Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Riley visited while my Dad fixed something on her Mama's car.



Jonathan and Riley are buddies.


She loves Jon.


Jack loves everyone.


Mamaw visited as well with my aunt. Mamaw has dementia. About once a week in the last month she's lived with my dad's sister she visits on Mondays because she gets upset about things and wants to see my dad.


I haven't really talked a lot about Mamaw around here because it's a complicated story. A story that begins 2 years ago when she had her stroke, picks up again a month ago when her caregiver (my other aunt) was hospitalized for whatever it was (the extended family still has no idea.) Mamaw is angry about a lot of things, one of which is a financial situation in which she was taken advantage of. And on top of it, she isn't herself anymore. At least not the way she used to be.

Ultimately all I know is this: one day you are Riley, carefree with blocks and bubbles. The next day you're Mamaw, older, angry and lacking any will to live. I often hear that growing old is a gift, and I'm sure that's partly right. But sometimes I wish we could all just check out at our peak and be done with it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coupon Savings Sunday

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I did a quick Walgreens trip this afternoon to pick up a few sales. Here's what I came home with.

2 pints of Starbucks Ice Cream: buy one get one free 4.79 for 2 - 1.50 coupon and one 1.00 coupon = 2.29 for both

2 pints of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream: I received a coupon for one free pint a few weeks back, they were also buy one get one free so I got two = free

1 50ct package of sandwich bags = .99

2 Glade Room and Fabric Spray: 2 for 5.00 - a bogo coupon = 2.50 for both

1 Dawn Dish Liquid: on sale for .99 - .25 coupon = .74

2 Mitchum Deodorant: on sale for 1.99 each - 1.00 coupon and a .75 coupon = 2.23 for both

1 Revlon Hair Color: normally 3.99 but on sale = 1.99

+ I had $1 in register rewards from last weekend

Total Out of Pocket after tax: $11.05
ad coupon savings: 9.40
ad savings: 11.40
mfg coupon savings: 12.79
total saving: 33.59

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I honestly don't know why I enjoy this so much, but I do.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One of the things I removed from my previous Life List was getting married. Meeting someone, falling in love and getting married seems like such an organic thing that is so out of my control that I didn't want it on my list anymore. If it's meant to be, it'll be. And if it isn't, I'll live.

But so help me, if it ever happens I want what these two had:

(but don't watch if you don't want to cry)

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

"I walk in with you, I walk out with you."

"Being married is like having a colored television set- you never want to go back to black and white."

Oh man, tears. Ugly tears.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Search of a Life List

Inspired by Maggie (Mighty Girl), I’m working on my Mighty Life List: the 100 things I want to do before I go, except isn’t Mighty Life List a bit less depressing than the calling it a list of things to do before I die? I think so too. I’m all about the Life List these days.

I managed to cross several things off of my old list, like:

  • Meet the Clintons
  • Attend a Catholic Mass
  • Learn to garden
  • Buy a brand new, zero miles on it car
  • Enlarge and frame a photograph I took
  • Join a warehouse club
  • Make yeast rolls
  • Learn how to make my mom’s fudge
  • See all 50 states (I’ve crossed off several since then)

But many of the things I wanted a few years ago don’t apply anymore, don’t seem as important, or need serious re-vamping. I have 27 more to list to have an even 100, but I’m stalling in order to make sure all the really important stuff is listed. So I’m curious, what are a few things on your Mighty Life List?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Grocery Gaming It Again

I went couponing today for the first time in a while.

I had a $5 register reward for Walgreens. I used that to get a few items. I spent $2.18 out of pocket but also got another register reward, this time for $2, for the next time I visit.

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Then I spent $41 at Kroger, saving $35.

Jonathan was with me because he wanted some library books. The library has been a huge source of frugal fun this summer. We stopped at Sonic while we were out because it was half price happy hour time (2-4), and you can't beat 2 refreshing drinks in this heat for the price of one! We may have also stopped for drinks because 15 year old boys don't find couponing nearly as thrilling as I do.

Just imagine 2 hours of this face:

brenda and tom 014

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time Keeps Dragging On

Two years ago on August 16:

The Big 5-0 021

The Big 5-0 020

JESUS, JON! I told you not to grow up.

My dad asked me how old I was last night, twenty three or twenty four? I said I wasn't a day over nineteen. To which he replied, "already lying about your age I see." And then he said if it were up to him I'd still be a little girl. I told him I understood, if it were up to me Jonathan would still be eight years old.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Grocery Store People Who Annoy Me

The pay from the end of the conveyor belt person: where the credit card machine is at the end of the lane is a stand for check writing and change giving. In front of that is where you should stand. Not blocking the entire lane so that the person behind you, who is holding several items they'd like to put down, can place their items on the belt. You see me standing there. You even gave a smirk. And I resisted the urge to throw my ice cream at your face.

The check writer: I don't mind check writing if people would realize you can have several parts of a check finished before your total is said. The date. Your signature. The name of the store. If you have to use a check, can you at least be efficient about it?

The purse/wallet organizer: so you paid with cash? That's awesome. But do you really have to organize your change, shuffle the contents of your purse, and carefully place and fold your receipt all while holding up the line? No, you don't. You can step forward a bit and do these things.

The take up an entire aisle with your cart person: cart pushing should really require a permit. The rules of the road should apply. You drive on the right side of the aisle. Don't drive down the middle and then stand there looking at everything so that nobody can pass. I see this especially often in Walmart, which is the like the expressway of grocery stores. You wouldn't drive down the middle of the interstate and then stop to gawk at something, don't do it at Walmart.

The price checker: I can see asking about one item. I don't see asking about several. Also, if the cashier asks you how much something is because it isn't ringing up, give her a number. Even if you feel guilty guessing, just give a fair price for the item. Because if they're asking, they are willing to just key something in. If you say you don't know your incompetent bagger kid will have to go price check it. And we'll all be waiting 15 minutes for his return.

The kid screamer: I'm not talking about the kids here. I can handle a child's meltdown or two. Sometimes I feel like having a tantrum in the middle of the grocery. But the most annoying thing is a disgruntled parent who won't stop yelling at their kids when you can't exactly figure out what the kid is doing wrong. Nobody needs to hear you scream, "I'm going to beat your ass when we get home" in the middle of the store. It makes you look frightening.

The kiddie shopping car pusher: you know the ones I'm talking about. The CAR carts. Those should be BANNED. Nobody can see to push them. They don't turn corners well. And having your kid sticking out at the end of your cart while you dart in and out of aisles hardly seems safe.

The stand so close I'm worried you're trying to violate me in the check out lane: there is a bubble of personal space for everyone. Let's not violate that space. If I can feel you breathing, you're too close. If you can read the numbers on my credit card? You're REALLY too close.

The moody cashier: I know your job sucks. I know. And I feel your pain. But we're both stressed out. We can at least joke and get along during our moment of mutual misery. Don't make me hate you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blueberry Fields Forever

I had Indiana blueberries.

I found a delicious Blueberry Muffin recipe.

And then I had butter.

Which got all melted and delicious.

So yummy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A good weekend

a marathon Apples to Apples tournament

Tommy 009

homemade cherry limeades
  • a glass of ice
  • squeeze in wedges of lime
  • add 2 or 3 maraschino cherries and a couple spoonfuls of the juice they're packed in
  • pour some sprite over it all

a cool kid

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Tommy 033
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a visit from family