Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who has more stress?

After reading a post at Phil's blog about who has more stress the stay-at-home mom or the breadwinner... I thought I'd try to find a "stress test"... to measure the amount of stress as a single mom, do-it-all breadwinner.

Now, admittedly, this is highly un-scientific; and doesn't even address the "everyday" kinds of stresses that the original article was measuring... but it does prove a point.

I don't just THINK I'm under tremendous stress - I KNOW I AM...

Stress Test

Find your stress level by checking the events you have experienced in your life in the last year.

Check any event that applies to you then click on "Calculate My Total Stress Units" to get your score.

Your score was 467

If your score totals 150 or more:
You have a 50-50 chance of developing an illness.

If your score totals 300 or more:
You have a 90 percent chance of developing an illness.

The Life Stress Test, also known as the Holmes and Rahe test, was first created in 1967.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Requesting Dr House

OK - so, I finally broke down a couple of weeks ago and called the "real" Dr House in New York to see what it would take to get in to see him. I knew from everything I'd read about it, that he was definitely un-traditional.

How un-traditional? VERY...

His requirement is that you have to write him an essay.

Yes, an essay.

Odd? Yes... but part of the reason I want to go see him is because he doesn't conform to the standards. So, I've worked on this essay off and on for a couple of weeks. It's printed & off in the mail today.

Now to wait and see.

Coupon Karma is good!

OK, so last month I got some almost free Pepsi - $2 a 12 pack I count as almost free, plus some really not-so-expensive (on sale for 2/$5) Tostitos & Salsa.... which is good - our favorite snack and our favorite form of caffeine.

I got a pack of $15 worth of Pepsi & Tostitos Coupons in the mail as a rebate.

AND TODAY? I went to K-mart where they were DOUBLING coupons this week.

I got 5 12 packs of Pepsi for $.39 each - woohoo!! How COOL???

Tostitos were 2/$7 (not that cheap) - but by doubling the coupon I got them for $1.50 each - decent savings.

Then I got 10 boxes of Special K Bars (I swear I'm addicted) for $1.50 each.

Nothing free in this trip - but I Had "a" with me and they had put a limit of only 25 coupons per transaction... so I'm planning on a trip later today or next week. I've got about a dozen items that if they have them in stock, I can get totally free. I can't wait to go back!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let's do another give-away!

Giveaway is closed. Announcing winner shortly.

I've been stockpiling extra coupons again - might just be able to do this about once a month, if my coupon karma stays good.

I have 150+ coupons - mixed batch, includes a mostly coupon insert coupons, with additions from the mail and from the aisles of stores.

If you'd like a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post before 10:00 pm (CST) Friday, February 27th. Please leave an email or have an email associated to your blogger account. I will email the winner by Saturday and they have 48 hours to respond with their address or I'll pick a second number.

Last time I did this, it was with the giveaway carnival and I managed (who knows how) to get 149 comments! Wow! I doubt I'll get quite as much attention this time around - but we'll see :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Five year old Funny

"a" is learning to "substitute" words instead of swearing.

He tends to say "darn" a lot - only with lack of enunciation, it sounds like a worse curseword.... so I've been teaching him "gooseberries" -- and it's taking a hold.

The preschool teacher tells me she has to turn her head to hide her smile everytime he hollers out "gooseberries"...

And my favorite? When he is excited???

"Holy MOLY!"

Notice of Copyright Infringement

Guess who - did something before I kicked him out of the home - that broke a law - and got detected by Warner Bros. Who notified Mediacom, who notified me.


Since my name is on the account, I'm accountable.

All I can do is hope that it stands as a warning and they don't come back & sue me.

The culprit has been notified. And I'm tempted to wipe the you-know-what just to ensure that the file in question really does get deleted. I don't really want to take any chances that this could get any worse.


Monday, February 16, 2009

$5 dinner challenge

I think I'm down to my very last suggestion - without learning new recipes.

Leftover Casserole - at least that's what my mother called it... it's like a Shepherds Pie

1 lb Ground Beef - recently on sale for $1.89
1 can Condensed Tomato Soup - recently on sale + coupon - $.39
Leftover veggies - (let's say .29 for frozen veggies if I didn't have any leftovers)
Leftover mashed potatoes - (although I NEVER have these) - Hungry Jack instant potatoes were recently on sale w/ coupon for $.48

Brown the hamburger in a pan & drain grease. Mix in the tomato soup without any water or milk.
Spread meat mixture in the bottom of a baking dish.
Top with drained, leftover veggies - any you want.
Top with mashed potatoes (if you never have any leftovers, like me - you can mix up a batch of instant instead first in a separate pan).

Throw in the oven and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

This is one of my favorite comfort foods from when I was growing up. Gave up on "wishing" for leftover mashed potatoes several years ago. It doesn't matter if I make a double batch of mashed potatoes - triple, or even quadruple - they ALL get eaten at the meal it seems. Instant isn't quite as good, although those Hungry Jack potatoes were better than most of the instance potatoes I've tried lately.

Total Cost for a Family of five (when there isn't any leftovers) $3.56

Weird things are a-happening

OK - So, off & on all weekend - the kitchen sink (both sinks in the dual sink) and the dishwasher "backed up" with some foul, nasty smelling funky water.

If I used either the sink or the dishwasher - the water would rise, the floor would get wet, but eventually the water would go down. So, I figured we had a "slow drain" that had come about. And I stopped using the sink. Only a couple of times, I'd hear some gurgling coming from the kitchen & lo & behold there would be water standing again - with no source.

The Bathroom sinks, tub & the clothes washer are all hooked up to a different drain pipe.

Weird huh? But it got so bad, I couldn't run any water in the sink without an instant issue.

This morning, I woke up with a ton of water in the sinks - now it's 24 hours since last use - and the sinks were empty when I went to bed.

Call the maintenance guy - by the time he arrives, the water has drained out again. But, get this - the drain is working fine. Completely fine. No issues - we ran the sink for several minutes, ran the dishwasher - it's fine. ????

Just before he arrived to prove to me nothing was really wrong - I booted up my work laptop. I pulled out the key fob that contains the access codes so I can remote connect. I set the key fob "just-so" on the laptop keyboard so that when it finished booting up & reached the log in, I could read the access code without having to pick it up again.

I didn't log in, because that's when the maintenance guy arrived. I capture the over-eager puppy & let him in. He calls the dog to him, and I go back to the laptop, where the key fob is missing. Completely missing. It didn't fall to the floor, if the dog or cat carried it away in the two minutes it took for me to answer the door, they didn't have time to go anywhere to leave it, plus all the doors to the other rooms were closed (to keep maintenance guy who can miraculously fix clogged drains by arriving; from seeing the messy bedrooms). I have searched EVERYWHERE - the living room, dining room, kitchen & hallway are the only rooms "open" - and they're picked up. I still can't find the dang thing. How the heck did it disappear so fast?!

I'm going to brush both of these events off as if they're nothing. But, honestly? I'm a little nervous. This is pretty much EXACTLY the way things started at the haunted house in Newton and I'm on edge. I don't want to go through a fraction of what I went through there... only good news is that if every electrical appliance fails - this time the apartment owners get to pay for it instead of me. Let's just hope we don't have to go there though.

Stay tuned - if things start appearing out of thin air again like last time - I'm SO calling the ghost busters again for an investigation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spending too much for a "free" treat

"a" had a special visitor at preschool today - the "pretzel" lady. She taught the kids the history of the pretzel and they got to help roll the dough to make some.

We HAD to go immediately to the mall to use his coupon to get a free pretzel. I had NO choice. But, he was being really sweet about it, so excited that he had a coupon for a free pretzel. And, he had to tell me how yummy they were. I read the coupon - it said, "one free x or one free y" items. So, I thought, why the heck not?

I'm not sure the lady at the counter could read. When "a" handed her the coupon, she came back with buy one, get one free. I'd been trying to talk myself out of buying one when we got there - and I figured, eh, I'll survive I guess. So, I asked her what the "x" and "y" options were (because I couldn't find them on the menu) - she came back with - any pretzel.

And "a", being ever-so-ornery of course, was thirsty... and wanted a "chocolate" pretzel. So, I broke down & bought dips and one drink. $6.50 - not exactly frugal. But, they definitely were yummy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

"A" health issues

He's got scavies - he's hindered with bed bugs - and now the flu.

He got a job, but lost it - not getting enough sales & having coughing fits.

He got a free bus pass, but lost it at the mall.

I agree - living in a homeless shelter stinks big time. It's not fun and it's really not fun when you're sick.

But, you don't call you mother and ask for a ton of favors within 3 days of having called her a c*nt and expect a lot of help or even too much sympathy... you just don't.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Freebies for February

OK - last month's total was $41.51... not too bad. Let's see how February goes.

An early start at my favorite store (for freebies) Walgreens:

$9.99 Revlon Age Defying foundation - had hoped to get the concealer, but I guess that's what everyone else thought - as those were wiped out in both stores that are close to home. Free After Rebate (+10%)

$4.29 Fructis Wonder Waves Shampoo - those who know me know that I don't have any waves, nor curls. But, since it's free, I'll donate it to charity. Free After Rebate (+10%)

$9.99 Revlon Cream Lip Gloss - Free After Rebate (+10%)

Total to date: $24.27

2/23/2009 - Walgreens...

$.89 Reynolds Aluminum Foil - on sale for $.89 minus $1.00 coupon = Free

$1.99 Excedrin 20 count --- on sale for $1.99 minus $1.00 Register Reward (coupon off of next purchase) + $1.00 coupon = Free (messed up, bought two and ended up paying $.99 for one, as I was supposed to do two purchases on two different trips to get the second one free).

$10.00 for 2 Theraflu - on sale, 2/$10, minus $6.00 rebate minus $4 in coupons = Free

Total for the month to date - $37.15

2/25/2009 - K-mart (double-coupons - yeah!)

Did not buy as much as I'd hoped. Most of the prices I'd used to get my list of possible freebies were not the prices I saw at my store... so only got a few "bargains"... I did still buy the Vaseline Intensive Rescue Hand cream - after coupon only $.49... so not free, not including in my tally... but had to share - still an awesome good price.

$3.00 Crest Clean Mint Toothpaste ($1.50 coupon doubled = $3.00 off) = FREE

$3.00 Clearasil Vanishing Cream ($1.50 coupon doubled = $3.00 off) = FREE

Still have a few more to do - I've got about five coupons for "totally free" items that I'm eager to go use.

Total for the month to date - $43.15 (beats January - too cool!)

2/26/2009 - Walgreens

$1.09 Clearance priced Ceaser Dinner (Kyra) -- Coupon for free up to $1.09 = FREE

$5.00 - Tostitos Chips & Salsa (sale priced 2 for $5) + $3.00 coupon + $2 Register coupon for purchase of a razor I needed to replace.

and the best part? A coupon for free dog food printed because I bought the free dog food. That be cool!

New total = $49.24 ... and I ended up with just as many free coupons as I had before I walked in, so that will work for me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Great Deals at Dollar General

I've got several bloggers that I read regularly that post "deals" and "steals" at various stores. Showing where to get items free (or nearly so) using coupons, rebates, and the like.

Well, I can't find anyone posting such "deals" for Dollar General. And, I spied a free-bee... so I guess I can post it, huh?

Prices Effective Feb 1 - 8

Colgate Toothpaste - 3 oz Regular or Baking Soda Peroxide $.85
-- Coupon in 2/1 SmartSource Insert for $.75 off (exp 2/21/09
Net Price $.10

Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tough weekend

This was to be my first weekend without children - in over a year. Saturday was unbelievably gorgeous - it got over 40 degrees. I put a ton of boxes into the garage (3 buildings down) and managed to clean the living room (for a change).

I sat down to watch some recorded shows, knit a little, and relax & enjoy myself Saturday night. Only... my peace was destroyed by one phone call.

"A" called and got right to the point. He wanted to move back home - and told me I was being childish to not allow it. He denied stealing from me. He wanted me to give him a key. He belittled me, then tried to make me feel guilty. And, when I finally told him that if his only reason for speaking to me was to try to change my mind or manipulate me, that I really didn't need it any more. He called me a heartless c*nt... and I hung up on him.

I'm so angry & hurt, I can't hardly stand it. I know he's just acting out in anger... and I understand him being angry at me. But, I'm not going to excuse his behavior. I have had enough of it. If he's willing to call me & apologize... I will speak to him. If he gives me an ounce of manipulation, grief, insult or injury... I won't speak to him. I just don't need to deal with this.

So, my wonderful Saturday - turned into a beast. Sunday was too short & I couldn't keep my mind off of him being a jerk... I tried to distract myself, it just didn't work very well. Monday I worked - but I got to tell you... all this stress? Between my health issues, filing for bankruptcy - and dealing with "A" issues? They're starting to notice it at work. I got "spoken" to about my not handling certain issues to the best of my abilities. I just don't have the patience to deal with jerks at work on top of everything else. I know it's not professional to let this stuff get to you - but honestly? I feel like I'm at the end of my rope.