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Archive for August, 2016

Back in School, Lots going on

August 27th, 2016 at 03:55 pm

I haven't posted in a while...

1. Had a sort of minor health issue - the whites of my eyes turned completely red! Yuck! I won't get into how I ended up at the dr. and blood tests, etc... but it's an auto-immune problem. The red is gone, but this is the 4th time this has happened in 6 months. The red is gone, so that's good. I need an appt. with a rheumatologist and apparently that will take a miracle according to my doctor. This is a small city with only a few doctors of each type. I may have to go to Albuquerque. One of the drs. used to go to the gym with me; maybe he'll remember my name and fit me in? Anyway, spent about $70 on dr. visits and eye drops so far.

2. Yesterday was the annual 5th/6th grade hike. Parents are welcome. We went 9.75 miles round trip up to the top of the mountain and back. Super fun! I got to talk to lots of kids, including many 5th graders I didn't know. One girl is new in my daughter's class; my daughter thinks she's awesome and she was instant friends with my daughter and her other three friends when they met at the before-school-started party I organized at the park.

I walked with the girl for a while and asked how she likes it here (she also moved from another state) and she said it's incredible... she loves the state, loves her new friends, loves the school. She said the other two times she moved schools it took like a month before she even had anyone to eat lunch with and this time she had four friends to each lunch with the very first day and every day since!

On the hike, she smelled a ponderosa pine for the first time - have you ever smelled in the cracks in the bark of a ponderosa? It smells like butterscotch! Or vanilla, or caramel. If you have any ponderosas near you (or if you come to the Rocky Mountains), you have to sniff the trees!!!

3. I am taking a break between cleaning the house... my new method is do two cleaning things (clean birdcage, vacuum den or whatever) and then relax for a few minutes. I have mentioned before that I don't have a house cleaner. This frees up a lot of money to do things that are more meaningful to me.

4. Did the menu plan for the week already. Will post it later. I am usually really good about diet (lots of vegetables, no red meat, no pork, not a lot of fat), and I am trying to eat even more veggies. I always have to take into account soccer nights when we don't get to eat until 7:45 or 8 (so the food needs to be done when we get home).

5. Besides working, I have a long term project going on at the office... I am building another dollhouse. Right now it doesn't look like much. I work on it maybe 1/2 hour a day, so it might take a while.

6. Got a check for $18.56 for jury duty, and I put it toward the mortgage. I need to update the mortgage balance on my sidebar. We now owe $28,888.33. Below $30k! Next milestone is $20k... that will really feel weird (and great).

7. That's it - need to go clean the birdcage now!

Trip to the MALL

August 15th, 2016 at 12:02 am

F and I went to Albuquerque today to get her a dress for our good friend's wedding.

We found the perfect dress at H&M - bright green, not lacy, not revealing, just a cute sleeveless dress with a flared skirt. $10!!

We also got a long sweater at the Gap - wedding is October 15, and that is definitely a transition season here. It could be warm still but cold at night. It usually snows in late October/early November.

We had lunch out, too, and it was fun hanging out. We played music in the car and sang.

I am not good at malls, however. Or shopping in general. F is like me. We bailed early.

And we did not find ballet flats. Ugh. I am thinking maybe Target? I hesitate asking her friends' parents where they get theirs, because I fear it may be $100 flats from J Crew.

In other news, apparently one of F's best friends is "ready to move on to 7th" and has been since last year, according to her mother. She is reading Sylvia Plath (!!!) and Shakespeare and is ready for more. I had to carefully compose an email back (couldn't just ignore her) where I said something like "oh, aren't they all so different" and that I think F will really benefit from being the oldest grade in the school for a year before she goes to the "big school." What I didn't say: Their school, by the way, is academically excellent. And there are so many new responsibilities and privileges in 6th. Not sure that academics is the only measure of moving on. And not sure that this girl (or any girl that age) should be reading Sylvia Plath.

Sigh.

I hope I'm not a pushy parent.

Food Plan and a Pet Peeve

August 12th, 2016 at 01:23 am

I'm in the bedroom with my laptop, and F is in the living room playing Life with her friend G. I am the mom that other moms can always ask to take their daughters home from soccer camp (or practice or school or whatever). This is great, and I love being that mom, but it means always having the house stocked with watermelon and popsicles and string cheese.

It's hard to keep the grocery bills down!

But I am trying.

The meal plan for next week:
fishy - pad thai noodles
potatoey/eggy - crash potatoes and veggies
chickeny - make a whole chicken with veg and rice
cheesy/bready - frito pies
something from the freezer with salad
pasta - with goat cheese and courgettes

Bonus: the pad thai can be eaten as leftovers, chicken always results in leftovers that can be made into croquettes or whatever, I already have beans in the freezer for frito pies. Three vegetarian meals, one fish meal, two chicken/turkey meals - that is right in my preferred ratio!

Today's pet peeve is: I am on the Building and Grounds Committee at F's school (that's not the pet peeve) and the Chair wants to meet on Monday, two days before school starts. Um - I don't have childcare two days before school starts, and if we meet before school starts, then I have to bring my daughter. This guy has a daughter the same age, in my daughter's class, but I'm assuming he is counting on his wife to watch their daughter, so he doesn't need to bring her to a meeting. I told him I couldn't do it until the day school starts, so hopefully that works, but I can't help think that there is a little bit of insensitivity about women who work full-time and are responsible for family life.

The Gym - Ugh Ugh Ugh

August 8th, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I am now going to rant a little bit about my dumb gym, so you can skip this bit if you want.

Rant!! When I got to class (the class I take, not the class I teach) today I had not been paid for May, June or July. Grrr!

Rant again!!! I walked in the door and the owner thought I was the teacher for that class. He said "Here's L!" And then he backpedaled and said "Oh, no - wait - M is teaching today!" Huh? I said "I am?" and he said "Yeah, didn't you get L's text?" Um, no. But I keep all of my music and choreo in the car, so I taught.

Rant Rant Rant!!! While I was doing abs (almost done with the class, but not done) he comes over, distracts me and starts handing me some cash for July he said. I told him (between heel digs) that I hadn't been paid for May or June either. He said I wasn't there in June. I left on vacation June 26th, so what was he talking about? I missed two classes (I teach two a week) and taught 7.

Rant Rant Again!!! He paid me some weird low-ball amount, which I will use to pay down the mortgage.

And more: He said I'm now supposed to teach three classes and one of them is 8:45 am which I told him I can't do until school starts. I hope we ironed that out, but I think we probably didn't.

YOU CAN START READING AGAIN....

1. I am going to quit this gym.
2. I already contacted another gym that has the license for the class I teach, and they have spinning, too, and I'm certified to teach that for life.
3. I need to recertify for the weightlifting class, and it's $290, but this other gym pays $25 per class, so I'll have that paid back in three months or less.

So there you go. Big changes, I guess. And even though I so don't want to recertify, and I think it's stupid (the main reason I need to recertify is that I wasn't teaching in a licensed gym which is because my gym let the license lapse). I've been certified to teach this class since 2002.

I know that ultimately this will mean more money and I'll be happier with a well-run gym.

Now I just need to concentrate on getting architecture work - need a new project for 2017 (made all the money I need to for 2016). This feels like a turning point in getting control back.

Lots Going on in Late Summer (and a Photo!)

August 7th, 2016 at 05:22 pm

So much going on here right now! We're trying to eke out a little more summer before school starts.

Circus Camp - F had her circus camp performance on Friday night. She did trapeze (photo below!) and unicycling and stilt-walking. I bought her a new t-shirt because her old one from camp is too small ($15).

Lots of Unicycling in the Park - We went to the park a lot to practice unicycling. I even tried it, and couldn't even get on the saddle! Grrr!

Soccer in the Park - tonight, meeting friends. And we're bringing the unicycle of course.

My friend's wedding - in mid-October! I'm so excited for her! And F is the flower girl, which means we need to get her a dress and some ballet flats. Yes, my daughter only owns soccer cleats, sneakers, indoor soccer cleats and a pair of outdoor/merrell type sandals. And she has exactly one dress that is a cotton thing she wears after the pool. Where we live dress-wearing doesn't come up that often. All of this means a trip to Albuquerque. They have a Macy's, a Gap, Old Navy. Any other ideas for a dress for a girl that isn't just a dress-wearer?

D's Job - D is getting worried that the non-profit he is working for is shrinking a bit. I think his job is safe, but he's looking around anyway. This is not a big city, and the jobs in his field aren't plentiful, and he's sort of freaking out. So I had to go through this exercise with him where I calc'd only our necessary expenses, and it turns out if we stopped saving and bought only essentials we could live on my salary. Assuming this would only be for a few months, it wouldn't be that bad. So I think he isn't worrying as much. When we pay off our mortgage things will be even less tight.

My nephew - D is on the phone with our brother-in-law right now making arrangements! My fingers are crossed, and I will let you know when things are worked out.

Clean House - Every weekend I clean the house, but I'm DONE so we can go to the pool!

Mortgage - We are officially in the 20k's!!!! $29,296.94. I would say this deserves a celebration, and I'd planned to treat ourselves every time we went went down $10k, but I am so focused on paying this off that I just want to save the money for that and not go out for a big dinner or something.

New lunchbox - Got F a new lunch box yesterday. She'd had her old one 3 years and I was having a hard time getting it to stop smelling! Yuck! I washed it every night! Anyway, it was tax-free day here which meant it was 8% less than usual, and I used my Target card, so another 5% off. So the total was $10. She's very excited about it since it's cute but not girly, a teen/tween lunch box/bag: http://www.target.com/p/thermos-lunch-bag-rainbow/-/A-49146390

And now it's time to go buy groceries and then go to the pool! Hope you're all enjoying the rest of summer!