Friday, November 9, 2012

Tamara, and Also Some Sweet Gear

Tamara, of view from the porch (among other blogs), is facing basil cell carcinoma.  Like most self-employed people, she self-insured, and this is going to make her come up a bit short.  The gun-blogging community, including A Girl and Bayou Renaissance Man are asking people to chip in a bit if they can via the tip jar on her website.

(Image stolen from BRM)

I'm going over now to throw in $5, even though I'm unemployed.  I don't know Tam personally, but, judging from her writing, she does not have the safety net that I am lucky enough to have.

If you have a moment, say a prayer for her and drop by her blog to let her know you did so.

Also, Newbius and Life in 3D are doing raffles for those who donate $5 or more.  Click through the links to see the sweet gear that you could win.

Later update: Up your donation to $5.56 and get a chance to win a viper holster from Dragon Leatherworks in time for Christmas.  Which is super-awesome b/c if you order one on the website today, it won't get here until the middle of January.  I am very, very tempted to donate again b/c I would love to give Mr. Goat this holster for Christmas.  If only I had a job!

Even Later Update: For $25, you can enter to win a Diamondback with its own holster.  Details here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am Worth Defending

A friends of mine posted this article on facebook yesterday.  Entitled "What it's like being a teen girl[sic]," it describes a continuous and rampant pattern of sexual assault that continued through Ms. Wolley's teenage years.  She says that this behavior was and is unacceptable, and I agree.  But here's where she and I diverge strongly.  Her take on the solution:

Pretty much everything in North American culture tells men and boys that women and girls are there for them. So please, do us some favours. Stop telling us that we have to take self defence. Stop telling us we shouldn’t drink or go out at night or on dates. Stop telling us that we need to be prepared for whatever “boys-be-boys” violations come our ways, because it’s bullshit. We don’t have to accept this or carry it around in silence.
Start talking with men and boys about the messages they’re getting about women and girls. Tell them that they are not entitled to our bodies, no matter what. Talk to them honestly and comprehensively about sexualization and objectification. Stop being afraid to talk about boundaries, sex, and pleasure—leaving that to schools, the Internet, and peers is simply not cutting it. Show them what consent really looks like.
And this sounds basic, but remind them that we’re, you know, people? We deserve at least that much.
In sum, women shouldn't have to modify our behavior, because the predatory men are in the wrong.  Instead, we should engage in dialogue with them to show them the right way to behave.

Here's the problem with this approach: Predators don't give a shit that we're people too.  Predators are here to take what they can get from you and they don't care how much they hurt you to get it.  In fact, in cases of sexual assault, hurting you is part of the enjoyment they derive from it.  So talking to them about our shared humanity isn't going to cut any ice with them.

However, predators aren't into their own pain, and they take great pains to ascertain whether you are a low risk target or not.  So, to decrease your chances of attracting a predator's attention, you want to make yourself into as high-risk a target as possible.  Additionally, you want to keep out of places that predators like to hang out.  Figuring out how to do this in the backbone of a good self-defense curriculum.

Is it fair that non-predators (men and women) have to modify their behavior to reduce their chances of being preyed on?  Absolutely not.  But I think I'm more likely to deter a predator with a force equalizer (the one I have chosen is a Glock 36) than with an appeal to our shared humanity.

I never had to live with years of sexual assault, and for that I am truly grateful.  I am glad that Ms. Wolley has moved beyond her experiences to acknowledge her self-worth.  I hope that she will someday be able to take the next step and see that self-defense is a concrete expression of that worth.

I am worth it; worth the time and the trouble to defend myself against those who take pleasure in my pain and those for whom my pain is merely a means to an end.  My daughter is worth it too; both her time and mine, her attention and thought and work.  My son will learn that women are people too, and should be respected accordingly, and he will be given the tools to enforce this with regards to himself as well.  I have important and worthy thins to do in this lifetime to prevent sexual assault; I have better things to do with my time than talk to predators.

If you would like to learn more about self-defense with firearms, a good resource is

Friday, October 19, 2012

Resolved: No More Novels Until I Get a Job, So Please Help Me with Book Suggestions

I'm having trouble using my time wisely.  Part of the problem is that Football continues to have trouble sleeping at night.  Mr. Goat was staying with her at night, and I was supervising during the day, but that was leading to me getting nothing done.  So we've changed the schedule and now I sleep next to her on the tatami all night, rather than on my Tempur-Pedic, and try to nap during the day.  It's not yet a roaring success, and my tiredness makes it easy for me to succumb to distraction.

I've always had a thing for trashy novels.  When I was twelve or so, my favorite series was Mercedes Lacey's Valdemar series (which starts with Arrows of the Queen), and my taste in novels has not improved since then.  Let's just say that if you want any advice on good paranormal erotica, I can be your go-to girl.  And, with the rise of digital publishing, Amazon has a practically unending stream of authors writing fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal pulp who will give you their first book free.  Occasionally, one is really good (The Emperor's Edge is a good example), but mostly I end up with stuff that's just entertaining enough that I don't put it down, but not really a fun read.  However, it is an excellent procrastination tool.

I need to get my life back on track.  My house is a wreck, neither Mr. Goat nor I is bringing in any income (unless you count paid surveys), and I'm exhausted all the time.  I need to pare things out of my life that suck time and energy, and novels look like low-hanging fruit.  I'll miss them, as I am in the habit of reading at least 100 pages of literature a day, but in their place I hope to add more Bible reading (I am only about 75% through my Bible choice for this year, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) and other inspiring literature ( I am thinking things like Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith, which I have pre-ordered).

So I am asking for help; do you have any other reading suggestions?  They need not be religious, but I am looking for non-fiction that is either helpful with my specific current issues (finding a job, cleaning a house, raising two toddlers, one of which doesn't sleep) or localvore or pf related.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bar Exam Results

The bar exam results from the Louisiana Bar Exam in July are up today and I passed.  Not a big surprise but will be a big help in the job search.

Tonight we go to MSY to pick up our au pair.  Crossing my fingers that she works out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spoke Too Soon About Life Returning to Normal

Have had the most unproductive last couple of days ever.  And I have a funeral to go to tomorrow for the mother of a friend.  She was 94 and it wasn't unexpected, but it is still hard.  Also, the funeral is two hours away, so it will eat my entire day.  Friday I don't have child care, and I need to put the finishing touches on stuff for the au pair.  But I am going to sleep now so that I can at least try to do all this stuff with a decent amount of rest.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life Beginning to Return to Normal

Life has been really boring here, and this blog definitely reflects that.  My mother-in-law is still here, but Mr. Goat thinks we still need her, and I trust his judgement.  Mr. Goat gets better every day.  I'm having trouble getting motivated to do anything, even though I have started to have a bit more time.

My to-do list for today is:
- work out
- consign clothing
- purchase buttons for a coat which lost one
- drop coat and buttons off at the seamstress (I could mend it myself, but I need to actually get it done)
- go to the grocery store

Doesn't sound like much but I am really having trouble getting started.  Hopefully a workout will kick me into shape.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back Update and Going Forward

Mr. Goat's MRI came back as well as could possibly be expected (Yay no surgery!) ... so he will probably be able to lift babies in about a month.  I'm trying to figure out what we do in the interim.

Right now, my mother in law is in town (she lives in College Station, TX, about 6 hours away).  She has been sleeping on an air mattress in Monkey's bedroom every other night, and my parents are taking the babies the other nights, mostly.  This weekend my parents are having a ginormous three day party, so we'll be doing babies by ourselves all weekend.  She is a wonderful human being, but she has spent her entire life in academia, and she has no head whatsoever for efficiency.  Also, she has a tendency to mother Mr. Goat like he is about 12, which can cause some friction, especially since she is here on our request, and she is really helping out a lot.

I need to think of some way to make this work that does not involve my mother in law living here for another month.

On October 12, we have an au pair arriving from France.  I hope that she will be a help, but I expect that the first couple of weeks will be a difficult transition for her.  Until then, my brother's fiancee helps out where she can, to the tune of 30-40 hours a week.  My parents also help out when they can, which includes taking the babies all night 2 or 3 nights a week.

So I think I can make it work.  I just have to get through the weekend and get a schedule of assistance put together so I know when I can rest.

On a total tangent, I stopped pumping for Monkey and Football last week, and will be feeding them frozen breast milk for the next month until they reach the one year mark.  It is so nice to have my body completely back to myself!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Implementation Phase One

I talked to my parents and they are going to give me the money.  I am incredibly lucky that I can do this, but I sure wish that I didn't have to.

On Monday Mr. Goat goes in for X-Rays and MRIs and we'll get a better idea of whether we are looking at few more weeks of rest or back surgery in the immediate future.  And its open enrollment season, so I have to decide whether to bet for or against back surgery in my plan selection by the end of the month.  No pressure:)

I'm off to take care of babies.  No news is good news for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Decisions Made ...

After a long, and on my part tearful, conversation with my pastor (there's a job I never want to have to do), I've come to a realization and some decisions:

Realization: This is legitimately a crisis.  The definition if crisis (not literally, but in my book) is something that you can't fix by just working harder, you have to change what you are doing to resolve it.

Therefore:  (1) I need to suck it up and borrow 3 months living expenses from my parents.  Hopefully I won't need it all, but that way I am covered until the end of January.  I cried about this for a long time, because I am so sad to go back into the cycle of needing to pay down debt; I really thought that this time having a 6 month EF would save me.  However, I have health issues that require me to have 9 hours of sleep a night or my whole body breaks down.  I cannot possibly take a new job while trying to manage babies and husband without a health breakdown.  I have to take the long view here.

(2) I need to eliminate all unnecessary stress from my life until the crisis passes.  For instance, I've been doing Weight Watchers since April (and lost nearly 20 lbs!) but I need to let go of that right now; I just don't have the energy.  Someone else is cooking all my meals, so I have no control over what gets fixed, and it will make me crazy to try to eat within my points.  I'll just have to lose any weight I gain back after this is over.  I am also not attending meetings for any clubs or any other fun things that I could do instead of sleep.  I'm giving myself a pass on blogging since I need it for stress relief.  I will also keep working out for the same reason.

(3) As soon as this crisis is over, I have to get a job.  Not having any control over our incoming income is driving me crazy.  I need to figure out what I want to get a job doing now that my dream job fell through and make that my dream.  If that doesn't work, I need to move on and find another dream.  I've allowed the perfect to become the enemy of the good in this instance.  But this is something to worry about after Mr. Goat can lift babies again, not this week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time to Put on the Big Girl Pants

In January this year, I was flying high because, for the first time since I went to law school, I had a positive net worth.  In May, I confidently anticipated that I would be able to make all my financial goals for the year.  Then Mr. Goat decided to quit his job, which he hated, and look for part-time work so that he could take care of the babies while I looked for a job.  I figured we had six months of expenses saved, Mr. Goat practically had a new job lined up, and we were good to go.


First, we overspent in June and July, leaving us only 5 months of living expenses.  Then, Mr. Goat's potential job strung him along for two months, and even now don't have the balls to tell him that it just isn't going to happen. (OK, to be fair, the guy he was talking to really wants to hire him, and I think truly believes that somehow a miracle will occur and he will get the authorization to do so.  But it's still a PITA).  I had an interview and was informed that I was a top candidate for what looked to be a dream job, and then the national organization announced an hiring freeze of indefinite duration last week and I was informed that I would not be hired after all.  (Although, once hiring commences again, I should feel free to re-apply).  Finally, Mr. Goat ruptured a disc in his back this weekend and, even though we have paid more than $4000 to COBRA, our insurance shows us as not covered, meaning everything will come out of pocket until I can get this straightened out.

So, in short, I have 6 weeks and one day before I run out of money, Mr. Goat won't be able to lift anything (including babies) for at least two weeks and probably much longer, and will be on pain meds for at least two weeks which make him a zombie and unable to look for a job.

My assets are first, my parents are helping with childcare, and they previously gifted Mr. Goat and I with an au pair for the year, who will arrive in mid-October.  Second, I took the bar exam, and the results come out on October 12, which means that I should be licensed to practice law in Louisiana shortly thereafter.  Finally, my mother-in-law, who is retired, should get in today and will stay for an indefinite duration to help with babies as well.

My options are:

(1) Borrow money from my parents until Mr. Goat or I gets a job (probably doable by January).  I'm lucky enough to have parents who have the resources to help me out if necessary.  But I still owe them for the last time they helped me out, and I don't want to borrow more money from them.

(2) Borrow money from sources other than my parents.  Less distasteful than option 1, but silly, as why pay more?  And it creates the same problem of putting me further back into the debt hole.

(3) Try to figure out how to get a job with a paycheck between now and October 31st.  This will probably require that I do something less than my dream job, and just take what is available.  It will also require me to focus with gazelle-like intensity on finding something, which is pretty hard to do considering that I'll be the primary caregiver for three people for at least the next two weeks.

(4) ?

Prayers would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's Going on Over Here?

Yeah, it's been six weeks since I posted anything at all.  Monkey and Football are growing like weeds, as you'd expect; they turn eight months old tomorrow and she weighs 20.5 lbs and he weighs 18.  They are pulling up and making nonsense noises like you wouldn't believe.  But they aren't what is keeping me from posting.

Although they are very cute and very distracting!
Basically, Mr. Goat and I have decided to switch tracks.  When I got pregnant with the babies, we planned for me to stay home and him to continue full time work, but we've since realized that won't be optimal.  So I'm currently studying for the Louisiana bar, preparatory for looking for full time work.  Studying 10 hours a day and two babies means I barely read any blogs, much less write them.  Also, I currently have the most boring life in the world: wake up, pump, eat breakfast, study for bar, eat lunch, study for bar, pump, study for bar, care for babies, study for bar, eat dinner, try to force myself to study for bar but generally just stare at the WSJ, pump, sleep.  Not exactly the source of scintillating blog posts, unless you have the time to tailor them, which I don't.

The Louisiana Bar Exam is July 23, 25, and 27.  I'm going to try to update once a week until then just so that y'all know I'm not dead, but don't hold me to it:)  Now that my break time is over, I'm off to ... you guessed it ... study for bar exam.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Explanation of Inflation

Via 101 Centavos, Invest it Wisely has a great simple explanation of how inflation works.   I think: "I should post this on my blog in case anyone else is interested."  Then I read the comments, and I am sad. I bonds do not solve the problem of inflation when the government reported rate of inflation is less than the real rate of inflation, plus you are taxed on the 'gains' from the bond.  I don't know why inflation seems to be such a difficult concept for people to master.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Absent for illness

Mr. Goat is down with the flu.  As we don't have a lot of slack in the goatie household right now, I've had to purge all non-essential things from my schedule this week.  Back when we are feeling better.

Friday, March 23, 2012


No free ebook today - there just wasn't anything good that I knew about. Next week:)

I got 3 cute dresses; I'll try to post pics tomorrow.

Made it to the gym, so I am 4/5 this week!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


No working out today as my babysitter had the day off and my stroller did not fit in my car, even folded up:(

So looking forward to having her back tomorrow.  Old Navy is having a sale on dresses and I am thinking I'll get myself something cute if there is anything age-appropriate in the plus sized section.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I only had 20 min to work out today, so I swam them all.  Big mistake; I was so tired that I fell asleep caring for babies at 6pm and my husband told me to go to bed.  I woke up at 10 and now I'll have trouble getting good sleep tonight.

On the plus side, just having worked out every day for the past week and a half, I can swim for 20 min at a go.  Now I have to decide what my goal will be for April 9th - I'd like  30 mins of continuous swimming, which I will then maintain through the summer and work on speed.  But that would require adding 10 mins in two and a half weeks, which will leave me pretty tired out every evening.  I'm still thinking I'll make that my goal; if I can swim 30 mins continuously on the 9th, it will take some of the sting out of not being able to make the 10 pound challenge.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

200.8 / 204.8 - First Food for Monkey and Football

200.8 was Monday and 204.8 was today.  No idea how I can gain four pounds in a day, but I'll probably have the fun of losing at least two of them tomorrow.  Worked out both yesterday and today.  Wish I had more time to write on this blog, but life keeps me so tired I'm lucky to post this much right now.

I did want to share that Monkey and Football had their first food today.  I am following the Westin A. Price guidelines, so their first food was egg yolk, mixed liberally with breast milk.  Football has been interested in the spoon for a couple of weeks now, and has happily slurped up breast milk with it.  However, she wasn't very interested today; she basically let all the egg stuff drool out while she grinned at me.

I gave Monkey a spoonful, and as soon as I took it out, he started crying.  I worried that he might not like it, but then he grabbed my hand and shoved the spoon back in his mouth:)  By the third spoonful he was slurping it off the spoon.

I only gave them each five spoonfuls, in case they were allergic, but neither of them seems to have had any reactions, so I can give them more tomorrow.  On my way to getting done with this whole breastfeeding thing!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Worked out again today.  Did eat sorbet, but it was made from local strawberries, lemons, and blood oranges, so it was kind of nutrient-dense:)

Week in Review - 3/11 - 3/17

10 Pound Challenge
Highest Daily Weight: 203.6 - Friday
Lowest Daily Weight: 201.2 - Wednesday
Average weight:202.4

Times Worked Out: 5 gym, 1 stroller
Sugar Eaten: 0

22 More Days to go!

2012 Goals
These are all pretty much on autopilot.  I'm kind of bored of talking bout them, honestly.  I've got some big changes planned for this year, which I plan to do a blog post on soon, but it has kind of taken my focus away from this stuff.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Pushed the stroller for 30 min today.  Am totally bushed; I think all this exercising is catching up to me.  Looking forward to when it will be energizing rather than exhausting.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Worked out five days in a row!  This weekend, I'll stroll with babies for my workout.  Even though I'm not losing any weight, I am setting myself up to be in better shape when I can start restricting calories.

Also, I have not eaten any deserts at all, even though my aunt made homemade chocolate chip cookies.  23 days left to go!

Free EBook Friday - Jenny Pox

This week's book:

Book it reminds me of:

I loved The Vampire Diaries when I was 13; I enjoyed Jenny Pox as an adult.  The story is about teenagers, but the gore factor makes this a late teen to adult book.  But who doesn't enjoy a story of a loser in high school who discovers how to use her powers and comes into her own?  Yes, it's an angsty, guilty pleasures kind of read, but that's the fun of e-books; no one has to know that you're reading junk:)

Note: If you can't see the books, turn off AdBlock for this page.  Book prices are subject to change quickly; this book was free when this post went up. 


Did everything right yesterday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Got everything done yesterday except the blog post. Of course, I had chicken for dinner, and I'm up 1.2 lbs today. We're having chili for dinner tonight, so maybe I'll lose weight tomorrow:)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Also worked out today. No sugar. Crab cakes for dinner, though, so not low fat:)

Monday, March 12, 2012

10 Pound Challenge 8 Week Update

Today, I weighed 203 lbs, with four weeks left to go.  So I have to lose 2 lbs a week between now and April 9th to be entered into the drawing.  I admit it is not likely.  But I hate failing at challenges, so I want to give it my best go.

On the other hand, Monkey and Football are only four months old, so they still get all their nutrition from breast milk.  So I don't want to restrict my eating in a way that might affect my milk production.  (At the end of April , when they turn six months old, I am starting Weight Watchers again.)

So here is my plan:

For the next four weeks I will:

1) Weigh myself every morning

2) Work out every day.  Weekdays will be at least 30 min in the pool; weekends at least 30 min of walking.

3) Eat no junk food.  If it is not highly nutritive, I don't eat it.  That means absolutely no cake, ice cream, sugar cereal, sugar in my oatmeal, cookies, or anything else that might come my way full of empty sugars.  I will continue to drink all the milk I want, and to eat all the meat, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables that I am hungry for.

4) Blog every day about my progress to keep myself accountable.

I started off today weighing 203 lbs, swimming 2 ten min sessions and walking 2 5 min sessions, and eating no refined sugar.  Only 27 more days left to go!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week in Review - 3/4 - 3/11

Weight not going well - I weighed 201.4 lbs this morning.  More on my plans for this tomorrow.

Made it to church, and am plugging along in the Bible.  Am getting really bored of the battles of the Israelites, and they sure did have a lot of them.

Only worked out twice this week.  My hip is killing me, and I am exhausted all the time.  However, I know that if I would just start working out again, I would get more energy.  But I am so tired ...

Money is still boring and on track.

I got some shooting done!  We had a possum in the henhouse.  You have to kill them once they have discovered the chickens, or they will eat them all one by one.  So I shot it with a handgun using personal defense ammunition so as not to damage the house.  Not exactly target shooting, but at least I didn't miss.

My in-laws are in town this week, so posting will remain sparse.  Have a good one!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Free EBook Friday - The Awakening

This week's book:

Book it reminds me of:

Although they seem dissimilar on first glance, these are both novels about alienation and New Orleans society.  The Awakening doesn't have vampires, of course, but the quality of the writing is quite a bit better.  This edition also contains some terrific short stories that explore racial and social themes in a very modern way - it's hard to believe that Kate Chopin died in 1904.  If you liked The Help, you should get this just to read Desiree's Baby, her most famous short story.

Note: If you can't see the books, turn off AdBlock for this page.  Book prices are subject to change quickly; this book was free when this post went up.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week in Review - 2/26 - 3/3

I weighed 200.6 lbs again today.  I worked out three times this week, so my goal is to up that to four next week.  Also, I brought home a pile of girls scout cookies, which I need to avoid until Mr. Goat eats them all.

My mom's party went well yesterday.  My uncle is still very sick but they are not sure what the problem is.

Everything else is pretty much on autopilot.  I am totally exhausted and both babies are asleep, so I am going to crash out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Free EBook Friday - The Emperor's Edge

This Week's Book:

Book it Reminds Me Of:

Set in a steampunk-ish world, this is the story of Amaranthe Lokdon, a female law enforcer who excels at her job and desperately wants to break through the glass ceiling.  When the emperor's top adviser promises her a promotion if she can apprehend a notorious criminal, what can go wrong?  Forced into intrigues within intrigues, she discovers that all is not as it seems in the empire, and even within the palace itself.  Amaranthe must decide where her ultimate loyalties lie, and then survive the anger of all the other factions.

I liked this book so much that I purchased it in paperback for Christmas for my in-laws, who are also sci-fi/fantasy readers.  I've also read and enjoyed book two of the series, Dark Currents and Ice Cracker II, a collection of short stories in the world.

Note: If you can't see the books, turn off AdBlock for this page.  Book prices are subject to change quickly; this book was free when this post went up.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Completely Legal Way to Get a Giant Tax Refund!

Give birth to twins at the end of the year.  (Hey, I never said it was frugal)

Our tax refunds (fed and state) hit our account today.  With them and the money I have saved over the past few months, I can top off our 2011 Roths and still have a 6 month bare-bones emergency fund!

I'm going to skip the details on the end of February's challenge (no more cleaning accomplished) and I'll give out Libester Blog Awards (thanks Allison) next week, because I am totally zoinked.  My uncle is in the hospital, my mom is managing his care, and I am managing the preparation for the 30 person luncheon she is giving on Saturday (agreed to long before my uncle got sick).  Bed time for me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week in Review - 2/19-2/25

Carla's Challenge

I am 56% through our money and we are 90% through the month!  I got my reimbursements in, which is why my percentage is actually up from last week.  I haven't gotten any decluttering done yet, and I think I am coming down with a cold, so my house may be staying messy this month.

10 Pound Challenge

I weighed 200.6 lbs today, up .2 from last week.  Not sure what is going on, but it may be related to being sick.

2012 Goals

I'm too tired to see where I am exactly in the Bible this week, but I haven't done much.  Did make it to church on the 19th.

I worked out three times this week, but did not make it to the gym.  I want to do at least as well this week, even if I did spend today and may spend tomorrow down with a cold.

Money is boring, and on schedule.

No shooting.  My house is a wreck - the lovely living room I showed you last month has been re-cluttered with cardboard boxes and has a fine layer of shed cat hair across it.   I just can't seem to get caught up on the house thing.  On the plus side, I don't have any energy for visitors except for my mother, and she knows I am a total slob married to a pack rat.

Now I am off for some cold medication and some "sleeping while the babies sleep."  Wish me luck getting better.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free EBook Friday - Night of the Wolves

Some of the best bargains on the internet right now are free ebooks on Kindle.  They can also be some of the worst dreck ever produced.  It just depends on which you stumble on, so I thought I'd start sharing those that I come across and enjoy.  Book prices change frequently; all I can promise is that the book was free when I published this post:)

This Week's Book:

Book it Reminds Me Of:

David Daglish writes firmly in the realm of dark fantasy, but happily he does not confuse it with erotica, as seems to be the case for many new authors.  This is all sword and sorcery and faith in gods and great deeds - nary a romance to be seen.  This book centers around two paladins, each of a different and competing god, who are assigned to the same area by their churches.  When the village is threatened by wolf-men, each man has to decide how he will respond when his most puissant ally is also his sworn enemy.

Mr. Daglish sets all of his novels in the same world; if you would prefer a darker series with a bit of romance thrown in, book one of his Half-Orc series, The Weight of Blood, is also free this week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Procrastination Has "Pro" Right in It

Well, my ugly desk is still ugly ... but I am happy to report that I procrastinated cleaning my desk by doing my taxes(which was supposed to be my "dreaded challenge").  So I guess that the desk is the "dreaded" challenge after all:)

Seriously, this week I am planning to finish up the desk and the bedroom (which I did not complete for week one).  I'll leave it to Carla to decide whether this counts as a win or not, but I'm happy.

GW2 Beta

GW 2 Beta is live!  Now I just need Monkey and Football to start STTN.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week in Review - 2/12 - 2/18

Carla's Challenge

I am 64% through my money and we are 62% through the month.  I need to get my reinbursements in, though, because I have big bills that hit at the end of the month and, also, I haven't got any groceries in the house, so this will need to cover two weeks worth of shopping.

No progress on the ugly desk; planning to work on that and reimbursements tomorrow.

10 pound challenge

I weighed 200.4 lbs today.  I'm barely below where I need to be for the challenge, but I can't complain because I failed to work out again this week.  I know I will do better this week, though, because I already worked out today.  I plan to keep the momentum going tomorrow!

2012 Goals

I'm only to the 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy, even though I felt like I did a lot of reading this week.  Not sure what is up with that.  I did make it to church today, and the babies were perfect angels.  I plan to enjoy it while they are not mobile; they'll be running up and down the pews soon enough.

No working out this week.

Money continues to be socked away.  At this point, it is pretty boring; everything is set up auto-pay.  Boring is good, though, it means that Mr. Goat still has a job;)

No shooting this week.  Also, I've not started Flylady routines, although that was one of my resolutions for the month.  I think I'll push them to next month; I have enough on my plate right now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 2 Success!

Week 2 of Carla's Challenge is finished!  I organized my outgrown baby clothing into 3 piles, 1 pile of girly stuff for my friends' son who is having a girl, 1 (kitchen sized trash bag 0.o) pile of boy/gender neutral stuff, and 1 pile of stained/not nice anymore to be given away.  The larger gender neutral pile was to be given away, but my little brother talked about "when he has babies" twice in the last 3 days, so I am going to keep it around for a bit to see if he is going to propose to his girlfriend or not.  I figure, if he has babies in the next couple of years, it is worthwhile to keep the stuff around.  Most of it is winter stuff anyway, so I can re-evaluate in October (i.e., if they are broken up, I can try a consignment shop).

I put 9 outfits and 1 electric nail file into my Goodwill box, so I am up to 17/29 things gotten rid of.

I've decided to change up my week 3 and 4 challenges.  It is tax time, so I've decided to make my dreaded challenge completing my federal and state returns for 2011.  Between my kitchen and the piles of paperwork around my desk, the desk is the more urgent, so that got moved to this week's productivity challenge.  I think we can all agree that this needs work:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Pound Challenge 4 Week Update

On Monday, the official day of the update, I weighed 202 pounds.  On Sunday, the day before, I weighed 200 pounds.  Today, I weighed 201 pounds.  I'm not sure if the problem is the scale or my crazy eating and sleeping schedule.  I don't want to get a new scale, though, because as long as this one is reasonably precise, then the accuracy doesn't matter.  And it appears that it is precise to +/- 1.5 pounds, which is not that much in the grand scheme of things.  I needed to weigh 201 and 2/3 pounds on Monday to be on track; I am pretty close.

I'm not sure how I am losing weight, since I am not watching calories at all and have not exercised in almost two weeks.  The challenge has kept me away from mindless snacking on sugar, though; perhaps that is enough to drop a bit of weight simply because of the caloric requirements of nursing.  I think I am just about done with this cold, and I plan to begin working out again on Thursday because tomorrow is just too crazy to even try.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week in Review - 2/5 - 2/11

Carla's Challenge
I have spent 44% of our household budget and we are 38% of the way through the month.  I haven't put in for reimbursement from my FSA, though, so we're really about on track.  I thought we were doing better, however I have been sick all week and this is the first day I sat down and actually ran all the numbers.

I haven't gotten a thing done this week.  The nasty cold has resolved into a persistent cough and overwhelming fatigue.  If I don't have a screaming baby, I am asleep.

10 Pound Challenge
Tomorrow is the 4 week mark, so I am saving my discussion for then.

2012 Goals
I'm on the 26th Chapter of Deuteronomy.  I missed church again, mostly because I couldn't make myself wake up to my alarm.  This makes two weeks in a row.

Having babies has given me a new perspective on reading the Bible.  I must have read Numbers 31:17, where the Israelites have defeated the Midianites, and Moses tells them to kill everyone but virgin girls, dozens of times.  But somehow, this week reading "now therefore kill every male among the little ones" made me think of my little Monkey, who is such a serious boy most of the time, but occasionally breaks out in big smiles.  A whole nation of little Monkeys was put to the sword because of something that they had nothing to do with.  I know that's the way the world works, but it really drives home the difference between the old and new testaments.
My Little Monkey
I haven't worked out at all this week, I was too busy coughing and sleeping.  I haven't done anything re:money.  I haven't gone shooting.  Being sick is one gigantic fail.

Hope your week has been more productive!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week in Review 1/29-2/4

I have spent 17% of our monthly budget and we are 14% through the month.  However, I expect 8% of that to be reimbursed from my FSA, so I'm calling myself ahead.

I have made no progress on my bedroom, in fact I have regressed, because I have been sick since Friday.  So my bedroom is now disorganized AND strewn with used Kleenex.  I'm feeling better today, though, so hopefully I can get cracking on both the bedroom and the baby clothing this week.

I did clean out a shelf in my hall, and I have a few things slated for donation.  This is three olive oil bottles (all presents), a hurricane lamp and lamp oil, a box that I won at a Christmas party, a snowman that was a favor at the same party, and an entire bag of icicle Christmas lights that aren't LEDs. So I am 7/29 for throwaway/donations for the month.

10 Pound Challenge
Today I weighed 203 lbs.  I'm hoping it is water weight from being sick, but I haven't been watching my food or exercising much this week.  I'll get back on this once I'm well again.

2012 Goals
I'm currently somewhere in Numbers.  I missed church this week.  I'm still reading the Proverbs 31 emails daily.

I worked out 4 times this week and made it to the gym once.  Getting sick will do that to you.  Better luck next week.

Not having a toy budget last month meant that there are a bunch of things I want to get this month.  I already purchased Brawn (hello, guilty pleasures) and I want to get Fair Game and A Perfect Blood
 as soon as they come out.  (Maybe.  I hate to pay hardcover prices on an ebook, when I know that waiting a year will allow me to get the same content for half the price.  I might just order them from the library and buy them later if I decide they are worth it.)  I also want to see Big Love: The Complete Fifth Season; I'm debating whether to buy it instantly ($15.99 for the season), get the DVDs from Half ($17.99, but hopefully they will retain resale value), or re-subscribe to Netflix for one month ($15.98, but I could watch other content too).  I also need to be saving for my bar association dues and my tithes.  In other words, I need to get cracking on selling some stuff if I want to get some stuff.  Unfortunately, I don't think I have much that's low-hanging fruit on the sales items anymore.  Hopefully I'll come across some stuff while I am purging this month.

Still no shooting.  I suck.

Hoping for better health next week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Last Chance for Giveaway!

Today is your last change to enter A Girl and Her Gun's fantastic giveaway.  It's open to any lady interested in the shooting sports, and the prizes are:
(1) $300 Toward any Self-Defense Course from A Girl and Her Gun
(2) 1000 Rounds of Ammo (pick from a slate of standard self-defense calibers) from ZerCool, North, Tango Juliet, Scott McCray, The Calm Gun, and  Old NFO.
(3) Your option of either (a) a basic pistol and concealed carry class in Va or (b) a $50 gift certificate for gear from Keads
(4) A $50 gift certificate from Gun Goddess
(5) Ear muffs and a holster consult (in Va) from Female and Armed
(6) A pistol class for yourself and a friend in IA from Bill
(7) A holster from Remora
(8) A St. Barbara's medallion from Nancy
(9) Three cans of Steelguard Firearm Protector from Firearm Protector
(10) The Gift of Fear from GunDiva

Any lady interested in shooting can enter.  You can be a complete novice who has never fired a gun and still win all this great stuff.  Why are you still here?  Go enter now!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Carla's Low Spend Challenge - February Edition

Carla's back with another challenge.  You can read the details here, and it is not too late to sign up.  I've decided to do both parts, low spending and decluttering.

For Low Spending, I'm going to cut my household budget by 17% by (a) continuing to buy only essentials and (b) figure out what is going on with our phones.  We had 3 phone charges last month, and we've only got two phones.  I am seriously considering dropping our land line and going to cable; it wouldn't work in a hurricane, but I'll be down the road in a more secure house if I have to ride out a hurricane anyway.  I hate AT&T; their bills are impossible to read and they are always screwing stuff up, and we live so far out in the country that we have no other choice in either land or cell service.  I'm going to sock away the extra money toward repaying my parents at the end of the year.

For decluttering, my four challenges will be as follows:

(1) Personal Space - clean out the bedroom.  It's become rather a catch-all area since the babies were born, and I need to get it back into working order.  Also, I need to set up a better system for nighttime handgun storage, so that my firearms are easily accessible to me, and not accessible to rug rats.

(2) Family Space - Re-organize baby clothing.  I've received a ton of baby clothing as gifts, really so much that I don't use much of it.  I need to purge the ones they have outgrown and organize the new ones into weight categories so that they are easy to rotate in.  I also need to organize the old clothing into goodwill, giveaway for girl baby, and giveaway for boy baby, so that I can be prepared to give my nicer stuff to a couple I know that will need it, as soon as they know their baby's gender.

(3) Productive Challenge - I need to re-organize my kitchen.  The household chemicals need to go somewhere not easily accessed by babies, and my shelf for wine glasses needs to be replaced with a better system.  I don't know if I can get it all done in a week, but I can certainly get it all planned.

(4) Dreaded Challenge - Go through all the paperwork in the house and answer it, file it, or get rid of it.  I have piles that have been waiting for my attention since I was pregnant; I know there can't be anything important in there, or it would already have started to smell, but I need to get the stacks out of my path.  This is mostly concentrated around my computer area.

As a personal thing, I am going to start Flylady's baby steps again.  I'm not sure if this is the fourth or fifth time, but I keep trying to get the habits ingrained, since I can see that they work if I can just stick with them.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week in Review 1/21-1/28 and the End of Carla's Low-Spend Challenge

Carla's Low Spend Challenge, in Review
1) Track Spending - 100% - Everything written down.
2) Eat from Freezer - 50% - We ate some things from the freezer, but there's still plenty there left to eat.
3) Have Fun Cheaply - 25% - We didn't spend anything on entertainment, but we didn't do much either.
4) Organizing - 100% - I got my fridge, pantry, and living room cleaned out!
5) No Unnecessary Purchases - 25% - I bought a few things, but not as much as I usually do.

I have spent 122% of the monthly budget and we are 100% through the month.

Yep, I went over.  Way over.  However, the amount I went over is almost exactly the same amount as two medical bills from last month that I had forgotten about, but that came due this month.  So now I know it is possible to cut 13% from our budget and, honestly, I didn't really notice a difference.

I decided to break down our spending to see where the money goes.
Medical Expenses - 22%
Food and Household Needs - 21%
Utilities (not including phones) - 12%
Loan Repayment - 9%
Baby Supplies - 9%
Life Insurance - 8%
Phones (land and cell) - 7%
Car (including gas, not including insurance) - 6%
College Savings - 6%
Home Repair - 1%

I can spot some places where there is room for improvement - I'll tell you my plans tomorrow when I talk about Carla's Challenge for February (it's not too late to jump in yourself).

On the whole, I am happy with my performance on this challenge.  Although I went over in the money department, I made a bunch of progress cleaning.  My mom took pity on me and helped with the living room, so it went from looking like this:

To this:

And, in addition, I got my fridge and pantry clean.  Tomorrow, I'll talk about how I'm going to step up in February!

10 Pound Challenge
I weighed 202.4 pounds this morning.  So my plan is working, even though I broke my diet about a million times this weekend, what with my friends coming in.

2012 Goals
I am still in Exodus, reading about that stupid ark.  I hate the ark, and every piece of beaten gold that went into it and had to be recorded so that people thousands of years later can read about how much bling the Israelis put on it.  After I finish The Commentary of the Synoptic Gospels , I need to find a book that explains what relevance this has to my journey as a Christian, because I am just not seeing it.  But I am up to Chapter 40, so it has to end eventually.

I exercised 7 times last week, but only made it to the gym twice.  Hopefully I can still up my swim time to 17 mins this week (I'm going to the gym today after I finish this).

I've decided to put my tithe for this year into a separate account and pay it next year, thus giving me enough charitable deductions to be greater than the standard deduction in 2013.  I am thinking about putting it into the stock market in the interim, since if I have gains I can donate the stock and get further deductions for the appreciation without having to pay taxes on it.  Of course, if I have losses, I will have to make up the cash.  Would you take the risk?

As I thought, I didn't shoot last week.  Blargh.

Hope your week is going well!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Laundry Detergent, Baby Update

I first made my own detergent in August 2009. In December, I did a cost analysis, and decided that I would continue using it.  I've made my own detergent since then, and by last July I had my final recipe down.  I used it successfully for two months on the diapers, with no smells and no stains.

However, my recipe uses Borax, and Thirsties recommends that you not use Borax on your diapers (in fact, having done so, I have voided their warranty).  So I tried it without Borax, and it's just not the same.

I just whipped up a new batch of my old recipe.  Perhaps it will cause my diapers to disintegrate and I'll have to buy new ones.  Or perhaps Thirsties is just erring on the side of caution in the great "Borax on cloth diapers?" debate.  I'll let you know.

The next test: real food.  I'll give you an update (it will only be two or three months, as they are three months old now!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obamacare Picture Translation (political)

This is going to be a political post, because I can't help myself.  Just ignore it if you're not into the politics thingie.

This has been all over Facebook lately.

Apparently, this sob story is supposed to make you favor government-subsidized heath insurance.  But this is what I see when I read this poster:

I am 34 years old and health insurance is so over-regulated that it is difficult and expensive to procure.  Because my employer does not subsidize heath insurance, I made the decision to gamble that I would not need any.  That gamble failed when I became really sick.  

Because I am a good person, nothing really bad should ever happen to me, so I immediately tried to pawn my expensive problem off on someone else.  Insurance, a regime in which many people pay a little money for the possibility that they may someday need a lot of money, turned me down because there was a 100% certainty that I would need a lot of money immediately.

Luckily for me, President Obama has set up a government handout scheme and called it insurance.  Even though my premiums will never pay for my procedure (and I can stop paying them as soon as I am done with it, anyway), PCIP doesn't care because, unlike private insurers, they can always raise taxes to get more money.

Thank you, President Obama, for screwing over the people who actually paid for insurance and taxpayers everywhere by directing government money to me so that I don't have to pay for the consequences of my earlier bad decision.

(Photo from

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week in Review - 1/15 - 1/21

Carla's Low Spend Challenge

I have spent 86% of our monthly budget, and we are 68% through the month.  I'd be almost caught up, but I broke down and decided to buy a stroller for my house, because I love the BOB Revolution
 at my parents' so much.  I bought the slightly less complicated-looking (and expensive) L.L.Bean Schwinn Turismo Jogger Double.  On the positive side, I got one refund from a doctor and one return of a deposit that will add 6% back to my budget as soon as they post to my account.  I also got confirmation that I will be getting another $100 back from a different doctor, and I put in insurance reimbursement requests for five months of psychiatrist appointments.  I don't expect this money to arrive during the challenge, but the motivation came from getting all my financial ducks in a row for the challenge.

I cleaned my pantry.  It was pretty gross, and I gave the chickens anything that was not encased in hard plastic, but my pantry is now clean again.  I also remembered why I stopped using my bread maker; it is on its last legs.  Apparently Cuisnanrt never intended its Cuisinart CBK-200 2-Pound Convection Automatic Bread Maker to bake bread on a regular basis; the top is broken and the clips that hold the bread pan in place are going as well, and it is less than three years old.  But it's still chugging (loudly) along, so I'm going to make bread in it until it dies completely.  Here is loaf number one, as promised:
I used this recipe at, except that I used oat flour instead of oat bran, and it was delicious; we ate it all Saturday night.  Today, I experimented by substituting 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup white flour, making it a 20% whole wheat bread, and I liked it even better.  My goal is to get a 50% whole wheat bread that I like and can make in 5 mins or less via the machine, but this will do until I can find that recipe.

Now it is time to tackle the living room.  It is an absolute disaster, so normally I would make it a two week project, but two of my best friends from college are coming into town this weekend, so I want to get my booty in gear and get it done this week.

10 Pound Challenge

I've only cheated a little on my nutrient-dense pledge this week, and I have been working out.  I haven't weighed myself; I meant to this morning but I forgot.  I'll see how I am doing next week.

2012 Goals

I am on Exodus chapter 29 this week in the The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (still free from Amazon).  Reading about how the ark should be built and the priests should be dressed is so boring and doesn't seem relevant to my life at all.  Today my pastor recommended that I read Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels by Bruce J. Malina in response to some questions I had about Jesus' admonition to turn the other cheek.  I plan to request it from the library and will let you know if I find it helpful.

I made it to the gym 3 times this week!  Also, I worked out 6 days.  I start walking 5 days a week with my friend tomorrow, and I am planning to go to the gym MTWR and swim as well.

Money mostly remains on autopilot.  As I said above, I got some refunds that will go toward my totals.  I also need to put a few things in for FSA reimbursement, which will add about 3% of my budget back for the month.  It will be tight, but I think I can come in barely under the wire for Carla's challenge if I can limit myself to one more grocery shop in the next ten days.

The one thing I did not do this week was shoot.  I'm going to try to squeeze it in this week, but between the living room and extra gym time, it is kind of unlikely.  I guess I need to schedule a weekly time and just make myself go.  Because it is a fun thing, it keeps being placed on the back burner to other, less-fun things like cleaning the pantry.  And, chances are, my shooting skill (or lack thereof) won't matter a jot my entire lifetime.  However, if I ever need it, I want to be in good form and practice, and that's something that requires consistency.

How was your week?  Is your budget getting tight as the end of the month approaches, or is it just me?

Friday, January 20, 2012

10 Pound Challenge from Newlyweds on a Budget (a bit late)

As I have said before, I need to lose baby weight.  A lot of baby weight.  I've lost a lot of weight before, and the way to do it is one pound at a time.  So, even though I knew I needed to lose way more than 10 pounds, I signed up for the 10 Pound Challenge from Newlyweds on a Budget.  Erika, sweet pea that she is, has generously offered a $75 dollar cash prize to be randomly given to someone who has successfully lost 10 pounds by April 6th.

I figured that my starting weight would be 200 lbs +/- 5 lbs, and I was right; I weighed 205 lbs on January 16th. (Why is it that you never seem to hit the low end of your weight estimates unexpectedly?)  The silver lining is, with this much excess weight, and starting from a fitness level of practically zero, 10 pounds should be a snap.

My plan for weight loss:

1) Continue to work out 6x a week.  I've got a friend who also wants to walk, and she is in much better shape than I am, so she is going to kick my booty in gear.  We are set to walk five mornings a week.

2) Make it to the gym 4x a week.  This will be tough, what with the babies and all, but I think I can do it.  I'm only able to swim 15 mins right now, but I plan to add 1 min a week, so by April 6th I 'll be swimming 26 min, which is getting toward respectable.

3) Get back into Judo.  Not this month, but as soon as I have the rest of my workout routine down and am in decent enough shape that I feel confident I won't hurt myself.  I'm thinking the beginning of February.

4) Eat only nutrient-dense foods.  I ought to be doing that anyway; someone with hypothyroidism should not eat chocolate at times when she is tired, as it just exacerbates the problem with a massive sugar crash.  I'm not planning to count calories or restrict my eating in any way, as I don't want to affect my milk production.  An exception is homemade deserts; if someone offers me one, I will have a little piece, but I will not make any for the duration of the challenge.

I think this should easily put me past the 10 pound mark, but I plan to re-evaluate in week 4.  If I haven't lost at least three pounds by then, I'll re-evaluate my plans.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week in Review - 1/8 - 1/14

Carla's Low Spend Challenge I have spent 65% of our monthly budget and we are 48% through the month.  I filled my car with gas and had a big grocery shop because I filled my pizza with frozen pizzas.  They were $4.50 each at Albertsons, so I bought eight of them.  I also spent $35 on really warm clothing for the babies so that I can take them out in the stroller when it is chilly; I did buy them secondhand, which saved me $45 over buying these at LL Bean.  They might not have been quite necessary, but our daily walk in the stroller is sometimes all that saves my sanity, and I did not want to interrupt it for the cold weather that we're expected to have between now and the end of the month.

The refrigerator (Confession, this post is so late because I spent the evening cleaning it in between tending babies so I would not have to post the before pic alone)



Hopefully this will help with the challenge by allowing us to see the food we have before it spoils.  (Although we were doing pretty good; aside from one meal I only threw away expired condiments.)

This week it is time to clean out the pantry.  I've been afraid to even look in there, because I'm afraid I'll be so grossed out that I'll have to throw everything away.  But it has my bread maker in it, and all my flour.  So my goal for next week is to show you a picture of the loaf of bread I baked using the ingredients in my cleaned and organized pantry.

10 Pound Challenge
I joined the 10-pound Challenge hosted by Newlyweds on a Budget. Lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks, win $$$. Are you in?
Weigh in is tomorrow; I'm expecting to weigh 200 lbs +/- 5 lbs.  It's a bit depressing; I haven't weighed this much since I graduated from law school in 2003.  (Note: If you are a stress eater, law school is not a good place to lose weight).  Mostly it depresses me because it is the visible sign of how out of shape I am.  But I have been this overweight and out of shape before and gotten healthy, and I can do it again.  I can't bring myself to feel too bad about the process of it; Monkey and Football are totally worth it.

2012 Goals

I am on Exodus Chapter 20 in the The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (still free, as of this writing).  The Proverbs 31 emails have begun arriving, and they are pretty good; I have trouble really meditating on them, but they are providing a daily routine.  I need to get a prayer routine going as well, and then I'll be golden.  Also, I made it to church this morning!  The sermon was on the miracle of overcoming lifelong prejudices (the text was John 1:43-51).  Our pastor grew up in rural Oklahoma during the depression, so he had a lot to offer on the difficulties of overcoming your ingrained notions of how the world is.

I worked out 5 times this week again, and never made it to the gym.  Mostly, I pushed the babies in their stroller around the farm.  (My parents got a BOB Revolution Stroller for going around the farm and it is awesome.)  I never seem to have the time to make it to the gym, though.  This week I helped my Dad choose a fabric sample for his new house on Tuesday, I went to my friend's granddaughter's funeral on Friday, and I watched the Saints on Saturday.  I am not sure what happened on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and the gym is closed on Sunday.  This week, I am going to make my three times, at least, though.

The money remains on autopilot.  I need to sell some stuff, and put in for some insurance reimbursement for some doctor's visits, and then I think I can make it through the month.  But I have to find the time to get stuff listed, and it hasn't happened for me yet.  To be honest, I'd rather have a cleaner house than have a bit more money at the end of the month, since I can always sell stuff later if Mr. Goat's job ends abruptly.

No shooting for me this week either.  But it is going to happen one afternoon this week.  Maybe I'll post some pictures of my groups so that we can all have a good laugh; I think a lot of the reason I'm reluctant to do this is that I know how awful my shooting is going to be.  I could have kept in practice by dry firing during pregnancy, but I didn't, and now I need to re-learn those skills all over again.  Hopefully it's like a bicycle, and it won't take me too long to pick up where I left off.

I did not accomplish as much this week as I had hoped, and the death of my friend's granddaughter really threw me for a loop for a couple of days.  This next week should be tough, but doable.  What's on your to-do list this week?