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!

Lazy Day Activity

Thanks to Hurricane Fay, schools are closed today in my part of the world.  It was announced yesterday afternoon and late last night we decided our family would have a lazy day today.  The plan was to stay in our PJ’s all day and do nothing.

So, we slept in until 9am.  In between watching the weather on TV:  dad cooked up a yummy breakfast;  the boys put away clean laundry and played in their room;  my daughter vacuumed her room;  I cleaned up a bit around the house, vacuumed, and then decided to update our family chore chart.  So much for doing nothing!!!

You see, the kids went chore chart free for most of the summer.  Oh, but they were by no means chore free – I asked them to do things on an as needed basis.  With the start of school, I think it’s important to GET ORGANIZED and so now is the time to re-establish the structure to which they were accustomed.  I know…they’re just gonna love me!!!

Initially, I was going to use the Excel chart we had before and be done with it…

But, then I got sidetracked with e-mail and somehow ended up on OrganizeItMom.com where I got an idea for a new chore chart.  I figured since I was blessed with extra time today and God was generous to me by giving me the ability to manipulate pictures and work with my computer, I should put those skills to good use and come up with something useful for my family.  If I could afford it, I would buy the chore chart they sell because it looks like it would be fun and easy to use.  However, since funds and space are limited, but time (at least today) and printer ink are plentiful, I’m creating a new chore chart using a similar format.

THEIRS…

MINE (so far)…

I spent some time looking for clipart and illustrations to go with the chores.  I used Excel to make boxes that will get cut out into cards, we’ll add velcro to the back so they stick to a board allowing us to change chores around as needed.  I think it will work for us.  I’ll report back once we’ve used it.

Today’s Daysie quote is:

“ENVY IS A WASTE OF TIME.”

I always say – DON’T COMPETE, COOPERATE!  Learn from others and share what you know so we ALL win!