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Archive for March, 2008

Just call me SASSY!

March 31st, 2008 at 08:18 pm

Well, this is blog #600 for me! Have I really had 600 different things to blog about???? Seems incredible. I will dedicate # 600 to Jeffrey and Nate.

Jeffrey and Nate, if you are reading this, I want to THANK YOU- from the bottom of my heart for giving us a site that we can come to and share experiences (good, bad, savings related or not) and know we are among friends. I know that Saving Advice was once just a thought...and you guys took that thought and turned it into a reality...(did you have any idea of the success you would realize with that thought?)

I often wonder if you are proud of your site...if you know all of us like we know each other...if you ever learn something new...of if you are ever truly amazed by an entry...or surprised???

I am sure it is a combination of at least a little of all of the above.

I just want you to know that I am grateful to you for making this site available for all of us to learn, share, challenge, and enjoy. I do not know if you will ever fully know the impact you have had on our lives. Hugs to you both!!!


And now, on with my original post...

....ok you know its a major transition on your head when even the IS guys notice the new "do"...lol. Sassy was my new nickname at work today...followed closely by :wow, what happened to your eye!" argh.

Now, can I share a little excitement with you guys???

As part of my job, I arrange hotels, flights, reservations, etc...and I recently purchased CATS tickets to our local theatre for my CEO who wanted to surprise his team with Dinner and a show..I booked dinner this weekend at a great little Japanese restaurant that specializes in Chop/chop show style cooking...

This morning my boss let me know that he included me and a guest in those tickets I bought and dinner reservations I made!!! How cool is that??? One of the many perks I've enjoyed since re-entering the job. So, when I get back from my vacation, I get to go on a spectacular night out!!! I have no idea about CATS except that Ive seen commercials on the East COast channels that we get here.

Several of our senior leaders have been challenged to open ING accounts and to check out the opening process...(huh? they dont have one???) So tonight, I sent them all referrals in the hopes that they will use my link and I will earn some referral money!!!

Tonight we pulled some steaks out of the freezer and the hub bbq-d dinner before I got home...so a cheap, but yummy meal.

If I overlook DD3s teenage (& p'd off)attitude this morning and the major hub blowup from GD once again destroying the house before we got home while mommy was busy in the office, I would consider this a great day!!

Afterall, how many grammas get the title of SASSY after one haircut??? lol

ps...Jeffrey and Nate, please don't sell us to the loan sharks tomorrow... Wink teehee

Wine tasting= $Free, the value of the experience....well you tell me!

March 30th, 2008 at 07:40 pm

I joined a local winery's wine club last year. I am committed to purchasing a "shipment" every three months (under $40 for two nice bottles of wine)...and in return, I have a discount on their wines, am invited to some spectacular events- which are free...and I can take up to 6 friends wine tasting any time I want, for free. I enjoy wine tasing, so this seemed like a great deal...and I have not been disappointed.

So, today I needed to get by and pick up my shipment and asked my mom (71)if she would like to go with and do some afternoon tasting.

We went about 1pm...and we were the only tasters there. Of course the gal behind the counter took one look at me and said "Oh boy, what happened to that eye"...argh.

We sat at the little counter and proceeded to have a few samples while visiting with the gal working there. Then, these two other ladies came in and the 5 of us began chatting about our roots...all 5 of us were from Southern California. (not uncommon here in Oregon)...pretty soon a man came in and he was just passing through on his way back home...to California...lol. My mom actually became the life of the party, telling some great stories...reminiscing...and even got to talk about my dad. Any of you who have ever lost someone you love dearly know how wonderful it feels to say their name out loud and talk about the good ol days...

We noticed that it was starting to snow outside...and we all enjoyed the fact that the sun was out AND it was snowing!

A couple came in then, by now my mom and I had been there about and hour and a half..the young couple was there to check on wedding locations...so I mentioned that my SIL and DD1 do DJ and photography...and they took their numbers.

Nana and I decided to head home and everyone told my mom how much they enjoyed getting to know her. On the way home, my mom was glowing...and mentioned that she might consider getting out a little more...she said she'd forgotten how nice it was to socialize. Smile

Wine tasting = FREE
Nana being the center of attention for a whole afternoon while she told tales about my dad....absolutely ....well= need I say more?

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

March 30th, 2008 at 11:02 am

Gads. Call it Murhpy's law. You get a great new "do"...and are all excited about getting up and fixing it all special only to look in the mirror and see a GROTESQUELY RED EYE. Ugh. Not sure how or why, but a blood vessel has let me down and turned my eye a yucky bright red. My first day of trying "vanity" on for size and now this...(of course, it's instant karma for wanting to enjoy vanity for day...lol.)

Oh well. I guess thats why they made sunglasses...lol so watch me do my laundry on a dreary cloudy day...in my dollar store sunglasses with my lovely new do...lol.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about the reactions from my SA friends about my extravagance yesterday...and could not have been more surpised ( and pleasantly) at the support you gave me and how many of you said I was "worth it".

As a mom, wife and frugal wanna-be, it is hard to justify things that are just for ME. Thanks for helping me understand that many of you splurge on yourselves and that it is important to do that (once in a while anyway)

Today is laundry, housework and getting ready for the next work-week...but first a morning cup of coffee and visit to this site!!

I hope you all have a good one!


ps...it just occured to me that this thing will take 10-14 days to go away...and I will be on my vacation for most of that.....ARGH. My sunglasses will be a very familiar site!!!

Haircut and a new outlook

March 29th, 2008 at 05:34 pm

I was very UNfrugal today. I honestly didn't leave the house thinking..."ok, Im going to spend an outrageous amount of money on my hair"...(which is something I never do...until today)

My weekend "look" has definately been the "grandma who is a little hefty with dark roots having a bad hair day".

So, I walked into the JC Penney salon and asked for a hair-cut (no I don't need it styled, thanks)....

And then I sat down in front of the mirror and was looking at the frumpiest, tired person Id seen in a long time...there was no spark in those eyes guys.

So "Becky" walks up...she was about my age...a little heavier than me..which I mention ONLY because... SHE LOOKED GREAT. She asked me what kind of cut I would like and I looked at her and said...I want to walk out of here feeling as good as you look.

...and Becky looked at me like I was crazy. And I don't blame her one bit.

So we talked through cuts, my roots, my timeline for getting ready in the morning, etc...and I looked around the room and saw a room full of women who were smiling, chatting, foil in their hair...and thought - what the heck.

So I asked for the works...a cut, color, highlights, even an eyebrow wax..(ouch)...
Guys, it took over 3 hours!

Becky took her time and purposely kept me from looking in the mirror...at one point I told her it felt like there was a SURPRISE PARTY happening on my head...lol.

And then, the moment of truth, Becky asked me if I was ready...and I closed my eyes...but first a few people (customers and stylists) said, you are going to be happy....

And she swung me around...

I honestly didn't recognize the person looking back right away...

She looked happy, at least 10 years younger, definately not old enough to be a gramma...and FRUMPY was no where in sight....FRUMPY had left the building....

I'm not sure if there is room for treats like this in a truly frugal budget...sometimes I think I will never make that leap from a wanna-be to truly frugal like some of you...

But I am so excited about looking my age again...I can't tell you...

It was a major extravagance...even for a wanna be- but I am not sorry I did it.

and I don't anticipate buyers remorse, as I will be able to smile when Ilook in the mirror each morning!!!

Argh...Disorganization is EXPENSIVE

March 28th, 2008 at 09:39 pm

Oh guys, I am ashamed of the content of this post..but if I don't own it, I will never change.

I literally threw away $250 this month...no wait...$265...$274....

Ok, $274 forever lost and it is all because Ive been disorganized and not paying attention like I need to. And it makes me FRUSTRATED!!

The $250 is the pre-paid medical that I paid in 2007. I thought I had until March 30 to turn in claims and get reimbursed...but alas, it was only til the 15th and there is no wiggle room. Just like THAT $250 is gone. I, again, got a debit of 8.95 from Netflix because I have misplaced the little sleeve thing to mail back a movie...and $14.95 to Napster because I foolishly allowed DD3 to use my card to set up an account and now we are having trouble getting th account closed. CLASSIC examples of the cost of disorganization...

VERY EXPENSIVE "oops" stuff...and I am really, really kicking myself. bleh. phooey.

poop

I am resolving Netflix and Napster this weekend. The other, well, I am going to make certain my prepaid medical is put to good use well before the end of 2008.

You are all welcome to witness the public flogging if I do not take care of these as promised!

Craigslist, part deux...and Las Vegas...

March 27th, 2008 at 08:04 pm

First of all, Craigslist coughed up an IP address and the computer/owner who posted the hoax ad have been located. No charges until enough information is retreived from the computer...but I sure hope the perp gets whats coming!! (The owner has still not recouped all of his things)

I dont think Ive mentioned this yet but...

One week from NOW I will be almost touching down in Las Vegas...I am going to my friends son's wedding in So Calif...and the cheapest way to get there was via Las Vegas...darn, I have stay over coming and going...lol. Actually I enjoy Las Vegas, I guess because I am not a gambler so my entertainment is people watching.

This will be my first full week off work for vacation in one year...I have just taken long weekends and time off when my dad died...I am ready for the break.

My mom is going with us (me and DD1)--but we will be dropping her off at one of her dear friends homes....traveling has been out of the question for my mom for so long that she is giddy with excitement...(a good thing since she has been struggling since my dad died). It took a little extra planning to set her up with dialysis while we are there...but I think we have it all set.

DD1 is the wedding photographer...so I will act as her assistant at the wedding.

One week to go...then I am off for some R nR...ahhh....life is good.

Raise your right hand and repeat after me....

March 26th, 2008 at 07:37 pm

This post is dedicated to our blogging buddies who have become MIA...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I get attached to the folks who blog here. I consider you blogging sisters and brothers, or buddies, or friends...whatever you want to call it. I read about your lives and I care about what is happening to you. I appreciate you advise, I celebrate with you, do the happy dance for you, and sometimes even cry with you. GOSHDARNIT...you are like family.

And then...for no good reason, one of my blogging buddies will up and disappear. *poof*...just one day I scratch my head and realize I have not read anything in a while...and then a while longer...and then a while longer.

I am sure this is common in blogging land. I know life happens...but I have a favor to ask.

Could you just post a parting blog to let me (us) know you are taking a break, leaving, wont be back, etc. whatever?

I just want to know you're ok. That's all. I will miss you...but at least I don't have to worry too...

SO...as you read this, please raise your right hand and repeat after me....

I promise to sign off...if I wont be blogging for a while...or ever...so that my blogging buddies can say adios and not worry about me when they realize it's been a while...

That's all. And if you are still checking in and reading, but not blogging...and you see yourself in this post...consider this your get out of jail free card....complete amnesty just for letting us know how you are.

Easy enough, dontchathink???

Unreal but True -Craigslist Story

March 25th, 2008 at 06:45 pm

This past weekend an ad was placed on Craigslist that a guy down on his luck had to leave town and all of his belongings were free for the taking, tools, household goods, clothes, everything...It also said that he had to abandon his horse, and if someone could rescue the horse...blah, blah...

So, someone showed up and rescued the horse and alot of other people showed up to get some free stuff...

But the owner showed up--and he DID NOT place the ad. Someone had placed it as a hoax. Can you imagine coming home and having people rifling through your things and carting them off?? And having your horse missing?

So the owner gets very angry and tells the free-seekers to return his things and THEY START ARGUING with him that they are just responding to an ad. OMG!

The police were called and now they are trying to get people who had already came and left before the owner got home, to return his stuff. Luckily, the horse rescuer was a very honest, kind person who called immediately and returned the horse...but can you imagine???

There is a thread on this article and some of the free-seekers are angry that they 1. have to return their freebies and 2. they can't return it at their leisure otherwise they will be charged with theft.

Um...ok.

This is wrong on so many levels. The system is broke if someone can easily place a hoax ad that causes such emotional distress and financial damage. Why would so many people just assume it is ok to and show up and start taking...without confirming the facts...
And the arguing and resentment over not getting to keep the free stuff is beyond my comprehension.

The proper folks are investigating and hopefully someone will be prosecuted...but wow.

There have since been reports that this has happend to others in other states...boy. Logic clearly defied.

What to do with those freebies...

March 24th, 2008 at 07:19 pm

I have to wonder how many deviled eggs found their way into todays lunch bags...

I mentioned doing some community service on Saturday. Well, when we were getting ready to leave, the coordinater pointed to a huge box and said, please help yourselves to as many of those goodies in the box. We are trying to get rid of them.

So, I looked in and there were dozens of these beautiful red tin containers that would make great Christmas decorations or containers for gift "baskets"...there were also some large boxes decorated with fruit (These were from Harry and David stores- very good heavy quality.) So I took several and now have some great containers for future gifts...I cant wait to spend some time turning them into something. I love freebies!!

I certainly hadn't expected anything for our work- and it was a nice surprise!!

An Easter Blessing

March 23rd, 2008 at 08:22 pm

I had such a horrible headache this morning..it has been lingering for days-- so I took a nap and really had to do an inner debate about going to the Easter gathering at DILs moms this afternoon.

Decided to go and here are just a few of the reasons I am so glad I did...

Deep fried turkey...unless you have had it, there are no words to describe how yummy this is.

Visit with the inlaws that I only see on Holidays like this...luckily, they are all very good people and my kids have done a great job of chosing mates/families that blend well..

Having all of my kids together for the afternoon. such a joy to see them all together, enjoying each others company..

the grandbabies...I rocked GD 2 (6 months) to sleep..no feeling quite like it..watched GS 3- and GD-2 hunt eggs..they had a blast with all the other kids.

But the number ONE blessing was having the entire family together and know that they are all happy, healthy and enjoying their lives.

I did spend $60...I gave DILs mom money towards the 2 turkeys, 2 hams and all the trimmings today...She is a gem and loves making the arrangements for these get togethers...It was well worth the $60 to help with the costs..Money well spent for a gorgeous afternoon.

A Basket of Eggs from me to you!

March 23rd, 2008 at 09:57 am



Happy Easter Everyone!

I have prepared a basket of Easter Eggs this morning especially for my SA friends.

Let's open the eggs together:

In the BLUE egg, I have placed a wish for GOOD HEALTH. May you enjoy the peace and comfort that Good Health brings.

In the YELLOW egg, I have placed a wish for SUNSHINE and warmth in your lives.

In the PINK egg, I have placed a wish for HOPE. May you always keep the joy of hope in your heart.

In the GREEN egg, I have placed a wish for healthy financial decisions so that you can reach your goals in your journey of life.

In the SPECKLED egg I've placed a wish for a variety of wonderful surprises to keep your lives intersting and to keep you excited about what the future will bring.

In the GOLDEN egg, I placed a wish for LOVE. May you never doubt that you are special to someone who is special to you.

Have truly blessed day!! Hugs.

Community Service

March 22nd, 2008 at 08:50 pm

One thing I absolutely LOVE about my job is the commitment our staff makes to community service.

Today, we repacked a whole bunch of food for Access, which will take the repacked boxes and make available to seniors and people with disabilities. We took cases of food, separated it into boxes of goods that will aid and assist nutritional needs of folks who would otherwise do without.

It was a long morning...but a very rewarding one.

Do you do community service?? If not, I recommend this as a way to refresh your spirit...there is no feeling quite like the one you get from helping others.

Finances slowly turning around..

March 21st, 2008 at 08:01 pm

Several recent events have helped turn our financial situation around...at least a little.

First, the hub recently got a raise because of a new contract through is job...even better, the raise was retrocative back to November...which equated (after taxes) to two extra weeks pay.

Then, the kids have been getting their tax refunds back...which has meant they have a few dollars to finally pay mom back...

The hub took our taxes in today...which will mean at least the rebate from the govt (which should be about $1500)...

And I am hoping another raise is in the works for me...which will be a monthly increase that will take us from tight to comfy... Smile

So...I have socked away an emergency fund, have our vacations taken care of for the year and have enough left to pay down some debt. It feels so good to have some breathing room!!

On a side note...tomorrow I am volunteering 4 hours to a community project, then nana and I will finish up on Easter food and goodies...Sunday is all family time!

Hugs to you all for a wonderful weekend!!

Oh yeah, BA- the blob has taken a break and is not oozing beyond the initial line across my screen...fingers crossed that this is how it goes for a while!! lol.