Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween, Cracked Tooth, Voices, & Abandoned Pictures


Hope you all have a great Halloween!  It will be a quiet one for us - with no light on as I posted earlier last week.  Guppy 2 will be heading over to the other side of town with a gaggle of friends to go trick or treating there.  I suspect this will be her last year for this so I hope she has a great time!  She has decided on the theme of her costume (person from the movie "The Purge") but that's it.  After many failed attempts to get her to a Halloween store and figure this out, I have decided to let it go.  She can figure it out at this point.  Guppy 1 has decided against going to a party she was invited to since the host (boy) has a crush on her and she doesn't want him to get the wrong impression.  Plus her best friend was invited to this party as she had been in the past so G1 finds the whole thing sort of "sketchy". 




Saturday afternoon, while having a snack, I cracked part of one of my molars....I think.  Because it didn't hurt like I expected it would, I wonder if it is just part of a filling (all of my fillings were redone from the silver/mercury kind a few years ago).  No matter what it is, there is a huge area missing!  Tomorrow I bring the Guppies over to our new dentist for a teeth cleaning so I guess I will bite the bullet and make an appointment to see what is going on.  Even though it doesn't hurt right now, I don't want to invite any trouble into the open crevice!



I debated whether or not to put this part into my post but figured why not? Please feel free to skip this section if you don't want to hear a ghost story.  And, if you do read, don't think I'm crazy!  haha!
I'm not someone who immediately thinks a place is haunted.  I need a LOT of proof before I will even entertain the idea that something "otherworldly" is up.  However....
Strange things happen in my house. Some of my friends think it's because I live across the street from the cemetery.  I'm not sure I buy into that.  Anyway, there will be footsteps when no one else is home, things go disappearing and then reappear in the strangest places, I hear voices in the house when I'm the only one here, G1 has seen a shadow figure before, this sort of thing.  It's not a constant thing.  In fact there isn't any rhyme nor reason as to when it happens.  So I truly believe what's happened in the past few days isn't linked to "Halloween" or anything like that.
So what's happened?
Last Thursday night, G1 woke up to use the bathroom.  G2 was asleep in her room.  Papa & I were asleep in ours.  G1 heard a girl laughing downstairs and thought Papa was awake and watching tv.  Then she heard Papa snoring in our room!  She stood on the upstairs landing, trying to figure out what she was hearing and then heard a little girl call "Mommy" from the bottom of the stairs!  Completely freaked her out!
Fast forward to Sunday morning....
Guppy 2 is asleep in her room.  Guppy 1 and her friend are crashed downstairs in the family room asleep.  I was awoken by a very loud deep whisper in my room!  I couldn't make out what it said but there was some sort of word in it!  Papa didn't say anything about it so I shook it off.  Later last night, while we were running an errand by ourselves, he admitted that he heard the whisper too!  It woke him up as well and he said it started on his side of the bed and sounded like it went over us to my side!  And, Papa is super skeptical about all this - even after he has experienced stuff moving on him too.  Instead of feeling validation that he finally heard a voice too, I am actually slightly more nervous being in the house alone.  And, quite grateful to have my pets with me!  =)


And, lastly, here are some pictures that I took from an abandoned resort in upstate New York that G1 and I explored two weekends ago!  Originally there were more than 35 buildings - including its own post office and airplane hangar!  Sadly only approximately six buildings remain.  However the place was still so large that we couldn't cover the whole thing in one afternoon....One building alone had nine floors!

Here are a few of the highlights....

smallish cottage

inside the cottage...the green couch is actually hiding a fireplace

a view of part of the abandoned buildings left

another "smaller" resort building which housed hotel rooms

discarded baby chair left amid a demolished hotel room

large area full of discarded items, including many mattresses

Another building that housed the offices for the resort as well as guest rooms

old ledgers


By far the most beautiful building was the pool room...My poor photography skills can't give it justice.  Being in the room, you can imagine the grandeur this building once had.  Here are a few pictures from the pool area....

And, finally just a few more pictures of the guest rooms...
still semi intact murphy bed
old catalogue/magazine on a bedside table next to a very old demolished tv
many of the rooms were like this...instead of walking in the hallways we could literally walk through the walls
an old phone and resort directory sitting on a mattress


So anyway, that's a brief glimpse into our adventure at the resort!  I took over 250 pictures!  LOL



Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!  I'm off to tackle my "to do" list today!



















Saturday, October 29, 2016

Dinner Time This Week!


Still in the dinner time rut!  Hopefully all those magazines I picked up from the library will offer some inspiration!  Anyway, here's how we did this week!

Sunday Dinner
The original plan was mini turkey meatloaves.  However, Guppy 1 and I were gone on our adventure a little longer than I expected AND Guppy 2 begged for something different since she was stuck at home working on a lab report all day.  I gave in and Chinese it was!  This lasted dinner and two more lunches for the Guppies!

Monday Dinner
Big Time FAIL:  Turkey for the mini meatloaves went baaaaad!  I wanted to throw in the towel and do another night of take out but I took a breathe and assessed the situation.  I had everything I need for sides but not the main. So I ran to Big Y and bought a....
Rotisserie chicken
Roasted baby potatoes
Green beans with garlic

Tuesday Dinner
Breakfast for dinner:
Dutch Baby Pancake
Bacon
Diner style home fries

Wednesday Dinner
It was super cold out and I wanted to cook something in the oven for the residual heat! I have my furnace on (sadly) but still anything I can do to keep it from clicking on constantly is a win!
Garlic & Onion Pork Roast
Choice of:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
or
Mashed Potatoes
Brown Sugar Dumpling Squash

Thursday Dinner
Cold and raw day with snow/sleet/rain mix.  Pulled out the crockpot and made:
Beef Stew
Buttermilk Biscuits

Friday Dinner
Guppy 2 went out with her boyfriend to a local burger place for dinner.
The rest of us had:
Veggie Fried Rice (one of Guppy 1's favorites!)

Saturday Dinner
Guppy 2 is attending a Halloween party and will eat there.
Guppy 1 and her friend are going to order pizza to be delivered to our house.
Papa & I will be helping my brother move so we will either eat leftover pizza once we get home or I'll make us pumpkin ravioli with sage butter sauce.

Farm Market Finds & Busy Saturday!





Back at the Farmer's Market early this morning because it's going to be a very long and very busy day!
 
Here are our goodies from this week!

Total Spent:  $31*
includes small donation made to one vendor collecting $$$ for Haiti

1 pint cherry yogurt
` 1 pint peach yogurt
(Sadly no milk as their processing for "fluid" milk was down)
1 bunch carrots including fronds
1 small bag of spicy salad mix
1 pint butternut squash soup
1 pint curry pumpkin soup
1 bunch yellow beets
1 bunch red beets

Pretty decent haul so we were happy.




Whew! Today is going to be a busy day!  (And I'm still trying to ignore this cold coming on.)  After I am done typing this, I am off with Guppy 2 and a few of her friends over to a local store to grab some high school football shirts because they are heading to a Halloween party tonight as "super fans". 

After that, it's back home to straighten up a bit before Guppy 1's friend comes over for a sleep over - thankfully I've been keeping up with the house for the most part.  But, I have to give the ferret cage its once a week thorough cleaning - not just the daily spot cleaning I normally do.

After that it's off to the dry cleaners to pick up dry cleaning and then the grocery store for the last trip in October's budget!  I didn't do *too* badly this month but let's see how today goes.  Haha


Tonight, I plan on just letting G1 and her friend order a pizza and have it delivered for dinner.  I'm not sure what Papa and I are planning on doing yet but we need to head over to my hometown because my brother and his wife are moving back here from Maine.  He had some friends lined up to help him unload the UHaul truck once he got to the house he's renting but almost all of them bagged out at the last minute.  So, he called us to see if we could help.  Not my ideal Saturday night but I also don't want to leave him in a lurch.

Of course, while I'm doing all this, Papa isn't getting a free pass.  He has to visit his brother at the physical rehab facility - long and messy story I can't even get into at the moment, then come back home and clean out/organize the garage so his car can fit easily (and be hidden for mischief night), and finally heading to my brother's new place.

I'm tired just typing it all out!  LOL

I'm hoping to sleep in a little tomorrow...I think I am going to need it!

Sorry for the rambling today!  =)

Hope you all are having an awesome Saturday!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Lights On or Lights Off?



When Papa and I first had the Guppies, we lived in the first floor of a two family farmhouse set waaaay back off a main road.  So, when we first moved into our home in 2003 I was very excited about Halloween!  FINALLY we would be able to do the whole "pass out candy to trick or treaters" thing AND we had a nice area to bring our Guppies out too!  It was going to be great, right?

Well...

The Guppies DID have a great area to trick or treat in so that was awesome!  However, as far as getting many trick or treaters?   Our house is on a corner off a very quiet neighborhood but faces a road that, while not quite a main road, sees a decent amount of traffic...and the sidewalk on this busier road ends at the end of our property... and it's a pretty dark road.... and we live across the street from a cemetery.  You get the picture.

At first, we decorated the house like the ghost of Halloween threw up all over our lawn!  We had a blow up Scooby Doo in a witches hat (we are still known as the old Scooby Doo house! LOL), a graveyard set up complete with skeletons and ghosts, a lighted archway to our door, cobwebs on the fences.....you get the picture.  It was like a kiddie Vegas show!

And....

We upped the anti by giving out full size candy bars in hopes to get the word out about the new neighbors!  LOL

It worked for a little while I guess.  At our highest point, we got 75 kids one year....which kind of still pales in comparison to neighbors a half a mile away. 

The past two years we have noticed that the houses closest to us in the neighborhood haven't been giving out candy.  So, basically no one wanted to walk that far down the road to get to us anymore.  And we don't get a lot of kids off the main road.

Last year we had maybe ten kids show up at our door.

And, guess who ending up eating a LOT of the leftover candy?

Yeah, I don't need to be doing that anymore.

So, as much as it saddens me - and believe me I am bummed, our lights will be staying off this Monday night. 

I am trying to look at the bright side (money and pounds saved!) but it was still such a hard decision to make.

How about you?  Do you give out candy on Halloween?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: What I Read in October


2016 Reading Challenge

1.  A book published this year
2.  A book you should have read in school, but didn't
3.  A  book you have been meaning to read
4.  A book with an interesting cover
5.  A book you own but haven't read
6.  A book that received bad reviews
7.  A book with water on the cover
8.  A book in a genre you have never read
9.  A favorite book from your childhood
10.  A book by an author you have never read before
11.  A book that deals with an issue close to your heart
12.  A book "everyone" has read but you
13.  A book about the decade you were born in
14.  A book based on a true story
15.  A book set in the summer
16.  A book set in a country you wish to visit
17.  A Young Adult best seller
18.  A book that's longer than 500 pages
19.  A book that makes you smarter
20.  A book you can finish in a day
21.  A NY Times best seller
22.  A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
23.  A book with an apocalyptic theme
24. A book set during Christmas time
25.  A funny book
26.  A book with a one word title
27.  A popular author's first book
28.  A cookbook
29.  A book by someone with the same first name as you
30.   A book of your choosing


This month has been a very slow month, reading wise.  I'm not sure why this happened since my reading usually picks up in the Fall/Winter months.  I will probably be able to finish my challenge...if I apply myself in November!

Anyway, here is the ONE book I read this month....


7.  A book with water on the cover
Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

Late one evening, eleven people get on a private jet on Martha's Vineyard and are heading to New York City. There is a pilot, co-pilot, stewardess, a successful businessman and his wife, a media mogul and his wife and two young children plus a bodyguard, and a poor artist.  Just minutes into the trip, the plane plunges into the ocean for no apparent reason and no mayday calls.  The artist, Scott Burroughs, is surrounded by the dark sea and thinks he is the sole survivor.  Then he hears the cry of a small child.  Scott swims the ten plus miles to shore in the dark with a four year old on his back and is toted a hero.  But, as the true lives of the dead passengers are exposed, some of the news media and FBI begin to wonder if Scott Burroughs - the man who paints catastrophic events for living - is really a hero after all.  Did he sabotage the plane?  Or did someone else do it as revenge against one of the two successful but secretive men on board the plane that night?

So, this book was originally bought for Papa.  He and I tend to share a lot of our books but sometimes we don't have the same tastes.  I saw he was done with this book and it had the ocean on the cover - thus fulfilling #7's criteria.  I asked him if I would like it and he said he didn't know....Truthfully, I finished reading it and I don't know either!  LOL

I guess my overall feeling is "Meh".  Some of the books was good but a lot of it was extremely dry. Also much of the book felt very contrite/cliché to me.  However, kudos to the author's best character (and the saving grace of the book actually) "Bill Cunningham" -the not so secret jab at Bill O'Reilly and FOX News.  I cannot stand O'Reilly or Fox so these parts of the book were fairly entertaining to me.   

I'm giving it a 3 out of 5 stars. Maybe this is a better book than that but, since I am not all that big into mysteries to begin with, I am not all that qualified to decide I guess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Errands Day!



In anticipation of a cold rainy day tomorrow (and the whopper of a cold I feel coming on), I decided today would be "errand day"!

Of course, I ended up not doing that many errands this morning after all.....

I stopped at the library and grabbed a huge stack of magazines to read plus two books - one of which being Tightwad Gazette II.

Then I went to Stop & Shop to grab a few odds & ends....I never did get September's grocery post up but I should be all set with October (fingers crossed).

After Guppy 2 gets home from school, I am going to ask her to please go to the mall with me to grab boots/shoes!  She desperately needs them as she only has one pair of black tennis style sneakers that still fit her!  We were supposed to go yesterday but she had drum lessons and then way to much homework.  Today has to be the day!  While at the mall, I also have to pick up more of Guppy 1's red shampoo from Ulta since this stuff really prolongs the time between the salon trips! (She has very long hair so to dye it -no cut- is usually around $160 including tip.)

While out later today with G2, I'll also gas up the car since I am around 1/8 of a tank.

I am really hoping to be able to just "chill out" and do stuff around the house tomorrow and Friday....If the Guppies aren't doing anything tomorrow night I want to carve our pumpkins....It will be semi bittersweet because it *may* be the last time we do it with Guppy 1 (sniff sniff).  Sometimes I wish they stayed little for a while longer.

Anyway, sorry for the boring post again! Nothing much exciting going on right now!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trying To Combat the Time Suck!

If you were to ask Papa, he may tell you I had a "mini" meltdown yesterday...

I felt overwhelmed and was behind on almost everything...and it was only Monday!

So, how to combat all the little wrenches that get thrown into the works?

I'm going back to what has worked in the past but adding a tweak....

I'm starting a daily list book.

It's bound and small enough for me to carry with me - in case I think of anything to add to it. (And better yet, it's frugal because it's something I already had in the house!)

I'm really hoping that it helps me get through the daily craziness I have been encountering.

Plus, there is something so satisfying about crossing stuff off, don't you think?

Sorry for the short post but I need to get that list started for today!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Checklist



I have been absolutely horrible with time management - especially since the new school year started!  Time just slips by so quickly!

Anyway, here's a list of the things that need to be accomplished soon this fall!


Fall Checklist

1.  All window A/C's out!  (got two out last night but have one more to go!)
2.  Take down trampoline & store for winter  (we do this every fall to help it last longer)
3.  New air filter for furnace
4.  Replace two small panes of glass in inner windows (one in dining room, one in living room)
5.  Chimney cleaned
6.  Order at least one cord of wood
7.  Order replacement parts needed for garage door opener (Papa needs to store his car in the garage when it snows)
8.  Papa to fix garage door once parts arrive
9.  Finish switching summer/fall clothes now that summer appears to have left for good
10.  Purchase new boots for G2 & me
11.  Finish pulling up garden/rake leaves over garden beds
12.  Have furnace serviced
13.  Buy protective plastic for bedroom windows (the Guppies both have particularly cold rooms)



I feel like I'm forgetting things - what else is new? haha! - but this is at least a good start for my very late list!

I was MIA yesterday because Guppy 1 and I went on another one of our adventures! I'm hoping to upload some of my pictures at some point soon to social media and maybe share a few here too.   Yesterday's place was the inspiration for the story Dirty Dancing!  It was, by far, the largest and most interesting place we have checked out thus far.  I think I may be getting hooked on this whole urban exploration thing!  =)

Hope you are all having a great Monday!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

What's For Dinner!





Another mostly boring week of dinners!  I really need to start upping my game!  With fall in full swing, I shouldn't be having a problem doing this but our scheduling has been kind of crazy!  I need to start carving some time out for preparing some yummy fall dinners!  Hopefully this coming week I can manage at least a day or two of some "real" meals!
Sunday Dinner
French Toast
Bacon
Diner style home fries

Monday Dinner
Tacos
Yellow Mexican Rice
Brownies for dessert

Tuesday Dinner
Stuffed Shells with Ciabatta Bread
or
Veggie & Rice Casserole



Wednesday Dinner

Bacon Cheeseburgers
Onion Rings
Curly Fries

Thursday Dinner
Pasta with Pesto Sauce
or
Leftover Casserole


Friday Dinner
Date Night with Papa!
Guppies:
McDonald's after school and then "snack-y style" dinner they can make for themselves


Saturday Dinner
Broccoli Bites with Honey Mustard Dressing
Grilled Cheese with Soup




Rainy Day Farm Market Finds & Saturday Plans.....



There has to be something pretty special about a farmer's market that can pull me out of bed on a very rainy Saturday morning!

Papa and I huddled under our small umbrella (the only one he had in his car) and were rewarded for our tenacity....Although I will be the first to admit we only went with a few things in mind!  No browsing this week!

Total Spent:  $26

1 bottle whole milk
1 bottle heavy cream
1 pint cherry yogurt
1 pint blueberry yogurt
1 pint butternut bourbon soup
1 pint pumpkin/apple/bacon soup

We are souper excited (drum snare please! lol) about our soup finds!  We will actually be having them with dinner tonight!



On the way home from the farmer's market, I got an overwhelming urge to buy my favorite apples from my favorite in town orchard.  If you have never had a Winesap apple, do yourself a favor and seek them out!  They are amazing!

Total Spent:  $8.46

5 very large Winesap apples (all mine, mine, mine!)
4 Macoun apples (for Papa)




As for today's plans...

I promised the Guppies I would make the homemade version of Bennigan's Restaurant's "Broccoli Bites".  I tweaked the recipe I found online in a way that makes them more authentic but also more labor intensive for me.  But, today seems like a decent day to work on them.

I also have laundry on my to do list...what else is new, right?

Guppy 2 may be going to Lake Compounce's Halloween thing tonight but, with the rain that is predicted, I am trying to talk her out of going.  It seems like a waste of money if it's raining.  She tells me a lot of the haunted house takes place indoors but I also know there are actors outside roaming the park and some of the rides are usually open.  The rain would definitely damper the overall experience, IMO.

As for the rest of us (Papa, G1, and me), I think we are going to do a horror/scary movie night and just chill here at home.  I really hope this works out because I am so looking forward to it!


Have a great Saturday!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Freebie Fairy & CVS Score!

It's been an extremely frugal Friday morning here!  Let's see what has happened....



My best friend, AKA The Freebie Fairy, has been at it again!  She is doing more purging of her house and I am on the receiving end!  Here's what she dropped off this morning..

Two lbs of frozen ground turkey (leftover in her freezer from the old douchebag boyfriend days)
30 extremely nice clothes hangers (which I needed more of/better quality ones so yay!)
1 brand new mascara (brand G1 loves so she'll get that)
1 IKEA 10x12(ish) white plastic container with lid (definitely will help corral linen closet misc)
1 medium sized graphic tshirt (consignment since I know it's neither Guppies style)
and
1 tin of Vermont "bag balm"


While she was dropping off the goodies at my doorstep, I was over at CVS....

 I am the first to admit that I am nowhere NEAR the caliber of frugality that many other bloggers are.  But, I am trying!  And, I am super proud of today's haul!!

First off was my flu shot.  There is no way around it.  Thanks to my MS, everyone in the house needs to get one.  (Honestly we would anyway.)  Because CVS is the pharmacy Papa's company uses exclusively, I was able to walk into their Minute Clinic right around the corner from my house and get my flu shot for absolutely FREE!  No copay whatsoever.  AND, CVS is also running a special where if you get the flu shot from them, you get a 20% off coupon for a shopping trip!

I also had received an email from them for $10/$40 that I loaded onto my card.  Truthfully, this is what prompted me into going to CVS this morning.  I am no longer the "girly girl" I used to be, however, once in a while I do like to wear some makeup.  And, thanks to G2, most of what I did have has disappeared or been completely used up.  Papa and I are going out to dinner tonight and I thought it would be nice to put on some makeup.

So, anyway, combining the two coupons, here's how I did:

2 18 oz Soft Soap body scrubs
2 15 oz Soft Soap shower gels
(the above purchased since we are almost out of the misc soaps I had in the linen closet)
1 CoverGirl foundation
1 CoverGirl loose powder
(CG was buy 1/get 1 50% off)
Elf brand eyeshadow applicators (set of 5 double tipped)
Elf Shimmer lip gloss
Elf loose powder brush
Elf matte lip stain
Elf mascara
Elf eyeshadow palette (10 natural/neutral colors)
Beauty 360 "paddle" hairbrushes -set of 2 one regular and one travel sized


How much did I spend on all the item above?

$48.81!!!

But..

There's more!

I received $10 in ECB back too!!


Super happy with how this morning has been going!

How's your Friday morning?


Thursday, October 20, 2016

About That Drycleaning....



See the picture of that cute little stinker?

That's the reason I'll be washing and ironing Papa's shirts at home a little longer!

A couple of days ago Guppy 1 noticed that her ferret, Rum, wasn't eating much.  This progressed to refusing to eat any kibble at all and my subsequent spoon feeding the rascal Gerber baby food (Turkey to be exact) every couple of hours.  On the plus side, I got to relive the glory days of wearing baby food on my clothes! (haha!)

Yesterday I called the vet to get their thoughts and....

I brought the ferret in today at 10:30 for a quick check up to be sure all was well and there wasn't any physical reason for the refusal to eat.

So, the good news is that Rum is fine....just being a finicky ferret!  I guess it's common for ferrets to stop "liking" the brand of ferret food I used.  Imagine that? 

Here's the real plot twist....

Rum isn't the little boy we thought he was...

He is a SHE!

I guess that explains why SHE is so tiny!  Haha!

Anyway, the new food was purchased and Rum seems very interested in what I was putting in her bowl!  I am hopeful that spoon feeding her the baby food (which by the way the vet referred to as "ferret crack") is over and she will like the new stuff! 

But, at least we know she is healthy and just being picky.

The whole endeavor (including the baby food & new ferret food) ended up costing us right under $90....

That equals a whole lot of ironing for me, doesn't it?

That's okay though.  I'll gladly do it for the peace of mind of knowing that our cute littlest furball is okay!

What's a few more months of ironing after doing it for over 20 years after all?

Haha!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Am I Just Getting Old & Crotchety?

warning: this is a bit of a rant!

Or maybe hypersensitive?

Or maybe this is just plain wrong!?!?

On Monday, Guppy 1 came home from school pretty disgusted.  Apparently, the seniors were given a Class Superlatives form to fill out for yearbook and it was all anyone could talk about!  G1 said her journalism teacher even gave up trying to teach class because of it!

Here's the thing...

I get that it can be exciting and fun to fill out...

Best Smile
Class Couple
Most Likely to Succeed
Class Clown

But, do any of you remember classmates campaigning for one?

And campaigning for titles such as:

Best Car
Worst Car
Most Gorgeous?
Best Body?


Yup, those last two threw me over the edge!  Well, that and the fact that there were girls going around trying to get people to write them down for those!

G1 decided not to fill hers out and threw it in the trash but boy I would love to have seen what else was on there!

At first I was wondering if maybe G1 misunderstood and it didn't actually say "Best Body".  However, G2 and her boyfriend got out of school and were talking about it as well since the boyfriend has a sister who is a senior too!

Maybe I am being hypersensitive because of the treatment G1 has always received from the school system/certain teachers because she is "well endowed" - because yes, it still pisses me off that we were told in SEVENTH GRADE that G1 had a different set of rules because she was thin and had a big chest! Or because there are hall monitors that help "troll" the hallways to look for dress code infractions (no spaghetti straps allowed! where do those shorts end?).   Or maybe it's just a horrible idea to be objectifying either sex with a "Best Body" title!  Or maybe it leaves the opportunity for some seniors to be cruel (as G1 overheard) and write in  an "ugly girl" for Most Gorgeous? And what about that kid who had to work really hard to buy that "worst car"?  Not every single family that lives in this rich town of mine has enough money to buy their kids brand new Jeeps/BMWs/Audis - although there are a LOT of those kinds of cars in the student parking lot!

The whole thing sounds completely pathetic to me and really sending these young adults wrong signals....

Then again, maybe I truly am just being old and crotchety...

But who would want to admit that? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Potential Frugal Fail?



As I may have mentioned a few months ago, Papa needs to wear a suit everyday to his job.  We have come to a point where the suit jackets and pants should get to a dry cleaner!  So, last week I looked into the potential dry cleaning places nearby.  I chose one close to my house that was also one of the "environmentally friendly" ones that don't use the usual chemicals.  Price was maybe two dollars higher per suit than "normal" services in my area but the location was convenient.  We brought his first suit in to test the place out.  Service was fast and the suit looks awesome!  I'll be pulling a suit from his closet every Thursday for the next few weeks until all of them have seen the dry cleaners.

But....

I'm toying with an idea that could be a potential fail in frugality.

I'm considering giving myself a break from ironing and taking in his dress shirts to be laundered and pressed.

Just one time.

Shirts cost $2.45 each and I would bring in eight shirts.  So, the total cost for this luxury would be $19.60.

I have all kinds of reasons floating around in my head as to why I should do this:

I'm fighting a cold
I've been tired
I hate ironing and have been doing it (almost) consistently for about twenty years
My ironing skills are only marginal even after all this time
It would free up some time I desperately need for other things....

The list of "excuses" is a mile long.


So, this is my struggle.  Is this a "justified" one time expense?  Or is it more slippery slope mentality?

Do you iron at home or take your stuff to the dry cleaners?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Free Pumpkins!

I believe Linus would be in heaven!  Sincerity as far as the eye could see!  LOL


As per our usual tradition...

On Saturday Papa, the Guppies, & I set off to our favorite farm in Shelton to get pumpkins.  We met our parents there per tradition as well.  (Yeah, I'm talking to my mom again....for now.  We will see how this goes)  We have been doing this every year for 18 years now and the guppies look forward to it still.

We love this place!  The above picture isn't even 1/6 of what's offered at the farm in October!  There are tractor rides to the pumpkin fields to pick your own there if you can't find exactly what you are looking for in the many groupings of pumpkins in the main areas.  There is a smallish corn maze, wooden buildings for the little kids to run around through, lots of picture taking spots near very large pumpkins, apples, all types of winter squashes, gourds, chickens, and even....

a couple of baby pigs!


It's sad to think that this is possibly the last year we will have G1 with us to do this! (sniff sniff)

Anyway, we learned long ago that the pricing here is relative at best and you tend to get a better deal on what you buy when you buy more!  As per tradition, my parents picked up the tab as well.
Here's what we got:

4 jack-be-littles (only thing my parents got for their house since they will be away on 10/31)
2 other tiny pumpkins with long curly stems (can't remember their name though)
4 good sized sugar pumpkins for baking
2 monstrous sized jack o lantern pumpkins (at least 30lbs each)
2 acorn squash
2 dumpling squash
1 delicate squash

All of the above came to just....

$65!

Some of you may be shaking your head, but trust me when I say this is a great price for this farm!  The two jack o lantern pumpkins alone should have come to more than 1/2 of this total! 

Anyway, my parents were shocked that we came out with so much for so little as well.

Definitely a nice little helping hand with my October/early November grocery bill too!

Happy Monday!






Saturday, October 15, 2016

What We Ate For Dinner This Week!





Sunday Dinner
Roast Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Monday Dinner
Cheeseburger Wraps
French Fries
Pickles



Tuesday Dinner
G2 ate at her BFF's house
I made G1:
Fried Rice
Papa and I had dinner out with two of  the outside consultants from work and they were gracious enough to pick up the bill!


Wednesday Dinner
Steak
Shitake Mushrooms & Onions Sautee
Mashed Potatoes


Thursday Dinner
Eggplant Parmesan
or
Chicken Nuggets and Fries (Guppy 2)


Friday Dinner
Costco Take & Bake Pizza (for G1, G2 & Boyfriend)
Pumpkin Sage Ravioli in Brown Butter Sage Sauce (me & Papa)


Saturday Dinner
I have been fighting a headache all day and couldn't muster the will to cook so...
General Tsao's Chicken Combo platter (Papa & I split one)
Pork Lo Mein Combo platter (G1)
G2 was at a friend's house (again!) for dinner


And, that's a wrap on dinners this week!




Friday, October 14, 2016

Still Here..


Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days....Things have been busy here so I haven't spent too much time in front of my computer!  (Besides revising the first five chapters of my book)

This weekend is probably going to be a hectic one again!

Papa and I need to pull any of the habaneros even close to ripe since the weathermen are speculating we may get our first harder frost tonight or tomorrow!  I guess it's also safe to finally pull the wall unit A/C's out too!

Saturday we are going pumpkin picking and possibly apple picking too!  We have never waited until this late to pick apples so I'm not sure what we are going to find.

Sunday I would like to spend some time baking for next week...We are already out of my last batch of granola and I want to try to make some pumpkin scones with the lone can of pumpkin in my pantry.  (I can't for the life of me remember why I bought it since we tend to cook/bake with freshly baked and pureed pumpkin!) And, of course there is always the usual laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc!

Not sure what our other plans will be but I LOVE this time of year and intend to make the most of the next few days!

Hope you have a great weekend all!



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Updates


Here are some updates of life around here recently....






Let's start with all things medical....

Papa's brother is (finally) out of the hospital....sort of.  He needs some physical rehab so he was transferred to a rehab facility that's filled with mostly elderly people. He isn't too thrilled about that aspect but at least this place is closer to home for him.  Also, while in the hospital for the blood infection, they discovered he has a broken foot!  On top of all his medical issues, he's also diabetic and apparently has no feeling in his feet anymore so he had no clue the thing was broken!  Not sure how they intend to do physical rehab while he has a cast on his foot but not my problem to figure out. 

Cold season is upon us!  Guppy 2 was home with me yesterday not feeling well and Guppy 1 texted me that a girl she sits with in two classes has bronchitis so bad the doctors wanted to admit her but she refused.  WTH?  Don't know if this strain of bronchitis is infectious but let's hope not!  Papa's office mate has also been out sick with some sort of bad flu.  Lovely...it's all around us!  I have been struggling with the beginnings of a cold that seems to not know if it wants to just go away or evolve into a wonking cold.  Time will tell I guess.

It seems like I am tolerating the new medication (Tecfidera) fairly well.  I have been having some stomach cramping about 45 minutes after taking the pill but it's nothing too terrible.  (I have felt lightheaded/dizzy/headachey but that could just be the cold so I can't point fingers at the new med yet.)  The only thing I do worry about is that I have been in a funk lately.  It could be nothing but I plan on keeping an eye on it just in case the Tecfidera is interfering with my depression meds.  But, since the medication is only supposed to help with depression and not completely alleviate it (no medication can do that), it may just be me right now.






Budget wise....

Things are going okay.  I have been staying out of grocery stores for the most part and have SIX "No Spend" days this month so far!  So I'm proud of that definitely!  What I'm NOT proud of is the fact that I overspent for Guppy 1's senior photo shoot.  However,  I continue to rationalize that this was a moment in time that we won't ever have again with G1 and we will have some gorgeous pictures to always memorialize it.  Ten years from now, I won't remember having the little extra struggle money wise for this October BUT we WILL remember G1's senior photos.  I am okay with that.

Still haven't gotten to the September grocery totals yet.  I have been very busy with the Guppies (they had both this past Monday and today off from school for the Jewish holidays) and haven't been in the right frame of mind to tackle it.  I keep telling myself that I will get to it soon and to not worry.






In other news, I finally sat down at my computer and began to work on my book again.  No more waiting for the perfect time or having the house in near perfect condition.  I am just going to work around it.  Writing makes me happy and feel productive so I am making it more of a priority.






It has gotten downright chilly at night in my little corner of the world!  And, my house is having a hard time to recover during the day.  Usually I would just put on an extra layer and keep the heat off but having the Guppies home two of the three days this week has been problematic.  I do NOT want to turn the heat on until at least the end of October!  We have 3/4 of a tank of heating oil to start the season and I want to make sure that last through the holidays if possible.  My solution has been to use the fireplace in our family room the past few days.  I do need to order more firewood for the season but I have some left from last year and it will probably be more helpful to use this stuff up before stacking new wood on it anyway.  So the thermostat stays off...for now!


I guess that's all that's going on right now over here! 

How are things where you are?




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Goin' Granola....



I will NEVER pay for pricey pre-packaged granola in the grocery store ever again!  Making it at home is so super easy!  Plus you are only limited by your imagination (and what's in your pantry)! 

Here is my basic (fool proof!) granola recipe:

3 cups plain oats  ( I used quick oats the last time and didn't notice any difference)
1 1/2 to 2 cups total of mix ins  (examples: shredded coconut, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried blueberries)
1/2 cup  maple syrup (if using pure maple and you like clumpier granola, add 2 T of honey as well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1.  Combine oats and mix in ingredients in bowl.
2.  Combine maple syrup, honey (if using sugar, salt, and oil in another bowl.
3.  Pour maple mixture onto the oats and mix together to fully incorporate.
4.  Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so the granola doesn't stick to the pan.
5.  Store in a sealed container.  It should keep up to two weeks.


This past Sunday I made more granola using:
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

So easy, yummy, and cheap!



Monday, October 10, 2016

Recent Freebies

Here are the things that have been gifted to us over the past week....

From Guppy 2's boyfriend's sister and mom:
None of these fit them any longer...
1 pair of American Eagle jeans
1 pair of A & F jeans
1 American Eagle short sleeved sweater


From the Freebie Fairy (my BFF):
1 new jar of coconut body oil
1 Yale long sleeved t-shirt
1 reusable stainless steel water bottle


Any good freebies come your way lately?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

On the Dinner Table This Week!



Phew!  What a week!  Let's see how I faired keeping my family fed for dinner!

Sunday Dinner
As mentioned in my Sunday post, not much was happening in my kitchen on Sunday night!
Leftovers it was!
Choice of:
Chili
Leftover Rice and Beans
or
Garlic Parmesan Flatbread


Monday Dinner
I was wiped after yet another LONG day shopping at malls.  Really wanted to grab something take out but rallied and made a simple (maybe not the most healthy) meal:
Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers
Sweet Potato Fries
Everyone was satisfied with this so I am considering it a win.


Tuesday Dinner
Steak
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard with Garlic


Wednesday Dinner
Guppy 1's photo shoot went very long - almost 90 minutes in total!  And I gave in to the pleading for Chinese!
2 Pork Lo Mein Combination platters (G1 & Papa)
1 Quart Veggie Lo Mein (G2)
Sweet & Sour Chicken (me)
The good news was there was more than enough left over from everyone's meals to use for lunch the next day.  And, G2's lasted TWO more lunches!


Thursday Dinner
I wasn't feeling great physically but refused to do take out again!  So another easy meal night:
Mini Meatloaves
Buttered Noodles
Green Beans with Garlic


Friday Dinner
Bacon Broccoli Pasta
Baby Greens Salad
Ciabatta Rolls


Saturday Dinner
Guppy 2 spent the afternoon/evening at a marching band competition and had dinner there.
Papa and I went to a pig roast and ate a little bit (but not the pig) so when we got home we each had:
Butternut Bourbon soup
Ciabatta Roll
For Guppy 1 I made:
Spicy Udon with vegetables




Definitely not a stellar week but it got the job done!

Anything good on your dinner table last week?