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Too pooped to purl…

B-tch, whine, moan, complain.

Wow.  Just wow.  What a weekend!  Here in Tennessee, the K-12 kids go back to school for the new academic year sometime between the last week in July and the middle of August.  My younger son’s school system returns to class this coming Thursday, August 13.  The first weekend in August each year is a Tennessee state sales tax holiday for items that students need most – clothing, shoes, school supplies, and computers.  There are some limits to what you can buy tax-free, but in general, most basic items that a K-12 or college kid would need are free of sales tax from Friday through Sunday.  To coincide with this, the retailers offer some pretty good sales most years.  This is a now-honored tradition in my household because saving the 9%+ sales tax on the annual horror of back-to-school shopping is nothing to sneeze at!

So, first thing Saturday morning, we saddled up with the younger son and off we went to purchase clothes & school supplies.  Armed with the knowledge that the boy grew about 2-3 inches over the summer and also with the mandated supply list for 8th grade, we stopped first at Kohl’s here in Spring Hill.  For $68, we obtained an arm-full of great shirts – two layered plaid sport shirts with t-shirts underneath, a “Hawaiian” style shirt,  a basic golf shirt, and a couple of nice t-shirts.  There was no way, however, that I was going to pay $21-$35 for a pair of jeans with the rate he’s growing.  Plus, he’s a picky little cuss, and actually prefers one of the house brands at Wally-World, Faded Glory.  So, our next stop was to visit Wally for jeans and supplies.  For the boy, we got 4 pairs of jeans, a pair of cargo pants, more t-shirts, socks and underwear, plus most of the school supplies and a couple of pairs of jeans and t-shirts for the husband for just $142 (eek!).  The final stop was Staples for the rest of the school supplies and some household office stuff at yet another $40.  Oh, and a quick jaunt to Sears for husband’s underwear (he’s picky about those) for another $20-ish.  Yeesh.

All of this was in addition the cash drop in Thursday for the school itself – school fees ($58), the school-mandated agenda/planner ($5), the obligatory school t-shirt ($10) and the cost of the first field trip of the year ($25).  Oy vey.  I was drop-dead exhausted from this, and ready to just be a vegetable, playing on Ravelry and/or Facebook, and do a little knitting.  And, although we spent a lot, we got good bargains and feel good about having gotten value for our money (except that school fee, that one just burns me – I already pay property taxes to fund things like workbooks and reading material for my kid!).

Sadly, almost as soon as we got home, my kids presented me with the understanding that we had problems with our “family” computer in the living room.  Sigh No one in my house is much of a geeky computer type.  We use ‘em, but we don’t fully understand ‘em.  Still, since I’ve worked around technology for so long, I am the closest to being a geek.  So when there’s a problem, everyone hollers for Mom!

So off I went to investigate.  What a mess – the computer had some awful virus or something that completely messed up the file associations, so that no applications or shortcuts would do anything but present an error message asking whether a search of the web for an appropriate application with which to open should be done.  OMf-ingG – what a pain in the butt seven hours later, I had managed to restore some of the functionality and removed a nasty Trojan virus, but some other things still weren’t working properly.  I could not find any answers on the internet for the final problems, and so, decided that I would have to do a “restore” back to factory settings on Sunday.

In conversation about all of this, Husband and I decided that the time had come to obtain an external hard drive, onto which we could transfer all photos, music from owned CDs, important document files (like our saved tax return PDFs), etc., and also maintain monthly or weekly back-ups for the computers in the household.  Between that and regular grocery shopping, Sunday was another expensive and exhausting day.  All of the stores were just mad-houses – almost as bad as Black Friday.  Retailers had some great sale items/discounts/coupons, so it was crazy – parking was awful, check-out lines a mile long, people questioning the price of every item (“No, no – those plastic binders are supposed to be 50 cents each, why are 15 of them coming up to $27.50?! … What do you mean, there’s a limit of 5 per purchase?! {more arguing ensues while the line gets even longer}…Fine, then ring them up as three separate purchases of 5 binders each.  Right now!!”).

Ugh.  It was 6 hours before we got back home.  And I was, again, totally exhausted, but still had to do the factory restore on the computer.  Ugh.  Got it done, took forever, but I think I did it wrong.  The OS and most settings were definitely re-set (120+ updates from Microsoft, thank you very little!!), but most of our added applications and all of our documents/pictures/etc. (which I had backed up to a USB drive) were still intact – or, at least, still there.  Didn’t run, but the files were still there.  The kiddo reinstalled them, and now they work fine.  Weird.  I would do it again, straight from the restore disks I created when we bought it, but I think I’d collapse in exhaustion, and my younger son would probably cry for a week.  LOL!

I entered the weekend by casting on the sleeve of a 3-6 months size cardigan.  I left the weekend with ¾” of ribbing started on the other sleeve.  Since there is a delivery deadline for this item, and I’d really like to make a hat to go with it, I’m hoping I’ll have more success during the week!  Thinking that I would get more knitting done this weekend, I did go to Joann to buy “cute buttons” for this baby sweater.  I made an interesting discovery.  The ‘cute buttons are neither washable, nor child-safe.  This made my temper flare more than a little bit – I mean, what person over the age of 12 would want to wear buttons shaped like a tractor, a teddy bear, kitty/puppy or a baby block?!  About 15 minutes in to my search, I suddenly had an epiphany that should have occurred before I entered the store:  buttoning up baby garments is a pain in the butt in the best of situations.  I realized then that there is no fun and even less success to be had in trying to fasten oddly-shaped “cute buttons”  on a wiggling, squirming, flailing and possibly-crying baby!  If I were the Mom, knowing what I know now, I would just as soon have plain round buttons that don’t fight about being fastened.  So, that’s what I got.  They aren’t cute, but they are colorful & highly functional, which is much more important to me!

So my weekend wasn’t at all relaxing, now it’s Monday, I’m back at work, and I’m still too pooped to purl!

 

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