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Archive for September, 2009

"Everyone wanted to get rid of the old English rule"

September 25th, 2009 at 08:50 am

That was the line I just read to my kids from a history book. Simple, direct, and false. Why on earth would anyone write that! Not only were there plenty of 'torries' there were plenty of folk who wanted to let well enough alone!

Why was it right for the colonies to rebel against their country, but not right for the south to rebel against the American govt?

Simplest answer, because the victors write history. I wish it were not so. I would like to hear all the honest truth when I study history. They say those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it, I wonder what is to be said of those who feed false history to their children?

My little online therapy

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:47 pm

In case no one has noticed, my posts lately are less on money, more of a cathartic release of frustration.

And for the next session....

Well, I am not very talkative today I guess.

Yeah, I do think 'you'* are doing it worng

September 20th, 2009 at 06:23 pm

If you ask me, yeah 'your' budget could use tweaking, 'your' choices with kids could be different, and 'your' free time spent different..so if 'you' don't want to know, don't ask.

I have asked myself a thousand times 'would it be better to ...." fill in the blank with drive, have cable, send the kids to school, use XYZ product, spend time on this or that, and more. Trust me I question my motives, my intents, my methods before, during, and after.

If a plan isn't living up to what I expected, I check and see if I am doing it wrong, or at the wrong time, or if I simply have no idea what I am doing. There are very few absolutes in my life.

But those absolutes..yeah if you aren't doing it my way, I do think you are doing wrong. Sorry. While we are on the subject I have never yet met a short hair cut on a woman I liked. You wouldn't grow your hair out for me, so stop asking what I think of your hair/life/parenting/whatever plan, it isn't my hair, nor my plan.

BTW I read to fast to kids when stressed out, I can't type when folk are looking over my shoulder, I often miss the forest for staring at the end of the path I'm on. I can't remember faces or names, or most things actually. I am both an unschooler, and a type A schooler (extreme opposites!), I dream big, but take shortcuts, with obvious small results. I have yet to save real money with coupons, I don't line dry, properly garden or use dried beans, and I often eat out, just because I hate cooking (which I am not good at anyway). I can't keep my house more than moderately clean to save my life, I have no decorating talent, inclination nor even a copycat ability. I honestly have to make a list of more than one thing todo, I spend way to much time on the computer, and I have no idea how to cure my oldest of being me, my second of being a sheep, my third of wallowing in anger, nor well so far the fourth is really no trouble, not to mention a thousand other faults that would take up to much space here....so no my thinking 'you' are doing it wrong doesn't mean I know all the answers nor are perfect. It just means I am not making 'your' particular mistake.

Oh and my number one fault? Opinionated, vocal and tactless. (and poor at math apparently) Better make that my top three faults.

*you refers to no one in particular (maybe it refers to me), I am an equal opportunity criticizer

Open mouth insult others...

September 16th, 2009 at 09:02 pm

I posted a link on FB, and angered a friend.

I suppose the link is a bit strong when it speaks of compulsory schooling. I should have been more sensitive to the public school folk.

After all it would annoy me greatly to read any one of the many articles stating homeschoolers are idiots.

Only the truth can hurt your heart, lies are merely words. Sad thing is the truth of an opinion can hurt too.

And truthfully my thoughts on public school would hurt others, and I should keep them to myself, just as I offer no comment on a hair style I dislike.

Though posting a link isn't the same as saying my opinion, it is close enough.

Management for free

September 16th, 2009 at 07:27 am

Between the two scouts I do a fair amount of 'management'. Lots of paperwork which is just deadly dull, but also getting folk to do a job.

The hardest part is finding out who is good at what. I have folk who are willing to help, folk who are jumping at the chance, and folk who drag their feet. And I have to find what job they will be best at. Generally whatever you offer to do I will take, but...it isn't necessarily the best position for you or the scouts.

Take leaders. I am sure National has some things to say about accepting whoever will do the job, but let's face it, I have limited resources! I often put someone in based on warm body vs height requisite. Meaning if you are alive and taller than my son you just might be in charge.

IE "Here Mr (or Mrs) parent I planned XYZ for the meeting here is the book, there are the boys, have fun."

After I do this once or twice with a variety of folk I find which parent becomes a dump and run to avoid the responsibility, which will adapt the program well, and which will barely slog through. Of course I prefer the adapters, but will settle for a slogger. (the dump and run folk I try not to speak of, if you can't say anything nice...). Sloggers I keep as backup and/or try to find committee jobs for them. They make wonderful assistants if they are good at discipline, then you get a goofy guy for lead.

The real trouble comes with folk who offer to help on the committee, no leading boys, but a whole slew of jobs. I have to get you in to a leaders meeting and find you a few jobs, out of 100s available, struggling to not overload you, but also not underwhelm you (volunteers are like muscles, use em or lose em, overwork em and you strain them, only dedicated folk continue when overworked, or ones you beg mercilessly)

The most annoying part...finding a volunteer job that matches their paid job is usually the WORST position. The PR person is terrible at newsletters, the Tech guy can't fix the sound system, the teacher is the worst leader, the banker the worst treasurer. I mean really if you can't trust folk to be good at what they are paid to do/ schooled in what can you trust! (positions named have been changed to protect the IRL folk, so if you are one of my scouts don't think I am talking about you)

And then comes the manager nightmare, how to get the job to someone else, without insulting the first person, and making sure the second is a better fit....

Oh and try to make all this look easy, cause you can't get many new recruits if you act like you have a rough job, they have to think it is easy enough they can do it in their spare time.

Now off to slog through some paperwork. (need me an adaptive secretary!)

Crisp

September 13th, 2009 at 03:50 am

So I am up way to early this morning wondering what to do for the church potluck picnic today. I was going to do meatballs, but haven't solved the keeping them warm problem. No crockpot, and we will be there at 9am lunch is at 11isham.

Besides I wanted to do something healthy. Not that we are health nuts (though you know in some ways compared to the average American we might be). So I explored the fruit and veggie stocks. a bag of granny smith apples, some Clementines (not very good btw), a few bags of veggies too small to serve my family, and frozen fruit.

Not very inspired I headed to google, the best place for answers. 'frozen fruit recipes' yielded several sites chock full of smoothies which may be good in their own right, but don't make for good potluck foods. As well as a plethora of fancy foods like cheesecakes and torts. And some simple ones that just take too much time for a Sunday morning when I would rather be sleeping like pies.

Then I found thriftyfun and a forum post on frozen fruit. First it was odd to see someone finding frozen fruit, a staple in my house, to be special. Then there was the 'savor the natural sweetness' post that had my sweet tooth laughing (see not really a health nut), and then the perfect recipe! a 'crisp'.

So I washed a cake pan (the casserole dish has meatballs in it) and dumped in most of a bag of frozen mixed berries, topped with a sprinkle of cornstarch to thicken the sauce (praying it would help not harm) and topped with a mix of butter oatmeal and flour.

In about an hour we shall see if it was successful enough.

On a side note, I was talking with a friend who mentioned junk food and said 'oh you guys never eat any of that', with an air that implied I must not have normal temptations.

I had to laugh, I love my chocolate, and would gladly eat pringles, cheese puffs, poptarts, or little Debbie hostess cakes any day! But I wont let my kids see me doing it all the time, and since I am home with them all day, we (mostly) don't buy them.

We are not health nuts, just in general healthy (ish) people. Off to breakfast.

That's my girl

September 11th, 2009 at 07:36 am

We were recently at a renfest with the two older kids. They had saved up some money for the trip, and upon entering JC immediately made a beeline for a cute little shop that sells knitted ornaments, dolls and the like.

She found a cute finger puppet for $3, when I pointed out she could get two for $5, and each would be cheaper she declined.

Cheaper per item, but more money spent. I constantly hear folk who 'couldn't pass up a good deal' failing to consider that they might need the extra money more than the second item.

Though I told her I would pay the $2 for the second and we could take it home for her little sister.

After a free ride on the butterfly swings she found a 'princess wand', she couldn't find a price. A nice shopkeeper came over and said it was $5. JC checked it would have used up all the rest of her money, so she decided to pass.

Then later she was looking at tiara's, at first she ooohed and awwed over various pink flower and ribbon contraptions, but then she put it all back. She told me she didn't think she had enough money for one. I offered to check, but she said no.

Meanwhile GMC was spending his money on archery (he loves this), and the frog thumping game, and beef jerky.

Mommy was spending hers on tips for entertainment (wonderful pirate show this year) and food....and a parasol.

When I got back, my MIL commented on how I could have gotten one at the dollar store. And proceeded to tell me how most of the clothes she buys the kids come from there (the ones that either fit weird, arms too long while you have to rip the wrist area to keep it from cutting off circulation, or are just plain small, size 5 on my 3 year old)

She also told me how cheap the chewy ships ahoy where there (stale, I love those fake cookie things, and I only ate a couple cause I took em before I realized they were stale) And how the cheerios always come from there (also stale, but I don't eat em anyway) Among other interesting things (those bandaids that wouldn't stick)

I am all for frugal and cheap, in general I do not waste (much) money, BUT if the quality is suffering I would rather spend a buck or two more. You would think I grew up on fancy foods all high class or something, but actually I grew up on peanut butter, cheap mac and cheese, and hotdogs, with the occasional curry by my father. Clothing was all handme downs (I had no idea some folk went 'school shopping'). Money wasn't spent on foil, but when we did buy store bought cookies, it wasn't cheap it was the good ones out of the red bag. now those are worth the calories and the price! (but not to often, like never bought any as an adult...)

Now I do not eat hot dogs, nor boxed mac and cheese. But I do still use mostly hand me downs.

Spending money is all about choices. I would gladly trade any amount of stale cookies for one really cool parasol (that I will still be enjoying for years to come).

Not that I fault my MIL for buying the cookies, her cookies, her taste buds, not mine. To each their own.

The grasss ain't greener over here

September 1st, 2009 at 08:00 pm

In general I do my complaining to my husband, not at him, but with him. When frustrated he is my confidant, my support, my sounding board.

Which means I do not join the cranky crowd. So most folk think I am happy and content and spoiled.
After all if I weren't spoiled I would have something to complain about right?

I read once that one shouldn't air their dirty laundry out in public..and I took it to heart. Keep your complaints at home. Don't lock em up and let em rot. Do air them out, but air them out at home, when company is not over. That way you get clean clothes (or a fresh start on troubles) and no one else has to smell your stinky socks (or worse).

Now obviously I also complain on line a good deal (I have a whole complaint category, the most used) And I am not perfect in public, catch me on a bad day and you don't want to hear what I say (which is why I avoid speaking). And even on a good day I slip up and complain to non family.

But the upshot of this whole non complaining attitude, folk seem to think the grass is pretty green over here.

Truth is what grass there is, grows sparse, and full of 'weeds'. The dry spots are bigger than a car (a kiddie car) and the tough prickly low hedge, which is only green in summer, grows far better than the grass.

So don't come over to my side looking for green grass. If you come, expect to see, and hopefully enjoy, wildflowers (unconventional beauty, in surprising places), plenty of bugs (try being fascinated at the next 'bug' in your day), and a few empty stretches to use your imagination in (a mind is a terrible thing to waste). You wont ever find a picture perfect golf lawn, that you have to live a whole different life for.

And BTW, did you see those golf 'greens' during the last drought...my yard flourished in all it's ungreen disorder, while the golf courses were anything but green.

Now a complaint, Major toothache, I need to get the other two wisdom teeth out ASAP!