Monday, August 03, 2009

Catching up, and should I go out of town

Has it been a whole week since I've posted anything? I meant to come back and write about how some of us got together for someone's missed birthday or some such thing. I don't remember what I was going to say about it, except that the baby now eats solid food. So we spent a lot of lunch cutting off small pieces of things and seeing if he would eat it. Most of the time, if you put something in front of him, it goes in his mouth. Interesting. He doesn't much seem to have preferences. Just cut something down to the right size and he'll eat it.

I'm told he does not always do that at home.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I mentioned that I got one of those complaint letters from the office. I'm to clear away stuff stored under the carport and clean up in general, or else. Now, just a couple weeks before I got this letter, I was trying to clean a few things, so I took some stuff outside. But I was actually trying to be considerate and didn't take out just everything all at once, because that does look rather frightful. But I don't see how else to clean the stuff properly, so I did take stuff outside, but that stuff went right back in as soon as it was clean and dry. And then I took out some other stuff and left it under the carport, thinking that I would take a little bit of it back inside everyday (or perhaps toss some of it out everyday) and that eventually I would figure out where all of it was supposed to go, and that some of it was just supposed to go away.

And then there's this other stuff that just always seems to be under the carport, some of it long term. And you are not supposed to store anything under the carport. But it is the only dry (somewhat dry) place that I have outside, as I don't yet even have a storage building, and there is no garage either.

So, of course the first thing that I do when I get this letter is put a bunch of crap out in the yard itself, rather than under the carport. Really, whenever I get one of these complaint letters, I take the opportunity to do some serious cleaning. But since I had just done the serious cleaning of the important stuff in the kitchen, I didn't really have any reason to do it again. I'm sure that there was something elsewhere in the house that I could have taken outside to wash, but I really wasn't up to that.

Anyway, the stuff that I was trying to sort out, I ended up just pulling back into the house and it is now on the dining room floor. And then the other stuff from the carport is on top of that, except for the clay and the lumber.

I finally decided to throw away some of the clay. Now, I had about decided to do this anyway, but I would have done it a little bit at a time. Not put a hundred pounds or so in the trash all at once. I think that is a rather nasty thing to do to the men who come to collect the garbage, and as far as I know they have never done anything to me, so I shouldn't like to do something so ugly to them. I somehow have it in my head that there is a weight limit to what they are expected to pick up, like maybe thirty-five pounds or so. I don't know where I got that number, and it is probably the wrong number, but I don't like to leave them just really heavy trash bags. So I did try to divide the clay up between four bags of other trash, so maybe it wasn't too awful for them.

While that was going on I broke one of the buckets that I had the clay in, so I threw that away too.

And I did find several broken planters that I decided I should part with. Unfortunately about half of them had dirt still in them, and the planters of course completely fell apart when I tried to move them. So in some places where I once had a broken planter with dirt I now just have a pile of dirt.

But of course the real problem I am having is with the lumber. I bought the lumber, mostly from the Home Depot scrap bin, and when I get enough of the right size and shape I make something with it and paint it. But it has been rather hot, so I hadn't built anything or painted anything recently. So I had to take the lumber from under the carport and put it in the backyard. And after looking at some of it, I decided that I had enough of the right stuff for one project, and that I should go ahead and paint the larger pieces anyway.

So I nailed four boards together and put the larger pieces in a place where it would be convenient to paint them the next day.

And then it rained. And it has pretty much rained all week. So the lumber is all wet, and possibly not left in very good shape. One of the larger pieces is warped, and I have to decide if it is worth keeping, though I don't think it would be that noticeable in the finished project.

Anyway, in between the rain, it has been almost pleasant outside, so I did start on another project of working on a pathway between two garden beds. The idea is to put down a lot of newspaper, and then a sheet of weedblock fabric, and then on top of that some gravel and a few stepping stones. Only the thing is that when you have a lot of time to do something, it is usually because you are not employed, which usually means that you don't have a lot of money. So I had put down some of the newspaper, and I'd already bought some weedblock and put down some of that, but then I didn't have any money to spend on gravel and stepping stones. So I had just put down a few rocks on top of the fabric to keep the wind from getting it. Only it seemed to have moved anyway.

So it turned out not to be the wind that moved the fabric and the newspaper. There were claw marks in the paper, so either a cat or some squirrels moved it. Anyway, I put everything back the way that I had it, and then decided to go ahead and buy just two bags of gravel, just to see how it would look.

The bags of gravel come half filled with dirt. Not really, but it did seem to have enough dirt that I thought I'd better wash off the gravel before putting it on the fabric. So that took a little while, but I think it was worth the effort. So I then put down some more newspaper and went to get another piece of the weedblock fabric, only now I can't find it. It isn't anyplace logical, and I don't see that I've left it outside anywhere. So that is a bother. I've either lost it, or it was stolen when I was last working with it and left it out, or else it is buried under something.

I'm thinking that it is most likely buried under something. With the serious cleaning that I was attempting to do and then the complaint letter, I've got several piles of just stuff here and there. So the weedblock fabric will probably turn up eventually, which is fine because I will eventually need a whole bunch of the stuff. But the problem for now is that I don't have any money to go buy another roll of fabric to finish up what I was doing.

The good news about the garden is that I've seen a very few bees, but they do seem to have found my squash plants. This whole summer I have had two squash plants, one that was a bit stunted and didn't produce any squash, and the other was a nice big plant that only produced two squash. Both plants had plenty of flowers, but they weren't getting pollinated. But now the stunted plant has caught up to the other plant, and the bees seem to be interested in them, and I expect to get maybe four or five squash this week.

And that is good, because we are really short on money this week, and should do the whole eat down the fridge thing again. I spent seven dollars on groceries this weekend, and that will be about half of the food that we eat for the week. The other half I hadn't quite figured out yet, but now it will probably involve yellow squash.

The husband will be working three days at the end of this week, and then next week is the beginning of the business thing. So we expected that he would not work next week since he had asked off on Saturday. But instead they seem to have forgotten that he had asked off, and they had scheduled him the whole week. So he called to say that he couldn't work that.

So now there seems to be a different schedule that would require him to go out of town for four days. He would only be working two days, but he would have to leave the day before to drive there, and he'll be driving home most of the day after. Only we seriously do not have any money, and we seem to have missed paying the car insurance, so whatever money does come in must go to paying the car insurance first.

Then there is this odd bit about the unemployment. We are not to be paid for the first week until we have been paid several other weeks. And as he works some about every other week, we do not get paid the unemployment every week anyway. So we are not sure when it is going to be paid, and we do not think that it will be before we take this trip.

And I have to figure out whether or not to go with him. While this is not a very exciting place, it is a place that we do not often go. We have not been that direction in a while, and this place is not usually a destination, more of a place that we stop before leaving the state. So it might be interesting to go there, if we had more time, and if we had any money, which it appears that we do not.

We will just have to wait and see how much money comes in and then figure it out from there.

And then Friday he'll have to hurry home anyway, because he's supposed to pick up the equipment around three, and I'm sure that it must be done by five or they will close for the weekend. And I can't help by staying behind to pick up the equipment, as I'm sure that it would not fit in my car anyway.

It is a lot to think about. This four day trip will require gas for almost four hundred miles and back, three nights in a motel, about ten meals (twenty if I go), and he's only guaranteed a hundred dollars pay and some gas and motel reimbursement. This company does not pay for meals.

So as nice as it sounds to get out of the house for a bit, I have to consider stuff like the extra money it would cost for me to go, and that the plants wouldn't be watered for a few days (and I really don't want to lose my plants now that they are producing food again), and maybe I should just be here in case something goes wrong with the plans to pick up the equipment at three on Friday.

Like I might have to ask mother if we could borrow the truck for a bit.

I'll have to give this whole thing some more thought.


Ananda girl said...

Babies are very entertaining. I like to eat lemons and limes. No sugar. I love them. Baby Mikey thinks that because I eat them they must be good. Repeatedly he takes a bite and shivers and twitches. I laugh. Bad grandma!

Complaint letters are a hassle!

Maybe getting away, if you can swing it, would be a good idea. Reduce some stress.

dmarks said...

I'd vote for getting away, too. If I remember correctly from previous posts, you've not been away for quite a while.

And if it turns out he might eat out too much when out on his own, and you pack/prepare meals to take with you, it could actually save money, maybe?

laughingattheslut said...

No, I wouldn't save him any money on that short of a trip. I probably wouldn't even try that hard.

According to Mapquest, the place that we are going is about a six hour drive. So I am thinking that it is closer to an eight hour drive. And we will stop at a restaurant and at least eat lunch, which might just be a fast food place, but those still cost money. The long drives are not pleasant for me, and if they are not broken up by the occasional bit of getting out and doing something, even if it is just eating at a McDonalds, it is really just awful. I have tried the thing where we just eat sandwiches in the car, and I don't like it very much. And it isn't like the sandwiches are free either. So I quit trying to do that a long time ago. And I have to make other stops too, and it isn't fair to stop at a store and not buy anything, so we usually buy cokes or candy or something. Depending on when we leave we might buy breakfast and/or dinner too.

And then we will only have two days actually being there to work. Not really long enough to set up house. Not really long enough to pay extra to get a micro-fridge, though I am really unhappy if we do not get one. So if I don't go with him he will probably spend ten dollars or so at a Subway, and if I do go with him we will spend twenty or so at a Subway. If I go with him, I will just about double the food budget, period. And depending on the motel, there might be an extra charge for me just being there.

If we were staying a week or so, it would be different. We would get at least a micro-fridge, even if we have to wait for a certain room or pay a little extra or whatever. And then we would buy stuff for our own sandwiches and also have canned soup or chili that we can heat up in the microwave and sometimes eat cheap tv dinners and such to save money. But we don't always do that anyway. If the point of going with him is to have a little fun, we'll probably eat out some of the time anyway.

And then there is the drive home, when we will again stop for maybe breakfast, definitely lunch, and possibly dinner and snacks. I doubt very much that I would save him any money going on this trip. I doubt that I would seriously try.

No, it was nice to be asked to go on the trip, and when he said where it was I was momentarily happy about the whole thing, but now I'm wondering if it is a good idea and what if anything would be gained by my going. And as far as going away for a bit reducing stress, sure, that's the idea, but that last day at least I'd really be worried about us getting back in time. I know that he'll get home faster without me. He doesn't take as long to eat, and he wouldn't be making as many stops, etc....

What I'm really worried about is if he gets a flat tire or there is traffic or something, and it delays him getting home by three on Friday. I just have to figure out if my staying here would help anything in an emergency.