Telecommute Jobs

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

This is the first year I cooked on my own. I have to say it went very well. I'm still cleaning up the mess, but it was well worth it. I also bought some new plates with some money my ex-husband's mother gave me for my birthday :) They're in the Tuscan theme I'm trying to aim for and went very nicely with dinner.

We had the normal meal: baked turkey, candied yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, my favorite cranberry relish (actual relish-NOT jelly), and pumpkin pie. I think it would have taken two trucks to roll us all out of here.

We don't have a dining room table right now (yes, it's sad but true.) I'm saving up for one but now I don't know where I would put it as we converted the dining room into the family room. I might put it off to the side. Hey, I can get one of those nooks with the benches. Now that's a really good idea.

We've been keeping warm between blankets, a space heater, and the oven. It's really cold in the morning and I'm a bit worried about the canary but my kids and I can bundle up really nice. My ex complains about it because he's a weather wimp, but what can you do? If he was that concerned about it then he could stop fighting life in general and get a decent paying job and pay his child support.

So it's 2 am and I'm about to hit the sack once I do one more load of dishes. I'm a night owl so I really do not like sleeping before 2 anyway. I just wish I didn't have to wake up in the morning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Helping a Friend

I once had a friend who made me feel really good about myself. My boyfriend and I had just parted and I didn't feel like much of anything. Even worse, it was coming up to "that time of the month" so I was bloated, miserable, and very uncomfortable.

She told me to not worry about the next day. She called me in sick for work and then treated me to a wonderful spa in Marin where I had a massage and a facial. Then we went out to a very nice dinner at Giovanni's and drank enough wine to tumble over to the club next door and just sit back and enjoy the music. I felt great and started dancing right away. It was such a relief and great start to a new beginning.

How can you help a friend? Do the same thing. I wouldn't have enough money to cover all of that right now, but that doesn't mean I couldn't treat my friend to a nice spa and then we could go for a simple dinner and a movie. Drinking doesn't need to be involved and the loud dancing music was just me at the time. Your friend could be a movie person so take her to the movies. Maybe she likes shopping or something else so do that instead.

You're the one who knows your friend the most so take her where she likes to go the best and have a great laugh together. Confidence will grow when the laughter and fun starts. It did with me :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Put On My Son's Glasses and I Could See!

I was just fooling around and looking at his really stylish pair of glasses so I put them on and looked at the television in the other room. I think I freaked at that point because I suddenly realized the letters on the television weren't that fuzzy any longer.

Do I need glasses? That is yet to be reviewed by the optometrist, but I certainly can look for frames while waiting for the appointment.

I found a great selection for me at Opitcal4Less. At these low prices I can order at least 4 pairs for each major outfit color I have and for each season. As I'm a handbag and accessory addict I can pick something to match my style for each unique occasion or holiday.

Even better and more fun? They actually have a system that you can try out to see what you look like in the glasses. I really wanted to try their online fitting room but my camera isn't working that great today. I did try to put a picture of my son in to see what it would look like. For his privacy I am not going to add the picture, but I think it's a great tool to work with if you're really into fashion and knowing what you want to look like. It really helps with the buying process.

I think you'll find what you want in eyeglasses at Opitcal4less. When you do, please comment back here. I would love to see a picture of your experiment in the tutorial. Let's have some fun. If you can, copy your picture and put it up on your blog and then send the link in a comment to this post.

World of Warcraft Subscription is Up

I guess I have to wait until Thursday to play World of Warcraft. My son said he would renew my subscription for my birthday when he gets paid. Yay! I wanted to play on my birthday but I had to work so when I opened it up the next morning it had run out of funds :(

I was just ready to take on a new land as a level 37 troll too. Just a few more days.

Do you play? I don't know of many other moms who actually play the game. I wish the money made was real like in Second Life, but what can you do? I need something other than trying to make money all the time anyway.

Want to donate to my WoW fund?

Buy something through the advertising and it will help :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Delicious and Cheap - Impossible Cheeseburger Pie

Tonight I made dinner for under $6.00. I'm getting used to this :) I took a pound of hamburger and browned it with a chopped onion. Then I greased a pan with butter and put the hamburger mixture in the pan with salt and pepper. While the oven heated at 425, I then grated a cup of cheddar cheese and spread it over the meat. Next, I mixed two eggs, a cup of milk and a cup of Bisquick and then poured it over the meat. Let it sit in the oven for 35 minutes for a delicious meal that all the family will eat.

It's not hard to make these. I'm experimenting with different things. There are recipes all over the web from Bisquick, but I thought I try it on my own. The basic breading is made from the recipe for making pancakes on the Bisquick box.

Have fun!

Don't Forget Your Camping Gear!

You know, sitting here in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin reminds me of when my family used to visit the Sierras. I used to love visiting the cabin and playing in the snow while slamming my sister snowballs. OK, I admit that she used to slam me because she is the older one, but we still had a great deal of fun. Even now my own kids pelt me with snowballs when I walk out the door.

I also remember the days we would go camping at the lake. It would take days to get everything ready and even longer to hunt the stores for the items we needed. Back then there wasn't an online store like Sierra Adventure Gear that sold great items like Maxpedition Gear. We could have planned a whole week ahead and had the delivery shipped within 24 hours. Even better, we wouldn't be late with their 2 and 3 day shipping offers.

I know that being with your family is very important, so why not take a break and plan your trip and be sure to order from Sierra Adventure Gear to make sure you get there on time and with everything you need. Who knows, maybe they'll even ship to your location if it's not in the mountains.

My ex just compared himself to a cat

LOL wow. I have an ex who has a difficult time keeping work. Well, recently I had to bail my cat out of the pound because he got into a neighbor's garbage can (neighborly love, right?) Well, my ex comes by and I said something about the cat's arthritis and he starts nagging about how I take the cat to the vet but he hasn't seen a doctor in ages.

Um...my cat went to the pound and hasn't been to the vet since his last shots and my cat needs me to take him to the vet and pay for him. I told my ex this and that a man with two arms and two legs who is capable of working can go see a doctor on his own.

Good grief. What is up with people these days?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scorpions, Lizards, and Spiders Oh My!

Here I am sitting in the freezing cold (the thermostat says 59) and playing World of Warcraft. I'm in some land called The Shimmering Flats looking for part parts from a rocket car. Why am I up so late doing this? I'll tell you why.

I like working at night. I also like getting my sleep while the kids aren't here. During the day they go to school and I can sleep until 3 and then get up to do chores or start work--whichever comes first. I don't like to wake up at the crack of dawn to get my kids up and out the door so I just stay up. Call me crazy? Nah.

I don't think it's crazy. I work during this time. Since my regular job is from 3 or 6 pm until midnight depending the schedule I can pretty much say goodbye to being able to falling asleep right away. I'm up anyway. I also find that I do my best work during these hours because everyone is in bed.

So what will I be doing besides playing WoW? I'll be typing in posts, doing some phone work, doing some texting and just having fun in the geek world I live in. At the moment while I'm typing this I am raising my experience level by fighting a Sparkleshell Tortoise. I'm almost a level 35 and I need skinning and leather working experience so here I go.

One thing I don't like about working this late is that it is too cold. Being from California I find the weather here bit too frigid for me. It's November and back home it is probably in the 50s or 60s. Here it's 28. Yes, the big TWO EIGHT. It feels like 28 in the house but it's not. I wish it was 80.

So here I will sit. I will go in and do some dishes soon while I wait for the phone to ring. Wish me luck :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Glasses for the Kids

I have two children who wear glasses and I can't tell you how difficult it is to find quality eyewear at a decent price. The insurance companies will only pay for the very basic of frames so the kids balk at the idea of wearing the old fashioned styles. If they lose the glasses we're stuck with paying an astronomical fees for new frames. My middle teen always leaves his pair over at his friend's house. It drives me insane.

At one point I stopped buying the designer glasses at the eye doctor because within two weeks my thirteen year old would do something to destroy his pair. The first time he left them at a sleep over at his friend's house right before he and his friend got into a fight and now they are no longer friends. Teenagers, right? I had to buy him a new pair and within a week he had sat on and crushed the second pair. Did the insurance company help either time? No. Was he grounded? Yes!

He is a real style monger too. He has to have everything perfect so when the optometrist gave him the current insurance company approved selections, he balked and then darted into the bathroom hiding his disappointment. I bought him a pair anyway, but he never wore them again.

According to the Chicago Tribune, people are paying more than $1,000 for a pair of glasses. The last time we went to the eye doctor to buy glasses I paid $350.00 for each pair. The glasses at ZenniOptical.com start at only $8.00 a pair.

You just can't beat that price especially since ZenniOptical.com carries the latest styles in styles and frames. Their selection of single vision lens and sunsensor lens is huge.

The secret to their success? They've bought directly from the manufacturer and cut out the middleman so you're not paying for the extra shipping, handling, and what I like to call fluff.

The next time we need to update the prescriptions we're going to Zenn Optical for our eyeglasses.

Moms Who Play WOW (World of Warcraft)

I'm one of those geeky moms who play World of Warcraft. Actually, I've played Blizzard games since WarCraft for the Mac was first released. Yes, that is WarCraft 1. I used to use the game to test protocols at a big computer company (you can all guess which one.) I loved it so we moved on to other versions of WarCraft.

I have several characters. Since I don't get to play that often none of them are high level. I have a mid-level Troll on Emerald Dream by the name of Purringlion. LOL I get harassed because of my name quite a bit but you know what? It fit the territory and all the good names were already taken. She's a hunter with skinning and tailoring capabilities. She's only a 34. Yeah, I know. As my youngest always wants me to play with him I have to follow him around on the lower levels so I rarely get to up my experience level.

Oooh now some of you are going to scream that the game is too violent! No, it's really not. I've seen worse. The swearing on the game is looks like @$!# and he plays on the computer next to me so I can see what is going on at all times. I actually login when he does so I can keep an eye on the group he invites me to. It's a learning experience I think. He has to learn how to count money and buy objects. He learns how to level up and...and...well I will think of more educational values. LOL Teamwork, there you go. There is a politically correct educational value. He learns teamwork. Are you happy now?

Anyway, I have a mage character and a warrior. Neither of these have a high rank because I don't play with them very often. I do love my mage because I like the magic. I also like the mage is a human because I love horses and I will be able to ride a horse later on in the game. My troll will have to ride a raptor. Yuck. I love that my hunter troll can friend almost any animal on the game, but my piggie is such a high level and experienced now that changing would be stupid. I've won a lot of battles because of my piggie.

Anyway, I'll post my travels through WoW here. Those who play can comment and fun with me. Maybe I can make some movies if I can figure out how to do it. :)

Yummy! Impossible Taco Pie

I think the kids thought they were in heaven last night and so did I. Bisquick is an excellent product to cut savings and time. My mom tells me that isn't true, but after I spent probably $5.00 making dinner I believe what I'm saying.

1 pound of hamburger - $3.55
1 onion - $.35 (or less)
Taco seasoning - $.56
Cheese - $1.00
Bisquick - $.45
Milk - $.45
Eggs - $.45
Canned tomatoes, diced $1.15
Canned green chilis, (saved .35 by dicing them myself)
Black Olives (saved more by chopping myself)

These prices are estimates. I'm not going to sit down and average my Bisquick. I can tell you that it was cheap!

I browned a pound of beef and chopped onions then put into a 9" pie pan. Then I sprinkled the taco seasoning on top and then poured a mixture of the eggs, milk, and Bisquick. This baked for about 30 minutes and then I put the tomatoes and olives on top and then grated cheese and baked for another 10 minutes.

*note - I'm sure that just baking the original mix and then adding fresh taco toppings would be just as good.

It wasn't that expensive at all. Next time I'll make two pies for the growing boys because 1 just wasn't enough. Still, it would come out to about $8.00 to $10.00 to make and that's a lot cheaper than Taco Bell or Taco John's.

Also note that I'm recalling this recipe from memory. I'm sure you'll find a copy of it on the web somewhere. I just remember helping my mom make it. Tonight we're going to make bacon and swiss impossible pie.

YUMMMY

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cold Cold Winter and Ideas for Warmth

Last year we spent over $2500.00 putting oil in the heater. This year I am not doing the same thing. The whole situation totally depressed me so badly that I seriously hid from others. It was terrible and I'm still digging myself out from under it all.

See, when we moved in the lady who used to own the house told us the girl who lived here before had moved because of how cold it was. The woman said it was warm when she owned it because the siding was all wood and insulated. Then it was sold and the outside redone with siding. I can tell you in some places it looks like the siding is pulling away from the wall. I have to go caulk the windows this week provided I have enough money to do so.

I noticed there is a huge draft where the floor meets the wall. Since I am not a home builder I have no clue why this would happen, but I suppose it is from someone not knowing how to properly lay floor down. On the outside of the house it looks like the bottom of the house has weathered away and some of it splintered. Sigh. I'm so glad I don't own it. I know there is a big leakage of hot air from the roof because of the size of the icicles falling from the roof. There is also a gaping hole where the bats fly in (yes, another issue.) I have mentioned both problems to the owner and I don't get an answer.

So, here I sit. My legs are so cold that my ribs area is shivering. I can stop it with a blanket, which is fine for me but I'm concerned for my kids. Are they warm enough in their rooms?

OMG and another problem that was supposed to have been fixed: we can run two heaters and the microwave at the same time. It's so annoying. It blows out the circuit. There is nothing worse than going into our basement to flip the switch. It's dark, cold, messy, and has lots of spiders. Oh, it also has a possible ghost. Yikes!

Anyway, I don't want to hang the yucky plastic on the inside of the windows this year. I might do the bubble wrap thing if I can get it free around the area. That's kind of ugly though. Maybe I'll do that on the side windows and do the plastic on the other side. It's supposed to work better than plastic though. I have to caulk the outside of the windows. This should be something the landlord does but it doesn't seem that Wisconsin landlords really even give a damn if you're cold. Maybe it's because they grew up here and I didn't.

I would love to raise some money for this whole affair because I'm really broke. Go ahead and visit the site sponsors if you see something you like. Visit the job section if you're looking or buy something. Check through my for sale stuff and see if it's something you like. Anything will help this year.

I'll post pictures of what I decide to do :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Meals Under $6.00

I've been trying to be very frugal during the past few months. Not having a job for awhile really wiped me out. One thing I've tried to do is make meals under $8.00. I know it's really hard to do, but it can be done. It's no easy task with teenage boys.

The secret for me has been to buy ingredients that will last for a few meals. Veggies are good for this. Beans, rice, home made biscuits. etc. I feel like I'm living in the 19th century sometimes. Well, except for the electrical appliances. Potatoes are also a great source of a cheap food. When you see the grocery bill it might seem like the food costs a lot, but trust me.

The hard part is getting the kids used to eating in this way. They're used to take out, pizza, frozen dinners, and junk. They grew up on that sort of thing. What I've done is just not made it an option to have the other foods. I've cut down soda purchases considerably and I no longer order pizza. If I do manage to get a pizza I will get one from Papa Murhpy's. You can't go wrong with their delicious food and it's a lot cheaper than delivery.

I'll post recipes when I make them if they turn out any good. My chicken pot pie recipe turned out pretty good except it didn't exactly feed the family so next time I'll have to make two.

$3.00 - Chicken breast, cubed (on sale)
$1.00 - Chicken gravy (can)
$0.60 appx - Chopped carrots, celery, onion, potato
$1.25 Deep dish pie shell (you can make these on your own for cheaper if you want.)

Cooked chicken to make sure it wasn't lethal if the pot pie didn't cook all the way through. Pour gravy into frozen pie shell. Dump chicken and chopped veggies. If the gravy is premade you don't even need a lot of spices.

Now, I had put hashbrowns on top thinking that they might turn out good, but they were kind of icky tasting until I browned them separately. I'm not sure what to do about the top yet. Maybe cook the hashbrowns first?