Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Full Red Moon


Tomorrow night will host the second full moon in August and it is called the Full Red Moon, which is weird because it will also be a Full Blue Moon.  If there are forest fires about the moon really could be a reddish color, but I would like to see it be blue.  Now that would be cool.  Full Blue Moons aren't really as rare as I thought they were.  They happen about every couple of years, so now all that werewolf business out in Forks is starting to make sense.  They better get ready for a brand new litter out there.

Now you know that Miss MoneyPenny is an avid reader of such things as The Costco Connection, The AAA magazine, and all the grocery flyers, so you won't have to read them.  I do the reading and pick out the important stuff and report back to you.  What I found in the AAA magazine this month is a $30 coupon to be used in October for work done on your car, so go dig it out of your recycle box.  It is on page 36.  The deal is you take your car to a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop and get your work done.  The coupon applies to everything except oil changes.

So, I went up to my local repair shop and asked about this.  Ben of Satch Works said that he isn't a AAA shop, but that he would be happy to honor the coupon.  What a guy!!  You do have to have the coupon, so if you don't belong to AAA you might stop by one of their offices and ask for the Sept/Oct magazine and they would probably be happy to give it to you, hoping that you would sign up.  AAA gets the famous MoneyPenny Seal of Approval, in case you are wondering.

The other deal that I ran across is with LL Bean.  They are offering a $10 gift card for orders $50 and above and I jumped on it.  I don't know how long this is for, but probably through Monday...I'm guessing and they do have free shipping on everything.

This also seems to be when mattresses are on sale.  Who knew that your $2000 mattress didn't last forever??  Anyway, everybody from Sears to Macy's is having a sale on them.  Be sure and try for free delivery and old mattress take away.  When I first moved here, the renters next door threw their old mattress out in the back yard and set fire to it.  Now, that is a nasty stink that you don't soon forget.  That thing smoldered in the rain for about two weeks but if felt more like two years.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

QFC Shopping Basket 8/29

I'm liking how this grocery cart was recylced.  I don't know how QFC would feel about this, but it looks pretty comfy and would definitely work on my deck.  I wish it had cup holders, though, and come to think of it, those wheels could be a problem, considering my experience with that office chair.
This weekend is Labor Day weekend and the end of summer for the kids and the beginning of quiet time in my neighborhood - at least during the day.  It is really hard to get in a good nap what with all that yelling and having fun going on.  Lots of kids around here.
Labor Day usually means a cook out and QFC has you covered with a pretty decent ad this week.  They are also having a 4-day sale - Friday through Monday.  If you are a steak lover, they have ribeyes at a stock up and freeze price.  I always like to have a steak in the freezer for when I get that cavewoman type meat craving.
So let's go shopping:
Tillamook Yogurt - 10/$4
QFC Cottage Cheese - $1/ea 16oz
Tillamook Butter - $1.99/lb (4-day sale)
Ribeye Steak - $5.98/lb
Fresh Wild King Salmon - $9.99/lb
Hebrew National Franks - $3/12oz
Fresh Wild Dover Sole - $5.99/lb
Hempler's Brats/Italian Sausage - $2.99/lb (4-day sale)
Lay's Chips - $2/ea 10oz
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce - $1/ea 18oz
Spice Island Spices - 50% off
Franz Bread - 50% off
Nabisco Saltines - 50% off
Classico Pasta Sauce - 50% off
NW Corn - 10/$3
Driscoll's Strawberries - $1.99/lb
Hass Avocado - $ .99/ea
NW Peaches - $1.99/lb
Yellow or Zucchini Squash - $1.29/lb
Personal Sized Watermelon - $2.50/ea (4-day sale)
Broccoli/Cauliflower - $1.29/lb
I know that QFC has peaches for $1.99 a pound but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I noticed that Chimacum Corner had organic peaches and nectarines for $1.49 a pound the other day.  I regularly drop by to pick up local and seasonal produce there.  They almost always beat QFC's prices and the quality is superior.  Just saying.  I'm not mad at QFC, or anything.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Recap 8/27


I was deadheading the dahlias this weekend when the guy from Seattle grabbed these two.  He said they were much too beautiful to go into the compost yet.  They are a little ragged around the edges but they are still show stoppers.  Imagine our surprise the next morning when we noticed a snail headed for the fruit bowl.  It looks like that Sluggo that I bought last year might be losing its oomph.

Between doctor's appointments and a trip to Silverdale, it seemed like we were on the go all weekend.  We stopped off at Target for you know who's nicotine patches, and I happened to notice that they had a deal on Friskies cat food that I couldn't pass up.  Usually the best deal is at Costco for a case of 48 @ $ .47 a can.  I bought Target's last two cases of 32 (DC likes the pate') getting them for $ .36 a can.  It pays to keep your eyes peeled.

This weekend turned into a real food bartering operation.  I potted up some lettuce starts for Mr. SuperGenius and dug him a mess of potatoes, because his aren't quite ready and added a Walla Walla Sweet to the bag.  My neighbor went fishing and gave me a side of salmon.  I dug him some potatoes, pulled an onion, and picked a pound of green beans.  Mr. SuperGenius came back with about five pounds of fabulous blueberries.  I gave him a chunk of salmon.  We were all very happy. 

Also, this weekend - Shane, the cute handyman, cleaned out the gutters and the roof.  I can't believe that it is time to start getting ready for winter.  I had been playing with the idea of a heat pump but just don't feel comfortable spending that kind of money right now.  My sister, Miss SmartyPants, said if it doesn't feel comfortable, then it isn't the thing to do, so I'm not gonna do it at this time.  But I am going to call up Ben's Heating and have them come out and service my furnace.  Having the furnace go t*ts up during a cold snap is no picnic, I'm here to tell you.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

QFC Grocery Basket 8/22

When I heard that Phyllis Diller died on Monday at the age of 95, I was surprised because I didn't know that she was still around.  I first became familiar with Ms. Diller in the mid 60s when she was on a lot of the variety shows at that time.  She was shocking to say the least.  I'd never seen anything like her and I thought she was great.  That laugh!!  And who could forget her worthless husband, Fang??  She was actually a very lovely lady who got herself up like that to break into a man's world of stand up comedy and she succeeded.

Let's talk grocery shopping.  I just finished a book about couponing and I'm not giving out the title because it really isn't worth going out and buying it, but the author raised a good point.  Her point is that stockpiling is the gateway drug to hoarding and if you need something, it will be on sale very soon.  I don't happen to agree with her.  She lives in a city where there are lots of stores and coupon doubling to go along with all that competition for business and that might work for her.

But Miss MoneyPenny lives in the proverbial sticks and we get what we get and like it with our sales.  And no coupon doubling, that I know of.  You have to be really on top of it around here to keep the old grocery budget under control.  I do agree that the people who do the extreme couponing are skating around the hoarding issue, what with their whole basement set up like a grocery store.  And who on earth really needs 98 bottles of vitamin water??  That is not sane and savvy shopping.  That is something else, again.

I believe that if through coupons and sales you can get your shampoo for $1 or free, stock up.  It doesn't go bad and you always need it.  When these kind of deals come along, I buy as many as I can with however many coupons I have, always picturing in my head how much room I have to store it, which is about six bottles.  Why run out of shampoo and end up paying full price??  Sane and savvy shoppers wouldn't do that, on purpose anyway.

Speaking of shopping, QFC is still running the Buy 10 Get $5 promo.  This is mainly on processed food, but look around the store as there are a lot of items on this promo that aren't in the ad.  Other than that, the ad is a real yawn but we still have to go shopping, so here are the highlights:

Franz Bread - BOGO
Betty Crocker Cake Mix - $ 99 (promo)
General Mills Cereal - $1.99/ea (promo)
S&W Tomatoes - $ .99/14.5oz (promo)
Nancy's Plain Yogurt - $3.99/64 oz
Amy's Entree - $2.99/ea (promo)
Nature Made Vitamins - BOGO
Fresh Wild Coho Salmon Fillets - $8.99/lb
Cucumbers or Green Bells - BOGO
Green Beans - $1.48/lb

Cruise Fund Update:

Old Balance = $179.38

                     +   350.00 (SmartyPants' half of cruise deposit)

                     +     40.94 (ebates check)

New Balance = $570.32

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Recap 8/20

I've never been a Led Zeppelin fan, except for Stairway to Heaven, but you gotta admit that the guy in the first picture looks pretty alright.  Today is Robert Plant's birthday and the second picture is how that old rock and roll worked for him.  I can't believe that Robert is only three months older than me!!  How in the hell did that happen??  Anyway, he has done some things that I actually like lately and have put them on my iPod - now that he isn't doing so much of that screaming anymore.

In my last post I mentioned something called a "transaction coupon."  Well, I sent the guy from Seattle up to the store for salsa and he came back with this one.  This is a "Catalina" coupon that shot out of the machine at checkout and all the coupon blogs are all over it.  This particular one is for Kraft products.  Who knew that my beloved Crystal Light was from Kraft?? 

The deals are listed on the right of the coupon, indicating how many items that you need to buy to get the money.  If you buy any 10 of them, you get $10 bucks, but you don't have to buy 10 to get money.  Example:  Crystal Light goes on sale.  I have three coupons.  I buy three and use the transaction coupon at checkout and get another coupon for $2 off my next shopping trip.  The more you buy up to 10, the more money you get.  Easy peasy.  I hope that I have explained it so that working this deal makes sense.  Give it a try.

I took a few snaps this weekend that I want to share.  The first is what we dug out of the garden.  I had no idea that we could grow onions as big as they have in the store and it was easy.  Seattle guy made a German dish that his third ex-wife (a very lovely lady born in Germany) used to make out of the potatoes, onion and cucumber that was just killer.  Believe it or not, it was spuds and onions fried in butter until very brown and crisp, served with a cucumber salad on top.  I know, I know.  I told him for months that the very thought of it sounded gross, but it is delicious and I want more.

The next ones are my two dahlias in bloom after the drizzly morning:

Here he is after I worked him to death, trying to find room on the kitchen table so he could write:

I've been taking care of  Tina's cat and poodle since Friday and I'm starting to pull my hair out.  The cat is fine, but that poodle has been trying to dig his way home under the fence and Poppy has been very interested in what he has been doing.  This morning I caught him digging again and he was all muddy (he is white) so I gated off the back door so he can't get out.  So now he's mad and going around lifting his leg - but only where there is carpet, of course.  I can't wait until they get Sunday.  Sob.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

QFC Shopping Trip 8/18

You may have been wondering where in the heck Miss MoneyPenny was.  I've been too HOT!! and when I get too hot I get mad about everything and everybody.  Go figure that one out.  But it is a lot cooler now and I'm starting to get back to normal.  I wouldn't suffer so much in the heat if I didn't have sky lights and I would break down and buy a heat pump, but, man, that is a big financial commitment that I'm still skirting around.  Maybe the bad type of heat is over for the year.  One can hope.

As you know I budget $50 a week for groceries and $100 a month for Costco, including dog and cat food and other Costco type things like sheets and supplements.  This week I spent $9.38 at Costco, $10 at Chimacum Corner for produce and $19.12 at QFC (38%).  Today we bought sunflower seeds (for the bread making) and coffee filters at Trader Joes for $4.15 (who knew that Costco no longer carries coffee filters??) coming in well under budget for the week.

I want to talk about coupons and cool ways to use them without even cutting them out of the inserts.  My main grocery store is QFC, only because it is the only big store within 10 miles and they have pretty decent sales, to boot.  The most important thing about shopping these days is the loyalty card.  I don't care if you think that the FBI is watching you, get one or all the good deals and coupons are off.

And if you shop at QFC, using your loyalty card, you most likely receive coupons and a little magazine in the mail from them.  Don't throw these guys away because those coupons are meant for only you, based on previous shopping trips.  I always find at least two or three good coupons in the little magazine, also,

Okay, so this is how I worked the deal this week.  In my special QFC coupons, there was what they call a "transaction coupon" for $1.50 off of dairy if you bought $10 worth.  International Delight creamer was on sale for $2.99 a quart and I had a QFC coupon for $1 off of two of them.  I bought two half gallons of Silk Almond Milk for $2.99 each using two "Catalina coupons" (they come out of the register) for $ .75 off

So this is what it looks like:

2 x Silk Almond Milk @ $2.99  = $5.98

2 x International Delight @ $2.99 = $5.98

Total = $11.96

         -     1.50 (transaction coupon - use it first)

        -      1.50 (two $ .75 Catalinas for Silk)

       -       1.00 (QFC coupon for two creamers)

New Total = $7.96

This did not involve cutting one coupon.  I took advantage of the sale and the coupons sent to me from QFC, plus the two Catalinas from the register.  So, if you don't want to clip, you can still clean up by paying attention.  But if you do want to clip, and I do, remember to read the writing on the coupon and don't pay any attention to the picture.  I would bet the house that a lot of coupons do not get used because of those pictures.  I actually had an intense conversation with a clerk at Target about this very thing.  The manager said that I won.  The crowd behind me didn't seem to agree.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

QFC Grocery Basket 8/15

Now, you know how Miss MoneyPenny hates to dumpster dive for the grocery flyers.  Today a man asked me what I was doing.  When I explained, he said that he got his and showed them to me.  Grrrr.  I've asked the ladies at the Post Office to make sure that I get them, but at least 50% of the time I either go diving, and if they have just dumped the trash, I ask at the counter.  You would think that I was asking their bra size by the look they always give me.  We are talking grocery flyers here.  They always ask my box number and mutter around in the back for some time before they finally come up with it.  Sheesh!!

Anyway, QFC is running their Buy 10 get $5 promo again but I didn't see anything this week that flipped my skirt.  And the price of food is going up as "they" predicted, especially meat, so shop carefully if you are on a budget.  I'm here to help you with what I'm looking at this week.  I know that my list looks pretty puny but there just wasn't very much "real" food on sale, so will be hitting up Chimacum Corner for produce and eggs.

QFC Butter - $2.50/lb
Yoplait Yogurt - $ .50/ea 4-6 oz (coupon S/7/8 for $ .50 off of 8)
International Delight Creamer - $2.99/32 oz
Fresh Dover Sole - $5.99/lb
Franz Bread - BOGO
Starbucks Coffee - $7.99/12 oz (coupon S/6/17 for $1.50)
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.49/lb
NW Peaches or Nectarines - $ .99/lb (best deal this week, IMHO)
Leaf Lettuce - $1.25/ea
Zucchini or Yellow Squash - $1.49/lb

When my DD in law gave me three Gerbera Daisies, I was pretty sure that they would be goners after they were through blooming, but here they are, blooming again!!  These little delicates need a lot of attention.  They are planted in a mixture of Miracle Gro potting soil and compost and live on the front porch where they get sun all day.  Plus, I hit them weekly with the Schultz and constantly groom them, quickly removing spent blooms and yellowing leaves.

You might remember that I threatened Don Juan, the king of all diseased roses, with having to go live at Miss Maggie May's house, where he would have to get tough or die.  Well, he was scared straight!!  He's a beautiful smelly climbing rose that really wants to live somewhere way south of here but he is doing his best without chemicals.  I regularly pick off any icky looking leaves and throw them in the garbage, not the compost.  Pretty soon Don is going to be just blooms and no leaves.  If it gets to that, I'll snap a photo and share it with you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Costco Coupons 8/16-9/9, 2012

What is it, you ask??  I met Miss KnowItAll for lunch and a movie the other day and she gave me the latest issue of Costco Connection which I poured over like it was a copy of Playgirl.  As you know, I am "family" so do not receive the coupons or the magazine in the mail, but that is all about to end.

After I signed up for the cruise through Costco, I very sweetly told the nice lady my situation with the coupons and she forwarded me on to the magic man who could fix this.  He promised me that I am now on the mailing list.  We shall see.  I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, the above picture is what the Costco App looks like and I now have it on my smartphone, so I was able to see what the coupons are that are coming up on the 16th.  According to the article, they are working on making it possible for you to just swipe your phone for the coupons - no more cutting or ripping out the ones that require you to actually have them in your hot little hand.  Is that going to be cool, or what??  I'll let you know when I hear that they have it up and running.

Here are what I consider to be the interesting coupons:

Best Foods Mayonnaise - $2.25 (limit 2)
Bounce Dryer Sheets - $1.75 (1)
Huggies Diapers - $6.00 (2)
Colgate Toothpaste - $4.00 (2)
Neutrogena Rainbath - $4.00 (2)
Brita Oceania Pitcher/Filters - $8.00 (5)
Snapware Glasslock 20 pc set - $6.00
True Innovations Office Chair - $20.00
Refresh Eye Drops - $3.00 (1)
Zyrtec - $6.00 (2)

Cruise Fund Update:

Old Balance (after deposit) = $178.38

                                             +      1.00 (senior discount at The Rose)

New Balance                       = $179.38

Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Shelf 8/10

What I should have called this post was "whoopsie."  Last night I got all involved in a game of mahjongg with the guy from Seattle and thought that I saved my work, not published it!!, for crying out loud.  How embarrassing!!

Anyway, I just finished the latest book by the above good looking guy and thought I would share him with you.  His name is James Lee Burke and I have been reading him for almost 30 years and always look forward to his next book.  Mr. Burke writes a lot of books but the series that I follow are the Dave Robicheaux novels.  These books are set in New Orleans and you could call them "men's adventure" type stories.  They are not lightweights, like, say James Patterson's books.  I actually read one of Patterson's books in under an hour - at work!! 

The main characters in this series are two guys from the New Orleans area who went to Viet Nam and came back wild and crazy guys and ended up getting fired from the New Orleans police department and you know how hard that had to be.  Dave Robicheaux is the more stable of the two and that isn't saying much, but he has given up the booze and fun times and is now a family man and deputy for the New Iberia parish, not far from New Orleans.

His best friend since before Viet Nam is Clete Purcel and he hasn't given up the fun times and works as a private investigator and just generally gets himself in trouble or involved in some kind of big mess that Dave has to step in and help him out with.  Or vice versa.  These are rough and ready kinds of guys who have a sense of justice and concern for the more unfortunate members of society, so there is always a good bit of violence as they fix things, in their own way.

Mr. Burke doesn't just write a fine action novel.  His descriptions of the area and culture in and around New Orleans are so well done, you can feel it.  You can tell how much he loves this area and usually has a bone to pick in his novels.  His latest book is Creole Belle and it is set after Katrina and the BP spill.  He is very angry about the spill and it is at the core of this book.  Tee Jolie Melton has gone missing and her sister has turned up frozen in a big chunk of ice, so Dave and Clete go after the bad guys.

Both of these characters have been very well conceived and have aged through the years, so I suggest that you start at the beginning with the first book in this series called The Neon Rain and follow them as they make their way through the graft and corruption that is New Orleans.  Sometimes I think that these two are idiots but love them anyway because their hearts are in the right place and they are just trying to make things right.

As I mentioned before, there is sex and violence, but if you can do the dragon tattoo girl, this will be a piece of cake.  Give Dave and Clete a try.  I bet you will be hooked.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

QFC Shopping Trip 8/8

Miss MoneyPenny has been in a travelin' frame of mind lately, so I made reservations up at Sol Duc for the annual September trek.  I've been going up there since the early 90s and have only missed a couple of years.  That place speaks to me like no other and refreshes my spirit, getting me ready to face the gray that is winter around here.

Having said all that, there are not many ways to save money when you go to Sol Duc and stay in one of their charming cabins and eat in their fine restaurant.  I start out by putting the whole thing on my American Express card, which gives me 2% back on my yearly rebate.  You can cut your cost by sharing the trip with someone.  The more people to share the cabin, the lower the cost, but then you have to fight for the bathroom.  This year it will be Miss KnowItAll and me.  My sister is turning 60 in September and has decided that she would rather climb mountains for her birthday than lay in the pools at Sol Duc.  I'm still not sure that she is really my sister.

Anyway, we take an ice chest for goodies and beverages that cost a fortune at the little store.  Oh!! last year I got the senior pass that gets me and anybody in the car with me into the park for free, saving the $15 fee.  See my photo with me holding that pass.  It thrills me every time that I notice it in my wallet.  Other than not eating at the lodge and not having a massage, there isn't much of anything else that you could cut to save money, but where is the fun in that??

So, yesterday I went shopping for groceries and spent $22.80 for a 39% savings, after coupons and sales.  I will be going over to Chimacum Corner for produce and that will probably be in the neighborhood of $10 to $15.  It is amazing how much food you have if you make it from scratch and pay attention to what is on hand and eat it before it goes bad.  I've heard that retired people don't spend as much at the grocery store and I can see how this could be the case.  Below is what I picked up yesterday:

Garden Update:

My garden hasn't come on yet, except for potatoes.  It looks like my little experiment with the tomatoes didn't work.  I put them in the front south facing flower bed up against the house thinking that they would get all the heat that they needed.  One plant has ONE!! tomato on it and the other has ONE!! ripe sungold cherry tomato and about 10 green ones.  Normally the sungold has hundreds of the little guys.  I'm not doing that again.  I should have zucchini by next weekend and the green beans are flowering.  My second crop of lettuce is getting ready for thinning and the dahlias are getting ready to bloom.  I'll be sure and snap a picture of them and all their glory.

Cruise Fund Update:

Old Balance = $878.38

                     -   700.00 (deposit on cruise)

New Balance = $178.38

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

QFC Grocery Basket 8/8

Whoo hoo!!  I did it!!  Miss SmartyPants and I are signed up for our cruise in September of 2013!!  We decided to go with Costco Travel as they had the best deal for the cruise that we wanted.  It is gonna cost us $3600 for the two of us, in a suite with a balcony and a $300 on board credit, including taxes and docking fees.  This does not include tips or any beverages in bottles.  Where is the fun in that?? but we can have all the coffee and iced tea we can drink, which is a lot.  I'll keep you posted on how the cruise fund is shaping up.

On a sad note, Marvin Hamlisch died on Monday at the age of 68.  I loved his musical scores that he composed for so many of our favorite movies, such as The Sting.  Where were you when you saw those two handsome guys known as Robert Redford and Paul Newman in that movie??  I saw it at the Egyptian in Coos Bay with a Mr. Marshall who said later in a big fight, that he had initially asked me out because I went with his new Corvette!!  What a back handed compliment that was.  That was a very rocky romance.

Anyway, on to the QFC ad.  There are some pretty good deals this week but again, I'm puzzled by the lack of good sales on produce - in August, of all things.  I'm going to swoop down on the loss leaders and run over to Chimacum Corner for produce.  Here you go:

Orowheat Bread - $2.50/ea
C&H Sugar - $2.99/4lb (remember the hummers)
Kellogg's Cereal - $1.99/ea (selected varieties, probably not my beloved Special K)
Chobani Greek Yogurt - $1/6oz (heads up - I was startled by the big seeds in Passion Fruit)
Darigold Butter - $2.99/lb
Tillamook Ice Cream - $3.99/56oz
Herbal Essences Shampoo - $2.77/ea (coupon $3/2 in RP/8/5, making this a stock up price)
Petite Sirloin Steak - $3.99/lb (might be tough as nails, so marinate it before grilling)
Hillshire Farm Tub Lunch Meat - $10/3
Johnsonville Brats or Italian Sausage - $3.89/19oz
Fresh Wild Alaska Sockeye - $9.99/lb
Rockfish Fillets - $5.99/lb
Broccoli Crowns - $ .99/lb
NW XL Red Cherries - $3.99/lb (they won't be around much longer)
Red, Green Seedless Grapes - $ .99/lb

Don't forget to go to the QFC site and download your ecoupons.  I do this every week and then print out the list as it changes because I either use the coupon or it expires.  Pay attention to the coupons that they send you in the mail.  I got some really good ones yesterday, such as a free box of Special K.  They noticed my addiction.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blue Monday

I think that this picture is a pretty good description of this last weekend, and this is in the shade.  I do really well in warmish weather until you get to the 90s and then I turn into a person that you do not want to be around.  Just ask the guy from Seattle who is probably never leaving that fair city for these parts again.  And to add to the heat, my little acrobatic flip that I did in Silverdale is making me walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Get the picture??

Anyway, I'm really glad that I showed you pictures of my garden before my neighbor decided to pressure wash the back side of my fence, and perhaps ruin my beloved garden.  Everything is covered with a fine coating of I don't know what and it does not rinse off.  If we had noticed this on Saturday we could have run the sprinkler the whole time they were working and maybe diluted it.  This is what it looks like:

I'm starting to get the picture of what it feels like to be a farmer who is just about ready to harvest his crops and the boll weevils wipe it out overnight.  This may not be that bad, but it can't be good for the health of the plants.  Don't they breathe through their leaves and do that photosynthesis thing??  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

On a much nicer note, I met Miss CutiePie for lunch and conversation today.  You probably guessed that she is married to Mr. CutiePie, who is a boy after my own heart.  He fishes and hunts everything that can be fished and hunted and is very good about sharing.  This picture shows what I bagged at lunch today:

Am I a lucky girl or what??  This beautiful fish is going for $9.99 a pound this week at QFC.  There are many ways to cook salmon but my favorite is either grilled or baked with lemon pepper and dots of butter.  The taste of the fish is enhanced but not overwhelmed by the lemon pepper, and everything is better with butter, don't you agree??

By the way, Mr. CutiePie gets the famous MoneyPenny Seal of Approval for being a fine husband and fisher of fishes.


Friday, August 3, 2012

QFC Shopping Trip 8/3

You are probably wondering what on earth that green stuff is.  This is my first batch of homemade pesto, courtesy of the garden, and we are eating it with roasted veggies and pasta for dinner tonight.  I've also got the crock pot full of homemade baked beans, which I thought was going to be dinner, but it is not going to be finished cooking until around 8:00, so we are having a switcheroo.

I went up to QFC for my weekly shopping trip and spent $43.14 with the sales and after coupons, realizing a savings of only 26%.  Everything was on sale except for Special K, Coffee Mate, mushrooms, red bell pepper, brown sugar and navy beans.  It doesn't take much to blow your percentage.

I took some pictures of my back yard so I could give you the grand tour.  My deck and back yard are like another living space for me in the summer and it gets a lot of use.  This first picture is to the left off the deck, facing north.  I planted this bed in nasturtiums when I first moved here in 1995 and haven't planted it since.

Past the gate is an old contractor's wheel barrow filled with zucchini.  It gets hot enough for them and I usually have a pretty good crop as long as it doesn't get too cold.

This is the view from the green bean end of the garden.  I plant Territorial Jade bush beans and they do very well.  I actually get sick of eating them because they produce so much, but right now I can't wait for them to come on.  They have started to bloom and it is in the 80s, so it shouldn't be too much longer.

This is the potato patch.  I've never grown potatoes before and had no idea how delicious they were.

The deck after I cleaned it up.

I bought my deck plants at Home Depot this year because QFC put theirs out too early.  I thought that Home Depot had better plants at a really good price, but you had to buy six packs, which was okay with me.  I do not believe in subtle deck pots.  Go for the whore house look, I say.

This one is my begonia pot.  Nothing subtle about her.

This is the begonia that I found growing in the compost.  I have no idea where it came from.  It is subtle, but still quite charming.


This last picture is of the lemon balm growing through the bird bath with the scented geranium next to it.  There is the sweetest little frog that lives there and he actually comes out to visit, but I'm worried that Poppy will notice that he hops and it would be fun to bite him and then she can foam at the mouth and I would feel bad about the frog, and so on.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Costco Shopping Trip 8/1

Check out this totally perfect rose.  This came from Miss Maggie May who does not garden.  I think that this is actually the only flower growing at her house and it was left by the previous people.  She doesn't do anything to it, except let it grow in the sunshine.  I showed it to "Don Juan" the king of all diseased roses and threatened him with moving him over to MMM's house where he would have to get tough or die.  No more mamby pamby business for him.

Anyway, MMM and I headed to Costco to take advantage of the coupon deals before they expired.  The only thing that I added to my stock pile is the Dove soap, which should last a year.  I don't think that I go through more than 16 bars of soap a year.  Pictured below is what $105.34 got me, including the coupons and tax:

We also dropped by Wal Mart as they seem to be the only retailer carrying MMM's eye drops.  I hung out in the garden center and took a few snaps with my phone.  This very large friendly looking guy came over and asked me if I needed something, eyeing my phone, which I quickly put away.  I was shocked at the waste in that garden center.  I am not exaggerating when I say a good 80% of the plants there were dead or near death from lack of water.  It looks to me like they haul them in and then don't tend to them.  What kind of business is that?  Then they probably just throw them in the dumpster where they will end up squished in the landfill and not even composted. 

Whoa!!  Slow down MoneyPenny before you blow a gasket.  But you get what I'm steamed about and this was the second time we stopped by there with the same thing, so this is their practice.  I thought that plants were living things.  There you go again, MoneyPenny.  Anyway, these dead plants had actual signs on them like some idiot would buy them, like this:

Is this crazy, or what??  Even Home Depot takes better care of their plants and they are less expensive.  Even my local nursery is less expensive than these guys, and the plants are actually alive and healthy.  I'm just reporting this stuff so you will know where not to buy your plants.

I'd better be careful or the Wal Mart family will be putting a hit out on me.  Good thing that I have the pictures to prove what my big mouth is saying.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And the Winner is!!

I trucked over to Tina's this morning in my orange flip flops and jammies and had her draw the winning name.  She was actually thrilled to do it, but I'm rambling.  The winner of the $30 Macy's Gift Card celebrating the one year anniversary of Miss MoneyPenny is....Teri!!

Thanks so much, you guys, for hanging in there with me.  I have so much fun with Miss MoneyPenny!!  She is one wacky lady with a mission to have a fabulous life and lifestyle on limited retirement money and she wants to share.  She is always on the lookout for goods and services that are worthy of the Famous MoneyPenny Seal of Approval.  Stay tuned.