To Blog or Not to Blog?

That is the question! If I were to answer just from the data in front of me (extremely long periods without a blog post) I’d have to say my response apparently is to not blog. But (gasp) data isn’t everything. When faced with the decision to pay the blog hosting fee one more year I considered pulling the plug. I have a reasonable sized audience with whom I interact on Facebook; perhaps that’s enough. Facebook, however, seems to prompt quick ‘of the moment’ posts, suitable for some topics but not for all. And not everyone is on Facebook (some days I wish I weren’t). So I went ahead and paid for another year (which also gives me time to figure out the best way to download and archive all the Boxcarkids blog posts for my kids (and theirs if they opt to have/adopt any). Their memories and perspectives of the events that played a major part in shaping their childhoods are different from mine. I hope reading the posts when they are adults will help them figure some things out.

Regardless, I still face obstacles to blogging. I don’t have as much time for the pursuit as I once did. This year I not only have my relatively new job (STEM Coach) but also another new boss and I am teaching two new classes only one in which I’ve had sufficient training. I took on a second job last spring to help cover expenses (we are slowly getting out from under medical bills but of course new ones, and new car repairs and home issues keep cropping up), working 20 hours a week as a cashier at a local grocery shop. The pay is not great – about $6.50 an hour after deductions but it helps as does the small discount on store brands. Three hungry teenagers can really put a dent in one’s food budget! And those teenagers, busy with extracurricular activities (especially my middle daughter who is a senior this year) eat into my ‘free’ time with all the requisite chauffeuring I do as the only licensed driver in the household.

So time is one issue, but another is the feeling that the blog has outlived its purpose. It was a lifeline for me when our world was cast asunder and I was on shaky ground in so many aspects of my life. It gave me purpose and connections and I felt I was a voice for the many people facing similar hardships who weren’t being seen or heard. But we’ve graduated from the slightly newsworthy family fallen from respectable heights of home ownership to living in a cramped RV. We’re now just one more poor family living in a mobile home in rural Indiana. Drive on folks, not much to see here! Our struggles aren’t particularly interesting (to me they are merely mind-numbing and frustrating) and our few ‘triumphs’ are really just getting over one more hump or through one more hoop. Yawn. Not the stuff novels are made of that’s for sure.

So whether I will continue the blog is still an open question. I do plan a series of short updates when I can get time (and the computer away from my daughter – we are now a one computer household) but I won’t promise they will occur with any regularity. I will continue those short Facebook posts so if you’re on that platform check in with me there.

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Quick plug for Prime Day

Today is prime day at – all sorts of deals for prime members! If you shop from any of the Amazon links on the blog we will earn a small commission which will help with our back to school shopping.

Update coming soon!


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Happy Holidays!

They always get away from me, holidays do. My best intentions are not sufficient to overcome inertia! This year was worse than past years as we didn’t get out of school until just days before Christmas so the few cards I sent out were late.  And I’ve gotten lazy about blogging, instead posting short updates on Facebook. I guess the good part about not having hours to write is that it’s due to being gainfully employed, yes?  At any rate I hope everyone had safe, peaceful and joyful holidays. Many thanks to those of you who reached out to help make ours happy!

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And now, early for once, Happy Chinese New Year! 2017 ushers in the Year of the Rooster beginning January 28 and ending February 15 (that’s a holiday I can get behind – one that gives you ample time to celebrate). One website offered gratitude that the chaos of the Year of the Monkey is now behind us and I concur on a personal level as this was a chaotic year health wise for the family.  We had a broken tooth, an emergency appendectomy, a wisdom tooth that needed to be extracted and finished the year with another visit to the ER as my youngest daughter managed to slice through her left index finger and had to get a dozen stitches. Naturally all these doctor visits created some havoc in my finances as well! This year we had no problem making our very high healthcare deductible!

Apparently we are moving from a year of upheaval to one of confidence and energy (but only if one guards against nonsensical plans and avoids being over domineering). What does the Year of the Rooster portend for you?* In general, from my research, it seems that years of the Rooster are marked by success for those who have invested patience and hard work in their projects and stick to practical and well-proven paths. That sounds like a safe prediction to me – work hard,stay focused and reap rewards!

You can check out more detailed prognostications  specific to your astrological sign at Astrology Club or Sun Signs. As usual with horoscopes the predictions tend to be general and at least moderately positive – mine promises I can get ahead if I work hard and be patient, be sympathetic and keep out of other people’s problems 🙂

I plan to do at least some of that (no promises on the last one). I’m hoping our STEM program will continue to grow in a sustainable and well thought out direction and I’m looking forward to professional development activities in problem based learning and computer sciences. I’ve undertaken to educate myself about engineering as well as computers (who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks) so that I can make sure our curriculum fulfills our new science standards. I’m planning on writing several grants both for basic supplies and for our new aquaponics (fish and plants) center (part of the high school agriculture program).

On the home front I have two projects I would like to complete this summer, one requires an infusion of capital and the other a lot of sweat equity! We really need to get a gravel driveway installed – this has been a very wet year and our soil is a spongy mess of clay that the wheels cut huge ruts into and that sucks your shoes off your feet when you step onto (into) it. Even with 4 wheel drive it’s easy to get stuck. Our estimates for gravel run anywhere from a few thousand to around $6,000.

The other project is putting a porch/deck onto the back of the house. This one we shall attempt to do ourselves which means it won’t cost as much but is likely to resemble Pippi Longstocking’s home when we are finished! If we can at least partially enclose/cover it we will be able to move recycling bins (and cat box) out of the house proper which will give us more room and a nicer interior environment!

My oldest daughter will complete her sophomore year at IU and is hoping to land a summer internship at the Office of Sustainability. Next year she plans on moving out of the dorm – another step towards adulthood, independent living! My middle daughter is gearing up to take the SAT and agonizing about what to be when she grows up. I reassure her that she doesn’t need to have that pinned down just yet. My youngest daughter is wanting to find a job (she’s just turning 14 in February), get to high school and get on with life. She is not one to linger in childhood! And my son continues to be a happy, thoughtful child whose determination to become an engineer hasn’t faltered.

I hope your New Year Resolutions and (positive) horoscopes all work out/come true and that it is a good year for you and your families!



*assuming you have the willing suspension of disbelief that allows you to consider that there’s anything to fortune telling (I don’t but enjoy checking each year anyway).

Posted in astrology, blogging, chickens, Farming, gravel, Happy Holidays, healthcare, Holidays, home repairs, insurance, new year, winter | 1 Comment