Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Call to Arms: The Turkey Army

A treasured tradition in our house is the Thanksgiving Turkey Army. This year, we are making gift bags by writing "We are thankful for you" on some plain brown paper lunch sacks. We add some stamps, glitter, and a reason or two we are thankful for each neighbor and stuff the sack with one turkey for each member of the neighbor's family. Here's how we make the turkey army:

First you either make a batch of Rice Krispie Treats or (if you're easily overwhelmed like me) buy the pre-made treats. If you use the pre-made treats, cut each treat in half and mold into a ball.

Now twist apart some Oreo cookies. You'll use half as the base and half as the tail. Use a little white frosting as "glue" to hold the ball onto the base and the tail onto the back of the ball.

Dip the flat, back side of the fat ends of three candy corn candies and arrange on the tail for "feathers."

One more candy corn for the head:

And voila! Your turkey army is ready to do battle!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I think I know one reason...

In earlier posts, I've mused that the Lord has His reasons for hubby being unemployed. I think I might know one of them. This will come as a shock to you, but I'm kind of easily swayed by my circumstances. ("DUH!" I hear you say, "Tell me something I don't know!")

Even just reading over my blog posts I see how I've been swinging wildly. Living it has been even more crazy. My faith/fear factor can change hourly. Oh, double-minded me of little faith.

I think maybe, just perhaps, this opportunity has been granted me so I can grow a little and get on more even footing in my faithwalk. No, it's probably not the only reason, but it's one I can see.

What brought on this great insight? The rush of relief when an advance check for a freelance project arrived in our bank account! Ahhhh, sweet.

Off to work on the lesson to be learned...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

I'm gonna be brave.

I've had enough of voting for "the party" because of its platform just to have the guy get into office and allow compromise on issues that I feel are very important.

I am not going to feel that I'm wasting my vote because I go outside the two-party system.

I am fairly certain that Barack Obama will be our next president.

I am voting for Chuck Baldwin.

There. I've said it. It's out in the open and I'm not going to be shy about it anymore.

It keeps getting more interesting, that's for sure

I don't want to go so far as to say it's getting worse, because I'm sure God has a plan. You DO have a plan, right, Lord? These layoffs and budget cuts have become industry-wide in hubby's business. Every company, even the secular ones, have begun hiring freezes, layoffs and cutbacks. It's kind of intense to see his job market dwindle to even more meager opportunities.

It's not like he can just go be an accountant. His degree is in this field. 20 years of experience are in this field. His contacts are in this field.

We're doing okay right now. We have enough money saved that, barring disaster, we will make it easily until December 15. All the bills will be paid, there'll be food on the table, I don't expect any issues at all getting done what needs to be done. We'll probably even have the roof fixed and put it on the credit card.

And there are freelance jobs available. I guess that's one upside to all the cutbacks. There are so many companies that have reduced their job force to the point that they have to hire the work out to be done by freelancers. This makes my mother angry enough to spit nails. She says it's a great deal for them, not having to pay insurance and benefits. I say it's a pretty good deal for us, putting food on our table and a roof over our heads! Besides, after spending my life moving from one state to another every couple years, it's kinda nice to stay in one place and work for companies all over the US. Even if the South isn't where I'd most like to be, it's probably better than trying to sell a house in this market.

It would be even nicer, though, if we could make up more of the lost income through freelancing than only 50%. Now would be the time for me and Blair to go find a job, I suppose there are places hiring holiday help. But hubby is still adamant that a) I'm needed here, especially while he is working at home and b) I don't belong in retail.

I don't know where I might or might not belong. But I'm willing to do what's necessary.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A little down

My mom is still having problems that came from the problems she had after her hip replacement surgery. She developed an infection while she was in the hospital, and is having a hard time getting over it.

My sister's back surgery was today and she came out of it great.

We looked into the "low income health insurance" offered by the state and it's a JOKE. It would cost us over $1500 a month in premiums alone to cover us. That's before we take a single step into the doctor's office, and it doesn't cover John's lousy teeth or Kate's braces.

Tomorrow is the election. It'll be Blair's first time voting. That's a wonderful, bittersweet moment.

I have a lot of things to do around the house and can't get motivated to do any of them. I want to go buy the video game I've been looking forward to and just sit and play all day until I feel better.

They had layoffs last week at two of the companies that have been courting hubby.

Our roof is leaking and they want $300 to fix it.

The mystery shopping market has really bottomed out around here. It might just be the time of year, but I had hoped to earn a little holiday money. There just aren't any jobs being listed.

I didn't sell anything at my Amazon store all week! My average is 3 items a day, and I have almost 300 books listed, but in the last 7 days everything has come to a standstill. I hope it's just the election.

Every time I play Pogo, my browser crashes! This is new and very frustrating. Especially when I'm mopping the floor with the bozo computer at Scrabble, and get within two tiles of winning the game and...

Enough moaning. Time for bed. Fiddledee, tomorrow is another day

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It gives one pause

My mom had hip replacement surgery a couple weeks ago. It went well, she was up and walking the same day. After three days she went home and was back in the hospital the next day with a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot in her lung. They put her on blood thinners and held her perfectly still until it dissolved and she went home. She went back in the hospital the next day, screaming in pain, with a huge lump of pooled blood (think watermelon-sized) that had collected on her new hip. All the blood thinners and inactivity made the blood rushing to heal that area unable to reabsorb into her bloodstream. Three more days hospitalized for blood infusions. They moved her yesterday to a rehab center where the physical and occupational therapists can work with her every two hours.

On Monday my sister goes in for spinal surgery. She has a herniated disk between L4 and L5 that is drooping into her spinal column. She already has numbness and a foot that doesn't move right when she walks.

Today is my family's first day without health insurance of any kind. We are considering extending hubby's insurance with COBRA payments, even though that will eat up 80% of what he makes freelancing, and possibly leaving the kids and I uninsured. The other option would be a $10,000 deductible plan for the kids and I, but even that would consume half of the remaining 20% after the COBRA payment. Right now, hubby is the only one who takes prescriptions and visits the doctor regularly. The kids and I have most of our issues handled with diet and lifestyle.

But one never knows, does one?