Have to go back tomorrow

Yup, my impromptu vacation is over. Today is the last day and for the next two weeks it promises to be busy, busy. Not really looking forward to it, but at least there are some things to look forward to. Even though it means I wont really have a day off on Saturday (which I can get over), the oldest has her first Marching Band Competition. She will be gone from like 8 in the morning till well into the night that day, practicing and then performing. THere is about an hour or so for a lunch break in which she will be home, and the Band Director has put them ALL on a strict diet of healthy meals and water only for that day in particular. Don’t blame him really. If the kids get all the energy drinks and colored water drinks, they really aren’t doing their bodies any favors. But we are looking forward to the performance and there is a chance Grandma from Charleston will be coming up for that. She hasn’t been up for a visit in a while, and it will be nice to have her around, if she is able to make it. I haven’t heard from Hubby yay or nay yet, but hoping for the yay. That and Vader misses Grace ;).

The financial aid money came in late last week, so we were able to take care of a lot of stuff, but unfortunately my little vacation here put a huge damper on a lot of the plans we had for it. So we showed the kids just how quickly you can make what appears to be a lot of money disappear real quick. At least we totally paid off one bill and have paid up on the rent for the next four months. What did suck though is we were planning on getting a second car (since my Intrepid is beyond fixing) and it turned out we weren’t able to add it in this time around. We are planning definitely next semester. So we took the Intrepid entirely off the road and bought a car cover for it till we could figure out what we are going to do with her. Fixing her is out of the question. Way too much wrong with her to make it worth it to fix. I love the car, but when it’s cheaper to buy another car that is newer, it’s time to say good bye. But paying off bills, buying things we needed and getting meds for the animals as well as food for everybody was very nice. We did get a few things that weren’t needs, but rather wants, but since the wants have been on the back burner for the most part, I say we deserved them. So we pre-ordered a few games (some for more than one person in mind, and one or two that are for just one person), and got a new printer (not really a want, but we could have made the old one last longer if we really tried, but the ink cost was the factor there) and a new camera (ours disappeared almost two years ago and we have no idea what happened to it, so we had been using our phones and the Oldest’s camera). And luckily the camera was a packaged deal that came with its own printer that you don’t need to have it hooked up to the computer. It prints nicely too. And the ink and paper we found for it on Amazon pretty cheap. We wont by any means be sitting there and printing photos out left and right, but for special pics and what not, it is nice. Plus thanks to that purchase and the batteries we bought at Sams, we got about 125 free prints from their photo department. So we’ll be sitting pretty on that for a while. Thinking of using it in part for a birthday present for mom. Been awhile since I’ve actually gotten her anything for her birthday, which sucks big time. And she loves photos.

In other news, I’ve been seriously considering starting up a Sims 3 Blog. I know, do I really have the time? But it would be nice to share some of the stuff I’ve come across in the game with other Simmers. Some of it has been a lot of fun and other bits just plain shocking. Yes, I’ve been playing the hell out of the Sims this last week :). It’s helped me, a lot.

Let’s see, Stargate Universe starts up this Friday at 9PM on SCI FI (sorry, still not liking the new spelling, it’s just not them). So far, it shows promise. I’m still not sure about it, but with Ming Na (Mulan, Joy Luck Club, Push) in it, I’m gonna check it out. She’s a fav of mine, and listening her talk about the show, yeah, I’ll give it a chance.

I think that’s it. We spent most of the morning at the DMV and Medicaid offices and are still waiting for the tires to show up so we can get the back ones replaced. The one scored a nail in it on Friday, but the place we get the tires at has to order them, so we had to wait till today. We called earlier and the truck hadn’t shown up yet. They weren’t sure why but they were on the phone with the driver when I called. So hopefully soon. I have some things I’d like to do today and I don’t want to wait on that or for the afternoon when they get really busy and we’re stuck there for a few hours just to have the tires put on.

Need to call the boss and then I might play Sims for a little bit. have fun folks!

Bargins and ways to save money pt 2

I should be getting some stuff done today before my appointment at 11:30, but I can’t bring myself to. Which sucks, but oh well. It’s cooler today and overcast, and I’m tired. Not working has thrown my clock off in a big way and I need to try and get it back in the swing of things. Anywho, here are a couple things that I should have put in the entry yesterday and never did.

One is this neat little website. If you are like us and never have money when things go on sale, then it’s not that big of a deal, but once in a while we can find something that we actually need or want and have the money for it. I’m talking about SlickDeals.net. We’ve stumbled across sales for Pampered Chef (we got almost $200 worth of things for $35!) and I believe we’ve found amazing deals on the Gold membership for XBox Live. They are always updating and some days they have tons of deals and other days you are lucky to find anything. But check it out, it’s worth a peak at least.

Let’s talk shop. Computer shop. Let’s say you are tech savvy or you know some who is who is willing to help you out. You want to set up that home theatre thingy with your PC or you just need to get some parts to fix your PC. You need some electronics for school, whatever. About seven or so years ago the my BFF’s now brother-in-law turned me onto a lovely website called TigerDirect.com. Since then, roughly once a year (sometimes more if the money is really good) we get really awesome deals from there to help with compter repair, upgrades, etc. Last year my processor went bad and the motherboard was the wrong one to play Sims and a slew of other things. For almost two years I could have kicked my PC out the damn door. Anyway, I managed to get the new motherboard (complete with new processor), upgrade to Windows XP, get a 250 GB harddrive and some larger RAM for the PC. I cannot recall the exact total and I know we didn’t get it all at once, but it was less than $300. Back then that was an awesome deal. If you own a small business you can often find really good deals on things for the office through them as well. Now this is not to say that you will always find the best prices here. By all means, no. It pays to shop around and if you aren’t much in the know of PCs and such, make sure you have either done your research or gotten somebody you know and trust to help you. Otherwise you WILL spend 10 times more than you need to. Amazon and Best Buyare good places to go to see what comparable or better prices are. Best Buy I believe offers warranties and protection plans on most if not all of their product. Amazon not so much, as it depends on who the retailer is that is selling through them.

Which brings us to Amazon. Which if you know me, you know I love this shopping site. 9 out of 10 times I can find better deals here than anywhere else. You can find nearly anything here, and depending on what it is, you can score a great deal on the price. We found a nice bed set for our Queen sized bed for $30- comforter, sheets, sham, pillow cases. Yes, Queen sized. I’ve gotten 4 GB flash drives off of their for $6. Movies are generally $5 cheaper than Wal-Mart (I’d still compare though). They have a nice way to ship the items for free, if you get $25 or more of stuff. That can be a draw back sometimes, but it’s not really that hard coming up with the stuff to do so. They also have what they call Amazon Prime, which you pay $80 a year and not have to pay shipping and get things w/in two days (faster than the free shipping by almost a week), or you pay 3.99 flat shipping and have it in one day. The annual fee can be intimidating, but trust me, if you can scrounge up enough $$ to get it, and you find that you either shop a lot off of Amazon or would like to, it will pay for itself. And sometimes they even offer deals exclusively for Prime members. Amazon also has their Deal of the Day, or the Gold Box. I recall one of them being a series set for the TV show Angel. MSRP was $200. You could get the whole set of five seasons worth of discs for 50-60. I’ve seen small kitchen appliances go for dirt cheap. And the rating system and customer feedback for each item is simple and easy to use, so you can see what everybody else is thinking or saying about your product of interest.

Food is a major concern for a lot of people, mainly due to raising costs and not much in the way of pay raises. IF you don’t have a lot of dietary restrictions, then this one is for you. I believe it was through my in-laws we discovered this, but it was great right up until Hubby became diabetic. Check out Angel Food Ministries. They are not located everywhere, but enough places that if you dig deep enough you might find one near you. I know when my BFF and I were roommates we used this a lot and it helped our grocery bill in a huge way. I think we spent on average 80-100 a month (splitting the cost two ways) and the amount of food we got was incredible. It wasn’t always the best tasting or the greatest quality, but it was never bad and most of the time our other food shopping trips the bill was always low. You do not have to be a member of a Church or convert or whatever to do this. It is open to EVERYBODY, even if it is Christian run. It is something purely for the community and I have yet to run into anyone pushing religion or being rude because we weren’t apart of their faith or church. Now, like I said if you have dietary restrictions, it may not be for you. You don’t get a choice on what is in each order (and if you do, its limited). So if you are diabetic, have blood pressure problems, etc, you may want to go over the menu each month with a fine tooth comb if you decide to go with them. The salt content in the meats is extremely high and they (last I knew) do not offer sugar free anything. It’s still a great deal and every now and then consider going to check it out.

Now, if you happen to have those dietary restrictions and cannot find the food you need for good prices, it’s a bitch. I know. Go to your local market and try to find cheap Sugar free items. It’s hard to find anything Sugar Free, for starters (though some store are getting it through their heads) and it’s even harder to find them at affordable prices. Low Salt is another and the costs of fruits and veggies are going up. This is where bargain hunting comes in handy. And it does not hurt to explore a bit. We’ve managed to find some diabetic friendly foods at Whole Foods Market that don’t break the bank. For your fresh fruits and veggies, try your local farmer’s market. Most (not all, as I’ve run into in the past) will offer better prices than the grocery store. It will also give you a chance to get to know the people growing your food. And sometimes you can find other food treasures for great prices. Flea Markets, believe it or not are another place to go and get them. Always take those with caution though. If it doesn’t look clean or you see something that shouldn’t be there with the food, don’t buy from them.

Another place to check out is a Bargin Food store. We have one about thirty minutes from here, and all you have to say is “The Bargin Store”, and everyone knows what you are talking about, it’s that popular. Search out in your own community and close by ones, and see if there is one. They often get the items the stores wont sell (dented cans, etc), but are still in good shape. They will also work with local farms and get fresh produce in. They will also have outstanding deals on household cleaners, items, etc. And they will have items for those with special diets. Be wary of the meat and dairy selections though. I haven’t been in a while, but when I used to go all the time, the meat looked and smelled bad and the dairy was right there with it. But when I went, I would spend $40 and come out with bags and bags of food that would last me a good long while. I think my sister and I figured it out the one day. I went and spent my $40 and would have spent over $150 at Bi-Lo for the stuff.

Another way to save money on food, if you happen to have the space and the green thumb for it, is grow some of your own food. Really. It does not cost as much as a lot of people think. For maybe $30 you can set yourself up with a nice selection of herbs, and veggies. The key is to go small scale and make sure it’s stuff you eat. Too many go large scale and go overboard and end up with things they don’t eat and it goes to waste. If you have pets or have a lot of organic trash, you can do a web search to see about creating your own fertilizer or compost so you can use that with your little garden and save even more money. We’re talking of doing something like this next spring, mainly to coincide with Hubby’s chef classes, but also he’s got one of his teachers willing to give a few seeds to get us started.

One of the worst things people can do to try and save money is by eating out. I know, I know. It’s quicker and easier and cheaper. The quicker and easier I wont debate much. The cheaper I will. We love to eat out, but for a family of four, even at most fast food places, we’re looking at over $20 a meal. If you work it just right, you can work it out to $30 a day to feed that same family at home. See, compare per meal to per day and see how much money that is. And we don’t go light most meals. We love our meat and we love our food in general. It’s hard sometimes with prices going up, but remember this: If the prices are going up in the grocery store, they are going up at the restaurants as well. I’m not saying don’t eat out (that’s my livelihood there, folks!) but don’t do it as much. Learn to read a recipe. Some colleges offer cheap or free intro cooking classes, if you are that scared of it :p. And you can find quick recipes for the busy live style. I like browsing the Food Network’s site. They give you the ingredients, the difficulty level, the amount of time and sometimes will have videos attached to the recipe.

It’s also no secret that ‘m a huge fan of Alton Brown, who is all over Food Network. I use a lot of his recipes for a few reasons:

  1. He tends to be more blue collar and shows you economic ways to do things. And if there is no economic way, he says why and usually its for a good reason.
  2. The majority of his recipes are open ended. This means that they are easy to change around to suit your needs or budget. He will even tell you to do it another way for those reasons. And if it’s not open ended (which is rare) its for a specific reason and not to be snooty.
  3. He’s fun and easy to understand. A lot of the other celebrity chef’s wont explain anything or are sticks on the mud. Alton will typically show you several different ways and encourage you to find what works best for you.

Now, with anything I’ve said in this entry or the last one, it does not mean you have to follow it, that I am being bossy or what have you. Nope. Just some friendly suggestions and the want and need to help others. There are a lot of ways to save money out there. It just takes a lot of research and the biggest one, discipline. If you can’t make yourself save the money, then you have a problem. Cheaper does not always mean crap or low quality. In fact recent studies have shown generic brands are better and win over the name brands in a lot of areas.

Ok, I’ve procrastinated enough. Time to get going and try to finish up some stuff before I leave.

 

Edit: A post script if you will. Completely forgot one of our favorite ways to save money and we’ve been doing it for years and years. Game Stop. Granted it wont help you if aren’t a gamer, and I’m sorry. But we are big time gamers and we know it costs a lot of money. But Game Stop can help you either save money or to budget your wants out so you aren’t going broke all the time. We like pre-ordering games. Games that we know we want and cannot live w/o are pre-ordered. Halo 3 ODST was pre-ordered a while ago. And how this works is this: you still pay full price for the game, but you stake your claim on it before it comes out. You have to put a minimum of $5 down on the game and you have until the day it is released to pay it off, or you lose out on the money you already put on it. During the time you pre-order it and when it is released you can pay as much or as little on it. So say you have Game A and you put you five down on it. You also have eight weeks to pay the rest of it off. You budget $5 one week and $10 another and if keep doing that you have your shiny $60 game brand new. Ok, we don’t do that with every game. If we did, we’d still be broke. So they have this nice little thing called pre-owned or used games. They will offer games that other people traded back in at lower prices than buying it new. It’s harder to get good deals on the newer used ones, especially if its popular. And sometimes you have to go to several Game Stops if you are looking for specific ones. They also have it set up where you can trade in the games you aren’t playing anymore and get store credit to go towards anything in the store (except pre-orders, I believe). On older games you might get a buck or two, but on newer ones you can sometimes walk away with $15-20 or more in trade in value. Call ahead to ask them about the games you want to trade in- and keep in mind, Game Stop no longer takes original XBox consoles or games for trade. You are SOL in that department. You can also subscribe to Game Stop’s Game Informer magazine for $15 a year (which is a nice little mag) and get with it a Game Stop card that gives you 10% discount on all used games, plus extra credit on trade ins and other specials that they let you know about from time to time. I recall a time when Hubby took about ten games in to trade them in and walked out with five games, at least one brand new, and I think we paid $2 or 3 out of our pocket. It was nice. We got rid of a bunch of stuff we weren’t going to look at and got some new ones for almost free! It was a combination of the card, getting some used games and they had this trade in deal where you get an extra 10, 20 or 30% depending on how many games you were trading in. And returning things to the store is easy compared to others. If you get it with in a certain period you get cash back, otherwise you can exchange it or get store credit. They do deal with cash for trades, but you don’t get as much back if you had gone with store credit.

Ok, I’m really gone this time you all!

Fall is here!

Yup, we are in autumn now. It’s a little cooler and a lot more wet. Fall is typically a little on the dry side here, at least has been for the last few years, so all this rain is wierd. But nice. We are pulling further away from the drought stages the area was in for a while now, and now we have flood warnings all over. Leaves aren’t changing yet, but I figure we’ll notice something in about a week or so. We are in the South after all.

Since I know things are rough for everybody all around, I figured I dedicate this blog to a few things (mostly links) that might help money wise. No guarantee that they will work, as everyone is different, but hey, I know my own family is facing a lot of rough roads financially, especially right now. I will not go into specifics, because frankly if you don’t already know, chances are I don’t want you too for the moment (and if you do know, you are one of a very small handful), but I have been given an impromptu vacation from work. And with the Hubby out of work, it spells disaster with tying to keep our heads up. Thankfully, there is a small, bright light in his financial aid money from school to help with living expenses. But it’s already spoken for and it’s not here, yet *sigh*. So I have been looking up things on the net like crazy, and why not share it with my readers, some of who are family and friends.

First up:

Found this little article about Wholesale Clubs interesting. A few counterpoints to it, as I am a SAMs Club member and I love it. I do not enjoy the long lines that you can run into. As many of you know, I have problems with my legs, and somedays I’m lucky I roll out of bed. So the long lines at SAMs really suck. Then I discovered there is a major difference between going on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday versus the rest of the week. A few times I’ve managed to sneak up there after they’ve just opened during the week and managed to not see any lines! So that is something to consider. Also I know we mainly use SAMs for food, dog food (can’t find Vader’s food anywhere else for 12 bucks!) and some household items, plus gas. Gas is typically 5 cents cheaper than everywhere else. Once in a great while it will on par, and one occasion it was more than the RaceWay up the street. I have a friend who is a Costco member and goes in twice a year, and that’s it. She buys up all the paper products and cleaning products she will need. Once and a while she’ll get some office supplies, and there was the time she needed to get stuff for a party and she compared how much she’d spend there compared to Wal-Mart or elsewhere and figured she saved nearly a hundred dollars. And make no mistake, I don’t buy all my groceries there. Where would I put it all??? That and they don’t offer a good selection for diabetics, so that leaves Hubby out. No, we get Milk (always a dollar or more cheaper) and meat. What we don’t get at the butcher’s shop we get at SAMs and always for much better prices. We can get good sized Baby Back Pork Ribs for about $20 and get three racks that are roughly a foot to a foot and a half long. Before we got the reduced lunches at school for the kids we would get their lunch items from there. Spend a total of twenty or thirty and have enough food for their lunches to last a month and a half. So research and check it out. Don’t let articles like that scare you. Wholesale Clubs have their upsides as well as their downsides. And as for electronics, why aren’t you going to Best Buy? You don’t go to Wal-Mart, Target, SAMs, etc for your major electronics. Go to the places that specialize in them. That way you know what you are getting into and don’t get suckered.

Second:

We all love our TV. EVERYBODY has a show that we love to watch, even if it just that one show. Have you ever considered turning your PC or laptop into your TV set? This article from the New York Times shows you a few different ways. It helped us out a lot and gave us some ideas till we stumbled across that sweet two year deal with Charter. As always when dealing with a computer, and I’ve seen it time and again, with EVERYONE, if you are not computer savvy, don’t do these things yourself. Make sure you have someone who is, that way you aren’t ruining your PC, spending more money than you really should or just bulloxing the whole thing.We used our XBox 360 to stream a lot of stuff from Netflix’s Instant Watch and even things we downloaded off the net from Amazon and other places (does not work with iTunes, obviously).  Hulu is a great place to watch shows online for free. They don’t always have every show out there, but you can always check cable network websites and find a lot of their own shows there. You Tube has been broadening their library to not just user created material. Anime fans should check out Funimation’s Channel.

Third:

One sad thing that happens during hard economic times is the animal abandonment. It reaches high on the charts and just in my neighborhood alone I’ve seen a big increase in strays. Don’t think you cannot afford your pet. It is possible to take care of them for very little money. If you’ve read this blog or caught me other places, or hell even know me, you know I have six animals, and yes, we are able to take care of them and ourselves. It’s not easy, and yes they have made sacrifices as well. They don’t get the high priced dog food or all the extra kitty treats they used to. And though we don’t go to the vet regularly, we do make sure their medical needs are taken of. And it is possible to do. Believe it or not, PetsMart is a good place to find food, and a lot of the times it will be cheaper than Wal-Mart offers. On average I pay 70 cents a can for Cujo’s food at PetsMart, when at Wal-Mart it will 85 or higher. Vader’s food we’ve found in a case of 24 cans for under $12 at SAMs. And the cats, I get them their food at PetsMart for at least $2-3 cheaper than Wal-Mart everytime, for the really big bags of dry food. Also, if your puppy or kitty has a sensitive tummy or you want to go green with animal food, try Whole Foods Market. We found a nice variety of canned foods at 75 cents a can and Vader loved it! And no problems from him. Cujo is picky in his old age, so it didn’t go over well with him.

Vet costs are a big issue for people. I know. I have six of them, and three are in old age and two of them are not in the best of shape. Plus there is Vader’s knee. This is where a lot of research comes in handy, as well as talking to a vet to find out fact from truth. And you don’t have to go to a high priced one either. Do you have a Tech College where you live? A lot of them will have a Vet Sci department that will help you with your vet needs for a lot less than what the local vet charges. A LOT less. And I’ve seen them sometimes do the care for free, just so the students get the experience they need. And don’t worry, the teacher (who is a licensed vet) is standing over them, making sure everything is done right. And often times, these Vet Sci programs will have access to certain things that some vets don’t have or waaaayyyyy overcharge for. It does not hurt to call them and see just what they have. Also, have you ever driven by certain supermarkets or even Wal-Mart and seen the signs for pet vaccinations? Most charge $7 per animal now and you can have the rabies and other shots taken care of, no hassle, and it’s legit. These same places often offer limited specialized vet services that are handy for elderly people or those that are seriously bad off. We had Tux fixed by these people and we were happy for the service. What would have run us well into $200 or more, we paid $56. They also threw in her shots and a quick check up and gave us all kinds of places to contact that would be real cheap should she need ER care within the first 24 hours of her surgery.

Here’s a big one for pet owners: medicine for your beloved animal. A few years ago one of my nieces stumbled across this lovely website, and I’ve found it to be much, much better than PetMeds and all the others. The only thing I don’t like is the fact you can wait two to three weeks before you get the stuff, but at a flat rate shipping cost and offering cheaper prices than all the others, especially the vet, I think I’ll live. You don’t even need a prescription from the vet to get the stuff, which with it being in Australia is a good thing. But we have gotten our flea treatments from there (which is good, since two of them are allergic) and we’ve gotten other meds from there at a hefty discount. I’m not kidding. We spend on average, every four months on all six, $150 for the flea treatments. I once went to 1800PetMeds, and had to step away from the computer. Almost three hundred and that was before the shipping! And when Vader runs out of his medicine for his knee, we can get it from PetSuppliesNet for $20 less than the vet and everyone else. Plus, they have this thing where you get ‘rewards’ for buying there. Basically what it is, you spend your money and then you have a small percentage of that to go towards reducing your next order’s bill. I think I have about $11 waiting around on me right now. Not alot, but when you need to save money, every penny counts.

Fourth:

Back to tech colleges. These are wonderful places, and I know they aren’t the only colleges that do it either. But the next time you need a hair cut, some dental work, and a slew of other things that you need done and don’t have a lot of money, call them up and see just what they might offer. You’d be surprised. Local beauty schools offer discount haircuts, and I heard of one that did the same for nails and other services. I know, I know, they don’t know what they are doing and I’ll look horrible. Not so in a lot of cases. The teachers are right there (as with the Vet Sci) and they don’t just let a brand new student do it. You also need to communicate what it is you are looking for and make sure it is clear. ou can even get some of the work done on your car at a few of them. And some even sponsor or are affiliated with health clinics and they can point you there to help you with your own medical needs.

So it certainly pays to do a little research into your local area and see just what it is you can save money on. I know our most recent and best find was through a local gas station that partnered with a local grocery chain. For every $50 we spend at the store is 5 cents off our gas bill. And it accumulates. You don’t loose it and I’ll tell you, it was nice paying ten cents less than everybody else for our gas. Yes, it means having a store card, but we already do a lot of shopping there and the gas station is on Hubby’s way to school, so we don’t have to change any of our habits, at all. Which is nice. Especially since gas prices are still up where nobody likes them.

Well, I hope you all get something out of this. If I can help someone out by sharing this stuff then good. If it gave you an idea or something, then great. If not, sorry. This stuff is not designed for everybody. I know some areas weren’t hit too hard when the economy tanked, mine was one of the harder hit (but not the worst), so I’ve seen a lot and discussed it heavily with many people. At work we typically do stuff like this. If one finds out a great sale or bargain, we automatically let the rest know and it spreads. So I hope you all are doing well, that you are all healthy and having some fun with your life. I’m off to get dinner started and to sweep and mop the kitchen, then it’s time for Heroes! Yup, from 8-10PM tonight I will be ignoring the phone (you better be dying!) so I can hopefully see Heroes newest season recapture some of the magic from the first season. From what I’ve seen, they have a shot at it, as long as they proceed carefully. So later all!

Good Morning… Good Morning…

Ok, it’s really evening. Oh well. I have a Tux in the window by my desk and a Vader at my feet. The Hubby is somewhat happy, the cable was turned back on, but the Panthers lost :(. Seriously they need to pick it up. We had a decent season last year. Why not this year? Kids have been in and out all day playing with friends, which is a switch from yesterday where the oldest was gone from 9AM till almost 9 PM for the Marching Band. They had their premiere performance last night to kick things off for the Band Competitions. They did a great job. I got a lot of pictures and videos. One or two of the pics I might post in a minute here, but the videos, well unless you request it and I feel like it (Grandma’s are exempt from this) I might burn them on disc for you. But we were told last night NOT to post the videos on line. Ok they said Google and You Tube, but I’m gonna play it safe and go with ALL the net. They did an awesome job and I cannot wait to see more from them! BTW, the Oldest is in the Colour Guard. It’s her first time with it, and I have to say she did a wonderful job. She didn’t drop the flags during the performance (can’t say the same for the practice run 😀 ) and she began to look a little overwhelmed but dealt with it professionally. Hope she can keep it that way, especially with some of the crowds she’ll be facing. It’s not easy for anyone to be in front of that many people for the first time.

The Colour Guard
The Colour Guard

 

Spent most of the day playing Sims today. Why? Well, a couple of reasons. First and foremost is I felt like :p. Second I wanted to do something that I could easily put down for when the Cable guy showed up. You see, we scored an amazing two year deal with our cable company where we get net, TV, and phone for about $110/month and the TV portion was scheduled for today. Between 9 and 11 this morning. I had to call twice to find out what was going on, and Hubby was understandably upset since Kickoff was at 1 PM. Guy didn’t show up till around 1-ish and almost an hour later we were up and running. Apparently he got tied up at another place whose wiring was all kinds of messed up. Wonderful.

I’m actually getting a little excited about the start of Stargate Universe. Go figure. I guess the craving for some new Stargate is getting to me, that and the fact that Ming Na is in it. You may know her from the Joy Luck Club, Mulan and Push. She’s been a favorite of mine for a while now. That and Daniel is in two episodes :D. Still can’t wait for them to get the new SG 1 and Atlantis movies out. I know they are sitting on them due to the current state of the economy, but I really want to see them! Fan Fiction isn’t cutting anymore. A lot of the good authors are either busy, retired or lost interest. And that makes room for the crap ones.

Oh well, here’s the obligatory Vader pic:

He's Mommy's Retarded Baby
He's Mommy's Retarded Baby
Lots of stuff is actually going on right now, and a few people know what, but I’m purposely keeping it that way. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll spill the beans with some good news. Hell, my mother doesn’t even know, and I don’t keep much away from her (not like I did as a teen… then again isn’t that what teens do??). But trust that it is good, and will cause a lot of changes in many ways.
 
Ok, I’m off before I spill it now ;)! Later all!

Obama’s speech

Ok, first and for most, let me make a few things clear. I did not vote for our current president. I am not a big fan of him, either. Somethings in his administration has happened that have made me wonder exactly why the rest of America put this man in charge. But, unlike a lot of the opposition, and even some of my fellow political party members, I give credit where it is due. I recognize something good, decent and helpful. I was a little worried about the speech President Obama will be giving tomorrow to the students. I have two, very impressionable daughters and I was worried that some of the reports of the parental outrage were founded in truth. Well, tonight I read the President’s speech. You can find it here on Fox News. Yes, ultra conservative Fox News. And believe me, in some of the ways they’ve been reporting lately, I’ve been wondering myself. Anywho…

I think the speech is quite good, and even though a bit long winded for the attention span of any kid, any age, he brings up a lot of things, a lot of points that we as parents have tried to drive home to our brats. Yes, I refer to even my own as brats, because all kids can be that way :P. And as I see the way a lot of them act and behave, regardless of what the parent does or does not do, it scares me. I hope that a lot of the kids (too much of  a realist to believe they all would pay attention- Free period, man!) actually get something out of it. Maybe some inspiration to actually do something about and with their lives. Too often they are taught the lazy route, the route that it is always somebody else’s fault. I didn’t see that in the President’s speech. I saw him saying things about ‘yeah things are rough, but you can do it. You just need to work harder!’ Classic Amercian beliefs that I thought the majority of the country had forgotten about.

Go and check out his speech. It’s not the evil that many have said it is. Am I comfortable with the lesson plans that were sent out to be used with the speech… Not really. But my kids know that when we go over things they learned in school, I can smell bullshit, and I can see inaccuracies a mile away, so can their father. We have no problem with them opening their eyes to other beliefs, etc, etc. Which is why, as a registered Republican, I am not going to take my kids out of school tomorrow. I want them to hear the same things I have been telling them, that their father, grandmother, other family members, teachers, etc, have been telling them, come from the President of the United States. Maybe it might make it more clear to them just how important an education is, especially in today’s age. That although it is all right that their father is finally going to college, life would have been drastically different had he done it years ago. That staying in school and learning something is worth while and an achievable goal, no matter the situation you are in. There is always a way and there is always a will. It just depends on how you use it.

Ok, I’m done with my soapbox for now. I am tired, its been a long day and I’m not feeling well, still. Going to see the doctor tomorrow. Hopefully will find out what has been going on.

First day of school

Today is the first day of school for the kids, and even though I am off today, I am up this early because we live in a house with one bathroom and four people, three of whom need to leave at the same time. Basically. Still debating taking the kids in this morning or letting them ride the bus. Either way, I still need to do some grocery shopping and make a few phone calls. And most importantly, I have a date with OverLord II this morning as soon as everyone is out the door :). I’ll have about three hours of quiet bliss to myself, with no one else around. It will be heaven and I will be ignoring the phone and the door… It’s extremely rare that I get the house to myself, so I may be inclined to pull a Tom Cruise. Yup.

Other things on the To Do List today include cleaning the oven, cooking meals for the rest of the week with all the craziness that ensues from our schedules, cleaning the fridge and freezer out, spending time with the animals (Vader and Ryoko have been most upset about my less time at home lately, the others not so much). Oh and I need to recharge and add a few things to the MP3 player.

Ok, that’s it for now. I may post more later on when the kids are home from school/band practice.