Monday, October 27, 2008

A terrible time

I haven't forgotten about you, my father passed away from a stomach aneurysm. This was completely out of left field. He was completely healthy and still living life to the fullest. He golfed and was very active. I'm just thankful that God took him quickly and that he didn't end up bedridden. He was a wonderful man and gave me his naughty sense of humor and a love for adventure. Dad, I'll miss you until the day I die. My heart is broken but like you always said just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Please pray for me,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Halloween Pictures!





This is our Ouija board. We have the piece that you rest your fingers on hanging from the ceiling by fishing line and a needle, so it "floats". When anyone enters the room any slight breeze makes it spin or move back and forth. We have had the Ouija board ever since we were together and I can't remember where we got it. I think it was his parents and they gave it to us but I can't be sure. So this whole decoration costs us about $3.50. I think the best decorations are the ones that use imagination not money. But that statement is coming from someone who is broke.
It doesn't take a lot of money to transform a room just creativity and constantly being on the look out for something that will work in the room and is cheap.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite time of year! You don't have to worry about finding the right present or how much you are going to spend on someone. I love to decorate on the cheap too. Everyone loves to come to our house and look at the decorations. This is Gregory Grim. He is actually my curio cabinet covered with black material that I got on clearance for a $1 a yard. The mask was my brother's that he didn't want any more. The bony arms were a splurge at $5. And the sickle was from a costume that we had from along time ago, so I'm not sure about the price. So my guess is Gregory didn't cost more than $11. I'm not counting the cost of the sickle because honestly I just can't remember what it was from. You really don't need much money to have fun.
Thank you for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My sister

<>My sister called me to tell me that her husband's hours at work had been cut. He works at a company that makes window treatments and blinds. His hours went from 40 hours to 24 hours. My sister hasn't been able to find a job and she has a couple degrees. She applied for teaching jobs to cleaning services and has had no luck. I'm grateful for the fact that she thinks they can hold on for quite some time. They live in the house that was our grandparents so they don't have rent to pay and their one car is paid for. She went over their budget and cut it to bare bones. But this is a very scary time. So many of our friends have commented on how everything has slowed down. A few are worried if the company they work for will make it but this is the first person I know of to have such a drastic cut. Most people are worried but haven't been cut yet. You hear the horror stories but this one has really hit home. I have faith in them and I know they will be alright. I would be flipping out and maybe even thinking about panhandling. HAHA! But the cheap gene runs deep in our family and she will make it.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 13, 2008

What the Hell?

Really sometimes I wonder where people's heads are at. I read on some money saving web site about ways to cut costs. Have your maid come every two weeks and just straighten up after yourself on your maids off week. Cut down your lattes. Cancel your magazine subscriptions. Get a few different estimates when getting home remodeling done. Who are these people? I say if you have so much money and negative common sense then suffer. Either the writer is so well off and is asking other well off people for ideas or the sarcasm was too thick for me to understand. (I'm the most sarcastic person I know so probably not)
My budget is so tight that I worry about pennies. We very very rarely go out for fast food. And our small splurge is a vacation in October which is part of all of our Christmas presents. And that takes us all year to save for. We go to the Dells one year and Orlando the next. And we cut corners by going at weird times and using my in-laws time share for Florida. We pack our own food for trips and ask for gift cards on holidays to be used on vacation. And yes I watch the expiration dates and fees on the gift cards.
And I know how lucky and spoiled we are just to get to go to the Dells on a weeknight. I do feel blessed when I hear about all the people that are suffering. We make sure that we give to the local food bank and make donations to different children's funds.
But I still don't know anyone that is having financial troubles and putting in a game room or doing remodeling. Are the well off that far out of touch? I figure that if they keep spending like they are soon enough they will be living next door to me. I'm sure that they would see that as hell. It all boils down to perception. I feel blessed to have a home, a wonderful family and fun neighbors. To the well off my neighborhood would be a huge step down to me it's home.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nicor (BOO!)

O.K. so I'm still going through my bills seeing if I can reduce them at all. And I'm sure that you guessed Nicor had nothing for me. I could drop the$4.95 a month fee for the comfort guard. In a way I feel like this is extortion because you start thinking about your house blowing up and pay it. Comfort guard pays for any repairs you might need in your house. But I don't think that I have ever met anyone that used this service, they just pay for it out of fear. I did have a gas leak on the outside of my house one time. The man said it would take 5 minutes and he would be done. I told him Murphy's Law lived here. He laughed and worked on it for a few hours. I told him. He fixed it. So basically, the only way to use the service is if you have a gas leak in the house. So you either smell the gas or you blow up, you know you have seen it on t.v. And with my luck I would live and take out most of the houses around me and be sued. So they can keep taking their $4.95 a month, I'll just keep looking in other areas for a saving.
Thanks,
SonyaAnn

Child Experimentation(sort of)

Before I get hate mail just let me explain. I love my children and I will always put them before saving money but I'm not above a little harmless experimentation. I tested it on myself first and then the boy. So stay calm when you read the rest of this.
I have to start this money saving story by explaining that DJ is a 12 year old boy. Now anyone that has first hand experience with these creatures knows they are just plain disgusting. They continuously smell of sour dirt, severe foot odor, and a sprinkle of b.o. I love him and if you have read any of my other posts then you know this dirty boy comes into direct conflict with my cleanliness disorder. This is the same child that truly believes that a swim in a pool constitutes as a bath. Unfortunately his father feels the same way. (It doesn't count unless a bar of soap is involved and you aren't bringing soap into the pool smart arse.)
My well loved and gross son came home with pink eye. And guess what he lovingly shared with his mother. I was lucky in the fact that the last time he had pink eye, the doctor gave us a refill. So, he started to use the drops and it got a little better and then a lot worse. And I bet your wondering why it got a lot worse. Well dear son decided to cram the tip of the eye drops into his eye to administer them. Yes, he just made it worse and wasted the whole flipping bottle. Now if I was a kind and loving mom, I would pack us up and pay $30 for the office visit and $20-$30 for another bottle for him to contaminate. But then the cheap side of me had a thought. My mother in law loaned me a book on home remedies. Right about now your right eye is starting to twitch with fear, isn't it. Yes I used a home remedy on DJ and myself. So your thinking what the hell do you have that you are willing to dump in your kid's eye, you must be a witch. At this point I was slightly fearful too. Not to fear I found my courage and mixed up honey and water and dumped it in our eyes. OK to be honest it stung and it was a little hard to see at first, slightly gummy. But it passed and then I washed out DJ's eyes. He acted as if I was trying to melt his eyeballs but we made it through. OK here is the funny part, after using it for one day all the redness was gone. We are fine. The bees only swarmed us a little(kidding). It was an old wives tale kind of book but who knew. I'm not sure that I would recommend this to anyone because I'm not a doctor but it really did work. Now the family is quite fearful of what my next experiment will be. I'm one for one. I'll let you know if I need to mix any more potions for my family. Muuuhaaahaaa!
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Falling off the frugal wagon(just a little)

I need to get my butt back in gear. Here I am trying to cut every corner I can to save a dollar and I think that I might just be spending everything I save and then some. On to my confession..............
Forgive me for I have been sinning for a while, at least a month. I have faithfully line dried all of our clothes for years. Really years. In the winter I hang the clothes over the closet doors and in my closet I have two thick wooden shelves over our doors and I put nails in them and hang our towels from there. But I haven't been very good about it lately. I of course hang all of our clothes that could shrink but beyond that I have been using the dryer. I think that with the kids going back to school and the fact that it hasn't been dry, I've just slacked off. I hang everything in the summer but that season is gone and it is so damp that if I hang it in the house or outside it takes a few days to dry. I do about 3 loads of clothes a day so if it's not dry by the next day I have no where to hang the new stuff. I'm sure that I could save time and money if I could find a way to just cut down on the laundry but I'm a neat freak. We all have issues. I could wrap us in plastic wrap and just windex us off but I think that might get us in trouble for indecent exposure. I don't think that we are that comfortable naked. I know I wouldn't want to see us naked.
Maybe being able to save money is about letting go of our excuses. As my grandmother would say, "You better straighten up!". Maybe I should think about that the next time I try to make excuses as to why I can't save any money. Maybe I should also apply the same thinking to my diet.HAHA! One major issue at a time.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Dejunking!

Ahhhh, it's one of my favorite times of year. Most people get all excited about the holidays but not me. Dejunking is what really does it for me. I love nothing more than to go through everything we own and declutter until it hurts. See, you would think that when I tell Den and the kids that it's time to dejunk that they would moan and complain but they are always willing to do it. And it's not because they are amazing or love to clean and declutter. But I have instilled fear into their hearts. I am more than willing to do it for them. Special childhood mementos are off limits but beyond that what do you really need. A blanket and a pillow is all that I can think of. And this illness that I have is 100% genetics. My grandmother had this illness and she passed it on to me. She was also the one that passed on my love for cleaning. I love nothing more than to scrub something to no end. When I was about 7, I helped my grandmother do spring cleaning. We scrubbed everything with spic and span. And it was so harsh on my little hands that my knuckles would bleed.(True story) So she was scrubbing something so hard that the varnish was coming off and I pointed it out to her. And her exact words were,"if it can't take it, it doesn't deserve to live here." She would also tell me that there is no such thing as clean so never stop scrubbing. I obviously have issues. But instead of wasting my time and money with a therapist, I dejunk and scrub. I keep track of everything we collect while dejunking and donate it to the Red Cross. SO I look at it as another win win situation. We make room for the terrible on slot of Christmas crap, the Red Cross gets a donation, we get a tax write off, and the little voice in my head is silenced for a little while. I know that if my wonderful grandmother was here today she would pull out the scrub bucket and get to work on my house. You see I have a cat and a dog so there is no way that my house would ever pass inspection. But what I wouldn't give for just a minute or two more. I miss you, Grammy and I think of you when I'm scrubbing. I don't really know of anything else that would make her more proud of me.
Happy Dejunking,
SonyaAnn

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy weekend

I don't think this weekend would fall into the saving money weekend. But see what you think.......
At Anna's high school it was homecoming week, so she had flag football and all that fun stuff leading up to the dance. So she had one of her friends spend the night Friday night and then they got up the next morning and had a tennis match.(They lost but it was the first time she got to play varsity.) Then after the game Anna and the girl came back here. At 4:00pm 7 girls from the tennis team came over and got ready for the dance. It was crazy. This house is way too small for that many girls. DJ left on Friday night and spent the weekend with his grandparents. And at times Dennis and I were jealous of him. The dance started at 7:00pm but they didn't get out of here until 8:15pm. Anna drove one car and Den took the girls in our car and dropped them off. And then just to top off the evening they all came back here when the dance was over and spent the night. The only good thing about it was that my mother in law Donna gave me $100 for the girls. Gotta love her. Den and I took the money and went to Walmart and bought a ton of stuff. We got extra hair spray, bobby pins, lotions and stuff for facials. And we bought all the fixings for 3 very large sub sandwiches, veggie and dip, cheese and crackers, quesadias and salsa, chips, made a cake, and donuts for the next morning. So we spent the time when Anna was at the match making trays of food. It helps that Dennis was a chef in a French restaurant for years because everything comes out looking very professional.
It was a bit much and very draining but I think they had a wonderful time. I hope it will be a good memory that they will look back fondly on. And when I'm old and feeble, she better visit me.
So we didn't really spend any money this weekend but we definitely worked hard. Next weekend we have so much to do, wash the cars, change the oil, babysit for friends of ours, and put up Halloween decorations. And maybe put all the lawn furniture away for the season and pull the last of the weeds, I'm thinking that we won't get it all done. I asked Anna to stay home next weekend to help us get it all done. I think that she owes us. I think we need some down time but almost anything is better than last weekend.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bills

Well I've been going through all the bills like I said I would. And it doesn't look as if there is any way to get a better deal on the sate light. I can get a smaller package but we will only get one of the channels that we actually watch. DJ and I went through all the channels and we found that out of all the channels we only ever watch fourteen. So I looked online at the different channels offered with the different programs and we would lose all but one channel we watch. At that point what do we even need sate light for. I have no problems going without tv but I think the family might come unhinged. I think just maybe I could go over board with the frugal thing, maybe. So for now I'm leaving it alone but if things get worse I think we are done with sate light. I'll see if there is anything else I can cut out.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To hell with the high road

O.K. I would first like to point out that I may actually be insane or psychic. If you want a simple and uncomplicated life do not and I repeat do not have children. So on with the story..........
My daughter had had her friend's tennis racket in the trunk of her car for a while. The girl that has an eating disorder. Anyways, I forced Anna to drop it off yesterday. I don't want to be responsible for it. It was a $200 racket and I don't want to pay for it. Well, I would make Anna pay for it. But anyways, Anna went to the door to drop it off and the mom answered. She told Anna that her daughter wasn't there and that she was sure that she planned it that way. So Anna came back crying that now the mom was picking on her too. I just want you to know that I try not to be mean to people or flip out on anyone and that I do try to be reasonable. Last night I didn't abide by my own rules. I called the mother and couldn't get through and ended up leaving a mean message. Nothing threatening and no swears but I told her about how her daughter has hit my husband out of anger, shoved me and her mouth was out of control. We tolerated all that and stood by her the entire time she had an eating disorder and now that Anna needs some space she takes a cheap shot at her. Well she was brave enough to call and I have to say it was the nicest fight I've ever had. And I don't know if I believe her or not but she said she had no idea how much her daughter's problems had effected us. She said she didn't mean to make Anna cry and that she would stay away from her. The sad thing is I really like them but her daughter is an addict and she is abusive and controlling and the mother is an enabler. I know that this relationship is over and that's for the best but I often wonder why we have to go through things like this. What purpose did this serve? I still love that family very much but I can't fix it. They will continue to defend her even though she is wrong and that is something I can't change. I just hope that she stops talking about Anna at school. Anna never responded to the gossip and most of the girls have now come up to Anna saying that she is mean. So I hope that this too will blow over. I don't think the girl will want to come over here any more now that she knows that we won't put up with all of her drama and crap. She is a very unhappy girl and its sad to see but unfortunately the only one to save an addict is the addict. Now that she can't get anything out of Anna and can't force her to comply I think that she too will be done with Anna.
It never ends.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll get back to writing about saving money,
SonyaAnn