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


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 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


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


$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.


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)


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..... 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


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