Dolphin Video from Our Visit to Big Bend Power Plant


I thought I would share this 3 minute video with you guys.
We recently visited this Big Bend power plant for the first time, here in Florida. Amazingly it is a free attraction. I guess it's a way for them to educate the public on care and safety for manatees - so they provide this park as a free service to the public.

Anyhow, we visited there in October, but it was still too warm for the manatees to be swimming in the water by the plant. So as we took the short walk down the pier, we stumbled upon these dolphin playing in the water. So I grabbed this short video.

While you might think seeing dolphin can get old ... you'd be wrong. We have only seen a handful of sightings of dolphins since we've been here. Every time I see one I am amazed.

I hope you enjoy.



Damaged Goods

It was a foggy morning. A little foggier than normal. Visibility was still a couple hundred feet, but it was hard to tell how clearly drivers could see me on the road.

So, wanting to be a good, safe cyclist I was pedaling as close to the edge of the pavement as I could. The shoulder of the road is about 3 feet wide (in general), and I normally cruise right down the center of the shoulder.

But, last Tuesday was anything but a normal bike ride for me.

Only about a mile from work, my tire slid of the paved road and into the dirt along the side. I evened out the bike and steered the bike back onto the street. As I did, the front tire started sliding out from under me. I could feel I was going to go down, and I knew there was a potential I could down in a bad spot. Because I was riding right along the highway, I rolled myself to the right so I would avoid falling out into the line of traffic. I couldn't tell if anyone was coming, but I didn't want to take the chances that there might be a car.

So, I rolled right and hit the ground. At one point, I found myself gliding along the pavement thinking ... 'man I've been sliding a long way'. And wondering how I could slide so far when I'm only going, like, 20 mph.

Never-the-less I finally stopped sliding along the roadway, so I grabbed my bike and drug myself off the road so I could be out of the line of traffic if any cars were coming my way.

My shoulder was killing me, I was bleeding all over the place, and it took me several seconds to be able to get a good breath. My entire body felt like it was shaking uncontrollably.

At first I started walking my bike along the road headed towards work. But then I realized it would take me forever to walk the rest of the way, so I sat on my bike and pedaled the rest of the way to work, steering with only my left arm.

It took me a long to get myself ready for work that day. I tried to clean all my wounds and make myself presentable. I ended up working all day that day. The next day I still felt terrible, so Christy took me into the doctor's office.

They took x-rays and told me that it wouldn't have to be amputated.

So ... that was good. Christy told me that with pets they often amputate as a first step. So, I felt like I was going to come out ahead.

I finally made it into the specialist on Monday.

Here's the final verdict at this point.

I separated my AC shoulder joint. Essentially, I destroyed the ligaments that hold my collar bone to my shoulder bone. These can be repaired with surgery, but for middle of the road case like mine, they only advise that if the patient is in a lot of pain over time. My arm should return to basically full function. However, I will always have a funny bump on my shoulder where my collar bone no longer is attached ... it just kinda floats freely up there. Right now, it seems pretty pronounced, and that could be because I'm still getting used to it.

Here's a link of what this is like - in medical terms:
Shoulder separation
And here is a picture of what happened. Mine is a 'Grade 3' separation.

Anyhow ... that's the run down of what happened.

I was finally able to sleep in bed for the first time last night. That's one week after the traumatic event. And I'm slowly getting better every day. Nothing like a lively crash to help you feel like you're still alive!

Thanks for everyone's prayers and well wishes!
I truly appreciate it. And thanks for everyone who was asking about me. I may be 'damaged goods' now, but I'm still happy to chat and say hi anytime you get the chance.

Here's a couple pictures of my own personal damages:

The black charred hole in the shirt is about the spot where my collar bone and shoulder met while I was dragging along the side of the road.

I am really glad I was wearing the helmet, or else those big pot holes up the side of the helmet would have been my head. YAY!

This shoulder shot is after about 5 days of a fairly rapid, but feels OHHH so slow, healing process.



Target deals!

So I had some Target store coupons that I was holding on to for a good deal and today was the day for me to cash them in! For all the things below I paid $1.57 out of pocket! And not only that but I got a $5.00 gift card for my next purchase!

Here is the receipt to prove my totals! You can click the photo to make it bigger.
Not too bad to get paid to take home cleaning products and contact solution!


This weeks grocery shopping

When we first moved here I so remember going to the grocery store the first few times. Everything was so much more expensive than it had been in Oregon. Everytime that I went grocery shopping it would cost over $50.00 and it hardly filled 3 bags. I was so depressed and I thought that there was no way we could ever afford to live here. Compare that to now and I am so excited to go grocery shopping. I love seeing the total go down and down. It is quite a rush! I love it! Keeley is getting really into it as well. When it reaches the point that the savings is more than the total she always points it out to me now. And then again at the end she compares the total saved to teh total spent. Our grocery recipts have never been longer! Todays recipt is atleast 2 feet long and I only spent $29.83. (including tax)

So here are the totals for todays grocery trip.
Total before sales and coupons- $144.83
Total savings from store sales- $49.78
Total savings from coupons- $63.29
Total for the groceries out of pocket- $29.83
I feel so blessed that this is working for our family and I am able to stretch our budget so far. Our pantry, fridge and freezer have never been fuller. God is Good!!

If you care to know how far 30 dollars will go I'll tell you!
1- 5lb bag of potatoes
2- Boxes of Ritz Crackers
4- Bags of Craisins(dried cranberries)
2- Boxes of Tissues
2- Rachel Ray Magazines
2- Jars of dill pickles
2- Boxes of Triscuts crackers
2- Bags of Hostess mini donuts
4- cans of Dole Pineapple
2- 2 liters of Publix brand soda
2- gallons of Sweet Tea
2- Boxes of Pilsburry pie crusts
6.65lbs of Granny Smith Apples
1 Fresh Dole Pineapple
2- Packages of Ziplok reusable containers
2- Coffee Mate Creamers
4- tubs of Coolwhip
5- Bags of Birds Eye Frozen Veggies
2- Bottles Glass Plus Cleaner
4- Tubs Sorrento Ricotta Cheese
2- Tubs Sour Cream
1- can Reddi Whipp
2- Pillsburry Cresent rolls
1- lb Bacon
1- jar Palmer Blackberry Jam
55 items total. An average of .55 cents an item!
And I will be sending in for a rebate of $10.00 from Nabisco. The 2 boxes of Ritz complete what I need for that rebate.
There were several Item that I actually got for free. And some of thoes freebies came with overages!! For instance the Ritz Crackers were buy one get one at $3.69 a box. So that is $1.84 for each box. I used 2 Target store coupons for $1.00 off of each box. (publix will allow you to use a competor store coupon at thier store!) and I stacked it with a 2 Manufactures coupons for $1.00 off each box. (Publix will also allow stacking store coupons with manufacture coupons for greater savings!!)
So the total saving from the coupons was $4.00. That is an overage of .31 cents. I know that it does not sound like much but don't forget That I got the 2 boxes of crackers for free also!!
And then the big one was the Ricatta Chesse and Rachel Ray Magazines!! I was able to buy all 4 Ricotta cheeses and 2 Rachel Ray Magazines for free with a 2.05 overage!
Not all stores will allow overages, so you may just end up getting the things for free. And free is a very good price.
I also had a Winn Dixie coupon that I used today. It was for $10.00 off of $50.00 or more. And that is before coupons!!


The Girls in Costume

Well, I am finally able to grab a couple of free minutes and share these pics of the girls.

For Halloween, the girls were able to dress up as the people they want to be in the future - at least this is what they want to be right now.

Kait - a Scuba diver
Keeley - a Veterinarian

Keeley's outfit was pretty easy, a nice cheap setup from from a local store. Kait's ended up being a homemade suit. The part that I am most pleased about is the homemade version of the scuba tanks. I almost couldn't figure out how to accomplish it ... but in the end we came up with something that worked perfectly. And ... I think Kait even liked it too. Which is nice!

I hope you enjoy.



Todays savings!

Total for todays groceries before sales and coupons $106.07. What I paid for these same groceries, $22.49! Oh Yeah!
The best deals 2 packs of chinett napkins, Free
1 package of Always pads, Free
1/2 lb of deli honey ham, Free
4 boxes of Rice Krispies, .48cents. Yes for all 4 boxes! That is .12cents each!
4 cans of Progresso soup, .18cents. That is .04cents each!

And here are the totals:
Store sales savings: $42.99
Store coupons:$9.00
Manufactures coupons: $31.59
Total Savings of $83.58
Total paid out of pocket: $22.49 for 51 items!


Just had to share!

So I just got back from the grocery store and I wanted to share my latest deals. It seems to be getting better and better for me the more that I learn about couponing. I am so excited to feel like I am making a difference with our budget even tho at this time I am not contributing monetarily. This has made a HUGE difference for us and I am so thankful that God has let me find this out when we really needed it most. God IS good!!
Last month I was able to buy lots more groceries than in previous months and I still had money left over. That has never happened before! God is Very Good!
I was able to get all this for $3.77 including tax! Total savings of $48.87! Now who in their right mind would pay $52.64 for this?? I find myself thinking that more and more these days.
Anyone can save this much on their groceries. Anyone! The key is to know your stores policy on coupons. The store that I seem to be shopping at the most lately is Publix.
I went to the customer service counter and asked what the store policy was. I have found that even the 2 Publix stores closes to me have different policies so you need to ask and see what one will work best for you. Unfortunately there is no store in Florida that doubles coupons but if your store does you can get even better deals! SO ask! Here is what I found out. Publix will take competitor store coupons. They will also allow you to stack a store coupon, (their store or competitor store) with a manufactures coupon for the same item. Also If they have a sale of buy one get one free you can use coupons for both items. So for instance I had a Publix store coupon for the Dove deodorant that was buy one get one free. I used that and I also had 2 manufactures coupons for 2.00 off of one. SO I was able to get both the deodorants for free. And for the Graham crackers they were on sale for buy one get one free, I had 2 Target store coupons for 1.00 off of 2 boxes, and 4 manufactures coupons for 1.00 off of each. So after the coupons I paid .49 for each box. The Tylenol was on sale for 3.99. I used a Publix store coupon for 3.00 off of one nad a manufactures coupon for 1.00 off one. So this too was free! Today I also had a competitor store coupon for a local store called Save-a-lot, it was for $5.00 off of a $20.00 total. Now that is before coupons! Do you see how the savings can add up! This really works!! And another bonus is that the Graham crackers are part of a Nabisco rebate offer where if you buy 10 nabisco products in a 2 month time slot you get $10.00 dollars back. They do not have to all be purchased at the same time. So I will combine these 4 boxes with the 2 that I got earlier and the 4 boxes of Ritz that I got a couple weeks ago and I will get back $10.00. I will actually be making money on this deal because I bought them all on sale and with coupons. Combined with the rebate and I will have more for the grocery budget next month!
Now will this feed my family for a week? No, but combine it with all the other things that I have gotten for so little (and there have been lots more than I have shared here) and it will make a huge difference in what I spend! So far the only thing that I have not gotten a coupon for has been meat. I have even used coupons for fresh fruit and veggies! They are out there you just have to look. I buy meat when it goes on sale. I buy lots and repackage it up and put it in the freezer so that I do not have to buy it when it is not on sale. Now that hurricane season is coming to an end am better able to stock up my freezer and not worry about loosing due to the power going out. There is no reason to have that worry in the northwest, or many other places. If the power goes out for any length of time there it is in the winter and your stuff will stay frozen lots longer that here, So go stock up!
Before I started couponing and watching sales, more closely, I spent most of my grocery budget at Walmart. They seemed so much cheaper than my other options. But now I see that the every day low prices that they are always talking about are not the best prices that I can get. If I need something "right now" and can't wait till it goes on sale most likely the best price will be at Walmart. But thankfully there are getting to be fewer and fewer things that I need "right now" and I can save so much more this way!

I highly recommend that you read the book Shop Smart Save More by Teri Gault. Now that being said, I would not reccomend the site. Here is what I have found about that. I joined the Grocery Game site for the free trial. In fact I am still in that time. But I was also looking for other sites and blogs that give me the same info. I have found much better free information that what the Grocery game site gives me. The site that I look at the most is and They have better coupon match ups than the grocery game and they get the information to me much faster than the grocery game site. So look around and see what you can find for your area. You may find like I have that I don't have to pay to get the best information or maybe not. It is so worth looking!
If you have questions I would love to help, Just ask!!

Here is a run down of what I got today!

4 boxes of Nabisco Graham Crackers
2 packages of Cream Cheese
2 Ragu Pasta Sauce
2 Maxwell House Coffee
2 cans of Campbels Healthy Harvest Soups
2 Dove Deodorants
1 Tylenol Extra Strength 50ct bottle

Here is how the totals break down.
Advertised store sales savings $17.38
Store coupons (publix and competor) $14.49
Manufactures coupons $17.00
Total Savings $48.87
Tax .63
Total Spent out of pocket $3.77


More great deals!

So I stopped by one of my favorite stores this afternoon and just had to tell you all about the great deals!
The Halloween candy is now at 75% off. That in it's self makes for some good deals. But when you match them up with the Target store coupons printed from thier site it makes for some FANTASTIC deals! Here is what I got. I got 2 bags of milk chocolate M&Ms 12.6oz each and 2 bags of Peanut M&Ms also 12.6oz each. They are the halloween bags. The clearance price is .74 each but I used the Target store coupon for 1.00 off 2 bags and got each bag for .24 cents each! Yes you read that right 24 cents for a 12.6 oz bag of M&Ms! You can not buy a small bag for that little!
I also got 2 bags of Mars fun sized candy bars. They are 52 count bags. The clearance price is 1.74 for each bag. But I used 2 of the Target coupons for 1.00 off of each bag and got them for .74 cents each.
And there is also a 90 piese bag of Skittles and starburst. The clearace price is 1.74 and I also used a printable coupon for Target for 1.00 off one bag. So that makes them .74 cents each also.
Now I can stick these bags of candy in the freezer and have great treats all year long for a Super Great Price.
There are a few more coupns on the TArget site that you can get. Also you may have to look a bit for the specifc bags that go with the coupons but it really is worth it. It was not hard for me to make the match ups at all. I even had mor coupons printed that I was not going to use so I gave them to another lady that was in the candy isle with me so that she could get the same Super deals.
Now go snag some Great Deals!


Bicycle / Elliptical Trainer Idea

Bummer !

A few months ago I was inspired by a new idea. It struck me while I watched the girls exercising on an elliptical trainer.

I thought of crossing an elliptical with a bicycle.
There was no way on this earth that I could build it alone, so I was trying to find someone I knew who could build it.

The bummer part is - we saw my idea on TV last night. It was on a Biggest Loser commercial. So, to all of you who I asked for help ... here's what my idea kinda looked like.

We'll have to capitalize on the next wave. I'm sure there'll be more, since new ideas are coming around everyday.

In fact, my buddy here at work said ... "looks like so far no one has beaten me to my idea ... crossing a craftmatic bed with a unicycle." So ... you see, new ideas are flying around all the time. We just gotta be able to catch one.

My biggest question is ... how to actually accomplish the finished product once you have the idea.

Here is a link to check it out:
Biggest Loser ad
Street Strider Homepage

And here's what this guy's version looks like:

To be honest - his idea looks like it would have been a lot better than mine. However, the price tag is a bit steeper than I was expecting.