It wasn’t over…

The last time I blogged was exactly one month ago.  It feels like just yesterday.  Well, that lovely September day brought more surprises than I knew what to do with…

Power Off by jamesmuckia on flickr

'Power Off' by jamesmuckian on flickr

Just as I was leaving to pick up the kids, the power got turned off.  GREAT.  I did what every helpless person does and took a deep breath, nodded my head, and – oh yeah, I bawled my little heart out!!!  That lasted about 15 minutes and with no cash to turn the power back on, I felt hopeless.  I came close to throwing something through the window (as if THAT was going to solve my problem, sheesh).  Instead, I got this bright idea to look in my jewelry box – still owning a small collection of gold pieces, nothing extravagant – they were something of value that could produce some much needed cash.  Back in the day, I used to wear a ring on every finger along with several bracelets and necklaces – can you say, Mrs. T?!  LOL  (If that wasn’t funny you’re probably too young to remember the A*Team.)  Anyway, once I made up my mind about which pieces had less sentimental significance, off on a field trip to the pawn shop I went.  This is where the fun began.

The power bill was $215.86.  Somehow I had to come up with it…SOON!  Well, I picked up my kids from school and headed straight to the gas station.  The cashier insisted I enter the pin # to my checkcard so the transaction would ring up as a debit, but I knew I had nothing in my account to draw from so I insisted he process my purchase as a credit.  After a couple of tries, it went through and I was able to fill the tank halfway and get a phone card to reload my cell phone (nevermind the $35 in nsf fees I’ll pay later).  I wasn’t happy at all that I had to resort to that, but I really had no other choice.  Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul, yikes!!!

I arrived more hopeful to the pawn shop.  For some reason, I wasn’t surprised to see that the place was busy.  Not a lot of people were buying; most were in line waiting to be told how little their items would be worth.  When it was my turn, the nice young man (he couldn’t have been older than 21) inspected my items and asked the most peculiar question.  “Are you Catholic?”, he said.  I responded, “No, I’m Christian, but not Catholic – why?”  “All your gold is 14k and Catholics only get 14.”  That was a new one to me!  I used to be Catholic, but I never picked up on that one.  I guess you notice those things working in the pawn shop business.  Who knew? He offered me $185 for everything.  Before he could open the drawer, I dared to ask, “can you make it an even $200?”  I had no idea what I was saying, but I was a little desperate, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.  He gave it to me.  I was grateful.  Then, I sat in the car brainstorming.  $200 down, $15.86 to go.

I got home and went through the books on my bookshelf.  Again, deciding which books I wouldn’t miss or could get me more than 50 cents.  I filled a box and headed to the book store from where I left only $10 richer.  So close, yet not quite there…uughhh!!!

By this time, my husband had gotten home and after I filled him on on the exciting details of the day, he made a phone call to a buddy who lent him the rest.  Finally, around 6 in the evening, I was able to make the full payment and call in my receipt number to get service restored.  It didn’t happen right away.

sad rain by yu+ichiro on flickr

"sad rain" by yu+ichiro on flickr

It poured down rain that entire evening, which might be why it took forever for the serviceman to come.  We snacked on what we could for dinner and lit candles for some light.  We waited patiently.  I laid in bed for a  while, feeling upset about the whole situation.  But, I refused to let it keep me down so I sprung out of bed and invited everyone to go out in the rain to play!  Crazy, huh?  Yeah, that’s what they thought too!  PARTY POOPERS!  Only one taker – my daughter.  We slipped off our shoes and stood outside letting the water drench us.  We laughed and enjoyed ourselves!  Later, we each took showers and although most of us were already asleep, our power came back by midnight.

Whew!  What a day!  Everything seems to work out in the end.  Like Mary Hunt shared today in her Everyday Cheapskate newsletter:

“TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST, BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO.”

Please God, help us to be tough!

Top Momma no more…

I'm a Top Mommma!I became a Top Momma 4/30 @ 4:41am!!!

Fast forward to 10 :55pm. I get the e-mail: You just got booted from TopMomma.com. Geez Louise! I didn’t even get a chance to add their official button to my blog and *POOF* my 15 minutes of fame were up!

Isn’t it crazy how little things can get us so excited?!? Women.

So, what’s TopMomma? Well, it’s a pretty cool concept for bloggers (preferably moms or moms-to-be) who want more traffic to their blog sites. You register your blog on the site by uploading a picture to link to your blog, then several hours/days/weeks later get the approval e-mail that makes you feel like you just won the lottery. Your picture gets placed on the main page and the more clicks you get via your pic, the longer you stay on. I’m sure there are mommas out there developing some serious carpal tunnel sydrome from clicking on their own pictures!!!

Well, technically, I didn’t even last one day! I had a really cool picture too…”Bad Hair Day” I thought it was different and it represented me so well.

bad-hair-day.jpg

I took a picture of this pajama shirt I have. It’s one of my favorites. So much so, that I’ve worn it out with jeans or capris. Nobody can tell it’s a pajama top – except when my kids out me in public! We laugh about it so it’s cool! =)

This weekend…

I had a huuuuge yard sale! It was hot both days and I’m now proud to say I have two shades of tan: regular and flip-flop straps! Ugghhh! But, the good thing is we made $113.50 on Saturday and $127.25 on Sunday! WOW!

Well, sorry to burst your bubble – we don’t get to keep all of it. Most of the items were my mother-in-law’s who has Alzheimer’s and is now in an assisted living home. We had to clear out her apartment and turn it back in to the lanlord. We’ll put the money away and use it to make her stay at the home more comfortable.

She’s doing well and in all honesty with regards to her belongings – things are just things. Now she’ll be getting all she TRULY NEEDS: consistent care, quality family time, and some peace.

Today’s Daysie quote:

“GOD’S HAND IS ALWAYS THERE, AND ONCE YOU GRASP IT, YOU’LL NEVER LET GO.”

When everyone else fails you – He’s always got your back!!!

A nano-second away from CRAZY!

I’m exhausted. I spent hours cleaning my daughter’s room last night. Polly Pocket toys have a tendency to scatter in every nook and cranny of the room! Those of you that have only boys should be grateful! What should have taken 20 minutes took over half the night. The crib-turned-day-bed came out and made a huge difference. I’m not sure what we’ll do for a bed, but she seems to like it without one – maybe a tent or big fluffy pillow might do. Well, I’d say Spring Cleaning in her room is complete!

a-room-makeover-03-29-07.JPG

I alternated between organizing and figuring out how to remove a “widget” from my blog page! My parents are to blame for this one…I inherited my determination from them! I was sure I’d be bald when the sun came up! But, since it FINALLY WORKED, I’ll have to save CRAZY for another day! LOL

Yesterday, I got a late start, which meant dropping my husband and “the crew” off at their jobsite later than usual. This also meant that my daughter and I would be late to school. We missed the 1st activity, but we managed to:

  • play with red balls in the playground
  • have rice cakes, raisins, and red peppers for snack
  • paint rocks

Did you guess what day it was? R-Day!!!

On the way home, we stopped for gas and shared a meatball sandwich at the BP station. I was looking forward to a smooth afternoon. NOT!!! The car decided to die on us (battery was drained). Car problems don’t cease to exist these days. I’m even learning a few things along the way. For instance, I learned that a bad starter causes the alternator to malfunction making the battery loose power. At least that’s my interpretation of what my husband explained to me. I think it’s fixed NOW…whatever the problem was!

Anyway, a very nice BP employee (I should’ve gotten his name – I’ll have to go back and do that!) jump-started the car and off we went. I knew if I turned the car off I would have a slim-to-none chance of it turning back on, so I made FIVE more stops without turning the car off (there went the gas I just pumped!):

  • picked up some t-shirts
  • dropped off a couple of shirts to someone
  • picked up kids from school
  • tried to pick up personalized name plates *not ready yet*
  • stopped for ONE item at the grocery store (my GRAND Adirondack chair!!!!)

plastic adirondack chairI saw stacks of plastic adirondack chairs the last time I bought groceries and fell in love. They had several on sale in bright spring colors (coral, mint, and pink). I was waiting for the price to go down, but worried that they would run out. Bad battery and all, I was (again) determined so, I went inside and found a small stack marked down from $39 to $19. I bought one!!! My son picked out MINT. Yeah, that’s all I could afford right now. Hey, if it’s the ONLY Adirondack chair I ever own, it will be all mine!

Well, we made it home. I backed the car into the driveway and turned it off. Will you guess what happened when I tried to turn it back on? NADA…ZERO…ZILCH…ZIP! My kids looked at me in utter amazement. They probably thought: Mom said this would happen and it did! They thought it was odd that I kept leaving the car on, but they were grateful to have made it home because I used my noodle. Kids.

cake-03-28-07.JPGMy little cook made dinner for us last night. Burgers and Blueberry cupcakes cake! We were out of cupcake cups, so it became a cake.

He did an excellent job! It tasted so good that a big chunk of it was gone before I could take a picture!

While dinner was cooking, I had lots of fun making a display board. I used a large picture frame I had in the laundry room. I got my inspiration from those expensive memo boards at the stores that are now popular – the ones that have a ribbon criss-crossing throughout.

I decided to “take it up a notch”.

It was such a SIMPLE PROJECT!

Step 1: Find an old picture frame (frame only – no glass or anything else). The size of mine was 24×30, but any size will do fine.

Step 2: Clean it up. Prime if needed (I didn’t have to because mine was wood painted with a flat finish).

Step 3: Paint! My daughter and I had “together time” painting it a collage of different colors! We used regular acrylic paints.

painted-frame.JPG

Step 4: When dry, turn the frame over and hammer some nails randomly (or strategically – I’m a perfectionist) to the back, leaving half of each nail exposed. In other words, don’t nail them all the way in.

Step 5: Go ribbon crazy! Tie ribbon (I also used scrap pieces of yarn) to a nail and loop it back and forth from one nail to another in a zig-zag design. Then tie the end and repeat with a different ribbon until you’ve covered it the way you like it.

You should double-knot so the ribbon is secure on the nail.

Be sure to snip off any excess ribbon hanging off nails.

I think it turned out really nice! It will be put to good use at my desk. Check it out…

finished-frame.JPG

I HOPE YOU HAVE AS MUCH FUN MAKING YOUR OWN DISPLAY BOARD – ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVE TOUCHES! Leave me a comment & include a pic if you make one!

Today’s Daysies quote:

“LOVE IS HOMEMADE”

It certainly is! =)