Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not much going on here

I think I have mentioned before that I really only seem to post when I`m feeling shitty.  I usually save my ``brave face`` for family and quite honestly when I`m feeling better, I try to do more constructive things something that I can hold and look at if you know what I mean. Today I feel reasonably well and am at quite a loss for words.  I guess when I look back and see the gaps in the dates when I`ve posted, I can say that there have been pretty long stretches where I was doing well.  Of course some of those gaps are because I was too unwell to post but there aren't that many of those.
As you know, I have been waiting for our upstairs bathroom to be redone for quite some time (a mere 20 years) and there always seems to be something that comes up that uses up the money that was being put aside - glasses, driving lessons, truck repairs etc., you know what I mean.  This time I am truly torn up.  I`m really the only person in the house who cares about the bathroom.  I wish I had a nice bathroom with a big soaker tub (which we already have thanks to D) where I could relax without looking at cracked tiles and peeling paint, blah, blah.  Jessica has moved in with her boy friend and my boys are in and out of there for their showers and don`t much notice or care about the state of the room as long as they have hot water.  However - I know, I know, there is always a but - The couch we have been using is an old sofa bed that was handed down to us from my mother in law.  You know the story, broken springs, flat padding, torn upholstery.  I was using sheets to cover it which actually was quite handy because I could just toss them in the wash when (not infrequently) Max tracked mud onto it or when something got spilled (also not infrequently).  Anyway, I could live with that but, I have been having back pain a lot, sometimes excruciatingly painful, so John suggested I use his recliner during the day.  I started to do that and noticed a significant decrease in the number of days that I was having back pain.  John started insisting that I sit there when he was at home but I know having his legs elevated and his knees supported made a significant difference in the amount of pain he experiences.  So I guess you can see where this is going.  We decided to start looking for a new couch.  I knew I wanted something that had no loose cushions, something that was easy to clean and something that had plenty of support for my lower back.  We started looking and concluded that leather is really not much more expensive than fabric.  I was asking if they had vinyl or naugahyde or something cheaper than leather and every single salesman looked at me like I`m stupid and then began to extoll the virtues of ``treated`` fabrics.  I`ve seen enough new furniture get ruined to know that that is crap.  Spills do not just puddle on top of the fabric and stains do'nt just wipe away.   The fabric covered furniture pretty much all have loose cushions and throw pillows and most of the stuff we did like had reclining ends on the couch.  Anyway, once again, I`m sure you can see where this is going - we bought a new couch and chair.  The chair is a recliner and the couch has reclining seats on each end with just a regular seat in the center.  I know some of you (D) won`t believe this but it wasn`t much more expensive than it would have been to get a couch and chair that I didn`t like as much.  We get the stuff home and it is significantly larger than it looked in a huge showroom at the furniture store and John`s recliner (a gift from his sister) is very large.  Our house is not that big so now our little living room looks like a barbie doll size house with cabbage patch kid size furniture.  The good news is that after a few weeks, my back is much better and I`m having very few problems in that department; when Max comes in wet and muddy from a walk I don`t have to try to keep him off the furniture because once it dries I can just wipe it down.  I have rubbed the whole thing down with a conditioner/cleaner that came "free" and it looks great.  We did pay for it, but obviously with the money that was supposed to be for the bathroom.  I have been feeling terribly guilty about it because we should be trying to build some more equity in the house but every time I sit down, or get up without back pain I'm relieved and happy we made the choice we did.  I also feel guilty that we ended up buying such an expensive item basically for my benefit but then John and Derek are enjoying it as well and I would be the only one enjoying a new bathroom - does that make sense or is it just me trying to justify the selfishness of spending the money on relieving my back pain.  Anyway... The old couch ended up going to Jess and her boyfriend which made them happy and that makes me happy.  I've had to put away a lot of the clutter I had out (not clutter but works in progress) because there really isn't room for a coffee table, just an end table  and that also means I have to get up off my ass more often because I don't have a bunch of stuff within arms reach anymore.  All in all, it's done now and here we are with comfy new furniture and a crappy old bathroom.

In other news, Jessica is working hard at school and a part time job and she's really enjoying both.  She's a little mixed up about where she wants to go in terms of school.  Her exposure to different things is making it a little more difficult for her to decide.  She's thinking journalism, as always, but she also seems very interested in public relations, communications (whatever that means exactly) and political science.  She has time to figure that out but I think she's a little surprised by the variety of things she's finding interesting.  We can only go by what she is saying but she seems to be getting fairly good grades and for sure she is really liking school.  She also seems to be budgeting her money pretty well because she is not asking us for any. 

Derek is working part-time at well above minimum wage but is complaining he's not getting enough hours.  He is looking for a second part time job but is finding it a little bit difficult because he has to be available weekends for the first job and most part  timers have to be available to work weekends.  He had an interview yesterday at a local KFC and the manager basically told him that she thought he was too smart and ambitious for the job and that he would get bored and quit before too long.  I don't know if that's good or bad but I think it boosted his confidence.  On the bright side with the first part time job he is learning to deal with disappointment and containing his temper.  The first few times he felt he wasn't getting enough hours he did a lot of stomping around and bitching but now he seems to be taking it in stride and continuing the hunt for a second job.  He's almost finished his driving lessons and is anxious to buy a car.  I don't think he has any clue how high his insurance is going to be and he's talking about getting a car loan.  I know this is way too much for him to take on right now but I'm hoping it's just talk and he'll become more realistic once he starts actually looking for a car.  Our conundrum right now is that once he becomes a licensed driving living at this address he has to be added to the insurance on John's truck.  We don't think this is going to be a trivial amount but he will rarely be able to actually use the truck so do we make him pay the extra insurance?  It's not his fault he has to be added to the insurance on a vehicle he doesn't really have access to, but it's not our fault his getting a driver's license increases our insurance costs. 

Jeez, when they say that as your kids get older the problems don't get any bigger or smaller, they just get different they aren't kidding.  In any case, I'm very proud of both of them.  Anyway, that's the best I can do for good news so I will sign off now and get some housework done.

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