Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life returns to normal.

After the girl's weekend, life has returned to it's regularly scheduled program.

But the continuing heat and humidity has slowed me down a bit. Somebody left Mother Nature set on Broil with a side order of char!! Every morning, when I get up around 6AM, all of the windows are covered with condensation on the outside. Since I keep the house at 75 degrees, you can tell that the nighttime temperatures don't drop that low.

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Even the dogs are tired of the heat. Nick has taken up permanent residence on top of the air conditioning vents. The first time I saw him do this, he was sound asleep with his face on the vent and the air coming through was making his lips flap! Too funny!

But on to the work! The never-ending mulch project continues, but I'm almost done with this bed next to the driveway.

See? It's getting there!

Then I'm only left with around my studio building, and all around the backyard fence. This is good, because the mulch pile is shrinking again!

I even have my very own plant nursery in the backyard where I'm staging the discount shrubs I've been collecting. So everyday, I'm out there watering potted shrubs. And new planted shrubs. And vegetable beds. And hanging flower baskets. *Sigh*

The field mowing is getting done:

There are plenty more that still need mowing, but I'm not showing my untrimmed fields to the public!

There is the usual housework stuff (Boo! Hiss!): laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.

And then there is shopping! More like stealing, cuz in shopping, you have to give the merchants actual money. My version of shopping involves handing over coupons and taking home free or almost free stuff.

Today, I made a quick stop at Kroger and came home with with this for $6.04 and a savings of 81%.

The body wash was free, the 2 coffee drinks cost 25 cents each and one of the toilet cleaners was free when I bought the other. Basically, I paid for 1 toilet cleaner, 50 cents for coffee and the tax on everything. The body wash will be added to my new Health and Beauty cupboard I've started in the bedroom armoire.

I have enough razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes stored that now I can be choosy about when I buy certain things. Pretty much, if it's not free or less than 50 cents, I pass on the deal. It's a comfort to know that if the sh*t hits the fan, I have enough basic supplies to last quite a while!

Even the girls have gotten into couponing! Courtney hasn't had much time to do it, what with killing wild animals and going to San Francisco for a wedding, but Liz is sharing her knowledge with her girlfriends and has posted about her excursions on her new blog .

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A successful weekend!

Well, we managed to salvage our girl's weekend, after a rough start. I think everyone had fun...I know I did!

We did lots of things and went lots of places. I won't go into all of it, but here's some hints:

There was shopping.

There I am in the background, taking the picture with my phone!

Gotta get shoes!

There was eating.

And, most definitely, there was goofing off and acting silly!

Courtney looks tortured even though she picked the hat!

Work it! Woooork it!

And just to tie the weekend together, after I returned from dropping Liz off at the airport, I took the dogs out for a run. No sooner did we get going when Nick came shooting out of the trees, with his ears pinned back and looking scared.

Then I noticed something else running behind him. It was a deer chasing Nick up the road right towards me!! I couldn't have been more surprised if a band of bunnies was tearing after him!

Sassy came to the rescue and pursued the deer back into the woods, with Nick's help so he could regain his man-dog-hood. I'm wondering if word is out in the forest on what went down with Courtney's car and the headless deer!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A bad start to a girl's weekend

Both my girls came to visit me on the same weekend.

I know!! I haven't even seen Liz for a year, and she hasn't been home for at least 2 years.

It sucks when your children grow up and leave the nest.

So, Liz had a rocky time flying out here. It included 2 arrivals where there was no gate available to deplane and her carry-on luggage ending up (thankfully) in the checked baggage.

Courtney drove down from St Louis after work and was expected at around 10 PM. At 9:00 PM, she called to say she'd been hit by a deer on a dark 4 lane highway about an hour from home and her car was un-drivable. Thankfully, she was unhurt but the deer lost it's head and flew back onto the median!

Since she takes winding back roads that I've never been on, I needed her directions to find her. Following these instructions, Liz and I headed out to pick her up, while we all made phone calls to the insurance company emergency number and AAA for a tow.

Unfortunately, in her rattled state, she had us get on the interstate GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. In the dark, using the phone to relay calls and check in with her, we didn't realize the mistake until we had gone 40 miles out of our way. Drat!

The tow-truck driver was kind enough to wait with her for 30 minutes until we could arrive (whereas in many communities he probably would have left!) but even with a AAA membership, we had to some up with $112 in cash at 11 PM. Apparently, AAA will only tow you 5 miles for free. Around here, there IS nothing within 5 miles. Even getting into my "home" town is 8 miles from my house!

So, we scrounged the cash, found Courtney, followed the truck to the dealership, and finally got home around 12:30 AM.

Yeah...that's deer poop by the door!

This morning, we went back to the dealership and since they don't actually do body work, had them remove the plastic wheel-well liner that was blocking the tire and drove slowly 30 miles to the insurance approved body shop.

The good news is that the body shop works directly with the insurance company to get the car put back together and we don't have to be directly involved. The better news? $0 deductible when forest critters attack your car in the middle of the night!

The bad news: it will take 2 weeks to get parts and fix everything. So, I am lending Courtney my car for the duration and will be driving the pick-up truck. But every cloud has a silver lining, so I get to see Courtney again in about two weeks to pick up her car!!

Eyeball measuring thingy on Liz's new glasses. Courtney being Courtney in the background!

Between spending 2 hours getting Liz and eye exam and some new glasses, and transferring Courtney's car to the body shop, we did have some fun at lunch.

I think we were all a little punch-drunk from the stress and lack of sleep, but lunch at the Olive Garden was a laugh riot!

Mommy just wants a nice picture of her girls!

Courtney! Quit dancing!

So here is to hoping that the rest of the girl's weekend is fun-filled and free of random wildlife attacks!

Finally! The picture I was trying for!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I wrote a post...

A long post. Last night. But then I didn't like it. So I didn't publish it.

Then I woke up at 2:30 AM with a headache that has resisted all manner of OTC medication. And chocolate. The nerve of it!

And I still don't like the post. It was about some shopping trips I made to help Courtney stock her pantry using coupons and store deals. Not crazy Extreme Couponing. I mean, who really needs (or wants) 1000 tubes of toothpaste?

The post had pictures too, like this:

and this:

and this one:

But in spite of my fabulous photography, I didn't like the sound of the post. happens sometimes!

Mostly I have been working on the mulch project and tending the struggling vegetable garden. The mulch action has turned a corner. Not figuratively, but literally turned the corner to the back side of the garage, where the weeds are on steroids and the generator threatens to leave if I don't clean it up!

These are the before shots. Don't judge me! I've been working on other areas!

Seriously. If I ever had a problem with generator, I would be out of luck getting it serviced!

Now I have the barrier down but the every-other-day rains means it is too wet to drive the tractor on the grass to bring in mulch. I don't know, maybe I should leave it like this?

I've also been weeding and fussing over the vegetables. This is turning into a very "good" year for plant-munching insects. We've had hornworms (every year), inch worms for the first time, sex-crazed Japanese beetles (which are working on the fruit trees now) and recently, grasshoppers.

You really don't want to see pictures of the tortured plants, so here is a photo of the quiche I made for dinner.

It is crustless, and has ham, onions, Parmesan cheese, and the first of the garden's tomatoes, zucchini and basil. Yum!

At Stud Muffin's suggestion I took a Percocet to knock down my headache. And then I had some chocolate, which has done the trick. Now I must go and chase down my head. It seems to have floated off like a liberated helium balloon.

But at least my balloon doesn't hurt anymore. I'm sure it was the chocolate this time!