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Frugal Living In The Heartland

What Happened to Basic Manners?

Warning!  This post contains a vent about the lack of manners in our community.  Read at your own risk.  If you recognize yourself, be aware that others do, too!

Whatever happened to basic manners?  You know, the manners your mom made you “practice” at home, so when you went out in public you didn’t embarrass yourself (or her).  Our recent Father’s Day dinner experience made me realize that they have pretty much been checked at the door in public places.  True story.

DH wanted a movie and steak dinner out for Father’s Day.  We could handle that.  A matinee of a new sci-fi flick at the Majestic, and a visit to Longhorn Steakhouse, would make for a relaxing afternoon and evening, one would think.

The theater has a self-serve drink station, so I waited until the lady occupying the entire large drink station to fill one cup stepped aside.  Another patron took his spot on the right side dispensers, and as I lifted my cup to fill on the left, stepped in front of me.  It took three attempts to finally fill my cup.  And that lady went back, loudly stating what she was doing for some reason.  Point: stepping in front of others, particularly when you see them, particularly when liquids are involved, is impolite and potentially accident-causing.  Point: no one needs to hear another yell out what they are doing; we’re all getting drinks, and we know it.

After the movie, we headed to Longhorn, and were lucky to get there right before the rush.  We were seated in a booth in a quiet corner.  That is, until a large party was seated at several pulled-together tables next to us.  That would have been okay, except for a few very uncomfortable things.  When the server was taking orders, as she got to a child about 7 years old, she loudly yelled her questions to the child,  of course in a sing-song tone.  The server was standing right next to me, and it was very disruptive.  Point: you do not need to raise your voice or speak condescendingly while taking an order, particularly while standing next to another patron.  Oh, it gets better.

While I was eating my salad, the teenage female next to me leaned back, stretched, repeatedly flipped her ponytail, and loudly had a conversation with her mother on the other end of the table about a friend’s schedule later in the week.  Point: the stretch-and-hold pose is never appropriate in a restaurant; no one wants to see your breasts or see your hair flipped around food.  Point: no other patrons need to hear about anyone’s schedule, particularly yelled across a restaurant.  If I can hear it from the next table, you’re too loud.  And oh, it gets even better.

A few minutes later, the teenager and the mother engaged in a loud discussion about “fingernail hygiene.”  Right in front of me.  In a restaurant.  Point: do I really need to say that gross personal hygiene discussions are always inappropriate in a restaurant?  Okay, I had to do it: I glared over, caught the eye of the grandmother across the table, and gestured that I was eating here, people!  They soon stopped that conversation.  I hoped all was now well and good.

Seated at my 1 o’clock was a table of four kids and dad, who all looked nice and polite.  The twin blonde girls were about 12 or 13 years old, and sat facing me.  During the meal, one of them sat crossed-legged, campfire-style, revealing a straight-on view of her underwear under her skirt.  I was glad my teenage son had his back to that table!  To add to the disgust, this child was eating her entree with her fingers and with her mouth open, with food clinging to her face and food falling out.  (Remember the monkey-boy skit on Saturday Night Live?  Just like that!)  Point: tween/teen kids should have been already taught appropriate restaurant behavior.  Point: disgusting table manners may be okay at a campfire, but Longhorn Steakhouse is not a campfire!  Point: young ladies should never cross legs like that with a skirt on, Dad!  Point: if your child has issues, she should sit right next to you, to allow for gentle and quiet instruction during the meal, which any parent would understand.  Point: why weren’t you gently and quietly instructing your daughter instead of sitting there, leaning forward with your elbows on the table watching her? (I guess that was the model.)

It did get better.  I must commend the rest of the staff at Longhorn on 144th.  It was getting crowded, and they were all bustling about providing fast, friendly service.  (I’m not sure, though, why the servers were assigned large groups on opposite ends of the restaurant.)  On one of their busiest evenings, the food was awesome, and service fast.  Usually, the restaurant has a very nice atmosphere, which I don’t mind paying for.  They did the best they could on Father’s Day.

Do people really not remember manners?  Or were they never taught the importance of using them?  Is there nowhere in Omaha to get a reasonably-priced meal in a nice atmosphere?  And by “atmosphere” I mean including the behavior of other patrons.  And by “reasonably-priced” I mean less than $100 for three.

I wonder if it’s just my pleasure to encounter the folks who don’t get out much.  Maybe they get out so much, though, that they consider their behavior acceptable (after all, obviously no one tells them it’s not acceptable).  That’s a sad thought.

I’m not really sure how to address some of these issues, especially without coming across as a self-righteous buttinsky. But there must be a way for us as a community to call attention to these kinds of impolite behaviors, in an appropriate way, to turn society back to civilization.  No, I’m not talking about Victorian standards!  I’m talking about common courtesy, basic manners.  (Not even addressing electronics here.)

Let’s show love of neighbor!  How about that?  A second or two of considering where you are, the fact that others are around other than yourself, and the simplest way to keep everyone comfortable, would really make a difference!  A little less self-centeredness and entitlement, and a little more politeness — what a concept!

What do you think?

 

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New BagNSave/NoFrills Coupon Policy

Here’s what’s on their site as of this morning.  Emphasis mine.

 
The following guidelines apply when presenting manufacturers’ coupons clipped from newspapers or magazines, received by mail, or obtained legitimately from the internet through our website or that of our partners:
  • The coupon must be legible and have a scannable bar code (UPC) and a remittable manufacturer’s address.
  • Coupons with an expiration date must be used within the stated time frame. Expired coupons will not be accepted.
  • Only one manufacturer coupon per item will be accepted.
  • Coupon values that exceed the price of the item will not be accepted.
  • Digitally duplicated copies of coupons (copy machines, scans, etc.) will not be accepted.
  • We do not accept competitor in-store ad coupons.
The following guidelines apply to internet coupons:
  • Manufacturer coupons that involve any kind of free product will not be accepted, including “buy one, get one free” offers.
  • No coupon that exceeds $5.00 will be accepted.
  • Internet coupons are not eligible for double coupon promotions or any other program that exceeds the actual face value of the coupon.
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Target Stouffer’s Family Entree Deal

On sale 6.49 (we like the Italiano lasagna) – 1.50/1 Target coupon – 1.50 mfg FB coupon = 3.49!!!  You can print each coupon twice, so you can have two in the freezer for “those” days.

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Reader Review: Tenmarks.com

Reader Jen sent this email about Tenmarks.com

I am actually really liking this!
 
You may have to play with Grade level – D. completed Algebra, is starting Geometry, tests just fine, but we are doing Grade 8 for her. P. is flying through 2nd grade assignments.
 
Some presentations are not easy for me to understand – common core????
 
You can set up Rewards after a given # of assignments. I did things like ice cream cone, Redbox movies/games, mostly little stuff every 4-5 completed & we have a few pizza & taco nights & then Dave & Busters for the end of it all.
 

There you have it, folks:  unsolicited recommendation from someone I personally know only wants the best for her kids!  Why even think about spending $2,500 just for testing at a fancy tutoring business?  There are so many workable solutions online, doable in the privacy of your own home on your own schedule, and Fah-REE!

Thanks, Jen!

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Product Review: Awesome and Frugal Auto Scratch Repair

Last year we bit the bullet and got a “previously owned” vehicle to replace the lemon Buick, may it R.I.P.  It’s a Subaru Forester with hail damage, which made it immensely cheaper than we would have otherwise been able to afford.  The hail damage did not puncture the paint, but did make little dents and a couple of little clear coat cracks.

There was, however, a large scratch on the left rear fender and bumper (it’s all one piece), and we didn’t want rust or too many more comments. No problem to repair, right?  A quick quote from B-Street Collision (where I have had great service after “not my fault” bumps), revealed that body damage to a Subaru is not cheaply repaired.  $3,800 not cheaply.

What to do, what to do?

After a couple weeks or so of researching, questioning our my abilities, and visiting local auto stores, I found the solution: Automotive Touchup online. They not only provide the most awesome products, but they give you fool fail proof, step-by-step instructions, and suggest the additional products you’ll need when you put items in your cart!  It’s okay to ignore those, if you have your own (I had the fine grit sandpaper and the primer/filler already).

To get the correct color match, you plug in your vehicle specifics, and if it’s factory paint, they do the rest.  My unusual color paint was a perfect match!  I was able to “airbrush” the ending of my paint repair and not have to do the entire bumper. That part of the vehicle looks incredible. Much more affordable (under $60)!  And easy-peasy to do!  Just make sure the temperature is right, and you do it in a dust-free environment that also has ventilation. Give it time and don’t rush.

I chose a rare non-windy Nebraska day, opened the opposite garage door a couple of inches, and the side walk-through door on the other side of the vehicle several inches, and had the storage attic steps open so the electric fan would pull out fumes. (This does not pull into the living areas.) I hung a dropcloth 4″ off the floor to allow air, but not dust, to flow below where I painted.

First, you block off the area to be painted. I used newspaper, blue painter’s tape, and a few drop cloths to protect both the floor and the parts of the vehicle (including wheels) I didn’t want coated.  Over protect those areas, and use the panel boundaries as your guides, so you paint the entire panels.  Then, wipe, dry, sand. Fill in gouges with primer and let dry. Wipe, dry, sand, wipe, dry, sand, wipe, dry.  Really dry.  Let dry some more. Then shake, shake, shake….  Dust off the lint again.  And very lightly spray just one coat (you do not want drips or sags).  Let dry 15 minutes without getting dust on it. After three similar very light coats, let dry at least an hour, then clear coat it.  Et voila! Give it a couple days to cure before buffing or washing.

The clear coat spray also went on the hail damaged areas where it looked like the factory coat had split, to prevent rusting.  And, of course, since we got the Subaru there have been parking lot dings and a minor user error on the driver door. As soon as the weather becomes a little more predictable (meaning tornado season is over and the air conditioner has been prepped), I’ll be addressing those areas again.

It’s not professional unless a professional does it, but I can tell you this amateur did a pretty professional-looking job.  Spray auto paint!  Who knew?!

BTW, I haven’t been compensated for this review.  I just tell it like it is.  These products worked for me, and they could work for you, too, especially if you’re on a squeaky tight budget.

1 Comment »

2014 Omaha Adventure Family Festival

The 2014 Omaha Adventure Family Festival is this Saturday at Village Pointe!

It runs 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and includes activities for kids courtesy the Omaha Children’s Museum, Durham Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, and Lauritzen Gardens. Kids can collect free $5 arcade cards and pose for pictures with Cogswell from The Amazing Pizza Machine.  First National Bank is also a sponsor.  Look for the bright blue Visit Omaha tent and pick up an Omaha Adventure Savings Card worth more than $100 in savings at top Omaha attractions. After May 17th, the cards will be available at can pick up at any First National Bank of Omaha location.

You’re welcome!

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Nifty Recycling Ideas for Juice Containers

Old Orchard is our preferred brand of bottled juice and frozen concentrate.  My 14 year old still loves apple juice, so I usually get the 64 oz. bottles when they’re on sale for .99 (like this week at Baker’s wyb4), and use a coupon.  You can get coupons from their site when you sign up for their fan club.

They have some great ideas for reusing the bottles, or frozen concentrate cans, HERE.  Enjoy!

ARE YOU PLANTING A GARDEN THIS YEAR?

 

 

 

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Earth Day Omaha 2014

From our friends:

“The 24th Annual Earth Day Omaha, the city’s largest ecological showcase and celebration; will take place Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Elmwood Park.The free event features exhibit booths, children’s activities, demonstrations by local green organizations, plus live music from top local bands and food from area vendors. All activities are designed to educate and inspire attendees to live green and healthy at home and at work.”

More information at the Earth Day Omaha Coalition site.

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The Easter Bunny Is Here!

April 12

April 13

April 14

April 15

April 16

April 17

April 18

April 19

April 20

Photos with the Easter Bunny

 

Special thanks to Heather at Medical Solutions for always putting together great info for employees!

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Giving Back: Scouting For Food 2014

Today you will most likely receive a notice on your door about Scouting For Food. You’ll see it on the local news. You’ll see big ConAgra trucks in front of HyVee. Don’t ignore these reminders.

Boy Scouts don’t sell cookies. They do the heavy lifting.  They help the community through projects like Scouting For Food. This annual project helps fed our neighbors in need. Food goes to Food Bank for the Heartland, which in turn makes it available to agencies and food pantries (like Project Hope) in Nebraska and western Iowa.

I have personally seen these donations distributed to destitute families, laid off single moms, and even a far West Omaha widow waiting for life insurance payout. These are our neighbors, dear readers.

Please clean out your pantry, grab some grocery deals, or consider a $10 grab bag from HyVee to donate to Scouting For Food. They’ll pick it up from your porch next Saturday 4/12/14!

And don’t forget the Feinstein Challenge, which I believe will benefit FBFTH, as well. Your donation goes even further this week.

Help Scouts serve our community!

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