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Archive for October, 2008

Who Knew?


Photo by Eve48

Today is the anniversary of Brian and I getting engaged. We were engaged on 10/30/1999…otherwise known as Devil’s Night…or so I thought.

For the past few days, I’ve been talking about Devil’s Night to people at work, people at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast I went to yesterday, and to the people I sat with at the conference I was at today. No one said anything to me, but they all gave me a weird look. So, on a hunch, I looked up Devil’s Night on Wikipedia…I realize, not the most valid source, but hey, it’s what I had.

Guess what. DEVIL’S NIGHT IS TOTALLY A DETROIT THING!

I feel like such a newb.

So, for those of you who feel left out and want to know all about Devil’s Night, here’s the story. As a disclaimer, this is only my experience, and is not meant to be an accurate history.

In Detroit and the surrounding areas, the night before Halloween is called Devil’s Night. In olden times, it was a night when hoodlums would go out and throw eggs at windows, T.P. people’s houses (please tell me you all know what T.P.ing is), and occasionally throwing flaming bags of dog poop on that creepy old guy’s porch. This then excalated to a night of arson throughout the Metro Detroit area. I can distinctly remember driving past burning sheds and buildings when I was younger.

In recent years, the city of Detroit has tried to change this image, and have created “Angel’s Night”. They get groups of volunteers (who wear obnoxious yellow shirts) to walk around the city as a deterrent. It seems to have worked, because to the best of my knowledge, the number of arsons has gond down significantly in recent years.

So, now you know. And maybe I’ll find out more things that are “Detroit Things” or “Michigan Things”…like pop, and coney dogs……

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Small Victories


photo by ratterrell

The Boy, for the first time ever, has peed standing up. And he has pretty good aim for a newbie!

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The dog is hiding...wish I could too sometimes.

 

I’m stressed out today.  I don’t know why.  Well, that’s not true…I do know why.  I think that the upcoming election, along with the country’s economic issues, on top of Brian not being able to find a full-time job are just starting to really really wear on my nerves.  I know that I’m doing everything in my power to help fix the situation, but things like the election and the economy are just out of my hands.  I mean, I mailed in my vote for the election yesterday.  I’m trying to help Brian by sending him job leads that I come across.  And we are being careful with the money that we do have coming in (for example, we are getting new, cheaper internet service next week and cutting our cable all together…gasp!). 

But then, life happens, and despite our best efforts, we can’t control it.  For example, I’ve been having trouble with my knees, and now I have to go to physical therapy every week for the next 4 weeks, for a grand total of $75 out of my pocket.  Not a huge amount to be sure, but not what I want to spend it on, either.  And then there is my car.  The check engine light is on, so we aren’t driving it much for now, until we can afford to find out what’s wrong with it.  It’s just frustrating.  Oh yeah, and the dog had a boil on his butt earlier this week.  Didn’t cost any money, but it was stressful.

So why am I throwing all of this on the internet so that everyone can see it?  It’s an effort to purge the stress.  I just feel like if I get all of this out, I’ll feel better.  And you know what?  I think it may have worked.  So, thanks.

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Jack o’ Lanterns

Originally uploaded by Teo

I took the kids out to a farm yesterday with The Girl’s friend’s family. It was so strange for me. Being from Michigan, going hunting for the perfect pumpkin always involved at least a jacket, but more often than not, we wore hats, gloves, winter coats, and boots. Yesterday, we wore shorts and t-shirts, and were still sweating. It had to have been 100 degrees out. And there were probably 1,000 people there! It was just craziness.

That being said, we had a good time. We had some caramel apples, pet some farm animals, and the kids played on a mountain of hay bales. The Boy felt a unique bond with a llama because of the spelling of its name (for those of you who do not know us, The Boy’s first name begins with 2 L’s. That’s right, 2 of ’em. LIke a llama). We only bought some tiny pumpkins because we aren’t carving one this year, because we see no point in doing so while living in an apartment…we don’t anticipate any trick-or-treaters, and we won’t be home anyway.

After we left, I took my 2 kids and The Girl’s friend out for some frozen yogurt (shh, they think it was ice cream!) to cool off. The girls bamboozled me into buying a bigger size than they would normally have, so no one ate dinner. It’s all good though. Sometimes it’s nice to have “ice cream” for a meal. 🙂

The best part of the day, though, was bedtime. The kids were all clean from their bath, snuggled in their beds, and were sound asleep in minutes. That’s when you know you’ve had a good day!

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Photo by Eric Harmatz

Well, it’s not been a good week for the whole exercise thing. I did manage to do an hour long workout with an exercise ball and a resistance band earlier this week, and might do it again tonight, and I did walk The Girl to school once, but that’s it. I was seriously planning to do that ball and band thing right now, while the kids are napping, but then something happened (I’m not getting into the details) that really pissed me off, and now I don’t want to do anything. I am just trying to stop being so pissed.

On a different, somewhat related note, we are planning to abolish cable tv from our household in the next week or so. It’s scary, but at the same time, not. We’re keeping the internet, gaining a phone line and a netflix subscription, and still saving almost $60 per month! Take that Time Warner Cable! Also, we’re buying the converter box as soon as our coupons come in the mail, so we’ll have our regular tv as well. And, we are thinking about buying a VCR so that we can tape the few shows that we watch (because Brian works nights, and he doesn’t want to miss them). We’re going old school! Of course, if that fails, we’ll just watch the shows online like modern folk. 🙂

How is that related to exercise? I don’t know. I guess because we won’t be watching as much tv, so maybe we’ll get off our duff and play outside or something. Yeah….that’s it…

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Halloween Happiness


Photo by Yummy Pancake

First of all, I’m very excited because The Girl’s friend’s mom invited our family to go to a local farm on Sunday. I am looking forward to it, despite my allergies. I just love to see the kids when they are enjoying the simple things in life. The Girl just read this over my shoulder, and has declared that it’s weird for me to say that. Sorry Girl. Your mom is just a weirdo. Whatev’s.

Anyway, on to some links.

There have been a few blogs this week related to Halloween, which as you know is probably my favorite holiday. These two are about cheap Halloween costumes.

Rocks In My Dryer talked about it on her Works for Me Wednesday post.

Frugal Dad talks about it here.

The Girl will be a black cat this year (excuse me….she says, “LEOPARD!” My bad), which involves a black leotard, some black tights, a tail made out of a pair of old tights, and a $4 headband with LEOPARD! ears. Oh, and some eyeliner for the nose and whiskers. The Boy will once again wear his Spiderman costume, for the 2nd year. I got the thing for a quarter at a yard sale. Or he might wear the superhero mask and cape that he got at a recent Halloween party. Free is even better than a quarter!

Another post that hit home with me, is only indirectly related to Halloween. At Gather Little By Little, he talks about the feelings surrounding leaving his house. We bought our house in Michigan on Halloween (see the connection?), and of course, recently left it. I can completely relate to this article.

So, that’s been my week. How was yours?

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Photo by beautifulcataya

I may be a convert. I have always shopped at your typical grocery store, like Albertsons or Kroger. I’ve never been one to buy organic foods, not for any reason other than it’s just too expensive. But, my friend at work eats all organic food (well, mostly organic) and has been telling me about all of the health benefits and stuff. She also told me about the prices at Trader Joe’s, which she said are nearly comparable to the normal grocery store. So I decided to see for myself.

I went to Trader Joe’s on my way home from work today. My first find was eggs. At Albertsons, eggs go for about $2.39 or so per dozen for your average hormone infused eggs. I got hormone/preservative free eggs at Trader Joe’s for $1.49 per dozen. Not organic, but better than what I had been buying. The next find was organic garbonzo beans (I’m going to attempt to make hummus) for 99 cents a can…same price as non-organic at any other store. I found a honey bear for $2.69, about 2/3 of what it is at the store across the street from me. Lastly, I found ground beef for less than at Albertsons, and I bought all natural mac n cheese in an attempt to fool the kids into healthier fare.

Now, the only thing I bought that was organic was the beans, but I feel better knowing that at least I’m buying things that are at least a little bit better for my family. I’ll probably keep shopping there, though not as often as the store across the street…there are just some things that we eat that I did not see there and it’s all the way across town. But, for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed grocery shopping! That says a lot.

Update:  The kids LOVED the mac n cheese!  Yay!

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