Friday, November 21, 2008

Lonesome Thoughts on a Friday Night

Whew, it's been a long time since I've written (Avram had a big paper due this week which equals no computer time for Thora). Well, Avram's in Boston, my house is a mess, and our money is in all the wrong bank accounts - that about sums up my life.

I guess I could give some further details....(Hah, like you could prevent me).

When we found out that Avram was a recipient of the Hugh Nibley Fellowship we up and registered Avram for an SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) conference taking place in Boston the week before Thanksgiving. This is the conference in his field, and one where probably in five years he'll have his preliminary interviews for jobs, because this is where they happen. Of the $3,000 fellowship given to Avram for Academics, I thought that it would be good to actually spend some of it on academic pursuits, and hence this conference. Plus Avram hopes to submit a paper for presentation next year (when it'll be in Louisiana), and so it would be good for him to have had the experience of attending before he has to present (and also so he can see what kind of papers are accepted).

Fast forward three weeks, when we still don't have the fellowship money, and the conference is only a week away. By this point we didn't have any of our own stipend money left, because I'm stupid. When figuring our November budget, I included the money from Avram's stipend and from my babysitting to live on. Except we received his stipend October 31, but we won't receive my babysitting money until the end of November, after we already had planned to spend all that money. Yeah, I'm bright.

Plus once we found out that he had this fellowship, I went crazy and did stuff like bought a TV cabinet and desk from Goodwill for our living room (and then a family in the ward gave us their old TV, so all we need now is a DVD player. I feel like I've written this before here....but I'm too lazy to check. So if I have, then just ignore this whole paragraph), and went to Costco (which I had been meaning to do, to buy some staples that are really good deals there.), and so we were really over our budget for the month, although in actuality we weren't, we were just spending money we didn't have yet, since both of these purchases were planned to come out of the fellowship money. Some people might count that as being over budget, but I like to pretend I have good financial sense.

Avram parents floated us a couple hundred dollars to just last until at least one of our financial ships came in, which was a great comfort to us all. Especially as our next bill was our Gas one, which comes due on the 24th, or next Monday.

Meanwhile I had stopped checking plane prices for a couple weeks, because we didn't have the fellowship money yet to buy them, and when I checked a week ago the prices had gone up a hundred dollars. Very depressing.

At this low point I emailed my brother Soren and asked to temporarily borrow enough for Avram to attend the conference, since we'd already sunk his registration fee for it. I also asked him to send it to us by Pay Pal, since that method worked great when people sent us money in England. (Now I'm beginning to sound like a Charity case, which I guess I am.) Soren, being the dear that he is immediately send the half grand via Pay Pal. Where it sat for almost a week because it turns out Pay Pal is not the greatest thing when you can use checks and the US postal service. So at this point it's Wednesday night, and we've decided that Avram won't go to the Conference at all.

Then once last time we checked plane tickets, and Avram found out that if he flew into Providence, Rhode Island he could pay only $184 total for his ticket, versus $309 to fly into Boston. With a ticket that cheap, we could use the $200 his parents floated us, and so we bought him tickets. Meanwhile the Pay Pal money arrives (hooray!), but Avram thinks to himself, "Oh, I'll put it in our other, Virginia bank account, for good keeping." And so our Pay Pal money is sent there, where it'll arrive tomorrow. Unfortunately, our Ohio bank account is the one we have direct payment for our Gas bill from. And there will be no money in the Ohio account on Monday.

Sometimes, my brain wants to explode.

Meanwhile with all of this brewing over us, yesterday I had the urge to bake a cake. Not to clean the house. Not to pack my husband for his trip. Not to be productive. No, to bake an Orange Cake from Scratch with a "White Mountain" frosting and rich orange filling. So Avram comes home from School to find all the dishes in the house dirty, me desperately trying to frost the cake before he comes in the door, and both our girls crying, probably through the neglect of their crazy mother. Plus I couldn't do any dishes because I had burned myself on the filling (which is exceptionally delicious. I took pictures, because our battery came that I ordered because I gave up on ever finding the lost battery. But now our picture sizer reducer thingy isn't working. And my tech help is in Boston).

Plus last night I had to go to an Emergency Preparedness Group meeting, and Avram had hometeaching - both of which occurred after the Girl's bedtime. So we ate chili and cake for dinner, hurriedly packed, and then went off to do both, then came home at nine at night with our conked out girls in arms. At which point I decided that I had to send Avram off with homemade (and homeground wheat) whole wheat Apple Sauce or Pumpkin muffins (with no oil in them. They're very wholesome and healthy and most importantly yummy.) But I didn't have any flour ground up yet from the ancient wheat grinder I borrowed from a sister in the ward.

Avram brought the wheat grinder in, which weighs a ton and is truly ancient, and we set it on the kitchen floor because the sister said that it spilled a lot. Fun. After fifteen minutes of trying to get it to work, and failing, Avram came in and helped me and we finally got it up and started...where it took ten minutes to grind about three cups of flour. Hey, it still works better than no wheat grinder would....

Finally at 10:30 pm the muffins were done (I did six Pumpkin ones and six applesauce (which was also homemade from Jonathon Apples, and tastes absolutely AMAZING. Yes, I am a domestic goddess. Minus the state of my kitchen.), so we went to bed. Of course we had to get up at 4:00 to take Avram to the airport.

In all of the craziness of his last night at home, not a single dish was done. And the laundry from Wednesday afternoon at the Laundromat also hadn't been folded. Although Avram did find out yesterday that the Check for his Fellowship is ready for him here, but that the bursar is out until after Thanksgiving - so we won't get it until the beginning of December. Figures.

So....that's why at this point Avram is in Boston, our money is in the wrong accounts, and our house is a mess. Although today I have put away the clothes, planted a bunch of narcissus bulbs in the freezing wind, and done all the dishes. I just haven't done the final touches, like vacuuming, or sweeping up all the flour and fallen wheat kernels off my floor.

I'm glad Avram is at the conference - it'll be good for him to meet with BYU people, and say things like, "Hey, I really like BYU. In fact, I'd love to work there as soon as I graduate. I promise I'd stay forever because my wife has family in Salt Lake, and if I ever took her to Utah to live again she'd kill me before moving out of state again." Ok, not really, but that's what I'd say to them at least. But I am lonesome.

That's why I have to write this long and boring post - because Avram isn't here to listen to all of my meandering thoughts, so you all have to.

Which reminds me, while I somewhat have your attention. Don't ever read One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Blech. I could go on for a long time about how I don't like it, and all of my legitimate reasons for doing so, but I'll spare you. Just take my word for it.

Also, Elisheva is proto-crawling. She makes all the motions, and can lurch around, but her stomach never leaves the ground. It's like Garfield when he grows so fat his stomach touches the grouch when he walks. Except Elisheva is a lot cuter. Also, two days ago while making Applesauce, the "Why" game began at my house with Lydia. "Why are you cutting apples? Why are you taking the seeds out? Why are you cooking apples? Why are you making applesauce?" It's cute for now, but I know a few months ago when everything is still, "Why, why, why?" I'll want to pull my eyebrows out. Hey, enjoy life while you can, I guess.

That is all.


  1. Thora, your life is awesome. Except for the whole your own money not actually being within your reach thing. That isn't cool and I hope everything is in its right place soon so you can buy a dvd player and a washing machine.

    PLEASE TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR HOUSE! And your kids too, I guess.


  2. Awesome.

    Now that you've written about it, forget all about it and look forward to five years from now, when you will have the opportunity to read it from a different perspective and laugh yourself silly.

  3. Well, I'm glad Avram got to go to the conference and things will work out eventually for all of the financial woes. Can't wait to see the pictures.

  4. I actually loved One Hundred Years of Solitude. I actually love Gabriel Garcia Marquez in general. Los de Abajo was definitely his greatest achievement. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it.

  5. thora this post is exactly like a conversations with you. anyone that reads this that has never talked to thora in person this is her. she is random and sporatic in thought and sometimes trails on and i love it!

    you are awesome with your domestic cooking skills. i do not bake anything with fresh wheat.. i would like to though. i need a grinder. I also had someone from my wards corn bread made from fresh ground corn meal and seriously it was heaven so i want to make that too. i will have to get your muffin recipie from you though because i love healthy whole wheat yummy things.

    all the money stress sucks. i feel for you. i hate the stress money brings. glad he got to the converence okay though and hope its wonderful and well worth it for him.