Everything is costing lots and lots of money any more. How are we faring? Pretty good. I was born a princess, and while I am taking forever to grasp certain concepts, even with having a huge brood of children, the recent doubling of gas has me going into hyperdrive. I am making it-- this is the funny thing. Making it doesn't mean that I am sailing with no problems-- some ends just don't meet-- but that is OK. We just make do.
Last week we went to a thrift store. I must say, it was my first serious visit where I planned to shop there and I took the kids. In the past, I went to humour a friend who kept telling me that I needed to go. I went in with the kids who were quite happy-- "May I put this shirt in the cart? It's only fifty cents!" "Mom, this is great-- roller blades for $2!" Basil asked me if the store was new and I said it wasn't. He asked why we didn't go there more often, "When you don't shop here first, you are throwing your money away!"
As we went through the store, I found an ironing board. I had Dmitri carry it 10 feet to the counter for me and it kept opening up on it's own, which was extremely funny. Fortunately there was nothing in his path that he could break!
I left having paid $37.41. I had so many new things for the kids and outfitted them well and they were happy.
I saw the dentist that day-- I finally found a decent dental hygienist. She doesn't speak English. She apologized for her English but I told her to chill; I was fine and don't speak Russian.
My rhubarb is growing well and we eat it every day. Several years ago I bought several plants for $10 from a farmer with thriving plants. That would be the summer that Starshine would be born when dh got laid off. Unemployment only let us declare 3 dependents. Tiger was working at a bakery and we got their unsold products, and the rhubarb was growing. The unemployment went to pay for utilities, a little bit of gas and I would buy flour, eggs, sugar and cooking oil. We would come within weeks of losing our home and that was with my in-laws helping with paying our morgage a few times. We'd pray our thanks before we ate with me mentaly pleading with God to keep the food coming and keep us all liking rhubarb! (So far, so good-- yay God! Whenever I make anything with rhubab, my husband and kids are quite excited and it's, "What are you making tonight?" Basil even made rhubarb crisp for us the other day! Not only do we all love it, but the kids are learning to cook with it!)
I know a few women who have recently quite jobs in the commuter town that many people commute to who live where I live. Gas prices got too high and both they and their husbands needed to be able to come home whenver for the kids. When they factored in gas prices, child care, and everything else, it was better for them to be home. EVERYONE is having to accomodate right now. As someone with a big family, they are asking me for how I shop & prepare food because they know I have not had it easy in years. I have a way to go, but I am shocked by what I do know that I wasn't aware that I knew.
This morning I was worried about stretching food over the next week until my husband gets paid. It gets a little boring. Today is Peaches' birthday and Tiger showed up. She was telling me how things are with her college friends. One of her friends is someone who I met and adored-- when I later told her that I'd adopt him as another son if his parents ever disowned him she came home a few days later telling me that he'd said that if his parents ever disowned him that he'd adopt me as his mother! Anyway-- he was raised as a devout Mormon. He moved out and didn't want to do the mission. His parents have practically disowned him and he is starting out from scratch while his parents making things as hard on him as they can. Suddenly-- I was rich! What could I send to him? He knows how to cook with much of what I have given that he also comes from a large family. I had ideas on what he could fix and printed them up for him. Tiger laughed as I sent a few bags over to him with her and she said, "No wonder you struggle in math! You are the only person who I know who divides and comes up with more!"
We splurged on gas and drove out to a glacier fed lake. Around the edges the water is warm-ish. The kids went wading and playing in it while I sat at the edge with Starshine. They had a blast. We didn't hike around the lake as planned-- but that was not important. We had fried chicken for lunch with rhubarb muffins and trail mix. I made the fried chicken on the 3rd-- someone ate half of it (I found the bones and bag in the bathroom-- I was so furious.) and I stayed up late last night frying more. Tiger was happy-- she had asked for a picnic for her 18th birthday and wanted to eat fried chicken and she had a great time.
When we got ot them lake, we realized that there was a fee of $5 per vehicle which none of us had and we put all our cash on hand together and came up with $5. We parked my husband's car at a friend's store and packed into my SUV and drove the two miles. We got out and I saw a tourist glancing at us and kind of smiling. I said, "It feels like a clown car!" He laughed and said I was reading his mind.
On Independence Day we walked in a parade. First we went to the Girl Scouts and Princess Cloud, who was supposed to walk, suddenly "lost" the vest she was wearing. She said, "Mom! We need to go help Representative ______." I was confused but we all ran to catch up with her. She hissed, "That was all Daisies and Brownies! They were Calamity Jane's age up to 9!" Oops. We walked with our local representative who with his wife welcomed us. Calamity Jane and Mud sat in his wagon. Calamity Jane waved non stop but Mud sat by the candy and ate a few pieces, covering his face when anyone looked at him!
So far, it's been a great weekend.