Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Walgreens, Part Deux

It's so cold outside, I'm thinking of hightailing it to Arizona.

I'm only half joking. I really hate being cold.

However, I also hate missing a good deal. And so I ventured into Walgreens again during my lunch break, braving the cold for the miserable few seconds it took to get from my van to the front door.

Oh, the sacrifices I make for my family!

Here's today's rundown:

1 bottle of Tide
1 gallon of milk
1 can of Febreeze Air Effects
3 12-packs of drinks
1 pack of Swiffer dusters
2 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
1 box of Magic Erasers (I LOVE THESE THINGS!)

Total before coupons/sale: $47.86
Total coupon/sale savings: $22.29
Total after coupons/sales: $25.57

That's nearly 50% savings! I also got $6 in Register Rewards to use last time. Unfortunately, I thought I was getting an additional $2.50 in RR, but I forgot their policy about using RR from the same manufacturer. Because I used the Tide coupon, I couldn't earn the RR on the other P&G products. Bummer!

Guess my $6 back will have to do - and I guess I'll stay out of Walgreens for a few days!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Walgreens (something or other)

(If I'm going to do this on a regular basis, I need to come up with a catchy name for my Walgreens posts. Any suggestions?)

Hey there! Hope you had a good Christmas - mine was spent eating the Buddy The Elf way - sugar, sugar, and more sugar.

(That's partially thanks to Amanda's new job at Muddy's Bake Shop in Memphis, and the fact that they're closed this week, and their policy of telling the employees on Christmas Eve to divide up whatever was left in the cases and take it home.)

(With names like Pucker Up, Prozac, and Oodelolly, how could I not?)

Anyway, I'm now off Buddy's plan and on to something a little more adult - if it's not good for me, I'm not putting it into my mouth.

So there.

And so after my healthy lunch today, I hit up Walgreens. And by "hit up" I mean "totally decimated with my mad couponing skillz.

(Editor's note: I didn't go to Kroger this week, and probably won't, as I was less than impressed with the continuation of last week's sale.)

Here's the breakdown:

• Bounty paper towels (6 big rolls)
• Charmin toilet tissue (6 big rolls)
• Gilette body wash
• Zest body wash
• Playtex rubber gloves
• Two boxes of Tampax Pearl
• Two boxes of Crest Whitening toothpaste
• Two bottles of Dawn dish detergent
• A bottle of Olay in-shower body lotion

Total before coupons/sales: $59.32
Total coupons/sales: $30.19
Total paid: $29.13

The best part? I also scored a coupon for a FREE bottle of Tide detergent, which I'm going to run back to Walgreens tomorrow at lunch to redeem. I love free stuff!

Here's to a happy, and coupon-filled, New Year for everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

II Cor. 4:8-9

I have a friend at church named Holley who has a pretty neat thing she does every morning: she has an enormous list of text message contacts, and she sends everyone a Bible verse every day, about the same time of morning.

More often than not, it's kinda eerie how well the verse lines up with what I'm experiencing. Today was no exception.

I started to have trouble with my car last week, and yesterday, it actually ran hot - despite the fact that it was about 40 degrees out, and we were headed down the interstate at about 75 miles an hour.

Turns out, it was completely out of coolant, which is odd - it's leaving the system somewhere, but we haven't figured out where.

This morning, though, I think I figured out where it's going.

As I went to the gym, I noticed that not only did the "check engine" light BLINK, and continue to BLINK, the whole way there, the amount of white smoke pouring from my exhaust pipe was just not normal. The car wasn't running well at all.

For those of you who don't know, there are basically two places that coolant could be going - either onto the ground (which we couldn't find any evidence of) or through the engine and out the tailpipe, as the result of a problem with one of the heads, like a leaky gasket or - GASP - a blown head.

I tried to work out (thank God for my iPod, not only for the uplifting music it provided, but also because I could turn it up and drown out the 98 lb. guy grunting on one of the weight machines) and headed home. I noticed the "smoke" had an odd smell.

After I summoned Jason from a warm bed to check on the situation, he said, "It doesn't smell like coolant, it smells like oil."

Um, I'm just the daughter of a humble mechanic, but in my experience, OIL isn't any better smell for exhaust than COOLANT is.

Houston, as it is said, we have a problem.

I walked to work, as Jason took the only other automatic-transmission vehicle we have to Memphis to pick up supplies for the auction. I was feeling really, really down - I even cried when I was feeding the dogs - and then my office mate, Amber, placed a red velvet box on my desk.

It contained a really cute pair of pearl drop earrings - we had our office Christmas breakfast this morning, and we were supposed to give money to the animal shelter instead of buying gifts for each other, but Amber must have been feeling generous because there they were.

And something about her gesture just totally lifted my spirits. I'm ashamed to admit that, because somehow I should be able to get out of the dumps without jewelry, but hey, I'm human. I like shiny things! It wasn't just the jewelry that did it, though - I guess it was her thinking of me.

And then I remembered Holley's verse for today: II Cor. 4:8,9 -

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

I may be hard pressed in the transportation department right now, but I'm not crushed. I may be perplexed because I'm having these difficulties, but I'm not in despair. I feel persecuted, but I'm not abandoned, and the weight of my circumstances may strike me down, but I'm not destroyed.

I've got the van-formerly-known-as-the-amazing-technicolor-dream-van to drive, and after Christmas, we'll see what kind of hook-up my dad can get me for a good deal on machining those heads.

And I'm going to look back on this day as a testament that even though not everything goes right all the time, God can still help us get through it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I really need to blog, but …

- The dishwasher needs loaded/unloaded/reloaded

- There is a pile of laundry as tall as my kid waiting on me.

- I have my big Christmas projects to do at work.


- The lights on the Christmas tree went out, AGAIN.

- The dogs are barking at the squirrels in the trees above them.

- The dogs are barking at the new dogs two doors down.

- The dogs are barking at the air.

- My sister just got a fabulous new job at a fabulously funky bakery and I NEED to go try one of those Pucker Up Cupcakes she posted pictures of on her blog.


- I still have to get a gift for my mother-in-law, who lives 500 miles away and is IMPOSSIBLE to buy for.

- Did I mention, FACEBOOK?

Yes, gentle readers, things are moving right along in Melz World. Thanks to two separate Turners (Anna Marie and ME) having not only Christmas musicals two weekends in a row, but stomach viruses the weekend of each respective musical performance, I feel like I've just lost half of December.

(Why do they call it the "24 hour" virus anyway? Because it took me about three days to fully recover from mine!)

I do, by the way, have a photo of the tree taken during the 24-hours when all the lights were working - but my parents borrowed my camera last weekend, and haven't returned it yet.

(My mom has this rather complicated system set up with one of her sisters, you see. The sister has a long list of health problems and an even longer Christmas list, so my mom does all her shopping/wrapping/shipping for her. The camera is to take pictures of the gifts before they're wrapped, so the aunt can see what she paid for without my mom having to load everything up and haul it to my aunt's first.)

Anna Marie's Christmas break is scheduled to start in about 20 minutes, and it's two weeks of sleeping later/no backpacks/no lunches to worry about! Yippee!

Haul out the holly, Y'all!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

There shall be showers of blessings

When my mom was a kid, she and her sisters (and many nieces of the same age) took piano from the same teacher. It was an older woman whose house, apparently, was overrun by cats (and smelled that way). She must have been a bang-up teacher, though, because everyone in my family who took lessons from her is a pretty superb piano player.

One of my uncles, who has now "moved away to be with God" (as my mom says) was know for his wit in our family. Maybe he was just jealous because my Papaw didn't think the boys needed piano lessons, but he never thought the girls were learning anything at theirs.

"All y'all ever do is learn another chord to 'There Shall Be Showers of Blessings' each week," he'd say.

Jealous much?


That bit of fun family trivia is NOT what this post is about. But the title does mean something!

Yesterday, Jason FINALLY received a couple of checks he'd been waiting on for some work he'd done. (And none too soon, let me tell you!) I came home from work a little early, and he was (frustratedly) trying to light the 1/3 of our pre-lit tree which has now gone dark.

The same tree he'd spent three hours working on LAST Friday. Yeah, I think this is it's last Christmas at the Turner house.

He suggested we go to Southaven, a town about half an hour from here (just south of Memphis) where there is all manner of things to do - Target, restaurants, Sam's Club, that sort of thing.

I was driving, and asking him where we were eating dinner. Of course, he had no input, but since it was freezing outside I wanted something that would stick to my ribs (and maybe dinner by a nice fireplace?)

Cracker Barrel it was.

It was pretty early in the evening, so we didn't have to wait for a table. We were seated right by the fireplace, and next to the checkers table, so after our orders were taken Anna Marie and I had ourselves a little game.

(She won. Obviously. My dad taught her everything about that game that she knows.)

We waited for our food (and for the biscuits and cornbread which Jason had requested). We waited. And we waited. And we waited.

And seriously, because of our checkers game, I hadn't really noticed the time. Plus, Anna Marie had ordered a hamburger, which always takes a little longer.

Finally, our waitress, Ursula (a middle-aged German lady with a neat accent), came by to say that the hamburger was holding up production and our food would be out momentarily. And also, would we like some biscuits while we were waiting?

Jason had to stifle his laughter at that last question.

A few more minutes pass (yes, she brought the biscuits this time) and the manager comes by. Seems our ticket had gotten lost in the back, and our food had not been made!

"We're very sorry, but we're working on it now, and dinner will be on me."

Now, our dinner probably wouldn't have been more than $15 anyway - Jason also ordered a kids meal, and I just had a bowl of pinto beans - but WOHOO!

As we left, Anna Marie said, "Doesn't dad have to pay for our food?"

Obviously, she wasn't listening.

Still high on our dinner blessing, we went to the nearby Target. Jason had told me that he wanted a new wireless keyboard/mouse for Christmas, because the one we currently have is so old that it isn't working with the Windows 7 upgrade on the desktop.

"I miss my volume button on the keyboard!" he lamented.

Well, Anna Marie and I were in a different part of the store, and met up with him. He was carrying a wireless keyboard/mouse combination.

"You are going to wrap this and put this under the tree," he said. "It's normally $30, but it's on sale for $15 until tomorrow."

Hooray for checking one more present off my list!

After the week I've had - Anna Marie isn't too keen on wearing long sleeved shirts, and she's been pretty vocal about it, so we've had a bit of a rough time, plus my sinuses are giving me fits and I haven't slept much - those two little gems really made my night.

There shall be showers of blessings . . .