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Archive for June, 2013

Fair Time

June 29th, 2013 at 11:41 am

Our fair was last week. As in the past, our friend took us in for free (She has family that works for the fairgrounds - she gets passes.)

Our county has two fairs. The one held in our town is a smaller fair. It has "pay-one-price" admission. You pay at the gate and then all the rides and shows are paid for. No having to buy ride tickets or wristbands or seats for the concerts. It's really a much better deal and when you get in for free it's awesome. Big Grin

My DD and I entered exhibits again this year. For DD it has been a good money making venture in past years. I find it fun and this year I made a few bucks too.

Almost all the junior exhibits have a $1 entry fee. This year DD entered three varieties of jam - peach jam, strawberry-lemonade jam and holiday cranberry jam. The peach and strawberry each won first place ($5/first) and the cranberry won second ($3/second). So her check was $13.



Almost all adult entries have a $2 entry fee.
I entered two photographs and a table setting. My black & white photo placed third and my color photo earned a Honorable Mention. No cash prizes for those placings.

My table setting was set to the fair theme this year - "Dog Days of Summer".



I am so excited because it won a first ($15) and the Best of Show ($25) for the table setting class.
SO, I spent $6 in entry fees and won $40! Big Grin

As a plus when you enter in the fair you can get reduced or free fair admission. If we didn't have our friend get us in we could still save money by taking advantage of that.

Do you enter in your fair?
Check into it - it is fun and you could save money on entry or make money on prizes. Smile

Gifts - Baby Showers. Birthdays. Father's Day. Graduation.

June 11th, 2013 at 08:07 am

I have three baby showers to go to this summer - one for June, July and August. All gals that I am close to. I am aiming for usable, low-cost gifts.

This weekend is my sister's shower. She lives about four hours up the coast from me, so the biggest expense will be the gas. I already gave her our infant car seat from DS, a highchair and several smaller hand-me-down items. I bought a giant box of wipes and a two-pack of rash cream that I will divide between the two of us. I'd like to add one more small item like a blanket, sleeper, toy or book.

Our mom's birthday is this weekend also.
My sister has planned to make a quiche and fresh fruit salad for a Sunday brunch. My contribution is a bottle of champagne.

I made a photo book for mom's gift about two months ago. It was FREE with a coupon I had gotten. I did pay for the shipping which was $4 or $5. I am thrilled about this gift because it is really nice and I was able to get it for so cheap (regular price was $30).

Trying to come up with a little something for Father's Day. Both for DH and my dad... hmmm..

Next month DD has her 12th birthday. I am thinking about taking her to get her ears pierced as her gift.

With all these events coming up I looked at cards over the weekend - whole cow!! When I buy cards I aim for the $0.99 - $1.99 cards. I was blown away at the cost of cards. I saw a very cute Father's Day card - $7.99!! None of the mom birthday cards appealed to me at all, maybe because I couldn't find one that was less than $3.49. Baby shower cards weren't any better.

Sorry to gripe, but please, I could have spent a serious chunk of change just for several squares of folded paper!!

I ended up with one card. A graduation card for our niece who lives out of state and graduated high school a few days ago. It was the second least expensive graduation card at $2.39. I figured buying a card for her made sense; something nice to send $20 in. Everyone else is going to have card-less gifts. Smile

Have You Felt Like You Are Swimming in Molasses?

June 7th, 2013 at 02:58 pm

HA! I sure do right now - Ugh!

Financially there have been some setbacks. Now that we are halfway through the year it feels like some goals are so far out of reach it'll take years, not months.

I don't like feeling frustrated, and there are so many things I want and need to do that the best way to describe my position is that I am stuck in the middle of a pool of thick, sticky stuff.

Just gotta keep dogpaddling, right?

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I've been so busy the past two plus weeks. I really, truly thought the end of May would be more relaxed than the start, but that ended up all wrong.

For starters work has been busy. Most days we've needed to stay late to finish everything up.

Memorial weekend was going to be quiet. We had turned down offers from friends for camping, daytrips and BBQ. The plan was just to stay home = no spending. Well, Thursday night our friends A & S called insisting that we join them camping. They were not taking "NO" for an answer. They argued that they had already bought enough food, paid for the site and would pay our fuel costs. How could we pass up a "free" trip??

DH and I discussed it and finally caved to our friends' request to go. I am happy we did too. The camping was fun. The weather was nice. And we went to a place we had never been to before - Big Trees State Park - home of Giant Sequoias.


The trip home Monday was where we ran into a problem. We stopped for lunch and afterwards when I started the truck it would drive a few feet and then die.
Hard to start.. Drive for several feet.. Die.
We were in a parking lot thankfully, but 90 miles from home.

Long story short, we had to tow the truck to a nearby shop. Good news it was in the same town as A & S live. The shop of course was closed. We had to leave it. Couldn't rent a car because all those places were closed for the holiday. Our friends graciously lent us their car to drive home in.

Tuesday DH drove their car back and picked up our repaired truck. It was a sensor that went out. Simple fix thankfully, but oh what a huge headache!
So, although we didn't spend much on the weekend (less than $100 on fuel and some food) we did spend money with the extra driving and the repair, which cost $192.

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Thursday, May 30, DD had her 6th grade promotion. Big Grin
I can't believe she is old enough to be going to middle school/junior high!

You might recall DD had us running all around town looking for a dress. Eventually we found something she liked. It looked so cute on her and is something she will be able to wear again. I thought we did well spending just $21 on it.

Her graduation gift from DH and I was a cell phone.
She was thrilled - she has been wanting a phone and has been working hard at saving her money (I told her she had to buy her own).

I bought this used phone several months back and just activated it to my Ting account. This will increase usage to the next tier. I figure our cell bill will be about $27/month now.

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I have been going to my hour-long Pilates classes each Thursday night. This was a Groupon deal. I have one more class. I really like the workout - let me tell you it is a total body workout. I am usually sore for three days afterwards.

The instructor offered me an additional five-pack of classes at a 20% discount. I'd like to do it, but just cannot spend that extra money when we have so many other financial obligations. Someday maybe....

The silver lining? I am going to try to apply some of the moves I've learned in the class and do a little, mini 10-15 minute routine at home. I just need to get into a routine of making myself DO it. Smile

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The garden was seriously damaged by our hens. GRRR!
The hens ate all the leaves on our sugar snap peas - leaving pitiful, scrawny, 7" 'twigs' that dried up and died. They ate the tops of my carrots and all my baby spinach. In DH's box they worked over his corn stalks.

The dog dug up my lemon cucumber.
I planted another - it died - don't know why??
This morning I planted two new plants in new locations - Fingers crossed!! (I really like lemon cucumbers)

My tomato and squash plants are going gangbusters - they look awesome. Yay!! Big Grin

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DS and I visited his preschool and turned in his enrollment paperwork. Ah, preschool... that deserves its own post.

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Been doing a bunch of reading too. That has been keeping me up late. I am just about to start the fourth and last 'Twilight' book. Then I am going to watch the movies. Curious to see what the hype was all about. Smile