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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Little Green Soldiers

When I went to the Power Board, I immediately noticed a side table with lots of the little green soldiers like my son played with when he was a child. I am quite sure that everyone has seen these. We even had them when I was a child.

There was a sign accompanying the soldiers. It said to take a little soldier home and place it where you would see it and to pray for the military, as a whole and for each soldier, or something like that. I took one for me and one for exbf.

I do think it said something about keeping them in our thoughts not just our prayers.

That is a very lovely thought. When I reached in my pocket before I took off my pants, I was horrified to feel the two spiky soldiers because there is never a soldier in my pocket.

This was a very nice thought for the Power Board to espouse. I like it. Have you ever seen anything like this--little green soldiers with a sign?


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A New Job

Not for me. J has a new job. This is her first job, EVER. She is almost thirty-years-old. Rejoice for her and keep your fingers crossed for her work in fast food.

A family friend hired her as a hostess when she was 17 and 18 to work as a hostess in his restaurant. She worked almost two years. She says this feels different, somehow. I pointed out a hostess seating people can get by with a smile, cute/sexy clothes, and friendliness. The difference now is this is not a friend employing her. This does not depend on clothes since she wears a uniform. Physical appearance of the young can wane with the years. She caught on that this is a real job in the sense that she will not depend on her being cute, clothes, and ability to dazzle people with her conversational skills delivered with a smile. She knows she is getting a real job in spite of having rotten meth teeth.

She is excited about coming closer to the ability to get a place of her own with no-good boyfriend. Yes, I assure her there are places who will give her the strength and support to get out.

While she worked today, and especially afterwards, I encouraged her to live without the "necessities" of life. Use a five gallon bucket or cat litter bucket for a mop bucket. Use cast off stuff instead of buying new stuff. Visit garbage day in all four quadrants of town. Ask me or her host if she needs something. Don't just go running off to WM to buy cheap junk if she is missing a cooking utensil.  Use two different plates instead of buying a set of cheap plates somewhere.

I gave her a lamp and she reminded me of this since I forgot I gave it to her. She says she needs to find a shade. I told her to get one cast off and spray paint it or put cloth on it, gathered and sewn. I volunteered to let her use my spray paint here, not at her house. Less will be used and it will come back not smelling like cigarettes!

We talked a long time. She can get by with a mattress on the floor. use anything for a bedside table. Never throw out a plastic fork. Wash it!  I told her about Donna Freeman who used items off the street or sitting by the dumpster instead of buying anything.

Her very generous host is going to pay her to work for him in his own business when she moves. So, she will have 1 and 1/2 jobs. Her bf says he is tired after work and cannot get a second job. Right now, her host has her work to help pay for her keep. I can let her work for me. But, she works three hours here for $5. I wish I had more. However, she offered to just help me because I need it. The cash is my idea. She is working and letting me pay her at the end of the month so she will have a little saved--my suggestion. Otherwise, she spends it--fritters it away.

Yesterday, I bought her a $5 pair of shorts from WM, cute and very short. She is on cloud nine. She has not had new clothes, nothing except used clothing. Something new that you picked out yourself is always a thrill. She got no money from me yesterday, just the shorts!

Before she left today, she told me she learns from me, that she would never think of all the ways I have of making do or saving money. I had opened a container of Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popcorn, very expensive. However, each serving is cheap. I wanted to show her how I could use a glass mixing bowl and paper plate with slit in top to pop popcorn without buying the plastic popper in WM. I have an older plastic popper that she could not find in the cabinet.

I have schooled her in using glass jars for leftovers instead of buying cheap and possibly dangerous plastics.

Their host is pushing for them to get jobs, save and move out! She is ready. Her bf likes it where he is and whines excuses. Now that she does not have arrest hanging over her head, she is not afraid of going out in public. She pays $800 in restitution and is free to sign her name and having a  background check. I cannot imagine being "Wanted."

We went to a free lunch today and had a baked chicken breast, just salted and no other seasonings, baked potato with butter and shredded cheese provided, buttered slice of bread, green beans and two cookies, and a glass of unsweetened tea for me.  I brought a plate home for my dinner tonight.

The food was plain and delicious!

She stuck her plate in the microwave at host's house for her bf who was on his way home for lunch. He won't eat the green beans, vegetables, you know!

Good day all around!

That's what it said right on the box!!

Several weeks ago, I was stunned to my core when I read what was on the box of Ball canning jars.

New and Improved
Helps Keep Canned Food Sealed
NOW Up To 18 Months

Are you kidding me? Yes, I was stunned. So, the food I canned over three years ago has a lid designed for a lesser than 18 month life expectancy?

It appears this is a downgrade not a "new and improved" status.

Today, I bought a box of Ball wide-mouth pint jars with lids and used a $3 coupon. The "sharing jars" had a $3 coupon, too. So, the boxes were less than $6 each. I cannot find the receipt. J was amazed at the coupons.

Have you seen the "New and Improved" label on Ball "sure tight lids"?  Does this feel like a downgrade to you? Is anyone using the $3 coupons for Ball or Kerr jars?they come out in the inserts each year about this time.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Free Lunch Almost and a Small Economy

Someone gave me another $5 Panera Bread gift card. So, it was about a quarter I owed. I forgot how much exactly. I had turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese and their special sauce. Plus, I had the choice of pastry, chips, or apple. I chose the apple, taking my chances it would be edible. The apple was fresh and bruise-free, a win for me.

A $5 gift card is just right for me! I think a turkey sandwich is the cheapest sandwich they sell, and just the sandwich I really want. Since I paid $0.69 for an apple at WM, the apple with the sandwich at Panera gift card is a good deal. Plus, Dominique loves the core.

Since I was gifted a Sunday newspaper, I can save $1.75+ tax, a small economy. I have cut the coupons and there is nothing that is worth purchasing another newspaper.

Oh, last week or the week before there was a coupon for $3 off Ball or Kerr canning jars and another for the pretty twisted jars. I cannot think of what they call them, but they are new this year. Maybe it is "sharing jars"? I won't be sharing those! The coupons may be available on the internet. The coupon is good until some time in the first week of September.

J found over $1 under the car seats, another small economy or maybe a place to save change? I have also been finding pennies in my driveway right where I get out of the car and walk into the house. ??? And, I found a penny in a parking lot the other day.

Today was the most beautiful day, but it was so humid. The grass is not growing as fast as it was a few weeks ago, thankfully. I was able to walk around the yard a bit, just looking at things. There are huge limbs and small ones that need to be picked up and taken to the road.  I did not dare bend to pick up anything. It was very difficult to get back up the stairs as it was.

The eclipse list is made. Now, I am getting things in one place and in a tote bag. By this time next week, everything needs to be in place! I don't want to figure out something is out of place and cannot be found! I want to take everything I need and purchase nothing on the road. Exbf will put in the gas.

Your turn
What small economies have come your way lately? Or, large economies. Do you lose change in the car seat or under it? Have you made more plans for the total eclipse?

Back-To-School Clothes-Never Bought Them

One summer day, I was sitting with the other swim team mothers at the pool. The conversation turned to BTS clothes shopping.  Since I never shopped for BTS clothes, I volunteered this. Now, my children were very well-dressed. But, I was not stupid.

The other mothers were shocked at my statement and wanted to know why I did not buy clothes for school. I pointed out my children wore clothing all summer long, and most of it still fit. We live in the South. My children and I are warm-natured. So, summer weight clothing is fine for at least the first month, for sure, and often down into November.

Children down here might wear shorts for a week, long pants for two days along with a light jacket, and then wear shorts again for weeks. We mothers have to be on our toes in order not to send children to school in long pants when it is too warm. I, especially, having warm-natured children had to watch carefully.

If one needed a new pair of shoes because their shoes were too small, only that one child got shoes. Of course, there might have been a whine or two, but generally my children were not happy shopping for shoes. So there was some relief. The one year they both needed shoes, I was pregnant and only three weeks from giving birth. I felt too bad to deal with it and had to have husband go along. None of us were happy!

They did get new crayons, and the old crayons were for home use. It seems the lists from the schools were not as long and formidable as the ones today. I don't even remember a list! Paper and ring binder along with proper pencils and some glue were all they needed. No one used backpacks, and paper bags were fine for lunches.

One woman related to me how her little girl did not want to go to first grade. She made a big deal of talking up the new outfit the little girl was going to wear. Her mother had bought 8 new outfits because she wanted her daughter to have all-new clothing for school. Every day she and her child picked out one of the new outfits to wear the next day. When the child had to start repeating outfits, she refused to go to school without screaming and begging for something new.

My children were very well-dressed even if the outfit was worn at the end of the last school year and through the summer. They had no problem because their clothes were "old." My children wore nice clothing to go to the grocery store. They had to come in from the yard and wash the dirt off themselves with a washcloth and comb their hair and change their clothes before we went out in public. They did not play in these "town" clothes. So, nice things stayed looking nice until fall. Outgrown clothing were put in the yard sale box. Of course, when we went out to eat, they either wore church clothes or nice shorts and sandals for the girls. So, they always needed clothing for the summer and those clothes went back to school.

I might be out buying new shorts the second week of school, but I was not out fighting the crowds with three children in tow, children who really wanted to be outdoors playing.

Of course, when children are older, high school age, shopping is a different story.  But, up until high school, shopping is easy.  Of course, you can be sure I bought clothes a size larger for the spring. Plus, I bought clothes on sale at the end of the seasons.

Now, if a child needed clothes for the beginning of school, I did not make them wear ill-fitting clothing just to save money.

Your turn
Did you do BTS clothes shopping? Did each child get new shoes and clothing for school? Or, did you start them off with clothes worn in the spring and/or summer? Up to a point did you buy clothes larger for the next season?

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Small Success

Today J helped me for a while. After she worked inside we went to the car wash to vacuum my car and put in generic floor mats. I found them on sale at WM last winter and am just now getting them installed. As she got out of the car at the carwash, she asked if I minded if she smoked half a cigarette. Of course, it was okay. We had the small $1 milkshakes that is a special at Arby's between 3pm and 5 pm, so I had that to finish.

She turned and said, "Oh, I cut down on cigarettes like you said. I used to smoke a cigarette every hour and now I am smoking a half cigarette ever hour. So, I cut down half." Of course, I was pleased for her.

There is a car vac in the trunk that plugs into the cigarette lighter, so she will use that to clean the console and cup holder. It's a disgrace! I got a free set of car detailing brushes from Harbor Freight.

Her bf won't eat beans of any sort, even as a side dish. He must have meat twice, maybe three times, each day. So, we have planned a session of making bean burgers. I told her to make them spicy like he prefers and call them "Cowboy Burgers." He won't even eat baked beans!  I think he thinks eating beans is a sign of deprivation. He would probably eat meat loaf from beans, with maybe a burger sized bit of ground beef. I love beans in the winter, especially. My kitchen is hot enough in the summer without cooking beans for hours!

We got a chair uncovered today, and sorting accomplished. By uncovered, I mean I can see the chair! She threw out a 30 gallon trash bag of old paper, mail, and coupon inserts. When she went home for lunch and to apply for a job, she left a box of papers up high so I did not have to bend to get them or lift. I sorted those while she was gone!

My yard needs mowing, so I hope the rain stops for a few days. She will do that, too. It must have rained every day for two weeks, so far. And, I get very little compared to the places in Birmingham and out in the counties that are flooding.

For her dinner, I gave her a large can of chicken (what she wanted when I asked her what she could use for dinner). She will figure out something to do with it to make a tasty meal. She gave me three car cigarette lighter usb ports. So, I will have one and exbf will have one. I cannot find mine. He has none. Now, he does! I think mine is in the plastic box we will empty tomorrow and put the contents where they should be.

Your turn
If you smoke and quit, how did you quit? What did you accomplish today or lately, great or small?

Eclipse Preparations

I really don't feel like typing the list of preps tonight. Oregon is declaring a state of emergency. Gas, food, housing may all be stressed or not available. Therefore, I am preparing for the worst.

The trip should take a little over two hours from here to Nashville. But, if there is the gridlock that is predicted, well, I am taking a deep breath and hoping it is not true, that it won't happen. We have four hours before total eclipse, but I want to see the progress, too.

Exbf said his car gets 350 miles on a tank of gas. So, I want him to fill up when he gets here and then before we enter Tennessee. That should work to get us up and back, even with sitting and getting no where.

We won't need to buy any food or water. We will have it all with us. We will have enough gas. I may get a gas can filled before we leave Alabama. However, I hate to have gas fumes in the vehicle with no trunk.

And, I have someone staying here while we are gone since the world knows I am leaving the house, not that there is anything of value.

I heard that people want teachers to keep children in the schools indoors and not even let them look out the windows. Well, if that were my children and there would be any part of an eclipse, I would have to check them out of school for a few hours and let them use glasses to see the eclipse.

Your turn
What are your plans for the eclipse? How much will be visible in your area?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Memory of My Mother and Tale of WWII

As we left town on Monday to go to the doctor over an hour away, my hair was poker straight, not a good look on me. Before I left the house, I intended to grab my foam rollers to put in my hair for the trip, just enough body/waves/curls not to look so undone.

The foam rollers were not there. So, I grabbed a pkg of bobby pins. As I sat in the car, I put pin curls in my long hair. I had never done this before. I knew something better than my present condition would occur with my hair.

When I finished, I remarked to exbf that I could not find the rollers as a moment's notice, but that this just looked like a short haircut instead of riding around with rollers in my hair. He said he HATES rollers in a woman's hair in public. I had no idea he felt this way since he has seen me in the house in foam rollers. It turns out he hates the brush rollers.

Just before we arrived at the doctor's office, I took the curls down and ran a pick through it. After I got out of the doctor's office, he said my hair needed combing when I asked how it looked. Nope! all that fluff is all I have.

My mother was a WAC in WWII. In the barracks there was a light's out, 10 pm, I think she said. Everyone would be rushing to get hair rolled before Lights Out.  The other women always commented that Mama was the only person who could roll her hair in the dark. She sat on her bunk and put in pin curls with bobby pins. The women were allowed to talk, so she could roll her hair and talk and laugh.

As I put in pin curls without a mirror as I rode in the car, I thought of my mother rolling hers in the dark, practically what I was doing. I think of my mother often and the things she told me when I was small and older.

I prefer the curling iron!

Your turn
Do you ever put pin curls in your hair? When you are doing things are you reminded of things your mother said or did or stories she told you about activities before you were born? Do these things comfort you as they do me? Or, are you like my friend who tried to never think of her mother because it made her too sad?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

More Monday and Boring

As we drove into DQ, exbf pulled to the DQ door to get out. As I got out of the passenger side to go around and park the car, I noticed the front passenger side tire was going flat and mentioned it. I checked the rest of the tires as I walked to the driver side, and they were all very round. Not the one I said was going flat. I figured he would poo-poo my thoughts.

Inside after we were seated, he said that tire was low. When I went out to get the car, the tire was even lower. So, we discussed where to go to have it checked and taken care of. Finally, we drove about ten miles to get to the place where I get things done on my car. The guy said it would take about forty minutes to even get to it. Since I had only had one hour sleep, that made me grumpy. My plan was to go home and sleep an hour before the trip to Huntsville. Scratch that!

When I went into the office, the owner said the guy had cleared out a car and mine would go in the shop immediately. We waited while they had the car. It turned out there was a nail in the tire and it cost $20 to patch the hole.

If either of us could have bent down, we could have aired it up before taking it to the shop. However, all air hoses cost money, and I am against paying for air. Someday, we will all have tanks on our backs like divers or astronauts. We will have to pay for air to breathe.

Okay, maybe there are still stations with free air hoses, but I have lost touch with those since I cannot bend down to take the cap off the stem.

My nap lasted ten minutes and left me feeling surprisingly refreshed. That lasted until I got dressed again. So, we were off.

The doctor office visit was very short with minimum wait time and short test. Plus, I got no bad news because the nurse will call me with test results later. I had a surprise when they attached blood pressure cuff to arms and legs at the same time and aired me up all at once. So, we left for home.

I slept Monday after he dropped me off from 6 pm until 9:30 pm and then from  2 am Tuesday until 2:30 pm in the afternoon on Tuesday. My chest still hurts like I am sleep deprived. I am no longer able to sleep for an hour at night and recover easily! However, the house not being hot helped me to sleep well. Still, I must go to bed at 1 am to get enough sleep under my belt.

J told me she would come over today and help a bit. She did not! Another story for another day.

Your turn
Do you pick up nails often? Does lack of sleep lead to extreme exhaustion? Do you find there is a dearth of places with free air when you need it? Does anyone have a device for airing up a tire in an emergency? What is the name/manufacturer, please. Do you have someone who doubts what you tell him/her about the car?

A New and Different Kind of Free Lunch

Today, exbf picked me up and took me to the bank, WM, and Publix. Since I only slept one hour last night, I was in no condition to drive. Plus, we picked up J and took her on one brief stop.

I had planned lunch OUT. I got a coupon for $10 worth of Dairy Queen--four chicken fingers, fries, and a Coke, all for two people, so two of these meals. I paid $6 for two meals. We got to our new DQ  about 11:30. He pulled up to the door, and I got out to park his vehicle and walk in. This just kills my back and knees, but he struggles to walk at all.

As I got inside, I realized I had not gotten out the coupon. I was discussing this as I dug in my wallet. All of a sudden, a man limping badly that had barely preceded us in the door, spoke up. He told the person at the register and us that he wanted to buy our lunch. We were both just stunned. I shoved the coupon back into my wallet!

I asked him, "Why?" He said that he just wanted to bless us. I was still stunned. He told me to order whatever I wanted. I am not sure why I ordered a burger and fries. Exbf just got a burger and we both wanted drinks. Then, it occurred to me I did not want a burger since I had a day planned that did not include bathroom stops every five minutes. So, I got four chicken fingers. Since I never eat at DQ, I ordered fries, not realizing the fingers came with fries.

The man kept telling me all this time to order dessert, too, if we wanted it. Since I did not to eat ice cream this day, I declared that was really all I wanted, and it was all I wanted. We thanked him profusely and many times. I told him no one had ever paid for my meal!

As he left, he spoke again, and we thanked him again! Now, I still have my coupon for $6 for two meals.

I am still amazed. Someday, I will pay this forward as he said he was doing.

Your turn
Have you ever had a complete stranger pay for your meal or anything?

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Little Encouragement

J really needs to cut back on her spending, she and her boy friend with whom she lives. They need to save enough to get their own place. In ten months they have not saved one dime. Their host is getting impatient. So, today while she helped me, we had a little talk.

I asked her what their bills were. Those are non-negotiable. Well, they both have a smart phone that could be gotten rid of. Then, I asked her where she thought they could cut back on spending. "Groceries!" She knows how to cook. Her bf knows how to grill and prefers meat and potatoes and hate vegetables. He just won't eat them.

She was helping her host paint tables at his shop. She did not finish at 5:30 when her bf came to pick her up. So, he went grocery shopping and spent $60! He bought tv dinners and junk. She was appalled. There were no fruits or vegetables.

I asked her in what other area could they cut back. "Cigarettes."

She knows where food banks are that give meat and vegetables, sometimes milk, butter, and cheese. All give cans of food. She understands not eating the whole package of pork chops in one meal.

She has not gotten a job, so I suggested in the meantime selling things online. When she told her bf  what she was going to do, he was very agreeable to that. He has a job where "stuff" comes up and belongs to no one. No, he is not stealing.

She knows she still needs to get a job and get her meth teeth fixed. I am encouraging that often.

We were talking about cooking, and other kitchen things. She pretty well understands how she can save money cooking and she does. He is the one who spends too much money. Oh, yeah, he loves pasta with anything on it.

We talked about the grocery list from the ads and three online grocery stores and using price-matching.    She looked as though a light went on when I told her that when I look in the pantry or refrigerator/freezer, everything in there was on sale. So, now I shop at home and have a sale all the time.

I am encouraging her to give up paper products except for tp. We talked about her making napkins by hand. She knows how to use a needle to sew. I am encouraging her to make a rag bag and button jar from old clothing and to use it instead of paper towels. Rags used to clean up nasty messes can be thrown out just like paper towels and cost less.

Her one weakness--Yellow Box flip flops. She wants a pair in every color. And, she does not have a job! She also does not have even one pair of flip flops.

She like smelly stuff for the laundry and cannot comprehend not using dryer sheets. So, I told her to cut them in quarters. Baby steps!

She looked a little shocked at the thought of buying towels and wash cloths, and kitchen towels at yard sales. She had no idea people sold them unused at yard sales.

They have not one stick of furniture or bit of accessories. She was drooling over a cloth hamper at Walmart. I could not be happy with her as she looked at it. I am encouraging using old stuff and a can of spray paint. She was agreeing, but who knows what she will do when out of my

Between the two of them, they smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. I asked her if they could make a pack last two days. She said they could. We will see! I suggested maybe after a couple of weeks doing that, they could cut down to a pack lasting three days. The cigarettes she buys cost $4.89 after tax, so she spends right at $150/month on cigarettes!

As I get rid of things, I give them to her. She remarks how she uses them in new ways to make her life easier.

At least, I am putting frugal thoughts into her consciousness. Will it work? Only time will tell. Anything I do that she repeats in her life will give her a better grasp of how to save money.

Your turn
Have you ever had someone that you advised about how to save money? Did it work? Even a little bit?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday and Plants (Hosta in Particular)

The oats I made were nasty last night because I accidentally bought quick oats and then put too much sugar in them. That bowl of oats went to Dominique, and I had cheese melted on toast under the broiler.

J came over for about two hours and helped me get junk off the floor and vacuumed some. Now, I need to sort it into stuff to be thrown out or items of value.  Even though I lay on the bed the whole time, or sat on the bed, I am still sore and tired. Then, I spilled, kicked over, dirt where a seed was sprouting and died. So, she needs to come back and vacuum again for me. This is very discouraging.

My sedum is turning pink, so fall is on its way. The sedum will continue to darken until is a cranberry color. I love this plant. I thought it froze last winter, but it came back. The other day, leaves were falling. It always amazes me how leaves will fall in July when it is in the middle of summer with Fall so far away.

The Hosta did not emerge on time this year. Then, most of it did not come up at all. The Hosta that did emerge was about a foot across instead of three feet across. Then, it disappeared! I am not sure what happened. Does anyone else know? These have been the steadiest plants I have other than trees! Earlier this summer, someone on another blog mentioned their Hosta was not coming up. Any thoughts? I do know it is not a lack or rain or too much rain. I had them in different places in the yard and in pots. It's a mystery.

Today was one of the most beautiful and pleasant days. It was not too hot; humidity was low. Skies were blue. We had great weather with no rain or storms. I did nothing out of doors. But, festivals were all over. J went to Smith Lake and swam and lay on a towel and got a sunburn. I think she may be one of the whitest people on earth, blond hair and fair skin.

It's late. I feel horrid because my back hurts!. But, I still need to fix dinner. It is 10:30 but dinner is just a matter of heating cooked food, thankfully.

Your turn
How was the weather at your place today? Do you notice when the leaves start falling in July or August way ahead of when we think they should fall? Has anyone had Hosta not emerge this year or not behave as they usually do?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Mostly Frugal Friday

Sleep came easily last night and lasted about two hours. That's not good! About 4:30 am, I ate chicken I had cooked with frozen broccoli and cheese on top. At some point while it was still dark, I decided I could not find my keys. That stressed me and made sleep impossible.

Even when I became really tired and my chest was hurting, my body would not sleep. About noon, I took something to sleep. Well, I got another three hours. I awoke to my chest still hurting me. After eating something and drinking lots of water, I felt only a bit better.

I think it was about six o'clock this evening when I found my keys. When I took the three items back to Walmart, I was $22 richer. Yesterday, I got a refund on items and was $32 richer.  I only respent $18 of the refunds.

Luckily, there were few deals in ads to tempt me to stock up. I could get Miracle Whip that was reduced, but there will be sales on MW for the Labor Day sales.

Speaking of Miracle Whip, I took it out of the refrigerator on Wednesday and was holding it with one hand when it slipped out of my hand and crashed to the floor. It was spinning round and round like a bottle in "spin the bottle". The spinning bottle flung out about a cup of MW in one glob and several little spots all over the kitchen. The whole spinning deal was quite impressive to watch. I forgot I had to carry most things with both hands!

The lid broke in pieces like it was made of glass. I still have not found all the pieces. Since I had just opened this the day before and the old jar was in the trash in the house, I just got the old lid from the trash to wash. Right now, the MW jar is covered with Glad Wrap.

On Thursday, I bought something with a $1 coupon on the top. The checker did not pull off the coupon and I forgot to tell her. This Friday morning, I was putting the stuff up I brought home last night. When I pulled the coupon off, it had expired in 2016. However, this is not a product with even a use-by date.  As soon as the customer service line was open, I called and will be getting two $1 coupons to use. YAY for the save.

The infected bite on my leg is getting better, much better. However, the med I take by mouth is awful, causing the worst taste in my mouth for hours after taking it. The reflux from the med is horrendous. The antibiotic cream is helping the other bites I have scratched, thankfully.

It is actually cool outside and my ac inside is keeping the place comfortably cool.  It was extremely hot all day yesterday and cool last night. I think it is a cold front with a reduction in humidity.

It is after 10 pm, so I think I will have oats, and buttered toast, unsweetened applesauce, and milk for dinner. I may cook something since it is so cool.

Your turn
Do you have trouble sleeping after stress, mental or physical? Are you a butterfingers when tired or injured? What is the most spectacular "drop" you have had?

I Am SOOO Tired and Irritated

Update: Before you start reading, most people were nice today. AND, I got tired of editing this after I wrote it, so forgive the many mistakes.

I left home at 1:25 this afternoon and got home at 9:30 tonight. This is a bone-tired feeling right now. The make matters worse, it got little done.

Aaargh!  How did I just break a fingernail typing? That is the kind of day I have been having.

1:25 pm
I was going to watch the group learning to play the dulcimer. The meeting started at 2 pm, but somehow I got 1:30 in my mind as the time I needed to be there, so I rushed out. Of course, I had set 1:30 as the time I needed to leave. Naturally, I arrived 30 minutes early.

2:00 pm
They were a bit late, but that's okay unless you have been sitting for 30 minutes. The guy was shocked I was there. One of the women had called him and told him the lady without a dulcimer was not coming. So, he thought that was me. Grrr.

I left and went to WM. I had to find someone to ask about three things I wanted and needed. Well, they were sort of busy since it is Thursday and first of the month. The longer I stayed there, the busier it got. It seemed I had to wait for everything. Then, the cart was dying and I had to creep to the cart place to get a new one.

The door person was new and asked me for a receipt. As I beeped-beeped along, creeping out of her zone, I told her I was getting a new cart. She demanded my receipt. I told her I was getting a new cart and just kept going. Boy, was she mad. The carts are all of ten feet past her post! And, you know I am leaving going 1 mph, a really slow getaway for a thief.

As I left the store, she was at the other door, the door I came in. I had one bag and the top was folded over. She demanded a receipt. I said, "You have GOT to be kidding me?" She gave an evil smirk and said, "I am just doing my job!" So, I showed her the receipt while she still smirked like she got me. Another cart rolled by being pushed by a woman with about five bags, all open where anything could be dropped in.

I said, "Oh, you need to look at hers. Her smirk came back and she said, "I don't have to look at hers." Sooo, I went straight back and told someone in charge that she was just harassing me since she let quite a few others pass by.

The person kept saying, "She is new." I have never had anyone ask for my receipt because I never have items in boxes just lying in the cart. If I have Cokes, I keep my receipt in hand, knowing I will have to show it. Little bitch. I told the person I did not intend to be harassed every time I was in the store.

Believe it or not, being old and being in a cart gets poor treatment from some of the snots who go to work there. She is the type who will not last long at this job.

I was going to the Thursday dinner that happens every Thursday. When I arrived, the doors were shut and the place was dark. I left last week at 6:55 and things were still happening. I have no idea what happened to night.

I needed to get to someplace before 7 and I did, but that place was dark.  The library closes at 8: pm tonight, but my getting there past 7:15 thwarted my plans of getting a new library card. They close out the register at that time, and I could not pay my $3.

I came home to try on three blouses I bought. When I figured which one I wanted, which took me almost two minutes, I left to go back and got my money back for two of them. Then, the other things I needed were hiding from me, so I had to ask for help.

One thing is all I needed from Publix, so there was that stop to make.

At some point today, I rushed back home to feed Dominique and give her water. Poor baby.

Finally, on the way home about 9 pm, I stopped to get one Krystal because I needed my stomach to hurt worse than it was. It took me over ten minutes to get to the head of the line, and I was only second because people kept pulling out of line ahead of me and behind me and going home.

When I order, the woman yelled at me that they did not have anymore Krystals, and it would take ten minutes to get more ready. I was more than a little shocked at her belligerent tone. It was almost like a threat. So, I said I would wait. She then made me leave the window and go park, flinging her arm to where I should park, way out in the dark.  I did.

Then, as I was absorbed in trying to figure out how to use the android to find weather radar, she appeared at the window. She was scary. I rolled down the window and she yelled at me again! "Next time, you park right. Don't park like this! YOU ARE TAKING UP THREE PLACES!!! I just looked confused and looked at the pavement. "Park where there are lines! YOU ARE PARKED WRONG!"

The only reaction she got was the window slowly going up. She upset me so I could barely swallow.

There was room for another two dozen cars. It appeared the two cars parked out there were employee cars.

I was complaining to exbf when he called me at 10:30, asking him what on earth was wrong today. He laughed and said I was on English and everyone else was on metric. That made no sense to me, so I just sort of laughed.

It's after 11 pm and I need to find something to eat. sigh...

Your turn
Did you ever have a day where most of the people with whom you interact are in a bad mood? Or, just stupid? Or not where they should be?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Crack Myself Up Sometimes

Tuesday night, I got a very late call from exbf. However, it was a bit earlier than I expected. It was from his cell phone. When I answered, I realized it was just a butt call. Usually, when I get these calls from him, I just keep saying his name, thinking maybe it is not a butt call.

Tuesday night, I yelled his name very loudly, over and over. Then, I just let out a piercing scream or four. I knew if the phone was in his front pant pocket, I would have to be loud.

Finally, I hung up and dialed him back. He answered the phone and grumbling said he was trying to get out of the car, so I told him just to call me when he got inside. He did. It seems he put his keys in his pocket and the keys dialed the phone.

I was laughing and telling how I was screaming his name over and over so loud anyone could have heard me three blocks away. He said, "You know, I was bent over getting something off the floor and I thought I heard someone calling my name, so I looked outside the car, thinking my neighbor was talking to me." By this time, he was laughing about his own confusion.

My simply laughing turned to full choking as I laughed harder. At one point, I could barely breathe. I was so impressed with my idea to yell his name and how I fooled him.

Yes, I cracked me still snickering.

What I was going for was his being at work, walking out with others, and all of a sudden his pants are calling him. He would have laughed, guarantee. And, so would the people near him.

Okay, maybe I overestimate how funny it was when he looked for a neighbor lady calling to him. Really, the only thing that made it funny was his confusion.

Late Tuesday afternoon, I went to the doctor because I had gotten a mosquito or flea bite infected by scratching it and causing damage to my leg and a really bad infection that was not responding to my otc meds. Well, it did respond and then got worse, I worried. Since I have diabetes, I did not want this to get so bad I need a wound specialist. My friend injured her leg above the ankle and soon the injury needed specialized treatment from a wound specialist. The whole infection ran about 8 inches up her leg, sort of like a tunnel under the skin. It was not a pretty sight.

As usual, she was not pro-active. (And, she is dead because she did not pay attention to her health and follow doctors' orders.)   I am exactly the opposite.  Consequently, I have an antibiotic to take and a strong antibiotic prescription ointment.

Early Tuesday afternoon, J mowed. She tripped three times on the wisteria vines as she mowed. Tomorrow morning, she is coming back to lop all the vines and put brush killer on the cut ends. J is amazed at how strong wisteria can be, and how it wraps so tightly around things. Some of these are a half inch in diameter and in another area that is still near where she cut and poisoned a month or so ago.

And, J cut about an inch off my hair. It is still longer than it has been in 30 years. I keep asking people if I am too old for this much hair. People who will tell me the truth say it is not too long for an old lady. When I find my hair dresser, I will get a proper and shorter cut.

If you have wisteria, GET RID OF IT!

Your turn
What is the funniest prank you have played on someone, nothing mean or harmful? Is there anyone who scratches until you bring blood when bitten by an insect?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lunch and Music

Today, I went to the lunch where they use real dishes and utensils. These lunches just keep getting better and better!

The menu for today was seasonal as they all are. We had at least a 1.cup of chicken salad on two Romaine leaves. The guy next to me offered it to me when I asked them to save scraps they were not going to eat for my chicken. He offered his, which I took ate right then! So, I had at least a cup of chicken salad and four whole Romaine leaves.

My plate had a piece of cantaloupe which came home for Dominique.  I ate the spicy muffin with coconut in it after I got home and had my hair cut.

There was a huge square of  red Jello salad made with Cool Whip and cottage cheese in it. Maybe it had pineapple in it.

Chicken salad on 2 Romaine leaves x 2
Cantaloupe for Dominique
Red Jello salad
Spicy Muffin eaten later
bowl of watermelon
2 glasses of unsweetened tea

Plus, I sat at the table for six where a couple was sitting. Later, we talked. She is a retired schoolteacher. Nice couple.

The program was a group of mandolin players. Six women and two men played for a good long time, but no one was ready for them to stop. However, lunch was ready.

The Appalachian or lap dulcimer is an American instrument, not one brought here.  Apparently, no one knew that "Love Me Tender" is a pre-Civil War tune, "Aura Lee." Well, the dulcimer players did.  It is beautiful played on the dulcimer.

Playlist for today:
Wildwood Flower
Oh, Susannah
Little Log Cabin in the Lane/Lily of the Valley
Aura Lee and singing
Happy Land
Come Now, Fount of Every Blessing
Amazing Grace--a request for everyone to sing

There were several more I cannot remember.

Here is a Tennessee Music Box style dulcimer. I want one like the one at the head of this post.The guy is playing and eventually starts to sing Aura Lee..

The group played about a dozen songs. Now, I want a dulcimer! Seriously, I need a dulcimer. Of course, all that stands in my way is money to buy one.

Your turn
Who wants to come to lunch with me? Does anyone play a dulcimer? Have one? Maybe your relatives play this quaint instrument that sits on the lap? Have you ever heard "Aura Lee"?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Eclipse Glasses--Found

After looking on the internet and calling around, I finally found glasses for viewing the eclipse at Lowe's for $1.98. So, that's done. I feared I would not find any locally and be forced to order from the internet and then not be sure they would arrive in time.

These are made in the USA, not China, thankfully. The glasses meet ISO standards. Well, it says so on the glasses.

I held them up to look through them and could not see anything, not even light. I've yet to hold them to the sun....maybe later today.

This is the most important thing I had to think and worry about. Now, I am keeping my fingers crossed there will be no clouds. Plus, I am nervous about the crowds, actually the drunks and crazies that might be out that day.

Your turn
Are you going to see the total eclipse anywhere? Got your glasses? Got a plan?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cheese Clearance

Remember the clearance CRACKERS at Publix? Well, I found cheese on sale at Publix to go with the crackers. This is all in preparation for the eclipse road trip. Of course, I will eat one of the two packages and save the other package of cheese sticks for the trip.

The cheese, 10 sticks, 7.5 ounces, was 2/$4. Kraft Chunk cheese is the same price when the Kraft is reduced. I should have gotten more, but I am not a fan of sharp cheddar or white cheese. I can tolerate it.

The same type cheese in WM is twice the $2/pkg, selling for about $4 So, my savings was about 50% on the cheese.

I found this in the dairy section at Publix after I saw a customer buying it along with Honest products. If she had not had the Honest juice, I would never have noticed her other items on the belt at the register.

This clearance area is a new discovery for me. The clearance area at the front was the only clearance area in Publix I knew of until today. Maybe I need to ask if there are other clearance areas in Publix.

There is a man who always speaks to me and reminds me who he is. He always shakes my hand. It seems I was a substitute when his child was in class several times. This man always thanks me for being nice to his son. Today, he spoke at Publix and said really nice things about me in front of several employees. I can handle that.  I tried to be nice to students when I was a substitute.

Your turn
Do you ever find a regular shelf for clearance on dairy? Who loves cheese and crackers, especially when both are on sale? Maybe you are like me, a cheese lover?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Staying Cool

When my younger daughter, youngest child, was thirteen-years-old, we were attending the craft show during the Helen Keller Festival, a stop on the way to Memphis. The weather was hotter than it is now, upper 90s. We were so hot and thirsty as we walked. Soon, we saw a snow cone stand and walked slowly to get one. I convinced her to get just ice then get a flavored snow cone later. I did not want either of us to get sick from so much sugar while over-heated. Later, we got the flavored snow cone.  It was a long time ago and we carried no water.

Last week, while I was at Walmart, I saw a Popsicle maker, an eight-holer, reduced to a quarter. After washing it, I filled it with water. Ice with a handle is very cooling. I don't have to roll it around in my mouth, chancing choking on it, chew on it, or let some flavored, colored concoction dribble down my chin.

I don't know what I would do without ice. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, a novel I would highly recommend. I will spoil just one part about ice. The street gutters had toilet refuse in them which all ran to a lake. Men cut ice from this lake and stored it in ice houses for the wealthy to purchase in summer.

Want some of that ice in your tea?

Social reform regarding the treatment of immigrants was what Dreiser desired to happen. However, his account of the meat packing house so appalled President Theodore Roosevelt that the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act was the result of the book's descriptions.

Okay, I got away from ice. Now, I am doubting the lake where ice was harvested was in The Jungle. Oh, well.  No, it is the next day, and I was correct about the novel.

I love banana Popsicles, so I am going to see about banana flavor for my homemade Popsicles. I can put bananas and oj in the icicle maker, too.

If you have ever rubbed an ice cube on your body to stay cool, this little handled ice cube will work. I know I have rubbed an ice cube on my face, neck, and chest to cool off. Have you?

Your turn
How much does ice figure in your keeping cool? Shall we count ac as ice since it can by icy? Have you ever put plain water in your Popsicle mold? Eaten a plain snow cone without flavored syrup all in the name of cooling off? Have you read The Jungle?

Friday, July 28, 2017

"I Found a Rock"

People in Walmart heard me as I gasped with surprise while saying this. Then, I had to explain about painting on rocks from Lorraine's blog. The other day, I found a rock painting site on the internet for this town. Sooo, now I have a painted rock.

It is only about 1 1/2 inches long. about the size of my first joint on my thumb. I think a child painted this little rock. Maybe it was a non-painter adult. This was such a surprise to find on a shelf in Walmart!

I cannot post a picture, but some day, I will.

Your turn
Do you paint rocks? Have you heard of this popular activity with many websites for the painters. Have you ever found a painted rock? Where? Do I need to post this so the child will know it was found and appreciated?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Free Dinner

I will go back. The food was quite good, but I needed to use the salt shaker on my mashed potatoes, boiled and mashed with the skin kind of potatoes.

They served pork, bbq sauce on top, baked beans, mashed potatoes, roll, ice cream, brownie. I did not eat the baked beans or half my potatoes. The baked beans, mashed potatoes, and part of the roll along with oats from home was for Dominique.

The company was excellent. A couple who were retired from a school system in MO sat with me along with J and her bf. J did not come with me, but just happened to see me.

This dinner happens every Thursday night at some sort of center where they help people with GED, resumes, drug rehab, and such. One young woman from rehab sat and talked with me for a while before people came in. When parents are allowing a young girl to be molested for years and blame it on her, and she is finally raped by two men, how do these young people have any chance for a normal life? She said she is off meth and heroin but not strong enough, so she went to rehab, on her own...she said.

I tried to encourage her to be strong. She said she rejected men because of their mistreatment since she was three-years-old and turned to women, but she knew that was not what she wanted. She is only 24-years-old, and a very sweet, well-spoken person, not hardened like I would expect from her history.

This is working. Going places that are free and talking to her and the very well-educated couple pulls me from TV and the Internet! My mind needs this.

It is so hot I am just dying and it is after 8 pm. Friday night, it should be in the high 50s, so I am looking forward to sleeping well that night.

Your turn
Do you find yourself in need of entertainment that is not TV or internet? Anyone still suffering from the heat still? Do you ever talk to people who are or were addicts and marvel at the evil in their worlds? Are you thankful you were never on the same path and had parents who believed you, protected you, and were not addicts themselves?

Wednesday Leftovers From Tuesday

Since I brought a to go box from the Tuesday free lunch, I had that lunch for Wednesday.  It was delicious without the sour cream.

Dinner on Wednesday was two slices of Texas toast with the leftover Tuesday night dinner--BBQ chicken and leftover slaw on top. Texas toast on top made a delicious sandwich. I was grateful not to have to cook at all today.

Lunch and dinner for two days for two people cost me less than $2. That is about $0.50 for each of those four meals. I can deal with this type of frugality. Last week, I only bought two half-gallons of milk, bananas, and tri-color slaw mix. I made a list and never used it. Neither of these two items were on sale, had a coupon, or were reduced! Still, that was less than $10 for groceries in one week. From that $10 purchase, there is still more than one-half gallon of milk and about 1/3 of the slaw mix.

I needed the oven on for about two minutes on Wednesday night and three hours later realized it was still on. At that point I could no longer feel the ac at all. My body was wet with sweat even though I was lying still and right near the ac.

The sale papers for grocery ads came today. I look it over and make a list at next look-through. There is a community dinner on Thursday, so I suppose I will go. Why not?

Your turn
Have you found any good sales this week?  What leftovers have been on your menu lately?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Comments ???

Some days on some blogs, I cannot access and use the comments part of the blog. Yesterday and today, it was and is impossible to respond to Nan's comment. It drives me crazy. On other blogs I cannot get the comment section to come up. Drives me crazy! I think I spent about an hour trying to respond to her comment. Finally, I typed one four-letter word that took me five minutes to type. I was just exhausted when I finished.

That is the most often and consistent problem with my blog and other blogs. Does this happen to anyone else?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Free Lunch and A Surprise

Lunch today was a huge bed of lettuce with taco sauce and meat on it. I did not have meat. Black beans, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream were on top of that along with a seasoned sauce on top which I did not have. I gave my chips to exbf. I had two tiny pieces of cake and unsweetened iced tea.

You know I brought home leftovers for Dominique. Plus, I brought home a go box for me. Sounds like lunch tomorrow.

Last night, I went to Publix to get milk so I would have enough to last until the first of the month. Since I had bought something that was so not edible, spoiled, I stopped by the customer service desk. Then, I wandered off and talked to another customer for an hour. When I returned to the customer service desk, she thought I had left the store. She gave me my refund on a gift card.

Then, she said brightly, "And, I have something else for you." Maybe they give a doughnut to customers who have to return something? I looked, and she had a wheel cover which shocked me. It was old and dirty! Then, I realized it was mine. She said the cart pusher saw it roll away and chased me the last time I was there. I was thrilled beyond belief.

Wheel covers are so expensive. I had just about resigned myself that I would just do without. This is a two-piece wheel cover, the kind that has a center that comes out.

So, they knew who was in the car and knew me. So, money saved and a free lunch works for me. Tonight, we are having the BBQ chicken and coleslaw and corn frozen by me.

Exbf just left. The BBQ chicken was wonderful, something prepared and sold in package, reduced to a price I could not refuse. I made the slaw and put in the same amount of salt as I put in sugar. So, it was disgusting. I added more slaw mix and Miracle Whip. He said it was wonderful, but it was still too salty for my taste. You are not supposed to taste the salt in slaw! He likes the taste of salt. I forgot to thaw the corn...sigh.

I went to the lunch with nails on only one hand polished! I have never done that before. I have started only doing one hand and letting it dry thoroughly so I can use the other hand. This ploy usually works, but the lack of sleep had me bumfuzzled.

Your turn
How have you managed to eat lately without heating up your kitchen? Any free lunches in your life? Do you often/ever loose wheel covers? Have you had good luck with retrieving them? Lose your gas cap ever? Do something silly like forgetting to polish nails on one hand? Go ahead, make my day by making me feel like not such a ditz!

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Heat!

The heat is so oppressive, that I cannot keep it cool enough indoors. Consequently, my chest hurts from the effects of breathing in this atmosphere. My small window ac is failing. It is trying hard, but it is old!

It is too hot to cook more chicken, even in the crockpot. In the freezer is bbq chicken, waiting to heat tomorrow. I will make coleslaw and thaw corn I cut from the cob when I got Peaches and Cream corn last week. Exbf is coming tomorrow; we will go to free lunch; I will go to the doctor to learn results of a test. So, cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do!

Thankfully, I have a low-maintenance pet. Dominique does not require much.  She does not seem to suffer from the heat like all my other chickens. I never see her panting or letting her wings hang to cool her body.

I finished a post and with one keystroke wiped out two-thirds of it. I just have not felt up to finishing it. Losing a post just demoralizes me!

Okay, several goals today: find an inhaler, buy milk, get refund at WM, color my hair, feed Dominique. Maybe, I can do dishes. I will make tuna salad and eat with whatever greens are in the refrigerator.

What are you doing today? Are you doing it in oppressive heat?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

JoJo proves Santa is not real

This is the cutest little girl whose father posts VIDEOS of her conversations and explanations. She is cuter than cat videos. I apologize ahead of time for wasting hours of your time. Her is another--you do not understand weddings at all. What do you think about her?

Friday, July 21, 2017


A card came in the mail informing me my share of a class action suit had been mailed. ??? I know nothing of this class action and would not join. As far as I know, one must join the class action suit. At least that is what the information says that comes in the mail often.

Well, if they mailed me a check for $113.98, I really want it.  I don't even know what the case is about. However, the check is from a well-known entity.

I did call the telephone number on the card. Even though most checks are good for 90 days, this one is only good for 60 days. What is with that?

Have you ever joined a class-action suit? Get any money?

I could really use this money!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Problems Solved

This summer, I have been stymied by where all the mosquitoes were coming into the house. Today, while holding for a call, my eyes sort of glazed over and I stared into the distance. I focused and saw it--the window was open over a half inch! And, that screen does not fit well unless I push it on tightly. I don't remember opening the window, so it must have been Spring when a breeze inside would not be humid and mosquito- and fly-filled.

That could also explain why it has seemed like the ac was not cooling or removing humidity! GAH!

The LED light on the back porch solved another problem--all the bugs drawn to light that come indoors when I open the door at night as I come or go are mostly a thing of the past. At first, I did not notice the lack of hundreds of flying insects. Then, one night, I wondered where all the bugs were. Since this light stays on all the time, I know I am saving money, too.

There are also fewer insects attracted to the lamp nearest me. Thank you, LED. With the window open and the screen so loose, more insects than normal came in.

I found LED lights for about $2 at Lowe's and bought a few.

Have you tried LED lights and noticed fewer insects are drawn to them at outdoor light fixtures?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Free Lunch and Another Tragedy

The free lunch was a summer treat--hotdogs and hamburgers cooked outdoors on the grill, lettuce, tomato, baked beans. A table had condiments. I only had mustard. Plus, I had lots of lettuce and tomato. Another table had tiny chip packages and cookies.

A woman sat at the table with me, a new acquaintance, and I got to know her better. Great conversation! Then, Reggie, son of John's cousin,  came and sat and talked. He is very funny, so the company today was great. I have known him since 1981.

I ate at 11:30. As I was leaving about 12:30, a woman I know offered me some leftover hotdogs. So, I took them. I just now ate one and a tiny package of chips. My ears are hurting so bad! Plus, I feel breathless.  I will freeze the rest. My ears and breathlessness are a great indicator of my allergies!

Dominique will get the baked beans, corn cobs, oats, and a small piece of lettuce. They wrapped a hotdog that had been dropped on the ground, telling me I could give it to my dog. They were surprised I had a chicken. She enjoyed her lunch.

Plus, I asked for a take-home lunch. Somehow, they gave me two. So, I have two hotdogs and buns, two hamburgers and buns, two tiny bags of chips, two sets of utensils and napkins, two more bags of cookies. I froze the hamburgers in one bag and hotdogs in another bag. The baked beans will be saved in another dish. I have sooo many little catsup packets.

I planned to have a hotdog and salad for dinner, but it turns out I have a meeting where the munchies will be healthy and can be my dinner. Good deal on Tuesday!


Last night, I heard that someone in our County was killed and killed in a home invasion at 5 pm. Someone in the home, also attacked, fought the invader and killed him. Plus, someone said the intruder was shot and killed, and someone said he was not shot but killed another way. Then, I heard his wife was attacked and she killed the intruder in a fight for her life.  Then, I heard that his wife was injured; another said just traumatized and in the hospital.

Steve Griffith was an attorney, not one I ever used, just a friend from so long ago and saw often over the years. The last time I saw him, he and I were buying sweet potatoes from a farmer, 40 lb. boxes at a time. I have never heard one bad thing about this man, not even grumbling or complaining.

He is a person I have known since 1974. My son and his son were in the same grade and in the same classroom when my son was in third grade.  His daughter was around the age of my older daughter. His wife and I talked at school. She is such a nice woman! I have not seen her in years, or just did not recognize

The man's name was given. Supposedly, he was mentally ill and obsessed over this attorney as one who did something to him when he was stopped for drugs. However, the attorney never represented anyone or had anything to do with the case. Well, that is what is said by many people.

Reggie told me the name as I was eating. Before that moment, I had no idea who was killed. That was a jolt to hear! Did you ever feel like there was a loud explosion in your head when hearing bad news like this? So, lunch, great company, and bad news!

The six o'clock news and a new conference here did not clear up anything I had heard and did not say how or who killed the intruder. ???

The man did not force his way into the house. He knocked on the door, mentioned a woman's name, someone they knew. Steve was sitting in the recliner as Jackie let the man in. He walked over to Steve who was sitting in his recliner, putting a bullet into the back of Steve's head. The news will come out in dribs and drabs.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rubik's Cube

Magic Rubiks Speed ABS 3X3X3 Professional Cube Rubix Twist  Puzzle Game Kids Toy

Did you ever have a Rubik's Cube? My children did and tried very hard to solve it. I had so many things to do, I never sat still with it long enough to give it a good shot. It looked impossible to me.

Today, I found directions, a video, to show how to do it. I am still not sure I can do it with explicit directions.

Did you ever solve the Rubik's Cube? Did you ever try to solve it? It gives me a headache just watching the video. I am going to acquire a new skill. I received my first 15 square puzzle when I was a small child and mastered that. This will probably be much harder!

Here is the VIDEO.  I found the video HERE.  Who would have guessed there would be a Rubik's Cube blog? Not I. Look HERE for the history of the Rubik's Cube.

What's your experience with Rubik's Cube? Thoughts?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cherry Pitter Hack

Everything that commenters said about the messy job of pitting cherries made me think. And think. And think.

I used:
coffee cup
hard straw
thimble or something to push with

I used a coffee cup and put the funnel in it. The funnel has a lower opening of approximately one-half inch. If the end of the funnel is larger, you will just shove the cherry through. So, make sure the end of the funnel is wide enough for pit and straw to go through. It should be small enough so the cherry cannot be pushed through the small end of the funnel.

A straw that is one of the really sturdy reusable ones, but without the large diameter works. If you get a straw with a large diameter, the seed goes into the straw. Getting the seed out of the straw is not fun and slows down the process.

There are two straws that work. One is the Pioneer Woman set of 12 straws. It was only $3 for the package, way more than I wanted to pay. But, they are the correct diameter. I found them at Walmart.

The other straw that works is one on a pineapple-shaped jar. The pineapple jar has a metal lid and green pineapple "leaves" on top with a hole for the straw through the lid and green top. These were $3+ but I got one for $0.75. Now, they are back up to the regular price at Walmart.

It is possible these very rigid straws are in another store. Maybe Sluggy can find them in Rite Aid. When I was looking in WM today, one of the tough straws in the pineapple jar was broken as though it were made of glass. The Pioneer Woman straws are not that brittle.

I put the funnel in the cup and the cherry in the funnel. (First, pull off the stem.) I just shoved the straw through the cherry. The pit was in the cup as opposed to in the straw. Success!

Use a thimble or something over the top end of the straw to avoid trying to clutch the straw and shoving the straw into your hand.  You can put anything over the top of the straw to cushion it, even a freshly laundered potholder. Alternately, you can wrap the straw with anything and tape it to make the top of the straw a sturdy handle, sort of like an ice pick handle or a screwdriver handle.

The funnel I am using was $1 at WM. They no longer have these at my WM. Today, WM had a set of four silicone funnels for $6. A collapsible funnel was about $5. This funnel is not one of my canning funnels.

Since I heard of the horrid mess pitting cherries can make, at first, I was dodging the juice that never was shooting all over. I checked my blouse, my counters, the cherry juice.

If I get too clumsy doing this and cannot hold the cup after I get tired or just get clumsy and knock it over, I have a plan. I have a small mixing bowl that I will lay an unfolded dishtowel over. Then, I will put the cup into the bowl squashing down the dishtowel into the mixing bowl. The cup will be more steady.

I know people put my ideas and pictures on Pinterest, and that's okay. If you put this idea up, even if you do the setup and take pictures, just give me credit for the idea, please.

Plus, there is one blogger who puts my ideas on her Facebook page as her own ideas. She never even says she saw the idea somewhere. She takes full credit. She never has had an original thought in ten years. You know who you are. I will do everything in my power to expose you. You know I mean it! I have been badgered by you for ten years. NO MORE! Sluggy knows who I mean.

Sorry for the last folks, but police matters must be explained. Remember how professors explained the rules in terms of "police matters"?

Okey dokey! Linda, take a deep breath.....

I cannot use my right hand, so this may take a long time to pit all these cherries. Oh, I type lightly, but driving or picking up anything hurts my hand. Besides, I don't type much at all. Sometimes, I just stop using both hands and type with my left index finger...sigh.

Your turn
Even though this works, do you have doubts or questions?  If you try this, let me know how it works for you even if it is a failure.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Coffee Freebie Small Economy And A Fail

As I listened daily to WIAT television station, I kept hearing about a giveaway. Finally, on their website I filled out a form to enter, and a month or so later received a package in the mail. They sent me a huge coffee mug and a one-pound package of Royal Cup Fancy Gourmet Coffee. I don't believe I have ever heard of this coffee before. Have you? At any rate, Exbf will love free coffee.

If you remember or don't, last year my name was drawn at another television station and I received a free umbrella. The year before I won a weather radio from another radio station.

For the price of an email, these are great deals. As small economies go, these are worth more than cents.  He will always drink coffee and I always need an umbrella! These are both consumable. Well, the way I eat umbrellas, it is a consumable--handy, too. From a TV station I also won a handy weather radio, not consumable.

Another small economy blew up. The deal at Burger King was a free cup of coffee with an AARP card. Then, when exbf had a card to use, they discontinued the deal. Boo! He gets a cup of coffee every time he leaves here. I never knew this and felt horrible.

Your turn
Have you ever heard of Royal Cup Coffee? What small economy has happened at your place? Have you won useful items, small or large?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Way it Starts

It seems that it always starts, "I didn't get enough sleep." Three hours won't work for me. But, nevertheless, I accomplished things.

The doctor's appointment at 9:40 kept me up. Thankfully, it is only a few blocks from me. I now have an appointment for an endoscopy and colonoscopy scheduled...whoopee! Unfortunately, it is on the day of one of the lunches. The last time I had a lunch with colonoscopy afterwards, I sat with my lunch box and watched people eat. Amazingly, I was just fine. The lunch came in with me and as soon as the anesthesia wore off, I started eating, much to the chagrin of the nurses who declared I would throw up. I never throw up after anesthesia!

I went to WM and picked up meds for this month. The car was so hot on the way, even with ac on that my hair was wet strings by the time I got there. The ac in the store felt good. I want to live there.

Then, at Publix I bought a2milk, had a sample of soup from the deli and part of the food cooked right there on the floor. It is the first thing I have not like. The salmon tasted foul; the dressing was not good: coleslaw was not to my liking.

J and I came back home after I took her some place she needed to go. I managed to schedule and MRI for my head once I found what day exbf has off next week.

By this time it is after 4 pm. and I am exhausted. The garage could put in the sway bar, so I went there. On the way home on the highway, I hit a traffic jam. We just sat still for ten minutes.

It has finally rained and cooled off a bit. I am going to sleep. This place is more of a wreck than usual, and I don't care! It is 7 pm and I have been awake since 2:30 this morning. I feel grumpy like I need a nap.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grocery Clearance Haul and Pain Relief

Sunday afternoon, I went to Publix for my a2milk. As usual, I wandered around the clearance rack, and there I found Nabisco Red Oval Farms Stoned Wheat Thins, imported from Canada. The 10.6 oz. box was reduced to $1 from its original price of over $3. I bought two boxes.

When I arrived home, I ate one cracker to see if the wheat made me itch or made my throat start to close (ears hurt). Nothing happened, so I ate another. When nothing happened after two crackers, I ate about four more just to make sure, before I bought more. Okay, I declared them semi-safe for me to eat.

Early Monday morning, I had exbf take me back where I cleaned out their clearance rack of these crackers--11 more boxes for a total of 13 boxes. I saved 70% by purchasing these.

They are a rather large cracker, about 3"x 3", sort of bland, not spicy or salty at all, no trans fat or saturated fat, low in sodium unless you eat too many.

I sent a box with exbf and will store the rest where I am quite sure they will last until their best buy date, some the end of September and some until the end of Nov. I wonder what happened to October best by dates. ???  With 21 crackers in each box, these can be consumed in quantities that will not be fattening.  When there are so few crackers in a box, I eat fewer. The taste and texture remind me of Water Crackers. They will be great to eat with tuna salad.

More will be sent back with exbf. He ate a few on the way back home Monday and declared them good. I just now (Wednesday) stored most of them in a bin with an airtight seal. Hopefully, this will help keep them a bit fresher for the duration.

You can see the ingredients Here.


Monday night I was in such pain I could not sleep since I was running on one hour's sleep and had sat too long on the trip to and from Birmingham. Since I take nothing for pain, it was a long night. Finally, I got up and ate half the package of Brussel's sprouts that was left. There were about 10 or 11 sprouts. After 7 sprouts, the pain abated. On Tuesday I looked it up on the internet, and the Brussel's sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables reduce inflammation. Good deal!

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I was in pain and could not sleep. So, I got up and ate ten chocolate chips very slowly. Pain abated again. Exbf laughed and told me to go for vegetables over chocolate next time. Well, I had no more Brussel's sprouts cooked.

I prefer food over pain meds any day. Have you found certain foods reduce your pain? My pain was so intense that the level of pain did not allow me to rest at all.

Have you ever tried these crackers? Do you like Water Crackers? Do you shop the reduced or clearance bins at your stores? What is your best deal, so good you bought many of the clearance/reduced item?

Do some foods help reduce pain for you?

Is There a Manic Tuesday?

Tuesday started way too early. Considering I managed Monday on 2 hours sleep, I thought I could get more Monday night. Not to be. So, I started Tuesday with almost four hours sleep. Oh, yeah, that will do for me. NOT.

I had an appointment at 9 am and awoke at 8:15 and left here clean and with a banana and milk and watermelon in me. By 10 am I was on my way home. Since there was one of the free church lunches, I sat here and waited so I would not get there too early. I arrived a few minutes before 11:30.

Imagine my surprise to find the place full and a speaker finishing his talk. This was embarrassing. Then, we got in line for the meal.

Lunch was the largest slab of chicken breast, cut or pounded to make it the same thickness. The thinnest part of the breast was 1/2 inch thick with a tiny thicker portion. The baked breast was on a bun, side of slaw, side of fruit. On the condiment table I only had eyes for the leaf lettuce and tomatoes, two huge leaves, and two slices of lettuce were all  took. I chose a slab of chocolate cake and a Coke.

The fruit bowl had red grapes, cantaloupe and one piece of watermelon. Since I hate cantaloupe and highly dislike red grapes, I saved those for Dominique plus the top of my hamburger bun. I scraped the icing off the cake and left the cake, eating the part I liked--the CHOCOLATE icing. Then, I went back and got two more lettuce leaves and two tomato slices.

With the Brussels sprouts I ate about 4 am, I figure I have a good portion of vegetables and fruit for the day. Since it is now 12:30 am on Wednesday, I will not eat more.

Once again, real utensils, real plate and glass.

A friend gave me slaw, chicken, and a portion of lettuce and tomato for Dominique, so added to my fruit and top of bun, she had a good lunch.

THEN, I was told at the pharmacy that today is Dress Like a Cow Day at Chic-fil-A. I called J and told her when she got home to come to my house in black pants and black shirt, that I had a surprise for her.

She thought it was great fun. I cut "spots" from a 42-year-old diaper, the only whiter rag I could find, and we taped them on our clothes. She laughed the whole time and said this was fun. We came back here where I collapsed from overeating chicken, and she mowed the front yard. Afterwards, I slept from 5 pm until 10:30 pm. And, I am still exhausted.

It would have been nice if the lunch and Cow Appreciation Day had happened on two different days, I am certainly not complaining.

At 7/11 they were giving away free frosted drinks, whatever they are called. By the way 7/11 is a gas station with lots of other things for sale, including their famous Slurpee. That is a frozen drink. I am thinking maybe there are people who have never heard of 7/11. Charlie said there are none in Alabama. That cannot be right!

Oh, yeah, I shopped for my birthday present.   I have my eye on a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It needs no ice or salt. I mainly want it for making frozen treats from fruit and the milk that does not upset my constitution.

Today was a full and filling day.

Your turn
Have you ever gone to Dress Like a Cow Day to get a free chicken sandwich? Do you ever have free eating occasions that come too close together? Has anyone owned, used the Cuisinart ice cream freezer, 1.5 quarts? Is the product good?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

TODAY Dress Like a Cow for Free Chik-fil-A

Go on down with a few spots on your clothes and get a free chicken sandwich.

I have done this for about five years. Today is the day even though they did not advertise on the store! It is on Instagram and facebook.

See you there?

Corn and Neurologist

As I was preparing all the corn, all twelve ears given to me, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. The first five ears were perfection. They were full and free of blemishes. I have never seen an ear of corn that was as perfect as these. They even had one little kernel of corn on the end and a thick  "thread" attached.

The very next ear of corn had a worm. Well, that worm went to Dominique along with three inches of the end of the ear of corn.

The next two were not keepers. Only a tenth of the kernels were present, and those were small and dried up looking. Those went into a bag for Dominique on Monday. She was be in ecstasy.

The last ears were smaller but full and perfectly formed with just a bit of the end that needed to be removed. Even these smaller ears were larger than what I have bought in the store for the last few years.

I bought corn from the Farmer's Market one year. Every ear was so blemished that only half an ear here and there was edible. Worms and rotten places were abundant. I really hated to take them back to a farmer who worked so hard.

It's not that I am lazy, but after that I only bought the ears already to eat, no shuck, just the ears on a tray and under plastic. At least the ears had been inspected before I purchased them. I did try purchasing ears in the store and shucking them myself, but the quality was iffy there, too.

Exbf loves corn. He got two of the ears, broken in half and cooked to take home. Tonight his meal will be chicken, corn, Brussel's sprouts, tomatoes, grapes and cherries. Corn and tomato, both fresh, spell summer to me.

When I came home from the grocery tonight about 11 pm, the ems and an ambulance were at my neighbor's house. They left shortly with someone on an ambulance. Scary.

Today, I went to the neurologist in Birmingham. Now, I am going to have my head examined...long overdue. He said I should not still be in pain like I am.  He said he would get an MRI to see what was going on in there...oh dear.

Your turn
What vegetables spell summer to you?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How do you pit cherries?

Cherries are $1.69/pound! I want to put some up--dehydrate or can.  I tried to pit with a straw. It was too flimsy. I tried another wider diameter straw. I am not strong enough to shove it through. I tried one of the straws that is wide diameter and has a strong wall. The pit goes into the straw and I must stop and dig it out.

On the internet are several ways to pit cherries.
1) Cherry pitter. Do these work for you?
2) Hairpin. Really? I doubt I could hold the tiny pin and do this for very long.  Is this easy?
3)  Chopstick. I hate to put something that can hold germs into fruit I intend to dehydrate. If I were canning, maybe.

Friday night, I was thinking about this and how I pitted cherries in the past. Then, I realized I just pop the cherry in my mouth and pit it with my mouth. hmmm, that won't work now, not for dehydrating.  That ditzy moment was just that, a moment.

What works for you?

I was given Peaches and Cream corn today. I am halfway through shucking it. So, I had better get on with it. I injured my right hand again, so this is slow going. These are the largest, fattest, and most perfect ears of corn. That is what I was thinking as I peeled off the shuck and silks to find a fat worm. Well, Dominique will enjoy it.

Do you ever eat Peaches and Cream corn?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sway Bar?

When I went to the doctor last week, I was within a few feet of my mechanic/garage. However, I thought their entrance was blocked by a massive wreck, so I just turned the other way and came home. With the rain and the apparent wreck in the driveway of my garage, I just came home.

Friday, I finally took my car in for a diagnosis of the problem. When I back up and turn the wheel, it seems the tire is mushy and slips off something, sort of like rolling an ankle off a root or object over which you are walking.

I asked about the wreck. It seems someone ran into the ditch. The car did not wander off the road. It did not brake. No one was even near the car and driver. However, the tire tracks made a 90 degree turn right off into a 40 ft. ditch with no evidence of braking. They surmise the driver was texting. The wreck did happen next to their driveway and emergency vehicles and the police were parked in the driveway. So, it is a good thing I did not try to get there.

This strange feeling in the car wheel happened lots of times, but mostly when I backed and turned the wheel as I got out onto the road or backed from a parking place. Once, I got out of the car in a rather dangerous place and checked to see if  had a flat tire. This was not in traffic, just a place I should be moving from, not parking.

Well, it is something called a sway bar. He told me this and I asked what was wrong with the sway bar. "It's not there. The sway bar is gone and so are all the bolts." In my head I am trying to process this information, wondering how dangerous this could be, what else would it ruin by being gone.

The owner said it would take four or five days to locate one. I have places to drive and things to do. So, I looked this up on Wikipedia. It seems this stabilizes the car, making it less likely to roll over. Now, I am not sure if I should drive to the doctor in Birmingham or not.

Your turn
Have you ever lost a sway bar or had problems with one? Is this very dangerous? Will it ruin something else driving it like this?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Thursday:More Acoustical Confusion & Food Abundance & Free Lunch Friday

As exbf was coming into the house and I had gone back to car to get something, he commented to me as I came back to the side door. "You have an animal crying under the house." We discussed this for longer than necessary as I could hear nothing under the house. The cat that hangs around was meowing continuously and plaintively. I have no idea what that cat wants! Plus, there was a large bird screeching overhead, high in the hickory tree.

I heard nothing he heard. He could not hear the cat meowing or the bird screeching. ??? Finally, he concluded it was another acoustical event.

For lunch we had a hotdog on a bun and blackberries. I cannot believe I actually got to the market in time to get blackberries because I have been told they sell out as soon as the guy puts them out. We got a free worm, too. I refrigerated him. It was a splurge, but I spent $6 on blackberries.

For dinner, we had barbequed chicken on a hotdog bun, cole slaw, sliced tomatoes, Fordhook butter beans, potatoes with real butter. He said I gave him so much he could not finish it. Tomatoes he left on his plate went home in a snack bag.

He took home a massive breast I sliced, at least three meals worth. I gave him to take home strawberries, green grapes, red grapes, potatoes, Fordhook butter beans, four hotdogs, two tomatoes from market. Of course, he paid for some of that. I shop and cook. The potatoes were from the Farmer's Market and delicious!

Today, I saw a sign at a business: Free Hotdogs. Of course, I stopped and the people offered me two. I was asked to write my name and address on a list. I will be sent a $10 coupon to shop there. At home I had lettuce and tomato salad. Ooops, I forgot to send lettuce and bell pepper home with exbf.

There was enough meat for at least one meal a day for a week. The vegetables will probably make meals three days. Fruit will probably be enough for five days.

I have had way too many hotdogs this week! The hotdogs I bought at WM were Oscar Meyer and came in two zipped bags with a band around the two package of four hot dogs. I like that because I don't have to thaw out the whole package to eat hotdogs. Plus, the packages of 8 were price-matched for $1.

Your turn
What have you bought at a Farmer's Market lately? Any bargains elsewhere? Do you have a friend who does not cook and loves to take food home to eat later? Do you ever see random signs for free hotdogs?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Happy Birthday!

My first daughter, second child, was born on July 6, 1970. She is beautiful, smart, talented and forty-seven-years-old today. You know what I was doing on July 6, 1970.

She was delivered by a doctor in the group of doctors that delivered Lisa Marie Presley.

I cannot believe I am the mother of a child this old! Of course, her brother is 49, and younger daughter will be 42 this fall.

Today has been tiring, so this is it for today.

Do you have a child who is so old that you cannot believe you are the mother of a child that age?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Not a Nightmare, Just MY Reality

If I had been asleep, I might not have been so frightened. However, I was fully conscious and watching TV. I heard a small noise. Doesn't it always start that way?

It was a sound like an animal clawing at something with one tiny clawing, picking sound. Then, there was another followed in close succession by several sounds closer together. The hair on my arms stood up. What wanted in my house so badly?

But, maybe it was something clawing at a bucket or box outside, things going out on trash day. I peeked out the picture window. Nothing. I peeked out the window of the door. Nothing. I opened the door and nothing was on the porch. I stepped onto the porch and looked at the picture window and wall below. I slammed the door as I quickly stepped back inside.

The sound was louder and less thin. It was definitely a bear trying to get into something. You do know bears can rip off car doors? This sound was definitely coming from the wall of the house!

What? The sound shifted. It is in the neighbor's yard? What could be happening? I fell onto the bed, really worried and fearing whatever it was!

Fireworks? But, the usual suspects were not shooting off fireworks because I can see those from the picture window near the door. My mind was spinning.

The slight sounds evolved into muffled booms and I realized it was fireworks further off. There is a church near a park that utilizes the park for different events. Maybe the city was shooting fireworks? At any rate, I was annoyed at my 45 seconds of fearful confusion.

It took my heart about an hour to calm down!

After about ten minutes, the noise ended. I never did get in the car to see the event. Oh well!

Lest you think I have a lot of fear and even more of an imagination, let me put that thought to rest.

When we first moved here, we could distinctly hear voices that were blocks away. Voices from the north distinctly came from the south! The high school band could be heard in our back and side yard even though the band is blocks away and on the other side of the house. We could clearly hear anyone on the microphone speaking to band students or football players during practice. Yes, we could hear the band performances and everything said at ball games. We finally just accepted it, voices and all.

Other people who have been in my back yard have questioned where the voice came from. People have thought the neighbors were loud. My friend John, guy who died, knew me for twenty years and still commented on the freaky noises as we were right outside the side door in the yard. You can hear it at other places in the yard, but the sounds of reverberating voices and other sounds are clearer right at the side door and into same side in the front yard, all beside the house, not in the front or behind the house. John would always comment on the voices as he was in the side yard.

THE REAL PROBLEM: The sound seems to come from the opposite direction! That is the part that confuses people new to my side yard.

Neighbors who have been here cannot hear the same sounds in their yards. My children could hear the band in their bedrooms which were upstairs. Of course, we knew the source of the sound when they were upstairs.

John and others figured the sound was bouncing off the house next to me. I suppose. But, the fear last night was palpable to me. Yet, it was no wild animal trying to get into my home. Even now, I can step into the side yard and hear conversations. They are real, just conversations from the high school.

Your turn
Have you ever had a situation where sounds from a far distance are heard clearly from a different direction? Has a sound ever really frightened you to the point you were fearful?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Eating Well

Or, maybe I just ate too much. Before 10 am I ate too much watermelon.

Today, I went to the Farmer's Market and bought potatoes and made potato salad. The rest: bbq chicken on bun with slaw, broccoli, apple/banana/grape/Miracle Whip salad, potato salad, Fordhook butter beans, tomatoes sliced, iced tea.
Tomatoes were bought at market, too.

This week at the grocery store, WM, I price-matched many things I bought.
white grapes--$0.99/lb
quart of strawberries---$0.99
iceberg lettuce--$0.98/head

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts were $1.99/lb. I bought a package for $11 and got 4 chicken breasts. this will work for me today and rest of week and when exbf comes on Friday. These were not price-matched as this was the price everywhere, so I went with the regular price.

Pasture-raised eggs (do I really believe that?) were $3.99 for 18 eggs at Publix. In the paper was a coupon for the eggs, Nellie's, I believe. So, I paid $2.99 for the 18 eggs. That is $2/doz.

Publix had a bogo for little bowls of cut watermelon. Sooo, I got two. I cannot carry or cut a watermelon safely, so I buy it cut. I can say with certainty that I have never had a watermelon as sweet as the one today.

There were no good prices on celery! At WM, celery was $1.78 or something close to that price. But, I had to have it for the potato salad...sigh.

Suddenly Salad was on sale for $0.98 and I had a coupon that made the boxes $0.75 rather than the regular price of $1.98. I love these but limit myself to eating one every six weeks or so. I bought four boxes of the Ranch and Bacon variety, the only one I will eat.

My buns for the bbq and slaw are potato hotdog buns from the freezer. Oh, I bought Oscar Meyer wieners for $1/package. That and slaw is lunch.

There may have been other things, but I started buying last Wednesday when the paper came out. I buy when the ads start and then just before they go off. That way, I can have grapes for several weeks from the last buy. Make sense?

These are my favorite things. Yes, there will be leftovers, a good thing for me.

I am staying home and inside today. So, my holiday is defined by food!

How was your Fourth of July?

Evidence, finally!

For the last two weeks, I have not received an egg from Dominique. It's been a mystery. The only two things I could think of was that she was too hot, or something was getting her one egg each day.

She had not run out of water. She was not panting. Since Dominiques are mostly black, I thought maybe she would get hotter than lighter colored hens. I don't think she is too hot.

Each time I went out to feed her, I sort of looked around for an egg, hoping maybe she just decided to lay eggs elsewhere. Nothing! Today, I found half an egg shell right in front of the table that holds her Rubbermaid house. It was very wet inside as though it had just been broken open.

It is either a snake or a rat. If I had a trail camera, I could get to the bottom of this quickly! There is no material in her nest box where either could hide. However, there is another Rubbermaid box with leaves and a trash can on its side with grass clippings/leaves from the mower bag.

No matter how difficult it is for me, I suppose I must get a rake and poke around in the grass clippings to see what I can find. This won't be pretty or easy. I will have to drag the rake around the house!

So, now I know! Well, I know she is laying an egg and something is getting it. I doubt Dominique is eating her own eggs.

The next thing will be to check her nest box every hour all day long and see if I can get to the egg first or see something getting it or trying to get it.

Your turn
If you have hens and have lost eggs to wild thieves, what else besides a snake or rat could enter a very secure enclosure? Any tips to discouraging egg thieves? I know for a fact no other larger animal can get in. Does snake repellant work?