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Archive for July, 2009

Update on Craigslist Postings

July 31st, 2009 at 01:54 am

After checking my credit card statement online, I realized that I had prepaid for my hotel stay - no cancellations allowed. When I made the reservation, I saw that clause, but somehow it didn't stick in my mind. So ... hotel it is. (for my on campus days)

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Today I went and checked out the home of the single mother with two teens, dogs, and cats. (For a total of $290/mo including utilities.)

The room was small. BA, maybe twice the size of your closet. Big Grin

There is room in it for a twin bed (in room already) a dresser, and *maybe* my computer desk.

If the room was all there was to it, I probably would have to pass. But, it wasn't.

Included in the rent is an amount of storage space in her garage, which is nearly equal to the size of the bedroom. Plus, there is a large living room which her family rarely uses right next to the bedroom - which I've been told I can use if I need to for my furniture/items.

The two dogs and cats are adorable and so sweet and lovable. If I end up renting there, I'll be sure to post pictures. Big Grin

There isn't much of a closet for hanging clothes. But, since I'll have easy access to a washer/dryer, I would reduce my clothing amount quite a bit. (I could possibly get one of those portable closet things and put it in the living room if I really needed to...)

The only problem is that she is really needing someone right away. The earliest I could move in would be mid-September. (I put in my notice to vacate yesterday - my complex requires 60-day notice.)

However, she really liked me, (especially liked how her animals took to me), so is going to see if she can find someone to just rent for a month or so.

Seriously, I hope this works out.

It is maybe an extra 5 or 6 minutes driving time to the gym, and if I took the toll road, would only have ONE toll (instead of two.)

So, my budget would look something like this:

~$870 Income

$290 - Rent/Utilities
$50 - Cell Phone
$22 - Renter's Insurance (pd yearly)
$55 - Car Insurance (pd 2x yrly)
$100 - Food
$80 - Gas/Tolls
$87 - TITHE!!!!
$100 - SAVINGS!!!!!!!!!!
$86 -- Miscellaneous (meds, treats, clothing, etc.)

I cannot even begin to tell you how much it would do for my morale to actually be able to put money into savings again.

Granted, most of it will be going straight out again whenever I pay tuition, but it will at least help to slow the drainage a good bit.

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I got an email back from the pastor of the church where the University is - he said he'd check with his members about possibilities. So, if the above doesn't work out, hopefully he'll find something.

Craigslist Postings

July 27th, 2009 at 01:34 am

I have to be on campus from Aug 22 - 25 for two of my classes. I've already reserved a hotel room, at $63/night + taxes. It was the going rate for everything I checked (one of the cheaper rates actually.)

Well, I don't know how smart this is ... but I decided to see if I could save a good bit of money by posting an ad asking for a couch to sleep on during that same time period. $70 - 100 (Couch &70; Room $100). If I get any responses, what would you all suggest I should ask? Should I ask for a reference? I suppose I could always get there and access the situation - then if it doesn't feel right, head to a hotel...

I also responded to 3 different ads for rooms to rent. One person responded back - $290/month, single mom with two teens. She basicaly wanted to know if I had an income, because I guess previous renters had trouble paying the rent. I told her that I do have an income, but if anything happened to it,that I have my emergency fund + promise of financial backing from a parent. I also offered to pay 3 months up front (with some kind of legal document to protect both of us.) and/or provide her with several references.

This may be a possibility.

Then, I responded to a job listing. I am WAY overqualified for it, but it pays at least $10/hr, so even at 20 hours a week, it would be more than the gym job. It basically is teaching computer classes to little ones - they provide the curriculum, and you work with trained classroom Master teachers. I think this would be a lot of fun, and I could learn a lot (plus maybe make some good contacts for librarian jobs in schools.)

Well ... we'll see what happens! Big Grin

Ok - got a response to the need a bed listing ... what do ya'll think?

I may have a deal for you. I am about 20 mins from . I am needing a person to look after my house. I am thinking about taking a new job, but the job require for me to travel. so here the deal i have a 17 year old daughter, she does not need to be look after, but i want to make sure my house does not become a party zone. If this sounds like something you would be interested in please let me know. rent is free.

John

5 miles, 3 miles, Decision & Sad news

July 23rd, 2009 at 12:57 am

Hi all.

Well, this past Saturday I managed to complete the 5 mile long run with my group. After I got home I took a cold bath/warm shower then got ready for church. I had a few twinges of pain in my lower back during church and felt pretty stiff, but otherwise okay.

Took Sunday off as a rest day. Monday did 30 minutes on the elliptical - my knees made a few creaky noises and still felt stiff, but otherwise okay.

Monday night I stayed at my mom's (going to a meeting with her Tuesday.) We went for a 3 mile walk. I didn't run - just walked. 2 miles in the spot in my left foot where I broke a bone in 1992 started hurting a good bit. (It did that about at mile 3 on the long 5 miler too.)

I've had several people suggest that before adding more miles I should really get that bone checked out.

However, I think I've come to the conclusion that I decided to train for a half way too hastily. If I were 50 pounds lighter (thus less stress on bones/joints) and had health insurance, I think I probably would make a different decision. However, since I'm not 50 pounds lighter, and don't have health insurance -- I've decided to stop my training for the half.

This really stinks because I put about $100 into this already-- but I'm afraid that if I continue I may come up with an injury which will cost me a whole lot more.

I think I'll be ok just going back to my 2 miles in 30 minutes 2x a week + elliptical 2x a week + weights 4x a week.

2 years from now, hopefully I'll be a lot thinner, and have a job with health insurance. Then I'll take up this goal of doing a half again. Right now, I think I just have too many pounds hitting the pavement to risk injuries needing xrays and physical therapy with no insurance.

Le sigh.

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My pastor (the one who I was planning to ask about housing ideas) announced at church that he is leaving, after 8 years. Frown Selfishly, I am most sad that I won't get to see his oldest daughter or son graduate from 8th grade (I taught both of them.) I will also miss his sermons - he always had a way of coming straight out and not sparing any punches.

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Oh! I got my first two assignments graded from my class. 100% on both. Big Grin

I would really highly recommend pretty much anything by Harvey Pekar - Although I would suggest starting with "American Splendor." (Word of warning - he does use some colorful language at times, but not often enough to spoil his writing.)

Am wondering if I should keep going?

July 16th, 2009 at 02:23 am

So I just finished one week of the training program for the half-marathon.

Thursday - ran/walked 3 miles; Friday- rest day;
Saturday - ran/walked 3.2 miles; Sunday - rest day
Monday - elliptical 30 minutes
Tuesday - ran/walked 3.2 miles
Wednesday - ran/walked 3 miles

My body - my feet, my calves, my lower back, the back of my knees are all sore. This is even with concentrating on NOT heel striking.

Tonights group walk/run was *awful*. I was slowing my whole pace group down. On the way back there was a bench, and I *had* to sit down - just for 30 seconds. It was so HOT out. The temperature was at least 100 degrees at 7:00 p.m. - who knows what the real temp was.

Then the course - so many hills! Ugh!!

It took me 54:14 to do 3 miles. That is more than an 18 minute mile. I was completely wiped out by the time we got to the end.

The training schedule calls to do a 3 mile run tomorrow, and then a 5 mile run on Saturday.

I don't want to be the one holding everybody back. I really don't see how I'll do 5 miles on Saturday - even starting at 7 am.

Before I invest in a Garmin or in other distance running paraphernalia, I need to figure out if I really can do this. If I really want to put my body through this. I do know that if I do keep on with this, that I need to get the Garmin 50 sooner rather than later, because I hated not knowing the distance we'd gone, and had to really hold back from asking the pace leader too many times.

*Oh, and I was SO annoyed at the start -- one of the leaders was trying to give some last minute instructions, and people would NOT stop talking! I *so* wanted to tell them to shut up already! But I didn't - just tried to move around to a place people weren't talking. Why are people so rude??

Cooking Up a Storm & An Unexpected Money Gift

July 12th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

This weekend I went to my mom and stepdad's place. Saturday night we drove to another town to go to a church concert that one of my moms friends was singing in.

When we got back to their place, it was nearly 10:30 p.m. and it was 95 degrees out. But I needed to do my 4 mile run - all three of us went out together, but I ended up just walk/running the two loops with my mom and stepdad, which put me at a bit over 3 miles.

This morning mom and I got started early (for a Sunday) and made Special K Roast; Cottage Cheese Patties; Banana Quinoa Oatmeal Pancakes; and Crustless Quiche. All of these items are now sitting in my freezer being flash frozen. I put the Special K Roast in muffin pans so it'd be easier to freeze individual portions.

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When I got back home and had put away my laundry and the food, I went to check my mail. I usually only check it maybe 2 or 3 times a week.

I had a very nice surprise today! A very thoughtful and sweet person sent me a bit of money, with the stipulation that it was to be used for something I want.

Hmmm... could that person be reading my blog? Smile No, the money was sent the day before I posted about my salivating over the Garmin. Big Grin

Well, from some of the comments on my Garmin 305 post, I decided that wasn't the way to go, even if I had the money. But, I have been doing some more looking, and I think that maybe the Garmin 50 with the footpod would work -- I've found it in several places for less than $90.

Although I already have a sportswatch/heart rate monitor, the three big things the Garmin 50 has that I really really would like:

1. Track my distance without having to calibrate step stride or mess with GPS

2. Track my pace/speed

3. Able to upload info to Garmin tracking software - see trends on heart rate, distance, pacing, etc.

I really could have used the Garmin 50 last night. I was supposed to do 4 miles, but my mom and dad only had a 1.5 mile route set up. My stepdad tried to explain the route to me, but there were too many turns, and with my err... directional talents ... I decided to just stick with them. If I'd had the G50 I could have struck out on my own till I hit the 2 mile mark, then just turned right around.

Though the 3 + a bit miles pretty thoroughly wore me out. How am I going to do 5 miles this coming weekend!!!!???

So ... anyone have any experience with the Garmin 50?

Avoiding temptation for $4.33 ... at least for now :)

July 8th, 2009 at 02:32 am

Some of you may remember when I first started running last year how I was salivating over a Garmin Forerunner GPS enabled watch. I never did get it.

So now that I'm training to run a half-marathon, the bug has come back in full force. I found a Garmin 305 Forerunner for $179 on Amazon. It tells your heartrate, how fast you're going, and your distance. (plus a lot more.)

I *really* *really* wanted this.

But, financially speaking, I *really* *really* am NOT in a place where I should be spending nearly $200 on a watch.

So last week I was cleaning out a drawer as part of my decluttering effort (and moving prep.) Lo and behold, I found a Timex Sportswatch and chest heart rate monitor!

The only problem with the watch was that the battery was dead.

So today after work I stopped by Walmart's jewelery department and had them put a new battery in the watch. I also thought the chest heart rate monitor would need a new battery - but the guy told me it was good to go.

The new battery? It cost $4.33 including tax.

This setup won't tell me how fast I'm going, nor will it tell me how far I've gone, but it will help me by letting me see how hard I'm working (heart rate) and how long it takes me to run a course. (Which would have been nice for my race this past weekend, so I could have had my actual race time.)

Maybe, if I keep up with my running past the half-marathon this December, then it would be worth it to invest in a Garmin, but for right now, my Timex will do the job! Big Grin

Amazed ... and my 5k

July 4th, 2009 at 07:19 pm

Some of you who have followed this blog for a long time may recall that I was a teacher. In fact, when I started this blog, I had just started the last semester of my 8th year.

Well, this morning after my running in the 5k race, I went home and got ready for church. I managed to actually arrive about 10 minutes before the second service was to start.

In the lobby was the person who accounts for 70% of the reason I left teaching. I had taught both of his children, in two successive years. His oldest, I had tutored after school 3x a week for free. His youngest - well, I had NO energy left after dealing with her all day.

My third year at this school (8th year teaching) I had the privilege of having his youngest daughter in my classroom for a second year, thanks to the school combining grades. The first day of school did not go well. I had a little boy "M" in first grade and then his daughter who were like two peas in a pod - feeding off of each other.

Long story short, the second day of school the father came into my classroom before school started and told me he was taking his daughter out of school. That she'd told him I'd left her in the hallway by herself crying. He would not listen to me when I tried to explain to him what had actually happened.

Later, he went to the school board and told them I was a horrible teacher, and didn't have any classroom management skills.

After being told about this, I ended up going before the board and giving my side of the story. (I didn't want to do it. I hate public speaking - especially when I know I'm going to get emotional. But I realized that I had to do if for myself. )But my decision had already been made - that would be my last year.

I spent a lot of time that year trying to come to a place where I could forgive him. I even remember near the end of the year at a school concert, him passing by me in the gymnasium, and my stomach just twisting up in knots. Then, I attended Pathways, and amongst a lot of other things, I was finally able to let go my hurt and anger towards him. I realized that my feelings towards him were only hurting me, and having no affect on him.

So, that brings us to today.

He approached me and told me that he would like to apologize for what happened so long ago. That he'd been wrong.

After pulling his daughter out and putting her in another school, she had just as many problems with her new teachers, if not more. He'd realized that the common denominator was his daughter.

I told him that I accepted his apology, and that he would have no idea how much it meant to me. That 4 years ago I would not have been able to accept it. He seemed to get that.

We then kept on talking and he told me of the struggles he and his wife had had with their daughter. (Adopted from Russia, as was their son.) In a way, I felt vindicated that he admitted that it hadn't been me that caused the problems, but mostly I felt sad that his daughter still was having those same difficulties.

I had given her my all the year I had her, and felt like we'd made a lot of progress. She had a good heart and was so intelligent, but just could not manage her behavior. Whenever she sees me at church she comes up and gives me a hug. So I always knew that she at least knew that I had truly cared about her and tried to help her. To know that her dad has also realized this ... I can't even begin to express how happy this makes me.

Enough to go back in the classroom? Nope. I may have been able to let go of this, but I don't see myself ever being able to take the chance of putting that much time and effort into a child/ren to have the "perfect child" syndrome strike again.

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In other news .. I ran a 5k race this morning. There were over 820 racers, and I ended up being about 2/3rds of the way back from the starting line.

At race time, the temp was already over 80 degrees. I was sweating and hadn't even walked.

In the end, I finished with a time of just over 47 minutes, but I think my actual time was closer to 44. The first two miles went well, but the third one I was really having to push myself to keep going.

I'll be writing up a more detailed race report for my blog (Run Laura Run) soon - but maybe not today. I need a nap, and I'm going over to my mom's soon for fireworks.

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Happy 4th everyone!