Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think that I love Thanksgiving so much because I only put these two cute stuffed animals out. It's not a huge thing like Christmas or Halloween where it takes hours to decorate and then you have to turn around and pack it all back up a month later. I'm also lucky because Dennis is the one doing most of the cooking. He just orders me around in the kitchen and I mostly listen. We will be having about 20 people for dinner so that's not too bad. It's just so hard to cram that many people in such a small house. I just set up a few extra card tables and you eat where ever you can find a spot. Nothing formal about this house. When I was little we would go to my grandmother's and eat in the dining room off of her best china. The food was wonderful but it was so scary. I had to sit there worrying if I was going to spill or drop something on her chair. Not here. If you spill(which happens quite often) I have a carpet cleaner and we use paper plates. I like my way better but I bet if she was still here, she would be doing a lot of complaining. But I wish she was here to make the gravy. Still miss you Grammy.
I hope everyone has a wonderful meal and enjoys their friends and families company.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My backwards family

Everyone I know turns the heat down at night and up in the day. We do just the opposite. I can't sleep if it's cold and no one else can. Monday through Thursday, I'm home alone during the day so I turn the heat down to 67. Then when Den gets home around 5:30ish, I turn the heat up to 71. Part of the problem is, we live in a tri-level and the thermostat is upstairs in the hall. So even though the upstairs is 71, the down stairs I'm guessing, is probably around 65ish. It could be even lower. And when you have the oven on, it gets way to hot upstairs and the down stairs is unbearably cold. I'm thinking about getting a space heater but I'll start looking when we get a little more money together. I'm still trying to get caught up from the funeral and all. When it gets too hot upstairs I would normally open the windows but the plastic is up for the winter so, oh well.
When I was younger, I lived in an apartment. I lived on the second of three floors. This was about fifteen years ago but I remember thinking how lucky I was because the heat would rise in the winter and the cool air would sink in the summer. I guess that I've always been on the poor side but I've always considered myself blessed. I think it's just our own personal perspectives.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, November 24, 2008

Free pampering

I've been a little stressed out lately. The dead line for my cleaned up manuscript was Jan. 1st and it was changed to 2 weeks. So needless to say I have been a stressed out, cranky person. I know that I've been no fun to live with. And poor Dennis, he is going to work and then coming home and cooking dinner. I just feel like thank you isn't enough. I would do it for him but I hate being a burden. And I keep thinking, I started writing to relieve stress and it's turned into just the opposite. I took something that I love and turned it into work and the kicker is I'm not getting paid for it.
So since I now have destroyed the one thing that was bringing me peace and relaxation, I've been looking for something to replace it. I always send for all the free samples I can get and any lotions I throw into an old margarine container under the sink. Since the first signs of Jack Frost are here, I've been pampering my skin with the little samples of lotion. With as stressed out as I am, it's nice to take a moment and feel like I'm doing something kind for myself. But knowing me, I'm sure that I will soon find a way to stress myself out about the lotion and ruin another good thing. Maybe I should take up drinking as a sport, just kidding, maybe.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coach Purses part 2

Dennis told a few of the people that he works with about the great deal that we got on the purses. He even had me text a picture so he could show it off. Now a couple of the guys are going to the Coach store and getting their wives a purse for Christmas. I love passing along frugal information. And I think that it's wonderful how far Dennis has come on our frugal journey. Den was raised in a family that was much better off than mine so he had no idea what budgeting or being frugal was. So it was really a struggle to turn him to the dark side or the right side depending on how you look at it. I'm just so thankful that we are both working together and that he is proud of the deals that we find. I think it's cute. And I bet their are going to be a few very happy wives come Christmas morning thanks to Den.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas shopping

I know by writing this I'm going to jinx myself but here goes. I'm almost done Christmas shopping. My goal is to be done before Thanksgiving and I think that I might just make it. I still have to get Den's present but we are are doing something different and just buying for ourselves. I really like this because it's $50 that we get to spend on ourselves and it's guilt free. We also need to buy for Dennis' dad. He loves used books so I have to look into that. We are going to finish a couple of gifts by just giving cash so that doesn't leave much more. I'm hoping that by doing this maybe for once I'll enjoy the holidays. I usually turn into the Grinch about three days before Christmas. So I'm hoping that with all the advanced planning I will have a little holiday cheer. I have to say that I've actually enjoyed shopping through out the year so I'm really going to try to get the Christmas fund replenished the beginning of the year.
Thanks for reading,
Sonya Ann

Monday, November 17, 2008

Frugal diet?

With all that I have going on, I've decided to try and diet. I'm going to have a few book signings and I don't want to be self conscious about my looks and my fat. As you can once again see, I'm oozing with self confidence.
So I'm telling you this for some kind of accountability. I'm not going to do any weird diet or buy any expensive diet foods, I'm just going to see if I can't cut back a little on what I eat and see if that won't work. I would like to lose 30 pounds but I would be happy with just one.
I'll let you know what works and what doesn't.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, November 13, 2008

little slivers of soap

For some strange reason the majority of frugal people are very concerned with the last little sliver of soap. I don't know why but if you are frugal than the last little bit of soap is a dilemma. Maybe it's a silent passage into the frugal world or maybe the slow loss of sanity but it does come up quite often. As does the amount of homemade laundry soap one uses. Really what is wrong with us but if you get the whole soap thing your with friends. I've heard people smashing it to the new bar of soap or grating it into laundry soap. But I haven't had any luck with either of them. The sliver slides off the new bar and I end up chasing it around the shower and then fighting to save it from a terrible wasteful death down the drain. Or I end up grating my fingers and bleeding into my laundry mixture. Gross but so true. So my solution is to put it into a recycled margarine container and let it dissolve with some water. It ends up turning into a creamy hand soap like mixture. And then I use it to treat stains. And the bonus of it is that it's fun to squish your hands in. I know not real mature but fun none the less.
So let the well off and wasteful pitch their slivers. Every time I pretreat a stain I know that I'm helping our bottom line and get to be a kid for a few seconds. Frugal is fun or it may just be my sanity is slipping from me.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Coach Purses

Alright I can tell what your thinking when you read the title, what the hell kind of money saving blog is this. I know I would think the same thing. But wait, I have a great money saving story. We spend $50 on each person in our family. It is a bit much and we usually spend about $1200 a year on Christmas between family and friends. But I buy throughout the year and we love giving great gifts. We saved our Christmas money from last year and some of our stimulus check to cover it this year. But you have to realize that we have over 44 people to buy for. I went after Christmas last year to Cracker Barrel and bought Christmas tea pots on clearance for this year. So we try to get as much for our money as possible. And that $1200 includes all the money for cookies, spice jars for 20 people(people at work not included in the 44) that Dennis works with and the tree. But still $1200 is still a lot and I know this so I don't need hate mail.
Last night we were on our way to Woodman's to do our monthly grocery shopping and I saw the Coach outlet store. So we swung in to see what they had. I figured that there would be nothing that we could afford to get the women on our list but I was so wrong. They had a bunch of purses market down and then 50% off the lowest price. I could of jumped around. Two purses were $149 each and the other two were $159 each and I ended up paying $42.10 for each purse. Jump up and down with me. So instead of spending $50 on each person I spent $42.10 and I can't wait to see how excited they are to get an actual Coach purse. I look like a big spender and I made Den buy one for me for Christmas so he is done shopping. I'm a very happy camper.
I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year and that hasn't happened in a long time. Maybe I'm just not buying good enough gifts.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some news I was going to tell you about before

Alright, I was going to tell you about this before but then my world came to a crashing halt. I think that I can take the (wannabe) author part off of my blog description. In September, I submitted a short blurb about my book to a publishing company. I knew with all of my heart that I would get a rejection letter and I was alright with it. I figured at least on my death bed I could say to myself that I saw the whole thing through. I mean I'm no one. I'm just a mom and a wife and I live in the middle of no where, who wants anything I've written. Great self confidence, I know. One of the major reasons that I never finished college was that I could barely get through English. I had a high school teacher tell me that I should stick with just writing my name.
Anyways, I wrote my book just as a hobby, my great passion. So I submitted it and I didn't hear anything back for a month. Well what happened was their first response went to my spam folder and was deleted. So they some how got through a month later and wanted to read it. So I sent it in on a Tuesday, Wednesday they sent me an email that they received it and Thursday they sent me a contract. It was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I felt so high and on top of the world. I felt like I was being told that everything everyone had ever said about my writing or lack there of, was incorrect. I was correct, I could write and accomplish my dreams. It's a moment that I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life. That was eight days before my dad died so at least he knew about it. Your life can change in a moment for good or bad.
So, if I don't blog as often as I should, I'm trying to meet all of my dead lines for the book. I have no idea what I'm doing and I feel completely out of my league but I'm faking it. Sometimes that's all you get.
Oh, I almost forgot the name of my book is Dissipate. It's sci-fi and a thriller.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Karma?!?!?

I'm at the point that I'm pretty sure that karma is crapping on me. No really, I'm pretty sure of it. If I wasn't so unhappy I'd be laughing until a hysteric coma set in. My dad dies while we are on vacation so we turn around and drive all the home and then on to Bay Minette AL. We have a wake there and then everyone comes back to IL and we take care of many relatives for days. I really didn't mind that, it was just hard to function. But having everyone here did make me feel loved. SO we had another wake and then the funeral on Saturday. So at the cemetery they asked if we all wanted to watch as they put him in the mausoleum. So everyone stayed and that was a bad idea. NEVER STAY! The mausoleum was on the 5th level and they had a large lift and two very sturdy men putting him in the wall. SO they lifted him up and went to push him in and almost dropped him on half of the people there. And I'm not exaggerating, the back end of the coffin slid all the way off. What a way to go out? Then we went back to the church and had a meal that we cooked for everyone. It was a nice time and a wonderful closure. But as we were leaving my uncle said that my 35 year old cousin had a massive heart attack and they didn't know if he would make it.(He did). Anyways after wards all the family came back to our house for a little get together and the neighbor girl hit my in-laws van and drove away. And she doesn't have insurance. Then just to add to our trauma my son Dj woke up this morning with blisters on both of his eye balls. SO that was not a cheap adventure. He will be alright just an allergic reaction to his contacts. My life is never boring. I'm just wondering what the hell kind of person I was in my last life.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn
PS please for the love of God click on my sponsor, I really need to catch a break somewhere.
PSS I also forgot the speeding ticket Dennis got on the way back in Nashville. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Still struggling

I'm hoping to get back into my old routine soon. There are so many odds and ends that need to be taken care of though. I miss blogging. I usually talk about all of our money issues but I don't think that I really feel up to breaking down all the expenses for the funeral and all. We were just very lucky that we were able to pay for it. I think the final tally for just the trip down to Alabama and back and for all the food was about $1500. We managed to get about $700 just for us from family to help us out and I robbed a few of our funds so that we wouldn't have to put it on the second mortgage. I guess that's a good thing. I'm still not sure if I'm coming or going though. Sonya Ann

Monday, November 3, 2008

Funeral

We are back now. It was really rough. We were in the WI Dells when this all started. We always take a little trip in October. We all play hooky and we do something on the cheap. Well we left on Wednesday and were planning on coming home on Saturday. Friday morning my sister called and said they were taking our dad to the hospital. And within two hours he had passed. So we drove almost all the way back (3hrs) when my brother called and asked if we would drive up to Milwaukee and pick up his girlfriend Erica that we had never met. So we turned around and got her. She is so wonderful and she was a huge comfort to Kyle. We got back late Friday and unpacked and washed clothes and then repacked. We had to borrow my in-laws van so that we could accommodate the extra person. We left Saturday morning at 5am and were down there by 7:30 pm. We had a wake in Alabama for all of my dad's family on Tuesday and then we all came home and had a wake and funeral on Saturday. It was so drawn out. We had family staying with us and everyone eating here and trying to cook for the meal after the funeral was a bit much. But we made it and the last of the family left our house Sunday morning. I feel so drained and sad but there is nothing that I can do to fix this. I'm just trying to get back into some kind of routine. My dad always said one foot in front of the other and that's just what I'm trying to do.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn