Houston Glass Show

I found out about this show only by chance two weeks before it came to town. (Next to the last weekend in August.) If I had known beforehand, I might have been able to save up some money. As it was I spent about $200 there and my mother spent $500 of my 43rd birthday money there.

I got the 80 oz Hazel Atlas ribbed water pitcher to go with my 42 oz one. I only paid $85 with tax. I love it.

I also bought a Victory sandwich plate for $95 dollars with tax. I didn’t own any Victory and I wanted some. However, unless it is a pitcher, I don’t think I’ll buy other pieces now.

My mom bought me a Cambridge cobalt bowl pitcher for $200 pre-tax. There were several for sale and this one was the cheapest.

She also bought me a Cambridge turquoise night water pitcher. It is petite and precious. That was $80.

Finally, she bought me a MacBeth Evans cobalt blue pitcher with four glasses for $200 after tax.

Things I did not buy which I wish I had:

A Heisey Cathedral Vase for $750. Very rare. Very beautiful.

another MacBeth Evans cobalt blue pitcher for $65.

Next year I will go better prepared, with more money.

It was fun.

Posted in Art

Money Woes/Frustrations/Whatever

Originally written 8/26. Not posted then so I could edit out the stupidity and profanity. (Yes, I think most profanity is stupidity, but I am fairly sure both were in the earlier version.)

We’ve spent a year getting out of debt. Gah! It seems like far longer than a year, but I don’t think we made our plans until last year. I’ll have to look and see. No, it’s not even a year. We really started in October of last year.

Since then we have retired $18K of credit card debt, $18K of student loans, $15K car loans, plus about $12K on our house.

That’s good, right?

Mostly.

We still owe $17K to our savings account.

We leased a car that costs almost as much total and per month as my car, which we just paid off this summer. So we retired one debt for another.

And we now have over $3K in credit card debt. ($2800 on AmEx. $175 on Visa. $115 on Firestone. I think about $185 on Discover.) We can pay part of AmEx off immediately. The Visa, Firestone, and Discover won’t be due till the end of next month- when we’ll have the money to pay for them. The Visa is my spending money. The Discover was clothes for me and the boys. Obviously the $115 was for the car.

But we’ll still owe for half the AmEx.

This semester I will make about $4200 from my part-time jobs. It’s a lot of work for a reasonable amount of money. But it’s not going to fill up our savings account.

And, looking at it from here, it doesn’t look like we can live on what R makes. Once again we’re in debt and we can’t pay it off immediately.

That scares me.

I am terrified of owing money that we can’t pay off by the end of September, without my paycheck. Insecurity city going on here.

Vehicle registration

Hubby decided it wasn’t worth a dollar to mail in our vehicle registration. Hah. That’s because he didn’t have to do it in person. He sent me. I spent an hour waiting to get through a 36 person line.

Halfway through I gave up. I saw a sign that said I could get my vehicle registration at Kroger and Randall’s. So I drove back home. Went in. It was quick.

But the good feeling of, oh wow, I didn’t have to wait, went away when they charged me the dollar fee my husband wanted to save off the mail in.

Next time, I’ll mail it in.

Maybe I should get the bills back and deal with them myself. Then I don’t try to save a dollar for an hour and a half’s worth of work.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 99

155

I’ve lost 30.8 pounds in 99 days. That’s less than one pound every three days but more than one pound every four days. It equals out to a bit more than 2 pounds a week.

That’s not as good as they said it would be, but it is way better than I have gotten with anything else. Despite its other limitations, this is real food, so it won’t be that hard to start adding back in foods.

I’m also at 29.3% body fat, which means I have 45.4 pounds of body fat. That still means I have lost muscle, but I don’t think I’ve lost anymore than I had.

I think I need to take up weight lifting again. It makes me feel better and look better.

Even though I am five pounds less than what I weighed with BFL, I still can’t fit in my skinny pants comfortably. Maybe, if I added the weights now, while I am losing, I could increase my metabolism, add muscle, and still lose weight. I think it is something I need to do.

Truthfully, though, this last week was so busy/stressful that, if it continues like this, I don’t see how I could possibly get it all done. I guess I will just have to organize better.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 98

Two day protein plateau breaker is not fun.

I have no energy and am totally zonked. I did not lose any weight yesterday.

I feel a bit sick to my stomach as well.

However, hopefully hte change will make a difference.

Homeschooling Junior High

In looking for something else, I went through my posts. I wrote this as part of an entry on 10/31/03.

“Then I would probably move to a three year (7-9th grade) campus where you get introduced to many new things. In my junior high, we had two electives a year. (It is the only good thing I can say about my innercity junior high.) The first year language elective course was eight weeks of four languages: French, Spanish, Latin, and German.

Maybe 7th grade could be all elective classes. Science electives. Math electives. Life skills (home ec, shop) electives. Fine arts electives. Introduce the child to multiple options and special interests.

Then the next year they have to choose. Limit the choices and allow them to go more in depth with them. For science, perhaps they could have a choice of biology or earth science. If they loved the languages, they could take two or even three languages and limit their other classes.

In ninth grade they could continue on with more advanced work in the classes they have chosen or start a new set of year long electives, or a mixture. Perhaps keep French, drop Spanish, and add music. That’s only three classes and I am envisioning at least five in the day, but that’s an example.”

As a homeschooling mom, how can I give my children this choice of electives? Is there any way? Is it possible to add classes in the short term for them? I don’t know, but I would like to if it is possible.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 97

I am on a two day, approved, protein plateau breaker.

You can have:

2 eggs for breakfast

8 oz chicken

2-3 cups lettuce

5.5 ounces beef

2 cups lettuce

.5 cucumber

80 oz water

2 supplements

Yesterday I weighed in 156.8. I have lost 29 pounds. That’s not 3 lbs. a week, but it’s still good.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 95

157.2

That’s 28.6 pounds. Not much movement in the last week, but then I did cheat last night. I went to California Pizza Kitchen.

I am going to start getting up half an hour earlier to ride my bike. I am going to do it three times a week.

My dream house

I found a list I made 7/13/96 of my dream house.

2100-3200 sq ft- no more or less

white stone

min 3 max 5 bedrooms

big kitchen with iland, lots of cabinet space in light oak, cherry, or white

dining room (not breakfast room- or maybe both)

huge living room, maybe smaller second for TV

min 2 max 3. 5 bathrooms

1/2 acre – 3 acre lot (or 20 acres)

water near backyard (for R)

huge trees

lots of closet/storage space

built in bookshelves

big rooms so I can have dark carpet

hardwood floors in some rooms

not ostentations

side entry garage – 2 car

separate laundry room- preferably near bedrooms

no “bonus” room without wall and doors

preferably 1 story, no stairs

large driveway, parking area

prefer fenced backyard, prefer no pool

I found another list written near that time (within two years). But I just wanted to say that our house in Austin (bought in 1998) had little of what I said I wanted and my house in Houston (bought in 2000) has most.

2100-3200 sq ft- no more or less no A, yes H

white stone no A, no H

min 3 max 5 bedrooms yes A (just barely), yes H

big kitchen with island, lots of cabinet space in light oak, cherry, or white

no A, somewhat H

dining room (not breakfast room- or maybe both) no A, both H

huge living room, maybe smaller second for TV yes A, yes H

min 2 max 3. 5 bathrooms yes A, yes H

1/2 acre – 3 acre lot (or 20 acres) no A, no H

water near backyard (for R) no A, does a broken jacuzzi count? H

huge trees no A, yes H

lots of closet/storage space no A, yes H

built in bookshelves no, no

big rooms so I can have dark carpet yes, yes

hardwood floors in some rooms no, yes

not ostentations definitely not either place

side entry garage – 2 car no, yes

separate laundry room- preferably near bedrooms yes, yes

no “bonus” room without wall and doors yes, added wall and doors H

preferably 1 story, no stairs yes A, no H

large driveway, parking area no A, yes H

prefer fenced backyard, prefer no pool yes A, yes H

My second wish list, written a little later, but still before we bought in Austin, has some interesting additions, though many of the items are the same.

good, safe neighborhood yes, yes

not on a major thoroughfare yes, yes

minimal wallpaper yes, yes

covered deck in backyard or wraparound porch no, kind of

decent size sideyard so neighbors aren’t right there yes, yes

separated office would be okay no, yes

Most of my wish lists we got in this house in Houston. It’s interesting to see the list 8 years and 2 houses down the road.

BTW, the 2nd list had a price which our A house fit but not our H house.

Looking for Encouragement on Weight Loss

I needed encouragement after that last entry. I found it.

“So don’t force the numbers. They’ll come. Here is your job today: adhere to a winning pattern of action that you know will produce results if you follow it consistently. ” Dr. Hussman

Goal: to get healthy and look better

Reasons:

1. to not get type 2 diabetes (like gramas, mom, and brother)

2. to have a healthy body weight

3. so I can buy clothes in the regular stores

4. so my husband will be proud of me

5. so people will think I look good

6. so I will look good

7. so I can do more things I want to

Statement: I am looking sexier and getting in better shape every day.

I think I’ll go take a bike ride now.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 90: History

I am on day 90 of quick Weight Loss. Yesterday I weighed in at 157.6. That was a loss of 28.2 pounds. That’s almost a pound per three days.

I have lost a total of 28.2 pounds. I have also lost 13.25 inches.

In addition I have gone from a body fat of 38% to 29.5%. That’s a difference in 70.6 pounds of fat and 46.6. Which means that I have lost 4.2 pounds of muscle mass. Okay, that sucks.

Point of Blogging

If the point of blogging is to be read, then I have left the best place and gone somewhere else. If the point of blogging is to write, then I am in the best place.

The question then becomes, what is the point of blogging?

Is it a journal entry in electronic format which allows me to zip along by categories instead of by dates or pages? Does it offer me a written history of what I was thinking or doing at the time? Is that its only purpose?

I enjoy writing but I wish that someone, other than my husband, ever read the thing. That said I probably have people who would read it if I told them about it, but then I couldn’t say whatever I wanted about whatever I wanted. I’d be editing for public consumption.

Maybe I should go back to a blogging world somewhere.

Prep Phase for Quick Weight Loss

Okay, here’s the three day preparatory eating schedule.

Two eggs for breakfast.

ONE meat, but any and all of that kind of meat that you want.

beef

veal

liver

lamb

chicken

turkey

fish

Raw green vegetables. As much as you want. But they can’t be cooked.

Two oranges a day. They originally said one but today they told me to have two.

-I am seriously thinking I should do this again. My husband recommended it and it’s definitely something to think about. But it’s no fun carbs at all basically.

However, I did lose a lot of weight on it. Probably water weight, but it should shift my body into keitosis again. It will also be a change up and I can have all the beef and raw veggies I want.

Quick Weight Loss Center: Day 89

157.6

I’m down 28.2 pounds. I’ve lost one pound in the last five days.

That’s not anywhere near as good as I wanted, but it is better than standing still.

Unfortunately, I only have three more weeks to get down to my goal weight. I don’t think I am going to lose 22 more pounds in the next three weeks.

I am thinking about doing my lettuce/beef/orange diet for three days again to get the whole thing moving faster. I’m not sure it would, but it might. I need to do something.

I’ve thought about telling QWLC that I may have to go out of town for several weeks and ask if I can put a temporary hiatus on my weeks. Then just keep doing what I’m doing until it gets down to where I want it and then go back in. That’s lying, but you know they lied to me and I want to find out how to add stuff back in AFTER I’ve lost the weight I want.

Maybe I could just call and ask if there is anyway to put a temporary stop on my weeks.

The Stars at War: Crusade

An SF book that looks at war in space. Humanity has already met other races and made some sort of peace with them. This may have happened in some other book, I don’t know. This is the first one I had read and you don’t have to have read the others.

This tale looks at the war on a personal level. A human and a tabby fight together, become friends. The war is hard and complicated.

-write more later

Crusade by David Weber and Steve White

reviewed by me, not for a disappearing website, but because it’s one of the three books I read this week that weren’t romances

Dealing With Dragons

This is a comic fantasy in which the fairy tale princess runs away to live with a dragon. Surely anything is better than the boring required princess lessons. But then, how does she convince all the princes and knights to leave her and her dragon alone? Why wont her parents just settle down and realize she enjoys being chief cook and bottle washer to a dragon?

In this book are typical fairy tale princesses pining away for rescue. Cimorene sends her unwanted princes their directions. When she meets the wizard, hes not bent on helping her and she is intent on not letting him help her or anything else. When the new King of the Dragons is being chosen, Cimorene has to foil an attempt to stack the results. She succeeds and her friend ends up living happily ever after, while she becomes the royal librarian and chef.

It is a light hearted tale that pokes fun at fairy tales. Good guys win and bad guys lose though, so it is still a fairy tale itself.

In this the wizards do not have to be bad, but they all are. Magic is an inherent part of life. There is no religion other than good guy/bad guy morality based choices.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

reviewed by me on a disappearing website

Goddess by Mistake

This book is a fun fantasy written in first person. The main character is a high school English teacher from Oklahoma who frequents estate and garage sales in order to afford furnishings for her home. At one of these sales she comes upon an urn which has a picture that looks a lot like her on it. Through some very mysterious circumstances, Shannon purchases the urn. Then she has a car wreck.

The car wreck is engineered by a goddess/priestess from a parallel dimension who is a spoiled brat and has decided that being goddess of a world full of technology would be much more fun than where she is from, an early civilization period with swords and bows. When Shannon wakes up, she’s suddenly supposed to be someone else. This person looks exactly like her, but isn’t at all like her in personality.

Shannon’s been left holding the bag by the spoiled Rhiannon. Unfortunately, the bag contains lots of things Shannon doesn’t understand at all and some no one even suspects. Fortunately, it includes people whose personalities she knows from her own world and Shannon can take an amazing amount of bizarreness very well.

The story contains a fascinating mix of humans, horses that can think, centaurs, wizards, shapeshifters, vampires?, and a 21st century English teacher who would really like to have some toilet paper, thank you very much.

The story is well-written and a quick read. I started reading it again as soon as I had finished.

Obviously the world view is not Christian. In this parallel world mythic gods and goddesses are real and choose individual’s to speak to and who speak for them. Shannon/Rhiannon is one of these.

There is sex in the book, both explicit and implicit. The explicit sex is between a husband and wife. Sex that is talked about having happened, but not detailed, is not between spouses. There is also no moral response to the fact that several of the characters have multiple partners. In addition, several fantasies are introduced in dreams, but are not described in detail.

There is a lot of drinking in the book. The culture is one where wine is drunk routinely. The only incident of drunkenness is a light case and is basically a mistake; someone misjudged the alcohol content of the booze.

Finally, there are two rape scenes. These are not sexually described. The violence is described, though. One is not even explained, but you know what is happening because you’ve already seen the other one. It is very clear that the rapists are BAD guys. –If you have read many of my reviews, you know that rapes tend to freak me out and I put the book down. For some reason, these did not. And I’ve reread the book.

Goddess by Mistake by PC Cast

reviewed by me on a disappearing website

The Wood Nymph and the Cranky Saint

This story is a sequel to A Bad Spell in Yurt.

This is a wonderful book, lively, interesting, varied. There are at least two, maybe three storylines going on. Daimbert is trying to figure out who is creating magic creatures and letting them lose in the kingdom. A seven foot hunter shows up and starts hunting with the duchess. A wood nymph entertains Daimbert and the duchess’s wizard. A hermit may be about to lose his hermitage. Three grumpy pilgrims show up in the ancient woods. And that is just the beginning of the story.

This is a great book. The religion in it is generally very strong and well represented, as in A Bad Spell in Yurt, although the three priests from the city are not the most pious and saintly you could hope for. But God is real and saints and hermits are real. Medieval Christianity is well and fairly represented.

What is surprising about this book is that it deals with serious spiritual issues in a light hearted manner. I laughed uproariously at many scenes. While there were some heavier images, overall the work was a fast read and hilarious. I re-read this book often.

The Wood Nymph and the Cranky Saint by C. Dale Brittain

reviewed by me on a disappearing site

A Bad Spell in Yurt

This is the story of a newly qualified wizard who goes to work in the tiny backwater kingdom of Yurt. Daimbert quickly learns that the king has been put under a spell. Evil presence suggests that someone in the castle is practicing black magic. But Daimbert is supposed to be creating telephones, a class he skipped, and making illusions for after-dinner entertainment. How is he going to discover who is evil?

The story is fascinating. The story of how people can unwittingly become trapped by the devil. It tells of other people unwilling to tell what they know for fear of involvement, or collusion. It works through trying to discover who is a good person and who is an evil person, masquerading as a good one.

More than all those things, though, the story is fun. A king who loves roses. An illusionary dragon who frightens the soldiers. The friendship of a priest and a wizard, cemented despite traditional enmity between their two professions. A saint. A beautiful young queen. A grumpy middle-aged royal heir.

The only thing in this book that bothered me is that Daimbert falls in love with the queen. Nothing at all comes of it, but it bothers me nonetheless.

A Bad Spell in Yurt by C. Dale Brittain

review by me from a disappearing website