Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Own Political Poll

I get so sick of hearing about all these polls. Especially since no one is polling me or anyone I know for that matter. Well, except my brother. But he lives in Ohio and I bet you can guess why they keep bugging him.

Anyway, this poll says one is leading. That poll says the other is leading. Who to believe?

I was out walking the neighborhood yesterday and started noting how many of each candidate's sign I would see in the yards. There aren't very many so it was easy to count and keep track. I think I saw 4 total. Then, I started thinking in my head who personally I knew was voting for which candidate. I couldn't keep track of the numbers in my head so when I got home I opened microsoft word and made a list under each candidates name.

I included the neighbors with signs in their yards. People I know from blogging, twittering, facebook and myspace who have made it publicly known who they are voting for. Anyone in my life - friend, family or acquaintance - that has shared with me who they are voting for. I only included spouses if the person specifically told me whom their spouse was voting for. I did not assume the spouse was voting the same. If you wish to share with me privately who you are voting for I will check my list and see if I already have counted your vote and if not I will include you to my tally! So check back periodically for updates on the numbers! (Don't assume these people are all from Louisiana. I have included people from MA, OH, FL, NC, GA, CO, MI, CA and more!)

So here are my results so far:

158 total people (UPDATED: WED Oct 28th 5:15pm)

66 for McCain
88 for Obama
1 Ron Paul
2 Not voting - dislikes all candidates
1 Not voting for McCain or Obama - unsure who though.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who has emailed me with your vote! I have added 112 new votes since the original post!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ultimate Compliment

I was driving with a friend on Monday who is from this area. She and I know each other through our kids. We have always enjoyed each other's company and often have coffee together. She is someone I truly admire and respect. I also just love her artistic flair, quirkiness, sense of style and sense of humor. I sometimes long to be more like her.

We cross the Madisonville Bridge and I tell her about the Wooden Boat Festival.

So she starts telling me about a book she is reading and how it reminds her of me. She explains the story and I don't get how it reminds her of me. So I ask. She says, "Because you embrace the world around you. You are not from here and you embrace everything about living here. You immerse yourself into your evironment."

I was taken aback at the comment for a minute. It was coming from somone I think does the same. What a super compliment to receive.

She went on. "Do you know how many people who have lived here their whole lives have never been to the Wooden Boat Festival?"

We went on to discuss how I have lived in 3 other states and have loved each one of them in different way and for very different reasons. It is all what you make of it. It is all in your ability to adjust and accept. Part of loving where you live is understanding it and discovering it. I guess I naturally do that wherever I go.

I have worked with people who have worked in the same place since they left college. They would complain endlessly about their job. I would think, "You don't know how good you have it."

Same goes with living somewhere your whole life. Unless you have left and lived elsewhere you often don't know how good you have it. Every place can be enjoyed for what it has to offer. Some are definitely better than others and more preferred but make the best of where you live and what you have.

Immerse yourself!

Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival 2008

** My 2007 Wood Boat Festival Post **

Well, it was again a very good festival and a beautiful weekend for it! The kids really enjoyed making their own wooden sailboats. I filled up our pool at home and they sail them everyday! I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the boats this year. A lot of focus was on what the kids wanted to do. We did get to watch the quick and dirty boat race from a friends boat. (pics below) They had their boat docked along the seawall and it was entered in the festival as a wooden boat to be judged.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What my hubby said to me today

He was doing the laundry (which is not uncommon for him) and he said, "I tried to find and spray all the stains on the kids clothes. Don't be mad if I missed any."

Then he went on to say, "I may not be a perfect servant of this family, but I have been a servant nonetheless. I tried to get Acorn to do the laundry for me but I only had $8.00. It wasn't enough."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Financial Survival

So, have ya heard the economy is bad?

Seriously, I wanted to encourage everyone to just take a deep breathe. There are ways to survive this. This too shall pass. I have a few tips for saving a few bucks and cutting corners but first let me share the following stories.

1. Back in 1997 I was one year out of college living with my husband in a cabin within the hills of West Virginia. I got a very bad kidney infection. Together he and I made about $26,000 a year. We had $5 in our checking account. I couldn't keep food down. The doc suggested jello. Hubby took the $5 out of the bank and went to the grocery and bought me $5 worth of jello. Couldn't keep that down either. I kept the unopened boxes of jello for 3 years after that. I just couldn't get rid of them because I knew what paid for them.

We eventually moved and got better jobs, etc. Worked our way out of that situation until . . .

2. We moved down here in 2004. Hubby took a job that allowed me to stay home full time. Circumstances caused him to lose that job in 2006 - the day before our second child was born. Here we were, two jobless parents, with two kids.

Needless to say, our spending habits had to change OVERNIGHT! Trust me, I know it is hard. But one must evaluate their situation and change their mental mindset to accept the situation. These tips aren't just for those who are now on limited incomes, but also good ideas for everyone to incorporate.

Here are a few things we do. My family didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up so a few of these are just going back to my roots!

1. Borrow DVDs from the library instead of renting them.
2. Reduce restaurant visits to 1-2 times a month and choose places where kids eat free with reasonable prices.
3. Examine cell phone, telephone, cable and internet plans. Combine or change to save more money per month.
4. Examine home, car, health insurance plans to see if how we can save.
5. Make our coffee at home and splurge on $1.50 flavored creamer instead of getting Starbucks.
6. Only buy beer on special occasions or after a very stressful week. But only a small pack.
7. Only buy what is on the grocery list and nothing else!
8. Fix things. A shoe sole is coming undone - fix it instead of throwing out and buying new.
9. Stop buying things for the kids that they don't really need. Yes, it is cute and would be nice, but take a hard look. What do they actually need? Only one pair of tennis shoes is enough. One pair of sandles is enough.
10. Accept all donations from friends and donate as well. Don't feel dumb about doing so. I trade clothes with two college friends in different parts of the country. My boston friend sends me clothes for my daughter. I send her clothes for her son. I send my Dallas friend clothes for her daughter - many of which are being handed down a third time and are originally from my boston friend. I rarely buy clothes for my kids. Occasionally a new pack of undies or shoes or school uniform piece. It is OK to tell your kids NO!
11. Wait on coupons for oil changes. Going 1000 miles past the due date for an oil change won't ruin the car. I wait for that coupon to come in the mail.
12. Get honest opinion on replacing tires. Don't let them sell you tires too early if you can't afford it. Know it is coming and plan for it.
13. Freeze leftover food. Or plan ahead and make extra to freeze.
14. Hang clothes on clothes line outside or clothes rack inside and save on electricity. I hear unplugging appliances not in use saves electricity. I try to do this but not sure how much it saves.
15. Wash your car yourself - skip the car wash.
16. Shop for upcoming birthday gifts in advance. Scan the clearance aisles frequently and purchase boy and girl gifts that you think will work for any possible upcoming birthdays. I once gave someone from my daughter's class a scooter for their birthday that I scored for $10 at a Wal-Mart toy clearance.
17. Run air airconditioner a few degrees higher and heat a few degrees lower to save on your energy bill. Yes, it takes some getting used to but invest a small amount into some warmer jammies or bear a few sweat drops on your forehead. Your body will eventually adjust.
18. Buy store brands. One thing I learned in my marketing classes in college was that the store brands are actually manufactured by a name brand. So Huggies or Pampers probably makes Target brand diapers. Now, they may be of a slightly lesser quality, but still. Try it and see if the store brand really is all that different. Also, I used the Wal-Mart brand parent choice diapers forever and they were just fine. $5 for small pack, $10 for mega pack. Can't beat it!

19. Send the kids on the bus! Depending on where you live you should consider saving yourself time and money by just letting the bus shuttle your kids to and fro!

20. YES! Kelly, thank you for reminding me of garage sales. I just picked up 3 Ann Taylor ladies shirts for $1 each!

Have a tip or two to share? Leave a comment!