Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Boys of Summer

The Man of the House playing softball.  I think he's the best pitcher in the league!

Queen Anne's Lace Jelly

It all started with my youngest sister.  She mentioned that someone she knew used to make jelly out of those flowers that grow all over the place around here.  Jelly?  Out of what is essentially a weed?  Interesting...  The idea blossomed (pardon the pun) and I knew I was going to have to give it a try.

First I gathered the flower heads and poured boiling water over them.  They were set aside to steep and make an infusion.  Some recipes call to let it steep for 5 hours or overnight. Some say for at least 15 minutes. I let mine go for about an hour.

At this point you strain the liquid to remove all the flower heads and any other stray, um.. anything... that might be floating.

  Pour into a stainless steel pot and for each 2 1/2 cups of infusion - add the juice of one lemon and a packet of powdered pectin.

Bring to a boil and add 3 cups of sugar for every 2 1/2 cups of infusion.  Boil hard for 1 minute.

Skim it, pour it into sterilized jelly jars, and seal.

And VOILA!! 

I was concerned that my jelly wouldn't set up at first, but it seems to have jelled nicely once left to sit overnight.  My second small worry is that everything I read that mentioned a color talked about pink.  I even saw a picture.  Mine isn't a shade I would call pink.  I did see reference in a few places to adding pink color if desired, so maybe that's the key is that it's typically food colored.  I'm secretly hoping that's it and not that I screwed something up.

Next up:  Wine Jelly!!  

Earth Fare Deal!

If you have an Earth Fare near you, be sure to join their Welcome Home program!  The Man of the House and I are both signed up and we've gotten some super deals so far.  Some of my favorite coupons have been for a free meal (free natural whole chicken, 1 lb bag baby carrots, and 1 lb of mashed potatoes) and a free pound of bacon from the fresh meat case! 

This past week's offering was a coupon for a box of Earth Fare cereal for $1, and another for organic bananas at $.25 a pound (up to 4 lbs)!!

Breakfast, anyone?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Giving a shout out to the 2 best fathers I know! 

My own Dad

And The Man of the House

Happy Father's Day!  I love you!!

Sister Time

I was lucky enough to spend much of the past week with family.  My sister, her daughters, and my mother came to visit. 

I always cherish time with my sisters.  We don't get enough of it now that we live almost 9 hours apart.  And I missed my middle sis tremendously during this visit.  Hopefully she will be visiting soon.

We made the most of almost every day.  Taking kids fishing, picking blueberries and swimming at our dad's house, going to the Biltmore Estate, the North Carolina Arboretum, and the local tailgate market.  It was a fun-filled adventure and we made lots of memories together.

It was also bittersweet.  Because it reminded me of how much I miss when we are all apart.  And makes me miss my sisters that much more. 

They can make me laugh and make me cry. (and sometimes laugh until I cry)  Sometimes they keep me sane.  Sometimes they make me crazy.  They make me wonder at how alike we are,  and how we can be so different - all at the same time.  They remind me of who I used to be, and push me to be the person I can become. 

They are my sisters.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Well, Which Is It?

I had to pause for a moment.   And stare at the label.  And wonder. 

Last night I noticed that my mouthwash says it offers "24 Hour Protection".  It also says that I should use it twice a day.  Odd.

If it offers 24 hour protection, shouldn't using it once a day be sufficient?  Or, if I must use it twice a day - then it doesn't really offer 24 hour protection, does it?   Now I'm all confused and don't know what to do.  How often should I be using it?  Which is it???

Friday, June 10, 2011

Something Big

I think there's something out there.   Something I am supposed to be doing.  I just don't know what it is.  I am being pulled toward something.  I can feel it tugging at me.   Calling me.  I just have to figure out what it is and where it's taking me.  I am going to keep looking for it.  And trust that I'll know it when I find it. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memories of Memorial Day

This year Memorial Day was, well... different.  The Princess had work.  The Little Man had school (they were making up a snow day)  That left myself and The Man of the House to amuse ourselves.  We decided to head over to the Biltmore Estate for a walk and a little picnic.  The Man made lunch and we were on our way.  It was a hot, HOT day.  But beautiful.

We started at the Lagoon

Walked along the river...


Until we found the perfect spot for our picnic

We watched the geese...

And the canoes going by.

And on the way back we enjoyed the views of the house.


The Little Man's 13th Birthday Celebration

Yes.  I survived.  And now we move forward through the teenage years.  But first, here's a few pictures of his celebration:

I admit it...  I ordered the cake and just added the writing, figures, and candles.

Attacked by silly string as he blew out the candles!!  LOL

Isn't It Lovely?

Here it is.  My treasure.  My lovely, lovely coupon file.

Even Boba Fett likes my coupon file.  Or maybe he just knows there are coupons for cat food and treats in there somewhere...

Update on my Target experience this week

I sent an email to Target regarding my coupon experience this week and got what appeared to be a form type letter reply simply stating what type of coupons they accept - which I already knew. So I called Guest Relations. The response I got was pretty much "Sorry about that. If it happens again you can call us from the store so we can work with the management team to figure out what is occuring."
Not exactly satisfactory, but at least this way I knew a real person had to listen to my complaint so I felt heard.

Is That Your Dad??

Saw this on the news today and laughed so hard, I cried.  I couldn't resist sharing with all of you.  You really must follow the link and look at all the pictures.

World's Most Embarrassing Dad

Monday, June 6, 2011

Target Missed the Spot Today!

I am frustrated. I don't like being frustrated.  And I was a little embarrassed too.  I don't like being embarrassed either.  What happened you ask?  Well, let me tell you...

Today I made my regular Monday shopping trip to Target.  And for the first time the cashier and manage refused to take several of my coupons!!

I was using coupons from yesterday's paper for Tide and Q-tips.  The coupons did not specify a certain size had to be purchased to use the coupons.  And they did not state that trial sizes were excluded from the coupon.  But they refused to accept them because I was purchaseing travel sized items.  I have used this type of coupon in the past with no problem.

And yes, the register popped up a little notice that was along the lines of "if item is included please press accept" or something along those lines.  They said they couldn't do that because it was against policy.  Please!!  I've seen the cashiers do that literally dozens of times when it popped up for other coupons and not even blink over it.  Policy, my foot!!  He just didn't want to take my coupons for the travel size.

I typically enjoy shopping at Target.  And one of the reasons is because of how they accept coupons.  Even allowing customers to use one manufacturer's coupon and one store coupon on the same item.  It's an important part of my strategy to save money and make the most out of our grocery budget.

But today's experience left me annoyed, frustrated, and yes - a little embarrassed.  AND will have me carefully considering how much of my business Target will be getting in the future.


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