Nothing special here....

I got nothing... so just another post of some random pictures I've not posted before.

 Lantana... very small but when you zoom in you get some amazing color.

Your average Garden Spider. You can see his spinner.

Hmmmm, he looks like he's thinking too much.

Some kind of yellow wild flower bunch. I should add this to the Wallpapers.

A couple of SandHill Cranes. They only come in when it's wet.

Okay, I know most of these were already posted to Facebook.

Yes, some more F-ing bugs!

This picture is kind of minimalistic. The opposite of the usual big butterfly on a big bright flower.

That's all, folks. Please feel free to leave a comment or two.

The Anatomy of a Slick Deal

I said I probably was not going to write about this because it would bore the average person right out their skull, but I do get a kick out of saving loads of money. As most of you know I am lucky enough not to have to have a full time job and work for a living. I do get bored sitting here by myself so I end up spending a good amount of time on my computer and surfing the net. A gal's got to do something and here is what I do.

It's called a slick deal and here I will try to describe to you what all that entails.
A slick deal consists of several of the following components:

  1. Product is on sale or clearance. That's pretty much a no-brainer, but it's an important first step.
  2. Coupons! There a wide variety and the trick is to use as many as you can in one transaction. 
    • Manufacturer coupons (such as 50 cents off toilet paper)
    • Store coupons (redeemable only at a certain store)
    • Competitor coupons (some stores will let use you other stores' coupons)
    • Percent off coupons (such as 20% of your entire order)
    • Dollars off coupons (such as $5 off of $25)
    • Catalina coupons (These are the ones that pop out of the machine at the register. Such as: buy 3 rolls of toilet paper and get 50 cents off your next order.)
    • Online Coupon codes. (Such as Free Shipping)
  3. Store Rewards Cards. These not only give you the sale price but many offer an extra bonus such as a percentage back each quarter or savings on gas and other things.
  4. Online rebate sites. Click through their link and they can offer you a rebate on your online purchase. They'll mail you check after you reach a certain threshold.
  5. Groupon type sites. Keep an eye on these. I recently puchased a $25 CVS gift card for only $10.
  6. Credit card cash back. In addition to the 1% most offer, usually they have promotions for 5% back in certain categories. It does add up.
Take several of these, stack 'em, mix 'em up, and you have yourself a slick deal. Here's an example of one my most recent deals. First, I will list all the things that I purchased and as you go through the list, add up in your head what you think the final price will be.

20 oz Diet Coke x2
Bumble Bee can tuna x4
24 pack bottled water x4
Puffs w/lotion 124 count x4
Charmin soft double roll 18 count
Bounty paper towels 12 count
Hershey's small candy
Nivea cherry lip care

This consists of 2 transactions at CVS. I stacked manufacturer coupons, percentage off coupon, sale prices, store card rewards, a rain check, and that groupon type deal I mentioned before. The total price I actually paid - $12.48!

And to be honest, I should have done better. At one point I took an entire year and kept track of the money I made from deals such as this. I will reiterate: I'm not speaking of money I saved, I'm talking about money I made! I know of people who would read this deal and laugh that I spent that much out of pocket, but to do that you have to really stay on top and do deals several times a week. I'm just not into it that much any more. I'm just trying to save us a few bucks here and there on things that we need everyday.

If you have read this far and want to learn more about the tricks of the trade, let me know. I can talk your ear off.  :-)

Now that I have officially bored you out of your skull, I will go back to posting pictures of animals and bugs and things.

Operation: Save the Tadpoles! Updated!!

We love our frogs, that's for sure. We have plenty of wallow spots left over from the rains and that is where the frogs have come to lay eggs. Mike spotted one spot with hundreds upon hundreds of tadpoles. Now this spot will dry up soon and leave them stranded. Also it's a sure thing that the water birds will have a feast here soon, too. So, we implemented Operation: Save the Tadpoles!

We went to work some with some simple tools: A child's butterfly net and a good old fashioned bucket.

 We scooped them out and put them in the bucket.

Actually that looks kind of disgusting.

Look at them tadpoles! Mike counted and said we collected 2,263 tadpoles, exactly....

Four of them lined up nicely for their picture.

We took them to the small back pond. It's a pretty shallow pond with lots of grass cover, so they should be quite happy there.

Mike dumping them out and Dusty supervising, as usual.

Hopefully they will all spread out and get under some cover before the birds find them. They have a much better chance here than where they were.

C'mon little fellar. Grow up to be a big strong (loud) frog!



Okay, so these are not the same frogs from out tadpole saving adventure, but for all we know they may be the mommas and the poppas.

Birds, Insects, and Reptiles

I really don't have a story to tell today. It's been real quiet here. I don't have any major hobbies unless you consider a "slick deal" as a hobby, but I always figured it was too boring to try to go into with any detail. So, I've been concentrating on some more amateur photography especially since we are seeing the water birds come in now. But first, I'll start with a bright colored lizard.

A flock of Ibis.

A nice butterfly.

A garter snake.

 Cattle Egret

Stiff Snake

A couple of wood storks.

 A frogs nose.

Tri-Colored Heron


White Ibis

Little Blue Heron

 And a tilapia from the pond.


Any suggestions or comments???