Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stash box

I received the travelling stash box the other day.  There are lots of really good things in it!  I took out what I wanted desperately needed and replaced them with things that I wanted to share with others.  If you would like a chance at being the next recipient, post a comment letting me know.  I will pull a name on Sunday and mail out the box next week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Progress for last week

     Wow, it's been a long week. First, the boss at work had to have surgery on both her feet so she was out Thursday, Friday and she thinks she'll be back on Monday.  So, in anticipation, she gave all of us new assignments and she lengthened my day.  Now, when this assignment started, I was supposed to work Mon-Wed & Fri from 10-2pm.  I made it very clear to her that I was not able to work full time.  So last Monday when she called me in and asked me to work 8:30-5 Mon-Fri, I reminded her of that.  She said ok, how about Thursday you come in at noon?  Really???  She finally conceded to 8:30-3:30 (or sooner if I finish my work) and noon on Thursdays because of Mariah's therapy until we get my car traded in.  Since it's a 1 hour commute, it makes it a little longer.  Ok, things went fairly well.  Rich & Mariah are grumbling about having to do everything at home, dinner was a slide thru a couple of nights, but all in all it went ok.  Friday, I get an email from the boss (remember she's at home recuperating from surgey) reminding me to adjust my time for lunch.  Now, I've never worked a job where you were made to take a lunch for less than 8 hours.  I'm only scheduled for 7 and really only working around 6 every day.  I wouldn't normally take lunch and pointed that out to her.  She ok'd with Office Team that if I am there at least 6.5 hours, I need to take lunch. Now, here's the problem:  her idea of taking lunch is that I sit in the break room with them, but still get up to answer the phones and deal with customers.  Huh??  I'm under the impression that I punch out for lunch and I'mon my time.  Oh well, as I pointed out to Rich, it's only for anther month or so.  Their budget for a temp ends then so they're going to HAVE to hire someone soon!


I started 3 new projects this week, 2 for me and 1 for an exchange.  My new rotation goes like this:

Sunday:  Petite Christmas Angels SAL with PolStitches and Joan Elliot herself

We had a little problem with the chart.  There is a symbol that is in both the skin and the dress, but is 2 different colors depending on where it is.  I need to do a little bit of frogging (see the stripes on the arm), but I think it looks good!

Monday:  St. Patrick's Day piece

Tuesday:   Angel of Cross Stitch

Wednesday:  February House SAL

I got the border all done and started on the house and realized the border was 2 stitches short so I had to frog it! 

Thursday:  Coffee Angel

I'm coming to the bottom.  I think it'll only take 3 more days of stitching and it'll be done!

Friday & Saturday:  Crocheted hooded shawl

I've got the first side almost done.  I would have had the first side finished, but Friday I had to rip out everything I had done already cause it was wrong.  Then, yesterday I was coming to the end of the skein and thought I had bought more (there's no dye lot so I'm buying it as I need it) and discovered I hadn't.  We had my nephew's birthday party yesterday and I had to wait until after that to go buy more!  I figure next weekend I'll get both sides finished, the next weekend I'll do the hood and sew it together, and the next weekend I'll do the ruffle all the way around.  I want to wear it for Easter along with a dress the color of the purple in the yarn.

I didn't get a lot done on each one this week, but I did get at least a few stitches in each one.

My best friend's father passed away suddenly last week.  She got a phone call from a friend of his saying she hadn't been able to reach him all afternoon.  When Mary went to check on him, he was face down on the floor reaching for the phone and had obviously passed away several hours before.  We have been best friends since we were in 4th grade so I really feel her pain.  The wake is today and the funeral is tomorrow.  Since he was true Irish, I asked her when the real wake was.  She laughed and said yeah, that's what Dad would have wanted!

With me working so much, Mariah and I are really struggling with the homeschooling.  Once again I had to revamp her lesson plans.  We're concentrating on reading and math and working on her lapbook when I'm home with her.  I found an app for my Nook that is Math Flash Cards and goes from K-4th grade.  I think it's really helping her out.  I also found a school online for her for next fall.  She would be at the computer doing her lessons and talking to the teacher during school hours.  The registration fee is $125 and then it's $88 a month.  She likes that idea and I don't have to worry about working and trying to teach her at the same time. 

Well, that's it for now!  If any of you have a Nook, add me as your friend and we can swap books!  My email is  Until next time!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lots of packages!

My mailman and the UPS driver are becoming very well acquainted with our house. 

Stitching stuff

I participated in a Valentine's Bookmark exchange with ILCS.  Yesterday, I received my Valentine's bookmark from Marta.

They are soooo true!  I sent this bookmark to Marta:

In ESC, we did a Valentine's exchange.  This is the package I got yesterday from Sue:

Sue also included in my package a wonderful coloring activity book for Mariah.  She loved it and whenever she needed a break from schoolwork yesterday she worked on the first page.  By the end of the day, this was her result:

I spent most of yesterday crocheting a pile of headbands.  One of my crocheting groups has a woman who travels to Africa 2x a year and takes a trunk full of small items for children. The owner of the group shared this pattern and we all crocheted a few.  Michelle's trunk will be overflowing!

We're going green and downsizing!

Last month, Rich & I made a decision to cut a bunch of expenses.   I will be starting my student teaching within the next couple of years and unless I also want to work a night job, we're going to have to be able to live on his SS. 

Step 1:  DirecTv.  When our contract expired in November, rather than signing a new one I negotiated a lower rate on a monthly basis.  It still came to $80 a month and that was simply the next to basic channels package.  No movie channels, no sports channels, etc.  I had tried for 2 years to get them to bundle AT&T wireless internet and they kept telling me it was not available here.  So one day I stopped in at the AT&T store in the mall and talked to them.  Guess what?  It IS available.  Not a great grid so the service is a little spotty, but it allows me to do several things.  First,  I went to Walmart and bought 3 things:  a wireless adapter for my desktop, a Roku box, and an HD indoor antenna.  The wireless adapter allowed me to get rid of my Cricket portable modem.  The Roku box let us cancel DirecTv.  We can now stream tv shows, movies, Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, and a whole bunch more to our tv.  The HD antenna lets us get basic networks in our bedroom.

Costs:  AT&T modem - $100
            AT&T monthly cost - $20
            Wireless adapter - $30
             Roku box - $100
             HD antenna - $35
             HuluPlus - $8 a month
             Netflix - $17 a month
Total = $310
Savings:  Cricket modem - $65 a month
                 DirecTv - $80 a month
                 Total = $145 a month
With a $310 set up cost, we are now paying $45 a month instead of $145 a month, saving $100 every month.

Step 2:  Water
Our water at home is awful.  It smells and it tastes terrible.  So, we take gallon jugs to the grocery store and refill them for 30 cents a piece.  Between cooking, coffee, and drinking, we go through about 15 gallons a week.  That's $4.50 a week or $18 a month.  Not a large expense, but inconvenient if we don't realize that we've used the last gallon and I want to make coffee at 5am.  Solution:  Filtrete water station
This little gadget is great!  I found it on Amazon and for $55 we got the station itself, 6 bottles, and an extra filter.  It is so easy to work, Mariah can do it!  You take the top off and inside is a filter.  Pour tap water in and it filters through into the 4 bottles hooked up to the station.  It takes about 5 minutes to fill 4 bottles.  At first I was a little skeptical that it would take the smell and taste out, but it really works!  We can now keep 6 bottles in the fridge at all times and just grab them whenever we need them!

 Well, I've got to finish getting ready for work.  Tell me what you've done lately to save money and/or go green!  I could use some more ideas!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone enjoys their loved ones and shows them how much they love each other.  I know I will!  My hubby and daughter have spoiled me this year.  Saturday morning, Rich gave me a bag with a large Cracker Barrel coffee mug, a bag of their handmade buckeyes, and 2 sets of Hershey's body lotion, hand cream, and lip gloss - 1 set in Cookies N Cream and 1 set in Milk Chocolate.  My sister, Janice, had planned on keeping Mariah overnight so I had rented a room at Country Inn & Suites.  They had a Romance Package with a gift basket and rose petals on the bed.  However, the best laid plans. . .Janice called Saturday morning and Luke was sick with a fever.  So, our romantic weekend turned into a family weekend.  We got a Chinese feast and watched 'Judy Moody' and 'Baby's Day Out' while eating orange chicken, pepper steak, and moo shu chicken.  Sunday we went to Olivet Nazarene University and had a load of fun at the Family Fun-a-thon.  Mariah got an updo from Paul Mitchell Salon and had her hair sprayed blue, she had Curious George painted on both sides of her face, and made her own hula hoop!  We went to the new Beggar's Pizza across the street from the University and had BBQ Chicken pizza.  All in all, a great weekend!

Yesterday, I had to work from 8:30 to 4.  Rich & Mariah took me to work so that they could keep the car to deliver Girl Scout cookies.  When we got home, Mariah handed me a pretty red rose, a card, and a small Valentine's heart box of chocolates.  Rich gave me 3 more red roses, and a card.  Wasn't that sweet??  And I haven't had time to go shopping since I had to cancel the hotel room. 

The mailman yesterday brought me several nice packages.  First, my diploma came!!!  I am officially a graduate!

I was part of a Snowflake exchange in One Crazy Stitcher Designs.  My partner, Sherry, sent me HIHN's Snow chart with the cardinal button that goes with it, a beautiful collectible snowflake ornament, and a package of Mill Hill Treasures snowflakes.  Thank you so much, Sherry!!!

Package #3 was the Joan Elliott chart for Petite Christmas Angels.  PolStitches is hosting a SAL with the pattern for the first angel being free.  Of course, I HAD to have all 4!  I've ordered the fabric I want to do it on from 123Stitch so hopefully I'll be able to start it next week.

Speaking of 123Stitch, my partner for the Winter Exchange on ILCS sent me a $15 GC for 123Stitch.  I used it for the fabric for Petite Christmas Angels and for Angel of Cross Stitch.  Yes, I finally got the magazine!  The ORIGINAL magazine in mint condition!  It cost me $36 on Ebay, but I love this chart so much.  It came out the year after Rich & I got married, in 1999, and I fell in love.  It uses 391 colors, every color that DMC had at that time.  I can't wait to do it!

Mariah also got a nice big package yesterday.  Her Smart Globe came in the mail!  For those of you not familiar with a Smart Globe, it is a computerized globe that can be programmed for age group or grade.  By itself, it can tell you pretty much anything there is to know about any point on the globe.  Connected to the computer, you can also get up to the minute current events regarding that globe.  Awesome, right?  Mariah had a ball playing with it last night!

Well, I need to get ready for work.  Tell me how your Valentine's Day was!!