Friday, April 22, 2011

Our New Normal

Well we did it, the unthinkable. Steve moved in with his rifles and our family is going off the grid, people. With the impending Apocalypse, we've bought our beans and rice, stocked up on toilet paper and got enough bleach to purify water for a year, maybe more.  Now, we begin our journey in a cash and barter society...well, er uh, till the economy (real estate) picks up anyway.

If it's not obvious, our fam is in a bit of a monetary pickle these days.  Well, you're not going to hear me whine and blog about what I can't control.  Instead, I choose to broadcast our predicament as an adventure. From now on you'll watch us learn, in real time, how to manage and live with what we do have--and that is a dependable, single and sufficient income earned by my hard working #1 man, Jeff.   

That's a lot to be grateful for when so many (including myself) these days can barely scrape together enough change to keep food in their mouths. I'm going back to earning the 'fun' money. Too much pressure being a bread winner. Besides, I'm liking all this extra time with my kids and I'm going to start a new hobby that will save us money. Have you heard of it? 

Living the 'American dream' has made a mess of our finances. We've never had so much available credit to play with in our whole life, I think we're up to 100K+ limit now!  Irony is, paying our credit bills was getting to the point of stealing from Peter to pay Paul.  We needed to do something drastic and responsible.  So we spent the last thirty days in sort of an experiment,  living on just cash and a prayer.  Well, and creative rearranging, cutting, slashing, starving and denying ourselves and, we did it.  We survived, paycheck to paycheck. I have to admit though, I woke up in sort of a panic the other day.  I could feel big brother whispering in my ear, reminding me of all the stuff we still 'need' and it propelled me to do something even more radical and more mature... I got out of bed and chopped up our plastic money, all of it. I know, so unpatriotic.

(Don't worry I blurred and scrambled all the numbers)

Actually, we've done quite a few new things to cut corners these days. We had the Naz family move in with us and  communal living has been not only fabulous but productive! The kids are quieter, each a little less rambunctious with having a roommate buddy to hang out with 24/7 (sans the fist fights).  Having extra muscles in the house has afforded us lots of finished honey-do's like, re-painted cabinets, walls and trim...

My curtains finally got rehung, there's someone else to cook dinners three days a week and there's eight extra hands to help with daily chores.

Oh!  By the way, meet my "#2", Steve, he's doing yard-work today ((squee!)).

My only complaint is the laundry. I just cant get ahead of it.  There are nine bodies living here.  That adds up to at least fifty articles of  rags, towels, changes of clothes, pajamas, underwear and socks to launder per day, at minimum. But Lisa, you say, why not have a greener attitude and conserve, have the kids re-use their towels, take less showers and not wash their PJ's after every use? Okay then smartypants, tell me how to police them without acting like a hovering she-devil on a rampage?  I do not have the energy to fight that battle. Not with two little girls who require two towels per shower and play dress up with their wardrobe. Not with two teenage man children who smell like ground beef and sourdough bread by mid-day. Not with two pre-teen boys who wipe their mouths and snot with their shirt sleeves and collars. I'd rather just keep a-washin'

Okay, so maybe we aren't exactly 'off the grid' and we will probably have to come up with plan 'B' when the Armageddon happens. I just count my blessings, baby steps will have to do for now.


Sarah said...

I'm so happy for you guys! Steve would be a way better number two than me any day, so I guess it really worked out =D

Christina said...

See your life is really interesting! I am hooked. I like all the pics too. It looks like you guys are doing a great job. I think your arrangement is even benefiting me :)

David Cho said...

You really need enough to survive until May 21, so why not live it up a little?

Stephanie said...

Lisa, I love reading what you write. It is so real, so well written and have you thought of writing a book? I will remain your follower lol.
Love, Stephanie (cousin)

David Cho said...

This blog can use an update. Hehehe.

Lisa said...

I know, I know, I'm having bloggers block:(