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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I didn't drool but those around me sure did!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know about the cult following that is The Twilight Saga.  I mean the series of books by Arizona author Stephanie Meyer.  I had never heard of this series (the first book was released in 2005) until the November 2008 release date of the first movie.  My former coworkers were planning an outing to see the movie and I wanted to go along with them.  I was loaned the first book and almost didn't finish reading it because the story seemed to be only about high school love, my high school years being a very faint memory.  I was encouraged to complete the book and went on to read the entire series.  The stories were a very easy read, but I would not recommend this story for teens or tweens - just a little too much innuendo for this old prude.     

For those of you that are not familiar with the story, vampires and werewolves are primarily character development of a love story.  I like to say that this is a story about relationships; about love and loss, good over evil, and a lot of very attractive folks.  I would have loved to insert a photo here, but I couldn't find anything that was available for public domain (no copyright infringement).  So, here is the place to find out everything official about this story.

Today, (June 30) is the official release date of Eclipse, the current film.  Many Twi-hard fans, myself included, saw the movie during is 12:01 a.m. showing.  I saw the movie at my local Carmike Theater, which ran the trilogy:  the first movie (Twilight) was shown at 7:00 p.m., the second movie (New Moon) was shown at 9:30 and the newest installment, (Eclipse) was shown at 12:01 a.m.  - yes, I kept my ADHD self in a movie seat for over 7 hours, with just a really short bathroom break between movies.  The fee for all 3 movies was $20.00 - a HUGE entertainment expense for me as I'm trying to be so careful with unnecessary spending - but I justified it by saying...well, I just wanted to go.  

I won't spoil the story, but know the love triangle is deeply explored, we learn more about the supporting characters, and more characters are introduced.  The scenery is nothing short of spectacular, music adds another dimension to the story, and the special effects are simply icing on the cake.  The ending is very sweet and leaves you more than ready for the next installment in the series.  In the end, Bella receives a gift from Edward that left me disappointed: it was not as exquisite as I thought it should be.  I would love to hear what you think - what are your thoughts on the books, the movies and Bella's gift?  

I got home about 3:00 a.m., so here is what has been going on at my house today:  


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swagbucks: The Only Bucks I'm Earning Right Now

In my area, classroom teaching jobs seem to be as scarce as hen's teeth (this is an old southern expression).  I'm looking into other employment opportunities, as well as the possibility of starting my own business.  Before I participated myself, for months, I followed other bloggers while they accumulated something called Swagbucks.  According to their website:, is the web's premier rewards site. Powered by Prodege LLC, allows web users to earn virtual currency by doing the things they do every day - search the web, shopping at their favorite retailers, and by engaging in other activities such as phone recycling, submitting polls, and completing special offers. is the only place on the web to get what you want without ever having to spend a dime. 

It is really very simple.  You just use the swagbucks bar to surf instead of going to Google, or another search engine.   I "always" get bucks anytime I am on line.  

I've used this for an Amazon gift card and I'm saving my bucks for Christmas gifts, maybe even for my sweet Sophie shown here!    Here is the link to sign up:

As always, I love comments.  What are your thoughts on Swagbucks?  How much do you love my little girl?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yard Sale My Shoes? Are You Crazy?

When I was teaching, one of the summer time activities I most looked forward to was the cleaning/decluttering of my house…(crazy, isn’t it?) I went through my drawers, closets, cabinets, etc. to see what I could and couldn’t live without. I believe that’s why the Good Lord invented yard sales!

My close friends and family know I’m a sucker for shoes and purses – once I stopped counting at 30 pairs of flip flops…Until I asked The Boss to find “my gold flip flops” and he kept bringing ones I didn’t want, I had no idea I had 5 pairs of just gold ones…

Add that to the green ones, brown ones, black ones, etc. And that didn’t count the tennis shoes, clogs/mules, boots, dress shoes, etc. I just couldn’t bring myself to count my purses, let’s just say I brought back only purses from a trip to Mexico, and I own a purse with an honest to goodness alligator on it, head, teeth and all!  But I digress; this is about shoes.........

Now, you might justifiably ask yourself, “Why does that crazy lady need all those shoes when she only has two feet?” Well, I don’t. I felt I deserved them. Here’s why:

1. I earned a nice living and could easily afford them.
2. My job was very stressful.
3. I felt I deserved a special treat.
4. My favorite excuse: they were on sale!
5. I could gain weight or lose weight and my shoes always fit.

Most importantly, in the rush of being blinded in shoe love, I forgot that I already owned a pair or two that were almost identical.
Needless to say, I had a real storage problem. What to do?

My answer came last year in a local First Annual Indoor Yard Sale. This event was held at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton, Georgia. The night before the sale, The Boss and I took a few hours, gathered some junk, and on a Friday evening and a few hours on Saturday made almost 300 dollars getting rid of things we no longer wanted or thought we needed. It was within a few dollars of an unexpected vet bill. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Here's the link to find out more about the yard sale!

We plan to participate in this event again this year – please mark your calendars for July 16 and 17 – I’ll be the crazy lady there fighting with her husband over her flip flops…………

Sincerely, before making a decision on if an item is leaving my home, I ask myself these questions:
• Does it still work?
• Does it have a purpose or function in my home or my life?
• Do I use it?
• Every item in your home has a story of how it was acquired. How does that story make you feel? Does it make your heart sing? Or not?
• How many times is Aunt Suzie actually going to come to my home to see if I really use the (fill in the blank) she gave me?
Repeat after me, “Let the guilt go, let the guilt go, let the guilt go”. Donating an item to a local charity thrift store is a great guilt release. Let someone else have the blessing of your item.

I love comments.  Please share with me your favorite tips for decluttering your home, and any tips for making my participation in the yard sale a whopping success!

Friday, June 18, 2010

How I manage my day by Penelope Perfect

Hello everyone. I’m Guest Host Penelope Perfect and I write at’ You can find me at the corner of Your Life Lane and No Longer an Option Street…now if you believe that, wow, wow, wow!
For us at WAH folks, time management is king…we’ve always said we don’t want “the man” breathing down our necks, intimidating us, scaring us, but who keeps us on task, on time, and on target? We do!

What helps me is a schedule – duh, you say? Why it works for me is accountability – I’ve got to put on paper what I have actually done (and plan to do). I have a “to do” list either in my head or on paper and then I write down what I’m planning to do. Since I’m very recently unemployed, this schedule can vary. For instance:

8:00 – 9:00 wake up, morning medicine, walk dogs, breakfast. I usually make chocolate milk using sweetener and cocoa (I’m way too cheap for chocolate milk mix).

9:00 – 12:00 computer time. This includes blog and work at home research. I do allow myself 5 minutes per hour on social media (i.e. Face book). Laundry, clean house (alternating, so that I can deal with my ADHD personality), lunch…a girls gotta eat, right? This includes well meaning phone calls from friends and relatives about my job search, am I bored, etc.

12:00 – 1:00 get cleaned up – shoes to makeup.

1:00 to 4:00 – OK, I’ll admit it: sometimes I nap the afternoon away (I have no little ones at home). I might plan/print a grocery list and coupons, clean out a closet, etc.

4:00 until bedtime – Hubby has a regular job and we have a membership at an awesome wellness center – affiliated with our local hospital, much more than a workout facility. I might drive into town to work out (great for the unexpected anxiety and depression which comes from job loss), get my nails done (I’ll keep my fake nails until I can’t afford gas or groceries), get dinner (yes, we are still eating out too much, now cheaper places or with coupons). I plan to stay out of the malls unless I can really justify a great deal. We might visit friends or family, watch way too much television, more computer time, play with my dogs, etc. When the nighttime air is cool, might take a ride in our antique convertible with our dogs.

Another thing that really has helped keep me on task is inviting a friend over to work with me. She is working on a doctoral degree, so she can work on schoolwork while I work on various projects. CHATTING IS ONLY ALLOWED IN OUR FIRST FIVE MINUTES!!!!!!!!!! No exceptions!

I spent many years working to physical exhaustion and falling asleep on the couch at night. I’m no doctor, but I believe this is a terrible thing to do. First of all, I would wake up, eat something and then go to bed. This caused for an interrupted sleep cycle and not enough rest. Now, I use my CPAP machine (another post) and go to bed so that I can get a minimum of 7 hours nighttime sleep.

Please leave a comment. Do you keep a schedule? Why or why not?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Cheap and Lazy Girl’s Guide to Line Drying Clothing

Anyone remember a mom or grandmother using a clothes line? I do. My mom had one at the edge of our yard and used it daily.
As I shared in my last post, at the end of August, my personal income will decrease by 50%. I need to implement what I can, as fast as I can, to curtail my household spending. A very simple thing to do is limit using my dryer for clothing.
Let’s get the negative out of the way first:
1. I don’t know how to do it. No sweat, I’ll teach you in this post.
2. I don’t have time. Yeah, you do. My way is not really much
3. I can’t/don’t want my clothing
outside (pollen, modesty,etc.). No problem.
4. Will my clothes feel stiff? We can fix that!

Now for the positives:
• No worries about laundry fires. Please see this post from the US Consumer Product Safety Comission for more information on this subject.
• You don’t have to worry about babysitting your dryer for fear of wrinkled clothing.
• You clothing lasts longer. Ever heard of dryer lint? Where do you thing that comes from? Yup, your clothes. I sure hope you ladies are already hanging out your undies – hot clothes dryers are the staunch enemy of lycra.
• Your house stays cooler. Here in the deep south, we do anything we can to stay cool.
It saves money. According to

OK, here we go……
I don’t use a clothesline. I don’t hang my laundry outside. My set up is like me – cheap and simple. I bought clothespins (stored in a recycled metal can) and I use my regular clothes hangers.
Step One: Take freshly washed clothing and put them in your clothes dryer for 5 to 12 minutes. Using the dryer for this short time will help with stiffness of clothing. You will need to experiment to see the minimum amount of time that works for you. I use my kitchen timer because I am easily distracted.
Step Two: This is how I hang; clothes, that is J Remove a few garments at a time. I usually remove hubby’s work clothes first. I shake each garment sharply – make sure it makes a “snap” sound to shake out all the wrinkles. I hang all shirts directly on a hanger as if they were already dry. I hang pants from the hem (careful with the clothes pins, you don’t want a dent or wrinkle here). The weight of the pants will pull the other wrinkles out of the pant. I hang several socks or underwear on a single hanger, one clothes pin per item. Towels go two per hanger, one on each side, one clothes pin on each corner. I hang washcloths the same way – I want them to stay square so that they are easier to fold and put away.
Step Three: Letting the clothing dry. Many people make or buy a drying rack, I want to do this without spending any extra money. The easiest spot in my home is the shower curtain rod. I also use any other spot I can find; the ledge of a storage cabinet trim, doorknobs, over a picture frame, etc. I have the same modesty/allergy issues as most people. Also, I don’t want my neighbors to think I am destitute because I made a proactive decision to reduce my spending.
Step Four: Do a load every day. That way you don’t get behind.
According to
, in the United States, 92% of single family homes had a dryer in 2005. Less than 4% of Italian households own a dryer. This organization estimates that 8% of American households line-dry their laundry during 5 months of the year. If all Americans who currently do not use a clothesline started to use one for ten months of the year, we could avoid 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, annually.
I make my own laundry detergent (that is another post) and I’m using a a Bounce dryer bar I got for free from couponing (also another post).

I hope this works for you, it is certainly working for me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Time. One thing money can't buy; one thing I've wanted more of (even more than money) over the past couple of years. Time to spend on my home, my family, my hobbies, my life.

This is not a place to rehash the past, but a place to look toward the future. As in 60 days, my income will decrease approximately 50%, I plan to search and post ways to save money and hopefully make money.