I quit smoking on March 22, 2011 with Electronic Cigarettes

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I started out with nothing and I have most of it left.

THat is a sign I have hanging in my bedroom. And its true. A friend got it for me after the house burned. I thought it was very fitting. At the time I had no furniture, very little clothing, heck, I didnt even have a house. SOme folks who saw it were appalled. I thought it was funny. And perfect.

Yesterday I went to town. I spent 6 hours in walgreens and walmart. I have for weeks been collecting coupons, scouring the sales papers to price match and fiquring out what I needed, what I could do with out, and what was a good deal. I have started trying to use coupons, anything to save a little money.

Like I said, 6 hours. that doesnt include the cutting, the list making, the reading everything I could on the internet, that is 6 hours of being on my feet pushing a shopping cart, trying to remember if I had a coupon for the 8 oz or the 9oz bag of what ever.

I saved a little over 105.00. I was so damn proud. And I didnt buy crap that I dont already use. Of course I spent a little over 350.00 but thats typical. a family of 6 uses alot of crap. I promise.

And like anyother grocery day I was exhausted when I got home. My mom had kept the kids and I really needed them to unload. Unfortunatly, Matt had a headache and a fever, and Brett and Rayley had been sick to their stomaches all day. Brett and Rayley did help me. Poor Matt just kept begging me to come and sit by him on the couch. He was so pitiful.

My grandfather called, he asked if I would be home to go adn get the fertilizer for the hay feild. I told him yes, we could go at 9am. He asked if BR would be able to put it out with the tractor. I told him I didnt know. It depended on how late he worked. Usually he leave the house around 2 or 3 and gets home at 6-8am here lately. Thats not much sleep. And since this is the middle of the week he wont be off till Saturday. And he isnt always off then. But my grandfather just started saying he would have to pay someone, cause it had to be done real quick. Since it was going to rain tonight. I told him I would ask BR.

Well, today I got to my grandfathers at 9am. BR had been going to bed as I was walking out the door. When I got there he asked me what kind of ball I had on my truck. I told him a towin ball. Well it had to be taken out. Come to find out the fertilzer spreader doesnt take a ball, its got 2 holes in peices of flat iron that sandwich over your ballless hitch thingy (I call it that SOB hitch thingy, cause it sticks out from the back of my truck about 8 inches and I am FOREVER hitting my shin on it... ), and you put a big ole pin through it.

Well herein lies a problem. My ball was put on my hitch about 2 years ago. By BR. He is strong. AND its been in MUD, water, dirt, general YUCK for that long. Well your ball has a shank on it, and a BIG nut that screws it onto your hitch. This this was as good as welded on there. We spent 15 minutes trying our hardest to get it off. I asked my grandfather about 9 times for some WD40. SInce I dont have a toolbox in this truck. He kept saying we didnt need it. Well a 15 inch cresent wrench, and 2 18 inch pipewrenches were NOT working. the thing wouldnt BUDGE. So I wnt and found some miricle oil (WD40) and sprayed iton. Then we put the hitch in the truck and started pulling. I kept asking if we were going the right direction. He kept saying yes.

About 5 minutes of this, and I am telling you, labor didnt hurt this bad. and the wrench got kicked. it moved. bad part was it was kicked the OPPOSITE way we had been pullin. Now I am BAD about not remmebering which way loosens stuff. I just dont loosen enough stuff to know. I use a drill for that. It has a forward arrow and a backward arrow. Its blonde proof.
So with a few tugs (we had even went and got the Tpost driver and slipped it over the end of a pipewrench to give us more leverage) and it was off.

So off to town we go. I had to go and get horse feed and a salt block, then deal with an idiot 18 wheeler driver who blocked me in at the feedstore. Then we went to get the fertilizer contraption. Now I have never used one. I just usually throw it, or BR has a plow thingy that 'lays by' the fertilizer when you plant. It goes behind the tractor. I still have to walk behind it to make sure its workin right.

Anyway, we got this thing all hooked up. and If you have ever pulled a trailer you know that some are better than others. WEll I never knew how much I loved a ball until I didnt have one. THis thing would jerk back and forth cause it wasnt a good seal. Plus I had a worrysome old man sitting beside me thinking I was gona run off and leave the damn thing cause I was driving 65. The speed limit is 70. And he freaked out everytime I went on the shoulder to let some poor soul pass me. See thats a what we call a courtosey here in Texas. When you are going slow as molasses on the highway and someone comes up behind you going the speed limit you pull over and let them pass.
Plus the whole time my grandfather was worried about that pretty blue sky turning dark and ugly and pouring down on us. He kept wanting to know if BR would be there with the tractor when we got there.
it was 10am. I told him since it wasnt PTO driven I could just use my truck and do it if he was worried, that the earliest BR would even roll over was 2. He cant grasp this concept. He has never worked nights. He cant imagine sleeping during the day. Well if you work all night that only leaves the day to sleep. But I try not to argue with fence posts. or at least I dont do it often.
My grandmother always said I would argue with a fence post and kick it over when I thought it was right. I think I got that from my grandfather.

So when we got back to the hayfeild he decided that yes, I should go ahead and spread it with my truck. So we got out adn pulled the only lever on the thing to start the fertilizer going. It only goes if you are moving, then it throws the stuff about 15 feet on either side of you. As you drive.

Well there was this wheel thing, when you pulled the lever it pushed that wheel thing down onto the back tire of the spreader, making the tire make it spin, and a belt was attached to that, which turned another wheel that made the track inside loop and it brought out the fertilizer and then through it onto disks that threw it out.

When we pulled the lever we didnt relize that it was supposed to touch the tire. I had never seen one of these things in my life. Well, my grandfather was convinced that my driving had broken it. I was perplexed too. Then it hit me. It was belt driven, and to drive the belts you had to turn that big wheel, and when it laid up against the tire it drove.

I tried to tell him this. But no, I was wrong, so he walked around it a few times, then came back and told me that he thinks it is supposed to lay on the tire, so the spinning action makes it work. I didnt say I told you so.

So I got in and started driving. He started hollering. I was doing it all wrong. Now the field is basicly a rectangle. So I was going to start in a big circle and then head into the middle.

No, he wanted to go up and down. well, this is a long time garden spot. which means it i all these small rolling hills. when you are driving 9-10 miles an hour they are rough as a cob. I even got stuck 3 times. Thank God for 4 wheel drive.

After much screaming and cussing and throwin of our hat. (by our I mean his) he finally explained what he wanted. Oh yea. I wasnt TOLD we were making strait lines. He just assumed I knew that. Uhhh NO. SO I had Rayley and Brett and Matt and Bow, all clammering to do something, wanting out, playing and running in the hayfeild, or climbing all over me. Bow was driving me nuts. I tried to put in a movie for Rayley, but of course it was scratched and wouldnt work.

Bow wwasnt going to stay in his car seat. There was no way. So I was dealing with him too. and him trying to break everything in my truck. At one point I had to get out and check on something on the spreader. It wasnt doing right. Well then my grandfather and I discussed it and decided he would drive while I stood at his next 'aim spot' so he knew where to drive to. Well I had gotten out and left Bow in the backseat, he was playing with his toys in the floor board. safe. Couldnt reach the front, couldnt climb over any seats. Just playing. I remembered how much of a handful Bow could be while you were trying to drive, so I hollered at Brett to come around and get Bow out. I told him that I had locked the back doors. Next thing I knw, the dingbat had unlocked them and opened up the backdoor. well Bow had been standing and leaning on it. Brett had been talking to him through the window which was up. Out he went tumbiling. My grandfather almost caught him, as did Brett. They broke his fall though. And the ground was soft. He never made a sound. It didnt hurt him at all. But I swear, I was working with morons.

Since I knew he wasnt hurt even from 20 feet away I was laughing when they brought him to me. My grandfather was trying hard not to laugh, But said "he isnt hurt" I said, "oh I know" and looked at Brett and asked him "why didnt you catch him?"
He said "I missed, but its okay, the ground caught him pretty good"
He has heard this all his life. ANytime they ask what will happen if they fall, well tell them "the ground will catch you"
or if they dont want to jump down off something they have climed on, we'll tell them that.

For a while my grandfather bounced and beat my truck up and down the pasture, he would hit some of those bumps so hard the wheels would come off the ground. I wasnt allowed to drive over 35 on a well maintained road all the way home, but he could beat and bang and toss the truck and trailer all over the place. Eventually I took back over the driving.

We FINALLY got to a point where my grandfather said "what time is it?, I'm getting a little hungry"
I had been waiting on thsi question, since I had been watching the clock from 11:30, to 11:40, then 11:50, then 11:51, 11:52, by :55 I was starting to worry about him. He NEVER goes past 11:58 before he lays it down to go and eat. Even with out a watch on. He KNOWS, in his internal clock that its time.

We had MAYBE 30 minutes of work left, but I didnt argue. We loaded up in my uncles golfcart and started down the blacktop to his house. HE had ridden with me so he didnt have his mule. Well the kids were on the back, hanging on and we were going at least 2 miles an hour. After about the 9th time of telling them to hang on I looked back, Brett was picking himself up off the ground. He had fallen off. It scratched him up some. But nothing major, there wasnt even any blood. But I sure did get tickled. I couldnt stop lauging. I told him that was what he got for dumpin Bow on the ground earlier. He just laughed. He was laughing when he picked himself up off the ground, when I was still having that twinge of scaredness.
You know the twinge, when one of your kids does something ignorant, and you are thinking "OMG are they hurt?? anything broken?? how much will the ER charge for this?, or OH CRAP! dont be hurt, we aint got insurance!' that twinge.

When he ran back up to the golf cart I asked what happened. my grandfather looked at Brett and said "looks like the ground caught him"

Once we ate, and went back to the hayfield we were done in no time flat, so I came home. BR woke up shortly there after and then after he ate went to take a shower. He told me I was going to have to wash one uniform shirt, cause he wouldnt have one till Thursday, he had to turn in his uniforms today to be washed and wouldnt pick them up till Thursday morning when he got off.

i had to take the fertlizer spreader back to town so I left when he did. I fot behind some idiot from Louisianna. Over yonder the speed lmit is 55. everywhere. This guy was doing 45. Our speed limit is 70.
I tried to pass him a few times, but he decided the 1/2 of the road that he could use was the middle half.
Then we got to a short 4 lane, by short I mean VERY short. its more of a turning lane for a Farm to market road, but there is just enough room to pass. He couldnt decide which side to drive on, so I just pulled around him and gas choked it. It was worth the 4 bucks it cost me in deisel to do it too. There were about 8 cars piled up behind me. As I passed he flipped me off. Had it not been for those other 8 cars I would have slowed WAY down and made him drive 25. But it wouldnt have been fair to them. Those poor souls would have enough miles to follow before there was another 4 lane or safe place to pass.

Now I dont care where you are from, when you come to a new state you learn their laws. Just like when you move to a new country you learn the freakin language. Here we pull over if we cant manage to go the speed limit. And most people DRIVE the speed limit. Unless you are pullin somethin dangerous, are driving a tractor, or are 97 years old. Just because your own state has asnine laws doesnt mean the rest of the country does. I was already having a stressful day, dealing with a MO-RON was NOT making it better.

I went ahead and got to where I was going. I pulled in the parking lot, sat there a minute, got out, walked around behind the spreader and was seeing where I needed to back it into and that no drivin fool passed. He flipped me off AGAIN! I returned the favor and offered him to come on back and lets talk. He declined the invite. But the car behind him did honk at me and give me the thumbs up. I recognized them from one I had passed at their driveway 15 miles back. They were STILL stuck behind him. I know they were mad enough to bite a nail in two.

Once I got backed in, (backing up a trailer with close wheels, or only one set is NEVER easy, but I did manage it) got unhooked (this thing was not made for a 4 wheel drive, they sit too high) and pulled out that pin thingy I was SO ready to go home and relax!

As I walked in the door BR was calling, he had forgotten his clothes, could I run them by the shop when I went to town?

I had checked my mail as I came home and once I got off the phone I went through it. My water bill was in there. 129.00 even. I almost died. Last months was abotu 20 dollars too high. But I fiqured it was all the clothes I had washed. (those ants added a HUGE amount of laundry to my life) So I came in and told the kids to watch the baby, I was going to chase down the line and make sure that I didnt have a leak. Now its not easy. There are weeds higher than my head out there. I kid you not. As I was walking out the door the phone rang. I was already across the yard and Brett came running out to tell me that it was my mom. I swear I just told them that I was going to be right back. And I only heard it ring once. had they waited more than one ring I would have been swallowed up by the weeds and out of reach.

So I talked to her in the swealtering sun (If I went back in Bow would see me and start to cry) I got off with her and
I headed down to the water meter and sure enough it was steady spinning. I was looking down in the thingy and trying to count how much I was loosing. THEN I realize I am staring at the biggest freakn spider I have ever seen. It was as big as the palm of my hand. I like to have died right then.

I walked away and got out my cell phone to call the house. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to find a signal, leaned up on a fence post and right about the time I got one I saw another spider. This one wasnt quite as big, but scared me none the less. THe phone rang 37 times before Brett picked it up. SO I told him to see if the toilet was running, to check everything. He said the masterbath toilet was indeed running. When I complained about the water bill last month BR had said that toilet had been running, but he mentioned it in passing and I honestly never thought anything else about it. I dont use that bathroom much. Not with him in there asleep all day. I just use the kids. He hasnt said anything, hasnt bitched about me not getting the part, and honestly, I didnt think about it.

Since I couldnt trust Brett to turn off the water with otu breaking the line, I told him to get the walkie talkies and meet me down at the meter. 3 minutes later he was down there (he has paths that I cant find.. For me its just a maze..) I told him to keep a watch on that spinning dial and tell me if it stopped.
I went back to the house and turned off the water to the toilet. He immediatly called me and told me it had stopped. I told him to keep watching. Then I went in the kitchen and turned on the water. He went to hollerin that it was spinnin. I turned if off.
He hollered "it stopped!! It stopped"
I turned it on, "its spinnin again, real fast!!"
I turned if off "it stopped, it stopped"
I did this about 9 or 10 times. Each time he would get more and more excited.
Matt came through and said "are you just gona stand there wasting water just to screw with his head all night?"
So I turned it back on again.
Finally I quit and told him to come on home. I had fixed it. He said okay. 3 minutes went by. I turned back on the water. sure enough I hear "its spinning again!! "

Once I got him back to the house I had Matt come and hold the flashlight, cause that light is still out where the ants got in the contacts of the switch. I bought the switch about 2 weeks ago, but it hasnt been changed. and I just havent wanted to do it. There are more lights in the bathroom, so its not that bad, unless you are working on the toilet. I felt around and sure enough, the flapper was warped. that was the only problem. Wiggiling it wouldnt work, and it literly leaked out with the water off in just a minute. It was dry as a bone. In the 10 minutes I had been screwing around down there getting to the water meter and calling back up to the house, I had lost like 3 gallons of water. cause the flapper is warped. 1.27 peice of rubber has cost me over 100.00. And I havent even added up what the last 6 days since they read the meter were going to cost me.

I started trying to call my mother in law, to get her to pick me a flapper up when she was in town tomorrow. She said that she had one sitting right there. She had bought it this weekend, but forgot to ask me to put it on, and I could have it and she would buy a new one tomorrow. I told her I didnt mind waiting. I dont use that bathroom anyway, but would come over and put it on for her. She said no, that my father in law was home now, and he hates for me to fix the stuff he wont. But she also wanted to make sure it was the right flapper. The one I had put on her other toilet a few years ago was still working adn she wanted one just like that. SHe just about has everyone except my father in law trained to double check that hers is not running (she can still wiggle the handle and it will stop), so it doesnt burn up her well when she is at work. She said that if she hears my father in law go to the bathroom in the middle of the night she goes in when he is done and wiggles the handle to turn it off, cause he just wont remember to do it.

So I left and took BR's clothes down to the yard and threw them in the back of his truck, then I went by her house and picked up that flapper, and then I went and dropped off the feed and salt block I had forgotten to drop off earlier. I came home and in 3 minutes with a 1.27 peice of crap I had fixed the whole problem.

When BR called me I told him about the water bill. Luckily he was able to fiqure out how it was my fault. He had after all told me once, about a month ago that the toilet had been running. Its not like I dont BEG everyone to write down anything they want from town on a peice of paper stuck to the fridge. half the time I dont even remember to walk out of the house with my glasses on, I cant get everything I need with that list. Or in one of the trips he has made with me and bought tools that he just has to have for work and cant live with out, and then set in the kitchen floor (we are now up to a tool box, (cause the other one got icky and broke), a screw driver set, wire brushes that had to be bought 2 months ago, and a 2 pound sledge hammer) he could have reminded me. Heck, I was proud of me cause I bought that light switch with out having to be told. I bought it the next time I went to town. Maybe I will put it in tomorrow. Then I can put the cover back on the plate. Before it gets lost.

SO I called my mother in law back and was bitching to her. SHe sympothised. She hears the same stuff. Then she said something about the electric bill. I had gotten that too, but hadnt opened the envolope. So at her insistance I did. I really didnt want to. I am already having to pay out 80.00 extra on my water. I dont want to think about the electric bill too. Now I wish I hadnt. It literly jumped up 102.00. Its 324. I havent changed a thing. NOT a thing. and this isnt even the hot months yet. I dread it getting any higher. and Lord knows there is no way I can find an electrical leak.

When I freaked out to my MIL on the phone she said, "Oh I know, mine was over 300 too. I just thought you should be mad about all of it at one time." If I hadnt been so tired, and hadnt already wasted my alloted deisel for the day I would have driven over there to strangle her.

ALl that time I had spent saving that money grocery shopping and now its all gone. Plus more. I swear, I cant win for loosin. I was so proud of myself.

anyway, I was in such a bad mood I spent the last 3 hours cleaning out my cabinets. I rearranged everything, put it all back and cleaned the kitchen real good. The kids did pitch in and help. I think they knew I was close to my breaking point.

Brett even cleaned the living room. And Rayley picked up all of Bow's toys. Matt helped alot in the kitchen. I did find quite a few boxes of shake and bake. If I can still afford meat next week we can always eat that adn the box of taters I found.

At least when I die there will be a legacy. It will be bills, but I will be remembered. :)

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