Sunday, July 19, 2009

Takin' it easy...

Wow, last week was one crazy week. Daniel played the guitar at the wedding of one of his roommates on Saturday. It was an outdoor wedding, and Daniel played with a flutist - who turned out to be my 1st cousin once removed! We left Friday afternoon for the rehearsal Friday evening... but that's getting the cart ahead of the horse in the events leading up to leaving.

Our lovely car, a '96 Lumina, runs like a smooth, well oiled machine. But is has an illness that is currently in "remission" and we have no idea when it's going to give up the ghost. Well, not literally, but some major work would be required to keep it running. We have been planning our big summer vacation for some time now, and knew we would be driving the whole way. Our vacation plans take us cross-country, so quite a few miles far from home. First we talked about renting a car, but when we started checking into that, it was going to be more $$ than we really wanted to shell out just to drive a car for 2 weeks. Now, we could've easily gotten a better deal if we didn't have to go out of a certain territory, but once we go past a certain point, the rental fee went out the roof. So, we scrapped that idea. We felt like that much money would be more wisely spent on a "new" car whenever the time came.

So, the decision was made to drive our car out west and just hope that it held up, and if not... well, we'd be buying a car. We don't have any way to know if the Lumina will hold up for another 10 miles or 100,000. It would take almost what the car is worth to fix it, and Daniel didn't want to do that.

Tuesday evening on his way home from work, Daniel called and asked me "so where you serious when you mentioned just buying a new car for the trip?" I had mentioned in, mostly joking. We talked about it (since we would at some point need to get another car anyway to replace the Lumina whenever it croaks) and I ended up looking through the classifieds while he came home. I found 2 cars that fit our criteria, and he called about them as soon as he got home. The first place didn't answer, the second one did. It sounded good enough that we made arrangements to go look at it that evening. We took it for a test drive and liked it, but the price was a bit steep for our budget. Daniel told the guy he'd call him in the morning to let him know. We also let him know that we were going out of town Friday, so if we would get it, we'd need to have it by Thursday so we could get all the title and insurance stuff taken care of. The seller was fine with that.

We did our research Tuesday evening and realized that he was basing his asking price off the retail value of the car and not the private sale value - quite a bit of difference! Wednesday morning Daniel called him and made an offer that was substantially lower than what he was asking and still under our "we won't pay more than X for it". The guy accepted it right away! We were a little amused (not really) that when Daniel told him that we'd done some research and come up with the same numbers as he had (in value), the guy said "well, I wouldn't lie to you!". Hmm... but whatever.

We met the guy Wednesday evening and bought it! Thursday morning we spent about 1/2 an hour in the DMV getting the title switched over (yes, only 1/2 hr!! We got there before they opened) and I called and got insurance put on it and drove to the county office and bought a county tag.

I know you're all curious what it is...

Warning: It's a granny car. When Daniel and I realized what we were considering buying, we laughed and laughed.

It's a 2002 Buick Le Saber. White.

Today we passed one that was baby blue, and I said I was really glad it wasn't baby blue, cause that would fur shur be a granny car!! Daniel said he would've never considered buying it if it had been baby blue for that reason. We joke that we need to do something to it to make it more "our generation"... maybe some flames down the sides, or put big rims on it and jack it up (or lower it) just a bit, or dual exhaust straight pipes, or even some fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror. So far the only thing we've done to it is ride it :)

Ahh, it rides so nice :) Just 2 weeks ago we were talking about how big cars kinda "float" down the road, instead of "bumping" down the road (over dips and bumps). This car definitely has a nice "float" factor.

We're really enjoying all the bells and whistles it came with that our other car doesn't have. A cd player, leather seats, TWO!! cupholders (one had broken in the Lumina), automatic seat adjusters, and so on and so forth. It has buttons for heated seats, but we know the driver's seat doesn't work, and I haven't tried the passenger's seat in case it comes on and I can't get it to go off and we're riding down the interstate :P

So yeah, back to it all... We're on vacation! We're driving out to visit my sister and are spending the nights on the way out with friends and relatives :) We have a house sitter keeping the home-fires burning this time, which is nice! I'm a little bummed that the timing as far as the garden has ended up not the best. My beans are in the middle of coming in, and the tomatoes and peppers will be ready whenever they decide to turn their proper color, and I'm not 100% sure that the first corn won't be ready while we're gone, either.

We did pack our laptop and the cord for the camera, so hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures here and there. Right now I'm using our friends computer :)

It is technically 11:00, but since we've travelled from the Eastern Time Zone into the Central Time Zone, my body is sayin' it's midnight. And I was up till after 1am last night, so I'm about ready to call it a day. Daniel is playing the guitar with Aaron (the friend we're staying with tonight), we don't see him very often and whenever we do, guitars always come out!! In the meantime, I think I'm going to brush my teeth and go to bed.

P.S. Know anybody that wants to buy a used car? :P

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Giant Grocery G______

I couldn't think of a "G" word to go along with the rest of my title.

I won't be doing much grocery shopping the next two weeks, so I had fun, fun, fun today!! Ah, it was so nice to get all the really great deals, and get as many of them as I had coupons for! It felt like a wonderful "stock-up" day. I only went to Kroger, which has a really nice "10 item mega event" sale going on this week.

Food:10 (32oz) Powerade - $.79 ea.
6 big boxes Rice Krispies - $.99 ea.
6 Yoplait Yogurts - $.33 ea.
5 Cheerios Snack Mix - $.49 ea.
5 pkgs. Tyson Split Chic. Breasts - $10.64/all (roughly $.66/lb)
7 French's Mustard - $.49 ea.
4 gal. Orange Juice - $1.25!!! Manager's Special I couldn't pass up!
2 Kraft Salad Dressing - $.19 ea.
2 Tombstone Pizzas - $2.49 ea.
3 Sargento Cheese - $.49 ea.
2 Oscar Mayer lunchmeat - $2.49 ea.
Fiber One Yogurt - FREE
Lettuce - $1.05
3 Apples - $1.55
4 Nectarines - $1.42 (oops, he rang them up as peaches, $.10/lb more. Oh well)
18 ct. Eggs - $1.48
2 Cream Cheese - $.79 ea.

Shelf Price: $148.78
Spent: $58.86
Saved: $89.92 / 60%

8pk. Brawny Paper Towels - $4.49 (a $1 Cellfire Q was supposed to come off but it didn't??)
3 L'Oreal Vive Pro - $.69 ea
6 Cat Treats - FREE (yes, for our dog :P )

Shelf Price: $30.73
Spent: $7.33
Saved: $23.40 / 76%


Daniel is my hero. He helped me figure out my veeerrrry long receipt. He's the one that found that one pack of chicken that hadn't been taxed, causing a $.07 difference in my total! I have been going to the "other" Kroger the past several weeks, and the people there have been really nice, and the cashiers amazing. I am much more comfortable with them, and don't mind having a conversation with the people there, which is very different from the other Kroger (with the super-friendly male cashier). I'm just really glad that all the cashiers have been so great so far! This is the store that I had serious trouble at a couple times with my coupons. I had 40 coupons today! Thankfully no one got in line behind me until we were almost done, and I made sure the cashier was ok with it before he started. When we got to the coupons I told him that since I had so many I wanted to hand them to him in batches. He did really great at scanning them, and when he was done he said he's had people in there with an even bigger pile than I had! I like it when the cashiers seem to be excited over my savings :)

When Daniel saw all the Rice Krispies he asked if I was going to make Rice Krispie Treats :) I might have to get some marshmallows and make some for him.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sonic Giftcard Giveaway @ Mommysnacks!

Andrea at MommySnacks is hosting a Sonic Giftcard giveaway! There will be 6 winners, so head on over to her post and get your name in the pot! It would be fun to win one, we could use it on our vacation later on :) My first Sonic experience was 2 summers ago when we were on our way to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum at we stopped at a Sonic for supper :) It was fun to sit in the car to order and have them bring the food out to us!

Lake Day

Last Friday was an impromptu lake day for my family. Going to the lake was a very big thing for our family "back in the day". Like for probably 5 or 6 years we would go to the lake ev-er-ry Sunday from the first of May to as late in September as possible. I learned to water ski when I was 6 (I think). Now, with everyone living hither and yon, and all our own schedules, jobs, commitments, and so on, it's a juggling act to find ONE day when it suits everyone to go to the lake.

All but one of my siblings was able to be there! I don't think Daniel and I were able to go last year, and it had been a couple years since another sister had been able to go. 2 out of the 5 brothers-in-law were there, and all 3 of the grandkids were there :) The weather has not been very hot in the Valley yet this year, so last week when the daytime highs weren't above 80, we knew that "back at the lake" it was going to be cooler. I drove to Mom & Dad's Thursday night and woke up cold Friday morning. It was long-sleeves and jeans weather! None-the-less, the boat was loaded and hooked up, I made a trashbag full of popcorn, coolers were loaded with hotdogs and supplies, and all the last minute things were gotten, called, fed, filled, figured out, etc. When we got back to the lake it was still overcast and breezy. On the cool side. Glen was ready to get in the water right away and it didn't take him too long to get wet. The rest of us were a little more skeptical.

Eventually most of us got in, and several people water skied. The water was cool for sure. It took a while to "ooze" in, but once you got to a certain point, it was just torture so you had to just plunge in the rest of the way. It wasn't too bad once you got used to it, but not as warm as it has been other times!!! Mid afternoon the sun came out and it was pretty nice - for sitting on the shore :)

I didn't get a ton of pictures taken, but here are some of them.

Paul & Bobby
(the 2 nephews)

My youngest brother, Glen, and Bobby

Glen (left) and Laura getting ready to ski.

Laura skiing

Laura getting ready to ski; Dad drove the boat the whole day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip

No picture again this week :( I had alot going on yesterday and my sister is here today and we did a ton of cleaning and all the groceries got put away.

Use you're imagination :)

Kroger & Food Lion:

Beef Roast (Markdown) - $6.14
2 Kraft Dressings - $.67 ea.
5 Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - FREE
1 gal. Orange Juice - $1.99
6 Yoplait Yogurt - $.38 ea.
10 envelopes KoolAid - $.10 ea.
(Save $2 on ANY Sugar WYB 10 KoolAid)
4lb. Kroger Sugar - $.28
3 Bananas - $.60
2 Apples - $1.06
3 Nectarines - $1.66
2 Planter's Cashews - $2.50 ea.
1 doz. Eggs - $.99

Shelf Price - $50.24
Spent - $23.19
Saved - $27.05 / 54%


3 Pert Plus for Men - $.99 ea.

Shelf Price - $9.93
Spent - $2.97
Saved - $6.96 / 70%

I had all planned to buy some paper towels and toilet paper, but when I was putting them in my cart realized that I didn't have the coupons with me! I'd even cut them out right before I left, *tsk*. Oh well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today,
Monday July 6, 2009

I am thinking... that we had a really nice weekend. Daniel had off on Friday and we took some sand (that was in our yard) to some friends. I went shopping with Rachel while Daniel and Mike unloaded the sand. Saturday was a long day, driving to the Valley and running a bunch of errands. It was nice to see so many people, though.

I am thankful for... finding my purse last night. When we got to church (early) I put it in ONE SPOT. When I went to get it an hour later, it was G.O.N.E. We checked lost and found, asked several people, looked everywhere, and could not find it. It's not totally unusual for strangers off the street to walk in, but we couldn't figure out how or why they would look "there" for a purse and then take the whole thing. I was getting pretty nervous, thinking about stolen identity, having to change all our cards, accounts, getting new insurance cards, wondering if insurance would pay for new glasses, would I have to file a police report, etc. To make matters worse, there was one homeless man in the service that night. A couple people "randomly" strolled past where he was sitting to see if he had a bag he might've put it in, but he didn't. About the time I was ready to give up and declare it stolen, somebody went and looked in the church office (it stays locked and nobody was there) and somehow, somebody had put it in there. We are still totally clueless why (or who) it had been moved - I put it in that "one place" quite often while we're at church doing other things and I can't keep it with me or in sight all the time.

From my kitchen... I baked a loaf of bread early this morning in the bread machine. I've been having trouble with the recipe I was using being too doughy, so I added what I thought would be enough extra flour last night when I was putting the ingredients together. When it started up at 3am this morning (I had it on a timer), I woke up and thought for sure the machine was getting ready to fall off the counter it was clunking and clanging so loudly. Turns out I'd put in enough flour to keep it from being doughy! It was very stiff. I added some water and piddled with it for several minutes. This morning it is one ugly loaf, but it was better than nothing.

I am going... to Food Lion just down the road this morning. When I was shopping last week I totally forgot that I have a meal to deliver today. So I need to go get stuff to make that. And hopefully when I deliver the meal I'll get to hold little 1 1/2 week old Theo :) He was at church yesterday morning and so little and cute :)

I am reading... all kinds of things right now.

I am hoping... for a wonderful, productive week this week! And that my garden doesn't need watered too much since it's rained some this weekend.

I am creating... this week my goal is to clean our bedroom. When I packed up so much stuff a couple months ago (because somebody was coming to look at the house), the stuff that didn't get completely packed got put in a pile... and that pile has turned into the "catch-all".

I am hearing... the birds outside chirping and cheeping.

Around the house... not much is going on. I need to do laundry and cleaning today, just same old, same old.

A few plans for the rest of the week... I hope to add in another "loop" to my daily (or as daily as I make it) walk this week. Right now I'm doing 3 loops which makes it right about 9/10 of a mile. I think each loop is 3/10, or it might be exactly 1/3 mile. I've driven it a couple times, and it's one of those. Close enough I consider it a mile. Adding another loop wouldn't hurt.

A picture thought... crawl back in bed and dream a little :P That's what I want to do. I probably shouldn't. Maybe if I get moving around I'll feel more awake. Breakfast might help, too.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

This Week's Grocery Shop

No pictures this week :( Today's been a big day and I didn't have a chance to get it done yesterday between getting home from shopping, fixing supper, getting a few other things done and then going to church.

I went to Kroger & Food Lion this week.

Food Stuff:

1 box Artisan Wheat Thins - FREE
1 box Ritz Crackers - $2.00
4 Pepsi & 1 Mt. Dew - $2.40 ea.
1/2 gal. milk - $1.89 (reg. price)
1 gal. Orange juice - $1.99
7 (32oz) Gatorade - $.58 ea.
2 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownies w/ Walnuts - $.82 ea.
Cheetos - $1.38
1 doz. Eggs - $.99

Shelf Price - $46.98
Spent - $25.63
Saved (coupons & sales) - $21.35 / 45%

Non Food:

5 Chinet Lunch Plates - FREE
1 can dog food - FREE

Shelf Price - $16.19
Spent - $.54 (tax)
Saved (coupons & sales) - $15.65 / 97%

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Contortion in the Dressing Room

I'm pretty sure no guys read my blog. If you do, consider yourself warned and go read something else. The end.

A couple weeks ago I was complaining about something that had to do with the upper-half undergarments. Bras. The kind that have hooks in the back and 2 straps and so on and so forth. The kind I've always worn. I'm a sports bra virgin. Never worn one. I like my girls nicely supported and snug, and have a specific brand of arbuterus that I prefer to wear. I can't remember what the occasion was, but Daniel said "maybe you should get some sports bras." I hadn't ever considered it. I thought about it, and yesterday decided it was time to venture forth and acquire one or some.

I called 2 of my sisters and got their input and advice on the matter and headed to town. To WalMart. I looked high and low and could not find the sports bras. I finally found a wall of them and they didn't look like squat. Like if I took a pair of granny panties, turned them upside down, made a neck hole and wore them on the top instead of the bottom, I'd get the same effect. I was sad because that meant I'd have to go to a "big" store (read: expensive department store) and spend more money. I was about to leave that section when I stumbled over a second wall of sports bras, these looking more like the real deal.

There were all shapes and sizes. Ones that looked like they would probably work well and others that looked like my girls would either be all sad and droopy or appear like a uni-boob if I made 'em wear that. I picked out a few different ones and headed to the dressing room.

Note: My sisters both strongly suggested that I get racerback, so that's what I picked out.

I got in there and got ready to try the thing on. do you do that!?!? It was like trying to climb through a rubber band. The kind that comes around the bottom of the broccoli. Pushing and pulling and praying that I wouldn't rip the thing in the process, I managed to get it on and everything situated. And decided it wasn't one I liked. Then I had to figure out how to GET IT OFF!!! Do I pull it up from the bottom? Do I slide one arm down and through? Will I have to cut it off? I wiggled and pulled and wrestled with my arms and torso going in all different directions and managed to get it off. Like climbing through a rubber band again. Surely the next one will be easier. It was... just a little. I still don't have it mastered. I found one pair that I liked and bought another pair without trying it on. I picked it out after I got out of the dressing room and there was no way I was going back in there. I don't like being that much undressed in public, even it is behind a closed doors.

And so a new chapter of my life begins. The one where sports bras enter the picture. Hopefully I won't dislocate my shoulders or elbows in the process.