Taking Out the Trash: Get to Know The Bargain Sleuth

Happy Thanksgiving! On my old blog (no longer available on the web), I had a feature that garnered a lot of attention, even though it had nothing to do with the specific topic I was blogging about. Taking Out the Trash was a way for me to share my musings about various subjects that may or may not be related to the focus of the blog, and let the reader get to know me better. I decided to revive it for this blog, so hang on to your hats, here we go!

At the bottom of all my posts, there is a disclaimer that says “This post contains affiliate links”. That’s because I have a business relationship with four different sites: Amazon.com (which includes Audible.com), AbeBooks.com, Better World Books and Booksamillion. That means, when you click a link or ad on my site that brings you to one of those mentioned, AND make a purchase, I receive a small commission. A very small commission, but I’m hoping that I earn enough to pay for the web hosting each year. It does not cost you anything extra to do this. I’m not looking to make this a job. You can find AbeBooks, Books a Million and Better World Books on the right sidebar of the blog, below the Categories section. I politely request that when you do your holiday shopping, you consider starting here at my website and going from there; it’s greatly appreciated!

I have a job outside the house and treat Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews as a hobby, a way to share my love of books and be able to write again. If you read my “About” section, you’ll see that I used to be a journalist, once upon a time, and I miss writing. I do a lot of writing for work, but it’s simple stuff, describing items for sale. In fact, since being called back to work at the end of June, my boss and I busted our tales to put at least 600 new products on the website. Now, with that work done, I’m helping out in the warehouse for a couple months. With the current restrictions in place as to how many people can be in a building at one time, we can’t hire the 60 seasonal employees needed to fulfill all those holiday orders. All I can tell you about where I work is it’s at a company known worldwide and you either love ’em or hate ’em, it’s mostly a boys club (except for the office where I work), and normally I have a desk job. Growing up, I always dreamed of working for this company, and got my first job there as a seasonal worker, then found my current job one year ago. It’s only part-time (full-time during the holidays), but that meets our family’s needs right now, and there are some benefits provided which are a bonus.

If you read my review of Get What’s Yours: the Secret to Maximizing your Social Security, you’d know that my husband, Dave, recently retired. He’s older than me and didn’t want to retire, but was out of work since January and looked for work for 10 months before deciding to take early retirement since his unemployment benefits ran out. We are lucky we have that option; so many people lost their jobs when everything shut down in March and are still struggling to find work. He’s the point man for the kids and virtual schooling. I told him, “I handled all the school stuff for fourteen years, you get the next seven.” But what a year to take over, huh?

Speaking of my kids, our oldest, Veronica, is a 17-year old senior and has decided to go to one of the many great University of Wisconsin schools, but not UW-Green Bay in town. She wants to be a high school English teacher. Yay! My dad was a teacher, then later principal, then an administrator. His uncle was superintendent of a school system, his brother had a teaching degree as well, so teaching has a long history in our family, but skipped my generation for some reason. I wanted to be a teacher for about a year, when I saw that all my six older brothers and sisters weren’t going to become teachers and figured I’d do it out of duty, but my father told me to follow my dreams. I wanted to write and loved talking in front of people, so broadcast journalism it was.

My 16-year old son, Robert, whom I spoke about when I reviewed the Autism-centered House Rules, is a junior and has no clue what he wants to do for a living. He’s tried a couple of camps and courses in various digital interests but nothing has appealed to him. He is also failing miserably at virtual learning. Of all our kids, I thought this tech-savvy kid would take to virtual learning the easiest, not the hardest.

Our 12-year old daughter, Sabrina, is in 7th grade, so middle school, and everyone that remembers middle school is that it sucks. The workload has increased greatly from grade school. Virtual school hasn’t been the easiest for her, either, but at least she doesn’t have to deal with all the normal middle school drama that transpires between boys and girls and cliques.

Our 11-year old, Lorelei (yes, for The Gilmore Girls) is in fifth grade and is a human tornado. She’s incredibly bright and extremely disorganized, but struggles to get her work done virtually as well. Keeping her on task is a struggle, and after miserable parent-teacher conferences, my husband and I just came to the conclusion that we need to sit with her as if she were a much younger student in order to make sure she stays on task.

So if you’ve got kids and are over this virtual-learning experience, I hear ya. But for our family, with my husband’s age and health issues, virtual is the smartest decision, struggles aside.

On a lighter note, we put up our Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago, and I’m going to review the ornament book that goes with all the ornaments we used this year. I used to be a big collector of ornaments, almost as much as books, but have pared down to about 7-8 themes now. This year we put up the Americana tree; it is an election year, after all. Most of the ornaments come from the White House Historical Association. Every year they make an ornament that honors a past president; this year honors John F. Kennedy. The Association “was founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with a mission to protect, preserve, and provide public access to the rich history of America’s Executive Mansion.”

That’s it for this edition of Taking Out the Trash. More next month.

Jennifer “The Bargain Sleuth”

This post contains affiliate links.


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