Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Too much blue.......

I ride the bus to work. That does not save me from having to drive at all, since the park and ride lot is 15 minutes from home. But it does save me from having to drive to downtown Houston in rush hour traffic.

I enjoy riding the bus, as it gives me time every morning to read….the ride is usually 25-30 minutes. So, when I get to work, I am nice and calm and not stressed out by my commute.

I tend to not pay attention to people on the morning bus. I just get on, find a seat and bury my nose in my book. The afternoon ride is a different story, as I often ride with a friend of mine and we chat the whole way.)

This morning I got on, sat down and as I was pulling my magazine…not a book today…out of my bag, I glanced across the aisle. And saw a foot. Encased in a BRIGHT BLUE PATENT LEATHER shoe.

This is not the real shoe, but it is the real color of the shoe I saw. That one was a normal pump, but this is the color.

Normally, I don’t check out what other women are wearing on the bus, since it just seems a little invasive to be “checking them out.” On the street, it is okay.

I couldn’t help myself. I looked up. I HAD to know what this woman was wearing with these party pumps. Are you ready for it?? Navy blue skirt, powder blue jacket and white and powder blue striped blouse. OH….MY…..GOD! There was so much blue.

And it didn’t work……at all. Sorry Blue Lady.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vote for Nikki!

This is our niece, Nikki. She played softball in high school....really well. She didn't play in college, though offered a full scholarship, because she started having back problems and playing softball aggrevated it. I don't remember if it was an injury or what, since it happened before I met Hubby....she is his niece, so mine by marriage.

Nikki is now married and a wonderful mommy to 2 adorable little girls and is a manager for Target. That is NOT what she went to college at Texas A&M to do, but you know how that goes. LOL!

We just found out that Nikki has been nominated to play on the UIL Centennial Celebration All-Century Softball Team. How cool is that?!

She needs votes! So, please click the below link to go vote for her. You will need to enter an email addy. (That is just so that they can know if the same person is voting over and over.) Scroll down to the OUTFIELDERS. Vote for Nikki Gonsoulin. She is the 34th entry on the list.

For anyone intersted here is the history of UIL, which is a Texas organization that has become the largest interscholastic organization in the country.

Thanks, everyone!

Hachi A dog's tale

Okay, I don't do a lot of movie reviews. I DO watch a lot of movies, though. I just always figure that my taste may not be to everyone's taste (since I will watch pretty much everything).

But last night, Hubby and I watched an excellent movie. Here is the "official" description:

From Academy Award-nominated director Lasse Hallström (2000, The Cider House Rules) comes Hachi: a Dog's Tale, a film based on one of the most treasured and heartwarming true stories ever told. Golden Globe winner Richard Gere (2002, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Chicago) stars as Professor Parker Wilson, a distinguished scholar who discovers a lost Akita puppy on his way home from work. Despite initial objections from Wilson’s wife, Cate (Academy Award nominee Joan Allen – 2000, Best Actress, The Contender), Hachi endears himself into the Wilson family and grows to be Parker's loyal companion. As their bond grows deeper, a beautiful relationship unfolds embodying the true spirit of family and loyalty, while inspiring the hearts of an entire town.

We had read about this movie in Entertainment Weekly, where a reviewer said that it would even make men cry. So Hubby had to get it, just to test that out. Well, I have rarely ever teared up at a movie. Hubby says it is because I am cold hearted. I say it is because I have seen so many movies. LOL!

This one had both of us choked up several times. It is sweet and funny and endearing and just a wonderful family film. Thumbs up from both of us!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

You can never come with me again!

That is what I told Hubby on Sunday after he accompanied me to the grocery store. Was I being mean? Probably. But......

Usually, I spend $50 - $60 a week at the grocery store. I could spend less, but since the kids moved out, we splurge a little more than we used to. Oh, and our kitties like to eat and poop and their food and litter is in my grocery budget.

The weekend before last, I only spent $22 at the grocery store. I was pretty psyched, thinking that a few trips like that and our big meat purchase would be within the grocery budget and not "extra."

WELLLLL....Hubby decided last Sunday that he would go to the store with me, since it had been years since he went with me. He will go, on occasion, to pick up something he wants that he forgot to tell me about, or even to get extra deals if they are really good.

My list included mostly free and cheap toothbrushes, free dental floss, free sponges, free and close to free pasta. And a lot of cheap stuff. The only things I had on the list that were not "deals" were milk, some produce, black pepper and jalapenos.

After we went through the store and Hubby found a lot of stuff that we apparently "needed", but didn't know it until he saw it, we headed to the checkout. Hubby went on out to get the car to come pick me up and I checked out. Even after I handed over a PILE of coupons, my total was still $85!!!! Sure, I saved $90, but I have not had a $85 grocery bill in many, many years and that time it was for a huge holiday meal I was throwing for my family.

I know....I a lot of people $85 is not that bad. But I was just in shock! I paid, went outside and Hubby drove up to get me. We loaded the car, got in and headed home. And Hubby said,

"How badly did I blow your budget?"

He knew he did it. LOL! I told him he could NEVER, EVER go to the grocery store with me again. Then I told him not to worry, since I didn't want him thinking that we were going to have to go to debtor's prison to pay for our food. LOL!

So, does anyone else have to ban their hubby from the grocery store?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It may be time to move on.

Without going into a great detail, I am no longer happy with my current job. I have worked for my boss for 11 years and though, at times, the work was not challenging (and sometimes downright dull), I really liked my boss, so stayed with him.

I could have promoted, or changed positions, within the company any number of times, but I have gone the workaholic route earlier in my life and chose to stay in a comfortable position. I don’t work ridiculous hours and I don’t take home work home with me.

During the summer, our group was reorganized under a new vice president. I don’t know much about her, except that she is a raging workaholic. My boss has since been trying to keep up with her and apparently doing whatever he can to try and make her notice his work. He is a really smart attorney who has been with the company for around 30 years, so just should not have to try that hard to be noticed. I think he is also intimidated by her, which really weirds me out, as she is younger than he is.

Well, January and February were rough. My boss was under a lot of stress and it all rolled straight downhill to me. I know, I know, shit runs downhill. But there are more diplomatic ways to throw it than the way he did. I always had a lot of respect for my boss and really, really liked him but my feelings have changed now. I am ready to find something else, though it is not going to be easy, since I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. LOL!

I was really upset over all this, but a couple of weeks ago, refused to let it all ruin my weekend, so I had an attitude adjustment. I have been in a much better mood, and find it amazing how much better you can feel when you no longer give a crap. LOL! I give a crap about my quality of work, but I am not going to let anyone make me cry at work again!

I am still doing my same amazing work. LOL! I am just not going to let anything my boss does upset me. Interestingly enough, he has been REALLY nice the last week or so. My friend says the boss is probably scared he went to far and is worried I am going to leave. Let him worry.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You may not want to make these....

I found a recipe for Caramel Pecan Buns on I made them last Sunday.




The recipe is super easy and the results really are amazing. Hubby agreed. You can go to the link above for the recipe, but for those lazy like me, here it is.

Caramel Pecan Buns

1 can (17.5 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons water

1. Bake cinnamon rolls as directed on package.

2. To caramelize pecans, melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat; add pecans. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until butter just starts to brown. Pecans can burn easily, so don't walk away from the stove. Add brown sugar and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the brown sugar melts and bubbles, about 2 minutes. Spoon over buns while they are hot out of the oven.

3. Remove cover from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 5 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over warm buns. Serve warm.

I made these using regular cinnamon rolls, not the Grands. One cup of pecans probably was too much when using the regular size but we didn't complain. LOL! I will be trying with the Grands next time.

You can also find the nutritional info at the link above, but if you are really worried about the fat/calories in these, you do not want to make them. LOL!

Trust me, once you make them, you will make them again!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Go, MEAT!!

No, I have not watched that Hillshire Farms commercial too much. LOL!

Last week I had taken Friday off, just because. Since we recently got our tax refund, small though it was, and my annual bonus, a little larger, we decided to take advantage of a sale at our local meat market. The above is NOT a picture of the actual meat market. I will take my camera next time we go, as it is really cool. It has been there for over 20 years and is just wonderful. The meat is fresh, the prices good and the service is great.

We called our order in, while we were at lunch, to pick up on the way home. We got there and walked in and it is just like stepping back in time. The hardwood floors, the walls crammed with antiques and garage sale items. The smells reminiscent of an old country butcher shop. It was yummy!

Our order was ready, except for the ground beef, which we just got from the case. I got 9 3 lb packs of fresh ground beef for $.99/lb! I haven't got ground beef at that price in at least a year.

Hubby ordered 6 BBQ sandwiches, made fresh while he watched. (They were HUGE!)

This is what we took home:
27 lbs ground beef
4 lbs Sirloin Steak
4 lbs Round Steak
4 lbs Chopped Sirloin
4 lbs Pork Chops
4 lbs Arm Roast
4 lbs Lean Ground Chuck
6 lbs Fryer (chicken) cut up
1 lb sliced Turkey Breast
1 lb sliced Virginia Ham
3 lbs Pan Sausage
1 dozen egg rolls
15 lb bag French Fries
1 Dozen Large Eggs
6 BBQ sandwiches

Are you in a meat coma, yet? LOL! We got all of this for $125!! I was very happy with the price and the quality is amazing. Oh, and they packaged everything exactly the way I wanted it, in the portion sizes I requested (except the ground beef) and tenderized a lot of it!

I got home and divided up the ground beef packages into 1 lb packs, keeping 3 whole for meatloaves. I used my seal a meal to package it all up and put in the freezer. Our freezer is now stocked with enough meat to last us many, many months!

I only spent $22 at the grocery store this weekend. A couple of more trips like that and the meat market purchase will still be in line with my (informal) grocery budget.

Go, meat!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Annie Jones is giving away tomatoes!

Go check out Annie Jones giveaway at Real Life Living. She is giving away a Red Gold tomato prize pack!

WooHoo! Free food items!

I must be ready for....

I was reading on the bus this morning, on the way to work, and there was a loud rattle that was bugging me, so I pulled out my mp3 player to try to drown it out. I started listening to ABBA……singing "Fernando"…..and suddenly into my head, popped the image of Tony Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft dancing the Rhumba. How funny is THAT? I think the Rhumba is the one that they make pretty sensual, right?

Then, "Voulez Vous" started…… a group Paso Doble was performed in my mind.

I made myself stop then, but not before I thought that an entire episode of dances to ABBA songs seemed like a great idea! Can you tell I like ABBA??!

I have decided the perfect job would be running a dance studio. To be around great music and incredible dancers (the instructors), every day, would be amazing.
Just one more week til' Dancing With the Stars!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You paid $2.68 for all that?!

Yes, I did!! I took a day off of work yesterday, just because. Hubby and I went to lunch, then made a stop at Walgreens to get some deals. I made a second trip today, on the way to the grocery store and got all of this for only $2.68. (I already put it up, so no pic.)

10 boxes Kraft macaroni and cheese
12 cans sliced mushrooms
4 Reach toothbrushes
1 small bottle Listerine
1 Heath bar (for Hubby)

Woohoo! Quite the score, I think!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The funniest thing I have read in ages!

You HAVE to go to see Queenie Jeannie and read about her trip to the gyno! Seriously, I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants!

I am seeing my gyno next week and will be praying my trip is better than Jeannie's!

Bloggy Buddie Award!

I got got this cute award from McVal at Sew Not My Day! Thanks, Val!

Ok - I'm supposed to give this to my top 12 most frequent commentors on my blog. Is this award the CUTEST! It's like virtual hug to all my bloggy friends. I am only going to list 10 of my most frequent commenters, since I am supposed to be working, but the hug is for everyone!!

SonyaAnn at A Mom, Money, And More
McVal at Sew Not My Day
Pam at Mom's Mutterings
Marilyn at Marilyn's Money
Annie Jones at Real Life Living
Ace at If You Think Round is Funny
Kelly L at I’ve Become My Mother
Debbie at Suburb Sanity
Queenie Jeannie at Jeannie's Happy World
Jules at Lovely Las Vegas

Thanks for coming to see me! I love having visitors!

Monday, March 8, 2010

"I live on a fixed income."

What does that mean??? Aren't most of us on a fixed income? I read a lot of message boards and websites on frugal living and finances. Just trying to learn something new, or remember something old.

I come across articles all the time and read about people who are "living on a fixed income" and every time I wonder what that really means.

My income is the same, ever week, every month. Okay, once a year, I get a raise. (Well, so far, anyway.) But my income is not constantly increasing. Or decreasing, thank God. So, does the fact I may get a raise mean that my income is not fixed? It feels fixed to me.

I know that there are people that work on commission and their incomes would fluctuate, but aren't the majority of us "living on a fixed income"?

(For SonyAnn, who needed for me to write something. LOL!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"It was on sale for only $500."

How many times have you said THAT?

Me, I have said it NO times.

Here is the story.....Yesterday, after work, Hubby picked me up and we went to visit our daughter, Meredith, and grandsons, Theo and Wyatt, for the evening. We stopped at our other daughter, Samantha's, and picked her and her boyfriend up to join in the fun.

We got to Meredith's and she lives in a beautiful townhome, right in the middle of the Galleria area. For those not familiar with Houston....the Galleria area, while not the priciest part of town, is not cheap. Her rent is $885/month for a 2 bedroom TH, so not as bad as I expected. And the street is really nice.

The first thing you see when you walk in the door is this:

Not this one, of course, but a HUGE flatscreen tv. Okay, maybe is is not really huge. She says is is 40", but it looks HUGE. I calmly said, "Oh, Meredith, you got a new tv." She said, "I got a great deal. It was on sale for only $500."

I just smiled. But inside, I was in SHOCK. This is the daughter that everyone has been telling us off about. This is the one that my MIL is worrying herself sick about. And this is the one that my MIL is sending money to help pay for daycare.

And Meredith bought a $500 TELEVISION!!! Oh, yeah, and of course she had to have cable. Well, not cable. She opted for the fiber optic service. $67/month. I don't even have that service, as I don't want to pay that much money to watch TV.

Last night, Meredith was talking about MIL sending her money, and she said that while she appreciates the money, she certainly is not going to be dependent on it. I know that our son-in-law will be getting his military money soon and will be sending Mere money, but in the meantime, I thought she was on a tight budget.

$500 TVs don't have any place in a tight budget in my opinion.

I keep praying my MIL doesn't call me. I'm afraid I would be telling her to quit sending Meredith money.

On the positive side, we had a nice dinner. I ended up paying. UGH! But at least, I can AFFORD it without someone else's money. I won't worry about the expense too much, since Hubby and I have not been able to go out to eat much lately.

Oh, yeah, and we got our tax refund last week and I am getting my annual bonus next week, so I am feeling in the black. LOL1