Saturday, August 30, 2008

Full Week

It was an exciting week even aside from birthday celebrations. Not only was it (1) the first week of school for my second graduate degree in education, but (2) a summary of our birth story was published in the Nebraska Friends of Midwives quarterly newsletter (page 3 for those who care to check it out), (3) We (meaning Lee) majorly overhauled our back and side yard AND (4) I was interviewed by a major national baby magazine about our home birth after two cesareans (more on that later, for those who want to know when that will hit the news stands).

On the college front, I'll never cease to be amazed at the cost of college textbooks. My entire stash of new textbooks for just three classes was supposed to amount to $460.03 if bought new (mostly from the college book store). But I took a few days to shop around on, amazon used books,, on ebay and I even called two friends who recently took, or taught, graduate education classes. It took several days, but I whittled down my total cost, including the additional shipping, to $211.07. Do I even need to tell you how good it feels to save almost $250.00?!?! Actually, I take that back. It was more like $285 in savings because I forgot that the bookstore charges tax. Whew!

Furthermore, as many of you know, my laptop died about 8 months ago. I've been plugging it into an external monitor to get to everything, but in the last two months, that stopped working, too. This laptop was really top-of-the-line when we purchased it from HP. But within 6 months, the LCD stopped working so we used our warranty to get it fixed for free. Within another 6 months it stopped working again. But wouldn't you know it, my warranty ran out. :BIG sigh: So we've been talking with people about fixing it. To get a new LCD, a new keyboard, and the work to install it we're looking at, oh, about $300 or more (not to mention the time to hunt down the used parts we'd need). We looked at many other options. MANY! But it all came down to several hundred dollars to fix a laptop that is already outdated.

In the past we've usually bought what were considered very nice, new computers--from Dell, HP and even Gateway. All were huge disappointments even with the extra software packages, the 24/7 tech support and 48 hour on-site service calls. So this time we threw all that out the window. No more name brand, no more pricey warranties, we went straight to a very simple laptop with just the basics (no big software package--I don't even have Word, yet), with plenty of memory, ROM, etc. We got a separate warranty through Walmart for $59 which covers a lot--even electric surge protection as well as shipping to and from the repair site. No more trying to buy the biggest and best only to be disappointed on performance within months. We're going to assume that in two years this computer will be obsolete like every other one we've poured thousands in to. This time for a new computer INCLUDING warranty we still spent about 1/3 of what we have in the past. YAY!

About our yard work done during this FULL week, I'm going to attach a few pictures of the slow progress. Our spare lot next door had become covered by weeds. Some were threatening to become bushes. Lee killed off everything 3 or more times this summer and the last time finally did it. After that he raked up everything and filled 25-30 yard trashbags full of dead weeds to take to the trash/recycle center. Then he fertilized and planted, raked to mix the seed into the dirt, used a neighbor's roller to flatted it, and now we're religiously watering it daily waiting to see little green blades make their way to the surface. Our hope is that the roots will get going strong before our first snow (which we believe is coming very soon based on the few leaves beginning to fall from our trees). Below are three pictures of the lot about a week or two ago:

Then below is our lot today--raked, seeded, fertilized, rolled, and continually watered.

So there's our week in a nutshell: published articles, textbooks, magazine interview, laptop purchase, and massive yard work. Wish us luck on ALL outcomes!!!

2 ♥ thoughtful comments ♥:

Shay said...

Shaye, You guys always amaze me!!! You go go go and you get a ton done!!! I'm so happy for all of your acomplishments and wish you guys the best! CONGRATS!

Brittany said...

Shaye, I am right there with you. Started classes, hosted book group, James' sister came this weekend, and now I am thinking that I should start potty training Lucy. Maybe someday we can do a playdate, someday.

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