Friday, September 11, 2015
In My Home This Week: A Season Of Savings
Saturday: We set out early this morning to visit Katie. The guys were attending the opening game of the Georgia Bulldogs and we girls and the grand babies were going to visit. Katie and Matt provided all of our meals that day. Matt generously offered to make breakfast for us. We had coffee here at home before leaving (so early!) and skipped the stop we'd normally make for our breakfast.
Katie cleared her closets this past week. She had a big bag of clothing for Bess and a smaller one for me. I was amused that she'd given me back a jacket I gave her last year. It was too snug for me then and she was pregnant. Now the jacket fits me perfectly and Katie says it is too warm a jacket for her. She gave me two or three other pieces, all toppers, and a lovely pullover sweater. She also included a pair of jeans in the next size down from where I am now.
I never expected when I started losing weight to discover some of my shoes would be too big. But yes, I gave Bess a brand new pair of sandals bought end of season last year that simply will not stay upon my feet. She is a size larger and they fitted her perfectly.
Katie sent me home with enough soup for me to have two meals.
Living Well: My heart sang today. I got to visit with Katie and hold Taylor. I had Bess and Josh and Sam and Matt and John with me. We are all very comfortable together and honestly as tiring as the day was (up way before sunrise and home after sunset) I loved every moment of the day. Taylor has changed again, growing into her feet, as her Mama put it and it's true that they now look more proportional to her.
I was giving her a bottle and as she neared the end of it, Katie told me to watch Taylor's eyes. When she heard the empty whistle of the bottle, she opened her eyes wide and looked so surprised and shocked, lol.
It was fun to see Josh interact with Katie and to watch as he got more comfortable with Zoey. I loved seeing Sam hold his niece and then shyly and slyly look at Bess and say, "Let's have another one..."
It was just a great day with family. Deep happy sighs.
Sunday: John prepared pancakes and turkey bacon for the crew. That turkey bacon was a blessing from Katie. I've been purchasing the Fit&Active turkey bacon from Aldi and we like it but this was Oscar Mayer turkey bacon that Matt purchased for our breakfast yesterday morning. It has a lovely smokey flavor when it's cooking. It was a nice addition to our breakfast today.
Sam and Bess left to spend a day exploring Sam's past. I got to keep the baby here and spend time with him. Since they were going to be gone during lunch/dinner time, I made a lunch for us today and moved dinner to supper time.
John washed and air dried a good portion of two loads of clothes.
I ran a full load of dishes, filled out with our current coffee cups and coffee pot.
I bought a new to me item from Aldi last week: Fit&Active Rotisserie Style Turkey Tenderloins. This is in the meat case and you cook it yourself. It was very tasty. At $5.99 for almost 2 pounds of meat it was a rather good buy. It cooked up moist and tender and tasty and there was more than enough for four with plenty of leftovers.
Living Well: We flew solo with Josh for a long afternoon and it was fun. He did cry when his Mama and Daddy left and then looked forlorn for a bit but after a nap he was quite happy to interact with us. He played with John and teased him a bit, too. He played with me.
He was so cute when John went to check messages on his phone. He turned and saw the flip phone open and smile hugely, saying 'Cheese!' Guess that boy is quite used to having his picture taken. Good think he is too young yet to come check the picture, lol, since Grampa wasn't taking one.
Later he played that he was talking on the phone. He got quite animated with it, changing the inflection of his voice, having a gibberish conversation and such. I enjoyed every minute. More happy sighs today, too.
Monday: Saw the kids off today on their return journey home. I gave them a 2 quart jar of chicken rice soup to heat up when they arrive home. I have another quart for John and I to have one night this week.
Katie had given me a gallon of whole milk. They prefer almond milk for their own use. I don't drink whole milk these days but Josh does. I froze the gallon and gave it to Bess to take home. It kept what she had in her cooler cold and will mean they don't have to stop on the way home to buy milk for this week.
Washed two loads of bedding and cloths and such. I hung a quilt and the guest room spread on the line to dry. I used the dryer for the sheets and pillowcases.
Spray painted two more items, one for the front porch, one for the back porch. I've almost finished that can of paint. One more small item...
I had plenty of work to do inside today. No savings in doing work except it pays off big time in quieting the mind.
I had leftovers for my dinner today.
Set up new outfits for the coming week.
Worked on another Fall wardrobe post and put together several outfits. I still have two tops I've done nothing with yet...I don't guess I need to worry about buying any more tops unless I continue to shrink down out of them.
Living Well: Enjoyed my visit with family this weekend. I was happy too to return to my usual Monday routine and set my house in order. It took me most of the day, but laundry flapped in the breeze on the line, beds were freshly made, dishes done and floors cleaned. It was a good day of housekeeping. After my lovely weekend with family, I was quite happy to be at home, tending to homey things.
Tuesday: I slept in just a little later this morning. John was pretty late coming in so it didn't put me in a rush.
I went into town yesterday to drop off bills at phone and electric companies and put another item in the mail. I couldn't pay the electric bill and I was so frustrated. The night drop box plainly stated that it wasn't ready for payments (new building). I had to go into the building to the payment kiosk which wasn't working properly and kept timing out. I was peeved at having to go back into town again today but did my best to make it count. I took off trash and went by the grocery to pick up a sales item for our pantry.
John also requested both salty and sweet snacks. He's been very good about not asking for things I can't eat routinely but after three months his cravings got to him, lol. I offered to make him sweet snacks but he felt more comfortable with portioned packaged goods on hand. I sorta do too at present.
I picked up a package of marked down cubed steak to put in the freezer.
I bought bananas and picked up a fairly green bunch. I broke off two when I got home and then put the rest in a closed plastic bag to ripen more slowly.
I started to buy frozen french fries but for half the price I could get five pounds of potatoes (local prices are quite high...at Aldi I'd have gotten ten pounds for less money but that's an 80 mile round trip.). I made my own oven fries.
Discovered four red potatoes in my potato basket that I didn't realize I had. I cut those up for home fries and decided that was too many potatoes. I cubed the rest and put in the fridge covered in water. I'll use those later this week to make another side dish.
I took ground meat from the freezer to thaw. I didn't feel tops this morning and was tempted to buy burgers/fries in town. I made my own at home. It took only a little effort and I spent less on the potatoes than I would have done for burgers at the local diner.
We used the last of the turkey tenderloin to make sandwiches for supper tonight. I had quite a bit leftover but the kids ate part of it yesterday morning with their bagels and cream cheese. I was glad I had it on hand then, too. That was 8 generous servings from those two tenderloins.
It was overcast for most of the day. I opened curtains and blinds to let in all the natural light I could rather than turn on house lights.
Living Well: The power company has built a huge new building in town and torn down the old mid-century modern building. I have been trying to embrace that change...but trying to make a payment at the new building yesterday reminded me that not all 'new' things are pleasant ones. The company installed a payment center, a kiosk...and the doggone thing would not take my payment! I got quite frustrated with it as it timed out three times. I finally gave up.
This morning I made a second trip into town and went inside to deal with human faces. So much nicer, and I mean that sincerely. I explained my troubles the night before and was met with sympathy, lol, but it's more than that. I'm used to seeing these people once a month. I have done this for years and I like seeing the person behind the counter who is taking my money.
I don't believe I'm going to embrace this bit of technology. I'm going to do as I do at the bank and keep doing things the old fashioned way, where I'm greeted with a smile and told to have a good day when I leave.
Wednesday: Today was kitchen clear out day. I went through all the non-food items in the kitchen and ended up with a laundry basket of things to either donate or store in the shed. I had a few items for family members, too. I was surprised at how many things I could remove easily because I simply couldn't think the last time I'd even used the item.
I put a whole chicken in to roast with my vegetables and apples today rather than the planned sausages. These chickens are quite small but we still manage two meals off them and I wanted the 'extra' meal already cooked ahead.
We had leftover soup for our supper tonight.
Living Well: John was tired out when he went to work after his big weekend. I was worn enough yesterday to feel the need of a nap mid-afternoon myself. One look at his face this morning and I knew he needed a day at home today just to catch up. He seemed a bit more refreshed as the day wound down.
I couldn't help but think how much our Shabat day of rest really does for us. Not only does it restore us spiritually and mentally it really does rest us physically and gives us an added kick start for the beginning of a new week.
Our weekend of family was fun and we enjoyed every moment of each day but we won't skip Shabat too often. It's far too beneficial to us.
Thursday: This morning I took all the items meant for donation and storage to the shed.
I cooked the potatoes I diced the other day and made potato salad to go with our meal.
I had another 'vision' this morning of how an area might look. I was taking the two chairs from the porch to carry out to the shed, when I 'saw' them in the bed in front of the back porch, centered along the railings of the porch and filled with flowers. I have a third chair next to my shed, which allows me the three needed. I think this will be a fun flower bed once I get it done. John will like it as none of the chairs will be near (nor are they be in condition !) for climbing into a window, etc. He thinks of things like that, but I confess I seldom do. I can't wait to figure out what fun colors I'll use. There's a lady in town who has a pair of old chairs she's painted a fun shade of purple and then filled with deep orange impatiens, a look I've admired all spring/summer long. It's not what I want for myself but it's certainly eye catching and very creative.
A 'savings' of sorts...Maddie has mostly dug up this whole area in a quest for a cool place to lie this summer. She's about dug up halfway down the front of the porch, so I'm half done already, wink.
I've trained the volunteer morning glory about the porch banisters. I love morning glories but I'm ready to plant a fresh crop and be done with the volunteer ones as the flowers are so much smaller. It is work to stay ahead of the daily growth of the vines to keep them from winding themselves about every thing in sight except the porch railing. I swear if I sat on the porch all day long I could actually watch those vines grow.
I piddled about the yard a bit. I'd kept noticing a nice bit of color in a fairly hidden flower bed and went to check it out. The little begonias I'd planted earlier in the summer didn't grow much but they were blooming as were two different colored mums in the same container. I moved it into the flower bed next to the steps for an added bit of color.
I transplanted a few snapdragons to the front patio containers. They were looking lost and lonely in the big dish pan I'd planted them in last year.
There are volunteer purple petunias (the deep dark purple) in one of the containers on the steps at the pecan tree. I plan to move those, too.
Shopped at home today. Took milk and bread from freezer to thaw. Pulled peanut butter and 3Bean Salad from pantry.
Living Well: I signed up for a free trial for Ancestry almost two weeks ago. Overall I love the site and the ability to view documents first hand that might otherwise never be seen. I've enjoyed correcting information I had. Most of all, I've enjoyed viewing photos I had never seen and might never have known existed of various family members. I won't be able to continue this subscription and in fact, I mean to cancel it tomorrow, but one day I'll be able to really join and explore it further.
Friday: Made John's breakfast. Packed his lunch which included a portion of leftovers from yesterday's lunch.
Worked up an order with Walmart this morning. Saves the temptation of trekking through the store and insures I get just what I mean to get. I keep a running list so that I can reorder diabetic supplies, personal care items that we need but which haven't gone on sale, and my favorite decaf coffee which I buy in bulk.
I let the order sit all morning and reviewed it this afternoon before placing it. Glad I did. Although I'd earned free shipping with the size of my order, there was one item that was to ship from a different supplier. The 'great buy' wasn't any better than average pricing once shipping was added in. We'll pick that item up at the local dollar store and skip ordering online. I removed one other item from the cart as well. It is a need, but I'd rather check in the stores before purchasing online.
I'm out and about today, so I did all my home keeping before leaving home. That meant taking out foods to thaw for the weekend, which I'll prep when I'm back home this afternoon.
Went through bill box and checked to see if anything was coming due before next pay period. I had a couple of items that needed to go out.
Bagged up all the trash this morning. I took trash and mail to town with me on my way to Mama's.
Going over the checkbook prior to leaving home was a good reminder of how much money I didn't have to spend. It helped keep me in line today.
Mixed up a meatloaf. I have few of the usual items on hand today, but used what I had. I swished water in the bottom of a bottle of A-1 sauce that was practically gone and poured that over my ground meat and used red and yellow bell peppers to replace the sweetness of the carrot I'd normally grate into the meat. I used the blender to make bread crumbs from some end pieces of bread I'd saved in the freezer. All in all this is bound to be an economical meatloaf. I'll be able to get two dinners and sandwiches off this one I think. I'll bake this tomorrow. I'm going to assemble a favorite zucchini casserole to go along side. This will make good use of some zucchini that's been sitting in the fridge.
Living Well: I love coming home. I've noticed this many times over but there's still something about seeing my house, my home, sitting upon this hill as I come into the curve of the first driveway and look up at it, that just makes me happy inside. It doesn't matter what season it is, or what the weather is like or what is going wrong or right in my life. My heart sings at the sight of this home. Is it my best loved home? Not quite, but almost... But it's the best loved place for home and I guess that's why it makes me feel so good. There's a sense that all is right and just as it ought to be in my life when I arrive back here.