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Archive for February, 2005

What a day

March 1st, 2005 at 02:07 am

55 days to go - 55 days to go. I can't say that I was happy to be back with my kids. Some of them had made me sweet cards, but the first 20 minutes reminded me why I can SO hardly wait till May 24. Not to mention that during staff worship today I found out that our ONE sub has been enticed to fill in for the church secretary who's out on maternity leave for the next SIX weeks. So, that basically means that not only can none of us teachers get sick, but also that I have NO AIDE whatsoever for the next SIX weeks!!!!! When I heard that I just wanted to cry.

My new boy has some major issues. He's a well behaved child in general, but he has some social/cleanliness issues which his mom had been called on at his old school, and is why she pulled him out. So now I get to deal with them. Nice.

The kids were really hard to manage today. Probably my being gone for two days didn't help any - getting out of routines, etc. Ok -enough about school.

After school I went to TT and got some grapes. They were on sale 10/$10. Smile Mmmm I love grapes. Smile Then I went to WMU and got my grocery money for the month. Then I stoped at Albie's and got my payday gas. Last but not least, I stopped by CVS and picked up my prescription (allergy meds) and the $25 gift card for a transfered scrip. Smile

Ugh. I've gotta call the new kids mom to tell her about the incident today. Yup, just the way I want to start a relationship with a parent. How many days till its over again?

OH! Forgot to say that I took one of my new pairs of shoes back to Payless. The ankle strap was just too tight to be comfortable. I couldn't find the receipt, so I got store credit for it instead.

Spending Log:
Today:
CVS: $16.00 -- (meds)
Albertsons: $6.90 (gas)
Tom Thumb: $4.20 (grapes -yummy!)

Grocery Spending so far: $4.20

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

March Goals

March 1st, 2005 at 01:44 am

Okay, I have the feeling that this is going to be a spendy kind of a month -- with my dad's trial, spring break, and Monkey being at the vet for dental work.

I think I made too many goals last month. I'm going to simplify this month.

1. No Spend Days: 12 (I'm keeping the # low because I'm just not sure what all this month is going to bring.)

2. Finish current Real Estate course. Begin next one.

3. Drink very little to no soda.

4. When thirsty, drink WATER.

5. Let God handle whatever happens before, during and after the trial.

6. Think PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).

7. No more than one FF visit.

8. Use frozen pizza if a craving hits - not Pizza Hut!

9. Limit CC debt/charges to only new real estate course.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

February Goals Updated

March 1st, 2005 at 01:34 am

These were my goals for February:

anuary 30 - February 26
Financial Goals:
1. 12 No Spend Days (4 more than January) -- DONE 17/12

2. Except for Milk, Juice, Fruit, Veggies and bread, eat from my stockpile.
-----Not quite. Did buy a lot of stuff for stockpiling.

3. Grocery/Gas budget is set for $150 -- my goal is to spend no more than $90.
--------Well . .. . I didn't go over budget, but I sure went over the $90!

4. No new charges on credit card.
------Almost made this. I had to put my students field trip on my card -they required it to be paid in full two weeks in advance. I'll get money back from my kids and put it back to the CC.

5. Find out if you can get a loan reported to Credit Beaureaus. (sp?
--- Not yet.

Personal/Health Goals:
1. NO Fast Food stops - that means DQ, TB and BK!!!
----------- Well, I almost made it. Just one.

2. NO Soda!! I went over a year without drinking soda and am getting back into bad habits.
----- Not quite - but I did much, much better this month.

3. When I'm thirsty - WATER. When I'm hungry - WATER!
----- I did much much better with this.

4. Do the Chicometrics video at least 8 x (2x a week)
-----nope, not even once Frown

5. Go for a 30 minute walk at least 8 x (2x a week)
---- umm. . . did twice Frown

6. Complete 25 lessons in Real Estate course.
---- I'm not sure exactly how many I did, but I think I came pretty close to this.

7. Sort books (home). Take some books to Half-Price Bookstore. List some on Ebay. Pack the rest.
-----nope

8. Go for at least TWO 7 mile bike rides. There is a perfectly good 7 mile round trip bike trail less than a mile from my house!
----nope

9. Get back into doing personal devotions on a DAILY basis! Worship before school with colleagues DOES NOT count!
---- did for awhile, but pooped out

10. No more than 75 minutes on the computer per weekday (not counting time working on Real Estate course.) No more than 180 minutes per weekend day. (Time not on the computer may NOT be turned into extra TV consumption!)
------Sort of - though did really bad on the weekends

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Belated Sunday Entry :)

March 1st, 2005 at 01:23 am

Sunday was registration day. It also was the first day I'd been back in my classroom since Wednesday. Let me tell you, it reminded me once again why I have very rarely taken sick days. Ugh! One of my baskets with about 8 washcloths/socks that we use for cleaning the individual marker boards had completely dissapeared. The only thing I could think of was that it had gotten knocked off into the trashcan either on Thursday or Friday and no one had noticed it -- and it got thrown away!

I got most of my lesson plans done before registration. I'm still not sure why I even had to be present there during registration. I pretty much didn't DO anything for two hours. What a waste of time!

After registration I finished up with my lesson plans, etc. Then I cut out the coupons from the paper. Next I went to Albertson's and took advantadge of the double dollar coupon extravaganza. I wish I had brought my $5 coupon off $50 - but I didn't think I'd get up over $50. Frown

I read one of my books that I'd gotten from the library. It was SO good! It was Nicholas Spark's "Suzzanne's Diary for Nicholas."

Spending Log:
Today:
Wal-Mart: $3.62 (Sun Belt Granola Bars)
Albersons: $19.68 ($62.xx worth of groceries!)
Taco Bell: $5.10 (I know, I know, -- but it was the last day of the month, and I had some grocery money left. )

Total: ~$28.00

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Early morning call

February 27th, 2005 at 05:31 am

This morning I was rudely awakened at 7:30a.m by my friend/colleauge. Well, I didn't really think she was being rude - just I hadn't gone to bed till 2am so was still kind of konked. She was so sweet, wanting to know if I needed her to bring anything over - or to bring me something for lunch. Such a good friend. Smile

I slept most of the day again. Then this afternoon when I finally got up, I worked on my finances a bit. I figured out I'll have enough in my Slush Fund to live on till August without having to hit my Long Term Savings or my Contingency Fund. So, if I manage to make a sale in the first three months (and close it) I won't have to touch those monies - maybe even add to them. Smile Smile

I think I must have spent a couple hours on that. Then I worked on my Real Estate course for a few hours. Finished a whole section. It was really interesting seeing how you figure out the market value of a property. I'm hoping though that whomever my broker turns out to be will teach me how to do the market anylsis a bit more throughly. It was somewhat confusing.

Albertsons is having a double dollar/triple to .75 day today and tomorrow. I thought about going there tonight. I still might -it's open 24 hours. It's been a cold and drizzly day though, so haven't wanted to go outside much. I also don't really have much in the way of coupons right now. I haven't been buying the papers unless I see there's more than two or three coupons I really want. I probably ought to get the double tomorrow though - am hoping for some Green Giant cpns -especially since March is "Frozen Food Month."

I'm going to try to be at the school by 11 tomorrow. That'll give me a couple hours before registration to get my lesson plans done. I wish I could skip out on the whole registration thing.

Oh! I checked my mail tonight. I got the flyers I was supposed to get on Tuesday and Wednesday today - weird. I also got my next two DVD's from Blockbuster. Will probably have to wait till next weekend to watch them though.

My goal is to finish my Real Estate course by March 13 (before Spring Break and the trial). I realized something last night. My dad when he is staying here before the trial - he's going to notice a piece of furniture missing. For my 15th birthday I got a Roll-top desk. I loved it, but it really was very impractical - the drawers were so narrow you couldn't fit normal files in it. So last month I donated it for the garage sale one of the classes was having. I had kind of been hoping he'd never have to know - if you know what I mean.

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 17/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

At Home again

February 26th, 2005 at 08:09 am

Ok. So this morning I was feeling somewhat better, but still not quite well enough where I thought I could deal with my 12 little munchkins. So I called in sick for a second day and emailed lesson plans.

After feeding kitty (who was begging pityfully by the time I was done with lesson plans) I headed back to bed where I slept pretty soundly till about 2pm. I went to the library and got the 4 books on hold. I asked what number I was in line for he Grisham book and was told #9. That'll be awhile for sure. Then I stopped at Albertsons and picked up a couple of items - no, they weren't totally necessary, but I decided to go ahead and get them anyway. I was really wanting a pizza again, and decided that getting a $5 frozen pizza (Portobello Mushroom California Kitchen) was better than spending $14 on a delivered pizza.

I talked to both my mom and my dad for about an hour apiece. Mom and I talked about living arrangements during the trial. I told her that I had a doctors appointment the first morning of trial, and wouldn't be able to be there till the afternoon. My dad asked if he could stay with me from the 8th till before the trial (maybe the 13th). I told him he could. It'll be very strange having another person in my place - will have to adjust some habits of mine (especially early morning ones).

It was good talking to both of them. My mom did worry me a bit because she was talking like she was thinking of quitting her job because she "is just SO stressed out about everything." Hello! I'm feeling pretty stressed out myself - having to deal with the same things she is, not to mention other things, - do you see me cutting out on my kids? Ok, ok, so I will be leaving this job, but not til the end of my contract term, and not to just plain NOT work (which is kind of what I think she's talking about - trying for disability.)

I'd filled out this interest form for an extended car warranty place - just to get a quote - a few days ago. This evening I got a call from them. It really sounded quite interesting to me. It was a warranty that covered 100% parts/labor with a $100 copay. It covered all the major systems (a/c, cooling, electrical, transmission, brake, etc etc.) It also included Roadside Assistance, Car Rental ($35/day - 5 days), and Travel Intteruption (100 miles away from home and car breaks down, they cover hotel and food up to 3 days). The warranty is for 4 yrs/49K miles.

I have a 97' Honda Civic with about 72K miles on it. It's in pretty good shape, but it's not been without a few glitches (for example, three years ago my a/c went kaput on me -- in JUNE). I plan on keeping this car for at least another 3 or more years, and know that something COULD happen to one of the major systems. I thought about it a lot. I realized that I would save $160 in four years from canceling the Roadside and Car Rental from my Car Insurance. I decided to go ahead and make the down payment (totally refundable.)

They'll be sending me paperwork to review, and I'll have 30 days to either decide to keep it, or cancel and get my money back. If I decide to keep it, it will cost me a total of $1508 - $245 downpayment, and $105.25 *12 at 0% financing. When I had my a/c fixed I got a deal at $600. Last month I had my car in for 60K service, and replacing the CV joints - and it cost me ~$1400 ($700 for CV alone.) So . . if I would have had this warranty when my a/c broke and last month -- it would have already paid for itself.
I'm anxious to get the materials to be able to read more throughly about the whole plan/program.

Ok, it's now extremely late, and I really ought to be heading back to bed. I didn't check my mail today(Friday), so I don't know if I got any or not. Will check that later this (Saturday now) afternoon.

Spending Log:
Today:
Albertsons: $10.37
Car Warranty: $245.00

Total: $255.37 Ugh - what a big number. Frown

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

A Day At Home - Spelling Police

February 25th, 2005 at 01:05 am

This morning I woke up feeling like death warmed over. I got up and got dressed and even tried to eat some breakfast, but I still wasn't feeling at all good by 7am. So I called my principal and told her that I wouldn't be able to come in. I wrote out my lesson plans and emailed them.

I did a lot of sleeping, some tv watching, and a little bit of computer time. I am feeling better now, and definately plan on going to work tomorrow.

4 of the 5 books I put on hold are now in at the library. I'll have to make sure to stop by there after work tomorrow to pick them up.

I went to check the mail today. There wasn't any. This is kind of weird - I didn't get any mail on Tuesday, not even the circulars, and I didn't get any mail today - usually get the Albertson's flyer on Thursdays.

I'm not really looking forward to this weekend. We have registration on Sunday, which is going to cut about four hours out of my day. Not to mention the possibility of parents asking me about next year - and me not wanting to say anything if theres a chance of the kids hearing it just yet.

I had made a post on another board I frequent. Apparentally I had misspelled ONE word. One of the ladies who responded said, "I hope you don't teach spelling!" I've seen other people get lamblasted for their misspellings, and have always felt that it was quite rude. But today I experienced it for myself - and I've got to tell you, it left a sick feeling in my stomach. And it made it hard for me to read any of that particular poster's other posts without a bit of color to it. I admidt, it does annoy me sometimes when I see "lose" spelled "loose" but I would never call someone on it. I also would never heckle someones profession just because they misspelled ONE word, or made some grammar mistakes. Of course, I now do know how to spell that word without any question, so maybe that in a way was a good thing.

Oh well. Guess I better head back off to bed.

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00

No Spend Days: 15/12 (goal/actual)

57 days to go. 57 days to go. 57 days to go. Wink

Keeping It Frugal In Texas,
Laura

Wired Kids

February 24th, 2005 at 02:18 am

58 days . . . 58 days! Oh me oh my, what wired kids I do have. Oy vey! From the moment they walked in the door this morning, till the moment I brought the remaining 4 to the lunchroom after school - wild, wild, wild!

My second graders finished their Math unit today, and started the next one. Hee. Smile While we were out for PE the 3rd grade class came out (they were my kids once) to explode their volcanoes. All my kids wanted to watch of course. They were amazingly well behaved. Amazing how kids can behave when they're getting to do something they really want to do. Smile

After school we had a staff meeting. First one in a while. One of our teachers said that he still needed $200 to be able to buy some water bottles to sell for a fundraiser. A couple of teachers piped up and said that if we all (10 of us) donated $20 he'd have his $200. In my head I'm going "no way! But I guess I'll take the $20 out of my tithe money, because I'd look like a gimp if I ddin't contribute. Don't you just love it when other people volunteer your money? NOT!

I stopped by Albertson's to get some milk, and ended up getting some of the oatmeal that was on sale. While I was out my mom called me, but I didn't hear it till it had already gone to voicemail. I called her when I got home. She'd had a great time on the cruise with her friend - and had miracuously (sp?) stayed out of the casino - if I can believe her.

We were talking about the next time we could get together, and I mentioned Spring Break. She told me that that week is when my dad's trial is going to start (if it actually goes to trial). I'll have to miss the first day because I already scheduled a doctor's appointment for that morning. I really don't want to spend my spring break in a courtroom. I have so much packing and decluttering I need to do, not to mention getting stuff done on my Real Estate courses. I know I'll end up going anyway, cuz thats what families are for, right? To support each other in good and bad times.

This morning I hit my head hard on the edge of my bed. All day long I've had a massive headache and felt nautious. By the time I got home and got off the phone with my mom, it was almost dark. So I skipped exercise today. Will NOT skip tomorrow.

NYPD Blue last night was just so awesome. Andy's in charge of the 15th now. Ahhhh!! I so called it. Smile Only one more to go. Frown

I got my new electric bill today -- $53.07 -- down another $4!! Smile Smile It's kind of funny seeing the average temperature dropping each month, and the average billing amount dropping as well.

Spending Log:
Today:
Albertsons: $7.58 (Groceries)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Don't do this to your CD's!!

February 23rd, 2005 at 02:44 am

I've learned a hard lesson. In trying to be frugal and efficient, I bought one of those hard back plastic "CD Wallets". It hold about 25 CD's back to back. They're "held" by clicking on this little upraised thing in the middle of a plastic circle. The problem is that they don't grab onto this "grip" very easily, and when they do, they tend to fall off easily. Also, the CD;s aren't totally seperated from each other.

All of this adds up to mondo scratches, as well as some kind of a ring like mark on the backs of some of my CD's. All of this makes the CD's virtually unlistenable.

Anyone have any ideas? Any way I can save my poor poor CD's??

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Not as bad as I imagined :)

February 23rd, 2005 at 02:40 am

59 days! 59 days! Well, I actually had the new kid show up today! Good thing I was ready for him. Smile I'm not totally sure what to think of him just yet. He seems pretty well behaved, and he is reading pretty well - but trying to get answers from him is like pulling teeth. He's worse in that way than my Danielle (my sweet, lovely, smart girl -who also started out REALLY shy last year). I felt kind of bad for him becuase 1)I didn't have any help again today, so it was a bit hectic trying to get him situated into the classroom, while still continuing on with the normal program, 2) My kids were SO excited about a new student - especially the boys -- that they were WILD - especially my "M" who's a handful on the best of days, 3) my new boy and "M" were playing Math War and "M" got upset because "J" wasn't paying attention to him/the game and PUNCHED "J" on the leg -- his first day!!! By the end of the day though both "J" and "M" seemed to have made up (after "M" had a bit of time spent in the principal's office!) 4) He doesn't seem to be very well versed in the Bible or in Jesus songs - he looked kind of lost this morning during worship - but we tend to sing the same songs over and over ad infinium, so soon he'll get the hang of them. Smile

Other than the kids being kind of hard to settle down, and not having any help during Reading or Math, the day really did go pretty well. My second graders were so funny today during Math. We were starting the unit on numbers to 1000 - I told them that I figured that they could do the first two lessons very easily today -- they did, within about 6 minutes - LOL! So I had them go ahead and do the 3rd lesson - lickety split. One of them asked me if we could do another lesson, but this was about the time that "M" hit "J" so I told them tomorrow. Smile I love it when kids are excited about learning. Smile

After school I called the place that has my pet insurance and told them my new debit expiration number. I also asked if the dental cleaning was a part of my plan - it wasn't. Frown I also finally sent in the paperwork to get my FREE $20 gas card from the auto insurance quote. I forgot though to go to the library to pick up a couple of books (John Grisham and James Patterson) and to pick up a thing of milk (the milk I'd had frozen and thawed turned on me faster than I'd realized.)

I did though take a 35 minute walk, and then did some stretching and situps! Yay me! I also didn't eat any junky food today, and drank a fair amount of water. Now all I have to do is keep this up!!! Go Laura, Go Laura, Go! Go! Go!

Oh! I almost forgot! I had several compliments today on my new pants. Smile I told them that I'd gotten them from Ross for only $4. Smile Smile

Almost time to watch the second to last NYPD Blue. Frown Frown Frown Thanks for the memories, Andy. Frown

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spending Days: 14/12 (actual/goal) Smile Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

A spending kind of day

February 22nd, 2005 at 01:31 am

I got up late this morning and spent some time on the computer. Then I went over to the school and put together my lesson plans for the week. I made an executive decision about my second grader's math - I decided to skip a unit on geometry -they already had all that info last year, and I'm afraid we won't get to the multiplication and division at the end of the book - only 12 more weeks to go! (Wahoo!!) If I do end up with extra time, then I'll just go back to that and do a few fun lessons.

I went to the dollar theatre and saw "Shark Tale." It was really quite a funny and cute movie. Then on the way back I decided to stop at Ross and see if I could find a pair of dress pants that would fit me. I've unfortunately gained back 60% of the weight I had lost two years ago, and for the last few months have had to resort to ONLY wearing skirts to work (except on Fridays when I can wear jeans) because all of my dress pants are WAY too tight on me. I ended up finding one nice pair of pants for $4, a really pretty purple velvet top for $14 and a dressy black skirt for $9. The skirt and top will give me something else to wear for church as well. When I lost my weight, I had gotten rid of most of my really big clothes, so my outfits have become somewhat limited.

After Ross, I stopped at the Noodle Bar and got something to go. Mmmm. . I love the Noodle Bar -good food and reasonable prices. Then I stopped at Kroger's and got some groceries.

Trying on clothes in Ross was a trying experience for me. On Friday I mentioned that in the class pictures I appeared to look like a balloon. Well, I'm not so sure if that camera was so distorted.

I know what it takes to lose weight. It's simple in theory. Eat less calories than you burn. Yeah - simple in theory. Two years ago I managed to lose 60 pounds which put me about 25 pounds away from a healthy weight -- but I felt pretty good where I was at and decided to live with it for awhile. Unfortunately, though I was able to keep it off for more than a year, old habits came creeping back, and the weight has creeped back as well.

I have got to get back on the exercise/weight loss train. Not just for my health, but for my pocketbook too. Right now, if I gain very much more, I'm going to have to pretty much buy a new wardrobe. BUT if I manage to lose just 15 - 20 lbs, I'll essentially gain a WHOLE wardrobe - especially 6 really nice suits that will be great for being a Real Estate Agent.

Part of my problem is that I've just been feeling so run down and tired. Although I also know that that is just an excuse. When I see my doctor in a few weeks I think I'm going to ask to be put back on synthroid.

I think I'm going to see if one of the teachers would be willing to give me a ride home after school. Then I could change into tennies/jeans and walk back to the school to get my car. That would be about 2 1/2 miles. I could possibly walk to school, but the main problem with that is getting all sweaty before school starts - yuck. I think this may be a way I could actually get my exercise in. Also, I think I'm going to start getting the fudge bars again for my chocolate treat. That worked quite well before, maybe it'll curb my sweet tooth again. I need to start journaling my food again - and be VERY honest about it.

Spending Log:
Today:
Kroger's: $9.53 (groceries)
Movie: $1.00
Ross: $31.38 (clothing)
Noodle Bar: $5.36

Total: ~47.19

Keeping It Frugal in Texas (and trying to Keep It Healthy!)

Laura

Not much done today either :)

February 21st, 2005 at 03:37 am

Heh. So I planned on doing a whole bunch of lessons in my Real Estate, and do some decluttering. Didn't do either. Ended up watchng movies all day and reading stuff on the internet. It's not too late though, so I still could get some Real Estate lessons done.

I've gotta figure out what I'm going to do for our Electricity unit on Wednesday. I really don't want to spend any money on materials for it if I don't have to, but I'm getting to the point where I don't know what more to do to stretch it out without doing some experiments - which would mean buying stuff. ugh.

I really need to try and list some stuff on ebay. I have so many tons of teacher books that I don't want to move. It's just so tedious listing them all.

I probably ought to call Tammy and see how Roundup went today. Maybe she'll want to go to a movie with me tomorrow (at the $1 theatre).

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spending Days: 13/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Do Nothing day

February 20th, 2005 at 04:02 am

Today was a do nothing day. I slept for the majority of it - conked out with the help of nighttime cold medicine. I did also read a book which I'd been wanting to read for awhile. I also talked to my colleague Tammy for about 20 minutes. She'd been out quite a few days recently dealing with her sick daughter, so we hadn't had much of a chance to talk. I found out that my aide has been officially "asked" to resign. If you ask me it was a really stupid move on the part of the school - but of course they'll not ask me. Like Tammy says, I hope that they won't leave me hanging. I just can't tell you how much I HATE school politics. 60 days left. 60 days left.

Tomorrow I'd like to do about 20 lessons or so in my real estate course, and maybe get my upstairs closet decluttered. Other than that though, I plan on again just sleeping and relaxing. Monday I'll take in a movie at the $1 theatre and do lesson plans for the coming week. Not exactly a productive weekend, but hopefully relaxing/rejuvinating enough to get me through till Spring Break in 3 weeks (14 school days).

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 12/12 (actual/goal) -- Met goal -- yeahhh!! Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Glad the day is over!

February 19th, 2005 at 03:11 am

Ughh! What a day. I had a horribly hard time getting myself out of bed this morning. Then when I got to school/work I was feeling miserable. We have a shortened worship, and our principal decides to have all the kids go to the rooms 15 minutes early (due to all the expensive photography equipment in the lunch room)- um, thanks, nice to NOT have a chance to use the bathroom before my uninteruppted qualtiy time with 11 children ensue for the next 8 hours (did I mention, no aide whatsoever today.)

Get the kids settled down. Have worship, kids recite memory verse. Then we have the closing prayer - and of course its a PITB because several of my studetns just WON'T hold hands right or keep their eyes closed - which is the main reason I cut back on doing closing prayer circle to just once a week. Get the kids started on their work. Five minutes later, get called to the lunchroom/All-purpose room for class pictures. Ugh - I look like a balloon - don't even get to stand behind my kids - nope, right out there in full view. I hope that that black and white version was WAY distorted.

Get the kids back to the room. Have about 10 minutes work time before recess. Get the kids back from recess, play Spell Ball. It's time for lunch. Lunch prayer is just finished. Little girl pipes up and says "M put his hand up my skirt during prayer!" Arghh! Lord help me! Get the rest of the class to the lunchroom. Make sure the two students involved are NOT seated next to each other. Heat up the food of another student who's parent sent microwavable only food -even though she knows that we teachers are NOT supposed to microwave food for students - but says that the church secretary will do it -- of course, said church secretary isn't there at lunch time. Tell principal what happened during lunch prayer. She talks to both of the students involved. Student "M" ends up getting sent home (of course he remained with me through lunch time and through lunch recess.) It seems like one student after another just can't keep their hands to themself (though thankfully not to the same extent as "M"!) It's 11:30 a.m. I am feeling yuckier than something the cat drug in, and am dealing with all this. All I want to do is go home and be done with it!

Luckily the rest of the afternoon went okay. My second graders read their books to the 1st - 4th graders, which went pretty well. After school the dad of the little girl student told me that he thought we'd overreacted to the whole thing, and that it could have just been let to blow over. I thought of it later, but okay, yeah YOU might feel this way, but how am I or my principal supposed to know which parents would want something like this to just "blow over" and which ones would raise holy hockey stick if not much was done? I know that *I* would be upset if some little boy stuck his hand up my daughters skirt - no matter if he was *just* 7 years old! The dad also said something about his not being on the school board. What is he trying to imply? That he'd try to do something about my job or my principal's job because of what he feels was an "overreaction"? Ha! I'd love to see him try - especially since neither one of us are asking to be rehired next year!!!!

Okay, so not to let you know that I'm anxious or anything - but -- only 60 days left!!!!!!!!

Ordered "Giggle, Gaggle, Quack" "Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type" "No, David" and "Henry and Mudge and the Friendly Cat" from Scholastic for my end-of-year presents. I used up all of the bonus points that I had earned this year - so spent no money - just time and effort. There weren't any good books before Christmas, so I wasn't able to give my traditional book at Christmas - so I decided to give two books at the end of the year instead of just one. (My second graders already have "Giggle, Giggle, Quack" because I gave it to them last year - so they're getting the Henry and Mudge book.) My second graders were surprised that they didn't get a book from me at Christmas - though I still did give them something that wasn't mindless - an art set (from the dollar store - but still, it was something to keep their minds occupied during the Christmas break.)

Oh, almost forgot. I found out today that I'll be getting a new first grade boy on Tuesday. I am praying that he will be an Eric or a William or a Toby -- and NOT be a Trenton or a Christopher(shudder! -esp. when combined with my "M") or heaven forbid -- a Jessie James!!! I had one new student added the second week of school who turned out to be a joy - so I'm hoping I'll be lucky and have a second joyful addition.

When I finally got out of work today, I had HUGE cravings for comfort food - as well as food that satisfies when you're not feeling well. So, I stopped by Albertsons. And, well, I ordered again from Pizza Hut. Oy vey! What am I going to do with myself? At least I'll probably be staying in the next couple of days and not spending any money - so maybe I can make up for it.

Spending Log:
Today:
Albertsons: $12.56 (food)
Pizza Hut: $13.50 (pizza)

Total: $26.06

Ugh.

So NOT Keeping It Frugal in Texas, Frown
Laura

Is it Friday yet?

February 18th, 2005 at 12:29 am

Ok, ok. I know it isn't Friday yet. Guess I'm just looking forward to Friday at 3:30 p.m. when I can say goodbye to the school until Monday. Hello long weekend! Smile Though I guess I do have to say I am glad it is Thursday because the new season of Survivor is starting tonight, and there's a new ER. Smile

61 days to go. Today was actually a pretty good day. Even though the substitue aide (our one and only available sub now) was out sick, and I was told that my normal aide would probably be out again all week next week, the day really went pretty well.

Tomorrow is class picture day. I hope that everyone makes it. One of my girls was out sick today, and another one was complaining of not feeling very well near the end of the day. I hate it when kids are not in the class picture. I keep a photo album with pictures of all the kids I've ever taught -from before student teaching when I worked as a teacher's aide - till now. I have 11 years worth of pictures. It's fun to go back and look at pictures of kids I've worked with over the years. Remembering all their quirks and personalities, the difficult ones, the ones I absolutely adored, etc.

When I got home I saw that they have finally tiled my utility closet. It's a very nice tile. Of course the person who did it left his smoother thingy (can you tell that I'm a real handy gal?) I think I may move the majority of my stockpile into the closet. Then again, do I really want to go to all the hassle of moving it up there when I'll be moving in a few short months? Hmm. .. will have to consider this.

I really feel sorry for my cat. Ever since I took him to the vet and was told that he needed to lose weight, I've cut back on his food to 1/2 cup a day. That's what the vet reccomended. She also reccommended that I actually use a measuring cup instead of a mug. Poor baby, he thinks he's being abused. I've always fed him in the morning before I go to work, and again at night before I go to bed. So now I'm giving him 1/4 cup in the morning, and a 1/4 cup at night. His bowl is absolutely empty when I get home from work, and when I get up in the morning. On the bright side though, he does seem a bit more peppy than he had been. When I was changing out of my work clothes today, he attacked my skirt. Smile

Mmmm . . I think I smell my pizza. Rumbling sounds are coming from my tummy. Better go feed the girl. Smile

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spending Days: 11/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

In the middle :(

February 17th, 2005 at 03:14 am

On Sunday my mom called me and told me about her going on a cruise with a close girlfriend of hers. She also asked me to NOT mention this fact to other people (namely my dad). Well, today I get two voicemails from my dad, and a phone call right at the beginning of Lost. He's wanting to know where she is - needs to know for something to do with his legal case (LONG story). I told him that I'd talked to her on Sunday and that she sounded like she'd be unavailable/out of town till at least Friday or Saturday. He kept on pushing for more information. I finally told him that if I knew how to get a hold of her that I would tell him!

Some days I wish I could just cut off contact with both of them. Don't get me wrong - I love both of them very much - but I am SO very tired of being in the middle during their divorce (which took 8 LONG months to be finalized the Monday after New Years) as well as now in my dad moving out to CA and his legal stuff. You know how little kids sometimes stick their fingers in their ears and say "la, la, la" so they can't hear anything? That's what I feel like doing sometimes when listening to either of them.

So, anyway. 62 days to go. School was okay again. The Field Trip was . . . well, different. We had a lady taking our group through the halls who'd never done it before -- so it ended up our group taking a LOT longer than the other group. When we got to the end of our section which led into the general purpose/rec room I found the entire other half of my group standing in the front of the room. There was an Elvis impersonator singing away -- and . . my two most energetic little boys dancing their hearts out.

I personally do NOT have anything against dancing (I enjoy it very much in the privacy of my own home). I do NOT have anything against secular music. BUT our church's standards strongly discourage dancing --- AND this was a church school sponsored field trip --- AND this was supposed to be a trip all about sharing God's love to the Nursing home residents - not entertaining them with the antics of two little 6 year olds. To top it off, both of our church's pastors were there with the first group - and it appeared as though they did nothing to change this. I'm not sure exactly why this bugged me so much - except that I feel like it totally upended the reason we went there in the first place. AND the kids go home tonight and tell their parents that when they were on the field trip it ended with our whole group standing in front of the rec room and dancing along with "And I'm a Believer" (not an Elvis song - I think its a Monkey's song). I told my principal what had happened and she didn't seem too worried about it. I sure hope she's right.

Again, anyway. After work I stopped by the Post Office and picked up my shipment from Amazon - my two books "Make a Mix" and "The Perfect Mix." Then I got home and was on the computer for a short while when I got an IM from a former bf whom I keep in touch with once in a while. He told me that he's going to be opening a property and causualty business in the same town that I'm moving to in June. That should prove to be interesting - not that I'd ever consider dating him again - even if he didn't have a serious gf right now. Smile

I got my lab results back for my cat from the vet. -- A clean bill of health. Not that I expected any less of course. Smile

Well today was a no spending day - makes 11 days I think (oops - just 10). One more till my goal. Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

No chocolate orange for me. :(

February 16th, 2005 at 02:53 am

Okay, after Christmas I was in Wal-green's and they had all their Christmas candy marked 75% off. I just HAD to look of course. Smile One of the things I found hidden behind some other things was a chocolate orange! I thought maybe it was there by mistake, but when I took it to the cash register it rang up as $.37 !! Let me just say right now how much I LURVE chocolate oranges (okay, okay, chocolate anything) but DON'T love paying 3 or 4 dollars for one. So, today I stopped by Wal-green's knowing that their candy would be 50% off - hoping to find another chocolate orange. But, no, no such luck this time. Frown I did end up buying some of the other candy/chocolate deals though.

63 days left (I think). School was so - so today. Tuesday's are nice because we have library and Chimes (library, P.E., Chimes - go home!) We had a bit of a pencil emergency today that was adverted by a late Valentine's present from one of my students. Somehow all but TWO of the 15 pencils that were in the pencil box on Friday had walked off. Of course, my endless supply of pencils that I bought two years ago, had come to an end without my realization. Luckily though one of my students who was sick yesterday brought pencils for everyone for Valentine's. Normally I only let the kids use special pencils on their birthday, but today I made an exception. About half an hour after my kids started using thier new special pencils, my principal stopped by after her "stock up" trip to Office Depot and dropped off a 72ct pkg of pencils. That should last us till the end of the year.

I also filled up on gas today at Albertson's. It was $1.76/gallon. I hadn't gone on a cash basis for paying for gas before, so got myself a wee bit embarrased at the pump. I was looking for the button that says "Pay Inside" but there wasn't any such thing. There was though this blank button underneath the button that says "Pay Outside". I pressed this. It apparentally was the button that calls up the cashier. Nice labeling. I hadn't realized that you had to prepay inside even during the day. Oh well, now I know.

Tomorrow we're going on a field trip to a Nursing Home. We'll be singing Jesus Love songs and passing out Valentine's. It was supposed to be grades Pre-K through 4th going. Today I talked to the Pre-K teacher and she told me that she and the K teacher hadn't been able to find any parent's to drive, and with this coming Sunday being the "Roundup" that they were too busy, so they decided to cancel. ARGHHHH!!!!! Hello??? This is a fieldtrip that takes what - maybe an hour out of the whole day?? It doesn't cost anything - but pays big dividends to the Nursing Home residents, as well as to the kids. And . . . this has only been planned for the last month (exact date) but has been traditional for at least the past five years!! (This year though it seems like I'm the only one spearheading keeping the tradition alive. Sad.) As far as drivers -- we could do what we did at Christmas -- shuffle kids back and forth - the nursing home is only less than a 3 minute drive (if that!) I wonder if they'll do it at all next year when I'm gone. This is yet another reason I'm so happy to almost be DONE and over with my teaching career.

Okay, sorry for the vent. It's almost time for NYPD (only two more episodes left after tonight -boo hoo!)

Spending Log:
Today:
Wal-green's: ~$5.00 (Groceries)
Albertson's Gas:$10.00 (Gas)

Total: ~$15.00

Total Gas for Feb (unless I make a trip to visit my mom) $20.00

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

V-Day

February 15th, 2005 at 04:02 am

You know what? The one thing I think I'm going to miss the most about teaching is that no matter whether I'm in a relationship on Valentine's Day or not, I know I'll always get a lot of sweet cards and hugs and "I love you" teacher's. That's not enough to change my mind, but that is definitely something I know I'll miss out in the "real" working world. I held off on the opening of the Valentine bags till the last possible moment of the day, and limited them to two items from their bags. All but one student very obedientally followed my instruction. Even though I didn't go all out like some of the other teachers by buying cupcakes and drinks or a pinata - all I bought were the boxes of SweetHeart's - not one child complained. Probably they thought better of it after the speech I gave them the time before last when I was going to show them a movie and several of them had the gall to complain about my movie choice - then the whole class got to write me a letter telling me WHY that was inappropriate. Last movie I showed, not one word of complaint. Smile

Anyway, I got lots of chocolate (kids know how much I lurve chocolate!) A really sweet e-Valentine, as well as a Hallmark Valentine from my Dad, and an e-Valentine from my Grandma. I didn't even get so much as a peep from my ex-bf (long story - we had been keeping in touch - haven't heard from since my last email Jan 6) so I am assuming he's decided to cut off contact. That's really fine with me, because I'd been seriously thinking of doing that myself, but then he called me on my birthday and sent me a really sweet card . .. Anyway, I'm done and over with that. Wish I had some inkling of understanding of men.

After school today I drove over to my doctor's office and paid off my bill. I mentioned to the receptionist that it would be nice if they'd put the office's WHOLE phone number on the bills, so people could contact them without having to drive all the way there. She told me that other people had mentioned that to her too. Well, uh, then why hasn't anything been done about it? I also got the exact date of my last "visit" there, so now I can file with AFLAC and get my little $60 reward/bonus or whatever they call it - I call it free money. Smile I also made another appointment - was hoping to get in on Monday (President's Day) but they were filled up - so am going during Spring Break. I have the feeling I'll be spending a lot of money medically in March - because I'm also planning on doing whatever dental work I need to have done then too - as long as I have the great insurance plan I have, better take advantadge of it.

I spoke to Lea the maintance lady this afternoon. She looked at my kitchen ceiling and told me that she was going to have them come in and redo it, as well as replaster above my sliding glass doors and the humungous picture window on my second floor (open from living room up to 2nd floor ceiling/roof). That would be really nice - I've only mentioned those other things to my apartment manager a zillion times since they first replaced that HUMUNGOUS picture window the 4th month? I lived here! (I'm still not sure exactly WHY they replaced it - it's not like the blinds are ever open where I can SEE out of that window!) Should I mention to them that I'll be moving after my lease is up the end of May? Nah. Smile

Class pictures are on Friday, so that basically has nixed my idea of taking Thursday and Friday off as "mental health" days. Maybe I could still take Thursday off. Hmm. Will have to see how much work the class gets done in the next two days. It actually was pretty nice having a substitute aide today - she was in my room more consistantly than my regular aide - and she even took my kids out for both morning and lunch recesses!! Nice!

Okay, time to hit the hay.

Spending Log:
Today:
Doctor's Office: $53.23

No Spend Days: 9/12 (goal/actual)
**I am counting today as a No Spend Day because paying the doctor's bill was a necessary evil - just like paying rent and utilities. Smile **

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

A relaxing Sunday

February 14th, 2005 at 01:17 am

I lazed out of bed this morning around 10 a.m. I'd stayed up till midnight watching my Ally DVD - turned out there weren't any episodes with Robert Downey Jr or Lucy Liu. Frown Frown

When I got to the first laundromat, all of the $1 washers were full, and there was a waiting line. So I went to my second choice laundromat and was able to secure two washers right away. While I was there, I started reading a new book (from the library of course) and got really into it. I didn't want to go over to the school til after 2 (to miss the Sunday church people) so after I put my laundry away, I read for another hour or so. Smile Smile

While I was working in my classroom preparing lessons for the week, one of my first graders came by. (One of the Pastor's daughter's). We had a good little chat. She told me she was bored, and I reminded her that that wasn't a good word to use, unless you wanted to be given something to do. Smile She laughed.

After I was done with my lesson plans, I went shopping. My first stop was Mrs. Baird's for bread. Then I went to Wal-Mart, for my Sun Belt Granola bars of course. Smile I also picked up a long-sleeved top for $3 and a new pair of long johns (which I'd been looking for). Then over to Kroger's for O.J. and bananas (I also got a pint of ice cream, 10/$10).

I'm going to do a bit more reading, then watch Desperate Housewives. Get my Valentine's all put together for tomorrow, and then get some zzz's.

Oh, almost forgot. I got a call from my mom while I was in Wal-Mart. Apparently she is going on a cruise (as I write) that a close girl friend of hers is treating her for. She told me that she had called my home phone a number of times this past week, but hadn't left messages because she thought I would see that she'd called. I reminded her that I don't have Caller ID. I'm glad she called, because I WAS starting to get worried, and apparentally she'll be gone for a week.

Spending Log:
Today:
Mrs. Baird's Thrift Shop: $2.29 (food)
Wal-Mart: $4.28 (food)
Wal-Mart: $8.58 (clothing)
Kroger's: $3.28 (food)

Total: $18.43

Groceries/Gas: ~$73.xx
No Spend Days: 8/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Poor Kitty - money out the door :(

February 13th, 2005 at 04:48 am

Well I took my cat "Monkey" to the vet this morning. As I suspected, he did have worms. While I was there they informed me that he is considered a "senior" and reccomended blood work and urine work as well as the normal yearly vaccanations. I agreed to it because he is almost 8 years old, and he is my "kid." After the exam they told me two main concerns - one, his weight , and two his teeth. They reccomended that I put him on a Senior diet food as well as limiting the amount I feed him and that I bring him in for monthly weigh-in's (free of charge). They also strongly reccomended a dental cleaning. I need to check if that is covered in my pet insurance policy - I hope it is, cause it's going to be a BITE of money.

I paid for today's (~$200) out of my slush fund. The dental cleaning they have to put him under anstesia(sp?) and will cost ~$350!!!! I made an appointment for March 9. I do plan on doing some research to make sure just HOW neccessary this is, but I imagine it is neccessary. I will be able to make two more payments to my slush fund before this date, so will also be able to cover this. Yikes! My slush fund has been taking some major hits lately - though it is really nice to be able to do all this on a cash basis. They do offer a payment plan - pay 50% up front, then 5% a month. If they offer that with no interest, I might do that. Poor thing. As soon as we got home I gave him his morning food, and he promptly lost it. He's been sleeping all day, didn't even come upstairs with me when I took a nap.

I made it back from the vet in time to get ready for church, and my kids program. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I had two phone calls in a row. One from the 3rd grade teacher saying she wasn't going to be able to make it, and could I let our VP know. Then the second one from my friend and colleague, Tammy, telling me that they had totally messed up the schedule of when our kids were to perform. In the end it all worked out - we had the schedule changed back to how it was supposed to be (with our kids performing first) and the kids did a knock down job. Smile I also saw one of my former students from a couple years ago. He had grown SO tall! His mom told me that he was put into 4th grade because the teacher didn't have any 3rd graders, and wouldn't accept a 3rd grader. He's doing just fine - he's an awesome kid, and very bright. One of my all-time favorite students.

I was a bit distracted during the pastor's sermon today. He was talking about a particular king of Judah who had the longest reign and was VERY bad for Judah. The reason I was distracted was because the name of that king is also the name of one of my students this year who tests me to the limits of my patience. I noticed some of my other students kind of snickering, and am assuming they got the connection. Smile I'd known this kids name was a Biblical name, but hadn't made the connection to exactly WHAT character his name was associated. I sometimes really have to wonder about the name parents give their kids. A few years ago I had a boy named Jessie James -- WhY????

After church I spent a bit on the computer, and then headed off for a nap ( a bit longer than I intended though). When I finally got up (didn't really want to, but also didn't want a sleepless night) I got on the computer again, and completed another 9 lessons in my Real Estate course. I have 80 lessons left in this first course. Next weekend I hope to get a whole bunch of lessons completed, with the long weekend.

I think I'm going to watch some of my second Ally DVD tonight. Tomorrow I need to do laundry and my lesson plans. I've been really bad about spending my grocery money this week. I only have about $10 left for groceries this week. That will be plenty for what I need, just not much left for any kind of stocking up. I wish I knew what it was that allows me to sabotage myself like I have the past couple of days. Like today, I had a perfectly good frozen pizza in my freezer. I had totally planned on making that for lunch/supper. But when it came down to it, I ended up ordering a pizza from Pizza Hut! Ugh! (Well, not ugh to the pizza -mmm! but ughh to the unneccessary purchase!)

Spending Log:
Today:
Vet: $191.41
Pizza Hut: $13.00

Total: $204.41

Groceries/Gas:~$68.71

No Spend Days: 8/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Yeah! The ceiling is fixed!

February 12th, 2005 at 01:51 am

When I got home from work today I found out that my kitchen ceiling had been replastered and repainted. The fan is still going on my utility closet, and no new tiles, so I guess that wasn't dry enough yet. (Maybe it isn't helping that I keep turning the fan OFF before I go to bed - ya know, so I can Sleep!?)

65 days left. Work was okay today. My aide did come back, but only long enough to sort the 8 inch pile of graded papers that needed to be sent home. He was then summarily summoned to the prinipal's office and reprimanded for an incident that occurred on Wednesday morning. He was given today, and next week as well "off." Apparently they have asked one of our two substitute teachers to fill in for him next week. My aide is actually only with me for about two hours and 20 minutes a day (Reading and Math). The rest of the time he is shuffled around the school doing a mulitude of various jobs -starting at 6:30 a.m. with BeforeSchool Care. What will be really interesting is what will happen next week if any of our other teachers get sick. There's been a LOT of teacher absences due to sickness (either theirs, or their kids). With only two subs for 10 teachers +one secretary - and one of the subs being earmarked next week for my aide's position . . . well, it should prove to be very interesting.

My kids made their Valentine's Day bags today. I was happy to find that I still had more than enough of the plain brown lunch sacks, so didn't have to go the route of shoeboxes or (gulp) buying more bags. They all did a really good job. One of my second graders is amazingly gifted artistically. I'd love to see her work in 10 years or so if she keeps up with it.

I didn't spend anything today. Basically went straight home after work. While I was on the computer doing my daily routine, my cat "Monkey", jumped up on my lap with his rear in my face (as he's known to do) and to my horror and disgust I noticed the tell tale "rice" of tapeworms. Ugh! I called the vet to see if I could get in today, but no, the vets had all gone home for the day. So tomorrow morning bright and early I'll be heading off to the vets office doing some damage to my pocketbook. Then I'll be off to see my kids in their program. I guess I'll probably have to bite the bullet for some more flea meds, so he won't get the worms again.

Oh! Last night I watched one episode on my S*x and the City DVD - and found out that it WASN'T Season 2 - it was Season 6!!! I was wondering why I had no idea how they'd all gotten to the storylines in that show. I put it away right away once I figured it out - don't want to know too much about what happens in the last season! I also watched a couple episodes off of my Ally McBeal DVD. I think they aren't putting that out in Seasons, but that the two DVD's are a "Best Of." That really kind of stinks. I REALLY hope that they have at least ONE episode with Robert Downey, Jr. on it. I think that when he was on it as Ally's love interest, that the show was at it's best. If he wouldn't have gotten busted for drugs and could've stayed on, I bet the show would've surrivived another couple of years. The two eps I watched though, made me clearly remember WHY I loved that show so much. Smile

Well, I need to do a trash run, fill up my dishwasher and run it, take a shower, and hit the hay a bit early tonight. No sleeping in for me tomorrow. Frown

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 8/12 (Actual/Goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Thursday

February 11th, 2005 at 12:41 am

66 days left. I have ONE 30 minute "free" period each week -when the kids are in choir - on Thursday. I was REALLY looking forward to that time today. Sue, (our music teacher) comes in during Math and tells me that she wants all the kids in the sanctuary for practice at 2pm instead of at 2:40, and of course, the teachers need to stay there with them. ARGHH!!! So instead of having centers after Math (which is normal routine on Thursdays) I take the kids out for an early PE/recess so they can get their wiggles out before Choir. Several of my kids decide to lollygag along when I call them to line up, so I'm not able to get back to my room to pick up the sheaf of papers to be graded, and we're still nearly 5 minutes late to practice!! Then of course the practice ends at 2:45 - what am I supposed to do with them for 45 minutes??? I take them outside again till 15 after, then do journal time. My first graders are working on money right now. Today I was teaching them about quarters. Most of them got it (already knew it) but there's this one little girl who just can't hang onto the information from one moment to the next. Anyway, today was a really frustrating day. Tomorrow should be another fun one.

After school today I just felt so down and so tired (yes, still) that I ended up going back to the thrift store and getting some donuts, then onwards to BK for a veggie burger and onion rings.

I'd really really really really like to call in sick tomorrow. But if I did they'd all think it was because I just didn't want to deal without my aide. Not totally true - I'm also truly not feeling well. But if I did that then I couldn't show up on Saturday at the school program (my kids are in it). I think I am going to skip out on Bible study tomorrow night. In one week I do have a long weekend, so maybe I can get rested up then, and feeling better.

My S*x and the City Season 2 DVD came today. Blockbuster sure is fast with delivery. I think I'll probably watch it before my Ally DVD's. Smile Smile Maybe even some of it tonight before ER.

My place is smelling a lot better now that the utility room is starting to dry out. For the past couple of months no matter how well I cleaned or sprayed frangrance stuff, there always was this lingering stinky smell. I think it must have been the wet/rotting tile boards (underneath stuff). They're supposed to be here tomorrow to fix my ceiling and replace the tiles. I hope they're done before I get home.

Spending Log:
Today:
Mrs. Baird's Thrift: $1.69
Burger King: $5.49

Total: $7.18

Groceries: $53.77
No Spend Days: 7/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

tired

February 10th, 2005 at 02:44 am

Aye, aye, aye, I am SO tired. I just can't seem to shake it. Got home after school today and laid down on my couch. Next thing I knew it was 6pm!

School was so-so today. Was informed that I won't have my aide for the next two days. Nice. At least I was told ahead of time so I can dread the next two days beforehand. 67 days left.

I got my two Ally DVD;s today. Pretty fast if I do say so. I also was told that they've sent me the first disc of Season 2 of S*x in the City. Weird, I'll have 4 DVD's when it gets here. Lost was AWESOME tonight. Finally a new ep! Smile

No spending today. Although I did agree to buy some tupperware from one of the highschool kids trying to raise money for her tuition. Something I'd been looking for anyway - divided plates for the freezer - make my own freezer tv dinners. So, hopefully they'll pay for themselves in a few months or so.

K, think I'm going to hit the hay. So looking forward to tomorrow. Not!

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 7/12 (actual/goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Slim pickings

February 9th, 2005 at 04:35 am

Well, I just got back from my coupon club meeting. I really wasn't too surprised that there weren't that many coupons I wanted, since the last four weeks of coupons haven't been that great. I did get a couple of coupons for oatmeal which will be good. I really enjoy going to this every month. I've now been going for a little bit over a year. On the way home I did decide to allow myself to spend $3 on a DQ Blizzard (it's right near where the meeting is).

68 school days left. Today was actually pretty good. I used some techniques with my kids that I saw on Supernanny last night that actually worked pretty well. I pretty much didn't have my aide again today, but still I managed to muddle through. If I could teach the way I've learned as best practices I would have no need whatsoever for an aide - but I have to live with it this way for 68 more days, then sweet freedom (and no steady paycheck- a risk I'm willing to take.)

I checked my booklist at the library and saw that someone has placed a hold on the Make-a-Mix book so I won't be able to renew it. So I made the decision to try to find it online and buy it. I found it at Amazon. I also checked at Barne's and Nobles because I could earn mypoints for it there, but it would've cost $10 more + shipping, which I didn't think was worth the 50 points or so for just one book. I ended up buying Make-a-Mix and The Perfect Mix for $25.61 w/free shipping - about the price I would have paid for just the one book at Barnes and Nobles. I am a MAJOR bookaholic and used to spend WAY too much money on books, but now I hardly ever buy any books - I get them all from the library (although late fines kill me sometimes!)

Blockbuster received my two S*x in the City DVD's today and mailed me out the first season of Ally McBeal. I had had the second season of City in my que, but I guess someone else has it right now. Oh well, it will be good to see Ally again. I hope they come out with more of that show's seasons. I did love that show. Smile About a week ago or so I had decided to cancel my Blockbuster trial, and I did. Then of course they offered me a better deal in my cancelation acceptance notice. I decided that since I very rarely go out to eat, or go out to a full -priced movie or even a matinee (unless I go to a movie at the $1 theatre on $.50 Tuesdays) and very rarely buy books anymore, and I don't have cable, that I could allow myself this one entertainment expense. So yesterday I signed back on for the new lower priced deal (only get two DVD's at a time, but really that's all I probably would be able to do anyway - watch one, send it back watch the other one, have a new one by then).

I still have a hole in my kitchen ceiling. Apparently they came by today. They left a fan blowing on my utility closet floor (where the hot water heater leaked). They're supposed to come back on Friday. It will sure be nice to not have a big gaping hole in my ceiling. Smile

Oh, I wore my new ballet-like shoes today. Most of my girls noticed right away that I had new shoes on - they thought they were cute. Smile I thought they were really comfy - and they didn't need any breaking in!! Yay!

Spending Log:
Today:
DQ - $2.91 (Putting in Entertainment)
Amazon - $25.61 (Entertainment)

Total -- $28.52
Non-Spend Days -- 6/12 (Actual/Goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

New Shoes! :) :)

February 8th, 2005 at 04:44 am

Work was so-so today. Only 69 school days left.

Today while I was walking around in my shoes, it became painfully apparent that I NEEDED to replace them. It also didn't help that the buckle on one of them which had been hanging by a thread for a month finally broke. Doh! So after school I went to Payless. My feet are funny - they can wear anything between an 8 and an 9 - and sometimes they have to be Wides, sometimes not. Anyway, I spent about an hour looking through their selection of black shoes with closed toes and heels. I found this one pair that I REALLY liked, but it had something like two inch flat heels (maybe more) and as much standing and running around as I do all day - not very practical. I found some moccasin type shoes that I really liked too, except that they didn't have a closed heel and they weren't black. Frown I ended up getting a pair of shoes that look kind of like ballet slippers - only in a street shoe style (on sale!) and another pair that basically was ONLY a closed heel and a closed toe, with the rest of the foot wide open. Smile Both pairs in black of course (although I REALLY liked the second pair in brown - but I just don't have enough that would go with them to make it practical).

On the way back home from Payless I stopped at Tom Thumb to drop off the bag of donations. I'd found this Tom Thumb bag attached to my door on Saturday talking about some donation program the Scout's and Tom Thumb were doing. Of couse I found it AFTER the pick up date, so I had to take it to the store. Anyway, I couldn't find the place to put it inside the store and had to ask a number of different people who didn't know what I was talking about. Finally the guy at Customer Service told me to just leave it with him and he'd take care of it. Well, while I was walking out I saw the displays of Valentine's candy. They had the boxes of Sweetheart candies on sale 4/$1 - so I decided to go ahead and get those. (Ugh - I don't remember them tasting so bad - I bought an extra box for me).

When I got home I checked the mail and found this letter from a car insurance company. Usually I ignore junk mail like this, but one thing caught my eye. It said that if they couldn't match or beat my current car insurance, that they would send me a $20 gas card. So . . . I got out my information (curious mainly about if there were any lower prices out there) and called. Let's just say that their quote was over $400 MORE than my current insurance (Geico, thank you very much!) So, guess who's gonna be getting some free gas (my gas for March is paid for - woo hoo!) Smile Smile

I called Dawn, the lady who hosts the Coupon Club. She was asking me if I could bring something for tomorrow night. Her husband apparentally got into her stash of snacks during the Superbowl. Hee hee! The problem is, I've really cut down on buying snacky type foods, so don't have very much at home that I"m willing to part with. If I was someone who ate a bunch of stuff whenever I was at her house, I'd definately be right there contributing, but I hardly ever eat anything when I'm there - Dawn even mentioned that. Smile I do have one roll of Ritz crackers left (from when the Kraft 3/$5 coupons were out - SO much stuff FREE!) I don't know if that would really count as bringing a snack or not. I'll have to check if my dip is still good from the Christmas party - that might qualify it better.

All I can say for tomorrow night is that my darn VCR better work! Only 4 more NYPD Blue's left!!! Andy's a Sarge. Smile Ahhhh. Well, at least after NYPD is finished, I won't have anything left to watch on Tuesday nights. I should mention that I used to be a TV AHOLIC. Then about three years ago I sat down and made a list of all the shows that I REALLY loved. I then made a pact with myself that I would only watch THOSE shows and not add ANY new ones. Then as the shows died out, my tv list would slim into nothingness. So far Fraiser and Friend's were the first to leave my list, and now NYPD. I've been pretty good about not adding any more shows, but this season I did add two new ones - one because I had the tv on in the background while I was grading papers and was totally gobsmocked by how much I loved it (Desperate Housewives) and the other because, well, I just Lurve Sci-Fi and HAD to watch the first episode to see if it would be worth it - and it SO WAS (Lost) !!! I'm so glad I don't have Cable or I'd probably have an even harder time keeping my resolve (I cancelled Cable about the same time I made my resolution).

Ok -way past bedtime.

My Spending Log:
Today:
Payless Shoe Source: $27.99 (2 pairs of shoes)
Tom Thumb: $03.89 (12 Sweethearts, 1 Snickers)

Total: $31.88

Groceries so far: $46.59

No Spend Days: 6/12 (Actual/Goal)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Shopping - la la la :)

February 7th, 2005 at 02:55 am

Well, after having gone six days without spending anything (other than rent, utilities, insurance) I broke my no spend block.

I decided after looking at the coupon list for this week that there weren't enough coupons to justify me buying the paper, and I'll just wait for the one or two that looked interesting until my Coupon Club on Tuesday. Today also wasn't my laundry Sunday ( I go to the laundromat every other Sunday) so I got to sleep in and lolligag a bit. Good thing too, cuase I was up till nearly two a.m. watching S*x in the City Season 1, Disc 2. That show is addicting. Smile I mailed back the two discs today (well, they'll be put out tomorrow) and am anxiously awaiting Season 2. Smile Smile

My shopping today started at Wal-mart for one thing and one thing only (which actually was a bit difficult because there were some great clearances going on!) I got my Sunbelt Granola Bars (the ones I've been so tempted to stop by and buy all week.) I got two boxes of them, and am going to allow myself two a day, which will make them last two weeks. They are so yummy, I actually like them better than Quaker Granola bars (which is what I used to buy in large quantity from Sam's).

After Wal-Mart I went to the Mrs. Baird's Thrift Shop. I got a pkg of corn tortillias, and a loaf of Orrowheat Health Nut bread. When the lady rung me up, she let me pick something off of the free shelf even though I hadn't bought $6 of items. I'm not really sure why she did that, but I was happy to take some hot dog buns for free. Smile

My last shopping stop was Kroger's. I was a bit dissapointed that the banana's had gone up to $.44/lb (from $.39) but I still wanted the banana's. Man, I remember when they had them for $.19/lb - boy did I ever stock up then (for banana bread -yummy!) Anyway, the applesauce was still on sale, so I got 4 more packages of that. I'm all set for the next 54 school lunches (for my fruit). I also got some Mozzarella cheese (shredded). I checked the price for the block, and the price for the shredded, and the shredded was actually cheaper (by $.35!). I plan on making myself some quesedilla's (partly why I got the tortillia's). Say, anyone know the best way to freeze quesedillia's? The last item I got was ketchup - not that I needed it, but I had a coupon that made it only $.09 (32oz bottle). Smile

After my shopping was done, I went to the library. I returned a number of books, and picked up a book they had on reserve for me. -- the "Make a Mix" book another poster mentioned. Wow! This is an AWESOME book! I was especially amazed because it had a recipie in there for my Aebleskieber's! Not only that, but it gave a suggestion as how to make them if you didn't have the pan - use a muffin tin! I would've never have thought of that! Saves a lot of time too. I'm going to have to suggest that to the couple of parent's who asked me for the recipie. I have the feeling that I'm going to start hunting for my own copy of this book! Smile

I've been thinking about what I'm going to do for my student's for V-day. I really don't want to buy one of those $5 boxes of premade cards/candies - cause they're usually for 32 - I only have 11 ! I think I'm going to go the Wal-greens tootsie pop route again, and maybe handmake some cards to go with them. That way it'll only cost me $1 plus a little bit of time. I hate to admidt this, but last year I had bought a box of Valentine's w/candy on clearance (I think it was maybe $.50) but then in October I was feeling really stressed out and NEEDED some chocolate - so ended up eating that candy. Frown That would've been nice to have had on hand right now.

I ate the last piece of the lasagna I made last Sunday today for brunch, and decided that I would make a Special K Roast for this week's lunches. I checked, and I had all the ingredients on hand. I was glad I'd heard that tip about turning cottage cheese over to make it last longer - cause I'd bought that cottage cheese sometime before Christmas (great sale w/coupon!) and it was still good to go. Smile I also decided that as long as I was getting my little chopper thing dirty, that I'd go ahead and chop up as much walnuts as would fit in the cottage cheese container (that I used in my lasagna last week).

After I got done with my lesson plans at school, I stopped by the park and did a good, steady paced 30 minute walk. Yay! I'm proud of myself. This is the first time I've done this in a LONG time - first real exercise (other than tennis lessons) in MONTHS. I am going to get myself back on track and I AM going to lose the weight I regained over the past year and a half!!!

Alright, let's see how much damage I did today. Smile

Spending Log:
Today:
Wal-Mart: $3.38
Mrs. Bairds:$2.18
Kroger's :$8.87

Total: $14.43

Total Gas/Groceries (Jan 30 - Feb 6):
$42.70 -- Wow! I think I might just make my goal of only $90 this month!

No Spend Days: 6/12

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Dishwasher - Doh!

February 6th, 2005 at 05:12 am

This morning I finished filling up my dishwasher and then turned it on. I went about doing various chores and surfing on the net. A couple hours later I decided I'd make some chocolate chip muffins. So, I opened up the dishwasher to get my mixing bowl out. DOH! The dishes were wet, . . . . but they certainly were nowhere near clean! I ran through in my head all the steps I took before starting the dishwasher, and suddenly realized that I'd left out probably *THE* most important step of all - the detergent!!!! So, I had to run that whole load of dishes through again. What a waste of water and electricity. Some days I really wonder where my brains took off to. Smile (rolling eyes)

Well in other news, I stayed home all day today. Got a ton of lessons done in my Real Estate course. Lollygagged about quite a bit. The plastic the maintance man put up on ceiling with duct tape came off completely - but I think the leak has FINALLY stopped.

Oh - I did end up making those muffins. They'll be a nice little treat for my lunches this week. Smile

Doesn't seem like there's much in the way of grocery deals this week. I don't think I'll even get myself a paper this week. Probably just get some bread, applesauce (still on sale) and banana's and call it a job. Pretty nice for my grocery budget really. Smile

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 6/12 Wow! 1/2 way there!

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Some things gone, ceiling has a hole

February 5th, 2005 at 04:08 am

Well after school today two of my male colleagues came and took my lemon w/d unit which I've been trying to get rid of for eons, as well as my roll top desk. I'm donating them both to a fundraiser garage sale. Hmm, wonder which one will bring in more money. Smile

While they were getting the things loaded on their truck, I went into the kitchen to get them some water. Well, I took a look at my kitchen ceiling. This morning before I left for work there had only been a foot long or crack on one side with maybe a quarter inch of space. But when I looked at it 10 hours later, there were two foot and half cracks on either side, along with a bit of a crack starting on a third side, with about an inch or maybe two inches of gap. I called my apartment manager. The maintance guy came over and saw what the floor next to my water heater looked like (next to my W/d unit with tiles peeling off and mushy soft spots) and he saw my kitchen ceiling. He ended up cutting a big hole in my ceiling (where the leak was) and covering it with plastic and ducktape (which isn't holding very well). He's going to come over on Monday and fix up the ceiling and maybe the tiles in the water heater closet too. I'm wondering if I should ask my colleague if I can have Monkey (my cat) stay with her Sunday night and Monday so I don't have to worry about the door being open (escape hatch!)

On my way back from Bible study tonight I was sorely tempted to stop and get some junk food. SORELY tempted! But my jeans cutting into my stomach, as well as remembering what a fiasco my stop turned into last time, I conquered it! Yay for me! Smile

I'm mucho mucho exhausted, and so am going to hit the hay a bit early tonight.

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 5/12 Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Thursday

February 4th, 2005 at 01:39 am

Not really too much to write today. My ceiling is still leaking, so I'm guessing that the water heater wasn't really the problem. Frown

I need to clean out my roll top desk tonight. I'm donating it (along with my lemon w/d unit) to the 11th/12th grade garage sale. Some of the male teacher's will be coming by after school tomorrow to get them. It will be so nice to not have to move those items. Smile They're going to have SO much fun getting them down my spiral staircase. NOT!

I am SO ready for the year to be over! I was promised an aide if I agreed to take a combined classroom. Even though I have a fairly small group - the majority of them are first graders, and with *having* to teach the prescribed, traditional curriculum (read: worksheets galore) it's not that easy. My second graders have no problem doing whatever I've asked them to do, and doing it quietly without interrupting my time with the first graders. But my first graders just haven't quite gotten the hang of the word "independant work". The last couple of days I haven't had my aide for math time, and it is to the point where I haven't been able to have much of real class time. I tried seperating the boys and girls, then having the second graders man the "store" with whichever group I wasn't working with (first is studying money). That worked sorta for the first two days, but today I made the mistake of starting with the girls, and letting the boys be first for the store. Between trying to explain to my girls what they were supposed to be doing, clueing in one of my girls who'd been absent the last three days, and trying to keep an eye on the "store" , not very much was accomplished with my first graders.

I did end up giving them all busywork (ugh!) and working with my second graders on 2-digit subtraction. We've been working on it for nearly two weeks now, and it has come slowly. Today, though, all our hard work has paid off! They were all able to do it when we just used the cubes, but they got SO mixed up when we moved from just the cubes to doing it on paper. But after many, many, sessions with them working through problems with me on my marker board step by step (while also doing the cubes) today they did marvelously with a double load of worksheets - and the ones where they didn't have to borrow only threw one of my little girls off for a bit!

Oops! I guess this is a bit longer than I thought it would be. Better be heading off into the wild yonder to take care of some things before ER. Smile

Spending Log:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 4/12 Smile
Days till school is over: 72 (too many in my book!)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Turned into a no-spend day

February 3rd, 2005 at 12:56 am

Well, I was planning on calling my doctor's office and paying the amount left after insurance today after school. So when I got home, I got the bill out and began looking for the number. The last time I'd been there was in June? and they have a new phone number (moved offices) so the number I have for them in my PPO book is wrong, and I forgot to change the number on my cell phone. Well, there was 8 of 10 numbers of a telephone number (972) 239-44 ! Yeah, that's going to do me a lot of good! I tried looking up the number by the name of the two doctor's there, but no luck. Then I tried to find it by putting the addres into the search bar, but still no luck. I might just have to stop by there in person on Friday after school.

On the way home from work I was sorely tempted to go to Wal-mart and get those Sun Belt granola bars. I don't know why, but those things have just been calling my name. Instead, I went home and warmed up the last three hot dogs, and ate one of the tootsie pops left over from the kids treat last week. Later, I think I'll make myself a nice tall mug of hot chocolate. Mmmm!

My apartment fix it up people came by today. They think the leak was from my hot water heater - apparently there was a small leak at the bottom of the WH, and then there was also a small hole in the pan. I'd noticed that water there before in the pan, but thought that it was just condensation or something. I'm not sure if that really is the true source or not, cause my ceiling is STILL leaking!

Bummers - we didn't get any snow today, but it sure was cold enough (for Texas at least). Someone said that this was probably our last chance for snow this winter. WAHH!! I missed our one and only snowstorm this year because I was in CA for Christmas!!

I'm going to go make that hot chocolate and head on upstairs to my nice warm electric blanket. I wish my computer was upstairs so I could be semi warm while at it, but there isn't any room for it.

Spending Report:
Today: $0.00
No Spend Days: 3/12

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura


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