Life tends to get in the way of blogging, doesn't it?
We had a nice Christmas break. Then right after New Year's I took a deep breath and ordered myself a new laptop computer, since the old one is going on 6 years old and the keys keep flying off. The very next morning, my hard drive died. Or committed suicide, more likely. So I didn't have a computer for a week. I took the old laptop to the repair guy so I could at least retrieve my files. He put in a new hard drive, so I can access my documents, but I lost my cookies and other personalization. So I have to retype all my passwords on the sites I use a lot -- if I can remember them. I'm hacking my own accounts. (My new laptop has arrived but I haven't set it up yet because that's a whole day-long project.)
Later on the same day the laptop died, we found that two of our cars wouldn't start. Well, their batteries were going on 6 years as well. Thank goodness we now have a third car (because Bess is driving!) (!), so Big A drove down to Sears and picked up a couple of new batteries. But one car still wouldn't start, so we had to have AAA tow it. It needed a new starter and other minor repairs.
Got that fixed, and Seattle Snowmageddon 2012 hit. The kids were out of school for a week.
So, you know, stuff as usual, and it was a nuisance, but I'm thankful that we could pay for the repairs, our power didn't go out, and we're all safe and healthy. Knock on wood.
I do feel sometimes as if the universe doesn't want me to have nice things. I am pretty frugal and try not to replace things if they can be repaired. My car (not one of the ones that broke down) is 9 years old and I am only reluctantly looking at a replacement. It seems as though every major purchase is followed immediately by the breakdown of something else, and before I know it we're hemorrhaging money. I wish someone would invent a money tourniquet.
Because I'm so cheap frugal, sometimes I do without longer than I really need to. It's a startling moment when I realize, for example, that when I need to wrap something up, I don't actually have to scrounge for rubber bands I've pulled off the Sunday paper. I could go to the office supply store and shell out $1.99 for a bag of new rubber bands and have all I need. It just doesn't occur to me to do that. Scrounging is such a habit.
I realized a couple of weeks ago that the kids were still eating snacks out of the three toddler bowls left in the cupboard. They prefer them to our soup and cereal bowls because the toddler bowls are plastic and durable and hold just the right amount for a snack. Should teenagers be eating Cheez-Its out of Disney Baby bowls? On the one hand, it's not as if we're using them for company. On the other hand, I could go to IKEA and buy a stack of SOLBRÄND bowls for five bucks and we'd be set, plus we'd have enough for everyone. So I might do that, one of these days, though I'm afraid if I splurge the dishwasher will break down. It's not a necessity, but it would be nice to have pretty snack bowls, you know?
I don't know why it takes me so long to think about those things. I'm not talking about a new car or appliance, nothing that will break the bank, just little niceties. I am truly the child of Depression babies.
Do you ever do that? Suddenly look at your ratty, cheap old frying pan with new eyes and smack your forehead and think, "Wow, I could actually replace this with one that doesn't have Teflon peeling off it and make my life a little easier!"? Or get the notion that maybe, at this point in your life, you don't have to sleep on threadbare sheets?
Note: Yes, my old laptop will be passed on to one of the kids. And I'm still scrounging for rubber bands.