Hey guys!  What do bulls, bears, an elliptical machine and dead trees all have in common?  They are all topics in today’s post!  I have some random thoughts that I wanted to share.  None of them really make a whole post individually, so I thought I would just group them all together for some randomness on this great Friday.

First off, really quick, I wanted to give an easy way to remember what Bull and Bear mean when talking about the stock market.  Bull means the stock market is going up.  Bear means the stock market is going down. Maybe everyone has this down pat already, but when I was taking a class on investing I had the hardest time remembering which was which.   There isn’t anything inherent about a bull that makes you think, “going up”.  And same for a bear.  Maybe they should call it Eagle and Groundhog or something.  That would make more sense.  Anyways, so I started thinking of the L’s in bull like arrows pointing up.  And the R in bear, like an arrow that has curved and is now pointing down.  I made that super awesome graphic to illustrate. (I think I missed my calling in graphic design, don’t you?)  It might be corny, but it works.  So if someone is “feeling bullish” about a stock that means they think it’s going up.  Or if someone is “feeling bearish” about a stock, that means they think it’s going down.  I think everyone is feeling pretty bearish right now.

The second thing I wanted to talk about was to give you an update on my love affair with Mr. Elliptical.  First off, it’s settled into a slow comfortable desire, rather than an intense “got to have it now” infatuation.  I’ve also devised a two part plan to make him mine.  Part one is that I’m going to save up my online income to pay for him.  That way there isn’t any money coming out of the household budget, which eases my guilt.  I have between $250 and $300 saved up so far.  My goal is to have the full $750 by May.  I would like to have it before next summer.  We’ll see.  The second part is that I’ve started walking every day.  It’s still really hot here, so I’ve been going for walks in the early morning and then again after the kids are in bed.  I was going at about 2 in the afternoon but I got heat exhaustion.  Lesson learned there.  I’m going to wait til it’s under 95 before I go walking during the day again.  If I can walk consistently between now and May and I have the money saved up, I will go ahead and buy him. That way I know I will be able to afford it and I’ll be pretty sure that I will use it.  When it gets too hot to go for walks even at night I will want something to do inside.

Ok, the last thing is about my homeowners association.  I jokingly threatened earlier that I was going to kill the tree in my front yard and make my association replace it.  Well, it is seriously the most spindly little tree and I’ve always blamed the watering system.  Or even the drainage, maybe the water just runs right off and the tree doesn’t get any?  But I’ve noticed a lot of trees in our subdivision are that way.  Spindly.  Some are growing just fine, but lots of them just don’t seem to grow.  Poor little trees just hanging on for dear life.  Well, I walk with another mom in the neighborhood and she is involved with the association.  All into everyone’s business.  (Wow… so typical, two stay at home moms pushing strollers around the block gossiping about the neighbors and getting riled up about the home owner’s association.  It’s enough to make me puke. lol)  But she was telling me that the landscapers who planted the trees planted them in the boxes they are shipped in.  Dur.  So that explains it.  Our association is suing the landscapers to make them come back and replace the trees that are dying.  I thought that was interesting.  I didn’t really know that associations did that sort of thing.  I thought it was more of a policing system than an actual advocate for the neighborhood kind of thing.