Saturday, May 30, 2015

Grocery shopping and meal planning

I am really trying my best to shop for 2 weeks at a time. I am so terrible at it! Maybe it's just because we live a mile from grocery stores, so it's really no big deal if I forget something or don't plan too well. I suppose I'd be really good at it, if we lived out in the country and grocery shopping wasn't very convenient.

I got my dinner meals all planned out:
Friday -  was Fried Chicken from the store deli
Saturday - BBQ steak
Sunday - BBQ burgers (and I'll throw on some chicken to learn how to grill it)
Monday - Take out
Tuesday - Chili dogs and corn bread
Wed - Chicken Sandwich ring
Thurs - take out
Fri - Tacos
Saturday - Streak
Sunday - Fish (not something I usually buy very often, but trying for some variety here. Might trying grilling if weather is ok)
Monday - Take out
Tuesday - Eggs and Bacon (love me breakfast for dinner)
Wed - Chicken with rice and veggies casserole
Thurs - take out

Desserts/snacks during the 2 week period will be strawberry shortcake, brownies and strawberry ice cream (my next attempt at homemade ice cream with my new attachment). Breakfast for me is usually coffee and then some instant breakfast. The days I am home when DH gets up I make him an egg sandwich on english muffin. If I'm not home he makes himself toast. Work lunches I usually take some leftovers or soup at hand. When I'm at home I don't really eat lunch. I just kind of snack on whatever sounds good, but there will be leftover fried chicken, so I know I will eat that up for lunch over the weekend. DH has lunch meat and cheese on 9 grain bread for lunch, with chips and a pop.

I'm trying to think of everything we will need over the next 2 weeks. I will have to stop in next week for a few fresh things, especially the fish. I like to get that close to when I am baking it.

I really need to get better about freezing leftover stuff too. When DD was home last weekend we both wanted french toast on the thick bread. It was a huge loaf of bread that we used a whole 4 slices out of. I had some for dinner last night for myself (dh has his Thursday night burger and fries) and put the rest of the loaf in the freezer.  We will also most likely need dog food during the 2nd week and that is part of my $400 food/misc bi-monthly budget.  With the take out meals and the trip I will have next week for some fresh items, I need to keep this shopping trip for two weeks under $290.  Update to come later to see how I did!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday this and that

I don't know why things that should be simple and automated have to be a hassle. I have been filling my prescription at the same pharmacy for a long time now. It falls under the $4 prescription list (or $10 for 3 months). I always get the 90 day supply. My prescription is on auto refill. So I go to pick it up the other day (and I never got a reminder text or phone call like usual) and she says "$4 please". I said's usually $10...for 90 days. She says well this is just for 1 month. I say well, I've always gotten 90 days for $10. Then she tries to tell me my insurance will only cover one month at a time. I said I don't know how those $4/$10 prescriptions work but I always assumed it was a cash price and not even ran through insurance. Finally she refills it for 90 days, but not after I had to argue with her and then wait for the extra 60 pills.

I'm counting the days until the end of June and bonus check time! Still haven't decided for sure what to do with it, but still leaning toward seeing if DH wants to go on a vacation somewhere later this summer.  But, if by some chance I ended up getting a trip for my 10th work anniversary (as everyone else has over the years) then I'd rather not use the money for another trip. One trip would be plenty and I'd then rather use the money for something else.

One more week until DD is home for the summer! Her dorm room is looking pretty bare. She's brought most of what she can home the last few trips and what's left she'll be able to fit in her car and not need me or her BF to make a trip there to haul the rest back. She'll be home next Friday, but only has one final on June 9th, so she will just drive back up to school for the day, take the test, and come home.  Still no summer internship or job found. She may end up back at the restaurant filling in, I guess.

Nice weather this weekend in the mid 70's. Perfect. I'll be grilling dinner Saturday and Sunday night.  Tonight will just be fried chicken from the store deli. I'll go get my grocery shopping done this afternoon after work and bring that home for dinner. I still want to try grilling some chicken on the bbq. Maybe I'll just buy a small thing of chicken wings or legs and give it a try, along with our burgers. I need to find out how to marinate. I guess I'll just use bbq sauce. I have an unopened jar in the cupboard.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. I have no idea how long chicken has to cook on the bbq grill.........

We really need to start some sort of house/yard project.  DH really needs something to do and something to keep his mind off how crappy he feels, but I can't get him to get going on any projects lately. DD told me that this summer we will get her brother's bedroom finally completely cleaned out and set up for my new office room. I was happy to hear that. I tried to get her to help me over winter break and she just kept ignoring me over it, so I just assumed she didn't want to deal with it. I did at least get everything boxed up and a bunch of stuff to Goodwill over winter, but there are still a bunch of boxes to figure out what to do with. We'll go through it all again and see what of that can be given to Goodwill and what thrown away. I had kept whatever I thought he still might want. All his dress clothes, some jackets, books, old models and some papers.  I guess I'll just give the clothes and books to Goodwill.

I really don't want to use the oak desk that is in that room. It's kind of big and ugly, so I'll be on the lookout for something new/used. I also want to paint the room once we get it cleaned out. I have never liked the color I painted that room years ago - it was supposed to be a light brown/tan but it always reminds me of the color of silly putty! I told DD that she could "design" the room for me and she was excited about that. I'm sure she'll come up with some cute ideas. I'll probably sell the bed, dresser and nightstand and get a futon couch. That way I'll have a double (or whatever size mattress they are) sized bed if I ever have guests. We also plan to paint the living room this summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I have a Capitol One online savings (and checking) account. I opened them up about a year and a half ago to take advantage of a special offer they were having where I got $175 in cash back reward for opening and leaving some money in there and using the checking debit card.

I've started using the savings again to transfer $100 a month from my side job income to cover taxes due on the self employment income. I owed about $1100 this year, so hopefully the $100 a month set aside will cover next year, or at least be close and not have to pull much out of my regular savings, like I did this year.

In logging in each month now, I see that I can have several (up to 25!) savings accounts, with different names, to save for different things. I think this might be a good plan for me. I'm going to start with two new savings accounts. One for "Pets" to use for vet bills and one for "Water" to save for our monthly water bill that is paid annually. 

For the Pet category I am now saving each month due to the new food I switched too. I'm not sure how long this 40 pound bag will last yet (the first bag lasted 2 months but that was during the long transition time where I was feeding a little of old and new food). So far I have had this 2nd bag 2 1/2 weeks and there is still quite a bit left. For now I'm just going to guess it will last a month and that I am saving about $30 a month in food and start setting that aside for now. Once I see how long this will last, I can get a better estimate on what I am saving per month.

We pay $20 a month for water, but I pay it for a full year each January. That's always kind of a hard hit, coming right after Christmas expenses, so the payment usually comes out of savings or whatever year-end/Christmas bonus I have received.

So, that's what I'm going to start with. Putting the $100 away each month has been painless, so I'll add these two and see how that goes. For the most part the $30 Pet savings will be be able to come out of my monthly food budget, that I am under budgeted most months. If I can manage these well, then I can add another one or two annual expenses to save for. Like our car tabs.

Speaking of water.....our water went out twice last week. Well owner old lady had to get a repair guy out and do some more repairs on the pump, I guess. She just put in a brand new pump last October.....she should really not have had any problems with this for years and years. DH went to try using a sprinkler on the front lawn yesterday. Holy moly - it actually works now that we have decent water pressure! He can water the front part in one shot. Last summer we couldn't even get a sprinkler to work, the pressure was so dang low or it would be such a small sprinkling that it would take moving the sprinkler 3 times just to cover our small front yard area. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weekend update

What an unexpected weekend I had! I knew my half-sister was vacationing here in the states but Saturday morning got an email from her that they would be driving through during the week and would like to stop for a visit. I wasn't keeping my hopes up too I wouldn't be disappointed. Then Sunday she messaged me that they would be in town on Monday afternoon. We all had dinner together and I took work off yesterday to spend the day together.

We had breakfast and then drove into the city for some sightseeing. DD had a morning test and when she got done she drove to the city (it's about halfway between our house and her university) so she also got to spend the day with us. The weather was great and we had a great time until later afternoon and then they started heading home.  I think one of the highlights for me was we stopped to watch this guy for a minute doing caricature drawings and when we passed by again coming out of the stop he said "can I do a drawing for the sisters?" It was neat to me that he knew we were sisters. Never having grown up with any siblings, it was kind of a nice feeling to have a sister :)

I had Friday off too and the first 3 days were just hanging out with DD and not doing much of anything. She and her boyfriend asked me to go to breakfast with them and his mom on Monday morning, so I thought that sounded like fun. As we are driving there DD mentions that there will probably be other people at this breakfast. Her BF goes to some breakfast meeting every Monday morning for some community organization he belongs to. Oh......ok.....we get there and it's a group of about 10. BF and his family are very involved in local community and politics so it was kind of mix of a community project group with some local politicians.  SO NOT MY THING AT ALL!! The only good part was at least they were all conservatives, haha! Here I thought we were just going to have a nice breakfast the 4 of us. Oh well.

On the way to the breakfast we stopped at her BF's house to ride to the restaurant with them. I'm always curious to see other people's houses. I like to see how they decorate and stuff. I've always been very self conscious to have people come to my house. With it being a manufactured house and nothing fancy at all, I've always felt very "less than" everybody else. BF and his parents live in a 2 story house in a nice housing development (just mid-range, nothing fancy or high dollar) and I must say I left there feeling really good about our place! Our yard is always immaculate (now, haha) and while my home is certainly nothing fancy, it's clean and tidy inside. BF's house was in terrible need of a lawn mowing, not much of any landscaping, the porch was cluttered with stuff and the inside was pretty dang messy and cluttered!  I felt good on Monday that I really had to do very little to ready my house for my guests that afternoon.There was no mad dash to clean house, because I have been keeping it clean all along :)  Yay me!  (only took me 40 years, LOL)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I got a wonderful surprise email on Sunday from my half sister. She and her boyfriend had been on vacation and were driving back home through my area and she'd like to stop and see me. We have been in contact several years, but have not seen each other in over 30 years! They got here late yesterday afternoon and we visited awhile and then went out to dinner. DD was still home, so she was really excited that she was able to meet her half-aunt, too.  They spent the night in a nearby hotel and today we are going to spend the day together, having breakfast and doing some sight seeing around the city. It's been really special being able to see each other (we share a father) and I'm also very grateful I have a job where I can just text me boss last night and tell her I need today off :) 

Monday, May 25, 2015

A little make-over

I had sort of been looking for a new paper towel holder. Something in red to match the rest of my kitchen stuff that I've gotten new recently.  This is my old wooden paper towel holder. I think I bought it as part of a matching set of canisters, salt and pepper shakers, napkin holder (none of which I have anymore) and paper towel holder sometime during our first year of marriage, so I've had it 30 years. Yikes.

Instead of buying a new one (prices ranged from $10-$30) I bought a $1.50 can of red spray paint and within several minutes and some drying time I had this

It matches the other red items and red valances in my kitchen perfectly. Should be good for another 30 years...haha!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's only Thurdsay

Friday is a half day at work (with Monday off, of course) so I decided to take the whole day off Friday, since DD is home. I only have to use 4 hours of vacation time. I've got like 187 hours. Geez....I need a vacation.....I'm also working from home today. My boss emailed me at the end of yesterday and said I could work from home and I reminded her that we had another phone/webinar meeting. Well either she didn't get the invite or it got buried in her thousands of emails so she sent the meeting host an email rescheduling to next week.

DD got home last night. She could have left school at 2pm but then it would have taken her 3 1/2 hours in afternoon traffic, so she waited and left at 5pm and got home at 7:30 - with another huge load of stuff from her dorm room! There can't be much left there, LOL. She will get to stay until next Tuesday morning. I'm sure she will be with her boyfriend most of the free time, but it will be nice seeing her and it's nice knowing she's tucked asleep in her bed.

It was another crappy week with our drug dealing neighbors. We know the methmom has been back for a good month or two but we haven't really seen her (just heard her yelling from time to time). Well, she finally ventured out the other afternoon and took a walk down the street and one of our dogs happened to be out. He did what he is supposed to do - alert us by barking at the front fence that someone is out there. She couldn't spend the 15 seconds it takes to just walk on she had to antagonize the dog and then go off the paved road and come over to the fence (about 10 feet from the paved road) and start yelling at our dog. By then DH was walking out the front door and calmly just told her to stop antagonizing the dog. She starts yelling "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" DH just laughs and said ya, I know who you are. Just move along and stop antagonizing the dog. She kept yelling "do you know who I am?" over and over. DH just kept saying " just move along" Then she proceeded to tell him her husband will take care of him and his dog and she'd just start throwing rocks at our dog.  DH called the police and she took off down the road (who knows where). When they did finally arrive they told DH they are familiar with her, have arrested her before, etc. They apparently did go down and talk to her - or at least they were down at their house for about 10 minutes.

Our dogs are not outdoor dogs. They are inside most all the time, except of course to have potty breaks outside, to get a couple of 10 minute ball throwing sessions, or when we are out doing yard work. It is to the point that just about anytime we go to let them out some drug scumbag is out there or ends up being out there during their 5 minutes outside. In fact, this particular time DH looked outside before he let the dog out (a common thing we have to do now) and saw someone walking down the street. He waited until she had passed by before he let the dog out, so he wouldn't bark at her. Then as soon as he thought it was "safe" to let him out, here comes methmom. It's never ending. Maybe we'll get lucky and they will go camping for the holiday weekend - they've done that a couple of times before on long weekends. It would be really nice to have a couple of days of peace and quiet. Especially since our good neighbor is out of town (his dad passed away) so DH feels extra pressure to watch his place.

And our water has been off for the second time in 5 days, so we are back to problems with that and dealing with that wonderful old lady. Other than I'm not. If it happens again, I'll just report it to the county again and let them deal with it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


It's finally time to replace my summer sandals. I've only had them about 15 years! For some reason I've always thought they were a pair of Naturalizer brand sandals, but in looking at the worn out label on my old shoes they are Easy Spirit brand.  I remember my mom bought them for me one day when there used to be an actual Naturalizer store at the mall.  I must have been thinking of a different time/pair of shoes.  I have very narrow feet and these were way more than I could afford at the time and she kindly bought them for me. I wear these every summer, all summer long. A couple of times the past several years I have touched them up with some brown shoe polish. They have always been super comfortable and boy have they lasted. They've walked through Disneyland and Disneyworld over the years :) I guess when you pay for a good shoe you get a good shoe.

But, alas, they are wearing out. The buckle strap on the right shoe is coming loose. I really should have replaced them last year, but I made them last one more year. I wore them yesterday for the first time this year and finally decided a new pair is a must. With how comfortable these shoes are and how long they lasted I decided on buying another pair of that brand. I couldn't find anything I liked in that brand at all. Nothing even similar to this style anymore is offered, from what I could find online. So then I searched Naturalizer brand.  I figured I was going to have to spend about $80.  I did some online searching and decided I liked this pair best and it comes in black, instead of dark brown.

Then I did some searching for the best price - every where seemed to be about $79, but I found a 20% off coupon code at and free shipping. Plus there was no sales tax! I got the shoes for $63.16.  In addition to that I went through my Swagbucks shopping portal and will earn about 6% back and I used my rewards debit card and will get another 1% back, making my final cost on these $80 shoes about $59. I really hope they are comfortable.

Online shoe stores are a great thing for us narrow footed folk. I have always hated shoe shopping since I was a little kid. Not very many stores carry narrow widths and those that do are expensive and have little selection. It was always head to Nordstrom, find something I liked and ask if they have narrow only to be told it wasn't offered. Finally, I'd have to just say "show me what you do have in narrow" and make my selection from that and never end up with what I really liked and wanted. But now that there are online stores there is so much more selection for me to find narrow width shoes! I'm still not a shoe horse by any means, but at least the few pair I do have now are one's I like.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I'm sure I've mentioned it before.......I HATE cooking. Mostly I hate making dinner. And I hate trying to figure out what to make for dinner. DH pretty much only likes a handful of things, so in that sense it should be easy to plan, but I get so sick of eating the same exact meals every week. But, pretty much that's what it ends up being.

At least we have cut our fast food expense way down with it being just us two. Two nights are budgeted for take out. I always plan all my dinner meals for the week before I go grocery shopping. So, this is what I have this week, starting with last Friday night:

Friday - Tuna Casserole (only because I don't want to go grocery shopping that afternoon and I had nothing else to make. I prefer early Saturday morning)
Saturday - Steak (on the BBQ now that we have it out and weather is good)
Sunday - Hamburgers (BBQ)
Monday - stopped at Subway on my way home and got sandwiches
Tuesday -  ? (Tomato soup and grilled cheese - Just decided this morning what to make)
Wed - Meatloaf
Thurs -Take out for DH from his favorite burger stand

I can always think of 4 meals for the 5 I make at home and always am stumped what to make the 5th.
There are other things I made on a regular basis, but not enough to want them every week, so they get rotated in every 2-3 weeks (like tuna casserole, chicken sandwich ring, pizza, tacos, etc). I'm a terrible cook! I mean the food is ok......I just don't have it in me to get excited about it and DH is such a picky eater. Last Sunday I made this cheesy bacon hashbrown casserole that is really good and always tons left over for my lunches for the week. Well, last Tuesday was my ? day and I hadn't figured anything out. I didn't even have tomato soup on the cupboard to make. DH does not like leftovers (unless it's from Thanksgiving) but I went ahead and re-heated it anyway......he had 2nds...of leftovers! That probably seems ridiculous to most, but it's a huge deal around here, LOL.

For my shopping trip this past Saturday I tried to come up with 2 weeks of dinner meals and shopped accordingly. I was able to get most of it, but a couple of the dinners next week need fresh ingredients and I will need milk and such, but next weekends shopping should be a much quicker trip. I was also able to get a good deal on soda (dh drinks) at Target for $2 each and stocked up on 8 12 packs.

I told DD that while she is home for the summer (in a few more weeks) she is in charge of making dinner one night a week. She was very agreeable, so that is good. I don't care what she makes as long as I don't have to make it. But she does have to keep in it the area of what DH will eat. She likes to try new stuff, so maybe we'll end up with a new recipe or two we all like.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dreaming of June 2016

Today is payday. Money in my account for a few hours overnight, LOL. But, once I got up and sat down with my cup of coffee and made the mortgage, car insurance and Care Credit payment, what's left is for food and gas. It just really dawned on me that possibly this time next year DD will be all graduated and with a job! She can start paying her own car insurance and I won't be giving her $100 a month anymore for living at school. She will also have health insurance and I won't have to pay that anymore. Most likely she will move in with her boyfriend, but if she decides to live at home for awhile, she can also chip in a bit of rent back to me. If she moves out, I'll have less food and electric costs, if she stays, I'll have some rent income.  Plus, at that same time DH's costly Crestor prescription goes generic, so I should see a huge savings per month over the $162 a month I fork out for that. Come June next year, with all the above combined, I should see about a $500 a month drop in expenses! I know we shouldn't wish the time away, but I will be counting the months! That's an extra $500 a month that can get me closer to ever being able to retire, haha!

I checked again and our house value went up another $5k! Just going by that figure we are now within a few thousand of having equity in our home. I'm also sure this value doesn't reflect the fencing, landscaping, outside painting, and inside remodels we did. Sometime next month I still plan to call a few realtors to get estimates from them and then we'll have a better idea of where we stand with our home value and an potential equity. Obviously, to sell and move, we'd need equity so we can buy something a non-drug infested neighborhood.

DD got signed up for her 2 online summer classes and her classes for next Fall. She will be taking a heavy load in Fall - 4 classes for the quarter, but she feels confident she can handle it. One class had one spot left and she was watching it all morning until her 11am registration time, but she got the last spot. Two of her classes are taught by the same professor, who is also her adviser, who she really likes. All her classes will be Monday and Wednesday with a really long day, basically from 8 am to 6pm with a 2 hour break before lunch.  I hope living off campus and having her own bedroom will allow her to have her space. She has already told the other 2 roommates that whatever apartment they get, she would like the master bedroom and will pay a little extra for it and they were both agreeable to that. 

We were texting the other day and she was saying she's excited to get things for her bathroom and bedroom. She wants a queen sized bed and wants to make a platform type of bed out of Ikea bookshelves or something similar. I said I still had the 2 bathroom mats from her bathroom here at home, that were pretty new, but didn't go with the colors once we remodeled and she could have those. She jumped right on that with a "yes, I'm all about free stuff now that I'm a broke college student" :)

Speaking of Mother/Daughter texts.....I came across the most hilarious Instagram account of a mother and daughter and their daily texts. I just laughed and laughed. Check out CrazyJewishMom on Instagram or their website

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I had to get up and ready a little earlier this morning to go to a dentist appointment for a cleaning. Finally - no problems and I don't have to go back for anything until my next cleaning. They were almost a half hour late after my appointment time to take me back. Grrr.... Plus a few minutes before they called me back a lady walked in and sat in the chair next to me.  She REEKED of cigarette smoke and I could barely breathe. YUCK! I always try to schedule doctor/dentist/chiropractor appointments on the days I work from home. Makes it much easier to be flexible and all 3 are less than 2 miles from my house, so at least I don't have traffic to deal with. I just got an email that DH's doctor is retiring in August. That's a bummer.

I do have to get into work by 9 am tomorrow (I usually arrive by 9:30....or whenever traffic allows me to get there) for another meeting/training on our new sales expense report tracking system. I'm not familiar with traffic at that time of morning, but I know it's much worse, so I'll probably just leave the house at 7:30 to make sure to arrive in plenty of time before 9. I think this is the last of our meetings and then we can start the roll-out to the sales people. It should make tracking their business expenses easier for them (and me!). My boss and I did realize during our phone/webinar meeting last week that our trainer was really in India.  She does really well, but there were just a few odd quirks that kept coming out during the meeting that my boss and I would look at each other and roll our eyes. It was the typical scene where they are basically reading from a manual, but when you ask a question it totally throws them off.  We had lots of questions, of course, and each time she would say "oh....ya, that's a really good question" (while she was probably searching for the answer. LOL.)

We are getting really close to our mid-year bonus goal and should hit it by the end of this month or beginning of June. Most likely they will pay us the bonus as soon as we hit the goal and not make us wait until the end of June. I still wish it was like it was back in 2007 and 2008. Our bonus was 20% of our salary (now it's 10%) and it was paid out monthly (if we hit our goals, which we did). At the time, I was getting checks for almost an extra $1000 per month. It was awesome, but I never let myself count on that or make it part of my monthly budget, so when bonus's ended with the economy crash, I wasn't hurting because of it.

Nothing much to look forward to this coming weekend. Weather will be blah and no plans for anything. Naps will probably be on my agenda, then. DD will be home the long Memorial weekend and again the following weekend (to get as much moved home as she can) and then it's final's week and she's home for the summer on June 10th.  If she still doesn't have room to get the rest of her stuff back home, her boyfriend will go up and bring it home in his truck.

DH went outside a little while ago to mow the yard. I got up to get something out of the kitchen and looked out the window and no dh and no mowing was done. But, I know I had heard the mower! I looked out the front and found him mowing over at good neighbors yard! Good neighbor's dad just passed away last Friday, so he's bummed and I'm sure he doesn't feel like doing mowing, so that was nice of DH to do it for him and he'll be happy when he gets home from work.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Yard pictures

I had started a post Saturday morning, but didn't get to finish it - the weather was just too nice to be inside on the computer. I tried to finish it yesterday morning but DH got up shortly after I did and then I made some breakfast, got in the shower, and never really sat at my computer again.  So, I scrapped it and will just start over. I hope you all had a nice Mother's Day.  Mine was really just another normal day, as far as days go, I guess. Or, I guess it would have felt like another normal day without all the Mother's Day hype and expectations we are supposed to have. With all that thrown in, I guess you could say the day kind of sucked.....a son who won't be a part of my life and my daughter spent more time with her boyfriends mom then she did me yesterday and DH spent the day complaining about everything under the sun.

I tried the ice cream maker attachment yesterday. One word: YUM!
This is about halfway through the process. I probably could have done it a little bit longer to get it thicker, but it was still really good, soft ice cream. I purchased a couple of air tight small freezer containers and they were the perfect size to put the ice cream into and keep it fresh in the freezer.

My yard and flowers are starting to bloom nicely. Here's a peek at some of them
The barrels and baskets are starting to fill out and I am so excited to see the clematis vines growing on the arbor trellis! They are growing really fast, but from what I read it doesn't sound like I'll probably get flowers this year. The plants are expending all their energy trying to get their roots in place.

Another angle of the front arbor with my cute wind chime I got at Ross for $8

This is our old falling apart bench that I have tried to turn into a planter. I'm hoping the flowers will spread out and then I won't be able to see the coco liner as much

A rhody in bloom - complete with dogs butt!

The raspberry and blueberry plants we planted last year (and still no nothing about) are really growing this year. Maybe we'll even get some berries this year.

The back arbor with hanging baskets

 And here is the base of the arbor, where my little seeds of sweet pea flowers are springing up!

The red rose bush is getting close to blooming now

It's a cloudy over cast day today and some rain the rest of the week. I don't mind. Gives me a break from watering everything and keeps the lawn green.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Faster than a speeding bullet

Holy Cow Amazon can ship fast! Tuesday night I ordered an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. I didn't even order it until like 6pm. Free 2 day shipping with Prime and it was supposed to be here on Thursday. Ok, cool.  It got here yesterday morning! Seriously 16 hours after I ordered it! How the heck did they do that?! I asked DH if a drone dropped it off. LOL. No, it was the regular UPS guy. Amazon seriously has it's business model down pat.

Now, I can't wait to try making some ice cream! Does anyone have one of these attachments? How do you like it? It sounds like a bit of time to make the  mixture and then a long wait for it to chill, but then the mixer attachment makes it in about 15 to 20 minutes. I will get the ingredients tomorrow and get it started and hopefully have some ice cream on Saturday.

DD did not get approved for credit for her internship. The "class" is only for those majoring in the program. Oh well. It is what it is and she'll either just have to go an extra quarter or load up on a heavy class load a couple of quarters next year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mid week ramblings

This morning I had my quick medical exam for my life insurance policy I have applied for. I had to fast and not eat anything this morning until 9:30. I was starving and feeling light headed by the time I got done at almost 10am. I did drink lots of water, which is a good thing because they did not tell me I was going to have to give a urine sample. For once, I had a good blood draw. One poke and she was done. Usually I'm all poked up (and then bruised up) by the time they try to draw one or two little vials of blood.  I really think it depends on who is doing it. This lady obviously knew what she was doing...which you think they all would when that is their job 8 hours a day! I'm 5'4 1/2" and weigh 124 pounds.  I miss my 35 years of 110 pounds LOL.  Wonder how much the quote for the life insurance will end up now.  Probably even higher.

I went back home for a whole 40 minutes (and worked) until it was time to leave again for my dentist appointment. Finally, I now have my 2 permanent veneers on. It's only been a 3 month process - good grief! I can smile confident and feel good about having my pictures taken again (though the temporaries that had been on for the past 3 months looked good too). I'll be back there again next week for my 4 month cleaning appointment. The dental assistant and I are getting to know each other quite well, haha.

Then I headed over to the bank where my home equity loan resides. I received a statement from them a few days ago saying I was past due a payment. How in the heck is that possible, when, prior to filing for bankruptcy in 2010 I had it on auto pay and since then every.single.month. since August of 2010 I have stopped in that bank on the last day of the month and made a payment. Well, apparently they just had a big computer change (and I knew this because this is also the bank that the company I have my side job with, uses, and the statements and online viewing is all messed up) and these past due loan statements went out in error. Whew!

But, I still had another issue to have them figure out. Since February I have started paying a little extra each month.  This statement showed my lower balance, but it only reflected the 2nd payment I paid extra. Where is the first amount I paid extra? The bank teller had no idea, and of course because of their new system could now not look back in their system and check. So, she took notes of what my problem is and said someone from the loan department will get in touch with me.  They need to explain what the heck they did with my extra $63.69.

DD has been trying to organize all what classes she will be taking for the rest of her degree(s) program. She had hoped this summer internship she is lining up could be used for an internship for credit class that is offered. She ended up speaking with 3 different people about it the other day. It's not an acutal class you attend - just do your internship and write up a paper about it and a professor ok's it and you get credit. Finally she was passed on to the professor for that "class" who she explained that she switched majors from supply chain mgmt to ops mgmt, but she already had this internship lined up and could she get credit from the internship class? He told her no, it was only available to supply chain mgmt students. She decided she was going to speak to her adviser again and keep pushing for it......then I talked to her on the phone yesterday and said "well, when you talked to the prof. did you also tell him that you were still MINORING in supply chain mgmt?? OMG, No! she didn't.  She was like "how dumb am I?"  So, she has a meeting with him today to explain that she is still part of this program as a minor. I would think she should be able to use this internship as credit for it!  Keeping fingers crossed.  I should be hearing back from her soon about it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

They are still alive and healthy :)

The two dogs are all switched over to the new food, Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice. They both love the food and have had absolutely no problems with it. I really like that I'm giving them a better quality food AND a 40 pound bag is only $32 at our local feed store! What a savings compared to what I was spending, especially for our younger dog. It is costing me less than half of the previous food I was buying for him and it's rated higher in quality. A win all around for all of us, in my book.

It wouldn't matter what dog food you look at reviews for - a 5 star rated food or a store brand dog food - someone is going to say it made their dog sick or it killed them. I'm happy to report this new food did neither :)  I switched them both over very slowly, and one at a time, as I had their original food to use up and if they were to have any negative reaction to it, I wouldn't end up with 2 sick dogs at the same time.  I might be imagining it, but it seems our older couch potato lab even has more energy and has been running and playing more.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shopping deals

I had to go to Target yesterday to pickup DH's Crestor prescription. $162 - ouch! One more year until that goes generic. I wonder how much it will cost then? It will be like getting a raise next year this time!  While there I took advantage of a couple of deals to save and stock up on.

2 bags of Purina One cat food - I had a $5 off when you buy 2 coupon and they were on sale too.
2 large jugs of laundry detergent and a 6 pack of Kleenex - get a $5 gift card back when you buy 3 items, plus I had some coupons that I stacked. I also had a pharmacy rewards save 5% coupon.

All told I spent $43.73 and saved $22.81. I haven't been Target shopping much the past months. DD loved going to Target so I'd tag along and get some deals while there but I pretty much have only been going there for prescriptions lately.

I won't need to buy cat food or laundry soap for quite awhile.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday morning. A nice sunny 70 degree day. Too bad the past several days have been consumed with our wayward son. We have had no contact (ie we have left him alone) with him for 5 months. We got word through a mutual person that he and his new girlfriend (since January and another one with children) broke up (apparently due to some lie on his part, no surprise) and apparently he had been living with her. The relationship with first "friend" (I use the term loosely as this guy was/is a shyster) he had been living with and working odd jobs for since October was on the outs. We got concerned for his well being. He still has no job, it sounds like he's basically sold or traded everything he did have (for pennies on the dollar) and we were concerned if he might even be homeless now. We tried to reach out to him, only to be shot down again.

I took my mom to lunch yesterday for her birthday. Trying to keep the peace and keep my mouth shut. She is fine as long as we just ignore the topic. I've also realized I need to keep my mouth shut to her with info I have heard from others about him.....because it goes straight to him, apparently, and that made me realize that is one of the reasons (besides her money) that he is keeping in contact with her. He can find out what we know that is going on with his life.

I've been on a cleaning frenzy all morning! Now my back hurts so I'm taking a little break to relax the muscles and then I can re-start. I have cleaned and mopped both bathrooms. Swept and mopped the entry way, kitchen and laundry room. I have "un-vacuumed" my good blanket for my bed out of the "magic bag" so that I can put it back on and take of that god-awful red blanket I bought before Christmas. It is FULL of red fuzz balls - sticking to the sheets and other bedding. I just spent an hour vacuuming off as much of the fuzz balls as I could off the sheets. Then I put on my other set of sheets....and because I have used (but washed, of course) them too during the red blanket phase, it was covered in red fuzz balls.  That blanket is going to Goodwill!

DH has been outside working in the yard all morning. He used the weed eater and now is mowing. Poor older dog doesn't know what to do. He hates being outside when the lawnmower is going (even if he is a acre away LOL) and he hates the vacuum too.

The rest of the day? finish my laundry and get all the strawberries I bought yesterday chopped up and ready for strawberry shortcake. Last bunch I bought a few weeks ago I let sit in the refrigerator and they spoiled :/  I also am waiting on a text from the pharmacy so I can go pick up one of DH's prescriptions. - OH! just checked my phone and the text came 2 minutes ago.

This week I am going to approach my boss about using up some of my vacation days to take Friday's off this summer. I doubt it will be an issue, but I just realized how close summer is getting and I'd better be letting her know I'd like to do this.