Friday, August 28, 2009

Magistrate Court

Yesterday afternoon was the big day! We went to Magistrate Court to receive a verdict for our case against our renter. I was really nervous (yes, I know that there was really no reason to be nervous, but I was).

It turned out that we got our back rent and was paid in advance for September. Now, as long as the rent is paid in October on time, we are okay, otherwise we go back to court so that the judge can determine if it is eviction time.

Let's hope that this is the end of this. I could certainly live without the stress!

Field Trip!

Today, our gifted classes went to a air flight museum tucked away in Williamson, Georgia. The owner gave us a wonderful tour of his vintage automobiles and planes. We even got to see a plane that is in the process of being restored. It's amazing how much work it takes to fix up these old neglected planes.

Unfortunately, the weather made it such that they couldn't take the children up for bi-plane rides, but they invited us back on a clear day to go for a ride. How exciting for the kids. It's a wonderful place.

Attached to the museum is the Barnstormer's Grill, which is a lovely little restaurant. All in all, this place is a gem and I had no idea that it even existed.

We will definitely go back!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today was the big day for DS11. He went to the orthodontist for the first time since we learned that he needed braces. He got little rubber gaskets put around his back teeth so that they would make room for the full appliance in two weeks.

Unfortunately, one had come out of his mouth just minutes after we got home. And guess what? The office was closed. I left a message, but we will see if they call me back. Sheesh.

Maybe I just don't understand

But I received a notice today that I need to appear in Magistrate Court this Thursday because my renter claims that she doesn't owe me any money because she paid me on this past Friday.

Would I not be aware if I had received a large sum of money that I have been waiting for (with baited breath)? Doesn't it make sense that if the renter claims that the bill is paid, that she would have actually had to make sure that hubby or I had actually received it?

Is it legal to claim to have paid something when you have not?

The only thing that I can imagine is that she showed the court a check or something and said she was bringing it to me and then didn't. Or maybe she paid the court and we have to appear in order to receive the check.

God only knows, but this is truly illogical and ridiculous.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're a waitin'

for the doctor to call back and tell me if we can have antibiotics this time. I have talked to the answering service and two nurses from the children's hospital and this time I will (supposedly) get to talk to the doctor. We'll see.

We still have oodles of nasty stuff coming out of the nose and ear pain on both sides.

The fun never ends!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yuck! Snot is definitely not my favorite thing in the whole wide words. But, after having a kid with sinus problems that eventually required a complete surgical restructuring of the sinus cavities and openings, I have seen more than my fair share.

Nasal irrigation seems to be the best way to see it in quantity. While DS11 is slowly getting over his infections, DS12 is still battling horrid amounts of congestion, even with prescription decongestants to dry it up and prevent further sinus damage. Tonight it was dark green with tinges of brown. And there was a shocking quantity of it--and I am a pro with this junk!!! Looks like we're calling the on call doctor in the morning! We'll irrigate one more time, when he wakes up, just to be sure, but if there is anything funky going on in there, I want it nipped in the bud.

Snot. Ick.

Photos, young and old

Today was a busy day for Hatchett Photography. We took tux and drape photos for 6 students at our school. We also did 2 cutie sessions with two of the most wonderful babies we know. All in all, a good day, but a tiring one.

Granny and Grandpa kept the boys so we could work, but we did pick them up after and take them to the big craft and fabric store (one of the only ones left--sheesh) in Fayetteville and then we got a cheap meal out on the way home. They were happy to get some new crafty kits and I got material for a couple of skirts. We'll see how that works out.

Monday, August 17, 2009


One of my dearest friends lost her step-dad this evening after a long bout of cirrhosis of the liver from alcoholism. She reminded me that no matter how aware we are of situations, how educated we are, we can never be fully prepared when situations come to pass.

We've discussed the potential for this inevitable outcome for months. She definitely knew it was coming. She knew that he brought it on himself. She waffled between pity and anger and worry of how it would hurt her mother and her children. She railed against his selfishness and inability to realize that his actions affected anyone other than himself. His behavior suffered, as his brain was slowly poisoned, to the point that he was boorish and intolerable.

But as she drove in to meet her mother, crying, she called me and said, "for all of his faults, he surely loved my young'uns."

I am not sharing my friend's name because I am not sure how she would feel about that. But, I admire her strength and ability to forgive, even amidst the most horrible pain. And this is but one example, for in the last 18 months or so, her step-dad declined rapidly, her biological father died, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, had multiple surgeries, and is on chemotherapy which renders her nearly bedridden every other week. Her grandmother died about a month ago. The step-dad had been in the hospital for almost 6 weeks this time and was just released to hospice care this afternoon.

But, through it all, she has been a supportive friend, mother, wife, daughter, sister, co-worker, coach, and most of all, a Christian. And now she is grieving. It is so sad.

And it makes me ashamed of myself for the pity party that I had this afternoon because I have sick kids and one with gastro-intestinal issues that blesses me with LOTS of extra laundry. I have been blessed beyond imagining and here I sat, whining and venting on the phone with my mom. I am pathetic.


Well, DS11 has a sinus infection, an ear infection, and a throat infection. Yuck. We have got good medicine that should help him through. They did change his asthma preventative to a much stronger one and that should help him rest tonight.

But, now I have a stuffy nose and a headache. DS12 is also doing the sore throat and sinus mess now. So, it's only a matter of time until hubby gets it. Sigh.

It's bound to be one heck of a week.

Ragweed, and Pollen, and Colds--Oh My!

Ugh! I had so hoped to not have to miss days of work this year. It's actually far more stressful on me to be out than to go in and deal with everything!

DS11 started out with a sore throat on Friday that wasn't severe, but lingered. No fever, no chills, no other issues. I figured it was sinus drainage from allergies (it's officially ragweed season). But, as of yesterday afternoon, he was stopped up and his asthma has flared dramatically with lots of wheezing, coughing, and throwing up mucous.

So, I am waiting to call the doctor's office in 11 minutes when they open so that we can nip this in the bud!

More on the economy

Seems like every week, we hear about more private schools closing. It makes sense actually, as incomes are reduced, belts are tightened and non-essential expenditures are the first to go. But, it saddens me because some of these schools were really good schools.

It scares me because our school could (theoretically) be next. Our administrators are diligent about our budget and I know that they are doing any and every thing humanly possible to prevent it, but we never really know what the future can bring.

It saddens me because I am very attached to my school! My kids are learning so much there and I am able to really TEACH and not just babysit. I know that the kids we serve are being served well and taught about Christ. If anything happens to our school, it will be more than an economic loss, it will be the loss on many levels.

But, like we tell the kids so often, sometimes you have to let go and let God...

Rental Update

Well, I was so hoping to avoid having it come to this, but last Friday, I filed for eviction against the renter. I hate it. I guess we have always been blessed with reliable tenants, but this time, it appears to be the only option.

So much for adults just handling their issues between themselves. It's sad.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Proud Mama!

DS11 was invited to join Junior Beta Club!!! I am so proud of him!

What a way to start middle school!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And on it goes

Rental update: It's the 9th of August and we have received no rent and no communication. Figures, don't it? We did receive June's rent and half of July's. But, now it is time for August and the remainder of July.

Maybe I would feel differently if we ever received any communication from the renter.

But, this house is still mortgaged and has to be paid regardless. Especially during the summer (when I don't receive a paycheck) that it takes food out of my family's mouths and that just plain makes me MAD! I just don't get it. I am not sure that I would really want to.

But, if ever anyone has been glad for having a few skills to help save some money, it is me. I am waiting for the maypops to ripen and then the pears at my parent's house will do the same. I will have quite a few rosehips to dry for tea this year, maybe even enough to share some. I can crochet, knit, do a bit of crafty sewing (almost ready to attempt clothing), cook from scratch, bake, freeze, and can foods for storage.

I know how to keep my butt at home so I don't spend money. I know how to keep myself busy at home so that I don't get overly bored.

I can't imagine what I would do if I didn't have these skills. We might not make it through this economic downturn. Scary.

Getting ready for week 2

Well this weekend has been both productive and enjoyable around here. Lots of laundry accomplished. Eddie repaired my clothes line that fell and tightened up the second one. Now to put up a third. He also did a lot of yard work.

My house is a disorganized wreck, but it is not that we haven't worked on it, but it is coming right along and will be fine as my foot and fanny heal! Speaking of fannies, mine has been particularly sore this weekend, so I did mostly cooking, laundry, and dishwasher duty--you know, the stuff that keeps us able to function.

I also broke out an old scrap afghan project to work on again. It was just a way to use up some old yarn and scraps, but it is turning out nicely and will be the perfect size to put on our bed this winter. This is especially good since the 22 year old quilt that my great-aunt Enid made for me is beginning to show irreparable wear. I need to put it on a rack or hang it up or something because I don't want it to fall apart. It's been on our bed ever since we got married and is the absolute softest thing in the world. Sigh.

We've definitely put the reigns on spending. Payday is the 15th (hallelujah, I am getting paid again) and it's been very tight around here. We have been cooking more and eating more healthfully in the bargain. Staying closer to home has meant that we are spending more time as a family and getting a bit more done around here these days.

Of course, the boys are just plain mad that we are being even more tightfisted than usual around here. They'll get over it of course, but they are surly! DS11 will go outside and play, but only if someone goes with him. DS12 is not about to exert himself for any reason. He drives me crazy with that. We even had a wonderful little outside dog who we gave away because the boys wouldn't go outside to play with her. I just don't get that.

When I was a kid (an only child), I would go outside just to climb a tree and read a good book in the shade. I played in the hydrangea bush. I pulled camellia petals off of the flowers so I would have pretty pink snow in January. Yes, I am a Southern gal and that's the most snow I have really ever had, but it was lovely!

I can't figure out this lackadaisical nature in DS12. Maybe I never will.

Monday, August 3, 2009

We did it!

We (the students and staff) have officially survived the first day of school. Actually, things ran fairly smoothly for the first day and I have high hopes for the remainder of the year.

I am advising the Senior class and I have to admit that we have a really great group this year! Can't always say that, but it is really true this year. Love that.

Poor DS11 had to go to the dentist and get sealants on 6 year molars and 3 baby teeth pulled. Poor guy. I just hated it for him, but he was an absolute trooper about it! I am so proud.

Both boys had an awesome day and had good reports from their teachers. Sigh. Feels good.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Economic Update

Just when it feels like things can't get much worse economically (and yes, I know I am whining, I don't think this is like the great depression or anything), they usually do. Lately, we have a renter who has stopped paying rent. She makes an effort to catch up but stays significantly behind. Since that property is mortgaged and we need to hold on to it to get our equity out one day in a stronger economy, that hurts our finances a lot.

Worse still, I have to all but threaten her to get any money out of her. I am not an ogre, but I expect to either get paid or to receive a timely explanation of why a renter may need some more time. But, I don't receive either--EVER, so it upsets me. I hate having to deal with it, but I guess it is a necessary thing. Yuck.

Two weeks ago, I told her (and sent a certified letter to the same effect) that June and July had to be caught up and August paid in full by midnight on August 1st. Well is is 10:50 pm EST and, of course, we haven't received a thing. We'll check the mailbox again on the way to church in the morning, but I am not holding out high hopes.

So, on Monday, while I am at school, hubby (who is really acting depressed about this whole thing) is going to have to stop by Magistrate court and start the eviction process. Of course, this costs money and does not help with our finances one bit. The renter is supposed to pay all of our court costs, but even if we get a judgment, we will have to try and rent the house in a lousy economy and who knows if the money will ever materialize.

It makes me angry, because twice in our marriage we have had rental property and we have NEVER had someone who is insistent on staying in the house and not paying rent. I really wish we could sell it, but that seems unlikely right now.

Of course, in the middle of this, my car has decided to have a few minor problems. Okay, minor problems that promptly became the need for a new engine, which we definitely can't afford, partially due to the rental issues. Of course, it doesn't seem prudent to put much money into a 1996 model vehicle with almost 400,000 miles on it, so it really seemed that we were up the proverbial creek there for awhile.

Blessedly, my parents were able to loan me my mother's 1998 Mountaineer to use as a reliable replacement in the meantime, but I hate to feel like I am mooching off of them. They are struggling as much as we are in this economy and they are retired (kind of) and trying to pay for my brother's college expenses. It's really hard.

But, my parents mentioned a while back that they would likely sell the Mountaineer due to the costs of maintaining two vehicles. Hubby went to them and offered to buy it from them for a fair price. So, we have a vehicle, which I will share with my Mom and we can pay as we can and have it paid for in about six months or so, but they will be a tight six months.

Plus, soon after we borrowed the Mountaineer, the fan for the a/c died and we haven't been able to figure out how to fix it ourselves. Sigh. It's only tropical and sticky weather around here. Ironically, the a/c in my old, trashed car is in excellent shape.

Monday morning, DS11 gets three teeth pulled and sealants put on his six year molars. By the end of the month, he will start with his braces and we will have to make the large (to us) downpayment to get this started.

What a wonderful time to have to purchase a used vehicle. Sigh.

The schedule resumes!

This Monday, we return to school. The boys are actually excited this year and can't wait to see their friends, etc. I am very happy about that.

My schedule looks like it will be very good this year, so I am pretty psyched about that. Open House, last Thursday, was pretty good, although HOT because the school system still hasn't fixed the A/C for the hallways and commons areas. In my room is okay as long as I keep the door closed, but that doesn't happen during an Open House. Sigh.

I have a good planning period and I hope to use it to make sure that I don't have to bring much work home. I am trying to keep work at work this year so that I can not lose control of my home or be too exhausted to enjoy my kids. It's a fine line for sure.

If you are back to school or resuming homeschool, I sure hope you have a wonderful and productive year!

Another frugal find!

Every year, we are inundated with Maypop vines in our yard. I have seen them in the past and they really have the most interesting looking flowers, but I don't need them all over the place. However, hubby loves that they attract butterflies, etc. and doesn't want to touch them. I usually can't wait for them to quit blooming so I can pull them off of our shrubs, etc.

But, now I have learned that they set an edible fruit that can be used to make jellies, etc. What a windfall! Now, I am hoping and praying that I get enough fruit to try a batch or two. Like my volunteer blackberries, this is another free item that I can use to make inexpensive Christmas gifts and to use in my own home to help keep expenses down in these hideous economic times.

I am excited about them now~