25 April 2017

Seeking changes

My current project is really one I have been dragging my feet on and I need to stop. Now that Joshua and I have the house in our names, the next goal is improving our credit and getting us both into careers instead of just jobs. This plan pretty much means I'm trying to find something new. This is not news. I've been looking for something other than retail for a while.

Joshua keeps making suggestions that I'm sure I could do, but they all involve one thing. Nursing? I need a degree. Teaching? I need a degree. I worry that nursing is not going to stay the booming career path it seems to be now. As for teaching, the schedule would be great, but I know the pay isn't and I'm not looking to relocate.

I told him today that the simplest option, as far as a fast start and immediate money, would be setting the house up as an at home daycare. Getting certified through the state isn't difficult, but getting clients in a teeny town like Blanket could be a challenge. The other option, as has always been there, is writing and self-publishing, but even that isn't guaranteed money. I've looked into work from home jobs and, for most of them, our internet is too slow. My experience is almost all customer service, so I'm largely stuck applying for customer service positions. And now I'm through fussing and ready to start researching. I'm sure if I look hard enough and work hard enough, I can find something that lets me work from home, get the benefits I need (even if this means paying out of pocket), and ensures I make the amount I need to. There's got to be something out there.

21 April 2017

A potato tradition

Joshua and I have a tradition and that tradition revolves around potatoes. Yes, that most humble starchy root vegetable is a cause for celebration at our house and here's why.

Over a year ago, on April 8, 2016, we officially moved in to our house. It was, as my previous blog entry states, a mess. And adding all the boxes of our (read: mostly my) belongings on top of everything already there was...a little much. So, we're in the house, we've been packing and moving and driving back and forth all weekend long with little more than the briefest breaks for meals. We had been working so hard. Finally, it was around nine pm and we had brought the very last load of belongings: the pets. Once the animals were relocated, that was it. We were done. I had Chip, our lab/chow mix, in my car with Andy, our tabby cat, and Franklin, our red eared slider, safe in carriers in the backseat. Joshua had Bruno, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, in his truck, with a cat carrier full of chickens in the bed. This was it. This was the last step.

We unloaded, got the animals settled, and poured ourselves into chairs at the tiny green kitchen table I'd bought for my little apartment two years back. Then, we realized neither of us had eaten for hours. Okay, what is there? Answer: nothing. With the move, we didn't know how long it would take to get utilities run, so we ate all we could and passed the rest around before the move. Very little refrigerated food. Everything canned is in a box and the can opener is in another box. Nothing is open in this town of 400 this late at night. Neither of us want to go anywhere, not just cause we (read: I) don't want to leave the animals alone. We've got to figure this out.

Finally, we found two potatoes, some butter in the fridge, two bottles of water, and the salt shaker. I popped the spuds in the microwave (because the electricity was hooked up) and started them cooking while Joshua dug for silverware and dug out another plate. Ten minutes later, we had a very simple meal: baked potatoes with butter and salt and water. We relaxed, unwound, and just took in everything that had happened in the last seventy-two hours. We had uprooted our entire lives and relocated to a house that we were buying. It was all a little wild in that moment. There was no going back to our old house. We were home.

This year, on April 10th (scheduling prevented the tradition beginning on the anniversary date of the 8th as it should have) we recreated that meal and began our tradition. Every year, we will have baked potatoes and water. One half of each potato will be exactly as it was that first night: butter, salt, nothing else. For the other half, one topping will be added each year to represent how far we've come. This year, we added cheese.

Does your family celebrate any unique traditions? Where did those traditions come from?

20 April 2017

Back to writing

And it feels so good!

Yesterday, I went over some of the "broad stroke" changes that have happened in my life. Today's entry will be another one bringing my readers up to speed. (Are any of you still out there?) Even if I'm doing nothing more than shouting into the void, I'm going to try and keep doing it. Here goes.

As I've said, my husband and I are buying a house in Blanket, Texas. The house used to belong to my step-dad's cousin and was built in 1904. When we got it - there's no way to be really nice about this - the place was a mess. We spent the first month getting two rooms cleared out. Not functional or fully set up. Just getting the trash out, setting aside important paperwork, and getting things swept and clean. At one point, we hauled a literal ton of trash out to the local landfill. And only two items in that ton were furniture. When this happened, our king sized bed was still set up in the dining room - the only room with enough empty space to put it.

After we got the rooms set up to bare functionality we started feeling the struggle of being home owners. First, the plumbing went out. Joshua spent almost a month getting new lines run just to the bathroom. Then, we had to replace siding. It is so difficult to find even original looking siding when the design you need isn't made anymore. We had to have it specially ordered. All the while, we were still taking baby steps on getting the house in order. Clearing trash out of the yard, mowing til the mower broke, pulling old carpet from one of the bedrooms and peeling up the old tile in the kitchen.

The list of projects and work we have done goes on and on. We've been in the house for over a year and we finally have it in our names. As of right now, our remaining big projects are: running electricity to the attic and living room (the rest of the house has been successfully re-wired), painting the nursery, painting the dining room, painting the exterior, replacing two windows in the attic, getting the bathroom sink to work (this may never happen short of a full replacement), and removing a wall between the pantry and the living room. I'm sure there's something on that list I'm forgetting and that's without all the stuff that needs done outside.

All in all, I'm proud of the work we have done. We have a decent looking, hot in the summer and cold in the winter,  two bedroom house with an attic. Given time, we plan on adding a wrap-around porch to the front and possibly converting the attic into a master bedroom and a library/gaming room. Photos to come. Maybe. If I remember. For my next entry: a tradition about potatoes.

18 April 2017

So many changes - and a reboot

So much has changed since I was last in this little corner of the web. Let's run down the list.

I'm very happily married to the love of my life. We've been together almost four years and our second wedding anniversary is next month.

We are in the process of buying a house in Blanket, Texas. The town is exactly as small as you'd imagine - maybe smaller. ;)

We got the house transferred to our names this week So excited!

And...the big one.


I'm fifteen weeks along. This is my first pregnancy and we're having a little girl. She is due to join us in late September of this year.

My plans now are to revive this blog and get back to writing. Starting CPR now.