My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Can’t or won’t? May 31, 2013

Filed under: Family,Military — blankenmom @ 3:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

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I’m not sure how it works in your circles, but in ours, the sequester is actually causing an issue.  Manufactured issue or not, it is.



With budget cuts at our base for civilians, there is going to be a lot of already short belts being tightened.  With many of the families, both parents or spouses work on base, so they get hit twice.  Imagine losing $500-$1000+ a month along with a $500 health insurance rise.


Many of the families tell me that I just don’t understand because my husband is a dentist, as though he was born one?  After 18+ years together, he’s only been a dentist 3 of those.  I frequently get told that they can’t afford a budget cut or to even be a one income family, but we wouldn’t understand that either.


Ummm – for the most part, we’ve been a one income family for the entire 18 years!  Yeah, I pitch in here and there when things get tight, but it’s nothing major, just enough to get through.  4 boys on less than $50,000 was a usual for us and I have people with only 1 or 2 kids telling me they won’t survive on $100,000?  I have a hard time with this?  What the heck are they buying?


Ok, I’m not the most frugal person.  I can’t write a budgeting, couponing or major savings blog, but I can encourage people to know it can be done, with a lot of self-control.  And I’m not putting those people down who feel like it can’t be done either, they just aren’t used to the idea.  A one income family, no matter how many kids and, within reason, the income, can be done – even if it’s just to put the second income in savings for a rainy day.  Hey, some people aren’t completely crazy and actually like leaving their houses!  I get that too!


My heart really does go out to my friends though.  This is a major hit.  It’s scary and they truly don’t know how they’re going to make it.  I get their fear (especially since money is my biggest stress causer, even when we have money in the bank), but I also won’t coddle the idea that it can’t be done.  Nonsense is nonsense, even when you think it’s true.








Do you have a lot of big toys you don’t need?

Do you really need cable?

Smoke; drink soda or alcohol?

Do your kids really need that many activities?

Do *you* need that many activities?

Do you cook most of your meals or is take out brought home more often?




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It all boils down to, can’t or won’t.

There are so many little and big ways that we all spend money we shouldn’t.  I would love to hear your favorite ways to save money!


On the hunt…. May 19, 2013

Filed under: Boys,Dentist,Family,Hubby,Moving,Pets,Places — blankenmom @ 10:10 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,







Whether I’m ready for the next step or not, it’s happening – this weekend we went out and looked at houses in the area my dentist man has chosen.  He has agreed to the acreage, but we’re not exactly sure if it’s to keep the neighbors away from us…. or us from the neighbors?  Either way, we don’t want to be able to see people.  “You…. you just stay over there, got it!”


At least an acre was the prerequisite.  But while we were out on the hunt, we discovered that an acre was not nearly enough to keep people at bay.  I could still see them.  I could still hear them…. and their little dogs.  Granted my husband is a fibber when he says “This is the last house”, so technically I wouldn’t have to listen to it the rest of my life, but I still don’t want to hear other people’s dogs, or kids, or music, or cars.  Ok, maybe it’s to keep me from them?


We noticed two and a half was just about right.  The two we really liked were both on about that much.  And both are completely different.


A one story, which is good for large dogs (with a very tiny “basement”). It was obviously renovated to sell quickly.  A “flip” if you will, but very nicely done!  It’s on a pretty level lot.  Tiny yard, but about one and half acres of dry grass (think hay) as a good “buffer zone”.  Two outbuildings for various tools *grin*……  Because most of the land is dry, the sheep and goats would keep the fire hazard at bay.  It has absolutely no view to speak of, unless you like looking at fields of hay?  But that’s fine, that means I don’t see other people’s houses either.


My favorite draw to this house is the open kitchen/great room area.  The house may be smallish, but it feels huge and has windows everywhere.  That would mean it needs nothing done except to be personalized.  That would be something we’ve never encountered?


The other is two stories, same square footage, but not good for large dogs.  The upstairs living area is completely redone, but all the bedrooms and downstairs are in serious need of renovations (excluding the very well done bathrooms – THAT is a new one for us.  Stupid bathrooms).  Most of the land has a slope to it, but also has nice, smaller watered area we could envision a pool in at some point.  There is also an out building with great storage.  The slope would be great for sheep and goats, not much else.  My dentist man loves the view.


Our draw to this is the downstairs, which would make a great living area for the boys (read: keep the funk in one place) which has 2 bedrooms and a “great room” area with a second partial kitchen.  Nice for entertaining.


So this week, we’ll be going over all the info to see which house we think will work better for us.  The boys, including the big one, are leaning towards the two-story, while I’m leaning towards the one.  I can hear my dentist man from the other room “Happy wife – Happy life boys.  Remember this!”  Thanks dear?


Through-out the day we got a lesson in home oddities.  We learned there was a such thing as a “built-in blender”.  One house, which didn’t seem to have a front door, had a lovely cat pee aroma but wanted full market value – we left rather quickly.  We looked at a very strange house with a cat door into the master bedroom.  The same house had an indoor gun range and over 3400 sqft, but all of it was partitioned off almost like cubicles? I’m not even sure how many rooms there actually were in the house, I started getting a bit lost?  I would have taken the house and knocked out all the walls, but the land was unusable.  Two acre’s of hill.  Besides, I don’t think my fat cat would fit through that tiny cat door?


Before looking at houses on Sunday, the boys and I toured the town while their dad worked at his new office on Saturday (one day a week until we’re out of active duty).  The town was throwing some sort of carnival, so we thought we’d join in.  Hours of rides to keep them entertained.  *SPOILED*







While it was exhausting and I’m still adjusting to the idea, it was nice to not think about “that house” for a few hours.  A nice breath before the leap into our newest adventure.


It’s Done!! May 11, 2013








Yes – that house… is officially done!

Ok, one small detail, but other than a change of a hall carpeting…

it’s done!


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Through tears, heartache, headaches, complaints, (possibly some yelling), cage rattling on my part and finally….. some sweat and hard work on the part of our contractor to get us to the end.  It’s been exhausting and it’s been infuriating.  6 months of hair pulling, listening to lies, excuses and being given the run around – and then being handed paper work, so the process can start over again.


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With the help of our former renters, contractor and some great people keeping us going through all of the process, we’ve got a beautiful house we’ll admit we own.

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Is it nice enough to make us move back?  Heck no!

But for once we’re proud to own it!

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Anyone want a house?


Moving on…. May 5, 2013







I have been ignoring you…. could you tell?  Don’t take it personal, it’s for a good reason I swear!


With my dentist man being home, it’s been a whirl-wind of activities.  Visiting friends and family all last week.  This weekend “that house” is getting its final touches, we went out to the “dry side” and checked out a few homes and the place he’ll be practicing.



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And what a perfect week to do it too – it’s been gorgeous!  I mean really  – it’s never like this?  Nearly 90* in May?  Sorry mid-west, we stole your sunshine.  We’ll give it back, I promise… maybe.


We left the oldest two home, since they have a life and all.  I felt like I was forgetting something the whole time?  But the younger two enjoyed their time “alone”.


It’s a very strange feeling to be looking for what’s supposed to be your final home?  It just seems so…. final?  I’m so not used to this concept and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.  How do you look around a town and think “Yup, these are the same faces I want to see for the next 60 years”?


To relieve some of my anxiety we are getting land though.  My time with neighbor’s is done!  I know, that seems a bit harsh, but let’s admit here and now that we haven’t had the best track record the last few years them?  Not to mention, it saves my neighbors from having to deal with me!






While it’s not my first choice of places to live, it is dry – dry is the key word here.  I can’t take anymore rain and the “dry side” has four distinct season.  I do love a good reason to knit and snow does that for you!  And I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve thought I wouldn’t like a place before and changed my mind, so please don’t take my hesitation as complaint, it’s merely caution before a new situation.  After this year, I would rather have familiarity than excitement and adventure, but adventure is what I’ll get none-the-less!






Life is like that.


We’re moving again, but this time on to a new kind of adventure.