Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In the Garden & Other Stuff Around Chez Sluggy

* Hubs checked the garden on Saturday before he mowed the lawn and found this lurking beneath the massive Zucchini plant leaves.......

This weighed in at 2.5+ pounds and makes the 4th zuke we've harvested from the garden.  The poor zuke plants must be exhausted since we've forced them to produce these behemoths.
Bad garden keepers......

We also started to see this occurring in the garden late last week.........

First one and then a second tomato started turning red, finally!!!

We are up to 13 tomatoes turning as of yesterday morning.

As I haven't picked any tomatoes yet I haven't counted them in our Harvest Totals, but that monster zuke's weight brings us up to almost 10.5 lbs. of produce from the garden for the season.
Not bad for a haphazard effort on our part. 8-)

* Remember that medical refund check from Louisiana that no one bothered to sign so we couldn't cash it?

If you will recall they said to send it back(and it was endorsed already)so they could sign it.
It arrived back to us, signed this time, on Friday.

After taking Daughter to her medical procedure I "tried" to deposit it into our credit union account after she signed it over to me.
The clerk at the CU refused to take it!
She said they would only let me deposit it if Daughter's name was on our account....which it is not.
Really?  Are you kidding me???

I may be crazy but when the kids were little and their relatives, on the few occasions they did this, would sent them birthday or Xmas checks I'd have to cash/deposit those checks at my bank/cu because they didn't have bank accounts.
Who didn't do that, right?

So I went literally across the street to a bank where I have a small account and asked to deposit the check and they took it.
Yeah this may be this particular cu's policy but WTF?!?

Guess who is closing out a credit union account soon and moving all that money to the bank across the street? ;-)))

* When Daughter and I went to Virginia for a visit I signed up online to the Rewards Club for a bbq place we like.  My brother said I was suppose to get a $15 off YNO Q for doing so.  Well, after signing up we went into the restaurant, as it said online we could pick up our rewards card and $ off Q then.
Nope.  The card and Q come in the mail later.

Fast forward a month to mid August and my Q arrives in the mail last week......

And it expires Sept. 15th.
That was a waste of time, huh?
So I mailed it to my brother so at least he can take advantage of the offer.

* I've been grocery shopping hot and heavy lately and am about out of food money for August.
I've spent $101+ so far this week but I've gotten some good deals.  Maine Source had a $5 off a $50 order so we took advantage of that and picked up sale items like fresh local produce(eggplant, cauliflower, cuke, tomato and watermelon), bulk ground chuck, 5 lb. bag of mozzarella shreds, and a case of paper plates(now I don't have to buy those for about 1.5-2 years)plus milk which is never on sale in PA.  I hit the bread store for more bread too.

Plus we ran into Price Chopper for BF's Powerade and cold cuts and I found these marinated flank steaks marked down with $2 off Instant stickers.

The markdown stickers got these down to just under a $3 lb. price point and I'll pay that all day long for steak.  8-)

* Then the house property tax reassessment arrived from Louisiana.

Since Daughter no longer owns or lives in the property and she got a homestead exemption for living there, the parish(local taxing entity)has taken off the exemption since Hubs and I don't live in it as our primary residence.  We knew that was coming.

You can get an exemption on the first $75K worth of value on your property if it's your primary residence,  which meant Daughter was paying only $150 or so on property taxes each year.

Surprisingly the parish reassessed the value of the property about $20K lower than what it had been when Daughter owned it so our property taxes will only go up to about $400 a year on the house/land.

This was good news even though I knew LA has some of the lowest state property taxes in the country.
By comparison we pay over $4 THOUSAND a year on this house in PA.  And we still don't get much in the way of goods and services for that(including no municipal garbage or sewage).
We do have higher than average government corruption up in NEPA compared to SWLA so that's part of why we pay so much more. ;-)  I really don't mind paying the school tax component of our property taxes in PA since our school district is rated this year as the highest/best in our area of PA.....but the rest of it, well it's a crime and a ripoff.

* We have decided to ditch the third/College Boy's car.  It started acting up again last week and Hubs and I really can't justify dumping more cash into it, plus the car insurance bill payment is due by the end of August.
If we ditch the car, we ditch that bill and all those repairs.
And CB will be away at school mostly until next May and if/when he works here during school breaks in 2016/2017 and the rest of his Summer break now(he's got 1 day left of Summer work)he doesn't need a car and can borrow mine.

He is required to do an internship Spring of his senior year(he's an incoming junior this Fall)so he WILL need a vehicle in about 1.5 years for that but this current shit car is not something I feel comfortable sending him off to parts unknown in for this internship as we have no clue how far from home this will require him to be.
So this current car's expenses are unnecessary at this point and we can make do with him borrowing my car when needed for the next 1 to 1.5 years.
This extra $400+ in a 6 month car insurance payment will really help out my August spending totals too.  August spending has kicked my ass and HARD! 8-(
But this means we'll need to purchase another beater car in the future, so I'll start putting money aside earmarked for that purchase.  When CB finishes college this will give him a car to get to work in and not have to worry about buying a car for a few years and let him save up for a down payment.
But it's always something with kids, huh?

Ok I am off to rub a butt(Hey! minds out of the gutter!)and get it into the smoker and then go pay the last bills for August so I can begin closing out the books on the month.


Monday, August 22, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Getting CB Ready for Back-To-School" Edition.............

The kids says he's "got this" but I am making an inventory list just in case because I know him. lolz
I don't want them to get there and find out he forgot important stuff as that means I get to drive back to college with it later.

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Spinach Salad
2. Monday--Tempura Shrimp and Zucchini
3. Tuesday--BBQ Ribs, Sliced Tomato, Leftover Mashed Potatoes
4. Wednesday--Chicken Ranch Bacon Pasta Bake, Sliced Tomato and Cukes
5. Thursday--Steak, Grilled Veggies, Noodles
6. Friday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Leftover sides or Caesar Salad
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice
2. Monday--Tempura Shrimp and Zucchini, French Fries(for the BF)
3. Tuesday--BBQ Ribs, Spinach Salad, Leftover Mashed Potatoes(for BF)
4. Wednesday--Steak, Squash Casserole, Roasted Potatoes
5. Thursday--Chicken Ranch Bacon Pasta Bake, Tomato Salad(using local maters I bought last week)
6. Friday--Salmon or Breaded Fish, Cole Slaw, boxed Mac and Cheese(for BF)
7. Saturday--Leftovers(I had a hamburger.)

7 meals cooked at home, 1 of them nights of leftovers and 0 nights of Take-Out.

Most everything happened as planned except a few sides got switched or changed.  I am happy we used up all those local fresh tomatoes. 8-)
Daughter made dinner one night.

As for the grocery spending.....2 small trips to Weis, 1 trip to the Bread Outlet and 1 huge trip to Maine Source totaling $144.65. Added to what was spent earlier this month and I am at $325.06 spent of my $500 budget for August, leaving me $174.94 in the food kitty.  With only 9 days left in the month I hope we'll stay under budget on food for August....it's just a matter now of how much under budget that turns out to be.

Leftovers going into this week........ribs, stroganoff, ranch chicken bake.

Here is this week's "food plan".

1. Sunday--Eggplant Parmesan, Ceasar Salad
2. Monday--Chicken Marsala, Noodles, CA medley Veggies
3. Tuesday--Leftovers(Ribs, Ranch Chicken Bake and a Veggie side)
4. Wednesday--Meatloaf, Zucchini Casserole
5. Thursday--Kielbasa on Rolls
6. Friday--Pork BBQ sandwiches, Cole Slaw
7. Saturday--Whatever College Boy wants for dinner-probably Crab Cakes and Mac & Cheese(it's his last night home)

This week will see 5 or 6 new meals cooked and 0 nights of Take-Out and 1 or 2 night of Leftovers.
Unless of course Daughter's doc appointment/injection runs long as I have to drive her for that. Plus I have to chauffeur CB to work and back.  If I don't get home in time to cook dinner tonight then either meal days get changed up or we get Take-out tonight and one of the meals planned drops to next week.

What we need to buy for this menu.....milk, eggplant and rolls.

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?


Friday, August 19, 2016

Another Giveaway? Yes Please!

Back-To-School Time is here so let's have another Giveaway!

This is the sixth  Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for 2016.
Hey, it's one way to empty my toiletry and accessories stashes. lolz

Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.......no chocolate this time as it's August and that doesn't travel well.......

2 x acrylic picture frames(one has a magnet on that back/one stands up)
1 x St. Ives Facial Scrub
1 x Pantene Shampoo(with bonus sample sized Conditioner bottle)
1 x box of Hot Tamales candy
1 x small bottle of Listerine
1 x box of Excedrin Pain Reliever
1 x box of Colgate toothpaste
1 x Rite-Aid toothbrush
2 x Nivea hand creme tins
1 x pair of No Nonsense Socks
2 x packages of Bic pens(1 blue/1 black)
1 x pack of pencils
1 x pack of glue sticks

Here are close-up photos of the potential winnings.............

I'll leave this giveaway open until Sunday, September 4th, at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time, so that gives everyone a full 2 weeks to enter this one.  On the 4th I'll put all the valid entries into a container and draw out a name and that person wins.

You may get ONE ENTRY EVERY DAY by leaving a comment on this blog post every day until the Giveaway ends.
Tell me in your comment, what here is the thing you most want to win or what your Fall plans are, or tell me whatever you feel like telling me in your comment.  8-)

You can also get 3 BONUS ENTRIES by posting this Giveaway on your own Blog OR if you are a Follower of this blog.  Please leave 3 separate entries for these bonus entries with either a link to your blog post where you talk about the giveaway OR the name you follow under so I can verify you follow the blog for your entries.

Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.
I am not the government with unlimited funds to pay postage, sorry.

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.
If you're not a registered Blogger User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email addy in your comment or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment so I can get ahold of you if you win. If your Blogger associated user profile is a GOOGLE one with those Google Circles nonsense I CAN NOT CONTACT YOU as Google Circles doesn't show your contact info.
I again had to disqualify some entrants in the last giveaway because their profile is linked through Google and not Blogger.  Please check your profile!  And if you ARE entering through a Blogger profile PLEASE have contact info(email addy)in that profile.  If I can't access your email addy I can't contact you so email me your email addy privately or add your email address to your User Profile.  If you have sent me your email addy privately for a previous giveaway I still have it on file so no need to resend it for this giveaway.

If I can't contact you then you can't win.  I have had to disqualify more readers than I care to due to this issue and I sure don't want it to happen again.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Shopping Trip....Free Stuff!

I made a vlog about my trip to Weis Markets yesterday for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

I do use a few bad words(including what writer Jean Shepherd termed "the Mother of All Curse Words")so don't click on the video if you can't handle it.

Also included in this transaction but not pictured(because they were quickly melting in the heat)were 2 containers of ice cream, reg. $5.99 each on sale for $1.99 each(when you bought two).