Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting ready for babysitting

Here's some of what's been happening:
  • Yesterday, the kids and I got things ready for my husband to carpet clean the dining room, part of the living room, and some hallways. Later this week, we are expecting a visit from the baby (and his mom) that I'm going to be sitting for. It's a small gig (only a couple hours a week at this point), but it will require many small changes to get ready.
  • My husband has been doing the Electronic Playground with the kids.
  • I'm at a bit of a loss what to do with the kids for the next week-and-a-half, after all these weeks of camps, classes, and one week of travel.
  • I've gotten back into Patrick O'Brian's Post Captain.
  • Our electric bill for the past month was a glorious $116. Depending on where you live, this may sound high, but my basis for comparison is our first summer here, when we got a three-month bill (for July, August and September) that averaged $400+ per month. I attribute this much smaller bill to our switching mostly to fluorescent bulbs (except for closets, kids' rooms, etc.), the one week that we were gone and the thermostat was set to the mid-80s, and our switch to a new electric company.
  • I loved this book review from a personal finance blogger who was irritated by Judith Levine's Not Buying It, which purports to be the memoir of a year of not shopping. Here's a quote: "I tried to glean as much as possible about living life frugally but finally became so annoyed with the author, I didn’t read the last 30 or so pages. She droned on and on about how Bush was to blame for just about everything, insisted that frequent political contributions and political activism trips didn’t count as spending, whined for a chapter or two about a cell phone tower she didn’t like, and then explained how purchases didn’t count if one of her friends paid for it. When she wrote about a friend who had invited her and her husband to dinner and they went in hopes the friend would offer to pay (he did), I blew a top."

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