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Archive for July, 2007

Took a Break from Painting on Saturday

July 30th, 2007 at 08:27 am

...to take my oldest DD16 to see her favorite band. They were playing a free concert at a mall about an hour from our house. It is very close to where I grew up and where my mom lives so I dropped her off at the mall with a friend and then DD13 and I went to see my mom. We hit a few thrift stores looking for a desk for DD13 but no luck. But we did have a nice dinner with my mom and got the latest Harry Potter book using old gift certificates that DD found when cleaning out her room prior to painting. (Must confess, I am already half way thru the book). After dinner, I returned to the mall to pick up DD16 and her friend. They were in line to get shirts/CD's signed by the band members. (the group is called the Plain White T's and considering what DD16 usually listens too, they are not that bad.) She had an extra shirt she wanted signed but to keep things moving, they would only sign one item per person. So, she convinced DD13 and I to get in line and get her extra shirt signed. Fortunately, the line was moving pretty fast and we only had to wait about 10 minutes. As they were signing the shirt, I asked "What does my age do to the average age of your fan base?" since I was surrounded by teen/pre-teen girls. One of the members looked at me with a smile and said "Actually we have lots of 25 year old fans!" I told him he was definitely my favorite band member! Not that I think for a moment that he thought I was 25 (I am 43 and would say I look my age) but it was nice of him to lie! In general I do not approve of lying but that one was definitely okay with me. Sunday it was back to painting but I should be ready to roll the walls in both rooms sometime this week or by this weekend at the latest. So, the end is at least in sight! (Until I have to do DS10 and DD8s' rooms - they are already asking - I told them I will need a break first!)

Free Dairy Yesterday and other deals

July 26th, 2007 at 06:01 am

I went to the grocery store yesterday on my regular weekly trip and when I was leaving there was a truck outside from PennMaid dairy. They had a stand up and were giving away free (regular sized - not small samples) of cottage cheese, yogurt, string cheese etc. Don't worry, they had plenty of ice to keep everything cold. I bagged a flavored cottage cheese for DH (he just loves them), some string cheese for the kids, some free pencils and even a few coupons. I just love getting free stuff that we can actually use. Speaking of free stuff, Staples has been running weekly rebates where you buy an item and they refund you the purchase price. In addition to this, they have several loss leader back to school supplies each week. Since there is a Staples not far from my work, I have been stopping is just to get the rebate item and the loss leaders. So far I have gotten several 8 packs of pencils for 3 cents each, rulers, protractors and pencil top eraser packs for 5 cents, etc. Basic school supplies don't go bad and if I find that I have more than we need, at these prices I am happy to make donations to the school or other places trying to collect school supplies for needy kids. I would not drive way out of my way each week for these deals but if I am going to be driving right by anyway, why not stop in and take advantage of the deals?

Painting, painting, painting

July 24th, 2007 at 05:57 am

I feel like thats all I have been doing in my spare time since the beginning of this month. I am painting my two oldest DD's rooms and it is taking forever. Part of the problem is that they both have quite a bit of wood work that had never been painted so it needed three coats (built in book shelves, crown moulding etc.) Part of the problem is lack of time. I am trying to squeeze in painting between the rest of my already crazy busy life - doesn't leave too much time for other things like eating, sleeping etc., to say nothing of the mundane like laundry and house cleaning. The last part of the problem is trying to work around all the stuff in the rooms - move this here to paint that wall, move it back to paint over there etc. My oldest asked if I would be done before the end of the summer. My honest answer - I sure hope so but who knows. On the plus side, I have finally gotten to the walls and so it finally feels like progress. Plus, I can get the girls to do some of the simpler things around the house like folding laundry by saying things like "I would love to paint, but I have all this laundry to fold" Since the painting is in their interest, they are much more willing to pitch in and help with the rest (which admittedly, they should be doing anyway!) I guess I could also let them help paint but I am a bit of a control freak about how it is done so I haven't gotten to that yet. When we get to rolling the walls I will put them to work whether they like it or not. In the meantime, I just go on painting and painting. I will know it is too much if I find myself painting in my sleep.

Saturday Garage Sale

July 23rd, 2007 at 06:13 am

One of the families in my neighborhood is moving soon so she organized a neighborhood garage sale. Since it involved no phone calls, sign making etc. on my part (just my $4.00 contribution to the newspaper adds) I decided to have my family participate. I told the kids there were two rules 1) Anything they sold of their own stuff, they got to keep the money and 2) anything unsold got donated. Saturday was the day and the weather was beautiful. We made about $140.00 total and better yet, got rid of a lot of stuff. The kids willingly cleaned out some of their old toys and each made at least $10 - $15. Anything I sold for the family will go towards a waterpark trip we are taking next month with family friends. After the sale was over, I bagged up all the remaining stuff and took it directly over to the local Goodwill. I did not want it coming back into the house to be gotten rid of "eventually". Even though we did not make a lot of money, I was very pleased with the results. I would love it if our neighborhood made this an annual event. Having it be a neighborhood garage sale really got a lot of people to come. I also had to laugh. We had this plaster bird, I think it was an eagle or hawk of some sort. It had been part of my mother-in-laws stuff but I cannot imagine it ever being in her home. Not her taste. Anyway, I wanted to throw it away the moment DH brought it home but he would not let me. It lived on a shelf in the garage for two years and he kept threatening to bring it in the house. I told him I was going to sell it - the kids had a bet that no one would buy it. It was one of the first things that sold. I put a $2 price tag on it - I honestly thought I might have to offer someone money to take it. Not only did it sell right away, but while the buyer was shopping more, someone else wanted to buy it and offered even more money for it. Just goes to show you that there are all kinds of people out there with all kinds of taste.

Dying is Expensive

July 17th, 2007 at 10:05 am

My dad passed away last week after a lengthy illness. It was actually a blessing and relief for both him and my mom as well. Along with my siblings, I helped my mom plan the funeral and it was definitely eye-opening in terms of how much it costs to die. Not for the departed, obviously, but for those left behind. Fortunately, I come from frugal savers so my mom was well prepared for the funeral expenses and will be fine financially. Dad was 84, she will be 75 soon and they always put aside some of what they earned and invested over the years. My 8yo DD asked me if Grandma would have to go back to work now that Grandpa had died. I said no. She said, then how will Grandma get money for food, clothes etc. I explained to her that Grandma and Grandpa had always saved some of their money and she did not have to worry about Grandma having money for food. I was surprised to hear her voice this concern - usually her only interest in money is what she can buy with whatever is in her piggy bank. Anyway, mom was well prepared and organized and I found this such a relief after what we had gone thru a few years back with my DH's mother. She had terminal cancer and was given 6 months to live. She refused to discuss her will, documents etc, just saying, don't worry, it is all taken care off, everything is in the safe. None of her children wanted to upset her, so they avoided the subject. When she did pass away, her husband (DH and brothers step-father) suddenly could not remember the combination to the safe. Her will mysteriously disappeared, and the only papers that could be found listed him as sole beneficiary of everything. Long story short, after more than an year of legal wrangling, they settled out of court for an amount that basically covered her funeral expenses and all the court costs. Her husband got everything else. It was a nightmare for her sons and could have easily been prevented had someone been willing to "upset" her by discussing things ahead of time. In the case of my dad, my mom knew what he wanted, all paperwork was organized and she had already let me know where everything was just in case anything were to happen to her first. Definitely better to be organized and deal with the reality as opposed to hiding your head in the sand. Sure, the person who is dead does not have to worry, but is grief and strife really the legacy anyone wants to leave? In my dad's case, with everything being clear and organized, we were able to celebrate his life and will move on from there.

My Computer Was Sick - Got it Fixed for Cookies (Literally)

July 10th, 2007 at 06:07 am

My kids have been dying this past week cause the computer that I share with them has caught some kid of bug and refused to boot up. I kept getting what my techie neighbor refers to as BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). Anyway, he took my tower over to his house, worked some magic on it (I guess he keeps his magic wand at his house cause he was unable to fix it at ours) and now it is back to being functional. The kids still cannot use it cause I have to reload a bunch of programs and haven't had any time to do that yet. We just got it back Sunday evening and I had to work yesterday and then go visit my parents. My dad is not doing well and I wanted to be sure to see him while I could. Anyway, it is driving the kids crazy (especially DD16) but hopefully I will have some time this week to work on it. That is, between painting two bedrooms which I am also trying to do. The good thing about all of this is that the computer could be fixed and that my techie neighbor works for very cheap. As in, for chocolate chip cookies! I bake them, he eats them. His wife is a friend and does not really like to bake so I send over enough for the whole family and it works out well for both sides.

R.I.P. - My Refridgerator

July 9th, 2007 at 08:43 am

Thursday, 6/28, I got a phone call at work from my daughter and husband -the refridgerator is hot and nothing in it is cold. Since I was at work and did not bring my magic wand that day, there was nothing I could do over the phone, much to their shock and dismay. I realized when I got home that the refridgerator (18+ years old) had finally died. They had tried turning the dial up, etc, no luck and the freezer top was working fine. So, I went shopping that night for something that could be delivered the next day (as we were having my daughter's birthday party Saturday). I immediately remembered why I do not like to shop with my DH when he walked into the store and started looking at the fancy stainless models that cost $2500 or more. I said, that was not in our budget, his response "the price is not important". Ack - way to make me have a heart attack right in the store. We finally compromised on a model that was in our budget (as in, I have the money sitting in the bank to pay for it) but was fancy enough to suit his tastes. He wanted a model with ice/water on the door. I did not since the only ones with that are side by side and I hate side by sides. But I now have a side by side sitting in my kitchen, keeping me company for the next 12 - 15 years. I did agree to this but in hindsight, I should not have agreed at all to go shopping with him. Anyway, we now have a new fridge, saved 10% off the price and free delivery - that satisfied the frugal side of me. Next time, DH does not get to go shopping with me, even if it means I have to sneak out without him!!!!!