Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring...

Our winter rainy season has begun. We expect it to last two or three days, which doesn't sound like much. However, our southern CA streets and gutters can't handle the workload of any water at all, and we get pretty wet around here. Rainy days in So Cal are good days to stay in.

Still, I'm optimistic. I had my son hang my spring-themed daffodil garden flag outside, and I'm hoping to see some buds on the peach tree.

I guess I'm just feeling "springy". I cleaned out two closets and a cupboard today, which felt great. Hubby started me on my path by digging out one corner of our bedroom and turning it into a little office space for himself. It looks GREAT and all that junk he'd had piled there is gone! I'm so happy.

I responded by cleaning out his cupboards. It's amazing the types of things you find in the cupboard of a man who really doesn't care how he looks. The pillowcase I thought was lost was carefully folded amongst his tee-shirts... all six hundred or so of them. He won't have to buy a tee-shirt until 2014. And now they're all neatly folded and placed appropriately for him.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Loving the SoCal lifestyle!

Boy, when you're poor, nothing beats a warm day outside! When my dad was a young boy (age 8), his mother moved him and his two sisters (ages 8 and 9) to Florida. Without any child support from her ex-husband (long story), living in a temperate climate was the best solution for her since she wouldn't have to pay huge heating bills or buy her kids winter clothing.

Yes, Florida gets cold (I have a picture of my mom in college at Tampa making a snowman!), but it beats the northern climates by a landslide. Same with southern California. Today was a beautiful day -- sunny and mild with a little breeze. I took my younger son and his buddy down to Pirate's Cove to climb around on the rocks and sword fight with their wooden weapons. They hiked around tidepools, scaled a rock face, and were happy and free in their bathing suits.

I sat and read, watched the boats, climbed a bit myself, and just enjoyed being outdoors.

Later, when we came home, the boys attacked our friend's Christmas tree, which they'd donated to us for firewood. Boys and hatchets! Always a good mix.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This and That...

I've signed up to sell at a local farmer's market, the downtown Anaheim one over by the Muzeo. I stopped by today to prowl around and see what they've got for sale and found some great jute bags sold by a couple of really nice folks. I love that the handles are rounded off, not flat, as those tend to scratch me. The slogan on the front of the bag reads "This is SO not a plastic bag!" I had to laugh, then I had to buy it. It's kind of like a gunny sack and cost $5; I have a feeling I'll have this bag for a loooooong time.

I'll be starting there next week and am really looking forward to regular access to farm-fresh produce. Whoo hoooo!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bring on 2010!

When I started this blog, my husband had been unemployed for a few months and I was finding it heartening to try and do as much from scratch as possible to stretch our shaky finances.

Now it's almost one year later. Hubby is still unemployed. Our finances are shakier. And yet... we are surviving. For one thing, Hubby was able to get a contract job for a few months which added back in some much-needed $$$. He and I have both been taking freelance jobs whenever possible (print brokering for him; light graphic design for me). He's put his head shots and CV on a couple of casting sites and picked up some acting jobs. I've begun selling hairclips and jewelry at boutiques and craft fairs ( We are making it.

Christmas was fine. It was smaller, but we made it more fun by drawing names to give out stocking presents (instead of Mama buying everything). It meant more out of our kids' pockets, but they had such a good time planning and shopping! Christmas morning was much more fun as we opened our stockings and found a wind chime for me and a mushroom scrubber for Hubby, LOL!

This new year brings uncertainty as to finances, but a firm realization that as a family we can pull through. I've become extremely creative at making dinner out of almost anything. Tonight is calzones using leftover sausage! I'll post some recipes this month of some of our favorites (the spicy seafood tortilla soup on New Year's Eve was a big hit).

Happy New Year!