Friday, March 22, 2019

     Wow it was a bang up week folks.  I sewed my butt off and this is the result, plus the fact that I have not been able to spend any money due to how busy I have been.  Plus the grocery adds this week were less than stellar and I have been able to bank two weeks of grocery money.  Since I am leaving in about 45 minutes I ended out the month  and left Hub's some cash.  This is the result, between sewing and frugality I completed another chart.

    I started sewing yesterday at 10:30 and did not come up for air until 4:30.  Well I did come up for a yogurt about 2:30 when I realized I had not eaten.  I got two wedding dresses out yesterday a slew of uniforms, and the filthy prom dress, that I washed.   The little girl was so sweet who picked it up, she wrote me a thank you note for washing the dress and it came out beautiful they were pretty amazed. Actually so was I.

     Sluggy is having so much fun and I am not with her which is bumming me out.  I don't think she should be allowed to travel without me.  What do you guys think?

     Well I am off and won't be back until the 1st of April.  I hope to be able to get on the computer when I get to daughters but for some reason I can't seem to access the blog.  So frustrating.

Well have fun while I am gone and plant a flower for me.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are on the negative.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thursday, all I want to do is play in the dirt!

     We have had five days in a row of sunshine although the mornings are still quite cold.  But I have been able to take a nice walk everyday and it has been so great! Yesterday I was in Wal-mart (where my credit union has a kiosk) and they have new spring flowers and plants in.  I waked through the nursery and I wanted so badly to buy some things, but as I am leaving, I would not have time to plant them, so I just had to enjoy.  My birthday is on Sunday and I always ask for flowers and plants for my birthday.  As excited as I am about going to my daughters ,I am equaling as excited to start planting, and cleaning the yard.

     The shop was very busy yesterday and I did not get to several things I wanted to finish.  I need to finish up the bustles on two wedding dresses, and I have another prom dress to fix.  Still have the uniforms to do both police and military and then one pair of pants to hem.  It isn't like I did not sew yesterday, it was just a steady stream of people, and try ons.  I can't get a lot done when I am constantly interrupted.

     Two dress came in last night after 7 p.m, a mother of the bride that needed three layers hemmed and was too small so had to be let out.  I did get that done, but the prom dress, was used and someone had spilled I think soda all down the front.  So that went into the delicate cycle and has been drip drying all night.  Yes you can wash a satin prom dress.  I tried to get the wedding dresses finished but I was just too tired.  When you start making stupid mistakes you just have to stop.

     So today I will sew hard as I want to have this evening and tomorrow for packing and leaving.

I was also able to put another $1000.00 on the principle of the house, so I was very excited about that.  Last month I was finally able to squirrel enough for an extra payment on the last day of the month. But now I did it on the 20th so next month it looks like I can do this earlier.  I have to keep up the extra while I am busy.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday,Spring is here maybe

     Well I did complete another chart and I am on my way to another.  I will be in Twin Falls next week watching my grandson and sewing 9 dances costumes, so I won't be earning any money at home.  Drat!  But I cannot give up the opportunity to be with my little boy who is growing up way too fast.  Plus spend time with my daughter.  The oldest grandson will be on spring break with his other grandma. So it will be just me and the soon to be three year old.  I am excited.

     I the mean time, I am still running with scissors.  It was very busy yesterday but not with all the nonsense thrown in. Today I have two wedding dresses to alter, and a slew of police uniforms, some one just called about a mother of the bride dress that came in late, and a pair of pants.  I have a few small things to do, like military patches.  As it is only Wednesday I feel pretty confidant as long as I don't get to many emergencies.

     I would like to leave by noon on Friday as it is a good 8 hours to daughters.  I will have to stop and check on Hub's folks on the way.  So I might leave earlier time permitting.  Actually clients permitting.  I have to teach today and plan on going on a walk right after that.  I was able to get in a three mile walk last night.  Hub's was complaining that I was leaving so late, and I told him to make the clients stop coming.  The last one was at 6:30.  Tonight I have one coming at 7.  Once 10 a.m. hits it is just busy.

     As today is the first official day of spring, I went around the yard this morning while taking the dog out and looked for signs.  It is still really cold in the mornings and there are still patches of snow everywhere, but I saw shoots coming up and little daffodils getting ready to bloom.  I am so excited and the yard needs so much love but that is a job for another time.  I doubt I get to it before the end of the month.  I will blame it on the weather.

     I just really need warm weather, I am so tired of being cold all the time.  Remind me of this when I am sweating in July.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tuesday,Do not repeat

     I had such high hopes for yesterday, but of course I underestimated the amount of work needed to to get to high.  My machines were packed up from the Harley event and  then the shop was in a desperate need of a vacuum.  There were clients here every hour on the hour and it was hard to keep myself focused on what I was doing.  I did get the laundry done but need to fold the last load, something that I will do after this post.

     About 10 a.m. I get a text from a teacher, could I sub her advanced Irish class? No I have too many wedding and bridesmaid and prom dresses coming in.  Then I get a text from the studio owner, can I sub a tap class for her, no same reasons as above. I felt bad, but many of my clients are from out of town and are coming into get these things dropped off, I cannot contact them so, this is the way it is during the busy season.  And it was busy.

     I started out hemming a prom dress with three layers and then went to a wedding dress that I hoped to enlarge enough, but it was still too small so I will have to put in gussets, which I hate doing. All the while client after client. Finally started on another wedding hem and got a call from the church that one of the sister's had just had her 5th baby in a car as they could not get to the hospital on time, could I take in a meal for a family of 8? (*&^%$#  I am so busy, I have already told two other people no.  But I really needed the blessings at this point, so I stopped what I was doing and grabbed three bags of chicken legs out of the freezer ( use up that chicken).  I started thawing them in the microwave and had Hubs make me a quick grocery list.  Off to the store and then back to make a cake, Hubs made a great tossed salad.  I peeled potatoes, opened two cans of corn, and coated the chicken with olive oil and bread crumb mixture. Whipped up some frosting for the cake.  As chicken was cooking I went back downstairs to continue on wedding dress.

     During this whole time I had clients in and out so I ran up and down the stairs way more than I wanted.  Hub's helped me deliver the meals, and then home to greet more clients.  I had just enough time to eat a little and nothing was going to keep me from my walk.  I started out with pup and the sun was going down so I had to shorten to a two miler, and thanks goodness I did.  When I got home about 8 Hub's was grouchy because I had destroyed the kitchen again. He had just cleaned it before the meal call. 

     I went upstairs and looked at my disaster, and started the start in one corner method.  I started on the kitchen table a put away everything that was there and then onto the next counter, when I got to the sink I filled it with soapy water and continued to the next section, soon I had all 5 areas clean and a huge pile of dishes.  After doing the dishes, I sprayed down the stove and counters with cleaner and came back in and washed every surface.  I was tired, but I went into the dining room and pulled all the St. Patrick's day things, which I have not put away and I put out Easter linens. 

     It was a long, long day and today will be the same I am afraid. So I had better go and get the laundry finished, and put things away.  I hope I can get hub's to do the floors upstairs.  I really need to get into the shop today and sew.  I thought I would get so much done yesterday but it was just a day of interruptions.  Well I did get one prom dress hemmed and I completed the hemming of a wedding dress, and found out what exactly I would have to do on another, so not a complete bust. I do have to go to Joanns today and I have one errand to run.  No rest for the wicked.

Hoping today is smoother than yesterday.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday, Money savings these past few weeks

     Well I did get a long walk in yesterday and I also got a nice nap, but did I clean my kitchen?  No!  Did I clean anything? No!  Do I care? No!  See how bad my attitude is?  Even after a wonderful Sabbath with a nice walk and nap, I am still a grouch.

     Sluggy sent me a picture of our favorite donut shop in Willkes-Barre as it got hit by a car. Just think she or I could have been bending over to pick up spare change right in the spot.  Her husband says that is how the two of us are going to die.  Probably me first as I can outrun her to the spot.  She will just be watching as I am mowed over and say, served her right. I will not even have eaten my first donut, so sad....

     I have so much sewing to do this week and I really need to get organized as things are ramping up around here.  So the first thing I am going to do today is get organized in my mind and my home (snort).

1. start laundry
2. moving dry wedding dress to shop
3. clean laundry room
4.make bed in spare room
5. straighten spare bath
6. sweep shop, vacuum rugs in shop
7. put shop back together
8. organize what needs to be sewn this week and call people for pickup times

It has been several weeks since I have posted my money saving strategies as I have been gone or traveling on Mondays.  So here goes.

Money saving madness February 24th-March 17th 2019

1.  Through out our travels we found the cheapest gas to fill up
2. We took our own drinks, and snacks.
3.  If we needed to eat it was cheap fast food
4. I saved every $5.00 bill I came across and I have over $500 in my kit!
5. Saved all spare change above what I put into my penny savings.
6. Continued saving a penny a for the day of the year.
7. Stuck to my $50.00 a week grocery budget
8. No diet coke in the house only 1 a day bought at Mcd's.  Saves money as I can't drink it constantly.
9. Ate all meals while home out of freezer and pantry, except the corned beef and cabbage
10. Received free things at Albertsons monopoly game, pasta, rolaids (2 bottles), peas, donuts, cheese.  I like free
11. Carefully looked over my grocery receipt and realized that I had been over charged went back and received $7.00 back.
12. Ate all our leftovers or the chickens did, so no food waste.
13. Went to Missoula and Twin Falls and bought almost nothing for myself or the house.  This is a good one for me.
14. Reused lace for a wedding dress, passed money onto me.
15. hung all heavy laundry on the clothesline to dry.
16. my containers storage almost completely made up of cottage cheese and sour cream containers, have not bought any new plastic in over a year.
17.Found cuddle duds long johns at Wal-mart for a dollar, gift for youngest daughter.

What have you done to save money this past few weeks?  Do you have any saving plans?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Happy St Patricks's Day

May the luck of the Irish be with you.  Although I never felt the Irish were very lucky.  They were however tenacious, and ruthless with survival skills.  We can all thanks the Irish for many, many things in our culture.  My husband is about 70% Irish, Wales.  His Great grandmothers name was Nelli Ireland. I'm sure there is a little on my side also as I had one great grandmother who was English.  There are many, many red heads in our family.

I can home from church today to find one of my grey leather flats chewed up, so Roscoe got a good spanking.  I don't know if I will be able to replace them.  Damn dog.  This is the first shoe he has damaged and I hope it is his last.  He is hiding half under the bed right now and won't come out.

     I think sewing patches for Harley was a bust as far as my time was concerned.  On Friday I was also able to take in work so I more than made my quota.  But I would think strongly again before doing this.  I was able to hand out many cards so free advertising is always good, plus many people asked me to come to the next big hurrah.  I guess if people knew I was coming they wold have brought in more stuff.  Even though it was slower than I liked it was more money that I had before I started.  Always have to be thankful for that.

     It is nice today and I plan on going for a long walk after my nap.  The yard work will soon commence, and the shop will be very busy this next week.  Of course it will as I am trying to leave town on Friday.  So I will really have to put my nose to the grind stone this week and pay attention.

     Also my house needs love and I will try and tackle the laundry,laundry room and kitchen/dining this evening.  Take down the St. Patricks stuff and put up some Easter things.  I just so need a reminder that spring will come.

     I really need signs of spring so bad this year.  How about you guys?  Has this been a humdinger of a winter or what?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday, well I'm off!

     Today I will be down at the large Harley Davidson dealership sewing patches on motorcycle clothes.  I hope this is worth my effort.  Even if it isn't it will be fun and interesting.

     The light went out over my ironing board and Hub's was actually able to fix it!  I though oh crap will we have to call an electrician to change out this light?  But no he was able to do it.  Thankful.

     Hub's came home yesterday very discouraged, as his 5 year old hearing aids are just not working right, they can send them in for $1000.00 with no guarantees, or buy new for $3500.00.  As this is his third set with the company the price was reduced from $6,000.  It is a very reputable place, but I did not need a huge bill right now, as I am on the skint trying to pay off the house.  These people are really good about taking payments without interest, and we can do this, I just don't want to.  But he has to hear, and I have to have him hear.  Crap, crap and double crap!

     Yesterday was pie day so Hub's picked up two pies, one key lime and one apple.  I mean who really needs an excuse for pie?

     We had corned beef and cabbage for dinner last night as Sunday we are having company over the kids do not like corned beef.  I love corned beef and cabbage and we will have left overs tonight along with pie, so I won't have to cook when I get home.  Always a bonus.

     My right hand still has numb fingertips and I am dropping many things that are tiny, it is an aggravation let me tell you.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday, Mortgage under $25,000

     So I get this birthday box from Sluggy and I open it all excited to see a note that says on pain of bodily harm or something to that affect I cannot open until my birthday.  Unbeknown to Slug's my twin sister also sends me a card with the same threat.  Like they arrive at the same time on the same day.  Creepy as she and Sluggy are connected in some weird way.  This is not the first time these two have crossed the psychic path.  Sis and I are somehow connected but now we have a third twin.  ( insert Twilight Zone theme)

    Thanks for all of the responses on the brother saga.  All told I can say that both my brother and his wife really appreciated the efforts we put into their place.  I have never had my brother be that grateful before.   He is the youngest and has been very spoiled and enabled by my mother.  But mom can no longer help him and we refuse to help with money.  Now the things we did cost us money, but we chose what we would do to help and mostly to help the girls.  Both of these individuals are capable if not willing to do what we did.  They are not capable at this time of buying the massive amount of cleaning supplies or the dump fees that were needed.

     There were some comments on the fact that I collect a disability.  Yes I do.  It is not a large amount but it does offset our medical expenses at this time, not counting any major hospitalizations or surgeries.  I was approved in 2014.  My doctor had been on me for years to slow down and apply and I had applied three times during bad flairs.  These were flairs that lasted for months.  But every time when it would come to the interview process I would feel great and I would tell the caseworker to cancel as I was on a new medication and I no longer needed assistance.

  I had a bad personal experience about 8 years ago involving an assault on my person.  It was so horrifying that it took me over a year to even get over the guilt (victim guilt) and quit crying everyday.  At that time I went out of remission and just could not get back in.  I was on med after med and it was a bad time. It took me about 4 years to get back into remission.  Any of you who know anything about this disorder know that when you go out you drop and you never get back up to the place you were.  Something is lost or damaged, joints are destroyed or don't ever really work again.  It was about 4 years after this event that I applied again.  Just listing my medications made the case worker shudder.  I was approved 8 months later.  No fighting, no court appearances, nothing.  You hear all these horror stories and I had none.  But I had years of blood tests, x-rays, surgeries, and doctors that were pushing it through and I am very grateful.

     One of the major problems I was facing and the doctor kept at me for this, is that my husband is older than I am, by close to 10 years.  When he retired I would have no medical insurance and no one would cover me.  Without the meds I take, life expectancy with my form of RA is 55.  I have had two relatives who died from this genetically carried illness.  One passed at 52 and the other at 58.  You have to have the inhibitors in your system or the condition affects your heart and eyes. I have had 7 eye surgeries as of this date.  Your heart is just one big sack of connective tissue.  So the disease goes up your appendages taking 5-7 joints a year, it gets to your heart, and lungs and you are gone. You also have to keep moving with this type of RA.  As in physically using your hands and body.  Sleep is difficult as you stove up and then when you do move your joints throb.  So being able to sew and get up and go to the ironing board, then back to the machine, staying in constant motion doing things is essential.  Bursts of work with rest, constant movement, rest.  Many people just stop moving and the end up in a wheel chair and dead.  Not my plan. What we are trying to do is prevent this.  Is the disease gone? No.  But it is slowed down considerably. 

     With the SSI, I no longer have to clean government buildings at night.  Because we all know how well my hands and arms tolerate cleaning.  With SSI I could give up the dance studio and the stress of the cash sucking cow.  With SSI I don't worry about paying the co-pays for my meds which some months can be $500.00.  It is a blessing.

      I started working at 14, I taught dance 5 nights a week for a minimum of 2-3 hours and worked as a waitress 16 hours on the weekends. I worked full time all through college and when I married my husband was unemployed for almost 10 years, so I worked 2 or 3 jobs. I have paid years into this system.  For most of the next 30 years of my married life I worked over 60 hours a week.  Hub's was either unemployed or severely under employed. We had three children to help get through college.  We also had a daughter that passed away leaving us with $80,000 dollars of medical debt, 1/2 of which we paid ourselves and the other half was forgiven.  I guess what I am trying to say is that I worked hard.  Probably harder that I should have.  I can no longer work like this and although I keep busy it is my nature, I cannot work outside my home for wages.  I would love to and sometimes try and it always results in a bad flair.  Thanks goodness for SSI. Why am I rambling on about this, um guilt, justification, because I am not disabled......

     Well the shop is getting very busy, and I have much sewing to do. The littles were here yesterday so not much got done.  I am going to be at the Harley Davidson dealership the next two days sewing on patches, for a big motorcycle festival.  Can't you just see me riding a HOG?   Won't happen I despise motorcycles.  I am just doing this to help promote the dealership for a friend.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday, Saga cont:

     Saturday morning I had a girlfriend take me to Wal-mart and the dollar store.  I needed to get a few things for the house.  I was not going to give my brother money, but I would buy supplies that were needed.  Friday morning I had already picked up every cleaning agent I could at the Dollar tree. By Friday night I had run out of 4 different agents.  So I bought, pillows, toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, laundry detergent(I had used it all) two large buckets for toys, light bulbs, curtain and rod, nails, sticky tack, one marker, small trash cans, garbage bags, (we went through 50 large trash bags), sugar, small containers for spices, sugar shaker, containers for toothbrushes (I found the girls brushes on the floor in the bathroom I boiled them)bucket for cleaning, dish pans, scrubbers, brillo pads.I also found many containers to hold things, like cleaning supplies and personal bathing items.  These two had nothing to store things in and up on shelves.  Just simple organization helps a lot.

     The girls dresser had been down in the front room, so I had that moved into the large closet in there room and added a hook lock on top of the door so they cannot get into the closet without an adult. I had purchased large gold letters from Hobby Lobby and my brother attached them to the girls headboards with nails and wood glue.  So each girl had a bed with her initial on it.  We spray painted a lamp to match the peach and gray comforters.  I had picked up bed linens on a really good close out sale.  The room was so cute and clean and my sister in law was almost in a state of shock.  I went back downstairs to continue to move furniture and start cleaning walls.

     Lil sis arrived Saturday afternoon, and it was obvious to her that I would not be able to complete the work that was needed before we needed to leave on Monday.  Also I was wearing down.  By Saturday late afternoon, I started on the bathroom and lil sis and two girlfriends were working in the kitchen.  I used 5 stones on the toilet and is still was not clean but much better.  Then my hands went numb and started to swell up.  Lil sis, and I and friends left and went to dinner.  Then we formed a plan for Sunday, so I would do no more scrubbing as all my fingers were locking straight and I was in some real pain.

     Sunday morning I was having a hard time brushing my hair, and my teeth as holding anything was painful plus I could not feel anything with my right hand. So when we went back We assigned Bro to all the walls that had not been cleaned, Lil sis did the rest of the bathroom, and I just put bagged spices in containers.  Lil sis took the girls to the carousel to have a play date and I ripped apart a cushion that was on a large window box.  I then recovered it with material my sister-in-law had purchased and I also made up two pillows.  Hand stitching the pillows shut almost killed me.  I was done.

     My brothers and his wife's room was paddle locked when I got there.  I told them I would not clean their room.  I was surprise after I was able to get the girls room done, and stair landing cleaned that my sister in law opened up their room and pulled a bookcase out and decorated the upstairs landing.  It was adorable.  She had all these eclectic things and she put them together.  I found out she could knit well, she is a culinary graduate, she can sew and she has the desire to have a nice home, just no way of getting there.  She actually helped me scrub down the long staircase which was painted white, and you had no idea it was so dirty.  It was covered in the corners with mouse poop.  She was so happy to have clean walls and a staircase and windows that sparkled, it was like I met a new woman. We went through 7 bottles of cleaner, two gallons of ammonia, and 2 gallons of bleach and 4 cans of spray disinfectant (for all the carpet).

    When we first got to the house on Thursday, there was a long dresser, a large hanging clothe-rack, a double under twin bunk bed set, a large u-haul box of toys, two small children's recliners, I don't know how many dirty old, blankets and pillows, a bike, a round oak table and chairs, and a large cabinet with one broken leg holding a huge cage with two guinea pigs in the room that was supposed to be a dining room.

     When we left there was a table and chairs on one end.  The broken cabinet had been fixed and moved across the room along with the guinea pigs. The other end of the room was the window seat that was recovered and two toy containers and the two small recliners.  It was a home!  The girls know which bucket contains their toys and they have some place to put things and place to play.

     Now the place is not perfect but it is clean.  There is a place for everything.  There is a place to store everything.  Old linens, blankets, were either washed or thrown away.  It was late Sunday as I was about to leave that I found out the Eldest's teacher and CPS were coming for a home visit Monday at 4 p.m.  We finished just in time.  The house was bright, shiny and clean and it smelled clean.  My sister in law was working hard on her room.  I did not really even go in there, but saw her hauling out bags of things to take to the truck for the last truck load to the dump.

     Why do people who are poverty stricken have animals?  Also expensive animals.  My brother and his wife have two large ginie pigs and two chinchillas in a huge tall cage.  These are expensive and require constant cleaning and bedding.  What I find amazing is that I never smelled dirty bedding and they take very good care of the animals.

  We did not get a dog until our youngest was in high school, we could never afford to keep one.  Animals require food, vet visits, licenses and when you have nothing you don't need something that is taking money out of your wallet.  I don't get it.  I never will.

     All said it was a long weekend and will not be repeated, I found out after 2.5 days that I truly am disabled.  I don't think of myself as disabled.  I consider myself a hard worker and that I can do anything.  But here I am with hands that are barely working.  My right arm will take at least two weeks to become normal for me.  I cannot feel with three of my fingers on my right hand and it is really hard to sew when your hands are numb.  The swelling is going down and I am no longer in terrible pain.  I can work, but it must be in spurts, and I have to be very careful how long I push my body before it flairs.  I have to admit that this is a disability.

      I feel like a cheat and a loser much of the time and justify my SSI as it pays our medical insurance and my med deductibles.  That is all it covers.  My meds right now are a little over $5000.00 a month. But it is episodes like this when I really try and work hard that I realize I cannot any more.  My hands just quit working, my elbows stove up and my shoulders are locking and not working right.  I hate it.  I want to be like I used to be, but that will never happen.  All I can do is be grateful for what I can do and sew a little everyday to help out with the finances. I can still give service to others and help those in need.  I can give back and I always have. So why do I feel guilty?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tuesday, Long post, I am disabled:)

     First of all thanks for all the well wishes on my last post, it was so nice to come home and find them.  The last 5 days were a blur of activity and stress.  I am happy we went, but it is not something I can do again and I made this very clear to my brother.

     I know you all would have liked to have had before and after photos, but as this is not my place but his I felt that was not in the cards.  I would not want someone showing my dirty laundry to the world so I will not show his. I will however tell you about it.

     When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, the house was more picked up than I have ever seen it, as you could actually walk through into the kitchen and  it had obviously been vacuumed. Hub's and I and bro immediately unloaded the beds and frames into the living room and I went upstairs to assess the bedroom situation.  The room's very large closet was full to the ceiling with boxes of belongings spilling out into the room.  All of these things belonged to my sister-in laws sister who is now in a drug treatment facility.  All of this had to be moved and gone through and the house has very little storage available at the time.  So the first day was just spending time making the situation a whole lot worse.

     There were three large storage spaces available in the house. One was an under the stair very deep closet.  There is a nice size closet in the entry way and a very large back lean to on the kitchen.  All were full to the brim with either garbage old yard sale things or things that needed to be thrown away. One of the problems with Montana as a whole is that it is very expensive to live there.  There is not sales tax which sounds great, but the property taxes are outrageous, and there is a huge charge for all service related things that most states have for free or reasonably priced. To license even a beater car there can cost several hundred dollars a year.  To get a drivers license is very expensive.  To go to a municipal dump is $22.00 a visit.  So poverty stricken people who need to get rid of garbage, such as old mattress's furniture and extra broken things cannot afford the dump fees.  This leads to a lot of illegal dumping and hoarding of garbage, which then leads to yards full of old broken down garbage, and then a rampant rodent problem.

     Rents are very, very high in Missoula and slum lords abound.  They only provide very small trash can service not big enough for a family.  So where does the garbage go?  Into the yards, or it is stored in the houses. It was obvious that my brother and his wife had, had a very huge mouse problem.  They had used traps and finally poison.I only found one actual dead mouse and that was in the lean to on the back of the house.  But the mouse droppings were everywhere.  It was disgusting. I wore gloves and a mask, soaking every single drawer and cupboard and orifice with disinfectant and bleach and letting it sit for 24 hours and then cleaning it up.

     So Thursday night was just assessment and spraying all areas and unloading closets and going through what could be saved and what needed to be thrown away due to mice.  We ended up all told taking 6 full truckloads to the dump.  I was able to free up enough space in the understair closet and the front closet and lean too to store all of the sister's things.  Hub's came back with the truck on Friday morning and we took a total of 4 trips to the dump. Plus two additional trips with a friend of ours truck later.

     Mostly it was old broken furniture, urine soaked mattresses, bags and bags of garbage.  Old broken toys, mouse infested bags of clothing, and file after file of papers and just bags of trash.  Broken appliances,old past dated food.  I could not believe how much trash we cleaned out of the kitchen. I don't believe the house was clean 5 years ago when they moved in and nothing had been cleaned since they moved into it and it was disgusting.  Every surface was colored on with crayon or magic marker, inside and out of every cupboard and even the refrigerator.  Both of the girls are autistic and very hard to handle. They can be trained , but someone has to really watch them and work with them, not something either my brother or his wife do well.

     I found not one pencil, marker, or crayon in the house.  The girls also have NO toys of any kind.  Just dirty stuffed animals.  Because they cannot destroy these.I was able to go through a large UHAUL box taller than myself of old stuffed animals and get my sister in law to downsize to two small toy barrels, one for each girl.  I would have thrown away many more, but it is her house.  I also insisted that many of the animals be washed in hot water and then air dried which helped.  The older of the the two girls (8) is getting much better as she is in school and has regular intensive help and intervention.  The younger will go to full time kindergarten next year and that will also help.

     I tackled the laundry room first,scrubbing all walls, and cleaning out every corner, sweeping and cleaning the floor.  Then it was onto the kitchen, just scrubbing one wall and the stove area took 4 hours.  Spraying down all mouse infested parts of the kitchen.  Friday morning my brother was getting snarky about how he wanted the girls room done, but he had yet to move anything out of the room and I refused to do any moving of boxes from that room.  I would clean it but it had to be empty.  I know he was frustrated with me and overwhelmed but I held my ground.  He now had several areas to take the stuff and he had to figure it out.  I just continued to clean in the kitchen until he finally had the room emptied about 5 o'clock in the afternoon.     In the mean time he had gone to a call in job at 1 p.m.and was home from the job at 4 p.m.  Still I had not gotten into the girls room.  Why?  it was not empty.  I think then he realize I was not going to go up and down the stairs with box after box of crap.  He had the room emptied in an hour.

     I then spent 4 hours on my hands and knees scrubbing an old painted cracked hard wood floor and all the walls in the bedroom.  I would have to wet a scrub brush and soak the floor and let it set before going back to scrap and clean up hardened on newspapers and just old food and garbage off the floor.  I know this floor had not been cleaned in five years.  It was back breaking work and finally at about 9 o'clock that night I was able to roll out a large rug and Bro and I set up the beds.  The girls were thrilled.  Especially the elder one as she kept coming up and hugging and kissing me.  I had spent about 6 hours working on Thursday and a good 12 hours on Friday, I was pretty stiff and sore when I got to my girlfriends for the night, where I took a hot bath and washed my overalls.

     It was on Saturday when I got up that I was surprised I could move at all, but by Saturday night I realized that I truly am disabled.

Cont Saga Tomorrow: as my right hand is numb and it is starting to hurt to type

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thursday, We are packed and ready to go

     So we are all ready to go to Missoula.  I leave with trepidation in my heart but I am going anyway. Last night we went to Lil sis's to load up the twin beds and of course it started to pour rain by the time we were done.  We all looked like a bunch of drowned ,very cold rats.

     I do not know what to expect, but get ready for some great posts when I get back.  This could be a good thing or a disaster.  We will see.

Wish my luck and say a prayer.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wednesday, This will only take 10 min

     So I had this wild hair of an idea today, since I had the littles and not much sewing can be done, I would run upstairs before I wrote this post and put a batch of bread together.  It only takes 10 minutes and then the mixer does the work right? Well technically yes.

    Except we had bean soup yesterday and it was on the back deck.  So I quickly divided the rest up into 3 containers, two to freeze and one for lunches. I found broccoli that needs to be used before we leave and I pulled out a small piece of frozen beef so I can make beef broccoli for dinner.  A bride calls and wants a fitting at noon, okay fine.  Now get to that 10 minute bread.

     I can pull all the ingredients from the cupboard in less than a minute  as everything is kept together, Grab the white flour and oil from one cupboard and the salt and seeds from another.  The ww ground flour is with the other ingredients, now to find the honey, and grab the yeast from the fridge.  Well I started and realized after I had the oil, water, gluten in the mixer, the honey had solidified, so I had to get a pan out put a washrag in the bottom and boil the jar for a few minutes.  The rag keeps the jar bottom from getting too hot.  Okay this is a set back but not to bad.

     Then I go to start adding seeds and oatmeal and ww flour.  The container of what I thought was preground ww flour was brown rice.  I have no ww flour.grrrrr  So now I have go downstairs get a large can of wheat and grind the flour.  Which means I have to pull out the wheat grinder and it takes time to grind a can of wheat.  In the mean time the phone starts ringing off the hook, the babies are getting in the cupboards.  The bridal fitting that was supposed to be at 11:00 shows up at 10:00.  I told her I was 1/2 done adding ingredients to my bread and I had to finish or it would start rising with out the rest of the ingredients.  She only had to wait a few minutes.  I ran down stairs with timer in hand and her fitting was done just as the timer went off and I ran back upstairs to stop the mixer and allow the bread to raise.  Then I finished grinding the entire can of wheat allowing me enough in a bucket to make two more batches of bread.  But now the kitchen is a flipping disaster.

     What started out as a great (okay a good idea) turns into an hour long episode of the crazy Kim show.  I grabbed the babies and came downstairs allowing the bread to keep rising.  Realized that I have three loads of wash I need done by tomorrow as my work overalls and jeans are in there.  Start laundry, answer the phone, clients are coming over.

     Segue:  Another 2 hours have passed, as I had another very difficult to fit bride come in, bread needed to go into the oven and as it was in the oven and I thought I had a few minutes I decided to do up the dishes as bread dough left turns into cement.  As I was cleaning up the babies were destroying whatever they could find, dog water, dog food, Tupperware cupboard, chase the youngest one down to feed him a jar of baby food, get the two year old out of the toilet.  Another client shows, okay little one down for a nap and older one going to sleep in Hub's arms I think I can sit and finish post as I just took bread out of oven.  Whew!

     Still have a load of laundry that needs to go into the dryer and I have not put on any makeup or set my hair.  I have to teach tonight at 4 so I had better get cleaned up.  It is ash Wednesday meaning 1/2 my students will show up a with ashes on their foreheads and it is my duty to sweat them off.

     Hub's and I will go over to lilsis's tonight to get the twin beds she is sending to little brother into the truck.

     This will only take 10 minutes.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tuesday,March onward, record cold here, monthly recap

     We had a wonderful time with our grandsons.  It was so fun to see our daughter and her family.  mom and dad seemed to enjoy the trip.  Especially mom as dad sinks farther and farther into dementia.  We really enjoyed our grandsons, but they are growing up way too fast.The sun shown and temps were in the high 40's or low 50's.  There was no snow on the ground.  We came back to and arctic blast of 11 degrees last night and plenty of snow still on the ground, although the sun is shining like crazy, so I will take that.

     I have a wedding dress that must be completed today, (it needs a corset back) and a few things to get done in the shop.  There is a wedding dress soaking in biz and it will stay there for a few days, but I think I will have to replace the lace at the bottom as the dress was not cleaned 30  years ago and I am afraid the stains have set.  It has only been soaking over night and I have seen biz do wonders in 4 days so I will give it time.  I do have enough old lace to replace what is damaged on the dress.  Another dress is coming in tomorrow.

     This is the weekend I have set aside to go and help my brother and I am hoping to leave Thursday, but it may be Friday.  I still have no idea what I am in for, and the closer it gets to the day we leave the more nervous I feel.  I think there will be more to do there than I can get done in a few days, but all I can do is wait and see.  If another trip is needed that can be done some time in April.

     So how well did Kim do in February with her goals with her goals?

 Financial goals
1. Add all spare change to pig bank. Done although it is a little less as I added anew savings goal that is taking some of my change. So Win
2. Save all $5 dollar bills.  I am up to $345 by the end of February. Win
3. Stay at $50.00 a week grocery budget. Went over $30.00 to stock up on meat, but I still call this a big Win
4. Pay an extra $1000.00 on house principle Win Almost thought this was not going to happen.
5.  try and complete another savings chart Win
6. Save a penny for each day of the year.  Today it is day .64 so I will find .64 cents to throw in my bank Win

1. keep diet coke consumption to one a day.  Win
2. try and eat low carb 20 days so Fail
3. 10,000 steps a day only 2 days the whole month big FAIL
4. exercise  keep my heart rate up for one hour several times a week FAIL not one day

1. have more fun take it easy Win mostly due to my lazy depression and the weather
2. read and study more fail too lazy
3. practice piano Fail need to get on this
4. work on craft projects Win got 6 blankets and quilts out of the shop.

I had additional monthly goals of paying accountant $320.00
Paying auntie $500
Also additional unplanned expense of computer virus updates $90
sewing machine repair $160.00
tree removal $400

It was a tough month.  It was tough on the financial front with too much outgo and not enough incoming.  Also cold and very very snowy, as I had planned on an early spring I was sorely disappointed. I had planned on getting out in the yard and walking.  All a fail, which made me feel like a slob.  I need to get motivated and I find it funny that I can stomp all my financial goals and even add to them but everything else is mostly a bust.

In the end I am just grateful to get through February.

See new goals for March on the side bar.

Did any of you feel like you February was an over all win or a fail?

I am off to find .64 cents.
Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.