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June 2015
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August 2015

Friday Five -

1.  I'm so excited! Finally after months of searching, I found my doctor! I'd been seeing her previously when she worked at the now-defunct Central Coast Healthcare. After that place went out of business in April (or, rather, moved to a different location under a different name, and associated with a different medical organization), I couldn't find her. She didn't go with them, and I was afraid I would have to find a brand new doctor all over again. Anyway, I saw a new clinic opening up in Atascadero, and when I went to check it out, there was her name on the banner! Yay! I made an appointment right away, and look forward to getting some stuff taken care of. Or at least looked at!

2.  So, I got my printer/scanner/copier set up last weekend, but haven't had a chance to print any new pictures yet. Actually I don't even have any really good new pictures to post, as I haven't been anywhere in ages! But soon. Hopefully, soon!

3. And, speaking of not going anywhere, I think I've decided to not attend the Writer's Conference this year.  I know, shocking, right?! I think I've gone every year since 2009 at least! There are a couple sessions that sound interesting, but over the past few years, I've taken sessions that sounded interesting, and while they were in some ways, in others they didn't really stick to the topic, or didn't discuss the topic in the way the description lead me to believe it would. I don't know. Maybe I'm a little bored with it in general. I don't know. It always seems very inspiring when I'm there - and even a while afterwards - but after a while, the rosy glow fades, and I'm left feeling just as lost as I was before.

4.  So, in an effort to jump-start my purging and organizing, I downloaded the audio version of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It's pretty awesome, and I'm hoping to get rid of some more stuff this weekend! To anyone out there who wants to get tidy and organized, I highly recommend this book!

5.  And, finally, here's the latest inspirational sign from The Backyard:

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll see you next week! Cheers!

Friday Five

Hello, good morning, and TGIF!! Happy Friday, everyone! Let's get started on our Friday Five:

1. So, I'm sure you've all heard about our BIG STORM last weekend - it was awesome! Tons of thunder and lightning, and RAIN! Actual RAIN! We got nearly 3" in our rain gauge. Our little froggie was doing a happy dance! (And so was I!)

2. Since I wasn't able to get any work done outside last weekend, that's probably what I'll do this weekend. I still have two decorations I purchased at  Hands Gallery downtown San Luis to put up, and I know everything was overgrown before the rain, so I'm sure it's totally wild out there now!

3.  My other plans for the weekend include setting up my new all-in-one printer/scanner/copier I purchased a couple weeks ago and posting some new Art Wall pictures. Due to the electrical storm that lasted through most of last Sunday, I elected to NOT use my computer last weekend! Why take a chance, right? Anyway, I'm excited to set it up and try it out this weekend!

4. I started reading Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee this past week, and am really enjoying it so far. I have reached the part in the book where the controversy is starting, and I must admit to feeling uncomfortable with all the "n" words flying off the page. But, I do understand the time in which the book takes place and the attitudes in the south during that time, so I realize that language is necessary to tell the story. It's still disconcerting for me, though!

5. A recent episode of House Hunters on HGTV actually featured a young couple looking for a home in either Atascadero and Paso Robles! I don't think it was a new last night, but it was quite exciting to see our beautiful Central Coast featured on a national TV show! They showed the very nice downtown areas of Atasacadero (The Carlton Hotel showed prominently in one shot, and another showed one of our favouite restaurants, Fig!), Paso Robles, and even Templeton! It was super cool! (And - no spoilers, but, FYI, I really loved that downtown Paso house!)

Has your hometown ever been featured on TV? Was it a positive or negative feature? Hope you all have a great weekend! Cheers!


Mid-July Friday Five

TGIF, friends! I hope you've all had a lovely week! Here's your Friday Five for the week:

1. I had X-rays of my neck done earlier this week, and according to my chiropractor I have a slight problem. Where my neck (all of our necks, actually) should have a C-curve shape, mine is very nearly straight up and down, and a couple vertebrae are actually heading in the opposite direction. Not good, but hopefully correctable as it's been caught before any of the bones started touching and rubbing together which would not only be painful, but would eventually require surgery to correct. So I'm on a regimen of two adjustments per week and using a traction device at least four times a week at home. I'm optimistic this will correct the problem as well as me correcting my bad posture and general sitting position most of the day.

2.  I've been really enjoying the return of Bloom County this week! I used to read that comic strip all the time, and had two or three compilation books back in the day. I loved reading about the adventures of Opus and Bill the Cat. Ack!

3.  I finally finished Walden - SO good! - and finally started Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee - SO excite! I know there is some controversy over this book, but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm just going to enjoy the book!

4. So, they say there's a chance of rain this weekend due to what's left of hurricane Dolores moving up our way. Rain would be lovely, but we really never get that this time of year, so I'm not holding my breath!

5. Last Tuesday the bus broke down on the grade. That hasn't happened in YEARS! Seriously, like four years at least! It was one of the older (and more comfortable) buses, and apparently a hose blew. I was snoozing, but heard the BANG! and felt the bus jerk sharply. Thankfully, our intrepid driver was able to pull over, and a new bus was dispatched quickly. We were actually only sitting there waiting about 20 minutes or so, and once we were all on the new bus, we were at our next stop in about 10 minutes. I still had to cancel my chiropractor appointment that evening, but while we waited, I took a random photograph out the window. I used the Orton filter from on it, but yes, the sky really is that blue, and the hills really are that dry.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend whatever you decide to do! Cheers!

The .99 Only Store Challenge

Soon after it opened a year or so ago, my mom and I wondered if we might be able to do all our grocery shopping at the .99 Only store to save some money. Even the first time we ventured into this store, we noticed not only did they have cleaning supplies and various toiletries, canned and boxed foods, as well as bread and produce, but they also have a section - albeit a very small one - of refrigerated and frozen items. Granted they don't have fresh chicken, beef or pork, but they do carry canned tuna, meat, and beans, and periodically have a single-serve vacuum-packed piece of fish in the frozen section. They also carry milk and sometimes eggs, although these items are NOT .99, for obvious reasons! We usually just stop in here to pick up some things we need, but don't want to spend a lot of money on like Hamburger Helpers, boxed rice or pasta mixes, and some canned goods, and if we're lucky we'll get some good produce as well, then go to Vons's to get the rest of the stuff we need. Still, we wondered ...

This past weekend, we had to pick up some items that we could only get at Rite Aid, and figured while we were there, we'd just do all our shopping at the Von's center, stopping at the .99 Store for whatever we could get there, and then Von's for everything else. Well, as we were going through the .99 Only store, we realized our list for Von's was rapidly shrinking, and actually, we could get everything we needed right there! So, we decided to go for it! Keeping in mind I already had a pound of ground beef and a pound of ground turkey in the freezer that I really should use up, as well as a can of chicken in the pantry, we quickly grabbed everything we needed for the weekend and upcoming week. Below is the haul from the .99 Only store after we got home:

We got tons of great stuff, including some wonderfully fresh produce: strawberries, peaches, cherries, broccoli, a bag of mixed veggies, and two salads. I also picked up a Hamburger and a Tuna helper for the ground meats I already had, some instant oatmeal cups, cup-o-soups, and some Special K bars for lunches and snacks for work. Mom picked up some yogurt, canned soup, and hot dogs for her lunches, and we got some frozen breakfast sandwiches for Sunday morning, as well as mini frozen pizzas for lunch, as well as some other miscellaneous items.

Everything you see came to just a little over $36.00! I'm pretty sure this would've been closer to $100.00 at Von's. It was actually pretty exciting! But, while it was fun to try this little experiment, I'm not sure we'll be making a habit of it, despite how much money we saved. There's just a lot that store doesn't carry that we usually buy (meat, fish, wine), and I imagine next weekend we'll be back at the Grocery Outlet across town.

Any other frugal shoppers out there? What are your favourite bargain stores?

Friday Five

TGIF, my friends! It's finally Friday (and a payday, as well!), and I could NOT be happier. I know last Friday was a holiday, which is awesome, yes, but I really do love my Fridays at work, because it's more relaxed and we don't answer phones! Seriously, it sounds like a little thing, but not having the phones ring incessantly is a blessing! Anyway, on with the Friday Five List:

1.   So, did everyone have a fantastic, safe and sane 4th of July weekend? I did! I got to hang out with two of the most awesome women on this earth: Darlene and Pammie Sue! We spent the 4th at Pammie's house drinking wine on the patio, chatting, snacking, and watching comedians on the iPad. Sunday we wandered around downtown SLO, did some shopping, and had lovely drinkies at Novo. It was too brief a visit, but it was super fun, and it was nice to kind-of get away from it all!

2.  It's been MUCH cooler here on the Central Coast this week, which has been a welcome relief. The past two nights I haven't even had to have my window open at night! I've been sleeping much better, I think, because of that, even though I enjoy the cool, fresh, night air, and hearing the occasional cricket or hoot owl, the traffic noises are always jarring. 

3.  So, I'm planning to buy a new all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. I have a separate printer and scanner right now, and they take up a  lot of space. I'd like to streamline my desk area a bit, so I can work on various scanning and photo printing projects. Do any of you have an all-in-one you could recommend, or have any experience - good or bad - with them? I'm mostly curious, as I've pretty much decided on this one, but if anyone has had some serious problems or issues with it or negative feelings of all-in-ones in general, I might reconsider. (Thanks in advance!)

4. So, this weekend is the Lavender Festival in Paso, but I don't think I'll go this year. I still have a lot of organizing to do at home, and while I mowed the front lawn last night, the backyard is getting a little out of hand, and might need to be tamed a bit. Also, I'd kinda like to save a free weekend for a trip to the beach, rather than just to Paso, especially considering I was just there in May for the Art Festival.

5. Here's another inspirational chalkboard message discovered at The Backyard behind Bru Coffeehouse. I'm not 100% sure what this message is supposed to convey, however. I mean, I get the "Live in the Sunshine" and "Swim the Sea", but "Drink the Wild Air"?, I'm a little confused. You can't really drink air, right? I mean, you can gulp air down sometimes when you're working out too hard, but that just makes one belchy, which isn't so much fun. Anyway, it's pretty, and, well, interesting!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and I'll see you next week! Cheers!