Sunday, January 30, 2011

And the winner is……

Every week, I buy at least 1 lottery ticket.  Usually I play the “Mega-Millions” and “Power Ball” games.  You pick 5 numbers and a “bonus” ball.  Lately, I have been using a combination of my father’s birthday and my own…and for the bonus ball, I use the number of grandchildren I have.  I haven’t won any great amounts of money and up until the beginning of this year, I hadn’t won more than $2.  So far this year, I have won at least 3 times that.  I generally never play the scratch off tickets.  I have never been able to win on those and I have seen other relatives spend $20 or more at a time and not even win half of their money back.
My mother-in-law has played one game consistently since it first came out.  It’s called “Cash Explosion”.  You can win instant money; or if you get the word “entry” 3 times on 1 card, you fill the back of the card out and send it in to be included in a second drawing. Once a month, they draw 8 tickets out for people to be on a live TV show.  Contestants appearing on the show are guaranteed $5,000. Most win more than that.
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At Bingo last month we learned that there is a post card you can send in with your ticket, and if they pull your ticket, they will send the post card back to you letting you know which day you need to watch the show to see if your ticket is pulled for the TV appearance.  My mother-in-law estimates she had sent in over 75 tickets before she knew of the post card.  She not only includes her name on some of the tickets, but she has sent in tickets with the names of my sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws…I doubt she ever included my husband or myself as some of the names she sent in, but that’s okay by me.  One day while at the grocery shopping with her, I decided to use the instant machine to buy my lottery tickets, and also took a chance on buying 3 of the Cash Explosion tickets. Not getting too excited, I waited to scratch them off. To my surprise, I had 2 "entry" tickets and the third one was a $1 winner!  I picked up a hand full of the post cards and sent 1 ticket in….no word but my mother-in-law who sent tickets in the same day had 2 of her tickets pulled….both for my 2 sister-in-laws…Neither were chosen to be on the February shows.  A couple of weeks went by, and I sent in the other ticket.
One day when I came home from shopping with my mother-in-law, as we were unloading the car, our neighbor across the street called me over.  The mailman had delivered something of mine to her house by mistake….It was my lottery post card!  My name is in the drawing for the February 12th show drawing!  If they pull my name on the show, I will appear on a March show….
I’m not getting my hopes up, but wouldn’t that be exciting??  I watched the aired show this past Saturday to see how the game is played.  Four contestants are on each segment of the show…2 segments per show so there are 8 contestants every week.  They take turns hitting a button that shuffles between the letters of “EXPLOSION” and then pick a line across from the letters “CASH” …So if it stops on “X”, then you would choose let’s say C…..Under the C could be a dollar amount, 2X or “Cash bonus” and a dollar amount…..So let’s say the Cash bonus came up…it could be $10,000 or $25,000….If 2X comes up, you would hit your button again to see a dollar amount under the “EXPLOSION” letters to see what amount you would double….One man won $35,000 in cash bonus bucks plus $3600 in his 4 rounds of “spins”….and he wasn’t even the top winner!
After each segment, the top winner is the “champion” for the round.  Their win amount gets doubled and they go on to the championship play-off, where the 2 daily winners compete with the champion from the previous week.  Now instead of dollar amounts on a board, there are numbers.  Under the numbers are either names or “Cash Bonus” dollar amounts.  Each contestant in turn chooses a number.  The first person to see their name 3 times is the Champion.  Whatever they won them becomes $50,000 and they play again the following week.  They can continue to be a champion for several weeks this way, and each time the money goes higher. If you get Cash Bonus on either of the segements or the play-off, you keep that amount on top of all the other amounts.
I’m not greedy.  If I were to be on the show, I’d settle for the $5,000….or whatever I won.  They ask the contestants questions about their plans for their winnings….I’ve heard people say they were going to help someone, pay some bills or buy new cars….  I would use my money to fix up my old beater….and go visit my Mother whom I haven’t seen in 3 years.  (Now if I won BIG, I may buy a new SUV!) March would be a good month to win, too…As my High school is having a 50th year Anniversary.  Imagine 50 graduating classes gathering at one time!  Wouldn’t that be a blast?!?! about half of the classes would have graduated from the old school, which was turned into a Junior High when the new High School was built and opened following the year my baby sister graduated. This year…the old school is going to be demolished as they are building a new Junior High behind it, where the Stadium used to be…Some of my friends and classmates have been trying to organize a “Going Away” party for the old school around the time it is to be demolished in the summer.
But in the meantime, I have been doing my usual….Knitting scarves
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Knitting chicks,
January 8 206 (Thanks for the pattern , Anne!)
And going to my youngest grandson’s basketball games.
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The only real news; my grand-daughter’s dog had puppies;
and my Army grandson got some bad news….He has Tendonitis of the knee. The Army is going to send him home 2 weeks early from his school to recuperate.  If it gets better, he’ll return in June to finish his school.  If it doesn’t, the Army may give him an early discharge.  Not sure if it will be a medical discharge or not; or if it will come with or without benefits.  This is bad news as he was so looking forward to doing his service, becoming a paratrooper, and getting his college paid for.  He would have used the bonus to buy himself a new car to get to and from college.
If you would, please include him in your prayers. I would like to see him fulfill all his dreams.  And really, there is not much work in this town of ours …..and no public transportation.
Hope everyone is surviving this winter.  My Prayers go out to Anne, Helping Kath….and to Wolfie who will be looking for a new place to live…I wish all my friends the best of luck and the best of health.
Hugs and Love to all my wonderful internet friends!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Okay. Well as you may know, I spent the last few months of 2010 knitting scarves.  I usually had 6 going at the same time to break up the boredom of the same color all the time. I was the knitter, my mother-in-law provided the yarn.  A couple of the scarves went to friends, but most went to family as Christmas presents.  I found some patterns for hats, mittens, arm warmers and leg warmers that I plan to try later. These scarves are team colors, school colors and favorites people liked.  I did an Orange and Black for the  Cincinnati Bengals, and Orange and  Brown for the Cleveland Browns, and the Green and Gold for the Green Bay Packers and for my High school, the Frank W. Cox Falcons. There is a catch to that one….the stripes are 7-5-7…the Virginia phone exchange….and 75 for the year I graduated! The 2 tone blue was for my middle son who picked his yarn out a long time ago and waited patiently for me to finish

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Then our good friend Anne, from across the big pond, gave me a pattern for these cute Easter chicks.  Following her instructions ( an pulling out my handy dandy “how to Knit” pocket cheat sheet) I tried one.  I don’t know if it was the size yarn, or the size of the needles, but Anne told me they fit a Cadbury egg….Mine fit the medium plastic hide and seek eggs!  But they are really cute and use very little yarn so I now have something to use up all that scrap yarn I have.  I have 2 others made so far, and they are slightly larger as I used a size 6 needle on them and a size 4 on these.

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I haven’t given up on scarves.  I just emptied all the needles and now work on 1 scarf at a time.  So far, I have finished 5 this year….on top of working on the chicks.

Easter is several months away. I have no idea what I will do with all the chicks I knit….And I am going to try different yarns and different size needles. I think they would be cute to give as presents or even use for hide and seek since I can fill the plastic eggs with surprises. Ann used a really cute yarn to make “fuzzy” chicks.

So I will be going to the craft stores often….when I have the extra funds….

I still go to my grandson’s basketball games on Saturday. 

January 8 034 my grandson with the ball and a new haircut

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I haven’t seen his sister or older brother in a couple of weeks….The last time I saw his older brother was the day I went to his house to give him ingredients for Tuna casserole before Christmas.  At 12, he is really learning how to cook through my recipes. I enjoy teaching him even if it is by text message.

My oldest son should be coming “home” today.  I cooked a turkey, made home made noodles, and gravy…and made some corn bread dressing.  Later I will peel some potatoes and make mashed potatoes if they want them.

Now…..if I could just teach my middle son to fill the gas tank when he uses the car and that $80 a month does not pay a $40 phone bill AND pay for gasoline, food, sodas, internet, etc……He’s 27 and he needs to learn that Mom can not pay for everything!

Tomorrow, my mother-in-law and I are going to a new Bingo Hall to try our luck…..Today we went to the store so she could get a few things and I had my lottery envelope with me.  I scanned all the old tickets and found a $2 winner!! I have won more money on the lottery this year than ever before….

So maybe….this will be a good year for me!

Hugs and lots of love to all my friends!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What’s new with you???

How did your new year begin?
At first, I thought my New Year began the same way that my old year ended, as at promptly 12:01 a.m. my son (who had taken my car to his friend’s house 90 miles away) called to report that as he was getting off the interstate, the car shut off and would not re-start.  Then I began to think a little.  He had asked me to drive him there….and if I had, I would have been stranded at his friend’s house for 5 days! So in a way, I had began with some good luck after all!
Then I decided I would buy a bike instead….On Monday, I walked the 2 miles to the nearest stores, paid my phone bills, and checked out the bikes in 2 stores….They were all a little too expensive for me at the time. I’ll wait…
I did shop at about 6 or 7 stores before making the trip home again. At one store I purchased my usual lottery numbers and bought 3 scratch off tickets….something very highly unusual for me! Our state has this game show where you buy a certain scratch off ticket and if you get 3 “entry” spots, you send the ticket in and you are entered into a drawing where if your name is pulled from there, you can be on the show to win even more money.  My mother-in-law has played this game for years.  She estimates she has had over 100 entries over the course of her playing and never been in the drawing.  She uses her name and sends in tickets for some of her favorite family members…(I don’t think she has ever used my name). I used the automated machine and bought 3 ….and got 2 cards with entries, and won $1…..Hey! Maybe my luck is changing!  By the time I was done shopping and returned home, I know I had walked over 5 miles. I had 2 full recyclable bags full of odds and ends I had purchased.
When I got home, I received a text message from my son.  He and his buddy had finally checked out my car.  The good news was it was only the timing belt….a $23 fix…..(which they decided they would charge me $800 for)! I told them I would pay their labor fees when I won the lottery!!
The following day, Tuesday, I walked to the store with my Mother-in-law so she could purchase her lottery tickets….After all, it was over 300 Million (232,331,000 euro). I would settle for just a portion of that, but alas….2 people in other states shared that pot of gold!
My son returned on Wednesday with the car in good working order.
Another bit of good luck came my way on Thursday. I received a check in the mail from Wal-Mart….where I haven’t worked in almost 2 years.  This past year, I had received several class action lawsuits for companies I had been involved with over the course of my living here.  This one was over breaks and lunch times. I received $258! ( 165.896 gbp,199.805euro). My mother-in-law came along for the ride as she needed to do some grocery shopping.  I took my middle son along as he wanted to stop at the book store…and he’s good for carrying bags! I used the money to pay my car insurance, add money to my “New Computer Fund”, bought some groceries,  and even had some extra for Bingo! I also bought some new socks and some well fitting underwear that aren’t afraid of larger rear ends and always try to hide in the crack! (Come on! You know what I mean! The kind that you spend more time pulling down!) In the mail earlier this month, I had already received another class action lawsuit against a bank (which I sent in) over their overdraft fees…I may have some more money coming in from that!. My son was extremely lucky.  He buys these journals to write in and picked up 2.  One was marked down from $17.98 to $0.98!!
Once again it started snowing this past week.  The weatherman predicted 1/2 accumulation….He needs a new yard stick! (As I was only at Bingo for about 4 hours and had to wipe off 3 inches off the car!) I don’t mind snow….I just don’t like driving on snow covered roads where neither plow or salt truck has ventured yet….And they don’t seam to venture down our street very often.  The grass can no longer be seen (again!) and they are predicting more snow for later in the week.
I had to run my son to his reserve meeting on Saturday morning about 34 miles away. We left early as I didn’t know what I would run into.  The roads were untouched most of the way there and very slick.  He was able to get a ride home so I would not have to make the return 70 mile round trip later in the day.  We did however learn that after making the trip, my son had been honorably discharged December 21st! That means we would not have to make that trip ever again, but unfortunately he had worked all day for free! He didn’t learn that until after lunch time, so at least they did feed him!
So far, my year has gone fairly well…I did win $3 on one of my lottery tickets. But the Bingo God has still not answered my prayers….Again I have been close, but not close enough. By the way, my mother-in-law won about $600 again! And she told me that she had sent in a bunch of entries in her name, 2 sister-in-law’s names and a brother-in-law’s name….and the 2 sister-in-laws were both entered into the drawing to be on the show!
My oldest grandson called this Saturday and talked for about half an hour. We talked about several things. He often asks my advice over things.  He was looking for a company where he could get monthly internet access. He wants to get a laptop and knew I had one like he would like to have.  I suggested that since he is now in the Army and almost 19, he should visit the nearest electronics store (Best Buy) the next time he goes to town. He can check out the laptops, maybe even apply for credit to buy one there and they also have the Internet cards through several different companies. I wish him luck.  He could make monthly payments, build his credit and get the things he wants. His mother may not approve of my advice, but this is a smart kid who can think for himself.
Saturday morning with my car now back at home and running, again my mother-in-law and I headed to the store. She had to pick up a prescription, and spend some of her Bingo winnings! While she was at the pharmacy, I was checking out the after-Christmas sales. I found her later in the pajama section….Where I found another pair of 2 piece footed pajamas, and a nice pair of hard soled slippers….which I didn’t really need but that phantom hand put in my cart anyway!
I ended Saturday by going to the youngest grandson’s Basketball game. I watched 3 games and went home….pooped.  I didn’t even really have the energy to do any more knitting. I have completed 4 scarves so far this year, and I have 2 more that I am working on getting off their needles.  From now on, I will only work 1 scarf at a time unless something weird happens and I run out of 1 color of yarn.
I don’t get on the computer much anymore. When I do, it’s never for more than an hour.  I miss seeing all my friends blogs and updates like when WLS was still alive…I do check out the Wordpress and blogger spots every so often. But it doesn’t feel the same.
So to all my friends….big Hugs and Kisses, and I miss you!  I hope your new year is a good one!
Lots of Love to all reading……