Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Keeping It Interesting

Our sunshine is back and with a happy heart I returned to my yardwork yesterday afternoon and at morning break today. Cutting back, raking, pulling, pruning. . I love it all. Except the doggy doo-doo stuff. Honestly I could do without that. This Spring I discovered that one of our dogs has a serious palate proclivity for Crayola Crayons. I picked up dog poop in every color of the rainbow this Spring. Keeps it interesting.

Cliff is like a child approaching Christmas Eve, as Saturday is THE day he begins building his kayak. Our dear friend Josh (see The Kayak Guy blog on the right) is extremely talented in this arena and has agreed to help the Mister out. They will be builing it in Josh's garage, bless Melanie's heart, so I will invite her and the girls over for some coffee, playtime and lunch as a way to make it up to her, wink wink.

So yesterday Tippy (aka The Mister--Tippy is his kayaking code name. Somewhere in the archives is an all-in-one post explaining both how he earned that knickname and how he lost his wedding band) informs me that this kayak is something like a billion feet long. No, I think like 15 feet. While listening to him, I'm looking around the garage wondering just where we are going to put it. Prior to this, we were wondering where we were going to put 2 additional bicycles. Now we gotta fit in a kayak? I came up with the perfect solution.

A Cute. Adorable. Side Yard. Storage. Shed. Made to look just like my house! I've always wanted one of those. I could neatly store our lawnmower, yard tools, gardening supplies. Maybe even a toy or two. I could tidy up our never-ending disaster of the garage, and even get my car stored in it on a daily basis, thereby extending its already aging body.

The Mister looked at me, not quite certain if I was kidding. I wasn't. Excitedly, I showed him the future location of our shed. He only needs to remove 5 overgrown, thorny shrubs, regrade the side yard and pour a concrete slab.

"Oh yes, you could build it, I could help. We can use up some of our scrap materials, and finally have a place to safely store our things, making them last longer, which means that you would have to spend less money on replacing them," I said happily. "You get a kayak. I get a shed. Sounds like a fair and equitable trade to me!"

"Uh, I thought the worm box I was going to build you was a fair and equitable trade," he protested.

Au contraire, mon frere!

The kids and I are terribly eager to get started on our Composting Worm Box for the basement. Atticus especially. Last year when I was tilling my garden, he was two steps behind me, bestowing names upon worms, in alphabetical order. I told him that it would be too difficult and messy to name every one of our worms, and besides, we couldn't recognize them from one time to the next. I swear the boy is mentally trying to design an individualized worm tracking collar.

Several posts ago, I disclosed the fact that we do not have cable, and that I do not have a cell phone. I got a few comments on that which I did not post, but which I'll address now. No, I'm not anti-technology. Or a communist ;) I am anti-excess (although I fall from that ideal frequently). I do believe in getting the most value for each dollar the Mister busts his ass to earn, and I personally find little value in phones or tv.

I guess also falling along the lines of no cable, no cell phone, I should confess that we also don't have an answering machine, which I know drives some people crazy (Shelly, babe, I'm talking to you, hee hee), but I find it very freeing. I don't drive a shiny new car. The payoff is we don't have a car payment. I drive an older van that I will keep until the wheels fall off or when we have more kids than available seats. It is rarely neat and tidy in my van. The interior elicits the "eww" factor from childless people. It's kind of an ugly color, it's missing a side mirror, the gas gauge doesn't work, etc. Couldn't care less. I read in Dave Ramsey that if a person would invest, from the ages of 25 to 65, the average American monthly car payment, in an average mutual fund, they would have 5.4 million dollars at age 65! That alone convinced me that car payments aren't worth it.

I like the ideas of conserving, recycling, composting and growing my own food. I like the ideas of fiscal responsibility and budgeting and being happy with what one has. I like simplicity and domesticity and knitting on the porch while watching my children play. I don't always live up to these things, but I sure find that trying to makes life fun.


Sawatzky Kids said...

Oh Sarah!
What a great post! Yes the no answering machine thing blows my mind but I totally say "AMEN" to everything else you said! hehe
You are a great inspiration to me and I miss being able to drive over and seek out your advice! :( Especially this summer as I now have my own garden to attend to! Are you sure moving to Canada is nowhere in your future? ;0

Aves @ Call of the Phoebe said...

I am so with you on all your points. I also do not own or use a cell phone and drive a beat up van


Jen said...

I can sadly say that I can relate to the dog poop. I have actually picked up dog poop with whole pieces of lego in it, a barbie shoe, and the head of a Littlest Pet Shop....it does make it interesting!!

This Mama said...

Awesome post!

Did you see when you sign into yahoo today there is an article on frugality.

When you mentioned Ramsey I thought of that "Hells Kitchen" Ramsey...heh heh. I am assuming you mean an investor.

I do know people who retired young and extreamly well off because they lived simply and invested the rest. They were also a one income family, and a more humble income as well. Nice!

No answering machiene eh? That sounds so wonderful...
Take care

Melanie said...

And by coffee, you mean Margaritas...right? he, he :-)

We would love to come for a visit some time Saturday...I hear Amy S (and her neighborhood) are having a rummage sale...maybe it's time to get out the strollers, dig for some couch change, and hit the pavement!