Thursday, September 29, 2011


Hectic, to say the least. B had his hand surgery, has recovered nicely, and yesterday we went to the Occupational Therapist who hand-built a splint for him to wear during the day and also another one for when he sleeps at night. I think his had looks like Frankenstein with all these contraptions, strings, and bolts holding his fingers up in tiny little slings.

While he was having hand surgery (actually directly after) we had a toilet failure in our "new" house. Apparently, the bolts were not tight and the wax ring failed, leading to water damage to the flooring. I don't know how long this had been going on. It never showed up on the home inspection. This is just a tiny bit of the mess I encountered while B was recovering from his hand surgery. I had to take the old toilet out, buy a new toilet, rip all flooring out (which ended up being two layers and required lots of elbow grease to remove, let me tell you!), and then install a new flooring material, cut new baseboards, paint them and then install them, and then set the new toilet ALL BY MYSELF! I hated the old flooring anyway and was just waiting to do the entire bathroom remodel next year but sometimes things don't wait until you're ready. So, out with the old and...
in with the new. Here's the new floor before the baseboards were installed almost a week later. I had to wait until everything was totally dry before completing the job.

And, here is the finished project. New low-flow toilet, new baseboards, new flooring, all wall paint touched up and ready to go. I wish that I could have done the entire remodel at this time but time and money never coincide, at least in this household. I needed B to help me with all that and he will be "out of commission" for 6-12 weeks. He helps the best he can but doing things with just one hand is not as easy as one might think. And next Monday we start watching our new baby granddaughter when our daughter returns to work from her maternity leave.

How I wish that things weren't as complicated for young couples as they seem to be. It seems that a household needs two incomes in this day and age to really "make it". I know that B and I gave up a lot when we were raising our twins so that I could stay at home. We didn't have the latest automobiles, we didn't have the nicest furniture, we didn't have the latest clothes. But, we were able to manage for me not to go back to work. It was a struggle but I think that it was worth it. We didn't feel the peer pressure that most young couples feel these days to "have it all". We were happy with less. We hardly ever went out to dinner. I grew a lot of my own vegetables. I worked part-time to be able to afford vacations (which were not lavish but they were vacations) once the twins got old enough and were in school.

I guess it's all a matter of choices. Heck...we didn't even own a travel trailer until our late 50's! We have never been to Hawaii or Tahiti but we have been to Canada and the east coast. I'm not sure if it all matters in the end where you have been or what you have done. In the end, it seems like it comes down to the time you spent enjoying the ones you love. It comes down to the fact that you can't take it with you when you leave this place. So, I'm wondering how important it all is in the first place? How many places do you have to see in a lifetime to make a difference? How many new cars, new houses, new clothes or shoes do you need to be happy?


Lao Tse


  1. time you spent enjoying the ones you love for did a great job on the bathroom super woman...smiles.

  2. Good job on the floor. I stayed home with my daughter, also. Started my own business when she was around 6 and could work from home. We all have too much stuff, I am realizing this now that I am downsizing from a house to a 24' motorhome.

  3. my such wisdom out of you today...I totally agree
    I didn't have new lamps until the kids graduated college......and man oh man...did you really do that all by yourself...I am indeed impressed with you woman......looks terrific

  4. You did a fantastic job on your own!

    I, too, forfeited a lot of things when I was on my own with two toddlers and still managed to save a little 'rainy day' money. Then I met hubby #2 but by then the babes were teenagers and we still struggled with a mortgage and school fees on one wage and me in a part-time job until they left school. We were happy though and now, looking back, think we did a pretty good job on very little.

  5. Ow! Poor hand :(

    Well done on the toilet job....

    and great thoughts :) we need less than we think we do.....

  6. I think Ern and I have a pretty good balance between getting new stuff and saving for really nice things. Most people my age just buy new toys left and right just because they feel like it. Ern calls it their expendable income. I think you taught the meaning of saving our money to buy the things we want and not charging everything to buy the stuff we need. Plus, I just don't like clutter, so that helps me with not having a ton of stuff!

  7. I am so impressed! You did great!

    I stay home with my kids, but my husband has taken a cut in pay as a teacher and may be facing another cut from the state. It's really hard, but we've made it work so far. I did back to school clothes shopping at goodwill and have been doing Christmas shopping here and there all year long. It's hardest when the kids' friends get a new bike or go to Hawaii ... They feel it when it comes down to those super special things.

  8. Wow, Teri, you did all that and still took the time to call me and write me a lovely email. You are a wonderwoman. Aren't toilets terribly heavy? I have no idea how you managed to do all that work, but I'm very impressed!

  9. Ooh, looks like quite the contraption! Great job on the floor. And yes, in the end, it always is about the time spent with the ones we love.

  10. Love those floors. You did a great job on that toilet. GOOD FOR YOU! I don't think I could have done that by myself. You did good!

    I do think that living expenses, housing and food are more expensive these days compared to when we raised our children but the expectation is prevalent for the accumulation of THINGS.
    Woman think they have to work to fulfill themselves and raising children is secondary. Or they think they can do both well. It's a shame that lifestyle is more important than spending quality time with your family. It's just the way it is these days. We'll see.. when the next generation go out into the world. Parenting is a skill and children are a big responsibility. Aren't you glad you were home to raise them right? Do you regret not going on big vacations and having lots of THINGS? I don't.


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