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Need Help...Anybody Remember?

December 15th, 2011 at 07:02 am

Hey guys, there's a friend I'm wanting to help. I used this tool and now want to pass it on. I'm wanting to find a guy on here who had some nice grids that were used to help you pay things off early. He had one shaped like a house and one shaped like a car. You gave each gridblock a dollar amount towards the total owed and then colored in each block when you paid that portion down. A visual aid to help you pay down your debts. Anybody remember who I'm talking about? Or do you have a copy of those aids?

I was reminded yesterday and have started it up again...of a little trick I used to play with myself. Yesterday I drove an hour out of town to a funeral. On the way there I did use the turnpike to the tune of about $2.50. I decided I would come home the other way and save the change. I also was planning to stop at MickeyD's and buy myself a smoothie for breakfast - I had already had a banana. I sailed on past the exit and saved myself $2.32. I ALWAYS stop at my favorite restaraunt in this town to buy myself some of the best hot dogs to be had for lunch. Didn't do it - had half a pimento cheese sandwich at Dad's house. Saved myself about $4.00. So when I got home I rounded up those savings and came home and sent $10 online to my Roth. Not a big savings day, and not a total No Spend day but over time these are the things that can help you add up to a comfortable retirement. Here's to saving!!!

Somebody asked the other day about CashHappy & FrugalSon. They are both at home (disabled) and doing well as of the moment. CashHappy dug himself a deep debt hole while gone from home that we are slowly digging him out from. Of note for FrugalSon is that because of new BUSY traffic location he won't be able to drive from here to a job. So, we sold his little vehicle and moved those dollars into his ROTH as he only worked half a year this year and that just covered that half year income plus a little bit more that we just moved to regular savings. He's a happy camper and not as upset by this necessity as many guys his age would be. Both will be looking for new jobs after the Christmas holiday is over. Guess who'll be back to playing taxi-mom?

Anybody have a link to that guy's blog mentioned above????? Thanks bunches.


Lux Bites Bullet In Upcoming Bathroom Re-do

August 28th, 2010 at 04:40 am

This past week - we've met with and ordered from our plumbing contractor a new bathtub and surround, which will run about $1610 installed. Had to do it - the vinyl bathtub has been cracked for awhile (whoever installed it before we bought the house did not get the concrete base down correctly) and the tape job Hubster did to keep it from leaking was an okay short-term fix, but it's been needing doing, so we're biting the bullet. One less thing for potential buyers to balk at.

I went earlier in the week and bought the new hardware for the shower and replacement matching faucet for the sink, new towel hooks, toilet paper holder, new toilet seat, flush handle, valves, doo-whichies and doo-ma-bobs, etc. to the tune of $400.

Waving bye-bye to $2000 not so fun necessarily, but something we have saved for, so nothing debted for.

While I was at the big-box lumber store I was happy to see that to just buy the stuff to do the tub & surround in the materials we chose? $1474 plus tax, so it is very much to our advantage to have someone who knows what they are doing being the wrecking crew & installer instead of us. Cost difference is minimal - $136!


Boys and Hubster working hard on the yard this week. We got another load of the ice storm firewood to Dad, and there are probably 8 or more loads left! I bought my crew ice cream sundaes last night to the tune of $11 and change. Ordered a birthday DVD gift for $25ish yesterday off ebay.

My continued absence...

June 10th, 2010 at 05:54 am

Since I was last here...I've been on a weeks vacation in NM and AZ w/the parental units visiting family, then my brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly, then another week's vacation in Missouri w/FrugalSon as Hubster stayed home to be with his sister, then my older brother passed away and we had his funeral.

Many of you may remember my posting about the last time he was in hospital...COPD and diabetes. Give up smoking now and save your family some grief later, okay?

We then spent some time cleaning up brother's affairs and then we (Hubster, FrugalSon and CashHappySon and I) went on another vacation, this time to Arkansas. Now, I'm back in my spot, hopefully for the summer and can catch up with you guys here on Saving Advice dot com!

Vacations? All paid for in cash AND I ended the travel season w/$60 left to put back in the pot for next year's vacations. YEAH for advanced anticipatory budgeting! It works.

Another financial event of note is that while we were gone on the last trip Hubster's final tier of unemployment benefits have ended. We are now totally going to be dependent on our retirement savings, Social Security and his carpenter's pension. I think we've got life covered, but it may run close at times. Saving MORE while you're working? Always a great idea!!

Bookkeeper Eats Free!

November 4th, 2009 at 03:49 pm

Took another load of wood to my Dad today. Afterwards we were talking about getting something to eat before we headed out of town towards home. FrugalSon said, "Today bookkeepers eat free." That meant me, since I keep his financial records. I took him up on his offer. We had a very nice meal at a nice Mexican place - not here:

He did have tamales & an empanada and I had steak fajita nachos. Yums! We're calling it my birthday lunch. My birthday is later on in the month, but hey, it works for me!

Thanks FrugalSon! What a generous soul.

Back from the Races

October 29th, 2009 at 06:18 am

Yesterday was a new day at the Frugalicious races...

Got up early and Hubster and FrugalSon loaded up the back of my pickup with wood for my Dad using the wheelbarrow as I was not venturing back into the muddy yard with my truck again after getting sunk and stuck the other night. I picked what appears like the last of my tomatoes for the year and took about half of them for Dad.

Then Frugalson & I loaded up and went to the bank and got my signature on Hubster's Carpenter's Pension notarized and then scooted on over to the post office and got it mailed off.

We took off on the backroads and drove the hour and half trip to my Dad's and he and FrugalSon unloaded the wood while his wife and I visited. They got through and I got to visit with my Dad for about 30 minutes and then we started heading back.

Dad had slipped me $40 for gas. He can well afford it and if he didn't get wood from me? ...he'd be buying it from someone. Nice. It takes about $50 to fill my truck and I can get one full trip to his town and back out of it, plus some other running around my town. Last trip was on me.

I needed to treat my helper to lunch so at his choice we stopped for a burger basket, frosty rootbeers and had the rare treat of fried pickles as an appetizer. Yummers. $17.23 + $3.00 tip.

After lunch we stopped at a good garage sale. I bought myself two nice little side-tables - they are very heavy, have a cute rustic style to them and are formica-ed on top. So useable with those tops & too Too TOO cute to pass up.

I don't know that I NEED them, but will try to work them into the house. If they don't work out I might sell one or both of them in my booth at a profit. Or maybe FrugalSon can use them downstairs in his apartment. They are sweet little tables & at $25 for the pair, I can easily double my money. The finish on the legs is a bit aged, but they could be really cutened up w/some beige or antique white paint on the legs! Or, even some barn red or a forest green for a bunkhouse or cabin look. Here's one of them before cleanup:

Also bought myself a cute new to me denim jacket for a $1.00, and the guy running the sale, who was flirting with me ended up giving me a paperback for free - wooo, a big spender type! Big Grin

He was a nice man, but kind of overtly obvious with the compliments, thinking my son was my husband because obviously I couldn't P.O.S.S.I.B.L.Y. be that old, etc. Yeah, right. Nice to hear, but you know it's patently not true. I do look younger than my age, but not THAT young.

Also got two paintings in frames for $3 each. We'll probably paint over the canvases and have the frames to use for our creations. Cheap art material!!!

Then it was off to my Mom's house where they gave me a very nice metal patio table. They had three outdoor sets? I think one of them was from stepdad's Mom's estate. They are closing in their back patio and now have one inside that room and one set outside and this set just extra. Nice. I had given CashHappySon my old set when he moved away.

This patio set is black. My other outdoor set ALMOST matches it but is white/yellowish. The white set is 'chippy' and likely this coming spring, I'll wirebrush it down and paint it out black to match. I spot-shot the rusty areas the other day w/rustoleum to get it thru the winter. I nearly STOLE the white set late last year at a thrift store. All seven pieces for only $27.00! The other little table Hubster is using indoors for his printer stand.

(note one of the little arched water spigot cubbie covers that Hubster made the other day over on the left)

Mom THINKS she knows where the umbrella and stand is at in her storage building.

I'm counting my parental units as Corporate Sponsors! They're members of the Golden Eagle Elite Club!! Thank God for our parents. They've all done so much for us through the years.

We visited with Mom about 15 minutes and admired stepdad's handiwork on the new patio room, then jumped back in the truck.

Stopped at vitamin store and spent about $30 there, needed more magnesium for routine maintenance and also Sambucol to keep the sore throat and flu bug away. Pricey stuff but needed for to the keeping away of the creeping crud & the blue funks!

Then we stopped at the Dollar store for FrugalSon to buy more minutes for his Tracphone.

Then we got home by about 3:15 and I crashed! Then I got back up and took vitamin herby stuff to keep from being sick as I felt achy, and ate the rest of the Tortilla Soup from the other day at about 5:00 p.m. and then laid back down.

FrugalSon stayed outside and unloaded all the new bunkN'junque off the back of the truck.

FrugalSon then went out and helped Hubster who was mowing on the rider, by pushmowing the garden area and then the top-yard for the last mow of the season and to run all the gas out of the mowers so they can be winterized.

Hubster spent the day yesterday raking up all the leaves and twigs and general messiness that the tree cutters left behind and trying to repair a cheap-o rake that kept breaking on him. The last rake we had lasted about 15 years. This one? Lasted less than one season! Come on folks lets manufacture something worthwhile could we????

Then they stayed outside till dark-thirty chainsawing and stacking the rest of the wood in the front part of the yard. We are racing trying to beat winter! I had made Hubster promise not to chainsaw until I got home. I rushed around as much as possible for this daytrip to get back so he had some daylight left to work in. Supposed to be cold and wet the rest of the week here.

After all that cutting & stacking they came in and FrugalSon heated up the Black Bean soup that was also in the frig and they had that and sandwiches and marble cake for supper while I was going thru a nice little sleep cycle on the couch.

Poor FrugalSon had quite a busy day off!
I am feeling much better this morning. Like a new woman. Bouncing up at 5:30 a.m. Hubster is still sawing logs. In bed, that is!

Taking the $8 I didn't blow at a garage sale to the $20 Challenge.

$022.82 balance
+008.00 garage sale leavings
$030.82 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.10 (think I'll beat a thousand this year? Who'll give me odds?)
Cumulative Challenge Total $2046.86

*Little known L.L.Frugalis factoid: I used to jockey as a pre-teen.

Took Mom & FrugalSon to Lunch

October 23rd, 2009 at 06:45 am

Last year at the Breast Cancer Awareness party I won a gift certificate for $15 at an eatery in another nearby town. All year long I had tried to use it when I went through there, but it was never the right time for me to stop, or they weren't open.

I even spent a bit of time trying to find where it was even located at first. Had to make long-distance call to the coordinator of the party to find it's location.

Once I located it I could never hit it with my hunger and their hours coinciding. However on Wednesday it was Breast Cancer Awareness party day again and I was able to take Mom, FrugalSon and myself to lunch. Our lunch meals were on special for $4.95 each, so all I ended up being out was for our drinks and a tip, at about $6.50 total.

Ta-da, my wallet is lighter as I'd been carrying that envelope in it all year long.

And, we had a good time and even brought some leftovers home for the pupster!

It's ALWAYS Something - Keep Vigilant!

October 17th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Not much going on here - except I spent a bunch of money buying frames for mine and FrugalSon's artwork at the 50% off sale. That took a load out of my wallet and now I'm nigh on to broke in the checking account department. But we got lots of frames for artwork we've had sitting around, as we say in my neck of the woods, nekkkkid.

Good news for FrugalSon as he sold an artwork this year. His first. Big doings, and he had prints made of it and has sold those as well! He's now a PRO. Momma Frugalis is sooooo proud.

The dog herd left this morning again after another round of sitting. Another tiny bit of inflow here for the dog-sitting, and I'm going to take $20 of it and put it toward this month's $20 Challenge as that seems to be lacking and the rest I'll put towards the RV Land Travel fund LATER, if I don't have to have it to run on later in the month.

That frame expenditure ran me close to empty and I do have an out of town trip to make later this month that will likely take cash.

Today will be a No Spend Day.

Housebudget spent yesterday $90ish for groceries, and I spent $15 for a name plaque to go on the bottom of one of my paintings that will be going to a museum later this month as well. So, all said and done, I'm experiencing a temporary cash flow problem! Oh well. I can always pull back out of savings if I had to, but I won't do that unless absolutely necessary and I can't see any upcoming expenses that I haven't already accounted for.

The tree guys are all gone and Hubster has much chainsawing left to do on some big pieces - the base of one tree stump sits at 37 inches before it flared out toward the roots! Our collective emergency fund said OUUUUUUUUCHHHHHH over that expenditure, but twas needful. Back to boosting that savings now.

BEFORE after death by FREAKISH ice-storm

AFTER very sad, it changes entire look of main approach to house:

These are only the corner on one side. There were about 8 more gigantorific trees that had to come down all together all around my house. The back of my house now feels naked and VERY exposed! They cut to 14 inch length & stacked most of it.

While Hubster was out trying to get the rest of it cut up his chainsaw stopped oiling itself, so it's back in the repair shop, and who knows what that'll cost.

It's always something. ;{

Took one load of the wood to my Dad's this week, there are about five or six more loads to go! He'll have wood to burn all winter and some for next year likely.

Our phone bill came and whatever special we had signed up under has now ended adding another $20 a month to that expense, and there was a 'CRAMMED on' charge for IDL - some kind of identity thingawhich that we did not ask for at $12.95 a month, and now have to wangle around to get taken back off the phone bill. Ought to be a law. The phone owner cannot ask for it to be removed, it has to come in the form of a credit from the CROOK who crammed it on there to begin with. They have you by the neck!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGG!

Photo caption: Abott & Costello?

Did I mention? It's ALWAYS something. Vigiliance is key. Somebody always trying to play GOTCHA in the wallet department!!

$000.77 balance
+020.00 Wooof-woof!
$020.77 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $983.05
Cumulative Challenge Total $2036.81

Thinking Inside the Box

October 6th, 2009 at 09:20 am

Got my thank you note to be mailed to the post office yesterday. YEAH for getting it done!

Got about 15 minutes done inside the stash-and-dash box yesterday. Yeah, a big box, huh? Not really, just a copy paper size box.

And it's all THAT stuff - you know, the 'I don't know what to do with it' S.T.U.F.F.

For instance, receipts. ...when to keep? when to throw away? I hate all those little pieces of paper!! Note to self - LESS money spent means less receipts! Big Grin That would be good!!

And other stuff - like neat articles that I want to save, but don't really have a category for in my already 'stuffed' file cabinet.

And more stuff - magazines and booklets. Moved to read pile by the couch.

And even More Stuff - such as family member's papers that they conveniently stick on my side of the desk, as if I'm the paper fairy that will make it just suddenly go away??

Recycled that back to Hubster's side of the desk & in FrugalSon's case to the file-pile place which is the corner of the love-seat which lets him know those are his papers to file - with strict orders to either do something with it themselves, like filing or throwing it away, but under no circumstance was it to migrate itself back to my side of the desk! :{ Elsewise? The crabby Paper Fairy would probably rise up and smite them!!

Yet More Stuff - Got some thrown away like those darn grocery store ads from God Knows When! Got some things shredded.

The inside of the box is still not empty, but looking better. More time still needed here.

I found a penny in there! Taking it to the $20 Challenge.

$000.76 balance
+000.01 miserly pay for an inside job!
$000.77 Oct MTD

2009 Challenge Total $963.05
Cumulative Challenge Total $2016.81

Five Things Challenge Update-The Sunday Edition

October 4th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Five Things Challenge Update

The Sunday Edition

d-o-n-e, done, Done, D-o-N-e, ..and DONE!!!

On today's list were:

[x]1)House Budget checking account balanced. - This is different than the other two I did the other day. Account is rather on the empty side though, so watching House Budget spending extra closely for a day or two.

[x]2)Cook Sunday lunch trying a new recipe. Used another out of Kraft's Food & Family magazine. Not horrid, not bad, but probably won't repeat - Chicken & Stuffing type casserole.

I did try one in there last night that FrugalSon said was FABULOUS. (Haven't heard that in a while!) It was the Chicken Caesar Wraps. I wouldn't say fabulous, but Hubster and I both agreed they were pretty good.

I, of course, being me, changed the recipe around to make it a warm wrap by heating the bacon, chicken & cheese before filling the warmed tortillas. Served with soup as I wasn't sure how filling it would be and it was rainy & damp by supper time yesterday.

I am trying new recipes because we had gotten into somewhat of a rut AND I'm trying to cook more since CashHappySon is not here to trade off cooking with FrugalSon & I. Have to get myself back in the cooking habit!

[x]3)File all the paperwork from bills paid. This tends to stack up! There were several months that needed doing.

And for future to-do's, there is still purging that needs to be done in filing cabinet. That might make the actual filing a more enjoyable thing if it weren't crammed full!

[x]4)Write a thank you note. A native friend sent me FREE copies of two books he wrote. I wanted to send my thank you note on native stationary, but it was in the other room and I put this off ALL WEEK rather than get on up off my duff and go dig it out. Took me all of 15 seconds once I made myself get it done! How often do we do this to ourselves? The packing envelope has been dragging me down all week sitting here on the desk LOOKING AT ME waiting to be done! That procrastination on my part was making me lose the joy of the gift!

[X]5)Clip and sort coupons. I've not been using coupons much the past few years once I lost my nice organized coupon box, but I can save money when I use them, so since we're getting ready to be 'fixed income' folks? I might want to get back into the habit. I sorted them by use-by date & put them in a ziplock in my wallet, at least until I see if I want to get back into couponing more seriously.

On another note I sat up in bed and slapped myself on the head this morning. Even though we've decided not to put our MM money into CDs for the moment until the SS & pension checks start coming, what is stopping me from moving it over to just drawing more interest? I don't know. How silly. Moved it just now! Gaaa!!! Then if we don't need it, it can slip right into some CDs.

Didn't get the chest of drawers painted because it clouded over all afternoon yesterday and I was afraid to risk it. Sure enough, we rolled it on the dolly back into the utility room and no more than 5 minutes later? Raindrops!

Maybe early some time this coming week it will get done. I know for sure I don't want it sitting in my utility room for very long. Needs another 30 minutes or so of sanding. I walked by and caught Hubster giving it a 'feel' to see if it was done right! Big Grin Still cloudy & rainy looking here today so, no-can-do today.

He finished installing crown molding yesterday evening in LR. Next to do is fill nailholes and joints then touch up paint. We may have to caulk a few places at the ceiling line as this old place (built 1942ish) has a few wavy spots on the ceiling line. IOWs, not much was level to begin with on this project. Pics to come when finished. Then it's on to the dining room molding!

Today will be a stay home and No Spend Day! Maybe some popcorn, a movie in the DVD player and a nap.

Looking At & Laying in

October 1st, 2009 at 09:59 am

FrugalSon & I went yesterday to see my Dad who lives an hour south. Breakfast at MickeyDs for two $5.12, and lunch out dutch-treat at a restaraunt I worked at as a young girl - it's really good food only available there in that town, ie not a chain, so $7.96 there, plus tip $2.50. Those were out of my personal spending account. Used a half-tank of gas which the house budget takes care of.

Got to look at my Dad! Priceless!

He's 78 and has had a stroke and five bypass surgery in the past. He is VERY VERY VERY active on his ranch and does a LOT of physical labor, iow, he can and does quite literally outwork people 58 years younger by running rings around them! But, we all know life can change in an instant. He's my fountain of knowledge - when I want to know the answer to ANY question and the computer's not on? Call Dad. A walking encyclopedia.

While down there we went to the scratch-n-dent grocery where I found some good deals on cold & sniffles supplies for the upcoming winter (fav cough syrup usually $12 bought 2 @ $4 each). Remaining on that list to get laid in? Sprite & orange sherbert!
O.S. is my comfort food when I have a sore-throat. Probably not the best as in feeding sugar to my germies, but it soothes & rather numbs the savage flames in a raging throat big-time. At least for a little while.

I have already laid in my supply of Sambucol for the clearing up of any throat tickle the other day. (Sambu is also a name it's called by - it's basically elderberry juice. The one I got has echinachea & something else I can't recall at the moment.) A little pricey, BUT can stave off all kinds of bad germies if taken in time. I usually don't end up with many colds, but Hubster usually managed to come home with one from work before and FrugalSon is still out there mingling with the masses. If they'd listen to Dr. Mom they wouldn't have as many, but alas, that is not always the case.

Good to get a visit in with my Dad as my Mom (whom he is no longer married to) has taken up a good deal of my summer energies with her move closer to me & 2 surgeries. Dad got the short-shift this summer.

We took the long way home on the back roads and hit an antique store. I managed to get out without spending any money and may have found a buyer for some of FIL's political buttons of which he only had a few, but they are here waiting for me to research them and get them sold. This guy did say he'd rather I priced my own stuff out and then he'd see if we couldn't come to some sort of agreement. Good enough.

Looking at Dad & laying in supplies made a good day. Money all well spent as far as I'm concerned.

Took Long Enough

September 29th, 2009 at 06:51 pm

It took me long enough but I managed to meet Househopeful's 5-Thing Challenge and got my list done today. It's now mid-evening here and I'm just now finishing up. A couple of things threw me off schedule.

a)Hubster is a perfectionist and I had to sand the drawers on the chest longer than I wanted too! It'll be better in the end for it, but yeah, now my hand's cramping. Ha! How did this wonderful man end up with slap-dash me?

b)First thing this morning I got wayyyyyy sidetracked on a special assignment (no pay) for a local agency. It was very important and it got done with my assist. Took about 3 hours that I hadn't planned. Done for a good friend.

c)I called my Mom to check in on her after her recent vacation thinking it would be a five minute call. Well, no, after about 45 minutes I finally got my ear unbent! Shouldn't have taken this long as they came and picked her dogs up the night they got back in and had dinner here, so, it wasn't like I didn't already hear this story once already. Gotta love my Momma! Then my step-dad got on the phone & reiterated everything she had just told me and they had both told me on Friday night! Love them! Hate to talk to them on the phone!

So, after the distractions, what were my 5 Things?

1)Balance house budget checking & money market accounts. DONE. Enjoying the fact that no mortgage chunk needs to come out in a couple of days! Big Grin YAY-YA-LU-YAHHHHHH!

2)Load of Laundry. Washed, folded, put away. DONE. Part of the normal routine.

3)Paint the other four drawers on the chest. DONE. Before they could be painted they had to be sanded to perfection! Well, that's what happens when you're married to a Master Carpenter. He never SAYS anything, just makes tsk tsk sounds. Pooh. Still to be done is sanding and painting the main body of the chest of drawers.

4)Spend five minutes going thru a stash-and-dash box of papers that got stashed when relatives came in town. DONE. More time in the box still needed!

5)Walk three times today for 10 minutes at a time with the timer. DONE. I need to do this regularly for leg circulation purposes as sitting at the desk most of the day kills my legs. Must get up and move around, as I don't want to throw a clot!

Thanks Househopeful!

And, while I was outside getting scrutinized on my project Hubster was busy setting up his table saw and stuff getting ready to put up my crown molding! Yeah HIM!! Maybe tomorrow??? I'm going to be gone but he'll have the house to himself, so maybe it might happen. Sky supposed to be clear tomorrow.

Not on the list but done anyway? Added Hubster to FrugalSon's Roth IRA as a contingent beneficiary and made a market order for FrugalSon on some gov. bonds in that account as he had a bit of cash sitting idle. Out to work you go dollars!!

Also got the crack in my deacon's bench filled, sanded and painted. It still needs a coat of clear laquer or something over it. It normally sits outside the back door for Hubster's smoke-hole out of the rain.

Am also wanting to paint my garden hose reel-away box before I put it away for the winter AND the little bridge that crosses my back creek. These will have to wait as the rest of the week when I'm free? ...rain's predicted.

Here's my little buddy who checked on me all day at my desk! At this point he's about five feet away. A little out of focus but cute!

I had a No Spend Day. House budget bought burgers tonight as the old grey mare was too tired to cook from all that sanding! Tsk tsk!!

Mini Vacation - 4 days, 3 nights

June 9th, 2009 at 06:21 am

Back from mini vacation and need to resolve to tighten purse strings, because before we left I had gotten into a 'spoil me' spending hoo-hah that has to stop! Maybe it was rebellion against the unemployment thing or something. Budgetary restraints have got to prevail here.

House budget spent $22.84 yesterday on gasoliine, used a $50 AT&T reward card to make the purchase, this card was saved for gas for the trip. Used $22.00ish =/- of it on gas while we were gone, and this refills car afterwards. Remaining balance somewhere around $5.

Trip was good - just THE Hubster and I - we got comped dinner out for both of us on two different nights and tickets to two different performances. This was a close to home trip - about 4 hours away. Paid FrugalSon $20 on Saturday for house/dog sitting while we were gone. He had free eats while here.

I'll post some pics of the accomodations when I get a chance. Need to upload them from camera.

Just so you know, this was an inexpensive trip - a 'resort' sales pitch weekend. We paid our dues by listening to the sales presentation, rather got the bums' rush since Hubster still unemployed. However, to their detriment to my way of thinking none of them ever asked us if we had the financial resources to buy w/o a 'salary'. Phhppttt...for all they know I might be a heiress or somethang! Doncha' know!

No biggie, as we already own a timeshare elsewhere and can trade into their resort anyway, plus I'm already on the deed to this place as a co-owner with my parents, I had just never seen the place. I'll inherit it some day and that's the main reason I went was to check it out. I just don't like it when people presume to know our financial status based solely on income. It's a false reading.

Anyhow, back to costs - we had paid a small fee about $99 last September when he still had a job for this package. We ate frugally and packed a box of groceries/snacks/pop along with us. Figured it best to use it while he had the time off. No telling when/if he'll get back to work. Budget for entire trip was $200. Came home with some cash, have yet to count it, but well under budget.

I had a no spend day yesterday.

A good quote I found on a 'horror'scope page - "The border between discipline and habit is often hard to distinguish, but that is precisely the difference that you have to keep in mind... Habit is mindless and unconscious, whereas discipline is self-imposed and suited to achieving your goals."

No Such Thing As Spare Change

May 1st, 2009 at 01:21 pm

"There is no such thing as spare change.
There's only "unassembled dollars."
~seen on an email tagline

Yes, I've been way out of touch - FrugalSon got moved into the basement and I've been busy helping my Mom move much closer to me. The woman has a LOT of STUFF!!!

Much drama in the CashHappySon dept. Too much to even try to relate.

While out of pocket I did manage to make the complete $6000 IRA deadline for 2008 before April 15th!!!

Paying bills today. So, lots of outgo.

Adding to the $20 Challenge

February 27th, 2009 at 02:44 pm

Let me pump up the volume, at least slightly by adding $5.27 to the $20 Challenge. While I'm not so good at stimulating the economy as President Obama - I did do my part today and spent online a bit on some new acrylic paints - I'll offset the price of these by selling some of my older (perfectly fine & usable) ones to FrugalSon who is in need of some. I just prefer this other brand when I can get them. A win-win situation. I get to upgrade for about $2.00 in price difference and he gets good servicable paint.

$016.82 balance
+005.27 addition
$022.09 Feb MTD

2009 Challenge Total $43.24
Cumulative Challenge Total $1046.02

Listed five items today on ebay - 4 books and a t-shirt. I did not spend any gas today, and am staying in for supper - cooking chicken and mashed potatoes w/gravy.

Spent about 45 minutes in the basement cleaning and re-arranging today! Yeah ME!!! Trying to get myself in gear so FrugalSon can move down there and use the bigger room. Must be cleared of FIL's estate stuff and we just piled it in there at the time of his passing. There is much to be done to make this room usable, but it's doable. Just too easy for it to be - out of sight, out of mind! FrugalSon and I have been spending at least 30 minutes a day for the last week working down there.

FrugalSon's Job Interview

February 7th, 2009 at 08:02 am

Went with FrugalSon yesterday to his job interview - they let me sit in. He did well answering their many questions. The lady has two more guys to interview and if he isn't chosen for this job his name will still be in their database for 60 days. This is a large metro hospital.

He put in for a cafeteria worker, housekeeping or floor care person. Pay is over $9 an hour plus uniforms and good benefits and 40 hours or more per week (he offered to cover other folks shifts).
Keep us in your prayers. I could see him making a good lifetime's worth of work here.

Later in the day I took both boys to the free AARP tax prep place. This time we got there by 1:00 - they close at 3:00. Again - we are too late. BAAAAH!

We WILL be there Tuesday at 10:30 - they open at 11:00!

Went and got cash out to do Angelfood this month. It's been awhile. I'll do their regular box and one of the meat boxes. With Hubster laid off this is a good deal for us.

There's a lot more going on behind the scenes about CashHappySon's life, too much to go into here, but the rest of the afternoon was spent doing some private detective work and other police related paperwork on his living situation. A domestic dispute with his now ex-roommate who's girl was one of the one's who stole the car.

Monday The Hubster and I are going to try and go with him to his court date - driving an uninsured and untagged car - $788 ticket.

The judge told him to get insurance on the car and a tag. Thing is? He doesn't own the car that he was driving (his side-job boss's) so that he can't follow her orders (even if he could he doesn't have the money or either job now). He went by himself to the last hearing. Perhaps if we go the judge will listen a bit to some of the facts.

I hate going.

I don't want to be one of those parents seen on Court TV trying to excuse Juniors actions. I'm not excusing them. Not at all. The little turkey shouldn't have been driving that car.

Because the title is not in his name - I do however wish to explain to her that he's not being belligerent or uncooperative when he says he can't tag & insure the car. She will likely (and well deservedly) suspend his driver's license.

Oh the joys!

Cost of accident report and police report yesterday on the stolen & crashed car he did own - $1.25 out of Mom's pocket because of course CashHappy's got 'NO Mun'ey!'

Did I mention I think they're going to give me my very own free assigned parking spot down at the police/court complex?????????? Maybe even a frequent visitor's pass???????? I'm kidding. But it seems that way.

Sheeeeesh! Before this I've never been to one of these places except to get married at the court house. Since he moved to that town I've been about 8 or 9 times now. I've told him if he gets locked up in jail not to call me because I'm not coming. Boo Hiss!

Sunbeams, Jobs & General Updating

February 6th, 2009 at 05:52 am

Sunbeam Tiger

Mine was very similar to this only with a more metallic blue paint job.

I'm off this morning to take FrugalSon to the hospital where we applied for him a job online about a week ago. They called yesterday and set up an appointment for him today. Weeee-dogs! I hope he gets it! Fingers crossed & prayers up! His Arches of Gold job's hours have been cut back drastically and he needs more income if he's going to date and plan on moving out someday.

I got up early and balanced checkbooks and decided against buying a large lot of acrylic paint that was tempting me on ebay. I would use it but can't really afford it right now - maybe it'll be relisted???? Hope so! I mean, I have the money, but it would run me close to my edge and I don't wanna play that game, you know? Spent time shredding papers this morning and filing, and just general paperwork & desk cleanup.

Adding to the $20 Challenge from what was found under the keyboard.


$000.00 Feb balance
+000.75 keyboard change
$000.75 Feb MTD

2009 Challenge Total $021.90
Cumulative Challenge Total $1024.68

Of other note, CashHappySon got fired from his job day before yesterday. This boy is in a downward spiral! Five jobs since he started working at 18 - five jobs that he's been terminated from. He's 20 now. He just doesn't get it. No car, no job, no prospects. Gaaahhh! These two boys couldn't be more different.

Yesterday was a no spend day. I updated the sidebar over on the left yesterday evening. Added the Dream Car Fund category over there. I owned the Sunbeam convertible back when I was in high school and wish I had never sold it. Ahhh, Foolish youth!

$480.42 what I'm starting it out with - Have been saving that little bit of money for awhile and just yesterday decided to give it a goal. I've got a picture of mine actually here ?somewhere? that I'll post sometime if I ever find it.

Can A Leopard Change It's Spots?

February 4th, 2009 at 10:42 am

Went yesterday with CashHappySon trying to get his taxes prepared so he can have money for a large ticket that he has to pay. No fast action there as we got to the free AARP tax assistance at our local library too late in the day to get on the list - they closed at 3:00, we got there at 2:15 which was the earliest he could make it after work and they were already booked. Will try again on Friday.

Yesterday was a spending day as I paid for some custom reframing of an Native American Indian art print that my Dad had gifted me years ago and the picture had slipped from the matting and it needed help. Updated the matting to new colors and it looks great. That cost me $43.00 & some change, but well worth it. Love the new look.

Also bought fast food chicken sandwiches for the crew & FrugalSon's girl-i-o who has now been back in the picture for a few weeks. So, she was over to the house to eat yesterday before they went out to get his haircut and to the community center to workout and walk on the indoor walking track there, then he dropped her at work. Lunch for 4 - $8.32. His hours have dropped drastically and she was told they would be on 'cheap date' status until his hours pick up again. Here's Mom hoping a leopard can change her spots!

Hubster sold one of his old, Old, OLD computers yesterday for $25 to a young girl off of Craigslist. She'll be happy with it. Another old one he's got on there for $50 hasn't generated any response yet but was put up late yesterday afternoon.

I went Monday over to my booth and collected a check there for January sales. I met my booth rent and made enough to keep me satisfied with the low amount of effort that it takes to generate that income (+$169 & change). I sold a couple of small items on ebay (+$17.82) and shipped them out on Monday (-$2.35).

Ronco SprayHair Paint 4 the Hair Tear Outs?

January 29th, 2009 at 06:58 am

On ebay one of my books sold this week and Hubster sold one of the computers & monitors laying around the house extra (he's got a bad habit of upgrading REPEATEDLY) for more than we had in it so we're up. And, better - that money ($525 minus ebay & paypal fees) has gone back into the emergency kitty. And nice too - it's out from underfoot where we really had no place to store it so it's been decoratively sitting at the end of my bed.

Also this week FrugalSon paid the kitty back $100 on his remaining balance for his new motor - so he's still down to us to the tune of about $600.

Yesterday Hubster braved the 2009 ice storm to ship out the computer ($35.77) which was covered by the buyer and got the tag renewed for his car which cost $83.50.

A small bit of financial smiles came forth when Hubster reminded me that the checks we are out of will be replaced FREE because of the type of 'Old-Timer' account we have at the bank. Yeah FREE! I'm calling them today to order up.

FrugalSon although not on the schedule (when is he ever on the schedule any more??? They've cut his hours at Burger Arches quite harshly) yesterday got called in for four hours worth of work unloading the truck. When the ice storm lets up we are going into the metro area to see if we can get him on at one of the several major hospitals in our area.

CashHappySon called a night or two ago wanting to know if his W-2s had showed up yet or one of the two checks he's got coming is in. 'Nope' to all three, but I'm fine thanks for asking!! :< He's so self-centered these days - I didn't talk to him but his Dad did - the boy did not even say good-bye but just hung up when he had his answer. GAAAAA! What kind of child have I raised?

I tried to reach him the other day to take him with us when we went to see the new baby, but his cell phone has been cut off - Not a big surprise. I don't know if he's going to work or not - supposedly some girl he works with was going to be giving him a ride. Hopefully he is more polite to her than he's been to us. Fact is, he told me the other day he doesn't care if he keeps his job or not! Exactly the problem I tell him.

Really, does this bald spot on my head show where I've torn the hair out?? I've tried that colored hair spray paint but I'm not sure it's going to work for such a major balding!!! Big Grin How much is this 'coverage' going to cost me??????

To the $20 Challenge I've got:

$005.54 balance
+010.37 in a purse cleanout
$015.91 MTD

2009 Challenge Total $15.91
Cumulative Challenge Total $1018.69

I listed three more books yesterday and will try to get some more done today. There are scads and scads of them that need to go!

Yesterday was a NSD for me as the only time I left the house was to drive FrugalSon in the ice ruts to work.

3 Thumbs Up! Laundry Dog Makes Discovery!

January 18th, 2009 at 09:30 am

FrugalSon found a nickel in the laundry to add to the challenge.


$005.49 balance
+000.05 laundry donation
$005.54 Jan MTD

2009 Challenge Total $005.54
Cumulative Challenge Total $1008.32

No, he's not in the doghouse. I start the clothes to washing and he moves them to the dryer and folds and puts away as part of his daily chores that come along with still living at home. He also does dishes on his nights off and every morning puts away the dried dishes from the night before. He's 22. For those of you just tuning in he also pays a small Room & Board stipend to the First National Bank of Mom Frugalis.

I am feeling some better. Yesterday I was dressed to shoes, with makeup done and everything and think I'll be able to get to the same level of alertness today. I do like the newish mucus relieving medication - sorry, this is gross, but it does thin the gunk so you can rid yourself of it. 3 Thumbs Up! Uhhh, yeah, well, I didn't say it doesn't make you loopy! So....ummm yeah, Two Thumbs Up!

Yesterday I was feeling so much better that I got about 10 items listed on ebay. And woke up this morning to see that one of Hubster's computer peripheals did sell and he's busy packing it up now for shipping tomorrow. It was one of four sets he had bought for resale, so at least he's on his way to paying back the CC.

And a few of the things he had listed on Craigslist have sold as well. YEAH HUBSTER. My deal with this is not that we don't have room, but that technology moves at such a fast pace that it's better to move it along while it is still viable!

FrugalSon is down with this creeping-crud now. CashHappySon came by to pick up his **OMG $968 OMG** cell phone bill & several letters from the bank on overdraft charges!! Did I say OMG? O.M.G.!!!

The boychild is one stubborn kiddo and will only learn his lessons the hard way. Of course the cell phone company cut your phone off! What the holy-heck do you do to rack up a $968 phone bill???????

Yesterday was a No Spend Day!

Yet Another Rate Hike?

January 16th, 2009 at 08:06 am

Adding to the challenge:


$004.27 balance
+001.22 change from OTC meds & kleenex
$005.49 Jan MTD

2009 Challenge Total $5.49
Cumulative Challenge Total $1008.27

Medical update: Feeling a tad better today, just can't swallow much without pain and now FrugalSon is getting this crud. Hubster had it first bringing it home from his last week of work.

Prices at the pharmacy for OTC for mucus - name brand $20.99 - generic $7.00. Quite a spread! Guess which one I picked?

Of financial news we've heard of yet ANOTHER possible rate hike on utilities.

Thanks to Princess Perky for reminding me, I just made another KIVA loan.

Another Bird Leaves The Nest!

December 8th, 2008 at 07:22 am

"The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard." ~Sloan Wilson

LONG time - no post! Missed you guys.

Of news: CashHappySon moved out on November 1 and I spent most of that month freaking out as he went C.R.A.Z.Y. by going on a debit card rampage and soon racked up LOTS of overdraft fees. Thing is it wasn't a thing he NEEDED, only wanted.

Luckily, I had gone before he moved out and got my name removed from his checking in the unfortunate knowledge that he'd likely do such a thing! He had to sign a power-of-attorney form of some kind. It's weird, I can still write checks on his account, still monitor it via the internet, but will not be held liable if he bounces! After several tongue lashings from Dad & I, he went and cashed in all his savings bonds to be able to bring his checking even.

Thing one. He owed us over $4100 on his car. After much heated discussion he cashed in his retirement savings (BOO HISS) and paid us off. I didn't want him to cash this in, but I also didn't want to worry myself silly over him repaying us and/or losing it when someone sues him over non-payment of such things as his lease, bills, etc.

Thing two. He still owes the hospital about $1300. I'm concerned whether he'll pay them. He has some money left from his retirement cash in checking and we're discussing having him pay them the $300 or so he has currently in checking. He has an agreement with them to pay them $35 a month. As far as I know he hasn't paid them the December payment.

I am trying to divorce myself from obsessing over his finances. I realize he will have to scrape his own knees before he learns - he's always been that kind of kid.

Once's he's flying straight I will of course feel better, and am actually already feeling that way some as emotionally he and I butted heads quite often and it was time for him to wing free on his own.

For Mom to remember:

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." ~ Thomas Merton

On another front - FrugalSon's job has cut his hours way back. Fortunately his only bill is his car insurance and his room & board he pays us. His insurance will go up next month as he and CashHappy were on the same policy and I want that changed. They are on each other's car titles as well so they could receive a multi-car discount. That will stop. I don't want one to be responsible for the other's accidents, etc., especially with one away from home doing who knows what.

The Hubster's job is somewhat stable at this time, but there have been lay-offs in his shop, but he'll be one of the last two to go if it comes to that. Currently he is eligible for early retirement and we could gather in pension and Social Security after unemployment benefits run out so there is not too much to worry about there.

I recently returned from a trip to the sunny pacific coast with my Mom to visit my aunt, her sister. We had a wonderful stay and I left home with $125 in cash to spend and came home w/$53. That was after I spent money each day for breakfast for me and Momma as Auntie didn't cook - and we ate lunch out each day and saved half for supper each night. Auntie is 82 and doesn't cook. I put $30 on my CC for that dumb $15 bag fee each way. For my birthday (FYI: I passed one of those monumental numbers on the hill climb)Mom paid my way there and for a nice rental car. Thank you Momsie!! My job was to help her with all the heavy luggage and do all the pathfinding and driving and see that we made all of our flight connections, etc. A really nice trip.

Upon our return my stepdad's Mom passed away and we had that funeral last week. He had stayed home to tend her during her last days. We were actually afraid that she might pass while we were gone. She was a neat lady and had been my step-gran since I was about 12.

Hubster and I had our 26th wedding anniversary last week. I renewed his contract for another year! Big Grin

I'm back selling some on ebay, and am emptying out one of my junque' booths as the sales there were pretty slim!

I will add another entry later updating my sidebar stuff as I have kept track of it.

Adding 50 cents to the December $20 Challenge.

Clash of the Titans - Harry Hamlin Aside

August 18th, 2008 at 11:36 am

My weekend was the scene of the small economies and we rewatched the 'Clash of the Titans' I think the title is - with Harry Hamlin (va-voom!).

While cleaning my bedroom on Saturday morning I found about 7 partially used bottles of lotions (a good sign that I need to re-join the flylady emails) that I downsized into four. Most of these were gifted but still 7 on one bedside stand is WAY too much AND birthday and Christmas and the lotion gifts that might be incoming are on the horizons.

So I combined those even going so far as to add a splash of water into the near empties to get that last little bit of goodness out. The combo jar is what I use to moisturize my feet with before I put on fresh socks for bed so it's of no big import that it's a mixed bag of juicieness in there.

Also on the beauty front I colored my own hair again on Saturday night. My normal night of Lux's House of Beauty treatments! Cost has gone up at the dollar store from $2 a box to $2.75! Frown

I spent a bit of time on Saturday combining the multiple open bottles of jelly, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce and pickles in the icebox. Why do males open another jar instead of looking to see if there isn't another one open already???? Hmmmm?? Probably the same thing that makes women have 7 bottles of lotion going at once!! Ha!

Also in the kitchen we had the ongoing battle of the wire mesh coffee filter vs. the paper ones. I dislike paying for the paper ones but Hubster prefers using them. Don't ask me why as he can't say. GRRR!


Anyway I saw that we are down to the last little stack of paper ones that I got when a grocer was having a 20 for $10 sale about three years ago. That made them 50 cents a bag rather than their normal $1. I bought $5.00 worth that time.

IF I can get in there and get the coffee made first or set it up the night before we use the wire filter. If Hubster makes it sure as shooting it's one of the paper ones. I think I paid $2.98 for the wire mesh filter years back. Ho-hum. I think it's better to use the wire one! I have four reasons - number 1)it costs less in the long run and number 2) the paper ones sometimes fall down leaving me with grounds in my cup and number 3)I can empty the wire one more easily into my garden for composting efforts and number 4)it saves cutting down trees to make more paper ones.

No big fuss but along with shopping carefully for big purchases I think it's these little differences that can make a difference too in the long run on your money.

A tip I use is to buy flavoring extracts and to use dropperfuls of it to flavor our coffee instead of buying the more expensive flavored coffees. It works!

Two Hips & A Hurray for making the little efforts. Say what you will but in the clash of the Titans I still contend that the little things add up to a bit fatter wallet! Speaking of Titans, Mr. Rockefeller believed it too, according the biography about him called "Titan"!

I'm going with Mr. Rockefeller on this one!

Outside the boys and I go to work on the backyard jungle left from the ice storm! Lots of limbs still to be removed from trees and brush to be burned and bagged. See ya on the flipside hopefully without too many skeeter bites!

Things Look Up When You Look Down

August 18th, 2008 at 08:44 am

Adding to the $20 Challenge. This money will be added to my Roth IRA.

My Discovercard $20 reward hit the bank and I've got .12 cents here on the keyboard to put towards the challenge. Those rewards should stack up again rather quickly as we've been putting our gas on the Discover Card as they've got a 5% Cashback bonus going right now on gas purchases thru September.

Who says it doesn't pay to look down??

I found the twelve cents. Eleven of it was found in the lobby at the Dark Knight movie last week and a penny that fell in the floor from taking clothes from the dryer this weekend.


$222.66 Aug balance
+020.12 Discover & found & laundry
$242.78 Aug MTD

This is my best challenge month ever thanks to Hubster!

2008 Challenge Total $429.73
Cumulative Challenge Total $958.34

Yesterday I had a personal No Spend Day.

Housebudget bought a newspaper (FrugalSon & I both looking the employment ads over), cold meds, and trashbags at Walgreen's and paid McDonald's for supper. Hubster has the creeping crud of the lunger sort so it's AlkaSeltzerPlus time for him. And there is STILL one corner of the back yard that needs a lot of small limbs picked up & bagged from the ice storm last winter! It's returning to jungle back there and both boys are off today so we've got a plan of attack for it this afternoon if the rain holds off.

In case you missed it last week - FrugalSon passed his driving test FINALLY!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-DOGGGIEEEES!!!

Waste Is A Resource Out of Place

August 16th, 2008 at 05:50 pm

Did anyone else see this? Ethanol made not from corn but from beer mash???

This morning on TV - it was quite early here as I hadn't even had my coffee yet - was a morning show of some kind talking about Coors and their ethanol reclamation project.

With our trash service broken it caught my attention. I was beginning to crazily wonder what I could do creative w/ about 17 days of trash???? Later today I found this out on the web from the tag line that I remembered from the show 'waste is a resource out of place'.

"Minimizing our impact on the environment is the right thing to do and it's good for our business," said Molson Coors CEO Leo Kiely. "Bill Coors used to say that waste was a resource out of place - that thinking still drives us today to recycle, reuse and reduce our consumption of energy and materials when and where we can."

I'm not a beer fan but I'm going to try to remember this phrase! I do try often to reuse stuff but I'm disinclined to save 25+ oatmeal containers if I've no use for them. I wish there was a better way to sort & distribute such stuff as you know would be good for churches, schools, scouts and other groups to use in their projects.

"Reduce, ReUse, Recycle!" I recently painted such a sign on an old barn board I had laying around. Put it in my junque booth.

As I'm typing this guess who just drove by? My OLD trash service and FINALLY picked up the trash! They don't know they're out yet! Come Monday they'll find out as Hubster's calling them up AGAIN! And I'll be wanting a refund for the last half of this month.

Oh, did I tell you? FrugalSon PASSED his driving test!!!!


Heat'n Up The Cooktop, Oven & House

August 16th, 2008 at 03:50 pm

A cooking mood has struck of late. Last night was homemade pizza night. Tried a new flatbread recipe for the dough - ehhh, I like my AmyD Tightwad recipe better. Back to the old tried and true.

Cooking moods seem to come on when the weather cools down. It has been about 10-15 degrees cooler here than normal so it's been nose to the cooktop this afternoon. I find that if I cook ahead on Saturday it saves me time, frustration and most of all money when the question after church is always, "Hey Mom, what's for lunch?"

I made a 9 x 13 pan of Dark Chocolate Brownies for lunch tomorrow. Thank you Betty Crocker. When that came out I baked four potatoes for tomorrow's meal plus a 9 x 13 pan of hot rolls all which we'll heat & eat tomorrow.

For lunch today we had the original 'po white trash lunch of Spam, Cheese, fried onions & Durkees sauce sammies, with chips, dip & pork n' beans, iced tea. Lawn mowing on the agenda this afternoon for the male Frugalis types.

For supper I made a new recipe for me. I didn't have all the ingredients to do a traditional Gyros or a Lebanese wrap called a Shawarma, so I did an adaptation on both.

I made the traditional Lebanese Garlic Sauce (yummers).

Then instead of pita bread I used tortilla shells that I had on hand.

Didn't have any lamb, so I used a cube steak that I had in the freezer. Sliced it thin, browned it off w/a tiny hint of olive oil & mint, garlic salt, allspice, cumin, worsesterchire sauce & a smidge of liquid smoke. It was meant to feed Hubster & I on a night when the boys are both at work. Well, I needed to use it tonight to feed three of us which is what sent me on a search of something to do with it.

In the frig were lettuce, tomato, onion. I got busy w/the chopping.

So it went together like this:

Warm tortilla shell in skillet. Put on plate. Spread on lots of garlic sauce. Add line of shredded lettuce down the middle, top w/tomatos & onions, (these onions are supposed to be spiced but I hadn't the time) and the surprise ingredient is a dill pickle spear laid down the middle. Top w/four or five chunks of the browned meat. Wrap or fold like a taco and eat over something that can catch the drips. Wear a bib.

Very good and that yummy garlic sauce helps clean out the sinuses! Do a google search there are various recipes out there. I changed this one around a bit:


I didn't have sea salt, so I just used regular salt, only 1/4 cup of lemon juice from the plastic lemon, and I added about a teaspoon of parsley to mine as it was blending. Blender wanted to blog down towards the end - so in reality probably only used about 1 3/4 cups of oil. Oh, I also didn't have a fresh garlic head, but jars of chopped garlic that you buy at Aldi's. I just used about 1/4 cup - give or take. Yeah, I'm that kinda cook. Smile

While cleaning up the kitchen tonight I got all soppy over my little kitchen tools. It's amazing what all one can do with the right tools. Supposedly I need an immersion blender to do that sauce. I don't have one - my old glass blender had to do. I wouldn't mind having one, so I might put it on my Christmas list. My knives are shabby, chipped & worn and that could also be a future purchase.

I can forsee the days when I'm back to cooking much more than I have in the last few years as the kids have always done so much cooking while learning & honing their kitchen skills. My tupperware & equivalents are looking pretty sad and sparse as well. I suppose I should let the extended family know that I could use a few updates in this area before they get all industrious and get all their Christmas shopping done. (I've been doing a bit of online Christmas shopping myself.)

What got me all misty today? My little red pastry brush shaped like a man & my measuring cup that looks like a chemistry beaker of sorts. Mine, isn't this brand but looks very similar, was a gift from Mom.

They've been with me a while and I appreciate that they are always in the drawer & cabinet ready to whip up something good for my family.

Silly, I know! Big Grin But that's what happens when you have time to ruminate while burping garlic over a sink full of suds & dirty dishes!

Good sturdy kitchen tools are worth the original expense!

I looked at an oil mister yesterday at the store and passed it over. Today I could have used it as I was out of cooking spray. Well! Hummmpf! To the rescue? My little red man pastry brush. It may not be au'current, but he still works and I probably paid less than 50 cents for him at a junk or yard sale years and Years and YEARS ago!

Did I mention?

FrugalSon passed his driving test!!


See my blog roll for the BIG story!! Poor kid - it only took him about 7 or 8 tries to get past the parallel parking!


Let the good times roll!!

good Good GOOD News vs. Bad News

August 16th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

good Good GOOD News vs. Bad News

Are we going or coming?? Travels or Travails of the Frugalis Familia?

You decide:

FIRST the good Good GOOD news is that FrugalSon just had his 22nd birthday this month and a few days later?


Hallelujah and pass the beans!! He has driven himself to & from work a few times now and I think we'll see his self confidence grow by leaps and bounds in the near future! Thanks to all of you who've been reading and praying along with me on his trials and tribulations to get past that darn parallel parking portion of the program! See the back history under the tag of FrugalSon as his learning disabilities have held him back for far too long. God bless the sweet little easy going man that he got this time that passed him! I refrained from kissing the test examiner all over but to say we are pleased is a great understatement!

FrugalSon has since his birthday broken up with TheGrrl. She wouldn't quit flirting with another guy at work and even went on a night-walk with him on her break (FrugalSon & she work together) while Frugalson had to stay working, even after he'd asked her nicely not to do it. He'd given her several chances to stop and it continued rather blatantly in his face, so - So long, see-ya si-a-nar-a senorita!

He'd told her that he didn't mind her being friends with the guy but the flirting & walks needed to stop. This girl is 24 years old and I believe FrugalSon was considering buying her at least a promise ring for Christmas this year. In my humble, mother-love aside, opinion I do believe this girl just messed up big time. They've been dating almost a year.

She's gone on a family vacation this week. I told him I'd hustle up another job while she was gone and be out of there before she ever came back if it were me. He'll probably stay, but I'm hoping that she either truly sees the light OR he finds someone else NICER to date rather quickly.

As I already posted earlier, CashHappySon's girl broke off with him earlier last week. So, no girl-i-os around for the moment.

The other BAD news is that yesterday we got a letter from the IRS on some of the income from father-in-law's estate that we did not claim. We had varying pieces of advice from different tax people as to what needed reporting, so it was probably to be expected.

I just quickly glanced over it and gave it to Hubster since he's the one who dealt with all the estate stuff. There is likely an appointment to be arranged to visit with them to see exactly what's what as their paperwork is mightily confusing!

Oh well, in my mind the driver's license outweighs the IRS & girl news in this balance-off! Heads, HE WINS!!

I'm going to give it a month or two for him to smooth out on his driving and then it'll be time for me to dust off my resume and either hit the school yard and/or the work-force!

Other good news is that earlier last month one of our other grown sons finally got married - this is ManOfTheYearSon! She's about to graduate from college w/a psychiatry degree. Big doings party wise went on. I failed to mention much about it because we weren't actively involved in the planning. Her family threw a big party in her hometown which is halfway across the state. We gifted from the registry - a nice fat Lowe's card for "the woman's touch" that's needed at his house. He lives across the metro area from us in a suburb town. Our daughter who lives in California came into town for the 'do'.

Meanwhile back at the house our trash service just posted an increased charge of an additional $1.40 a month. Not too bad, BUT they haven't bothered to pick up my trash at all this month - TWO WEEKS worth and it is beginning to stack up big time!

I've called them and Hubster's called them. They have yet to come get the trash although they autodrafted our payment as usual the first of the month! GRRR! Equipment troubles. Yeah well, rent a pickup truck and come get our trash!! GEE-WHIZ-LOUIZ!!

Hubster made a call yesterday to a new service and they'll be out Monday w/a new cart for us.

One and A Spare - Not Bowling!

August 12th, 2008 at 07:26 am

Found 20 cents on my keyboard, likely from CashHappySon, so I'm taking it to the Challenge.

Then, we are off to take his little Toyota into the shop for what sounds like a loose wheel bearing.

Afterwards we're heading to the grocey store to shop for tonight's date night - tacos after an outing to see Dark Knight at the matinee. FrugalSon and TheGrrl seem to have covered over a rough spot (her flirting w/other boys) and now CashHappy's girl is giving him trouble. She's awfully young and fickle. I believe that it's her (high) school year starting up and new prospective boys there that have her waffling! CashHappy has graduated and settled into a job that he loves.

They've known each other for over nine years. She thinks she can count on him to be there and date when she wants and to fix her computer and such but when someone more exciting comes along she wants to rush off to them. I've tried to warn him, and he's beginning to see that usually I'm right about these youngish girls and their often times skittish behaviours. You gotta hate it when Mom is right, BUT, what's a Mom to do? Just say nothing? Not in my makeup!

Although she broke up with him on the phone he insists that she come tonight to tell him why! Won't that be comfortable for everyone??? NO! Aggghhhhhh!!! Her question was "Are you still going to come to church with me?" I've tried to tell both boys that some girls like to have "one and a spare". They are beginning to believe me. Her other 'friend' won't go to church with her, he's a bad-boy type so of course he's interesting, but alas he won't sit with her in church.

Here's hoping she's smart enough not to show up tonight.

After our grocery shopping we're planning to run off to the junk booth if I get some stuff priced to do some restocking and rearranging!

It's cool, gray and rainy here today, feeling very fall like!


$220.61 balance
+000.20 change
$220.81 MTD

2008 Challenge Total $407.76
Cumulative Challenge Total $936.37

Dressing the Wine Cellar

August 8th, 2008 at 01:02 pm

Well, I've been working on my basement -in my head mostly this last month. This is what I do - an idea festers around for awhile, then I research, then I look for photos for ideas and then I scour my house and junk booths gathering my stuff then one day it all just gets to be too much headspace rattling and I spring into action. It can happen at anytime - sometimes it's the middle of the night even. Does it work that way for you?

Yesterday was finally THE DAY. With both boys off we spent some time emptying the little apartment room of CashHappySon's stuff. He's basically back living upstairs 99% of the time anyway. For those who've been reading for awhile his attitude is MUCH improved.

We keep thinking one of these days we are going to sell our house and I've got to get the basement 'storage pit' cleaned out if it's ever going to happen.

It will never happen here unless I'm the one that instigates it. Everyone else is happy with the status quo, until they go to searching & cussing for whatever they just know they threw in the pit at some point. As Flylady says, your house doesn't have to be a dumping ground!!

Anywhos, yesterday we started. I have a funky little space under my utility room that needs dirt to be dug out and then cement poured. I'll try to add photos later so you can tell what I'm talking about.

In that area of the basement is like a 3 foot high crawl space and it opens up into what I formerly called the hidey-hole room (we live in tornado country) in the basement, which we've been using as CashHappySon's apartment. So, that dirt area needs to be dug out about 5 or 6 inches down and cement piped into it. That would give a more stable storage environment there for general junk such as camping supplies.

It is also the one area of the basement that needs to be slathered down with that hydraulic cement to keep it from leaking. We did most of the basement when we first moved in. Money constraints at the time didn't allow it all to be done at once. So, that's a need to be taken care of. When it rains heavily that little dirt area leaks water down onto the floor of the hidey-hole room. The hydraulic cement guys are gonna love working in there lying on their backs! NOT!! Needs doing!

The hidey-hole room is the room that I want to dress out as a wine cellar. Yesterday we got all of CashHappy's stuff out of there with the exception of his microwave & dorm size refrigerator. His couch is now in his old room along with his housekeeping stuff all boxed up. Did I mention he's saving $200 a month towards moving out? He's got about $1600 put back right now. I'm good with that but I'd really like him to buy a condo rather than rent an apartment.

Back to the basement. Today we swept really well and vacumned down there. Needed is a good down on your knees scrub out w/some bleach in the water to get it all doozied up. The floor in this room I painted hot pink long ago and it has paint sealer over it, but it's still just a concrete floor and some of the crevises are just going to stay dirty looking as there is no avoiding that.

I took my old ice-cream table down there and some other decorative items from around the house down there. Today I did an "Ima-Saver Liquor Run" and went and bought some wine to fill the racks. What fun! We do enjoy going to wine tastings and the occasional bottle of wine with dinner, and we'll enjoy this wine cellar ourselves with it still helping to sell the house eventually.

CashHappySon is a run to the basement open the door and pitch stuff in kind of kid. I've threatened him to within an inch of his life if he puts anything in that room!

Want to do: Fix the crawl space. Paint the room either a golden or red color. Maybe both?

Get some real wine cellar racking down there. Change out the el-cheapo counter with a nice cabinet. If I can't find the wherewithal to replace the cabinet then do some artistic manueverings to get it to look better than it does now.

Close off the old window space that opens into the rest of the basement (my pantry and library is in that portion along with furniture storage for young men about to fly the coop). If all else fails get a curtain up there to cover that window. I'd love to have a wrought iron grate over it, but I might have to get creative with one of those rubber door mats that look like wrought iron. Get a ceiling up in this room. If that fails to at least paint out all the pipes and wood a deep black, so it fades.

Also while we were down there today I noticed that the little sink has a small leak when the water is turned on - it doesn't leak the rest of the time??? Is that weird? I'm not sure. Will have to get Hubster on that. Wish I could find a great cabinet first and then just fix the leak and change out the cabinet at the same time. The cabinet that is there is one my Dad & I threw in there when we first moved in. I wanted a sink down there and we used an old cabinet from my Mom's last house remodel & a small sink out of my Dad's old travel trailer, so it's just a toss up job that needs mucho refining!

I like the idea of a wine cellar and it's one that's been fermenting in my mind since we first bought this place. My husband has a distant cousin who lives in Austria and makes an award winning wine. His family was also instrumental in starting a major winery the next state over. Our last name is German and we have far distant relatives still in Germany with an open weinhaus that's been operating for generations. I've even been known to brew up a batch or two of honey mead and strawberry and blackberry wines from time to time myself.

I'll try to get some 'cellar' pictures up so you can get a visual on the space. Meanwhile I've added a new link over on the side about freeing the grapes. Some states do not allow shipping of wines. Pooh!


edited to add actual photos: Keep in mind there is still much to be done and that my house was originally built in 1942! When we moved here this room was unpainted, there was no sink, the floors were plain concrete and the rock wall did not have the white in the concrete lines. I spent a lot of time painting those in there. Gaaa! It was a cave. When CashHappySon was living down here I called it the belly of the whale - now I'm gonna call it "The Black Grape". Come on in and have a sip!

The pillows are for the small church pew that currently resides beside my back door. It's now white and will have to be painted out black. Much floor scrubbing needed.

One of the two black holes! One has a lift-up door over it (See rough wood over to the left behind the mirror). This slot has a door it just hasn't been installed (see it laying in there all crooked on the dirt pile?). This dirt area is all one big space that sits under my utility room. I only want to dig out just a few inches and get the dirt covered w/concrete. If you look carefully into the mirror in this shot you can see the window & door on the walk-out side of the basement.

As you can see it's a small narrow room, probably 8 x 10. I've got a nice black wall cabinet that's supposed to be going up on those wooden boards that are currently hanging down in the back. Mirror & chest of drawer belong to CashHappySon and will leave home when he does. The window area in the back right hand corner used to be the outside of the house before it was added on to years past. That area needs help. Pipes need rerouting, etc.

The poor little sink that needs help! If all else fails I've got some black & white toile fabric to make a sink skirt. The door seen in the mirror leads to the pantry/library/storage area of basement. The tree may not stay, it was just sitting in the storage area and we hauled her in for quick ambiance. The sink looks off kilter #1 because the floor slopes to a floor-drain in that corner and likely #2 because my house was built in '42.

The mosiac artist pallet was already here in one of my booths. New purchase to make the room? A cheese knife for $2.98. This project is likely to cost me a lot more before I'm through!

Birthday Steak and Signs of the Times

August 6th, 2008 at 08:14 am

Rump Steak

Monday night found Hubster and I taking the two youngest boys and their girlfriends out for a steak supper. We are beginning August and our heavy birthday month. We had a really nice evening out w/a few dollars spent. The restaraunt is one of those that provide free cake to everyone in the birthday party. Woo-hoo! Nobody's had their birthday just yet but we've got four to celebrate this month and we had to go when everyone was off work. We normally eat at home and MomFrugalis cooks their favorite meal for them, but this year one of the boys wanted to eat out at a steakhouse. Less work for me, the steaks were wonderful and I looked FABULOUS!! Big Grin

Then last night both their girls were over and the kids all cooked spaghetti, salad and garlic toast and then after they cleaned up the kitchen they washed both dogs, popped some corn, and we watched an old movie together. Cheap date!

Monday day found the boys and I going south to my Mom's to visit, take stuff to my junque'booth down there. We spent a bit of time in GreatUnc's old house, he passed away about two years ago. The parental units let us sift thru some of the 'good stuff' that had piled up there and we brought home several items to be priced out and sold in my booths.

I haul it out of here and more comes back! It's all good as it usually keeps me in gas money to run down there and see her. The lady at the antique mall there said they had some days last month with zero sales which is quite unusual as it sits on a major highway running north & south and she said they had more than several last month who did not meet their booth rent.

While on our travels we also noted many of the smaller car lots that usually have 10-15 cars on them. Most all of those types had only ONE car sitting on their lots. One of my favorite junk-type consignment stores is closing their business too. T'would appear that times are getting harder in my neck of the woods.

Twenty-Two Will Fit w/Flowers

August 1st, 2008 at 02:33 pm

One is hiding behind the faucet!

MyrtlesMoney inspired me with her blueberry shot to show you my tomato harvest for the last couple of days. We're a bit behind in getting them eaten! I'll have to be more mindful to get these packed off in lunches or given to hapless passerbys! Four or five a day is all the salad needs. We are popping them like mad! We are eating from left to right...

My big tomato plants have tons of green tomatoes on them but none seem to want to ripen! Any clues as to why? It's hotter than Hades here. All I can think of is possibly there isn't enough airflow because of other nearby plantings - tall four-o'clocks, or that some of those plants may be shading my tomatoes too much??? This is my first year with these planted in the top yard rather than down in my big garden so perhaps the soil is lacking something??

Also this is my AFTER picture of the kitchen w/the new light fixture (sorry, I couldn't find a small enough mini-chandelier in my patience level time frame) and new ceiling paint. Now the kitchen walls need re-painting. These two lights were el-cheapo ($18.99 for the set but at the checkout I was surprised by a sale & a total of $15.15), but do match the rest of the house. Keep scrolling back through my archives a week or two back to see the old ugly renter's special BEFORE shot! So when I do find the perfect mini-chandelier I won't feel too bad about the $7.57 loss of this one. This light makes me happier than the old one!

I lived thru the Corian fest & now the marble-fest on updating my countertops without spending. Not because I wanted to mind you, but all that the budget would allow was a small paint fix to the area where laminating come up missing on the old countertops.

One day I'll have new countertops if it harelips everyone I live with! New recently as a couple of months ago we did finally get an updated kitchen faucet. See it in this shot! Wooo-hooo! A couple of years back we managed to put down Pergo floors in the kitchen & utility rooms. So there has been some updating to the house since we've had her.

The lighting fixture for the utility room matches this one plus the other in another part of the kitchen area. Nothing to be done about the ugly flourescent one in the middle of the kitchen though as our ceilings are too low for any other kind of fixture unless you go to messing w/can lights. Maybe one day! We did replace the basementy-metal-model flourescent w/a half-way decent wood look flourescent in the kitchen a year or so, but it's still ugly.

Other things ought to come first before countertops, such as new carpeting for the rest of the house (beyond gone), a couch & loveseat for the living room (getting tattered) & a new mattress (way lumpy) for Hubster's back!

Our house is comfortable except for that mattress - not magazine perfect though. Plenty of living going on with me home all day every day, the boys home most mornings at least half to 3/4 of the day and Hubster home in the evenings it gets plenty of wear. I don't want to seem ungrateful. I love my house, just wish I could freshen everything all at once!

The floral selection in the picture is from wild honeysuckle type vines that FrugalSon picked for me. Good kid!

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