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Archive for February, 2011

Not a Frugal weekend...but it has been FUN.

February 27th, 2011 at 08:46 pm

I took this weeks quiz yesterday and only missed one. Now to study for the final, which is next week.

Yesterday after the test, I went to the grange to look for gardening supplies. I have a $75 gift card, have been there at least 4-5 times this past year to use it and each time, walk away empty handed (except for the gift card). Yesterday's excuse was not knowing what I need to get to start the seeds. Do I buy little containers and mulch? Plant food? Those little started kits with what looks like half dollar size dirt rounds? How do I start a seed in that?
If I want an herb garden in on my patio for cooking, do I need something different? So many stinking questions. Then there is the reminder that this gift card was in leiu of flowers for my mom...and I suddenly dont feel like shopping any longer. So I leave.

Sigh.

Next, off to Target. I dont know if I mentioned that the party will be a pink/black/white party...and everyone will be wearing pink shirts (their choice, even the guys) to just make it a fun diva night.
I found clearanced pink and black plates and napkins that will work PERFECT. Smile I will have to post pictures of the event afterwards. I bought a pink plastic easter bucket from the dollar store for each guest bedroom and picked up black and white tissue to line them with. Inside will be candles, soaps, candies...just fun little things to make them feel loved. Spent $22...but I have money saved for all the party stuff...and this puts me well under budget, since it was on clearance.

I also picked up hair color..($5.79).my stylist retired in December, so I am back to doing my own hair. THis saves me about $40 per month + tip.

Then, yesterday afternoon, the hub and I went out to a little historical town near us and met some friends at the saloon. It is a very historic old building and they serve drinks and tapas. Funny, the guy that makes the tappas has tattoos and a goatee about 3 inches long...looks pretty tough, but man can he whip up some tasty treats. We visited a couple of hours and then walked across the street to have pizza. I paid for the saloon- $60, the hub paid for pizza and drinks at the restaurant...We were home and I was sound asleep by 8pm. lol what a night owl.

Today we went grocery shopping. $60 for the week. I paid, since the hub has not been working full 40 hour weeks. His job has slowed way down and he is getting 20-30...this week was 19.

I bought food to ensure that I stick to the lunch challenge this week. Will be making jasmine rice and chicken for a few days and chicken salads the other days. I bought a couple of sweet potatoes for evenings and we have plenty of choices (pork chops, more chicken, lasagne) in the freezer for the rest.

So...I am good to go. Now, time to get back to the books!

Letter from Doctor...

February 25th, 2011 at 01:48 am

After my blood work, I received a letter from my doctor yesterday AND A PRESCRIPTION...for 8 weeks of 50000 units of Vitamin D. Everything else looked good...but apparently my Vit D is in the tank. I wonder if this is going to help with my migraines-as this is a symptom of this deficiency. Perscription was $11 for 8 pills. (But that is a 2 month supply since I only take it 1 day per week.)

I invited 3 dear friends to my June birthday get=away...I mentioned that my bff from California very likely is backing out of going. Today, friend #2 and I had a chance to chat- and she and her husband separated last night. (I feel REALLY bad for her...this has been a rocky few years for her-) theyve been married almost 40 years...I have no idea if she will be coming to the get away or not...right now, her focus clearly needs to be on her marriage.
Frown ...I wont even bring the trip up to her until much closer to the event- I just want to be there for her.

It has been snowing off and on all day. Tonighjt it is starting to stick. I know many of you have had more than your share of winter wonderland...but here we do not get many opportunities to enjoy snow. Smile

Not much money-wise happened today- so i think I will kick back and get a foot massage while watching the snow fall.

Ciao Babies!

Oh my....

February 24th, 2011 at 03:13 am

Got a phone call this morning from my son...who is 26...Hey mom, thought me, Dw and Gd, GS would come over tonight. I will cook dinner. Huh! He would cook dinner. He doesnt cook.

Well, he has been practicing apparently. He made this:

http://www.food.com/recipe/olive-garden-five-cheese-ziti-al-forno-202833

OM stinking G! This was one of the BEST dinners I have every enjoyed...and what an added blessing that my 'little boy' made it for me..and that it was HIS IDEA!!!

5 hours of HARD labor...25 years of raising him....and he does this...am I a proud momma tonight or what???......................wow.


We all enjoyed a nice foot massage before dinner was served! (I think this extravagance will pay for itself in no time!!)

Today was a no spender.
We are supposed to get snow tonight and tomorrow.
Now, I am enjoying whats left of a beautiful evening!

Life is so so so good.

loan-a-holic

February 23rd, 2011 at 04:20 am

Have money- will lend.

I need a support group. This time, our houseguest (who has been couch-surfing and is now living with us) needed money to get car insurance on her newly acquired car so she could get a job and start saving to get self sufficient and out on her own. So I loaned her $225 with the understanding that she apply for at least two jobs per day and that she 'work off' the loan by making sure the house is clean every Friday by the time I get off work. I had just spent the weekend cleaning and so I showed her what I expected....

Now to see if she sticks to her end of the deal.

I sent every extra dollar I have to ING...and so I dont have any handy money left to loan. I am not sure why I am so quick to lend. Lord knows its like a coin toss if I will get it back. I really want this young lady to succeed...and I feel better knowing she has insurance while she drives. Hopefully the motivation will help her get things figured out. AND...if I can come home to a nice clean home every friday for the next 10 weeks, it will be money well spent for the weekend free time I gain.

My new foot massager came today. All I can say is ahhhhhh...as wonderful as I remember- so now I have a solution every evening for tired achy feet!!

They must have had cordon bleu on the Food Network channel today. The hub texted me at work that dinner was in the fridge and sure enough, when I got home there was cordon bleu, green beans and ceasar salad waiting. He has never made that before..but Mr. bobby-flay-wanna-be pulled it off quite nicely. For a few years his interest in cooking has steadily grown...and now he is branching into new recipes. The other day he asked me to buy pomegranite molasses...(?) still havent found it. He cracks me up. About as redneck as they get until you put him in the kitchen...and then he is chef Ricky...lol. funny boy.



Shocked and a little hurt....

February 22nd, 2011 at 04:10 am

I have been planning a 50th birthday bash for a 6 months and it is still 3 months away.... I rented a beautiful 8 bedroom home at a resort for 4 days and am paying all expenses while we are there. I have invited my kids and my dearest friends...all they have to do is get there. Each couple has a king size suite/bathroom of their own...(my budget for this mini-vacation is $3200...food, drinks, decorations, gifts for my guests... a fantastic home...)

Tonight, my BFF since age 12 told me she doesnt know if she can make it. HUH??? Over a month ago I found roundtrip airline tickets for her and her hub for $500...I offered to pay half...

This isnt an issue of money for them...this is the same friend that was planning the jamaica trip for her birthday that would have cost us $3700 to attend. (They have since decided to do a carribean cruise instead on their own)

She is just reluctant to ask her boss for the time off. HUH??? She is a nanny and apparently the boss's business is struggling and he is stressed out. Did I mention she has had 6 months already and still has three months left to ask for a Thursday and Friday off????

I am baffled..and a little (ok, A LOT) hurt.

She said she will let me know for sure soon so I can invite someone else...HUH?

I dont get this. Seriously. what did I miss.

Ouch.

Spring plans...on a snowy day

February 20th, 2011 at 04:55 am

Had most of the seasons today...rain, snow and sun....quite a variety packed into a few hours....

I have a new quiz for my psychology class due every Saturday. So far I have gotten all A's on the quizzes- including today. This is a tough class, but I am learning SOOO much with all of the work we are assigned (it is an online class). I have a couple more quizzes, a team project and my final due...but I am well on track for an A still.

I scored at Kohls with a 30% off coupon...found some clearance jammies...normally $48...got them for $12. yay. My jammies are pretty much mismatched loose sweats and tshirts...so having a pretty, soft MATCHING set was a nice score. I love it when I can get a really good deal on something I really want. However, I have gotten pretty good at walking away from any bargain if it is not something I need or really, really want. On the heels of my big purchase Thursday (foot massager $199)...I need to walk away from the other stuff for a while. The massager should be here on Tuesday..very anxious to start using it!!!

Went shopping with my daughter today and she got some great deals...I didnt buy anything. We did eat lunch out...I spent $20, which gave our very attentive waitress a nice tip. Tonight I just had some pasta and sauce out of the cupboard for dinner.

Tomorrow I hope to make it to the garden store to pick up the things I will use to get my garden started this year. (Still have the $75 gift card from my job from last year when my mom died...-which was in leiu of flowers...) My zucchini did awesome last year...I hope to add tomatoes, artichoke, strawberries, watermellon, pumpkin, onions, raddishes, and maybe some lettuce this year. I will need some containers- last year something ate my watermellon plants down to the ground so I am hoping container gardening will help a little. ??? I am a newbie at this gardening stuff...but hope to learn a little more each year.

Plan to spend tomorrow NOT STUDYING or worrying about work stuff. Just enjoying the day.

Boomeyers; Ima Saver and mjrube94

February 17th, 2011 at 05:36 am

Did you know that on my very first blog almost six years ago these three bloggers posted responses!

That makes me smile...we all started our blogs around that time...and we are all still here- Weve been through ups, downs, ins and outs together....

I feel like I really do know many bloggers here.

Just reminiscing tonight. fun stuff

A purchase....

February 17th, 2011 at 04:41 am

Last November when we went on our girls trip to Portland, we went to a mall that happened to have a Brookstone. I wandeted into this store after a long day of shopping and a lady asked if I would like to try a wonderful massager for my feet...I sat down and put my feet into the massager, she pushed a button and OMG. The little box did its thing and I was in gramma-after a long shopping day heaven.

The massager was 'on sale' for $199. I thought I would wait until it was discounted even further after Christmas. umm....thats not what happened. After Christmas it went OFF SALE and back up to $249. It did drop to $229....but I was still determined to pay $199 at the most.

Today was my lucky day. I got an email that there was a special...so I went to the site and was able to get the massager for $199 with free shipping. Smile I normally dont do stuff like this...but I have thought MANY MANY times about buying the massager over the past four months...so I did it.

My feet are already thanking me!! Smile Now I just have to wait for my little purchase to arrive.

ahhhhhhhh......

First Day back from vacation....

February 16th, 2011 at 05:00 am

Ugh....nuf said?

Why is it, no matter how well you prepare ahead of time...that even coming back from two work days away...there is always so darn much catch up to do?

I literally RAN all day trying to catch back up. It didnt help that I had 4 hours worth of meetings today. The time I did have didnt even get me caught up on email and phone calls...but I got the key stuff outa the way.

Tonight I got to work on two of my three topics for psychology course. Got those turned in...and tomorrow night is the final topic and then final exam preparation...AGHHHHHHHH....If anyone is reading this and deciding whether or not to get a formal education...DO IT WHILE YOURE YOUNG...trying to tackle this as a gramma is plum crazy!

I went to lunch with an old friend today..Spent $$8.50 (tip included). That was the only $ spent. Back on the lunch challenge tomorrow.

Otherwise...I am pooped.

Lovely Time!

February 15th, 2011 at 04:14 am

This past weekend was awesome. The side by side massage (from gift certificates Id received) was a FABULOUS way to start a nice 4 day weekend! Then, off to the house we rented. Used the hot tub many times, went for walks, enjoyed the fireplace, cooked up the prime rib I bought on sale before Christmas...and just relaxed with our good friends that went with us. Then the hub took me to Olive Garden on the way home today for Valentines day.

I received my year -end bonus this weekend- it was more than I was expecting!! I quickly set up an auto transfer to move it into ING. Adding this bonus to the interest bonus and the safety bonus that I received in December and January...I now have $3800 between the three! big yay. I plan to just let it ride...an unplanned nest egg. (and have no plans on anyone else (aka kids) knowing about it!!!)

Tomorrow is back to the routine. I have a four day work week this week, and a four day week next week. Lots to do with 8 hours less each week to do it in. But I will just juggle faster and thoroughly enjoy the short weeks.

Life is super swell!

The (immediate) future looks bright!

February 11th, 2011 at 03:00 am

I have mentioned that I have a great weekend ahead...(matter of fact, I am on vacation as I type)... Big Grin -I am sleeping better...Tomorrow, I get my first post-raise paycheck.... and this weekend is our employee awards banquet so I get my bonus!! Exciting stuff!

Today I got back on track with the lunch challenge. There wasnt much grab and go choice this morning...so I enjoyed a PBnJ on...ug..white bread. Nice thing was that I was so stinking busy at work getting things wrapped up to be gone for a couple of days so I ate on the go and enjoyed the heck out of the simple lunch.

I while back I declared the 'bank of mom' closed...well, that didnt last unfortunately...ALL FOUR kids needed to borrow money this week...from $20 up to $400. Just tracking this stuff is a full time job. :/ Where did I go wrong? I guess the upside is that they do pay me back...some without reminders and others after...I just have such a hard time saying no. sigh....

OK...back to the exciting stuff! Im officially ON vacation and I am looking forward to a marvelous weekend!! Superduperstinkincool. Smile



Now I am packing and getting ready.

$ Spender today $

February 10th, 2011 at 03:59 am

The no spend streak came to a screeching halt today...of my own doing. I had a very early start at 6:45am to conduct a security visit to one of our branches. I rarely pop for a designer coffee anymore...but being up and on the road that early enticed me...I bought for me and our security officer...$6... took the hub to lunch today- hey if Im having a spend day, go big or go home right? (sorry Househopeful)...$25...then picked up cat food and a few study supplies for class (index cards, highlighters, etc) $24.

I am still enjoying a wheeze-free existence...my inhaler is my new twice a day bff...I had to laugh at the irony when my daughter (who is a pharmacy tech) asked what the miracle drug was and then told me its the most expensive inhaler out there....sounds like my 'free' three month supply of samples is saving my insurance company at least $400. *gulp*....oh well, I will worry about that another day.

TONIGHT...I am anxiously preparing for my weekend getaway that starts in about 36 hours...yes indeedee...this is an ear to ear (wheeze free)smile...

A full nights sleep? OMG

February 9th, 2011 at 02:54 am

WOW. Last night I used the steroid inhaler that the doctor gave me yesterday....and I have not wheezed since. I went an ENTIRE night with no wheeze waking me up!! Do you know what it feels like to have an entire nights sleep after a loooooooooong time of interrupted sleep?? (well, except for having a new baby)

Incredible....and best of all it was free and I now have an answer and can FINALLY sleep!!! I use my new wheeze be gone twice a day and voila...life is good!

Today was another no spender.

Tonight I am taking off from studies. Just decided to make it a free night to veg after finishing the mid-term last night.

I am watching a super interesting program on Markawasi Peru. I think I will add visiting an ancient site to my bucket list...this stuff is so interesting...

We are down to two days left before the fun weekend. SO excited!!!

Dr Visit part two...

February 8th, 2011 at 05:06 am

I mentioned in my last post that I went to the doctor today, but what I failed to add is that my doctor is awesome. I told her I was having trouble sleeping because of my asthma/wheezing at night. She said I needed to go on a steroid inhaler. Then, she bagged up a three month supply of "samples" for me. She is always very generous this way. When I was staying home taking care of my parents, she used to give me "samples" for everything...to the point I did not have to ever buy my medicine.

I just used the inhaler and for the first time in a long time, I do not wheeze when I exhale. OMG.

I know that if I sleep better, I will have an easier time getting healthier. I appreciate so much that trying this inhaler is free for the next three months. I hope it is a free solution to this on-going pain in the neck problem.

Big Grin

Mid-Term DONE!

February 8th, 2011 at 03:10 am

I took my mid-term tonight and got 91%!!! That's an A...and I am well on track for an A in the class.

Thats the good news...

Earlier today I had a doctor's appt- sigh... I HAVE to start exercizing. Last year was a tough year emotionally, but I have to retake control of my health. I did retake control of my emotional well-being...now it is time to work on my physical well being.

Iam doing much better on food choices by taking my lunch every day...now I need to get my workout routine figured out.

Where is Baselle when I need her? Oh yeah...she's off in Vietnam.

Today was a another no spender...thanks to the lunch challenge.

Enjoying a relaxing evening post-exam. Smile



Lunch Packed for tomorrow-

February 7th, 2011 at 02:30 am

During half time, I packed lunch for tomorrow. Leftover Turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. We picked up some goodies for the game this morning at the the store and I went ahead and bought my bagels (2.57) and coffee creamer ($3) for the week- (I still have creme cheese left).

This should get me through for breakfast bagels the next two weeks since I have two 4 day work weeks and a bagel left over from last week still.

I cut up and froze the rest of the roast beef to use later this week for lunch. I have hoagie rolls and cheese...and there was plenty of roast for 3 days- so I should make the lunch challenge this week just fine.

In the meantime....GO PACKERS!

Mid Term

February 6th, 2011 at 02:47 am

I have been busy studying for my mid-term for psychology. I love this class- it is just a whole lotta work and studying. I have over 100 index cards completed for study and quick reference. I am holding a strong A so far in the class...so I really want to do good on the mid-term.

I went the whole week without eating out for lunch. Even today. Today was leftovers from the past couple of days. French dip for lunch from the leftover roast and turkey/gravy/stuffing for dinner from last night. All very tasty!

We babysat grandbabies most of the day. So I havent left the house today. Which means it was a no-spender for me. (yay)

The next two weeks are only four day work weeks for me becayse I am taking next Friday and the following Monday off for a long weekend. The hub and I rented a home for the weekend (it was buy two nights get one free- the hub and I split the cost so only $200 each for the 4 days) so a fairly inexpensive vacation. I bought a prime rib to take back when they were on sale...and our friends that are joining us will take care of dinner one night- the rest of the meals will be inexpensive as well.

Our bedroom in this house has a gas fireplace, a jetted soaking tub and a travertine shower....plus an outside hot tub...ahhhhhhhh......bring on the leftovers and sack lunches if it means an occasional treat like this...

Also, *and this is the good part* I got a gift certificate for a one hour massage for christmas from my team...and I booked an appointment for Friday morning...so a FREE massage and sauna before I go.

Add that I will have this mid-term behind me by then and I am looking forward to a FANTASTIC, relaxing long weekend!

Life, well...simply fabulous!

Lunch Time!

February 3rd, 2011 at 09:12 pm

I am on lunch at work. I should be studying, but my lunch of oatmeal and bacon made me think of this site- so here I am!

Last night I was thinking oatmeal/bacon for lunch-not so enticing...but it was actually really good- so I will be doing that more often. It was certainly easy and inexpensive. THe oatmeal (steel cut, bulk) cost .50, the 2 slices of bacon - which I bought in bulk and on sale...maybe .25. I did bring a soda...so I will add another .20 (3.99 for 24 = .17 per)and I have a banana for snack...which was on the hubs dime this week. So...$.95 for lunch today. (yay!)

Breakfast was the standby bagel and coffee. $1

Dinner tonight will be on the hub again...roast beef sandwiches made from a slow cooked roast and salad.

I did splurge today however. My team at work wanted to host a chip and salsa party for everyone in our building tomorrow...so I chipped in $30 to buy most of the supplies. My team is all on a tight budget and I thought the hosting thing sounded like a fun, team-building idea...so its all good.

My volunteer day on Saturday has fallen through...so I will have a full day to study for class. - And I think the hub and I will go enjoy our free Feburary pizza on Sunday...

Life is awesome!

Day 3- Gold Star

February 3rd, 2011 at 05:20 am

It was a creative day food wise.

Bagel and coffee for breakfast $1

Tomato Soup, slice of french bread and a banana for lunch $1.25...Wednesday's our IT team picks up pizza from Costco and everyone gets together for $3 each and has pizza and a soda...but I stuck to the lunch challenge.

Tomato soup at work = heating in a cup in microwave and drink/sipping it. I wasnt really in the mood for soup today, but it was easy to tuck the container in my lunch last night.


Two chili cheese dogs for dinner free (hub bought groceries this week)

Definately not the healthiest day food-wise, but it worked. Smile


The soup and banana ended up not being a good combo for my asthma...never noticed foods causing an attack- but all I was doing was working in my office when it came on- right after lunch. So I suspect one of the two triggered the attack.

Spent my 'lunch hour' studying for my mid-term next week.

Today was another no spend day.

Tonight I made oatmeal and bacon for lunch tomorrow. -Didnt have any sandwich fixins...and I am out of the bbq chicken- so I got creative again.

I am glad that HouseHopeful started this challenge...the timing was so on for me. Just that one little change has got me rethinking other budget areas.. Big Grin

Stickin to the plan

February 2nd, 2011 at 02:31 am

Stuck to the lunch challenge again today! A redo of yesterday (teriyaki chicken, rice, pineapple and chili sauce)several co-workers kept saying 'boy that looks (smells)great'. And it was way yummy and way less than any meal I could buy.

Lets see- this cost about $1.75- including a soda from home. Smile - and to sweeten the deal, breakfast was about a buck for a bagel (.50) , cr cheese (.25) and hazelnut coffee (.30). Smile loving that kinda meal plan. Dinner- was free. THe hub bought the groceries today. Smile

My only expense today was gas at $55. (ouch)...but that will last at least two weeks.

I am so so so busy at work. We are remodeling a building we bought, selling/donating a whole bunch of the old furniture from the old location and having new stuff built, organizing a move of about 50 employees. There is so much going on with this project. ...and trying to stay on top of some volunteer work and my 'normal' day to day stuff... Goind to school (and holding on to that 4.0!!!!!) and being an active gramma to six grandbabies...

I cherish...CHERISH down time. Funny to think back to the 'good ol days" when I started this blog and had 'retired' from corporate America. But I do enjoy being busy and in the mix of so many various projects.

But right now...I have to get back to the decision at hand....which is WHAT TO PACK FOR LUNCH for tomorrow. lol.

juggle, juggle, juggle...fasterfasterfaster.... Big Grin

Life is tiring...but very good.