snow-footprintsThe weather has taken a turn.

Mortar is freezing on the bricks, frost is settling on equipment, and work is slowing down at an ever-increasing pace. We are fast going into the season of no work for the outdoor skilled laborer.

While most of Mr. Brickie’s coworkers have put away some cash for this time of year, we have not, because Mr. Brickie just got this job in June and has been working on and off getting from training to a company where he could have a long-term future. The foundation is strong and will support our future, but the start was rocky and this, our first winter, is going to be a testing ground for both our mettle and our patience.

Basically, we’re hoping this doesn’t end up with us going all Donner Party and killing each other to survive our own rampant insanity. I mean, if the wine runs out I can’t possibly be held accountable for my actions now, can I?

While going on unemployment is always a possibility, we are trying to hold off on that option as long as possible. It would be better to make more money – above the table – and be able to claim that when tax time rolls around. So here are the pros and cons of the current situation as well as the current plans.

These, as always, are subject to change drastically and without notice because while I love planning, when things change I have to be able to change the plan quickly so we stay on track.


  • Mr. Brickie can apply for LIHEAP again tomorrow. I keep saying, “Fourth time is the charm!” like it’s going to be a new thing. It is totally not ever going to be a new thing. I still hope they finally let him apply because it’s taking everything in me not to yell, “Why won’t they just let her shop!” because it keeps reminding me of Pretty Woman and the scene where they won’t let her shop in the nice boutique and then I want to laugh and laughing at my husband and telling him he reminds me of a prostitute who isn’t allowed to shop on Rodeo Drive is not supportive.
  • He was home early and I got hugs earlier than anticipated.
  • We posted more things online to sell. (This is a potential win in the money department & the decluttering department!)
  • We are in a “get it done” mindset and there is no slacking happening. This is probably the biggest pro we have going for us.
  • I might have him here with me while the kids are on winter break for two weeks. This means I can go hide in the bedroom when they drive me batty and he is kind of obligated to take care of them. (Of course, because I’ve said that out loud, you can be sure he’ll have a job by the end of the week and I will be here and it will be Lord of the Flies and I’m totally Piggy, y’all. Totally.)


  • The Saturday after Thanksgiving was straight-time pay. We thought it might be time and a half because of Thanksgiving.
  • The car payment has to be put off. This means my plan for how to pay my bills this month is still in effect, but with one less bill.
  • He only worked 4.5 hours today.
  • He won’t be working tomorrow or Saturday.
  • Next week isn’t looking so great, either.

The Plan

  • He has responded to several Craigslist ads under the “gigs” section.
  • He went back to that painting place that fired him for being sick to see if they needed help. (They might have dumped him, but when he was working there they paid on time and via direct deposit and on the books. Win, win, win. It made sense to go back there first.)
  • Posting things for sale will be ramped up to warp speed.
  • Get in contact with clients that are past due and see if we can get something on the books before the end of the year.

Not paying the car payment was a big deal. We were about $50 short. That’s it. Even though it’s a total bummer that we were so close and yet so far, it also means we don’t have to have a big win to be able to pay that bill. A couple things sold or a client check comes in and we’ll be in the clear for another month. We have multiple active ways we are working to make up the deficit.

We can hope the LIHEAP appointment is a “fourth time’s the charm” situation. I’d cross my fingers but I’m typing and then you wouldn’t be able to read what I wrote because spell-check can only help so much when you’re attacking your keyboard like that cat who played the synthesizer in that 80’s band. Keyboard Cat was in Devo, right?

In super-good news, even though things look sketchy in Excel, I’m managing some seriously good holiday vibes and keeping up with things around the house. I feel like I should be at 100% already, but Mr. Brickie is kind enough to remind me that I was in the hospital from the gallbladder attack and the month before that I was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia. “The thing where you think you should be all better already is all in your head.” He says. (Stupid logical husbands, right?) He says being tired is my body is telling me I need to be careful with myself. I really hate when he’s right, because it means that I can’t just demand myself out of being tired, no matter how much I try.

You know what I’m talking about, right? When you have been sick and you just randomly decide one day after a perceived appropriate amount of being sick time you should be better already so you talk mad smack to and about yourself in your head trying to belittle yourself into getting up and being a rock star? I can’t be the only one. I try not to do it because I’m attempting to be a mature adult, but I still fall into the habit of trying to convince myself I’m just faking it and it’s not really that bad and really I’m just being lazy and it’s time to get up and do something productive right now! 

Mature adult me is drinking tea and recuperating little by little and in the meantime I keep the house more and more clean as time passes.

Random Fact: You can tell how I feel by looking at my house. Right now the floors are staying swept and the counters and dishes are clean. That’s how I know I’m at about 80%. When I’m at 100% there is mopping and organizing.

There has not been mopping and organizing in a while. Lucky for me, the 4 year old loves to use the wet Swiffer on the floor, so it’s still staying pretty decent!

I’m curious, are there any kooky or interesting ways you’ve made money to make up a deficit in your budget?