American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.
Louis Grizzard, a great American
It's choice ~ not chance ~ that determines your destiny.
Jean Nidetch

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, December 31, 2009


I decided to keep a more detailed blog so that I can look back and see what we did on a particular day. Some days there is really nothing to write about but the everyday things that everyone deals with. Some days there is a little more - nothing very exciting though!

Not much happening today. Got up at usual time of about 7:00. Sam always sleeps later…8 or 8:30. I go to bed before him so I am ready to get up earlier. We had ham and eggs for breakfast. Ham was from Mother and eggs were free when you buy Sargento cheese at Publix.

Just messed around this morning, took showers, washed dishes, etc. I am going to Samantha’s house this afternoon about 4:00 to stay with the boys while they go look for new cell phones. I watched All My Children and made a chicken and rice casserole for Sam to have for dinner while I’m gone. He just needs to put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. I’ll eat with the boys - Samantha will have spaghetti ready for me to feed them. She also wanted to borrow my camera so I won’t have it for a few days.

I’m back now….about 9:45 p.m. Had fun playing with the boys and all their new Christmas toys. Spaghetti was good and they all ate their dinner. I did manage to watch the Bulldogs beat Texas A&M 44-20! Go Dawgs! Nice game - it was fun watching them win by so much - no nail biting going on (after the first half anyway! : )

One camper tonight!

Tues. 12/29

Today we slept pretty late……8:30 or so. We had ham and eggs for breakfast. I need to get milk at the store in order to have our usual cereal! I’ll do that tomorrow when I can get it free at Kroger. (With Rx Rewards). By the way, the ham was from Mother, the eggs were free from Publix deal and the bread was free with coupon.

Around 10:00 we decided to go to Lowe’s to get a new electric heater for the camper. Our old heater just quit working and the propane is just to expensive to use the furnace exclusively. With temps in the 20/30’s at night and 40/50’s days, it takes one tank every 5 to 7 days. That is $26 a week or over $100 a month. Way too much……..especially when electricity is free for us! We found a really nice one for $49.00, and with $15.00 remaining on my Lowe’s gift card, it was only $30 plus tax. We had the sales associate hook up three different ones for us and this one seemed to fit our needs the best. It is 750 Low/1500 High BTU’s, with reflector and fan. It’s about 2 ½ feet tall and about 18” wide and very ORANGE when on high. It’s like sitting in front of a hot fire. We don’t sit that close, keeping it over by the dining table, about 15’ from our chairs. With the bedroom door shut, it keeps the entire living area very toasty. At night we turn it to face the bedroom and open the door, of course. If the temp is in the 20’s we would probably need the furnace on low in order to warm the bedroom at night. We’ll find out soon as the forecast is for lows in the 20’s starting Friday for 4 or 5 nights!
I am still scared of electric heaters after hearing all the horror stories every year. We will be very cautious with this one and we always turn it off and unplug it when we are gone. We probably won't even use it when the boys are here...we'll just use the furnace.

After Lowe’s, we stopped at Kroger to drop off a prescription and pick up some free bread (free with coupons doubled). Also found some Hershey Kisses (Cherry Cordial flavor - my fav) at ½ price, so got the last two! I will splurge and pay ½ price for chocolate! ;-)

By now it’s lunch time. I had a few coupons that expire 12/31 from McDonald’s to use up. Sam hates McDonald’s so we stopped at Checkers to get him the free Champ Burger (on back of receipt) and large drink and fries. Then on to McD’s for my free medium Meal deal. I got the Swiss & Mushroom Angus Burger, Medium Fries and Medium Diet Coke for free. (Free deal mailed to me from Panama City where I had called in a complaint). The Angus Burger is really good but I would never pay full price for it. I think my meal was regularly $5.75. Then we had free cones (coupons expire 12/31 - I have 3 or 4 left!).

Got back to the camper around 2:30. Missed All My Children. We played with the new heater for awhile, took a short nap, had leftovers for dinner, watched some shows on HGTV, read a few blogs and time for bed!

Two campers tonight!

Wed. 12/30

Today we had to get up early for Eye Dr. appointments at 8:40. No breakfast for me, just coffee. Sam had cereal (with free milk from McDonalds!) We both are going to get eye exams and new glasses one last time before the eye insurance ends on 12/31. We did not renew that portion of the insurance for 2010, just to save a few dollars on insurance premiums. Our exams went well, we picked out new glasses and they will call us in a week or 10 days to pick them up.

We made a stop at Kroger to pick up one of my prescriptions - the last one with a $25 gift card coupon. Those coupons expire 12/31, and I will miss the free groceries (until I find more deals!). Those came from K-Mart and were good for $25 gift card when you transfer a prescription. Kroger honors other competitor’s coupons so I used them at Kroger for October, switched to Target and/or CVS for November (using their own coupons) and transferred back to Kroger for December. Since I have 5 (now 6) prescriptions each month (all are $4, except one which is $15), I actually ended up with about $250 free groceries from Kroger since October. While there we picked up a few grocery deals. We wanted some Boboli pizza shells to make pizza using the free pepperoni from last week’s Publix deals. They don’t sell them anymore so we had to make one more stop at Publix just to get the Boboli. I had $1 off coupons that expired 12/31 and luckily, Publix still sells them. Guess we’ll have Pizza when the boys come next time!

By the time we got back to the camper it was 1:00 and time for lunch and All My Children. I had egg salad sandwich and chips and Sam had ham sandwich and chips.

After lunch, I put up the rest of the groceries and Sam had to make a run to the farm store down the road to get one of the propane tanks filled. Hopefully, we will be using less propane now that we have the new electric heater.
While he was gone, I took down the tree and the Christmas decorations and got them ready for Sam to pack away when he returned.

I did identify a White-breasted Nuthatch on the pine tree outside the back of the camper. No camera so no picture for now. I’ve also seen several Eastern Bluebirds being very active around the campground.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon reading books or blogs and contemplating dinner. We decided on Barber’s broccoli stuffed chicken breasts (regularly $4.99 for box of 2 but only $.50 with Publix deals last week) and Betty Crocker’s sour cream and chives potatoes (free with Publix deal) and a small side salad to get in the veggies! Dessert was Nestle toll house cookies (I think these were $.45 instead of $2.89, also Publix deal).

Nothing on TV except reruns!

We had one camper overnight who has been here for 3 days now. They are leaving Thursday morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Joys

In the camper, the stockings were hung by the TV, with care!

Our little tree in the camper. The lights are fiber optic (wow).

Christmas night at 'Great-Grandma's' house at the Lake.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Ethen wasn't too happy to see Santa but Mackenzie tried to console him!

Santa's helpers...........

or Santa's Reindeer???

Logan at the Carousel at the Mall

And then meeting with Santa!

Kyle was in school (and he went last year) so Logan had a turn going with us to the Mall of Georgia this year. Next year will be Tyler's turn!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We moved to another site on Wednesday

Here we are set up on the Campground Host site. Internet service is much better up here.

Here's a view of the lake and beach from one of the picnic areas. Nice and quiet in the fall.

This little dog is the spittin' image of our 'Elvis.' I couldn't believe it when I saw them get out of their truck! They are from Carrollton and said they found him on their front porch 12 years ago. Wow...Elvis was 14 and we found him the same way. They camp here often so we'll see them again.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rain, rain......

go away!!
Lots of rain today. Only about 6 campers in the park but we are supposed to be full this weekend. Talladega race is Sunday and we're just about an hour away so this makes a pretty good spot for race fans to camp.

We had fun over the weekend with three of the grandkids who live nearby. It was cold but they didn't care....fall festival was going on at the park and they had a blast.

I was going to stay inside all day and be lazy but we decided to go to Captain D's for dinner (free, of course) and I quickly came up with a few deals to hit the stores near the restaurant. I found a brand new Food Lion and CVS out of town on the "bypass." I've never shopped in Food Lion so it will be another store to find deals. They have a lot of online coupons that I will get a look at when time allows. Anyway, tonight I got:

At Food Lion - 2 boxes cereal - banana nut cheeris (free) and Cokes were 4 for $10 to that was pretty cheap and I grabbed them. Total cost was $10.34 for Cokes and tax.

At CVS - 8 cans of Campbell's soup (free). Total cost was $.12 tax on gift card.

At Target - 4 boxes of cereal - fruit loops and apple jacks (free), 6 packs Keebler Deluxe Chip Cookies (free), and 5 Johnson Buddy bath soaps (free). Total cost was $.38 plus $.42 tax = $.80 total. Target is such fun to shop at IF the cashier's are not jerks! So far, so good. They price matched the CVS sale on the cereal and I had Target coupons and manufacturer's coupons to make the cereal and cookies free.

At Kroger - just ran in to get free bread but they were all gone. Price and coupons are good for a while so I'll be back.

And Captain D's was free because we joined the D Club and got free Fish & Fries dinners. Yummie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

At "home" in Georgia

Kyle's birthday #6 at John Tanner State Park

We've been at John Tanner State Park in Carrollton, Georgia, since Oct. 1st. We are currently the extra (3rd) set of campground hosts. All we do is work the paddle boat concession on the weekends from 11:00 to 6:00, weather permitting. This weekend is COLD (30's tonight) so no boaters today and probably not tomorrow! There are about 20 sites taken by a group from the YMCA and they are mostly in tents.....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

On November 1st, we'll move to the official Host site and do more general duties during the week like taking $$ for late arriving campers, selling firewood/ice, clean up sites, etc. Hopefully the internet service will be better since that site is up the hill, on higher ground.

Next weekend is the Fall Festival here in the park so we are hoping for nice weather. There will be hayrides, bonfire with hot chocolate, s'mores, ghost stories and spooky night hikes; Trick-or-treating at designated campsites and a movie under the stars. Smoky the Bear will be here to help out, too. Lots of fun stuff.........anyone in the Carrollton area, come on out 5:30 to 9:30 pm.

Carrollton is a great little city with every store, restaurant and fast food joint you can thing of. Lots of shopping opportunities with plenty of deals for couponers! Best of all, we're close to family and have already had numerous visits to and from kids and grandkids. Looking forward to holidays with them all nearby!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I hit the mother-load at Walmart and Kmart today....

Walmart take today....$96.98 total before coupons....paid $8.98!

Now, read the fine print.....I had 17 coupons for $3.00 off flea collars which sell for $.97 each. This equals an overage of $34.51. Other overages were 4 x $3.00 coupons on $1.97 disposable razors = $4.12 overage on razors. And 2 x $5.00 coupons on $3.97 Zantac = $2.06 overage on zantac. This equals total overage of $40.69. Now Walmart is not gonna hand over $40 in cash for buying their stuff....BUT....if you buy enough stuff so that the $40 is absorbed and you end up paying something then it works. So I chose to buy over $40 in groceries that I don't usually have coupons for such as meat, bread, produce.

Kmart doing doubles before coupons $78.81....paid $3.79!

More fine print.....
I had overages at Kmart because I had a couple of Kmart coupons for $3 off total purchase. I had two of these so I broke the order into two orders to use both. That's why I purchased the coupons for them but I had overage to use up. I ended up with two $5 off coupons to use on your next order. I'll probably use these at Publix 'cause they honor all competitor coupons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What 'cha want for dinner tonight??

Been workin' the deals' in August. Here's a couple of pics from a trip to Kmart and Publix. Kmart was doubling up to $2.00, so 2.00 coupon was doubled to $4.00. They're doing it again next week. Kmart total was $105.42 and I paid $14.80. Publix trip was today to get some buy one/get one frees before the weekly sale ended. Publix's ads run Wednesday thru Tuesday. This trip was $93.74 and after B1G1's, in-store specials, $3.03 left on gift card...I paid $15.08. Also went to Wally World Sunday. Total was $60.33 and I paid $15.20. Plus short trip to Winn Dixie to pick up a couple of B1G1 was $12.14 and paid $2.10
Totals for 4 stores was $271.63 and I paid $47.18. That's 82.6% savings. Not too bad. I didn't have to buy any meat in these trips, just the 2 boxes of fish sticks which will make 4 or 5 meals. I already had pork chops (B1G1 at WD last week) and ground beef. Publix has chicken and ground beef on sale this week so I'll do that before next Tuesday.
I'm always on the lookout for fast food/restaurant coupons. We eat out once or twice a week. Monday night we had Burger King - 2 whoppers, 2 fries, and 2 sr. diet cokes = $3.20 after free whoppers (on back of every receipt!). We ate a MacDonald's twice this month 'cause we had coupons for their new big burger; just buy burgers and get medium fry and drink free. And those burgers were surprisingly good but I'd never pay full price ($3.99) without coupon of some kind! Then there is Subway's footlongs for $5. Very good deal to bring home and add chips and diet coke. And I still have a few Sonic coupons for B1B1 burgers, footlong dogs, etc. There is also a new place in town called Chow Time. It's similar to Golden Corral but only $5.49 before 4:00. They have good peel'n eat shrimp.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Highlights of 2 weeks with Kyle and Logan

Extremely cool springs...........68 degrees.............

Go fly a kite...............

Lunch at Tom's Famous Hot Dogs........

The most gorgeous beach in Fla........

A great time was had by all!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Last photo from Texas

Here's the last of the cacti.....taken on our trip from Texas to Florida July 3rd.

We've been very busy since returning. We got back to Florida on July 4, taking just 2 days to travel over 1000 miles from Del Rio, TX (we weren't in a hurry or anything, lol!) Just glad to be back.
We stayed at cousin Marilyn's place from Saturday until Friday, July 10, when we moved on down to St. Andrews State Park at Panama City Beach, Fla. to begin our volunteer duties. We have the same site as last year, #103, looking out on the bay. Samantha and Nathan and the 3 boys came that night and stayed til Monday. Two boys, Kyle and Logan, stayed with us. We've been busy with them and trying to keep them entertained!

And lots of beach fun, too!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer.....

Now I know why they are called the lazy days of summer. It's too dang hot to even move around. Sit very still, in front of a big fan, with the air on high. That's all you can do when the temp is in the 100's. The past several days the sun comes up before 7:00 a.m. and there are no clouds to block it. Gets hot early. We spend the afternoons at the pool to stay cool. Actually, the only bad part of the day is from about 2:00 until 7:30 or 8:00. After 8:00 it gets cool again (inside). Today was probably the worst. Sam said he drank four bottles of water after lunch. They were weed-eating!! Luckily, he gets off at 3:30 when the very hottest part of the day begins.

Here's some pics of Scott & Angelia's trip to Myrtle Beach. Beautiful family!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big ol' Portabella Mushroom burgers

Something like this..........only bigger!

Forgot to take a picture...we scarffed 'em down too quick.

Two large Portabella Mushrooms - sprinkle with EVOO and Red Wine Vinegar. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side. Top with two slices fresh mozzarella cheese last minute of cooking.

Sprinkle buns with EVOO and grill til toasty.

Garnish with Lettuce leaves, Tomato slices, Red sweet onion slices, Mayo and any other favorites.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Less than 4 weeks to go

and we'll be out of here!

Nothing new to report. Just trying to keep cool (103!).

Sam has enough annual leave built up so that we are leaving 2 weeks early..........July 2 will be his last day to work. We're leaving July 3rd. Not a great time to be on the road but we can't just sit here and wait for the Holiday to be over.

Here's our son's (Scott) newest toy! They are all at Myrtle Beach this week! WHAaaaaaa!

Friday, May 22, 2009

More pictures from Atlanta trip last month...

My first flight on an airplane with props instead of jet engines. I won't do that again! Just too bumby and too scary for me. This was Continental's "code share partner" flying from Del Rio to Houston.

The Houston to Atlanta flight was on Continental's Express, operated by Colgen Air - the same company whose plane crashed near Buffalo in March. I was nervous.

Houston in overcast skies. There were thunderstorms in the area. We managed to go around them.

Everyone gathered for the Easter Egg Hunt. It's hard to get all five to be still at one time!
Mackenzie has a pretty good start...
Tyler searching...
Ethan wonders "what's going on?"Kyle counting his haul...
And Logan, digging in....

Here I am with all five!

Birthday boy enjoying his first cake...
And just a little bit more....

And a few Ka-Zillion presents to open!

Happy first birthday, Ethan!