Sunday, November 30, 2014

3 Day BF Rite-Aid Sale Results

Ok, so I was going to post what I bought at Rite-Aid each day of the Black Friday 3 Day Sale but my camera is dead until the battery charger gets here later this week.

So I drug everything purchased out onto the kitchen table Saturday night and asked Hubs to take 1 photo of it all with his Blackberry.

Here is the result of rolling +Up Rewards for three days........sorry for the less than stellar picture quality......

4 x Doritos $1.97 a bag gave $1 +Ups(cost .97¢ each)
4 x Staxx chips 2/$3 gave $3 +Ups (freebie)
4 x Planters nuts sets with Rain Check $2.99 ea. gave $3+Ups each(.01¢ moneymaker)
1 x J. Watkins lotion $5.99 gave $5.99 +Ups(freebie)
2 x GE light bulbs $3.99 ea. gave $3.99 +Ups(freebie)
2 x Hershey chocolate boxes $3.99 ea. gave $2 +Ups each(after $2/$6 purchase Q these were .99¢ each)
2 x Listerine floss $2.99 ea. gave $2 +Ups(after 2 x $1/1 Q were .01¢ moneymaker each)
2 x Gift Tape 2/$2 gave $2 +Ups(freebie)
3 x Toothbrushes .80¢ ea. gave $1 +Ups each(.20¢ moneymakers)
2 x Colgate toothpaste $3.50 ea. gave $3 +Ups(after $1/2 Q freebies)
2 x Philips ear buds $5.59 ea. gave $6 +Ups(.41¢ moneymakers)
1 x RA cough drops $1.27(wellness disc.) gave $1.49 +Ups(.22¢ moneymaker)
3 x Cotton Swabs .99¢ ea. gave .99¢ +Ups(freebie)
3 x Nivea lotion tin .59¢ ea. gave .59¢ +Ups(freebie)

35 items.
OOP spent $6.41
Regular retail of $168.48
A 96% savings rate.
And I have $40.15 in Up Rewards to roll going forward.

There was too much to buy to roll fully since I only started Friday with $21 in +Up Rewards and there was more I wanted than I had +Ups to pay for.
So on Friday I bought a $50 Home Despot gift card(using home improvement/maintenance funds)and got a "free" $10 in +Ups to use on Saturday.
Then I bought another $50 Home Despot gift card on Saturday because it is something we can use and it gave me another $10 in "free" +Ups.  I didn't plan this well though as I should have bought the gift cards on Thursday and/or Friday so I could use them both during this sale to roll.
Oh well.
Nobody is perfect.  '-)

If I hadn't bought the Doritos for College Boy my OOP would have only been $2.53 for the rest of this stuff.
That boy cost me $3.88....the nerve, huh?! ;-)

I also have a stack of 20 rain checks for stuff they ran out of, for various Wellness cards.

I think I got enough and besides 2 grocery stores,  Rite-Aid is the only store I went to this past weekend.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Post Holiday Happenings

Well Thanksgiving Day has come and gone.
It was a nice, quiet, small gathering.

After packing off leftovers with the brother in-law there is still a scandalous amount of food here!
College Boy(previously known as #2 Son)will be dispatched back to school with a fair amount of what is leftover from the Turkey Bacchanal.

I am also baking treats for him today to accompany him back to school as well.  The child sometimes gets too busy and forgets to go to the dining hall in time and has been subsisting on bagels at Einstein Brothers as they take the school's dining ticket.
Most freshman gain 10-20 lbs.  Mine has lost as much so far this semester.
So he will be lousy with cookies and banana bread until he comes home next month at semester's end.

He is also dead broke and has spent his last cent at school.  He's got work at the bakery while he is home in Dec./Jan. and perhaps he'll be more careful with what he earns then.

I was a good little slug and ate a modest amount of the feast including just one piece of pie(heavy on the whipped cream however).  No second helpings of anything!   8-)

Tonight will be an encore of our feast so no complaints out of the family on that score.

I only left the house to do some banking and 2 trips to Rite-Aid (1 yesterday and 1 today).  There will be another trip to Rite-Aid on Saturday for more freebies.
I did 2 bits of online shopping this morning and might imbibe of some more cyber shopping on Monday.

I went to take photos of the Rite-Aid hauls and discovered my battery needed charging.
This is when I discovered I have lost my charger!
The battery can't be charged via a cord while in the camera either.  Of course not, I have PLENTY of cords! lolz
It's a special doohickey that plugs into the wall that holds the battery and it's gone missing.
So there will be no more photos on the blog until such time as a replacement arrives in the mail.
Double Ugh.

Two days ago our dog took a turn for the worst. Our beagle is not long for this world due to her hind legs not working. This is an issue that has been coming.  She has a vet appointment tomorrow morning and we fear we will receive the news that short of extensive surgery which is not in our financial realm there is nothing they can do and she will have to take the Big Sleep.

So if I don't post for awhile it's because we've lost our last doggie and I am just not up to writing right now.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's hoping your turkey is moist, your rolls are hot and fluffy, your gravy has no lumps and your pie is yummy!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Day Prep Update #2

We've got 9 inches of white stuff and it's snowing again.
Good thing I didn't have to run out today for any ingredients!

We are winding down our prep day now.

Stuffing is finished and in my new "Judy" cooling off so it can go into the fridge.
College Boy sampled it and gave it the Seal of Approval.

And the pumpkin pies are cooling as well.
Kermit gave them a webbed thumbs up!

Oh, and I made a big pan of mac & cheese for dinner tonight which is just about to come out of the oven.

The only chore left to do today/tonight is to cook and mash the taters for roll making in the morning.

Then we get to do this all over again tomorrow......well, new/different chores and foods like rutabaga, taters, rolls and green beans.
And roasting the turkey too.

Kermit and I are off to have some dinner and then to put our legs up and relax for a bit.

What does your pre-Thanksgiving Day prep involve?


Turkey Day Prep Update

Kermit and I got the turkey dry brined.......

Then we took a break and went to check the weather....

Holy Tadpole!!
8 inches of snow but it looks like it has finally finished precipitating.
Time to get College Boy out of bed at the crack of 2pm to shovel.

Then it was back inside to start the pies.....

1 cherry crumble down.

More later.....



And Thus It Begins.....

The Thanksgiving Feast cooking has begun!

More later.......


Monday, November 24, 2014

A Brief List of Accomplishments

I feel like I accomplished a lot this past week.
So if I really didn't in your estimation, please keep it to yourself.  ;-)

*  I paid all the bills for the month except one(which hasn't arrived yet).

*  I got the garage de-cluttered and organized.  This includes the stockpile.  Not much de-cluttering, more organizing than anything else.  I went through boxes of old merchandise(mostly toys)and I separated out items that aren't worth selling online but things I want to keep for my potential grandchildren.  Yes, hope springs eternal here. lolz   The rest is segregated and waiting on me to have more time to list them and off to Salvation Army they will go, hopefully before the New Year.

Of course the house and my desk are a mess but hey!, I'll take the wins were I can find them.

*  We got some shopping finished and I am done with Christmas, at least done with the having to go to the stores part.  While out we saw some Xmas shirts......

and my favorite.....

If only they would have had that one in my size. lolz

*  I got my Black Friday Rite-Aid scenarios written and all coupons gathered.

*  All Turkey Day foods are present and accounted for.  "All" that is left is the cooking. hahaha

*  I got all the presents I currently have wrapped and tagged.  Bows will come later after we decorate for Christmas and I can put these under the tree......

For now they will live under the sofa table.

*  I got another load for Salvation Army ready to go and in Hubs trunk.  5 boxes of stuff outtahere!!!

*  I went to the bank and cashed out my sealed pot coin rolls......

$164.50 to put toward Christmas spending.  8-)
Add in $900 worth of gift card credit card points and what I have pulled in from selling old fabrics on Etsy and 1 book I sold 2 weeks ago on Amazon(I had forgotten I had anything listed there until I got a "Ship this book!" notice lolz)and we have enough to fund Christmas.

*  Of course as soon as I have this win with money, Hubs car needed some work so we took it in and paid $1K+ to get it back in working order. ugh
Have I mentioned lately how much I hate cars? ;-)

*  I dropped off a fabric order at the PO.  There was no line, AMAZINGLY!, so I got my wallet and went back in to buy stamps for Christmas card mailing.....

*  I did a little genealogy hunting Friday and got a bit further back on one family line and I will say it's quite the story and now extending back into the 1500's.  More on that another day.

*  I listed that Longaberger basket on eBay that I got this Summer at the thrift store.  Cross your fingers someone buys it soon.  As I went pawing through completed auctions on eBay to see if I should try to sell anything else it looks pretty dismal out there. 

*  Part of my cleaning out nooks and crannies this past week was an effort to find my dining room drapes.  I thought they were packed up in the boxes in the garage with my china and tablecloths when we emptied out that room last Winter.  An exhaustive search turned up nada in the curtain department.  sigh.  It's hell getting old and losing your memory..... 

Now I am off to a doctor's appointment for my armpit, hopefully I'll get the "all clear" this time and be done with this episode.

Then tomorrow I am the chauffer du jour fetching #2 Son from school for the holiday.

So what's been going on with you lately?


This Week on the Dining Table

The "Holiday Candy/Treats found in the Stores" Edition..........

 Apple M&M's?

Holiday flavors of Jelly Beans?

Mike & Ike Minion flavors?

Hmmmm......anybody out there ever try any of these weird things?

Onward to the meal planning!

What was planned last week--

1.  Zuke Casserole
2.  Chicken & Dumplings(leftover)
3.  Lasagna or Ravioli(leftover)
4.  Zuke in Tomato Sauce, Kielbasa on rolls
5.  Trout, leftover Zuke Casserole
6.  Beef Stroganoff over Rice, Brussel Sprouts
7.  Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1.  Zuke Casserole
2.  Chicken & Dumplings(leftover)
3.  Ravioli(leftover)
4.  Chicken & Dumplings(again)
5.  Kielbasa on Rolls, Zuke Casserole(leftover)
6.  Lasagna(leftover)
7.  Fend for Yourself Night
We stretched out the leftovers over more meals than I had thought it would stretch, so the Stroganoff and Trout didn't happen.
Last week I made 9(!!!) trips to 5 different markets and spent $236.19 on $469.17 worth of groceries.
This includes what was spent at Target & Ollie's the week before since I forgot to include that.

I also did 2 transactions at Rite-Aid where I spent $1.87 on $56.71 of items there for the week.

Sit down for this one........
$537.46  total spent for the month so far in November including Rite-Aid spending.  My budget was $350 for November so yeah, it was a bust this month.
I've only spent $4,600.00 for the year so far on groceries.  Considering how well we eat I'm not going to beat myself up over a splurge month!

I have a $10 gift certificate/voucher to spend by Saturday at the local market so I'll try to spend as close to $10 as possible this week.  Goodness knows we don't NEED anything in the way of food right now! lolz

Going into this week, in leftovers we have........just some zuke casserole.  The plan was to use up most everything and clean out the fridge so I could fit a turkey in there.

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Spaghetti and Meatballs(in freezer)
2.  Trout, Zuke Casserole(leftover)
3.  Chinese take-out
4.  Mac & Cheese with Ham, Broccoli
5.  Turkey Day Meal
6.  Beef Stroganoff over Rice, Brussel Sprouts
7.  Leftovers

#2 Son is coming home for Thanksgiving Break so even though I'd like to not have to cook all week(isn't a Thanksgiving Fest ENOUGH!?!), I'll make a couple of his favorite meals for him before we send him packing back to school.
What I need to buy for this menu.........nothing.  I'll see what is on sale this week and spend that $10 voucher on things I can add to the stockpile.
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?
How much did you spend on food so far in November?


Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Pig, Some Joe & Clothing Shops

Whoa is me.

Or rather Whoa is my November food budget......

I don't even want to add it all up this month.
It is going to be bad.
I may have topped $500 already this month and it ain't over. 8-(((

Dang Weis(PMITA)Markets for running this Kraft Deal and for all the other great sale prices this month!

I went back to Weis last night and got 3 more packs of OM bacon for $3.32 a pack as I updated on my last Weis post.

Then Hubs and I went back this morning......

I got 3 more packs of bacon, this time Reduced Sodium.  9 packs of bacon are now resting comfortably in my freezer.

And then Hubs went through the register and got 5 cans of coffee.
Since the Deal is based off the reg. shelf price if he got the $5.69 priced cans he only had to buy 5 to exceed the $25 threshold.  These were all on sale for $2.99 and after the $5 instant discount came off they cost us $1.99 each.

With the other items we also bought, I saved 56% and Hubs saved 65% over regular retail on our transactions.

It's all I can do NOT to jump in the car and go and run back for more coffee at that price! ;-)

Then we went to the local market and spent $35 to get a .47¢ a lb. turkey.  Their system wouldn't let me use coupons and still get the discount price on the turkey.  What a mess it was figuring that out since the staff can't do math in their heads!  They eventually had to enter things manually to override the computer, and it was a big brew-ha-ha and I STILL think I overpaid a bit but I left there with $93.07 in food for $37.37 so I can live with it.  8-)
This included 2 applesauce packs, 4 bags croutons, fried onion rings, 3 large cans of tomatoes, 2 brownie mixes, a MC pie, 1 pack of pumpkin cake donuts, a gallon of milk, 1/2 lb deli meat, 1/2 gal. OJ, sour cream, 3 whipped cream, a large bottle of sea salt, 6 bags of premium frozen veggies and a 16 lb. turkey.

Then it was off to Kohl's armed with $30 in Kohl's cash(which has to be spent before Turkey Day)and a 20% off discount pass.  We got Hubs a new pair of $75 dress shoes, after sale and discount and KCash cost us $11.99.  Then I got $185 worth of clothing for #2 Son on clearance for $47.99 and after the 20% discount paid $38.39 out the door for that load.

Total value of goods today....$429.43
Cash OOP......$118.14
72% savings rate on all.

Now I'm off to go record my spending in the notebook and have a stroke after I add it all up. lolz



Friday, November 21, 2014

Don't Believe Everything They Tell You at Weis

This in regard to the Kraft Deal(spend $25 get $5 off instantly)running through Saturday at Weis(PoundMeInTheAss)Markets.

I asked 2 different employees at the Customer Service Desk if you had to spend $25 on the sale prices or the regular shelf prices.
They both said they were positive it's off the sale prices.

So I went and got 3 packs of OM bacon(mmmm, bacon!).
Reg. retail is $8.99(!!!)so that's $26.97.
But it's on sale for $4.99 this week, so that's $14.97 and not enough to get the least that it what I was led to believe.

So I threw 3 cans of Maxwell House coffee and 1 box of Stove Top into my cart, to get me over $25 IF the Deal was truly based on sale prices.

After ringing up the OM Bacon I watched and I got a $5 deduction on my receipt.
So this Deal is based on the regular price, not sale price!
The coffee and stuffing went back on the shelf needless to say......

This means the bacon cost me $3.32 a package.
Too bad it's a limit of 1 Offer for this deal.


I went back to Weis last night and tried the Kraft Deal again with 3 packs of bacon.
Got the $5 off again so it's a limit of One Offer on EACH Transaction not EACH Card.

I may be going back today in that case and drag Hubs along too so he can do the Deal as well.  8-)


Dollar Tree Deal

I know many folks who read my blog shop at Dollar Tree stores too.

On Sunday Dollar Tree will be holding a Customer Appreciation Day.
Go HERE and print out the page that is a discount card for 10% off a minimum $10 purchase on that day.

I'm not too proud to say that I shop at the Dollar Tree.
In fact some items are a much better bargain than buying them at the drugstore or grocery store.......unless of course you can get them for almost free at Rite-Aid.  ;-)

Go HERE to see a list of items you should always buy at the Dollar Store.

Personally I buy some frozen foods(pot stickers and fruit), eggs, some canned foods(like chili), pasta and dried beans, on a semi-regular basis there.  

What do you like to buy at dollar stores?



Looking Back at my Stockpiling Efforts

Someone recently asked about stockpiling in a comment on the blog.
This got me thinking about back when I started stockpiling products.
I found my first blog post on the subject from March of 2009(I had been stockpiling at this point since mid-February of 2009) so I thought I'd post it again as I am feeling nostalgic.  ;-)

I'll be doing more posts on and revisiting the stockpiling theme in the coming weeks.


From Blog Post called  "I'll Show You Mine".

I've been clipping coupons and practicing the Art of the Coupon now for just over 6 weeks.

On Saturday, I put all my toiletry steals & deals together and took this picture. I guess you would now call this a Stockpile.....

This is only the stuff I got for free or pretty darn close to free, up to March 12th. This doesn't include the armloads of stuff the family is now using and it's ONLY Toiletries(except for the 3 packs of gum on the bottom right side). There is also the PAPER Products Pile, the CLEANING Products Pile and the humongous FOOD & DRINK Pile.

With calculator in hand, I figured a rough estimate of $788.00 retail value on this, as they call it here, turlitrees lot. I paid approx. $20 out of pocket cash for all this and that included all the taxes.

I need to make some plans to utilize some of this now. Like taking the glucose meters to the free clinic & some of the toiletries to the local women's domestic violence shelter. Seriously, no one needs 14 tubes of toothpaste!

I've found that over these weeks, I've gotten a little more picky about what I try to score. I no longer try for the Glade products, Scenty Sprays & things like Fabric Softeners usually, as those are somethings we just don't use. Also Tums and Gastro-type medicines. This family has indestructible gastrointestinal tracts it seems.lolol
I don't wear make-up but I've gotten a bit(not pictured)for #1 daughter. She snatches that away right quick!

So, how am I doing with the Hounding??

And more importantly, WHERE do I put all this stuff??!!??!!
I really really need my dining room table back.
Every crevice is filled in my house and garage! My pantry is filled, the trunk of my car is packed, the shelves in the garage are groaning under the weight of too many canned goods ready to topple over.....I need to organize it all and FAST!!
I may have to evict a child and take over their bedroom.
Hey, now there's an idea.....
Evict the surly teen du jour, gain some storage space.

"Sorry was a choice between you & your stuff or the Bic Razor Stash. The razors keep my legs silky smooth & you keep my blood pressure up by arguing with me. Sorry, you'll have to find someone else to stress out for the next 2 yrs."
***Poof! Sluggy wakes from her dream.***

Seriously though, how much space does your total stash take up in your house?
I've seen other people's stash photos but tell me how much space you use for yours.

Sluggy-Stash Challenged

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Giveaway Coming Soon & What I'm Doing This Week

I've taken all your suggestions under advisement on the next Boring Blog Box Giveaway and here is what I've decided.......

After Thanksgiving I'll be doing a Christmas Giveaway.  More on that later.

Then in after the New Year I'll do a Giveaway of things you want/need in the Winter.

With that settled, I have a few things to do around here in the next few days---

1.  Get another donation to Salvation Army ready to take up this weekend.
2.  Wrap/Tag a bunch of Christmas presents sitting in the dining room(yeah, it was like Christmas up in here yesterday with lots of packages arriving from my online shopping).  I have to get these wrapped and tucked into a box so we can use the table in there next Thursday.  I'll bow the presents up later, at my leisure, after the tree is up......IF it goes up.
3.  Do a little cleaning out in the Garage.  It was too cold the last 2 days to do anything out there but it is a disaster so this can't wait!
4.  Clean out the fridge so I can fit a turkey in there and get my Turkey Day pantry goods ready for when the cooking needs to start next week.

I already spent some time consolidating the fabric I have listed on Etsy and freed up most of an étagère's worth of space to put some of my personal fabric stash out on it too.  That alone emptied 3 Rubbermaid tubs.  Now I have to move 3 more tubs into the closet those now empty ones came out of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Genealogical Connections

If you need to get up to speed, go read my last genealogy post HERE where I talked about my 5th cousin, William Lewis Herndon who traces back to my Waller family line.

William Lewis married Frances Elizabeth Hansborough in 1836 and their only child was born the following year in Culpepper County, Va.  They named her Ellen Lewis Herndon.

Four months before her birth, William was assigned sea duty, missing her arrival into the world.
As Ellen grew up her father was only around sporadically so she was close to her mother.  The sister of her mother and the brother of her father married and produced many children who were Ellen's "double cousins" and they and their families remained very close to her.
(Yes, this line resembles a macramé piece rather than a TREE and I am still unearthing the tangled relations to me.)

Anyway, Ellen supposedly had an excellent singing voice and focused on that during her childhood growing up in Washington, D.C.
It is said that Ellen befriended Dolley Madison when she was very young.  Dolley was then in her seventies and they both attended the same Church.
When she was 20 Ellen's father died in that hurricane/ship sinking deal.  His widow and daughter were given many accolades posthumously for William.  He was considered something of a hero at that time. 

After the customary period of mourning was over, Ellen and her mother resumed their active social lives, which included summering in Newport, RI and Saratoga Springs, NY with others of their elite class. (Their inclusion in the "upper crust" was due to Frances' inherited wealth from her parents and the prominence of her deceased spouse.)

The year after William's death, while vacationing in Saratoga Spring, her cousin, Dabney Herndon, introduced Ellen to Chester Alan Arthur.  Dabney was a medical student and Chester was a lawyer who shared rooms in NYC.
Evidently Chester fancied Ellen because a year later he proposed to her and she said yes.
After 21 years of marriage and 3 children(2 living to adulthood), Ellen Herndon Arthur passed away at age 42.  The cause was a "chill", caught while standing outside in the elements waiting for a carriage after a musical performance, that turned into pneumonia within 2 days time and took her life.

Later that year her widower husband was elected Vice President of the US as James Garfield's running mate.
Had Ellen lived she would have eventually gone on to become First Lady of the US after Garfield was assassinated in September 1881.
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur is my 6th cousin and 21st President of the US Chester Arthur is my relation by marriage.

Backing up to Ellen's father again, his brother, Brodie Strachan Herndon(also my 5th cousin)was a prominent medical doctor and was the Chief of Medicine for the Confederacy.  Brodie was the first surgeon to perform a Caesarian Section in the US.  Brodie and his wife Frances were the parents of those "double cousins" of Ellen Herndon Arthur.

Another of William Lewis Herndon's siblings was Ann Hull Herndon.  She married Matthew Fontaine Maury.

Maury was the brother in-law to William who got him the job at the US Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office, which Maury headed.

Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury is kind of a big deal in the world of oceanography and sailing among other areas.
He has been called "Pathfinder of the Seas" and "Father of Modern Oceanography and Naval Meteorology" and later, "Scientist of the Seas".
I won't bore you with the long litany of his accomplishments but you can google his name or go HERE to learn more and then some.

He is a really big deal in my home state of Virginia too, such that he has a statue on Richmond's Monument Avenue too.

The navy has named a few ships after him too.....

           The USS Maury AGS-16

The USS Renate was renamed the USS Maury after WWII and used as a surveying vessel until it was decommissioned in 1969
Two different Destroyers were also named after Maury(one used during WWI and the other used during WWII).

Matthew Maury had an interesting idea in the era right before the beginning of the War Between the States which never came to fruition.  If things had played out as he envisioned we may have avoided a costly war and America may look a bit different than it does today.

One of his ideas when he sent his cousin/brother in-law William Herndon & crew off to explore the Amazon in 1851 was to get the Brazilian government to open up trade with the US and allow US colonization and settlement in that country.
Maury saw that this "slavery issue" in the US was coming to a head so he had a plan to head off the coming armed conflict.

His idea was to have Southern slaveholders who wanted to "divest" their human goods to be able to ship their slaves to Brazil, which was at that time a slave holding society, and sell them there.  This was much in line with what Northern slave holders in the US had done at the time of the gradual abolishment of slavery in the North decades before. (Remember the last slave wasn't freed in PA until 1847.)
Northern owners had sold their slaves to free white men in the South.  Maury's thought was also that those in the US who wanted to continue to hold slaves, could migrate and settle in Brazil, thus removing the "peculiar institution" from our shores.

Of course nothing came of this grand scheme as the ruler of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, and his government were not receptive to the notion.  (I don't blame them for nixing Maury's plan, as the US has a grand history of imperialism throughout the world and much of Brazil may have ended up as a territory of the US had this scheme played out.)

As far as it stands at the moment Matthew Fontaine Maury is the husband of my 5th cousin.  Yet this tree is a tangled knot of kinship and I may have a more direct link to him that I have yet to uncover.

Incidentally, I have another intersection with the Maury family.  Matthew's paternal grandfather was the Reverend James Maury.  He ran a classical school for young men near present day Gordonsville, Virginia.  One of his pupils was Thomas Jefferson.  This harks back to my connection to the Jefferson family through my 7th Great Grandmother Mary Hunt Allen and her 3rd husband Field Jefferson, Thomas' uncle.
Small world back then I'd say. ;-)

On a personal note, the high school I attended in Norfolk, Virginia was 2.5 miles down the road from one of our rival schools, Maury High School......

Yep, that school is named for Matthew Fontaine Maury and the sports teams are of course nicknamed "The Commodores". 
I used to drive by that school often, when I went downtown, and I never knew any of this history/genealogy stuff.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another Trip to Rite-Aid....Last One, I Promise! Or Maybe Not....lolz

While I was checking out at Rite-Aid on Sunday I saw the cashier had a sheet of 50% shelf stickers laying on the counter.
She had interrupted her "sticker placing" to ring me up.
I notice one of the 50% off stickers was for a Tresemme product(and buying 2 this week gets you a $3 +Up Reward)so I gathered my $2/1 Tresemme Qs and went back today while I was out dropping the Hubs at the auto repair shop.

Here's what I picked up.......

2 x Tresemme split end 'Poo 50% off=$6.98
1 x Colgate mouthwash on sale=$2.99
1 x Aleve PM 20% Wellness discount=$5.43
1 x Mucinex tea 20% Wellness discount=$6.23

Coupons Used
2 x $2/1 Tresemme ManuQ=$4.00
1 x .75¢/1 Colgate mouthwash IPQ=$.75
1 x $2/1 Aleve item IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/1 Aleve VideoValuesQ=$1.00
1 x $6.99/1 Mucinex tea In-AdQ=$6.99
Coupon Total.....$14.74

I used $6 in +Up Rewards and paid .89¢ OOP.
I received back $7 in new +Up Rewards($3 wyb2 Tresemme, $2 Colgate, $2 Aleve PM)

The 50% off Tresemme combined with the Qs and the +Up Reward it gives back this week means FREE 'Poo! 8-)

This means instead of going into BF sales I have $19 in +Ups, not $18 in +Ups.

BUT--I remembered that I have a deal in my Savingstar account......Spend $25 on Bayer Products and get $5 cash back.

The Aleve PM is a qualifying product so I have $10.86 toward $25 spent.

The 2 Alka-Seltzer cold meds I bought at Target Saturday also qualify. 
So I am attempting to go through their "send them a photo of your receipt and UPCs" Feature on Savingstar to send those purchases and if it works, I'll have $20.24 toward that $5 rebate.

In this case, I'll be going back to Rite-Aid this week to buy one more bottle of Aleve PM.
After +Ups and Qs this last bottle will "cost" me either $1.43(if bought alone) or .67¢(if bought with another Mucinex tea). 
Either way after all is spent and +Ups and $5 Target gift card and Qs I'll be out $3.81 or less.....BUT after the $5 Rebate on Savingstar I'll be in a moneymaker situation of $2-$3 for all 5 items. 
Yay me!

Just working all the angles I can to get the most bang for my bucks.....


Monday, November 17, 2014

Go Help Linda...Please

Our blogger friend Linda is having some financial difficulties presently.
Linda has no water in her house.
The water line to her 112 year old house needs replacing.  This is an expensive repair/replacement involving digging up the old lines and replacing them. 

And when the plumber looked into this issue he found that someone had cut her sewer line to boot!
Plus her hot water heater may need to be replaced as it's been sitting in standing water in the basement(rusting).

She has been without a consistent source of fresh water for weeks now.
And she doesn't have the funds to have any of this fixed.

Linda lives on a fixed, Social Security income, which I would find difficult to exist on, let alone pay for major home repairs out of that.

There are no agencies she has found, nor any Church group locally, that will help her with these financial difficulties.

There is a GOFUNDME fund set up HERE to help her pay for these repairs so she can remain in her home.

If you are feeling compassionate this Holiday Season, consider making a donation to this cause.
I know everyone and their brother has their hands out this time of year but giving to this good lady you know all the funds(outside of what Go Fund Me charges for a fee)will go to the intended recipient and not pay administrative costs like with some large charities out there.

If anyone would like to donate directly via snail mail and not through the site, please email me and I'll act as a collection point and forward all donations received.

Thanks for considering this worthy cause.  8-)


This Week on the Dining Table

The "Feeling Better" Edition..........

My armpit is feeling much better so we went to a local brewery on Saturday to celebrate.
Imperial Cherry Stout hit the spot.
Onward to the meal planning!

What was planned last week--

1.  Chicken Parmesan, Cabbage Saute
2.  Butternut Squash Ravioli, Tossed Salad
3.  Chicken and Dumplings
4.  Broccoli Soup
5.  Lasagna, Zuke Casserole
6.  Leftovers
7.  Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1.  Chicken Parmesan, Cabbage Saute
2.  Butternut Squash Ravioli, Tossed Salad
3.  Chicken and Dumplings
4.  Broccoli Soup
5.  Lasagna
6.  Leftovers
7.  Leftovers
Everything prepared and served pretty much as planned last week.
Except for the Zuke Casserole which got made last night.
Last week I made 5 trips to 2 different markets and spent $156.87 on $241.53 worth of groceries.
I forgot the Target shop on Saturday so will add that into next week's grocery bill.
Even with all this spending I didn't spend enough at the local market to earn a $10 Thanksgiving Promotion Certificate. Can you believe that? lolz

I also did 3 transactions at Rite-Aid where I spent $1.22 on $38.29 of items there for the week.
$300.62  total spent for the month so far in November including Rite-Aid spending.  My budget was $350 for November so I have just short of $50 left to spend this month.
Somehow I don't think this will end well.  ;-)

Going into this week, in leftovers we have........2 servings of lasagna left, 2 bowls of chicken and dumplings, squash ravioli(1.5 servings of that one).

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Zuke Casserole
2.  Chicken & Dumplings(leftover)
3.  Lasagna or Ravioli(leftover)
4.  Zuke in Tomato Sauce, Kielbasa on rolls
5.  Trout, leftover Zuke Casserole
6.  Beef Stroganoff over Rice, Brussel Sprouts
7.  Leftovers
What I need to buy for this menu.........nothing.
I still need to pick up a turkey for Turkey Day.  I picked up the produce for Turkey Day at the restaurant supply store Sunday so that's done.
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?
How much did you spend on food so far in November?


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rite-Aid This Week

I went out early this morning as the forecast is calling for bad stuff later.
Here are the goodies from Rite-Aid---

1 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$2.99
1 x Colgate mouthwash on sale=$2.99
1 x Aleve PM w/20% Wellness discount=$5.43
1 x Mucinex tea meds on sale $6.99 but 20% Wellness disc. better=$6.23*

Coupons Used
1 x $1/1 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ(inserts last week)=$1.00
1 x .75/1 Colgate toothpaste IPQ(HERE )=$.75
1 x $2/1 Aleve item IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$2.00
1 x $1/1 Aleve item VideoValuesQ=$1.00
1 x $6.99/1 In-Ad Mucinex tea Q=$6.99
Coupon Total......$11.74

$17.64-$11.74=$5.90 + .08¢tax=$5.98
I used $5 in +Up Rewards and paid .98¢ OOP.
I received back $6 in new +Up Rewards(2 x $2 Colgate, $2 Aleve).

*The Mucinex threw me a curveball since my 20% Wellness discount is better than the sale price of $6.99.
The In-ad Q still rang up and took off $6.99 instead of the $6.23 I paid.  I was prepared to pay $6.66(+tax), using $6 in +Ups instead of the $5 I used.  This meant my OOP was about 30¢ more than I thought but I didn't use $1 in +Ups.
Everything worked out ok anyway.

My +Ups don't expire now until November 29 or 30th so I am good going into the Black Friday sales days.

Here is my BF sale plan for Thursday of the sale---

2 x Planters nuts gift pack.  It's $5.99 on sale, gives a $3 +Ups but I have my rain check from last Christmas(they never got anymore back in stock after they sold out that weekend).  The RC lets me purchase 2 gift sets for $2.99 each.  But if I wait and use it during the BF sale I'll get $3 +Ups back too, meaning I'll spend $5.98 and get back $6 in +Ups for 2, essentially paying nothing for them. Unfortunately unless you got a rain check for this item last year you can't duplicate this one.

1 x GE light bulb for $3.99, giving a $3.99 +Ups.
1 x Philips ear buds for $6.00, giving a $6 +Ups.
1 x Vaseline lotion on sale $2.99, giving a $2 +Ups.  I have a $2 Hangtag Q for this so spending .99¢, get $2 +Ups back.
1 x Listerine floss on sale $2.99.  I have a $1/1 IPQ(coupons dotcom)so I'll pay $1.99 and it gives a $2 +Ups back.

Total spending of $18.95......I'll use my $18 in +Ups and pay .95¢(plus any tax)OOP.
I'll receive back $19.99 in new +Up Rewards(2 x $3 Planters, $3.99 GE, $6 Philips, 2 x $2 Vaseline and Listerine).

And remember---Get RAIN CHECKS on all the freebies if they are out of them and they are things you can use.   Rain checks for items that give back amounts equal to what you pay for them means FREE items when they come back in stock.



Giveaway Winner & You Decide the Next Box

Thanks to everyone who came around to enter the latest Boring Box Giveaway on the blog.
I put all the names/entries onto slips of paper and then threw them into a basket and drew one slip out.

And the winner is........


Congratulations Laura.  Please email me before Tuesday morning with your shipping address and I'll get this box of goodies out to you.

I'll be holding 1 more Giveaway before this year is out so stay tuned for more chances to get in on the Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway!

Here's your chance to decide what goes into the next Giveaway Box.  Leave a comment on this post with what things you'd like to see included in the next Giveaway.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekend Deals & Spending

Just some deals I got this weekend.

At Weis on Friday......

2 x Sierra Mist Cranberry(#2 Son likes this)on sale .77¢ each=$1.54
1 x 16 oz. Honey on sale(cold season means hot tea and honey)=$4.39
2 x Butter on sale(holiday baking ahead)=$5.00
2 x St. Joseph baby aspirin(I take this each night)on sale $1 each=$2.00

I had a $1/2 Sierra Mist 2ltrs. IPQ(NLA)making the soda .27¢ a bottle.
I had a $1/1 Weis honey IPQ from their FB page making it $3.39
I had 2 x $1/1 St. Joseph products IPQ(smartsource dotcom)making these each FREE!

So $4 additional off means I paid $8.93+.04¢tax=$8.97 OOP
At $21.43 regular retail I saved 58% on this stuff.

Today we hit a few stores too and made a Salvation Army run to donate a carload of things.
Among the boring stuff like ice melt and humidifier filters there were a few deals to be had.

I can't show you some of what I got(presents, you know)but here are a couple things from Target........

3 x Coffee-Mate creamers on sale $1.50.  I had 3 x .75¢ IPQs and stacked a $1/3 Target Q, making these $1.25 for all or .42¢ each.

2 x Alka-Seltzer Cold(Hubs choice for cold meds)$4.69 each=$9.38
I used 2 x $1/1 Alka-Seltzer IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$7.38
And I paid with a $5 gift card I got from a deal I did at Target last month=$2.38 or $1.19 each and I got another $5 gift card for buying these.

I also picked up 4 boxes of green tea.  They were on sale for $1.92 x 4=$7.68
I used 2 x $3/2 Lipton tea products(coupons dotcom) so $7.68-$6.00=$1.68 or .42¢ a box.
Not bad......

We had a beer and lunch out and then I hit Rite-Aid on the way home......

I picked up the Delsym to do the full price rebate.
I ended up buying the bigger more expensive bottle rather than the 3 ouncer that was on sale this week for $9.99.
With my 20% Wellness discount the $17.99 bottle was $14.39 and I had a $1/1 Delsym Video Values Q so I was OOP $13.39.....for now.
The rebate/refund Deal is up to $14.00 so I'll get the full $13.39 refunded so why get the $9.99 bottle, right?

I also picked up 2 light bulb packs.  These are BOGO50% and they fit in our dining room lighting fixture(which we need new bulbs for anyway).
These came to $8.08 and I had $6 in Qs(2 x $1/1 ManuQ & 2 x $2/1 VideoValuesQ) so $2.08 and they gave back $2 in Ups.  I paid with +Ups so they "cost" me .08¢.

The cough drops were on sale 2/$3 this week and I had a $1/2 ManuQ so $2 for both.  I paid with $2 in +Ups so nothing OOP and I got back $1 +Up(wyb2 Hall's).

$4.08 paid with $4 +Ups and .08¢ cash OOP.
I got back $3 in +Ups.

My Rite-Aid gift card I was waiting to show up did so this afternoon so I went and got that Dunkin Donuts gift card today using that FB Q for $5 off a purchase.
I'll then use this gift card when DD puts their bags of ground coffee on sale for the Holidays, thus stacking a Q with paying for the gift card with using a discounted RA gift card instead of cash to get bags of coffee at a discounted price.
It's a Trifecta!

I also picked up 2 more restaurant gift cards that gave $5 +Ups each this week.
$10 in bonus +Ups so I have $17 in +Ups going into Sunday.

With my scenario for the coming week's sales ad, I'll be OOP .82¢(maybe some tax too)and will spend $7 in +Ups and get back $8 in new +Ups.

And this gets all my +Ups rolled to the Black Friday sales at Rite-Aid so I don't have to spend/roll any more of them until Thanksgiving.

And I have my scenario planned and written out for BF at Rite-Aid.  It has me spending .95¢(plus some tax) and all $18 in +Ups and getting back $19.99 in new +Ups on Thursday and then I'll see what FREEBIES(the ones of which I want)are left by Friday and go from there and roll the +Ups accordingly.
I am ready!

So how was your Saturday?
Did you go out and hunt the deals?
Or did you does something else?


Friday, November 14, 2014

There's a New "Judy" in the House!

I went and bought a crock-pot on Tuesday.
And it showed up at my door on Thursday.

It's larger than my other crock-pot(7 quart) but even better.........


And it was a great deal.

$29.99 on sale at Kohl's.
I got 30% off=$20.99
Then I got another $10 off for buying it on Veteran's Day=$10.99
And I just got finished filling out the $5 rebate on this model=$5.99 + a stamp=$6.44 OOP
And the shipping was free too.

Now I just need to decide what to cook to christen her.
Any suggestions?


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rite-Aid Updates

Well I returned the Aveeno baby items to Rite-Aid yesterday.
I was prepared to get back $7 on a gift card and give back the $2 +Ups that transaction gave me.

But instead the cashier insisted on refunding the full $12(pre coupons and +Ups)purchase Cash!
And she didn't want my $2 +Ups back either.
Who am I, a lowly customer, to argue? ;-)

So I now have $10 in +Ups plus $12 in cash(in lieu of the $7 in +Ups I spent on the Aveeno) I'll use toward my +Ups total.
So $22 in +Ups/Cash to use to roll more +Ups.

I then bought this.......

2 x Xtra laundry detergent.
They are on sale this week for $1.99 each.
There is also a $1/1 Q on coupons dotcom for Xtra so they end up being .99¢ each.

Unless of course you have a Load2Card Q for $1/1 Xtra detergent on your wellness card which automatically comes off and then you had the cashier 2 x $1/1 Extra IPQs and she puts both them through, then you only pay .98¢ total for both bottles instead of $1.98 for 2. lolz
I forgot there was an Xtra Q on my wellness card otherwise I would have only given her the 1 $1/1 IPQ.
Oh well.

Then I bought this.......

2 x Ora-Gel kids toothpaste on sale BOGOFree=$2.99
1 x Halloween candy on sale 75% off=.19¢

I used a $1/1 Ora-Gel product IPQ


I used $2 in +Up Rewards and paid .18¢ OOP.
I received back another $2 +Up Rewards($2+Up wyb 2 Ora-Gel/Arm & Hammer Deal)

Total spent OOP this day---$1.16

I will probably go back this week to purchase a bottle of Delsym cough syrup.  It's $9.99 this week(lowest price it's been lately)and there is a $1/1 Video Values Q PLUS a full price refund Deal you can mail away for.
I like Delsym and we've used it for years in our house.

I am hoping the Rite-Aid gift card I bought online will arrive by Saturday so I can use that when I buy a DD gift card with the $5 off coupon before that expires on Monday.



Thanksgiving Food Plans

Thanksgiving seems like it's right around the corner now that Halloween has passed.
That means it's time to get that Turkey Day menu planned out.

This year we will be 3 for dinner as 2 of my kids are too far away to come home for the Holiday.  #1 Son will go to Girlfriend's parents' house and the Daughter will celebrate in her new house this year.
I'd love to be down there when she makes her first Thanksgiving dinner. 8-)

If I am feeling hospitable that day we'll invite the BIL and the Nephew.
They have come to our house for Thanksgiving ever since they moved to our town.....about 10 years now?
It would be nice if just once they did the dinner and invited us and I didn't have to cook everything and got a break but I am Not holding my breath on that score!

Every year Hubs and I go round and round about just going out for Thanksgiving but then there are no leftovers in the fridge so that gets voted down every. single. year.   We love us some leftovers around here obviously.

Every year I say I am going to simplify and do a "basic" Turkey Day.
And every year I lie......lolz

Here is what I served last Turkey Day--

*Smoked Turkey
*Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
*Green Bean Casserole
*Mashed Rutabagas
*Glazed Roasted Carrots
*Roasted Potatoes and Onions
*Crescent Rolls
*Cranberry Glop
*Au Jus and/or Gravy-pick your poison
*Pumpkin Pie (whipped cream optional)
*Mincemeat Pie
*White Zinfandel(Californian)

And THIS was a pared down menu. 8-)

This year #2 Son has requested beside turkey and stuffing--mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rutabagas and pumpkin pie.

We won't smoke the turkey this year(I'll smoke a turkey breast in December) and we'll lose the mincemeat pie and mash the potatoes instead of roasting them. 
I didn't make rolls from scratch last year(the horrors!)but I want to do them this year.

The menu this year......

*Roasted Turkey
*Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
*Green Bean Casserole
*Mashed Rutabagas
*Mashed Potatoes
*Homemade Rolls
*Cranberry Glop
*Au Jus and/or Gravy-pick your poison
*Pumpkin Pie (whipped cream optional)
*Wine or Hard Cider or Cider from whatever is on hand

I may also serve some easy veggie like baked sweet potatoes(whole)or corn(from a can)or broccoli(fresh steamed I can do ahead and reheat).  I know I'm already doing 3 veggie sides but not everyone will eat them. 8-P

So what have you planned for Turkey Day so far?



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wins and Fails in Frugal Land

Sometimes being frugal is all about making do without.
Sometimes being frugal is all about getting the best deal when you must part with your precious dollars.
Here are my recent wins and fails when it comes to getting the best deal.....

*  I actually broke down recently and went and bought some white thread.
I was clean out of white after many many years of using my stash from my costume designer/theater days.
Hey!  It only took 30 years to use it all up. ;-)

The only fabric store now around here is a Jo-Ann's.
You could have picked my jaw off the floor when I saw the prices of thread!
What? it spun from GOLD now or something?!?

The rack of regular threads came in 3 sizes, with the "best" deal being a spool with 500 yards on it costing $4.29.

I did reconnoiter through the rest of the store and found a bin of "value" spools by Coats & Clark(is it just Coats now?)of 400 yard spools for $2.99.

Well I just did the math and the 500 yard spools are a better deal, but lured by the lower price
point I bought 7 spools of the $2.99 one.
But I did have a 25% off my purchase coupon so it wasn't a total frugal loss.

*  I bought a restaurant gift card the other day at Rite-Aid......

R-A put out a Facebook Q for $5 off a choice of restaurant gift cards when you put $25 on one so I took the bait and went and bought one.

R-A has put another Facebook Q up for $5 off either a Panera Bread or a Dunkin Donuts gift card purchase HERE.  It's good until next Monday so go print that baby.

After all, 20% off a gift card is nothing to sneeze at!!

Then to make any more gift card purchase deals even better at Rite-Aid I went and did this.......

I bought a Rite-Aid gift card on one of the buy/sell Gift Card exchanges online to pay for any more gift card deals I do at Rite-Aid.

The R-A gift card was 11% off the face value, so if I use it to pay for the Panera/DD gift card, that's something like 31% off?  Ok, so I am not so good with math but I just know it's a bigger deal than 25% off. lolz

Even if there is no Facebook Q for a gift card at Rite-Aid, there are also the gift cards during certain weeks which give you an +Up Reward instead, which means free toiletries.

Either offer is a win/win.

*  And speaking of Rite-Aid......
I went on Sunday and bought this stuff--

I was suppose to get a $5 OYNO Catalina for buying 3 Aveeno products but it didn't print.
Cashier insisted that the machine was on but I suspect it wasn't.
So I couldn't do my second transaction of 2 Aveeno products which at the end of it all would have given back +Ups/Cats equal to what I spent on all 5 products.

So I am out $5 +Ups right now.
I really don't feel like calling Catalina and waiting the usual 2 weeks to get that $5 Cat so I am just going to return these 3 items and get a refund on a gift card.

I was just buying them to roll my +Ups until Black Friday sales at Rite-Aid, I didn't "need" them and there was nothing else this week I saw that would let me roll the +Ups and not spend them down.

I will still be down some +Ups but they will now be tucked into a gift card and won't expire, which is even better.
And I don't have anymore +Ups expiring until Sunday and I have a plan for how to roll them then.

*  I spent $160 on $236 worth of items at Kohl's online yesterday during their Veteran's Day Sale.
I saved $78 in discounts plus earned $30 in Kohl's cash.
#2 Son needs pants and Levi's were BOGO50%, making them $30 a pair.  I got 30% off from that so they ended up being $21 a pair.
$21 a pair for LEVI'S!

I also got some Christmas presents and nightgowns for myself and everything was 30% off the already discounted sale price.

And I got a new crockpot.  After discounts and a $5 rebate it will cost me $8.99.
Not bad.

The FAIL in this Kohl's Deal?
In my excitement I forgot to go through the ShopAtHome portal and didn't get cash back on that $160.

*  Now I am off to return those items to Rite-Aid and then off to Ollie's with my discount card they sent me to see what I can find......

What successes or failures have you had lately when it comes to being frugal?



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Web of History & Genealogy

A blogger friend, Lorraine sent me a gift recently.
She does eBay and had a "dog" she couldn't sell(haven't we all had those?!)......a printing block of the WALLER family crest.
I had mentioned to her that I have WALLER as a surname in my family lines so she sent it to me after listing it umpteen times to no avail.
Wasn't that sweet of her? 8-)

I know it doesn't look like much now but it's a tool, not the final product I can pull from this. 8-)

Some day I'll get around to getting a roller and ink and printing that Crest up onto some good archival paper stock and frame it.

Until then let's wander down my Waller family line and see whom we happen upon, ok?
Let's turn this into a history lesson of some persons seldom talked about in US history.

My WALLER line can be traced back to Buckinghamshire England.
The most distant Waller ancestor is Thomas born there in 1610.  There is some conflicting data that Thomas married Anne Keate in Virginia but this may be another Thomas Waller or they just got it wrong since they married in England.

We do know that his son John Thomas or Thomas John Waller came to Virginia and died in New Kent Virginia Colony in 1688.
Thomas John and his wife Elizabeth had 4 sons-James, Nelson, Spence, Zachariah, and 1 daughter, Susannah.
Susannah Waller, born in 1680, lost her father at age 8.
She is my 7th X Great Grandmother(thus Thomas John and Elizabeth are my 8th x GGs).
Susannah's grandson, my 5x Great Grandfather, is a notable character in Virginia religious history which I'll detail in a later post.

But let's look at a 1st cousin of Susannah and me, Mary Elizabeth WALLER, the daughter of a brother of Susannah's father, Thomas John.  This brother never left England but his daughter, Mary E., born in 1674 in Newport  Pagnell, Buckinghamshire England, did.
Mary married Edward Herndon in the Virginia Colony around 1698.

Edward Herndon's father, William Herndon came to Virginia around 1673, establishing the HERNDON line in the New World.
Mary Elizabeth and Edward Herndon's children would be my 2nd cousins.
Among them was their son, Edward, born in 1702 in Spotsylvania, VA.

Edward Jr.'s son, Joseph, born in 1737, would be my 3rd cousin.
Joseph's son, Dabney, born in 1783, would be my 4th cousin.
Dabney's son, William Lewis, born in 1813, would be my 5th cousin.

William Lewis Herndon was born in Fredericksburg Virginia, he entered the US Naval Academy in 1828 and was commissioned a lieutenant in 1841.  He was stationed at the US Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C.  He was given command of the brig "SS Iris" during the Mexican-American War and was said to have served with distinction.

Probably owing to nepotism(his boss was also his cousin AND brother in-law), William was selected to lead the first scientific expedition sanctioned by the US government to explore the Amazon River Valley in South America.
He spent 1851-1852 in the jungles of South America along the Amazon.
Upon returning to Washington D.C. he spent 3 years writing up his report as a book called, "Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon".
And yes, you can buy it on Amazon dotcom today HERE. *said with high irony*

But there is more.......

In 1855 he was given command of the steamer "SS George Law".
It was originally named after George Law, a NYC financier and investor in Railroad and Steamship lines.

                                 George Law

Shortly after taking command the ship was renamed the "SS Central America".  This vessel was used commercially to haul goods and people from the Isthmus(of today's Panama)to the port of New York.  It had successfully made this 2 week journey 43 times up to mid-1857. 

This ship is also known as the "Ship of Gold" because of the fate that befell it in 1857.

In 3 September of 1857 Capt. William Lewis Herndon left the port of Aspinwall(known today as Colon)in what then was a territory of Columbia(now Panama) with a crew of 101 and 477 passengers bound for the port of New York, USA.

After a stop in Havana Cuba, they headed north and 6 days later off the coast of the Carolinas they ran into a Category 2 hurricane.  After 2 days the boiler was dying, the sails were shreds and they were taking on water at a high rate and a distress signal was sent out.  The next day two ships were spotted and 153 passengers, mostly women and children, were rescued.  A Norwegian ship later picked up 50 survivors in the waters and 3 people in a lifeboat were found later as well.
425 crew members and male passengers drowned.
William Lewis Herndon after trying to put as many people into lifeboats as he could, went down with his ship.

He was hailed a hero posthumously and a monument was erected to him at the Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland.

Incidentally the Herndon obelisk is part of a Naval Academy tradition.
Each year at graduation, the freshman class at Annapolis climbs the greased-up monument as part of the end of "Plebe Year".

Ironically, I was part of a radio broadcast Eater Choral Concert while in college between the Midshipmen's Chorus and my Women's College Chorus at the Naval Academy in the Chapel.  The Herndon monument is right across from the Chapel.  I had no clue back then that I walked right by my 5th cousin's memorial. ;-)

Two US Navy ships were named USS Herndon in Capt. Herndon's honor over the years.
The town of Herndon, Virginia, founded in 1879, was also given that name in his honor.

The sinking of the SS Central America on September 12, 1857, to that point in history, was the largest loss of human life in commercial US shipping.

     Portrayal of the Wreck of the SS Central America

Not only that, but the ship had been carrying 30,000 pounds of Gold, recently prospected in California in the Gold Rush and minted into $20 Gold Eagle coins in San Francisco. (Moving goods from California by water, south then overland across the Isthmus of Panama(Columbian territory then), then back into the Atlantic Ocean was safer and quicker in that era than entirely overland within the continental US.)

It is said that the SS Central America was carrying approx. 1/3 of the California gold that had been mined and minted to that point in time.

The loss of approx. 2 Million $ of gold(today's value ranges to $150 Million)added to the cause of the Panic of 1857 in which banks failed(due to bad investments and a lack of gold and a run on the banks by customers)and the country was thrown into an Economic Depression for the following 3 years.

In 1986 Tommy Thompson, renowned deep sea treasure hunter, and his group of investors found the wreck of the SS Central American and much of it's golden contents.  After being tied up in various litigations over a dozen years on who should get the booty, the issue was settled, the treasure has been displayed and some of it has been reminted into commemorative coins for collectors.....albeit some very wealthy collectors. 8-)
There was a book written about the recovery expedition and the film rights have been purchased so look for this story to come to a big screen near you someday.

More about my Waller related cousins next time.....