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Archive for May, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Meanderings

May 28th, 2007 at 06:37 pm



Happy Memorial Day and thanks to Ima’s dad and all our dad’s or granddads, moms or grandmothers, brothers and sisters, husband and wives, sons and daughters, and in my case son-in-law. All those who have fought for our country.



These pictures were taken by my youngest daughter in North Carolina.

My brother, his Russian born wife (who became a US citizen last month) and their 7 year old son came down for their annual Memorial Day visit.

I started Friday out by taking a test for a position as an airport screener. It was very difficult and I was sure I completely flunked, but when I got home (1.5 hours from test site here in rural Northern California), there was an e-mail saying I had passed. I applied over a year ago and was surprised to hear from them. I guess feeling inspired by Ray and Sharon, I decided to go for it. Waiting to hear what the next step is. I live about 2.5 miles from the local airport so that would be great to get a job there with full federal benefits. But I am also happy working at home and so either way I am fine. There are advantages to both.

So with my brother and family, DH and I went to a local gem and mineral shop/museum that we had not been to since our girls were young. Very interesting, we had forgotten how much so. We yearned for a beautiful large landscaping rock from Brazil, can’t remember the name, but it was blue and white… $3.00 a pound, 45 pounds… ouch, no can do…. First we went to lunch and brother paid (we had made dinner for them the night before, carnitas, fresh pico de gaio, fresh guacamole, etc)… after we were done at the rock place, we went to the South Jetty of the bay and wandered around. It was windy, but the native plants were all in bloom and SIL is very interested in gardening, so she was taking many pictures. Then we stopped at a local nursery where brother bought my mother (who also loves to garden) some new plants since she lost some in our unexpected hard freeze this year.

Today was beautiful, not much wind early and we were at the beach by 9:15 a.m. with the dogs. They had a blast with Lola rolling in some undesirable stuff, which caused them both to get their second bath of the week. Then DH and worked outside in the yard. We marinated chicken (that DH thinks was a bit past the date they should have been kept frozen) in Soy Vey Teriyaki , DH made a dish with pasta, Classico roasted red pepper sauce, a little wine and some cheese he bought at Costco. The cheese was mozzarella rolled with basil and prosciutto. He also roasted cauliflower with a little olive oil and garlic. The chicken was very subtle because we used the last of the teriyaki sauce and there was not the usual amount for 6 pieces of chicken.

We don’t have Walmart or Home Depot, so on Friday when I drove the 1.5 to my test, it was in a town with both. I got there early so I could go shop. I didn’t buy anything at Home Depot, but got some good gardening/landscaping ideas. I did stock up on some stuff at Walmart and found some $2.00 a yard very cute bright flannel to make a baby quilt for YD’s best friend due next month.

It was difficult not to buy more yarn, but stopped myself. Oh and the Venus disposable razors are cheaper than the refills of just the cartridges. Why is that I wonder? I was a bit hungry at Walmart and I was due to take the test so I bought some Quaker Mini-Delights buttered popcorn flavor. They are horrible. I couldn’t even eat one little package. Thank goodness I also bought a big jar of peanuts for $3.97! Another mistake was I wanted some of that Jergen’s face moisturizer that also gives you a fake tan. It is making me break out and I’m almost 50! Oh well with three daughters, one of them will be able to use it.

Yesterday we went to see the movie "Fracture" at the matinee after my brother had gone home to Washington State. We decided to see that instead of Pirates (since it was almost 3 hours long). That is the only money we spent this weekend...$11.25.

All in all a satisfying four days! Hope yours was too.

State Farm Alert!

May 21st, 2007 at 02:25 pm

Another check arrived in the mail. This was the smallest so far, only $8.50, but it has my husband's little Honda 90 as the vehicle. We generally only insure it 3 months out of the year during hunting season.

So I will add this to the challenge:
$830.25
8.50
838.75 new total.

Challenge update

May 15th, 2007 at 04:51 pm

Okay today I cashed the State Farm check and 3 checks totalling $90.00, rebates from Verizon for signing up for cell phone service. This was in addition to the rebates I already received.

The other day I was looking for knitting books at local secondhand stores for babies. I found one for $16.00, so I figured I would go home and look on Amazon. So here are all these books in Amazon, but what kind of patterns do they have in them??

Then it hit me, the County Library! Thanks Thrifty Ray, you whole post about the library in your area must have been hanging in my mind somewhere...

Our county library had a ton of knitting books. I promptly went to the branch in the next town the next day and checked out one, along with a quilts for kids book, and pottery barn home office book, etc.

So today on the way to the next town over that has our bank and the library where I checked out the books, I stopped at our local office store and copied out of the books the patterns I was interested in. I copied two baby sweaters and 4 baby quilt patterns. It cost $1.66 for all the pages. So considering this, I am throwing in another $15.00 into the challenge because this is definitely a new thought on how to save money for me.

I still have not gone to the main branch yet to see what they have, but did put one book on hold by Debbie Bliss who has a bunch of baby knit books.

We really have a very good library system here in Humboldt and it has been severely underused by yours truly, but I plan to change that.

So I went to the bank and then to the library, then I put the $30.00 in the gas tank!

Also over the weekend my sister brought me a pair of Liz Claiborne jeans that were too big for her (did I mention I started Weight Watchers because my 8 year older sister looks younger than me!). The jeans would have cost at least $30.00 so I am adding that too. Oh may I say they are a bit stretchy and quite comfortable even though a bit small.

Unfortunately it cost DH over $70.00 to fill his truck today at $3.39 a gallon and I put in $30.00 to my old van at $3.59 a gallon, both today.


662.25
112.00 rebate checks
11.00 DH gave to me tips from work.
15.00 for using library.
30.00 new to me Liz Claiborne jeans.
830.25 New Total

State Farm Bulletin!!

May 14th, 2007 at 02:51 pm

I received a second check today for $22.00. At the top it says 1994 Plymouth Voyager. I think the last one said 1989 Chevrolet.

So maybe you will get another check if you have more than one car insured.

My older (by eight years) sister came this weekend to visit her daughter and our mother and me. She looked great. She has lost 15 pounds since the beginning of the year on Weight Watchers. Great motivator for me! I swear she looked younger than me too!

So today I started Weight Watchers. DH picked up our side of beef Friday and tonight will be hamburgers and salad.

Work is busy so I am back at it.

Busy week!

May 11th, 2007 at 05:45 pm

Mother’s Day Weekend…. Waaah, I miss my daughters all being together at home.

It’s been a busy financial week starting with 3 more rebate checks in the mail from Verizon for a total of $90.00. Instead of putting it towards the challenge, we used it to buy plants for our yard and a new hose. DH spent last weekend planting including a half wine barrel herb garden. The seed mat is sprouting today after having two incredibly beautiful days, followed by three gray cool days here on the North Coast of California and I have a beautiful red hanging geranium outside my kitchen window.

My middle daughter is here visiting with her two dogs and have been here all week, makes for a pretty crazy house, two little 4 year old terriers and two big mixed breeds that are barely over a year old. They don’t know whether to play or fight!

Yesterday I went over MD’s budget with her, giving her a clearer picture of where she stands. She is self-employed like me (same job actually) and does well, but is much clearer about putting away for retirement and how much she has to spend on “extras”. She is very open to our discussions and I LOVE having them! Let’s face it, I love giving my kids financial guidance! I just would hate to see them make the same mistakes their dad and I have made.

Today I did a spreadsheet for myself (my first attempt), itemizing out my monthly gross earnings, deducting insurance, then taking out the appropriate percentage for taxes (40%) and retirement (20%), leaving me a VERY clear picture of my monthly net earnings.

I was able to talk DH about of going out to dinner Tuesday. We were both tired, but went in and cooked up some leftovers together. I had a “burrito” made with leftover tri-tip from Sunday and DH had leftover sausage from Sunday breakfast with some scrambled eggs.

DH is also humoring me in an attempt to use less paper towels. I got a plastic dishpan full of older “flour sack” dishtowels to use for wiping up spills and cleaning. I put them in the cabinet right next to the sink while held our toaster, so I moved that. We rarely use our toaster anymore. I have been doing really well cooking during the week with DH continuing to cook on weekends.

Unfortunately I did receive notice today of State Income Tax Due. I have been trying to call them. The check I sent them did not clear when my Federal check did and I called them. They told me not to worry, sometimes it takes up to 8 weeks for a check to clear. Then today I get this notice of owing $934.54. In the meantime, the check I wrote to the state did clear, but I have a hard time thinking my accountant made this big of an error on our returns. So I am not going to panic until I talk to them. Talked to them, it’s okay, they see the payment, mix up because accountant originally e-filed, but Federal rejected, so we mailed copies of both returns, but should have only mailed Fed.

DH is bringing home a side of beef he bought at the local university sports auction. Every year he gets something interesting…It is grass fed, raised and donated by a local family. I have not eaten much grass fed beef, actually have I ever? So hopefully it will be good. It’s home, we crammed it in the freezer, no eating out for a year!!

Middle daughter arranged a Father and Daughter day June 10th, with us all meeting in San Francisco with my husband and daughters all going to a Giants game. My husband has taken the girls several times over the years. Our youngest daughter will be coming home for two weeks during that time from North Carolina. Oldest daughter is flying down and back to Oregon in the same day so we will all be together. Well they will all be together at the game and dinner later. I will be back at the hotel, probably working!!

This is my first mother’s day as also a mother-in-law to a wonderful son-in-law.



I want to take the opportunity to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of us and to everyone’s mothers. I hope we all have a wonderful day!

Mother's Day Gifts

May 3rd, 2007 at 09:24 pm

My husband brought me home two miniture calla lillies, one dark pink and one white with variegated green and white leaves, very nice (for May Day). My mother came by yeserday and really liked them (she is a gardening maniac).

So today I asked where DH got them. Safeway!

So tonight we ran down and got two each for my mother and his mother. They are $4.00 a piece so the total was $17.16 for our Mother's Day Gifts.

We then ran by our friend's house to drop off 1/2 of the bag of red potatoes DH bought from Costco and 3 large onions from the bag of onions. In return we got a pound of mozzarella cheese from our friends. We frequently trade bulk items we buy from Costco. This was sort of unplanned. We usually are more organized about it, but with me being gone up to OD's house for 10 days and my BF starting a new job we were a bit disorganized about it.