Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday 11/6

Just as on another blog I thought it would be a good thing to mention on Thursdays....what I am thankful for...hard to choose just a few though some days.

1. CHOICE - Thankful that we live in a country where we CAN choose!

2. Health - Thankful for everyday my family and friends enjoy good health

3. Job - In such times as these...I'm thankful we have jobs. *though we may tend to complain* LOL!

4. Seasons - Such can you not be thankful!

5. Ben and Jerry's Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice cream....Oh...sorry...very thankful though

Have a great Thursday!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Frugal frugal is TOO frugal?

Ok...I'm being 'frugal' with my time and importing blogs....I have too many too keep up! So in all fairness...if you missed one here (or don't see a ref. post) it's probably somewhere else. I apologize.

Last Friday I posted about the site A Full cup a favorite coupon site of mine. I've learned alot and continue to learn something new everyday. Keep in mind when considering sites like these...use it for what 'works for you'. Pick and choose how you use the site, its recommendations and how much time you have to invest in couponing. (I'm a bear of very lil I keep is simple!)

On Oct 8th, Oprah had an entire show dedicated to 'frugal living'. I normally don't watch her show *for many reasons* but tuned in specifically to see what she came up with. The Coupon Mom segment was of particular interest to me (being the beginner I am). The 'Frugalist family in America' thing kinda freaked me out a well as the two ladies who traded furniture *yikes*. I did find it interesting about the lady from Baltimore (my old stomping grounds) who unplugged all unused appliances etc to save...OMIGOSH..she got her electric bill way down! Years ago I bought a book via the employee book sale at Doubleday Book Club called 'The Complete Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyn aka the Frugal Zealot. Some of the 'tips' were actually pretty good......others I would have to be on my last leg to consider *ie...saving by only flushing the toilet at certain times* OIY! suggestion on how to save wax paper from cereal boxes and reusing it (ok...when was the last time YOU used wax paper?) My point...I'm not an extremist...I'm just interested in saving what I can...where I can. It's my SMALL contribution to my family.

So...I signed up and joined at and printed off my first LOAD of coupons. The tips and hints they break down over on the Coupon Mom's site are not only useful but also give you an idea of what the average savings can be on a normal weekly grocery bill. The whole Oprah show reminded us to re-think how we spend, what is MUST HAVE, what is WANT and living within our own means. I AM proud to say that we don't use credit cards. Period. With Debit cards so widely accepted as credit cards we haven't had the need. We don't have car payments....we drive UGLY cars (yep...the shame gets me every once in a while) but hey....I just refocus my thinking on the money we save. I'm lucky too in the fact my DH is the greatest mechanic. We have a wonderful 'working' relationship.....I break it...he fixes it! :P *its a love thing* I know there are things we can still do....but this whole mindset takes time. I guess that's my point...we are a society of 'needy' will take time to rethink our buying and spending habits. One small giant penny at a time.

Tip of the day: I throw a dry towel in with every load of laundry when helps speed up the drying time. *no...I don't make items from the left over dry lint...its way too close to navel lint in my book!* :)

Have a great Friday!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

News for Kids

Mr M this year has to have a 'current events' item every day....which has been a constant struggle considering his understanding of 'todays' events. He doesn't think on a 15 going on 16 year old level....he's more like 8-9 years old in most ways. Finding an 'appropriate' article in the paper has become a challenge. Some of the ones I found were the polar bear from China who swam in a pond filled with algae...making him turn green. MN largest pumpkin winner. Simple article on kids voting for the next president at the Mall of America this weekend. You get the idea...simply written articles that do NOT predict the 'end of the world' as we know it. Most of the ones I DID find had pictures. His 'visual learning' style demands something to connect the text to....again....another issue when it comes to finding an appropriate news article.

I went online in search of current events for kids. Most online articles are older...and I'm not sure his teacher would consider them 'current events'. In a way this whole homework assignment has me thinking what a gloom and doom kinda world we live in. Sorry, I thought that for many years trying to watch the news before bed *something I don't do anymore*. Who can sleep after watching the first 10 minutes of the news headlines at night? Have you ever counted how many 'nice' articles there are in the daily paper? *not me* NO...I don't expect the important issues to be ignored....but can no one find something GOOD in people to write about? ~ok..rant over...kicks the soap box away~ LOL!

Anyway....anyone have an idea where I can find CURRENT events articles that my son could print out? Something on the elementary/middle school age reading level. He has reading comprehension issues as well as Autism. His understanding of the world is not always age appropriate....and his exposure is limited due to his social skills.

btw..HIS favorite article so far this year...the one where they surveyed kids and it said 97% of boys played video games LOL! *of course he loved the idea...then kids are MORE like him!* :)

If he doesn't bring something every day his grade decreases...*sighs*

Des... the desperate newsworthy Mom

Monday, October 6, 2008

Projects, Plungers and Pocket Gophers

Not much going on here lately....other than continued work on 'summer' projects not yet completed. I still have things that have to be done before the cold sets in. Amazing how quickly Fall flies by!

What does the title have to do with anything? NOT much! Other than the projects, we were treated to a reminder of another project on the 'to do' list. Our upstairs bathroom has carpet (NOT that we put it in)...but it needs to be taken up and tiled. We proved this more time, this past week. Mr M *aka TP KING* clogged the toilet while I was at work (he had half a day that day). He took it upon himself (which TOTALLY surprised me) to plunge it. Course....he waited till AFTER the 3 'flush' to try. Water and *mess* all over the bathroom....soaked into the carpet and came through the ceiling downstairs. OH my what a smell..what a mess. My advice to him was to tell an adult as soon as it 'doesn't flush'. He said, "what about if I can't find one of you?" I said, "put a note on it...'do not use!' " I also tried to talk to him about the amt of TP he uses....which is kinda useless with his OCD issues. But hey...a girls gotta try! Then, I had this bizarre thought about that Seinfeld episode..."can you spare a square"..... and I dropped the thought due to my own humor running rampant.

Pocket Gophers...anyone seen one before? UGGGGGGGGGLY...and kinda creepy scary! The King found one on our doorstep this past weekend. He got the hose and tried to 'convince' it to sassed him (teeth baring). I stayed inside...and watch the antics from the safety of inside, thank you. Anything that 'give you sass with teeth' is NOT going to be photographed by moi! *I'm silly..not stupid!* Just hoping it stays away....guess he's trying to find a cozy spot for winter? ~puts up No vacancy sign~

Work is going well...although I'm duly convinced you cannot please all people all the time! Many complaints when our company puts out new holiday cards....had complaints THIS week cause we don't have Thanksgiving out yet. *sighs* Oh well...Thanksgiving change-over comes with a Christmas preview...that ought to piss off a few dozen per day. :)

Got my new drivers license with my 'new' name....OIY...the photo is the worst I've ever taken (they took it again...for a simple name change?) Mr R says it looks like my hairline is receding...*gasp* Oh well...I like my married name...the picture is just something I'll have to live with (for at least a expires next year).

Project this week...more paperwork. *hows that ever get done?*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Obviously we got very excited by the idea that the Mushroom Kingdom had finally arrived at our house....Mr M being the 'Mario KING' he is! I posted this over on my 360 blog yesterday but was actually looking today on the net for what the real name of this thing was *we have a habit of naming ODD things round these parts* LOL!
Also found some 'shaggy mane' mushrooms on a walk yesterday....Mr M didn't think those were as cool though. Guess I shouldn't tell them the 'inky' truth about those?
Considering the fact that 1 out of 100 mushrooms can poison you....I think we'll pass on cooking the buggers up. I'll stick with market bought *I can hear the boos and hissing from Naturalist and Man vs Wild now*
Mr M held his stick in the case of fungal attacks! *insert Mario theme song*
Guess its the 'shroooom' season?
Have a good one...enjoy the weather! *its 70 here during the day and 50's at night*

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not before coffee, thank you!

*actual pic of a serving for Mr M*
It IS a lovely shade of GREEN isn't it??? Mr M has requested that Friday's be 'Spinach for lunch' days. *gulp* And so the prep begins at 6am by filling the small thermos with hot water to pre-heat. Opening the can of spinach (yep..he only likes the canned kind) and warming it up to pack for his lunch. Other items in his lunch....cinnamon poptarts, some kinda crackers and apple juice. (ewwwwwww!)
Hey..its nutrition. Just have to get past the smell! His spinach 'liking' started about 3 years ago when he was playing a game and saw Popeye eat spinach. As we wandered through the supermarket that week, I showed him Popeye's canned spinach on the shelf. He agreed to TRY it....and so it stuck! (strange how he decides to eat very specific foods)
I AM having an 'issue' with the Poptart ppl right now. Their 16 family packs are featuring NFL teams plastered on WHITE icing. Anyone who eats the frosted cinnamon poptarts knows the normal color is tan....and so I cannot buy the 'better bargain' until they get off this 'kick'. Mr M refuses to eat them for fear they will taste different (long standing visual issue with CHANGE to foods). I prepare for my day off today, I still have the obnoxious odor of spinach in my nose. I'm thinking of Fridays with dread....maybe a change from PJ's and sweats to another, more protective outfit...


Have a great weekend!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Second Verse, Same as the First

Not much changed this week in school for Mr M...he still has the same 'complaints'. I know he CAN advocate to some teachers on what going on...but others have a past history of 'poo poo-ing' off what he says. Yes...we would all love to have the coping skills to deal with continual verbal crap from someone else....but lets be real here....I sometimes have trouble with that one! *insert trout slaps for when I didn't hold my tongue*
Given the problem he is solution (or current option) is to email the case manager and hope he passes on what I am saying. The fact that the Special Ed teacher is not even staying to make sure 2 special ed kids are doing ok is not right to begin with...secondly..this kiddo has cause problems in the past with Mr M. Yes, its all verbal (at the moment), but I feel a storm brewing....and Mr M may get frustrated enough to take it to the next level. Doesn't happen often...but when it does...look out!
I also am feeling the need to either meet a few reg ed teachers...or make some phone calls. I know Mr M has study skills class last period and does a majority of his work then....but I don't want him to fall behind or mismanage a larger project that they may be working on. No organizational skills often means missed or incomplete projects. For Mr R...we had the reg ed teachers forward any upcoming projects to his study hall teachers. She helped him to break the assignment down into 'workable' parts.....and set goals for completion. This was very effective....and I'm thinking of suggesting it to Mr M's team.
Anyway...I'm feeling a distinct 'here we go again' about school this year for Mr M. With the social pieces as well as the work level of 10thgrade.
Hope everyone has a great weekend and all are safe from the current hurricane and its affects. We're in for cool temps and showers....just normal stuff for this time of year here in the north.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Anxiety of turning 18...Selective Service

This past June we had the most JOYOUS occasion to celebrate the graduation of my middle son, Mr R. After struggling for years to get a decent education...he managed to pull off what even I had doubts about. Sure, there are things I KNOW he did not accomplish (and the schools passed him anyway)...but basically he knows what he needs to know to move on with his life.
Mr R actually turned 18 in the beginning of his Senior year....and thankfully he had the brains to stay in school and finish (unlike some who turn 18). I'm VERY proud of this kiddo!
Selective Service was one of THOSE issues for us. We knew by Law he had to register...but I'll be slapped if I would allow him to register BEFORE finishing school. So we waited....and he just register this past month. TONS of anxiety with this lil process. He's functional enough that he HAS to....and functional enough that he realizes what it means. I did a bit of checking to see if someone with a dx of mental health disorders has to...guess what...YEPPERS!
found this article on
Question: Must Autistic Teens Register for Selective Service?
Parents may feel that their son with an autism spectrum diagnosis should be exempt from the American military, and from selective service registration. But it's not that easy.
Answer: Unless a young man is institutionalized, homebound, or "in such a physical or mental condition that he would not comprehend the nature of his registration with the Selective Service System," he is required to register with Selective Service. Here is how the military discusses the issue:
Virtually all men must register with Selective Service. The exceptions to this rule are very few and include: nonimmigrant aliens on student, visitor, tourist, or diplomatic visas, men on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, and cadets and midshipmen in the Service Academies and certain other U.S. military colleges. All other men must register upon reaching age 18 (or before age 26, if entering and taking up residence in the U.S. when already older than 18).
Disabled men, clergymen, and men who believe themselves to be conscientiously opposed to war must register because there is no draft in effect, nor is there a program to classify men at this time. Should the Congress and the President reinstate a draft, a classification program would begin. Registrants would be examined to determine suitability for military service, and they would also have ample time to claim exemptions, deferments, or postponements. To be inducted, men would have to meet the physical, mental, and administrative standards established by the military services. Local Boards would meet in every American community to determine exemptions and deferments for clergymen, ministerial students, and men who file claims for reclassification as conscientious objectors.
The only process now in effect is that men between the ages of 18 and 26 register with Selective Service and keep their registration record current during that period. Neither the Military Selective Service Act nor the Presidential proclamation provide an exemption from registration because of a man's mental or physical condition unless Selective Service is provided with documented evidence that the man is hospitalized or institutionalized, home-bound and unable to function outside the home, with or without physical assistance, or is in such a physical or mental condition that he would not comprehend the nature of his registration with the Selective Service System. A determination is then made by Selective Service as to whether or not the man qualifies for exemption from registration.
Explaining this to Mr R was a long process...but I think he understands the gist of it. His thoughts, of course, ran to the extreme (as those with OCD and anxiety do)....about the War and 'coming home in a body bag'. Makes a parent extremely anxious too...when put that way.
I suppose when its time, Mr M will have to do this to. Although, I do not really feel he will understand ANY of the process. *shrugs*
Anyone else have to deal with this? What did you all do? Did your child register? Mr R has been beating back the onslaught of recruiters since Junior year...he gets HIGHLY emotional when he gets calls from I intervene. He ditched every single piece of mail that comes from them....and refuses to speak to them on the phone.
I, being a Veteran myself, certainly understand civic duty....but I think there needs to be more options for those with special mental health concerns.
PS...happy MOANDAY! :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First week is over!

Well...first week of school for Mr M is over...without too many 'issues'. I suppose the new wake up time is probably his biggest transition (as well for me!) Again this year he's 50% mainstreamed in Reg education classes. His biggest 'peeve'...he says the first day of school:

Mr M: "I have that 'news' thing to do again for History class this year, every day!"
Mom: "Current events?"
Mr M: "Whatever you want to call it, yea...that stuff"

*shrugs* Mr M has no interest in what's going on in the real this is not easy for him. Every night we scan the newspaper looking for something for him to relate to. So far we've covered the closing of the State Fair (he loves reading the stats), a picture with a caption of the National convention (Rep and Dem mascots riding Segways *sp?*), and a gardening article about White Oaks (he loved the fall picture). Finding that he can take more interest in reading the article if it has some kind of picture with it (visual skills are his strongest asset, of course). Anyway..hopefully as with other things he will get used to the idea of the assignment.

Other stuff...PCA will return next week at least 2 days a week after school. I think this will bring back some 'norm' for him as he had her 3 days a week during the summer. She too return to school (she's a para at another school) for Autistic students.

Ahhh Sophomore wonders what other things that will bring to the mix this year Picture day is Tuesday...boy, they really don't wait long do they?

Been busy with work and kinda been 'nesting' lately. Maybe its the change in temp....but feel like getting some house stuff done before winter hits. Also, lots of paperwork and phone calls to make up for the last few weeks of not doing much but 'relaxing'. Pre-wedding and post wedding 'whew's*.....time to get back into the swing of it, I suppose.

Some Frugal Friday stuff (from my other blog) that got away from me yesterday:
*** certain KMart stores are offering double coupon deals from 9/4 to 9/8. *gee..double coupons USED to be everywhere* Call your local Kmart to see if they are participating.
*** Great deal at Target this past week (good thru 9/6). Buy 4 products (I stocked up on poptarts and cheezits) and get an INSTANT $5 gift card at the register. YES, coupons are also accepted. GREAT deal for someone like me who buys these things every other day (Mr M's foods of the month issues)
*** Also heard 'thru the grapevine' some of the Dollar stores are having 90% off certain items (toys, stuffed animals bookmarks, DVD's etc) This started the last week in August so there might not be much left at this point. Perfect for those who are looking for early stocking stuffers or 'care packages' type things.

Have a great weekend. (I'm working again today). Will try to make some BLOGGY rounds tomorrow *day off!*

DES <>

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Life in Rewind...but catching up!

Hey all!
Haven't completely fallen off the earth....just needed some time to get through some difficult things in life. It's been awhile since I've been here, but hope to get back to normal soon. (yea...normal is a stranger to me, anyway!)
Lots of things have happened since January (last post) eldest son moved in with us so that he could get HIS life straightened out. Oh boy...that didn't go so well. But a parent is a matter what age they are, you try to give them all the help you can and still let them steer their own course. *shrugs* As of June, he only pops in and out now...which has left us with great sighs of relief. Tough love is not easy....but closure is necessary.
In June, Mr R graduated (hears a chorus of something singing!) YAY! He's still working at the grocery store and doing well. He's looking to move on from there, but we still don't have his license (which kind keeps where he can work, limited). Our problem is we don't have a car he can drive to get the license (we all drive sticks...he can't manage it!). Hoping this fall will bring some solutions to that problem. In the interm....he's doing well and happy NOT to be going to school this September. His plan is to work a bit in different fields to see what he really wants to do before checking out Tech schools etc. Wise plan in my book....too many jump into college with no knowledge of what they actually want to study. Hmmm...he's a planner like moi? LOL!
June through kicked into home repair mode. Homeowner insurance decided we needed to get things 'fixed up' at the ole farm. Ehm! So we did what other with old farms do....we did it ourselves. At our age....this was a real task. Roofing, painting, and new deck railings....oh ouch (my aching bones). NOT recommended for us middle age folks...but its done! Looks great!
Back in dearest love (been together for about 8 years now) asked me to marry him! We decided it was time.....and wanted to make sure the kiddos wouldn't lose any of their services (waivers, pca etc)....and got the go ahead. Only insurance will change is mine. plans went underway. DIY style! (huge task) We always wanted to get married at the Renaissance Festival (which is kinda how we met) but didn't want the kids to have to endure the issues of the 'rules' of the one here. We decided to do a Medieval/Renaissance wedding here at the house. From costumes, food , decor and officiant....plans were furiously being made.
August 16, 2008, the King and I married. What a beautiful day....what precious memories we will have forever.
And so...with September around the corner. ONE child returning to school (my sophomore, Mr M). My job will begin picking up pace (all hail the influx of Halloween cards and crap)...and preparing for the pre-Christmas set ups.
Alot of staffing changes coming for Mr M.....some of which may be very difficult for him. We've been extremely lucky with all our Autism services....but we all know at some point staff may decide to leave for bigger/better pastures. We are grateful for the time they give our family and wish them all the best. Our challenge is coming....adjusting him to new ppl and rebuilding the 'trust' he had with his old staff. School is starting as teachers, old 'nasty' bullies, new friends.....and new topics of study. *takes a deep breath* BUT....I will only have ONE IEP to deal with from now on (ohhhhhh doing the happy dance on that account)!!!!!
Anyway...will try to keep up with blogging. I miss reading everyone's news...and hope to catch up soon.
Till then,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not quite back yet...

Nope...haven't completely left the blogging world...just juggling a few new things in life. After the back issues in August, I've been busy seeking new employment that doesn't involve lifting 100-200 lb ppl every day (nursing field). I found a new job at the beginning of December for a major Card/gift wrap retailer....very major company. I'm the retail merchandiser for a local store for this company...and am LOVING the change. Not only do the hours work for me (and the boys schedule) but I'm covered in 'glitter' versus other things *grin*.

Life is moving in fast fwd....not sure where the entire month of December went. Guess that's less month of winter to get through *thinking positive aren't we* What did happen in December?

New job, new grandchild (girl...4 lbs 11oz) to go along with the other 2 grandaughters! (how many princess's does that make, btw ; ) Eldest is deep into issues....helping him stay focused so that he can get this mess straightened out (soon hopefully). My two Princes at home....Mr R is still learning to drive....and working his job at the local market. He also made A honor roll first quarter (whether or not the school allows kids with IEP's to be on it..PPPFTT). A 3.58 grade average is NOTHING to ignore *trout slaps for some schools*. Mr M is busy with his latest obsessions...Insaniquarium for PC, his new DS lite and driving Mom insane with his 'need to have a plan' ways. His IEP came up before Christmas....I sent it back 'denied'....I am done playing! *steam*

Learning to time manage here with the job, kids appts and social schedules. I'm loving it all...and am not complaining about much lately. I don't have time to post alot....but that will all fall into place (as the holiday rush slows). Valentine's stuff is my latest product...OH boy the GLITTER! LOL! hoping to find a bit more time for keeping up with everyone. Thank you for your kind comments and emails.

As always...