Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Busy is an Understatement!

I know it's been a while here. Between my yard work (I can officially call them flower beds instead of weed beds-Yay!) and sick kids (one sick four-year-old most of last week, and a sick one-year-old for a solid week now), I've had time for nothing else.

Oh! And it's a good thing hubby fixed the dryer (a loose screw on one of the agitators), because I've been doing laundry nonstop for over a week now--not that we don't generate a lot already in a household of six people without adding a nasty stomach virus to the equation!

The plus side is that so far it's only gotten hold of the two youngest members of our family. I'm hoping it doesn't go any further, as it seems to be long-winded. I feel bad for my baby though. Poor thing :(

I really feel that we do have some divine help on our side though, as I know we've accomplished a lot--despite the sick kids--in the last couple of weeks. A very, very good friend (perhaps an angel in disguise?) spent two of her days off working with us on those radioactive weeds (I swear some of them had to have been exposed and mutated!) I'll never underestimate the value of such a good friend. I'll have to try to return the favor.

Our yard is actually looking pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. We got our garden planted too, and so far, so good. Most of the seedlings we grew indoors have made it through the transplant, and the seeds we sowed in the ground are sprouting too. I'm so excited!

If you haven't got your gardens in yet, it's not too late. There's nothing like eating the food you grew yourself. It's cheaper, tastes great and is even better for you (no losing nutrients in storage and shipment). No space? That's okay, container gardening works well, too! Read my garden articles here for more info.

We've been listening to a lot of music during all that yard work. Some of it we got for free (no kidding) from iTunes. They have a freebie section that is updated regularly for you to check out and choose what you want to download. You have to have the itunes application on your computer to take advantage of this deal. So if you have an ipod and didn't know about this cool feature, check it out!

Well, that's all I have time for today. I accomplished this much with a baby on my lap! Are you impressed? Haha! Take care!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Little of Everything!

I haven't called this The Juggling Homemaker for nothing! It's always a juggling act here, trying to keep so many different things going at the same time. My mom is out of the hospital, but still having some struggles, so I've been trying to do what I can there, though it's not as much as she (or I, for that matter) would like. It's hard when you have your own family to take care of to do much of anything else.

We're still working on our yard and went and got more compost from Wasatch Integrated Waste Management at $25/truckload--not too shabby! :) We also got some of their medium sized bark at $10/truckload for our flower beds (okay, I'll be honest and call them weed beds--but we're working on it). We're going to whack the weeds down, put down another layer of weed barrier (better stuff, this time) and throw the bark down on top of that. Take that weeds!!! Haha! It was back-breaking labor to unload those loads from the back of the pick-up. Believe me, I'm feeling it today!

We could have saved on the back pain and had someone else come out and deliver that stuff for us, but financially that just wasn't feasible. We had to cut some things out of our budget to do it the way we did. But in reality, it will help if we end up having to sell, since it will add some curb appeal to not have massive weed jungles on all sides. It's impossible for me to keep up with it all! Hopefully it won't come to that, though. And to be honest, it probably wouldn't sell for what we'd need anyway....ah well...moving on!

We had optimistically got a movie from Redbox to watch last night. We didn't get to watch it because the work took longer than we thought. We didn't even get to staining the playset! So I'll more than likely have to pay for another night.

Yesterday was the last free weekly Monday they're doing, too. Yeah, I know, it sucks. I wish they would continue doing it weekly, as I only recently started taking advantage of it, but they're not giving us as good a deal anymore. However, they are going to start doing free monthly Monday starting next month, for over the summer. We'll be taking advantage of that. For more information you can go to Inside Redbox.

As for our HASP application, we're still waiting to hear. The waiting period keeps getting longer, as more people are learning about (good!) the program and applying for it. They said it could be anywhere from now to another three weeks before we hear. So far we're still scraping by.

I've learned this will all come down what they call the Net Present Value Analysis. That's where, after reviewing all the information they have for your application, the market, and your property, they decide if the mortgage investor would make more money on a loan modification or a foreclosure. They also weigh the risks of your situation in their decision. Hopefully, between the down market and the incentives the government is offering them, our situation will look more profitable for a modification. I found an online explanation that explains this better, if you're interested.

Anyway, we're plugging along. Overall, I'd say I have more to be thankful for than to complain about. I just have to remember that on the bad days ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free Chicken Dinner From KFC

Here's yet another reason to love Oprah. She's got a coupon for a free meal at Kentucky Fried Chicken on her website! It's for the two piece grilled chicken, two individual sides and a biscuit. Not too shabby, eh?

This is a limited time download and is only available from 9 a.m. CDT on May 5, 2009, to 9:59 p.m. CDT on May 6, 2009. So hurry! The good thing is that you don't have to rush quite as fast to redeem the coupon once you've got it. The coupon is redeemable at participating KFC® locations in the United States from May 5, 2009 to May 19, 2009. The only catch for this time period is that it's not redeemable on Mother's Day, May 10, 2009. It's one offer per person and can be found by visiting Oprah's site here.

I've already printed out mine! Yummy!

Want Some Freebies?

While doing some of my internet research, I found out about a way to get free stuff than I didn't know before. See? You really do learn something new all the time! Did you know that Walmart has their very own free samples, trials and savings site? They do, though the good ones go fast, and their offerings are constantly changing, so you might want to bookmark it and check back frequently.

I went there today and ordered the Crest Whitestrips Sample. Who doesn't want a brighter smile? ;) Currently, they also have dog treats, Good Nights, hair care stuff and Cottonelle (plus even more). So if you don't have anything better to do and want to get something for nothing, go have a look.

If you're into finding these kinds of deals, I have them all over my site. Feel free to have a look. Happy deal hunting!


It seems these days are full of ups and downs. There are moments when I look at what I have--namely my husband and children--and my heart just feels full, to the point it's ready to burst with emotion. Then there are the moments when all the bad stuff weighs so heavy on my shoulders that I'm sure I'm going to collapse from it all.

I suppose that's what life is about. I just have to take the good with the bad. As do we all.

Yesterday we went to Sears to pick up some parts for our lawnmower, tiller and weed eater. No, they didn't all break at once (knock on wood!), they were just maintenance parts that we'd put off for quite a while and we couldn't wait any longer if we wanted to have them working for us in a few years from now.

While we were there, a gentleman came in to pick up his lawnmower, and for whatever reason, it wasn't there, the work wasn't done on it and he was beyond frustrated. He'd come all the way down there, and waited in a very long line, only to find out he'd done it for nothing.

The clerk who was helping us was called upon several times for this customer, who wanted his mower right then and wanted it fixed (understandable). It wasn't the clerk's fault that it wasn't fixed, he just happened to be the one at the store who knew the most about this customer's situation. Because of this familiarity, he got cornered on his way to the backroom to get our parts. The confrontation escalated and their shouting match could be heard throughout the tiny parts store.

I didn't know who to feel worse for, the clerk or the customer. Both were just trying to get their jobs done. Neither were having things go their way. Both ended up feeling upset by the way things were turning out.

I left feeling down for two reasons: one being because the parts we left with cost twice what we were expecting (of course), and the other because of the heavy atmosphere I'd just left. It was obvious to me that both men had a right to feel upset and yet neither was at fault for their situations. How do you fix something like that? How do you make someone feel better?

I know some of you are wondering why I let someone else's troubles get to me at all. Good point. I wonder that myself. If I figure it out, I'll let you know. Haha.

I suppose this economy has a lot of us on edge. So many people are feeling the pinch and that means there's more of us out there needing to vent before we explode. It's stressful to worry about finances, while at the same time your everyday life continues with family dramas, friend troubles, sick kids and everything else. We're still expected to function during this and get our duties done. It's too bad we can't just push pause on all those other things and just tackle each problem/task individually, right?

My mom has been in the hospital for the last week. She's going through a very difficult time in her life right now. I can't really say, "Sorry, Mom, can't deal with this just now. I've got lots of other stuff stressing me out, so can you put this off for later?" Hah! Yeah, that'd go over well. I'd disown myself!

Life can be hard. You've heard it before, you've experienced it and know it to be true. And yes, we all need to vent so we don't walk around like a shaken soda, waiting to explode on some poor, unsuspecting person who pulls the tab at the wrong time.

Find a way to decompress. I've found that writing helps me. Praying does, too. Find what works for you and go with it. Life's hard, but you can do it;-)