saditycents











{August 26, 2016}   Movie Review: Z for Zachariah

Z For Zachariah

Z For Zachariah 
Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine

PLOT: The last three people on earth are struggling to survive; secrets, suspicions and threats are revealed to show true human nature when you are the last humans on earth.

I haven’t read the book, but this film makes me want to read it. I thought it was curious that they changed the title character’s name to “John.” Perhaps as a means of creating greater mystery in the film. I find the ending both intriguing and infuriating. I like that it was an apocalyptic tell full of mystery. There was no definitive cause for the desolation of the population, there isn’t even a clear good and evil. I like films that make you work as the audience. However, this film made me work and didn’t provide equal payoff. Though not every question needed to be answered, I wish some of the burning mysteries of the plot line had answers that were alluded to in a more concrete way. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it would have been nice to have at least an 80% certainty of what happened or at least some kind of moral undertone or message. Instead, you come in with questions and leave with more questions. With that said, I thought the acting and suspense and silent moments were wonderful. I will say, had I not read other reviews I would have never known that this was supposed to be set in America and I don’t think the director should have tried to set the film in America. The scenery clearly wasn’t American and the actors weren’t either. They were so refined in their mannerism that they should have just stayed true to their European roots. Besides, who says that the only surviving people of the Apocalypse will be American? Still, its worth the watch.



I gave myself a few weeks to just relax, after literally traveling around the world… Ok, I didn’t do it on purpose. Our household goods are scheduled for three separate deliveries. The first two came in four weeks after we moved into our home. Ugh. So now its time to set up house. Yay! Starting with the most important room in the house.. The Kitchen. Nothing makes a house feel like home like home cooking.

Kitchen

  • Place drink ware near the refrigerator — It just makes sense for quickly getting drinks.
  • Place espresso maker near the drink ware and refrigerator — You need both for your espresso or coffee.
  • Plates and bowls go near the dishwasher — Ideally it would be between the sink and the dishwasher.
  • Silverware right above the plates or as close as possible.
  • Pot holders, serving spoons, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil all go near the stove.
  • Cookie sheets, cooling racks and cutting boards in the tall thin rack near the stove.
  • Dish towels and dish cloths near the sink, if possible. My kitchen doesn’t allow for that, so I put them close to the silverware.

 Bathroom

I did the bathroom next because… well its important. I just can’t relax without a good bath or shower. My husband and I are blessed in this house to have our own separate bathrooms, but I still like to know where everything is at. For some reason, my closets, bathrooms, etc. always become the overfill rooms. So I’m the one with all the extras.

In the bathroom I grabbed some baskets and plastic drawers and basically categorized all of the items under my sink as that is the most cluttered spot. I tried to organize based on my daily routine.

  • Teeth and eye products go in the medicine cabinet.
  • Face products (main face wash, eye cream, and facial toner) went into the closest drawer to the sink on the left.
  • My everyday hair products (rubber bands for work outs, hair pins for work) went into the next closest drawer.
  • Under the sink:
    • Feminine products to the side, but close to the front. Just in case of emergencies.
    • Additional hair products (gels, moisturizer, spray) I use those regularly, but not everyday.
    • Hair appliances (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryer) I only use on special occasion so they are in the back in a basket together.
    • On the other side near the front is extra toilet paper, again in case of emergency. Lol
    • Extra body lotions and extra body wash are in the back.
    • I also have very basic cleaning supplies for everyday use ( I keep the heavy duty supplies in the hall closet. Homemade shower spray, paper towels for cleaning, and plastic bags for the trash can.
  • On the back of my toilet I keep wipes and face tissue.

Bedroom

Because we haven’t received our home goods yet I haven’t done much with the master bedroom except make it sleep-able. We were on a air mattress for about a week before I begged my husband to go mattress shopping with me. We needed a new one anyways so it wasn’t exactly a spontaneous purchase, although I was going to wait until the bed frame arrived. I’m glad I made the purchase. Nothing ruins a day more than poor sleep.

Discount Tip: When shopping for a mattress everyone knows to comparison shop, but do you know how to use it in your negotiations? That’s the real key to great deals on large purchases. Click here for a short story.

 

 

 

 

http://organized31.com/2012/06/moving-into-new-home-how-to-set-up-your.html



Death By Fire AND Sea

Remember that time our car was burned up in the middle of the sea?! 

Yep, that happened. On its way from Belgium to Korea our car, which we immaculately detailed before leaving, was destroyed by fire while on a boat. Everyone asks if we got insurance money for it. Yes, we did. But when the military insures, you get a flat rate they apply to a range of models. It doesn’t matter how nice you kept your car, it doesn’t matter how much it will be to replace it with a similar make and model. Nope you, get your flat rate… So we have one car now.

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{August 12, 2016}   Movie Review: A Beautiful Belly

I know I haven’t done movie reviews in a long time on this site, but I’m doing this thing where the many blogs and social media sites I’ve shared my opinion on are now all converging on Sadity Cents. It’s just to hard to keep my life segmented like I did before.

Anyway, I probably will only review a few movies, but I plan on reviewing movies that are outside of mainstream. There are enough people discussing the latest block buster. Rather, I want to use this forum to highlight independent films and documentaries that I enjoyed. Things you may not have heard of, just to bring awareness. I will warn you the genre will probably be mostly in the relm of “Christian movies, I don’t find corny.” Because they are so hard to find. But I promise to keep them short and sweet… (mostly) 🙂

A Beautiful Belly

 

Chris Worley

A Beautiful Belly

PLOT: After an unplanned pregnancy and a hasty marriage, an aspiring children’s entertainer and his bar-tending wife are forced to confront difficult choices about their future.

I thought it was realistic. It didn’t have all of the Hollywood stereotypes. There was a dad who actually enjoyed being a dad. Moms who worked non-traditional jobs. Christians who didn’t spin out a Mary Poppins scene. Nor was their Christianity shoved down your throat, or made a mockery of, or relegated to Sunday only. Rather it was integrated into their everyday life without discussion or fanfare. It showed a realistic theme that when things happen fast, adjusting can be hard, and when you neglect your spouse they will seek comfort other places. Neither is right, but sometimes its life. Life isn’t as black and white as Hollywood makes it. Still the film showed that just because you are tempted doesn’t mean you have to give in. I liked the redemptive quality of resisting your initial emotions and doing what is right and honorable.

 



Just some old military spouse pictures I found and an article that I thought held some wisdom.



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5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn from Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

Being a military spouse is not a new thing.

From the camp followers of the Revolutionary War who followed the troops from location to location, military spouses have remained a fixture of our armed forces. And since we’ve been around for hundreds of years, we’ve learned a thing or two.

A lot that was learned has been regaled to the history books simply due to changing times. There are some things, however, that remain the same, and we can continue to learn from the examples of the military spouses who have gone before us.

Here are five things we modern military wives should make sure to safeguard and pass on to those who come into our military family each and every day.

1. Patience

It was called the U.S. mail, and it was the only mode of communication. I know many of you can’t fathom a life free of cell phones, Skype, email, Face Time, etc., but believe it or not, there WAS a time where our Old School Sisters relied on paper, ink and stamps exclusively. Sometimes it took months for letters to be exchanged and every word of those were read and re-read again, cherished and tucked away for future generations to read.

We of the instant gratification generation demand daily communication and get annoyed and upset when that doesn’t happen. We are spoiled and impatient. A little patience goes a long way for the heart, mind and spirit- our Old School Sisters had it, and we should learn to cultivate it.

2. Appreciation

Hearken back to the day where there were no FRGs (I know some of you are looking for a time machine to jump into after hearing that!), no Child Development Centers, no MWR facilities or activities- basically you had a house and that was it. And let’s not forget being notified by telegram of the death of a service member instead of in-person by a Casualty Notification team.

There are so many people who have grand expectations of what the military should be providing to them- gimme, gimme, gimme is the name of the game.The bottom line is you aren’t owed anything for marrying a service member. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even a stipend (best Miss Vicki column EVER!).

So, instead of whining and demanding more from an already financially distressed DoD furloughing civilians and cutting precious training time for service members, be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the benefits afforded to you that our Old School Sisters didn’t enjoy-like the ability to have the GI Bill transferred to you.

They appreciated the simple fact that their spouses came home from war alive, which is much more important than worrying about the commissary being closed an extra day due to furlough. If you don’t believe me, ask a Gold Star Wife. She’ll set you straight.

3. Dignity

Our Old School sisters didn’t wear pajamas to the PX, to the commissary or out in public anywhere. Just because Wal-Mart shoppers do it doesn’t give the practice a seal of approval.

Take pride in your appearance. At least upgrade to something resembling actual clothing to be worn outside the house i.e., yoga pants, running pants, etc.You don’t have to get all white gloves and pill box hat like our Old School ladies, just look like you actually give a darn.

Which leads us to our “things not to wear at any military event” portion of dignity. We’ve all seen THAT photo on the Internet, where the spouse is flashing it all at a ball. Don’t be that girl who goes viral. There are ways to be sexy without baring 89 percent of your flesh.

A ball isn’t a night club — it’s a formal military event which has ceremonial aspects to it. Don’t walk in looking like you’re looking for the nearest pole to swing on. Look like you’re going to the White House. Or the Oscars. NOT the MTV Video awards.

Old School Wives wore suits or dresses, hats, white gloves, and the dreaded stockings (not pantyhose — stockings) every day at some point. Be happy those standards have lessened, but let’s not take the lax dress requirements of modern times to the extreme.

Wear real “outside” clothes, dress appropriately for the occasion (essentially, look at Roxy’s ensembles in the first season of “Army Wives” and do the polar opposite) and wear clothes that don’t flash your business and you’ll be okay.

4. Respect for and Pride in Your Servicemember

This one gets people all kinds of riled up. I know spouses who think it’s their job to talk about how crappy the military is, how much they hate it, how much they are against the wars, etc. That’s fine and dandy. But do you really need to share that constantly with your fellow military spouses and, especially, your servicemember?

Back in the day, the Old School Wives rocked the Blue Service Star flags in the windows and planted victory gardens. They also despised war, but understood their servicemembers didn’t all get together and elect to go kill people and risk dying themselves of their own volition. They were ordered to go. By the government. Not the military — the government. So hating on the military for what the people in power decide for them to do is silly and futile.

A great example is one of the most fabulous Old School Wives I’ve ever known. She was a total hippie freak in the 70s. I am talking the quintessential love-child-flower-carryin’-Joan-Baez-singin’-long-hair-lovin’-bra-burnin’ lady in bell bottoms. She was also married to an Army major in Vietnam. Not a draftee, but a career officer.

While he was gone on all three tours, she protested at every turn. She carried signs, she sang, she sat-in. What she never did, however, was direct or associate any of her protests to her spouse or the military. She protested to and about the decision makers calling the shots, not the people following their lawful orders. She understood the two were separate.

Her husband understood her need to voice her opinion and appreciated that she chose to direct it at the right people and not involve him or the military. And that’s probably also why they had three Vietnam-era babies back-to-back and were married until they died.

So, get mad and use your voice.  Just do it in the right way and to the right people.

5. Manners

This is the most simple, and the most abused by modern military spouses. If you get an invitation, respond. Respond “yes” or “no.” How hard is that? Apparently, extremely, since most people I know at some point either complain that people didn’t RSVP, or confess they themselves didn’t RSVP.

Tie this one with point two: appreciate that unlike the Old School Wives, our invites are no longer by hand and for sleep-inducing teas. We don’t have to wear gloves. Or heels. No, our modern invites are usually by email and involve cocktails and a fuzzy dice game (Bunco, anyone?).

So, even if you don’t want to win prizes and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage, have the decency to decline the invite (though I will never understand why anyone would do that…). Good Old School manners never go out of style, unless you won’t hand over the fuzzy dice when I ding the bell and scream “BUNCO!.” Then, I make no promises about being polite or minding my manners.

“Ansley” is an Army spouse and resides in Alexandria, Virginia

5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn From Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

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https://i0.wp.com/cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/files/2011/05/06-army-wife-1975-03-06-Vol-26-No-40-Monmouth-Message.jpg

http://cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/page/89/

 

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When you’ve been grilling as much as hubby and I these past few weeks, you’re bound to have a couple mishaps a.k.a burnt chicken. So what’s a girl to do? Well when life gives you burnt chicken, make chicken salad! Yep. Its time to put a new spin on my famous (among friends and family) chicken salad. I guess you could call this version Cajun Chicken salad. I added more savory flavors than sweet. This time I included some crushed red peppers and eliminated the pecans and fruit, except for the apples. I made tomato bowls to serve the chicken salad in by scooping out the middle of ripe tomatoes. Then I added additional salad onto the plate and topped it with some spicy guacamole. It was a great summer meal as always and wonderful way to avoid waste.

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I love a good deal. Look at the name of my blog after all. And the best deals are on large purchases. When I can write about a shopping experience two weeks later and still feel like I got the best deal in town. Hubby and I were in desperate need of a mattress. Our household goods was somewhere sailing the seas from Korea and our household items that were left in storage had yet to be located. We bought an air mattress, but after the first night I knew that that was not the solution to our problems. I was willing to tough it out at first, but after about a week I realized two things: 1) I’m getting old, I used to be able to crash anywhere. 2) Our marriage was not going to survive long if we kept waking up sore and cranky. So we went mattress shopping. We got a great deal, during and after a large purchase I like to check the internet to confirm I truly do have Sadity Cents. I was determine to get high quality at a great price. After all my marriage depended on a good nights sleep. Here’s how I did it:

Start with the high end shop first. Find the mattress type you love. We went to a Sleep Number bed on a recent date night and fell in love with adjustable beds. I like the sleep number concept, but we walked out knowing we needed an adjustable base for our bed. Next we went a store that had a large variety of foam mattresses. My husband loved them, I could take or leave them. One of the benefits of our Sleep Number adventure was that I learned I truly enjoy a very firm mattress. My husband likes a soft mattress. What’s a couple to do? Meet in the middle. By the time we were ready to purchase we knew we wanted an adjustable base and a firm mattress with a foam top. I’d also been gathering prices at the two different stores. So the Saturday of our purchase we stopped at one store and found the mattress and base combo we wanted. I was ready to purchase, but my money saving rule is that I never make a large purchase on the spot. So we left to discuss it. In the mean time, we went to their main competitor. They are slightly more high end so we looked at their deals. They almost had us with an amazing all in one adjustable base, mattress and accessory deal. But I called the first store and told them that we were at the competitors and I told them what they were offering. The salesman matched their price, but with his mattress we got a warranty and a mattress cover to protect the warranty of the bed. I also had him throw in some foam pillows (best decision) I’d been admiring. So he got his sale, I got my mattress almost two hundred dollars cheaper than the great price he first quoted (which was $200 less than the sale price because of military discount) and some extras. It pays to comparison shop.



{July 29, 2016}   Food for Thought: Grilling

We ran into a snafu with our move. The email that said our home goods had arrived was wrong, they weren’t even in country yet and the storage goods that we left in the states are lost somewhere between the mountain states and the east coast. Yikes! So what do you do with no dishes, pots or pans? Well normally I’d say go to the Airman Attic but since ours is sorely under supplied; hit the garage sales. We picked up a couch, some plates, some pans but most importantly a grill.

Grilling is the all-in-one cooking method that relieves the need for a large amount of utensils or culinary supplies. Here are some of our meals we’ve created. None of them were cooked on a stove.

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Lamb Burgers with Grilled Asparagus

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Grilled Chicken with Healthy Coleslaw

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Can you tell we like asparagus?

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Grilled Salmon, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Yam, Brown Rice with Quinoa, and a side salad.

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Steaks with Roasted Vegetables, Corn, Yams, and a Summer Salad



Well we are setting up a new home! Yay! Of course our stuff is currently “unaccounted for” by the military. Boo! However with the little bit I have I am working to set up house. When I packed I made sure to have a few things in a suitcase called “household.” People laughed and said it was overkill, but considering that our storage was never sent from the government storage facility and the household goods, which we received confirmation of arrival for is now missing, I think I made the right choice.

Some of the things I packed were :

  • A plate, bowl, and a set of eating utensils for each household member
  • A cup and a mug for each household member
  • A pan and a pot
  • A large spoon (I bought a knife upon arrival because we had to take a plane)
  • A set of sheets
  • Air mattress
  • A pillow for each household member
  • Two sets of towels for each household member
  • A travel blanket
  • A large blanket
  • Dish towels
  • Manual blender bottle for my shakes


Today was by far one of our best days if not the best day in NYC so far. We started off kind of late, choosing to sleep in since we knew we’d have a relative late night. We did the most quintessential thing you can do in New York… Broadway! Then we went to our favorite part of Manhattan… Harlem and at the famous soul food restaurant Sylvia’s. Finally, we ended the evening at the Apollo, which was an amazing experience. But the best part of it all was doing it all without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for plays and performances in NYC:

1) Broadway on a Budget. Finding reasonably priced Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets really isn’t that difficult, even if you are not military. First, let me define “Broadway” v. “Off-Broadway.” I heard a woman say she didn’t want and off-Broadway show because they’re amateurs. Not true! Broadway v. Off- Broadway has very little to do with the caliber of the performance or its location (there are off-Broadway shows on the street known as “Broadway”). In practical terms the difference between the two is the seat capacity of the theater in which the performance takes place. Broadway theaters all have at least 500 seats, while Off-Broadway theaters have 100 to 499 seats. Theaters with 99 and below are considered Off Off- Broadway. There are few exceptions to this rule and only Broadway shows are eligible for Tony Awards, but that’s the most important difference for the lay person.

With that said there are a few great resources for cheap tickets to live shows. First the USO for military travelers. They often have tickets to free shows and/ or access to discount codes you can use for tickets. While we were in NYC we watched the musical Trip of Love courtesy of the USO.  The tickets range from $45-107. We were in the $107 section which is Front Orchestra and our tickets were FREE! We also received free tickets to a sketch comedy show free, but the theater had a 2 drink minimum. Still, both great deals and greatly appreciated.

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Next, is the TKTS booth run by the Theater Development Fund. Same day and next-day matinee tickets are made available at a 40-50% off discount. The website is a live-action website so you always know exactly which tickets are available.  

I was told to prepare to stand in line for an hour to 2 hours, but the trick is to go to one of the two booths outside Time Square. I went to the one near Battery Park and spent maybe 15 minutes in line and received my first choice of tickets. We chose the matinee so we wouldn’t have to change plans for that day. We saw The Color Purple and it was truly transformative. I’ve read the book, watched the movie, and seen the musical. But this particular Broadway performance was amazing!

    

Finally, a little know tip about theaters is that they like to fill there seats. Artists hate performing to empty chairs. So if you know what you want to see, check the TKTS website, because if they are selling tickets, that means there are empty seats. Then wait until about 15 minutes before the performance walk up to the ticket counter. They will often sell the tickets for even steeper discounts that the TKTS booth and you avoid the fees. If you have a student ID they have $25 last minute tickets at some theaters and some even do military discount, but the TKTS rate is usually better than the military discount.

2) Beyond Broadway.  There are also other performance beyond Broadway. I already mentioned the sketch comedy. But go outside the traditional tourist activities. We went to the Apollo for Amateur Night.
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The historic theater goes out of its way to make sure you get your money’s worth. Regular priced tickets range from $20-33 dollars, so its a good deal no matter what. However their student and military discount tickets are probably the best deal I saw in NYC. $12 dollars gets you the best seats they have open with ID. We sat in the second row, so seats that should have costs us $66 total, for two people, were $24. For that price we got a lively pre-show with great music, a hilarious DJ and MC, and interactive dancing and fun. Then they always have a musical guest who is a great profession and often a recognizable face. The night we went Deborah Cox was the performer and as lover of 90’s music that was a big deal for me. We were even able to meet her and get autographs during the intermission. IMG_0383 It was nice knowing you could be viewing the next big artist with the amateur performers. Let me tell you, most performers may not have made it big yet, but they are anything but second rate. The performances were amazing and even when they weren’t we had the fun of “booing” people of stage in the tradition of the Apollo As they say, “Be good or be gone!”

Movies and more. If movies are more your style, then the New York Parks offers free movie night just about every day of the week and at several different parks. The one I was interested in was the HBO movie series at Byrant Park every Monday, but they have just about every genre and kid-friendly nights as well. Pack food and a blanket and have fun.

We didn’t attend, but there is also a free concert series and theater series through New York Parks.

3. Other Discount Venders. There are also websites that have tickets allotted specifically for military and vets, such as: VetTix; GovX; and Veterans Advantage

We signed up for one before our trip but they didn’t seem to have tickets to any major attractions, rather minor league baseball and small venue rock concerts, but it’s always worth a shot.

All in all, we had a great time and there’s even more tips to come…

 

 



et cetera