Monday, August 31, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Cleaning Up and Out" Edition--
It seems like all I did this week was clean.  But afterwards I looked around and nothing looked any better for my efforts!

Here is a success story from this weekend.....Hubs workbench in the garage.  I have been after him to clean/organize this for FIFTEEN YEARS!!!
It finally happened this weekend.
He finally got so fed up with not being able to find anything in/on/near it that he cleaned it out.
Stuff got moved if it shouldn't have been here and stuff got thrown out.
What was left got organized.
And I helped a bit since I was out there organizing/cleaning the stockpile shelves anyway. 
Onward to the meal planning!
Here's what was planned last week.......

1. Sunday--BLTs for lunch, Leftovers(I had squash and cornbread)for dinner
2. Monday--We might dine out, otherwise Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Chili, sauted mixed Veggies
4. Wednesday--Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
5. Thursday--Salmon, Scallops, sauted mixed Veggies
6. Friday--Lobster, boiled Potatoes, Corn on cob
7. Saturday--Hot Dogs, Potato Salad
And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--BLTs for lunch, Leftovers(I had squash and cornbread)for dinner
2. Monday--Chinese take-out
3. Tuesday--Barbecue on Rolls, Zuke in tomato sauce
4. Wednesday--Hubs had leftover Chinese, I had a big salad and garlic bread
5. Thursday--Grilled marinated Pork Chops, Leftover Cornbread, Leftover Squash Casserole
6. Friday--Chinese take-out It's our Anniversary!
7. Saturday--leftover take-out

Chili moves to this week, I didn't buy any lobster and even the hot dogs didn't happen.  I thawed pork chops, we had take-out TWICE and then we ate nearly all the leftovers in the fridge.
As for my grocery spending last week.....5 trips to Rite-Aid and 4 trips to Weis made $64.92 flow from my pockets.  Not bad considering I bought a TON of foodstuffs last week(mostly pickles, cheese, condiments, sour cream, bbq sauce, salad dressing and Kool-aid plus marked down meats).
August food spending now stands at $469.96 in a month where I set a $350 food budget.

Leftovers going into this week--a little barbecue and a little zuke in tomato sauce.  The bbq will get put into the freezer and the zuke will get eaten tonight.
I have a big bag of fresh mixed veggies and 2 bags of collards to use this coming week.
Here is this week's food plan--

1. Sunday--Collards, leftover zuke in sauce, fried Flounder
2. Monday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Zuke w/Tomato sauce, Garlic Bread
3. Tuesday--Mixed veggie Stir-fry, Garlic Soy chicken(using grilled chicken leftovers), Rice(for Hubs)
4. Wednesday--Chili(Hubs will have rice too)
5. Thursday--?
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

I have company coming sometime after Wednesday, but I don't know when they are arriving and for how long, so I don't have a plan yet.  Might buy something to cook, might cook what I have, might go out to eat.
Not sure yet.
Read the blog later this week to find out. ;-)

What I need to buy for this menu?......nothing.  After organizing the garage stockpile I find I am out of panko crumbs so I might buy those this week if the price is right.  Otherwise that can wait.
No great deals in the store ads this week so I don't foresee any grocery spending here unless I need to run out for something later in the week.
What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?    

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week? 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Precious

I've had my little purple Sonic now for just over 15 months now.

And it's mileage just passed the 10 thousand mile mark.

Yep, I don't do much driving compared to the mileage most folks put onto their cars.

At this rate the Sonic won't roll over 100 Thousand miles before it's 12.5 years old. ;-)

This could be the last car I ever buy......

We wont be taking it to the Reunion this year since we'll be hauling Eldest son and maybe the GF and it's kind of cramped for traveling with 4 adults.
But then again, Daughter wants to come visit and take me down to Fredericksburg in it to go visit her brother next weekend or the following weekend so it might get another road trip under it's belt before 2016 happens.

I know this is random but it's all my brain can come up with today. ;-)

Ok, time for lunch and then back to the garage to finish digging it out.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Friday and I am Done Shopping This Week

Somebody needs to come here and control me because I can't seem to stay out of the stores this week!

I did another round at Rite-Aid on Friday.
Same transaction as the last two, nothing OOP and added 800 pts. to Eldest son's card(well only added new 400 after deducting the old 400 pts. for the purchase)so that card has 1200 pts. now.

I may go back to Rite-Aid today for a second round of Jergens, Chapstick and bottled water on my card.  After sale/Qs I'll "spend" $7.44 on the gift card and get back 800 pts. which basically means everything is free, even the water.  I can really use the water and College Boy runs through Chapstick like nobody's business! 
Why not, right?

Then it was on to Weis.
I did the Kraft Deal and spent $3 OOP on all that stuff.
I also found 3 meat markdowns I bought.  After using the gift card, for the moldy cheese we returned last weekend, for this purchase I spend $10.90 OOP total for all.

You can see the film of that trip HERE.

I think I am done for the week. It seems like I've spent tons this week, but adding it up, all these trips this week only came to $64.92 for $225.32 worth of food. 
I am WAY over my food budget so I don't even want to think about that! ;-)

I've looked over the ads for the grocery stores for next week and I don't see anything I want.
I can certainly use a break from the stores after this week's binge.

We've got lots of cleaning to do today so with this, I am off for the weekend.

I hope everyone has a good couple of days and I'll see y'all Monday morning unless I get inspired Sunday to write something.  8-)


Friday, August 28, 2015

Wednesday & Thursday Shopping

I had received a Plenti card for Eldest Son's account at Rite-Aid back in the Spring when they went to the new system there, but hadn't activated it yet or linked it to the Wellness account.
That all changed on Wednesday when I took that card up to Rite-Aid to buy this stuff here..........

2 x Starbucks drinks on sale=$3.00
2 x Jergens natural glow lotion 20% wellness discount($2.23 ea.)=$4.46
2 x Chapstick lip balms BOGO50%=$2.98

Coupons Used
2 x $1/1 Starbucks drinks IPQ=$2.00
2 x $2/1 Jergens natural glow In-Ad Q(this Q can be used on the trial size 2 oz. bottles )=$4.00
Coupon Total......$6.00

$10.44-$6=$4.44 +.21¢tax=$4.65

I obviously don't have any Plenti points attached to this card so I used my freebie Rite-Aid gift card to pay, so Zero OOP.
I earned 800($8) in Plenti points(100 wyb2 Starbucks, 300 wyb2 Chapstick, 400 wyb2 Natural Glow).

I may go back today and do this transaction again today on this card(limit of 2 per card), spend 400($4) of my 800 pts., pay the .65¢ on the R-A gift card and earn 800 more pts., and that gives me a balance of 1200($12)in pts. on this card.

On Thursday I did this same transaction again using my Plenti card since I was at Rite-Aid anyway picking up an rx.

Just insert the photo above here since it's the same stuff. ;-)

I spent $4 of my $16 in pts., put .65¢ on the R-A gift card and earned 800 more pts.  My card now has 2000 pts.($20)on it.

I could do this transaction 1 more time on my card too, spending down the gift card by .65¢ more and earning another 800 pts., giving me a point balance of 2400($24).

But back to Wednesday........

Next it was up to Weis again for my regular Wednesday grocery shopping trip where everything I bought was on sale...........

All this came to $32.29.
The Kraft Deal--2 Kool-aid, 1 bbq sauce, 1 sour cream, 2 cheese singles and 1 Swiss cheese block was $2.50 for all after the deal.

The Pickles/Mustard Deal--5 jars of pickles and 1 bottle of mustard was $8 for all after that deal.

The bananas were .94¢ and I'll get an .18¢ rebate from Saving Star.

There are 2 bags of salad that were BOGO, a 2lb. bag of fresh mixed veggies 50% for $2.99, 2 bags of Collard Greens 50% for $2.98 total, a clamshell of spinach and arugula for 50% off($2), 3 day-old bakery items all 50% each($1.99, $1.99, $1.69), a marinated chicken breast $1.45 after instant $1 off sticker and a cooked whole lobster for $3.39 after instant $2 off sticker.

$77.42 worth of reg. retail groceries for $ another .18¢ back(Saving Star)makes it $32.11 OOP.
Savings rate of 58%.

Then since I was out and I can't seem to pass up a "deal", I went back to Weis(PMITA)Markets on Thursday........

All I did was the Kraft items deal(on the left)and the Pickles/Condiments deal(on the right).
I spent $8.18(.18¢ was tax)on all of this.
Savings rate of 77%.
Why yes, I'll take that! lolz

If you want to see the video and how this all broke down just go HERE for the film.

And that's all I got for now.
Is there another run to Weis today for more cheap shit?
Stay tuned to find out. ;-)



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Road Trip....Day 3 KY to TN

*Road Trip 2015 Day 3....or Time spent with The Brothers x 2, History(Lincoln and Otherwise) and Obnoxious Waiters*

Day 3 arrived and saw us waking up in a Holiday Inn Express in Campbellsville, KY.
A brief breakfast down in the lobby and we were off on our way.

We saw friends and visited 2 distilleries on Day 2.
Oh, I forgot to show y'all our passports............

These are the little books for the Bourbon Trail.  There are 9 distilleries on regular Trail and 9 more distilleries on the "craft" Trail and each Trail has it's own passport book for you to get stamped after visiting each distillery.
We now have 1 stamp on each book......

And here is the map of the 9 major distilleries on the Bourbon Trail........

So we had one more planned stop to make before leaving Kentucky and no it was NOT another distillery!

We somehow found the Abbey of our Lady of Gethsemani(also called just Gethsemani) near Loretto and New Haven KY.


You can take a retreat here on certain days during the year.

This is the public building that houses a museum of sorts and the gift shop.

They have information about the order and the monks who live here as well as a very well done informative film which runs constantly.

This was as close as I got to meeting a monk......

The brothers pray the Liturgy of the Hours 7 times throughout the day. 

3:15 am Vigils
5:45 am Lauds
7:30 am Terce
12:15 pm Sext
2:15 pm None
5:30 pm Vespers
7:30 pm Compline

The backbone of these services is the 150 psalms, sun or recited according to a 2-week cycle, so they basically sing their prayers 7 times per day(only 6 times on Sunday).
Add in celebrating Mass at 6:15 am and the Rosary at 7:00 pm each day and their days are truly devoted to God and prayer.

They are a self-supporting order as well.  In between all their Spiritual work they make food items to sell to the public(as well as make income with their retreats).  They also make many of their own supplies such as clothing, shoes and furniture.

The Abbey has a large gift shop selling all kinds of products both religious and not.  There was a wide selection of food and handmade products made by other Trappist orders throughout the world for sale there as well. 

I wanted some FUDGE made at Gethsemani but since it was hot out and we weren't going home for 2 weeks I didn't think the fudge who make it home(both due to the heat in the car and my lack of willpower not eating it all within the next 24 hours lol).

So I made due with a fruitcake, some pepper jelly(a gift for someone for Xmas)and a magnetic postcard for the fridge.  Hubs bought a couple of books, which is his "go to" souvenir purchase.

We could have attended the Sext liturgy at 12:15pm with the brothers in the chapel since we arrived right at noon but we opted out as we couldn't take that much time.

It is a very serene(well, except for the bus load of local high school students who arrived right after we did)and peaceful place. 
Here is a shot from the car of the chapel buildings.  There is a nice old cemetery next to it that I was itching to go wander through and snap some pictures.
Alas Hubs wouldn't let me do that either.....

If you are interested in knowing more about the Abbey of Gethsemani go HERE.

We then drove west on 31 East out of New Haven, KY toward Hodgenville.
Along that road we passed Knob Creek Farm..........

This was the home of Lincoln's parents.  They moved here from Sinking Spring Farm a few miles away when Abe was 2.5 years old.  Sinking Spring Farm is the site of a big old National Parks site but this site at Knob Creek along with the buildings was only given to the Parks Service in 2001.

It's 10 miles from the birthplace site.  The cabin here is not actually the one Lincoln lived in.  It's a neighbor's cabin, the Gollahers.  It was preserved and moved here to where the Lincoln's cabin was sited on the land.  In 1933 the larger building, the Lincoln Tavern was constructed in the old log style.  It was built to capitalize on the booming tourist trade around the whole Lincoln mystique.  The tavern had been a dance hall that served liquor but when LaRue county went "dry" it was turned into a museum and gift shop.  This property was put onto the National Historic Register in 1988 and stayed in private hands until 2001.
Unfortunately it was closed due to construction at the site so we didn't stop and I just pulled this photo off of Google maps.  It was a big old muddy, dug-up mess in person that day.

Then we passed through the center of Hodgenville, KY, passing more Lincoln museum's that you could shake a stick at......get me outta here!

This is Kentucky's Official Lincoln Museum.  We didn't stop(gee, I wonder why?lol).  It had life size dioramas with wax figures, newspaper clippings, etc.

We kept driving up Rte. 61 into Elizabethtown, KY and found this little gem located in the old public library building......

The Hardin County History Museum.  Finally something NOT Lincoln-Centric!

Luckily it was Tuesday and wasn't 2pm yet.
And free? Why yes please!

Of course we enter through the back door from the parking lot and not the front entrance and one of the first rooms I go in has this........

That's the actual door of the Lincoln cabin(doesn't say which one, Sinking Spring or Knob Creek).......figures, right? lolz
Evidently we entered and I went directly into the Lincoln Wing of their collection.
I just can't catch a break today, can I?

Lots of Lincoln-esque tchotchkes in there, both authentic and not.
What is this obsession this country has with Lincoln anyway?  It's like the country began and ended with him!

As you can tell I am NOT a fan..........

Off my mini-rant and back to my narrative--

Big displays in this room of Lincoln's ancestors.
Here is the one for his mother's lineage.........

Well THAT'S interesting! They claim his maternal grandfather was a James Hanks who lived in
the Hatt(now called Hat)Creek area of Campbell County.  Hat Creek is now within the town of Brookneal, VA
This is where many of my mother's family/ancestors were from and my mother was actually born in Brookneal.  My "peeps" were in Hatt Crek in the late 1700's when James Hanks were there. 

There is still much debate over Lincoln's real maternal ancestors.  There are 3 schools of thought on this question and no one of them has been proved to be his actual ancestry.
I'll make a post in the future on the Lincoln maternal controversy.

Moving on outta the Lincoln room, the museum had a reproduction of a typical pioneer era cabin inside the building.  I must say these early Kentucky Americans' living quarters were cramped.

Watch out Hubs!  There's rabid raccoon about to jump on your back! lolz

I spied this montage hanging over another display and grinned.

It tells the tale of the GREAT DIAMON HOAX of 1872.
Philip Arnold, from Elizabethtown KY, along with his cousins John Slack perpetrated a scheme to defraud many prominent businessmen of their money by investing in a diamond mine by showing them bags of diamond and other gems they said came from their land claim in Wyoming.

By the time this scheme was exposed it had ensnared General George S. Dodge, Horace Greeley, Asbury Harpending, General George McClellan, William C. Ralston, Baron von Rothschild, and Charles Tiffany.
Gotta love a couple of scoundrels who pull one over on big, important fellows.....

There were lots of old artifacts of Kentucky life through the centuries as well in this museum.
I especially loved this display of champer pots from the 1800's.......

And despite the political correctness that runs rampant in America today, they had a Confederate battle flag flying high.....

Some old guns, maybe even a Kentucky long rifle(a line of my ancestors has a close connection to that particular type of gun).........

Lots of interesting books in their gift shop section.  Most of the "stuff" souvenirs were geared toward children but I swear I did pick up a pin but for the life of me I couldn't find it once we got home.
Oh well.

Even though this museum was free they did take freewill offerings, so we put some cash into their donations jar.

As it was almost 2pm when we finished in the museum we grabbed lunch before we left the area.
I had brought a Longhorn gift card with me and we saw one nearby so we had a proper sit-down steak lunch.  With the gift card we were out less than $20 including tip for 2 nice steak dinners. 8-)

We stopped at a Kroger grocery store across the street after lunch for some drinks for the cooler when my nose was assaulted by the smell of fried dough and cotton candy...........

This temporary carnival was just setting up for a stay and they must have been firing up the food concession equipment that afternoon.  Thank goodness we had just eaten or I'd have been over there with a fist full of money demanding to be served something nasty and unhealthy to eat! 8-)

We set out on the Western Kentucky Parkway......

And when we got to Central City, KY we got off to get gas.

Driving through town we spied signs for a monument........

For the Everly Brothers.
Actually Don Everly was born in the now-defunt community of Brownie which is located nearby.
Phil was born in Chicago.
But Central City lays claim to being the home of this musical pair.

Me taking a selfie with the bros.  It's the nearest thing to being with them that I can do since Phil died in 2014.

If you don't know who these guys are, check this out to jog your memory...

Back on the road west, we crossed over the Tennessee River....

And then we cruised down into Tennessee....

Once we hit Union City it was getting dark so we found a motel to stop for the night and went next door for dinner at this place, Sassafraz.

This was a "trying to be upscale" restaurant with disappointing food.

Our waiter was a young kid(teen)who either was a kitchen worker who was pressed into serving us or just very inexperienced.
As he hovered over us, we were debating out loud if Hubs should order a raw oysters appetizer when the waiter said quite loudly to us, "Ewww, that's disgusting!"
Hubs decided to just get a salad at that point as I tried to stop snorting and chortling.

I ordered a crab cake appetizer and a chopped salad for my dinner.
The crab cakes(IF there was any crab in them)was served on a bed of fried spinach.....well, more like a bed of greasy limp burnt spinach onto which they had tossed some leftover veggies and some disgusting unknown sauce I had to scrap off the "crab cake".

A restaurant in a dinky little town in western Tennessee trying to be something it can't. So not worth the $37.81 we spent that's for sure!
Being the classy couple we are Hubs and I went back to the room for a little peach moonshine nightcap before turning in for the night.

Next up is Day 4-TN to AR.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I Went to Rite-Aid & Weis

Yes, shocking I know!
I actually went to Rite-Aid to get a freebie and some bottle water but ended up getting 2 other items as well once I got into the store.......

The bottled water(not pictures)was 2 cases for $4 and you go $1 back in Plenti Pts. so effectively it was $1.50 per case.  Best price around here now for bottled water.
College Boy carted all of my bottled water off to college so I needed to restock that.

The razor(pack of 4 disposables)was on sale $7.
There was an in-ad Q for $3 off which I combined with a $4/1 Manu. Q, making it free.

The Neutrogena soap was BOGO 50% off....$3.29 for one + $1.64 the other=$4.93 a pair and gave back $5 in Plenti Pts. per pair so effectively free.

The Suave 'Poo is 2/$6 and you get back $3 in Plenti Pts. when you spend $10 on this item.
So 4 bottles cost me $12(over the $10 threshold), minus 1 x $3/2 Suave ManuQ(from Sunday's inserts) + minus 1 x $3/2 Suave Load2Card Q.
$12-$6=$6 + $3 in Pts. back.
BUT.....there is a SavingStar electronic Q for $3/2 Suave 'Poos so I'll get $3 in a cash back rebate in that account making this deal $12-$6Qs=$6-$3 Pts.=$3-$3 Savingstar rebate=$0.
Free 'Poo!

Going into this transaction I had $16 in Plenti Pts.

At the register the money was like this.....
$32.86 Subtotal, Minus $13 in Qs, Equals $19.86.  I used $14 of my Points(since my items would give me back $14 in Points)which brought the total to $5.86 + .96¢ tax=$6.82.
I paid $6.82 with my Rite-Aid gift card.
I got $14 in new Plenti Pts.
I'll get $3 of the $6.82 I spent on the gift card back in a rebate, effectively making everything "cost" $3.82, which is basically 3/4 of the price of the cases of water plus tax.
$47.79 worth of regular retail goods for $3.82.

And I still have $16 in Plenti points.

The one good thing about this new Plenti Points system is that I don't have to "spend" my points within 2 weeks like with the +Up Rewards system.
So I don't have to buy anything every 2 weeks if I don't want/need to.  I have 2 years to spend these Plenti pts. which leads to a lot slower accumulation of toiletries/HBA items.
Instead of a trip at least once every 2 weeks, I can just go when I am either out of something(not happening anytime soon!lol)or if there is something free after sale/Qs/pts.

Much better plan all-around.

Of course the deals just aren't as good anymore so there's the downside.

Moving on............

I also stopped in at Weis while I was out.
There are 2 deals worth doing this week there for me and both are running off of reg. shelf/retail price and not the sale prices of the items!
1-low cost Vlasic pickles, Wishbone salad dressing and condiments.  The deal is spend $15 and get $3 instantly back.
We are totally out of yellow mustard and I "heart" pickles so those both were going to part of the deal I ran.
2-low cost assorted Kraft owned brands from Kool-Aid to coffee to cheese.  The deal is spend $20 and get $5 instantly back.
Can you say more cheap cheese like that week this past June?!?

I ran each deal once(limit of 1 offer per transaction)and ended up paying $1 an item for the pickle/condiment group and .50¢ an item for the Kraft group.

I made a video about this shopping trip and you can see it HERE.
Please excuse my grammar in it as I kept saying "was" in reference to plural subjects instead of "were".  I blame the lack of oxygen in the air here.  ;-)

As for the Kraft Deal at Weis, even if you have no coupons and just buy the Cracker Barrel brand cheese logs you'll spend OOP $5 on 5-8 oz. logs so $1 per item, making this $2 a pound for cheese.  Where else are going to pay that little for cheese??
So get to Weis this week and get your cheese on.....


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Good Week

Last week we had some good things happen around here.

* First the Daughter got approval for her MRI test from our insurance.  It took 1 request and 2 appeals to get them to pay for it.  She has chronic back issues and we finally got her to go to an orthopedist to get to the bottom of things.  I pray that nothing serious is found but if it is, then we can deal with it and finally get her healed.
We had thought we would have to pay out of pocket for this test ourselves but now we don't have to(other than any co-pays). 8-)

* On Thursday the second Amazon gift card arrives........

This was earned from staying at various Choice hotels this Spring/Summer.  If I have to stay in a motel I might as well get something for it, right?
The Amazon options were half the points of the other gift card options so I got double value.
I have almost enough points to cash out for another gift card and after we take out October trip with motel stay, that should earn me more than enough.

* I got an email that a check from Google was on the way for blogging revenue.  That's the third payment this year(well, the first one was actually earned the end of 2014).  It's a massive amount.....lololol....but at least it's something. ;-)

* Back in early June, before I filled the fridge with Kraft/Crack Barrel cheese bricks in the Weis Deal I bought some Weis branded cheese on sale.  Last week I went to take out of the fridge to open it to use and discovered that it was covered in mold....still sealed inside the package! lol  And the sell by date was the end of September.

So on Saturday it got carried back to Weis to complain and I got the cost back onto a gift card.....
* College Boy survived marching band camp last week and starts classes today.  He messaged me on F/B on Friday and told me that he won a scholarship from the fraternity he joined last semester.
Who knew his fraternity gave out academic scholarships?!?
Anyway he won it because he has the highest GPA of the members of his fraternity's chapter.
He still hasn't said how much it is but I am hoping it's at least enough to cover the ridiculous dues he has to pay to be in this thing! lolz

* And just because I am mean, here is a photo of my volunteer morning glory vines.

This one is for you Sonya Ann.  The poor woman can't purposely grow a morning glory to save her life evidently.....bwwaaahh!

So any good things going on in your life lately?


Monday, August 24, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Danged Critters" Edition--

This is a cute, fuzzy, baby bunny the rabbits living under our shed had this Spring.  He has grown well and has figured out how to get into my garden now. Argh!  He keeps finding ways to get through the fence and munch on my goodies despite my best efforts to outsmart him.  Soon he will be too big to get through the fence and that will be about the time the garden season is over for the year.

In other danged critter news--"Mr. Black Bear" has returned to the neighborhood to dine on our trash last week.  Hubs installed a homemade "anti-bear" system on the trash cans but Mr. BB returned a second time last week for dinner at Chez Sluggy.  Now the trash cans will have to live in the garage again and we'll hope Mr. BB will be satisfied with just dining at our next door neighbor's trash cans(which were 20 ft. away from ours), as neighbor refuses to put his cans in his garage for safekeeping.

Now the garage that I spent 2 days on cleaning and organizing is even more crowded with trash cans in it.  oh well.....
Onward to the meal planning!
Here's what was planned last week.......

1. Sunday--Eating Out(after lugging CB back to school)
2. Monday--Pork Chops w/Peach Glaze(have), Squash Casserole(have)
3. Tuesday--Various seafood(in freezer), Fried Zucchini(have)
4. Wednesday--Barbecue(leftovers)on rolls, Cole Slaw(have)
5. Thursday--Chicken Marsala(have), Tom and Cuke Salad(have)
6. Friday--Steaks(have), Corn on cob or leftover Squash
7. Saturday--Kielbasa or Meatballs on rolls(have), Beans(have)
And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Eating Out(Bob Evans, I had a big salad w/chicken)
2. Monday--Steak, Fried Zucchini(have)
3. Tuesday--Leftover Rotisserie Chicken, Squash Casserole(have), Cornbread(have)
4. Wednesday--Tomato and Cuke Salad(have), Hubs had leftover pizza, I had a BLT
5. Thursday--Barbecue on Rolls(leftover), Cole Slaw(leftover)
6. Friday--Baked Cod, Stuffed Clams, Zuke in Tomato Sauce
7. Saturday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Beans, Tomato and Cuke Salad

No pork chops or chicken marsala.  We had some more leftovers to use up(as well as an abundance of summer squash!) and we wanted some fish last week.

As for my grocery spending last week.....a trip to Sam's and a trip to Maine Source $82.15 + $21.28=$103.43
August food spending now stands at $401.29 in a month where I set a $350 food budget.
bleh.  It's not an insane amount to spend, we have the cash too, but I hate going over anyway.

Leftovers going into this week--kielbasa, beans, squash casserole, cornbread, tomato and cuke salad, barbecue, cole slaw, zuke in tomato sauce.
Here is this week's food plan--

1. Sunday--BLTs for lunch, Leftovers(I had squash and cornbread)for dinner
2. Monday--We might dine out, otherwise Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Chili, sauted mixed Veggies
4. Wednesday--Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
5. Thursday--Salmon, Scallops, sauted mixed Veggies
6. Friday--Lobster, boiled Potatoes, Corn on cob
7. Saturday--Hot Dogs, Potato Salad

What I need to buy for this menu?.....lobster, corn on cob.  Price Chopper had lobster for $5.99lb last week and I resisted, but they are still on sale this week and I will succumb.  Besides I have a $25 Price Chopper gift card to use. 8-)
I have the ingredients for the chili, the salmon, scallops, veggies, hot dogs and rolls and potatoes.

Not much tempting me this week at the grocery stores--maybe some pickles and Weis has another Kraft deal(more cheap cheese?  I may not as I still have tons left from the last deal. lol).

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

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week? 


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Too Good To Be True

Oh, I just remembered that I forgot to tell y'all about something that happened while we were looking for a place for Eldest Son to live in Fredericksburg, VA.

You know all those stories you hear about Craigslist and how it's full of scammers and people who use it to steal from people and even as a platform to find people to kill?
Well we had a brush with a scammer on there.

Granted nowadays even legitimate realtors and apartment complex managers use Craigslist to find people to rent their properties.
But you still have to be careful on there because not everyone is on the "up and up".

I found a listing when we were searching for possibilities--a house for rent for $800 a month.
A WHOLE house, fully furnished.
A 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house that included utilities in a gated community in Stafford VA.

I would show you the actual craigslist listing but it has been removed.

When I found that listing and passed it along to Eldest son to email them about setting up an appointment to see the property.

Eldest son got a reply from the "owner" of the house, who claimed to be a minister who was transferred to Texas and was now living in Texas somewhere with his family.  He said this meant he couldn't show Eldest Son the apartment.  He would have to rent the house and after he sent a money order to TX the "owner" would send him the keys.

After I passed along the listing to Eldest Son I had second thoughts about that listing.
Who the hell rents out a 3/2.5 house in a gated community fully furnished including all utilities for $800 in that area?!?
Eldest couldn't find a decent unfurnished apartment for $800 down there. lolz

Then I did a little more looking and I found that this house for "rent" was actually listed for sale on various MLS databases in the area.
HERE is the exact house that the supposed Minister in Texas was trying to rent out.

There was also a video of the listing on You Tube HERE.

Now thinking it IS possible that someone was trying to rent it out while it was for sale(as it's easier to sell a house if someone is currently living in it after all and a renter could keep up the lawn and keep it from sitting vacant and keep vandals away).

So I called the realtor and yep, it was a scam!

I guess it's a big thing now to find a house for sale, steal the photos and information and then put up an ad on Craigslist to rent it out and scam gullible people out of their cash.

When Eldest Son told me the guy couldn't show him the house I said, "Sure he can!  If he's legit tell him to have his realtor lend you the key to see it, because she still lives in the area
Of course after that the "minister" never responded to Eldest Son. lolz

Eldest son, subsequently to emailing about that listing, also turned up at least one more scam rental.
It's been, oh......1983.....since I've rented an apartment and my how the world has changed.  ;-)

You just can't be too careful these days!


Friday, August 21, 2015

"He Needed Killing"

Sometimes you turn up some rotten apples hanging on certain branches of your family tree.  And oh man!, have I turned up a wormy doozy!

Among my family lines on my mother's side is one with the surname REDMOND.

The first American Redmond on this line was William Redmon or Redman.
The only known facts are that this line was originally from Scotland and William was born in 1715(maybe Scotland, maybe Virginia) and died in June 1779 in Charlotte County, Virginia.  William would be my 6x Great Grandfather.

William is thought to have married 4 times including Sarah Dickson.  She is thought to be the mother of their son, Thomas Redmond, born in Charlotte County in 1733. 

It is known that this Thomas married Letitia "Letty" Williams who was 22 years his junior.  Their oldest surviving child was William Redmond(born in 1777)and their youngest child was James Redmond(born in 1796).  My 4 x great grandfather was Thomas and Letty's third youngest child, Robert H. Redmond(born about 1792 in Charlotte Co.)

Robert Redmond married Clarissa "Clara" Smith.  Clarissa is my mitochondrial DNA lineage(My mother's, mother's, mother's etc. line).  Clara was born in 1802 in Charlotte County and died 11 Apr 1862, living her entire life in Charlotte County, VA

Robert Redmond and Clarissa Smith married 20 Oct. 1819.  There were 7 known children from this union--Angelina, Louisa, Whitfield, Benjamin, Susan Elizabeth "Fannie", Robert and Abraham(known as "Abb").

My direct ancestor is their daughter Susan Elizabeth, born 1837 Charlotte County, VA and died 27 Sept 1873 at the age of 36.  She is my 3 x Great Grandmother.
"Fannie" married Wesley Baxter Foster 14 Oct. 1857 in Charlotte County.  Their oldest child was Luretta Louise "Lou" Foster, my 2 x Great Grandmother, who I have written about before, born in 1858.

Susan Redmond Foster's daughter, Lou Foster, is on the far right. 

But let's back up to  Susan's parents, Robert and Clarissa Smith Redmond, shall we?

According to records, Robert died from a shotgun wound in Nov. of 1859 and was believed to have been 67 at the time of his death which would put his birth date as 1793 or 1794.

His death is recorded in the Federal Mortality Schedule for 1860 Charlotte County.  His death date is Nov. 1859 and he lived out all his life in Charlotte County, VA.
The cause of death is listed as "shot by his son Abner". 
Abner was yet another nickname for the youngest Redmond son, Abraham, also called Abb.

This plot just got thick......

While digging through documents there was very little information on Robert Redmond.  The only federal censuses he is listed in are 1820 and 1840 and neither of those go into detail with names of additional family members, just the name of the head of household and number of people in the household. 

In 1850 Robert's farm/holdings are listed, the non-population schedule goods like cows, sheep, acreage, etc. but there is no reg. federal census in 1850 listings him or his family members.  In 1840 the ages/sex/race of the members of Robert Redmond's household lines up with what we do know about the make up of his family--8 "white" family members(2 adults, 6 children-the 7th child was born after 1840)and 14 "black" members(slaves).  By 1850 the Redmond farm consisted of 570 acres of land and was valued at $9K+ per 1850 dollars(In today's money that could be anywhere from $300K to $500K.)

The next record for Robert is his death in 1859 in that Mortality Schedule of 1860. 

Connecting back to Robert's generation and filling in the children of Clarissa and him has been problematic for me as the records are few and far between.  I can't find a single census with their family unit intact in 1850 or 1860-the first ones that list family members by name.

 So I had to rely on other family trees at first.  When I found Susan's death record I finally had her parents name's but filling in the names of her siblings was a long process of trial and error.

Fleshing out the 7 known children of Robert and Clarissa has been slow and tedious. Most I only have a death or a marriage record for them but  I have been able to piece together their lives or at least parts of most of their lives.

Abb was especially hard to pin down.
Given his approximate birth date of  1841 he would have been of age to enlist in the War Between the States yet no record can be found that he ever served in the military.

Unless he was disabled in some way and was exempted from service in the military most Southern men between the ages of 15 and 40 served either in the regular troops or in a home guard of some sort and records were kept.  As the war dragged on and casualties mounted the younger and older men were called to serve due to the substantial inequity in the numbers of men in the Confederacy compared to the North.

No land transactions came up either for Abb.  The lone federal census he is listed in is for 1880.
Abb is listed alone with no other family members.  His birth date is 1834 and he is 46 years old.   He is listed as married and his occupation is farmer.
But then it says he's a prisoner.....what?

Then I found him on a 1880 Schedule of Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes which confirmed for me that on 1 Jun of 1880 Abb was indeed in jail in Charlotte County.

I figured he had a run in with the law, how bad could it have been, right?  Nothing led me to believe that he wasn't anything except a model citizen otherwise and this imprisonment was a lone incident in his life.

Next I found a death record which confirmed his parents, the name of his wife and his birth date and death date.

He died on 31 Oct. 1893.

No kind of research turned up a marriage record for Abb and E.S. nor any federal census record with them living in the same household.
Why of why doesn't this guy turn up in any records I kept asking myself?!

And then the other shoe dropped when I found a newspaper article someone had posted online.
And it explained quite a lot about my Abb Redmond!
When I read it my jaw about hit the floor.

Let me just post the article word for word here----you HAVE TO read this!

The Notorious Abb Redmond Taken From His Captors
He is alleged to have been the worst man that ever lived in Charlotte County.
Some of his crimes.

Notorious Abb Redmond, the worst man that ever lived in Charlotte County, came to his death last night at the hands of a mob.  He was arrested yesterday at daybreak by an officer and a dozen assistants, which was one of the few times he was every captured without trouble.  He mistook the officer for a friend.  A few days ago, he was after a negro to kill him and caught the wrong one by mistake, but did not let him go without having beaten him nearly to death.  He was taken before a justice of the peace, but for want of evidence was acquitted.  Later, after threatening some of the best citizens in the vilest manner, he acknowledged he was the man who served the negro so shamefully and only waited an opportunity to kill the right one.  The prisoner was taken to Dupres and was tried by Justices Boothe and Crafton, and after a day spent in looking up witnesses he waived the trial by the Justice and was sent on to jail.
It being night, Constable Crutcher was ordered to take the prisoner to his house, which was on the way to the court-house, under the guard of three men, Messrs. Hamilton, Driggs and Haynie.  they arrived safely at Crutcher's house without any sign of disturbance.

About 11 o'clock two of the guards were asleep and one on duty, when all at once the door was broken in with a crash and all hands were covered with guns and pistols.  Without a word the prisoner was taken out.  It was a thoroughly organized crowd, every one knew his place, and in less than a minute everything was a quiet as before the mob came.  One of the guards when asked the number replied: "Don't know: they came into the light like men coming up out of the ground and disappeared in like manner."
This morning the body was found by a negro on Crutcher's place swinging from a tree, white with frost.  A coroner's inquest was held and the verdict was "Redmond came to his death by the hands of a mob of unknown men.".

His life was full of deeds of the blackest hue, with but few good ones to counteract the bad.  The community was in a state of terror while he lived.  Everyone feared his fiendish ways, and no one knew when he would become his victim.  Punishment seemed to have no effect on him.  He would come back from prison as soon as his stripes were off and would return to his fiendish ways.  No one felt safe around him.  If a cow or a horse crossed his place he would often shoot it down.  Redmond was a man of means, and his whole fortune was spent in paying lawyers.  This man's bad career began when he was but a boy.  Some hot words passed between him and his old father.  Shortly afterwards the old man was walking along with his gun on his shoulder, when he was suddenly shot dead by Abb from behind the corner of a fence.  With the aid of the ablest lawyers this was proven to be in self-defence. 

Later a negro was missing, and after a short time his body was ploughed up.  This was proven to be the work of Redmond, and with the aid of the ablest lawyers in the state he got off with a few years in prison.  Then came the burning of the house of one of our best citizens. Redmond confessed to the burning, but through technicalities proved that it was his own house.  Shortly after this the same man had a number of his barns burned.  Later a neighbor had a few words with Redmond, and in a day or two, four of his horses were poisoned.  An old negro was cut almost to death by Redmond, and for this crime he got two years in prison.  When he came back he professed religion, joined the church, and pretended to lead a new life, but no sooner were his disabilities removed then he went back to his old ways. 
He had a way of putting his neighbor's hogs into his field and killing them, along with his own, and everyone was too much afraid of him to attempt to regain them.  These are but a few of his many crimes. 
This morning, while but few think his last deeds justified death, all agree it is a good thing to be clear of such a character.  Many of the old citizens say now they can live in peace, a thing not known to them for years.  While all good citizens deplore the horrible deed, yet all admit that it is a happy riddance.


Holy Cow!

If the phrase "He needed killing" was EVER true, it applies to my 3 x Great Grand Uncle Abb Redmond.

I have since learned that Abb's wife's name was Emma Redmond and she was his cousin.  Emma was the daughter of Ab's older sister Louisa Redmond and her husband Thomas Redmond which means that Abb was his wife Emma's uncle and Abb's sister, Louisa, was his mother in-law and he was a cousin of his wife's father Thomas as well.
Emma's parents, Louisa and Thomas, were also cousins as well as husband and wife.

*Tune up "I'm my own Grandpa" here.....*

The theory is that Abb and Emma had to leave the state in order to marry as their bloodlines were too close.  The closest state was North Carolina, Granville County area.  And one or both of them lied on the marriage license too to avoid being questioned about their consanguinity, so we'll never find that document for sure.

So far no children have been found for Abb and Emma Redmond.  They'd probably all have 9 toes and 3 eyes anyway with all their shared genetics.  ;-)

Now given Abb's predilection for murder and/or torture one could go so far as to say that he was a racist of the first degree.
But then again, I sort of feel that if all things were even he'd had murdered/tortured anyone no matter their race.  At the place, in that time in rural Virginia it was just probably much easier to get away(even in court)with killing a negro.
I do think that Abner Redmond was just a bonafide homicidal sociopath.

And what I find so ironic in all this is that Abner Redmond is listed in a book, "Lynchings in the New South" and in various other databases online of documented lynchings, along side mostly African American victims of this crime.
He is immortalized as a victim along with countless other "true" victims of heinous crimes when, in his case, his punishment fit his crimes.

I feel I need to get to Virginia and do some poking around at the local courthouse there for more details of the sordid life and times of Abb Redmond.
Who knows?.....there may be a book in all this.

Sometimes when you start looking into your ancestry you find way more than you bargained for!



Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Life This Week....Stepping Back

It felt nice the last two days not to be pressured into posting something when I had nothing that was "publish ready" yet and I just didn't feel like producing reading material.

Sometimes we all need a little me time, right?
I'm not an introvert but I do have times when "I vant to be alone".

These blog posts aren't something I just pull outta my ass(though on occasion they do seem like it).  I do actually edit and rewrite and add photos, video clips, links.
And all that my dears takes time, sometimes more time than I can find.

So here are the last few days here at Chez Sluggy---

After getting College Boy back to school I went up into his room Sunday and started digging out........

Thank your lucky stars this photo is a distance shot and there is no "smell-o-vision" on your computer. 8-)

There is just a whisp of a black garbage bag at the bottom of the photo.  It was already pretty full when I got into his room and by the time I was done that day it was bulging. 

I took all his clothes that he left in his dresser, sorted, folded and put them back in NEATLY.

I also had to go through a mountain of unmatched socks and discovered that the boy has a dislike for throwing unusable socks out.

This is the pile of 15 holey sox that I culled from the herd.

I washed the bed linens, changed the sheets and emptied numerous half full water bottles.  I still need to vacuum the floor, clean off all horizontal surfaces, pick up garbage all over the floor and clean out whatever is lurking under the bed.
I may be done by the time he comes home in November.  8-P
Not because it's THAT BIG of a job but because I just don't want to do it.
Would you?

Sunday evening I made a "To-Do" List before I went to bed...........

I posted my Monday regular menu post and went to my eye appointment.

It went well though I did wait almost until noon to be seen. My left eye is great and the right one is on target and almost fully healed up.  After a check my vision is now somewhere between 20/10 and 20/15.
Better than 20/20 and I don't need glasses to drive anymore?
Yes, Please!!

Of course the eye doc tried her darndest to sell me on getting a pair of prescription bifocal glasses since I still need glasses to see up close now.  The lower part of the lens would be the magnification part and the upper would just be clear glass.  We have a "Cadillac" eye care plan so I'd not have to pay anything out of pocket for a prescription pair(if these sort of glasses qualify for reimbursement)but then I'd be back to glasses on my face all. the. time.

Maybe I'll just get a chain and be one of those little old ladies who wears her glasses around her neck....

For now wearing my readers on my head is working out fine.

After the eye doc I went to Maine Source since it is right down the street.

$21.28 later and I was out of the store.
I bought a watermelon, a few Roma tomatoes(for BLT making-not traditional for this purpose but they looked nicer and were cheaper than the reg. tomatoes), a 2lb. bag of mozzarella(CB ate all I had at the house before leaving) and 2 x 4lb. bags of assorted veggie blends.  The frozen veggies came out to $1.50 lb. on sale so I couldn't pass that up!

Then I stopped in at Sam's Club to return a stapler we bought last week for College Boy before we realized that I had a spare one in my school supplies stockpile under the bed.

Remind me NOT to return stuff anymore because before getting out of there I spent another $82.15 on groceries.

2 large bags of pecans, a massive bag of prunes(the prune-so under rated! lol), 2 tubs of cream cheese, a package of steaks, a package of ground beef($3.28 lb never happens at the grocery stores here anymore!!)and a large tub of deli meats.

My August food spending now stands at $401.29.
Yeah, I suck sometimes at staying on budget.......

I stopped and paid the car insurance bill at the agent's office before arriving home.  We are now down to 3 cars on our insurance as Eldest son's car is now in HIS name and he has his own policy.
This change didn't save us anything(well, maybe the registration fee each year which we were still paying)because Eldest has been reimbursing us for his part of that bill for 2 years now.

His car insurance(he's not 25 yet)went up having his own policy, which he knew would happen, but he wasn't prepared to pay personal property tax on the car when he registered it in VA(they don't charge that here in PA).

Finally got home unloaded the car and put everything away......put on the a/c and collapsed.
It was one of the hottest day of the year in these parts on Monday.

I threw a couple of steaks on the grill and made fried zucchini for dinner that evening.
After that I put my feet up in the recline and just vegged out the rest of the night.

Tuesday morning I checked out the garden and picked 2 more yellow squash......

Garden Harvest is up to 7.48 lbs. with over 7lbs. of that being yellow squash. lolz

I considered clearing/cleaning out the pantry(also on my "To-Do" list).......

It's such a mess in there!  Once I pull out all the opened bags of goldfish crackers and Doritos College Boy left it will still mean work.

But I sat outside instead and did nothing for a long while.

Came inside to face all these squash.......

So I started in on making squash casserole for dinner.  I also made a cornbread and heated up the leftover rotisserie chicken pieces later that evening and called it a meal.

I had a mini-meltdown Tuesday afternoon and posted on the blog.  After dinner and clean-up I either vegged in the recliner or disappeared down that suck hole that is genealogy/find a grave research.

Wednesday found me up early again(couldn't sleep)and dreading doing anything on my list.
So I didn't do anything on it.

I disappeared down that familiar suck hole of "you know what" instead.
I listened to music.
I rode the exercise bike.
I did laundry.
I sat outside in the heat(under shade).
I let my mind wander and thankfully it didn't leave altogether. '-)

I guess I just needed some down time with no expectations for awhile.
A lull after the craziness that has been this Spring/Summer around here--2 eye surgeries, 1 kid home from school to deal with, assisting another kid with a life change, absorbing the drama in the daughter's life, trying to get projects done around the house, trying to maintain the house, cooking at home(mostly)for Hubs, traveling for fun and not-so-fun and trying to live a healthier lifestyle(exercise, changing food habits, etc.).

It all gets to be too much keeping all the plates spinning sometimes.
I think the answer is to put less pressure on kinder to myself.
Don't feel it's a race to get stuff done.

It will all get done eventually.

To-Do Lists are a double edged implement.
They can be great helpers to get and keep you organized.
But they can also put pressure on you to perform.

How many times have I looked at my To-Do List and not seen enough or ANY items crossed off of it and felt anxiety over this?
Too many.

Life is not a competition with others or with yourself.
I need to lessen the expectations I have on myself.
I ain't 25 anymore and I can't expect physically to do what I once was able to do.
Well I CAN do it but who wants to maintain a frantic pace at my age?
Not me!

What this all means is that I might not be posting quite so much as before.
Or my posts will be more "pop-in quickies" and thankfully brief(hahaha, like I can do that!)and now and again I'll churn out a big mega-sized post(hahaha I know how you all love THOSE!!).

So I am off for now to either go clean a bathroom or the pantry.
Maybe I'll flip a coin.
And if I don't finish it today......who cares.

And I WILL have an adult beverage at some point later today.
Maybe that's my problem....I haven't had anything to drink in over a week! 8-)