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Archive for November, 2009

Putting off the inevitable (my five for the day)

November 29th, 2009 at 05:44 am

Got home last night from our trip. Something smells in my refrigerator, which is weird because as soon as I got home and started to put food away (that we took to Reno and our stop at Trader Joe's), I threw everything suspicious out, but it still smelled this morning. I guess that means I have to take everything out and wash it out. That is usually my first weekend of the month chore.

My five:
1. Pay December bills.
2. Figure out rest of December budget.
3. Do paperwork for Flexible spending and 401K since papers must be turned in Tuesday by noon (this involves going to paycheckcity.com and figuring out how much can I put in my 401K and still have a big enough paycheck to cover whatever it is we decide my paycheck covers).
4. Okay which means doing the 2010 budget, crap by Tuesday??
5. Laundry.

Another five:
6. Clean bathrooms (okay at least the sink and toilets).
7. Prepare Seattle Filmworks roll of film for mailing (picked up mailer at Ace while buying Ally's tent/tunnel play combo, have no idea what this roll of film is, have had it laying around for 10 years, who uses film anymore?).
8. Pick up free 8 x 10 at Walgreen's (THANKS DEB!).
9. Plan week's wardrobe and hem navy pants? (Maybe I will do that next weekend...hem the pants anyway).
10. Watch Dexter!

Oh one more thing:
11. Submit over the counter receipts to FSP for this year.

DH is sleeping, I got up at 5:00 a.m. so I guess I'd better get started on this financial stuff!

PS Trader Joe's has some yummy oreo type cookies with peppermint filling called Trader Joe Joe's. I bought 2 boxes! They had an open box at the checkout for customers to try.... well yes I bought 2 (for work). I am a classic sucker.

Black Friday Spending

November 27th, 2009 at 03:43 pm

We are in Reno, Nevada at our oldest daughter's house along with Landon and Lola. MD came over and a friend drove up from Sacramento, so it was the 5 of us for dinner. DH spent way too much time cooking and he told me today, never again, (yeah we'll see). He says he spent way too much time to have mediocre food. Yes for his cooking it was mediocre, but then it was not his kitchen or tools, but hey the pie was great! (Recipe posted earlier).

So this morning OD is working a 12 hour shift at the hospital (her moonlighting ultrasound job), so DH and I decided to shop a bit until MD got up and met us for a little more.

The day started out good with Starbucks not having any decaf ready so DH got my coffee for free (daughters do not drink coffee, so we buy when we visit). I can only have 3/4 cup of regular coffee a day, so I got 1/2 regular and half decaf. $2.15 for coffee plus DH always tips $1.00 so today of $3.15.

Home Depot for new fake tree: $52.77. We are still using the tree that DH's neighbors (when he was a kid) gave us a few years back. You have to manually stick the limbs in and DH said he was throwing it away this year he was sick of dealing with it. We found the an acceptable one at Home Depot, that already had lights, but missed out on the 99 cent Poinsetta's. Oh well. Don't need to poinsettas. I NEED a Christmas tree.

From there we went to Ultra to get specials for OD that she was not able to get since she was working. Of course I ended up getting the eye stuff and face color from Bare Escentuals for myself too.

Ultra: $22.15 x 2=$44.30. Since purchase was limited to 1 per customer, DH was a trooper and came in and purchased one set too.

Then to Ace Hardware where they had a tent with a tunnel for $14.99. Just the thing for Ally! We had been hoping to find one and Ace had one at a very good price. While there we picked up 2 under counter fluorescent lights for OD (She said she has a Daddy-Do list for DH, and that was one of the items on it). Also walked by puffy mailers that I need to send off a roll of Seattle Filmsworks film that has been lying around for at least 10 years discovered while DH and I were purging and decluttering to make room for YD and granddaughter who are coming to live with us while SIL is in Afghanistan for a year. Did I blog about that??

Anyway total for Ace Hardware $33.90.

Then we met MD at a new shopping area called Legends that has a huge sports store called Scheel's I think it is. Ended up eating some breakfast there and bought granddaughter Ally a little soccer ball for a total of $23.00.

Then we headed to the outlets connected to Scheel's and that is where..... (hanging my head in shame)..... I made the mistake of going into Ann Taylor that was having 50% off everything including their already marked down merchandise.I ended up spending $48.09 ($5.00 was a donation to ST. Jude's Children's Hospital) on 3 sweaters. I could justify the makeup because I did need the undereye cover, mine is almost out... but 3 new sweaters was definitely breaking my buy nothing for myself for a year vow. DH was very sweet and thought I was being way too hard on myself. I said okay I can't buy anything unless it is 50% off at least. Okay, okay apparently I have no will power.

Then off to Osk-Kosh outlet where I bought Ally a pair of pink striped overalls just like her mom wore and 2 other cute little outfits. Total $36.70.

We then went into the Carter's outlet and DH finally had had enough. Weren't you just in that store he said as MD and I walked in. We both decided we should not spend anymore (she bought 2 tops at Guess and Ally another little outtit) so we turned around and walked back out.

Then we stopped at In and Out Burger where we spent $7.83 for lunch. DH dropped me off, MD went home to her dogs and I came home to catch up on the blogs.

Now MD is here with her dogs and DH is on his way to Cabela's. He is buying a gift for his hunting friend who gave us the truck (did I blog about that?). Anyway a 1999 Chevy Truck.... so he is getting him a nice back of truck mattress for hunting.

Okay the dogs are going nuts, must go now!

Great Pie Recipe

November 23rd, 2009 at 09:10 pm

DH modified a pumpkin pie recipe about 5 years ago and we have not looked back. We don't even consider using pumpkin anymore and with the pumpkin shortage I keep hearing about, I thought I would share this alternative... for us it is the new normal tradition.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Grandmother Pumpkin Pie
(Otherwise known as Grandpa sweet potato pie)

1 and 1/2 cups evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups smashed cooked sweet potato
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/4 cup pure cane maple syrup

Spray 10-inch diameter fluted ceramic tart dish with 1-inch high sides or glass pie dish with nonstick vegetable oil. Press pie dough to thickness of ¼ inch into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared dish. Trim and crimp edges (we don’t actually do this). Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes (can be done 1 day ahead).

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Stir milk and sugar in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool slightly. Using electric mixer, beat pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg in large bowl to blend. Add milk mixture and beat 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Add maple syrup and beat 1 minute. Pour filling into crust. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

Transfer to pie rack and cool (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead, let stand at room temperature) Serve with whipped cream.

No-Roll Pie Crust
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter (we use salted if we do not have any unsalted)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powder sugar
2 cups all purpose flour

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add both sugars and stir to combine. Stir in flour. Cool 15 minutes (dough will be warm). Use dough immediately.



Here is grandpa (DH) and his sweetie (Ally):

We are debt free.... except for the mortgage!

November 11th, 2009 at 09:03 pm

I thought my 0% lasted until the end of the year. I was surprised with my last statement from our last credit card to see that I owed over $100 in finance charges. That's it. I transferred the money from ING and just paid it off in full.

I am embarrassed at how long it took us, but we are finally out of credit card debt. So now all we owe is our mortgage on our home and our rental home.

Our E-fund took a big hit, but with my buy nothing challenge for the year (personal spending), I am hoping it will be in a comfortable range before too long.

I can't even share the news with DH as he is asleep, still on East Coast time since he just arrived home yesterday after spending a week with:


By the way, I knitted the ladybug coat she is wearing. It is a bit long, but hopefully she will be able to wear it for a year. It is made out of baby alpaca yarn and the pattern is here if anyone is interested:
http://www.petitepurls.com/Fall09/fall2009_ladybug.html

We have started a new challenge tonight of how long can we go just buying fruit, veges, bread, milk and coffee. Our freezer is brimming with food that needs to be eaten including leftover party food from Ally's first birthday party in August.

Happy Veteran's Day to all our Veteran's, especially my 85-year-old father-in-law who served in WWII, my two older brothers who both served in Vietnam, and my dear son-in-law who is currently serving in the Marine Corp and is getting ready for his deployment to Afghanistan. He has not been overseas since 2006 to Iraq. 2010 is going to be a tough year for my family.