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Archive for March, 2011

Fundraising hopes

March 28th, 2011 at 07:28 pm

I posted a while back about women in my life who are dealing with different obstacles. One of them has a 22 year old son who has been battling various types of cancer since he was a small child. He has fought such a strong battle, and his mom has been right there to take care of him. She is a single mom, stuggling to make ends meet and take care of her son. She asked me for help last week- she is out of money to get her son to his weekly appts at the other end of the state. Sadly, this is the last trial that will take him...and they find out on the 4th if his treatments are working. He has been in this trial 4 weeks. If it isnt working, they are completely out of options.

So, I went to lunch with another friend today to discuss fund raising ideas. If he is showing improvements by next monday, they will need help financially to continue to get to the appointments...if he is not showing improvements, we plan to rally close to mom to offer her support, but fundraising wont be as necessary.

I am praying we need to have a fundraiser.

We have a location and the food donated...we plan to have a pasta dinner and silent auction/ 50-50 raffle.

No matter how tough life seems to me, all I have to do is remember this mom and all she is going through and I instantly realize, life has been very very kind to me.

Catching back up...

March 27th, 2011 at 07:49 pm

DD3 moved to Central Oregon this weekend to go to college. She is going to live with DHs dad. I was sad to have her go, but I want her to be able to try her wings...The house would feel like an empty nest, except DD3s friend will be living with us indefinately while she attends college here.

The hub made yummy chicken potato soup for dinner, and we have plenty to last a couple more meals. I had him make extra chicken to make teryaki chicken and rice and chicken enchiladas for the week.

Thankfully, this will be an inexpensive week food-wise because of this. I am still trying to catch up with my budget after helping DS and DD3...plus having DH working minimal hours.... and there is no extra to waste right now.

Hopefully, with the change in seasons, (DSs business will pick up, DH will get busy again)...all of this will change and I can get back on track.

Super easy enchilada pie...

March 22nd, 2011 at 08:27 pm

Preheat oven to 350

Spray bottom of dish with cooking spray
cover pan bottom with corn tortillas cut into bit size strips
layer beans (black, refried, pinto- whatever you have)
leftover cooked chicken in bite size bites...or ground beef, leftover steak, pork....
sprinkle with cheese...whatever is available
add another layer of corn tortilla strips
pour a light layer of enchilada red or green sauce (can add to any layers as desired, actually)
add olives and a little more shredded cheese

other layer options:
corn
green chilis
onion

bake about 25 minutes or til cheese melts and it heats through...

Serve with a dollop of sourcream..

Makes great leftovers the next day.

Second hand smoke....or the side effects to a rotten economy....

March 22nd, 2011 at 07:34 pm

Our management team met today. One of the discussions was about bringing in a mental health and family counselor to teach our mid level managers how to help our staff. I am not sure if it is coincidence or if this is a trend, but our staff have had more family deaths and serious illnesses in the past 6 months than we have seen in years - and it is taking its toll. We have about 200 staff members and weve had about 10% with a death in the family...in just the past month cancer, a heart attack and H1n1 claimed three family members lives...their ages... 68, 41 and 17...).. and another 7% with serious illness. (Not including the number of staff who have been sick, gotten injured, or suffering serious financial issues.)

Additionally, our staff work with our members who are also experiencing some of the toughest hardships in their lives...

Is anyone else noticing similar trends???

Its very sad. I love that my job understands how much impact this is having on staff, and that we are taking steps (proactively) to help!

I spent $8 on a salad at lunch today... CLEARLY I am not sticking to the lunch challenge too well, but it was a healthy salad. If that counts. lol



Walmart- Are you kidding me??

March 20th, 2011 at 02:46 pm

First...stopped by the hospital to see the baby. WOW. She is beautiful and big! 23 inches...9lb 7 oz. The babys dad was there, first time Ive met him- he looked about 15 (but he is barely 18). Had the baseball hat on with the brim up and to the side...Mommy's mother was there too and it was easier to see why the lack of support after meeting her. Boy Im being judgemental...but my goodness. Daughter just had a baby a few hours earlier and is trying to learn to nurse and mom INSISTS on getting a 'family photo' first. Pushy and inconsiderate. I left after about 3 minutes- before I said something where it was not my place. I know the nurses see it all..but I have to wonder when they see kids this young becoming parents. (Young both age and maturity for these two).

Ok...end of that rant....on to the next...

Stopped by Walmart on the way home to pick up a couple of necessities.

No kidding...A walmart worker lady was standing at a table right after you walk in. I smiled at her and said hello and must have looked like a good target...because she bee-lined over to me and asked if I wanted a walmart credit card. I politely said NO and kept walking. But she walked right along with me- clearly not getting my NO. She says...its like FREE MONEY. I stopped and looked at her and said 'Really, how is that?"...she said ..."Well, just ignore the bill when it comes".

I think she was kidding...but seriously? This is the ploy to get people to sign up for your credit card?

I had much I could have said, but bit it and simply smiled and said no thank you and walked on. She must have got it this time because she stopped following me.

I wonder what the Walmart big wigs would think about this method of selling credit cards?

My trip to Walmart netted me laundry soap, fabric sheets, a new light bulb for the bathroom, sleepaid, and chocolate to get rid of this grumpiness Big Grin...

The hub is making roast chicken for dinner. He is cooking it in a cast iron pot with lemon, garlic and rosemary...with asparagus. Umm...who is this guy??? lol. Loving his new hobby for sure!!



Baby arrived!

March 20th, 2011 at 10:37 am

Baby girl arrived at about 7 this morning. All 9 lbs 7 ozs of her. (Did I mention mom was fairly petit)...sounds like there were stitches involved afterwards...but mom and baby did great. Now the real work begins.

Because she went into labor last night...DD3 convinced the hub to drive home in a snowstorm. They got here a little after 1am...and now I am having coffee while watching some testosterone gun show. :/

Not quite the quiet morning Id planned, but oh well.

It sure felt good to get up to a clean bedroom. My cats are NOT happy with me...but they will adjust. The no animal in bedroom rule is solid. I want a place that is fur free.

Still got the spring cleaning bug this morning...so we shall see where the day takes me. I do wanna go visit the new mommy...make sure shes getting good advice and information.

Interesting...I have felt much more inergetic lately and it just dawned on me that I am on week three of the 50k units of vitamin D...that, combined with the sleep from not wheezing all night is starting to pay off I think. wow.

I did not get to see the supermoon last night. Frown Total cloud cover here.

I mentioned that I helped kiddos out this past week...so my checking account is empty...but I do have $40 in my wallet...I want to make that last and not dip into savings. I am going to dinner with a friend tomorrow night...so I will HAVE to budget carefully to make it til Friday when I get paid again. hmm....unless, that is someone needs $$ help again this week. sigh.

Sparkly Toes!

March 19th, 2011 at 06:28 pm

Imagine Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers...all shimmery and bright...well....those are my toes after my pedicure this afternoon. Big Grin I had a gift certificate from last Mothers Day from my kiddos that I needed to use...so I took advantage of my quiet day and went and enjoyed. I gave a $4 tip...so a pretty cheap treat...and my toes are now so sparkly!!

I literally dumped out all of the dresser drawers and reorganized them. I put everything I could in either a throw away or give away box to leave plenty of room (we have waaaayyyyy too much 'stuff'. I still have work to do tonight...but man, is the room looking nice.

I have made the bedroom a "no pet zone"...tired of hair, fur, muddy pawprints, etc...in my sanctuary. My cats arent too happy, but they will adjust. I also bought new sheets today...since the cats played and tore holes in my other sheets...which were 3 years old anyways....time for new. SHeets have been washed and are now in the dryer...I am washing all bedding to make a truly fresh start.

Loving the free weekend. Now having a glass of wine and waiting for the super big moon to show up...although, we have a fairly total cloud cover tonight...so I am not sure I will get to see it. :/ If anyone out there does, could you please take and post pictures!!! Im sure there will be some on the internet tomorrow.



Surround Sound?

March 19th, 2011 at 10:01 am

The hub mentioned a few days ago that there is a surround sound system out in my moms little place that he can move here if I wanted. Ive never really thought about having surround sound - but it is free...hmmm. Do any of you have it? Do you enjoy it?

The hub and DD3 are out of town this weekend. DD3 (19) has decided to move to FILs house...about 4 hours away and go to college there. I think this is a good thing for her to try. She has gotten into a rut here and hasnt been motivated since making the decision to quit high school and get her GED. (ugh...this was not supported by mom- not even close).
She is attending orientation this morning and will then come home for the week and move next weekend. She would have stayed this trip except her friend hasnt had her baby yet-- (they are going to induce Monday).

Our houseguest is going camping today and tomorrow...so I HAVE THE HOUSE TO MYSELF. No homework, no work for my job. JUST FREE TIME.

what to do, what to do. I feel a little guilty not inviting a grandbaby over...but I want to enjoy the 36 hours of solitude...selfish??? a little I guess.

I plan on spring cleaning my bedroom. It has gone from being my santuary to the cats hangout...and is in need of attention. A good day of organizing and cleaning in there should do the trick!

My budget would be awesome if I hadnt had to come up with money for kiddos this week. The rain is causing DS's business to be slow still...and DD3 wanted to wait until she gets moved to get a job- so I paid her truck and insurance. The hubs job is only working him 20-30 hrs per week right now, so he doesnt have much to contribute. I am making really good money...and I dont splurge or spend often...and I am still living paycheck to paycheck...

The good news is SPRING is here and DS's business should pick up and do GREAT this year. DD3 is going to look for a job soon. Hopefully when those holes get plugged, I can get back on track.

Time to get busy!!!

Big Moon Weekend

March 18th, 2011 at 07:50 pm

I love Natures' freebies and this weekend is one of them. As told in the article copied below from CNN, the moon is going to be BIG tomorrow. Bigger than its been in 20 years! I hope the sky is clear enough that I can enjoy it!!! Will you be watching?

(CNN) -- If the moon looks a little bit bigger and brighter this weekend, there's a reason for that. It is.

Saturday's full moon will be a super "perigee moon" -- the biggest in almost 20 years. This celestial event is far rarer than the famed blue moon, which happens once about every two-and-a-half years.

"The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," said Geoff Chester with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. "I'd say it's worth a look."

Full moons look different because of the elliptical shape of the moon's orbit. When it's at perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than when it's at the farthest point of its orbit, also known as apogee.

"Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the moon's orbit," the NASA website says.

This full moon will rise in the east at sunset and should look especially big at that time because of what's known as the "moon illusion."

"For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects," according to NASA.

Even though it may look close enough to touch, Saturday's full moon will still be at a healthy distance -- some 211,600 miles (356,577 km) away.

As rare as it is, it may be worth a look. Miss it and you'll have to wait until 2029 to see it again.

Remote capture...and my stab at predicting

March 17th, 2011 at 09:57 pm

Finished up at the planning session for work today. My bet was that once people were able to use remote capture for their checks, the number of transaction conducted in a brick and mortar (bank) would decrease significantly...hmmm. This was countered by the fact that the intro of the internet and internet banking in the 90s would eliminate the need for tellers...and clearly, that didnt happen. But I thin remote capture will be a game changer. I mean, if you could use your phone to take apicture of all the checks you receive...and then send the picture as a deposit from wherever you are...would you then need to go to the bank for much of anything???? Thoughts?

I am looking forward to the next two weekends. No homework, tests or studying...just time to relax and have fun...

No baby yet....she is a week overdue tomorrow. I feel like Im waiting for the water to boil...lol.

Thankfully got a response on the family photos that copies are ok. My faith in family is somewhat restored. Smile

Looking forward to the weekend. ALOT.

Your mom said....

March 15th, 2011 at 08:26 pm

Wow. Social media and unknown relatives. I got a message on facebook today. "I want to get the pictures of my grandparents that your mom said I could have when she was gone"....

Got this from a cousin of my moms today who I have never talked to. These are my great grandparents pictures that have hung in my home for years...my mom never mentioned that she was giving them away...and now I get a curt message that she will pay to have them mailed.

Ouch.

My mom never mentioned the promise..but I can imagine her doing so...and then never saying anything to me. So I offered to send copies. Not sure where this will go now. Hopefully she will be ok with copies of the originals. If not, Im not sure what I will do at this point.

sigh.. (A 'Hi Ray, I am so sorry your mom is gone" would have been nice...)

Oh well. Enjoyed left over pizza for dinner..and leftover steak that the hub bbqd yesterday, and potato for lunch. the next two days are free lunch days at work due to meetings. This will be an inexpensive week for food.

I am looking for a great cupcake recipe to make for the birthday...I budgeted for a whimsical cake...but making cupcakes with my female friends sounds fun and will definately save $$. But I want a really good recipe...thankfully there are lots to choose from. Now to start trying and testing and tastine...lol.

Still no baby. Not a bad thing since the mom is still learning about baby care....

Is there a Reset button somewhere?

March 14th, 2011 at 08:40 pm

The US economy is in the tank..Japan is suffering horribly....animals are falling out of the sky or floating belly up....People are shooting each other, kidnapping kids...everyone seems to be either giving up or getting angry...

I wonder if when the world was created...there wasnt a reset button planted somewhere...

sigh.

I had a great dinner with girlfriends tonight. We used one of the pizza coupons that I bought at an auction...it was fabulous and the company was fun. We had some nice girl time for $9 each (wine and salads to go with the pizza)

Still no baby. Momma was here for a visit last night and I gave her some resources for family counciling and newborn care.

Stressful day. I guess I can reset my attitude-and look for the positive tomorrow. Where the heck is that reset button?

Final is done....and I got an A!

March 12th, 2011 at 10:17 am

Yay! I finished my final and pulled a strong A in the class! Now I get TWO WEEKS off before the next class begins!! woo-hoo.

What to do with a whole weekend with no studying to do!! Me thinks celebrate!!

I am enjoying a cup of coffee, my foot massager and the SA blogs to start with...

In a little while DD2 wants to go look for new scrubs for work..so I will tag along.

Mainly...just enjoy a stress free day!

Happy Saturday all!

Its Blogoversary Time!!!

March 10th, 2011 at 08:49 pm

Woo-Hoo! Five years!!

Ive enjoyed every single visit with the SA family!

Thank you for all of the good wishes!! I look forward to many more years of financial banter and friendship!!!

Hugs everyone!!!

Helping homeless teens

March 10th, 2011 at 07:10 pm

In my quest to volunteer more this year, I signed up to fix dinner every-other month to take to a homeless-teen shelter. This was our month...but when I mentioned it to the hub, he took over! His love of cooking continues to grow. He made whole wheat pasta and meat sauce, green beans, salad, bread and insisted on paying for the supplies. My role was to deliver and see the delighted faces on the teens! (I did stop n route and buy some yummy fresh baked cookies for dessert!) Their dinners are all prepared by the community and delivered to their door. It was very rewarding...looking forward to May, when we get to do it again!

I am enjoying the foot massager while I type this and enjoying a glass of wine. I should be studying, but I spent the day researching online and my brain is just plum tuckered out...so I will just plan to cram tomorrow night and sat morning before I take the final.

DD2 asked if I want to go to some outlet shops about 4 hours away this weekend...but I dont really need anyhing and I am low on $$ after all the loans and other money spent this month. So, I am not sure if I will go or not. That is a LONG drive to just tag along on a shopping trip....hmmm. Im thinking hanging closer to home sounds much better...perhaps I can suggest a plan b. Smile





Babies having babies....sigh

March 9th, 2011 at 08:03 pm

DD3 has a close friend that is having a baby anyday. Friend is 19...unmarried...dirt poor...she and the babies father are moving into a townhouse on Friday...which is the day the baby is due. Their current apartment is $540 a month and the townhouse is only $400- (on a busy street in a less than desirable part of town...) and they need every little bit they can get. She stopped by tonight to visit. She didnt get to take birth classes. And she doesnt have a good coach picked out to help her through delivery. I talked to her for a couple of hours on what to expect...trying to emphasize on the important things that she should try to remember...

She doesnt have things like a robe, nursing bras, nursing pads, etc...they are still waiting on a cradle...thankfully they have a car seat.

I asked her if she had a plan for meals when she is out of the hospital...no. Does boyfriend cook? no. They share a twin bed....but they will have room-mates to help out...

omg.

She had no idea she could shower or take a bath in the hospital to help with contractions...or that there is a ball she can sit on...or...or....or.

She asked me if it was ok to go to the hospital if her water broke before Friday.

omg.

So I shared as much as I thought she could take in...and just gave her money to go buy a robe, some comfy, button up the front jammies, a couple of nursing bras and some nursing pads...and some really good feminine pads for when she goes home.

Her dad told her to think about having her next baby soon so they would be 'close together'....WTF. omg.

Now that I realize she has so little support, I will keep a closer eye on her.

yoo hoo....Lurkers....this one's for you!

March 8th, 2011 at 06:10 pm

My blogoversary is in a couple of days. Each year I shout out to those of you who visit and read...but stop short of sharing your story.

Ive never liked the term Lurker...but you know who you are.

I know youre out there...and there are LOTS of you. Why dont you join us? Tell us your story...allow us to learn from YOU.

I hopped into this zoo 5 years ago...and its been a true joy. I have made some dear cyber-friends...learned AWESOME advice...and shared laughs and tears.

So...why dont you join in and become part of the SA Family...its easy and FREE....and I promise...we dont bite...lol

Results are showing from the class....

March 7th, 2011 at 09:09 pm

I mentioned that I volunteered at a class for teens this weekend. The class is normally $150 per kid, but thanks to generous donors, we give about 90% attendence in scholarships. One of my friends has a teen daughter that attended on Sat...and she did awesome.

Tonight, my friend emailed me to tell me that her daughter set a goal this week to 'make a difference in someones life'.

Today, instead of heading off campus with her friends at lunch, she stayed at school and found a girl sitting by herself...and asked to eat lunch with her. At the end of lunch, the girl thanked her for spending time with her...she has been so lonely and really appreciated not having to eat by herself again.

Another one of the kids decided to build a stronger relationship with his sister...

another, has committed to doing her homework every night to bring her grades up...

almost 20 kids, from an 8 hour day...making small steps to change their lives and the world around them.

Sign me up anytime for this class. I am more than happy to give my time to see these kind of changes happening in our world.

Blessed. I truly am. All for free.

Unintended no-spend day

March 6th, 2011 at 08:13 pm

I didnt start the day off thinking it would be a no-spender...but shortly after I typed my entry this morning, I started feeling sleepy....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... 5 hours later.....holy moley. I guess the business lately caught up with me. It felt great...but that means no studying, no reading, no chores....just sleep. The hub tossed a frozen pizza in the oven and that was dinner. (not my fav, but it was free and it worked).

Now I am sitting here reading posts and using my new foot massager.... Smile

Weekend...

March 6th, 2011 at 10:15 am

I volunteer for a team that provides youth leadership classes for teens. Yesterday we had a class. It always amazes me how a group of 20 or so teens can show up to these sessions wondering if they will be wasting a Saturday with people they dont know....and leave EMPOWERED and a strong team to start being the change they want to see in their world. Yesterday was no exception. I am truly blessed to be part of this team.

Yesterday was also the one year mark of my mom being gone. The whole family went to dinner and had a nice time remembering my mom and dad.

I plan to spend today doing some light housework and studying for my psych final - which is due next Saturday. The test is 75 points and I only need 50 to get an A for the course...so I am well positioned.

I am also getting ready for a planning session at work and am reading up on current and future trends in financial services.

To all my savings friends....what things do you appreciate most in your financial institutions? What technology do you want. Aside from fees, what do you like least?

I would love your responses....

Now, off to hit the books!

Two steps forward and then we get our taxes done...

March 2nd, 2011 at 06:35 pm

And I take three steps back.

I knew we would have to pay since I had to use part of my moms IRA last year to help pay for funeral and other things. That plus I made so much more this year.

It could have been worse...we are paying about $1200. Which coincidentally is the exact amount I set aside for an elective surgery I really wanted to do...lol. I can easily give up something I want if it means paying this off without struggling all year.

So, now to reset and accomplish this years financial goals.

I have achieve my third no spend day in a row, thanks to the lunch challenge and preplanning!