Monday, November 14, 2011

Good and Bad . . .

Well, the good thing about a challenge is that it keeps the blog posts coming in steadily.  It makes you ponder things.  Like what you are thankful, or a variety of other things (as in the last challenge I did).  The bad thing is that it kinda pulls you (okay, not YOU . . but ME) away from thinking and typing about things that are still rattling around in the brain . . . maybe more valuable or deeper than a daily shot of generic, "I'm thankful".  

Well . . . not that any of this is more important that what I'm thankful for . . . but .  . . I'm still gonna write an alphabet of things I haven't mentioned . . .

a.  My brother visited last weekend.  I do believe it's good to see family.  He flew in on Friday, spent Saturday with our dad and flew out on Sunday.  He spent some good one-on-one time with mom.  He spent some good one-on-one time with dad.  Dad was thrilled to have him visit.  He thought dad looked and acted as healthy and well as a 92-year old man can.
b.   I did an annual open house as a bag-lady dealer on Saturday.   Bad planning with family in town, but I didn't know the dates at the time.
c.   Middle won an honorable mention in an art contest sponsored by PTA at her school.  She's advancing to the Council level with her painting.
d.  Big has taken to this line, "Mom, will you quiz me on ____________".   She likes it.   I'm reviewing basic chemistry.  She frequently has this math homework called study island.  It's computer generated quizzes.  It's like studying -- on an island -- with no one to help you.  I'd like to take a parental moment to sing the praises for The Khan Academy (   Wow.  Thank you so much, Khan Academy, for helping me to help her.
e.  Remember a few weeks ago when I made the painstaking decision to pull Middle out of the Gifted & Talented Program at school?  Well, come to find out, she still has this semester long project that is a requirement, so says the teacher, of being "identified" as gifted.  Huh?  I'm totally confused.  Sounds like another time eating project.  Sounds like she's "getting a grade" in a class that she's not even IN . . . which translates into being punished for having been identified as gifted.  Hmm.  You can bet your sweet red cherry tomato that I've contacted the GT director of the district with a few questions.
g.  Christmas budget.  I'm on task.  And on time.  Go me.
h.  Team Mom.  I'm Team Mom for Big's volleyball team.
i.  One more meet for Middle until state.
j.  We're going skiing.  Gone over Thanksgiving.  I'm so excited to go play in the snow.
k.  Family pictures . . . do you do this?  How?  When?
l.  Christmas cards . . . do you do this?  Who makes the cut?  I think I must blog about this every year.
m.  I reconnected with an old friend.  It's left me feeling nostalgic and appreciating the kind of relationships that pick right up where they left off . . . even though our last communication was in February.
n.  I sent some pretty hilarious pictures to Homestead today and I laughed right out loud, in the middle of an important meeting when I got her responses.   Does anyone need some pink elephant gifts for the holidays?  Or is it white elephant?  Pink or white . . . whatever.  I've got it.
o.  Holiday charity . . . . thinking, thinking, thinking.
p.  Flex care.  Shall I voice my frustrations?  That stupid law passed and no grandfathering is allowed.  I've gotta spend a sailboat full of cash in the next 45 days, and prove it to be a legitimate medical expense.  Or lose it.  Damnit.
q.  Dependent care.  Shall I voice my frustrations?  I'm a moron.  I underestimated.  Remind me to re-check my math at open enrollment this year.
r.  Paperclip chains.  Curses.  Which child is doing this to my paperclips?  Argh!!
s.  Guess what I did today?
t.  Hint:

u.  I'm hungry.
v.  Castle is on at 9.  What's your TV lineup?  Have I blogged recently about how much I love TV?  I just do.
w.  Ooh, I'm super proud of myself for busting out the sewing kit and fixing two things.  One was Big's favorite light pink ruffly cardigan sweater.  The hook was coming undone.  Go super mommy.  I fixed it after it hung on the doorknob of my room for only, um, like six weeks.  And second, the throw that lives in the front room.  It's had a hole in it that runs almost the entire length.  It's been there for about two years.  I fixed it today while Big was at piano.  I'm so impressed with myself.
x.  How fun are these?   Mimi and I washed our hands twice just so we could use this awesome new Dyson air-blade technology.  It was so fun!

y.  I'm just curious . . . . what do you sell?  What do you give?  What do you gift?  What's a charitable donation?   Do you Goodwill?  ARC?  Contribute to Healing Minds?  The Battered Women's Shelter?  Do you sell stuff?  Lots of clothes on ebay?  Books?  I just want a gauge of how other people deal with their stuff.
z.  Still going.  I must go pack ski stuff and write a note to Big's math teacher.  I need jammie pants.  And a mug of this wonderful hot chocolate that boasts 15 grams of protein.  It's practically guilt free.  I love it.


Winter said...

Welcome to random

Christal said...

P. Answer to flex spending - it's dated but there might be something to help.
And the old government answer...

Do you pay any toward your dad's nursing home lodging?

Physicals? Any one need any dental work?

r. Have Mimi unclip them for you and put them in different containers counting them out in fives, tens, whatever. Or sorting by sizes or colors.

o. My charity this year is the local humane society and a horse rescue ... not much per check but it adds up at the end of the year for them.

y. I sell anything that will bring enough to make it worth the hassle of a want ad/notice & dealing with prospective buyers. If it is large & bulky I will practically give it away just for the space. I really weigh if what I would get for it is worth my time (usually it's not).

I goodwill every month because I keep a xerox box or laundry hamper with a garbage bag in it that I fill as I go through the month. It's amazing how there is always at least one bag/box every month. And lastly if it is something that is still of use/nice that I think a friend will want I give it away... for example, queen size comforter, bedskirt, & sheet set in olive green color all went to a friend because she had that color in her house and it was practically new. I pulled it out of the packed away box from last year's move and washed it first. Then when I called her about it, she was very happy. They don't have much spare cash (being both retired) so she was excited for a change from her old stuff.

I pass books along to my daughter or recycle them at the used book store. (And I get them from my brother too...)

We had 85 boxes stacked in the "shed" (much nicer than just a shed... windows, double door, concrete floor) when we moved out of the old house. I've taken out a lot but there appears to still be about the same amount because once I get a space empty my husband puts something in that spot. I hope that this summer I'll be able to really dig in and discard. We had a lot of chaos this past year including terminally ill long time friends and extra trips to visit them and help them.

Disney Redhead said...

I don't sell anything. Anything no longer wanted either gets thrown away/recycled (if it's not in good condition) or it gets taken to the Goodwill. If I was hard up for money, I suppose I'd consider selling. But I just don't see the point in making a few bucks. I'd rather donate it to people who really need it. I have quite a few pairs of shoes (and so does my husband) that have never been worn or have only been worn once or twice. Sure, we could make money by selling them. But I see those nice dress shoes and something someone can buy at the Goodwill and use for a job interview or to wear to a wedding or something. It makes me happy to donate them.

As far as charities, I mostly give money to animal related things/shelters.

Some years we do a Christmas card, other years we don't. Just depends on if we get around to it. I only send it to close relatives.

Christmas tree already?? I've noticed a few people on my Facebook list have put up their trees too. I just can't get into the Christmas mood until after Thanksgiving. Typically, our tree will go up on the Saturday or Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

Homestead said...

a. I love family. We got the whole nerd-herd together last weekend and had a typical weekend.

d. Sweet has a composition notebook that says "Chemistry I" on the cover.

e. Sounds like a statistics thing to me. Like they need "x" number of "y" students to receive "z" federal funding. I have a friend with a smart son. He was sick the day of testing and his teacher called and BEGGED her to bring him in... just for the test because his one great score could move the curve enough to get the funding.

g. Christmas budget. I'm over budget and ok with hit.

k. Family pictures . . . do you do this? How? When? We do something outside with the timer on Hot's camera. And sometimes photoshop. Nothing fancy or formal.... I'm wearing my grey sweatshirt in 90% of them.

l. I do photo cards of some sort. And I get 75 printed. (Costs about $20 at Costco) And I mail a lot of them. It's my little part in saving the USPS. I used to do a form letter. I love those but I gave it up a few years ago. Might do it again this year.

n. Be careful. I might blog the photos AND my responses.

o. We dig out all the spare change we can find and each kid gets to give at whatever stores have a red kettle. Every time we go there. And I like to donate to the food pantry. A $7 bale of mac-n-cheese makes there day. I still sometimes get those $5 off baby formula coupons... and go to Target and buy a $6 pack of pre-mixed.... so for a few dollars I get to donate a LOT of expensive formula.... that's my favorite. I have sold some baby stuff at the consignment store but mostly I hand-me-down it. And our school does a giant clothes swap that they may turn into a fund raiser so I save everthing for that one. And the rest goes to Good Samaritan. They work locally and all the money stays local and that is important to me.

p. Yeah... our change date is in October so I just did mine for 2012... the new standards SUCK. I have an idea... can you sweet-talk your doc into a 'scrip for over-the-counter prenatal vitamins for a year? Then buy the vitamins and donate them to Florence Crittendon and write off the donation.

q. We do the full 5k every year. And wish it was double. Someday that will change. Someday.

t. We are having the yearly "should we get a fake tree" conversation.

v. Terra Nova at 7 on Mondays. The rest is hit or miss. Oh... and I watch Hoarders online now.

w. Must be the season. I stitched several fix-it things this weekend. My slipper, Tuff's cardigan & yoga pants, Hot's t-shirt. And I trimmed all the random snagged threads off the couch pillows.

x. I love Costco. Also.. there was an actual legislative bill to require paper towels be provided in all public restrooms. How stupid is my state?

y. I consign baby gear if someone in my family doesn't need it. I hand-me-down all kid stuff to my siblings. I hand-me-down most magazines to family. (I love them.) I donate baby stuff (spare stock up stuff, some gear, some clothes) to Florence Crittendon. I donate to the school's clothing swap. I donate to Good Sam's (local version of Goodwill). And God's Love & the food pantry get stuff... either food or money or spare toiletries. And the Humane Society gets all of our old bedding/pillows/towels and all the cleaning supplies I buy and then decide I don't like. And my pop cans. With my own clothes I usually haul them to the farm, we all go through and people take what they want and then my mom takes them to the "U" shop in town.... it's a small town and they provide a great service and they like the infusion of "out of town" clothing.

z. I got the Starbuck's hot chocolate from Costco... mostly because I liked the canister and it is disappointingly hard to open.