Float, Float On!

…and that’s exactly what I’m hoping Tropical Storm/Hurricane/General Nuisance Isaac will do – float right on out to sea and leave us all alone.

Unfortunately, it seems as though Isaac has his sets on the gulf coast – MS, AL, LA, FL may all be affected by Isaac and whatever he’s bringing with him. Sigh.

Being 3 hours inland doesn’t make me any less concerned that a hurricane could be headed our way.  During Katrina we were plagued with torrential downpours, strong winds, downed trees, gas shortages, and loss of electricity and telephones for several days.  So, while we don’t need to evacuate we do have to be ready for loss of services and provisions.

So, in preparation I have…

  • Gone to the store and stocked up on enough non-perishable foods to get us through a few days.  I try to make sure that the majority of our food is fresh and not processed, but in cases like these, all bets are off.  So while we may spend a day eating whatever is in the refrigerator, the rest of our meals will consist of canned fruits, granola bars, peanut butter, nuts, crackers, cookies, bottled water, and the occasional Capri Sun.
  • Pulled all our flashlights and batteries together in a central location – the kitchen table.  This way I won’t have to stumble around in the dark looking for sources of light.  Our weather radio is also on the kitchen table – our satellite (Dish) can’t even manage to stay on during a light rain, I know not to count on them in hurricane force wind and rain!
  • Washed clothes.  All of them.  One of the things I remember most about Katrina – after all of the devastation – was how funky a hamper full of dirty clothes gets after 3 or 4 days.  No air conditioning or ceiling fans going to circulate the air and stuff gets stank with a quickness!
  • Filled up my car.  We’re not evacuating, but it’s always good to be on “F” should the gas stations run out of fuel the way they did 7 years ago.
  • Taken some cash out of the bank just in case.  Small bills only. ATMs may go down and/or people selling goods will claim they have “no change” and a bag of ice could end up costing me $20 if I don’t have small bills on hand.
  • Moved my gun and ammo to a more readily accessible location.  Looters beware!

That’s it! Did I miss anything?  What sorts of natural disasters is your area of the country plagued with?  How do you get/stay ready?  Have you ever had to evacuate?  Live for days without electricity? Tips, hints, suggestions?

Praying for the safety of all of you (and/or your families) that may be affected by this storm.

Cast Your Vote – No ID Needed!

I’ve got to find a dress to wear to my brother’s wedding in October. My future SIL has requested that we wear blue, silver or grey.  I am looking for a long dress – unfortunately my eczema has left me with some leg scars that will not be faded by October 6 – so short is out of the question.  If you’ve seen something fabulous, feel free to point me in that direction.  So far I’ve come up with…

Dress A

Dress B

Dress C

 

Oops

Today is Monday, August 20.  According to my records we’re supposed to discuss “The Grace of Silence” today.  Um, I haven’t finished it.  And by finished, I mean I haven’t started it.  Let’s reconvene on Tuesday, September 4.  Cool?  Cool.

Speaking of oops, what is wrong with this man???  Apparently this man, who is running for Senate has opened his mouth and inserted not only his foot, but several other feet that were laying around nearby.  Genius – who opposes abortion no matter what – said that the female body “shuts down” to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”

What in the what is he talking about??? Now let me say, I believe in a woman’s right to obtain a safe, legal abortion.  Whether or not anyone agrees with me is not the point.  I don’t care if one’s stance is that abortion should be illegal.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But if you’re against abortion, just say “I am anti-abortion.”  Do not spout off b.s. scientific “facts” like a woman’s body shuts down to prevent pregnancy in cases of legitimate rape.  What quack-ass doctor told him that?  What the hell is legitimate rape?  I cannot fathom that there are people with normal levels of intelligence walking around – much less holding office – who believe such nonsense.  I really cannot.

Is this the Republican stance in a nutshell?  “So, let’s make abortion – in any case illegal.  Let’s force women to carry out unwanted pregnancies.  Let’s then deny them any sort of help – financial or medical – while they’re carrying these pregnancies to term.  And, to wrap it all up, let’s not provide any sort of services or support for the women or their children once they’re born.  Because that’s what God would have us do.”  Am I missing something?!?!?

Geez, it’s time for yet another news boycott.  I can’t handle hearing this madness day in and day out until November.

Sooo….

Thank you all for the tips as it relates to our trimming our household budget.  Smoochy wasn’t even trying to hear me.  O_O

I presented him with the same three options I shared with y’all.  Optional bills that we could eliminate or reduce – cable, cell phone, gym.

“Smoochy, we can get rid of the cable and use our laptops and Netflix to watch whatever.”  “Hell no.  How ’bout we just go down a tier on our services?” Great…we’ve just saved ourselves a whopping $10 a month.  Closer to $5 after taxes and such.

“Okay, well, I’m more than willing to give up my iPhone.”  “Girl naw.  You really like that phone and I want you to keep it.  When my contract is up, I’ll go to one of those prepaid smart phones.”  “When is your contract up?”  “Next year.”  Sigh.  We’ve saved nada.

“There’s the gym.”  “Nope.  You and LG like it and I need it.”

We’ve theoretically managed to save a whopping $5 per month.  Fail!

Today I’ll be on the phone with the cable company and our insurance company to see if I can get those bills down a bit.

Couponing doesn’t work for me – I don’t use the things they offer coupons for.  I have decided to get back on my meal planning and to use the circulars to help me save.  I generally grocery shop at Wal Mart, but I know that Kroger can have some awesome sales so I guess I’ll break my oath not to run all over town to get groceries.  And by all over town, I am greatly exaggerating.  Both Wal Mart and Kroger are within a mile and a half of my house.

I shall definitely be spending less time in Tar-jhay and TJMaxx.  I usually wander around in there on Wednesdays before I pick LG up and we head to Bible study.  I’m pretty sure 99.97% of what I buy on those “window shopping” trips is totally unnecessary.

And my dear husband the truck driver?  Has decided he will pick up a few more loads during the week to increase his take home pay.  Sir…if that was an option why haven’t you already done so?  All I could do was smile, kiss his cheek and keep it moving.  Sometimes the answers to your problems are closer than you think!

Dollar Dollar Bills Y’all

My wonderful little family?  Yeah, we need to cut some costs like yesterday.  Everything is going up but our paychecks.  Couple that with the fact that I’m going to need another car sooner rather than later and it is time to make some decisions.

Smoochy and I are supposed to sit down this weekend and see what we can cut and still be relatively comfortable.  Since shelter, lights, gas, and water are non-negotiable we’ll be looking at:  Cable, Telephones, The Gym.

Cable…

Pros:  Save around $100 month and we’d find something else to do with our time.

Cons:  Uh, football.  How can we keep up with our favorite team (Steelers for me, Texans & Titans for Smoochy) without ESPN???  I think just about everything else we watch could be seen online for nothing or we can use Netflix which we already have.  I’m pretty sure LG has seen every episode of Sponge Bob ever produced – she can continue to watch reruns online.

Telephones…

Home phone – I’m not even sure why we still have a home phone.  We truly don’t use the thing.  Unless someone has a horror story about not having a land line, I’m pretty sure we’re chunking this thing the deuces.  This will “only” save us about $20 dollars a month, but that’s $240 a year we could be doing something else with.

Cellphones – goes without saying that we’re not giving up our cell phones.  We’re with Verizon though and those jokers aren’t playing when it comes to our monthly bill.  So what I’ve been thinking is that I’ll give up my beloved iPhone and get a prepaid smartphone.  Smoochy is still under contract, but if my prepaid phone works out okay he’d join me in prepaid land whenever his contract is up.  If we both have prepaid we’d save another $100 a month.

The Gym

This is the one I struggle with the most.  I LOVE Zumba and LG loves karate & the pool.  It is very rare that Smoochy goes to the gym and when he does, he walks the track or gets on the treadmill.

Yes, I could always exercise at home, but honestly, I do better going to classes at this point in my life.  Before LG’s arrival and/or Smoochy’s career change to truck driving the gym would’ve been easier to give up as I could just walk or bike ride whenever the mood struck me.  Our current situation makes the gym – and the childcare – really attractive.

 
Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?  Is there an area I may have overlooked where we can cut back?  Have you reduced any services in an effort to save a little dough?  How’s that working for you?

LG Randoms

  • LG started 2nd grade today.  I am constantly amazed at how much she’s grown and developed over the past 7, almost 8 years.  I tell you what, God has blessed us with an awesome, smart, healthy, hilarious kid and I’m forever thankful!

1st day, 2nd grade. Mama’s baby is moving on up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I think I’ve mentioned before that one of my biggest pet peeves is the way that LG has stuff – mounds and mounds of stuff – strewn all over the house all of the time.  I’ll have her clean it up, then I’ll go behind her and do some selective weeding out, and two days later?  All hell – in the form of dolls, crayons, paper, books and stuffed animals – has broken out again.  I asked Smoochy to make sure she was straightening up before bed each night while I was in Atlanta.  This is what I saw when I got back.

My view from the hall. I nearly lost my mind. She has cleaned it up…again. Tonight my plan is to go through and weed out some more stuff. I can’t keep doing this.

I made the mistake of actually stepping inside her room and turning my head to the right. Have mercy Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I told LG that I’d worked out a schedule to help keep her on track with her chores, homework, and the like.  After I rattled off the things I want her to do and how often she said “hope you wrote that down Mama – if not you’ll forget by September.”  Sad part is she’s right.  I’m beginning to see that I may be part of the problem here….
  • Are you familiar with that Chris Rock bit where he’s talking about how his main goal in life is to keep his daughters off the pole?  Um, yeah.  Sign me up for that duty as well.  LG is, well, prone to nudity.  I don’t mean running around after a bath in the buff.  I mean, she takes forever to eat, so I’ll go downstairs to check on how she’s coming and this chick will be sitting at the table without a stitch of clothes on eating her dinner.  Or we’ll come upstairs when we get home and 10 or 15 minutes later she wanders in all casual and unclothed.  I’m no prude, and I want her to have healthy self image, but we have obviously not achieved what I like to call a happy medium!!!!

That’s it!  If you have any tips/suggestions on getting – and keeping – LG’s room all spic and span or about how to get her from stripping at random moments leave ‘em in the comments :)

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

Welcome to Atlanta – Jacks and Hammers and Vogues

So…I went to Atlanta for a meeting. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges Summer Institute.  Oh yeah, it was that kind of party.  Would you like a recap?  Of course you would.

Sunday

Wake up around 5:30a and laze around trying to determine whether or not I want to go to 7:30 service and decide that I do not.  At around 9, I decide to check my itinerary one last time to confirm my flight out is at 12:51p.  It is not.  My flight out is at 10:30a.  Oops.  God takes care of fools and babies!  I hop in the shower, we make a doughnut run, and Smoochy and LG drop me at the airport.  My baby girl cries and I feel awful for leaving her.  The feeling dissipates as soon as they pull away from the curb.

Make it to ATL and after hearing the price of a cab to the hotel I decide to do the state a solid and hop on MARTA.  I tweet about how great MARTA is and Babs promptly shuts down that theory!  Nobody told me I needed the MARTA card thingy to exit the station.  Of course I can not find my card in the abyss that is my tote bag.  So I brilliantly slide behind another lady who is exiting the station.  Do I really need to tell you I was trapped by the plastic gates of death and were it not for the kindness of some random stranger dude who helped free me and my roll-on bag, I may not even be here typing this story?  No, I do not need to tell you that.  Sure don’t.

Check in at the loverly Omni CNN and take a nap.  Go to opening session.  Have no clue why I’m even there.

Dinner with the ladies!  Met up with Babs, KRock, Keyalus, DiscoDiva and Cali Slim for dinner at Vortex.  Had a ball.  Everybody is really genuine and their personalities are true to their writing and commenting style.  They’re also…shorter than I’d imagined.  Thank God Cali Slim was there and repping for team “Talls” otherwise I’d have been the solo rep (though I did have on a wedge heel – I’m not that tall!).  If you want to see a pic of us in all our glory, click here.  I am just so glad for the people I have met all because of the blogosphere!  I had a bison burger.  Tasted like beef.  Looked like it too.  See.

Bison burger with swiss and mushrooms. That red onion brought me joy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday

Meetings.  Yay!  (I’m working on increasing my positive thoughts and statements. Work with me.)

That night I went to the Braves game.  Had a great time surrounded by thousands of my closest friends.

Beautiful night for a game. Nice stadium!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

Meetings and home.  Yay!

 
I tell you what – the men of ATL certainly are not shy about their, uh, appreciation of women.  And neither, for that fact, are the women.  Some lady who worked at the hotel creeped me out with her constant friendly greetings.  “Good morning beautiful.  Hey good looking.  How you doing sweets?  Can I get you anything?  Like that skirt.  I’ve been waiting to see you this morning.”  Um ma’am?  Step off.

Also, I know that Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola but I need meeting locales to provide something to drink besides Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite.  There’s this miracle drink called water and I’ve about drunk my weight in it since I got home!

There are some beautiful dreadlocked heads in Atlanta, my goodness!   KRock’s hair is sooooo pretty.  Most of the other awesome locks were on dudes.

I guess that’s it.  Oh, no it’s not.  That picture Babs posted along with the super toned arms of a blogger who shall go unnamed (Keyalus) have motivated me to get myself back in the workout saddle.  Here we go.  Again.

Thanks ATL for the good times!  Hadn’t been there since I chaperoned a college tour eons ago – ’twas great to get reacquainted :)