Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keep Pace with Traffic

I'm going through some old school papers today and getting rid of stuff we don't need anymore.  Truth be told, we haven't needed them in quite a while, but ...

I found the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Motorists' Handbook that Cory got when he was taking Drivers' Ed. Here's something that people, at least in this state, are taught when learning to drive:
Keep pace with traffic: If you are driving faster than other traffic, you will need to keep passing others.  Each time you pass someone, there is a greater chance for a collision.  The vehicle you are passing may change lanes or, on a two-lane road, an oncoming vehicle may suddenly appear.  Slow down and keep pace with other traffic.  Speeding does not save more than a few minutes for each hour of driving.
and here's the important part, the part that so many drivers do not seem to know:
Going much slower than other vehicles can be just as bad as speeding.  It is dangerous and you can be ticketed for impeding traffic.  It tends to make vehicles bunch up behind you and causes other traffic to pass you.  If vehicles are lined up behind you, pull over when safe to do so and let them pass. You should either drive faster or consider using a road with slower posted speeds.
I guess that's just another of those things we all learn in school and then forget.  But I do wish those slow drivers would just get out of my way!

Here's a very interesting discussion on slow drivers in the left lane.  Like most of the commenters seem to be saying, it's just common sense and common courtesy - and the best way to keep traffic moving - but there are people that just refuse to get it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

He's Not Handling the Break-Up Well

What's the appropriate amount of time to wait after a break-up before jumping into bed with the guy's good friend/brother?  A week?  Two weeks?  A month? 

And then, when the guy becomes enraged and threatens to hurt someone or himself - and does hurt himself and causes some damage to some other things  - that's all on him, right?  He's just unstable and isn't handling the break-up well.  The other two - people who supposedly cared about him - aren't at all responsible for his actions.  Why can't he just handle the situation like a normal human being?


What kind of normal human being dates a guy, lives with him, sleeps with him, has his kid, tells him she loves him, co-signs a car lease, seems to be planning a future with him, etc. and then breaks up with him and weeks later (days later? Who knows; she lied about the whole thing) starts screwing around with the guy he considered his brother?  And of course makes sure he knows it - rubs it right in his face.  She pushes all the buttons, pushes him over the edge, and then...

Nope, she's not responsible for his actions at all.  They're not together any more.  (Not excusing him for his actions, but really - what's a guy supposed to do with that?  What would the appropriate response be?  Is there an appropriate response?  And is there any guy who could deal with the situation and not lose it?)

Oh,wow.  I just have to say that, until now, I always thought there was goodness in my daughter.  Though she always hated to show it, I always knew it was deep inside there somewhere.  Now, I'm not so sure.  She's just acting like such a hard-hearted, cruel little tramp.  But, of course, there is no talking to her.  She's innocent.  Like always.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Raise a Reader - FREE Kindle Book

Free right now for Kindle -
Raise a Reader: 25 Effective Ways to Get Kids Reading by Lisa Dalesandro

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember.  My son Cory started reading in kindergarten and has been reading everything he could get his hands on since.  My daughter, on the other hand, doesn't like to read.  That concept is so foreign to my brain that I had no idea what to do or how to get her to read, and to enjoy reading.

I tried finding her books she would enjoy, books about things she was interested in, etc.  Most of the time it was just a waste of my time.  There have been a few books she's read over the years - The Harry Potter books, James Patterson's Alex Cross books, and the Twilight series - but most of the time she just doesn't read.

Could I have done anything to change that?  I really don't know, but if you've got a little one who doesn't seem to enjoy reading, grab this Kindle version of Raise a Reader: 25 Effective Ways to Get Kids Reading, and maybe you can turn that around.  The author also had a daughter who didn't like to read, and it sounds like she found the solution, and it "turned out to be much simpler than summer school, expensive tutors and boring workbooks."

I wonder if it's too late to try these on Beth?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Weird is This?

Not only is Jeffrey moving into an apartment in the same apartment complex that we lived in many years ago - he's moving into an apartment in the exact same building!  (that one right by the pool, with the brick)

Though it sounds like he's around on the other side of the building and not right by the pool where we were before.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Save Big on Back-to-School with Dollar General

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's time for back-to-school shopping.  School supply lists have been posted, and parents everywhere are scrambling to get the pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, glue, and everything else on them. 

Our back-to-school shopping needs have changed, now that I only have one kid in school - and he's going to be a junior in college.  I don't even know what kinds of things he needs for school.  I think it's probably something simple like new notebooks and some pens, because he's already got all the stuff for his dorm room, and he has his computer, and pretty much everything he needs.  The big year for school shopping was a couple years ago, before his freshman year of college.  That was the year we had to get the sheets and the towels, the storage crates, the mini fridge, and all the other things he needed for his dorm room.  I wish I had thought to shop at Dollar General!

Dollar General calls itself the nation's largest small-box discount retailer.  What does that mean?  They carry a carefully edited assortment of the most popular brands at low everyday prices in small, convenient locations.  Basically, they have the things you need, and they sell them at good prices.  I've often wondered why we really need so many choices in our stores.  A notebook is a notebook is a notebook - seriously.  Why do I need 20 million choices when I'm just going to buy the cheapest one?  The same thing goes for pretty much everything on those back-to-school lists.
Besides offering the things you need for back-to-school or back to campus at everyday low prices, Dollar General offers even more savings with a changing mobile coupon. Mobile phone users simply need to scan the QR Code (at right) OR text "bts" to 34898 to get the current coupon.  I just downloaded an app for scanning QR codes, so I'll have to try it!  There may just be something Cory needs for school this year...  Or that I can't resist because it's such a good deal.  You should see how many notebooks, folders, book covers, glue sticks, pens and pencils we still have downstairs because I always bought more than the kids actually needed - because it was such a good deal.  I would have really been in trouble with Back to School Saving from Dollar General!
Anyway, if you've still got Back-to-School shopping to do, be sure to scan the code and get your mobile coupon and head to Dollar General.  You can save some money and some time.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Husband Left Tonight

... to go start his new job tomorrow.

So things are going to be a bit different around here.  He'll be in Champaign all week working while I'm here.  And then he'll be home on the weekends.  We did this about 15 years ago - only in the opposite direction.  Then, I was down in the Champaign area, and he was spending his weeks up here working.  Back then I had two little kids, too.  So this will be easier, right?

Jeffrey is staying in a hotel this week, and then he'll go and sign a short-term lease on an apartment somewhere near the end of the week and be able to move into the apartment next Sunday when he goes back.  He was thinking of staying in an extended-stay hotel - and he got a decent rate on that at $40/night - but by getting an apartment he'll be able to stay there for 4 months and only spend about as much as he would have for 2 months in the hotel.

Hopefully that will give us a nice window of time to sell our house, find a house down there, and get everything moved - starting next weekend when he takes a trailer full of stuff that he's going to need for living in the apartment. Yes, we got a trailer this last week - something Jeffrey has been wanting for a long time, and something that will really help with the move.  After all, he's going to be driving back and forth most weekends so he might as well make the most of those trips, right?  And then he'll be able to use it for sound gear or whatever else it is he needs it for.

First he's going to be taking stuff for the apartment - which, by the way, is directly across the street from where he'll be working and also the same apartment complex we used to live in way back when we were first married and when both kids were born.  We have plenty of 'extra' stuff around here so he shouldn't need to buy anything to furnish an apartment.  It might not be perfect, but it will do.  He's already got a bed, dresser, futon, tv stand, coffee table, and more loaded into the trailer.  Getting some of the stuff out of the house is hopefully helping it to look better when people come to look at it, so that's another benefit.

After he gets moved into the apartment, we'll start loading the trailer with all kinds of other stuff - from the basement, the garage, the shed, etc. - and he'll rent a storage unit to store it all down there.  And we'll be getting rid of stuff as we go.  We have already - donated to Goodwill, recycled, thrown away - and I'm sure we'll do more of that, too, but there's still a lot of stuff that needs to be moved - and he's going that way anyway!  I just have to stay busy and pack things up so he'll have a trailer-full to move, if not every week, at least every other week.

This week I've got to pack him up all the little things he's going to need in the apartment, like dishes, pots & pans, towels, etc.  Getting some of the dishes and stuff out of cabinets, closets and drawers is also going to help them all look better here, and even though I really do use most of the stuff in my kitchen, I really can make do with less for a while.  I really need to make a list!  I already got him some sheets, blankets and a comforter for the bed, and a shower curtain, and some other things as I thought of them, but I'm really going to have to get organized and make sure I get all the important things packed up.  I'll also be packing and cooking him some food and meals, so he won't have to go out all the time.   And so I can start cleaning out the freezer and the pantry - so we don't just have to pack it all up and move it when the time comes.  Yes, he could go shopping for all the basics, but we might as well take it out of what we already have.  This week I just sent him some sandwiches, cheese & crackers, boiled eggs, and stuff like that because he just has a mini fridge in the hotel room and no way to cook anything.  Next week he'll have a stove.  And the microwave from the basement - the one we got when we were first married, the one we had when we lived in that same apartment complex.  And a whole apartment.

And you wonder why I don't have time to blog...

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Reality is Sinking In...

It feels like I've been so busy - so much to do, so little time! - that I've not taken any time to blog at all.

First I was playing in Door County, and visiting Cory.  Then, after being home one day - long enough to do laundry and re-pack - I went off in the other direction and visited my parents in Kentucky.  And since then?  Busy, busy, busy.  By the time I finally sit down at the end of the day and get on the computer, the most I can seem to do is mindlessly scroll through my NewsFeed on Facebook - while watching the Olympics, of course.

Why so busy?  What's happening now?  Let's just start by saying that this is my house.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Back-to-School Shoes at Famous Footwear

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's time for back-to-school shopping.  School supplies, school clothes, new school shoes - it can all add up.  Famous Footwear wants to help you get the shoes your kids will want, without having to run around all day and without breaking the bank.  Famous Footwear has hundreds of brand-name shoes in thousands of styles, all in one store, so you're bound to find the shoes your kids want.  They've got the Converse and the Skechers that the kids want!
Right now Famous Footwear has a BOGO sale going on.  Buy one pair of shoes and get the 2nd pair for half off. PLUS, be sure to print the coupon available on the Famous Footwear site, and you'll save an additional 15% off your purchase.  Rewards Program members save 20%, which is even better, so take a moment to sign up.  Benefits inlude, not only saving an additional 5% on your back-to-school shoe shopping, but you'll also:
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in-store or online
  • Accumulate points to earn certificates up to $100 a year
  • Discount offer just for signing up
  • Other special inside discounts and perks
Did I mention it's FREE?   So there's really no reason NOT to sign up and plenty of reasons to do it!
Be sure to take advantage of the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon by August 18.  Print and use the coupon in-store or use the promo code to shop online at  When you order online, you can have your shoes shipped directly to your home or get them shipped for free to your local store.  Either way, Famous Footwear should make back-to-school shoe shopping easier because you can get all the shoes you need in one place.  Combine that with the sale and the coupon, and you might just have enough money left over to treat the kids to ice cream after all that back-to-school shopping!
If only the rest of your back-to-school shopping was so easy . . .

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Give the Camera to the Kids…

While I was visiting family in Kentucky, I let some special photographers use my cameras – my nephews and niece.  Here are a few of the pictures I found when I took the pictures off the cameras.

There were plenty more, but that will do for now.  I think they did a pretty good job!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Frigidaire Adventures in Clean

This post is part of a One2One Network Campaign.  By participating, I have a chance to win one of 10 $50 gift cards.  All opinions are mine.

Laundry - it's a never-ending task, and I'm sure we'd all like to get out of the laundry room and on with life as soon as we possibly can.  Frigidaire, makers of the Frigidaire Affinity® front load washing machine, and laundry expert Tara Aronson have shared some laundry and stain fighting tips to help us do just that.  Here are a few I especially liked:
  1. To keep snags and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, empty pockets, and brush away lint before tossing duds in the hamper.
  2. Before washing stained garments, pretreat or prewash the spot using the Affinity’s Rinse & Spin cycle. If at first you don’t succeed, wash, wash again.
  3. Check wet garments for remaining stains, and re-treat as needed before drying. Heat will set stains.

Those don't actually sound like time-saving tips, but they will definitely save you a lot of frustration.  There's nothing so irritating as lint all over your load of laundry from a tissue left in a pocket or finding a stain after the laundry has been already been washed, dried, and you're ready to fold it.  Better to spend a little time treating stains or preventing snags and lint than spend a lot of time afterwards trying to clean off the lint or get rid of a set-in stain.

Tara Aronson also shared expert tips on treating the five most common summer stains:
  1. Crayon -  Scrape off as much of the colorful surface as possible using a plastic picnic knife. Apply laundry detergent directly on the stained area. Gently rub the detergent into the fabric then let sit several minutes. Launder using the hottest water the fabric can handle - or the Sanitize setting of your Frigidaire Affinity washer. Dry as usual.
  2. Iced coffee - Sponge the stained area with cold water. Apply a pretreater to the blight. Wash as usual and air dry.
  3. Grass - Prewash the garment in warm water in your washing machine –the Rinse & Spin cycle on your Affinity washer – and a laundry detergent containing enzymes. Launder as usual (normal setting) with detergent and chlorine bleach if safe for the fabric. If the garment’s care label instructions advise against it, use oxygen (color safe) bleach instead. Dry as usual.
  4. Juice - Soak for a minute or so in cold water. Remove excess water, and then apply a pretreater directly on the stained area. Wash with detergent as usual. Air dry. Do not place in the dryer until the blight is completely gone – otherwise the stain is likely to set.
  5. Chocolate (or chocolate ice cream) - Prewash the garment in warm water with a laundry detergent that contains enzymes using the Affinity’s Rinse & spin setting. Launder as usual, using the washing machine’s Normal setting. Dry as usual.
If you've got kids, chances are you've faced a few of those stains!

For a chance to win a new Frigidaire Affinity® washer and dryer, head on over to the Frigidaire Facebook page and share your Adventures in Clean.  Simply upload a photo and the online app will turn it into your very own movie poster.  (Frigidaire is doing this in conjunction with the upcoming Disney film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, starring Jennifer Garner. She plays a mother who embarks on the ultimate adventure in clean when a son magically springs to life in her garden. At this moment, her character understands what every mother knows: life is full of messy adventures.) everyone who participates will be entered for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Affinity® washer and dryer featuring Ready Steam™, and Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children, as part of its $750,000 commitment to the cause.

#HelloBetter - Hello, US Cellular

US Cellular recently conducted a survey to find out how dissatisfied people are with their wireless providers.  What percentage of people do you think are dissatisfied?  Go ahead.  Take a guess - I'll wait.

Did you get it right?  Are you one of those dissatisfied customers?  Not me.  I like my wireless carrier.  I've got US Cellular! 

We've been US Cellular customers forever - or at least as long as we've had cell phones.  We just can't see any reason to switch.  We get good phones, great Plans, great customer service, and we get a signal practically everywhere (except in my Mom & Dad's house) - even when everyone else is complaining that they can't get a signal.

We've got a Family Plan with US Cellular, which means we all share our Anytime minutes.  Calls after 7pm and on weekends (and usually holidays) are FREE and don't count against those Anytime minutes.  That's not all - all incoming calls are FREE and mobile-to-mobile calls, too so it never costs us to call each other or anyone with a US Cellular phone.  We don't have any roaming charges either; nationwide coverage is included.  Text and picture messages?  Those are included in our plan now, but even when they weren't, the only messages we had to pay for were the ones that we actually sent.  All incoming texts and pictures are always FREE.  It doesn't make sense that carriers can charge you for something that you have no real control over, but I've heard the other carriers do.  That can really add up if you've got teenagers sending and receiving texts and you're paying for them going both ways.  Thankfully we were never hit by a huge cell phone bill because of that, but I know a few people that were. You know how much I hate spending money if I don't have to!

US Cellular also recently introduced their Rewards Program that lets us earn points towards new phones, accessories, early upgrades and more.  They can also be used for overage forgiveness - not that I can imagine a need for that with so much included in the Plans, but it is an option.  Earning Rewards Points is easy.  You get them for doing things you do anyway, like paying your bill and having a birthday.  We should be able to get a FREE phone with our points next time one of us is eligible for an upgrade, and that's really worth something.  US Cellular gives us a 5% discount every month just for paying our bill automatically every month.  Never worry about a late payment and save money at the same time - what's not to like?

I'm sure there are other reasons we like US Cellular, like the fact that they don't give better deals to new customers than they do to current customers - don't you hate companies that do that? - but I can't really think of them right now.  The important thing is that I can't think of any reasons to be dissatisfied.  If you've been dissatisfied with your provider, US Cellular would like to introduce you to something better.  What's stopping you from switching? Do these reasons sound familiar?

Now through August 12, you can get up to $300 when you switch to US Cellular - $100 smartphone activation credit and $200 for trading in a qualifying smart phone.  That should help with the cost of getting out of the contract with your old carrier, if that's your reason.  Oh, and about those contracts?  After your first 2-year contract with US Cellular, you never have to sign another one.  I love this - not that I really mind a contract with them because I have no plans to switch, but because it says they plan to keep their customers by giving them what they want and treating them right, not by locking them into contracts.  What they will do is give you additional Rewards points every 6 months you stay with them.  And give you good service and coverage.

Anyway, do check out US Cellular.  We've been extremely happy with them.  If you do decide to switch, let me know, and I'll see if I can figure out how to give you a referral.  Yes, we get points for referring friends, too, but I'd suggest you check them out even without the promise of points.

Note: This is part of a sponsored post campaign for One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.