Ok, I'm not really going to talk about the Universe. I lied. But I do have a bunch of other cool, and some not-so-cool, things to talk about on varying subjects.
As you may have noticed, I really haven't written much lately. Turns out, becoming a mom has taken away much of my free time. I would have more if my child napped with any consistency or for any length, but she doesn't so I don't. *shrug* What time I do have is usually spent catching up on chores, or just reading. You never realize how much mental energy it takes to keep up with a child and work full-time until you have to do it. Add in tax season and craziness at work (annual evaluations with a completely crazy supervisor, woo) and I've been feeling a little overwhelmed. But in some ways, it's brought me to a good place. It's all forced me to take a good look at my wants and needs, to figure out what is unnecessary stress in my life. Take my garden, for instance. What will be the most satisfying for me? Well, obviously I want to still garden. But, fighting with the weeds and grass in the actual dirt area we have isn't working for me any more. I don't have the time, and I don't have the money to make it right. So this year I'm focusing solely on my garden boxes. However, I am willing to put more time and money into those than I have been. Since they're also the most productive part of my garden, the ROI should be pretty good. And I don't have to stress about what I haven't been doing.
The other benefit of the garden boxes is that they're portable. It sounds like we'll have to move out of our place sometime soon. We were really hoping to stay here until we move out of Alaska (sometime next summer-Shane just found out that he'll finish his degree next Spring!) but there's been a change of regime. Our old landlord sold the duplex, and the new landlady wants to move in downstairs. For now, they've moved in upstairs. Apparently the plan is to fix up the upstairs (to try to rent it out for an exorbitant and crazy amount - $2500!!!) and then move downstairs, where we currently are. She hasn't given us a good timeline, so we're just trying to find something before we're forced to take something at the last minute. Bleh. Again, though, it's making us look around at our Stuff. What's necessary, what isn't? We might have to rent a smaller place, so what can/should we take with us and what should be gotten rid of? I'm paring down the baby stuff a bit (clothes which we were given but won't re-use for a second child, some of the baby blankets which we don't need) and I'm even going through a formerly untouchable category: my books. The idea is to pare down before we actually have to pack it all up.
We have also gained some things recently, however. One of Shane's relatives bought a couch (on clearance) which she didn't like when she got it home. So she bought another couch, and needed to get rid of this one. She gave it to us. Yay! We actually have a decent couch now! We got rid of the second half of our horrible, ugly, broken Cat Pee Couch (seriously, we discovered when we moved it that the cat had been peeing in one corner--thankfully, it was so uncomfortable that we never sat on it!) and put this lovely new couch in its place.
Our upstairs neighbors have moved out, since the new landlady is moving up there. Someone rang our doorbell by accident asking about a piece of furniture that they were selling, and that gave me an idea. The next time I saw them I asked if they had an old T.V. stand that they'd be willing to sell to me. The answer was, "Please, just take it! We don't want money for it, we just don't want to haul it away." So I got a free T.V. stand, in decent shape, to replace the rickety little bookshelf that our T.V. had been sitting on. Thus, we got rid of my biggest babyproofing worry: that she would pull the T.V. over on herself when she starts crawling and pulling herself up to stand. We'll attach the T.V. to the stand so that she can't pull just it over, but now we don't have to worry about the bookshelf and the T.V. falling over. The stand is nice and low and sturdy, just what we wanted. And, just like the couch it was at the right price: free.
In addition to the T.V. stand, one of the neighbors is a liquor distributor and didn't want to move a bunch of half empty tasting bottles he had around. So, he gave them to us. Yep, you read that right. Free booze. And not even a small amount, either. We're not talking bottom shelf liquor, but good stuff, and not all of it has been opened. At my household's normal rate of consumption this is more than 6 months worth of liquor, even assuming we throw a party or two (or bring some along to other parties). I used some of the vodka straight away to make vanilla extract, since I'd been meaning to buy vodka for that purpose for the last month but always forgot. Now, I don't have to worry about it for quite a while.
We went to Arctic Man over the weekend. For me, it really wasn't that interesting. It can be summed up by "A tribute to the decadence of the first world." Or "fat men on snowmachines who think they're so sporty...because they can ride a machine real fast." Ugh. Not my scene at all. the wastefulness of it all, the amount of oil that was burned just in this one weekend. Not to mention everything else. Because people were camped out, a lot of them scoured Craigslist for free couches that they didn't mind having around a campfire. And on the last night, all those couches got burned so that people didn't have to haul them out. !!!! Yeah, you can probably imagine what I felt about that. Then there were all of the motorhomes, and I'm sure lots of food waste and packaging and whatnot. I went for a walk with the baby at one point and a girl on a 4-wheeler stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. She looked at me as if I was crazy. After all, who would want to walk, right? I said no, of course, and she said, "Oooo-kaaaay," as if she totally didn't get it. Wow. Just wow.
Anyway, we went because my in-laws were going with some friends, and my FIL hasn't seen the baby since New Year's. Unfortunately, she was mildly ill most of the weekend and, especially with the new circumstances, just wanted to be with me the whole weekend. Oh well. But the in-laws were also about to take a trip to Hawaii so they'd brought up a bunch of food for us. A lasagna, a ham (part of which was eaten there), some milk, and a bunch of fruit. Banana bread. So our food bill should be almost non-existent this week, which is nice, especially since we came home to a sick cat.
I took Monday off anyway to watch the ill baby (just a precaution) and myself (I was feeling under the weather too, I just didn't realize it until we got home), so making a vet appointment when I discovered that our cat was peeing blood (I know! poor guy!) wasn't as hectic as it could have been. Still, forcing the cat into the kennel (with gloves on) and taking him to the vet, yowling the whole way, and with the baby, wasn't the most pleasant of activities. I think I need to talk to my child about being kind to animals, though, because she thought his cries of distress were pretty hilarious.
Thankfully, it is *just* a bladder infection. His kidneys seem fine, and the peeing blood should stop within 48 hours. I wish I could tell him that. He might be more willing to take his medicine that way.
So, life goes on. You win some, you lose some. For the most part, things have been going really well for us. Finding out that Shane only has one more year of school was a huge, huge plus. We're nervous and excited because we're not sure where life will take us after that, but it will be good. I'm certain of it.