Friday, July 16, 2010
The camper finally got put in place last night. Six days of work on and off. Five days stuck on the trail. All in all, not bad considering how bad it was stuck. It was a lesson in patience and mathematics. (Depending on who you were.) R is very happy and is feeling much better mentally and emotionally knowing her “house is finally home.”
I went into town today and posted what I had off line blogged the past couple of days. I picked up mail and ice and called Verizon. I had over $50 in charges from downloads. I have a block on my phone for downloads. Apparently, even though there is a block on the phone itself, it does not mean I can’t download to my phone from the internet. Huh? How do you do that? Never mind. I told them that I am not paying for something I did not do. I also explained that the little Verizon air card stick that goes into my laptop is broken. That there is no electricity where I live right now so I can’t even say the children hopped onto the computer and got on line. I have to drive 13 miles and park outside in the heat to get on line for five minutes. Then I was told “Well, it’s on your phone.” That’s nice. I did not do this. And neither did anyone else. Then I get told about clones. Dolly the sheep did this? I thought she died. Trying to explain that not only am I technologically inept, but that I live in the backwoods where even if I understood what she was saying, it is still an impossibility was frustrating.
Finally, I get transferred to the fraud department because somehow, someone cloned my phone (huh?) to download games. Someone from the fraud department said they don’t deal with downloads. Only voice. So why the heck did customer service send me to you?
I get transferred back.
I get a different person. I said “I am down to two lines on my battery, and standing out in the heat in the blazing sun because at home I have very spotty service so I am going to make this brief. I have downloads I am being charged for that I did not do.” Then I filled her in.
She looked at my account, saw there was a block, took the charges off, and expressed concern about the spotty service where we live. I told her “This is the Ozarks. On the mountain tops, service is great. In the valleys, it drops off. It is life out here.” She went on to say that at home, we should have service regardless. I told her we were planning on getting new phones in a few weeks and if we still have problems with reception, I will let them know. I did not know that this was something they could deal with outside of putting up another tower. There are boosters that people can get for their phones. Verizon sends out a signal and does a few tests and if there is an issue, then there is a booster available. I don’t know if it costs more or not, but it’s there.
Charlie was very helpful. As I was on the phone pulling my hair out, he was keeping an eye on water level for our drinking water containers. I filled them from a hose at the gas station to try to keep the water in the tank lasting a bit longer. So, I got him a treat. He picked out candy coated Hershey’s kisses.
He has also been working hard here. We have a couple of fires going to try to burn the dead leaves and burn the ticks out of the ground. A nest of baby copperheads was found the other day so we are trying to get rid of nesting places for them as well. This is also helping us clear an area so we can hopefully get in a fall harvest. I’d like to plant a bunch of gourds. They can last in storage for months if stored properly.
Well, the fires are dying down. At least the biggest one is. The one in the fire ring is still being fed dead leaves. So far, no snakes.
I managed to work out our budget for the rest of the year on a monthly basis so we know exactly what will be spent when. This includes money budgeted for Christmas and Hannah’s birthday.
We also have started working on our Christmas list for the children. Keeping it in the spirit of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, (desired, personal, spiritual) and them getting three gifts each, we have a decent start on the list. So far:
Personal - Cowboy hat, boots, flashlight
Spiritual - KJV youth study bible
Desired - Hand held electronics game
Personal - Pink fishing pole, pink boots, pink flashlight
Spiritual - Something on Esther
Desired - Princess anything (Lord, help me.)
Personal - Purple fishing pole, purple boots, purple flashlight
Spiritual - Veggie-tales
When asked if she could have any toy in the world, what would it be, she said “Chainsaw.” Good grief.
Anyway, I still need to think of something for Hannah under “desired” and then I get to move on to other people on the mental list I have going. SIL is easy. I already know what she is getting. From us (adults) it will be another gift donation in her name to a local charity that she likes to see supported. From the children, well, she reads this so I am not saying. (Neener, neener.)
Husband is going to get something special from me and then something from the children. I have an idea in my mind, but we will see how it pans out. My in-laws from Utah will get a gift card. The ones from Ohio probably the same thing. And the same thing with the family from Kentucky.
So, yes, I am starting my Christmas list in July. Shopping will start in another month or two. And, the general budget is done. Minor things that come up such as the handle of a rake snapping in half or an umbrella getting broken. Or the children playing on the van and ruining my back windshield wiper. Not that my children would ever do such a thing. I‘m just speaking generalities here. Not specifying any one particular thing.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I spoke with our tenant yesterday. Supposedly, he will be mailing out some past due rent this morning. Now, we just have to hold on until it gets here. I’ll believe it when I have the check in hand. We are scrimping these next eleven days until the next direct deposit. Lots of beans. Unexpected expenses and illnesses have caught up with us. But, having the budget planned through the rest of the year takes that into account so this won’t happen again.
We are still burning brush to clear for a garden and to get rid of snake homes around our house. It is very hot work especially with the triple degree heat. But this needs to be done.
R is Hebrew. She is very adamant about the fact that she is not Jewish. There is a difference. I don’t pretend to understand, but I know understanding will come. With our beliefs, we know that the Old Testament is just as important as the New Testament. Not just in the prophecy of the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of that, but in where we came from and how we got to where we are today. I had made mention that one of the things we want to do with our children to give them an understanding of the different holidays (this was made mention when I had mentioned Christmas) and where we came from. Christianity would not exist without the Israelites. (Apparently, Jews, Jewish, and Judaism are all offensive because it ignores the other eleven tribes. So, I am going to have to be careful about that.) Jesus followed Mosaic Law and celebrated all the Old Testament holidays and traditions. Having that understanding not only intellectually about that fact, but learning what these holidays are and what they mean (Passover, anyone?) will hopefully give them a firmer understanding of just what had to be overcome and just how much grace and mercy the God of Israel has given us when He sent His Son as the ultimate sacrifice. In telling her this, she asked Husband “Are you and Charlie circumcised?” When we answered in the affirmative, she has invited all of us to the Feast of the Tabernacles. Wow. I feel honored. I just pray we don’t offend her. Now to find out when that is and I need to talk with my church leader and get his input.
Can I just say it is HOT out? We are still burning and will be for a while. Wanting to keep it under control, we are doing small portions at a time. This means it is tedious. And in the heat it is taking forever.
I am going to be taking a crayon to the floor of one of the cabins to draw out my kitchen in real size. Instead of cabinets, I am going to be having shelves under counter top and having small curtains in front of them. No more children slamming cabinet doors. In New Goshen, the children would play in a couple of the cabinets and hide in them. And they would occasionally trap each other in them until I told them to let their (brother or sister as the case may be) out.
Monday, I am going to head to the creek to do laundry. R found a spot where I can do my wash and the children can play without fear of drowning. The deepest spot is about three feet deep. Most of the rest of it is about a foot deep. Sounds good to me. It probably doesn’t have the clay swirling around either which means less frustration with regard to that. Although there is a greater chance of laundry being lost since it is running water. Well, that’s what children are for.
Tomorrow is our day of rest. (Stop laughing. We do occasionally try to rest on Sunday.) We will be having home service. We don’t have the gas to spend driving the two miles to church. I know it doesn’t sound far, but with the rough terrain just getting to the dirt road and the hills and twists and gravel, it uses a lot of gas. The church is at the edge of the pavement. We also try to limit what our children hear there because they are off in some things. They are waiting for Jesus’ second coming which already happened and are waiting for the rapture. There is no rapture. So, we are left sometimes explaining to the children that while these people believe these things, here are the facts about them. However, the other things they are hearing (don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cuss, live right, act right, do right) are good things to hear and good things to live by. They also (thankfully) don’t believe in once saved always saved. So, we limit going there and show up ever couple of weeks or so to keep the children in the habit of sitting still for church and to fellowship with others.
Anyway, I am off to color on the floor.
So coloring did not happen earlier today. R needed some help with some stuff and getting her trailer unloaded and things put away so she could go to work tonight. She works Sunday 4:00am through Tuesday night. She works about 100 miles away, but she loves her job and stays there while she works. The way she describes the family she works for makes me want to meet them. She said the husband and wife have 15 children and the other family that lives on the farm has 8 children. I asked “Amish?” She said “No. Hebrew.” Anyway, she is gone for a few days and the children will miss her. I have to teach them “Do not go over to R’s until after she has come here for morning coffee.”
R also just helped us out huge. We ended up with more month than money this month and I was sweating the food situation. And the gas. I am going to have to increase our gas budget until we have refrigeration. Going into town every couple of days for ice burns gas. A lot of gas. So I am going to look at or budget again and see what I can do to fix that situation. R made a good point. “What about when you start going out on calls?” So gas needs to be increased. I refuse to tell a mom “Sorry. I can’t help you because I was too dumb to budget enough gas money into our monthly budget.”
Anyway, the children are all snuggled into bed except for Hannah. She is snuggled into our bed. And she wonders why she doesn’t get her own loft yet.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I slept very little last night. My mind was going 100 mph thinking about everything that still needs to be done and how we are going to do it all. Will we be done by fall? Will we have electricity? Will we have water? How are we going to manage water without the truck? When will we get the truck back? We need water now. What about our budget? Did I forget anything? What can I do to make it better? Is it workable the way it is? As it is, we are not going to Annual Conference because of a have to trip to Indiana due to my court date. We don’t have the money for both. It is just not there no matter how many ways I work it. However, Holy Convocation has been budgeted in and we will make it to that.
Last night while everyone was sleeping, I went over the budget again and made some adjustments and went over them with Husband this morning. We are now on our way to town with empty 5 gallon buckets with lids to rinse and fill with water as well as our water cooler, chest cooler, and water container.
We are going to do more burning today hitting a different area. Yes, we are resting. Kind of. Maybe. A little. Ok, so this is work that needs doing. I will make sure Husband rests. I’ll do my best to make sure he rests.