Saturday, March 14, 2009

I am text ignorant.

Can I tell you something? I have only texted once, on a friends phone that had the full keyboard and I actually spelled whole words.

I know-- get out.

Do you want to know something else? Can I tell you that there have been a few times that I've had to Google texting shorthand so that I know what people are saying?

I'm officially a dork.

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Anthem for My RAV

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
-- Queen

Can you guess? The tire pressure sensor light was on yesterday morning. I gave a visual check, as Hubs had taken the tire pressure thingie BACK out of my car. It seemed fine. Last night, Hubs topped the tire off. This morning, the tire was flat. Hubs lovingly changed my tire-- again and found a big ole screw in it. A very well worn screw, so it's been in there for a while. This is the same tire, however that ate a pothole about 6 weeks ago. It appeared as though the loss of air at that time was the seal having been jostled. Apparently, we were wrong. That would be repair/replace number three since the end of October. I swear that my vehicle has a magnetic pull toward tire damaging things and just longs to have the tire pressure sensor light on. The pothole? It was 1/2 block away from the house, covered in snow and I was going less than 20 MPH. No, I'm not a bad driver. Seriously. The curb that I ate was my fault. I'll admit that. The screw in the tire in October? That was dumb luck. This second screw? Double dumb luck. My younger brother works at one of the Goodyear Tire Centers and I think that they swear that I'm single handedly trying to keep them in business.


I wasn't the Coupon Queen, but I feel pretty good.

Yesterday afternoon when my friend was visiting, I decided to glance over the Giant Eagle ad. She had a few phone calls to take and I started making a grocery list. Now, I know that Jamie is way better at this than me (I'm working on it), but I did save 54% on my bill-- $35.01 total savings. That's not too bad for me! With all that, I got 8 packages of the Ronzoni Pasta for free. It was BOGO and I had 4 coupons for BOGO. It's not stuff that I'm too hip to eating, but I plan on sharing it with folks who can use it. I purchased bathroom cleaner for 1.00 a bottle (2 bottles of cleaner, 2 large toilet bowl cleaners). I know that I had that on the shelf, but it doesn't expire and the price was right! I bought the things that I planned (except Band-Aids because they weren't as good of a deal as I hoped) and only added milk and a few produce things that we actually did need. The milk was 1.99/gallon and it is hormone free (hooray!), broccoli was on sale, so I'll make broccoli soup this weekend instead of chicken corn chowder and we were fresh out of short cut carrots.

I did forget to add that we bought a pizza to have for our play date. Don't worry, it was on sale and I had a coupon. Blast! I forgot that N- is running McD's for the kids. Oh well. The adults can eat it. That'll work. We'll have leftovers on Saturday for lunch.

K- gets to play with her friend, E-, today. The girls are 7 weeks apart and when E- was 2 1/2, her family moved to Wisconsin (or Wiz-gon-son) so that her dad could attend U of W-Milwaukee for guitar. They have come into town this weekend so that her dad can play at the Godly Guitar concert at the church up the street. That gave us time to get the kids together so that they can play. For 2 1/2 years of their lives, the girls were pretty much attached at the hip. We live 6 blocks apart and when E-'s dad is done with his education, he plans to come back. (They kept their house and rent it while they are gone.) In the meantime, the girls enjoy their little play dates together. N- and I get to catch up and hang with their nearly 1 year old, B-. Both girls are very excited. Truly when they play, it's like they just played yesterday. They don't miss a beat. It makes my heart happy for them!

With that, I hope that all of you have a great day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rambling all the way to Thursday

1. I love K- singing Wrong Number by The Cure with me. I thought that she would love it-- "Lime green, lime green and tangerine . . . " The kid loves green. "Mommy! Find the song!" :)
2. I wouldn't say that our 50 cent Monday thrift store date was completely rockin', but it did score some cool things. I got K- a cute summer dress for 75 cents, a pair of great little sandals for 60 cents, a spring/summer dress for myself for 1.00, a book for a quarter, a Frank Sinatra DVD for Hubs' dad, a Pooh CD for K- for 1.50 and the game Rush Hour for 1.50. That sucker was new!
3. My menu planning Monday got the switcheroo again. I had to pick K- up Tuesday night from the in-law's and they provided a lovely hot bowl of soup with bread and butter. The Turkey Tenderloin was moved to tonight.
4. I rocked on making bracelets to drop off to the gallery. Sure, they are little kid stretchy bracelets that I sell for 4.25 (my take home is 2.40 each), but any little bit helps. It gives the kids an opportunity to get a neat, handmade thing. It makes the parents feel okay because it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, so if it gets lost they aren't stressed. They cost 40 cents or less each to make, so I get a 2.00 profit and I crank them out as I listen to TV. That's not too bad. My bedroom smelled of nail polish, though. (I seal the knots.) Rachel, I thought of Lily. Look at my pile!

I came up with new ones, too. I found a bag of these honkin' cane beads and they are lovely "wheels" that I've accented with some little silver-lined beads.

5. It's Crazy Hat Day at work on Tuesday. I'm not a big hat wearer, but I think that I'll dig into K-'s dress-up bin.
6. This week, I've learned of two families that we know of that are losing their homes to foreclosure. This breaks my heart.
7. In the past few weeks, several family members have been forced to take pay cuts at work (all at 10 % cut, if memory serves). They are all thankful to at least have jobs. Still, the downsized income hurts.
8. Praises out to JMom at Lots of Scotts. She had gall bladder surgery and is recovering well. My friend, Heather had hernia surgery 3 weeks ago and is finally recovering well now that the pesky fever is gone. Mom continues to improve daily from her severe allergic reaction to tetracyline. My friend, Kim, received test results this week and her physical issues can hopefully be resolved by tweaking with one small pill. That's wonderful!
9. My brother applied for a job. This may not sound like a huge feat, but he has found every reason under the sun not to apply for jobs. Internets, my brother has been unemployed for two years. My brother is bipolar, but fully functional while medicated. Where this is a reasonable excuse for many things, he had just plainly become too accustomed to being leisurely.
10. My church is having a date night in about a week and a half. We will be watching the movie,
Fireproof, having dessert and they have childcare. Oh praise God in heaven! We get to hang out with friends, meet some people we don't know, watch a movie I've heard a lot about, hopefully eat cheesecake (though, I'm good with many desserts!) and all for the bargain price of $12.00! We even get a book, but I don't quite recall what it is.
11. Hubs borrowed Storm Chasers from the library and we're going to be watching it tonight. Hooray!
12. I've finally figured out the 15 year old teen issues I've been having with my skin-- laundry detergent. Sam's Club, great holder of my laundry detergent, decided to switch scents on me. Well, it has made me look all giddy with teenage break-outs. It took at least a month for me to figure it out. (Eeek.) In the middle of the night a few nights ago, it hit me! Hubs found the non-offending detergent and the laundry will be a safe thing once again. I know that you are so happy to know that.
13. I always laugh at the girl on America's Next Top Model that falls apart because they cut off all their hair. Shock of shockers! They signed up for this! It's like expecting Chef Ramsay not to yell at someone. (Which would be great if he toned down the language a bit.)
14. This week has been museum week at the gallery. Lots of lookie-loo's, lots of touching, lots of NOT buying and leaving. I spent 3 hours polishing jewelry in one of our 30 cases. The day was a freakin' snoozer. My hands were filthy black. The jewelry shines like "the top of the Chrysler Building," though. (Name that movie.)
15. I ordered K- these
Tevas in Daisy Red. I can't wait for them to arrive! Kiddo is aching to wear sandals that fit! (I've been a flunky mom. She's been wearing last years and they are a 10-10 1/2. She's wearing a 12 now! Oh, and they were a better price when I ordered them a few days ago, so hooray for that!)
16. Though you will never find me eating one, I always get a chuckle out of the "Give me back that Filet O Fish, Give me that fish . . . " song that the Billy Bass is singing for McDonald's. My friend, Beth, would call it "Hee-Ho-Hilarious!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: CFL Lifespan Tips

CFL's are great. They are more energy efficient, but they do cost more. Do you realize, though, that CFL's aren't great everywhere? I found this out when we blew two in our bathroom. I e-mailed GE to let them know that they had only been installed in October 2008 and failed to work only months after. Though I pitched the e-mail, I did do some fact finding to help y'all not lose your expensive lightbulbs.
CFL's aren't good in the bathroom because of moisture and constant on and off. CFL's are designed to take a few to fully brighten and the continual on and off, such as the bathroom or a hallway, shortens their lifespan by upwards to 85%. Bummer. The US Energy Star program suggests leaving lights on for 15 minutes to avoid this problem.

I also learned that at the end of their life, CFL's produce 70-80% of their original light output. Hmm. Good to know. I don't recall having read this on the package, though.

So, I wanted to pass energy and money saving tips on to you. Keep those CFL's on for 15 minutes for maximum bulb happiness. For more information about CFL's, go to Wikipedia or to this GE link. There was a very interesting article in Time Magazine on January 12, 2009 about America's Untapped Energy Source: Boosting Efficiency. It's amazing how much energy efficiency can save us!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Mute Your Personal Scent

I think that we can all agree that both sides of the counter are pretty bad when your nasal passages are being assaulted by a gaggle of folks with perfume/essential oil/after shave/cologne that is far too strong. I'm one of those people that can get an instant headache/migraine from overly strong perfume. I understand that often people have worn a perfume so long that they can't even smell it anymore.

Allow me to let you in on something. The rest of us can.

On more than one occasion, I've had to walk out of stores hacking and coughing while choking on the smell of someone else's scent of choice. We went to Bob Evan's around Christmastime and there was a lady sitting directly behind me that had such strong perfume on that it bothered Hubs, too. Add to that, that she PUT MORE ON WHILE IN THE RESTAURANT. Oh yes Ma'am. That made me oh-so-pleased.

So, please know that we are not asking you to refrain from wearing your scent. We are just saying that one tiny squirt in the air and walking into it will do. Please don't bathe in it. There are folks who have asthma attacks and migraines triggered by your lovely, but way too strong scent. We appreciate that you want to smell good, though.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A CPSIA Hooray!

I just got clearance from Colleen at Darice that their products listed for 12 and under comply with CPSIA guidelines (as they have for a year now) and I can go back to making and selling my children's bracelets at work. I held off until I got the official word.

Thank you Darice for making beads safe to use in children's jewelry! Hooray for you!


Things are blooming! I found crocus'!
The girls (K- with the brown pants and her friend, E- just ahead) are riding their bikes up and down the sidewalk again. They also run down to the fence and back. I had a neighbor stop me the other day to tell me how much she's missed seeing K- run back and forth. She said to her that is a true sign of spring!
Toes in the sand. Ahhh. Now, we did wear the way-too-small Teva sandals from last year, but they were easier for on and off to the sand box. (I ordered another pair. They are on their way!)
Some tulips popping up near the butterfly bushes. Dried echinacea noggins. The birds love to eat on them through the winter, so we leave them behind until spring clean-up.
The little pines made it, even though it was nasty cold. Little onions sprouting in the herb garden.
Soapwort growing under the Purple Plum. Swinging on the swingset!
Hens and chicks just beginning to awaken from their winter slumber.

How's the green in your neck 'o the woods?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Internets, I was a partial flunky on the menu plan bit last week. Ugh. So, here goes for this week.

Monday: Macaroni Monday
Tuesday/Wednesday: Tomato Basil Turkey Tenderloin with potatoes and carrots (roll over from last week. Just didn't happen last time.)
Thursday: Tacos with ground turkey, refried beans, rice and corn (leftovers for lunch Friday)
Friday: Soup and sandwiches
Saturday/Sunday: Chicken Corn Chowder (5 PM meeting at church on Sunday, so a two day meal is a better option)

I'm pleased to say that we'll be working from the cupboards this week. Other than needing to purchase some milk, we are pretty well good-to-go on groceries. Good thing. I went to the grocery hungry last week. Argh.

Have a good-eating week! :)

Cheater Cleaners

I did a Bzz Agent review not too long ago on the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner. Along with that, the Scrubbing Bubbles people sent me a box of the Toilet Cleaning Gel and a Flushable Wipe. After using the products, I've come to this conclusion-- I'm not a fan of the cheater cleaners.

Hubs shaves in the shower. He gets whiskers stuck to the shower wall. The shower cleaner hit just below that. Not their fault, it's just what happened for me. Though, I have a reader that really likes hers and a friend with MS that was considering a purchase of one. I was using it in a tub/shower combo. It just didn't do that well for me.

After using the toilet cleaning gel, I have to agree with Jamie-- it is very chemical smelling. The cleaning? Yes, notsomuch. I found that I got a better result from using my Lysol with Bleach toilet bowl cleaner and the brush.

That brings me to my next thought. They have the toilet brushes with the disposable pad. Landfill anyone? It's not that difficult to use the brush and the liquid stuff. In fact, I used to use Ajax cleanser with bleach, but found I was getting some sediment settling at the bottom and decided to go liquid. If you have a kid that likes to play with the toilet brush, just keep it in a child locked cabinet under the sink. And for the person who google searched and picked me up on "toilet wand gel scrubbing bubbles safe if my kid touches it?" My answer would be a big fat no. Don't let Little Jimmy play with the toilet cleaning wand no matter how entertaining he might feel that it is.

Teflon cleaner for the bathroom? Well, the thought weirds me out. I understand that the dirt will be less likely to stick. Teflon? I also understand that for my friend that admitted one time that it had been 6 months since she had cleaned her bathroom(s) last, this might be a good option for her. (She had a lot going on at the time.) For me, the once a week cleaning (with touch-ups as needed) works just fine. The 20 minutes is well worth it.

Then there is Swiffer. I'm sorry. I realize that there are fans. I am not. I can't stand the thought of rubbing a paper thingy across the floor then flinging it into the garbage so that I can put another paper thingy on the stick and toss it, too. Then there is the Wet Jet. My friend swears by hers. She has Pergo flooring and says that it works wonders on it. Again, all I can think of are all of those paper pads being whipped into the garbage. Do you recall what the lady who does the Foodsaver infomercial says? "Cash in the trash." Oh, yeah.

Should I start in on the wipes of various types? I do admit that I have the Windex wipes in the car for emergency clean-ups and boredom cleaning as I wait. I probably shouldn't throw a fit about this one, but really-- there are so many wipes! Dust with a wipe. (I'm a fan of my wooly duster.) Wipe your windows with another wipe. Oh, there is a bleach wipe! There is an orange cleaner wipe! UGH! Landfill! Landfill! Landfill! Eeeek!

Disposable kitchen cloths. You know, those paper thin thingies? Yes, um-- no.

Now, I can admit that I love my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It lasts a long time and gets the chair paint off my wall and the dirt from my refrigerator door handle that nothing else can get. Disposable, though.

When I clean, I use the mop (one that has the ringer handle), the broom, my sweeper (with a dump cup and no bag to pitch), the cleaners, towels and not many paper towels. I will wipe the toilet with paper towels, but the rest gets wiped with kitchen scrubber towels. I do use commercial cleaners, though. The bottles are recycled after they are rinsed.

I just didn't find that the cheaters saved me anymore time. Often, they cost much more not only monetarily but environmentally. I'm working on my environmental impact. I'm trying to be better with my choices. I look forward to researching more environmentally friendly cleaning options. My post on vinegar is just a start. I'm hoping to change my ways for the better.