Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stories Of Life In The Past Lane!

Sometimes the simplest little statements can trigger the most bizarre memories and thoughts about who you are and where you came from.  The stuff that makes up the baseline things you do and how you react and behave can come from the smallest influences.

Having a conversation with my friend the other day, she says something about getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and then I made the statement that I never get up in the middle of the night unless it is an emergency or there is just something not right.  She was curious as to how and why that is and I knew immediately that the reason was just as simple too.  When I was young, there was a time when we did not have running water in our house, so that meant that we had an outhouse for our “business”.  Trust me, when you live way out in the “boonies”, there are plenty of things that go bump in the night for REAL.

My dad had gotten a piece of property, by life circumstance, and he had to make the best of it.  He brought in a bulldozer and cleared a pad out from the surrounding hillsides that left us smack in the middle of a giant horseshoe.  The dirt walls were an average of about 6-8 feet most of the way around us.  It was plenty big enough for us, but was probably only an acre or so at best.  One thing for sure though, it was in the boonies!  No neighbors, no electricity and no running water!  We did have a big double wide mobile home, but again, no water, etc…  It was given to my dad in exchange for some work, needless to say, it was not in the best condition to begin with, by the time they mangled, oops, I mean wrangled, it into position it definitely had very serious issues to say the least.

One night I had been in trouble already with a steady case of the trottins, so I prepared ahead of time with one of my Dad’s flashlights right at hand.  Sure enough I awoke with a start, jumped outta bed and headed off, almost forgetting the light as I ran.  I doubled back and grabbed it, terrified I was never going to make it all the way across the yard already.  I ran all the way without even turning that damn light on, just by heart and the light of the moon.  It really was close but I made it and was sitting there for a VERY long time, when suddenly I heard something walking around.  I called out, but heard nothing in reply.  No need, I already knew!

A couple of weeks back my Dad had already had an incident where he had opened the back door and just "hung it" outside to take a quick midnight release, when he looked up just in time to realize he was about to wiz in the face of a mountain lion staring back at him. Because of the proximity of the trailer and the hillside, they were eye to eye! His gut reaction was to just slam the door closed!  By the time he grabbed his rifle and got back, the cat was long gone.  Of course that only means for the night, because we knew our house was smack in the middle of his territory already.  The same cat already had been around for several episodes in our lives!  He would be wound in through my life for years, my Dad tried in vain to shoot him MANY times!

My Dad had put the little white pot house right up against the cut side of our mountain pad, as far from the house as possible, for obvious reasons.  But that sure didn’t help me out any right now, at all!  I could here him out here, just barely the slightest sound as the occasional rock moved or dirt shifted.  Just enough to let me know he was still out there.  First I shouted, even beat on the sides of the little hut, but I knew he was still out there.  I finally tried to open the door just a bit, and shone out that light, I didn’t see a thing, just as I stepped out, I caught a flash from the corner of my eye and I dove back into the doorway!  I started screaming now, DADDYYYYYY!!!

It took about a good 20-30 minutes before someone finally heard me and came out to my rescue!  Of course the cat was long gone by then and I just looked like a ditz!  But I still NEVER get out of bed to go to the bathroom at night!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bathroom Math For Economy 101

Math? Who Needs That Stink’n Math?

“Who really ever uses math anyway? Why do I need it?”

Well, here’s one for you!
I know that some people might not really grasp what it means to get by with hard time economics, but I recently had to go through this one, and so, I thought that I might share it. It could enlighten someone, not only with a glimpse into the meaning of “hard time economics”, but also, offer up an answer to that age old debating question of “ What the hell am I ever going to use all this math crap for out in the real world anyway”! [Hint: Survive!!]

Due to recent catastrophic finances, my Daughter and I had to figure out exactly how much we needed to have, for a two week period, of one of the most precious of household necessities. TOILET PAPER!! Let me ask you, do you know how many sheets you require per bathroom visit? Do you know how many times a day you use the bathroom? How many sheets are on a roll, of the brand you buy? How many times can and do you use public vestiges or even friend’s homes. Could you increase these numbers, so that you can cut out some of your own home usage? How would you tolerate toilet paper rationing? These are things to consider when you do not have money!

First, there are four children under the age of 10 and then one that is 17, and 2 adults (when I am there). So, through experimentation, we have deduced that it requires the girls (3) at least 6 sheets per wipe. Since I require the boys to wipe as well, “air dry” and “shaking” do not cut it when I’m doing the laundry! So, even though the boys use less, I will just use the figures from the girls for the whole formula. Then I do some rounding, cause a little extra is always a good thing, just in case! Because of sensitivities, we are forced to buy unscented, lint resistant papers, which are always a tad bit more, so the math here is mainly for quantity. Cost will vary greatly. You will get the idea anyway.

Per person: 6 sheets per wipe, 1 trip for #2 = 2 wipes, 2 trips for #1 = 2 wipes for a grand total of

4 wipes per day X 6 sheets = 24 sheets per person, (round that to 30 sheets per, just in case).

1 roll is approx 400 sheets (double rolls) so, 400 sheets divides by 30 = 13.3 lets just call it 12 trips per roll. 7 people X 4 wipes X 14 days = 392, let’s call it 400. So now we have 400 divided by 12 = 33.3, we call that 34 rolls, packages come 12 rolls to a pack, so we need 3 packages of 12 double rolls for a 2 week period.

Now, if we can just figure out how to get by on the 2 packages we actually had enough money for! First, we are accepting no visitors, then, well, we have school, offices, friends, etc…!!

Now that’s math in the REAL WORLD!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Life With A Grain Of Salt...

Thank the Powers, it is not being rubbed into a wound!  LOL!  I keep reminding myself of all the wonderful things that I am so grateful for, it helps me not to keep harping on the not so groovey aspects of my life right now!

I love my Honey!
My Honey Loves me!
My Honey still has a job!
I am not paralyzed!
My car still runs (just not legally!)
My friend still loves me (I'm not kicked out yet)
My child is healthy!
I have food!
My clothes are warm and I have a nice fire going!

See I can do this!

We watched a program the other night about families that had their homes blown up and they were living in the streets with nothing but each other to cling to, no food, relatives and children all murdered or blown to pieces, no hope and no prospects.  Made us feel like the luckiest people in the world!

I already spent my hour on the computer here at the library, I was reading all my favorite blogs and didn't leave myself much time to write!  Oh well I know time flys....