Home > Archive: December, 2011

Archive for December, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

December 25th, 2011 at 07:13 pm

From the warmth of sunny southern CA to wherever you may be this year, I wish you a very merry Christmas!!

Not missing the snow,


About getting ready to head out

December 22nd, 2011 at 07:04 pm

I went to the doctor today and got my blood work done - it was a $25 copay. Not too bad I guess.

I also got my mom's Christmas gift mailed off (late I know!!) - only $5 postage - should get there by Tuesday. Oops.

Yesterday afternoon one of my coworkers came by and asked if I wanted to go into town with her and another teacher for dinner. I couldn't resist. Dinner - $8.65, and then we went to Walmart. I needed to pickup a bat of cat food because I was nearly out, but ended up buying a couple of CDs from the $5 bin. One of them will make a good addition to my dad's Christmas gift ... but I really should've skipped the others -- $23.36 (I also got a Terry's Chocolate Orange).

Guess what started again while I was at the doctors? Snow!! We've had probably another inch fall this morning. I plan on taking it slow on the way in to ABQ because around here the roads were getting kind of slick.

I stopped over at the school library and picked up a few books to read. Although I have plenty of books on my phone, there are times where you can't use electronic devices on the planes, so I like to have a hard copy book -- the last few times I ended up buying a book in the airport -- highway robbery. So this time I am prepared!! Plus I'll be able to book talk these books when I get back. Big Grin

After I got back from dinner last night, I preceded to spend the $200 donation. Big Grin I bought about $70 worth of graphic novels, $60 worth of mid-school specific books, and the rest were more primary level books. I actually ended up spending an extra $15. In all, I got 47 books - from Ebay and Amazon. Only 6 of them were full price (the newer, more popular ones.)

I used my Beezag money that was in Paypal for the books from Ebay.

They should mostly be here by Jan 7. The kids are going to be so excited. Big Grin

I'm 15 points away from redeeming my next AGC from Swagbucks. Yay!

I could redeem points for a $25 AGC from Mypoints right now, but I'm only 3,000 away from a $50 AGC. I'll wait - it'll save 400 points that way. Big Grin

Ok, I better go pack. It's gonna be hard getting up though cuz Kari is sound asleep on my lap. Big Grin

Extra Money, Updates, Squeaky Wheel, Home Delivery/Cool Donation!!!

December 21st, 2011 at 10:44 pm

This morning I received my 7th payment from Beezag. That makes $56 now for 2011. I was looking at my payment history from them and realized I'd really slacked off July - November. That doesn't surprise me, because I know how busy/exhausted,e tc. I was then.

I updated both my Frugal Living blog and my Children's Books blog. It had been quite a while for both of them. One goal I'm adding for 2012 is to update at least the book blog 2x a month. It really should be easy to do considering how many books I read to my students each week. Smile

A few weeks ago I went to the local clinic here for a sinus infection, and I was hoping to get a new prescription for my thyroid medicine. However, I found out that I had to have my medical records before they'd do anything more than treat my sinus infection.

So today I called to find out whether they'd gotten them or not. They hadn't gotten all of them yet, but apparently enough to feel comfortable making an appointment for me to get blood work done. Unfortunately the time they wanted me to come in (so I could get on with the new doctor) was Friday, January 6. I told the person that Fridays were the worst possible day for me as a librarian - we have so many Fridays off that the kids already get shortchanged. She was just like ... well the teachers will understand if you give them enough notice.

In my head I'm thinking, yeah right lady.

So about 30 minutes later she calls me back. I now have an appointment for tomorrow morning with the current doctor! Starting in March I'll have to use the new doc and go on Fridays, but hopefully I can schedule those appointments for when we're off anyway. Smile

Just as I was in the middle of writing this post, I got a knock at my door. Fed Ex!!! It was a donation check from the same man my mom dated who pd for my Thanksgiving tickets and gave me $100 towards books. A donation of $200!!! His daughter asked that instead of him giving her her usual Christmas gift, that he donate it to my school's library. Isn't that just the most unselfish and sweetest thing you've heard??

Above and beyond the gift itself, I am most surprised that FedEx will deliver straight to my door. I know UPS won't, because I have to get all my packages at the post office. But this morning I got a call from a woman at FedEx asking me where a particular address was located. I told her that I think the address she was looking for was xxxxx instead, but that there'd be no one there. So she asked me for my home address -- I was very surprised and didn't believe it till the guy knocked on my door!

This is good to know - very good to know. Smile


What do you think would be a good way for me (or the students) to show appreciation for the gift?

MM - he wrote the check to me, but included a letter to the school stating what it was for. Will he be able to write that off on his taxes? Or should I have him rewrite the check to the school/mission???

I'm not sure that he is doing it for a write off, but included the letter to give me a little extra "props" with the mission (that I have people donating money to the school, hence keep me around.) Smile

Now I'm going to have to figure out the best way to use this money. Smile Believe me, I could spend it 4 or 5 x over quite easily. Big Grin Maybe allocate $100 towards mid-school level books and $100 towards primary level books??

Updates, Squeaky Wheel, Home Delivery??

December 21st, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Last night I made new posts to both of my blogger blogs. One I hadn't made a new post to since ... March? and the other since September. I think that is going to be one of my goals for this coming year -- to post to at least the Children's books blog at least 2 x a month. Smile I should've held off a bit longer on my frugal blog post --- this morning I got my December payment from Beezag. Smile So that makes 7 payments this year (or $56.)

This morning I called the local clinic to find out if they had received my medical records yet. They refused to see me for anything more than a cold until they had my records.

They must have gotten some of them in at least, because the person I spoke with was willing to make an appointment for me to meet with the new doc on Friday, January 6. I expressed to her that Fridays were the *worst* day for me to have an appointment (we get so many Fridays off that the kids I have on Friday don't have many classes.)

She called me back about half an hour later and told me that she could set me up with an appointment for tomorrow morning with the current doctor, but in March I'd have to switch over to the new doc. No problem with me!!

So tomorrow I'll be getting my bloodwork done and get set up probably for the other medical checkup stuff I need to take care of (seeing as though it's been 3 years since I've had anything more than a thyroid bloodwork done ...and I am now 36 ...)

I was sitting here debating about whether or not to go into school when I got a phone call from someone in Fedex. They were trying to deliver a package to me from my mom's man friend (the one who paid for my Thanksgiving tickets and gave me $100 towards books.) He'd gotten the name of the street the school is on mixed up with the name of the tribe. Smile I told the lady who called me that there probably wasn't anyone there to sign for it. So she asked me what my home address was. I asked her if she was sure they could deliver to the mobile home park, and she said that I'd be surprised at the places they deliver. Smile

So ... two hours later I'm still waiting with great anticipation to see if Fedex will actually deliver here!!! I'm also really curious to see what is in the box ... J had asked me how many students we had and what the tribe was a few weeks ago .... Hmmm...

Oh! I actually got on my elliptical today for ...drum roll please ... one minute! Kari ran out of the room like a bat out of he**. LOL! I'm going to have to work myself back up to doing the elliptical, and hopefully Kari will continue to stay out of its way. Smile

More snow and Good Car News!

December 20th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

This morning when I looked out my window, I saw that we'd gotten another two-three inches of snow overnight. But ... it has stopped snowing (for now at least - predicted to get more tomorrow/Thursday!)

I was still able to remove the snow off my car with my scraper, and pull out with no problems. There was a light wind blowing snow across the road which made visibility a bit limited, but otherwise the roads were fine.

I ended up driving a little bit past the mechanics due to the visibility, and so turned in to the drive next to his. In order to get to the mechanic, I had to drive through this open passageway.

I got stuck.

Thankfully I knew enough to stop revving my engine once I realized I was stuck. But apart from that, I wasn't sure what to do. Just as I was about to get out of my car to go get help, an older white woman came over. (I found out later that she is a speech pathologist at a school about 50 miles from here.) She told me to straighten my wheels out and gun it. So, I did that - and after a little help from her pushing down on my front end, I was able to get out.

Once I got out I headed back to the mechanic. 20 minutes or so later the verdict was back --- only cosmetic damage!! I was practically jumping up and down in relief. The guy who looked at my car didn't charge me anything for his time either (which he really could have done quite fairly.)

So .... if the freeway isn't closed on Thursday due to more snow ... I'll be able to drive to ABQ with no worries of my car breaking down. Smile

I also don't have to raid my miniscule emergency fund to make car repairs!

While I was out, I did pick up a $10 shovel at the local mini-grocer. That way I don't have to depend on others to shovel me out if I need it. Smile (I probably ought to get a better quality one sometime - but this one will do in a pinch.)

I was really bored last night, so did a preliminary look at my 2011 taxes. I didn't have all the confirmed numbers, so some were just guestimates. Even so ... it looks like I'll be getting back at least $7 or 800 (maybe more.) Whatever I do get back, 10% will go for fun/wants and the rest will go to my EF.

I also was playing with YNAB and doing some forecasting. If I'm really careful (and especially now that I don't have to take out money for car repairs!) by next December I *should* be able to meet all my financial goals -- and that is without counting any money from possibly working summer school!

Snowed In!!

December 20th, 2011 at 02:20 am

Wow! What an interesting day. It started for me around 4 a.m. I woke up and just *could not* go back to sleep. So finally around 4:30 I got up and looked outside -- and took a picture. At that time I was still able to open my door all the way.

About 5:15 I got the call letting me know school was canceled. I went back to bed and managed to sleep off and on til about 7 when I just couldn't stay any longer.

Then I got up and started haunting the Swagbucks facebook page for the code extravaganza. That is pretty much all I did today. Between the codes, search wins, videos, sbtv, etc., I earned about 150 SBs - about what it would normally take me a few weeks to earn. Smile I also read a couple of books.

It didn't stop snowing ALL DAY long. By about 1 pm this is what my front porch looked like --- I couldn't open it any wider!

I took a handful of snow and put it under Kari's nose -- she sniffed at it a bit, then turned and walked away. She didn't want anything to do with it! Smile

Around 4, one of my co-workers came by with a shovel and shoveled off my front porch and around my car!! I thought that was so sweet -- since I don't have a shovel!! (or boots - both things I guess I'm going to need to rectify if I'm going to stay here very long.)

Around 6 I saw one of my coworkers post that school had been canceled for tomorrow too -- so I guess today started our Christmas vacation! I feel bad for the kids missing out on their parties/gifts (and I was looking forward to revealing myself to my giftee and finding out who my Secret Santa was ... oh well.)

We also missed out on the Christmas program tonight - the kids had worked so hard on it. Frown I was told we'll probably do it when we get back in January - but it won't be quite the same.

I haven't seen this much snow since I was a young teenager living in Minnesota! Even then, I don't remember getting this *much* snow all at once.

We had at least 5 instances of short power outages. I'm hoping and praying that that is all we'll have -- short bursts of power outage. I do have a gas stove I could *gasp* heat stuff on the old fashioned way if I absolutely *had* to. Smile Just in case, I'm keeping my phone plugged in so it is charged 100% all the time. (not the smartest to do long term, but in the short term I don't think it will hurt it too much.)


I was going over my posted goals in my head last night and realized that they (financially) are probably unrealistic. So I'm thinking I'll do them in steps... Step 1: Travel Funds and EF; Step 2: Car fund; Step 3: Extra ROTH money and then if I manage all those ... go back to Step 1 and add to EF money.

I don't know how much my car repairs are going to cost. I was going to go to the mechanic today .. but well obviously that didn't work out. My dad is insisting that I get it looking new again - i.e. take care of the cosmetics even if it doesn't affect the function. I didn't bother wasting my breath trying to explain that on my income, cosmetics take a *really* low spot on the priority list. Esp. on an almost 15 year old car. If it was 5 years old or less ... than that might be different. I personally only care that my car can get me from A to B, and hopefully keep me warm or cool while doing it. Other than that ... phooey.

Productive Sunday - Preliminary 2012 Goals

December 19th, 2011 at 12:57 am

I got quite a bit done today which I'd been putting off for a long time due to tiredness and laziness. I swept my whole place, took out two loads of garbage, put things away, did all my laundry, and did most of my dishes. Kari wasn't quite sure what to make of my cleaning frenzy. Smile

SrN called today and told me that they'd talked about me yesterday at the Christmas dinner (rear ending). She told me that since I don't have much in the way of classes tomorrow (due to dress rehearsals for Christmas program) that if I could make an appointment for my car at the mechanic, to do so.

I thought that was pretty sweet. Smile

Preliminary 2012 goals:

Physical Health:

* 2 x a week lift weights (10+ minutes)
* 2 x a week do 15 min+ elliptical
* Restart NoS program
* Eliminate soda
* Bought frozen foods used only on S days
* Meals on non-S days must be cooked by self - not bought frozen foods (i.e. use rice cooker, food steamer, etc.)

Spiritual Health:

* Daily 20 minutes focused prayer time
* Daily Bible w/Brian Hardin podcast
* Stay for potluck after church - try to connect with someone, anyone
* No more than 3 missed Sabbaths (unless out of town)
* Plan a focused Bible study/prayer time for Friday nights -- make Friday nights special - candles, special meal ... not just vegged out on net
* Contribute tithe/offerings consistently 2x a month (after payday)

Emotional Health:

* Call and/or write to a non-family member/non-coworker 1x a week
* Play piano 60 minutes per month
* Work on cross stitch project 60 minutes per month
* Read 1 book *not* for students per week
* Read minimum 1 book for students per week

Financial Health:

* Grocery budget
----Create a priority list. When shopping, buy from top down and keep running total. Stop when budget is reached.
-----Grocery shop no more than 2 x a month. (Exception - buying bananas at local small grocer in between big town grocery shops.)
--- Grocery budget --- $120/month -- including Kari's food/litter. So ... $50 per trip to allow for incidentals.

* ROTH - Send $1500 (Currently $100/mo)

* Emergency Fund - Save $5,000

* Car Repairs/Replace - Save to $5,000

* Vacation/Travel --- Save $1000 (Spring Break trip, plus summer travel)

* Moving Fund --- Save $1000

* Library spending -- limit to $30/month non-gift card funded spending

* Increase extra funds:

---- Check into being part of summer school program

---- Do Swagbucks daily points *daily*, at least once a week check for extra videos/offers
----- Do Beezag *daily*
----- Check Mypoints email at least once a week


Edited -- My savings goals are roughly 60% of my gross yearly income ... But considering that my only expenses are food, gas and internet/phone ... I really *should* be able to do this. It's just keeping the food/gas, miscellaneous expenses in check.

Preliminary 2012 Goals -- Productive Sunday

December 19th, 2011 at 12:25 am

This morning I got up at a decent hour (for a Sunday) and actually got going! I swept, picked up trash, dusted, put stuff away, cleaned mirrors, did laundry, and did most of my dishes!! My place is almost as clean as it was when my mom left back in August. Smile Kari didn't quite know what to make of my cleaning frenzy - she's seen me do dishes before, and half-heartedly sweep ... but doing as much as I did today?? Never. Smile

In the midst of my cleaning frenzy, SrN called me. Apparently I was being talked about yesterday at the Christmas dinner. (I'd called TC to let her know I wouldn't be coming, and why.) So SrN told me not to wait til Tuesday to get an appointment with the mechanic - that if I could get one tomorrow, to do it. The kids will basically be at dress rehearsal most of the day, so I won't really have any classes.

Sweet, isn't? Smile


We may have a snowstorm blowing in tonight (if the forecasts are accurate, we'll have "blizzard" conditions. Will believe it when I see it.)

Preliminary 2012 Goals (will revise later ..)

Physical Health:

*Use weights 2x a week for 15 minutes
*Use elliptical 2x a week for 20 minutes

(Starting with small, manageable goals. If achieved with consistency, will increase later.)

*Eliminate soda

*Restart and DO the NoS plan (S's i.e. sweets/snacks/seconds only on S days)

* Cooked ahead meals - not prepared frozen meals - except on S days.

Emotional/Spiritual/Social Health:

* Revitalize prayer life - set aside 20 minutes a day to concentrate on praying for myself, family, friends, those around me, etc.

* Restart listening to Bible daily (daily Bible with Brian Harding podcast - an easy listen during breakfast!!)

* Call/write to one friend each week (non-family member!!)

* Play piano 60 minutes a week

* Sweep entire house 1x a week

* Do the dishes at least 1 x a week

* Read 1 book a week for *yourself*
* Read 1 book a week for *students* (minimum)

* Learn how to cut Kari's claws (or see if I can hire SE to do it for me cheaply ...)

Financial Health:

* Pay tithe and offering consistently (2 x a month)

* Limit non-gift card spending on Library to $30/month.

* Limit grocery spending to $100/month - go to Walmart only 2 x a month --- for any reason. Make a prioritized list and stick to it. Make do if you run out.

* Save $400 for Spring Break trip (have $160 saved so far.) (2 day camping/horseback trip into a canyon in AZ - a home of Navajo culture, etc.)

* Save $500 for summer travel expenses ($0 balance)

* Save $5,000 for car repairs/car replacement ($0 balance right now.)

* Save $4,000 towards EF ($500 bal right now, give or take (probably take depending on car repairs ...)

* Send $1500 to ROTH (Currently doing $100/month.)

* Save $1000 towards moving fund (good to be prepared)

* Increase Extra Funds by:
---- Visiting Swagbucks daily for the easy points, and at least weekly doing any videos/offers possible
------ Do Beezag daily
------ Check Mypoints email at least once a week

* Discuss doing summer school program

Overall/Big Goals:

* Declutter and organize home office
* Organize guest bedroom so if I actually *have* a guest, they have a place to stay!!
* Get main shower fixed so you can use it!!! (this will take lots of bugging of maintenance people)
*Get my yard weeded and cleaned ... maybe look into putting in a garden (would I really keep up with something like that though??? If I'm here long-term, a garden would really be a good thing... hmmm...)

My monthly income will go down quite a bit in July - not because of a pay decrease, but because my yearly salary will be divided into 26 payments rather than 22 payments. (My pay year started in August, so that cut 4 payments.) I'm really hoping that I can do a summer computer program here as part of the summer school. It would both be a chance for me to teach the kids something I won't have time to do during the school year, and also give my income a bit of a boost.

First though I need to be asked back ...

Rear-Ender :(

December 18th, 2011 at 04:22 am

I made it to church this morning, and was even planning on staying for potluck. Unfortunately the elder who preached didn't finish til nearly 2 p.m.!! I still needed to make the cottage cheese roast for the Christmas party at 5, so decided to not stay.

Before going on -- sad story. One of the ladies at church who has been very nice to me and is a teacher told me that the Title 1 funds to her school had been frozen, and that all the Title 1 teachers had been let go as of this coming Monday. Since her housing is provided by the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs or something like that) this means that she is going to have to move - most likely back with her parents. Frown If this would have happened at the end of the year, I could possibly have gotten her on here - since most likely our mid-school science/social studies teacher will be leaving, and that position doesn't require you to be Catholic.

So ... I made the decision to not stay for potluck. About 6 minutes into my drive, just before the entrance to the highway ... disaster struck. A yawn attacked me, and as I was coming out of the yawn attack and opened my eyes - I saw the back of a super sized pickup truck directly in front of me. I slammed on my brakes -- but it was too late. Frown So I put my car in park and put on the hazzard lights. Got out to access the damage. The man (driver) and a woman both got out too. The man asked me if I was ok. The woman started yelling at me that I should pay more attention. The whole time I'm apologizing to both. The woman says "should we call the police?"

There was no damage to the truck, so I told the woman we could call them if she wanted to, but since the damage appeared to all be on my side ... there didn't seem to be any point. They both got back in and drove off, and I drove off.

My hood and front grill have a good sized hole in them now. Add to that my front windshield with the crack all along the bottom ... and my car looks like a royal mess.

My car drove home fine, no problems. So I am hoping and praying that the damage is all cosmetic. In other words, something that I can basically ignore.

Oh, and the Christmas dinner/party? I ended up not going to it because I was too upset by my accident. I wasn't really all that excited about going to it in the first place ... so not really a huge loss. But it would have been a good way to socialize outside of school. Oh well, my nap and watching POI here at home instead probably was better for me anyway.

Tomorrow my goal is to clean my house, do dishes, and do laundry.

Also, my goal is to get the projects graded and the 6th graders tests graded (and entered in the gradebook.)

On Monday I most likely won't have many classes, so I'll use that time to do a lot of cataloging.

I'll take my car to the mechanic on Tuesday after school is out (at 1 p.m.) to find out the damage assessment. Frown

What a Day

December 17th, 2011 at 02:17 am

Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes. I had a good birthday yesterday - even with a bit of a getting lost episode. Smile

I ate at a restaurant I'd eaten at before - mainly because I knew I could get cheesecake and a virgin daiquiri there - two things I like to have on my birthday. All in all, it was kind of disappointing. The cheesecake wasn't that great, the daiquiri wasn't iced (maybe I made a mistake and said margarita instead??) and the veggie burger ... wasn't anything to write home about. Overall a quite expensive meal for not much -- $20.38 plus tip. However, I did bring half of the meal home for tonight - so maybe it'll be better reheated.


Today was interesting. I didn't have any students until about 10:50 because my one class I usually have at 9:45 was practicing for the Christmas program. I did have them come in for about ten minutes so they could check out books.

During this time I had no students, I worked on getting the newspaper ready to distribute. Early in the morning, three of my journalisim students came and folded the 210 copies I'd made on Wednesday. As I was counting copies to the different classes, I realized we needed another 15 just for the students. So I made 25 more copies and folded them. As I was just about to head over to the main office to put them in the teachers boxes, I noticed a typo. The lead story had been changed from present tense to past tense, and I had missed an "is." So ... I debated on fixing it and reprinting 235 copies and then folding them myself ... or just taking a pen and making an "ink splot" on 235 copies ... I chose to do the ink splot. With 5 minutes to go before my 6th grade AM group arrived, AL (the computer tech) agreed to finish the last few copies and take them to the office for me. Phew!

After school today I received several compliments on the paper - especially on how it was free of spelling errors and bad grammar, as well as how it definitely sounded like "kid writing." That was my goal - to be as hands off as possible - while still making sure it was good writing. (I had the Language arts teacher proofread it for me as a double check -- I have a tendency to use way to many commas, etc.) Big Grin

Now on to the fiasco ....

The 6th graders finishing their computer mid-term (on plagiarism.) Of 17 students, at least two (maybe three) tests had completely vanished. Two, possibly three tests corrupted and the students had to start from scratch. Although I assured each student that was having technical difficulties that it would not be held against them, I had one student who was *really* upset at having to start over. So much so that she ended up visiting the school counselor. I just felt sick at having upset a student so. Frown

I do not plan on basing any more tests on the computer. What I had done was I made the test in Word, and then posted the original in each grades folder. Then the students opened the test, and saved it under their own name. For the majority of students this worked just fine .. however 6 6th graders and 1 7th grader (who's test also vanished) ... it didn't work out so well. The 8th graders finish on Monday ... I fervently hope that we won't experience the same problems!!!

I am so glad for the Sabbath and the needed rest/break. I really hope our regular pastor is speaking tomorrow, and not one of the elders.

One week from now I'll be in California!! It more than likely will be much warmer than here!! (Highs in the mid-30's versus highs in the mid to high 60's... )

I cashed out for $8 on Beezag (I think on Tuesday??) and am already up to 1000 points. There were 7! videos tonight. I also have enough Mypoints for a $25 AGC, but will wait til I have enough for a $50 because that saves 400 points. I also cashed out for a $5 AGC from Swagbucks on either Tuesday or Wednesday (can't remember now.)

We have snow predicted for Sunday night ... SrN is worried about our Christmas program Monday night. It'd have to be pretty bad to cancel ... considering how much snow we had for the Community Christmas Dinner!!


December 16th, 2011 at 02:03 am

Well here I am less than 4 years away from having to say 4- something. Oh well, I'm not bothered by it. Smile

Looking at where I was ten years ago - my fifth year of teaching down in the valley of Texas, barely making it financially and not really happy with my life. Now I'm in the deserts of New Mexico in my first year as a librarian. Still not making much money (less than I did in 2001!!) but so much more knowledgable about how to handle my finances. The best thing though is that I'm really happy with my chosen profession. The only link in the chain is not really having any sit down in real life chit chat heart to heart friends. I should be used to that by now though. Phone calls and email doesn't keep a friendship alive for too long.

Sorry for going meloncholy here. I just watched the movie New Years Eve and it got me thinking. I'm glad I didn't listen to the negative reviews.

My food just arrived, so I better go. Tell more later. Smile

More Sleep ...

December 12th, 2011 at 03:16 am

Well, I did go to church yesterday, then I came home wrote an email back to a friend, talked to my dad ... and then took a nap. I pretty much didn't get up again til this morning around 8!!

I watched POI this morning after I got up, and then I spent about five hours working on library stuff that I could do from the comfort of my home. (cleaning up late fines from previous years, putting together late fine notices for this year ...) Then I spent a couple hours dreaming Smile (about books of course!)

I did manage to get a couple loads of laundry done, and I'm going to try to motivate myself to do some dishes here soon ...

Tomorrow after I take Kari to the vet, I'm going to eat breakfast at Burger King. Not exactly healthy I know, but not something I get the chance to do very often. (the vet is within a few blocks of a BK, and I'll be dropping Kari off at 7:30 ... so ...)

I did get my refill of Synthroid yesterday, and I hope it will start kicking back in here within a few days.

Oh get this! On my way back from church yesterday, I noticed a 2 inch+ crack on the lower left hand side of my windshield. Rolleyes I must have had a rock hit my windshield within the past few days, or the freezing and unfreezing of the windshield cracked it ... I just hope I can put off doing anything about it til January. I've had enough car stuff this month already.

With payday this Thursday, I'll have my December budget flush. So then the next two paychecks will go straight to January -- which means I'll *finally* be back on the YNAB method -- i.e. living a month behind (with a one-month buffer.) With that accomplished, and if I can keep control of myself in spending (keep away from Amazon til you have giftcards to spend ... keep away ...)then I can start thinking about my 2012 goals. I've been thinking some on them, and will post soon with some of my thoughts -- maybe a little closer to 2012 though. Big Grin

I am close to earning my next $5 AGC from Swagbucks (will definitely have it after getting my birthday Swag on Thursday.) I am also within 400 points of cashing out again on Beezag ($8 cash.) I haven't been as consistent with either of them as I'd like -- probably will make that one of my goals. Smile Free, easy money -- right?

An Apology, etc.

December 10th, 2011 at 01:08 am

You know how you should never text or call people when you're drunk? Well... I wasn't drunk yesterday ... but I was exhausted and overwhelmed and feeling a bit kicked about. *Not by anyone here at SA* ... probably most of what I *was* feeling was overreaction/way overemotional/overtired.

I ended up sleeping nearly 15 hours yesterday. I got home around 4 p.m., and slept off and on til my alarm got me up at 7 a.m. this morning. This morning I was still feeling a bit weepy even ... then the school nurse scolded me for not wearing a hat in 14 degree weather. I had to laugh at the absolute absurdity -- here I was feeling almost like there wasn't anything that would get me back to work, and I get scolded by the school nurse!! (It's her personality - I know this - and don't take it personally.)

So anyway, today went much, much better - and I feel much more like myself. Amazing what some good solid sleep will do for a person.

So in a few words .. I apologize for yesterday's post. It was in the realm of "drunk" posts.

Thank you everyone who commented.

I didn't get Kari spayed today, but will on Monday (have appointment.)

I did however get my car into the shop and have the radiator flushed, etc. I dropped my car off about 8:30 a.m. and one of the mechanics took me back to school. He was supposed to pick me up at 4. I called at 4:05 and got the answering machine. Knowing how they don't seem to check their machine Rolleyes I decided to walk. It was a little bit further than I was thinking, but took only about 20 minutes. Then they took *forever* creating the invoice and taking the payment ($193.xx). But at least that is done now so I don't have to hear about it again!!!

Today I had the 4th and 5th grade sections do roundtable booktalks. I first demonstrated by doing two booktalks - one on a book I knew well, and one on a book I just perused for a few minutes. (I did Holes, Kristi's Great Idea (babysitter club), It's Like This, Cat, and Charlie Bone at Midnight). Then I had each student choose one book, either from the table (new books) or a book which they had read previously. They then each gave a booktalk. It went really well with both groups, and they both asked to do it again. So I think I'm going to make the last week of each month "Book Club" Day for each section. It'll be a great way for them to share the books they're reading, or to preview new books we get.

I've been having the teacher assistants and a volunteer who's been coming the past few days match up all the donated books so all the duplicates are together. That was finished today, and so now they are checking them against the catalog. We are going to have a lot of books to give to the kids as gifts, and for me to put in the prize box. I may also have the teachers come over and take any books they'd like.

It feels much less overwhelming now than it did on Wednesday when those books came in. There are quite a few gems in the boxes, and I'm really happy for the abundance of pre-school level books. That is an age group I have a hard time finding good books to read for storytime.

I think my reaction stemmed from knowing that I still have a lot of books to go through from the summer donation of books and this just added more to my already overfull plate. I've decided that putting the teacher assistants to work culling out the duplicates amongst all the donated books (both recent and summer) will help reduce my workload greatly, and offer many more books for gifts/prizes. I am putting off weeding (finding duplicates/out of date/bad looking) the collection until I am caught up with the donated books. It isn't my first choice, but it is necessary to prioritize.

If I continue to have this volunteer who started on Wednesday for a while, I can see a lot more getting done. She is good. (She's actually one of the cafeteria workers who hasn't been getting a full 40 hours. She's needing to pay off a bill, so asked for more hours. They put her with me. Very happy!!)

I stopped by the PO on the way home tonight and had a card from my grandma, and a package/card from my dad. I knew I shouldn't open them, but there was no warning on either of them to not open yet. Big Grin The card from my dad had a chorus of cats meowing Happy Birthday (my birthday is the 15th). Kari went NUTS when I opened it!! It was hilarious. I played it a couple more times and her tail fluffed out bigger and bigger. By the 4th time she got brave enough to come up to the card and investigate what was making that awful racket. Then she meowed at the card. Smile

I was debating on whether to go to church or not tomorrow, but I think I will go as long as I'm feeling this much better/refreshed. I probably won't stay for potluck, but come home and take a nap. Then be nice and rested for a few hours of *very* needed cleaning - dishes, laundry, sweeping, etc. Then I can take a break and watch the newest episode of Person of Interest. Big Grin That will be my reward for getting the much neglected house chores done.

Taking a break

December 9th, 2011 at 01:13 am

I think I'm going to take a blogging break. Just til I feel more myself. I briefly considered deleting my blog, but considering how I can't seem to do anything right lately - probably the less irreversible decisions made the better.
An feeling overwhelmed and alone and that seems to come out where I offend or bore people.
So ... Taking a break.

Sick Day, Donors, Oh My, Judiasm question stumper from visitor

December 8th, 2011 at 01:27 am

So I pretty much was wiped out most of Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Monday morning I tried to get going, but just couldn't. So, I called in for my second sick day this year. Frown

On Sunday I had talked to one of the teachers to find out about where this clinic was I'd heard of that was nearby. I found out it was right across from the Post Office - a place I visit frequently. So I called and got a walk in appointment. I didn't have strep (thankfully) but the doctor did give me an antibiotics prescription for my sinuses. I realized it had been a long time since I changed doctors ... they require you to have your medical records before they'll do anything more than treat a cold/sinus infection.

So, hopefully my medical records will get here soon so I can get caught up with my thyroid bloodwork (and other medical stuff that I've neglected since 2009.)

I had to drive to big town to get my prescription. First, I went to Walgreens because I thought that's where the doctor sent my prescription. They didn't have it. So I called the doctor and found out it had been sent to Walmart. So I got a little grocery shopping done as well as getting my prescription - so not too much of a wasted trip.

I went back to work on Tuesday, although I think I could have really used another day. Today around noon I just about crashed .. but had three hours to go. 5th grade girls at the end of the day did not help .. at all.

This morning was interesting. I had just finished with my 3 year old group (LOVE LOVE LOVE) when a man came in with a visitors badge. I asked him what I could do for him. Eventually he got around to his question - he wanted to know if I knew of a book which talked about what happened to the Jewish people after the curtain in the Holy of Holies split in two from top to bottom. Specifically, what happened to the priests? He was opining that if the people knew that the curtain was split (who told that that happened?? it wouldn't have been in the best interests of the priests??) that the sacrifices (priests livelihood) would be obliterated. He went on to mention that the Jewish people don't have sacrifices anymore ... so what happened to their religion.

This whole time he's talking I'm trying to switch my brain from dealing with 3 year olds to dealing with a complicated religious question I'd never even considered or heard of before and trying to not look stupid. So I finally told him that I had no idea, but that my dad might since he was a pastor. From that he figured out that I wasn't Catholic, and then started in on the whole body and blood thing ... thankfully my Kinders came in about that time!!

About this same time I also had our new maintenance guy bringing in two loads of boxes from Scholastic. He was asking me what I wanted to do with them. I had no clue what they were - so told him they probably belong to some of the classroom teachers. AL (our tech coordinator) told me that SrN said the books belong to the library, and she'd talk to me later.

So I had the K teacher assistant open all the boxes and figure out what they were while I worked with the K kids. They were book sets of "The best of Scholastic" for PK-K, 1st-2nd, 2nd-3rd, and 3rd - 5th. Three boxes were exact duplicates. Two boxes were a mixed bunch of duplicates and originals. I'd guess that 40-45% of the titles that weren't duplicates already, were duplicates of titles we already own.

These are all brand new books. Maybe 30% of the books will be usable / able to be added to the library. SrN told me that for Three Kings Day we can put out the duplicates and let kids take one or two each home - that way they won't be wasted.

I truly do appreciate the thought and generosity of the donor(s) who sent these. What I'd really like to know though, is do they realize we have a qualified librarian? A qualified librarian who just might be able to give you an idea of what books/topics the library really *needs*? So that the money (or bonus points) they spend/spent would be of the most benefit to our school?

I really hope I don't sound unappreciative. It's just that some of the things that donors send us ... really make me wonder. One donor sends us a subscription to Reader's Digest. I love it, but nobody else really gets any use for it. We also have a subscription to National Geographic ... What about, oh, I don't know ... Ranger Rick? Highlights? Weekly Reader subscriptions?? I think some of the subscriptions stem from when we were a high-school - some of the donated (new!!) books probably also stem from when we were a high-school.

Oy! I think I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed with how much I need to be doing, and am not getting done - both at home and at school. I just have so little energy ... I am so looking forward to Dec. 21. I will of course be coming in and working a couple days (at least) but at least I'll be able to do it at my pace and with few interruptions. I do need to spend some of that time actually doing stuff at home too ... I'd really hate to have a visitor anytime soon.

I'm probably taking Kari to get spayed on Friday (along with her third set of shots.) I'll try to make the most of that trip by going to get a couple groceries before picking her up.

Hah! Cool Smile Our 6th grade homeroom teacher just called me from WA where she's attending a conference. She is in a Half-Price bookstore and wanted to check with me what books the library had. Big Grin I was able to save her some money because we had some of the books she was looking at.

I'm looking forward to Dec 19 when Destiny (our library catalog system) upgrades - because part of the upgrade is having a mobile app to search the catalog. Big Grin

Mrs. Clause

December 4th, 2011 at 04:02 am

Today I played Mrs. Clause at our community Christmas dinner. I had quite a bit of fun overall. It was funny to see the reactions of both the kids and the adults. Smile As one of my coworkers said, the kids are used to seeing Santa in various places, but not Mrs. Clause. Big Grin

I had quite a few kids/parents want to get their picture taken with me, and I even had two little ones sat on my lap - one quite unexpectedly. Most of my students 4th grade and up recognized me right away - which actually surprised me. The younger students looked and looked at me with quizzacal expressions -- trying to figure out why I looked familiar to them. One K boy said "are you that nice lady who reads books to us?" Big Grin

The costume is the full getup - petticoat, underdress (kind of like a nightgown), red overdress that laced up in front like a corset, grey styled wig, white night cap, and of course spectacles. Big Grin

Overall it was pretty comfortable - the glasses got a bit uncomfortable about the 3rd hour or so - but they were too small to start. Santa rode inside the actual fire engine, and I rode in the a fire truck (chevy I think). That was quite interesting negotiating my skirts getting into and out of that!!

Most of the toys were dispersed - however, there was a crate of books that didn't get distribuited. Right at the top was a Waldo book. So ... I asked if the library could have dibs on that crate. Big Grin Hope I do get that crate of books ... I overheard something about a couple more I Spy books too ... kids would go ga ga, and those books are at least $12+ each *anywhere*.

When I got home I pretty much slept for 2 hours - only to be woken up by my dad. We talked for maybe 30 minutes (where he *again* hounded me about my car -- I pretty much told him to shove it, politely of course. Actually, what I told him was that I had heard him and understood what he was saying, but that I did not want to be beat over the head with it. He of course tried to be funny by saying - what about the hoses? I said, "Next!") After that I slept for another couple hours. I probably could have just stayed in bed the whole day ... but knew I should eat something and wanted to get some Nyquil. So, I've been up for a few hours now.

If I hadn't committed to being Mrs. Clause today, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of the house at all. I hope the Tylenol cold and flu stuff I found will work as well as the Nyquil. I think the stuff affects me more since I don't drink - so the alchoal in it hits me harder. (I always feel slightly drugged out the next morning - which is why I only take it on nights when I don't *have* to be anywhere the next morning.)

I should have done my laundry and dishes tonight - but ... didn't. Will have to do it tomorrow no ifs ands or buts about it. (If I want something clean to wear to work!)

I also need to make the plagiarism project tests for mid-school, create a grading rubric for the project and start grading them, write out lesson plans for December, and work on picking up the library a bit. Hopefully I'll have time somewhere in there to also do some cooking - I'd like to make a cottage cheese roast and corn pudding to eat during the week (and freeze.) Have to have clean dishes first though.

I am **this** close to having Kari declawed! I absolutely abhor the idea of it, but I am getting SO frustrated with having my body serve as a pincushion. This afternoon she startled me out of sleep by sinking one of her claws into my thumb, and I automatically reacted by swatting her away. Frown Then this morning as I was leaving to go to the program, I reached over to get something on the couch, and she attacked my hand - leaving two large scratch marks on top. One of which was actually bleeding - and me about to put on a mostly white outfit!!! Ugh!

Maybe once she's spayed she'll get better -- one can always hope, right?

On a more positive Kari note -- when I came home Friday I found this:

Kari somehow managed to get her play cube directly under the table, and then managed to get a kneeling mat directly in front of the cube. It looks almost like she was making her own little house. Smile

Snow! And a Breakin :( Shopping for Free :)

December 3rd, 2011 at 02:31 am

Well it was predicted that we'd get snow all last night, and high winds. We sure got the winds, but no snow ... until 7:45 this morning!

It snowed off and on all day, but did not start sticking until around 2 p.m. I'd guess that we already have at least 2 inches, perhaps more by now. It is supposed to snow all night long, and tomorrow as well. Should make for an interesting Community Christmas Dinner.

This morning I arrived late at school, and just as I walked in the cafe, SrD our school counselor was telling the group of gathered teachers and assistants that the pre-school had been broken into and lots of random destruction occurred. Frown

I was *really* not feeling well, and almost called in ... so when I heard "the prek will be in the library" I didn't react as well as I would have on any other day. Frown

It turned out to not be too big of a deal. The 3 and 4 year old classes hung their backpacks in the library, then the 4 yr olds went to the K classroom, and the 3 yr olds stayed in the library with their teachers. I wasn't able to do everything I normally do during that time, but I wasn't expected to entertain them - which I think was part of my reaction (fearful of being expected to entertain.)

AL (computer tech person) told me that the pre-k had been broken into in previous years right around this same time of year. That is just so sad to me. Frown AL also told me that the computer lab/library has been broken into before -- computers destroyed, and books ransacked. Ugh - don't even want to imagine that happening. Frown

Today we were given the opportunity to go "shopping" through the give-a-ways since we'll all be working the dinner/"store" tomorrow. I picked up some nice curtains for my kitchen windows, multiple tops/sweaters for mom, dad, grandma and maybe brother, a set of full size sheets for my bed (my current sheet with the elastic corners is *constantly* coming off - very annoying), some sweatpants and a warm nightgown top for me, a pair of nice wide width black shoes for me, and a bunch of miscellaneous items for the library. I would guestimate that what I picked up would go for close to $250 at most normal stores.

So I now have a second pair of shoes to wear to work, curtains for my kitchen window, and presents taken care of for at least my mom, dad and grandma - possibly my brother (I can't remember if I found something for him or not.) Plus I have a bunch of stuff to add to the library prize box.


It was funny today at lunch ... we were having cheeseburgers. So when I went through line I asked for just a bun, cheese and lettuce. Then I added ketchup and mustard. When I sat down, the 6th grade teacher looked at my tray and said, "I'm looking at your cheese, lettuce, mustard and ketchup sandwich ..." While saying this she had the funniest look on her face (which is what made it funny.) (It really was funny - probably had to be there though ...)

I hope I have the energy to play Mrs Clause tomorrow ... This has been a LONNNGGG week and I'm feeling not so hot.

My mom called me last night and told me that she and current bf she's living with have broken up -- however she's still working out the details of where she's going to. I predict she's going to end up moving in with the man who bought the plane tickets for me for Thanksgiving ... he's a nice guy, so it wouldn't be a bad thing really - just I hope it lasts ...

I called my dad last night after reading about the terrible winds in the LA area. He told me that when he'd taken grandma to the Credit Union Thursday morning, that she had narrowly avoided being knocked to the ground by the door flying open. She did end up with an ugly bruise and some cuts. Frown

He also hounded me about doing something about my coolant fluids ... I just haven't had time -- seriously! I've either been sick and just barely making it through school days, and/or running ragged from 7:30 to 5 and dropping like a rock the moment I walk in the door - plus I was gone for 5 days where I actually *would* have had time! I was going to call the guy today to see if the parts were in, but with all the commotion with Pre-k, etc., I plumb forgot/didn't have a chance.

I know I may regret not somehow finding the time .. especially with fore-casted lows of *3* degrees next week ... but I'm really not sure how I *could* have gotten something done about it! It sure isn't like I have been sitting around doing nothing (except for when I get home... laundry and dishes are *seriously* piled up ...)

Oh well ..