What's that stench?!!

For the past three days I've been driven from my home by this terrible stench. It started after lunch on Monday and I thought it was the canned Wedding soup I made the kids. I scrubbed the kitchen and threw out all the garbage but I would still catch a whiff once in awhile. The next day it got a bit worse. I searched around looking for stagnant water in my planters. What the heck could it be?!! It killed me that I couldn't figure it out. Finally as I sniffed around on my hands and knees like a hound dog I narrowed it down to my fridge and freezer area. However it wasn't coming from inside...it was outside. Strange. We didn't have mice in the house but I couldn't rule it out. I made my husband pull out the fridge and freezer but we didn't find anything.

This morning the smell literally drove me screaming from the house. Imagine the worse case of bad breath...rotting meat...dead animal...it literally made me light headed and nauseous. I couldn't even function! I ran to Sears to look for a manual since I misplaced mine but all they could recommend was to call a Sears repairman at $100 minimum. As I always say, poor people have to be resourceful so I ran to the closest book store to try to figure out what the heck could be happening to my fridge. No luck there! Not one book! However the saleslady there recommended an appliance parts store so I ran over there hoping to get some free advice. They were so nice and explained that there was nothing that could give my fridge bad breath.

I forced my hubby to pull everything out again and we finally figured out that it was the stagnant water coming from the drip pan. Can you believe that there is no way you can take that thing out to clean!! Two hours later, a cut finger and my body so sore from contorting myself to get to that darn thing. We did our best...I'm hoping that will be the end of it...but will keep my fingers crossed just in case. I really don't want to call the repairman!

Other people's pleasure....

My challenge for the next twelve months is to live a simplier life. I've been really good at walking to school, cooking and eating at home and not buying unneccessary things for our family. Instead I've put my energy into spending my friends' money. It's my new joy.

I haven't stopped walking around the malls or surfing for deals online. Instead I'm shopping for others. I encourage my friends to buy the things that I can't have. If I can't have it then at least I can watch from afar.

I've was pleasantly shocked today when I got my Visa bill and it was way below what we normally spend. I think almost $500 less!! Woohoo!! I'm patting myself on the back but I know it's been only two weeks since I started this challenge. I haven't really been tempted...although after our camping trip last week I've been wanting a camping trailer so bad!

Camping isn't that bad...

This weekend we went camping with five other families. It was a gorgeous weekend and we all had such a great time that we re-booked our camp trip for next year. It's a nice time to bond with our good friends and family. The kids had a fabulous time burning their marshmallows in the fire. I, myself, cringed every time they ate what I called "cancer on a stick" but they gobbled them down like they were the best thing ever.

Seasoned campers might cringe when they see how we camped but for us camping is a chance for the kids to be out in the fresh air and sleep in the tent. My husband complained every time an electrical appliance had to be squeezed into the van...but isn't that the beauty of car camping at a site that offers electricity and water? In went the coffee maker...butane stovetop...electric griddle...rice cooker. I didn't hear him complain whenever we poured him a cup of coffee or as he devoured the Thai curry chicken or slow cooked beef. Check out the food on my blog Fork in Food.

There were a few things I should have brought...
  • I didn't bring my pillow so I had to rest my head on my duffle bag which felt like a block of wood under my head.
  • I really should have brought along earplugs too because the sounds of nature kept me up most of the night. Crickets, frogs and the wind drove me nuts!
  • And a couple pairs of adult diapers because there was no way I was going to walk 5 minutes to the bathroom at 3am! I was forced to stumble to the back of my tent to weewee as tree branches...or I hope they were tree branches...brushed my butt as I did my business.

WoohooOOoooo! School is back tomorrow!!

Well...we had a wonderful weekend before school starts again tomorrow. The men went camping with the boys and the women hung out with the girls. I have to admit it was nice to hang around the girlfriends for a few days. The best part is that with so many willing and able hands there didn't seem to be so much work to do around the house. Dinner was fabulous and since everyone pitched in it seemed effortless. It didn't even seem like work.

Now I am back at home looking at all the camp and weekend gear sitting in the foyer and thinking about all the back to school stuff that I haven't even prepared. It's making me a bit nervous but I think I will be able to survive the first week of school.

My daughter will be going to grade one this year which means I will have almost 6 hours to myself every week day from now on. I'm excited! There are so many possibilities. I've convinced my husband that it's still too early to go back to work but I have a new commitment for the next twelve months.

I am going to live a SIMPLE life.
  • I will not be buying anything that I do not need. I have way too much of everything.
  • I will be de-cluttering our lives of junk.
  • I will be cooking more at home...healthier meals and it will help save $$$.
  • I will walk the kids to school more often. We need to be more physically active.

This is my goal for just one year. I hope it will change the way we live our lives for the better. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can be strong.

Labor Day?!!!

Labor Day Weekend is approaching...fast and furious...and labor is what I did today!! My goodness! I'm sure this is one of the most stressful days of the year. I think it was even more stressful than packing for the 24 hour drive to Florida.

I don't know what my hubby was thinking when he agreed to a Father/Son camp trip with the men. In fact I was actually shocked when I heard that he said he would take ALL three kids camping. I was a bit apprehensive to say the least. We've convinced my daughter not to go and join the women for the weekend instead.

So he agreed to go camping with the men....but I bet you any money it was the women that packed all the clothes...bought all the groceries...and checked off everything on that darn list! I bet I'll be the one loading the van tomorrow morning too!! Darn him!! I dragged the kids with me the entire day running last minute errands. PMS must be looming it's angry head because I was NOT a happy camper having a brood of kids whining and fighting behind me as I grabbed food for THEIR weekend. Absolutely no appreciation!!!

Then I noticed the lawn needed cutting...well...I was in no mood to hear whining from my hubby too so I mowed it too! Fuming the entire time but that's my fault for not mowing it yesterday.

Boy I can't wait for this weekend to start because once I get to my sister's place...I'm not doing anything!! Just going to hang with my girlfriends!!

(Sorry for the rant but I had to vent a bit before I finish up all the packing and head to bed.I know everyone reading this will understand where I am coming from.)

Back to School Denial

I've got a major case of back-to-school denial. Don't get me wrong...I can't wait for the kids to get back to school. Looking forward to it actually but for some odd reason I've been procrastinating. I'm just not in the mood to buy any school supplies...don't even want to look at new clothes or shoes for the school year...haven't even put the kids back on a reasonable bedtime routine.

This summer was strange. Weather was cold. Kids were quiet. Busy with visitors. Summer seemed too short. I'm a bit sad that it's over. Can't really believe it since I'm usually the first one to be jumping for joy at just the mention of the first day of school. Something must be wrong with me...