Saturday, November 22, 2008

Woman On a Mission

K- and I hit the Village Discount Outlet yesterday afternoon on our way home from The Little Gym. I was on a mission. K- needed snow pants. Her previous snow pants had been a thrift store purchase, but we handed them down to our hand-me-down recipient, A-. That left us without appropriate wintertime apparrel. So, through near white-out conditions, we traveled to my favorite VDO. (More on the winter driving experience on Monday.) Oh, did we score! Not only did I find bibbed snow pants for K- for $3.00, but I also found a great fleece sweatshirt for me for $1.00, a hardback book for 25 cents that I will probably read (Circling My Mother by Mary Gordon), an L. L. Bean zip-up fleece for K- for $2.00 (a 10-12 and she is in 6x - 7/8 right now, but I couldn't pass it up) and the gem of gems-- a brand new game for $1.50.

I found the game Tantrix for $1.50. I grabbed it up off the shelf over K-'s head (she was distracted by a toy on the shelf below) and tucked it into my shopping basket. I knew that the box looked shelf worn, but by the condition I was betting it hadn't been opened. Guess what? It wasn't. After a bit of bargain shopping dancing, I came home to check out my new purchases. I found that the game retails new at Target for $19.99. Though aged for 8 and up, K- will be finding this in her stocking. She loves to work puzzles and we can do this one with her. We love to do games in the evenings during the winter months.

So, I skated out of the thrift for $8.25. I got great things that we can definitely use. I call it a successful trip! My husband admits that he was most impressed by the L. L. Bean coat that I found. I'm sure that in later posts, you'll find that we are an L. L. Bean family.

Any awesome bargains in your week?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Car Whoas, Oh How You Plagued Us

We had a difficult vehicle week. It started last Friday when Hubs came home without the frozen pizza that he said he was going to pick-up. Not a big deal, but why? "I had a brake line go out." Fantastic. We drove our little Tercel over to my brother's house to have him look at it. He's a mechanic by trade and bails us out on these issues. My brother was going to look at it on Saturday, but cold monsoon rains came through and he opted to nap his afternoon away instead. I stopped in after church on Sunday, helped my brother to check out exactly what seemed wrong and he had determined that our master cylinder had been the culprit. We stopped by the local car parts joint, ordered the master cylinder and waited for Monday to come.

Hubs ran K- and I to our drop off places. He ended up at my brother's place in the afternoon. Brother dear had the master cylinder all in and was ready to check out the success of his labor.

Nope. That wasn't it. Turns out, it was the brake line, it just didn't do what it was supposed to do in the way that it was supposed to do it. (And yes, that is the way that I generally speak.) Off to go buy brake line. He'll "stay up late and put it in."

Tuesday morning comes and I need to drive Hubs to his work 25 minutes away. We get into my car-- the new car-- and we have a light on. I drove as he looked the code up and it was the tire pressure sensor. We stopped in a parking lot for Hubs to check to make certain that all the tires were round and we decided to press onto the expressway exit that he needed for work. When he went to put air in the tires, he found that my front passenger tire was very low. We didn't know why, but I went ahead and drove him the rest of the way to work. When I dropped him off, I saw him bend down next to the car. Then he started laughing. It turns out that one of us managed to pick a big silver screw up in my tire. Ugh. We've had the car for 7 months. The tire isn't that old!

So there was Hubs, changing my tire in less than fantastic conditions. In the end, he was wet from the thighs down, dirty and cold. What a way for him to start work. Thankfully, he had brought extra clothes to go work on the car at my brother's house after work. He was wearing his Gortex pants, so no one would see his grubby duds. By the time I got K- to school, she was 45 minutes late. I had enough time to go home, gather lunch up and run.

I left work a half hour early to go get Hubs. It had been snowing and there is a salt shortage, shortage of plow trucks tending to the roads and I figured it would take extra time. Yup. A half hour drive took 1 full hour. It took 45 minutes to get to my brother's house. The car wasn't done. We left and went to get K-. I ended up driving for 2 hours and 45 minutes. I told Hubs that I could have driven half way to Chicago.

Wednesday came and Hubs had to be to work early. They had CPR re-certification and he needed to be there by 8 AM. We left at 7 AM and I was able to get both him and K- to their places on time, have an hour to run around home to tidy up, pack a lunch and run. I left work a half hour early again, but this time I was able to make it to him in a half hour. The car was finished once we reached my brother's house. The good news is that the brakes are fully functional again (good news anyhow, let alone with all the snow we've been getting) and that the engine light was a mis-installed air filter and not the expensive oxygen sensor that we thought. Bad news is that the battery died and the head gasket might be going. Wonderful.

So, I was still driving around with my tire hanging off the back of the RAV with a big fat screw still in it. My other brother works at Goodyear, called me in for tire rotation (they do it for free) and fixed my tire for me. Now I have a safe spare to use! Had the screw gone in differently or been a half inch over, he would have never been able to repair it.

We are so thankful that we've been able to make it through this crazy week. We've ended the week with two functioning cars back in the driveway. I consider that a major answer to prayer!

The Big Squeeze: The Collar Bone Edition

So, you would all be very glad to know that the mammogram went swimmingly well. (At least the taking of it and since it is a baseline with no family history, hopefully the results are good, too.) No pain except for the fact that y'all neglected to tell me one thing--my collar bone was stuck into the machine, too. That's not the body part that I was there to get scanned. The actual bre*ast didn't hurt, but the collar bone had this acrylic plate thingy crammed into it when they were doing the side shot. It wouldn't have been a big deal, but I noticed that my right collar bone was a little (not major but a little) sore. Then I recalled that having been the shoulder that got whipped in the accident K- and I were in March 1. (A rear-ender. We were fine, but the car was totaled.)

So why was the collar bone involved? I was talking to the lovely radiologist and she told me that basically they scan as much as possible. If they can get it in there, they will scan it. She even pulled my hair back so that it wasn't in the film. As she was posing me and tweaking me, I told her that I felt like I was on a cheesy version of America's Next Top Model, the spoon feeding edition. She couldn't help but to laugh.

In our conversation, we talked about regional differences in bre*asts. Apparently, the Houston office that she worked at had more smaller bre*asted women and more implants. The South Side of Chicago office had larger bre*asted woman. In our NE Ohio office, apparently the women smoke more and tattoo their bre*asts more often than she has seen anywhere. (For the record, I'm not in the NE Ohio description. I don't fit the South Side of Chicago description either.)

So I've done my duty. Next month I'll take care of the other business and we'll be good for another year. I got the message the other day the the girls scanned out just fine. And the collar bone? Yep, that is fine too. I guess that's what we smaller chested girls have to donate when there isn't enough to fill the machine. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In One Week

"Look at this mess, dishes everywhere and not even a 'thank you.'
I'm telling you, next year we do this at their place."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Toothbrush Hygiene

The flu season is here, or at least close! Not to be hyper spastic about germs, but I have a kid that goes to preschool and lets face it, she is a walking petri dish.

When I clean the bathroom each Thursday, I give the toothbrushes a good soak in some denture cleaner. As you can see, I buy only the best quality.

I think of the toothbrush cleaning as this. The denture cleaner gets the gunk off of false teeth, so it has to help the toothbrushes, yes? I mean, we stick the brushes into our mouths, twirl, swirl, scrub and clean with them and place them back into a cup. Those are harboring little germie ermies on them, yes?

Hubs had Rotavirus about a month ago. Since that is highly contagious and ICK! nothing any of us wanted, I started the toothbrush hygiene campaign.

Now if I could only send my child to school dipped into this fine toothbrush cleaner, maybe she'll stop catching stuff.

-- Next week's WFMW: Laundry 101.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tales from the Trenches

Ah yes, another exciting installment of Tales from the Trenches. I have to tell you that people have seemed a bit more snappy this year and a whole lot less patient than they generally are. I decided that this weeks story will be one from the archives in my brain.

The store where I work has a high ceiling above the desk with some skylights. In between the skylights we have some white closet organizer wire that we hang ornaments and whatnot from. (Sounds cheesy, but the ceiling is white and it works.) At any rate, I had just set the ceiling with all kinds of wonderful Christmas ornaments when an older lady came through (we're talking 75 years old +) and she wanted all of the little round ball ornaments to purchase. To get the items out of the ceiling, we must hop up on top of the counter. As I pulled each ornament down one by one, I asked that she hold them. She would take the item and place it down on the very countertop that I was walking on. Finally, a pretty large pile had grown and I wasn't certain of my ability to steer around them. I asked the customer, "Ma'am, if you could hold these please, that would be great. I just don't want to accidentally step on them and break them." Her response? "If you break my ornaments than I'LL BREAK YOUR ARM!" Nice. The old lady wants to break my arm for potentially and accidentally breaking her $2.00 ornaments. My response? "That's okay, I'll probably fall off the counter and do it myself anyhow."


Monday, November 17, 2008

Operation Christmas Child: Nat'l Collection Week 11/17-11/24

Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ. National Collection Week is November 17-24.

Instructions on how to pack a box are here. But, by and large the guidelines are:
Standard size shoe box. Top wrapped separately, but not necessary or a clear plastic shoe box.
Go here to download and print the label that you would need to attach to the top of the box.
No war items.
No chocolate/food items or anything out of date. (Ick! These kids are poor enough!)
No aerosol cans.
No lotions or liquids.
Double bag candy.
Bag bar soap.

When we do our box, I always like to pick the older boys. They are the ones that get the least amount of boxes because people think that they are harder to purchase for. We always put in our box:
Bar soap
Hard candy
Pop up wash cloth (You know the just add water kind.)
Glue sticks
Pencils and pens
Small toys/cars that older boys would like
Play Doh and clay
We got our box finished! Guess what looked red when I was at Walmart? Oh, that would be the lid. (I'm thinking that their lighting is weird.) At any rate, turns out that we scored an orange lid. No matter, we filled it with our goodies anyhow.
If you go to their website, they do have a listing of drop off locations. I believe that all you need to do is pop your zip code in.

I ask you to consider taking part in this mission project with your children. We've done it for years as a couple and welcomed the opportunity to do it with K-.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Big Squeeze

Okay so maybe its not the BIG squeeze, since I'm a hair above the training br*a. Tomorrow I go in for a baseline mammogram. But you know, Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer just did the same thing a few weeks ago. Oh look! I've linked to her post at Blogher. For those of us who haven't been through the squeeze yet, reading her post was helpful.

So off I go, right before work. I hope that I remember to bring my deodorant, since I'm not allowed to wear any beforehand. Oh, holiday retail, cranky folks and no deodorant. Yes, well let's hope that my memory kicks in before the stink does.