Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge


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Back from my 2 nights of camping. Had a wonderful time and found a really nice area for camping. The place I had planned to go was FULL and plan B and C were full too, but I found a great area at Kenai National Wildlife Preserve that had several campgrounds. The first night I paid $10 and the second night was a free campground about 10 miles further down the gravel road. In between, I did about 100 miles of scenic driving. I stopped in Soldotna for ice, a couple of grocery items, and to top off the gas tank. Soldotna and Kenai are both bigger towns than they initially appear. I drove to the end of the road past Niniski, and found a state park there. The campground had a nice view of Cook Inlet, but wasn't all that for $20 a night, so I headed back to the wildlife preserve to camp the second night.

I made canned chili for dinner Monday before leaving home. It was no beans so I added my own kidney beans. I had plenty left to heat up for lunch Tuesday. Tuesday night I made ricearoni and canned chicken in a skillet for dinner. It made way more than I could eat, so I brought the leftovers home.

*Lunch today: I am going to have a smoked sausage on a bun with the little bit of chili that is left. Dinner is still to be determined. I left some sloppy joe in the fridge or I have my chicken and rice stuff or I could cook something else.....

The weather is a lot dreary today. That is why I did not stay out camping another night. I might do a either a day trip or overnight down to Seward tomorrow if it looks a little nicer.


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Been busy at the apartment again on Friday. I got pretty much everything packed up except food, clothes, and toiletries I sold a bunch more stuff and am now down to the TV and TV stand for larger items. The little junk can all get shipped off to Goodwill. I guess I will be sitting in my camping chair and enjoying TV for a little longer. The futon is gone now.

* I have exceeded my $250 goal and have made $401 total. I am surprised at how well stuff went.

I ended up booking AirBnB for July 3 and 4. Decided camping was not a good plan and hotels were ridiculous prices. Found a room in a ladies house and she allows washer/dryer and kitchen access. I will probably only use the microwave though. It cost half of what a hotel would have. She is not too far from where I live either....

I am going to go do something fun tomorrow as a day trip, then I have to head back to work on Sunday. I have been eating leftovers. I sold the microwave yesterday so i made a bag of popcorn before the gal came to pick it up. I had to heat my lunch leftovers on the stove today.:(

* I make a big batch of oatmeal raisin cookies today and might make some chocolate chip ones later in the week. That will get rid of more of my baking supplies. I took the last of the butter out of my freezer today, so that worked out perfectly!

I am not sure about dinner tonight though. Maybe I will do my leftover camping chicken and rice on a tortilla. It is kind of mexican as I used spanish ricearoni, bell pepper, and green onion. I think if I add a little salsa and cheese it will be good on a tortilla.

* we got a new federal holiday this week for something. Since I am on vacation that means that I will only get deducted 30 hours of annual leave because I would have been on a 10 hour shift for my holiday leave day. I will get an extra 10 hours paid out to me in my lump sum after I leave my job and that will be a nice little deal....


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When I received my last paycheck, I was not paid for a full 2 weeks and realized I was owed vacation days from my last check. After questioning our payroll person, I was not satisfied with her answer and requested a review of my file. As I suspected, when I was sick with covid, I was charged 2 sick days that never should have been charged. In NYS, we were paid full pay for 2 weeks if we came down with covid in 2020. I was not paid the 10 full days. To complicate things even further, our payroll person was on leave in DEcember and January, helping her daughter who had given birth to twins. I realized it was not her error since someone else was processing payroll, however, every person that was sick with covid during December had issues with their sick days being charged and had to get them fixed. They knew by looking at their paychecks that something was not right. This is something I could not see since I am a timesheet employee and my 5 sick days are not shown on my check. Now, I will be paid an extra 2 1/2 sick days and they will review my file to see if I should be paid the days I was in quarantine. Had I not questioned it, I would not have gotten back my sick days and maybe even more money.
While the extra pay was nice, I decided not to be on the yearbook staff next year and will never again be sub dispatcher. On yearbook, we split the stipend 3 ways but one teacher barely attended any meetings since she has small kids. I was not pleased with her lack of participation. She edited some stuff but did so at home and only attended one meeting. I handled the business end of things, attended all meetings, sent out mailings, input book & sale orders, wrote some content and took pics. The third teacher knows so much about the program, but since she is not doing it, I decided not to do it. For next year, I will put in for detention monitor, game chaperone and time keeper. Let's just hope Covid does not come back and we can have games and people in the stands.

When school is over, on my birthday next week, I will be screaming with joy that I do not have to be sub dispatcher ever again. I cannot believe the people still calling out sick or have to be out for other reasons. Last week, our senior class came home one day early from their senior trip and the teachers accompanying them did not have to come in the next day. This annoyed some staff members and rightly so since they got paid to sit home. LOL Other teachers were re-assigned this week, and some did not take it well, so I wonder if that will give them another reason to call in sick. It never ends.....

I will visit my parents for a few days after school ends since my sister is going to Croatia for a well needed vacation. Her son and DIL plus 2 grandkids will be there at the same time. D2 is there now and having the time of her life. Perfect weather each day and she took two college friends with her, plus they met friends she has made over the years. The pictures she texts me each day are beautiful and the icon photo above my name is the view from my Mom's terrace behind her house.
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Took the computer back to the shop today and tried to explain the myriad of new problems the computer arrived home with on Friday -- not to mention that the "unresponsive" problem that is constant rather than sporadic now. Told the fellow at the front desk that the computer was a "nightmare" over the weekend and went down a check list of problems I'd encountered as well as showing him a folder I've been keeping on my desktop for months with screenshots of all the weird things my computer has been doing since they supposedly "fixed" it by installing a new fan last autumn.

I think the fellow at the desk was pretty astounded at what I've been putting up with all these months as he stared at TONS of screen shots organized into folders since last autumn. He thanked me for taking screenshots of the various problems this weekend, claiming it would help the technicians a lot. He also asked to keep my list of rough notes, although he said he couldn't read it because he doesn't know cursive. UGH! I knew when the schools quit teaching cursive it would come back to haunt us. I could have just as well written in a foreign language. He claims the technicians do "pretty well" reading cursive, so we'll see.

I couldn't type the list on the computer, because I couldn't type ANYTHING on the computer once I got it home Friday. I'm back on DH's computer again once he no longer needed it tonight.

Over the weekend, I could no longer browse even the Walmart site (although I wasn't signing into my account), because the computer was acting so odd the Walmart computer suspected I was a robot and kept giving me Captcha challenges, finally concluding that I WAS a robot and booting me out.

I can't even print Big Lots reward coupons with the USB cable now, because they won't format correctly. None of that was a problem before and when I took it in a little more than a week ago my computer DID connect to the wireless printer. Now it doesn't.

Even Microsoft gave me a notification this morning that there was a "problem" with my account.

As we wrapped up things, a technician emerged from the back and he was pretty defensive, so we suspect he was the one who claimed to have "fixed it" last week. He told me I'd either have to settle for overheating or a slow computer "that's just the way it is," and I told him, "Not one that takes three to five minutes to open an email.

At that point the fellow at the desk agreed with me that what I'd shown him on the computer was not "normal."

From there, we headed to the grocery store/super center. We tried to buy some hot dogs and pizza on which I had good deals, but they were out both Friday and yesterday. We finally asked on the grass-fed hot dogs and were told they'd be in on the truck last night and on the shelf this morning. Thankfully they were in stock today, but still no luck on the pizzas so I got a rain check since both deals were expiring tomorrow.

Stopped by a discount table and they had Melita unbleached coffee filters (200-pack) on markdown for $1.19. Cringed because it will be one less option in the future now that they are discontinued, but at least we got the two packs they had left.

Picked up a little discount produce while we were there, as well.

DH said the front hose was leaking and we needed a new connector which he could replace, however, they were out of them in the garden center, as well, so we're going to have to head to Home Depot for that tomorrow. He got by tonight by taping it.

Made a pot of Sarma (unstuffed cabbage rolls) casserole in the Crock-Pot today from ingredients we had on hand. It used up some of our canned goods and rice and will supply at least another meal or two for us this week. That will keep us from heating up the house during this heat wave. Boise is going to hit triple digits on Sunday and temps aren't predicted to come down to the 99 until the following Monday. They are supposed to hit 106 and 108 a couple days! The West is burning up this summer and the fire season is off to a frightening start with hardly any water in the reservoirs to fight it.

The owner of the discount grocery announced he's got 52 pallets of groceries arriving soon so we suspect he figured out that selling soda pop, large packs of frozen chicken and fries wasn't going to provide a steady cash flow. I wouldn't mind trying some of the frozen foods, but there is not enough room in our freezer and we wouldn't want a steady diet of fast food chicken and fries. When we've driven by lately, the parking lot has been pretty empty, so we suspect others reached the same conclusion. We'd sure hate to lose the store so hope he can make it work.

Still don't know if he thought it was a great idea or if he was simply forced into it when the old deal he had with the discount grocery in another city fell through.

Can't help but be excited that more groceries are on the way, but I'm going to have to control myself since we really need to use up a lot of what we have. It is just that any attempts at discount groceries here in the past have seemed to fall by the wayside, so I hated to not take advantage when we finally got another chance. We'll see how the next load goes.


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Not sure what set off the bad attitudes in town today, but we cut our afternoon short because we didn't feel safe dealing with people any longer ... cars darting everywhere on the road, people shoving you out of the way or running over you in the grocery store. Just not a great day to be out. :rolleyes:

We did go to the small Wednesday farmers market in the bedroom community which is only a couple miles from our home. It is much better than the one in our city, these days. However, we knew it was pretty early in the season when we went there and just as we suspected there wasn't much there.

We did hit the nearby grocery store after that -- the small one that doesn't carry a lot of things. First day of the mega sale and they were already out of the taco sauce the sister store apparently isn't including in the sale. One of our favorite managers was walking by so I told her I knew they probably didn't, but I wondered if they had any in the back. They didn't, but when I asked when the next shipment would arrive she said they didn't have any on order either, so she added it to the list. Guess at least by running into her we might get some next week. Now I just hope it arrives and others don't beat us to it.

Had to buy tortillas and sour cream as fillers since they didn't have enough taco sauce, but I figured that was a best bet, because while the other store has the tortillas in its ad, I haven't been able to get them there in more than a year. They claim there is no distributor any longer, but if that is the case, how does the other store get them?

That store is usually cheaper on celery, so we picked it up there.

Also found some sliced mushrooms on markdown which sounded good since we were going with a stroganoff for dinner tonight. I've been trying to use up what we have so I'd planned to use canned ones, but fresh was better.

They had some markdown organic cinnamon rolls in a tube, so we need to get them baked up later tonight when the house cools. For $1.29, we couldn't go too wrong -- even though we've never tried them before.

Picked up a couple personal-size watermelons on markdown for 99 cents each, as well.

Then we headed straight home before we ended up in a car accident. It was REALLY wild out there today!


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Goodwill had a Facebook coupon today -- 50 percent off donated items. (They also had 20 percent off new merchandise, but everything we purchased was "gently used.") We controlled ourselves, but got some decent deals and spent a little more than $10 there.

Got a nice sturdy "beach bag" for $2. We needed one to hold the beach towels we bought the other day, along with some beach shoes, my new Kellogg's water bottle and other items we've been collecting.

We also found a canvas shopping bag for $1. I love to pick up the plain canvas ones when I can find them, because they can just be tossed in the washer to keep them clean. The stores here (which were phasing out plastic bags), refused to accept reusable ones during the height of Covid, however, with things easing up, I suspect it won't be long until they'll want us using them again.

Just hope the one store goes back to the five fuel points per bag it used to offer, but I'm afraid they might drop it entirely. Its sister store never offered any incentive, so who knows?

The store also had two nice boxes with new CFL light bulbs. We got a six-pack for $2 and a three-pack for $1.

Even found a new package of Polident tablets for 50 cents. Those will work great for cleaning tea and coffee pitchers, carafes and glasses/mugs in the kitchen.

Picked up a few books for $1 each and a sturdy organizing basket, as well.

We got over to Home Depot for the connector DH needed for the outside hose. I picked up a Greek Oregano plant and we needed some manure for the garden, as well. None of that cost any money OOP, since we had gift cards on which we'd earned bonus fuel points.

Final stop was the grocery store to pick up a few items on which I had cash back offers.
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Been busy - still selling stuff and getting stuff to Goodwill. I have now made $415 dollars off my facebook market stuff. I still have the TV and stand and will probably end up taking them to Goodwill next Tuesday.....

Trying to finish up food from the freezer as my first priority. A lot of the canned goods are already in the van for camping meals later. I have chicken, brats ,and some cooked foods in the freezer. My grocery shopping has been minimal - $6 last week and $5 this week.

We have some temporary help at work from out of state and they are staying in a hotel. They brought in a bunch of yogurt, granola bars, etc that I am assuming came from the hotel breakfasts in a bag. I snagged a total of 3 yogurts this week for free....


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Todays lunch: Hot Beef and provolone sandwich from some cooked beef out of the freezer. I sliced up an apple to go with it. I still have 1 banana, 2 apples and an orange to eat - healthy snacking for a couple more days! I also have some frozen berries that I can eat too.

Tomorrow night, the rest of the beef will get made into some soup with some of the remaining frozen veggies and broth that is in the freezer. That will be my work lunches for Sunday and Monday.

I am leaving the cooked pork and turkey frozen as long as I can. I will have BBQ pulled pork and some turkey sandwiches when I am camping next week. The AirBnb said use of kitchen allowed, so I am sure that I can do something heated up in the microwave there too.

I am going try and just leave the brats in the cooler with ice for the 5 days that I am on the ferry and hope for the best. I won't be able to eat them all before I go. If they survive, then I can do them as camp meals in Washington state and that is less meat that I will need to buy there. I will also cook the chicken on Wed before I leave the apartment and reheat for my meal at the hotel that night. I will have a full size fridge there and a microwave and toaster (but no stovetop). It is the same Home2 hotel that I stayed in when I came here a year ago. My frozen food will stay cold at least one more night there....

I am finishing up the fruits and veggies that I have, but might end up with a bunch of carrot sticks to take with me. They make good healthy snacks anytime....

* I did forget to say that yesterday I worked 8 hours of overtime. I was glad that I did not have to do 10 hours.

I came straight home and did a couple of loads of laundry. I also went to the store for a 2 liter soda and eggs. I grabbed a package of markdown cracked wheat hamburger buns for $1.29. I can use it to make cold sandwiches if I don't use all of it for hot meals. I have one serving of sloppy joe that I froze the other day too. I have most of my stuff in the van now except for the clothes/toiletries/ food that I am using. I dropped all my excess work uniforms this morning and just have the shirts that I will wear Sunday and Monday left to turn in. (I keep an extra in case I need it. I am notorious for spilling stuff on my uniform and needing to change it....).

I cleaned up my desk already and have all the papers and stuff packed to go. I tossed a boatloat of reciepts in the trash along with one leftover that did not survive the freezer. The next errand today is laundry quarters at the bank (for next time). I think I will deposit some of the cash from my facebook market sales. I need some change for the camping, but I really don't want to leave a fortune laying around in my van. either......


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I will have a full size fridge there and a microwave and toaster (but no stovetop). It is the same Home2 hotel that I stayed in when I came here a year ago. My frozen food will stay cold at least one more night there....
@KmmCo , if you need a cooktop, the Home2 Suites without them usually have hot plates you can check-out during your stay. Check at the front desk. ;)

Went to Big Lots to pick up our free bottle of Hunt's Ketchup today. We also had a $5/$15 rewards coupon to use. Wanted to use it the other day, but it arrived while my computer was in the shop. Microsoft broke DH's USB ports on an update a few months back and the latest Microsoft updates have left both of our computers unable to connect with the printer wirelessly, so my computer (that now overheats every half hour to an hour) is the ONLY one that prints.

It shut down right as I was trying to get to this page and was ridiculously sluggish when I was trying to post the Big Lots deal on another page before that. Not surprisingly, when I checked, Microsoft had done another update -- the third or fourth for the day and it shut down only about 20 minutes after I signed on! :mad:

I've never had any problem printing Big Lots coupons in the past, but I don't know if the problems is on Big Lots end or -- as I suspect -- with our Microsoft update computer/printer problems. Either way, I now can't get my Big Lots coupons to format properly. When you hit the print button on the Big Lots site, the "coupon" wants to print the entire web page instead of just the coupon -- which comes out on three pages all squished together and distorted.

I left the coupon without printing when I took it BACK into the shop -- hoping the problem would get fixed -- but that didn't happen.

DH struggled trying to get the printer wireless working this morning, but it took too long and my computer began to overheat so he had to stop.

Didn't want the coupon to expire so printed the two most important pages of the distorted version and took a screen shot of the notice from my account page. Both had a SKU on them, but the one on the distorted "coupon" was cut off in the middle. I was hoping the clerk could get SOMETHING to scan, because I hated to lose the coupon.

Thankfully, she got one of them to work!

Did find a couple of slightly damaged cans of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce on clearance for 50 cents each, so bought them and we'll make sure to eat them first. There were two more cans that I left behind, because they were too dented even to get a can opener to work.

We went to the store which was out of taco sauce on the first day of the sale -- hoping the ones the manager ordered the other day had come in. Unfortunately, they hadn't so all we ended up buying there were some markdown bananas.

DH fueled the car with a $1 per gallon discount while I started our shopping at the next store -- which is much bigger, but still doesn't sell the Mexican brand the other store is out of. That fuel reward was going to expire at the end of the month and our tank was getting low.

Even with the $1 discount, the tank cost more than $40 to fill. That's what happens when the U.S. goes back in being energy dependent again. :(

We've done pretty well on fuel points with the special promotions this month and will have two $1 per gallon fill-ups (plus about 20 cents or so more on another fill-up) to use when we travel next month.

Got some good deals on coffee, mayo, mouthwash and a salami/beef stick using high value digital coupons with the mega sale. Still need to do another round of mega sale on Sunday -- the last day for the double fuel points coupon.

They had also sent me a high value coupon on Johnny's Whiskey Sauce. We bought some at the discount grocery a few months ago when the owner was getting rid of marinades for 50 cents each. Tried it on a roast in the Crock-Pot a couple weeks ago and really liked it, so thought it was worth getting another bottle. I didn't even know our regular grocery sold the stuff, but I remember I went into sticker shock when I saw how much it cost on the Internet. Thankfully, our store was more reasonably priced -- especially when the high value coupon took off about 40 percent. :)

Sure had a terrible time finding it, however. Thankfully, an employee was stocking shelves in the marinades and condiments when I got there and I finally had to ask him. He kept saying, "I know I've seen it, but he was having a rough time locating it, as well. Finally, he remembered it was in an odd spot separated from the rest of the marinades across the aisle on the far end. I'm sure glad I had him to help me, because I NEVER would have looked there.


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I think my job paid me for my sick days and covid days. Normally, I get a check twice a month and a one week check on June 30 due to a one week lag on payroll. I did get 2 paychecks this month and it is not June 30th yet, so the payroll statement was for 7 1/2 days....the exact amount that was in my email. Nice to have the extra cash and sad to think I would have been out the money had I not spoken up and asked to see my records.

I needed to buy some printer ink and looked on Ebay since it was cheaper than Amazon. Just hope it is not too expired and works well because the printer I have was a freebie and the ink has been discontinued. Fingers crossed..


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@Gardencook Thanks for the tip on home2 suites. I will keep that in mind in the future.

Last night I decided to go to the zoo for a little bit since it is staying open till 9 pm now. It was fun because I saw the orphan bear cubs and moose calves. The bears were really cute. I also got lucky and saw the lynx out of his den. The wolverine kits were playing too and I got some really good pictures of them. That $40 zoo membership really paid off as I have been there at least 5 or 6 times. I think I can sneak in one more trip before my membership expires in July.

*I sold another item for $5 today.

*I made a batch of cookies again this morning. This time I did chocolate chip ones. Snacks for a couple of days or so. I have a little dough left that I put into the fridge. I will make some more fresh ones in a couple of days.

Today I went up to Eagle River and just sat by the water for a while watching it flow. Very relaxing. I also stopped at a couple of garage sales, but didn't buy anything. One of them had a lot of good stuff, but I am supposed to be getting rid of everything!

The only other thing that I did was to buy some bathroom cleaner at walmart. My generic scrubbing bubbles are almost gone so I got a spay bottle of some bathroom cleaner that I am going to try out. I may have to do some good scrubbing on the tub to get it sparkling. I want the place shining so they don't have an excuse to keep my deposit.

Tonight I am just watching TV. It is gray and dismal outside tonight.

* lunch today was the last crabcake with some rice and veggies. dinner was some of the beef on another sandwich with BBQ sauce. I ate my last apple with that. Breakfast was just toast with butter and jelly. I left a few grits packages out and am planning on doing them the next 2 days.

I didn't make the soup but I think I will make it for dinner tomorrow. I have some things in the fridge that I can make lunch out off for tomorrow.


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Yesterday I finished my last shift at work. I went to the office today and did my paperwork to process out. That took 45 minutes or so. Excited to be moving on to other things. Yesterday was kind of a rough day anyway, so I am glad to be done!

I did wake up early today and got more packing done. I got a bag, a box, and 3 larger items donated to Goodwill. That included the TV. I cleaned out the bathroom and kitchen cupboards. My clothes closet it all packed and I just needed to put the bags into the car. I wanted to get the bulk of the donation stuff out first. That is my next project I guess. I am leaving my WiFi hooked up until tomorrow. I can watch youtube tonight if I get bored. I still need to do a lot of cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom though. but I might just nap for a little bit this afternoon.

My bathroom shelves made it back into the van and are loaded up to go. I have a few books that I still have not read on the shelves. Now maybe I have time to do that....

*lunch today was a beef and cheese sandwich. I bought a bag of chips today and some sodas. The Kroger chips were only $1 on sale. The soda was $4.99 a 12 pack must buy 3. Pricey by my standards, but I got the 3 and put two in the fridge to chill for my cooler. The third one will just sit in the way in the van for a while.

I also went over to Costco and got gas after lunch. I forgot to stop on my way home from the office visit for work and had to make a trip out again. I have a whole packet of papers to look at about how to get into my last payroll and personel file stuff that I need, but I just don't have the energy to deal with that. I think that nap is about to win. I will get back to cleaning later tonight....


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Needed to pick up a few things at our regular grocery today. Would have preferred to wait until double fuel points tomorrow, but it wasn't going to work with our schedule.

Found some better than average markdowns which definitely made the trip worthwhile

The most confusing was three 16-oz. containers of Whole Foods Refrigerated Salsa for 69 cents each. That store doesn't sell Whole Foods brands, the computer doesn't have it listed in the system and it rang up as Oui Yogurt, not salsa. All I can figure out is that a glitch at the warehouse sent product they didn't stock and they decided to mark it down cheap just to get it out of there and needed a sku number so chose a variety of yogurt that was currently out of stock or discontinued.

We had a couple creating chaos in line in front of us and I honestly wondered if we'd have to fight for it. The husband had put his groceries on the conveyor belt and his cart was empty so we thought he was shopping alone and done. Since there was plenty of room on the belt, we unloaded our groceries. The salsa ended up in front.

When the clerk was done ringing up his purchases, he called his wife who had a VERY full cart of groceries which she wheeled past us in a very narrow waiting lane and then started adding to the till. Then they were one bag short of chips to get the sale price, so she ran to get them and when she returned with Doritos, she looked down, saw our salsa and came close to nabbing it. Had the divider between or orders not been so obvious, I think she would have tried it.

The store sent some high value digital coupons this morning that teamed well with the mega sale. We got a large can of coffee for $2.99, a half gallon of oat milk for 49 cents, a tube of expensive toothpaste free and a frozen organic pizza for $2.99. While I'm glad we can at least get some items, mega sales get very frustrating when each store sells slightly different items. The store that sold the pizza doesn't sell the taco sauce or tortillas this time around. The store with the Mexican food doesn't sell the pizzas. :rolleyes:

The main store doesn't EVER have the cheap water on mega sale -- which is VERY frustrating -- but the store is headquartered in Portland and with record-shattering temperatures hovering around 120 degrees on the coast. Oregon and Washington are bad enough, but British Columbia is even MORE unbelievable -- it broke another record at about 125 degrees yesterday!

Our store has imposed limits on water and ice and seems to be wiped out, so I doubt we could have found a case of water to use as mega sale "filler" even had they sold it.

We're wedged between weather systems right now. The extreme heat is causing massive fires in Utah, and when they got rain the past couple days it caused devastating mudslides and flooding in Southern Utah. The heat seems to be splitting to the north and south of us, leaving us with more moderate -- although humid weather. We just aren't used to humidity here, so everyone is complaining about the "heat" even though we've been nearly 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the coast. :oops:

I noticed on our receipt that we were only a small amount shy of the next fuel reward level, so we dropped by the sister store since we really didn't need more at the store we'd just shopped.

The sister store had several markdowns. Even though we were kind of late getting there, it was enough to get us to the next fuel level. We got a nice head of broccoflower (99 cents), a couple pounds of ground lamb ($3.99 each), some organic spinach ($1.59), a tube of anchovy paste 49 cents and some Nathan's hot dogs left over from the sale that ended yesterday. Apparently, the store doesn't normally sell them and I didn't take advantage of the sale, so figured a package at one dollar less than the sale yesterday worked to get us exactly two cents above the next level. Couldn't get much closer than that! ;)

The discount grocery finally got its 52 pallets of groceries and they are beginning to put out the merchandise. This time, they are pricing the items and leaving them in boxes rather than shelving them. Customers must pick through the boxes like a treasure hunt.

They've barely scratched the surface in digging through it all, but we still found some items although I was definitely trying to control myself. I did find some packages of veggie curry ramen for 29 cents each which I'm looking forward to trying. They also had some single-serve bottles of cranberry juice for 39 cents which will be great for travel.

Aside from a few cans of organic low-sodium beans, a four-pack of single-serve pears in juice and a large can of tuna for $1.29, I restrained myself from buying much more.
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Even though I thought I had a handle on stuff yesterday, today was kinda frantic too.... I got out of the apartment and got the last of the Goodwill donations dropped off. I failed at getting the cable box turned in though. They closed early today and I missed them by about 10 minutes. I will take care of it tomorrow....

*I got all my food into the hotel fridge/freezer right away. I emptied 3 leftover containers for dinner tonight. I just microwaved some stuff that I wanted to get rid of. It ended up being really good and I ate it all.

* I prepped some of my fresh veggies for camping by chopping them and putting them in ziplocks. It saves space in the cooler and I don't have to chop them at a picnic table if they are ready to go.

I talked to a friend on the phone for about 15 minutes right before dinner. I was glad she called after I had a shower. I was sweaty and smelled like cleaning chemicals.

I also had to straighten a few items out in the van. There was some last minute stuff that I just had to throw on the bed area and I wanted to get is all put away before driving anywhere else. I thought I had lost my phone charging cable until I finally found it in my overnight bag that I brought to the hotel..... I guess I was actually thinking when I threw it in there.

*I ran across some sausage gravy in the freezer, so this morning I made biscuits and I will supplement the grab and go breakfast with biscuits and gravy to get rid of that. I emptied my bisquick box that way and didn't have to pack it to go.... It made 8 nice biscuits and I ate one with butter this morning. If I eat one ore two tomorrow that still leaves me 5 or 6 for camping. I never got my beef soup made so the broth, veggies and the little bit of beef will probably be tomorrow's dinner and lunch the following day, just to get rid of that stuff.

*lunch today ended up being taco bell. I decided that I did not want to mess up the stove that I had already cleaned. It is pricey up here though: $1.79 for regular taco, $3.89 for a five layer burrito. I think those are both a lot cheaper in lower 48.


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Got a really good night's sleep. I am glad that I had the biscuits and gravy as the hotel breakfast left a lot to be desired.... I did grab some cranberry and orange juice to drink.

I fit my frozen food in the big cooler and used my smaller cooler for the refigerator stuff. it is all loaded into the van I am waiting for the dishwasher to finish so that I can get my dishes out of there. after that, I am ready to go. I need to get that cable box turned in then I am heading out to find a campsite for the next two nights.


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After a couple of nights camping, I am now at the Airbnb in town for a couple of nights. I cooked breakfast on the stove and made extra eggs. I assembled some breakfast sandwiches for the ferry. I have some leftover beef/noodle stuff that I made camping that I will take on board for lunch the first day. I managed to keep my frozen food cold enough that I can take some of it in a cooler for meals on the ferry too. The lady here at the AirBnb let me use one refrigerator shelf. The rest of my food is in the cooler on ice so it should keep till tomorrow. I don't think I need to throw away too much stuff yet.

I did some cool sightseeing stuff that didn't cost anything. I hiked at the first campground for a long while on a nature trail type path.

I moved campgrounds the second night and went to Exit Glacier. The hike up to the viewpoint took about an hour and I also when to a couple of short ranger programs and took a side detour on another trail to the outflow basin.

Yesterday on the drive back to town, I stopped it a town called Hope. There are historic buildings there and a nice small museum that is donation only. I did throw a couple $ in the collection box.

* I ate my own food. $36 for two nights camping. $2 museum. $25 for gasoline. $3.50 for sticker and a postcard at the Exit glacier gift shop. I already dropped the postcard in the mailbox to my son. Retirement is getting expensive already!

Today I am headed out to find a laundromat and possibly a car wash. I might go to the botanic gardens in a while if I get really enthused to do something today.


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Okay, I am stuck in Alaska a couple more weeks... The ferry is cancelled and I am rebooked on the next available one out. Not what I had planned, but I don't mind camping a couple more weeks. I can get in some more sightseeing that way....

I have plenty of food to eat for a while. I might buy some bread before leaving town though. I will possibly need to go get some stove fuel too from Sportsmans Warehouse or Cabelas.


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Okay, I decided that I would have a change of strategy. I am flying home to Colorado tomorrow on free (points) flight. I paid for a return ticket for 4 days before my ferry leaves. I can still do a little sightseeing when I come back. I have plenty to do at the house and couldn't see sitting here in the van for almost 3 weeks.... I was able to get cheap flights 15K for the outbound and $150 to fly back on a different airline. They are both direct flights so no stopover in Seattle. That makes life easy.

I gave my brats and chicken and some condiments to a friend today. Tomorrow I will condense the leftovers down as best I can and see what will go with me. The rest will get trashed.....

Tonight I am in a hotel (on points) so that I could shower. I can clean up the camping dishes and cooler stuff more easily in the morning and use the hotel dumpster to ditch what I can't take with me.

I am glad that I had the points to use for this "emergency". I figured that paying for the return flight was still cheaper than staying here and using up a bunch of gas and $$ for camping fees and entertainment. Airport parking is gonna cost me about $100 too. Still $250 is way less that I would spend doing touristy stuff here for 2 weeks. I am gonna have to change some appointments and such for the end of July/first of August since I won't be home for those. I shouldn't have any issue with my Sept road trip plans though....

* Monday night I paid $20 for a campsite and it poured rain and was windy, so I couldn't really get out of the van. I decided to save my money last night and came back in to town to lot dock at Cabellas. Free to sleep there and they even had a trash dumpster open for the "campers" to use. There must have been over a dozen rigs camped there. I had some space on either side of me when I went to bed. In the morning a van had pulled up on either side of me. They were newer Dodge rams and I bet they had nice conversions. I didn't stick around though in the morning I had to go use the restroom at Walmart because Cabellas wasn't open as early.

I ended up pulling in front of a closed Dominos Pizza to use the wifi for a while before going to have a brunch with my friend. She paid for the meal, then I loaded her up with groceries to use up since I couldn't keep any of the perishables.

*I have a hot BBQ sandwich for dinner that I heated in the microwave for tonight. I am just having some chips and the last of my cookies with it.

I took all my clothes that I had packed for the ferry out of the suitcase and am taking a bunch of stuff home to get it out of the van. Tomorrow I will wash up all my laundry before leaving so that it doesn't stink up the van while I am gone. My flight is late tomorrow night so I have most of the day to get stuff done....


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Started this post earlier, but Microsoft is doing a HUGE cumulative update AGAIN today and destroying both of our computers. After numerous shutdowns this morning, the computer claimed the update was successfully installed, but then shutdown after less than 10 minutes and I lost everything AGAIN.

We ended up making plans for a spur-of-the-moment decision to travel up north for a week when DH decided he wanted to go to the Teton Valley Balloon Rally in Driggs, Idaho -- a couple hours from here. Trying to do all we wanted on a budget became quite a challenge! As the locals tell it, the millionaires moved into Jackson, Wyoming and pushed out/are still pushing out many of the locals. Now the billionaires are moving into Jackson pushing out the millionaires, so the millionaires are moving across the border into Idaho -- pushing out the locals there in the process. Lodging prices are astronomical and going up right along with property values.

It took a bit of work, but we finally located some new cabins out of the hustle-and-bustle of Driggs town center, but only about a mile from the fairgrounds where the balloon rally was being held. Even though the town still has a population of less than 2,000 residents, what used to be a sleepy little town now has constant bumper-to-bumper traffic on "Main Street" -- the Old Highway -- tourists in the summer and skiers in the winter. I really feel sorry for the lifetime residents there and don't have a clue how the tiny airport can even handle the traffic with all the private planes. Harrison Ford uses his plane for search and rescue and just made a rescue a few days before our arrival.

One of the biggest cost savers on this trip was preparing many of our meals in our motel rooms, even though we only had a microwave and mini-fridge at the last two. Jackson and West Yellowstone are wall-to-wall people. The expensive restaurants require reservations days in advance and the moderately-priced ones won't take reservations, have wait lists of at least 30 minutes and no chairs or benches while you wait standing in the sun in a HUGE crowd of people. It just wasn't worth the hassle on SO many levels.

We paid an extra $10 or $15 for a kitchenette in our cabin in Driggs and made good use of it.

We brought two pounds of ground lamb we'd gotten on markdown back home and I cooked all of it into patties that evening. We ate two for dinner, then packaged up the rest to use as "convenience food" on our trip. We used one patty in a hash for breakfast the next morning, used some in microwave lamb and veggie omelettes at our next motel and finally used the last two patties we'd kept frozen for a dinner in West Yellowstone our first evening.

While I was cooking the lamb, I also boiled up a dozen eggs to have in the cooler. I chopped a green pepper and a bunch of green onions, so we could have those in the cooler, as well, and sliced a couple tomatoes to use on burgers and sandwiches.

We'd picked up a tub of markdown spinach on our way out of town, had a decent coupon on some sale luncheon meat and the store also had a decent deal on shredded and sliced cheese so we bought two sliced and two shredded. They had large bottles of orange juice for $1.77 on a sale that ended a couple days before we left, so I waited until the last day and bought two in preparation for the trip. We also brought along a few pounds of potatoes and baked them in the microwave on several occasions.

The day we left was Senior Thursday at one of the grocery chains, but our store is clear at the other end of town. Since we had to stop at Kohl's in another city on the way to use a $5 reward, we opted to shop the grocery store right by it -- which was 10 cents cheaper per dozen on eggs anyway -- they always charge us 10 cents more on eggs in our city, one of my pet peeves. After discount, we were able to pick up eggs for 80 cents a dozen, but had to pay a bit more for tomatoes, peppers and green onions than we would have at a regional chain in Driggs. I just figured we'd be too tired to do any grocery shopping when we finally got there.

Unfortunately, the store only had one personal-size watermelon left. I'd planned to buy our limit of two on sale. However, I cut up the one we got at the cabin that night and we had it in the cooler for the trip, as well.

We also picked up a small box of ice cream sandwiches for $1.35 after discount which we ate on the road to Driggs. It was cheaper than a $5 to $10 ice cream treat once we got there.

We did run into the ONLY grocery store in Driggs for ice the next morning, but were glad we hadn't tried to pick up cheap produce there the night before. It was a madhouse of wall-to-wall, pushy people grabbing and shoving. I REALLY feel sorry for the people who have lived there all their lives and now have to put up with all these outsiders!

We didn't actually NEED to go through the store that morning since the ice was in the foyer as you entered. However, I've had an account with that chain ever since an employee told us they were planning to build one here several years ago. Plans apparently got put on hold, because the store is finally going to get built here and I just wanted to get some idea of what it would be like. Unfortunately, the store was so full of rude people I STILL have no idea.

The balloon rally the next morning was free, but we did have to pay $15 for parking. Since we fixed dinner and breakfast in the peace and quiet of our cabin it didn't cost us anything more in Driggs. We had a nice picnic table outside our window and ate dinner there with beautiful surroundings -- except for our neighbor's glaring. The cabin units shared a wall -- two to a building and each had one picnic table out front. A family from Utah arrived while we were eating and we could tell the husband was mad from the get-go. I didn't know if it was his wife's idea to come to Driggs and he was pouting or if he was mad about us sitting at the picnic table. Perhaps he had a resentment against our skin color, I don't know, but his wife and children didn't seem to have a chip on their shoulders like he did.

Anyway, as soon as we finished our dinner and went inside, he nabbed the picnic table as if he was afraid we might come back, so apparently that was the issue. About twenty or thirty minutes later his wife emerged with ribs and deli salads they'd picked up at the market. Considering many people hadn't yet arrived to their cabins, I'm sure they could have used one of the picnic tables at the other cabins without incident if they had honestly been that desperate for a table. There were at least four or five empty ones.

It took a lot of doing, but after we'd smiled and said hello to him enough times, he FINALLY loosened up and nodded back once, so perhaps he finally figured out we're a lot friendlier here in Idaho than he wanted to believe. lol!

The next day we headed on to Jackson where we FINALLY managed to obtain a reservation at cabins I've wanted to stay in for YEARS. It is an old motor court in the center of town that was built in the 1930s. I was aghast when I started to check hotel/motel prices in Jackson this year. They are always higher in summer (which is why we generally go there in the off-season), however, this year they are ASTRONOMICAL. You can't get into Motel 6 for less than $300 to $400 a night, $600 is average for an older basic motel room and $1,000 or more is quite common at many places.

The cabins we've always had trouble booking were quite a bit cheaper than the competition, so DH called immediately hoping to get in. It turned out, the owner hadn't yet posted his new prices for the summer season and we got in at the lower rate. Had we called two weeks later the price would have been twice what we ended up paying! Anywhere else in town probably would have been at least one or two hundred dollars a night more than his higher price! So basically, we got a rock bottom price on our lodging while we were there and the location was a great one for a very private cabin in a bustling city.

The Grand Teton Music Festival was just starting while we were there. I've always had a secret desire to go there, however, prices at the concert hall are very expensive, so I never really expected to make it.

There is a bit of a rivalry going on between the city of Jackson with Snow King Ski Resort and Teton Village Ski Resort located a few miles out of town. We stayed at Teton Village for a conference years ago, but like everything else up there, it is booming. Last time we drove through there we got lost and barely found our way out.

Quite often, the outdoor concerts at the music festival are held at Teton Village, but this year the residents of Jackson were thrilled to get the concerts back. They were held at the concert hall park with Snow King Ski Resort as a back drop. Couldn't help but jump at the chance to hear a world-class orchestra perform for only $10 per ticket.

We were able to get tickets before they sold out (in the first few hours) for the Film Spectacular Concert held Friday evening, however, we had tickets for the July 4th Patriotic Pops concert in our cart when another Microsoft update shutdown my computer and we lost them before we could enter a credit card number! If I could have sued Microsoft for everything it was worth that day, I would have!!! :mad:

We did manage to get on the wait list for tickets -- not just once, but TWICE -- since Microsoft was messing up DH's computer that day, as well. It took a very LONG wait in line which made my legs worthless for seeing the National Parks the next day, but we did manage to get in with our wait list spots.

The evening concerts were at 6 p.m. and picnic meals were welcome, so we had picnic dinners in the park with entertainment on two separate nights -- a much better experience than waiting in long lines for restaurant meals.

The only disappointment of the trip was that the fireworks had to be cancelled and even personal fireworks were banned due to the extremely high fire risk. We saw the devastation of the 1988 Yellowstone fires firsthand, so couldn't blame the authorities for their decision.

The only restaurant meal we actually purchased in Jackson was Saturday night when we wanted something within walking distance of our cabin. Parking in Jackson is ALWAYS a nightmare, no matter what time of year you come. The first three restaurants we tried had crowds and long waiting lists, so we just kept walking.

We finally ended up at the Wort Hotel -- an historic landmark -- where they got us right into the Silver Dollar Bar. We had headed that direction, because we figured IF we did have to wait, at least they had seating in the lobby and we might have a more pleasant wait inside instead of standing in the sun.

The Silver Dollar is one of our favorite spots in Jackson. They have delicious Elk Gyros which we always enjoy, however, we generally end up there for lunch. We hadn't stopped to think we'd have an advantage that night. Children are allowed to eat lunch there, but after about 4 p.m. it is adults only and families with children must eat in the VERY expensive steakhouse.

The steakhouse was packed as we walked by on the way to the bar so we really didn't hold out much hope, but much to our surprise they got us right in! Can't say we were thrilled with the table right outside the kitchen with staff running their legs off in and out the door, but in Jackson in summer you'd just better be happy you got a table -- and DH did enjoy his local beer!

We did go to the grocery store to resupply our fridge while we were there since it was double fuel points on the weekend and we knew the only two grocery stores in West Yellowstone are expensive and small. However, the supermarket in Jackson was nearly as bad as the one in Driggs had been.

I noticed as I entered there were two carts of clearance merchandise in the middle of the foyer, but first there were people getting carts in the way, then an employee returned from a cart-run and his row of carts was standing in the way. I waited patiently for my chance to take a peek in the carts and the whole while there was absolutely no one interested in the carts, however, the minute I made my way over to the carts and started putting in a few things, I was surrounded by vultures trying to muscle me out. They were terrified I might get a bargain, even though none of them seemed the least bit interested in the items I was purchasing. :rolleyes:

Since we were traveling, I couldn't buy a lot, but we did get some nice bags of Seneca Apple Chips on markdown for 99 cents and some single serve bags of cashews and almonds on markdown for 29 cents. They were great for snacking on the road. I picked up a few boxes of whole grain blueberry and banana muffin mixes for 69 cents each and picked up a bottle of organic peach lemonade for 99 cents. I wasn't sure the orange juice would last through the whole trip and figured it would be a substitute if we needed it.

Before we left Jackson, I made up some egg salad from the eggs I'd boiled earlier and then made egg salad sandwiches for the road. Our spinach tub was empty by then and made the perfect place to store our sandwiches to keep them from getting soaked by the ice in the chest.

We were most impressed by our stay in West Yellowstone. Based on great reviews about the cleanliness of the place we took a chance on a small, privately-owned motel that had an extremely low price per night. It was probably the smallest motel complex we've ever stayed in and you almost missed the place because it is tucked between two Goliath motel complexes, but we weren't interested in paying $300 to $600 a night for a room -- which appeared to be the going rate IF you made reservations far in advance. I can't imagine what walk-ins were paying in a town that was universally sold out.

We honestly weren't expecting much, but figured we wouldn't spend much time in the room so could live with old as long as it was clean. The place turned out to be a PERFECT example of pride of ownership. We would have no hesitation of staying in this cute little motel again in the future. The decor was cute, the walls were freshly painted, the laminate flooring was new as were the tile in the bathroom and the tub surround, microwave and refrigerator. The place was SPOTLESS and we even got daily maid service while we were there. We thought that was gone forever. Even though the bathroom sign said they would only change towels that were on the floor, they changed out the ones on the towel rack every single day.

The owner had the ice machine running -- something we haven't seen in more than a year and he even had a brand new washer and dryer free for guest use. There was a nice grill for guest use outside of the office, as well. The owner was limited by space and probably fighting against the current without a hot tub or swimming pool, but who cares when you are paying at least 25 to 50 percent less than the old, rundown motels in town and saving at least 75 percent off what the bigger places were charging?

We did run out of salad while we were there, so we went into the "biggest" grocery in West Yellowstone while we were there. We chose it over the smaller one near our motel, because it supposedly had a hot deli. The "deli" turned out to be a heat lamp with a single Styrofoam tray that contained two corndogs, another that contained about four or five broken mozzarella sticks and some expensive rotisserie chickens. Even if I'd wanted anything, you couldn't get anywhere near it. The store was packed with wall-to-wall rude people, grabbing and shoving.

I finally made my way through the crowd to the produce in the back of the store where they had two or three bagged salads that were about ready for the garbage marked about $7 or $8 each. They had some single bowl salads in just as poor a shape for $5 each and then some BEAUTIFUL locally grown Montana greens in tubs -- with NO price on them. Based on what I'd already seen, I was terrified to ask the price. Then I happened to look down and noticed some tubs of Montana greens -- still in beautiful condition -- on markdown for $1.49 each. I actually wanted two different varieties, but knew we didn't have space so limited myself.

Then I fought my way to the green onions to discover they were only 59 cents a bunch -- cheaper than we can get them back home!

After fighting our way to the front check-out lines, we wondered if we'd ever get out of the place. It honestly would have been easier to give up on salad entirely had it not been for the fact we'd NEVER make our way back to put the fresh ingredients back where we found them. We waited 15 or 20 minutes in line to pay for our two dollars worth of produce and then beat it out of there! What a mess.

After that experience, we were delighted to learn that our motel owner supplied free ice and we didn't have to set foot in one of the grocery stores again!

We made our way back home yesterday, stopping at the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center -- site of the 1959 Hebgen Lake disaster. Then stopped again at Kohl's to spend our $20 in Kohl's Cash. We stopped in a grocery store before Kohl's and I couldn't believe the different atmosphere once we got out of the tourist traps. I even had a woman offer to share some discounted meat she'd found!

We weren't in the market for more meat, so I thanked her, but let her have her prize. However, I did find some good markdowns on yogurt, salad greens and plant closeouts. I didn't plant flowers before we left, because I knew they'd burn up in the heat while we were gone. I took a chance I'd still find a few closeout annuals when we got back and thankfully I did.

We stopped at a discount store both going and coming and picked up a few gourmet foods at good prices, but didn't dare purchase too much since we were traveling. The biggest find on the way up was small jars of avocado mayonnaise for 50 cents each. We used one of those in the motel rooms since it didn't take up so much room in the mini-fridges as the big jar we brought from home.

On the way back, we got a good deal on bread which we needed, since we didn't have any at home.
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Well, I survived the huge July 4th bbq Crankie decided we should have and I was a bit annoyed he invited mostly friends and very little family. His Mom is visiting from Arizona and I am happy she is here and was the only family there. In my opinion, he spent way too much money on food and it is sad on how much was thrown out and not eaten. BAsically, he over bought and if you defrost certain items you cannot freeze them again. We gave away what we could and how much can you really eat?
Fourth of July was on a Sunday and several friends came out the Friday morning before. Some couples had a place to stay on our Island and some friends that travelled from upstate NY, so they stayed in the apartment above the garage. It rained all day Friday and SAturday, so the friends kept showing up at our house to hang out for the day. I was not prepared for that many people to be arriving at my home when we had things to do with setting up the party and FRank literally had they plumber working at the apartment on Friday before his friends arrived. Then there was the couple that parked their camper on my side lawn. I was not pleased with that at all and had to look at it the entire weekend. I was literally vacuuming around people since they track in grass and dirt in from the outside. I went through 4 boxes of coffee pods and that was before July 4th. Nor was I providing lunch for everyone on Friday and Saturday....but no one was going anywhere because of the rain. I heated up leftover pizza and eggplant that I had in the refrigerator since no one left for lunch that day. On the Fourth, we had a wonderful bbq with lots of food (London Broil, Sausage and peppers, marinated chicken thighs, hamburgers, hotdogs, shrimp and seafood salad, macaroni and potato salad and string bean salad) Beer and wine were plentiful, but I was not in the mood for 3 days of guests. Crankie even hired a cook and 2 servers, but you still have to get things for them and I ended up doing all that while Crankie enjoyed his party. It was not enjoyable for me and I was literally sick to my stomach from all the stress.
Then, as the party was wrapping up (after 9 pm) I was the only person putting away stuff with my daughter and MIL, I was walking down the stairs with a bag of meat to put in the freezer and the bag broke. The food fell in front of me and I tripped down the last 5 steps. I was scratched up but fine and yelled at Crankie for not helping me. Mind you, all the drunk people are standing there and me, the only sober person, falls down. LOL
I gave up cleaning after that and went to bed.

The next day, I woke up early and took my MIL with me and we headed out to pick up d3 who was 3 hours away. While we were there, we went over the next town to visit cousins from my husbands side and had a lovely afternoon. The cousin invited some other cousins and it was great to be together. One relative is ill and I really think the day out did her some good.
On Tuesday, I started my bank job and I said I would walk to and from work. I did walk to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but Friday we had a visit from Tropical Storm Elsa, so I drove to work. Crankie picked me up Thursday since the skies looked threatening. IT is good for me to get some exercise and I hope I do lose some weight. It saves me money from not buying gas, ferry tickets and I am not spending money shopping. However, I really miss TJMaxx. :p
The twins are getting ready for the next chapter of their lives. D2 finally found an apartment in the West Village of NYC and good luck paying that rent. It actually was cheaper than the first few apartments that she looked at and they were gone by the time she arrived. A realtor they befriended gave them a lead on this apartment so they were the first ones in and got it. D1 is going to grad school in NYC and was applying for housing that is run by her campus. It is not near her campus and she would have to take the train. They offered her a more expensive studio apartment and she ended up asking for a 4 bedroom share and thankfully, they did have one available. This one question saved her 6,000 on rent for a year. I am proud of d1 and that she was able to get a $3,500 scholarship from Crankies' job that will help with her tuition. She was accepted to Columbia University (60 K per year) and I was so happy for her. However, she also made a City University grad school (14 k per yr) and opted for that school. She is saving a lot of money by making this decision and I know she did the right thing and is happy with her choice.
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