Wednesday, May 7, 2008

100 Things We Learned the Hard Way, 61-70

This Works for me Wednesday edition of "100 Things" fits perfectly into Shannon's theme for the week: What doesn't Work. I was due to add to our list, anyway, so here's the next installment. Make sure and run over to Rocks in My Drier to learn from everyone else's tips learned the hard way! For the rest of our 100 Things, numbers 1-59, go here.

61) Shopping on Ebay is a lot like a weekend in Vegas. It can be a lot of fun, and you can come home a winner, but don't take money that you can't afford to lose. Buyer Beware!

62) Goldfish don't like cornflakes.

63) Even though it may seem like a really good idea when the children are small to buy a dozen pairs of sneakers in a variety of big kid sizes when you find them for $2 at clearance... Well, don't do it. You won't be able to find them when you need them, and when you do find them, the kids'll hate them.

64) Three things to never go cheap on: computers, used cars, lawn mowers, chainsaws.

65) It never really saves time to put the child to bed in clothes that you think will be non-wrinkly enough to carry him over to church Sunday morning. He will definitely have a diaper leak or spill milk all over himself before you make it out to the car. You can bank on it.

66) Book store 20% off coupons are for the birds. They lure you into the store, of course, where you spend $50 on books that you never would have bought if you'd never gone in in the first place. And you save (maybe) $2.50 on only one of the books. It's a much better value to go to the library instead!

67) Bare root plants from catalogue nurseries are hard to grow. We have had only about a 50% success rate with them. Granted, we live in almost desert-like conditions here on the high prairies of Colorado and are not master gardeners, but we've found that we have a far better chance with potted plants that we hand select from a local nursery.

68) Don't trust the zone calculations in catalogues, either, to determine what will grow successfully in your area. Unless you want the excitement of a gamble on something new, the best indicator of what grows best in your microclimate is a personal tour of your neighborhood with a plant guide in your hand, or a chat with your local nursery staff.

69) Off-brand mac and cheese is just not as good as Kraft. Kraft is nowhere close to as good as made-from-scratch. (This is the recipe we use... Also found in the best homeschool/science cookbook ever: Alton Brown's I'm Just Here For the Food )

70) Over-scheduled summer vacations are just as bad as (maybe worse than) under-scheduled ones.

~ We've had years when we couldn't wait for summer to be over because we were all so bored, and summers where we ended up completely exhausted with all the events and trips and sports we crammed in. This summer we're trying to schedule one small family "event" per month (like we're going to try to go see the Von Trapp Children perform), with one bigger family trip (for the final vows of a dear Sister) in one of those months. My husband and I are penciling in four or five things we'd like to do together over the summer, too, and allowing the children to do the same for themselves. Since we have so many people to schedule, we're encouraging them to group together for most of these (likely in group A: the Bigs, and B: the Littles). Other than those things on the calendar, everything else will come as serendipity. We'll do a lot of garden work and fence painting, eating popsicles and playing on the swings, climbing trees and having tea parties, roasting marshmallows over backyard campfires and bickering over silly kid stuff...


Chaotic Joy said...

The book store thing is totally true. Same with buying a book from their site for "a really good deal". I always end up spending the $25 minimum to get the free S & H and end up spending way more than if I had just bought the book.

Marie said...

I did that with the shoes, but Max's feet haven't grown into them yet.

jskell911 said...

Your Ebay comment is oh so true! And BTW do you know if Beta fish might like those corn flakes LOL?

Bia said...

That's a good thing to know about goldfish . . . I wonder if that's why my pet goldfish, Eric, died?

Bia said...

P.s. where can I order that stress reduction kit?!

Soutenus said...

Yep, I have been lured in many a time on those book coupons....You'd think I would learn.
And the shoes!!! LOL We JUST did that I am like a maniac monitoring my youngest son's foot growth so we won't miss the window of time he will fit into them. I just know I will get lax on the foot watch and we will miss the window!!
Great post :-)

Elizabeth Sue said...

Awesome post! Love your blog!

Laura said...

Things that don't work....this cracked me up. I have a lot of experienced with this because I typically have not listened to advice...need to find out things for myself...such as...trying to drive and eat chinese food...bad idea.