Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beware of Automotive Places like Sears!!!

I just wanted to talk about my recent experience with Sears Automotive. I needed new brakes for my truck. I knew this because you could hear some scrubbing and feel some shaking when you were stopping. It had just started, but I know all too well, the sooner you take care of something like this the better. Well, I have a credit card at Sears and they offer free break inspections at their shops. So I took it in and came out with an estimation of like $425. They said I needed new rotors and brake pads in the front and that the back drums needed resurfacing. So I was like Whoa...$425. I realize some of you people out there might not blink an eye at this or be like I used to be. I would rationalize ..well its gotta be done and they are the pros, they know what needs to be done. And sometimes we as people can just be plain lazy and say, well I have the car here now. So I might as well let them do it. Why should we have to worry about a big retailer like Sears trying to "take us for a ride" and to just squeeze money out of us? Well, now I have proof that we will just as quick as any other shop.

I decided to see if my cousin would help me change the brakes out. Its one of the easier jobs to do on a vehicle. So we pulled the front tires off and saw that the pads needed replacing--no problem those can run as low as $14.99! We took the rotors off and thought that we could just have them resurfaced rather than replaced like Sears had said.--by the way--I have the estimate printout listing everything that they said I needed.-- Well we went to O' Reilly's Auto parts and they determined that one could be turned(only $10) and one had to be replaced. So we did that and went home and replaced that the front brakes, rotors, and tires correctly. Then we went to the back tires to check things out. We took those tires off and the drum covers and determined that the pads and the drums were fine. They needed nothing done at this time. Unlike what Sears stated. Can you believe that?

Drum roll please........ I only spent $100.57 for parts and labor----I saved $325.00! And just as important I relearned a valuable wary of places that can easily take your money. Dont be afraid to get a second estimate or find a friend or a relative that can either do the work or that you can help do the work and pay alot less and still not have to worry that things were fixed incorrectly!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Corn and Beans!

Today I decided to pick an ear of sweet corn and some of my snap beans. I have never grown and eaten anything from a garden, so I was a little apprehensive to say the least. Then I jumped online to see how you can tell if they actually ready and how the best way is to prepare them. The corn was the biggest available, but it may have still been just a wee bit small. I decided to give them both a try since everything seemed fine. I found online that you can just throw the corn, husk and all, in the microwave and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. I put the beans in a bowl of water and heated them for about 8 minutes or so. Added a little salt and some butter to the final product, and guess what? It was delicious! The corn kernels were just a bit small--but everything tasted great. I added pictures and included a picture of my largest pumpkin to date. Two of them are about this size--about the size of a softball or a little bigger! Wow, if everything dies from here on out, today's bounty made having the garden worthwhile. Plus the satisfaction of watching it grow has been fun too!

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP--Gone Too Soon!

I just wanted to say rest in peace to Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and David Carradine. The first three really played a part in my life. As a kid, I idolized Michael and at the age of 8 I would do my best MJ moves at the drop of a hat or when his songs played. Although we grow up with out much--and definitely never had the latest style or fad---my brother and especially I had to have a Michael Jackson t shirt and we eventually got the parachute pants. I dont think we ever got the jacket or glove! Things every kid had to have!

I remember Farrah from one of my favorite shows--Charlie's Angels. I remember naming her as a celebrity crush at a young age--prompted by a school project. I dont think I really had one--but I remember her being very pretty in her younger days.

Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson's sidekick for years. I loved The Tonight Show growing up and I know Ed and Johnny had me laughing many times. I watched Star Search -which he hosted. And I know I wished many times he would show up at my door with Publishers Clearing House!!

I dont remember David Carradine as much from his older stuff--although Im sure I watched him since I used to love to watch the Kung Fu shows as a kid. I know he was good in Kill Bill!

I know that you can find fault with all of these people. I know I can too! But this is to honor the good things they did in their lives! Every person has faults and none of them are exceptions to having faults or even bad things in their lives. I tend to hold on to the memories of positive aspects of a person!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Harris Teeter Doubles Coupons up to $1.98

I picked up a few things from Harris Teeter and saved a ton. Several items were free and some for next to nothing. If you are lucky enough to live by one, this week is a good one to save some money. Deal Seeking Mom can let you in on a few of the deals. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Garden Update

Well these pictures are about a week old now, but look how much the garden has taken off. Some are actually starting to show some vegetables. Beans, corn, and pumpkins are showing. Also, the cantaloupe, potatoes, peppers, and others seem to be growing fine right now. I am kinda just growing the garden for fun. I mean it would be great to actually be able to eat and give away some of the things I have grown. I have my doubts if they will actually grow to maturity since I have never really done this before. So I will believe it when I see it! If anything, I can take a sense of success with the level the garden is at now. I mean, I don't know how square foot gardening makes it. Everything seems to be growing so well right now--the pumpkin vines are everywhere and everything seems to have grown so much "together". I wonder if they will allow each other to continue to grow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I sold it on Craigslist !!

Has anybody noticed how resourceful and how many people seem to be using Craigslist? I sold my Jeep Grand Cherokee last week on there. This week I was able to find something for a very good deal. I downsized into a vehicle two years older than my Jeep. The two transactions went very smooth.There seems to be a ton of activity on there daily. I know because I have been surfing it quite a bit lately. Its not just limited to cars and trucks. Name it and you can probably find it or sell it in there. Check it out!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

NC Zoo

We are fortunate to live about 20 to 25 minutes away from our state zoo. A zoo is a great place to visit for the family and it doesnt cost that much money if you plan your meals accordingly.My son, who is 3 now, has been asking me about going since I mentioned it a few weeks ago. We have taken him a couple of times before and taken pictures from those visits. However, I guess now he is getting to the point were he can remember things first hand. This past Monday we decided to go. We also took my nephew, Blake, who is five. He had spent the night the night before. That was also a first--Ryan's first sleepover! You should have seen how happy and excited he was for the sleepover. Plus, the next day was probably better for him to have a friend to share it with.We made sure to take some snacks and bottled water and juice bags and the camera--gotta have that! The zoo has a North American side to visit and an African side to visit. There is alot of walking, but there are plenty of benches to take a break and places to stop along the way. This year the zoo features some new baby giraffes! They even built a new deck from which you can feed the giraffes. Right now it is free to feed them, so we ventured in for a look. I think due to poor planning --no one was able to actually feed them. The deck is just built into the natural habitat enclosure, which is probably 3 or 4 football fields long. Of course, all 4 or 5 giraffes were on the other end of the enclosure along with the ostriches and the zebras. Dont get me wrong, you can see the animals from several different points around the enclosure, but you can only feed them from that one spot. I just couldnt see paying to feed the animals if you can not actually do that and the kids couldnt get the thrill of them being so close.

All in all, it was a good day. It was a little hot but we managed that fine too. It was definitely a hit with the kids. I definitely recommend the NC Zoo and hitting your local zoo to save money and still have a nice day out. A Daycation!