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Thursday, August 31, 2017

NYC Twenty-Years Ago Today

The day was special since I had just arrived in Brooklyn to visit for two weeks and celebrate my birthday with my daughter and grandson. He was such a cutie and still is.

That night, my daughter and her husband went to bed early while I watched the news. When I heard about the wreck in which Diana was killed, I went to get my daughter. We watched for too many hours and she eventually went back to bed.

We were both devastated. She had two young sons who were now motherless. I was not a fan of her ex, and still am not.

Okay, everything in history is not so memorable to me and I don't remember the time and place. However, this visit was the memory, punctuated by tragedy.

I still don't like Charles! It was a wonderful trip that I saved to be able to afford.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Batchelors Beans and Mushy Peas--Small Economy

Once again, I was the recipient of UK foods. I had heard of mushy peas from other blogs and was curious. I asked. The guy handed me a can of mushy peas and another of beans, both packed in Ireland.

It seems "Batchelors" is the brand name of both. No, I did not misspell the name. The peas which appear to be English peas are Marrowfat peas. I wondered if that is the same as English peas. They look identical. Mushy peas seem to be a favorite in UK from what I read on blogs.

Yes, our English peas and the UK mushy peas are the same genus and species. I definitely won't try those.

On blogs from the UK I have heard of mushy peas and have been curious. Since I cannot stand English peas and am allergic, I will only smell these. It has been a mystery as to why people mash their peas in the UK. However, I have become aware of people who mash their beans, like kidney beans, and put the mashed beans between two slices of bread with mayo for a sandwich. For sixty-years I lived without this information, but have known for a few years now. We never did this and I knew no one who did.  And, it sounds gross. But, I eat and love things other feel are gross.

The "Batchelors beans in Ireland's favorite sauce" sound sort of like our baked beans or pork and beans without the meat. From the ingredients list this is my impression. There are lots of tomato products. I will let you know on this one.

It is free and it's food! Both will be opened on days when exbf visits.

Your turn

Have you eaten either of these Irish products? How did you find them here in US? Are you from UK or visited? Have you ever mashed our American beans and put on a sandwich?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Cheese Toast "recipe"

I was at least in college before I ever heard of a grilled cheese sandwich. At my house we ate cheese toast. I don't remember this as ever being a fast and easy lunch, just a snack for hungry kids and teens.

Recently, I have returned to this childhood favorite. "What is cheese toast?" you ask. Simple!

At home, we took a pan, probably a pie pan for one cheese toast. In it you put a piece of bread, not toast, with sliced cheese on top. Put it under the broiler or on bake and leave it until the cheese melts. Easy?

Yes, and the calories in one piece of bread and margarine/butter are not consumed.  Plus, my mother did not have to butter and tend French toast for multiple kids. Of course, I could make this myself and did by at least middle school.

I still love grilled cheese. But, this reminds me of my mother. And, it does not require "tending." Plus, the pan is never dirty. I use the Reynolds parchment paper backed with foil, the stuff I bought for $.99/roll last year.  I can pull off a portion and then half it to make a squarish piece of product and lay sandwich on that.  Of course, I use it paper side up next to the food. The pan will be clean and I can discard the paper/foil. Well, I did use the same piece twice one day.

A post about cheap cell service was posted just a bit ago. Look that over and see what you think if you wish.

Your turn
Did you ever or do you eat Cheese Toast? If you eat this, did or do you call it "cheese toast" or by another name?

Cheap Cell Service

What do you know about this cell service? I have never heard of Mintsim . What do you know? What have you heard? What does your research find?

Monday, August 28, 2017

School Lunch Shaming

I am appalled that schools are commenting on the proper food for children to bring to school for lunch. I think parents know best what lunch to send for their child. Every time I hear of this happening, the person doing the judging has no professional training about what is nutritious. More importantly, the person has no idea what the child will eat and what the child will not eat.

Most importantly, the person has no idea what the child had for breakfast, or after-school snack, or dinner. I tried to balance nutrition over the whole day, not dividing up the nutrients for each eating occasion.  I did try not to be all carbs one day and fruit the next.

Some days, my children  wanted school lunches. Other days, they insisted on a lunch from home. One little boy traded all his food for sour kraut. My son knew on kraut day, his best friend would give him a cookie for his kraut. Teachers did not take the extra cookie from my child. No one worried one little boy ate nothing but kraut and many servings!  I wonder if schools monitor these trades now.

When I made lunches, you had better believe I was taking orders since no two of the three liked the same thing on a sandwich I was making.  Okay, maybe they did once in a while. I had rather they take a pbj sandwich than a balanced, nutritious lunch from the cafeteria that they would not eat.

Since my youngest was a very good little girl in the lunchroom, certainly no one was watching out for her when she only had a bagful of cookies for lunch! After school in the car, she asked me very sadly why she "only had cookies for lunch". Well, I sent her a turkey sandwich and a piece of pumpkin pie for snack. I think she had grapes, too, that day--the day after Thanksgiving vacation. The teacher did not notice her eating cookies. Obviously, back then there was no monitoring for bad lunches.

She showed me the cookies in the car. I turned around and went right back to school and found her post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich that I thought might be too warm for too long for her to eat. The dog got that sandwich.  I was upset for my child's lack of a proper lunch and really sad because she was so sad not to have a good lunch. She knew better!

I have sent sausage balls for part of the lunch. After all, this is milk and a sausage biscuit in a different form, more of a party form, but the ingredients are the same. My children loved to take a hamburger I had grilled the night before when we had them for dinner. I wonder if it would be shamed now.

When my mother sent us a pineapple sandwich, we also had a boiled egg. I wonder if my lunches as a child would have been okay with the present-day lunch monitors. ???

This article is about a high school girl who was told in front of the class and by an aide with no training that she had too much food. I thought it was a rather good lunch. The fat content and calorie  count was not high.  This school examines all lunches from home. I think that is rather invasive!  I would object!

 I rather like the puzzle sandwich.

Your turn
Do you know of schools that check all lunches and monitor, sending home notes or shaming children in front of the class? Did you ever send a lunch long ago that might not pass muster today? Did your mother ever send a lunch for you that might not be okay today?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rocks in Nashville

While I was in Nashville waiting for totality, I found rocks for painting like Lorraine does. I walked up to McD's where we used the bathroom and was waiting for exbf to slowly walk there. There were landscaping rocks by my feet. I really wanted to take a couple to paint. However, I resisted the urge, knowing it would be stealing.

Somehow, I lost the rock I found on a shelf at WM.  I think J threw it out or J vacuumed it up. Bummer!

As I typed the title to this post, I realized I need a rock to memorialize Totality for me. Of course, the memory is better than a rock! Lorraine, an idea--Totality Rocks because Totality rocks.

 In a post somewhere there were rocks for plant markers. The plant names were in very plain print and had little dots around the outside of the rock. It seems the universe is showing me rocks I can

I am getting up my nerve. Now, I need to get rocks without stealing them.

Your turn
Has anyone painted rocks yet? Am I behind? If you are painting rocks, are they on your blog? Okay, I know Lorraine is painting rocks.

A Questionnaire

Anne at New Happenings at The Table posted this little questionnaire for us post with our own answers. Just copy and paste the whole section, cut my answers, and type your own answers.

 What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Glass of a2milk
2. Where was your profile pic taken? In my living room.
3. Worst pain you've ever experienced?  a fall on my right knee that tore the meniscus
4. Favorite place you've traveled? Mexico
5. How late did you stay up last night? 10 pm, unlike my usual 4 or 5 am.
6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be? I would love to move to my favorite small college town.
8. Which of your Blogger friends lives closest to you? Anne who posted this on her site.
10. When was the last time you cried? Monday when I truly thought I was going to die!
11. Who took your profile photo? A friend/acquaintance. I don't remember his name.
12. Who was the last person you took a picture with? Second and third place winners when I won the Senior Spelling Bee.
13. What's your favorite season? Summer
14. If you could have any career, what would it be? Doing research for a PhD to lead to a career. I guess I could be a career student.
15. Do you think relationships are ever worth it? Absolutely
16. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be?  my mother
17. Are you a good influence? Always unless it involves overindulging in chocolate.
18. Does pineapple belong on pizza? No
19. You have the remote, what channel? History Channel or CNN
20. Whom do you think will play along? no idea!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Coconut Oil-- Healthy? + Free Dinner

I have never thought coconut oil was good for a person to consume for health benefits. I have heard things.

I do have a container in the cabinet. But, since I read several more articles, I will just use it for my skin.

I found one article to share with you. And, this article. I know you might disagree, but this is how I decided not to use coconut oil for consumption.

Thursday night, I went to the free dinner. We had bbq sandwiches, baked beans, chips, green beans, unsweetened tea, ice cream and cookies. I had a second sandwich. I should have left the bread and eaten just the meat. I also should have left off the ice cream and cookies. Okay, I only ate one of my two cookies and left all the beans and half the chips. The food was great.

Once again, I met interesting people. The woman was a former teacher and now a youth minister, while her husband is a school principal. She was funny and so unpretentious. We laughed the whole time. Her grade school child was with her and her husband soon joined her. I could spend these occasions in conversation and almost not miss the food.

Your turn
Do you believe coconut oil is healthy for you? Do you consume it? Or, do you limit your use to your skin care regimen? Any free dinners coming your way?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

UK Products . . . Help Me Out?

Yesterday, J and I came upon a guy and his family unloading lots of food products into a storage unit. We stopped walking and marveled at all the food being unloaded and not at a store. As it turns out, he is a distributor for foods from the UK. J's storage unit is very close to his. My unit is finally empty.

When I asked where we could those products from UK, he told us and then turned around and handed me four products. Then, he turned around and gave four products to J. We left happy as clams.

The chocolate was a hit. The licorice was nothing like I have ever seen and will be saved for company or given away. Right now, the whole package has been stuffed in a pint jar and sealed tight. Yes, it is Exbf's "pee pot" that he never

What we received:

McVities's Penguin
This is an "8-pack of milk chocolate covered biscuit bars filled with chocolate cream." Delicious!

Ribena's Blackcurrant
This tall plastic bottle seems to be at least 20 ounces. I cannot find the British measurement. Maybe if I could see better....  I read on Wikipedia that during WWII  blackcurrants were cultivated for the vitamin C content so children could benefit since oranges were not available in England.

How do you use this? Drink straight? Dilute? It has something about a diluted portion and vitamins in that portion. Is this ever used for flavoring?

I refrigerated the blackcurrant juice and it was still room temperature this morning. I thought the refrigerator had quit working. But, the milk was very cold! Thank goodness. It is the plastic bottle that makes it stay so warmish.

Clues as to how the British use this?

Taveners Liquorice Allsorts
This will go into a candy dish or small fruit jars, 4 oz., size to give away. When I could barely read, I always wanted to stop into liquor stores because I thought it was a licorice store. Mama never knew why I wanted to go in for a long time. Finally, when I begged for licorice from the liquor store, she explained the difference to me. For a while I thought she lied to me. She assured me she was right.

Chocolate bar
Then, there was some sort of chocolate bar, Bear, or something. It had a center with crunchy cookie/biscuit and caramel around that with crunchy rice, I think, and all covered in chocolate.

I cannot get a picture on here, but later, I will.

Your turn
Are you from the UK? Tell me what you know about the blackcurrant, please. Have you consumed any of these products? If so, what is your opinion of them?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Total Eclipse--Part 2

I looked at my left arm for some reason. I was shocked that it was 3 times its normal size from just above the elbow down almost to wrist. Upper arm and wrist were swollen, but not so much. I showed him and he was amazed, too. I kept raising my hand up and looking at my arm. There was no unpleasant sensation, just swelling with great red splotches from above elbow almost to wrist.

Finally, I called my doctor's office and there was no doctor there, just nurse practitioner and the one I do not like. So, she checked the Decatur office and there was a doctor. I decided to head there about another ten miles or so.

Then, I felt my throat swelling shut! I jerked my cell phone from my pocket since it would take him too long to fish his out. "Call 911. My throat is swelling shut!" He did and I crossed the Tennessee River north of Decatur. The woman was asking what I was doing. "Driving!" She was shocked I was driving and having an emergency breathing.

I could hear her telling him to tell me to pull over. Well, I was approaching the other bridge over the Tennessee River and was not pulling over on the high bridge. I am afraid of heights and being hit on the side of the road. I was thinking the truck might knock us in the river, and I am not a strong swimmer, especially without my nose clips! Actually, I am a non-swimmer without my nose clips.

She demanded I stop NOW! When I got off the bridge, I did. She was telling him things and he held my hand tight and told me to keep my neck straight, breathe slowly in nose and out through mouth. Well, that helped nothing. It just made me cry more.

Then, I started crying and crying because I did not want to die. I remember begging them to come so I would not die.  I fear my throat closing more than cancer, a heart attack, stroke, or having a leg cut off.  He had grabbed my shoulder while I was driving and grabbed my hand while I cried and he talked on the phone.

I remember begging them to come to the interstate. He was telling the mile markers we passed. I think that tipped her off to the fact we were moving and I was driving. I remember her asking him who was driving.

Even with tears running, I kept watch in the rear view mirror and through the windshield trying to figure out where, when were they coming. I remember begging her to tell them to hurry. She could hear me. I think have must have put the phone on speaker phone because I could hear every word she said and she could hear me.

Finally, after many long minutes I saw lights behind us. The ambulance barely pulled off the interstate. I had pulled over into the grass so that he could safely get into the car. Right behind the ambulance came a huge firetruck and completely shut down the outer lane near us.  That made me more afraid something would hit the firetruck.

They immediately took out the stretcher and brought it to the car. My blood pressure was about twice what it usually is. It was 105/60 last week. Plenty O absorption. Pulse normal. My arm was a little less swollen. I was shaking all over. The guy asked if I had ever had a panic attack. NO! After about 15 minutes, they asked if I wanted to go to the hospital in ambulance. I asked if I should. They did not tell me one way or another.  So, I told them I was already on the way to a doctor because of swollen L arm. They looked over that and were commenting.

One of the guys told me to get out of driver seat and let him T drive. I just could not move. It was so weird. The guy helped me turn in the seat. Then, he told me to stand up. It was like I had no muscles that followed my desire. They fussed and told me to stand up. I told them I could not. When they asked why, I told them my muscles just did not do what I wanted. So, they got my arms and stood me up and steadied me. They held onto me as I walked and asked if I were dizzy. No, not dizzy, just shaky, weak in the knees.

T has to hold onto the vehicle like a baby when he walks around it. I felt sorry for him. He was not using his canes. The fire truck had to leave because there was a wreck right on the top of the bridge behind us.  I insisted they guys keep T safe from cars before I continued around the vehicle. I think they actually helped him instead of allowing him to keep creeping around the Rogue, holding onto it.

The guy got me around the car to the open door. He asked me how old I am. "71" He said, "I don't know what you are doing but you are doing it right." I asked why. "Because you do not look your age. I would have guessed 55 tops." I think I smiled, at least, I tried and thanked him.  I assured him I did nothing at all.

I thought he had left. I turned toward the car and stepped on my own foot and tumbled backwards toward the ditch, the weedy ditch. Fortunately, he was still with me and caught me as I fell full into him. He made a good catch--one hand grabbed my breast. He quickly moved his hand and we did not speak of it. He could have grabbed both of them to keep me out of the ditch!  Thankfully, he was strong and sturdy!

You do know there are chiggers and ticks in the grassy sides of the interstate. Just ask any guy who has gone tromping off to use a tree for relief. Besides, it would have taken all three of them to get me up that bank. I would have been thoroughly defeated.

He kept his hand on my back to keep me upright and I tried not to step on my own foot. That part was embarrassing, more embarrassing that being grabbed by the breast.

We went straight to the doctor's office after that. The doctor sort of smiled and said she had stumbled stepping on her own foot. She checked the vitals the nurse gave her and I gave her the vitals the EMT guy gave me. She seemed pleased with the drop in numbers. I described the trembling feeling in my upper chest, collar bone, and throat. They call it fluttering. I call it trembling. Exhaustion causes this to happen, but it goes away. We will see. The doctor said my throat looked a little swollen.  Of course, she had the records from the other branch of that office. That really helps since the doctor can see history without me having to remember and repeat.

He stayed in car while I went in since I was not in such distress anymore. He did offer to come in.

He called 911 at 3:32 and I got to the doctor's office about 4:30. We got home about 6 pm and I finally got all put into my car, closer than the side door. J brought it into the house the next day. He called me an hour later. I thought he was home. He said he had yet to leave the county. The Eclipse traffic plus construction had him sitting still.

He was eating pb sandwich, crackers, grapes, etc. I had given him a bag of cherries, too. So, he ate more of the stuff I prepared in case we were out later. I made sure I left him with water. He had stopped to get a fountain Coke. Preps worked. He called me at 10 pm, just getting home. The drive from my house takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. It took him four hours!

Since I had given him both the salads, so he had one of those when he got home with something else. Thankfully, he didn't have to be at work until 2 pm on Tuesday.

It was a good day, a wonderful day with a scary ending for me.

I called 911 about 11 pm  and told her the location of my cell phone, the address and type car. She said she would be on duty all night and make sure someone got to me if I was in trouble. I had described the ordeal.

On Tuesday morning, I had a new EPI pen that is stuffed into my purse.

It was a memorable trip. This is not edited. And, I added things to list of things we took.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Eclipse!--Part One

Let's start on Sunday. I awoke at 11:30 am. I had a sleepless night and finally slept after dawn. This had been going on for a few days.

7:30am, I finally got up, washed my hair, scrambled three eggs, and had it with a glass of milk. On Monday morning exbf arrived at about 9:10. The night before I texted a friend close by and asked him if he would help me for ten minutes, but he did not answer. The next morning, he said he could not after I called and texted.

There was pack of 24 bottles with maybe 6 bottle used from it. I had carried a gallon of water out the night before so I would make less trips in the morning if I had to do this alone. My hair was dry and so was I. After walking, carrying, and packing car, I was soaked to the bone and my bangs were dripping with sweat into my eyes.

We carried lots of stuff because I had seen fields and shopping centers full of people, waiting for the eclipse. I did not know what to expect. But, one newsperson said to travel like it was a catastrophe.

Nashville was expecting from 800,000 to 1, 500, 000 extra people. I believed it when we drove.

I took:
two sheets and two pillows
water bottles
gal of water
two ham sandwiches
two peanut butter sandwiches
jar of pb
3/4 loaf of horrid bread!
two little packs of jelly (he likes his pb plain)
two salads in plastic bowls
one whole-wheat bagel for him
package of expensive crackers I got for $1
Cheese sticks I paid half price for
baggie of plastic forks and spoons
white grapes that we shared ($.78/lb!)
two pair of pants for me
bag of soap and other essentials
4 washcloths and Dove soap
Sturdy shoes for me/well, not sandals
two phones and camera charged the night before
a bucket for me to pee
4x roll of tp
package of paper towels
two lawn chairs
Things I left off the list
wet wipes
hanging flashlight
hand flashlight, little for pocket
Hefty cups
Cutter...bug spray
tooth paste
two toothbrushes
six tiny boxes of raisins
2 huge square dish towels

We both have trouble walking, and I did not want to have to walk to a bathroom in a crowd or a long way. So, I had a bucket. I pulled out a wide-mouth pint jar with lid and ring on and told him, "Here is your pee pot." He snorted.

Later I asked him why he laughed. He said he snorted because it was much better than the coffee cups he had used in the vehicle. We never used our alternate bathrooms.

I was afraid of a wreck or something that caused us to be out very late or not even get home that might, hence the sheets and pillows. He can sleep sitting up. I have to get flat because of my back. So, on Sunday I asked him if his back seat would lie down. He did not know. I told him to look in his car manual and see.

He called me when he got here, so I just went out with a load of stuff. I asked him to back in so the water could be lifted from my car trunk to his Rogue. Plus, I asked him to pull the car to the other side of the driveway so I would not be walking on wet grass and a slight hill. And, to please lower passenger window so I could put two heavy things through the window.

I got out there and he had given me a wide berth on the driver side. I had to walk on a slope and in wet grass. Plus, he was not opening the window. So, I started off yelling at him! I could not get the bucket on the floor because he had put down the seats! I yelled about that. He said I asked him if they would lie down. Yes, I did say in case I needed to lie down.

My whole deal was to get things in the car super fast and get away from the mosquitoes. Then, we could pull in a parking lot and arrange things. When I got to the car with the last load, he had all the doors open and was fiddling with the seats. I was furious, so we dumped it all in the back and got away from mosquitoes. When I transferred the water bottles to the back of his car, I told him to move his arm because I was throwing two bottles of water. I landed them perfectly between the seats. We were both

We stopped in a sunny parking lot about two blocks away. He got out and was putting up the seat behind me. I cannot get in and pee unless I have the width of both seats. Otherwise, my feet will hang out the door! The back seat floor handless the width of the icing bucket and would not have accommodated a five-gallon bucket.

After my snarling out of tiredness and his doing things wrong and his saying I told him things that I did not, we got on the way. He picked out the eclipse shirt and then refused to wear it. "I will put it on later." I was frosted and told him about my disappointment.

Then, the conflict was over before we left that parking lot! So, no more arguing the rest of the trip.

The plan was for me to drive up since time tires me. He was going to drive back since driving tires him. I got a Coke for the caffeine to keep me alert after no sleep. I only drank half of it, a first for me.

On the way north to Nashville on I-65, the traffic was horrendous. The lanes coming south were lightly traveled. Of course, it is summer and people travel, but there were plates from Al, FL, TX, Mobile, lots from MS. We called out the plates to each other. That was fun.

Then, when in Tennessee traffic slowed to 5/mph for about fifteen minutes. Then, we went 30/mph for about 30 minutes. It finally sorted itself out and we were back to 70mph.

We decided to get off at an exit when he said we were in totality. We went to a McD that had few cars. We asked inside if this was in Totality. One family said yes, they had driven there from Lawrence Co to see the eclipse in totality. I think they had 92% where they lived. Mama, Daddy, grandmother, and three kids from kindergarten to second second grade were all so happy, laughing and smiling.  Outside, a guy and his little boy were eating on the curb. I asked about Totality and he confirmed it was, that was why they were here So, it was a sure bet. .

Behind McD was another restaurant that had no one in the parking lot, a Mexican restaurant that was closed down. We had the whole parking lot to ourselves. We parked in the shade to eat and I kept stupidly asking where was the sun! Finally, he told me to look straight up. The eclipse had started. So, we pulled across the parking lot and I took out the two lawn chairs. I handed him his eclipse t-shirt, and he put it on.

We sat and watched though totality and about halfway to the end. We both decided to go and did. I was still feeling okay, so I said I would drive. He scares me.

As I was putting the chairs in the tailgate, a line of cars were streaming out of somewhere behind the Mexican restaurant and our spot. I showed him and we were just amazed.  My left arm was on the wooden arms of the lawn chair, and something was peeling off. I had a moment of unease and the peeling was sticking my arm. But, I never looked at my arm or dusted off the arm of the chair.

About 50 miles from home, I looked at my left arm and was horrified, showing him. My arm was about 3 times the size it should have been.

Okay, I am tired and this is long. Tomorrow, I will tell you about the ambulance for me, fire truck, doctor visit--all before we drove more than ten miles more.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

So Tired and Excited

Friday, I went to the doctor because I was having chest pains on left side and back pains on the same side, right between shoulder blade and spine. I had to see a nurse practitioner, and things did not go well.

She had to make many xrays of lungs and do ekg. Then, she told me I had to go to ER and had me sign paper if I did not. THEN, they made a mistake and had me write down why I was not going. I wrote on the three lines they gave me, all down the margins and across the top.

She could only treat me for two things and refused to hear that it was muscle strain and about the fact I had earaches, sinus congestion and very sore throat. I left fit to be tied, not visibly angry,  just left saying I would be back when I could see a doctor.

Today the doctor agreed that he thought I did not have heart trouble. He gave me an antibiotic, a shot for something to do with the muscle, and a muscle relaxer prescription.

So, there!

Hopefully, I can get some relief before I have to drive all the way to Nashville! Exbf is driving back. I don't EVER drive this far, but he cannot do all the driving. I will be in better shape in the beginning of the trip. He will last for the whole trip without exhaustion and can drive.

Someone is staying here since I have told the whole world I am leaving

Now, I need to make two ham sandwiches, put together two salads with chicken, fresh tomatoes, and Romaine and grated cheese. slice two apples--green for him and red for me.  I hope I can do that with muscle relaxer in me. The peanut butter and knives are I have the good crackers I bought and the cheese sticks. Oh, I have two bananas for me. I have a case of water and a gallon jug. The jug is bought drinking water that has been here for two years, but could go in his radiator if it is needed.

Since I cannot find my cooler, I will take two lunch boxes.

Thought--I think I will make a pb and maple syrup sandwich for the return trip.

The plan is to feed Dominique very early and refill water so she will not suffer if for some reason we do not return by the middle of the afternoon.

Snag! He wants to NOT drive all the way to Nashville, but to get off on a lesser road and try to hit totality in the boonies. NO WAY! If it is gridlock on the interstate, so be it. I do not want to be on lesser roads and take a chance on being in a place where detours are unknown, shoulders are iffy, and help is less available if we need it.

The lesser road will add miles to totality, not an idea I like. I never like his shortcuts!

Okay, I am off to take a muscle relaxers I have never used and see if I can function!

Do shortcuts bother you, especially when time is short and shortcut is unknown?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Grocery Shopping: Bad News, Shopping: Good News

As of September 11, 2017 no Walmart will price-match/ad-match. I always say "price-match," but the correct term is "ad-match." This makes me very SAD. Until then, I will take advantage of it as much as I can, maybe some stocking-up items will be purchased in more abundance.  We have Labor Day ads in the window of opportunity.

Thanks for the birthday present, Walmart! NOT

As for the good news, I found an app that a couple were using today at WM. It is called Shopkick.  I made $0.75 today and could barely figure out how to use it. I may get J to go with me. She is capable of using her phone and mine to get both phones racking up money. There are several cards you can get the points on. Or, as the couple I saw did, you can get money off your grocery bill. They received $2 off their shopping trip today just by scanning while at the store.

There is an option to just scan things o and an option to buy the item. Of course, you get more credit for buying than scanning. Since I had already purchased one of the items during the shopping trip, I was able to scan the upc on the receipt and get a large number of points. I was checking out and ready to leave when I discovered this app, so things were bagged when I figured this out.

The mental effort to figure out how to do this and recover the app as I went to find things to scan in the store will be a good brain exercise. With the effort I am having to put forth, my brain will never go

Your turn
Have you ever used this app--shopkick? What are the best apps you have found that you can recommend?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Healthy and Cheap and Fast Food Wednesday

In the grocery store deli section are little salads that I never buy. However, the price became more than reasonable and I purchased 2/$1. The next day was the sell-buy date. Both salads looked fresh still and when I ate them had crispy greens.

On Wednesday, I had both salads, one for lunch and one for dinner. Wow, was that an easy meal to prepare! These were not free lunches, just almost free.

One part I did not eat was the cut up boiled egg. Those eggs are probably the fake boiled eggs that are a tube of egg.  Besides, the white felt tough. Oh, I did not eat the soy nuts, either. I avoid soy.

Saturday, I will buy the rest of the salad fixings I need. At the Farmer's Market, I bought really delicious tomatoes from a farmer.

White grapes are $.78/lb. at the store,  so I will get those and take part of them in the car for the Eclipse Trip.

Have you ever bought these pre-made salads with the toppings separate and ready to assemble?  Even full price they are as cheap as a hamburger and much better for a person.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our House When Elvis Died

There was drama, much drama.

I took my daughter, almost two-years-old, to the local pool to pick up my two older children, age 7- and 9-years-old. The drive is three-minutes at the most, about ten blocks away. I heard the news moments before I arrived. It was almost 5 pm.

My friend was arriving with her daughter, same age, to pick up her three children the age of my older two. As I got out of the car with my little girl in my arms, so did my friend. I called out to her about two cars away that Elvis had died. She did not believe it could be true. She questioned me as to whether it was true, not because she thought I would lie but because she did not want to believe it could be true. We both had tears in our eyes.

When I told my children, my daughter started crying and so did I.  My son had a tear or two, maybe more. But, my daughter and I were still sobbing when husband came home. It was a sad day at our house that night.

August 16, 1977 is one of those days I remember according to the horrific event, where I was and what I was doing. I am from Memphis and the children were familiar with his home, his music.

Your turn
Do you remember where you were when you heard Elvis had died? Do you have memories of other events and where you were when you heard?

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"?