Friday, October 30, 2009

Another week come and gone...

Boy has this been a rough day. It is payday for all state and county employees. I have direct deposit and while checking my deposit of my paycheck, I realized that there is no way we have enough money to pay the mortgage, so it will be a week late and I hate it.

Other than that, the week has gone very well. I picked up my granddaughter yesterday from school, helped her do her homework (kindergarten homework is soooo hard! LOL), and fed her dinner.

I will be keeping her tomorrow as well. I first said no, but then my daughter called back and asked if I would just keep Samantha and not Joseph since he is running a fever. I guess the other grandma is keeping him. Samantha has already missed 6 days of school since it started because of really bad colds and running fevers, so we are trying to keep them far apart!

I should be picking up my husband, Tracy, tomorrow, so that will be nice. He has been out on the road for two weeks and last weeks check sucked. This weeks check sucked as well. Maybe next weeks will be better as he did manage to get a few more miles and did not have any cash advances.

I am worried about Christmas this year. We just do not have extra money to buy gifts this year. I think we may just end up buying for the grandkids and no one else. I don't think I will even be making my gifts-in-a-jar or gifts-in-a-mug this year nor baking any Christmas cookies. :(

Maybe things will ease up soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What a day!

Today has been a day from, well you get the idea. It all started when I went to my deep freeze to pull out something to thaw for my dinner. Almost everything in the freezer was already thawed out! I was so upset!!

I ended up throwing out about 2/3 of the meat in the freezer. Shrimp, steak, pork chops, ground beef, vegetables, etc. All wasted! I salvaged what was still frozen (near the bottom of the freezer) and put it the freezer on the fridge. The rest filled 2 garbage bags and I hauled it out to the garbage can. I could have cried!

I chipped away at all the ice build up in the bottom of the freezer, pulled out the drawer and the rest of the ice and put four sham wows in the bottom to soak up any water from the "big thaw" I was giving it.

I went off to work and got all the kids home and when I got home after a trip to the grocery store for milk and potatoes, I turned the freezer back on. It started right up! Yippee!! I turned it back off and will leave it off for now. I want to make sure it is totally thawed out and dried very well. Then I will start freezing empty milk cartons of water. If they freeze okay, then I can start shopping again once I have the money to fill the freezer back up. It hurt bad to lose all that food because it will months before we can afford to fill that freezer again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Life on a Monday morning

Welcome to another week. It is Monday morning. I was up most of the night worrying about to pay some of my bills. And then the alarm goes off at 4:30 AM to make sure I am up to get ready for work.

I got all the kids on my bus to school about 5 minutes early today. I hit each and every light just right, which is unusual! LOL

I am now sitting here watching HGTV with all the home makeover shows. I love them. They give me way too many ideas when I have no money! LOL Thank goodness that when we go to "redo" the kitchen, all it will cost us is some cutting of paneling, a few nails (all the stuff we already have here so that is free), and the primer and paint. Since it is a rather small kitchen, it won't cost too terribly much to prime and paint. :) We have picked out a nice pale yellow, almost an almond color, but not quite.

I still want to paint the very back room, which will be my craft room. Actually, it already is my craft room, it is just filled up with stuff. Lots of stuff! I want to paint that paneling a nice light color as well. Tracy is having a fit about it, but he needs to get over it! Paneling is so out, and yet all the rooms seem to have it. I can handle the light colored paneling, hence the reason to paint the brown a nice light color. White would work well for me.

I have a crockpot full of pinto beans. Now the question is, do I turn those lovely beans into chili or do I bake some cornbread? Decisions...decisions...decisions! LOL I love both, so maybe I'll do both.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ahhh...another Sunday...

Well, Sunday has rolled around again. I have three loads of laundry hanging out on the clothesline to dry. I didn't feel like washing the sheets, so I will do those next weekend.

At least this Sunday there are coupons in the newspaper, but I have no money to go and buy anything we need. In fact, I need about $200 just to pay the electric bill. I wish my son-in-law would pay me, but he didn't get paid last week either. This economy is hurting all of us - badly. So why doesn't our wonderful government stop wasting money and help out the average person? Because they don't care, that is why!

I am also trying to mentally go through the meat in the freezer so I can figure out what to throw in the crockpot to feed me for the week. I refuse to bother with cooking every day when it is just me. I do a big meal when hubby is home, at least if he is home for more than one night and he isn't getting home too late in the evening! I made chicken and rice last week, so chicken is out! LOL Maybe another nice roast, although I do have a LOT of hamburger meat. Hmmm...maybe I should make a Shepherd's Pie...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Swag Bucks

I am trying a new search engine called Swag Bucks. Many of my friends are using it and say they win all kinds of gifts cards and other prizes. I have added a widget to this blog, so maybe you can win, too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yesterday was the first day of school

Yesterday school started back in Burke County, NC. It was a very interesting day to say the least!

There have been many changes this year in the bus routes due to the fact that the schools have had to do a reversion of funds back to the state as the state cannot balance their budget so they are hurting the schools.

Needless to say, it has not only hurt the schools but the buses as well. They have had to cut about 700 miles a day off of routes, so many roads we used to travel are no longer being traveled. Many children are having to walk or be driven to a "central bus stop" for their area. This is making many parents very mad, but it is just a fact of life. Not all kids get to be picked up at their house. We are also not allowed to wait on a kids who are not standing at the bus stop or outside their house if that is the stop.

Most of the money that we do have for buses goes to our salaries and for fuel so parents are just going to have to get over themselves! If they lived in a big city, their kids would have to walk to to a centralized bus stop.

I still had to laugh during the afternoon route. While our school was right on time and all our kids were on the right buses and loads, listening to the other buses on the radio you could tell that they were not on the ball. Kids were lost on the wrong buses, on the wrong loads, etc. Between the bus garage, the schools and the drivers, the radio was jammed with calls nonstop. Now at my school, we left a little later than normal, but we asked each and every new student their address so as to make sure they had the right bus/load, etc. All was right in our little world! :)

My granddaughter actually starts her first day of school on Thursday as she is in Kindergarten and they stagger them in. She will be in before school and after school daycare due to mom and dad's work schedules. My daughter was to take her to the teacher parent conference yesterday, but instead, her mother-in-law had to take her. Long story short, my daughter had to take my grandson to the ER because the little invincible superman fell off the back of a chair onto some glass knick-knacks that was behind the chair (a very VERY tight space that he shouldn't have fit into anyways) and cut his ankle pretty bad. He ended up with three stitches in his ankle. Poor kids is not even 2 yet and has his first stitches.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It has been a long summer so far...

Boy has this summer dragged on. I know time is supposed to fly by faster as we get older, but good grief! I am ready for school to start back so I can get back to driving that school bus and have an income again. I am so tired of struggling without that paycheck once a month. Plus, I am going to have to start trying to put extra back each month to cover next summer's mortgage payments.

The grandkids are also driving me nuts! LOL They are at the age (5 and almost 2) that they are in everything and not wanting to listen. I am ready for a break! LOL

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Almost forgot about tonights class...

I almost forgot about tonight's class being put on by the NC Cooperative Extension. Tonight's class is all about Annuals and Perennials. I have finally figured out the difference thanks to the lawn care class. I am so excited about this class because I love flowers and right now grow only wildflowers because I know I can grow those. I am looking to expand though.

Ready for spring break

I am so ready for spring break. I will have the grand kids next week, but at least I won't have to get up 4:30 in the morning for a whole week! Plus my anniversary is Sunday the 19th. I am not sure what Tracy has up his sleeve for it, but as long as it is nice and quiet and just the two of us...

I am thinking that if Tracy comes home tomorrow or Saturday that he will have to spray the front yard for weeds again. He sprayed the day after he mowed and the bottle said to spray 2-3 days before or after mowing. So no mowing this weekend as the grass hasn't grown too much this week and he can spray. We have got to rid of of the dandelions, the clover and all the other weeds that I have no idea what they are. My grass won't get good and established until the weeds are gone and the grass has room to grow.

I am also thinking we are going to rent a tiller for the backyard so we can get our vegetable garden planted. Tracy's father-in-law does have a tiller so maybe we can save some money by borrowing his if it still works. After the garden area is tilled, we will have to rake all the weeds out of the area. I can put them in the compost bin. Then maybe I can get busy planting my vegetable seeds!

I have gone through the house and picked up all the empty bottles that were laying around and got them rinsed out and crushed and out in the recycle bin for next week. I have gone through magazines like crazy and put a bunch in the other recycle bin. Those poor people will have their hands full as I am going through a bunch of my stuff for a yard sale!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Took an organic gardening class

Wow. I never knew that organic garden was so labor intensive! In order to be a true organic garden you even have to buy seeds that come from an organic source. I'd have never thought about that. I may or may not have the ability to be an organic gardener. I am sure going to give it my best shot though. All my seeds are not from an organic supplier, so I guess this year is out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Woo hoo! More green living for me

My husband has gotten our rain barrel set up complete. I am so happy. Now all we need is some rain! LOL

I also bought a compost bin at Ace Hardware the other day. I have already starting filling it up with crumpled up newspaper, leaves, some egg shells and old carrots. I made sure to wet the whole the thing down so it will get a good start on making some good soil.

I called Simply Green yesterday. They are a local company that does curbside recycling. It will save me from driving over to Shuey Fields and possibly getting a flat tire from all the glass on the ground over there. Anyways, it will cost $6 a month and they will pick up every two weeks. They will be delivering 2 18-gallon bins Monday. One is for paper, the other for plastic, metal and glass. No major separating of items. I guess they do the major separating there. (I will still make sure to shred all address labels and personal info though! Safety first!)

Now I am researching clotheslines. I have found one I like at the Ace Hardware website.

I plan on calling the store when they open at noon to see if they have them in stock at the store. I really want to get it today if possible so hubby can put it up and get the concrete poured so I can use next weekend or whenever I do laundry. I will have to use my dryer today since we don't have it and it will take a while to set up and the concrete to cure. Oh well. I should see a substantial savings on the electric bill once it is installed. Of course, I will still end up using the dryer in the winter when it is real cold outside.

I made a paint line in the backyard where I want my garden. My friend Louis is supposed to come over will his tractor and plow attachment to plow that section up this week, Tuesday if all goes well. Then my best friend's husband can come over Saturday and till that spot and till in the humus and manure I bought. That ought to help break up some of the clay and put some good stuff back into that spot and help the veggies grow when I plant them. I will be planting corn, green beans, okra, carrots, radishes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, zucchini, summer squash (the yellow crook neck kind), tomatoes and maybe even some potatoes. (I'd like to buy some blue ones and freak people out! LOL) I also have some marigold seeds to put around in the garden to keep the pest and animals away.

I was slightly disappointed in the paper today. Only one set of coupons in there as compared to last week when they had three. Oh well. I will cut them out and keep what I will use. I then send the rest to my mom and youngest daughter after my oldest daughter looks through them. No need to waste good coupons. They just keep getting passed on until they either expire or someone has gotten all they can use. I have noticed here lately that there is a coupon exchange group in my town on Monday nights. I am not sure if it would be worth going or not, since we all would have about the same coupons. I might check it out one night just to see.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Going green

Okay. Maybe not completely, but I am off to a good start. I have bought a rain barrel and my husband is going to get the down spout fixed to catch the rain water in the barrel. I have also bought a compost bin. This will be handy since I am going to be starting a veggie garden soon. As soon as my friend comes and plows the backyard anyways. I am also growing herbs in pots. They are being started indoors right now. My husband has fertilized the front yard and sown grass seed. I will be planting flowers and sowing wildflower seeds before long as well. Soon we won't have as much yard to mow and lots of pretty things to look at and eat.

Oh yeah. I get to pick up my apple trees next week and get those plant in the backyard as well.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

School Bus Safety

I am writing this in response to two of Jenn P.'s articles about a tragedy that recently happened near her. The articles can be found here: and here:

School Bus Safety is very important. Not only for the children and the bus driver, but also for other drivers on the road. School Bus Safety involves everyone.

The laws vary from state to state so I will give the basics that should be in all states based on NC law.

School bus drivers should be aware of all things around them at all times. You should not be talking on cell phones, eating, drinking, taking pictures, carrying on long conversations with the kids, etc. You mind should be on the traffic, the stops and making sure that the kids are in their assigned seats. Put on your amber lights early enough to let other drivers know that you are about to make a stop. It is about 300 feet before the bus stop in NC. Come to a complete stop and then put on the red lights. The red lights come on normally when the school bus door is opened. Stop about 15 feet away from the kids and let them walk to you.

Make sure that ALL traffic has come to a complete stop before allowing children to enter/exit the bus and/or cross the street. (I will personally blow the horn if I see someone who does not want to stop. My kids on the bus know that if I am blowing the horn not to try and cross the street or get off the bus until I tell them it is okay.)

I also count the kids at the bus stop so I know how many should be getting onto the bus and count them as they get off the bus so I know how many there should be. I make sure that exact number gets on or off and watch them as they go their separate ways. Even though I know all kids are on/off the bus safely, I do not move my bus. I make sure all the kids are in their assigned seats or at least 15 feet away from the bus before I check my mirrors again. I start left to right: left mirror, left front mirror, right front mirror, right mirror, rear view mirror. this also gives me the opportunity to look for parent's cars or children who may be running late and are running toward the bus to catch it. Once I know that everyone is safe and no one has bent down in front of the bus (that is what those two mirrors on the front of the bus are for), I can then close my door and proceed on with my route.

Children should be at the stop on time if at all possible. They should stand at least 15 feet away from the road. If the driver is stopping at your house and it is too cold for your child to be outside, make sure you have the porch light on so the driver knows if your child will be riding or not. The driver should be communicated with about this either by the parents if the children are small or can arrange with the child to do this. There should be no horseplay at the bus stop as this can be dangerous. Many a child has been hit by a car because they were pushing each other in play. Children should line up just before the bus arrives so they can get the bus in a quick and orderly fashion.

When going home, children should remain in their seats until the bus has come to a complete stop. DO NOT stand up before the bus has stopped. If the driver would have to hit the brakes extra hard, the child would go flying down and get hurt. Also, no child should be standing in front of the "line" at the first seat. Make sure they know they cannot stand or sit in the stairwell as this is also extremely dangerous. School bus seats are designed to protect the children, so they should all be facing the front when sitting.

Drivers of other cars should be aware of times of the buses being out on the road. Watch for those amber lights and be ready to slow down and come to a stop when you see them. DO NOT PASS A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS!!! This could kill a child and that child could very well be yours. Be aware of children crossing the road in front of you. Make sure you stop far enough away if you are going in the opposite direction of the bus so that children can cross the street safely without having to walk behind your car. This creates even more danger for the children.

Do not try and outrace a school bus that going in the same direction as you. Many times I see cars pass me on a double yellow line and I just hold my breath and pray that they do not cause an accident. Most drivers are not aware where each bus stop is and when they pass a school bus and whip back over in front of it to avoid a head on collision, they could easily over correct and hit children who are standing at a bus stop. Leave a few minutes early if you see you are going to be getting behind a school bus in the morning to avoid this problem.

I hope that this little bit of information will help you to be more aware of school buses and the dangers involved. Please make sure your children know where to stand and how to act at the stop and on the bus. Children can go to their driver and let them know about any dangers they see on a regular basis, such as someone speeding through a residential area or mobile home park, bullies, street lights not working, etc. This information will help the bus driver keep the stops as safe as possible. We can and do communicate with the school and law enforcement officers (city, county, state) about any and all situations that cause hazards.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I have decided that our backyard definitely needs a fence. I think a chain link fence will do fine and be the least expensive option with the least amount of upkeep. This way I can not only have my dog fenced in, but keep my grand kids far away from the drop off to the train tracks. Also, I can keep neighbors out of my garden!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Great gardening website

I have discovered a great gardening website. I am using it to help me create more than one garden. I am planning a vegetable garden, an herb garden in containers, and a flower garden. I can ask questions to other gardeners, create and keep a journal, and even join groups. I think this site will be a great place for me to keep up with some of the newer and even the older ways of gardening.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

With times being hard once again, many of us are in the mindset of having to reduce, reuse, and recycle our stuff. I have yet to actually call the local company that does recycling pickup as the few things that I do have I am trying to reuse. For example, my husband asked me why I was saving an empty jelly jar. I told him that I plan to use it my craft room when we get it set up. I can put small craft items like silk flowers for scrapbooking in it.

The other day while I was out walking our dog in the backyard I noticed that my father-in-law had tried to throw some old bricks over the embankment at the far end of the yard. Since we own the house now, and I am in the process of planning several different gardens, I decided that I could use them. We spent about an hour digging what we could our of the dirt and clay. There was a broken Terra Cotta pipe, a few pieces of broken cinder block and lots of clay bricks. Some have the the holes, others don't. There are still more brick down the embankment, but I am not about to try and climb down there to rescue them.

There are several sections of brick that are still attached with mortar, so I will have to get out there with a chisel and hammer and break them apart. I even salvaged the half bricks I found. I figure that I can use the bricks, block and Terra Cotta to edge my flower garden or in front of the house where I want to plant a few flowers or hostas. The brick will be very pretty as it is nicely aged and didn't cost us a thing!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adopted a dog from BCFFA today

Today was the day that Science Diet dog food by Hills got together with various pounds and animal shelters and gave away 10 pets to the first 10 people who qualified to adopt them.

My local shelter, Burke County Friends for Animals, started their process Thursday, two days early! I didn't find out about that until Friday. I called them as soon as they opened up and was able to go down there because they had one free adoption left. I started out looking at all the dogs they had. The noise was deafening the minute the door to the kennel was open. It was like all the dogs were saying, "Pick me! I am the cute one! I am the most loveable! Take me home! I'll be a good dog for you!"

I looked left and all they had there were smaller dogs. Not what I wanted. So I concentrated on the right side of the kennel at the medium to large breed dogs. I saw one poor dog who just stood there among the din being very quiet. He just looked at me with these big, brown, soulful eyes. I asked a few questions about him. What breed? How old? Is he good with cats? Is he good with small children. How long has he been here? The answers intrigued me. Yes he is good with children. He is four years old. He is a hound. Lets test him with cats right now. He has been here at BCFFA for 5 months and his name is Jethro.

Well, when it came to cats, he just sniffed them and didn't bother them one bit. I got to see him action with children today when I picked him up and he was great. He walks on a leash.

We brought Jethro home and let him wander around the house for a little while. I got his food and water bowls set up, although he has yet to even touch them. I think he waiting for another dog to come bully him out of his share of food.

Jethro hasn't played with any of his toys yet.

He is also very good with my cat, Misfit. She is the bully. She is the one who is going around hissing and pitching a fit. She will eventually get used to him and want to play with him.

Jethro is rather thin for an American Black and Tab Coon Hound. Since he wasn't the dominate dog at the shelter, I am sure he was bullied out of his share of food. He will eat if Tracy or I actually put the food in front of him on the floor. I have gotten him to eat some dog food, a hamburger and a Milkbone Treat. Now if only he would go to the bathroom again. He did earlier, but hasn't for several hours now and we have had him outside several times.

You can tell he is all hound. Just look at those ears!! He spent most of time outdoors with his nose to the ground chasing after all the new scents. We gave him a bath right after we got home to get the smell of the kennel off him and to get rid of all the grease on his hair. We used baby shampoo on him and he just sat there and let us bath him with no problem.

I think it will take him several days to really get used to us and to trust that he isn't going to go back to the shelter and then he will settle into a good routine. Lots of patience and love is what this boy needs.

In all fairness, I don't think Tracy was too happy about me getting a dog, but what he doesn't realize is that with him gone on the road all the time, I feel like I need a companion other than a persnickety cat. Plus, once Jethro has warmed up to us and gotten used to the house and yard, he will alert me when me someone is around. I am happy and that is what is really matters. I am an animal lover and need to have my pets around. They are more than pets, they become my family!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Still needing to unpack stuff...

Geez. I had hoped to have more stuff unpacked by now, but it hasn't happened yet. It would have been great to unpack over the Christmas vacation, but I ended up babysitting my grand kids for the two weeks off. I did manage to rearrange the piles of stuff in the living room so it isn't quite as bad as it was. I would really like to get my craft room done so I can start sewing and crafting again. I have a great big desk to work on, but can't get to it right now for all the stuff. :(

My best friend came over yesterday to help me out, but before she could get here, my daughter brought the grand kids over for me to watch...again...since the heat in her house went out. I was suppose to go to my best friend's house yesterday afternoon and visit with her while the football game was on since her hubby had a bunch of guys over, but was still babysitting. Here it is, Sunday morning and I still have the kids. My daughter and son-in-law have heat now as he changed out the unit (he works in the heating and air industry) but before they pick up the kids, they want to clean up the kids bedrooms and then drive to Marion to pick up a bed, bunk style I think for my granddaughter. They will then put my grandson's race car bed under the other bed in my granddaughter's room and move her old bed into my grandson's room. (My grandson sometimes falls asleep in his sister's room. Playing is hard work!)

In the meantime, I am doing laundry. I have cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom as well. I have washed the few dishes in the sink and will finish the kitchen later. I can't sweep and mop until the laundry is done since the washer and dryer is in the kitchen and my dirty clothes are sorted into piles on the kitchen floor. I am planning on cutting out the coupons from today's paper here in a few minutes.

Wish me luck on getting things unpacked before summer!

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