A View from Mel's Place

Well these last few months have been a test for sure, and I almost fell for it.

You see I tend to worry and then I fall into depression.

Well On thanksgiving my hand mixer beaters developed chips in the chrome; the chrome had buckled somehow and was peeling off. So I HAD to get used to my stand mixer! LOL

The week after that our living room console TV died, so we put up a smaller one with one speaker. (The console is nice wood and we are now using it as part of a shelf unit!) Well Monday a neighbors dog got loose and so I kept her until he got home (his wife and kids are on holiday in Minnesota) and he asked me if we had a deepfreeze, and I said no but I wanted one, he says I have one for $25, would you like it? His mom bought them a new one as a gift. So I am getting it, probably today, we got snow and that kind of hindered delivery! LOL

Then he asks does your DH like to tinker? I said yes and he says well I have this big TV here, but the sound doesn’t work, if he wants it he can have it, maybe he can fix it. So Drew went down and brought it back, we hooked up a speaker box to it, and now we get 3 of the 4 local channels, very clear! (We have no cable, we are thinking of getting it in 05)

Then he asked about the car, he knows we are having trouble with it. I told him what was going on and he says he may be getting an extra car, a 97 grand am (I love grand ams!) and he will sell it to us for $1500, $300 down and $100 a month, but he won't have it ready, some one jazzed it up and he is putting it back to normal if he gets it, so it will be a month or 2 (time to save the $300!)

A week after that my oven went nuts; MJ is going to try to look at it later today and see if he can find the trouble.

All year our car has been acting up, well we went to go to town on Thursday to do a bit of shopping and the belt broke, plus there apparently wasn't enough  antifreeze in it and it was frozen... solid!

We spent most of Friday working on it, a friend from town brought out the parts we needed and our last $30 went to the car parts, only to discover water in the engine block, along with the oil.

We called the in-laws to let them know we would not be out. Well our friend told us if we wanted to go to let him know and he would take us to their house and bring us home...

Considering how ill MJ's mom is and has been for 3 years, and adding in that the boys are both most likely to not be home for the holidays for quite awhile after this year, with all the Marine training in other states they must be at we decided it was important to go.

So we called our friend back and he came with a buddy and took us, then picked us up.

MJ's dad had told him the water might mean a bad head gasket, not a cracked block so MJ told our friend whose buddy was following behind us. Our friend said, "Yeah, my buddy says the same, he is a mechanic for the Ford dealer, he said he will look at it when we get to your place"

Well the buddy says it does look like a head gasket job not a cracked block, and he will do the work for $200, plus parts! Parts will run about $100 unless the heads need to be machined, and then it will be $200. The last time I looked at a shop doing this job they quoted me $1300!

Now back on topic. Normally by this time I would have been crying in my beer so to speak, for me it would have been a Pepsi. However, this year was different. We had no presents under the tree for the boys, no normal holiday feast, which for us is ham, turkey and all the trimmings, and we are flat broke.

Yet, all I could think of was all that we DO have!

We have each other, a warm house, food, not fancy food but food, we have clothes and coats. We have a promising new year with better pay and a fairly secure future for the boys. Yes MJ getting to work is a pickle, but I bet we can pay gas and get him there one way or another. I can ride to town once a week with a neighbor for groceries until we get the car issues resolved.

All in all this year, as usual if we look at it properly, our blessings out weigh our curses. We end the year will all the years’ bills paid, in full, and current, which is better than most years around here!

In budgeting the new years expenses, we will have a bit left over each month we can actually begin saving! Plus we can plan money for things like the two trips we will make to Camp Pendleton to see our boys graduate from Marine boot camp. We still won’t be eating out a lot, but I love to cook, plus I can make things much healthier than most places do anyway!

Yes, in my view, we are doing really well!