Monday, October 26, 2009


Children are notorious for interrupting things. They interrupt conversations, movies, phone calls, games, even bathroom breaks. My children are obviously no exception to this rule. They interrupt everything I try to do. Last night, about 8:00, H and I started watching a movie. The movie was only 1 1/2 hours. It took us until 10:30 to finish watching it. We didn't even start watching until after the kids should have been in bed. They ran into each others' rooms, they dumped water on each other, they fought, they were hungry, they were thirsty, they wanted..... We don't allow those things and yet, they still tried constantly. This evening, the kids were playing outside. I decided to listen to a Bible lesson online. It is 55 minutes long. After 1 hour, I'm still waiting to hear the second half. My kids kept coming in with scratches and questions and complaints and...... The last time they came in required me to go outside so I paused the lesson. I returned a few minutes later and resumed play. It reset to the beginning! Now I can't even fast forward the lesson so I am replaying it. Waiting for the 36 min. mark when I can begin listening again. I'm hoping (though probably in vain) that the kids will leave me alone to complete it. As I type, I am trying to interrupt their playtime. They are sitting, kind of, on a mat waiting for me. I told them to sit and wait for me. They don't know this is all part of my great plan to interrupt them. It's 7:00 now and time for some of them to go to bed. I have 15 min. until I can listen again so I'm going to try to get them in bed before that time. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vacuum cleaners

My vacuum cleaner was given to me last Christmas. It was a fairly cheap and lightweight vacuum. It worked for about 7 months. Unfortunately, I've had it for 10. It wore out belts all the time. For the last two weeks, I have not been able to fully vacuum. It has overheated within a couple of minutes and not picked up the dirt and stuff well. My floor was getting disgusting. Imagine not being able to vacuum for 2 weeks with 5 kids! Eww! Yesterday, after much searching, I located a cheap, but good used vacuum. It was at a vacuum repair shop. someone had dropped their vacuum off for repair a long time ago. They never picked it up. The repair shop was selling it for only the cost of the repair work, $35. I rushed to the shop to get it. When I brought it home, H and I vacuumed every room in the house. We went over each floor twice and when we were done, the floors looked nice again. I was told that bagless vacuums are not as good as bagged ones. They are made of mostly plastic parts and will overheat and begin to wear out in a short time. The best vacuums are those with metal parts and bags. H and I have decided that we'll keep our bagless for now. If we can buy a used one every year for what we just paid, we can afford to replace it every year when we destroy it. And we will destroy it. But, for now, I can enjoy nice clean floors that I can walk across without cringing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cost of Medicine

G2 is changing medicines. She has some severe emotional problems and has to be on bipolar medicine. Her old one isn't working well so we're changing medicine this week. Last night, I found out how much her new medicine will cost me. Keep in mind she is on the lowest dose. Only 2 mg, once a day. A 30 day supply is going to cost me $419! Wow, that's more than all my other prescriptions combined. That just took my monthly prescription cost to more than $800. Only time will tell if this new drug is worth it. At that price, it sure better be.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Toilet Paper

Okay, I admit this is a strange topic, but it's what's on my mind right now. I recently opened a new pack of toilet paper. I have been using this brand, Quilted Northern, for a while. For some reason, the roll of toilet paper looked odd to me. I just happened to have a roll of the old package so I compared the two. The new roll was different. It was a quarter of an inch shorter. The new package was pink for breast cancer awareness. I'm sure this was done as a way to cut down on costs. I assume the manufacturer didn't think anyone would notice. I don't know if the rolls are only shorter for the pink packages or if they will remain this new size. It's true that this shorter roll will allow the profits per package to be higher. The company may be donating this extra profit or they may simply be using it to cover the cost of what they are donating for breast cancer awareness.

Either way, this is just the latest in a long line of diminishing products. When you open a box of crackers, you may notice that there are fewer in the box. There is less of many products then there used to be although they are often still offered at the same price as before. Even Girl Scout cookies are not immune to this. There are fewer cookies in a box of Girl Scout cookies then there used to be. We, as consumers, are paying more money for the products we use. In many cases, we are not even aware of this. A company will boldly broadcast when they have 20% more of their product then the competitor has, but will somehow ignore the fact that they have 20% less than they use to have. There is little we can do to combat this. The companies need to improve their bottom line as much as we need to save money. By being aware of this, we can at least compare the products being offered dollar for dollar and ounce for ounce. Be a smart shopper and check out your toilet paper roll the next time you have to go.


We went camping this weekend. We left Friday shortly after lunch and set off. We were camping about 15 miles from home at a small private lake. The weather was expected to be in the 60s both days and in the 40s both nights. A little cool, but not bad camping weather. When we arrived, we started our fire. Then we set up the tent. This was the first time we had used this tent so we had some work to do. It came with those cheap plastic tent stakes that don't work well in most ground types. So H ran into town for better stakes and more firewood. When he returned, we moved into the tent. By now, the coals were ready, and we put our food on the fire. Foil packets work well for camping. We even made a peach cobbler in the dutch oven. Everything was going well. By nightfall, about 40 tents were set up. We were camping with the boy scouts. It was a cold night, reaching about 45. Just what we expected. We got up and built our fire back up. The morning went well with hiking and other activities.

By lunch, we knew there might be a problem. The clouds had not broken off and it was not near as warm as it should have been. We continued through the afternoon, but it was growing colder. Reports kept coming in that it was going to be much colder than expected that night. By 5:00, we had made our decision. We weren't going to stay the night. That was a hard decision to make because we like camping. Nevertheless it had to be made. The girls were shivering already and the forecast was down to below 40 and drizzle was beginning to come down. We didn't leave immediately, but we did start tearing down our campsite. Others began to do the same. There were some who thought we were wimping out and perhaps we were, but we didn't care. By the time we left, at 7:30, it had gotten even colder. Reports were now that it would be in the lower 30s and freezing rain throughout the night and morning.

We woke up Sunday morning nice and warm in our own beds. We looked outside at a ground that was covered in water from the rain. It was 33 degrees. We knew that we had made the right decision.

I like camping and we plan to go again, but tearing down camp in the freezing rain is never fun. Rolling up the tent, and reloading the car, in the freezing rain, is never fun. I'm not sure how many boy scouts and their dads (and some moms) stayed that night, but I do know that they were cold. Overall, we did enjoy the time we spent at the campsite and we still consider this to have been a good trip.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm Sick AGAIN!

I haven't updated my blog in a while because we've all been sick. Last week, all the kids had the sniffles. We took two days off of school and got behind. This week, I tried to play catch up and succeeded. But I got sick! I woke up Monday starting to feel bad. By Tuesday, I had no voice and felt miserable. I went to the Dr. and was diagnosed with Bronchitis, Sinusitis, Laryngitis, and a few other itises. I got a shot of antibiotic and some very large pills to take. That helped a lot and by Thursday I was feeling much better. So I taught three classes at our co-op! Then I started feeling bad again. This morning, I woke up with a lot of junk in my nose. I made it through our second co-op and park time then crashed. I slept for an hour and woke up feeling worse. I ache, have a fever, have all kinds of other pains. Looks like the flu to me. I'm drugged up again and planning to sleep as much as possible tomorrow. Maybe that will take care of it. In the meantime, being sick is lousy! As a mom, I can't take off and my kids don't realize I can't do everything they want and even some things they need. I am blessed to have B1. He is a big help when I am feeling less than at my best. He is able to fix simple meals and supervise his siblings. It's not a substitute for me though. So, I'm going to get some sleep soon and hope to be back up and running as soon as possible. So don't call me in the morning!