Asking why?

I keep noticing my spending habits. I go out and feel as if I have go to a restaurant too. My friend quickly broke that habit as she has better things to spend her money on then food or even just drinks of any sort. I quickly try to realize my habit of spending and break those habits. Even just cutting back on my spending. Instead of 20 dollars a week or weekend I might see if I can go lower such as 5 dollars or even question why I have to spend money just because I am out. I could just cash a check, go to church or whatever. Even just get my Christmas presents mailed. I keep my place cleaner than before, so I enjoy staying home more. I am even learning to eat at home more. I just need to plan and budget my money more. To keep asking why and to put away my credit cards.


Back to the cleaning habit

I had a good thing going doing a 30 minute chore before breakfast, lunch and dinner. I vacuumed and before that picked up the big bunnies on the carpet. I still need to do the dishes, sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. I need to get rid of clutter that accumulate against the walls. My kitchen shelves need to be organised and I need to hide all the stuff I don’t use. Must mean I should just get rid of but I don’t have the heart. I should also find and know where everything is at. Inspection is over but I am sure another one is just around the corner. I did take the garbage out this morning. I do need to put another bag in the can.

Saving money during virus time

Not really going anywhere or doing anything tonight for Thanksgiving. I didn’t travel or have anyone come visit me. I did call my sister and we talked for an hour or so. I told her how I was going to write in my how to save money journal and she asked, oh, you mean your money blog? I said no and that walking to the library was too far without public transit and the virus made me stop. That got me thinking that I could use my cellphone to combine WordPress with my money diary. Instead of wasting all that paper I couldn’t just enter my journal in WordPress. I didn’t spend any money today and I won’t spend any tomorrow. I plan on getting up tomorrow morning, make my bed, do a load of dishes and then eat breakfast. By one of the day I will vacuum my apartment and then eat lunch. At 4 o clock I will do dishes. After that I will have dinner.

Keeping Track of Spending

“Ok!”  I said to myself while shopping at the Dollar Tree in Paw Paw, MI.  “This time I am going to do it!  I am going to keep track of my spending.”


I was in the school supply section when my eyes scanned down to the perfect notepads to put in my fanny pack and keep track of my spending.  I wasn’t going to get extra pens but I spotted “forever” writing bic pens that were 10 for a buck.  They were guaranteed to write no matter what.  None of the other pens made that kind of promise, and they weren’t on the best seller list like these ones were, either.  How could I go wrong?


Even though I had several little notepads to keep track of my spending that I had brought from garage sales and the like, I was going to get these pads because this time I was definitely going to keep track of my spending.  Right there.  Right now.  I also want to put my spending for the month in my budget monthly book, so I can see on at least one page, from time to time, where my money is going.


Writing down all my spending so far this week or so, I could see that I had spent $79.29 so far.  That’s from not budgeting from McDonald’s, Family Fare and Walmart.   I guess I just figured, oh well, I will just put it on the credit card.  So, I figured I will limit my McDonald’s spending to $2 and my Family Fare money to $5.  I will have to write a list ahead of time of the needs from Walmart and stick to that list.  No junk food and no pop.  I figure if I write down ahead of time, budget and estimate what I will spend I should be good.  At least think about what I am spending instead of after the fact.  Not just throw everything in the cart, ring it up and then after I have spent the money write it down in my notepad.  I want to write it down before I even hit the cash register at the store, know what my budget is and then plan and edit out my spending accordingly.  I still need to separate my wants from my needs.  I definitely need to lock up my credit cards and put them away before going shopping.  It should be a cash only endeavor.


I know I need to keep track of the little things such as bus fare and printing out fees I need for my blog.  I need to write those things down as they do add up from time to time and figure out the best way to get all those things together and find a way to save more money then I already have.  I need to think ahead of time of how I am going to use the bus and the printer at the library ahead of time and find ways of not using those expenses at all or at least trim down the expenses.


Saturday seems to be a hump day for me.  I know if I can make it past Saturday I am pretty much smooth sailing from there.  I don’t spend too much Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are mostly no spend days as I spend the majority of my time at Hope Center Clubhouse unless something comes up and then I know I have to be extra careful that I don’t whack out and spend.  I know I will definitely spend if I know I have a credit card to fall back on.  And I won’t just spend on the credit card but it will be a big spend that blows my budget out of the water.  I have to have a set amount of cash on me and that is it.  That is all I will spend.  That is usually around $20 or so.  I set aside $20 a week and $100 a month.


If I don’t have the money for a big ticket item, I should plan accordingly and know how I am going to save up for that big ticket item.  Not just put it on the credit card, but to think about exactly what I am doing.  For example, if I am saving for a car, I put $192 a month in a savings account and $200 a month into stocks.  I have substitutes so I don’t buy junk food or pop.  I try to buy as little food as possible and live on what I got.  I try to go through my food pantry before I buy more food.


I like to say to myself just because I have a day off doesn’t mean I have to go out and spend.  I try to think of as much stuff to do at home as I possibly can such as reading, writing and cleaning up and organizing my apartment.  Sometimes I can just go to a friend’s apartment to listen to music, watch tv or just sit around and talk.


I am carless so I don’t have to set money aside for gas, insurance, maintenance or repairs of the car.  The bus fare is adding up so I have to be careful of that.  I should walk more if I have to especially when the weather is nice.  When I pay bills such as phone and utilities, I have to walk there.  I could just mail those bills, but the price of stamps are going up too.  As much as 50 cents or more to buy just one stamp.  The bus fare is only 50 cents a ride.  I do mail my rent and credit card bills.  I managed to get a local bank that is close by so I can walk there, if I need to cash a check and put it in my savings account.  I also get my quarters from them too.


I am especially going to have to keep track of my spending during the holidays, vacations and special occasions.  I can’t just whack out and spend blindly putting everything on my credit card.  I need to keep thinking about delayed gratification and not have spontaneous spending.  I need well thought out strategies to save money and not to spend any more than I have to.


I know I will need to brainstorm ways to track my money.  I need to track transportation, food, pets, bus fare, printing, misc. spending, ect.  I need to put it all in one section of my budget book and study it very careful.


I know I want to keep a spending diary to track what went wrong, what went right and more important how does it make me feel?  What lessons have I learned from this tracking whether they are positive, negative, ect.  How can I purposely plan ahead to prepare for spending traps and find better ways to save and spend money.  I should plan a week ahead to see if I can prepare to save and fail to spend.

I try to look at my track spending booklet 4 or 5 times a day and not just record what I spend afterwards but before, so my spending is premeditated. I want to look at my budget book at least once a day and have a meeting with myself of what went right, wrong or whatever.  Am I on track with my financial goals?  A meeting of what happened, what will happen and ways to prevent spending.


Before I go into a store, I want to estimate how much I will spend instead of just spending and then writing it down.  Did I go over or under or somewhere in between?  To give myself an allowance of what I will spend at each place that I go to – Family Fare say $5, Walmart make a list of what needed and estimate an allowance for that.  Make a future list, if needed, so next time go to store have a list ready, ect.

St. Mark’s Free Dinner – Third Thursday of the month – 5:30pm to 6:30pm

There are many free church dinners out there and even dinners at a reduced price that help out good causes, you just have to find them.  I usually find them in the Paw Paw Flashes, a community like paper that people put their want ads in. One such free dinner advertised in the Paw Paw Flashes that I like to go to is the St. Mark’s dinner on the third Thursday of the month at 5:30pm to 6:30pm.


St. Mark’s is located in Paw Paw, MI on South LaGrave Street on the right.  It is a big white church building with a steeple.  They usually have signs advertising their free dinner Thursday event around the church property.  The free dinner is on the third Thursday of the month from 5:30pm to 6:30 pm.  It is located in the basement of the church where there is a kitchen and a dining room with lots of tables and chairs.


Homemade food is served in bulk such as taco salad, pasta dinners, hamburger and cheese casserole, Turkey dinner, soups, and stews.  To drink comes water, juices, and punch.  Different types of drinks like that.  Side dishes include cole slaw, pasta salad, cherry pudding, and strawberry jello.  If that’s not enough, St. Mark’s also serves desserts.  The desserts include a long table of cakes, cookies, ice cream, fudge and chocolates.


Let me remind you, this is a free dinner served every third Thursday at St. Mark’s church in Paw Paw, MI from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  They usually have enough for everybody that goes there and even supply seconds if wanted or needed if it is not too crowded of a night.  In case an extra meal is needed they do have to go boxes so you can take home a meal if you like.  You can either eat there or carry out or you can even do both if you want to.


At St. Mark’s there are plenty of tables and chairs for people to sit and have their dinner.  People from all around go there and it is a great place to meet new people or just gather with the regulars.  A prayer of grace sits on every table so you can just read that before eating your meal.  Thanking God of this good and gracious meal or just say your own grace but a little prayer sits at every table if needed.


The volunteers there are very nice.  They will wait on the people at St. Mark’s and get you whatever it is that you might happened to need for an enjoyable meal.  St. Mark’s serves their meals at the kitchen and we have to wait in line to be served a plate at a time.  The volunteers put our food on the plates and then we go and sit down to wherever we like to sit.  After that we usually go get something to drink and a dessert.  They have plastic bowls, plates and plasti ware with napkins.  You have the option of washing your hands with the sanitizer that is available if you want to.  They also have a bathroom in the basement in case duty calls.  Overall the dinner is a great place to sit around and talk.  It is a great place to socialize.

The volunteers will tell you about the latest happenings at the church such as the rummage sale in the summer and the Cookie walk during the Christmas Holidays.


The Rummage Sale has crafts and jewelry with lots of homemade stuff – knitted gloves, pot holders, and scarves.  At 11am on the last day of the rummage sale you can get a bag of stuff for $2.  Lots of good used clothes, shoes and stuff.


The Cookie Walk comes during Christmas time with oodles of cookies placed on rows and rows of tables.  They have all different kind of homemade cookies.  St. Mark’s provides three different types of tin cans at three different prices.  Last time it was $6, $12 and $18 per can.  Fill up the homemade cans with lots of homemade cookies.  Walk around the tables and get your cookies.  The Cookie Walk way!


At St. Mark’s they have a bulletin board of what the church happens to be doing.  They have all different kind of dinners out and places to go.  The bulletin board basically tells you what is going on at St. Mark’s Church.


St. Mark’s has a parking lot for the cars that drive there. They have a couple of handicap parking spaces for those that need them, but even then the non-handicap parking spots aren’t too far away from the church as it is.  After dinner sometimes people stand around to see what the latest happenings around the area and elsewhere was.  I am carless, but St. Mark’s is close enough for me to walk there.  It is also around a good time so I don’t have to worry about walking home in the dark too much.


As far as I know, you don’t have to go to church there to eat there.  They seem to welcome everybody.  I know a couple of people from the Freshwater Church that volunteer at Freshwater Church for Bagels and Coffee, another free event on Monday mornings from 9am to 11am at Freshwater Church, also volunteer at St. Mark’s Church.  I sometimes get my free breakfast at Freshwater Church which is also walking distance from my place and socialize.  They also help with work, welfare and haircuts.  My friend’s mom gives free haircuts the first Monday of every month at Freshwater.  They also have Senior Services at Freshwater.  You can get a good home cooked lunch for $4 at Senior Services at Freshwater.  They have Lydia’s closets also at Freshwater where they help out with clothes and coats.


St. Mark’s is like the soup kitchen but with much better meals, side dishes and desserts.  Good place to go!  Be sure to bring a date! Ha. Ha.

Eleanore’s Food Pantry in Paw Paw, MI USA

There’s a little place in town that helps people out who need a little kick in the grocery bill.  Once a month, you get about a month’s worth of food and sometimes to drink, to help out with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Sometimes snacks and drinks are provided too.  So, if a little low on food stamps or if you have to choose between medicine and food there are places to go such as Eleanore’s Food Pantry that make life a little cheaper and easier.  Eleanore’s is open Monday through Friday – Monday and Friday from 10 am to 1pm and Tuesday through Thursday from 3pm to 6pm.  It’s a little old shack at the end of LaGrave Street and take a left past the cemetary on the right. Eleanore’s is on Drew Street.


Freshwater (the old Middle School in Paw Paw, MI) also has a food pantry sponsored by Hardings Grocery Store.  They meet every Monday and Thursday at 1:15pm by the basketball courts.  They ask that you not be earlier than 1pm.  They call themselves The Porch.  They have signs near the basketball hoops in the East Parking lot, 600 East Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw, MI. You can take whatever you want there but they ask that you use what you take.  They don’t have as much as Eleanore’s but they do have a big supply of food.  Some of the food the Porch provides are:


  1. Bread
  2. Fruits
  3. Vegetables
  4. Soups
  5. Lunch items to pack

The stuff they provide does get you through the week or so.  They might provide extra bags but should bring your own just in case.


Some of the foods Eleanore’s provide for the month include:


  1. Eggs
  2. Cheese
  3. Yogurt
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Fruits
  6. Vegetables
  7. Frozen Meat
    1. Ham
    2. Pork
    3. Chicken
    4. Fish
  8. Peanut butter
  9. Jelly
  10. Medical supplies
    1. Headache
    2. Colds
    3. Allergies
  11. Shampoo
  12. Deodorant
  13. Toilet paper
  14. Scott towels
  15. Cleaning supplies


Eleanore’s Food Pantry and Freshwater are great places to go for low income help.  They both have bulletin boards with United way, Senior Services, taxes, financial classes, 411, utilities, and housing help. Freshwater has coffee and bagels on Mondays from 9am to 11am to help out with all low income troubles.  Eleanore’s hands out flyers that advertise Church rummage sales, free clothes, free dinners at St. Mark’s (every third Thursday of the month from 5:30pm to 6:30 pm. They are located on LaGrave Street) and other churches such as Lydia’s Closet at Freshwater.


Lydia’s closet is sponsored by United Christian Services.  They are opened Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 12 pm at Freshwater.  You can call or email at 269-415-0767 or St. Mark’s has great home cooked meals, nice drinks and good desserts to choose from.  They are located right down LaGrave St. on the right.  The big white building with a steeple on it.


At Eleanore’s, Little Ceasar’s donates pizzas and crazy bread.  The pizza lasts longer when put in the freezer instead of just in the fridge.  They have cheese bread, pepperoni pizza, cheese pizza and crazy bread to choose from at Eleanore’s.  Sometimes they allow you to have two to three pizzas at a time depending on how many pizzas they have, but usually it is only one per person per household.


Sometimes, especially during the season, they have extra produce that people donate from their gardens.  People sometimes have big gardens and will donate either to Eleanore’s or the Porch.  Some fresh produce that have been donated include:


  1. Tomatoes
  2. Squash
  3. Zucchini
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Onions
  6. Green peppers


To help out Eleanore’s Food Pantry people give their receipts from Family Fare.  They collect so many receipts and get $1,000 at a time.  I try to give what I can and tell everybody I know about the Family Fare/Eleanore receipt program.  It doesn’t cost anything except to shop at Family Fare and collect receipts to give to Eleanore’s Food Pantry.  Sometimes I do give my receipts to the Catholic Church, St. Mary’s of Paw Paw, MI.  It helps both places out tremendously.


Since I have been going carless, I do rely on Public Transit to take me to Eleanore’s Food Pantry.  I take my suitcase to put my months’ worth of food in.  The suitcase is big enough for me to put a month’s worth of food supply in there. I take my chair so I can wait for the bus.  Eleanore’s lets me use the phone so I can call transit to come and pick me up when I am ready for that.  I go on Mondays so I have plenty of time to ride to and from Public transit.  Public transit lets me go on the lift as the suitcase is usually too heavy to just go up the bus stairs with.  Eleanore’s does have a nice waiting room with plenty of chairs, drinks and snacks.


The Porch is a lot closer to me than Eleanore’s Food Pantry.  I haven’t yet tried to get food from them without a car.  I imagine I would have to bring a suitcase so I could just roll my food around and back to home.  The old Middle School is closer to me than the St. Mary’s church so I could just walk there sometime.  It is Monday today and I forgot about coffee and bagels to get some water and a sweet treat to eat.  I would still have to wait a while before 1pm rolls around and I could get my free food.  Eleanore’s food pantry is usually enough for me.  I think I will wait a couple of weeks before going back to Eleanore’s and getting my month’s food supply.  My friend gave me some extra pork chops and pork steak from the grill that I put in the freezer.  I have been taking those out and having for dinner along with some free apples that I got from Hope Center.  Life’s been pretty good!

Public Transit and the Loop Bus of Paw Paw MI


Since going carless, I have discovered a great service in the town of Paw Paw, MI.  Their business is picking up as they like to say.  I have been using public transit since I moved out of my parents’ home and even while living in my parents’ home since 2006 to go to Hope Center in Hartford, MI. For two or three days a week I would sit out in the morning and wait for the public transit bus.  I had the system down to a science even in the dead of winter of below temps.  Now I have a new science to prepare waiting for the bus I used to just get up and go by car.  I am now just starting to learn the times transit is available and to know to try to start early in the day especially if I want to go to two places or so.


I am glad we have the loop bus, as it is called, as it does a lot of people a lot of good.  People have a chance to get to work, go out to eat, shop, go to school, appointments or to wherever they need to go for good, quality transportation for a good quality price.  Public transit and the Loop bus is especially good for many of us who don’t have ready access to a car.  The price to get on board is from reasonably affordable to exceptionally cheap. Free for people 60 and over, 50 cents for disabled people and a dollar for “regular” people or those that just don’t fit in with the above.


I am glad we have the loop bus to take people all around Paw Paw, MI.  If scheduled a day or two ahead of time (by calling public transit at 269-427-7921) you can even go to Kalamazoo, MI for doctor’s appointments and hospital visits.  There are bus stop signs where the loop bus regularly arrives and departs.  They will even give you a schedule of the bus stops if you ask for one.  You can even ask for a bus card for easier convenience of paying for Loop bus rides.  I personally get my quarters from
Arbor credit union where I can get 10 bucks worth of quarters at a time.  I make sure I have my quarters at the ready so I can pay for my ride without having to fumble around for change.  The signs with the departure and arrival lists are helpful as they show where to wait for the bus.


They have dollar rides for times needed to be driven outside of Paw Paw town area.  I have used the dollar rides to ride during the loop bus’s lunch break.  I was waiting to be picked up from Eleanor’s Food Pantry which is a flex route.  This means that you either have to tell the bus driver you are going there or call Public Transit and ask to be picked up from the flex route destination.


When using the Loop bus, I find it is better to be a lot early than a little late.  They stop for no one and they wait for no one too.  The Loop bus goes on every hour on the hour from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday and 8am to 3 pm Saturday and Sunday.  I will have to look at the bus departure sign on that.  It has the hours as well as the phone number to call Public Transit if anyone needs to.  This is on all bus stop signs.


The Public Transit and the Loop Bus accommodates handicap people by having a special place for walkers, wheel chairs and even servant dogs.  The bus chairs are pretty new, neat and comfortable.  The Loop Bus and Public Transit Bus have a lift for the bust to carry up people with wheel chairs and walkers.  Sometimes, especially when going to Eleanore’s Food Pantry, I sue the lift as the items I am carrying are too heavy for me to lift upstairs.  Between waiting for the bus and actually arriving at my destination it can take about 45 minutes.  Sometimes I use this time to read, write or talk to other people if I know someone or meet someone new.  I can also look out the window to see the scenery or what’s going on around the Paw Paw, MI area.  I have my own special chair that I use to go walking around town or to sit on whenever I am waiting at the bus stop.


Some of the places I have gone to using the Loop Bus and the Public Transit Bus include:


McDonald’s (Restaurant)

Family Fare (Grocery Store)

Burger King (Flex Route) (Restaurant)

Walmart (Discount Store)

Library (Flex Route)

Van Buren Mental Health

Bronson Health (Doctor’s Appointment)

Walk a Mile In My Shoes (Rally for Mental Health in Lansing, MI)

Hope Center (Hartford, MI)


Public Transit and the Loop Bus saves the Planet with less carbon foot prints.  They also make life a lot easier especially for the lot of us who don’t have ready access to a car.  I don’t plan on being carless forever but having the loop bus makes it easier for me to save up some money for a car that I know I will like and will be reliable.  I also have extra money to put aside for a car since I am not paying for gas or even car insurance.  I also don’t have to worry about whether or not the car breaks down.  Not only if the car breaks down but how am I supposed to get the car to my mechanic.  I guess I would have to at least tow the car to the mechanic and hope they will be able to fix it.  If I have to leave my car for dead then I would have to go through the whole cycle of having to use the loop bus to save more money up for a car.  Thank you for the Loop Bus and Public transit.

Getting Ready For Halloween in 2019

Halloween comes every year.  Year in. Year out.  It’s the same old thing, almost like all the other holidays, except a different theme for a different year.  Spooky, scary stuff galore.  Trick or treats, pumpkins, ghosts and goblins everywhere.  It’s only the end of September of 2019!  We just started our hunt.  Not a witch hunt, but a Halloween hunt for the scariest stuff for the best price!


The first stop of many comes to the Community Thrift Store of Paw Paw, MI.  They have a 30% off store wide sale going on this week.  Not much Halloween stuff here that we can find, but we are just getting our feet wet.  My friend looks for a garland, but none to her satisfaction or even price range.  She ends up getting some curtains for her apartment and a pretty lot of clothes.  I end up getting some notebook paper and a foot massager to match the one that I have.  We miss her doctor’s appointment, so it is shopping day for sure!


The next stop is just down the road to the Community Thrift’s sister store.  A nice little second hand store specifically for the holidays called the Holiday Store.  It is in Paw Paw, MI also near the eastern end of Paw Paw.  There are some garlands, but mostly Christmas garlands and not the fall or Halloween garlands my friend is looking for.  She finds a nice wedding dress and a feathered theatrical mask.  For my friend’s discount, she has to draw a card out of a choice of five cards.  She gets a four of clubs for a total of 40% off of her purchase there at the Holiday Store.  Her total purchase is a mere $7.  She plans to use these items to dress her deck for a scary, Halloween feel.


The third stop is the Dollar Tree on West Main in Kalamazoo, MI.  A lot of knick knacks of Halloween accessories fill the aisles. Tombs, chains and little plastic fences catch my friend’s eye.  She would like to surround her deck with the grey and black plastic fences. She waits, though, as she might find a better sale at 5 below.  A store where nothing is above $5. It is strange how Dollar Tree went from Halloween to Christmas and skipped Thanksgiving.


The fourth stop is 5 below and is right next to the Dollar Tree on West Main in Kalamazoo, MI. The have a demonized hanging “people”.  One is a witch, one is a clown and the other I really can’t remember.  I do know my friend picked the clown to put in the wedding dress she bought at the Holiday store.  This device was just a mere $5. She also got a lighting device that was battery operated to put in the window to make her deck even scarier looking.


The fifth stop was the Halloween City in West Main in Kalamazoo, MI.  We know we aren’t going to get any good deals here, but we look here anyway to see if we can get any good ideas off of them and find a deal somewhere else cheaper. We are a little early for them as they haven’t set up all their stuff up yet. They did have some creepy crawlies out and some other Halloween stuff.  We look for some battery operated devices since my friend hasn’t found an outlet on her deck so far as she can see.  We walk out not buying anything but we were very entertained by what they had even though not everything was set up yet.


The sixth stop was at Menard’s on 9th street in Kalamazoo, MI.  They had a lot of scary stuff at Menard’s that wasn’t too pricey.  They had a whole range of stuff at different price ranges. My friend looked at some different garlands there but wasn’t satisfied with either the length of the garland or even the price.  There were headless horsemen, witches dolls and everything in between.  My friend was especially interested in the projectors there and is thinking of coming back for one since she found out she had a plug for her porch she could project images on. Of all the places to get projector’s she found that Menard’s was the best place to get a projector for quality and price.


The seventh stop was Family Dollar on West Main in Kalamazoo, MI.  Not much scary and spooky stuff like at Dollar Tree and 5 below.  My friend looked at some of the garlands there and she wasn’t impressed.  I found some little animal toys for my beta fish.  They were 75% off.  I got a hooting owl, squirrel, dancing monkey and a couple of other birds that made chirping noises.  I just put them around the tank for the fish to look at and maybe hear.  I got a “mirror” devices such as a picture frame and a tissue box holder that let the fish look at themselves while they are swimming in the water.  I got the mirror devices at the Community Thrift store for a dollar for the tissue box and 50 cents for the picture frame.  It was a $1.50 total for the mirror devices with a 30% off too.  The only place I saw mirrors was at 5 below and they wanted $2 for their mirrors.  I found a mirror in a bird’s toy package at Walmart for $2.97.  The fish really enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror while they are swimming around.  We didn’t find anything good and scary at the Family Dollar Store.  They mostly had fall stuff.


We went to a lot of good places for our Halloween hunt but we didn’t go everywhere there is to go in the Paw Paw and Kalamazoo area.  There is the internet and online shopping. I haven’t experienced shopping on the internet with my friend but I am sure she knows the places to go and has a method to her madness for that too.  She really likes to shop and knows how to get the best deals.


Other places we still need to shop include:


Goodwill – Paw Paw, West Main and Westnedge of Kalamazoo, MI.

Dollar General but they are probably like Family Dollar with not much other stuff such as the Dollar Tree and 5 Below in Kalamazoo.


Dollar Tree in Paw Paw, MI. Again might be a disappointment unlike the Dollar Tree in Kalamazoo and 5 Below and even Menard’s.

Walmart in Paw Paw, Nine Street and Westendge of Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Meijers, and even Target.


Garage Sales and Flea Markets of Paw Paw and Red Arrow Highway going from Lawrence to Kalamazoo.

Nobody cares more about your grades than you do!

“But the dog really did eat my homework!” says the student.


The teacher can really lose your work or anything can happen to your paper so you just get a big fat zero for your grade point average intake.  It’s always important to keep track of your papers and have those papers handy to show the teacher that you did do the work and actually got a grade on it.  This way you won’t get any more zeros than you have to.


It’s good to check with teacher every once in a while to see if there is any discrepancy between the grade he is giving you and what you thought you should get.  If you have any zeros, see if you can make up for them, do another paper or even get extra credit. One hopes that you would be able to produce the paper that you supposedly got a zero on and it was a pretty good grade on the paper.


Make sure you know what your homework is for the day or even in the future with what the teachers like to use called a syllabus.  Syllabuses are great as they are a plan of what the semester is going to be like and what homework and tests that will be for class.  It tells you what to read, study, tests and homework that will be had for the following weeks in class of that semester.


Try to be at least a day ahead of the syllabus, so when going over what is supposed to be learned ahead of time and not learned after the lecture for the class is over.  A lot of Math classes do things exactly by the book.  If you have a question of what is in the book you will be able to ask that question while the teacher is giving the lecture.  If you read the assignment after the lecture might not get a chance to go over what you had a problem with in the book or be able to clarify any questions you might have had while reading and taking notes on the book.  This also makes it easier to take notes if taking notes from the book and the lecture.


Always use tutors and extra help if necessary whenever you can.


Back in the Stone Ages, when Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet, as of now, these days, a lot can be learned watching youtube videos and other sites on the internet.  The internet can show different ways of learning of what needs to be learned in the class that you are taking.  Not only the internet but specific sites such as Youtube, Pinterest, and wiki pedia.  These might not be reliable sources to use for a paper but you can still learn from them.

One thing to clarify with the teacher is if the teacher is grading between points, percentages or at least what the teacher’s grading scale is.  A lot of times 90 – 100 is an A, 80-89 is a B, and so on and so forth. This is standard but not every teacher goes by the basic grading scale.  He might have his own grading scale and you should be able to know by asking him specifically what that grading scale is.  You could also get graded on the curve where every point and percentage counts.  I would ask how he grades on the curve also.  There are different ways of grading on the curve. Make sure you get all this clarified with teacher.


For instance, I knew someone who got a 45 ½ out of 47 which the teacher said was a 95%.  When we divided 45.5 by 47 we got a .968 or so.  I think that should be rounded off to 97%.  Two percentage points is not a lot but I would keep an eagle eye on this teacher.  I ask this person if she knew how to average and she said no.


This brings me to another point:  You should know how to calculate your GPA or grade point average by knowing how to calculate averages.  One teacher’s 95% could be an A- while a 97% could be a solid A.  We know that an A is 4 points, a B is 3 points, a C is 2 points, a D is 1 point and an E is 0 points.  Knowing the teacher’s grading scale is important and some are really off the wall.


So let’s say we are going to be nice to teacher and let her have the 2% points of 95% instead of 97% and keep on doing just that:


95                                           97

84                                           86

75                                           77

65                                           67

319                                       327


319 Divided by 4 = 79.75  while 327 divided by 4 = 81.75


While the one 81.75 might be a solid B and let’s say the 79.75 is a C+.  The one would be a 3 point grade average while the other would be a 2.5 grade point average which could have been a 2.75 if a B-.  If we rely on teacher then he can do whatever he wants since he is teacher and you’re not going to say anything but swallow that 2.5 grade point average instead of a 3 point or even a 2.75 grade point average.  Of course, if you can beg, plead and cry for an A instead of a B that would be all the better.


I wish I was more careful about my grades.  It would have made my life a lot easier.  I could have gotten into the classes I wanted to get into, the college and the job.  I might have played sports a little longer if I had gotten better grades and I might have been a different major in college if I would have looked out for my grades.  I think a lot of things would have been different.  I hope things will go better for your education if  you have learned anything from these tips.