Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life is Just a Bowl of....Strawberries

I love these knobs! And when I saw them sitting in their white bowl waiting to be packaged up, I just had to take a picture. I should have gotten closer because the berry image is really striking. These knobs are going in a kitchen. I am hoping the nice lady who bought them will send me a photo :).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Helpful Hints

Peel your banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick all the "stringy" things off it. That's how primates do it.

Also, separate your bananas when you get home (dangerous to do it while driving) because they ripen faster when still in a bunch.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Scrapbooking With My Son

Junior's Washington, D.C. scrapbook is due on Thursday. We've been fiddling with it for over a week. Tonight we got down to some serious scrapbooking. Of course the project has to be done by the student. I did the mundane things like trim photos and run them through the Xyron machine. I offered a few suggestions but he surprised me with his creativity. We spent two hours cutting and pasting. He thanked me for helping four times. I told him I was having fun, and I was :).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Back....

It's been a hella crazy week but I'm stoked to be posting here tonight. (I will show that sentence to my teenage son tomorrow just to see him roll his eyes at my feeble attempt to be cool.)

Last week I wrote about taking a picture of my Walgreens deals. It never happened. After four days of them sitting on the counter, I decided to just put them away. I'm quite sure my husband appreciated it. But, I do have two photos of Tuesday night's coupon run. I loaded up the dogs and we left about 11:00 pm.

First was Albertsons. I had three double coupons to use and it was the last day to use them. There are 15 Powerade drinks priced at $.75 each. The deal was "buy 10 get 5 free," which made each drink $.50. So 15 x $.50 is $7.50. Not a bad deal when you consider these are normally $1.99 each. But it gets better! I had 5 coupons ($.75 off when you buy 2) that gave me $3.75 off, bringing the cost of the drinks down to $3.75. Then I used one of my double coupons which took another $.75 off. Final cost of the 15 drinks was $3.00, or $.20 each.

The soup was $1.39 a can and I had a coupon for $1.00 off 2 cans. Doubled it became $2.00 off, so each can of soup was $.39. The cookies were $2.99 minus $1.10 discount ($.55 coupon doubled). Total was $5.58. I would never, ever pay $1.99 a bottle for Powerade. In fact I have never purchased Powerade before. But at $.20 each, it's a treat for my son....and yes, it's COOL.

Next the dogs and I went to Safeway. Here is what I purchased:

3 12-packs Pepsi ($2.00 each as part of Pepsi/Doritos promo 5 for $9.99)
2 large pkgs Doritos ($2.00 each as part of above promo)
1 12-pack Lipton Iced Tea ($3.99 in store coupon)
4 boxes dishwasher soap gel pack thingys ($3.99 each on sale - $15.96)

TOTAL: $29.94 (but we are going to say it was really $30.00). Now time for the coupons:

$2.50 off dishwasher gel pack thingys x 4 = $10.00
$.50 Safeway double coupons x 4 = $2.00

TOTAL after coupons = $18.00 PLUS I got a coupon for $10.00 off my next purchase, so my actual total for these items was $8.00. This is explained in the next paragraph.

Safeway is running a "Living Well" promotion. Spend $30 and receive a $10 Catalina (a coupon which prints from a little machine by the register - the marketing company's name is Catalina, hence the name of the coupon). Here's where it gets a little hairy. I was $.06 short of the $30.00 needed for my Catalina. It was almost 1:00 am - that's my excuse. The Catalina does not print until you have paid for your groceries. After analyzing the receipt myself and two very nice and very patient employees figured out my $.06 shortfall. Rather than void the transaction and re-ring it, they gave me my Catalina. Plus one of them walked with me to my car so she could meet the dogs.

To end the night I got a Big Mac (every once in a while, I just gotta have one) and the dogs got a plain burger to share.

Oh, forgot to say I would never buy that kind of dishwasher soap at the normal price of $5 to $6. It just so happened a great coupon came out, and the soap was on sale. Therein lies the "secret" - combining the coupons with the sales.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Belly Button

So night before last, hubby comes in to tell me goodnight. He keeps farmer's hours and I keep hooker's hours (sorry Mom), so it was about 10:00 pm. I was kicking back at my desk, eating Reduced Fat Roasted Garlic & Herb Wheat Thins (paid $.85 cents a box dontcha know) and watching Double Saving Divas on youtube (should youtube be capped?). I turned my chair to face him and was just about eye to belly button with him (he was wearing a shirt though, of course....silly). I said, "Can I have a little button?" and he replied, "A very little because I'm tired." If you read the post below this one you'll see how easily amused I am.

Usually "having a little button" means kissing it and blowing softly and making some munching noises. He ALWAYS thinks I'm getting his navel full of saliva, but I'm not. Well...night before last was kind of the Perfect Storm for belly buttons. At the moment he approached me I was just about to swallow my very well chewed up cracker. I thought...why let it go to waste! Halfway through obtaining my buttonage I deposited a small amount of cracker where I'm guessing no cracker had ever been before. He frrrrreaked and next thing I know little tiny pieces of cracker are flying everywhere.

The best part though, was the look on Juneau's face. He was watching from the doorway and had this expression of - have you both lost your minds? After recovering from the shock, he (the dog) was kind enough to assist with the cracker clean up.

Do you abuse your spouse like I do? If so, I'd love to hear how.....I'm always on the lookout for new things!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Big Friday Night on the Town.....

I went to Walgreens.....seriously, and I was excited about going. It's so ironic, because back in the day, I was a wild child. I could PAR-TAY down with the best of them. Now a solo trip to the drug store is all it takes to make me happy. Armed with my zippered coupon binder, I spent a good 90 minutes just browsing around comparing what they had on sale or clearance to what I had coupons for. The people working there got a laugh when I told them I was taking my time enjoying my big night on the town.

This was a good Walgreens - if you do couponing you know what I mean. A nice Walgreens with friendly people who don't consider you the enemy for trying to save as much money as possible. I am going to post a photo tomorrow of all the things I bought.

The big deal for me tonight was a Schick Quattro razor - actually TWO of them. I call these designer razors. They are usually at least $10.00 and I don't ever buy them because of their cost. And, because I don't have much hair on my legs and can shave them a couple times a month and be just fine according to hubby. I always see serious coupon shoppers with a dozen or more of these designer razors in their stash and wonder how they did it. Now I know! The razor was priced at $9.95 with a $4 in-store coupon. At $5.95 that's still too much for me to spend on a razor. I looked in my binder and found a buy one/get one free coupon for the Quattro. This coupon and the fact the wires all connected in my brain that you can use two coupons on a BOGO free deal, made the two razers a total of $1.95 plus tax. Each package has two cartridges, so I'm covered now, through menopause.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Good Day

If you read my blog on an even semi-regular basis, you know I have pain every day. I should be used to it by now. It isn't unbearable pain - it's just there in the background and I have to be careful how I use the upper left side of my body. There are just a handful of days each month when the pain is amped up a few levels and it feels like I have someone standing on my shoulder. When I awoke this morning, I knew it was one of "those" days.

As I walked past the living room window I saw my husband working in the dirt beneath the window. He had created for me my own miniature Eden. A fountain, solar hanging lights, a fairy with LCD butterflies in a gazing ball, rows of marigolds and petunias and pansies. All enclosed behind a little fence to keep those of the canine persuasion out. Mother's Day came early he said.

All of a sudden, the pain disappeared. As if buried deep within this incredibly sweet gesture from this wonderful man. A man who has to wear a lot of hats around here. He cooks and cleans, does laundry and drives the Teenage Taxi, works a part time job and works for me (not always the most congenial of employers). He even knows how to sew (a skill he learned in the Coast Guard).

I kind of stumbled through my day, with him handling the major things. At 3:00 I needed to have some Swarovski crystals and since the mailman didn't bring them and the order has to ship tomorrow, my only option was to drive to the other side of town to the Michael's store. Problem was, driving in my condition would not be safe, for me or anyone else on the road. Now I could have asked my husband, but he had done so much for me today and still had to drive the taxi to youth group at 6:30.

Enter my dear friend Kay. I called and told her I'd spring for dinner if she could do the driving. She would have done the driving without the dinner - she's nice like that. But I insisted, and I had a coupon! We had a nice meal of teriyaki chicken, rice and veggies. We went to Safeway to look for Bertolli pasta sauce, and then to Michael's where the crystals were located. Then it was almost time to pick up the kidlet from youth group. I asked Kay - because I'm blunt like that, to drive us to the church. That meant hubby didn't have to leave the house and could watch his favorite show "Lost," or is it "The Lost?"

Once again the pain was there, but it was overshadowed by the blessing of having such a good friend who is so willing to help. My cup is much MORE than half full!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Bible and the Folded Napkin

The Lord has been working extra hard these days, on me. He has been convicting me to lean on Him, to read His word, to tithe consistently. In other words, like a parent counsels a child, He is telling me to straighten up and fly right. I am listening with my sinner's ears. He knows my heart.

I often think of all the many religions in this world. I think about how ALL think they have it right. But we can't all be right. Some religions, well it's easy to tell they have been sold a bill of goods. One in particular which decided to make the Bible a two volume set, when it's made very clear we are not to do that. Yet we only know what we have been taught. Some of us grow up and find out we have been deceived, but most just continue on the same road.

I think of all the different interpretations of the Bible, even within the same denomination. I ponder about those who say they are Catholic, but "not practicing." Some Baptists dance and wear make-up. Some do not. Jehovah's Witnesses say only 144,000 will go to heaven. Well, I know that isn't true. I married a man who was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist faith. I have learned they are NOT a cult - they are just as much a Christian faith as Lutherans and Methodists (at least some Methodists). See what I mean, it is all SO confusing.

I realize none of this applies to me, personally. Really, I do! I need to concentrate on my relationship with Jesus and be an example to others. Even with the Bible, the owner's manual for our lives on earth and in eternity, I find myself dazed and confused - sometimes even lost. I struggle to understand the language, the meaning, the translations. I know that is why we have pastors. But which pastor does one turn to?

In the middle of all my confusion, I found a post on the blog of a wonderful young Christian woman. It talked about how the cloth which had covered Jesus' face in his tomb was found separately from the linens he had been wrapped in. In the Gospel of John Chapter 20 Verse 7 it says: "and the face cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself."

The post goes on to explain that it was the custom of that day for the servant to set the table for the Master, with everything perfectly in place. The servant would watch from a concealed position for the Master to finish his meal. If the Master used the napkin and wadded it into a ball and threw it down, that meant he was finished with the meal. But if the napkin was folded neatly it meant the servant was not to touch anything, because the Master would return to the table.

That one act of Jesus, that one verse - how easy they would be to overlook. I am still confused but ya know what......I'm a lot calmer, too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

~ The Glory of Easter ~

Jesus Christ died for me, and you and for anyone who will accept Him and His ultimate sacrifice. In our day to day lives we forget how glorious and yet wonderfully simple our salvation really is.

That's all I wanted to say.

Friday, April 10, 2009

~ Question of the Day ~

I must be slipping, because I haven't posted an "ewwww" question lately.

Would you rather:

Spend the day doing pedicures at a men's prison
Spend the day doing bikini waxes at a women's prison?

Lots of things to consider with this one. I think I'd have to choose the pedicures.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


...I finally finished my blog header collage. I am happy with how it turned out. My happiness will come at a price though. My mother is going to have a herd of cows when she sees it. The photo at the upper left is my dear Ma-Ma, taken in 1973. WOW, 36 years ago. Geez, 36 years is a long, long, LONG time ago.

I remember the picture was taken in Palm Springs. The pool water was cold and she wasn't prepared. I also remember this trip because my mother took me aside and told me it was time I began to use deodorant every day. I was 12. Just thought I'd share.

I have treasured the photo of Birdmama all these years. Mom has seen the photo from time to time. She always tells me to throw it out. In her mind I keep the photo to tease or mock her. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I keep it because it reminds me of a happy time in my life. And because I think it's adorable.

Please don't be angry Mom.....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Dog in the Hall....

Come to find out, via our neighbor who is a military policeman, there has been some crime in the neighborhood lately. It's a nice neighborhood, which means we are prime targets for burglars. But here on our little cul-de-sac, the general feeling is we are pretty safe because we have Juneau, the three legged Malamute who has a WOO-WOO-WOO that could wake the dead. AND, he isn't afraid to use it if he sees anyone he doesn't recognize. At let me not forget Miss Jessie, who loves everyone but is also serious about protecting her property. Both roam the large front yard freely (but with the constraint of the invisible fence).

I love my dogs and write about them often. They are wonderful animals who perform a service in our "pack" every day. They warn, they protect - they have our backs. I will NEVER forget the night I was alone in the house and decided to take a shower at, oh...about 2:00 AM. Jessie laid down in the hall and I was in the shower, with the bathroom door closed - and had just finished lathering up my head. Then it happened - the power went out - PITCH BLACK. There I was, with shampoo everywhere, in total darkness.

I've never sat down and watched Psycho from beginning to end, but I have seen the shower scene and of course it was uppermost in my mind as I frantically rinsed my hair and turned the water off. I was just sure some escaped felon had cut the power lines and was at that moment making his way towards the bathroom. THEN I remembered Jessie! Jessie, who was lying in the hall, would not have been silent if there was a stranger in the house. That thought calmed me enough to open the door and set one foot into the hall.

Suddenly I felt a cold nose on my leg, and then a warm tongue start to lick the water off my feet. Jessie stayed right by my side as I made my way to the kitchen and got a flashlight. The whole neighborhood was dark. A simple power outage. As I said, I will never forget that experience, or how thankful I was to have my four legged guardian angel with me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Prayers Please....and Praise Too!

Your prayers are requested for a fine young Christian man by the name of Nick. Nick lives in California and is the son of my dear friend Samantha. Nick works with his father, doing repair and construction on freeways, in the middle of the night. Saturday a truck broke through the barrier going full speed, and struck Nick.

Now, if you are not a Christian, here is where the story may seem difficult to believe. If you ARE a Christian, you will understand completely. By the way, if you haven't asked Jesus into your heart, now is a great time to do that.

Nick said as the truck was coming toward him it suddenly moved over some, as if a hand had pushed it over a little bit to the side. He was struck on the upper portion of his leg with what had to be an incredible force. Yet no bones were broken. He is badly bruised and sore, but tests have confirmed he received no serious injuries.

It was the hand of God, or His angels, Nick's mother says. I believe her. And I have said many a thank you to God today, for His grace and mercy - not only for Nick, but for his family as well. I ask you to pray for his speedy recovery, both physically and emotionally.

Praise you Lord, for sparing my friend's baby!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."
Og Mandino

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let's Go Shopping With Me

Wow, long time - no blog. Hi to Sam my loyal reader. And hugs to Sam too.

Kay over at The Rustic Cottage and I have been doing some serious couponing and coupon organizing this week. Here are the results of today's shopping:

Walgreens - I have to say I am not a loyal shopper, don't go weekly, don't do the rebate thing like I probably should. Hubby had to get a prescription filled, so I asked him to pick up the $1.99 Chapstick True Shimmer because it would generate a Catalina for $2.00. He brought it home and it's da bomb. Seriously, I love it. He got me Botanical Berry.

I went to a different Walgreens later in the day, and purchased 2 boxes of Quaker granola bars and a package of Hall's cough drops. Had a $.75 coupon for the granola bars and a coupon for free cough drops. Used my $2.00 Catalina and spent $2.25 out of pocket. PLUS I got another $2.00 Catalina for buying the granola bars. In my second transaction I bought 2 packages of Cottonelle tissue for $5.00. Had a $.50 coupon and used my $2.00 Catalina. Total cost out of pocket was $2.50. Yeah, there was tax but I am not including it in the above calculations.

Then it was on to Safeway. They had several good coupons in my local paper and in their weekly circular. I purchased the following:

5 lb. bag C&H sugar
1 pkg. Hershey's chocolate eggs
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
2 pkgs. Wheat Thins Artisan crackers
2 24 packs diet Coke
2 boxes Kleenex tissue (large boxes)
1 Pillsbury Orange Danish
1 gallon milk
1 lb. butter
2 lb. block Tillamook cheddar cheese
2 Soft Soap anti-bacterial soaps
1 pkg. hot dog buns
2 pkgs. Hebrew National hot dogs
1 9-0z. pkg Foster Farms honey roasted turkey
1 3 lb. Honeysuckle boneless turkey breast
1 Safeway pepperoni pizza
1 can Del Monte tomatoes

Total with coupons: $42.56

There was a married couple behind me and I heard the husband say to his wife "oh, she's got a ton of coupons" in a somewhat annoyed tone. Then he watched as my total dropped from almost $100 down to $42.56. He said "Wow, you saved a lot of money!"