Thursday, April 29, 2010

Be nice to Census takers!

Census takers start visiting people this week. How do I know? Because Hubby has taken a job with the 2010 Census and he will be visiting people that did not fill out their Census cards.

So, remember when a census taker comes to your door, even if it is a little inconvenient, that he or she is someone's family member and is just trying to do a job.

(PS. That is just some random census taker, not Hubby. LOL!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary to My Best Friend!

13 years ago, I married my best friend. I don't have a photo from that day, since they are all paper and I haven't scanned them yet. But here we are now (well, except that my hair is curly today):

I am still as crazy about him as I was the day I married him! My Sweetie-Pie and my best friend.

I thought I would update this. Since I have to work today and we celebrated Wyatt's birthday yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated on Saturday by going out to little Italian place that we had not been to since we were dating. It was delicious and we had a wonderful time!

Beginners Giveaway!

Stop by Christy's Coupon Corner and enter her giveaway! She has a nice package for the new, an not so new, couponer.
Good Luck!

Happy Birthday to Wyatt!

On April 30, my 3rd grandson turns 1. He will be having a birthday party with his daddy's side of the family next weekend, so we had his party yesterday.

Well, my mother-in-law had a party and we were all willing participants. She called Hubby last week and told him that Wyatt's party would be on Sunday and that I needed to make cupcakes. I just love taking orders. LOL!

But really, I was happy to make cupcakes for our little guy. After a little searching on-line, I found the cutest idea and made these: Aren't they just the cutest?! They are sheep, chickens and pigs. (Some people could not tell what my sheep were. LOL!) They were also delicious. I made the cupcakes on Saturday night, then spent about an hour and a half yesterday morning frosting them. I am really proud of how they turned out. And everyone loved them!

Yesterday was a bit of a funny day, since MIL was having the party at her house. She called me on Friday, I think, to ask if I would bring my booster seat so Wyatt could sit in it to have his cake. "Where is yours?" I asked. (the one I bought for her) "Oh, Billy still has it." Billy is Wyatt's daddy. Before Meredith moved out, at lot of their furniture was still in storage, including Wyatt's high chair. So MIL loaned them her booster seat. Billy still has it 4 months later. I told MIL to tell him to bring it back and she just responded that he probably uses it when the boys are at his house. My feeling is that Billy, or someone in HIS family can find a high chair or booster seat. (Meredith agrees with me.) I don't want to sound mean, but I have already bought two of them.

So, I agreed to bring ours over, but told MIL that I was not giving it to her. If she wants one, she needs to get hers back. She will probably just go buy a new one.

Now lest anyone think I am the horrible grandma, Meredith has not had to buy diapers or wipes since January. And I have her stocked enough to last another 4-5 months. AND MIL currently has both of our carseats in her truck, since she has been getting the boys once or twice a month. Yes, the carseats we purchased. If we need to go pick up the boys for anything, we will have to drive to MIL's to get our carseats, or use Meredith's.

Yesterday morning, MIL called me to say she was serving ham sandwiches and chili dogs. And could I bring some hotdogs and chili.

I love my MIL, but sometimes it bugs me for her to just tell me to bring something because she knows I probably have it in my stockpile.

But aside from the little annoyances, we had a really nice party and got to spend time with 2 of our kids and our 3 grandsons.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goodbye and Good Riddance!

I am a big fan of Dancing With the Stars. I watch every episode of every season and if anything else is on that I want to watch, the other show gets taped. I don't miss DWTS.

This season, I didn't now know much about several of the stars. That's okay, it is generally that way every season. But even if I know something about them, I give them a chance, since I don't care what they do outside of DWTS. If they work hard and try to do well on the show, I will like them while it is on.

It took me 2 episodes to be ready for Kate Gosselin to be gone. I love Tony Dovolani! I have watched him for years in dance competitions an then on DWTS. He is always the calmest, most easy going professional on the show. He has always been an excellent teacher to his partners and a total sweetheart to them.

Kate Gosselin was a witch to him! That ticked me off each week. Even if she had been a fabulous dancer, I would not have liked her for the way she was treating Tony.

But she sucked! So goodbye and good riddance!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Towing IS enforced!

A sign similar to this is posted about every 10 yards on the fence surrounding our apartment complex. The actual signs say something to the effect of front end parking only. In other words, they do not want you to back into the parking place.

I can read. Hubby can read. But it drives Hubby crazy, since he likes to back into parking places. My feeling is "So what." It is posted, it does not matter what you like.

Saturday night he decided to be a rebel and backed in to a parking spot. Sunday, we went to go to lunch with Samantha and her boyfriend, John. We walked into our parking lot and Hubby said, "Where's my car?"

Yeah...that's right....towing IS strictly enforced. The sign had a number, so I wrote it down and Hubby called while we were at lunch. Then we went to get his car. We drive up to the place, hop out and after verifying that they did have Hubby's car, were told that it would the $210.39. I handed over my credit card and the lady said, not nicely, "Cash or check only." Nowhere among the many signs on the wall did I see that sign.

So, we had to go to the ATM to get cash. Then we get back with all $20 bills, since that is what you get from an ATM and the girl then tells us, that she has no change. ARGH!! So, I have to go to the gas station down the street, buy a soda to break a $20. Buy the time we had paid and gotten Hubby's car, we were both cursing stupid barely literate people that worked in any public job.

Hubby was really pissed about being towed, but I pointed out that he know he wasn't supposed to do it, he just felt the need to be a rebel. I think he expected me to be really pissed, but I told him "It is what it is and there is no point being all put out about it." We were fortunate that we had the money and didn't have to dip into savings for it.

Hubby said he will pay the funds back from his mystery shopping and ebay, but I am not worried about it. It is all our money, not mine and his.

Lesson the signs. LOL!

Which should I pick???

I have been jonesing for a new electronic gadget. I have been okay for a while, but when the iPad was launched, I started wanting one! Don't worry, I refuse to pay for an iPad....I don't care how cool they are.

But I started looking and thinking that I could quench my geeky lust by getting something else. I am a voracious reader, so thought maybe a Kindle, even though I totally pooh-poohed the idea when a friend asked my opinion of Kindles several months ago. I really love to hold an old fashioned book in my hands, but sometimes a Kindle would be easier. Like when I am on the bus every day. I carry paperbacks, or magazines to read, since hardbacks are just too darn heavy to throw in my bag with the other stuff I carry. And when I go on vacation, I read a lot and it would be nice to be able to pack one device and not several books. BUT, I am too cheap to buy the books, so would probably only be reading the books that can be had for free from Amazon. Also, my library has a lot of ebooks that you can just download to read. So, I started looking at the Kindle: $259.

Hmmmmm.....really, all you can do with a Kindle is read. So, I started thinking, maybe I need a netbook, instead. Not a laptop...the little netbooks. First of all, they are totally cute! LOL!. They are nice and portable and can do a lot more. E-mail, surfing the net, checking on blogworld AND I could download Kindle books to read on it. I found on-line somewhere that you can rotate the screen, so that you would hold it like a book to read the ebooks. So, I have been looking at those. Prices around $300.

So only $40 more than Kindle, but does a lot more.

I was shopping for these on Thursday, then on Friday, Hubby asked me if there was any new tech toy that I would like. Hmmmm.....why was he asking? Oh, yeah, our anniversary is next Monday. My sweetie-pie knows how to keep his little geeky girl happy. LOL!

I told him not to buy anything yet. I am thinking netbook, but I want to go touch one and feel it with my very own hands. So we may go look this weekend.

So, who has a Kindle and who has a netbook? Let me know what you think are the best features uses. Oh, yeah, and if you have a netbook, what kind? I would love to have something before I go visit my family in Tennessee the second week in May. Either would come in handy on the plane and on my layovers.

Happy Monday, All!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My car smells like strawberries!

I took a vacation day on Friday and it was great! First I had my annual mammogram. That part wasn't the great part, though it wasn't bad. I don't have a problem with them. No discomfort like some have, thank goodness.

Then Hubby and I headed to a local farm to pick strawberries and buy produce. We picked 27 lbs of strawberries! Yummy!
We also bought lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, green beans, brocolli, fuji apples, bell peppers, corn on the cob and new potatoes. All their produce is so fresh and delicious!!

I spent the afternoon and evening prepping strawberries. Some I kept out to eat this week. So I prepped for strawberry shortcake and most I put in the freezer to make jam at a later date. I also froze some of the other produce that we won't be able to eat this week. We also sent some home with Samantha and her boyfriend.

It was a very productive day!

The rest of the weekend has been really nice, though not quite as productive. LOL!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is this too much?

I saw something this morning on the way to work and I cannot decide if it is a little weird or a lot weird.
I was driving to the park and ride this morning and saw this driving along the street. This is not the one I saw, but the one I did see was very similar. I find this a little creepy. It is like driving around with a gravestone on the back of your car.

I mean, I am all about honoring the passing of loved ones and keeping their memories alive, but this just seems like too much to me.

Am I insensitive?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We ran out of leftovers!

Really, for us they are planned overs. When we cook, we make enough to get at least one lunch for me out of it. After we eat, one of us, usually Hubby, puts the leftovers in a container and pops it in the freezer.

Usually, there is a good supply and I never eat leftovers of the night before's meal. SO it is always new food to me. And everyone at work is SO jealous of my deliciuos lunches.

Hubby looked in the freezer last night and said, "Oh, no, you're out of lunches!" He said he would start cooking immediately. LOL! I told him that I CAN take sandwiches on occasion. I convinced him that I would not mind making a sandwich out of the delicious, thick sliced turkey breast that he got from the meat market. Yummy!
LOL! I just had to have some art on my post. That is not MY sandwich, but it is A sandwich.

It really seemed to bother Hubby that I was not taking a "hot lunch", but I really like sandwiches. And it is nice for a change. But I have a feeling that we will be restocking the freezer this week. Hubby started last night, but I didn't want to bring the same thing as we ate last night.

Man! This turkey is good!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where are the toys??

Our 3 1/2 year old grandson, Theo, and our almost 1 year old grandson, Wyatt, have not been to our home in a long time. We always get together at MIL's house, or we meet somewhere to eat, or we have gone to Meredith's to visit. They have been to our apartment, but I think it was at Christmas. I don't remember...old age, I guess.

Yesterday, Meredith called, saying she has not seen us in forever and was missing us and asked if it was okay if she came over after picking the boys up from their daddy. We said yes, of course! They came over around 7...a little late for visiting babies I think, but I am not the mom. Before they got there, Bob suggested that we go to McDonalds for dinner, so Theo could play in the play area while we visited.

They got there and Theo was so happy to see us! I have decided that "Grandma" is one of the loveliest words in the English language! Wyatt is not talking yet, so he just grinned. LOL!

Theo is crazy active and was looking at everything. Then he went and opened a closet, turned around and said, "Where are the toys?" Gulp....we don't have any. We had some baby toys when he used to come over, but when they moved to California, we just took them to MIL and added them to her toy room. (Seriously, it is a room full of toys dating back to when Bob and his sisters were little.)

So, we had no toys! We are failures as grandparents! Fortunately, the evening was saved by the ice pops Theo found in our freezer. Thank goodness for ice pops!

We went to McDonald's and had a great visit. Theo had a ball and he was nice and worn out for Mommy. Yeah!

I told Bob that we have GOT to go get some toys!! I am off on Friday, and after my mammogram, we plan to go pick strawberries. It sounds like after that, we will go thrifting to get some TOYS!

Oh, and some books. I refuse to be the grandma that plunks them down in front of a dvd everytime they visit.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Come on and file, already!!

This is going to be a rant. I don't know if it will be a mini-rant or a maxi-rant. But here goes.

Our middle child, Samantha, is in college....her 5th year, but that is another story. She will be going at least the first semester next year. I have always claimed her as a dependent on our taxes and filled out her FAFSA for financial aid. Lest anyone think that I was screwing Sam's "real mom" out of a deduction, every year, I told Sam to ask if her mom wanted to claim her and take care of the FAFSA. Every year the answer was a resounding "NO."

I always filed our tax return as early as possible, so I could file the FAFSA as early as possible, since financial aid is "first come, first served" and we wanted Samantha to get all that was available. And she has. Her first 4 years, she got enough money to pay for all her school expenses, plus some extra. Part of her aid was work-study, so she did work for some of it.

Last April, 2 MONTHS AFTER I HAD FILED OUR RETURN AND THE FAFSA, Sam's mom sent me an email that she would be claiming Samantha as a dependent for 2008. I responded that I was sorry, but we already filed and had received our refund. And told her that I had asked Sam, prior to filing, if her mom wanted to claim her and file the FAFSA, to which Sam reponded no.

Sam's mom graciously decided that she would not claim Sam for 2008, as she didn't want to "screw up Sam's financial aid." (Ummmmm....TOO LATE...we already claimed her!) BUT she informed me that she WOULD be claiming Sam for 2009. I responded that that was fine with me. And I told her that she could have claimed Samantha any year that she was willing to file the FAFSA. I got not response to that.

Fast forward to December, 2009. I sent an email to Sam and her mom, giving them the URL and all the information regarding filing the FAFSA. When I didn't hear back from Sam's mom, I sent her another message asking her to confirm that she received it. She confirmed. End of my responsibility. Yeah, no more FAFSA!!

So, I have talked to Samantha mulitple times since then, and usually financial aid would come up. Sam would say that her mom had not filed her tax return or the FAFSA, but Sam was really excited since her mom promised to give Sam half of any extra refund she gets by claiming Samantha. So, Samantha is expecting this big windfall from her mom.

Last Friday, we saw Sam and her boyfriend and I asked if Samantha had gotten HER tax return filed, since she and her bf had talked about filing it on TaxAct. Samantha said, "No, I gave it to Mom. She is going to have her tax guy do it." WHAT?????? Sam's return is the simplest thing to do and she could have had her money back MONTHS ago!!

Not only that, her mom HAS NOT FILED HER RETURN YET. Nor has she filed the FAFSA!! OMG!! I hope Samantha gets SOME money for next year, but I am not going to be surprised if it doesn't happen. I have been hearing about college costs going up and aid going down.

Not only that. I did my best to make our income seem really low, so as to get the most aid for Sam. Like I put 20% of my income in my 401K, 5% in a pre tax FSA. And hubby has not worked in about 3 years. So we had 3 dependents and one income.

I would guess that Sam's mom makes around the same amount of money that I do, but does NOT save money and will only have 2 dependents. So there is no telling what that will do to Sam.

Oh, well, at least the cow got an extra deduction on her tax return.

Rant over.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm cheap and proud of it!

A quiz told me so! LOL!

I took the Savings Personality Test on the RedPlum site, just for fun.

And here were my results:

Frugal Felicity: You have tons of tricks for saving money, from cutting dryer sheets in half to getting free shipping on anything. If someone tells you a deal, you’ll top it. Every little bit adds up, so you’ll stop at nothing to find the lowest price. You’re cheap and you’re proud of it!

That's me! (Except I do not cut dryer sheets, as Hubby does the laundry. LOL! )

(Oh, and you can enter a contest after taking the quiz and refer people for more entries. My link is not a referral link. It is just for fun!)

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Sorta Bread Disaster....

I cannot believe it finally happened. I made a loaf of bread in my bread maker and it DID NOT turn out.

I was trying to make Raisin Bread. It usually looks like this:

And when I say usually, I mean every time I have made it before in more than one bread machine.

So this time, I thought I would add some pecans. Mmmmm...I love pecans and thought they would add a little something to my raisin bread. I used my regular raisin bread recipe and added all ingredients, except the raisins and pecans to the breadmaker.

When the "add ingredients" signal beeped, I added the nuts and raisins. I watched it for a few minutes and it didn't seem like the nuts and raisins were blending in, but I figured it would all blend together eventually. It always has before....though I have never added pecans.

When the loaf was done, the smell was heavenly! Mmmmm.....cinnamon, raisins and pecans. I could not wait to take it out and try it. I sliced into the loaf and.....weird....the top half of the slices are plain cinnamon bread and the bottom half are raisin and nut bread. It is the oddest thing! (I forgot to take a pic, so you will just have to believe me.)

It still tastes delicious, but it sure looks weird.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My hubby is so mean!

This morning, I was getting ready for work and Hubby was telling me about his trip to the podiatrist yesterday. He didn't tell me last night as he went to hear some band play and I was asleep when he got home.

So, he was telling me that the doc was pretty pleased with how his left foot is healing and told him to keep doing what we have been doing. That is good news!

Then Hubby said that as the doc was turning to walk out, he said, "Hey, Doc, I need to talk to you about something else." Then proceeded to tell the doc that that morning, Hubby had stepped on a nail on the balcony and torn a gash in his right foot.

My heart sank.

He said "I took off my shoe and sock and showed the doc this."

Then he stuck his foot out from under the covers and written in black magic marker on his foot was....

April Fool's

He is SO MEAN!!