Tuesday, May 28, 2024


The kids are hitting them.  They're both teens, now, which means I've gotten them into the adulthood-training stages.  I'm actually really proud of them.  They are, by and large, really good kids, even in the throes of puberty hormones. 

Imp has his learner's permit, and Other Half is working on teaching him how to drive.  Yes, he's really that old, now.  And is going into high school next year, with a couple of ideas of what he wants to do with his life.  He wants to learn welding.  I think it suits him, because it's as much art as science, and it's a skill that will support him quite well.  He also wants to learn to make pizza.  And run a food truck with a friend or two.  We're...working on that.  I've got him started on learning to make pizza from scratch, since that's what I do for them on Fridays anyway.  He can assist me, then take over when I think he's ready.  It'll probably be slightly before he thinks he is.  

Pixie is also a teenager, now.  She's working on learning how to cook from scratch, too.  She can make from-scratch oil biscuits, helps make bread (both in the bread maker and my gluten free bread), cookies, and wacky cakes.  She's still not sure what she wants to do for a job, but that's okay--she's only thirteen.  She's positive, though, that she wants to get married and have a family.  

The kids have four and five more years, respectively, of learning to run their own households, then some more time paying rent in mine* before they'll be moving out.  

Next month is Other Half and my 20th anniversary of marriage; we've been together for longer than that.  

Next February--so, eight months and a bit from now--will mark ten years that I've been on a wheat-free diet.  I routinely test that, hoping that the intolerance will clear up, but...yeah, it really seems like that isn't going to happen.  Last year, I started working on learning to make bread with rice flour.  And then, I started grinding rice for flour, starting with my blender.  Then I got a manual grain mill, and recently, I got an electric one.  I've learned a lot about gluten free baking, mostly in the last two or three months, since flour isn't so very expensive, now.  

Five years from now, we won't be having to save every single penny we possibly can to just be able to pay tuition; at that point, there's a lot I want to do for my house.  Yeah, our tax returns will be less without the child tax credit available...but that has always gone to pay tuition, from the time they started school.  Once it's gone, I won't really miss it because I've never really had it. And while yes, we are planning on donating some to the school to repay them for the years they've given us a tuition break, it won't be on a deprivation level like tuition alone--even the discounted tuition--keeps us on. 

*The rent the kids pay to me will go into a separate savings account, so that they can afford to move out: First and last months' rents, deposits, utilities deposits...it actually costs in the mid four digits for people to be able to move from their parents' home...or from one apartment to another. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

Well. *That* happened.

Monday.  Woke up feeling stiff and achy; day got progressively worse from there.  Doctor's appointment right before picking the kids up from school, got there barely in time to park before Imp was climbing into the back seat.  

Evening went like they always do, and then kids went to bed, and I got a LARGE bourbon.  Because I wasn't going to sleep without help.  The storm hit around the time I went to bed, and hit in earnest about the time I managed to drift off, just before midnight.  

And then the power went out.  And the sirens went off.  We got the kids and pets gathered up and huddled  in the bathroom, listening to a battery-operated transistor radio until the all-clear sounded about half an hour later.

Shuffled the kids back to bed, and Other Half took a flashlight and went out to see if anything had damaged the roof, as best he could.  Still no power--all of the local lights were out.  We could tell we'd lost some limbs from the trees, but not how many.  

Went back to bed, and slept for the rest of the night, until the alarm on the cell phone went off.  

Still no power.  But we had light--the sun was starting to come up.  The driveway had a limb across right behind the cars, and there were limbs laying on the roof.  And on the fence into the dog's yard.  And...yeah.  

Other Half got a text that there would be a delayed start for the kids' school day, and let me know.  Then he headed to work.  I waited, then took the kids to try to get them to school...and the road was blocked.  "Road closed."  And I could see why (both for the road block, and for the lack of power to the area): there were no poles left standing as far as I could see down the north side of the road.  

Turns out, that storm?  The sirens?  Was an F1 tornado.  It went through between the little side road that connects our street to the next big east-west artery through town.  Lots of trees down along that little road, too.  Went down it, around the next street, then up the north-south back street that the college backs onto.  

...and there was a road closed sign preventing a left turn.  No way to get the kids to school.  Dog was out of food, so we went to Walmart to grab a bag.  Went home.  

School closed, Imp's band concert postponed.  Road--and school--stayed closed through Wednesday.  Power came back about lunch time on Wednesday, or maybe a little before.*  Still no internet.  Cable co-ax had been taken out with the power lines. But the power was back, and the city had semi-opened up the road around the school, so...the kids went back yesterday.  Internet came back yesterday right before I had to go get them.  

I'm glad I'd left five minutes early--the city'd closed the street between us and the school again, and I had to go the long way 'round.  

So, yesterday and today have been spent scrambling to get caught up on what I didn't get done Tuesday (dishes and some housework) and yesterday (the admin stuff for the household that requires internet access...and the admin stuff for writing that also requires internet access). 

Since May started, I'd estimate we've probably had about four or five inches of rain, going by the standing water in the low spots in the yard, where the saturated soil just couldn't take anymore.  We're supposed to get some dry time...but not much.  It's supposed to start back up Sunday night.  

Missouri in severe weather season.  Fun times.  Be sure your radios have batteries, your cell phones are charged, and your generators (should you have them) are ready to go. 

*Wednesday afternoon, there was another nasty storm system move through; however, the tornadoes that one spawned were south of us. The kids, pets, and I still spent a good chunk of the afternoon huddled in the innermost room without windows, thankful it was a bathroom not a closet.