Monday, December 29, 2008


Chris and Caleb went off to do some guy stuff so I have a little time on my hands to start worrying about Wednesday.
Well, I know that worrying doesn't do any good so I started trying to think of other things to take my mind off of it, when it occurred to me that I hardly know any one that uses AIM anymore.

Why is that? Why don't more people use instant messaging? I know most people don't have time to sit and chat for very long, and most people just send an email when they have something to say. But sometimes you just need a friend nearby to say hello and how are you today? And sometimes it just helps to look over in that little box and see that they are there, online, even if you don't IM them for a chat.

I have AIM open pretty much 24/7. Not that I ever get to use it. Most of the people in my buddy list have moved on in one way or another. Other times my nieces sign on but they are still on dial up (if you can believe that!) and using AIM just gets them booted offline.

Anyway, I guess I'm not really going anywhere with this. Like I said, it was just a random thought.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

CVS End Of Year Totals.

These are my CVS receipts from the whole year of 2008. Isn't it kind of poetic that the last receipt of the year was also the last of the tape on the register?
Anyway, There are 161 of them.
In all I spent $157.07 real cash there this year and got over $5,600 in product.
Specifically that means I spent $157 for a bottom line total of $5,483 in product. It also means that I averaged $0.97 out of pocket per trip. Not bad, but a bit higher than I'd like it to be. Plus you have to take in to consideration that Tennessee's tax rate is 10% on the dollar, which sucks! lol

I didn't tally 2007 because I started mid year that year and somehow managed to get right at $12,000 in product. That much I do remember. But, with tighter limits this year, no more free for all CVS $/$$ coupons, and limited stock, it was just a bit harder to do as well as last year. At least for me anyway.

Anywho, I am challenging myself to do better in 2009. I hope to get a lower out of pocket average and may make my product goal $7,000. This should be interesting! :)

On another subject...
I'm starting off the New Year (and my birthday) with major oral surgery, this coming Wednesday, Dec. 31st.
Bone has to be chizzled, and I have a high risk that the right side of my face could be left permanantly paralyzed. A very high, very sobering risk. So if you pray and feel so inclinde, please pray that all goes well and for me not to be so nervous. It would mean more to me than I can properly express here.
And it's a good thing I saved so much at CVS this year. This little dental trip is costing me over $2,000 out of pocket- after insurance! Yikes!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas pictures.

The first picture isn't very good quality but I still love it. Caleb was either watching or playing a game on the new TV. I should've gotten over to the side a little more for a better silhouette shot.

Please pardon that Chris looks so exhausted in these pics. In all honesty, he was! On top of that he pulled some muscles in his back and was in excruciating pain. Poor guy! Anywho, that is one of the presents I got him. It's an inversion table- for BACK aches, pains, and re-aligning the spine. Looks like I got just what he needed, doesn't it? He has used it a few times now, and combined with some 500mg naproxin he is starting to feel much better.

We all got a Thank you God I am grateful bracelet, and a cross necklace made of nails.

This is just a random shot I got of Alex's new video game on the new TV. The boys were loving playing on it.

Just an overall shot of the "major" gift that each one of them got. The TV was for Chris, even though it's really a family item. Caleb got a carry case to go with his new laptop that he "officially" got for his birthday just two weeks earlier. He also got 3 PS3 games, and a controller of his own since the system only comes with one.
Alex got the PS3 system and 3 games. Like I said, there was more, but these were the biggies.

Hold still! I'm not trying to take pictures of blurs! lol

My crazy hubs snuggling his stocking. I swear he looks forward to getting his stocking more than the presents. He didn't get one when he was growing up and it's just something I started doing after we got married. I guess I always will. There's no rule saying grown men can't have a stocking, right?

And I can't believe I'm sharing this one. It's me, no makeup! But hey it was Christmas, and if ya can't laugh at yourself...
Alex snapped this one. I was just being goofy and wearing the bow that we had on the TV.

I should've taken pictures of the spread. That's southern for the food, the dinner. lol But the important thing is it was good, real good.
And that raps it up. No pun intended. I hope you all had a happy Christmas too! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Forget anything???


How it's supposed to be when Chris travels from point A to point B. In this case B being home.
Make sure you have everything. Every thing! Fly to TN, go to office, get in personal vehicle, drive home.

What actually happened: Didn't quite make sure he had EVERY thing. Flew to TN, went to the office, got in his personal vehicle to drive home, realizes that he left his truck keys in Las Vegas!

Plan B. Get one of your employees to drive you home even though it is over 150 MILES out of their way, round trip. But guess what, employee #1 also left the keys to his personal vehicle in Las Vegas.

I tell you I came this (---) close to having to drive to get him tonight. Fortunately another employee had the presence of mind to remember the keys to his vehicle and was willing to bring him home.

Why did they forget their keys in Vegas, you asked? Because they have to go right back to LV after Christmas and personal baggage as well as all of the company equipment was put in storage until they return. 'Cept they were supposed to bring their keys so they could get, um,...HOME.

I tell ya, if their heads weren't attached...

This calls for a trip to the dealership to get a spare key! Chris's truck has been sitting at the office since June. Think the fuel in it has gelled by now?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Almost Christmas!

I heard from Chris last night. He said they were catching a plane out of Arizona this morning and would land at the airport in Nashville. From there they will be taken to the office in Knoxville. I suspect he will be HOME around 10pm tonight.

One gift that I ordered for Chris over two weeks ago still hasn't arrived and tracking just says "scheduled arrival between 12/18- 12/24. How's that for dodging specifics?! So, I am really hoping it arrives today so that I can get it wrapped.

I still need to go to the grocery store, or else we'll be having instant potatoes for Christmas dinner- and nobody wants that! Honestly, I couldn't care less but I am outvoted.

Oh, I almost forgot! Today is Faith's birthday. She turns 4 years old! She'll get an extra treat tonight, and she's going to bust a gut when she sees Chris. I swear she really is in love with him. She acts so shameless when he comes home. She's all over him, licks his face all over- which she NEVER licks anyone else, ever! And Chris doesn't help things because he just coddles her and says, "How's my girl?" about a million and one times. lol

OK, I guess that's all for now. If I don't get another chance I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/21/08 @ CVS

What a fun time we had at CVS today!

Between me and Alex we got $220.66 in stuff for less than $3 real cash. I not only rolled my ECBs but I went in with $60.57 in ECBs and came back out with $88.76 in ECBs. So, a $28.19 Money maker! Thanks in part to having all the right coupons and a CVS CRT for $10 off $30!

*8 Right Guard Professional Strength deodorants
*5 Listerine mouthwashes
*4 L'oreal HIP eyeshadow duos
*3 Slimquick Energy shots
*3 Halls Naturals cough drops
*3 Advantage Edge bars
*2 Excedrin Migraine Gel tabs
*2 Zantac 150
*2 Thermacare Heat Wraps
*2 boxes Benefiber Stick Packs 16ct.
*1 Hershey bar
*1 Fusion razor
*1 Gillette Fusion shampoo/body wash
*1 pack EASadvantage shakes
*1 Alteril natural sleep aid

I think that's everything and we didn't even come close to getting our limits on some stuff. Like the deodorants, the limit is 10 PER PERSON. But, I think there are enough of these to make Chris's guys happy so we'll leave it at that. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tired Today

That pretty much says it all.
Today I am exhausted and haven't done anything to justify it. I call them my bad thyroid days. Sluggish, completely lethargic. Not one tiny ounce of oomph within me.
Goodnight bloggy friends. Hoping tomorrow is a better day for my lazy thyroid.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

Dear Caleb,
Happy 15th Birthday!

My Mr. Fix-It. My yes I can, man. My lifesaver in so many ways.
Always willing to lend a helping hand, or be an ear. Reliable, trustworthy.
Sweet, caring, loving. Strong unwavering character.
A blessing in my life!

I love you!

CVS this week.

I have a house full of (teens) and not much time to post so I'll be quick about it.
At last count there well over $300 in product here. Of course the bulk of that is in the glucometers, 5 of them you can hardly see in the pic. Three Contour and 2 Nova Max. They've already been sent to good homes. :)
Out of pocket was less than $3 and I actually made $11.04 more in ECBs than I spent. Good week!
Next week will be a doozy! CVS has 17 freebies and I have coupons for ALL of them. Just trying to work up the plan is making me over excited! lol

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Us As Dancing Elves

Family of Elves

I have to make an Elf Yourself video every year because it cracks me UP!
This year it has me, Chris, Alex, Caleb, and their cousin Vivian in it. I hope it gives you a chuckle too. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Husband Wanted

Wanted: One husband. Must be home nights and preferably weekends, too. Must not have an obsession with cradling the remote control. Must be willing to share in chores, errands, and responsibilities of the children, including the fur babies. A partner that is knowledgeable about the finances would be a big plus also. A man that realizes a woman's worth and how hard she works, and that nothing gets done by little fairies while I get pedicures and eat bon bons. HA!

Ladies, ladies, ladies. Where do I begin? I'm pulled about as tight as a girl can get without actually snapping in two. Every single day of my life there is washing, cleaning, straightening, feeding, feeding, and preparing to feed. Then there are the errands. The errands never freaking end! I swear a good 50% of my life is making To Do lists and the other half is spent trying to find the time to actually DO, or buy the things on it. Who has time to eat?!
I know there are many, many women that do this day in and out for years and I applaud you!
I am completely used to Chris being gone. Before he got this job he was always gone with his other job. This isn't new. I can manage. But dang ya'll. I'm tired of bearing all the load alone ALL. THE. TIME!

Maybe it's because I am getting older. I dunno!
I do have Alex and Caleb here to help me, but I have to TELL them when the trash needs to be taken off, TELL them that the dishwasher needs to be loaded, TELL them every single little thing or it doesn't get done. Frustrated, oh yeah.
From vet visits, oil changes, insurance policies, household maintenance, CHRISTMAS, Christmas, Christmas, Caleb's birthday MONDAY!!!!, putting drops in the dogs eyes every 4 freaking hours! Make sure everyone around me is happy, fed, clothed or I'm gonna hear about it, you can bet on it!
You know that saying, when momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy? HOGWASH! When the kids aren't happy and every little want or need isn't fulfilled who do you think hears about it? Who do you think is their personal complaint department? ME, that's who! Us MOMS!

I didn't write this to complain. I know it sounds like I am. And I really am thankful that I have all these problems because it means I have a home, a car, healthy kids, sweet fur babies, clothes on my back to get dirty. Yes, I am trying my hardest to look at these things as blessings. But I am also a realist and I get sick and tired of bearing ALL the load myself. I'm only human. A little 5'2" human that is simply tired, strung out, and looking for the retirement line. I am ready to quit.

And please, please don't tell me to look at the bright side. Please don't tell me it won't always be this bad. Don't tell me it will all have been worth it in the end. Don't tell me that I should whistle while I work because I am setting an example to my kids of how a Christian mother shows her love in serving her family. Just let me be exhausted this time. Tomorrow is a new day and with it I may feel better, or, I may not. That's life, isn't it? It's not all roses all the time.

Worn the freak out and if I had alcohol in my presence, well, I wouldn't have, because I'd drink it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Of the past.

So, in between doing laundry and dishes I got a phone call from a friend that I hear from only about once every 6 months to a year.
She's a friend that I used to be really close to, back in the day. We were inseparable, but the foundation of the friendship was based on clubbing, partying, and having a "good" time. That's about all we had in common.

As time went by and I got older total mom-dom set in. I became a "fuddy duddy", or settled down as the case may be described. I became responsible. I became boring.

My friend however, did not. She is 5 years older than me and about the time I started settling down is when her marriage of 14 years came to and end. She dealt with it by becoming a full fledged party girl in so many ways I can't even begin to tell about .

I was walking a nervous tightrope trying to balance being a wife and mother, and not lose my friend.
As time went on it became apparent that I had to cut ties.
So, I finally explained to her that it was time we parted ways. Nothing personal, but we are just different people now with completely different goals and values. She was living the single life again and I was just starting to figure out that being a mom and a wife wasn't such a bum rap after all.

So, for a couple of years I didn't hear a peep from her. She went on with her life, I went on with mine.
After a time she began calling me again just to say hi and make small talk. But she no longer tried to drag me out to go clubbing. She finally "got it" and accepted my new life. Not only did she get it but she respected it. Now we could be friends again.
She is still a little bit of a partier to this day, just not quite as extreme. And she doesn't try to "convert" me anymore.

Well, fast forward to today...She called me a few minutes ago with such a happy sound in her voice. She called to say that she was baking cookies and that she was going to bring me some- tonight!
This is how it always is. I don't hear a peep from her for months and then boom, I get a call and there she is. I had no idea she would call tonight. The last time I saw her was about 8 months ago, or so.

I think it's real sweet that she thought enough of me to want to make me home made goodies. Real nice indeed. Though I can't help but laugh at how she pops up out of the blue all the time. Or when she sends me funny video phone messages of a turkey dancing, like she did on Thanksgiving day.
I pretty much know she'll send one on Christmas and tell me she loves me. And I know for a fact she will at least text me on Jan. 1st to wish me a happy birthday and happy new year. She's real good that way. She has never forgotten.

Why am I writing all of this? I'm not sure. I guess we'll never be close friends again, but maybe it is ok that she is out there. Out there doing her thing while I am here doing mine. And maybe it's not too unhealthy that she pops in once in a grand while to just touch base.
I know where to find her, she knows where to find me. Maybe that's all there is between us now. But maybe it is enough. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´★*¨¨*¨☆¨★*☆★*¨¨*☆

Don't forget!

★*¨☆¨*★FREE SHIPPING★*¨☆¨*★ in the shop until the end of December. You can still get your items in time for Christmas if you order soon.

And while I have you here I'll show you this matching set.

Clicking on the pictures will take you to the listings.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Surprises and other ramblings.

I have such a HUGE surprise for hubby when he finally gets to come home (on Christmas EVE!)
I can't say exactly what it is on the slight chance that he might read this. Which I highly doubt, but you never know.

All I can say is that it has required complete rearrangement of our living room, a little paint was involved, a bit of techy stuff, and a whole lot of head scratching. He is going to LOVE it. It would be the last thing he'd expect, too.
Since I bought Caleb a laptop and a case, and got Alex a PS3 system with 6 games, I figured I was on a roll and might as well get Chris something equally as grand, for a change.

I was smart this year and sat aside Christmas money all year long. It was the first year I've ever been able to do that and I hope I can do it every year now. It sure makes things a lot easier, and instead of getting a bunch of small things they sort of like I got them one pricey thing they'll love and get much more use out of.

And just to tease hubby if he sees this post, this is a smeared picture of the gift. Now, if anyone knows what this is do NOT say a word! lol
I will post the un-blurred picture after Christmas. :)

It has been a rough, rough year in that I've had to be without hubby for longer than ever before. But, the company is doing well and growing by leaps and bounds. Keeping hubby gone all the time really sucks. The income is nice but it doesn't fill the void of his absence. I just pray that one day the Lord will send a job where he can be home every night, the way things outta be.

Even before the economy took a turn for the worse this little town was in financial depression. There just aren't any good jobs here that you can support a family on unless you are a doctor, lawyer, etc. The majority of the population here are blue collar workers. It was a big factory town but almost all of those have moved to Mexico.

That's how Chris came to have the job he has now. He was never afforded the opportunity to go to college as his family was very impoverished growing up. He was the oldest of 7 children and raised in a single parent home. He would have jumped at the chance to go to college. Now that he has a family to support he can't spare the money or the time it takes to go to school.
He has a mind as sharp as a tack and I know that he could have been what ever he wanted to be. But, we don't cry over what could have been. We work with what we've got. We live debt free and we are responsible with our money.

So, that's just my way of saying he really deserves this gift. He works so hard all year long and it will help him feel that he's working towards something and accomplishing something. That's one thing we've all learned here in this household. We've been utterly poor, and we've been middle class, we've went to bed hungry and cold. We've been there and done that. Now that we are doing better we don't take anything for granted.
I don't think we'd be so appreciative if we'd been born with silver spoons in our mouths. I am glad that we lived through hard times because they were positive character builders. And, should hard times come back around again, well then, we know exactly how to manage because that territory is familiar to us, and we'll be just fine. :)

Friday, December 05, 2008


I love trading! Thank goodness Etsy is filled with so many sweet people that don't get all bent out of shape when you ask about trading.

Remember this nativity set I was drooling over? Well, I contacted the seller about a possible trade and she accepted gladly! She chose a pair earrings, some tags, and a set of my perfume pebbles in exchange for the set, which I think is absolutely fair. I can hardly wait until it gets here.

I remember when I first started selling on etsy. I had trade offers coming to me left and right.
I was new to the kind, gentle spirit of etsy and had just come from the land of fee-bay where it is dog eat dog.

So, at first I took the trade offers on the offensive. To me it meant that they didn't think my items were good enough to pay for, and, how can I coax you out of your items without spending any of "my" hard earned money on them?
I was insulted. Infuriated.
I would reply, NO thank you! (grumble, fuss, the nerve of some people!)
But now I understand. Now I get it. Not all sellers are looking to trade you a snotty rag for gemstones and gold. LOL

Over this past year I've done a lot of trading and I feel very good about each and every one of them! Of course there is the occasional shop owner that sells things I am not at all interested in and I have to gently decline the offer. But I don't get mad anymore. I don't feel like it is degrading to me or my work. I know now that (most of the time) it's just another friendly seller that admires something I have and hopes that I feel the same about something they have.

I've been converted. I've been softened. I don't have the old fee-bay sellers point of view anymore. And, I am looking forward to more awesome trading in 2009. :)

New is the shop today.

This is a favorite pair of earrings that I've made a few times before and they always do well in the shop. Genuine high luster coin pearls adorned with antique bronze metals. So very lovely and easy to wear with leverback style earwires.
A nice pair of earrings for a rich, refined look of beauty and elegance.
Click on the picture to be taken to the listing.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's mine, all mine.

I promise this is THE LAST Christmas theme item I am buying- EVER!

OK, maybe not ever but certainly the last for a couple of years at least. I have no clue where I am supposed to store all this stuff once Christmas is over. :(

I had to have this little fellow! His arms are made to hang from...stuff!
The homespun fabric pile he is sitting on was a separate, unrelated purchase I just had to have!

This one is made of natural colored muslin but PrimitivesAndSewOn also has another one listed in pure white.
I think it is too sweet. Just thought I'd share.

Oh and Janera, if you see this, I am feeling much better today. :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Toot, Toot, as they say.

The Dec. '08 Issue that I am published in.

I made on the introductory page! YAY! (Second one down on the left side)

My page. Page 40. These are my gemstone earrings made of garnet and peridot rondells, and Keishi pearls.

Like my friend Arlyn says, I don't know why people say "Toot, Toot" when they are published, but since it seems to be the thing to say so...

I got my jewelry back from the publisher today with my issue of Bead Trends that I am in . My Mistletoe & Holly Berry earrings made the Dec. issue and I am on page 40. Actually, I am also on page 4 inside the front with the table of contents.
I can't decide if I want to keep them or list them in my shop. Need to think on it a bit.

I am also in the Feb. '09 issue and that will be the last one. I've decided not to submit every month like I used to. If I do it will be leisurely and sporadic at best.
Being published is fun but it isn't everything. I don't need the publications to feel validated. I simply make what I like and leave it at that. I have the bragging rights to many, many publications. I can say I've been there, and I've done that. It served its purpose, but now it is time for other chapters of my life. :)

Thank you, Janera!!!!!

Guys, Janera sent me such an awesome, heartfelt stocking full of goodies. I am so glad she joined Peggy's stocking swap this year. I got to make a new friend that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. And Peggy, I hope you know that your stocking swaps are more than just a giving and receiving of material things. It gives us girls a chance to connect with another special soul and make a friend to cherish. And Janera really is a special lady. I'm blessed to have met her.

Enough mush, lol, on with the show......
This was my first glance of the stocking as I folded back the paper. And to quote Janera, "sweet mercy!" I was in love at that very moment. I am a burlap fiend! That goes back to my love of all things rustic.
I do not know what the white fabric is that she used but it has a quilted texture to it and it could NOT be any softer. It is just lovely and I will cherish this for as long as the good Lord lets me.

An overview of the entire loot. Do you see a theme going on here?

Would you look at that coffee scoop?? This thing is rockin' my world ya'll! It's very weighty, solid, and I love it to bits! Janera hit the nail on the head with the coffee theme. It's just me through and through. But the coffee goodness doesn't stop there!

STARBUCKS! Oh my! My all time favorite coffee and I say I don't care how yuppy it is, I luuuuuvvvvvvv iiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttt! As if that wasn't enough she sent these two cute coffee ornaments for my tree. I had to LOL when I saw them because it just goes to show my addiction must be shared far and wide for someone to invent these. Yep, going right on the tree, they are!

More wonderful coffee stuff! I think Janera made this kitchen towel and hot pad. My coffee themed kitchen is looking spiffier all the time, thanks to you. Again, LOVE them! Oh and do you see those candles? She sent me a set of 4 different coffee scented votives and even through the plastic they smell divine! I may just have a new favorite candle company. :)

Janera tapped in to my inner creative junkie. She sent me a HOBBY LOBBY GIFT CARD!!! I think I scared the boys when I saw it because I literally squealed out loud. LOL Me loves the HL! I promise to put it to good use, Janera. Thank you, thank you!

And do you see my bells? My sweet packets of different beverages to sooth me and keep me warm on cold winter nights? A packet of CINNAMON scented air fresheners! My all time favorite scent in the world- next to coffee, of course! And then there were candy canes to remember how very sweet my stocking partner is! And I shall. :)
Last but certainly not least I thought Janera's stocking deserved a close up all it's own. Ya'll it is so very pretty and my style to a T. I give it a perfect 10!

Everything is wonderful and I will take great care of your gifts that you sent with such thoughtfulness and sisterly love. I'm so blessed to have met you and can't thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. For your thoughts, gifts, and prayers, I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. Thank you and big ((((HUGS))).

Oh Christmas Tree

I finally got a somewhat decent shot of my Christmas tree so I thought I'd share. All it took was playing around with the different settings on my camera. I think* this one was taken in museum mode. I know the tree doesn't look like it is in the best place, but remember, my house it tiny. It was either here or right in front of the piano- which would be right smack in the middle of the room taking up most of the floorspace. lol We work with what we've got, ya know?

I'm a bit of a minimalist when it comes to my tree. White lights only. There are only my handmade ornaments on it, mostly mine. The cookies, candy canes, gingerbread men, and real beeswax candles made by another etsy seller.
I also challenged myself to decorate completely different this year and I am loving it. For the past 5 years or so the Christmas scene at my house was same ole, same ole. I am liking this design set better. Something fresher for the eyes for a change.

Then there is this Christmas present I gave to myself. They came in the mail just today.
Three adorable sheep made of real wool, with wreaths and bells around their necks. They are just too precious and I could snuggle them all day. A great purchase, also from another etsy seller. After Christmas is over I will remove the wreaths and keep them out. That's why I love the primitive sheep so much. They aren't a holiday specific item, unlike my sweet gingerbreads.

And guys! Wouldn't this nativity set look perfect in front of my little house???

I mean, doesn't it look like it was made for me? Gosh, I feel another purchase coming on. Somebody stop me! I want it SO much.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Hey guys! You need to hop over to Janera's blog and enter to win her giveaway. Some lucky ducky will get this awesome candle!!!

Gettin' Excited

I am waiting on baited breath to hear that my stocking swap partner got her package. I am positive she will get it today. She's probably in school right now and doesn't even know she got it. I just hope she likes at least some of what I sent. Yes, I know it is the thought that counts, but...
Maybe she'll hate what I sent! Yikes. I guess I'll find out soon. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cyber Monday Special

Hey guys! I've got free shipping going on for Cyber Monday. Come check out the shop and maybe you'll find a great gift for someone. My Shop