Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

I celebrated Christmas with my family and DBF last night.

Here's a picture of DBF and me from last night. It's not a GREAT picture, but it's our first picture together.

Vince and me again

I will post better ones when we get back from his parents next week!

My presents from CVS hounding went over well. My older nieces liked their (FREE!) bags of make-up and Bic Soliel razors. My SIL loved the basket of (nearly FREE!) HBA and cleaning supp;ies. Too bad I forgot to take pictures of them! She, DB2, and their younget 5 kids just moved into a different house so it turned out to be a great gift. DB2 didn't seem too crazy about it, but he never does. DB1 appreciate his basket of supplies though. He's on a fixed income so it will be very helpful to him. I will have to make that a yearly gift and just vary the container that I put it in. Maybe next year it can be in a Rubbermaid tote or something. I've already got two toothpastes to start my new "gift stockpile" My sister got a weather alert radio from me. DBF and I will exchange gifts at his parents' farm on Christmas day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December Update

I haven't been keeping up with this page or the Grocery Challenge forum like I used to. I've really not been on the Internet much in the past couple weeks. I've done some GREAT deals at CVS since Thanksgiving. I had 60 ECBs when I went to CVS on Thanksgiving. I used 50 and $1.48 OOP and got 67 ECBs in return! I used a handful of coupons and walked out with two bags of things. The next morning I went back for another Schick razor and the TV remotes---- I used some ECBS, $0.56 OOP and got at least 20 ECBS back. I still have nearly 30 to use for the great sale that starts 12/21.

Is it bad that I'm going to delay my family Christmas get-together by a couple hours so I can do a CVS run after church? I'll be with DBF's family on Christmas day, so my family's celebrating on Sunday.

Okay, I have to brag on DBF. Last Sunday, not only did he fix my heater in my car, he also fixed me dinner! Isn't that sweet? He's still buying me Christmas presents too, even though he said he already has 5 or 6 for me. I'm excited about spending Christmas with his family. This will be the first time I'm met his sister and 20 month old niece.

Not much else going on. One more week until school's out for 2 weeks!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top 5 Things I'm Thankful for This Thanksgiving...

5. I had my mom in my life for 33 years.
4. I have many loving and caring friends (this includes online friends, too!)
3. I have two jobs when so many people have none.
2. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, died for my sins.

and.......the top thing I'm thankful for this year...........

DRUM ROLL, please!

1. The man pictured below (who know very little about me at the time) had the courage to ask me out four and a half months ago.

I truly believe that he is a gift from God when I needed him the most. I could not ask for a better guy. He'z everything I've been waiting for. He thinks I'm beautiful even on my worst days (I think he needs his eyes checked---LOL) and he always treats me like a princess. Every woman should be so lucky!

So what are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Mom

You have been in Heaven for 4 months as of today. I miss you very much and I think of you every day. I'm so thankful to have been with you these last years. I got to know you as an adult, we got to be friends instead of only mother and daughter. I know that you are happy, healthy, pain-free and with Daddy in Heaven today. Tomorrow will be you first birthday in Heaven. I'm sure it will be the best birthday you've ever had! Happy Birthday, I love and miss you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Hound in Training

A life long friend of mine, Lula, asked me to help her learn how to get her grocery costs down. Her husband, an iron worker, is out of work so she is currently working two a school custodian and a school bus driver. They have 3 kids so she needs to stretch her paychecks as far as possible. She lives about an hour away from me and with our busy schedules we don't get to visit often. So DBF and I went to visit Lula and her family a week ago this past Sunday.

The first thing I did when she asked for my help was print a copy of Jennysmom's grocery tips for her. Next I got all of my coupon inserts gathered up to share with her. There were many that she could use! I asked her to make a list of what products she used the most so I could put out hound alerts for her or find the coupons myself in future inserts. I gave her the websites for Taylor Town, HCW, and the GC message board. I also told her to get a Extra Care Card since she hss a CVS nearby. Another tip was to buy at least one newspaper each week and use comparison ads whenever possible. She doesn't have a Kroger nearby and Target is too far away, but Wal-Mart is close so she can take the ad there and get a better price.

Lula was happy and excited to find out how to save some money. I showed her and my husband some of my receipts of my hounding trips. They were impressed at how much I saved. DBF even bragged about me! :) I haven't spoke with her yet to find out if my tips have helped, but I imagine they have. She may even make an appearance on the GC board soon!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been tagged by Lisa at Living Easy to do a Quirkiness MeMe.

The rules are: 1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on your blog. 3. List 6 unspectacular quirks you have. 4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking them. 5. Leave a comment on each taggee's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

My Unspectacular Quirks:
1. My car is an automatic, but I still use both feet! (My dad did too).
2. I almost always have to fall asleep with the TV on.
3. Diet Coke has to be my first drink of the day.
4. I can't take liquid medicine, I don't want to have to taste it!
5. I won't drink milk past the expiration date---even one day. I've had it go bad and still smell okay and it takes forever to get the taste out of my mouth---I don't want to do that again.
6. When given a choice between sitting on the right or left side of a church or movie theater, I choose the right. I feel very ODD sitting on the left side. If I HAD to, I would sit as far to the right as possible. During college there was only one year when I DIDN'T have the the bed on the right side of the dorm room. When my bed was on the left side, it bugged me the entire year! I was on the wrong side of the room!

I am tagging:

1. Dhunny @
2. AJ @
3. Nidena @
4. Loosing Battle @
5. Nasagreen @
6. Pubbler @

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pet Food Stockpile

Thanks to all the wonderful ladies at The Grocery Challenge, I have SUPER stockpile for my furbabies. As of yesterday afternoon, the kitties (8 of them) had 170 5.5 ounce cans of Friskies. They also have about 50 bags of FREE cat treats! I just got 11 more with $1.00 Qs from CarolinaKid. The Whiska Lickins is $1.07 at Wal-Mart - my 10% discount = $0.96 - $1.00 Q = $0.04 overage! Alpha_yankee just sent more! My kitties appreciate it! Ginger (my Chow mix) has about fifty cans of dog food thanks to all the BOGO Butcher Select Pedigree canned Qs that everyone sent. I will post pictures of the stockpile soon.

One Opinion about Barrack Obama

I will start this by saying that I am not very polical. I am not Democrat or Rebuplican....I vote for theperson not the party. I received the email that's posted below and just wanted to let others see it and make their own choice. I may not be polical, but I am Christian. I do not feel that God wants me to vote for someone who is in favor of such things.

Subject: Why not to vote for Obama


This article is from Huntley Brown - he is a fabulous concert pianist, man of God and is a black man. I appreciate so much his reasoning for not voting for Obama.

Why I Can't Vote For Obama
By Huntley Brown

Dear Friends,

A few months ago I was asked f or my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating....

First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.

Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads, I follow. I can't dictate the terms, He does because He is the leader.

I can't vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning - to name a few, then wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.

We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, 'don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.' I don't know Obama, so all I can go on is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)

To beat Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating. There is a reason the homosexual community supports him. There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill. There is a reason he voted 'No' on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

There is a reason he voted 'No' on banning partial birth abortion. There is a reason he voted 'No' on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Let's take a look at the practice he wanted to continue. The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:

A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps.
(Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are< /SPAN>
then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's
brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then

God help him.

There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.

Think about this: You can' not give a child an aspirin without parental notification but that same child can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.

There is a reason Obama went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years.

Obama tells us he has good judgment, but he sat under Jeremiah Wright's teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now?

Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc.

The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?

Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a
1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available
to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for
Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the
White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.

Would you support a President who went to a20church like that?

Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.

This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discover he'd been going to a racist church. The TRUE church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.

A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandates. It does not matter if it's a white church or a black church based on racial values, it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.

Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book 'the goals of the black community'. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.

Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?

So what does all this mean for the nation?

In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment.

Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king. First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.'

Then God says

1 Samuel 1:18 ' When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.' 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.' 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.'

Here is what we know for sure.

God is not schizophrenic

He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God. Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.

For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father, based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.

I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.

Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,

1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation?

2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?

Huntley Brown

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Weekend......Part 3: Horseback Riding and Dinner w/ His Parents

Later that day, after my first 4 wheeler ride, we went down to ride the horses. I've only been on a horse once in my life (that I remember anyway) and that was 30 years ago! First, DBF's mom sprayed them for flies and got them saddled up. I helped get the big horse, Charlie, away because he kept getting in the way when she was spraying Sable. I didn't think twice about it, I just grabbed the bridal and led him away from Sable-----DBF later told me that he was impressed with how I just jumped right in with the horses. DBF amd his mom were the first ones on the horses. I tried to get on Sable, but chickened out. The steps they used to get up on the horse kept wobbling and I was still too short to get my leg up over the saddle! I had barely recovered from the 4 wheeler ride so I wasn't ready for horseback riding right then. DBF rode his dad's big walker, Charlie who barely moves away from his owner. I told them that he wants to be a lap dog! DBF's mom rode Sable, who has a foot or leg ailment similar to arthritis so she can't be ridden very much. DBF and his mom rode for awhile. THen I tried to get on Sable again. DBF had the idea for me to stand on the trailer behind the tractor so I'd be high enough to get my leg over the back of the saddle. That worked I was on the horse! However, I've VERY afraid of heights! And she kept moving! I don't think the stirrups were shortened (or could be shortened enough for my legs. I kept feeling like I was going to fall off. I had already her about DBF's sister having a panic attack a few weeks earlier when she tried to ride Charlie and I didn't want to have my own panic attack so I decided that sitting on Sable was enough for that day. I certainly didn't want them to take pictures of my having a panic attack--like they did her! I had DBF take a picture of my sitting on the horse then he had to help me down. So DBF's dad and I stood by the fence and talked while DBF and his mom rode some more. What did we talk about? To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure....the horses, the farm, just life in general. DBF was impressed by that t0o, that I wasn't nervous spending time with his parents without him right there. I ended up taking about 98 pictures that afternoon of the horse riding, the goats, the neighbors 2 horses and the chickens. I will try to post a pick of DBF riding Charlie if it will load.

Saturday night DBF's parents treated us to dinner out. We had dinner at a great BBQ place about thirty miles from their farm. Poor DBF ate so many ribs that he nearly made himself sick! I had delicious pulled pork. Except for the loud teens at the table behind us, it was a very nice night. Back at the farm, we all sat up until after midnight talking. I found out that DBF and his family used to live next door to my high school math teacher! How weird is that?! What a small world! This was thirty miles away from my hometown, not in this little town of 1,000. DBF and his mom told me about a side of my teacher that I never knew. Apparently her kids were little terrors and she was a frazzled mom!

On Sunday, I went to a big flea market with DBF and his mom. It was fun just walking around with them and looking at what people were selling. I didn't get much just a Coca-Cola tray and a couple pages for my scrapbooking.

By Sunday evening it was time to go, but neither of us were ready to leave. It was so much fun---busy, but relaxing at the same time. I felt so comfortable there, more comfortable than with some of my own family! As we were getting into the car, I hugged both of his parents (I shook their hands when I met them). DBF's dad told me that I was welcome back anytime! Once we left, DBF told me that his dad doesn't say that to many people and that his parents really liked me. I told him that I liked them too.

I've already asked for the Saturday after Christmas off so I can spend Christmas with DBF and his family. My family doesn't do much at Christmas, so we'll probably celebrate the Sunday before. I've already bought DBF's Christmas presents and just ordered two books for his 1 1/2 year old niece's present! I feel like I've already gotten my Christmas present early. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Weekend.....Part 2: The 4-wheeler ride!

Saturday morning I sat in the kitchen (in my PJs no less!) talking with DBF's parents for about 45 minutes before he finally got up. His parents and I just talked about everyday job, their farm, my pets, their animals, etc. I showed them pictures of my pets and my house that were on my camera. There was no awkardness at all. DBF got up after his dog started whining in her crate to go outside. Then we all sat and chatted. Family friends came over to visit and I got to hear stories about DBF hunting as well as just more chatting. Later DBF's aunt and uncle came over, we talked for awhile and DBF suggested that he and I go out on the four-wheeler.

Now I must admit that I've NEVER been on a four-wheeler in my life. DBF has scared me half to death in his Celica so I wasn't sure about riding on the back of his 4 wheeler. DBF knew this and told me that he'd be careful and not go very fast. I felt very uneasy at first because I kept feeling like I was going to fall off and he kept reassuring me that I wouldn't. My feet barely touched the footrests! The first thing we had to do was get down his parents' gravel driveway......I hung onto DBF for dear life! LOL DBF turned and said "now I know you really don't like going on rides"....(I'd told him I don't like roller coasters and rides like that). He kept the speed around 10-12 MPH (I kept peeking over his shoulder). Another scary part were curves....once I thought we were going to go left and we went right, and I thought I was going to fall off because I leaned the wrong way. Then I discovered what's worse than going downhill......going UP hill! I thought I was going to fall off the back! Most of the time, I had my face buried in his back with my arms wrapped so tight around him I nearly lost circulation just praying that I could stay on the ATV.

So he takes me to see an old cemetary on his parents' property and his aunt and uncle's place up the mountain above his folks. Yeah, mountain! It seemed like no matter how high you went, there was always someplace higher. Next, he asks if I'm alright if we go on the paved roads because there's a log cabin he wants to show me. I agreed. Then he tells me that he knows that the ATV will go 60 MPH! I tell him "not with ME on it!". He laughed and said he wouldn't. So we're on the road and there's not much of a shoulder and a embankment of trees to the right. I'm leaning towards oncoming traffic (not much traffic) because I feel like I'm going to fall down the hill of trees. He finally realized that we're too close to the edge. He starts talking to me more so I relax more. The cabin was BEAUTIFUL! Wrap around porch, isolated but not really far from the main road. He said that it was about $200,000 for the land and cabin.....some doctor from out of state owns it. Nearby was a old stone fireplace and an old outhouse. I wish I'd taken my camera, but I was more worried about just getting back in one piece...not getting picture! On the ride back, we talked the whole time so it went quick and I wasn't so nervous. His dad joked later that when we left we were going so slow that he thought we were on a lawnmower! LOL (Little does he know that riding lawn mowers scare me even more than ATVs!)

Next post(s) will be about the horses, dinner w/ the parents and the last day. And if my computer will co-operate a picure of DBF!

My Weekend at the Farm....

This past weekend, DBF and I went to his parents' farm about an hour or so from Lexington, KY. I had been looking forward to it, but of course I was nervous. This was my first time meeting his family. Once we got there, however, the nervousness went away quickly.

When we arrived, his mom came out to greet us. Then it was feeding time for the animals. DBF and I went down to the pasture with her to get the horses (Charlie, Baby and Sable) to the barn. She showed me how to keep from getting stepped on and asked me if I was okay around horses. I've been around horses just a little, but I had no fear of being around them. She also showed us was had been added to the barn. Next, it was time to feed the goats. They have a lot of baby goats, but I'm not sure how many. It was fun watching them play with one another. After the goats, we went to see the 40 chickens that were just little chicks in July.

After all the animals were fed, it was time for us to eat. DBF always brings Chinese food from the town were his parents used to live. He says they can't find good Chinese food in the small town where they now live. His dad teased me a little about being from Indiana, but DBF had warned me that he would. DBF said if his dad doesn't tease you, then he doesn't like you. We spent the rest of the evening talking.

The next morning, I got up at around 9 am. DBF had not come out of his room yet, but I could hear his parents talking in the kitchen. I went out to join them.......more about his parents, four-wheeling, horse back riding and a picture of the wonderful DBF in my next post!

To be continued......................

Monday, September 8, 2008

Speaking of LOVE..............

Love was the topic of conversation last night between DBF and me! The stinker waited until I said it first, but I had a feeling he felt the same as I did. We both wanted to say it before he left for Labor Day weekend at his parents 4 hours away, but we were both afraid to freak out the other one. I'd been feeling it for a week or two, but what really made me realize it was him going away for the weekend. He'd told me before that when he goes to his parents, he likes to "draft" behind semis to save gas. Of course, being a worry-wart like I am, all I can think of is DBF doing that and the sami making a quick stop and turning his Celica into a convertible. I told him that much, but didn't come right out and tell him I loved him. He told me that he loved spending time with me, but not he loved me.

Knowing that he's been divorced and feels like he failed at marriage, I was afraid I would scare him away by making him feel I was pushing for a commitment or it would be too soon for him. On Friday night, however, we had a important talk about some other things so I know that things were getting serious between us. Plus, he's already invited me to his parents farm in a couple weeks to meet them. Last night, I just couldn't wait any longer! It drove me nuts to talk to him every night that I didn't see him and not tell him "I love you" at the end of the phone call. So I just did it.

I've never felt so comfortable with anyone in my life! I've only been dating him for six weeks and I've only known him for ten weeks, but it feels like I've known him for years. I only wish Mom could have met him.....but at least she knew about him.

I love FREE!

In these days of rising prices, it's great to find a good price on anything. However, my favorite price of all is FREE! Before going onto the the MSN money messageboard (specifically the Grocery Challenge thread), I rarely if EVER got anything free. Now, however, that is changing. In the past week I have gotten at least 8 items for free! I actually MADE 50 cents on each of the Colgate toothpaste by using a $1.50 coupon and getting $2.00 ECBS back.

Here's how I got so much for FREE!

Loreal facial cleanser 5.99 at CVS - $1.00 Q = $4.99 and got 5.99 ECBs back
Dawn HandRenewal on hidden sale at CVS (thanks to GC for telling me!) 99 cents - $1.00 Q
Colgate Toothpaste 2 at $2.99 at CVS - $1.50 Q each = $1.49 and get 2.00 ECBs
Cover Girl lipstick on BOGO sale at CVS AND I had a BOGO Q so I got $19.98 for FREE!
Cottonelle TP 4 single roll pack (2 packs) 99 cents each at Kroger - 2 50 cents Qs that double = FREE!

Most of this will be for my personal use (stockpile), but the toothpaste and toilet paper will be used for HBA Christmas baskets for friends and family.

Friday, September 5, 2008

School's Back in Session!

In my town, school started on August 4th. I'm a Pre-K assistant for the third year and I believe this is going to be the hardest year yet. For starters, there are only two assistants instead of three. One quit in May to get a job with benefits and she's not going to be replaced. Secondly, out of the 26 students about 16 of them are new to the class. The kids that were with us last year are not strong role models so they can't show the new kids what to do. And finally, we have three boys and one little girl that are physically agressive. The boys are insubordinate as well. We can tell them to stop doing something and they'll look at us and do it anyway! The three of them together just egg each other on to do more mischief.

We've had to completely redo how we do the "centers". We can't do whole-class activities because the kids get out of control. Art, music, Spanish and PE (all of which we assistants are in charge of) are crazy and out of control because the kids just won't listen. After 3 weeks of school, we are finally able to get half of them to line up quietly.....last year that only took a week!

I think all three boys are going to be referred for behavioral problems. Hopefully, the behavior specialist can give us some strategies to help us. It's going to be a LLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's Been A Good Week!

I've had lots of wonderful things happen in the past week.

1. I got a beautiful rose from my DBF on Friday.
2. I've seen DBF on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday! We live about 20 miles from each other so it does take some work to get together....not to mention money for gas.
3. DBF has agreed to go to church with me on Sunday. All my friends at church are dying to meet him. He's Catholic and I'm Baptist so I'm especially glad he's willing to go at least once. He's had some bad experieces with other churches----snake handling and speaking in tongues!
4. I got hired to tutor a second grade student in reading for an hour twice a week. It will mean an extra $40 a week!
5. Today I got a letter and two pictures from my nephew who's in prison. This is the first time he's contacted this (his dad's) side of the family in the year since he's been in prison.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kroger Deal This Week

I went to Krogers this week to stock up on Lean Cuisines. I eat them for lunch several times a week and Wal-Mart currently wants $2.88 for each. The Kroger's deal is: buy $20 in Nestle product, get $5 off---and you can do that 3 times in one transaction.

My trip:

16 Lean Cuisine items @ $2.00 each = $32.00
1 Edy's slow churned ice cream = $ 3.34
2 Cottonelle 4 pk TP @ $0.99 each = $ 1.98
4 Purina One can dog food @ $1.25ea= $ 5.00
1 banana (0.51 lbs @ 0.46lb) = $ 0.23

$5.00 Nestle Offer X 2 -$10.00
$0.25 Cottonelle Q X 2 -$ 0.50
Bonus coupon X 2 -$ 0.50
Lean Cuisine Q -$ 1.50
Free Purina One Q X 4 -$ 5.00
Used 3 reuable bags -$ 0.12
Saved: $17.62

Total saved w/ Q, promotion and sales prices: $31.04 or 60%
Total OOP = $25.32!

That is less than I would have paid for 9 Lean Cuisines at regular price!
The Purina One and Edy's ice cream finished up the second $20 Nestle deal. I had just gotten Q's for free Purina One canned dog food, so I saved $5.00 AND got $5.00 taken off my bill because I bought them! How cool is that?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

God's Plans Are Perfect!

Well, it's been one week tonight since my first date with Vince. I've already posted about our imprompto dinner Monday night. I was passing through his small town (about 20 miles from my town) on Thursday and surprised him with a visit. Then he came to my house for dinner and a tour of my little town last night. Tonight, he invited me to his place for dinner! On Wednesday and Friday, we were on the phone together for 2-3 hours each night. Needless to say, we've hit it off!

I asked him last night when he first noticed me. He said it was one morning when I brought my car in to the closest shop. At the time he was a "floater" going back and forth whereever he was needed. I told him that it must have been in October when I brought my car in to have the radiator replaced. I just vaguely remember him there----mostly I remember hearing the name Vince, not seeing him.

It stills amazes both of us how we ended up dating. There were so many factors that came into play.

1. After a year + of knowing the carburator was bad, I finally decided to fix it.
2. Owners of my regular repair shop divorced and my mechanics went to KY with the ex-husband.
3. New mechanics at my regular shop messed my car up. (Vince told me I should thank them!)LOL
4. My mom got out of the hospital on a Thursday. If she'd still been in the hospital on Friday, I wouldn't have taken the car in until Monday and Vince's last day at that shop was Friday.

When all that finally happens and Vince asked me out, it was almost 3 weeks to the day before Mom died. I feel that God was giving me something to look forward to. I can't imagine how empty my life would be after Mom's death if I hadn't met Vince when I did. I miss my mom every single day, but I know that she's no longer in pain. I got to spend time with her during her last days on Earth. Now, I can spend as much time as I want with Vince without any guilt about leaving her alone or worry about how she is doing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Well Worth the Wait!

My date finally happened on Sunday. We spent the whole afternoon and evening together. We had a late lunch at Texas Roadhouse, walked around the mall, stopped at Home Depot so I could look at new doors for two closets (he was shocked that I WANTED to go there) then we went to see "Hancock". After the movie, we stopped by Target so I could pick something up. Then he suggested going to a park by the river to take a walk. We ended up watching the sun set. Once the bugs started to bite, Vince asked if there was anywhere else I'd like to go. I said he'd seen where I lived, but I didn't know where he lived. We went to his house where I made fast friends with his cat, Skunk. Yes, his cat's name is SKUNK! Vince said that as a kitten he had a white stripe down his back.

It was a very nice day. He was a perfect gentleman.....opening doors and paying for everything and he even brought me a rose.

Our second date occurred yesterday. I was out getting the great deal I already posted about when he called. He told me that he enjoyed our date, but there's something he needed to tell me and he didn't want to tell me over the phone so he wanted to come over after work. I agree.

For the next five hours, I wonder what could be so bad, is he......married, just out of prison, wanted by the law for murder, dying of a horrible illness, a former female? All these thoughts tumble around in my mind until he arrives. Once he tells me his secret, I practiccally sigh with relief. I tell him it's not a big deal to me, both my BFFs have done it and my oldest brother has done it 3 times. My other brother should do it. Vince said but he'd tried to make it work, but she wouldn't try. He said that being Catholic it was considered a sin, but at Christmas even his dad told him that he should file for divorce. They'd been married over 4 years, but having trouble for the last year and a half of it. The way he talked, he really feels like he failed. He told me that a lot of people don't know about it. He was nervous about telling me because other women have ran when he told them. Me? LOL I ended up asking him to stay for supper!

Buy One Get FOUR Free?

That's basically the deal that I got at Sears yesterday. I bought three tops, a black skirt and a gray skirt (hidden behind the tops) for a grand total of $36.20! I didn't realize until I got home, but each of the five items was originally priced at $36.00. That's 80% savings! My only dissapointment was that all the capris that I found on sale were size 12 or smailler.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's Been a Looonnnngggg Two Weeks!

My mama when she was in her twenties/early thirties....wasn't she beautiful?

This time two weeks ago, I was in the ER with my mother. I didn't expect her to live 24 hours. However, God was gracious enough to give me about 120 hours with her.

On that Monday morning she woke up in the ICU by 5 am and the nurse helped her clean up. Mom said that was the first time in ages that she'd been able to sit up without being dizzy and her head hurting. I washed her hair with these neat shower cap like caps that had no-rinse shampoo in them and then attempted to detangle her waist length hair. After about 2-3 hours of trying to comb her hair, we were both ready for a break. Mom said she was going to read her book ("The Journey" by Billy Graham) and try to take a nap. I was going to run to CVS to pick up a couple things and then go home for a few minutes to take care of the pets. I was gone for about 4 hours. When I got back, I discovered her ICU room empty. Her nurse said she was getting a echocardiagram. It was another half hour before Mom was back in the room and settled enough for visitors. My two BFF, who are twins that I've known since I was one year old had came to visit along with their older sister and grown niece. Mom was happy to see them and smiling. The only thing different was that she seemed to have a sore throat. I didn't think much of it because I felt like I was getting a cold.

After my friends left, I tried again to comb her hair. I was very tired with my feet hurting and Mom was getting mad because I couldn't get the knots out. At 10:00 (three hours later), I finally finished. Mom was still mad at me and I was getting upset with her. I almost went home for the night, but then I overheard the nurses talking. I finally figured out that they were talking about Mom.......she was getting worse. Something had changed with her heart. I stayed the night again and they came in several times to check her heart.

The next morning, her doctor pulled me aside and told me she thought that day (Tuesday) would be Mom's last day on Earth. They thought she may have had a heart attack (heart enzymes were up, but just a little). The doctor said Mom's sore throat was the beginning of her body shutting down. They started her on Morphine that day. She was out of it most of the afternoon.

The next day, I woke up at around 4am. Mom was still asleep so I went to the restroom and out to the waiting room to talk to my brother. I get back about 4:30 to find Mom awake drinking orange juice. She had a big smile on her face and said she'd had the best dreams.....she'd been dreaming of riding on clouds. Later that day, she was moved to a regular room so family could visit more comfortably...even moving the second bed out. Mom was on a low does of morphine at the time....out of pain, but she could still communicate. Three of my aunts and a cousin came back to visit. Mom wanted to talk to one aunt in particular and was waving her hand at the rest. My cousin said, "look she's waving at us". I replied that I thought she wanted to talk to Aunt Jo Ann alone so the others left the room. She told her younger sister Jo Ann that she loved her and that she was going to be okay because she was going to go to Heaven. I cry just typing that because it was just so sweet. Mom got many visiters that day---sisters, nieces, grandkids, and of course her kids. After the evening service that night, my friend Mary who's the wife of my church's pastor came back to visit. Mom could still whisper so they had a talk. Mary asked Mom if she wanted the pastor to come see her when he got back that night from Ohio or wait until morning. He had went there for the college he teaches because he thought Mom was going to be okay, but when he found out she was getting worse he'd cut his trip short. Mom nodded when Mary said "come as soon as he gets back" and Mom whispered and told her to bring Daniel who is their 23 year old son who has Down's Syndrome. Mom was all smiles when they came back at 1 am. She called Daniel her grandson and said he was beautiful.

On Thursday morning, Mom requested orange juice. She was "NOP" or "nothing by mouth" due to her swallowing difficulty. My sister got permission for Mom to have a little bit. THen Mom told her that it wasn't cold enough and it needed ice. I woke up a short time later. I told Mom that I had to go home real quick to take care of the furbabies. Ginger, the dog, hadn't been outside in over 24 hours....Mom opened her eyes real big hearing that. Then she told me that she wanted her necklace w/ my dad's picture back on when I got back (I'd been wearing it during her hospital stay). I came back two hours later and Mom was out again. She was unable to communicate the rest of the day and appeared to be asleep. That evening two aides had come in to turn her over. They were discussing which was to turn her and Mom turned herself to one side. The closest aid said "I think she wants to be on this side" and Mom reached out towards her. That showed me that she was aware of what was going on.

That evening Aunt Jo Ann said she had a feeling that Mom was going to pass that night. At 2 am, Mom was so still that I thought she wouldn't live to see daylight. God however, was gracious again and let me talk to her one more time. At 7 am I wake up and so does Mom. She asks for water and I dip the little sponge in water to wet her mouth, but she wants a drink. We got permission for her to have as much water as she wanted. I got to tell her one more time that I loved her and that even though I complained I was glad that I got to take care of her. She nodded that she understood and tried to tell me that she loved me. She was getting very aggitated and the nurse said that sometimes people hang on to talk or see someone one last time. I asked Mom if there was anyone else she wanted to talk to. I named my two nephews who were out of state...she shook her head. She tried to say "Aunt" so I started naming off my aunts...I was afraid she was wanting to talk to my aunt that was in IL in a coma. When I got to my Aunt Rosie, Mom nodded. I got her phone number and called her. She talked as I held the phone to Mom's ear. Mom tried to tell her that she loved her. The nurses had to give her a does of Adavan later to ease her anxiety....she was shaking like a leaf. Then they got permission from the doctor for a morphine drip. Mom was out for the rest of the day.

At about 8pm, we could tell that she was getting closer to Heaven. Her breathing became more and more erractic. My BFF's brother had mentioned earlier that day that when their mom died they were singing hymns around her. That sounded so peaceful and hopeful. Plus, I knew that Mom wouldn't want everyone just starimg at her and crying. I asked my BFF Lula if she knew all the words to "When We All Get to Heaven". She didn't but she called her sister who had a hymn book at her house. Lula's BIL brought it to us. Mary, Bro. Bill and Daniel just happened to show up a few minutes later so Mary and Daniel sang with us. We ended up singing for nearly two hours.

Shortly after 11 pm, my aunts decided to go home and get some sleep. Lula and I were sitting on one side of Mom's bed and my oldest brother on the other. My sister and I noticed that Mom was swallowing something that she hadn't been able to do earlier. The large lump in her throat appeared to be moving lower. At around 11:30,
it was just my two brothers, my cousin, Lula, and me in the room. My sister had just stepped out to use the restroom. I picked up the last taco that Lula had got me. I heard Mom take a breath, but didn't hear anything else. I drop the taco and turn to face her.....she was gone. It's like she was waiting for us to stop focusing on her.

One of my brothers didn't come around as much as Mom wanted him to. Once she said "he doesn't care", but looking back I think it was too hard for him to see her like that. He did apologize for all the trouble he'd put her through. He was a difficult child and never grow out of it, just got into bigger trouble I guess. He got upset with me on Friday moring because Mom wasn't on any type of IV for hydration. I told him that I had nothing to do with it, the doctor didn't ask me. I told him to talk to the doctor himself and he said "I'm sure you already told the doctor what YOU want". He got a whole mess started because Mom never appointed a POA, but we found out that Mom herself had talked to the doctor and did not want an IV or any life-prolonging procedures.

The past week without Mom has been hard, but not as hard as watching her die. I know that she's in Heaven with my dad, no longer in pain. I think she must look like she did in the picture above once again.

Lessons learned from these two weeks: Never take anyone for granted, tell loved ones that you love them, make sure you have a living will.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So Far, So Good!

Just a quick update on the last thing I expected! Vince and I haven't had an actual date yet--that's coming up this weekend--but we've talked on the phone several times. In fact, tonight we talked for about THREE HOURS! We talked about a little of everything. Get this----even COUPONS! LOL And HE was the one to bring it up. I was talking about how prices were going up....canned Friskes up almost a quarter in less than a month! And then Vince says that he's started to use coupons! How cool is that?! LOL I told him about GC and our coupon swap. I also told him about my hound at CVS today and the 3 bottles of PertPlus I got for 50 cents a bottle. He said I sounded like a good bargain shopper. I even asked if he shopped at CVS and explained the ExtraCare Card.

I like him, girls! I'm not rushing into anything, but he's the best I've found in over a decade!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CVS Deals

Yesterday, I went to CVS to get the July deals. Frugalsuz had mentioned the CVS make-up removers being free after ECBs so I had to find out if I could get them at my store.

Here's what I got:

2 22pk CVS pantyliners = $1.98
2 Sure 2.6 deordorant = $5.98
1 CVS exfoliant face wipe = $3.49
1 Revlon ponytail holder = $5.99
1 Revlon hairclip = $5.99

Qs I used:

$4 off $20
$1 off each Sure deo (I also have a BOGO mail-in rebate to send in)
$3 off skincare
$11 ECBs

Total OOP = $3.81
Amount saved = $20
ECBs earned = $12.97

When I got to the car, I realized that I had a regular CVS make-up remover wipes in my bag that the cashier forgot to ring up. So I go back in to pay for it (and get 2.99 more ECBS.

1 CVS make-up remover = $2.99
used 1.98 ECBs
Total OOP = $1.08
Earned 2.99 ECBs

Next transaction:

3 CVS 15 ct. make-up removal wipes = $8.97
used $8 ECBS
Total OOP = $1.04
Earned 8.97 ECBs

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cupid Comes In a Variety of Disguises......

But who'd ever expect to have their local mechanic to play cupid? LOL Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Ok, maybe Roger didn't EXACTLY play cupid, but he played a part in it.

I mentioned in an earlier that when I finally took my car in Thursday to have the other shop's mistakes corrected Vince said "There she is", like they'd been waiting for me or something. Well, I told my BFF, Lula, and she said maybe he was flirting with me. I laughed her off and told her that they were probably wondering what took me so long to get back. She said, "you never know!"

To be completely honest, I really didn't give it much thought or pay much attention to Vince. He looked familiar, but he wasn't one of the guys who used to be down the street from me. I was so happy to see Roger, Robbie and Dave that I could've hugged them all because I knew that they could fix the mess that Dave's ex's mechanics had made out of my car. I will admit that I noticed Vince.....he IS cute, but I just wanted my car to be fixed.

Well, Sunday afternoon I get a phone call from Vince. He asks if I've found a rachet and socket that he'd lost. I had just cleaned out the car (the first time in AGES!) and hadn't seen it so I tell him that I'll keep an eye out for it. He thanks me for looking and tells me he's hopes it's okay that he got my number off the book at the shop. I tell him it's fine.

Later, I start to think that maybe the rachet could be under the hood....Hey, Roger found a magnet thingy under there a week earlier and last October I found a huge screw driver that either Robbie or Roger it wasn't impossible. I go out and take a rachet, but no cap on my resevior either! So I call Vince's number (that was on my cell) and leave a message. He calls back later and says that the resevior cap was missing when I brought the car in (so-called mechanics in IN lost it!) and he forgot to tell me. He chats for a minute and then says something about not wanting to be too forward but would it be okay to ask me out! I'm a little....suprised, but not completely shocked. He says that Roger (who's worked on my car for years and went to school w/ my brother)told him that I was a nice girl. I tell him that it's okay and I wouldn't mind. He then tells me that his last day working for Dave was Friday because he's starting back with his old boss on Monday. He also tells me that he filled in once over at the shop near me (when Dave still owned it) and had seen me before. I vaguely remember him, but I guess I made an impression on him!

We haven't made plans for a date yet....he's going out of town this weekend to visit his family and I've got to make sure Mom has someone with her before I can even leave the house. I don't know much about him, but we talked on the phone tonight. I'm just still suprised by this. I've always joked that I'm a weirdo magnet and he seems pretty normal so far. Good-looking, employed, nice voice.....and doesn't give me the creeps....that's more than I can say for most of the guys who've asked me out in the past few years!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer School....

Summer school ended yesterday, but I haven't had a chance before to post about here goes!

I was prepared to have 15 students---10 who were 5 or 6 years old and 5 that were 3 to 4 years old. Well, the most I had at any one time was 7 students! And they were 3 to 5 years old. Therefore, I had to revamp my plans....I lowered my academic expectations and worked more on social skills and small/gross motor skills.

I still did my ocean unit, but I focused more on being able to identifying the animal or plant and not memorizing facts about it. With a small group, I was able to take them into the teachers' small office and look the animals up on the computer. By doing this, my students were about to see several pictures of each animal and even videos of walruses wrestling with each other! Those were things that I hadn't planned on showing them and couldn't have shown them as well with a large group of students.

My small class was also able to ride bikes at recess. We had one trike at school and my assistant brought her daughter's 3 bikes. So on days when we only had 3 or 4 kids they got to practice their bike-riding skills. This was very useful for two students in particular. One little boy didn't know how to pedal (he's 3 1/2 and developmentally delayed). And a 4 year old girl had trouble balancing even with a trike. They enjoyed it and improved their motor skills as well.

Another thing that we got to do with a small group was walk to the park near the Ohio River. I had permission from each student's parents to go on "walking field trips". Our little playground (used to be a parking lot) has no equipment other than 2 basketball goals and a funnel ball so going to the park was a real treat. The park has a slide, swings (even 2 for the little guys), monkey bars and teeter-totters not to mention grass to run in and a view of the river. They LOVED it! They played together better down there than anywhere else. Plus, they got to see boats and barges. We saw three barges and three boats in one day! It was a new experience to some of them.

Our local field trips included the library, the post office, the animal shelter and the fire station. I'm glad we got to go to each of them, but the animal shelter and the fire station were my favorites (and the kids' too I think).

The trip to the animal shelter was an adventure! We went to the park right after lunch because it's about 1/4 of the way to the shelter. I had a wagon so the kids could take turns riding, plus we could put our donations in it instead of carrying them. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of what we donated! Anyway the shelter was quite a walk, but we had an air conditioned building waiting for us......or so I thought. We arrive at 12:50 for our 1:00 tour...but the doors are locked and there's a sign saying they'll be back between 1:00 and 2:00! So, hoping they'd be there soon, we go back to a grassy patch behind the shelter to sit in the shade. I call the school's custodian (thank God for cell phones!) to bring us some drinks. We start rolling the ball back and for (we were going to donate it to the dogs). We get drinks and FINALLY Tiffany shows up to give us a tour! It's a no kill shelter I learn....GREAT! Tiffany shows us around. They have a kitchen, a room to bathe the animals, seperate rooms for male and female cats, the kitten room. Then we see where all the dogs are kept. It's a very nice faciility. She lets the kids pet two kittens and a puppy. The puppy was a black and white lab/golden retriever mix. Tiffany told us that he needed a name and that we could name him. The kids voted to name him "Snickers". We didn't make it back to school until 30 minutes before dismissal, but it was fun.

Yesterday for our last day, we went to the fire station. One man who works there has a son in my class. I was just as interested as the kids! I didn't know all the tools they used such as the tool to poke a hole in your roof. It was really neat! The kids got the opportunity to try to pick up a bag of the fireproof gear they wear. I could barely pick it up! I don't see how they can move with it on! The firemen let the kids spray one of the hoses. The summer school math class (1st - 5th graders) went to so I got pics of my nieces with it. Before we left each student got a plastic fire hat, a plastic bag w/ fire prevention tips and a bag of cotton candy.

We ended our summer school with a special guest----Spiderman! My preacher's son Daniel is 24 and has Down Syndrome. I'm good friends with his mom, Mary. She works for the same school district and was my assistant for part of the month. She mention the other day that Daniel has costumes of Batman, Spiderman, etc. And she said he'd dress up for the last day if that was okay with me. I said sure because the boys all love Spiderman. They had a ball! Each of them got a picture taken with him....all except the three year old...he was scared! Poor little guy loves Spiderman, but seeing him in person was too much.

All in all, I'm really pleased with how the month went. I had fun, but I'm glad for the next month off!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Busy Week!

Lots of news for the blog today. I took my mom to the doctor Monday and he sent her to the hospital for double pneumonia. She went in Monday night and didn't get out until yesterday morning. She's anemic and had to get two units of blood as well. I've been going to work each day and to the hospital each evening for 4 or 5 hours. She was sent with orders that she's not to be left home alone because they are afraid she will fall and break a bone. Today was my last day teaching summer school so I will be home Monday through Friday for the rest of the month with a few exceptions to help her. My brothers and SIL are going to help out. I'm going to take a couple Saturdays off from Wal-Mart...I have nearly 67 sick hours that I can use. I have to miss 2 days to use sick hours for one day and I already called in last week so I'm calling in tomorrow. Mom needs someone with her and I need a break from Wal-Mart!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention her nurse's aid the other night....his name was Billy and he's about 25. He reminds me of George from Grey's Anatomy for some reason. He was her nurse's aid a couple years ago too. When she first learned his name was Billy, she told him that she has a son named Billy. He walked out of the room, and she says to me: "I wish my Billy was that sweet!" Billy the nurse's aid replies: "I heard that!"

On a happier note, my car is healthy again! Well, as healthy as a 23 year old rusty Chevy can be! :) I didn't get to take it in until yesterday since Mom was in the hospital all week. As I'm coming into the shop, Vince says "well, there she is!" like they were wondering what took me so long to get back....or maybe they thought I decided to go back to the IN shop. I tell them about Mom. Then I tell them the IN shop's explanation for the wire running across the front of the car. Robby (who'd helped put the radiator in) said that I wouldn't have made it a half mile w/o the fan being hooked up, much less used the car for 6 months without a problem. Roger adds that the thermostat had just been replaced in October too. Then he asks me where my sister lives....he's seen my brothers, but not her (he went to school w/ my brother Billy)....see what I mean about these guys being like family? Actually, I trust Dave (the owner) and his mechanics more with my car than I trust my own brothers with it.

I've been a regular customer ever since I started driving and my dad was a regular customer when Dave's dad owned the place. They've had plenty of chances to "put the screws" to me, but have always treated me fair. A couple years ago, I was in a town about 30 miles away when thought I saw a little puff of smoke come out from under the hood. Then my radio and turn signals stopped first I thought the smoke must have been my imagination and I'd just blown a fuse. So I keep driving towards home.....then my gas gauge startes to 3/4 of a tank of gas now appears to be 1/4...and DROPPING! I had no cell phone at the time, so I stop at a gas station 15 miles from home and call to tell my mom that I'm on my way home and that if I don't show up within a half hour to send someone looking for me. I didn't know what was going...I figured that the wiring was causing the turn signals and radio to fail, but I didn't know about the gas gauge. I thought the wiring was completely shot and it would costs hundreds of dollars to repair, if it could be repaired. I took it in the next day because they had already closed. When I went back to pick it up, I was prepaired to spend at least $300. Anyone wanna guess how much it cost? Anybody? Well, just let me say that I nearly fainted when they told me.......It was only $30.xx!!! All it was was a $5 ground wire! They could have made a bundle off of me that day, but they were honest.

Well back to the present, today's repair was $112.52 which was cheaper than I expected and that was with an oil change. And it was because of the IN shop's mistakes! According to Vince, when the carburator was rebuilt the fan relay was broken and the wire was put on to bypass it. The car wouldn't turn off because of the fuel intake taking in too much gas which had to do with the carburator being rebuilt.... *sigh* I knew I should have went with my first instinct and left the IN shop as soon as I saw the new mechanics and new signs! That's exaclty what I told Dave when I paid the bill today. He shook my hand, said that I've been a customer for years, thanked me for my business, and gave me a business card with the Ky shop info on it as well as his own cell phone number. I told him that I would have never went to the IN shop if I had known that it wasn't his anymore. I asked him if the other guys told him that I literally left his ex-wife's shop and came to his. He said they did and he thought his ex-wife's mechanics would have treated me better than they did. He asked me to help spread the word that his shop's now only in KY, the same guys are there and they can do twice as much as the IN shop. I told him that I would and assured him that being 8 miles away from my house (instead of 2 blocks) wouldn't mean he'd lose my business. We talked for a few more minutes and I mentioned that I felt bad for his kids. I don't think it's ever easy being a child of divorce no matter how old you are (they are 19-26)...but to be in a business with your mom that's in competition with your own dad? I don't know anything about why they divorced, but I wouldn't want to be in their kids' shoes. To top it off, the oldest daughter just got married last fall and she's already getting divorced! What I didn't tell him is that I felt really bad for him as well as his kids. He lost his wife, half of his business and I'm sure the relationship with the three kids must be best. I don't know how to explain it....have you ever just felt a strong need to pray for someone and you're not exactly sure why? Well this is how I've felt for the last week or two. I don't know if it's for Dave, his kids, the ex-wife or all of them! I guess the best thing is do is pray for them all!

Oh, the best news of the week! I just found out a couple hours ago that one of my best friends (met her at my first birthday party!) is expectly her 4th child!! Her kids are 15, 12, and 10 so this is a little suprise!

Moral of this long rambling post: Don't take the people in your life for granted...whether it's your mama, your siblings, your best friends, good hospital employees, or knowlegable honest mechanics!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Car update....

I finally got my car back this morning! I told them yesterday that I had to have it today to get to work at Wal-Mart. Well, I ended up not going to work because my mom was not feeling well so the plan was to get the car, try it out a bit and run by CVS to pick up some milk and ice. The car ran much better! :) Then I got to CVS and went to shut the car off.....but it wouldn't shut off. :( This had nothing to do with the new mechanics or the work I'd had done. I've been through this before....three other times...the ignition switch again!! AAARRGG! I just had it replaced in October and my regular mechanic said if it did it again they'd have to check in the steering column to see why it was failing. So off I go to find Roger at the KY shop.

I'd never been to this garage..just driven by it. It's big! I drive up and get out. I can hear guys in the bays working on cars. I go into the front door and no one is around so I head to the door that connects to the bays. I stick my head in and see Roger changing tires on a truck. I yell to him, "I think I need another ignition switch!" He follows me outside and tries to shut it luck at first. Then he pulls the key out and finally it shuts off. He calls another mechanic out and discuss whether or not it could be something in the steering column.

Sometime during all this Roger asks me if the shop in IN (where he used to be) sent me over. I told him no and that I'd just came from getting my carburator rebuilt. He asks if I know that they aren't afiliated with the IN shop anymore. I tells him yes and that's why I'm there, I want my car worked on by people who are familiar with it. I also mention that my pastor had just come to them to fix something that was done incorrectly over at the IN shop. He says they have enough people working there (at his shop) that if one of them can't figure it out another one will. He also tells me that I've had the car forever and need a new one.....I respond with "well, my birthday was last month!" After he shows me how to shut it off with the key, he pops the hood to show me what to do if that doesn't work. Then I see a wire stretching from one side of the car to the other. I point it out to Roger and tell him that it wasn't there before the IN shop had worked on it. He said it went to the fan and it was "rigged". The other guy mentions that it would cause my fan to run all and could ruin the fan. They did agree that at least the carburator looked clean. Roger advised me to go ask them why they rigged the wire. I made arrangements to bring the car back later this week to get the steering column checked out.

Next, I go to the shop where the car was all week. When I asked them about the purpose of the wire, they made it sound harmless. I was told that it was a secondary wire. They said that when my radiator was put in last October the fan wasn't connected which was why my car was overheating. Hmmmm.....I didn't agree or disagree simply because I don't want to have them keep my car another week to fix anything else. But I was thinking......if the fan wasn't hooked up wouldn't I have had problems in November when I went on a trip that was 100 miles each direction? I know that it wasnt' HOT in November, but it wasn't cold yet either. I never had trouble with it until a few weeks ago and although it was very hot out, it was less than a ten mile drive.

Oh well, I'll just ask Roger later this week if it needs to be redone immediately or if I can wait on it. They must have just done a quick fix since I needed it early Saturday.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Well, I wrote earlier about the local garage where I've done business my whole driving life changing owners (the ex-wife got it and all the mechanics are new). I took it down on Monday to get my carburator rebuilt.........and they aren't finished yet. I've called daily since Tuesday to check on it and thought it would be done by yesterday. They had to order a gasket and the wrong one was sent, so that was an extra day. Today I was told that they were still working on it because the idle was too high and some vacuum hoses (I think that was it) were cracked and had to be replaced. AAAAAARRRGGGG! I want them to fix it right, but a week with no car is driving my crazy! I would feel much more at ease if one of my regular mechanics were working, but I don't know this new crew....and they don't know my car. Most of them probably weren't even born in 1985 when the car was new!

When my oldest brother found out they were still working on it, he said that the former owner could have had it done in a day and that these guys were "wannabes". He didn't realize that the former owner's kids are now running it. I told him that his friend's son was also working there. He said "well, he's a half-@$$ mechanic". I replied, "I need a real mechanic, not half of one!"

I'm trying really hard not to be critical of the new mechanics...really I am. I'd just feel better if they had more experience. To make matters worse, my pastor took his truck there about two weeks ago to get some type of sensor replaced. It worked fine for about a week. Last Thursday, he and his wife were going to go shopping about an hour away from here. About 3/4 of the way there, the truck started shimmying badly. They took it to the shop in KY which is owned by the guy who USED to own the shop my car's at (and that's where my regular mechanics are too) because they had had good experiences when he owned the IN shop. Well, apparently when the sensor was replaced two wires were crossed causing one to melt. They paid the shop in KY $60 to fix the new shop's mistake. They were afraid to take it back to the IN shop. I found all this out Monday afternoon AFTER I had already taken my car to the new shop. I hope I don't have to pay "stupid tax" and have my regular mechanics fix anything.

I'm just praying that it's ready tomorrow and everything repaired correctly! From now on I'm going to go the extra 10 miles or so and get my car worked on by my regular mechanics.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday's cherry-picking.......

I had some good cherry picking trips Sunday!

First, Wal-Mart:

1 18 lb bag Purina One dry dog food (Reg. $19.24) Comp= $16.99 - $2 Q
1 pk Depends for my mom (REg. 12.99) Comp= 10.99 - $2 Q
2 14.2 oz Head and Shoulders shampoo (Reg. 4.46 each) Comp=$3 Each BOGO Q
2 13.x oz H&S conditioners (Reg. 4.46 each) Comp= $3 each BOGO Q
2 Pledge multi-surface wipes 25 pks (reg. $4.48?) Comp= 2/$7 - 75cent Q
2 Pledge aerosols $3.72 each (didn't comp bc w/ my discount no comp=
less $) - BOGO for each multi-surface wipe pack.
Before Q's my bill was $58.xx, after Qs OOP= $39.xx!

Next stop--CVS!

1 Revlon mineral foundation = 13.99 - 2Q
1 Revlon lipstick = 7.99= BOGO free - $2Q and 3CVS Q
4 2 liter Diet Cokes Bogo free = 4/$3.38
2 twin pack Lysol disenfecting wipes $3.49 each - 2 75 cent Q
2 Almay mascara = 6.99 each - 2 $1Q
1 Olay spf 30 = 14.99 - 1Q
1 Olay daily facials = 5.99 - 1Q
used 2 4/20, 1 5/30, 24.99 ECBs

Total OOP = $11.10 and that included $1 to ALS!
got 20 ECBs back!

Now I have enough pledge, Head and Shoulders, mascara and lysol wipes to last quite awhile! I love my stockpile!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Changes are everywhere....

I posted a couple weeks ago about life changing. Since then I've realized that my small town has gown through a few changes in the past six months. As anyone who's lived in a small town knows, family owned and operated businesses are special. Well three of my little town's businesses are changing. The first occurred in Feburary when the local used car salesman (also owned rental housing and the town's towtruck operation) passed away of a heart attack. My dad bought cars there from 1990 to 1996(Dad died in 1997, I'm still driving the last car). My sister-in-law had just purchased a van from him just days before he passed away----my mother joked with her that she caused the heart attack when she gave the man $1100 cash to finish paying for the van. The man's wife is now running the business from what I understand.

The next change hasn't really taken effect yet. I noticed a few weeks ago that the local convience store is up for sale. Tom has owned it all my life. It started as only a gas station/garage combination back when they actually had someone fill the tank for you and clean the windshield. It's going to strange to have it owned by someone else....makes me wonder what changes will be made with a new owner.

Now to really the whole reason I picked this topic to blog about.....the local tire store/garage has made a huge change. Dad had gotten tires, oil changes and just about any regular car maintenence taken car of at this shop which is conveniently located just a couple blocks down the street. I've never had a real complaint there...just a couple minor disagreement with new mechanics that didn't know me or my car. The garage has been around as long as can I can remember and the man who started the business has since retired and has passed it down to his son "D". It's grown a lot...they added three or four bays on to the garage. Also bought some land across the highway to build "X's Car Care" where they do oil changes etc. A few years ago, they built another garage across the Ohio River in Kentucky just ten or so miles away.

Well, Wednesday I went down to the closest garage (where I normally go to) to schedule an appointment to get my carburator replaced/ or rebuilt. I walked in expecting to see Roger or Robbie who are the main mechanics. Instead, I find a few younger guys none of whom I recognize....then I notice a new paper sign hanging up saying "Please make checks payable to "XXX Auto". I'm taken aback thinking some big chain I've never heard of has taken over the family business that I've used so much that they feel like MY family. Then I see "E" the owner's daughter....and breathe a sigh of relief. If the family place had been sold, I reason, she wouldn't still be there would she? So I make an appointment.

At work Wednesday, I discover that "D" and his wife have divorced. "D" got the shop in KY and his ex-wife now owns the shop in IN. I guess she was pretty much managing it since the KY shop was built because she was always around and he wasn't. The new name is their 20-something year old kids' initials. That made me feel better about taking my car there since it's still in the family, but these people don't know my car like Roger and Robbie do. I just already know I don't like change! It just seems strange that the ex-wife get the main garage that was built by his dad...To top it off the son and eldest daughter (don't know about the younger daughter) work for her at the IN shop. I feel like I'm picking sides. I'm taking the car in to the "XXX auto" tomorrow to have the carburator rebuilt. I figure if nothing else, this should make the business even better because if customers aren't happy at "XXX Auto", they'll go to the dad's shop only 10 miles away.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


On June 5, I started a draft about CVS and my addiction to it. I just got back to finish it today with todays hound instead of last weeks....and it's posted on June
5th instead of today's date.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What is your biggest money wasting pet peeve?

I saw this on the message board and thought it would be a good post for my blog.

In my house it's my elderly mother, me and 9 furbabies! However, my brother and his family are here a lot and lived with us for about 8 months last year.

Here's my list:

Mom---none, she's pretty good about turning things off and not being wasteful....when she does leave something on (her oxygen machine) when she's not using it, I understand why (hard for her to reach).

My nieces (7,8, & 9 yrs. old) change clothes multiple times a day. They toss things in the laundry that aren't dirty. Leave the shower running a stream. Don't turn the TV or lights off in the basement (TV room) when they leave. Use FIVE FEET of toilet paper to wipe lipstick off a 7 yr. old mouth---not to mention how much they use for the other use! Not closing the front door. Having their mom fix them an extra meal for supper and then not eating all of it. Using two cups of milk in a bowl of cereal and then leaving most of the milk!

Brother/SIL--- leaving all the lights and TV/stereo on. Using 2x the amount of laundry soap needed. Fixing the kids plates w/ more food than they will eat. SIL (bc bro doesn't do dishes) using too much dishwashing liquid and the dishes still have to be rewashed (by me!). Brother uses at least 3 feet of TP to blow his nose--once! Using so much milk in the kids' cereal---SIL once told me that I didn't use enough and "they'll break their teeth on it"! What the heck???--it's sugar puffs, not gravel! Opening the windows and leaving them open---I didn't even know that the windows in the basement OPENED!

Me--have to include myself to be fair! Falling asleep w/ TV, computer and light on. Buying fruit and then not eating all of it.

Cats---throwing up on the clean quilt twice in one week! Throwing up in general and 2 of them pooping outside the box if it's not sparkleing clean---that's why I use so much Bounty!

Dog---not eating her food when it has her arthritis medicine in it (especially when the med was $2 a pill). :(

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ok, I'll Admit it, I Have an Addiction...........

to CVS! I LOVE that place. I wish I'd discovered it years ago instead of just 4 short months ago.

I did a silly wabbit thing today! I went to CVS without my Qs! I'd been so worried about taking my car to the repair shop all day that I forgot to grab the Q organizer this morning. Oh well, I only bought one thing that I had a Q for anyway and that was Mom's ensure (purchased seperately w/ her checkbook). Luckily, I carry all my ECBs in my purse--this time in my cell case, but still in the purse. I was excited to scan my card on the little red machine and got 2 $4 off $20 Qs, $1 off any hand or body lotion and $3 off Revlon! Here's how I did w/ purchases:

4 12pk Diet Coke 4/11
1 smart rinse 3.49
1 oral b double pk toofbrush 6.99
1 cvs bandages 1.99
$23.47 before 7% taxes

used 4/20 and 18.47 ECBs

OOP= $1.07!!! and got 15.47 back in ECBs!

Yikes, that's almost as good as $40 of Revlon + 3 Dawn for $1.66 and 20 in ECBs (I think that was Mother's Day).

I'll have to go back on Friday (payday) to try to do the GM cereal sale. They were about out today anyway.

According to my last reciept from CVS, I've saved (since Feb. when I started shopping there)...........$757.33! That's not counting the $31.63 I saved today.........$788.96 all together. WOW! Because of CVS (and the GC hounds)I know have a big stockpile of things....such as 10 boxes of haircolor, 4 or more deodorants, numerous toothbrushes, bandaids....and about 12 jars of Ragu!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Life's About Changes

I have to admit.....I'm a creature of habit. I don't like change, never have. I fel like if it's not broke why fix it. I have a hard time even re-arranging furniture or painting a room because it's different. The idea of getting a different car freaks me out---sure mine's 23 and looks like junk, but it's mine and I'm used to its quirks.

So it's almost the end of May and I'm feeling depressed......not any one thing caused it just lots of things changing. Another assistant at pre-school got a new job, which I was expecting....but it's a big change after working with someone for nearly 2 years. Then May 16th rolled around, which was the 10th anniversary of my college graduation..........but I can't be old enough to have been out of college for 10 years! Last night, I had the priviledge to see my favorite group of students (some more favorite than others ) graduate high school. How can that be? It seems like only yesterday that they were graduating 8th grade and a week or so ago that they were 5th graders. They grew up on me....which sadly has to mean I'M *gasp* GETTING OLDER! But I don't want to!! You have no idea how badly I'd like to go back to being 21 again....that year was THE BEST (and no....alcohol had nothing to do with it). Oh, more depressing things......I turn 33 (uh oh..make that 25 again) in two days. But I don't feel like I should be that old. Then the 30th will be the 15th anniversary of MY high school graduation....uuugghhh.....sometimes I don't even feel like I've been alive 15 years, much less a high school graduate (and an ADULT) that long! Add to all this stuff it the fact that my mom's in ill health and it will continue to get worse..Her doctor told me a year and a half ago that she could have a fatal heart attack at any time. I'm grateful to God for each and every day with her, because losing her will be life-altering to say the least.

Changes aren't always bad, but almost always a little scary because none of us knows what the future holds. However, God does and I'm just going to have to trust Him to take care of me. Some of the best things that have ever happened to me weren't my plans, but His plans for me. I need to start living in the here and now and stop remembering the past and dreaming about tomorrow.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduation Gifts......

On Saturday, I will be attending the graduation at a school district where I used to teach. When I began working there as a permanent substitute, these "kids" were fifth graders. I was lucky enough to watch them grow into middle schoolers and see them graduate from 8th grade. In a few short days they will be high school graduates! Wow, time flies so fast! Well, there were be about 100 graduating and I will probably remember (by face, maybe not name) 30 or 40 of them. Of course I can not give graduation presents to each of them..........or can I?

I've decided that the most important gift that I (or anyone) can give them is to introduce them to Jesus as their Saviour. I'm not the best witness, I will admit. I get flustered, talk too fast, and very shy. However, if I can be prepared ahead of time.....I can get the message across with a million dollar bill!

This tract has the Gospel message written around the border on the back of the bill.

The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That's not God's will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself -"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus, and God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

What better way to get the attention of an 18-19 year old than with money----or what looks like money! I'm also going to give a copy to each of this poem I just found on the Internet Tuesday.

The Lord Will Lead You

Now that you're celebrating
Your graduation day,
Your whole life is ahead of you,
And the Lord will lead the way.
Just trust in Him to guide you
In His divine and perfect will.
If you'll pray and read His Holy Word,
His plan you will fulfill.
Whatever happens in your life,
On the Lord you can depend.
There's nothing you can't handle
With Jesus as your best friend.
Congratulations, and may the Lord bless you always!

By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ten Years Ago..............

I graduated from college with a B.S. in Elementary Education on May 16, 1998. The previous year was the worst year in my life. In the six short months between March of '97 and September '97, I lost the love of my life (he decided he couldn't be what I needed), my dog had to be put to sleep and my dad died. It was horrible! So in May 1998, not having a teaching job lined up and honestly not feeling prepared to teach, I went back to the familiar..........back home to live with my mother and back to my summer job cashiering at Wal-Mart. This was supposed to be temporary, a year tops! Well, ten years later here I am.. :( Once I found an actual teaching position nearby in 2001 (instead of being an aid or a sub), it was only considered 7/10ths. That means I went home at 1:30 instead of 2:40 and made $12,000 less because of it. So I keep the cashiering job, but I went to Saturdays only. My plan was to quit as soon as I got tenure (which means jobs security in teaching). Tenure was supposed to arrive in October 2006.....the pink slip arrived in April 2005. I was very glad I kept the cashier job because I could not find another teaching job for the next year so I worked at Wal-Mart full-time. Finally after deciding to go back to part time and sub 30 miles away where I would be paid for my Master's degree ($95 a day instead of $45), I received a call about a teaching assistant position open four blocks from my house. Needless to say, I took it. But health insurance is not provided and there's no regularity in the paychecks (no pay in summer, small checks in December and during Spring Break), so I'm still stuck at Wal-Mart!

I'm tired of working six days a week! I can't count how many things I've missed because I spend nearly every Saturday of my life at Wal-Mart. In order to get the day off, I have to put in for it at least 4 weeks in advance. I could switch with someone, but no one wants to give up a Saturday off. I'd like to have a normal weekend, but I can't stand the thought of going in to work there after 6 1/2 hours with pre-schoolers either! I tried to change my availablity to 6 am until 8 pm. I was told I had to be available 16 hours a week. Ok, I changed it back to 6 am to 10 pm. I've been there nearly 10 years and they still schedule me nights?? That is so wrong when the people that just start get 8-5 shifts! Plus, I'm starting to get carpel tunnel from constant scanning and I'm bored out of my mind......I could do this job in my sleep, and sometimes I do when I have to work until 11 pm!

At the school where I work, a teacher will be retireing in 2009. I've heard that the pre-k teacher I work for want to take her position. I'd like to have the pre-k position. With my years of experience and Master's degree, I would make twice as much teaching as I made last year working both jobs (and that includes teaching summer school and covering a maternity leave). I just don't know if I can tolerate Wal-Mart for another year. Maybe I'll start using my personal hours and schedule a Saturday off a month. I'm just pray for the day when I can walk away from there and have my Saturdays back!

Friday, May 2, 2008

$3.04......For All This!

Such a great deal that even Salem, my mom's cat, was impressed!

I used a $1.50 Q for each lint roller, 2 $3/2 Q for the Post-Its, a B1G1 for the bonus packs of Neutra Air (thanks for the Q, Miche!), my $4/$20 and rolled my 5 ECBs into 5 more.

I'm so glad that I found the Grocery Challenge!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I've Been Tagged!!!

Lisa from . has tagged me! So now I have to tell 3 random things about myself.
The rules for '3 Random Things':
1. Post 3 random things about yourself.
2. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
3. Tag at least 5 other bloggers.
4. Let them know you've tagged them by commenting on their blog with an invite to participate.
OK, here goes......
1. I collect Coca-Cola items. My tiny kitchen if full of Coca-Cola items, many of which I bought off Ebay. The living room has been included too since there is a five foot wide doorway connecting the two rooms.
2. I met my two best friends when I was only one year old! Their names are Bobbie and Lula and they are twins. Their older brother was friends with my two older brothers so Bobbie and Lula were at my 1st B-day party. I literally don't remember life without them!
3. Hmmmm.....very random.....I use both feet to drive even though I've never driven a stick-shift. My dad drove with both feet too..... Maybe it's because the cars we've always had died if you took your foot off the accelerator! LOL I've tried to drive with only my right foot, but it just feels funny.
I'm tagging........Arggh, Lisa already got most of the people I was going to tag!
Well, I guess that's it for now..........don't visit many other blogs regularly. Hmm, will have to think about this tomorrow.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Feels More Like Friday the 13th!

My day started off fine..... for the first two hours. I was a late leaving for work, then my car stalls at the intersection just a block from my house. It wouldn't start at all. It's a 23 year old Chevy so it has it's quirks. One of it's quirks is that the choke light flickers....when I say flicker, you have to stare at it to see it, but you can hear it tick. It's been doing this for years, probably 4 or so years. Now the choke is sticking and I'll have to "unstick" it with a screwdriver to get it started when it acts up. :( I was told 2 years ago that it needed a new carburator, but couldn't afford a new one at $600+ labor. I guess I will have to either buy a new one (really don't want to spend that much!), or try to locate a good used one. Buying a new car at this time in my life (or even a good used one), isn't in my budget. I don't drive much or very far at a time right now so I'm going to try to make this one last as long as possible.

The other thing that has made my day less than happy is my brother. To make a long story short, he and I are complete opposites. I'm responsible, follow the rules, attend church on a weekly basis, never even tried a cigarette or beer. My brother on the other hand is well......the exact opposite. Currently he's paying his dues for something that he got caught for last summer (it will be over on 4/23 or 4/30). Well, he's mad at me because I wouldn't take in his family AGAIN while he's serving this month in jail. They (all 6---2 adults, 4 kids) lived here with my mother and I for most of June '07 through Feb '08 because he woudn't face up to the trouble he got into. Now he's calling me a hypocrite, because he's "found God" and he says I don't practice what I preach. I feel bad for the kids, but I can NOT live with these people. It was HORRIBLE, constant screaming/fighting. My house is only ONE bedroom/ ONE bathroom. Yes, it has a FULL basement as his GF of the past 10 years tells everyone. But that full basement is just a concrete box consisting of 2 rooms. One has the furnace, water heater, washer/dryer, a shower and storage. The other has an exit and the stairs with my gym equipment in it. Oh, did I mention that there's huge puddles in the floor everytime it rains hard? Not exactly a good bedroom for 4 kids and 2 adults. He sent my mom a letter telling her that she's the only family he had and when he gets out, he'll move back to TN and when she dies there will be no reason to come back to IN..............that is of course, until he needs money, then I'll be his sweet little sister again. Did I mention that he's 48 years old, not some twenty-something???

There are some things to be thankful for........even today!

  • My neighbor got my car started for me and showed me how to start it when it acts up.
  • I met with the principal and she likes my plans for summer school.
  • I'm going out of state with my church's ladies' group Friday.
  • My good friends at GC (AJ and Love ECBs) sent me some great coupons!
  • Last, but not least, my salvation!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Baby..........

My baby boy, Coal, is jealous. He's seen Pinball's picture and he wants to be famous too! His mama cat was pretty feral, but she trusted me enough to bring her baby to me. At first glance I thought he was a mole! Instead, he bacame my "little lump of Coal". He was raised with a bottle and he's now six and a half years old. As you can see in the second picture, he has a very short tail but I've never seen a Manx around here. He also have two toes on his front paw that was fused together so I assume the tail is also a birth defect. He was the only kitten out of that litter to survive. I know he had a least one littermate who didn't survive. He shares his home with Ginger the dog, seven other cats and his two mom and me! As you can see from the last picture, he likes to be "on the computer" as much as I do.