Tuesday, March 31, 2009

He's Back!

Onyx is back! We found him! I am so unbelievably relieved and happy!!!

I asked B yesterday if we could actually walk the paths in the woods next to our house before going in, and so we did. As we continued to trudge up and down paths, I was becoming more and more frustrated. I couldn't stop thinking that there was so way we were going to find him...he'd probably run off when he heard us coming, or he'd probably gone somewhere else, or was hiding too well.

After about 20 minutes we had covered the paths and ended up in our neighbor's driveway, which is across from our barn. I was going to run down to the barn to look around in it yet again before heading back up to the house when B looks down the road and says, "Is that him?" Of course, I don't have my glasses on and can't see anything except a blackish cat. And, our neighbors have a cat that looks entirely black until you get up on it and realize that no, it is actually black and orange and white. I decide to walk down to where this cat is, just in case, but in my head I'm trying not to get my hopes up because it is most likely the neighbor's cat. As I am getting closer, the cat jumps in to a little shed type thing that is along the road. So, when I get up to it, I can't see him. "Onyx?" I say. And I hear a meow. Not that it means that it is him, just that it is a cat. The hole he has jumped in, is not big enough for me to get into, so I have to move the roof on the shed. At this point, I see snake skins and call B over because I was scared that I'd get bit, or the cat would run out on me.

In the time that B is walking over, the cat hisses, so I really think it can't be Onyx. Why would he hiss at me? But, lo and behold, when B moves everything around, there he is, a bit dirty, but none the worse for his adventures. I think I was in a bit of shock for quite some time. So, now he is safely back in the house, where hopefully he will stay. We had a bit of lovey-dovey time, and I think he missed me, but I can't for the life of me figure out what he was doing so far away and how (or why) he got out in the first place. I guess it doesn't matter though because I have him back.

Onyx is especially meaningful to me because I got him so soon after my dad passed away. He was one of the only things in my life that kept me going rather then succumbing fully to the grief I felt...he made me smile and laugh when not many things did, and I knew I had to get up every day and take care of him. He was my companion for pretty much every hour of every day for many weeks and months, and still showed me love, even when I was at my worst. Needless to say, to lose him would be devastating (even though I know it is inevitable), especially as I continue to deal with the sale of the farm and going through everything that is there. At least now, I know where he is, and I won't be spending so much time wondering what happened and if he is ok. I am happy to have him home.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I have not been a very good blogger as of late. I guess, in a way, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Or something. I'm not really sure. I'm finding it hard to find things to write about...or to have an idea of what it is I want to say. So, bare with me as I try and figure it out.

Something that doesn't help is the fact that my baby Onyx disappeared on Friday. Just gone. We have no idea where he went, and can only think that he somehow slipped out the door when we were going in and out. We haven't seen or heard a thing about him since early Friday morning. It isn't the first time he has "escaped." In the past, up at the farm, he slipped out and was gone for a week. But, then, I knew he slipped out the door. Today, I have no idea what happened. Just that he can't be found in the house, and it is quite distressing. So, I'm spending a lot of time searching for him. And pondering some stuff.

I'll be back soon I hope.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Savings!

Wow, I can't believe another month has come and gone almost! That means it is time for the end of the month totals, and reflection on how I did. But first, here are my purchases for this week.

At CVS this week, I thought the deals were so-so. Seems they aren't offering as many opportunities to get things for "free" or better. However, I still did well with their BOGO items. Here is what I got:
for a total of $.81! I saved $16.97!! I also didn't lose any ECBs, which is nice, but I didn't gain either. I still have about $13 in ECBs left.

I must admit, that when I looked at the Kroger ad this week, I was very disappointed. I realize they just had the MEGA-sale for two weeks, and there was great savings off of that. But this week, I just didn't see much good for sale, or coupons that matched up. I didn't think I'd have a very good shopping trip. Boy was I wrong! This is what I got:

for $43.95! I saved $75.09!!! I was lucky as I started walking around the store, as I found the oatmeal for $1 (no coupons though, as I'd already used my oatmeal coupons earlier in the month). Additionally, I didn't even realize the cheese was on sale 10/$10. That means I got 6 packages of cheese for $6! I stocked up as much as I could. I don't think I'll need cheese for a while (and we like our cheese around here!). I got the Suave, the Glucerna cereals, one box of the Wheat Thins and the Johnson's Buddies soap for free. Additionally, there is a mail in rebate on the Pert Plus, and a coupon online for $1, so I should be making some money back on that.

All in all this week I spent $44.76. I saved $92.06!! Can't complain about that with what I thought was an extremely slow week deal-wise.

This month, I spent a total of $139.08 on groceries. Talk about under budget! I was helped by the use of a $25 gift card one of the weeks, but even if I added that and didn't count it as savings, I would have spent under $170 for the month. That is well below my $200 for the month goal. I think I will continue to stay at the $200 a month goal for now, as it seems reasonable, although, I may be able to cut back a little in the future. We'll see.

I saved a total of $333.07 this month (not including the gift card). That is over twice what I spent!

Additionally, I should have about $6 in Mail-in-Rebates coming back for the month.

Happy shopping everyone, let me know how it is going for you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Not too long ago, I posted about my grandfather. At the time, I was really hoping to share a piece that I wrote about him in college, but was unable to find it. Lo and behold, I was going through the boxes in our garage yesterday and I found a copy of it! I thought I would share, and added a few pictures to it as well. It is a bit long, but I hope you'll read it.

The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren varies greatly from family to family. I have heard from some people how they can't stand their grandparents and from others that their grandparents are the best people in the world. My grandparents were the best people in the world. Especially my grandfather. Nothing can describe the wonderful relationship that we had, and how much we cared about each other.

I can remember only good things about my grandfather, or "Pop-Pop" as my sister and I so affectionately called him. He was a kind and gentle man who taught me a lot about life, and who called me "Petunia." He was a small man, very skinny, but had a great sense of humor and smelled like peppermints. He always had a peppermint with him, and many times he would sneak me some after meals.

When I was little, I am not exactly sure what age it was, he spent a lot of time teaching me how to spell. He never became frustrated when I mixed up the d's with the b's and found it funny that I spelled my sister's name Heibi. He continued to work with me until one day when I finally got it right.

I remember when I would come over and he would teach me how to play the organ, and later the piano. I always tried my hardest to get the pieces right because I wanted to make him proud. Sometimes though, my sister and I would just want to have fun, and would pound on the keys causing a lot of nonsense to be played. My Pop-Pop would just laugh and let us keep playing because he knew we were having fun.

When I first learned to tell time on a clock other than the microwave, he gave me a hug and congratulated me. He made such a big deal about it that one would think I had won the Olympics.

Although Pop-Pop was not one to tell me that he loved me a lot, I always knew that he did. Whether it was the twinkle in his eye or how proud he got, I never doubted the fact that he loved me.

Never a visit would pass that he wouldn't sit on the steps near the family room to listen to the conversations that would take place between my mother and grandmother. Sometiems I sat next to him and wondered what was so interesting, others, I would go and play the organ and try to get attention.

Birthdays were some of my favorite times. Shortly after we would arrive at my grandparent's house, my Pop-Pop would start playing Happy Birthday on the organ. I looked forward to the beautiful sound, and knew that I wouldn't leave without hearing the familiar notes.

Pop-Pop was diagnosed with Alzheimer's around the time I was in first grade. I didn't know what it meant at the time, just that he was sick. Times with my grandfather changed a lot after that. He didn't call me Petunia as much, and he hstayed in his room most of the times that my sister and I came over. I tried to get him to talk as much as I could. I knew he was upset because of what was happeneing, and I wanted to make him feel good about himself. Never a visit passed when I wouldn't go into his room and give him a hug and tell him that I loved him. Good memory or not, he was still my Pop-Pop and I still loved him.

As the years passed, I began to get more involved with figure skating and didn't get to spend as much time with my grandfather. When I did visit him, I wouldn't see him for more than a few minutes because he would sit in his room watching TV. He became less social, and would no longer sit and listen to conversations between my mom and my grandmother. Birthdays were much different because he no longer played Happy Birthday.

Some days would be better than others, and it is those good days that I choose to remember. Like the day he called and I answered the phone, only to hear some familiar words from my childhood, "Hello Petunia." And on my sister's birthday when out of nowhere the notes of Happy Birthday started to play, and did so for several minutes.

There was still a special bond between my grandfather and I, and it would remain until the day that he died. Memory or not, I believe that someone can sense that they are cared about and loved.

The last time I saw my Pop-Pop, he was unconscious in a hospital bed. It was one of the hardest moments of my life knowing that I was no longer going to see him on the stairs, be able to give him a hug, or smell that familiar pepperminty smell. My last words to him were, "Hey Pop-Pop, its Petunia. I just wanted you to know that I love you and I am going to miss you very much." He squeezed my hand then, and I will forever carry that in my heart.

Sometimes, one doesn't realize how proud someone is of them until after that person dies. I always knew that my grandfather was proud of me, I just didn't realize how proud. After his funeral, my family and I were looking through his things and found a few scrapbooks. What they contained was amazing. The mementos of my childhood, all the way up to the present made me feel so special. He hadn't missed a single thing. The time he spent making the book was evident and gave me a sense of love and pride.

To this day I miss my grandfather, and wish that he could have lived to see me reach my highest level of skating, graduate from high school and become the woman I am today. However, he is with me every step of the way and I know that he is still proud of me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

I am so excited that Spring has finally arrived! Look what we have outside in the flower beds!

Our first flowers are already blooming! The grass outside is almost all green! And the weather is finally enjoyable! I can go outside without a heavy coat. I can actually stand to be outside longer then a few minutes! Ahhh, I love spring!

B and I have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather that we have had the last few days. I've gotten the vegetable garden tilled and cleaned up. We've almost finished the chicken coop. We are digging up the outside faucets in order to replace them. We've been getting the oil changed in the mowers and other equipment. And of course, we are getting all our flower beds cleaned up so the new blossoms and plants can flourish. I feel like we have a million things to do this spring, but I am looking forward to most of it. On our list of things to get done (and this is just in the spring!):

-Build a new kennel for the wolfdogs
-Plant the vegetable garden
-Fix the dock (got messed up in one of the wind storms)
-Paint the dock
-Paint the deck
-Replace the outside faucets
-Have a HUGE yard sale
-Finish the kitchen (haha)
-Finish the chicken coop
-And probably many others but, I can't remember them!

I'm hoping to get started on my first ever furniture improvement project this coming week. I wanted to start this week, but spent much of my time getting our spare bedroom and bathroom ready for our friend to move in, or out in the flower beds because they needed tended to. I have no idea how this project will go, but I figured it was worth a shot to try because if I don't improve it, I'll probably just try and sell it for a few dollars at a yard sale and have to buy a new piece of furniture. I'll be sure to keep track of how it goes and do a post all about it. :)

I have a feeling next week will bring the first of the mowing. I never thought it would start so soon in the year (not complaining though because I LOVE spring!).

I hope you are all enjoying spring and the weather it is bringing. What are your spring projects?

P.S. Look at how fast the chicks are growing! Already getting tail feathers and jumping up on top of the waterer. They are still extremely scared of me and B, and I'm not thinking they will ever really "like" us. That's ok though. I don't want to get too attached! They will be big enough to head outside in a few more days!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Savings!

What a week! The deals were hopping at Kroger again this week (love the MEGA-sales), and I think I had one of my best shopping trips yet!

I started at CVS this week. I honestly didn't think the deals were that good this week at first. But, I had a $5/30 coupon and thought for once I would actually try and use it (I hardly ever use my $/$$ coupons because they expire too quickly). I ended up purchasing the following (minus a candy bar that disappeared before this photo was taken):

for a grand total of $.29!!! I saved $50.74!!! I also only lost one ECB on the entire purchase, which was in my opinion quite a good shopping trip. I still have $13 in ECB, and while I would like to try and keep it around there, or actually get a few more saved back up, the next few weeks aren't looking the best for deals, but you never know what could come up.

At Kroger this week, I got the following:

for $38.88. I saved $78.27! There are 46 items there, which means I paid under a dollar for each item I purchased! Freebies of the week were both Diet Dr. Pepper's (I found a coupon for a free Dr. Pepper in Cosmo...how random was that?), the gum, one Pepsi 12-pack (which I was extremely excited about because I hardly ever see Pepsi coupons...found here if you use Firefox and here if you use IE), one of the Aqua Juices, the Quaker Quakes, the salsa and both Johnson's Buddies soaps. Not free? The toilet paper you see at the top. I really miss my free toilet paper. I've never tried the Kroger brand tp, and thought I'd give it a try since it is the cheapest, but I may not feel it is worth it in the end (ever notice how sometimes cheaper toilet paper doesn't last as long? Almost worth paying more). Additionally, there is a Mail-in-Rebate for the Sargento's potato topping, which means I will get my money back on that plus some ($2.50 purchase price - $1.00 coupon = $1.50, but when I turn in the MIR, I should get $2.50 back). Love free stuff!

All in all this week, I spent a total of $45.17 (I also purchased water at Walmart). I saved a total of $129.01!!! I continue to be very under budget for the month, mostly because of my stellar week last week. However, I have also stayed under my $50 budget every week so far, which has also helped!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thoughts on Marriage 182 Days in...

I can't believe that 6 months ago, I was eating breakfast and preparing for my wedding ceremony at this time. I actually feel like a lot more time has passed then 6 months (is that bad?) :).

Growing up, my parents did not have the happiest of marriages. I truly think that my mom and dad were among the couples who got married for the wrong reason. My dad told me a few times the first time I was engaged that I needed to make sure I knew the person I was marrying. I think, he felt that he didn't know my mom well enough when they got married. And she would probably say the same thing. A common theme seemed to be that each of them thought the other changed after they got married, but really, it was that they were seeing the "true" personality of the person they had married that they had not had a chance to see before. The "true" person was not really someone they were compatible with, and therefore, they had a hard time accepting and relating to each other.

Not to say that my parents didn't care for each other, or love one another, but I don't believe they were in love with each other. This meant that they were often doing their own thing, and sometimes this meant they fought. They did not display affection often in front of my sister and I - not even by holding hands, or small touches. I do not fault them, as I believe they tried hard to make their marriage work, and believe me, it wasn't easy with my mom's illness, among other things.

Their relationship made me wonder how I would ever know if I found the right person. I was scared that I would marry the wrong one and end up trapped and unhappy in a marriage. This did not mean that I didn't want to get married - my dream was actually to get married young, and then be a young mother. But there was always this question of how would I know?

I thought I knew when I was 17. I met a man, who was quite a bit older then me (25, but, as I have always been told, despite looking young, I'm actually quite mature for my age, so I've always dated older guys). He became my first serious boyfriend, and pretty much told me from the beginning that he wanted to marry me. We dated for 4 years, and he proposed. I was certain that he was the one for me. We were often referred to as an old married couple...I guess because we were so comfortable in our relationship. And it wasn't a bad relationship, just as he wasn't a bad guy. The summer before we got engaged, I moved 7 hours away to attend grad school. Things started to change for me then. I became more independent. I really liked having that independence. I tried new things I couldn't do when I was with him, and I had fun. Although I accepted his proposal, I believe I knew deep down that it wasn't the right thing. At 21, I was too young, and still needed to experience things in my life...and to actually find me. After my dad passed away, I struggled with many things, and eventually, we broke off our engagement. It was one of the hardest things to do...to feel like I was making him feel bitter, and what if he never found someone else? After almost 6 years together, and many experiences, we had a hard time letting go. But eventually, I moved on.

And eventually, I met B. I can't say what was different about B. But, I knew that we understood each other and made each other laugh. A lot. We had fun when we were together and we wanted a lot of the same things from life. We struggled through some difficult experiences and he still wanted to be with me even when I was at my darkest point. I could just "be" with him. We didn't have to talk or do things, just sitting with each other was enough. He loved me despite my independence and all my other flaws. And somehow I knew he was the one for me.

Since I walked down the aisle 6 months ago, I have fallen even more in love with my husband. I didn't know that was possible. We have continued to build ourselves a home, had our first holidays as a married couple, and made many memories. We have challenged each other to grow and also to change for the better. We have set goals and work towards them together. We have learned to consider each other in important decisions, and celebrate when we accomplish great things. It hasn't always been smooth sailing either, but we have been challenged to work through our problems and concerns in the best possible ways, and have come out the better for it. I feel that we've been lucky in that it hasn't been hard to adjust to living with one another or sharing space, etc. I've learned that I really need to think about the other person that I am living with though, and to try and make his life easier. As much as I may hate cleaning, it isn't fair to ask him to do it when he works and I don't. I've really worked to make an effort to improve some of my more obvious flaws...

There is something very meaningful in knowing that someone loves you enough to commit to spend their lives with you. I think it creates a closer bond, and a deeper level of intimacy. I know that we will have many more challenges, successes and experiences ahead, but I look forward to all of them, and consider myself so lucky to have such a loving and wonderful husband.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009



Not too long ago, I said something to B about raising our own chickens. I was slightly kidding, as I didn't think he'd go for it, but I brought it up wondering if it was worth having your own chickens to lay eggs, and then to eventually use for meat (something must be wrong with me if I am considering killing an animal on my farm for my own purpose...sigh). He was actually pretty receptive to the idea, and we even talked about maybe one day going to the farmer's market to sell our own eggs (along with a variety of other things, but that is a ways off). Neither of us knew if having chickens would really save us money (let's be honest, eggs aren't the most expensive thing I buy from the grocery store, but I guess any money saved is money saved), but we also couldn't see what it would hurt. They'd eat the bugs, hopefully provide us with eggs, and one day we'd be able to use them for meat. We kept it in the back of our minds, and when we saw ads for them in the paper, continued to talk about getting them.

Well, yesterday, I went to the local feed store and came home with these:

Yup. 10 little pullets (female chicks). I can't for the life of me remember what kind they are...just that they lay big brown eggs. I think they have the word Golden in their name too, but don't quote me on that. These chicks are currently in our bedroom, as we have nowhere else in the house to put them that the cats won't get them. Haha. Who would have thought we'd have chicks in our bedroom?

Anyway, neither of us have ever raised chicks before, so it is sure to be an experience for us. I don't think it is supposed to be hard, but that doesn't mean anything. My main concern is getting the dogs to leave them alone once we put them outside (and for good reason, since we didn't give the dogs much thought when we got goats, which was not smart on our part since they ended up attacking one of them...high prey drive). For some of the dogs, this won't be a problem, but the others...they will need to be taught, and we will have to keep a close eye on them for a while. Granted, they don't chase the geese that hang around the pond anymore, but chickens that are around the house might be different.

I must admit that I find these little boogers quite cute. They sleep in the oddest positions. They fall over quite a bit. And they have stellar hearing. I was quite a bit away from them and made a noise, and the whole group of them started and began running around their bin. I am going to do my best not to get attached to them though. I need to start teaching myself not to get so attached to every little living thing that comes into our lives.

I'm looking forward to this adventure with these little babies though. I'm excited to see how fast they grow and to get our first egg (not for about 5 months or so most likely!). It is sure to be an experience!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Recap of Fun Events, Part 2

To continue with while I was away (and for those of you who laughed at my last post, I wish you could here B actually tell the story, you probably would have laughed much harder!)...

We returned from the farm early on Thursday morning (2am!), only to be awoken early the next morning (8am!) by B's dad, who was worried about us, and wanted to make sure that we had gotten home ok. After the phone call, we were awake, and decided it was time to get up and get to things...we were expecting visitors later in the day, as my best friend K was coming to visit for the first time since September, and since we had pretty much been gone for a week (being sick makes you feel like you are gone, doesn't it?) the house was a mess and we had a lot to catch up on. So, despite feeling as if I needed to sleep another week, I got up, and started to get things together. I cleaned the house as best I could. Spent time with the animals, who I really missed, and got stuff together. Of course, when K called to tell me she was on her way to the house, I didn't feel ready for her to get there and was beyond exhausted. But, I was extremely excited to see her! :) That night, we had seven guests come to the house (the most we've entertained at one time, besides for the wedding!)...many of which were there to see K, because they miss her as much as me! K gave me my birthday present, which was an original Star Wars T-shirt (whoo!), and of course many good stories of the things she has been experiencing. The evening was filled with lots of fun, laughter and good times. We played games, made fun of each other, and stayed up late. Here are me and K, laughing as we typically do...we hardly ever get good pictures together because we always make each other laugh! (Don't mind the boxes in the backround...no, we are still not unpacked, although those boxes have finally made their way out to the garage and the yard sale section...)

The next morning, we again got up WAY too early. B and I had lots of errands to run, and so K came with us to town and went shopping (she loves to shop, especially in her old college town!) while we ran errands. When we returned home, we awaited the arrival of our other friend, N, whom we also hadn't seen since September. We had planned to have a night out (what? A night out...I can't remember the last time I had one of those...probably in September...) just like old times. Of course, as K and I were waiting for N to arrive, we were both exhausted and wanted to sleep...but did we? No... We mostly spent the hours catching up and just laughing. There is nothing like being with your best friend and being able to laugh at absolutely nothing...

N finally arrived and out we went. We visited a few of our old favorite haunts and had a good time. K has a bad habit of leaving her purse at the table when she goes to the bathroom or finds people she knows...and her camera is always there with it. Even though N and I have continuously taken her camera and left her pictures without her realizing it until she downloads the pictures, she still hasn't learned. And so we did it again. My favorite of the night?

Haha. That was very early on in the evening. This is a more normal picture of the two of us:

I've never been a big "party" person...I never went out in college and rarely in grad school and beyond. It shows when I do go out. About 11:00, I was tired. :) But I stayed out with them until 2am, because it was so much fun to just hang out with them and catch up. I truly miss seeing them on a regular basis. By the time I drove us back to my house, we were tired and ready for sleep. But, 8 hours of sleep was not to be, as the next morning, we met with a group of friends and former staff members for brunch at Bob Evans. Here are some of us:

Sitting around the table, I realized how much I missed the group of people I was with. In my previous job, I was a supervisor to 15 students and 1 grad studet (K). I was in the job for 3 years and while it was challenging, I adored the students I worked with. We became like family, and every time we get together, I feel like it is a family reunion. We laugh and have fun and I truly enjoy it. After brunch, we pretty much went our separate ways. K and N had to get home and had pretty long drives ahead of them. I was sad to see them go. I missed them. I am not the best at keeping in touch over the phone, and because of this, don't keep in touch with them the way I should. I resolve to work on this, but must say that Facebook is a lovely thing, because we send each other messages every day, which helps some.

Later in the week was my birthday! To be honest, I am not a fan of birthdays. I don't particularly like getting older, and in the past, my birthday's have not typically been fun. Many times they would pass without acknowledgement, or people were too busy to celebrate, or I had to work, or just something. This year, B surprised me with a small gathering of friends, and he BBQed for us all. I love BBQing. Especially since it means that warmer weather is on the way! And because my hubby is so great at BBQing. :) We spent the evening eating good food and laughing. Here are a few pictures from my party:

My ice cream cake from DQ, which melted a bit, but was still extremely tasty. I LOVE ice cream cake. Yum.

My present, an apron. Haha. I've been in desperate need of an apron, having ruined several shirts and sweatshirts while cooking. B actually listened to what I said and found one for me. It will go to good use.And, a picture of me and B. I love my hubby. :)

Now that things are back to normal, B and I have been getting to work around the farm. Spring is definitely coming, as the grass is turning green, and the gardens are sprouting already! As much as I love Spring, it does mean quite a bit of outside work for us, but I'm looking forward to it. We are also in the process of working on our kitchen (wait til I get a post up about that), and cleaning out a few of our rooms in preparation for one of my former staff members to move in for a few months. He needed a place to stay, and we were more then happy to help him out. We are thinking of getting some chicks to have home-grown eggs (MAYBE, not decided on that yet), and I continue to sign up for more opportunities to substitute. So, while things settle down on one end, we remain busy overall...I think I may have finally caught up on my sleep though, and happily, my cold has gone away.

Despite the fact that the last few weeks have been busy and tiring, I realize that I have been very lucky to spend quite a bit of time with some great friends, making great memories. We spend a lot of days laughing and having good times, and that truly seems to be what life is about sometimes...I am grateful for having the opportunities.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Savings!

Do you have a child in diapers? If so, check out my coupons.com sidebar for $5.00 and $3.00 off Huggies diapers! Hopefully, they go on sale at Kroger soon, as combined with the Cellfire and Shortcuts coupons that are currently out, there is potential for $8.00 or more savings on diapers! (They were still available as of Friday morning!) ------------------------------------>
After a week of not posting my Saturday Savings (I was sick!), I am back, with a stellar week!

I went to CVS first this week, although I have no picture. I was mad at myself before I went because I realized that since I couldn't shop last week due to being out of town, sick and people visiting, I had let some of my ECBs expire. But, oh well. I did purchase some toothpaste and vitamin D for a total of $.06! I saved $6.89!

Kroger is once again having a MEGA-sale! I hope it continues next week because as always, there were many things included in the sale that weren't on the flyer, that I'd like to have a chance to get next week! Here is what I got:

For a total of $28.11. I saved $52.86!!!! And, I actually only spent $3.11, because I used a giftcard that B and I got for Christmas. Talk about a great shopping week! :) There were several free items this purchase, including the Buddies soap (can never have too big a stockpile in my opinion!) and the Quaker cakes. One thing I was very upset about this week...my Kroger stopped carrying the 4 packs of Cottonelle! The 4-packs were $.99 and coupons came out that would make it free...so now, I have no way to get free toilet paper and my stockpile is almost out. I seriously stood in the toilet paper aisle for about 10 minutes...dumbfounded that the Cottonelle was no longer there... I guess I'll have to search around for other great deals on TP...

All in all this week I spent a total of $10.71 (went to Walmart for items not pictured) and saved $59.75! I'm not sure I can beat that next week, although if the MEGA-sale continues, I'll be crossing my fingers for more big savings!

This month is going well...last week, although I did not post, I spent $48.74 and saved $52.25. I am already well below budget for this month. :)

Happy shopping! (And let me know if you know of any great deals on TP!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Aaaaaand.....I'm Back!

And the winner of my giveaway was: #26! Auntrene!

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-03-13 13:29:37 UTC

#5 is the runner up if Auntrene doesn't claim the prize!


Hello Bloggy Friends! It has been quite a while since I have posted. The last two weeks have been unbelievably busy and crazy. Yes, we traveled a total of 32 hours in 9 days. Yes, I came down with a fever of 101.5 and stayed sick for over a week. Yes, friends visited from out of town that I haven't seen since September. Yes, it was my birthday (Ack!). I've been worn out and tired, and trying to catch up on life. I think I'm finally there though!

I don't anticipate that B and I will be making any more trips up to the farm in the coming weeks...but I could be wrong. I, for one, am not anxious to make another trip up. The first trip we went up in order to clean out the barn of all junk, and to pick up a tractor. It was not an altogether eventful trip, but enough for us to be tired, and for me to get sick. We didn't get everything we wanted in that trip, nor did we fill the dumpster up, but by the time Thursday rolled around, B was feeling pretty awful (he was sick when we first went up) and I was starting to get sick so we decided enough was enough and we left. On the way home, B started thinking that maybe we should make another trip up while the dumpster was still there. I thought he was a little nuts, and not really serious, but didn't really care at the time, because I felt so awful. Turns out he was serious.

I spent the 3 days in between our trips trying to get better, and rest up. I was upset that I was so sick, as the coming weekend was to bring my best friends to town, who I hadn't seen since September. We'd been planning the visit for months, and it figured that I would get sick beforehand.

So, Tuesday came and we headed back up for what was to be a short trip (and we hoped a relatively uneventful trip, as the first one had been), as we planned to return on Wednesday. The purpose of the trip was to pick up the camper that is up there and bring it back so we can attempt to sell it (B and I have no use for a 36 foot camper really...). We also wanted to try and get the dumpster full, so we didn't feel we had wasted any money on getting such a big one. After a few hours, the dumpster was as full as it was going to get, I was tired and grumpy, and we decided it was time to hook the camper up. All fine and dandy, but neither B nor I had ever hooked a fifth-wheel camper up to a fifth-wheel hitch (we had done it with our horse trailer, but the camper was different). B thought I knew how, but, when I had used it in the past, someone else had always connected the camper for me. After a few minutes, we figured it out. "Not too hard," we thought. Well, we got it all hooked up. I plug the camper in to the back of the truck so we can raise the legs...and nothing. They don't move. That's weird, I thought. They worked last time (yeah...like 2.5 years ago...). Luckily for us, B had brought a generator up, and we connected the camper to the generator, and were able to use that power to get the legs up. BUT, what he didn't think about, was the fact that he couldn't leave the generator in the back of the truck while the camper was connected. So, here we've gotten everything attached and ready to go, and the generator is still in the back of the truck! Uh. We really don't want to unattach the camper. Even though it would be the "smart" thing to do. B comes up with this WONDERFUL idea (I'm being sarcastic) of trying to create a ramp with two boards leaning off the side of the truck that we'll just roll the generator down. Have you ever lifted a generator? They are heavy! And he was up in the bed of the truck, with me on the bottom end of the generator! All I could think was...It is going to be too heavy to hang on to and it is going to crash in to me and I'm going to die! Or, less serious, that it was going to fall off the boards, dent the truck and crash to the ground and need costly repairs... For 15 minutes or so, we worked at getting this generator off the truck. FINALLY, we got it to the end of the boards, where B had taken up residence. B lost his balance and fell over backwards. I laughed my behind off. It was quite a funny site. We attempt to put the generator in the camper, only to figure out that it is too wide and we have to take the wheels off. But ok, we finally are ready to go. Everything is packed. The camper is attached. We hope in the truck, B hits the gas and ...... We don't go anywhere! What? He tries again. ...... "I don't think I have enough mmmph to pull this thing," he says. Which is impossible, considering our truck is exactly the same as the one I used to pull the camper the last time. So, we get out and realize that our tires are FROZEN IN THE GROUND! The camper seems to have sunk in the ground about 3-4 inches and because of the incredibly cold weather, froze in place. This is what they looked like:

By this point, I am not in a good mood. We have no way to pull the camper out ourselves. We have no cell phone service. We walk across the street to our only neighbor and they aren't home. So, we have to walk about a quarter mile up a hill to the only place within walking distance that we MIGHT be able to get service. We are lucky to get it. B calls a towing company, and they arrive about 30 minutes later. They hook up to the truck (that is actually B hooking to the truck):

They start to wench....and the tow truck moves back towards our truck because the camper won't move! ARGH! The tow truck guy even puts braces in the ground and it doesn't work. Finally, he connects two wenches to the truck and we give it a shot. And FINALLY we break free. This is what it looked like where the tires once were:

I've never seen anything like that before! Ee were finally able to get back on the road, and I was happy for that. So was B. Our adventure wasn't over yet though! It was early in the evening by the time we hit the road...after 5, which meant we wouldn't get home til after midnight. I went to take the Magellan out...always good to have with us, even if we know the way, and B says "I could drive this with my eyes closed now." So, I don't turn it on. Well...we both get phone calls, and B misses a turn. At which point, he turns down another road that he hopes will just cut back across. Turns out, he's pulled down a driveway. And not just any driveway, one that goes downhill. With a 36-foot camper on the back. Off a semi-busy road. And at this point it has gotten dark. He tells me to jump out and stop traffic. Which I try to do, but mind you, I'm dressed in all brown (my bibs and jacket). People don't see me very well. And they for some reason, aren't paying attention to the huge camper that is trying to back out of a driveway. B finally gets a window and tries to back out. I hear a loud crunch and about fall over. I know he hasn't hit anything because I can see the back of the camper. All I can think is that the camper smashed the side of the truck. I run up to see what happened, and sigh with relief to find that while the camper and truck hit, the only real damage is a bit of the fiberglass on the camper (who invented these things anyway! You can't go up or down grades with them attached to your vehicle as they are only about 4 inches from the side of the truck! Stupid!). B is having an incredibly hard time trying to back out and turn around, so, eventually he decides to just try and continue down the road the same direction...if he can get out. Which he does, but only after I almost get hit by a car that refuses to stop when I am standing in the middle of the road waving my arms...and the camper is already somewhat out on the road (people are always in a hurry...). We continue down the road, and find our way back to where we are supposed to be somehow.

Luckily the rest of the trip was uneventful. But, it took us 9 hours to get home. Needless to say, that was not the trip we were hoping for! I, for one, am glad to be home and would be happy staying here for a couple weeks with no more trips. The animals missed us. We fell very behind due to trips, visits from friends, the fact we are trying to get the house rearranged so we can have a friend move in for a few months and other things. It's been rather hectic!

I'll continue the recap of the last few weeks in my next post...I don't think my posts need to be much longer then this one is!

Glad to be back!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SITS Spring Fling Giveaway!

Ok, I wasn't originally going to post a giveaway today as part of the SITS Spring Fling because I didn't have the time to get something together. BUT, I've been going through stuff today and came across a cute item I thought would be fun to giveaway. And since the day is only half over, I figured, why not?

So, I am giving away this cute adjustable rhinestone necklace!!

It has never been worn!

The rules of the giveaway? Leave a comment. If you would like an additional entry, become a follower of my blog and let me know in a SEPARATE comment that you have become a follower.

The giveaway will close Wednesday, March 11th at 11:59pm. I'll post the winner on Friday, March 13th (hopefully). The winner will be chosen by my lovely friend, Random.org.

For more giveaways, go check out SITS!

I hope I win something, it would be a perfect gift for my birthday, which is in two days! (YIKES)!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Traveling, Part 2

I've been an absolutely terrible blogger this past week...and will probably remain a terrible blogger until the weekend. I'm sorry if I haven't visited or been by with a comment...since returning from our trip last week, I've been quite under the weather. B was sick before we left last week and I was already quite rundown...I've been feeling that way for weeks. Apparently the trip was all it took to wear me down enough for a sickness to take hold. On the way home, I started feeling achy and feverish, and just downright awful. When we got home on Thursday, I had a temperature of 101.5. I've had a fever on and off since then, and overall feel pretty awful. I haven't been able to sleep much because my nose is so runny and my ears are clogged that I wake up every hour or so even taking nyquil (and feeling so exhausted that I'm surprised I don't pass out).

Today is the first day that I don't feel quite so awful...but there is no reprieve as B and I are taking another trip up to the farm today. While our trip last week was pretty successful in getting through things, there is still a lot up there, and for reasons which would take forever to go into right now, we need to make another trip this week. So, tonight we will drive the 7 hours back up, spend the night, go through a bit more stuff and attach the camper to bring back down tomorrow. We hope to be back tomorrow evening sometime. I hope to just make it through the trip. This will be the last trip for a bit, thank goodness. I just wish it were during a time I was feeling healthy. I honestly cannot wait until this chapter of my life is closed. It is emotionally and physically draining. It is time to move on.

I'll be back when I recover, but please know I miss reading about what is going on with everyone!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Out of the Box

He died.
I stare at the urn and
cannot believe he
fits inside.

My grandfather.
I did not get the chance
to say goodbye.

I wonder if
my memories of him will
one day dwindle until they
fit inside a box so small.

I remember sitting on his lap
as he played the organ
begging him to let me play.
The sound of his voice on the phone
when he would call me "Petunia"
the brightness of his eyes
when I made honor roll and
the pepperminty smell of his clothes.

My grandfather.
I did not believe he would die.
Instead I sat at home
watching television
talking on the phone.

There is no way to fill the void
I feel without him here.
I see nothing, care nothing
can do nothing but try and
comfort myself with food.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy March!

In like a

and out like a

I for one, can't wait until the warmer weather gets here! I'm not looking forward to the rain, but am especially anticipating the bright colors, the longer days, and the bearable temperatures that spring brings. March is, of course, my favorite month, since it contains my birthday (even though I don't like birthdays). :) I feel like this year is flying by so quick already!
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