My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

….aaannnddd I’m back. February 11, 2017







“From where?” you may say.  From working outside the home 30-40 hours a week, on top of babysitting our mortgage companies antics – away from my boys and all that keeps me, me.

Not to say I didn’t enjoy my work – I have a secret – I LOVE WORKING!  And there lies my problem.  I love working so much, that I tend to over due it.  Family… what family?


So, after 6 months, and the majority of our repair bills paid off (would have been more if Seterus would stop screwing up our mortgage… but I digress..), I’ve come home again.  And four hours after being out of work, I was going nuts!  But that’s ok.  I had plans….


…two days after that, I sprained my wrist severely on our lovely, lovely ice/snow/ice combo.

*There goes my plans*


I enjoyed my very active job.  I enjoyed helping people feel better.  I enjoyed helping them find what they needed.  And I enjoyed “owning” “my section”.   I loved my co-workers, and most of the people I met.  (I’m talking to you crazy woman who commented on my parenting skills!)


Beforehand I thought God had given this to us just at the right time to give us the extra cash we needed to get these bills paid off.  But I started to realize He gave it to me at this time to help tire me out.  Spin my wheels a bit.

I’m a doer.  A fixer.  I want something; I make it myself.  I want something done; I get it done myself.  And I keep trying to fix this problem myself.  The last few years though, I’m slowly starting to get that I can’t.  I have to give it to God – AND LEAVE IT.  And for someone like myself, that. is. excruciating.

Yes we got some extra cash to pay down the repair bills, but He threw in a few extra kinks to show me that there will always be something, if I allow it, to keep me from enjoying my family and the life He’s set out for us.


And my plans for getting the whole house cleaned and the renovation started back up, got kicked out from under me with a sprained wrist.




What my bible study ladies, my dentist man, and God have all been trying to tell me for a very long time.


And as I’m arguing…. eh er… praying this morning in frustration over not knowing our next step.  What I should be doing.  Feeling like a flopping fish out of water.  My daily bible verse showed up.


Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

– Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
Ahhh… I love it when that happens.
Will it be easy for me?  Oh heck no!  But it is the guidance I was asking for.
Sometimes doing nothing, takes the most strength.
So, I’m back.  There will be sewing again.  There will be renovating again.  There will be comical stories about my insane family again.  A few life lessons thrown in between there again.
And thank you for your patience, again.




No excuses… July 16, 2016




I know it’s summer, and I could easily use this as an excuse for why I haven’t been here.  I could tell you fibs that we’ve been away on amazing trips, or laying around reading, or out hiking the near-by canyons.

We haven’t.

We’ve been mostly home.  We’re poor.  We aren’t even having a “stay-cation”.  Poor people don’t do that.

Oh wait, my dentist man had his two-week-tour, becoming my sailor man while away at 29 Palms.  Just the vacation every man wants. (read sarcasm)  100* at night, 120* during the day.  Peering into marines mouths that haven’t brushed for two weeks, or bathed, or washed their uniforms.  Let’s just say he was a little more than excited to be back this year.


29 Palms 2016


I have gotten a few projects finally completed.  A child almost moved out, picked up a part time job (see above about being poor), and some projects for the clinic and the house.

I’ve also been “torturing” my children with continued math tutoring through the summer.  While we did end up taking July off so the tutor could take her needed trips, that still only gave them a month off, and she left work for them to do while she was gone. HA!

Ok, we did get a mini trip out to my dentist man’s practice for a few days, but mostly it was because we had dental appointments, and it was Independence Day.

Summer time is a slow time in the dental world, people vacationing, beautiful outside, and having fun makes them not want to be in the chair.  And so is our budget then, when you’re still paying off student loans and a practice… and repairs from your former renters… still.  And the renovations… oh the slow, slow renovations.  But we are making progress.

Here are a few things I’ve completed during my time away –

I do believe I’ve mentioned before that I volunteer at a medical clinic, where our mission is to just love every person who comes in to see us, no matter what.  I teach parenting classes once or twice a month, and was recently asked if I could help out with some updating.  While we’re still in the middle of updates, here are a few things we’ve gotten completed.



All forty weeks of pregnancy up in our classroom.  So the parents who come in can see where they’re at.


One picture was taken by one of our new dad’s and the other was taken by my son’s girlfriend.  The boards on the adjacent walls were made a few weeks ago.  I didn’t even realize it until I saw them all up that the colors matched the pictures!


The rooms have been newly painted.  Pictures up on the walls.  New furniture and decorations and more to come…


And around here –


(No looking at the mess – I can either renovate or clean.)

I have the stained cabinets back up and the new lights finally installed!  Ok, I admit I did end up having to call an electrician when I couldn’t get the flexible drill bit out of the wall.  Once he came out we realized it wasn’t my fault.  There was a stray piece of wood left in the wall that neither of us anticipated.  His bit slid right passed it and within minutes, we had the cord up the wall.  He left the rest up to me.  Great guy – he’ll be back out for the bathroom fan during the winter when it isn’t 120* in the attic.

But here are our new lights!  We’re actually thinking of changing them to brown bottles.  I’ll keep you posted on that.  But they’re up and working and the was the main issue!

And just as an FYI, clear bottles cut the easiest, followed by blue, brown and green very. dead. last.  I have no idea how red cuts.  Couldn’t find them anywhere?

I also learned that I don’t like champagne on this project.  After six bottles of it.  Bleh!  (Not in one sitting.)

And finally –


Today I managed to get the spare bathroom counter and sink finished.  From the 1980’s to the 21’st century… except we’re going for an old pub look, so… I’m not sure how that one works out?

During any down time, I’m still plugging away on a dear friends memory quilt.  You know, it’s only been a year.  But I did warn her that I was very slow, so hopefully she didn’t think I was exaggerating.

As for the remainder of the projects, I have taken up a part time job in the natural food dept. at the local grocery store to help pay for said projects, while my dentist man pays off the remainder of the repairs for “that house”.  (Yes, we’re still paying off repairs two years later – that’s how bad it was.)  Together we might get this life thing tackled.


Someday, we’ll take an actual vacation.  But now is not that time.  For now I’ll take my quiet, morning bible studies with the fur-babies.





The blame game April 9, 2016






I’m diverging a bit here, so follow me down my minds rabbit trail if you will please.


I was strolling through Pinterest, when I get to one pin full of dental shirts.  *thank you dentist man for your profession invading my pinterest, fb and every other feed, I hope you get sewing supplies suggested*  Very cute shirts too mind you.  Things like “This dentist is the greatest dad”, or “This hygienist has the greatest patients”.  Me, being me, seeing several comments, made me wonder what would make  you comment on something like that?  People saying “Ooh how cute?”  or, “That would be great for so-and-so!”?

No.  No, to my surprise it was someone commenting on how misogynistic it was that this company would assume that the dentist was male, and the hygienists and assistants were female.  (I won’t even go into the statistics on the fact that yes, majority at this time are male and yes, majority are women….)  A quick click on the product page showed that every item (short of the mom/dad shirts) were unisex.  Meaning, that both male and female dentists were represented, and both male and female hygienists or assistants could have the greatest patients.  After pointing this out, a barrage of comments pointing out that the company shouldn’t assume that a male is the dentist and shouldn’t advertise that way, as though they had unlimited space to advertise every product available.  And that men are the reason why most women choose to be hygienist or assistants over dentists.

My argument that more women than men are now becoming doctors only infuriated the commentators more.  However, I didn’t have time for this… I have a life.  However, my mind would drift back while doing random jobs around the house.

In the U.S., I can get any degree I choose.  I can go into any profession, even to the front lines of battle.  If I choose to hold the same hours as a man, I can make the same amount of money.  I can own a gun.  Vote.  Leave my house whenever I want without an escort.  Drive.  Buy a house.  Choose to have, or not have children.  To get married.  What ever the heck I want!

The only time I’ve ever had a man tell me I couldn’t do something, was at Home Depot.  I’m not sure what’s up with Home Depot?  Anytime I got a wild hair up my backside, it was a bunch of guys telling me to do it.

I’ve only had a few women tell me the same thing.  Usually being told  “You don’t look right for this position.”,  “You aren’t smart enough.”,  “You’re too small.”,  “Girls don’t do that.”,  “Why would you want to do that?”, the lovely  “Don’t you have a husband for that?”, or  “Wouldn’t you rather….?”.

Or in this case, it’s blamed on men.  “Men won’t let you.” “They don’t become hygienists, assistants or nurses because they’ve been told it’s not ‘manly’, whatever that means?”  What does that say to those male nurses that have been working on my son’s arm?  Or the male assistants my husband works with in the Navy?  How misandrist of you!  (I want brownie points for that new word btw!)


Not falling for that here in the U.S. or any other first-world nation in 2016!  Or, even since I was a child and Sesame Street showed women as doctors, police officers, CEO’s, business owners or astronauts.  Nope.  Whatever you choose to become, it’s your choice, no one else’s.






Mind you, I was pondering this while researching underwater welding careers.  And while rewiring the heater in my van, replacing it’s door handle, wiring in new lights into my kitchen and researching some new tools for the counters I’m about to build.  All with the help of men who were cheering me on, coaching and pushing me to try something I hadn’t done before.  “Of course you can do it?  Why couldn’t you?”  The words of a misogynistic patriarchs telling me what roll I should play in society?  Or words I’ve been hearing from my society for the last 40 years?

Unless you can actually point to a resume, college application or some form of documentation that says you were denied, or steered from a certain career, merely because of your ta-ta’s, I’m not falling for this evil patriarch stuff.  What you choose to do, in our current first-world society, is all on you babe!

And me telling you that there is no hidden misogynistic patriarchy holding you to a certain position in today’s society is not tearing you down, it’s opening your eyes to all the things you are capable of.


You, are the holders of society – You hold society in your bellies.  You hold it at your breast.  You hold it on your lap.  You hold it on your shoulders.  You hold it in your arms.  You hold it in your hearts. You shape the world around you.  Not men.  You.  A woman.


You aren’t being held down by men.  You’re being held down by your excuses.






You really want to rock the world – go volunteer to help some girls in the third-world.  Now *that* would really be changing something!







March-ing on March 26, 2016

Filed under: Family,Hubby — blankenmom @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




I have been wanting to post for weeks now, but to be fully honest, this has been a truly terrible month.  And I don’t mean that lightly.

To start the month off, we realized our mortgage company, Seterus, lost several thousands of dollars in escrow money (money they put aside to pay for things like taxes and insurance), and hasn’t been paying our hazard insurance, in spite of collecting for it.  Insurance we have to have to keep our mortgage for “that house”.  Both of which are illegal.  After several, multi-hour conversations, with them attempting to blame us for the lost money and their inability to pay the insurance they’ve been collecting money for, they told me to call back a few days later while they try to straighten it out.


I called our lawyer instead.


A few days later, my brother-in-law who has been battling bi-polar disorder/schizophrenia for nearly 20 years now, ended his life while his mother made his birthday dinner, leaving behind his heartbroken 15 year old son, older and younger brothers, and parents that he had been living with, and whose birthdays were only a few days later.

He stopped taking his meds when the program that delivered them, and helped insure he took them, ran out of money.  I’m so glad my taxes go to pay for dead-beats who choose not to work, but not for people who are truly ill and would still be here, working, if only for that same money.  I wonder if the large amounts of money we lost to our crappy state-aid renters would have helped keep him with us?


I guess that’s one way to solve their budget issues.


And this is all while I was gearing up for the first anniversary of my sister’s sudden passing.  My sister who had been battling alcoholism and depression for as long as I can remember, killed herself, accidentally, and left behind her heartbroken husband and 16 year old son, our older brother, myself and three sets of parents (divorce people, we’re not complete freaks).


The month is almost over, and hopefully this feeling of overwhelming pain, sadness, confusion, anger and frustration, all wrapped up in one little month, will be also.


My biggest consolation here is that tomorrow is Easter, the biggest day of hope possible.  I will see them all again, healthy and whole.  The mortgage company, whether we get this fixed or not, will fall away.  God’s promise through Jesus’ resurrection is that all this is defeated and the pain is only temporary.  While it hurts and frustrates us now, there is still hope.  Always hope.


Onto April please.









…. on a side note. January 16, 2016






I was cleaning this week for when my dentist man got home.  I do that on occasion.  Usually about the time he comes home actually?  We have well water which I love.  Great for your body, all those yummy minerals, not so much for your teeth (no fluoride).  The extremely hard water we have leaves its mark on everything it touches.  The more it touches it though, the more of a mark it leaves.  So I though some CLR would do the job.






The second-born and I went to the store and looked at all the choices they now offer.  “Ooh – a convenient spray bottle version! Nice!”  Grabbing the bottle to make sure it’s ok on septic tanks (country living has its ups and downs) – it was!  I turn the bottle around to see…






Que eye-roll from said son.


Ummmm… Why would I care?


Actually, I’m a little offended by this.   And the company should be a bit embarrassed.

Can it not succeed on it’s own merits?

Does the product work so poorly that it felt the need to try to pull in people by the mere fact that the people running the company have different genitalia than other companies, and for that sole reason, you should by their product specifically?

Do they not believe in the equality of every human being, so as to not need to a descriptor?

Is it sexistly implying that because it’s women who run the company, and thus the people who usually do the cleaning, know that this product must work, because that’s all they know?

Or are they implying that men just aren’t smart enough to know what works in your home?



Ok, I’m partially tongue-in-cheek here.  While I get what they were going for here, this isn’t the 1950’s anymore.  We’ve come far enough that we shouldn’t be all that excited by a “Women owned company”.  I completely understand the importance it would have made 50 – 100 years ago when we were still fighting to just have our own bank accounts and leave the house without permission.  I would have been one of the first to snap it up!  But thanks to all of those women (and men) who fought to make sure anyone could be the owner of a company, this should no longer be necessary.  They would probably be a bit angry that what they fought for, has now been reduced to a marketing ploy.  I want to know that the products works, no matter who owns it.  Black, white, purple, green, male or female, from the planet Neptune – if your product works, I’ll use it.  Which is in fact, what people who fought for equality’s whole point was.  We’re equal, move on.



The CLR didn’t work btw.


You know what did work?  Something that people have been using for a while now.  Citrus.  We have lime tree in the house and I thought I’d give it a shot after doing some reading on the nets.  I put some baking soda down and scrubbed it with the lime half.  Beautiful!

As for the toilet ring. I tried the CLR – nothing.  Tried a pumice stone and razor blade, still nothing.   Citric acid (you can buy it on Amazon.)  Flushed the toilet before bed to wet the sides, sprinkled it on and went to bed.  When I got up in the morning, the ring was half the size.  Did it again the next night, and it’s barely there.  Also not “women owned”, or if it was, they were confident enough in the product alone that they didn’t need to announce it.



If I’m not using it on a part that only you can specifically relate to, it doesn’t need to be said.  So unless I’m supposed to use the CLR on my lady bits, it doesn’t need to be on the label.










Flying time December 21, 2015






Do you realize how long it’s been since I’ve sat down here?  I don’t mean to write, I mean, just to sit.  I’ve even been standing to eat the last few weeks while I attempt to fit every last thing in.

If it’s not Christmas related, it’s school related.  If it’s not school related, it’s drivers-ed related.  If it’s not drivers-ed related, its youth group.  If it’s not youth group, it’s renovation related.  If it’s not renovation related, it’s “that house” related.

I’m so tired of relations and we haven’t even seen the real ones yet!

Christmas presents have been bought, knitted, sewn, made, and wrapped (or shipped) and were even under the tree for a few nights before being sent off with the big man himself.  Yes, that’s right, my dentist man.  I sent them off today in his big red, all wheel drive sleigh since we’ll be over on his side for Christmas, and we couldn’t fit the gifts and the dogs.  Our tree is a bit saddened by this, but the quiet will do it some good.




The boys have two weeks off, which so far the one day they’ve been officially off, has been pretty awesome!  We’re one of the few places in the country getting snow this year I hear, so the boys spent their day sledding down our hill.  No tutoring this week.  And no youth group.  Just a really long drive to the “wet side”.  But, they both get drive time in, under snowy conditions, so I guess it’s still school time?




I’m taking this week off from renovations.  It’s a short week for us anyways since we’ll be gone, but the feeling of not working on it tonight is actually throwing me off a bit.  I even worked on it the former Saturday, like I said I wouldn’t, so my dentist man wouldn’t come home to a pulled apart bathroom.  So far the cabinets are the exact color I want, I just wished the laundry rooms were also?


(No picture – I’m not letting  you peek yet!)


This Saturday was spent cooking, baking cookies and watching Christmas movies.  (Ok, yes I do hate cooking, but a magical thing happens when you do it.  Your children pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies and talk to you and help and watch movies with you.  It’s worth the loathsome act of cooking.)  Seriously, could life get any better than that?  It was a small reprieve for my overly stressed out brain.




Two weeks ago we found out that one of our student loan bills would be going from $400 a month to $1800.  That means we’ll be paying about $3000 a month total.  That’s about $2000 more than we have to pay them.  But you know what – we could have had that payment go up while dealing with the renters and losing $3000 to them, so, God *is* good!  *I keep repeating to myself as I try to figure out how to pay the new payment*

Today *I* spent the day standing out in front of an insurance company that sells Travelers (not to be confused with travel insurance) insurance with a big sign in protest of them not covering last January’s burst water pipes at “that house”.  Why yes… I have lost my mind.  Thank you for asking!  Claiming that it was our fault for not being there when the water company *didn’t* shut the water off as promised.  I stood out in below freezing temps, in the snow, on a street corner with my sign and fliers.  I even handed out candy canes when people would stop at the lights.  It is the Christmas season after all.




When I got home, there was a note informing me that there is a letter waiting for me at the post office for me from said insurance company.  It’s either the check they owe us, or a court order.  So tomorrow will either be spent paying off repairs and sledding with the boys, or standing out front of another insurance company.  As long as I tell the truth, they can’t tell me to stop.


So neener.


I guess time really does fly by when you’re having… um… fun?


But this Christmas looks to be a good one, with snow and family.  Can’t beat that.  I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Wonderful Hanuka, Festive Solstice or just a plain old Happy Holidays!






Driving me crazy! November 7, 2015

Filed under: Boys,Family,Homeschooling,Hubby,What's happening — blankenmom @ 11:38 pm
Tags: , ,





I’ve already stated that I now have the middle two children in drivers-ed/teaching them to drive.  And I realize when I say this, that this statement doesn’t sound all that threatening.  However, when you put two hormonal children behind the wheel of not just a little car, but a big ‘ol mini-van, things get a bit interesting.


I was also explaining to a friend the other day how I was a bit thrown off by the fact that I’m not constantly fielding raging text messages from people stealing from me, scheduling repairs, and court dates.  Something that consumed over 3 years of our lives, in various forms.  24/7.  I know, very Pavlovian of me that every time a text message comes in my stomach sinks, we’re working on it!  The fact that I’m not being “yelled” at several times an hour has left a strange void.  Albeit a nice void, but oddly you get used to even stupid things.  And I’m finding that I’m not sure what to do with myself.  No worries, my dentist man has made sure I’m kept busy with renovation tasks to “help”.  This same friend, making sure she was fulfilling her duties, was nice enough to begin insulting me so I didn’t feel unloved.  Good to know I can count on her when the chips are down – but in the absence of true disdain –


Enter my children.


I now remember, not just my first-born learning, but also myself.  That nervousness of having really no clue what you’re doing and wielding tonnage, with what seems like no help from your co-pilot.


*Insert dirty looks*

“Well telling me after wasn’t very helpful now was it?”

“That’s just a stupid rule!”

“I know mom!”

“Could you just not, please!”


You laugh, but if you think back, you know you did the same thing.


So literally (and I mean literally) every time I go somewhere that my children can go with me, they are there.  Driving.  And cursing my name in their best 15 and 17-year-old, homeschooled profanities.


Gosh boys – thank you for filling that void in my life!  I was wondering what I’d do without being told I suck on a daily basis.  And yes, you’re welcome for paying for lessons, and/or teaching you how to drive.  Yes I could have had the one in drivers-ed pay for it, but since they can’t get jobs in this area, that seemed pretty cruel.  Please no messages about that part.  Well, heck, never mind.  I have enough people poo-pooing me, go for it!  

Plus, this almost guarantee’s they’ll be able to leave my house once they turn 18!


I would like to state however that my best curse word to fly yet has been fricking!  I know, you’re impressed with that kind of language!  Between turning left at 20 mph (about 32 kph google says), and nearly hitting the curb with my just-put-on snow tires, I wasn’t messing around!  This also happened to be the first time my dentist man has driven with one of these two.  After his mini-me was somewhat safely delivered to his drivers-ed class, I asked him how he did in the back seat and he only had to close his eyes a few times.  Not too bad there third-born!


To add to this awesome experience, they’re each going through their own phases of hormonal changes.  (For mom’s of girls out there scratching their heads at this comment – yes boys still go through hormonal changes.  A lot less screaming and crying, a lot more “chest thumping” with a wee bit of anger rolled in, but not before the flighty-as-a-bird stage that I’m pretty sure girls do to?  Maybe?  I hope so – I would hate for you to miss out on this experience!)


While the fourth-born completely hit the flighty stage at 13 – nice of him to stay on schedule, the third-born, I thought, was going to miss it, but ohp – nope!  He turned 15 and it totally hit!  Right as we start to teach him how to drive!  Maybe he could do me the favor of skipping over the angry phase then?  And the 17-year-old, as I’ve already experienced with the first-born, knows all, and doesn’t need his parents for anything.  He’s already a man and insert chest thumping is ready for the real world!  Bahaha… oh.  Ahem…


Yes we’ve already gone through this.  You just sort of back up and wait.  They turn 18 and amazingly they need you again… or at least your money.  And then… your advice.  Especially when they realize that you really *have* done this already and maybe… possibly… might know what you’re talking about… slightly.


Between the two, I have one that can’t remember to head check, turn their blinker on, and which pedal is which.  And another who thinks he should be able to bi-pass this whole process and just get his license already, in spite the fact that I keep hearing “I’ve never seen that before, that’s just not normal!” and “Why didn’t you tell me that faster!”.


This too shall pass.  *Insert zen pose here*  It’s because we love our children so much that we go through all this craziness, and if I survive their driving, I know I’ll survive just about anything.  But in the mean time, they’re driving me straight to crazy, leaving me on the curb, to wait for their younger brother to send me right over the cliff.




~Serenity ~