Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Food & Toiletries Spending.....March Update

*I am posting this a day early since I am done shopping for the month.*

 Onward to March's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for MARCH 2015.

I have posted March's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2015 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in March.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals SumMy spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 3(2-3 at home this month). No kids under 19.


OOP  $8.50
Value  $40.72
Savings  79.13%

RITE-AID *(see below)
OOP  $6.33
Qs/Ads/+UPs  $421.39
Value  $427.72
Savings  98.52%
SHURSAVE STORES(small local independent affiliated stores)
OOP  $33.74
Qs/Ads  $18.86
Value  $52.60
Savings  35.85%

OOP  $39.48
Value  $63.45
Savings  37.18%
OOP  $180.83
Qs/Ads  $124.01
Value  $304.84
Savings  40.68%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 98.52%, the Bakery Outlet at 79.13% and Weis Markets at 40.68%.  My WORST savings rate was the Shursave affiliate at 35.85%.

My Bakery Outlet savings rate increased over last month's trip because they lowered their prices so my $8.50 went a whole lot further.  The had increased their prices awhile back but I guess that was the tipping point for bread products in this area, as they sold too few.  Last month my same $8.50 outlay only bought $17.66 worth of products.  I, as a consumer, am glad to see the prices lowered for a change.

I shopped at 5 different stores this past month. 

TOTAL Out of Pocket........ $268.88
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$620.45
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$889.33
TOTAL Savings of...................................69.76%
TOTAL Savings WITHOUT Rite-Aid.............43.12%

This closes out the March food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into March wanting to do a $300 monthly spending and actually accomplished that goal for a change.
Yay me! 8-)

The monthly savings percentage went up by 9.46% in March to 69.76% compared to February's 60.30% average.
Next month, without all that low OOP at Rite-Aid shopping, will most probably affect my average and it will plummet like a rock into the 30-40 percentile.

The savings rate for the year so far now stands at 68.70%.  That's a .46% increase in savings over February's YTD total.   It's quite high all things considered but I fear it will be the highest savings percentage I see in 2015 now that the "Salad Days" of Rite-Aid are over.


I want to continue to eat down some of our stockpiles of food and empty out the freezer a bit more. It's just 2 adults for April but we are going to host Easter dinner and invite 2 from the family here to eat.  I have two large shops coming up this week(totaling about $100) so April will start off with a shopping bang!
The rest of the month will mostly be eating all the stocks up and reigning in the spending on food.  I don't forsee any toiletries spending(once my +Ups are used up by 4/11).
If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.
*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in March?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Last Hurrah at Rite-Aid

I went up to Rite-Aid Saturday for my last +Up Rewards shopping excursion.

I'm too sad to break this all down, so here is one shot of everything I bought in 4 transactions on various Wellness cards........

4 x Dove Shampoo/Conditioners
2 x Tresemme 'Poo
2 x Tresemme Stylers
2 x Gillette Shave Gel
2 x Old Spice Body Wash
1 x Gillette Razor
2 x Jergens lotion
1 x Biore cleanser
1 x Jergens body Butter
2 x CeraVe lotion
2 x Tic Tacs mints
3 x Cadbury eggs

I spent/rolled my $24 in +Up Rewards.
I earned $20 new +Ups Rewards that expire on 4/11.

I spent a total of $1.71 OOP on all of this.

$0.00, .07¢, .38¢ and $1.26=$1.71

1 of those Cadbury Eggs puchased will give me a $1.15 back through Saving Star(which already arrived in my account), so total OOP spent today is .56¢.

I bought home a total of $109.54 worth of regular retail in goods.
For .56¢.

Man, I am really gonna miss me some Rite-Aid.



This Week on the Dining Table

The "The Behemoth was Moved Edition".....

Woke up Sunday morning to find that the Behemoth across the street NOT in it's usual position blocking the sunlight.  It's usually parked here on a driveway that is not long enough for it.....

But it got moved overnight to here.......

Parallel to the street on their lawn past their driveway.
Hhhmmmm, I wonder what's going on here.........

Anyway, onward to the meal planning!
Here's what was planned last week.......

1.  Turkey, stuffing, corn, cranberry glop leftovers
2.  Lasagna, salad or collards leftovers
3.  Irish Stew leftovers
4.  Rueben Sandwiches using corned beef leftovers
5.  Sloppy Joe sandwiches, cole slaw
6.  Kielbasa on Rolls, cabbage leftovers
7.  Salmon, leftover assorted veggies, cole slaw
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Turkey, stuffing, corn, cranberry glop leftovers
2.  Lasagna, salad or collards leftovers(I had collards & a grilled cheese sammich, hubs had lasagna)
3.  Chinese Take-Out(I just couldn't face another night of leftovers on Friday. lolz)
4.  Rueben Sandwiches using corned beef leftovers
5.  Sloppy Joe sandwiches, cole slaw
6.  Kielbasa on Rolls, cabbage leftovers
7.  Salmon, Brussels sprouts, cole slaw

Everything went as planned except the assorted leftover veggies were gone by the time we had the Salmon so I made Brussels Sprouts that night.  I didn't have any lasagna so there is a helping of that left still.

Last week I made 2 trips to the grocery stores and spent $23.62 OOP on $41.84 worth of reg. retail groceries.

I had 6 transactions at Rite-Aid last week and spend $2.56 OOP on $171.24 worth of toiletries.
(If you take off the $1.15 I got back at SavingStar already, it's $1.41 OOP.)

For the week, $26.18 total spending on $213.08 worth of food/toiletries/HBA.

$268.88 spent of my $300 March food budget, leaving us $31.12 for the last 2 days of the month.  I won't be going shopping again until April 1st so this amount will roll over into April's food budget kitty.

Leftovers going into this week are--cabbage, lasagna, sloppy joe sauce and rolls, cole slaw and Irish stew.  I also made a pot of broccoli cheddar soup using some leftover broccoli on Friday. 

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

1.  Broccoli Soup, Salad(We had steak out for lunch so not so hungry at dinner time.)
2.  Irish Stew, leftover Cabbage
3.  Grilled Fish, Roasted Veggies, Coleslaw
4.  Mushroom Quiche, Salad
5.  Sloppy Joes(leftover),
6.  Coq au Vin, Potatoes, Carrots, Asparagus
7.  Easter Ham, Deviled Eggs, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans

I don't eat ham any longer(too much sodium!)but we are having company and if I make a meatloaf or something it won't go over well so I'll get a small ham, eat 1 slice and let Hubs make ham sandwiches for lunches and/or pack the rest of the ham off with the relatives when they leave.

3 nights of leftovers(soup, stew, sloppy joes) and 4 nights of new dishes.
I may need to shove the lasagna leftover in the freezer for later in the month.
What I need to buy for this menu......Asparagus, Mushrooms, Ham, Green Beans, Milk and maybe cheese for the Mac & Cheese but I'll wait until Wednesday and the new month to start to go shopping.

There is a deal at Target this week, buy $50 in Food/Beverage and get a $10 gift card.  I don't buy groceries at Target but I may go Wednesday and see if I can scare up $50 of food there.  I do need to buy a ham so that will help, plus I have $15 in Target gift cards to spend so I'll only have to be OOP $35 for this deal.

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?


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wednesday's Shopping

I forgot to post about my day out shopping on Wednesday.

First it was up to Rite-Aid.  I gathered my goodies and then whipped open my purse to get my coupons, wellness card and wallet and here is what I found.....

No wallet!
I never put it back in my purse before leaving the house.

So I gave the cashier my goodies for safekeeping and hiked back home to retrieve my wallet, being very careful not to speed since my driver's license was in said wallet at home.
Double Duh!!

Wallet found and back to Rite-Aid to check-out......

2 x Dove Men's Body Wash on sale=$8.00
2 x CeraVe lotion BOGO50% off=$7.93
2 x Gillette Men's Body Wash on clearance=$5.28

Coupons Used
2 x $1/1 Dove Men's Body Wash ManuQ=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Dove Men's item VideoValuesQ=$2.00
1 x $7/2 CeraVe ManuQ=$7.00
1 x $1/2 Gillette Deo or Body Wash ManuQ=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$12.00


But here is what happened instead......

Coupons Used
2 x $1/1 Dove Men's Body Wash ManuQ=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Dove Men's item VideoValuesQ=$2.00
1 x $7/2 CeraVe ManuQ=$7.00
1 x $1/2 Gillette Deo or Body Wash ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1 Load2CardQ(I think it was for the Gillette products?)=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$13.00

I used $8 in +Up Rewards and paid .21¢ OOP.
I received $6 in new +Up Rewards($2 wyb2 Dove, $3 wyb2 CeraVe, $1 wyb2 Gillette).

I hadn't planned on buying the CeraVe but while cruising the aisles I saw a "coupon fairy" had left their $7/2 CeraVe ManQ on the shelf so why not seeing as it was a $2.07 moneymaker and helped cover some of the cost for the other 4 items.  8-))

Then it was off to the local grocery stores-the Shurfine affiliate market and Weis Markets.

I bought a bag o' salad and tomatoes on the vine at Shurfine for $4.58.
I spent a whopping $19.04 at Weis for a box of cornstarch, a bag of frozen chicken strips, a lb. of ground chicken, 1.39 lbs. of ground beef(both meats with discount stickers),  a head of iceberg and leaf lettuces, a clamshell of fancy greens and 8 oz. of sliced mushrooms both with 50% discount stickers.  Savings rate of 45% on the Weis order.
Total this week for grocery spending......$23.62.
Add in my .21¢ spent at Rite-Aid and we are out $23.83 spending for Wednesday.



Friday, March 27, 2015

My Almost Famous Cousin

When I went to the Family Reunion last September I found something out.
We always have dinner with Cousin Ruby and Donnie the evening after the Reunion is held.
Ruby is my mother's cousin on her father's side of things so she is my 1st cousin once removed.  Her mother and my grandfather were siblings.

Anyway, while having dinner that night, Ruby mentioned that her grandson, Caleb, was on tv earlier in the year but she couldn't tell anyone until the show was over.  I asked for what reason and Ruby told me he had been a contestant on "The Voice".
I about dropped my fork!
I use to watch that show but had gotten out of the habit about a season or two ago so I missed him.

Caleb, who is my 2nd cousin once removed and whom I have never met incidentally, has his sights set on stardom it seems and has a pretty good singing voice.  Currently he is 20 years old(was 19 while on the show)so he's younger than 2 of my own kid.
Gosh, I feel so old.......

Here is his blind audition from the tv show.....

He didn't get beyond the Battle Rounds unfortunately on the show.

His Facebook fan page is located HERE.

This NJ writer called him one of the standouts from Season 6......HERE.

He has since made a music video and still struggling to make it "big" in the music industry.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WBGOACS....What's Been Going on at Chez Sluggy

I was going to put a photo up of a cataract surgery but most people would get skeezed out by it, so you get the treat of seeing one of Sluggy's eyes up close and personal which hopefully doesn't skeeze anyone out nearly as much. 
I've got chameleon type eyes.  They changed color depending on how the light hits them.  They can appear to be anywhere from green to blue green to hazel in color.  Their bloodshot quality never changes however.....lol

I survived the 3 hour cataract consultation surgery marathon Monday.  Well most of that was sitting in either the purple chair section, or the blue chair section or the red chair section and having to listen to bad daytime network tv which was far worse than the actual dr. exam and all those eye drops.

I have multiple options on how to proceed with this operation.
I can have the standard slicing your eyeball up with knives operation or the new laser operation.
Then I have to choose between 3 different lenses--regular lens, or one of two corrective lenses for seeing distance or correcting my astigmatism.
Decision, decisions.......

The bottom line is this............
The standard lens with the standard bladed surgery will cost nothing OOP after insurance.
The laser surgery will up the cost to $1,500 OOP after insurance.
The laser surgery with corrective lens will up it more to $2,500 OOP after insurance.
And that's for one eye.

With my eye prescription it will also mean having the right eye done a month later because the difference in prescription between the eyes after surgery will be too great for my brain to process the visual information between the eyes, so even though the right eye isn't bad yet it's gotta go too.

So it's OOP, $3K or $5K OOP when all is said and done.

With my health issues I am leaning toward the laser surgery no matter which lens I choose because it is said to make the healing time less than the standard surgery.  I am NOT a fast healer.

As far as I am concerned, I am quite happy that being in our financial position gives me wider options without putting stress on our income.  We can afford any of these choices easily so I don't have to "settle" for the basic option if one of the other ones makes me happier.
Of course, being frugal I am having issues with spending money on upgraded procedures but that's just MY issue.  ;-)

I am scheduled for surgery the end of April no matter which one I decide on. 

This date has put a kybosh on my Spring travel plans however.
I had wanted to travel to LA to visit my daughter, then Hubs was going to fly home when his time off from work was over and I'd stay longer down there, then drive myself(with my new eyeball)home and be able to meander around and visit some folks who don't mind having me around.  ;-)

But now, I have to be back 1 day, 1 week and 1 month from my surgery date for check-ups, meaning I can't linger in the South and need to be home by the first week in June.
This means a 2 week trip to LA and back home with Hubs.

I am hoping once I get the other eye done I can take a solo road trip again to some destination in mid to late Summer.

In happier news, I made a money transfer from the bank account to the credit card yesterday and paid off the car we put on the c/c.  My balance is now $79 on the MasterCard with 2 weeks left until the statement closes.
I was in car debt for THREE DAYS!  It about drove me crazy I tell y'all.  But I got lots of CC points for it and it won't cost me a penny of interest.  8-)

Hubs did pay some "stupid tax" 2 weeks back on the MasterCard when he mistakenly went through a third party vendor to renew his car registration online, instead of going directly through the PA DMV site.  By the time he realized what he had done it cost an additional $23 to get the car registration finished.  Duh.

In other financial news.....Our credit union changed it's online banking website, putting up a new one.
As a result I hadn't been able to access our accounts online for about a week now.  And no, they didn't let anyone know on the old website that they were changed the access. bleh.
So after 2 in-person attempts to get this straightened out(both Hubs and I went into the CU to get the info, then I emailed 2 times and was never responded to and then I called the branch yesterday and they never answered the phone!)I went in to the branch AGAIN! and let 'em have "what for" and told them if this EVER happens again I am taking my millions elsewhere.
I MUST HAVE online access to my accounts.

This CU has turned out to be a rinky-dink two-bit operation.  They have slowly decreased their hours so that now they aren't even open to 5 except 1 day a week, they close for lunch for 1 hour in the middle of the workday because they only have 1 or 2 personnel in the branch at their busiest and now they have done away with Saturday hours.  Hubs with his schedule has to take off work early to go to the CU and can't bank on weekends.  They are trying to drive everyone to ATM cards and I refuse to be herded into one!
I would leave them right this minute except that we just paid for new checks so they have until these are gone to win back my love......and I don't see that happening.

We are suppose to hit 57F here tomorrow.  I have threatened to get out my swimsuit and flip flops and parade about the neighborhood in them so none of you may wish to come visit me tomorrow as I am known to snap "selfies".  Just be sure you aren't eating when you open up my blog post.....you have been warned!  ;-)



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sunday & Monday's Rite-Aid Transactions

Well this is the last week that +Up Rewards are generating on deals.

So I went up on Sunday to use that $25 +Ups I got from transferring an Rx.

4 x Dove Shampoo on sale=$12.00
2 x Irish Spring GEAR Body wash on sale=$6.00
4 x Lypsyl lip balm(Rain Check=.50¢)=$2.00
2 x Cottonelle TP on sale=$7.98
2 x VitaMelts on sale=$11.98
1 x Sunday paper=.99¢

Coupons Used(what should have happened)
2 x $3/2 Dove 'Poos ManuQ=$6.00
1 x $1.50/1 Gear Body wash ManuQ=$1.50
1 x $1.50/1 Gear Body wash Load2CardQ=$1.50
2 x $1/1 Lypsyl IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Cottonelle TP ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $2/2 Nature Made Vitamin products IPQ=$2.00
Coupon Total.....$14.00

Coupons Used(what really happened)
2 x $3/2 Dove 'Poos ManuQ=$6.00
1 x $1.50/1 Gear Body wash Load2CardQ=$1.50
2 x $1/1 Lypsyl IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Cottonelle TP ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $2/2 Nature Made Vitamin products Load2CardQ=$2.00*
1 x $2/2 Nature Made Vitamin products IPQ=$2.00
Coupon Total.....$14.50

* I asked the cashier if a $1.50 Irish Spring L2C came off and she said it did, but she must have seen a $2 Nature Made L2C instead, because later, when she tried to enter my Nature Made IPQ it wouldn't scan and she had to manually enter it.
So I got an extra .50¢ off on this transaction.

$40.95-$14.50=$26.45 + .12¢tax=$26.57
I used that $25 +Ups and another $1 +Ups and paid .57 OOP.

I received back $18 in new +Ups(2 x $4 Vita Melts, 2 x $3 Dove, $2 Gear, 2 x $1 Cottonelle).

I also have more +Ups expiring Sunday so I bought this stuff to use them up on a different card......

2 x Dove Men's face wash on clearance($3.74)=$7.48
1 x Vita Melts on sale=$5.99

Coupons Used
2 x $1/1 Dove Men's face wash ManuQ=$2.00
1 x $3/1 Nature Made Q(mailed from the manufacturer)=$3.00
Coupon Total......$5.00

$13.47-$5.00=$8.47 + .06¢tax=$8.53

I used $8 in +Ups and paid .53¢ OOP.
I received back $6 in new +Up Rewards($4 Vita Melts, $2 wyb2 Dove men's-even though these Dove items were on clearance they still generated the +Up Rewards).

3 transactions this week total.
$1.25 total spent OOP.
$127.79 worth of products brought home.

Then on Monday after my surgery consult I hit up the Rite-Aid downtown since they have a wider selection of goods and more stock on hand.

I got this stuff on BIL's card.....

2 x CeraVe lotion BOGO50%=$7.48
2 x VitaMelts on sale=$11.98

Coupons Used
1 x $7/2 CeraVe items ManuQ=$7.00
1 x $2/2 Nature Made items IPQ=$2.00
Coupon Total......$9.00

$19.46-$9=$10.46 + .18¢ tax=$10.64
I used $10 in +Up Rewards and paid .64¢ OOP.
I received back $11 in new +Up Rewards($3 wyb2 CeraVe, 2 x $4 VitaMelts).

Downtown store only had 1 bottle of Gear branded Irish Spring body wash(I needed 2 bottles to do that deal)so I'll wait and see if my store gets more in later this week.  I also might do the Dove Men's Products Deal and the Unilever 'Poos Deal later this week.  I have to spend these +Ups on something, right?

Another .64¢ OOP spent.
$27.97 worth of goodies brought home.


Monday, March 23, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table

The "New Car Edition".....

Thankfully we have the cash to pay for this in full, no financing and no eating of rice and beans for the next 5 years to afford it.

We still have leftovers.  This week will be all about using them up.
Hopefully this will translate into a small grocery bill for this week ending March.
Here's what was planned last week.......

 1.  Lasagna, leftover Collards
2.  Salmon, Broccoli
3.  Irish Stew
4.  Rueben Sandwiches
5.  Roasted Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Cauliflower, Cranberry Glop leftovers
6.  Kielbasa on Rolls, cabbage leftovers
7.  Leftovers of some kind 
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Lasagna, leftover Collards
2.  Salmon, Broccoli
3.  Irish Stew
4.  Rueben Sandwiches
5.  Leftovers
6.  Leftovers
7.  Leftovers

Everything went as planned except no turkey leftovers eaten nor Kielbasa on rolls and leftover cabbage.  We ate an extra night of other leftovers instead.

Last week I made 5  trips to the grocery store(and have a carry over from the previous week I forgot to put down then), so I spent $126.51 OOP on $222.98 worth of reg. retail groceries.
I also earned a $7 gift card for some of those purchases so $7 in future food paid for already.

I had 3 transactions at Rite-Aid last week and spend $1.25 OOP on $127.79 worth of toiletries.

For the week, $127.76 total spending on $350.77 worth of food/toiletries/HBA.

$242.70 spent of my $300 March food budget, leaving us $57.30 for the next 7 days of the month. ($64.30 if you count that $7 gift card.)

Leftovers going into this week are collards, corned beef and cabbage, turkey and stuffing, lasagna and Irish stew.  Yep, we still have a LOT of leftovers.

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

1.  Turkey, stuffing, corn, cranberry glop leftovers
2.  Lasagna, salad or collards leftovers
3.  Irish Stew leftovers
4.  Rueben Sandwiches using corned beef leftovers
5.  Sloppy Joe sandwiches, cole slaw
6.  Kielbasa on Rolls, cabbage leftovers
7.  Salmon, leftover assorted veggies, cole slaw

3 nights of new meals, 4 nights eating up the leftovers.
What I need to buy for this menu......nothing.  We stopped at the Bread Outlet as we were down in the city buying the car on Saturday and I got some on special Salmon filets also while out on Saturday.

Then I bought some Zero Powerades for $1 each and got a $7 Catalina at Weis before that deal ended.
Actually the Catalina did NOT print so they gave me a $7 gift card which won't expire so it's even better. 8-)

I may pick up some salad greens, tomatoes, milk and honey this week as we are out/those are on special this week.
What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?    

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Well That Was Quick!

Hubs started talking about getting a new-to-us car about a month ago.  He's been driving what use to be the kids/third car after we got rid of his car but it's been having issues like recalls and check engine lights going on and off randomly.

So we went out yesterday and we came home with this..............

a 2014 Chevy Malibu

We got it from Enterprise Rentals and the price was right.
So the bulk of Hubs bonus has now been spent.

I wasn't expecting him to act on this so soon since we don't need a third car for College Boy until May but Enterprise was running a special on Malibus until the end of March so he jumped on this.

It was so much fun to see the sales persons eyes get real wide when they pulled out financing forms and before they could start pestering us with questions, we asked if they wanted us to put the whole thing on our credit card(which we pay off each month)or write them a check for the entire price. lolz
I guess they don't get many people coming in and paying cash in full for cars.  ;-)
We put it on the card by the way, just to get the points.

Hopefully we have enough in bonus monies left to get our bathroom fixed up, buy a small freezer and seal the new driveway in the Fall.

I am dreading the bump up in car insurance we will be paying though.  It was nice to only have 2 cars on it for the little while it lasted. 8-(



Friday, March 20, 2015

Random Stuff

Lots of small items to cover today---

*  We got word this past weekend that Hubs sister, who just got remarried Aug. 2013(and we traveled to the Midwest to attend the wedding ceremony), is getting divorced.
Things just didn't work out due to her husband's issues so instead of just riding it out until he drinks himself to death and being miserable, she's bailing.
I don't blame her at all not that I would have married the guy in the first place, but that's just me.

*  College Boy has the promise of a Summer job in a town nearby here.  And hopefully it's more hours than the bakery he worked at in high school use to give him.  He also has a possible second Summer job if the first one doesn't keep him working enough hours per week.
Being broke his first year of college has spurred him into going back for his sophomore year with the cash he saves from this Summer employment.  Hopefully he feels confident enough in his course work next semester that he can try to get a part time job while attending school.  That would help a lot to keep him from draining his college fund at the alarming clip that it is now being depleted.

*  Now seeing as College Boy will have employment this Summer this also means that he needs transportation.  We are down to 2 cars here--my purple bop around town vehicle and the old used Malibu(which was the 3rd kids' car)he took over when we donated his Elentra last Fall. 
So Hubs has decided to get a new, used car within the next month.  He may even buy it this weekend.
He found a good deal at Enterprise(the car rental people-they also sell cars)on another Malibu.
We'll be using part of his yearly Bonus which we received in February to pay for this.
Not only does this mean forking over $$$ for a new-to-us cars but having a third vehicle will mean our car insurance will again go up.  *sigh*  Well that reduction in insurance was nice for the 7 months it lasted......

*  Speaking of bonuses--Hubs and I need to sit down and talk about how the rest of the Bonus money will be spent this year. 

*  We need to pay for a bathroom redo this year so most, if not all, will go toward that.  It's a redo but we aren't going high end.  Just replacing worn out fixtures/cabinet/floor/toilet and taking out the moldy tile(yuck!)and fixing the wall behind where the tile is and installing a new tub.
Pretty much everything is being changed because we can't even THINK about selling this house until this work is done.

*  I would also like to get a freezer as I never replaced the one that died 3 weeks after buying it.  We've been limping along using the small compartments on two fridges-the one in the house and the older one in the garage.  I am figuring on getting a small chest type since we don't need/use as much food as when all the kids were home.  A small freezer will be adequate and will fit just fine where the older fridge resides in the garage.

*  I just saw that cable channel TLC is bringing back another episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" this Sunday.  And we no longer have cable.
I suppose eventually they'll put the episodes online or on YouTube and I can catch them there.
So don't anyone give away the endings to me, ok? lolz

*  We are set to travel to Louisiana in mid May.  The Daughter has gotten time off from work so we are trying to plan some activities and such.  There is the Bonnie & Clyde Festival(weird)and a War of Northern Aggression Battlefield/Museum(boring) and a new brewery to visit(hic).  I just hope the weather down there in May isn't too humid.
I am still trying to set up motel reservations that don't cost an arm and a leg.  I don't want to stay where we were last trip there(too far)but I don't want to spend a fortune.  I found a reasonably priced motel but the reviews mentioned roaches and crack 'hos in the lobby........ick.

*  I go to the eye surgeon on Monday for my cataract surgery consult.  Still have forms to fill out before then and decisions to make about what type of lens to get.....the regular or the corrective lens.
I am sure insurance won't cover the corrective lens as much so that decision may be already made due to cost differences.  I still don't know when they will cut my eyeball open but it had better be well before the middle of May.

*  Easter is sneaking up on us soon.  College Boy won't be here for it this year, so I've got to decide if we just have a small meal Hubs and I or invite the brother in-law and nephew over.  We'll probably just hide out from family this year and relax. ;-)

*  Speaking of genealogy......I've already heard back from the Huguenot Society folks.  On the positive side of thing, there is someone who was confirmed into the Society using my Huguenot ancestor already and our lines are in common down to my 2x GGs, which means if she agrees to let me use the information in her application, I only have to prove 4 generations back from myself instead of 8.  It will be much easier to obtain documents going back to the 1800's rather than the 1600's, but while easily to get, it will cost me for official state vital statistical forms.
On the negative side here, the cost to apply is $20.  Then there is the annual dues to the National Society($25 or if over age 50 you can pay a one-time lifetime membership fee of $500) and then there are the yearly State fees for your chapter($10 or included in the lifetime membership fee).
So I'll be out $55 to start and then $35 each year.....or $520 in fees now and forever more, no more fees for my lifetime.   If I pay for the lifetime I'll have to live another 13 years to break even and after I am 69 it's all gravy.  ;-)
I also need up to 8 different vital statistical forms at $12 a pop to apply, so another $96 + postage.

*  I bought that Steve Jobs biography that came out a year or so ago at Ollie's(Good Stuff Cheap!) It was less than $3 with my discount card.  I'm about 2/3rds of the way through it and I can safely say the man was a narcissistic jerk!  I am glad I never worshiped at the Apple altar......

*  In other news, my oldest son is going to an educational job fair in Pittsburgh this weekend.  His GF is finishing up her degree in nuclear medical imaging and by August they will be ready to relocate so he has begun the search for a "real" job in his field.  He has a teaching degree in History and wants to land a job in a high school setting.  Please keep him in your thoughts this weekend that he gets some interest from the school districts in a state he has targeted and that his GF can land a job in her field in the same city/area.

*  Oh, and Happy Spring!
I went out for an Rx first thing this morning.
Now look at my backyard......

Mind you yesterday this ground was bare, save a few areas of leftover snow.


Spring my ass........



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Started the Ball Rolling

Well I went and did it.
I sent an inquiry about joining one of those "Genealogical Societies".

You know what I mean.......
The DAR-Daughters of the American Revolution
The SAR-Sons of the American Revolution
The UDOTC-United Daughters of the Confederacy
The SCV-Sons of Confederate Veterans
The JS-Jamestowne Society
The PS-Pilgrim Society(both UK and USA)
The SDWAVF-Society of Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge
......et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

The list goes on and on.

I am not a big fan of these organizations or any big organization.  It's full a people who seem full of themselves, right?

They go to meetings, hold offices, throw parties and/or conferences and try to out snob each other as to their ancestry.
And they charge BIG $$$ to join and be members and I suppose(though I don't know for sure)they solicit you to donate $$$ to them and their causes.

And just to document your line to join said societies can cost you a lot of $$$$$ gathering legal/genealogical documents which said societies will deem acceptable.

And an aside, these types of genealogical groups started out as a way to separate the people who were here before the American Revolution from the large wave of later immigrants to American in the mid to late 1800's.
Yes, "we" are more American than you because our forebearers were before yours so "neener, neener, neener"! ;-)

But anyway, I went and started the process to join one such society......

Not the National Huguenot Society but the HUGUENOT SOCIETY  FMVC.
This is a much MORE "exclusive" club society. 8-)

The HS-FMVC is the "Huguenot Society of the Founding Members of the Virginia Colony".

Background--Way back in 1400's France there was a small faction of French who were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France and followers of John Calvin's teachings, rather than the Catholic Church.

Long story short, the crowned heads of France persecuted those Protestant French(called Huguenots)and either killed them or drove them from France into other European countries like Holland, Belgium, Germany and England which granted them refuge.

With the opening up of exploration to the New World with the founding of Jamestowne in 1607,  many of these Huguenots hoped they would be free to practice their faith peacefully across the sea in this new land.

In the 1630's a few intrepid Huguenot souls made the journey to the Virginia Colony on their own in small groups.  Two of my ancestors, my 11th Great Grandparents, Gyles Taverner, a Huguenot, and his wife, Elizabeth Payne, made the trip around 1635 and they eventually settled in York Co., Virginia where their three sons were born.  Gyles is said to have gone to England and returned at least once with Nicholas Martiau(who claimed Gyles as one of his headrights on that trip).  Nicholas Martiau had come to Jamestowne in 1620 for the first time and was to become the 3x great grandfather of George Washington(Nicholas Martiau, Elizabeth Martiau, Mildred Reade, Mildred Warner, Augustine Washington, George Washington).

Then there is another Huguenot ancestor, John VASSAR(9x GG), who came on his own to the Virginia Colony in July 1635 on a barque "The Alice" with his wife, Elizabeth Dowe/Dewe and their infant daughter, Ann, and an indentured servant, William Baker.

Anyway, Gyles and John, though my earliest Huguenot ancestors to settle in the New World, weren't founders of Manakintown, the first Huguenot settlement in the Virginia Colony.

That honor would fall to Abraham SOBLETor SUBLETT(8 x GG)and his wife, Suzanne BRIANT and their son,  Pierre Louis SOBLET/Peter Lewis SUBLETT(7 x GG).

In 1700 5 ships were contracted to transport between 700-800 French Huguenot refugees from their embarking point at Gravesend, London, England to the new Virginia Colony.

In April of 1700 the first of these ships, "The Mary & Ann" with over 200 French and Swiss passengers headed for Virginia, among them Abraham SOBLET and 2 of his older children. 

The Governor of VA and the wealthy planters already there by then were eager for new settlers.  Dr. Daniel Coxe, a favorite at the court of King William III(of William & Mary fame), held massive tracts of land in the new Colony, and the Crown agreed that these immigrants could settle on his Norfolk County lands(encompassing present day Norfolk/Virginia Beach Counties of VA).  The English Crown, having religious/political upheavals of it's own in England, was anxious to help these Huguenots leave England and monies were raised for the transport and supplies.

Upon landing at the mouth of the James River the ship was met by Virginia Colony Lt. Gov. Francis Nicholson.  Other wealthy planters in the Colony had other plans for these Huguenots.  They redirected that the immigrants should settle on William Byrd's vacant lands instead.  This 25 mile tract was the site of an abandoned Monacan Indian village and was a sort of no man's land that stood between the confederated Algonquin native tribes in the area and the English settlement at Jamestowne.  These wealthy planters wanted somebody between them and the Indians to bear the brunt of an attacks and raids by said natives.

In Oct 1700, the second of five ships arrived in Virginia, "The Peter & Anthony".  On board were Abraham's wife, Suzanne BRIANT SOBLET, and their three remaining children.

So even though the land around the abandoned Monacan village was fertile it was cut off from Jamestowne and any services they needed.  Plus many of these Huguenot immigrants were tradesmen and not farmers.  Between a hard winter in inadequate housing, having to learn to work the land and a lack of supplies and sickness(malaria in the Summer and other deadly diseases in the Winter) these hardy souls set to building a town, named Manakintown, built and founded a church(King William Parish) and a community.

After many hardships over the first few years in Manakintown, most of these settlers moved out into adjacent lands and new towns sprung up around the area.
Manakintown, though no longer a town, is located in what is present day Powhatan County, Virginia.

My Sublett ancestors on two different family lines moved, over successive generations, west and slightly south of the Manakintown area until my mother's parents moved back East from Charlotte/Campbell Counties area, to South Norfolk, VA in the late 1930's.

So to bring this to an end(thanks for reading it all!), I've started the process to join the Huguenot Society FMVC and we'll see how/where this goes.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Grocery Shopping

Well I bought a few extra things at Weis today while grocery shopping because the discount stickers were out in force! lolz

The only things I needed were the rye bread(NOT on sale!)and sour cream(on sale).

1 x box of salad greens $2.99 50% off=$1.49
2 x bags stir-fry veggies $2.99 50% off=$2.98
1 x bag coleslaw mix $2.49 50% off=$1.24
1 loaf sourdough bread $3.39 50% off=$1.69
1 loaf rye bread=$3.39 *not pictured*
1 roll BE sausage=$4.49-.50-$1 instant sticker=$2.99
2 salmon burgers=$4.00-$2 instant sticker=$2.00
2.50 lbs B/S chicken breast marked down $2.99 lb=$7.48-$3 instant sticker=$4.48($1.79 lb)
2.33 lbs ground beef marked down $4.49 lb=$10.46-$3 instant sticker=$7.46($3.20 lb)
1 x sour cream on sale=$1.50
4 x 8oz blocks cheese on sale $1.67=$6.68
10 x PowerAde Zero on sale $1=$10.00 *not pictured*
SubTotal.....$45.90 + .84¢tax=$46.74

I also had a .75¢/1lb. ground beef Weis Q so $46.74-.75=$45.99 OOP
$74.60 reg. retail value makes a 39% savings rate for this shop.
I also have $22 spent toward $30 to get a $7 Catalina(the PowerAdes count toward this at their full reg. retail price even though they are on sale)Q.

I'll make a healthy coleslaw and serve that with the salmon burgers one night.
The stir-fry veggies will go into a stir-fry dish(duh).
Some of the chicken will get pounded down to make chicken parmesan next week and some of the ground beef will be made into burgers for next week and the remaining portions of both meats will be put into the freezer for an even later time.

Total spent this week on food=$52.00.
Oh, and I forgot when we picked up College Boy last Saturday we stopped at the Surplus Outlet so I have to add that to this week's tally because I forgot it last week.  That shop was under $40 so still under $100 for the week and under $206 for the month including Rite-Aid monies spent.

Between leftovers and what I picked up on discount today I've probably got most of next week's menu planned and items bought already for the meals.

Ok, I am done spending $$$ this week.
How about you?



How The Week is Going Foodwise

St. Patrick's Day ended on a high note......

Irish Stew made with Stout(and wine!) with a Bell's Cherry Stout chaser.

I had some discounted steaks in the freezer that needed using up so this was the perfect way given the month and date. lolz

I've spent $5.11 on groceries so far this week.
All I "need" is a loaf of rye bread for Rueben sandwiches but I'll cruise the meat and produce aisles for discount stickers/50% stickers anyway later today when I go out for the bread.
Could be a really low spend food week.....or not, depending on what I find.  '-)

Right now we have leftovers--rigatoni and meat sauce, mushroom lasagna, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, ginger garlic chicken and veggie stir-fry, roast turkey breast and stuffing, and a helping each of garlic cauliflower, steamed broccoli and collards.
The rest of the week will entail reheating(and assembling sandwiches)and NO new cooking.

Oh, whatever shall I do with my time?

Well there is always working on genealogy and sewing. 8-)))

What is on your plate this week.....both literally and figuratively?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Travel Plans

Well since nobody wants to come visit me(sad face), I am working on another road trip in 2015.

Hubs got his vacation nailed down from mid to end of May this year.

We are going down to Louisiana to see our daughter and then drive home OR the alternate plan is for us to drive down to LA and then Hubs to fly home and then I can stay away longer/visit more places and then drive myself home sometime in June.

So who wants a visit from the ol' Sluggy this year?


Rite-Aid This Week

Trotted up to Rite-Aid on Sunday and bought this stuff.....

2 x Ensure drinks 20% wellness disc. less than sale price($6.79)=$13.58
1 x huge bottle of Vitamin C 75% off=$3.82

Coupons Used
2 x $3/1 Ensure IPQ(have to sign up on their website)=$6.00
2 x $2/1 Ensure VideoValues Q=$4.00
2 x $1/1 Rite-Aid PeelieQ(one each 4 pack)=$2.00
Coupon Total.....$12.00

I used $5.25 in +Up Rewards and paid .15¢ OOP.

I received back $6 in new +Up Rewards(2 x $3 ensure).
I hadn't planned on buying the mega bottle of Vitamin C but, $3.82 for a $15+ bottle, how could I resist?

The next morning I picked up a refill Rx and a transferred Rx(why hike all the way down the valley to Walmart for an Rx when it's the same price now that our deductible is met?).

That Rx transfer, with a coupon from last week's sales ad, gave me a shiny new $25 +Up Reward too.

With the change at Rite-Aid and no more +Up Rewards soon, at least I can go out with a bang.
Next week is looking like a good week for rolling +Ups so I need to come up with a plan for "using" this.

The Rite-Aid ad's for the first week of April are up(just the cover pages so far)and there are some Buy & Earn type items pictured to earn gas points or a gas card?  I hope this isn't to replace the +Ups program.
I am sad.....


Monday, March 16, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table

The "The Boy Went Back" Edition ........

As a commenter mentioned, was it really only 4 short years ago that he looked like this? lolz

Yep, College Boy's Spring break is over and he's back at school now.  The fortune teller in me sees my next water and electric bills will be WAY higher! lolz

Believe it or not, we have some leftovers from last week still and are back to Cooking/Eating for 2 again.
Here's what was planned last week.......

1.  Leftover Pasta with meat sauce, Collards
2.  Roasted Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Corn, Cranberry Glop
3.  Lasagna, Salad or Soup
4.  Pork filet or Country Fried Steak(diners choice), Steak fries, Veggie TBD
5.  Corned Beef, Cabbage
6.  Leftovers
7.  Leftovers or Take-Out
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Leftover Pasta with meat sauce, Collards
2.  Roasted Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Cauliflower, Cranberry Glop
3.  Pork filet or Country Fried Steak(diners choice), Steak fries, Collards leftover
4.  Leftovers
5.  Chinese Take-Out
6.  Chicken Ginger Garlic Honey Stir-fry Veggies
7.  Corned Beef, Cabbage, Hash browns

Everything went as planned except no Lasagna because of leftovers(and getting Chinese take-out one night).  We got Chinese one night College Boy didn't eat dinner here when he had his traditional "Wing Night" outing with his buds.

Most nights College Boy ate dinner here but not at dinner time with us.  His usual routine is to rise at 2-3 pm, eating something right before dinner time and then eating actual dinner when he comes home in the wee hours of the morning.  So technically he ate dinner here but not at a normal dinner time.

Last week I made 3 trips to the grocery store, so I spent  $61.18 OOP on $92.05 worth of reg. retail groceries.  $17 of that $61.18 was for an ice cream cake to celebrate College Boy's birthday.

I had 2 transactions at Rite-Aid and spend $1.14 OOP on $69.63 worth of toiletries.
For the week, $62.32 total spending on $161.68 worth of products.

$114.94 spent of my $300 March food budget, leaving us $185.06 for the next 15 days of the month.

Leftovers going into this week are turkey breast, stuffing, collards, chicken/veggie stir-fry, corned beef and cabbage.

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

1.  Lasagna, leftover Collards
2.  Salmon, Broccoli
3.  Irish Stew
4.  Rueben Sandwiches
5.  Roasted Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Cauliflower, Cranberry Glop leftovers
6.  Kielbasa on Rolls, cabbage leftovers
7.  Leftovers of some kind

I have so much Kielbasa in the freezer I need to use some.
There is also a small roast in the freezer that needs using, and we are eating the last of the salmon too.
What I need to buy for this menu......carrots, rye bread, sauerkraut.
I am out of sour cream also and there is a special on salmon fillets this week so those will be picked up as well.

The sales ads are again pretty lackluster this week but I may go looking for bargains in the produce and meat departments anyway since I have so much left in my budget for this month. 
What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?    

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Well, That Week Flew By!

College Boy was home from school this past week.
I don't think I got much of anything done however......well, if you don't count extra laundry, cooking, handing out $$$s, doing & mailing out his taxes, coming downstairs to dirty dishes after his late night food attacks, talking with him about his Summer job search, packaging up his broken phone to send back to the company(he had gotten insurance when he bought it thankfully!) and loading bags of goodies for him to take back to his dorm.

And now he is gone and there is quiet.....
I feel like a tornado came through here last week. lolz

We celebrated his 19th Birthday last week since he was at school and sick as a dog with the flu on his actual birthday.
He wanted an ice cream cake so I gave him the $ and he went out and bought it.
I am pathetic....lolz

There was a new t-shirt, a pan of peanut butter brownies, 2 dozen m&m cookies and  a wad of birthday cash before he went back too.....

Between all that, getting a cavity filled, a few trips out to grocery and/or Rite-Aid, cooking, riding my exercycle, and paying the bills for March, that was about all that happened last week. 

Oh, and some snow melted and I can now get to my porch swing, though it's still too cold to actually sit out there yet.

I am just feeling not too enthused about anything right now.
The weather improving might help me get out of this funk.....or maybe not.  8-P



Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Family Reunion 2014.....Picture Heavy

I forgot I hadn't blogged about the Family Reunion I went to back in September.
But then I remembered so, Oh!, you lucky readers.......be sure and pay attention and maybe take notes, as there WILL be a quiz!

On the way down on I-81, we stopped outside of Harrisonburg, VA for lunch at the Bar-B-Q Ranch.

Hey!  Any place with an Iced Tea flag can't be all bad, right?

Posing by the door with the Pig Chef.

"Good Food....Quick Service"?  Not so much with the Quick Service on our visit.  Our waitress was about 90 years old and I think she was napping in the kitchen.

Ah, pig love......

The back wall of the dining room had massive showcases with every pig collectible known to man, and a few not none to man....lol

Our lunch finally arrived.
Pork 'cue with slaw, iced tea on the side.

I shared this piggy mural on FB a couple of months ago.
Words fail me now as they did then.......

This place also had an old fashioned drive-in car hop component on the side of the building, though I don't think they skated out in this day and age.

A stained glass of their logo in the front window of the kitchen......

We got into our motel after dark and after settling in and all I called my brother.  He wasn't staying at the motel this year as he arranged to stay in one of the bedrooms at Roxabel.  Lucky him!

He didn't want to come out to dinner and we didn't want to be wandering around the county in the dark trying to find the house to go have dinner at Roxabel with him, so Hubs and I wandered barely a mile down the road from the motel to this place......

Badeaux's Cajun Kitchen

Imagine finding Cajun cuisine in rural Central Virginia!
I got fried oysters with a Cajun batter.
But the best thing I had there was this order of Spinach Rangoon's I split with Hubs......

They were really good!

Then I noticed the "table d├ęcor".......

As we ate our meal the place started filling up with folks who didn't order food but just drinks.  We thought it was strange until we noticed there was a bar in the next room.

Then we figured out that we had arrived on KARAOKE Night and they evidently used the dining room for that purpose on Friday nights.

We paid the bill and got out of there just in the nick of time.  As we left the building the group who staged the Karaoke was coming in with speakers and mikes.
They told us to stay as we were just in time for karaoke.
Nope, we were just in time to AVOID karaoke night! lolz

Back to the room and bedtime after a little tv.

The next morning we grabbed some Country Ham biscuits from the motel's restaurant to eat in the room. 
Then we started the journey over to Roxabel for the reunion.

In town we passed the house where my Great Grandmother lived until her death in 1974.
This is a bed & breakfast now.

After making one wrong turn we found the entrance......

A couple of miles into the property we came to the cedar tree lined driveway......

 Back when I was a small child these expanses of grass beyond the trees was all woods.

And finally the house, Roxabel.

We parked around back by the barn and attempted to "mingle".

Here's Hubs and my brother.

Mingling isn't very easy here.  Since I haven't been around these folks since I was about 8 years old mostly.  Nobody really will come up to you and introduce themselves and after trying to introduce myself to some of them a few times I gave up. lol

Here are some random candid shots I took.....

The guy above is my mother's cousin Dean, my 1st cousin 1x removed(son of Clarence Vassar), the woman on the right is Carl Vassar's daughter, Janet(also my 1st cousin 1x removed)

The guy 4th from the left is Gary Walker(Lula Vassar Walker's son)also a 1st cousin 1x removed.

That's Gary again(he is one of the organizers of this shindig.  His daughter has the camera on the balcony and is about to take the group shot for the year.

I went upstairs on the balcony and took some more photos......

Hubs is at the bottom of this shot......

Some young cousins mugging for the camera.....

My brother working on lunch.....

Then I went out front and asked Hubs to take my picture in front of the house.
Pretty soon a bunch of my youngest cousins gathered and wanted him to take their pictures too.


I tried to ask them who they were, who their parents where so I could figure out which of my grandmother's siblings we were related through but that didn't get me anywhere.
Then a few of them started telling me about the "ghost" that lives here.  Yes, they claim to have seen a ghost.  One of them led me into the house to this photo of the "ghost".....

There is a small door on the wall near this fireplace mantle and they said they saw him disappear into that door.

I told them that's no ghost.....that's my 2x great grandfather(don't know how many times great for these kids)and I was going to go visit Jack where he is buried later that day.
Their eyes got wide and now they think I know a ghost. lolz

Hubs about to eat.....he'd been waiting for this all morning. lol

My brother and his wife always bring ribs.  Sis in-law didn't come this year but brother brought the ribs anyway and saved me one.

My plate.....a little taste of lots of things.

After lunch it was time for dancing and the entertainment.


This a video I shot of cousin Dean and Steve jamming.

Hilda, mom's cousin, is the sister of Steve's father, Ray Foster Jr. which makes them cousins.  I am related to both Hilda and Steve on both sides of their families-through Ray Jr. and Hilda's mom, Rosabel who was a Vassar sibling to my grandmother, and through Ray and Hilda's granddad/dad respectively, Ray Foster, Sr. who was also the brother of my 2x great grandmother Lou Foster, my grandmother's mother's mother.  I think Steve is my 3rd cousin 1x removed....or not. lolz
See, didn't I tell you this is very complicated?

The lady on the left is my cousin Debbie(1st cousin 1x removed)....daughter of my grandmother's younger sister.....Gary's sister.

Barry Vassar(in the light cap,  the last of the 12 Vassar siblings-my grandmother's baby brother) cutting a rug with his lady friend.  The gentleman on the left in the black hat, Carl, I believe is the husband of LaVerne another 1st cousin 1x removed(daughter of one of my grandmother's other sisters, Doris Vassar Trent). Vernie died back in 2003.

This is my mom's cousin Hilda Foster Jones Sledd(also my 1st cousin 1x removed)dancing with LaVerne's husband Carl.
Hilda and my mom were pretty close growing up. 

Later on some of the young folks got up a softball game.....

This is a painting someone did of Roxabel....

Here's a photo of the office.....

The man who built this house, Hunter Holmes Marshall, was a lawyer by trade.  This was his "lawyerin' office" on the plantation.
My great grandparents rented this building out to a doctor for his office at some point.  It dates from the 1830's.

More shots of folks sitting around talking....

 That's Hilda again in the red....no clue who the rest are. lolz

Soon it was time to leave.
We bid goodbye to everyone and headed to Drakes Branch, VA.  That's where my 2 x Great Grands are buried.....

 John Alfred Vassar....

 Rosa Belle Snead Vassar.
That's my Snead connection to you Sonya Ann. 8-)

Here they are in a portrait from around 1910 or so.

I found a steal of a house in Drakes Branch right across from the cemetery......

Here's downtown Drakes Branch.....

 You know, I could never live in this town, since they closed down the only liquor store here a couple years ago....lolz

This nice old brick house for sale was spotted on the way out of town....

And here is a building I remember fondly from my childhood.....just outside of Drakes Branch VA....

This use to be "Jimmy's Market" back in the 1960's.
It was Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Becky's grocery store. 
I just figured out how Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Becky were last year.......my mother's paternal grandmother, Jennie Vie Tucker Harper, had a brother, Thomas Randolph Tucker.  Becky was Tommy's daughter, so Becky is my mother's 1st cousin 1x removed(Becky was straight 1st cousins with my grandfather Harper).  Becky is my 1st cousin 2x removed.  I found out later that night that Becky had died that Spring. 8-(

My Great Uncle also worked as the butcher in this grocery store.  I called him Uncle "Tunk", he was my mom's father(grandfather's)younger brother.  He had a bad accident in a sawmill when young and walked with a limp his whole life.  His nickname was "Dot" with his family.....I don't know why I called him Tunk though.  He let me help him in the meat department at the grocery store.  I remember I burned my hand on the heating thing that shrink wraps the cellophane to the meat trays. He said don't ever touch that.....so I did.  Hey, I was about 6 or 7 years old then and not too bright. lol
He never married and died in 1969 when I was 10 years old.

So we were off back to Charlotte Court House.....

One of the last remaining buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson still around today.....Charlotte Court House in Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia was built in 1823.  At the time of the "War of Northern Aggression" this town was called Smithfield.  This town has had many names over the years.....The Magazine, Daltonburgh, Marysville, Smithfield, Charlotte Courthouse and then in 1989 Charlotte Courthouse became Charlotte Court House.

Here's a sign to commemorate the Patrick Henry/John Randolph Debate.   Patrick Henry also gave his famous "Give Me Liberty" speech here 2 days before he delivered it in Richmond.

This is the tree where the Henry/Randolph debate took place.  That brick building clad in siding on top were lawyerin' offices across from the courthouse.  It was a store back in the 1960's when I'd walked there from my great grandmother's house down the road a piece to buy candy.

These cute basset hounds were in a truck pulling out of the post office parking lot where I was standing to take these photos.

And just in case the Yankees ever come back, Charlotte Court House is ready......

We went back to the motel in Keysville and rested a bit before heading back out to meet up with my brother and some cousins on mom's dad's side of the family......

Me, Cousins Ruby and Donnie and my brother.  Ruby is my mom's 1st cousin so my 1st cousin 1x removed.  Ruby's mom and my grandfather were siblings.

It was a real nice visit over dinner but we had to get back to the motel to rest before leaving early in the a.m.

The ride home was nice and peaceful as we wound our way down small roads and even smaller towns.....

Crossing the James River.
It was local political season in VA.  I thought this sign was a bit of "truth in advertising" as most politicians HURT us so why not HURT them back......lolz

These are houses we passed near Fork Union, VA that were for sale.....

I meant to look these properties up later to see how much they are asking for them but I never did.

I wouldn't mind living in this one.

We got off the interstate for gas and to buy a Sunday newspaper or two and decided to eat lunch at this place.....some apple themed tourist trap off the interstate I can't even remember the name of.
Googled it.....it is HERE.
Supposedly they are known for their apple donuts.....I would add long lines out the door.

It was a sea of humans, wall to wall cars in the parking lot.  We left.

We instead stopped at a BBQ place in Stephens City, Va(outside Winchester).


Good 'cue.  Nice portions, low prices.

LOVE their motto printed on the bottom of the receipt......hehehe

If we ever are in this area again, we'll be back!

Now that's the way to begin AND end a trip.....with hog!