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Saturday, January 14, 2017


So There!

Not but a couple of weeks ago this gorgeous woman was sent home to die. She decided to fool them all look at her now! Today she got her hair done and if she's not too tired tomorrow she wants to go for a mani-pedi

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Extreme Couponers-Move Over

I'm sure I've written about my skills as a food shopper before-even that Steve and I were able to tell the extreme couponers in a class some tips they had no ideas about using.

This week Steve and I were so very proud of ourselves. 

It started with the weekly issue of the newspaper that carries the food ads.  We had to pare down our paper delivery when we moved out here to Arizona-couldn't afford the 7-day cost of the only major newspaper in the state.

In Orange County, California there were 2:  The Register and the Times.  Here there's only the Republic.  There are two weekly ones that put in stories for some of the communities, but they're free on every stand in the markets and restaurants.

I'm digressing-back to our shopping skills.

Steve and I are VERY big produce consumers.  Sprout's is our favorite place to go, but the closest one is 22 miles away-so we only go there when we are also going to buy pet food at the PetSmart about 3 miles from that market.

One of our local markets had blueberries and vine ripened tomatoes at quite the price and since we had time to kill while waiting for Aidan to get out of tutoring after school, we took Dylan to the market to make the pick up of the two items (we had enough greens, squash, etc for the time being). 

What we love about this market is that besides the weekly specials and the points for gas discounts is that they have a section of "weekly specials". We got a blender for $6, Israeli couscous for 75% off and lots of other goodies.

This week though-we hit the jackpot of discounts!!!  Yes-the clearance section had at least 3 dozen boxes of green mountain coffee holiday flavored k-cups on the shelves!!!  $1.99 for a box of 12!

Can I hear a woot, woot????

We took 22 (no sense being selfish and having people stare).  Toasted Marshmallow Mocha, Wicked Winter, Cinnamon Sugar cookie and a couple of other flavors!  All were normally $6.99!  We were saving $5 a box!!!

But wait, there's more!  I backed up to see the tip-top shelf and saw both Charmin and Northern toilet paper sitting up there!  Yes!  Steve went to the TP aisle and took a look at the regular price-$18.99 for the Charmin.  They had it discounted to $7.49.  We took both.  And the Northern triple roll package was marked down from $15 to $4.99.

We also go through a lot of mustard around here and there was some that was good until May, 2018 so we got those for 50 cents instead of $2.49.

So we are now set-berries for breakfast, tomatoes to go on our salads for dinner and coffee to have for breakfast and lots of TP for, well, you know.

Our total savings on this hall was well over $125.  Plus, since Steve has a thing for storing water we are more than sure we can make the coffee.

Please don't ask what our storage/guest room looks like, let's just say we're prepared as well as any survivalist.  Steve also wiped out the clearance aisle a couple of months ago of the special Italian premium pastas for 50 cents each after Italian month was over.  About 6 months ago, after Spanish foods month we secured the clearance aisle of 8 bottles of Extra Virgin 1st Press Olive Oil.  Okay, we shared with the kids.

As you can see we are experts on the use and art of the grocery market deals.  We also use an abundance of coupons on just about everything.  Last year (I track all of our savings) we saved nearly six thousand dollars on our non-perishables!  Including haircuts and entertainment.

Have a question on how to make your dollars stretch like Mike TV in Willie Wonka?  I'm all for sharing how we make ends meet in the tastiest of ways.

Monday, January 09, 2017


Can They Get Closer?

Thursday, January 05, 2017


I Really MUST Love My Pets

I really, really love our pets.  I must because I am a nut case about making sure I do all I can, all the time.

In all our 35+ years of marriage Steve and I have rescued our beloved pets.  Yep.  Snowy, our "first" baby was found in the garage of the apartment complex we lived in (it was "no pets").  We didn't know it at that moment, but our snow white kitten was almost dead from starvation, being separated from her mom and living in a garage.

We had her 13 years.  In that 13 years we went through:  3 living room carpets, 2 sofas and 3 chairs.  No, it wasn't from scratching.  Poor dear had a severe thyroid problem and it kept her from understanding litter box etiquette during her "bad level" days.  But she was cuddling, adored Sarah and loved all of us.  Besides, we were her parents-no matter what.

Our first Lucky came to us with "puppy paw disease", which we found out by age 8 months was hip dysplasia (part German Shepherd).  We almost lost her both through that surgery and being spayed.  She seemed to be prone to post surgical infections.  Otherwise, we loved that girl for 13-1/2 years.

Next came Sunshine #1.  We rescued her at age 1 and she was the "dog we wished we could clone".  Only thing that ever happened during our bless 14-1/2 years together was that she seemed to love eating peaches off of our peach tree-pits and all.  Let's just say it was a $400 stomachache!

Both our first two dogs had dementia later in life, lost their sight and hearing and then their ability to know exactly where their bathroom was-but they were ours and we loved them even after they had to leave us.

Pepper came to us with slightly deformed front paws, but it's never bothered him or us.  We did pay a fortune to have 6 teeth pulled, but he's worth it.  Even now at 13-1/2 he's just our little love bug.

Enter Lucky and Sunshine.  We had never had small dogs-so we had no idea that they were stubborn creatures who take forever to house train.  Both were rescued at about one year of age.

I stood outside cheering Lucky on for a year and cleaned up messes galore-frustrating, but I kept up a "potty" dance that probably had many neighbors wondering about my sanity.  Unless they also had tiny pups.

Then Steve rolled up 2 of 3 throw rugs in the house and thoroughly disinfected the areas beneath.  I went outside with Lucky and was in the middle of yet another performance of "yeah for the potty" when I swear to you all-she looked at me with a look that said, "Wait a darn minute here-you want me to go potty out here, right?  Well why on earth didn't you say so???"

Never had another accident UNTIL Sunshine came home with us on August 23!

We have now removed the dining room throw rug.  My wonderful friend Sue H (she is a professional cat rescue person and has dog rescues) gave me a long list of things I needed to change and things to do.

Steve said he was just getting rid of the carpet and removed the padding he had glued down (damn-I was hoping this was my ticket to getting rid of that awful bamboo!), followed by another round of disinfecting the area.  We have "food bowls" and toys spread throughout the areas and I have upped both my voice and my "potty" dance performances.

We also  bought a Thunder shirt (anxiety issues from that storm and continuing rain days) and give loads of training treats for any kind of "business" done outdoors.

After 2 whole days of success we were thrilled.  Then last night we took the girls out for their final job of the day.  Lucky went.  Sunshine didn't.  We kept encouraging her in our squeally voices for about 10 minutes. 

Steve said, "Let's just go in and I'll take her out before I go to bed in an hour."

Fine by me, it was 42 degrees out there and I was characteristically stiff as a board in every joint.

Took off Lucky's fleece jacket, took off Sunshine's Thunder shirt, brushed my teeth, I used the indoor facilities and then, I SMELLED SOMETHING ALL TOO FAMILIAR!

I walk into the bedroom and there it was:  Lake Sunshine with a side of manure.

Sigh.  I was proud of myself-I did exactly what Sue said: didn't get mad, didn't yell, just calmly went about cleaning up the mess and ignoring the fact that she was shaking like a leaf with tears in her eyes.

How can I yell at a baby who so clearly was embarrassed and scared about her accident?

Any of you who can't relate to our love for her and her need for that unconditional love have no idea how deep any parents love really runs.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


Meet Burnie Burns

Meet Burnie Burns-who started in a new field midway through life and carved himself a niche in a VERY difficult field and is now considered the "go to guy"

Starts on page 2:

Thursday, December 29, 2016


So Ready for the End of This Year

I wasn't sure I was going to post this last blog of the year.

Last week was so very, very unkind.  And honestly, the next few projected weeks and months are just not going to improve things AT ALL.

While I'm not ready to disclose what's happening in our familial loop at this moment, I will just let you all know that the phrase:

You can only count on 2 things-death and taxes

Is all too true.

We were looking forward to celebrating Steve's 60th birthday, but while we will celebrate in a way, it won't be what was originally planned.  We're all not in the mood and things are literally changing from one hour to the next.

There are a lot of decisions being made that are difficult and the plan A and B have outcomes that we're just not very happy about yet have no choice but to make the best decision we can and pray for it to be the one that will work the best.

That stated, I want to wish all of you the healthiest, happiest and hopefully dullest, drama free New Year's celebration possible.

May 2017 be a whole lot kinder to us all.

Love, Carine

Friday, December 23, 2016


Lucky's Friend Dex

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