I Aint Gon’ Do It!

Some time in mid-February I found myself, along with a couple of tweeters (and bloggers, now that I think about it), agreeing to a “no spend March.” That’s right. Outside of necessities, I wasn’t going to buy anything for the entire month of March. No random trips to Target to peruse the aisles, picking up a maxi skirt as long as I was there. No running into HomeGoods to buy another pack of velvet hangers. No “oh yeah, baby, these come in my size” shoe purchases on 6pm. Nothing. Except for a predetermined “cheat” of my choosing. I chose the two days I took off for LG’s Spring Break to be my cheat days. My cheat day purchases were movie tickets, museum admission and lunches.

Well, it’s April 2 and I’m here to report that I did it. Kinda.

A few days in, my phone charger died. And I wasn’t even about to pretend I was going a month without my cell phone. So I promptly ran out and bought a charger. But that’s all I bought. Did not look at clothes, did not feel up the purses, did not collect $200 or go to jail. Walked into TJMaxx, picked a charger, paid my $8 and vacated the premises.

Then, of course, a few days after that my phone started giving me “hey, how bout you erase some of this stuff or buy more storage” messages. So I went through the couple hundred (!!!) pictures that were just hanging around in my phone, picked the ones I wanted, had them developed, and deleted the rest.

To summarize, all I’ve purchased that wasn’t food/household items in the last 30+ days is a phone cord and pictures. Woot!

Before I took this challenge I’d swear up and down that I don’t shop a lot. And I don’t. Not really. But I am bad about window shopping when I have time to kill and often that would lead to me buying something. Nothing expensive or outrageous, but a $20 skirt here, a purse there, yet another bottle of nail polish…you get my drift.

So initially I didn’t think I got anything out of the challenge, but I have. (And our checking account balance is a little stronger for it.) I am going to be more even more deliberate in my purchases, I’m going to make lists of what I want/need and consider them for a few days before pulling the trigger on any purchases, no more wandering around stores to kill time before picking LG up, before Bible study, etc., and most importantly…I’m going to do laundry first. The other day I swore up and down I needed new blouses. Well, if I’d actually hung up some of the *insert ridiculous number here* baskets of clothes I’d washed, I’d have known that housework, not a new purchase, was in order.

I did make a list of some things I wanted while on the buy ban. On it? A new pair of ear buds (my good ones died, and for the last month I’ve been using a random pair from an airline – only the left ear works), 3 new, fresh white tanks for the summer, 1 maxi skirt, and two more packs of slim hangers to finish up my closet. That’s it. For now.

I’m going to buy the ear buds and hangers today. The rest I’ll get to. Eventually.

 

It’s Monday. I’m Random. And I Have Questions

  • Thanks for the feedback on LG, her money and the video game. She will be allowed to buy it. We’re going to move toward the envelope system for her. As soon as we go cash all her change in…
  • Started bootcamp on Saturday. Everything hurts.
  • The three of us went bowling with two other families Saturday night – much fun was had by all. And we have got to collectively be the world’s worst bowlers. Should I mention that we used the bumpers? No, no I should not.
  • Some dude at the bowling alley told us we were sitting at their table. Smoochy was glad nothing jumped off because – and I quote – “I don’t have on the right shoes to get down. Bowling shoes have no grip.” Sir. I’mma need me and LG’s honor not to be dependent on your footwear!
  • What kind of bras do you wear? Specifically under your tshirts? I wear tshirt bras, but the outline of my bra (under clingy tops) is still way more visible than I’d like. Any suggestions?
  • This pissed me off. A lot. Too rich for prison? Oh, okay. I swear color and money make all the difference in this world of ours. I see why folks lose their minds and just start shooting ish up. (Not that I’m going to – this is not a cry for help. Really.)
  • I still haven’t heard from JSU regarding my grad school application. I’m ready to hear a word – one way or the other – from them.
  • Lady at work was complaining to me about the fact that she’s topped out for her job title and can’t make any more money. Lady, I’m mad that you make more than me and you only have a high school diploma while I’m carrying around initials from two graduate degrees. I’m not the comfort you’re gonna need this go round – sorry. Not sorry.
  • So glad for this nice weather we’re having. The sun is shining, the temps are warm. Ahhh, bliss! Well, except for the swarm of bees that returns to our house every spring/summer and chills like they’ve got an all season pass. We thought we got rid of them last year. Drove up to the house from church yesterday and those jokers are back. I’m thinking we may need to remove a wall in the house to get rid of them -_-
  • Friday I thought, no joke, that I might be having a heart attack. I had this radiant pain all up and through my neck, shoulder and arm. So I did what anyone with good sense would do – called my mama on the way to the emergency room with my kid in tow. My mama promptly diagnosed gas. I got a Sprite. Turns out she was right. Thank God. But I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be using my mom as a diagnostic tool.

Anyhoo, I guess that’s it. I thought I had more questions. I probably do. But I’ve forgotten them. So, what’s up in your neck of the woods? All is well?

WWYD – Chirren & Money

So. LG wants to buy Minecraft – some video game – for her Kindle. Well, I’m opposed. Because it’s $27. But then I realized that I need to let her spend her money as she sees fit. Or do I?

She’s got about $90 tucked away in her piggy bank. What I’ve been thinking is I’ll take $45 and put it in her savings account, leaving her $45 to spend as she sees fit, whether I agree with her choice or not.

Thoughts? Suggestions? How do/did you handle similar situations with your child(ren)? If you don’t have a kiddo, how do you think you’d handle it?

(Edit: the game she’s looking at is for a PC or gaming system, not her Kindle. She already has Minecraft Pocket which is for iPods & tablets. She still wants the full $27 version)

Randoms

  • Took two days off to hang with LG for her Spring Break. We had a ball! Thursday was my day to choose our activities – we went to the Art Museum to see a display of civil rights photographs and some quilts by a local artist. We also ended up making bells out of clay that will be hung as part of an exhibit, so that was cool. I also chose the day’s restaurant so we went to Wing Stop and my “chicken levels” are right once again! Friday was LG’s day – she had a friend spend the night Thursday night and Friday we: went to see Mr. Peabody (it was pretty good), to the park, and…to Golden Corral to eat. Those poor children were suckered in by the idea of chocolate fountains. Sigh.
  • Saturday LG and I, as usual, went to the St. Paddy’s Day Parade in downtown Jackson. Such a good time! No one ever wants to go with us, so we roll solo. Some friends called after we got home and said they saw us there, didn’t know anyone they knew went, and we made plans to hang out next year – same place, same time. Apparently the streets turn into one big block party after the parade – already making plans on what I’ll be toting in the cooler next March.
  • I did end up telling the teacher at LG’s aftercare to stop telling her I’m Jamaican. He acted like he was offended. I didn’t care. At all.
  • The other day on the twitter, someone mentioned being so angry with someone that they couldn’t even pray for them. Yeah. I used to be angry with my youngest brother like that. I’d sit up and stew over what I was going to tell him/call him the next time I saw him or whatever. Then I realized that was a tremendous waste of time and energy. So now, when he pops into my mind, I just say “God bless him and his family.” That’s all I can muster, but it helps me. I can’t ask God to bless someone and then continue to sit around and plan the most epic of epic cuss outs! And believe me, I tried.
  • I’m about half way through “No Buy March.” I’ve cheated, but not much. I had to have some pictures developed to clear up space on my phone and I had a phone charger go out which I replaced. The challenge allowed for one exception – I took the two days of Spring Break as my exception. I need to buy a few more maxi skirts and refresh my tank top wardrobe for the summer, but other than that, I may extend this challenge another month or two. I didn’t think I bought a lot of extra junk, but really? I do. Well, I did.
  • What’re you reading? I need suggestions! Last two books I read were thrillers – Anybody’s Daughter and Buying Time by Pamela S. Young. They were pretty good. Someone in the blogosphere mentioned them and I think just about everyone has read/is reading them. I’m currently slogging through I Come Alone which is the real life story of an Australian woman who sells all her stuff and travels the world. It is more annoying than Eat, Love, Pray. And I didn’t think that was possible. But I’m committed to finishing it. I think.
  • I don’t really like LG’s teacher this year. Not very communicative, not at all friendly, and seems eternally pissed. Not real sure why she’s teacher 3rd graders.
  • The Girl Scout Troop leader is currently pissed with me. I’m turning in my cookie money late – it was due Saturday and she said she’d collect it then. I tried to tell her I wouldn’t be around on Saturday. Next time I guess she’ll listen.
  • That’s it I suppose. What’s good in your world?

ST PAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My little leprechaun and some of her parade swag! I’ve got to get her to stop throwing up signs…

ST PATS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The name of this float tickled me so bad!

 

 

40 Bags!

Okay, so I am forever de-cluttering our house and throwing/giving stuff away. Yet and still, there’s always more stuff to throw/give away. I don’t understand this. I think that clutter – much like laundry – has unprotected sex while we are at work and school and just multiplies exponentially!

So Disco Diva mentioned this 40 Bags thing she’s doing – basically straightening up one area of your home each day for 40 days and at the end of it all, you will have gotten rid of 40 bags worth of trash/stuff to be donated. I love a challenge, so I’m in! Now like I mentioned just a second ago, I am constantly editing stuff out of our home, so I really don’t think I have 40 bags worth of stuff to toss. But. I definitely have some and I won’t by the end of this challenge. (I’m not printing spreadsheets or anything like that – just more clutter IMHO – I know what I need to work on!)

The areas that I’ll be concentrating on are: my nightstand, the junk drawer in the kitchen, the junk drawer in the wet bar, the junk drawer in the office (notice a pattern here???),  the bottom shelves of two of my bookcases, and our linen closets. Oh, and LG’s closet – pray for me! These places seem to have accumulated stuff that I can’t quite bring myself to throw away or that I’ve not found a good place for…yet.

My nightstand was the closest and most obvious place to get started. Now, in my defense, most of what had it looking bad (not really, but cut me some slack) were pictures that I’ve had developed but not yet put into an album. The reason I’ve not put them in an album is because I’m also participating in “No Buy March” (What? I said I love a challenge) and I can’t buy an album or three to put them in until April. But I can – and did – put them into a large manila envelope for storage until then. I should be ashamed to share the following picture, and I am. But I’m posting it anyhow. I do it for my peeps. Y’all are welcome :)

Oh my! I just looked at the picture again as I prepare to upload it. The pictures were the least of my concern. Oh well. Here goes…

Nightstand

I have…put the pictures in a large manila envelope, put my tea cup in the dishwasher, turned the Girl Scout cookie money in, put that chocolate kiss in the candy jar, thrown away the paper towel, put the allergy meds in the bathroom, put my jewelry in the blue dish I bought to hold it, and dealt with most of what was in the drawer – papers from LG’s school that I needed to respond to or toss.

Do I have pictorial evidence of the cleaned up version? Naw. I forgot to take a pic. But I will.

Anything you need to be working on cleaning up and out? You gonna do it? Get down on it! Less stuff, less stress!

O Ye Of Little Faith

Every few years I read through the Bible. Back in the “olden days” (you know, 2010) I carried around a little tattered up piece of paper with each day’s assigned chapters. Now thanks to technology, I use the YouVersion Bible app. The plan I’m using this year goes from beginning to end – except that you read one Psalm every day – so far, so good. I generally read using the NIV translation, but sometimes there’ll be a particular passage I want to read the way I learned it and I’ll use the KJV for that that section.

Anyhoo, I’m smack dab in the book of Numbers. Now I’ll be honest – this part of the Bible drags for me. A lot. Basically the Israelites are wandering around in the desert (because of their disobedience), complaining a lot, doubting God, angering Moses, and more importantly, angering God. They wander, God smites, they repent, they anger God…repeat.

So as I was reading this go round I was thinking about what awful people the Israelites were. God chose them to be his people. He delivered them from slavery, he promised them a land full of milk and honey over which they would have dominion. He was giving them a pretty sweet deal. But they just weren’t feeling it. So many times they wished they’d just been left in Egypt as slaves – at least they’d have meat, water, etc. Then they’d do something completely contrary to His word. So of course I’m thinking “man, if God did all this for me, there’s no way I’d ever doubt Him.” Well…lies.

God shows up for me over and over again. He shows me that He is in control, that He’s got me. And yet, there are times when I can’t see or feel His presence the way I’d like, or nothing’s going right and I complain, get all moody and funky, wonder why things aren’t happening for me when, where and how I’d like. And that makes me just as wrong as I was so ready to accuse the Israelites of being. No, there’s no Moses leading me out of wilderness, tapping on rocks for water, or telling me to go out and collect baskets full of manna to sustain my family. But God is always there, He is always faithful, and His love and concern for me are unwavering and never ending.

I need to remember that.

 

 

Grrrrrr!

I try to be positive and upbeat. I try to focus on those things which bring me joy as opposed to those that don’t. But today? I just want to complain. So I’m gonna.

  • Sick of people telling me I don’t look nice/happy/joyous. And yes, I mostly mean white people. I don’t walk around smiling. But that doesn’t make me mean/sad/angry. Unless of course you keep telling me that I am. I’m over it. Shut it. This is the face God gave me. Deal with it. If you don’t like it, get out of it.
  • I am overwhelmed. I’m behind at work. I’m behind at home. I’m not sleeping well. I don’t know what’s going on.
  • I feel like I’m not doing right by LG. Like I don’t make her do enough, that she’s not as responsible as she should be. I told her she was to sweep the floor every night after dinner. Then I promptly forgot. But when I went in the kitchen this morning, the floor was a mess. So I was peeved. But I’ve not enforced my rule so…
  • I’m almost done applying for grad school. I must be crazy. I feel like I’m treading water with work and home. Going back to school? Ugh.
  • I’m tired of children being killed for no good reason. Is there ever a good reason? And while yes, I’ve got Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Adrian Davis at the forefront of my mind, really it’s all madness. I don’t care who is pulling the trigger, for the love of God – stop it. If you’re so crazy/scared/down with guns that you feel the need to pull out a gun because you are forever feeling threatened/disrespected/trigger happy keep your crazy self at home. Or voluntarily commit yourself to a psychiatric facility.

Okay. I’m done.

  • I lied. I am also tired of my oh so sensitive, break out for any reason whatsoever skin. It’s almost time for hot flashes and I’m still dealing with zits. For real? For real?

Okay. Now I’m done.

I’m about to turn on some gospel music, say a prayer of thanks for all that is right and good in my world – and there’s a lot of it, and try to shake these blahs.

Have a good day. Really.

WWYD

Here’s the situation:

LG attends after school care. It’s held in her school cafeteria – students are divided up into “classes” and each class has a teacher who is responsible for them until they are picked up. Pretty standard operating procedures.

So, yesterday I go to pick LG up and she says “my teacher is always calling you Jamaican.” Sigh. I ask why. “Because of your hair.” Of course.

I really, really – really – want to tell the little teacher dude that I’m not Jamaican, stop telling my child that I am, and stop with the foolish categorizing of people because they look a certain way.

Should I? Or should I not worry about this dude being PC and keep it moving?

What would you do?

Thanks!

Date Night!

Smoochy and I finally got to go out this past Saturday night!  We’d tried the week before when LG spent the night at a friend’s house, but she called crying right before we left the house – her stomach hurt, etc., etc. so I had to go pick her up. Smoochy was like “this is just a setback – we are going out next week – call the sitter and set it up.” Yay!

Y’all just don’t know. Or maybe you do. But when you have a child, a husband that drives trucks and likes to be at home, no nearby relatives, and a budget, it’s not always easy to figure out when/how to go out for couple time. Smoochy and I have talked about it and we both agreed to make more time in our schedules – and budget – for a night out together on a more regular basis.

We ended up going to a spot (lounge? bar? club?) that had a live band and we had a ball. The band was really good – billed as a blues artist, Dexter Allen played a little of everything – the blues, R&B, and of course, the ever present Electric Slide. We danced, we talked, we hung out. It was a good time and I can’t wait to do it again.

Now, I’ve got a question – what do you usually wear on your nights out? Saturday I wore a silky green dress and brown boots. And that’s the extent of my date night clothing. Seriously. Everything I wear is either very casual or for work (which is admittedly pretty casual as well). I need a few new pieces in my wardrobe so that the next time we step out I’ll be ready. I saw a lot of women in red lace dresses, pleather (or maybe leather) dresses with low fronts and backs, etc., etc. That’s just not me. So, where should I start with this mini-wardrobe I’m looking to build? Head on over to the comments and help your girl out. Thanks! And happy Monday.