Friday, March 30, 2012

Fabs Abs Friday Tribute

SonyaAnn always posts a cute guy(or at least his cute body parts!lol)on her blog each week.
It's called Fab Abs Friday.

Go check it out sometime if you are into eye candy.
It's fun and frivolous and by Friday, don't we all need frivolous really?

I've told her many times what makes a guy good looking for me.
Sleek physiques or good hair and chiseled faces do it for some.

But for me?
I can get turned on by any man as long as he can do the dishes, clean the floor and do the laundry.

Ok, so maybe this Calendar is a better idea.......

Or even these Postcards called "Porn for Women"......

I hear the one of the guy scrubbing the toilet is really hot!

But beyond a man who can do chores without being reminded, do you know what turns me on??

A man who can......

And if he can tap dance and strip at the same time?....even better.

And if that hoofer is also a famous actor whom I love, well baby, that's got my name written all over it!!

Here's my contribution to Fab Abs Friday......enjoy!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Wearing of The Grey

 *Get ready to hit the Unfollow Button*

I've been immersed the last couple of days in my genealogy stuff.

Genealogy is like a big jigsaw puzzle of history, but on a personal level.
You find clues to people by finding someone and leapfrogging around and back to another person.

Like yesterday.
I spent 5 hours, tracing the movement of 4 generations of a family, both moving physically in the world and moving through the changes in the family structure that is brought on by time.

All this tracing and cross referencing of 8 decades of a family's members to try to find where someone in that grouping would cross over into the path of the particular person I wanted to find.
Sometimes if you can't find a person directly, you can locate them in this way.

But it was not to be in this case.

I could look at it as a waste of 5 hours but since I am fascinated by people's lives from the past
and I thoroughly enjoyed myself poking around in their closets, I am ok with it.

Currently I am noodling around in my mother's side of the family.  Her side is the one that has deep roots in America.
By deep I mean pre-Revolutionary times.  Not all but quite a few branches...or should that be
And most, if not all are in Virginia.

My roots are country roots, not city roots.  Many of them were planted in south central VA, in the Campbell and Charlotte Counties of the state.  The land of farms and rural life.

Here's a bridge over the Falling River(a branch of the Roanoke River)....

And here's an old mill on the Falling River, called Harper's Mill....
My grandfather was born a Harper.  That grist mill belonged to someone in our Harper family.  Many of the Harpers I am descended from were millers by trade.

I found myself out of one of the limbs on that side of my tree yesterday and I had progressed back to the 1860's era.
1860's as in Civil the South.
And I have begun to unearth(bad pun)Confederate soldiers in the family.

Due to my ancestors involvement in the Civil War and also how I find myself connected to and how I feel about that whole time in history I have been exploring that era of our nation's history anew.

And I want to say that the teaching of American history to our children is sorely lacking in this country.
The amount of time the school's spent on teaching history was a lot longer during my generation than it is in today's schools.
What my 2 college student kids were taught up to Grade 12 was barely anything compared to what my generation was expected to know.
And I am finding what the last kid I have in high school is being taught is so dumbed down, it's ridiculous.  And he goes to one of the best(credentials of teachers/test scores) public schools in this region!

History is NOT considered important in the schools anymore since knowing/learning it doesn't directly help you find a job when you graduate.  And that's what they concentrate on nowadays in high school.....on teaching to the test and vocational learning.

But it IS still important if you want to be an informed member of society.
You need to know what happened in the past so as to know who you are and how to NOT repeat the mistakes your ancestors made.

And though my generation did indeed spend more time on history as a subject in school, we were focused on all the wrong things.
We were drilled on knowing dates, events, names....the WHOs, WHATs, WHEREs.  Not enough time was spent learning about the WHYs of history.

Why things Why the Civil War happened.

The textbooks of my youth were very general in their whys, and some whys where ignored or downright incorrect or just missing.
And as a Southerner I am going to tell you something about all those pages in your history textbooks won't.

That the North, being the victor in That War Between the States, they got to decide on how this era would be recorded and how the history would be written and passed down to future generations.
The names, dates and facts may be correct but the whys are colored and skewed toward the victor's side.  Or pieces of the Whys are totally missing if the 'powers that be' thought those parts would make them look bad to posterity.  While the South had better generals, the North had better SPIN DOCTORS when the war was over. ;-)

The WHYS of history is not so simplistic.
There isn't good or black or white.
History is shades of grey at best.

As a Southerner I was/am always made to feel less than, especially when the Civil War came up.
Not just personally by folks I've met from "Up North" when I was a kid, but from the textbooks in my school down to films, songs, books and other aspects of our national culture.
Being a Northerner was good, being a Southerner was bad.  The South had slavery so that made us evil.
I guess it's easier just to label us the bad guys and ignore the complicity of the North in that whole economic system.  It's easier to think yourself superior to someone else and look down upon them.

Not to start a new war here but there are many folks out there who harbor many misguided notions about the South.
About who we are/were.....about our history.
And just because "we" like a certain flag and song, it doesn't make "us" racists.
It's been almost 147 years since the war ended and I still find myself having to fight the battle some days when I hear some ignorant opinion fly out of someone's mouth up here in Yankeeland.

Being from the South is complicated.

Events going back to the Tariff Act of 1828(bonus points if you even know what this was)have changed the course of our nation's history.
And until this country can have an intelligent dialogue about how the South was treated since before the founding of the first colonies through today, we are doomed to relive and repeat the past.

Sluggy-Proud daughter of Virginia

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Food Shopping Trip.....Don't Look SonyaAnn!

This will upset reader SonyaAnn....not because I got some ok deals but because of what I got the deal on.
Fortunately for her, she doesn't live near the store I got this deal from so it's all good. ;-)

I thought I'd be boring today and show you what I just bought at the grocery store.

First I have to show you this.....
This is a sheet of store coupons that was wrapped around my local independent ShurSave grocery flyer at the beginning of March.  It's a bunch of store coupons for items they carry and they are good for the entire month of March.
Now, always thinking moi realized that I should KEEP this flyer wrap of coupons and not throw them out when I threw out the sales flyer into the recycling pile.
And always thinking moi realized that I should grab about 12 sales flyers that week with this wrapper of coupons, so I would have 12 more copies of these coupons to hang onto and wait for these items to go on sale during the month, because only a couple of them were on sale the week the coupons were on the flyer.
I figured the store wouldn't keep printing the same coupons each sales week and wrap each week's flyer with them.....and I was correct!

So I clipped those coupons and set off to the store today.

Let's begin with this.....

I LOVE Blue Bunny ice cream.
The Cherry Bordeaux with dark chocolate chips is orgasmic!

But the grocery store hasn't had it on sale all month and it wasn't in the ad for this week either.
But there was a $3 WYB3 cartons coupon on that sheet.
And guess who saw a big old sign hanging on the ice cream case door--Blue Bunny on sale 3 for $10.
So after my $3 coupon I paid $7 for 3 cartons-that's $2.33 each?

I just may have to buy that second freezer this week..... ;-)

I also bought this.....
Instant Catalina Deal--Buy 7 select Heinz products, Get $5 off your order.

The Classico sauce was $2 ea. on sale.
The Bagel Bites were $2 ea. on sale. (For #2 Son)
The Ore-Ida onion rings were $3 on sale. (For #2 Son)
Subtotal of $15.
One of my store coupons was for Ore-Ida products, $1/1.
Grand total after coupon and instant discount......$9.00 for all 7 items.

Again, #2 Son has put in a request for more Bagel Bites and Sweet Potato Fries and you never can have too much pasta sauce so we'll seriously be needing that 2nd freezer.

I also bought this.....
2 x Salad Kits on sale $1.99 ea.(My lunch for the next couple days.)
1 x On-Cor Meat thing on sale $3.(I don't feel like cooking from scratch
1 x block of Provolone Cheese on sale $2 (I never see Provolone cheese outside of the deli here and it's much higher than this price.)
2 x Gala apples on sale .99¢ lb.(I need these for a pie I am baking this week.)

I have a $1/1 store coupon from that sheet for the On-Cor as well, so that was $2 in the end.

All together, it was $51.43 worth of stuff for $24.85 OOP.  51.70% savings rate with just sale prices, store coupons and that instant cat deal.

I am just turning into a food spender, aren't I?
What good deals have you gotten lately?


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

Here's a NEW POST for Sluggy's Boring Blog Giveaway Box......Enter Now!

Just to recap, I put things in the box(mostly what I have gotten for free or almost free)each week and when the box is filled we draw a winner from all the entries received.

This lot of goodies FILLED THE BOX, so this is your last chance/week to enter to win this stuff!

Here is what went into the Box today.....
1. Got 2B Hair Gel
2. Mentos Lemonade Gum
3. StayFree thin pads
4. Aveeno Lotion
5. Nivea Lip Balm(cherry flavor)

This makes a total of 18 high quality items you win if I pick your name! (Except if you live in Canada, see the rules about that.)

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

Time to enter.....You can enter on this Giveaway post only.

1 entry per person per day on THIS POST.  Leave your name/email addy and a COMMENT on any topic you wish for a valid entry on THIS POST, not on any of the previous weeks' posts. There will be a link on the top of the side bar to the current Giveaway Post so you can find it easily.

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

There are 2 ways to get extra entries and  you can do these 2 each this week!....

1. Put my blog on your blog's Blogroll.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with the URL of your blog so I can make go check it out. If I'm already on your Blogroll, say so in this extra comment/entry.
2.  Blog about this Giveaway on your blog or on a Message Board.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with a link to your blog post or the message on the board.
So you get your basic entry, you can get another entry for having/putting me on your blog's roll and/or for blogging about the giveaway PLUS you can leave 1 comment per day additional on this post for a daily bonus entry.

That's 1 basic entry each day for the next 8 days, 2 additional entries if you blog about or put me on your blogroll and 8 bonus daily entries for the next 8 days=a possible 18 entries for everyone this week.
I will close this post to comments at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 4th 2012.
The winner will be announced the next day or two when I get time to count all the entries, draw a name randomly and post it to the blog.

Any questions?  Just email me.

Happy Entering!! 


Word From Judy.....She Lives!

I just heard from Judy of "Finally Frugal and Happy".

She is fine so stop worrying!

She wanted me to tell y'all that she needed to take a break but she'll be back, up and running when she deals with some stuff in real life.

Stay tuned to this blog channel for updates as they come in.....we are the official Judy Watch Channel.   ;-)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Food Spending Week 3, Meal Plan March Week 4 + More!

Onward to the Meals and Food Spending. 8-)

Last week's meal plan is in the books. Here is what actually happened....

SUNDAY--Chicken Fajitas
 MONDAY--Taco Bell
TUESDAY--Burritos, Corn
WEDNESDAY--Leftovers Fajitas
THURSDAY--Chinese Take-Out
FRIDAY--Fish, Stuffed Clams, Mixed Veggies, Kraft Mac&Cheese(aka crack)
SATURDAY--homemade Pizza
Things I used last week that I had bought the previous week.....colored bell peppers, onions, stuffed clams, Kraft mac&cheese(got for free at Rite-Aid).  This is to show you that I do use all those things I buy each week that I don't use the week I necessarily buy them. ;-)

The weekly food spending was $55.01 this past week.

I again, went to Weis "PoundYouInTheAss" Markets for groceries as I had another week of Grand Re-Opening Qs.  I got free 2ltr. soda(#2 son is happy), free bag of potato chips(hub's is happy), 1/2 price muffins(#2 son ditto), and $5 off when I spent $50(Momma is happy!lol).

There was an Instant Catalina Deal on certain Heinz products-5 off instantly WYB $20 in products(which was based on the reg. shelf price, not the sale price).  I bought 6 bottle of Log Cabin syrup-the NO HFCS kind.  On sale for $2.99 a bottle but after Instant Cat, each bottle cost me $2.16.
I also bought produce(cabbage, celery), 2 bags of cheese, rolled pie crust, whipped cream in a can, 3 boxes of pasta($1 per) and a 12-pack of soda--all store brand.  Then a big pack of ground beef with a $3 store sticker on it and a key lime pie, well, just because it was on sale and it looked good and we wanted crap.
Not-So Brief  Deal Hunting Interlude
And from the Annals of "PAY ATTENTION TO STUFF WHEN YOU SHOP" is my deal of last week--
6 boxes of Angus Burgers.
We were perusing the frozen chicken/meats case and I spied these babies in the top corner of the case with $3 Instant Discount Qs stuck to them.
They are 2 lbs. of Angus Beef Burgers from Hormone-free, vegetarian-fed steer.
Reg. price at Weis?
$9.99 per box, each box has 6 burgers.
So $3 off makes then $6.99, which is a much better price.
I had Hubs get me 2 down to stick in my cart.
Not the sort of thing I buy(per-formed burgers), but at that price this would be a good thing to have in my freezer for #2 son, for those nights he doesn't want what I am fixing for dinner or for a weekend meal or after school snack.  It is something he can/will make for himself and I am ALL ABOUT getting teens to cook for themselves one way or another.  This would be the one way.  ;-)

So we get to the register and I notice that the 2nd box of burgers rings up as a BOGO....yes!
I paid $9.99 for 2 boxes instead of 1.
Evidently there was also a BOGO on this product but there was NO SHELF TAG.
Either that or it HAD BEEN a BOGO but whoever programs the computer, didn't change the price back after the sale.   Either way, as a customer at Weis PMITA Markets, I am entitled to the price it rings up for per their own policy.

So with 2 x $3 instant Q deducted, I got 4 lbs. of burgers for the wonderful price of $3.99.
That's $1 a pound for hoity-toity meat!!!
KA-ching Baby!!

So you KNOW what I did, don't you?
I sent Hubs back to the frozen meat case to buy 4 more boxes of this stuff.
So that's why I have 12 lbs. of pre-made burgers sitting in my freezer.

Moral of never know WHERE you will find a Deal and you won't find them unless you keep open to what is around you.
Burgers were not something I went into the store to buy, but by paying attention to what was in the store & what I was charged at the register(and a little luck) I found something I can use and that was practically free.

It's the 26th day of the month and I've already spent $400.64  my food budget for the month!   I do have $476.80 in the kitty with the $300 for this month and the leftover from Jan. and Feb.'s kitties.

I had to feed some leftover turkey to the dogs this past week, as nobody here would finish it and I'll be damned if I'll throw perfectly good food away!
So that is the end of me roasting turkeys.....well, except for 1 at Thanksgiving.  The rest of the year?....the people here are shitoutofluck. ;-)

Going into March Week 4+ I have leftovers--a little bit of corned beef, a little more cabbage from the week before.  As of Monday, everything that was cooked this past week is gone.

This week's menu.....

MONDAY--Rigatoni w/meat sauce, Salad
TUESDAY--Breakfast for Dinner
WEDNESDAY--Tuna Noodle Casserole
THURSDAY--Shrimp, Cornbread, Coleslaw

This menu gives us 4 new meals, 2 nights of leftovers and 1 ? meal.  "? meal"= might go out to Bob Evans, might get take-out, who knows!lol
 Items needed to buy for this menu are....nothing.  I've got everything here already in the freezer or the pantry, except for the unknown meal, if we don't go out to eat that night.
We'll be buying milk as usual.

So far I don't see any stocking up opportunities, but then again, I haven't looked yet.  I do have another set of Grand Re-Opening Qs for "you know where".  Don't know yet if I'll use them.

So what is everyone else eating this week?



This is getting to be like a Where's Waldo thing.
Judy's blog is missing....again!

And yes, we love her more than the Shamwow!

I just shot off a second email to Judy of "Finally Frugal and Happy" blog and of the dear departed "We May Be Poor But We Are Happy" blog as well.

If you have probably noticed, Judy's blog is MIA on Blogger.
And from the people commenting on my blog looking for her, I don't know yet what happened to her.

If she doesn't answer my emails I'll send her a snail mail.  She's a bit too far for me to just drive down to Philly and show up on her doorstep.......NOT that I am not tempted to do so.....!

I'll updated when I get word so don't panic yet.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

You Is Kind, You Is Smart, You Is Important....

A few weeks ago I rented the movie "The Help" and viewed it.  I pretty much got emotionally involved with the characters in that movie and found myself balling like a baby while watching it.  I watched it again and had the same reaction.
At first I thought the story line dealing with racism was what was behind my reaction.
But with time, I discounted that theory.

Now, if you KNOW me, you know that I am not an emotional person.  That is to say, that I don't wear my heart on my sleeve and I don't break down into tears at the sight of puppies or the thought of sad or troubling situations, like the characters in The Help were involved in.

I grew up a white daughter of a middle class family in Southern Virginia in the 1960's and 1970's.  So I am well aware of what society was like during the time period that The Help takes place in.
But my strong reaction wasn't due to the racial tolerance/acceptance issues explored in the film.
It was something else.

And I finally figured out why I had the reaction I did to the film.
It's because of this throw-away, minor character......
The little girl, Mae Mobley Leefolt.

Yes, I figured it out.....I AM Mae Mobley!

Here is an excerpt for the book, THE HELP,  by Kathryn Stockett.......

"August 1962
Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960. A church baby we like to call it. Taking care a white babies, that's what I do, along with all the cooking and the cleaning. I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime. I know how to get them babies to sleep, stop crying, and go in the toilet bowl before they mamas even get out a bed in the morning.

But I ain't never seen a baby yell like Mae Mobley Leefolt. First day I walk in the door, there she be, red-hot and hollering with the colic, fighting that bottle like it's a rotten turnip. Miss Leefolt, she look terrified a her own child. "What am I doing wrong? Why can't I stop it?"
It? That was my first hint: something is wrong with this situation.
So I took that pink, screaming baby in my arms. Bounced her on my hip to get the gas moving and it didn't take two minutes fore Baby Girl stopped her crying, got to smiling up at me like she do. But Miss Leefolt, she don't pick up her own baby for the rest a the day. I seen plenty a womens get the baby blues after they done birthing. I reckon I thought that's what it was.
Here's something about Miss Leefolt: she not just frowning all the time, she skinny. Her legs is so spindly, she look like she done growed em last week. Twenty-three years old and she lanky as a fourteen-year-old boy. Even her hair is thin, brown, see-through. She try to tease it up, but it only make it look thinner. Her face be the same shape as that red devil on the redhot candy box, pointy chin and all. Fact, her whole body be so full a sharp knobs and corners, it's no wonder she can't soothe that baby. Babies like fat. Like to bury they face up in you armpit and go to sleep. They like big fat legs too. That I know.
By the time she a year old, Mae Mobley following me around everwhere I go. Five o'clock would come round and she'd be hanging on my Dr. Scholl shoe, dragging over the floor, crying like I weren't never coming back. Miss Leefolt, she'd narrow up her eyes at me like I done something wrong, unhitch that crying baby off my foot. I reckon that's the risk you run, letting somebody else raise you chilluns.
Mae Mobley two years old now. She got big brown eyes and honey-color curls. But the bald spot in the back of her hair kind a throw things off. She get the same wrinkle between her eyebrows when she worried, like her mama. They kind a favor except Mae Mobley so fat. She ain't gone be no beauty queen. I think it bother Miss Leefolt, but Mae Mobley my special baby."

My family wasn't "society" white people and we didn't have a maid to clean, cook and raise our family's children like the folks explored in The Help.  (It might have been better for me psychologically, in a way, if we had had a maid.)

We were lower middle class white people and my father was a social climber. He pulled himself and our family up from the echelons of the working class into the lower fringe of society in a large metropolitan city in Virginia by his sheer will and business acumen before a divorce and my parent's personal lives tore it all apart.

But in the society class or middle class, among white people in the South of this time, there was not only racism toward non-whites as a group, but there was a large festering sore called sexism toward their white women and girls.

In the South of that time, a woman was only worth her physical beauty. Meaning, women, in order to be of any value to their white society, needed to be pretty. This indoctrination started pretty much from birth.  You see this in the Skeeter character.  She voices that she is a disappointment to her mother for not being a pretty "society girl" and for going to college and working, instead of marrying, staying home, playing bridge and popping out babies.

Being smart was a bonus, but if you weren't a pretty girl, you could just forget going anywhere in life. Your place in society started with how well you married and an ugly woman was lucky to find a husband at all unless her family had a LOT of money and power.

Women were not encouraged to work but to stay home, look pretty and give her husband children and assure his standing in the community.
The only women who worked were those with a very strong will(who were also still married and worked as a "hobby" and didn't need the money), and those who were divorced or widowed or who's husband's for some reason couldn't/didn't support their family......and usually in that situation, these women would go home to their parents and let the grandparents support the children and the abandoned wife.

Though technically women in the South had had the vote since the 19th Amendment in 1917, could own land and even leave their father's home without having to be married first by 1963, a woman with no physical charms was a disappointment to her parents and a burden to unload.
And these girls who didn't measure up were told in so many ways, both directly and indirectly through the ways in which they were treated, that they were a cross to bear.

Like this Mae Mobley character was treated......she "aint gone be no beauty queen.  I think it bother Miss Leefolt."  Mae is the kind of Southern daughter I was.

I identify with her so completely, that it took my breath away and the parts of the movie she was in just made me ball.

I'll explore more how I relate to the Mae Mobley character as a young white woman growing up in the South  of the 1960's in another post at another time.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Musical Fun on Friday! Share the Love.....

Ok, so I really need some stress relieve after this past week.
So I am posting a bunch of tunes, some with videos, today!

First off, for ANNIE, since she gave me the idea let me steal this idea. She talked about her taste in music today and got me thinking about my own weird eclectic taste in music.   Annie posted a music clip of a Tracy Byrd song that she used in her wedding, 12 years ago.
Happy Anniversary Annie and Shane!

Here's a song for you.....

This one is for McVal.
Because combining Irish Traditional Music with a Bad Boy of Rock doesn't get any better than this!

The next one is for JANE.
She is crossing the continent on her her imagination.  Here's a song to help her....

This one is for JUDY.
Because it makes me smile and so does she. ;-)

This song is for SonyaAnn.
It's a little bit naughty and so is she.....

This song is for KIM.
Sit back and enjoy because you didn't have to work on this one! ;-)

The next one is for MARK.  He's got a big box of fun(and I'm NOT referring to Fred!)and he can appreciate this number, at least until he needs some aspirin the next morning.....

And this one?
This one is just because I LOVE it!
I hope you do too.

So what are your favorite songs or how does your taste in music run?
Share some clips on your blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm Still Here!...I Think....

This button should give you an indication of how my week is going.
Today especially has been one knot-in-the-gut inducing winner!
It is definitely my week to be the BUG!
It also explains why I have been MIA most of this week.
And it isn't anything I can share here......for now.

I'll just say that it involves college, medication(or lack thereof), death threats, authorities not taking certain things seriously, college administrators not doing their job and the District Attorney's office.
Just keep us in your thoughts.
And send me all your spare Maalox.....

And the other normal stuff I've been dealing with this week?  Well, none of it has been normal!  Everything has been a big old load of Manure this week.

I totally missed my Monday Spending Report/Menu for the Week post.
Not much point in posting it at this late date in the week, huh?
Hubs was out of town for 3 days so #2 Son and I just made it up as we went along.
I never got around to thawing anything today since I was busy working on getting my Stress Levels through the roof, so it's Breakfast for Dinner or Take-Out tonight.
Tomorrow might actually see me cook a proper meal.....but don't be taking bets on that, as it's not a sure thing! ;-)

I spent $95.00 even last week at the grocery stores, in 3 transactions.  The reg. retail was $183.12.  I 'may' have used a coupon or two but don't recall exactly.  My savings rate was a little less than 50% altogether.
My food spending for the month now stands at $345.63.  It's over my monthly budgeted amount but may still be within my budget with my leftover monies from Jan. & Feb.  I'll check on that later, IF I feel like going to that much effort. ;-)

That $95 included bags of discounted salad, eggs, cabbage, 2 gallons of milk, onions, a roasting chicken at .88¢ lb., a head of iceberg, 7 packages of sliced mushrooms(I froze 3 of them for later use), sour cream, a yogurt(I was hungry!) and 5 cans of chili.  Weis "Pound Me In The Ass" Markets is having a Grand Re-Opening of their remodeled store so they sent out a sheet of coupons-4 are good each week.
I went there to get some cheapies--corned beef briskets(3 of them at $1.49lb.), 5 packages of ground beef with store discount Qs making them less than $1.99lb., BOGO stuffed clams, $1 a bag ravioli and oranges on sale.  Since all that came to over $50, I was able to use the $5 off $50 Q they sent me.  I also used the other 3 Qs($2 off lb. of deli meats, FREE 2 ltr. Coke and FREE pkg. of cookies).

I made Chicken Fajitas on Sunday and Hubs and I had the leftover last night.  They were soooo good!
I've got a craving for them again so if red peppers go on sale again here, I may make some Beef Fajitas next time.  I am all over Veggie Fajitas too but Hubs wants meat in his so maybe next time I make chicken ones, I'll put the chicken to the side and go vegetarian for the day.

Alright back to making calls.
Dang, have I ever told y'all how much I DETEST talking on the phone??!!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Attention Canadians! I've Got An Important Question for You

Ok, without going into any detail really(I'll explain when and if it's time to), I need some help from any reader who lives in Canada.
And it's not help with being frugal or personal finance or such.  This is waaaaay different today!

If *someone*.....see me whistle and look nonchalantly at the sky.......was trying to locate someone who lives in Canada.....OR....if *someone*.....was trying to get the attention of someone else in Canada, who was looking for long lost family members in the USA.....what/where would *someone* want to do in terms of putting an ad in a paper or contacting some media people in Canada so that this *someone else* in Canada would notice this *someone* was looking for them as well?

Are you confused yet? lol

Basically I have found out that someone in my family, who has never met any of her kin in the USA is looking to find us but has hit a brick wall.  They sent a letter to one person they know to be a relative here but that very elderly person threw out or lost the letter, so we/I have no contact information or even a name to get in touch with her.  All I know is that she lives in Canada, having emigrated there from England.

Anyone have any ideas how I go about sending up a signal flare so that she sees it?
Where is TROY DUNN when I need him????!!!!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Whole World is A Little Bit Irish Today

This seems to be the stereotypical image of how society views the Irish....

And I am sure many of Irish ancestry or "Irish-for-a-Day" ancestry will be living up to that fine stereotype today!

But while the Irish as a people are quick to entertain with stories, songs and dance, and enjoy relaxing and lifting a pint or four with their friends, I like to think about the other side of being Irish.

The hardworking, "always rise up when life keeps knocking you down", taking care of their families side.
Some of whom took a leap of faith, and stepped onto a boat either to escape their lot in life in a repressive society, or those of whom had restless spirits and longed to find something more in life.

Many of them came to the shores of America, and many of those who came arrived in the 1800's and the early part of the 1900's....

I was always told as a child that we had Irish ancestors, especially on my father's side of the family.
As I have begun to dig through the layers of ancestors I am discovering Irish roots through stories that vary greatly.  My Irish were early adopters of leaving their homes. I can't find an Ellis Islander among them as they came over before that facility was built.
  Some of them have deep roots in the Gaelic soil while others were more transient in Irish culture, like my "Scotch-Irish" kin and those who I'll probably find started out as sturdy English peasants.

These are just a few of the Family Crests I can claim....

And I have even turned up a surprise for the Hubs in all this!
My "my father's family is fully Sicilian-Italian and my mother's family is just German and Dutch, going back to the beginning of time" Hubs.

I've turned up this not even very far back in his lines....

Even He has a teeny tiny droplet of the Irish in him!
I told him I KNEW he had to Irish.....after all, he just likes beer so darn much. ;-)
Otherwise, the clan disowns him, as he can't dance, play an instrument, sing and he's not short enough to be a leprechaun.

But when I get finished working the "TONS of Irish Luck I have accrued through my ancestry" on him, he will end up with that Leprechaun's Pot o' Gold you hear about!

By Faith and Begorrah!.....did you see how I found a way to give this post a personal finance tilt!?

So what clans do you have knocking around in your Irish closet?  Maybe we are related at some point waaaay back in time?  Leave a comment(if you are still sober enough to type) and let us know!

And then go hoist a liquid refreshment today for all those Irish kin that came before you!

"May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

-A traditional Irish Blessing

O' Sluggy or McSluggy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brain Dumping Alert

First off, let's go with something NICE.
I get to show off what arrived in the mail earlier this week.....

It's the little wallet CARLA made me for winning the drawing in Week #3 of her Feb. Double Challenge.  Isn't it cute??!!  And she did it in my favorite colors of purple and green.  I haven't had a chance to figure out how I will utilize this(aka what crap I'll put in it)but I am sure I can find the PERFECT way to use it.   Toting coupons to the store comes to mind as an option...... 8-)
Thank you Carla!  I DO appreciate it.

Now everybody go click on the link(which is her name)and read her blog, ok?

Back to my Dumping.....

* Remember back last month when I went on a tirade about those Living Social(boo hiss!)coupons for McDonald's(boo hiss!) that #2 Son was charged to use, even though the items they were for were already paid for?  Go HERE-Social Coupons Suck-to read up on what the heck I am talking about.

Anyway, I had contacted via email both the local owner/franchisee and Mickey D's Corporate in IL.
And I got responses from both within a they get points for customer service AFTER they gave us BAD Customer Service.  I guess I should give them bonus points for that, huh?

The local owner's mouthpiece(aka some lackey in their business office who gets paid to deal with unhappy customers)emailed back and apologized profusely, saying not that they were at fault, but that this particular employee must not have been trained in how to deal with these social coupons.  So they passed the buck and put the blame on some kid making minimum wage being a grease monkey/burger flipper/register jockey, never mentioning that ultimately it is a failure of the system the owner put into place and the kids MANAGER, thus the owner didn't take responsibility.
So I get a "sorry" but no mention that they cheated my son out of his money(which he had to pay for these FREE items)NOR was their a mention of them SENDING HIM A CHECK TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR THE CASH THEY TOOK FROM HIM!
Basically it's a "Gee Kid, sorry we screwed you over and we'll try harder not to screw the next kid out of their money but we are not going to pay you back, even though we agree that we were wrong." response.
Nice huh?

So then a bit later we get an envelope in the mail......

 A letter from Corporate "Customer Satisfaction Department" with a $5 Arch Card inside.
The letter was all...."thank you for contacting us.....we appreciate hearing from our valued customers blah's our pleasure to send you the enclosed blah blah blah....if you have any additional comments please call or write blah blah....etc."
Not a mention of "sorry we screwed up" or "sorry we didn't live up to your standards" etc.  I bet this is a standard form letter they send out whether you write them and say you are the best thing that happened in their lives or that you say you gave them food poisoning.
Just a plain unadulterated BULLSHIT Letter!
With a bribe inside.

Can you tell this did NOT please me?
I want my money back, not scrip worth more of their nasty food!!

But at this point, I am taking a big old cleansing breath and letting the stench of rancid grease leave my nostrils.'s March and

......Shamrock Shakes are back!

Yah, I am a hardass but crumble at the mention of frozen minty vanilla dairy-like substances.

*  While we are on the subject of BULLSHIT.....
I love how much Colleges and other Higher Institutions of Learning have become snake oil salesmen!
Not really, I am being sarcastic. ;-)

So here are 2 pieces of mail we received a couple of weeks ago....

One from each of our kids colleges, made out to the "Parents of XXXX".
Look at the top envie and you might be able to make out the last line under the return address.
It says...."Final Exams Information Enclosed".

This is how they get your attention and get you to open. this. envelope.  (Unless you have gotten more than one at this point.)
If you are a parent and haven't gotten one of these yet, you are thinking, "Gee, this must be important!?  It's about my kid and their final exams this something wrong?.....are they flunking out?......are their grades bad and they are on academic probation?.....this can't be good news, so I must read this and ASAP!"
And if you don't know any better, your blood pressure shoots up, you tear into the letter and your heart starts pounding double time.

And then you see what this Urgent Information really is.....
It's an "offer" to send your kid a "Final Exam Care Package"......a box of snacks and crap, that this company that has a "deal" with your kid's school offers to send to your kid, for the current low discount price of $55.

Yes, the school is selling you a box of Twinkies, Chips, and cheap novelty toys worth about $15 via this Care Package business they get a kickback from.  Ok, call it a commission, it's still shady for a school, a STATE FUNDED SCHOOL, to be using their student body's parents to make a quick buck(What? they don't already get enough money out of the parents??!!) because, there are parents out there who either don't have the time or just feel plain guilty because they don't personally hand pick and mail a box of snacks and novelties to their kid(s) at college during final exam time.

The literature in the sales pitch leans very heavily on "not having your kid be left out when all his friends in the dorm get THEIR cool $55 dollar box"......of junk.
Oh the shame! of having parents that don't love me enough to waste 55 of their hard earned dollars on $15 worth of ho-hos, candy bars, salty snacks, yo-yos and party hats.
All very essential requirements in order to be able to pass your final exams no doubt!  Why not just send them gift cards to Starbucks, 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts, that way they can go get 2 Ginormous Double Expressos, a 6 pack of Red Bull and a dozen Chocolate glazed donuts!

I can buy toiletries for a family of 5 for 4 MONTHS on that $55....not plunk it down on a little box of crap that will be consumed or in the trash within 3 days.

Good Lord! about treating your almost adult children like 5 year olds.....

* Thank you and love to everyone who wished me luck/prayers/advice in regards to my daughter and her "what am I doing with my life?" angst.
It's been a rough week emotionally- full of talking, yelling, planning, eye rolling, money finagling, crying, sighing, storming out of the room, and frustration.

And that was just how I was this week....

And we have come to a consensus--Daughter will finish up the semester/year where she is.  And if she still feels that what she wants to do is what we are hearing now(hey, a LOT can change in 2 months, especially when they are 19!), then she will let her current school know that she won't be coming back and she'll come home and go to school locally.  Because NOT going to school is NOT on the table as an option.
She's explored 2 local college's programs and between them, she can become what will make her happy.
The 1st one has already accepted her into the upcoming Fall semester and she is still on the fence whether to go with this one or finish the application for the 2nd school's program.

And now for my Saga Words of Wisdom when it comes to kids......
In the end, as far as your kids go, you can't live their lives for them.  You have to let them go down the road they choose.  But you can make sure they make the best choices that affect that journey by helping them explore all the options and possible scenarios each of these little decisions affects who they become, where they go and what the journey through life will be like for them.

I am more confident today that the Daughter has opened her eyes to what life can be/will be/is like after school if she stays on the road she wants to go down.  She is making more informed decisions and we have to let her make them.

She knows we have her back but we expect her to do for herself at a certain point in the future and there is no living in mom and dad's basement until you are 30 if you keep changing your mind and don't stick to something.
At least I know she won't end up like her cousin who is suppose to graduate high school this Spring, who still doesn't have his learner's permit, let alone a driver's license, nor has he gone out to get some kind of part time job even though he turns 18 very shortly, and now has decided he needs to take a year off in between high school and going to college(though he has yet to take the SATs or anything), because high school has been just so so stressful and he needs to take some time off. (Ok, I am stopping now, because I don't know how to make the Emoticon Face for WHAT I am feeling toward him, nor do you want to see what will begin spilling from my fingertips from this point on regarding this subject.)

So like Forrest Gump, that is all I will say on that subject, for now. '-)
Except to put my "view of life in a humorous light" spin on it and say I can't help feeling that given her career path now, Daughter is going to be Homer Simpson when she grows up.....

*  As for the Genealogy I have hooked up with someone(still alive)who is a cousin of my father and she has lots of family history/information for me!  I am so grateful since this line is one I have very little information for in these generations.  I have family stuff from earlier and later so this fills in info I am missing and plugs up some of the many holes.
This is the line that has the most interesting skeletons in the closet....but not in a good way, so it will be interesting to see what her "spin" of this family stuff is.
I'll just say that people and information was kept from me or lied about growing up and I didn't learn/hear the correct details until I was a 37 year old woman.
Oh heck, maybe I should save all this for the book.... 8-)

*  As for the money stuff, we are on track this month with the money.  One paycheck in with another one coming next Friday.  Bills are being paid as they come in. No unexpected expenses so far and we'll have plenty to save and put a piece of that toward the local volunteer fire dept. fundraiser too.

Ok, I lied about no unexpected expenses....
Remember the sink full of dishes yesterday?

Well I ended up loading the dishwasher for #2 Son, popping the gel tab into the door compartment and closing the door and turning the thing on.
Only the computer doesn't recognize that the door is shut.....and the latch is loose.
Since Hubs is NOT handy, we will be paying for at least a repair person and possibly a repair.
If it's the computer board, it's possible we'll be paying for a new dishwasher.

But at least we have ca$h to pay for that and not have to use a credit card.
And the reason we have spare cash is......
*We have a very big SHOVEL aka Hubs salary.
*We have had a fair share of luck in keeping a job(not that this doesn't involve a bit of hard work too)
*We don't spend our money on a lot of "wants".

No we aren't perfect on avoiding the unnecessary spending in life.  Goodness knows, we've had our fair share of slip ups in that department, plus our kids are always at the ready to fritter away our money!lol
But at the end of the day, we exert a good amount of mastery(aka control)over our piece of wealth.

And by combining the income with the control we were able to pay off our house in 2007.
Before the financial world around us went a little bit nuts.
And actually I dug out the paperwork and remembered that we paid the house off on March 15, 2007.
That was yesterday!
So Happy Mortgage Burning Anniversary to US!
And I am just realizing we became totally Debt-Free on the Ides of March.  Spoooooooky!!lol

Ok, my brain is emptied for now.
So what's on your mind lately?


Thursday, March 15, 2012

You Can Go Your Own Way

I am stealing Mark's "Use a Song title for a Post title" gimmick today.

Well it's Thursday of the week my Daughter came home for Spring break.
Do you know what my first thought this morning was?
I should have started drinking this week long before today!

My week has been that far.

It hasn't been bad, it's just been strange.
I have lots to do around here but the daughter's current state of affairs just has me spinning my wheels and wondering what is coming next.
I just sit here all day doing genealogy research(looking for some stability in my past perhaps?), playing free cell, listening to Pandora, reading blogs and contemplating writing something.
I only get up from the computer to go sit in front of the tv or deal with an immediate need like making a meal or dealing with the dogs or doling out money to needy teenagers.

Oh, I did spend some time outside yesterday as it hit 60 something here.
But I hardly even noticed anything.

So daughter has been going to doctor appointments and filling up prescriptions(5 so far!) and using all the gas in my car.  Heck, I don't even have to leave home to spend money lately, do I?lol

Add in that #2 Son has been moody as hell and not very pleasant to deal with this week.  He and Daughter do NOT get along at all and haven't for the last few years.  And he is taking the opportunity with my being preoccupied  with her stuff to fall down on his chores even more than he already does.
#2 is suppose to load/unload the dishwasher.  Here is what I found in the kitchen when I came down this morning.....
Needless to say, I am not amused.....

Daughter has had a chat with the community college folks this week and she goes today for another chat with the baby Penn State folks(one of the many PSU satellite campuses around PA).
Then we sit down tonight and hash it all out and try to figure out what she wants to do after she finishes this semester at her current school.

It's not helping me not feel on edge about all this since the few in real life I have told(mostly family and our physician who she job shadowed with)are surprised and speechless at first.

I have to keep reminding myself that it's her life and no matter what I think and no matter how much I worry, I can't make these decisions for her.   I may feel she is making a mistake by choosing what path she decides to go down but I have to let her go her own way.

She needs to make mistakes and learn from them.  I just hope she takes to heart the lessons they present and that we don't regret the financial hits this will cost hubs and I......and her.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who Would Have Thunk?

Who would have thought that in spring of 1880 there could be so MANY woman named Mary O'Brien(O'Brian) that got off a ship from Ireland(or by way of England from Ireland)into the USA?!

After the last 3 hours of looking for one particular woman by that name, I can, with a fair amount of certainly tell you you that approximately 4 MILLION did! lolol

I found her husband fairly quickly because I guess Morris O'Brien is not as common a name in that era or not as many Morrises(Morri?...what's the plural of Morris?)emigrated to America in 1880.

Ok, another hour on Mary O. and then I'm onward to the kids, Honora(Anura), Mary and Margaret.
Oh great!.....they named their daughter Mary too.
Why couldn't they have more imagination when naming their kids, right?

Sluggy--who is going back into the suckhole of ancestors

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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

Here's a NEW POST for Sluggy's Boring Blog Giveaway Box......Enter Now!


Just to recap, I put things in the box(mostly what I have gotten for free or almost free)each week and when the box is filled we draw a winner from all the entries received.
There are only 11 entries so far on last week's Giveaway post.  Now I KNOW more folks than that read what I babble on about!  
Geez, I can't even lure lurkers out of lurkdom with a giveaway?   ;-)

Here is what went into the Box today.....

1. a book about being alone and the gifts of solitude called, "STILLNESS" by Richard Mahler
2. a tube of Aqua-Fresh Toothpaste(because you can never have enough toothpaste)
3. a package of Airborne tablets(because we aren't out of cold season yet)
4. a bottle of Body Wash(because you get dirty everyday!)
5. a tube of Ladies' Degree Deodorant(because, know! 8-P )

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

Time to enter.....You can enter on this Giveaway post until I post another set of items for the Giveaway--which is usually about a week.

1 entry per person per day on THIS POST.  Leave your name/email addy and a COMMENT on any topic you wishe for a valid entry on THIS POST.  When I post again about this BORING BLOG BOX GIVEAWAY entries on this Post will be CLOSED and you must post on the New Giveaway Post to enter.  I hope this isn't too confusing. ;-)  There will be a link on the top of the side bar to the current Giveaway Post.

PS-Nobody is entering every day yet!  Hardly anyone is entering more than once a week right now!  Where are my everyday peoples??

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

There are 2 ways to get extra entries and  you can do these 2 each every week!....

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

Again, you can enter on this post until I put another Giveaway Post up and then you need to enter on the NEWER Post.

Any questions?  Just email me.

Happy Entering!! 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Where I've Been

I am's just I am not all here.

I am just not myself lately.
Since my Daughter's meltdown I just haven't had any 'umph'.
My energy is just drained.  I guess you'd say my energy is being used up in the worrying about her.
I just know there isn't much of me leftover for much else.  I drag through the day and do the bare minimum I need to do like fixing food, bathing, moving clutter around in the house and planning meals.
Oh, I am just a great big ball of FUN lately, aren't I?

I do have enough "whatever" to sit here and read blogs though, but I just can't bring myself to call up enough brain power to comment much.  Yeah, I run my mouth on a blog post here and there but I'm getting into a very negative place in the space between my ears and yeah, nobody wants to read crap I write when I am in that spot.
So I just don't.

I am having a hard time focusing on anything much.....except for genealogy.

I took another blog I started to be a clearing house for rebate offers and turned it into a personal journal where I can post about the shit I've been through in life and family stuff and how I see the family stuff.
Most of that sounds very negative as well but I feel I need to vent it or explode some days.  Maybe it will help me work through some stuff I feel....maybe not.   I just know that I need to get this stuff out of my head some days.

I have always been a big fan of that show "So Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC.  Saw all 6 of the 1st Season episodes a couple years ago and was HOOKED.  It got me to begin searching around for my family history.  Of course I didn't know WHAT I WAS DOING AT ALL! and over the last 2 years I would start and stop over and over again looking casually online for family. 

I found a distant relative who is something like 94 years old 2 years ago who had done a shit ton of research on 1 line of my ancestors.  This gentleman's great grandfather was the  younger brother of my great great grandfather....or we share a great grandfather born in 1825...his is a 2x great, mine a 3 x great.  He even charted the lines of all the descendants from this shared relative.  His great uncle(my 3 x great gf)was so prolific that the gentleman I am related to had to put my branch of this family on it's own web page. hehehehe

Here is a photo of my great great great grandparents, Hugh and Sarah "Sally" Vassar.  Hugh died in 1895(Sally in 1902)so this was taken around 1880.

I also found Hugh & family on the 1860 census(pre Civil War VA)with my then 5 year old 2x great grandfather, John "Jack" Alfred and his siblings living on a farm near Scottsburg, VA in what was then Halifax County. 

Anyway, finding out all that made me hungry for more crumbs of information, so about a week ago I dropped a wad of cash and finally joined Ancestry dotcom.
So this should speed up my search.
Especially since I am finding it the biggest SUCKHOLE for my time, bar none!!!

I can sit here for HOURS sifting through Censuses and is not funny the time I can waste!

The BEST(very sarcastic here!) thing is......Hubs could give a rat's ass about genealogy and family history.  Of course he doesn't know much about his family's past but he is all good with that.

I even spent some time trying to suck him in but searching on his families(Hey! I told him I'm doing this for our kids, so they know about their ancestors on BOTH sides!).  He put up with helping/being interested with it for one evening and now he is done listening to me talk about this.  I start and he gets this look on his face of annoyance.  Now he knows how I've felt all these years when he went on and on about his job or his co-workers(people I don't give a rat's ass about!)and was forced to pretend to be interested. ;-)
So I guess I have to shut up about it with Hubs and just tell my other blog and all of y'all instead.....until y'all get tired and stop reading me.lolol


March Food Spending Week 1+, Meal Plan March Week 2

I love searching around for old photos and advertisements featuring kitchens from years gone by. These are mostly the kitchens from my youth in the 1960's-1970's or earlier.

This week I give you the dream kitchen from 1955.....
Well you'll have to go HERE and watch a short film to see it.  It's a 13 minute film ad selling appliances and new homes from 1955.  It's very cute!  Then we can discuss what you saw.

Enough of that, onward to the Meals and Food Spending. 8-)

Last week's meal plan is in the books. Here is what actually happened....

MONDAY--Tacos or Taco Salad, Corn
TUESDAY--Veal Parmesan, Pasta, Salad
WEDNESDAY--Birthday Meal out-Red Lobster
THURSDAY--Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
FRIDAY--I can't remember what we had...leftovers?....but it wasn't take-out as I had planned
SATURDAY--Hubs got Burger King, he didn't like my plan lol

Friday Hubs picked up Daughter from college for Spring break.  I think we had leftovers.  I know we didn't get Chinese take-out as planned. 

The weekly food spending was $91.43. $20+ of that was stocking up on corned beef briskets at $2.29 lb.  No $100+ shopping trips for me this week!  

It's the 12th day of the month and I've already spent $250.63 my food budget for the month!  I have $49.37 left from my original $300 kitty for food.  I do have $176.80 leftover from Jan. and Feb.'s kitties which I will dip into if I need it, but I'll try my hardest to avoid spending that.

Going into March Week 2+ I have many leftovers.  Mostly it's just one helping of something and not enough for an entire meal plus 1 big dish of the casserole I made last week and now a good sized amount of leftovers from Sunday's dinner.

This week's menu.....

SUNDAY--Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes, Green Beans, Cranberry Glop
TUESDAY--Daughter's making dinner
WEDNESDAY--Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potato
FRIDAY--homemade Pizza, Salad
SATURDAY--Chinese take-out

This menu gives us 4 new meals, 1 take-out(at Daughter's request) and 2 nights of leftovers. 

Items needed to buy for this menu are...cabbage. I've got everything else here already in the freezer or the pantry, except for the unknown meal Daughter is fixing.

I am trying to get Daughter to limit what she cooks to items we already have the ingredients for.  I did buy some red and yellow peppers on Saturday and she wants to make "something" chicken so I am pulling for Fajitas.  We would need to pick up mushrooms and sour cream for that though, but I have the onions, cheese(found more cheddar stashed in the freezer so I am not out yet), spices, tortillas.....oh, and the chicken too. ;-)

My mission this week on leftover nights is to make sure the turkey leftovers get eaten.  I am not a fan of leftover turkey but the others will eat it.

We'll be buying milk as usual.

So far I don't see any stocking up opportunities, except for more corned beef.  

So what is everyone else eating this week?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Fun!

I hope everyone has something awesome planned for the weekend.
Me?  Not so much.
The Daughter is coming home later today so I'm just trying to get some cleaning done before Hubs gets home with her.  Then I am off to nap and get ready for the many many hours of "what am I going to do with my life?" talks to follow.

I need some laughter today, so I am sharing this clip I found.  It's the original cast of Spamalot with David Hyde Pierce and Tim Curry.

If you are reading this Joe Z., this is for you.....


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kids and Money

SonyaAnn posted yesterday about her car insurance woes.
Her post was very timely to me, since we are going to be making some big changes in my family soon that will involve vehicles and insurance.

After our 3rd car-the one the kids used to get around in-was totaled last May, we didn't replace it.
At that time, #1 Son was finishing up his 2nd year of college and not home, Daughter was going to be attending college that Fall for the first time(so she no longer would be living at home and needing the car for work or school)and #2 Son was still almost a year away from turning 16 and being eligible to get his learner's permit.
So we didn't replace the car last year.

We put the money we got for the totaled vehicle, last May, aside and Hubs added the little bit of cash he got from his mother's estate with it and we planned to find a $5K or so "beater" car for #2 Son to learn on and use while he finishes high school.

Now let's throw a monkey wrench into the plan.

Daughter has been having second thoughts about her career path.
Ok, a bit more than second thoughts.  After finishing up her first semester at college with a 3.80 grade pt. average, and  after doing a job shadowing with our family doctor over Winter break, and after having her interview at the medical school that her college has a program with and passing that interview so that now she is guaranteed a seat in the medical college when she graduates with her Biology degree, after another 3 years of school, she has decided that she no longer wants to be a doctor.  She told her father and I this after she went back for her 2nd semester the end of January.

I was disappointed that she didn't even finish out the first year before deciding to do a 360 degree turn in her plans.  But it's her life, right?  We told her to slow down and not do anything hasty, but a couple weeks after returning to school, she had changed her major to education and found a new adviser in that dept.
So she suddenly is very sure she no longer wants to be a doctor and she is suddenly just as very sure that she does want to be.......a science teacher.
She says she has had this idea in the back of her mind for a very long time, however this was the first time we, her parents, have heard Daughter voice this career path.

Not to get into much detail here, but currently Daughter had abandoned the Teaching thing and is rethinking her life and may be moving back home after her 1st yr. of college is over.

Basically after having a meltdown at school she wants to finish up the year and come home.
Now she is talking about going into Engineering at this point and transferring to someplace close to home and living at home and commuting to school.  But it's not a 4 year degree in Engineering, she is talking a 2 year Associate degree and/or Job Training to be a engineering the kind that comes to your house and fixes your electrical wiring or some kind of mechanical engineering.

The bottom line is though she is real good at being a student and taking tests, etc. she does NOT want to do it for any longer than she has to.  She wants to get out there and work with her hands AND her mind.
At least that's what I am hearing this week.....

Not sure if her new educational plan will pan out or if it's just another "idea" that she is trying on, but I do know that she'll be moving back home for now.  I have suggested that if she doesn't know what she wants to do yet, to get a job and work for a year and take some time to think hard about what to do next.

One thing for sure though.....she'll be living here and she'll need a vehicle to get to work and/or school.

So now I have to figure out if SHE needs to buy the car in her own name and have her own insurance policy or if we need to buy another car and keep her on our policy(and she can make car payments to us once she gets a job).

And where does all this leave #2 Son and his needing a vehicle to get his first part time job?.....driving himself to all his band rehearsals and performances?......driving to a local college in another year if he participates in the High School program where Seniors take college courses?

Paying for 5 cars and 5 drivers on our car insurance policy plus all that gas and maintaining all those cars?
Just kill me now......


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Rite-Aid Trips on Saturday...Short & Sweet

I have +Ups that weren't expiring until 3/11 so I wasn't going to darken Rite-Aid's door last week.
Until I saw how miserable the R-A ad for the week of March 4-11 was, so I hopped up into Rite-Aid last Saturday afternoon to use some +Ups...

1 x Stop Pain spray on sale=$6.00
2 x Right Guard Deo on sale($2.99)=$5.98
1 x Cella cherry w/20% disc.=$.26

Coupons Used
1 x $3/2 Right Guard items IPQ=$3.00

I used $9 in +Ups and put the .24¢ on my gift card.
I received 2 x $1 +Ups back for the Right Guard items.
I'll submit for a $6 refund on the Stop Pain spray thru the SCR, making my "cost" $1.24 for these items.

(Spent $9.24 in +Ups and gift card, get back $8 in cash and +Ups.)

Then I went home and got my Pantene ManuQ I had forgotten to clip from the inserts and got this.....

2 x Pantene conditioners on sale=$7.00
2 x Right Guard items on sale=$5.98

Coupons Used
1 x $3/2 Pantene ManuQ=$3.00
1 x $3/2 Right Guard IPQ=$3.00
Coupon Total.....$6.00

$12.98-$6.00=$6.98+ $.06tax=$7.04
I used all my +Ups that were expiring in the next 2 weeks.  I couldn't use either of the $1 +Ups I got in my previous transaction however, as when the tax would come off when I used one, it would put my total in the -.02.  I could have added another Cella cherry to use one of those $1 +Ups and then put .24¢ on my gift card but I didn't feel like doing that.
So I used $6 in +Ups and put the $1.04 on the gift card instead.
I received $4 in +Ups back(2 x $1 Right Guard, $2 WYB2 Pantene).

This transaction "cost" me $3.04".  (Spent $7.04 in +Ups and gift card and got back $4 in +Ups.)

Now if I was smart and more on the ball, I would have gotten to Rite-Aid earlier in the week when they still had that new "Ice Shine" variety of Pantene.  There was a double dip last week....with the weekly Pantene Deal($2 +Ups WYB2 any variety)and the monthly $1 +Ups Deal(WYB1 Pantene Ice Shine variety).  I could have gotten $4 in +Ups back instead of just $2 if I had bought that new Pantene variety, making my Pantene FREE and the Right Guard .50¢ per item.  But they were cleaned out by Saturday of course so my Pantene was $1 a bottle.
Oh well.
Still a good price.  ;-)

Now let's analysis why I bought what I did--
The Stop Pain was bought soley to turn $6 in +Ups back into cash.
The Right Guard deo/body wash because we are running low on men's deo and wash.  There are 3 stinky guys in our house.....'nuff said.
The hair conditioner was for #2 Son as he is almost out and requested more.
The cherry candy was obviously a 'filler' and chocolate.....2 very important criteria for me!lol

So what is everyone else buying at Rite-Aid this week?