Sunday, May 31, 2009

money matters

I've been working on getting our debt under control. I can honestly say it's not horrible, especially by American standards, but its higher than I like. Things got a bit out of my control while I was SAHM'ing it for 7 years... we didn't have dental insurance, and I needed a root canal. The water pump died the Saturday of Memorial Weekend. Vehicles needed repair. Gas prices rose. We went to concerts and out to dinner. Typical Americans: we spend more than we have. But we're trying to get better.

I've been focused for a few years now on paying off that debt. Today I paid off the last of the couch purchase from last fall. While I was moving money around the accounts, I noticed the total of our loans. We owe less than $100,000 for everything: house, equity, van, credit cards. I'll be a lot happier when all we owe on is the house, but we're getting there. If the worst happened, either of our life insurance policies would pay everything off and protect those left behind.

The plan is working: pay off the credit cards and keep them paid in full monthly. Next comes the van-- 2.5 years left on that payment, which will most likely then be taken over with a truck payment for WB. 3 years from now, he'll definitely need new wheels. Pay on equity last, because the interest is deductible. Accounting for random life events, which happen more often than I care to think about, I'm hoping to be dancing in the streets in 2015.... which will be just in time to start paying Boy's college bills...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

14 years

When Boy was in preschool, he named our excursion in honor of our wedding anniversary a Family Field Trip, as opposed to the school field trip he took to the bowling alley the week before. Since then, we've gone somewhere together every Memorial Weekend. This year we ended up at Pemaquid, where Boy enjoyed reading about the 1600s settlers, and Girly was thrilled to find dandelions turned to seed. It was a great day in a long list of great days.

Today, however, is the actual anniversary of WB and I binding our lives together. I'd be lying if I said it was always easy, but just because it's hard to do doesn't mean it's not worth doing. I can't imagine what life would be like without him next to me. Let's hope I don't ever have to.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

oxymorons aren't genetic, either

I was there when she was born, and I know for a fact she did not come from my belly, but sometimes I swear she is my daughter. I just heard her talking about something being "usually unusual". I guess I'd have to call that unpredictably predictable!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

rough one

Lots going on this week.... big drama from the main building, health and well being related to my sunshines, always track, and needing to put evidence in 36 font proving they haven't done well in school. I'm tired. Drained. Done.

Goal for now: survive the week and hope things look up next week.

Monday, May 18, 2009

from Amity

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Credit card.

2. Do you miss being a child?
Not really. But I do wish I knew the gift being a college student was when I was there. Hindsight really is 20/20.

3. Chore you hate the most?

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?
We had dinner after the wedding Friday at Liam's.

5. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?
Met my Fabulous Uncle in San Fran.

6. Name of your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Macgregor was Kindergarten, I think.

7. What do you really want to be doing right now?
Heading off on a romantic getaway.

8. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A nurse or a teacher or a Broadway star. But always a wife and mom.

9. How many colleges did you attend?
2. One undergrad, one grad. (Have taken random classes at 2 others though.)

10. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
Track meet day-- must be functional, not cute.

11. What are your thoughts on gas prices?
At least something is making us serious about alternative energy.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
I wish it were Sunday....

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
"I hope there are no ticks in here with me..."

14. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

15. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?
Too many times.

16. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer?
Without question.

17. Get up early or sleep in?
Always sleep in. Always.

18. What is your favorite cartoon character?
Don't have a favorite... Hobbs of Calvin and Hobbs, maybe?

20. When did you first start feeling old?
When it ached to just stand there.

21. Favorite lunch meat?
Right now, salami.

22. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart?
Something I can't get anywhere else.

23. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
No. It's comforting to move through many phases of life-- and love-- with one person.

24. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about?
So why would I tell you if it's a secret? Honestly, I don't think I have a secret love of a movie. Top Gun, maybe?

25. What’s your favorite drink?
Depending on the situation.... Coke, DD Hazelnut coffee, JD, margarita, or mojito.

26. Who[m] from high school would you like to run in to?
Juno. He disappeared a few years after graduation... last I knew he was undercover for the military on international politician protection!

27. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?
Since WB had it last, NPR. But I bounce between CLZ, JBQ (for the morning show, which I LOVE), and CYY when it comes in. I wish I could get FNX... then it would be there, all the time.

28. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives?
Six Feet Under.

29. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?
That's a tough one. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

30. Do you like the person that sits directly across from you at work?
I love my East Campus teacher friends and my Supers Office women!

31. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes?

32. Last book you finished reading?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Finally!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mom's Day

I have 2 of the sweetest children in the world. Waffles with whipped cream and strawberries, coffee topped with more whipped cream. (It was meant to be in bed, but I got up about 10 minutes before it was ready.) Homemade cards and lots of smiles. I do love my kids! I am lucky to be their mom.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

state induced torture

I am the lucky person for my high school who gets to give the SAT make up exam. I think it is my least favorite day of the year. This year I have 9 kids in a room, all of whom hate school. Most struggle with reading, all with academic based thinking. Most years they just come in and start coloring. This year's group is actually trying. Those are the hard ones to watch. "Can you help me with this one?" No, hon, I can't tell you what that word means. It goes against my very fiber as a teacher to NOT help a kid with a question. But that's why I'm here... too document how much you don't know. Good times.

It's days like these that really make me question our public education system.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


When I was in third grade, I got the stomach bug. This was a typical event for me-- I got at least one throw up bug per year. This one, though, lasted. A long time. I remember Mom setting the stove timer for 10 minutes, and I had to have a sip of flat Coke when it went off. I did that once-- and ran for the bathroom. I cried when it went off again. At that point, we got in the car and went to the doctor. I remember crawling in and just lying down under the coats while Mom checked in. Some lady who had just been called looked at me and sat back down. "Take her. Now." Mom must have teared up then-- I do now thinking about how I'd feel if I was dragging a sick Girly who couldn't even hold a sip of Coke to the doctor and a perfect stranger gave up her spot for us. It should come as no surprise that I did not return home that day, but went straight to inpatient. I spent a week in isolation because they had no idea why I got so sick. They did every test in the book and only could get as far as gastroenteritis: the stomach bug. My parents could only come in one at a time, and had to wear a gown. I think they had a time limit on staying, but that may have been self imposed because of my 3 younger siblings at home. When I was allowed to go home, it was a long time before I went back to school for a full day--I think I left at lunch for a couple of weeks. I was one sick puppy.

Wednesday night, I got the stomach bug. It's been about 4 years since the last time I spent a night puking-- my immunities have improved as I've aged. I have a little routine-- drink some water, pace around, wait for the hot flash... I don't like it, but it works. This time, in the dead of night, my sweat smelled like third grade again. It's amazing how smells can vault you back in time; I bent over to steady myself and was suddenly heading into that doctor's office again.

As the morning went on and I listened to the Today Show talk about the H1N1 virus sweeping the world, my feverish brain wondered if that is what I had 30 years ago. Either way, I have some real life perspective on what it's like to get a stomach flu that debilitates you. It sucks, without question, and if you are not lucky enough to have access to clean water, soap, medical care, and stomach friendly food, I can only imagine how much worse it would be. My heart goes out to such people.

I'm ok now. Getting better daily. A few people at SATs today asked me if I couldn't have just taken one for the team and gotten us closed down for a week. I tried to do my part, but it was just the plain old stomach bug, like people get every year. Those of us with access to medical care usually come through with a few days home sick from work or school. The sad truth is many people die every year from flu related complications, whether it's from lack of medical care or living in poverty or just being too young or too old for your body to handle the trauma.

I guess whether it's H1N1 or the Flu of 1918 or just the common variety, people are going to get sick. Most of us will be ok, and it is a tragedy when a few are not. The germs will keep trying to outsmart us as we're trying to outsmart them. Another version of the circle of life. I'm glad I outsmarted whatever it was that got me in 1978... and I hope I never have to do it again.