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Friday, November 21, 2014

See The Directions?

folding 20 boxes
Folding Christmas Child boxes

There are 15 more boxes left to fold and hook together or a total of 20. I am taping all them to assure they stay together. This whole thing is so hard. My hands hurt! ugh

I started to ask exbf, but he would take forever and not like doing it. At least, I don't think he would like doing it.  He would take forever because he would squeeze the perforated folds so tight that they would stay really well, unlike my folding. The whole box flops open after I do all the folding before I hook pieces together. I didn't want him to work so hard at something I can do.

The one box on top is not photographed well since more of an angle would show it is a box. This project is my charity work this year.

Elder Charity Project

However, I decided to find one older woman in a nursing home who has no one to visit or give her things. I have shampoo, soap, toothbrush, fuzzy footies, deodorant, Christmas card, hand lotion, razors, gloves, scarf/hat, lipstick/lip gloss, Kleenex. I can get snacks, Christmas candy, something Christmas-y to put on the wall or dresser. I have other things swirling in my head. There are sales at WM. Anything else?

Okay, I have eaten, had a chocolate snack, peed twice, changed the channel several times and cannot think of anything else to waste time since I composed this blog post. So, I suppose I should get back to work, folding boxes and maybe start filling them tonight. They need to be turned in tomorrow.

Shower and Hair Washing
Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am, I can get a shower and wash my hair if I get to a church by 6:30 am. I have to be through before they start something else. It will be so lovely to get wet all over. I am so excited.

Your turn
Do you ever fiddle-faddle around and waste time to avoid a task at hand? What else could I give an elderly person in a nursing home? You see why I celebrate a shower with a note on my blog?

Flood and Mugs

outdoor basement steps

I lost the picture that went with the promised F-bombs. How does that happen? (rhetorical question only) Fortunately, I can take that again.

The picture above was taken of the steps down into my basement. I suppose a cat knocked the purple planter off and I suppose exbf put the plastic bags into the planter. sigh I wonder how much damage was done and how much all that water will cost me.

Look carefully at the picture. The water is the level of the last step. Six inches or so of the door is under water. I you look at the left side of the door, you can see the water line and the door under the water. This door has panels and the last section is under the water. Can you see that?

Before the plumber could even get to the place where the water line was broken and water gushing out, he had to get a pump to remove the water. The pump removed 70 gallons of water every minute. (I think that is what I heard him say to his helper.) Of course, my back yard was very soggy when he was through. Exbf had to put down boards to walk on so he could get to the hens.

grocery display
Can you believe that one of these Mug Cakes is $1.79? And, it does not include a mug! My own version is to take a cheap cake mix, dump some in a cup, add milk, and microwave. 1/3 cup of mix+2Tablspoons of milk sounds about right. If it is hot, chocolate and gooey, I am happy. Then, there are recipes rom scratch. Some contain 12 ingredients and some recipes have only 3 ingredients.

Ooooh, look at this SITE.

Your turn
Can you believe there was six inches of water in the basement? Have you ever made a cake in a cup or mug?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Water Situation Now

First of all, if you have donated on gofundme at the right of this post about my water dilemma, I cannot get back into the site. Their tech support gave me hours of help that did not help. Maybe Saturday, I will be up to talking/emailing back and forth. This sort of thing drains me and eventually makes me furious which drains me more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sweet Potatoes, CVS, Toothpaste

$40 pound box for $11
I bought two--80 lbs for $22.
 Regulars readers know my love for sweet potatoes. For the last few years, I have paid $10 for a 40 pound box, making them $0.25/pound. This year, the 40 pound box cost me $11. No big deal. This year, they went up to $0.27 1/2 cents per pound or $0.28/pound. Look at the produce section and see how much these are through the winter in your area.

About five years ago I met a woman in KFC who has since hired me about six times to write her resume, tailoring it for the government job application she has in front of her. I told her about my sweet potato farmer and prices. For three years she has planned to go with me. She finally did and is thrilled with her one box.

two lipsticks I bought last week.
 I know you don
t need to see the color of my lipstick! The story: why I buy lipstick for $10 at CVS instead of $4.97 at Walmart. CVS has this guarantee for makeup. If you get makeup you don't like, CVS will refund your money. When I buy a new lipstick, I buy it at CVS. From then on, I buy that same color at Walmsrt.

This was the first year in ages that I actually bought makeup other than lipstick. Only once about five years ago did I use the return policy. That return was because the lipstick top kept coming off in my little makeup bag. The manager was annoyed, but I stuck to my guns. I turned right around and bought the same thing again. That action made him furious, and he implied that I was using the guarantee wrongly. The next tube of lipstick top stuck tight and never came off.

$0.07--total cost for all three
I had not restocked toothpaste in ages. Remember, I sent it to three children, dil, and four grandchildren. Plus, I will put one in each of the 20 Christmas child boxes I am filling.

Your turn
What deals have you found lately? Do you ever go to the farm and get your produce from a huge storage area rather than the stand out front? Do you ever buy makeup from CVS to have the return policy available to you? Did you know they had this "satisfaction guarantee" at CVS? Do you ever return makeup there?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Almost Free at CVS

bronze booster--75% off

Since I got two mascaras marked 75% off and left things there that were marked down, I thought I should go back and get more, using the coupon from the store machine. Well, I procrastinated because I was still drained the next day. Today, when I went back with my $3 coupon on any Physicians Formula product, all the mascara was gone. RATS!

Not to be defeated, I search for other PF makeup that was marked down and could find nothing. But, I was determined, swung back to look again. There it was. The last PF with the green sticker. This is a bronzer in four sections for the four seasons.

It was $14.79. I paid $3.69 and saved $11.10. Using the $3 coupon, I paid the tax on the clearance price At any rate, the price was less than $1. And, I don't have the receipt! Okay, it was not free, but close enough. Found the receipt--paid $3.69 clearance-$3.00 coupon= $0.69+ tax on $3.69,  saved $11.10, actually with coupon, I paid $0.69 + $0.34 tax= $1.03 total

Sooo, one more gift for a bit over $1. Whew, finally got that

And, there were other brands on sale. You might check CVS in your area. The guy told me the 75% sale went off last week. NO, not so. This is a clearance price and it is mixed in with the regular priced items. Last week, it was on an end shelf with other sale-priced items.

I think I will mosey on over to Rite Aid and see what happening there on Monday. I am on a roll here.`

Your turn
Have you checked out CVS lately? Are there any places I should check out for sales on cosmetics? Did you find any good deals this weekend?

Soup's On

chicken, pasta, and vegetables
one quart experiment

After cooking 12 chicken breasts and a chicken in the crockpot last weekend, I decided to make soup. But, I was not making it for me because I did not think I had enough dehydrated vegetables. So, this was for exbf. My whole purpose was to test them by rehydrating. Well it worked. When I dehydrated vegetables for the fair FAIR CONTEST, I had less than 1/2 cup left over in another jar.

I decided to see how far that little bit of vegetables would go in use. So, I took the left over half cup of broth and more broth to make a half cup of broth. Plus, I removed a bit of Delallo rigatoni pasta from the freezer, less than one cup. I used a bit of the chicken fat/broth and flour, cooked in small skillet to thicken the broth in the soup.

Then, I added a handful of dark and light chicken shreds to this and fed it to exbf. The cold chicken breast resisted being pulled apart. The few tastes I had were incredible. He took home a Miracle Whip jar more than half full after of soup. Knowing him, he will take out half, add something and have a lot of "soup" for two meals.

The whole point of making the soup was to try the dehydrated vegetables. They dehydrated easily. I put them in warm broth and put in the refrigerator overnight until I was ready to cook. The rigatoni was cooked in water. I used half cup of that water in the soup.

I basically took leftovers and made a meal--one quart of soup.  I opened nothing new to make the soup. This is not the usual kind of soup I make, so this was an experiment. This is the first soup I have ever made with chicken. It is the first soup I have made without tomatoes or tomato sauce. To me, it reminded me of a Progresso soup, although I have never eaten Progresso. When I finished the soup, it just looked like the pictures on Progresso cans.

Adding another vegetable, a little more meat and it would have been more than a quart of soup. But, I found out what I wanted to know about the dehydrated vegetables. I used the leftover dehydrated vegetables from the pint I used to win. Since this was less than half a cut of mixed vegetables for soup, I will probably use a full half cup of the pint and have four meals from vegetables. Of course, I am not making large batches of soup. This is my first time using all dehydrated vegetables in cooking. YMMV.

Why did I not keep it for myself or at least part of the soup after he had lunch from it? He worked too hard to get my heater uncovered and into the den. So, he got it all to help him out in the cooking department, not that he ever really cooks. Besides, I told him it was just for him.

The results of my experiment: less than one half cup of these dehydrated vegetables would make enough for four small servings or two large servings. Of course, a sandwich alongside would fill the meal out nicely. If I were giving this to my children, I would give them a peanut butter and honey sandwich. But, we never ate soup and sandwich.

Your turn
So you ever dehydrate vegetables to cook later in soup or whatever? Do you make white soup or like me, always use tomatoes or tomato sauce? This was the smallest pot of soup I have ever made. Do you cook huge pots of soup or just small amounts?

Friday, November 14, 2014

CVS Fiasco

my CVS haul
(just noticed sticky on the lipstick)
Okay, sticky all gone.

I had a $5 coupon from the CVS coupon machine that I needed to use by the 12th. I had to buy $15 worth of cosmetics to use the $5 coupon. Then, I received a gift card for $5 because the employee did not ask me if I wanted a flu shot. Recap: I had to buy $15 worth of cosmetics and had $10 to  pay for the $15 worth. Simple, right?

Not the way they play! I got Physicians Formula mascara for my daughter because that is her most important cosmetic. The CVS ad said "buy one and get one 50% off."  Surprise, surprise! It was 75% off. The woman helping me said that, yes, one was 75% off and the other would be 50% off that. My hands are trembling. My oldest daughter loves mascara.

Ordinarily, the two mascaras would have put me almost at the $15 mark. Now, with this deal, I was nowhere near $15. I looked at the add and found that Revlon lipstick had an Extra Buck deal. If I bought two lipsticks, I got $4 extra bucks.  I had to buy two lipsticks. Actually, I was going to buy lipstick at CVS when it went on sale. So, it is not on sale, but it was a good buy. Now, that put me way over. However, the price I paid was shockingly high. I wandered away muttering. My back was killing me.

I leaned against something until I could think. My original $5 coupon from the coupon machine was not on the receipt. But, the $5 card was applied. Are you with me? It is not over.

I did not get my $4 extra bucks nor did the cashier take off the $5 coupon from the coupon machine. The guy at the back assured me he could do it all, fix everything. No, he could not. And, pharmacy customers were stacking up behind me like cord wood. He took 15 minutes to decide he did not know how, or it did not seem possible to fix my problem. He easily got my $4  Extra buck for the lipsticks. Finally, he asked if he could give me a $5 Extra Buck instead of giving me back cash. I was weak and drained and in pain, so I agreed. He looked beaten, defeated.

It's too cold in here to think about getting out the receipt. BUT, I got two Physician's Formula mascaras and two lipsticks for about $8 and have $9 Extra Bucks.  I will keep this going like slugmama does, maybe. At any rate, I have until 12-12-14 to spend them.

Next time, I don't intend to spend money! I am proud of I think the daughter will use this and like it, even though it is not really an ordinary gift. Yes, she is getting it for Christmas. I don't really know what she wants or needs since she has not spoken to me for over a year. sigh  If I don't send her something, she will start talking to me to tell me how horrible that a mother would not give her child a gift at Christmas, all driven by her father.

One day, about a year ago I asked her what she wanted if I could find a good deal. "Mascara!" It's her favorite cosmetic.

Your turn
Has anyone else gotten any deals at CVS this week? What was it? Or, did you get a great deal at RiteAid or Walgreen's? Okay, just tell me what you got anywhere. Is it a Christmas gift?  Slugmama, are you listening to what I did even though it was not perfect?