Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Isn't this so pretty?  I have all of these plans in my head to decorate like this for Fall but...that's where they stay!  I keep thinking, next year I'll do this, but next year comes and I don't.  No more waiting, I'm going to find a way to make my space, my little rental house, more beautiful, inexpensively.  I'm all for barter and curbside shopping.  Not stealing from houses, lol, but garbage picking to be more direct.  I've done it before and have found some wonderful things that have been used over and over!

Trying to crack down on my frugality, get back in a more structured cycle again.  I had to trade in the van for a new vehicle, my transmission finally was winning the battle of going out after doctoring it for the last 3 years.  I've bought a 2011 Dodge Caliber but now have payments, the first time in about 6 years that I've had car payments.  I love the new car, I really do, decent gas mileage, doesn't cost an arm and a leg to fill up, but a car payment, and a little bit higher insurance since I now have to carry full coverage.  I've come up with a few things to help my frugality get better:

*Pack my lunch a few time a week
*If we want to eat out we always use coupons
*We drink bottled water and the best, cheapest place I've found is Aldi.
*Unplug appliances when not in use, am working to get better at that.
*buy generics, well most things generic.  There are a few things I will not pinch pennies on.
*Being a clearance fanatic, on anything and everything!
*I dropped my land line.  All of us have cell phones.  My youngest is still on my ex husband's plan but my middle daughter and myself are on Straight Talk, best bang for our bucks.  She buys her card, I buy mine.
*I dropped our satellite service.  I have yet to buy a converter box but am saving to do so.  The only thing I pay for is internet/wifi, that's saved me $90 between dropping the land line and the satellite.
*Saving change, I only have just started but I have a man I'm dating that saves all of his change at the end of the day,  he's set up some very nice savings accounts for his children!
*Stocking up clearance on food items as well!
There are some here I've started already, some I am working on, but all in all, they will help in the long run.    

Blessings to you all and again, Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 21, 2014

I can't seem to get in a regular groove on blogging so no more apologies, I'm just a hit and miss kind of girl!

See these young ladies to the right, that's my girls, the dance team.  The young woman to the far right with the ponytail flying, that's my youngest girl Alyssa.  These girls are the reason I'm in a non-stop run week to week but let me tell you, it's so worth it.  Yes, I have days where I just want to say you know what, I'm done, but that's because I'm tired.  Working with these young women, watching how hard they practice, they dance sick, hurt, you name it, is inspiring.  Yes, they get on each other's nerves especially as I have them dancing 3-4 days a week, 2 hours a night, but nevertheless, their hearts are wholly in dancing and being the best that they can be.  There was an article published in our local paper about an event that took place last Saturday where you meet the winter teams.  The reporter covering the event didn't report about who was on the team or any of their attributes, he butchered them, calling out imperfections, belittling the teams, including my girls.  He called their hip hop routine edgy and pushing the envelope for our small town but in the very next sentence said the moves were simplistic and childish.  Ummm, how can you be edgy and push an envelope but be simplistic?  I wrote a letter to the editor on their FB page setting the paper straight and informing the young man that obviously he knows nothing about high school dance.  HS dance is highly competitive now, it's not simple arm movements and marching in saddle shoes with big poms like we did  when I was in high school in 1984.  You have to be competitive and edgy and this is a SPORT, there are legitimate injuries, torn rotator cuffs,torn labrums, ACL's that have to be repaired, bruises everywhere, even hernias that need repair.  My response went viral in our town as well as others chimed in as well about how he ripped apart the other teams.  I've sent an actual letter to the editor as well as the company that owns the newspaper.  What I've heard (small town so you hear all) is that he wrote the article, his boss was out of town so didn't proof it before it was printed.  A few others read the article and advised him against printing it but, he ran it anyway.  I will defend my girls to the bitter end.  All this did was fuel their fire in making them kick it up a higher notch for their competition.  I guess I found a motivator for them!

Dance has pretty much been my life, work, dance, my girls.  I was dating a very nice man for about a month but, well, I ended it.  He's sweet but my heart wasn't in it.  I believe I dated too soon.  I'm going back to just taking care of myself, my own children and my dance girls, as well as getting back into my church.  Even that has suffered some but am taking steps to get that on the right track again.  I'm going back to my church where I gave my life back to God.  It always feels like home and that's where I need to reconnect.

I'm amazed that Christmas is around the corner.  This Thanksgiving is going to be odd next week.  Rachel and her fiance' re hosting Thanksgiving lunch at her place for his parents and for her dad (my ex husband) and his wife and her children.  Alyssa is going as well.  Megan is catching a train to Chicago this Sunday and will be there for 1 week, I get her from the train next Saturday.  I'm going to be on my own.  If my ex had stuck to the divorce decree he would have had them every Thanksgiving, that was his holiday but it's been years since they've been with him.  I've agreed to go with my friend, Ted's ex wife actually, to her family's Thanksgiving.  No, Ted won't be there, it's her side of the family, my friend's own family is spreading all over this year as well.  I think this is the hardest for me, the kids growing up, doing their own things.

Christmas, well I'm not even going there right now.  I'm going to pull a Scarlet O'Hara, I'll think about that tomorrow.  I plan on taking half of my dance coach salary and using it for Christmas gifts.  Now just when I'll get that, that is another story.  Waiting to hear from the payroll person as to when they plan on cutting those checks.

My house is a wreck, my mattress is in the living room floor, but on the days I don't have dance we're running and doing other things like grocery shopping or other errands.  My goal this week is to get my house back in some kind of decent shape.  The reason my mattress is on the living room floor is because Meg has my room.  The girls' friends don't think anything of it, I keep my "bed" made, we're doing what we can.  I imagine this time next year Megan will be in Chicago, I actually figure it will be sooner than a year from now.  She needs a better car but, we'll see about that.

I should wrap this up, I'm writing from work.  I need to go around and start locking up, making sure the heat is down, etc.

I pray blessings over you all, remember those less fortunate than you, and may Christ's love fill you!