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Monday, April 26, 2010

Change

It's another rainy Monday morning in South Florida. I not only wake up to rain, but I also wake up to possible Change. Change is good. Well, it should be, and most of the time it is in the end. ONCE you get over the fact that it's Change. But this could be BIG change. As in: life altering. As in: lifestyle change. Hubby got an email last night around 9pm that there was a conference call at 8am eastern time this morning. That would be 7am corporate office time. NO ONE DOES THAT ON A MONDAY unless it's big news. It is. 5am. As always. Fire up the laptop. Google company name. Being bought out. Wow. Hubby is flipped. Torn. Broke the no F word rule for the month. Several times. Me, I do a quick tally of what I have in savings and what big expenses are coming up. What can we eliminate. Think quickly, thank God I didn't just upgrade me & the kids cell phone plans. How much does Princess need this week for classes? And the list goes on. Amazing how the brain kicks in and starts working. Even at 5:15am. Me. I'm not so worried. We've been through this before, not that many years ago. And we are in a much better position now than we were then. At least I feel we are. Hubby, not on the same page with me. Not at all positive. Upset. Angry. Betrayed. Hurt. His range of emotions is across the board. He was just at corporate last week. Not. A. Single. Word. or. Gesture. Was. Made. Betrayed. That's his number one feeling I suppose. Could take a year for all to take place. Packages. Offers. And so on. Debating on whether to cancel my trip this weekend. A) expense. B) things that need to be taken care of here on the home office. C) Today's conference call may have an impact on the "FUN" factor. Happy Rainy Monday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kitchen Gadgets

Yup, I've made it quite clear that I love kitchen gadgets. I try to go based on the recommendation of others just to save the "oooohhhh, it can do ALL that". The Magic Bullet is a perfect example. Don't get me wrong, I like the bullet, just not all that much!
So, today's star is the Crockpot.
I can't exactly remember HOW I acquired this ancient thing, but I do know it's from my g/f Chatty and she didn't have room in her little kitchen for extra stuff to be stored. So since she knew that I use crockpots all the time (especially during holiday parties!!) she gave it to me to hold on to. Oh, 5 or 6 years ago. :)

I have 3 other ones. Well, 4 actually. But 2 of them are the little tiny ones which I'm not fond of all as there is not a temperature control.

But here's what I made for dinner all day long on Saturday:BBQ Pork. Tossed in two small roast that were onion marinated (still frozen) that I had picked up awhile ago on markdown, covered, set on low and let it cook. After about 6 hours, pulled them out, sliced thick, tossed back in crockpot with a little bbq sauce and let cook another 1 1/2 hours or so. It fell apart pretty well at that point. Served it on those pepperidge farm thin deli bun thingys (got on sale) with my free cheddar cheese slices and topped with additional bbq sauce.

We had this again on Sunday, same exact way (leftovers) only this time I caramelized 2 large onions to top the sandwiches with and ohhhh....this was delicious!! The leftovers at that time went into the freezer for a later quick dinner or lunch!

Kitchen Gadgets

I think I've made it pretty well known that I love a good kitchen gadget. I try not to buy things JUST to buy them. And normally try to get someone elses opinion first.
First up:
This has been the best $15 I've spent in a while. Grab this little gadget and you can have this within 5 minutes, if not less:
All this is was 2 tomotoes, 1/2 white onion, 1 jalepeno and a squeeze of lime juice. Tada! Next Up: The crockpot!

Random things

I can definately tell that Princess is back. My life is all helter skelter ... but not in a bad way. As you may have figured from the previous post, she is back home, safe and sound, where she belongs. Enrolled in 2 classes at the local college, online, which would NOT have been my preference, but at least its a start. Trying to find a job. Not as easy as she had thought. Suddenly all those who said they could get her a job here or there are not so confident. It's the way life is. Make it on your own baby, don't rely on someone else to make it happen. Sonny Boy is doing a talent show this upcoming week with the band. THE band. I'm excited. They've apparently sold out tickets. That's pretty cool. I will not be able to attend because I fly out that morning to meet Hubby in Chicago and then we will go see the folks & fly back on Sunday. Yes, I'm ok with leaving the kids here. 19 and 17. The 17 year old is very conservative. Ying and Yang. Had a friend over for dinner last night. Made chicken breast and shrooms and black beans and rice. Very frugal meal for entertaining: Chicken breast were marked down organic things, $6.99 a lb normally (??!!!really??) each was (one per package) marked down to about $2 each and I had $2 off meat coupons. So after the 8 packages I bought, I spent about $6 ... only cooked 4 of them. The shrooms were marked down to $1.50 for 12 oz package. Marinated them in Kens Lite Cesar Dressing and then wrapped in foil & cooked alongside the chicken on grill. Black beans & rice were leftover from the previous day. I had made them Thursday morning in the rice cooker while getting ready to go to work. How cool is that!? I love my rice cooker!! There are some great deals going on at Publix right now, primarily the pepperidge farm sandwich flats with a $2 off deli purchase. I've been stocking up on some GOOD deli cheese that I would NOT normally buy at $9 a lb. I love a good deal. So these will make great sandwiches throughout the summer (toss in the freezer!) and go well with the super duper cheap lunchmeat I had stocked up on a while ago in the freezer! I pulled out two small pork roast that I had in the freezer (of course, special mark down, think $2 each?) and they are currently in the crockpot for pulled bbq pork sandwiches tonight (on the thin round thingys with some good cheese) ... I'm happy. Trying to make a dent in the freezers. Which is my next dilema: Target has flank steak on sale for $1.99 lb. That's like a GREAT price here. Of course, the few times I've swung in, they didn't have any. Which is sort of good because I don't have room in the freezers YET. I may just try to get a rain check today. I'm off to Sports Authority to get me a new pair of sneakers. Yes, I think I'm going with the $100.00 as I need to start walking more and hey, if it can give my butt up to a 28% more workout, I'm in! I am still doing the P90X half heartedly but just having a heck of a time staying motivated. If I had someone to do it with it would be so much better (any volunteers out there??) So that's that, my week or so in review. Nothing a while lot exciting going on. Oh, Sonny Boy and I went to Guitar Center last Sunday, he was in heaven playing a $7000.00 electric drum set. Wow. I can't believe that!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Its not about being religious

Thursday night I was awakened by Sonny Boy about a phone call and text message he got. It was only 10:30 or so but I was already sound asleep. My response, was, whatever, doesn't surprise me, something not so loving and caring when really, it should have been more so. At 1am, Sonny Boy wakes me up again and asked that I call someone with a phone number. Uggg. Ok. I'm wide awake. Numerous conversations, text messages and voice mail messages. Pacing. Getting a little high strung. Nervous. Scared. Angry. Annoyed. (ok, it IS 1:30am now and I HAVE to get up and go to work in the morning, a mere 5 hours away!!!!) Finally lay back down in bed, with the phone close to my heart. And I think to myself. There is ONE person that I can call on to give me the help I need. God. Yeah. It's been awhile. I kind of felt like the girl in the book, Hello God, it's me ... I had a nice long conversation that night with God. It's been awhile since we've talked like this. Something along the line of 8 years. The last time I asked for anything so earnestly was when Hubby had his motorcycle accident. So I prayed. And prayed a little more. Then I spoke to him. Told him all the things I was feeling (as if he doesn't already know!). And when I got the call at 6am that they would be arriving at the door, I cried. And I told God thank you. It's not about being religious and going to church every Sunday, holiday, whatever. It's about believing in Him. And having the confidence that HE is in control. Thank you God. For everything.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tired. Sore Throat. Stiff neck. Headache.

Ugggg. Life stinks at the moment. Hubby comes home this evening from New Orleans for the week and I'm sick. Go figure. I did get our taxes done last night. Just had to sit down and plug away. Done. Not so bad. Actually, hubby wants someone to review to be sure I didn't miss anything. Nope. This year, after 3 years of doing it myself, I am 100% comfortable with the return. That says a lot. In other words, there wasn't anything I questioned myself on, if that is right or not, etc. 100% Folks! Back to being sick. Not sure if I'm really sick or what. I've got a sore throat and a dry raspy cough. My throat feels tight. The sides of my neck hurt (you know, where those muscle/cordy things are? Those hurt). I'm extremely tired today. That could be from working out the past 2 days, but I doubt it. And I'm COLD today. I do believe the a/c in the office is cranking though, so I dont' think it's a fever. Headache. And my eyes tear up occasionally bu that could be because I'm feeling sorry for myself? Ick. So, because I feel icky, hubby is coming home and it look ssuper easy, I plan on making this corn chowder that Amanda put up today for dinner. I have everything EXCEPT corn starch. I have to think a little Wondra or even flour will work if need be. FYI - The boss is trying to get me to go to the little walk in place at CVS (see a Nurse, something like that) as he said his wife did it last week when she had a real sore throat, come to find out, she had strep. Ugggg. I'm putting that off.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shoes

I never really thought of myself as a shoe freaky kind of girl. But maybe this is some kind of deep rooted issue I have that hasn't come to surface? Last week, when I had the day off from work (and apparently, so did alot of other people), I decided to hit a few of the thrift stores that I can never get to as they close at 4pm during the week and odd hours on Saturday. Well. 3 of the 4 were CLOSED for Good Friday. The nerve!! Oh well. Still ended up going to Out of the Closet, which I can get to normally anyways (they are open til 7 I believe?) Luckily though, it was April 2nd, meaning the $1 color tag was only 2 days old! Woohoo! I haven't timed it that way in quite a while. Not that it mattered, really, in the end. Earth. Naturalizers. Alfani. Oh so many others. I actually had to CHOOSE which shoes to put back. Oh. My. Gelron 2000 Earth Sandals. Retail anywhere from $70 to $120. Brand new. No tags (that's ok with me). Not the prettiest things, but oh are they ever comfortable! Naturalizers. Wedge leather sandal. Retail for about $70. Brand new. No tags (that's ok with me). Perfect for work. A little snug across the toe strap area but being 100% leather, they will stretch a bit. Perfect replacement for my current wedge black sandals. $5.99 each. Woo hoo. Pretty in Pink Alfani. Slingback. Leather. Very pointy toes. I do not think of myself as a pink kiind of girl. Or pointy toe. But these were just way too cute to pass up. $6.99. Retail is about $60 I think with Dillards being the place a swagbuck search took me to. I now have quite a few pairs of shoes, between my target stop a few weeks ago (leather flat sandals and mules) and the past month of lucky shoe hits. I need to weed out and toss in the garage sale box for the sale this weekend. Joy. Anyone else out there scoring good deals at the thrift stores lately?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reduced spending, bills, commitments

I am starting to see little 'pockets' of space in all 3 of the freezers. This of course, is because I took out a 1/4 ham, a turkey roast, bag of diced sweet potatoes, 1.5 lb bag of shrimp, a shrimp ring and a few other odds and ends for the feeding frenzy over the weekend. I would like to try and do a reduced spend (notice, it's not a no spend, I just can't do that!!) for April to try and clean out the freezers a bit. Unfortunately, on the 31st, I had stopped at GFS to buy some eggs (2 1/2 dozen for $1.99!) and ended up picking up 15 lbs of 80/20 burgers for $20. Folks, that is a LOT of burgers. They will not all stay as burgers, some will be transformed into taco meat, sloppy joes, etc. Just let them defrost and cook as regular ground beef. Anyways ... I have soooo much food in these freezers. And with Princess hopefully coming back for awhile longer, that will be 4 mouths to feed instead of 3 which equates to just a bit more food. Granted, she eats like a bird, but still, with her friends and such, it will be more. Not to mention ... taxes ... need to start on them this week. No. I have not started. We don't get refunds. And this year we will most likely pay quite a bit. Have a rough figure in our heads and the money set aside but refuse to give it to them to spend on stupid stuff any sooner than necessary. Insurance. Homeowners went up $50. Windstorm went up $250. Flood should be the same. That right there is over $3000. Uggg. I just paid the car insurance of $2000 in February/March! Selling everything and moving to an island sure looks better and better each day! We've been getting phone calls and federal express letters, along with calls from the siblings regarding some "found" items from a deceased famly member. We've put off calling the guy back as I hate these heavy hunters :). He finally got hubby the other day though. I had a whole list of things to ask and say (remember, I work for a law firm and we do alot of work for a probate attorney) and the guy was a little off guard. Not a dirt bag or anything, I guess he just wasn't expecting the type of questions hubby was asking. Said several $1000 for each is possible. I sort of doubt it as the family member had their duckies pretty lined up. We will see. So it's Monday. No rain today, amazing! Have a good one!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Plans

Easter is right around the corner. Really, 3 days away. Have you all been planning and shopping and preparing yet? I haven't! Well, not that I really need to. We don't do the usual big fanfare brunch/lunch/dinner type of thing. Afterall, we live in South Florida and the weather is just B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L! So that means outdoors. Sometimes boating. Sometimes just floating in the pool. It always means a friend or two or even 10 will be over at some time during the day. And the grill is usually involved. Along with a few cocktails. Then I've got the 2 picky kids. Even as teens. AND I used to be pretty picky myself (note: once I quit smoking, my tastebuds changed. Hey. That might be why the waistline did too?) So we normally made a little more fancier food than everyday but nothing like a big whole ham or anything. Plus, it was only the 4 of us eating and that's alot of left overs. We HAVE done the honey baked ham thing in previous years, but with the prices getting higher AND the fact that I don't think they are as good as they used to be, we kind of boycott that now. Sure, we've gone to our neighbors a few years. And other friends. And we've had friends here for a 'dinner'. But for us, friends over generally end up being a party that last for quite a while, and hey, food is great, and we love to cook and eat, but lets keep it simple. This year, I have most of the stuff already crammed into the freezers. My big chore will be digging it out! Ha. I know. If only everyone had this problem. Here's what I have tenatively on the food list (and we will be feeding 7 to 10 this year): deviled eggs (no brainer) cheese and crackers (the last of the 59 cent cheese) green garden salad 1/4 brown sugar sliced ham (freezer) 3 lb turkey roast (freezer) strawberry cheesecake trifle (all I'll need is maybe more strawberries) sugar cookies (betty crocker package in pantry, kids can do this!) mac & cheese (in fridge, have hubby doctor up a bit) mashed sweet taters (in freezer) mashed regular taters (in fridge and/or freezer, which one to use?) Dinner rolls (buy or make?) butter (freezer) turkey gravy (pantry, 12 jars!!) All I really need to buy is eggs, lettuce stuff, strawberries and dinner rolls. I will also need to check my wine supply to see what I have for white just to be safe :) Hubby of course may protest at the prepared taters and mac and cheese but hey, this could be one of the BEST STRESSFREE Easters yet ...