August 20
       Wow!  Summer is nearly over.  Actually, I hear it already is for some folks, with the kids back in school for a week or more at this point.  School around here (and work for me) doesn't start until Aug. 30.  I'm ready to go back to the more structured schedule we operate on during the school year.  Matt, as a senior, is more than ready to go back to what will be a busy and exciting year.

 Megan, who's entering 7th grade, is, shall we say, less than excited.
       It's sunny here this morning, a most welcome change from from yesterday.  It stormed all day.  It didn't necessarily rain all day but wave after wave of thunder and lighting rolled through.  It started early in the morning and was still going at it when I went to bed at 11:30.  The dry storms were kind of unusual, but I won't complain.  We've had so much rain again this summer.  The ground is saturated and we have a couple of spots in the yard that never seem to dry out.  Unfortunately, the bottom of the pool would be one of them.  We bought a new liner back in June and Tim took the old one out.  Since then dry weather and Tim having time have not crossed paths long enough to get the new liner installed.  I'm to the point of hoping the long Labor Day weekend is dry so we can get the silly thing installed and close the pool up for the year.  I have to say, though, that even if it had been done, we wouldn't have gotten much, if any, use out of the pool this month.  For the third or fourth year in a row the first couple weeks of August have been downright chilly and wet.  We had nearly two weeks where the night temperature dipped to 50 degrees and even into the upper 40's a night or two.  Everyone was beginning to think we were going to have the earliest fall ever.  Even the trees are confused and some have begun to change color.
       I turned 40 last Sunday and Mom turned 60.  Yes, we share a birthday.  Not much hoopla for it as Tim was working and Mom and I were having our garage sale.  It was a nice day with family, though, sitting and talking while waiting for customers and we had dinner together.  Since everyone is free this Sunday, the plan is to go for dinner to celebrate then.
       We've had a couple of forced lessons in frugality the last couple in, there's no money but stuff still needs done.  Isn't that always the way?  After our vacation, Tim was between projects at work so he was only getting his 40 hours, no overtime.  Then he took a day off to attend the funeral of the minister that married us.  We had two paychecks in a row that were much smaller than we're used to.  Unfortunately, the bills kept rolling in and then we had to finish buying the car from Mom.  She insisted it be done before the insurance needed renewed, which made sense, but doing that, getting the insurance on it and paying for tags, taxes and title transfer took nearly one whole paycheck!  There was enough left to get a few groceries, but believe me, I've really learned to be creative with meals these last two weeks.  This week's pay should be back to normal, but again, we have to take a huge chunk out of it right off the bat.  We told our friends we'd buy a side of beef from them this fall.  It was supposed to be butchered next month.  Surprise, surprise, it's getting butchered as we speak and will be ready for pick up this coming week.  I really panicked when I heard that as we still need to buy a freezer.  It took a couple more times of talking with our friends to put the whole picture together.  We only have to pay the butcher (about $75-$80) this week.  We can pay them out of the next pay or a little bit at a time or however.  Whew!  That means we can get the freezer we need to keep the meat.  I was sweating bullets trying to figure out what I was going to do with half a cow!
       The garage sale was kind of a last ditch effort to make some extra money, but it didn't go very well.  The first day it rained nearly all day and was only about 60 degrees.....and yet it was our busiest day.  The second day was dry and a little warmer but we didn't get many people stopping until mid-day.  We had a couple people that bought a good bit of stuff then, but that was about it.  The third day was beautiful and sunny, but we only had about 4 people stop and they didn't buy much.  All together Mom, Matt, Megan and I made $158 in three days.  Once it was all divided, I had enough to keep Tim in gas money this week.  I still had a ton of stuff left over and so did Mom.  We boxed it all up and I've been hauling it to the thrift store little by little.  I also have a large sack full of videos left that I'm donating to the library.  I've said before that I'd never do a garage sale again, but I believe I mean it this time.
       I've been working on painting Megan's room this week.  For such a little room it's been a real pain.  It's never been painted before so I had to prime the walls.  We got an oil-based primer.  Oops.  We've always used laytex before.  I never paid any attention.....until I tried to clean up and water just made the stuff thicker and stickier.  It was late and we didn't have any turpentine so Tim hunted around till he found a can of lighter fluid to at least get the paint off me.  The rollers were beyond hope but Tim said he'd bring rollers home from work and help me paint last night.  He got home late, so all we got done was painting the ceiling.....and one small patch of carpet.  Another oops.  Today I'm going to start edging with the Lion's Mane Gold color we picked.  Hopefully, I will also get the walls painted.  When that dries, I'm rag-rolling a slightly darker shade of glaze on.  It should give the walls a kind of leather/suede look.  We're completely redoing her room in a kind of sophisticated jungle motif (think Colonial India).  We bought the paint in January and she's been given the decorations here and there along the way so I'm not shelling out money now when it's so tight.  It's just a matter of doing the work.
       Tomorrow Tim's sisters are throwing a big party for their dad's 70th birthday.  I am to make pasta salad for it.  We will only be staying for an hour or two at most because the owner of the project Tim is currently working on gave him two tickets to tomorrow's Steelers game.....$200 a pop box seat tickets!  The parking pass is for the same lot where the players park.  I love football and am a huge Steeler fan so I am about to keel over with excitement.  Tim, who is not close to his dad, is just relieved to have a reason to leave the party early.
       By the way, just have to share with everyone that Nita sent me one of Kathy's Scrubbies.  Those things are awesome!  I've been using it to clean my pots and pans all week.  It does every bit as nice a job as steel wool, but there are none of those annoying little metal fibers falling off and it doesn't rust!
       Guess there is a can of paint and a blank wall calling my name so I'd best scoot.  Till next time....
       Carpe diem!