Fun Question and Answer

I thought I’d do something quick and fun today and just answer some random questions!  I came up with a few of these myself, but most were given by readers (Thanks Ruth!) on the Frugal Upstate Facebook page.

Do you ever have a pajama day, where you never make it to getting dressed?

While I rarely stay in PJ’s the entire day, I’m embarrassed to admit that I frequently don’t get dressed until almost lunch time.  When I get up at 6am each morning I toss on my robe, head downstairs, brew coffee, let the dog out (three times–yes THREE), read my bible then get the kids up, dressed, fed and out the door.  By that time it’s 7:30 and I usually sit down at the computer to “just do a few things”–like work on posts, answer email, read my news etc.  Then between a variety of household ch0res and work tasks it will be almost noon before I get around to tearing myself away to take a quick shower and get dressed.  The number of times people have “just dropped by” and I’m still in my robe is rather frightening actually.

What’s your favorite tv show?

Hmmm.  I’d say my all time favorite is Doctor Who, but since we are in an 18 month hiatus or so (evil, evil producers)–I’d have to say it’s a toss up between Sleepy Hollow and Revolution.  We also enjoy Hawaii 5-0 and Blue Bloods as contemporary TV, and Magnum PI and The Rockford Files on Netflix.

What are your families splurges?

As a family our biggest splurges are vacations.  We rent in the Adirondacks in the summer, send Princess and Buddy to summer camp, and take the occasional trip.  We love having fun experiences.  On a smaller scale, because we are careful in many areas of our budget we feel free to eat out several times a month.

What’s an example of something you bought on the cheap and regretted?

I’m trying to think of an example.  I know over the years I’ve found that buying things super cheap but that either don’t work well or break too soon is just a waste of money.  I’d rather buy something of good quality once–think the difference between a cheap can opener from the dollar store that you have to fight with vs spending just a few more dollars on one somewhere else that works smoothly.

Every time I buy cheap, poorly made shoes because they were cute and cheap I have regretted it.  I have found that spending money on shoes is totally worth it because otherwise my feet hurt.

Does Yankee Bill ever get tired of you comparison shopping and say, “Just buy the darn thing!”?

He pretty much lets me take care of the general purchases for our family without question–and the big things we tend to research and agree on together.

What’s the least sustainable thing you do?

We have lots of things that guzzle gas.  Cars. Trucks. Motorcycles. Golf Carts.  4 Wheelers.  Lawn tractor. Snowblower.  Most super sustainable types would probably have an issue with that.  (if you are wondering why that stuff wasn’t listed in my “family splurge” section it’s because other than the one truck they are all paid off and therefore “sunk costs” as far as I am concerned)

I also use a lot of plastic zippered baggies.

How do you keep yourself motivated as a stay at home mom?

I don’t actually consider myself a traditional stay at home mom.  I’m really a “work from home” mom since I spend a good deal of time writing this blog and doing associated activities.

It can be hard to stay motivated.  I ALWAYS have more things to do then time, and no matter what hat I’m wearing I feel like I should be doing more in a different direction.  So when I’m working hard on the blog, writing, photographing, paperwork, planning, freelancing–I can just feel the stress of all the unfinished things in the house that “should” be getting done because after all I am home.  Piles and piles of unorganized stuff that needs to be sorted and organized.  Housework that falls by the wayside.  That sort of stuff.  When I’m working on the home stuff I can feel all the tasks I should be doing to keep my blog up and take it to the next level.  Networking.  Writing more.  Pitching companies.  Doing more to publicize and build my audience.  It’s never-ending on both sides.

I try very hard to keep my focus on what is truly important, which is the family.  I usually get quite a few home cooked meals and home packed lunches into my husband and kids bellies each week.  I try to make sure that I spend plenty of time listening to the kids, hearing about their days, ensuring schoolwork is done and that pertinent activities are attended and that they don’t feel like they are fighting with work for my attention.   I try to show my husband daily that I love him and appreciate the work he does for our family, and to give him my full attention at least for a little while each day.

It’s hard.  I know that the house being in chaos most of the time bothers Yankee Bill and I want him to be happy, so I feel that I should make that a priority, but then again the work I do on the blog basically is paying the credit card bill each month and so I can’t let that get behind either, and none of it will matter if my husband and children feel like I am ignoring them in favor of work.  ACK.

So I get up early most days, have a cup of coffee, and read my bible in the quiet.  I try to get as much done as I can, and yes, sometimes I completely blow my stack and yell at the kids or get overwhelmed by everything–but my husband and my kids are great, supportive and love me so I just keep on trucking and keep on trying to “get caught up”.

I don’t know if that actually speaks to motivation–but basically there is just so much to do all the time that I just keep on working at it and hoping that I’ll get it all done.

What part of the military training is still so ingrained you do it automatically?

Call people I don’t know or who I feel it’s inappropriate to use a first name as sir and ma’am.

I also think that they way the military pounds into it’s leadership to attack planning and problem solving becomes so ingrained after a while that you really don’t even realize that you are doing it sometimes.

 Got any more?  Post them in the comments and I’ll answer them in a follow up post :)

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  1. Susie H says

    This was great! Thanks for sharing with us. I too am a “robe in the morning” lady unless I have the carpool run.

    I feel like my house would be less chaotic in two ways. 1) I could hire a cleaner for deeper cleans once or twice a month, but as my husband may retire from the military this summer, I’m really watching the budget. 2) if I had a routine that involved the family, particularly my tween and teen, more. As it is, they do things when I ask but have no real set cleaning/tidying duties. I’m preparing to re-enter the out-of-home workforce in the next year (teaching) so that needs to happen. would love to hear how you approach it, and any tips you have to get the kids invested in a clean house.

    • says

      I haven’t cracked that nut myself Susie. The kids and I had an, um, shall we say “loud and enthusiastic” discussion (on my part) last night about the fact that they need to step up without being constantly reminded. . .

  2. Ruth S says

    So many times we look at other’s lives as so much more perfect than ours. It helps to know that as women, we struggle with the same issues whether in New York or Mississippi. I also appreciate that you don’t hide your beliefs to be politically correct. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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