Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
I was thinking last night about how I wanted to make comforters for the beds. I looked at my fabric stash, and I really don't have enough cotton (or anything really besides knits or fleece, and that's not really the look I was going for) to make anybody a comforter, much less four of them. And I don't have batting. Or a quilting foot.
OK, how about knitting some sweaters? Or A sweater? Oh, yea. I still don't know how to knit. And the only yarn that I have enough of to make a sweater is maroon acrylic yarn. Which is not really the look I'm going for.
OK, how about food storage? That won't be expensive! That will save me money! Except stockpiling initially costs MORE money. And the shelving costs money. And the canning supplies cost money. Oh, and even gardening, you have to pay for the plants, or the seeds, the tiller, or at least gloves and a hoe.
I'll homeschool! Then I won't have to pay for school supplies, or school fees, and school lunch, and the weekly fundraising things. Except that uh, I still have to pay for school supplies. And books. And bookshelves. And math manipulatives. And globes. And volcano kits. And I probably will have to feed them too, so I'll still have lunch expenses, although hopefully less.
I will say that making my own cleaning supplies has saved me money. Woo-hoo!
I told myself last year to take it one step at a time. And I'm reminding myself again. And I'm doing a little better too since last year.
I might not be able to make comforters right now. But I've got enough material to make the girls a few cotton skirts. It's a start. And I don't know how to knit, but I know how to crochet a dishcloth. I even have some cotton yarn! I can make one of those in the next few days. And I've got enough for 3 or 4 more after that. I got one set of shelves and they were on sale. I asked for canning supplies for an early birthday present. I've found a dozen jars at garage sales. And I've got borrowed many school books, or got them for a low priced used, and I've only spent $7 total for the 5 bookcases in the schoolroom.
I'll get there. I just wish that I would get there a LITTLE faster.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Mercy - Jodi Picoult
This book was lent to me by a friend. I knew that Jodi Picoult had also wrote My Sister's Keeper. I thought I might like this book. I didn't hate it, but I did find myself skimming through it after I got about half way through it.
Basic Plot - Cameron MacDonald is the chief of Police in a small Massachussets town. He is married to a woman who runs the local floral shop. One day, a cousin of Cameron's, Jamie, comes to town, with his dead wife in the car, and confesses that he killed her (later it is revealed that his wife had cancer and they had agreed to have Jamie kill her if the situation became hopeless). On the same day, Cameron's wife, Allie, hires a woman, Mia, to help out in the shop. Allie ends up getting involved with Jamie's case, and Cameron ends up getting involved with Mia. (I won't tell you the end in case you want to read it.)
The infidelity in the book seemed to happen SO quickly, it seemed completely implausible. And overall, I just didn't care about the characters in the book, and it made it difficult to get through.
Overall rating: Thumbs down. (Sorry Stacey!)
The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl - Shauna Reid
I saw this book in the New Books section at the Library. It was a quick read.
Basics of the book: A 351 pound, 23 year old woman decides to lose weight. The book follows her on the 7 year journey where she loses some weight, gains some back, loses some weight, falls in love, gets married, loses a little more weight, plataues at a weight higher than she had originially wanted to be,but still half the weight she used to be. In the end decides that she isn't that fat person anymore. Now she is a happy, active, person.
I liked the book. It isn't really a diet book. It is more a book about having the strength to change, and the strength to do it for more than one day. But it is also written in a very witty, funny way.
Overall rating: Thumbs Up.
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not Getting By in America) by Barbara Ehrenreich
I picked this up at the Thrift Store. It looked like something I'd be interested in. And it was an interesting read.
Basics - A journalist decides to try and live off minimum wage in three different areas of the country. She works as a waitress & a hotel worker in Florida, a maid in Maine, and a worker at Wal-Mart in Minnesota.
The author is very upfront that this isn't a REAL study of people living on minimum wage. She had money to use for a deposit on an apartment. She had a car. She said that she would never become completely homeless. The really interesting part of the story are the other people. The REAL people living off minimum wage.
One thing that she addresses a little in the book, but I would have liked to hear more about was the lack of benefits, specifically health insurance, that most minimum wage workers go without.
Overall rating: Thumbs Up. (I'm done with it, but I own it now. Anybody want to read it next?)
Matters of Faith by Kristy Kiernan
I checked this book out from the Library. The title looked interesting.
Basic Plot - Cal and Chloe Tobias have two children: 18-year-old Marshall, who witnessed the death of his best friend as a child and has been exploring religion ever since, and his younger sister, Meghan, who suffers from a severe peanut allergy. Marshall comes home from college for spring break with his girlfriend, Ada, who is religious, but doesn't seem to be a believer of any traditional religion. Ada convinces Marshall that they should try and expose Meghan to peanuts in small amounts to cure her of her allergy. The first attempt ends disasterously with Meghan ending up in a coma. On the recommendation of an ER physician, the district attorney decides to charge Marshall and Ada with child abuse. Marshall and Ada flee town, and leave Cal and Chloe left to deal with Chloe, Marshall's disappearance, and the problems that they had before all of this happened.
This book was different than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to talk more about Faith. But it was still a very interesting read, and the author gives a very realistic look at both the son and the mother in this novel.
Overall rating: Thumbs Up.
Reading Right Now: Good Grief by Lollie Winston
Picked it up at the Thrift Store. So far, Really Like it. Reminds me kind of a fiction version of Dietgirl, but about grief instead of Diet. It is sad, witty, funny, realistic look at a woman in her 30s, who became a widow after 3 years of marriage and how she dealt with it.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
* Toilet paper
Friday, July 24, 2009
This year, I decided to put a couple zucchini in one bed, and herbs in the other bed. They've done GREAT. I've already harvested 5 or 6 zucchinis, and harvested the herbs multiple times (I'm growing parsley, oregano, basil, and cilantro.) I take the leaves off, put it in the dehydrator for a couple hours, and then in the food chopper, and voila! Freshly dried herbs. I've done the hanging method, and found that with my lifestyle, that the dehydrator works better.
Then I decided to do a garden in a plot behind our church. We put in about 30 tomato plants, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and peas. We planted the onions, the broccoli, the cauliflower, and beans and pea seeds in April. We were so optimistic. And it was almost Fun. The kids played so nicely while we planted. We waited for the seeds to grow into plants. Hmm, not looking so good. In May, we put in the tomato plants. We didn't have cages yet, but there was time. The plants were small. We put some grass clippings around the tomatoes, onions, broccoli, and cauliflower to keep the weeds under control. We put down one, then two layers. There was time to do more. Plenty of time. The beans and peas - ugh, still not really growing. By the end of May, we had to admit defeat. The only thing that was growing on that side was weeds, and LOTS of them. So we made the decision to till it again, put some manure in, and replant. It is early June. And HOT. So HOT. We tried to plant, but it was too unbearable. We'd do it next week. Then it was RAINING. And COLD. And more RAIN. And then it was July. We hadn't planted yet, and we hadn't put more grass clippings down. So even on the part of the garden that was growing vegetables, we were also growing plenty of weeds. Oh, and the tilled part? Weedy again too.
So I weeded again, and my sister planted beans (too late for peas by now). Oh, and the tomatoes? Remember those cages? Well, we got a hold of some, but not 30. Not even close to 30. But since we are Resourceful, we took the cages that we did have, put one in between two plants, and used twine to lift the plant off the ground and tied it to the cage (I've got a picture somewhere, I just couldn't find it today.) Not the best looking, but it seemed to work.
And guess what, some of those beans are growing! They are still small, but at least they are growing this time. And we've harvested tons of broccoli (oh, and is it YUMMY!), cauliflower (it was o.k., but I won't be growing it again).
I'm still fighting a battle with the weeds. It has always been something this summer - too hot, too cold, too raining, too many kids screaming, too busy. If all those things would have been different, I would have had a perfect garden. But you know, with big garden, it is always Something. Kind of like Life. If you try and control one small little thing, like cleaning, you might be successful, like I am with my small beds. But if you try and control your whole Life, well, something is bound to not go quite as you planned.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Oh, and by the way, I've discovered a great way to read books, especially in the summer. Buy them at a thrift store. 1) They are super cheap 2) If you read it slowly, you won't have to worry about overdue fines from the library 3) If you hate it, you are only out 29 cents. I have the best luck with books at, of course, my new favorite home away from home, Mission Mart, and then Goodwill, and then the Hospital Thrift Store. The Simple Kids like the book selection at the Hospital Thrift Store, otherwise, I swear I wouldn't go there. I never find anything.
Anyway, here's my review about the local thrift stores (I know you've all been dying to hear this).
#1) Mission Mart - I love, love, love Mission Mart. They have the best overall items (I was going to say junk, but it is junk that I love and want to buy and put in my house, and I don't put junk in my house, so therefore, I'll say items. It sounds classier.) They have the clothes arranged by sizes (one of my biggest beefs with Goodwill - they don't organize the kids' clothes by size.) They have classic children's books, and adult fiction books besides Danielle Stelle and Tom Clancy (no offense to people who read these books, I just would like to have a wider selection than that), non fiction books separated into categories (what a concept!), funiture, and overall just more of the "items" that I like (retro glass, wood toys, wool clothing, etc.)
#2) Goodwill - This store is way closer to me than Mission Mart. It used to be the only thrift store that I went to. I still find some things here, in fact, I picked up a bicycle for Jelly Bean not too long ago for $3, and I usually end up with a book or two. But overall, the selection has been not great for months now. They upped their prices about a year ago too, and so now, I find myself saying "Is this glass dish really worth $3?" which I'm sure it is, but I didn't question back when it would have been priced at 97 cents.
#3) Hospital Thrift Store. I went to this store once in, oh I don't know, 2000 maybe? I was underwhelmed, and hadn't been back until this summer when I decided to expand my thrifting opportunities. The first time I went there, I found 3 or 4 things, and I thought "Well, this place has possibilities." I've been back three times since, and zippo. Like I said up there, I wouldn't go if it wasn't for the kids.
Oh, and not a thrift store, but a consignment store, #4) Cute As A Button - This store just makes me mad. They only take clothing if you are one of the first 10 or something of the day, and everything there is way overpriced, and the quality isn't that great. I'm still mad about the day I went in there, and Super somehow ended up there without shoes on, and we were going to be doing more shopping that day, so I had to buy him some there. The only shoes in his size were some junky sandals that I would have maybe paid 25 cents for at a garage sale, and they were priced $4! They were very worn, and Super wore them maybe 5 or 6 more times before they broke. Grrrr. I didn't go back there for at least a year after that, but then last summer I bought a couple of things there that I really needed for the baby I was watching, and couldn't find them at garage sales. That were, of course, overpriced. Grrrr. I went there a couple weeks ago when I was on that side of town and needed to kill some time. They wanted $5 for hardcover kids book. Seriously? Don't they know that I could get the same book, in hardcover, at Mission Mart for mere 49 cents?
But here's the deal: Now that I've given this review, you have to promise not to buy all the stuff that I want at Mission Mart, o.k.?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Super has Wee Ball from 6-7 pm on Monday/Wednesday, and Jelly Bean has Pre-Ball on Monday/Wednesday from 7-8 pm with games on Saturday mornings. Flower has Swim Team practice from 7-8:30 am Monday through Friday, and 6-7:30 pm Monday through Friday except on Tuesday when she has meets from 5:30 -9:30 pm. So our evenings have been a little busy, and our schedule is all off.
My children have always gone to bed on the early side (7:00 pm, although the girls can read for another 1/2 hour or so.) Well, on Monday and Wednesday nights, we aren't home until 8:30, and still need to do baths, etc. and Tuesday, we aren't home until close to 10 pm. But they are good and tired in a good kind of way, and go to sleep quickly.
Here are some pictures of them in action:
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I should back up and say that I have terrible teeth. Mostly of my own doing from years of being bulimic. Which I don't do anymore, and haven't for years, but when you are bulimic for 14 years, well, you pretty much destroy all the enamel off your teeth, and then you get decay much easier than other people. I stopped being bulimic 14 years ago, and had my first root canal and crown shortly thereafter. Then a couple fillings. Then two crowns. Going to a cheap dentist. And scrounging and trying to pay back the dentist. Moving. Having to get a new dentist. Can't afford to get another new crown I need, so one of my molars gets pulled. Moving. Teeth hurting, but can't afford to go. Moving. And. Moving. Should have gone to the dentist, but knew it would be bad. Then there was the all the years of being pregnant and nursing.
4 years ago, when Super was 3 months old, I couldn't stand the pain another moment. I told the dentist that I knew that it would be bad. I was right. In the course of about 6 visits (some done under sedation), I had 8 crowns/root canals done (mostly on my top front teeth), and four fillings. And a deep gum treatment. The bill, after insurance, was enough that I could have purchased a Saturn 4 door sedan instead. It took years, and help from family, to pay off the bill.
Then in 2006, I had a couple teeth start hurting. I tried to ignore it. I just couldn't face another hefty dental bill. Then I found out I was pregnant. I'd do something about it after the baby was born. Had a miscarriage. Ignored the pain, even though I could have done something about it. Finally, in November 2007, I made an appointment. Found out I was pregnant. Decided to do something after the baby was born. Lost Christopher at the end of March 2008. Decided to go to a different dentist. Went back in August 2008. Needed a filling on one tooth, and a root canal and crown on another. Oh, and of course, all 3 kids needed check-ups and Flower had a few fillings. The bill was only in the 3 figures. Manageable. November comes, and suddenly, a couple of other teeth start hurting. Two days into it, I can't sleep, or eat. A week into it, I decide to go back to the dentist. He says that I probably need a couple root canals/crowns. Great. It is almost Christmas. We haven't even started paying on the other stuff, and now we are looking at $600 more?? Great. I schedule them for a couple of weeks later.
But, almost magically, the pain is gone in a couple of days. Surely, it will come back. But it doesn't. I know that I should have them fixed anyway, but I really didn't have money laying around, and if it wasn't bothering me?? I cancelled the appointments. That will make the pain come back for certain. Nope. And so it went on. I knew that I should start paying the dentist for the work in 2008. But February, then March, then April come, and there is no bill yet. I should call him and ask about it. Then May comes. School's out. I really need to call. And then it is July. Around the 4th, I feel a little twinge in the gum area by one of my teeth. I'm sure it is nothing. It is gone the next day. Then a different tooth hurts. Which teeth were bothering me a few months ago? Are these the same ones? Hmm. Not sure. The next day, PAIN. One tooth more than the other. PAIN for a few days. And then it is better. For 4 whole days. And then it is back. And it is worse. And it is constant. I take Motrin like candy. It doesn't help. I put Maximum Strength Ambusol by both teeth. Doesn't help. I take some leftover Xanax to see if I relax a little, I'll at least be able to sleep a little through the pain. Doesn't help. Take Tylenol. Doesn't help. I can't eat, I can't sleep.
So today, I called. I knew that before I showed up, that they would check my file and realize that they never sent me a bill for all that work for me and the kids back in 2008. The bill for somewhere in the $900 range, give or take a few hundred. And that if they wanted a partial payment, I'd have to offer them my Little Tikes Climber as payment or something because I didn't have the money right now. I could set up a plan and send them a little each month, and hope that my "little" and their "little" were in the same general range.
But they didn't. The dentist said "Both of these teeth are the same teeth that were bothering you before. Let's start with the worst one - make an appointment at the desk. Call me if you need more pain medication, and make sure and take the antibiotic in case some of the pain is from an infection."
Even if the pain is completely gone tomorrow, I will get my teeth fixed. Hopefully, by the end of Summer, I will have both root canals done and two new crowns put on. Hopefully, I'll get the dental bill paid off in a year. Hopefully, I won't need any more root canals or crowns. I'm running out of "real" teeth to replace!
Friday, July 17, 2009
But the clear winner this week of the most FSDs is Jewel. There are tons. Kroger isn't too shabby, but if I could only go to one store this week, I'd go to Jewel.
Off to bed . . .
Thursday, July 16, 2009
- Split Chicken Breast (Value Pack) $1/lb.
- Just Bare Whole Chicken $2/lb.
- 75% Lean Ground Beef (Value Pack) $1.89/lb.
- Red or Green Seedless Grapes $1/lb.
- Nectarines or Red or Black Plums $1.49/lb.
- Bi-Color Sweet Corn 5 for $2
- Soft Soap (7.5 oz.) Liquid Soap 10 for $10
- Scotties Tissue (85 - 160 ct.) 10 for $10
- Big G Cereals (8.9 - 13 oz.) $1.77
- Homelife (96 oz.) Bleach. 97 cents. Limit 2. Valid through 7/21/09.
- Hunt's (26 oz.) Spaghetti Sauce. 67 cents. Limit 1. Valid through 7/21/09.
2 Day Sale (Friday July 17 and Sat July 18)
- Van Camps (15 oz.) Pork and Beans. 29 cents. Limit 4
- Sargento (7-8 oz.) Shredded Cheese $1.59
- St. Louis Style Pork Ribs $1.88/lb.
- Dole Classic (12 oz.) Iceberg Salad 79 cents.
- Del Monte (4 pack) Fruit Cups $1. Limt 3.
- Puffs Tissue (6 pack to go, 132 or 216 pack) 3 for $5. Limit 3
- Charmin Bathroom Tissue (12 rolls) $6.49. Limit 2
- Bounty Paper Towels (6 rolls) $6.49. Limit 2
- Spring Water (24 pk, 16.9 oz.) $3. Limit 2
- Chicken of the Sea (5 oz. Tuna or Pink Salmon) $1. Limit 2
- Deerfield Farms Baking Soda 2 for $1. Limit 4
- Morton Salt 2 for $1. Limit 4
- Swanson Chicken Broth (14 oz.) 2 for $1. Limit 4
- Geisha Mushrooms (4 oz.) 2 for $1. Limit 4
- Madam Mandarin Oranges (11 oz.) 2 for $1. Limit 4
- Palmolive (10 oz.) Dish Liquid. $1. Limit 3
- Reach Toothbrush or Floss. 3 for $9. $3 back in Register Rewards.
- Colgate Total Toothpaste (4 or 6 oz.) or Colgate 360 degrees Deep Clean Toothbrush. $3. $1 back in RR.
- Speed Stick Pro or Lady Speed Stick 24/7 Deodorant (2.3 to 3 oz.) $2.49. $1 back in RR.
- All Detergent (26 to 40 loads). 2 for $10. $3 back in RR.
- General Mills Cereal (11.25 to 14 oz.) $2. Limit 4.
Charmin (30 pack big of 16 pack mega) Toilet Paper $15
Scott Toilet Paper (20 pk. 1000 ct. or Extra Soft) $13
Puffs (60 or 72 ct. or 108 ct.) 3 for $4
Bounty (12 pk. giant) Paper Towels $15
Bounty Basic (12 pk. big roll) Paper Towels $11
Bounty (200 ct.) Napkins $2.50
Kellog's Cereal (18.2 oz. Raisin Bran Crunch, 18 oz. Fristed Bite-Size Mini Wheats) $1.88
Secret (2.6 or 2.7) or Old Spice (3 or 3.25 oz) Deodorant $2
Clorox Beach (82 or 96 oz.) 3 for $5
Herbal Essance (10.17 oz.) Shampoo $2.79
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
- Charmin Toilet Paper (24 regular, 12 big or 6 mega rolls) $7
- Scott Toilet Paper (12 regular or extra soft) $7.49
- Bounty (8 regular or 6 big rolls) $7
- Kleenex Tissue 75-130, 184 or 200 ct. 3 for $5
- Gain (100 oz.) liquid $10
- Cheer (100 oz.) liquid $10
- Colgate (8.2 oz.) $2 for $5
- Garnier Fructis shampoo or conditioner 3 for $9
- American Fare 28 pack (16.9 oz.) water 2 for $7
- Planters and American Fare or Herr's nuts 2 for $9
- Plastic Shelving (5 shelf) $25
- Buy One, Get One Free on American Fare Allergy Medication
(Loratadine 10-48 ct., Diphedryl 48 ct. or 8 oz., PE 18-150 ct. or Cetiizine 14-45 ct.)
Deals are valid from July 12 - July 18, 2009
- Charmin Ultra Soft or Ultra Strong Toilet Paper 12 mega rolls or 24 rolls $12
- Bounty Paper Towels 12 big rolls $12
- Washington and Ranier Cherries $1.99/lb.
- Michigan Blueberries 3.99/lb.
- California Strawberries 2 for $3 (1 lb. containers)
- Jumbo Cantaloupes 3 for $5
- Walnuts (Bulk or 1.b ziplock bag) $4/lb.
- Center Cut Half Boneless Pork Loin $2/lb.
- Meijer Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Family Pack. $2/lb.
- Kellog's Cereal (8.7 to 16 oz.) 5 for $9
- Pam Cooking Spray (5-6 oz.) or Wesson Oil (24 oz.) 2 for $4
- Meijer Chunk Cheese (24 oz.) $4
Buy any 3 of the following participating products, get $2 off next shopping trip.
Buy any 4 of the following participating products, get $4 off next shopping trip.
*Dole Premium Classics Salid (Romaine, Greener Selection, Just Lettuce) 3 for $5
*Tomatoes on the Vine $1.69/lb.
*Starkist Tuna 5 oz. can 4 for $5
*Planters Mixed Numts, Cashew Halves, or Nut Lovers Cashews 2 for $5
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Deals valid from July 12 - 18, 2009
- Scott Paper Towels 8 pack. $5.49. Limit 3.
- Scott Toilet Paper 12 pack. $6.99. Limit 3.
- Colgate Total 4.2 oz, Baking soda and peroxide 6.94, Kids, 4.6 oz., Wave, Dora, or Sponge Bob tooth brush. Buy 1, Get 1 FREE. Limit 4.
- Purex Laundry Soap 24-32 oz. or Complete 3 in 1 20 ct. Buy 1, Get 1 FREE. Limit 4.
- Fructis Shampoo, Contitioner 10.3 - 13 oz. 3/$9.99. Limit 6.
- Ajax or Glade Dish Soap 16 oz. 99 cents.
- Gain 2x Ultra liquid. 24-32 loads. Pay $5.99, Get $2.00 back on Extra Bucks.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Little Tikes Dinosaur Sandbox - given to me for free (Thanks Julie!)
Monday, July 6, 2009
1. The Preschool Years. Jonathon. I was 4, he was 5. My first kiss. I wanted to marry him.
2. The Elementary Years. Rich. Rodney. My first real kiss. We were in 6th grade. I was at his house, and we were sitting in bean bags, watching Wide World of Sports, and drinking Orange Crush. Out of the bottle. He leaned over and kissed me.
3. The Teen Years. I hope I remember all their names. If I don't, I apologize, in case any of them are reading this blog (yea, right!) My list is like a list of top ten names of boys in the 80s. Mike, Jeff, Brigham (well, that's not a top 10-er), Sean, Cory, David, Eric, Peter, Jon, James. I "dated" Jeff off and on from 14 until 18.
4. The College Years. Mike, Mike, Mike. (Different Mikes). Only really liked the second one. Mo (short for Morris). Liked my roommate more than me (another common theme - guys would go out with me to get closer to my best friend or later on, roommate.)
5. The Working Years. Mike. (Different Mike from Teen and College Mikes.) To be fair, this Mike didn't go by his first name, but by his last name. James. Tim. Doug. Stuart.
6. The Grad School Years. Jordon. Craig.
It is a wonder that I didn't marry a guy named Mike. Or at least a guy who started with a J.
One thing that I am almost always consistent with is height. I've only liked/dated 2 guys that were taller than 5'8". Even most of the guys I liked/dated in preschool/elementary/teen years were on the shorter side.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I'm looking forward to watching many hours of enjoyment for the 5 and under crowd on this climber. Woo-hoo!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Little Tikes Basketball Hoop - $3
Most of the rest of the pictures are in the school room. We are in the process of reorganizing, so try and overlook the cluttered look. I'll take a picture of the whole room when it is done.