Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A New Way of Thinking

This fall (and the falls to come), I will not be returning to HCC to teach.  So far, life has not been too different in that regard since I would have been home for the summer anyways.  Since I will no longer be working full time (I am going to teach a couple of classed part time on line), we have had to adjust our budget.  I want to do my best to meet our budget so that has meant a change of thinking for me particularly with regard to grocery shopping. 

Now, I never went overboard as I shopped in the past, but I would often by pre-made foods or foods that required little prep since I often did not feel like spending much time cooking.  Breaded chicken tenders, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, packaged cookies, rolls, etc were often on my list.  I also rarely planned our meals more than a day or two in advance, which required stopping by the store frequently during the week.  We did not eat out much, but I still spent more money on groceries than was really necessary.

With our new budget, I realize that I need to be a better planner.  I love to plan, it is in my nature to plan, but for some reason I do not like having to plan our meals even for one week.  I have tried writing the various meals on slips of paper and drawing them from a jar, but I just did not like that method.  My biggest concern would be, "what if we didn't want that meal that night?"  For me, there is something very permanent about writing down a specific meal for a specific day, and I don't feel like I can deviate from the plan.  Of course, I know that I can still be flexible with our meals even if I have planned them for a month; like I said, it is a new way of thinking for me.

So, for the month of August, I have planned my meals and I have even created a list of all the ingredients I will need to make the meals.  Now I just need to go through our supplies to see what I really need to buy.  I am looking forward to the challenge of feeding our little family at or below our budgeted allotment for groceries.  Watch out Dillon's, Aldi's, Walmart, Sam's, Leeker's, and Target, here I come!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What Happened to You, Mel?

I heard on the news this morning that yet another alleged tape of Mel Gipson yelling and cursing at the mother of his child has been released.  Apparently there have been seven tapes released.  This is the first time I have actually paid attention to the story as they played the tape.

As I listened to the tape, I at first wondered why the media is so up in arms considering this kind of filthy language and behaviors fill many of the movies that unfortunately make quite a bit of money.  Why are they condemning a man who speaks this way and not the films and television shows that are similar?  I know that one is supposed to be fiction and one is reality, but there seems to be some hypocrisy there.

Of course, Mr. Gipson's behavior does not support his claims to be a practicing Catholic either.  I do not want to condemn his behavior as I know that I am no more perfect than he is whether I use the same language or not.  The story did make me feel sorry for Mr. Gipson and other people like him who appear to be trying to find happiness in the world and not in God.  Why did he divorce his previous wife?  Was he really unhappy in his marriage?  Did he want a younger wife?  Why did he marry someone so much younger than himself?  Why did they have a child?  I am sure that he is asking himself similar questions on a daily basis as this situation grows and grows.

The situation reminds me of Tiger Woods.  He says that he is going to try to change his ways and he plans to use his roots in Buddhism to help him do it.  As we learned in church this last Sunday, we can try as hard as we want to change, but if we do not seek help from God, we will fail.  The example we were given was of weight lifting.  There will come a time when the weight will be too much for us to lift and not matter how hard we try, we will not be able to lift that weight on our own.  Someone will need to help us and that someone has to be God.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh for the Doubt of It All

Perhaps one of the most frustrating elements of being a parent are all the doubts I feel about every decision I make regarding Lucy's care.  I know that there will always be doubts, but some of the doubts seem very foolish when I really stop to think about them.

One doubt that I feel silly struggling with is when Lucy needs to take a nap.  I know that she will be cranky if she does not take a nap, but I usually worry that she is sleeping too much or that I am just using the nap as an excuse to do some work around the house instead of spending time with Lucy. 

Another doubt is in relation to feeding Lucy.  We had some difficulties when we tried to breastfeed and instead of calling and getting help, I went ahead and just fed her the breast milk in a bottle.  We have decided for a number of reasons to switch to just giving her formula, so we are currently in the process of making that transition.  I am almost done weaning myself off of pumping, but I keep having doubts about this decision.  I know that making sure she gets enough to eat is the most important part of taking care of her and I know that she will benefit from the breast milk that she did received.  What I did not realize is just how hard it would be to make the final transition. 

As I mentioned before, I know that there will always be doubts no matter how old Lucy is.  I keep reminding my self that we have a healthy, happy little girl and that is the most important part of being a parent. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Worth Watching

Yesterday I watched the movie Swing Vote, and I would recommend it to others.  While the premise is a bit far fetched, it is an interesting look at the apathy that many Americans have about voting and at the way political candidates will go against their own convictions in order to get more votes.  The movie treats both political parties equally as both the Republican and Democrat seek to gain the vote of one man in order to win the presidential election.

The movie is available for Instant View on Netflix if you are a subscriber.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I have to admit that I often watch Deal or No Deal.  I guess that is what happens when one does not have cable and likes to keep the television on in order to hear other adult voices during the day.  As I have watched this game show, I have noticed that there are some interesting trends that happen in nearly every episode. 

At the beginning of the show, the selected contestant has the opportunity to either keep her case or exchange it for another.  Of course, the contestant thinks that her case contains the $500,000.  As the contestant selects cases to be opened, the contestant and the people standing behind the other cases think that by wishing hard enough, the selected case will contain a low dollar amount.  The cases contain what they contain.  No amount of wishing will change what is inside the case. 

The other trend that I find amusing is what happens after the contestant decides to take the deal from the banker.  All of a sudden, the contestant hopes that her case contains a small dollar amount.  The show usually has the contestant go ahead and pick the next case even though it does not change the amount they will receive.  At this point, the contestant and the remaining people behind the cases all hope that the selected case contains a high dollar amount. 

I would never make it very far on this show because I would probably take the first deal offered.  I have seen too many episodes where the first offer was the highest offer because the contestant has a string of bad choices and knocks out all the high dollar amounts.  It doesn't really matter, because I do not have any plans for trying out for the show anyways.