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Archive for August, 2013

Checking In :)

August 31st, 2013 at 05:07 pm

It's been a busy and tiring couple of weeks. For the most part, all of my classes are going pretty well. I have one section of 5th graders comprised of 9 boys and 3 girls ... I feel sorry for the girls.... The first week we started with ten boys and 3 girls, then decided to move one of the boys to see if it would help. Sort of helped.

Anyone know of a place where a private school could get a grant or some kind of funding to purchase 40+ new computers??? We desperately need new computers in the lab, and 4th grade up classrooms need new computers as well. It's getting pretty ridiculous - especially knowing that the Common Core testing ... on computers .. will be starting this year.

I'm down to maybe 14 or 15 somewhat usable computers out of 23 in the computer lab ... 9 of which are fairly consistently working. Makes for fun times when you have a group of 17 who are trying to use the lab at the same time.

Anyway...enough of my computer woes..

I've pretty much spent all of my library budget I was given for this year. But I'm pretty darn happy with what I was able to get for it. Smile I bought ten back jack chairs (chairs you can use on the floor), lots of shelving organizational materials, and some books too. Smile We have five of the chairs already here and in use (a sixth one is here, but was defective - the company is sending a replacement, the other four are on order now.)

I wish I could post pictures of the kids - on Thursday I had 11 first graders. I showed them the chairs and explained how they worked. Excitedly they all came to get one - but of course there wasn't enough for all of them. Instead of fussing and arguing, they came up with a priceless solution - one child sat on the side with the cushion, and another child sat on the side w/o the cushion. The 11th child sat on my rocking chair. All were very happy and read quietly with their stuffed animal/object for a good 15 minutes. Big Grin It was just too precious.

One other note from the library, then I'll move on. Smile
I gave the 5th and 6th graders their list of possible book projects for the Reading Bingo game I'm doing. (They get a Bingo i.e. read 5 books in 5 different categories - they get a choice of a poster from the book fair or a $5 gift cert for the book fair.) One of the projects is for the poetry category - to complete that category, they must choose 3 substantial poems to memorize from their chosen book. I had at least three students choose and memorize a poem before class was even over. Big Grin At one point, there were six different students with a book of poetry reading and working on memorizing - including someone reading from Emily Dickinson. Big Grin

I am looking forward to Monday night with great anticipation. Smile NE will be arriving! He'll be here through Friday morning. I'm taking Wednesday off so we can do things in the area - maybe go to ABQ and I can show him my elementary school and some of the houses we lived in.

It looks like he has a sixth cat ... About a month ago he picked up two stray cats that from their behavior did not seem like they had any street smarts (in other words, not cats used to being outside.) He posted found ads on Craigslist. The girl cat's owners responded within a few days, but the male cat has had no response. NE took the male cat to the vet on Wednesday to get him scanned (microchip) and tested. Negative and negative. He's going to give the Craigslist ad another two weeks before calling it official ... that he has a sixth cat.

If we do eventually end up getting married someday ... we sure will have a houseful of cats!

Financially ... I've been doing okay I guess. I have managed to almost cut out my fast food spending the last two weeks (helps not going into town!) Yesterday I did go into town for groceries, as well as to get a mani/pedi.

I made the daily goal every day for the month of August for Swagbucks. Just yesterday I cashed in for a $15 AGC, and I have more than enough for the 5 $5 AGCs for September. I know I won't make the daily goal for the month of September, but I'm not going to worry about it. Big Grin

It's hard to believe what my networth is right now ... that electric car stock ... wow. I keep seeing reports saying that it's going to tank - that it's overvalued. But then it just keeps going higher and higher - even when the general stock market is going down. I was telling NE last night that I wish I'd bought 100 more of the stock back when it was only $22/28. I just didn't want to put too much money into something my uncle was raving about .. too many eggs in one basket. In hindsight, this would've been one of those times where it would have worked out well (I've already sold enough stock to recoup my initial investment - back when it was at around $100. It's now nearly $170.)

Oh, almost forgot one piece of library news. Big Grin We might be having an author visit!! If so, it'll be the first one I've personally arranged - or at least set into motion. It is a native american author who lives in AZ and wrote a series (3) of books based on Navajo culture for middle school kids. Please cross your fingers and toes that funding will come through for this - he's giving us a big discount on his usual fees, but it'll still cost some. It would be SO exciting - especially if we can arrange for him to be here the week of the book fair. Smile

So not ready for Monday

August 17th, 2013 at 09:13 pm

I know it is still Saturday, but I'm just so not ready for my library classes to begin on Monday. I'm still feeling so run down and on Thursday started feeling like I was coming down with something. So today I stayed home from church and am trying to rest. Ugh.

Talking to NE last night was good. Started out feeling like carp warmed over, but felt better as the conversation went. He's good for me like that. Smile

This last week /summer my spending/eating has really gotten out of hand. I'm not quite in the territory of spending 100% of what I make, but after the $500/mo that goes towards IRA/car payment, I think most of it is going towards paying my credit cards in full. At least I'm not hitting my savings - other than not adding any to it...

I'm now back up to my highest weight ever. Frown I'm so sick of this cycle - losing weight, gaining, losing, gaining ..

I started my new higher dose of synthroid today. Maybe that'll help eventually. What would probably help even more is if I cut out fast food entirely from my spending and cut way back on buying junk food. (Between Plink points for spending a certain amount at certain restaurants and BK adding sweet potato fries to their menu ... ugh.)

A few months ago when I was walking with my former walking partner, I told her that I wondered if the only thing helping me not gain weight back faster was all the walking I was doing. I got my answer this week - an emphatic yes. Didn't walk once this week and have ate horribly ... four pounds up. It probably would've been even worse if I hadn't at least been semi-active each day at work.

I really must get myself back on track financially and food wise. It's just so hard to do when you feel so utterly exhausted. I have to do it though because I just can't keep this up like this.

Tomorrow I must go in to the school and put up the posters in the computer lab, put together the orientation presentations and figure out how I'm going to keep ten Kinders occupied for 45 minutes without putting them on the computers (per teacher request.) At least I have another week to figure out what I'm doing lesson wise for the quarter.


August 14th, 2013 at 03:15 am

Tomorrow is the first day of classes (not for me, but for the regular classes.) I'm so not ready for school to be starting again, but it is what it is.

We did the scheduling today, and I did end up getting a little bit of what I wanted - extra time for both kinder and first and a little bit of a time buffer between my Kinder and third classes on Mondays. I also worked out with the new 4th grade teacher a 25 minute time period for keyboarding for the entire year! First semester will be all about learning the keys and increasing accuracy, and then second semester will be more practical uses of keyboarding (along with continuing to focus on speed/accuracy.) The really cool thing about the 4th grade teacher is that he is a Navajo man who two years ago had no interest in teaching, but started volunteering at our cafeteria and was pulled in to the 6th grade teacher assistant position. He loved it so much that he went back to school and got his teaching certificate! (He's the coworker I went with to Baltimore last year.)

I kind of let my principal know that this is my last year today ... didn't mean to let it slip out, but it did. I'm not sure if she totally caught it or not. Oh well, would have told her sooner than later anyway.

I've had at least two people tell me about people who would hire me this year (one was a lady at my church who told me their librarian had resigned on Friday and I should apply.) Hopefully stuff like this will pop up next year.

My mom was here this past week. I picked her up on Thursday. That night she helped me get my back bedroom cleaned out and reorganized. I put a lot of stuff out by my trashcan which was gone by mid-morning on Friday. I can now actually USE the back bedroom (need to ask about a mattress - have a frame and boxspring, but no mattress.) Then on Friday we worked in the library and got started on the huge job of sorting out the fiction books by genre (which my wonderful assistant and I finished up today.)

Saturday we went to church .. the head elder preached. Usually he does pretty good sermons, but this one had about a five minute diatribe about how terrible it is for us to associate with those who don't believe the same ... Um... Why is our church not growing? ....(he ensconced it in the idea of someone choosing to go to a neighborhood party instead of a church social .. my mom called it spiritual bigotry and I have to say that I agreed with her.)

Anyway, we went to ABQ Saturday afternoon and spent the night at a nice hotel mom paid for with points. We ate at an Asian restaraunt and then saw the movie "The Way Way Back." Um ... Steve Carrel played someone really out of his norm - a real a**hole of a guy. Great movie though.

Sunday we slept in, then I read while my mom worked on her speech for toastmasters (she got first place!) Then she wanted to get her hair done, so she paid for me to get my hair cut. Then we shopped at Dillards -- I was really needing a new pair of black dress pants. I ended up finding one pair of black pants (~$26) and my mom bought me two tops for about the same amount. I offered to pay for meals and for the movie, etc. but she wouldn't let me.

Today and yesterday were work days. Most of my morning was spent helping the homeroom teachers work out their schedules and fixing computer/printer problems. Good thing my classes don't start til Monday.

I got my Swagbucks CC in the mail today and made my first purchase. (I was really craving some ice cream...)

I've received all $25 of my AGCs from Swagbucks for August now, and have enough for the first two September ones. So far I've hit the Daily Goal 13/13 days.

I'm going to work on getting the items I have charged to my Discover card switched over to the SBs card and then probably close the Discover card.

Almost forgot. A week ago Monday I went to the doctor about how fatiqued, etc. I've been feeling since about March. She ended up doing an Epstein Bar Virus test along with a TSH test. On Monday she called me with the results - apparently sometime in the past I have had mono. So she's thinking that possibly I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Looking at the symptoms ... I wouldn't be surprised. She also is upping my synthroid dose. Nothing to do really about the CFS if that is what this is - except live with it I guess.

Well I better start getting ready for bed. The alarm will be going off at an unwanted hour tomorrow ... (and the next two days...)

I managed to catch up on all the blogs I've missed the last week or so.

g'nite Smile

Interesting Walk, etc.

August 7th, 2013 at 01:40 am

This morning I was about 14 minutes into my walk when I started to pass by my principal's backyard. I usually say hi to her two dogs as I go by, but this time her Maltese came out and greeted me! I found the hole it had dug under the fencing, and then called my principal to let her know. In all, I spent about ten minutes making sure the dog didn't get hit by a car or go to far away. I was glad I was there to help!

The SD card I ordered came with some books I'd ordered - seriously fast! If I remember when I ordered the card, I'd say this was almost one-day delivery! As soon as I put the card in my phone, the Entertain app started working. So far, about 30SBs. Big Grin

Between the paltry monthly bonus I earned for July, generous Jun videos and a few other small offers - I managed to get enough to cash out for my last $5 AGC for August today.

I got over to the library today for a few hours. I didn't really accomplish much ... although I did manage to get the entrance / class table area cleared out (of course most of the stuff was just transferred to the work room table. That is an ongoing area that needs to be cleared .. it gets close to being cleared off once in a while ...)

Tomorrow I'm taking Kari in to get her nails trimmed and pick up my prescription (synthroid.)

My goal for today (before I go to bed) is to finish putting away my clothes from my closet reorganization project (I ran out of proper hangers and had to go buy some more .. by the time I got back I'd kind of lost the zeal ...) I also want to sweep the house - esp. Kari's bathroom.

Tomorrow I need to do a trash run (and break down the pile of boxes in the corner); scrub counters and mirrors; and wash the sheets so they'll be clean for my mom.

Last night NE told me he thinks he'll come here Labor Day weekend. (yay!) So today I double checked with my principal about where he can stay. I found out that I had had a miscommunication with her previously - he can stay with me in my house, as long as it is for a short visit (less than 7 days.) Woo hoo! That'll make life so much easier (than trying to find a guest trailer that's available or staying in a hotel 30+ miles away.) Now I just need to make sure my air mattress is in good working order (for both my mom's visit and NEs visit!)

Doctor visit and other spending

August 6th, 2013 at 12:42 am

Today I went to the doctor. I think I may have mentioned on here a few times how I have not felt completely recovered since the bout of bronchitis I had back in March. So anyway, my next appt was supposed to be at the end of August, but my level of fatigue/insominia/bouts of light-headedness/brain fuzziness/nausea, etc., etc., etc., was just getting too much so I decided to see her again sooner than later. I'd told her the same symptoms back in June, and she told me to try taking the new dose of syntrhoid for a few months and see if that improved anything. Obviously, it didn't.

So I saw her today, and she suggested that maybe it is either related to mono or chronic fatigue syndrome. I looked up the symptoms for both, and can relate to LOTS of the symptoms ... I had my blood tested for Epstein Bar virus and my thyroid rechecked. My blood pressure was high again too .. so of course I get the little paper telling me to not add salt to my food (never do!); eat more fruit (more than my normal 5+ servings?); and fill half my plate with veggies (ok, could do better on this one.)

So anyway, with the copay and the balance from my June visit (my share of the bloodwork after insurance paid) - I paid $49.xx

After the doctor I headed over to the auto shop and got my oil changed. (it needed it badly - it was almost time before I headed to NE, but adding another 2500 miles definitely put it in the MUST DO category.) That was $38.xx

I got pulled back into a farm game app on my phone that I had deleted because it was becoming a time s*ck. And ... I spent $12 within it to buy "diamonds" to make things a little easier. Gah, can't believe I did that. I really need to delete that app again.

I still have the Android phone I bought for my Ting experiment. (I had no problem with Ting, I just couldn't stand the phone for real phone use.) So Swagbucks has an app that only works for Android right now. I finally found the charging cord for my phone, and installed the app. Of course when I tried to open it, it says "can't find SD card." Ugh. So I found a 8gb SD card for my phone --- $7.32 prime. I would've gone for a 2 gb card instead, but once you added shipping (no prime for it) it cost more than the 8gb card. It will take a lot of days using this app to equal out the cost of the card. But there is some kind of adapter thing that it comes with, so I'm guessing maybe I can use the card for other things too if I want - so it might be useful for more than one purpose (I hope.)

My mom is coming on Thursday and my house is a mess. I've managed to pick up some, do laundry and dishes, do several trash runs, etc., but there's still so much more to do. But I also have tons I need to do at school. Guess how much I've gotten done there? Yeah. not much. So we'll have to see how much my mom will really be able to tolerate ... hopefully I can get the gumption to do a bit more cleaning before she gets here - at the very least make sure the sheets are fresh on the bed. (I'll sleep on the couch so she can have my bed - or maybe see if my air mattress still works.)

If it wouldn't be so embarrassing (and make me worry that others would think I make too much money or something) I would dearly love to hire some local person to clean my place every couple months or so ... I did that my last few years of teaching .. hired someone about once a month (generally right before I had planned on guests ...) that made life so much easier. (and only cost around $40!)

My former walking partner told me that her teacher assistant had "gossiped" to her about all the bits of paper I had around my computer in the library and how she wondered how I found anything. My former walking partner has been in my house ... so I asked her - what do you think I work harder at keeping organized and neat - my house or the media center? She said the media center! Big Grin (very true) So pity the teacher assistant if she ever saw my house!

Oh! I received my check from Pinecone today for $3. That was fast!

I also inexplicably received a refund from my health insurance company for premiums. I've heard about that (something about 80/20 or such thing) but what made it weird is that ... I don't pay for the premiums! I figured that if there was a refund due, it would go to my employer who pays it. It is only $9.xx but I guess I can ask my principal tomorrow what she thinks.

Hilarious - Women Will Most Appreciate

August 2nd, 2013 at 05:31 pm

One of my friends on FB shared this link today. I thought it was pretty darn funny. Smile

Hope you enjoy as well. Smile

Extra money and other things

August 1st, 2013 at 05:03 pm

Some extra money that's come my way lately:

-- $3 from Pinecone

I was surprised to be accepted as a panelist, and even more surprised to get a survey right away. They sure do hide the cash option well!

-- $10 from GymPact

This is my third time cashing out from this app. (It is for iOS and Android systems. You say how many days you're going to exercise, and if you do it you get paid. If you don't do it, you pay them.)

--- Potential $21.xx from UPromise

After a recent post here, I checked my account and after a few rounds of emails, I found out that I had money that was sent to the state of Texas. I need to get in touch with them to get the money.


Found out that my new library budget for this year is an 80% increase from last year's! Woo Hoo! I then promptly spent 60% of the budget getting things I'd really wanted last year, but didn't have the budget for both books and these items (floor chairs, book organization stuff, and best of all .. a reading/writing magnetic whiteboard for storytime!)

Thank you everyone who commented on the now deleted section. You have given me some good food for thought.