This Week In My Home: Summer Savings Come Easy
Saturday: Ran into town this morning to get more dry ranch salad dressing mix. I had promised Katie her favorite meal for birthday and then discovered I had no ranch dressing mix. Tsk tsk. Made the trip count though by taking mail to be posted, picking up mail from Friday, stopping by the Women's Club house yard sale. Not a lot to be had, but then it had been up and running for a few hours at that point. I spent just $1 there.
Noted the Key Lime Pie in the freezer case. Katie's favorite and a fitting treat for a birthday girl. went ahead and purchased it.
Prepared mashed potatoes, black eye peas and ranch chicken. I also sliced and fried green tomatoes. I did tasks in spurts and despite this had dinner ready to go on the table as soon as they arrived. Mama provided the squash casserole.
Prepared tea from scratch, too. I have known folks to buy prepared tea in the grocery, but it's so easy to make that it seems awfully silly to me to purchase it and it costs just a few cents to make, even if you add sugar.
Saved tea bags and put more water over them. Yes, I will make a second batch of tea...for the geraniums. They just love tea water. Not sure why but they always puts on fresh leaves and blooms when I water with tea.
Made sure to pull shades on the sunny sides of the house so indoors didn't heat up.
Ran a full load of dishes in the evening.
Mama brought me a stack of magazines she'd saved, called Diabetes Self-Management. I have read one issue thus far and found interesting information in it. I look forward to reading the rest of them. I'll be saving articles, making notes and clipping recipes. All will prove helpful in my care.
One of you asked about my skin care routine and what products I use and such. I am a basics person on that as well, lol. I had been using Mary Kay Botanicals for the past year but the girl who was selling to me was told she had to place a minimum order each month that strained her budget. I haven't found another representative, but went back to my previous skin care routine which is pretty simple. I use the store brand equivalent of Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer. For about $20 I will have skin care products for 6-9 months. I use the cleanser only at night and moisturize morning and evening. I tend to just wipe my face with a warm wet clean cloth in the mornings when I shower.
Living Well: The best part of today: getting to hold that new grand baby. She is a tiny cuddly little thing and was quite happy to go from one set of arms to another. Sweetest moment of the day: John hurrying to the door and making sure he was the very first one to hold his new grand daughter. The moment that made me smile: When Tot's daddy leaned down to look at her while she lay sleeping on a pallet near us...and hearing him give a happy chuckle.
Sunday: Made John breakfast, and packed his lunch for work.
Have a slight sore throat. I took extra Vitamin C, rubbed my chest/and throat with vapor rub, made sure to drink plenty of water (with lemon for more Vitamin C goodness).
Turned off the coffee pot since I wanted to go back to bed this morning. I got up later and turned the burner on so the pot of coffee could reheat.
Washed a full load of clothes. I stripped our bed and stripped the slipcover off the chair John sits in. Between grands and babies visiting it was time to give it a fresh slipcover. Tomorrow I'll wash my chair cover with the guest bedding.
No need to water plants. We had heavy rain yesterday evening and a slow steady rain for hours this morning.
Gave the kitchen a good wipe down of walls, cabinets and counters, It's the first time in well over a month.
Hung our bed pillows on line to air and freshen.
Pulled shades on sunny side of house.
Did some preliminary 3rd quarter budget work for the household. I need to double check a few figures but so far it looks rather promising.
Took time to plan a full week of meals (all three for each day). I set out a few items to thaw so that meal preparations can go smoothly.
Cut up celery sticks for snacking.
I bought flowers about two weeks ago. I trimmed them down and culled the dying ones. I added some tiger lily from the flower bed as filler and put in a shorter vase than the one I'd used. They look rather country-ish but then it is exactly what I like anyway. I cut the stamens of the lilies so they wouldn't stain me or the table top.
Living Well: When I went out this afternoon to cut the tiger lily I was surprised by the bucket in which I'd planted chrysanthemum last fall and Begonias this spring. The mums were bright yellow, the begonias a lovely coral red. What a lovely surprise. When I last looked at that pot of flowers that were pretty well dead, but the rain we've had brought them back to life.
Monday: Used bananas that were very ripe in a recipe that called for 'very ripe bananas'. It's a bran muffin recipe and is low fat/low carb.
Hard boiled a half dozen eggs.
Dead headed and pinched back petunias.
I scattered seeds of petunias and snap dragons in the flower pots.
Discovered that the magazines Mama gave me has a website, www.diabetesselfmanagement.com
Cooked BBQ chicken breasts and a roast beef in the crock pot...at the same time. I made separate foil bowls to contain the meats and their juices.
Some of the juices did overflow into the crock pot and mixed. I poured that broth out into a bowl to put over pet foods tomorrow morning.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung to dry.
Peeled a slightly withered peach and cut into slices to freeze. I plan to use it in a smoothie tomorrow morning.
I wanted some chocolate this evening but wasn't sure how to handle it reasonably. I recalled that in the hospital occasionally they would sprinkle a spoonful of mini chocolate chips over fruit or pudding. I measured out a tablespoon and mixed with whole roasted almonds for a tasty fiber rich snack.
Living Well: So grateful for the wonders of modern social media. I got to watch my youngest grandson 'walk' on his own today. One of his grandmas (he has 3 no less) bought him a push toy that encourages him to stand. He had no trouble at all maneuvering that toy. I have a feeling he's going to take off on his own any day now.
Tuesday: John wanted to get his hair cut. I decided it was the perfect timing, since we needed bread and fruit for the rest of the week. We combined errands: took off the trash, picked up mail, got his haircut and did a quick grocery shop.
I am over even thinking I might stay within the lower grocery budget I set. We are NOT buying: snack foods, sodas, candy, etc. What we ARE buying is lots of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables). Since all those things are part of my daily eating plan, I am just okay with that.
John has given up sodas...well except for that one glass each morning after his single cup of coffee. I think it's wonderful that he's done so. For myself, I have the occasional glass of diet Ginger Ale but no other diet drink, as they simply do not taste good to me. Can't call it a savings, since we're spending the same amount of money on fresh produce, but it's definitely healthier.
I wanted fresh flowers...but didn't see a thing I liked. I chose a green plant, a small one, instead. It cost about the same as a bargain bunch of flowers and will give long term pleasure.
I've almost filled my journal. I had another of the composition books on hand but really disliked the color of it which was a sort of golden butterscotch...Not one of my favorite colors. Thanks to scrapbook paper and laminating sheets, I have a pretty new journal, one that makes me smile when I see it. Next I'll 'illustrate' the inside with Bible verses and quotes that resonate with me. It's a creative effort I enjoy. It's also a money saver, since it isn't necessary to go out and buy a new notebook.
Prepared foods for John's work lunch tomorrow.
Living Well: Two different women acquaintances mentioned my approach to my diet...and I have to share something that occurred to me this afternoon as I replied to both in separate emails: This past month I've really zoned in on me. My health care is very important at the moment, but truthfully this focus on my own self-care is not natural to me. I am quite used to ignoring my own health needs as I focus on those of another. I think what I find odd is not the self-care but that I am able to focus on it without feeling guilt or conflict. Admittedly John is a huge help in that area as well. He insists I put myself first. He eats what I eat, he doesn't complain over the lack of sweets or treats, he makes sure I am eating at the right times and that I take my medication and he asks daily what my blood sugars are. He's a huge help in helping me to stay focused without making me feel 'sick' or making me feel I've somehow made his life miserable.
Wednesday: I felt sure there was more vapor rub in the tube, but I sure couldn't get any to come out. I took my scissors and cut off the end of the tube. There's enough in the tube to use for several applications.
Packed the work lunch I made for John. Prepared him breakfast as well.
Made a smoothie from the last of the strawberries and some ice cubes and yogurt. Yum.
Heated my lunch today in the microwave, saving gas and time.
Decided to just stay home, despite my initial plans for the day. It's a savings of time and self, as I slept poorly last night and really don't feel up to doing any of the shopping I'd thought I might.
Sorted the paint cupboard and found loads of paint I hadn't even realized I had. Enough white exterior to paint the porch railings and possibly the trim on the shed. Enough glossy black that I might just paint the rocking chair that color instead of the pretty green shade I'd planned. After all one in hand is worth two in the bush, right? There's also a new paint of semi-gloss white that will work well on either kitchen cabinet doors or on the guest bath door and back door, both of which badly need new paint. Plenty of paint for projects of one sort or another.
Washed a full load of dishes this morning. I filled the empty spaces with the carafe from the coffeemaker and added in a few other objects that could do with a good hot soapy wash.
The AC seemed a little cool today. I turned it up a degree, just enough to keep it from coming on as often and just slightly warmer.
Went over my quarterly budget sheet and realized that I am seeing some wiggle room in the budget at present. I don't know why or how, but I've checked my figures three times and then used the calculator to be sure and I've left out nothing. Hooray!
Started three shopping lists: grocery needs, items needed that can't be bought at grocery and wants. I'll look for items and see if I can get bargains on any of the non-grocery items. You never know but if you have a list you're always prepared to look.
Sorted out the linen chest. Found an old linen towel that was used during the annual foot washing service at my childhood church. I put it on top of the buffet where it looks so fresh and clean and crisp. Nice to get use from that old piece of fabric once more.
Discovered I need to purchase two cream colored flat sheets and then I'll have two more sets of sheets for my bed. Much less expensive than a full set of sheets.
Set up five fresh outfits in my closet. I've got to start wearing that maxi skirt while it still fits!
Someone asked if now that I've lost weight I'll be buying new clothes. Not just yet. Most are loose on me but fit okay and need only a minor alteration (a dart here or there, hemming, etc.). I did have to let one shirt go though, because it was ridiculously big on me and literally fell off my shoulders Saturday. I'll try to hold off until fall and then see how what I have in the closet for cooler months fit. Besides there's all that fun of figuring out how I can wear it differently than I have in the past.
I rubbed Liquid Gold into the wood of the antique trunk. It brightened it up considerably.
Living Well: I meant to go out today but a summer cold put an end to that desire. I feel well enough, aside from a sore throat and coughing, but not up to having a day out. So I stayed home...Not feeling sorry for myself but happy, as I moved from one small task to another, ticking off items that have been on my list since before our vacation. I even managed to properly clean my bedroom this morning! Oh happy day...I might not feel well but I most certainly am getting back to normal and that feels great.
Thursday: I was awake too early this morning with stuffy nose and aggravating cough. I plundered about in the medicine box and found a bottle of eucalyptus oil. I put a drop or two on a wash cloth and placed it on my pillow. I mixed another drop in with an oily salve and rubbed that on my throat and chest. I slept very well for the next three hours.
I re purposed a pretty blue box that came with a Christmas gift and used it on my desk (it's not in the photo above) to corral my medications, test kit, and such. Now it looks a bit neater.
I emptied out the house clothes drawer in my dresser. So many things were too big earlier this year and now they simply fall off me. I decided it was time to get rid of them entirely.
Spent time working on my illustrated journal this afternoon. I don't completely fill pages but am writing a bible verse or drawing a small picture depicting a scripture I'd underlined in my Bible. It's all very simply done but I hope it will encourage me to really study these verses and contemplate them as I write my daily entries.
I never did finish meals for the week...I had more leftovers than I'd anticipated and so decided not to take out anything to thaw for the last part of this week.
Speaking of leftovers, we had a rather nice meal today of leftovers. All I had to cook were the black eye peas. Everything else was heat and eat.
Sore throat continues to bother me. John had this 'cold' or whatever it is and it lasted about 14 days overall. His went to his chest. Mine has not thankfully. I am gargling with Listerine type mouthwash and salt water, alternating them throughout the day.
Living Well: While working on the illustrated journal I pulled one of my older Bibles from the shelf. It's been fun to read notes I made some 8 years ago and to feel some of the revelations I had back then were still fresh ones.
Friday: We left home fairly early, intending to get lab work done today. Shock, the hospital offices were closed up tight and the orders were locked up in the office, except for my copy which was inconveniently at home. So no lab work. I guess that will wait until Monday.
You know it wasn't a wasted trip: we picked up mail, took off trash, dropped mail at the post office, went by Dollar General in the area near the hospital to look for two more of those blackout curtain panels (got 'em) and stop and bought milk.
I paid for the curtains from my saved allowance.
John took a long way home and decided on the way that we should celebrate the fourth of July a day early with a steak dinner. I told him we were done spending and so I offered up $10 from my allowance as my share of dinner funds. He contributed the rest and came out with two steaks, a head of lettuce and a liter of his favorite soda. His total was exactly $19.98 centers.
We put a steak away in the fridge. We found we had more than enough with just one steak and salad and our potatoes and onions. I also put leftover salad and potatoes in the fridge. I told John he could have the potatoes with his eggs. I'll lay odds he thinks he's going to have steak for breakfast, too, but nope, that will make a nice meal of fajitas for us for dinner tomorrow I think, with salad on the side.
Living Well: John and I had a nice ride home today. There was a strong breeze blowing down out of the North west and it cooled things off a little. It was lovely to ride with the windows down and feel comfortable. Everything is green and lovely with the rain we've had, just enough to keep things watered and fresh. To add to my pleasure in the day, John and I cooked dinner together today. It's seldom we're in the kitchen preparing a meal together but we get on well when we do and it seems intimate somehow, in a special way. I've spoken to several members of my family today as well...I don't think I could ask for a better day even if things didn't go exactly as planned.