Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Update 10-28-14

Just a brief update. The picture above was taken at the JC Penny salon where I have my hair cut. I had not been there since March (6 months) and my stylist took around 4 inches of hair off in most places. There was enough left on the floor to form a nice sized mustache.

 Later, after grocery shopping, I went to my dental appointment for the last of this latest round of visits. This was to put the last two permanent crowns in my mouth. I'm hoping I won't have to go back until at least next March (Spring Break), as I do need to get some more work done on my teeth, but I need to pay down the debt that this emergency created.

I'm planning on going to the Temple tomorrow and will try to get a few pictures while I'm there.

Friday, October 24, 2014


It's been over six months since Spring Break and around four years since I last took a week off of work.  Let me put it this way, the last time I took a full week off of work, it was having surgery to remove my ovary.  Yep, it's been that long.  Partly because taking time off at a school doesn't work very well with getting the job done.  The other part is that I simply can't afford any kind of vacation trip.

I'm taking a week off to get caught up with things at home, but also to try to recharge my batteries.  In short:  I'm burned out.

From work.

From caregiving.

From trying to squeeze time to run a load of dishes between work, Mom and Church.

Don't get me wrong, I love what I do at work, I love my Mother, I love Church.  It's just been too much with nothing getting done at home.

So, I'm taking a staycation, of sorts.

I'll be taking Mom to appointments she has made this coming week, I'll be taking care of appointments that have been long neglected for myself, and trying to find time to go to the Temple and do some writing.

Maybe take Mom out for a ride in the car, just to get away from things for a few hours.

We'll see what this coming week holds, but I'm praying for strength, patience and a little more serenity in my life.

Monday, October 20, 2014


I haven't made this since Decker passed away.

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Corn
Rice - add to desired density

Optional:  Cheese

iOS 8.1

A big improvement, but not fully there yet.

See if you can spot what is wrong:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Haves and The Have Nots

Last night I found out why Elder Holland was inspired to give his talk from this past General Conference.

After a 9 hour shift and a 1 hour drive in rush hour traffic, I went to a retail establishment up the street from the Gilbert Temple.  It is an establishment that is not only run by people who are members of The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is an establishment that has contracts with the Church regarding the sale of items being sold through the Church's Distribution Center.

I went to this store because it's hours worked better for me than trying to go to a location by the Mesa Temple, but also because I hadn't seen the store yet and wanted to see how it looked.

The store is very big, and very beautiful.  There are "zones" created for specific products or genre of items.  The area for the Church's Distribution area was also very lovely, however it didn't have the items I was looking for - the Check Registers for the Family Finance Class I'm taking in my Ward.  I wanted some extras that would get me through a full year.

Aftter some roaming the store, I found them - in the back of the store behind a wall where most people would not think to look for these items.  

As I walked into and around the store, there were people who were obviously either on their way or had just left the Gilbert Temple.  One couple was dressed casually.  All, however, looked me over with an expression of "who is this person and why are they here?"  It was definitely not an expression of welcome.

When I picked up the check registers, I was approached by one of the employees asking if I needed some help.  I indicated that no, I had just found what I was looking for.  As I continued browsing, however, I noticed he was watching me.

When I was ready to leave, I took my place in a line.  When I was at the head of the line, though, it was taking the cashier a very long time to take care of the customer they were handling.  Other employees (remember this was on a Friday night) saw me standing there, but no one wanted to come and help.  I did catch one employee's attention, who simply told me they were not on the clock and could not ring me up.  To their credit, after I had been standing there for more than 5 minutes, they finally found someone willing to handle my transaction and I left.

Needless to say, I don't think I'll be going back there again.  It's obvious that someone who doesn't "look the part" isn't welcome there.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Getting Back Into Couponing

When Decker was alive, we had some financial goals as a couple we had set before marriage.  One was to become financially independent.  With his death came a very deep depression that has taken years to work through, so a lot of things fell by the wayside, so to speak.  One of those was couponing.

I'm starting to get back into it, in an effort to handle money better, and make my money work for me, rather than the other way around.

So, I ended up at 3 stores last night:  Walgreens, Frys Foods and Wal-Mart.  Everything I bought at Walgreens and Frys either had coupons or store sales, Wal-Mart I didn't.  I don't have very many coupons at this point, so I need to get stocked up.

The tally:


Spent:  $40.00 (after coupons)
Coupons:  $1.80
Store Coupons:  $5.00
Balance Reward Savings:  $4.74
Store Ad Savings:  $3.98

Total Saved:  $15.52

Fry's Foods:

Spent:  $39.14
Mfg Coupons:  $1.05
VIP Card Savings:  $4.82

Total Saved:  $5.87


Spent:  $57.02

Keep in mind that a lot of what got spent at Wal-Mart was food for Rachel, and I didn't have any coupons for what I bought there.  Fry's and Walgreens I used both paper coupons and electronic coupons I loaded onto their cards in advance.  This took some time to go through and do.  Walgreens makes it a lot easier with their iPad app, although I haven't checked to see if Fry's has an app yet.  I'm also not sure about Wal-Mart, although I do know they have some sort of savings program.

The only item that will not be immediately used that I purchased was the ibuprofen from Walgreens.  Everything else was food or other items that will be getting used within the next few weeks.