School started in July and my nephew and I moved out to the mobile home and I haven't had a chance to reflect on my expectations. Some things went smoother than anticipated. Some things were much harder. Other things happened that I never expected.
Things that went smoothly:
The school bus. There were a couple of times in the beginning when my nephew didn't set his alarm and over slept. He has been doing much better. Walking to the bus stop and back is not a problem for him. I like that he gets some exercise.
The dogs. So far so good with transporting the dogs to the mobile home during the week and back to the house on the weekends. They love the car ride. They have all found their sleeping spaces in the mobile home. 2 sleep on my bed, one in his own dog bed, and my foster dog usually sleeps on the rug by the door. Carrying in extra drinking water is a chore but it is nice to be able to buy 5 gallons for a dollar out of the water machine if I am not able to fill up for free at home. Snake-proofing of the fence is not complete but the fence has kept the dogs contained. Luckily, I have only seen one gopher snake far away from the dog yard.
Food. At first I was trying to buy groceries at the house and haul them out to the mobile home. It was too much to fit groceries, luggage, laundry, dogs, and water in the car. Now I stop by the grocery store after work if we need something. The only things I take between home and mobile home are leftovers that can't be frozen and milk. Since my kitchen is not set up for cooking yet, I have some easy meals that we repeat. Bean burritos, microwave lasagna, spaghetti, microwave beef and gravy with potatoes, Dinty Moore beef stew. Every other week I pick up cheeseburgers. Once I get my cooking area set up, our meal selection will expand.
Mail. I thought I was going to have to forward my mail and change my address with everyone but that hasn't been necessary. The school only needed my property tax bill to prove my residency and they were happy. I usually stop by the house once mid-week to pick up the mail, water the plants and feed the quail.
Quail and plants. I was worried that the heat would kill my plants and quail. I thought about taking the quail out to the mobile home but then I would have had to give them air conditioning on the weekends. The quail and plants have done well at the house during the week. A few plants died but most of them are on a drip system. The weather is getting a little cooler now so I am not as worried as I was.
Things that are much harder:
Getting anything done after work. When I come home from work I still have to make dinner and make sure homework gets done. The only projects that I work on are ones that are emergencies, like water leaks, or fun ones like putting up shelves. Big projects that require getting out power tools or ladders rarely get done.
Water. My grand plan was to get free water from the sky with my rainwater catchment system. Since I haven't put up the gutters, I can't collect that free water. I think I will need another water delivery in a month or two. Hooking up the bathroom plumbing was much harder than I expected and I haven't even tackled the shower yet. I gave up on the hot water heater for the bathroom because it requires a 20 amp circuit which I don't have and don't have time to install. I purchased a small 4 gallon water heater that can be plugged in to an existing outlet. I hope my nephew can learn to take fast showers because he's not going to have much hot water in the winter.
Money. So many unexpected expenses. I am still throwing money at the mobile home to fix problems plus I'm throwing money at my car problems. Soon I won't have any more money to throw. I am sad that I don't have money for my barn-shed yet but I just need to be patient and keep working and saving.
The things that happened that I didn't expect were, of course, my father passing away and my mother breaking her hip while in Florida. I had no control over those things but they required my time and mental energy. I was hoping to not still have my foster dog but when I found out she had Valley Fever I couldn't just give her back. I was not expecting my nephew to forget when golf team tryouts were. I am still trying to get him more involved in school. There may be some hope with the tennis club. Surprisingly, they don't have a chess club, the one club he was interested in joining.
I know there are many other things that have gone right and gone wrong. It has been a huge learning experience. We only have 2 weeks left of the first quarter and I think we have a system that is working. Hopefully, it will continue to get easier each week as I complete more projects and streamline our routine.