Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In case of Fire, grab child, spouse, pets, and file cabinet

So today's task as been one I've been putting off, but alas with only days left in the countdown I had to tackle it. Our household filing cabinet looks like we were the victims of a FBI raid looking for crack. About once a year I decide to go through the mounds of receipts, tax info, "hey I should keep this newspaper clippings" and then file them or toss them.

Bill doesn't help with this task, but assures me that we MUST keep things like his file of guitar chord practice charts (although he sold his guitar long ago for 5 bucks in a yard sale). So for the last few hours I have been purging files and have made a commitment to file and toss on the first weekend of every month.

On the brighter side I can mark the following things off my list as they have been accomplished while in Florida on vacation last week:

Read (at least) 5 books that do not relate to raising kids- ok- 3 were audio books, but I am desperate at this point to mark it off (in addition to Barrel Fever and Dress your Family in Denim and Corduroy, I re-listened to Freakanomics- all on audiobook) I finally finished This I Believe collection of Essays. Earlier in the summer I read An Ordinary Man (audiobio leading to the movie Hotel Rwanda) and The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Purge my recipe file box and reorganize them into a more usable way. As I hope to start a weekly meal plan this fall, this too has been on the to do list for a good 5 years. As I collect cookbooks as well as have had a family recipe shower when I got married 10 years ago, I have a TON of things that sound good on paper, but I have never made. Here's too (NOT) making the recipe for marinated shoe peg salad that someone gave me!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

3 tasks in one day!!!

So the heat is on to finish my list by the 27th. Today I got three very easy tasks completed, but still they had been on the list for the better part of a year.

1. Contact Buggy Bag about a replacement (my shopping cart/highchair cover) that broke after about 3 times using it. I love the design and the concept and it is the only one to work in places like BJ's carts. They offered to repair my bag at no cost!!!!

2. Order a NPR car decal and the book of collections of "This I believe" to use in class

3. Research the cheapest place to order my dog (Vegas) heartworm and tick medications and make an order!!!!

Ok, not a a witty entry, but then it's hot, I'm working on 5 hours of sleep, and we were asked to "leave" a library story time today due to my son's behavior- I do not get the good mommy award.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I am now equipted to take out someone's spleen on the interstate

Task #11- First Aid Kit update

Not really, nor do I have the desire to, but I went through our cars and home first aid kits and restocked them, checked exp dates, and updates with numbers of poison control, dr numbers, blood types, and the like. I really HOPE that I never have to whip out the abdominal pad, or recall my CPR class, but I am prepared to do so while administering a dose of Motrin, and applying anti-fungal ointment to the hurt masses.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Over Halfway there!!!

So just an update as in three short weeks I will be heading back to school and my "official" time to complete the 70 task will be up. Here is a list of some of the items I finished that have been marked off:

  • Hosted/planed 3 separate parties (Baby Steps Birthday, Book Club, Mary Kay- this counted as 3 items as it required planning , cleaning, and food prep)
  • Plant perennials in outside porch (got all at 50% off- you know I am coupon crazy)
  • Make appointment with contractor for the house addition possibility
  • Call about snack tray for stroller and car seat (none exist for my McLauren :-(
  • Restart gym membership and shoot for going at least 3 times a week (this is an ongoing thing to keep up once school starts)
  • Try 3 new classes at the gym (tried yoga, gentle yoga (no difference) and Pilates) Going to keep up with the yoga on Monday nights if possible
  • NHS stuff (3 tasks- meeting with Dean of Students over setting up tutoring program, meeting with officers to rewrite the bylaws, set up student help with Freshmen Camp)
  • Join Weight Watchers (I keep loosing and gaining the same 5 lb, Bill has lost almost 20)!
  • Try 10 new healthy snacks and meals with Ben
  • Go and have lunch with Bill at his work- had great Sushi!
  • Practice baby signs with Ben and introduce 5 new signs (still really working on these going to a class on Monday at the library)
  • Clean out hall closet, pantry, scrub out fridge/freezer, laundry room, drawers in kitchen
  • Make a donation of money and goods to Guardian Angel (local charity that runs a thrift store)
  • Hang all 12 month pics ofBen in Living Room from Duke Garden photo shoot
  • Work on a tan (ok it's really vain, but I love to hang out at the pool and going to the beach for a week helped)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Oh for the love of clean carpet!!!

So one of my items has been to steam clean all my carpet upstairs, especially the stairs. It finally got done today!!!!!! I am kinda fanatical about clean floors and damp mop my hardwoods and the kitchen almost daily (especially if Ben has had a food fest), but the carpet I felt was getting the "hey you must have pets" smell. I bought a Bissle little green steam machine and it worked nicely on the steps. I am going to shoot for doing this once a month (which will likely be once a quarter), but I can dream. Unless Glade makes a "wet dog" or "14 year old cat with accidents" air freshener I think I am going to steam clean.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SO what can I buy for 219.47 that equally about 100 hours of work???

SO for those who read my previous post I got my hard earned check today in the mail from the consignment sale. I am happy that I made at least more than the 50 bucks I expected. I still think that my hourly salary to complete this task and mark off the list qualifies me for some govt benefits. So on a really weird note, I never got around to pricing the books that have been living in my garage for the last 2 years. Both my mom and bill's mom kept all our childhood books. Before you start thinking, "what kind of person who is a TEACHER would sell children's books", let me tell you about the condition of these books:

1. My mom kept my books in a Attic that had a squirl problem. you can image how happy I would be to give them to my son so that he could contract rabies or better let some flesh eating virus. Almost all the books had to be thrown away :-(

2. Bill's mom had a major dampness problem when she lived in Atlanta, so the books look good, but smell horrible. She didn't think they smelled bad, and brought all 10+ boxes with her thinking our children would want them. Again, great thought, but the smell alone made us toss most of them. Even though Ben eats dirt, sand, and even bark on the playground, him tasting these books made me sick.

So I had planned to just give them to Goodwill or Guardian Angel Thrift Store, but then I decided to just TRY and see if I could make anything for them as they are all hardback books. So between Mike's Used Books, Kid to Kid, and literally a woman in the parking lot of Kid to Kid would bought what they wouldn't take I got rid of all of them and earned $120.00 more bucks in cash and store credit. I think with some cleaning and activated charcoal they will smell better, but at this point, they are GONE!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Next time stage an intervention

Ok- so I owe my mom, brother, bill, girlfriends, and even Ben a big "you were right, I should have NEVER thought I could consign so much stuff at the Kids Exchange sale". I had such good intentions, clean out the 30 something boxes of clothes, toys, and gear that have been vacationing in my garage for the last year, and make some much needed money. But after a MONTH on nightly going through boxes and gleaning the best stuff out I really underestimated how much time it would take to tag and bag each and every single item and then cart in to the fairgrounds to the building where during the fair cows are exhibited during the July heat!

It took almost 3 hours just to put all the stuff out. I have never been so sick of baby/child related stuff in all my life after spending an afternoon wondering "so where do these tacky-ass diaper bags go" and if I do find where I am likely to throw them on the floor in a pile instead of hanging them nicely on the chicken-coop wire that had been so decoratively places using paper clips to hang each bag.

On a positive note I bought Ben at little car off some lady unloading her loot in the parking lot to also sell. It was the best 7 bucks I spent in that it kept Ben from trying to climb/jump of the deck while he pushed it all over the yard. I felt like I was buying crack in that I talked her down from the original price of 10 dollars.

So for all of you that love these sales, I join you in the admiration of 90 bouncy seats lined up but I will NEVER consign again and if I do... please as my friends stage an intervention for me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If you Skeetered, Say you Skeetered

I've been to South Carolina for most of the last week and while I didn't put it on the list of 70 items I should have. I often say that when I get to Hell I will get time off for the 18 years I spent living in South Carolina. It is truly a state unlike any other in terms of valuing southern ways, Dixie history, and the fact that putting a bummer sticker that reads "if you skeetered..." us considered upping the resale value of your car or better your pick up truck. Not that North Carolina in a bastion of intellect, but at least we are not in the bottom five states for children with rickets, teen pregnancy, and my personal favorite women's rights including domestic violence. I'll get off my soap box as many people I love and helped raise me live in SC and wouldn't move anywhere else (except maybe Mississippi or Alabama).

As many friends know my mom is widowed and is in end stage renal requiring kidney dialysis 3 times a week. When I am down I always try to help out and clean, cook/freeze meals, take her to visit family, and on this trip make floral arrangements for family graves. I love my mom dearly, but needless to say I work really hard while visiting her. Ben always goes with me as he has been a blessing to her to become a grandmother. We did venture out and did a little shopping which was quite hard as I pushed her wheelchair and Ben simultaneously to the many stares of others. We only made it shopping for about a hour before we all were about to give out in the SC humidity and heat. And my hair looked like a 70s afro.

I did get one task accomplished on my 70 list (Elizabeth you will be proud after we tore apart her house looking for my engagement ring only to find in my car). For the LOW cost of 45 bucks I got my rings re sized. our wedding bands are inscribed in Greek on the outside with the famous "love verse" from Corinthians so it had to be hand resized. I love my wedding ring and credit Bill with the super cool idea of a verse that is broken into 2 parts on the two rings, making one. A family friend at our college transcripted it and it was spoken in Greek at our wedding ceremony. I would have never thought that I would loose weight in my fingers but I lost two ring sizes... oh if I could only loose it other places too!!

Home to Raleigh tomorrow after I take my mom to my home church in the morning.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Baby Steps Party-July 8th

Like some crazy fool I thought, "hey hosting out Baby Steps First Birthday Party will be easy, just a matter of mowing the yard, filling up some baby pools, and firing up the grill". As always I take party planning to the extreme and as a result the patio was built, a planted new flowers, and make a flower arrangement for the guest bathroom, and make homemade jam for for all the families. All were tasks that I had on my list, but the catalyst of a party made me get them done sooner. So on one of the hottest days of the summer, we celebrated a year of successes and frustrations. The now toddlers had a great time in the pool and sandbox while the parents ate, socialized, and tried to stay cool in the shade. All enjoyed homemade strawberry ice cream as well as the spread of food everyone brought. We had a great time and DID enjoy hosting, it gave me a chance to mark some items off my list as well as entertain with friends.

A big thanks to Elizabeth, Amber, and Laura for letting me borrow items for the party!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Making Jam/Visiting the Animmal Shelter/Daylilly Farm

I have been on a roll for the past few week in preparation for hosting a baby/toddler one year party-more to come. One of the things I am really guilty of is really overdoing it in the party planning business. So most of last week I spent cleaning, organizing, making a floral arrangement, and really "important" stuff. I would like to think that someone would comment "wow your baseboards are really clean" but really they just wanted a hot dog. So I got three major tasks done on Saturday 7/7/07

Goal #21- Make homemade jam- I have a huge fig tree in my yard that every year I promise to myself make something figgy. So this year I went to the big farmer market in Raleigh and picked up plums/nectarines and made jam. I gave away jars at the party as well as to friends in the neighborhood. YUM!

Goal #39- Take old towels to the Wake County Animal Shelter/make a donation- I always feel really bad when I go in the grocery and see the collection barrels that people use for trash and not animal supplies. At my old school we had a student chapter of the SPCA. Every year they would do a food drive and I would make it a compete ion between my classes for extra credit. I cannot tell you how sad this place was. They had a big sign on the door stating that if you brought puppies in they would be immediately euthanized due to a contagious virus. I picked the county animal shelter over the local SPCA (where we got our dog Vegas) as we make a annual donation to SPCA , and frankly this place is a last resort for animal care. I also went ahead and make a donation to them already. While there I also asked for the volunteer coordinator name to set up a possible pet drive with my NHS students this fall. I wish I could say that I felt better knowing I had done something good, but as Ben and I were leaving I noticed a big crate of puppies playing, how sad to think of the loved pets they would not have the chance to become. Bleeding heart liberal- you bet!

Goal 11- Visit a local daylilly farm. If you have been to my house you now I love anything that grows. It's in the genes. I used to spend every summer with my grandparents on their farm-snapping beans, canning veggies, feeding chickens. Even my dad grew tomatoes in coffee cans when he was in Vietnam on his airforce base. There is nothing better than working out some frustration in dirt-cheaper than a therapist! I visited a new daylilly farm and picked up three new varieties. Great place, friendly people, good prices, and best of all my son walked 10 steps back and forth across the field. I hope one day he too will love to "play " in the dirt.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Goal #47- help Bill build a patio...aka home improvement is NOT good for marriage

One of the biggest tasks on my list has been #47-Help Bill build a patio for the gargantuan grill he got for Father's Day. I had this idea of simply laying down some brick and moving the grill, but no-Bill goes to home depot and must have talked to one of these "trading spaces" rejects relegated to working in the toilet dept. He was brainwashed into believing that the only way to put in a patio involved 25 bags of stone paver and sand and 20 35 lb piece bricks.- most of which I hauled from the store to the yard (using a car, not walking).

Against my better judgement, and obvious memory lapse of prior home improvement experiments including painting our first apartment kitchen a hideous red over wagon-wheel wall-paper, putting together a TV cabinet that took 27 hours, or putting in a ceiling fan that involved using an axe, I agreed. So after a very long, hot 4th of July digging a pit and filling it up here is the resulting product. We grilled steaks for dinner and they we the best I think I ever had, or maybe it was just I would eat cardboard after that much work!

I am very happy to announce that at no time did either of of talk of ways the 35 lb bricks could be used as a vise or projectile. Ben was a big help- he put rocks in his dump truck and rolled them around the yard. Boys and their toys-from grills to trucks!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

70 things in 69 days

Thanks to my friends Laura and Elizabeth I am accepting their challenge to try and accomplish some things over the summer. I have exactly 69 days between the last day of school and the first workday back in August. You can read about their lists on their blogs: "I think I can, I think I can" and "Let's Do This". Following some of their goals idea such as Laura's competition to create a awesomely bad mixed tape (lets here is for Barbie Girl by Aqua) and obvious entries as a new mom, like finishing my son's baby book, I hope I can make a dent in my every growing To Do list.

so here are here are my ground rules:
  • Can complete the 70 items in any order
  • Can count any items already completed as long as it falls between 6/12 and today
  • If I do not finish at least 95% of the tasks by 8/20 then for every week I am late I will make a $ 10.00 per week donation to one of my favorite charities
SO I cast out the challenge to the my friends to keep me honest and to find out why I have Goals like, pretend to be Martha Stewart minus the jail term or why God didn't intent married couples to complete home improvement projects together made the list.