Sunday, January 29, 2012

IZZE RUINED MY KEYBOARD

Last night I had a bottle of IZZE. It’s a combination of fruit juice and sparkling water. It’s my NEW favorite drink. But it’s expensive, so when I have one, it’s a real TREAT. Unfortunately, I accidently knocked the bottle over and spilled it. It poured out all over my computer keyboard. What a mess. Not knowing what to do… I flipped my keyboard upside down and let it drain. All night long. I figured it would be good to go in the morning. So I slept in and forgot about it. Later in the day, I cleaned up the damage. Everything seemed to be functioning until I tried to use my space bar. It kept sticking. Then it STOPPED working altogether. Wouldn’t budge. This frustrated me. Not only had I lost the cost of the IZZE, but now I needed to BUY a NEW keyboard. This was an added expense, we didn’t need. It snowed today and I made a decision not to drive in it. So the keyboard would have to wait until Monday or sometime later in the week. There would be no commenting on blogs or new blog posts from me, today. I was really mad at myself for being so clumsy. I began moping around the house since I couldn’t be online. But my hubby quickly came to my rescue, when he heard the problem. He went into his office and brought out a BRAND NEW keyboard, still in the box. It apparently had come with a NEW computer he had gotten a while back. At the time, he kept using his old keyboard with it because he didn’t like this one. LUCKY for me, he didn’t throw it away, or donate it. I LOVE this NEW keyboard. The buttons are recessed into the board, flushed with the surface. It’s more sleek and modern than the one that got drenched with IZZE. I LOVE it. Which goes to prove... ‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’ And... gifts come from the most unexpected places. I wonder what else my husband has hidden in that office of his?



Monday, January 23, 2012

LEFTOVERS AN INTERNATIONAL DELIGHT

I am finally back on my feet, after my recent illness. Following 8-10 days with little if any food, I am now cooking up a storm and eating too. I was apparently starving. It is only my husband and I here at the house. Yet... I have a tendency to make enough FOOD to feed an army. Well, maybe not an army. LOL - But definitely enough for a very LARGE family. So the leftovers have been piling up. Because I haven’t left the house much recently, due to the fact I was so sick… I wanted to go out somewhere tonight to eat, instead of cooking in. I thought we could use a gift card we got at Christmas to offset the cost. My husband immediately nixed the idea. He wanted to spend a quiet evening at home watching Desperate Housewives and Pan Am. But after telling me this… he then had the gall to ask what I was going to make for dinner. I was a tad bit peeved. Say what? Were you NOT listening mister? I am NOT in the mood to cook. Nor was I in the mood... to listen to him COMPLAIN about any menu I might put together. He is very particular about his food. And expresses his dissatisfaction often, though he won't lift a finger to help. So I thought about it for a minute or two, then decided we’d have a SAMPLER PLATE using up the leftovers. On the surface that sounds GOOD. But the diversity in flavors from the refrigerator contents was enormous. Didn’t know if we were ready to combine them all at once? However, my husband is all about saving a dime, these days, because he’s unemployed, so he agreed, LEFTOVERS it was. Biryani Chicken, Artichoke Ravioli, and Peanut Thai Salmon were the dishes. I divided them up between our two plates. Then... heated them up in the microwave. I added fresh radishes and snowpeas to the plates, for vegetables. Although a bit unconventional, the combination of INTERNATIONAL flavors made this SAMPLER PLATE an instant hit with both of us. Everything was even MORE delicious the second time around. I must admit it was better than a trip to a restaurant. Our delighted palates went from India, to Italy, and Thailand. Dessert was Cherry Paczki from Poland. Perfect for a dismal snow covered night. Have you ever had an impromptu dinner of leftovers… that took you on an exotic trip around the world… out of your doldrums?




Sunday, January 15, 2012

PORCELAIN BUS, GARBAGE BOWL & BEING SICK

We are all adults. I am going to be blunt and a little naughty with my choice of words here. Do not hate me. It’s delirium. I have been driving a PORCELAIN BUS for the past 8 days battling the flu. Finding humor in this whole ordeal makes it tolerable for me. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain. A porcelain bus is a toilet. Here’s WHY in case you never saw the comedy show that first brought it to the world’s attention. Visualize this. A city bus driver, sitting tall, hand on the wheel. Me... on the floor in my bathroom, with my arms wrapped around the bowl as I repeatedly vomit. My bobble head never skipping a beat. See the similarities. Or better yet, imagine me at a FANCY schmancy SPA... paying the price for expensive COLONIC therapy... as I sit my aging derriere on the THRONE... um, COMMODE seat to EVACUATE my bowels, oops! CLEANSE MY SOUL. On the other hand... I’ve been using my brand NEW Rachael Ray GARBAGE Bowl... I got for Christmas, for the EXACT same purposes... when I can’t CRAWL out of bed from the high fever and chills. It’s just the right size, who knew? One has to be creative when you’re suffering like this. Not a pretty picture, I’ve painted. Is it? Too much information, you say. I'M SORRY. Just wanted you to all know why I’ve been missing in action, reading and commenting on your blogs. Good thing for me I only post here, once a week. This is THAT update. Please do NOT worry about me. Things are looking up. In the past 24 hours I seemed to have turned a corner. My PJ’s are drenched. The fever has finally broke. Food, other than saltine crackers, has suddenly become attractive. But my stomach is still doing flip-flops, so easy does it on my intensines. Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls, scrambled eggs, or a plate of egg noodles slathered in mushroom soup… while doing absolutely NOTHING for my refined palate… might just stay down. Meanwhile, ginger ale, made with REAL ginger, WETS my WHISTLE... even though I hate soda pop. This bout with FLU has taught me some valuable lessons. Number 1. Flu Shots do NOT work. Number 2. $H!T... pardon me, FECES Happens when you least expect it. Number 3. This TOO shall PASS.

Monday, January 9, 2012

RETRO in the NEW YEAR



With all its ups and downs, the OLD year is behind us. Now it is time to make a FRESH start and move forward. One of the first things my husband and I did in 2012 to facilitate that, in regards to our current financial situation, is to ELIMINATE our LANDLINE. It was costing way too much money to maintain it AND our mobile phones. So… it is CELLPHONES ONLY... here at the house, from now on. Plus... we’re using Skype and the computer for video calls. We’re making the adustment well. I find I don’t miss the housephone at all. But there’s a reason. For Christmas my hubby and I got ourselves a GIFT that just keeps on giving. It’s called a Native Union Moshi Moshi Retro POP Handset. I know that’s a mouthful. I usually don't endorse things, but it’s a really NEAT product. It costs about $30 and comes in a variety of colors. I got a purple one. My husband got black. You plug this handset into your cellphone and you can have a conversation like on a regular old-fashioned phone. REMEMBER. The ones where you could hold the handset/receiver on your shoulder and walk around the house. According to Amazon, and I’m quoting here… " It was developed by French designer David Turpin. This Retro POP Handset combines the comfort of a traditional handset telephone with the convenience of the modern cellphone transforming it into a unique conversation device. It is compatible with all 3.5mm jack cellphones and computers, including Droid, iPhone, BlackBerry, iPad and the latest MacBooks. It has noise-reducing technology for a crisp clear sound. It eliminates up to 99 percentage of the radiation that is usually absorbed by using a regular cellphone. And last but not least it has a button on the handset for easily picking–up or hanging-up the phone." My husband and I absolutely, positively LOVE it. It brings back part of the past we miss, with a modern day twist. Santa did GOOD. This is the BEST gift ever. A GREAT investment. And so much FUN. Makes sacrificing the landline totally worth it. 
 

Monday, January 2, 2012

CHANGE IS GOOD


I never have MORE than $2.00 of coins in my purse or on my person at any given time. It weighs me down and I don't like handling it. So I have a variety of places I put all my spare change in. A floppy wicker basket. A jar. A ceramic cat. A flower vase. An old teapot. Just to name a few. The other day I noticed these places were getting kind of full, so I decided to empty some of the coins into one big container, instead. I had a plastic shoebox, on hand, so that's what I used. My husband took a wild guess about how much money was actually in there. He guesstimated about $250.  I laughed at him. "Your estimate is way too high," I told him. But he insisted it wasn't. Wanting to settle this debate once and for all, I decided I would CASH this PART of my STASH in. I still had other collections of coins, throughout the house, that I was saving.  But I didn't want to ROLL any of them. It was time consuming and the bank always gave me a hard time when I brought them in. There was a COINSTAR machine up at the local grocery store, that counted coins, so that's where we headed. 
                   
Never having done this COINSTAR thing before... it proved to be a bit of a challenge. You have to pour your coins, very slowly into this little basket, on the machine, that siphons them through the machine to be sorted and counted. Of course, you don't get to see this actually happen... you only HEAR it. Believe me when I tell you, it makes quite a racket. And sometimes it gets backed up. Then you have to wait for it to catch up.When the last coins are counted and it's finished... it spits out a receipt telling you, what's what. You can click on receipts pictured here to make them bigger, so you can see the breakdown of the transaction. It shows you exactly how many nickels, quarters, dimes, etc. that you had. Kind of cool, isn't it?


But also notice that COINSTAR isn't FREE. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! They take a processing fee of about 9%. That was cause for pause, when we realized it. I could have rolled the coins myself and had about $23 more. But the deed was done. I had almost $209 in my pocket. I was impressed. My hubby's estimate wasn't too far off. So I decided to go back home and get the rest of the money I had been saving and bring it back to be tallied up.

This time around the plastic shoebox was even more full of coins. Once again my hubby took a wild guess. He said there was $500 in there. I guesstimated about $300. So we let COINSTAR do the work.


I had an additional $336.42. This time I had guessed the closest. I was so excited. Add that to the original $208.47 and the GRAND total of my COIN STASH was $544.89. Of course that's not including COINSTAR'S 9 %. But still... It's not a bad day's work for someone who doesn't collect a regular paycheck. I think I will put this money to good use. I'm SAVING it for a rainy day. But CHANGE IS GOOD. Maybe I should consider SPENDING it? Did you ever notice dollars burn a hole in your pocket, but coins accumulate?