Tuesday, July 31, 2018

About CTMOM...Please Read

Ok, so CT Mom at CT on a budget has been having some troll issues lately.
Since Blogger won't let you block a particular user(thanks a lot Blogger!), and being tired of dealing with this stuff, she has decided to take her blog private for awhile.

So if you were a reader of her blog and want access you have to be on her approved reader list so she can invite/approve you.
But she can only send you an invite if she has your email addy and name. 

I've agreed to act as her gate keeper here.  If you want to be invited please email me directly(the email addy is on my sidebar under my "About Me" blurb)with your email addy and name and I will forward the information to CT Mom and she can put you on the invite list.

That's it for now folks.


Monday, July 30, 2018

This Week on the Dining Table

The "The Zucchini that Ate Cleveland" Edition--

It always seems to happen.  There's always one zucchini that you can't find in the garden until it's a mammoth size!  Who decided that zukes had to be a color to blend in so well with it's foliage anyway?   Serious design flaw that!

So this 14.5 inch behemoth weighed in at 69.7 ounces or 4 pounds and 5.7 ounces.

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--Pork Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Beans
3. Tuesday--Cheeseburgers, Mac Salad
4. Wednesday--Pork Ragu over Pasta, Salad
5. Thursday--Fried Zucchini and Leftovers
6. Friday--Squash Casserole and Leftovers
7. Saturday--BLTs or Chicken Salad Sandwiches

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Pork Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Beans
3. Tuesday--Fried Zucchini
4. Wednesday--Grilled Asparagus(and Assorted Leftovers)
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Squash Casserole, Hamburgers
7. Saturday--Zucchini and Sausage Rissotto

Last week saw 6 nights of home cooked dinners, 1 night of leftovers/fend for yourself, 0 nights of Take-Out or Eating Out. 
The Pork Ragu didn't happen(and the BLTs/Chicken Salad Sammies happened for Lunch not Dinner last week). With so much zucchini coming in fast and furiously I had to punt and come up with more ways to use it up. 
I only made a veggie dish on 2 nights and if that wasn't enough for some they were free to also eat some leftovers.

Trips to Maines, Walmart, Shursave Markets and Weis brought the weekly food spending to $112.02 and the monthly total to $433.75.
I have 1 day left in my shopping month for July(though I am done grocery shopping for the month)and have closed out the budget for this month.  I wanted to do $400 but gave myself another $50 if needed due to company in July so I'll call $433.75 a win. '-)

My savings percentage last week was 48.15%(without Rite-Aid trips)and July's monthly savings total comes to 48.80% so far.

Leftovers going into this week......2 Enchiladas, a little bit of Barbecue Pork, and a LOT of Zucchini Risotto.

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

1. Sunday--Leftovers
2. Monday--Lemon Pepper Chicken and Zuke, Rice
3. Tuesday--Grilled Steak, Grilled Zuke and Squash
4. Wednesday--Beef Pie
5. Thursday--Pork Ragu over Pasta, Salad
6. Friday--Tacos
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked, 2 nights of leftovers/FFY and 0 nights of Take-Out/Eating Out.

What needs buying for this menu?  Steaks that Shursave market will have on sale this week.
I have everything else here to make these meals.
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, July 28, 2018

Adventures in Passporting

I've been putting this chore off for a bit.....getting my passport.
I just don't like dealing with bureaucracy and forms.

So first off I had to go find out what I needed in terms of paperwork to apply for a passport.

* Driver's license or some other form of ID.  Check!
* Birth Certificate.  Check!  Wait.....not check.

What they use to give you in the state of Virginia where I was born can't be used now for a birth certificate.  It was fine back in the day for applying for a SS card and getting into school as a child, but no, it's too old and dated and doesn't have a raised seal.

If I was going to VA soon or lived there getting a birth certificate would be a piece of cake.  I could have just gone into any VA DMV office, filled out a form, paid $14 and bingo, bango, gotten a birth certificate on the spot.
Problem is I am not in VA so you have to mail away to the Vital Statistics Dept. in Richmond and wait for them to do the search, print one out and mail it off to you.  Which might take up to 2 months?
And then I still have to apply for the passport and wait for that to get back to me too?  bleh.

So I spent the BIG MONEY and used a service.  They insisted on overnight UPS too. ugh.
So the UPS guy is at my door wanting a signature and then hands this mangled mess of an envelop e to me.......

I won't show you the birth certificate because well, that's personal info.  But I can assure you that even though it was still in one piece it looked as mangled as the envelope it was in.
So we had to press the certificate under a stack of heavy books....luckily we have quite a few of those in Hubs library. ;-)

Back to my list of what's needed.......

* Obtain  a passport photo.
So I had three options here-photo from Rite-Aid, photo from CVS or photo taken at PO where the application had to be turned in.  I went with Rite-Aid as it was the least expensive option after using a coupon and my 20% Wellness discount.
They had a new cashier take it with supervision.  The photo looked a little too big to me but I paid and left with it.

Get to the PO to put my application in and the lady says that photo's too big!  FYI-from the top of your head to your chin can't be any longer than 2".  She had a template of an oval of a head that is the correct size and yep, this photo was waaaay too big!
So I paid another $15 for her to take another photo. sigh

I stopped in at Rite-Aid and let them know their photos don't meet the requirements and showed them the difference between the photos they took and the extra one from the PO that I got to keep.
So I got a refund of the $5.94 I spent.
Photo done.  Check!

*  Fill out the application.
That was easier said than done.  I had to fill the paperwork out THREE TIMES before I got it right.
Left stuff off the first two times and didn't catch it before printing it all out. ugh.
Three times the charm though.  Check!

Made an appointment to put the application in/take the photo.
The process was pretty quick but I had a scare when I handed her my birth certificate.  It's suppose to have a raised official seal on it.  Hubs and I couldn't find a raised seal when we inspected the document when it arrived so I thought maybe VA doesn't do a raised seal on their birth certificates(It does have a watermark though).

The PO lady kept rubbing the certificate feeling for a raised seal(there were several places on it with seals).  I started panicking but then she turned the certificate over and there was a larger seal in the middle on the back that was raised.  Thank the Lord!

I paid $110 to the US State Department and $50 to the USPS.  I am out $210 between those checks and the $50 paid to the service for the birth certificate.

So now we wait......
And when the document arrives this large nosed beast will be able to get back into the country when and if she leaves it.


Friday, July 27, 2018

Frugal Friday......The July 27th Edition

Let's see what frugal wins we had this past week...........

* The only grocery shopping so far this week has been a trip to Maine Source last Friday.  I  got some good produce deals-cabbage and bananas .49¢ lb., yellow squash and tomatoes for .99¢ lb., asparagus $1.69 lb. and sweet corn for .33¢ an ear.  I also picked up a 25 lb. bag of onions for $14.99, a 6.73 lb. bag of ground chuck at $2.39 lb. and 2 packs of roast beef deli meat at $7.99 lb.
The store had a $5 off wys $50 coupon so along with the good prices I saved an additional $5 too.

*  I found money!

1¢ in a Rite-Aid parking lot on Saturday.

*  And speaking of Rite-Aid after we hit a brew pub to celebrate Eldest son's birthday I hit two different Rite-Aid on the way home and picked up all this free candy......

8 bags of Jolly Ranges and Twizzlers varieties that double dipped with a Buy2/Get $1 BC weekly Deal and a Buy2/Get $2BC monthly Deal.  So every 4 bags on sale for 2/$3 cost me $6 in BC and gave me back $6 in BC.
I did 4 bags on each of two cards and rolled $6 of BC on each of those cards.
If the kids don't want this, look for it to come to a Giveaway Box near you.  ;-))

*  I baked Eldest son a birthday cake............

Here he is pretending to blow out his candles so I could take a photo. lolz
I could have bought a cake from the local bakery or the Weis Markets bakery department.  I had a cake mix and frosting in the stockpile and made his favorite type of cake(German Chocolate)so no additional $$ spent.

*  Also on Friday I hit the Bread Outlet since we were down to our last loaf of bread;
3 packs of hamburger rolls(for bbq and burgers), 3 loaves of bread and 2 boxes of chocolate donuts later I spend down my WAM by $10 instead of putting it on the c/c which is usually how I pay for groceries(to keep track-c/c charges are paid off monthly).

*  I received a Target mailer/ad with this coupon on it..........

It was a Back To School ad but this coupon can be used on anything in the store, not just typically BTS items.
I can send for a $50 Target gift card using c/c points for free and pair it with this Q making it an even better deal.

*  More garden goodies got picked on Thursday.......

75.8 ounces more of zuke and Summer squash.
There will be more zuke and squash on next week's menu I think.  ;-)

What frugal wins did you have this week?

Tell us all about it.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Little Stuff Not Worth a Whole Post

Just some stuff rattling around in my head, in my drafts and on my camera that's not worth a whole post by itself but swirl them all together and you come up with a big ball of randomness.

*  This chocolate bar was seen at Bob Evans.........

Pigs N' Taters-milk chocolate with crispy bacon flavored bits and potato chips
Have you ever seen or had this candy bar?
Would you eat it?

*  Here's an image from an actual form in an admission book for an old soldier's home that I came across while doing some genealogy research.............

"Insane Persons And Habitual Drunkards Will Not Be Admitted Under Any Circumstances."
I guess I am shit out of luck when I get too old to take care of myself and need to go to the home. ;-)

*  Book seen at Olllie's recently........

"The Business of Broadway-An Insider's Guide to Working, Producing, and Investing in The World's Greatest Theatre Community"
My comment.....Yeah, if you have money you want to invest and LOSE, go ahead and throw it at Broadway! lolz

*  Another product seen at Ollie's..........

"Fancy" oatmeal.  Under the name "Miller's Batch" which is really just Quaker Oats Company.
From their website...."Expertly milled and flaked to perfection, our organic oats are sourced from a single farm in the golden prairies of Saskatchewan, home to some of the best quality oats in the world...."
The label is all fancy with a serial number or something.
Sort of reminds me of a Portlandia episode.........

Expertly milled and flaked to perfection, our organic oats are sourced from a single farm in the golden prairies of Saskatchewan, home to 

*  After we went out to eat for Eldest son's birthday Hubs let me hit two Rite-Aids I don't frequent.
I found the double dipping candy bags so I rolled $6 in Bonus Cash on two of my Wellness cards.....

*  I saw this on FB and thought I should send it to Hubs since his Masters is in Medieval Literature.......

The Ten Tell-Tale Signs You are Middle-Aged.......
1-You don't Sunderstand what young peasants are talking about.
2-You struggle to read Chaucer in weak candlelight.
3-You hate rowdy taverns.
4-You constantly worry that you might have the Black Death.
5-You don't know or care who Blondel is sleeping with.
6-You tell your wife that Crusaders seem to look younger every year.
7-You struggle with new technology such as the heavy plough and the longbow.
8-You find Gothic architecture too modern.
9-You keep forgetting who the King is.
10-You dream of buying a second hovel in France.

Only a medieval scholar or a history geek will find this funny. lolz

*  This product was found at the grocery outlet I go to sometimes........

It's a breakfast sandwich of two waffles with southern style pulled pork, egg and cheese inside.  Sort of a play on a McGriddle but with a different pork rather than bacon or sausage inside.
I bought a box, it was rather cheap.  The consensus here was "meh".  Pulled pork needs sauce but bbq sauce isn't a friend to eggs and cheese.
Would you try this?

*  While noodling around in my genealogy I found I am cousins with this guy you may know of.........

We are 9th cousins 1 x removed through our shared Huguenot ancestry.  We share Abraham Soblet(Sublett)and Susanne Briant-my 7th GreatGrands and Tim's 8th GreatGrands.  Their children, Pierre Louis Soblet and Anne Soblet were siblings and are our respective direct ancestors.

We are both related to Joan Crawford, Jessica Chastain, Brandi Chastain, the Everly Brothers, etc. through this line too.

Ok, that's it for another jaunt around Sluggy's brain.  It stopped raining for awhile so I am heading out to the garden to find any veggies that need picking.

What odds things have you done, read or seen lately?
Any strange facts you want to tell us about?


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Around the Backyard

We have been in a rainy weather pattern that just won't go away!
I've been telling Hubs for weeks now that "Gee, we could sure use some rain!  It's been pretty dry here so far since May."
Well this past weekend the rain started and this front just won't leave.
The meteorologist this morning said we are due for another 7 DAYS or longer of this on again/off again rain.
Lots of flash flooding around here, mostly to the West and South of us, and more will happen until this front leaves.  The ground is saturated now and if we get much more I may loose lots of veggies.

The rain let up for about a half an hour so let's take a walk around the backyard today at Chez Sluggy 

I actually took these first three shots on Saturday........

The profusion of morning glories

Many vines are on the bird feeder poles and trying to climb higher.
I don't even bother to plant these anymore......they just grow back every year from the seeds that drop from the previous Fall.

You might be able to make out the pollen grains on this flower.
You'll notice that we have again been invaded by Japanese Beetles this Summer.
They LOVE morning glory foliage evidently, as well as my Japanese Eggplant plants.

Here is a shot looking over the garden from the left corner......

And here is a shot from the right hand corner......

Here's one of my basil plants.  I am trying to stay ahead of the blossoms to pinch them off so I keep getting more leaves.

One of three eggplants almost ready to pick from 2 of my plants.  The other 2 plants got swallowed up by tomato and squash plants and can't get any sun.  I figured only a few squash would survive the Spring and actually grow but I was wrong.  Now everything is so crowded together some shorter plants don't have a chance.

 A few of the yellow squash not quite ready to pick.....

A couple tomatoes looking good.  Notice the leaves of a hidden basil plant to it's left.......

I see you there Mr. Zucchini, trying to blend in and hide from me until you are a massive size. lol

Here's one of my barrels with the lettuce in it.  It's Simpson black seeded lettuce.
Usually by late July the lettuce is done because of the heat but not this year!
I can't seem to kill these three lettuce plants!
Two of them have gotten so large they look like vines!  And they need support to keep them from falling on the ground from the barrel.

My entire green beans crop.
Only ONE of my bean plants survived the chipmunk invasion.
I may get six whole green beans this year, all from this one plant.  I'll let them go to seed and maybe start then indoors next Winter/Spring and see if I can have a better outcome next season.

And in the front we have about 12 tomato plants which are doing fantastically well.  Trying to stay ahead of pinching off some blossoms there too.  The plants get the best sun of the entire yard so these plants are almost five feet tall at this point.
With all this rain these plants are toppling over a bit so we'll need to tie them up some more.

Some Amish paste variety(like a Roma)growing out there too.  I can't wait to try those.

And all this rain(and now the tomato plants falling over)isn't thrilling the Coleus and Petunias.
Once the tomato plants die back they'll get more sun and nutrients.....

And here is what got picked this weekend--
On Saturday.......

And then on Tuesday........

I also picked 2 more ounces of lettuce for the nephew to take home but didn't photograph that or add it into our harvest count yet.

So far I've picked 170.9 ounces of veggies, or 10.68 lbs. from our garden.
Go me.

I just wish the rain would stop for awhile so I can enjoy my yard a bit more.  I really do like being out there near the garden.

What's growing in your yard?


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

And the Winner Is.....

Random dotorg helped me pick the latest Giveaway Winner.
And the winner is........

violinistaJuly 22, 2018 at 9:08 AM
Since I was homeschooled as a kid, a lot of our vacations were taken during the off season, so summers were a time to just relax; I remember it being a lot like what older generations reminisce about (even though some might call me a "millennial"): riding my bike freely around the neighborhood, running around with the neighborhood kids for hours, reading a lot of books, or just lazing around on the hammock:)

Congratulations Gaby!

Please email me from the email address you supplied within the next 48 hours of the time stamp of this post with your full name and mailing address and I'll get this box of goodies out to you.

Thanks for everyone who played this time and check back in 2-3 weeks as I'll have another Giveaway up on the blog.


Monday, July 23, 2018

This Week on the Dining Table


The "Happy Birthday!" Edition--

Our eldest son came home for a visit after he finished teaching Summer School at his school down in Virginia. I made him a cake(German Chocolate)and tortured him by singing the Happy Birthday Song.  He forgave me when he saw the check in his birthday card. lolz

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--Leftovers
2. Monday--Mushroom and Chicken Parm, Salad
3. Tuesday--Pork Chops, Sauteed Squash, Mac and Cheese
4. Wednesday--BLT sandwiches
5. Thursday--Lasagna or Fish?
6. Friday--Steak, COC, Salad
7. Saturday--BBQ, Coleslaw

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Leftovers
2. Monday--Mushroom and Chicken Parm, Salad
3. Tuesday--Pork Chops, Sauteed Squash, Mac and Cheese
4. Wednesday--Lasagna
5. Thursday--BLT Sandwiches
6. Friday--Steak, COC(I forgot to heat up the leftover mac and cheese.)
7. Saturday--Eat Out Lunch/Leftovers for Dinner

Wed. and Thurs. plans were flipped but otherwise we adhered to the plan.

Last week saw 5 nights of home cooked dinners, 2 night of leftovers/fend for yourself, 0 nights of Take-Out or Eating Out.  

A trip to each to Shursave Market, Bread Outlet and 2 trips to Weis brought the weekly food spending to $86.09 and the monthly total to $321.73.
I have 8 days left in my shopping month for July and $78.17 left in the food budget.

My savings percentage last week was 55.66%(without Rite-Aid trips)and July's monthly savings total comes to 49.02% so far.

Leftovers going into this week.....small bit of sauteed squash, mac and cheese, lasagna, and corn on cob.

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

1. Sunday--Pork Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Beans
3. Tuesday--Cheeseburgers, Mac Salad
4. Wednesday--Pork Ragu over Pasta, Salad
5. Thursday--Fried Zucchini and Leftovers
6. Friday--Squash Casserole and Leftovers
7. Saturday--BLTs or Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This week will see 7 new meals cooked, 2 night of leftovers/FFY and 0 nights of Take-Out/Eating Out.

What needs buying for this menu? Milk and that's about it.
When I made mac and cheese last week I reserved a small amount of pasta to make Macaroni Salad.  The ends of the carrots I grated for the Cole Slaw will go into that mac salad as well as other veggies bits and pieces.  I bought a twin pack of whole chickens last week, boiled them down, picked the meat for enchilada filling and chicken salad, reserved the skin and bits to give the dogs.
I reserved a half of one of the 3 pork butts I smoked to make a Pork Ragu sauce to have over pasta later this week.  I've got a big bowl of Pork Barbecue which was served Sunday as well as 4 quart bags packed with some of the pork that was smoked for the freezer to use later.
Some of the zucchinis that are coming fast and furiously now will become fried zucchini this week, Daughter will freeze some(spiralized/sliced)for her Keto versions of lasagna/other noodle dishes and I will be grating much of it for zucchini breads and for making Keto taco "shells" for her and I to try.

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?


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Giveaway Reminder & Taking the Day Off

My eldest son is here visiting for a couple of days so I am taking today off from blogging. 

I will take this day to remind everyone there is still two days to enter the giveaway.
Go HERE before Monday night at 11:59 EDST to enter.  You can enter once per day.

Have a great Sunday everyone!


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rite-Aid.....Trying Some Deals & They Worked!

So I had to go to R-A for drugs so I tried a couple of deals I saw online so see if they would work.........

1 x Crest 3D White Glamorous White teeth whitening strips($46.99-20% Wellnes discount)=$37.59
1 x Jolly Rancher candy on sale=$1.50
1 x Twizzlers candy on sale=$1.50

Coupons Used
1 x $12/1 Crest strips L2CQ=$12.00
1 x $5/1 Crest strips L2CQ=$5.00
1 x $10/1 Crest strips any In-AdQ=$10.00
1 x $12/1 Crest glamorous white Q in R-A Beauty Pamphlet=$12.00
Coupon Total.....$39.00

$40.59-$39.00=$1.59 +$1.24 tax=$2.83 paid in BC
Received back $3 in new BC($1 wyb2 select candy, $2 wyb select candy)

The cashier got to talking and was spacing out and hit the complete button before putting in the $10 In-Ad RAQ and the $12 Beauty Pamphlet $12 Q. sigh

Two different Crest L2CQs came off which were loaded on this card I used...both for whitening strips, one for $5 and another for $12.
Now I don't know if the cashier had put both these Qs through if it would have kicked off one of the two L2CQs that came off.
So I got 4 coupons applied to one item...crazy!

So I brought home $22 in cash for the Qs she forgot to put through, thus converting $22 worth of BC to cash.  This card with the new $3 in BC has $19.68 in BC attached to it.

Select brands/types of candies are double dipping for both a weekly and a monthly deal.  Types that quailfy are Twizzler twists and/or nibs in cherry and strawberry(not licorice)and Jolly Rancher hard candy, assorted flavors bags.
The Weekly Deal is Buy 2, Get $1 in BC and the brands are shown in the ad(limit 2 deals), the Monthly Deal is Buy 2, Get $2 in BC and is Twizzlers/Jolly Ranchers/Red Vines(limit 4 deals).
Bags of these candies are 2/$3 this week so buy 2 that qualify and get $1 weekly BC and $2 monthly BC so free after BC earned.

I didn't think I'd find the Crest strips on a Friday, none on the shelf where they are but I found 1 on an end cap display.

Not bad......a .17¢ moneymaker in total after cash back and BC earned.
And now I can have movie star teeth!


Friday, July 20, 2018

Frugal Friday.....the July 20th Edition

Let's see what frugal-ness got accomplished this past week......

*  The only eating out that happened was Hubs and I got a whopper each at BK, I used a BOGOFree Q and paid with a gift card.

*  I thought I was being frugal this week when I got my passport photos done at Rite-Aid.  The post office charges $15, CVS charges $14.95(and there is a $3 off coupon)and Rite-Aid charges $14(and there is a $7 off coupon-plus I get 20% off with my Gold Wellness status.).  I paid $5.94 including tax at Rite-Aid.  Didn't work out there as my face was too big(lolz)so I had to have them redone at the PO.  I did get my money back from Rite-Aid however so that's a win.

*  More goodies from the garden......

another 2 zukes, a squash and lots of lettuce=44.8 more ounces of food.

*  I gave Chester a bath and brushed him out.

He still looks a bit "phoofy" in this photo as he wasn't fully dried off yet.  I put this beach towel out on the sunny part of the deck so he could rub himself on it but after awhile he decided no, the towel needed to be out in the yard, so after a few rounds of "take the towel and mommy puts it back on the deck"(a fun game for him no doubt!)we brought the towel inside.  ;-)
Why pay someone else to wash and brush my dog when I can do it myself(in the kitchen sink no less)?  Chester is a very good at holding still and being calm for his baths so that's a double win.

*  Grocery Deals....not very much this week and I didn't get the Friday Freebie last Friday since it was a bag of marshmallows and we didn't need/want it.
I did get two pork shoulders at a different Weis this week(had to be in a different town running an errand)for .98¢ a lb which are going into the smoker later this morning along with the pork butt I got at Wegman's last week.
I did buy a lot of ice cream this week at Weis as part of the Buy6/Get $3 Off Mix and Match Deal......

3 x Friendly's ice cream on sale($2.49)=$7.47
2 x Talenti ice cream on sale($3.49)=$6.98
1 x Huggies wipes=$1.99

Coupons Used
2 x Talenti $1.50/1 IPQ=$3.00
1 x Huggies wipes .50¢/1 IPQ=.50¢(doesn't double)
1 x $3 instantly Off Mix and Match Deal=$3.00

Reg. retail of $23.04

I did this twice last week(except the other time I got 2 Friendly's and an On-Cor entree instead of 3 Friendly's and that total after Qs and $3 off was $10.88 OOP.

*  As far as cash rebates go, I earned .25¢ from Ibotta(for any item)and $1.25(for Talenti)from SavingStar last week so $1.50 total.

*  Meanwile, at Rite-Aid...........
I returned some expensive vitamins that Hubs didn't want.  Had paid with Qs and points so I got $12.98 back in BC and $5.01 cash since they can't return Qs.  Don't get why it was $5.01 and not $5.....

Then I took those $12.98 BC and bought these items that were all on 75% off clearance......

1 x Love and Beauty shampoo=$2.37
2 x Apothocare Essentials shampoo=$6.74
3 x Apothocare Essentials body wash=$9.96

I had $2/1 Qs for all these(the Love and Beauty one was on Coupons dotcom, don't remember where I had gotten the others)so $12 off=$7.07+.52¢tax=$7.59 paid with BC.  Since I got back more BC for the return than I spent I'll call this a moneymaker.
Add in that I earned $5 in new BC($5 wyspend $15 on Apothocare)and it's even better.  8-)

But the cashier left out one of my Qs and only put $10 worth through so I was charged $9.59.  I called the manager when I got home and noticed this and went back another day and got my $2 post coupon cash.  The $5.01 and that $2 are now tucked away in my refunds/post Q Envelope in my desk.

That's about it this week.

What frugal wins did you have this week?
Tell us all about it. 8-)))


Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Visit With Randy From Nebraska

Back in May, a blogger friend came for a visit.
His name is Randy and I met him at the Bloggerpalooza Gathering in Delaware back in 2014.

L to R back row-Pat, Randy, Ron, Jay
Front row-Java and Sluggy

Anyway, last July, on our way to Idaho, Hubs and I stopped in Nebraska where Randy lives and spent most of a day with him there.

So when Randy said he was coming East for a Ham Radio Convention in PA, I insisted he stop by here!

He arrived early afternoon on a Monday.  Unfortunately all the brew pubs around here are closed on Mondays so I couldn't take him to one.  *sad face*
So we sat around and "some of us" *ahem* had a few drinks and we just had a good chin wag.

I made bbq ribs and pulled pork sandwiches and sides for dinner.
When it got dark we headed outside and had a fire and sat and talked.  It was nice and relaxing.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures on Monday......but I did on Tuesday.

After I made breakfast for Randy on Tuesday I thought he was going to take off toward Stuebenville OH on his journey home.
But no, he had time to hang around until late afternoon so we came up with something to do.

Now there isn't much in terms of sightseeing around here, unless you want to either A-go down in a coal mine or B-go see old locomotives.
So we settled on something else where we've never been before either, Eckley Miner's Village.
Uh, oh, this is turning into a history lesson now so grab a drink and a chair and sit back for while.  ;-)

This place started out as a quiet small town named Shingletown in the woods of Eastern Pennsylvania.  The name came about because the residents made shingles from the trees in the area.  That was until coal was discovered there in 1853.

Four men formed a company, the Council Ridge Colliery, to mine the area after securing a 20 year lease on the land.  They built a sawmill to began milling lumber for building houses, a company store, offices and a colliery so they could start mining the vein of coal.
This was a "patch town"-a village that grows up around a mining operation where the people who work in the mine live with their families.  The town was called Fillmore after the then outgoing US President Millard Fillmore.

Hubs trying to pick up a massive chunk of coal.

Four years later the town applied for a US post office but the town name of Fillmore was already in use elsewhere in PA where there was a post office.  So the town name was changed to Eckley, named after Eckley Coxe, the son of one of the owners of the mining company, Judge Charles Coxe.

The first residents/workers in Eckley were experienced miners, immigrants from England and Wales.
Once the Potato Famine hit Ireland, Irish arrived and took the low skilled/low paying mining jobs.
By the 1880's/1890's immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived in Eckley to take over the low paying jobs there as the Irish and English worked their way up to better mining jobs or gained other skills and moved on.

Some of the clapboard houses still standing there.

One of the multi-family homes.
Most if not all of the 'shacks' of the lowest paid workers are gone.

Many of these immigrants went to the coal fields with the intention of staying a short time, saving money and taking it back to their homelands to live there lives out there in a better condition.
This didn't often happen as mining was tedious, hard labor and didn't pay well.  In addition, the miners relied on the "company store" for all their needs.  The store would advance you credit and inflate prices on basic goods so that it was almost impossible for you to get free and clear of your debt and leave, very much like this old classic standard song.

Over time besides a company store, the workers lodgings and the business buildings and equipment, churches were built and a full time doctor was engaged to see to the medical needs of the patch town residents.

After World War II, as coal mining became not as lucrative, the mines of the Eckley area were sold off and eventually closed.  Most people moved away but I was shocked to find that there are people who still live here!  As we drove around we say that a few of the old houses are still occupied presumably by descendants of people who worked these mines.

The whole town was slated for demolition back in the 1960's but along came a major motion picture called "The Molly Maguires".
More about The Molly Maguires in this History Channel episod...

Based on the group called The Molly Maguires, which was a secret organization of Irish coal miners who fought against the unjust treatment at the hands of the wealthy coal mine owners by sabotaging equipment and mines in the Anthracite coal mine region in PA.  This group began in Ireland and Liverpool England among coal miners there and as these miners immigrated to the PA coal fields their unrest spread to America.  In the 1870's they were most active in this region of PA and in 1877 things came to a head when 10 men accused of terrorist acts and murder carried out by Molly Maguires were hanged, 6 in Pottsville and 4 in Mauch Chunk(now called Jim Thorpe PA).  Over the next year or so another 10 men tried and convicted were hanged in the towns of Mauch Chunk, Pottsville, Bloomsburg and Sunbury as well.

When Paramount Pictures scouted locations for the setting of the Molly Maguires film starring Sean Connery, the obvious choice was Eckley PA since this town still looked like it had stepped out of 1870.
They only had to bury utility lines and removed antennas.
They also built a prop company store and breaker since the originals had long since been torn down.

The coal breaker which is fenced off so you can't get near it.

Neither company store building or the coal breaker have been maintained(other than some paint on the store)but they are still standing 50 years later.

After the movie, the town looked so good historically speaking that instead of demolition it all, it was given to the PA Historical and Museum Commission to operate.

There is a 17 minute film which explains about patch towns and the history of Eckley, as well as a look into the daily live of these mining families.  There is also quite an array of displays and artifacts related to the history and this are of Pennsylvania in the man building, which is located where the school house to educate the miners' children use to be.

Since we visited during a weekday, there were no guided tours offered and most of the buildings which are part of the museum were locked but we could drive around and look at stuff and peek into windows unless it was marked a private residence.

You can see the hierarchy of mine labor-shacks were occupied by unskilled slate pickers, to 2-story clapboard houses housing multiple skilled miner families(and single men miners who had to live with a family), to small single family houses for bosses and overseers.
I didn't think to take any photos of the shacks and clapboard houses.

On the end of the street stands the Gothic Revival-style home built for the mine owner, Richard Sharpe.  It's the grandest building in the town.

The Catholic church stands at the end of the main street through Eckley nearer the shacks as the Irish immigrants were among the lowest paid workers and the Protestant church is closer to the clapboard houses of the English/Welch mine workers.

It was an interesting trip.
More history and information on Eckley Miner's Village HERE.

We headed home and after exchanging gifts of beer, Randy set out for Ohio and eventually home to Nebraska.

It was nice to see you again my friend!