Sunday, August 26, 2012

Princeton GRE Book Wins & Issac Fails

Well, we spent all day indoors. We didn't get the full brunt of Issac but the wind gusts and constant rain did not create a very appetizing atmosphere to go out anywhere.

So, still surviving a mini back flare, I decided to get back to GRE studying. I had it with the Peterson book. So at work, they got me:

*drumroll please*

The 2013 Cracking the GRE by the Princeton Review! Just in the 3 hours I played with it today, this book is infinitely better. When you go to the Princeton Review website, you can get a study plan (for 12, 8, and 4 weeks), online practice tests and videos. And the study plan incorporates materials from the ETS website (where you have to sign up to schedule the GRE test) that I did not know about (a practice book and practice test software).

Get this book. Seriously.
And a massive thank you to my library.

In other news, it feels wonderful when friends come through. (I would do a happy dance it if wouldn't hurt) I cannot thank Manda enough for getting back to me on the first half of my book. Now I eagerly wait for the second half. *rubs hands with evil grin*

Have a great week everyone!

And I am very sorry for those going to get beaten up by Issac. :/

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yoga Helps the GRE & Back Blues

No, Blogging World, I am not dead. I've just been busy.

Finally my back is nearing normal again - which I am so pleased about. Yoga helps so much. I don't like taking pain meds if I don't have to. My goal is to build my core and the muscles in my back. I've noticed that this flare, which was just as bad as the one in December, went away a lot faster with the help of yoga (and muscle relaxers for 2 days [instead of five days!]). Also, anything that helps me calm my mind is a plus. I'm finding I sleep better too.

I dabbled in yoga back when I lived in Tampa (years ago). A co-worker handed me a handout for the "Sun Salutation". She was Hindu and she told me that it will help with the stress. At the time, I had a simple 1-bedroom apartment where I turned the designated dining room into my library with a Moroccan flare. It helped. A year ago, I started getting serious about it and it's been paying off.

And it's helped quell the GRE a point. The Peterson's Master the GRE is stupid. One, there are mistakes in the book. I could handle the misspellings, the reference to wrong passages and words BUT when the mistakes started showing up in the math section, that's where I had a cow! It deserves the one star reviews on the site. Luckily, I did not buy it but I asked our ordering person to get the Princeton Review Cracking the GRE 2013.

So I will leave everyone with something random. Last night while I was covering large print copies and Spanish copies of a book I despise, I thought, "I wonder what is the Persian/Azeri/Turkish word for ________?" Unicorns came to mind. I wondered if they are simply something purely out of Western myth? Dragons, we find, are evident in almost every country's folklore.

I totally want one of these! It make a great ice breaker!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Purging the Past is a Pain in the Back

Well, I've been  in bed rest (plus gentle yoga) for two days. I will attempt work today. My husband and I decided to tackle my past - aka "the storage unit". And like the stubborn moron I can be, I wanted to tackle it alone, knowing that I cannot lift more than 10 lbs. Luckily, it was only a mini back flare. I've had much worse.

I still screamed like my bones were smashed. My whole body was trembling and tingling and my back froze up like a washing board. But it wasn't agony. About a 6.5 out of 10. I've experienced a 10, this was much tolerable.

First was the easy stuff, the old papers. I don't need apartment leasing agreements from 8 years ago. Orientation papers from college or anything from college other than my transcripts and degree. Our reuse paper pile is now fat and overflowing. And the reusable school supplies are abundant (for both of us is a plus!)

I did go through my forensic science stuff, and kept most of the papers and notes. They will come in handy for my book. And the best was finding my old writing stuff. I was reading some of my older short stories and I *points to self* could not believe I wrote some of those. They're actually good! I know I do not have the files anymore but I look forward to revamping them and sending two of them off for competitions. It was great seeing my old notes, my old inspirations and muses. I found a writer whom I used to follow her podcasts; Mur Lafferty of I Should Be Writing. Wow, that must have been six years ago. The old blog address I had doesn't work anymore but the link above is the correct one. She has some great advice and wisdom for us newbies.

This weekend, I'll tackle the DVDs and cassettes (my husband brought the boxes home) after I study GRE. Which, by the way, makes me feel like an idiot.

Storage unit is now about 1/8 cleared. The goal is to get it down to half so I can put up the shelves I have in there and enjoy my books which are sitting in boxes.

And I know everyone is wondering if it was hard to part with things. YES. But I think about how my back does not allow me to carry this stuff forever and I'm not enjoying any of it sitting in a storage unit. The truly hard part will be when I go through my art stuff. The supplies, most of it can go. Paint sitting in there for years are no good anyways but I'll have to really determine which paintings, which photos, slides, etc are worth keeping or not. :/ I'm not looking forward to that...

I will be clearing out some old craft supplies in the next few months. I would like to donate them. Any recommendations for groups who will enjoy them in the Palm Beach County and/or Martin County area?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Review of Purchasing from Women Within

By Mrs. Honey Bee from Florida on 8/7/2012

3out of 5
Sizing: Feels too large
Pros: Comfortable, Quality Materials, Figure Flattering, Great Color
Cons: Poor Fit
Best Uses: Casual Wear
Describe Yourself: Practical, Conservative, Stylish
Was this a gift?: No
Ordered 2 for myself. They were soft and comfortable. The quality was good, is not see-through. BUT it was massive and I purchased the smallest size. Customer service was excellent but for this product there isn't anything smaller. Returned.

This is what I get for thinking I can still shop from a plus-size magazine. LOL. I had wanted two tunics in cotton to replace two shirts that were a bit short for my tastes. I ordered them in Medium (the smallest size they had) and it fit like two tents. I don't know where they get these sizes. From their sizing chart I would have been a Large. I'm happy I didn't order that now!
Anyways, it's returned. It's pointless to go out and try and find tunics because everything is in synthetics (stupidest thing to wear in the heat) and have words and screenprinted images of mouths and exploding the adult women's clothing section. For real? Do I look like I'm 13?
Maybe it's time I start sewing my own clothes again because what's out there is ridiculous. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Couponing Late July/early August 2012

There has been some great deals on our part this last week and a half.

Yesterday we got enough tea to last about a year. All with expiration for 2014. Savings of 68%.
Last week: Olive oil (exp 2015). Savings of 75% will last for about 8 months.
Gallons of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice (exp 2013) for 60% off. Will last 8 months.

The only shopping spree I put into Excel (I've been kinda busy with the GRE) was the one I did for mouthwash using CVS.

So in this house, we're good on paper towels, olive oil, a year worth of mouthwash, tea and cranberry juice for a while.

Every bit we can save, we can use for something else. Like maybe a weekend up in Vero? Here's to hoping!


ps: So my husband gave me some advice about keeping blogs shorter, sweeter and more frequent. Let's try it out. :)