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Archive for February, 2011

Free breakfast week

February 28th, 2011 at 10:56 pm

As I mentioned in this morning's post, I am declaring this free breakfast week.

This morning I stopped at McDonald's and got their new fruit & maple oatmeal -- free with a coupon. It was actually very good!

I have my Starbucks gift card and some $$$ left on a Dunkin Donuts gift card. Both places now have breakfast sandwiches, so that's the plan! Free brekky, yay!

Busy Sunday

February 28th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I spent $11 yesterday to see "Gnomeo and Juliet" with my grandson -- plus I spent $1.07 on Gummi Bears. Then I registered for the Race for Hope -- $40.

Spent the day at my ex's house -- that's where my kids gathered; I didn't actually see much of my ex, so it isn't as weird as it sounds. Anyway, ate free all day -- pancakes for breakfast, pizza for supper and lunch was just picking -- for me it was bagels and nuts. I didn't mean to freeload, it was just the way it turned out.

Trying for a free breakfast all week -- I've got coupons and gift cards to use -- I'll keep you posted.

Fifteen items

February 26th, 2011 at 03:53 pm

This week's fifteen items:

2 4-packs Activia yogurt ($1 off coupon)
3 lb. package stew meat (on sale)
Progresso minestrone (on sale)
can of mushrooms (house brand, stems & pieces)
bag of 2 sweet onions (on sale)
3 cans Grands biscuits (on sale for $1 each, plus .75 off coupon)
fresh blueberries (on sale)
fresh raspberries (on sale)
2 packages Buddig beef (on sale)
1 can tuna (on sale, house brand)
1 can mushroom soup (house brand)

Grand total: $30.99

Fun trip!

I've got beef stroganoff in the crock pot now. Tomorrow I'll have chipped beef on biscuits, mmmmm. Good comfort food on YET ANOTHER snowy day!


February 26th, 2011 at 12:16 am

This is the third time I've won something this year! That is, within the last 12 months. Last summer I won $500 off my rent. Last week I won a $25 gift card for Papa John's pizza. Today I won a $10 Starbucks gift card! We had a drawing at work -- one of those employee morale pumper-uppers -- two people got to leave early, and one -- me -- got the gift card. I'm delighted. I don't much care for Starbucks coffee, but I will definitely use it for some scone breakfasts!

Hey, every little bit helps.

A little spending

February 24th, 2011 at 03:23 pm

I haven't done much in the financial arena lately, but yesterday I did go to Wal-Mart and spent $5 on a prescription and $17 on pots and potting soil. My prescription used to be $10, but apparently on my new medical plan the cost is cut in half. Well, I don't mind saving $5 a month!

The pots and soil were for my office plants. They are all re-potted now and looking quite perky. I like the new pots, too. They are plastic but look like terra cotta -- they look good against the teal walls.

I also spent $16 mailing packages -- something I've put off for a long time. I sent a gift to a friend (it was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but I told her it's now a St. Patrick's gift) and I sent my sister and BIL some clothing bargains I found at Goodwill. The cost of mailing sort of cancels out the bargain, but my BIL is very large and has a hard time finding clothes his size. I grab 'em whenever I see 'em at Goodwill.

This was the first spending I did since Saturday.

Is everyone still in the lunch challenge? I have packed a lunch every day this month. Today it's leftover pizza -- my favorite!

Genealogy again

February 21st, 2011 at 02:59 am

This isn't financial at all. I just had to pop in and giggle about what I found on today. I was tooling along, filling in my family tree, when all of a sudden one of the names that pops up is "Sir" John Savage. I think, well, that's interesting. I keep following his line back, and the line goes back, and back, and these names sound so familiar.... I got off the site and looked up the Savage family. Oh yeah, one of the Savages was Archbishop of Canterbury; arranged Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. I knew something was really wrong. Turns out I accepted a false lead from another family tree builder. I DO have an ancestor named Robert Savage, but he is NOT Sir John's son. He lived in Mucklestone -- where the family continued to live for generations -- and I don't think there were knights in Mucklestone.Smile

Too funny. But for a little while I thought it was very cool!

I do think it's cool that I can follow the line back to the 1600's in England. Now I just wish I could pop in and see what their lives were like!

Fifteen items

February 19th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I'm doing my 15 items early to get back on a Saturday schedule again. Today I went to Target, so I could get my $15 rebate. I didn't need a lot of food, and it shows:

2 bags of Tootsie Rolls (for work)
Bag of Tostitos -- on sale
Chips Ahoy -- on sale
Salsa -- house brand -- on sale
2 Green Giant frozen green beans w/almonds -- on sale
"Magic Bumper" -- on sale
Photo Album
2 plastic plates for kids
2 coloring books
2 packages Always pantiliners -- special promotion (got $5 gift card)

Looks like I miscounted and got 16 -- oh, well, I've come in under a few times, too.

The Magic Bumper is a set of stick-on pads to protect floors from furniture.

The total was $48.87, and $15 will come off the Discover card, and I got a $5 gift card, so the real total is $28.87.

I also made my Goodwill visit today.

Once again, great finds!

A brand new replacement coffee pot for my Mr. Coffee (my pot keeps losing the lid) - 1.99

A box containing 7 people and 2 trees for my DIL's Christmas village -- 2.99 (I'm pumped about this one!)

2 packages of Christmas wrap - 1.49

1 Christmas gift bag - .49

Pyrex standing spoon rest with spoon (looks new) - 3.99

Set of 4 Anchor Hocking ramekins, still in shrink wrap -- 3.99

Super cute jeweled bookmark -- new in package -- 1.99

AND -- that king-size sheet that coordinates with my dust ruffles was still there, still 12.99. This time I bought it. I figured there is so much material there, I can not only make pillow shams but do other stuff if I just think about it. That one sheet (still in package, by the way) was originally $70, so I guess it is a fair price.

So it's been a good day. I took a nap on the sofa, watched two episodes of "Wives & Daughters" and read some in my "Happy for No Reason" book. It's really warm and I should take a walk, but for some reason my ankle really hurts today.

I resisted eating out -- came home and had chili, milk and cookies for lunch, which all tasted so good. I also made a breakfast casserole this morning AND had a bagel with cream cheese -- so I've got 190 calories left for the rest of the day. But I'll do it!

A new hobby?

February 19th, 2011 at 01:58 pm

I may have a new hobby. Genealogy! I love the show "Who Do You Think You Are" and it got me interested in looking into my own family. I know quite a bit about my mother's family, thanks to my cousin, but I didn't know much about my father's side, EXCEPT that we were rumored to be descended from an early President.

I got a free trial to and I was quite amazed at how much I found out in a few hours. First, of all, we are NOT descended from a President, but that line of the family goes back to pre-Revolutionary times. (And with a little more work, I might find a connection to the President's family, but we are not direct descendents.) Second, I found out that my grandfather grew up in a little town not far from here, so I'm going to make a trip (maybe even this weekend) to see if I can find the graves of my great-grandparents. Third, I actually found online some letters that my great-grandfather, who fought with the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, wrote while he was in service. Amazing! I didn't even know he existed till yesterday, and here I am reading his thoughts as he sits by the campfire.

I can see how this get addictive. Once the free trial ends, the subscription is $12.95 a month. I don't know if I want to do that, but it is reasonable -- cheaper than some Netflix plans!

Yesterday I took a pot of chili into work to give to my boss, who is going through so much right now with her daughter's illness. However, she didn't come in, so I brought it home again. I guess I'll freeze it. It's too much for me eat, especially seeing as how I already have some I kept for myself.

I followed up on Petunia's post about -- oh, I can't remember the name -- the deal where you enter your credit card information and get instant rebates at the stores where you shop. I got three offers right away, and I activated two of them -- McDonald's and Target. I'll go to Target and do my fifteen items there -- I want to buy a photo album anyway, so that will work out well. For McDonald's I have to spend $10 to get $5 off. I don't ordinarily spend $10 at McDonald's, but I can use it when the grandkids are here.

DC trip, lunch challenge & counting my blessings

February 17th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

Not much to report financially. Which is good; it means I'm not spending.

I'm re-evaluating my Washington DC trip. I'm still going, but I think I might just fly in for the weekend -- or try to grab a ride with one of my kids. I think I may wait to close down the antique booth until the end of June, when I go to Tennessee for my nephew's wedding. It's much closer to NC, and by that time my cousin will be back from her winter home and I'll have a place to stay. I'll also have another day of vacation to play with.

The lunch challenge is going great. I not only haven't bought lunch all month, I've had a few provided free. I had the pizza lunch at the vendor's fair on Tuesday, and then the last two days I've made lunch out of freebies left out in the break room. Someone brought in pepperoni and cheese (and put it out to share) and since I had crackers in my desk, I just snacked on those. The frozen entree I brought in on Monday is still in the freezer today. I've also been good about not buying lunch on weekends, which is my biggest downfall -- the time when I am most likely to think I deserve a little treat.

Last night I watched a Netflix movie, "Frozen River." OMG, what an eye-opener. It was about a single mother who was desperate to make ends meet and got involved in smuggling people across the Canadian border. Very realistic -- not an action movie; it was a character-driven movie. Sad and yet heart-warming at the end. It made me feel lucky.

My boss is out today because her daughter is rejecting her transplanted heart, and one of my co-workers is losing her house, so I'm very aware today that there is a lot of pain out there. I'm counting my blessings.

Great day!

February 16th, 2011 at 12:19 am

First of all, it's payday, and, thanks to my tax refund, I was able to move $1050 into savings.

Then, I went to a vendors fair at work and got a free lunch -- pizza, Sun Chips, an ice cream sandwich and a Rice Krispie square. OK, not very nutritious, but free! I also got a chocolate bar but I was able to resist eating that right away.

Then, in the afternoon, I got an email telling me that I won a $25 gift certificate to Papa John's in the raffle. Woo-hoo!

So, since I was feeling so good, I went to Jewel and pleaded my case about the coupons that I didn't get credit for. The customer service assistant was perfectly lovely. She refunded me the cash and even apologized. And she was just taking my word for it.

So, great day!

The only bad part was that I went over my calorie limit, but I'll get back on track tomorrow.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, even though it was TERRIBLE MEETING day, the meeting was just fine!

Boy, does this tick me off!

February 15th, 2011 at 12:31 am

I went to the grocery for my 15 items tonight. I was really tired, because I slept very poorly last night. But I needed stuff. Now I'm home, and looking at my receipt, I see that not one coupon was credited to me. The cashier didn't even swipe them. If I hadn't been so tired, I might have noticed.

I figure I only lost about $3; no huge deal, but I just the thought that I took the trouble to go through a pile of them ahead of time -- oh, it burns me. What can I do? I can't even prove that I ever had them. I'm just going to have to remember to always watch to see if the cashier follows through.

Here is what I bought:

Two gallons of apple juice -- house brand -- BOGO
Kettle Korn -- on sale
Kitty litter
Oatmeal cookies -- on sale
Cat Chow
Iced tea mix -- house brand
Hummus -- on sale
2 packages of Activia yogurt
Brown sugar -- on sale
Wine -- on sale

The only reason I bought two packages of Activia was to use the coupon. And I had coupons for the cat chow and kitty litter. Okay, I know the cashier was a kid and didn't mean to stiff me. I just wish I'd been paying attention.

The hummus was an unexpected addition to my list. It was marked down to 1.99 from 3.99, so I couldn't pass it up.

I was also planning to buy three greeting cards to get a free Teddy Bear for my grandson -- I had a coupon -- but there were no Teddy Bears in sight. I don't know if they had run out, or if this store never got on the bandwagon. Anyway, the coupon wouldn't have been used. Smile

I was already mad because I have to throw out my casserole.

Not having a successful frugal day!

Can't believe I left out the casserole

February 14th, 2011 at 01:52 pm

I made a casserole which contains cottage cheese/sour cream/cream cheese, as well as ground beef in tomato sauce. I had a serving for dinner, then left the thing out all night. I put it in the fridge this morning, but I guess I have to throw it out, don't I?

Man, I hate that.

No spending yesterday. I went up to Evanston to babysit and resisted fast food both on the way and back (a big failing of mine).

Today I used a gift card and brought in donuts from Dunkin' Donuts for our Valentine's party.

I am redoubling my saving efforts, any way I can!

Goodwill and Happy for No Reason!

February 13th, 2011 at 01:09 am

Looks like I'm going to be a weekly Goodwill shopper. I just can't resist going on Saturday morning!

Today I spent only $8. Best find was a Pyrex deep-dish pie pan for $4. Great find for me because I really need a pie pan -- I don't think that's the greatest price on record, but it's a really nice pan.

I also bought a Baby Bjorn bib and a sippy cup to have on hand at my house, some children's books, and a few stocking stuffers for next Christmas.

Today I'm reading "Happy for No Reason" and I'm really enjoying it. I'm feeling happy!

I started making a casserole -- I call it lasagna casserole -- it is layers of ground beef in tomato sauce, pasta, and a central layer of mixed cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream. I only got as far as making the ground beef in sauce. I'll finish the rest tomorrow. I had to stop because I realized I didn't have enough calories left today to be able to have a serving, and I don't want to have to pass it up when it's warm and fresh. I had to settle for soup and crackers for dinner, but I stayed within my calorie goal.

I resisted buying any fast food today, which is often a big temptation for me on weekends.

Tomorrow I get to babysit the grandsons! Whoopee!

The condo

February 11th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Yesterday I seriously looked into what I would have to do if I purchased the condo in Evanston. I found that I could, for sure, put down $50,000 out of my CREF stock. With that large a down payment, my mortgage payment along with taxes and community fees would be less than what I'm paying for rent now.

The downside -- I would have a terrible commute to work -- which would also be expensive. And, when I talked to my son, I realized that it is really TOO close to them -- as in sharing a wall. Not something any of us really want. Another condo in the same building would be great, but we all want some degree of privacy. So I'm not going to pursue this one.

I hope that housing prices remain low, as I make this transition in the next few years. Everyone says the recovery is still far away.

I will continue to save my money. Maybe I can eventually pay cash for a condo if prices remain low!

Today my Discover card turns over. It seems I always charge in the neighborhood of $750 on it -- I charge everything except bills and some low-cash purchases. I would say I will try to keep it down this month, but I know I will be ordering wedding pictures for sure, and they will be costly.

Dinner out Italiano

February 10th, 2011 at 02:24 pm

Went out with my son and his wife for his birthday dinner last night. We split the bill; my half was $37. We went to an Italian cafe that is halfway between my home and his, and they were having a great special -- $15 for an entree with soup or salad, wine, and dessert. It was very good food, too. I had so much chicken parmigiana and pasta that I think I can have four lunches out of the leftovers!

He seemed to like the gifts I got, which were all great deals from Goodwill (I didn't tell him that) or freebies, like the aquarium tickets I got with an oil change. I would guess that my outlay for his gifts was less than $20, and for that I got a brand-new Henley shirt, a new boxed set of IKEA juice glasses, a sketchpad, a new in-the-box gadget organizer for his car, and the aquarium tickets. And we had such a nice evening together to boot!

On the work front, everything is peaceful again (at least on the surface).

On the lunch challenge front, I have brought my lunch every day in the month of February. Yesterday it was leftover pizza, and today it will be leftover chicken parmigiana.

The other night I cooked up a big batch of asiago chicken tenders, which I will freeze in one-serving sizes tonight. I also cooked three pounds of ground beef and froze two. The other I will use in a lasagna casserole.

All of a sudden I have way too much food, and I'm only buying 15 items a week!

It's not just me

February 9th, 2011 at 12:35 am

I always dread Tuesdays because of the horrible meeting, and I'm relieved when Tuesday is over. Well, today, one of my co-workers flounced out of the meeting in a terrible huff. I think she was leaving before she started crying. It made me aware that I am not alone in my misery, and that something is really wrong at work.

I, on the other hand, have been feeling better and feeling like I can stick it out for the few years I have left. We'll see.

I got onto today and found that my refund is supposed to go into my bank tomorrow. Hurray! I can hardly wait to put it into savings. I remember when I could hardly wait to spend it. Funny how things change.

I got my sales report from the antique mall today. I only owed $23, which is good. The bad part is that the two big items that sold were my sister's. I took a 10% cut (since I'm paying the rent) and sent her the money. She wrote back, saying that she and her husband got some money from her father-in-law and they can catch up on their mortgage now. Sigh. I'm afraid she will never learn, but I always hope.

I let the mall owners know that I plan to move my stuff out the first week in May, so now I'm committed.

A little shopping

February 8th, 2011 at 01:21 am

It started snowing again this afternoon, and my inclination was to go straight home and stay there. But I had plans... I wanted to go back to Goodwill, because I remembered there were other items in the same pattern as the bedskirts I bought... and I needed to go to the grocery store because I was almost out of cat food. So I went.

At Goodwill, there were two valances and two king sheets in my pattern. I didn't want valances, and they were too narrow to make pillow shams, which was my interest. The kingsize sheets were priced at 12.99 apiece. Too high, considering I only wanted to cut them up. So I passed on them. But while I was there I found a Giada apron for my DIL and a Purdue shirt for one of my sons. $8 for both.

Then I went to the grocery store. My 15 items this week:

A birthday card
Suave body wash -- on sale
Dish soap -- house brand on sale
Cat chow
Hershey's dark chocolate miniatures -- on sale
Green pepper -- on sale
Cream cheese -- on sale
4-pack of Activia -- on sale
Ground beef -- 3 lb. economy package
Box of 18 eggs -- on sale
Low-fat cottage cheese -- house brand
Whole wheat rotini -- on sale
Bag of clementines -- on sale
3-pack of romaine

Oops! Only 14!

Total cost: $46.23

Lunch challenge: I took leftover pancakes and a little syrup to work for breakfast. Heated them up in the microwave and they were quite good.

I took leftover pizza for lunch, but put it in the freezer when I realized someone had brought in bagels. I made a cheese bagel with veggie cream cheese my lunch, along with the craisins I brought.

For mid-afternoon break I had a chocolate cupcake, no icing.

Dinner was interesting. When I came home from the store and was putting the groceries away, I dropped the bag with with eggs in it (of course). Four eggs were cracked, so I immediately scrambled them and that was my dinner. I wouldn't normally have four eggs for dinner, but since I had a pretty carb-heavy day, it probably wasn't such a bad idea.

Cat news and cooking from scratch

February 7th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Another kitty showed up, Elke. Now if I just catch sight of Pippi, I'll be entirely relieved! Pippi may have come -- it's not like I watch the cat bowl 24/7.

Yesterday I experimented a little and made veggie burgers from scratch. It's something I never thought of before for leftovers, but it was mentioned on a health segment of the local news show, and I thought, what a good idea! I made mine from kidney beans, and frozen soup vegetables, along with bread crumbs and and egg. I grilled them on my griddle, and they turned out great! I'll be eating them all week, along with the DiGiorno pizza that I cooked last night.

On Saturday night I made spaghetti sauce from a can of tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. I didn't have meat to put in it, but I had fresh Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. It was great!

Tonight I grocery shop again.

Another good Goodwill trip

February 6th, 2011 at 02:02 pm

I indulged my addiction to Goodwill yesterday and once more found some good stuff.

The best -- a Coach shoulder bag for $10. It was priced at $20, but because it was customer appreciation day, I could pick one thing at 50% off. The back story is that I was planning to go to Sears, where they are having a remodeling sale, and get a purse for 30% off. It would have been $27 and it sure wouldn't have been a Coach. I thought I would check Goodwill first, and boy was I glad!

It is not large, and it is slightly scuffed, but it still has years and years of wear in it. I DID have to make some decisions about what really belongs in my purse, but that's ok. I think downsizing what I carry is a good idea.

I also found two bedskirts for $10 each. They are brand new and the colors are perfect for my decor. I have an unusual setup in my bedroom. One full bed and one twin (for when my grandson stays over). It isn't easy finding matching items in twin and full size both, so to find them at Goodwill is amazing!

Other good finds: a sweater vest for my very large brother-in-law, some T-shirts and play jewelry for my grand-nieces, some manly giftwrap (the day before my son's birthday, how lucky is that?), some photo boxes, an apple corer/slicer, some snowman salt-and-pepper shakers for my DIL's mother, and a big bag of crayons that I will keep here for when my grandsons come.

Altogether it was $61.

Then I went to Ace and bought a shovel for $14. I cleared the patio, and was rewarded later in the day with the appearance of the feral cat I call Frick. (Used to be Frick and Frack, but Frack disappeared in the fall). I have not yet seen Pippi or Elke, but I am very glad to see that Frick survived.

I was looking online at condos for sale on Friday, and I saw one offered as a short sale in the same building my son lives in. It's only $79K! I know my son paid more than $200K several years ago. Even though it is not yet time to move, this is whipping around in my mind. Is there something seriously wrong with it? Would I ever find such a deal again? Could I handle a commute like that? I don't know what to think. It's very tempting.

Last week I reported that I had made some chicken chili and put it in the freezer. What I didn't say was that I was a little concerned that the chicken was too old. Well, it's been weighing heavily on my mind, so I've decided to just throw it out, much as I hate to waste food. I'm not willing to take a chance on getting sick. Just think what that would cost! Smile

Can I retire again?

February 5th, 2011 at 12:29 am

I had a bad day. I am so tired of getting criticism at work. I know I do good work, but I seem to be the only one who thinks so. I am so dispirited today I wish I never had to go back.

But I have to work until I am 66. That's four and a half more years, which at least sounds better than five. So I have to do something about my attitude. My phone interview did not lead to anything, so I must suck it up and survive.

Enough of that. My lunch today was a Michelina entree -- beef, peppers & rice -- a container of yogurt and a cupcake. I also had a bag of kettle corn for a snack. I had breakfast at home -- Cheerios and the last of my breakfast casserole. And dinner was a peanut butter sandwich and milk, because I didn't feel like making anything.

I stopped at Ace on the way home to buy a shovel, so I can clean off my paio, but (surprise!) they were out. They are expecting a shipment tomorrow, so I'll check in then.

I can't really tell if the cat food on the patio has been touched. I am still hoping the cats are okay.

The ride home

February 3rd, 2011 at 11:51 pm

It took me an hour to get home from work today. I live two miles from work. All I can figure out is that the fact that two lanes are now one -- due to snowbanks on the side of the road -- and the slippery roads made it that much slower. At least everyone was civil.

I was disappointed to see that the food I left out this morning was undisturbed. I moved it to the spot where I saw footprints this morning. If I had a shovel I would shovel the patio, but I'm not in a hurry to go shopping. Just getting to and from work is work enough.

I spent $1.50 on a 7-up from the vending machine today. I was thirsty and a little woebegone. I wanted a treat.

I packed my lunch today -- I finished up the pasta/spinach/asiago I've been working on all week, and I also had an Activia yogurt and a chocolate cupcake without icing. Breakfast and dinner were at home.

It will be cold for a while, so I guess we'll have this snow for some time. And I heard today that there will be another storm next week -- a big one -- but it may go south of us. I hope so, though I don't wish it on my Southern neighbors.

I don't plan on going anywhere this weekend, even though my son's birthday is on Saturday. He won't mind waiting to celebrate.

Back to work

February 3rd, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Everything in the whole bloomin' area is closed, but my workplace is open. Actually, the college is closed for classes but administrative offices are open. That's me, so I have to brave the elements today. Wish me luck!

I put out a bowl of cat food today, even though it's doubtful that any cats can make their way onto my patio. There's a drift on my patio and huge snowbanks all around. But maybe some little critter will get some breakfast.

It's very cold, so I will dress warmly. My car is somewhat plowed in, so I think I have one shot to back up through it. I don't own a shovel. It looks like all the drives in our complex are clear. The roads are probably clear, too.

I don't want to go to work today, but I will do what I have to do.

Oh, by the way, I got my flat iron. I love it! It heats up very quickly, it's very small and agile and really presses my hair smooth. The brand is Solia and I highly recommend it.

Chicago checking in

February 2nd, 2011 at 01:49 pm

Yes, Chicago is really buried. I took some pictures, but as I am too technologically challenged to post pictures, I'll just tell you -- the snowplow has pushed the snow so high that I have complete privacy with my blinds open. The snowbank is at least 12 feet high, I would say. My patio is a couple feet deep. I can't open the patio door. I am listening to the news and I heard that someone was swept into the lake and died. It makes me so sad. It also makes me sad to think that my feral cats must surely be dead, too. How can they live through this? But they have surprised me before.

My lunch yesterday -- I had more leftover pasta with spinach and asiago, Activia yogurt, and oatmeal cookies. I also ate my breakfast at work -- oatmeal, which I keep on hand in my desk. I'll be home today, of course. In fact, the way things look, I don't know when I'll get out again.

I made a breakfast casserole this morning. I do that often -- it's a little work to put together, but then it's an easy breakfast the next two days. Today's casserole was eggs, bacon, onions, cheese, stale bread and milk. I also put together the first stage of chicken chili -- just combined the cooked chicken, onion, pepper, cream of chicken soup and water, and then put it in the freezer. Next week I'll add the corn and beans (I bought the wrong ones this week). Later I'm going to bake some cupcakes for lunches. I basically got the cake mix free -- it was packed with some pretty cake pans I bought at Goodwill (all of it still in the box; never used). The mix had a freshness date, which is still good, and the bag hasn't been punctured or anything, so I'm going to bake it. How can I resist, it's chocolate!

Well, everybody in the swath of this storm, be safe!

January Expenses -- and the Storm

February 1st, 2011 at 10:23 pm

January expenses --

Rent - $1110
Utilities - $265
Gifts/Charity - $142
Groceries - $125
Car Repair/Maintenance - $119
Personal - $103
Insurance - $86
Vacation/Travel - $82
Gas - $62
Entertainment - $36
Vet/Pet Supplies - $35
Household Supplies - $25
Furnishings/Equipment - $22
Fees/Services - $18

Total: $2246

The winter storm has begun in earnest. My boss sent me home at 3 and work is closed tomorrow. The snow is coming down like gangbusters. I am worried about my outdoor cats, but there is nothing more I can do.

I promised to work from home tomorrow, and I will, but I am not doing anything more today. I am nestling in. I keep hearing planes overhead (I live near O'Hare) and I wonder what the heck they are doing in the sky. I pray that everyone lands safely.

I generally love a snow day, but this is kind of scary.