Car Trouble and Money Saving Tips

September 11, 2010

Today was my day to have fun. Traveling to my new friends to meet her dad who has dementia and was just placed in a dementia center. I also was going to meet her mom who had a stroke; hence, the reason for placing her dad in a home for dementia patients as the mom cannot watch the dad any more. We had great plans. The hospital was letting the mom escape for a few hours.

I got up, got the car packed with intentions of getting fuel and heading to her house. I figured leaving early, I would miss the traffic.


My car and my mechanic let me down. My car was dead, deader than a typical doorbell. I called AAA and the driver wanted to tow my vehicle to the mechanic instead of jump-starting the car. I allowed this, as I had to get gas and was afraid if I shut off the car it would again not start, not giving it enough time to charge. I was also afraid it was my alternator and I would break down out of town with most mechanic shops closed for the weekend.

Thank goodness, the tow truck driver did what he did. I should have given him a bigger tip. Yes, it was my alternator. $350.00 later, my car will be fine. A whole day wasted with no transportation.

My plans are re-scheduled until next weekend. This messes up next weekend. It is one of those things you have to get done kind of things. Next week I will be fueled and ready to go. My vehicle will not let me down.

Today, I finished my Friday work and did a bit of Monday’s to make Monday a little lighter load. I started a sprouting experiment, which you can read about below. As soon as they call me to pick up my car, they close at 4:00 p.m., I will be baking bread. I have wanted to do this for a few days. I bought a new book and I am looking forward to trying this preferment procedure. Most bread takes two days to complete.

I am looking for money saving tips. Do you know any? So far, I plan to enlarge my garden adding one more square foot that is 4 X 4 and planting winter crops. I am cooking my own beans from dried instead of purchasing canned. I am reading about canning and next season plan on canning my own tomatoes. You know anything canned is convenient but expensive. I bought a new motion detector light that is an LED and is amazing!! Any more tips for me?

I would love to put a TV antenna on my roof. I am unable to find anyone to do that for me. I guess either most people have family or friends who can do it or people these days just use cable or Direct TV. I pay 81 bucks a month and getting free TV would be FREE.
I can pick up a DVD recorder to supplement as a DVR of sorts and the antennae and would be free and clear in only 2-3 months.

There you have it. Does anyone use a TV antenna? Does anyone want to come install mine? I can feed you well and take you on my road for a great workout.


August 30, 2010

Brooklyn escaped the other night.  My daughter called me crying hysterically.  She had left Brooklyn at her friend’s house when they went to practice.  He has been at that house a lot.   It appeared that her friend left the window open. Brooklyn clawed his way through the screen, out the window he went.  The neighbors say they saw a couple carrying him away.  My daughter called her co-worker who lives in the area and for some reason he had stayed late at the dog park.  He had stayed late enough to talk to a person who had found a beagle.  He did not make the connection until he heard my daughter’s message. She called him at 11:30 at night.  He immediately went back to the dog park to get the phone number of the person who found a beagle.  The couple would bring Brooklyn home.

It seems they found Brooklyn sitting on a corner of two major, busy streets.  Thank goodness, he has been trained well and had not run into the street.  Since Brooklyn did not have any tags, they took him to the vet to read his chip.  Did I mention my daughter has not chipped him?  She felt a tag would be good enough and never felt an apartment dog would escape.  It also seems like Brooklyn’s tag was hanging on the window screen.  I guess it had been stuck as he was escaping out the window.  It also seems that while at this couples house he opened their back door and escaped again.  LOL… The couple found him sitting on the front step of a house, which later they found out was the exact house Brooklyn should have been inside.  I guess that little escapee went back home.

The couple fed Brooklyn a chicken breast and who knows what he ate while on his adventure.  Brooklyn is allergic to chicken. Only a two on a scale of five.  Yep, he has a bit of a tummy ache, but he is SAFE.

This little guy is soooooo smart, I am afraid he now knows how to escape out the window.  Why did he escape?  Did he have to go to the bathroom?  Was he annoyed with the dog that lives where he was staying?  On the other hand, did he just want an adventure?

All our dogs are only allowed to walk on the sidewalk and have to sit at each street before crossing.  This turned out to be a good thing.  Beagles are known to be oblivious of their surroundings when their nose is on the ground following a smell.

We are very lucky Brooklyn came home safe.  My daughter’s co-worker said the stars were aligned.  He had stayed late at the park to watch something amazing in the sky.  If he had not stayed, my daughter may not have gotten Brooklyn back and it would have been a long night for her.

Brooklyn is unharmed at home now.  Safe in his home.  He cannot escape his home.  She is on the second floor.  Although they have only lived there one week!

Brooklyn is safe.


July 24, 2010

I could not believe this. Fast food restaurants are supposed to start making their menus healthier for us.  This came in my email just now.  For a whopping $5.99 I can purchase the above AND without leaving the comfort of my home.

And people wonder why.  ADVERTISING… Enough said!


July 24, 2010

I went hiking today. I made it past the County line. My upper stomach was bloated and hard. My fingertips got blue. I felt like crap. I could not force myself to go to the top. Mad at myself.

I did some research and my blood sugar was low. It has been a long time since I had a reaction and first time like this. I know I had a week with my mom eating crap and a week of not hungry and not eating well at all. I think this all added up to a too strenuous hike. I was not fueling my body properly, especially for this grueling climb in the heat. Lesson learned.

I know better, I know better!

This once again proves you have to eat clean!!!! To live a good live you have to eat clean and take care of your body. I wasted a whole day. I did not even feel well enough to work. I ate all day long trying to get my body bad to feeling good. Finally at about 10 p.m. I had energy, felt hydrated and was raring to go. I headed to bed. Thankfully, my job allows me to work the weekends.

This morning I feel great. I made my normal breakfast and plan on conquering this week with gusto. I will fuel properly and conquer the mountain on Friday. I cannot believe how stupid I was to back slide and ruin all the work I have done. I am hoping this well will shape me up and get me back on track.

After researching, here is what I learned…

I am supposed to eat breakfast 2-3 hours before a hike. (Hiking at 8:00 requires a normal last minute wake up call of 6:30. If I plan to eat 2-3 hours before a wake up call would be 4:30-5:30. Yikes! Not gonna happen.) Okay, I will just eat a great breakfast as early as I can. The Meal Replacement Protein Product is not an option before hiking.

For dinner the night before, they recommended spaghetti with a sauce with mushrooms and a sprinkling of cheese. Add a few pieces of bread and Bingo; you should be ready for a hike the next day.

Of course, another option for dinner is a great steak, potatoes and a side of vegetables.

Either one is doable.

Funny, I found a forum and they recommended going to McDonald’s for breakfast…Yikes. Are they kidding me?

I am struggling with dehydration and drink and drink. Once again, this I am sure is from my lack of clean eating. In addition, I am starving and never full. Again, a sign of crappy eating and not eating at all.

Life is one big learning event.

All not eating does is make you fat!!! All not eating does is make you weak. All not eating does is give you lack of energy. All not eating does is give you a big ole pimple on your chin… Well, I cannot blame that one on not eating.

Suggestions? Recommendations? How do you fuel yourself for a grueling uphill hike?

Off to work I go. 

Blogging, Canning and Stuff

July 22, 2010

I watched the news and saw a segment on Food Bloggers/Dieters.  They show how to take pictures and make the food look great.  This rolls over to Dieters.  The better your food looks the more enjoyment you get.  One hint they used was to use your best china.  Why wait.  Make your eating enjoyment memorable.  The best hint was to use cloth napkins.  Makes your meal feel more elegant.  These are such simple things you can do.

I know I have many smaller plates I use for my meals.  I can fill the plates up but keep the portions down low.  I buy beautiful plates one at a time.

I know I am supposed to just sit and eat but I always have the TV on or I am reading a book.  Multitasking.  They say this is bad. You need to sit and enjoy the foot one bite at a time and let your stomach come up to your brain.  I feel like it wastes time.  How about you?  Do you multitask while eating?

I am delving into canning and reading up on it.  I need a pressure canner.  Well, not in the budget.  I do have a pressure cooker.  I found the instruction book and was so excited to see I have a pressure cooker/canner.  Yahoo.  It is small and will only do four pint or half pint jars at a time, but that works for me.

I see all the jams use so much sugar.  I need to find a recipe with less sugar without compromising the taste and texture.  Does anyone out there do any canning?

In two days, I will be hitting my road again with my new friend. She has not been very successful, nor have I.  We have agreed to get to the top, or the very least to the bottom of the last really tough hill.  If we have to take a rest to get there, we will.  I have done it before and I am so much stronger now.  I can walk half way up the hill without stopping and my breathing is not horrible.  It is my noodle legs that stop me.

It is time to get back on the Bowflex, which I have stopped using.  I am seriously paying for it now.  The 52DC keeps me on track and I have gotten lazy and not working out very hard.  I bought a step and have not even used it once.  I was so gung ho and just have shoved everything off.  I am struggling getting out of bed.  I need BBM to give me a strong lecture or even Lazydays to boom at me.  LOL

Okay, I must get to work.  I think putting this in words for all to see will help motivate me to get out of bed and get moving.


June 3, 2010

Have you ever been so tired but it feels great? That is how I felt after this weekend. I did an awesome job on my to do list and some. My mom came over all three days and Yikes… for a 79 year old woman she has more energy than me. Do not know how she does it. I was really happy and my yard looks awesome. My shed is cleaned and the last of the veggies planted. I even had time to make a few tomato cages.

Only thing on my list I did not get done is my file cabinet but that is a work in progress. The most important… no down time to read my pho-fe book. I am happy and the book will wait.

This weekend, I have a shelf to build to put in the shed and get it a tad more organized and that is it. I am going to read my book and work on my files.

Sam talked me into it…I am heading out in the morning to buy the step. I decided it is a good investment. Now, to see if they have it in stock. I might have to buy a DVD player for my workout room, otherwise I will be dragging the step to the front room when I want to use it. Amazing how a silly step can make you excited.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Three Day Weekend

May 28, 2010

I decided not to do the 52DC. It really is time consuming and I feel bad that I cannot host. I know many people do not step up and they are not bothered, but that is not me.

I am so strong now that I am just doing so many projects that I could not do before. I have to do them while I am motivated and excited.

I am still doing my workouts. Right now, I am contemplating getting a “step”. I keep watching videos and learning about step aerobics and I think it would be fun and a great workout. Not sure, I want to invest the 100 bucks or less. I wish I knew someone who could tell me if this is a great cardio workout and work the money. I Keep thinking, I have a treadmill what do I need a step for. It looks more like dancing of sorts. Has anyone had any experience with step aerobics?

This weekend is going to be busy. I have written a list and so far, this Friday I have completed all on the list. Well, I decided not to take my car to the mechanic. Tomorrow, I want to finish cleaning the shed and finish the back yard. I have to lay a few bricks and rocks behind the pond. Clean out the square foot garden and plant some new crops. Then my yard will totally be done!! All I have to do is light maintenance and rep my rewards.

Sunday, I have to get caught up on paperwork. I have been having computer problems so I need to decide what to do. Therefore, Sunday will be a full day working in the office.

Monday… Is a rest day. I am absolutely doing nothing. I am just going to read a book, James Patterson, and do whatever I want.

I hope you guys are having a great weekend. Until next time.


May 14, 2010

Hi everyone. Just wanted to pop in and update on how things are going. I am excited. This workout I am doing if fantastic. I have so much energy. I think now I want to work on my cardio. How long and how fast do you think one should walk to build it up? I need to get on my mountain. Anyone want to walk with me. It is a mile of up and down to the top and a mile of up and down back down. It sure can get your heart rate up. I was doing quite well until my cousin bailed on me. I was able to make it three quarters of the way up without resting. I think my mind made me stop. I knew the last hill was a killer and I had better rest (on my favorite rock) while I could. There are not many places to sit and rest. On the way down, none stop. If it was not for the secluded location and the wild animals (I have never see one, just evidence that they had been there during the night.) I would walk alone.

This weekend I am freeeeee. I think I will install some new software, get my Neat Receipts upgrade in, and bring my files up-to-date.

How about you? What are your plans?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Winning the War on Weeds

May 7, 2010

Do you see them!!!! Trying to take over my flower beds… This bed was pristine until we had a light, yes LIGHT rain and Voila, they came overnight!!!!! I have to clean this up again to reach a goal of winning the war on weeds, but is this a weed or a beautiful flower plant?

This planter has rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic chives and bell peppers. I usually have a tomato plant but last year it failed, so now I have a zucchini growing.

These two flower beds typically do not have major problems with weeds but after the winter rain it needs a good cleaning. I usually have bark down but the gardener keeps blowing the leaves and taking it with him so I decided to just turn the dirt, Yikes, that is hard work.

Here is the problem area. Crab grass and weeds galore. Takes forever to clean it and trim up the Pineapple sage. So far, two weeks with no new growth. EXCEPT for those dang morning glories.

I usually do not have much trouble in this area. It has a good layer of mulch. I planted peppers there this year.

This area where you see the rocks was taken over by the weeds and the crab grass. I got it all cleaned out last weekend, planted and put in some of the drip line. You can see my winter lettuce still growing. I just cannot eat it all. (Yes, I got lazy and have not picked up the last pile of weeds that I pulled.)

This is the waterfall that is in need of spring cleaning. You can tell by the loss of water flow. That is next on my agenda. Do you see the turtle?

The turtle is in the lower right hand corner of the screen sitting on his rock. My turtle disappeared and this one just appeared about two months later. Now a baby turtle has also appeared. Strange, very strange.

So there you have it. Now to have a talk with my gardener and ask him to keep up with his responsibilities.

I did not take a picture of it, but past the rod iron fence is our dog run. Since I do not use it as that, (We had to have a place to put the puppies while we were gone when we raised Guide Dogs as they were afraid the dogs would fall into the pond and not be able to get out.) I have planted some tomato plants and zucchini. If I do not have tomatoes this year I am going to scream. I have them planted in three different areas in three different kinds of soil.

Hope you enjoyed a tiny tour of my yard. It is so relaxing to just sit and enjoy the beauty after a hard days work. This yard work has made my arms and shoulders stronger too. That pinch plate exercise is amazing.

Three kinds of lettuce, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, onions, zucchini, three kinds of tomatoes, bell peppers, anaheim chili peppers, pineapple sage, thyme, lemon thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, loofa, nasturtium, two kinds of oranges, lemons, Mexican orange fruit of some kind. This is a good spring start.

Small Update

May 5, 2010

The 52-day challenge is winding down. I had to work my butt off to accomplish this challenge. I felt I got behind and did too much this last weekend. However, I accomplished all my goals with a day to spare.

Today, I almost blew a CE. My mom offered me fast food chicken. I was starving and busy and thought, hey I can save some time. But I thought, geez, to lose it this close to the end is pure ridiculous. Why work so hard for 50 days and then lose it two days before the end.

I went to the doctor yesterday and was not happy. He did not check my grip strength or anything. I do not want to bore you. I guess I will not know how much stronger I am. I will just say that I feel stronger and I can do so much more. Yeah to “The Big Book of Exercises” and my new Physical Therapist. Yeah to the people on the 52DC who have guided me, supported me and let me learn from their posts. I would not be where I am today without all of them.

It made me feel good on this challenge and the last that I was able to give some of what I learned and challengers actually used it.

Tomorrow I will take pictures of my yard and show you all my hard work. The war on weeds. LOL… Yeah, what was I thinking? I will say, I have stayed on top of it and got so much done. I just wish I had taken before pictures. I will try to go out tomorrow and pick any stray weeds. I had to use a poison on the morning glories that were taking over and I accidentally sprayed my zucchini. Yikes! I also accidentally sprayed a small pepper plant too. It did kill the morning glories so we will see if they come back. Hopefully the zucchini will recover. It was growing so well.

Okay, guys, see you in a day or two with the pictures and my final results.