Monday, September 28, 2009

This is how she walks...

Clara has been walking for a couple months now, but here is a good video of proof for everyone who doesn't get to see her frequently. This was recorded with my phone, so not great quality, but you get the idea. In fact, at first, the grainy picture reminds me of those Big Foot videos with poor quality. The moving white dot on the screen is Clara. You can tell more as she walks toward the camera.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why I didn't do my reading for class...

Dear Prof. Rose,
I apologize for not doing my reading for class last week. I sure am glad you didn't call on me. You see, I had a bit of an adventure which left me unable to comprehend the proxy voting corporate law cases I was supposed to plow through.
Let me explain further...
The faucet in the tub in our bathroom has been leaking for about a week, and Crystal isn't very happy about it. It drips more than two gallons in eight hours (she tried to catch the excess in a tub to use in watering the garden) and she doesn't want to waste so much water. On Monday night, she went out to dinner with some lady friends and I stayed home to get study, get Clara to bed and fix the leak. We had checked out a plumbing book from the library earlier that day and I was perusing it after Crystal left when I decided to work on the leak for a few minutes before it was time for Clara to go to bed. I thought Clara would get a kick out of watching me work.
I went to the basement to turn off the water and then went to the second floor to work on the faucet. I took it apart and figured out there is a cartridge which plugs into the pipes and then a valve regulates how much hot or cold water to let out the faucet.
After taking everything apart, I couldn't find anything amiss, so I put it back together and went two flights down to turn the water back on. I went back up and it was still leaking. With the water still on (cue laughter now, I know) I tried to work on it again. As I slowly unscrewed the ring holding the cartridge in place, water started leaking out. I recognized that this was from the water being on, so I took a washcloth, dried the ring off and continued to unscrew it. Of course you know what happened next; as I turned the ring off the last thread, a geyser erupted from the wall, soaking me and spraying all over the bathroom. Clara was delighted all the water and hubbub, and I wasn't excited about being wet.
I sprinted down the hall (with the sounds of roaring water and laughing Clara in the background) dropped my soaking cell phone on the carpet and dropped down the two flights of stairs to the basement, where I turned off the water.
Then, I ran back up in time to throw down all the towels I could find (and one of Crystal's rag rugs) to soak up the water which was filling the tile and lapping at the carpet of our bedroom. I got as much of the water up as I could and then hung all the soaking fabrics on the curtain rod to dry. At this point, a little giggling girl came running down the hall with a big smile and my cell phone. Before she could splash my Blackberry in the puddle, I took it away. She didn't even flinch, though, because she was already back on the floor playing in the water. I then re-assembled the faucet and went back downstairs to try the water again.
As I left the basement and walked through the kitchen, I noticed the sound of water and noticed a stream of liquid pouring out of the light fixture in the ceiling above the kitchen sink. Worried that I'd ruined everything, I turned the water off again. Figuring I should just give up before the house flooded or Clara had a meltdown, I (only an hour or so late) warmed up a bottle of milk, put Clara in some (dry) pajamas and helped her get to bed.
As I stumbled back down the stairs, I realized there was less water coming from the ceiling as my puddles upstairs dried out (turns out the bathroom floor isn't made to hold gallons of water) and so I was glad I hadn't ruined all our plumbing. I then sat on the couch and opened my book to study. I read a paragraph before I realized that none of the words in it had made any sort of impression on, so I closed it and then just sat on the couch. My mind was frazzled and I couldn't focus.
Then, Crystal called. She had had a wonderful time and was coming home. I explained how the time hadn't been so great for me, but that Clara had loved it. Crystal was concerned, but not as bad as I had thought, comforted me and thanked me for trying. We turned the water back on, no more leaks appeared in the kitchen ceiling and we're not going to use that shower for a while.
So, that is why I am not prepared for class. I appreciate your understanding.
Thank you,

PS - On Saturday, Crystal and I attacked the problem together, ending up with a $40 replacement cartridge from Home Depot. The cartridge didn't fit quite right, but after a time we took a piece of the old one and a piece of the new one and put the whole thing back together. It now only leaks a little bit. I think I'll have to keep working on this, but I promise I'll do my homework before I try again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

California, Here We Come!

That's right, we will be there the first week in October! So excited! We decided to go earlier this week and it is super nice, because we don't have to wait very long to go! T-minus 16 days!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coupons and Deals

Hi my name is Crystal, and I am addicted to coupons. Hi Crystal!, says the rest of the group.

Yes, it is true. Sometimes I feel like I need to go to a group like Couponers Annonymous. I can't even begin to describe how much I love them! There is nothing like the feeling of walking out of a store with a cart full of stuff, a reciept a mile long, and a tiny out of pocket expense. In fact, I love it so much I should start documenting my really good trips when I get tons for cheap. For example, this week I went to CVS and combined some coupons with some great sales they were having. I purchased 2 Covergirl face products, 2 revlon eyeliners, a kiddie pool, 2 dishwashing liquids and a candle. My total without any sales or deals, over $60. After coupons, my out of pocket was $20 and I got a catalina coupon from the store for $7 off my next shopping trip. That really makes it about $13, which considering each piece of make-up was about $8, that is a steal! I know I don't get deals as good as other people, but I LOVE getting these deals!

The other thing that I love, is planning my trip. I have gotten into reading blogs about coupons and getting good deals that break down the deals listed in the grocery store ads and what coupon to use with them to get the best bang for your buck. I love researching out the deals each week and figuring out what I can get for free that week, and putting my plan into action, then seeing my total falling as the coupons are rung in. My best percentage on a good grocery trip was 77%, and I am constantly trying to beat it.

I am heading out to the grocery store now, coupons in tow and hoping to get some fantastic deals, wish me luck!