The Frugal Foursome Rant: An Update

Little and Big, with O. and S. Free fun for all!
Little and Big, with O. and S. Free fun for all!

Shhh. This weeks rant is a day late, and , well, a dollar short…

Last year, I shared a post that left me very vulnerable and open, in a good way. Authenticity at it’s finest, brought to you as many times a week as I can type. What, you want I should lie? Like sleep doesn’t already keep me awake at night…and you, my therapists, you should be able to take it.

Well, it’s time I let you know how the ‘path less purchased’ is going:

Live Lean:

  • Slash the budget and stop the hemorrhage.  As much as I’d like to say we have fully coagulated, even formed a scab, we are still bleeding. Maybe we need that nice, Dr. House to help us. Or Susie Orman. We rarely go out, and when we do, it’s a pizza or the diner—no extravagance here. Despite Ich macht a labent (I’m making a living), the cost of our life is still out doing my income. This keeps my metabolism revving, and leaves me a bit ferklempt (choked with emotions). Our biggest expenses still come from Doctors…because of me, I’m a pain in the neck, chronically and literally, and the best progressive education around, at the Miquon School, for the kinder (the kids). Two things we cannot stop attending to.
  • Cut the cord. Goodbye Cable! Done! And we couldn’t be happier. Savings here, ~$200 per month! We have wi-fi, and we stream, like all the cool kids!
  • Eat home, brown bag lunches, snacks and beverages, avoid quaint coffee culture. This has a steep learning curve. Stopping for ice cream, a bottle of water, c-o-f-f-e-e, snacks, all very difficult. We rarely eat out. We make rice and beans. Beans and rice, rice, with beans, and sometimes beans and rice. Thankfully, we are veggies and love this! No sacrifice! Little and Big, they get hungry, and thirsty, even after our well thought out bag of noshes (snacks and drinks) has been consumed. Oy! When we have nothing for me to bring for lunch, I wait until dinner. I allow myself one cup of coffee out per week. My coffee klatch, dear friends back from our barista brewing ‘Buckaroo days…are well worth every penny.
  • Sell the house—downsize, move, rent. Living life the Manor way. It’s an adjustment for us all. We have no idea whose basement has what of our stuff or how long we will be here. But, we carved a savings of about ~$1200 per month. 
  • Make memories, give experiences, learn to live well with less.  Major improvement! My wonderful machetanum (in-laws) gave us a membership to the Morris Arboretum. It’s like our backyard, without mowing or pruning. We have been there zillions of times and keep finding new things to fall in love with and explore. We are making wonderful memories and enjoying outdoor play together!
Coffee Klatch <3
Coffee Klatch ❤

Lean On:

  • Leave senseless money squabbles behind. Better. ❤ We find ourselves on the same page so much more often than ever before. My Mrs., she has come a long way!
  • Share the burden of stresses that I hold so deep and internal. The Mrs. and me, we kibbitz (talk) more about a lot of things. A stolen moment here, a quick sentence or two there—we’ve even texted each other while on the sofa. The best thing for me, when I hear her laughter. Priceless…
  • Recognize that ‘thrift maven’ may come in stages for those of us that are more ‘spendy’ and less frugal. And with this one, we bicker less. Win, win! Baby steps lead to long strides.
Yarn bombing At the Arboretum!
Yarn bombing At the Arboretum!

Lean In:

  • Control what I can control. I’m trying.
  • Always lead by example. Words I try hard to live by.
  • Keep my ‘cup half full attitude. A veritable Mary Poppins, I am.
  • Work hard and make the time to play hard. We all need more play.
  • Set goals together for a purpose, because some may just find the simple act of saving for savings sake boring. Oh savings! I should only live long enough to be bored by you!

Financial stability, I am searching for you around every corner. I am working hard to have you in our lives again. We will be fine. Things will improve. Time and karma.

 

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It’s a boy!

Meet The Great Gatsby!
Meet The Great Gatsby!

One of the posts I have been avoiding writing is the one called ‘We want a dog, dammit!’ The Mrs. and I, along with the kinder (kids), have been trapped in a long stage of grief. I refer to 2014-15 as our Titanic years. Such tsuris, you should never know from (so many bad things happened). And the worst of them all, were the loss of our two boychik (little boy) pugs, Atticus (from To Kill a Mocking Bird) and Elijah (because we were waiting for him).

If you are not dog people, or animal lovers, you may not understand such heartbreak. You may think these feeling absurd. My wish for you is that someday, you experience such great emotion that comes with the unconditional love of a dog. For us humans, who stand erect and have opposable thumbs, we come with countless conditions and circumstances.

Little and Big would talk about the boys, their brothers, constantly. They knew, when Mommy’s heart was better, we would get another dog. They watched as the Mrs. and me shed pools full of tears. They hugged us tightly and said it would get better. In every rainbow, we saw our boys (and I gotta say, we’ve never seen so many rainbows!). And remember, this Yiddisher momma just speaks a lot of this fun, robust language and soaks in the culture – beliefs, that’s another story. Not so much.

They say, di tsayt iz der bester dokter (time is the best doctor). Maybe. Sometimes when you go slowly, you get there faster.

image

This past Sunday, we rescued this little guy. His dog-mom was a Pekinese-Pug mix, and his dog-dad a miniature Dachshund. I guess that makes him a mutt with some pugger in him. We named him Gatsby (as in the Great Gatsby). He is sweet and handsome and every bit a dawg! Now our family has grown, and this boychik (little boy) has two shvesters (sisters) and two moms. Lucky dog! Lucky us.

On Sunday night, when we got home from our long drive, puppy in tow, Big walked over to me and whispered in my ear, “Mommy, is your heart feeling better?” Such wisdom! Priceless.

Now, our family has such naches (joy, pride and gratitude) from Gatsby. For me, I know my heart has two holes that won’t mend, but it also just grew a few sizes bigger.

 

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Bloggers Pit Stop #21
Bloggers Pit Stop #21

Rant, Shmant: Zika virus?

 

This is one scary bug!
           

Shhhhh. feeling extremely out of control… Vampires bites! Week 14 

Is it just me? Or are you worried about the Zika virus? Forget the election and the fate of our country. This little bugger might just trump Trump, in the world of threats? According to health officials at the CDC, these newly armed and mighty mosquitos are like teeny, tiny-terrorists, swarming our way, and outfitted in the latest ISIS style death-vests, ready to attack with a bite, leaving behind a trail of neurologic cooties. Can’t go outside because they can form and reproduce in a drop of water. Can’t stay inside, because unlike other mosquito members, they like it indoors.

At first, level red alerts were only for those with child and trying for ‘with child’ status, due to the link to abysmal birth defects. As if that wasn’t bad enough! Now, ‘they’ say, all of us are in danger. Fevers, rashes, joint pain, fatigue and um, some rare autoimmune and neurological disorders that could attack our brains and spinal chords.

And, as warmer weather is on the way, vacations begin and people from Zika prone countries will cross-pollinate. We now know, the vampire bite is no longer the only way to spread said sickness. Actually shtupping (having sex with an infected male) can do it too. Lucky for this two-momma household, we at least have lesbianism going for us. Oy vey!

So, I headed over to the CDC web site and take a look-see under PREVENTION. Mark my words, this is what it said: No vaccine exists. Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites. Genius!

I don’t know about you, but the Mrs., Little, Big and me are like mosquito magnets. The freckles on our skin must say, “All you can Eat,” in mosquito. We use the stuff that costs and arm and a leg from WF to protect from bug bites. No way my shana madelahs (little girls) are going to get slathered in DEET. Even the EPA, the bastion of protection, says that this stuff is so poisonous, if you do use it, wash it off immediately when you come inside, don’t breathe around it (how does this work, when you shmear it on like cream cheese on a bagel?), and don’t spray directly on your face. These machers (big shots) also suggest, wait for it, staying indoors from dawn to dusk. This, they earn salaries for?

I’m no doctor (a Yiddisher Momma, yes, and I watched a lot of House), but DEET kills things. Probably a lot more things than just vampire mosquitos!

Well that’s it for my kvetching (complaining). What on earth are you going to do about this mosquito issue with your families?

 

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Bloggers Pit Stop #20
Bloggers Pit Stop #20

Today’s Post, is brought to you by the Letter “U”

With the doctor
With the doctor

Big U, Little u, what begins with U?

U is for Update

So the last time a letter sponsored this yiddisher momma, it was B, for Botox. I thought it well timed to share an update. It’s unanimous! There is no level of unhappiness as a result of this treatment. In fact, it is my understanding that in addition to the incredibly youthful, even child-like, back of my head and scalp that I now sport underneath my coif, Botox helps to undo my pain! In fact, Botox, united with my superhuman bionic occipital stimulator, has me under an umbrella of predominantly good feeling unlike I have known in quite some time. This unusual turn of events has me quite hopeful and, well upbeat. The upstairs region of my person, which is usually inundated with pain unlike – well, you should just never know from such ugly pain – now has me in the unique position of not crying, “Uncle! I give up.” 

Big U, Little u, what begins with U?

U is for Unlikely turn of events

It turns out, you do not have to be ungeshtupped (stuffed with money!) to get this procedure! The upright people who make Botox (Allergan) have a program to assist desperate pain sufferers such as me, in paying for the unreasonable and unwarranted copays that triggered consideration of sitting myself near my local urban pharmacy with a Venti-sized spent Starbucks cup in hand. I am still anticipating the arrival of my undue out-of-pocket expenditures, and will no doubt update you all to the Botox loot when it arrives via post. The understanding of said payback program has me already scheduled to undergo another round of injections in one month’s time. Sticking to the 90-day plan is urgent and essential in keeping away the unpleasant pain.

Doing the 'HAPPY DANCE'
Doing the ‘HAPPY DANCE’ for Mommy

Big U, Little u, what begins with U?

U is for Us

As in the Mrs., me and the kinder (kids) and our newfound universe that does not contain the usual amount of ache and discomfort. This has us all on an upward spiral of delight. And, don’t you worry, I will undertake anything that I am normally unable to do – I want very much to maintain this unique new feeling of unfeeling as much agony as is possible.

Until next time…what’s new with U?

 

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Rant, Shmant: The Time Conundrum?

Tick-tock, tick-tock...
Tick-tock, tick-tock…

Quiet please, for this session is very important…Week 13

Where does it go when 24/7 is the new norm? 81 years is the average age for a woman in the U.S. to live, less so for a man. How do we spend our time? What makes us happy? What constitutes a life well lived? I suppose those answers change from person to person.

2 reasons right here...
2 reasons right here…

I’m soon to be 636 months old. Am I doing the things that matter to me? Am I grateful? What do I want more of? What do I do too much of? If I have roughly 336 months left, how should they be spent? How could they be spent?

I work really hard. I do not have wealth, and I am rich in many ways. I live with extreme physical pain, and I savor the many pleasurable feelings of joy. I have had struggles and tsuris (troubles) for what feels too long a time, and I revel in laughter and glee. I have been hurt and I seek no harm to others. I’m not where I want to be, physically or fiscally, and I am so lucky to be surrounded by those I love and who love me.

This life, it seems it is filled with hundreds of invisible tugs of war that one encounters at unpredictable checkpoints along the way. Everyone’s road is different. Sometimes one can pass through the obstacles with ease while others require extra adeptness and newfound compassion.

Where is the balance among the commotion? How does one teeter what feels good and what hurts? Ethics, morals, values, pain, conflict, money, love, empathy, gratitude, compassion…is there a pattern? I don’t have that answer. I don’t see a pattern.

If time is finite, I need handle it with care. If energy is fixed, I should expend wisely. If my body craves healing, I need to treasure restoration. I fear there is no bargaining at this table.

I do work that is meaningful. My heart lives for and with my family, great friends. Such naches (joy and happiness) I get, from the Mrs. and der kinder (the children). I hold my loved ones closely and dearly. I am grateful.

Thanks for letting me speak (well, okay, type). I can stop kvetching (complaining), at least about time, for I think I have resolved the answer to my enigma. Wish me much mazel (good luck)!

Are you living your life well? A bei gezunt (As long as your healthy)!

image

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The Liebster Award! Oh My!

Thank you #grubbsncritters for this honor!
Thank you #grubbsncritters for this honor!

KVELLING: Bursting with pride and joy!

I am feeling really special lately. I am so fortunate to have been praised and recognized by fellow blogger Ann, of grubbsncritter.com.  I greatly admire Ann and the great work she does in this space!  Such nachas (utter delight) I haven’t felt, since, well, since I got to watch my Big and Little perform in the ballet, the Nutcracker this past Christmas. (Yes, Jewish kids can perform in a ballet about goyim, or non-jews). Well, I also felt this good when the Mrs. and me, we had time enough to casually binge watch every episode of Doc Martin on TV! I digress…Thank you Ann for this splendid award! I will not rest on my laurels here, rest assured!

Nutcracker tryouts...
Nutcracker try-outs

Ann, she too has two, and has time to write about her life and family antics. A must to add to your reader.

My honorees (drumroll please):

Your Questions???

  1. What is your favorite book?
  2. When did you know you loved writing?
  3. Do you have cable, or are you a cord cutter?
  4. Where on the planet is your ‘happy place?’
  5. All-time, best ever, favorite moment of your life (to date)?
  6. What three things would you bring with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
  7. Dinner or Dessert?
  8. What is your favorite word?
  9. How do you occupy your time when you are not blogging?
  10. What do you look forward to in the future?

The Answers to my Questions from Ann:

  1. What’s your favourite go-to snack? Dark Chocolate, or oranges (definitely not together)
  2. If a genie would grant you one wish, and only one, what would you wish for? That the Mrs. and my kinder (the girls), they will always be okay
  3. What’s your favourite post from your own blog so far? My Rant about Cell Phones
  4. Who is your favourite blogger? All things Chronic
  5. If you would cook a special meal, what would it be? Falafel, tabouli and hummus
  6. What makes you squirm? Mice, lice, and mice with lice
  7. What is the most annoying song? The theme song to Barney!
  8. Would you rather live in the city or the suburb? I’m a city girl
  9. What is your favourite quote? Don’t pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining! or in Yiddish, Du kanst nicht oif meinem fus pishen und mir sagen klass es regen ist.
  10. Cats or dogs? Dogs, more specifically, pugs ❤

Thanks again Ann! You rock and made my day, week, month!

 

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Rant, Shmant…Well maybe this week, it’s a lament

The Tooth Fairies find us at the Manor
The Tooth Fairies find us at the Manor

Shhhhhh: therapy game is ON: Week 12

For the past several weeks/months, Big has had a very sleepy, jiggly, wiggly loose front baby tooth. Keep in mind, she is 8, and has only lost two teeny teeth (the lower front biters) to date. Big, just like the Mrs., is very sensitive. I have joked, “Big will need crutches before this tooth untethers!” Eating has become fascinating. All foods must be cut narrow and thin, to slide in on the right side, so as not to aggravate or exacerbate said upper left tooth. My shana madelah (beautiful little girl) was tolerating little cuts to her right cheek, trying desperately not to let anything come anywhere near the incapacitated dental vicinity.

Well, while on our family spring break, Little somehow gives Big some kind of unexpected zetz (a George Foreman like punch) in maxillary central…and don’t you know, both front baby incisors were now flapping in the wind like laundry on a clothesline. Oh the tears. Little and remorse? Not so much. We were all ferhklempt (choked with emotion).

So what do we do? Like all good Jews, we nosh (eat a little something). A few scoops of ice cream later, she was back and ready for vacation action.

Fast-forward a few days, add another zetz (from you know who), and Big comes begging me to end her toothy tsuris (troubles).

“Mommy, Mommy, please! Just pull them out! I can’t take it anymore!” I cupped her sad, teary face and said to my bubelah (sweet heart), “Honey, are you sure?”

“Yes! Please! Just do it!”

And without even a tug, with barely a touch, her two front teeth fell gently into my hands. I hugged her, we all cheered and kvelled (oozed with pride) over her bravery. A regular Merida, she was. This simcha (joyous day) will bring the much-anticipated tooth fairy here, to the Manor!

image

And as I welled up with pride, and looked through the tunnel, now fully opened in her newly formed smile, I winced with a venti-sized dose of shpilkas (anxiety/pins and needles). My Big, our first bubelah (sweet little girl), she is growing up.

Wasn’t it just ten minutes ago when she was born?

And there in lies my lament.

 

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Bloggers Pit Stop #18
#BloggersPitStop #18   4-8-16