Monday Medley: Summer Fun & Some Deeper Stuff

Isn’t it crazy that July is almost over already?  Thankfully, we’ve been making the most of the summer season and still have a lot of fun planned for August.  Our financial journey usually plays some role in our day-to-day life, but I’ve been trying to be mindful of taking time to enjoy the present as well.  I think we’re doing a pretty good job of saving, hustling, and enjoying the summer.

 

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We had our joint birthday party for Goofball and Tornado.  I can’t believe that they are already four and six!  As in years past, we had a frugal birthday party at our house, complete with the Frozen-In-Ice Game.  Although, this year I used red and yellow food coloring with plastic dinosaurs, so it might be more appropriate to say they were trapped in lava.

 

Lava

 

I did a homemade cake as usual, but used store-bought frosting.  One new thing this year was to add Kool-Aid to one jar of frosting for a colored, fun-flavored filling for between the two layers of cake.  It was very sweet (Berry Blue).  The kids seemed to like it more than the parents.

 

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The garden is coming along, despite a fairly dry summer.  I love being able to save money on vegetables while enjoying freshly harvested food.

 

garden

 

There are plenty of zucchini.  The kids always get excited about the zucchini, because once they peak I always make zucchini brownies.

 

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Trey picking zucchini (or playing in dirt).

 

We’ve been finding a lot of free family activities in our area.  One of them was this past weekend.  It was a little community fair with food, games for the kids, balloon animals, a bounce house, and face-painting.  Everything was 100% free and the kids had tons of fun.

 

Goofball putting out a fire
Goofball Putting Out A Fire

 

We’re doing well on finances.  As I recently reported, we were able to take advantage of a low-interest rate consolidation loan, which is going to help speed up our debt payoff plans.  I just finished up my summer tutoring side hustle and should receive a check for that in the next few weeks.  This extra income will be about $2,400 – another push to build up more momentum in achieving our goals.

 

In other news, my grandfather recently passed away.  He lived to be 84 years old and had been suffering from dementia in a nursing home for the past few years.  While it is sad to say goodbye, I believe in my heart that it was time for him to have some peace.

 

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Grandpa’s Navy Uniform (1960’s)

 

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting between my birthday, and of course, a funeral for someone who lived over eight decades on this earth.  My grandpa worked for many years in a factory after his time in the Navy.  He retired in his sixties and spent a lot of time gardening.  His path through life was very traditional, a lot of hard work, but many good times too.  I can’t help but wonder if he had other dreams that were never fulfilled.  What could he have done with his time, if he had been able to stop working earlier in his life?  His example motivates me to do as much as possible during my own time.  He was able to do a lot of good and touch many lives during his life, but I believe we have the drive and tools to build something even bigger.

 

Work is becoming more and more burdensome on me lately.  It is extremely stressful and often times, upsetting.  I am starting to consider, once again, whether there are other options that would still allow us to succeed in our plans for the future.  But, we are also thinking about trying to have one more child.  The maternity plan provided by my current employer is a good one, having been there for seven years.  I should probably just stay put, and keep trudging along for the time-being.

 

My grandpa’s funeral also confirmed for me that people love creating drama.  There was some utter ridiculousness between family members over the pictures that were displayed on his memory boards at the funeral home.  I am positive that Grandpa was not pleased as he watched his family being mean to each other, when they should have been supportive and focused on remembering him.  And it just kept escalating!  My hypothesis is this: people create and perpetuate drama because their lives lack excitement.  We are cogs in some sort of the machine through the week, lacking much sense of meaning.  On the weekends, we “relax” by wasting away our time doing things like watching television or “rewarding ourselves” with things from the store.  Such an existence is boring and lacks purpose.  For me, it’s easy to go with the flow, because I have big goals for the future, so I know that the petty stuff doesn’t matter.  For others, I swear they look forward to something, anything different from the norm.

 

As the name of this post implies, I’m making memories with my family this summer, but taking time to reflect on the past and the future.  There are moments when I feel really balanced, and many others when it feels like all the balls I’m juggling are about to fall on my head and knock me out.  So, I try my best to focus on the good stuff and keep hustling.

 

How is your summer going?

 

10 Comments

  1. So sorry to hear of your loss. The pictures of his navy uniform speaks volumes to a life of purpose, doing the right things. I bet he had wonderful stories.

    I hope your upcoming trip to Acadia helps you relax, unwind, have some fun and perhaps when looking out to that majestic Maine ocean you think happy thoughts and fondly of your grandfather and his time at sea.
    Mr. PIE recently posted…Family Quirks – The Money EditionMy Profile

    1. My grandpa was never actively involved in any conflicts, but he loved serving his country by being in the Navy. He received a special award for bravery when there was a big fire on the ship while they were out at sea.

      Thank you <3

  2. Well, some of the drama was probably just grief contorting itself. They were feeling a lack of control from the fact that someone they cared about died and/or that they hadn’t been able to make his last days better and/or that they had to face their own mortality. So they tried to grasp control in the small areas they could. Since others were doing the same — or genuinely trying to fulfill his wishes — they butted heads. Or perhaps they really are just that big of drama queens.

    Either way, I’m sorry for your loss. Even when it’s time, it’s not easy. My grandmother was suffering during her last days with cancer. We wanted her to let go and not stick around for us. But we also were devastated when it finally happened.

    My birthday is coming up soon, and I have no idea how I want to celebrate. I try to do something juvenile, but given all the drama that’s been going on lately… I don’t know how much energy I’ll have to do anything. I’m hoping things will look better after we adjust his meds.
    Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted…Save money: Go to the doctor early onMy Profile

    1. I understand that we all deal with grief differently, but these relatives were just being so horribly mean to each other. They were drawing lines in the sand and making things worse. Thankfully, everything has calmed down – now that everyone has gone their separate ways.

      Thanks for the condolences and sorry to hear that your grandmother had to suffer. My grandpa sort of just slowly faded away. I know he was on pain medication, but he didn’t really seem to be suffering from what I saw. I’m thankful for that.

      Maybe for your birthday you should do something really indulgent – which could or could not be juvenile.

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