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Archive for July, 2006

Same as ThriftyRay!!

July 28th, 2006 at 04:11 pm

My July 25 post had the same kind of undesirable comments that Ray mentions one of her entries had. I had deleted those comments this morning, but after seeing Ray's post, I checked my entry again. There were more, so I deleted the new comments, and then saved my entry to draft (I hope that's good enough!)

I wonder how this all happened? I never think of this blog being beyond this site, but I realize I shouldn't be so naive. Oh well, a learning experience!

Preparations

July 28th, 2006 at 01:16 pm

I worked earlier this week, and I'll go in today. Our classroom space is moving around, and today we're moving our parent resource library to a different room. I'll head over in a bit - we're making an early start as the temps are predicted to be 100 today, and there is no a/c at the school. I'll be readying our program's fall registration brochure for mailing next Monday, so bit by bit I'm accumulating a few hours this summer.

We've been lucky in being able to hang out laundry almost everyday this summer, though the dryer usage savings is probably offset (or exceeded) by fan usage. If we can get through our 100s of the weekend, the forecasters are predicting 90s by Tuesday - oh yeah!

The girls have an afternoon rehearsal, and then eat bag dinners before tonight's performance. I have the makings for sandwiches, and can scrounge enough for the rest of their meal. I may try to do some grocery shopping while they are at rehearsal, or if not, I'll do it tomorrow. My list is ready, including meals at home for next week and for camping the week after. I'll freeze the meat for camping.

Last night we went shopping for a new clothesline (it's ancient, and was hanging by its last reinforcing middle threads, which did thankfully hold out to the end!) We also picked up a griddle and new coffee pot that we can use on the campfire. We had been making do with an old whistling tea kettle, but the plastic parts melted into the pot our last camping trip. All I'll say is that I never melted plastic when I put the keetle on, but I did appreciate that someone was trying to help. Now HE can help with the new pot, and there's no plastic whatsoever to melt! Anyway, we boil a lot of water camping, for consumption and washing, so now we can all have cocoa at the same time or have plenty of hot water for the dishes. I know, I get excited over silly little things!

Stay cool....take care!

The Heat is On (again)

July 24th, 2006 at 12:58 pm

We're heading for the 90s and high dewpoints again. Luckily, the three younger are auditioning for a play in the a/c high school, so we'll be staying cool for the afternoon.

I'm trying to get as much done this morning as possible, before we leave for the auditions. I need to schedule appts to the doctor's. Drop off and pick up my oldest from her pool job. A bank run. Figure out a cooler dinner than the one I was planning. Then after I run out of everything else to do, I am tackling my upstairs hallway (aka the place where everything gets tossed until I make decisions about what to do with it all - instead of a junk room, I have a junk hallway!) With this being my first week off for the summer, I'm feeling the pressure to get started on my summer to-do list, before summer is no longer. I've also been thinking seriously about going for a different position at the school, where I'd work the whole school day, every day school is in session (I know, I know, like a real job!) I can picture my days then really whizzing by...still going over the pro and cons of taking on such a position.

Enjoy your day...take care!

Enjoying Summer

July 23rd, 2006 at 01:48 am

We had our first local corn on the cob for dinner. It was so delicious!

The weather cooperated gorgeously for drying our laundry. and for just plain enjoying. Not as much done inside as I was planning, but the summer is too short to not be outside enjoying every minute possible.

I was reminded by LuckyRobin in her blog to make an online check of our 401K for the second quarter. Ugh - I think I should have stuck to my carefree summery activities. Oh well, as Robin points out, we're in it for the long-term!

Quiet Weekend

July 22nd, 2006 at 02:24 pm

My big plans for the weekend include doing a pile of laundry - bedding, towels and the regular load. We're predicted to have a little rain this afternoon, but so far, so good for hanging out on the line.

It was another chow-down week on the snacks, so next week will be a bit paltry - I keep reminding myself it's a learning process for the girls. It's just the snacks; no real starving for them.

We're working on clearing out the clothes that don't fit my youngest, and general closet cleaning and straightening. My, how that girl has grown this summer! We're accumulating a few bags of stuff to donate soon. Where we donate has a thrift store, so we'll start checking for jeans for school (and for camping in August - I think my youngest two have either outgrown or worn theirs to tatters.)

In between, there will be time for swimming at the lake and reading and puttering - definitely my sort of weekend! Take care!!

Sampling samples...

July 21st, 2006 at 09:36 pm

I'm starting to receive the first of the free samples I requested. I've been jotting down what I sign up for (to keep from wasting time signing up for what I already have - my memory decreased as my numbers of kids increased!) My first signup date was July 9 - so pretty decent turnaround. Only small samples so far - good for two or three or four uses (but two or three or four uses that I didn't have to pay for.) 'Tis a good thing!

Target Adventure

July 21st, 2006 at 07:26 pm

I'm taking a quick break from keeping an eye on the sky - my laundry is on the line, and it's looking like it will rain. So far it hasn't, which is why I chanced hanging it out. (Ok, no logic to my thinking, but it keeps me entertained.)

I went to Target a couple days ago to hit the first of the back-to-school sales. I only bought supplies that were on sale and priced well - not one and the same, as I found the sale bulk glue sticks were priced higher than the smaller two-stick packs. Tricky, tricky!

Funny aside - as I was checking out, the cashier asked if I was a teacher. My first thought was whether a discount or nice perk would result from my answer. Then I noticed her befuddled look at what was on the counter. So I said yes, but that this was for my family. She stated that she thought I was buying for a classroom, but I said no, just too many kids - ha! Lest you think I was buying out the store - I bought 4 each of 10-packs of spiral notebooks and pocket folders, and packages of looseleaf paper. One set for each girl, including a mid-year restock - $12 of the supply budget accounted for! For once lots of bags for little money.

Still no rain, but the clothes aren't drying too quickly either. In a bit I'll have to leave the sky watching to my daughters, as I need to go pick up my second girl. She is coming back from church camp with her friend. All my girls will be home!

Take care!

Sun-induced Ramble

July 19th, 2006 at 02:18 am

We're back in the 80s again - yay! I even got to use my oven for tonight's dinner.

I worked today, hung the laundry on the line, and then headed to the lake with the youngest two. Wow, I can imagine everyone thinking, this is what she does EVERY day. Simple, even boring if you wish, is fine for us!

Tomorrow we go to my oldest's medical appt, and we'll be near Target and the first of their back-to-school sales. I'm checking over what school supplies I put away at the end of the school year (a whole six weeks ago!), and am figuring out what we need. The medical facility is close enough to Target, so I'll only buy what's on sale and priced well this week. It's a poky way to get the four girls' supplies bought, but it does keep the total spent down (Mom only buys what is on her list for that week!)

I will also try to visit my mom in between work and the dr appt. Last week I got a call from my mom, and I was so taken aback, as I hadn't heard her voice on the phone in over three years. Before her Alzheimer's (and earlier on in the disease,) we talked almost daily on the phone. We tried having a phone in her room in assisted living for a while, but she got confused and upset with it, so we discontinued the service. It took me a few moments to really understand it was Mom on the phone. It turned out that the nursing home staff were having a hard time settling her into bed, and they thought a call to me would help. It did, and when I visited the next day, she didn't remember anything of what had upset her the night before. We are starting to see an increase in her agitation, but she still has many good days. I remind myself all the time to enjoy the good in each day, and try not think too far ahead.

At least with having a number of things to attend to in my life, I can never wallow in one part. (I may have spent too much time in the sun on the lake - what a ramble today!) Take care!!

Work, work & more work....

July 17th, 2006 at 06:21 pm

I'm working the last week at the Spec. Ed. extended school year job. Next week I'm prepping and mailing out our early childhood fall brochure. Then the two middle weeks in August, I work a pre-Kindergarten class to ready the children entering Kindergarten in September. Bit by bit, it all helps pay the bills, while allowing me lots of time for the family.

I've got my assignment for the fall - four mornings a week in a pre-Kindergarten class, and two afternoons in a preschool special ed class. I'm thrilled to know this early what I'll be doing for the school year, and very happy with the assignments.

With fall shaping up nicely, I'm planning on enjoying the remainder of summer. It's still warm today, though no over 100 heat index. After I get the clothes hung on the line outside, I think we'll head to the lake for the afternoon. Dinner will be again grilled - still too hot to cook in the kitchen (oh darn...)

Stay cool (it seems everyone is in a heat wave this summer)& take care!

One extreme to another in MN

July 16th, 2006 at 09:31 pm

Not much happening here. Several hot and humid days in a row has slowed us down. Thankfully, the predicted temp of 100 has not happened so far today, though the dewpoint is making for a very steamy day. The lake has been the only place to be lately!

My husband and I both got payed on Friday. So I headed to the grocery store and spent less than usual for the next two weeks. This was due to having leftover meals from the previous two weeks, as it's been too hot to cook inside the house, and no one is all that hungry in this heat anyway. With fans running when we're inside and all night (no a/c, at least) - well, we'll probably come out just about even, when the electric bill comes.

Otherwise, I've taken the plunge and signed up for some of the freebies in the forum area. My worry in doing this has been mentioned a few times in others' blogs - a deluge of junk mail. Others have posted that they haven't had that happen, plus receiving some coupons, as well as the samples, would be nice. Anyway, if I don't like the result, I figure I can redo measures in reducing the junk mail flow.

I just heard from my oldest, who traveled on a mission trip to a Montana Crow Reservation. She is back in MN, and is due to arrive around dinnertime. My second girl has her bag packed, and is ready to head out with a friend to her church camp up in northern MN tomorrow morning. Whew! Coming and going...

Plans to grill tonight, IF anyone is hungry (the sun is just starting to peak out from the clouds - we may hit 100 yet)...stay cool & take care!

Bit by Bit...

July 10th, 2006 at 06:28 pm

I managed to accomplish a bit on Sunday. I went through all the bills and balanced the checkbook. Papers got filed!

I charted our meds, after finding the price had changed since the last time I looked at the online Rx cost calculator for my insurance. Some meds are cheaper to buy monthly at our local pharmacy, and some are cheaper to do through mail order. We're up to eight meds being filled, but it was getting to be a muddled mess. So now, I have a better handle on it all. And it turns outs that I will pay a slight bit less by filling one med locally.

Getting a handle on things helps with the finances so many times. Lots of loose ends taken care of - very nice to cross off my to-do list. Take care!

Thinking ahead...

July 9th, 2006 at 01:42 pm

Got my oldest sent off to her mission trip yesterday morning. The whole crew looked like they will have a great time.

Didn't get a lot done yesterday, beyond the usual laundry and meals. I did clean out the computer area though. Every so often, I pause at the computer and admire how nice it all looks (mostly 'cause I know it won't last!) I have a few of the younger aged computer games and educational discs to donate.

Later we watched a couple movies from the video store - Eight Below and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. I didn't think my youngest was going to make it through the first one! Luckily we watched the second one before bed - laughing is a far better way to go off to sleep for sure.

I saw my first school supply ad this past week. As much as I don't want to acknowledge the thought of September, I'll need to start collecting those 10cent deals as they come about. I have the three youngest girls' supply lists, and the oldest needs just basic supplies to start, with her high school classes providing supply lists, if any, after school starts. Ok, enough with the school thoughts!

Redirecting thoughts to our vacation plans immediately! We have our main annual camping trip the first whole week in August. We head north toward Duluth and the North Shore, and we all can hardly wait. We have money set aside in the savings for this. We can do this trip fairly inexpensively, mostly spending for gas, camping site fees (state park, cheap) and a mid-week food restock (we tent camp and use coolers and ice for the food.) There is a bunch of free things to do in Duluth (a port city on Lake Superior,) as well as at the state parks, Gooseberry Falls and along the North Shore of Lake Superior. So we get city and nature all in one trip. Can hardly wait - I know I said this already, but it's true!

We have a second set of vacation days later in August. We may do a smaller camping trip (this is the trip each year that we explore a new-to-us state park.) Or we may enjoy a few days at home. Depends on money and energy level at that point.

Enjoy your Sunday...take care!

Up and Running...

July 7th, 2006 at 09:39 pm

We had power go out one night last weekend, and the computer wouldn't come back on. My husband has been working overtime, and my computer knowledge lacks in any sort useful skills, so we had to wait until he had the time to look at it (and it took all of two minutes, wouldn't you know!)

Our family had a great little break at home over the holiday weekend (my husband and I both had Monday off.) We used our zoo membership, and went on a gorgeous day with the youngest two girls. We swam a few times at our favorite beach. On the 4th, we went to a bbq at my inlaws, and later went to a firework display at the next town over from us. In between, we had lots of time to sleep in and read and relax. It was definitely a struggle to get back into work mode on Wednesday - enjoying the relaxation way too much!!

Otherwise, we're continuing to luck out with line drying weather for the laundry, eating at home (lots of grilling) and enjoying summer (need to bank warm weather memories for the winter!)

Tomorrow morning, my oldest daughter leaves for a mission trip with the youth from our church. They are driving out to a Montana Crow reservation for service work and some sightseeing. She's looking forward to the trip, and is packed and ready for the early morning departure. She's a seasoned traveler, so I'm excited for her (this is far less embarassing for her than having anxious, worried Mom waving goodbye, as the crew sets off on their journey.)

My husband's last paycheck with a slug of overtime, as well as my better-than-nothing check, helped pay off the final amount on the mission trip, the vet bill and a too large prescription mail-order. I try so hard to stagger the med orders, especially the expensive, no generic available ones, but with some recent med changes, I got caught this time. Well, luck was with us, as there was extra on the paychecks. May we always stay this lucky - I like this lucky!

And, gosh, here we are at the start of another weekend, with no plans, which is my very favorite kind. May you all enjoy your favorite sorts of weekend...take care!

July already!!

July 1st, 2006 at 01:57 pm

Getting settled into the new work schedule, having the girls off from school and enjoying summertime activities has left me with less time to make entries here. But everything is going great!

I'll end up receiving continuous paychecks throughout most of the summer, due to working at least some each pay period. Some checks will be tiny, but nonetheless welcome! I'm almost half way through my summer position. I'm enjoying the work with the special ed. middle and high schoolers for these few weeks, but I really, really appreciate my regular position in the preschool.

I'm continuing to grocery shop every two weeks, and have been keeping to budget. There is a difference in having the girls home, though. They are slowly figuring out that if they go crazy the first week, there isn't so much left for the second week. It isn't the food I use for meals, it's more the 'fun' stuff, like ice cream and snacks and stuff for baking. There were a couple times last week that I could have ran for things at the grocery, but I held my ground to make the point of spreading out the consumption (plus we were hardly going to starve!) I grocery shop today, so it'll be interesting to see what happens these next two weeks. (Gosh, I'm probably sounding like an evil, conniving mom, but I promise you, I won't let my girls suffer malnutrition!)

The girls had birthday money to spend, so we went to Target yesterday. They did well, spending a bit for fun. They saved some too, when they realized there wasn't anything they needed or wanted right now. As for me, I bought a box fan on sale - we had our old one fall out of the window it was in, and some of the blades broke. I didn't need or want anything else either.

Happy July! Take care!