__________December 02, 2015__________

Four Days to Hanukkah

Good morning!

And yup, it’s a MUCH better morning, on this side of the screen.  Sorry about yesterday’s post.  I knew it was going to be bad, and even considered just not putting one up at all, to spare you the drama of my severe, vast, and sundry issues, but I know how it is *not* getting an update – anything is better than nothing at all.  (Or even a cheater one.)

My FB friends are always shaking their heads at how there’s always something new/unusual going on, over here.  It never slows down, it seems!  Well… it did, last night.  After I posted?  I settled in with a book and cuppa, and ended up unable to keep my eyes open.  So I curled up on the sofa and ended up napping until Lydia came in and said, “I hate to bother you, but it’s nearly dark, and we still haven’t tended critters, Mom…”  The little rest was good, though – it was the revitalizing break that got me going, again.

Got one of the two pots of bone broth separated into smaller portions and readied for the freezer, and I’ll pack up half of the other, today.  Got the pictures uploaded to the site, wrote to the pen-pals (Cal was supposed to let me know Monday night how his appt with the cardiologist, but he never wrote, so I’m now waiting on hearing from him).  Made bank transfers to cover what we’d spent, and after the kids were in bed, I sat down with my guy and showed him what I’ve got for the kids, each night, and how I plan to work it out.  There are four things left to get, but I can do that while they’re at swim on Thursday, I think, so no more unplanned and interruptive trips. *WHEW!*  In fact, y’know what?  I get to stay home ALL DAY LONG, today!!!  (Insert biggest grin you can come up with).  SO much better!!  And we don’t have to go away until 6pm, Thursday, so I have tomorrow, too!

AND…!!  I’m EXACTLY at my $400 budget, after the Thursday Wal-Mart (and dollar store) trip!  My guy always shakes his head, because I don’t ever keep track of the numbers as I go, I just write it all down after, add it up, and cross my fingers that I got close.  Even grocery shopping – my budget is $280 every three weeks, and I’m always within $10 of it, even not keeping track while shopping.  It’s kind of an inexplicable thing.  I have a lot of inexplicable things.  I don’t over-analyze them, a lot.  But he was satisfied with what I came up with (hey – he didn’t have to be involved, so it’s all good!), and while that doesn’t include anything for him or me, it’s good.

We were supposed to wake up to snow, today, and it’s… not here, yet.  I hope this afternoon?  Maybe?  We LOVE snow, at our house.  Even if it means bundling to tend the critters.  It’s just so crisp and beautiful, compared to the dead, dead, dead we have to look at, otherwise.  Having grown up in the U.P.,  I’ve cultivated a gang that’s ALL about snow.  The more, the better.  Anyhow, I tell the kids that you can always bundle up in more, but there’s just so much you can take off, when it’s hot.  😉

Confession time:  I can’t buy things for myself.  Not even normal stuff.  I’m using the very last of my perfume (tipping the bottle to try to get any out), I have make-up from back before I had kids, my shoes have a big ol’ ripped out toe… my swimsuit had to be transparent before I could get a new one, and even at that – it took a LOT to get a new one.

Once a few years ago, I went to this herbal party (a lady whose kids I gave the chicken pox to held it), and they had this Zyto scanner thing.  You put your hand on it, and it reads the oils in your body and tells you where you’re deficient (and then there’s this book of oils and what they represent in your life).  I’m deficient in oregano and coriander –  which apparently means I’m a self-martyr who sacrifices too much for others, and have extreme relational hurts that stem from one primary source and have just snowballed until I’m too damaged to have normal relationships.  It was seriously uncanny, that setting my hand on that thing could come up with that!

Anyhow, I do sacrifice myself and my needs a lot.  Partly because I don’t have an income – so I shouldn’t take from his, y’know?  And partly because this lifestyle requires sacrifice, and it’s going to be on my part, not Brian’s or the kids.  That’s just how it is, in my mind.  (And I don’t think eating Italian to get more oregano & coriander will help that.)

Anyhow, half of my breakdown came from dealing with the ‘gifts for Anna’ part of things.  My guy wanted to know what I wanted for Hanukkah.  I don’t need anything.  I told him I planned to get sheet music for my December piano memorization song.  It’s $4 to get the rights to print it.  He said that was NOT a present… he needed ideas.  I told him about my shoes (which he’s ALWAYS hated, but I got them for something like 50¢ at a garage sale, and yes they’re ugly, but they’re comfortable and slide on fast… although the toe… *ahem*).  He said he can’t shoe shop for me – and he’s right.  *I* can’t shoe shop for me.  I told him about my perfume – “That’s everyday stuff, and not gift ideas.”  So I told him about a hairclip thing at Walgreens.  “Something MORE than $3!”  He was getting a little exasperated.  But honestly.  What do I need?  I’m fine.  Really.  Then we went to the thrift to drop off donations and bags and look for a winter coat for Ethan & Aaron, and the kids said, “MOM!!  David Winter Cottages!!!!”

I… have a collection.  It started when we were living in England – my mom was given a David Winter Cottage for being a room mother, and… well, from there, she started collecting.  And I loved them so much, I started a collection of my own.  It was a very tiny thing the two of us had together, for a while – and believe me, my mom and I have NOTHING outside of that in common.  But you just don’t see David Winters in America, and I can’t afford them, anymore – my cabinet is pretty full, anyhow.  (Plus David Winter sold out to another company that makes them BIG now, so they can charge more, but the new big ones are out of proportion to my collection.)

But there was a small collection of them on display… at the thrift.  And I likethem.  And for what they are?  They were cheap.  Very cheap… but still WAY over my budget.  It’d cost $60 for four of them, and… I don’t like spending $5 on myself at one place.  But they were there, and… and… I didn’t know what to do.  That’s why I was on the floor in the store, freaking out.  Because he wanted an idea, and it fell in our lap, but it was SOOOOO much!  Sixty dollars is just… no.  NO.  Y’know?  But at the same time, it was an opportunity, and… I seriously needed to know what he thought, that’s all.  I was kind of freaking out, and… everything just snowballed, from there.

I should’ve just walked away.  Really.  I was supposed to be shopping for the kids.  (((GUILT!)))  And how would that effect the present budget?  And then having to spend more on TOP of that?!   It sent me right over the edge.  I could’ve gotten shoes, perfume, and had money left over with that $60!  Homigosh…!!!  (You think this is pitiful, don’t you?  You don’t live this way – two incomes makes a difference… things are just different in a family of seven with one income, that’s all.)

Worse?  We hit ANOTHER thrift store (still looking for coats – never found any, btw)… and I found a tree.  Here’s the story: every year, Brian’s grandma HAS to have a gift to give for each person, and expects it to be specified.  Well, I’ve never known what to ask for, from her.  So I got this brainstorm years and years ago to ask for silk plants.  Every year for a decade, I asked for silk plants.  Whatever she could find – even at thrifts, it’s fine.  You should SEE our house – it’s kind of like nature walked in and plopped all over everything.  I have bushes, trees, plants, flowers… the kids pull them from all corners of the house and play ‘jungle’ a LOT.  🙂

Anyhow, as a result I have kind of a thing for unusual silk plants… and at the thrift, I stopped dead in front of THE most incredibly beautiful tree I’ve ever seen.  I couldn’t help it – I shouldn’t have shown any interest, I know that in hindsight, but… it was just BEAUTIFUL – seven foot, twisting, crazy branches… and I’ve just gotten $60 in cottages (to wrap up for gifts).  But I liked it, and now I’m *paranoid* that Brian’ll going to go back and get the tree.  YES, it was only $14, but that’s another $14 that doesn’t need to be spent (read: on ME).  GUILT at liking yet ANOTHER thing…!!!!  It’s like the universe coughed up things to trip me up.  NOT appreciative!!!

And then we went to another thrift (I’m cheap.  There it is.) and… no.  I can’t even go here.  Let’s just say I spent another $6 on something that I liked (granted, it’s for the house/us, not me, BUT…!) that I shouldn’t have.  THIS is why I stay home.  Because that way there isn’t the outflow of cash, and I don’t feel so completely wretched about everything.

It would be SO much easier without the whole present thing, you know this, right?  I wouldn’t be having complete spazz-outs.  Life would be uncomplicated.  I mean, Brian’s easy – he’s a creature of habit, and always wants the same thing, and would be disappointed if we deviated.  And the kids… they’re really not THAT hard.  (I have to actually MAKE one of their gifts yet, but I have four days…!)  And they don’t have cost issues, because they just don’t register that stuff.  But I’m SO anal, and have SO many personal issues, and apparently am just *that* deficient in coriander…!!  (Stop grinning.)  Aren’t you glad you don’t have to deal with this, firsthand?

One more trip out, and it’ll all be over.  I can deal with that!

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