Saturday, April 21, 2018

Staying Busy

The rest of the week has been going pretty well.  Staying busy has been key.  My daughter and I did take the kids to Animal Kingdom Wednesday evening, Thursday we took the 4 yr old to Aquatica for the day.  My grandson had a  school field trip to SeaWorld that day. This afternoon, we are headed to Epcot for a couple of hours.

Another way I am keeping busy, besides applying for part time jobs, is to revisit selling on eBay again.  Yesterday I went to Goodwill to see what they had.  You can read about it here I  dusted off my postage scale and put in new batteries.  I have ordered a few free shipping supplies from the post office.

Maybe its because I just took a crap ton of stuff to the Thrift store for resale and I have empty shelves in my storage shed that I feel the need to refill them again.  I tend to cycle with selling in eBay, it is a lot of work, but I don't mind.   For now, it will keep me busy and keep a little cash coming in, well once I get stuff listed that is.

The grandkids may spend the night tonight, if they do, we will go to Sunday School and church tomorrow.  That is what is planned so far for the weekend.

What do you have planned this weekend? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hump Day

Monday was a busy day around the house.  The weather was postcard perfect, sunny and cool.  I was able to get the yard mowed and edged, the clothes washed, the floors vacuumed and mopped.  It was nice to get caught up with the weekly chores.

Tuesday, I ran to the store to pick up bread, eggs, and coffee.  A friend and I did have plans to go to Epcot, but one of her family members became sick on Monday and she had to stay home and take care of them.  The rest of the day, I spent on Ancestry working on my dad's genealogy
and posting some pictures on my mom's Ancestry side of the family. When digging back throughthe information available.  It is just like a treasure hunt.

This obituary popped up on my search.  This is my dad's mom who passed in 1930.  My dad was 8 years old, and he and his baby sister were put in an orphanage shortly after their mom's death.  The older kids managed to avoid that, maybe they worked to support the household.  More to find out, that's for sure. I just could not imagine the pain that he and his family felt at that time.

Sluggy @ Dont Read This; It  Is Boring has been helping me out on Ancestry.She is a wiz at it!  I am still figuring out my way around on the Ancestry website, it can be a bit overwhelming!

I did have a call from a part-time job I applied for yesterday.  It was for a mobile vet company, answering phones and scheduling clients.  The business is co-owned by a husband and wife team and is located 3 miles from home.   I worked/volunteered with the husband when he was the County manager and was so hoping that I would be able to work with their company.

 But, they were looking for someone that could be available EVERY Sunday.  I was open to working every other Sunday, as I really like to attend church and Sunday school when I have the kiddos spend the night on Saturdays. I told them to keep me in mind for the future!

Since resigning from the non-profit back in January, I have been able to get many tasks around the house completed.  It has been nice, but getting out on a regular basis with a part-time job sounds good too. I am staying ahead of the depression that tends to plague me, but it is not always easy.  The testosterone pellets are not helping like they did the first time around.  I have read that is to be expected, and I will follow up with my dr at the next appointment.

Today, fingers crossed, we are going to Animal Kingdom with the grandkids when they get out of school.  It will be good to get out of the house.

Have you researched your genealogy? How much time do you spend on it? 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Budget Fail This Weekend

The weekend was busy and a bit expensive.  The grandkids came over and spent Saturday night.  We were finishing up more yard work, pulling up small stumps and filling in holes left by the stump

When the kiddos came over, the yard work pretty much came to a stop.  Which was fine, the weather was hot and we were definitely working up a sweat.

The budget went to hell in a handbasket when we took the grandkids to Target to look at toys.  Well, we managed to get out of the toy section for less than $22 for BOTH kids.  That was a miracle.

Then, we headed to the clothes section and the shoe section.  The boy needed shoes, shorts and a pair of slacks maybe two.  And the girl had to have cute pink shoes, a dress, and a couple of shorts outfits. We are weak when it comes to shopping for the kiddos.  And that is how $167 was charged on to my credit card.  Lawd!

Target is the devil.  Just sayin'!

(And I know, I am part of that problem)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Chugging Along and What We Have Spent So Far

The family farm in Southwest Wisconsin ( a family member still 
owns it)
It has been a slow and uneventful week around here.  The hubs is off a few days this week, as he worked the weekend last week.  He is busy with church maintenance projects out in the garage.  It involves building a platform for one of the church AC units and that is all I need to know.

The weather has been super nice, we did have a rainy day on Tuesday, but otherwise, the week has been great. I had a day at Disney scheduled with one of my animal shelter friends, but we were rained out.

I have been actively applying for jobs online.  I think I mentioned it before, I would very much like to get back into the state retirement system, I have checked local city and county websites for available jobs and it is slim pickings.

It will happen, it will just take time.  Meanwhile, if another job becomes available, I would probably take it.    Am I bored?  Maybe.  Since I resigned my position with the non-profit, I have had a lot of time to get certain projects done around the house.  Most of the ones that were bothering me and hanging over my head have been addressed.

There are more projects that need to get done, but they also need cash to fund them.  So there you go. We would like to fence in the backyard with a privacy fence, due to the large size of the lot it would be close to $5000.  Yikes!  We want to paint the house, replace the metal roof on the RV carport ( we don't have an RV, it was here when we bought the house) And then there is the above ground pool...  Yeah, the list keeps growing.

Below is what we have spent on groceries and eating out.

Money Spent So Far This Month

Week 1 Publix $4.50  Milk and bananas Aldi $1.99 heavy  whipping cream  DG $2.70 eggs

 Winn Dixie $84.38                                                                     
                  TOTAL  $93.57

Week 2   WalMart  $12.84   BJ's $2.99     Aldi $78.52      CVS $7.50 trash bags    

              TOTAL  $101.85

Week 3  

Week 4 

Health and Beauty

Week 1 CVS $10.99  Detergent and dish soap I use and had coupons for
Week 2 CVS  $5.38 Shampoo and dish soap that I use and had coupons for. 
Week 3
Week 4

Animal Care

Week 1 $2.15 litter Dollar Tree
Week 2  $13.00 dog food  Walmart 
Week 4


Week 1 $18.99  included in the Winn Dixie shopping trip
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Eating Out

Week 1  $38.00
Week 2  $11.77 + ( $11.50) hubs had to work a double on Sunday and had to buy his dinner.  $23.27 total 
Week 3
Week 4

 $4.00 saved on Ibotta

Tracking how we spend $$$ is so much fun! ;-)  Definitely an eyeopener.  

The weekend will include more yardwork.  We are pulling up small stumps along the back fence and I will probably mow the yard.  Kinda looking forward to that.  It will be warmer, but the humidity won't be so bad.

What are your plans for the weekend?  Anything fun?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Truck Maintenance

Truck Maintenance is no joke.  We have spent almost $700 on tires, $225 on brakes and now an additional $50 for oil ( he insists on synthetic oil) and filter.  

The savings account is officially dried up.  Poof!   The correct tires have been ordered and should be here tomorrow evening.  I will be glad when this truck stuff is done.  Note to self, I need to figure out how to get sinking funds started for next year. 

When the tires are installed this week, I will slide the remaining funds from savings to the CC.  We are looking at a zero interest card to put the remainder of the CC balance on to.  One with zero transfer fees.  

Making it on one check may be too much to hope for.  I have been looking for part-time employment for the last month, but I may have to up my game and really start hustling for a full-time gig. 

I am actively applying for a state/county job as I am already vested in the state retirement plan and any additional time worked will increase my retirement payout.  I have the minimum time in now, and I worked in the school system as an aide so very little payout at age 62.  Only about $92 bucks a year.  But with more time in at a better paying position,  the monthly payouts will improve. 

Yesterday was a wash.  It rained ALL day and we were stuck indoors.  I had plans to go to Disney with an animal shelter friend, but the weather botched those plans.   Today, back to normal.  Get out and walk for an hour, and come back and continue to clean and organize.   I am pretty sure I can find more stuff to take to the Thrift Store if I look hard enough. 

The hubs is off the rest of the week.  He has projects both here ( more baseboards to finish up) and at church.  He is the unofficial maintenance guy at church and takes care of the AC's, electrical and whatever else they need.  The church is old and needs lots of attention.

I have been going through my mom's old photo albums.  She had tons of them.  I just love the old pictures, but keeping all of them is not something I need to do.  So, I have been posting some of them that have pics of my cousins, Aunts,
My mom holding my cousin Denise
and Uncles ( I have probably 60 first cousins on moms side) on my family FaceBook page to see if any family members want some of them. That has been fun, posting the pics and reading the memories that other cousins post.

 I have cousins that are as old as my mom would have been, I am next to the youngest first cousin.  Anyway, the older cousins have great memories they share and I do find it fascinating to read their posts about the pictures.   This picture is of my mom standing in front of my Uncle's police car, holding my cousin Denise, at their family farm in Wisconsin.   

Do you have vintage family photos?  Do you display them or keep them in albums? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lightening the Load

 Yesterday I dropped off three boxes of depression glass, Fire King and some bells I use to collect at a consignment thrift store in Orlando.

The owner adds it to her already full store and when it sells she gets a cut and so do I.

I could have listed it on eBay, and some of it was listed on ebay in the past, but I just wanted it gone.

When I go back next month with another load, she will cut me a check for any that has sold.

I was way over the top with this stuff and it felt good to get rid of almost all of it.

Truth be told, I did go through the boxes one last tine and picked a FEW pieces that I could not let go of just yet.

The curio cabinet WAS empty but not so much now.

I still have a few more boxes of glass to go through, and hopefully will have more stuff picked and ready to go next month.

Have you cleaned out your curio/china cabinet? 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Using It Up Crock Pot Chicken Thighs

Last week I used what we had on hand for dinner and dessert.    The garage freezer had a couple of packs of chicken thighs.  I googled for an easy recipe to cook the thighs and here is the recipe I used.

The ingredients are chicken thighs, beer, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion powder, but I used minced onion.

 I put the frozen chicken thighs along with the other ingredients and cooked them on high.  The recipe said to cook for at least 6-8 hours on high since the thighs were frozen. 

 I think it was closer to 4 hours and the thighs looked done.  I checked the temp with my meat thermometer and they were done.

After the chicken cooled, I shredded it and put it in the fridge for use in a chicken tetrazzini.

I did have the mushrooms and frozen peas in the fridge and freezer.  They were left over from a previous meal.  And spaghetti, I most of the time always have that on hand.  Easy enough.

The chicken tetrazzini was a big hit and we used it for dinner and lunch the next day.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday's List of Things to Get Done

Today is like my Monday.  I am taking care of my housework and clothes today as tomorrow is a trip to Orlando for my haircut and a stop at the consignment shop that I am dropping off some of my
depression glass for resale.

1.  vacuum and wash floors
2.  wash laundry
3.  2-mile walk
4.  clean bathroom
5.  change the litter
6.  bake a cake or brownies Nope, no eggs on hand
7.  cut some coupons
8.  wash grandson's comforter
9.  sweep off the front porch
10.  Pledge the end tables
11.  Wash dog bed

I have had good luck with the kitty litter from Dollar Tree.  I only have to change it once a week, now that we are down to one cat.  No odor, but it is a bit messy.  I was using more expensive litter and having to change it more often.

We had a big storm blow through last night.  There are branches and odd pieces of paper all over the place.  A couple of my amaryllis with the blooms are laying on the ground.  Sigh... We need the rain, but not the wind.

Dinner is going to be easy tonight.  It will be chili dogs or grilled chicken.  Nothing too fancy.  Hubs is working this weekend, so housework is easy to get done.

What is on your list of things to do today? 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

What We Ate, What We Spent April 1st - April 7th

What we ate:
Cherry dip cone!

April 1:  Scrambled eggs sandwiches on Cuban rolls
April 2: 'BLT's
April 3: Tater Tot Casserole
April 4: Eggs, grits, bacon, and toast
April 5: Grilled Steak ( Easter dinner) sweet potatoes, salad
April 6: Chicken Tetrazzini
April 7 Pizza at Lil Anthony's $30 and ice cream $7.25

What we spent:

April 2: Publix $4.50  Milk and bananas
April 3: Aldi $1.99 Heavy Whipping cream  Dollar Tree $2.15 Kitty Litter
April 6: Dollar General $2.70 dozen eggs
April 7: Winn Dixie $84.38 Saved $52.86 with rewards and coupon  Additional savings from CheckOut51 $1.65 = $54.51  

April 7:  CVS $10.99 Tide x 2, CoverGirl eyeshadow, and CoverGirl Mascara (Spend $12 receive $5ECB) I  used my  previous ECBs totalling $9, a CVS $3 Store coupon for CoverGirl, There was also  a $3 "Hot Offer" coupon for Tide Pods and another $2 manufacturer Tide Coupon that you could download to the CVS app.

 Then, I scanned my receipt into CheckOut51 and received $3.00 credit for each CoverGirl purchase. so that covered $6.00of the  $10.99 purchase. Oh, I did get another 5ECB for the  CoverGirl purchase.

$10.99 Purchase @ CVS except Revlon lip gloss
I also scanned my receipt into Fetch Rewards, you can read more about it here

I am set on detergent for a couple of months unless they are practically giving it away. And I am probably set on Make-up too.  But, it the price is right, I will probably be right there picking out my favorite colors. Or I can gift them to my daughter, she loves ALL makeup.

We got back just in time from dinner and ice cream, its now pouring down rain.  No complaints as we need the rain desperately.   A little bit of TV tonight, and that should be it! 

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission

Fair Fun

My grandson and I are waaay up there!
Last night, we went to the local county fair with my daughter and her family.  We were able to purchase armbands @ $15 per person and that allowed you to ride as many rides as you wanted.

 Regular prices for individual tickets for the rides were 40 tickets for $20 and each ride was between 10 to 6 tickets.  The armbands were definitely the way to go. Admission was $9 a person, but last night was BOGO. 

The weather was very accommodating, not too hot and as the sun went down the temps dropped enough to make the evening very pleasant. 

We were able to ride many rides multiple times with no lines and no waiting.  Definitely a big difference from Disney, where there are always lines unless you book the fast pass. 

Fair food is enticing, and we did try to avoid being hungry by eating dinner at home before we left for the Fair.  

But, when you get to the fair and smell all those delicious aromas, grilled onions and peppers, popcorn, etc it is so hard to resist.  And we naturally succumbed and tried the pizza, fries and deep-fried Oreos.  Unfortunately, the hype of the aromas at the fair did not pan out, and the pizza was without taste and the french fries were lacking taste as well. 
Deep Fried Oreos

The deep-fried Oreos were delicious! 

On the budgeting front, I need to plan for next year's visit to the Fair. I shuffled some cash around to have enough for the entrance cost, food, and games for the kiddos.  Kinda like robbing Peter to pay Paul, you may know how that goes. 

Today's agenda includes walk, some shopping at CVS.  I am figuring out how best to use Ibotta, Checkout 51 and the few EB rewards I have on hand.  

The hubs has to work this weekend, so I have time to attend to a few chores around the house too.  Next week, I have plans Monday and Tuesday, so catching up on clothes and vacuuming is on my list to get done today.

Hope your weekend is awesome!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday This and That 4/5/2018

 The weather was perfect for a walk today.  65 and with low humidity.  I managed to get in 3.7 miles today.  That is a bit more than I planned on, but the weather and the view made it easy.

We are fortunate to have a ton of bike/walking trails to take advantage near our home.

I tend to pick a different path depending on the weather.  Today, I walked on a path near us but is also near a small cattle ranch.

The area was definitely more rural when we moved out here in 2011, but luckily the small ranch has avoided being transformed into tract housing.

I have chicken thighs in the crockpot, one of three new recipes (part of my April Goals) I am trying this month.

I will share the recipe in a couple of days.  One of the ingredients is beer, so it has to be good, right?

Besides the regular list of chores to do today, I will work on cleaning a rolling rack in the garage.  It use to hold all my eBay supplies, etc.  Now it is a catch-all for everything.

I may be able to get my fridge wiped down today too.  It is getting emptier, and emptier, which is a good thing.  That means I am using what we have and staying out of the grocery stores.

I did get the correct tires ordered from WalMart online last night.  At least, I hope they are the right ones.  Pretty sure they are.  They were a little more expensive as they were a bit bigger.

Later on today, after the grandkiddos get out of school, we are going to the park for a bit. Better to be playing outside then be inside on the devices.

How is your day going?  Any new recipes to try out in your future?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday Stuff 4/4/2018

For three days straight, I have successfully walked in the morning.  It started out with 2 miles and today I walked 3 miles.  When I am walking, I listen to "This American Life" podcasts.  The podcasts last about an hour and that keeps my mind busy and engaged while I am walking.  Walking has worked for me in the past (before double knee replacement) in improving my health and slowly
losing weight.  At this stage in life with turning 60 just two years away, I really want to improve my health. 

40 years ago 
Another reason for getting back into shape is my 40th high school reunion is this summer.  The date has not been set, but the sense of urgency for getting myself together is very real.  Isn't it funny how the potential for seeing people that you knew 40 years ago will prod or motivate you to get back into shape? 

Not that 3 months is enough time, but every little bit of exercise/working out will help me in the long run. 

The tires for my husband's truck from WalMart online arrived yesterday.  Evidently, I ordered the wrong size.  Well, crap.  I went to WalMart last night, and refunded the tires and will re-order the correct size tires today.  On my way back home from WalMart, I stopped at Aldi's and picked up a carton of heavy cream. 

Yesterday was a day of errands, I returned curtains to Ross and I was able to leave the store without buying anything else. Then, I stopped by Dollar General to check out their curtains.  I am looking for insulated, energy efficient, drapes.  I did find three panels that I liked, but they only had three panels and I need four.  When I head out later this week, I will check the other Dollar General Stores. 

I picked up two bags of kitty litter at Dollar Tree, and then I stopped at CVS.  I had a CVS coupon for $4.00 off a Revlon product.  They had a lip gloss for $4.99 that I picked up for my daughter's birthday in October.  She loves lipgloss and or makeup.  The transaction gave me a 40% off coupon for a full price item that I may go back and use later this week. 

Time to boil some eggs and bake some bacon.  We keep the boiled eggs and cooked bacon on hand in the fridge for a quick snack.  My husband likes bacon on his sandwiches. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April Goals 2018

  • Keep dining out to $150 
  • Keep grocery shopping under $400
  • Come up with one way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis 
  • Come up with a side hustle, maybe look at eBay again?
  • Continue to seek part-time employment
  • Rebuild savings account to $1000


  • Dinner with grandkids, daughter, and son in law 
  • Have two date nights with my husband 
  • Visit the oldest son, and take him lasagne 
  • Call middle son weekly ( were able to visit him Easter)


  • Walk at least 45 continuous minutes a day.  Get in 10,000 daily steps total.         
  • Lose 8 pounds 
  • Strength training at gym 2-3 times a week 

  • Keep looking for part-time employment 

  • Make three new recipes 
  • Spend time with a friend (time to use that Disney Pass)
  • Volunteer at least 1x ( I may go back to the shelter to walk dogs. Maybe) 
  • Take depression glass to a consignment shop
  • Continue to research paternal side of the family
  • Daily reading of Jesus Calling and bible study
  • Find a hobby that explores creative side but does not break the bank :-)

Time to get busy with these goals.

 I straight up " borrowed" this format from The Hawaii Plan.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission  

Monday, April 2, 2018

March 2018 Goals Update

Here is a recap of how I did with my March Goals.  For me, having a list to refer back to was very helpful and motivating.

Tracking eating out and grocery shopping is a bit time consuming, but I want to get a grip on the spending. By keeping track, I am more likely to spend less, which is always a good thing.

Overall, it is a good process for accountability.

Specific goals for March: 

1.  Schedule appointment with the accountant to prepare taxes. Done!
2.  Restore joint savings account to $1000.Almost, $775 but it is going for new tires for the truck.
3.  Track grocery spending Yes!  This was successful, Recap is here. 
4.  Track eating out spending Yes, this was successful too. 
5.  Get in 10,000 steps daily Eh, nope not every day. 
6.  Review anatomy and pathology for interview daily.  This is off the table.
7.  Entertain friends one evening, pizza, and cards maybe.... (kinda out of my comfort zone) Nope.
8.  Read "Jesus Calling" and Bible verses associated with daily reading. Most every day, but room for improvement.

I am working on April's goals and will post that soon.   

Monday 4/2/2018 Brakes, Tires and Easter Fun

We had a great Easter weekend, the grandkids came over Saturday night, there were multiple Easter egg hunts both at home and at church. Earlier Saturday, my husband had to replace the brakes on his
truck.  The parts for that came to $225.  It is a blessing that he can do the work himself, and has for years.  We have saved a ton of money with his skills. 

Of course, since we or I am now seriously tracking our spending again, we really did not have that money put away.  It came out of our checking account which is ten times better than charging it.  Now our checking account is quite low, which is an incentive to not spend much if any money this week. 

Tires Ain't Pretty!
We also had to buy tires for his truck.  The tires that came with the truck when we bought it 4 years ago (42,000 miles) are losing tread and needed to be replaced.  Unfortunately, he did not make it a regular practice to rotate the tires, we may have been able to get more miles on them if he did.  With this new set, we ordered from WalMart for $635.00 he said he would be more diligent with tire rotation.  The cost of the tires was charged, but we will pull the $635.00 out of savings to cover the cost.  I used Ebates to purchase the tires and learned that Ebates does not offer savings on tire purchases. Eh, now I know. 

This pending withdrawal will leave very little cash in the house savings account.  But, at least we had it, so there is that.  

Yesterday afternoon, we took the trailer back to my son's house.  We live in the same county, but it still takes about 45 min to get there.  We had a nice visit with my son, his wife, and our grown grandson and 3 yr great-grandson.   

Initially, I had planned to grill previously purchased steaks for our Easter dinner.  Unfortunately, we did not get home in time to bust out the grill and fix dinner.  So, we fixed scrambled egg, ham and cheese sandwiches on Cuban rolls.  They were awesome AND we did not go out to eat.  Score!!

Did your Easter go as planned or did you have to improvise? 

Menu Plan Monday 4/2/2018

Happy April!  It's a new month and an opportunity to stay on track with a monthly budget/grocery shopping/menu planning.

Here are the plans for this week: 

Monday:  BLT's 
Tuesday:  Tater tot casserole 
There are a bajillion recipes for tater tot casserole, and I think I will try this TACO tater tot casserole next! 
Wednesday:  Grilled chicken and brown rice, vegetables
Thursday: Grilled Ribeye steak
Friday:  Grilled salmon ( in the freezer from months ago)
Saturday:  Grits and eggs
Sunday: Spaghetti casserole 

All of the above is subject to change and move around.  Sometimes things just don't go as planned!

Want more inspiration? Go here!