Friday, July 30, 2010

Friend's Friday

And my booger for this lovely Friday is Jill from Blessings of a Stay At Home Mom! Stop by and say Hi!
Have a great weekend,
Don't forget about the $40 giveaway!!! RUN HERE!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

All We Need Is A Real Tiki

This is just a rip off of our Chinese restaurant and our Mexican restaurant. We now have a Hawaiian restaurant. I cheated and bought Den all of this for Father's day. It was more of a gift for me than him. Here dear, cook me dinner and I will say that it is your gift. Yes, I'm terrible at times but he liked it.
I got everything at the Dollar Tree. So for $11, you to can have a tropical dinner/gift!
I took the leftover pineapple from the ham kabobs and some almost dead strawberries, ice and 7up and made tropical drinks in the blender. They looked better than they tasted. Next time, I'll just leave out the ice. They were really pretty but watered down.
And when dinner is over, I just throw our "restaurant" back in the matching mesh bag and hang it in the laundry room. Even with figuring the purchase price of the "restaurant" into the cost of dinner, there is no way that you could eat out for so cheaply. Just a thought for the next time you are thinking about going out to eat!
Thanks for stopping over,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Wonderful CSN Giveaway!

I've been picked again!!!!! I feel like a Friday Friend. My dear friend Jess from CSN sent me an email saying that I have been chosen as a Preferred Blogger. Wow, little ol' me is preferred.
And what does this have to do with you, you might be asking. I'll get to that.
I poked around CSN and found this cute bedroom vanity. It matches my room perfect. Hmmmmm, my wheels are turning about all of the possibilities. They also have an amazing clearance section, too. It's like Heaven to me. It feeds the frugal in me.
CSN has been so gracious and offered to host another $40 gift certificate giveaway!
Here is how this one will work, if you follow my blog, you get one entry. Just leave a comment on this post. If you pop on over to CSN, pick out your favorite vanity, come back and tell me which one you like then, you get an extra entry. And for the best way to win, post about this on your blog (with a link to the bedroom vanities) and get FIVE extra entries just leave 5 more comments on this post!!! Try and contain yourself, I know I didn't! A winner will be picked on August 4th. It's had to believe that it is almost August!
Good Luck,

Wicked Wednesday!!

Yuck! I have no idea what the point was but it is so typical!!!
Thanks for stopping over now go get something to eat!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's a Jungle Out There

This is the after picture of my little garden. Just imagine a bunch of teenagers left to their own devices for a few weeks only they are plants with no self-control. It was so bad that they were reaching out and grabbing us as we walked by. If a plant smacks you in the crotch as you walk by, it's just not a good sign. So I had at it and at times, I thought that I needed a machete. But now it actually, looks neat and is not trying to molest anyone.
And for all that work we got a bowl of dill seeds that I'm drying, 5 bags of chives, 3 bags of dill, and 3 bags of oregano in a pear tree. Maybe it is too soon for Christmas songs.
I gave some to one of the ladies that I clean for and Den gave the rest to some friends that he has at work. Who knew he had friends?
Have a great day,

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm on a Roll!

I once again used the $.55 roll recipe and this time I stuffed it with leftover spaghetti sauce and cheese. You really need to give this one a try and it freezes really well. I think next time I'll stuff it with some spinach too!
Just a thought,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friend's Friday!

This is a repeat booger but its a good thing for you! Head on over to see Pam at The Thrifty Things. She is giving sooo many things away. I love it there!
Have a great weekend,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Frugal Tale

Or possibly a broke tale. I've said so many times before that we are frugal maybe even broke but there are times when I'm so grateful for my cheap streak.
Den's uncle has a very large lifestyle, very large. He has two homes and all the toys. And I mean all the toys from bikes to boats. He and his wife have been the topic of quite a few conversations in this house. Now don't get me wrong, they are great and very fun people. I wanted a life style like theirs for a long time. Well until I grew up and found my savior and salvation, Sparse. Oh there is salvation with Him but it is a hard and long journey. But I'm glad that I now walk hand in hand with Sparse.
Anywho, said Uncle is now unemployed and mortgaged to the hilt from my guess. He also falls into one of the scariest age groups out there(in my opinion) the late 40's to early 50's. You aren't close enough to retire. And how many companies want to pay the amount that someone in that group has come accustomed to? Especially when you could find cheaper and younger workers. On a side note, Den and I are trying to plan for that too. We are shooting for having the house paid for by then and maybe enough to retire on. It's just a rough plan but it is in place, it's just a long time off. The house will be paid for by then and with how we are contributing to his retirement it will be close, barring any catastrophe. And that isn't including the money that will be invested when we no longer have a house payment.
My neighbor directly across the street from me has just exhausted her unemployment but has over $10,000 in the bank to live off of. She said that it isn't pretty but she is scraping by. She managed to put that money away by saving her tax returns and being tight, as she put it.
This neighborhood is not on the high end of society by any means, we are the bottom feeders. But the good thing is we know hard times and that they pass.
I wouldn't want to be standing in either of their shoes to be completely honest. But I think that having been schooled in broke can be your saving grace. Sparse may save us all, if you listen.
Thanks for stopping over,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wicked Wednesday!!

Follow me to Hell, go here and then come back and we will have a nice chat. It will be like a book discussion. Don't forget to read the comments, I laughed until I cried. Yes, I plan on going to Hell.
Have a great day,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eureka, I think that I've got it

Lately, I've been a bit like poor Bob! I'm just in a funk. I'm not miserable or depressed like my doctard would tell me. Just not happy!
It took me a while to figure it out but I think that I have a few things going on here. When the kids are in school, I always have time to write my book in the morning. And I'm really missing writing on such a large scale. I need quiet to write and it ain't happening in the summer. The other problem is that I'm so organized and disciplined when it comes to housework and other chores that I never feel like I have down time.
So I need to be disciplined to write in the mornings and undisciplined when it comes to chores. Maybe the word I'm searching for is balance. Now if I could only incorporate that into a diet.
Any ideas on how to fix my mental problems?
Thanks for stopping over,

Monday, July 19, 2010

When Den is In Charge

Bless him! So Jewel had a really good deal going on and I found out about it thanks to my dear friend Donna. If your bought 2 things of ice cream for $5, you got $4 back. With tax, it was $1.09 for two things of ice cream. I ran the deal three times and then Den got involved.
He ran the deal another thirteen times for a grand total of $20.35 and we still had a $4 coupon left. The good news is we gave quite a bit away. I paid my neighbor that we "steal" wifi from in ice cream! They loved it.
Have a great day,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friend's Friday

And my big, beautiful booger for the day is........Tanya from A Taste of T. Stop by and check her out!
Have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping over,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What The Hell!!!!

Like I have said over and over, Den's car is in the shop. It is always the transmission. Well, it always seems to be the transmission. The first time we brought it in(January) the transmission shop which we love said even though it was slipping in and out of gear, it was an electrical problem. They sent it out to "their guy" and it was $200(ish) to get it fixed. It was better for about 4 months. We then took it to another guy when it was acting up(motor revving and slipping) and for another $76 he added tranny fluid. And last week, it started again and we went back to the transmission shop that we love. They pulled the transmission apart and said that it was worn but it was not the transmission. So they sent it out and it was $506 for a flow sensor. The car didn't even make it home before it started doing the same thing all over again! So for almost $800 we are exactly where we started! I'm sick!
Den is a car guy but he can't work on transmissions. So now that we know its not the transmission. I'm off to diagnose the car. I wonder if honey would work?
And yes, I know I should go after "their guy" but I'm not at the point where I want to hand over the car or my wallet again or go to court to try and get the money back. And this is why everyone hates mechanics! I hope "their guy" gets a painful rash for ripping us off!
I'll keep you posted but I think that I have it figured out.
Thanks for letting me vent,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wicked Wednesday!!

Here is just a little wickedness for the day!
Thanks for stopping over,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Free Food!

The lovely mess that you see is above is the back fence by the pool. There is just no helping it and for the first time in the fifteen years that we have lived here, I have thrown in the towel. It is a losing battle because the people behind us just let their yard get overgrown. And don't even get me started about how the trees are growing in the fence and are wrapped in the power lines. It is hopeless.
And because I was completely lazy their raspberries are now growing in our yard. Hmmm, so let me get this straight, if I'm lazy I get free plants. I wonder what would happen if I gave up on the inside of the house.
Den said just to leave that entire area and maybe we will get a huge patch of free raspberries. Hopefully, they will take over the entire yard!!! I'm thinking jelly!
Thanks for stopping over,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not to brag but

I used my $.55 roll recipe and made a braided loaf of bread. I made a pot of soup from a bunch of scraps and leftovers. Den wanted me to run out and get a good loaf of bread. I made my own instead!
I don't know why anyone is paying $2-$3 for a loaf of french bread. Sorry, it's not often that I get to brag about my cooking!
Have a gread day,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friend's Friday

I'm changing it up a bit! I love this site and it has nothing to do with boogers. It's just one of my favorite places to poke around.
Have a great weekend,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Still Cheap!

This lovely little Clothespin bag can be bought here for $3.95. Which is pretty good and I'm thinking about getting? Maybe.

Or you could poke a couple of holes in the bottom of an ice cream bucket? Would this be green or cheap?
Just a thought,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wicked Wednesday!!

Believe it or not(I'm walking on air), we saw Jeff Dunham right before he was on the Tonight Show and became super famous. Our night at Zanies was my Anniversary present for Den a long time ago!!!! Go here!
Have a wicked Wednesday,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


How does your garden grow? Mine is taking over!! Ya, I'm all smiles. I've never had dill do this well before and it grew on it's own from last year. It is waist high already. I'm thinking pickles!
And my green onions are still going strong, even when I ran the corner ones over with the car. Who knew?
Thanks for stopping over,

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Threshold of Hell

When I was a kid, my grandmother would come unglued if anyone set a pair of shoes on the table. Never mind the fact that she was a neat freak and that shoes on the table are just disgusting. It was because she was superstitious. I looked up the "shoes on the table" superstition and it was said that a death was coming. She said it was like the kiss of death. So my childhood version was a little different but either way it was a bad thing. You could rip your pants(bad luck for the day) under a ladder all the while breaking mirrors on your head and you would still be better off than setting a pair of shoes on the table. At least, that was what I was taught. I personally don't think much about superstitions but they do roll around in my head from time to time. I know its stupid. I'm not an illiterate person. And yet, there are a few things that I will never escape. This would be one of them. And after the story that I tell you, I think that you will agree that the curse is alive and well. I was also very hesitant of posting that picture with this post. I wonder if there is a curse for cyberspace. We shall find out.
Last Sunday, we had to drop DJ off at Northwestern University. They have a summer program for gifted children and DJ was going to be studying Advanced Trigonometry. He is staying there for three weeks so we basically had to pack him for college. Which worked out pretty well because we used the stuff that we have gathered for Anna. All went well, we set up his room, toured the campus, praised him, and then left. We had to be quick about it because the next morning Donna, Anna, and I had to leave for EIU to register Anna. It was going to be a fun girl's trip. Ahhhhhh, if only we knew.
I got up Monday morning and finished gathering the last things that I needed for our fun little trip. I knew that there was going to be a lot of walking so I packed a good pair of gym shoes on the bottom of my bag and then set everything on top of it. I ran downstairs and set the bag on the table and finished getting the house ready to leave. About fifteen minutes later, I remembered the shoes on the table. I walked over, set the bag on the floor, and thought about what my Grandmother would have said to me if she was alive. In the back of my head, I heard a little voice say,"Well now you have done it!" I smiled knowing that I'm a woman of the 21st century and those things don't exist. I grabbed my stuff, said good bye to the dog and locked the door.
It took the curse ten minutes to catch me. I drove over to the bank to make a deposit. I was all smiles thinking about how it isn't often that us girls get to have alone time. I was looking forward to our time together. Wonderful thoughts filled my head as I pulled up to an open lane at the bank. I sent my transaction to the teller and my phone rang. I smiled as I picked up the phone. I was happy.
My Mother-In-Law Donna was breathless and frantic on the other end. She kept asking me where I was. I told her and asked just as frantically what was wrong. She has very thin skin. She had put her jeans on very quickly and had a skin tear. The problem was not only did she tear the skin open, she ripped the varicose vein under it wide open. It was a major vein. She was pumping blood everywhere and it wouldn't stop. I think of the shoes on the table. I couldn't help it, that was the first thing that jumped into my head. Not saving her life just how I had caused this by setting the damn shoes on the table. Luckily, Anna had spent the night with her. I told her to go get Anna and have her help. This is the point that I need to tell you that Anna does not do well in stressful situation. She has what I like to call a flip out when things get bad. But they would just have to find a way to get through this. Donna calls for Anna to help her. I get off the phone really quickly and call Den. He works 20 minutes away and could get to them before I could. Den and I both go speeding over there. By the time that we both get there, the bleeding is under control and Anna is only having a small panic attack. We load Donna into my car and take her to the emergency room. And why didn't she just call 911. She didn't want to be any trouble. Just shake your head because I told her to call. I can't say too much though!
As far as emergency room visits go, this one was great. We were in and out in an hour. They said that she had done the hard part and they wrapped her leg in an ace bandage. She also got the ok to go on the trip. She just needed to keep it elevated as much as possible. Most people would cancel the trip but not us, we are troopers. Come Hell or high water, Anna girl was getting registered. Hell was next.
We go back to Donna's and grab a wheelchair that she had kept that was her mother's. Her veins bulge the more she stands so I said she wasn't going without it. I used my mom voice when I told her that. We make her a bed in the back of the car, throw the wheelchair and all of our stuff in the trunk and are off like a flash.
Den called just to check on us and said his mother was the crazy hemophiliac in the back seat. We all laughed and we were happy that we were on our way and that the worst was behind us. If only we knew that it was a precursor to Hell.
I can honestly say that it wasn't such a great drive. Since we were late, we hit a lot of traffic in Chicago. Anna hates semis and since I'm too cheap for an I-Pass, we had to pull over to pay the tolls. And then crazy woman in the back seat kept telling me that her GPS was wrong and that I should listen to her instead of it. So she is trying to figure out where we were from on her back just looking up and out the windows. Anna is complaining and whimpering that I'm getting to close to the trucks and I'm weaving through intense traffic to pay the f***ing tolls. All the while, dear Donna is yelling out that I'm going the wrong way. Needless to say, the GPS was right. Looking back this was the easy part of the trip.
We arrive at the hotel. My nerves were a little shot but all and all we had a good laugh at the trouble that Donna caused. We went out to dinner and talked about how this was going to be a story that we told for years. Dinner was great and since we still had a bit of light, we drove around and looked at the little town that Anna would call home for the next four years. My heart was a little heavy as we drove back. I was losing my little girl. If only I had the time to ponder that thought.
So would this be round two or twenty seven? We get back to the room and Cindy(my SIL) calls Donna to tell her that her husband has hand, foot, and mouth disease. Again my flipping shoes pop into my head. Setting a pair of shoes on the table could not cause this random bad luck. I go back to listening to Donna talk to Cindy and wonder wasn't that disease eradicated with the black plague? Hmmmm, this is a bit odd even for me.
And I have saved the best for last! We get up the next morning. Donna was up before us and was ready. She decided that she was going to explore the hotel while we got ready. Remember how I had told you that I was trying to find cheaper pills on the Internet for all of my many problems. Well before I left I packed my pill case with all of the new pills that I had gotten. Mind you, all of them were vitamins and minerals. I have only one prescription and that is for my thyroid.
Back to the story, I pop my pills and start to get ready. I feel my face get hot and swollen not to long after I take the pills. And this is the point where I have no recollection save one. I'm just going to tell you what Anna told me. My skin turned bright red and I became one burning welt. I went to the couch and laid down. I told Anna that I was having an allergic reaction and she pulled out the pills that I keep in my purse for DJ and gave me a Benadryl. That would be the point where my eyes rolled in the back of my head, my arms twisted oddly against my chest, and I started bouncing my head off of the arm rest. Yup just for shits and giggles, I had a seizure. And because I'm special, I had a one of the worst asthma attacks that I have ever had in my life and my airways closed up. Isn't your body supposed to help itself under extreme distress? Not me, when things get bad I like to smother myself.
And this is the point where you can say poor Anna! Donna was still off wondering and Anna was on her own yet again to save another life. She called 911 and as she put it "slapped the crap out of me."
Right about now is the "save one" thing that I spoke about earlier. It was the strangest damn thing but my eyeballs tried to jump out of my head. Think it can't get worse, my eyeballs were trying to leave because Anna had to give me mouth to mouth. Yes people, I made out with my daughter. It gives me the willies just thinking about it. So if you ever receive CPR, it feels like someone is trying to blow up your head and your eyeballs don't appreciate it at all. I'm pretty sure that they bulged open. But the good news is I wasn't dead enough for the kiss of life and shoved her away. We are just all kinds of fun!
Somewhere after all the kissing, Donna came back and walked into our little mess. Which made the two of them argue. Don't ask. Donna called 911 too and they made her stand in the hall. Sounds to me like Donna got a time out!
The EMTs rushed in quickly and gave me a breathing treatment to open my lungs at about the same time the Benadryl kicked in. My oxygen level was at 83% so I wasn't doing so great. All I can really remember was the nice man holding my hand saying to me, "Come on honey, stay with us."
I came around pretty quickly and because I'm too tough for the hospital, I signed a release saying that I refused treatment. And you are more than welcome to shake your head in disgust at me! As far as catastrophes go, this one was a breeze for me. The wonderful EMTs left and I looked at my sobbing daughter and my very pale mother-in-law and said while rubbing my hands together, "Get your shit and let's go. We have gone through to much not to get her registered!" I've never seen two more shocked people in my life. But they obeyed!
Poor Anna had to register for classes after having gone through all of that and I had to push Donna around in a wheelchair. Only the weak would give up at this point!
We managed to get her registered and leave the college without incident. I'm not counting the time I ran Donna into the wall because I had 2 Benadryls pulsing threw my veins.
Well good buddy, I even put the hammer down and flew home(after the drugs wore off,I think). I decided that a ticket would have been like Christmas morning compared to what we had just been through and took a chance. I made it (surprisingly) with no problems home. I think Donna kissed the ground after we dropped her off.
Anna recounted the story to Den and sobbed all over him when we got in the door. He agreed with her that both Donna and I were trying to drive her insane and that she didn't think she should go away to school because who would keep us alive. He patted her head and after a while said, "Come on, I'll take you to McDonalds for a soft serve cone. That will make it better." (He used to do that a lot when she was very small.) They three of us drove over to McDonalds and placed our order. The guy came on the speaker and said, "Oh sorry, the soft serve machine is broken."
I turned to Den and in my most loving voice yelled, "Would you please just fucking bring us home before someone explodes!"
Yup my life really is this messed up! You can't make this crap up. And guess what, the transmission went out on the Focus!
Leave a message at your own risk,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friend's Friday

And my booger for the day is.......Mama from IHQ!!! Stop over and pester here! I mean visit!
Have a great weekend,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The New Budget

I've had to tweak some of the areas of our budget. Our taxes on the house went up so I had to "fix" other areas. I don't even want to know what is going to happen to our budget when Anna moves away and we have to pay for gas to go pick her up. It's an 8 hour round-trip.
So without further ado here is the old budget-
1300 .00 House payment(bi-weekly) so we save $325 a week
145.00 Car Insurance
176.00 Nicor and Comed
27.00 Home phone
240.00 gas for all three cars
25.00 satelite
480.00 groceries for the month
120.00 a week
60.00 Den "fake" smokes
70.00 garbage and water
188.00 pills for me
40 gym for Den
2751.00 total

This is the break down of how we will use the checks every week.
Week 1 -$325 house, $238 food,gas, pills,& cig, $70 garbage & water, $20 insurance
Week 2- $325 house, $238 food, gas,pills &cig, $125 car insurance
Week 3- $325 house, $238 food, gas,pills & cig, $88 Nicor, $27 phone,$25 sate
Week 4- $325 house, $238 food, gas,pills & cig, $88 Com Ed, $40 gym

And our new mess-
1316 .00 House payment(bi-weekly) so we save $325 a week
145.00 Car Insurance
166.00 Nicor and Comed
27.00 Home phone
335.00 gas for all three cars
25.00 satelite
465.00 groceries for the month
116.00 a week
60.00 Den "fake" smokes
70.00 garbage and water
60.00 pills for me
40.00 gym for Den
50.00 cell
2759.00 total

This is the break down of how we will use the checks every week.
Week 1 -$329 house, $227 food,gas, pills,& cig, $70 garbage & water, $25 sate
Week 2- $329 house, $227 food, gas,pills &cig, $145 car insurance
Week 3- $329 house, $227 food, gas,pills & cig, $83 Nicor, $50 cell
Week 4- $329 house, $227 food, gas,pills & cig, $83 Com Ed, $40 gym,$27 phone
I had to cut back on my pills because we just couldn't afford it. We also had to get DJ a cell phone. We are going to drop the home phone so that should cover half of the cost of the cell. I'm dreading when we have to pay for all four lines. We are lucky and my inlaws have us on their plan. But my FIL is going to retire soon so we will be on our own. My guess is it will be around $150 a month. I'm sure that you will hear a lot of complaining from me!
Thanks for stopping over,