Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


Forgotten Projects

I’ve been reading through old blog posts and realized that there is some serious updating needed. Exactly 4 years ago, I started a project designed to achieve several goals without putting an undue stress on our budget. This morphed into a “scheme” to get our youngest child, CPI, graduated from Texas A&M University without debt. I am very pleased to report that we have succeeded. CPI completed his courses this spring and we are awaiting his diploma. He owns this degree free and clear. No one owes a single penny to the university or anyone else. Sacrifices were made by our entire family to achieve this. We are grateful for the assistance of God in remaining steadfast and resolute when it looked as if our plan was falling apart. This is a time of great triumph for us. I am most pleased that CPI has the ability to search for a job that suits his temperament and training. A job that will give him a feeling of usefulness and pride in his contribution. For this, I am truly grateful.

I must now consider what new “scheme” to turn my attention to. What other great thing can we accomplish if we choose the correct path? I must turn my thoughts to this. I will get back to you with the results.~~TSG


Bobcat in a Box Christmas

Christmas for my extended family was delayed until yesterday so the maximum number of people could come. The Bobcat in a Box packages were a smashing success. We ended up with a total of 70 packages for 17 people (you had to be 14 or older to play). Memorable moments were; my father trying to figure out why he had a handful of army green carabiners and my brother-in-love wearing a kelly green crocheted headband. The carabiners will end up with a nephew who goes camping and BIL declared he will wear the headband out jogging. Somehow, even though we were opening packages randomly, most things ended up with someone who had put in a related keyword. My brother, the Star Wars freak, ended up with a Darth Vader keychain and a handful of Star Wars stickers. One of my nieces got a stainless steel ring with a faux turquoise stone and insisted I take it since it matches the rings I wear on my right hand. The same niece was delighted with a small container of sparkly black nail powder. All agreed that we MUST do this again next year. Thank you, Bobcat!!! #BobcatInABoxChristmas #GoodTime #Christmas #BobcatInABox


And Then There Was Ink…

As you will recall, I recently received a vintage fountain pen from my Bobcat in a Box subscription. When I went to fill it, I found that all my inks were dried up. So, I had to order new. It came in today. The pen works perfectly! If you are interested in possibly getting something similar, I used the keyword “antique pen”.~~TSG
#BobcatinaBox #AntiquePen


Bobcat in a Box #3 and #4

As I mentioned before, my family is using the Bobcat in a Box service to buy White Elephant gifts this year. In order to keep up the excitement and to be sure we are getting things that match our keywords, I am opening a package after every five that come in. Now that we have gotten started, there seems to be at least one package in my mailbox every day. Here are the latest goodies:
IMG_20180706_100755308 This is a carabiner meant to be used to attach a water bottle to your backpack while hiking. We likely got this from one or more of the following keywords; “camping”, “Scouts” or “travel”. Since I don’t have a water bottle handy, I put it on a Coke bottle to demonstrate:

The second item is a fountain pen of the type you fill with your preferred ink by pressing the button on the “bladder” to draw in the ink. I got this by putting in the keyword “antique pen”. I like to use a fountain pen instead of a ballpoint, so I am delighted with this:

Hoping your day is as full of fun surprises~~TSG


Bobcat in a Box Opening #2

Despite the title, you will not find a “Bobcat in a Box Opening #1” since I posted that to my Facebook for family and totally forgot that I could put it here as well.

Bobcat in a Box is a subscription service inspired by the on-line comic strip “xkcd”. The service searches the internet for items that have free shipping and meet the price-point you set. The bot that does the searching sends you things based on key words you put in and also words you tell it to avoid. You can tell the bot that the packages are intended for children of various ages if you want to be sure not to get things that would offend the receiver.

My family, like many others, has a White Elephant exchange. This year, we are going to use Bobcat in a Box to buy the presents. I had each family member give me some keywords and am feeding them to the bot in batches of eight at a time. I intend to do this for at least five months and started back in April. Most of the packages are being put aside to be opened at Christmas. I am occasionally opening a package to be sure we are on track.

As you can see, this package contains a flat multi-tool with a sleeve to hold it so the knife part doesn’t cut me when I reach for it. There is also a key to what the various parts do. Unfortunately, the back of the card, where the descriptions are, is in Chinese. Fortunately, I know someone who speaks Chinese and can translate for me. I wouldn’t want to use something in the unapproved manner.

I believe I got this because of either or both of the keywords “travel” and “Scouts”.~~TSG




A Good Week to Find Things

As most of you know, I like to dumpster “dive”. I don’t think I can actually call it “diving” since I never get into the dumpster. That is just crazy unless you are very young, strong and agile. I have a group I check every week and sometimes they yield salable or usable items. This week, one held a gift bag in which I could see a card stuffed with lottery tickets. When I pulled out the bag, I found a small bottle of wine (still sealed and suitable for cooking) and discovered that some of the tickets (they had been scratched) were winners. A few of the tickets had expired. So, $3 worth had to be discarded. But, one of the still valid cards was worth $15. The Found Money Fund is very happy.

The Found Money Fund is where I keep any money I find during the year. FMP made me a lockbox to keep it in. I usually end up with about $30-40, which I spend at the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. With this ticket and another I found in the trash at Kroger, I have a total of $25 so far this year without the bits and bobs of change I usually find on the ground or in vending machines. This looks to be a good year for holiday shopping.

As you might expect, I also look in coin change machines I pass to see if anyone has left me something. Today, I scooped out three dimes. When I went to put them in the fund, I discovered that one of them is a Mercury Dime from 1942. It’s worth a maximum of $4.50 in mint condition. Mine is probably worth about $1.25. Still, pretty cool!

I forgot to take a picture of the lottery ticket before I cashed it, but here are pictures of the dime. May the coming week be as good to you!~~TSG


april 16th

I first published this point Easter 2015. Since I don’t think I can write a better one, here it is again. He is risen!!!

There is a God, our God to be precise, Who is absolutely whole in and of Himself. He lived that way from eternity: God, the eternal Father; Jesus, the Son, eternally begotten of the Father and the Spirit, eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. They were complete and nothing needed to be added.

In His gracious love, though, God decided to share all He is with creatures of His own making. That would be us. He made us a beautiful world full of many things to make us happy. He gave us work to do in tending the earth. And, He gave us one simple rule; do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He did all this knowing what would happen. Knowing, as He had always known, that we would mess up the whole thing. Which, of course, we did. First Eve and then Adam ate the fruit. God is just and holy. He had to send us into exile from His presence.

But, God is also merciful and loving. Even as He created man, he had a plan for the redemption of those He loves. This was a plan of such magnitude that only God could have devised it. One would die for all. One Perfect Sacrifice. Only One was a candidate for this, the Son. Would He do it? Could He bear to do it?

The Son agreed. He was born as all humans are, of a mother. He grew as all humans do, passing through each stage of life in the same way as all the others around Him. Finally, it came time to begin His mission. Christ began teaching and preaching all throughout Israel. Many followed Him for the miracles He did, but some believed in His teachings. There were, however, some who felt threatened by Him. They were, as is so often the case, those who held power over others. The religious leaders of the day did not like the people to hear about a God of mercy and love. They taught that God was full of vengeance and wrath, ever ready to punish. It gave them a hold over the people as only they could grant forgiveness. They, along with others, plotted to have Jesus killed. Their plot was a success and Christ was crucified, died and was buried. For the first time in all eternity, the Son was separated from the Father and the Spirit, Who could not bear the presence of the sin He bore on our behalf. The leaders insisted that His tomb be guarded so that His followers not “fake” the resurrection He had spoken of.

Three days later, the tomb was empty. The guards, who saw the whole thing, were bribed to say that the disciples stole the body while the guards slept. The leaders who were behind this must have held great power because the penalty for sleeping on duty was death and none of the guards were killed. Christ appeared to many after His death and was shown to be alive and in a body. He was NOT a ghost.

Today, we rejoice that the Son offered Himself in our place on “Good Friday” and the Father said, “It is enough!” on “Easter”. We need not do any more. Anything else we do in the way of service to our God is only an expression of love and gratitude. The moment we accepted Christ’s sacrifice as our own, we were saved from the penalty of our sin. We are FREE. Free as no other people have ever been or ever will be. Let us not waste or hide that freedom. Let us, instead, live it in such a way that all will say, “If that is how their Jesus makes them behave and love, I WANT THEIR JESUS!!”.

May you have a blessed Easter!~~TSG


days twenty-seven to thirty-three

August turned out to be a very hard month for us. I have collected $2.03 since the last time I posted and saved $20.00 at the grocery store today with coupons and marked-down items for a grand total of $22.03.  ~~TSG


weekend two: days thirteen and fourteen

Spent the rest of the weekend recovering from Friday’s migraine. Fun, right?~~TSG



So, I wondered why I hadn’t heard anything lately about the hostages taken by Boko Haram in Nigeria. From the silence, one would think they were not longer in captivity. That is not so. They are still missing and new captives are told that they converted to Islam and are now happily married. This is almostly certainly false. How long does this need to go on before the world at large moves to stop it? Regardless of your faith, what this group has done is WRONG. All peoples should be hunting the kidnappers down and putting them away. #bringbackourgirls