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Sorry Dear Readers, I am going on vacation and will not be posting a blog until November 3. You will have to read about the winner of the World Series in the newspaper.

I am flying tomorrow on Hawaiian Airlines. First stop Los Angeles to visit my daughter. Then after a few days in LA, I am off to Las Vegas for a week. Then I fly to San Francisco to spend Halloween with my other daughter and my grandchildren.

I am about to embark on a two week trip and plan to take only a carry on. Well a carry on and a huge tote bag which will hold my purse, blanket, slippers and all airplane necessities.

Change of plans. Just couldn’t do it. I tried and tried but I am going to have to check in a suitcase. Otherwise my tote is just too heavy and I don’t have room for my jeans and my boots.

So not only is it $25 extra per flight, now I have to wait for my luggage to come off the carousel. Plus for another $25 I upgraded my seat to the exit row up front instead of back in row 29.

I was able to check in online and print my boarding pass right here at home. Now all I have to do is to wake up tomorrow at 5 AM, get dressed and to the airport in time for my 8 AM flight.

I also wear a travel vest with about a dozen pockets. Besides the fact that this sort of makes me look like a terrorist, it is very useful. I can carry, money, iPhone, earphones, earplugs, candy, medications, pen and extra phone charger.

Plus these things are all on my person and I don’t have to bend over in my two feet of space and reach under the seat in front of me to get to my travel needs. I also carry a Back Joy to sit on and an orthopedic pillow for my back. Oh, I forgot my telescoping walking stick. This is so much snazzier than a plain old cane.

In my bag will also be my one quart plastic zip lock bag full of all my liquids, creams and toothpaste. Whenever I fly anywhere and the person ahead of me puts their little plastic bag in the bin, I notice they have about four things. Usually toothpaste, shaving cream, mouth wash and shampoo.

I save all my little samples of eye creams, night creams, moisturizers and makeup and take these in my bag. Then I have to add eye makeup remover, lip balm, cuticle cream, nail polish, mascara and of course a bottle of Purell. All together I probably have at least fifty items in my bag.

When I travel, I use lots of creams and as I finish each little tube, I just throw it away. I always travel with a folding scissors and q tips. If you cut off the end of a little tube of cream, there is at least another one or two days supply inside. This is where the q tips come in handy.

Baggie Side A and Baggie Side B

Hotels have hair dryers and little bottles of shampoo so it isn’t necessary to pack those. Luckily the first three and the last three days of my trip will be spent at my two daughter’s houses. They have excellent supplies of all these toiletries.

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So until we meet again, Aloha Nui Aloha. (that means lots of Aloha)

Sandy

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The Wedding Banquet-a Movie Review

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Last night I saw a very cute movie on Netflix streaming. It is called The Wedding Banquet and is a movie by Ang Lee. He is the one who brought us Crouching Tigers.

Simon, Wing and Wei

This is the story of a very handsome gay Chinese man who lives in Manhattan. He is a business man who always wears a suit. He has a long time partner whom he lives with. Simon, his ‘better half’ is also very good looking. He is a physical therapist at a hospital and the two have been together five years.

Wing owns an old building and you see him dealing with one of his tenants (Wei). She is a starving artist and lives in one of his lofts. Her main goal is to get Wing to accept her paintings as ‘rent’.

His parents live in Taiwan and his mother’s main goal in life is to have her son marry a nice Chinese girl and give her and her husband some grandchildren.

They decide to come visit their son and help him find a bride. He panics and asks the tenant to ‘marry’ him instead. She gets a green card out of this union and he gets his mother off his back.

It is actually Simon’s idea and not only does he go along with the plan, but he is very supportive.

What ensues is really sweet and funny. Half the movie is in English and half is in Chinese with subtitles, as the parents do not speak English.

I doubt that this movie will win any awards, but it is fun to watch and different than the usual girl/boy flicks of today.

How to ‘find’ this movie on Netflix streaming: Now you can just put it in Search and Voila.

But in the future check out Instawatcher online to find all the newest flicks on Netflix streaming.

This is a good site and you can check for popular/new, critics choice, expiring and on and on. They seem to have a much better selection of titles than you can readily find on the Netflix site.

Texas Goes to the World Series

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It’s true. There is only one October. I wasn’t that thrilled with watching the playoffs. My favorite team was out. The Tampa Bay Rays. The reason I liked them is that they were such underdogs. The the Yankees have a $200 million dollar budget and they have a $40 million dollar budget. If you saw the movie Moneyball, that was it.

But I started watching Texas and they really are an amazing team. There is no I in team. Every single player is terrific.

I just watched the most fun baseball game ever. Texas Rangers 15 to Detroit 5. Sure glad I was rooting for Texas. It was a record breaking game. Nelson Cruz hit his sixth home run of the series and every player was great.  Almost everyone got at least one run or one RBI. Several home runs, great fielding etc.

Josh Hamilton caught a 400 yard ball that went all the way to the wall. How he did it I don’t know, but he had to leap up the wall and do a backwards flip to complete the catch.

Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers were flubbing their catches. Their center fielder and right fielder both tried to catch a fly ball. One of them caught the ball (sort of), then they crashed into each other and he dropped it. I think that is called an error.

There were other ‘missed’ balls where the fielder almost had his hands on the ball and ‘whoops’.

You wouldn’t think it was that exciting, with Texas winning by ten. But the score was 2-0 Detroit and in the third inning Texas got nine runs. Unheard of. I think they switched the Detroit pitchers about five times.
Anyway it was fun. Now I want to see them win the World Series. As I don’t like the Cardinals or the Brewers, I will root for Texas.

And obviously here is one 73 year old widow/woman who totally understands the game. And loves it.

Don’t Give Up if You Know You are Right

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This is a series of letters concerning a wrong billing on an order I placed on the internet. It is not for a very large amount, but I had to go through hoops to right this wrong. There were also two phone calls which had to be discussed with a supervisor.

Dear Ms Conrad,

Thank you for contacting Newport News Internet Customer Service.
> For your convenience your Customer Number is 1076496874.

> I do apologize that you did not get the discount on your order but it was for a minimum order of 75.00 or more.
> If you need further assistance, please reply to this email and one of our Internet Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you or visit us on the web at http://www.newport-news.com.

> We appreciate your business and look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Sincerely,
Gwen S.

Newport News Account Specialist Department

From: Sandra Conrad (sandyconrad@mac.com)
Sent: Oct 4, 2011 3:15:32 PM
Subject: Re: discount (#6521-255337654-1513)

The reason I was calling is that I placed my order on Sept 21 and was to receive a 30% discount on order over $75 and free leggings. The free leggings show up as free (with $75 purchase) but cami is listed at $39, not $49 and 30% discount does not show. I was to be charged $49 for the cami, which is listed on your website at $49 (which puts me over the $75 limit). If you do not honor this error on your part, I will never shop at Newport News again. Plus I write a shopping blog and will devote an entire post to this. Help. Sandra Conrad

Customer Number: 1076496874
Invoice Number: 004030218
Ship Date: 09/26/2011
Ship Method: Priority
Expected Delivery Time: 3-4 business days(*) Right.. (Ha ha. Hawaii)

Dear Sandra,

Thank you for contacting Newport News Internet Customer Service.
For your convenience your Customer Number is 1076496874.

I have refunded the difference in the amount of 13.60 for a total for your order of 73.49. You were billed less shipping because the price was lowered in the system when it came through. Your web order shows 76.49. I do apologize for the error.

If you need further assistance, please reply to this email and one of our Internet Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you or visit us on the web at http://www.newport-news.com.

We appreciate your business and look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Sincerely,
Gwen S.
Newport News Account Specialist Department

Please note that in certain circumstances any action to your order and/or account will still need to go through our audit process for accuracy purposes. You will be notified via email if the audit process changes or alters the recommended solution.

It is a miracle that some of these companies manage to stay in business.
p.s. the 30% discount cancelled out the cost of shipping to Hawaii.

Help?

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I have a problem. Maybe some of you Dear Readers can give me some advice.

I live with my sister and she is constantly buying me presents. Now this sounds like a good thing, but mostly they are clothes, and mostly they are items I would never in a million years wear.

I know she means well, but they either have the wrong neckline, shape or pattern. Or I just don’t need yet another top.

Usually I like solid colors (or animal prints)  as I like to mix and match. I like V necklines or turtle necks and long sleeves. I also only like certain fabrics. And I have a policy not to buy anything unless it goes with something else in my wardrobe.

When you live with someone and they see you every day, it is difficult to pretend to have something in your wardrobe that you have returned. I know they say ‘you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth’, but what to do?

And yet it goes against by grain to keep an item that I know I will never wear. Especially when it was something expensive.

This is the latest ‘gift’ from my sister: The best part is that it is from Macy’s (across the street) and it is super easy to return.

OK: I had a great ‘return’ experience’. First of all it takes one second to get a gift card for the amount of the item. And you don’t even have to go to the original department. Then I had a 20% discount card good all day on any purchases, so my card immediately was worth $100, not $80.

I chose several large scarf/shawls in black, black evening and leopard, plus a new wallet (in ‘python’ of course) and I am happy now.

Peanut Butter Alert

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Stock Up on Peanut Butter Now Before Prices Get Ridiculous

I am a huge peanut butter fan. This has been my favorite food for my entire life. When I was a child, Skippy was It. I would just spread it on Wonder Bread and fold over. Then I discovered the addition of strawberry jam.

Knotts Berry Farm is still my favorite, but Smucker’s will do in a pinch.

(with a name like Smucker’s, it’s got to be good)

My sister’s choice

Some people swear by the combination of peanut butter and Welch’s Grape Jelly. The only thing good about this jelly is that it now comes in a squeezable plastic jar. Otherwise it is just a little too mainstream for my taste.

Tradition

Over the years I have found that my absolute favorite way to make a peanut butter sandwich is to spread white bread with butter. Then peanut butter. Then honey. And then add a couple of slices of iceberg lettuce. Top with another layer of bread, butter, peanut butter. Yum.

I eat my peas with honey, I’ve done it all my life.

It may taste kind of funny, but it keeps them on the knife.

When I lived in Palm Springs, California, there was a great Jewish Deli that baked fresh seeded rye bread every day. I would get there every morning when they opened to pick up a loaf of this wonderful bread.

It had no preservatives so it was only great for one or two days. And I must confess that this bread was so good, it was delicious with nothing on it. Like cake. But spread with peanut butter it was ambrosia.

Better Stats

I still love Skippy, but my new favorite is Laura Scudder’s. The stats are slightly better. Less sodium. The other day I got daring and tried the new Planters.

New from Kraft

I will have to check out the prices of various brands in various markets and then stock up. I wonder if the shelves will soon be bare, when this sad news gets out.

The time to buy peanut butter is now, friends. The Wall Street Journal reports that prices for Jif, Peter Pan, and other peanut butter jars will be going up as much as 40% starting in a couple of weeks.

Maybe your stock broker will email you and advise you to invest in peanut butter. Can you imagine the jokes this news will inspire? Will this be the next luxury item?

Someday soon it will be a status symbol to have a few jars of peanut butter on your kitchen counter. Various brands on hand. Well stocked like a good liquor cabinet. And of course the assorted jams and jellies to compliment the spread.

In just one year, the wholesale price of peanuts has skyrocketed from $450 a ton to $1,150 a ton, thanks to Mother Nature and human folly. As a result:

Wholesale prices for big-selling Jif are going up 30% starting in November, while Peter Pan will raise prices as much as 24% in a couple weeks…Skippy [prices] are 30% to 35% higher than a year ago. Kraft Foods Inc., which launched Planters peanut butter in June, is raising prices 40% on Oct. 31

Invest now in a few jars of your favorite peanut butter brand (and, presumably, peanuts too) before this food staple becomes a luxury item.

By the way I checked out Costco and they are featuring Skippy. (creamy or chunky) Two huge 40 oz. jars for $8.79. That is only about ten cents an ounce. Last week I bought a jar of Planter’s at Safeway. Sixteen ounces for $5.49. That is about 30 cents an ounce.

OK: Here is the Deal of the Day/Week. Safeway has Skippy on sale this week. 16 oz size for $1.49. Limit 2. Coupon can be found on Just 4U. That is even less than Costco. 32 oz. for $2.98. (Less than ten cents an ounce)

Never let it be said that I don’t have your best interests at heart.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Tomorrow File by Lawrence Sanders. This book came out about thirty years ago and it foresaw a lot of social changes in our society.

Some of it hasn’t happened yet. But there was a black market on coffee. Tomatoes were a rarity. Lettuce came in synthetic sheets like Glad wrap.

Will peanut butter be next? Soon a jar of peanut butter will cost more than a pack of cigarettes. Maybe there will be ‘knockoff’ peanut butter and people will ‘grind their own’. Sort of like ‘roll your own’.

I lived through the era in Hawaii when ‘weed’ went from $20 a lid to $100 a lid in about a year. Hmmm? Maybe someone will make a movie and call it “The Great Peanut Butter Conspiracy”.

When You Need a Wig…

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Probably the most traumatic event in a woman’s life is being told that she has breast cancer. After dealing with oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons, the next step is chemo.

And that means you are totally bald. That also means no eyebrows or eyelashes. (Of course you can have eyebrows tattooed on and millions of women wear false eyelashes anyway.)

And then another traumatic experience: trying to find a wig.

Five weeks ago, my daughter Jody was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite three surgeries in one month and all the related medical requirements, her attitude is 100% positive. In one month she has become an expert at knowing all the cancer lingo, drugs and treatments.

This is breast cancer awareness month and all the major stores and products are getting on the bandwagon, so to speak. Even Sports Authority came out with pink boxing gloves and pink football cleats.

She decided to pass on those items but last week she began her quest for a wig.

She read all the advice on the subject and was pretty much ‘sold’ on a synthetic wig due to it’s easy care and maintenance. Also the cost.

But when she scoured numerous wig shops in Los Angeles, she realized that not only did none of these stock wigs look like her, they were all made for average size heads. (Hers is large).

I think a too tight wig would feel even worse than too tight shoes. Plus they were mostly pretty tacky looking.

So on the recommendation of her oncologist she went to Piny Beverly Hills. This man makes custom human hair wigs (to fit your head) and only uses ‘virgin’ human hair from Russia and Sweden. (This is hair that has never been colored or treated with chemicals in any way).

She liked his attitude and his wigs were beautiful works of art. He guaranteed to make her look like herself, even though she would be totally bald after the chemo.

Piny, who is Israeli, is world renowned and people from places other than Los Angeles /Beverly Hills come just to have him make their wigs. He also takes care of the washing and styling that is necessary every few weeks.

For any of you readers who have someone in your life who has this terrible disease and is looking for something to make them feel good about themselves, this is it. It is much better to shop for a wig before you lose all your hair; plus it takes four weeks to have a custom wig made.

Expensive, but Jody told me that he makes wigs for three or four cancer patients each week, not just celebrities. Plus if you are used to having your hair cut and colored in a beauty salon, you don’t have to do that for a year or so.

So while this blog is called “Money Saving Secrets of a Hawaiian Jewish Princess”, I don’t think this is even a slightly economical way to ‘save money’.

Piny’s celebrity clients include:
• Paula Abdul
• Pamela Anderson
• Paris Hilton
• Anne Heche
• Amanda Bynes
• Cher
• Gabrielle Anwar
• Kelly Clarkson
• Tom Cruise
• Camilla Belle
• Faye Dunaway
• Shirley Maclaine • Chelsea Handler
• Kristen Dunst
• Mary McCormick
• Carmen Elektra
• Jillian Barberie
• Lauren Sanchez
• Emilio Estevez
• Bridget Fonda
• Melanie Griffith
• Kimberly Hefner
• Helen Hunt
• Nancy O’Dell
• Dolly Parton
• Molly Ringwald
• Julia Roberts
• Freddie Rodriguez
• Carole Bayer Sager
• Sharon Stone
• Trudi Styler

Movie credits include:
• American Buffalo – Dustin Hoffman
• Rain Man – Tom Cruise
• Pulp Fiction – John Travolta
• 48 Hours – Brian James
• Men at Work – Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez
• The Brave – Johnny Depp
• Blade Runner – Brian James
• Point of No Return – Bridget Fonda
• Planet of the Apes 2 – Kris Kristofferson
• Shining Through – Melanie Griffith
• ∑Hot Shots Deux- Charlie Sheen
• He Said She Said –

In order to offer his clients expanded services and convenience, PINY has opened a second studio in the stylish Sherman Oaks Galleria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

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