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Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year--almost

December 29th, 2008 at 06:03 pm

Hello frugal friends! Happy almost New Year! I think most would look at 2008 and say a hearty goodbye to this awful and painful year! I think 2009 is going to be even worse then 2008. Aren't I negative? Yet I think 2009 will be a great challenge to all of us.
I certainly look at the new year as a way to get even more fit in the pocketbook.
Don't you? It will be a rocky year---I am sure of that...but somehow I feel we will learn some valuable lessons.

I hate I mean HATE to make New Year resolutions. New Years to me is a horrible time of year. When I was married every New Years was when my ex would point out every flaw and tell me how horrible I was and how THIS YEAR I better get it right and make myself better. I hate HATE New Years for the bad memories of crap I dealt with for far too long. Are you in that boat....being told you are not worthy and not good enough? Be it by a spouse or someone at work or in your family?? If you are---and by the way this has nothing to do with money or being frugal....please do not listen. Being emotionally battered is just not healthy for anyone. Please take action to make a change for yourself this year. Seek help or begin to see yourself as good enough and worthy. Everyone has flaws...duh! No one is perfect in this world. Please talk to someone and get released from this burden as fast as you can.

Heres to a great new begining that will no doubt...be filled with lots of twists and turns for everyone.....but hopefully we learn much along the way and we remember to count alot of blessings along our journeys.

With all my wonderful flaws and blemishes I raise a glass of bubbly and I toast to an interesting new year called 2009. The past is gone and the future is unknown....yet we have right now...today! So enjoy it and savor all it has to offer you! God Bless.

Are the Stores Busy Today?

December 26th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

The girls and I stopped at TARGET around 12:45 today. It was not overly crowded. I did walk by the Christmas department and it was not that crazy and they had I felt...tons of stuff still available. How are things out in your area? I feel people are def. waiting for things to get more discounted. We were in electronics and everyone purchasing something was using a gift card. Interesting. I think for me the sooner I could get out of the store the better. Even the returns area was not that nutty. Interesting.

Cleaned out my fridge today, Washed it top to bottom and then using my handy label maker--labeled the drawers for better kid friendly organizing. Best investment of 2008??? My label maker from Office Max. Love it...Love it...LOVE IT! If you have some Christmas money I highly recommend you purchase one if you like to organize or keep things neat looking. I really do not like gadgets but this one is great.

Have a good frugal day everyone!

Nice Christmas

December 26th, 2008 at 07:31 am

I would say we had a nice Christmas. My kids spent most of it with my ex--their dad and they seemed happy to have spent time with him and his family. I was able to poke around the house, do some laundry and relax a bit. My kids really liked the gifts I got them, esp my oldest daughter who seems to think I have zero style! I guess I managed to pick out some things that were really "awesome"! So I felt great about that. My kids were in a gag gift exchange with their extended family and I MADE OUT for not even being part of the family! My son got three hand soaps from Bath and Bodyworks! So he gave them to me! Fantastico! I guess the gift exchange was not properly explained to all the family as some of the gifts were "good" gifts.

My two older kids flew out to Dallas this morning at 6am. So they are gone till Jan 31st. it will be a little less noisy around the house with only two kids here.
Today we are doing a few returns....and my one daughter wants to get an organizer of some sort to organizer her necklaces and jewelry better---so we are off to TARGET.

My kids manged to get me a $75 TARGET gift card and my sister gave me wine, cookies, candy, pens and a book. I also got a wonderful photo of my kids that they had done at my parents house for me.
I got very teary eyed when I opened that one. They did it over Thanksgiving with my mom's help and arranged it all with my parents. I got a framed one for my bedroom and one for the family room. It was pretty darn thoughtful of my kids to think that one up.

I hope you have a great day---stay frugal.

Day off from Work

December 22nd, 2008 at 04:03 am

I took a vacation day today from work...
Things we are doing today---

1. Go to the dance store to order shoes for competition season
2. Bank-- to deposit money for taxes
3. Bake cookies--PB blosoms
4. work on a rather hard puzzle we started
5. journal
6. Pasta for dinner
7. watch all the shows we like io TLC tonight with a glass of wine
8. Keep things as tidy as possible with 4 kids home all day

It is so cold here!!! I mean terrible--stay warm and cozy everyone

Merry almost Christmas

December 20th, 2008 at 04:18 pm

I had to get new brakes on my SUV...$600. Ouch--plain and simple. Oh well you got to be able to stop...right? At least my mechanic had another free car to loan me so I was able to drive here and there. My son and I went to an outlet closeout type store that is a chain around my area...I got a box of Christmas cards for next year...20 for about 88 cents. Nice ones too....they have Bible verses and a nice saying. I was so happy to snag those! They will be for the residents I clean for--- next year! I resisted all gift wrapping stuff that I saw which was so cheap! I looked long and hard but made my son not let me buy anything.

Confession time!!! I returned two gifts I got...one from Loews and one from TARGET. Yes I am bad...more practical..useless items so why not. I guess that makes me bad. I got $50 back from one and $40 from another.....Maybe I am smart.

Did some shopping for food today since we are gettting a bad wind storm for Sunday. Sub zero temps as well. We bought snacks for dinner on Sunday night.....I decided to make dinner kinda fun. My kids are now all home with no school for two weeks. Monday I am off work so we are going to bake more cookies for fun. Everyone likes cookies right???

I am enjoying getting ready for Christmas....it is so nice for me. I enjoy just looking at my tree and lighting the candles and fireplace! I am so easy to please can you tell??? My sister called me and told me for some time on the telephone during our call together how stressed she was and overwhelmed. I have a very hard time feeling sorry for her as she chooses to work full time as a professor and she has a husband. I just can not feel too overly sorry for her. I must do much on my own....I have no one to help me. Everyone gets stressed and everyone gets to feeling overwhelmed---what else is new?? I think to complain about it non stop is not helpful.....just do the next thing or cross things off the list and let it go. I think she feels she has to do so many things for Christmas and it feels like a pressure cooker..when I feel that in the least.....I reflect on the reason for the season.....to me it is pretty much a religious day.....so all the pressure to perform fades away quickly. When I was married I felt that way. My ex's family is ridiclous over Christmas doings.....I never understood why I was in severe depression at New Years....now I know why. This is important for mothers to understand.....we are not Christmas Jeanies.....how sad for some mothers to suffer when it should be a peace-filled joy filled time.

Something to reflect on....Merry Christmas frugal friends.

Mandatory Meeting at Work

December 17th, 2008 at 04:47 pm

Well we all gathered and the regional boss told us that there has been alot of theft around our building....WELL DUH!!!!! He drove three hours to tell us that????
I mean come on!!!!!!!We have theft...and guess what you are such a wimpy boss you can not figure it out who is stealing!
I mean he told us this in his Christmas sweater vest. Frankly if there is theft I would rule and reign with a sledgehammer in one hand and gun in the other to show I mean business around my place!!! Oh yes...then we got our good news...we got our Christmas bonus checks. I got $75. Not bad but not that great. I got $5 from one lady and $5 from another lady...that is my "tip" from them for the entire year.
I got a box of candy from another lady.

The meeting to me was stupid. The staff is not that big...pinpont when the thefts occur and then begin to plan a set up and nab your man or woman. I am sorry there are so many ways to steal from the place I work....by not being more forceful more stern the person stealing will have a field day! It is sad that someone would steal from an old person..I mean come on!! Creeps are everywhere right??

Housekeeper Christmas lunch is on Thursday. Our gift exchange as well. I am very excited to go---even on my day off I am going.

My parents came for the day to visit and bring grandkid gifts. It was so nice. We ate Christmas cookie exchange cookies and made sandwiches. We lit the fire and chatted. My parents already got me some things this fall but my mom bought me new kitchen towels and new bath towels! I also got a pretty and I mean pretty sterling silver ring that is so neat and modern looking...I love it! I was very surpised! I got my parents 2 bottles of local winery wine and a gift certificate for some great steaks and seafood. I think they were very happy. I wanted to be more personal but they seemed happy to have some meals shipped to them for free.
So a nice day to celebrate Christmas with family. I even had my mom do some hemming and mending with me. I really enjoyed the visit!

Have a nice evening everyone.

Mandatory Work Meeting at 10am

December 16th, 2008 at 04:53 pm

We were told today that the president of our company will be driving down from Michigan on Weds morning. The meeting is mandatory. So if you are off on Weds...you have to be at this meeting. So far not one person knows what it is about....kinda scary as when ever there is something happening we usually get a hint. So I am a little concerned----I mean we have less and less residents. But if there was going to be lay off would they tell people privately or on an individual basis?? Hopefully he wants to personally wish us a Merry Christmas--somehow I just do not get that vibe.

Parents are coming for the day to visit and have lunch and bring grandkid Christmas gifts to my children. We will be eating cookies from the cookie exchange.

I will report back to everyone about our big meeting.

College Boys Eat alot!

December 15th, 2008 at 05:03 pm

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! My son is home from college and gee can he eat. I have had to shop so differently with him being home. Lots of stuff for sandwiches and snacking! WOW. He seems to be eating healthier which is so interesting! We had to buy some salad items. Go Figure! Today was the work cookie exchange. It went pretty well with everyone saying we have to do it again next Christmas...that made me feel so glad since I started it and organized the whole thing myself. I had some bosses come to it so I was nervous to not flub up or do something dumb.....I guess it went fine. I had a small wooden ornament for each gal who came as well. It was so nice to share. All in all we had 10 ladies from work be part of the exchange....the cookies were so nice to look at! All in all--- a treat.

I did buy dance teacher gifts...much to my chagrin.The girls wanted to bless their teachers so I went to bath and body works and got some small bottles for not much money. So the teachers got some gifts. I am prety much done in fact I returned some items already. My only small item I would like is a small tree for the kitchen.I am going to wait till after the holidays to purchase.

I think our bonuses are coming at work. I think mine is around $172.00--I am gratful for whatever I may get.

I have to tile my bathroom and laundry room downstairs....the sub floor I guess is moldy. A plumber did not install my potty correctly some years ago. My handy friend Bill says it needs done...so he will do it all in Jan. I guess I know where my bonus is going.

I am trying to stay in the Christmas mood but lately it has been kinda hard.....my ex and my daughter who is 16 are just driving me crazy. I have been so burnt out dealing with them.....not easy...oh well....one day at a time right!

Enjoy the season and stay frugal!

I spent too much today--what is going on?

December 8th, 2008 at 07:41 pm

I had to make two trips to the grocery store today. I am so mad!!! I seem to have to spend when I do not want to! One daughter needed candy right away...sigh...for school for making gingerbread houses....another daughter I needed to provide snacks and drinks for her basketball team! We also bought her dad nuts for part of his Christmas gift..they were not cheap! Oh I hate to buy needlessly at the grocery store for stuff and more stuff. I just get almost sick in my stomach. Things cost so much.
At times I get overwhelmed....then I just take deeps breathes and relax.

I also had to go to WalMart....I had to take my youngest....what a terrible mistake. Everything appealed to her.
No more stores with kids! Yikes.

On a brighter note...gas is cheaper.....$1.51! That is amazing to me.
Thank goodness. That sure helps. Work is going pretty well. Some staff have to leave early each day since we are not at capacity. I have not been asked to leave early. Mostly the residents assistants are having to leave early. I stay busy in my own little areas.

I got my money from my MM to pay my taxes! I just have to write the check and get to the bank. My broker has it all ready to go when I need it. I hate to take from my long term accounts but that is how it goes. I am sure my taxes will be much higher very soon. I am counting on it.

My one daughter is asking what I want for Christmas....I have a very hard time asking for things. She is almost mad at me because I am not giving her ideas. I finally told her sharp knives for the kitchen as mine are terrible. She said that was dumb. I am way too practical. I hate fluffy stuff for me. I did ask for Horton hears a Who on DVD, I love LOVE that movie!!! I did see a purse today but then I felt terible saying anything. I have always been this way. I just am not good at the game of gifting and asking for gifts. I am odd! I just have such a hard time with it.

Stay frugal everyone. Remember to give where you can to help others. When you give to those in need or who have nothing---your heart grows. It is a wonderful feeling! Enjoy.

Frugal Weekend

December 7th, 2008 at 07:01 pm

Hi everyone. I did not spend very much money except to buy the groceries for the week. I had to work and a co-worker bought a salad for me. Such a treat!
I did buy a vanity/makeup table for my youngest daughter from work. A resident was selling all her stuff cause she is moving to a nursing home. It is going to be a Christmas gift. The best part is I paid $10 for it! It is all wood and wonderfully old fashioned! I am so excited to give it to her! I did not buy anything else at the sale. I refrained BIG TIME!

I also did not Christmas shop this weekend. I did not want to mindlessly wander around from store to store. It is pointless. I am really trying to not spend on silly things. The kids want a few more bigger items...which are easy to purchase. There is no rush! So far so good. By the way how many Lands End catalogs have you received in the mail?? I swear I get one every single day! I am about to call them and tell them to remove my name from their mailing list. I only need the school catalog in July!!! I do think they send out way too much glossy paper. Not very green are we?????

We got snow! It looks so pretty outside.
Only about two inches fell but it is plenty for Christmas fun! It is so cold here....but I would not want December any other way! Cold and snowy!

Have a great frugal week everyone.

Bonus at work

December 4th, 2008 at 06:03 am

Each year we get a small bonus at work.
I am not even sure we are getting one this year. I am going to be very curious to see how that shakes out. Hopefully I will get my yearly raise. Last year it was 24 cents. So as you can see we are are not paid all that great to take care of older people. I am not complaining---just hoping. Everything extra is just pure icing to me. I never count on things like social security. Again icing on the cake.

Keeping taps on bills and finances. So far so good. I am waiting on my VISA---I want to get that thing paid right away. I will feel so much better about money once that is done.

Today I am going shopping for some gifts.
Running some errands.....I like to do as much stuff without the girls as possible.

Have a good day everyone. Stay frugal.

Using up what you have challenge

December 1st, 2008 at 07:01 pm

Hello frugal friends! Here is the challenge.....go thru all Christmas paper items...like cards, wrappings, gift bags, ribbon and cards and get it all organized in one place. See what you have and what you do not to need buy and purchase. It is very tempting to be lured by the sale flyers to get more.....stuff! Do not give in to that. Use what you have! Make due or come up with another idea!

How are you doing on throwing away or recycling catalogs?? Also have you received alot of emails regarding free shipping or 50% off. Resist as well. Keep challenging yourself to resist and make do without the hype. It feels so good.
Freedom feels so wonderful.

Hope eveyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Mine was relaxing! I enjoyed not having to work for four days! A great refreshing break!

The tree is up and the house is decorated in simple modest fashion. It is just lovely.

Keep centered on the reason for the season and let all other things go right out the window. Stay frugal and stay challenged to think thrifty. Count your pennies and stay on budget. Make due and use up. Decide how can you help someone else who is having a rough time of it this Christmas...how can you serve someone else. How can you do without so someone else can have food. Dramamtic I know.

Your soul and spirit will thank you over and over again this week. Blessings.