Friday, February 28, 2014

No Joy in Mudville Today.....

Well #1 Son continues to have difficulties at his place of employment.  He is trying to find a new position elsewhere, that pays enough for him to justify leaving his current job, and is having no luck.
I can't go into this sad tale but he is fearing for his safety and health(he works with "special populations") and his stress level(as well as our own)is quite high, having to remain in his current job.
So when exactly do you get to stop worrying about your kids....what age?
Obviously it's not when they are 22+ years old.  8-(

Add to that the letter #2 Son received yesterday from Temple, thanking him for his "interest" but regretting to inform him that they will not be availing themselves of his musical talents or his parent's Twenty Eight Thousand Dollars per year.

Yep, he didn't get into their music program. 8((
This upset him deeply, as it was his first choice school, almost to the point of tears and definitely to the point of throwing and hitting inanimate objects, like any self respecting 18 year old boy is want to do.

Then his dejection turned to "I suck and I hate music and maybe I just won't go to college."
This was followed a couple of hours later after a nap by, "Temple can go F**k itself!".

Ah, a chip off the ol' Slugmama block!
I think #2 Son will survive.

Nothing signaling the end of the world here, just having a rough patch as some folks say.
And this wretched cold is NOT making things any cheerier!

I am so ready for Spring, aren't you?

Off to console #2 Son's sorrows with a free Birthday Burger at Red Robin......



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday...1961

A girl and her dog......

When I was a wee one, we had a succession of Old English Sheepdogs.
Well a succession of two.

The first one was named Peaches.  I believe this is her pictured above.  She seems to be chewing on my dolly.

I really have no recollections of Peaches but I do remember the OES we had second.
His name was "Shep".
Yes, my parents were right up there with "inventive" names for pets. lolz

Shep was much larger than Peaches and I use to ride on his back.
Shep loved ice cream and in the Summer, on the off chance my father would take us to the ice cream stand, he'd get Shep a cone too, which that hulk of a dog would devour in one bite.
Must have been a very small cone of ice cream.

I don't recall where we got Peaches from, since I don't even have any memories of her, but I remember being told that Shep had starred in commercials(probably for dog food).  Being a retired actor, who was "put out to pasture" when he got too old to work, is why he was living with us as a family pet.

With how little my father made at this time and the amount Shep ate, my father either really REALLY loved this dog or he came with a food stipend from his previous owners.  ;-)

Notice my fabulous pose at almost 3 years old.  What an innate sense of fashion and future stardom I possessed even at this young age.
I suppose I was channeling Tallulah Bankhead daaaahling, in this shot.  I just needed a cigarette in a holder, didn't I?


Rite-Aid This Week

$20 in +Up Rewards were expiring so grabbing last Sunday's Q insert, up I hiked to Rite-Aid on Wednesday.....

2 x GEAR(Irish Spring) items on sale $4 ea(but body wash rang up $3.99-20% disc. price).=$7.99
2 x Soft Soap hand soap pumps on  sale .99¢ ea.=$1.98
2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale $3.50 but 20% disc. less($3.43)=$6.86
2 x Colgate toothbrushes on sale $2.99=$5.98
1 x Palmolive dish soap(Rain check)=$.97
1 x RA plastic wrap w/20% discount=$2.23

Coupons Used
1 x $1/1 Gear bar soap ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Gear body wash/deo item ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Gear item Rite-Aid emailed Q=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Soft Soap soaps ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Colgate toothbrushes ManuQ=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$6.00


I used 2 x $10 +Ups and was left paying .01¢ OOP.


I also received back $13 in new +Up Rewards for buying this stuff.
($3 wyb 2 Gear items, 2 x $2 wyb 1 Colgate toothbrush, 2 x $3 wyb 1 Colgate toothpaste)

My Rite-Aid was out of the Mitchum(figures!)which was on sale for $2.99(and there was a $2/1 Q in Sunday's Q inserts so .99¢ after Q), so I got a rain check and next time I go in to use my +Ups I'll get that and use my $2 Q.

Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps and body wash go into the toiletries stockpile.
The plastic wrap we were out of so that's in the kitchen now.

I'm only $55 toward the $100 I need to earn a Buy & Earn reward and this ends on Saturday so it looks like Sluggy won't get there in time.  I could go spend $45 on Buy & Earn items we "need" but most of them are not on sale.....that's how they get you in this game....make you pay more than you have to, to get the reward, then "reward" you with a $15 +Up, so in the end it's not a deal.

I'll settle for getting $40.50 worth of items for .01¢ out of pocket and $7 in +Ups(since I spent down that many when I only got $13 in +Ups back when I used my $20 +Ups).

And I don't need to go back until March 12th when these new +Up Rewards expire.

All these deals are good through Saturday evening at Rite-Aid.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Life & My Family.....the 1970's & Onward Part 1

*Ok, this family history will be an eye opener for some of you.  I was reticent to share all this until now.  It's not pretty but it's the facts(or the facts as I interpreted them).  Some may find some value in it but it's more for me to get my thoughts out on digital paper.  And it will provide a glimpse into what makes Sluggy tick.
If any of my family sees this I am sure I'll be getting a phone call or two about it. ;-)

You know the old adage....."Sometimes things are not as they seem.". 

There was lots of "stuff" going on under the surface that I was totally unaware of as a child.
For all intents and purposes our family was "normal" and boring. 
I had a mom and dad. 
Dad worked a lot.
Mom stayed home and took care of us and the house. 
We had a dog. 
I went to school and played outside with the kids in the neighborhood on the weekends. 
We had to go to Church on Sunday. 
On Christmas we got some toys.
On our Birthday we got a cake.
Family visited about once a year or we visited family.
Otherwise it was a familiar routine and boring and not much changed or happened the first 12 or so years of my life.....besides the death of 3 of my grandparents, but we'll go there another time.

When I hit the teen years, my day-to-day life changed.  In the early 1970's my mother ended up in a private psychiatric facility.  I don't recall the exact date or year, though I think it was 1972, but it was when I was still in elementary school(though the school went to grade 8 so it was probably when I was in 7th or 8th grade).  I don't recall the exact explanation for this I was given IF I was given one at all. 
My parents at this time were heavy drinkers(but still functional), so it might have been a way to "dry" mom out.  Or she may have been having anxiety(I don't doubt that married to my father, she had high anxiety levels for years!).  I don't know the diagnosis of her problem at that time. 

Being able to look back on what went on before this time, I have my own theories on what led my mother to this point by the 1970's. 

My parents, Senior Prom Portlock High School 1950.  Dad was a Senior, mom was a Sophmore.

She dropped out at her Junior year of high school, married at 16 in June of 1951, had her first baby in December of that year, at 17.  You do the math. ;-) 
By 25 she had 3 children. 
She never had a career outside the home, only working briefly when we were small, as a secretary for my father in one of his businesses he started.  She did get her GED but other than that and the brief stint working, she was a homemaker. 

Basically she had 4 kids since my father refused to do anything for himself.  As his business grew mom was also expected to entertain clients for my father.  She enjoyed the buying clothes, getting her hair done, the jewelry and the travel.  It was all she had hoped for.

At some point, my mother wasn't enough for my father.  She wasn't bright enough, educated enough, wasn't part of his business world and friends.  She tried hard to feel equal to the people my father chose to hang out with(the social climbers)but she just didn't measure up in his eyes as time went on.  I am sure the fact that she was growing older and not young and attractive anymore played into this.  My father had always been a robust drinker as long as I can recall.  I think in order to "get along" and be part of the crowd my mother began to drink more.....sort of the film, "The Days of Wine & Roses" in real life.

So my mother drank to excess in order to be accepted and keep her husband.  I don't feel that alcoholism was her real problem.  Because once the situation changed, she stopped drinking except for a glass of something on special occasions.  Other than anxiety and some depression(due to losing her parents and her husband berating her)I don't think my mother ever really did have any mental illness.  Nothing heavy at least.

          Mom April 1968.  2 Months after her father passed away.  She was 33.

Then within 6 months of the other, mom lost both her parents by early 1968.  So by 1972 her parents were gone, her husband was slipping away and 2 of her 3 kids had left the nest.  She inherited some property and money when her parents passed and she turned everything over to my father's control, since he handled all the family finances.  Later, when divorce started to be talked about and lawyers got involved it was learned that my father had lost most of the inheritance money in bad business ventures and there was nothing left for my mother to lay claim to for herself if a divorce were to happen.
                   Mom, Easter 1948.  She is on the left.

I have never seen my mother as being a "strong" person.  She was a pampered only child, doted on by her parents.  She went from her mother's arms to her husband's, the only man she ever loved.  That love blinded her to all the faults of my father and she refused to let him go when he decided he no longer loved her.  He WAS her life and when he left she had nothing and spent many years bitter.  It is only after he left that she was able to develop into her own person, someone with a backbone and an independent mind.  I don't know.....she may have had that all along, but I never saw it.

This private psychiatric facility was a place for people with a hodge-podge of medical and mental ailments.  Some of the clientele I saw there when I visited ranged from substance abusers to folks with heavier mental ailments like severe depression, multiple personality, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and on and on.  I don't believe they took those who were "violent"(other than self hurters).  It was also where the local people with the money sent their teens with drug problems to keep them out of jail or "real" mental institutions, so there were many young people locked up in this place. 

Being a private facility you had to be able to afford it to be a client(and/or have Cadillac insurance coverage) and it seemed like a nice resort, an escape from reality, to me.  The meals were great, you got to go on field trips and outings, there were activities and the only things you HAD to do were attend a group meeting once a week, have a session or two with your "shrink" and keep your room clean. 
Hell, if I was a haggard housewife with a husband who never lifted a finger to help around the house or with the kids, this place would be like heaven to me! lolz

         Me and my dog Annie Easter 1971, the year before my world starting going to hell.

Both of my brothers were out of the house(in college)so I was the only child home by the Fall of 1971.  My father worked late every night so by early 1972, I rose in the morning after he left for the day and came home to an empty house(well, the family dog was there)and was expected to take care of myself totally.  My father came home late, sat on the couch eating bags of cookies and falling asleep watching tv.  He didn't know how to cook and would eat out every night and I was left to fend for myself.  On occasion one of my brothers would be home from college on break and help out. I was attending a parochial school to which I walked, and in 1973 when I started high school, with no one to drive me since this school was too far away to walk, I had to learn to take the public bus. 

Mom Christmas 1973, looking kind of drugged up. She got a pass to come home for awhile.

1973, our last Christmas in this house.  I was a high school freshman. Notice the glare on my face.

My mother bounced back and forth for a couple years between this psychiatric facility and our house and I never knew when she'd be home, one day to the next.
After we moved to a new house in Virginia Beach, things seemed to settle down for awhile and mom was home for a year or two, before starting that familiar ping ponging between home and the hospital.   I remember, after I got my driver's license that I became the "fetch it" person to bring mom home or back to the hospital and to bring her stuff she wanted.  I got to be a servant because my father couldn't be bothered to do anything related to the family.  When I graduated from high school I remember that mom was checked in again but got a pass to come to the graduation and such. 

Eventually, after I left home for college my mother ended up in the mental ward at a local Hospital, for two stays I believe over the course of the next year.
In 1977, months after I went away to college my mother attempted suicide.  I had to leave school to go home 3 weeks before I was to perform in the main role of my first college production.  I got back to school the week before opening night.  Ironically, my character was an insane person in Elizabethan era England.  I got RAVE reviews for my efforts and many were floored that a person of my age could have pulled off that part so well.  I think my state of mind at that time and having spent so many hours of "people watching" on visits to my mother in mental facilities helped my performance. ;-)

And then mom was committed to Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, VA.  I remember visiting her there one time while I was home from college my freshman or sophmore year.  That place was a snake pit in the late 1970's.  I remember her begging me to get her out on that visit, but I was 19 years old and trying to keep my own self together and had NO clue about how to go about doing what it would have taken, if it was even possible.  Why she wasn't asking my much older brothers for help I don't know and why she was laying all this on me I can't fathom.

You see, my father had had her committed there, involuntarily.  In the state of VA at that time, a spouse could have you committed against your will for more than a 48 hour hold.
I suspect my father did this in retaliation because she won't give him a divorce.  So he had her committed against her will to this vile and dangerous place.  She told me on the one visit I made to her there that she had already been assaulted once(and no one did anything because who was going to believe a crazy person!?)and had had her shoes stolen by another inmate.  It didn't seem like people were segregated by degree of illness in this hell hole.   Everyone was just left to wander loose.

My mother had only ever been to that private fancy pants pseudo facility and then the General Hospital's mental illness floor in Norfolk, VA.  I am sure this place scared the hell out of her.
Shortly after this time was when I found out that either at Williamsburg or some place else during this time frame my mother was given electroconvulsive therapy, also knows as electroshock treatments.  My mother was not a severely mentally ill person so I think these were administered as a punitive measure.  And what's more, my father allowed them to do this is what just blows my mind!

Mom didn't remain in Eastern State for very long.  I suppose she was compliment after a time in there and with her "therapy" treatments and subsequent memory loss, she went home and entertained thoughts of divorce which made my father happy.
In 1979 my mother went home to a big empty house, which my father had moved out of basically in the Winter of 1977.

So my mother got a lawyer, not a very good one, and she spent the next 10 years fighting over anything she could to delay my father from obtaining his divorce from her. 
I think she really dug her heels in when she found out that my father was keeping a mistress and subsequently was openly living with her.  I don't blame my mom really.  I probably would have done the same thing.  ;-)
In a way, my father and "that whore", as mom called her, helped my mother find her voice and her backbone.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This Should Scare You Into Taking Action

I think this piece was done to try to scare the hell out of those in our society who are NOT, for whatever reason, saving for retirement.
And it should scare you if you have made some of the choices these folks have.

Go on and watch it and then come back.
Also read some of the volumes of comments after the article.

The maker of this segment throws out these statistics during this film......

1/3 of the workforce is saving nothing for retirement.
40% of 55-65 year olds do not own retirement assets.
15% don't think they will ever be able to retire.
Women outlive men(by about 5 years on average), but save less.

I haven't researched these numbers but I'll take it at face value that they are fairly ballpark.
While these statistics don't shock me, they do give me pause.

I love how the one woman in this article says she just can't save any money for retirement.
I say bull to that.  Unless she's supporting a bevy of folks and flipping burgers for a living, and/or has a medically fragile child and no health insurance for them, she can save something for her old age.  She, like many people, just doesn't want to reduce her standard of living in the now, to afford something more than eating Alpo in her last years.

Now I'm not talking about folks who get very sick in their 50's and 60's and have inadequate insurance coverage and end up losing everything to medical debt.  These seem like fairly healthy older people in this piece.
Do folks not understand that at some point, their health will not ALLOW them to work, if they can even hold/get a job in their 60's?

And the 60 year old woman who had to "reinvent herself", went to college at 60 and is living off of student loans.
What idiot loan officer said giving someone this age with no prospects $200K in student loans she can't possible pay off in her lifetime was a prudent financial move?
And that woman admits she'll never pay them back and sits there, grinning like a Cheshire Cat about it?!

Then there's the one who says everyone she knows is struggling to pay their bills and cant' save and they joke about living communally to survive their Golden years.
So why joke about this?  They may joke about it, but banding together with others in a similar situation and living communally is a GREAT financial move!
How the heck do you think families survived generations before when money was tight?
They would live together, many generations of a family cohabitating.
Heck, in Pawtucket RI, where I've visited, there are neighborhoods of HUGE houses built in the 1800's, built for the express purpose of holding multiple generations of a single family(along with cousins, aunts and uncles too sometimes).

This reminds me of a conversation I overheard in an IHOP restaurant at the height of the housing crisis a few years back.  A guy sitting at an adjoining table was chatting with the gregarious waiter, bemoaning the fact that he couldn't pay his mortgage for some reason and he was going to lose the house he loved.  The guy was resigned to this loss.  The waiter, who shared he was in a similar situation, couldn't pay his mortgage fully now that his ARM had adjusted, was waiting tables here, besides holding down his fulltime job to be able to afford his home, as he really didn't want to sell it.  The waiter told the guy additionally that he was renting out bedrooms in his home to bring in more money to pay the mortgage and he should consider doing that as well.
The customer gave him a look like he had just told him he had peed into his coffee cup and went on sputtering how he could NEVER consider that and have strange people in his house while he was living there.  "What a preposterous idea!", he barked.  The waiter shrugged his shoulders and walked away saying, "Hey, you do what you have to...."

The biggest mistake some people make in life is to remain inflexible and not consider solutions they find ghastly like cohabitation.  I guess he thinks it's better to lose the home and live on the streets?

But I digress.....

While I don't know the whole story with most of those presented in this clip,  I'll point out that some of these folks have made some really bad choices in life from the little bit they have said.

Unless you are destitute and have no health left, there are always ways to get out of the hole you've dug for yourself and change your outlook.
It's all about making better choices in your life and everyone has room for improvement there.
If you are so inflexible to not consider changing things that don't lead you toward where you want to be, you might as well dig a hole and go lay down in it now.

The mistake with retirement is that most people don't even think about sitting down before retirement time comes, and doing some math to see how much they will need when they retire compared to how much they have now set aside, if they have anything set aside for their old age.

That's their first mistake when choosing when and if to retire.
Of course, if you are too far out from retirement, it's hard to figure out exactly how much you will need, as that number continues to climb as inflation climbs.
But by the time you are in your late 40's(and still in good health, earlier if your health is questionable), you should get cozy with your asset numbers and start laying out a specific plan and timeline.

Once into your mid 50's sitting down with a financial calculator to project what level of income you'll be able to sustain in your retirement at your current savings levels is necessary so you can adjust how much you are putting away if you are falling short of your goal.
Also, take a real hard look at how much you will need to generate each month in retirement to cover the expenses the lifestyle you are planning will require.
Go into this expecting to need more than you think you will need.

Ok, I am not a financial planner, nor do I play one on the internet, so I'll stop here.

Nobody is going to look out for you in your old age but YOU! 
It will be nice if SS is still around to supplement your savings when you receive your gold watch(do companies even do that anymore when you retire?)and head off into your Golden years.

Stop spending all your wealth in the here and now!
You will need it more when you are old and sick.
Don't expect the government to take care of you then.

Change your spending and savings habits NOW before it's too late!
And don't go and take out massive student loans at age 60 either, if you can find an idiot who will give them to you...... ;-)



Monday, February 24, 2014

This Week on the Dining Table

The "My Baby Turned 18 on Saturday" Edition.......

Here he is with his gifts--
And here is is with his gifts after I forced him to smile for a change......

And here is what was planned last week---
Monday--Dinner Out using gift card
Tuesday--Cheese Steaks w/peppers and onions
Wednesday--Rigatoni w/Meat Sauce, Mushroom Parmesan, Asparagus
Thursday--Fish, Sugar Snaps, Roasted Potatoes
Friday--Chicken Risotto, Salad or Leftover Asparagus
Saturday--Leftovers Again
And here is what actually happened---
Monday--Dinner Out using gift card
Tuesday--Cheese Steaks w/peppers and onions
Wednesday--Fish, Asparagus
Thursday--Rigatoni in Meat Sauce, Sugar Snap Peas
Friday--Pizza(I had Eggplant Parm)*Hubs got 2 med. pizzas free with a gift card.
Saturday--Leftover Eggplant Parm

Everything served as planned except the Risotto because I bought some Eggplant Parm on Friday which was on sale at the store.  The Risotto moves to this week.
I spent a total of.......$65.01 on groceries last week, including the $1 I spent at Rite-Aid.  Evidently I didn't try very hard to only spend the $9.28 left in my February food budget.
Food spending for February to this point is $355.83. 
We had food waste last week.....a bit of Chicken Fajita filling.
Going into the new week here are the leftovers we have.....Rigatoni and Meat Sauce, 1 helping of Fish, 2 slices of pizza.  Fresh produce left are 2 bundles of asparagus.  It was on special last week and I'll eat this every day for lunch until it's gone if nobody wants it for dinner again.  I "heart" asparagus....
I also have a frozen turkey breast(bought on special last week)in the fridge which will be cooked by midweek(after it thaws), giving me 1-2 dinners(it's a real small one), or 1 dinner and meat for lunch sandwiches.
Here is this week's meal plan----

Sunday--Leftovers(I had a big plate of Asparagus.)
Monday--Chicken Risotto, Asparagus
Tuesday--Birthday Dinner Out
Wednesday--Roast Turkey, Carrots, Potatoes of some sort
Thursday--Dinner Out(last of gift card & coupon)
Friday--Beef Roast and some sort of fresh veggie I buy this week

That makes 3 new meals, 2 meals out and 2 leftover or planned over meal.

What I need to purchase for this menu?.......Beef Roast, a fresh veg, Carrots.  Everything except Sun. and Mon. meals are subject to change this week.  The turkey will be cooked and served but other than that, this is all tentative.

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


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Consider What's Below & Apply to Your Own Life

Thought to be the oldest Holocaust Survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer died on Sunday.
She was 110.

A remarkable woman in so many ways.
She survived the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia by playing in the camp orchestra.
She also kept her young son alive there and he was one of the few children to survive that camp until liberation.

The short documentary, "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life", about her life, is up for an Academy Award next month.

Here is a short video about her done a year ago.....

We could all learn a lot from this woman....


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rite-Aid This Week

I went to Rite-Aid after my dentist appointment this week.
I had $6 in +Up Rewards to use by Saturday.
These deals are good until Saturday night.....

1 x Vaseline Lotion(small bottle on sale but 20% wellness discount lower)=$3.43
1 x Excedrin on sale=$3.99
1 x Bigelow Tea on sale=$2.49

Coupons Used
1 x $2/1 Excedrin 24 ct. bottle(Rite-Aid snail mailed me this Q)=$2.00
1 x $1/1 Peelie Q on Excedrin box=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$3.00

$9.91-$3.00=$6.91 + .09¢tax=$7.00

I used my $6 in +Ups and paid $1.00 OOP.

I received back $4 in +Ups($2 Vaseline, $1 Excedrin, $1 Bigelow tea).

My plans for these items.......the lotion is for my sister in-laws(Xmas) and the tea is for my daughter....she prefers Earl Grey but they were out, so I'll take this box back to exchange it when they get that type in again.
The headache pills are for our stockpile.

I have to go figure out how to spend the $20 in +Ups I got for buying some restaurant gift card last week, by next Wednesday when they expire.
Anybody got any good plans for getting things cheaply at Rite-Aid next week?
I'm all


Friday, February 21, 2014

Back to the Bacon

So let me ask.....did I have you at "Bacon"?!?
I thought that would get some of you to open up this post. lolz

More genealogy today, but just a quickie.

You may want to go read this old post from 2012 first, located HERE.
In it I talked about my Snead/Sneed ancestor.....the first one to come to Virginia, Samuel Sneed and his son, Henry Sneed who is my 9th great grandfather.
Henry got caught up in the infamous Bacon's Rebellion in 1676.

You can go read up on what this was HERE.
It was one of the first revolts in the Virginia colony that foreshadowed the fight for independence from British rule 100 years later.

See?  I am not going on and on regurgitating history lessons this time and am trying to get to the pertinent meat of things.

See what I did there? ;-)

I find that I have yet another ancestor who took part in that Rebellion.

Through my maternal grandfather's mother, I have a 9 x great grandfather named William Hunt.
Some say he was born in France about 1599.
Yes, another Huguenot ancestor fleeing to the British colony in Virginia?
We do know he was living in England at the time of his immigration to America, arriving in Virginia aboard the Abraham in either 1635 or 1638....there is some disagreement on the year.

Well it seems from what I've read that old Bill aided and abetted Nathaniel Bacon and was known to be a "Baconite".

Though he was elderly by those day's standards(in 1676 he would have been close to 77 years), he sided with those that opposed the Royal Governor of Virginia, William Berkley.

Not sure what kind of "help" he lent but he was a planter and a merchant, shipping goods from England to sell to fellow colonists in Virginia.

For his trouble backing Bacon's allies, he was thrown into jail and died there in November of 1676 before they got around to bringing him to trial and hanging him for his crimes against the British crown.

After William died, his widow, Anne filed a grievance before the King of England, Charles II, for the return of her husband's property.  Seems property that was still onboard a ship from England when William was thrown into the pokey was seized.  Since he was never convicted of a crime, thus he was not actually a criminal, Anne put forth that it's appropriation was illegal and petitioned for it's return to her, the owner's widow.

Taken from Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record: The Official Account of Bacon's Rebellion--here is the actual wording of the petition put forth to the Assembly in 1677......

"By petition of Anne Hunt widow and relict of William Hunt of Charles City County, deceased on behalfe of herselfe and two children.

Complaining that the honorable Governor, being falsely informed that the said Hunt the Petitioners husband had bin actually in the late rebellion did after his death and without any indictment, tryall or conviction seize the estate of the Petitioner and her children, which had bin getting 25 yeares by the onest pains & hard labbour of the decedent and the aged petition and the same removed and caryed to green Springe. (Green Spring was the name of William Berkley's estate so the cargo was confiscated by the Governor and taken to his home.)

That the Better to Color the said doeings the Governor hath caused a Bill of Attainder to pass the last grand Assembly, whereby the Petitioners Estate without soe much as having the Petitioner or any other for her is adjudged forfeited to his Majestie.

Now for as much as the said William Hunt was never in armes against his Majestie or authority nor ever encourgage, aided or abeted the same; and ever a peaceable and good Subject of his Majestie.

And for that by the laws of England a man slaine or otherwise dyinge in open Rebellion before attainder forfeits noe part of his Estate: And the Petitioner beinge informed that this plantation of Virginia cannot or ought not to make any laws repugnant to those of his Majesties Realme of England.

The Poor Petitioner humbly Implores his Majestie would be pleased to putt a stop to or cause the said act of attainder to be taken of as to your Petitioners said Estate, and that his Majestie in his Royall Mercy will be gratiously please to permit her and her children to enjoye the same for their Support and Maintenance and without which they are most Miserable."

Goods William Hunt had brought to Virginia to sell were still aboard Nicholas Prynee's ship the Richard and Elizabeth, at the time of William's death.  Prynne also petitioned that Assembly that the goods in question be returned to Prynne....possibly because they weren't paid for?

The "Grand Assembly",  referred to above in February 1677, that attainted Nathaniel Bacon specifically identified William Hunt as a "principal ayder and abetter of the said Nathaniel Bacon" who, like the rebel, "dyed alsoe before the rebells were reduced to their allegiance to his majestie by which said meanes the said Nathaniell Bacon, junr...and William Hunt have escaped their due and just demerits for their wicked and unheard of treasons and rebellions."

Then Nicholas Prynne petitioned to keep the goods.....

"Settinge forth that Alderman Booth of London and Company beinge owners of the said ship, consigned to one William Hunt their factor in Virginia a cargoe of goods to the value of 265lb sterling to make sale and returne of for their proper account; for which goods the Petitioner Mr. Prynne gave bill of lading and is thereby accountable for the same.

Prayes restitution of the goods and Redress of the wrong and damage."

Nathaniel Bacon died of the Bloody Flux and Lousey Disease(aka typhus, dysentery and body lice)in October 1676 yet the rebellion continued even after his demise.

Before this incident was all over, Jamestown had been burnt to the ground and Governor Berkley had been recalled to England, where he died in 1677.
William Hunt lived a month past Bacon but neither lived long enough to hang for their part in the revolt as 23 other men had.

See?  Just more and more agitators and rebels in my family!

William Hunt was buried at Bachelor's Point on the banks of the James River in Charles Citie County Va near where the Kennon Creek empties into the James.  Today this area lies between Sherwood Forest Plantation and the Chickahominy Wilderness Management Area, off of State Route 5(also known as the John Tyler Memorial Highway).

William Hunt's granddaughter is my 7th Great Grandmother, Mary Hunt Minge Allen Jefferson.
She's the one who was the second wife of Thomas Jefferson's Uncle, Field Jefferson, that I've mentioned before.

I've got lots more notables connected with my Hunt and Allen lines to write about, all in the due course time.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Good Health & Money Day!

Today was a good day for a change.

Hubs bonus hit the bank account, as well as his paycheck AND a special $ award he was nominated to receive at work for being awesome.
Hey, I wish someone would pay me for being awesome..... ;-)

Anyway, the bonus was quite large compared to what he's received in the past.  This new boss of his recognizes what an important contribution he makes to their business and it's nice he's being recognized in this way.

The bonus was large enough that I was able to finish funding #2 Son's college account today!
That's the best news in all this. 8-))

Of course, college costs will continue to go up every year but at least now we have the amount we planned to give him toward his education, sitting, accruing interest(not much interest, but it's something).
Hopefully he gets some kind of small scholarship from the school he will be attending, like the other two received, so we won't have to worry about getting him across the finish line with his degree.

And even better--there is some $ leftover from the bonus to put elsewhere, like for a blasted car. Grrrr
And even even better--we no longer have to use Hub's bonus checks(when he gets them)toward college funds, like we have had to do since forever!
Now that extra cash can go toward retirement or wherever else we may need it.

We both celebrated the Bonus check by splurging......he bought two bottles of expensive Scotch(for himself!) and I bought a quart of ice cream and it wasn't even on sale!
I know......what was I thinking? lolz

And on the medical weight is heading South......very slowly but surely. 
And as soon as this bottle of Warfarin is depleted I have the green light to discontinue it's use.
No more bloody noses and blood oozing from other places upon my body that I just don't really want to talk about.  ;-)

All my vitals are good, no problems(other than that bleeding thing I just mentioned).
And I just need a tune-up in 6 months, unless something crops up.
At one point back last April, when I had my health crisis, I was on ten medications!
After the Warfarin is gone, I am down to five(and three of those I was on before my health crisis).
and I've gone off the arthritis meds my old, crazy alcoholic and went to jail doctor had me on for years.  I still get a little stiff, like first thing in the morning, but it's nothing I can't handle without high powered drugs.  There is always an Ibuprofen if I need it.
I seriously think the ex-doc was overmedicating me.....

And in even better medical news--there is a light at the end of the tunnel on the DME company and insurance coverage issues, and I don't even think that light is on an oncoming train! lolz
My "order has dropped" DME co. person says and they are coming out on Friday to "hook me up" with goodies.
That just dropped my stress level by 100 points!

I promptly rang up the soon-to-be ex DME co. of incompetents and told them to come get their ever loving shit!
By Monday that deed will be a fait accompli, even if I have to drive their shit back to their warehouse myself.

And you better believe I am taking photos of everything and making the clown who shows up here to haul it off sign my own list of what they are taking back!
I trust them to get this all correct and NOT accuse me of not returning things, as far as I could "clean and jerk" one of their employees.

As Bugs Bunny would say at this juncture.....
"What a bunch of Maroons!"

I really needed a good day about now.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Old Virginia Home......The Tale of Roxabel

The new background wallpaper, since someone asked about it, is an old photo of a place dear to my family.

Back early last year, while digging around online, I found this photo.......

It is housed in the Yale University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, among the collected papers of Margaret Marshall.
But let's back up a bit and start at the beginning.....
Yup, I am turning this into a history/genealogy lesson. ;-)

Margaret Marshall's grandfather was Hunter Holmes Marshall.  He was born in 1820 at Hermitage Plantation in Charlotte County Virginia in the Cub Creek area of that county.
Hunter Holmes married in 1841 Sarah Wilmer Stith of Baltimore, Maryland and brought her to Charlotte County to raise a family.
Hunter Holmes bought a large tract of land, built a house and had that land farmed by the slaves he owned, making him one of the elite planter class of Virginia.  The plantation he owned, he named Roxabel.
Hunter was also a lawyer by trade and became a Judge at some point in his career.  He had a small, one roomed brick office built near the house where he could practice lawyering.

The photo is of the plantation house at Roxabel.
Margaret Marshall White was the daughter of Katherine Parke and Griffin Stith Marshall. Hunter Holmes Marshall was Griffin's father and thus, Margaret's grandfather.

Margaret Marshall was a writer and left her papers(or her grandchildren donated them)to Yale Library after her death in 1974.
This antique photo was in amongst her papers.
It is not known who took this photo or the exact date of it.  Margaret believed it was taken sometime in the 1870's.

Contrary to everything you have been told about Southern Plantations and their Palatial Homes, this photo speaks volumes to contradict that misconception.  Yes, there were many grand mansions in the old South but some Plantation homes were quite modest.
The "wing" of the home to the left in the photo appears to have not been enclosed by 4 walls.  Perhaps it was an outdoor kitchen, which was very common in the South during this time.  Cooking was hot sweaty business and was conducted for most of the year outside, rather than in the house.
Which leaves just the main structure of the house for living quarters for 2 parents, and at it's fullest 6 children.  Add in at least 1(perhaps 2 or 3 indoor servants/slaves)and you'll see that Roxabel was NOT a large plantation home by any stretch of the imagination.

I do not know what, if any, interior changes were made to the main part of the house from it's original construction until I was a small child and roamed inside but I can tell you that there are 3 public rooms downstairs as well as a foyer, a stairway with gallery and 3 bedrooms upstairs.  A bathroom was added so there may have been 4 bedrooms at one time before indoor plumbing, or that area may have been a closet of some sort, I don't know.
At any rate, my great grandparents enlarged the house so the 8 persons(plus servants)who lived in the original Roxabel  was even smaller than the Roxabel I knew from my youth.

The home at Roxabel is a far cry from the typical southern Antebellum estate homes that have been restored such as Oak Alley Plantation or Belle Grove.
Roxabel could barely be considered a plantation house next to those behemoths of grandeur.

But I digress......

There are a woman in the wagon and a man standing next to it, and two young children, a boy and girl, standing on the lawn.
Not sure which members of the Marshall family these are, given that 1870's time frame.

By 1870 Hunter Holmes and his wife Sarah were in their 50's and their last child was born in 1859, so the children might be grandchildren, if in fact, this is Hunter and Sarah.

Or if the adults pictured are not Hunter and Sarah, it might be Hunter's eldest daughter, Mary Ann, making her around 30 in the early 1870's.    She married Robert Henry Gaines in 1868 and they had children--Hunter in 1878, Henry in 1880, Sarah in 1884 and Mary in 1886.  Mary Ann and Robert Gaines moved to Roxabel sometime after Judge Hunter Holmes moved to Richmond, VA to resume practicing law, and Robert took over the running of the farm.

So it's possible if the boy and girl pictured are their two middle children, Henry and Sarah, born in 1880 and 1884, this is a photo of the Robert Gaines family taken in the mid to late 1880's.  Mary Ann Gaines was Margaret Marshall's aunt.
Or it's possible that the children pictured are ones we have no knowledge of that were born earlier in their marriage and that would place this photo firmly in the 1870's.

At any rate, it's still a bit of a mystery as to the identity of these folks beyond the fact that they are Marshalls or Gaines.

And here is a photo of Roxabel as it stands today.....approx. 140 to 130 years after that first photo was taken......

Sometime in the 1930's my great grandparents, who had farmed this land as tenant farmers in at least the 1920's, bought the farm Roxabel.  They had the house extensively rebuilt, as you can tell from the side-by-side comparison below and then moved their family in sometime afterward.

My great grandparents lived here until my great grandfather's death in 1956.  My great grandmother continued to live here until sometime before 1967, at which time her children moved her into a house in town, where she resided until her death in 1973.

Roxabel passed out of the family sometime after that and was NOT kept up from all I've been told.
It passed through the hands of at least 2 owners after my great grandparents, before, sometime at the beginning of the 2000's, 3 of my mother's cousins pooled their resources and bought Roxabel back.

They continue to restore and bring back to it's former glory the "old home place".
The house and grounds are available to be rented out for weddings and other events.  Contact me for more information if you are interested in holding your event here and I'll pass it along to my 1st cousins 1x removed. 8-)
And of course the family reunion is held here each Fall.

So now you know more of the story and I didn't go too far off on a tangent with the genealogy stuff.  ;-)


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Random Stuff at Chez Sluggy

I go to put the dog out and guess what I see?

* First off, it is snowing YET AGAIN here.  Friday through Sunday we had 3 storms blow through.  It started snowing again late last night.

Looking at the forecast online it looks like all this week is a pattern of a day of partly cloudy/sunny followed by a day of snow.
Oh joy!

* I may be going to that Blogger Meet-up in Delaware next month.  It depends on if someone who may give me a ride there can.  I should know in the next week if this will work out.
I SO need to get away from here for a bit before I start climbing up the walls!

* I just signed up for 3 month mail order refills on some of my prescriptions this morning through a company included in my new insurance coverage.  I paid $25.18 total for 3x 30 day refills last month.  Doing a 90 day refill for the 3 drugs will cost me $48.28, or $16.09 per 30 days.  It's only $8+ a month savings but since we have to pay full freight on prescription until the $3K deductible is satisfied, I'll take whatever savings I can get.
I just hope this works out and there aren't any issues not receiving my meds in a timely fashion.
And speaking of things happening in a timely fashion...NOT!.....

* Today begins WEEK FIVE of trying to get my DME company situation sorted out in regard to my healthcare coverage.  Despite being told over a week ago now by my healthcare company that my DME is covered and the company they passed me along to should have supplied what I need by now, I am still waiting on someone to DO something!  Now the DME Co. says they still need some form or other before they can deliver DME to me, which the healthcare company says it's all set.
No, it isn't.  My good buddy at the DME company, "Shaun", promised to follow up directly himself with the dr. office and get right back to me on Friday.  It's now Tuesday and "Shaun" is still MIA.
So yes, I get to call again and go through this whole rigmarole for the umpteenth time.
So tired of this......

* I got to have a broken filling replaced AND get a cleaning and ex-rays on the same day last week.  My jaw hurt for 2 days after that, as the dentist has a heck of a time getting the rest of the filling out, and she did some yanking on me.  She thinks they glued it in!
I get to go back on Friday for another filling too.
It's just a wild party around here, ain't it?  ;-)

* I get to go to my primary care dr. on Thursday.  While I am holding steady with my weight is it not heading South as fast as I would like it to be progressing.  The month of December was very bad for my weight loss since I gained.  Hey, it was Christmas and a holiday trip to a German Bier Haus.....what can I say?  January wasn't much better between being depressed and the weather et al.  February has been a wash as well.  I am doing ok health flu, haven't been sick, just depressed and tired of fighting about these insurance issues, which leads to more depression and "what the hell, I might as well eat my feelings" episodes.  sigh.

I do get to find out about getting off this blood thinner stuff I have been on due to that clot in my ankle last September.  I am due to be finished with this.

* I have had very few Etsy store sales since January 1st.  Frankly I've just neglected doing anything with that this year so far.  I did finally go into the Daughter's old room(aka my fabric lair now)and sort through some piles of fabric so I can get more new pieces up on Etsy.  I had hoped to get the rest of the flannel, corduroy and wool up in January but it didn't get done, so now that all gets thrown back into a tub to wait until late Summer to list it.  At least some of those Winter fabrics are now photographed and written up, so getting them actually for sale on Etsy won't take any time at all.
The last few days I DID get about 30 fabric pieces ready to list(photo'ed, measured, weighed and descriptions done)so I should have those up in the Etsy store this week.

I still don't "get" this whole "favoriting" thing on Etsy.  Someone can "favorite" an item in your Etsy store(it's like hitting the LIKE button on FB)and you can see who favorites what in your store.
I's a STORE folks, not an art show.....I don't CARE who likes my fabric!  I just care who BUYS my fabric!  That's how I judge whether someone likes my fabric or not, if they BUY it! lolz

* I let all the eBay listings expire in January.  I may go and relist everything later this week, just so it looks like I am doing something with it all.  But from what I hear not much is selling there lately for most everyone.  Things will pick up once the tax refund checks start flowing back into buyers' bank accounts though....I hope.  ;-)

* There is still no furniture in my living room besides some boxes of eBay stuff, a coffee table, an old wing chair, sofa table and the folding camp table I was doing taxes on in the dining area.  I just can't pull the trigger on buying a sofa right now.  I am not completely happy with my choices(color, size, fabric and price)plus there is no extra money left in the paychecks until March gets here to cover it.  I know I can yank money from elsewhere but why do that if I don't have to have a sofa right now?
It would just make me grumpier. lolz

* And speaking of taxes, I mailed off the Federal today.
Rah.  Had to redo the Education credit thing THREE TIMES to get it right. ugh.
And that $12K heating/cooling system we bought last year?  Guess how much Uncle Sam lets us take as an Energy credit for it?
Big whoop. 8-)))

* In GOOD news here.....Hubs gets a yearly Bonus.  We never know how big/little it will be.  It all depends on how his company does for the year, if his part of the business is profitable or not, how he is rated within the company, and the specific formula the company uses to distribute the bonus funds(this formula seems to change ever year and is more complicated than jumping through IRS hoops calculating your personal tax return).
He got his performance review and he was rated as high as is able.  Their business segment also had a fabulous year too.  So it all comes down to the formula they are using this year to decide on how far on the big side of the scale the bonus will be.  We find out Thursday when it hits the bank account.
I am so hoping it's enough to finish off #2 Son's college account with something leftover for us to use elsewhere.
Since as long as I can remember, the Bonus has always been used to fund the kids' college accounts.  At least the last 12 years.....even before we paid off the house, we dumped this money into the college funds.
Next year, if Hubs is still employed there, God willing!, will be the FIRST year in forever that we won't have to put the $ into the college fund.  I won't know what to do with myself if I have to make a decision on what to do with it.....but I'll give it my best shot. 8-)

* Cross your fingers we get to complete #2's fund and have money leftover, because(Sonya plug your ears)we are going to have to buy another car in the next few months.  The Hyundai Elantra needs to go!!  And Hubs won't just wait until August, when #2 leaves for college to just take back the Malibu.
I wish he would just limp along until August, because at that point we won't need 3 cars anymore and it will save having to ditch another car in August.  But he won't go with my plan so we are shelling out more money on cars in the coming months.

* #2 Son applied for a new job last night on his way home from his music lesson.  He had quit his old job in January because it was getting so demanding of his free time and left him no time to practice for his auditions for college.  He was working almost 40 hours a week right before he left it.

This new one is just a weekend job so won't cut into his activities and school stuff.  But will give him a little cash so he isn't always hitting me up for some. lol

That about catches y'all up on the Drama here at Chez Sluggy.

What's going on in your world?



Monday, February 17, 2014

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Please Make it Stop Snowing Because I am so Tired of Talking About Snow!" Edition.......

We got 3 storms within 48 hours late last week.  You can just make out a sliver of the top of the car parked on the roadside, behind that snow bank.  The driveway is turning into a tunnel configuration with walls 4 feet high on either side of it.  Nowhere left to put the snow here....bleh. 
Here is what was planned last week---
Sunday--Broiled Cod, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Coleslaw
Monday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Sugar Snap Peas w/Red Peppers
Tuesday--Chicken in Wine Sauce, Noodles, Broccoli
Wednesday--Hot Dogs w/Coleslaw, Red Potato Salad, Beans(for Hubs/#2 Son)
Thursday--Quiche(freezer), TBD Veggies
Friday--Mushroom Parmesan, Salad
Saturday--Breakfast for Dinner or Leftovers
And here is what actually happened---
Sunday--Broiled Cod, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Coleslaw
Monday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Sugar Snap Peas w/Red Peppers
Tuesday--Chicken in Wine Sauce, Noodles, Broccoli
Wednesday--Pizza from the freezer
Thursday--Breakfast for Dinner
Friday--Chinese Take-out
Saturday--Hot Dogs w/Coleslaw, Red Potato Salad

 Everything served as planned except the Quiche and Mushroom Parm and the last half of the week dinners were moved to different nights.  Since #2 Son & Hubs didn't leave town on Friday this changed the configuration of meals.  We got take-out to celebrate Valentine's Day since Hubs wasn't suppose to be home that evening so nothing had been planned.
I spent a total of.....*sit down for this one!*....$2.42 on groceries last week.  Hubs bought milk when he got gas on Saturday and I spent $.53 at Rite-Aid when I picked up a case of water and 2 bottle of peroxide(using up a $5 +Up Reward).

So after the week's spending, I am sitting at $290.82 spent in February with 11 more days in the month to go.  I seriously doubt I'll stay under $300 at this point for the month but I'll try to keep it as close to that mark as possible.
Going into the new week here are the leftovers we have.....
 Beef Stroganoff and rice, Chicken Fajita fixings and that's about it.
Here is this week's meal plan----let's dig deeper into the freezer and pantry---

Monday--Dinner Out using gift card
Tuesday--Cheese Steaks w/peppers and onions
Wednesday--Rigatoni w/Meat Sauce, Mushroom Parmesan, Asparagus
Thursday--Fish, Sugar Snaps, Roasted Potatoes
Friday--Chicken Risotto, Salad or Leftover Asparagus
Saturday--Leftovers Again

That makes 4 new meals, 1 meal out and 2 leftover or planned over meal.
I have fish, chicken and roast beef lunchmeat in the freezer and I *think* I might have a small package of ground beef in there too.

What I need to purchase for this menu?.......Deli Cheese(for the cheese steaks), Salad Greens(I'll go on Wed. and find some reduced containers), Asparagus(on sale this week) and maybe 1 lb. of Ground Beef if I can't find any in the freezer.  We are also out of Sour Cream(something I like to have around)so I'll pick that up because it's on sale this week here.  One store also had Welch's Grape Juice on sale and I like to have some of the purple kind on hand. This should run me around $20 depending on whether I need Ground Beef or not and what it's going for this week/if I can find a reduced package.

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


Saturday, February 15, 2014

The 2014 Winter Music Tour

Like I talked about in yesterday's post, Hubs & #2 Son didn't go to his music audition down at VCU in Richmond.
Yes folks, the second half of the 2014 Winter Music Audition Tour has been canceled.
#2 Son had 4 different college auditions scheduled this Winter at 4 different schools.
He's had the Temple and Mansfield auditions and the VCU and Marywood auditions were on the blocks for this weekend and next week, respectively.

Well that plan changed earlier this week when #2 got some mail......


So he has gotten both his "Congratulations to our school" and his "Congratulations to our program" college letters from Mansfield.

Seeing as Mansfield was his 2nd choice(and Temple his 1st choice), he sees no reason to continue on with more auditions to schools that were his 3rd and 4th choices.

So he's going to Mansfield in the Fall.....for now.
We still haven't heard from Temple yet and we don't expect to hear from them until March sometime as their last audition date is February 23rd but the undergraduate deadline for applying is March 1st.

So we don't know the important stuff yet......
Like if #2 Son is going to be an Owl or a Mountie in the Fall.
And whether we will be required to shell out $28,032 or $21,010 in the Fall.


Not that we get any non loan help from the Feds.
I fill out the FAFSA every year for some kid or kids and they always tell us our "expected family contribution" toward their studies is some ridiculous amount.

This year was no different.
FAFSA indicated we are expected to contribute......$42,803 toward our son's educational needs for 2014-2015.
Now look at the two amounts above for those two schools.
Do either of them even approach $42,803 a year?
No, they do not.

The only school that came close was Marywood U., a small local private school at $46,556 if you lived on campus, but they estimate will cost $33,390 if you live at home(and #2 would be living at home at least for a couple of those years).  And that is before the $10-$15K merit scholarship they promised he'd get if he attended that school.

You see, FAFSA considers us "rich".  Because we've scrimped and saved and paid everything off, don't live off of credit cards or have debts, and we have a nice pile of cash because we live so far below our means.
Hubs makes a good income but if he spent like his colleagues seem to do(bigger houses, expensive vacations to Europe each year, nicer cars, etc.)we'd be struggling to pay our bills like they are.

The problem with paying for college, besides just paying for college, is that the Feds think if you have a pile of cash in savings that it's available for you to spend it down on college costs and they expect you to do just that.
They don't take into consideration that first, we are OLD parents.  We had our kids late thus we are "this close" to retirement.  We don't have years to go after sending our kids to college to recover from spending down all this money like people who have their kids in their 20's and very early 30's do.
In addition, most of this pile of money we have saved is earmarked for our retirement years.  It is not in a protected retirement fund like a 401K so it is counted against us when it comes to measuring what parents have available for educational funding and how grant money is doled out and to whom.

Even with the portion of our savings that IS earmarked for #2 Son's college funding, he will still need to come up with about $15K more over the course of 4 years to cover the least expensive of the 2 schools where he wants to go.  And that doesn't take into consideration the costs going up(and they do every year)over the next 4 years.  Plus a car and car expenses which he will need his Senior year to do his student teaching(definitely if he attends Mansfield and perhaps if he is at Temple, in a big city, if he has to teach in the suburbs).

But the FAFSA folks will only allow us unsubsidized loans because of our level of savings.  So we are hoping for a small merit scholarship from whichever school #2 Son attends to offset just a tiny piece of the price tag on school.  Both our other two kids got something where they attended for academic merit.  If #2 Son gets anything it will be on the strength of his artistic talent, but those kind of awards are even fewer and farther between.

Hubs is probably going to retire from his company before #2 Son graduates with his degree, so I am wondering when we no longer have an income coming in and are living off of these savings, how that will affect the FAFSA formula.  We would still have most if not all of our pile of savings at that point but no regular income.
So there is some unknown for us there, as we hadn't dealt with college in this particular circumstance before.

Anyway.....I didn't mean to turn this into a FAFSA and College is ridiculously expensive tirade, but I did, didn't I? ;-)

We are happy for our son, that he got his admittance wish(at least one of them),and we are crossing our fingers he gets some sort of financial award from somewhere.

And I am counting the days until he leaves in August and is no longer destroying what passes for clean in my kitchen....WoooHooo!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Turnpike Yikes!

Well I am so glad Hubs and #2 Son called off the trip to Richmond, VA they were suppose to take this morning.
They would have been traveling on the PA Turnpike to get there.
Here is a shot of what the Turnpike outside of Philly looked like this morning......

Massive wrecks and closed down in one direction.

There is a no-audio film of some of this mess on Yahoo HERE.

A report from local news station HERE.


I've driven on that stretch of turnpike and the folks on there drive like nutballs!
I am always sure someone is going to crash into my ass as they ALL tailgate.

I sure hope nobody lost a loved one in this today.....


Nothing Says Love on Valentine's Day......

....Like a Snowdrift!

Yes, my back deck has almost disappeared!
Save the path for the dog to go out to the yard.

We got another 12 inches between yesterday's storm and the second storm from late last night.
There are 4 foot high banks of snow lining the driveway out front and we may get our mailbox shoveled out by April.....


Well it could be worse, right?
It could be like in 2007 when a nor'easter hit here on Valentine's day, closing all the roads and the interstate and people had to spend the night in their cars.  On local tv, they were asking for people with ATVs to drive to the nearest interstate entrance/exit and go pick up people in cars to get them to shelters.  It was a mess.
Check out this old news report HERE.

This is my new mantra.....

Raise your hand if you are sick of snow!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The GroundHog Must DIE!

So when we finally moved out of the "Bowels of the Poconos"........
(You know, where we use to live until 2000......where it was de rigeur to get 100 inches of snowfall in an average year.......and where I took this photo.......I think it was in 1993.)

Anyway when we finally  moved from there, we settled in this teeny tiny town in this part of PA.
NOT in the Poconos mind you.

We figured our "large accumulation of snow" days were a thing of our past.

Let me just say for the record......

Look at what it's doing again this morning?

I think somebody needs to drive west of here and assassinate a certain groundhog......

Do I see any volunteers out there?!?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Can I just say that if you have a chronic health issue be prepared for dealing with a MAJOR load of crap if you are EVER required to change your health insurance.
All you folks who lost your insurance coverage and had to find a new one due to Obamacare are in for a real treat, yessirree!

I am sitting on hold on the phone for the FOURTH WEEK now, dealing with changing my health coverage to a new provider and trying to coordinate the changing of my durable medical goods(DME) coverage from my old healthcare provider's company to the new healthcare provider's company.

Words can not express to you what a colossal PITA of an ordeal this has been.
Between the layers of bureaucracy of the medical establishment I am dealing with and the layers of stupidity that make up the insurance company and it's all too numerous contracted-out "partners", all of whom know not what the other is doing, I am about ready to swallow my tongue in frustration!

I have spent upwards of 2 hours each day that I have to call on the phone, explaining and re-explaining this crap until I am blue in the face.  And then I am told to wait a few days to follow up.
And when I follow up, guess what?  NOTHING has changed and we are still at square one and we get to go through this crap again.
It's like "Waiting for Godot's Insurance".....

It's almost 6 weeks now and I have no coverage for my DMEs because these @#%%^#$!@ people can't get their collective shit together!
My current(soon to be EX) DME provider was told on January 15th the information for my new healthcare provider and to bill them.
But that hasn't stopped them from continuing to bill my old healthcare provider who of course, is paying NOTHING to them, as the numerous EOBs I have been receiving state.
OMG!  What a bunch of buffoons!

I foresee receiving bills and collection notices from that old DME in the future since they won't bill the new healthcare provider, as they should be, for payment.  They are lazy asses and will just not even try to collect from the company they SHOULD be collecting from and will end up coming after us.
And guess who is NOT paying for their stupidity?!

And I can't get rid of this old DME company until the new insurance company preauthorizes that I need this bunch of equipment and will cover it's cost.
So I am stuck unless I just send all the DMEs I currently have back and stop using them altogether, and possibly die in my sleep because I don't have them.
How nice.

That's one way to get rid of a healthcare consumer you don't want to shell out $$$ for who might cut into your corporate profits.....

All you young people out there, take my advise---

Stop smoking, drinking, eating, doing anything that can injure you(riding in vehicles, participating in organized sports, going out in public places, etc.)and never get any terminal or chronic diseases because you inherited bad genes.

Because if you have to deal with the bureaucratic bullshit that I've been dealing with(let alone having to take care of your health issues), you are better off just jumping off a bridge.

Going off now to relax before I stroke out.
I just want to scream at one of these customer service automatons.
And if I get caught in yet another voice mail phone tree hell I am going to take a sledgehammer to the phone.


Well That was a Big Waste of Time

A short film where I try to replicate that Facebook thing I posted about how to open a beer bottle with a magnet and a quarter.......

Yes folks, I truly need a life.

And no, Hubs wouldn't let me use one of his beers to try this again.

When this trick doesn't work for you, check out what WILL actually open your bottle.....

You'd better keep those rings you bought Sonya Ann. lol


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Travel Goals

While I still haven't come up with a List of Goals for 2014, I have been spending a good deal of time thinking about where I want to GO in 2014.
Yes, I love to travel!
But I don't fly.....

I have even started compiling a list of where, if I had my way and unlimited funds, I would like to go this year.......

March--to an informal blogger gathering in DELAWARE
April/May--to see my daughter in LOUISIANA, with stops along the way in TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY & an excursion into TEXAS.
June--to a 150th Anniversary commemoration of a WBTS's event in VIRGINIA
July or August--for a vacation in MAINE  Mmmm......lobsters
September--to the Family Reunion again in VIRGINIA
October--for our mini vacation in MARYLAND

Also, but not at any specific time in the year  in these places.............
To MASSACHUSETTS to see my Aunt and cousins
To ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN to see my 9th cousin  ;-)
To Pittsburgh again to visit with #1 Son
To CANADA as I haven't been there in YEARS

Of course, Hubs doesn't get NEARLY enough vacation days to do all this.....and I am a nervous nelly anymore about driving myself long distances alone.
Plus I'd probably have a coronary if we spent what all this would cost, even on the cheap!

So it won't all be happening this year.

I do know that the trip to see my daughter will be happening as Hubs got time off for it in April.....woohoo!

Spring break here I come. lolz

How about you?
Do you like to travel?
Where do you like to go on vacation?


Monday, February 10, 2014

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Can We Please Not Get Anymore Snow for Awhile?!" Edition

Here is what was planned last week---
Sunday--Leftovers or FFY(I was the only one home)
Monday--Tuna Noodle Casserole, Grilled Asparagus
Tuesday--Kielbasa and Onions on Rolls, Brussell Sprouts
Wednesday--Roast Chicken, Collards, Smashed Rutabaga
Thursday--Eating Out, #2 Son at District Band Comp.
Friday--Chicken Fajitas(using leftover chicken from Wed.)
Saturday--Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Leftovers of FFY(Fend For Yourself)
And here is what actually happened---
Sunday--Leftovers or FFY(I was the only one home)
Monday--Tuna Noodle Casserole, Grilled Asparagus
Tuesday--Kielbasa and Onions on Rolls, Brussell Sprouts
Wednesday--Roast Chicken, Collards, Smashed Rutabaga
Thursday--Eating Out at Bob Evans using gift card
Friday--Fend for Yourself(I was home alone)
Saturday--Chicken Fajitas(using leftover chicken from Wed.)

Everything served as planned except I forgot I was going to be home along for dinner on Friday so Friday's dinner was prepared Saturday.
Not a big deal.
Eating out used a previously purchases gift card combined with a BOGO Entree free Coupon.
I spent a total of.....*sit down for this one!*....$184.53 on groceries last week.
I had spent $51 or so early on in the week, but then Hubs took me to R-A, The local market and Weis PMITA Markets on Saturday and I spent $133+ I wasn't expecting to.  I found some good deals(b/s chicken breast for $1.88 lb. cantaloupes for $1.47, blocks of cheese on special)so I spent.  We also needed dog food last week and that is something we don't buy often but when we do we stock up. 
Even if I spent loads more than usual in 1 week, my savings rate was still 50%, and my savings rate for February so far is 59.15%.
Pretty darn good. 8-))

I don't expect to buy much this coming week since I've planned a menu around what is here for the most part, except for some fresh produce.

If I am trying to do a $300 food budget month, I have already spent $288.40 in February and it's only the 10th!
Holey Moley.

That means I have 14 more days after this coming Saturday to feed us until the month is over and $11.60 left in my food kitty to accomplish this.
Don't know how I am going to pull THAT off but I'll give it a shot.  ;-)
Going into the new week here are the leftovers we have.....
Collards, Chicken Fajita fixings.
Here is this week's meal plan----

Sunday--Broiled Cod, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Coleslaw
Monday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Sugar Snap Peas w/Red Peppers
Tuesday--Chicken in Wine Sauce, Noodles, Broccoli
Wednesday--Hot Dogs w/Coleslaw, Red Potato Salad, Beans(for Hubs/#2 Son)
Thursday--Quiche(freezer), TBD Veggies
Friday--Mushroom Parmesan, Salad
Saturday--Breakfast for Dinner or Leftovers

That makes 6 new meals and 1 leftover or planned over meal.
As I only have enough turkey lunchmeat for 2 lunches so I'll be eating on leftovers for lunches this week after that is gone.

What I need to purchase for this menu?.......maybe some fresh produce or I'll just dig some veggies out of the freezer instead.

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