Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saving Mom

Last year my mother died. She suffered a lot. She was ready to go. The only thing she told us about her burial was that she wanted to be cremated. She figured it would be cheaper that way. No one in the family has much money and she didn't have anything.

Being the oldest child I was the one to sign paperwork and to talk to the doctor about things even though I live hundreds of miles away from the rest of the family and her. My younger aunt went to the funeral home recommended by a cousin and had her cremated. My eldest aunt paid 1/4 of the bill right off the bat. She has the most money. I talked to my sister she said she would be paying some towards the bill when she got her tax refund. I ended up making monthly payments when threats came from the funeral home. I had no idea what arrangement my younger aunt had made.

So for the past year I have made payments. When the younger aunt received an inheritance from her cousin's death she contributed 1/4. My sister never paid anything. My brother didn't make a peep. But in the past year my younger aunt has talked about paying to open the grave site where my grandparents are to put my mother's urn in the ground. As soon as this came up I stated I was against it. If my mother wanted to be in the ground she would have asked for it. Plus it is $900 just to put her in the ground on top of the cremation cost.

My younger aunt continued with the grave site talk and the urn she wanted to get. The only person in the family who requested some of her cremains was my oldest niece. I wanted her to get some and then we could scatter my mother. I tried to have her paid off by the year anniversary. Money problems cause this not to be an option. Then I aimed for vacation next month to rescue her cremains and scatter her (after the niece's cut).

Today in the mail I get a statement from the funeral home stating she was paid in full. I know the younger aunt cam up with the last couple hundred and now has her. I had stopped answering her emails a while ago since she infuriated me so much. I was upset that my mother was paid off and my plot was foiled. My friend reminded me that my mother wouldn't care either way. It was important to me to save my mother's cremains. My aunts were so bossy through her life.

I know that my wanting to "save" my mother's cremains was just the last shot at a childhood filled with trying to save her. I know it was a bit selfish. but I wanted to do it. The vacation next month was 50% doing this plan. I want to see my nieces and maybe that nephew I have never seen. I wanted to help bring my mother peace, but that was just my emotions and wants not something that had to be done. It wasn't like it was her last request.

It still upsets me. The husband was consoling in understanding what I wanted to do. He would love to tell my aunt off. I just want to be done with the family nonsense. I didn't have contact with this aunt until my mother was ill and after she died. This is her trying to be the matriarch. She doesn't have children and has been compensating with my brother's family.

So she can have the cremains. She can't take away the witch puppet I have that looks like my mother.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

12 in 12 Update

Update #6

Man, I keep forgetting to update this monthly. Well, here is another shot at my goals...

1. Lose weight - I haven't weighed in for a while. My clothes fit the same so I doubt anything changed. 

2. Get to selling - Still haven't put anything back into the Etsy shop. I try to list some items weekly on Ebay. This weekend I took advantage of the free listings. I listed everything I had listed before that hadn't sold, plus dug out some things around the house. I am up to 60 sales for the year. Not bad. I need to work on photographing, describing and getting more sold. The husband has some NASCAR items he is sitting on that would sell. 

3. Pay off my mom - I am down to $200 owed. I have a plan to pay the rest off in cash when I go on vacation up north next month. My aunt is still going on about the urn and putting it in the ground. I am tired of thinking about others. My plan is to get the ashes, give some to my niece and spread the rest. My friends said they could take us out on the river to spread her. I think she would like that. I want to rescue my mother from the crazy relatives and have some closure. 

4. Put down flooring - Holding steady at 4 rooms. No new flooring on months. The last room was the second bathroom. I still have a pile of tile on my porch waiting for their home. 


5. Paint 2nd bedroom - I picked what colors we already have for the second bedroom - blues. I bought brushes and rollers. I was all ready to paint when the nephew returned. Then he left. Then I changed the plan for the room. I want to get rid of the big shelves and put shelving on the wall all the way around the room to hold all our collections - cars, toys, games etc. Now I have a plan. I need to take everything down, get the walls prepped and just do it. Then the shelf can go up. It won't cost much either and get the stuff higher up and out of the way. 

6. Paint and try to start redo on the kitchen - The moving the cabinets idea has been replaced with building all new cabinets. Ten feet of cabinets, with doors. The added costs pushes this project back. But it gives me time to find the Plexiglas for the doors and handles. (This remains the same. The plan goes into effect after vacation.)

7. Get the shed out of the 2nd bath - The husband cleaned out the bathroom turned shed completely right before the nephew came in May. Since we had to shut down the leaking toilet in the master bath after loosing the pump for the well the second bathroom is the new toilet. We still use the master shower. 

8. Green it up - I am now up to 4 planters - rabbit (below), frog, sheep and lamb. I have a bunch of other plants by the kitchen window. I found a few on clearance at Lowe's. 

9. Take care of the finances - Well, as someone may have read on the previous post I completed the bankruptcy. I have a new bank account and I am starting the "paying myself first" plan. I also told the husband that I am not going to be the one who bails people out. I am on time with all my bills. --Update: I do pay myself every payday. This helps with saving for vacation, as well as having money when the pump went out. 

10. Do more, compute less - I am guilty of daily computer usage. I have a pile of books to read. We are finding more Groupons and coupons and doing something at least once a week. Coming up: Zoo x2, planetarium, natural history museum and miniature golf. 

11. Downsize - I gave away two boxes and two bags of stuff. It felt good. Plus the thrift store folks jumped on my stuff when I left it. Now to start a new box. The second bedroom redo will help to clear up stuff in that room and the master closet. I am so excited!

12. Sew something - No new sewing. I did put more fabric in my crafty box. Christmas is coming...


I did something different this weekend. I actually hung out with friends. These friends were met through work, but no longer work there. We watch their dog when they go out of town. We made a deal that in exchange for pet sitting they feed us. We last dog sat in May, but are just now getting together. Busy lives I guess. Plus you sometimes have to book myself and the husband ahead of time.

This time the friends said, why don’t you come over and we will grill some steaks. Okay. I am always up for food. The husband has beers with them. We swap stories. I update them on work antics. Come to find out we have had some similar pursuits. The newest retiree has been helping people move and go through their possessions. They are going to build a shed for the lawn mower etc. that take up the garage and put a pool table and poker table in there. The husband’s ears perked up at that. He is all about poker paraphernalia and pool. If they build a bowling alley he will never leave their home.

The retiree also has been talking about getting a private investigator license. Then the husband can pair up to do repos. He used to do that and so did his father. He really liked it. I know, an odd boy. The retiree has been reading what I post online about thrifting and is very interested. Of course the husband went on and on about all of his great deals and reselling accomplishments. I told them after vacation next month (which all my savings is going towards right now) I want to invest more into the reselling and get more serious. I finally hit 60 sales this year, but that was hit and miss. I have been trying to get rid of what I already had rather than getting more stuff just to sell. I read blog after blog. I try to list what I have on several sites for sale. I am just not getting very far, as far as I think. But if I average the sales that is almost 7 per month. Not bad for a newbie. 

I know, it is a slow road. I think if I try to find deals to flip for sale I would increase sales. The stuff that hasn’t been selling for months may need to hit the giveaway box. Plus I think that confidence and perseverance should go a long way. I mean, I totally turned the husband into a prolificator of all that is thrift and I am working on his future love of antiquing. He talks so well about thrifting and deals people think he has a store. He even has a name for it. The guy is thinking big.

I was planning on putting out more Halloween decorations today. Somehow I have been noodling around online and not much of anything else (but laundry). The husband sleep until noon. I feel like a bum. The kitchen is reasonably clean. The dishes are washed. The dining table is mostly clear. The autumn leaves candle has lulled me into submission. The plants are watered. The pets are fed. I guess I am in supreme lazy mode. 

I did manage to get some grocery shopping in this weekend. Yet it always seems like there is nothing I want to eat when I am being a bum at home. I splurged and bought myself a big ole pumpkin. The last couple years I haven't gotten one. It seems frivolous. I love fall and Halloween. My pumpkin is siting on the dining room table. Not a bad deal for $3.88 at Walmart. 

Here is a find that I don't think I posted from the other week. The husband cleaned it up and fixed it to hang on my wall of stitchery. I blame blogs for that wall. I saw such cute pictures on other blogs and started seeing them in stores so I started buying. The husband knows I will fill up the wall if I can. At least now it is eclectic with a house, flowers and multiple animals.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Trying a less wordy post. I made an effort to take more pictures of cool stuff. I only bought one thing...

We wandered the countryside after dropping off my two bags and two boxes to a local thrift store. We were on our way to a thrift store in another town when we drove by the Webb's Antique Mall in Lake City, FL and turned around to check it out. 

Look at all those radios. 

I love old TVs. I could have a room full if the husband didn't have a monster sized TV in the living room. 

Mayor McCheese. I call a guy at work that. He doesn't find it as humorous as I do. 

Another guy is the Hamburgler. He doesn't find it funny. It must be the life sentence. 

Ah, an old fan. So want one. 

I love the old lab chairs. The billiard balls are cool too. But yet, no pool table would fit in my little house. 

I see sets like this on blogs all the time. $65 for a full set would be a deal. Maybe another day. 

Wall of projectors, or as I call it, Projector Porn

I saw a bunch of different doll houses there. They are so cute. 

This one was a painting someone did. It reminded me of my friend. 

Wall of radios. Radio Porn. 

I somehow have to take photos of mannaquins. This one looks like she has some medical condition. 

I was tempted by this paint by number. I want one. I pass them up and then wonder if I should have jumped on it. 

This dog painting was just too funny to not photograph. 

I want this in my yard. It made us want a Frosty. Then there was a guy yelling about spilling coffee on himself and calling 911. Really???

I got this from the craft fair/yard sale in town. It needs some cleaning up. Too cute to pass up. 

The husband bought this. He has stopped buying so many poker chips. This was from the Teaching Farm. They had to stop doing yard sales at their place due to insurance prices. They are neat folks. 

The husband's antique mall find. An ammo case. He said he always wanted one. He wants to put it in his camo truck. He is a little fixated on camo. 

Better Late Than Never

I was lazy all week and didn't post last week's post due to not adding pictures. Here is what I wrote on 9/10/11...

It was a wandering Saturday again. I read about a flea market and some yard sales in High Springs so we headed that way. I rarely go to that little town. It is a little yuppie-ish and filled with little shops and antique stores.

First the flea market was not at the address listed. We managed to find it down the road on SR 441 in a storage unit. place. We looked around. We didn't find anything. I did see a very cool, but low to the ground MCM table that I eyeballed, but didn't bother asking the price.

We wandered around looking for the yard sales. No luck there. We stopped at a Hospice thrift. No luck there. We went to Newberry to check out a thrift I saw when I took the long drive to Bronson last month. Nothing there.

We had a discussion in how I think that we should check out antique stores. The husband is totally against them. He thinks that they are all over priced. I think that we need to check them out because A) we like old stuff and B) we did have luck at an antique store in Tallahassee and C) you can't assume that the prices will be high. We even find thrifts with high prices.

Now this is the proper tub planter. Mine doesn't have feet. 

So we saw a quilt/antique store. We wandered around the low and behold the husband found a couple things he liked. We didn't buy anything, but I proved my point. Maybe now I can get the husband to check out more antique stores. I read all these blogs and feel like I am missing out on something by not going to antique stores.

We wandered to Trenton. The husband says a country singer Easton Corbin comes from there. I don't recall going there before.

It was lunch time. I searched my phone for places to eat. The Cracker Box came up. It was a very nice, mostly fish place. The waitress was so nice. They gave a ton of food. The husband loved his catfish. I was stuffed with fried shrimp. We waddled out.

And what was across the street but a thrift store. You know we had to check it out. The husband found something on the front porch right away. The store was in an old house, but the people said that they were moving soon. Of course we will have to be back. I was halfway through the store when the husband came in and asked how much they wanted for the find. Then he told me he found an 8 mm projector just like the one we found in Tallahassee, but with the cover. Plus they wanted $5.

Now we have "twins." Two Revere 85 projectors, one with the cover. 

My free chairs. They are so cute. 

We also saw two old chairs by the trash. The people said sure, take them. Yes, they were falling apart and need to be recovered, but the meat of the chairs - the metal was in great shape. I see the husband helping me fix it up. Plus they were FREE.

The husband and I hit a few other thrifts between there and Gainesville. I also brought home a book and a pumpkin bell. We had a good time wandering the countryside. I like the ride. We only spent like $6.50 on finds. It is still fun searching. I think the husband has gotten more into it then he will admit.

On Sunday the husband was resting because he had hurt his back at work and was still sore. I did manage to do some major cleaning. The give away box is full. There are two bags of clothes and a blanket. It is definitely time to get that out of the house. I moved the give aways and stuff we are trying to sell in the second bedroom. I was planning what to finally do with it since the nephew is out of there. I had a plan before he came, but I changed it.

The new plan is a shelf all around near the top to hold all the cars, toys and games. It won't cost much. I can get rid of the two tall shelves and the 3 odd little ones I got last year at IKEA. Then there is so much floor space. The husband's fooseball table can fit, plus the small bed and my chair. I am so excited. It will look 100% better. I have to get on this.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bees, Nuts and Ice Cream

For such a long holiday weekend I sure feel like it was quick.

Friday I came home from work to a husband who was in intense pain after being stung 20 times by yellow jackets while mowing the lawn. He didn't realize that there was a nest of bees in a hole in the ground while he used his Dad's tractor to now the whole yard. He said he passed over the hole three times when they attacked. I guess the third time it's personal. He said he dove off the tractor.

He had put baking soda on the stings, as well as tobacco. Nothing worked on the pain. I brought home some sting reliever that is put directly on the sting. He ended up going to sleep early. I have never seen him in so much pain. He said it was worse than when he went through the windshield of his truck.

On Saturday we started out with breakfast out. We started down the road not having any idea of what to do. Then we realized this weekend was the expiration of the Pirate Museum deal I bought when I bought the one for Ripley's We started toward St Augustine. I never complain about going there. It's a fun city.

I asked to stop at what I call The Old People's Thrift Store - the Penny Farms Resale Store. I know I have written a while back (probably last year) about Penny Farms. This retirement community has their own Resale Store and it has the best prices. I cannot wait until its closer to Christmas and I can find some more cool ornaments and only spend my loose change.

The husband found a Majong set that is probably from the 1920s or 30s for $1.00. Gotta love their pricing. I found the silly Bowling Nut knickknack that I had to get for the husband's bowling pin shelf. I usually don't get many things that would just sit on the shelf, but at 20 cents how couldn't I.

The husband picked up a 10 cents dog boot. We couldn't find any others. We laughed at it but I told him it would fit into his camo bedroom design. He came up with the idea of putting the pencil and crayon made to look like sticks. I have been looking for something appropriate to put them in.

The husband hiding. Like I would put him in the photo. 

The final find at the old people's thrift was yet another game. Chaos from 1971. I told the husband he needs to make another shelf in the living room for just the old games we keep finding.

Then we went to the Pirate Museum. It was a busy place on such a nice Saturday. It wasn't all that big, but it had plenty of interactive exhibits. I wouldn't have paid full price for the place. Thank goodness for half off deals.

Then we decided to walk down St George Street. We haven't done that for a while since the husband had the knee issues earlier this year. We decided to eat at Pizza Time. We both had calzones. It got very busy after we got there. It was yummy.

Then the husband bought me an ice cream cone from Kilwins. They have great candy, chocolate and ice cream. They didn't have pistachio. I was a little disappointed, but anything in their sugar cone is great.

While window shopping and only checking out a couple stores I did manage to get a new wallet. You can't beat the $5 for this plastic wallet. Not only is it cute, but the last one (that said lunch money with cute food with faces) lasted a long time. It was on its last legs, so it was time to buy a new one. Plus it is always ice cream time for me.

Sunday I was determined to go to Sam's Club. There are only a handful of things I go there for and one is the husband's peanut butter. It is a few dollars less per two pack than even Walmart. I also got his diet Pepsi, some turkey bacon and I finally broke down and got the printer ink. Since I am still selling online and my work schedule went from getting off at 4 pm to 5 pm it is difficult for me to get to the post office during the week. Now I can try printing postage online. It is definitely a natural progression and a good idea.

When we got their early and Sam's wasn't open we went to Lowe's. Ah, Lowe's two weeks in a row. The husband somehow kept me from the garden section, even though I need some plants for my wheelbarrow planter. I did manage to get some more paint. I am not sure if the reduced paint we have accumulated will cover the bathroom I got some white paint. What happened with the old days when you could just get white paint. I swear that existed. So I had to go through the choices to pick a type of white. I found Ultra White. It was the whitest white they had. That will also be the white I use when I get to paint the cabinets in the kitchen.

We also took a trip to Winn-Dixie to get some buy one get one free deals. I love those. I didn't get much meat since it was looking sad when we went. I did enjoy the 99 cents a pound green grapes. I am so on a grape binge. Yum!

We even took the tractor back to the in-laws. I finally drove it and I didn't crash into anything or get bit by bees. I helped the husband load it on the trailer. I was so tired by about 7 pm that I went to sleep. I didn't wake up until the husband's alarm went off at 5 am. I rarely sleep that long.

Today I have been cleaning the neglected kitchen and doing laundry. The husband had to work. Even though he works nights now they have him working during the day. They don't believe in giving any holidays but Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank goodness he gets off work at a reasonable hour.

I have been also trying to find more things to put in the give away box. I relisted some stuff online. I was going to paint this weekend but some things changed things up this week. The nephew just showed back up on Tuesday. I don't think I have written much about him since it had me so angry. I know I wrote he came in May. Then in July I realized he had been here two months and had done nothing. The husband agreed with me that he needed to get a job and get off his butt. We both were annoyed him staying up all night, playing video games and sleeping all day. Not that any of that are bad things. We both work very hard, I clean the house and buy the groceries. I don't care what people do in their own lives. I just am funny about what people do in my house. I also don;t like people in my house. I have improved from being a total shut in I once was. I just am particular about my own space.

I had let the husband talk to the nephew about what the rules were etc. I just got tired of the kid going back on all that was agreed upon and what he said he would do when he came. Yes, the kid had to pay  more money than he thought to get his license. But it irked me that he sat on his butt while his uncle, grandparents and his mother put out money and drove him around. He said he applied for jobs. He is completely able bodied and smart. I know plenty of people with lots of things working against them and having no one to help them that work harder than this kid. It pissed me off. I finally said my piece at that two month mark. The husband got peeved because he wanted to do the talking. I felt it was important to me to be straight forward. Plus there was the incident where the nephew got drunk at 8 am and nearly fell out of the car when we were driving. I didn't trust the kid, he was being shady in other ways and his family just kept making excuses for him.

So after the talk the kid started cleaning up the kitchen. But I didn't want a live in maid. I wanted someone with a job. His grandparents even found him a job. Still nothing. Then he went to stay with his mom for a week. Six weeks later was when he returned this past week. In that time he texted the husband once and did not say anything about what he was planning or doing. I figured he wasn't coming back and I could reclaim the bedroom and bathroom to paint them.

The husband was very forgiving at the nephew's lack of respect by not telling him what his deal was until he came back to our house. The husband did not see the disrespect as I did. I finally outright said I didn't want the kid in our house. I was thinking I was stuck with the kid, but the next day the nephew had told the husband that he was moving to his mom's. Have I mentioned his mom lives like a mile from us.

The nephew stayed over his grandparents the next day and they took him to fill out a job application. I still don't believe that he is seriously looking for work. I guess I am disillusioned at the kid's all talk and no action BS. By Friday the husband tells me the nephew would be living with the in-laws/ grandparents. I was a bit amazed at this since the week before my mother in-law said the nephew would never live with them again. He had lived there 5 years ago and ate them out of house and home, along with a girlfriend, while neither one of them worked.

I guess after all the drama of realizing that the nephew can do whatever he wants and the family just excuses him (did I mention the in-laws months ago egged me on to be the tough one about him finding work). Plus I finally realized how my mother in-law is two faced. She was calling the kid a user and telling me to pack up his stuff and dump it at his mothers just last week. Good thing I am in counseling and can keep myself straight with the DIY therapy I do in the car ride home from work. I also think the mother in-law encourages the drama - like with the husband and his sister, along with the rest of the family.

I also thought about why the nephew made me so angry. Maybe it is all the excuses and how he really hasn't changed since I met the kid. Maybe it is because the family uses his parents as an excuse for how he is now. Excuse me, but I had a worse childhood and it is not healthy to keep using that as to why you talk a lot of trash about what you want to do but then just stay a slacker. I told the husband that I will not tolerate that junk when (if) we have kids. I am good at holding my tongue out of respect for the in-laws, but I have been working on standing up on the important things.

Now that I vented I can pass on my weekly appointment for DIY car therapy.