I can rationalize that change can be for the good in my life but try telling that to my emotions. We've been going through a tough time since Michael lost his job in early October. Manufacturing in Ohio has dried up and with an excessive of new college grads with drafting skills and the willingness to work for migrant worker pay, there aren't many options left. One upside to the downsize was an immediate improvement in Michael's overall attitude towards life. No longer beholden to a bully of a boss and the confining 9-5 schedule he once again saw the world as his oyster. He took a few days to re-group and we discussed where we go from here. Return to manual labor in a shop, try and compete as a drafter, start a new business, and the last ditch idea....prostitution! Obviously, the latter wasn't a viable option...Michael refused to wear a skirt and heels!!
Joking aside, this situation has greatly impacted all of us. While I am know for my thriftiness, I had to become even more creative. Gone are the days of loading up the grocery buggy with extra treats for the kids. I am happy to report that our monthly grocery bill, which includes cleaners, paper products, health and beauty items plus dog food, has dropped from $450 a month to close to $300 per month!! Not too shabby for a family of 5 with a German Shepherd puppy who spends his day eating. The kids have learned to cut back as well. The girls are no longer buying lunch one a week which shaves off $20 from our expenses. We've luckily found activities for each of them that require little to no cost and even planned Grace's ice skating and slumber party for under $20. I'm even looking at my receipts for Thanksgiving dinner and I'm under $30 for 18 people. Yes, it's a potluck but I'm providing the turkey and most of the side dishes!! Thank you garden and grocery store sales!!
Thanking my lucky stars we has subscribed to the Dave Ramsey debt free model and had a saving cushion. With that we've been able to develop a workable plan and start up a new business. Diamond Clear Headlight Restoration. Thanks to Michael's father, we have the tools and techniques to really make it viable. We're starting off in the absolute worst season but I fully believe and have faith that it'll take off.
Our divergence has taken yet another fork in the path...I'm a little trepidacious but KNOW we'll be alright. After all, when one door closes another opens and leads to a new adventure!!
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
This summer went by like a blur and I didn't get to enjoy it. I vividly remember summers as a kid where your toughest decision was orange or cherry popsicle. Due to the circumstances of life and the economy, I spend my summer working 7 days a week at the Lutheran Memorial Camp. They run a summer camp program for kids and offer a way of connecting with God via nature as well as teaching environmental education. Great program, great location, great people. Unfortunately, this took me away from my garden, which suffered greatly. After working long days/nights in extreme heat on my feet (hey, that rhymed!!) I was in no mood or condition to get back out in the heat to weed and prune. My bounty this year is very embarrassing: 3 quarts of pickles, 12 quarts of apple sauce, 1 gallon bag of sunflower seeds, 3 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, 5 pounds of sweet potatoes, 4 cups of frozen sweet peppers, 3 quarts of dried beans, 1 pint of dried cherries and 12 half-pints of peach butter. We had a nasty wind storm that blew over my corn...tried to save it but with such shallow roots it was a lost cause. My tomatoes were amazingly abundant this year but due to a lack of pruning they resembled a jungle!!! There's always next year!!