a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Thursday, March 30, 2017

not on my watch

When I am watching the wee one, like anyone responsible for watching babies, toddlers, preschoolers, etc., you don't want anything to happen when you are at the helm, so to speak. So I watch him like a hawk. If I can see him I won't follow him around, but if he is exploring from room to room I'm right behind him. If I don't hear him, there's that old adage that they are usually getting into trouble or doing something they shouldn't and its the proven case with him 10/10 times (usually touching something he knows he's not supposed to touch). I call that our sinful nature :) 

Another thing I'm diligent about when its my watch. Its keeping these together in a pair. They are soooo darn small. They get lost easily with the other clothes in the load.  I'm always grateful when we match up 1:1.  The other day I was one sock missing.  I said "not on my watch."  It took an additional load of clothes, but things balanced out and order was restored to the universe (and the sock drawer).

And the best not on my watch.  This went in the other day. It does go all away around the pool; just couldn't get a good picture of it.  The lock is such that when it is locked using the key it is virtually unopenable.  Now that the wee one is mobile, it was a necessity. Though there are several doors with more than adequate locks on them to prevent his getting to the pool area, one can never be too safe with young children around the draw of water.  Our intent is for him to learn to swim this season.

I do realize no matter how much we baby proof the house, keep the safety gates up, put plastic things over the electrical sockets, plastic guards on the drawers, etc., an accident will happen.

It just better not be on my watch.

(I'm leaving this link here for all who might want to read this who are believers and who are concerned about what is going on with our country, the new administration, etc., as well as anyone that might want to read it. I know Meg's heart and it is one of being concerned for America and for its outcome in the days ahead. I know lots of thinking and praying by her have gone on not only now but in the months, weeks, days before the election. Its worth a read and worth a prayer if one is inclined to do so. America won't be great again because of a leader in office, but because those who believe, humble themselves, pray, seek God, repent and then God will heal our land).

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I did it again!!!!!

This is a bit of a silly entry; feel free to skip it if you want, but do check at the bottom for the amount paid for items listed on my last post.

I am a bit (a lot) OCD. I don't have the extremes (yet) of it (and I'm not making fun of anyone that might) but I do have my routines and my likes. Dishes set up a certain way in the dishwasher (yes I change them after hubby stacks them; he doesn't "get" the way they should go, the natural flow so to speak.)

I like my paper towels to look like this.  And no I don't like patterned paper towels. Solid basic white.

This is not how I like my paper towels to look. The pick a size (who invented that and why????) 

99.5% of the time I am very careful when we need paper towels and make sure I don't buy the "pick a size" ones. But there are times when I'm stressed or overwhelmed with shopping that I'm 0.5% not careful. 

And I pick the wrong size. I did it again a few weeks ago.

There's not much of a difference in size between the two. But really, which one would you prefer to use? The pristine one on the bottom or the dreaded pick a size on top?

This is how they look when they are separated. Really horrid (in my opinion).

And really, what can you do with a paper towel this size? Useless  (again in my opinion).

What generally happens is I end up breaking off 3 half pieces or a piece and a half when I only want the regular basic size of paper towel and waste that extra 1/2. 

Drives me crazy!

So when I realized I bought the wrong size a few weeks ago, the minute I did I said "I'll give them to son........he won't mind."

So when son and family came over later that week for dinner I greeted him with 5 rolls of paper towels in bags and said "this is your lucky day." Being on a tight budget, indeed it was a good day for them.

And when I went to the store that week, you betcha. I made sure I didn't get pick a size. 

Life is good (at least until I use up the 6 rolls I bought).

Are you a fan of pick a size?

(And to answer on my last post about what we spent for the clothes; the grand total with tax was $41 and change. I was surprised with the various amounts guessed. Some of you came very close or spot on. I think there was only one or two items we bought that weren't reduced 50%. The next sale is this Saturday. Got to talk it over with them and see what is needed to concentrate what I should be looking for. I'm thinking to look for more books; the wee one really enjoys looking through them and while we have some, you can never have too many books :)

The pool water was 63 degrees as of 03/03/2017, 65 degrees as of 03/08/2017. Went up 2 degrees in 5 days. We're warming up here (high 80s). I'm thinking the water might be ready end of April for swimming??? Time will tell. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

bargains galore

Let's play a little game

These are all gently used items.  Four books and three baby toys here.

Six pairs of baby shorts, size 18 months.

Four sleepers; size 18 months.

Picture a bit fuzzy, but three shirts, size 18 months.

Three outfits, size 18 months. Can mix and match them with shorts above.

Two additional outfits, size 18 months.

Keep reading, the game will be at the end of the post.

We found this great kids consignment sale called Kids Closet Connection that here is held monthly at different locations (except for the months of December and January). The premise is people can sell their kids' items no longer needed at prices they set and they get a certain percentage of the sale back and the rest goes to charity and expenses.

From what I understand after talking to a lady volunteering at the sale, you get 65% of your sales price automatically. If you volunteer to help out at the sale you get 80% (you have to do a minimum of one 4 hour shift). If you do four 4 hour shifts you also get a $10 Visa gift card.

The sale is held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I believe if I read it correctly there is a pre-sale on Wednesday evening for foster parents and grandparents raising their grandchildren (I think that is neat). 

The size of the clothing goes from newborn to size 20 in kids.

The people who want to sell their stuff bring their stuff in with the prices they want. Everything is categorized and every item has a sales ticket on it. The seller has the choice of discounting the item 50% on the last day of the sale on Saturday. It will say on the sales ticket whether the item is 50% off on the last day of the sale. For items that don't sell, they can pick them up I believe the Sunday after the sale.

We have been to three of these consignment sales so far. Each have been different because they've been in different locations and it also depends who will bring their stuff to sell. Sometimes we've gotten more toys, this time we got more clothes. It just depends.

We go on Saturdays because of our work schedules. I look for items that are offered at 50% off on the last day of the sale. If I see something cute that is not 50% off, I'll ask hubby "is it worth so and so" (full price offered) and if he says "no" we don't get it.

Most of the items we bought were 50% off on this particular sale a week or so ago.

We bought an additional item that I didn't take a picture of that cost $4.50 and was not 50% off on the day of the sale. That is to maybe help you if you want to play along with the game.

We got 7 toys and 22 pieces of clothing for grandson as listed above, plus that additional item for step grand daughter that I didn't take a picture of. (I don't shop for her at these sales because my DIL's mom works at Last Chance at Nordstrom and she gets some incredibly great deals with her discounts, etc. Plus I have no fashion sense what a 11-1/2 year old girl would want to wear).

With 12 month old grandson, basically they go through lots of clothes and anything works for them if it is clean and comfortable.

Here's the game if you want to play along. No prizes awarded.

What do you think we paid for all above that we purchased???

Answer on my next post.

My only clue I'll give you.

It was lower than I expected.

And a great bargain.

I'm looking forward to March's sale!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

pictures and sort of an announcement (gasp)

Lisa over at Salemslot9 journal commented on my last post about the couch that she remembered a picture of our kitchen table with card tables/chairs and a blue table cloth. Excellent memory she had because that was what we had until we purchased the table below. I thought I had shared a picture of it. 

So now I am sharing a picture of it. Usually I have a table cloth on it, took it off so you could all see the table. It fits perfectly in its spot.

The new couch. It was never on my radar to purchase something like this, but it really is comfortable. Hubby has spent a few nights on it and I've taken a nap or two on it. Its a little shorter than our previous couch we had, but it still is very comfortable. 


How they look together in the den. And so much more lightweight compared to our other couch and love seat. I did text son after we couldn't move the couch out of the old set before the new ones were delivered to see if he could come and help us at least move it to the garage. He came later the same day with a truck he had rented and within 10 minutes he and his friend had moved both the love seat and couch into the truck. He used the love seat inside the house of his and the couch in the back yard under a covered patio. Looks really nice.

and now my big announcement.

......drum roll.......

builds anticipation.....

a little excitement........

a bit of a pause......




I am NOT doing the A/Z challenge this year. Those who are familiar with it know the change this year with the hosts not providing a list of sign ups prior to the start of the challenge.

That is not the reason I'm not doing the challenge.

I already decided not to do the challenge before their announcement.

Personally, I liked the list. Others didn't. It was flawed, links that didn't work, etc. But I did find a lot of good blogs to follow through the challenge on the list and then beyond the challenge. The list works if you work the list. (Some of you will understand what I'm talking about).

I loved the A/Z challenge. I embraced it. I followed the recommendations. Visit new blogs daily, visit those who visit you, etc. Participated in 4 out of the last 5 years. Signed up in 2013, but bowed out days before the challenge due to a family crisis, even though I had all my posts written (and deleted them; I regret that, I had good things written).

I loved the theme of the last 3 years with pictures of this and that.

But I got burned out last year. I was a minion (helping to keep track of blogs participating). I enjoyed that but had some frustrations about diligently checking the blogs I was responsible for, reporting blogs that weren't participating or hadn't posted within the time lines established, and the blogs weren't removed from the list. That in addition to the multiple blogs I visited and didn't get a percentage of return visitors convinced me it was time to move on.

So no A/Z for me this year. I'll visit those on my blog readership that do participate as often as I can. April will be (I hope) a bit saner this year.

and what say you? Do you like our new furniture?

Are you participating in A/Z this year?

Are you a bit jealous it was 80 degrees here on Friday?

Monday, January 30, 2017

the couch (part two)

Remember a few months ago when I wrote about the couch and how hubby and me both snore and one of us usually ends up on the couch sometime during the night?

Well, sad to say, as of tomorrow between the 2-1/2 hour window of 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. the couch will be replaced by a new love seat and couch (pictures to follow down the road).  

The present love seat and couch we purchased in May 2008 when we lived in Murrieta, California. We chose the dark brown color for a certain corgi so that when he shed it wouldn't be too noticeable. He loved jumping up on the couch or love seat and took many a nap on them.

The set made subsequent moves to another place in Murrieta, then up to Corona, California when son tried to live on his own for a year, then back to Chula Vista for 3 years, then Prescott, Arizona for 15 months, and then its final resting place in Phoenix, Arizona.

It had seen better days. There were a few lumps in it and a few stains, but provided what they needed to do. Gave us a place or two to sit.

When we moved down here, I wrote that we were going to be getting new furniture for the kitchen, den, bedroom, etc. We were taking it a room at a time. We did get the kitchen table/chair (I think I shared that picture) and then we stalled for a bit with this and that until it was time to get the new love seat and couch.  

We must have sat on several dozen couches and nothing seemed right. (Actually I wanted to lay down on them to try them out that way, but I thought that might be a bit uncouth so didn't). We were just about ready to wait until a new shipment came out so to speak when hubby sat down on something I would never have considered and he said "you got to check this out." And I did......

It was comfortable. And then his brother called and hubby talked with him for longer than 15 minutes while I sat on the couch and it was still comfortable.

We were hooked.

We took measurements to make sure it would work and the new set is being delivered tomorrow.

Son wants our old set (why I don't know, maybe nostalgia?) So he'll rent a truck and cart them off in a week or two.

But hubby and me had to get the love seat and couch out to the garage in anticipation for the delivery tomorrow.

Face it. I am not as young as I once was when we moved them ourselves about six years ago. We got the love seat out to the garage but the couch wouldn't fit through the garage door. We tried to remember how the movers moved the couch in, but of course we couldn't. My husband even said "was I here?" (I have moved multiple times "alone" with him at work and the movers delivering and setting up where I directed them to do so). I assured him he was there.

The couch rests alongside the sliding glass door to go to the back yard. I'll call son tomorrow and see if he and a friend can come over and at least move the couch out to the garage. The delivers can still set up the new stuff, plenty of room.

I'll miss that couch. But not the weight of it.

And I really need to get back into shape and get more strength.

Working on the shape part.

Also bought a new treadmill a few weeks ago and walking on it at least 4 times a week. 

Next up will be a futon/day bed for the extra bedroom and then our bedroom furniture.

And then we will be settled in. After we unpack the pictures and decide which ones we will hang and which ones we will dispose of.

Might get this all done before its been a year since we moved in (end of March).

The wee one will be one year old in a few weeks.

He is toddling, not officially walking, but walking across the room. Watch out world, here he comes!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This works for me

I am at the age that I need a list to go grocery shopping. I used to be able to remember everything in my head, but those years are long gone. Except for routine things we buy, if anything is needed for a recipe or household supplies, I need to write it down.

I start my grocery list with meal planning for the week. It really does go smoother if I know what every day we will be eating.  Friday we go out to eat. Below is our meal plan for the upcoming week. 

Usually Sunday nights the young family come over for dinner, but this week son is working and due to different schedules, we'll be watching the kids so we're taking them to Peter Piper Pizza (think on the order of Chuck E Cheese) for a little variety. Usually the family comes over on Wednesday and sometimes I'll send leftovers with them or keep them and use them on Thursday when we watch the wee one. Like to keep Thursday very simple with meal preparation.

A few months back I got the brilliant idea (thank you God) that when we watch the kids Saturday afternoon, we would take them grocery shopping with us for the week. It would serve two purposes. We would get the job done and still have some of the day to do what we wanted and it would help teach our step grand daughter about grocery shopping. When I was her age (11-1/2 years old) I was going to the store alone for my mom or with my brother or sometimes my sister. My mom knew what items cost and she knew how much would fit in a bag of groceries. She gave us a list and the money and we took care of what needed to get bought. We didn't have a car when I was growing up, so oftentimes had to go to the store several times weekly to get what was needed.

To make it seem like "fun" to take our step grand daughter to the store, we decided to "pay" her for her help. We gave her the option of either $5 a week in cash or buying something at the store that cost up to $5. If she purchased an item that was $2.30, then we didn't give her the difference of $2.70.  It was either or. Cash upfront or item(s) up to $5. Most weeks she chooses items to buy. 

She helps by getting items off the shelf, looking for items, etc., and we are teaching her how to comparison shop, look for the best prices, things on sale, etc. The wee one enjoys sitting in the cart and looking around.

Before I would write my list randomly of what was needed and I could keep track of it as we weaved through the aisles of the store. But having to keep an eye on the wee one and the step grand daughter got to be a bit too much and I found myself having to go back to make sure I got everything on the list.

So I devised a "shop by section" shopping list (which I am sure is very common, I just hadn't searched for one).

And made something similar to this below. Listing the different departments in the order we would "hit" them. Up until this past weekend, I would weekly hand write the categories until I realized I should write one out, print it and be "good to go."  So as I'm getting together the list, I write down in the various departments what is needed.

This week's finished list looked like this. There were other things we bought, but things we routinely buy or check out the aisles, like the chip aisle for instance. 

As we shop, I cross off the items. It is always a good feeling to get to the end of it :) And I'm always grateful to have the money to be able to by what we need and want.

In case you read the list, under baby when it says "protein x2" it means baby food that has some type of protein (chicken, etc., in it). We keep a supply of baby stuff here, formula, diapers, baby food, wipes, etc., so when we watch the wee one, they don't have to bring stuff with them for his care. So protein x2 would mean two packages (two to a pack) of baby food that would be considered a meal.

This system works for me. A few years ago I wrote a post "the list works if you work the list". I'm too lazy to search it out and highlight it here. But basically if you write down things on the list and use it for shopping, you'll get what you need.

I still believe the list works if you work the list. As long as it is written down, it is purchased. There are still those times when I forget to write something down and think I'll remember it.

And you know that rest of that story.

Do you use a list for grocery shopping?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Eat healthy, lose weight, exercise more

That my dear friends is how I intend to purposefully live in 2017.  

This is based on the sermon I heard today at church, but it also applies to those that might not have a faith or a different faith than I might have.  

Let my apply these principals in general and then how they might apply to one who has a faith.

Eat healthy - We all know to keep our bodies running the best way they can we have to put the proper food into it. A diet of junk food, while can potentially be delicious, is destructive for our overall health long term.  We must eat healthy foods generally with those occasional unhealthy foods allowed, as long as in moderation.

A person of faith can apply this not just with healthy eating for their body, but what they are eating on spiritually.  Habits like reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, going to church, staying away from things that can potentially be harmful, not appropriate movies, songs, TV shows, etc. Spending too much time on social media and less time pursuing things that are worthy, those I mentioned above.  

Lose weight - We all know the benefits of weight loss. Less stress on joints and muscles and vital organs like the heart and lung. Less potential of developing serious health problems like diabetes and hypertension.  But, and this applies to nonbeliever and believer, there are other things we should lose. Bitterness, anger, fear, worry, anxiety, and so much more. We need to drop those things that encumber us from living a freeing life or for the believer, the abundant life that Jesus wants us to live. He came to give us life, not to steal it or destroy it. The enemy, for those that believe, does enough of that himself. We need to lose weight to live abundantly.

Exercise more - A body that is moving is generally a more healthy body. Muscles need to be used or they will become deconditioned. The same thing happens if we don't exercise kindness or love or generosity and so much more. Those qualities and similar need to be exercised more and not less if again we want to live the abundant life.

This is how I want to live 2017.  Eat healthy, lose weight, exercise more.

And my intent to do so?

So many pick a word of the year they concentrate on. I haven't in a while, but this year felt moved to pick a word. Two came to mind, but I settled on.


As in "Fix My Eyes on Jesus" the author and perfecter of my faith.  Fix my eyes more on him by reading my Bible more, spending more time in prayer and meditation and reflection.  That's the eating part.  

For the losing weight part, I need to let go of anxiety, worry, and fear, my natural default mode when times get tough. I spent too many minutes, hours, days, weeks at the end of 2016 paralyzed with worry and fear. I am intentionally letting go of that "dear" friend of mine anxiety in the year 2017. I have a strategy of working on it through scripture and prayer. I intend to be less anxious by the end of 2017 (prayers needed on this if you pray). But I do intend to lose the weight of anxiety significantly in this new year.

And finally exercise more.  Exercise more physically as I have become a bit deconditioned but also by being kinder, more gentle, more loving, more generous and so much more. Remembering that Christmas spirit all through the year and not just in preparation for that one day that comes and goes way too fast.

So that is my intent for this new year.

Fix my eyes on Jesus. I truly believe if my main focus is him it will lead up to my second word for the year that I played around, which is Joy. If I fix my eyes on him, I do believe that joy will be found.

Will this be easy to do? No. It goes against my grain. Remember, anxiety, worry and fear are my default mode. I need to consciously live differently and that I intend to do.

By eating healthy, losing weight, and exercising more.

And I truly believe 2017 will be the year God wants me to have. Living abundantly in him.

I trust he will keep his promises and his word.

Fix My Eyes on Jesus in 2017.

That's my goal and my resolution each day in 2017.