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Archive for December, 2006

January Habit...Walking/Hiking

December 30th, 2006 at 03:48 pm

I have been reading, highlighting and earmarking my new book on hiking.

I heard so many wonderful remarks and suggestions from all of you---which really has me motivated to get started now!

Best of all, both DD3 and DH are on board for this new hobby. They have both been asking questions and I can see that they, too are eager to get started.

I have a feeling this new hobby is going to be the death of those blasted blood pressure meds once and for all!!!!

DH and I are going to deliver a load of wood this morning and will be scouting out a couple of the trails mentioned in the book.

I already have a pair of binoculars and a digital camera with plenty of memory. I will use my old ratty tennis shoes to start..DH has a nice Cabella's backpack. Now to look up some good trail mix recipes...and I think we are all set!

DH and I have been...well, at odds lately. I am hoping this will provide a means of reconnecting---something we can both enjoy and be excited about.

Hiking...hmmm....frugal fun...healthy...and food for the married souls....Perhaps that free gift card from My Points will be more valuable than I realized.

In any case, my JANUARY habit is pretty well defined and Im anxious to start seeing results...and having some fun with it! Bring on the New Year!

My Bank to the rescue

December 30th, 2006 at 03:31 pm

Between doctor appointments for my dad yesterday, I stopped by my bank and explained my dilemma with Circuit City (still no refund).

They are filing a dispute against the transaction and the teller felt I would get my money back in my account sometime next week.

I am going to write a second letter to the president of CC and also file a claim with the BBB. This has been ridiculous.

I am so thankful that I had some reserves in our checking account to cover the bills inspite of this missing $400.

Shame on you Circuit City. Frown

Life Changing Clicks

December 29th, 2006 at 04:10 am

My Points. Life Changing...huh?

Ok...let's start at the beginning.

I recently clicked enough My Points emails to earn enough points for a gift card.

I really wanted a Bath and Body works card for DD3 for Christmas...but they were all sold out...

So, I chose a Barnes and Nobles gift card. $10. I forgot that I had already bought DD3 a $15 GC to BnN...so I decided to keep the freebie for myself.

DD3 and I went there yesterday and were browsing the books...

I stumbled into the HIKING section. Never officially hiked before...but have thought it might be fun.

Hmm...I have a goal to start WALKING more to help me get healthier and hopefully get off the High Blood Pressure meds...

and...afterall...Hiking...is walking with scenery!!!

So, I picked up a book about the top 100 places to hike in Southern Oregon...and as I did...

a nice man happened by and said:
"That is one of the best hiking books for this area"...so I asked him a little about his hiking and was impressed...thanked him for the suggestion and used my FREE GIFT CARD to buy the book (thanks My Points)

So...I have a plan, to achieve my goal, and involve my family, in something fun and new...thanks to MY POINTS and a few simple clicks!!!

Life Changing? Well, we will see in the next couple of months...but I have a plan...and a book of great information for 'getting there' !!!! and best of all....it was FREE.

Big Grin

All went well, and Circuit City still sucks

December 29th, 2006 at 01:05 am

Thank you for all of your well wishes! The surgery went well and my mom is home again. (Hooray!)

Tomorrow, doctor appointments for my dad...back to have another breathing test...and to the dermatologist to deal with the skin cancer.

Heavy sigh...and still no refund from Circuit City.

But the most exciting event tomorrow?...DD3 is going to test for her learners (drivers) permit (can you say GRAY HAIR?)...that's what Ill have everytime we go anywhere now...oh boy.

Again, thank you for all of the well wishes! I really appreciated each one!

Fingers crossed for simple procedure tomorrow

December 28th, 2006 at 04:59 am

My mom needs an outpatient surgery tomorrow to have her fistula repaired. Please keep your fingers crossed for us that a simple bypass will suffice...rather than needing to find a new artery to use. The bypass means an outpatient surgery...while a new fistula will be a HUGE deal. We much prefer the repair...Please, let it be a repair.

I bought new tennis shoes today at Walmart for $24.98. My old tennies were so old that I know when I wash them, they will fall apart. They really were getting embarrassing....so they now are my work in the wood yard shoes....which I will be doing tomorrow afternoon if all goes well with the AM surgery.

I actually spent $55 at walmart...the shoes, laundry soap, tp, dishwasher soap, fabric softener, bleach, ammonia...I was out of it all. So it is a good feeling to have all the cleaning supplies back on hand....I am busy running the dishwasher and laundry as I type. Big Grin

I am getting ready to start my first new habit of 2007 (January)...which is get off blood pressure meds!! I will begin walking 45 minutes, 5X per week this week!









Headlight Rant

December 27th, 2006 at 05:59 am

Ugh.

Why do so many people wait until the LAST possible second to dim their brights when driving at night?

I always dim mine when I see the first sign that a car is coming. Usually I can see a light approaching over a hill, or around a curve...so I know there is probably a car coming and go ahead and dim the lights...if Im wrong, I can beam em up again easily enough. Its such a simple, common courtesy.

We went to dinner tonight with DHs dad and dads new wife.

On the way to the restaraunt, this blasted approaching car had its brights on...which made seeing anything else nearly impossible and sadly, we hit and killed a deer. Poor deer. It was a pretty young female. Dang it.

Interestingly, we passed three other deer walking near the road and then an entire...well, whatever you call a group of deer...looked like a big ol family reunion. Thankfully, no others were IN the road and we didnt do any further damage to the local wildlife.

Needless to say, it put a damper on the evening. I hate seeing any animal accidentally killed like that. Very sad.

Our dinner was at the little mexi restaraunt on the river...we split the bill---so our portion, with tip $35.

I also had received a Kohls gift card and bought a pair of snow boots. 1/2 off. Ive never owned my own...always used an old pair of DHs which are literally 4-5 sizes too big!!! (No, 2 pair of thick socks didnt ever help) Now I will be more inclined to go play in the snow...since I can actually walk!! lol.

Back to the headlight thing for one final thought...or I guess, request...For us 'older' drivers, it gets harder to see when there are bright headlights shining at us at night...Please remember to dim those lights long before you think you need to!!! It may just save a life. Wink

Christmas Account 2007...already?

December 26th, 2006 at 04:20 am

How you save or not for the Holidays plays a big role in your stress level each year.

Are you a dedicated saver? Or do you spread your gift buying throughout the year? Do you hope a windfall will come along just at the right time? Do you count on a Christmas bonus at work? Or, do you pay by credit card and payoff the balance long after the Holidays are past?

Ive had years where I put the entire Christmas bill on plastic...and it was NO FUN at all...paying on those bills long beyond the life of the gifts.

You have a great opportunity to START NOW, saving a little each pay period to cover your Holidays next year.

I started doing this about 5 years ago...and will never go back to those plastic years.

My DH gets paid weekly...so each week, a set amount is deducted AUTOMATICALLY from our checking account and goes into an ING savings account. This not only provides for a CASH ONLY Christmas, but it also provides an opportunity to take advantage of those great sales and deals that come along throughout the year!

If you havent started a CASH ONLY Christmas plan yet, why not start TODAY?

Figure out the amount you will spend for Christmas 2007, and divide that number by the number of paychecks you get each year...then, set up an automatic deduction for that amount. (If you've always used CREDIT and bought your gifts in DECEMBER...you will find that you can spend LESS MONEY on the Holidays by being able to snatch up good deals as they come along throughout the year!!)

Your 'Christmas Account" can be stashed at your bank, or, like me, in an account other than your bank...making it less likely to be spent on anything besides its intended purpose. It can go into a money market account...or even an envelope.. The KEY is to plan and start now so that you have a solid spending plan for next year!

Once you try it...you wont go back!




Merry Christmas to All!

December 26th, 2006 at 01:25 am

Merry Christmas Friends!

I hope your day brought joy and happiness to each of you!

We had a fabulous day. The entire family was here and everyone loved their gifts.

I have to say, once again, the most favored gift was heartfelt, rather than expensive.

My son and DIL are planning to start their family this year...so I bought an inexpensive frame that said "Best Dad" on it...and wrote a little note from their future child to them and put it in the frame....they both loved it and will cherish it for a long time, Im sure.

I made each of the kids a New Years party pack...with margarita fixins...which they all loved...and mostly gave gift cards...which I know they will all enjoy.

I received cash to help buy my craft room shelving and storage...This year Im getting organized in there!

A beautiful day, full of love and gratitude....What else, really, could you wish for??

Oh, well, maybe those nice warm socks Ill be wearing!!! Wink

Holiday hugs to you all!

Redneck Party a Smashing Hit!

December 24th, 2006 at 05:06 am

The party was right on! The birthday boy enjoyed all the decorations, gag gifts, lists of redneck and old people jokes...etc, etc.

So thank you all for the ideas!!

The party itself did not cost us anything since the wife paid for the pizza and drinks. The decorations were old beer bottles and white flowers spray painted black...so they were pretty cheap...and everything else I made on the computer.

I still have quite a bit of Christmas wrapping to do! So I am off to get that done tonight...it might end up being a long night!!!

Tomorrow is DD3s 15th birthday...so lots of family fun planned!!

The BEST kinda day!

December 23rd, 2006 at 05:14 am

In spite of my phone conversation today---I have to say, it was a WONDERFUL day...I got to spend it with one of my TWO favorite little people..which would be my grandson (2 1/2)...He is too funny....every question is easily answered when you are two...with a simple 'NO' (or NOPE in his case). lol

He amazed gramma today and counted to 10...(didnt know he could do it...but sure nuff..)

We played with his new train set. He got really cranky when he missed his nap...so we took a break in the 'big bed'...and he fell sound asleep within minutes of laying down and talking about our day.

No worries about refunds unwrapped gifts, shopping, or wrapping....NOPE...it was all about the here and now and having FUN.

I hope you all have an opportunity to see life through two year old eyes when you're 45. Quite an adventure to say the least!

I spent $6 on two coffee mochas this morning for DS and I...lord knows I needed the caffiene after waking at 6:15am and rushing out the door to babysit...thank goodness DS was willing to go on a coffee run!!!

Tonight...its all about the last minute stuff...laundry, wrapping, birthday stuff. etc...

fun day for sure...and not too expensive either!

CIRCUIT CITY SUCKS

December 22nd, 2006 at 11:05 pm

On hold for another 45 minutes today....only to be told...

"Thank yew for yoooor pashens ma'am. I oapologize for the deeelay and have furwooorded yooor request for refund on to our 'special care' department"

me: WTF? (I know, not very lady like)
What do you mean you have forwarded the request blah, blah..Jissica told me the refund was processed on the 11th and would be in my account as of TUESDAY....today is FRIDAY...where the blank is my mnoney?

I am sou soory ma'am but there has been a technical deeficulty and your request will be processed as soon as possible.

Me; WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? DID JISSICA LIE TO ME?

Ma'am, all I can say is I will forward your request...no, ma'am...theeere eis no wan higher than me dat takes calls so I could let you talk to someone else on my level who weel tell you da same ting as me. Would you like to talk weeth them?

ARGH!

Best part of all? This guy gave me the email address to the 'Corporate Office" so that I could write and complain...since I had apparently made it to the top of the food chain with calling...

The email address he gave me?? It is the exact one I used for my first inquiry back on December 4th when "Vijay T.", the emailers name responded with
"Sorry for the delay, your refund will be posted shortly, please give it a little longer".

This nightmare began four weeks ago today....with no end in sight.


I will never, ever, never EVER EVER EVER EVER DO BUSINESS WITH CIRCUIT CITY AGAIN AS LONG AS I LIVE!!!

If Im DONE, why do I feel so BUSY still?

December 21st, 2006 at 06:51 pm

and still....no refund.
Ok, thats outa the way...on with the other stuff.

We had a lovely dinner last night with the family- but I didnt feel right allowing the uncle to foot the bill...so I paid for our half of the dinner (dh, me, dd2, dd3 and dd3's friend), and my dad paid for he and my mom. I know the uncles portion was still very expensive...so I felt much better picking up our end of the tables tab. But talk about a great time!! wow.

Today, I continue with the housework and the wrapping and the party preparations, etc.

I now remember why the week after Christmas I feel as though Ive been through the wringer!!! I will knock on some wood that at least no one is sick!!!

The budget is hanging in there...although I still have Christmas eve dinner to pay for (again, we all go out to pizza for DD3's birthday celebration)~ Usually rus about $150-ish and Christmas dinner ~ which I plan to prepare as frugally as possible.

and then....to relax. Thanks to all the gift cards this year, I will still have plenty of wrapping paper for next year...and I have all the decorations I need...and so there isnt much reason to hit (too many) of those after-Christmas sales this year.

Next week- a strong focus on goals and budget for 2007....until then, however, it's a Christmas frenzy!!! Big Grin

Being treated to Dinner Tonight

December 20th, 2006 at 11:17 pm

DINNER
The kids uncle (my ex-s brother...who we are very close to) is taking us all to Olive Garden for dinner tonight. He is such a wonderful person and is the kids only uncle. Technically, he is no relation at all to DD3...but he treats her just like the others and she really doesnt even know-nor would she care, that hes not her 'real' uncle. To her, he's as REAL as they come.

I love opportunities to get the whole clan together and visit. And it has been a long time since we all went out together. So it is sure to be an enjoyable evening.

HOUSEWORK
Flylady didnt show...niether did my refund from Circuit City (freakin surprise there)...but I have gotten quite a bit of housework done today and am now wrapping gifts. The tree always looks so much more festive with a few wrapped gifts underneath, doesn't it?

WINTER WONDERLAND
Our valley is under a major frost freeze this week. It is absolutely beautiful- everything is white...the trees, the grass, all of our plants...all covered with a frozen frost that lasts all day. It looks like it has snowed. I took pics, but the puter that I load them onto isnt connecting to the internet today Frown so I can show you...but it is GORGEOUS! Needless to say, we havent gotten into the 30's all week...brrr.



Flylady...rescue me please!

December 20th, 2006 at 04:41 pm

The downside to being done with your shopping (which means thats where your focus has been) is that your house looks like a tornado has hit.

Well, it doesnt help when your week has also been spent:

planning a 40th birthday party (this coming Saturday is the big event),

taking care of grandbabies (ok, I 'play' with grandbabies---but isnt that what being gramma is all about)

and doing your parents laundry (which causes your own to majorly pile up)

So, if I tap my feet three times and wish for a Flylady...will it happen??

I would probably have as much luck as CIRCUIT CITY refunding MY MONEY...WHICH THEY STILL HAVE NOT.... grrrr....

So guys, could you PLEASE stop posting such interesting and humorous posts so I can GET MY WORK DONE TODAY?

I am an addict to this site...and it is the place I park my hiney first thing in the morning...and about...well, I wont even say how many times throughout the day--- But lets say, you are all a major contibuting factor to...well, my procrastination of things like toilet cleaning and dirty dishes and such... Big Grin

If you catch me on here today...just shoo me away and back to the tornado clean up...lol.

Clicking my heels...will let you know the outcome later today!

Done...done...done!!! Im done!

December 20th, 2006 at 05:32 am

I can put a checkmark next to my Christmas shopping...as i am officially DONE!

I finished today...buying those last few odds and ends...Even going so far as to put a couple back after I walked around the store for a while...Why is it we always want to 'one-up' ourselves? I finally talked myself out of those...by reminding myself that the recipient will never miss what they never knew...

Now comes the fun wrapping part of the gift giving frenzy...although, since alot of my gifts are gift cards...wrapping will be a snap!

I could tell the last minute shoppers from the others...they all seemed hurried and frantic as they quickly searched for the right gifts. I sure hope they all found what they were looking for!

All in all, I am pleased with the gifts this year. I spent a little more than I was planning...but much, much less that I did two years ago....and I have more people to shop for now...thanks to new babies and SO's.

I always start looking forward to winding down and getting back to the normal routine about this time each year...although I am eagerly anticipating the family time for the next several days...it will be nice to get the momentum of our quiet life back!!

Still looking for that drasted refund...will post yay or nay again tomorrow.

Did they or didnt they come through?

December 19th, 2006 at 06:17 pm

You all know that I am awaiting a refund from Circuit City and was told that the money would be back in my account today.

So....did they come through with their word and recredit my account?

NOOOOOOOOO

Funny- well actually not so funny...but when I printed off the copies of emails to mail to the president, their cancellation email actually stated that MY ACCOUNT WOULD NOT BE CHARGED FOR THE TRANSACTION.

I am going to have to charge the rest of my gifts this week, since I do not have that cash to use.

blech..


On Being Home

December 18th, 2006 at 06:47 pm

Princess Perky raised a good point in her blog about being home and whether it is really a luxury.

I looked up luxury and found the following:

luxury (plural luxuries)

1. very wealthy and comfortable surroundings.
2. something desirable but expensive.
3. something very pleasant but not really needed in life.

I have to agree with PP that, for most of us, being at home has nothing to do with luxury.

It is a blessing, it is enviable to some, it is unobtainable to some, but it certainly doesnt fall into the 'luxury' category.

It is not glamourous nor does it ensure financial security.

And, it is often misunderstood.

And, there are days when it really sucks.

Being home is a choice...it is sacrifice, commitment and determination.

And it IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.

Some folks are just happier, better people when they have the validation of an outside the home career.

Others, because of circumstances in their life, simply dont have that option.

As a homemaker, there is no paycheck...there are no raises, there are no 'attaboys' from co-workers.

I've lived both lives and can easily see the pro's and cons of either choice.

Believe me, when I worked outside the home 45+ hours a week...being a SAHM or WAHM sounded luxurious...A treat I didnt think Id ever be able to afford.

But when it came to decision time, I knew, for my family, it was the right choice.

Luxurious...um, nope. But, at least for today, I wouldnt trade it for the world!

A Christmas Tree at Last!

December 18th, 2006 at 12:07 am

Yep, success at last! We have a gorgeous 17 ft tall blue spruce ready to trim!! (My living room ceiling is 18 ft)

But first, we have a Christmas dinner for DHs work to go to (one of those great country steak/smokehouse joints...very rustic and good food)...and then its all about the tree when we get home!

It was a gorgeous crisp day for finding a tree...lots of snow on the ground but the sky was clear as a bell. Sadly, we passed the tree that fell off the truck last week...and its had a pretty rough week Frown.

and Grace behaved herself while we were gone!

DH sold two cords of wood today, which were already loaded and on the trailer and he is off delivering those now...so $360 in the business account.

I did alot of thinking on the drive about budget and goals. I need to get those all organized and written so that I can start my 2007 checklist.

Great day- Hope everyone else's was too!

Hi Tech Christmas Display- Gotta watch!

December 17th, 2006 at 05:51 pm

Ok guys...Get ready for a treat and see how hi tech can influence a home decoration concept!!

Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD4g0gmQSLk

Christmas Tree Take Two

December 17th, 2006 at 05:07 pm

First- for those who read my previous post- the TV actually survived the topple. I do not know how...that dresser is 4 ft tall and the tv landed screen down on a hard wood floor...but it survivied...and so did Grace.

Note to self...shut all doors before leaving the house and put all food items in locked, smell proof containers whenever possible!

Today, we are going to try this whole Christmas tree excursion again. I am very confident that we will be successful (in other words, we aint quittin til a tree is up tonight!!)

and....Action!

One Expensive Hershey's Kiss

December 17th, 2006 at 04:26 am

I think I may have owned the most expensive Hershey's Kiss today. Yes, you read that right...one little Hershey's Kiss will cost me over $100.

I dont know the exact cost yet, because I am too angry to go back upstairs...too nervous to see just how bad the damage is.

How exactly does one get an expensive kiss like this...well, to tell the story, I have to go back a few days.

I bought a bag for 'Christmas candy'. Something nice and sweet to have in the house for the holidays.

DD3 and I decided to have a girls night the other night and we went up to my room to watch 'The Devil Wears Prada' in the big comfy bed...and we snacked on a few kisses.

The next day, I found an empty Hershey's kiss bag downstairs...obviously Grace and her blasted keen sense of smell, sniffed them out and had a chocolate party for one.

But later, when I made my bed, I found one lone little kiss...it must have fallen out of the bag when Grace toted it off.

So....I picked up the kiss and set it in my top dresser drawer meaning to retrieve it when I finished cleaning the room.

But I forgot that stupid piece of candy.

So, tonight was our family get together at DD2's house (wonderful time by the way).

and when i got home...Grace had obviously sniffed out that last Kiss...as she has literally pulled over and toppled my dresser to get to it. What was on top of that dresser???

Oh, just a TV, dvd player, Direct TV box, my jewelry box, a few Christmas gifts...

AAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Over one BLASTED PIECE OF CANDY!

I am sure the TV is broken---but it is heavy and I will wait for DH to get home to verify...everything else is under the dresser...so I dont know the fate of the rest...

And if you're at all worried about Grace and the chocolate hurting her...well, it doesnt...she has been a chocoholic for a long time and this wasnt her first rodeo.

Do you think an old, blind, chocolate eating, nearly senile dog would be welcome at a doggy military school???
Doggy Boot Camp. I wonder if there is such a thing for naughty dogs...sheesh

Saturday at Ray's...

December 16th, 2006 at 08:07 pm

GS (2 1/2) is spending the day with us. Of course, that means homemade waffles for breakfast!

He asks for them every time he comes over..and he's now old enough to pour (albiet a little messy) the ingredients into the mixing bowl..He even turned down a trip out to feed the dogs with DH to stay in and make waffles with gramma.

We added the 'secret ingredients' which are madagascar vanilla and cinnamon. I added the cinnamon at the very end so he could see the batter change color...with the desired effect from GS..."wow Gramma"

Now he and DH are out working in the woodyard...GS FAVORITE place to be. He has his own toy chainsaw...but to him, its just as real as DHs.

Im doing my parents laundry today and then looking forward to a full family get-together tonight with all the kids. (My ex-husbands brother is in town...one of those situations where you ditch the husband, but keep the brother-in-law as family---we all love him to death!!Actually he and the ex dont speak))

Stores??? Uh, a BIG NO to that...although my mom tried to get me to go this morning...NOPE. Those stores are full of people that are on a mission this weekend and I dont want to be any part of it!!!

So a great (cold) day here...and hopefully a no-spender to boot!

County loses Grants and will close all 15 Library Branches

December 16th, 2006 at 03:14 am

This is our news here. As of March, all 15 of our county libraries will close their doors until some other form of financing is found.

How very troubling that such a wonderful service may go the way of the dinosaur.

The head of our library system has decided to retire Jan 1,saying it has nothing to do with this recent turn of events... but has offered to help stay on part-time to help with the closing of all the branches.

and we pay taxes why?...I shudder to think of some of the things tax dollars are spent on instead of our public services.

Stay tuned.



Continued Circuit City Rant

December 16th, 2006 at 01:40 am

Oh boy.

I finally had time today to call Circuit City. The '72 hour promise to get back to me period' had expired with no response...so I called.

1st person I spoke with...again, barely there English speaking...told me I needed to wait 3-4 more days and my money should be back in my account.

Not good enough...let me talk to your supervisor...

after an additional 8 minutes on hold listening to the perky voice telling me how easy everything is with Circuit City..

Supervisor came on, wow, rougher English than either of the others I had spoken to...I wrongly assumed the language barrier would improve with the higher ranks...but not so.

She asked my IM# and put me back on hold for another 3-4 minutes while she pulled up my transaction.

More perky bs...

Her: "Well, I see here you were issued a refund on November 12"....pause.

Me: Um, no, I didnt even place the order until November 24. So that is not possible...

Her: Yes, it says we issued a refund on 11-12.

(I swear, Im not making this up)

Me: DO you mean December 12?

Her: 11/12...no wait 12....11...umm...December, yes, December...I read that wrong. December 12.

Me: and when should I have my money?

Her: It takes 3-4 working days.

Me; So my money will be in my account on Monday?

Her: No...Tuesday at the soonest.

back and forth on the 3-4 day timeline until she finally said "Well, if you put it that way it is 5-7 days not 3-4"...

AAAHHHHHHHHHH!

WHEN WILL MY MONEY BE IN MY ACCOUNT..ITS BEEN THREE WEEKS...

"um, Im soury ma'am..bu' we hab meeny of refund from Noveeember tweenty fort and...."

Me: and you didnt employ enough people to handle these transactions before now and mine is 'suppposedly coming' because I keep calling?

pause...

discouraged "Yes, thats right ma'am"

So...I got the presidents name and address and the letter is written, stamped and will be on its way to his desk tomorrow.

I signed the letter "A disgruntled FORMER customer who will remember this transaction when future shopping needs arise".

Sorry to rant...but I am soooo peeved!

Boo-hiss on them...ARGH

Gracie and Grandaughter- very OT but very sweet!

December 15th, 2006 at 05:50 am

I am babysitting my grandaughter (15mo)tonight...it is our first 'slumber party' together.

We had a great time and played until she was worn out. We laid down on the floor with a blankie and pillow...and Gracie decided to join us. Inspite of her blindness, she knows GD very well...and had to lay next to her. Gracies paw in on top of one little hand...and GDs leg is over Gracies tail...and they are both sound asleep.

Had olive garden leftovers for dinner.(and they were just as good tonight as last night)..so my total expense for the day was $12...for the ugliest shoes I hope to ever own. Um...I seem to recall a picture from Contrary1 planting something in an old pair of boots...perhaps these shoes could become a new addition to the flower bed this spring...hmmm

Back to Gracie...she is healing from the dog attack...one of the wounds is pretty nasty so I am cleaning it and watching it. She is coughing alot more lately...and i noticed another tumor on her tummy (she has cancer)...These days with the babies are precious...I fear they will only remember her from the photos we take...so Im taking lots!
Dogs truly are all about unconditional love...and Grace has been one of a kind.

Procrastination aint for sissies...Nor is it frugal!

December 14th, 2006 at 11:41 pm

Not for sissies or people who arent a little insane to begin with.

Lunch...at the country club, at 11:45 today with my ex-CEO. No problem.

Get up, hit this site like ALWAYS do...and finally hop in the shower. Start to get dressed and realize I cant find my one pair of dessier than jeans black pants....look, look, look...and finally find them hanging under my not so dressy black pants...whew...

Get dressed, hair and makeup...and go to find my shoes..1 shoe...wheres the other??? Umm...its getting time to leave and I have 1 black shoe...1 pair of ratty tennis shoes and a pair of lime green water clogs to my name.

So, I give up...toss on the tennis shoes and head to Walmart. Im a girl on a mission...with not alot of time...for some reason, people are moving out of my way for once...(must have been the look of desperation)...I found a pair of shoes that would work...$12...ugly, but black. Tuck and run to the counter to check out..

Start to pay and realize I dont have my cell phone. I obviously must have left it in the car...get to the car, put the new ugly black shoes on and...no cellphone.

Ok, Im borderline late now...so I run back into Walmart and notice that these black shoes have a really ugly bluish tint to them in the sunlight...cant worry about that now...

Head for the shoe department and no cell phone....head back up to customer (sortof) service and cut in front of the 8 people waiting to be helped and sure enough, cell phone has been turned in (thank you honest, helpful person who did this)

RUN TO CAR...

get to country club (a little sweaty and stressed) but on time inspite of the mornings events... and meet my 'date' who has brought me the most beautiful bouquet of roses and flowers...

Have a wonderful lunch.

.... and head home with my flowers and my new pair of really ugly shoes...$12 poorer, thanks to my procrastination.

and how has your day been?

10 Shopping Days Left

December 14th, 2006 at 04:35 pm

The final countdown begins!

Are you done? Have all those gifts wrapped and under the tree already?

Or are you holding out for those few trinkets that will top off the holiday before putting the final checklist on shopping?

Or...are you still in search of something special for Aunt Martha or the picky sister in law...

or...are you just now getting started? EEK!

I dont know about all of your areas...but here it's getting a bit hairy out there in Consumerland.

Long lines, picked over merchandise, tired weary (ie cranky) shoppers...and then there's all this rain. Not a good combination for a pleasant shopping experience.

Wherever you are in the pre-Christmas countdown, I wish you JOY for the season.
Remember to take time to for YOU and that time with your family is the most precious gift of all.

Happy Holidays!


Gripes, Gratitude and a Goof

December 14th, 2006 at 06:08 am

Top on my mind tonight is that Circuit City has still not gotten back to me about my $398. I will be calling them tomorrow and becoming a squeeky wheel...Im done. Nice has left the building...now they get cranky.

Went to dinner with friends tonight---had a nice evening. I splurged on a bottle of wine for us...and we visited for 3 hours. Olive Garden sells a nice Rosato Blush wine and eveyone enjoyed it!One of the friends is married to the Redneck birthday boy (next weekend is the party) so I had fun updating her on all the props and decorations.

I learned a lesson today about trying to whittle candle wax out of a glass container...eventually the glass container loses...hense all the nics on my hands...(that poor container exploded!) ummm, can you say Duh? Well, it was definately my duh moment of the day! Good thing I had a plan B for my craft project!


Dinner Out Tonight!

December 13th, 2006 at 06:37 pm

This is a busy week for meals out.

Tonight I am meeting my two friends who I dine with monthly---we are going to Olive Garden. (I love Olive Garden). I am trying to make them gifts today---my first attempts at fresh wreaths...Im finding that it is easier said than done!

Tomorrow, I am having lunch with the CEO where I used to work. (He's taking me to the Country Club). Ooh-la-la!
I missed his retirement party because of my fall and subsequent injured tailbone...so this is a make-up get together that I am looking forward to. He is like a big brother to me.

Sunday night DHs work is having their Christmas dinner at a nice little restaurant...so free to us!

So, a week of good friends, food and fun!

Cheap decoration and wrapping ideas

December 13th, 2006 at 04:59 am

Cheap Holiday Ideas

I thought Id list some of my frugal decoration/wrapping ideas:

Do you have access to free walnuts (or any nuts really)that are still in the shell?...they can be used to fill a glass container and hold plastic or silk flower stems in place. (like poinsettas) Just tape the stems together, center in your jar and fill around them with your nuts.

If the container is not clear and you need filler for flowers, those little mailing 'peanuts' work great!

Walnuts/nuts can also be hot glued to any floral arrangement to add a country or rustic look.

Pinecones- I have access to these for free in my neighborhood. They also sell them at the dollar store. Again, hot gluing them to decorations adds the seasonal touch! Same with acorns...I have over 40 black oak trees, so free acorns are plentiful here...I have also used these to fill in around candles or flowers in the base.

Wire coat hangers can be used to make a floral hanger for wreaths.

Leftover ribbon can be used to make napkin holders...again, glue a small ornament or acrorn to the ribbon to add a seasonal touch. Even white paper napkins look festive with the help of a festive napkin ring~!

I dont buy bows. I find buying a bag of those plastic apples from the dollar store...or those little cherry balls can add a nice whimsical touch to any gift wrap...I will also glue leftover silk/plastic leaves and flowers..cinnamon sticks, raffia...

Using the above allows you to also get away with white or brown paper lunch bags for gift wrap for smaller gifts!

I reuse our store bought gift bags over and over again.

Last year, I made decorations using bark off some of our wood-yard trees...The bark was rounded, and I would use about a half round as a base and fill with pinecones, acorns, ribbon and some dollar store ornaments...I actually sold these at a craft fair for $15 and they cost me about $2-3 each!

Key, is keeping an open mind and looking for new uses for things that are holiday colored. This time of year, my mind looks for reds, golds, greens wood tones and clear glass containers...pretty much anything with a holiday color is considered!


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