Dust settles

Keyboard I use with my phone

Omoton Bluetooth Keyboard

Now that the dust settled (somewhat) and we got into a routine of things, I will be posting more. I do have a few Gs of data per month, and I’ll be using them to post more on my blog.

No, I won’t be on Facebook, much. While the app and messenger are horrendous data hogs, the website isn’t much better. I suspect it’s the large images and ads, but I blow through a lot of data when I’m on there.

Take heart, I will be on when we go to the library, although I use that opportunity to post to my story blog (here, if anyone is interested). However my time is limited so even though I do check my notifications and stalk a few friends, I still won’t be posting there much. 

It will still be crazy for the next few weeks as Mike starts working tomorrow. Financially, we are still very tight, but with someone helping with the house payments (thanks, Jon) and the fact that we no longer have a car or camper payment, we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Moving Faster

100_0335In the last post, I said that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, but it was far in the distance. Seriously, I barely see it, but I know it’s there.

So I decided to try to get to that light faster. So in an ambitious move, and by ambitious I mean in a desperate, crazy sort of way, I started this blog: $250,000 in ninety days.

For friends and family reading this post, I need your help. You will start to see more posts from that blog on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook and when you do, I ask that you share the links. I could use the traffic.

Working From Home, Sort Of.

Mike is finally working, although it’s not for much. He offered to help out at the RV park where we are staying. They hired him for $10/hour. It’s not much, but it is an income.

While chatting with the new boss, he found out something interesting… Some companies think that he might be lying on his résumé. Apparently, no one is multitalented anymore.

Hopefully, by working here, he could get a good reference from the owners. He’s already built a couple of benches out of scrap wood to put into the dog run, and painted the laundry room and clubhouse.

I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s pretty far off.

Idea #1 New category “Ads”

By law, I have to disclose whether or not I make any money from a link that I post on a product. I guess it’s to show potential bias for something. It’s more than likely to root out those who are paid cash to push a product. However, you know how the law works, even those who have the potential to make a few cents on a product that they were planning to share anyway, have to disclose that info.

I decided to just be blatant about it and create an “Ads” category. Most of the posts in this category are items that I already use and love already but some will actually be ads for affiliates. While I don’t think I’ll be a millionaire overnight doing this, it’s a start.

No Such Luck

So far Mike hasn’t found a job. We have one month of reserves left and the real estate agent doesn’t seem to motivated to sell our house. Unless either one of us (or both) finds some sort of income, bills will start to go unpaid.

I’m not saying this to complain or to ask for sympathy, but to state a problem that I do know that we can solve. I have a few ideas and I plan on blogging about them. What can I possibly do in one month? Definitely not rely on luck, that’s for sure.

In Texas

We finally made it to the “Texan RV Park” and after all the problems getting here, what could possibly go wrong? Let’s see…  The internet is awful, only because we are too far from the WAP. Fortunately, that could be resolved by getting an antenna booster.  Unfortunately, we aren’t spending on anything extra until Mike is working again. It’s in the 90s and our air conditioner quit and now… it’s raining and nothing seems to be able to dry out.

On the bright side, we made it in one piece and the camper is still intact, minus the AC. Pfft, who needs AC in September anyway? Oh that’s right, we’re in Texas. It does seem that we have brought the cold with us. It’s supposed to be in the fifties at night for the next few days. Maybe by then we will have the AC fixed.

Until we get a booster, I’ll probably be on only twice a week.  This is when I have to do laundry and the internet is stable and fast.  I think one of the WAPs are there. This will mean no Skype for a little while longer, but I will be posting to my blog.

 

We finally made it to the “Texan RV Park” and after all the problems getting here, what could possibly go wrong? Let’s see…  The internet is awful, only because we are too far from the WAP. Fortunately, that could be resolved by getting an antenna booster.  Unfortunately, we aren’t spending on anything extra until Mike is working again. It’s in the 90s and our air conditioner quit and now… it’s raining and nothing seems to be able to dry out.

On the bright side, we made it in one piece and the camper is still intact, minus the AC. Pfft, who needs AC in September anyway? Oh that’s right, we’re in Texas. It does seem that we have brought the cold with us. It’s supposed to be in the fifties at night for the next few days. Maybe by then we will have the AC fixed.

Until we get a booster, I’ll probably be on only twice a week.  This is when I have to do laundry and the internet is stable and fast.  I think one of the WAPs are there. This will mean no Skype for a little while longer, but I will be posting to my blog.

One Week Later…

Baby

Ethan

Has it been more than a week already? Ethan Alan Neal was born last Wednesday at 7:35am. Yesterday was his one-week birthday.  At one week, he has definitely gained weight and the times that he is awake are a little longer.

Nursing is less sporadic and more predictable, so it won’t be long before I’ll be able to tackle the thank-you notes for the baby shower. I still have some down time as I was told by the midwife to still avoid lifting heavy objects… meaning moving and sorting boxes and tubs are still out of the question. We’ll see after my postnatal appointment next week.

Baby Trend Jogging Stroller

Baby Trend Jogging Stroller

I had used the gift cards and cash to purchase a stroller for the baby. It came bundled with a car seat that fits into the stroller so that the baby can sit comfortably. I wish we kept it here.

Because of all of the stuff that’s taking up space in the living room and the fact that we thought that I would be living in the camper by now, we took the stroller there. A few times today, I could have gone for a walk with the baby, but didn’t. The “Snugli” that I own works okay, but a bit cumbersome, especially if I decide to take a walk to the store.

For some reason, the internet in the spare room is quite flakey. I’m not sure why, but at first, I thought it was the wire shelving acting as a faraday cage but, no, the internet works quite well during the day, the time when I don’t have my hands free. I probably won’t get the chance to figure it out as we’ll probably move out by the time I can start trying.

That said, I still plan to post more often now that I have mastered the art of breastfeeding for the sixth time. Now I just need to master the art of mastering doing things with one hand while feeding the baby, including blogging, brushing my teeth, talking on the phone, and housework. At least Benjamin is old enough that I don’t have to learn the art of feeding the baby while talking on the phone, doing dishes and balancing on one leg to keep the toddler from diving headfirst into the garbage.

 

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Crazy Week

Fired red stamp

Fired red stamp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been so focused on my husband’s website, that I have lost track of time. I didn’t realize it’s been so long since my last post and so much has happened that I don’t know where to start… So, here goes:

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was fired from his job. I won’t go into too many details, but by the sounds of it, it won’t be long before this particular plant will shut down and the jobs move elsewhere. My husband had been complaining for a while now on the incompetent managers, and of course, I’m sure the incompetent managers didn’t like him at all. The fact of the matter is, incompetent people do not like the competent, because it reminds them how terrible they really are. So, when he finally made a mistake, they were all too eager to get rid of him.

It’s interesting to note, my husband is now happier and more motivated than he was. Granted, it will be extremely tight for the next few months as we both find ways to make money at home, but it’s nice to see him not spending most of his non-working, awake time reading Fark and political forums. Instead, he has been spending more time with the kids, which makes the kids happier.

My husband is currently a licensed Master Electrician in VT. While he’s not sure if he wants to make this his permanent profession, any work that brings in cash is good work. So, as I have said before, I’m working on his website, so it would be easy for someone to look him up.  Later, there will be more to the site. At the time of this posting, there’s only a homepage and a contact page (which also contains the towns that he will be servicing). We’ve talked about having weekly content published and move towards more of an informational site, rather than continue with the trade. We are not sure yet, but I’ve added the “Articles” mod and now I have to learn how to use it. Because there are so many interruptions in life with five kids and two dogs, it’s taking much longer than it should.

So, now, even with the future uncertain, I am still optimistic. I never see what most would consider “bad luck” to actually be bad. I’ve learned a while ago that anything bad happens is a learning opportunity. Interestingly enough, I seem to be more productive on the computer than I have been when we were certain that we would have a paycheck next week. Perhaps, this is God’s way of giving us the “kick in the pants” that we needed to start focusing on being better.

 

 

 

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Goals: Meal Planning (part 3)

A raw top Rump steak or Round Steak - the base...

A raw top Rump steak or Round Steak – the base steak from which the popeseye steak is cut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are into the second week of meal planning and I figured out a flaw in my plan: Sundays. Every Sunday, we usually eat at my parent’s house or at a potluck with the Church. There are those exceptions, like last Sunday, where one of the kids gets sick and we don’t stay beyond the service. Sometimes Mike or I will stay home with the sick kid, and the other will take the others and then come straight home.

I usually don’t have any meals planned for that day, so I pretty much “wing it”. The downside is that we always have leftovers, which we have on Monday, which throws the entire week off.  Without Spaghetti on Monday, there’s no Chili on Tuesday. The sauce that my husband makes is usually more than enough for Spaghetti on Monday and for Chili on Tuesday.

So, instead of Spaghetti yesterday, we had leftovers from Sunday and today, I dug out a chicken from the chest freezer and put that in the oven. It wasn’t done by lunch, so I made the kids peanut butter and jelly in wheat wraps. I had a couple of eggs and some raisins. Everyone was eating the chicken when I got back from curves.

Another problem that came up, but I actually planned for was running out of a specific item. We buy in bulk in just about everything. No sooner than I had posted the last meal planning post, my husband had informed me that we were out of steak and we are due for a cow in February.

I went to thefoodee.com and found “Sexy-time Meatloaf”. Regardless of what it sounds like, there’s no porn (or half-naked women) involved. The link to the actual recipe has a few rated-R words, but that’s about it. The recipe is pretty basic, but sometimes the simplest of recipes happen to be the best.

It now replaces the Steak on Wednesdays, at least until we fill our freezer again. As it turns out, we have plenty of ground beef left.

As for Sundays, I haven’t quite figured out what to do yet, except I better have some extra freezer containers next time if I want to keep the schedule.

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Goals: Meal Planning (part 2)

MealsInOneNoteIn my last post, I’ve talked about meal planning. Well, at the last minute on Sunday, I manage to get a meal list done using Microsoft One Note. I like using One Note because it allows me to create an object for each meal.

This allows me to move objects or a text group around the page (you can see the “Saturday” group highlighted). When I start meal planning for the rest of the day (aside from just lunch), it will be easier to change around meals to the appropriate days.

You are probably wondering why Saturday is still empty. It’s because Saturday is the experiment day, where I try a new meal. If the kids like it, then it replaces another meal during the week to add some variety. It not only allows me some creative opportunity (or a day to get rid of leftovers), it also allows an opportunity for the girls to try something new, as they like to cook.

DSC00250The girls enjoy cooking and baking, especially when they get to pick out the meals themselves. Having a defined day, will not only make it easier for the girls to get a chance in the kitchen, but it will probably make cleanup a little easier, as the time it takes to plan a meal will be take out of the equation.

Today, I will inquire of the girls on what they want to make on Saturday with one caveat: They have to pick from one of the grain-free books that I have or from thefoodee.com. That should keep them busy all day.

 

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