Simply Amazing Day

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I picked up Katie and M and the boys to work on the yard prior to the birthday bbq (easy child and Oliver's) this evening. Plans were for Sat but it decided to rain.

They were so eager they were standing outside waiting on me. LOL

M may not have formal education (I found out today exactly why he can't read) but I learned today that due to trying to scratch out a living for his family and life experiences, the man has a wealth of knowledge in a vast amount of areas. He has been impressing me quite a LOT lately. I know I have never seen someone so eager to do my yard work before, especially after a couple weeks of rain and no attention had it in such bad shape. He enlisted to very eager little boys help as well. Travis also helped him. They tackled the back yard at first.......which because of those darn elephant ear plants has to be either done with a swing blade or weed eater first is a royal pain. He didn't complain. As he finished cutting down an area, he had Alex mowing it with the non gas powered mower he was thrilled to find in my shed. Alex felt very "manly" today. Did a good job too. The four of them tackled the weed (many that had turned in to small trees) along the privacy fence on the alley. Then they moved to the front yard..........and that horrid spot on the eastern side of the house that has not been touched in possibly 5-6 yrs. I told M he could save that spot for another day because it was not going to be easy. Nope. They hacked away at vines, chopped down small maple trees, ripped out weeds.........amazing.

Not one complaint. Actually, he literally was thrilled to death to do it. Turns out he loves yard work.

Meanwhile, Katie came over under the impression she was going to help me inside. But the garden was in sad horrible shape with weeds taller than plants and I knew if I didn't get to would be a wasted effort this year. So into the garden we went. Discovered my flattened tomato plants are much hardier than I gave them credit for as they've grown all over the darn place. Harvested some normal tomatoes, roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Weeded out the carrots. Found the cucumbers were flourishing and several ready to harvest. Green beans were more than ready and we got a half bushel. We got all the other weeds out. My broccoli and cauliflower......phht. I think the weather confused them, they grew totally weird. Cabbages and brussel sprouts not yet ready. Collards doing wonderfully.

In short, Katie worked her tail off in the sun and in the wet dirt. I have NEVER seen her do either. She was asking me question after question. I showed her what the plants look like, how to tell when they are ready, how to properly pull weeds........all sorts of things. Showed Evan too as he came in to help with weeds. Turns out she wants to try a container garden next year. Holy cow! Not one word of complaint out of her. She made no move to sit down unless I did. (and I'm used to working both outside and on my feet for 10 hrs so you can imagine how often that was lol )

My grandsons, Alex and Evan have literally begged to come back every week to do my yard. They were eating it up, the being outside, the yard work, learning about the plants, helping their dad with "manly" stuff.......rolling around on the ground, playing fetch and soccer with the dogs.......just being at nana's house....... Made my heart ache, lemme tell you.

In 4 hrs my yard was perfect. (I'm sure my neighbors are much pleased lol )

It was time for the bbq. Oliver turned 2 today and easy child turns 29 on tues. Nichole baked the cake. Hot dogs and brauts on the grill. Kayla returned from her week visit with aunt Nichole just as sweet as she could possibly be. Family was amazed at the yard..........I of course gave credit to whom it was due. M participated in conversation!! Ok, so it drifted off to video games......but that is HUGE.........and he did still sit apart......but he'll put his seat closer in time.

After the bbq we swapped produce. Since I go back to work tomorrow I didn't have time to can the beans so Nichole took them home to can and will bring them back......she brought kale and romain lettuce and tomatoes we didn't wind up needing lol

Once everyone had left it was time to shop Nana's pantry.

Now people my stores are so vast that only Nichole, easy child and Travis have actually seen most of them. Travis is the only one who has seen ALL of them but that is because he helps me all the time. Katie had seen some, but not all. M had never seen them and I don't think the kids had either. Only way I knew how to go about it was to have Katie tell me what she needed while I got it for her. I have rubbermaid tubs full of personal hygiene items, first aide items, and medicine. I heard Kayla gasp when I opened the tub that had razors, deodorant, and body soap. That of course brought over M and the boys. Katie chose that moment to explain THIS is what I'm trying to teach her to do and if they keep trying to use it as fast as she brings it into the house they won't be able to get to that point. The food had them spell bound, no joke.

I gave them shampoo, conditioner (Kayla has her papa's hair it requires conditioner) deodorant, shave cream, body wash, toilet paper, and bandaides. I gave them macaroni noodles, egg noodles, several varieties of boxed potatoes, velveeta, ramen, cereal, ravioli, macaroni and beef, canned mac & cheese, and then I dug into the deep freeze and gave them hamburger, a beef roast, whole chicken, and a pork roast. I gave them powdered milk because Alex's face lit up when he saw it. I had convince Katie to buy it the last 2 trips to aldi in case she came up short at the end of the month and ran out of milk. She obviously used it all.........Alex's loves it. It worries a Nana when her grandson gets excited over powdered milk and the other grandson gives her kisses and hugs for 2 extra cans of macaroni and beef. Katie's cards don't load (disability and food stamps) until the 3rd.

Turns out biomom is sabotaging her food wise in a huge way. I gave them peanut butter, asked about jelly. She said she just bought jelly. Boys said no grandma was eating it with a spoon and it was gone. omg So I gave them jelly, crackers, and soups for biomom to eat because she had her teeth pulled in prep for dentures. I'm going to have to have a talk with her over biomom it seems. Katie has gotten the kids under control over the food now. But biomom is sneaking weird things to eat.......and cleaning them out. (I recall Fred telling me of such odd eating habits over the years)

M got a pack of cheap cigarettes.

They walked out of my house carrying what would have been 2 weeks worth of food from kroger when all was said and done. (including fresh veggies from the garden) Didn't bother me to give it to them. They worked hard all day without complaint. They had no idea of the reward they'd get. They had done it to help me was the only reason.

They all have asked to come and help again asap. M wants to tackle the gutters for me. Katie still wants to help in the house. M would like to do my yard work once a week. I know it's not because they expect to shop in my pantry. That was only because they were in desperate need.

I will say they took all that food out and you can't tell it in my stores. LOL And they've yet to see ALL of it, just quite a lot of it.

Also M says I have the sander needed for the dining room floor. He used to do floors with his grandpa, plus he worked for a year in a woodworking shop. Soooooooo I got someone to do my floor and the equipment to do it. Fred had 2 of those sanders. lol (he had 2 or 3 of most everything, don't ask)

M has been having people send him wood projects from online, old pieces of wood furniture (small obviously). He refinishes them and sends them back for a fee. He loves it. I had not yet had a chance to suggest it and was impressed he thought of it himself.

Both are going to work on getting their driver's licenses. I'm picking up the book this week when I take Travis to get his ID renewed. M can take the written exam by the computer voice program. Neither know it, but once they study the book they might be surprised to find their permit fees paid for so she can work with them on driving as I know Katie's skills are rusty and I suspect M has possibly driven illegally in the past........

This is because I've really been working with Katie over the needing to get a job thing and applying to the factory. I'm using everything from guilt/shame to material motivation. lol It seems to be working. She is getting her teeth worked on in hopes of getting rid of the migraines. From what Nichole said the dentist had to is small wonder she is miserable. Once that is done she is applying. ( I may have to ask another favor ;) ) M may get called this week for a 2nd interview with the pizza place.......and *might* get hired at the bowling alley. He was trying to decide which one to take. I told him if he can get them to make schedules so they don't conflict, why not take both if offered? More hours, more money. He was amazed, it didn't occur to him. lol

Anyhoo..........once they are working and have their license.........sister in law who fixes cars to sell (and I mean honestly fixes them and sells them reasonably) can find them a good car once they save their money up. They are both so tired of having to mooch rides they can't stand it.

I'm seeing REAL adult goals. Goals they came up with themselves. Jobs, driver license, learning to read, getting a GED, saving for a car, then saving for a HUD house (takes years anyway which they know) of their own where they can have their own garden and such. Far cry from when they arrived when the only real goal was for M to get a new computer to play video games.

It has been a long haul with these two but the changes are just so drastic and they just keep right on happening. I have never seen Kayla, Alex, and Evan happier.....and they are learning right along with their parents.


Well-Known Member
Wow, they've really come full circle. I'm so glad they're giving you joy and helping you with the chores. You must have a huge stash for that not to have even made a dent. Maybe Katie'll see the value in couponing and do it herself. It's like free money. Good for you for gardening....I wish I had the patience and fortitude for that. I just buy my veggies. Although, I pay nearly nothing for them. The ESY students have a garden they maintain ....they sell the veggies. (It's great practice giving change, taking orders, delivering, growing. Today for $1.75 I got 30 small tomatoes and 2 large, 2 cucumbers and 1 zuccinni. It filled up a Wal-Mart bag. I am making bruschetta tonight, last week I made a ton of pickles.)


Upallnight- how wonderful! Most of my life fresh produce has not been that expensive. I prefer to grow it but have repeatedly been in situations where I couldn't grow it and bought it. The past year has challenged me. We have wic and they give a coupon that is 6.00 a month of veggies, only five or six years ago six dollars would of bought a gracious plenty now it barely buys enough for a salad, two avocados, one hot house tomato and a head of romaine.

Hounddog- having a deep freezer really makes a difference in spending! I don't coupon because I really don't know how to extreme coupon. And free is about my spending limit these days. I wish my mom had taught me about this stuff or my aunt or anyone at all, I was forced to figure it out through trial and error what works for me and my family. Still figuring it out, and I try to give my mom tips that she mostly doesn't listen to and suffers without there by.

Your daughter is lucky! I hope one day she knows how much.


Roll With It
This is WONDERFUL! Maybe for xmas a copy of the Tightwad Gazette from amazon marketplace would be useful? It might inspire M to read!

With M's desire to work and the way he enjoys yardwork, he might make more $$ by investing in his own mower and weedeater for next year. Or applying to a landscaper. Not reading is a handicap, but he could still learn a LOT and eventually even make his own yardwork business in time if he is able to get experience. Here there are a TON of people who do yards and pay their bills that way even in the winter because they shovel then. I know a group of five teachers who do yardwork instead of summer jobs and they make more in the summer months than they do teaching so they do it on weekends year round to pay for their 'hobbies' of expensive ATVs, hunting trips (which some of these men pay thousands of dollars to travel and hire guides and pay to have the heads taxidermied etc.... - one guy paid for trips to Africa to hunt and then tried to have a few endangered animals smuggled in and his yard business paid those legal fees so he could keep his house after he was caught!)

It can be lucrative to do yardwork esp with that enthusiasm.

I am SO PROUD of them and I honestly think that it is having a home they don't have to keep worrying about losing that is making the changes possible. LEt them know that their Board Aunties are proud of them too if it won't make them uncomfortable!

As for Katie's migraines, she may still need some medications to help, but getting a job and some income might make that possible. Beta blockers are the medications most common as the first step at prevention, and they are dirt cheap. They were increased in price when they went on the walmart $4 list. I used to pay $1.21 for 90 of them because I was on a super high dose at the time after having to increase the dose every year or two for seven years. then that list came out and it became $4 everywhere, which annoyed me. So it is totally possible to prevent them even if those don't work. There are several different types of medications that prevent them.

Migraines are the scourge of the earth in my opinion. they are one of my biggest problems so I totally sympathize iwth Katie over them. Go over the migraine trigger foods iwth her now and then. Google migraine triggers to get a list for her - it makes a HUGE difference esp if you keep a log of when you get them and what you eat.


Roll With It
Cjeck local restaurants for containers. One restaurant here that serves fried mushrooms gets them in plastic pails with lids. The lids have two holes and two places iwth X's cut itno them, but they are easily covered with duct tape and then the lids are airtight.

You can use these for trash cans, cleaning, and even for container gardens. So if Katie wants to container garden, she should check the restaurants first for containers. You would be surprised at how many things are thrown away if no one comes to look for them. The restaurant here had a room lined with stacks of them for a while. Then husband told the local Odyssey of the Mind groups and the children's museum about them and they were snapped up in under a week. But if you ask even at McD's they will save the for you - pickles esp come in big five gallon buckets here. Restaurants who serve cheesecake or pancakes with fruit topping get it in pails of a gallon or 2.5 gallon size and they will often save them for you.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Susie.............Katie eats every single migraine trigger food out there. I've been having this argument with her since she was 20. Now you'd think if you had such severe migraines they took you to might want to reconsider some of those trigger foods. Uh, not her. Mountain Dew is her life blood.

Only one doctor I know of ever believed she had migraines..........and he stopped after a while. The main source of her migraines is a mouthful of rotting teeth. Thankfully she is getting that taken care of.

M has experience with yard work, many years. Here though, employers want them to have their own trucks........and that is just not doable at this point.


Roll With It
I don't doubt that Katie isn't paying attention to triggers and that teeth are a major trigger. But maybe with the teeth fixed she will be ready and able to pay attention to triggers enough to figure hers out.

Progress isn't made in a day, and she has made HUGE strides lately.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
yup. I don't expect her to get better all at once. If she wants to keep ingesting trigger foods and have migraines (if she has true ones) well then she has to be the one to deal with them, not me. lol I don't worry about that part.