Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free coffee!

Today is National Coffee Day!

And it's a perfect day to get some free caffeine! Among those offering a free cup of joe are:

7-Eleven: From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., participating stores in the U.S. and Canada will give away free medium-size cups of hot coffee, any flavor.

Krispy Kreme: Guests can receive a free 12 oz cup of the House Blend at U.S. and Canada stores.

Thorntons: Get a free cup from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. (for folks in the Midwest).

There are some reports on the internets that McDonald's has been giving out coffee this week, but I can't find any proof of a national giveway ... just for some select areas.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Just a couple of follow-ups:

I mentioned wondering if the pumpkin shortage in the Northeast would raise prices here in the Midwest. So far, prices look to be the same, if not a bit lower ... time to clean out the freezer, LOL!

I finally got through to my doc's office and got the test I needed. Decided to drop by yesterday since I hadn't heard from them about the results ... (sigh). But the results were great! So I'm doing the happy dance!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When it rains, it pours!

Funny thing about the universe ... the minute you plan for a big expenditure, a lot of little ones start popping up, too. It's like everything in the house starts yelling: "Me! Me! Pay attention to me!"

We no sooner hired the painters for the outside work, than:

  • The TV screen went dark (got sound, no picture).

  • My cell phone screen has an odd splotch ... broken pixels, methinks.

  • The water filter leak defies our attempts to fix it ... so it's got to come out.

  • The toilet needs new 'innards'.

  • Of course, that doesn't include the chain saw that has to be replaced and the lawnmower that a new handle, and the new floor for the kitchen ...

    Sigh ... one thing at a time ...

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    It finally gave out

    Can't believe it's been almost 2 years since I did this post about the Velux blanket that I salvaged:

    Well, time caught up with the old blanket ... it started getting threadbare at the top. I had another piece of fleece to use for a patch, but I decided to wash the blanket first to see if it would survive.

    It didn't. In fact, it made another **$%@!! mess in my washer.

    But in case you were wondering, the fleece strip survived just fine. I cut it off before I threw out the blanket.

    Maybe I will make that fleece pad for the cats after all.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Another pumpkin shortage

    If you live in the Northeast (as if you haven't had enough to worry about this year), expect your jack-o-lantern or pie pumpkins to cost more.

    Seems like Hurricane Irene decimated the pumpkin crops there, and the markets are buying pumpkins from the Midwest to make up for the shortfall.

    I also wonder if those of us in the Midwest will see higher prices, too, since farmers are selling off their surplus ...

    Maybe I should check prices before I get in a hurry to use up the pumpkin in my freezer.

    The full story:

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Menu Monday: Instant oatmeal/whole wheat pancakes

    Here's a good way to use any instant oatmeal you may have:

    1 egg
    1 1/4 cup milk
    2 tbsp. oil
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    1 tsp. sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 packages instant flavored oatmeal (or other whole-grain cereal, but not cream of wheat)

    Soak the oats in the milk for about 10 minutes. Beat egg, then add oil and oats/milk mixture. Add flours, sugar, baking powder and salt to liquid. Mix gently until all ingredients are combined. Cook on lightly oiled griddle.

    Makes about 12 medium-sized pancakes.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    Off to the market

    Recently, during a quick stop in Cleveland, Ohio, we got to see a real, live city market. The Westside Market was opened in 1912, and has continued to serve its urban neighborhood.

    The times, I suppose, have forced some changes -- the market is only open four days a week. But there was a good crowd the day we were there.

    I thought it was fascinating to walk around and look at all the various foods offered for sale. Cleveland has held on to its ethnic heritages, so it there were plenty of foods represented, from Italian to Eastern European.

    Unfortunately, we couldn't buy anything perishable, but we did hit the coffee stand and a bakery for breakfast (and some cookies to take home). Also got a good deal on some produce (which is in a separate building).

    It made me nostalgic for the city market in my hometown, which can't seem to make a go of it as a real market ...

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Ring-ring, ring-ring

    Dear Doc:

    You know that test you'd like me to take? I've been trying to call your office to schedule it, but I can't get a human being to answer the phone! Ten minutes of the "Our staff is busy loop" gets old ... especially at Day 3.

    From your about-to-be-former patient

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Today's tip

    Had a small crisis: The zipper pull on DH's pants pocket (the one with the wallet) broke off.

    Emergency fix: A small safety pin made a good stand-in.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Power up!

    Did something cool this past week ... we were invited to test-drive an electric car. (Since this wasn't a blog-related event, I'm not going to mention the name.)

    The car I got to drive was a cute little blue number. I'd seen photos of this vehicle, but in person, it looked smaller, closer to a sub-compact (but still cute).

    Inside though, there seemed to be plenty of room. Instead of a traditional shifter, there was something that resembled a large button. And there wasn't an ignition key ... just a starter button.

    I hit the starter button and heard ... nothing! Well, almost nothing ... the air conditioning fan came on. Otherwise, the only clue I had was the now-lit dashboard display.

    Once on the road (and these folks get props for allowing us to use city streets), I have to admit this car was fun to drive. The ride was very smooth; steering was easy and responsive.

    And this baby is peppy. Even in economy mode, it took little effort to break the speed limits ;)

    So, great car. Drives well. Good for the environment. Sign me up.

    But wait! There's a catch ... the price. $35,000 to $37,000, plus up to $2,000 to install the charger in my garage. (BTW, the range, I'm told, is about 100 miles on a full charge. And at the moment, there aren't a lot of public charging stations out there.)

    Ouch! Frankly, a near $40,000 investment is way, way out of my price range. And some quick calculations show that at current gas prices, we'd likely save $8,000 over 100,000 miles. To be honest, I'm not sure how much we'd save on things like oil changes, though I'm not sure it would be enough to offset the extra costs. I'd love to see some real-life analysis on that.

    Right now, the bottom line is that we won't be early adopters at the casa de chaos. Maybe once the technology becomes more popular, and the prices go down ...

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    August Freebies

    L'Oreal cream
    Spenda Essentials
    Cottonelle wipes
    Suave body wash
    Kashi cereal
    1 bottle water
    Wisk detergent