Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rite-Aid Orgy

The last 2 days have been just a flurry of activity for me at Rite-Aid.
Utilizing both my Wellness card and the Brother in-law's and a mountain of +Up Rewards,  here is everything I've picked up.....*not pictured here, is a 12 pack of Quilted Northern TP*.....

OOP..... .20¢
$7 in new +Ups generated.

OOP..... .18¢
$1 in new +Ups generated.

OOP..... .69¢
$10.99 in new +Ups generated.

OOP..... .98¢
$4.00 in new +Ups generated.

I also got rainchecks for Planters 3 pack of Nuts(EVERYONE was out of those around here!), Rice Chex cereal and a couple other things I can't remember right now.

I used $48.50 in +Ups and got $22.99 in more +Ups.
I spent $2.05 Out of Pocket.
Regular retail is $133.82 on all this(including the invisible TP pack).

If you haven't been to Rite-Aid yet, go print out this coupon HERE. Like Nivea on FB and get 2 prints of the $3/2 Coupon.  Take it by tonight to Rite-Aid to get 2 free bottles of Nivea Shaving Gel/Cream(see it in the photo above).  It's on sale for $1.50 a bottle so FREE after coupons!
You just have to have a Wellness card to get that sale price but there is no limit on how many you can get.  And the stores here had plenty still on the shelves as of early this morning.  But if they are out, get a RAIN CHECK for it and hope it comes back into stock before the coupon expires(or have them staple the coupon to your rain check so you can use it even if it expires before they get the Nivea back on the shelves).

And if your Rite-Aid is out of all the freebie items, GET RAIN CHECKS!  I'm going to also get rain checks for the Brawny towels and Northern TP for that $5.37 price.  You can use your rain checks months after you get them(heck, my store let's me use rain checks a year later!).  Get your rain checks and then wait for a good coupon to show up to stack with the rain check price for some cheap paper products.

Ok, I am off to go clean and go through more stuff to sell/donate.
And then to check the Rite-Aid ad for next week since I have so many +Ups to roll in the coming 2 weeks still.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Mega Mart.....

And oldie but a goodie......



Rite-Aid at BF is my BFF

Dear Rite-Aid,
I truly "heart" you.  You were so kind to me and my wallet today.
I hope we never break up.
I do wonder why you didn't choose to do the "Gift of Savings" Deal this year.
After all, everyone loves it/you so!
Thanks for the goodies you gave me today.
Signed your BFF,

2 x Monster Drinks=$3.00
2 x Ghirardelli Chocolates=$6.00 **
4 x Nivea Shave Gel=$6.00
2 x RA brand nuts=$2.00
1 x Philips Ear buds=$7.99
1 x Conair Hairbrush=$1.99
2 x Reach Dental Floss/tape=$5.98
3 x Yardley Soap=$3.00
3 x Carmex Lip stuff=$3.00
3 x Purex detergent(Buy 1 Get 2 Free)=$6.49 ***
1 x Brawny paper towels(8 pk.)=$5.37 *not pictured*
2 x Home Improvement Gift Cards=$100.00  *not pictured*


Coupons Used
2 x $2/1 Ghirardelli Chocolate IPQs=$4.00
2 x $3/2 Nivea product IPQs=$6.00
1 x $1/1 Conair AdPerks Q=$1.00
2 x $1/1 Reach dental floss IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Carmex item IPQ=$1.00
1 x .30/1 Carmex item IPQ=$.30
1 x $1.50/2 Purex items IPQ=$1.50
1 x $1/2 Purex Load2Card Q=$1.00
1 x .50/1 Purex Load2Card Q=$.50
1 x $1/1 Brawny or Northern product AdPerks Q=$1.00
Coupon Total......$18.30


I used my $27.99 in +Up Rewards I had.....


Then I used up an old gift card with $1.50 on it.....

$104.53-$1.50=$103.03 Total

For my purposes I am taking off the $100 I spent on the gift cards.
I bought those because I got a bonus +Ups.
Those cards will be used throughout the year when we need to buy things for maintenance and repair on the house.
Think of this as just taking money that will be spent in the future and converting it into another form of money that isn't so liquid. 8-)

And those house expenses don't come out of the food/toiletries budget, but rather the home repair budget.

I did this converting into gift cards I can use at Lowe's/Home Depot/Ace hardware/etc. in 2012 as well, whenever Rite-Aid offered a "perk" with their purchase.  I just converted liquid cash that would be spent on home repair/maintenance supplies into gift cards and get free credit at Rite-Aid to get various toiletries/HBA/food for my trouble.
It's a win/win!
And we used all the gift cards I purchased in 2012 on repair supplies and bamboo flooring(and then some)this year.

So my out of pocket total for toiletries/HBA/food this trip was $3.03 cash.

I received back $47.98 in +Up Rewards......

(2 x $10 HI gift cards, $3 Carmex, $3 Yardley, $2 Monster drinks, 1 x $2 Ghirardelli, 2 x $1 Ghirardelli bonus, 2 x $1 R-A nuts, 2 x $2 Reach, $1.99 Conair, $7.99 Philips).

**The Ghirardelli gave a bonus +Ups....$2 when you buy 2 but then a $1 +Ups for each bag.
So if you use the $2/1 Qs on them, you pay $2 for 2(after $4 in Qs) and get back $4 in +Ups, making it a $2 Moneymaker.
Go print those Qs now HERE.

***The Purex is .50¢ more a bottle at my town's store but I didn't want to go all the way downtown in W-B to get it for the lower price.
While the Purex didn't give any +Up Rewards for it's purchase it was super cheap.  Pay for 1 bottle get 2 free is good in and of itself.  But add in the following Qs.....
- 1 x $1.50/2 IPQ I had in my hand.
- 1 x $1/2 Load2Card Q that came off the bill.
- 1 x .50/1 Load2Card Q that also came off the bill.
-In addition, I have 1 $1/2 Purex digital Qs in my SavingStar account, one of which I should get credit for.

After my $3 in Qs that came off at purchase and the $1 off I'll get later,  these 3 bottles of Purex "cost" me in the end $2.49 total, or .83¢ a piece.

Then I went back in and got some deals on the Brother in-laws card......

Much of the same stuff as before, except for the gift tape($1.50 for 2 and I got $1.50 in +Ups back), the cereal($1.79 a box and I had a $1 AdPerks Q for it, so paid .79¢ and I got $1 in +Ups back so better than free), the R-A brand pain relievers were .67¢ each(reg. $2.99 each) and I got 2 12 rolls packs of Quilted Northern TP**not pictured**(it was $5.37 a pack and I had $1/1 IPQs, plus a $1/1 Brawny/Northern AdPerks Q for 1 of them, making them $3.87 per pack).
I also got 2 x $50 Home Improvement Gift Cards(which I don't count as coming out of the food/toiletries budget)and got $20 in bonus +Ups back.

I paid OOP(after removing the $100 for the gift cards) $.37.
This was after all Qs, $17.99 in +Up Rewards redeemed and $5.45 from my last old gift card I had.
And .18¢ of that .37¢ was tax.  8-)))

I received back $36.50 in +Up Rewards for this lot on that card(2 x $10 gift cards, 2 x $1 Ghirardelli, 1 x $2 Ghirardelli, $2 Monster, $3 Carmex, $3 Yardley, $1 Cereal, 2 x $1 R-A nuts, $1.50 Tape).

I am now debating whether to go up to KMart and get some leg lamp ornaments.
It's cold out but I am bored here at home.

Did you go out recently to take advantage of any sales?
Was it as exciting as my finds??lol

Tell me what you got.....



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Zen and the Art of Turkey Preparation

Here is the best Thanksgiving Day cooking advice from Aunt Mary(Tante Marie).


Is it time for pie yet?


A Day of Thanksgiving

Well here's my job today......

We are smoking our bird for Thanksgiving.
Yes, I am a wild and impulsive

That snakey looking thing is a length of kielbasa that I am also smoking.

Off to get things on the table soon to eat.
Here's a music clip for your listening pleasure.
I hope everyone enjoys their time with family and friends or if you prefer, a quiet day to yourself.

No matter what is going on in your life, remember this.....
Life is Good.
Appreciate what you have, want what you have, and open your eyes and mind to new experiences.  8-)



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rite-Aid on Wednesday

Here's what I got today......

2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale $3.50 but 20% disc. made it $3.43=$6.86
1 x Sinful nail polish $1.99 but 20% disc. made it=$1.59

I used a $1/2 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ(Sunday's inserts), making the subtotal $7.45.
I used $7 in +Up Rewards making my OOP .45¢ + .02¢tax=.47¢

I received back $7.99 in +Up Rewards(2 x $3 Colgate, $1.99 nail polish).

Then I bought some gift cards that are giving +Up Rewards this week with each purchase.
Can't show those as they are gifts.
Cash for these is coming out of the Christmas money but I get the +Ups to use in my food/toiletries budget.  I received $20 I +Ups for the gift cards.
I am up to $27.99 in +Ups.


The Great Road Trip of Summer 2013.....Day Three


I was up way too early on Thursday morning.
Must have been the fact that the blinds in Anna's room were raised and I didn't know how to close them, so the rays of the sun burst upon my head at sun up.

Yah, sometimes I am not so bright.....
I didn't even KNOW there were blinds on the window until the morning we left Sonya Ann's house.
I'm surprised none of Sonya's neighbors complained about the nekkid woman parading in front of the window after we left town. lolz

So up early and no one else was stirring yet, I crept into the living room with my camera and quietly kept myself occupied.
I shot a little movie you may have seen posted before, while we were on the trip.

I sound a bit creepy in this the train whistle going off in the background......

Yes, Sonya Ann and I have the SAME SOFA in our houses!
This should have been a portent as to what was to come on this visit....

Then I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water, still being ever so quiet.  Boredom set in again, so I made another little video in the kitchen......Sonya is going to kill me for this

Finally everyone else roused themselves after a night of "light" partying(*ahem*)and we got the day's festivities underway.

It was decided, mostly by me!, that we go have lunch out at a place called Uncle Mike's Pub over the state line in Kenosha Wisconsin.
It's not that far from Sonya's house yet she claims to have never heard of the place.
Hmmmm, how could she Not know about a place who's web address is
Seriously, it's Beer Valhalla.
Go HERE and take a gander at the list of beers on tap.....83 beers.
And that's not counting all the bottled beers you can get there.....about 250 selections at any given time.

Damn!  Hubs and I might just have to move to WI when he retires.....

So after printing off a Restaurant dotcom certificate(you KNOW we had to be frugal about this, didn't you?)we all packed into SA's minivan and headed to Uncle Mike's.

But first, I had Den stop along the way, so I could get a shot of this.....

Ignore the white arrow in the circle on that shot.  When I handed off the camera to Hubs who was riding shotgun in the minivan I forgot to take it off Video mode so he actually shot a 5 second movie of that sign.....but I won't subject you to that movie, just the picture. lol

Let me just say for the record that this place, Mikes Highway Pub, is not "vertically challenged people" friendly.
There were NO regular height tables and chairs in the joint.  Just those bar height deals and bar stools around the bar.
And me forgetting to pack a step stool on this trip.....what a dummy!

So we hiked outside to the patio and sat under an umbrella'd table. ( "Umbrella'd"....That's a word, right?)
It was a nice day and not too hot....not that we would have noticed after a couple of rounds of drinks anyway.

 Den attempting to hide behind the table centerpiece as if to say he'd rather not be seen with this group of folks.
Can you really blame him? ;-)

There, that's better.......

I am under penalty of death to not show the photo of Sonya Ann I took later on when she had almost finished drinking that adult beverage you see in the photo.
Ya see, anybody who knows SA knows her poison of choice is Cranberry Juice and Amaretto.
She be loving it!

She attempted to order that libation at Mike's and the waitress talked her into getting a "special" drink they make there at Mikes.  While it does have Cranberry Juice in it, like SA's drink of choice, it also has about 28 different liquors  in it.  Think about a Long Island Iced Tea(smooth and you can't even tell it's alcoholic)mixed with 6 double Jager bombs(can't feel your legs but your hair is sore hangover).
Let's just say that Mike's should consider renaming that drink the "Sonya Slayer".  ; -)

Sluggy and Hubs looking a bit too happy I'd say.....

Cut that woman off!  She's had enough I tell ya......she can't even open her eyes!

Oh what the's a little video I made at Uncle Mike's too.  You will notice that as I drink I start liberally lacing my speech with dirty words.  It's just one of the fine things about me.....

I got a rare shot of our chef at Mike's that day on the way out.......

Good thing I saw this AFTER we ate instead of before!
They have this photo on their menu too-a big sweaty, hairy, nekkid cook....YIKES!!
The sight of that will make you WANT TO DRINK! lolz

And just because I can and I have no shame, I took photos of the bathroom walls....

Just the thing you want to be staring at as you try to empty your bladder.

A gratuitous chicken shot for Linda.......

But the men's room had the best wall art in there......Yes I went into the men's room.... 8-)

So after Uncle Mike's, Den drove us over to the Outlet Mall to walk off our liquor lunch.
And Sonya Ann's minivan's brake pads protested pulling around all that bulk by starting to grind.
Yes folks, Sonya Ann is NOT making up her vehicle do hate my friend......I'm calling it the Sonya Ann Car Curse.
I'm just glad the Curse didn't strike our rental car.

It was in Pleasant Prairie that I was introduced to Den's alter ego, the Chocolate Ninja.

Ghirardelli has an outlet store at this mall and it is a favorite stomping ground of Den.
 You can buy all kinds of Ghirardelli choccies there.....big bars, those little squares, truffles, etc.
But the best "deal" is the DYI "stuff a clear plastic bag with as many single square chocolates as you can for $X" offer.  You can pick your size of bag and go to town filling it with a huge favorite of the chocies that they make.
You pay 1 price no matter how many you squeeze into that narrow bag.

Let's just say that Den is the Master of Filling the bag.
He is the Jedi Master of Geometry Chocolate.
No, he is simply the Chocolate Ninja.

He needs to sell instructional videos over the internet or offer to teach a class in this at his local community college. He has mastered the art of stuffing a narrow bag with expensive chocolates.

And I got a first hand lesson in Chocolate Geometry from Den. And if you watch this video, notice how quiet and shy Den, even behind those sunglasses, seems to be enjoying the attention. Nope he doesn't fool me....he's loving this.....

After hitting the Kitchen store, where I got an awesome set of new knives(these will actually CUT STUFF!), the Pepperidge Farm Outlet  for cookies and such, and Hubs hitting the Reebok (or was it Puma?) store for sneakers, we headed back to the old homestead to rest and disassemble our Bag's O' Chocolate.


AFTER......mine at least.....

I got 108 squares of chocolate into my bag.
Den counted his and he got a smidgeon less.  I think he was just trying to NOT show off this time.  If he had more time he could have beat me my count and he has beat it in the past.

So $24.95 for 108 Ghirardelli chocies.  Well we had a 15% off coupon, thanks to Den!,  so we actually got all this for just over $21.

If you figure a small 4-5 oz. bag(approx. 10-11 squares per bag)of these around where I live at retail is $4.99, then I got almost 10 bags worth.
You do the's half price.
I got a much better ROI(return on investment) at the outlet than I would at the stores around here.

The only thing better is getting more Ghirardelli chocies for FREE at Rite-Aid during the Black Friday 3-Day Sale this week.  8-)

So after putting away the plunder we hauled off, I got the old laptop out and sat down to start a family tree for Sonya.
Yes, if I come visit you and bring my laptop(and why wouldn't I bring it?), you will be subjected to me wanting to make a family tree for you on Ancestry dotcom.

This is where things got a little spooky.....
I asked SA what her maiden name was and her birth date.  She told me her surname and I started typing it into the site.

She wandered off and I said, "Hey!, I've got your same maiden last name as a surname in my family tree on my mother's side.  When she came back a few minutes later she plopped down a big old handmade book of their family history that her grandfather had spent his retirement researching and compiling back in the 1960's. 
That was when you had to actually travel around to courthouses and get the documents yourself.

Sonya flipped through the thing....

Sonya: "Here's how the name use to be spelled."
Me: "I've got that spelling of the name too."
Sonya: "Here's the family crest."
Me: "That looks like the one I have for that family name."
Sonya: "Here's the name of the first guy from England who came to America in our family."
Me: "OMG!  That's OUR American immigrant!!"

My eyes bugged out and we just looked at each other and said.....

At this point I really DID need a drink.

So I dug into the book quickly and think I found our common ancestor....the last one in common before our tree branched out into my twig and her twig.
While our common ancestor came to Jamestown with his son and wife in 1635, we share a couple of generations before our tree leafed out.  My direct ancestors were happy as pigs in mud to stay in Virginia from 1635 until well...ME!, but Sonya Ann's direct ancestors left Virginia for Kentucky and then Illinois in the 1800's.

Sonya & I are 9th cousins.
And yes, I do see the resemblance....and I'm not just talking about consuming adult beverages here.....

What a crazy world, right? 
You just never know what you are going to step into in your life. ;-)

We all hit a local Mexican restaurant that evening, bringing DJ along too so he could practice his most excellent Spanish.  A good time was had by all and the fruity cocktails and beer flowed along with some righteous Latino food.

The next morning, which came all too soon, it was time to pack up, say goodbye and hit the road for Mattoon IL.
Another photo before leaving.....


Thanks Dennis and Sonya for having us stay and treating us so well!
I started missing y'all as soon as we pulled out of the driveway.



Tuesdays Trip to Rite-Aid to Roll +Up Rewards

Nothing too exciting here this trip.......

2 x Rite-Aid Tools on sale $1 ea.=$2.00
2 x Colgate toothbrushes on sale $2.99=$5.98
1 x Cella cherry 20% disc.=$.26

I used 1 x $1/2 Colgate toothbrushes ManuQ.

I used $7 +Up Rewards, leaving me paying $.24 +$.02 tax=$.26 OOP.

I received $6 in +Ups back for this transaction(2 x $2 Colgate, 2 x $1 R-A).
Add those to the $1 in +Ups I didn't use on Tuesday and I now have $7 in +Ups to roll.

I got the last 2 toothbrushes at this store after finding Zero toothbrushes at the store on the way home from my dr. appt.
The only reason there are Beauty Tools that are free after +Ups is because this store had no signage up for them....but that didn't stop me from finding them and figuring out which ones qualified as a freebie........lolz

Then it's standing down until Black Friday hits at Rite-Aid.  One of the managers I was chatting with today told me their store is being required to stay open that day until midnight.
I have been in this store scads of times over the years, both during the Holidays and Not-Holidays and we both know the place will be deserted by 9pm.  I promised her I'd come by that evening to keep her company(and get some photos copied for my Great Aunt for something to do).

Later today I'll go up for 2 x Colgate toothpaste which will be free after 1 ManuQ and +Ups(spent and received).


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rolling the +Up Rewards on Monday & Black Friday Mania...Not!

Here's how I rolled my $8 in +Ups on Monday.....

1 x Pudding on sale=$1.00
2 x Wyler's drink powder on sale $1 but 20% discount made them .80¢=$1.60
2 x Nail Polish on sale $2.50 but 20% discount made them $2.39=$4.78
2 x Chocolates 20% discount made them .40¢=$.80

I used my $8 +Ups....
$8.18-$8.00=$.18 OOP

I received $8 in +Ups back($5 nail polish & $1 each for 3 food items).

I went in planning on doing the Blue Diamond Almonds x 2($4.00)and the Beef Jerky x 2($4.00)for stocking fillers, but they were out of all the food items that are free after +Ups except for the Wyler's drinks mixes and the Pudding.  I've maxed out on the limit of the pudding/ravioli, drink mixes and this particular brand of nail polish deals.

So I got rain checks and will hope the nuts and jerky come back into stock before Dec. 15th(when I need to mail a package).  And they were out of the oatmeal cups too so I'll get a rain check on that as well.

The only thing left of the $30.99 of freebies after +Ups I want is a body spray/parfume for $3.00.
I'll probably do that and the toothbrushes or toothpaste later today(thought the brushes won't be free but almost)when I go out for a dr. appt. and then I am done at Rite-Aid until the Black Friday sales hit and I can get more free or real cheap toiletries.

I don't go out to "real stores" on BF or that whole weekend usually because the only things they have deep sales on are things I don't want/can't use.

BF as far as I can see from perusing the ads is all about televisions, electronics, smart phones, appliances, overpriced jewelry, pajamas and kid's clothing, movies & cds, holiday food "gifts" or junk food and of course TOYS and whatever the HOT "must have" gizmo of the year/season is(which is usually an electronic gizmo or game system).

I no longer have young kids.....I HAVE a tv, have a "dumb" phone, appliances & jewelry.
Don't want most of what they are hawking or need ANY of those things enough to get up before dawn & fight crowds.

I will confess that I did venture into KMart about 10 years ago, the first time they opened ON Thanksgiving for a few hours to get my youngest some handheld game system thingy.  That was a year they were hard to find(sold out everywhere)and it was his main desire, so after I got the turkey in the oven I went down to KMart and bought it for him and headed straight home.  No browsing around to look at all the rest of the shiny baubles, I was on a mission. lol

The only other time we did the BF shopping thing was as a family when all the kids were younger and still living at home.  Hubs had BF day off from work(VERY rare!)so we picked up the nephew and took the kids out shopping as a family at the outrageously early hour of 10am. lolz
No crowds and no hassles as all the crazy shoppers had left the building and were home napping.
We leisurely meandered around stores looking for a few items and the kids did their Christmas shopping for family and friends.
Then we went to Bob Evans for a late lunch together and headed home.
Yes, we are a zany, crazy family....what can I say??

After the Mad Holiday Shopping Frenzy is over with, what I do want to buy is this.....

But that desire can wait until next week and maybe they will go on sale too. 8-)



Monday, November 25, 2013

More November Decluttering Porn & Today's TO-DO List

Here is what went to charity on Saturday.....books, bears, beanies, more toys, sheet sets, etc.......

And I am working on another load, for Hubs or I to drop off on Tuesday.

Here's Today's TO-DO List.....

*Finish up the Sallie's donation load for Tuesday and type up the sheet of items
*Go to Rite-Aid to roll my +Up Rewards
* Reduce the price on some items listed on eBay for the Holidays
* List a few more items on eBay
* Clean the den floor Yuck!
* Open up a few more tubs of stuff to go through to see what I should donate
* Call my Sister in-law back
* Call KMart about picking up items I bought online yesterday
* Make a meal plan for this week(besides Turkey Day)

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.....make Dinner for tonight!  lol

So what's going on at your house today?



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rite-Aid Shopping Black Friday Week

Here's what I got from Rite-Aid on Sunday.....

3 x Tresemme Shampoo on sale$4.99(but 20% discount was $4.79 ea.)=$14.37
1 x Chef Boyardee Ravioli on sale=$1.00

Coupons Used
2 x $2.50/1 Tresemme ManuQ(from a few Inserts ago)=$5.00
1 x $2/1 IPQ on coupons dotcom=$2.00
1 x $2/1 Load to Card Q=$2.00
Coupon Total....$9.00

I used my $5 in +Up Rewards....
$6.37-$5.00=$1.37 Out of Pocket

And I earned $8 in +Ups for the transaction($7 on Tresemme, $1 Ravioli)

I added the can of ravioli to my order to make sure the Load2Card would come off, since I already had 3 Qs "attached" to my shampoo bottles, so I needed another item to "attach" to the Load2Card Q to make sure it came off my card in this transaction.
I got my $1 back in +Ups for the ravioli anyway, so the 3 bottles of shampoo together "cost me" .37¢.

After this transaction I used that Rite-Aid Facebook Coupon Direct Link or if that doesn't work try this Rite-Aid Facebook Coupon for $5 off a $25 Dunkin Donuts card and got it for $20+ tax for a Christmas gift for someone.
Hurry!  The DD Coupon expires Nov. 25th, Monday.

Hey, every little bit saved helps out the budget, ya know? ;-)

Now I'm off to plan what to roll these $8 in +Ups into on Monday/Tuesday....


Our Gal Penny

Friday was a sad day at Chez Sluggy. 
Our elderly Chihuahua, Penny, left us for the Rainbow Bridge.

We got her at the local shelter in Spring of 2006.
At that time she was already 10+ years old and showing her age.


She was my youngest son's dog technically, but as he became a teenager, he sort of lost day-to-day interest in her.
As I was the one home with her the most, she bonded to me as well.

The shelter we found her at was not a no-kill facility and she had been there a week already with no interest because of her age.

I like to think that we gave her a second chance at a comfortable life.

She was a pain at times, especially her habit of wanting to do her business on newspaper(I think she was trained as a young pup to go on papers and never got to go outside). 

She hated the feel of grass on her feet when we got her but being around the rest of our dog pack, eventually she began to act like a real dog.  Once she got use to being outside, she enjoyed laying on the deck when the sun was beating down on it in the Summer.

The last few weeks her sight, hearing and ability to stand/walk, plus non-stop infections and loss of bowel control signaled that she was going downhill quickly.  She wasn't in constant pain yet but that day was fast approaching.

So her mom and dad were with her holding her at the end.

I whispered into her ear for her to keep Peanut and Mango(our other dogs who had passed away before her) company once she crossed the bridge to wait for us.

We went to a brew pub that afternoon and raised our glasses to the memory of Penny.

R.I.P. Penny
Abt. 1995-2013


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Commercialism and Consumerism and National Holidays

There is quite the discussion and consternation going on lately about the whole opening of stores on Thanksgiving and the wee hours of the morning Black Friday madness.

Looking at it from a business owner's POV, HERE is a valid reason why some stores NEED to open on one of the sacred cows of Holidays, Thanksgiving.

I'm not going to get into a debate with anyone over if stores opening Turkey day or in the wee hours of the morning of the Friday following it is a good thing or bad.  It all depends on your own situation I guess......

* If you are a business owner, it's one extra day to make sales during the Holiday season, so your company has the potential for a bigger profit.
*  If you are a consumer you get another chance to get a great deal on more crap to fill your home or get into a fist fight over a toaster.
*  If you are a worker in the retail industry then you get the burden of having to work at a "holiday".....just like nearly ALL food service employees & hospital employees have had to do for many years on that day.  Working on Holidays is a well-known hazard of certain occupations so either find another line of work or, how can I say this in a nice way?.....STFU. 8-) 
I have worked both food service and retail in my younger days.  Was it a PITA working Holidays?  You bet!  Did I bitch about it non-stop?  No and I was glad to have those jobs.

I think that this whole contentious issue will be moot in a couple more years anyway.
Now that the "Stores not open on Turkey Day/Black Friday foolishness" line has been breeched, there is nothing keeping stores from starting Black Friday sales/promotions on the Tuesday before the holiday or even earlier in the month.

My feeling is, as a consumer, if you want to participate in this shopping craziness, knock yourself out!  And as an employee, if you don't want to have to work at this time of year, don't get yourself hired into the retail business.

Personally I have conflicted feelings about the whole celebration of Thanksgiving anyway.

I DO like that we have a national holiday that doesn't revolve around a religious event/theme.  There are many great people out in our society who are not religious, or not a follower of a Judeo-Christian sect.
It's nice to have a day set aside that we can be Americans together and not exclude anyone due to a belief system.

But then again, this whole Pilgrim/Plymouth Rock thing everyone "thinks" this event stems from is a myth.
It is a fact that the "not driven by religious persecution" immigrants to America who came to Jamestown in 1607 were the FIRST to celebrate an ersatz Thanksgiving, and they did it BEFORE the Pilgrims even landed at Plymouth Rock.
Add in that the first Europeans on the continent were the Spanish in Florida and they have a good case for being first too.

At any rate, the native peoples who were here FIRST have always seen Thanksgiving as a day of mourning.  The Europeans arriving on their shores signaled the beginning of the end for their way of life and their culture.

Maybe we should start fresh with a new national day of peace and thanksgiving and not premise it on cultural genocide and exclusion and not celebrate it with overconsumption of both material possessions and food.