Monday, April 30, 2012

April Food Spending Week 4, Meal Plan May Week 1

No vintage kitchen today folks.  I have depleted my stash of them and have to seek out more.  Maybe next week....

Onward to the meal plans!
And here is the meal plan that actually happened last week.....
 MONDAY--Tacos or Taco Salad
WEDNESDAY--Eggplant Parmesan, Garlic Bread
FRIDAY--Chinese Take-Out
SATURDAY--Burgers, Corn
I also made a Carrot Cake and a pan of Fudge with Nuts.
We ended up getting Take-Out one night, which wasn't on the plan.   4 nights of new meals and 2 nights of leftovers make for a week I am happy with.

The weekly food spending was $77.53 this past week.
There was my $29.04 trip to Weis I talked about HERE.  Hubs picked up sour cream, a head of lettuce and 2 bags of cheese during the week and spent $5.97.  I went to the local grocer on Saturday and spent $42.52 on Ginger-Ale, 12 packs of soda for #2 Son, Orange Juice, Whipped Cream, 3 lb. of Butter, Pie Shells, Milk, Taco Shells and more bags of Shredded Cheese.  I stocked up on Butter, OJ, Soda, Whipped Cream, Pasta, Napkins, Paper Towels & bags of Cheese. 

The bags of Cheese I bought this past week I used with the Jumbo Pasta Shells and Ricotta Cheese I had bought earlier in the month to make a large quantity of Stuffed Shells on Sunday.  I froze 54 on them and we had the rest for dinner on Sunday.  Figuring costs, each piece comes out to .25¢ counting the pasta sauce too, so approx. $1.00 per serving.
Value of food bought was at $135.53 so my savings rate was 42.80% for the week.

In terms of leftovers, I'm going into this week with leftover Eggplant Parmesan(and 1 helping of Shells from Sunday). 

This week's menu.....

SUNDAY--Stuffed Shells
MONDAY--Chicken Fajitas
TUESDAY--Leftover Eggplant/Fajitas
THURSDAY--Taco Bell, Salad
FRIDAY--Fish, Rice, Veg.(Son can have leftover Shells)
SATURDAY--Hot Dogs, Corn
This menu gives us 5 new meals and 1 night of leftovers and 1 night of Take-Out.
Hubs won't be home for dinner 2 nights so we are doing easy one night and take-out the other night.
As for items I need to buy for this bell pepper, mushrooms, hot dog rolls.
We'll be buying milk as usual, along with some fruit.

Stock-up prices this week for me are taco shells($1.25), apple juice(.99¢), bagged salad($1.99),green chiles($1.25).

With what I "need" this week and the stock-ups, I'll be spending around $80.

So what is everyone else eating this week?


Friday, April 27, 2012

Sluggy's Boring Blog Giveaway Box Week #2......Enter Now!

Time for another......

Here's how it works.....
I put things in the box(mostly what I have gotten for free or almost free)each week and when the box is filled we draw a winner from all the entries received.

Here is what went into the Box today.....
1.  a bottle of Olay Quench Lotion
2.  a bottle of Olay Body Wash
3.  the book "Do-Over!" by Robin Hemley
4.  a tube of Rembrandt Toothpaste

If this is your first time, please go read all the rules for these Giveaways HERE.

Time to enter.....You can enter on this Giveaway post until I close this post to entries.  Then I will put up another post to comment on until the box is full.

1 entry per person per day on THIS POST.
Leave your name/email addy and a COMMENT on this post.  

This week I want to hear about what was your favorite subject in high school in your comments.  And did you end up doing something for a living that was related to that subject?

You can come directly to this blog post or find it through the link on the right side bar to leave 1 comment per day.  The current Giveaway Post will be linked right at the top of the side bar.

Please NOTE--You MUST be a follower to enter the Giveaway.  If you aren't one, just click on the "Follow" button on the right hand side of my blog to become a follower.

There are 2 ways to get EXTRA entries....

1. Put my blog on your blog's Blogroll.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with the URL of your blog so I can go check it out. If I'm already on your Blogroll, say so in an extra entry comment.
2.  Blog about this Giveaway on your blog or on a Message Board.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with a link to your blog post or the message on the board.

Any questions?  Just email me.

Happy Entering!! 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

12-ish Years of Sluggy as Spring Fashion Diva

I've got 1 album scanned now. I do need to go back as a few photos didn't come out well the first time. But basically I have all the 1960-1973 years done, along with just a couple of the 1959 photos done since they are in another album.
Looking through them I don't see nearly the number of photos that I always had assumed my mother took.
I use to think we had massive amounts of photos but in reality, we don't.  She seemed to have only taken photos at most Easters, all the Christmases, and some at special events like Graduations, Birthday parties, a couple of vacation pictures and a few family portraits.  There are also all those dreadful School Photos which I'll get to some day.

Here's a Trip Down Memory Lane told in Easter photos. Let's see what a Fashion Plate I was from an early age.

From 1959....with my brothers.  I am the 3 month old peeing, pooing and drooling blob in the middle.
**You will notice the headgear began early.

From 1960.....after the posed picture with the brothers I grabbed my rabbit and took off a color coordinated hat of course.....

From 1961.....with brothers and my "old" mother who was all of 26 in that photo.  I look like I had a pie plate full of whipped cream with ribbons dangling from it on my head.  All I know is that it was held on by a small annoying length of elastic under my chin.  Guess who had sensory issues with elastic and other things on her body as a young child?  And why do I have a purse?  Did I even know what a purse was for at 2+ years old?
I guess my parents had bought one of those newfangled Polaroid Instant Cameras  that year so that is why this photo is black and white.....
From 1962.....This wasn't Easter but Sept. and my brother's 1st Communion.  I couldn't find an Easter photo for this year but I am sure I wore this fashionable ensemble at Easter as well.  I am with my Granny(father's mother).  At least she is wearing a hat too so I don't feel so alone in my head wear fetish.

From 1963....with my brothers, my Granny(r)and my Grandma-mother's mom(l).  Standing in front of our house(which had been my mom's parents' house).  The window behind us is to my bedroom.  What's this? hat!  The hair is all curled and fussed with though. The brothers look none too pleased to be here....

From 1964......with my brothers again, standing in front of my Granny's duplex apartment door.
Can it Be??? I don't have a hat on?!?!  But it looks like my hair has been teased and tortured within an inch of it's life.....

I couldn't find a 1965 Easter Photo.  I wonder what happened that year?  It might have been the year my mom had surgery.  I started school that year and we moved that year so that could be why the photo snapping dropped off.  I don't blame her if she just didn't bother that year.  It's not like my father was any help at home....

From 1966.......I'm 7 and this is the last year of my idyllic childhood.  The year before lots of things changed in my life.
I'm with the brothers in front of my Granny's house....she's at the door.  Most years getting a "good" photo with everyone looking at the camera and smiling was a chore.  My older brother was a "cut-up" and he was always trying to get my oldest brother to laugh.  You will notice that oldest(r) is laughing and older(l)is looking away trying to do the innocent "but I did't say anything!", while my mother is probably yelling at him.   I bet after this was snapped older went tearing off with oldest close on his heels muttering that he was going to kill him.
Me?....I just stood there in the middle waiting for them to stop horsing around so we can get this picture done and I can TAKE THAT BLASTED HAT OFF!!

From 1967.....I'm 8 and we moved into a huge old house built around 1912.
With the brothers again, who are looking tickled pink to be there!, and another hat!  And my parents are still lugging around that Polaroid Instant Camera with the tubes of developer and waving pictures in the air.  It would be nice to have some color again, dontcha think?  I remember this lovely ensemble was navy and white.

From 1968....thankfully the Polaroid Camera died before this Easter and we got a new color model.
No, my brothers are still around, just too busy or too cool now being teenagers to pose for a photo with the kid sister.  I'm a vision in a Jackie O. inspired classic pink suit and pill box hat.  If the hat isn't enough I now sport a flower corsage.......if that doesn't shout GEEK to my friends, I don't know what does!
Too bad I didn't have Mark around to accessorize for me because that black patent leather handbag just does nothing for the look!

From 1969....oh, I spoke too soon.....the brothers are back.  Oldest is looking rather glum about it all and Older is smiling.  I bet he's trying to think up something to get Oldest in trouble....
I am the 1969 Fashion mother made the dress and the cape I remember.  The cape was navy and plaid and way cool.  Totally accessorized correctly with the ever present hat(of course), a white patent leather handbag(with cool mod chain strap), white tights and white gloves.
White gloves??  Oh no....overkill again and tres unfashionable for 1969....

From 1970....I know I said the cape was cool but making me fit into it a second year when it's obvious I have outgrown it is so wrong.  And my dress is even shorter than the cape and has no definition.  And that looks like the same hat too!!  You could put a nurse's cap on my head and I'd look all set to make rounds....
Love the knee socks!lol
At least this year Easter came later and the camellia bushes and the daffodils are blooming.

From 1971....another early Easter.....check out the dead
The brothers are back.  Oldest is in college now and being 19, couldn't be talked into wearing a suit.
Both are growing their hair long so I know there was tension in the house this year.  I am starting to "fill out" as the hormones have kicked in, so they made me kneel down so I didn't blot out the, block the brothers from being seen in the photo.  Notice my mom's dog, Annie the poodle, also gets to be in the photo now.  Annie feels the same way about anything on her head that I do.  After coming home from the groomer's with bows clipped to her head, she goes berserk until she can claw them off.  I can relate Annie, oh how I can relate.....

And that is where the Easter portraits end, in 1971 when I am 12.
And more importantly that is where the headgear torture ends.
At least you can see that I did grow into my head eventually.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Buying A Car AKA Throwing Money Away

Hubs and I hashed out the "getting another car or two" issue last week and I am happy to report that he sees it my way.
So we will be buying 1 used car, not 2. 8-)

So now the issue becomes, how much to spend and what to buy?

I am leaning toward a vehicle with.....

A-low miles
B-but a low price
C-high gas mileage
D-not expensive to repair/purchase replacement parts
E-a safe car
F-lower insurance quote

And yes, I KNOW I can't have it
It's all a balancing act really, isn't it?

A newer car will be pricier and the insurance will probably be more but will be safer, have better fuel efficiency and lower miles on it.
While an older car will be less expensive to purchase, have lower insurance rates and easier to repair/afford parts.

So dear readers, if you were having to purchase a used car for your 19 and 16 year old teens to drive, keeping all these points in mind, what specific car would you look for?

How much would you spend?  Remember, we are paying cash for this.
Do you have a particular make/model you would consider?
Does gas mileage and/or mileage on the vehicle concern you?
Any other point you see that I am not considering?

I am so dreading shopping for this.
But I want to get it done before the Daughter comes home from college.
Because if she goes with her dad to car shop, she'll be pressing him to buy some cool sports car thing with a big sticker price.


Out & About on Tuesday

The Orthodontist check-up went well.  #2 Son goes back in 3 months and only has to wear his retainers at night now.  We are at the end of that very long "Teenager in Braces" Phase of  his life.  The wisdom teeth have all been pulled, the braces and elastics worn and removed and he's on the second set of retainers now.
And the bill was paid up front(with a discount for paying in full)2 years ago in Jan. of 2010.
I know #2 is thrilled to almost be done too!

So I went ahead and hit the grocery store while I was out and gussied up(dressed) on Wednesday.
I had a $2.50 WYSpend $35 Catalina Q from Weis, so between things I needed(eggplant)and things I can use later, I worked up what turned out to be a $45 order(before coupons).
They still had the Healthy Bites magazines in the store with those Weis store Qs in them.
And I printed off some Weis Qs off of their Facebook page.
And here is what I got.  The only thing not pictured are the 3.20 lbs. of eggplant and the 4 gourmet burgers that were discounted.  We ate those last night.  And I'm just too lazy to get the eggplant out of the fridge now. ;-)

1 x Marcal 8-pack Paper Towels on sale $5.99    (with double stacked Qs makes it $3.99)
2 x Edy's fruit bars on sale $3.00=$6.00   (with Q makes it $5/2)
3.30 lbs. of eggplant=$3.27   (on sale for .99¢lb.)
1 x 4 pack bakery dept. muffins 50% off=$2.24
1 x Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches=$5.99    ($3 store Q makes it $2.99)
2 x store made gourmet burgers=$5.26     ($2 store Q makes it $3.26 for 1.4lbs. meat)
2 x Full Circle tomato paste on sale(.89)=$1.78    ($1 Weis Q makes it .39 can)
1 x Weis Olive Oil on sale=$3.99    ($1 Weis Q makes it $2.99)
1 x Weis dressing on sale=$2.00    ($1 Weis Q makes it $1.00)
1 x Weis mayo on sale=$1.50     ($1 Weis Q makes it .50¢)
3 x Weis napkins on sale .88¢=$2.64
1 x Weis ketchup on sale=$.88    ($1 Weis Q makes it -.12¢)
1 x Weis barbecue sauce on sale=$.8    ($1 Weis Q makes it -.12¢)
2 x Weis pasta on sale .88¢=$1.76
1 x Weis pickle relish on sale=$.88

Coupons Used
1 x $2.50 WYSpend $35=$2.50
1 x $1/1 Marcal Towels ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Marcal Towels Weis Q=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Edy's fruit bars ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $3 Instant Store discount on Jimmy Dean product=$3.00
2 x $1 Instant Store discount on Gournet Burgers=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Full Circle products Weis Q=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Weis Olive Oil Weis Q=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Weis dressing Weis FB Q=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Weis mayo Weis FB Q=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Weis ketchup Weis FB Q=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Weis barbecue sauce Weis FB Q=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$16.50

$45.06-$16.50=28.56 + .48¢ tax=$29.04 OOP

$60.15 reg. retail, savings of $31.59 which is a rate of 52%.

There are 4 Qs on the Weis Markets Facebook page--$1 of each of mayo, barbecue sauce, salad dressing and ketchup or mustard.  The Weis brand barbecue sauce, mustard and ketchup are part of the "Buy 8 Items for .88¢ each Deal".  So if you buy in multiples of 8, you get these Q items for free AND 12 cents per item carried over to go toward other purchases in your order.

I still have a few things to pick up at the other grocer in town and I might go back to Weis to get a Bottom Round Roast at $3.99lb and some more free condiments and other .88¢ items.  My oldest is moving into an apartment this Fall at school and will be cooking for himself, therefore I'll be looking to pick up cheap or free pantry goods for him when I hit the stores between now and August.

I said I would spend $35 this week but I might end up spending a bit more, to the tune of $45 or $50.
Yes, I am a


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If I Only Had Half The Energy....

My weekend was pretty quiet here.
Hubs went and priced dishwashers.
Me?  I stayed home.  I prefer not to go to big box stores on weekends.

I stayed home and didn't spend money on Saturday.
On Sunday #2 son's school band hosted a Jazz Festival at the high school.  Hubs signed me up to work it.  Darn nice of him, won't it? ;-)

What I thought would be a 2 hour shift working the concession/food table turned into 6 hours.
I did get to see son's band perform however which made up for the working part.
And the food sales netted some profits for the band.

But I had no energy left for the rest of Sunday and went to bed at the unheard of hour of 8-ish pm!
And Monday I dragged my ass around all day and had no umph.  The rainy and cold weather didn't help I am sure.  And I slinked off to bed again at around 9pm.
Of  course, I woke up bright and bushy tailed at 4am this morning!  I figure I'll be ready for a nap around noon today.

And it's another grey, chilly, rainy day around these parts again.
I've got to haul #2 Son to the Orthodontist this morning and I guess I'll hit the grocery store while I am out and get that chore out of the way for the week.

Here's something to wake you up and get your motor started.  This gal is mighty perky.  Generally I can't stand perky but here it works.
Turn your speakers up and dance along.......



Monday, April 23, 2012

April Food Spending Week 3, Meal Plan April Week 4

Presenting the vintage kitchen for this week, the 1929 kitchen.....

This goes way back, before Kitchens had all those built in cabinets and imposing appliances.  Look at the size of that refrigerator?  At least it's "modern" and uses electricity and not a big chunk of ice, which was still common at that time.  The stove/oven looks much different on Queen Anne style spindly legs, doesn't it?  And the work area is just looks like a desk.  I do love the dining alcove though, don't you?
This ad was for an advertisement for General Electric wiring in your kitchen.  Notice all those newfangled electrical outlets and switches.  1929 was still the early days of bringing electricity into the average home.
I know many folks want to go back to earlier times and ways, but just how far back would you want to go?  To the pre-electric kitchen times?  How many modern conveniences would you be willing to give up to live in those earlier times?

Onward to the meal plans!
And here is the meal plan that actually happened last week.....

SUNDAY--Lasagna, Salad
MONDAY--Sloppy Joes, Corn
TUESDAY--BBQ Chicken, Asparagus, Rolls
WEDNESDAY--Tuna Sub or Philly CheeseSteak Sub
THURSDAY--Roast Pork with Dried Fruit, Rolls, Brussell Sprouts
SATURDAY--Burger King

The Pork Roast was a flop, which is a shame, since I had such high hopes for that one.  I fell asleep Saturday afternoon, so Hubs went to Burger King.  He bought me a Whopper, with cheese for dinner.

I NEVER get cheese on those(it just ruins it!lol)and every time he buys me one, he gets cheese on it and every time I yell at him that for the 1 millionth time I detest cheese on them and we have a big row over it where I tell me I've told him before "no cheese" and he insists I never told him or I told him "with cheese".  Then I tell him don't ever buy me a Whopper again, if I want one I'll buy it myself, and he storms off that I don't appreciate him thinking of me, and I holler back that I do appreciate it but I'm just tired of picking cheese off my Whopper.
But I digress.....

The weekly food spending was $37.82 this past week, with about half of that being for paper towels.
I talked about my shopping trip last week, HERE.  And then Hubs bought a box of baggies for .99 + tax.

Anyway, $153.50 spent for the month with 8 days to go now.  I have almost half of my $300 food budget left at this point so I am in real good shape for staying under budget for April.

Value of food bought is at $315.60 so my savings rate is just under 51.40%.  And that's with 20 coupons used so far this month.--2 MQs Peelies, 5 store Qs, 1 Catalina Q and 12 instant discount Qs.


In terms of leftovers, I'm going into this week with only a big hunk of Roast Pork left that nobody wants to eat, so it will become condiment for the doggies dinners. ;-)

This week's menu.....

SUNDAY--Leftovers or Burritos
MONDAY--Tacos or Taco Salad
WEDNESDAY--Pasta with Sauce, Veg(Escarole?)
THURSDAY--Grilled Chicken, Rice, Mixed Veggies
FRIDAY--Eggplant Parmesan, Garlic Bread

This menu gives us 5 new meals and 2 night of leftovers. Sunday was a quick meal/leftover night as I worked the Jazz Festival that my son's band hosted all day and I wasn't about to cook dinner when I got home.
We are having the Taco night that didn't happen last week, this week.  Wednesday will be a quick meatless meal, as the School Band Concerts are that night.
Eggplant is on special this week at the store so I am making Parmesan this week.  It's a rather big production to make and I may make a second pan to freeze.  I have part of  loaf of bread I'll be using up by making the garlic bread for Friday's meal.

As for items I need to buy for this week....the greens for Wed. night's meal, lettuce, sour cream for tacos and the eggplant. 
We'll be buying milk as usual as well.

As for stocking up opportunities there are a few--butter for $1.69lb., turkey breast for $.99lb, orange juice for $1.39 carton.  I'll be picking up some fresh fruit this week as well.

With what I "need" this week and the stock-ups, I'll spend around $35.  If some deals crops up, then it will be more.

So what is everyone else eating this week?


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another Ghostly Image From My Past

Still in scanning hell here. I've progressed all the way up to 1964! At this rate, I'll be doing this project when they cart me out toes first.....

Doesn't this photo just need a halo over my head and a pair of wings?
Yeah, that's me....Saint Sluggy at age 5!lol

I wonder how many pennies my mom had to squirrel away from her household budget to afford to have that photo taken?  It's one of those fancy pants Olan Mills Studios deals ya know.....

Cherubic Sluggy

My Not-So Love Affair With Motorized Vehicles

Well I took #2 Son down to the DMV(dept. of motor vehicles)on thursday after school for him to take his learner's permit test and hopefully get his permit, if he passed the test.
So we get called up to the desk and the guy goes through our paperwork to see that everything is in order.
Then he clears us & #2 Son goes over to the machine and I sit down and cross my fingers. 

And he passed! 8-)

So then we go over to another clerk and he tells me how much to make the check out for and then he flips one of the forms back and forth and makes an, "Uh oh" noise.
Uh-oh noises out of DMV clerks are not what you want to hear......

And he says, "One moment", and goes off to chat with the 1st clerk who cleared our paperwork.
They both come back after #2 Son and I give each other about 10 looks that say, "Oh Crap!...What now?!?".
Clerk #1 explains that the physical form, that the doctor filled out, that one section of it was done incorrectly.  This is the section where the doctor is suppose to check off from a given list if the permitee has any of the listed medical conditions/illnesses that will be a roadblock for him/her to be able to drive.  You are only suppose to check a condition IF it WILL be an issue for the new driver.  The list contains things like epilepsy, heart condition, diabetes, renal failure, neurological seizures, an amputation of a limb, deafness, etc.
Our doctor has checked off EVERY SINGLE BOX instead of no boxes!
Clerk #2 said, "Yah, according to your doctor, your son has about 5 minutes left to live."


Then Clerk #2 said that the form instructions use to be to check the boxes if the permit-ee did NOT have these conditions, but that the state had changed the form, so that now you only check off the boxes that apply to your permit-ee's health.

So we had to go back to the doctor with a clean form and have him redo it.  Of course, the receptionist at the dr. office got a real good laugh out of it and the dr., god that he is, insisted that HE did not make a mistake.
Yah right......

So #2 Son didn't get his permit Thursday.
But we just have to take the paperwork back and pick up the permit.
His test is valid for 30 days, as is the eye test they administered.
He'll have his permit in his hot little hands by Saturday afternoon and then he'll commence to start nagging us to take him driving.
Oh goody....I can't wait! lol

On the way home after all THAT fun, I had to stop and fill my tank at the gas station.
I drive so rarely lately that this is the first time I've put gas in my car in about a month.
I bet each and every one of you, no matter where you live, heard me freaking out over the price per gallon on the sign and how much it actually cost me to fill my tank.  I had just under 1/4 of a tank when I pulled into the station, so 3/4 of a tank cost me SIXTY ONE DOLLARS!!!!!!!
Yes, that WAS 7 exclamation marks......

And it was *ONLY*sarcasm alert* $3.93 per gallon.

And on a similar note.....
Thanks for all the advise on our car dilemma I posed earlier this week.
Hubs and I had a sit-down over the options and have concurred that 1 car for now is best, rather than 2.

We'll start window shopping online locally this weekend and then take some information to the car insurance guy so he can run the numbers on different makes and models to see, when all other things being equal, which cars would be less expensive to insure.
We also have to let the insurance guy know that #2 Son is Road Ready.....eep!

PS--Blogger changed up the Control Board on us today and I am NOT liking this new look.  I may be slow for a week or two getting posts up.  I am old and I don't take change well anymore it seems......bleh.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Sluggy's Boring Blog Giveaway Box......Enter Now!

Time for another......

Here's how it works.....
I put things in the box(mostly what I have gotten for free or almost free)each week and when the box is filled we draw a winner from all the entries received.

Here is what went into the Box today.....
1.  an Elvis Refrigerator Magnet
2.  a box of Benadryl Allergy + Sinus formula
3.  a tub of Visine eye wipes
4. 2 bars of Oil of Olay Soap
5. a travel sized Dove deodorant
6. a travel sized John Frieda Shampoo tube 
Now you KNOW you NEED this!

If this is your first time, please go read all the rules for these Giveaways HERE.

Time to enter.....You can enter on this Giveaway post until I close this post to entries.  Then I will put up another post to comment on until the box is full.

1 entry per person per day on THIS POST. 
Leave your name/email addy and a COMMENT on this post.  

This week I want to hear about your family genealogy in your comments.  Do you do genealogy?.....Where did your ancestors come from?.....Have your ancestors been in this country(or your country if you don't live in the US)long or not?.....Do you have any famous, fascinating, weird or  notorious people in your family line?  Are WE related?? ;-)
You can come directly to this blog post or find it through the link on the right side bar to leave 1 comment per day.  The current Giveaway Post will be linked right at the top of the side bar.

Please NOTE--You MUST be a follower to enter the Giveaway.  If you aren't one, just click on the "Follow" button on the right hand side of my blog to become a follower.

There are 2 ways to get EXTRA entries....

1. Put my blog on your blog's Blogroll.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with the URL of your blog so I can go check it out. If I'm already on your Blogroll, say so in an extra entry comment.
2.  Blog about this Giveaway on your blog or on a Message Board.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with a link to your blog post or the message on the board.

Any questions?  Just email me.

Happy Entering!! 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grocery Shopping This Week

I did the shopping early this week.
Hiked up to Weis last night and got this....

Like a man said in a famous movie...."Ignore those paper towels behind that curtain!"
Or something like that.
Though it kills me to buy them, I bought them.
It was either I bought them and a got a sorta "deal" or I let Hubs buy them and pay full retail price.

Weis has the 8 roll packs of Small Steps Marcal on sale this week(reg. $8.29 pkg.)for $5.99.
I found $1/1 Marcal products Q in the Weis "Healthy Bits" magazine they have stashed around the stores.  So I paid $4.99 for each pkg. or $3.29 less than retail.

I was fully prepared to go to Rite-Aid and buy the Simplify house brand of towels for .80¢ a roll with my 20% Wellness discount if I hadn't found the Weis deal on the Marcal.

So just think of all those paper towels as my love letter to my Hubs.....because I won't buy paper towels for anybody else on the planet!

The items we needed this week for meals were the Steak-Umms (BOGO sale this week, making them $5.99 for both)and the Taco Shells($2 on sale but I bought an extra package in case I don't find a deal before the next time #2 Son wants these again).

As for the rest, it was pure stock up....meaning I didn't NEED any of this stuff immediately.

* The olive oil was on sale for $3.99 and that Healthy Bits magazine had a $1/1 Q, making it $2.99.
* The tomato paste was on sale for .89¢ and that Healthy Bits magazine had a $1/2 full circle items Q, making them .39¢ each.
* The yogurt was a new Weis house brand of Greek yogurt and it was on sale for .88¢.  I just wanted to try it so I got one.
*  The OM roast beef deli meat was on sale for $4.29 plus there was a $2/1 Store discount Q on it AND each package had a $1/1 ManuQ Peelie stuck to it, so I got $3 off each pkg, making them $1.29 a piece.
This is the nitrite-free roast beef and there is still a couple of weeks left to use it.  Score!
* Those 4 packages of hot dogs are the natural, no nitrite/preservatives-free expensive ass hot dogs!  Reg. retail at 4.69 a package.  They are on sale this week for $3.50.  These had $2 Instant Store Qs stuck to the package, making them $1.49 a piece.  I don't eat hot dogs often but when I do, I want a quality piece of dog.  I'll feed the cheap hot dogs here to #2 Son and his friends when they descend like locust on my kitchen....shhhh, don't

Total came to $36.77.  Regular retail of $81.02 for a savings of 55%.
55% may not be so great but it's for MEAT people!!lol
Plus I figured $40 of food spending this week so I'm calling it a win...


Some Comic Relief for a Thursday

Here's something to get your day off to a good start.  It's a gem of a number that most people probably have never heard of.

It's a song from that MGM musical "Royal Wedding", and it quite possibly has the longest song title in history.

It's called "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You, When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life".
By Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner.

A cute number courtesy of Ms. Jane Powell and Mr. Fred Astaire.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

There Goes the Money!

Last week, I broke down and finally bought that handheld scanner.  Because of my Christmas gift card I only spent $43 "new" dollars on it.

Well that one purchase has opened the flood gates!

Hubs birthday was earlier this month.  After we went window shopping last week for a new gas grill to replace the little one we have beat the life out of and it can't be resuscitated to get through another year of grilling season, he decided to go back out on Saturday and actually buy a grill.
We're calling it his birthday present so I don't have a fit over spending the money.

Hubs did use 3 x $50 Home Improvement Store gift cards I had gotten at Rite-Aid last Fall, so he only spent a little less than $50 in "new" money.   I didn't get a discount on the gift cards but I did get free $10 in +Up Rewards for buying the gift card +Ups money was "new" money in a way.  Look at it this way--we bought a grill on sale for $170 and got $30 in +Up Rewards to get $30 in free stuff.
And we have a nice new slightly larger shiny grill to destroy.....

Then an appliance went on strike.  Well, really it stopped working a few weeks ago but after having to hand wash all those Easter dinner pots and dishes, Hubs has had enough and wants the dishwasher replaced.

But me, being the frugal and trying to be 'green' even though it's a dishwasher people....c'mon!lol.....I tried to figure out a repair.
Repair=cheaper than replacing.

I figured out the door latch/handle was broken.
I ordered a new replacement part.
It came on Saturday.
So on Sunday we commenced to replace the part.  We got all the way through removing the panels to expose the guts of the operation and went to unscrew the broken component.
And it needed a specialized screwdriver.
The size we didn't have.
So we put everything back together so we could turn the electricity back on.
But we had to tape the door closed, but not latched since if we had latched the door, we don't get it unlatched without the broken part inside.
What an elegant looking sight!lol

So Hubs picked up the right sized screwdriver Monday evening and we removed the broken part and replaced with the new component.
And then the door closed...yay!
But the handle is not quite the right size.  They redesigned the part and it doesn't work in this model of dishwasher.
We don't know if the computer works too now.  We can turn the dishwasher on and the lights come on and all but nothing happens....meaning no water gushes forth and fills the thing and actually moves around and washes the dishes.
 There might be a reset or something you have to do with the computerize motherboard OR that might also need replacing.  The lights/cycles indicate and the timer counts down but no water, no action.

At any rate, if it needs anything else done it is beyond our skill level and a real repair person will have to be called in.
A repair person will cost $100 just to walk into my kitchen.
I am already out $70+ on the part, shipping and screwdriver.
If he replaces the handle component with another one, that's an hour of work and another part with mark up, so about $230 and Up total.  If it's the computer stuff it will cost much much more....more than a new "low end" dishwasher would cost.

Add in that the repair people aren't returning my calls so IF I can find one who will come, we'll be without a dishwasher for many days to come.
Which will make Hubs start cursing like he did when we tried to repair it ourselves.

Whoever said doing things together draws a married couple closer together is full of horseshit.  Repairing appliances does NOT qualify as a "something to do together" if one of you isn't handy in any way shape or form.....and that non-handy person is male. ;-)

I can go buy a brand new dishwasher for $250.  No cursing, no good money thrown after bad, no buying more tools that Hubs doesn't use and certainly doesn't keep tidy out in the garage.........and free delivery to boot!
Myself?  I can live without a dishwasher....especially if it's just 2 or 3 people eating here.  Once the kids are gone for good and it's just the 2 of us, I probably won't use the dishwasher except for holidays or when company is over.

But those days aren't quite here yet....especially once Daughter comes home for the foreseeable fortune.

We still need to finalize the 4 home improvement projects we had planned to do this year, but if the money keeps up like this, we might need to downsize the scope or turn 4 projects into 3.

Instead of the Year of Saving Money it's turning into the Year of Watching the Money Go Out with The Tide. are getting on my bad side ya know!

Make me feel better and tell me about all your recent Unexpected "having to spend money" Life Events.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Big Scan of 2012...Some Photos

They called the Boston subway the Big Dig, so I'm calling my scanning project the Big Scan.

I finally figured out how to empty my sd card so I am up to about 100 pictures digitized so far.

Here is Easter 1960 with my 2 brothers....
My mom was all about those holiday posed photos and new clothes.  I bet she sewed my dress in that photo.  It's yellow.  I have never looked good in that color.  I always look like I'm ready for a liver transplant when I have worn yellow.
We each got a big(well, by the standards of the time)basket with candy/chocolate and "the Easter Bunny" always wrapped it up in colorful cellophane(so we couldn't eat any of that junk until all the photos were taken, Church attended, dinner eaten and then the parents said we could).  Maybe that's why were weren't happy on Easter until late in the day, after our 2 pm dinner?lol
And there are about 6 different photos of us in this pose in the album.  I guess it took that many to get us all standing together and not kicking, jumping, waving arms or bending over being silly.  But they still couldn't get us to look in the same direction.  And this is with NO candy in our systems.....well, I bet my brothers figured out how to sneak a few pieces from behind the cellophane wall by untaping, sneaking bits outs and retaping it up.  They were 7 and 8 yrs. old afterall.....what do you expect?

Here's how I use to cool off on really hot days in the South, circa 1960.  I'm 1.5 yrs old and I think I am "reading" a book.  Dig the neat-o home furnishings, especially the lamp and the carpet.  And you can see in the right corner bottom that my father still had some hair

And here I am in a winter coat and bonnet at Thanksgiving that year, looking bewildered as I usually did when I was a kid.....

See my ginormous head?  It's a wonder my mother found a hat to fit me that matched that teeny tiny sized  Maybe that's why I don't look particularly happy.....because the hat is too tight!  I'm probably thinking, "Take your damned picture woman so I can get this torture device off my head already!!".....or maybe it's, "You keep saying you love me but you continue to stuff me into clothes and hats that are too small and/or just plain uncomfortable.  Is this what love is suppose to be?"
Yes, I was a deep thinker even back then....

And here is my first posed Photo with Santa in 1960.  I am almost 2 years old.....

Still got that "where am I?...who am I?" expression, don't I?
At that age, I was probably too petrified of this big strange man to move!  Most of my kids went through that "being frightened of strangers" phase.
 I bet I peed myself around the time this photo was snapped.....then I started wailing for my mom.

And again with the big headwear on my ginormous head!  And let's make it white so it makes her head look even bigger!
Since I can remember I have HATED things on my head.  I think it's normal given my mother's mission to put hats on me when I was a wee one.

Ok....onward to scanning 1961 now.....


Car Dilemna......Help a Slug Out!

I've got a choice coming up soon involving cars--buying them and how many.  I'd appreciate any advise/help anyone wants to chirp in with.

We have 2 cars at present: Hubs commuter car for work and my minivan.  I don't work outside the home so my car is only used for errands and such and when we need a vehicle for carrying loads of stuff and/or loads of people.

We use to have a 3rd car.  It was an old Toyota that had belonged to my mother and then my oldest brother.  When he died, we bought it off of his estate for a really good price.  Since it still only had 65K miles on it even though it was about the same age as my oldest child, we had hoped that it would last through the last kid's teen driving years until he went off to college.
But the stupid 16 yr. old driver who hit Daughter and I last May changed all that.  The car was totaled and we got $2,400 from her insurance company which wasn't enough to replace the car....IF we could have found one that old, in that condition, with that few number of miles on it.
And with Daughter leaving for summer job and then college the next month, there was no point in replacing the car then.

Now that we are about to need the 3rd car again, since #2 Son gets his learner's permit later this week(crossing fingers he passes!lol), we have a complication.

Daughter has changed her career goals and what she needs to do to get there.  She has decided that she no longer wants to go to medical school, nor does she want to get a 4 year degree.  She is finishing this semester of college and transferring to the local community college for a 2 year training program and an Associate's degree in Applied Sciences in Nuclear Technology Engineering. 
Basically, my daughter wants to be Homer Simpson's boss.

This new track of her's will have her living at home again full time and commuting to school.  She will need a car to get to school plus she will eventually have a part time job and need a car for getting to work.

#2 Son will need a car for the part time job he hopes to look for as soon as he starts driving.  Plus he will also have music type rehearsals next year he can drive himself to, though he doesn't HAVE TO do this.  Two years out, his senior year, he MAY need the car to commute to a local college, if he does the Young Scholars Program(seniors take college courses for 1/2 a day in this program and they have to provide their own transportation).  At this point we aren't sure if he will qualify for the YSP or if he'll even want to do this(it's optional).  So though he wants a car that's for his use only when he gets his license, he doesn't need one.

So our question is this.....Do we buy 2 cars or 1?

Hubs thinks we should buy 2 junk cars.
He feels that since the older 2 kids had a junk car available for their use in high school, that we should provide a junk car for #2 Son as well.  That the Daughter will need a car in the Fall is definite but he also thinks buying 2 cars(and paying insurance/maintenance/repairs/registrations)is the way to go, in case they both need a car at the same time.

My feeling is just buy 1 car.
If we have the same amount to spend whether we buy 1 or 2, by buying only 1 we can get a better car.
And a better car is a safer car.

Paying insurance on 1 car is less than paying it on 2 cars.
Paying registration on 1 car is less than 2.
Paying for repairs/maintenance on 1 is less than 2.
Those are my financial reasons.

Daughter will NEED a car, but #2 Son won't NEED a car his Junior year.  In the first place, I won't let him drive a car to school every day anyway until he is a Senior.  He can take the bus for free.
The parking lot at our high school is nuts.  More accidents happen there than on our roads in town, because you have all the new/in-experienced drivers in one place at one time and they are constantly hitting each other's  Both the older 2 had fender benders with other bad teen drivers in the school parking lot.
I would never buy a new car and let my kid take it to the school's parking lot!!  It's insane....
#2 Son can take the bus and get rides home on days he has activities....or he can ride the bus home and then take the car back to school for his rehearsal days.  We live about 1.5 miles from the school so it's no big deal.

If both the kids have part time jobs and need the car at the same time, one of them can take the minivan.
It's not fashionable but it's wheels to get you someplace.  And I can arrange my needing the minivan schedule around their needs.

As for Daughter's new direction....She will be living at home her 1st year at the comm. college.  Then she plans on moving out and getting an apartment near school.  Any car we buy for her use while living at home does not go with her.  She has been told she will need to arrange her own transportation once she moves out again.

At this point, the spare car can go to #2 Son for his use.  He can use it for his rehearsals, for school or for school and the Young Scholars program, as well as to get to his part time job.

Now if Daughter decides NOT to move out(God forbid!)until her 2 year's of school is over, we can re-evaluate buying a 2nd car then.  Perhaps then we purchase a car that she can make payments toward and eventually buy from us?

Besides the added costs of buying 2 junk cars, when the kids leave home(1 in 1 yr. or 2, the other in 2 yrs.), we will have 2 cars to sell or otherwise get rid of.  I consider throwing money at cars akin to throwing money into a big black sucking hole anyway.

Let me add in that Daughter will NOT be spending all the college money with this new tract, that we had set aside for her educational use.  She has already hinted that any money we don't spend in the next 2 years on room & board since she is now commuting should be hers to use to get an apartment and buy food for herself in Year 2 AND should be used toward buying this car she needs to commute to college starting in the Fall.  If we buy 2 cars she will decide in her own mind that the car we buy for her to commute in is HER car and she'll expect us to let her have the car when she leaves home.
We have told her that any money she does NOT spend on educational purposes is NOT her's to keep and that includes if we use some of the money to buy a car for her use while she lives at home. We "might" bankroll a cheap apt. near campus the 2nd year but we are NOT bankrolling her car needs if she leaves home.

Hubs and I need to sit her down and make perfectly clear about the parameters on this college money.
It is also not being held for her use into eternity.  There is a time limit on how long she takes to finish school.  She can't keep changing her mind for the next 10 years and coming back for more money for school.

So I'm in the "buy as little as possible in cars as you can get away with and then ease into more cars/spending if you truly need it" camp.
Hubs is in the "just buy it all now and don't worry about anything" camp.
But he doesn't do the books around here, I do!lol

So what would you 1 or 2 cars?
And is there anything I am overlooking in this?
I really need some advise or at least an independent pair of eyes looking at this situation.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Judy Update!

Ok, someone just wrote me this past weekend asking after Judy again.
And I wrote Judy an email a few days ago asking when she was coming back and if she was still ok.

And then she popped up today!
I am talking about Judy of "Finally Frugal and Happy" blog, and of the older "We Make Be Poor, But We Are Happy" blog.

She's got a new blog so go here...."Just Making My Way Back".

Go welcome her back and make her feel loved, won't you?!


April Food Spending Week 2, Meal Plan April Week 23

The Weekly Vintage Kitchen is back!
Here is this week's model from 1955....
I don't know what to think of this one!  The linoleum floor throwback to the 1930's, the faux brick details that harks back to a colonial kitchen but the thoroughly modern(or should that be moderne?) look of metal cabinets and rounded too, along with oh so modern formica tops?  The formica tops also have that oh so 1950 classic diner metal edging on them.

What do you think about today's vintage kitchen?  Does it work for you in style and/or form?

Onward to the meal plans!
And here is the meal that actually happened last week.....

SUNDAY--Ham, Asparagus, Leeks in Cream Sauce, Great Aunt Lula's Rolls, Deviled Eggs
TUESDAY--Ham, Mac & Cheese, Cabbage, Leeks in cream sauce
WEDNESDAY--Sausage Sandwiches, Onions, Corn
THURSDAY--?  I can't remember  ate from here, not take-out
FRIDAY--Chinese Take-out
SATURDAY--Subway Subs, Salad

Sunday was busy as it was Easter and we had 4 more for dinner.  We ate ham again on Tuesday and I am slicing up the rest to tuck into the freezer this week for a later time, as we have hit our ham  Mostly we ate from what was here or had take-out.  I didn't do much actual 'cooking'.

The weekly food spending was $38.89 this past week. 
We hit the bakery outlet on Thursday and stocked up on some bread products for $9.89 for 9 items.
Then I hit the local grocery store on Saturday and spent $29.00....most of that was on bags of salad kids(on sale $1.99 again), orange juice($1.99), eggs(we were out), margarine(.99¢), fresh asparagus($1.49¢lb), a box of pasta(.79¢-a price I never see here!...should have bought more), and 5 bags of salty snacks($1.99 each).  I try to avoid the salty snacks but the other humans here insist on them.....and then I can't help myself if they are here. bleh.
Anyway, $115.68 spent for the month with half the month to go now.  I'm on track to stay under $300 at this point. Value of foods at $233.53 so my savings rate is just under 50%.  And that's with no coupons used at all this month.


In terms of leftovers, I'm going into this week with 2 Leeks and a bunch of dinner rolls.

This week's menu.....

SUNDAY--Lasagna, Salad
MONDAY--Sloppy Joes, Corn
TUESDAY--BBQ Chicken, Asparagus, Rolls
WEDNESDAY--Tuna Sub or Philly CheeseSteak Sub
THURSDAY--Tacos or Taco Salad
FRIDAY--Roast Pork with Dried Fruit, Rolls, Brussell Sprouts

This menu gives us 6 new meals and 1 night of leftovers.  Tuesday's meal will be grilled out.
I've make Leek Potato soup tomorrow and use it for my lunches (with the salad I bought on Saturday) for the rest of the week. 
 Items needed to buy for this menu are....taco shells and shaved steak for cheesesteaks.  Both are on sale this week at Weis.
We'll be buying milk as usual as well.

The only stock-up opportunities are for paper towels.  I am all out of towels and napkins....I had to pay retail 2 week's ago for an emergency pack of napkins.  Though it pains me to spend money on paper towels, with 2 old dogs, they are a necessity.  So I'll be combining Qs and sale prices and stocking up on paper towels this week.

With what I "need" this week and the paper towel stock-up, I'll spend around $40.  If some deals crops up, then it will be more.

So what is everyone else eating this week?


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat....I'm Back!

I am back for CARLA'S Sunday Night Chit-Chat.  Go check out the rules on her site and then join in!

What are you...

I am finally almost through "Do-Over!"

It's not a long/hard read but I just had a problem getting into it. The way I've been lately, I would have had problems getting "into" most any book. Once I did get a couple of chapters in, it was easy going.  It's a fun, light read and has a few wisdom-type nuggets in it.  A thumbs up. ;-)

I'll be watching "Finding Your Roots" on the local PBS channel tonight.
It's along the lines of the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are", which follows back the ancestors of famous/notable folks.  The Narrator Henry Louis Gates Jr., if you know who he is, has a well-known agenda which "colors" the show(no pun intended).  Sometimes it works itself seamlessly into the fabric of the show and sometimes it's obviously brought front and center and smacking you in the guilt centers of your sensibilities if you are of the caucasian persuasion.  Sometimes the points he makes are ones that need to be made and sometimes it's the same old crap.  On the surface I enjoy this genealogy show but sometimes the subtext does nothing to enhance it.  That and the fact that I don't agree with some of his politics probably turns me off sometimes too.

Anybody watch this?
What do you think?....I mean, what do you really think??

Listening to?
#2 Son practicing his flute.  It went to the shop for repairs earlier this week and he just got it back on Friday.  He was gone all day today for a Jazz Competition(where he plays bass)so this is the first time he's had to practice again with his flute.  He's got a lesson tomorrow.   Here's what he's working on now....

(PS-That is NOT my son in the

Not today.  Since #2 Son was gone all day we didn't know if he'd want dinner tonight.  I don't like to cook for just Hubs and I.  I guess I'm going to have to learn to just make little meals soon, huh?

Happy you accomplished this week?
Got my new wand scanner so I can get to all these photos I need to digitize!  Wait.....I just realized I made MORE WORK for myself!! ack

Looking forward to next week?
This week is suppose to be super WARM for April.  I'm trying to talk Hubs into turning off the heat.  I might try to get outside and weed the front bed since my sinus meds are starting to take hold finally.  I usually start them in April so that by May when things start throwing pollen all over I am protected.  But everything is a month ahead of schedule in the throwing pollen department but I didn't get my meds a month early.  *sigh*

Thankful for today?
Allergy Meds
Tax Refunds
Having meals made ahead and in the freezer so I didn't have to cook today.
Nicer weather

Your turn!!
Listening to?
Happy you accomplished this week?
Looking forward to next week?
Thankful for today?


Indulge Your Inner Chametz Now

I found this funny clip on YouTube.
Remember that "Lonely Island" song/video I shared a few months back....the "I Just Had Sex" one HERE.

Well someone has highjacked it and parodied that parody.
They've turned it into a Passover funny.
You'll find it below.

Before you watch it a little background if you aren't up on all things Jewish.

Before Passover each year you are suppose to thoroughly clean your house, including your food pantry.
Since those who actively practice the Jewish faith are not allowed to eat any grain or flour product with leavening(yeast, soda, etc.)in it during Passover you are suppose to use up and/or remove all products that are classified as "Chometz or Chametz" from your home in preparation for Passover.
And during the entirety of Passover, it is forbidden to eat any chometz items.

Since Passover has ended last week, I wanted to share this now.....


Friday, April 13, 2012

It Runs In The Family!

I KNOW everyone is getting tired of looking at old photos of my family but indulge me this one time, ok?  I'll keep it brief....

My younger son is the master of the eye roll.
Yes, he is 16 years old and all 16 year olds roll their eyes.
But......he is the Master of the Freaking Eye Rolling Universe!
I kid you not.
While my other two offspring had their eye rolling moments in their teens, this kid takes the prize.

So I am going through the photo scrapbook albums last night, finding photos I need to scan into the computer and I find this classic picture!

And I bust out laughing.
Because some things in the universe never change.

Check it out.
It's a photo of my mother with her parents.
They are standing in their living room which is decorated for Christmas and someone is taking a Holiday photo of them.
The photo is not dated but from looking at them, I'd put the year at about 1948 or 1949.
My mother looks about 14 or 15 years old.

Her dad, my grandfather was a bit of a prankster.  So he is making a face in the photo.
And look at my mother, the teen, suffering through the indignity of having to pose for a photo with her parents.

If you can't tell, my teenaged mother is rolling her eyes to beat the band!lol


My son not only comes by his facial bone structure and his build from his maternal great grandfather but his eye rolling ability from his maternal grandmother.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Playing Around With My New Toy

I got me a new toy today and I've been playing around with it.

Hubs had given me a gift card for Christmas to Best Buy.
I don't "do" random electronic toys....that includes fancy phones, computer games, iAnythings, etc.

But I did tell him I wanted to upgrade my digital camera since it's so old you can't even get one now with so few pixels or

Hence the gift card gift for the Holidays.

But since my camera still works fine....for the most part.....I decided to spend the gc on a portable wand scanner instead, as I NEED that more.

I've been wanting to digitize all my old family photos.  We have a flatbed scanner here but 95% of the old photos my mother had glued into scrapbooks.  And after trying to wrestle scrapbook pages for a couple of days onto the bed of the scanner I realized that A-it makes a crappy copy of a photo and B-it takes WAY too much time and effort to do this job with the wrong tools.

So I spent my Christmas money on a wand scanner and a sd card for it.  It only cost me $43 after the gift card.  Not a bad deal!
Plus, if I ever get the yen to go to the airport and impersonate a security employee I am all set. lol

So while I play with my new toy, here are some photos to keep you busy.
This is my mother's school photo from 1941. She is 7 years old.
MARK please notice that nowhere does it say "Lifetouch"......

Here is my mother on her 26th birthday.  Love the lamp in the background, the linoleum floor and the kitchen dining set.....

Here is a photo of my mother and her parents.  I am unsure of the year but I am guessing it's from
1944 or 1945.....
Now I'm off to find some color photos.......


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Synchronicity Continues To Make Itself Known In My Life

As I continue to dig around into the roots of my family tree, I turn up some really fascinating stuff.
Ok, it's fascinating to ME at least.  The Hubs continues to roll his eyes and walk away whenever I start talking to him about it all.  He just doesn't 'get it'.
No interest in personal history. at. all.

But he could sit and watch the "World War II Channel" (aka the History Channel) for days without blinking.
Ok, I lied.....he'd switch channels between the History Channel, various Sports Channels and various Political Channels for days.  He has what I call "Male ADHD".

Anyway, back to my original train of thought.....researching family history.
Sometimes the digging leads you places you never imagined you would go.  Here's a for instances case of this.....

My Grandmother(father's mother) married a second time before I was born.  I knew this man as my paternal Grandfather when I was growing up, until he died when I was 7.  We had a special bond, he and I.  I'll explore this in a post for another time.

Even though I learned eventually that he was not blood related, when it came time for me to set up my family tree on Ancestry, I didn't think twice about including him on one of the branches of our family history.
Here's one of the few photos I have of him.  He's the one holding the baby(me)....

His name was David Noll Paul.
But he went by the name Dave.
Or as I called him "Potty Dave".  There's a story there too. ;-)

As I plugged in the information I had, I turned up quite a large family tree and relations who had already dug far back into their line.  I followed back the documentation into the early 1800's and found that in the recent past, his family came from a coastal area of NC in Beaufort County, going back a few generations.
The hairs raised on my arms as Hubs and I have taken 3 trips now down to various destinations in Beaufort County NC and it's our favorite area down there to visit.

Dave as he called himself was a man of the sea, who spent his life working on tug boats.
I found that when not farming, some of the men in his line had also made a living at sea and that this family lived in that area of NC over 3 generations.

When the documentations ran out, I then followed the family information back even further, since it had been put online by someone already who had done that research.  These clues led me to information online(documents held by Colby College as well as family history info) that stretched back to the first of his family to have come to the New World and it made me stop and catch my breath.  It's an exciting story.

The 1st settler hadn't come to North Carolina or even anywhere near there.  He had Maine!

Dave Paul's ancestor had been a 13 year old cabin boy named Robert Paul.
Not this kind of cabin boy.....
But this kind.....

 He was part of the crew on the ship "the Martha & Eliza" that had sailed from Northern Ireland bound for Newcastle, Pennsylvania.  The year was 1741.  The ship was loaded with a group of Scot-Irish Protestants(the proper term being Ulster Scots)escaping religious tyranny and famine in Ireland.  the Ulster Scots were not Irish, but Protestants from northern England and Scotland who had been forced to emigrate by James I in the 1600's, to "civilize" aka "make less Catholic", the population of Ireland.  This was part of James I's Great Scheme to colonize Ireland.

This group of passengers bound for the New World, were part of a plan called the "Grand Design", which would have set up a community among the religiously tolerant Quakers in PA.  This ship of passengers was joining a group of relatives & members already in PA.

The ship was a 90 footed 2 masted bark, often referred to as a "snow".  It probably looked very much like this one.....

Unfortunately for these folks, the ship sailed into a hurricane early on in the voyage and was dismasted.  Without it's sails, the ship drifted way off course and eventually floundered off of Grand Manan Island(which is now in Canada, but was part of Maine back then).

Not this shipwreck.....
But more like this one.....

The captain of the ship, Capt. Rowan, left the passengers on islands there, then took some of his crew in a long boat to the mainland at Pemaquid and left the survivors on the islands to fend for themselves without provisions or shelter.  Eventually sympathetic townspeople made trips out to the islands to rescue the passengers but only a  handful of the 200 who sailed from Ireland made it to safety on the mainland.  Most of these were women and children.  Only 14 of the passengers are named in documents from the era and one of them is Dave's ancestor, Robert Paul.
And then to just add confirmation to all this, I found a news article from 2006, about a Maine woman who was creating a musical show about the shipwreck and had taken up doing the research into this event as well.
If you are interested, you can read about that HERE.

Robert Paul eventually settled in Bristol, ME and married one of the other survivors from the shipwreck, Jane Patterson, who had been a babe in arms on that fateful voyage.  They went on to have ten children.  Robert Paul didn't return to the sea after the shipwreck.  He went on to help survey the lands of midcoast Maine.

Then between 1840 and 1859, Robert's grandson, James, migrated to coastal NC, where HIS great grandson David Paul was born in 1902.
And like Dave Paul's 3 x great grandfather had started out, he turned to the sea to make his living.

The freaky part is that, as a child, I had a psychic connection to Dave Paul, my grandfather, I also have a similar connection with mid-coast Maine that goes to my core.

I went to Maine for the first time in 1980 to work summer stock theater during college.  That is when I met my friend Brenda, who was also working at the theater.  She is a native Mainer through and through.  I got acquainted with the state because of her over the next couple of summers.  And I have felt drawn back to this region of Maine over the years and visit as often as I get the chance.  I have held a not-so secret wish to have a summer cabin in Maine when I retire since 1981.

Now don't try to tell me that my connection with my 'fake' Grandfather and Maine and the Beaufort area of NC were not in my DNA and part of my destiny!
Because if you do, I'll put my fingers in my ears and loudly sing this song.....


I Saved $ Last Month By Spending $

Once you get out of debt, pay off your mortgage and have a pile of emergency fund cash laying around getting fat(well, as fat as it can get on the pitiful interest rates nowadays), you can 'save' even more money by paying ahead.

This is one of my frugal "secrets".
Any time some business offers a discount for paying your bill in advance or in full, rather than making payments, or if they offer a discount if you pay in cash rather than put it on a credit card, I will take them up on these offers.

When my 2 kids who needed orthodontia work began to see the orthodontist, I paid for the yearsss long treatment in full, in advance.  I saved 5% on the total cost of the treatments by writing a check for the cost when the treatment began.

There are certain bills we have come due each year.....local taxes, school taxes, sewage bill.  I pay each of these in full for the year when due and/or during the 'discount period' they offer.  This period is when you pay before it's due and you get a discount of between 5% and 3%.
I figure on the amount of money involved saving that 3% or 5% is better than hanging onto the money that would otherwise sit and earn a paltry .06% over the course of a year in a financial instrument.

By paying the sewage and the local taxes last month in full, ahead of their due dates, I saved $500 of my cash in 2012. Yes, I spent more in March than I wanted to and things were tighter but by writing those checks ahead, I saved $500 for the year.
That's $500 more that I get to keep or spend on "wants" or use to pay something else in advance for a discount this year.

Cool, right? ;-)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What $511 Will Buy You If I'm Paying

I know everyone has been waiting for this, so I won't keep y'all in suspense any longer.

Here is the list of the food I bought in March.

milk 1/2 gallon  1
milk gallon   3
sour cream  1
butter 1lb.   2
greek yogurt   9
cheese block/bag   9
ice cream   8
eggs dozen   1
whipped cream   4
juice   3
salad bags   16
head lettuce   2
mushrooms   7
onion, bag of   1
tomato  1
strawberries 2lb container   2
grapes lb.  1
apples   2
mandarin oranges   1
red bell peppers   2
oranges, bag of   1
celery bunch   1
cabbage lbs.  6.5
ground beef lbs. 12.22
corned beef briskets   6
roasting chicken  1
scrapple   2
veal patties pkg.   2
fish lb.  6
stuffed clams   2
deviled crab   3
frozen angus burgers 2lb box   6
lunchmeat lb.  2
deli cheese lb.   1
pepperoni bags   6
bacon lb.   3
frozen veggies bags   18
on-cor dinner   2
sausage patties   2
biscuit sandwiches   2
bagel bites   8
onion ring bags   2
sweet potato fries bags   2
ravioli bags   3
hummus   2
peanut butter   3
mayo   5
rolled pie crust   2
boxed mac/cheese   4
pasta sauce   32
pasta boxes   4
chili cans   9
pancake syrup   7
baked beans   6
cereal   3
hamburger rolls   2
hot dog rolls   2
pound cake   1
bagel, bags of   3
corn toasties   1
loaves of bread    4
onion rolls   2
muffins, boxes of   3
pies   2
ice cream cake   1
2 liter soda   2
12-pack soda   2
Assorted chips   8
cookies, packages   5
candy bars   4
candy bags  2
cadbury eggs   4
fudge boxes of   2
oreo single packs   2
choc. covered cherry   1
toilet paper 8 pack   1
body wash   3
deodorant   4
analgesic spray   1
shampoo  2
conditioner   2
dog food cans  12

That's 326 items for $511+.  Some small items(individual chocolate covered cherry), some large and/or expensive(fresh fish and ice cream cake).
Now go find someone else who can bore you like this as well as I can!