Saturday, October 02, 2010

Better Together

"Here's a recipe for Apple Brownies. We don't have apples, but we have the peaches from our tree that you canned. We can make this.

Oh, but we only have half as much butter that's needed, and the same with eggs. We literally only have enough money this week to pay the bills due - and in some of those cases, only a portion of the total amount. So I was really hoping we could make something for the potluck tonight that didn't require us to spend money at all.

Well, we can substitute half a banana for the egg we need. And use oil for what butter we don't have. Sure! This is totally doable. Let's make it!"

So, using most of the sugar my mom gave us yesterday, as well as all the other substituted and not substituted ingredients already in the house, we worked together to make a very yummy smelling Peach/Blueberry Blondie (can't really call it a brownie, now, can I? Seeing as there's no cocoa in this or the original (old family) recipe.) Haven't yet tasted it, but I dare say our little experiment has worked itself out quite nicely.

We'll be able to tell just how yummy it is when we serve it this evening at the newly formed Common Security Network potluck dinner - a small group of church folk who, like us, are looking for support and assistance, in any way possible, with our common financial struggles. Not yet sure exactly how this group is going to function in its support, but that's what this first meeting is all about. Coming together to exchange ideas and figure out the best way for this Network to proceed.


Ever since this summer, when Grampy jokingly suggested it, Sweetie has wanted to be an ear of corn for Halloween. Her idea before that was to be a robot. But the corn idea was a good one, and very unique. But I warned Hubby (the creative one) that he better get on the making of this costume sooner rather than later - or it'd never happen.

Well, it hasn't happened yet. And now more than half of what I brought home for income has been taken away. Parts we should have already bought to create this costume have not yet been purchased. And the whole thing really needs to be done by mid-October, not the end, because of various holiday festivities we'll be attending where dressing up needs to take place.

And so I gently suggested to Sweetie that I didn't think we'd be able to make a corn costume this year. Would she mind us helping her think of something else she could be instead?

Her surprising response? No problem! She didn't mind if she dressed up like a robot, or a vampire, or a witch, or computer, or - basically - whatever. 


In the end, we've now all very happily settled on a new idea. A very punny idea. She's going to be an Elevader. What's that you ask? Well, it involves a Darth Vader mask and gloves (yes, parts that we will have to purchase, but hopefully not for too much money), a fabricated bellhop uniform, and a created elevator button display board around her neck. Totally awesome, huh? I'm thinking it's all going to turn out fantastically!


A friend invited me out to coffee or lunch later this week. A friend who's been through some pretty life-altering stresses of her own recently. We both could really use a couple hours together to visit with each other, vent to each other, and try to forget about all the troubles. I wrote to her that, given my recent job loss, I didn't think I could afford a lunch out, but could swing a cup of coffee. So, it's on. It's a date. And I'm very much looking forward to it. At the same time, though, I'm looking at our finances and seeing that even a coffee is too much of a luxury this week. As I said above, anything beyond our regular bills this week pretty much cannot happen. I'm bound and determined to make it happen. It will happen. But I know I'll also feel guilty for spending any "extra" money we have on something like this.

But, really, it's the getting together with a friend I'm looking forward to most. And I do feel I need that. I'm certain she and I both will feel better seeing each other and talking out our woes for just a little while. 


Next Saturday is Hubby and my 11th wedding anniversary. A date that had me insisting that we go out to celebrate at a local, very yummy sushi restaurant. It's been too, too long since we've been out at all, let alone alone together out for sushi! And this is "Happy Eleven!" It has to be done. The plan was made.

And then... I lost my job. So a sushi date that was completely within the budget just 2 weeks ago is now completely out of the question. Any kind of dinner out, actually, is now not able to happen. Now we basically have no means to fund any sort of celebratory happening - with or without Sweetie - to mark our special day. No movie. No dinner. No special trip anywhere fun. A nearby town is hosting a Pumpkin Festival that day. Something we can certainly go to and mosey around at without cost. But, really, that's something we'd probably do anyway this season. It just happens to be on our anniversary this year. What I was looking for was something out of the ordinary to do with my Hubby, and I just can't now imagine what that possibly could be when you also have to consider the "free of charge" portion of the equation. Hmph. At 11 years into our marriage, it's pretty depressing to think we're really no better off financially - and very likely actually worse off - than we were when we first began together. 


Hubby was ranting a bit earlier this week. Railing about all he does and how tired he is. He works full days, far away, doing very active work. He goes running every other day - fitting it in by either getting up extra early or stopping during his long drives home in the afternoon to run several laps around a neighboring town's high school track. He cooks us our meals, even after these long, hard days. And, in his free time, he goes out to his wood shop to create items he can hopefully sell - now even more so, since I'm down so much pay. 

Yes, it's all so very true. He does work hard. Then he does come home and cook dinner. He fits so much into a day, and most - if not all of it - is for the benefit of Sweetie and me. He works hard for our little family. He's a great, great husband and daddy. And I find it - ironic? is that the word I want? - that ever since he and I started working together weekly on our budget, that it's pretty much been a terrible time for us in that regard. He was down some pay. Now he's struggling to get back, but my pay was cut. It's just not cool.

But his ranting, this week, upset me about what I bring (or don't bring) to the "family table." I bring home pay too! And it's not my fault I got fired because my boss got scared and wouldn't take the time to train me correctly and help me to improve! I don't have a skill, like woodworking, where I can just produce something and hopefully sell it. But I'm trying! I'm actively looking for a job! I can tutor and I've signed up again with the tutoring company that gave me students before. I can't control how quickly I'll get students, though. But I'm trying!!

Not to mention I clean up from his cooking and I manage most, if not all, of Sweetie's day to day needs. I'm a darn good mom, if nothing else. 

To all this... Hubby apologized. And he said, with all the honesty in the world, that he doesn't feel poor at all. With all the struggles we have - Sweetie hasn't a care in the world, and he doesn't feel poor. 

Neither do I.

Dreams of the future may turn into dreams in the night. And where you find yourself today may fall short of where you thought you'd be. But whether we dine on sushi, or create a recipe out of nothing... whether we travel to luxurious places or simply wander in the nearby woods... it's all so much better when we're together. 

Love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart, like
Why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing, it's so much better when we're together.


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