Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chili's Guiltless Grill - I'm In!!!

Businesspeople Eating Meal

I haven't participated in a bzz campaign in awhile because I've been so busy but this was one I could pass up!!!! The new guiltless Grill contains six delicious entrees that have less than 750 calories each. There are two re-invented favorites, plus four new choices, including Guiltless Carne Asada Steak, Guiltless Cedar Plank Tilapia and a Guiltless Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Usually when you sign up you get coupons for free meals. Hey if it gets here quickly, that could be Valentine's Day dinner. Yippeee. Be sure to come back and find out how this bzz goes.

Want to become a BzzAgent? You can email me with your email and I will send you an invite. As a BzzAgent, you'll get to: Discover and try new products and services (often for free). Spread sincere word of mouth about them. Have your opinions influence some of the biggest companies and brands around.

If you are afraid you will get on a mailing list then do what I do. I have set up an email account that I use anytime I need to sign up for something like mailing list for coupons, etc. This way, if there is spam then it goes there and doesn't bother your regular address. I have received lots of cool things from Bzz Agent like: Free Nights in Hotels, Free meals at Chilis (a different campaign than this one), three months of free dog food, three sonicare toothbrushes, and more. When you report your bzz you earn points on mypoints to it works really well.

It's Saturday so it's library day. We checked out some more Dallas DVDs. Seems Darryl is ow addicted to it.

If you're a sweeper then you know today is a busy day. I have so many sweepstakes to enter. I hope to tell you more about blog sweepstakes but I can't right now. I will tell you that I will be launching another sweep soon on ThriftyMaven. I'll let you now as soon as I do.

Friday, January 30, 2009

If Kisses Were Wises

Woman Blowing Kiss

I worked on an essay contest for about an hour today sponsored by Hershey Kisses. You had to write an essay of 150 words or less and the essay will be judged on 40% Originality/Creativity, 40% Relevance to theme and 20% how well idea is articulated. I wrote it and edited and edited and finally I was happy with the results. When I went to submit my essay I realized that not all essays would be judged. You see they would be RANDOMLY selecting only three per week, for a prize of a $2,300 Visa Gift Card. So after all that work, my essay may not even see the light of day.

Today was a great day at work because it was birthday cake day. Once a month they buy a sheet cake to celebrate the birthdays for the month. Each month a delicious new flavor. Today's cake was a marble cake with a chocolate icing that tasted like chocolate Cool Whip.

We finished up our first disk of Dallas. Darryl said he didn't realize that Dallas had been on so many seasons. At this rate he said, it would take us almost a year to watch all the shows.

Looking for the blog contests I entered? Here they are:

Prize: SmartShopper automated grocery list organizer and eight Dole Parfait product coupons

Prize: Hallmark Card Studio 2009 Deluxe and Hallmark Scrapbook Studio 3.0 Deluxe software.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Motel Guests Want George Anthony's Room

The Hawaii Motel where George Anthony was found shortly after Caylee’s skeletal remains were discovered, is now turning into a bit of a tourist attraction. Turns out people are calling the motel, or simply showing up, wanting to stay in the same room where George nearly took his own life.

Anthony stayed in room 106 on Feb. 23, trying to find some time alone to sort out his thoughts. While he was there, Daytona Beach police said he sent text messages to his family saying he didn't want to live. It was also reported that he may have started a suicide note.


Young woman in locker room

What a busy day. First things first. The school board actually sent over their head guy to look at my outlet. Technology and the electricians are going to work at getting it fixed. I'm thrilled. An added bonus was that I finally had my bulletin board hung up. It took seven years to finally get them to hang it but they did and I'm just thrilled.

I'm not feeling especially well tonight. They are painting the walls at the school and it's making me sick. So I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

On the positive side, and I do need a positive side after today, the past two days have brought back former students of mine. Three different girls stopped by to see me and it was interesting to say the least. One of them, an itty bitty girl who was pregnant the year I taught her, stopped by school to pick up one of her relatives. The funny thing was that I just thought about her about three days ago. I thought that was interesting because it reminded me of that test I did with the Secret, think about someone and the Universe will conspire to bring you news about that person. I had simply wondered about how she was doing and there she was, three days later. Turns out she now has three kids and is a CNA. I told her I was very proud of her. She told me that she missed my class and that when she sees the show Ellen she thinks of me. "Why?" I asked. Well you're both silly.

Another former student came by yesterday to pick up one of her relatives and she ran up to me, "Ms Cope, Ms. Cope, do you remember me?" Of course I did. Turns out she's married now and living in Texas. Her husband is in the military. She's up her visiting for a few weeks and her husband is stationed in Iraq right now.

Yet another former student was picking up a former student and she held her arms out and said "Ms Cope. Hey girl" I hugged her and she told me that she finished a semester at West Georgia University but took some time off because her mother is having health problems.

It was so great to see former students and know that I made a difference to them. What didn't make me happy today was one kid giving me crap about taking up his phone. The rule is no phone yet they all feel they must have their ipod and or their phone out constantly. He wanted to argue with me about the school policy. Another student told her parent an untruth because she was upset at me because I got after her for not paying attention in class. Her parent called my principal and he emailed me and told me to call the mother. I hate that. I just hate it. I did try to call the mother several times but was unable to get in touch with her. I gave the girl my number and told her to give it to her mother.

We're still watching two episodes of Dallas a night. Who would have thought I would learn a word by watching the show.


Cuss"ed*ness\, n. [Cussed (for cursed) + -ness.] Disposition to willful wrongdoing; malignity; perversity; cantankerousness; obstinacy. [Slang or Colloq., U. S.]

I did get to enter a few blog contests.

Enter to win an electronic grocery list maker!

One person will win a free email tarot card reading by Rhiannon

Prizes (3): Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Chipettes DVD

Prizes (2): Oliver and Company 20th Anniversary Edition DVD.

Prize: Motorola ZN5 camera phone

Prize: 8GB Cowon S9 portable media player

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Computers Down

The day started out cloudy but a very light shade of pink filtered through all the dark grey clouds. It was almost warm enough for me to leave without my coat. By the end of the day the temperature had plummeted. Further north a major ice storm hit leaving more than a million people stranded in darkness Thursday

Maintenance came by today to fix my outlet today. They replaced the one and now they are going to get some kind of cover to put over it.

Bad news for people like me who still like to enter snail mail sweeps. The new President is thinking of having mail slow down to five days a week instead of six. I'll be pretty sad about that.

I bought a lottery ticket today. I just kept daydreaming about winning the lottery, who doesn't, and so I said what the heck, let me buy a ticket. I also bought a ticket for a t-shirt quilt from school. The quilt is cute and the profit will got to one of the clubs at school.

I'm having problems with my computer tonight. It keeps shutting down so I didn't get to enter too many contests today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sparks Fly

Thinkstock Single Image Set

Yesterday when I was checking the kids work from their computers I was surprised when I saw a big blue flash out of the corner of my eye. One of the kids was pushing her chair out and it hit the socket. The spark scorched the metal plate but thank God no one was hurt.

I put in a work order, let two assistant principals know of the danger, and filled out a work requisition. Today no one had come out to fix it and it happened again. This time it part of the plug actually melted. I went back up to show them the damage done. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll get it fixed tommorrow.

The economy and the massive job losses have claimed more victims. A man in Los Angeles killed his wife and his wife and five kids after he was fired from his job. Police said the child victims were an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls and twin 2-year-old boys.These are frightening times.

In October, a 45-year-old unemployed financial manager despairing over extreme money problems shot and killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and himself in their home in the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley.

As far Darryl's job search, we haven't heard anything. He's been sending out resumes but so far no call for interviews. We think his former employer, Trinity Rail will be closing their plant here in Cartersville soon. I guess I'm lucky that I'm a teacher. All these lay offs are very frightening.

I didn't get a chance to work on any essay contests. We have to finish off those Dallas shows so we can return the DVD to the library this weekend. It's kind of interesting watching these shows now, looking at the clothes, the hair, the cars. and such. These were all characters that I'd heard about even though I never watched an episode before. I had an idea about who was good and who was bad but the characters are very one dimensional and shallow. Tonight we met the middle brother, Charlene Tilton's father.

I'm still entering some blog contests:

Prizes (3): Fireproof DVD.

Prize: Five POM Juice product coupons and five POM Tea product coupons.

Prize: Kodak EasyShare M893 IS digital camera (ARV $149.95).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Valentine Essays Are Heating Up

Groom putting on wedding ring

I entered another essay contest. This one is from a local radio station. They are selecting 50 couples to renew their wedding vows on Valentine’s Day at Stone Mountain Park. I'll keep my fingers crossed on that. I had wanted to do that last year but we jut didn't have the money to do that. After all we've been through lately maybe we need to do just that, renew our vows. If they are selecting 50 people then I really wonder how many people bothered entering the essay contest.

I have to give up my title as the Only Woman Who NEVER Watched a Single Episode of Dallas. We've watched four episodes from the first season.

I've also entered some blog contests:

Prize: 2GB SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 player in choice of color.

Prize: Choice of $15 Amazon or iTunes gift card.

Prize: Pink Flip video camera.

Prize: White cotton cable knit throw from Lands' End

Prize: Copy of What's Age Got To Do With It? by Robin McGraw.

Prize: Breakfast at Tiffany's DVD

Prize: Valentine's Cupcake Soap from Serah's.

Prize: Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2 cookbook.

Prize: $50 Tiny Prints gift certificate.

Prize: Copy of The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash

Prize: $50 The Home Depot commemorative gift card.

Prize: The Couponizer.

Prize: Face Off Frenzy portable indoor air-hockey game.

Prize: Space Buddies DVD and set of three plushies.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letting The Words Spill Out

I've been working on essays for the past couple of days. I've won a few essay contests but they take up so much time I can see why some people avoid them. At first I take a look at how the essay is judged. The next thing I do is read the topic of the essay several times. Then I just start throwing words on a page. I check the word count and read what I wrote again. I read the topic once more and then read my essay again editing often. The final thing I do is read my essay out loud. Perhaps I should do that with my blog more. You'd be surprised how different your essay can sound when it's spoken out loud. If it doesn't sound natural when it's read out loud it can't possibly win.

I entered one essay about "What's so special about the person you love. The prize is a Princess cut 1 carat diamond bridal set. That one took me about a half an hour to write. Well about that, but I was also distracted by one of the movies we were watching, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It was pretty funny and I thought the resort where it was filmed was beautiful.

I also entered a contest to try to win a day at a local spa and choice of local family activity. That essay was about describing your family’s favorite group activity

Not much in the way of blog contests today but I have a feeling that will change soon when the bloggy carnival comes in about a week.

It's time to watch Dallas. Still hard to believe I never watched a single episode before.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two Different Kinds of Blogs

Hands Typing

Darryl and I went to the library today to return the videos we checked out last week and get new ones for this week. Here's something that might amazing some people. I have never watched one episode of Dallas. It's not like I wasn't alive when it was one of the most popular shows or even that I was too young. It's not like I wasn't aware that people were caught up in the mystery of Who Shot JR? I guess I was too busy living the soap opera that was my life and I didn't have time to watch a TV soap opera. So today I picked up a Dallas First and Second Season DVD. Oh and before you ask, no I've never watched Dynasty either.

We picked out some books while we were there and one of them was a book about Blogs. The author said there were basically two kinds of blogs, the diary blog, and the other was the linked blog. My Thrifty Maven blog would be an example of a linked blog. I find products, coupons, or sales and I link my blog to a site with more information about the subject of my blog. For example, tomorrow I will carry an article about where you can get free Valentine's Day cards, free coffee, and some free food. This site is a diary blog. When you think about it, you wonder what makes people interested in a blog? Why does someone visit a diary site? What makes a diary site successful. The book suggests your excitement but could that really attract readers? I wish I was smart enough to know the answer.

This morning I entered several snail mail contests from Budweiser. I've been so very busy that I've put my snail mail sweeps on the back burner.

Well I finally set about to do some of my essay contests that I've been wanting to enter. I entered an essay contest where the prize is Dinner for two adults 18+ at a local restaurant and round trip limousine service. You could either submit a video or essay explaining why you deserve a chance to win the Ultimate Valentine's day date. I chose to write an essay.

I also entered an essay to win a : 3-day/2-night trip for two adults 21+ to Paris, France; includes $750 cash per day spending money. That one required an essay that explains why you need help from Ms. Green to heat up your romance this Valentine's Day.

I discovered a site today called The Giving Tree Project It reminded me of how I used to keep a gratitude journal. Each and every day I would try to find something about the day that I could be grateful for. Sometimes I really had to dig deeply for it but you would be amazed at what an effect it had on my life. I stopped keeping one about a year ago after I moved here. Funny isn't it? Here is am in what I feel is my dream house, the one I will soon be losing, and yet I wasn't keeping a gratitude journal. I would get up some mornings and take pictures of the view from my window and sometimes say a silent prayer that I was living a life I never thought I would be living. Now I seem focused on all that I am losing instead of all that I have. Darryl even got after me and told me I should start keeping a gratitude journal again. He even said he'd be OK if I stopped trying to build my Thrifty Maven site if I needed the time.

What blog contests did I enter?

Prize: 3 pound 7 ounce Snow's BBQ brisket

Prize: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes DVD

Win a $119 Wine Gift Basket for Valentine's Day from

Prizes (2): Oliver & Company: 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD

Prizes (2): Space Buddies DVD & plush toy.

Prizes (3): Thomas & Friends: Railway Friends DVD.

Prizes (5): Escape To Chimp Eden: Season One DVD.

Prizes (5): Meerkat Manor Season 4 DVD.

Prizes (5): Jon & Kate Plus Ei8ht: Season 3 DVD

Free Valentine's Day Cards

Heart-shaped sweets

The Beatles once crooned that Money Can’t Buy Me Love but is that really true? This year Mr. Thrifty and I are trying to see just how thrifty we can be when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I began to think of all the things that traditionally hearken the sentimentality of this special day. I’ve always been a sucker for flowers for Valentine’s Day and for me a card of some kind is a must. For some people dinner out is a must and for others all is right in the world if a box of candy comes their way.

I’m searching the stores and the web to help you save money this Valentine’s Day. Now is not too soon to be thinking about it. Just last week I bought a roll of red and gold wrapping paper, for 20 cents during an after Christmas sale. A little planning now will go a long way later towards making this Valentine’s Day the best ever without busting your budget.

Today I’m going to tell you where you can get six FREE Valentine’s Day cards. When I say free I’m saying FREE including shipping. The site is called Stories by Everyone. What makes these extra special is you can upload your favorite photo to the card to personalize it. I uploaded a photo of us that was taken a few years ago on an amazing vacation I won. This is one of our favorite memories. You might take out that dress you know he just loves on you and have your picture taken in it. Do you have kids? See if you can get a friend to take a photo of you and your little ones.

Your free cards even allow you to personalize it with a special note. It can be something simple. I wrote Forever I know you'll be here in my heart and in my arms. When you are ready for checkout look at the bottom of the bill and you will see where they ask you for a coupon. Simply write the word: VALENTINE and proceed. You will see your bill then drops from under $6 to FREE. Even better shipping is free. It did ask for my credit card number but since there was NO MONEY due I simply clicked proceed and I received an order summary. Hurry, offer expires February 1, 2009. Not valid with any other offer.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Big Meeting


We really didn't know what was going to happen at the meeting. Honestly, in the back of my mind I thought about a movie I'd seen when I was in the seventh grade. Back then we were learning about short stories and the teacher had us watch an episode of the Twighlight Zone called the Lottery. If you never read the short story or saw the movie the town all shows up and draws a lot. The "winner" is the one that is selected to be the sacrificial victim. The townsfolk believe that a human sacrifice must happen in order for crops to grow. The woman who is the selected victim begs for her life, looks at those around her, and then her friends and family begin to stone her to death.

I thought of that movie because if the school were to lay off people do you feel glad that it's not you? Is it OK to feel relieved that someone else was the victim? I raced to school this morning so I could hear what was going to happen.

As it stands right now there will be no teacher layoffs. We will have to watch and see what's going to happen because some people wonder if we will lose our planning period. If that happened I would lose the extra money I get because I don't have that planning period. He made no mention of it.

When the meeting was over I spoke with several people and we all agreed, if we were told to clean toilets to keep our jobs, then college degrees and all, we'd be on our hands and knees scrubbing toilets. There are several teachers, who like me, have a spouse who has recently lost their job. I am thankful that Rome City Schools has had the forsight to put away money for difficult times like this.

As far as Darryl's job search is concerned, there's nothing new on the horizon. No interviews. Some recruiters offering to help him look but he's become suspicious of them. Turns out some of these people just take your resume and blanket every ad, often duplicating applications that you've made and if you get one of those jobs then they want to be be paid.

I got my affy signed and will be sending it out tommorrow. It might be nice to go out to a meet and greet. Hey I'll at least get a nice meal out of it. I've also heard the UGA coach is a nice guy.

Here are the blog contests I entered today.

Prize: 3-month free trial of Weight Watchers Momentum program online or in person

Prize: Gift certificate redeemable for The Natural pizza from Pizza Hut.

Prizes (2): Space Buddies DVD and plush toy.

Prizes (7): Copy of Campbell's Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook.

Prizes (5): Love Boat Season 2 DVD.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

George Anthony Attempts Suicide

George Anthony, tried to commit suicide today. He went missing this morning, after he left for an interview. The family had not heard from him all day and when George failed to show up for a meeting and for dinner, George and Cindy's lawyer called 911 to report him missing. Cindy had noticed that a picture of George, Cindy, Casey, and a picture of Caylee were missing, along with prescription medication. George had also started sending the family disturbing text messages, stating that he did not want to live anymore and he wanted to be with Caylee. To make sure that Caylee was in God's arms. He also told them that he just wanted to be alone.

Police were able to track George through cell phone pings and GPS to the Hawaii Motel in Daytona. Police found medication and a 12 pack of Miller Lite in the room. There were only four remaining bottles of beer left in the fridge. There was also a small brown blanket/throw laying on the bed. It's not known if that blanket belonged to Caylee, or just to the Anthony family.

It has been reported that George had consumed eight bottles of beer and had took some prescription medication. The Anthony's attorney, Brad Conway, stated that if Law Enforcement had not found George, he felt that George would not still be with us.

Cindy stated that she asked George on Wednesday to pick out some jewelry for Caylee. She thinks this could have sent him over the edge.

George was took to a hospital in Daytona, under the Baker Act, and will remain in state custody for 72 hours, or longer if needed be.

A Big Meeting At School Tommorrow

I have no clue whatsoever how things will go but I do know it's about our budget for next year. Wish me well. I'm already pretty certain I will lose the bonus money I'm making now. This will be a pretty difficult shot to my already stretch budget.

Blog contests I entered:

The prize for this contest is your choice of one pair of "Lookin' For Some Wild Monkey Love" 100% cotton boxer shorts or thong-style panties. The winner must specify a size for either a pair of boxers (S-XL) or panties (S-L) and if they would prefer the classic logo or the red heart logo

Prize: Eight Valentines Day cookies.

Prize: SmartShopper automated grocery list assistant

Prize: $20 My Choice gift card redeemable at Safeway, Vons, Carrs, Genuardis, Pavillions, Dominick's, Randalls, Tom Thumb [not in CA] or Pak'n Save Foods.

Prize: Burn Notice Season 1 DVD, mini-football, mesh case, Casio watch, mag flashlight and binoculars.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Someone Broke Into My Classroom

The past Friday, at around 7 pm someone was in my classroom. We had left for a three-day weekend and I was pretty excited about leaving and honestly gave little thought to school while I was out. When we came back to school I was honestly very busy getting things set up for the Inauguration. I had to go to the library, get a tv, set it up, and then monitor the kids. I mostly concentrated on making sure that there was a meaningful learning process going on and monitoring behavior. What else is new.

I had little time to sit at my desk and really look through my drawers or anything. Today was another very hectic day. I was running around helping the kids with their projects or with difficulties they were having with assignments.

Then at the end of the day one of the custodians stopped me to tell me that we had to talk. He asked me if I had kept a kid in my class Friday night. What kind of questions is that. It creeped me out it was so unseemly. Keep a kid in my class? "What time are you talking about? " I asked I mean did some kid stop by my class after school looking for me and maybe wait? I instantly felt guilty.

This was not the case. Turns out the custodian found a boy in my classroom at 7PM using one of the computers. He had unlocked my window so he could escape if anyone came by I guess he wasn't fast enough. They were able to id him using the camera outside of my room.

Since I just found this out, I actually began pulling out the drawers on my desk. That's when I realized that a small wooden box in my desk that I kept $10 in as well as my brother's rosary beads was missing. These were rosary beads that my brother, who is deceased left me. They can never be replaced. Some coins were missing. I just wanted to cry. I'm serious, isn't it bad enough that I'm losing my FREAKING home? We've already had our old home broken into several times and now this. I just want to scream.

I have to go down to Mr. Johnson's office tommorrow to tell him what I'm missing. I brought my radio home today.

When Darryl got home he asked me what EPI stood for. I have no earthly clue. Why I asked. Turns out when he and Dave were over at the Cartersville house UPS stopped by but they didn't hear the truck. Darryl thinks it's something to do with Eprize. I told him I doubted it. Then Darryl said, "Maybe it's an affy." Yeah maybe. I wish though. Darryl told me he'd run up to the UPS office around 7 pm to pick up whatever it is. He just left so maybe by the time I'm finished typing this entry I'll find out if the thing was even for me. It simply said Copeland and we couldn't pick it up until the truck got back to the central shipping area in Acworth at 7 PM.

I entered some more blog contests and here they are:

Prizes (5): Uncle Milton's Pet Eye View camera.

Prize: Digital Foci digital key chain.

Prizes (3): Chex Mix Bars basket with Chex Mix Bars, chocolate candles, caramel lotion, loofah, hand massager, nail brush and spa towel

Prize: Johnson's Baby gift basket

Prize: GiftTree Sweetheart Tower filled with sweets and cookies

Oh Darryl has just arrived home and what did I win? I have been selected as a potential Grand prize Winner in the Kellogg's Publix UGA Sweepstakes. I get to bring a guest to the University of georgia Head Football coach Mark richt in Atlanta, GA when the season ends and the prize includes food and non-alcholic beverages.

I have to fill out the forms and send them right out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today Was A Historic Day

Obama sworn in as 44th President in Washington

All day I had the classroom TV on playing in the background as the kids barely worked on their assignment. Who could blame them? In their short lives they've witnsssed so much. Terrorist attacks in America and an African American President. History was in the making and I didn't get after them at all if they stopped working and watched as the day unfurled.

Having grown up in DC it's a little different for me. I watch the newscast and remember walking past this building or that building on my way to work. The mall area where I once used to push my babies in their stroller was filled with a few million people. I saw scenes of the reflecting pool and the throngs of people reminded me of the day when I was very young and I looked for my Dad in the crowds of people watching Martin Luther King Speak. For me it's always a homecoming when I see DC on TV or in a movie.

During my fourth period class we stopped our work to watch the ceremony. It's a new day, a new page in our history. After the dignitaries began leaving the inauguration and the commentary began, you could hear Juan William's voice begin to crack. This was dream that countless African Americans have had, that one day the President of the United States would come from their community.

Regardless how we voted, whether for or against the new administration, we should all keep our new President in our prayers because he is our new President. I have never walked lockstep for or against a new president. Heck I love my husband and my kids but I don't always agree with the choices they make. I will not always agree with the actions of any American but we should all be given a chance without having dispersions cast upon us.

Well Cathy, what blog contests did you enter today? Well Here they are:

Prize: Zenses Rainforest video game for Nintendo DS.

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24 pack coupons and five Frito Lay coupons

Prizes (3): National Lampoon’s Stoned Age DVD

The Photobook Creator

One box of 30 personalized My Fruit Roll-Ups as designed by winner

Prize: 30-count carton of personalized Fruit Roll-Ups

Prizes (3): Breakfast at Tiffany's DVD.

Prizes (3): Funny Face DVD

Monday, January 19, 2009

Under The Tuscan Sun

In a few hours my three day weekend will be over. I spent hours watching a documentary called Black Coffee. It explored the dark rich world of coffee. Now you might ask yourself, how can you make a documentary that lasts three hours about coffee. Well it examines the socio-political aspects of coffee. Did you know that women once thought coffee prevents men from er ah performing their marital duties. In some countries it was thought to enhance those same marital requirements. It is the second largest legally traded commodity worldwide. Mr. Thrifty and I don't drink coffee but we found ourselves pretty interested in the whole thing.

Darryl and I also watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. I've been meaning to watch it for a long time and now I finally have.

I was able to take those Pepsis back to CVS today. They actually had my favorite caffeine free ones today. I was also able to buy some Hershey Candy that was on sale. I bought two bags of Hershey kisses for $1 a bag, 2 dark chocolate bars, and two Reeses whips for 50 cents total. I guess I will have to write about how i saved money for Valentine's Day

I hand planned on writing some essays today but other things got in the way, like my dumb computer acting up. I did enter some blog contests.

Prize: Copy of Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering a Pizza by Cherie Burbach.

Prize: Box of nine Valentine's Day cookies from Fancypants.

Prize: $100 Visa gift card.

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Prize: Legendary Performances - Tammy Wynette DVD

Prize: Copy of How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life by Pat Williams and Jim Denney.

Prizes (5): Copy of The Great Wings Book by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison

Free Coffee at Starbucks

I had to stop by Kroger this morning. There is a Starbucks in our Krogers so I asked the question that is on the mind of many Americans, "Will there be free coffee at Starbucks tommorrow?" I was told yes and that there was some ad about it on TV. I had not seen the ad so I did what any red-blooded patriot would do, I googled it when I got home.

Turns out this is true. I blogged about it in my Thrifty Maven blog along with posts about where to get a FREE Donut and a not so free but still patriotic donut. So check out and find out how you can do your part to put free coffee and donuts in your hand. Consider it your little slice of the bailouts.

We Have a WINNER

I'm so very excited. I'm thrilled that so many of you came to my site and entered my first blog contest. I've sent an email to the winner and that winner has responded. Her name is Jessica C.

Again thank you all so very much. I appreciate you coming to read my blog.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You're Gonna Make It After All

Woman Watching Television

This morning I went grocery shopping with Darryl. It was raining a bit but at least the roads weren't slippery. Once I was back and the food was put away I began watching a Mary Tyler Moore Marathon. I watch the entire first season. I can still remember the theme song and one time, years ago, I threw my hat up in the air when I lived in DC like Mary did in the intro. It was a pretty unique show back then and it's interesting to watch it knowing how life has changed for women over the years.

As of this moment I still haven't heard from those people who said they were going to buy our home. They are getting one hell of a deal. It's being sold at about 40% of what we paid for it. I've just been crying about the whole thing. We will be moving back to the house in Cartersville. I never liked that house and we bought it because Darryl wanted that one. He needed the room in the barn.

Tonight we draw the name for our winners, one winner here and two on the thrifty maven blog. I feel badly because I came back to my site today and see that someone entered a contest that I'm not hosting by posting on my blog. I posted about the contest because I was trying to get a second entry in that person's blog contest.

While I watched the Mary Tyler Moore show I entered blog contests. Here is a list of the ones I entered.

Prizes (2): Welcome Baby Bag

Prize: Apron from The Hip Hostess.

Prize: Box of personalized My Fruit Roll-ups

Prize: Sheet of 20 PhotoStamps

Prize: Pillsbury pie kit

Prize: Space Buddies DVD & 3 Plush Buddies

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Prizes (2): Elmo Loves You DVD

Prize: Loquat Rooftop CD.

Prize: Nickelback: Live at Sturgis 2006 DVD.

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Prizes (5): Meerkat Manor Season 4: The Next Generation DVD

Prize: Pace Game Day Party Pack with We're #1 foam fingers, squeezable footballs, tabletop football set, football balloons, referee drink holders, Pace's 60th anniversary cook book and Pace Picante Sauce, Pace Thick & Chunky Salsa, Pace Pineapple Mango Chipotle Salsa and Pace Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salsa

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Prize: Coupon for a free photo album from CVS.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Dream Is Sold

For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that my husband was laid off just before Thanksgiving. We could not afford this house on one salary so the bank agreed to let us stay here while it was up for sale. Today we were told we should be expecting an offer. We are selling it for only 60% of what it was appraised for just about a year ago. I cried. I kept hoping that some how, just like in the old movies, our home would remain in our hands. It won't and we will definitely have to leave by the end of February from what I understand right now. That means we have to hustle to get things packed and ready to go.

I guess the weather feels my pain because it's sleeting outside. Not really badly but I'm concerned about how the roads will be tomorrow morning when I go grocery shopping.

Today I had to hustle around to do some housework. I did three loads of laundry, did the dishes, and vacuumed. After that I worked on an article for thriftymaven and then I watched a movie called "What a Way to Go." It's an old movie with Shirley McClain, Paul Newman, Dick Van Dyke, Dean Martin, Gene Rogers, and Robert Mitchum. It was a cute movie but here was a woman who kept inheriting millions of dollars from her husbands that would become successful and then die when all she wanted was to live a simple life. Doesn't sound too cheery but it really is cute.

I began mindlessly entering sweeps just to keep my mind occupied. Here are the blog contests I entered:

Would you like to win a copy of The Baby Fat Diet

Prize: Winner's choice of onesie from Belly Babies

Prize: Exfolimint Peppermint Foot Soap

Prize: Super Bowl party pack with football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two keychains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons and five Frito-Lay coupons

Prize: Swing Vote DVD.

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Prize: Dragon Immortal: 10 Feature Film Collection DVD set

Prize: Box of personalized My Fruit Roll-ups.

Prize: Football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two key chains, two hats, two t-shirts, five Pepsi 24-pack coupons, and five Frito Lay coupons

Win A Superbowl Party Pack.- read to see the sponsor

Friends cheering while watching sports on television

The Superbowl is coming. Are you ready for it? It's always a big occassion at our house with lots to eat and drink. The Superbowl is never just about the game although that takes centerstage. It's a day to share comradarie and great food. Don't miss out. is sponsoring:

The Ultimate Pepsi Super Bowl Party Pack includes:
• 1 football
• 1 beverage pail
• 1 snack helmet
• 2 key chains
• 2 hats
• 2 t-shirts
• 5 Pepsi 24 pack coupons
• 5 Frito Lay coupons

That’s everything you need for a fun-filled get together for the big game! If you’d like to win this amazing Party Pack for your own Super Bowl event.

Check out this contest at:

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's A Three Day Weekend

Female couple sitting on couch at home

These past few days have been incredibly cold. The thermometer in Rome remained below freezing throughout the day. I've had to bundle up because my classroom felt so cold. I am looking forward to taking a few days to regroup.

I am so excited about my first blog contest. Actually it's a two fold contest. one contest on and the other one here. The pressure is really on now. I have to make sure I continue to work on content that others would actually be interested in reading.

Yesterday a miracle happened when a plane was forced to land in the Hudson Bay and everyone survived. It was absolutely AMAZING. The jet hit geese and lost power minutes after takeoff from La Guardia and all 155 people aboard were rescued. The crash took place on a 20-degree day, one of the coldest of the season - with the water temperature 36 degrees, a Coast Guard official said.

Here are the bog contest I entered.

Prize: Vintage Glam Apron.

Win a set of 16 Love Doggy Valentines with envelopes.

To celebrate the future "First Dog," DogTipper is giving away one "first puppy" t-shirt (XL). To enter, complete the online form with your advice to the Obama family about selecting a puppy for the White House

One Personalized Box of Fruit Roll-Ups

10 winners will receive 10 coupons for free Clorox bleach. Each coupon has a value of $2.19, which is a value of $21.90 per winner

Free notecards with scenic photographs of Southern and Eastern Kentucky! The photos capture not only the Appalachian topography but also the region's culture. These beautiful notecards will make you want to take a weekend getaway to see rural Americana.

Prize: $50 Tiny Prints gift certificate.

Prize: BeBe Au Lait nursing cover

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blog contest experiment is back in gear

Today I came home to discover I won the Unstable FABLES: The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Show from a regular sweepstakes. Part of the prizes was a sign sleeve for the DVD. It was signed by Jamie Lynn Spears. It's a little crinkled and has a paper cut to the side. (I never say big or little because one persons big is another person's little). I wonder if people would even want a signed item if it's on a slightly damaged item.

I also began my own blog contest. This is all new to me and it's an experiment in itself. Are people really interested in winning such a small item? Will people actually visit my site because I'm having a contest? I'm actually running this blog contest simultanteously with on one Fingers crossed that this goes well. I want to be able to tell my students about it. I hope to get them blogging because I think that will help their writing skills.

So I decided to start doing blogs sweepstakes as I catch up with my other sweepstakes. Here's some I entered:

Air-Porter luggage oraganizer and carrier

Prize: Two 35ct. Lysol 4 in 1 wipes containers.

Prize: Crocheted hat from Crocheted Little Things

Prize: Crocheted hat from Crocheted Little Things

Prize: 3-pack of Valentine knit and felt purse patterns

A Love Quilt It measures 10"x10", is quilted, raw-appliqued, embroidered, sewn, binded, and ready for display. Drape it over a 70's cone-head baby... frame it in a 12x12... hang it on the wall... gift it... use it as a tea pot coaster

Two winners will each receive an Oh My Greetings unique and original handmade Valentine's Day card. One card is red and one is black, and both would be appropriate for a man or woman.

My First Blog Contest

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier? If it is then today’s giveaway will help you keep that commitment. Every SOYJOY® bar is baked with whole soy and real fruit for all-natural, longer lasting energy. That’s a smart snack choice. The fun part is finding your favorite flavor.

Whole soy is packed full of antioxidant isoflavones, high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and all nine amino acids essential to human nutrition. Plus, whole soy is low in saturated fat , contain NO transfats, and are cholesterol free.

Don’t just take my word about it.

American Dietetic Association
“Based on the evidence for a beneficial effect of soy and heart disease,
incorporating soy foods into your diet may result in an overall health benefit.”1

American Heart Association Nutrition Committee
“Many soy products should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because
of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and
low content of saturated fat.”2

To win comment about your New Year’s Resolution and how Soy Joy will help you achieve that goal. (This can be just a sentence). Comments that say “I want to win” or “pick me” will be disqualified.

For a second chance to win, blog about this giveaway, then come back and send us a link to this blog.

There will be one winner and that winner will receive six (6) Berry Soy Joy Bars. Winners will receive an email requesting an address for shipping purposes. (This address and other personal information will not be shared).You must respond to my email within two weeks (14 days) of its receipt.

Can’t wait? Visit this site for a printable coupon for $1 off five.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Family Deals With Tragedy

My student came back to school today. He wanted to show me his brother's online memorial. Amazingly enough he'd actually visited my blog and asked that I post a request that people honor his brother at this site. Please feel free to drop by his family's page to leave a supportive message. The young man's name is David Lee Esslinger

I can leave no further information regarding this case other than what is in the paper. I have no knowledge other than what is in the paper.

What I do know is that my student is a wonderful young person and his family has been through a great deal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Local Atlanta Sweepstakes

I have been checking the Atlanta Journal Constitution for sweeps lately. I thought I'd share these with you. Remember you have to be able to pick up your prize at their office.

Win a Pass for two to see Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Contest ends January 15, 2009.

Enter for a chance to win a Hannah Montana DVD Game as well as a High School Musical DVD Game.

Win Free Tickets to a Rialto Series Performance. Don’t miss these musical marvels praised by NPR and brought together at the Rialto. Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8 pm. Contest ends January 18, 2009

Win tickets to see Mystic Indian at the Fernbank Museum’s IMAX Theater. Contest ends Sunday, January 18, 2009

Win the Step Up 2 The Streets DVD Contest ends January 18, 2009

Your Senses Will Never Be The Same Again

Vintage image of women dressed up for party

If you are a Georgia resident then have I got good news for you. I received an email about this sweep to win tickets to an invitation only skirt! night at Dialog In The Dark. Your Senses Will Never Be The Same. The Contest Begins: January 9, 2009 and Ends January 20, 2009

No purchase necessary.

Contest is open to Georgia residents 21 years old+. Only one entry per person. More than one entry per person will result in disqualification. You must enter your home phone number and/or your email address; failure to do so will result in disqualification.

25 winners will be selected to attend an invitation on skirt! night at Dialog in the Dark on January 27th, 2008. Winners will receive 2 invitations and be placed on a guest list. No substitution of prizes. Prizes are non-refundable and non-transferable. skirt! Magazine is not responsible is if the event is postponed or canceled. skirt! reserves the right to change or amend these rules at any time it deems appropriate.

In case of any disputes, the decision of skirt! Magazine is final.

Winners will be notified by phone or email on or before Thursday, January 22nd and must respond within 24 hours

Good Luck to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Big Announcement


PlanetX64 bills itself as a site that provides hardware and software for the 64 bit world. It is a great site for Technology News Guides and Editorials. It was there that Catherine discovered the HP Magic Giveaway. HP and Microsoft. were giving away $6,000 worth of gear, including four computers (a 25 inch touchscreen desktop, two laptops and HP’s newest Netbook), a media extender, printer and a bunch of software/DVDs). Entrants had to create a slideshow showing the magic of giving and write an essay about the difference such a prize would make in the life of others.

Catherine is a Business Teacher at Rome High School. She teaches an Entrepreneurship class and four of her students have gone on to start their own businesses. She recently began blogging because of its application for marketing. Her blog “Thrifty Maven” ( informs its readers of great deals and money saving ideas.

Word of Mouth is a tremendously powerful form of advertising and Blogs are an incredible tool for disseminating information. She knew right away what a wonderful addition an HP Notebook would make in her classroom. So she decided to enter this giveaway, hoping to win a computer for use in her classroom and for her youngest son who will be leaving for Iraq in February.

Some sixty-four of the Fortune 500 companies are blogging. Blogs can be a powerful marketing tool. "No one listens anymore to sanitized marketing messages. If you find the right person in your organization to “blog” about your products or services you’ll brand your company as authentic and knowledgeable," says Debbie Weil, publisher of WordBiz Report.

Catherine is excited that she will be able to use some of the great HP technology in her classroom. Rome High School was recently recognized by US News and World Report and recognized last year for having the highest SAT scores in the state of Georgia. “I think we are still Rome’s best kept secret.” says Catherine. “We have amazing teachers, committed administrators, and our students want to succeed.”

The Blog Experiment Results

Man taking shower

Well how is it going on the blog sweepstakes experiment?

Well good news. I did receive a win of hand made soap from a contest I had entered before I began the experiment. So I was waiting to win something this year. Here it is, the 11th day of January and I won. OMG Cathy, what did you win? Did you win one of those video games? I know you won one of those list makers right? Well I won't make you twist in the wind. I won the GymSoap giveaway. Interestingly enough I was notified that I will not be eligible to win a giveaway at Bloggy Giveaways for 30 days...but after that everything is fair game.

Want to know more about GymSoap? It is an antibacterial, antifungal body wash. Created with athletes and gym-goers in mind, it’s effective for anyone that might encounter germs, bacteria, or fungus on a regular basis. It kills harmful germs, bacteria and fungus before they have a fighting chance. Stop nasty diseases like ringworm, athlete’s foot, or staph infections before they begin. GymSoap™ has a neutral fragrance, is tough on germs, but gentle enough to use daily.

So this begs the question. Do I give up on the experiment or continue on to see if I win more blog contests this year than any other kinds. Originally I was looking to see how long it would take me to win a blog contest if I really focused on winning them. So now you know. What do you think? Should I keep it up to see which kind of contest I can win most from?

I’d love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Atlanta Peach Sweepers

Steak with potatoes and vegetables

Today was an extremely busy day. Michael was leaving to go home. I had been so proud of myself because I didn't cry while he was here. Then when he was getting ready to go I hugged him and I just lost it. I know he said, "Mom please don't blog about me." He and his brother are used to me talking about them in class and using them as examples. I hope he doesn't mind that I shared with you what a fool I made of myself and I hugged the grown man, that used to be my small son.

My morning started early even though I woke up late. I had to go all the way to Walgreen's

Then it was on to CVS where I was able to buy three boxes of soyjoy bars. They're on sale for $6 but you get that $6 back in ECB's. I also bought my three boxes of Cafiene Free Diet Pepsi 12 packs. They were on sale for I was also able to get my 25 free prints that I had a coupon for. Of course they were almost all pictures of Michael. I also wanted to make sure I had pictures of my big win to bring to my sweeper meeting.

From there it was on to Kroger.

Well how is it going on the blog sweepstakes experiment? Well good news. I did receive a win of hand made soap from a contest I had entered before I began the experiment. So I was waiting to win something this year. Here it is, the 11th day of January and I won. OMG Cathy, what did you win? One of those video games? I know, you won one of those list makers right? Well I won't make you twist in the wind. I won the GymSoap giveaway. Interestingly enough I was notified that I will not be eligible to win a giveaway at Bloggy Giveaways for 30 days...but after that everything is fair game.

Want to know more about GymSoap? It is an antibacterial, antifungal body wash. Created with athletes and gym-goers in mind, it’s effective for anyone that might encounter germs, bacteria, or fungus on a regular basis. It kills harmful germs, bacteria and fungus before they have a fighting chance. Stop nasty diseases like ringworm, athlete’s foot, or staph infections before they begin. GymSoap™ has a neutral fragrance, is tough on germs, but gentle enough to use daily.

So this begs the question. Do I give up on the experiment or continue on to see if I win more blog contests this year than any other kinds. Originally I was looking to see how long it would take me to win a blog contest if I really focused on winning them. So now you know. What do you think? Should I keep it up to see which kind of contest I can win most from?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Don't Miss the Biggest Fullest Moon of 2009

Mountains in moonlight

Last night when I was driving home I noticed the moon was already hanging in the sky but the sun was not down yet. Although I have been alive long enough to realize that this is not a once in a lifetime event, it still fascinates me. It seems out of sync and forces you to stop whatever it was you were doing to gaze with wonder at its presence.

This morning when I let the dogs out the full moon seemed to dominate the sky and I couldn't resist saying to myself "Goodnight Moon". Little did I realize that the moon would actually make the news today. It turns out that, according to NASA, it will appear about 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during 2009. This will happen because the oon will be at the closest point to us on its orbit Saturday night (Jan. 10).

Tides will be higher, too. Earth's oceans are pulled by the gravity of the moon and the sun. So when the moon is closer, tides are pulled higher. Scientists call these perigean tides, because they occur when the moon is at or near perigee. (The farthest point on the lunar orbit is called apogee. I can't attest to the whole babies born during full moon or more crimes during a full mooon but tides they can validate.

The moon makes a trip around Earth every 29.5 days. The moon is moving away as you read this, by about 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) a year. Eventually this drift will force the moon to take 47 days to circle our world. Who knew?

I did get my first win today and I almost didn't notice it. Kraft So Good Together January Football promotion has an online contest. It ends February second. I entered it around 9:42 am Saturday and I won. I had entered five days in a row before I won. The Prizes (43,000): Free product coupons redeemable for designated Kraft products at participating retailers (ARV up to $15).

Here's more blog contests I entered:

Prize: Customized Little Bunny Press book of choice

Prize: $25 Ecostore USA gift certificate

Prize: Set of eco-friendly project binders from Naked Binder

Prize: Mom Essentials organizing and planning calendar from Mommy Track'd

Prize: Box of personalized My Fruit Roll-ups.

Prize: Photo watch from Hour Power Watches

Prize: $30 Children's Place gift card.

Prize: 3-month, 3 books per month membership to BookSwim

Prize: Crock Pot e-Lume

Prizes (3): $25 Pizza Hut gift card

Prize: Carseat Blanket.

Prize: L'Oreal Paris Golden Globe gift bag

Friday, January 9, 2009

What I Won In 2008

mr. bean's holiday DVD, Inside French Rugby - Confessions of a Kiwi Mercenary. American Idol All Star Challenge DVD game (ARV $19.95). Mass Effect video game for Xbox 360 (ARV $59.99, $5 amazon gift card, Admission for two to a Hard Rock Cafe Official Grammy Viewing Party on February 10, 2008, in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Hollywood, FL; Houston, TX; Memphis, TN; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; or Washington, D.C. [no transportation] (ARV $50). Copy of Red by Amy Goldwater, 15" Vermont Teddy Bear of your choice ($95), $50 savings pass from, and 25,000 AAdvantage miles (ARV $625), Coupon for a free 17-stick pack of Wrigley's gum, Tide to Go Pen (ARV $2.99), neutrogena healthy skin rejuvenator ($37), cell phone wallpapers (ARV $1.99), Terry Jones' Barbarians DVD ($30), capitals ringtones (ARV $1.99), flyer wallpapers (ARV $1.99), jersey devils ringtone ($1.99), $5 Blockbuster gift card. Star Pendant Earrings (Price $204.00), adult wim custom hoodie ($20), $100 AMF gift card, 4 Pepsi Splash Bash at Aquatica tickets $198.00, $10 Esprit e-shop voucher, Twix Java candy bar, $50 publix gift card, Michael Recycle book, Free 22 oz. Dr Pepper fountain drink at BURGER KING coupon (ARV $1), Bonnie and Clyde 2-disc special edition DVD (ARV $20.98). Indiana Jones wallpaper (ARV $.99), Indiana Jones screensaver (ARV $.99). $50 publix gift card, 5-night trip for two (2) to Almond Morgan Bay in St. Lucia with airfare from Vacation Express. Plus a $1,500 Kroger Gift Card, and a Signature Day Spa to Natural Body Day Spa! ($6,000), Nature's Gate Organics shampoo, Nature's Gate Organics conditioner and Nature's Gate Organics body lotion (ARV $26), $40 William-Sonoma gc, Love the lake T-Shirt ($10), Giraffe silk satin robe lined with chenille (ARV $290), $20 Amazon card, 1 Free Movie Ticket ($14), (11) 25 oz bag of Frito-Lay FLAT EARTH Cheddar Flavor Chips (ARV $1.19), Full-size Rembrandt product (ARV $7). Jawbone wireless headset (ARV $130), Sponsor-selected music download (ARV $0.99). Twelve cartons of Edy's Slow Churned Light ice cream and napkins, ice cream scoops, spoons, name tags, disposable camera and more (ARV $350). The Andromeda Strain t-shirt, The Andromeda Strain DVD Collection and copy of The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, Unique Hollywood Movie Money Code redeemable for an admission certificate to the Get Smart movie (ARV $12). So Close CD single, Loud CD single, and poster, Crystal Towers in Gulf Shores July 17-20, Semi-Pro DVD (ARV $34.98). Had to turn down The trip will consist of two round trip tickets (Atlanta, Georgia-Guadalajara, Jalisco), including a two-night stay at a hotel to be designated by the sponsor. This trip also includes two (2) entrance tickets to the Tequila Express, a train-ride-and-guided-tour through the Tequila Herradura hacienda and its agave fields, to be completed within the timeframe of your stay in Guadalajara $2,290 USD, George Stanford Big Drop CD, ($12), $70 Converse gift Card, Latina tote bag filled with beauty samples from Nivea and Softsheen Carson (ARV $40), Copy of Bobby Flay's Grill It! cookbook, Food Network keychain, and The Next Food Network Star t-shirt, poster and postcard.($25), $50 American Express gift card, totem puzzle for boys (value unknown), New York City Prize Pack (City Walks with Kids: New York A deck with 50 adventures for children and adults. From exploring the city's museums to finding the perfect hot dog on Coney Island, there is something for everybody! ($14.95 value) Streetwise Midtown Manhattan Never get lost in Midtown with his handy laminated map. Detailed index of bookstores, cinemas, colleges, concert halls, transportation, and more! ($6.95 value) Luxe City Guide: New York Have the best of New York in one compact guide. This tiny guide lists the best of every Manhattan neighborhood. ($9 value) Starbucks $15 Gift Card Beat the summer heat with a icy cool beverage from Starbucks) $39, new mom goodie bag ($15), Origins mini-facials for four and make up applications (value unknown), Oopsy Daisy High Chair Hair Care and No Bath Bubble Bath (ARV $36), Blockbuster movie or game rental card (ARV $3.99), Delta Goodrem CD ($12), Maroon 5 Wallpaper (50 cents), Emile Henry pie dish (ARV $40). Personalized Book of Life photo book from (ARV $29.99). St. Pauli Girl metal bottle opener (ARV $1.99). Minusbag tote. ($16); 2 wallpapers from dr pepper, $100 Publix gift card, Real Simple Coffee table book ($28), Red Robin GC ($10), Jazz t-shirt ($12), $10 in coupons, gift certficiate ($24), Indy Adventure Prize Pack; includes Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures PC video game and Indiana Jones t-shirt ( ARV $40.), Sexy Jesus doll and surfer shirt, Samantha Who? The Complete First Season DVD, 5 music downloads ($5) I Really Really, Like You DVD, ($89.99), Counting Bunnies puzzle from ImagiPLAY. ($17.99), Wanchai Ferry coupon ($5), Copy of A Bluestocking Guide to Economics by Jane A. Williams (ARV $17). Publix gift card ($100), Burger Debate t-shirt (ARV $10), Prize: HP TouchSmart, Notebook PC, HP Pavilion Entertainment Notebook PC, HP Mini 1000, HP MediaSmart Connect, Photosmart wireless All-in-One printer, Photo value pack, Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition 2007 with 3 licenses, Microsoft WIndows Live, Corel VideoStudio X, Kung-Fu Panda on Blu-ray disc, and two DVDs (ARV $6,000), Exclusive Capitals ringtone (ARV $1.99), Exclusive Capitals wallpaper (ARV $1.99), Serah's Christmas Reindeer Candy Corn Cupcake Soap (ARV $12

Still No Win for 2009

I'm still into my experiment with blog contest. I'm thinking about hosting one on my other blog, thrifty maven. I have to figure it out.

Here are the blog giveaways I entered today

Pair of shoes from ShooShoos

Prizes (2): Autographed copy of Inside Inside by James Lipton

Prize: Copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After: Fun and Heartwarming Stories about Finding and Enjoying Your Mate by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Prize: Izzy On the Go Bag, matching blanket and bib.

Prize: Copies of It’s All About Us, The Fruit of My Lipstick and Be Strong and Curvaceous

Prize: Fancy Nancy Posh Bedroom board game.

Prizes (2): Copy of Good Housekeeping Good Deals & Smart Steals: How to Save Money on Everything by The Editors of Good Housekeeping

Prize: Nike + iPod Sport Kit

Prize: Ultimate Pepsi Super Bowl party pack with football, beverage pail, snack helmet, two keychains, two hats, two t-shirts, five 24-pack Pepsi coupons and five Frito Lay coupons

Prizes (5): Matlock: The Second Season DVD.



I received and email from KFC for this contest.

Enter now for a chance to win a trip for 4 to Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida and other NFL prizes!

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF MONEY NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Starts 12/28/08 at 12:00:01 A.M., EST and ends 2/1/09 at 11:59:59 P.M., EST. Official Rules at including entry instructions, odds of winning, prize details, restrictions. Legal residents of 50 U.S./D.C., 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: KFC Corporation. The NFL Entities (as defined in the official rules) have not offered or sponsored this sweepstakes in any way.

Resaca man arrested for murder

Police officer searching man

Since the press now carries an account that contains the identity of the victim, I will not blank it out as I did before. As always, the death of any individual is a loss for us all. My student was out today and this is an especially hard thing for his family to deal with. I heard that this young person had lost a much younger brother years ago in a house fire. I just couldn't imagine losing my own child, how tragic. I heard that my student lost his father unexpectedly years ago, not sure when. This brother was a step-brother and I heard my student's step-father had lost his first wife. A lot of pain and tragedy has been visited upon this family and I just think it's so sad. It humbles me when I think of all those "BIG THINGS" that weigh heavy on me when the scope of what I face is infinitesimal in the presence of such tragedy.

Someone commented that they knew the mother and how really nice she is. One of the other faculty members knows the family and has told us all the same thing, that this is such a nice family. I really don't know the family. This young man is new to my class and seems to be a pretty laid back, easy going, young man. I will work with helping him catch up when he returns to class. My prayers go out to all whose lives were touched by this young person left this earth way too soon.


Police identify body found behind Kmart as David Lee Esslinger

Police have arrested a Resaca man and charged him with the murder of a Calhoun man whose body was discovered Wednesday afternoon.

Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss said a late night altercation that turned deadly led to the death of David Lee Esslinger, 19, of 115 Willow Court lot 5, Calhoun, whose body was found Wednesday behind the Kmart store. Police on Thursday identified Esslinger as the victim. Daniel Kemp, 17, of 727 Midway Road , Resaca, was arrested at approximately 3:00 a.m. Thursday morning, after being interviewed by detectives and agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Kemp is in Gordon County Jail charged with one count of murder.

According to Calhoun Police: Officers were called to the Kmart parking lot around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday after a passerby spotted a body lying in the wood line behind Kmart. Upon arrival officers discovered the partially clothed body of a young male with no identification.

While processing the crime scene, detectives discovered evidence of a struggle and determined that an altercation between the victim, and the suspect began in the roadway where the victim was assaulted and then carried into the wood line.

Esslinger’s body was sent to the GBI crime lab in Atlanta for investigation and identification. That process typically takes several days. Calhoun Police treated the death as a homicide from the beginning, said Lt. Tony Pyle. “Anything that seems like it’s not a natural death is initially treated as a homicide,” Pyle said. A cause of death was not announced, and Calhoun Police are waiting from results from the GBI. Kemp remains in the Gordon County Jail with further charges pending

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Murder Touches One of My Students

Crime scene

When I was taking roll this morning I noticed that one of my new students was absent. Minutes later I received a call and was asked to send him to Guidance when he came in. I didn't get to check my email until second period because I was busy teaching the kids about demographics.

This is the tragic email I received with X's where names would be.

This morning I spoke to XXX XXXX, the mother of one of your students, XXX XXXX. She wanted XXX's teachers know that his brother passed away this week. The body of the brother, XXX XXXX, was found in Calhoun yesterday, and police are investigating the death as a homicide. No funeral arrangements have been made yet. I will let you know if I hear anything more.

How sad. I scoured the local paper online and didn't find it because in the paper the brother's name was not mentioned.

Here is the story from the paper in Calhoun:

A body was found this afternoon behind the Kmart on South Wall Street in Calhoun. According to Lt. Tony Pyle, a detective with the Calhoun Police Department: The body of a white male, estimated to be in his late teens or early 20s, was discovered behind the store on the edge of a woodline around 3 p.m. It was found by a person driving on a cut-through road behind the building.

Pyle said the body is being sent to the GBI crime lab in Atlanta for investigation and identification. “We’re still working on the victim’s identity since there was no wallet or ID with the body,” Pyle said. “And the GBI has been called in to assist in the investigation. “The case is being worked as a homicide right now, but that’s protocol. Anything that seems like it’s not a natural death is initially treated as a homicide.” Pyle said detectives are continuing the investigation this evening and he said within the next 24 hours, police hope to confirm the victim’s identity.

Another former student tried to re-register for school but was arrested and removed from campus. This is the same boy that punched my file cabinet and left a huge dent the size of his fist that's there even now almost a year later. In addition to harassing and threatening me, he had threatened one of the assistant principals, stalked a female student, and threatened another male student. He was told he would not be allowed back on campus. Yet he tried to sneak back on and re-register. He was discovered immediately, arrested for trespassing, and escorted off campus. Great.

Yesterday I took up a phone and a student grabbed my hand and squeezed his nails into my hands. Today I was called up to the office to be told that he would behave or be kicked out of school. Some people just don't understand how difficult it is to be a teacher. Sweeping and working on my blog are what I use to detox from my day.

Well I did get to enter a couple of blog contests but so far no new wins for th new year. Here they are:

1 Picture Keeper Digital Photo Storage Device

Prize: Red themed dinner party set from Social Couture

Prize: Mia Belle Bunny Pal and Pacifier Clip Set.

Prizes (3): Premade photo greeting design from Photo Greetings.

Prizes (5): Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook

Prize: Winner's choice of Smaller baby shoes

Prize: Philips Docking Entertainment System DC910.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lots of Flooding in Floyd County

Tornado near house in desert

Tuesday's deluge dumped more than 5 inches of rain on Rome. More than 21 county roads were closed Tuesday. Rome’s rivers were also surging near
flood stage Tuesday night. The Oostanaula River at Turner McCall Boulevard had risen about 10 feet during the day, reaching the 23.82-foot mark. Flood stage is 25 feet. The Etowah River at the Rome bypass was at 29.69 feet at 10 p.m. Flood stage is 32 feet. 911 dispatchers reported a tornado had been spotted on Black’s Bluff Road near Lock & Dam Park and another in Coosa, where gusts of straight-line winds were reported yesterday.

No problems today though. The day started out wet but warm and the temperature continued to drop all day. Big news in Fayette County (which is out near Lake Lanier) is facing cutbacks so they are asking teachers to give up a 2% pay raise so they won't have to lay off employees. Employees have to vote for that but I doubt they will. I believe I would give up the raise, even though I could obviously use that raise right now because Darryl was laid off. I would hate to think my raise would prevent others from keeping their job. I wasn't sure where Fayette County was until I saw the news story on the news and I was shocked. I'd actually been there. I had to go there a few years ago as part of a certification program thing. I recognized their school board right away.

I was just so thrilled. Someone actually checked out Thrifty Maven and even left two comments. God Bless you because I truly wanted to cry. I feel like I'm working so hard on that to develop it and no one has checked it out. Then bam two comments. I wanted to leap out of my seat and dance around the room.

I entered some more blog sweeps. I'm still waiting for my first win for this year.

Prizes (3): Strappys decorative bra strap.

Prize: Box of 30 personalized My Fruit Roll-ups.

Prizes (2): Contract Killers DVD.

Prize: SHI SHU BABY blanket

Prize: $20 Fandango gift certificate

Prize: Duo earrings from Twisted Silver

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Students Started Back

Rainy Road

to school today. Lots of my classes lost kids and added new ones.

The day started out pretty sad. It was raining. That type of rain that is coming down in blinding sheets. Since I didn't have my car I had to get Darryl to drive me to Publix for Kim to drive me to work. On our way there we had to come to a complete stop when we noticed the flashing blue police lights that were on the road up ahead of us. After sitting there for fifteen minutes or so they finally got traffic moving in a single lane. The sad thing was that someone had obviously flipped their truck several times and it lay resting on it's roof taking up the other lane. From the looks of it this accident was a fatality.

The streams were all flooded and I was glad I wasn't driving because I could scarcely see. Kim tried to get us there on time but that didn't work. We got to school just as the pledge was being said.

I had a guest speaker today so the day went pretty smoothly. The high point of the day was when Mike bought me lunch. I'll tell you what, it makes a girl feel real special when a good looking man brings you lunch even if that man is your son. This is the first time he ever bought me lunch.

Kim couldn't drive me home because she had to attend a meeting so Darryl had to come to pick me up. When we were on our way home, Darryl received a phone call saying my car was ready. Yippee. I'm mobile again. It's hard to believe I didn't drive for so many years. I feel trapped now when I can't drive.

Here are the blog contests I entered.

$10 Target Giftcard

Prizes (3): Eight weeks free from NutriSystem

Prizes (3): Cupecakeez gift set with Binkeez and Burpeez from Babeez Cakes Studio

Prize: Choice of teddy bear, train or princess personalized hand-painted kids plate from Warm Biscuit Bedding Co

(1): Eco-Bags Make Love Not Carbon tote. (1): Eco-Bags Talk Green To Me tote.

This awesome Etsy seller is offering your choice of one hand-carved stamp from her shop

Prize: Moonjar Classic moneybox

Prize: Neat Receipts portable receipt scanner