23 June 2014

A Wrap Up: Things We Have Learned

A Wrap Up   or
Five Things We Have Learned in the Last Ten Months


Back in Texas and Man! Is it hot and steamy and pretty much miserable.
I have Michelle Duggar hair. (But not, thank goodness, 19 children.)

Not me, but maybe my hair ??

I feel like I am being punished.  Made it all the way through a cold and snowy Colorado winter and now I have to be here for a Texas summer?

The Gods are not smiling upon me.


I have been reviewing in my tiny little brain all of the things that the girls and I have learned, managed, dealt with over the last ten months and thought I would share.

Let this be a lesson to anyone and everyone who thinks "I can't".  Because guess what? You can.

1. Plumbing is not rocket science.  The reason those plumbers make a boat-load of money is that it can be gross and disgusting not to mention physical, but not because they are paying off their years of plumbing school.   Most of it is Part A goes into Part B, make sure to either lube or tape it and keep a bucket and some towels handy.  (Also, plumbing terminology is sexy. Male and female parts. Butts. Ballcocks. Lube. Cocks and cockholes.  Diaphragms. Couplers. Hardness leakage.  I could do a whole Fifty Shades of Plumbing book.) Anyway, you can learn a lot online.
(Plumbing adventures here  and here and here.)

Me, bonding with the potty.

Which brings me to  #2.

2.YouTube is a God-Send.  You can learn how to do most anything by watching a video. And there are usually many many videos with different teaching styles- all for the same process- so every teaching style is addressed.  Plumbing, car repair, high altitude cooking, most of life's daily requirements are covered.
( Read here, here and here for some examples  of YouTube magic!)

3. Snow is not constant in Colorado.   Prior to moving to Colorado, I had this vision of a Colorado winter starting with a snow in November and then it would snow EVERY DAY until May.  I know many other people who have never lived in a snowy area also believe the same because of the many questions I have gotten regarding snow. That isn't what happens.   It snows, maybe a whole bunch, for one or two days. The snow plow comes. You go out and shovel. The snow sits in the shady areas of the grass.  But for the most part, roads are clear and the snow is not EVERYWHERE. Then the next week it happens again. Or maybe two weeks later or maybe three days later.   But the snow is manageable.  And after typing this I am thinking "Maybe I shouldn't share this, because then more people will realize what a lovely place Colorado is even in the winter and then more people will move there." I don't want to share.

Snow. It comes, it goes.
And Carlos loved to play in it.

4. Colorado is VERY hard on cars. (Although we don't seem to be having any better luck here in Texas and I haven't even been home a week.)
In ten months we have had all the electrical replaced on one car, along with the radiator, battery and the transmission. New tires and most of the wiring on another car redone. New wiper blades, wheel well and back bumper on the third car which was purchased while there.
Three (four?) battery jumps for one reason or the other.
FIVE dings/cracks in the windshields repaired.
A couple of routine oil changes thrown in also.
I believe I had rental cars something like 12 weeks of our Colorado stay. (That would be three months of ten for those that are mathematically challenged.)
(Car mishaps galore: lightning, mishaps, tires and accidents.

 YouTube and some jumper cables saved the day this time.

AAA and a tow truck came in handy for this missed turn.

5. Teenagers are much more resourceful and capable than we give them credit for.
The girls have had to deal with many, many car issues. They have been stranded. My first instinct is to run to their sides and stand there and call AAA for them and handle it. But a couple of times things happened when I wasn't available. And guess what?  They dealt with it just fine.  Both of them know where the OnStar buttons are in their cars. They know which friends carry jumper cables and which friends know how to use them. They know they have AAA if OnStar can't handle it.
They also have learned to camp- if you call putting a real live mattress in the back of a car, piling on five thousand blankets and throwing in some crackers and water bottles actually camping. But they joined kids who really did know how to camp and learned the joys of bonfires and S'mores and being out in the middle of nowhere with 40 other kids and not a parent in sight. They all lived. 9-1-1 was never needed.
It's all good.   I am definitely stepping back and letting them handle more stuff on their own.  Free range children: it's a good thing.

Bunny changes her own windshield wipers. 
Because she's awesome like that. 

Belle documenting her amazing camping prep.

I am sure I've learned more but these are the big things.
Some things I would have done differently.
Maybe some things I wouldn't have done.
But maybe that's another post. Thursday.

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