To have an “experience”, so to speak?

You crack me up. To be honest, the dorm I lived in, had it not had a girls only floor, it wouldn’t have been an option for me to have resided in my freshman year. My parents wouldn’t have allowed it, and I think I would have been uncomfortable. My sophomore year of college, I moved into an off campus, all girls apartment complex. Boys couldn’t even go upstairs without calling ahead and being allowed to enter the elevator without going through a security guard/doorman. I know this is old school, but I sometimes think we allow our children to live too progressive a lifestyle by funding their choices. I’m with you, debtfreemama, if I’m paying, I get a vote in the decision; otherwise, they can be on the financial hook for their choices.

It is virtually impossible to find a secular college

which does not mandate co-ed dorms for freshman students. It is definitely a factor when choosing a college.

Utah state university has some which are single gender. northern arizona university separates them by gender by floor. The work around is if your child comes in as a transfer student, they are not obligated to live in the dorms.
revolutionaries have definitely taken over most of our colleges and universities.

This brings up a “memory”

We were band parents big time when ds was in marching band. We traveled with the band as chaperones everywhere. We were given the “bus from hell” as the other parents labeled it. To us it was bus #7 and our kids—no my ds did not ride on our bus. They were the kids with the “bad reps.” Or at least to the other chaperones they were. We didn’t see them that way. We saw them as kids who wanted treated as adults so we made an agreement with them. You don’t act in a bad way and we won’t treat you in a bad way.
None of our “bad” kids got in trouble any time we were chaperoning them, except when one of the other chaperones kept saying one certain kid had been being mouthy to her and such. The problem was at the time she was saying this happened I was with the kid in an entirely different area. So I asked her to point him out. Who she pointed out not only wasn’t the kid she said it was, but it turned out to be the child of one of the snooty chaperones. LOL!
Anyway, back to the dorm thing. Their senior year we took those same band kids from OK to AZ, and from OK to Washington DC staying in motels and such on both trips. When we first started out on those trips the main chaperones handed out this multipage list of rules and regulations (we’re talking a HUGE list) that all the chaperones were ordered to read aloud to the students as we departed on the trips. Dh, Bill, Bev and I went over the list and burst out laughing. You would not believe the list. It micro managed every aspects of the kids life while on this trip. We are talking 17, 18, and 19 year olds with raging hormones, many of which were legally adults. The four of us talked it over. Then when it was time to read the I held up the large list and told the kids I had this huge list of rules I had to read to them. You can imagine the groan that went through that big charter bus. I then told them I was going to keep it brief and narrow it down for them. A cheer went up. Here’s the rules we gave the kids.
That was it, plain and simple. Guess what we were the only bus that came home from those trips without a “spare passenger.”

My point to all of this is. We can all pray and hope our child will re-act in a proper manner when put in situations. But it’s the training and respect we’ve taught them that will be the determining factor. We had treated those kids as responsible adults throughout our years of marching along side them and they had in turn shown us respect by following those two rules. You all have taught your children well and they will not disappoint you.

It seems that a lot of colleges are doing this now.

I was none to pleased when I saw that on my daughter’s dorm materials. My sister expressed the same discontent with her son’s information as well. His school seems to push it, as it cost more to live in a single sex dorm building, than in one where you can have both co-ed floors AND co-ed rooms.

Personally I think pregnancy costs are going to skyrocket, but they didn’t ask me.

We’re particularly prone to the guilt

which I’ve written about before: we’re bad offspring if we don’t go to visit family during the holidays. Or so the parents would have us think. All the stops come out during the holidays, to get us on a plane to go a-visiting. And of course they can never come here. Oh, no, the family wants to Make A Point that it’s our job to go see them. Because they’re retired (emphasis on the “tired” part of that word) and it’s our job as dutiful children to suck up the cost and go see them since they’re on fixed income. This is the first year where we are consciously, proactively, deliberately saying NO! to that guilt trip.

We are actually looking forward to a very quiet, no-travel, no-hoopla, low-cost holiday season this year. I’m enjoying the process of putting together this year’s farm calendars which will be our gifts to each household (way more cost effective than gifts to each person in a household), and that’s the extent of our holiday effort. We’ll have a nice holiday dinner here and there with local friends, and DH gets time off for both T-day and Christmas/New Year’s. But we’re not getting on the Guilt Train this year. Feels good to say No for that ride.

I guess I’m too uncomfortable with crowds

to have ever been happy with a Black Friday-type “shopping event”. My skin crawls just going into the grocery store in the 4pm – 6pm evening rush. So I chuckled to myself that all those folks were lining up at the doors, yesterday morning or yesterday evening or in the wee hours today. They’re welcome to it.
But I am a tad twitchy this year about the idea that all my Christmas-giving is going to be from this calendar I’m putting together. Questions about “is it nice enough”, “what if they don’t like it”, “what if they think it’s dumb”, all the standard questions regarding the suitability of the gift. I’m also constantly questioning myself whether the time I’m investing in making it, is a good use of my time (now that I care about managing such things). I’m trying to remind myself that this is a unique expression of us which we share with family and friends, and as such they can’t “get it at the store”, so comparisons to store-bought items is rather pointless. I’m also reminding myself that the time I put into it is not only relaxing for me, but it is part of how I’m saving money on the purchase price. That might not be a big deal for one or two gifts, but multiply that by a dozen recipient households and suddenly that means something.

I think there’s always going to be an aspect of “is this a good thing I’m choosing to share with my loved ones?” aspect of holiday giving. I figure it’s the intent and the motivation that counts. For the grownups on our giving list, we want to share some piece of our lives because travel back and forth hasn’t been very practical. For the little ones, of which there are only six, I’ll probably go ahead and buy something small but unique for each of them that they can have to themselves. Something that doesn’t require a great deal of philosophical reflection to understand the meaning, but rather “this is for you, this is about you, this is your special gift, from us.” That’s how we’re answering the call of holiday giving this year.

My sister is getting ready to take out a loan for her kid’s last semester of college.

So far they haven’t had to take any loans out, so this will be the first one. She says she’ll be paying it off by March, we’ll see.

My kids are only taking a certain number of credits because they don’t want to run the college savings money down and they don’t want to take out loans….they are paying everything themselves, except I give them a break on the cell phone and car insurance. They actually freaked when I withdrew money last year and it was only $500 each.

I am SO excited !

I just came back from picking up a small pile of bricks via freecycle. When I get there, they are piling up/smoothing out this HUMONGOUS pile of tree mulch/compost. I don’t want to interrupt so I wave and point to bricks and start piling in my car.

They are chatting with a neighbor who laughs and says “hey, that lady’s taking your bricks” and I reply “yeah, and if they want to get rid of some of that tree mulch compost I’ll take some of that too !”

The owner goes “Seriously? You can have as much as you want !!”

So I finish loading the bricks and go over and i’m like, hey i’m serious if you are, how much will you let me have? He goes “leave us 4 inches of dressing along this area and you can have all the rest !” There’s literally and 1/8th of a ton sitting there.

So tomorrow morning I’m going back and I will literally scoop and haul away down to a 4″ dressing. I am SO excited. I was just thinking about how I wanted some of that stuff and WHAMMO, drops in my lap.


I was gifted via freecycle about 120 used bricks

and today, about 250 pounds (15 bags) of wood chip mulch. I have a million places I can put it…hence my dilemma, looking for the best bang for my buck so to speak, given the following factors:

1. We rent, so I can’t have anything permanent-permanent.
2. We are south facing, which means the best part of my yard is the front yard (the back yard is in shadow until noon except for some specific areas.
3. We live in southern California, which means other than Dec & Jan, we can grow year round.
4. I have two great front yard garden patch areas: #1 gets great sun in the morning then due to the overhang of the house, is in shade, #2 gets sun all day long, but picks up every grass and weed seed in the world. (in short, it’s a pain.)
5. I already used up 4 bags in area #1 which is 2 feet by 14 feet.

Do I:
a. build 4×4 planter boxes on the cement patio which gets direct sun for about 90% of the day. Means I have to lay down some regular soil first (= $) and may likely use up my entire pile of bricks just for 1 planter.

b. Rip up a 2 foot by 22 foot grass area along my north fence. It’s on a slight slope, so I’ll have to buy some 2″x12″s and stake them into the ground (vs using the brick and making sure it’s level etc.), then lay the mulch in that. 2x12s won’t cost much, I won’t have to use up my bricks. This area gets sun 100% of the day, or very close to it.

c. Weed out my front yard garden #2, lay down newspaper to help kill the weeds coming up, then hope like heck the new mulch does a better job of keeping the weeds down than my current yucky soil does.

Of course, the advantage to doing something in the back yard is no one is around to see it & steal it. The advantage to the front yard is the hose is right there, and I see it, so I actually get around to doing something with it.

Any thoughts/ideas appreciated.

I have some queries relating to “Islamic banking”, payday loans and finance

If we take Meezan Bank as example, as per term 3.1 of account opening form for Savings and COII account holders, “The relationship between the Bank and the Customer shall be based on the principles of Mudarabah where the Customer is the Rab ul Maal and the Bank is the Mudarib”. However, if we look at the balance sheet of Meezan Bank, deposits of Savings/ COII customers are shown as liabilities of the Bank. As a student of Islamic Finance, my understanding is that in Mudarabah (partnership of fund and skill/ management) arrangements, the fund contributed by Rab ul Maal is never a liability of Mudarib as all the risk of loss in capital lies with Rab ul Maal. The moment it becomes a liability of Mudarib, it becomes a lending arrangement, Mudarib becomes borrower and any profit to depositor become interest. Which statement of Meezan Bank is true? This issue aggravate further when we see the relationship in case of current account stated in tem 3.7 as Qard (loan with bad credit history or bad credit ok) but disclosed similar to Saving/ COII accounts, although both are fundamentally different in nature, risks and uses from each other. How does relationship of a depositor with Meezan Bank differentiate with that of depositor in PLS saving account in a conventional Bank?

I have never had one before and at enrollment, decided to open one up

I elected to put in $300 which they take out a portion out of each paycheck from Sept. through May (I work for a school). When I log into my account it shows available $300 to use. My last day at the school is Friday so my benefits will be done. So my question is, do I only have available the amount that actually has been taken out from my paychecks or the full $300? I don’t want to lose money but I also don’t want to use the money and have to pay it back.

insert 3 Stooges sound here

I couldn’t figure out how to write out the sound that the 3 stooges made when in trouble, thus the title.
For my homework last week I did “those” phone calls. You know the ones we all have to make periodically because someone didn’t do their job right.
One of which was the 3 stooges office. BCBS paid them nearly $1,800 on a bill I had already paid off earlier in the year back in the first part of October. Well here it is the first part of December and all the other doctors, the hospital and labs had all re-inbursed me for our over payment, but not the 3 stooges.
So I called them on the 3rd and at first they played dumb? Overpayment, what overpayment? Then “oh yeah, bc did pay us in October” When I asked a check for the entire amount be sent that day I was given a long list of people that the process to refund the money to me would have to go through and was told it could be 6-8 WEEKS before it could get through the channels and then what with the holidays I might need to call back after the first of the year and… I told them different of course, but they were adamant.
Fast forward to today when I got a return phone call on the latest BC mess up and the gal started telling me why things were the way they were and…I lost it, with all that has been going on this last two months I burst into tears to the point I couldn’t even understand me, little on the woman on the other end. But she did catch the part about me saying that because of the previous bc mess up that one doctor owed us nearly $2,000 and I was having trouble getting it from them. She wanted to know who and exactly what amount. I told her, gave her dates of service etc.
She put me on hold, came back shortly and I am to have my check by Monday. She threatened them with a government inquiry into their bookkeeping practices. I am to let her know if I don’t have the check by Monday because they are screwing with Federal laws it seems…
Then she said she would work on this latest problem with our blue cross claim and call me back in a few days. This one is actually due to an error on how the hospital filed the claim and if we can’t get it fixed it could cost us $6,000. Sure hope she can fix it.
We have filled out the paperwork for Medicare part B and if we are reading it right it will kick in as of January 1, 2017, just in time to help cover my chemo and radiation. We figure better to pay the $100 per month for group b than our 2017 bc deductibles and out of pocket, because they will be HIGH.
On the home front the guys are battling Murphy on the basement. The new sump pump doesn’t fit the housing for it as well as the old one did and keeps stopping, so we still have about 1 inch of water in one end of the basement. Want to talk stink? Of course I am overly sensitive to smells right now. The guys are working as much as they can on it, but it actually got over 3 ft deep down there before dh got the new pump set up. So it is taking a while to get it all pumped out.
Being a math nerd I calculated roughly how much we needed to haul to the dump, the fuel to go to and from there, the dump fees etc and then called around for a dumpster. I found someone who would deliver a 20 cubic yard one to the house for less money than all that added up to. It is about twice the size we really needed, but I am still decluttering. We have 2 weeks to fill it.
So while the basement was draining on Saturday I suggested to dh that instead of slowly draining the pool we were going to send to the dump anyway he just slit it open. He did and will drag it to the dumpster this next weekend. Those of you on facebook with me have seen the photo of how huge this dumpster is. For the rest of you it is 22 ft long, 8 ft wide and 4 ft tall. They advertised it to hold 8-10 pick up loads of stuff.
So once the basement is finished the guys will be doing a MAJOR toss and destroy to finish filling it. I am very excited to have these larger things like the pool out of here.
So that is my homework for the week.
Oh, ds’s pickup is dying on him and he’s doing the “repair or replace” game right now and has been new car shopping. Problem is he doesn’t want to get a beater, but he doesn’t want a loan, but he doesn’t have enough cash saved… We’ll see how it goes because his truck is the commuter car for both he and dh.

Another meal we like is pancakes

But we make them by beating 2 eggs and mashing in 1 very ripe banana. Mash/beat until well blended. It should look something like pancake batter. Spray your pan or butter even coconut oil we have used. Cook just like you would pancakes. I find if you make them smaller they are easier to handle.
We only use Maple Syrup none of the fake stuff but I am diabetic and banana can raise my blood sugar a bit so I skip the maple syrup and put a small amount of strawberry syrup I make (just strawberries a bit of water and some lemon zest cook down to how you like it)

I hope these ideas are helping you. I know how hard it can be to try and work around food restrictions.