Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 158 - Progress moving along!

Kids had a blast at my parents this weekend. Fishing with Grandpa off the dock and cruising around in the little car my mom got them at a garage sale.
Obviously I haven't done the best keeping up with the daily updates as I calculate its been about 15 days since I posted. Kirk home, summer time mowing and gardening, book writing and general living take a lot of hours;-). I am starting a time log based on the book 168 hours by Laura Vanderkam- there's also a website with a time chart you can download for free. I know I could be a lot more efficient with my time and hope the time chart gets me there!
Goals update.
Marriage - Going very well here. We've had a LOT of long talks about our goals, our lives, what we want, where we're headed both individually and as a couple, what we need to do to accomplish those goals. We're are definitely more in tune with each other here.
Parenting - Kirk's morning hour of home school is a blast - at least for me. We do a wee bit of reading, math, science, Spanish, spelling and writing. It takes about an hour without breaks, and an hour and a half if we do 2 mini-lessons, then take a break, then two more, etc. His reading and spelling and math are going really well, not so good with the Spanish. We've just been trying to learn words here and there with workbooks and neither of us is retaining much. Will have to see if I can find a game or something. He definitely prefers the board games and card games as learning tools to the flash cards or workbooks so I try to mix it up a lot. The biggest battle now seems to be the bickering between the two boys. I got three books from the library on sibling rivalry yesterday and will start reading to day for ideas and insights into this.
Business - We found a company that will we can use to offer the Revolutionary War set. It's a very, very small profit margin, but will at least allow us to test our concept of the books being acted out. I'd hoped to have it out to market by this Christmas, but now that I'm writing, I'm not sure it'll be done by then.
Book - I go to a friend's book club tomorrow night to read my version, at least the beginning. I was tempted to cop out and just tell them about it or reschedule, but I don't want to be a wimp;-). Also found the headquarters of the Midwest Book Review is located here and called the editor in chief for my search for a professional editor and illustrator and he had lots of good ideas.
Health/beauty - Signed up to run a 5k in August after I read in one of the 10 Shape/Self/Health magazines that I hauled home from the free bin at the library yesterday that you can do this in 5 weeks by following their plan. I'd also read if your goal is more than 6 weeks out, it can be hard to follow through. So I went home, did a Google search and signed up for the first one that popped up. Tried to run a mile last night to no avail, but I will get there! I also told Kirk if I drink more than one Diet Coke a day, I have to pay him $2 and after adding $6 in three days to our $126 a week food budget (which was already tight) I have been doing well at this - other than the last two days when he and Kai were at the grandparents and I could drink as much as I wanted;-).
Spirit - Upped my positive input. Now listening nightly to various C.D.s on creativity, peace by Kelly Howell and that is enormously helpful to keep at bay worries, concerns and stress.
Garden - Looks gorgeous - but so many mosquitoes now in WI that I mostly enjoy from inside until August when the bugs will abate.
FI - Did a few good things. Finally called the gas company about why our summer gas bill is still so high - over $50, and she told me to turn off the gas to the pilot light on our fireplace and that could save as much as $10. She said most of the cost was coming from our hot water heater likely, so I did a quick search and found the biggest user -- clothes washing 32 gal, showering 30 gal (likely higher as we take long showers) dishwasher 12 gal. and so on. I posted this on my fridge to remind us to reduce our hot water usage. Our electric bill was up to $150 from $105 last month despite the fact that we haven't even turned on the air conditioning this year, so I may call for an energy audit. We are also doing pretty well following our budget.
House - Hit or miss on any given day:-) Still boxing up clutter!
Good wishes to each of you on your journeys! Five months to go! Eileen

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 174 - Nightly Roundup

Marriage - check

Parenting - kids in Iowa, I did create a shelf for this summer divided into Math, Reading, Spelling, Science, Spanish, Writing for Kirk's summer learning. We are going to try to spend 10 to 15 minutes per subject each day, which I'm excited about. I used to love "playing school" as a kid and just hope Kirk enjoys our mini-lessons as much as I hope to. I also did a big calendar of fun things to do, mostly free this summer. There's Tai-Chi for kids and parents at Monona Terrace overlooking the lake, many festivals, an Old World village, and many state parks.

Bus/Book - Did an hour of research on the Vikings - it's a fascinating area!

FI - Stopped by a garage sale and got three pairs of winter boots for the kids for $1 for all. Great bargain! And at a thrift store got about 10 videos - all science and learning for 25 cents each. Then paid $1.70 for a single 20 ounce Diet Coke and the irony of the "value" proposition didn't escape me;-). Also finishing a great book called, In Cheap We Trust, by Lauren Weber, which is a good reminder about the great qualities, environmental, personal, spiritual, about not being wasteful.

Garden - Spent two hours at the lovely Olbrich Botanical Gardens just wandering and enjoying their gorgeous gardens, then came home and weeded in the rain for almost two hours.

Spirit - Got a Deepak Chopra cassette set, also 25 cents, about spirituality that I will start listening to tomorrow.

Health - Did 20 minutes yoga.

house - Not too bad.

Bus. Vocab. Nada

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 175 - Nightly Roundup

What is the use of living if not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone. Winston Churchill, 1874-1965
Marriage - check

Parenting - Kids in Iowa, but I did use the time to clean out Kirk's room and reorganize it.

Bus/Book - A little bit of paperwork

Gardening - Big time - Four happy hours!

Spirit - Nice dinner with friends and good talk with my mom today.

FI - No spending

Health - A wee bit of ab work to be done tonight.

House - Doing pretty good downstairs.

Bus. Vocab. Nada

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day176 - Nightly Roundup

Toasting a happy date night and a good long conversation!
Marriage - Check
Parenting - Kids are off to the grandparents for a few days. This left Greg and I open for date night and a long overdue heart to heart - which always reminds me why I gave him my heart;-)
Bus/Book - Got a bunch of books on the Vikings from the library for more research on the characters of the villains (which is not to say there weren't a lot of great qualities among the Vikings).
Spirit - Listened to Dennis Waitley on the drive downtown for dinner and recommitted to my goals.
FI - Dinner out puts us over budget for food this week, but as Greg likes to say, "Lots cheaper than therapy;-)" Did make a casserole to tide us over for the weekend.
Health - About to go to the basement and do some cardio and watch Oprah.
Garden - Spent an entire free hour weeding, much needed, among the biting flies and humidity, but truly loved it. I got a book called the English Gardening School at a rummage sale on the drive back from Iowa today for $1 and will enjoy it tonight.
House - Slipping......
Bus. Vocab. Nada

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 175 - Nightly Roundup

Hello! Horribly cranky tonight for no good reason. Tomorrow will be a better day! Picture is of snacks set out for the garden club, complements of the local bakery on the drive back from swimming lessons. All was well until one member suggested I email the entire group the recipe;-)
Marriage - check
Parenting - Today was Kirk's last day of kindergarten - we ordered a small Star Wars action figure and he's quite happy about this. Both kids go to Iowa tomorrow for a few days with their grandparents.
Bus/Book - Keep plugging away. I did have a dream the night before last in which I handed over my manuscript to a professional editor, who read it for about three minutes, looked up and said, "Oh, you can't write can you? You don't even know how to do action scenes!" So some subconscious worries there;-).
FI - Doing fairly well on the day to day stuff, but the gutter estimate came in at $450 to replace just one long gutter and install a bigger downspout. As our dryer went out four days ago, another $550 or so, that area of the budget is not coming in so well. Drying things inside - though it's been a bit too humid for things to dry well.
Health - Eating fairly well - Watermelon is wonderful now and takes the place of other sweets.
Spirit - Got the blues/crankies, so maybe a good book tonight.
Garden - garden club came and toured last night, and said some very nice things to hear about an "enchanted garden". Some members, the tidiest of them, were a bit appalled at all the weeds, but to each his own;-).
House - Not too bad. Lately if stuff is left out, before I put it away, I ask if I can just donate it instead, and that works at least 25 percent of the time.
Bus. Vocab. Nada

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 177 - Nightly Roundup

My friend Linda and I did a long walk around Madison on Sunday as part of the "Keep Madison Streets Bike Friendly Ride" - we were one of the few on foot.

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, nor winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or parent. Barbara Bush

Had an oven fire tonight, due to my not sufficiently cleaning the bottom of the oven from old bits of cheese from pizzas and bread crumbs, etc. The fire dept. sent two giant trucks and a police car - by the time they got here, it was just a bit of smoke and an embarrassed me, but I was grateful that it all turned out fine. Note to self - clean out oven!!

Marriage - check.

Parenting - Doing a much, much better idea listening and giving direct eye contact when the kids talk.

Bus./Book - Did about an hour on the book. The villains in the book are loosely modeled after the Vikings, which is a fascinating area of history too. I now probably know more about Paul Revere than 99 percent of the population;-)

Health - The oven fire put an end to our french fries for supper, so we ate a healthier fare of hummus and pita and veggies and fruits.

Spirit - Going to finish a short chapter in a workbook tonight that accompanied a tape set called the Psychology of Achievement.

FI - No spending today, though I did call a gutter company to come out and see if we can put in an additional or bigger downspout since we are still getting water in the basement with heavy rains.

Garden - Tomorrow the garden club comes to tour, but it was rainy and cold and I got nothing done out there. The peonies are also done and it's a bit of a lull in blooms. But I did plant some seeds for sweet alysum.

House - Got the downstairs nice and tidy as I had two friends over for lunch and dropped off five bags of donations.

Bus. Vocab. nada.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 178 - Nightly Roundup

Marriage - check
Parenting - Stayed calm while Kai shrieked the entire 30 minute ride home from the grocery store because he didn't get a treat (having been naughty at the store). Kirk and I completed number 68 of his reading packets that we've been doing on our own.
Bus. Found a possible company for the toy soldiers to accompany the books. I went on toysoldiers.com on the discussion forums and several people gave me suggestions.
Book - Did more research for my draft.
Spirit - Finally found a place to recycle the computer Kai had dumped the full glass of water on and destroyed. Glad to have it out of the garage and out of a landfill.
Health - Told Kirk starting tomorrow, if Mom drinks more than one Diet Coke a day, she has to pay him $2. I'm hoping my frugality will lead to healthier habits with soda;-).
Garden - Got a six pack of tomato and a six pack of pepper plants at Walmart.
FI - Our dryer gave up the ghost after about 15 years and I found a pretty good deal at the local appliance shop that included delivery and taking the old one. I also cleaned out the gutters - we've gotten water in the basement twice now in a corner where the gutters over-flow. Also called to find out if we need another downspout.
House - Not looking too good, but I have two friends coming for lunch and a garden tour tomorrow so I'll be forced to do a good cleaning tomorrow morning.
Bus. Vocab. Nada

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 179

Kirk's new favorite game - G0Gos.

Marriage - check.
Parenting - Trying to do more focused attention. I notice a clear coorelation between the kids not getting enough positive attention and acting out.
Bus/Book - Read my story to Kirk and a friend of his. They told me what they liked and didn't - a true sample target audience.
Health - 30 cardio and lifting.
Garden - Got a wonderful fountain for my garden at a garage sale for $35.
FI - Keep eating those supplies at hand. No eating out for the whole family, not even Greg lunches for a week - congrats!
Spirit - The focused attention on the kids can be a bit of a spiritual exercise.
House - getting a wee bit messy again.
Bus. Vocab - nada

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 180 - Nightly Roundup

Kirk graduated kindergarten tonight. It's hard to believe. It seems just a little bit ago that we brought him home from the hospital. He's a great kid!!! We are blessed. Way to go Kirk! Mostly took the day off. Good wishes to all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 181 - Nightly Roundup

What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience? Adam Smith - 1723-1790
Marriage - check.
Parenting - Good story time with 7 Little Rabbits for Kai and a nice walk with Kirk.
Bus/Book - Spent about two hours doing research for my version of the Revolutionary War story. Will submit mine and Jack's anonymously to my mentor group late this month for feedback.
Health - Stopped at the farmer's market and got snap peas, strawberries, salad and a cow cookie (this is WI) for the kids to split.
FI - Organic produce above not cheap, but we're wasting very little food these days so it'll be interesting to do a final numbers tally at the end of June.
Spirit - Helped out a friend.
Garden - Planted a pretty climbing plant called a cardinal vine that I got for $3.50 today at the farmer's market. The woman who ran the stall told me it attracts lots of hummingbirds.
House - Still looking pretty good!
Bus. Vocab. nada - need to get started on this again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 182 - Nightly Roundup

Marriage - Check
Parenting - Took a suggestion and quoted a parenting book directly today when I told Kirk I was sorry for the times I said things that made him feel bad and that he was a great kid and while I didn't always approve of his actions, I always know he's a wonderful person. He kind of lit up when I said this. Later tonight we had a run-in about an extra stop at Walgreens for additional Go-Go's so it was a short space of pure peace, but it was nice while it lasted.;-)
Business/book - Had my final meeting with my author today for his first draft and finished my own version. I will submit both to my advisor/mentor group. Greg thought mine had some good points and some weak points, so we'll see.
FI - Spent nary a dime and have been very good about not wasting food.
Spirit - Plan to read some positive stuff tonight for a little extra spirit vitamins. Got a nice thank you note from the woman we support in Rwanda for Women for Women International - which I saw on Oprah.
Garden - Put in my very small vegetable garden today. Had a lovely rain later in the day that the gardens just soaked up happily.
Health - Had vegan lentil soup for supper. Also cut out an article on which foods are most worth buying organic. Sorry to see grapes on the list as they are my favorite fruit and where I shop rarely has decent organic grapes if any at all.
House - Looking pretty good!
Bus. Vocab. Nada
Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. When there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go far wrong. Ella Fitzgerald, 1918-1996

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 183

Happy June!

Marriage - Check
Parenting - Listening to a book tape about the importance of building your children's self - esteem through positive feedback, hugs, focused attention and eye contact. Trying to do a better job on all fronts.
Business - Finishing up some account work.
Book - Meet my writer tomorrow for the final draft.
FI - Did well staying on budget. The plant and garage sale were fairly successful and as always, made me much more conscious of the value of a dollar;-).
Spirit- Becoming more adept at keeping my mind on the positive and what I want rather than free floating worries.
Health - Got lots of fruits and veggies at the grocery store last night and made a crock pot lentil stew today.
Garden - Looks beyond lovely as the peonies, many from my grandma, put on their show. The garden club tours on Tuesday so it's a mad rush to get some finishing touches on...
House - De cluttered a lot for the sale and feel good about that.
Bus. Vocab. Nada