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Archive for December, 2010

2010 food pantry totals

December 31st, 2010 at 02:08 pm

In 2010 I spent 289.17 for 831 items that were donated to the food pantry in 2010. This included food, personal care, pharmacy, cleaning supplies, paper products and toys. The face value of the items was $1036.62 a 72% savings. The original goal was to spend $20/month and try to purchase 100 items. I did this pretty regularly in 2009, but was only able to meet the 100 item goal a couple times in 2010. The deals just weren't there. However, I am happy with what I was able to do. Next year I plan to increase the monthly amount to $25. I also usually spend another $75 for toys, I plan to spend $100 on toys in 2011.

It's a whopping 3 degrees here today. The roads are still really slick and lots of accidents. Dad came by and picked me up so we could walk at Walmart.

I finished reading my book Gravity Dreams by L.E. Modesitt Jr. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

blizzard

December 30th, 2010 at 02:57 pm

We are having a blizzard here and the roads are a mess, so I had to cancel a dr's appt. That means I'll have to pay full price next month when I got since my health care deductions will start from 0. I went to Walmart to walk this morning and it was cloudy but no snow. By the time we got out it was just starting to flake. Walmart was a zoo with people shopping. It wasn't even that bad before xmas. I went to King Soopers to get my prescriptions and bananas, potatoes, onions, eggs and soap. It was even worse. By the time I got out the snow was sticking. I was almost out of gas so stopped to get that. Again, everyone and his brother was there. Finally got gas and by then the roads were icy. It took me an half hour to drive 3 miles to get home. That's when I decided to cancel the appt.

I watched the Extreme Couponing show on TLC last night. The only one who has thier priorities straight seems to be Joyce the retired nurse. She shops for several families and while she stockpiles, she doesn't hoard, like some of the others. No one needs 150 years of toilet paper. The first family, where the wife says she misses dates with her husband for good deals said she spends 6 hours a day couponing. i think she bought about $1000 of stuff for $50. That's great, but who needs 260 boxes of pasta? Even at 1 box/week that's more than 5 years worth. She spent $50 and bought $70 worth of coupons to do the deals. That's $120. More than enough for 2 people for one week. I would think she could do a lot better in a lot less time just buying enough and not buying more than you can possibly use.

I am a couponer and I like the good deals. It's hard to turn down free stuff. I agree with several of the people that it's a game. But I don't let it take over my life.

I just think the show gave normal couponers a bad name. It's getting a lot of buzz on the coupon web sites, most people don't seem to care for the portrayal.

I finished reading the library book Dark Peril by Christine Feehan. Paranormal - very good.

punished for being 50

December 29th, 2010 at 02:00 pm

No wonder people don't like to get older, not only does your body punish you by not working as well and aching more, but the insurance companies punish you too. I got my first health insurance bill for 2011. It increased just because, but adding insult to injury since I'm turning 50 there is another premium jump of a whopping $73/month. At least I can get insurance and this last year definitely taught me the value of having it, even paying more than $5000/year, it's worth it. My new monthly bill is 417.60.

I started watching a documentary from Netflix on my computer yesterday. I didn't have a lot of time so only got the first 20 minutes in. But I was really impressed with the speed and quality of the download. Plus I can go back and pick up right where I left off instead of having to start from the beginning like with a DVD. They sent my first DVD and I'm supposed to get it tomorrow.

My grandma went home today so last night was the last night of playing cards. We played Rook the whole 5 days. Me and mom vs grandma and dad. They won 22 games to our 21 so it was pretty close.

I finished reading my book Sebastian by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - very good.

grumpy

December 28th, 2010 at 01:02 pm

I was in a very grumpy mood earlier this morning. Feeling good now. I woke up to another smoke detector chirping. This one upstairs. It actually blew out the bottom of the old battery that was in there. I need to get some more 9V batteries, I only have 1 new one left and 2 more smoke detectors.

I went to Walmart and even though the ringy-dingy guys are gone, they've got new people out in front asking (yelling) for donations. I just hate that, it's one of my pet peeves. Made me very grumpy Smile

I got some frozen popcorn shrimp and fries for dinner tonight at my mom's. She's fixed dinner for me everyday since xmas because I've gone over everyday to play games with my grandma. I also got 4 small xmas bags for .12 each and 2 18 ct boxes of 30 gal Hefty trash bags for .50/each. The trash bags in this size and price are only on the cigarette fast lane. They are $2.50 for 18 ct and I had $2 coupons. I only needed 2 so I left a bunch of coupons sitting on the bags for anyone else who needed some.

I paid both credit cards and cashed in my rewards. I will get $50 back from the MC and a $25 gift card to Borders from Discover.

I signed up for a free month trial at Netflix. If I decide to keep it, it will be $9.99/month for streaming video and DVDs by mail. I put several DVDs in my queue and I will see if it's worth it to me to do this. I have the first season of Glee and the first season of the Amazing Race waiting. I'll see what kind of quality I get streaming a movie to my computer. Not expecting great things there.

I finished reading my book The Brazen Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance - excellent.

dueling smoke alarms

December 27th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

In Colorado the building code says you have to have smoke alarms in every bedroom and hallway, you also have to have a carbon monixide alarm on each floor. This morning I woke up to the smoke alarm battery chirping. Since they are so close together (about 6 feet apart) it's often difficult to tell which one is the problem. I figured out it was coming from downstairs so elimanated 3 of them that way.

So I figured it was either my bedroom or the hallway. I thought it was the hallway so I changed the battery there. But I kept hearing chirping so I changed the one in the bedroom too. But both of them kept chirping. They were dueling. My dad had to come over to pick up a crock pot of beans mom wanted to make for dinner tonight, only she didn't have any beans or a crock pot. She loaned hers to my aunt. I always have tons of dried beans so I told her I would soak them last night. Anyways he had to pick those up and I asked him to bring his battery checker to see if maybe my batteries were bad. They were new, but have been in the closet for a year or two. Both batteries tested good. I was going to Walgreens so figured I would buy new ones and try them.

At Walgreens I did 2 transactions. The first one was:

12.00 - 2 Vicks Sinex
8.00 - 2 Vicks Vapo Rub
3.18 - 2 100 ct boxes Puffs tissue
1.50 - taxes
------
24.68
-8.00 - 2 $4 q's for Vicks Sinex
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's for any Vicks product
-3.18 - 2 buy 2 Vicks products get a free Puffs tissue
-1.40 - WAGS q on the Puffs discounted to .89/each
-----
10.10 - got back a RR for $10 because I bought $20 in Vicks products. All the Vicks stuff will go to the food pantry and I'll keep the 2 boxes of tissue for 10 cents.

Second transaction

6.58 - 2 2 packs of Olay bar soap
11.98 - 2 2 packs Energizer 9V batteries
.89 - 1 Mars Simply Caramel candy bar
1.20 - taxes
-----
-4.00 - 2 $2 Olay soap q's
-1.65 - WAG b1g1 50% off sale on Olay soap
-2.00 - 2 $1 Energizer q's
-10.00 - RR from previous transaction and why I bought the candy bar. Walgreen policy 1 q per/item
------
3.00 and I got back a $1 RR. I forgot Walgreens only gives 1 RR on an item. I should have done another transaction and got the batteries separately and I would have got another $1 RR.

When I got home I changed both smoke alarm batteries again and they finally guit chirping. I was putting the step ladder away and I hear another chirp sounding like it came from the furnace room so I checked that and the carbon monixide alarm was chirping. So I had to change those batteries too. It needed 3 AA's. Finally though there is peace and quite in the house Smile I can't understand why all the batteries quit working at the same time. I hadn't realized the 9V batteries had gotten so expensive, even with the RRs and the coupons about $2 each.

I finished reading the library book Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver. Paranormal - very good. This is a new author for me and I liked it a lot. I plan to put some of her other books on hold at the library.

very good christmas

December 26th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Christmas turned out really well. The nieces had to leave earlier than we would have liked, but it was great while they were there. Opening presents took less than an hour. We knew it would go much faster this year. Everyone seemed to like what they got. My main gift was a DVR/VCR combo.

My oldest niece made everyone treats. Mine was kiflins - a type of almond cookie that are very good. Mom got caramels dipped in chocolate, they were excellent. She made brownies for her mom and sister and divinity for my dad.

We spent a lot of time talking about my brother, but it was good and not sad. After everyone else left I stayed and played cards. My grandma plans to stay till Wednesday, so I will probably go over every evening to play cards.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas day.

I finished reading the library book A Wild Light by Marjorie M. Liu. Paranormal - very good.

first christmas

December 24th, 2010 at 02:33 pm

This is going to be a very weird christmas. It's the first christmas after my brother's death and it's the first christmas without my brother-in-law in over 20 years and it might be the last christmas with my grandma. I hope not on the last one, unless that's what's best for her, since she's in a lot of pain and has been for many years. She's 92.

Christmas is usually an all day thing at my mom's. It starts out with grandma reading the christmas story from the bible and then we all take turns opening presents and it can take 3 - 4 hours. We have a huge lunch and usually watch a video together, mostly someone's present that year. This year, the nieces have to cram in two christmas's with their parents and another with us in the same day. So probably only 3 - 4 hours for lunch and presents total. They will start at their mom's christmas morning, then at my mom's for lunch and presents and then to their dad's in the evening.

The present opening should go much faster since two people won't be there and everyone got fairly large gifts this year instead of a lot of little ones.

Yesterday my parents found out my dad's half-sister died. She was somewhere in her 80's, he was close to her. Just another part of this crappy year. My dad just keeps saying he wishes this year was over.

They picked up the death certificates for my brother and instead of the heart-attack they originally told them he died from they wrote ethanol abuse as cause of death. That really hurt my dad. He's never admitted my brother had an alcohol problem.

My mom just called and they just got home with grandma, so I'm going over there to play cards tonight. That should be fun. We've always been a big game playing family at all our get togethers. I have all the presents ready to go, so will take them with me tonight and put them in the right spots in mom's living room.

I finished reading the library book Bad Blood by John Sandford. Mystery - excellent.

I love my bed

December 23rd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Last night I was lying in bed ready to fall asleep and my mind was just drifting. I felt so comfortable and relaxed. I started thinking I love my bed. I was reminded of the hospital and how much trouble I had sleeping and the comparison just made me realize how much better it was to be home in my own bed. My bed is adjustable and is raised about 2 inches at the top. I have very soft, comfortable sheets. Next to me is my remote control for the ceiling fan/light so I can just reach over and adjust the temperature. My bed has a massage function when I want to use it. Just grateful for the little things like sleeping in my own bed, in my own house and enjoying every minute of it Smile

Mom and I were able to walk outside today so didn't need to endure Walmart. She finished her shopping yesterday and said that's it for the year. She ran out of time and will fill in with money where needed. I just wish both of my parents would slow down and realize that many, if not most, of the things they think are important for xmas are not what's important and mostly we all just want to be together that day. What the house looks like, what the presents are, how they are wrapped, what the menu is doesn't matter. But that's not likely to happen.

I finished reading my book Mountain Massacre by Jason Manning. Western - ok.

why do keyboards lose their letters so fast?

December 22nd, 2010 at 04:39 pm

My parents had a problem getting on thier email the other day so I went over to fix their computer. I noticed their keyboard is missing a lot of the letters, they've rubbed off. I think they've only had this keyboard less than 2 years. I think my dad has something in his skin oils that's toxic. I've noticed most keyboards seem to lose their letters faster than they used to, but not that fast. I've had mine for 5 years and the N, M and E keys are starting to wear, but the rest are still great.

Anyways I suggested mom get dad a new keyboard for xmas. Unfortunately I didn't think about it till today, which doesn't leave a lot of time. We looked at Walmart during our walk and they only had one keyboard that was wired. The rest were all wireless. I think wireless is a pain in the butt. You'll be typing or mousing and all the sudden it quits working and it takes a while to remember to check the batteries. But I would have gotten a wireless if any of them had a sleep key. My parents really like that feature and use it all the time. I don't know why they are so hard to find though.

Walmart didn't have any so we went to Staples and they didn't have any either. I told her I would go in town with her that afternoon if she wanted me too and look at Best Buy or Office Max. I really didn't want to go shopping in town this close to xmas. She was going anyways. She had a few things to buy at Walmart and needed to make a list so I came home and checked Amazon.

They had a great one with larger letters for people who won't wear their glasses and wonder why they can't see Smile plus it was wired and had a sleep button. It was just under $40. They wanted $13 for next day shipping, but they had something that said Free 2 day shipping so I selected that. However when I got the invoice it changed it to 2 day shipping but still charged me $13. I sent an email and got a reply within a couple hours (from someone in India or from India living here) saying as a courtesy they would refund the shipping. So happy with that. I shipped it to mom's and really, really, really hope it gets there in time. Dad is so hard to buy for and this is something he can use.

I got another $4 footlong meatball sub at Subway for lunch and dinner, while we were at Walmart.

I finished reading the library book Nauti and Wild by Lora Leigh and Jaci Burton. Romance - ok.

inflation

December 21st, 2010 at 01:16 pm

It's a good thing the government says inflation is so low. I don't know what I'd do if it was 3 or 4% :P

My personal inflation rate seems much higher.

My HOA went up $15 or 9%
My health insurance went up $40+ or 14%
Gas has gone up .10/gal in the last month or 4%
Milk has gone up .30/gal or 15%
Eggs have gone up .50/doz or 50%
My house insurance went up $20+ or 14%
Two of my prescriptions went up 10% each
I expect my property taxes will go up too. I should be getting that bill soon.

The Borders $10 gift card deal was a bust for me. After spending an hour on the phone Sunday and being assured it would be mailed on Monday, I saw it was on backorder. I hate it when companies lie to you. It's time sensitive since the $10 bonus card is only good next week. It's an hour round trip to go to the Border's and I had planned to be in town next Monday. If it wasn't mailed yesterday it was doubtful I would get it in time. So I spent another 1/2 hour on the phone, being plauged by muzak, and canceled the order today. Extremely unimpressed by their service.

I finished reading the library book Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb. Mystery - excellent.



perceptions

December 20th, 2010 at 01:53 pm

I was watching the news about a hugh snowstorm in California, they said they got 2 - 4" of snow. LOL that's what we call a light dusting here. Today we have gusty winds up to 36 mph. I expect somewhere that's a light breeze, but it's pretty fierce here. It's all in your perception of what's normal. It's 55 degrees here which is comfortable for us, but probably chilly for others.

We've been walking at Walmart most days because it's too cold or windy to walk outside. I don't think the Walmart is nearly as busy this year as it was the last 2 years. I don't know if that's because people are shopping somewhere else or if they are just not shopping.

I got another prescription today for $5.45. I ran out of coupons for prescriptions though so no free groceries. Maybe some more will come out after the first of the year.

I finished reading the library book Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. Mystery - very good.

death by muzak

December 19th, 2010 at 02:15 pm

I don't know if this is actually possible but I've been on hold for more than 30 minutes with Borders and the muzak is killing me. I think if we want a new nethod of torture for Al Quada we just need to hook them up to musak and then every other minute interupt it to say "Your interrogation is very important to us, please hold on and we will get to you as soon as possible."

I ordered the $50 in Gift cards with the $10 bonus on Dec 8th. I didn't get notice it was shipped and last Thursday I checked the order. After recieving a confirmation email showing shipping was free the order status on line showed I owed $3.98 for shipping. I sent an email Thursday but no one replied so I called today. Bottom line is thier partner in this promotion added the premium shipping on after the order was placed since they didn't think they recieved enough money. I don't think that's legal. Anyways, they are supposed to ship it with no extra charge in the next day or so. Good thing I wasn't planning on giving the gift cards as gifts, since they won't get here in time to mail them anywhere. It took more than an hour to resolve, not very impressed with thier online ordering.

I walked around the neighborhood by myself today since mom is having a big party at her house for the relatives. 40 people in a house is more than I can handle. I've noticed there is a lot more outdoor decorating this year than last. Very pretty. I don't decorate my house, I just enjoy other's decorations.

I finished reading the library book Duainfey by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci/Fi - ok.