Wednesday, July 23, 2008

and it burns burns burns

So this is the view from the stage, notice the HUGE fire behind. Prayers would be appreciated. You can click on the picture to enlarge.

Below is the story on the Seattle Times

The human-caused fire was burning near the Eaglerock Subdivision in the Warm Springs Canyon area, about three miles northwest of this central Washington city.

Winds gusting to 20-30 mph were pushing the fire to the north and east, away from houses, Isaacson said Sunday evening. There was no estimate when it would be contained, he said.

At least three outbuildings were destroyed and several houses were damaged, Isaacton said.

The fire was reported about 2:15 p.m. Saturday near the Highline Canal.

Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum told The Wenatchee World that a man playing with fireworks may have sparked the fire, and could be arrested for investigation of reckless burning.

Roughly 200 firefighters were battling the blaze, supported by 30 engines, four helicopters with water buckets and three retardant-dropping tanker planes.

-Seattle Times

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

We flew in Sat and got here about 4pm, got back to our hotel then went into Seattle for a bit of site-seeing.

My favorite thing about Seattle is the Public Market. I've never seen anything like the gorgeous flowers that they have there. Whenever I'm able to go I take about a gillion pictures, one of the ones from last year is already super-enlarged and hanging above our fireplace. Here are some of my favorites from this year.

I love these little purple blooms

I was amazed at the construction of these flowers, all the perfectly formed and placed cylindrical petals. There was a burning in my ovaries for a macro lense so I could take super detailed pics of them.

I just loved this simple white bloom.

I forget the name on this red one in the foreground, but it really made me catch my breath. My camera skills don't do it justice but it was truly gorgeous.

You know I love me some vegetables!

Space needle!

Looking over Puget Sound.
Anyway I love the mountains and the lush greenery that surround Seattle. I'm amazed that on our two hour drive there is such a change; that we go from city, to lush mountains, to crazy dessert. I can't wait to share it with my hubs sometime.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Frugal Friday-My guide to online shopping

Today's frugal friday involves online shopping. Being the stereotypical American, I'm a busy person. By the time I get home from work, make dinner, throw a load of laundry in the washer; I don't want or have time to run out to the mall. Online shopping has wrapped me in its warm blanket of simplicity and ease. I love the fact that I can shop for gifts in the comfort of my own home, bargain shopping easily between sites. I also love being able to find gifts that I can feel good about giving; as I'm becoming more environmentally aware I'm able to find organic cotton, sustainable and fair trade products with great ease right on the internet. When I first started online shopping I wasn't quite the bargain hunter that I am today; I made a few blunders and paid for things that weren't quite what they seemed. So this is a little guide to tell you my tricks to online shopping.

1.)Find the item you want-If I'm completely blank on what to get someone I check out some of the standard gift giving websites (Mighty Goods, Red Envelope, Non Toxic Tots). If I really don't have any idea I just start googling away, when shopping for my wedding invitations I google "cheap wedding invitations" my husbands wedding band was purchased on There are so many online retailers that it really is simple to find ANYTHING YOU NEED. Be careful once you find the item; read the small print, check the measurements, read the reviews of the product.

2.)Figure out what site you will use to purchase-Once I find the item I will google the item and look at the different sites that sell it. Its here that I try to put my money where my mouth is. I try not to purchase on big mega giants like Walmart, Target, Macy's; but put my money to something I feel good about supporting (WAHM shops, Environmentally Sound Companies, Companies supporting Fair Trade). Within these sites I do a bit of bargain shopping to see where the cheapest place to purchase is.

3.)Google for Coupon Codes-I then google to see if I can find a coupon code for free shipping or a percentage off of my order. Its like the old saying goes-You never know until you ask.

I know its not rocket science but these are the things that I've learned from online shopping, hope it helps you!

I found out that Frugal Friday didn't start here-the original is at Biblical Womanhood, go check out the original!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A dream come true

So you all know that I considered myself a black thumb before this year, right? Well as you know I decided to just try to plant a little garden

My only goal was to harvest ONE thing. I planted a bunch of different varieties but just wanted to at least harvest one thing and go from there.

I've been surprised by the anticipation and joy the garden has brought me, not to mention the pride that I started all the plants except one as seeds.

I go out every day to check on them and see if the plants are flowering, making sure they are well watered.

Well over the weekend when I went out there, I found this:

Yes, its a dream come true. I have harvested!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Update-Breaking the Law

So, I called my brother while waiting in line to the prosecutor. My brother told me before I made a deal to call my insurance company to see if it would affect my rate if I just plead guilty to the charge. He told me most insurance companies will not charge you extra if its a speeding ticket and it is only two points. So I called mine was talking to the guy that works there and he puts me on hold; as I'm on hold I'm inching closer to talk to the prosecutor (and the court). Well the court must have some type of scrambler or something cause it disconnected me. I asked the nice girl behind me if she would hold my place as I called my husband to have him call the insurance company and find out how much my little speeding infraction would cost us. Well he sent me a text and said it wouldn't cost me anything to plead guilty but if I had plead guilty to the lesser charge (with zero points to my license) the lesser charge is usually 4pts to the insurance company. So whew! I'm so glad I checked!!!

So in summary, my two point ticket had two options:
I could plead guilty and pay $85 with two points on my license and no insurance points.
I could plead non-guilty and pay $540 ($40 court costs, $250 for the fine, $250 surcharge on that fine) have no points on my license then have 4 insurance points!

I learned if ever in this position that it doesn't hurt to ask questions!!

While in the HUGE line there was a young girl in front of me with her mom (about 18 years old, because she still had her provisional license). I listened (evesdropped) to her as she met up with three of her friends (one was setting up a payment plan and one was also there with a provisional license and a drunk driving ticket!). She was there to fight two tickets that she got in the same evening one for going 20 mph over the speed limit and one for running a red light (two separate incidents about 20 minutes from each other). Her mom started telling me that she was probably going to lose her license because of prior offenses and how much the fines were going to be. Then she looks at me expecting me to commiserate saying I can't even imagine how much I'm going to pay on insurance for her now. I wanted to slap her and say you know maybe your daughter might take more responsibility with her driving if you forced her to pay the consequences of her actions rather then paying them yourself! The girl who was there was positively bored with it and joking around like she could care less, wearing a shirt that left the bottom three inches of her midriff exposed and dirty, tight, ripped jeans. I can tell you this, my 18 year old would not be driving my car and on my insurance if they didn't respect the responsibility of driving. If they did happen to get a ticket, I'll give you three guesses to figure out who would pay the thing and any and all charges associated with it.. Just standing there got my gumption all up.

Breaking the Law.. Breaking the Law

Soo today is the day that I face "the man" for my recent transgression. Totally feel like an idiot on this one. My brother was kind enough to give me an FOP card so I'm going to plead the mercy of the court with it for my stupidity. Seriously as if driving is not expensive enough right now, I went and added more cost on. D'Oh!
Sooooo not very frugal of me...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bloggy Break

I'm tired. I'm spent. I can't think of interesting things to write. I'm going to take a break, recharge my batteries. I'll poke back in when I feel like I have some interesting things to say.
In the meantime I'm making time for some important things that have been lacking. I'm sure I'll be back soon.


Friday, July 04, 2008

The Frugal Friday that wasn't

So I'm still recovering and have been sick all week. So I'm going to rest today instead of doing a frugal friday. I've been having a hard time sleeping the past few days and my throat is killing me. I'm doing some natural remedies which inlcude sucking on a lemon and gargling with salt water, so thats frugal! Hopefully I won't need to go to the doctors but I'm thinking I might need to this weekend if my throat continues to stay swollen and hurtie. Please keep me in your prayers!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Garden Update

While I was away my garden exploded... Literally

If you want to see what my garden looked like just a short month ago check here.

I have to say the hubs was a champ for watering. As I get a little further into this gardening gig I'm starting to learn a few things. I know for next year I want to build another box the same size as the one we already have. I know that I also want to build a box that is 1 foot long and 4 feet wide for my zucchini and also for my cucumbers as they are kind of taking over the garden right now. I also want to build a separate box for my herbs and completely rip out everything in our boxes and plant flowers in there. So you can see I want to expand this little enterprise we have going here. I am enjoying this little hobby I started and I can't wait for it to bear some fruit!! (and vegetables)!!!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Oh No!!!

So my best friend called me today and told me that her puppy Anubis has bone cancer. Anubis is like her little baby as her and her husband do not have kids. The vet said that they give him about 6 months to live. Please keep Tamara in your prayers that she would have peace and be comforted.


Picture taken on Hawaii 05 Trip

So the hubs and I are planning a trip to Hawaii. I have been there before (have family there)but he has not.

My family on Hawaii 05 trip (Michelle, Bern, Steve, Bill, Sue, Taney, Denise; in tree- Sara, my mother, myself, Maureen, Kate, Corrine, Pup, Matt and Mark)

Its a big trip to us so we want to stay at a nicer hotel and have ample time to enjoy ourselves on the island. We're thinking about going in October of this year and staying for two weeks. The problem is that my cheap self keeps getting sticker shock when I look at the prices that I'm finding. We have the money saved up and it really wouldn't hurt us to go it would just take a nice sized chunk out of our savings.
Picture taken on Hawaii 05 Trip Snorkelling in hanauma bay; Bill, Bern, Me, Corrine, Tom, Denise

Now I've been on quite a few trips before as traveling is one of my favorite things in the world but I have always worked on impulse. My brain worked in almost an instantaneous fashion: I want to go to Ireland, I'll buy the tickets now. Now that I am married and have other obligations its hard to take that money to use for something thats "just" to have fun. I want to put it towards the mortgage, a new car, in savings; there are a thousand things I can think of to do with it. Part of it is that we're not charging it, the money is actually coming out of our account; for some reason this is harder to rationalize than if we did charge it. It also seems so much more expensive to travel with two people, I can't imagine the butterflies I will have when planning for children as well.
My mom and I in Hawaii 05

I know that I will use the money for our vacation. I know that vacations are important to our marriage as well as just our physical, emotional and mental well being. It will also help me refocus, being frugal isn't about amassing an incredible savings; its about being wise with our money. Investing in our marriage and our health is a great use of our money.

Sunset in Hawaii 05

I just need to keep saying that till I believe it! Which will probably be when I'm sitting on the beach next to the hubs in Hawaii with a Mai-Tai in my hand .

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Creation Recap and Detox

So you all know that last week I went away for work and it was an amazing week. There were alot of highlights for me. The most noteable probably was Melody Green talking about her and her husband Keith's ministry. I had read No Compromise about 10 years ago, which is a book Keith Green had written that made a tremendous impact on me and on my faith. Other highlights were seeing friends that I only get to see once or twice a year (boo geography for keeping our states so far away!), seeing new to me artists (I now love Skillet and Flyleaf), and also just seeing a years worth of work come to fruition and see God use what we put our hands to for His glory. For all the fun involved it was also was a tremendous amount of work with most of us pulling at least 17 hrs a day (my boss was easily doing 20+). We all drove home on Sunday and thankfully the hubs had met me up there on Thursday night and was able to drive our car home. I literally slept 80% of the car ride home then promptly fell asleep on the couch and slept until 10 am Monday morning. The no sleeping came with a side of crappy eating (lots and lots of coffee and free access to fair type foods). I did try to grab veggies when I could but it was maybe a handful a day. Needless to say my body is not too happy with me, it feels as if I have a sinus infection, and I think I could sleep for another 3 days easily. So I've decided that I'm doing the whole Vegan thing again for at least the next two weeks until west. Hopefully it will clear out of my system a good amount of the junk that has accumulated there and kind of get me back on track with my eating. I feel like I've been treading water with my weight for the past year despite working at it and following weight watchers most of the time. I'm going to use this time to really focus on this and changing habits. I know its going to take awhile but I also know it can be done. I just pray that I would have the strength and endurance needed to finish this race.
I went on my lunch break to Whole Foods and picked up about $80 worth of veggies for my veggie/juicing blitz. I'll be breaking out my Christina Pirello books and my imagination to cook up some yummie treats for us. As a change from last years Vegan August I will not be incorporating any soy into our diets as soy and I are not friends. I will be relying heavily on my friends, the Legumes. I'm going to try to cut out any processed Vegan foods (except whatever I bring for west if I decide to do it while I'm there). I'm also going to add in the juicing as I've discovered that I love me some beet juice in the morning. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll start harvesting my garden as well.