Monday, August 13, 2012

On Running, Home Maintenance, and Getting a Handle on Things

This will be a post full of trifling miscellany. We have so much going on, but not a lot of it is interesting enough for separate posts.

I'm just a week shy of completing the Couch to 5k program. My pesky neck injury kept me from reaching my goal in July, but I'm pretty thrilled to be reaching it only a month behind. To prevent aggravating my injury, my physical therapist recommended I not run more than 3 days a week, which is truly fine by me. I've discovered I really don't look forward to running and I really have to get on myself to be sure I do it, but once I'm on the road, I enjoy it immensely. I've also realized I do much better running in the morning rather than at night. I think there is just too much time for me to talk myself out of going. Now it's time to find a little local 5k fun run.

Owning a home can be a real pain. Even though our current home is only ten years old, we've already had to do a lot of work on it. So far we've had work done on the heat pump, dish washer, and kitchen sink. We've also had to replace the completely inadequate air conditioning unit to the tune of 5 grand. Today we had the septic tank pumped. Wingnut spent the better part of last week locating and digging three feet down to the tank. The previous owners did not leave a single manual to any working part to this house. Nor did they leave blueprints or maps for the septic system. Wingnut had to track that info down through the county health department. The septic guy indicated our tank had NEVER been pumped. Not even once in ten years. Thankfully, we thought to have it done or we could have had a real mess on our hands in the near future.

The JayP began school today. It's his final first day of school. It will be interesting to see where this year leads him. I'm hoping and praying his counselor draws JayP out a bit and helps him sort through his future prospects. He's a super smart kid, but he tends to lack direction.

I'm attempting again to get a handle on clutter, cleaning, and organization with the kids. I'm reading Cleaning House: A Moms 12 Month Experiment to Rid her Home of Youth Entitlement. So far it's a worthwhile read. Thankfully, I am fairly confident our children are not as "entitled" as most, but while we have expected them to do their fair share of chores, we still do give them way more than they need or is good for them. We've implemented the first of the author's twelve tasks--having the kids make their beds and keep their rooms clear of clutter every day. We established a good reward/consequence system as well. Each child has a jar with either money or poker chips inside, depending on their age. There is $1 or 1 poker chip for each day of the month. If, upon inspection of their respective rooms, the room does not pass, $1 or 1 chip is taken from the jar. At the end of the month whatever is left in the jar is theirs to keep. Chips can then be converted to dollars or used to purchase video time, game time, or later bedtime in half hour increments. Of course, today, being the first day, went very well. Every bed was made and all clutter was cleared. We shall see how this goes for the rest of the month.

The local homeschooling forum from our community in Maryland has had a lively conversation going all weekend. It began with one mom's query into how to keep their family budget within their means in a location known for its very high cost of living. It's been a wonderful discussion with an enormous amount of great ideas flowing back and forth. One idea that has peaked my interest in the past was about homemade detergents and cleaners. My primary interest is in the savings we might expect, but an added benefit would be the great reduction in the chemicals we would use around the home, especially as we have a daughter who is sensitive to many chemicals. I downloaded an ebook copy of DIY Household Cleaners. It has recipes for everything from laundry soap to toilet cleaner. I think I might have a go at it and see how it goes.

We have just a couple of weeks until our school year begins.  Karate Kid heads back to Maryland for her sophomore year.  It has been wonderful having her home.  We're going to really miss her.  I'll have at least one post about our plans for my three remaining home schoolers coming up in the next week or so.  Until then we'll be cramming as much summer in as we can. Print Friendly and PDF


Dawn said...

Would love to hear your take on the cleaners. It's pretty common here as well to make your own but I've not tried it yet. I am going to download that ebook you mentioned. Congratulations on the running! I know how difficult it can be when you have a house full of family and it's just one more thing to work in.

Anonymous said...

Eeesh, 10 years of someone else's septic mess is something I wouldn't want backing into my house. Poor guy who had to clean that out.
That bribe, I mean, reward system sounds great. When are the poker games? Be sure to post the first ones that come in last after the first month.
Take care,

Party of Ten said...

Congratulations on completing the C25K! Hope the JayP had a good week, Rayzor also lacks direction but he did have a job this summer which was a good thing! The book looks interesting, we do chorepacks around here (Managers of their Chores) and it works pretty well. Can't wait to read your homeschool plans!

Anonymous said...

Dang, I'm surprised you've had to do that many home improvement projects for your house only being 10 years old! I still think it's worth it to own your own home, if you can afford it :)