Friday, June 30, 2006

It helps to clean out the fridge...

...'cause then you can 'rescue' what is still alive and kicking. I found I had 2 almost-full containers of sour cream. Both are perfectly fine, but by the time I used one or the other, the second one would be in the process of creating its own life forms. to the computer to look up recipes that include sour cream. I used the "Taste of Home" website. I like the advanced serach because you can put in one ingredient and they'll hunt all the recipes that include it. There are ways to narrow that down, too. I picked out "Kitchen Sink Salad," which I assume includes everything but. And Lasagna sandwiches. Imagine a sandwich that tastes like lasagna! Hmmmm...we'll see if that's true. I like the fact neither one involves the oven. And at least I'll get rid of some of the sour cream. Of course, there's always nachos...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

If you had to do it over again

I watched the movie "Butterfly Effect" this afternoon. I don't have any opinion about Ashton Kutcher, except that he's cute and he's a better actor that I realized. The movie is very thought-provoking. It is about a young man who, when he reads the journals he kept as a child, is transported back to whatever incident is indicated on the page he is reading. When he realizes he can do this, he tries to use the book to right numerous wrongs that happened to those he loves--and almost always with disastrous results. It takes a number of tries before he gets everything 'right.' I highly recommend this movie, but a caveat: it is NOT for children. There is some pretty disturbing stuff in this, not to mention some 'adult' stuff (although I give them credit for not really showing anything.) But it gets me thinking: if I could go back in time with complete impunity and change certain things, would I? I mean...if I wouldn't mess up my own personal spot on the space/time continuum and blink my husband and kids out of existence? Oh, you bet I'd take that chance. I'd like to jump on my brother's case about the drugs he was taking...before he even left for Vietnam, where it got worse. Maybe he'd be here today. I'd like to stand up to the various bullies that treated me, and others, like cr*p in school. Who exactly did they think they were? Lots of changes. What I wouldn't change: meeting my husband when I was 15 and he was 17. Getting married. Having four great kids--except, for kids 1 & 2, I'd switch doctors. I would also (and this goes back to very recent history) pay much, much closer attention to the fine print and all the extra fees and expenses they tack on your credit card when you aren't looking. Yeah, so long as no one would get hurt, there's lots of things I'd like to change!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

WFMW: Bug Bites

Next time you have an itchy bug bite...reach for a wet bar of soap. Rub a little of the wet soap on the bite and it will stop itching. I have no idea
why this works, but it does. And it's probably easier to find a bar of soap than that bug spray you bought last summer...that you know is in a drawer of those drawers you plan to tackle on a Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tackle It Tuesday: One shelf at a time

The pantry is just too big a job, but even doing one shelf is helpful! And now I know I have to go out and buy flour...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer eating

Sometimes, you don't even feel like barbecuing, it's so hot and heavy outside. I love pizza or Chinese, but that seemed like too much last night. So I raided the fridge and found some lunchmeat and cheese from the other day. I made Mike a big salad with some roast beef and provolone on top, and I found some fake crab that I made myself crab salad with. That's one nice thing about summer eating. You can go really heavy on the 'light' stuff and add just a little of the more expensive or 'heavy' food. 3 slices of provolone, rolled and cut in pieces, 2 slices of roast beef, also cut up, and lotsa salad plus some Italian dressing--my husband was very satisfied. Me...I put the crab salad on the last English muffin. My line to my kids on nights like this...'you're on your own. If you can find it, you can eat it.' We were all happy, and I got rid of some vestiges of food that might have turned into science projects, otherwise.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Everyday Things

This homage to "Everyday Things" was started over at "Everyday Mommy." I think it's a wonderful way to appreciate what we have. My first entry isn't something Mike & I do every day, but we do it almost every evening that the weather is nice. Mike will say, "I'm going for a drive." And I say, "wait, I'm going with you." Which usually involves me finding my shoes and glasses, LOL! Then we hop in the car and drive over to Northport, a little harbor town here. If you've ever seen the movie "In & Out," some of the scenes were shot here. (Look for the clock.) That movie takes place in the Midwest, but if the camera were to do a 180 you wouldn't see fields, you'd see the harbor. It's especially pretty in the daytime, during the summer, when it's filled with boats. We never spend much money there--at the most, we have Italian ices. But I could never get tired of this view, or the little conversations I have a man I truly consider my other half.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I love Clearance Racks

Especially ones that say 75% off. Of course, some stuff is there because no one wanted it in the first place. Those things aren't even worth 90% off. Sometimes I look at clothes on the clearance rack and wonder, 'what on earth was the buyer thinking?' Ugly, poorly made, you know. Stuff guaranteed to shrink, unravel or bust a seam. But then there's the good stuff, like the headphones I bought at 75% off at CVS this a.m. Between the computer and MP3 players, we go through a lot of headphones. So I bought the two that were there for all of about 3.50 total. I'm going to give one to my son as a late birthday present. Maybe then he'll keep his hands off mine...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

WFMW: Instruction booklets

I used to keep all my instruction booklets in one file. Of course, over time, that file got pretty fat and messy. It was hard to find what I needed, and forget about weeding out old ones. Now I keep instruction booklets, as well as warranties, filed according to the room, or section of the house, where the appliance is used. If I use it in the kitchen, like my Kitchenaid mixer or my blender, it goes in the "Kitchen" file. Papers for outdoor equipment, like the lawnmower, go in the "Garage" file. Oh, and all of these (as well as other folders) are store in a two-drawer hanging file cabinet.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tackle It Tuesday: Plastic

Okay, not a huge project but one that needed to get done. I hauled all the plastic and glass containers into a laundry basket, then divided up by tops and bottoms. I like to store my things with their tops when possible, so I did some matching. It's hard to throw out lids, though, because you know darned well the bottom half is going to show up...someday. BTW, I wrote to Hellmann's and told them I hate the new plastic jar. The glass mayo jar was such a nice container. I wash the plastic ones, but they don't go into the dishwasher and getting that mayo out is a pain. (I bought a baby bottle brush for this, btw.) Hellmann's replied that most of their customers are happy with the switch. I don't believe them, but I'm just one voice in the wilderness. Here's the link to our Tackle It Tuesday host's blog: There's always some great stuff there!

Monday, June 19, 2006

New scrapping freebies!

RAKscraps, a wonderful scrapbooking site, has it's June Mega Kit ready. You can download a section at a time--but each section is only available for about 2 days. This is TOTALLY FREE. You just have to join them. Once you download the files, you just unzip them and use them in an art program. (I have one by Creating Keepsakes.) It's a lot of fun, free, and it's amazing just how big a kit (they don't call it Megakit for nothing) you'll have by the end of the month.
For the record, RAKscraps puts these kits out around the 15th of each month. This month has a patriotic theme--perfect for those upcoming Fourth of July layouts!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What's the rush?????

Why is everyone in such a flipping hurry these days???? I am a little shaken because I almost had an accident. I'm going 40+ down Jericho Turnpike, which is a major, busy road here. Some fricking jackass decides he can cut a left turn right in front of my car (a Durango) to go into some store parking lot. I'm telling you, in the space of less than 2 seconds I slammed my brakes down to about 5 mph and just--I mean just--avoided slamming right into the side of his stupid truck. I'm not even sure what it was, except it was bigger than my car. Either way, that would have been a major, major accident. And all because some jackoff decides he has to buy a barbecue or something. I don't know who was driving or who was in that car...but fine way to spend father's day, in an emergency room. I hope there weren't any children because I'm sure the whole thing would have scared the sh*t out of them. All I know is my heart is only just leaving my throat and the back of my head really hurts. Probably had some form of whiplash. But it's better than having an airbag blow up in my face and breaking both my legs.
Stupid jerk.

And my horn LOUD. I just slammed that thing like crazy! There was an outside display with customers so at least I would have had many witnesses.

I'm alive. I think I'm staying in for the rest of the day. I, for one, am never in a rush to do anything.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

If you gotta spend $115 at the vet... helps that the vet has drop-dead gorgeous TV star looks, and is nice, as well. Okay, so I'm happily married and like...20 years too old for this guy. But I can look all I want. Like my husband says, if you stop looking, you're dead. I took my younger cat Melody in for her shots and checkup. She was such a good kitty. She didn't act one bit aggressive even when he was clipping her nails or giving her 4 shots. Including rabies--it's terrible, but we have rabies out here in Suffolk County for the first time in 60 years. Some idiot probably brought a baby raccoon home from Upstate New York and let it loose when it got big and aggressive. But anyway, the vet was in his late 20s to early 30s, dark, wavy hair, amazing blue eyes, friendly personality. Not one of these professionals who has an 'attitude' because they are a doctor. This guy belongs on a TV show, no kidding. And for the record, I think my husband, who looks nothing like this, is even more handsome than he was at 17.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday: Celery

This is one I had to try for myself a few times to prove it really works, and it does. Next time you buy celery, trim and clean it, then wrap it really tightly in foil. It will keep for weeks. No kidding. I think I bought the bunch I've been using a month ago and every time I unwrap it to get some, it's fine. Sometimes you have to trim the bottom edge a little, but other than that it stays nice and crisp. Oh, another wfmw tip on celery: if you have some that has gone soft, trim a little off the bottom and plunk it into a tall glass of water. Put it in the fridge and it will crisp up again in no time. (I never timed this trick, but figure a few hours). BTW, if you're new here, Works for Me Wednesday comes courtesy of

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tackle It Tuesday: Photo Albums

Okay, I actually tackled this over the weekend. I work on Tuesday mornings. Besides, this was just too big a project. I've been meaning to fix my shelf of photo albums (roughly 30) so I can actually see what the albums are. It's a pain to have to lug them out and look at the label, since some of them are similiar in color. So I took everything off the shelf--which also needed dusting. I got rid of some things. The games are still on my sewing table to be put in my closet later. I wanted the shelf to be mainly photo albums and scrapping supplies. Here is the result:

Monday, June 12, 2006

My 'baby' is 16 today!

My son was born June 12, 1990 at 1:37 in the morning. He is the coolest 16-year-old on Earth. He still enjoys my company, but he has his own life, too. Really into anything military, guns (we don't keep real ones around here, btw) and the video game Halo 2. The kid lives and breathes Halo 2. I bought him a gigunza (I mean, this thing must hold a gallon) glass mug with a Halo logo on the side. He's also getting the graphic novel and a book of Halo 2 art. I gave him 3 movies, and we went to see X-Men III today. Just me and him--it was great. I like the X-men movies! In fact, I've made it a point to know about the characters and stories in all the games my kids have played and the movies they have seen. It can open up a great conversation when you ask a kid, "so, is Juggernaut a good guy or a bad guy?" (For the record, a bad guy. A big, dumb bad guy.) He's interested in girls but no one in particular so far. Any girl that gets him will be lucky, because he's funny and sweet. Everyone should have his sense of humor. The world would be a better place.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I studied advertising and communications in college, and one thing I remember learning is that the main purpose of advertising is to sell the product. A no-brainer, right? But I know we can all name commercials that hands-down, 100% guarantee we will NOT buy something--even if it was an item we might have considered. Don't even get me started on the Clairol Herbal Essence "Totally Organic Experience" commercials. Yes, I have a sense of humor. No, I'm not a prude. But it is a Totally Embarassing Experience when your 9-year-old daughter walks into a room and asks why that lady on TV is making such strange noises. (She's 21 now, a kid with body piercings and tattoos and even she thinks it's gross). Not to mention when one of my sons is in the room! I have always refused to buy that product precisely because of the commercial. I haven't seen them in a while, though, so that's good.
A recent one is for some car. Now, talk about not selling a product: I find this commercial so annoying (although not quite as offensive as the above) I can never remember the name of the car! It's the one where the woman walks into an elevator full of men and starts taking her clothes off. Rrriiiiiigght. She looks half-nekkid by the time the doors open. What you see when she steps off the elevator is that she's wearing sporty clothes for riding a bike--the commercial ends with her hopping in the car. Damn, you want to sell me a car, tell me about the car. I know sex sells, but stupid sexiness just annoys me.
Another commercial that drives me bonkers is the Jell-O pudding commercial with the kid dancing with the cow. I like the kid and the cow--it's the background jingle I can't stand. Will someone please tell me what the HECK they are saying??? Oh...and I'm pretty sure Jell-O pudding doesn't really wiggle. (I still like it, I just hate the commercial.)
I could go on forever...
I actually do like some commercials, although I have trouble remembering product names. There's one for some kind of monster cookie shake (for DQ, maybe?) where a monster is making a special cake for his girlfriend. "Gertrude," who has about 12 eyes, turns to look at him and he ducks because he's shy. I think this is funny and cute, in its way.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I'm not a health food nut, but after an 8-month stomach illness a few years back I'm very careful what I eat. I'm keeping my eyes out for saturated fats, for example. there I am eating some kind of ice cream cone thing from Blue Bunny (sorta like a Drumstick) and I'm casually reading the label...and I learn this puppy has 57% of my daily allowance for saturated fat! Holy COW! I don't care if it was on sale with a coupon (which doubled, btw), I guess I'm not eating one of these again. Although it did taste good. Real good. What is that saying? "Why is everything I like either illegal, immoral or fattening?" Okay, I don't mind the illegal and immoral part. I'm a solid citizen and pretty upright. But geesh, can't we have any fun??????

Now THIS is frugal

I had a bag of change I was going to put into one of those machines. I know--8 cents on the dollar fee--but it ain't doing me any good just sitting on my dresser, either. Except the Coinstar machine was down. So after I bought my groceries I figured I'd plug a bunch of the change into the register (self-check). As long as no one was behind me on line I figured I'd just stand there adding change. But the woman at the register likes me, so she put a 'closed' sign up for me, LOL! (Nobody came on line behind me, anyway.) So I popped $25 in change in there, which didn't include a lot of quarters--so it took forever. Okay, a few minutes. But it was fun to see the balance go down.

Shameless eBay plug

I'm selling some scrapping supplies, most of which are NRFB (never removed from box, that is!)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Works for Me Wed: Socks

We all know that somewhere in the universe there is a place where single socks live. In my case--there are so many that they've created a small country out there on some remote planet. But I'm fighting back! I've tried many methods, but I started doing this a week or so ago and it really seems to work. The 'bull clip,' or 'binder clip' is strong, but it has no sharp edges (like a safety pin) that might ruin the socks and it won't break or get lost as easily as those little weird round things you buy. I now keep a supply in both my room and the laundry room. No sock of mine will ever escape into the universe again! (Oh, and a bonus WFMW tip: always check the 99 cent store for socks! Some of these puppies have an original price of 6 or 7 bucks! Geesh, for a lousy pair of socks!)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tackle It Tuesday: Coupons

I keep my coupons, circulars and anything like that in a drawer in my dining room. I do have those divided folders for them, but mostly I just throw them in there until I get around to organizing them. I finally got around to them! Step 1: take them out of the drawer. Step 2: Separate food coupons from nonfood coupons. 3: put food coupons in their proper places in my food folder. (I have 3 small ones: food/household/health & beauty. It just makes it easier to find what I want.) Okay, so then I have to separate the coupons I'll keep from the ones I don't want in the latest circulars. Once that's done, I cut them out and separate food and nonfood. But after the food coupons are filed, the nonfoods have to be separated into household and health & beauty. I'm really happy to say all my coupons are in the right place now! As far as weeding out expired ones--I do that while sitting at overly long traffic lights. We have one that lasts almost 2 minutes, and I hate just sitting there, LOL! So I pull out one section of coupons and go through it quickly. Better than stewing about the light never changing.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Big Lots

I like Big Lots. My husband and I go there about once a month. I never paid much attention to the food, but I've started really checking prices now that I do the pricebook thing. If you are careful to make sure to check the expiration dates, you can get some good buys on real brand names. I got Premium Saltines for a little over a dollar. The funny thing is that the label is written in Spanish! But it doesn't expire for a while, and nothing lasts around my house, anyway. I bought Poptarts for a dollar that will expire this month. This month? I'd be lucky it lasts the next 3 days. (Oh, and I know Poptarts are poison. I can't stand them, myself. But unless you have a medical condition or allergies, I don't think there's a single food on this planet that is bad for you in moderation.)
One thing I don't like is that they don't take coupons. You really have to know your stuff. I can get fruit rollups cheaper if I wait for a sale, and sales on those happen frequently. And if you check for free coupons on line, there is almost always a coupon. This link should work:,0,218714.htmlstory?coll=ny-nav-default

Friday, June 02, 2006

For a Sweet Girl!

I'm so glad you are home! I hope that you never have to go to the hospital again and will always feel happy and healthy! With love from Mom2fur PS--It says on the bottom: "From now on, may you know only the sweetest moments!"

Found Money--Pt. 2

Whenever I break a 20 or more, if I get a 10 back I put it in a container. At the end of the week I have some extra spending money for the weekend. A while back I switched containers...and completely forgot about the first one. I keep quarters in there, too, and I had decided to separate the paper money. Well, somewhere along the line I must have 'forgotten' and put money in the old container. And I found it this morning! $40!!!! Now I have some money for garden soil and tomato plants! I think we should start something called "Found Money Friday." For both literal surprises and figurative ones--see previous post. Oh...the garden soil. My garden grows amazing flowers... but it stinks for growing tomatoes. So I'm going to try Miracle Gro garden soil this year! We'll see if I actually get more than 2 or 3 edible tomatoes...

Found money

Figuratively, at first...after cleaning out the downstairs hall closet I found 2 bottles of Cascade I didn't know I had. They were still in the grocery bag, buried under a 12-double-roll pack of Angel Soft. Darn, if I'd known they were there, I wouldn't have had to pay full price for a bottle last week. Cascade is the only brand I use. "Brand Loyalty" is a whole 'nuther post...but this Blog is called "Sorta Frugal" not "Totally Frugal." The picture with the furry thing is the "Before" photo. In the "After" photo, you can see I've put like items together. Fuzzy thing is in the laundery room now, hanging from the window. Personal care items are in the shoe holder and cleaners and such are on that shelf. I'm not touching the wooden shelves. The items there are mostly paint cans and I'm not lifting them. (Back problems.) (The zebra pillow, etc, to the lower left of the 'after' photo are things I need to find new homes for--later.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Making do when you're 'new'

Meredith over at "Like Merchant Ships" inspired this with her 'Ribbon to the Rescue' post. Having forgotten a basket for her first Easter as a mom, she 'made do' quite nicely.

Anyone else want to tell of a time they had to 'make do' because they didn't have something they needed? For me, when I was first married (a month before Christmas of 1980) I couldn't afford enough ornaments to decorate the tree. So I bundled up M&Ms in plastic wrap tied with pretty ribbon. They made the tree quite colorful...and boy, was it fun to take the tree down in January, LOL!

It really was a 'sweet' Charlie Brown tree. In fact, of all the Charlie Brown Christmas trees in the world in 1980...mine was the Charlie Browniest!