Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shower Curtain Angst

I am struggling with the need vs. want financial dilemma. One of the perks of being fairly poor, is that for some reason you get huge tax refunds. When we were a double-income family, I never paid any attention to additional-child tax credits, or the earned-income credit. Anyway, the word grateful doesn't even begin to cover it. This is the second year in a row that the extra money was a just-in-the-nick-of-time blessing.

Some of the money went to Don's trip to Florida with the boys. Since we hadn't seen Grandpa in so many years, the trip was long overdue and very necessary. At eighty-five, we just don't know how much longer he will be with us, as I mentioned before.

We have a few problems with the house that shouldn't wait any longer. Firstly, the dining room addition put on this house by the previous owners includes an indoor laundry area, hidden by very heavy, fancy-looking bi-fold doors (four sets). One of the panels fell out last winter, and we've yet to get it fixed, partially because the hardware doesn't seem to be available any longer. The entire set-up seems unsafe to me, since they are old, becoming looser, and not easily replaced. The damage they could do to our kids, should one fall out, is frightening. I was trying to get the missing one back on its track last year when it fell entirely out, much to my shock and horror. I barely caught it before it went crashing to the floor. Luckily, everyone was in bed when it happened. My feeling is that they should all be replaced, possibly with another bi-fold door setup that isn't as heavy and ornate-looking. I am a country-gal myself; hate anything ornate or modern.

Then, there is the carpet in the hallway. Last summer we had a plumbing problem that soaked that area, so we had to slice the carpet at a seam and pull it up to dry. We had trouble getting someone to come out to re-stretch the carpet and fix the seam, probably because in the summer carpet companies have bigger, higher-paying jobs to occupy their time. Following summer, we ran out of money, due to other home repairs.

The above-mentioned are needs, not wants. Getting to my dilemma now - there are a couple wants I'm struggling with. They're small ones, but nevertheless I have evolved enough to be able to identify them as wants. New shower curtain, for one. I mistakenly bought a fun, but kinda loud shower curtain I thought the children would like. Sealife theme - cute, colorful, and they do like it. But, I ended up hating it. And I still hate it. I want something feminine, for a change. I've had child-friendly bathrooms for six years now - first ducks, now sealife.

Well, to make a long story short, we're snowed in here in Northeast Ohio. And what was one of my plans while the boys were all gone? Shopping! I needed to use a JC Penney gift card we have to get Emily some spring clothes, and I wanted to hunt down a pretty, country-like, feminine shower curtain, with a decoration or two to coordinate with it.

It's kind of miraculous that God kept me from fulfilling that want by snowing us in. Spending more of the tax refund on housing decor was not what he had in mind, apparently. I should have known better. LOL

I'm still debating whether a digital camera is a want or a need. We certainly don't take enough pictures of the children. And the ones we do take involve the cost of film and developing. I guess just praying about it will make it clear. God has a way of making things pretty clear. LOL

BTW - My dad is coming over later to help me get the van out of the driveway. Emily and I have to go back to the airport tomorrow. This is more snow then we've had since moving here in 2005.


kristina said...

Hi Pam,

Enjoyed your post on needs vs. wants. I say go for the shower curtain you want. I'm a former California girl now in St. Louis (tho I used to live in STL before). And I have to agree: This winter, there has been more snow than I can remember. I'm ready for it all to be gone. Kristina

Anonymous said...

Look at you getting all the comments. I haven't stopped in in quite a while, I seem to be scrambling for time lately. I am happy to see your gaining more and more readers. You're a natural born blogger.
We had a snow day, again, yesterday. As much as I love winter and snow, I can't help fantasizing about how easy life with kids might be on some Caribbean Island where we could go barefoot all day.

Betsy Shaw Mackenzie said...

Not sure why that comment was signed, "anonymous." It's me, Betsy.

Steph said...

Hi Pam,
Thanks for your comment on my blog - I hope you'll drop by any time! And I agree with you re: the "cyber clique" comment on Betsy's post at MOMformation. Now if only we could get everyone to practice the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" creed when commenting, what a nice, happy clique it could be! ;)
Keep writing!

Ashley said...

I really enjoyed that post - I'm often in the same boat with needs vs. wants. I stay at home, and my husband is at the beginning of his career. If you want my opinion on the digital camera, though, I would say go for it if you can! We purchased one when our son was born even though Michael was still in college and we had to give up some other things for it. It was one of the best purchases we've made. We can share pictures of him with our out-of-town family so easily, and we are capturing priceless memories that will be treasures for years. It all comes down to what is right for your family, though, and I'm sure you'll get a clear answer one way or another. (Hopefully it doesn't have to come in the form of a snowstorm this time!)