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Archive for August, 2012

Sick, Debating Options

September 1st, 2012 at 01:55 am

This week wasn't that great of a one for me. The internet at school was still being persnickety and I got only maybe 40% of what I'd planned to do with the kids done. Then Wednesday I started feeling sick - scratchy throat and body aches - by Thursday morning I realized I had to take the day off. I'm still not feeling too great, but did manage to do school today. So thankful for the long weekend!

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I was frustrated that things didn't work out for me to start the Graduate Academic Certificate this semester that I wanted to do. However, it may turn out to be a good thing. I have found a 6-month online program through Fresno Pacific University where you are able to earn 18 credits for a total cost of about $3750. For one of the classes you are required to have either an iPad or and Android tablet (included in the cost.) I checked, and the costs would be covered by my Americ*orps money. This would leave me with approximately $7500 left (after this coming year's stipend) to pursue other continuing ed courses.

This 6 month program would start in October and finish in March - I'd have to work through all the holidays. But in the end, I'd have 18 credits and one or two technology certificates. These certificates *could* qualify me to teach online classes. If I did this, then I think I probably would need to forego any holiday traveling this year.

I think I still would go for the GAC I was looking at doing at my alma mater, but I would put it off til next school year. My AmCorps stipends wouldn't fully cover the GAC after paying for this 18 credit course, but it would cover enough that I could save up for the rest by the time I'd need it.

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I also looked into the possibility of getting a second Masters in technology. The program I looked at however told me the cost for an out of state person would be $11k for 9 semester credits. The MA is 31 credits. As helpful as I think that might be in the long run, I can't see putting that much money out for a second Master's - especially since my stipends would only pay for the first 9 credits!!

If I stay here, then no matter what kind of extra certificates I get or degrees, my pay will remain the same (+1% raise every year...) However, the technology 6 month course could give me the possibility of making extra income by teaching a course per semester online. I have my Master's, and if I had the extra certification, that might be enough to be noticed by one of those programs.

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So... what do y'all think? Should I do the 6 month consortium (and get the iPad?) Or, should I wait til next semester and see if my alma mater has it's act together on the GAC program I wanted to start? The out of pocket difference I think would be around $4k if I did *both* the 6 month/18 credit consortium and then did the GAC program.

One way or the other, I *do* need to get some continuing education credits soon. I have 4 years left on my certificate before needing to renew it.

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I'm looking forward to 3 days off. I hate to say it, but I'm not enjoying my job as much this year so far as I did last year. Mostly due to internet frustrations I think.

Question - If a kid complains that there aren't any books to check out, and then later complains that computer class is boring (6th grade girl), would it be a totally inappropriate response to say - "Ok, you don't have to check out any books or do the computer class activities - go back to your classroom and I'm sure your teacher can find work for you to do." --- I'm sure the child in question is mostly saying this to try to get under my skin .. I'd kind of like to call her on it (i.e. call her bluff, if that's what it is.) I'd check with her teacher first of course, and make sure that whatever she did when she went back to the classroom was as boring as all get out - to get the point across. I'm just not sure if I'm letting this comment get to me more so than usual because of how completely frustrated I am with the internet at school right now, or if this is something I should really call this child on. (Today I essentially pretended I didn't hear it.)

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Bought groceries, gas and stopped at Sonic today. Also stopped at Walgreens to get my prescription which I called in last night - only to be told that they were out of stock and had no record of me calling in!!!!! So they transferred my prescription to Walmart where I picked it up (and finally returned the car charger!)

What a week!

August 27th, 2012 at 01:23 am

This was a long week for me. Tuesday and Thursday night we had parent meetings starting at 6 and not finishing til 8. Then I also was driving 20 miles one way to take care of my pastor's dog/cat. It was also my first week back with a full load of classes. Other than Monday's classes, most of the rest of the week's groups were fine ... just kept me on my toes!

I *loved* seeing my baskets of new/newish books nearly completely decimated by Friday, although I kind of felt bad for the 4th graders who were my very last group Friday afternoon. There were slim pickings in the new book baskets. I also *loved* how excited my 5th graders were at being able to checkout 3 books. Both groups had their 3 books picked out and checked out in record breaking time. Big Grin

The internet was being all wonky this week, so when I had my first intensive keyboarding class on Wednesday with the 3rd graders, I had to use Word and dictation. That was ... interesting. On Thursday I did the same with my 4th graders, but the internet was working - so we used Typing Club. Unfortunately all the web browsing history on all the computers had been cleared over the summer, so the teacher assistant and I ran around the room helping 21 4th graders get to the media center website, and then to the TC site. About 15 of them managed to actually get logged on, and one completed the first lesson, before it was time to run to lunch. Chaos!

Today I spent a few hours at school, and managed to figure out a way to save a shortcut to both the media center website and the TC website in a way that it won't be lost as soon as a person logs off the computer. Hallelujah! I also figured out that I could download/save an internet safety game for my 7th/8th graders in that same server/folder, and not have to download it on 15 different computers. Big Grin

When I got home from school/taking care of the animals, I made my breakfast and lunch for the whole school week. Go me! All I'll have to do for my breakfasts is to add the Rice Dream the night before - hopefully I can manage to remember to do that! Big Grin

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I got a call from the pastor today telling me they'd be home tomorrow!!!! Yay!!! It's funny, I was talking to my grandma yesterday and mentioned about taking care of the animals. She asked me if they were paying me anything, and I told her that I didn't think so or expect anything. I also told her how far their place was from me ... she told me that I should take the extra gas money out of my tithe for next month!! Big Grin What was so funny about that was that I'd been thinking along the same lines, and wishing that I could ask my dad for his opinion on it. I'm taking my grandma suggesting it out of the blue like that, as kind of a backwards nod from my dad. (maybe I'm rationalizing a bit here, but I like to think of it that way ...)

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I've overspent my grocery budget a bit this month. Once I manage to remember to take back the car charger to WM and get the money back, I can move that money into the grocery budget, and it will balance out fine. Actually, I have a few dollars left, but there is still one more grocery shopping day this month ... will just need spinach and bananas probably though.

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I had $35.xx in Discover rewards after this last statement posted. So ... I spent it on Amazon. :shrug: I bought the new Dork Diary 4, another book (can't remember right now) and pre-ordered DD5 and Wimpy Kid 7. I bought two of each. We have 2-3 each of the others, and they are currently ALL checked out.

I moved all the books that were similar to Wimpy Kid on a shelf under the Dear America journals. Two or three of the Dear America journals got checked out this week too!! (last year we had some Royal Diaries get checked out - but that was by a teacher.) I also had quite a few more of the Juvenile fiction books get checked out than normal - so I think moving all the Wimpy Kid like books where I did was a great move. Big Grin

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I got a notice on Friday that my Hulu Plus subscription would be going off hold today (Sunday.) So since I hadn't included it in my August budget, and didn't have any Fun Money left for August, I went to go cancel it. Guess what? They offered me a free month!!! Seeeee-weeeet!! So I'll probably cancel it before they charge me at the end of September, then start it up again in October. (Anyone know when DWTS starts?? That's mainly what I'll use Hulu+ for.)

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Like I made my breakfast/lunches ahead of time for the week, I'd like to see if I could make the most time consuming portion of my dinners ahead of time ...
baked sweet potatoes! Prep time isn't long of course, but baking time is 2 hours!!

What I'd like to be able to do is bake 5 of them at one time, and then put 4 in the fridge. Then I would microwave them each day to warm up. Anyone know what the best way would be to do this? Should I take them out the foil wrap when in the fridge? i.e. What is the best way to avoid growing bacteria??

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My car is troubling me. I don't know if it is my imagination or not, but ever since I had the timing belt/driveshaft changed out, it doesn't seem to have as much get up and go. I especially notice this on hills ... I do most of my long distance driving on the freeway where the limit is 75 and the real speed is 80 - 85. There've been a number of times this week where I entered the freeway going 55 with my RPMs passing 4 ... and it took me a good two or more minutes to get up to speed (75+). I don't remember it doing this before .. it never has been great on hills, but I just don't remember having to rev it so hard to get up to speed.

Any ideas?

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I cashed out for a $5 AGC on SBs last night. I'm also getting pretty close to cashing out on irazoo.

Oh Boy... First day of classes...

August 21st, 2012 at 03:51 am

Wow... I had my new K, 3rd, 8th and 4th grade Monday classes today. Wow. The good news is I remembered a lot more names of the non-K students than I thought I would. The not so good news is that other than the 4th graders, ALL the other classes were majorly squirrely. My 8th graders this year sure are not last years 8th graders .. that was such an awesome class. I don't think we'll get as much accomplished this year ... hopefully they'll prove me wrong.

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I had a dentist appointment today for cleaning and x-rays. Overall it was a good report considering I hadn't been to one in over 18 months ... two cavaties, one of which wasn't a surprise. It'll cost $98 to fill one -- $50 deductibile plus 20% of the cost. Ouch. I'll have the money in my medical fund by the appointment though.

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My brother did fan freaking tastic with his triathalon yesterday!! 2hrs 28 minutes!!! His personal best in all 3 events.

I ended up not doing any exercise this weekend (other than running around in Walmart ..). I hope I can get back into my routine tomorrow.

This is going to be a week of long days. Tomorrow I start feeding/watering my pastor's family's dogs/cat. They live about 20 minutes from me, but I'm the closest person they felt comfortable asking.

Tomorrow night is also the mid-school parent meeting which I'm expected to be at. That means I need to leave school no later than 4:30 to take care of the Pastor's animals, get back by 5:45 to eat dinner, and then make it to the meeting.

Thursday is the elementary parent meeting. That starts at 6:00. So ... I'll need to be back here no later than 5:20.

The pastor and his family *should* be back by Sunday if they have enough gas money to get back. If they don't, then they won't be back til the 30th. It baffles me as to why they are taking a trip when they aren't sure they have enough money to return until the next payday ... but they must have their reasons.

I don't mind taking care of the animals ... but I do worry about how much this is going to cost me in gas mileage. 40 minutes roundtrip for 6 - 10 days ...Friday and Saturday I can make it part of my normal run to big G, but otherwise it's just a lot of extra miles.

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Today was a no spender. I need to go put my lunch and breakfast together for tomorrow and head to bed so I'll actually get UP when the alarm goes off. Smile Here's to hoping that 3 days off running will result in increased running power... Smile

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I found out tonight that the dad of a really good childhood friend of mine died last night. Frown Frown I don't remember him at all, though I know I knew him because I was over at her house as much as she was at mine. He died in his sleep. Frown

Kudos to Wally World's CS!

August 18th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that my cat Kari's perch which hangs from the door and that she LOVES to sleep in the top section of, had started separating. There was one large hole, and another smaller one. I was worried that she might fall through the larger hole while sleeping, or the remainder would tear out.

I checked the weight limit, and it was 20lbs. Kari is roughly 9lbs. Someone on FB suggested that I could use fishing line to reinforce/fix it.

Today though I decided to take it with me to church, and stop by WM afterwards and see if the customer service could do anything for me - seeing as though I no longer had the receipt. That's what I did. The CS person told me that if I could find one in stock, that I could exchange my old one for a new one. There was one in stock! Yay!

Kari is sleeping right now in the top section. This one actually appears to better made than the other one. The top section seems to have some kind of reinforcement --- I wonder if they had the same problem I had with the other one, and so made this fix to newer versions?? Oh well, Kari is happy and safe, and I am happy, and no money was spent for either! Big Grin

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Yesterday I was talking with the preschool director who is the person I share my assistants time with each week. (She is split - 20 hrs with me, 15 hours with the pre-school.) The ps director told me that my assistant had told her that "all she's doing is putting stickers on books," and that I'd been doing it too. Oh brother! I thought I'd explained to her WHY I was having her do that - putting spine labels on books and taping them. If she truly doesn't get it yet, she will be very happy for it once it's time to start re-shelving books!! I don't know if she thinks I'm just creating things for her to do, or what. But I hope she realizes eventually that these are all things that will help the library run more efficiently and having her do some of the more time consuming/tedious work, frees me to put together some more fun activities, etc. I warned her at the beginning that a lot of what I might ask her to do will be time consuming/tedious, but are things that *must* be done one way or the other - either by me or by someone else. Exactly why I desperately needed a second person!!

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I didn't get to do my grocery shopping Friday afternoon before the small group meeting like I'd wanted to do. (Speaking of which, I think I probably won't continue to go to the small group. Last night's was made up of 3 married couples and me... plus I didn't get home til nearly 11pm!)

So, I did my grocery shopping today. Normally I would *never* grocery shop on Sabbath, but I was out of a number of items and did not relish the thought of trying to fit in a two-hour trip on Sunday plus doing all the finishing touches to prepare for my first day of classes on Monday!

Of course, as luck would have it, I ran into 3 of my students there. :roll eyes: They were so happy to see me, it was cute. Smile I just hope that my principal doesn't wonder why I was out shopping when everyone else was at the school taking a required CPR class. (I'm going to take it on my own, because I am required to recertify, but I'd begged out of it due to Saturday being my church day.)

I spent approximately $40 - a bag of apples (looked better than the loose apples!), spinach, baby carrots, bananas, Fiber One brownies, Kashi Cereal, Kashi frozen meal, Amy's frozen meal, Stouffer's Spinach souflee, a candybar (my one real treat for the week), sweet potatoes, a bag of frozen raspberries (for smoothies), etc.

Of course, I again forgot to get more cat treats. I also forgot to get Rice Dream - but I do have one more container of that left which should be enough for this week. Smile I think seeing the students threw me off track a bit.

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I took today off from exercise - boy does it feel good! Smile Tomorrow I plan to do an hour run, both in commiseration with my brother (who'll be doing his first tri-athalon) and because I'll be skipping my morning run on Monday due to a dentist appt.

I stepped on my scale this a.m. ... 236.8! Big Grin Down 13.2 lbs since June. I know I have a tape measure around here somewhere. I really need to take some measurements soon so I can see the inches+ the lbs.

Speaking of my brother's tri-athalon tomorrow - I found out today that our Aunt is traveling from San Jose to the town where it's being held to cheer him on. Smile I'm so glad he'll have family there to support him. If I had the newer iPhone, and the new operating system was out, then my brother and I could Face Time each other (the new operating system is supposed to let you do FT over 3g!!)

I hope the September 15 rumors are true ... even so, I probably won't get it (iPhone5) til January - give it a bit of time for all the kinks to work out.

First Day of Back to School/ failed experiment

August 16th, 2012 at 02:42 am

Today was our first day back to school. It was really cool seeing how much some of the kids had grown over the summer. It was also strange having so many new teache3rs - when I got to the cafe, all the teachers had taken over the middle table. That's the table that the assistants always sat at last year, while the teachers mainly sat at the back table. Oh well, change is good right? Smile

I didn't have any classes today, and won't until Monday due to it being half-days this whole week. I am LOVING having an assistant! She finished a project for me this am (and ran out of book tape), and then we worked together on a couple of big projects I'd been wanting to get done, but just had seemed like too much for one person. Between the two of us, we got them finished in about two and a half hours! Of course, a couple hours after I'd finished up a few odds and ends (mainly getting all the donated books and book sets looking neat and organized in the library classroom until I can get to them) I got a phone call telling me that they had FIVE boxes of donated books in the teachers lounge for me. I wanted to cry. I had just had nearly 20 boxes of books that I'd weeded from the library shelves and donated books taken to storage, and the remainder of donated books in somewhat of a neat and organized state ... I was just picturing more of what I'd gotten in a donated box the day before ... no book less than 20 years old, and a sticky messy erasable writing pad/abc practice thing. I looked through one of the boxes, and it looks like there are a few usable items, and a good number of duplicates. Sigh... I'll find room for them somewhere ... (until I can go through them and see what is really usable.)

In the afternoon I was by myself (my assistant went to help in the preschool like we'd arranged.) I did some more cleaning/organizing in the classroom and sent out an email with some CCSS Math links to all the teachers (I'd watched a prof. dev. webinar on Common Core Math and tech, so passed on some ideas.)

Tomorrow I'll only have the morning to get much done - thankfully I'll have my assistant for that. Smile In the afternoon we have an in-service with the mission. Fun, fun.

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This morning I did 30 minutes on my elliptical - I wanted to change up my routine a bit. It was every bit as difficult to do 30 minutes on it, as it is to run 45 minutes in the gym. Weird.

Drum roll .... I think I'm solidly in the 230s ... in fact this a.m. I clocked in at 238.4! It's been a LONG time since I've seen that number. Last summer I hit 239 a couple of times (when I was having those bouts of nausea, etc.) but this is coming about from solid work and about 75% better eating habits.

I really need to add in strength training. I enjoy lifting weights, so I don't know why I haven't gotten the motivation to add it back in just yet. Just gotta do it, I guess. Smile

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August NSD's = 7/15

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I almost forgot! I did an experiment last night with my oatmeal. Usually I put a bowl of oatmeal with water/milk and a little brown sugar in the fridge to soak overnight (so I don't have to microwave it.) Last night I decided to add in ground flaxseed, probably a couple tbsps (didn't measure.)

So ... this morning after my workout and shower I went to go eat and got my oatmeal and sat down at the table. Blech!! Double Blech!! The oatmeal looked and tasted like paste! I think it would've been ok if I'd added the flaxseed to it *after* it was soaked, and just a little bit of it sprinkled on or something. I ended up eating a tbsp of peanut butter so I would have something in my system besides just a banana.

1st Day of Reporting back to School (officially)

August 14th, 2012 at 03:37 am

I managed to get myself out of bed when my alarm went off this am at 5:40 .. just barely. Judging from what time I was ultimately ready though, it doesn't look like 5:40 is going to cut it. So ... tomorrow I'm going to do 5:40 again, but then Wednesday I'll try 5:25. Frown

When I did my run today I interspersed with about 6 one-minute full out runs. I was zonkered and ended up ending early - only did 36 minutes instead of 45 total (although partly that was due to um... extra stops from nature ...) I'm going to set up my app to do a more balanced interval setup - with jogging, walking and a few full out runs.

I've gotta do something to get the scale moving. It's starting to go the wrong way again. Frown Frown

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After getting up so early this morning (and having very little sleep) staying at school today til 4 was almost torture. I needed to stay longer, but oh well, I guess.

I am worried that I may be having to fight for my assistant's time ... she is supposed to be dividing her time between me and the pre-school. Today she was about to go to the library to keep working on a project, when the PK director told her that there were two "urgent" items waiting for her. This was at lunch (after having been in meetings all morning) and I didn't see her the rest of the afternoon. Ergh!!

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One good thing .. I actually ate some of my spinach for lunch today!! I took it plus almonds and carrot shreds and cut up oranges in a baggie. We had taco salads for lunch - so I just used the shell for a bowl (since they didn't have any bowls out.)

I also talked to the PE teacher about using the boxing dummy thing and gloves - he told me he has one pair that he borrowed from the guidance counselor ... so I need to check with her I guess to see if I can use them. How much would boxing gloves cost I wonder?? I just think boxing would be a great way to let out stress, not to mention something different than running.

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I did spend money today. On the library. Frown We are just about completely out of book tape and have a ton more books to go (re doing labels, etc. which need to be covered with tape.) I used the $26.xx gift card credit I had on Amazon, plus $12.xx of my own real money to buy 6 rolls. (I checked at another site, and to get 4 rolls +shipping it would have been roughly the same amount.) I'm not sure what budget category I'm going to take that out of ..maybe the fun money to make it really hurt so I won't procrastinate on ordering stuff like this again...

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Tomorrow I'm supposed to show the other teachers my planbook. Last year I used a template I created in Excel, but this year I am using a website (plan book . com) I've got all my classes set up and the first week's lesson plans created.

Ok, I better go so I can get my stuff ready for tomorrow and hopefully get a somewhat decent nights sleep.

Relaxing Weekend

August 13th, 2012 at 02:22 am

Yesterday I ended up not going into town/church, but spent the day resting and reading. Today I also slept in and didn't do the running I'd planned on doing, but I did get into school and worked for about 4 hours. I guess I was just feeling really, really lazy.

Tonight I'm going to make sure I have everything ready for the morning - because my alarm is going off at 5:40 a.m. and I *will* get up!! I need to be exercised, showered, and breakfasted and at the school by 8:30 a.m. Really though, I need to see if I can do all that by 7:30, or else that means I'll have to get up earlier than 5:40 a.m. from Wednesday forward ...ugh, ugh, ugh.

I spent some of my fun money today - got a footlong Blimpie, soda and candy bar. ~$9.xx The lady making my Blimpie said she'd never made just a veggie and cheese Blimpie - and it tasted like it too. Oh well, maybe remembering that it wasn't all that great will help me resist the urge to treat myself again next time. (I hadn't had a soda in nearly a month... not sure why I decided I wanted one today.)

I'm feeling frustrated by how excruciatingly slow my weight loss has been. But I have to be honest and admit that I haven't been anywhere close to perfect with my eating. I've been *a lot* better than in the past, AND have done a lot more exercise in the last 3 months than I did in the previous 12 months ... but there still is a lot of room for improvement.

I hope I'm not being pessimistic, but I don't think that any of the new teachers this year are going to be ones I connect with very much. They seem to have joined together due to the commonality of being new.

I'm thinking of asking the PE teacher if he'd be willing to show me how to set up the boxing equipment and how to use it. I need to have other workouts besides just running and elliptical, both to keep it interesting and to keep my body guessing.

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I got a check from my grandma on Friday reimbursing me for half of the headstone. She and my dad are going to be sharing the same grave-site. My aunt really feels that there will be no or very little medical expenses due to the plan dad was on. If that is true, then right now I have nearly half of what my goal is for replacing my car. I can't imagine using the money for anything else - I know it would be what would make dad happy - knowing he helped me to get a new car. Of course, the next car I get will be even harder to let go of when the time comes...

I had planned on doing a lot of organizing and decluttering once I got home. I did some cleaning, but have done nothing as far as organizing and decluttering - at home at least. Maybe once the school year is started and I feel like I have a good handle on how everything's going, I'll get remotivated to work on my house.

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I have two groupons I bought which expire at the end of October. One for a 2-hr horseback ride, and one for a trolley tour -- both in/near ABQ. I'm debating on going out there over Labor Day weekend so I can use them (although I don't know if the places would be open then??) I hate to spend the gas money just to not let them go to waste ... (they cost a total of $26.) I'd kind of rather wait til Thanksgiving break to use them, but I don't think I can do that. I guess I need to just ante up and call these places and find out!!

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It looks like I won't be starting back to my online classes this Fall. I'd been accepted into the wrong program - called to find out what was going on, and was told to go to this particular link to update my application. I did that -- now nearly two weeks ago, and have heard nothing. Ugh. Although it probably is better to wait til January to start a class - it will give me more time to figure out my eating and exercise while working full time - get those habits going strong, then I can add in doing outside classwork.

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August NSD's: 6/12

Can't Think of a Title :)

August 11th, 2012 at 02:55 am

Sorry, I just can't think of a title.

Yesterday I put in another full day at the library. I stopped at 5 p.m., went home and grabbed a bite, then headed up to big G to attend a small group meeting (my pastor/his wife, another couple and myself were the only ones in attendance.)

I spoke with the newbie teachers during lunch. I really should've made an outline of what I wanted to cover - I felt like I was all over the place. But today one of the other teachers who also was intro'ing herself told me that she thought I'd done really well. So, who knows.

My principal did something really thoughtful for me. At the lunch she had bought Blimpie subs for everyone, and she bought a veggie sub especially with me in mind. At the oil and gas company where I was for 3 years, we had free lunches many, many times, and very very rarely did they ever do anything to acknowledge that my eating preferences were different.

After my small group meeting, I went grocery shopping. I was nearly 9 p.m. when I started and I was already SO sleepy.

I made it out for $24.99:
bananas, oranges, diced butternut squash, carrot shreds, Kashi ceral, Kashi frozen spinach/pasta meal, etc.

I also filled up with gas ($32.xx). My tank of gas lasted for 2 1/2 trips to big G, at an average of 30.2 mpg.

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Today I had my assistant work with me for the first time!! She got a lot accomplished.

I also had the chance to talk with the person who took over lead mid-school teacher for summer school. He told me that the kids really had a blast, and that there were way more ideas than there was time to do them in. He also told me that one of the books I'd bought for them to read had some questionable language/scene description about two chapters into it - so they scrapped that book and went with the two others. He showed me the section ... oops. The reviews I read didn't mention anything about this - and it was recommended by middle school librarians and the school library journal!! It doesn't sound like there was any backlash from parents about it, so that is good. All the books still look brand new, so I hope that I can sell them for most of what I paid.

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This morning after I finished my 45 minute run Smile I went into the office and saw the maintenance man. When I'd come in I'd found the lights and swamp cooler already on, so I wanted to tell him about that. When I said, "Good Morning!", he nearly jumped out of his skin. I apologized profusely. I really thought that he knew I was in the building since he'd seen my car parked out there before and found me in the gym ... Later I found out from AL that our maintenance guys had supposedly been "seeing" someone/something in the gym/chapel, so that may have contributed to his edginess.

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I am so glad that I can take the next 24 hours off without any guilt. My throat was feeling scratchy today and I really just wanted to go home, but had so much to do. Tomorrow I'll be sleeping in, going to church, staying for potluck, and then probably go sing at the nursing home. Then I will probably come home and take a good long nap!

Sunday I plan to do a 90 minute run/walk. I think I can do it. Next Sunday my brother is doing his tri-athalon and I want to do a 2-hr run/walk around the same time he's doing his event - so to kind of be in tandem. Smile

I've been watching an episode of EH: Weight Loss edition most nights this week. Today I watched an episode where a man that weighed 493lbs got down to 313lbs in 6 months and completed a tri-athalon in 4:20. Seriously, if these people can do some of the things they show, then I sure can push my body to do more as well! Chris (the trainer on the show) constantly talks about how it is all about mind over body. If your mind believes you can do something, your body will comply no matter how difficult.

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August NSDs: 5/10

Cashed in for $5 AGC from SBs.

Funny :)

August 9th, 2012 at 03:20 am

Yesterday I mentioned that some of the neighborhood/school kids had set up a sno-cone/fry bread stand. I had bought a sno-cone for $.25 (but gave them $1.) Today when I was coming home from school, I noticed that they are now selling the sno-cones for $.50! Big Grin I guess they realized that they were majorly undercharging. Big Grin

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As I was going through donated books today, I cam across this one book that looked interesting to me, but I wasn't sure if it'd be appropriate or not for our library. It is called, "The Kidnapping of Christina Latimar." I took it home to read and decide. Wow! It was really good -very suspenseful and some good twists and turns. I'm definitely going to put it in my Teen Fiction section and promote it too to my 7th/8th graders.

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I ran again this morning - 45 minutes. I got there a few minutes earlier, but still got caught at the tail end by the maintenance guy. I plan on sleeping in tomorrow though - my principal asked me to speak to the newbies at lunch tomorrow, so I want to be sure to be well rested. Smile

I spent a good bit of time today getting desk space cleared off for my assistant. I may have use of her starting tomorrow - I can hardly wait!

I have a ton of boxes of books that I've weeded - either from the stacks or from donations. I'm really not sure what to do with them. Most of them are in good shape (I'm weeding duplicates, some triplicates as well as old and outdated or in poor shape books.)
If I was in Texas I'd haul them all to the nearest Half-Price bookstore, but I think the only used bookstore here went out of business this summer (besides, I don't know if they even purchased used books or not.) Some of the books are like new and fairly recent, so I may try selling them on half.com or something.

The little boy who let air out of my car tires last year drove by on his bike today. He called out to me, and told me that he wasn't coming back this year but was going to the public school. He lives diagonally across the street from me. I told him I was sorry to hear that, and truly I am, because despite the car tire incident(s??), I really did like him.

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August NSD's - 4/8

Early Start

August 8th, 2012 at 02:54 am

Last night I went on Hulu's website for whatever reason and ended up watching the most recent EM:Weight Loss Edition. For some reason watching that really kicked my behind. Since coming back from CA I've been kind of slacking off in the exercise department. I've been exercising... just not as much as I'd really committed to do.

So ... last night I made sure to set out all the things I would need to go running. I slept in my exercise leggings and socks. I made sure my water bottle was filled up, and my alarm set.

I got to the gym about 6:22 a.m. - about 7 minutes later than I was hoping for (most of that was the time it took me to convince myself to actually get up out of bed!) Then I preceded to run for most of the next 45 minutes!! My best guess is that I did roughly 3 miles (based on previous runs where GPS worked.)

One of our maintenance guys came about 5 minutes before I was finished. He started turning the lights on all over the building. Smile (I'd not turned any on because I didn't want to make it obvious that someone was in the gym from the outside.)

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I'd mentioned to my principal that I had started back with my running program this summer. She apparently mentioned that to the K teacher ... The K teacher told me today that I might be asked to help out with the cross country/track elective! I didn't even know we had one ... just thought we had basketball. I'm not sure if this is something I want to do or not ... but I'll wait to make any decisions until I know what exactly it would mean as far as a time commitment.

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I spent about 9 hours at the library today. The last 2 of them unfortunately were not productive hours due to people talking to me .. but at least I had the first 7, right?! Smile

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Today wasn't a no spend day. When I was coming home from school I noticed that some of our school kids/neighborhood kids had set up a sno-cone/fry bread stand at the entrance. After parking at home, I walked back over to the stand and asked about the sno-cones. $.25! So I ordered one - gave them $1 and left the change. When I got home I dumped it. I considered eating it, but decided not to for several reasons (one being empty calories.)

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I still haven't finished off that spinach (from last week) or opened up the new one, or cooked the asparagus. I must do that tomorrow, or else that food is going to be wasted. Frown Plus it would be good for me to have the green leafy veggies.

Successful Vet Visit!

August 6th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

This afternoon I took Kari to the different vet. She was so anxious and upset about being in the car/carrier that she not only did not stop yowling the whole way there, but she also got stomach sick. Frown

When the vet tech took her back, I told him that she was very difficult to handle in regards to her nails. He went and got a second person and a towel. The towel worked (with two vet techs doing it!) Kari yowled a couple times, but overall didn't struggle too much. She was *very* happy to get back in her carrier when they were done.

Most of the way home she was quiet, although she was still doing some hyperventilating (not sure if it was hyperventilating, but she was breathing really heavily with her tongue out - the a/c was on so she wasn't hot.)

I gave her some wet food as a treat when we got home.
I think I have found my vet for the remainder of the time I live here (or have a pet.)

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Thanks to the hailstorm yesterday, the internet at school was down today. So I wrote down the barcodes of the books I was weeding in Excel and then printed them out and entered them at home. I also printed out some of the signs I'll be using for the fiction section and weeded more books.

I found out that the new (free) books had been picked up last week. They were in the art room for whatever reason. ?? H was going to take them over to the library for me. From my short perusal of them, there didn't seem to be many non-fiction books, and one box looked to be all of the same book??? I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow. I was really hoping for mostly non-fiction ... oh well.

Before taking Kari to the vet, I stopped by the mission office. I found out that the structure that runs our sewer system here was flooded yesterday under 6 inches of water. This is not good. Our sewer system was already barely holding on ... So I'm guessing we are going to have a few days without water here sometime soon while they work on it. Not fun.

The reason I went there was to ask if they could do one of their appeals for money for non-fiction books. They said they didn't think that would work, but I did find out that this year the library has an actual budget!!!! $1k!! I would never have known this if I hadn't asked. I almost wonder if I had one last year, and the principal didn't know ... so when I asked her about it, she told me I didn't have one. Hmmm...

I need to do some extensive weeding in our non-fiction, and then start figuring out how to best build it up. This'll be fun!!
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Spending:

$10.79 --- Kari's Nails

Hail!

August 5th, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I'm glad I decided to make today a stay at home day. I got some housework done, finished season 7 of Family Ties (and then had to do some searching to find the episode(s) I was really looking for ...) and am working on reading MJF's book.

We had some major domo thunderstorms today ... and for a good 45 minutes+ there was hail! I would guess that it ranged from pebble sized hail to a small golf ball size. I haven't gone outside to check to see if there is any damage to my car, but if there is, then it isn't as though it would make it look any worse. Smile

I found out during the heavy parts of the rain that there is a leak in the area of the roof where the swamp cooler is. I haven't noticed it before in lighter storms, so I'll need to mention it to the maintenance guys.

My phone weather app sure didn't do a good job keeping up to date with the weather conditions. 30 minutes into the hail storm it still showed cloudy skies. I was wondering if a tornado was possible, so checked online for any weather alerts and didn't see any ... only mentioned "scattered thunderstorms." So I guess nobody had any idea we were going to get hit with hail.

I feel bad for those with gardens though ... they are probably completely demolished. My co-worker who had me watch her cat for her when I got back from CA for a few days had tomato and bean plants in a small garden plot, and I think my principal grows corn and some other stuff.

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August NSDs 3/5

Nice day

August 5th, 2012 at 01:20 am

This morning I went over to the school gym and ran for almost 35 minutes straight (had a few walking laps.) I'm not sure what the distance was, but I'd guess it was around 2.5 miles.

Then I came home, showered, and ate breakfast (apple, orange, banana, and a bowl of Kashi cereal - I was stuffed!)

At church I received lots of hugs and many people saying how happy they were to see me back. I stayed for potluck, and ended up staying well after the food was gone. A group of about 8 of us were just sitting talking - shooting the breeze so to speak. Smile

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When I got home I read my other frugal forum that I like to save for Saturday afternoons. Smile In one of the threads someone posted a link to a PowerPot. I was thinking that it looked like a great thing to have for emergency preparation, or simply for camping as well. At $149 it isn't something I'm going to probably get anytime soon, but I did think it was a neat idea. Smile

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I talked to my grandma this afternoon. She told me that the pkg with the car charger should be here no later than Monday. Yay Smile

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I get frequent emails from Pixel of Ink for free and inexpensive ebooks. Today I saw they were featuring an ebook by Michael J. Fox called "A Lucky Man" for $1.99. It is only the 3rd ebook I have actually paid money for (really, I paid giftcard money ...) I've already read the first couple chapters, and am really enjoying it.

I think after sunset tonight, I'm going to watch season 7 of Family Ties. That I think is probably my favorite season of it - with Micheal's new relationship, and then the breakup. The episode with the breakup has a song that I absolutely fell in love with, and still love ... never can remember the name of it ... I thought it was on my phone, but then I think I must have gotten it off a CD, so it was one of those songs erased when I changed computers. (One reason to not get rid of CDs even after you have ripped them onto whatever variety of MP3 player you have/use.) One of the lines is something like "What would you say" and it talks about how he can't believe that she thought he'd hurt her - that if he had the chance he'd kiss the ground she walked on - that he'd give anything just to hold her one more time ...

When I was running this morning I realized that I only had 30 minutes of Christian songs tagged on my phone. I had to restart the playlist before I was finished running. So I need to go through and double check that I have everything tagged, and then if I do, well ... I may need to spend some of my fun money on a few more songs. Smile (Again, why you don't get rid of CDs even after you've ripped the songs ... used to have a ton of Christian music CDs, ripped them, and gave them away. Now have had to slowly rebuy my favorites from those collections ...)

Car's Finished! Groceries, Doctor, Kari

August 4th, 2012 at 02:41 am

All in all with labor, parts and tax, it cost 616.xx to change the timing belt, replace the pulley, and replace the drive shaft. I was without a car for 3 days which was interesting .. I had planned on going into the library/school today after my car was finished .. but it wasn't finished until nearly 4 p.m. I'm just glad to have it done. Smile

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I did my grocery shopping today.

I bought:

Groceries = $34.70
large container of baby spinach
7 bananas
3 oranges
6 apples
a bunch (is that the proper term?) of asparagus
a frozen Kashi meal of whole wheat pasta/spinach/artichoke/beans
a bag of milled flaxseed
a box of Kashi Go-Lean cereal
a 12 pk of Fiber One brownies
a bag of green grapes
a tub of Smart Balance Omega 3 butter

Kari budget --- $13.71
a door hanging scratching post
a bag of cat food

Misc. budget -- $23.76
Car charger (will probably return - just want to test the cig lighter to see if it works or not)
A pack of colored pens

My grocery budget for this week doesn't have much left (I'm trying to keep it to $40 or less per week) but as long as I actually eat what I purchased before it goes bad, I'm okay with that. Smile

I am considering taking any desert type purchases out of my fun money category instead of groceries. If the bulk of my grocery money is spent on produce, then I won't have much left over for the non-healthy stuff, so that may work out fine. Smile

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Tonight for supper I steamed half the bag of spinach I purchased on Monday. I hadn't opened it all week ... ooops! I also microwaved the bag of cut up butternut squash. Then I microwaved the Kashi dinner and mixed all of it in one large dish. It was really pretty good (and helped to not let the spinach or squash go to waste!!)

I'll probably steam the remainder of the spinach for supper tomorrow night (and maybe have an eggplant patty with it from my freezer.) MMMM.... Smile

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I really don't like the medical clinic here. I don't know that going to someplace in big G would be any better, at least not better enough to make a 35+ one way drive worth it. I was supposed to *just* get bloodwork done today (checking thyroid.) When I was taken back they weighed me as usual (down 5lbs since last doctor visit) and then the NP took me into one of the doctor's exam rooms. ??? She took my blood-pressure (which was on the rather high-side, rather unusual for me) and then told me the doctor would be with me in a few minutes, then she'd take my blood.

Remember, all I was supposed to be there for was bloodwork!! The doctor comes in and asks me if this was the first time she was seeing me. Mouth drop. This is the same lady I saw back in February, and then the office denied refilling my prescription a few weeks later because I hadn't been seen by this doctor. Ugh!!

She asks me some various questions, and then tells me that she's going to have my blood tested for diabetes as well - due to my weight. I can understand where she is coming from, and probably not a bad idea to check that again -- but not one word of acknowledgement that I had *lost weight* since my last visit? I don't know, I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way.

So I got my blood drawn (first time stuck, thankfully!) Then I went to the receptionist to pay - but apparently there was no co-pay (or they just didn't charge me one?) I had to tell her that I had a balance due (I'd gone in to pay it before leaving for CA, but no one was in the office.)

So ... $13.17 Medical

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Kari was attacking my feet again today. I got really fed up, and decided to see what options there are in big G. I called several places, and made an appointment for Monday afternoon with the one that actually had a live person answer. I told them that I needed to find someone who could trim Kari's claws *without* putting her under. If they can do that, then they'll have my business probably once every six weeks or so. (They charge $10 + tax.) It's worth every penny of that to me if they can do it.

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I was thinking of going to see a movie on Sunday (Wimpy Kid probably ...) but since I didn't get into the library/school today, I should do that on Sunday. It'll save gas money and maybe a better movie will come out that I can use my fun money for this month. Smile

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August NSD's - 2/3

Attention Beezaggers :(

August 3rd, 2012 at 07:34 pm

If you're like me, you didn't get the email telling you that Beezag is shutting down. : If you have at least 1,000 points you can cash out (in increments of 1,000) until November 1.

In about 18 months I earned slightly over $74. Sad to see them go.

Car Update $$

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:56 am

Well I took my car into the mechanic again this morning. They took me back to school (where the internet was down ... so I got my keyboarding curriculum put together and a general outline for the year for all grades except PK.)

Around 11 am I got a call telling me that as they were getting to my timing belt they found that the pulley? was needing replaced and that it would come from ABQ.

Then around 1:30 I got another call telling me that my drive shaft was cracked and leaking. He did tell me that it was something that probably could be put off safely. I asked him how much, and he told me $120. So I said to go ahead and do it since they already were in there and who knows how long it had been cracked...

So, it looks like the total is going to be closer to $500 than $300 ... This is kind of what I was afraid of ... that once they really got in there they'd find problems that weren't readily apparent. Hopefully there won't be anymore, or else I may just have to call a halt to anymore and make some hard decisions.

My car won't be ready until tomorrow morning sometime. I have a doctor's appt at 8:30 am, so they will come pick me up and take me (it's only a mile or so away.) I guess I'll call when I'm done to be taken to the school??

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I called my graduate school alma mater to find out why I'd gotten a letter telling me I'd been accepted to the teacher pre-certification school ??? It seems as though I filled out the wrong application ... I thought I filled out the one from the link in the email from my advisor ... but oh well. I hope I can get it worked out before registration closes. Class starts on August 29 and I don't even know what books I need - probably can find that out though.

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Kari scratched the under part of my upper arm this morning pretty badly. It was an accident - she was on my chest and jumped off. Her claws are pretty long right now. Thankfully I had some anti-biotic cream.

I've tried unsuccessfully to trim her claws since the two times I managed to do so (partially). I'm almost willing to think about having her put under so her claws can be trimmed!! (I absolutely hate that idea for many reasons - $$, unnecessary meds, putting a cat under is unnecessary risk (i.e. Monkey Frown ) I'm just not sure what to do though because she *really* needs them clipped. BADLY.

*The vet's office told me that if I wanted them to trim her claws, she would have to be put under due to her nearly biting the vet tech last time when she trimmed them.

Looking Forward, do you have any suggestions?? Anyone else?

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August NSD's = 2

Timing belt not changed

August 2nd, 2012 at 02:30 am

I took my car in today to the shop - even skipped my workout to get it there as early as possible. One of their people dropped me off at school.

About 3 pm (6+ hrs later) I got a call telling me that they couldn't change my timing belt today because they didn't have some valve thing. Ergh! So they came and picked me up. Will take it in tomorrow to actually get it done.

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Got a good bit done at school. Cataloged and lexiled 52 books (hi/lo books), and then deleted at least 300 books I'd previously weeded. Now I just have to figure out where to go with them. Too bad there isn't a half-price bookstore in NM.

There was a set of library lesson books with no markings or labels (duplicates) so I'm thinking of putting them on ebay or perhaps half.com. Whatever I get from them will go into the book fund. Smile

All but two of our new teachers have arrived now. One of the newbies suggested doing a teacher book club once a month -- good idea (esp since I'd tried suggesting the same thing last year...)

There is so much I really need to do in the library that it's hard to know what TO DO. I probably need to focus on putting together my keyboarding curriculum (3rd - 5th will come 2x/wk for 20 minutes of focused keyboarding - Common Core requires a student to comfortably type 2 pages in one session...) I'd also really like to get my signs made - though I still need to finalize what they are and check to see if the laminator is working. I have a ton more books to catalog and relabel and lexile. I also have a tall stack of books to read and make tests for (the high/lo books - I want them all to have a test ready.)
I also would like to create a media center newsletter - but really need to figure out my lesson plans for Aug/Sept first...

My principal asked me if I could use my asst's help on the 8th/9th. Hah! Could I ever!! Let's see .. finish covering the grade level labels on all the books (and retaping most of the ones in the early series section..) Go through non-fiction sections and make sure they are in as perfect order as possible. Work on finding lexiles for all the numerous books that don't have one in the computer. All of that should easily take every spare minute of time she can give me!

(BTW, the list above is just barely scratching the surface ... I at least have until the 20th to be completely ready ... so that gives me a little breathing room.)

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When I got back on Monday I realized I'd really left my place a mess. I think I had swept most of the house and taken the trash out before I left, but that's about it. Monday I was zonked. Yesterday I managed to motivate myself to unpack my suitcases and mostly put everything away. This morning I cleaned the bathroom sink and mirror before leaving ... then this afternoon I picked up all the trash, cleaned the litter box, and then swept the whole house! I also started a load of laundry. Smile

Tomorrow I plan to do more laundry, and clean all the counters (bathroom/kitchen.) Then Friday I need to do dishes, and maybe start on decluttering my closet.

Baby steps ... baby steps.. (I'm not much for keeping up my home .. I like it when it's clean, just have a hard time motivating myself to keep it up.)

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I possibly have a babysitting job either Saturday or Sunday night. Smile It's for two girls who go to our school (my principal already said this was okay - as long as it is at their home.) The mom has said she also would like me to do an overnight.

Can you say car fund baby?!! Big Grin

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My brother saved me some money last night. Smile I told him about getting the cig lighter fixed and that I hadn't found my car charger yet. I was thinking I'd get one this weekend and test it to make sure it worked - if not, I could take it back. He told me I should call grandma and ask her to send me the charger that is in the Rogue. I'd thought about taking it with me, but since I didn't think I'd actually be able to use it, I left it. Now though.. I might be able to use it. Smile

The phone call to grandma trying to explain what I wanted was ...interesting... I hope she sends me the right thing. Smile

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I've decided to see how many no spending days I can have each month. I'm not going to make a particular goal amount, but just see which month I can have the most NSDs in. Smile

August -- 1 NSD Big Grin