What’s New Pussycat?

I’ve been posting a lot lately about some things I’ve been finding interesting but I’m sure everyone is all like, “We want to know about you though!” Right? Probably more like people just want me to post pictures of the children being terrifically cute, but I broke the charger to my camera so I have no cute pictures ๐Ÿ˜ฆ s’sorry.
I will assure you that they have been very adorable and sweet and all those things little children are supposed to be. Lilybell has been turning up the notch on her schooling and starting to take off (more like a brisk walk instead of the snail crawl we had been doing) and Max has started to decide that things like helping around the house aren’t as bad as he thought they were. At least he gets to be with his sister instead of sitting alone and bored.
Today they spent most of the morning sliding down the hill into leaves with our neighbor (he’s three, it’s not a weird adult neighbor hanging out with kids) so I got a nice time to myself which I spent….lying on the couch.
When mom’s away the whole world opens up to you.
At least I was reading, which has become a lifesaver for me. I have a low tolerance for boredom and was filling my time with a lot of house projects, but being pregnant and easily tired (not to mention being terrifically bad at things like painting and filling in holes in the wall), I was getting so irritable. It was just wearing me out too much and I didn’t have the energy leftover to do things like cook dinner. Then I picked up a volume of Gothic stories at the library and once I finished them discovered that my life had gotten a lot better. I was less tired, happier, and wasn’t constantly putting things off. So now I have just been tearing through books and feeling much more content with the way things in my house are going. There is still paint that needs its yearly touch up but…eh, oh well.
I’m so pumped cold weather has finally come. I hate, and I mean hate being hot. The summer is full of noise, bugs, and you can never get comfortable. Cold weather brings this lovely peace to everything. I like going outside and feeling warm but with that brush of cold on your cheeks. I like snuggling up in bed under a large pile of blankets. I love all the cooking and baking that I can do since the stove isn’t unbearable hot. In fact, it’s very nice. I love the light smells instead of the stink of summer. I like that I can forget a cup of coffee in the car and can still retrieve it instead of it becoming instantly spoiled. If I had my way we would move somewhere even cooler so I wouldn’t have to put up with the unbearable summer heat. Roger doesn’t like the cold but he doesn’t like the heat either.
Then someone has to chime in with “Why not California? The weather’s always nice there,” to which I say HA! Maybe it’s always nice if you’re inside your office all day but for those of us who do outside things during the day it is not nice weather. My first experience with being really hot happened at the ย LA zoo when I was…8ish? I remember standing under a tree thinking, “This doesn’t feel any cooler than standing in the sun.” Plus, rain is by far my favorite kind of weather, and that is sorely lacking in California, especially now. I couldn’t imagine sunny days forever…it sounds like a nightmare.
You can’t live without water. Or clogs. Those are just facts.
Cold weather always seems to herald in a time of frugality for us. I don’t know what it is…the oil tank that needs to be filled, the many birthday parties, the eagerness to get out of the house and do something….but somehow money seems to not go as far during the fall. It also seems to get tight right around the beginning of summer too.ย 
You always hear people say “A spender should marry a saver,” but I don’t think my husband and I could be considered spenders or savers…in fact, we’re pretty ambivalent about money in general.
It comes in, it goes out, it’s whatever.ย 
But we decided awhile ago that my husband would be in charge of the money. I know lots of people are all about equal control of finances, but I’ve discovered that when there’s not a lot of it to go around, it’s better to have one person keep track of it. So when we start to hit our periods of frugality, only one of us freaks out haha. Seriously though. It’s been amazing for me to not be stressed about money, and my lack of stress about it helps him calm down when he gets stressed.ย 
Of course, the ten giant pumpkins we buy, and the child labor we hire to move them, may be somewhat draining our bank account
The fact is, I really thrive when I get into frugal mode. I absolutely love it. I think it’s because I’ve always had a fantasy about being able to pack up our home in a covered wagon and cross the country, shoving all my possessions into one large trunk. When money gets short around here I usually do just the opposite of most other people…I purge. I sort through school supplies, dishes, clothes, toys, blankets, and storage containers. It’s like I’ve been woken up from some sort of materialism nightmare and I think, “Oh God, what have I done to my family! We don’t need all this junk!” We take a few garage bags full of things to Goodwill at least once a month, which may make you think, “How in the world do you have enough stuff to be constantly taking that much to Goodwill?”
Exactly
The other day I saw The Frugal Girl joke about how she knows she has the right amount of dishes when her shelves are empty by the end of the day. I laughed because that’d exactly my logic on how much stuff we need. Dishes need to last until I do my every other day dishwash, clothes need to last a week, and who needs more than two pairs of sheets so one can be cleaning while the other is on your bed? I know I’ve got it right when people are complaining the day before laundry day.
It’s weird because I used to be a really greedy child. I mean, I just really liked getting things. Although as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I don’t really like having things, I just really enjoy pretty objects. It’s easy to satisfy your enjoyment with objects by wanting to possess them, but as I’ve gotten older the idea of having to then clean and take care of them trumps any desire I have to possess. My mom thinks I’m crazy because a lot of my stuff is mismatched or not used for what it’s supposed to be used for, but I long ago decided to only keep things that I really really enjoy.ย 
After all, if I’d get rid of it when I pack up my covered wagon, what’s the point in keeping it in my house now?
Ok, maybe that’s not the best logic. It’s more like, I do not enjoy spending my entire day cleaning but I like kids and I like animals, so that means I need to reduce the house and stuff in it. I know lots of other people would limit the kids or the animals, but they’re just too much fun.ย 
So frugal time hits, I purge, and then I start cooking. I enjoy sitting down with my recipe books and figuring out the best possible meals for the least amount of money. But when you spend less money, that means you have to do more work. I spent all of my Sunday evening yesterday baking. My ย husband was getting up early for a work trip and wanted bagels, so I made bagels. We were out of snacks, so I made crackers. And it’s Sunday, so I made my 2 weekly loaves of cinnamon bread. It’s amazing, even with handy tools like a bread machine, how much time you have to spend making everything from scratch. ย 
Mom, my arms hurt, can I be done?
You’ll know it’s thin enough when you aren’t able to feel your arms at all!
And then, because we’re not doing entertaining, expensive things, we spend a lot of time doing what we should; playing outside, taking time to wash those dirty cupboards out, doing schoolwork, taking care of the lawn, and reading.ย 
It’s amazing how shopping can upend your thinking. Once someone asked Brandy from The Prudent Homemaker how she gets every thing done and she pointed out that when you don’t have any choice except to be home, you want to do those things. And it’s so true.ย 
It’s incredibly easy to convince yourself that you need to just run to this store or that store. That you need to get this or that now, instead of waiting until you’re already out. I read somewhere that the average suburban family leaves their house five time during the day. Five times! What came up during those five times that couldn’t have been done when you left the first time? It’s not like we become complete recluses…in fact, there are days when we’ll spend the entire day out. But it’s only one day. We make plans to visit Grandma, go grocery shopping, stop by Lowe’s, and go to the playground on our way across town to the free Christmas display we want to see. And then we come home and just order stuff on Amazon if there’s something else we need lol.
Don’t even think about being done until Mommy has finished my shower, ok?
I love fall so much. I love that our life transforms from the hot mess it is in summer to the peaceful but productive way we want it to be. I love that we spend so much time together. I love that all those house projects get done in anticipation for winter. I love that I begin knocking off pinterest projects that I’ve been saving for Christmas. I love the hearty food and warm, spicy drinks that re-appear. I know winter will trudge on and our frugal living will pad our bank account and we’ll get lazy and irritable again, but then Spring will come and sanity will be restored. I don’t know if that’s the best way to live, but it works for us.ย 
Sorry for my lack of pictures. Remind me to order a new charger next time you see me.
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