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Archive for April, 2006

Electric Bill

April 28th, 2006 at 09:36 am

I just checked our electric bill for this month....and it is $115 (compared to $163 last year...yeah!!)

Our electric bill is for our home and my parents little RV home. We are all electric...so I am always happy when the bill is under $150.

My (stubborn) dad insists on paying $50 of this bill for their 'rent'...boy did we argue over that one when the first moved here...but he still wins most battles...Smile

So my portion is $65...I budget $100...I wished I could say the rest could go towards my challenge, but I think Id best put it in an electric bill reserve for this summer's bills as they are predicting a warm (hot) one.

Almost ready to go!

April 27th, 2006 at 02:27 pm

Ive been busy with laundry and packing all day. I made a master camping list last year so I just have to go through it and check everything off.

This trip started as just DH, DD3, me and another couple...but now DD1 & DD2 and their families are going as well as a friend of the family....and DD3 has invited a neighbor girl too. So, we will have a small village this weekend.

I am little concerned about the grocery shopping this afternoon. I think I am going to do the shopping for everyone...which will now be a sizable bill...and they will pay me back their share...but it never seems to work out that way...hmmm

I am taking a couple of good books...I have a feeling reading time will be limited, however.

Ahh...but the fresh air and relaxation will be worth it!

Crunch day today!

April 27th, 2006 at 07:17 am

Since DD2 and her family are going camping with us, I needed to get everything ready a day earlier- as we will now take the trailer up Friday instead of Saturday. Which means I have my work cut out today!!

Packing, cleaning, shopping, list making...it is sure to be a busy day...but it will all be worth it tomorrow.

The site we are going to is free. We eat pretty much the same when camping as we do at home (add s'mores)...so the only money spent will be gas for DHs truck to get us there and propane for the trailer and sunblock Smile.

Come to think of it...we actually save on electricity- cause we won't be home...and there are no impulse shop opportunites for DH or DD3 while we are in the woods...I wonder what else we save on...Ill have to ponder this!

More cans to trade in.

April 26th, 2006 at 02:21 pm

I am going to take another bag or two of pop cans to town to trade in when I go.

FRAK #1 I am pulling all the pull tabs off the cans for my moms Dialysis Center. (They collect them) I have been pulling these off of all the recent cans, but I decided to go through the old bags and pull them off as well...

FRAK #2 One of the guys DH works with loves my runza's....so I sent enough for his dinner tonight out of the stash I made yesterday as a surprise (DH doesn't like runza's)

The money from the cans will go towards the gas expense to go camping this weekend.

DD2, her SO and my GS have decided to go camping with us...The more, the merrier in my book! I am soooo looking forward to it!!!

Found a great bogo sale on steaks for dinner one night...and we will have burgers and hot dogs the other night.

along with campfire coffee (isnt that the best!) and nightime s'mores!!!(yummm)

Is it time to go yet?

FRAK -Frugal Random Acts of Kindness

April 26th, 2006 at 09:35 am

I have decided to set a personal goal of doing at least 4 FRAKs each week. (I would do more, but most days are spent working in the office here at home, alone or with DD1)

I will put 10% of my allowance ($2) each week into the pot, as well as spare change.

I will keep my eyes peeled for recipients and keep an open mind to new ways to achieve a kindness. (all suggestions are welcome!)

I will update progress as it occurs!

Here goes...

Challenge Update

April 26th, 2006 at 09:26 am

I signed up for auto-pay for Directv and they just gave me a $10 credit for doing so!! Now, not only do I not have to remember to make the payment, but I can add $10 to my challenge money as well!
so...165.64 + 10 = $175.64!!!

The new phone books are starting to arrive on door steps this week...so I anticpate a SPIKE in business calls. We are also starting to get calls "you took care of us last year...and we need you again"...as well as alot of customer referrals (our customers just love their tech, my son...see mom beam with pride)

Have to run a business deposit into the bank today...and will stop by the library to pick up two book recommended here...then I need to catch up on my reading!!

cook fest here today

April 25th, 2006 at 05:02 pm

I guess I got bit by the cook bug today...

Made homemade pizza's..and made a big enough batch of dough to also make a dozen runza's (aka bierocks...add sauerkraut, minus potato)

And made a big ol' batch of chicken piccata- (an IOU to my mom from her birthday last week) It turned out super yummy!

Now I have prepared food for several days to come! (also had enough to feed DD1s family and my parents tonight) I am guestimating...$12 for everything.

whew....I had everything in stock here...but that was alot of cooking/baking for one day...I sure wish the good fairy would show up and clean the kitchen now!

We are starting to make our daily financial goal for the business...hopefully this will continue until October. (fingers crossed)

Camping Season!

April 24th, 2006 at 09:33 pm

Our camping season is officially starting on Saturday!!

We are going to a free site, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, just lots of beautiful pines and spring flowers. It is the spot DH goes hunting each year...

(Hunting= sitting aound a fire with a can of beer, followed by driving through the forest and shooting at rocks, followed by sitting by the fire with a can of beer while barbquing steak...lol...men!)But thats a whole other blog...

We will grill, visit with friends and just enjoy the outdoors...can't wait.

cost= gas to get there.
(did I mention WOO-whoo!!!)

An (almost) free makeover today!

April 24th, 2006 at 06:18 pm

Yep...DD1 offered to cut my hair today...and I had a box of haircolor in the closet that I got on a great sale a while back.

So, I colored the hair and got rid of all the grey roots...and DD went to town..chop, chop...she took over 4 inches off (no, she is not trained to do this...she just experimented) and she chopped...(did I mention no schooling for this)...

And I now have a cute, slightly uneven bob that is just about shoulder length...and Im not kidding, I look 10 years younger tonight!!!And I feel great too!

Total cost: about $2 for the hair color.
Total enjoyment: priceless...DD1 is so proud of herself!

Sigh...the best things in life are (almost) free!

Challenge Update

April 24th, 2006 at 08:46 am

Added another $14 to my challenge today so my little account is now up to $165.64.

This weekend was all about grandbabies...and oddly enough, spending too much money on margarita's!! (Darn this warm weather...lol)

GS spent pretty much the entire weekend here...(his mom is on notice that the answer for next weekend is NO)
GD came and visited gramma for about 4 hours yesterday.

DH was in the mood for a margarita Sat evening...so I bought the makings for those and got him some Irish Creme for his coffee...spent $52 (ouch!)

Then last night we went w/ friends to dinner at the mexi place on the river...wonderful dinner, more 'ritas and great company...dinner for 3 (DD3 went too) plus drinks and tip ($69) OUCH AGAIN...
so my little miscellaneous fund suffered terribly...and I am now down to under $80 for the unexpected...

Grocery shopping today...need to restock on some items, so I expect close to $100 today...

Sigh...feels like 3 steps back...but it really was a fun weekend, so it was worth it...(repeat 10 times and you will believe it..)

Tornado hits Oregon...!!!!

April 22nd, 2006 at 11:00 am

Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration...Maybe it was just GS (2) and his new 'sister'(5) who hit my house for a slumber party. But the house looks like a tornado hit...you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference...

DD2 just picked up the tasmanian devils...I mean sweet little ones...
Where the HECK does all that energy come from anyway???

It is so quiet here now...and boy did we have fun...but gramma is ready to relax.

Today is GORGEOUS! I am going to do laundry and get it on the line...we are bar-b-quing chicken for late lunch/dinner. (Had waffoes for breakfast)

Looking forward to getting my house back in order....chuckle...whew...

DH will be cutting the grass today...I LOVE the smell of fresh cut grass.

Life is very, very good indeed!


For Sale...cheap...

April 21st, 2006 at 09:53 pm

12 YO yellow lab named Grace.

Great family pet with the following exceptions:

She is getting older and forgetful...she forgets when you feed her...but it is usually no problem if there is any trash in the can that she can dig through when your not looking. Rarely messes up the kitchen floor with it...she much prefers the soft carpet in the living room. Will try to hide evidence if at all possible.

She is blind...However, she has a keen 6th sense when it comes to glasses of anything around the house...can knock them over with 100% accuracy. Just don't move the furniture, ever...she has everything memorized.

Slightly senile. She can entertain herself for hours just by standing under a household plant and prending she is in the forest...just stands there.

Did I mention forgetful? While she is housebroken, she often forgets that she was just outside and scratches to get out again sometimes minutes after you let her in...then wants back in when you close the door behind her...then a few minutes later....wants back out...and so on and so on...(good exercise running back and forth to the door all day)

Can soometimes be a picky eater...and true to lab form, if she doesn't like what she's been fed, will find ANYTHING around the house to bury in the food so that it is no longer edible. (dirty socks, toys, towels, etc...) This is only a really big problem when she chews open a new 25 pound bag of dry dog food and decides she doesn't like it...buried an entire load of laundry in that one...

Lazy...selective hearing kicks in when you want her to get off the couch so you can sit down....pretends shes deaf as well as blind hoping you'll take pity.

Get's lonely so don't try to close the bedroom door...she hears that click and immediately suffers separation anxiety. scratch, scratch...wimper...

But she is a lovable companion...believes she is a lap dog and will sit on you to prove it, all 90 pounds of her...Plays well with babies...has the patience of Job with little ones. Provides unconditional love...without fail...

sigh...I guess I won't sell her afterall.

Can you spell CRAZY?

April 21st, 2006 at 04:25 pm

That is what I must have been last night when I agreed to overnight sit with my GS (2) and my DD2s SOs daughter (5)....

Just kidding (sortof)...My houseguests will arrive at about 6pm...and we will play until 9 or so, then they will go down for the night and they are being picked up by 10am tomorrow. (after they have grammas 'waffoes' for breakfast, of course!

I get to set all seriousness aside tonight and be one of the kids...we will build forts and have popcorn, color, play hide -n - seek...who knows...the possibilities are endless....Best part, all the fun is FREE.

Smile It's great to be a gramma!

Mailbox Fun!

April 21st, 2006 at 04:16 pm

Once you start rebating and signing up for freebies and samples the mailbox becomes a fun place to visit! Little 'surprises' are arriving almost daily now.

My DD1 and I took a walk up to the box today and she was curious about the little boxes that I pulled out (free samples of deodorant and lotion) I explained them to her and she is going to start signing up tonight.

Yesterday I received a $20 cash reward check from the CC I use (and payoff weekly).

I have found myself getting eager for the mailman to come to see what's in the mail each day!

Fun, simple and free.

GS is TWO today.

April 20th, 2006 at 02:10 pm

I think GS - Colton - realizes today is special..Gramma has been singing Happy Birthday to You off and on.

Right now he is at the indoor gym with my DD1 and her DD (aunt and cousin), my parents and a couple of others. I sent $15 with DD1 to pay gym fees and to buy some bubbles at the dollar store for the kids to play with when they get back.

Gramma didn't get to go Frown because of the warm weather which is bringing more calls for the business Smile. I had over $500 in business calls in a 30 minute period today (wow!!)This is good, we have a long ways to go before we are in the black.

GS asked for "waffoes" for breakfast, so we had waffles. Leftovers for lunch...Dinner will be something easy as DH had to go into work early today so it will just be DD3 and me tonight.

Off to hang laundry!!! ttyl

Super Day!

April 19th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

I had such a super day today.

I went to my old job to meet up with my former boss. His office is in administration with the other officers...and I got to chat with the CEO, EVP, and a couple of the others...I haven't seen them in a few months. The CEO told me he really missed me and the EVP asked me if I was ready to come back (they both teared up last year at my going away party)... It was so sweet and such a nice feeling to know that you're missed. (And my answer was NO, I am not ready to come back) Wink

My former boss insisted on buying lunch...we ate on the patio, it was such a gorgeous day...and we visited for 2 1/2 hours.

I shopped for a few hours...the only needs I found were juice and fruity snacks for my GS tomorrow ($3)

Then I met up with my friends for dinner...we visited for 3 HOURS...wow...I spent most of the day at restaurants!!! Had a blast...my bill was $17.20...so grand total for an absolutely fabulous day, $20.20.

It was sure fun!!

Oh yeah, the EVP said he wanted to go to lunch when I can get back into town...So I will email him tomorrow to get a futue date set up!!!

Lunch and dinner out today

April 19th, 2006 at 09:27 am

Tonight is my monthly get-together with old friends from the work days. We go out to eat and visit for a couple of hours just to keep in touch. We always have such a nice time.

Yesterday, my old boss called (remember him? I had to cancel our last lunch date the day my mom had surgery) and asked if I could go to lunch today....

So, I am eating both lunch and dinner out today. Since I will be in town for lunch, I'll just stay in town until dinner. Which may mean a little shopping...yikes, Im not sure I like where my mind is wandering to today....

Focus, focus, focus....I'll let you know how it goes!

Have a good one!

Late blog...

April 18th, 2006 at 09:26 pm

Today was pretty busy, so no time to blog until now.

It was my mom's birthday so I spent time throughout the day with her...

DD1 and GD were here. GD has a cold...and babies with stuffy noses don't rest well...so she was a little fussy..poor thing.

Tonight was DD3s orientation for HIGH SCHOOL...my last baby is fixing to start this leg of the journey. (sniff)

The phones were pretty quiet, but I did manage to sell almost $300!! (hooray)

Took DD3 to the dollar store while we were in town...and she managed to find 8 NEEDS...(yeah, right)....so I spent $8 today. But heck, something has got her motivated tonight and she is upstairs cleaning her room...so Im not gonna complain.

They needed DH to work days today, so he is home tonight...watching some new show 'the Unit"...anything military-like is where he'll be...It is nice that he got to go to the orientation with us...Nights are usually a little lonely, since he works nights ..so the company is nice...even if he is glued to the set for a while. (but it gives me a chance to visit with my cyber-friends! Wink )

Have a great evening!

The day after...

April 17th, 2006 at 05:24 pm

Is anyone else tired today??? I am pooped from all the fun yesterday...I guess I am getting OLD.

I met DD1 at Walmart (anyone else call it wally-world?) today. Bought my summer sandals $12.74 and a few other things we needed. Then we went to Costco and bought a few other needed items. We had Costco dogs and sodas for lunch $3 for both of us....what a deal!)

I spent $68 dollars today in total.

We are having Mexi-food at home tonight. Got dinners all planned for the week ahead...back on budget!!!

I added $14 to my $20 challenge for the week and earned .01 in interest so my new total is $151.64...I am seriously considering purchasing a sewing machine with some of this money....I have always wanted to learn how to sew...but I am still in the pondering stage...I also need a new dining room table (badly)...decisions, decisions....


April 17th, 2006 at 08:43 am

Yep, DH and I went out to dinner on Saturday night. We had been so busy Saturday and then had to take DD3 and her friend to town for a youth group dance...so we decided to give each other dinner out for our Easter gifts.

We went to Outback...and it was so funny...we actually had to read through the menu and consider the side dishes...I remember a time when we would have known long before we got there because we had the menu's memorized from going so often...lol

It had been a couple of months since we'd eaten out...so it was a real treat!! We both enjoyed the meals (prime rib)

Then the bill came $46....and, tho neither of us felt any guilt, I did mentally consider how many home-cooked dinners that would have covered...but just for a fleeting second...cause we really did have a nice time.

Easter Sunday

April 16th, 2006 at 07:32 pm

Happy Easter to everyone!

We had an absolutely beautiful day here today.

We enjoyed grandparents, parents, kids and grandkids today...and had such a great time!!!
I fixed brunch (started getting it all ready at 7:30am) and just saw the last kids off at 7pm. What a fun day.

Lovely brunch...followed by a great egg hunt...followed by a nice big bon-fire in the back yard...followed by left overs for lunch...followed by more bon-fire and drinks...and lots of fun stories and play with the kids. A little rain under the canopy...and lots of sun and warm fire in between...I think all had a great time. I can't remember a more full, fun-filled day in a very long time.

Celebrated Nana(69) and GS's (2) birthdays...just a great day!! (spent too much money this weekend...but in the end, I would say it was all worth it.) A little gift for each child...great food, good times and fun drink...everyone went home feeling loved and appreciated...and had leftovers for dinner tonight.

Such a special, family-filled day.

Again, Happy Easter to you all!

Todays seed...DHs dream...

April 14th, 2006 at 06:41 pm

DH and I planted a seed today. Now we plan to cultivate it and make it grow.

We opened his business account. He was pretty excited about it. He now has his own little baby to nurture and develop and he is eager to turn it into something successful.

From my corporate days, I know how to write business plans and goals...and from my sons business I have learned the bookkeeping/marketing/office management end of things. I also can run that blasted...I mean terrific wood splitter.(I just stock up on good gloves and earplugs)

DH develops new contacts and potential customers every week....his job at the truck dealership is a prime position for networking (he is the night forman of the diesel mechanics).

I am anxious to help him on this journey.

A quick story about my DH...

I met him when I was a single mom with 3 small children (3,4 & 7)...he was 7 years younger than me, so barely an adult himself (21)...One day- after we'd dated for about a year, he asked me if I would "consider having another baby"....(you can imagine my eagerness at this prospect having been a single mom for about two years.)

Then he said..."If you'll have one more, I'll help you raise all 4"...and that is how he proposed....and True to his word,we had a little girl and he helped me raise them...that last baby is now 14.

Years later, DH wholeheartedly agreed to allow my parents to move a small home onto our property and gave me the green light to quit a high paying job to stay home and care for them.

So, I am happy to finally see a dream of his come to fruition...and am looking forward to paying him back for his unselfishness all these years.

Spring Day Here

April 13th, 2006 at 06:19 pm

The day ended up being sunny and warm inspite of all the clouds this morning!! I am so happy to have a nicce sunny day here!!! The only downside is the more of these we have, the sooner the mosquitoes arrive...and they LOVE southern Oregon.

The coupon train arrived in the mail today...and boy is there alot of coupons to go through!! I will sit down tonight and get 'er done. Contrary1 has the most beatiful handwriting!! The envelope was so gorgeous!!!

Today was a no spend day...we ended up doing pasta instead of pizza- cause I would have needed to run to Costco...and I decided it would be way less expensive to just stick with what we had in the pantry/freezer. Pasta was yummy and I made 8 portions for about $2.

Account update:
Was able to get the BofA account signature card sent off...and did get an account number...so this account should be accessable early next week.
So far, its going good!

Rewards Card

April 13th, 2006 at 09:08 am

Don't you just love rewards cards???

I use mine to pay for pretty much everything (except bills) that I would have used a debit card, cash or check to pay for. I stick to a budget...and pay the card off each week. (I am not comfortable paying off monthly...weekly keeps me disciplined.)

Then, every few weeks when the reward hits $20 or more, I can request a check...I just submitted a request and will receive a $20 check in the mail in the next week or so. For expenses I would have paid anyway!! (gas, groceries, etc.)

The $20 will go towards our other cc...that has some unplanned emergency stuff on it from earlier this year (big dental bill and plumbing work on the house)

In the meantime, I will keep earning those rewards dollars...


April 13th, 2006 at 08:54 am

Thursdays are always a little exciting, because DH gets paid. He doesn't get his check until his 'lunch' at 8:30pm...and he always calls me to tell me the amount of the check. It varies week-to-week depending on how much OT he worked.

After he calls, I double check the budget and if the check is more than the no OT base pay, I allot the extra it to wherever the need is for the week. Right now, it is going to payoff our lone cc bill...

In other news...my yellow lab Anna continues to show signs of a healthy pregnancy....we are getting the whelping/puppy shed ready for her. She is such a wild child usually, way more hyper than the boys...but she is starting to slow down a little.

We are going to try again tomorrow to open DHs business acount for the wood business. (Last week the girl who opened the accounts was off...small towns..geeze)

DD1 and grandbabies coming out today. Pizza day for us!

Looks like rain here today...but in Oregon, it pretty much looks that way from October til June...the local saying is "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change"

Almost done with "The Education of Little Tree"...such a touching little story...Thanks for recommending it Ima Saver...

Have a great day!

I sold today!!!!

April 12th, 2006 at 08:19 pm

I think I have mentioned that I work for my son and daughter...The three of us started a pest control business last year and the 'office' is in my den.

I am responsible for answering phones, receiving payments and paying bills...

Today I sold almost $1000 in business WOO-HOO!!!

Our busy season is just starting and the calls are starting to pick up...so i anticipate being very busy until October (a really good thing, we are still in the RED)

I have learned more this past year about BUGS than I ever thought I wanted to....ugh...but it also is what is allowing me to be home to care for my parents....so I am grateful for the opportunity...I am also hoping the business will give DS and DD1 a nest egg for down the road...

At the very least, it's been an adventure!!

oh yeah, oh yeah,. I sold $1000////oh yeah....lol

Library day and Mom/Manda night.

April 12th, 2006 at 01:54 pm

It's Wednesday...which means off to the library this afternoon to pick up "Good in Bed" which was recommended by Laura- Keeping it Frugal in Texas...I am still reading the Education of Little Tree...a book that I am SAVORING and was recommended by Ima Saver...I LOVE to read, I just don't allow myself enough time to read much.

Tonight is my night with Manda ~DD3...no specific plans...maybe a movie.

Easy meals today...sandwiches for lunch, probably teriyaki chicken bowls for dinner.

Account Update:
The Wells account ($25 GC) is opened and Ive been able to access it online no problem.
The BofA account is still not completed.($50 bonus)
Ive visited Complete Home 3-4 times now...($20 Lowes card)
And I did get the $10 bonus for referring DD2 to ING (and she got her $25...which she thought was way cool)
I am trying to chalk up as many 'my points' as possible. (whopping 125 points so far...I am supposed to get 200 for signing up for Complete Home...guess those are coming...)


April 11th, 2006 at 04:51 pm

I just realized that it is only 7 weeks until DH and I go on vacation!!

Each year, we go over to the Oregon Coast and spend 4-5 days just grillin and chillin...

We have a travel trailer that we pull over. I reserve the spot 9 months in advance so that we get a nice spot with an ocean view...we bar-b-que and cook all meals at the campground.

We pack lunches and head off up and down the coast, walk on the beach, sightsee and just veg. (DH takes a little tv and the site has cable...so he can lay in bed and watch tv...a luxury he never indulges in otherwise.)

Last year on this trip, I learned how to knit. I remember knitting away for hours in a lawn chair overlooking the ocean....sigh....7 short weeks to go. Can't wait!!!

A Day in the Simple Life

April 11th, 2006 at 10:31 am

Once upon a time, I dreamed about a wonderous journey of living a simpler life.

Back in the day, my day started at 5:30am when I got up, showered, tried to get dressed in the dark (DH worked nights so I was trying not to wake him)...Got the 4 kids up to get ready for school...signed their papers and forms, wrote lunch checks, all the while squeezing in 'quality time" while they were rushing to get ready for their day.

Id get downstairs, find a run in my hose...and pray on the way back up that there was a spare pair somewhere...sometimes my only option was to change into pants...

On the 35 minute drive to work, I would be thinking about the meetings, deadlines, the calls I needed to make...

Id work until 6 or 6:30...head home...by 7 or 7:30, who wanted to cook...Often there was a school function or youth activity that would keep us busy until 9 or 10...get home, fall into bed only to have the insanity start at 5:30am the next day...

Weekends were all about laundry, housework, grocery shopping and trying not to think about Monday morning...

Today...things are much different.
I wake up when I wake up....usually 6-6:30am. There is about an hour of 'quiet time' before I wake DD3 up to get ready for school. In that hour I have had 1-2 cups of coffee and planned the day.

I pull all of my curtains as wide open as possible to let the day in.

I plan our meals...and we eat healthy food at home...mostly from scratch.

I look in on my parents, who need the extra help and appreciate the company.

If the grandbabies show up...well, nothing else really matters.

I rarely go to town, but when I do- I appreciate that I pass farms, animals, orchards, and a river....all things I was too busy to notice back in the day.

I spend time with DH everyday...(before we were on opposite shifts and never saw each other...hence the 'D' word was seriously contemplated for a couple of years. ) We are happy as can be now.

The house is clean, more organized...sometimes, I even get 'bored'.

There was a time I thought life would always be crazy, hectic, chaotic. Thank goodness that wasn't the case. I love this simpler life and wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world.

Challenge Update DD2/ING

April 11th, 2006 at 08:47 am

Sent DD2 a referral to open an ING account, which she did this morning and I have received the $10 referral bonus...so my $20 Challenge is now at:

$127.63 + $10 = $137.63....I am well on my way to that next benchmark of $200!!! I think I will scope out some more cans to turn in this week!!!


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