Thursday, June 30, 2016

July Giveaway Anyone? Another Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway!

Summer is here so let's have another Giveaway!
This is the fifth  Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for 2016.
Hey, it's one way to empty my toiletry stash. lolz

Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.......

1 x Absorbine Jr. Topical Pain Reliever
1 x Vive L'Oreal Shampoo
1 x Nivea Body Wash
1 x Olay In-Shower Lotion
1 x CeraVe Lotion
1 x Colgate Toothpaste
1 x Rite-Aid Toothbrush
1 x Simple Exfoliating Wipes
1 x Ace Heating Pad(disposable)
1 x Sucrets Cough Drops
4 x Hershey Dark Chocolate w/fruits/nuts Squares
9 x Lindor Truffles(Milk, Dark and Xtra Dark)
3 x Mardi Gras Bead Strands from my Lousiana Trip

Over $50 in regular retail of toiletries(and chocolate).

Here are close-up photos of the potential winnings.............

I'll leave this giveaway open until Friday, July 15th, at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time, so that gives everyone a full 2 weeks to enter this one.  On the 15th I'll put all the valid entries into a container and draw out a name and that person wins.

You may get ONE ENTRY EVERY DAY by leaving a comment on this blog post until the Giveaway ends.
Tell me what here is the thing you most want to win in your comment, or what your Summer vacation plans are, or tell me whatever you feel like telling me in your comment.  8-)

You can also get 3 BONUS ENTRIES by posting this Giveaway on your own Blog OR if you are a Follower of this blog.  Please leave 3 separate entries for these bonus entries with either a link to your blog post where you talk about the giveaway OR the name you follow under so I can verify your entries.

  Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.
I sent the last box to Canada and I found that the rates have gone way up since the last time I mailed anything to Canada!
Ouch.  As I can't afford to spent $25 to ship a prize anymore I have to keep these giveaways to US readers only now.  Sorry but that's how it has to be. 8-(

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.
If you're not a registered Blogger User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email addy in your comment or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment so I can get ahold of you if you win. If your Blogger associated user profile is a GOOGLE one with those Google Circles nonsense I CAN NOT CONTACT YOU as Google Circles doesn't show your contact info.
I again had to disqualify some entrants in the last giveaway because their profile is linked through Google and not Blogger.  Please check your profile!  And if you ARE entering through a Blogger profile PLEASE have contact info(email addy)in that profile.  If I can't access your email addy I can't contact you so email me your email addy privately or add your email address to your User Profile.  If you have sent me your email addy privately for a previous giveaway I still have it on file so no need to resend it for this giveaway.

If I can't contact you then you can't win.  I have had to disqualify more readers than I care to due to this issue and I sure don't want it to happen again.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2016 Food and Toiletries Spending......June Update

* I've closed out the June books a couple of days early as I am done shopping.  Anything bought in the next 2 days will come out of July's funds. *

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for JUNE 2016.

I have posted June's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in June.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 5(3-5 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $11.00
Value  $39.51
Savings 72.16%

OOP  $65.52
Value  $111.64
Savings  41.31%

OOP  $40.63
Qs/Ads $16.32
Value  $56.95
Savings  28.65%

OOP  $292.96
Qs/Ads  $180.15
Value  $473.11
Savings  38.07%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Bakery Outlet at 72.16%, Maine Source at 41.31% and Weis at 38.07%.  My WORST savings rate was at the Shursave Market at 28.65%.

I shopped at 4 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$410.11
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$271.10
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$681.21
TOTAL Savings of...................................39.80%
As I did no Rite-Aid shopping this month 39.80% is also my total w/out Rite-Aid.

This closes out the June food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into June wanting to do a $400 food budget for the month.  I ended up going over by $10.11.
That's not bad considering we have 5 eating/living here(for 3 weeks out of 4 weeks of June)and I have no clue what my grocery/toiletries budget needs to be yet.
I am still feeling my way to what I need to put toward these bills each month going forward.

It's a bit discouraging that my savings rate dropped to 39.80% in June when the budget expanded by $100 BUT also keep in mind that I did NO Rite-Aid shopping at all in June.  My savings rate is very high when I shop at R-A so I sort of got a double whammy this past month......more spending OOP overall and no R-A deals.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went down by 5.73% in June to 39.80% compared to May's 45.53% savings average.   Not quite at my 40% minimum savings rate threshold I like to see but the drop from the previous month isn't as bad as the drop from April's to May's savings rate(14.97%).
But I would like to try to get the rate back up over 40% if possible.

With 6 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $1804.65 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $300.78 per month spent.  The average in May stood at $298.91 per month spent to that point in 2016 so we are up $1.87 spent per month from last month's year-to-date tally. Compared to this point in the year to 2015's totals we have spent $547.01 LESS on food and toiletries in 2016.
Of course, June of 2015 we spent over $600 that month on food(which was a much higher than normal amount).

I can't say what our yearly spending will end up being now that I have 2 more mouths to feed.  I am guessing we won't stay under $4K for the year.

LOOKING AHEAD To July 2016.........

I will continue with my usual shopping ways in loss leaders or great deals which we can use, use a few coupons, cash in points for gift cards or buy discounted gift cards to food stores when possible.
I am going to give myself $450 for July.  We spent $410 in June and we have a cook-out planned for this weekend which will mean more food to buy/prepare/serve to guests.  I am still adjusting the budget to find our sweet spot on food spending.

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 June?
*  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?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Genealogical Convergence

So if you've been reading this here little blog for any length of time you know that my mom was from the South and my dad was from the North.

Mom's people have been in America with a few exceptions since the early 1600' and large all of them coming here through the Virginia Colony and a large preponderance of these immigrants remaining in Virginia for many generations.  In fact I am the first person in my maternal direct line who has left Virginia to settle in another US state.  Neither of my siblings ever left Virginia either.

Dad's people have only been in America since the last 100 years mostly, with all of them settling in the North-New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. With the exception of John Redfern and three of his sons(my 4th great Uncles)who all ended up in Montana.

So I never dreamed that I'd find any connections between my paternal lines and my maternal lines in my family tree.
Until last week.

Grave marker of my 7 x Great Uncle, Benjamin Sublett, brother to my 6 x Great Granfather, William Abraham Sublett.

I was researching my 6 x great grands on my Sublett lines-William Abraham Sublett and Susannah Allen Sublett.
Their daughter, Martha Sublett, is my 5 x great grand.
Her brother, my 6th great uncle, is Phillip Allen Sublett who married Isabella Whitley.
Isabella' sister, Ann Lewis Whitley, married William D Harper from Kentucky.

Since my maternal grandfather was born a Harper I started meandering up William D's Harper line to see if this branch of Harpers were related to my Virginia Harpers and had gone to KY from my part of VA.
William's father, Adam Harper was born in Virginia(now West Virginia)but I hit a brick wall beyond Adam's father, Jacob Harper.

So I headed up the line from Adam's wife, Barbara Conrad.
Her parents are Hans Jacob Conrad(born in Switzerland)and Hannah Bogard(born in Minisink, Orange Co, NY).

Orange County NY is were my Bowman/Redfern line immigrated to.

Hannah Bogard Conrad's parents were Sarah Hoogteeling(born Ulster Co. NY) and her first husband Johannes Bogard or Bogardus(born in Dutchess Co. NY).
That surname Hoogteeling sounded very familiar to me.......but not in connection to my maternal lines.

So I traced that Hoogteeling line up 3 more generations to a Mathys Coenraddtsen Hoogteeling or Houghtaling.(The surname Hoogteeling was anglicized to Houghtaling at some point and you see it spelled both ways back in the 1700's.)

And a light bulb moment happened!

My 2nd great Uncle, Richard Bowman, obviously on my paternal Bowman line, married a woman named Blanche A Houghtaling.
Blanche's 6 x great grandfather is Mathys Coenraddtsen Hoogteeling or Houghtaling.
So one of my maternal lines married into lines that lead back to the common shared ancestor that's the 6 x GG of my 2 x great uncle on my paternal side.

It's just so strange and I never thought I'd find crossovers from my maternal and my paternal lines.

As a general rule, up until the last 150 years or so, people and families didn't move around much.
Yes, there was a migration out west from both the Southern and Northern states in the East, but people didn't really remove from the South to the North much, and vice versa.
Especially my Virginia ancestors who are mostly still in Virginia to this day!

There may be an individual now and again in your line that bucked the system, moved away from family to do their own thing, the folks that march to a different drummer type.....people like my paternal grandfather.   But they are infrequent and far between.

I found the place in my family story which placed a family from NY(connected to my paternal line)in close proximity to my maternal lines in VA.

Sarah Hoogteeling Bogard's husband died in Augusta VA, in 1747, leaving her with a 3 year old daughter, Hannah Bogard.  In late 1746 Sarah is buying land in Augusta Co., VA and then marrying Henry Thorn, a Scotch-Irish settler to the mountains of Western Virginia.  Sarah dies in 1828 in what would become Pendleton Co., WV.  That move to VA put her daughter, Hannah, and later her granddaughter, Barbara Conrad, in proximity to Adam Harper of Pendleton Co.  Barbara and Adam would remove to Kentucky and put their offspring in the vicinity of the Whitley family and the branch of the Sublett line that would move out of VA into KY, MO, and across the West.

The question though is why did Johannes and Sarah Bogard move from upstate NY to western VA before 1747?
So I looked around her family and found that one of Sarah's uncles died in western VA as did one of her sisters.  This indicates that a family group removed together to VA.  No family stories were left behind so we'll never know the exact reasons that triggered that move.


Monday, June 27, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Trying to Adjust to the New Normal" Edition.............

Ok, so if the worst thing I do to the budget when I get anxious and fall into the deep end of the pool over the changes to my day-to-day life here is to spend $6+ on some canning jars then I guess I'll be alright. ;-)

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Ravioli w/Italian Sausage
2. Monday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies, Collards(we didn't eat on Sunday)
3. Tuesday--Chicken Gnocchi Soup
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Beans, Veggie of some kind
5. Thursday--Chicken Risotto, Veggies of some kind
6. Friday--Stuffed Pork Chops, leftover Veggies
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Ravioli w/Italian Sausage
2. Monday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies, Mac and Cheese(for BF)
3. Tuesday--Chicken Gnocchi Soup, Biscuits
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Beans, Leftover Collards
5. Thursday--Chicken Risotto, Spinach Salad
6. Friday--Pork Chops, Stuffing, Asparagus
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY(Hubs had Kielbasa/Beans, I had Soup/Biscuits, Kids went out to dinner)

7 meals cooked at home, 1 of them nights of leftovers and 0 nights of Eating Out.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $83.78 on 3 trips to the store last week(1 main shop + 2 trips to pick up a couple of things).

I have spent $357.36 for June and have $42.64 left of my $400 food budget with 4 days to go in the month.  It looks like I'll stay under budget for June....yay!

Leftovers going into this week.......Enchilada Sauce, Beans, Collards, Soup, Pork Chops, Risotto, Stuffing, Sausage and Spaghetti Sauce.

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Leftovers or FFY
2. Monday--Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage(using leftover sauce and sausage too)
3. Tuesday--Italian Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, Collards
4. Wednesday--Cheese or Pork Enchiladas, Spanich Rice
5. Thursday--Salmon(breaded fish for BF), Mac & Cheese, Veggie TBD
6. Friday--Pizza, Salad
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 2 nights of Leftovers. I plan on using up the leftover Enchilada Sauce on cheese enchiladas(duh).  I will also make some pork enchiladas if no one eats the leftover pork chops by then....just shred them up with peppers and onions and Tex/Mex spices.  That way the diners will have a choose of fillings and there will be enough leftover for easy weekend snacking/meals.
The soup got eaten on Sunday.
I didn't fit the risotto and stuffing into this meal plan but I am sure it will all get eaten along the way with lunch and snacking going on here.

My "plan" with meals for the short term at least is to NOT cook on Weekends.  Having to prepare extra dishes(mostly because of BF's dietary requirements)means more work in the kitchen for me so I am taking weekends off from meal prep.  Everyone can find something to eat for themselves on weekends.At least for the Summer and as long as no one else steps up to take over a dinner now and again.
Daughter is taking over making dinner one night a week, at least until school starts so that helps with the workload.

What I need to buy for this menu.....milk, corn tortillas, lettuce.

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

I need to plan next week's meal fun soon.  We are having a cookout since Hubs got the deck scrubbed and sealed this weekend.  I am going to smoke some meats either Sat. or Sun. and just heat up/finish them off on Sunday right before the cook-out.  I'll have dogs and burgers available and let everyone cook their own on the grill if and what they want of those foods.  So other than grilling corn I won't be "cooking" on Monday.  8-)

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Frugality These Days at Chez Sluggy

I haven't talked about frugality lately, that is, if you don't count my meal planning/menu posts on Monday.

So what kinds of frugal things has Sluggy been up to?

Not much really.
Other than working the grocery stores to spend as little as possible, meal planning and incorporating leftovers into the menu, I've not done much.

I haven't been actively trying to make more money but then again, I haven't been out spending unnecessarily either.

No Rite-Aid trips except for medications.
Oh, there was an issue earlier in the week when College Boy picked up his meds.....they overcharged him because they didn't put the Rx through on our prescription plan.
So I called and asked WTF?!? and got the difference refunded.
Yay me.

Daughter used a discounted gift card I already had to get a pair of pants for work at no cost to her.
Ok so this didn't actually save me anything but it did her.

We haven't eaten any meals out since last Saturday so no Eating Out spending for a solid week.
Daughter and BF went out to eat Saturday night rather than eat leftovers but Hubs and I stayed home and ate what was here.

Speaking of eating out.......College Boy's friend cleans the local BK at night so he gets freebies there sometimes.  He gave CB some of those new Mac & Cheetos things the other night......

If you haven't heard about this new "food"(using that term loosely)it's mac and cheese nuggets shaped into Cheetos shapes and then covered in Cheetos dust/crumbs/whatever.

They look like turds warmed over and the nibble I took told me they are not something I'd spend my good money on.

Ok, maybe if you are drunk or stoned out of your mind you'd enjoy these but keep your eyes closed while eating them. lolz
I fed the 3/4 of the one I tried to Daughter's dog and she gobbled it up and hasn't died yet.
I just wonder how many named chemicals are in those things? bleh.

I've stayed home all week except to hit the grocery store.
I've spent time moving crap around, putting other crap into boxes to take to donate, vacuuming, paying bills and figuring out how to arrange and then moving furniture in the house.
And getting Daughter to move her and BF's stuff so it's not strewn all over the house.

Remember the Salvation Army truck that didn't pick up my stuff?
Well, I took photos of all the stuff and posted it all for FREE on my town's tag sale FB page on Friday afternoon and as of 5 pm Saturday it's all gone!!

I must have had 50 people wanting various things.
Even after I posted it was all taken I had people posting wanting things.

I guess giving stuff away is really anti-frugal but this frees up space in the house so well worth getting rid of it all.
Once we get the daybed, other exercise bike and the dreadmill moved I will feel a whole lot less anxious about things in the house.

I did go out early in the week....or was it last week, I can't remember.....and bought myself these.......

Purple pint canning jars!
I have lusted after these since they came out but couldn't see myself spending a premium because the jars were purple.
So I waited and bided(bode?) my time.
Ollie's(Good Stuff Cheap!)had them cheap plus I had a 15% my order coupon so I picked up 2 packages(12 jars)for just over .50¢ after tax.
Much better than the $18.49 for 6 they are going for currently on Amazon.

That's about all from Chez Sluggy.
What's going on at your house?


Friday, June 24, 2016

Carppity Carp Carp.....Pity Party Rant

This has been my week......lots of carp!
Just switch positions on two letters and you'll know how I really feel. ;-)

Last weekend celebrating Hubs for Father's Day took over 3 whole days basically.
He had taken Friday off so it was an evening at the local Brew Pub.........

Of course Daughter said she was treating him on Friday so I had to pay for myself and the 20 bucks I gave her MORE than covered my sandwich and 1 I got to supplement what she paid for Hubs.
And nothing of any note got done at home that day.....

Then Saturday is was all day at Hubs favorite not-quite-local Brew Pub.

Of course nobody took my picture so I was forced to do a selfie with the river in the background......

Then Daughter and BF headed off for an afternoon/evening of dirt track racing so I was the designated dog sitter until after midnight.  Even though I didn't want to stay up that late.
And another day when nothing got done at home.

On our road trip in May we got a chip in our car windshield from a truck that threw a rock at us on the highway.  Just a little chip so Hubs took the car in two weeks ago to get it fixed.  They didn't replace the windshield and just filled the chip with resin.
Well we come out to the car on Saturday after leaving the Brew Pub and the chip is now a crack that extends about halfway across the windshield!

Can't make it out well for the glare and clouds reflected but it's major now.  So back the car goes to the glass place and another call into our insurance. bleh.  At least we didn't have to pay ANOTHER deductible since it's the same damage.

On Sunday we stayed home and Hubs decided to do yard work(and I didn't ask him to do that).
I stayed inside and tried to get something put away in this house as it was too hot for me out in the sun.
So Hubs blows up that evening because he had to do yard work all day(no, no he didn't HAVE TO)and I didn't appreciate it and it's Father's Day and I guess he expected us all to wait on him hand and foot.
I wanted to hand him his ass about this time.....

I didn't ask him to do anything all day or for the last 3 days when he was off AND we carted him around to places he likes to drink beer.
So yes, I guess I am a bad bad wife and a horrible person.  I deserve to be yelled at.

So moving on from my thrilling 3 day weekend--

Monday I set up an appointment for Salvation Army to come pick up this stuff.......

I can't take it all in myself with a Chevy Sonic.
SA emails that they will come on time frame or anything.

So I hear the truck outside the house BEFORE 8 am this morning.
I go downstairs to cage the dog so I can actually open the front door without her running off(she is a runner!)and speak with the men.
By the time I secure the dog and go open the front door, the truck is gone!!!
They just f*ing left!

Well screw you Salvation Army......

I left a scathing feedback comment on their pick-up website and now I am off to upload these photos to my town's FB sales site to see if anyone here will come get any of this stuff for FREE.
I could chew nails I am so pissed right now.

I feel like all I've done all week besides hide out on the computer doing genealogy stuff is cook and do dishes and deal with a pretty demanding dog when Daughter is not home.  I don't blame the dog....she is settling in well but she is so needy and not trained well.  And I can't occupy her all day long even though I am the one home with her mostly.
I am past the time in my life where I want to train a dog.

And Daughter has not been home a lot this week....between 2 days of her part time job, doc appointment, buying pants, going to another job interview, selling her plasma, going to the chiropractor 2 times in a week, going to the dentist, going to the eye doc and I am sure I am leaving something out here.

My question is why does she waits until she has no income coming in to see a dentist or eye doc......and then she's got her hand out to me wanting me to pay for this, since she's not on our dental or eye plans, just our medical plan, and she has to pay full price?
Or at least it feels like she's always got her hand out for cash. Ugh.

The house is nowhere near where it needs to be and no one, at least I feel, seems to be in any kind of hurry to help me get it to a livable point.
This alone is stressing me out massively.
I can't live in chaos but for so long and I've hit my limit.

I am just feeling overwhelmed I guess.  So much has changed in my day-to-day life and I am not liking it and I don't feel in control of anything in my life right now.

The one bright spot in all the madness that is life here?

I discovered Wednesday that Weis(PMITA)Markets now carries Pimiento Cheese!
And it was on sale!!!
I could just fill up a tub with this stuff and dive in nekkid with a supply of celery sticks. lolz

My phone which College Boy insists he didn't lose is still missing.  He finally went and bought me a replacement phone at Walmart which cost him all of $10.  Yes, it only took him a week to get him off his ass to replace my phone..........

I transferred all my minutes and am now back in business.

Not 2 days later we get a letter from Tracfone.........

Telling me I am eligible for a new free phone! lolz

And now Hubs informs me he wants to go to Maine the beginning of August and has already taken time off from work to do this.
Not that getting out of here is a bad thing but.......
He won't plan the trip so I'll have to do all that.
And if I don't include shit he wants to do(which he won't tell me until the last blanged minute)he'll pout.
And I am just tired of it all.
I'd rather just take off by myself somewhere.
Or better yet, just send him to Maine alone and I'll stay home and clean out his shed, which he refuses to clean.  Those bikes in the photo above?  Those were in the shed and the only reason they aren't still in there is because I got mad on Monday and tore through there to at least get 10 year old bikes out to donate.

Hubs also informed me earlier this week he's decided "he" wants to throw a 4th of July cookout.
Well guess who gets to plan and implement the food for this shindig and arrange it all?  8-P

Not that I had any say in whether we have a cookout.
And the deck is a never got cleaned last year or sealed before the bad weather set in so it's green and cracking and nasty.

Want to lay bets on whether Hubs gets it cleaned and sealed before the end of next weekend for "his" cookout?
I am going to tell him if he doesn't get it done I am calling off his cookout because well I am a bitch and I am so over it.
I can't even.

So I survived the week and besides keeping it together I've bagged up stuff to get rid of and burned a large stack of cardboard boxes.
Go me.

So in conclusion I am NOT having a good week.

Here's hoping next week is better and I don't send anyone to the Emergency Room.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Well It Had to Happen......Another Boring Genealogy Post

Having ancestral roots going back to the very beginning of European/English occupation in America I never had a doubt I'd find some amazing people in, or associated through marriage, with my family tree.

My early emigrant ancestors, all of them on my mother's side of my heritage, run the gamut from the lowest classes to nobility.

I have ancestors who came up out of nothing, who came here as indentured servants, for the free ride to the New World.

I also have other ancestors who were offspring of notable Englishmen of the landed gentry but due to Primogeniture rules in Europe wouldn't inherit anything so they needed to start from scratch to make a life.  I guess they figured it would be easier in some ways to do in a new uncharted land.

Then there are still others who came here with wealth and prestige intact and grew that wealth and influence in a society where the sky was the limit.

If nothing else I am inclusive and diverse in so much as my Caucasian ancestry can be. ;-)

Of the ancestors I have tracked back to Europe, so far, I am a 12th generation American born and raised here on some of my family lines.  Using an average of 20 years per generation(which is a rule of thumb in genealogy) that's 240 years of living and dying on American soil.  That's a mighty long time in anyone's book.
But I've got 2 ancestors I've uncovered so far, that came here 406 years ago to plant the Garnett and Flood families in American soil.
Outside of having Indigenous North American blood 406 years in this land is a crazy long time by US standards.

Over many generations these ancestors who came before have experienced heartache and great gain and everything in between.  They have also "married up or down" as the saying goes, and had their lots in life rise and/or fall from one social sphere to another better or worse in our American community.

And all this living and dying over many generations brings me to who I am today and where I am today.

With all these humble, moderately connected, and wealthy notable ancestors, it shouldn't have been a surprise that I would find a few famous folks along the way.

My latest discovery?
You see him every day on your money.
This guy right here........

Yep, George Washington.
The fellow every American wants to be related to. lolz

My connection is through marriage but it's something, right?

Here's the trail--

John Fludd(Flood) came to Jamestown in 1610 on "The Swan", one of the 3 resupply ships owned by Thomas Gates.  This fleet came to "rescue" the Colony after the "year of the starving time" as 1609 became known in Jamestown, when most of the colonists died from disease or hunger and reduced their number from 500 to 60.

John was a mere boy of between 10 and 18 depending on which source you quote, from Kent, England.  We don't know why he got on that ship as he left no record to tell us.

The Fludd name is Welch in origin, going back to Ririd Vlaidd of Shropshire, an 12th century Earl of Penlyn.  A descendant of Ririd Vlaidd was Sir Thomas Fludd who was knighted by Elizabeth I.
Thomas Fludd had a son, John Fludd, who was the father of Richard Fludd.  This Fludd immigrated to Drogheda Ireland circa 1645 where the family name was angelicized to Flood.  So all us Flood/Fludd descendants in America are cousins to folks in Ireland named Flood.

Sir Thomas Fludd had another son, Nicholas Fludd.  Nicholas was the father of our John Fludd/Flood.  I suppose John Flood came to America for one of two reasons....
1. He was not the oldest son of his father Nicholas and thus would not inherit anything.
2. He was young and restless for adventure.
Or maybe for both reasons.

At any rate he hopped about the Swan and landed in Jamestown.
John Flood was known to be an interpreter for the local British government with the coastal Algonguin speaking Native Americans living there(mostly Powhatan tribes).  He was paid in tobacco, acquired land on the banks of the James and became a wealthy planter.

He survived the Jamestown massacre of 1622 and when the first muster roll was taken in 1624 he was listed living at Jordan's Journey(which was on the banks of the James River across from present day Hopewell, Virginia).  His household included a wife, Margaret Finche Fludd(who arrived with her husband, William Finche and their daughter Frances in 1620 on "The Supply").
John and Margaret had as many as 6 children(depending on which researcher you use), one of those being Mary Flood, born circa 1635.

Mary Flood was to marry 4 times before her life was over.

Mary was sent to England to be educated, as many wealthy planters' daughters were, then returned to the Virginia Colony about 1655 to marry for the first time to Richard Blunt of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. They had a son, Thomas Blunt, in 1656, before Richard died shortly after their son's birth, passing at the age of 39.

The widow Mary Flood Blunt then married Charles Ford 9 Apr 1657, and he passed away that same year, and there was no issue.

Mary thirdly married John Washington 13 Oct 1658 and they had a son Richard Washington, in 1660. John also died soon after their child was born, passing away at the age of 30.

Lastly Mary married Henry Briggs circa 1661.  We know they had at least 5 children together from Henry's will--Henry, Charles, Samuel, George and Marie(or Mary), before Mary Flood Blunt Ford Washington Briggs died in 1679 in Surry County, Virginia.

Mary Flood Blunt Ford Washington Briggs is one of my 9th Great Grandmothers through her son with Henry Briggs, also named Henry Briggs. (My previous research indicated that I was descended from Henry & Mary Brigg's son, Samuel Briggs, but that was false.  Their son Henry, who married Elizabeth Lucas, is my 8th Great Grandfather.)
Mary's son with John Washington, Richard Washington, is my 8th Great Grandfather's half brother and my 9 x Great Uncle.

My line as related to the Washington line--

Mary Flood Blunt Ford Washington Briggs and Henry Briggs
Henry and Elizabeth Lucas Briggs
James and Elizabeth Briggs Chappell
John(II)and Elizabeth Briggs Mason
John(III)and Jane Parham Mason
Joseph and Elizabeth Weatherford Mason
William and Sarah Mason Driskill
James and Mary Agnes Driskill Harper
Robert and Jennie Vie Tucker Harper
Wirt and Lillian Vassar Harper
Francis and Carole Harper Bowman

John Washington, Mary Flood's 3rd husband, is the Grandson of Lawrence Washington(1565-1615)and Margaret Butler(1568-1622).  Lawrence had a son Richard(John's father)and another son, Lawrence Washington(1602-1653).  This Lawrence married Amphillis Twigden and they had a son, John Washington(1633-1677).
This John Washington immigrated to Virginia in 1656, a young man of about 23 years, aboard a merchant ship transporting tobacco between England and the Colony.  He had invested into this shipping venture.
This John Washington was George Washington's Great Grandfather.

Lawrence and Margaret Butler Washington
Lawrence and Amphillis Twigden Washington
John and Anne Pope Washington
Lawrence and Mildred Warner Washington
Augustine and Mary Ball Washington
George Washington

In other words, George Washington is the 1st Cousin 3 removed of the Husband of my 9 x Great Grandmother.

How's that for a kick in the head? 8-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tasty Leftovers

2 Sundays ago I roasted two whole chickens.  I am still trying to gauge how much to prepare for a meal with all 5 of us home to eat.
It's amazing how out of practice you can get at fixing meals for a large crowd once your kids mostly leave home and it's just you and the spouse to cook for.

Anyway, I ended up with one whole chicken leftover after that Sunday's supper to figure out how to use up in another dinner.  I pulled out the crock pot on Monday evening and set the leftover whole chicken to simmer overnight in some of the stock I harvested from roasting them both last Sunday.
By Tuesday I had a very rich stock along with tender chicken pieces I picked off the carcass.

So I decided to try one of those copy cat recipes for the Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup that are floating around on the internet.

The one I used is located Here.

It was fairly quick to prepare.  Of course you could make your own Gnocchi(I've never made gnocchi however and didn't want this dish to be my guinea pig)and it would take longer but be more homemade from scratch.

My only change was I didn't add the dried Thyme because I didn't have any and had no car yesterday to go run out for any.  It didn't seem to hurt the flavor however to leave it out.
Oh, and I just used 2% Milk and not Half and Half.  And I added a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it up more(as I like a thick soup)instead of using more flour beyond the initial amount of that ingredient.

4 out of 5 diners approved this meal, served with some whack biscuits, if a sopping up the liquid item was needed to accompany this soup. ;-)
The only change I would make would be to put the carrot shreds in sooner rather than later so they soften more.  I didn't care for crunchy carrot bits in this.

Along with the biscuits(bought on sale and with a coupon)the cost was around $10 for 7-8 hearty servings.  We have 2 servings leftover for quick lunches.
A container of this soup To-Go at Olive Garden would run you $5.79.  Even if that container held 2 servings, you'd need to spend at least $17.37 + tax to feed a family of 5 with this soup.  And that doesn't include the cost of any bread products.
Also the OG version has 1,420 mg of sodium per serving, which is more than I want in my soup.  The recipe I used has added salt but it's to your taste and I added about 1/2 teaspoon(=1,150 mg for the whole pot of soup)which made it plenty salty.  Spread out over 7-8 servings that way less than the OG version.

Really, this is just a psuedo-Italian version of Chicken and Dumplings with added spinach and some herbs we Southerners don't put into our version.
This will be added to my recipe collection and be made again....especially since the Daughter bought me two bags of gnocchi and I only used one, so this will get made at least once more.

Now my problem is I have shredded chicken from half a roast chicken still as this soup only used 1 cup of the shreds.  And now I also have most of a bag of fresh spinach to use up as the recipe only called for 1 cup and what store sells that little spinach at a pop? lolz

I am thinking of using the chicken leftovers in a risotto.  I am not a big risotto fan but Hubs loves anything Italian and the BF loves anything Carb-y evidently so it will be eaten and go over well.
If I had more chicken left I might have prepared fajitas or quesadillas.

The spinach is slated to be used in a Spinach Salad with some boiled eggs and bacon because well, who doesn't like anything with bacon, right? 8-)

Have you got a "go to" use for leftover roasted chicken?


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

More Genealogical Discoveries......My Synchronistic Life

Well I was working on my SUBLETT lines this morning and I uncovered two more cousins you may know of.

Actually I "visited" with them Spring of 2015 on our Louisiana Road Trip while we were traveling through Western Kentucky.

If you are a longtime reader you might remember me taking a selfie in Central City KY with this memorial to two natives of that city.

You can read about that part of the trip HERE.
(The pertinent part is near the end of that post.)

Yes, Don and Phil Everly aka The Everly Brothers are my 8th cousins 1 x removed.
Their 3 x Great Grandmother was a SUBLETT by birth, Mary "Polly" Sublett.
Mary Sublett's Great Grandfather, Jacques "James" Sublett, was a brother to my 7 x Great Grandfather, Pierre Louis "Peter Lewis" Sublett.

So let's go back into our time machine and listen to some of their hits...........

Here's a strange clip from then they were already retro. lolz

Another clip of them late 1960's with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans......

Incidentally I am cousins with Roy Rogers(aka Leonard Slye)too, through his mother, Mattie Womack.
My blogger friend, Jay, who died last year, was cousins with him through Roy's Father, Andrew Slye, and the Slye line.

A music video they made in 1984 of one of their hits......

One of their last appearances with Simon & Garfunkel is located HERE.

And Don Everly appeared the year Phil died in this concert....

I told College Boy about his famous musical cousins, ya know, thinking he'd be impressed and enthused to be genetically related to people in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
He had never heard of them.

Seriously?!  The boy is into music and had no CLUE who they were/are.  Where did I go wrong and fail him that he doesn't know them.


Monday, June 20, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Father's Day Weekend" Edition.............

We began Father's Day celebrating on Friday since Hubs took off that day(was suppose to be my surgery check-up appointment day).  Daughter treated him to the local brewpub(I had to pay for myself...humph!).  Then on Saturday, a gorgeous day weather wise, we headed to Berwick for his favorite brewpub there.  We sat outside in the Bier Garten overlooking the Susquehanna River.  BF even joined us there.  Afterwards we got ice cream cones and then Daughter and BF headed west to go see some dirt track racing and Hubs and I headed home to dog sit.
Sunday was spent doing little here as it was 90 degrees....a little yard work and Daughter cooked dinner(with some help)and we turned on the a/c.
Yes, we party wild, don't we? ;-)

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Roasted Chicken w/Roasted Onions, Potatoes, Zucchini
2. Monday--Leftovers of FFY(Fend For Yourself)
3. Tuesday--Marinated London Broil & Skewer Veggies, Fettucine Alfredo Noodles
4. Wednesday--Chicken Enchiladas(using leftover roast chicken from Sunday)
5. Thursday--Steak Sandwiches(using leftover marinated London Broil), leftover Collards
6. Friday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Roasted Chicken w/Roasted Onions, Potatoes, Zucchini
2. Monday--Leftovers of FFY(Fend For Yourself)
3. Tuesday--Marinated London Broil & Skewer Veggies, Fettucine Alfredo Noodles
4. Wednesday--Chicken Enchiladas(using leftover roast chicken from Sunday)
5. Thursday--Steak Sandwiches(using leftover marinated London Broil), leftover Collards
6. Friday--Panninis at the Brew Pub
7. Saturday--Leftovers(I ate some pickles.)

6 meals cooked at home, 2 of them nights of leftovers and 1 night of Eating Out.  Fish didn't happen due to Eating Out at the Brew Pub so that meal moves to this week.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $137.17 on 4 trips to the store last week(Bread Outlet, local Shursave store, 2 x Weis).

I have spent $273.58 for June and have $126.42 left of my $400 food budget with 11 days to go in the month.
We might stay under budget, we might not, only time will tell.

We had some food waste last week unfortunately.......a piece of pecan chicken, some Brussels Sprouts, and some Deviled Clams that all got pushed to the back of the fridge.  It doesn't happen much here but....oh well. 8-(

Leftovers going into this week......roast chicken and collard greens.

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Ravioli w/Italian Sausage
2. Monday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies, Collards(we didn't eat on Sunday)
3. Tuesday--Chicken Gnocchi Soup
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Beans, Veggie of some kind
5. Thursday--Chicken Risotto, Veggies of some kind
6. Friday--Stuffed Pork Chops, leftover Veggies
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

This week will see 6 new meals cooked of which 2 meals are planned-overs(using leftover Roast Chicken)and 1 night of leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu.....Gnocchi, Spinach.  Probably more milk as we are going through a gallon+ a week now.

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 last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Want to Buy a Tavern?

Well everything I read I seem to find ancestral connections to.
I get an email blast from a real estate company in South Central know, because we are looking to retire someplace and this area, So CenVA, is where my mother's people are from.  Plus is close to where my last living sibling resides.

A property popped up for sale today on my list..........

The link to the listing is HERE.

Now reduced to $320K for a 186 yr old brick home that qualifies to be on the National Historic Register(but renovated inside with all the modern conveniences) and sits on 26 acres.

It is due South of the little town my maternal grandfather was born in, Pamplin, Virginia
This area where Harvey's Tavern sits use to be known as "Chickentown".  It's now called Madisonville, Virginia.  Back in the 1800's this area was called Chickentown because cockfights were held in a pit in front of Harvey's Tavern.  Cockfights, the rock concerts and movieplexes of our 16th and 17th century ancestors.

Back in the day homes or buildings on main roads, where people traveled to the county seat, or homes at intersections of roads, often were turned into ordinaries or taverns.  A place for weary travelers to stop for food, drink or to rest and/or water their horses became public houses/inns/ordinaries/taverns.  They were the gas stations and Holiday Inns of our ancestors who traveled the roads.

Thomas Harvey(1734-1812) owned property that lay on the main road due north that led into the court house of Charlotte County in Virginia.  In 1787 a license was issued to Thomas Harvey to operate a tavern on this property.  Thomas Harvey's son, Colonel Isham Harvey(1773-1842) is credited with having the Brick Tavern pictured above built, circa. 1830.  This Tavern is not the original building Thomas Harvey operated his ordinary out of as the license was issued 40+ years before this structure was built but this Tavern house built by his son Isham is still standing.

You'll notice that the realtor is marketing this Tavern as one that Patrick Henry was thought to frequent.  This is a bit misleading on two accounts--
1-While Patrick Henry did live in this area of Charlotte County Virginia at the end of his life, Henry died in 1799, meaning Patrick Henry couldn't have frequented this Brick Tavern as it was built 30 years after he passed.  Mr. Henry may have frequented it's predecessor as the ordinary license was issued in 1787.
2-The marketing says that "Presumed stop by Patrick Henry when on his way to Charlotte Court House."
Even if you disregard that Henry was dead 30 years before it was built, Patrick Henry's home, RED HILL, was due west of the court house.  He would have had to travel what is now US Route 40 East (known locally in town as Patrick Henry Highway)to go to the county seat/court house.  Madisonville where Harvey's Tavern is located, is due North of Charlotte Court House, on US Route 47(known locally in town as Thomas Jefferson Highway).

The grey line is the direct route from Red Hill to the Brick Tavern in Madisonville VA.  Notice how Charlotte Court House is east of the route traveled.

As you can plainly see, traveling between Brookneal(Patrick Henry's estate) and Madisonville(Harvey's Tavern) does not take you through Charlotte Court House Virginia.  Using the known roads of that time Mr. Henry would have had to travel due east on 40 and then, when he arrived at Charlotte Court House, he'd have to travel north on 47 to get to Harvey's Tavern.
Patrick Henry may have lifted a tankard or two at Harvey's Tavern in his day, but he didn't do it along his route from his home to the court house....that part is pure fiction.

And if you can't believe me who can you believe?
After all my 5 x Great Grandfather sold Patrick Henry a tract of land in 1798(well the transaction wasn't completed until the month after he died the next year in 1799 by his wife, Dorothea Dandridge Henry). I blogged about that HERE. 2 x Great Grandfather was named Patrick Henry Baker(1847-1930).
So who ya gonna believe? lolz

I got curious about this Harvey family so I decided to do a little digging and see if I could come up with an ancestral connection to them.  After all, they lived in the same area of Virginia as mother's people during the 1700's so it's entirely possible I'd find a link.

And I did. 8-)

Isham Harvey, the man who had the brick Tavern build circa 1830, and his wife, also his cousin, Druscilla Harvey Harvey married and had among their brood of offspring a daughter named Maccarina Barksdale Harvey(1806-1860).

Maccarina married William Price Baker(1802-1860).
William P. Baker is my 2nd cousin 5 x removed.
We share common ancestors in Douglas Baker Sr. and Jane Thomson Baker---William Price Baker's Great Grandparents are also my 6th Great Grandparents.

So yes, yet again, I have a connection to something from years gone by in Virginia,  the Brick Tavern.

Ancestral Sluggy

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How My Week is Going So Far

Well I've been on 3 grocery shopping trips so far this week-two trips to the local grocery stores and one trip to the bread outlet.  The highest total was $29 something, the lowest $11 and I've let $50+ out of my wallet.
Not bad considering and the food budget is not blown....yet! ;-)

The meal plan is sort of working so far this week too.

Both Daughter and BF have gotten jobs already.  Daughter went out Monday and applied to 2 places and by that evening she had a job offer at one.  It's just a part time job as she will be starting back to college in August.
The BF went out yesterday to 1 place and they hired him on the spot.  It's the same work he was doing in LA and the same sort of facility.  The guy was shocked that someone walked off the street with his experience to apply for a job there.  I guess that doesn't happen much as it's specialized work that they usually have to train applicants to perform.
This was the first job BF has gotten on his own, his previous job he got through his dad so I think he's a bit chuffed over all this.  8-)
And BF started work this morning already!

I've been doing a bit of granddog sitting as Daughter and BF have been on the go almost every day since they got here.

The dog has been spending a lot of time waiting at doors and whining.....I HATE whining!! lolz
She's s big dog and Husky mix so she likes to PULL.
Grandma here is having hard time with her.  The poor dog needs more exercise than she is getting and is bored to boot.  I've got to come up with a way to occupy her a bit more.
And she needs training.......she has my Daughter trained instead of the other way around. sigh

Daughter and BF went out to buy BF some lunch foods and breakfast sandwiches for the mornings he works.
I came down this morning to this sight.......

That's a grocery receipt in my wastebasket.
This makes me sad.........

Ok, I've got to go start making my homemade enchilada sauce for tonight's chicken enchilada.
It's a process people. lolz

Then it's back to the dining room to go through the last 2 boxes of papers.

What are you up to today?


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Boring Blog Giveaway Winner

39 valid entries and the winner is.........


Those truffles would not last here to make it into a giveaway. lol

Count me in too. :)

Congratulations Belinda!!!
Please email me your mailing address Belinda and I'll get this box of goodies out to you asap....IF I can find it now. lolz

Thanks to everyone for playing and reading.


Monday, June 13, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "In the Midst of Barely Controlled Chaos" Edition.............

Well they are here as of Thursday night.
This is the current state of my living room.
There is small pile of crap in the upstairs hallway as well, plus a few things in the garage and a filled 5x10 storage unit they decided to store some things in.

I have taken this opportunity to declutter my own shit some more too so the dining room is partially filled with boxes I am going through and there is a full box to donate in the garage.

College Boy has also lost my phone for the second time this past week. ugh.  I fear with the upheaval in the house now it won't be turning up anytime soon.
Oh well......

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Chinese Take-Out(I was just too wiped out to cook.)
2. Monday--Leftover Chinese Take-Out or Fend for Yourself
3. Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Spinach Soufle or Salad
4. Wednesday--Broccoli Soup, Garlic Bread
5. Thursday--Leftover Stroganoff, Salad or Veg.
6. Friday--Chicken Fried Steak(I'll have something else), Collards, Cornbread
7. Saturday--Leftovers or Fend for Yourself

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Chinese Take-Out(I was just too wiped out to cook.)
2. Monday--Leftover Chinese Take-Out or Fend for Yourself
3. Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Cauliflower/Broccoli Blend
4. Wednesday--Broccoli Soup, Garlic Bread
5. Thursday--Leftover Stroganoff, Salad
6. Friday--Chicken Fried Steak, Collards, Cornbread
7. Saturday--Pizza take-out, Tossed Salad

3 meals cooked at home, 2 nights of leftovers and 2 nights of Take-Out.  Pizza was the only not planned thing about last week's menu but was just the right thing to grab while in the midst of chaos.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $21.59 on 2 trips to the store last week.  Actually Hubs and College Boy made these 2 trips as I didn't hardly leave the house last week.  ;-)
They bought 3 dozen eggs at .77¢ dozen, 3-4 lbs. of London Broil at $2.99 lb., a gallon of vegetable oil at $7.29 and a gallon of milk at $3.10.

I have spent $136.41 for June and have $263.59 left of my $400 food budget.

Leftovers going into this week......cauliflower/broccoli soup, cornbread, collard greens, stroganoff, and rice.

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Roasted Chicken w/Roasted Onions, Potatoes, Zucchinni
2. Monday--Leftovers of FFY(Fend For Yourself)
3. Tuesday--Marinated London Broil & Skewer Veggies, Fettucine Alfredo Noodles
4. Wednesday--Chicken Enchiladas(using leftover roast chicken from Sunday)
5. Thursday--Steak Sandwiches(using leftover marinated London Broil), leftover Collards
6. Friday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 3 new meals cooked and 3 meals of leftovers or planned-overs.
Trying to work around everyone's various schedules is going to be the death of me this week.  Hubs is out of town 1 night, CB works dinner shift 5 nights and I have no clue whether Daughter and BF will be here on any given night.  I'm just cooking and hoping for the best. lolz

What I need to buy for this menu.....chickens and fish are in the freezer and the London Broil was bought last Saturday. I do need some fresh veggies for kabob skewers on Tuesday, a bag of sub rolls for Thurs. and a bag of Cole Slaw mix for Friday.  We are almost totally out of sandwich bread so a run to the Bread Outlet is in order as well this week.  This all should run me about $25.
May pick up some loss leaders later on in the week as well.

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 last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vacation Financial Post Mortem

I am such a nerd.....but y'all already knew that.
I did my Louisiana road trip Financial Post Mortem the other day.
I discovered that we spent a total of $2873.78 on that 12 day extravaganza. 8-0

* Gas came to $265.72  Once we got down South into more gas tax friendly states gas prices were excellent.  No complaints here. 8-)

* Lodging came to $911.74  That was 11 nights at various hotels.  The stay in LA was 6 nights in the same hotel, the one we stayed in on last year's trip.  I got a deal through Expedia and paid $68.20 a night(including all taxes)for a King Bed room in a nice hotel with indoor pool/hot tub, exwercise room and free hot breakfast.  3 of the other nights on the road were booked in advance and we got good rates at those as well($62, $84.59, $97.56).  The 2 hotels we didn't book ahead were outrageously expensive to me for what they were.  I hate not booking ahead but Hubs doesn't always want to be tied down to stopping at a particular place so I suffer. lolz

* Food came to $402.35(And that included treating Daughter to a meal 6 times as well.)  Eating didn't include much traditional fast food, so we ate well, and still didn't break the bank.  It helped the bottom line that we were treated to dinner three times along the way.  It wasn't planned but totally awesome and we appreciated it truly.
Last year's trip saw us spend $143.52 MORE on eating.

* Liquor(when bought to drink later or at home, and not at a restaurant)came to $303.66
This was almost totally Hubs purchases.  I spent a mere $32.93 on alcohol this trip.  8 bottle of beer, 2 bottles of vodka and 6 "Adult Slurpee" bags.  Hubs bought lots of beer and some pricey whiskey/whisky and bourbon.  It sure adds up. 8-(

* Entrance Fees for Sightseeing came to $74.95
This includes 3 sites/museums/gator park.  Other things we did/saw were without fees.

* "Souvenirs" came to $891.10
Before your eyes bug out of your head, know that we usually don't buy typical souvenirs.  A t-shirt, hat or bumper sticker now and again.  But I have also been known to buy food stuffs we can't get in PA, and unusual consumable items as well as souvenirs.  Most of the typical type souvenirs are bought to give as gifts too.

A usual souvenir that Hubs is known to buy are books......and books ain't cheap. ;-)
I also hit two fabric stores on this was going out of business(so most was pretty cheap)and one was rayon batik fabric heaven(and that AIN'T cheap!).

* That leaves $24.26 I can't account for that was frittered away on this or that in cash that I don't have a receipt for.  A cup of coffee for Hub, a tea for me, or some other doodad on the road.

I can't seem to find a Total Spent for last year's road trip to Louisiana.  Maybe I didn't do one?  I can't recall.  I'll dig around when I find the time and look for that blog post so I can compare the two and either feel proud about this recent trip's spending or just go drink heavily if we spent way more this year.  ;-)

Do you keep track of your spending while on vacation?
How do you keep your costs down on trips?


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

As Ready As I'll Ever Be

Most of the tasks have been completed in preparation for the Great Moving Adventure of 2016.

Daughter's room is emptied and ready.........

All my "things" are out of the room and closet, leaving 2 dressers and the shelving attached to the wall.  Except for the basket of cough drops the rest of the things in there are Daughter's.
I vacuumed and shampooed the carpeting, cleaned the ceiling fan and Hubs put the window a/c unit in.  I didn't move the dressers and vacuum/poo under those.  If they want that done, they are welcomed to do that. lolz

In preparation for more bathroom use in the main bath I had Hubs dig our narrow bookcase out of the garage(where it was holding canned goods).
When all 3 kids were at home it lived in their bathroom for storage for all their personal toiletries so everything wasn't sitting along the tub or under the sink.  They use to just throw shit under the sink in the cabinet and it was a colossal mess!  The under sink area is reserved for cleaning supplies(kept in a plastic basket)and/or bulky items(like an electric razor, hair blower, etc.)  The medicine cabinet is for medicines only.

The bookcase could use a new coat of white paint but that's not happening now, but I did put vinyl shelf liner down on each shelf.
Each of the 3 of them get a personal shelf with the bottom shelf reserved for toiletries I found under the sink cabinet that were opened and not claimed.(I found SIX opened toothpaste tubes in this bathroom!)
If someone runs out of an item, they are to take something from that collection of opened items before opening a new one from the stockpile.

We also moved an over the door peg hangers unit to this bathroom's door to solve the towel hanging space issue, as there is only one towel bar in this room(besides the hand towel ring).

I suspect there will be more "Musical Chairs" moving things about the house once they get here and we set up a routine of sorts.

They have a large(I mean LARGE!)TV they are bringing which won't fit into their room.  Daughter wants to hang it on the wall in the den(and put our much smaller TV in their room I suppose).  This would mean we either have to get rid of or repurpose our TV cabinet in the den(as this new tv won't fit into it).  Plus the wall that would make the most sense to hang their TV has the a/c split unit on it so won't work, meaning the furniture arrangement currently in there won't work and everything has to be rearranged. sigh

And I still have to figure out how to handle the laundry room and laundry.  I am not doing Daughter and BF's clothes and will stop doing College Boy's as well this month.  The configuration in there won't work if 4 people are doing their own laundry(I do Hubs).  We only have room for two dirty clothes hampers in the laundry room(1 for whites/1 for colors)but we'll need at least 3-4 and at most 7-8 hampers for all the dirty things to keep the owners' clothing separated.  I hate the idea of keeping hampers of dirty things in a bedrooms(as the closets aren't spacious enough to keep them in there).
But we'll figure it out in time.

I still have piles/tubs of crap to go through and figure out what to do with in the living/dining room.
We aren't out of the weeds by any means but I'm ready as I'll ever be at this point.

Let the games begin! 8-O


Monday, June 6, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Things Are Looking Up for College Boy" Edition......
Ok, so this is an old photo but I haven't taken any of him recently as he hasn't been here much except to sleep and eat.
He's been working at a restaurant job he really doesn't care for(he worked here last Summer).  They have him washing dishes.  They pay him more than minimum wage but it's dirty work and it's quiet a distance from our home so he's been putting in applications for a different job and hasn't gotten any nibbles in the past month.
But over the weekend, he got phone calls back from 2 different companies and they are both in town here.  He goes in this week to check the positions out and see what they have to offer in terms of hours and pay.
Wish him luck!

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Beef Pie(using up leftover ground beef)
2. Monday--Hot dogs, Burgers, Corn, Beans
3. Tuesday--Tempura Zuchinni and Shrimp
4. Wednesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Veg
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Salmon, Squash Casserole
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Beef Pie(using up leftover ground beef)
2. Monday--Hot dogs, Burgers, Corn, Baked Beans
3. Tuesday--Tempura Zuchinni and Shrimp
4. Wednesday--Leftovers(We had the Beef Pie)
5. Thursday--Leftovers(We had the Stuffed Shells/Meatballs)
6. Friday--Salmon, Squash Casserole
7. Saturday--Leftovers

7 meals cooked at home, 4 new dishes cooked and 3 nights of leftovers.  Most of what I planned got made but sometimes on different nights.  The Stroganoff didn't happen and moves to next week.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $114.82 on three trips to the store last week.

I have spent $114.82 for June and have $285.18 left of my $400 food budget.

Leftovers going into this week......

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Chines Take-Out(I was just too wiped out to cook.)
2. Monday--Leftover Chinese Take-Out or Fend for Yourself
3. Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Spinach Soufle or Salad
4. Wednesday--Broccoli Soup, Garlic Bread
5. Thursday--Leftover Stroganoff, Salad or Veg.
6. Friday--Chicken Fried Steak(I'll have something else), Collards, Cornbread
7. Saturday--Leftovers or Fend for Yourself

This week will see 3 new meals cooked and 2 meal of leftovers or "Whatever You Can Find" and 2 meals of Eating-Out(or Eating-Out Leftovers).
Daughter & BF arrive Thursday so I not cooking a lot this week as I have more reorganizing to do.

What I need to buy for this menu.....I already have the items to make the 3 dishes I am cooking this week.
We'll need milk and canned soup(for the BF)but other than that I am holding off on buying much until after they get here.

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 last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?