Two 1940s Portraits

I always feel a little sad when I see old photos left in frames at Goodwill.  I'll have another post about the frames, but let's enjoy these two for now:

I found them in the same frame, a double 8x10.  Are they siblings?  Lovers?  Mother and son?  On the back, his is marked "May 1942, Edinburg, Texas."  Hers has some numbers, "554939" and has a white signature in the corner.

Someone cared enough to have these nicely framed and saved them for all these years.  Now, I have them for $1.99.  I just feel responsible for them.

ANYWAY, like I said, update on my recent frame finds coming soon!


A very UNhappy half birthday to me

I think 30 just hit me, just six months later than I expected. The lack of career is really weighing on me. I know being a full-time parent is far more important. I'm fortunate that my family's financial situation allows me to be at home. We've never been dependent on two incomes (even when we had them - which wasn't often). I feel like I could be doing so much more, but then I feel like I'm already at my breaking point.

Things I Do that I Enjoy
- My church newsletter
- Selling junk
- Throwing baby showers
- Making diaper cakes and the like
- Handcrafting stuff, upcycling stuff
- Hanging out with the homeschool moms in my group
- A successful day of homeschooling

Things I Do that I Kind of Hate 
- Language Arts with my oldest
- TV (I watch too much of it - ironic for someone who doesn't even have TV)
- The drudgery of daily housework
- Spend lots of time reading stuff online and not being part of the online community
- Lacking on the cooking front (not on skills, but on the actual doing of)

I also don't read enough, don't exercise enough, and don't spend enough quality time with my kids. I'm so tapped out from the harping of "Write two sentences about why camping is fun! Why is that SO hard?" that anything additional just feels like too much. I'm kind of an extreme introvert, I thrive on alone time. I took the gang to a new park today. That was time well spent. More of that.

So, let's look at these things ...

I need something for myself that lends itself to the idea of "career." I like making newsletters, making stuff, selling stuff, and - overall - like homeschooling.

Language Arts is awful. It was awful last year and, I think, worse this year. Is it a curriculum problem? I'm doing a different one, so it might be worse, but I don't think that's the true culprit, since it's sucked both years. Maybe stick it out for now and look for a new approach to try in the near future.

I watch too much TV - so, just stop watching it. House still needs cleaned. Maybe get the kids on board with more chores? A reward system and allowance would probably be beneficial.

I can menu plan, which kind of sucks but will make things easier on the cooking front.

 Plan out my involvement online - blog, Facebook, Twitter, a website, etc. It feels weird to "plan" that. Didn't the successful people just kind of have this "happen" to them? Maybe not. At least not anymore.

Oh, and NaNoWriMo was a bust this year.  I got to a little more than 12,000 words and then decided to "research" which resulted in spending more time reading and skimming books than actually writing.  But that's OK.  I'm good with it - 12,000 words isn't too shabby in the universe of wanna-be writers.


Buying Out Goodwill

The other day, the kids and I were in the new classroom.  I kept looking up at the wall for the time - but there's no clock.  I'd have to "wake up" the computer to check the time, and that was lousy.  I remembered a wall clock I saw at Kohls that I found delicious.  Of course, I can't find it on their website, but I'd guess the best I could get for would be about $30. Today, I dropped off a couple boxes at Goodwill and decided to peek inside.  Mind you, the last dozen trips I've made to Goodwill, I haven't bought a thing - NOT A THING.  It just seemed to be piles of garbage - nothing I needed or even wanted.

That all changed today.

My son, daughter, and I bought out the whole store!  (Not really, but we did buy quite a bit.)

Unexpectedly, I came across this gem:

It wasn't ticking, and I found a corroded battery in the back.  I didn't have high hopes of her making it, but I was willing to take a gamble for $1.99.  When we got home, I removed the battery and cleaned up the area with a water-vinegar solution (four parts hot water, one part vinegar), dried it out really well, and popped in a new battery.  Success!  I scrubbed it with a Magic Eraser - it had some scuffs and some build up around the "chrome" (it's all plastic - shh!).  Aside from some hardly noticeable scratches, she cleaned up nicely:

There she is in all of her retro beauty right in the spot I was looking for a clock.  Perfect!  The Non-Consumer Advocate would be so proud.

I also found this Classic Pooh print that was grossly under-priced:

Just $1.99!  And it's in awesome shape!  The frame and matting, dare I say, are even very pretty!  I knew I could easily resell this for $10 on a local online yard sale site (kid stuff tends to sell very well on there).  I did just that within minutes of coming home.  Score!

Unfortunately, I bought way more than those two items, so even netting $8 doesn't make up for the trip.  My son "needed" a 5-pound weight.  I also came across Reader's Digest books, which I've been wanting for a year or so now (I have a project in mind).  I gobbled up all seven of them (three would have probably been enough).  I also got a brand new ravioli maker.

I went a little overboard with the "it's just $1.99" mentality.

I am selling off several of my treasures in the garage (see: mostly crap I pulled off the curb that I have grand plans for but will likely never get to).  I am hoping to make $100 off of it by the weekend when we begin our Master Bathroom Renovation.  There are lots of supplies to buy, so every little bit will help!

With the sale of a shelf and a dresser (both curbside finds), I am up to $21 today.  Tomorrow, I have another $58 scheduled to come in.  I have a few bites on some other things - hoping another $21 or more will sell between now and Saturday!

Bean had some hands-on homeschooling today as he measured stuff for me.  He did a great job.  Who knew a child would prove useful one day?  I'm still confused every time it happens.


NaNoWriMo: All Signed Up and No Place to Go

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.  I participated (and failed) in 2006.  I participated (and WON) in 2010.  I participated (and failed) in 2011 - to be fair, I had a newborn, and I had zero expectations of completing the 50,000, but I'm not out anything for signing up and doing Day 1 :)

I've never done much intentional thinking prior to any of these attempts (or any writing, really).  I've never outlined.  This year, though, I'd like to do that different.  Clearly, writing from the seat of my pants hasn't paid off (monetarily or otherwise).  And they say doing things the same way and expecting a different result is insanity, so ...

I am skimming through The Nighttime Novelist by Joseph Bates.  I bought it some time ago and, well, left it neglected on a bookcase smothered between gift boxes, misplaced holiday fare, and other clutter.  Oops.  It's a very pretty and well-made book.  I've been trying to put together unlikely characters in my head - kindhearted serial killer (crap, that's Dexter), jealous nanny (nope, Hand that Rocks the Cradle).  I'm not finding it just yet, but it's only been a few hours.

It's chaotic here, as it is often.  I am staying on my oldest to do his schoolwork.  I've been too easy on him so far this year.  He's not doing as much as he should, and now when he's expected to do a little more, he acts as if I've asked him to move mountains.  So, no more Mrs. Nice Homeschool Mom.  We did work for two solid hours this morning and are now working on another two (or three) solid hours.  My middle one is drawing pictures of Minecraft, since they can't play it till the older one finishes school his school. 

I turned in their applications for magnet testing for school next year.  Maybe no more Mrs. Homeschool Mom at all for 2013-2014.

The baby is getting into everything that is 24" or lower to the crowd.  She tried her first Hersey Kiss while I was in the bathroom.  (Note to my husband: Fix the latch on the pantry so Baby Flower cannot open that darn door anymore.)  Most books are pulled off the lower shelves (she's a HUGE Chekhov fan - those are almost always the first ones she goes after).  There are also items that belong in my garage sale box - mardi gras necklaces, aquarium decor, and more, strewn across the floor.  Thankfully, she's rarely destructive (unlike my first), but she wants her hands on everything!

Taco meat thawing for dinner.