Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Couponing and an Injury...

Quote for the Day:
" We do not remember days, we remember moments."
-Cesare Pavese

This may not be the kind of "moment" that Mr. Pavese was talking about...but yesterday I remember feeling my foot slide around in my sandal.  Then, as I lost my balance, I remember thinking, "oh no, I'm gonna break my wrist" as I put my right arm out to catch my body that was headed towards the ground at a very rapid rate. 

Thank God I didn't break my wrist...or my elbow...or anything else.  When I fell, I landed on my right leg and forearm when I hit the curb.  :( was very painful...thank you for asking! 

As for my hand and elbow...there are only have a few minor scrapes to show for that.

Luckily, Andy was there to help me up.  And for the rest of the day I walked holding onto his leg was just sore enough that I was afraid I might lose my balance again. 

My leg is still sore where I landed on it, but not enough to stop me from doing my regular activities today.

Today I went and did my Walgreen's and Rite Aid coupon shopping and got some great deals!

From Walgreen's:

I got $58.87 worth of products, paid $16.25 out-of-pocket, will get back $14.98 in mail-in-rebates, and got $10.00 back in Register Rewards...making this shopping trip an $8.73 moneymaker!  YAY!!   

BTW, when you are in the stores, don't forget to look at the clearance sections...I've been needing a new lipstick since mine are all down to the nubs now...and I found a nice one in the clearance section for 49 cents!  :)  Gotta love that!

From Rite Aid:

I got $21.76 worth of products, paid $1.54 out-of-pocket, will get $4.99 back in rebate, and received $8.38 back in +Up Rewards...making this shopping trip an $11.83 moneymaker!   WOOHOO!!

Andy is well-versed in seeking out deals and coupon shopping, while I was making my run to Walgreen's and Rite Aid, he went to Kroger and bought $119.67 worth of products but only paid $39.37 out-of-pocket!   WOUZERS!!

YAY for us!  That's a LOT of money saved between all of those stores!  



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update on the Kitchen Renovation...

Quote for the Day:
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it is difficult to 
discern whether or not they are genuine."
~Abraham Lincoln

Slowly but surely...and I mean VERY slowly, but surely...we are getting some kitchen renovation done.  

Andy has installed all the cabinets in the recessed area on the south wall of the kitchen.  We have placed the countertop on top of the base cabinets, but have not yet fastened it down as Andy is still trying to figure out exactly what he is going to do with the approximately 4" to the left of the cabinets.  

I would like to figure out a way to build an open shelf next to the top cabinets so there is an area to store baking sheets vertically instead of using up space in the base cabinets to store them.  So he is "thinking on these things" and figuring out how to work it out....even though I have given him my thoughts on how to do it.  The problem lies in that there is a brick chimney there and attaching anything to it is nearly impossible so you have to put boards next to it and attach them to the floor and ceiling with brackets...then attach your "wall" to those.

But...this is what we have accomplished so far...

This is the bank of cabinets that sit into a little recessed area between a brick chimney to the left and a wall on the right.  Some of the cabinet doors still need to be attached, but just look at all that storage in that tall pantry cabinet!  WOOHOO!  :)
I also want Andy to reverse the swing of the door on that left-hand cabinet.  It is that area between the left-hand side of the upper cabinets and the chimney that I want a little storage "nook".  

Also, since these cabinets are going to be used for dishes instead of food (we have a small walk-in pantry for food storage), we are going to have a shelf cut to fit the upper portion of the pantry cabinet.  It only came with 3 shelves, but we think using the 3 in the bottom portion and 1 in the top will be just the right storage for us.

If you are wondering why the iron is sitting on the use an iron to attach matching laminate to the ends of the countertop to give it a "finished" look.  I have done that, so I guess I can put the iron away now...LOL.

And today...I am using the counter for the first time...

*big smiles*!!!

If you think that crock pot looks is!  It was a wedding gift to us...making it 29 years old in about 10 days!  :):):):) 

I have 2 newer crock oblong one that I like to use when I cook a whole chicken or long piece of meat, and a small round crock pot for when I'm doing "small" dishes...usually desserts.  HOWEVER...this brown one is the one I prefer to use the most.  It cooks the slowest and, I think, the best of the three....maybe because I've had years of experience with this one so I "know" it the best.   This one is from before the time of removable crocks, though, so this one has to be washed out by hand, but it cleans up easily enough.

I realize that I haven't done a book recommendation lately, so I'll throw a couple in this post...

Remember Beautiful Boy?  Well...I just finished reading the son's account called "Tweak:  Growing up on Methamphetamine" by Nic Sheff.  OMG...RIVETING!    I definitely recommend both books, but I would also recommend reading the father's account first and you will see how the two books intermingle...the story from the non-addict's view and from the addict's view.

I have also recently finished reading "Facing Down Evil:  Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator" by Clint Van Zandt.  Excellent book!  Lots of interesting "inside" information about some very public cases in this book.  He gives us "the rest of the story"...the side we don't hear about on the news.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Great Coupon Shopping Day!

Quote for the Day:
"Veni, Vidi, Velcro.  I came, I saw, I stuck around."
  ~Author Unknown

After taking Andy out to lunch for Father's Day, I slipped over to Walgreens and Rite Aid to do my coupon shopping.  

Walgreens didn't have any really "good" deals but Rite Aid was FANTASTIC!  Couponing goes like that.  Last week it was the exact opposite...Walgreens had all the great deals and Rite Aid had nothing.  Last week, Rite Aid was so bad that I didn't even bother going.  However, I went to Walgreens today because I had 2  - $2.00 Register Rewards that were expiring on Monday, so I got the best deals that I could to use them up so I wouldn't lose them.  (Walgreen's Register Rewards expire after 2 weeks whereas Rite Aid's +Up Rewards are good for 3 weeks.)

Anywho...this is what I got at Walgreens...

I used 1 coupon and 2 Register Rewards and paid $1.40 out of pocket for $14.69 worth of product.   I did not earn any new Register Rewards on this purchase.  :(  But that's okay...still have a bunch from last week's shopping that I'll save for next week and by then WG should have a bunch of nice deals again.  :)

I had a great haul at Rite Aid!...

I paid $3.15 out of pocket for $39.23 worth of product and got $19.96 in +Up Rewards and will get $2.00 back in rebate...making this trip a $18.81 moneymaker for me as well as getting me products that I will definitely use!  :)      (I had just used the last of my Zantac this weekend and was definitely in need of that!)  :) I got $53.92 worth of products for $4.55 out of earned $21.96 back!  :):):):)
I  ♥  saving money with couponing!  :)

It's been very humid here lately, so it feels warmer than it really is.  Guess what is next door to RiteAid???  Well...let's just say that it easy to feed my new addiction there...

Yep...I admit that I'm getting addicted to the McDonald's frozen strawberry lemonade! 
MMMMMMMMM!!!  Really tastes nice on a hot, humid day!  :)  

While I was gone to WG & RA, Andy finished installing the bottom two cabinets that sit in the little alcove that we've been working on in the kitchen.  When he went to attach the countertop he found that it was very warped and wouldn't sit flat on the cabinets.  It kinda "teeter tottered" back and forth.  :(:(:(    Not good!   He then checked the other two mitered pieces of countertop for the other side of the kitchen and found that they, too, were warped.  

We called Home Depot and I talked to someone who said to bring them back in and if they didn't have them in stock, they'd order what we needed on Monday.  Andy loaded all three pieces of countertop into the back of the car and off we went to HD.  Fortunately, they had what we needed and we checked them all right then and there to make sure they weren't warped.  (We did find one warped one in stock when we were checking them.)   Home Depot was great about exchanging them...we didn't even have to fill out any paperwork or go through any type of refund, etc.  They simply gave us 3 pieces for the 3 pieces we gave back to them.  I hope they don't put them back into stock for some other poor soul to find.  :( within the next couple of days, we will get the countertop applied to the cabinets so we can actually start using them and get some dishes back into the kitchen and off the dining room table.  It will definitely make life easier to have things back in the kitchen...and to not have the microwave, coffee pot AND toaster ALL sitting on TOP of the portable dishwasher!!!  :)   As soon as we get the counter top on I'll post a picture of that area!  :)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day...

Quote for the Day:
"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope."  
~Bill Cosby

Today is Father's Day in the United States...a day when we celebrate our fathers and what they have meant to us.

My parents were married in 1939 on my dad's 21st birthday.  This picture was taken about a year later.

He was the youngest of 7 children, born into a Mennonite family that lived in Texas at the time of his birth.  In the home the parents spoke German, so he was raised learning both German and English.  Growing up in Texas there were a lot of Hispanics, so he also learned Spanish and could hold his own in a conversation using any of the three languages.

He had to quit school after the 7th grade to go to work during the Great Depression to help support his mom and sisters.  He didn't let this "lack of education" hinder him, though. 

He served in World War II in the US Army as a medic and cook in both the Pacific and the European theaters.  Though he left the Mennonite church and became Baptist when he married my mom, because of his Mennonite upbringing, he entered the Army as a Conscientious Objector and only held jobs where he didn't have to carry a gun.

He went on to own two different businesses of his own...first a truck-driving business in the 1950's-60's and then a water-well drilling business in the late 1960's-mid 70's.

In 1973 he sold his well-drilling business and went to Ethiopia for a year as a missionary to drill water wells during a severe drought/famine there to get water for the Ethiopian people.  

His "hobbies" in the evening were reading encyclopedias or the Bible.  He seemed to have such a thirst to always be learning.   He loved music, especially the old gospel hymns and blue grass music.  In the last few years before he died, my parents had a small travel trailer and would travel to blue grass music festivals with some friends who played. 

He died in 1978 after moving to California to help a well-drilling company open a new branch in Lancaster.  He was 59.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  You are missed!

I also want to give a shout out to my dear husband, Andy!  Happy Father's Day,'re a great father and grandfather.  I love you!

Andrew and Sera...

Andrew Paul, Sr., the II, and the III.  :)



Monday, June 13, 2011

Couponing Day...

Quote for the Day:
"A penny spar'd is twice got."
~George Herbert's Outlandish Proverbs, circa 1633

I know, I know...two posts in one day from don't go havin' a heart attack on me...LOL.  :)

I did my coupon shopping today and made out pretty well at Walgreens...

Bought $53.61 worth of products...

After coupons and previously earned Register Rewards, I spent $5.80 out-of-pocket.  I received $13.00 back in Register Rewards, thus making this a $7.30 profit-making shopping trip!  

So....I got $53.61 worth of products for free and got paid $7.30 for taking them out of the store!  YAY!!!

Rite Aid didn't have any great sales but I did stop in for one deal that I had read about on a blog, which they ended up not having, so I ended up not buying anything there.  Luckily, our Rite Aid and Walgreens are directly across the street from each other, so I don't waste gas going from place to place to do my shopping.



A Tale of Two Afghans....

Quote for the Day:
 "Heirlooms we don't have in our family. But stories we've got."~Rose Cherin 

"It was the best of was the worst of times..."
~Charles Dickens 

"In the ancient year of 1960, in a land far, far away…called Illinois…there was a child born to Glenn & Mary (also known as “Gwen” by some people).  The exuberant couple did name this golden child “Loretta”, for she was a beauteous site to behold and they did correctly intuit that she would, indeed, be the exceptional child that they so longed for…as they figured after 5 previous children, they surely would have gotten it “right” this time.  :)

As this child grew and became around the age of 16 in the year of 1976, she decided to use her burgeoning gift with crochet hook and yarn to make an afghan for her parent’s 39th wedding anniversary that would be forthcoming in 1978.  Working diligently by faint candle light and under the scope of darkness, she did work studiously upon said afghan till she doth run out of necessary yarns, thus leaving an unfinished work.  And as history would play out, it was unfortunate that her father passed away 5 months before the aforementioned 39th wedding anniversary. 

Never one to give up on a craft project, the lovely Loretta subsequently moved the aforementioned incomplete crocheted squares from her homeland of Illinois to the new, unchartered land of Ohio where she kept abode for one year before then packing up all worldly possessions and headed for the wilds of California…all the while lovingly packing and storing the unfinished afghan.

Before long she met a charming young man named Andy who doth did hail from a far, far, far, far, far away land called Maine.  In 1982, they did joineth their hands and hearts in holy matrimony.  Within a few years they brought forth two offspring named Paul and Erin who brought much joy and happiness to the household...when they weren’t wreaking havoc upon said household!  

Fast forward to the year 1997, or thereabouts, as the exacteth date doth escape my feeble mind at this point.  Not one to let a long lineage of unfinished craft projects deter her from starting another one, the even more lovelier Loretta, as she became known as she aged gracefully in wisdom and knowledge, thusly decided to undertake another afghan, this time for her lovely 1990’s living room which was decorated in county blue and mauve, as was every other abode at that time.  Ahhh…the remembrance of the “good ol’ days” doth bring a smile to our lips and a tear to mine eye.

But shortly after starting the new crochet project, she soon became too busy with the educating of her beloved offspring at the abode instead of sending them to the one-roomed school house while also working her fingers to the bone as a nursemaid to critically ill patrons, and once again, the project was put into boxes and all but forgotten...except when moving once more.  Whereupon, her ever gallant husband doth lift the boxes and toss them onto the wagon that would hence carry them to the new land known only to them as “West Virginia”.

Fast forward with me again to the year of 2011, when the husband doth ask his wife to accompany him to the land of Maine where his ancestors still inhabit.  Knowing that the husband’s mother is a virtuoso with yarn and knitting needles or crochet hook, the ever wisening Loretta doth say to husband, “let us take these two boxes to your very special mother so that she might turn these ‘sows ears’ into lovely ‘silk purses’ that might be enjoyed by someone.”

When presented with these ‘sows ears’, the mother-in-law, upon hearing the sordid past of said yarn squares, did reply that she thought the lovely offspring of her son, Andrew, and the lovely Loretta  should have them whence finished because the history of said yarn squares was endearing, if not off-putting.

Thusly, the grandmother of Paul and Erin did in a timely manner finish the yarn squares into completed afghans and returned them to the lovely Loretta to be distributed to said offspring…thus completing their journey of literally thousands of miles, where upon they shall rest and warm the hearts and souls of all who lay there under."


It was my mother-in-law's suggestion that I write down the history of these afghans so that my children would know the background.  :) 

When we were in Georgia a couple weeks ago, I presented each of the kids with an afghan and a copy of the story I had written.  The top afghan went to Erin & Dale since it will match the sofa they have.  Also, it is bed-sized so it can be used as a blanket when necessary (they live in a slightly colder area than Paul & Trinity.)

The bottom afghan went to Paul & Trinity and was put on the back of their sofa immediately.

I hope they will be used and enjoyed for many years to come.  God bless my mother-in-law, Eleanor, for salvaging these squares and making them into something beautiful!  :)



Friday, June 10, 2011

Some Decluttering...

Quote for the Day:
"Even if you're on the right track, 
you'll get run over if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers

Andy informed me yesterday that I hadn't updated my blog since the 7th, so I thought I'd get my butt in gear.  (Andy reads my blog to keep up on what is going on in our lives...LOL.)   :P I am to update Andy and all my readers with what is going on here at our house...

First off...this picture was taken the night before we left for Georgia, and shows the progress we've made on the kitchen so far...

Sorry for the poor quality of the picture, but it was taken with my phone because my camera was already packed for the trip.  The pantry and wall cabinets have been attached to the wall, but the base cabinets and countertop were just set in there to get the "feel" of how they are going to fit together.

Have you tried one of these, yet???

McDonald's frozen strawberry lemonade...MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!  I tried one when we were traveling back from Georgia and they are GOOOOOOOD!!!  So today after my chiropractor's visit, I swung threw the drive thru and got me one since it has been record-breaking HOT this week....but really, any excuse will do!  LOL

Today I did some decluttering in the bathroom....

Since we have a pedestal sink, we keep toiletries in the bottom of the antique china cabinet that we use as a linen closet in the bathroom.  (We keep towels and wash clothes in the upper part where the glass doors are.  The bottom part has solid wood doors.)   This is what it looked like inside the bottom doors...

You know what I'm talking about....everybody has a place where they keep their toiletries.  Like I said, most people keep their bathroom "stuff" under the sink.

I went through and discarded a lot of opened items that were never going to get used and other odds and ends that had gotten shoved in there...

...then I rounded up some more baskets to use to help organize things...and now it looks like this...

I wish the bottom shelf was "taller" than it is...many bottles, like shampoo, etc., won't fit standing up, so I had to put taller items on the top shelf and shorter ones on the bottom...limiting the way I could organize things.  

When Andy saw it he immediately said "oh will I find anything with it so 'neat' "?  LOL

That's all for now, Folks.  Have a great day and a great weekend!  I'm hoping we can get some more work done on the kitchen and manage to stay cool in this heat this weekend!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Vacation News...

Quote for the day:
"Nothing in fine print is ever good news." 
~Andy Rooney

Good News, Bad News...

The Bad News:  We had to finish loading the car in a thunder/rain storm and the first couple hours of our trip to Georgia were in a thunderstorm with torrential rain!
The Good News:  We were on our way to see our kids and grandkids!

The Bad News:  Dale, Erin & Sera had to leave on Sunday afternoon before Andrew's birthday party was over.
The Good News:  We were able to all be together as a family for a few short days.

The Bad News:  The heat on Trinity's dryer didn't work so she could only use the "air" dry setting.  (Do you know how long it takes to dry towels on "air dry"???)
The Good News:  Andy got the dryer fixed, up and running for her!

The Bad News:  It is hotter than Haedes in Georgia!
The Good News:  Andy put up a clothesline for Trinity so that she can use the free "solar dryer" to dry her clothes during the warm months!  (And if the dryer goes on the fritz again, she will still be able to dry her clothes!)

The Bad News:  One of Paul & Trinity's electric stove burners didn't work in their "new" house...even after Trinity replaced the burner.
The Good News:  Andy fixed Paul & Trinity's stove burner that wasn't working.

The Bad News:  After fixing the burner, two other burners immediately blew out and needed fixed, too.
The Good News:  Andy was able to replace all the parts and get the entire stove up and running. 

The Bad News:  I didn't lose any weight while on vacation.
The Good News:  I didn't gain any weight while on vacation!

The Bad News:  The air conditioning went out on Paul & Trinity's car the night before we left.
The Bad News:  Andy wasn't able to fix it the next morning before we left.  :(   (Sorry, Paul & Trinity.)

The Bad News:  We lost the car charger cord to "Jill", our GPS sometime during our trip and only had 2 hours worth of battery for the return we could only use it when absolutely necessary.
The Good News:  We found the cord in Andy's suitcase after we got home and unpacked.

The Bad News:  We had to leave Georgia and return home to our "normal" lives.
The Good News:  We made it home safely and had a wonderful vacation with Paul, Trinity & Andrew.