The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2010-04-25

Friday, May 7, 2010

Top 7 stupid things I've done fairly recently

Number 7   Even though I bought an extended warranty on Pandora which mitigated the damage, I think buying Pandora wasn't such a good idea.  

Number 6   Buying the two year, instead of the three year extended warranty, was stupid in retrospect.

Number 5  Spending $945 to fix the Air Conditioner in my Chevy Venture 3 months before the head gasket blew and it became road kill, was stupid.  Really, really stupid.

Number 4  Not replacing the emerald green carpet that is freaking everywhere when we had the flood a few years back. Stupid.  Yes, it would have been expensive but my hate for that carpet grows daily and if I had I put in wood floors than I would not be living with a doody rug now.

Number 3    Everything I said in Number 4 except about my kid's black carpet, which Ginger likes to pee on.  So that one can be the stupid pee pee rug.

Number 2  When I was in Cape May I lost most of a prescription I take.  Anyone else here have Restless Leg Syndrome?  Maybe someday I'll write a post on RLS.  If you have it -and you have it bad - (the primary kind) I don't care what else you're taking drugs for, and I am taking drugs for other things, that's the one med you do. not. want. to ever be without.

Any idea what it's like to have to get another prescription covered when the insurance company says,  you should have more according to our records, so suck it up.

And the #1 Stoopidest thing is   I haven't been to the gynecologist in about three years.  Probably three.  Not sure about that.  Called yesterday and made an appointment and I'm all, Hello, you probably don't remember me cause I haven't been there since the year of the flood but I think I'm perimenopausal ... or sumthin' and I've had my period for um, oh... a while. So can I come in?

And they couldn't give me an appointment till next Wednesday night.  (Night?)  And I said, If I'm still going that long should I call for an appointment sooner and she was unimpressed with me,  Naw, we've had people bleedin' way longer than that, Pffft!

Totally felt like a poser.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tsunami alert for Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware, big...

I loved Pandora at first site but when I got a load of all her electrical power drivel and mayhem I about peed my pants.   Finding out one of her automatic power sliding doors - they open and close when you press the abracadabra button - had already been replaced didn't help. 


So I bought the Maxi-Care extended warranty.

And I know, I know.  The salesman was  laughing all the way to his pay check but let me tell you...  the $2360.00 that I spent in January is surprisingly close to what I would have spent in repairs already.

And it is not even a full four months (date to date) since I signed the contract. 

In February I had the blinker relay problem which was electrical and about $275 to fix (if I had to pay).

Now this problem, the Air Conditioning.  Much bigger.  

Big like 8.7 on the Richter scale, big. 

Big like Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware  needed a tsunami alert after I got that phone call, big.

"Over a thousand," they told me, "Oh and you need new shocks" (or struts... I can't remember now.  Some bouncy-bouncy things) but that's covered."

How much?

"About three or four hundred."

Do it.   

"And your rear windshield wiper isn't working, did you know that?"

No, is it covered?

"No but it's only $58."

I'll get back to you.

I'm only getting estimates for how much the repairs would have been because I'm trying to keep track of whether the warranty was a good value but I don't want to annoy the guys with specifics.  I figure after one more repair it will be a moot point - BECAUSE THAN THE REPAIRS WILL OUT-COST THE WARRANTY AND OMG ABOUT THAT.

After these repairs, the total will top $1650 (plus some more since I'm not getting exacts).  Add in six days of car rentals and that $2360 price for the warranty is looking KA-RAZY reasonable considering I've got almost two years left on it. 

So to those that say extended warranties are a bad idea, all I can say is - I'm doing a happy dance about mine.  And I'm doing it standing next to a free rental car with air conditioning.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Could you help me with a recipe for tonight, please? - * Updated* Recipe is for tomorrow because of the flood...

*See bottom of the post for the new part*

Did you ever look in the freezer to find pretty much one dinnerish item?

 I mean besides things like frozen fried chicken, ice cream  and tortellini.  Those are for my kid who's not dieting.

I looked in the freezer and all that was in there was this...

lauras lean beef

Actually mine was the even skinnier version.  4% fat.  I have it thawing now but I don't know what to do with it and I need a recipe.   Can you guys help me with a recipe for tonight?

I know it's short notice.  

I looked through my Weight Watchers cookbook and they had an interesting meatloaf with sauteed veggies and oatmeal which sounded good (oatmeal is a very good filler for meatloaf, promise) but it had a butt load of tomato sauce as the liquid.  Well, sauce and paste and basting with it...and poured over it and...  And it was starting to sound like a giant meatball/loaf.

And really, if the recipe's not meatloaf that's okay.   I have a pound of meat so it would have to be for that much.  And I'd like it to be with pantry type items so I don't have to run out and buy, I dunno... Hearts of palm or something.


Can you guys comment a recipe for a pound of hamburger?  

I am trying to keep it light  so Cream of Hamburger Soup Parmigiana is out, but I'm not unreasonable...  if it's got a piece of bacon.... something that's evens out over a whole recipe, that's fine.  But don't make it crazy fatty, no matter how yummy it may be!

* So I'm washing dishes and that will teach me to clean, right?  I open the cabinet under the sink - it's where the garbage is - and a wave of water pours out and the first thing I think is not, I have to get all that stuff out!  It's wait, where in the world is my camera so I can get a picture for my blog...


And then I thought, whoa! You are way all too into this blog thing and just work on the flood, genius. 

And so I did.  As a result there will be no cooking because stuff from under there is all over the counters which is frankly, ew.  My OCD is just banging.  

Be that as it may, it's ham sandwiches for dinner and I'm saving the hamburger for tomorrow so keep those recipes coming please.



sea foam

Click for a larger, better wordless Wednesday image.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Walmart, really?

 This is kind of a long post and if you don't want to read it, the basic thing I want to know is...

Is going to Walmart really a way to save money?

Retro Tuesday got away from me this morning.  I needed to bring Pandora in so they could look up her dress and see what in the world is wrong with her air conditioning.  Turned it on over the week-end and instead of getting cold air I got something more like hot nose air.  

What this is about though is, I've seen those Walmart commercials where they say you will save money if you shop there but I just thought they were saying that.  I don't live especially near one so I never investigated the possibility that the saving money at Walmart thing was fact not fiction.

After dropping off Pandora I passed a Walmart on my way home and stopped.  I needed to stop on the way home because I was out of deodorant.  Not low, out. Yesterday, actually.  I even printed a coupon for Dove Ultimate before I left because deodorant now costs something like a hundred dollars a pound, have you noticed that?  I'm not even kidding.  Do the math.

So I found a $2 off coupon for the Dove stuff and when I saw the Walmart on my way home I figured, what the heck, and went in.  First thing I saw in the store was the twin to the half-gallon plastic bottle I got for iced tea about two weeks ago. And it was marked $1.  I paid more than twice that.  Than I moved onto the deodorant aisle trying not to look at anything else because I was already aggregated about the tea bottle thing.

The regular deodorants were at least a dollar less and the clinical strength deodorants (for all of us super soakers and yes, I usually buy them which is why I know they cost $100 a pound.  I suppose they cost so much 'cause they have to work so hard. Although that's still ridiculous.) were at least two dollars less.  I have to be honest, I was floored. 

I took my computer printed coupon up to the cashier not knowing if they'd take it, some stores don't (I mean, come on, A&P - Times are tough could you please take them?) and she did.

This deodorant...


...cost me $1.71

I think the last time deodorant cost me that I was wearing a gym suit.  Or I was smoking in a girl's bathroom instead of wearing one.

I got what I went in for and didn't buy anything else, didn't even look but what I want to know from everyone is...  Is this the way it is?

Are the standard prices really lower? And should I be making a trip that's out of my way (although not crazy out of my way) to shop at Walmart?

Because based on my ten minute trip for that one thing it sure seems like it.

Is going to Walmart really a way to save money?

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Monday, May 3, 2010

My car's blowing hot nose air at me

I know I've spoken about my parade of used cars before, mostly in reference to their air conditioning failures and how for about eighteen of the last twenty years I drove around New Jersey with out air conditioning.

Don't know if you're aware but the average  New Jersey temperature in August is about a thousand degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity of a fish tank.

When I bought my van in the winter the first question I asked was not, Is it mechanically sound? like any normal person.   It was, Does the air conditioning work? and "Yeah, it does." They said, and turned it on to show me it blew cold.

And I said, it's November, it's going to blow cold even if there isn't a drop of freon but they assured me it worked and they showed me the big check mark next to the place where someone checked something that meant it worked.

And I bought the car.

But because I suck the freon out of everything with in a ten mile radius and stop  AC compressors dead in their tracks I bought that everything from headlights to taillights extended warranty.

Well, it actually doesn't cover the lights cause stuff like bulbs aren't covered, which I'm cool with 'cause all the big  'apensive junk between the bulbs is covered.  

Yeah so I get in the car Saturday and turn on the air conditioning cause it's May so of course it's a frosty 92 degrees outside, People.  Really?  In May...And guess what the AC is blowing?

Near as  I can tell body temperature air.  

Seriously, the car's blowing hot nose air right at me.  And I'm pretty much yelling, give me a break already with the car AC's I can't take it anymore and stuff like that as I'm driving to Rite-aid to get my prescription for (fortuitously) Xanax.

So I called and made an appointment about my car's hot flashes plus I had to bring the van in anyway cause the back power lift gate sometimes goes up and down two or three or nine times before it finally catches but all the time I'm saying to myself, please, not my air conditioning.  Please, not my air. 

So me and ...


Are going tomorrow morning for a check-up...

Well, Pandora is..  I was smarter than I've ever been about a used car and got a really, really good warranty so I even get a rental car while they are looking up Pandora's skirt.  A feature I've used twice already.

I hope I get Lance again.


My automotive fairytale...

And I'm certain that Lance, the testosterone-fueled beer guzzling growling auto-monster, will not be subject to hot flashes like Pandora.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Okay, okay .... NOW you can see some progress...

I posted here about the progress I made on my kid's room but after reading the comments and looking at the pictures again, like this one...


I realized it's hard for you to see progress, per se.

And I get that.

But I think I was making y'all nervous with my pictures and some of you wanted to come and organize me which, a few months ago I'd be standing on my head about but now...  It's so much better.  I just have to prove it.

It's all about perspective.   Thing is,  I was just so used to seeing the bomb-blast, you know? So to me that picture looked like the cover of House Beautiful.  And I mean that in the only best way possible and I hope House Beautiful knows that.

But today I took a break from the printer issues and the Norton Anti-Virus issues (that's a whole other story) and just worked on my kid's room because he's a really great kid.  I mean he's only eighteen and and is working as a full-time luthier and that was no easy thing for him.  He had to learn everything and I mean everything to get through school.  This is a kid who'd never used a saw before he started school, let alone a band saw and now he has a whopping - Tim, The Tool Man - Five foot tall rolling metal um, thing that doesn't even hold all the tools he uses ...

Um, that was a huge mom-digression there...  To continue.

So I've spent the whole day trying to work out the preliminary kinks in the room to get it ready for the secondary kinks.

And here is a better picture...


And I'm sure everyone will agree that that's actual progress
and it really does look like what I said, ten more feet of room in there.


I mean, it's kind of shocking

Oh, and those guitar hangy hooky things are all
purchased and set hang to along that long wall by the bed.


Now, as you can see this side of the room is still congested...

But not horrific anymore.   This is across from the bed.  But the bookshelves will go in favor of floating shelves so there will be room below them for the amp type things.

So as you can really see now there is progress and as soon as my power washing interior designer is free again he and my son can start on planning the closet and shelving.


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