Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Good Way to Start 2010


The following was written by my mother:

I want to take you back to September 4, 1939 (I was 9 years old), sitting in the living room in the house on Cresent Drive in Calgary, when the voice of King George of England delivered the following message over the BBC at the start of World War 2:

These were his words, as timely now as then:

"I have asked the Guardian of the year to give me a lamp that I might see into the uncertain future."

Then he said, "Put your hand in the hand of God for He is better than a thousand lamps."


It wasn't long before black stars started showing up in the windows of the houses in the neighbourhood, indicating that a son or a husband was gone to war, and food and gas rationing were in effect.

Churchill kept reminding us over the BBC each week that it would be with blood, sweat and tears that we would overcome Hilter. And we did, and the message is as timely today as it was then, because our future is always uncertain, but of this one thing we CAN be certain, that God will be in the future with us. And that is a very good thought to carry with us in 2010.

Happy New Year everyone ~ Vaya Con Dios.

Friday, December 25, 2009

~ * Merry Christmas * ~

We had a very nice day, peaceful and restful (especially when dogs were sleeping). Sara was here but had to leave by 9:00 am. Sara never gets to spend much time with us. She is my husband's daughter, almost 21 years old, and a very good egg. She gave me the nicest pair of warm and cozy slippers.

We gave Jacob an iPod Touch. It was all he wanted, and I had him convinced it was too much money and not to count on it. So....he was very surprised and very happy. Hubby got two shirts and a set of hand warmers from L.L. Bean, candy from his doggies, a belt from Jacob, a beautiful framed photo of Sara and her dog Ellie, a wind-up flashlight that you don't need batteries for, and a set of those Sham Wow towel things. My son gave me a box of candy, a gift card for Joann, and a great pair of sewing scissors which I desperately needed. I've already laid down the law - they are only to be used on fabric. My husband gave me several HSN gift certificates. Too many really, and I am not even going to say what the total was. He is so good to me. Oh, and a T-square that I've been wanting.

This Christmas will always be special because my mother sent Jacob a beautiful study Bible, engraved with his name. My mother is one of God's most loyal servants, and as each day passes I see my son becoming just a little bit more like her. When Jacob was about four Grandma came for a visit and they left to take a walk. I watched from the window as they slowly walked down the driveway, hand in hand. I told my heart to take a picture, and I often think back to that moment and what a blessing it is for my son to have the benefit of his Grandmother's knowledge and wisdom. He has learned so much from her walk with the Lord. And I know his faith is a blessing to her, too.

Merry Christmas ~ God Bless us, one and all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

~ I Love Men...

Today at Walgreens I overheard a woman ask her male companion, "Can we get this for Bella?" He replied, "Whatever you want to do dear."

Next stop was Joann Fabrics. I passed by a couple looking at fleece. I didn't hear what her question was, but his response: "I'm just here to support you, I didn't know I would have to answer any questions."

Obviously these guys have learned a man has two choices - he can be right, or he can be happy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Look


I hope I don't step on anyone's toes by sharing this photo. These snow dogs can certainly throw down some looks. Our Malamute has his own version of the "stink eye," and it's very effective!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

wife STuFF

I love being a wife. I've been married six years yet I still find myself thinking I'm dreaming. At this time of year I especially love being a wife. I get to decide what the neighbor gifts will be, what kind of yummy things to bake, handle the majority of the shopping (not because I'm pushy, dear hubby prefers it that way), plan our holiday dinner.....and, decorate our home.

I love being a wife.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

romance has gone to the....DOGS!

I was snoozing on the family room sofa. Hubby was on the love seat. In a very gentle and "oh pookie wookie" tone, he said the following:

"Aww, do you want to go to the bedroom and lie down with me, and cuddle? You look really tired."

I turned and looked at him, wondering if he were speaking to me. That kind of ooey gooey language is almost always reserved for the other woman in his life. I was right! He was talking to Miss Jessie. I made a comment about how I wished he talked to ME that way. He replied, "I suppose you're going to put this on your blog now." Yep.

Monday, November 30, 2009

eBiz News

I have a bunch, many, A LOT of new Scrabble tile pendants which will make their debut this week. Just in time for Santa! They really do make great (and affordable) gifts.

There are about 250 things in my eBay store on sale right now. Many are 30% off until Tuesday night at 8:00 pm PST. If you prefer Google to PayPal, please visit our web site. Shipping is a flat rate $1.99 in the US and Canada. I will honor my eBay sale prices by sending you a partial refund after you complete payment. Links to these sites are to your right :).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Church....a la carte

I ventured out today. I went to the post office and to get a take and bake pizza (taking a break from turkey). Across the street from the take and bake pizza store is a Methodist church. My parents took my sister and I to a Methodist church when we were kids. I remember it was on Wilshire Blvd. in West L.A. A large white building, and Mariette Hartley was my Sunday School teacher.

The church I saw today had interesting signage. It read:

Traditional - 9:00 am
Contemporary - 10:30 am

That struck me as odd. I realize it doesn't matter h0w God's word is cooked and served, as long as the soul shows up to "eat." Still, it seemed odd. What do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hey There Miss Anonymous

Remember the days when you could be anonymous? You could do something good, or do something bad and no one knew it was you. You could pick up your phone, dial the number using the rotary dial, and ask the person who answered if they had Prince Albert in a can. Then you could hang up, secure in the knowledge that you would remain anonymous.

Now, if the TV happens to be on when the phone rings, the name of the person calling shows up at the bottom of the TV screen. Now, if you want to send an email saying "your husband's cheating on you" well, you can't. It's easy enough to use a phony email address but don't bother because your computer has its own ID number and if they want to find you, it's easy to do. I really do try to embrace technology, even though it's a double edged sword. Apparently I see the technology glass as half empty rather than half full.

I remember life before PC's. I remember 8 track tapes and the "birth" of the VCR. I remember writing a letter, on stationery, and dropping that letter into a big blue box. I remember letting a lot of people know their refrigerators were running and they go better catch them.

Anonymous was a good thing to be. I miss it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Evergreen State

I'm just about to go to bed, and there is a soft rain falling. That makes the thought of going to bed even better. What a gentle lullaby to send me off to dream land. I love it here. Yes, it rains during the winter months. To my knowledge, no one has melted yet. People have the same reaction when they hear I live in Washington. They crinkle up their nose and/or their voice acquires a disgusted tone. "Oh, all that rain" they say. But when a person from California tells another person where they live, that person doesn't say, "Oh, all that smog." At least I don't think they do.

You can always tell the tourists. They are the ones with the umbrellas. It doesn't pour 24/7. People are not commuting to work in boats. Did you know there are only a handful of states that don't have income tax? And Washington is one of them.

I'm feeling defensive about my state because I talked to a friend earlier today, who is losing her house and needs to move. She is retired and free to go anywhere. I would love for her to move up here. But nooooo.....it rains too much.

Goodnight Blog Land, from the Evergreen State.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NFL Football Fans Looky Here


This is the first in what will hopefully be all the NFL teams, on Scrabble tiles. I really like dolphins, so I started here. This pendant is available on the Bay.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

dinner

Raise your hand if you get tired of figuring out what's for dinner every night? I was doing the Meal Plan Monday, but Hubby Hubbington needed to make some dietary changes. So did I actually. All of a sudden I cannot eat eggs. Not hard boiled, or in egg salad, or scrambled or fried. They give me a stomach ache. Not like we are talking about some rich, exotic food like caviar for goodness sake. Or is that sakes? I'm quite sure the whole egg situation is just another part of getting older. Sure hope this doesn't happen with chocolate.

I would prefer to graze all day. I can hear the cows mooing as I type this. I'm such a rebel....ahahaha.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Miss RV'ing

I have found most TV commercials or print ads to be less than 100% truthful. With the exception of two things: Tempur-Pedic mattresses and RV's. Both are all that, and a bag of chips as they say.

Here's a photo of our trailer, brand new in 2003. I think it's 24 feet. We have not taken it out for a while, but it has served as a "guest suite" on more than one occasion.

And here is one of my favorite photos showing my men (and Miss Jessie) with the first bag of popcorn popped in the trailer. Jacob was eight ~ my baby!


To say it's relaxing taking the trailer out is putting it mildly. Even if we just went 20 miles away to Battle Ground Lake, it was like being in a different world. One of the people I reconnected with on Facebook is a detective I used to work with (now retired). He and his wife have a 40 foot motor home and go out for several months at a time. He sends me emails telling me where they are, and it makes me want to load up our trailer and take off.

We hope to be able to upgrade to a motor home. There are so many pros and cons. Trailers and 5th wheels can be just as nice, and you get more for your money. But...you cannot ride inside them. It gets pretty cramped in the truck, especially now with my boo-boos. Then there's the question of getting around town, once you reach your destination. I guess the ideal situation is a motor home with a tow vehicle, if money was not an issue.

Tent camping. Did it once. My main complaint, other than the hardness of the ground (an air mattress would have fixed that), was the bugs. Actually this one particular bug. It was dark and I have no idea what type of bug it was that landed on my forehead. It was slimy and cold though. Could have been a small frog. I picked it off my forehead and flung it, then went back to sleep. Hubby says people were going in and out of the tent too often and leaving the "door" unzipped, and that's how the bugs got in.

RV'ing and the Tempur-Pedic. Two very good things.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

...untitled....

So....I joined Facebook recently. My son kept bugging me to do it. Now he wishes he hadn't. I have found so many wonderful people. Police department people, and childhood friends, and my partner in crime back in the day when I still had a waistline and some estrogen. I will blog about that later.

Between Jacob being sick and then me being sick, I haven't been doing any coupon shopping. Fortunately we were well stocked and had to buy only fresh foods the past few weeks. I made an Albertsons run about 11:00 pm last night, and got everything pictured below for $19.99.


$19.99 is an okay price. Not great, but okay. But, when you factor in the $15.00 off my next purchase Catalina that I received, the "okay" takes on a whole new meaning. The promo was spend $30.00 and get $15.00 back. The $30.00 is before coupons are deducted, which is oh so helpful. Since I got $15.00 back, my OOP was $4.99. TA-DAH.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Neglecting My Blog.....

Another busy week here at the Morris Family Farm. Hubby continues to work lots and lots of extra hours, but that's a good thing.

Jacob missed an entire week of school with the (not Swine) flu and now I am doing battle with the same thing. I saw our medical person today, cause I have to every few months. Gonna go the pain management clinic route very shortly here.

My very favorite Bridezilla added me as a friend on Facebook. Tres cool! I'm old enough to be her mother. That's just weird. Seems like I blinked and 20 years flew by.

I wonder if my buddy with the prairie dogs is okay.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

checking in

Busy week! Business was slammin' (it's not anymore though) and hubby's part time job was more like a full time job. Sick kidlet and my body won't let me sleep more than four hours at a time...seriously. It says "nope, not gonna do it - you can just wake up and deal with it." My husband goes to bed at 10:00 pm and awakens about 6:00 am....every day. I envy him. Weirdo.

That's my news. I am going to take a nap now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Two things

My son had his 6 month check-up, and no cavities! He got that steel enamel from his dad and my dad - definitely not from me.

The legal show is finally on the road.... finally. Thank you J.A.G.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday Night Savings....woo hoo

It's a good thing I sowed all my wild oats in my 20's - otherwise I'd be really bored at this point in my life. I made two trips to Albertsons to take advantage of the General Mills promo (spend $25 and get a $10 Catalina back).

In between those two trips, hubby and I were across the street, spending quality time with our neighbors' dogs (they will return tomorrow). They have Gunnar, who is the sweetest and most mellow yellow Lab and Parker (should be Barker), a toy Australian Shepherd who never stops moving.

Anyway....the items of interest in this GM promo are the Progresso Soups, Chex Mix, Green Giant veggies and last but never least, the Pillsbury products. Note to Mom: I will make many main dish meals using the biscuits and crescents. So in the words of some unknown voice at the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland....."Hereeeee we go....."

21 cans Progresso Soup (very good soup by the way)
3 pkgs Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
3 boxes Hartz tartar control dog biscuits
3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
3 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
4 lbs. butter
1 pkg Green Giant peas
1 pkg Green Giant broccoli
1 pkg Green Giant spinach
1 roll paper towels
1 pkg store brand toilet paper
1 pkg Mission flour tortillas
1 tub Smart Balance spread
1-1/4 lb pkg beef tip steak
1 pkg Chicken Nuggets
1 pkg Hearts of Romaine salad mix
1 pkg Veggie Lovers salad mix
1-1/2 lbs Dietz & Watson London Broil deli roast beef (this alone was $11.91)

Total Spent: $53.93 plus I came home with a $10.00 Catalina and 2 Catalinas each for a free box of Milk Bone dog treats.

Once again....I ROCK.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

interrogatories

So....late Friday afternoon hubby hands me a very thick manila envelope from my attorney. I groaned because thick envelopes are never good news. I certainly wasn't expecting to find 46 pages of questions. These aren't your easy/peasy questions either. Nothing like "what's your favorite food" or "if you were an animal, which animal would you be." These are questions like "where did you go to elementary school" and "describe every illness and/or surgery you've had in your life."

What bothers me the most is the use of the word "alleged." I realize these papers are generic and not customized to my particular situation. Knowing that doesn't help. I think there should be an express lane, like on the freeway, for persons who were waiting at a light, minding their own business, when an alleged car allegedly landed sideways on their hood.

I'm a big girl. I should not tear up every time I walk past that hunk 'o legal mumbo jumbo. No one said life was fair....allegedly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

odd little shopping trip

Made a quick run to the store yesterday. Please excuse the blurry photo. It was dinner time and folks wanted to eat. I purchased:

Little Cesar's dog treats - $1.00
Nestle Oatmeal Raisin cookie dough - FREE
Loaf of French bread - $1.69
Natural Sensations cat treats - FREE
Soft Scrub pads - $.50

These prices are after coupons of course. With tax I spent $3.23.

And here is Juneau just about to enjoy one or two....or six....of these little dog treats.

His head is 13 inches wide. Don't know why, but I find that just amazing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

eBay and the ***** Stars

If I ran the world, eBay sellers would not be begging their customers to leave five stars on each of the four feedback categories. They would not email them, and go on and on about how four stars is the kiss of death. Nor would they include notes in their packages, once again pleading with the customer not to leave anything less than five stars.

eBay has changed A LOT in the past 10 years. And not all for the good. I don't know if their star system, or their latest addition, the Top Rated Seller, will make much of a difference overall. For honest sellers who take pride in their work, ship quickly and safely, and treat their customers the way they would like to be treated.....well, it's just business as usual.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Monday ~ Spaghetti, salad, French bread

Tuesday - Chicken enchiladas, rice, beans

Wednesday - Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit

Thursday - Baked Albacore tuna, rice, salad

Friday - Homemade pizza

Saturday - not sure need to check freezer

Sunday - same as Saturday right now....LOL

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A LITTLE brag

Jacob was accepted as part of the Worship Team for the Children's Ministry at church. It will be him and four other teenagers.

Everything this kid does is God-related. He makes these choices all on his own. We don't force him. He's an amazing guy.

quote of the day

"Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built."

- James Dobson

Saturday, October 3, 2009

~ for my Husband

Six years ago today we were married. In an instant you changed me from a frantic and frightened single mom to a fairytale princess. You strive every day to be a godly husband. You make me want to be a better person. I do not know where I'd be without you.

The song you hear playing right now means a lot to me. I hope you will listen to it.

You're a wonderful husband and father, and an excellent role model for our son. You are my Prince Charming, my knight in shining armor. When you put your arms around me I know everything will be okay.

Thank you for taking me as I am ~ I love you.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

alternative to pedi paws

I'm a nervous dog mother, I'll admit it. And I was concerned about one particular nail on Juneau's front paw. Last night hubby and I dropped by the vet to have a tech look at the nail. We weighed Juneau and he was 99.6 lbs.

After we had the answer to the nail question, I asked the tech about Pedi-Paws. She told me a Dremel tool works much better. The motor is stronger and doesn't heat up nearly as fast. I don't know how many people own Dremels (we do), but I thought I'd pass along the tip...so to speak.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boogie says.....

"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

frugal shopping trip

Today was the last day of the Albertson's Kellogg's deal. Buy 10 items @ $2.50 each and receive $10.00 off. There are two boxes of Rice Krispies and two boxes of Mini-Wheats. I would have spent $15.00 without coupons, but that would have been silly! My total OOP for all the above was $4.75.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

MPM's are going to be rather tough from now on. Hubby is on a diet, son is a picky eater, and I would rather graze than sit down to a big meal.

Monday ~ Fish, mac & cheese, salad

Tuesday ~ Beef Stroganoff, egg noodles, salad

Wednesday ~ Grilled cheese sandwiches, soup, fruit

Thursday ~ Chef salad, homemade bread

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cuppy Cakes


Cupcakes I made for last week's Parent Fellowship Dinner. They were soooo good. Wish I had one now.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Student Council Speech

.....for Grandma, and anyone else who may find the writings of a 15 year old boy (he says he's a man) interesting....

Some of you are most likely wondering why should I be voted for student council? What sets me apart from the other candidates? They say that in life, sometimes you have to get knocked down pretty hard to truly open your eyes and see God. That statement is true for my life. I would like to share my testimony.

I was born and raised in a Christian home, attended a Christian school, and was taught in a Christian manner. That doesn't mean I was an "on fire" Christian from the start. Up until 6th grade I was what you would call a "lukewarm" Christian. I struggled deeply with life and its temptations.

I remember waking up one morning crying. God grabbed me and said "enough's enough." Jesus started chipping away the hard stone on my heart and completely changed me. Through all my tribulation I have ultimately become a stronger Christian and grown closer to my Lord and Savior. Since then I have been able to see through my hardships, to see God's greater purpose and glorify Him. He personally told me what He wants of my life, to spread His Word. That is my goal in life. Jesus changed my life. Because of him I am the man I am today.

Now my wish is that I may be an example to my peers and be a leader. I want to assist in leading my school and use the gifts God has given me. God has given me the ability to be able to study scripture and have a deeper understanding of the Word. As well as memorize God's Word and apply it to my daily life. I want to be a pastor, and spread the amazing news of God's love. I truly believe that is God's calling for my life. I strive very hard to not only learn scripture, but to also apply it to become a better rounded Christian. Since 6th grade, I have wanted to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Growing up I rarely had the opportunity to show that I had leadership potential. I always thought that I had to wait until I'm older to really make a difference. In 1 Timothy 4:12 it says, "don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." So why wait until I'm older when I can make a difference now? All I ask is that my fellow freshmen will allow me to represent you before the student council.

The vision of VCHS is to "develop a school that cultivates students who faithfully care, serve and give, while possessing a solid work ethic." I have been on three urban mission trips and volunteered numerous times at shelters and food banks. My work ethic is strong, as is my faith. I feel that I can be an example to my peers. I have been playing basketball for four years. I know how to work as a team.

We all have something to teach each other, something to contribute. I would like to contribute my piece as a 9th grade representative. I have always strived to be a man of integrity and live to a higher standard. It is my personal conviction that if we put Jesus and what He would want us to do first, He will reward us. It is my wish to make a difference in this school, to set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. I ask that my peers will choose me for 9th grade representative.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

a Prayer request

I am asking for prayer for both my husband and myself. He saw the doctor on Wednesday and there are some "areas of concern." My husband is a very private person and I will respect his privacy and not reveal anything more.

Please pray that he has peace in the days ahead, as the testing procedures begin. And also, that I may do and say the right things, so as to be a comfort and a source of strength to him.

I love you Feff.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I've Learned

I have enjoyed the calm of this past week. I did not realize how immersed I was in the problems of others, until I stepped back. My mother and I talked quite a bit, and she is so wise in so many areas. She reminded me that we all make choices, and where we are today is, for the most part, the result of all our past decisions. My mother has a peaceful, drama free life. She protects that with a vengeance, and now I see why.

I meant well, in trying to help two women in my life. I am married to a godly man, and have a child who is respectful and knows his place. I wanted those things for my friends. Unfortunately that isn't enough, and watching someone put their hand on the same hot stove over and over again is not something I am capable of. I will still worry because that's my nature. I will still pray. I will just do those things from a distance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some ENCHANTed Evening

Tonight hubby and I went to the Parent Fellowship Dinner at the school where my son is now a freshman. It was a potluck. We brought chocolate cupcakes with fluffy white icing (dusted off the pastry bag and flower tip). I printed the school logo and glittered the lightning bolt with yellow glitter, and then made picks for each cupcake. I get so excited over my little creative accomplishments.

The school is small. There are 22 kids in the freshman class. Before it was a school, the building was a Moose Lodge. They are still making changes and improvements to the structure. I think they could run this school from a tent, and it wouldn't change the atmosphere of caring and family. What you have in a Christian school is an approach to education that focuses not only on academics, but on the spiritual and emotional growth of each child. They are individuals, each with their own unique strengths and God-given talents. The school partners with the parents to help each child become the person God meant for them to be.

Academically these kids are often two to three grade levels ahead of what the public schools are teaching. Their minds are challenged every day. No one expects straight A's, only that they do their very best. The principal talked about the school's mission and all the non-academic activities students are involved in. Activities designed to teach them to serve with a happy heart. He said, "You can have all the knowledge in the world, but without Christ it doesn't mean very much."

I see my son struggling with all the typical teenage problems and anxieties. Kids are kids, no matter where they go to school. But one of the most wonderful things about this school is how they involve the kids in the world around them. Like a hand gently tapping them on the shoulder, and a voice reminding them, "It's not all about you - what can you do to help someone in need?"

And that's why this evening was ENCHANTed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Monday ~ Meatloaf, cheesy bread, salad

Tuesday ~ Parent Fellowship Dinner @ my son's school

Wednesday ~ Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit

Thursday ~ London Broil, baked potato, corn

Friday ~ Breakfast for dinner

Saturday & Sunday - no clue yet

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Pretty Girl


This is Miss Jessie. I adopted her from the Humane Society after she was found running the streets and no one came to claim her. She is almost 10 years old and very definitely Daddy's girl. She is an IAMS dog. Miss Jessie loves people and most other dogs. But little dogs scare her to death. Little dogs and fireworks can ruin her day.

She is stubborn, quirky, and quite willing to protect her family if need be. She is everything a good German Shepherd dog should be ~ and she is dearly loved.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tags -- of the vintage Medical Illustration variety


This set of tags is listed on Etsy. You can find them here.
I am quite OCD with anything I make. Fussy you might say. These are very nice tags.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Monday ~ Tuna noodle casserole, salad

Tuesday ~ Seasoned turkey patties, corn on the cob, peaches

Wednesday ~ Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, grapes

Thursday ~ Grilled albacore tuna, rice, salad

Friday ~ Baked chicken, pasta, salad

Saturday ~ Creamy chicken over rice, fruit salad

Sunday ~ Choice of Marie Callendar's entrees from the freezer

Sunday, September 13, 2009

a special song



Every time I hear this song I think of my husband. Even though he's not a country boy (ain't no country in Classic Rock) and doesn't wear boots or chew, the rest of the song describes him perfectly. I am tremendously blessed to have him in my life, even if he doesn't know who George Strait is.

If you decide to listen, just pause my playlist at the bottom of your screen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prayer Request for a most faithful Servant

This is Donna. And this photo was taken just after sunrise in the California desert, at the home of a friend. Donna is having her morning devotions and praising her Savior. At 78 years of age she is ALL about her Father's business. She has traveled the world to spread the word of eternal life in Jesus.

Donna has been fighting neuropathy in her feet for many years. She is not diabetic. Neuropathy has the upper hand, or foot as the case may be, at the present time. I ask for prayers on behalf of this most special woman. Prayers that God will take this affliction from her and allow her to continue on with His work.

I love you Mama ~

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

....My Baby

Does it EVER get any easier to watch your one and only baby grow up, and away, from you? My son turned 15 last week. He begins high school in less than six hours. I always cry on the first day of school. I take comfort in the fact this is common Mom behavior.

My son weighed 3 pounds, 14 ounces at birth. He had no health issues other than his size. After 12 days in the NICU they allowed me to take him home weighing 4 pounds, 2 ounces. That was a bit less than they wanted him to weigh, but I convinced them if I could just get my baby home, away from the glaring lights and noise of the hospital, he would begin to gain weight. And he did.

Those first few weeks with him are pressed into my memory like flowers pressed between the pages of a book. I remember gently rocking him in the middle of the night and telling myself these days would be fleeting. I had no idea just how fleeting....

I am so proud of the young man he has become. I am also grateful to my mother for setting the bar high, and giving me something to aim for in my mothering journey. Seriously though....it does get easier, doesn't it? Somewhere down the line? Lie to me if you have to, but tell me it gets easier. Please.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Thing About Dogs


The great thing about dogs is they always come with amazing personalities. That's a guarantee you don't get very often. Even though Juneau (pictured above) is missing a leg, he is the poster dog for living life to the fullest. Nicknamed Boogie, it is ALL about him, every day, all day.

Boogie takes naps with his "dad" in the family room. They each have a couch. Today hubby came out and said, "That is the loudest sleeping dog I have ever seen! Snoring, smacking his lips, grinding his teeth, and wagging his tail while he's dreaming."

Boogie will belch in your face. Boogie will sneeze in your face. If Boogie were a person, he'd be the one cutting the line to get to the front. He'd be the one knocking others out of the way to be right in the middle of whatever action there might be. Boogie is 95 pounds of pure personality, with extra drool on the side.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

multnomah falls

I took this picture a few years ago. These falls are absolutely breathtaking, and only a 45 minute drive from my home. Those who are in shape can climb up to the bridge for the most spectacular view. Multnomah Falls is the kind of place you could go to once a month, and never get tired of.

A pretty place to share on this Wednesday morning.....

Friday, August 28, 2009

.....New Designs for Fall

These adorable knobs (along with many other Fall designs) can be found at our web store at www.mrsmorris.net

Enter FRUGAL at check-out to receive 20% off your entire purchase!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Journey to Perspective


Although friends and family may beg to differ, the thing I hate the MOST about the accident which occurred three years ago (you can see a snipet of it in my blog header, right above the Partridge Family logo - my dogs and I were in the blue car) is my inability to truly put it into perspective, accept that my life is different now ~ and move on.

I was raised to count my blessings. I was taught it's okay to feel what you're feeling, but don't let it control your life. I know these things to be true and they are a part of me, fused into my being by a mother whose life had countless tragedies. She always got up again, through the grace of God, she was strong. I am not strong and wobble to and fro like a one year old taking their first steps. I fall down. I go boom - a lot. It's alright for a while but after three years it gets old.

Then I read a story like this one:


I am both inspired and humbled. I'm sure this courageous man has had more than his share of moments of doubt, frustration and hopelessness. I cannot even fathom the pain he has endured. It makes me hang my head in shame for complaining about my pain. His story is a great reminder that it isn't what happens to us - it's how we react to what happens to us.

I pray others will be touched by his story and join me on this journey to Perspective. The only failure is in giving up, right?

Bye-Bye Gall Bladder

Kay came through the surgery just fine. The doctor said it was an easy removal, and definitely a necessary one. Hubby and I will be picking her up from the hospital later today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Still no news.......

Surgery will be sometime today - still not sure when. I am leaving for the hospital soon. She is having no pain - for which we thank God!! Her spirits are good and she is happy to be having this surgery.

Update on Kay

I spoke to her about 20 minutes ago. The surgery won't be until this afternoon, most likely late this afternoon. The surgeon's name is Dr. Sunshine and he has a very good reputation. His P.A. visited Kay and said the doctor's schedule was very full and he was already running behind.

She is exhausted of course, but they are controlling her pain and she is happy to be saying goodbye to her gall bladder. They will attempt to remove it laparoscopically.

Thank you for your prayers.

Prayers please, for my Friend

Kay, my friend of 20 years, was admitted to the hospital about three hours ago. I could get into the gory details, but the bottom line is she and her gall bladder must part company. She will see a surgeon sometime after 7:00 am, and hopefully they will get the show on the road and relieve her of this most unhappy, unhealthy organ.

I offered to go to the hospital now, but she declined. So I will go later in the morning. I told Kay I would get the word out as much as I could, so people could begin to pray. I will post again when I have more info.

Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School Shopping

The day after I found out I was pregnant, I began to haunt the thrift stores in search of all things baby related. Okay, it was mainly clothes. That's how I've always shopped for my son. Occasionally he has been given clothing that was NWT (new with tags), but until he was about 12, he didn't know you could buy clothes at stores other than Value Village and Goodwill.

I knew once the teenage years were upon us that he would become very conscious of his wardrobe. But, all the seeds I have planted about being a good steward with your money did take root. He is far less materialistic than most kids his age.

I had received a $10 gift card in the mail from a store called Kohl's. I also signed up to receive emails from J.C. Penney, and their thank you to me was a $10 coupon. Neither of these had any minimum purchase requirements. This afternoon I discovered both offers expired today! So I told my son we would go shopping after dinner.

As we were walking out the door I reminded him I had to write a $542 check on Monday, for his tuition. Next to food and shelter, his schooling is the highest priority. It has been that way since kindergarten and now as he enters high school, nothing has changed.

At Kohl's I got him a VANS hoodie and a Tony Hawk t-shirt. Final total was $34.23 after the sales and the $10 gift card. At J.C. Penney he got two pairs of blue jeans and a new pillow for his bed. Total spent was approximately $36.00. I was able to obtain a whole lot of information regarding which brands are cool. Now I can begin shopping at the thrift stores for said cool brands.

It is funny to write about it here, but both my son and I were like two fish out of water at these retail stores. I told him, "Wow it feels weird to buy brand new clothes" and he quickly agreed with me. We had a very nice time. He even smiled a few times.....really.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurry Fall.....Hurry!

I am seeing more Fall related offerings on Etsy and eBay, not to mention in the stores. How I love Fall. This is an altered art card I made last year. I will be sharing more Fall themed creations in the weeks to come.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Pendants



Here are two new pendants. These are listed in my Etsy store. I have LOTS more pendant designs to come. Really pretty pendants that you don't see everywhere.

Tonight we sold some Fall/Halloween themed ceramic knobs. It made me so happy! It gave me hope! The cold, crisp air will return ~ I just have to be patient.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Full and Grateful Heart ~

My son has just returned from a four day church trip to Seattle. They go every year. The event is called Urban Plunge. These middle and high school students mingle amongst the homeless people and share the gospel with those who will listen.

Last year he strayed off the path, broke from the protocol, and found himself face to face with a man brandishing a knife. This man REALLY did not want to hear about God. Thankfully this trip was a peaceful one. He told me he was able to witness to several people who didn't know the Lord.

Tonight I am grateful for my precious son, and all he teaches me about loving and trusting in the Lord. I am grateful for the pastors who nurture and guide these young souls, keeping them ever mindful that it isn't all about them.

Holy is the Lord

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

* Vinegar anyone?

Did you know there were 1001 uses for white distilled vinegar? I didn't either. Here is the link to a site which explains how useful vinegar can be.

Vinegar Tips

Cat owners should find this info particularly useful.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A (Nice) Pit Bull and Her Friend

A female pit bull and another little male dog (Lhasa type) came to visit us this morning. Thankfully it was a nice pit bull although I have to say mice scare me much more than pit bulls do, and I have squared off with a couple of them (pit bulls, not mice). DH was gone all day, so I had to put my big girl panties on and handle things.

My neighbor came to help and we got the name and number of the owner, and also the number on the rabies tag. The supposed owner lives about 60 miles away and I got a recording when I called the number - both times. The Vet where the dog had been vaccinated was here in town. They told me her name was Zena and it turned out both of their contact numbers were disconnected. The dog had been in their office last month though. She was a very friendly girl, and a perfect specimen if you like pit bulls. She has been well taken care of.

The poor little boy dog was not from Zena's family as the Vet had no record of him belonging to Zena's family. He was not nearly as well cared for and of course, no collar. He too was very sweet and quite attached to Zena.

As you may know, we have two large dogs who were quite unhappy being cooped up as other dogs explored their yard. I had no choice but to call Animal Control. Did that about noon and was told they'd send someone before the end of the day. Nice. I had to listen to my son kvetch about that until Animal Control did arrive, about 3:30. He said "they're probably just eating tea and doughnuts."

In the meantime my neighbor took them to her house. She had a nice crate for Zena, in the shade, with food and water. The little boy went inside her house. Mind you Linda has a big black Lab and her roommate also has a dog. Both of them were kept away from the strays. Between the whining from my two, and the whining from her two, it sounded like a kennel on our little cul-de-sac.

Juneau complained loudly all afternoon....until the Animal Control van pulled into our driveway. He was completely silent from that point on. I know he watched through the window as the two strays were put inside the van. After the van had left, I opened the door and Miss Jessie couldn't wait to get out. Not Juneau. He sat on the couch and just stared at me. It took over an hour for him to venture outside.

Given his traumatic first few months of life, and the amount of time he spent being shuttled from place to place, he makes it very clear he likes his home and has no interest in leaving. Friends he knows and loves can visit, but when they get up to leave he is immediately on guard. If he is touched or even looked at, he growls. He will sometimes hide behind my husband or I if he feels someone might try to take him away. Poor guy.

~ Checking In.....

Haven't posted in a few days, so here is wazzzup.

Monday was Day #10 of temps above 90 degrees. Last week we had 102, 104 and even 107. It is getting soooo old. We are finally on the downhill slide though, and should be in the 70's later in the week. It might even rain but I won't get my hopes up.

I've done a bit of coupon shopping. The General Mills spend $30 get $15 back is definitely a great promo. I did the deal Sunday and got a bunch of pantry items. Total after coupons was $15.81 and I got $15 in Cats back.

Last night I concentrated on ice cream, which I seem to be doing a lot this summer. I bought 12 packages (6 bars to a package) of Klondike bars in various flavors to arrive at a total of $30. Used coupons to bring my total to $20 and then used my $15 Cats from Sunday. This made my total due $5.00. Regular price would have been $59.88. So that's a killer deal all by itself. BUT, I received another $15 in Cats which means I made a $10 profit while bringing home 72 ice cream bars.

I got a much needed haircut - three inches gone bye-bye.

I saw my son smile ONCE today. The rest of the time he walked around like his dog had just died. Oh the teenage angst. I took him to rent a movie and he was so sullen. I asked him, "You really don't like going out with me, do you?" He replied, "No, not really. It's not one of my favorite things. But it's not horrible or anything." I decided I am going to choose a day and spend it acting just the way he does. Same facial expressions (or lack thereof), same tone of voice, etc. As I used to tell him when he was very small - dial 1-800-MEAN-MOMMY.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A thought....

There is a song on my playlist, Help Somebody by Van Zant. It has several lyrics which speak directly to my heart, but my favorite is this:

"The devil dreams on an idle horse."

Dr. Heisner (my Dad) used to say "happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to." I've certainly got those three covered.

Another great saying "if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So.....

it's really hot and I wonder....if you have AC, does the heat still take it out of you?

Several weeks ago both my dogs began to shed, and I mean really shed, like they've never shed before at this time of year. I had a sick feeling that would mean a long, hot summer.

When I was younger I used to wonder why old people talked about the weather all the time. BORING! Now I'm doing it, along with lots of other things I used to roll my eyes at.

My son wonders how I ever survived without cable TV or video games. In his mind I may as well have been stranded on a desert island throughout my entire childhood. A lot today's "entertainment" troubles me. Violent video games trouble me. Death is not a game. I had a bit of a fit (not the whole fit, a portion of a fit) this afternoon, about the violence in my son's game. It was one of those "if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" type moments. My son asked me if I was a pacifist. Yep, that's all those private school dollars at work.....

We watched Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. The man never makes a bad movie. Even the aforementioned son (G.I. Jacob) enjoyed it. In one scene Madea uses a piece of heavy equipment to raise a sports car about 15 feet in the air. Then she drops it and it slams to the ground on its side. If you add about 60 feet to the distance the car traveled, and throw in 3-4 rolls while airborne, that gets you close to how my accident went down. I will never be able to make anyone understand how hard that impact was, yet it is still so important to me that I keep trying. Odd.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Computer Cleanse

I got yet another annoying colon cleanse email, and it made me think of what happened to my computer last night and this morning. It was cleansed to the max. Reformatted and reloaded and now it's like a whole new computer. DH is the IT person, thank goodness!

Did you hear about the woman who wanted Botox or collagen (can't remember which one) for her face, but didn't want to pay a doctor to do it? She bought a kit off the internet for $10 and it was a real DIY nightmare. She injected what turns out to be some kind of low-grade lubricant into several places on her face. The results were ah, less than attractive. So her story was on TV to warn others not to do the same thing. It is amazing what vanity can make a person do.

I think plastic surgery is fine, if you can afford it, and if you have a good doctor, and...if it's going to make you feel better about yourself. I'd stop short of breast implants because putting something foreign like that into the body cannot be good. I had an eye lift done a few years ago, for medical (not cosmetic) reasons. As surgeries go, it's near the top of the list of the worst and longest post-op recovery periods. At least it was that way for me. I would certainly never have a facelift, even if I won the lottery. There are so many better ways to spend your money.

Speaking of spending money, I am going to venture out into the Sahara heat and go to Blockbuster and then Albertsons. I have two coupons each good for a previously viewed DVD up to $14.99 in value. Albertsons has a great Catalina deal going, for Keebler cookies and Rice Krispie Treats. No coupons for the Krispies, so we won't be getting those. I can make several batches for the price of just one box, even at sale price. Do you care? Probably not huh :p

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ice.....is so very NICE


This ice sleigh bed is located at an ice hotel in Quebec. I would love to stay at a place like this. I'm sure it would just be the snow dog and I though, as hubby doesn't share my love for all things arctic.

We have a nasty heat wave headed our way. That's fine - I will stay inside "under the air" as they say in the midwest.

The only thing I miss about physical therapy is the large ice mats (don't know what else to call them) they used. They had to be at least 30"x30" and they would come direct from the freezer to the room. A thin sheet separated me from the ice. I would lay back and say "ahhhh." That always got a laugh from the therapist because most people dreaded the ice mats. It would be great to be able to purchase one of those mats. I will ask my doctor about that. A couple bags of frozen veggies just isn't the same.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tonight I am thinking about how wonderful it is to have brothers and sisters in Christ. To feel their loving arms around me, and most importantly, to be able to bless them by my actions. This is what I strive for - to be a blessing to others. Of course I fall short most of the time, but when I know I have truly been used by God to help another, a feeling of utter joy fills my soul.

We have a friend, a wonderful woman with a giving, caring heart. But she does not know the Lord. She gravitates towards the "I believe in some kind of power, don't know what it is, but I know we will be reincarnated and return as something or someone else." I pray for her, and talk about God just enough.....fearing if I go too far she will tune me out completely.

She lost two beloved dogs just weeks apart. Then her mother's cancer returned with a vengeance. Her mother lives 2500 miles away, which only makes things worse. There is an all consuming sadness and grief in our friend's life. She is falling, and without God, she has no net.

I cannot imagine living without God. I cannot imagine enduring pain and sorrow without the knowledge that He has a plan for my life. As a Christian I have God's promise of eternal life, not reincarnation as a potato bug or a trout, but life with my Father, in His heaven.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guilty.

Malachi 3:8-10 tells us:

Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say, "In what way have we robbed You?"
In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."

I am guilty. I have robbed God, over and over...and over again. I tithe for a while, then I stop, then I start again. This year I have been much better at tithing, although I am not religious (pun intended) about it. When business is slow, and there is very little money to tithe, that is when I tend to tithe the most consistently. I know when I have been bad, and try to make it right. It's a bit scary to write a tithe check knowing if it gets deposited the next day, it will bounce. No checks have bounced though.

It's really such a simple concept, so clearly stated in the Bible, and so very true that we do receive abundant blessings when we give God His share. This is the only place in the Bible where God tells us to test Him. The only place.....

I do many blog entries about coupons and how little I pay for things. My goal there is to educate and empower others to do the same. Being good stewards of our finances is Biblical too. Paying so little for things allows me to share with friends, and also to donate items.

We had a very good eBay day. The best in quite a while. It's not a coincidence, it's the tithes. I think when God talks about pouring out blessings, those blessings don't have to be monetary in nature. In our big world of shiny things with bells, it's easy to forget what is truly important. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Here are some of mine. I would love to read some of yours.

I am a child of God.
I have a wonderful, loving husband.
I have a wonderful, loving son.
A godly mother who inspires me
We are all healthy.
Two dogs who add love and laughter (and hair) to each day.
I have a roof over my head.
I sleep in a nice bed.
There is food in my house.
Good friends.
Talents. (gifts God gave to me)
A place in heaven.
Simple taste and simple wants.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Stretching of the Dollar

I paid a buck for everything you see here. Really, a buck. I get lots of great deals. It never gets old. Hubby LOVES the Coffee Mate. He must chug it judging by how fast we go through it. He reads my blog, so I will say up front I go through diet Coke and chocolate faster than he goes through Coffee Mate :p ~ now, on to the deeeeetails.

4 32-oz. Coffee Mates @ $2.50 each - $10.00
1 can Mandarin oranges - $1.00
8 boxes Super Pretzels @ 1.00 each - $8.00
5 pints ice cream @ $1.00 each - $5.00
Total - $24.00

Sales/Coupons

$2.00 discount for spending $10 on Nestle products
$8.00 off Coffee Mate (4 $1/1 coupons doubled)
$1.00 off Dole ($.50/1 coupon doubled)
$4.00 off ice cream ($4/5 Catalina)
$6.00 off Super Pretzels (8 $.75/1 coupons)

New Total - $3.00

Used $2.00 off coupon received for taking the store survey

Grand Total Spent - $1.00

Received $1 Catalina for buying Coffee Mate, another $4/5 ice cream Catalina plus another opportunity to take a $2.00 survey. I did spend $1.09 on the pretzel coupons.

I can do the ice cream deal (5 pints for $1.00) over and over. So for the cost of one fast food meal, I will get 25 pints of ice cream. The only unusual part of this trip was my ability to use five double coupons due to Albertsons having them in the newspaper and in the store ad. Those doublers accounted for $4.50 of my savings. Without them I would have spent $5.50.

Time to raise our Coffee Mates for a toast!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cooking Oil Goblin

I can't seem to keep cooking oil in the house. I rarely use it, and DH says he rarely uses it, but we are always out. I think we must have a goblin who loves cooking oil. I had to make an unplanned Albertsons run Tuesday night for the oil. Not wanting to waste a trip, I took my binder and three double coupons with me. I picked up two more doubles from the ads in the store.

I spent a total of $10.12. $4.77 of that was the steak sauce. I had three $2/1 coupons that expired that night. The smallest bottle Albertsons had was $3.59. I got the sauce for $1.59 each and made DH very happy.

2 Gatorades - Free (Catalinas which printed from Right Guard purchase previous week)
Cakesters - $.99
2 Toothpaste - Free
Baked Tostitos - $.79
Coffee Mate - Free
Oil - $2.39
Peaches - $1.00

Last night I got four pints of Breyer's ice cream for free. Plus a $4 Catalina good on any five Breyer's products. So we will be doing this deal again and getting our ice cream for $.20 a pint. We definitely buy a lot of ice cream in the summer. With DH and 170 pounds of dogs, it goes fast!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blueberries and Bras

DS began his blueberry picking job yesterday. He said it wasn't difficult, just boring. Do you ever think about people who work in factories, doing the same job over and over? In my early 20's I worked in the accounting department of a company which manufactured bra cups. They made other things too, but the bra cups were their main product. For real, Moldex/Metric in Culver City, CA.

Mexican women sewed all day long. This was a reputable company, no one was being exploited. I used to wonder how a person could sit behind a machine 40 plus hours a week, for oh, 20 or so years. My young mind didn't realize you do what you have to do. I remember a woman who worked in the office too. Her name was Josie and she was just a few years older than me. She had a three year old daughter out of wedlock and then married a great guy named Fernando and was pregnant again.

Josie and I became fast friends and I was included in all the family celebrations. There I would be, the only blond head in the crowd, understanding about 20% of what was said to me, and having a blast. I was always made to feel welcome. Fernando and Josie had were able to buy a tiny little house in Inglewood, directly under the flight path of LAX. Your typical California home buying experience. Pay 10 times what you would pay anywhere else in the country, and be happy to do it.

I remember vividly Josie getting her paycheck on Friday and taking it to the bank on her lunch hour. Often I would ride with her. She had no checking account. She had a savings account. And she had her list of what bills needed to be paid that week. She got money orders for those bills, kept out enough cash for gas and groceries, and put what was left into the savings account. No credit cards so of course, no debt. If they didn't have the money for something, they didn't buy it. Interesting concept.......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hot Dog! and ice cream, too

I had to pick up a prescription, so got in a little bargain shopping too.

Albertsons:

2 pkgs. Hebrew National hot dogs @ $3.99 each = $7.98
Minus two $1/1 coupons and two double coupons = $4.00
Total paid: $3.98 plus received a survey offer on the receipt ($2 off next purchase)

Walgreens:

8 pints Starbucks ice cream BOGO at $4.79 = $19.16
Minus eight $2/1 coupons = $16.00
Total paid: $3.16

Hubby and the dogs are BIG ice cream fans. So far this summer I've gotten their ice cream super cheap (Breyer's for $1 a carton, and now this Starbucks for $.40 a pint). I would not be able to afford these things at regular price.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Common Sense.....

.....you can't teach it, buy it, rent it, or have it surgically implanted. Now the three people who read my blog on a regular basis know how much I love my son. He's my only child (that I know of) and he's brilliant on so many different levels. Every once in a while though, I wonder about him.

He opened a 16 oz. bottle of Nestle Chocolate Milk (free of course) about midnight last night. Early this morning I noticed the bottle sitting on his bedside table. I just assumed he finished it before he went to sleep. He rolls out of bed about 2:00 pm and I asked him about the milk. I said, "You cannot leave milk out overnight, it will go bad." He said, "I just had some" and I replied, "Good luck with that." I know, I remind you of June Cleaver, right?

A few months ago I gave him an Advil and told him to be sure to take it with food because otherwise he'd get an upset stomach. Next thing I know he's standing in front of me with this horrible look on his face and a mouth of full of bread and one Advil - both bread and Advil being in various stages of mastication. "You said to take it with food Mom!" He's a very literal boy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I Crack Myself UP

If you've ever taken any college classes having to do with medicine (chemistry, biology, A&P, etc.) you know how perfect the hygiene students are. I will leave it at that because yes, I was jealous and apparently I still am.

This is a magnet (2.5x3.5 inches) and it's for sale on eBay and Etsy.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Albertsons Run

The lady in front of me spent $208 on her groceries. I like to get behind people who are buying a lot of things, just to see if they use coupons and what their final total is. I definitely need to get a life....LOL. She bought a lot of exotic fruits and veggies, even her garlic was inside a little net bag. Didn't use one coupon though.

Here are my non-exotic purchases:

1 gallon 2% milk
1 8 oz. pkg. Tillamook Swiss cheese
1 lb. Carolina Honey Turkey from deli
Bunch of bananas
2 pkgs. Oscar Mayer Premium hot dogs
1 loaf bread
1 pkg. bagels
1 pkg. hot dog buns
2 pkgs. Kraft Pasta Salad
3 pkgs. Taco Bell taco shells
25 pouches Starkist Tuna

Total without sales and coupons: $85.66
Total after sales and coupons: $19.63. Received $5.00 in Catalina coupons for buying the tuna.

Total OOP: $14.63

Of course the $85.66 reflects the prices if none of this was on sale. The stores don't make it easy for you to get the rock bottom price. Buy certain items in groups of 10 and they take $.50 off each item. You have to be very careful and count and then count again. You have to be sure you have the correct number of items in the correct sizes. Getting nine out of 10 means you are SOL, discount wise. It's definitely a challenge, but that's what makes it fun!

Friday, July 3, 2009

.....AFRICA HOTTTTTTTT

I would love to have a summer place in Australia, but not much chance of that happening. A semi would have to land on me to get those kind of bucks.

Juneau normally blows his coat in May. It's a three week event of hairnormous proportions. He has been blowing another coat this past week. Hubby and I disagree about dates and times of the blowing. Bottom line is this is not usual for the dog. Does this mean it will be a really hot summer? At least the fireworks don't bother him.

Miss Jessie is on everyone's very last nerve. There is no comforting her. Years ago I was talking to one of our vets about Jessie's reaction to fireworks. This doctor was quite competent I felt, but odd. Just an odd duck and someone I could never establish a rapport with. I can find some common ground with 99% of people, almost immediately. Not this guy. He had no visible sense of humor. The more I tried to find something to make him smile, the more he stared at me with this disgusted/bored look. The more he stared, the more nervous I got and the more I kept trying. Kind of like when you're having a pap smear and you begin this stream of random chatter - as if the chatter will magically transport you to some happy place. Good thing this guy went into animal medicine. He never would have made it as a gyno.

So, the doctor was prescribing tranquilizers (they didn't work) and I commented that here was a dog who would rush full speed out the door into a totally dark backyard, to face who knows what. No fear or hesitation when running through that black hole. Yet let a firework go off two streets away and she was beyond scared. He looked at me like I was the most stupid person he had ever seen and said something about not being able to apply reason to a dog's paranoia. Either he's an uptight jerk, or I'm a total blond airhead idiot. Or maybe it's a little of both.

At the visit before that one, I had asked if he felt it was odd that every night after dinner we had a family howl to just reinforce our "pack." I was expecting him to chuckle and say he had heard of people doing that, or make a comment about that being a good idea. Nope. He gave me the same disgusted/bored look and asked, "Do the dogs howl too?" I said they did and he said, "Then I guess it's not odd."

We see a different vet now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Walgreens aka WAGS

Hello Frugal Friends! Here are this evening's Walgreens purchases. I did four separate transactions. I didn't have to do four transactions but doing so helps me keep things straight. It's easy for me to forget to use a coupon or RR if I have too many items at once.

Transaction #1:

A promo where you buy $20 worth of participating products and get a $5 RR back. I purchased:

3 boxes Kraft mac and cheese 3 for $5
4 boxes Capri Sun $2 each
4 pkgs Chips Ahoy $2 each
Sub Total: $21.66

I had $9.50 in manufacturers coupons and then used $6.00 of RR's. I paid $6.16 cash and got back a $5 RR. Total OOP was $1.16.

Transaction #2:

5 cans Oust spray $2.99 each
1 banana cake square (filler) $.99
Sub Total: $17.17

I had 5/$2.00 off Oust coupons and also used a $3 RR. Total OOP was $4.17.

Transaction #3:

2 1-liter bottles Listerine with bonus bottles attached (score!) $4.50 each
Sub Total: $9.00

I had 2/$2.00 off Listerine coupons. I paid $5.74 cash and got back a $3 RR. Total OOP was $2.74.

Transaction #4:

3 bottles Excedrin (one had a second box attached for free) $9.98
1 purse size tissue (filler) $.29
1 vanilla caramel (filler) $.39
Sub Total: $10.66

I used $3 in Excedrin coupons and $5 in RR's. I paid $3.50 and got back a $5 RR. Total profit was $1.50.

Final Tally: $6.57 for everything

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deals of the Day


Went to Safeway and picked up six packages of Mission white corn tortillas (30 count) for $.24 each. They were on sale for $.99 and I had coupons for $.75 off each package. "They" say tortillas will freeze just fine. Let's hope "they" are correct.


I also got a 44-load bottle of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent for $.99. We have three bottles of ALL detergent already, but at $.99 I couldn't pass up this deal.


In the past few days I have also purchased peaches, bananas, romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, 93% lean organic ground beef and string cheese. I really do buy healthy food too!
I created the frog last summer.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Good Day

Doesn't this look like a great place to spend a day or week or month?

Today was a good day. I turned the corner on this cold ~ thank you Jesus. My son returned safely from his four day mini-camp. His pastor was speaking at this camp and took my son and another boy along as helpers. They went rafting, climbed a rock wall and did scary things with ropes. I'm sure they spent some time concentrating on the Lord too!

We sold some stuff. I washed my hair in the shower and it only hurt a fraction of how much it usually does ~ thank you Jesus once again. I received a lovely email from my ex-husband's wife. She is always so kind to me. My BFF had a good first day at school. Our neighbor gave us a gorgeous coffee table. Just gave it to us.

I caught most of Ralphie May's newest DVD Austin Tatious, on Comedy Central tonight. I can cross that DVD off my wish list though. Not his best work in my opinion, but still very funny. And my husband went to work in the morning, and came home afterward....that's always a good thing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

~~ 3 BLESSINGS ~~

I was blessed this weekend. I had a front row seat to two spectacular things God did. I never cease to be amazed at how personal His communication can be.

My friend Kay is attending college, training to work in a medical office. She has been unemployed for over a year. These classes are her key to a brand new life. She was all set to begin Summer quarter tomorrow. Friday she received a letter saying her financial aid had been revoked. Doesn't matter why, but it was not her fault. Kay let herself experience all the emotions of this terrible disappointment. Then she did what she always does. She took a deep breath, put on her big girl panties, and sucked it up. She trusted God and let Him have her sorrow.

Kay posted on her blog, asking for prayers and for support from her sisters in Christ. Several hours later a woman she had never met left a comment saying she felt God wanted her to pay Kay's tuition. Kay received the money today and will be able to start school in the morning, as scheduled. Thank you Lord for this blessing.

Last night another friend shared with me the most amazing vision she had, in response to questions and confusion about a certain aspect of prophecy. God had drawn her a picture, in 3D technicolor. I was blessed just hearing about it - imagine how my friend felt!

About 10 years ago I was driving my car, and telling God I knew He had forgotten about me. He never let me know He was there. My prayers fell on deaf ears. I didn't expect to always get what I wanted, but I did want some kind of acknowledgement He was listening. I was angry and disrespectful to my Heavenly Father.

I came to a stop behind another car, at a light, and there on the car's rear bumper was the admonition we've all seen hundreds of times: If you're living like there's no God, you better be right. I hung my head and apologized profusely. Any time since when I'm tempted to contemplate how real God is in my life, I immediately remember that day so many years ago. And I am humbled once again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

'Tis the Season *


No, not that season. The fireworks season. July 4th heralds the arrival of summer. I have one word to sum up my feelings about summer: ick.

I could leave it at "ick," but that's not my style. I must explain why it's "ick." If you aren't in the mood to read whining, this is the time to click the little red X.

Summer is hot. Africa hot. Sticky, sweaty and buggy.

The sun reflecting off any shiny surface gives me an instant headache.

I am forced to see a whole lot more of the body parts of people I don't even know. Jeff Foxworthy said it best: "If your skin in the color of Cool Whip and you have a mole that looks like an oatmeal pie, let that be your little secret!"

My snow dog looks so unhappy. I want to pack a bag and go in search of an igloo for us both.

I am energized, inspired and empowered by the cold. Heat has the total opposite effect.

And that's why summer is a big, fat "ick," to me. The days leading up to the 4th are particularly stressful for Miss Jessie. She is terrified of fireworks. This year we plan to try something called Rescue Remedy. The medicine the Vet prescribes does little good. For the next week I will have a German Shepherd glued to my side.

My father passed away on July 3, 1997. Cancer took him and they didn't call in time for me to say goodbye. The week prior to his death, and the weeks immediately after, I was separating from my husband - who did his best to make sure that process was as difficult for me as possible.

Home ownership was extremely important to my dad. It is because of him I was able to purchase my house and give my then three year old son stability and security. I reflect on this often, especially this time of year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Great Deal on Software


We have two copies of Microsoft Office Standard 2007 (contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2007) on sale for $129.99 in our eBay store. Retail is more than twice that. And Microsoft allows you to install this three times on your home PC. Here is the link (and an ugly link it is) if you wanna check it out:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tale of the Tuna

I love tuna! Do you love tuna? It's a great protein food, versatile, and inexpensive even when you pay regular price. I got a lot of tuna today. I didn't pay regular price. I got 36 of these pouches. Never bought the pouches before. They are usually more expensive than the cans.
Both the pouches and the cans are part of an Albertsons promo this week. They call the sale "epic." That's pretty funny.....epic.

Anyway, you buy promo items in groups of 10 and $5.00 ($.50 for each item) is automatically deducted at checkout. What made the pouches a better deal? There were coupons for $1.50/3 and for every 5 pouches purchased a $1.00 Catalina printed. I bought a few other things along with the tuna and I will get to that later. For those who are still learning the wonderful art of couponing, here is a tuna-only scenario which will maximize your savings:

30 pouches x $1.25 = $37.50
Minus $15 ($5 off for every 10 pouches) = $22.50
Minus $15.00 (10 $1.50/3 coupons) = $7.50
Your total out of pocket would be $7.50 or $.25 per pouch of tuna

It gets better though! After paying the $7.50, the Catalina machine will spit out 6 $1.00 off anything coupons to be used on your next shopping trip. If you take this $6.00 into consideration as I do (it's like a rebate), your cost for 30 tuna pouches just went down to $1.50 or $.05 each. You could turn around and do the exact same deal again, except this time you'd have the $6.00 in Catalinas to use - so you'd pay the $1.50 and get another $6.00 in Catalinas. If the store does not have the coupons on display by the tuna, ask at the checkstand.

Alrighty, on to the rest of my transaction, which I shall make as a brief as possible by listing what I bought and what I paid.

36 pouches of tuna
4 Air Wick I-Motion air fresheners
1 pkg. sourdough pretzels
12-pk Pepsi
2 pkgs. Seneca applesauce (6 single serves per pkg)
4 candy bars - I know, real healthy shopping trip.....

I used tuna coupons, Air Wick coupons, BOGO candy bar coupons, pretzel and applesauce coupons, two double coupons, and a $10 Catalina I got from last week's ConAgra promo.

Paid $12.86 plus received $7.00 in Catalinas back for a total OOP of $5.86. In reviewing my receipt, the total savings was $114.77. I rock!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If I Ran the World......

Men (and boys) would urinate sitting down.

Monday, June 22, 2009

~ A Blessing.....

I am completing the application for my son's enrollment in a Christian high school this Fall. The student is asked to fill out an information form. The last of the eight questions was: Please tell us what you believe regarding Jesus Christ. His response:

I believe that God (the Father) sent Jesus (the Son) to die on the cross for the sins of the world. Through His sacrifice, we have eternal salvation, redemption, love and forgiveness. He has a plan for our lives and is the only God. Everything was created by God and is in His will.

Amen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What's Our Hurry?

I was standing in line behind an elderly woman at Walgreens today. She paid in cash and received her change (bills and coins). She slowly and deliberately put each in the appropriate spot in her wallet before taking her purchase and walking away from the check-out counter.

My initial response to her almost slow-motion movements was to be annoyed. But I quickly changed gears and thought - what's my hurry? What's your hurry? What's our hurry? If we have our faith placed firmly in God, we know at any given moment, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. Each delay or perceived obstacle in our path is there for a reason. When I hit every single red light enroute from Place A to Place B, there's a reason for that. Life and death are so often separated by mere seconds or inches or feet. That fact has been proven to me several times in my life.

And....have you noticed that little kids and old people don't hurry to finish something quickly so they can get out of someone else's way? Watch a child paying for something in a store. See how deliberate they are with the entire process. They are oblivious to those around them. Same thing is true for old folks, like the woman today. She didn't notice there were three people in line behind her. The rest of us are running ourselves ragged, trying to get a zillion things done. Is it any wonder we lose our keys, drop money on the ground, leave things behind? We're in too much of a hurry to do things one step at a time.

Take a few deep breaths through your nose ~ relax ~ slow down.....what's your hurry?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

~ Walgreens ~

I haven't been a good Walgreens bargain shopper for the past couple weeks, so I didn't have any RR's (register rewards) to spend when I entered the store this evening. I did earn a few during the check-out process though.

1st Transaction:

1 4 oz. Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder $1.99
1 Quattro Razor $9.49
1 Quattro Razor Refill Pack $10.99

Coupons Used:

$1/1 baby powder
2 $4/1 Quattro

Total Spent: $5.04 (razors/refills were BOGO)
Received $1 RR for baby powder

2nd Transaction:

4 Hefty 1 Zip Bags (qt. size) $3.29 each
1 4 oz. Johnson & Johnson baby powder $1.99
1 18-ct pkg Rolaids Soft Chews $2.99

Coupons Used:

$1/1 baby powder
$1/1 Rolaids
4 $1/1 Hefty 1 Zip
In-Store Coupon BOGO Hefty 1 Zip

Total Spent: $6.51
Received $1 RR for baby powder and $2 RR for Rolaids

3rd Transaction:

1 Banana Cake Square $.99
1 18-ct pkg Rolaids Soft Chews $2.99
2 medium size bags M&M's $5.00
2 boxes Oreo Cakesters $5.00

Coupons Used:

$1/2 M&M's
2-$1/1 Oreo Cakesters
$1/1 Rolaids

Total Spent: $10.23
Received $3 RR for Cakesters, $1 RR for M&M's, $2 RR for Rolaids

4th Transaction:

2 Sunday Oregonian newspapers $4.00

Coupons Used:

1 $3 RR

Total Spent: $1.00

So.....I spent a total of $22.78 OOP and left with $7 in RR's. That makes my bottom line $15.78 for everything. In comparison to how I usually do, that is pathetic. But that's what happens when you skip a week or two at Walgreens. Shame on me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

~ 20% Off and $1.99 S/H at Our Web Store ~


After mucho work on the part of hubby, we are now able to offer our web store customers discounts they can apply at checkout. We accept both Google and PayPal payments. And chocolate goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Will Make Knobs for Chocolate.

Our first discount is 20% off any size order. Shipping is $1.99 no matter how many things you
purchase. We have hundreds of ceramic knob designs, picture frames, fan pulls and even some Scrabble tile pendants.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This 'n That

Hello Blogland....

Not too much to report this morning.

I was just reading the blog of a young woman (mid 20's I would guess) from Canada. She is eight months pregnant, a major coupon queen, dedicated saver, and she has a German Shepherd Dog. I wish I could have had another baby. My husband said no, he (meaning we) was too old. I guess he's right, but I still think about having a baby and being in a happy marriage. What a nice combo that might have been.

Mama always said - "If wishes were horses, beggers would ride." Mama was born in Canada. And I have a German Shepherd Dog. So it all ties in, in the wagon wheel spokes of my mind.

I made a trip to Albertsons last night - actually, my son and I went. Miss Jessie came along. Juneau didn't want to go. I gave my son three doublers, three $1/1 Ken's salad dressing coupons, and a coupon for a free candy bar. Handed him the dressings and said "these should all be free." He asked if the checkout person would be mad at him, and would he get in trouble for getting free dressing.

Anyway.....the promo was buy $25 and get a $10 Catalina. I had also gone Monday night (yep, drug the kid then too) and did this deal, so I had a $10 Catalina to use last night. There was not a whole lot to choose from in this promo. Suffice it to say between the two trips, we are stocked in peanut butter and pasta sauce for many moons to come. I purchased:

4 Breyers 1.5L ice creams
3 jars Ragu Pasta Sauce
3 jars Skippy Peanut Butter
1 ALL Small & Mighty detergent
1 box cake mix

Total after sales and coupons was $16.36. Then I used my $10 Catalina and walked out paying $6.36 with another $10 Catalina in my hand. Hubby and the dogs are big ice cream fans. Jacob's "stuff" was totally free, and we will donate the salad dressings.

I am hoping for a quiet night's sleep tonight. Juneau likes to sleep on the floor between the bed and the sliding closet door, lying parallel to them. Usually he has a lot of his body under the bed. Not last night. Last night he was all out in the open, with his feet against the closet. He dreams a lot and those back legs get to twitchin' something fierce. He kept banging them against the closet but was sleeping so soundly the noise didn't bother him. It did however, bother me. I called his name loudly, every time he made the noise. He was out! And I never woke up enough to get out of bed and attempt to move the furry prince.

Two winters ago Juneau decided he had to sleep in between hubby and I. And you hoped you got his back up against yours, because if you didn't, that meant you got his feet and they moved all night long. The slumber party only lasted a few months. Then he was back to his preferred spot on the floor.

Miss Jessie accompanies me to bed and stays about 20 minutes. Then she's off to the other end of the house. And that's how she rolls.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

YEEESSSSS!

My son got a part time job this summer, picking blueberries for a local grower. The job will begin in early July. They pick from 8:00 am to about 1:00 pm five days a week. He is 14 and this will be his first official job. Should be quite an eye opener for him!

Jacob had already planned (and paid for mostly himself) to attend the church summer camp. Today the Senior Youth Pastor asked my son and his best friend to accompany him to another church's summer camp, where he is one of the speakers. My son and his friend will be the pastor's helpers.

If I were wearing buttons I'd be just a bustin' them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mommy Go Bye-Bye

GrandMaMa left this afternoon. I didn't cry when I said goodbye, nor did I have a meltdown. I usually have one MEGA meltdown each time she visits. Not so much due to anything she says or does, but due to my own insecurities. Well okay, a little bit is due to what she says. We had a very nice visit - emotional in so many ways.

Thursday night my son graduated from middle school. There were 30 kids in the graduating class. The Principal had an anecdote for each kid, relating to their 6th, 7th or 8th grade years. When it came time for Jacob's anecdote, she went alllll the way back to kindergarten. He was in Extended (After School) Care and the teacher had brought them to the gym to watch a basketball game. My little angel broke from the group and began to run up and down the sides of the court (while the game was being played), yelling "it's wedgie time!" The kids in the stands thought it was hysterical, which only made him yell louder. The Principal took him by the arm and told him to sit down. He said to her, "I don't even like you." And she said to him, "And I don't like what you're doing. Sit down." He sat down.

The school made a CD of each 8th grader telling their parents and family how much they loved them, and saying thank you for the opportunity to attend this school. My eyes filled with tears when my son said, "Mom, thank you for your humor." He said other things too, but the humor part really touched me. From what I understand, there is a veil between us and those who have gone to heaven. So I guess Jacob's grandfather would not have been able to see his grandson, then...and now. He would be so proud. This quirky sense of humor has come down through the generations.

The ceremony was held in the chapel of the school. There was prayer to open the ceremony, and prayer to close the ceremony. And mention of God throughout the ceremony. Our Creator, unwelcome in the public school, is glorified and worshipped at this school. I never take that for granted, and neither does my son.

His kindergarten teacher was there, and she wrote a special letter to each of the 15 kids she had taught so long ago. His first grade teacher did the same. And it meant so much to us that GrandMaMa was able to share this night.

Thank you Mom, for your unconditional love even when I was not easy to love. Thank you for your wisdom, your no-nonsense way of doing things, and thank you most of all for teaching me that motherhood is not for the squeamish. Here are a few other things my mother taught me:

If you lose too many battles, you will lose the war.
Prayer works.
Kids need to know their place - it makes them feel secure.
Children are the beloved parasites.
Ask a lot of questions.
Motherhood is very serious business.
Count your blessings.
Listen more than you talk.
Find the beauty in simple things.
Never lose your sense of awe.
It's okay to complain, but not too much.
You don't have to love me, but you will respect me.
Peaches are best when Mama slices them very thin and sprinkles just a little sugar.