We just found out on Monday that we were approved for the HAMP loan modification that we applied for so that we won’t lose our house. This is the best possible way to start the new year. I don’t deal well with uncertainty and we’ve been going through this for two years now. Well, truly, almost from the day we first moved in here four years ago. If you want more of the details and thoughts that go along with this news you can read about it here. So I’m feeling deeply relieved and deeply thankful for this news.
In the past couple of years I have been more focused on just coping with stress from day to day, trying to help my kid with his challenges, and I have retreated into my writing – all of which was good and necessary but leaving my garden to do its thing has resulted in a giant mess. A colossal mess. Now that we get to stay we have some real things to face. The first is much more extreme budgeting. This is not going to be easy but it is necessary in order to make this work. (No, the bank didn’t reduce our loan by much money – they fixed some other things that would have forced us to move soon, such as the adjustable rate and other things I can’t be bothered to go into.)
The important thing is that now that we’ve been approved for this adjustment we know the bank isn’t going to kick us out and as long as we can make our payments, we’re here for good. I have to admit that there have been times when I fantasized about getting kicked out because then we could move to Portland out of this god-forsaken little town of ours… but truly, I love my weird house and I’ve become accustomed to being a freak in the Oregon bible belt and we know most of the cool people here. Plus, it’s pretty around here.
So here are a few things I want to work on around here as time allows:
- Soft spendy cheeses for special occasions only.
- No beer except for very rare occasions (cheap wine instead, but only a few days a week, not every day).
- No second pots of coffee. When first pot runs out, make tea.
- Cut Kung Fu classes. (We can still practice the Kung Fu we already know)
- Meal planning. (I have the toughest time with this but every time I do it, I spend less money on grocery shopping.)
In the Garden:
- Continue to cut back and uproot all the blackberries. Huge job. Long-term.
- Prune the roses so we have a great crop of them this year for filling vases and cheering our poor asses up.
- Have Philip relocate a couple of the roses that are too close together.
- Clear out the two empty square beds in preparation for spring planting.
- Plan the spring garden. Just list the things you really want to grow, all your priorities, and roughly plan where you want to put them. The more food we grow, the less we have to buy.
- Prune the fruit trees by the end of February and apply dormant oil if you can find some that isn’t petroleum based.
Inside the house:
- Get on a regular cleaning routine. Starting this Saturday. Just concentrate on: washing and changing sheets, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, mopping kitchen floor.
- Apply diatomaceous earth to all floors in the house. (This was a tip from my friend Ann that our vet agreed was an effective and non-toxic flea control. Pippa, it turns out, is very allergic to fleas so we need to be on top of this)
- Curtains on Max’s bedroom window.
- Wash and sew new covers on all his comforters that have become gross and ratty and depressing.
- Continue to work on the home-made lotion trials.
That’s plenty to focus on. It’s important not to overwhelm myself before I even get out the gate. I have writing to do as well, but these other things need to be given more priority than they have been. Such improvements will help ease my overall depression which has been so bad lately that I literally want to sleep all the time. While that’s a classic symptom for many people with clinical depression, that’s not been one of mine. I don’t sleep well at night, ever, and then I just want to stay in bed all day. Anyway, fixing up some of the things that depress me that I see every day is a step in the right direction.