Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer School....

Summer school ended yesterday, but I haven't had a chance before to post about here goes!

I was prepared to have 15 students---10 who were 5 or 6 years old and 5 that were 3 to 4 years old. Well, the most I had at any one time was 7 students! And they were 3 to 5 years old. Therefore, I had to revamp my plans....I lowered my academic expectations and worked more on social skills and small/gross motor skills.

I still did my ocean unit, but I focused more on being able to identifying the animal or plant and not memorizing facts about it. With a small group, I was able to take them into the teachers' small office and look the animals up on the computer. By doing this, my students were about to see several pictures of each animal and even videos of walruses wrestling with each other! Those were things that I hadn't planned on showing them and couldn't have shown them as well with a large group of students.

My small class was also able to ride bikes at recess. We had one trike at school and my assistant brought her daughter's 3 bikes. So on days when we only had 3 or 4 kids they got to practice their bike-riding skills. This was very useful for two students in particular. One little boy didn't know how to pedal (he's 3 1/2 and developmentally delayed). And a 4 year old girl had trouble balancing even with a trike. They enjoyed it and improved their motor skills as well.

Another thing that we got to do with a small group was walk to the park near the Ohio River. I had permission from each student's parents to go on "walking field trips". Our little playground (used to be a parking lot) has no equipment other than 2 basketball goals and a funnel ball so going to the park was a real treat. The park has a slide, swings (even 2 for the little guys), monkey bars and teeter-totters not to mention grass to run in and a view of the river. They LOVED it! They played together better down there than anywhere else. Plus, they got to see boats and barges. We saw three barges and three boats in one day! It was a new experience to some of them.

Our local field trips included the library, the post office, the animal shelter and the fire station. I'm glad we got to go to each of them, but the animal shelter and the fire station were my favorites (and the kids' too I think).

The trip to the animal shelter was an adventure! We went to the park right after lunch because it's about 1/4 of the way to the shelter. I had a wagon so the kids could take turns riding, plus we could put our donations in it instead of carrying them. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of what we donated! Anyway the shelter was quite a walk, but we had an air conditioned building waiting for us......or so I thought. We arrive at 12:50 for our 1:00 tour...but the doors are locked and there's a sign saying they'll be back between 1:00 and 2:00! So, hoping they'd be there soon, we go back to a grassy patch behind the shelter to sit in the shade. I call the school's custodian (thank God for cell phones!) to bring us some drinks. We start rolling the ball back and for (we were going to donate it to the dogs). We get drinks and FINALLY Tiffany shows up to give us a tour! It's a no kill shelter I learn....GREAT! Tiffany shows us around. They have a kitchen, a room to bathe the animals, seperate rooms for male and female cats, the kitten room. Then we see where all the dogs are kept. It's a very nice faciility. She lets the kids pet two kittens and a puppy. The puppy was a black and white lab/golden retriever mix. Tiffany told us that he needed a name and that we could name him. The kids voted to name him "Snickers". We didn't make it back to school until 30 minutes before dismissal, but it was fun.

Yesterday for our last day, we went to the fire station. One man who works there has a son in my class. I was just as interested as the kids! I didn't know all the tools they used such as the tool to poke a hole in your roof. It was really neat! The kids got the opportunity to try to pick up a bag of the fireproof gear they wear. I could barely pick it up! I don't see how they can move with it on! The firemen let the kids spray one of the hoses. The summer school math class (1st - 5th graders) went to so I got pics of my nieces with it. Before we left each student got a plastic fire hat, a plastic bag w/ fire prevention tips and a bag of cotton candy.

We ended our summer school with a special guest----Spiderman! My preacher's son Daniel is 24 and has Down Syndrome. I'm good friends with his mom, Mary. She works for the same school district and was my assistant for part of the month. She mention the other day that Daniel has costumes of Batman, Spiderman, etc. And she said he'd dress up for the last day if that was okay with me. I said sure because the boys all love Spiderman. They had a ball! Each of them got a picture taken with him....all except the three year old...he was scared! Poor little guy loves Spiderman, but seeing him in person was too much.

All in all, I'm really pleased with how the month went. I had fun, but I'm glad for the next month off!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Busy Week!

Lots of news for the blog today. I took my mom to the doctor Monday and he sent her to the hospital for double pneumonia. She went in Monday night and didn't get out until yesterday morning. She's anemic and had to get two units of blood as well. I've been going to work each day and to the hospital each evening for 4 or 5 hours. She was sent with orders that she's not to be left home alone because they are afraid she will fall and break a bone. Today was my last day teaching summer school so I will be home Monday through Friday for the rest of the month with a few exceptions to help her. My brothers and SIL are going to help out. I'm going to take a couple Saturdays off from Wal-Mart...I have nearly 67 sick hours that I can use. I have to miss 2 days to use sick hours for one day and I already called in last week so I'm calling in tomorrow. Mom needs someone with her and I need a break from Wal-Mart!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention her nurse's aid the other night....his name was Billy and he's about 25. He reminds me of George from Grey's Anatomy for some reason. He was her nurse's aid a couple years ago too. When she first learned his name was Billy, she told him that she has a son named Billy. He walked out of the room, and she says to me: "I wish my Billy was that sweet!" Billy the nurse's aid replies: "I heard that!"

On a happier note, my car is healthy again! Well, as healthy as a 23 year old rusty Chevy can be! :) I didn't get to take it in until yesterday since Mom was in the hospital all week. As I'm coming into the shop, Vince says "well, there she is!" like they were wondering what took me so long to get back....or maybe they thought I decided to go back to the IN shop. I tell them about Mom. Then I tell them the IN shop's explanation for the wire running across the front of the car. Robby (who'd helped put the radiator in) said that I wouldn't have made it a half mile w/o the fan being hooked up, much less used the car for 6 months without a problem. Roger adds that the thermostat had just been replaced in October too. Then he asks me where my sister lives....he's seen my brothers, but not her (he went to school w/ my brother Billy)....see what I mean about these guys being like family? Actually, I trust Dave (the owner) and his mechanics more with my car than I trust my own brothers with it.

I've been a regular customer ever since I started driving and my dad was a regular customer when Dave's dad owned the place. They've had plenty of chances to "put the screws" to me, but have always treated me fair. A couple years ago, I was in a town about 30 miles away when thought I saw a little puff of smoke come out from under the hood. Then my radio and turn signals stopped first I thought the smoke must have been my imagination and I'd just blown a fuse. So I keep driving towards home.....then my gas gauge startes to 3/4 of a tank of gas now appears to be 1/4...and DROPPING! I had no cell phone at the time, so I stop at a gas station 15 miles from home and call to tell my mom that I'm on my way home and that if I don't show up within a half hour to send someone looking for me. I didn't know what was going...I figured that the wiring was causing the turn signals and radio to fail, but I didn't know about the gas gauge. I thought the wiring was completely shot and it would costs hundreds of dollars to repair, if it could be repaired. I took it in the next day because they had already closed. When I went back to pick it up, I was prepaired to spend at least $300. Anyone wanna guess how much it cost? Anybody? Well, just let me say that I nearly fainted when they told me.......It was only $30.xx!!! All it was was a $5 ground wire! They could have made a bundle off of me that day, but they were honest.

Well back to the present, today's repair was $112.52 which was cheaper than I expected and that was with an oil change. And it was because of the IN shop's mistakes! According to Vince, when the carburator was rebuilt the fan relay was broken and the wire was put on to bypass it. The car wouldn't turn off because of the fuel intake taking in too much gas which had to do with the carburator being rebuilt.... *sigh* I knew I should have went with my first instinct and left the IN shop as soon as I saw the new mechanics and new signs! That's exaclty what I told Dave when I paid the bill today. He shook my hand, said that I've been a customer for years, thanked me for my business, and gave me a business card with the Ky shop info on it as well as his own cell phone number. I told him that I would have never went to the IN shop if I had known that it wasn't his anymore. I asked him if the other guys told him that I literally left his ex-wife's shop and came to his. He said they did and he thought his ex-wife's mechanics would have treated me better than they did. He asked me to help spread the word that his shop's now only in KY, the same guys are there and they can do twice as much as the IN shop. I told him that I would and assured him that being 8 miles away from my house (instead of 2 blocks) wouldn't mean he'd lose my business. We talked for a few more minutes and I mentioned that I felt bad for his kids. I don't think it's ever easy being a child of divorce no matter how old you are (they are 19-26)...but to be in a business with your mom that's in competition with your own dad? I don't know anything about why they divorced, but I wouldn't want to be in their kids' shoes. To top it off, the oldest daughter just got married last fall and she's already getting divorced! What I didn't tell him is that I felt really bad for him as well as his kids. He lost his wife, half of his business and I'm sure the relationship with the three kids must be best. I don't know how to explain it....have you ever just felt a strong need to pray for someone and you're not exactly sure why? Well this is how I've felt for the last week or two. I don't know if it's for Dave, his kids, the ex-wife or all of them! I guess the best thing is do is pray for them all!

Oh, the best news of the week! I just found out a couple hours ago that one of my best friends (met her at my first birthday party!) is expectly her 4th child!! Her kids are 15, 12, and 10 so this is a little suprise!

Moral of this long rambling post: Don't take the people in your life for granted...whether it's your mama, your siblings, your best friends, good hospital employees, or knowlegable honest mechanics!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Car update....

I finally got my car back this morning! I told them yesterday that I had to have it today to get to work at Wal-Mart. Well, I ended up not going to work because my mom was not feeling well so the plan was to get the car, try it out a bit and run by CVS to pick up some milk and ice. The car ran much better! :) Then I got to CVS and went to shut the car off.....but it wouldn't shut off. :( This had nothing to do with the new mechanics or the work I'd had done. I've been through this before....three other times...the ignition switch again!! AAARRGG! I just had it replaced in October and my regular mechanic said if it did it again they'd have to check in the steering column to see why it was failing. So off I go to find Roger at the KY shop.

I'd never been to this garage..just driven by it. It's big! I drive up and get out. I can hear guys in the bays working on cars. I go into the front door and no one is around so I head to the door that connects to the bays. I stick my head in and see Roger changing tires on a truck. I yell to him, "I think I need another ignition switch!" He follows me outside and tries to shut it luck at first. Then he pulls the key out and finally it shuts off. He calls another mechanic out and discuss whether or not it could be something in the steering column.

Sometime during all this Roger asks me if the shop in IN (where he used to be) sent me over. I told him no and that I'd just came from getting my carburator rebuilt. He asks if I know that they aren't afiliated with the IN shop anymore. I tells him yes and that's why I'm there, I want my car worked on by people who are familiar with it. I also mention that my pastor had just come to them to fix something that was done incorrectly over at the IN shop. He says they have enough people working there (at his shop) that if one of them can't figure it out another one will. He also tells me that I've had the car forever and need a new one.....I respond with "well, my birthday was last month!" After he shows me how to shut it off with the key, he pops the hood to show me what to do if that doesn't work. Then I see a wire stretching from one side of the car to the other. I point it out to Roger and tell him that it wasn't there before the IN shop had worked on it. He said it went to the fan and it was "rigged". The other guy mentions that it would cause my fan to run all and could ruin the fan. They did agree that at least the carburator looked clean. Roger advised me to go ask them why they rigged the wire. I made arrangements to bring the car back later this week to get the steering column checked out.

Next, I go to the shop where the car was all week. When I asked them about the purpose of the wire, they made it sound harmless. I was told that it was a secondary wire. They said that when my radiator was put in last October the fan wasn't connected which was why my car was overheating. Hmmmm.....I didn't agree or disagree simply because I don't want to have them keep my car another week to fix anything else. But I was thinking......if the fan wasn't hooked up wouldn't I have had problems in November when I went on a trip that was 100 miles each direction? I know that it wasnt' HOT in November, but it wasn't cold yet either. I never had trouble with it until a few weeks ago and although it was very hot out, it was less than a ten mile drive.

Oh well, I'll just ask Roger later this week if it needs to be redone immediately or if I can wait on it. They must have just done a quick fix since I needed it early Saturday.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Well, I wrote earlier about the local garage where I've done business my whole driving life changing owners (the ex-wife got it and all the mechanics are new). I took it down on Monday to get my carburator rebuilt.........and they aren't finished yet. I've called daily since Tuesday to check on it and thought it would be done by yesterday. They had to order a gasket and the wrong one was sent, so that was an extra day. Today I was told that they were still working on it because the idle was too high and some vacuum hoses (I think that was it) were cracked and had to be replaced. AAAAAARRRGGGG! I want them to fix it right, but a week with no car is driving my crazy! I would feel much more at ease if one of my regular mechanics were working, but I don't know this new crew....and they don't know my car. Most of them probably weren't even born in 1985 when the car was new!

When my oldest brother found out they were still working on it, he said that the former owner could have had it done in a day and that these guys were "wannabes". He didn't realize that the former owner's kids are now running it. I told him that his friend's son was also working there. He said "well, he's a half-@$$ mechanic". I replied, "I need a real mechanic, not half of one!"

I'm trying really hard not to be critical of the new mechanics...really I am. I'd just feel better if they had more experience. To make matters worse, my pastor took his truck there about two weeks ago to get some type of sensor replaced. It worked fine for about a week. Last Thursday, he and his wife were going to go shopping about an hour away from here. About 3/4 of the way there, the truck started shimmying badly. They took it to the shop in KY which is owned by the guy who USED to own the shop my car's at (and that's where my regular mechanics are too) because they had had good experiences when he owned the IN shop. Well, apparently when the sensor was replaced two wires were crossed causing one to melt. They paid the shop in KY $60 to fix the new shop's mistake. They were afraid to take it back to the IN shop. I found all this out Monday afternoon AFTER I had already taken my car to the new shop. I hope I don't have to pay "stupid tax" and have my regular mechanics fix anything.

I'm just praying that it's ready tomorrow and everything repaired correctly! From now on I'm going to go the extra 10 miles or so and get my car worked on by my regular mechanics.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday's cherry-picking.......

I had some good cherry picking trips Sunday!

First, Wal-Mart:

1 18 lb bag Purina One dry dog food (Reg. $19.24) Comp= $16.99 - $2 Q
1 pk Depends for my mom (REg. 12.99) Comp= 10.99 - $2 Q
2 14.2 oz Head and Shoulders shampoo (Reg. 4.46 each) Comp=$3 Each BOGO Q
2 13.x oz H&S conditioners (Reg. 4.46 each) Comp= $3 each BOGO Q
2 Pledge multi-surface wipes 25 pks (reg. $4.48?) Comp= 2/$7 - 75cent Q
2 Pledge aerosols $3.72 each (didn't comp bc w/ my discount no comp=
less $) - BOGO for each multi-surface wipe pack.
Before Q's my bill was $58.xx, after Qs OOP= $39.xx!

Next stop--CVS!

1 Revlon mineral foundation = 13.99 - 2Q
1 Revlon lipstick = 7.99= BOGO free - $2Q and 3CVS Q
4 2 liter Diet Cokes Bogo free = 4/$3.38
2 twin pack Lysol disenfecting wipes $3.49 each - 2 75 cent Q
2 Almay mascara = 6.99 each - 2 $1Q
1 Olay spf 30 = 14.99 - 1Q
1 Olay daily facials = 5.99 - 1Q
used 2 4/20, 1 5/30, 24.99 ECBs

Total OOP = $11.10 and that included $1 to ALS!
got 20 ECBs back!

Now I have enough pledge, Head and Shoulders, mascara and lysol wipes to last quite awhile! I love my stockpile!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Changes are everywhere....

I posted a couple weeks ago about life changing. Since then I've realized that my small town has gown through a few changes in the past six months. As anyone who's lived in a small town knows, family owned and operated businesses are special. Well three of my little town's businesses are changing. The first occurred in Feburary when the local used car salesman (also owned rental housing and the town's towtruck operation) passed away of a heart attack. My dad bought cars there from 1990 to 1996(Dad died in 1997, I'm still driving the last car). My sister-in-law had just purchased a van from him just days before he passed away----my mother joked with her that she caused the heart attack when she gave the man $1100 cash to finish paying for the van. The man's wife is now running the business from what I understand.

The next change hasn't really taken effect yet. I noticed a few weeks ago that the local convience store is up for sale. Tom has owned it all my life. It started as only a gas station/garage combination back when they actually had someone fill the tank for you and clean the windshield. It's going to strange to have it owned by someone else....makes me wonder what changes will be made with a new owner.

Now to really the whole reason I picked this topic to blog about.....the local tire store/garage has made a huge change. Dad had gotten tires, oil changes and just about any regular car maintenence taken car of at this shop which is conveniently located just a couple blocks down the street. I've never had a real complaint there...just a couple minor disagreement with new mechanics that didn't know me or my car. The garage has been around as long as can I can remember and the man who started the business has since retired and has passed it down to his son "D". It's grown a lot...they added three or four bays on to the garage. Also bought some land across the highway to build "X's Car Care" where they do oil changes etc. A few years ago, they built another garage across the Ohio River in Kentucky just ten or so miles away.

Well, Wednesday I went down to the closest garage (where I normally go to) to schedule an appointment to get my carburator replaced/ or rebuilt. I walked in expecting to see Roger or Robbie who are the main mechanics. Instead, I find a few younger guys none of whom I recognize....then I notice a new paper sign hanging up saying "Please make checks payable to "XXX Auto". I'm taken aback thinking some big chain I've never heard of has taken over the family business that I've used so much that they feel like MY family. Then I see "E" the owner's daughter....and breathe a sigh of relief. If the family place had been sold, I reason, she wouldn't still be there would she? So I make an appointment.

At work Wednesday, I discover that "D" and his wife have divorced. "D" got the shop in KY and his ex-wife now owns the shop in IN. I guess she was pretty much managing it since the KY shop was built because she was always around and he wasn't. The new name is their 20-something year old kids' initials. That made me feel better about taking my car there since it's still in the family, but these people don't know my car like Roger and Robbie do. I just already know I don't like change! It just seems strange that the ex-wife get the main garage that was built by his dad...To top it off the son and eldest daughter (don't know about the younger daughter) work for her at the IN shop. I feel like I'm picking sides. I'm taking the car in to the "XXX auto" tomorrow to have the carburator rebuilt. I figure if nothing else, this should make the business even better because if customers aren't happy at "XXX Auto", they'll go to the dad's shop only 10 miles away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


On June 5, I started a draft about CVS and my addiction to it. I just got back to finish it today with todays hound instead of last weeks....and it's posted on June
5th instead of today's date.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What is your biggest money wasting pet peeve?

I saw this on the message board and thought it would be a good post for my blog.

In my house it's my elderly mother, me and 9 furbabies! However, my brother and his family are here a lot and lived with us for about 8 months last year.

Here's my list:

Mom---none, she's pretty good about turning things off and not being wasteful....when she does leave something on (her oxygen machine) when she's not using it, I understand why (hard for her to reach).

My nieces (7,8, & 9 yrs. old) change clothes multiple times a day. They toss things in the laundry that aren't dirty. Leave the shower running a stream. Don't turn the TV or lights off in the basement (TV room) when they leave. Use FIVE FEET of toilet paper to wipe lipstick off a 7 yr. old mouth---not to mention how much they use for the other use! Not closing the front door. Having their mom fix them an extra meal for supper and then not eating all of it. Using two cups of milk in a bowl of cereal and then leaving most of the milk!

Brother/SIL--- leaving all the lights and TV/stereo on. Using 2x the amount of laundry soap needed. Fixing the kids plates w/ more food than they will eat. SIL (bc bro doesn't do dishes) using too much dishwashing liquid and the dishes still have to be rewashed (by me!). Brother uses at least 3 feet of TP to blow his nose--once! Using so much milk in the kids' cereal---SIL once told me that I didn't use enough and "they'll break their teeth on it"! What the heck???--it's sugar puffs, not gravel! Opening the windows and leaving them open---I didn't even know that the windows in the basement OPENED!

Me--have to include myself to be fair! Falling asleep w/ TV, computer and light on. Buying fruit and then not eating all of it.

Cats---throwing up on the clean quilt twice in one week! Throwing up in general and 2 of them pooping outside the box if it's not sparkleing clean---that's why I use so much Bounty!

Dog---not eating her food when it has her arthritis medicine in it (especially when the med was $2 a pill). :(

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ok, I'll Admit it, I Have an Addiction...........

to CVS! I LOVE that place. I wish I'd discovered it years ago instead of just 4 short months ago.

I did a silly wabbit thing today! I went to CVS without my Qs! I'd been so worried about taking my car to the repair shop all day that I forgot to grab the Q organizer this morning. Oh well, I only bought one thing that I had a Q for anyway and that was Mom's ensure (purchased seperately w/ her checkbook). Luckily, I carry all my ECBs in my purse--this time in my cell case, but still in the purse. I was excited to scan my card on the little red machine and got 2 $4 off $20 Qs, $1 off any hand or body lotion and $3 off Revlon! Here's how I did w/ purchases:

4 12pk Diet Coke 4/11
1 smart rinse 3.49
1 oral b double pk toofbrush 6.99
1 cvs bandages 1.99
$23.47 before 7% taxes

used 4/20 and 18.47 ECBs

OOP= $1.07!!! and got 15.47 back in ECBs!

Yikes, that's almost as good as $40 of Revlon + 3 Dawn for $1.66 and 20 in ECBs (I think that was Mother's Day).

I'll have to go back on Friday (payday) to try to do the GM cereal sale. They were about out today anyway.

According to my last reciept from CVS, I've saved (since Feb. when I started shopping there)...........$757.33! That's not counting the $31.63 I saved today.........$788.96 all together. WOW! Because of CVS (and the GC hounds)I know have a big stockpile of things....such as 10 boxes of haircolor, 4 or more deodorants, numerous toothbrushes, bandaids....and about 12 jars of Ragu!