May 25, 2017

Swagbucks: Memorial Day Sale

If you’re shopping this weekend, check Swagbucks first. They’ve got increased cash back (in Swagbucks, of course) through Monday, May 29th, 2017.

You might be able to combine this with their promotion on discounted gift cards at MyGiftCards if you get e-gift cards instead of physical gift cards.

Their 7% cashback on Gap egift cards, for example, plus the cashback for shopping through Ebates (6%) or Mr. Rebates (3%), combined with a sale can turn out a pretty stellar deal.

A similar combination earlier this year means that I paid $60 for a full stash of Christmas gifts for the kids.

Additional bonus: if you’ve signed up through my links at some point this month (or do it now), you’ll get a $2 (200 SB) bonus added to your account when you spend $25 or more through Swagbucks Shop before June 1.

Here’s a handy tutorial if you’d like to join Swagbucks and earn. I track my earnings here.

November 9, 2016

Election 2016

I had another post for today but first I’m sitting here with the Election doing what it’s doing and I’m wondering how we live in a country that would rather put a Hateful Incompetent Blustering Serial Liar in the highest office of the land over literally anyone else you could think of? A person who has made a campaign promising to deport citizens based on their religion, who considers many citizens of this country including women, disabled people, people of color, LGBTA, veterans, and immigrants as less than dirt to be trod on? When he incites violence against those who disagreed with him, invoked the Second Amendment in reference to his opponent – how are we to expect anything different from him if he’s then installed in the Oval? How precisely is he meant to lead and represent this country when his view of the nation is one that would be better off if most of us were gone?

Some of us have kids to whom we’ll have to explain how a bully and a predator was elected to the highest office in the land. How a man can brag about sexual assault and have multiple accusers of sexual assault and still be elected President. Some of us have daughters to whom we’ll have to explain how no matter how experienced you are, no matter how much blood, sweat or tears you’ve invested in the process and your career, a blustering man with literally no credentials or perceived competence can still win over you. Honestly, none of this was new, it’s just that much more obvious now.

I already knew I’d have to explain this to JuggerBaby someday but I had held to this frail hope that it could be in the past tense when ze was old enough to understand.

Add to the list of explanations: why are they telling us to “go home”? Because that’s nothing new either, but it’ll happen more frequently after the election, just as it was becoming more obvious during the campaign.

I was thinking earlier today, is this how it felt in Germany after the elections? A sense of foreboding, and impending doom, and wondering how many of your friends you can shelter from the coming storm? How long you can hold out?

The blistering racism, festering sexism, and ever-present xenophobia that’s pocked this country had me prepared for a close race, but I had held out hope, based on all the good, decent, and kind people I know here, that it wouldn’t come out in favor of hatred and bullying. This didn’t even come down to warring conservative versus liberal values and agendas. For me, this was about basic human decency and he didn’t even meet the minimum bar for that.

It’s not been called yet but I’m worried for the many who are even more vulnerable than I.

I don’t feel it yet, but I can say that I hope that when we wake up, it won’t be as bad as all that. That it isn’t the beginning of the long slide. I hope.

Nov 9 update: The person I couldn’t believe was the Republican nominee is the President-Elect now. It’s an outcome I knew was to be feared and the repercussions will range far and wide. It’s too early to try and hope again, today’s a day for resting, regrouping, and then we’ll pick up again. We’ll stand up to protect ourselves, defend those who need help, and be the best possible people we can be. That’s our job. And in two years, we need to do what we can to change the fact that all three branches of government are held by one party. The checks and balances can’t work when there’s no aisle to reach across.

July 27, 2016

Minimalist Cat, here to save the day!

Minimalist Cat is here to help you with all that unwanted stuffJoking with Kate and Little Green Revolution on Twitter about being ingrates who give unwanted, personalized, gifts that you can’t regift, a genius brainstorm hit me. I can hire JuggerBaby out! Ze can finally earn zir keep!

Ze is a natural (two-legged) cat with the added benefit of not shedding (much). Ze has been auditioning for the role of Minimalist Cat for MONTHS. If there’s anything breakable within reach, ze makes eye contact, reaches out with a chubby paw and pushes it off the shelf. Grins for the smash. Extra giggles if you react. Extra extra cackles if you react with anger.

Foolish human.

Minimalist Cat thrives on bringing chaos.

Disclaimers: Minimalist Cat does not recycle. Minimal Cat does not dust or pick up unless you offer really good bribes and use Mom voice. Minimalist Cat is a fan of brooms but mostly for licking and wild gesticulations. Not so much for sweeping.

Got clutter? Minimalist Cat will help you!

  • Is it breakable? Minimalist Cat will break it.
  • Is it fabric? Minimalist Cat will pick and chew it.
  • Is it paper? Minimalist Cat will shred and cheek it.
  • Is it shoes? Minimal Cat will steal them.
  • Is it a gift you really really didn’t want? Minimalist Cat will rend and tear it.
  • Are you daunted by how much there is? Does it feel like too big a job because your shelves overflowing? Minimalist Cat will empty them and strew things EVERYWHERE. The better for you to sort it.
  • Are you not unsure what’s in that one closet you don’t open the door to? Minimalist Cat fears not! Ze has your back. Services offered: pull everything out of the closet, unpack all bags and boxes so you can’t pretend you didn’t know it was there, and lick half of it. It’s marked now, throw it out.
  • Is that your mouse? YOU DON’T NEED IT.
  • Is that a landline? Ze can smash it.
  • Is that a cell phone? Ze will use it.
  • Is that your baby? No, silly, that’s Minimalist Cat’s baby now.

“‘Uh-oh’ is for accidents, Minimalist Cat,” says PiC. HAH.

No, but seriously

Clutter is a problem around here. Unwanted gifts, poorly selected clothing, snowdrifts of junk mail all make their way in and it’s a Herculean labor to shovel it all back out again. It’s an endless task but it’s gotta be done or we’ll drown in Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.

I’ve tackled the closet one 20-minute session at a time, forcing myself to make ruthless and realistic decisions. The one-year rule doesn’t work for me because I can go a whole year without touching half my closet but then need that half the following year.

Now, I’m paring down with the aim of having a week’s worth of clothing suitable for each season, casual and business. If I do it right, I’ll end up with a much slimmer and more classic wardrobe.

As for kitchen supplies, nothing new is allowed in there unless we get rid of three things for every one item. I refuse to end up with a Hoarders-level kitchen!

:: What decluttering challenges do you face? Do you discourage gifts from family or friends? Would you like to hire JuggerBaby? 

April 1, 2016

TGIF: A toast!

TGIF: A toast to the weekend, shall we? Since the eye injury, Seamus is no longer my friend. Not because I poked him in the eye! I didn’t!

But I am the evil one who administers the pain meds that taste like bitter old shoes (we ran out of pill pockets again, way to go Supplies Manager Me) and puts goop in his eye three times a day, faithfully. Our relationship may never recover, and he’s been taking his revenge via recalcitrance and really foul farts.

Dog gods help us all if this goes on longer than a week.


Ye baneful cough lingers and lingers but I can (and did) skip for uncontainable joy yesterday when I realized I could breathe through my nose again. Sinuses! It’s been months! I love you, never forsake me again.


Vehicle numero dos has not yet made an appearance in our lives but we reached a tricky stage in a possible offer. If it’s meant to be, it will be, Zen me says.

(Anxiety me wants to bop Zen me over the head and offer her up as a sacrifice to the Used Car gods. Anxiety me is shameless and kind of a jerk.)

We fervently hope it’s meant to be, shuttling two critters around for their appointments in opposite directions in one car eats up all kinds of time.


Movement on the refinance! It’s been stalled for who knows why for months now, and we’re finally getting communication again! Wheeeee!


Happy weekend, y’all! Fun for everyone!


February 29, 2016

Everything seems worse when you’re sick

Last week’s ode to the Internet was timely.

This weekend was a trial, made slightly less grueling by having some access to the outside world. Last week I dragged along, trying to muster some good energy pockets each day but utterly failed. The best I could manage was being patient with an increasingly grouchy LB when ze was home and becoming one with the sofa when ze wasn’t. By Saturday, it was no use denying it: another round of illness had come a-knocking and we were fool enough to open the door. PiC was on nearly solo parenting duties, I simply couldn’t stay awake. He kept sending me to bed, and intellectually it’s nothing to feel guilty about, but it’s hard to shake the feeling of not pulling your own weight.

And it’s hard to shake the feeling of uselessness when random body parts stop working. Like the left knee doesn’t bear weight so “walking” is really “wobbling”, or three fingers are so swollen you can’t bend them. Or standing up makes your head spin, dip and swim.

Thankfully, I got a little work and household management done online, amid the brain fog, so that restless need to accomplish something more than having bizarre dreams and sustaining life was fulfilled.

Tetchy Toddler

Granted, it has everything to do with being sick but LB was prone to grouchy outbursts not unlike an angry, thwarted hunting velociraptor. Keep feeding the wee beastie, y’all, a sick raptor-baby is naught to mess with.

And can you blame hir? It’s miserable coughing all night. Poor thing wakes up in the middle of the night burning up, crying, because ze doesn’t understand what on earth is going on. I feel like a heel walking away from the piercing “maaa maa maaaaa!” when we’ve done everything I can for hir and ze doesn’t want to be cuddled to sleep. Rough times.

I don’t know how single parents manage, half the time ze was sobbing because ze wanted PiC. Seamus and I were on standby to fetch and carry, slather vapo-rub and administer Motrin, but ze wanted hir dad and only hir dad for comfort.

Moody Muttley

Seamus is off-kilter too. He’s been refusing his antihistamines and vitamins for weeks. He grudgingly takes them under protest.

It’s hard to tell if something is wrong or if he’s just in an extended funk.

Could be he’s worn out being moral support from our weeks of being sick. He always gets up to join us when LB is sick and being tended to.

Dad and delinquent accounts

Dad’s been missing utility payments.

I know because I am still remotely monitoring the accounts, not because he has learned his lesson about telling me the truth.

$100 here, $80 there. $400 for the electricity, another $200 for the water and trash. They pile up month after month as he pays what he can, saying nothing to me about the rest. Add that to the more than $1000 we pay per month for his rent and and it piles up. As does the aggravation.

I’m deep breathing through it lest the frustration eat me alive. Our budget continues to bear the monetary cost, I refuse to let the cost of his silence be my sanity. But it’s a little harder each day that feels like everything is subtly wrong.

One-horse home

We’re still a single car household and the inconvenience far outweighs the savings. On days when LB and PiC are out together, Seamus and I are limited to going only so far as I can hike, and if we have to run errands, well, we can’t. Unfortunately, he’s too popular with random strangers which makes it unsafe to leave him outside while I run in to run errands. He and I only run errands where he’s allowed inside. In case you think I’m being paranoid, someone just tried to steal our neighbor’s equally cute and friendly pup when they’d run into a cafe to pick up an order. 30 seconds is all it takes for someone to walk off with our dogs. What is wrong with people??

Shaking it off

I’m getting some work filed away to make Monday less painful, and by extension, the rest of the week as well. Maybe, just maybe, we can shake this funk before Tuesday.

How was your weekend? How does your week ahead look? 

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