Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Week Off

I know, if you're here, you're thinking, "You just took more than a week off. What gives?" Well, frankly, there hasn't been much I've been compelled to blog. I used to try to come up with a post a day, and that was fun. And challenging. But I've fallen down on the job lately, and I'm okay with that. But I do intend to keep up blogging intermittently for a while here. Although, there are some life changes ahead that will significantly alter the blog's contents. But hopefully resource conservation will continue to be a goal of mine.

But by "week off" I mean a week off of Walgreens. And CVS, and any other coupon/deal/stock-up that might be available. I'm leaving town tomorrow, and I'll be way too busy the rest of this week packing, flying, rehearsing, and Maid-of-Honoring to think about CVS. If there were any where I'm going--which there aren't. There are Walgreenses, but who wants to lug free household goods across the country in limited luggage space? Oh wait. That's what I'm doing with the stuff I picked up for my mom out here. Well, anyway. I'm planning to skip it next week at any rate. I'm even leaving my coupon binder at my house.

And here's a funny thing I've noticed about myself. Having a bunch of coupons totally changes the way I shop, even when they're not with me. We were in Target Friday night, and I'm like, "Under no circumstances will I purchase anything. I don't have my coupons." (But then we did get a good deal on Starbucks coffee, but I know I don't have Starbucks coupons. I'd remember that.)

I think it will be like that next week. "Oh. What a great price on shampoo. It'd be free if I had. . ." Oh well. There's always the week after, right?

And, this other bit of miscellany for Deborah's benefit: I used every cent of my gift card this month. All $108.76 from September and October was consumed on various necessaries (mostly cheese, I think). But the good news is, I spent only $1.04 out of pocket on . . . uhh, cheese on Saturday, and I shouldn't have to shop at Walgreens until I get my November reload. I'll have to be careful in December. I haven't even checked out those deals yet.

Okay, hopefully that gets us all caught up. I'll see you all next month!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clean Day

We're not overly ambitious on Clean Day. As you can see, we had some challenges to begin with.

(By the way, this is the "Making your Home a Haven Challenge" for those of you just tuning in.) I called it "Vacuum and Mop Day" thinking that would make my 15-month-old more into it. Since mopping is his favorite pastime. No seriously. It really is. See?

So anyway, it was a grouch morning for him, despite all the mopping and vacuuming and playing of Baby Einstein peppy music and my serenading him with today's variation on the well-known Hoops and Yoyo anthem "Happy Sunny Day."

Though not what I would describe as dripping profundity, the song has the advantage of being an easy text to memorize, and it is adaptable to any weather I've tried it out on. For example. Today is one of those gloriously rainy, cool-leafy-colored fall days that invites one to enjoy home and family. So the song goes:
"It's a happy rainy day, happy rainy day, happy rainy day (ad infinitum)
And we're playing the accordion!"
Again the subtle brilliance of the song is that one need not actually be playing the accordion to enjoy the happiness of the rainy . . . or sunny, or cloudy, or windy, or whatever day one is currently experiencing. Incidentally, if one has never seen the e-card, one is quite mystified, I have no doubt.

But I digress. So it's only (much needed) morning nap time, and we've already done three-fifths of the list items. The other ones I must needs begin anon as Paul is unable to assist in coupon filing or list/menu making. Hmm. There's bound to be something else to clean. . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Home a Haven

Here's a time- and sanity-conserving week of workouts I decided to participate in. (I'm a couple of days behind, and I probably won't have many pictures, but you can look at other people's.)

The "Making your Home a Haven" challenge is going on at The Homespun Heart. This blogger makes me feel like a neanderthal house-keeper (in a very gentle, loving way). To call her Martha Stewart appears to be something of an insult. But we'll never grow if we don't challenge ourselves, so I've subscribed to her feed to see if I can learn something. (Currently, I have curtains on exactly one window in my home; Monica makes her own decorations for the music stand of her piano.)

This particular challenge caught my attention, and I decided to join in. Today for me was "Tidy Day." With a little help from Paul, I bulldozed through my list by lunch-time. Well, I have one computer thing left to do and the laundry to fold, but after that I have the afternoon to add to the Tidy List and maybe start on the Clean List. But I'd also like to take a walk with Paul. We'll see how things go.

So, I'd encourage you to hop over to Monica's blog, and see how her week of Home-Haven making is going. I love haven-like homes, and I know it's worth the effort!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Walgreens Debriefing 11.7.08

I hadn't darkened the door of a Walgreens in several days, but I landed some deals tonight. I present them below:

2 Almay mascaras (and I urge my readers who have not yet purchased their free mascaras to do so this week as they are on sale B1G1 free)
2 Wrigley gums
2 Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time teas
2 packages of Schick Quattro razors (my college-student sisters will flip)
Total: $39.63 (w/tax)
And whoops. I just realized that one of the razor packs was not on sale, so I paid like $2.30 more than I wanted to. My bad.

2 $1/1 Almay coupons
1 B1G1 Wrigley MQ
1 B1G1 Wrigley Walgreens Q
1 $1/1 Celestial Seasonings MQ
1 $1/2 Celestial Seasonings ESQ
1 Schick B1G1 MQ
1 Schick $2/1 MQ
1 Schick $3/1 ESQ

Final Total: $7.56

And the rebate on the mascara after the bonus is $7.69.

Thirteen cents profit!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

From a Cow Pasture

"Well," I started. The thought had brought me comfort all morning, but how does it sound in response to a request for cheering up? "Well, you know Nero once ruled a country."

Happy thought indeed. So did Hitler. So did Ronald Reagan, and Bloody Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, and Louis XIV, and Solomon, and Sennacherib. How did they get there? Ask another monarch named Nebuchadnezzar. He knows.

As this ancient monarch was thinking he had attained to his greatness because of might, brilliance, and strength, the Most High decreed for him a change. One with little hope. Seven years in a field with grass for his meals, dew for his bedding, and cattle for his companions were appointed for him. And all this by his own insane choice. The king would lose his reason.

And so it happened just as the Most High declared. And then comes what I consider the most amazing event in the account. Nebuchadnezzar regained his mental capacities and returned to his palace where he was greeted as the king, restored to his throne, and consulted for advice. Imagine being a dignitary in the Babylonian royal court. Day after day you approach the palace and see the deranged former king arrayed in a cloak of shimmering vegetation with his regal hair resembling eagles' feathers. With a sigh you pass by and think of the glory he once had as you wonder what could have overcome him, and you shudder with a vague fear that perhaps you too could be so afflicted. But gradually the sight loses its horror as you grow accustomed to the king-turned-beast and proceed with matters of state.

Then one day, unaccountably, there is no beast-man crawling around the pasture with the contented cattle. As you shrug and turn to enter the palace, you are greeted by a larger-than-normal crowd of courtiers and attendants paying no attention whatsoever to you. For they are showering their king with words of welcome and expressions of delight at his return. Your own heart swells in gratitude as you think of the many pressing questions which his majesty is now fit to resolve. Great is Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon!

So what was his experience all about anyway? How would he respond to the election of one whose patriotism, experience, compassion, and wisdom have been demonstrably questionable at best? I think Nebuchadnezzar would have us pause before crediting a fawning media or an uninformed, change-thirsty populace. You see, he learned the hard way that "the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men." Nebuchadnezzar would say now as he said then:
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"
And I suppose the king of Babylon would have us follow his example even now and "praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble."

(Account and quotations taken from Daniel 4.)