Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2016 Road Trip....Day Two TN to GA to AL

Day Two, we hit the hotel breakfast then the gas station and a coffee place(for Hubs' "fuel")and were on I-75 before 10 am heading South.

We made good time and were driving through Chattanooga fairly soon.

Some houses were visible up on Lookout Mountain.

Next thing you know we were in Georgia...

The interstate South and West runs through a little corner of Georgia between Tennessee and Alabama. This wouldn't be the only time we drove into Georgia on this trip however.
Then with a blink of an eye we were in Alabama......

Pretty soon after driving into Alabama I saw a dead armadillo on the side of the road....and then another one.....and another within the span of 20 minutes!
Now I was under the impression that armadillos lived in the South West in places like Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
They also live in the South East in places like Alabama and such.
In total while driving through Alabama I saw EIGHT armadillos along the interstate that day and one was even alive still!

We stopped in Alabama at a rest stop to go potty. As this was the first rest stop once you get into Alabama on interstate I-59(near Valley Head, AL)it was also a welcome center.

They had big rocking chairs out front so you could sit and relax but it was too buggy and hot already.  So we wandered around inside and collected brochures for things to see/do in Alabama.

This was a photo I snapped of a truck on the interstate between Georgia and Alabama.  I can't remember why I took it just that there was some kind of livestock on that truck and not the usual chickens, cows or pigs.  Boy I sure miss my mind sometimes.......

4.5 hours after leaving the hotel we stopped to eat a late lunch South of Birmingham off the interstate in Calera, Alabama at Zaxby's.

We like this chain which we don't have where we live so we eat there when we find one.  They do a great salad(or as they call then ZALADS)and they specialize in chicken if that wasn't obvious from the logo on the drink cup. lolz

Back on the road for another 3 hours until we got to Spanish Fort, Alabama.  This was just a stones throw from our motel for the night and I had to make a stop at World Market.  I love that store and we don't have any around here so I stop in when we get near one and maybe find something food or drink to buy.
Then we drove not even 5 minutes further to the motel......

Oh! Lookie what is right across the parking lot from our room!

So we threw our stuff into the room and looked around.
This place was by far the cheapest lodging choice we found in this area right off Mobile Bay.
It was an old chain motel location that had been dropped from said chain and was now a private non-chain motel called the Eastern Shore Motel.

Now where I come from the "Eastern Shore" is a peninsula off the East Mid-Atlantic coast comprised of Delaware/Maryland/Virginia.....aka the Delmarva Peninsular.

Here Eastern Shore refers to the Eastern side of Mobile Bay.

Though it was only early May it was hot as crap already in Daphne Alabama.  And our room faced West so the late afternoon sun was beating down on our room window.  You can see it peaking around our room curtains behind me.

Me taking a photo of the broken mirror and inadvertently a selfie.

I was almost scared to touch the light switches.  Not because they were so dirty but they sure looked jerry-rigged.

We also had a state of the art *snort* microwave oven(circa 1982)which I wasn't about to try out.  Notice we got the deluxe room with a connecting door to the room next door.
Well what do you expect for $62 a night?  We were only there to sleep and get on down the road the next day.  All I cared about was if the mattress was aceptable and if the a/c worked(and it did, though noisily).

So after "settling in" ha! we freshened up and called my blogger buddy Lorraine who lives down this way.  The plan was to go over to the Clamco Ranch and visit and have dinner with her crew.

And here they are all bright eyed and bushy-tailed.

Well as bright eyed and bushy-tailed as one can be after working all day.  ;-)
Lorraine is a school cafeteria lady and had a trying day at work that day.  We got to hear all about the work drama and boy! was there!!
She has since changed schools/positions and things are better this year.....I think. ;-)

Anyway we got the Grand Tour around Clamco Ranch(we had visited before but that was when they lived in the Clamco Cottage in Fairhope, Alabama)and Chris's new workshop.
Then we sat a spell with a drink and petting time with Zoey.

Such a baby and wants to be the center of whatever is going on.  She's a love....

So dinner got ordered(local take-out BBQ), fetched and eaten.
Thanks again for the great vittles Chris and Lorraine!

We sat for hours it seems like and just talked and talked.

About 9 pm we left since Lorraine gets up waaaay to early in the am for work and it was past her bedtime.
We headed back to the luxury motel *snort* and hit the hay ourselves since we wanted to get back on the road early.

It was a great visit but way too short and it was so nice to see the Clamco Family again.  I am hoping Lorraine gets up North again this Summer or we get down her way(if I don't melt first).  8-))

Day Two was in the books and we were heading West again on Day Three.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

February To-Do List Update

Well I just got around to taking down my February To-Do List off the blog side bar.
Geez!  March is 2/3rd over already. lolz
Let's see how I did last month.

* Pay the Bills  DONE  Boring but good. lolz

* Bike Something FAIL  Nope, didn't do it.

* Read 1, 2 Books  DONE

A book of short stories about dogs.

A novel about an Irish girl who immigrates to Brooklyn NY in the 1950's.  Maybe now I'll watch the movie of it.
* Shred Papers   DONE  
I got all the backlog of document shredding done in February.
Go me.

* Reorganize and File ALL the Paperwork  DONE

I got the last basket of paperwork filed.

* Hold Giveaway  DONE

* Mail Giveaway  Done  Though the winner has yet to let me know it arrived or answer my email inquiring about whether she got the book.

* Hold 2nd Giveaway  DONE

* Mail 2nd Giveaway  Not Yet    Two emails to her plus posting it on the blog and I am STILL waiting for her to contact me with her info. sigh.
This is such a pain and is holding me up on doing the March Giveaway.
Maybe I'll just stop doing Giveaways.....

* Clean up Garage  

* Clean my Desk area  FAIL  Not yet.  Just didn't get to it.  It's on the list for March and I'll probably do it this week.

* Unbox and Use Christmas Gifts  DONE

I finally got around to opening my BIG Xmas present from "Santa" in February.  Not like I wasn't distracted by other things in December and January(Hubs' accident and convalescence)

I am in LOVE with this robotic floor cleaner!   It's specifically made for pet hair and that's what the problem is here with Daughter's half Husky/half Shepherd doggy.  She sheds constantly.  It wasn't as much as a Roomba brand one so if we kill it prematurely due to all the hair I am ok with that.
I have named him "Hymie".

* Gather Tax Info  DONE  I got all the info gathered for Hubs.

* Do Taxes  PASS  We decided to get tax software and Hubs is handling the taxes this year.  With the rental income I didn't feel I could adequately handle taxes this year.  I am still waiting for Hubs to actually FILE the taxes...he's finished filling and printing everything out, he just has to file them.

* Work on Genealogy  DONE  I've done a bit in February and actually had a 4th cousin contact me through the blog in Feb.  He had read my post about Ab Redmond my ancestor who was lynched in 1893.  Actually this cousin and I are double related, both directly through my 3x Great Grandfather Foster and through the common ancestors 2nd wife(his 3x Great Grandmother)who is also my 3rd Great Aunt(my 2x Great Grandfather Baker's sister).
Got that? ;-)

Work on F.A.G. Stuff  FAIL  Other than a few ancillary items dealt with I really didn't do much Find A Grave work in Feb. I inherited a TON of memorials on F.A.G. from a woman who didn't want to care for/maintain them anymore.  I really need to set some time aside to go into the site and put through edits others have sent me and clean up and link up some of these memorials.  It's work since many are NOT my family members so I need to do research on them to get the details correct.

So how did you do getting things crossed off your To-Do List in Feb?


Monday, March 20, 2017

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Enough Already!" Edition--

Stole this off of Facebook earlier this week.  It's just too good and accurate. lolz

Moving on......
Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Chili(using a small frozen container mixed with newly cooked)
2. Monday--Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes
3. Tuesday--Irish Stew
4. Wednesday--Shrimp, Cole Slaw, Asparagus
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Country Fried Steak, Gravy, Taters, Brussells Sprouts(I'll have Taters and Sprouts)*
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Chili(using a small frozen container mixed with newly cooked)
2. Monday--Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Irish Stew, Bread
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Shrimp, Cole Slaw, Brussels Sprouts
7. Saturday--Reuben Sandwiches(using leftovers)

5 meals cooked at home, 2 of them a night of leftovers or Fend For Yourself, and 0 nights of eating-out/take-out.
The country fried steak meal didn't happen.  That will stay in freezer until College Boy comes home for Summer break now.

As for the grocery spending.....2 trips to Weis, a few things from the Dollar Tree and a big shop at Maine Source brought the food spending last week to $160.35.  This brought my March food spending total to $233.14(Food spending would be $336.14 for the month so far, w/out that gift card).  There are 11 days left in the month.

My savings percentages last week was 48.12%.

Leftovers going into this week.......1 big helping of Stroganoff/Rice, 1 slice Meatloaf, lots of Corned Beef, Potatoes, Cabbage and Carrots, Irish Stew, 1 helping of Cole Slaw, Brussels Sprouts, Shrimp and Chili.
And a serving bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Here is this week's "food plan"....
* Denotes "complicated" meals

1. Sunday--Leftovers/Fend for Yourself
2. Monday--Breakfast for Dinner
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Chicken and Mushrooms in Wine, Asparagus, Rice*
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 3 new meals cooked, 0 nights of Take-Out/Eating-Out and 4 nights of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu?  Not a thing. It's a week heavy with leftovers and I have everything for the 3 new meals already here. I have made meatballs in the freezer so I just have to make sauce that night and boiled pasta and Breakfast for Dinner is easy. The chicken dish is the only thing this week which will take more than nominal effort to prepare.

I may not go to the grocery store this week.  There is nothing on sale this week that is calling my name.  Even the double dipping Kraft cheese Deal isn't tempting me. 8-0

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, March 19, 2017

What's Been Going on Here

Some Frugal Things at Chez Sluggy This Past Week--

* We got a refund check from our car insurance company.  Sorry I forgot to take a photo of it before putting it into the bank.  This was unexpected but because our son is now 21, we get a bit of a discount on our insurance now.  Every little bit helps, right?

* I got some deals at Weis(PMITA)Markets on Friday....

College Boy wanted some breakfast sandwiches to put in his mini-fridge back at school.  These are usually $4 a box, on sale for $3.50 this week at Weis and I had a $1/2 IPQ to pair with it so $3 a box of 4.

Arm & Hammer and Arrid Deodorants are .99¢ with week at Weis.  Pair the $1/1 ManuQs in last weekends inserts and you get FREE deodorants.  Just make sure you have something else in your order for the 2 cents overage for using the coupons.

I snagged some 50% produce mushrooms....1 lb. for $1.99 and 8 oz. pack of sliced bellas for $1.34.
And I had a Weis mailed to me Q for .50¢ an 8 oz. pack of sliced mushrooms so the bellas were .84¢ in the end.

A few brands of GM cereals were $1.44 a box for the Fabulous Friday sale.  Generally Mutli-Grain Cheerios are NEVER part of any cereal deal at our Weis, but Friday they were.
I had a $1/2 GM cereals IPQ left that was expiring soon to pair with these two boxes so they were .96¢ each instead of $1.44.

Earlier this month, on Rite-Aid Senior Citizen Wellness Wednesday they were giving out Balance Bar coupons.  The Wellness Ambassador gave me a stack and it's funny but my Rite-Aid doesn't even carry this brand of bar(I looked!).
But I hauled the coupons home and wouldn't you know it I found a deal at Weis to use them with.
Balance Bars are $1 each this week there and the coupons are $1.50/2 single bars(or 1 multi-pack), making these bars .25¢ each so $1.50 spent OOP on all.
I have 1 more Q left to take back later this week to get 2 more bars.
Daughter doesn't have time to eat when she works on weekends so she can take one of these in her pocket to munch on.

* We didn't go out all week while College Boy was here this past week(well, really not much opportunity to do so with the Blizzard of '17 here)nor did we get take-out(except for the Saturday when I brought him home when we ordered pizzas).
I suppose we'll take him our for his Birthday when he gets home for Summer break......only 3+ months late. 8-)))

* I want to mention that there is a DOUBLE DIP Opportunity at Weis this week too.  Two of the items on their "Buy 6, Get $3 Off" are the Kraft sliced and Kraft shredded cheese bags.  These two items are also part of the "Kraft Buy 5, Get $5 Off Instantly Deal" too.
So buy 6 Kraft cheese bags and get $8 Total off.
Good deal on cheese.
Would be better if there were cheese coupons to pair with it though.

* I hemmed College Boy's performance tuxedo pants this week.  Boy did I have a time with those!  Not so much the pants but my overlock machine.  I haven't really used it or had to rethread it since having cataract surgery.  I have a hell of a time seeing close-up now.  I do better with very bright light on what I am trying to see up-close.  I guess I need to start looking to buy a lamp for my sewing area to help.  Then I pinned one leg incorrectly(backwards actually).  I tried them on him and thought, "Hmm, are this boy's legs lopsided?". lolz  Nope, it was my pinning job and then I sewed it. Argh.  Then when I figured out what I did,  I couldn't get the stitching out because I couldn't see the black thread on black pants.
Double Argh!  After hours I got it out(and with help from Daughter)and got that pants leg hemmed correctly.  It didn't help that it was nighttime when I was doing this(lack of light)and I thought Hubs was taking him back the next morning so I was stressing out to get it done before they left.  The weather was crap yesterday so Hubs took him back today instead so I got an extra day to finish.

* I bought College Boy a neti pot this week.  He has horrible sinus troubles that no meds seem to help with so I showed him how to use my neti pot.  I still had $10 on that Rite-Aid Visa Gift Card(the expires the end of March)so I got him a pot up at Rite-Aid.  With 20% Wellness discount it was $9.03 after tax so nothing OOP.
I still have $1.01 left on the gift card.
And I also picked up a small plunger at the Dollar Tree for College Boy to take back to his dorm room. ;-)

* Other than the grocery store, Rite-Aid for drugs, the bank for cash for Hubs(and to pay the plow guy)we stayed home and didn't spend money.
Well I DID pay bills this week(the monthlies--internet, phone, water, credit card, and annual property taxes and annual sewage).
Lots of bills.....
I also realized this week that March is a three paycheck month for us so all my holding back overage from February to cover a heavy irregular bill month in March was for naught!  Boy, I sure miss my mind sometimes...... ;-)

I am enjoying the peace and quiet today.  It's just me and the dog until Daughter gets off her workshift and Hubs gets back from driving CB back to school.

What are you up to today?