Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wanderlust

Ah wanderlust - that wonderful, awful feeling that keeps me in its grips.

I want to go back here:
River Thames

And here:

Yellowstone


I want to go everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  I always have.  My grandmother used to call me a gypsy because I was always talking about going, going, going.  Then, when I became an adult - think 19-21, domestic flights were cheap - very cheap.  AOL was booming and I was meeting people left and right.  I went to Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Orange County in California, Ohio (all over), all with long layovers, so I could explore a bit. 

Neither of my parents have this wanderlust, nor did my grandparents.  My husband's desire is not as strong as mine, nor are our children's.

So what spurred this latest wanderlust happening?  My friend told me about a survey a graduate student put out about who, why and how people homeschool - this is her dissertation.  It was a simple one, but when it came to why we homeschool, I said mainly because of the curriculum offered in public schools, but also because we wanted to travel.  That is true, it was one of the reasons, but we haven't traveled yet.

Then, on Facebook, a Homeschool group I belong to posted an article about homeschooling while RVing.  Really?  Any more signs out there?

How do those of you who LOVE to travel, but live with homebodies, handle it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Insight to a day in my life....

Today was a typical day, aside from the fact my husband was home (abnormal), and I keep reading about everyone else's lives.  To me, they are VERY interesting.  I don't respond usually because what can you say to a typical day.  So lovely, so tender and I don't feel like I would add anything.

I usually only write about moments in my life, but for something different, I thought I might give you a glimpse of my daily happenings.

The music from the alarm goes off and I fumble to turn it off.  It is a new alarm clock and so far I don't like it.  It is too different from the old one I had.  I hate that it just quit, but an alarm clock is an alarm clock.  I make sure -D is getting out of bed, then proceed to go back to sleep.  The sun is not out and it is too early for me.

He come back in to turn the fan off, but I want to sleep more.  By then, I am awake, so I just lay in bed until I make the definitely decision to get up.

I get dressed, make the bed, open the blinds, gather the clothes for washing and step out to the living room to see my husband lying on the couch!  He decided to take a mental health day.  I proceed to eat breakfast - 1/2 hard-boiled egg, 1 piece of bacon and a handful of grapes.  Followed by coffee - probably 3 cups worth.

The kids have problems while I am eating - like there are no water bottles, what their math work is, can they go to the park (with me knowing a flasher is in the vicinity), etc.  I sigh, I want one morning with no issues.

Glad my husband stayed home, we talk about what we will do for the day and I mention my chiropractor appointment, a couple of customers coming by, the sewing I need to get done as well as homeschool.  I ask if he can go ahead and set up the desktop, so I can start making the transfer from the laptop.  HE DID!  YEAH!

I started laundry after breakfast, and helped rearrange the office, swept the floor and returned emails.

I then set out for the chiropractor.  Something new this time, my wrist has been bothering me for about a month, so I have him look at it.  He thinks that maybe the thumb is a little out of place and works on it for a while.  I have to do yoga breathing because the pain is pretty bad, but overall he made it feel better.  However, he wants me to have a Rheumatoid Arthritis blood test.  Bummer.  I am not convinced that is it, but after a month, if it is still bothering me, I will go to a doctor.

Come home, and my wonderful husband is putting Abode Photoshop, Illustrator and Reader Professional on the desktop.  FABULOUS!

We have a grilled chicken salad for lunch with Tazo lemongrass tea (my absolute favorite).  I work on homeschool with the kids and finish up just before the first customer comes.  She has a 4 yard piece of cloth she wants hemmed with scrunchy ribbon sewn along the hem.  Easy enough, but she did not bring me enough ribbon - LOL.  I finished the hem and sewed 4 lines on the quilt I am making for my grandmother.

Meanwhile, I sent -D to get no flake starch for the table cover.  Paid with business money!

After that, I started ripping cds for the Jeep.  It has 120 gigs of memory, so ALL of our cds will fit.  WOO-HOO!

Customer #2 arrived, but is a friend, so we chatted for a few minutes. She just wanted patches on her kids uniforms.  At that point, I went back to ripping, but was almost done for the day.  As I was wrapping up, a surprise customer #3 arrived.  Over 100 patches to put on a blanket.  I think I have enough work for now.

My husband does most of the cooking, so he started cooking dinner while I rested my back on the heating pad.  I returned more emails - yes, I am moderator on a Beg, barter, Buy and Sale group, webmaster of my homeschool group, run this little business and have friends, so I get LOTS of emails.  I played a game on the computer and drank a beer.  Folded laundry.

We ate dinner, pork tenderloin, sliced tomatoes, lima beans and cinnamon applesauce.  After dinner, we watched What About Bob?  I picked up crocheting the blanket I making my husband.  Hugged and kissed the kids.

About to head for bed now.

In actuality, this is how most of my days go.  Nothing spectacular!

Monday, July 21, 2014

15th Wedding Anniversary

Somehow in the publishing of this the first time, the first part of the post was lost.  Sorry about that! Here goes:

I had almost forgotten that this year was a significant one for our anniversary.  Our 15th!  We really wanted to do something special and normally we don't anything at all.  We started thinking how wonderful it would be to see autumn out east - specifically Virginia around the Shenandoah National Park area.  We looked into flights - $850, cabins - $700, Car rental - $300, Food - $300 - over $2,000!

There is no way we can do this.  We have WAY too much debt.

It hit us and made us a little sad at how broke we are.  There is too much debt and too little time.  I tried to make us feel better by talking about when the debt is gone and when we have the RV that we can go every year to see the colors change - hell, we can actually watch them change.  It didn't help much.


Today, I feel better about it.  A little more positive.  We would love to get away, but there are logistics that make even a weekend trip close by extremely difficult.  So, we are looking at a couple of hundred for a
night on the town.


My husband reads this blog, so I cannot tell you what I am going give to him, but I will post after our anniversary in October.


So, with a couple of hundred, a day and night free in a very large city - what would you do for a significant anniversary?


Oh, something really sweet he did last night after all this - he set this song to play when I got in today.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Purchase with my EARNED money!

So, I run a small side gig sewing on patches for scouts and every now and then a lap quilt or hot pads.  Nothing major at all.  Most of the time, I will treat us to an ice cream or slush drinks or make a deposit an even amount.

Other than that, I really don't touch that money I bring in.

Well, recently my sewing machine has been acting up - it is making a slightly grinding noise and there is a loose stitch ever 150-200 stitches.  I have looked at it, cleaned it out, etc, but it is still doing it.  Basically, it needs to be looked at.

However, I constantly have work - not much, maybe 2-3 patches a week.  I am constantly making gifts though, so I sew almost daily.  Which means, the 2-3 week turnover for sewing machine repairs will not work for me at all!

I need a back-up machine.  Something on the low end, but can handle patches.  I found one!

A Janome 2212, lightweight, highly functional, and only $149 on Amazon.  Better still, my little gig paid for it!  That and a binding tool for my lap quilts that I have been wanting.  I still have money left too!

Can't help but feel proud a little.  It has been a long time since I made money.  At least this little gig is funding my hobby fully.

Who said $1 patches don't add up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

C-C-C-C-C-C-O-L-D

This week I am taking -L and -K to minecraft camp.  It is a 3 hour camp every day this week that is a little too far for me to come back home in between, so I have set up camp at a Starbucks.

I am sure they love me because I am only getting a Tazo Lemongrass Tea and taking up a whole table for 2.75 hours.

In the first hour, I get chilled, it is a gradual thing.  By 1 hr 5 minutes, my teeth are chattering and by the end of the 2nd hour, I cannot feel my fingers.  It is so cold in that place!  I am literally taking a jacket today and wearing socks and boots.  It is a 100 degrees outside, but Starbucks is FROZEN!

However, I am getting the entire 2014-2015 year for homeschool planned and "on the books".  Lovin' my i-pad right now. 

So, here is the breakdown:  They work on the same level of curriculum except for math and grammar.

Math:  Saxxon 7/6 and 6/5 for 6th and 5th grades respectively.  This is a new curriculum for us, but I think a better fit than we have been using.  Also, Khan Academy for extra practice.

Reasoning: Reasoning and Reading Level One and Two by Classical Academic Press.

Grammar: Growing with Grammar, Level Six and Five

Writing:  Writing and Rhetoric, Narrative One and Two by Classical Academic Press

History: Sonlight - American History - 2nd part.  Although I have never taught the theology portion of this curriculum, however, I am highly considering it now.  Reading and Literature is part of this set as well

Science: Bob Jones Science 6th Grade.  Also, 8 dissection classes at the Natural Science Museum.

Latin:  Latin Primer B by Classical Academic Press

Spelling:  No set program.  Each has to participate in this year's Spelling Bee.  We will be using Scripp's on-line, word of the day, etc.

Physical Education/Home Economics: This year, we are teaching them how to cook and follow recipes with more than 5 ingredients and multiple steps.  I am putting together a flip book of exercises that they will have to pick from daily.  Things included are a bike ride, walking, running, jump rope, crunches, push-ups, yoga, swimming (weather permitting), etc.

Extra Curriculars:  They both go once a week to a school of sorts that teaches keyboarding, art, music, Spanish, PE (this is where they get group games) - all the fun stuff.

-K is in a Lego Robotics Group.  -L is in a Mensa book club.

Field Trips include: Salt Marsh Excursion, Wetland Area Education, Canoeing, History of Photography, Gem and Mineralogy event, Interactive Theatre, Opera, local college Physics Show, Secret Garden, Sea Turtles Exhibit, Asia Society, Bee Farm, Art Museum and a waterpark. We also have weekly Park Days and bi-weekly library visits.

So, there you have it - our next year planned!





Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ho-Hum Finances

Well,  Pay Day came and went, the 25th came and went. 

There is nothing much to report because we are paying minimums on credit cards to build the savings back up after paying off the one Citibank card.

So, I guess that is something.  We "borrowed" $7,500 from savings to pay that card, so we have to pay that back before anything else.  This money is not emergency, it is basically virtual envelopes:  Haircuts, parties, car insurance, home repair, charity, college (yes, it falls here), pest control, travel, etc.

We paid $2250 to that this month.  So, it will take through October to be back to hitting debt hard.  The interest savings is close to $1,800 though.  THIS is why we thought it was worth it.  That card had a damn high interest rate.

The other cards do not - 0-3%.

We stayed on track with our budget though - 1st time EVER!  It helps when operating expenses are lowered like ours were.

Feeling full of gratitude and thankfulness. 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Giving up the Laptop

I have had the worst luck in laptops.  I mean really bad luck.  They last me 1-2 years MAX.  It could be the ones I buy - usually on the low end - never more than $350.  I run hard graphics when I design and that makes my machines run hot.  So hot they turn off.  Sigh.

I really need a desk top, so it can handle my flow.

What to do, what to do.

So, here is what I decided.  My laptop is not gone yet (typing on it now), but it will soon.  The kids all just got laptops, so there is a perfectly good desk top collecting dust in my closet. 

I have decided to go desk top.

It is a tough decision though because I am on my laptop constantly - checking emails, researching who knows what.  It is my telephone, organizer, library and lifeline.  I use it on my comfie chair mostly.  So getting a desk top means that I am giving up being able to use a computer in my comfie chair.

I do have an ipad though.   Yes, we are a tech-driven family.  However, we DO NOT have the latest and greatest.  This ipad is 2 1/2 years old.

As for this working, just not real well laptop?  Well, I will clean it up, take everything off and it can be a back up if one of the other laptops break down.

And -D was going to get me another laptop.  Not a chance, this girl is motivated to NOT spend money!

Tomorrow is financial update - I do it every month on the 15th.  There is not much to tell in between as we only pay each bill once a month.

Have a great day!