Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

It's way passed midnight, and so it is officially Christmas.

 It was a beautiful Christmas eve. My brothers and their families came for dinner. It was the first time we have been all together in a very very long time and I have wanted this night to happen for a very very long time.

All the kids got along and there was even an impromptu duet with my daughter on the guitar and my nephew singing along.

 I felt so blest.

I hope and pray that you all have a beautiful blessed day. I wish for you all to be surrounded by those you love and that love you. Merry Christmas everyone.

Be safe and God bless.

 Happy birthday Jesus

Saturday, December 22, 2012





With the stomach flu paying a visit, colds, regular stress that comes from taking care of an elderly parent, an oil burner that said "I've had it!" and stopped working altogether and the added saddness of the state of our world...add to that a sprinkling of a house that looks like Santa and his elves came and vandalized 'Da joint'.

 then theres my hair...


I am DONE....

and that's not DONE in a good way like "Oh, my house looks great and presents are all wrapped under the tree kind of DONE... I mean



 So I have decided to re-post something that I wrote a few years ago. I have to remember to stop fretting and just go with the flow. I have to remind myself... It can always be worse.

                  A Town Called Stressville

          We haven't mailed out Christmas cards yet.  I have not finished my Christmas shopping yet and I am beginning....no...no...no....I'm there... A town called Stressville.

I live not too far from Migraine Rd. and I'm almost directly across from Calgon take me away St.  Do you know the place? Well today I went down to do some shopping at Crowds r Us, but first I stopped by Can't Find a Freakin' Parking Spot Place.

There I bought some curses that came all wrapped up in someone mouthing something that looked to me like they were saying "Folk Stew" but then again I can't read lips.

 I stopped by the Pile On the Pounds Bakery and purchased a cannoli in my favorite flavor "Double Chin Surprise". Don't get me wrong this is my town and it's home for now...but come December 26th.....I'm OUTTA HERE!

Gotta Laugh or else I'd cry.


Hope this put smiles on your faces and if you are feeling the way I am or worse...God Bless you! Hang in there. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fire Dept. Parade of Lights

      Every year the Fire Department has a parade of lights. They decorate the fire trucks with tons of lights and they all get dressed in costumes. They blare the horns as they enter predetermined sites and the children clap and smile.

We go every year.

The one aspect of the lights parade that I love is the Nativity scene they pull on a trailer.

This year the horns blared, the lights sparkled and the Volunteer Firefighters waved and smiled.

I looked for the car pulling the manger and Three wise men..and it was missing!!!!

They had Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Rudolf. They even had a Menorah, but where was the Nativity scene?

Had they forgotten?

Was this another case of people wanting to take Jesus out  altogether from Christmas?

I was disapointed.

and starting to get a bit miffed.




A car hurried into the parking lot towing The Nativity scene.

There were the three wise men, Mary Joseph and Baby Jesus waving and smiling

I heard a child say..."I knew they would come! I guess Mary had to Change the Baby Jesus' diaper." He smiled and happily ate a small candy cane as if it was the most awesome candy ever.

God bless the children, in their innocence they see the world not how it is but how it should be.

Now more than ever we pray for a world as seen through children's eyes..Loving, fair, safe and hopeful

Friday, December 14, 2012

Today's Heartbreak

Thoughts of last kisses and snuggles will haunt Mother's minds.

With no happy feet to jump on the bed
                Little bed spreads will remain unrumpled

No gapped tooth smiles to show Mom what they made in art today.

There will be no little hands to rip open wrapped toys on Christmas morning

Laughter silenced, Tomorrow robbed.

Parent's empty arms will ache for just one more hug

In an instant all has changed.

No words can explain the unexplainable

Shocked faces will be etched with grief as the realization of what has happened today pours in

A painful quieting of innocence is heard loud and terrifyingly clear

There in the awful silence, hearts are broken....forever

Praying for all those Parents and Family members affected by this horrible tragedy in Connecticut.

                Click here to download 640x480 image


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fillin' up the Pantry

My computer sucks
My computer sucks
My computer sucks
My computer is El Stinko

That has been my mantra, why not a more positive saying you ask? Well, its the only thing that stops me from throwing out this dilapidated piece of crapity crap out the window!!!!
I have promised myself that no matter what this stupid stinking computer puts me through today....I will write a STINKIN' POST!!!!!

OK then, I feel better.

Now back to saving a bit of doe ray mee ( as my Mother-in-law says)

You may wonder how the heck people are able to stock pile. That is when they have a pantry that is packed with food items. Many could survive on their stockpile for weeks and even months. I used to think  ehh whats the big deal? I'll just use my coupons and whatever else I can get then I will do so and put that in my "pantry".

 OK,. when I write pantry I meant that I had a small Tupperware box in my basement that was half filled with extra toilet paper rolls, a couple bottles of dish soap and one can of soup.



Anthony from Grits and Groceries: Anthony Stemke
"I am not much of a consumer, and the knockoff brands are still cheaper after the coupons. I see successful coupon people, but they have a huge pantry."

Mare Ball  from ADVENTURES IN THE BALLPARK wrote "We coupon too. I stockpile too, so I never have to buy certain items at full price."

I was in awe of people's pantries...How the heck did they do it? I was barely able to get the essentials when I went grocery shopping much less getting extras to store away.

Well, I found out that I was doing my grocery shopping all wrong. Now did you know that grocery store sales are cyclical? I didn't.

Yep, every 8- 12 weeks or so the same items tend to go on sale again and again.

I make some kind of pasta dish every week. I have noticed that that brand of pasta that I like to use goes on sale a few times during that 12 week period, but only once does it go on sale for a dollar a box.

This is when I get 10 to 12 boxes of different kinds of pasta( enough to last me three months) This way It enables me to have that pasta in my pantry at its lowest possible price.

You might ask...how can I possibly know when these will go on sale?

At first you are going to have to do a bit of good old fashioned note taking. Make a list of the items you buy on a regular basis. Jot down the regular price...then when you see the item again at a lower price mark that down too with the date of course.

 Mark down Week one, week two and the sales for those weeks. Chances are that eventually you will see that your item is priced at it's ultimate rock bottom price. That is when you buy enough to last you for 8 to12 weeks. Once you are keeping a log you will eventually know when those rock bottom prices are about to occur. Lets say you go through a box of cereal every two weeks- then you make sure you buy 6 to last you until the next sale.

OK, now this part is very very important....remember those coupons? This is where they come in. By now you have saved coupons and now know what items are due to go on sale...clip them and use them with the items at rock bottom prices to get super savings!

In addition to 8 to 12 week cycles in sales. there are monthly cyles too. Yep, The best time to buy chips and dips, snack foods, oatmeal, tea? JANUARY~~ chips in January...Why? The super Bowl!!!!


FEBRUARY: Chocolate, Chinese food items, soups, heart healthy products

MARCH: Frozen foods

APRIL: Hams, Lamb, Kosher foods

MAY: Soda, BBQ stuff, condiments, soda

June Yogurt, Cheese, ice cream

JULY: Hot dogs, picnic items, Ketchup, Mustard

AUGUST:  Back to school supplies

SEPTEMBER:  Breakfast foods,

OCTOBER: candy, pizza, pasta

NOVEMBER: Turkey, soups, canned veggies, baking supplies

DECEMBER: Baking supplies, prime rib, frozen rolls and cookies

The list might change slightly but you get the gist. And it make sense. Mustard and ketchup are a great deal in the summer but there will be a few times that it will be super low and that is when you can buy enough for the whole year! ( beware of the expiration dates if you do this)

Now, you have scouted and found out when things will go on Rock bottom sales; Remember different weeks will give you different items on sale.

Now why buy enough for 8 to12 weeks? Because this way you will always have your items on hand and you won't have to buy them at a high price when you run out. Now lets say you just don't have the time to go through lists and reciepts to find out the best time to buy....Do you have an Aldi's supermarket nearby or another type of no frills place?

Recently one opened near me and it is my new favorite "go to place". Great deals and at times better than prices with coupons.

Why stockpile? by the way I hate that word....
How 'bout I write well stocked pantry.

I learned recently the importance of having a stocked pantry.  HURRICANE SANDY

Even after the storm the supermarkets themselves were low on EVERYTHING... and what's worse many were not taking debit or credit cards so if money was not taken out of the bank before the storm you were out of luck.

So ?.... why not just go somewhere that was more stocked or did take credit cards...Even if there was  ( which there weren't) There was still one obstacle...Gas. There was none.

It was like this domino effect that happened at light speed.

Last year during Hurricane Irene a person I know admitted she didn't take that storm seriously. When day three came around she ran out of food for her family. She told me " Joanne, I felt like such a failure for not being more prepared.". She was able to hang out with some relatives near-by .

She was lucky then because she had somewhere to go to.... This time around she and her Husband took this storm very seriously and they were all prepared.

With the stuff I had in my pantry I was able to care for my family and my Mother and a few of her elderly neighbors that were unable to leave their apartments.
What sort of things should you have in your well stocked pantry??

Well, lets see...here's my list...

Ok, wrong list. This is my DREAM pantry.

 Things like canned soups and rice (in sealed plastic containers)...These two items can be such a God-send in times of need.

Susan Kane from The Contemplative Cat  wrote : "They never ( her Children) knew that Campbell's Chunky soup was meant to be 2 servings and wasn't supposed to be served on rice to feed the five of us. "

The secret? Planning. Plan those meals and little by little add onto that pantry.  There is a saying...Fail to plan...plan to fail.

Maybe I should make that my mantra...It'll keep my mind off of my crapity computer.