Monday, July 31, 2006

Frugal is not a Fault!

Ok, so here it is payday. I love payday. For about twenty minutes I get to feel what its like to have money. But hey, like I tell Mike... If our only problem in life is money, we got it GOOD! Don't get me wrong, we aren't rationing the TP. When Mike and I first got together, we can joke about it now- not then, we went to Sam's and bought a 10lb bag of potato flakes and a case of Ramen noodles because that was all we could afford. I think we celebrated our third anniversary before those potatoes were gone and still can't eat instant potatoes without choking. Now things aren't THAT tight. Sometimes there is even some left over! Sometimes.
Anyway, I digress. I was thinking that maybe I should share some of my frugal secrets.
The first would be... always break a dollar. Everytime I buy something I never search for change. Not just because I don't have a change purse and it is burred at the bottom of my purse but because it forces me to save. Every week (or when my purse weighs more than my son) I empty all the change and stick it in an old coffee can that we use as a doorstop. Then every couple of months I walk the change down to our bank and deposit it in the 'Rainy Day' account. Believe it or not, the deposits usually average $50. More when I steal the change Mike leaves on the desk and dresser!
The second would be... a checkbook size plastic divider. I just picked up a new one for a buck at Target. Its blue and now matches my purse- I'm a trendsetter! I labeled each pocket:
CARDS- for debit, credit, insurance, license, etc.
FUN- this is our allotted entertainment money, eating out, movies, etc.
SPEND- this is the money that I get to spend on whatever I want, a new shirt or a book, even a latte now and then.
HOUSE- this money is used for upkeep and various (read: many) repairs to the house
JEEP- this is used for stashing away a little bit of money at a time for oil changes, washes and I hate to think repairs
RECEIPTS- this collects all the receipts acquired for the pay period in case I need to return something.
I used to have a larger one with pockets for grocery, Sam's and PetCo money but I found that it was easier to keep the money in the checking account and use my debit card. Now when the pocket is empty- that's it! It really helps me to realize that maybe I don't need the tall non-fat latte with cinnamon or the really cool 'Bush is a poopyhead' T-shirt.
The next would be EBay. Oh no, not for buying, although you can find some 'Smokin' Deals' but for selling! You would not believe how easy it is. I don't buy things to sell. I only sell the accumulated stuff that we no longer use. Such as, Gryffin's old clothes and toys, bedding sets, books, clothes. Heck, a couple weeks ago I made almost as much selling a bed-in-a-bag as it cost me. AND that was after I used it for a few years!
One more and you will be spared... skip the clip! Coupon clipping is a waste. Usually coupons are only for brand-name, pre-made stuff that saves 15 minutes in the kitchen and tastes like the box it came in. And when you think about it, it probably took you longer than that to dig through the paper, find the coupon, cut it out, file it away and HOPEFULLY remember to use it! Stick with store brands and stick to a shopping list made from a weekly menu. This way only the things that are needed for the week are on the list. I am able to feed a family of 2 and a half for about $60 a week! That is less than $3 a meal, not including the monthly Sam's run but still pretty darn cheap.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga-choo- choo!

The trial train run was deemed tollerable. After a little confusion getting a ticket in the morning and a smelly seatmate, Mike took a nice walk the four blocks to work rather than wait for the shuttle. The ride home was much better, he sat with our friend Mandy who wants an arranged marriage between her infant daughter, Olivia and Gryffin. Can't blame her, Gryffin's a righteous catch already. Mike said that he will buy a pass Monday and ride for at least the last (scheduled) month of construction chaos.

On to our weekend plans! Lets see, no major home related project, no appointments or errands, no commitments to friends or family, I think we actually get to see what a weekend is supposed to be like! Mike did say that there were two things he wanted to accomplish: NOT going to a hardware store and a nap. I think I can handle that.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I didn't know the sun came up this early?!

Another day has dawned- earlier than I care for. Mike is taking the train to work this morning which will be and adventure. Not for him, for those poor innocent people that have to be around him before he has had his first thermos of coffee! Not everyone is as accustomed to being grunted at as me. Between bridge construction and the storm bringing down a building on top of one of the bridges its taken him from 1 to over 2 hours to get to work in the morning. The train and the shuttle take about an hour. I'm kind of hoping he finds it tollerable as he can get a one month pass for less than it costs to fill up his tank for the week. That and I don't have to worry about him getting hit by some dingbat trying to put on her makeup, talk on the phone and drive all at the same time. But like most people he likes his truck and the independence of it. That, and he likes to listen to Howard Stern on his Sirius all the time. Don't ask me why, I think Howard is a turd. He does however have a new MP3 player so at least he will have HIS music. Again, not what I would listen to probably but I've developed an addiction to 60's and 70's motown lately. Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding rock!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Ok, so the after is before the before but you get the idea. My little surfer has gone punk! Don't worry, the faux-hawk is just for special occasions. Like when my muther comes over because it will tick her off to no end! Hee hee hee, I'm mean. He was so well behaved, he made us very proud- as usual. Gryffin, you are the coolest kid I've ever known and I love you!

As promised, sorry for the glare.
It measures about 12"x16" and is a leaded panel made of green and clear irridescent glass.
I told myself I was not going to give/sell this one, so now I better find a place to hang it.

Thin the heard, kill the stupid!

Well, I was going to post a picture of my latest stained glass creation but the system is being a Poop! I will get is posted once I receive cooperation though.
Oh and I found the winner of the "Thin The Herd" Blue Ribbon last night! On my way to glass class a car was next to me, the driver smoking a cigarette with one hand, talking on the phone with the other and a little child in the back- NOT in a carseat. Don't ask me what he was steering with, I don't want to know. It is people like this that make me want to become violent. People with such a blatant disregard for the safety of a child should be poked with hot needles! These are the kind of people that wonder why their broken down trailer burned to the ground when they were only using their charcoal grill in the living room! Grrr. I probably don't even need to mention this gentleman (loose interpretation) had a Mullett!
Thats it Honey, I'm GOING to put that bumper sticker on the Jeep that says 'Hang up and drive!' I will however refrain from putting the one that says 'Country music causes brain damage', but only because I may offend some family members.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sleeping Beauty can bite me...

Ok, so we finally broke down and bought a new mattress. Our old one is just a few years old and still in great shape but the back problems I have developed since getting pregnant have made it impossible for me to sleep on it.
We purchased a Tempur-Pedic. We got a great deal but still had sticker shock. The saleman threw in a couple free pillows, not becasue he was generous and kind but because we weren't going to buy the bed unless he did. Mike didn't think he would like the pillows because they are foam too and weigh a ton. They squish into just the shape you need and stay in that shape until you move. He did like it though and I love mine. The past couple days I haven't woke with any neck pain. I hope the pillows are an indication of how well the mattress is going to work for us. I REALLY want this mattress to work out.
So many people take sleeping for granted, at least people who don't have problems sleeping. Mike can (and has) slept through tornado sirens, earthquakes, smoke detectors, alarm clocks, etc. Me? I wake up when the AC kicks on, the AC -next door! I get a good nights sleep maybe once a month.
According to some sleep studies the Tempur-Pedic even helps with snorring. Not for me but Mike. As everyone knows women don't snore. Mike on the other hand... Honey- you snore like a lumberjack with a sinus infection! The walls rattle and the bed shakes with residual tremors. Ok, maybe that is an exageration. But I know his snorring has already diminished due to the amount of weight he has lost.
Speaking of... I was accused of no longer cooking for him by one of his coworkers yesterday because of his weight loss. Not hardly! I've always cooked healthy, low-fat with veggies and such. Mike has been on the 'My Kid Started Walking Diet'. So far its worked out pretty well for both of us! Monkey, I'm proud of you and you look GREAT!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Proud to be in love with a Monkey...

My husband is the greatest! He built this entertainment center so I wouldn't have to keep prying Gryffin's fingers (and toys) out of the VCR and CD changer. I think it is absolutely beautiful. The center shelves are adjustable so if we ever get that home theatre system we have been wanting we will be able to get maximum storage out of it. There are cubbies on the sides under the TV for remotes and PS2 controllers. The TV sits high enough that Gryffin can't reach it, at least not now. It even matches an end table he built a few months ago! It gives us several more square footage in the living room because it tucks so tightly into the corner. I am so proud of Monkey, he did an excellent job. He better not get too good because I can think of a couple other things that would be nice for him to build! Hee hee hee.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another pretty picture...

Appology accepted.

Well, I guess The Higher Power was feeling a little sorry for the St Louis metro-area because its mid July and we have the house opened up! The sun is shining, there is a gentle breeze and the high today is only to be in the 80's. This is the weather I love!

On a different note, Mike and I both went for our dental checkups yesterday. No cavities for either of us. YEAH! I suffer from TMJ and HATE going to the dentist. Dr Feder is the first one I haven't wanted to take a baseball bat to in many years. He tested that feeling yesterday when I told him that my TMJ was bothering me more and more. His response, 'Thats what happens when you get older." Like I needed another reminder of that! He did offer to remove the strange growth on my tongue though, aka a tongue piercing. Hey, its my last reminder that I was once young and wild. Now I'm old and domesticated.

Well, I wish all of my loyal readers a great weekend. I wish all of you un-loyal readers a great weekend too.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What did StLouis do to tick God off?

Man oh man! I don't know what the St Louis area did to cause the skies to open and shower us with the wrath of God but lets not do it again. This is the second major storm in as many days and it sucks! We have no damage yet, I haven't check the basement for leaks though. There are small limbs down all over the neighborhood but nothing big.
Hey, today would be a good day to go to the dentist and shopping, huh? Lets just hope this crap is over before my appointment this afternoon.

Yeah, I can't count- Gryffin is 15 months old!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

20 months old...

Gryffin is 20 months old today! It sure doesn't seem that long. He started talking and refuses to stop. Although, the word Mama is still not in his vacabulary. He can point to all the parts of his face, his toes, knees and hands. He can say dog and ball. And he can shake his finger at you spitefully when he is caught doing something that he knows he shouldn't. Yup, the kids mine. He is rebelious and sneaky.

Yesterday I caught him using CD's as frisbees. Sorry Mike, I owe you 5 CD's. Now our CD changer is taped shut, along with the VCR. I will very appreciative when our entertainment center (with doors!) is finished. Gryffin will be ticked though.

20 months old...

Gryffin is 20 months old today! It sure doesn't seem that long. He started talking and refuses to stop. Although, the word Mama is still not in his vacabulary. He can point to all the parts of his face, his toes, knees and hands. He can say dog and ball. And he can shake his finger at you spitefully when he is caught doing something that he knows he shouldn't. Yup, the kids mine. He is rebelious and sneaky.

Yesterday I caught him using CD's as frisbees. Sorry Mike, I owe you 5 CD's. Now our CD changer is taped shut, along with the VCR. I will very appreciative when our entertainment center (with doors!) is finished. Gryffin will be ticked though.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Epiphany Moment

I read something in 'Daily Word' today that really hit home for me. 'There is always time enough for whatever I put first'. Holy crap, there is?!
I'm a lister. I make lists for EVERYTHING, mostly 'cause I'm flighty. I never put more than 3 or 4 things on my list because I know I won't get more than that done and I always prioritize so the important item is listed first. But I never really put the MOST important thing on the list... getting myself centered and ready to face the day.
Usually I pray at night, thanking God for the wonderful day he gave me, bringing my husband home safely and watching over those I love. But I never start my day this way. Wow- are my priorities mixed up! That is going to change- TODAY.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thought for the day...

The less you have the less you have to clean.
I grew up in a house that was FULL. Every horizontal surface was covered with something: nik-naks, dirty dishes, bottles of medicine, mail, magazines, cookbooks (don't know why my muther's specialty is sloppy joes) and various other forms of crap. Even the floors didn't escape, dirty laundry was just another kind of carpet.
One of my chores growing up was dusting. I hated it because it took forever to pick up the junk dust it, dust under it, dust around it and put it back. The only place I didn't dust was my muther's room. Why? Well, she is allergic to dust and her theory was that when you dust you kick it up into the air which made her miserable but if it just lays there undisturbed it wouldn't bother her. Huh? She is allergic to mold and mildew too and applies this same theory to give you any idea as to what her kitchen and bathroom look like.
Even until recently I still had some nik-nakky things out (candles, picture frames, etc). Well, my MIL came over last night and remarked how bare our mantle has gotten. We are down to one 3-wick candle. I commented how this was a result of Gryffin being able to scale the recliner and pull things off of it. Yeah, it does look a little sparse, but the best thing is that its cut my dusting time dramatically. I think the next dust catchers to go are my 'vintage' candy jars from above the kitchen cabinets. Then my cookbooks and a couple lamps that aren't even plugged in. Soon I plan on the only thing I have to pick up before I dust will be what ever Mike keeps on top of the computer desk and an alarm clock.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I took this picture at the zoo recently and thought it was so pretty that I'm available for weddings and special occasions. My fees are cheap!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What is that annoying buzz?

Yet another visit from my muther last night. Oh, she didn't visit with me. She didn't even ask me how I was. When she arrived I was changing Gryffin's diaper, Mike got the door and in she came. Her first words were to Gryffin- just about her only words were to Gryffin. Don't get me wrong- I AM NOT COMPLAINING! This is how she has always been. She will call me on the phone ask me how I am and before I can utter a syllable she is ramming my ear full of how terrible her life is. Thats about the same time I start silently singing the theme song to 'Green Acres'.
So her latest 'Look at me' moment was telling me about HAVING to take one of her 60 year old friends to an amusement park soon. And how just because this 'old' friend of hers wasn't able to ride the rollercoasters didn't mean that she wasn't going to. But they were definately hitting the water park. Just what everyone wants to see- folks, that pruney skin is NOT from being in the water. Oh yeah, and did I mention my muther was born in 1943 so her 'old' friend is actually younger than she is. Muther has the maturity of a 6 year old and the common sense and wardrobe of a teenager. Can I just say that after she bent over in that low cut shirt last night I never want to eat flapjacks again- eeuooooo.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I've birthed a monkey.

Gryffin has always been active. Even when he was still a little 'Bean' in my belly he wouldn't sit still. He spent about oh, 30 seconds crawling before it became a full-out run. And now that he's got that mastered he's decided to go vertical. Yup, I've birthed a climber monkey. He scales our oversized furniture like he's King Kong and wants to keep going eventhough he's reached the summit. Yesterday I caught him all the way at the top of Mike's recliner and yanking picture frames off the mantle. How can you yell at him when he picks up the picture, pointing to it saying 'Dada'. Oh yeah, cause he didn't say 'Mama' thats how. No, I didn't yell at him. Just like a puppy if you don't catch them in the act they get all confused and wonder why you're yelling.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Cow's Revenge...

Yesterday was Mike's 35th Birthday. For dinner I took him to Outback Steakhouse as a surprise. He was quite happy. I won't tell you what all we had (it would make me vomit thinking about it). I will say however that by the time we left the restaurant we were in pain, kind of like a Thanksgiving Dinner pain. We were so full our irises were flashing 'FULL'. We were infact so full that his Birthday cake has yet to be cut. Now folks, for a chocolate cake to sit in this house untouched is close to a miracle. Infact, thinking about that makes me want to hurl internal organs.
Mike was a little better off than me. I went to bed about nine only to realize by ten that if I laid down anymore my esophagus would rupture and I would die a 60's Music Icon kind of death. I spent the next couple of hours in the recliner hoping I would either puke or pass out. Neither of which happend and I managed to move to the couch and fall asleep about 3 this morning.
I haven't had coffee yet today- and probably won't. That goes for breakfast and maybe even lunch too.
Cow, you may be laughing up there in Bovine Heaven but you were still tastey!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

Or should I say, Happy Get Drunk and Shoot Bottle Rockets Out of Your Hands While Drinking a Bud Light and Shouting Yeee Haaaaw at Your Toothless Buddy Day. Yup, I live in the Midwest. I'm just hoping that our wonderful neighbor, 'Naked Drunk Guy' is out of town for fear of witnessing the above.
In this part of the country today is reserved for sweating, drinking and playing with flammables. Most people around here could tell you that the 4th of July is also known as Independence Day, but they could not tell you who we are independent from. Sad.
It is a sad day and age when most high school students can't name all 50 states or who the last 4 presidents were or even who fought in the Civil War. Yup folks, 'no child left behind' is a wonderful concept. But then again, even communism looks good on paper, a kind of Robin Hood (the rich giving to the poor) theory.
So remember when you say Grace over the BBQ and cole slaw to say Thank You for our freedom and pray for the leaders of the world- pray that a certain few get their heads out of their asses.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Woo Hoo!

Splashing the day away!
Can I just say that toys like this should come with a pump because my lungs hurt! Mike had to finish because I was all out of hot air- if you can believe that.
Gryffin is one happy kid. We don't know where he got it from but we are thankful for the genetic mutation.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Zoo Train is Cool!

Somebody likes riding the train at the Zoo! He was more of a people watcher than an animal watcher. We had a great time and will definately do it again- hopefully with Mike. I feel so bad, Gryffin has been to the Zoo a few times and only once with his Daddy. I don't know who I feel worse for, him or Mike.

Gryffin refused to take a nap that morning and didn't take one all afternoon either. When we were leaving the Zoo he fussed a little but by the time I got him buckled into the car he was asleep.