Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday’s thirteen: how to save money.

In these hard economic times it nice to know that there are ways to save money. Some of my advice is probably stuff you already know, but I hope some of it will surprise or encourage you to figure out ways to save on your household budget.
1. Shop at dollar tree. This is what I do, but I leave hubby behind. He gets in there and he’s over whelmed. “Look at this and it’s only a dollar.” Yes dear, I know. Take deep breaths and calm down. He comes and the bill goes from $20-40 dollars to $80-90 dollars. Yeah, leave hubby at home and save $40 dollars.
2. Buy an economical car. If you’re paying bukoo bucks at the tank, to fill your oversized tank it’s time to down size. We traded in our Cad for a Camry. Savings at fill-up was about half what it cost to fill-up the old car with premium unleaded. And the Camry uses regular. Another plus when the Cadillac broke down it usually cost us @ $400 to fix the darn thing. The Camry we still don’t know, we’re been driving with the “service soon” light on for four or five months now.
3. Dump the gas powered mower and get electric. I did. Its lighter and no annoying trips to the gas station, and no argument with hubby about who got that smelly job. Cost: Priceless.
4. Hire the neighbor kid to mow. The advantage here is you’re saving not only a trip to the gas station, but using the kid’s parent’s gas. .
5. Experiment with off brands, you might find one you like. I’m a diehard Producers customer for all my dairy products, but found Lucerne taste exactly the same and cost about a dollar or so less. That’s a dollar that I can spend at dollar tree, lol.
6. Recycle. This should go without saying, but so many people ignore the obvious so I’ll spell it out in dollar signs. Cha-ching $$. Recycling helps the environment and puts money in your pocket. Yes it does. Have you ever taken in your recyclables to sell? You get paid to recycle, isn’t that fabulous? More dollar for dollar tree.
7. Buy second hand clothes. I shop Salvation Army mostly, but don’t ignore the smaller places. I sometimes find stuff with the original tags still on them. That’s brand new never worn clothes a third to a quarter of the original cost. Mostly I get jeans for four to eight dollars, and that same pair at a department store can cost up to thirty and forty dollars, that’s up to a thirty dollar savings right there. You think your teen won’t go for it? I’ve taught my teenage daughter to shop at thrift stores, and she’s proud of the clothes she gets that doesn’t look like everyone else’s.
8. Shop at Wal-mart. I know a lot of people do, but some still don’t. Yes, the customer service sucks and the lines are long, but you save money when you go there.
9. Use coupons. I stopped a while back because when I got around to using them they were expired. But I found coupons in the flyers that come free to my house for some local restaurants, and they're good for a couple of months. A coupon that pays for one full meal is worth its weight in gold. Well, its paper it isn’t going to weight much.
10. Learn to cook bulk rice. San Francisco treat or not, pound for pound white or brown rice is cheaper than rice-a-ronie. If you want more flavor drop in a bullion cube.
11. Join the shopping clubs. They are popping up everywhere, and I don’t mean Costco and Sam’s club. Though I heard you can save a lot of money, but you have to buy in to be a member. Sorry but I’m cheap. I mean the free ones, the ones that cost you nothing to join. I’m a proud member of Safeway, Office depot, Petco, Boarders and longs drugs.
12. Say no to pets. I know Fido and fluffy are adorable and you can’t live without them, but how many pets do you really need? How about thinning the herd? Or how about downsizing your pets. Smaller dogs eat less, a lot less. I use to have a Cocker spaniel it took her a month or longer to eat a fifty pound bag of dog food. Small breeds eat less than that. Cats are cheaper to keep especially if they are outside, they can catch their own food.
13. Say no to exotic pets. Yes, they are interesting, but they can cost you with frequent runs to the pet store for their equally exotic tastes in food. Exotic also mean delicate as in if they sneeze they die, and there goes the wad you just spend on buying and feeding them. And what are you going to do with fifty live crickets or whatever? Release them into the neighborhood? Yeah, your neighbors are going to love you.
How do you save money? Do you have any tricks you’d like to share?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday's thriteen: What I hate about new pets

Thirteen things I hate about having new pets.

*Sigh* Hubby insisted we get two new kitten at the pet store, when all I went in for was bird seed. His reasoning was my old cat was too old to be a good mouser (Pookey turned eighteen last month), and we just lost two cats recently.

Then he brought home a baby bird.

No more pets! We already have two older cats, two new kittens and a pet pigeon, I thought that was enough.

1. The kitten aren’t quite litter box trained, it seems to be hit or miss. They either go in it or where ever they happen to be at the moment.

2. Buying cat litter. That right there is a loosing proposition, they go through litter like no tomorrow. How can two small cats poop that much?

Buying kitten food. We have two kittens, and they eat a bag a week. Don’t they make big bags of kitten chow?

4. Scratching. Their claws are everywhere. I have new scars.

5. Fleas. We got them at a pet store, but apparently there was some hitch-hikers going home with us.

Deworming. Have you ever dewarmed a cat? You have to poke a pill down its gullet past some very sharp teeth.

Vet bills. Here we go again I have to have shots for the new kittens.

Bathing. These two little flea bearing monsters have to be bathed often because they live inside with us, and they stink. I know cats bathe themselves, but kittens . . . not so much. How you ever bathed a cat? Remember the claws and teeth I was complaining about?

Fur. I have cat hair on all my clothes now.

10. The baby bird has to have baby bird formula. Yes, they do sell it and if you want a baby to live that’s what you get. We’re had a lot of success with it too. Well, mostly my daughter she’s the one who takes care of the little baby birds, but I help.

11. Baby birds poop an awful lot, and without warning. Nuff said.

12. Having a stinking bird cage in the house. Yes they smell. Babies poop a lot.

The noise. Meow-meow, I’m hungry. Meow-meow, I want attention. Then the baby bird starts cheep-cheep-cheep, feed me. First thing in the morning, ugh.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thursday's Thirteen: Dreamers

I was on How to Avoid Writer's hell yahoo group, and I was having a discussion about dreamers.

I wrote something spontaneous about how "being a dreamer wasn't such a bad thing, in spite of what I was told in school."

And here is the result.

1. A dreamer went on vacation in Spain and dreamed about the speed of light, his name was Albert Einstein.

2. A dreamer dreamed about having a bulb that made light, his name was Thomas Edison.

3. A dreamer dream the last movements of The Messiah, his name was Frederic Handel.

4. A dreamer dreamed about a mocking crow, and wrote a poem. His name was Edger Allen Poe.

5. Two brothers dreamed about flying, their n
ames were Orville and Wilbur Wright.

6. A dreamer dreamed of being a kid again and floating down the mighty Mississippi on a raft, or being lost in a cave, or any number of things with a sense of humor. His name was Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain.

7. A bored socialite dreamed of being in the South before and during the civil war. Her name was Margaret Mitchell and her book (maybe you've heard of it) Gone with the Wind.

8. The popular Beatles tune Yesterday performed over seven million times in the 20th century, came to Paul McCartney in a dream. McCartney one morning, awoke to the memory of a classical string ensemble playing the melody.

9. A dreamer dreamed that he "saw" the basic elements of the physical universe arrange themselves in an orderly and beautiful pattern like repeating phrases of music. He woke up and outlined from his dream every element in its correct order - what is now known in chemistry texts as the Periodic Table of Elements. His name was Dmitri Mendeleyev

10. A dreamer dreamed about “little people” or “Brownies” who populated his dreams and assisted him with the creative process: “They share plainly in (my) training. They have learned like (me) to build the scene of a considerate story and to arrange emotions in progressive order, only I think they have more talent.” His name Robert Louis Stevenson, his book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

11. A dreamer dreamed of sitting on the sun with all the planets hissing around on tiny cords. He won the Nobel Prize for that dream. His name was Niels Bohr, he developed the model of the atom.

12. Carl Jung wrote of his early dream journals, " All my works, all my creative activity, has come from those initial dreams which began in 1912, almost fifty years ago. Everything that I accomplished in later life was already contained in them, although at first only in the form of emotions and images. "

13. A Baptist minister went to Washington and gave a speech called “I have a Dream,” which prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. His name was Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where would we be without our dreamers?

Monday, July 13, 2009



I love getting comments, what blogger doesn't?

And I'm pretty consistent in commenting back to those who post here.

But here's a little FYI.

If you have a bottom placed comment box, I will not be able to leave a comment on your blog.

I've changed all of mine to the separate window variety because even I was getting complaints, and then I couldn't comment either. That really sucks when you can't comment on your own blog.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Mom the Writer

My mom just called with some good news, a recipe that she sent in will be published in a newspaper. And here it is, she just a couple of minutes ago walked in to my house to show me.

It doesn't sound like much? Well . . .

Let me tell you a little bit about my mother:

she grew-up working in the fruit since she was three. Yes, white folk do that too, and we're not all from Oklahoma. My mom was born in Roswell NM. She grew-up during the depression and the recovery period afterwords, so work was hard to come by. Graduated from HS in 1958 and lost her mom that same year.

She meet and married my dad in 1960 when she was 20, and became a mom just before mother's day less than a year later with me *grin*.

Her jobs have been working in fruit, cannery (Oberti Olives of Madera), and sold Avon (a few among many jobs she had). She went back to school when I was in the seventh grade and got further education to work in an office, then she did filing and typed over a hundred words a minute without a mistake, and did that eventually working at a grade school until my father illness from cancer in 1981. He died in 1982. Then she worked in the mail room at our local newspaper, and then did house cleaning until she married my step-dad who was a retired/widowed/school teacher.

He told me he retired her, lol.

My mom traveled with my step-dad until she developed a problem with her neck, she soon found out she had a very ugly disease called Spasmodic torticollis that made her a semi invalid for years.

A few years ago she had brain surgery. The doctors put stimulators into her brain, and it helped control the head twisting/turning and some of the tremers assosiated with her illness. This worked really well for a long time, until her batteries ran out. For some reason the new batteries or maybe the programing on the stimulaters were not enough anymore, and she had to have shots again. But they do seem to be working.

Last May my mom turned 70 and recently bought her very first laptop computer and has been trying to learn to use it. I've worked with her a few times trying to teacher her.

But the best news is the newspaper wanting to publish something she wrote. I'm just so thrilled for her. It is a triumph of my mom spirit to keep trying, and here she is a published author!

Yay, mom! Woot!!!

Thursday's thirteen: the original thirteen colonies of the U.S.

For this Thursday's thirteen I thought I would post the original thirteen colonies of the United States of America. After all it's almost my countries birthday, the Fourth of July.

The Thirteen Colonies were part of what became known as British America, a name that was used by Great Britain until the Treaty of Paris recognized the independence of the original thirteen United States of America in 1783. These British colonies in North America rebelled against British rule in 1775, largely due to the taxation that Great Britain was imposing on the colonies. A provisional government was formed which proclaimed their independence, which is now celebrated as having occurred on July 4, 1776, and subsequently became the original thirteen United States of America. The colonies were founded between 1607 (Virginia), and 1733 (Georgia), although Great Britain held several other colonies in North America and the West Indies which did not join the rebellion in 1775.
The Thirteen Colonies gave rise to eighteen present-day states: the original thirteen states (in chronological order:

1. Delaware


3. New Jersey

4. Georgia

5. Connecticut
6. Massachusetts
7. Maryland

8. South Carolina

9. New Hampshire

10. Virginia

11. New York
12. North Carolina

13. Rhode Island

Bonus: Vermont (which had been disputed between New Hampshire and New York and which was an independent republic from 1777 to 1791), Kentucky (formerly part of Virginia until 1792), Tennessee (formerly part of North Carolina until 1796), Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts until 1820), and West Virginia (also formerly part of Virginia until 1863).