Dealing with the Budgetary Crisis

No, not Congress. La crisis presupuestaria de la Casa de Tontería. To non-Spanish speakers: Need mo’ money in da House o’ Nonsense, eh? (I added the last word so Canadian and Yooper readers would understand.)

Last week, I got one bid (and another pending) to replace the driveway and the walk. The previous neighbors had trees growing right at the edge of the drive, which heaved the concrete. The husband was reluctant to cut them down until I pointed out that they would undermine his own house’s foundation.

Since they left and the bank sold the house, the decaying roots caused the cement to tip sideways, creating a dam where the downspouts pour out.  The summer has been very dry, but marked by torrential storms that made a shallow pool between our houses. Not only was the tar-like sealant washing away, but air bubbled up when even a child on a bike crossed the drive.

The walkway problem is typical for the builder, known affectionately as Jerkface MacGuyver.  Because the backfill around the foundation wasn’t properly tamped, the soil has compacted and the concrete tipped. Now the sidewalk leading to the front step tilts toward the house. As with the driveway, it pours water toward the foundation.

I had money set aside for the Garage Plan (a three-year project so well-thought out and  thus far so well-executed, government project planners would weep over their relative incompetence. Not that I’m bragging. I’m merely stating the facts with a sneer.).  Since I envisioned a new driveway leading to the garage, I felt comfortable using funds for this masonry project. I still have time to add to the Garage Fund.

Or so I thought.

A few days after the bids, my co-workers and I at the Young Human Factory agreed to a pay-cut starting September. Our raw materials are becoming scarcer and our equity has dropped.

So I reassessed the budget. I refuse to give up a few luxuries, like the YMCA membership. However, tickets to hockey games are out. Restaurant food is prohibido (that’s Spanish for verboten) and I have rolled the cost of cafeteria lunches into the regular grocery budget.

The clothing budget? There IS NO clothing budget! I will continue to follow my personal style of la moda pasada de moda, which sounds so elegante in Spanish that I refuse to translate it.* My only fear is that my single pair of trousers has no belt-loops, which means as my waist trims, I will be forced to go without.

Yes, I will be pant-less! But I will remain proud! (And here I shake my fist towards sky like a cross between Scarlett O’Hara and Rocky Balboa, only with crickets as the background music because darkness surrounds La Casa de Tontería.)


*Please don’t cry. Here it is: The Fashion That’s Out of Fashion.

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