And the back breaking shoveling, how I remember it well! Of course hubby was away most of last winter so I bore the load. Shoveling is man's work, I'll argue that point! Time likes to drag when I'm in discomfort as if it wants me to feel every blasted second of pains. I did a lot of soaking in the claw tub last year working out all the stiffness and muscle aches and I burned up the phone to complain to my guy in who was working in Alberta….I’m no stranger to whining, ask him!
This year, things are different. Hubby is off work, he hasn’t been in the field since last October. The oil industry has gone down the crapper so a lot of folks are laid off. It’s scary to not see work on the horizon. Always waiting for the phone to ring and it did with bad news, no work this winter at all, perhaps something later in the spring, early summer. Yikes!
Normally, we live frugally but we’ve trimmed it down even further and battened down the hatches for the long haul. No more meals out or frivolous spending on anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. The pups are looking a bit shaggy without their monthly trim, but I’m sure they appreciate those long coats when they’re outside, no need for jackets when they look like sheep. We are keeping them brushed and combed so they don’t matt and I trimmed their faces over the weekend, quite successfully actually, it was an improvement over what they had so thumbs up. I might start scissoring their backs and legs this weekend. I know what they should look like and will try to mimic it. All I can do is try even though I’m not enjoying this job. I like taking them to Bob with his 40 plus years’ experience. They come home looking magnificent! With me wielding the scissors, they might end up looking like a patchwork quilt!
With all the sacrifices, I won’t be giving up Larry the Cleaning Guy! He’s my cigarettes, my booze, bingo and my pot, but because I don’t have any of these vices to waste money on, I deserve one luxury to hang on too. Larry keeps me sane! He gives my home order and more importantly, he’s very popular and if I gave up my spot I wouldn’t get him back when hubby gets back to work. I laugh and say that I would eat dog food before I give him up but that’s no hardship at our house with their natural, homemade diet, some people say my pups eat better than they do. The rule is, there will be no compromises on food, soap or toilet paper, all else can go. But when things get really bad, the pack , hubby and I we will be smelly and forage the forest for meals, then squat and looking for a leaf big enough to do the job.
I might be selfish about having my house cleaned, but, and there’s always that but, I have a business to run and any spare time is dedicated to it, especially now with being the bread winner. I don’t have time to clean toilets and scrub floors or chase the dust around! I’m too old to be working myself to the bone and I remember the stress of trying to keep my house clean before Larry so he stays! Remember all the complaining I did when the spiders and webs were taking over the house and I was hiding behind the locked door if anyone knocked on it, too ashamed to allow the mess to be seen? Well those days are gone and unlike bell-bottom pants, won’t be coming back!
As time passes I might start stress-gnawing my fingernails but in the meantime we’ve tightened our belts and will wait out the worry. I’ve been joking. “Once our bank account is in the red, we’ll start eating out every night. So....what night would you like us to come over?” When life gives me lemons I’ll try to trade them in for apples and make jokes all the way to the poor house, cause no matter how bad it gets, a sense of humour will make it better. Maybe I'll have to ditch this craft and go into real hooking....although at my age and flexibility, it would take awhile to see gain at $2.00 a pop......
And back to the weather…..I have an opinion as to why winter is speeding by this year. I think perhaps it’s because hubby is home, hauling all the firewood and shoveling any snow. I didn’t have to lift a finger doing all the things I’m usually responsible for. He kept the home fires going and feeling warm has a way of soothing the soul so I’m pretty content and that means happy times. When he isn’t around to help, I’d work all day and come home to a fidget house. Now I walk through the door and instead of starting a fire with my coat and hat still on and lying on the sofa with the pups under a duvet shivering until the warmth radiates from the stove, I can make dinner and function, enjoy my evening.
There’s still about a month to go for winter but the steady rising temperatures seem to offer a sense that perhaps we will slide into spring on mud, instead of mounds of snow.
Note: Of course I'm joking....I'll pass around a hat before I have to hit the street corner!