Monday, March 31, 2008
The Winner is Amy at I Think I Can I Think I Can! I'm emailing you now. I'm going to need your snail mail address!
I have enjoyed Amy's blog this past week. She's really into saving, budgeting, and the like AND she participates in Menu Plan Monday just like me! So Congratulations to Amy. I am delighted to be sending out your prize package in honor of my Blogger-Birthday!
And a special thank you is also due for all my other fans... I'm not over-flowing with comments, but I am making my rounds and getting to know a few. Thanks so much for all the birthday-wishes!
BIRTHDAY TO ME!
MARCH 31, 2008
Ok so a while back I made a mistake. I haven't been blogging for THREE years, only TWO. (Thanks Mom) SORRY. I'm really not a liar. It was a simple mistake. I must not be very good with arithmatic!
To make it up to ya'll, I'm going to give away a little prize package to one lucky winner. What's in it?
- An awesome PINK journal. It's cover is textured like alligator skin or something, but it's not the real thing. I love it because its... PINK! Click on the photo to get a closer look. Saweet... isn't it!?
- A devotional "Sharing Your Faith" from The Discipleship Series by Carolyn Nystorm.
- A PINK candle by Cottage Hill Soaps... Cotton Candy flavor... I mean scented! Smells OH SO GOOD!!! I could just eat it!
- Something from Starbucks... either a pound of coffee or a box of Tazo Tea - YOU PICK!!! Let's face it... who doesn't love Starbucks!!!
I see it now... light the candle, waft the sweet scents while kicking back in your big cushy chair to complete a lesson in your new devotional and write your thoughts in your new awesome journal for a lifetime of safe-keeping... all the while sipping a delectable cup of tea or coffee! LOVE IT!! It's so me! And so appropriate for a birthday prize pack.How to enter:
LEAVE A COMMENT - One per person. Comment must include the following:
1) Your email address or a way to contact you.
2) An interesting fact or comment about anything COUNTRY.
3) If you prefer tea or coffee.
Anyone is eligible... near or far, with our without a blog. If you make more than one comment, only one of them will be counted. Game closes at 12PM March 30, 2008 EST. On March 31st, my handy-husband will select a random number between 1 and however many entries are made. The number of that entry wins the prize package. I will contact the winner via email for a mailing address.
- Beef Tacos
- Roast Pork with veggie and potato
- Chicken with rice
- Grilled Ham & Cheese with chips
- Cheese Tortellini with side salad
Do you plan your weekly meals? Want to share? Head over to Menu Plan Monday and link-up! It's early Monday and there are over a hundred people already linked up! WOW!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
- Picked up car from collision shop
- Visited shortly with Mom & Dad while returning Re-Re's car
- Shopped for deals at Rite-Aid
- Shopped for groceries
- Prepared the menu for the upcoming week
- Made a breakfast casserole
- Went to church - what a beautiful day!
- Was asked to lead a ladies Bible Study
- Made a list of items we could do without
- Started sewing a denim purse. It's nearly finished. (quite proud of myself on this)
- Laundry Laundry Laundry
- Set up the bird-bath
- Swept the living room and kitchen
- Researched Cafepress.com - interesting
- Working on some other research
- A little R&R.... maybe a nap to come and a walk at the park???
Saturday, March 29, 2008
There weren't as many super deals this week... or maybe it's just that I lacked the enthusiasm to dig for them. I did pick up some Glade scented oil candle refills for cheap. Sale, rebate, and coupon yielded $1 each for 3. Not bad considering they are usually $2.99. Also picked up a Renuzit Pearls Scents. I had one before and LOVED it. It smells so wonderful, clean, and lasts for a long time. With sale, rebate, and coupon I paid all of 49 cents for a $3.59 item that I LOVE. Well worth it.
I splurged on a bird bath that was on sale too. I always wanted one but am too cheap to spend $50 plus. This was $12 and is actually quite nice. I put it together and it's on display in our flower-bed infront of the big window. The kitties are gonna LOVE this!!!! Although...Re-Re says that someone will probably steal it. That's what happened to my mega-cool bird feeder a while back. I'm still sore about that. Oh well... I'm loving my new bird bath for now.
So this week we really did NOT need much in the line of groceries. Being that the car was an added expense, I successfully shaved the budget a smidge. I did not use any coupons at the grocery store, but bought items that I would normally not have coupons for anyway - including meat. Less than $35 later, we have multiple meals for the week and enough for other weeks too.
I got 3 pounds of lean ground meat and browned it already. I packed it into 1 pound bags in the freezer for easy meal making later. I also learned from reading someone elses blog that if you rinse your ground beef after browning it that you can shave a couple fat grams per serving. I've done this a couple of times. Don't tell my hubby though... what he doesn't know doesn't hurt! HA! Oh and also don't tell him that I did the same thing with the ground sausage! I'm telling you - it's worth it. It tastes the same but is healthier. That's awesome!
I also signed up for savings perks with CVS and Walgreens although I hear that it will be about a week or two before my card arrives. I've read a lot about others saving big there... and will be scouting for the best deals all around in the weeks to come.
So that's about it for Saturday's Savings... I may not have saved a lot of money, but by browning some meat I am saving a lot of time on future meals.
Friday, March 28, 2008
A few nights back I opened my Bible and what did I see but the following verse staring back at me...
Psalm 81:8 "...if you would bust listen to me..."
Listening requires focus. This might carry on as a life-long theme of mine. It seems that where I fail the most in any area of my life is primary the result of having a lack of focus. If I would FOCUS on God, I would listen to him.
Of course in this verse he is speaking about the Israelites. Gosh they were like block-headed people... I mean just like me. You've got to give God a ton of credit for putting up with them/us for so long. I mean, when does he finally grow so weary of us that he forgets us? NEVER! Now that's LOVE people.
If only I would listen... So what practical ways can I put efforts into cashing in this Coupon Of Wisdom this week?
- Study the Word
- Ask for Wisdom
- Exercise Discernment
- Post this verse somewhere to be a constant reminder
Sometimes I read over these simple yet profound tidbits of wisdom and fail to embrace them. Just as clipped coupons that are not redeemed are wasteful, so are portions of scripture/biblical teaching when we read them and fail to respond. Thus... I have developed the concept of clipping "Coupons Of Wisdom" to help remind myself to exercise discernment of the wisdom the Lord so freely offers.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
- I learned to shake the milk. The cream rises to the top of raw milk and can be skimmed to use for other purposes. If you're going to drink it... ya gotta shake it! (or stir it) To this day, I still shake the milk, even though I'm not drinking raw milk anymore.
- Shaking the cream makes butter! Yummy, pure, unsalted, butter!
- I learned to french braid by practicing on my horse.
- I learned to give a cow a shot of penecillin. The needle was so big I could see down the barrel of it. I had to stick her three times before I got it in. Man their hide is tough. They said that cow had been 'down' for several days, but having been stuck with a gigantic needle three time, she was up and moving in no time!
- I learned about butchering chickens. Mom did it several times. I'm not sure if it was a novelty type thing, or if we were poor and needed food. I remember the hatchet, the flopping, and the plucking. Not a pretty sight, but was purposeful. I also remember that Grandma was quite learned in this area. Once I shoed a rooster away from flogging my little nephew. She caught wind of that and the next day there was chicken soup at her house!
- I learned to develop a taste for REAL vegetables. There is nothing like a fresh tomato or green beans right from the garden! When the tomatoes are ripe, one could take a salt shaker to the garden, pluck a nice big plump and juicy one and eat it warm... Mmmmm... And when we snap the beans I tend to eat a few too many! Got to love that home-grown taste!
- I learned to ride a horse and have been riding all my life. Still love it!
- I learned to milk cows. Yes I can milk by hand or with the machine and still do from time to time. I was even the Dairy Princess for a year in my youthful days.
- I learned to cherish the cycle of life... from the miracle of birth as animals are born into this world to the cycle of letting them go when their purpose has been served. My pony was born right into my arms and took her first breath there. I helped deliver numerous calves. For a time I was the calf-walker-feeder-lady. When it was time for them to go, big or small... it was sad.
- I learned how to make "Ferd-bergers." You call the steer 'Ferdinand' and when the meat hits the freezer you can make Ferd-bergers. HA! I also recall a story about "Lucy" but you'll have to ask Mom about that one.
- I learned to drive a tractor. Dad made me disc the garden continuously until I was ready to get my permit. I have a tractor I inherited from Mom. It was her Dads. It's a Farmall A. My friend fixed it up and is using it, but one day it shall fall back into my hands. Every time I drive it I think... Grandpa would be so proud!
- I learned to chew timothy hay and eat purple clovers! Thanks to my Grampy.
Need to catch up?
Part I and Part II
So as it goes, we were up bright and early that Saturday morning. K was prepping his Army-duds for the wedding. His cousin was getting married and K was in the wedding! No tux, just Army-official-dress. I had a half of a cheese sandwich for breakfast. Take note - that comes up later. (pun intended) After breakfast I decided that I didn't feel well. I had HORRIBLE back pain. I went and rested a while. Called my insurance company and told them I was not near home, could not see my PCP, and would be going to the local Emergency Room. YES - it was that bad!
DISCLAIMER... those with weak stomachs... SKIP THIS SECTION!!!! K took me to the emergency room at St. Lukes. I was less than impressed with the registration clerk. I told her I thought I had kidney problems and she went on and on about how her daughter had a kidney infection last week and yadda yadda yadda. Seriously, I was in so much dyer pain that I didn't actually hear much of what she was saying. She was asking questions and I was relying on K to answer most of them. Did I tell you yet that I was in P-A-I-N? BAD!!!! A couple times I asked how long it would be. Wait wait wait. Typical ER. I could not get comfortable, not sitting, not standing, not laying on the floor. I went to the rest room and vomited. They gave me a little dish and made me wait some more! Oh good gracious!!! I was SO SICK!!! What seemed like hours later they took me to a room. The docs figured I had a kidney stone. I vomited some more. I think the cheese sandwich came back up in a lump. TOTALLY GROSS!!!! They stuck me with needles, ordered an x-ray, and gave me some pain meds. Meanwhile, times a tickin... He needs to get to the wedding already!!! I heard him on the phone with his mom "I can't just leave her here!" When he came back to the room I told him that he should go. I would be fine and he could pick me up later. Reluctantly he kissed me! On the lips!!! Yes, he kissed me right after I vomited some disgusting cheese lump! ACK!!!! That's when I decided he was worth hanging on to.
Hours later the doctors released me with pain meds and instruction. K's dad came for me and took me to the pharmacy to get my prescription. I changed into my dress clothes and he took me to the wedding reception. I knew absolutely nobody. Now remember... K's dating history was that of many cancelled dates. When K had told his family what happened they figured it was just a story to cover up the most recent cancelled date. When I found him in the reception hall he was elated and hugged me. He introduced me to his family and his sister proclaimed "Your for real! And she's pretty too!" HA!!! We had a grand evening of dancing!
Throughout the days that I was visiting, we saw some local sites. He took me to the city, which was well out of my element. We walked along the banks of the river on the Serpentine Wall. There he stopped me, brushed my hair away from my face, looked me in the eye, and told me I was beautiful. Then he kissed me. That was a serene moment.
One day after lunch he asked if I wanted to go to Eden Park. Now I thought he was asking if I wanted to go to Eat n' Park, which is a restaurant in Western PA. I couldn't figure out why he wanted to go there right after lunch, but none-the-less I agreed. When I saw the road sign pointing towards Eden Park I said "Ohhhhhhh...." and proceeded to explain what I had thought. We both had a good laugh. We spent hours walking through the park. It was lovely.
The end of my trip grew near and we said our goodbyes. And that's the last that I saw my soldier-boy for about a month. The trip home was horrendous at best. There was a massive flood in the Columbus area and after sitting in traffic for THREE hours I was forced to re-route. Motels were completely booked. I had no choice but to get out my map and pick my way through an alternative route. Every few miles I would be stopped by police or firemen telling me that I had to turn around or head further north. Somehow I found my way home by way of Steubenville, OH. I arrived safe and sound NINE hours later. This was supposed to be a 5 hour trip! Ugh.
Tune in next week to hear about our next encounter.
Monday, March 24, 2008
- I have to make the bed before getting into it. I can't stand getting into an un-made bed. If I'm the last one up, I make it right away. If I'm the first one up... I'm usually the one making it at bedtime.
- I eat my jelly beans one color at a time. I just realized that.
- I do the same thing with M&Ms!
- I wash the dishes in groups... all the plates together, all the cups together, all the silverware together.
- I eat one entree at a time... all my veggies, then all my starches, then all my meat... and then drink most of my drink. Not always in the same order, but each part one at a time.
- I wash my clothes by color... doesn't everyone? All whites, All Reds, All darks??? See, that's not weird!
Someone else is having a birthday! More prizes!
- Beef Roast, mashed potatoes, and veggie
- Beef Vegetable soup with barley
- Country-fried chicken with biscuits and veggie
- Breakfast Night
- Roast Pork with potato and veggie
I'm An Organizing Junkie hosts Menu Plan Monday... I'm only like the 200th and some person signing on. This is a great way to get meal ideas!
And yes... I have a "thing" for palominos!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I was perusing the pages and immediately turned my nose up at all of the fish-related dishes, namely "Festive Fillets with Sauerkraut." Um, I don't like fish to begin with but pair it with sauerkraut... that's just wrong!
It seems that the South must be big on alternative meats... you know... rabbit, dove, quail... they really like squirrel... and even raccoon & opossum! Here's some of what I found: (click on the recipe if you are really interested in it)
Apparently squirrel is like chicken! You can make it a thousand different ways! I don't think I'll be using this cookbook any time soon but it sure has been amusing!
- Saturday we both slept in - for once! It was fabulous!
- He worked Saturday afternoon
- I did my weekly shopping spree Saturday afternoon
- Got a call from Rene'e about a POSSIBILITY of bringing Penny home to a new location. Hasn't been confirmed and trying not to keep my hopes up in case it doesn't pan out. Still praying for a good spot to keep her.
- Laundry Laundry Laundry
- Dishes Dishes Dishes
- Yes laundry and dishes at our house mostly wait for the weekend to be done. That's life when we both work full time plus. Oh well.
- Made the menu for the upcoming week
- Cleaned the bathrooms - scrubbed the toilet, sinks, mirrors, etc.
- Cleaned the kitchen - scrubbed the counters, sink, stove, microwave, etc.
- Took out the trash
- Cleaned the litter boxes
- Exercised (both days)
- Cooked - Maple Ham and scalloped potatoes with green beens.
- Cooked - Beef roast with mashed potatoes and peas.
- Cleaned the dining room table and washed the table cloth (needed done badly)
- Shredded some documents
- scanned some photos
- Pre-wrote some blog posts for the upcoming week
- Devotions - prepping for my next Girls Group night
It's been a good weekend. I cannot complain. The sun was shining and we were both in good spirits. That makes it all that much better! So here's to another week of fun and frolic and more to come...
The Lord has risen! Enjoy the Easter season.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Rite-Aid: Saved$6.50 with coupons alone PLUS getting another $12.99 in rebates! Savings included several free items including Hershey Bliss... YUM, Glade scented oil refill, and some personal items. Coupon savings were great for dish soap this week AND I always wanted to try Crest Whitestrips, but I'm too cheap to pay $20+ for them. With rebate and coupon I got some for $7... not bad!
Giant Eagle: Cleaned house with coupons and double coupons! Saved $13.29 in coupons PLUS $6.15 in doubles and another $8.26 in store specials. Total saved = $27.70 which is OVER HALF what my entire cart load cost. I paid a whole $27.47 out of pocket! Isn't that awesome! It cut my groceries in HALF!!!!
Luckily we didn't actually need much, but I was able to get the usual essentials for the week... milk, cream, etc. and found some great items on sale that were dirt cheap with coupons... I picked up 4 deoderants (2 for him and 2 for me) at a quarter a piece! YES! I got 3 more tubes of Crest for $1.33 per tube and they were the big tubes too. I got two large boxes of pop-tarts for $1.40 each. Not something I buy often, but K is always looking for a snack. That's a cheap snack. The best sale of all... I got 2 Purex x2 laundry detergents for $1.50 each. AWESOME price! To round it off I picked up a couple free cans of dog food for a friend and also landed myself 2 free packets of kitty treats for Crystal and Wizzy.
So this weeks finds were great! Now don't mention to my hubby about the deoderant or toothpaste. He will flip when he sees we have about 10 of each in the closet. He he he... but soon enough I shall pack some up and share with those in need.
Say, anyone need coupons for baby-stuff? I have a nice handful of them... pampers, huggies, gerber, cheerios, etc. The first one to leave a comment of interest in that regard gets them... I will mail them, but you will have to email me your address. **UPDATE - The coupons have been claimed.**
Friday, March 21, 2008
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
Wednesday night I found myself in an ugly situation. If you read yesterday's post, you know that I hit a big stick that damaged my car. I felt rather helpless as I was stranded. Looking back over the events of the week, I think my mind was cluttered with discontentment and my free time was spent dreaming of days to come. Sometimes God allows us to be found in particular circumstances that open our eyes and force us to re-focus.
I'm glad that we live close to family. I'm glad that my family is so helpful. I thanked my Dad for coming for me and he said "That's my job." That gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. He looks out for me the best that he can and yesterday he bailed me out of a stranded situation. He's so precious.
Moments later my sister offered up her car for me to drive while I'm awaiting the repairs to my car. She didn't hesitate for even a moment, but quickly responded kindly... although she did ask me to "look out for sticks." HA! She even apologized for it not having much gas... like as if she needed to carry that load for me too??? Honestly, the least I could do is put gas in her car!
Once tucked away at home, the overwhelming feelings flooded. How extensive is the damage? How long will it take to fix it? Will our insurance cover it? How much will we have to pay? Not to mention that we owe the government a rather large chunk of money... and that is coming due! I woke up yesterday morning fighting a migraine headache. I took some new medicine that made me ill. I notified my boss that I would be late.
"...he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy..." HE DID. I have been so cared for throughout this entire ordeal. HE allowed me to continue driving the car far enough to find a safe parking spot. HE sent my Dad to rescue me. HE provided a vehicle through my sister. HE convinced my boss to convince me to stay home and rest yesterday. HE gave me several hours of very peaceful rest this morning. HE provided the insurance coverage in such a way that I have little or no worries. The insurance company contacted the dealer who made arrangements to get the car and will be making the necessary repairs AND I was informed that I would have a $250 deductible; however, our collision deductible is $500 so I am entirely grateful that this falls under the latter. $250 is a lot to pay out of pocket, but way less than $500. HE will provide and we will be fine. Again... "...he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy..."
Isn't it amazing how God can use such circumstances to bring us back to him? I don't have time to be discontented, nor should I! It's times like these that remind me of how important it is to keep my eyes on the Lord. I shall make some efforts to re-focus!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
- I am thankful for my sister Re-Re's generosity! My car need repaired and she has graciously allowed me to borrow hers. THANK YOU!
- I am thankful for my Dad who rescued me from being rather stranded when my car broke down. THANK YOU!
- I am thankful for the Lord's protection. I hit a rather large stick last night and it busted a running light AND my radiator. This occurred on one of those back-woodsy roads, but I was able to drive into town before the car began to complain.
- I am thankful for the Lord's provision... though I'm not sure we will afford the repairs, I trust that His plan is perfect.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
And THATS what WORKS FOR ME this Wednesday! If you have a tip about something that WORK FOR YOU, head on over to Rocks In My Dryer and share... and while you are there, read about a gazillion other people who have fresh ideas!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
How exciting is that!!!
Some sneak peaks of our weekend:
- Woke up REALLY early on Saturday. Thought maybe Amanda and I might go to the Strip for some early AM shopping. Soon realized that it probably wasn't the best time to head to the city with the St. Patrick's Day parade in town. Not to mention that Hillary Clinton was in town and that made for a lot of hoopla... UGH. Arg! Needless to say, we decided not to go this weekend.
- Keith worked Saturday all day and is closing the store tonight. :(
- I did my usual Saturday planning and shopping. Our pantry is well stocked. I can't wait for the church to announce their need for donations for the college kids. I'm READY!
- Working on laundry... WOW... so much of it!
- Watched some tv off and on
- Cleaned the downstairs bathroom.
- Cleaned the upstairs bathroom/tub.
- Went to church (obviously).
- Dishes need done... Ugh another never ending task
- Made Cincinatti Chili-Spaghetti for dinner last night. Note to self: Whole Wheat spaghetti is great, but not for Chili-Spaghetti.
- Made a brunch fritatta today - yummy.
- Organized my coupon box. I got some sticky tabs at Walmart for a very reasonable price. I've labeled my categories a little better. Now I'm clipping the coupons from today's paper.
- Gathered the trash from upstairs and put in the can. Tonight's garbage night in our town.
That's about it. Nothing fantastic or exciting going on. Just doing some intermittent cleaning. I see a lot of bloggers are well into "Spring Cleaning" right now. I'd love to be on that wagon, but it's just not happening.
One more thing... A friend of ours is moving. It's a move that is a significant distance. I'd like to put together a package for him. He's a bachelor. He's not moving into or out of our area, so I'm not familar with businesses in his area. Hmmm... cleaning supplies? Home made goodies? Essentials? Snacks? Any ideas on what would be good items to send him?
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Walmart has Starburst Jelly Beans for $1.66/bag. I had a coupon that brought that down to $1.16/bag. They also had Betty Crocker cake mixes and frostings for $.88 PLUS I had coupons for $.50 off each so I got them for $.38 -- AWESOME. I had another reason to shop there... I was looking for the prize for my blog-give-away... FOUND IT. (To be revealed soon enough) Additionally I found a really cute twin size quilt-type bedspread for $5, so I picked it up for one of our spare beds.
Groceries... I picked up some fresh veggies, milk, creamer, cheese, etc. I had several coupons for yogurt and Steamfresh veggies. I don't usually buy the Steamfresh ones because they are generally 10 oz. packages for the same price as regular 16 oz. package. In this instance, the Steamfresh actually cost me the same price per oz. (with coupons) and the nice part is that I can cook them in the wrapper and the serving size will be perfect for one whole meal. I also picked up a beef roast, some pie crusts (for more quiche), and some soda for K. All in all, with coupons, some of them doubled, I had a savings of over $10 on groceries today.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
- I am thankful that I have the option to work at home some of the time. Right now it is only about one day per week. It not only provides some much needed focused time for working on files, but it saves me money on travel expenses AND I don't buy my lunch.
- I am thankful for my friend Rene'e who lets me go to her house/farm and pretend like I belong there even while my horse is 500+ miles away. My heart belongs on the farm and in the country. We live in a rural area, so I am ever so grateful to have a friend who shares her country farm with me.
- I am thankful for our home. I complain about it a lot. I must remind myself that it is adequate and very affordable at the present time. We look forward to our next home in the near future; however, God has provided for us rather richly right here in this home.
- I am thankful for my treadmill. It beckons to me to walk on it... or is that the Holy Spirit reminding me that God meets me there and is awaiting our next long conversation... even if I'm huffing and puffing.
- I am thankful for our car. It is average. It is fuel efficient. It is reliable. It is a great blessing.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I was making bacon. I usually get a plate, put lots of paper towels on it, and let the bacon grease drain onto the paper towels. This week I was thinking... I don't want to dirty a plate and I don't want to waste a lot of paper towels. That's when it hit me... NEWSPAPER!
So I recycled some newspaper in my kitchen. I took some old newspaper, topped it with ONE paper towel (instead of a bunch) and let the bacon drain on that. The paper towel kept it clean and clear of any ink and the grease seeped into the newspaper. I did not dirty a plate. There was no need. I transferred my leaner bacon into my baking dishes (was making quich'e) and disposed of the newspaper/paper towel.