Monday, April 26, 2010

Bad Art


Isn't this hideous?  I was made aware of this website, MOBA, that showcases bad art.  Its good for a laugh so check it out.

Here's another:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Confessional

Its that time again.  Time for you to endure another little outburst from me.  Just for funsies, I looked up the definition of phobia - here it goes:

pho·bi·a   /ˈfoʊbiə/  [foh-bee-uh] 


–noun

a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.
 
I guess this describes - to a T - this fear I have.  And surely I can't be the only one who suffers from this phobia.  Every time I go to the gas station and pump my gas, I'm almost entirely certain that I have left the nozzle in my gas tank.  And that when I drive away, I'm going to take the whole gas pump with me.  So I always have to check my rear-view mirror as I drive away to make sure the pump isn't following me.  Now, mind you, I  make sure to replace the nozzle back in its precarious place in the pump after I'm done, but I'm still unsure enough that I have to check the mirror when I drive away.  I wonder if this phobia has a technical name.  Hmmm.  I might have to make one up. 
  Now that I think about it, maybe this is more of an obsessive/compulsive type thing than a phobia. Either way, I know its ridiculous but I can't stop it.


And we won't even get into the other irrational fear I have of accidentally jumping from heights.  I'll explain later.  Because if you think I'm weird now, that'll just cement the deal. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Big News!

I went grocery shopping today.  And you know how I love me some coupons and saving money.  So how much did I save?   Drum roll please..... $87. But that's not even the big news. 

I GOT CARDED!!!  That, my friends, IS big news. 

Green things

Last week, we had temperatures in the 80's so of course, this past weekend, it was back to the 40's.  It is April, after all.  While it was warm, I got a lot of yardwork done; picking up the leaves that were stuck against the fence, digging leaves out of bushes, weeding, that sort of thing.  I also cleaned out the area around my shed.  Two years ago, when my oldest graduated, we threw a bunch of stuff into that space and put up some fence pieces to hide it from the open house guests.  And then we promptly forgot about the junk.  So that area is all cleaned out and ready for different junk.  Hahaha! 

My seedlings are growing like... well,... weeds which both tickles me, and makes me a little afraid.  I'm pretty sure I started my squash plants way too early and of course, they're doing very well.  I can't plant these things until June, at the earliest.  And look at 'em!  They won't last in my house that long.


And look at my cucumber.  Its already developing tendrils.  (That sounds like a disease doesn't it?)

The basil plants are doing well, and are just the right size for this time of year.  When the time is right, they'll go out into the yard.  I'm  going to plant them in the flower border because I'm not going to have enough room in my tiny garden for them.  No one will notice anyway.  I've grown basil every year and usually let it go to flower/seed because I don't know what to do with it.  But my friend Lori told me about the wonders of pesto and all the ways you can use it (as a facial!  and a cleaning product!)  (Those two things are lies, by the way - just made it up.)  But really, pesto freezes so I'll be making some of that to have on hand next year when the bread baking begins again.  And of course, its good over pasta. 


I'm also growing some Moonflowers.  They bloom in the evening and stay open all night.  They almost look like they're glowing.  Here in Michigan, they're considered annuals, but I planted one a few years ago and its come back every year.  A couple of years ago, I read an article about "White Gardens" in which every plant grown is white.  Sounded really boring to me, but the pictures were gorgeous.  So it is one of my mini-goals to plant at least an area of the garden that is all white.  So the 5 moon flowers that I'm growing will go there.  Wherever "there" is.  Haven't figured that out yet...
Anyway, this is what they look like so far:
These are also "tendrilizing" so that makes me a little nervous. 

And then there are the 24 tomato plants that are growing in my window sill.  24 tomato plants!!!  How many tomatoes does a person need?? And does the word "tomatoes" have an e?  Don't know for sure.  Too lazy to look it up. 

You poor people!  Having to look at pictures of my seedlings, like they're my children or something.  Just humor me.  Smile and nod and say "Oh, aren't they cute!"  or "My how they're growing!" 

And then when I show you the end products, you'll be wishing you lived closer so I could share!  : )

Progress:
And in other news...
Goal #1:  I ran 1.5 miles twice last week, and I've walked a few days as well.  This race I'm running is in about 2 weeks so I'm not feeling too bad about it.  I don't care at all about my time, just want to run the whole thing.  So this week my goal is to run farther than 1.5 miles.  And as stupid as this sounds, one of my biggest issues with running is that my ear buds for my ipod won't stay in my ears when I run.  So I'm constantly pushing them back in while I run and then I get frustrated and ticked off and look for reasons to just go back home. 

Goal #2: Uh... This month, my goal is just to pay the extra stuff that my kid's activities are requiring.  The oldest needs a college housing deposit by May 1st, the middle one needs the balance of her Africa trip paid by May 15, the youngest needs his mission trip balance paid in May as well.  Feeling mighty poor.  I just paid the taxes too which doesn't help that feeling.  But I'm thankful that we have money to be able to do these things, and that my kids are healthy and able to participate. 

Happy
Have you ever been to an art fair?  Around here, you can find one somewhere just about every weekend during the summer.  Etsy.com is like an online art fair where people make stuff and you can buy it.  And just like a regular art fair, some of the stuff people make is a little iffy.  Someone started a website called Regretsy, which makes fun of the iffy stuff on Etsy.  Check it out some time.  Keep in mind, though, that some of the stuff they post is not for the easily offended. 

Flamingos

While heading out to drop my son off at school this morning, I saw this. 


These are the neighbors that live at the end of my street.  Wonder what this is all about?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coupons

I was up early today and watched The Today Show.  They had a segment about extreme coupon usage which turned out to be the way I usually use coupons.  So apparently, I'm extreme.  Hmm.  The Coupon Mom was their expert and she went head-to-head with the Today show correspondent in a drug store.  Armed with the same shopping list, the correspondent used no coupons while the Coupon Mom used them.  The result?  The Today show lady spent $83, and the Coupon Mom spent $1.  While I never do that well (I assume this was a store that doubled coupons - we have none of that here) I manage to save a few bucks here and there.  And really, every dollar I don't spend on something is a dollar to spend somewhere else.  Preferably on paying off a bill. 

Last Saturday, I went to Rite Aid to buy stuff they had on sale.  I ended up buying $44 worth of stuff for only $22.  Not bad!  And its stuff I actually use.  My daughter likes a certain type of shampoo which Rite Aid had on sale, and I had coupons for.  I used 5 coupons and bought 5 bottles.  On each bottle alone (with the sale and coupon), I saved $3.50.   (Do the math. In your head.)  I feel very conspicuous when I go into stores with my coupon organizer and my list, like people may think I'm crazy.  But I've had more people come up to me and compliment my organizational system, so I guess I shouldn't feel so weird. 

One year, I was going to keep track of how much money I saved using coupons.  But I'm just not that obsessive and couldn't keep it up after about a month.  I have a difficult enough time trying to keep my life straight without added responsibilities or tasks.  Besides, there are better ways to spend my time. 

In case you're into this sort of thing, here are some websites that may help:


Hot Coupon World  This one relies on the input of other users and you can usually get a lot of good information, but you sometimes have to sift through stuff that doesn't apply to you.  Like, sale items at Meijers in other states or cities.  However, I found out about a good deal at Walgreens through this site.

Money Saving Mom She has some good deals both in stores and online.

Glimpse of Sonshine This is specific to West Michigan Meijers so it can be helpful in identifying good deals.

The Grocery Game This one requires a subscription fee. I'm a member and pay $15 every 3 months for good deals at Walgreens and Meijers.  Whats nice about this site is that you can print up a list and take it to the store with you.  Too me, this is well worth the subscription fee.  Its similar to Savings Angel, but much cheaper.  Its also much more limited in the information they give.  I'm pretty sure they have a trial offer if you want to give it a try.

Refund Cents This one has a general site and a member's only site.  The member's section offers a great deal of information including online deals (some of which give free merchandise).  The online access fee is quite cheap, something like $10 for 6 months.  I used to use this but have slacked off as my time has been more limited. 

If you are not into this sort of thing, then you just spent a few minutes reading something you had no desire to read about.  But then again, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Or something like that....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seedlings

Its Spring Break week here and as usual, the weather is somewhat cold and rainy.  I'm sure all of those people that were lucky enough to travel somewhere warm are happy that they've left this weather behind.  We don't typically travel anywhere during this week; work schedules and such haven't allowed it.  So we stay home and try and find something to do.  Yesterday we thought about going to a movie until we realized there wasn't anything playing that we wanted to see.  And movies are expensive!  I'm too cheap to pay for something I don't really want. 

Yesterday seemed like a good time to replant the seedlings that have been growing on every available ledge.


I got a little carried away.  I planted 7 different kinds of tomatoes, and 7 different kinds of flowers.  In case you care, those flowers are Purple Toadflax, Hypoestes (or polka dot plant), Celosia , Wild Bergamot, Larkspur, Sunflowers, and Cosmos.  I'm not totally sure if sunflowers can be started from seed in the house or not but we'll see. In fact, most of these seeds are so old, I'm not sure they'll sprout at all!  Here are some pictures - (just because I feel the need to fill space.)










Purple Toadflax






Hypoestes








Celosia




Wild Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm




Larkspur






Sunflowers














Cosmos
(love these things - so pretty!)



And really, lets talk about how sad it is that the only topic I have to write about is what I've planted.  But anyway, I'm planting more seeds today; they needed to be soaked overnight so today will be another day that I have dirt under my fingernails.  And to me, any day where that's possible, is a good day.