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Archive for February, 2009

Are you enrolled in the Tuesday club?

February 26th, 2009 at 04:58 am

Little miss sunshine at the register asked me this yesterday as I was checking out at the store register...ummm...Tuesday Club? I naively asked...and she said, yes, for our customers 55 and older....

*choke*

Cmon guys....I dyed my hair recently, Ive lost a few pounds...Im a little tired....but do I look 55 when I am only 47??????????????????????????????

I smiled, and said that, no, I am quite a few years away from the club requirements....but I would take the discount if she wanted to give it to me...no such luck.

Sigh...I guess there are worse things that she could have asked. Just none come to mind right now. lol

The hubs job is slowing down and I am concerned that he will be pushed to more part-time hours shortly. They slow down during tax-season every year, but I would be foolish to believe that is what this is. The hub works for a big-rig repair shop...and I know this slow down is from the economy. I have just considered us fortunate until now to have sidestepped the cuts many have experienced for some time now. Hopefully, this wont last too long....

Otherwise, life is good. (even if I am looking senior these days...gads.)

American Express pays cardholders $300 to leave

February 24th, 2009 at 05:02 am

An interesting sign of the times for sure...



http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/20090223...

I don't have an American Express account...it will be interesting to see how this plays out with other credit card companies.

Id leave for $300!!!

and try real hard not to let the door in me in the....

anyways.

I had class tonight. I have mentioned that I am about the oldest kid in class. I am on the oral debate team for the Death Penalty...and I am the only person on the team who opposes the Death Penalty (at least in most cases...) It was an intersting discussion as my team and I prepared to argue which ever side of this issue we are selected to argue. We wont know until the time of the debate, so we have to be prepared to argue both sides.

Not much else going on today.

Busy day!

February 23rd, 2009 at 04:27 am

I spent $130 yesterday on some new things for the house. So today, the hub and I made some changes around here.

1st to go...our sheets off the living room window...and up went the new drapes. ($40 drapes, $9.99 sheers, $14.99 curtain rod)...Talk about an amazing difference! While he was on the ladder, I had him knock down some spider webs that had accumulated up on the ceiling (we have 17 ft ceilings in the living room- so we have to bring in the ladder to get close to them.)

Then, we added the mirror and two pics to the wall on the stairway ($14.99 mirror, $16.99 for each of the two pics) ..WOW- I took down the two mismatched pics that were up there and now it looks almost regal!!!

Then, we took down the towels that have been covering the bedroom window and hung up the new sheers...a shimery cocoa brown. I cant even tell you the difference this made!! ($9.99 for sheers, $6.99 for the curtain rod.)

I completely scrubbed down the fridge and tossed all the outdated stuff that was lurking way in the back while the hub and DD3 went grocery shopping.

Cleaned our bedroom tonight..even under the bed...where things seem to accumulate faster than I can keep up..DD3 took my car and filled with gas and picked up a pizza for dinner...hey, when you're on a roll, why stop?

Got 5 loads of laundry done...including the bed sheets and bedding in my room and all my work clothes for the upcoming week.

Finally, took a nice hot shower tonight and did a deep condition on my hair.

I'm very pleased with all that I accomplished today! And I LOVE sayin buh-bye to redneck, and hello to a much classier touch.

Big Grin I can honestly say...the FUNK has left the building!!! Smile Smile Smile

My home alone day

February 22nd, 2009 at 05:06 am

Today was my home alone day that I have been looking forward to. The hub and DD3 went to a logging show a few hours away and were gone from 6am until 4pm.

I enjoyed a very lazy morning in bed and actually watched one of my chick flicks. I started early and it was done by 9am...so I got around and ran some errands.

I took my movies that were due back to Blockbuster...and decided NOT to rent any others for now. Then, I headed to the library and turned in a book that was due...yay, no late fines.

Then I stopped by Ross and just took my time browsing. A while back, the hub decided that we should hang SHEETS over our living room window to keep the cold out/heat in. Worked ok but looked very redneck. I lucked out and found some great drapes for that window... spent $40 and it looks rather luxiurious, rather than redneck...so I am pleased. I also bought a mirror and a couple of pictures to create a little vignettte. I spent a total of $130 and had this sitting in my home repair account. I think some of my funk is coming from some of these 'make it work' fixes we have come up with...and it feels good to finally make it right.
Then, DD2 called and asked if I would meet her at the mall. Got there and little GD (age 3 months) was all set to get her ears pierced. Ouch. But she was a trooper and sure looked adorable when they were all done.

The hub got home about 4pm and we decided to go on a date tonight. No kids, grandkids, in laws, friends...just us. We went to a restaurant that has the grill and the chop-chop cook in front of you show...we had a great meal and sure enjoyed ourselves.

Tomorrow, I will spend cleaning and rearranging with the new 'stuff' I got for the house today. I definately am going to be happier with the sheets gone from our window!!! (Sometimes, we get a little too frugal for our own comfort!!)

Enjoyed the day! Lots to do tomorrow...

Quite the day!

February 21st, 2009 at 05:38 am

I made a date with my mom (nana) tonight. SHe has been housebound most of the last several weeks because she broke her foot in a fall...She got the foot "boot" off recently and is more mobile...so I thought it would be fun to take her to dinner. She INSISTED on paying because I have been her 'taxi' for several weeks.

We went to a small neighborhood Italian place that is quite quaint. Loved it. A couple of employees from my job came in...and so I secretly asked the waitress to let me pay their tab...both are struggling financiallly right now, so it was the right thing to do.... we left before their food arrived, so I am sure it was a surprise when there was no bill at the end of their meal.

It always makes me feel good to do something nice like that. Definately a 'funk' lifter!!!

I had an opportunity to peomote my assistant recently, which leaves that position open again. I will be interviewing several candidates next week. Thankfully, we have lots of great talent on staff!! Hopefully I can get her replacement up and running quickly. The best part is that my assistant was promoted to another position on my team, so she can help train our newbie..which will be very nice!

I am watching one of those cheap 'previously viewed' movies that I bought last week....I know the ones I picked out will pay for themselves because they are movies I can watch again and again...I just finished watching Sense and Sensability tonight...such a good one! Now I am watching 'No Reservations'...I tell u....guys dont know what they're missing with chick flicks....lol.

Tomorrow is my home alone day...although I doubt I will stay home all day. I do have a chore list...but I plan to have some "me" time in there too to go do something adventurous and fun....we'll see. Well, back to the movie....

Funky, funky funk.

February 18th, 2009 at 02:33 am

HELP! I am in a funk. Where the heck do funk's come from...not really depression or sadness...just blah place that is neither happy or sad.

I have been trying to put my finger on the trigger...and haven't come up with anything in particular.

It's not due to finances. We are actually doing good right now and our plan is working nicely.

School is going fine...

as is the family...

So, what's up?

my diet...perhaps. I slip and slide all over the place..but tend to eat better more days than not. hmmm...

Housework? Boy would flylady have a field day around here right now. Maybe this is it?

Work...well, things are pluggin away. I am getting into the groove with all the new responsibilities and so far, have not sunk...I actually still love my job.

Me time? this could be it. I am so busy working, taking care of my mom, helping the kids budget, making grandbaby time, going to school, trying to redirect my troubled teen, take care of the house (or lately, not) and be a wife.

I have to say, it has been a while since I have done true ME time. I wonder if this is the reason for the funk?

I dont want to just 'go shopping' or start eating comfort foods...

I dunno. What do you do to get out of a funk? When you cant see the forest through the trees?

The hub and DD3 are going to a logging show on Saturday...maybe I should do something then...but what?

Usually, a free day like that is spent catching up on the housework...but ugh.

Ive saved most of my allowance this year, so I have plenty of money to do whatever...but I cant think of anything I want to do....

Funks suck. Help!

Dinner for Seven!

February 16th, 2009 at 04:19 am

Grocery shopping on Friday night has really paid off this weekend. We have had a nice breakfast each morning...which tides us over to dinner...and plenty of dinner options to choose from. This afternoon I made some chicken/cheese enchiladas and had plenty to invite DD2 and her family, plus my mom. It was a nice evening and I was able to see GS and GD (ages 4 and 3mos)... Smile

I think I will make this a weekly chore, grocery shopping on Fridays...so that the weekends go this smoothly all the time.

We did stop and pick up some vanilla ice cream this afternoon, which we served with the german chocolate cake I baked before the kids showed up for dinner.

I have dinners all planned out for the week...so, this should be a frugal week ahead.

I called my best friend tonight (weve been buds since age 12....so 35 years..) and suggested the two of us go here http://www.bluepacificvacationrentals.com/thepointe.htm for a weekend this summer. ummm...fun! SHe said yes, now we just have to pick a weekend!!! Girlfriend time is priceless....dontchathink?

Birthday Party on the Mountain

February 15th, 2009 at 06:07 pm

Last night, we went to the hubs cousins house for a birthday party.

This couple bought their place in the early 80's for $40k...it was basically a two room log cabin (outhouse included) on 35 acres of forested wilderness, practically in the middle of nowhere. The log cabin was not insulated well, and you could see sunlight between the logs.

They have worked hard at turning that cabin into a nice home. It has been expanded to include two bedrooms, and inside bathroom...and looks gorgeous! Along the way, they added a walk around deck and swimming pool and a HUGE shop for dad. It is now surrounded by well manicured grass and sports an annual garden.

The place is on a mountain side, so they use ATVs to get around...last night was no different, we were all taxied to the party on ATVs.

About two acres up the mountain, they built a 'fort' for their grandson...about 18 x 18 made of logs, complete with a little wood stove. Right outside there is a big firepit. This is where the bday party was held.

Their daughter is now getting her "treehouse' which is up the mountain another acre or two...it is 18 X 20 with a loft for a bedroom....this will be her personal retreat spot. Dad has a portable mill and is quite adept at building. Dad and daughter are building this together, so it is providing them both some great bonding time.

It was quite fun to see what a little tired cabin has turned into for this family over the years.

And today's value...I am not sure, family value? priceless.

Friday Night Groceries

February 14th, 2009 at 04:28 am

In preparation for this three day weekend, I went grocery shopping right after work tonight. It actually is a good thing to consider doing in the future, because the hub HATES shopping at this store...but it is the most reasonably priced in town- AND it is two blocks from my job.

I spent $118 and bought enough for the next week, plus got some stock up items and each of the grandbabies a Valentines treat!!

Ive had a tradition for holidays and birthdays here for as long as I can recall...of buying little powdered donuts and chocolate milk...and I decorate the dining room table with fun doodads for the occasion. I never buy chocolate milk and little donuts otherwise, so this is always a big hit. Total splurge and out of the ordinary.

Then, I stopped by Blockbuster and rented some movies for this weekend. CHeap entertainment...certainly less than going out. They had a huge selection of pre-viewed movies, so I also used part of my allowance to stock up my chick-clik collection. They had two of my FAVORITES that I didnt have - Ever After and Sense and Sensibility....so I was a happy camper.

Im looking forward to this long weekend with no particular plans. Sometimes FREE time, is the BEST time.

Work at home day

February 13th, 2009 at 02:03 am

This has been a crazy week, so I decided to work from home today. I woke with a migraine, which is NOT a good way to start a day, but I am fortunate to have a job that allows us to work from home if a need arises...and so I took advantage of it and stayed put. (plus I saved $$ on gas today!)

I work at a credit union and therefore, see the unfortunate financial circumstances that so many people are in right now. IT is heartbreaking to see so many hard-working people struggling with things many of us have always taken for granted....and it continues to get worse. Where the heck is the bottom to this? I fear the ripple effect has only just begun. I know we have seen unprecedented charge-offs this year...and many of these people were strong borrowers two years ago.

IMHO, people like all of you, us, who are being careful to stretch every dollar and save where they can are the ones who will come through the best at the end of this economic downturn. I am saving for many rainy days right now...we are stockpiling on sales and saving where we can so that if one of us looses our job, we are prepared. I have seen enough unfortunate stories the last six months to make me a believer that it very well could happen to me.

I have gone back to my semi-annual haircuts, and am coloring that gray on my own. Am I stylish? Probobly not. Would I win any beauty contests? Nope. But I try to keep my hair looking professional by putting it in a bun and save a good $2-300 every 5-6 months this way.

The hub ran and picked up some sausage this morning and we made sausage, egg, cheese bagel sandwiches. (uh, yum) and I cooked a pork roast in the crockpot for dinner. Cheap day for sure.

Looking very forward to a three day weekend.

At least $5-10 per mile....and a makeup question

February 9th, 2009 at 01:03 am

Vacations...or the down time they provide, always make me think.

On the drive home today, I noticed a soda can on the side of the road...and a couple of water bottles...followed by 5 more cans..You see, in Oregon, cans and bottles each have a nickel deposit....and are then redeemable for a nickel. So I counted for a mile....almost 100....the next...well over 100....and while I didnt continue to count...I did continue to see bottles and cans for miles! IN this day and age...it is amazing that people will throw good money out the window---much less have such a who-gives-a-rip attitude about littering up such beautiful land.

Hmmm...

Then, this weekend I re-encountered a problem that occurs just about every time I travel. I am sure many of you ladies encounter the same, but it made me think that I should pose the question here to see what kind of ideas you all have.

I got up Saturday morning, showered and went to put on some makeup...low and behold TWO of the powdered compacts (one blush, one powdered make-up) had apparently jarred during the trip and the cakes had all broken into little pieces. THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING...but it jist seems like after you use these things for a while, they just break like this! I usually continue to use them, being careful there are no clumps on the brush before applying, but it is still inconvenient and wastes money. What do you guys do when this happens???

The prime rib was fabulous last night. The last of our vacation went wonderfully...but it is always good to get home.

Now, back to work tomorrow!

Vacation! Greetings from the hot tub!

February 8th, 2009 at 02:54 am

Just kidding, we actually got out of the hot tub a good 10 minutes ago. Ahhhhh. We have ate all meals here at the house. Unfortunately, our friends hub was sick (tummy flu sick) all day yesterday...so we spent the day here just veggin. Today, we went to some outlet stores nearbye and I picked up some great 70% off deals on work clothes and accessories. Also picked up a pair of $125 snow pants for $9.98. Tonight is our final night. The friends are making dinner tonight...prime rib. uh, YUM! We get free movies from the rental place, so we have watched several free movies...(they even gave us popcorn!!)

We brought all of our goodies, drinks from home...so this has been a fairly frugal get-away. And very relaxing!!

While the hubs are watching a testosterone flick, my friend is knitting and I am blogging and just finalized my 2009 Christmas budget. Since we save all year, I can take advantage of the deals thru-out the year. MY biggest issue is tracking gifts for 4 kids, 4 so's, 5 grandbabies, 3 parents, 4 in-laws, and a few friends....ugh. I need a good system this year!!!

I have had a wonderful time here this weekend. I am sad to be heading home tomorrow...but alas, it is time. Frown However, tonight I am still anticipating prime rib...which is only about 30 minutes away.

Hugs everyone!


Yep, no spender...at least with my money..

February 5th, 2009 at 03:32 am

I did buy some things this morning...but they were for a meeting at work, so it was on my corp credit card and not my spending...The things I bought were for a breakfast meeting, which I attended...so breakfast was free.

The meeting went all day, so they brought lunch in too...so free lunch.

I was so pooped after work that I (egads) skipped going to class and just came home.So I had a no spender, myself.

I am off for the weekend now...4 days of rnr with friends. I am so ready for this!!

I dvr'd Oprah from yesterday about the cheapest family..(thanks for a tip here).and am watching it while I type away .No matter where we are at, I think there is always something to learn or glean from...

Heck, I learn from everyone HERE everyday. Oprah needs to have all of us on...boy, would the world be ready for us??? lol.

I may not check in for a couple of days...so I hope you all have a great weekend!! off to relax!

No spender? not so much....

February 4th, 2009 at 03:23 am

I thought I would have a no spender today...and then went off and forgot my food at home. Luckily, there was a little suprise party breakfast for a new dad at work, so I had some fruit and a little coffee.

Then, I had a long talk with my boss about some changes we are making. I am taking on another responsiblity..which means another possible raise..and a busier workload...but I will be transferring more of my duties to an assistant. My head is literally spinning from all the changes--so, I decided to go to a quiet restaurant and just contemplate. I ordered grilled fish and water...$10.99 + $2 tip..so my spending today was $12.99.

My job has changed so rapidly this year. I am excited about the things I oversee..but the learning curve is HUGE. So, after this semester, I am putting school on the back-burner. I will have enough on my plate with everything at work.

I stepped on the scale today. Stupid scale...it said I only lost 1/2 lb...but I can see how much better things are fitting....lol, it must be broke.

Tomorrow should be a no-spender...if I dont forget my lunch again.

Then...Thursday and Friday I am off for a fun weekend with friends. WOO HOO

Monday

February 3rd, 2009 at 05:16 am

I am a creature of habit. Of course, I would argue that I am not...but I am. For instance...on Mondays, I wear the same sweater jacket, mock turtleneck and slacks every week. It is a comfy outfit that feels much like a cozy pair of jammies...just what I want on my first day back to work after a nice weekend break. Today was no different....but with a big exception...it is starting to feel too big!!! Big Grin Oh yeah!

I got my first B in school...which is a great motivator to do better. I want to maintain my GPA...so I am going to have to do well on the rest of my assignments!!

I spent $15 on lunch today. My meal was much less, but I went with DD2 and the family, so I picked up a good deal of the tab. I hadnt planned on eating out...but it was fun to see the grandbabies at lunch.

Tomorrow should be a no-spender. We will see.

Super- superbowl day!

February 2nd, 2009 at 03:52 am

Had a blast at the Superbowl party. Thank you all for your suggestions. In the end, I opted to take a nice bottle of wine- Francis Coppola Black Label..I think. They seemed pleased with it. They are wine collectors...and have a big wine cooler (this size of my fridge)...so I know they have many, many more expensive than I took...but it seemed like a good choice from a newbie wine taster like me.

The game was alot of fun...and they had gone all out on the food and drinks. Talk about a spread! Meatballs, little smokies, crab enchilada's, 5 different cheeses, crackers, creme puffs, dips,. A dieters nightmare...but I was good and just sampled a little of each.

This was one of the couples that are going to Puerto Vallarta with us in May. They live on a golf course in this huge, fabulous home. IT was liking visiting the other side of the tracks today.

What a fun day!

My only spend today was the wine...so $15.79.

I only work three days this week...and then am off 4 for a long weekend next weekend. The hub and I rented a house with another couple at the resort we like to go to. Right now they are having a rent two-get one free special, so the house was about $75 per couple each night...and it is such a great house, with a hot tub- up in the mountains.

We take our food, and cook our meals...so eating is fairly cheap. We usually dont spend any money while we are there...so it really is a good, inexpensive get away. We watch movies, hike, knit, read, and visit. I am very much looking forward to it!!

My raise starts tomorrow...so I am now making $2 an hour more than I was last week!!! :-)

I got to see all 5 grandbabies this weekend...so I am a happy gramma. Life is good.