and were broke again.

And in the end, the hoarding began (or worsened) and the house wasn't big enough afterall. Thirteen or however many years it's been later, we're pretty much living in 4 rooms in the whole house. The rest are either storage rooms and/or half demolished in mid-remodel.
We've sunk a fortune into remodeling, and re-remodeling when I didn't like the way it turned out. Our heat and air no longer work, and we can't afford to have it replaced. We owe $100k we'd never be able to sell the place for in the condition it's in. Can't afford to pay someone to come in and fix it.

I just think, if I had only been fine in that trailer, and then the house, our lives would have gone a lot differently. We wouldn't be paying over half of J's paycheck on mortgage payments today.
He'd probably be driving a nice truck like he's always wanting, not having to work two jobs, and not having to look forward to spending all his free time working on the house.
Maybe even the kids would have turned out different if they'd been raised in a happier, more contented home.

It took me a lot of years to understand that a house don't make you happy, you make a house happy.

Bloom where you're planted. Whether it's a big, fine mansion, or a rustic wood shack.

Be Happy