The Friendly Frugalista

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Merry Christmas!

I wasn’t expecting to have time for the blog today, but the weather thwarted our plans to get-together with the extended family for Christmas dinner. We’ll try again Sunday! Meanwhile, this branch of the family tree had a nice time at home: opening presents, eating breakfast foods for lunch (and later eating home-made bread), playing with toys, and watching a movie.

We did have a wonderful family visit last night on Christmas Eve with most of the family present. And we all made it safely to our own homes before the sleet, rain, and ice settled in. Since we already had snow on the ground, it made for a too-dangerous trip in several counties, including the ones that our relatives live in. We all decided not to risk it!

My last post was on the 20th. I apologize for taking so long to post again without at least giving you an “I’m on a break” message. Truth is, I hadn’t planned to take much of a break, but life had other plans for me. The kids and I spent the 14th through the 23rd visiting with my parents in TN. We were supposed to return home on the 21st, but a blanket of snow covered the entire state of VA and parts of eastern TN, so I stayed put until the roads were clear and dear hubby had a chance to shovel out the driveway for us. No reason to drive 500+ miles and then not be able to get into the driveway! LOL! It may not seem like a big deal, but we live at the end of a private, gravel drive. It is 3/10 of a mile to get to the mailbox. So, when it snows, we normally expect to be snowed in for a while. This is our 6th winter living here and, so far, we’ve only had major snowstorms the 1st year and this year. All in all, not too bad! 🙂 Maybe we should get a snowblower, but we wonder if we *really* need it if it is going to sit idle for 5 years!

So, on Tuesday, while I was still visiting my parents, I decided to load Norton 2010 onto my laptop. I’ve not always heard great things about Norton, but I read a lot of positive reviews about 2010 and I got a great deal on it from Staples.com, so I took a chance. I regret that now. As soon as it loaded, my laptop stopped connecting to the Internet. I spent most of Tuesday trying to fix the problem, including a “live chat” with support from Dad’s desktop and a manual reset of my IP addresses. NOTHING worked and I finally gave up before ripping all my hair out. We traveled home on Wednesday and, thankfully, the laptop connected here (once I had made some quick adjustments to the settings). After traveling all day, I didn’t spend much time on the ‘Net. I could do that on Thursday, right? Wrong! After our lovely Christmas Eve with family, we came home to a complete loss of Internet service. Since it affected all of our computers, I knew it wasn’t just *my* laptop. Phew! I am so happy to say that everything is back in order today and I have finally caught up with all of my emails.

So, there you have it! I can’t control the weather and I can’t control technology! Maybe things will go smoothly for a while?!?

Blessings to you all,
Cara (aka, The Friendly Frugalista)

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