Monday, September 22, 2014

Average daily spending for September: $22.48

With eight days left in the month, let the sprint begin. I think I can get that sucker down under $20 a day by the 30th. I think I can, I think I can...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sooner or Later

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.
C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
Don't worry, I haven't been crying but I've these heavy things on my mind and they're numbing in a way. I feel like I've just been sitting and thinking for days. My mind is tired. The above quote is a good reminder to get going. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking (if that is possible) and move ahead, maybe it's not possible to move on but move ahead anyhow.

Average daily spending for September: $23.19
And I still haven't bought a new pair of lounging/ sleeping pants. Mine officially have all worn too thin to repair and the three worn pair all have holes. Gah!

Interactive Irish Surname Map from 1890 Census

I love ancestry info. I love Irish history. Ninety percent of the books I read are Irish history books. I just found this interactive map and I'm blogging about it mostly for my own reference. You can type in a surname and see all the counties where people with that name were living in 1890. My Irish relatives emigrated to the United States out of Northern Ireland; I've distant relatives living there. This map doesn't have any of our clan in the North during 1890. Our last name changed through time. My Grandmother's maiden name was Toal (Her dad and mom moved to the United States from Ireland). Through research I've seen that it was most likely O'Toole originally from the Irish O'Tuathail. The O' was likely dropped at some point and it became Toole. It would have later evolved to Toal. I half wonder in they became Toal's when they migrated to the north. These are all guesses.

I've been able to trace my English ancestry pretty far back (I'm mostly all Irish, Scottish, English blood (Maybe some Spanish too, right Sluggy)) but I can't get very far with my Irish or Scottish ancestry. I know my Scottish Grandpa's family came over through Canada. My English Grandfather's family appears to have come over at the very beginning with the colonials. I image there are probably some ancestral surprises in his line. My English Grandmother came over when she was just a baby. I really need to get my hands on the family Bible from her (it's no where near me at present).  It's sad how she lived next door to me for years and I never knew what wealth of knowledge was at my finger tips with that Bible.

Family history honestly amazes me. Knowing that all these people long gone were directly responsible for me being alive, for my son being alive... if anything had happened to a single one of them before they gave birth to the child who'd join my family tree then I wouldn't be here. History is crazy that way. It's a giant web of intricate events where if a single tiny strand of spider silk snapped thousands of people would have never lived out their lives. I love reading Irish history and imagining that my relatives were likely apart of the events I'm now reading about in books. I'm sitting here cheering them on. As they're escaping a viking raid in a currach, I'm like, "Way to go Great x1000 Grandpa! Get out of there!" I'm in awe of the past, absolutely in awe!

Here's the map for anyone that's interested in checking it out.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Well Folks, We Have a Petition Now

My local hospital just announced that they are discontinuing the use of their midwifery services. This announcement has caused quite the stir in my community as many of us LOVE the midwives that practice at our hospital. I believe that every woman should have options when it comes to such an amazing and vulnerable time in their lives. Whether you want to deliver at home, in a hospital, with a doctor, with a midwife; these options should be available. Our hospital taking away the option for us to deliver there with a midwife is unbelievably disheartening.

I personally chose to birth my son in a hospital assisted by two incredible midwives. It was the perfect decision for me. I had to be induced as I was almost two weeks late and there were signs that my baby had stopped growing but my midwife worked to induce me naturally so that I didn't have to have pitocin. I communicated early on that I did not want an epidural or medication and thankfully during my labor and delivery no one asked me if I did. I felt very respected, cared for and comforted throughout the very personal and vulnerable experience. Medical intervention statistically is much lower with midwife assisted births than with those done by doctors. For woman like me who desire more natural methods and less to no intervention midwives are a great choice.

I'm devastated that the hospital only a few blocks from my house is taking this away from me and all the other woman in my community. Our midwives are amazing. We've started a petition to let our voices be heard. Woman should have options when it comes to their health care and most especially something so life changing like pregnancy, labor, and delivery. If you would add your name to the petition letting my "community" hospital know that the community of woman in this country believe they should have options available to them concerning their health care and pregnancies. I personally appreciate your support beyond measure. I'm praying daily that this terrible decision would be reversed. (Our midwives are not gone yet. They're scheduled to be done practicing at the hospital on December 5th of this year)

The Petition is linked here ^

Thank-you!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Been Absent but Very Busy/ Plus a Little Rant About Midwives

My work schedule was pretty loaded last week.
I've recently been organizing a "family gathering" for the four groups of people I've traveled to Guatemala with over 4 years.
I babysat for a friend on Friday directly after work.
Yesterday was the Guatemala teams family reunion.
I don't feel as though I've sat down for the past week.

Plus I haven't been sleeping well because the hospital I delivered at just announced they're doing away with the midwives. I'm heart broken. I hope to have more children but even if I never do I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to deliver at a hospital with a midwife as opposed to a OB/GYN doc. The midwives were the PERFECT choice for me and I am devastated that other woman in my area won't have the option that myself and so many others had. If I do have more children I CANNOT imagine anyone else assisting the birth but the midwives I saw with little Abe. I love them! It's weird how something like this can cause a person to loose sleep but for me it is. The midwives were such an enormous part of my pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I've seen 4 OB/GYN docs and never felt comfortable (even felt traumatized honestly) with them. I'm so sad.

Actually, no matter where you're at if you agree that woman should have the option of seeing a doctor or a midwife at the hospital they choose to deliver their children at please join the facebook page that was created in support of these amazing woman. We're trying desperately to reverse the hospital's decision. We're speculating that it's completely financial. Midwives cost less than doctors. They use considerably less intervention methods and medications which brings in less revenue for the hospital for each midwife assisted birth. There was definitely not an incident that brought this decision about so it seems that it could only be a greedy money thing. The link to the support page is here. There are some neat birth stories on the page too. Many of us have shared how our experience was and why the midwives mean so much to us. I will be protesting. I have never protested anything in my life but I will be holding a sign in protest with my son and the other moms in my community who are outraged.

I just added up my spending for the past week and it's still pretty bad. I need to purchase more dog food tomorrow. That's going to make it really skyrocket! We're invited over to a friends house for dinner tonight. I should pretty easily be able to pull off a no spend day today at least. Ah, one day at a time!

Average daily spending for September: $23.65

Monday, September 8, 2014

What a Rewarding Evening

AGAIN, my life revolves around food WAY too much!

I cooked up more goose this evening and it turned out even better than the last one. I'm almost afraid to cook the others. It just couldn't get any better. I'm so impressed with my two year old for chowing down on this new meat too. Along with our goose we had a sliced up black krim heirloom tomato from the backyard and a box of organic mac n cheese that I got on sale for $1. That means that tonight's dinner cost $1. One of the most satisfying dinners I've ever had; satisfying in several ways.

To top it off I tried out a new dessert recipe yesterday that a dear friend of mine posted to her blog. <-linked here. It's an icebox cake with just 5 ingredients that turned out wonderfully. I used lemon instead of lime for mine and since my husband is no fan of citrus (or fruit for that matter) I decided to split the recipe in half and bring a cake to my neighbor. Little Abe and I walked next door this evening while the goose was cooking and my neighbor was so touched. She tried the cake a short while later and said she loved it.

I feel really great right now. Great dinner. Super cheap dinner. And brought a huge smile to the neighbor! Oh, also pulled off a NO SPEND day today. <Happy Dance right here>
English version of recipe linked under photo
The recipe called for a garnish of lime peel. I grated the lemon peel quite small and we were able to eat it with the cake. It was really yummy! Thank-you for the great recipe Pieliekamais!

Goose For Dinner

That tomato back there is the only one it's plant produced.
Its some sort of purple/ black tomato.

I think I managed to rather successfully cook the goose my father in law shot (round one anyhow). Seared in a hot pan on each side for 1 minute and then cooked in the oven; I think I had it at 375 for 15 minutes. It is a lot like steak with a very gamy after taste. I cooked it better than any steak I've tried at anyhow. My mom never could cook steak either... at least when I lived with her.

My husband refuses to eat it because he's... stubborn. He will be eating leftover chili tonight and little Abe and I will be eating more goose breast steaks. My chili is quite good but if you ask me he's missing out. I mean, how often does one eat goose?

I'm shooting for a no spend day today which would put September's daily average at $28.53. Yep, it's still really up there!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

rooorange

Dirty fingernails are so much classier with nail polish!

These past two weeks I reset a very name brand nail polish section in six stores. That just means I pulled out old colors, installed new colors, and new graphics. There was one new color that I thought was pretty neat but mostly I loved the name. "Rooorange." After six resets I was pretty convinced that I "needed" it. But exhibit number 1.) I don't wear nail polish. And exhibit number 2.) it cost $8.49 plus tax. 

You might ask, "now who in their right mind would spend $9 on nail polish they virtually never wear mostly because it has a cool name?" I'd have to answer, "A good number of people actually. That's the power of good marketing." You pass by a billboard one too many times, watch a commercial just enough that it gets to you, see a sign in front of Starbucks that makes a certain beverage look completely irresistible. As humans we're suckered into purchases of this kind regularly. Sure maybe it was something you would have bought eventually anyhow. Maybe it was something you needed. But somewhere along the line a good deal of purchases we make are because someone marketed those items to us in a savvy way. It's truuue.

I decided in the end not to buy the rooorange. It left me feeling sad (and took a good deal of pep talking myself out of) but I dug my heels in and stuck to my resolve. I had one bottle of this brand nail polish at one point in time but I was pretty sure I gave it away to my sister because, again, I just don't wear nail polish. I happened upon it in our bathroom cupboard about two days ago and was positively giddy. Accidentally finding it felt like a reward for not buying the other bottle. Of course I promptly painted my nails after the discovery and in truth I feel a little rewarded each time I notice the flash of turquoise out of the corner of my eye. It's like a little whisper of, "job well done; way to resist!"

*side note about the photo: I did a ton of yard work today and pulled weeds in the tomato bed.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

One Way I Choose to Save Money

Maggie just beginning her hair cut

This is round number three for me of at home dog grooming. Last time we took our miniature schnauzers to the groomers it cost us $90 for the pair. We used to take them to the groomers two times a year. By choosing to cut their hair myself I've now saved $270. I just use a nice pair of scissors and trim their hair for short periods of time for about a week. I trimmed up our other dog last week. Once they're all trimmed I clip their nails and give them a bath and then we've a pair of brand new dogs for free (only a good deal of time invested in the procedure).

We've always had their bodies and legs trimmed all the way down but left the eye brows and beards with a little bit of length. I hate the traditional schnauzer trim. This time around is the only time we've totally cut off the beard. There were some mats in both dogs beards so I decided to just give them both a fresh start. The bit of extra one on one time with each pooch (they rather enjoy the grooming) is well worth the money saved too!

September is going to be a good month, September is going to be a good month, September is going to be...

Average daily spending for September: $31.96

I feel like September is financially just shot. Am I about due for a $20 a day month. Yes! Do I want this to be a $20 a day month? No! The thing I struggle most with is that when I'm in the pressure cooker I become mush and it's SO much more difficult for me to resist stupid purchases or tell myself, "no, you absolutely do not need that." I wonder if it's a "you always want what you can't have" syndrome because when there's money in the bank or when I'm sticking to the budget nicely for a good amount of time it's so much easier for me to be responsible. When things get tight or when my budget just seems obliterated then I have no self control.

I'm feeling the pressure right now. If I were to set a goal for $18 a day average this month (I'm trying to be reasonable here) then I've $14.51 a day left for the remainder of the month. I haven't been able to get under $17 a day since January. $14.51 a day is just... well, it sounds like a challenge. I might not be the best with challenges but I'm certainly not good at passing one up.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chicken, Chicken, Goose?

My father in law is an avid outdoors man. He just brought us some wild goose. He said to cook it like steak but I always ruin steak and we don't really have a grill. I've watched you tube videos even about cooking steak. He gave us a goose last year and I over cooked the poor thing like you wouldn't believe. I'm looking for help, please anyone, advice on cooking goose fillets... I think you'd call it fillets??? He gave us a bag of about 5 or six maybe breast meat pieces. Yikes, I'm so lost.

Any suggestions or experience with cooking goose?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

This is My Sort of Remodeling (only $18)

Today I had a moment of extreme weakness. I passed by a chalk board that was on clearance for $3 (originally $13) and an incredible blue shelf that was on clearance for $15. I hardly ever buy items like these but I picked both of them up. I've been wanting some sort of toy shelves for my son's room for the longest time. And the chalk board... $3! I wanted to grab three or four of them. I'm happy with myself for coming away with just one.

Here's a before and after photo of the now toy shelf wall in little Abe's room. The chalk board is also in the after photo. My little guy's bedroom was formally my husband's music room (and DVD storage area) for let's see about 6 years before the baby came. As you can see from the before photo it's very slowly evolved into Abe's room.


A few random bits of info about what's pictured above:
Before the shelf was there most of those toys had a spot somewhere on the floor in his room.
I LOVE the shelf. I've been looking for something similar for ages but couldn't ever justify paying what they cost. $15 was a steal.
I intend within the next week to draw up pictures for each cubby and the shelf on top so that he is able to put his toys back where they "belong" without assistance.
I saw a pin on pinterest where you place painters tape on the wall and then you can use regular tape over the painters tape to adhere pieces of paper. That way you don't risk pealing paint or leaving residue but can still just tape items to the wall. It works great. That's how I have the letters hung and I was able to move them with all the same pieces of tape.
We are learning a letter, shape and color each week. This week is the letter "E." Eventually the entire alphabet will be on that wall.
The orange slide belonged to my husband when he was a child.

I chose the title to this post very tongue in cheek. I know that adding a shelf to a room is not remodeling but it's quite possibly the closest I'll ever get. I could never see us tearing down a wall or putting in new cupboards or things like that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

So Simple it was Silly

I just got back from an hour long walk with little Abe. What an adventure!

It's not that we don't go for walks but I usually consider a walk a good source of exercise and I take him in a stroller. Today we ventured out both on foot. I don't think I burned a ton of calories but we explored our neighborhood together and we had a great time.

We:
Picked up sticks, broke them, and used them as swords
Said hi to neighbors and the mail man
Jumped on our shadows and played shadow tag
Found ant holes and watched the little guys racing in and out
Got to watch a few garbage trucks collecting trash close up (Abe LOVES garbage truck day)
Felt the bark on several different trees and looked for bugs crawling in the "tunnels" (I learned that tree bark has tunnels)
Watched a squirrel eat his lunch
Walked down our alley and got to look at our backyard from the other side of our fence (the new perspective was really fun)
Jumped off tree stumps and rocks and the occasional weed in the middle of the sidewalk (not much of a leap but still fun)
Played "I spy"
Talked about the names of different streets and started to learn our address
Got down on hands and knees and looked at dew drops on blades of grass (he got to pop the drops with his fingers and get his hands all wet)
Had the simplest of adventures!

Sure it wasn't much of a "work-out," sure there was a skinned knee, sure we walked around one or two blocks twice, sure we didn't get anything new or keep any of the treasures we found but my little guy had so much fun on our walk (I did too) and he learned a lot also. Life with a two year old is constantly new, constantly fun, and so easily adventurous. I sheepishly admit that going for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood where we noticed and explored nature was surprisingly very new and adventurous.

Like I'm always saying, you really just need to remember to look. There is SOOOOO much lovely out there just waiting to be experienced and noticed. It's almost always found in the simplest things.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tons of Free Dutch Fun With the Kiddos

Don't ask me how the Dutch have fun... I haven't the foggiest.

I asked my sister in law if she'd want to get the kiddos together at a park today. She suggested we go to the Dutch heritage village in her town instead. It would have cost me and little Abe $13 (or maybe $8 if he's still too little to be charged, not sure) but she lives in the town so she gets in free. We just rode with her.


Her two oldest children were in school but little Abe got to spend the morning playing with his cousin who's only 6 months older than him and he got to visit a tiny bit with the baby of the family. There was a carousel for the kids to ride, a neat veggie and herb garden that the kiddos were allowed to water with little watering cans, chickens and peacocks to look at (and talk to), a nice play ground set, an old Dutch Organ that we got to listen to (his cousin danced the cutest little dance to the music), a large windmill from the Netherlands we got to go into, and there were horses in a pasture to look at. I'll mention the flowers and landscaping that covered the entire grounds on my own behalf. I can't say my little one was super impressed with them but the village has some great gardeners working for them. The flower beds were spectacular.


I extend a hearty thanks to my sister in law for visiting with us this morning, for coming up with a great adventure, and for getting us in free. Free adventures always leave me feeling so accomplished and satisfied! Now I'm off to work for the day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rambling About Dinner

One of my goals for spicing life up last week was to make a new dinner. I sort of marked that one off the list today. My husband is NOT a fan of "different" meals so I made one of his absolute favorites and switched it up a little bit. I made mini chicken meatloaves, garlic and parmesan mashed potatoes and carrots, and corn on the cob. I've been trying to think of creative ways to use the tomatoes so I cut my meatloaf in half, topped half with mashed potatoes, put tomato slices on top and then did the same layering one more time. I topped it with shredded cheese and melted the cheese in the oven. My husband does not like casseroles so we never eat them. I considered this little creation a casserole of sorts (yeah, I know, not the same thing).

Those are all tomatoes from my garden.
For dessert I made bread pudding with vanilla custard. My husband loves bread pudding but I was not raised on it so I've never much eaten it let alone made it. Frugally challenged over at Trundling Through Life mentioned a "summer pudding" in her latest post. I had to google that to see what it was and although it's a totally new food to me I was somehow inspired by it to make a bread pudding for my hubby this evening. I will tell you I'm so glad that I did. It turned out great, so yummy and the vanilla custard is amazing!


I love that I'm 34 years old but I can still find totally new things to do and totally new things to experience all the time. Happy and full here right now! 

August Numbers Are In

The below list is a simple summary of all our cash outflow for August minus my husband's spending (which includes his lunches and any spending strictly for himself; ie going to lunch with a friend, picking up beer for band practice, video games he buys, ect). Each of these categories has several things inside of them. For example home expenses includes the mortgage payment (and escrow), and equity line. Vehicle expenses includes the car payment, gasoline, and car insurance.

Home expenses $1145.96
Vehicle expenses $560.75
Utilities $350.47
Credit card payments $545.68
All spending $561.72

Average daily spending for August: $18.12

I would LOVE to have come in under that $18 a day mark. I think I did really good this month considering I purchased a $20 toy for my kiddo, we had a birthday party we attended this month, we went out for a nice dinner last night, I purchased a book and some "school supplies" for little Abe (we're working on learning letters right now), and I spent $20 on blueberries we picked. I really did watch all of my spending closely this month so I am proud of myself.

January $15.66 a day
February $20.27 a day
March $17.01 a day
April $19.99 a day
May $20.55 a day
June $17.05 a day
July $17.88 a day
August $18.12 a day

Average daily spending for 2014: $18.23

I really didn't know where my daily average would end up this year. I hadn't included spending for my son in my daily average before this year. I'm starting to think that if I end 2014 under an $18 a day average I will have done really well. I was hoping for $15 a day but it's looking farther and farther off the radar. I might just revise my goal to $17 a day for the year. That sounds like a decent challenge.

Well September, here we go!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Spicy To-do List (Update)

I'm pretty impressed with how this last week ended up. I completed a ton of the things on my list and many if not most of those accomplishments were due to them being on the list. I feel like I got out of the blah's I had happened into and I really enjoyed all of the spices during the process. To top it off I did pretty well with spending too. We're going to dinner with a friend this evening so I can't justifiably give an update on my average daily spending for August but right now I'm in the $17 range.

Lesson learned from this experiment: It's really very important to remind oneself to do things that make you happy/ things you love throughout the busy days and weeks that seem to run into each other with the ordinary, the mundane, the never ending to-dos. It's the spicy things in life that make it most enjoyable and I think little black rain clouds and robots don't much like spices.

Somethings Out of the Ordinary To-do List (Spices)
Listen to LOTS of music: Check
Make a brand new dinner: Not yet
Capture something absolutely beautiful in photograph (ideally this would include a something beautiful hunt): Not quite.
Read an entire book, not just a few pages, not a few pages from a few books, an entire book. I love to read and hardly ever do it: Working on it!
Draw/ Sketch: A little bit, yes.
Do a fun outdoor activity with little Abe: We went to a tennis court and played tennis today for the first time. He was thrilled. I got some pretty good exercise in too (chasing the ball).
Write a letter (you know the kind you mail with a stamp): Written. Will be mailed on Tuesday.
Go for a nice long walk: Yes.
Bake something extra yummy: The yummiest chocolate cake I've ever eaten!
Do a new craft with little Abe: Crafted a little but nothing new yet.
Sew something even if it's silly and useless: Nope.
Write a story: Yep.
Visit with a friend or relative: Spent some time with two friends and hung out with my sister yesterday.
Don't watch or listen to the news. It's just too much doom and gloom: Doing pretty good with this one too.
Yep. He's throwing the ball at the racket on the ground.

Today we Tour British Accents... why not

How'd she do Frugally Challenged?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reflection and Revelation

That was clearly not a very uplifting story (my last post). Before falling asleep the other night I was thinking about my teenage/ young adult years and how truly uncomfortable they were. I had a home but I know what it's like to feel homeless. I felt homeless for the eight years that I lived in that house. Between three different homes of very close friends of mine I spent more time away from my house than I did at it (or at least I tried).

My parents got divorced when I was 10 and we moved out of the home I grew up in when I was 14. During the four years post divorce that we lived in my childhood home we pretty much trashed the place; four young kids and a mom who gave up on life but we practically demolished the house we moved to out in the country. I wasn't old enough at the time to understand that things break and you have to fix them. I felt like we were cursed. Oh, and they break faster when you don't take care of them. Everything in that house was broken, rotting, falling to pieces, trashed, and the hoard... I never knew that it had a name until that show hoarders started airing on TV. I never knew there were other houses on the planet like ours until I watched that show. For the record we did have a bit more floor showing in our home than most of the houses on that show but my oh my the similarities are scary.

I was thinking about living there and imagined it'd be constructive for me to write a little blip about it. I'm happy to report that it was, for me anyhow. I find myself terrified at times that I'm going to end up like "that." Every time something breaks there's this fear that grips me, "oh no, it's starting..." Every night when I'm picking up toys, hubby's socks, some dirty clothes; general straightening up that always takes way too long I worry that, "my house is becoming..." When I notice one of my clutter spots (I have a few BUT they never last too long, another springs up in a different location, and then I clear that one away) I am almost paralyzed with thoughts, "the hoard is here!"

But looking back, really looking back and remembering having to climb piles of clothes to get to the other side of a room, the ceiling falling in in several spots, the mold in the dishwasher, the countless dishes I literally threw in the trash because they were too gross for me to even think about cleaning, the stench, oh! I will never live like that again. I don't live like that. Someday came. I have my own home, that I take care of. We always fix things here when they break. I have my own family. Oh my word, I am normal! There's nothing to hide. When people come over for a bon-fire (theoretically... because we hardly ever have people over and we don't have a fire pit) I don't have to tell them before hand that if they have to pee they will have to do so by a tree because there is NO WAY they are going in my house.

I'm having this tiny revelation that even though I generally feel scatter brained, overwhelmed by chores and cleaning that needs to be done, that when something breaks I freak out about where we'll get the money to fix it, I actually harbor a decent amount of shame that I'm not good enough at this whole "adult life thing," I'm really doing just fine. A lot of the robotic/ little black cloud stints are a direct result of the paralyzing fear that I'm failing at life. All these Debbie Downer worries and stresses about someday ending up back there are old ghosts. I'm not perfect BUT my life is NOTHING like it was there in that house and I wasn't the one who made that mess (I was the only one who ever tried to fix it actually). Someday is here and it's pretty darn great!

Average daily spending for August: $18.07

Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting Ready for Work at Seventeen

Today's Spice: write a story
Where is that darn work shirt again? I can’t ever find anything in this house. Ugh! Maybe it’s in my room; I checked there three times already though. 
Walking drudgingly through the hallway, glancing in the open bathroom door, sees nothing but darkness. Covers nose, as the putrid aroma in the house is magnified by a thousand times upon approaching the bathroom. 
Why would it be in there? Nah, I don’t even remember the last time I went in there. The toilet hasn’t worked in weeks… oh, gross, it totally smells like someone has been using it though. Pretty sure if I push the door open any further more of the crumbling ceiling that’s resting on top of it from the roof leak will come crashing down on my head. Nah, it’s not in there. There’s no way. I wonder why the patch that Dad helped me put on the roof didn’t hold… what a waste of time! And I ruined those pants with tar.
Continuing down the hall way, has to step over a few different piles of discarded junk mail scattered on the floor, very large mounds of clothing, a phone book, and a baseball bat. 
If that stupid shirt makes me late for work I’m going to be so mad all evening. Where is it? Why is it always so difficult to get dressed for work? I think I’m going to hurt someone. Oh my word, did the dog poop under the kitchen table again!?!? I think I’m going to kill someone. Why, why is no one capable of cleaning a single mess up in this pig sty? 
Proceeds to pick up a small pile of hardened dog poop with a paper towel; places it into an overfull trash can that has several flies swarming above it, and a considerable pile of trash spilled all around the outside of it. The beige wall behind the can is almost painted with splattered food and beverages that might have found their way into the trash can at one point in time (but more likely fell beside it). Then proceeds to pick up a few more piles of dog poop from beneath the table. A mouse dashes from behind the trash can and into a hole next to the broken dish washer. 
I hate it here. I HATE it here! Who lives like this? Where is that stupid shirt?!?!? I need to leave now! 
Someone shouts from another room, “can you make me something to eat?” 
“NOOOO, I have to leave for work like now. Seriously, like five minutes ago. There has to be something you can make yourself to eat. Ask, mom to make you food. Have you seen my stupid work shirt anywhere?” 
A second shout comes back, “no, mom is sleeping. I can’t make myself anything to eat because there aren’t any clean dishes.” 
Or counter space. My word, could it be possible to pile more crap onto those counters? I don’t think so. I think it’s physically impossible! I’m totally throwing away like half those dishes when I get home from work. Mom will never notice. No one will. I better take out that trash when I get home from work too. Oh no, I hope no one washed it! Haha, why would anyone do laundry? 
Laughs extra hard and bends forward a bit at the absurd thought of someone laundering clothing here. 
Oh man, if someone washed it it’s going to be so yellow. Our darn water! I hate this house. Why did mom make us move here? You can’t wash white in this house. I will look horrid going to work in a yellow tux shirt, and next to all the other servers wearing white… no, I’ll have to call in sick. 
Arrives in the laundry room/ one working bathroom, climbs over a two and half foot pile of laundry spanning about 7 feet of floor, opens the washing machine lid and then pushes aside some clothing to be able to look into the dryer. 
Thank God! Dang it where is THAT shirt?!?!? Seriously I better go back to my room and pack a change of clothes. There’s no way I’m coming home tonight. I can probably call Amber from the payphone at work. Her parents will totally let me stay over. I bet I smell though. I know this house makes me smell, it has to, I can smell Lisa’s house on her clothes. No, no I spend all my time in my room and my room does not smell. I’m calling Amber as soon as I get to work. Ahh, where is that shirt?!?! Someday! Someday I will get out of here. Someday I will have my own home, my own family. Someday I will actually be able to have friends over. I will not live like this forever. Who lives like this? 
Tears start streaming. Walking past two people sitting on the couch amongst some empty food wrappers, more clothing, stuffed toys, several cats; they're watching an old television set that's crammed into an large TV console that's almost toppling from all the papers, books, and random nonsense that's been shoved into every crevice on the piece of furniture and all over the top as well; almost trips on a broom lying in the middle of the living room,steps in a wet puddle that turns the bottom of the white sock on her foot yellow then notices a white linen fabric bunched up under one of the cats. 
Ah ha, you stupid shirt! Someday…
The house was eventually foreclosed on and then demolished.