Well, it's that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us and I am proud to say that after two years of working on it I have finally finished my large sequin and beaded christmas tree. Two years ago I worked on two smaller trees, one in silver and one striped in silver and green. I also started on the last and largest of my set. Christmas came and went and I put the tree aside thinking I would work on it the following fall. Well, then came the shoulder surgery and poking pins with little beads and sequins into a foam christmas tree was out of the question.
So when September 2011 rolled around I started back at it. I tried to get 2 or 3 rows done each night while my husband and I watched tv. While I might have missed a night or two here and there, I was totally committed to getting it done. Tonight while at my son's swim practice I finally finished it! The cutest thing happened while I was working on it also. A little girl about 7 came over and I could tell she was watching me. I said hello and she asked me what I was doing. I told her my story of the "two year tree" and she started rooting me on. With each pin I poked in the tree she would get more and more excited. "You're almost done", "just a few more"and "this is the last one and then it will be perfect". It is not perfect, some lines are not straight and some pins are too close, but I love it as though it is perfect. I worked so hard on this tree and my perseverance has finally paid off. This last tree used up over 3000 pins. Some might call me crazy for even making a small tree but I absolutely adore the way they all turned out.
I told my kids that someday the two of them will be fighting over who gets moms beaded trees. Remembering me sitting on the couch for months, working on them. I never gave up and I feel good about that. I hope you all find something to commit to this holiday season. Wether it be a good deed, a project or a loved one. Don't give up on your "Two year tree". Maura
First of all I had a manipulation done on my shoulder back in march as after my shoulder surgery I ended up with a frozen shoulder. So basically they put you to sleep and wonk on your arm to break up the scar tissue that has built up. I am happy to say that I am actually going to my last physical therapy appointment in the morning and after 10 months I will be able to get back to my regular routines. I was going to pt 3 times a week for 2 hrs a day.
So my next set back was about 6 weeks ago I got this horrible rash/ welt on my leg. Now 2 years ago I had the same thing and both times my doctor ( and a few other doctors) put me on antibiotic after antibiotic trying to heal it up. Well none of those worked and one even gave me an allergic reaction. Both times I was finally treated with prednisone and the welts cleared up. This time however the on call doctor at my primary care office sent me to see a dermatologist who did a biopsy on my leg. Come to find out I have a rare skin disorder called Well's Syndrome or Eosinophilic Cellulitis. Basically something like a spider bite or a cut or a medication can turn into a large painful itchy cellulitis( to many white blood cells called eosinophils go to the injured area, causing swelling and itching). I guess my body just over reacts to certain triggers. The treatment is prednisone for now. If it gets worse or more recurrent then we move onto another medication. So my last flare has finally healed (other then my skin being discolored on my leg which goes away in about 8 weeks) and then it happens.
The latest setback started as another spot on my leg and then a spot on my face and then another and another. I went to the dermatologist again thinking my Well's is at it again only to find out I have poison ivy on my leg and face. I am itching like crazy and a little embarrassed by my blotchy face.
Any how I am turning 40 in December and I have decided that I am due for a fresh start. I had nothing but health problems in my thirties. Shingles, thyroid surgery, GI problems, shoulder surgery, hernia, Wells and poison ivy and I have decided I am ready for the fabulous forties. Please send any and all good karma my way and I promise I will be posting and back to projects asap. I have decided I need to look into hiring a landscaper so I can avoid spiders and poison ivy for a while! Have a great day.
So, back in December my husband and I made a New Years Resolution to complete one large project each month. Our January task was to disconnect our cable and bring our phone and Internet bills down. Not everything worked out as planned.
We hooked up our Roku mid December to make sure we could live with it. This is a streaming box and we pay under $20 a month for Netflix and Hulu Plus. We disconnected the cable and I brought the cable boxes back to Comcast mid January. My husband hooked up the antenna, but after many hours of frustration. He was putting up the antenna and dropped a clip (important piece) in the snow. We searched for over an hour and finally asked a neighbor boy if we could use his metal detector to find it. No luck. I then emailed the company who makes the mounting kit to see if I could buy another and they were so kind, Or they thought we were so pathetic and they sent us 2 free ones (just in case). So he finally mounted the antenna and we found out we get 17 local channels. Check out this photo- NO CABLE BOX! YIPPEE! Just our tiny little Roku, our dvd player and our radio- for surround sound.
Now here is where things got tricky. We were hoping to change to Verizon for our Internet and phone but my husband was concerned about email accounts. We have had the same ones for about 10 years and he did not want the hassle of contacting everyone we know and every company we have accounts linked to these addresses. So we decided to keep the Internet with comcast which will be $60 a month (highway robbery) and to get an extra cell phone on our family plan for 9.99 a month. We will be using it as our home phone. Our original plan was to pay $75 for TV, phone and Internet and we only got it to $90 but we are still saving $70 per month.
So on to the next project for February. My daughter wanted to change her bedroom around so we will be giving her room a makeover. Stay tuned for that update.
As you may or may not know. I am a semi- extreme couponer. I say semi because I don't want you to think I am as crazy as some couponers you may have seen on tv. I am a normal married mom of two who decided (after meeting with our financial planner a few years ago) that I needed to get my spending in hand. He actually looked at our spending and noticed that a large chunk was being spent at target and grocery stores. I felt a little embarrassed and a little mad. I decided from that moment on I was going to cut back and find a way to spend less without missing out. So two years later I now thrive on saving money. That same high others get from buying things, I get from saving.
I used to be a regular couponer who would cut a few coupons from the Sunday paper each week and go to the store to buy our weekly groceries and household items. Now I actually take the time to plan a monthly menu based on the items I have in my pantry and freezer . Each week I check my menu and make my shopping list based on what I need to complete meals. I also buy any stockpile items (items on a really great sale with coupons to match that I can buy and put away in my pantry) I also buy my fruits and vegis based on what is on sale that week. I have cut my grocery bill from $150 a week to $90 a week (this includes my health and beauty supplies and cleaning supplies). One week I may go a little over, then the next a little under but $90 is about average for our family of four.
The deals have been a little slim over the past couple months but this week was a jackpot week. A local grocery store had many staple items like pasta, sauce, peanut butter, canned tomatoes, and cereal on sale with a Catalina. ( a coupon good on your next order -OYNO) If you bought $20 worth of participating items you got a coupon for 10 OYNO. I actually had my husband do this deal and then I went shopping with a friend and did another transaction. I am planning on making one more trip this week. So this week I went a little over budget. I will be spending $120 but I will have 30$ to use next week on meats or fruits and vegis. I told my husband I was having a Shoppers High and he said "That would make a great blog post". Hence the title of this one.