Things are not going so well for the Walls family. They have no heat, money or food, and and house is deteriorating constantly. It lacks insulation and waterproofing, so the family are always struggling to stay warm and dry. Rex spends most of the day out of the house, presumably drinking, but apparently working on building the glass castle. He comes home drunk and injured one night, and Jeannette is the one who has to stitch him up. While Rose Mary squanders the little money they have on chocolate for herself, the Walls children go hungry, scrounging for leftovers in the school garbage cans, and stealing from nearby farmer's fields just to stay fed. With no running water, the family struggles to find ways to stay clean and healthy. they are forced to adapt, going to the Laundromat to get warm, and using kerosene to keep the fire lit. However, these sometimes have negative consequences. For example, Lori suffers serious buns after the kerosene she was using explodes from the heat of the fire, blistering her thighs badly.