Saturday, October 25, 2014

Target deal

I got myself to Target today to get in on the last day of the buy $15 in personal care products and get a $5 gift card back. DH uses SpeedStick deordorant and I also had buy one get one free coupons. I purchased 4, got 2 free and a $5 gift card! $7.98 for 4 sticks of deodorant and a $5 gift card. Good deal in my book.

I was also there to pick up some Dawn dish soap for DH (car/parts washing) and there was a deal for a $5 gift card if you bought Dawn and Cascade dishwasher tabs, so since I needed the Dawn anyway and can certainly use the dishwasher tabs, I got those and another $5 gift card.

No problems using coupons there the last couple of times I have been there. I make sure that crabby cashier isn't there (she hasn't been) and picked the line both times of the super sweet and friendly cashier who is there most times :-)

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's a Dog Day :)

We have 2 dogs.  Or I should say 2 dogs have us. One is a yellow lab mix. A big 88 pound sweet, lazy couch potato. He fits right in with our lazy, couch potato lifestyle. A little over 2 years ago we decided to get a second dog. We wanted another lab mix, thinking we'd have another sweet and mellow dog. DS wanted a chocolate type lab, but we ended up with a black lab mix. It was someone nearby who advertised the puppies on Craigslist as non-registered purebred lab. The lady said her lab had puppies with their neighbor's black lab. We just paid a $100 for the pup, but the "purebred" was of no big concern one way or the other and we didn't really think he probably was anyway.

We brought home this little guy:
Over the next couple of months, as he grew, anyone who saw him (vet's, etc) thought he must have some Newfoundland in him. His paws were huge and his ears were getting shaggy fur.  As he grew up he grew into this beautiful animal:

Certainly not a purebred black lab, LOL. (not that we ever thought he was). And not big and bulky like a Newfie. He's got a big bushy tail and long sleek fur. One day I was looking at some picture of dogs and came across a "Flat Coated Retriever". They look exactly like our dog! And the description of this breed of dogs personality fits our pooch to a T.

He is very sweet, but he is NOT a lazy couch potato. He is lively and energetic and needs lots of activity to burn off his energy. Thankfully we have over an acre of land and he can run and chase balls, squirrels, etc, until he is tired out. The personality of Flat Coated Retrievers is that of a "Peter Pan". They just don't really grow up. Wooo doggie! that is our dog! He is almost 2 1/2 years old now and just a fun loving dog. One of his nicknames is "Fun Bobby" ("Friends" fans will recognize the name). The breed website says they "retain these qualities as well as his youthfully good-humored outlook on life into old age".

Even though we are not active folks, this dog fits into our lives. He makes us laugh, he makes us get out of the house several times a day to throw him one of his dozens of tennis balls around the place. As long as he is exercised at least a couple of times a day he is well mannered and stays out of trouble. And, fortunately with DH home all the time and me home all but 3 days a week, he gets lots of the attention he needs. He would definitely not be the type of dog you could leave alone all day while you are at work. He would go crazy with boredom.

He is also a very good alarm dog, and while not aggressive at all, he has a very loud scary bark. Last night was a good example. He sleeps out in the living room, either on the floor next to the couch, or on the couch. At 2 am he lets out a single loud bark. DH gets up to look out the window (as druggies are always walking past our house at all hours of the night) and he starts barking more, so DH lets both dogs outside for a minute. It must have been nothing serious as they came right back in. Fun Bobby comes to my side of the bed (he's tall and his nose is level with my head on my pillow) and pokes his head into my neck, so I give him a snuggle and say "good dog". He then proceeds to climb up next to me, so I skooch over, give him some snuggles and belly rubs, thinking he'll stay just a few minutes and leave, like is his usual M.O. But he falls asleep next to me with his head on my pillow. After about an hour of this I am hot and can't move, so I tell him to get down. He does and takes 2 steps and starts to crawl back up near the foot of the bed. I say ok, thinking he'll sleep at the end of the bed. As I turn myself over and lay back down he plops down right next to me and we end up just like we were before I kicked him out of bed, only we just switched sides!  Ah well, I let him stay. He never sleeps with us, so figured he must have really wanted to for some reason.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bugs and such

I've had a stomach bug the past couple of days. I even stayed home from work yesterday, not something I do very often. I woke up at 4am with my stomach churning and feeling awful and when I got up felt nauseous. So, I slept most of the day (when I wasn't in the bathroom) and just took it easy.  Feeling better today, but glad I can do my work from home. I hate being sick, but fortunately I hardly ever am, so guess I was due :/

I'm anxious for the next payday on the 31st. It has an extra day in the pay period, giving me an extra $225 (after taxes). After expenses (that I know about at this time) I should have about $1000 extra. I'm sure other things will come up during the month, but whatever is left should reimburse savings back for the $520 septic pump bill, as well as some to put towards upcoming Christmas present shopping.

I'm currently reading this:

The 8th book in my all time favorite book series. But I'm only halfway through the 800 pages and the book is due back at the library next Tuesday.  I don't think I'm going to be able to finish it before I have to return it. Maybe I'll be able to have a good reading session this weekend. I guess if I can't, I'll have to put it on reserve again, wait my turn, and finish it at a later date.

I'm listening to an audio book called "Fly Away" by Kristin Hannah. It's a good story, but a bit depressing.  In fact, I have it playing on my ipad mini while I sit her at my desk today. I absolutely love that I can now download audio books from the library at any time, and always have something to listen to (mostly in my car).

I'm still watching Downton Abbey on Amazon Instant Video. I just started season 4. Looks like I'll get through this season just in time for season 5 to start on tv.

On the dinner menu for tonight: just a big pan of Stouffer's chicken and cheese enchiladas. DH loves these things and they are pretty tasty and easy to make, though they do take about an hour and a half to cook. Plus, it's about one of the only things he will actually eat leftovers of.  That will be our dinner on Friday night too.

Monday, October 20, 2014

$520..........for crap!

Our septic tank was pumped today and that was the bill. According to DH it's been more like 11 or 12 years since we had it done and the guy said we called to have it done just at the right time - it was just ready to need to be pumped.  And I'm sure the price I sorta recall paying 12 years ago isn't the same as now.  It was $380 for the pumping, plus tax and a $22 county fee (whatever they heck that is for). Plus DH added $75 to the bill by having them install a riser on the lid so next time he wouldn't have to dig 1 foot and a half down. He'll only have to dig like 6-8 inches. He could barely manage digging that big hole, physically, as it was, I'm sure in another 10 years or so, he'll be even less able.

First thing this morning I called the company we used before but they guy said they were working on a broken pump and couldn't come out for at least a week. I said thanks, but no thanks. I'll try someone else. So, I called another company and she said they could come out this afternoon and they were done and gone by the time I got home from work and now DH is busy filling the hole (smaller hole though, with the riser!) and trying to replace the pieces of sod so the grass will grow back where he dug it up.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A care package

I put together a cute little "care package" to send to DD at college. I snapped a picture of it and then sealed it up. THEN I realized the picture is all blurry!

Boo!! Sorry for the terrible photo! I took a medium sized flat rate box and using some spray on adhesive taped blue wrapping paper on the insides to make it look a little prettier.  I found some cute owl stick-on's and put them on the inside flaps and on the card envelope.  About a month before she left for college we both started having owls show up in our lives - every day! My grandparents collected owls and owls are also a sign that big changes are coming.  We have liked to think my grandma is trying to say hello :)

In the bottom of the box I put 2 of her magazines that have come in the mail, along with her voting ballot. I even taped a postage stamp to it, so she has a stamp to mail her ballot in with. There is some Ghiradelli chocolates and some Ferrero Roche chocolates and a box of chocolate covered raisins. The owl has a cute "tail" that hangs down and says "Welcome". I thought it would be cute for a Halloween decoration for their dorm window or door.

The card is a funny/cute Hoops and Yoyo "thinking of you" message.  We both love Hoops and Yoyo!

Fall maintenance

It looks like we will need to have our septic tank pumped out. It has been awhile. I think we had it done about 7 years ago, when we refinanced our house. I honestly don't remember how long it's been. But, at least DH remembered the name of the company we used, so I can save time trying to decide which company to call. Seems like it was in the $200-300 range to have done. Thankfully, I have the money for it. I have been keeping an emergency reserve of at least $500 for something unexpected (I currently have $1300) for house our auto repairs that might come up.

It's a beautiful Fall day and I did a bit of fall pruning this morning, though decided to wait on the big fuchsia bush. It still has all the little leaves on it, making it hard to see all the branches that need to be cut at the base. Plus, our yard waste cans are plumb full so I will wait until they are empty and the bush is easier to cut down.  I cut down the 2 rose bushes and also cut down a bit on a diablo ninebark plant in the back yard. We actually made is through this summer without anything dying! The year before was quite a challenge for us.

Here's a funny: We had some corn cob type squirrel food we put out over the summer. Apparently they would drop the corn kernels around as a couple of corn stalks were growing nearby. One even ended up clear on the other side of our property, just over the fence, on neighbor's property. DH pulled out the ones growing on our landscaping, but I noticed the one just over the fence actually has a corn cob growing on it!

DH did another leaf blowing session this morning and is digging up the lid to the septic system right now, so it will be ready for whenever the septic company can get out here. I'll call first thing in the morning and hopefully it will be within the next few days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Prepping for cold

DH is starting to button up the house in preparation for cold weather. The 2 window air conditioners have been removed and the windows shut. The vents around the outside bottom of the house have been covered over with small boards he nails on (painted to match the house even!), in hopes that it helps keep the cold air from the crawl space under the house and up into our floors. We started doing this last year and I think it did help keep our electricity bills down a little bit.

If weather permits (sounds like Sunday might be my dry day) I'll be finishing clearing up some "dead" plants from our landscaping. I have a huge fuchsia bush that dies off this time every year and leaves a big brown mess of branches that I have to cut down to the ground and dispose of. I also need to cut my 2 rose bushes down. The one that was totally black and dead, until DD poured a bunch of Miracle Grow on it, grew green and very tall the rest of the summer, taller than me! But no roses ever bloomed on it this year. I'm hoping next year.... This year we planted a raspberry plant and a blueberry plant (no berries) in one of our whiskey barrel planters. Does anyone know if there is something I should be doing to the plants for winter? Do I cut them down? 

We've been having to turn the heat on in the mornings and evenings now, though I see DH isn't turning it quite as high as he usually does and he's been putting on a sweatshirt instead of cranking up the heat. Not sure why the change after all these years, but I'll take it.

Now when I bake something in the oven, I leave the door open for a bit, after I turn the oven off, to let the heat fill the room. Might as well not waste it!

Speaking of baking, I have been making us a dessert to snack on, about once a week. I've made a couple of cakes, peanut butter cookies one week, and brownies last week.  This weekend I think a pan of Tollhouse bars sounds like a good dessert to make. The trick will be to get them made before DH realizes there is cookie dough to eat!