Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh on the “Better Connecticut” TV program. Courtesy photo.
Our topic this week has to do with homeschooling, running your own business, and staying connected to the community.
We are blessed to be able to homeschool due to the fact that my husband works full time.
I had been a full-time State of Connecticut employee at Connecticut Valley Hospital for more than 11 years when I became pregnant with Jonathan. I joyously (and sadly) quit my job when I had him, because my husband and I both agreed that it was best for the family for me to be at home with him…and Rosemary, when she came along later.
Even though I loved my job as a Music Therapist/Rehabilitation Therapist, I felt the need to answer a higher calling – motherhood.
At the same time, my musical skills have provided a bit of a side income for our household for all our married life with children.
It has been a pleasure to give music lessons to people who worked at the hospital, their kids and others. When I quit my job, I started giving more piano lessons and had a flexible schedule.
I give about a dozen lessons a week during the school year, and limited lessons in the summer. This not only helps the family finances, it also gives me a chance to have relationships with people from the convenience of my own home!
Some of my favorite paying jobs are for special occasions like weddings, social gatherings, and the like. I can also play the organ and so I have had a lot of fun playing on some great pipe organs for weddings in the recent past.
I also like a grand piano now and again, but sometimes they are not all they are cracked up to be.
I bought the piano I have at home at a tag sale from a couple that was getting a divorce and liquidating their assets. Unfortunate for them.
Too many hurdles
I really enjoy baking, too, and tried a home-based baking business, but the constraints were too great.
By law, I could not use the family kitchen to operate a business; I had to have a separate kitchen. Converting my garage into a kitchen that would meet all necessary regulations was cost prohibitive. I would be working like a dog just to gain a few cents profit.
Another roadblock was the thought of lugging all the ingredients for baking projects – as well as the possibility of even renting/leasing a kitchen for use – was just too much.
I have provided meals for large gatherings and I have enjoyed doing that. It is nice to get paid for doing something you love to do! (If you get a cooking magazine called “Taste of Home,” look at the Field Editor section. You will see my name there along with 999 other Field Editors!)
Beyond that, I think the food business will have to wait for another time in my life.
When I first had Jonathan, and then Rosemary, I felt my skills were gathering dust on a shelf. I felt that I had so much I could give but was limited to an audience of two small children. In retrospect, I am grateful that I have not had to work to afford things.
In fact, as a happy Freecycler (this is an online network of people who give and receive stuff for free), I have need for nothing at all. In fact, I have lots to get rid of!
Living on one income hasn’t hindered anything in our family. No one is lacking. No one is hungry. No one is deprived. One income (plus my small contribution from musical services) is just fine.
In the light of eternity, it is the people that I pour myself into that will truly matter.
And as much as I would like some new stuff once in a while, truth be told, I am grateful to be homeschooling and making a little dough now and again… I especially like the caramel pecan sticky bun kind…if you know what I mean!
Photo 2: Me wearing an apron for a recent cooking contest sponsored by Rockville Bank. I made “Armenian Lamb with Really Nice Rice” for my entry. The recipe will appear in their cookbook to be released before Christmas this year!
Jonathan’s Blog No. 3
Hello there, Jonathan here, of course. I would also like to tell you about my business, Cheap Cutz. I cut lawns. I have cut a lot of yards for my age and have earned nearly $1,000, now in the bank. I would someday like to make up to $10,000, but that’s a ways from here.
Besides cutting lawns, I also do snow removal in the winter. Winter is my favorite season because you can’t really get hot while removing snow. And since I have a snow blower, it makes my job soooo much easier (except for my next door neighbors who have a gravel driveway and that’s a bit harder, but not as hard as having to shovel it by hand!).
I like cutting lawns but once in awhile, I get a little dirt in the carburetor or something that stops me for awhile. Then I have to wait for dad to get home and clean it out (he’s a mechanic). That is annoying sometimes, but it usually gets cleared up pretty fast.
I buy my own gas and bought my own weed whacker. Mixing the gas for that is annoying (you have to mix the gas with the oil for that type of engine. I still don’t fully understand why yet).
Anyway, back to the winter, I really like my snow blower because the gas tank is really big. That’s my business, thanks for reading about me again.
Rosemary’s Blog No. 3
I have a baking business, and truly, I can almost bake anything except that Sri Lankan cheesecake that has a diamond in it and costs over $2,563,150.
Well , it all started with my brother(Jonathan) asking Mom and Dad if he could start a lawn business. Then I chimed in, too. They said I could have a business if I would manage it. I said would be happy to do that!
Recently, I made oatmeal-raisin-chocolate-chip cookies and chocolate cupcakes with mint frosting.
Many people have given me gifts to encourage my business. People have given me fancy pans, cookbooks, measuring spoons, silicone bakeware, cupcake liners, winter-theme boxes and bags for packaging, and even special frostings.
My business name is “Delectable Delights.”
For more information: http://mansfield.htnp.com/columns/homeschool/123.html