Tuesday, March 31, 2009

my day off

Today I miraculously had the day off. To celebrate, I:

cleaned my half of the garage
took the recycling to the drop off
cleaned the cat litter box
went to walmart and got new cat litter
scrubbed the laundry room and floor
went to the laundromat and washed all the blankets and rugs that the cat has peed on
washed and vacuumed my car
waited at home for the repairman to show up and fix my dryer

all while babysitting two of the grandkids.

Tonight the hubby is taking them to a movie, while I stay home and clean house.

Ain't life grand!?

stupid cat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

speaking of money

Speaking of money and coffee cans...when I was younger, our family had a running joke that my grandma used to store her money in coffee cans buried in her yard. My uncle would claim that he had dug up some of her coffee cans and was going to go and look for more! I never really knew whether she actually did bury money in her yard, but i doubt it was a true story. Mom?

Not too long ago, I found out that someone I know actually does this; only her money is wrapped in coffee filters and buried, instead of coffee cans. I won't say who or where she lives, as I'd hate to have her wake up one morning and find her yard looking like a mole had suddenly attacked in the middle of the night!

Kinda makes you wonder, though,
in these times of economic stress, if maybe she isn't on to something! The interest isn't great, but at least she hasn't lost her life savings!

Monday, March 16, 2009

free money!

A tip for anyone in my local area. A friend of mine, T, has an account at Heritage Bank. They have a friends and family referral program there. When I opened an account last week, I filled out the form stating that my friend had referred me. She is now going to receive a $150 Visa gift card, as am I, after I use my debit card one time! (Provided I use it and fill out the paperwork within 45 days.)

In addition, because I now have an account, I can refer someone else, and they will also receive a gift card. Heritage Bank offers great gifts for new accounts. In the past they've given out Ipods, GPS navigation systems, and now these gift cards.You can only receive one gift per gift cycle, so I couldn't receive another gift card, if I were to refer someone else. BUT... when the next gift cycle comes up, I can refer a new customer, and we would both receive that current gift.

I opened this bank account to hold the money I save every month for Christmas. I decided a bank account was probably a better place than a coffee can stashed in the back of my closet. Plus, I now have an additional $150 to put towards Christmas gifts!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

retreat, cont.

So far the retreat has been amazing. The Lord is speaking to me through Cheryl, and telling me so many things I need to hear. It has been encouraging and convicting at the same time. I am feeling more relaxed than I have in a very long time and actually, although I miss my family, I am not looking forward to going home. I'd love a week down here to rest and rejuvenate. I'm hoping I can take the things I've learned home with me and put them into practice. This time spent with my friends has been so enjoyable, and something that is sorely lacking in my life. I miss having girlfriends to just hang out with!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I am off to the beach this afternoon to attend a women's retreat. Our pastor's wife is the featured speaker and there are women from several different churches attending. I am SO excited about this weekend. It's a much-needed getaway, with two of my dearest friends staying with me at a little cabin, rather than at the "camp". I'm sure the teaching will be awesome and I can't wait to get going!

reading list

One of my resolutions this year is to read through some of the dozens of books I've purchased, but never read. I love, love, love, to read! but I don't seem to get as much time to devote to it as I'd like to...maybe because I spend far too much time on the internet! I tend to have 4 or 5 books I'm reading at the same time, but I don't seem to finish them.

So, this year, my goal is to read one book, cover to cover, a month.

My accomplishment so far:

January:Beautiful boy
February:The Duggars: 20 and Counting!

Currently I'm working on a repeat:

Financial Peace Revisited

and up next:

The Gluten Connection

Not exactly a heavy reading list, but an accomplishment that makes me happy, none-the-less!

3/14/09: I just remembered that I also read and finished this book:

The Great Depression Ahead

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I learned this past weekend of another family I know who are in danger of having their home foreclosed on. This makes four families that I know, personally, who are in some stage of the foreclosure process. I also know of a family losing their business, and several others on the brink of serious financial meltdown and possible bankruptcy. These times are frightening for so many of my friends and I see them struggling with depression and sleep issues and my heart aches for them. I am grateful for the financial security my hubby and I have; but, I also know, that things could have turned out much differently. Investments he made could have soured, rather than doing well. It's difficult to be happy about such things, when those around me struggle, but it's not difficult to be grateful. We serve a great and mighty God, and I give thanks for his abundant provision in my life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My car

The hubby and I had never purchased a new vehicle until he bought his motorcycle a couple years ago. We've always driven used cars and paid cash for them. Last year we purchased a new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. We were looking for used, but with rebates and the Costco automobile purchase plan, we were able to find a new truck cheaper than a used one. We always pay cash and haven't had a car payment since shortly after we got married, over 30 years ago.

Right now I drive a 2000 Grand Vitara with 150,000 miles on it. It's not a great car. It's rough to ride in and too small, but it gets me where I need to go. If I need something bigger and more comfortable to drive, I just borrow the hubby's truck. Next year I am hoping to purchase a new car, for the first time, since 1977!! But, the one I have now will work until then. I've gotten laughed at sometimes because of the cars we drive...but frankly, I really don't care.

Why have we always paid cash and always bought used? Dave Ramsey says it best.

ht: Finally Frugal.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Catherine at Frugal Homemaker Plus mentioned this video over at Frugal Hacks...love it!

Monday, March 9, 2009

i can see clearly now...

I have a few basic rules I follow when it comes to my house:

1. If I don't love it, I don't keep it.
2. If I'm not going to use it, I don't keep it.
3. a place for everything, and everything in it's place.

and most important...

4. If I were to move tomorrow, is this cupboard, (room, closet?) neat and organized so that i could quickly pack it in a box, label it, move it, and put it away in my new home?

If I have to sort through stuff, decide what to keep, decide what to get rid of, donate, etc., then I haven't got things clean and organized enough.

If I want to find something, I don't want to have to hunt high and low, here and there...I want to go to where it is supposed to be and find it.

A little extreme? maybe, but it keeps things running smoothly around here...hence, my problem and my stress. Stuff is laying around all over. I can barely park my car in the garage...where did all of this mess come from? Have I been walking through life asleep the last year?

My gluten-free, dairy-free diet is helping to clear my brain...but causing me more stress because now I can finally SEE thru the fog!

oy vey.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I'm in danger of becoming discouraged.

I can't keep up.

Closing at work 3 times a week...one day a week to go and visit my son, not getting home until 10:30 at night...bible study one night, where i'm totally slacking...church on Sundays...leaves me only two nights a week at home. My house is a wreck, my laundry is stacked up. I haven't visited my parents in months...You wouldn't think it would be so hard to keep up when I'm feathering an empty nest. Something has to give, but what? If I get any less sleep, I'll drop. Work? How?...my daughter, the manager, is 9 months pregnant. She shouldn't even be working at all.

I've always believed that if we can't keep up, then our priorities are somehow out of alignment. I just need to find out where...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I just found a really awesome website. It offers free things to people for their birthdays. How great is that!

My daughter and son-in-law are taking their family to Red Robin tomorrow for two of their girls' birthdays...I'm hoping to sign them up to the Red Robin Kids Club and see if we can get them free meals.