My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Saying AMEN! Even when ice skating through the kitchen. January 17, 2015

 

 

snow 2

 

 

 

Things are settling into a groove for the new year here in our blankenworld.

 

My dentist man is working solely at his own practice now – even got a write-up in the local paper!   But I can wholeheartedly say it is a bit scary, but the man has never failed at anything, so between him and the good Lord, I’m not sweating it… too much.

 

The boys are back to school and staying ahead of schedule; even starting to talk about getting together with some friends.  Which is nice to finally hear!

 

 

boys

 

 

Trim and more flooring is being removed… none being laid, but we’ll get to that someday.

 

 

neked floors

 

 

The only thing really not moving forward is “that house”.  It’s actually headed in the wrong direction.  I know – you’re shocked!  I mean really, when is it not?

 

 

kitchen

 

 

While texting a very good friend out there who has been especially helpful after the eviction, a whole thought process started.

 

Through this whole catastrophe, we have found we have some really, really wonderful people backing us.  For someone like myself who trusts no-one (I mean really, why would I?), there really are a lot of people to thank!  However having these three people (and their spouses), bending over backwards for us has been such an eye opener that there really are people that won’t let you down.  And through it, I’ve found that stressing does no more than make me ill, grouchy, grey, wrinkly and not very fun to be around.

 

And those two items all combined this week.

 

Tuesday, one of them discovered a skating rink on the first floor due to the water company failing to shut the water off when scheduled, before the big freeze.  He just happened to be checking in on the house when he found water gushing from two locations.  He climbed through snow and mud to turn off the water valve under the house to stop the gushing water, in his business clothes.  Another one’s spouse, rushed over to try and remove as much water (now frozen) from the floor, counters and filled sink as he could before work.  But the damage from a week of flowing, and freezing water was already done.  The final person, after hearing this, came over to assess the damage for me as soon as he heard.  He is the one who replaced all this just the year before.

And that’s when he found it.  The former renter didn’t think it was enough to steal the power meter (which is why we still have no power) and the baseboard heaters, but he decided to take the pipe that catches the excess gas that comes from the intake valve (or some-such jargon).  Which was fine for their family, since the gas company turned the gas off for none payment.  But had we turned the gas back on before we had found it, the house would have gone up!

 

*BOOM*

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Good for us – we’ve been begging for that house to go away!  Not so good for the gas man… or if delayed, the workmen fixing everything the renters had broken.  Or… our next renters and their children.

I am learning, through this “lovely” house, that God does things for a reason.  It may not be pleasant, but if you’re paying attention even in the slightest (which unfortunately I’m usually not), He is yelling in His loudest whisper, what we really need to know.

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If we didn’t still have that giant money pit, I wouldn’t have learned that I can give, even when things get really hard.

If we didn’t still have that piece of crap, I wouldn’t have learned to trust Him in all things.  Like say, buying a new practice.

If we didn’t still have that stupid house, I wouldn’t have learned to trust people.  Well, not all people.  The renters proved that.

If we didn’t still have that freaking *&$, I wouldn’t have learned that sometimes, a seemingly bad thing, is really a blessing in disguise.

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If the water lines hadn’t of broken, the house would have killed someone.   That is the last thing I ever want to happen!

The water company is paying for the damages and so far are being great about it.  I am taking a deep breath and taking it as it comes.  Stressing isn’t going to change the wet, warped floors, cabinets and walls.  Nor is it going to get the utilities hooked up or the gas line fixed.  It’s not going to make us more money or bring a renter in any faster.

And as I’ve learned this last year, through court dates, nasty texts, repair jobs, skating rinks and theft; the more stink that happens – the more I should give.  The more I give – the better life gets.  The better life gets – the more I want other people to feel the same way.

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Yes, even the former renters.  (You know, once they stop stealing.)

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~So giving I’ll do~

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I’m smack in the middle of one of my friends blankets.

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quilt flowers

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I just finished another round of baby blankets.

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cat - blanket

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And I’m about to work on pillow cases for more foster kids.

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blankets-cases

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I’m going to say Amen – and start charging money for the skating rink in my kitchen!

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skating

 

 

 

 

Liar, liar – my heads on fire! April 9, 2014

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Family,WTFr — blankenmom @ 10:00 pm
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!

 

 

 

I’m not sure if the above statement is *really* true.  It’s more like…. I’d rather set it on fire, run through a gasoline factory naked, while in labor.  It would be easier, and maybe then the state would pay attention?

 

 

I know I’ve talked about “that house” before.  The house I would love to fall to the ground (while it’s empty of course).  I would add by meteorite, but then insurance wouldn’t cover it.

We had an aircraft carrier, two coastlines and several people in between hoping it would go down in Sandy, yet no.  The stupid thing lives.

 

After a year of no rental income, we were finally able to get renters back in – if you want to call them that.  FEMA in all their wisdom, placed people supposedly displaced by the flood into homes that were newly finished due to the flood.  We thought we were helping someone out.  Shame on me for trying to help – that’s the last time that will happen!

 

Since July, they have violated every line on the rental contract.  EVERY LINE!

Plus a few extra’s.

 

It’s lovely.

 

We took the long, drawn-out and costly steps to eviction after the final straw of leaving a cat to die under the house.  Last week  we were told by the judge that all the violations, on the contract they willingly signed, don’t matter because they have three kids.  It doesn’t matter that they, among all the other violations, don’t have insurance (in a flood area) to cover in their words, a dog that may bite that isn’t on the contract.  It doesn’t matter that they disturb the woman behind them with two kids of her own.  It doesn’t matter if the house falls down around them because we can’t finish our work from the flood because they won’t let workers finish.  Nope – they have three kids.

 

Never mind our four kids.  After all, we work.  We pay our utilities, loans, mortgages and taxes.  My husband works two jobs to make sure we can cover their needs, on top of ours.  A judge decided that their kids took precedence over our kids and the neighbors… and yours, because they’re on state aid.  Because they’re unwilling to work a real job and pay their own way, we have to cover for them.  We’re not talking, they’re trying to work and are having a hard time – nope.  I’d love to help with that!  Find me that family!!

 

Does that mean we get out of the contract?  No actually, it means they may get to stay in for six months longer than the contract because they told the judge they can’t find a place to live in the three months remaining.  REALLY?

 

Nope.  When you live on state aid, only you matter.  Not the tax payer providing your rent, the person who owns the house or anyone around you.  State and judge condoned…. and apparently encouraged.

 

Never mind the fire – my head just exploded…..

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head

 

 

 

Lest you think I’m a cold-hearted person who would throw children out on their ear…. it’s the kids that made me wait so long.  It’s the kids that kept me from shutting off their utilities when they didn’t pay them.  It’s the kids that kept me from kicking their backsides to the curb when they (unbeknownst to me) lied about how much the state would give them for rent and accepted less!

 

A little of this July 7, 2012

 

…. a little of that.

 

 

 

 

With so much going on, I was having a hard time getting my thoughts straight on what exactly I wanted to talk about.

I could always fill you in on the 101 things I’ve got to get done before tomorrow or the world will end as we know it, but instead I’ll just throw out a few of the high points.

 

As my dentist man was sailing off into the sea, the first-born had made it back safely from his mission trip.  In spite of wild fires, power and water outages, and extreme heat, they managed to get the houses painted and fixed up for the folks on the indian reservation.  In between meeting new people (read: girls), seeing a section of the country he actually hasn’t seen yet (that he remembers) and a day off at a hotel to wait out an evacuation order – hearts were changed. 

He came back with some great stories of new friendships, teenage drama’s and maybe a few new followers. 

 

He also came back bearing gifts for us all!  Tea for his tea loving dental dad, a new pocket knife for his brother who can’t eat anything and chocolate “bear and deer poop” for his two youngest brothers. 

 

And what does he get his mother while on a mission trip?

 

 

 

No worries; This was paid for, stored, transported and delivered by an adult.  The son just thought of me when he saw it and shelled out the money – HA!

 

He cracks me up!

 

While he’s been catching up on his sleep and attempting to remove paint from his hair, I’ve been working on a costume for VBS.  It’s a robot – can’t you tell?

 

 

 

For the wrists and neckline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was given the skirt and shirt that were bought from Goodwill to make into a “Rosie” type costume from the Jetsons.  (I wish I would have taken before shots.)  It will be worn over one of these creepy things –

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t wait to get photos!

 

And topping that off; the youngest is nursing his manly wound from our celebrations on the fourth.  Our neighbors across the street have an awesome Independence Day show.  You know – nothing says Independence from tyranny like drinking heavily, eating too much and lighting things on fire!!   While we have a few big ones, they have ones that make your hair blow back!  This year they had a few rounds of beer pong to get lit-up before they lit things up. 

After several odd rounds going into trees, under cars and one even blowing up before it launched.  What ended it all was one of the mortars getting kicked over while the lighter attempted to stumble away before it had time to launch into the air.  It shot straight at our house, with all of us in the driveway.  Not only did it end up in our garage, under our cars, in our grass and on us, but it caught the youngest on slightly on fire!  After ripping his shirt off of him, this is his manly “war wound”.   (While I don’t think the situation itself was funny, we did at least walk away relatively unharmed and he’ll have a great story to tell!)

His oldest brother and I are teaching him the manly art of “embellishment”.  By the time dad comes home he’ll have been “Totally on fire!  Having saved the whole family from total destruction, he’ll have put the house fire out completely alone – and all he got were these measly… little… scars!”  He’s showing them off to everyone and I can’t get the shirt with the hole in it away from him.  HAHAHA!

 

 

 

 

He says he can hardly wait for next year!

 

 

 

Since that is over and done with I can move on to the other 98 things that have to be done before tomorrow.  I don’t want to ruin everyone’s day by ending the world after all!

 

 

 

 

Witches brew in the toilet October 3, 2011

Filed under: Boys,Broken/Repaired,WTFr — blankenmom @ 6:56 pm
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It’s been a long two weeks for me, and our handyman at “that house”. 

What started out as a simple tiling issue around the toilet turned into a major bathroom problem – not to mention the soon discovered piping issues caused by the recent hurricane/flood where the house stands. 

With the none-to-happy renters breathing down the handyman’s neck in their soul bathroom, as he attempted to find the source of the leak that had been plaguing us since the first week WE moved in 4 years ago.   Which was also causing the tile to pop, water to drip on to the stove underneath AND one of the support beams to break thanks to past “do-it-yourselfers” who didn’t know what they were doing and cut into them. 

After completely ripping out the flooring, tub, support beams and reinstalling all of the above, he then discovered the dislodged a.c. pipes in the crawl space that would have, if turned on, leaked lethal gases into the house with our renters…. now, they’ve paid late every month, moved two dogs in without permission and have already started to damage the house (we won’t mention all the minor things they asked him to repair while he was there) so this made me pause for a minute.  But human decency and compassion stepped in and I told him to fix it.  While down there, he also discovered that the pipes that brought the water to the boiler (they still heat with steam in most houses there) had ruptured and was leaking massive amounts of water.  *Sigh* – fix it please…..

At one point, he didn’t even want to call me anymore there were so many problems.  Have I mentioned yet, how much I hate this house? 

So hopefully, after 4 years and many plumbers, this leak is finally fixed. The plumbing put in correctly and the flooring will stay put.   And now hopefully the renters won’t call again – for at least another month!

On the bright side – it’s October – which means costumes!  I LOVE COSTUMES!  So I’ll be setting aside my top, that is driving me so insane and start on two of my four boys’ costumes.  One will be Wesley from The Princess Bride; a costume I’ve already made for my hubby, so it should go pretty smoothly this time.  And the other wants to be a gorilla – I am only making the body; we ordered the head.

I so want to make myself a “Fall Fairy” costume.  Two actually: A short, corseted fun one and one GIANT poofy one – both with sparkles to the hills of course.  I’m thinking of this as I’m passing all the gorgeous bolts of sparkly, speckled, lavish, fancy fabrics in beautiful fall and jewel tones for boring, basic black.  Black in stretch, crushed panne, black cotton and black fur.  Can I go back to the sparkly fabrics now?

I will give you pics when they’re all done, but for now, they’re giant piles of fabric sitting on my sewing table waiting to be something fun.

 

 

 

Happy 235th Birthday! :D July 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized,What's happening — blankenmom @ 1:11 pm
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The sounds of freedom may be small and easy to dismiss, but take them away and you are left with deafening oppression!

nightlifedenver.com

As many are lamenting the booming, bangs, whistles and popping outside their windows this time of year, I relish every one of them…. ok, maybe not EVERY one of them; but with the right attitude, you get what the real meaning of this day is for Americans and America as a whole.  It’s not just another day for the neighbor’s to blow their hands off, spend way to much on something they will literally burn or teenagers to set off firecrackers at all hours, there is an actual meaning behind all of this!

Sit down and listen at the peak tonight, close your eyes and just sit.  The close up booming and whirling, the far of flickers of light and whistles.  The sparks down the street, followed by popping.  235 some years ago, you would have heard all these noises outside your door or down the road.  Just what did it feel like to hear a cannon ball wiz through your camp?  What did it smell like behind the cannon?  What did a bullet, out of an even then antiquated musket, sound like whistling past your head? 

– We’ll be joining one of our new neighbor’s for a pig roast to celebrate –

The idea of a feast in celebration is nothing new; pagans celebrated the earth and what it did for them.  Religions have celebrations to thank their gods.  Countries have days set aside to celebrate great victories.  Americans enjoy a celebration on July 4th to celebrate their freedom from tyranny, injustice and oppression.  What ever condition our country may be in at this moment in time, 325 years later, we are still a proud, strong, blessed people.  We need to remember what those men (and women) went through so many years ago to give us the opportunities we have today (and are still doing!).  And if listening to loud noises for a week or two is what brings that back to us, then bring it on!

littleclickers.com

 Now go out and light a sparkler!

 

Hey, my boys are pretty cool! January 3, 2011

Filed under: Boys,Family,Homeschooling,Hubby,Pets — blankenmom @ 11:51 pm
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First day back from Christmas vaca.  Always tough, always slow, always interesting.  After getting a 30 minute late start because the boys “forgot” today was a school day, I hustled them to their respective spots at which they choose to do schoolwork and they start with their usual “I didn’t get breakfast yet, because I forgot today was school!”  “I didn’t take my shower yet!”  Yet?  You haven’t taken one in a week, and now all of a sudden you feel the need to be clean?  They pulled out a few more, but I won’t bore you with the details; needless to say, the started their schoolwork. 

The hubby got home early today, and the fist thing we got to do is put more medicine on the big dog’s bum.  She get’s what we call “zits” but they’re really some sort of “cootie” that lives in her and breaks out when it becomes too much.  Normally she get’s a few little one’s on her face, we put her medicine on and they goes away.  This particular “zit” on her back side is now about the size of a tangerine.  We’d have taken her in already, but it got this bad on Friday, and the vet won’t be back in until tomorrow – and it’s not exactly an emergency.  So, while the hubby lies on her, keeping her gangly legs under control, I get the dubious job of putting her medicine on her patootie – yay me.  It’s pretty gnarly, not to mention it hurts her pretty bad when I put the medicine on.  I can’t wait to call the vet tomorrow! 

The boys got their work done in record time and began their idea of a real day, play time.  Which means I get to finally take a shower and make phone calls.  Our mail arrived late today, which is when I discovered that according to the state up north, which is where “that house” still stands, the state has decided that since we don’t have a license through them, we never lived there.  Funny?  We lived there enough to pay taxes?  We lived there enough to go to court?  Hmm – so now my challenge is to prove that we exist to that state.  I’m actually not to upset over this, it’s more of a challenge to me.  It got me riled up, but with out the anger and irritation I usually get when dealing with this state.  Few – I must be calming back down!  So, tomorrow will be spent trying to come up with said paperwork.

The first-born made dinner again on his grill, very good as always.  The second-born assisted, making the yummies to put on the burgers.  The third-born entertained the big dog, so she wouldn’t sit under the grill waiting for the burgers to drop and the fourth-born made the fries.  Ah – good boys!

As the boys were getting ready for bed, I put in a cd that the hubby bought me for Christmas; The Message.  I just wanted to see what it sounded like.  As soon as I put it in, the boys turned off their video game, sat down on the couch and quietly listened.  It kind of freaked me out at first; but they were intently listening, asking a few questions and understanding it.  I was so surprised, and excited!  I guess, hearing it, is easier than reading it.  After all, isn’t that the way people got the bible for hundreds of years?  Someone else reading it?  Yes, I know, if I were a good mom, I’d read it.  But we’ve already established that I’m not, and that I’m ok with that, so let’s move on.  And this version is much more understandable that the older versions.  Although, even the author of the this version states that you need to use it with a real bible, but it’s a good stepping stone I’m thinking.   That was just way to cool!

As the fourth-born was hopping into bed, he asked his oldest brother if he can play with the plasma ball.  As he was playing he discovered that if he brought a light bulb close to the ball, it came on!  He thought this was just too cool!  He comes running out to tell me his new scientific discovery!  So of course, being a homeschool mom, I had to ask the “why” questions.  And he knew them, he thought it out and told me the how’s.  He went back in to try a few other things, that didn’t work, but were worth trying.

It’s just the most amazing thing to watch your kids’ minds grow!  It makes me feel so privileged that I get to be there for it, and help them along.  So cool!  Makes me want to make something explode tomorrow, just to see their faces.

Obviously no knitting or sewing was done today, in light of the “way coolness” of the evening.  But a good work out did ensue and made bed, all that much more appealing.

 

Should have stayed in bed November 9, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Knitting,WTFr — blankenmom @ 12:26 am
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Mondays have a bad rep, let’s face it.  Through no fault of their own, they’ve been deemed evil for no other reason than, they put an end to our weekend.  Usually it passes us by without so much as a thought as we race towards our favorite day.  Who, by the way, did nothing to earn that title other than being the final hurdle to our weekend plans.

That’s where this Monday took a wrong turn, it should have just slipped by without notice and let me get on with the rest of my week where I wouldn’t have observed a bad day any more than in passing.

I won’t go into the knitty-gritty details of the day.  No one needs to be brought down, but I am certainly glad this day is over!

I did have a bright point to the day, it made me laugh and I definitely needed that!  This is what happens when you try to reheat a hard-boiled egg in the microwave.  Let that be a lesson to you.  Plus, it will totally impress your kids!  This however, just made the boy who did it cry because he felt so bad and made mom run for the camera and laugh till she cried.

On the creative front, I contacted the yarn store and they sent me my pattern download!  YAY!  But I think I may start on my dads Irish sweater since he’s not doing so well.

Now – On to better days!