Friday, November 29, 2019

There's always "something"

I went on a spending diet several months ago. I have needed new roller skates for a while now, but I couldn't justify it, when I had things I needed to take care of for the kids and some outstanding credit card debt that I was trying to wipe out. So I cut out everything I could.

I simply quit spending money on myself and started looking at ways to source things I needed from our town's Freecycle (a microwave and a yoga mat) and also learned how to do some basic repairs around the house, like fixing a door handle and a faucet. (I wound up giving away a lot of stuff on Freecycle, too...I think my mindset about "stuff" just changed.)

I knocked off the credit card debt more than two months ago, so theoretically, I was ready to buy the skates. But then it was just one thing after another, every financial surprise I looked at as a setback to getting my skates. A $2,000 car repair, a $450 car repair, a goof up on an airline ticket that cost me $200 for the change fee, a steep monthly increase in car insurance, because my kids' cars aren't garaged at home anymore, new hockey equipment (no, I didn't realize you needed new shoulder pads and gloves), etc.

I quit the gym, I cut back on supplements, I canceled my hair salon appointment and went on the do-it-yourself plan... I didn't even consider the nail salon, because it's something I haven't been doing for quite some time anyway.

Every time I got close to thinking I could order my skates, a new expense popped up.

"It's always SOMEthing!" I lamented.

And Christmas...I am trying so hard to be sensible about gifting...but there is still money that is getting spent, and another airline ticket to purchase.

Well, roller derby tryouts are a month from now. My derbyversary is coming up and I've been wearing the same skates for two years, my "beginner" skates.

I ordered the new skates.
There will always be SOMEthing. My new skates are SOMEthing. I'll just figure out a way to pay for them like I figure out everything else. (The way I timed it, I'll have until January 10 to figure it out.)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Mother's Bangers

My youngest told me I could make a playlist on his Spotify after I introduced him to "Whatever" by Godsmack.

(He later clarified that "bangers" doesn't necessarily mean it is all head-banging music, which is why there is also Gloria Gaynor (who he discovered on his own) and Fleetwood Mac ("Oh well") in addition to the above-mentioned Godsmack, and Pantera ("Cemetery Gates"), etc.)

So, I told him he could pair his device with my car.

We spend a lot of time in the car together (driving to and from baseball fields and ice rinks).

Car time in itself with your kid can be really good (those final 40 hours of parent-supervised driving...kinda bittersweet), but ***when they are willing to listen to your music***...I can see this as a conduit for me getting a lot of messages across to him that he may be more willing to hear from somebody else singing than me just saying.

P.S. we are not allowed to listen to "mother's bangers" at the bus stop, to which I sometimes drive him when he's running late or the weather's bad, because it's pretty far away from our house.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

A tale of two chairs (three, actually)

This is a picture of my "new" chair. I saw it on the side of the road and it didn't dawn on me until I passed it that hey, I need an office chair.  Since I was listening to a good song on the radio and didn't specifically have to be back home (but did have a few things I needed to do before I returned to the ice rink to pick up my son from work), I had time, I told myself. Plus, it will fit in the car I am driving! (It is my husband's SUV -- my car has been in one shop or the other for the past week: first to get a ding fixed that happened when someone at my son's college backed into my car when my son was using it because his car was in the shop and second to get the driver's seat back on track. It had become derailed when I backed it up over a baseball. Body shop and mechanic respectively.)

I drove around the block and pulled over near the chair. I picked it up, carried it over to level ground, and sat in it. I felt around under the seat to find the little lever that changes the seat height and raised it all the way up and swung my feet just as someone drove by. A quick flash of embarrassment made me feel self-conscious momentarily, until I realized that the benefit of getting a new office chair without spending money outweighed what anyone thought of me (or what I imagined they thought of me...who knows -- maybe they thought was, "What a clever, frugal woman, and not too proud to accept someone else's castoffs as her own treasure.") I wanted to make sure it worked before I brought it home, unlike the microwave, but that's a story for another time.

Just a week and a half ago, I got rid of my old office chair along with my regular weekly trash pick up. It was only $7 to haul it away. It was a great chair. It used to heat up and vibrate (cheap version of a massage chair), until the dog chewed through the electronics. Then it became just another office chair. Then it wore out.

I have been using a dining chair at my desk for several weeks, a couple of months, even. My back hurts ALL the time, no matter how many yoga stretches I do and I don't know -- is it because I am stressed out with my new (old) role at work (it's what I used to do before I got laid off and came back as a contractor) or literally the fact that it is a dining room chair and yeah, maybe good to sit in for an hour while you're having a meal, but all day...maybe not so good.

I am not sure how long that chair has been broken and sitting in the "front room," which has been kind of a catch-all for all things crap that Mom needs to deal with, and where I worked for several years, starting with the time that we had three houseguests staying in the family room where I worked at one of the built-in desks. But, now that I am Webexing multiple times a day, I need a room with a door. I moved my party up to my oldest son's room since he's at college. I am not 100% sure what I will do when he's home for winter break. I could work in the basement where there's another built-in desk, but the scenery in that area is not something I'd like to show on Webex: workbench, punching bag, unfinished room.

So now, once I get the side-of-the-road chair cleaned up, it will be as good as new -- without spending any money, because a) I am on a spending diet and b) who has any extra money during the holidays anyway?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Scaling back to end my writer's paralysis

"There's nothing wrong with realizing that WordPress is simply more than you need and discovering the love of simplicity that Blogger brings to the table." 

I read that yesterday on "15 Minute Mondays."

Moments later I was converting my XML export from my self-hosted WordPress site so I could upload it here onto Blogger. I was going to just upload it to a "free" WordPress site, but I am not sure that exists anymore.

WordPress, I love you, and you have helped me so much in my professional career, too, but it is time for me to scale back.

I can barely find a minute to write anything non-work-related so, I decided maybe it was a good idea to start blogging with my phone. So here I am sitting outside the hockey rink on a Saturday morning. I guess I'm not going to be able to do all that super fancy optimizing and graphics alt_text, but whatever... Get me off at bandwagon, too.
I got that fortune recently. Why I even open the cookie is beyond me, because often times I don't. In fact, I have a huge collection of fortune cookies, because we don't always eat them. And I don't think they go bad...

Well, it's just a few minutes 'til puck drop and keyword, optimization, social tile and all that be damned. I'm pressing the send button and ending my writing paralysis. ❤

(Grammarly detects the tone of this post to be "disapproving." Oops. I guess if there's anything to be disapproving about it's thinking that I have to worry about blogging the "right" way. I decided not to renew a couple of domains, too. I might even delete one of my facebook pages. Life is complicated enough. I keep thinking I'm going to write some sort of expose of my past and my childhood, anonymously, but I think I need to be okay with whatever I post being attributed to me because I don't think you can count on anything being anonymous on the internet. So there it is.)

But no one will see it

I set up the nativity in the back yard again this year. In the past it has been out front near the fire hydrant that is on our property, and...