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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grocery Ads This Week and Savings

Part of the haul this week
still on the counter at WM

This is the last night of the ad prices for this week. So, with the AT&T refund money, I went shopping. In parentheses are the regular prices.

1 pint cherry tomatoes--$0.99 (4.38)

Vidalia onions--$0.68/lb. ($1.28/lb)

Bell peppers--$0.50 each (no idea)

Cherries--$1.95/lb. ($2.49)

bananas--$0.44/lb. ($.57)

Total for everything in the picture--$10.53+$0.95 tax=$11.48

Last week and using the same ads, I bought:


bell peppers--2/$1.00


white grapes--$0.99/lb.

Milk was $2.78, priced matched from Aldo.

All in all, I was pleased with the prices. The new ads come out on Wednesday, today. Since I bought 3 lbs. of cherries, I plan to freeze most of them. I hope removing the seeds is not difficult. Now, I must get the dehydrator cranked up for the onions, bell peppers, and maybe the cherries.

The Vidalia onions are huge. Those four weighed 4.4 lbs.!

Your turn
Do your ads have great prices? What kind of produce are you growing or buying for eating, canning, and dehydrating. Since I never pickle or ferment, I forget about those means of "putting up" food.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Surprise Monetary Benefits of Dumping AT&T

First of all, the MagicJack and outside antenna replaced the home line and television UVerse. Those are two bills I don't have to pay each month. I think the savings is about $80/month. I forgot what I figured the savings would be. That's great, anyway.

However, last week I received a check for about $33 for a refund on the home phone service, something I paid and they are returning it. Then, Monday I received a check for $133 on UVerse service. I have no idea why I am getting these checks, but AT&T won't get any argument from me.

Since the MagicJack was about $40 and the antenna was $99 for a total of $139+tax=$152, and the two refund checks were $160. It appears my two devices are paid for by the refunds, and I am not out any money at all. That is $8 I have left over. Ooops. I spent $6 on a phone for MagicJack and $4 for a loooong phone cord. It appears I have only spent about $2 over the refunds. Sweet!

The whole ordeal of getting rid of AT&T has been traumatic. The people are really abusive when they really understand I am over AT&T, and I am actually leaving. However, I have found someone who has the power and is making this easier after such traumatic encounters with some of the agents. I take their name, write down the date and time. They still have the recordings.

Having to spend extra money for the two devices to free myself was just killing me. Now, it has all smoothed out for me. Whew. I think I will take my last $2 I have in my purse and go buy a vanilla ice cream cone from McD since I can cash this $133 check tomorrow and pay a bill. I just wish I could go in my nightgown to get ice cream!

When I was married, I could go out in a nightgown and robe because I knew husband would come get me if the car broke down. Now? Well, I would just be embarrassed!

Your turn
Have you ever had surprise refunds that saved the day for you? Have you had trouble getting rid of AT&T or another business with whom you could not extract yourself? Have you or do you go out in a nightgown?

Monday, July 28, 2014


just looking around

 While I have seen this groundhog in my yard several times this summer, this is the first time I have had my camera. It does not fear me. I drove up as it was crunching on something. I could hear it. Acorns?

I always see the groundhog late in the evening. Today was no different. It is almost dark.  The picture does not look like dusk on the east side of the house, in the shadow of the house and many trees because I used the "enhance" function.

"maybe I should just leave"
 At one point, the groundhog dropped down and looked back toward the house. However, it was not time to leave.

"not time to retire for the night"
Still facing away from the house where it eventually retires, this ground hog is just hanging out.

"No, maybe there is something near the road?

After ten minutes of showing absolutely no alarm at my presence and several moves toward going closer to the tree and road, he finally turned around and scurried under the house. Only when I moved toward the house did he leave.
If I had a garden of any sort, I am quite sure he would dine there each night.
Yesterday, I got two portions of the demonstration food that the hens ate before. The hens were happy. but the little ones came to me for food. If little chickens are abused long enough by the big ones, hegemony keeps the little ones in line....sigh. (You no longer have to beat them with the chain, just rattle it.) A look is all it takes.
Your turn
Are there any downsides to having this critter around? Any benefits? Do people eat these? 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Desperate and Delusional: Me

just a remote

I have been wanting chocolate for hours. All of a sudden, I saw one right on the towels I folded earlier. My heart leapt up. But, it was just my remote.


Since I only have $3 to my name until the 1st and that is Friday, I am in conflict about spending $0.75 on candy + the gas to get there. The gauge is almost on empty. I just searched all my coin places where I might find something. Since Saturday, I have not lost or dropped anything.

Do * Not * Try* To * Talk * Me * Down.

Your turn
Maybe if I closed my eyes and just ate the remote? Seriously, out of your peripheral vision and in a not well lighted place, it could be a Hershey bar, right? What was your most desperate want or delusion?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Backyard Report

Nope, no pics. Exbf and I went car shopping. I had not slept all night. So, it was a trial for me. We found nothing to buy.

We were so hot, broke for lunch, came home, and had a hot dog. We went out again and returned. Nothing. I had a nap. He had things to do. He allowed me to sleep three hours like I asked. He has lost the part on the weed eater, so that did not get done. But, he did get my mangled greenhouse upright. And, I am going to go to bed as soon as I finish telling you what he said the hens were doing.

He said the little ones were lying on their sides, just lying in the cool grass, stretched out in the shade, the deepest shade in the yard. He said they looked dead. Patsy Cline was lying on her side, but he said she had her wing pulled up like we would raise and arm over our face and lie sleeping. I suppose she is not just holding her wings out and down, but pulled that one up for more ventilation.

It is only about 5:30, but they are in the pen with oats, scraps of spinach, kale, and tomatoes, chicken from exbf's salad and some of his corn. He had changed their boxes with new pine straw. Last week, I gave exbf two chicken breasts and corn I had cut off the cob. He brought most of it back for their breakfast because he took it out of the refrigerator, fixed a meal, and forgot to return the rest to the refrigerator. So, they ate well this morning, spent 8.5 hours foraging, and cooling themselves.

Night, night. The ac will be blowing right on me, how I will stay cool for the rest of the day/night.

Your turn
How are your animals cooling themselves?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stealing Sonya's Fence

Wood Fence | Asian Decor | Bamboo Fence | Asian Yard | Landscape Design
There is  new blogger on my block. Sonya Ann  from A Mom, Money, and More  just posted an Internet picture of a fence from m{pression that she likes. This looks like just what I could afford and make. Mine would not look this great, but with free bamboo and a few hundred brown UV resistant zip ties, this fence could be reality at my house.
I could enlist someone with skills and tools beyond my tools, skills, and physical capabilities to put together the frame that would not be as sturdy as this. Dogs from the rent houses come into my yard. The owners only let them out after the Animal Control officer leaves work at 4 pm. Thankfully, the people there now don't allow this kind of behavior. But, since a woman who just got rid of an abusive boyfriend lives there, she cannot afford the rent. sigh
My yard is 10 feet deeper than the yard next door. So, there is ten feet unfenced that allows passage. Behind me, those neighbors did not fence all their yard. The renters there do not tend to the unseen part of their yard, so I do. Otherwise, I have privets and scuppernong, and the dreaded wisteria in my yard and tearing up my chain link fence that does keep dogs out. Let me go take a picture of the corner and show you its condition.
Back fence to corner at left

Can you see above the fence post in the top right quadrant of the picture? To the right is a six-foot fence. The people who put the fence up only fenced in the yard and not the shed. Can you see the shed? All the foliage is from their side of the fence but intrudes onto my fence. The privets and wisteria have deformed my 4 foot chain link fence that extends from the left to the other side of my yard. I have a dog barrier, but this week, I will use an herbicide for the first time in my life. If it accidentally gets on their yard, oh well. Of course, over where they actually take care of the yard beyond the fence post and right of that, I will be ultra-careful.

From fence to beyond the telephone pole--no fence
Actually, there is a two-foot ancient, decorative fence that does not go all the way across and certainly will not keep a dog out of the yard. This section where my yard is deeper is where the dogs from rent house get into my yard. THIS is were the bamboo fence will be great. NO, I will not grow bamboo on the property line.
People have free bamboo to give away all the time around here. Now, I just have to advertise. This fence won't be lovely or match anything. But, it beats chicken wire fencing, which I have on hand. It won't involve much labor that I cannot perform. I know zip ties would look tacky, but the right color will never be seen from a distance. Let's hope bamboo is free and plentiful as it usually is in this area.
Your turn
Do you think the bamboo fence at the top is great? Can anyone see a downside other than it will not hold a bull out of the yard or is different from the other fencing?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free Food for Chickens and Me

All for me; none for
 At the dinner, some people I have known of forever, gave me produce from their garden. Part of the bell pepper will go into the steak tomorrow. Their son was a friend of my son throughout school. I cannot remember meeting her, but she was a nurse who may not have been at all school and social functions.  However, she remembered me, just not my name. When I told her my name, she knew my son's name. We will have tomatoes with the steak tomorrow. (I talk about it below.)

Ugh, now I must snap beans!

I had not dumped the produce out until the picture. You cannot see how deep the beans or tomatoes are in this picture. I actually have more than a mess of beans, four bell peppers, and a quart of grape tomatoes. sigh  This is enough produce for a week.

free spiral cut tool
Can you see the stainless steel tool below the box?

demonstration scraps
 At my favorite store was a demonstration of a mandolin. The guy gave me the demonstration scraps. Apple, cabbage and tomatoes were hen food for me.

I had him scrape the onions and French-fry cut demonstrations into another bag. They look clean. If I were not going to heat them, I would not eat them. There is an on-sale round steak waiting, marinating for tomorrow. I will cook it in a cooking bag like a roast, along with the potato and onions. I'll add a bag of baby carrots gotten for $0.39. This will make six meals for less than $5. The meal will be fewer potatoes and more carrots.

eating demonstration scraps Thursday

I usually put their food in the pen just because I want them to learn to come and eat so I can trap them for the night. That way, there is a peaceful end to the day instead of my fretting, chasing and herding and sweating. However, I did not want to dump this is in the dirt today. I put it outside the pen, about 6 feet before I reached the pen. They were going nuts inside the pen and watching me dump the food.
However, no one remembered this. I opened the door and they all came flying out. When I went into the pen to collect an egg, they followed me back in, tripping me and generally impeding my progress. I had to walk all the way back to the food before they saw it! Then, they went crazy, eating and running. Well, the little two run away with food. Thelma and Louise just stay with the food and have no anxiety or fear.
gyro sandwiches
Yes, they looked like subs.
Tuesday night
These scraps were from the Tuesday lunch at a church. I gave the hens very little bread, mainly just turkey, ham, and roast beef with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. You can see the tail of a little one bottom right. They run so fast with their food, it's impossible to get all four in one picture.
                                                                  Wednesday chicken food
                                                                     no picture


Obviously, I took no picture, but last night at the Wednesday night dinner, we had white rice with a hamburger patty and gravy on top and green beans on the side. The gravy was delicious, but I only ate half the rice or less. So, hens had the same thing for dinner, but I must not have taken a picture.
Between the two free meals for me, plus the produce at the top will feed me for a week. Besides, I have plenty of other on-sale produce that I have gotten with a price match. This feels good. I just need to find more free food for hens and me.
Your turn
Where do you get free food? Your own garden (okay, not exactly free), parents/friends, gleaning, scrounging?