Lessons learned & a little life update after a crazy month


Sure, it’s pretty but it also means winter isn’t far behind…

Well I haven’t written anything over the past 30 days mostly because I was busy just surviving. It’s been a heck of a merry-go-round here in Bungalowville but I came out the other side, which is all that matters.

Last month while Mr. Tucker was away on business, we had a major sewage backup in our basement. We hemmed-and-hawed as to whether or not to make an insurance claim but in the end we did – and are we every glad we did. Even though we had to pay a $1000 deduction and $1400 in plumbing bills, the grand total for the sewage back up in our unfinished basement was almost $35k. Yes, you read that right – thirty-five thousand dollars. I had initially gone downstairs with a mop, bleach and a bucket but once I had seen the damage I knew that insurance was the right way to go. The plumbing expense was partially a surprise because when they tore out our minimalist bathroom from the basement, we then realized the upstairs toilet was leaking and the older cast-iron pipes were rusted. Since insurance doesn’t pay the plumbing portion, that ended up being $1400 in plumbing. It was an expensive month.

Then of course, right when the remediation specialists were tearing out parts of our basement (complete with special caution due to some asbestos), the gas company came to put in our new gas line. Following that adventure, the HVAC company came to install our new hot water tank, furnace, and air conditioner. To say it was a busy month is an understatement.

It was included in the price & we are huge nerds so….

However, despite the craziness of having workers in-and-out of our house for almost a month, this experience has really highlighted the importance of having the appropriate amount of insurance and the importance of having an emergency fund. Thankfully, we had both. The peace of mind that comes with being able to hurdle a series of challenges like these ones is priceless.

While the remediation company still has to come back and rebuild our basement bathroom, the upside is that the basement is mostly cleaned and we just need to organize our belongings. Organize is really code for sell/give/trash the myriad of things we have been storing over the past little while that we will never use. For example, I managed to gift our cloth diapers to a neighbour who was expecting a child. Given that I bought those second-hand, used them on two children, AND they were still in good enough condition to re-home amazes me. So hopefully sometime this month Mr. Tucker and I will get down there and clean it out.

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Other than the drama of the last month, the kids have been settling into their school year & various extra-curriculars. I think we have managed a sane schedule both financially and activity-wise so while the girls have some low-key things outside of the classroom, it is also manageable for both Mr. Tucker and I so we don’t feel overwhelmed by all the outside commitments. It’s always good to hit that sweet spot of just the right amount of activities so we also get a lot of downtime as a family. We have often had years where every weekend was packed solid with obligations and weekdays were all work and chores, so this fall it’s nice to have managed a saner schedule.

No, the wagon is not a suggested size for the amount of pumpkins we should buy

With the days getting darker earlier and the reemergence of sweater weather, we all mostly feel like staying home. October has been a great month for fires in the fireplace and big bowls of comforting soup. Cooking new and interesting things has been a big part of this fall as our CSA basket has sent us a bunch of surprises, and a lot of squash! So we have made a lot of comfort food in the way of savory breads, hearty stews, and other new and exciting things. I also was forced to give up dairy this fall as it was setting off my eczema so we’ve been experimenting with a bunch of vegan recipes as well. Surprisingly, I have found it pretty easy and I am saving money, so I am sure I will post more about that in the coming days.

Halloween is just around the corner and we are in full prep mode for that adventure. This year the eldest decided to spend some of her allowance money on a pre-made costume from the store, while the youngest has pulled an older costume out of our Halloween bin. We’ve been making fun Halloween-themed desserts, hitting the pumpkin patch & prepping to hit a neighbour’s house for our yearly tradition of a potluck dinner before we all head out trick-or-treating together. Unfortunately (fortunately?) Halloween is on a Saturday night this year. So while it will be nice to not be rushing after work to get to the potluck, it also means Mr. Tucker and I won’t be able to hit the adult parties this year as we will be too tired from the kids dragging us all around the neighborhood.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get back into the swing of things and discuss the food adventures we’ve been having. Look for that entry, soon!

Playing in leaf piles: part of this complete childhood