This Week In My Home: Another Sort of New Year

This week in my home:

...We're celebrating our birthdays. 

Which reminds me of a conversation I had on Friday with the hairstylist.  I was telling her of my lovely Bess' baby shower at her church and how nicely they were gifted even though it is their second child.  We laughed together when I told her I'd never seen so much food for a baby shower.   Then she shared with me how crazily extravagant reveal parties (where the sex of the baby is revealed to friends and family) have become among her set.  We are kindred frugal souls, she and I.  We laughed a little over this new trend but then I said to her worriedly, "But isn't it wrong don't you think?  I mean, to so extravagantly celebrate something like a reveal?  What do you do for the really big events in your life if you've gone way over the top for all the small events?"   Chastity nodded in agreement.  "You're right.... It's all part of that drive to keep getting more and building up more and more debt."

Well there's no debt building with our quiet enjoyment of our birthdays.  I ordered John's gifts last month and gave them to him shortly after they arrived.  It was some audio CDs to listen to on his way to work.  I presented him with a short list of wants: inexpensive silver earrings (all the good silver ones he's bought me have broken, so I just wanted el cheapo nickel free sort this time), and a digital thermometer to use in the kitchen.  I also asked for some underthings.  He purchased those for me a couple of weeks ago and I have used them all already. 

He wants cheeseburgers and fries and the usual cake: yellow (or white) with chocolate frosting.  I will make a meal from leftovers that I consider a comfort meal.  I purchased some of the Breyer's Gelato which is luxuriously rich.  I have tiny 3 ounce cups to portion it into so I don't over indulge. 

Mostly we'll be alone and quietly enjoy ourselves while we sit back and wait on a decision to be made about our lives.  Powers outside ourselves have tossed things up in the air and we wait to see how all the pieces come down and fall into place.  But it's a new year...and new years are meant to be about change in some way, right?

...I plan meals:

I'll share more about this week's menu plan in the post Not Quite Bare Cupboard but this one meal doesn't fit with that challenge.  It's the meal John requested for his birthday menu:
Cheeseburgers, Fries, Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I do have two meals planned for the challenge post and I'll share those here and again there:
Roast Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans with Garlic

Chicken Pot Pie, Green Salad, Gelato
(that gelato doesn't count in my budget girls....)

...I plan my work week:

Oh the things I didn't get done last week!  Partly not feeling well, partly distracted by life things, partly distracted by a husband who is on an 11 day off stretch.  Here's hoping this week is more productive than last...though I will say the house is back in order after carpet installation.  And looking back, I see I wisely kept my list to just what I thought I would actually accomplish.  All of those tasks were done! 

This week I hope to:  Get items back to safety deposit box for safe storage.

Move that dishwasher from my shed to John's.

Get back in the home cleaning routines that have worked so well for me in the past.

Start the current decluttering calendar tasks.

Work on my challenge food budget post.

Take a load of books to the library for donation to Women's Club.

Replant the peas.

Sow lettuce seeds in some of the other pots where the pansies aren't doing so well. And just a quick note about those pansies:  I bought these at a discount grocery.  The ones I've gotten from big name diy garden centers in the past have performed better.  I'll spend the extra next time and get the better plants.

Set up several more outfits for quick and easy dressing.  I went through the last set in a single week!  I wasn't expecting to be out and about so much.  It's really a huge help to me and I feel so polished when I go out the door.  Well worth the time it takes to do this task!

...I plan my leisure:
I don't know...this picture truly does appeal to me.  Probably because I've never been the type to loll in bed (not judging those of you who can and enjoy it)...But after getting my hair washed this week at the salon, I am definitely going for the luxury sorts of things this week.  I need to pamper me a little bit.  So...

Spa morning this week.  I'll shave, polish, moisturize, scrub, soak until I feel positively pampered.

Choose one of my favorite books and spend time each day reading a few chapters.

Continue to work my way through my genealogy notebook.  Taking just a few minutes each day to organize and copy a page or two has gotten me nearly half finished with this big project.  And I enjoy getting lost in those pages for an hour.

Proper tea time each afternoon.  A little snack, a hot cuppa.  I'll take on the porch if it's nice.  If not I'll sit near a window and relax.  I'll make it a proper break.

Out with Mama two days...yes, two.  And I'm determined to enjoy it and not think of all I might be doing if I weren't away from home.


beckyathome said...

Sounds like you have great birthdays planned.
I love the pictures of the ladies from bygone days looking so elegant while they make housework look so effortless. I'm sure they had days where they looked in the mirror and exclaimed, "oh my goodness, I forgot to curl my hair" as happened to me last week one day!!! But, they sure don't look it in the pictures. One of my daughters had unplugged my curling iron, being sure I was done and just forgot....well, the day just took over, and I finally got back to it. Thankfully, I noticed before I went anywhere--I looked like a bush!

My day was spent cooking like a crazy woman for the week ahead, washing dishes, and then sitting on the couch watching tv, as I've seemed to have caught a cold. It's not too bad, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Dawn said...

My pansies did not do well this year either. I blamed it on the very warm winter.

Kathy said...

Happiest of birthday wishes to you and John! Hope that you both have special days!
I don't do changw well, and I admire you for being able to cope with whatever happens. Will the change be related to John's job?
So exciting about a new grandchild! Hope all goes well!
I'm sure your new carpeting looks lovely. Love the pictures you have posted of your home.
Hope you have a wonderful week.

Delorise said...

Happy, Happy Birthday-- what a blessing to get another one. Hubby and I don't do the extravagant thing for birthdays either. It is nice to be satisfied with just the little things. We had friends once that his wife expected flowers, gift, dinner out-- the whole works for birthdays, valentines, Mothers day--I figured he spent ( yep not they- the money she earned was hers- not theirs) well over $100 per occasion. I joked with hubby that he got by real cheap with me. Working on planning menu-- very little grocery shopping planned for the week. Congrats on upcoming grchild. Will lift up prayers for you in regard to the change.

Lana said...

Happy Birthday to you both!

Most of the bedding plants available in the stores here are from Bonnie Plant Farm because they are located here. Their plants never do well and I believe it is because they spray them with a growth retardant so they look better at the etail outlets. I finally decided to never buy another one of their plants. When I switched to the family owned greenhouse I found the plants to be outstanding and cheaper. And I like supporting the little guy and the personlied service is a real perk, too.

Rebecca said...

Happy birthdayS!
And OH, you struck my nerve in that first paragraph. I worry about that, too. The trend today encourage spending beyond one's means, in my opinion, and leave little room for properly celebrating what o me, at least) are the bigger events. (Maybe I'M the one with priorities messed up.) My, oh, my!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I remember when it was just one baby shower--for the first baby. Everyone saved their baby stuff from the first baby. Close family members would, of course, give gifts for the second baby, but not another baby shower. The reveal parties do seem to be catching on. It's always more, more, more. It's hard to keep up with everything if you choose to. I guess it's a different generation with different ways of doing things.

Happy Birthday to you and John. Yellow cake with chocolate icing is my favorite, too.

May any changes that come your way all be for the better. I'm not good with changes because I am pretty set in my ways. Changes tend to make me a bit nervous because I try to figure out ahead of time everything that they will entail, when there is no way I can possible know.

You have made me want to get some pansies to give some visual relief from all of the brown grass and empty planters. Even though my daffodils and tulips are just starting to poke their green noses up through the ground. It will be a long time until any of them bloom.

Anonymous said...

Practically all the flower and vegetable plants are from Bonnie here. Now I wonder why too..thanks for the idea Lana.
So much fun having birthdays so close in time! Happy birthday to you two!! :) Sarah

Deanna said...

I try not to be too much of a curmudgeon but I, too, think some things are getting a bit out of hand. For instance, engagement photos. I've seen some photo shoots which are more extravagant than the typical wedding photos in my day. The expectations at wedding showers have skyrocketed, too. And we won't even talk about the housing and car expectations for young married couples. We started out in a small, one bedroom apartment and drove the cars we had had since we were 16 (with no a/c I might add). Oh, dear. That does sound a bit like the old joke about having to walk a mile in the snow to school uphill...both ways. I suppose everyone has to work out these things for themselves. I am very grateful for what we now have and I think that is at least partly due to the fact we started with so little.

Anonymous said...

Terri,Iagree with the extravagance. Then people wonder why they are in debt. I know neither of us are high maintenance. I laugh at my daughter, saying she hopes her boys don't marry high maintenance girls. My hubby, and i suspect, John appreciate having a nice lifestyle on what their pay is, instead of hearing whining they should make more, while they spend and spend. I suspect this has caused a lot of divorces. Gramps would agree totally with John about the cake. Thats his cake every year to. My daughter when she was little insisted her brother should have devils food snd hervand her sister Angel food. Still the same every year. I hope things work out for John with his job.Paramedics go unappreciated until you need one and then are people ever happy to see you. Happy Birthday to you both. Gramma D

Debbie said...

Happy Happy Birthday to you both! I am glad to see you pampering yourself too. Some of us tend to forget to do that and you know...we need to! :)

Anne@MidlifeMoneyTree said...

Birthday cake.. yum! Homemade cake and icing are simply the best.

Thank you for the reminder to pamper. It sounds funny, but often when I think about taking the extra steps ( ie manicure, pedicure) I am usually running out the door, and wishing I had done my nails!

Have a great week!

Debby in KS said...

While I was thinking about my reaction to first hearing about a Reveal Party- it was, "Seriously? Don't bother inviting me!", I watched 4 of my neighbors pull out in their giant SUVs to go get kids from school at the same time...3 blocks away...and all come back at the same time....from the same elementary school. Apparently, Reveals are in and carpooling is out. Hmm.

Of course, there are lots of things I don't get and the number grows daily! I'd blame my age, but I was already questioning quite a lot of things (like giant bday parties for 1 yr. olds) in my early 20's.

Terri Cheney said...

Thank you all for your birthday wishes!

I think I agree most with Rebecca's statement that these elaborate celebrations encourage over spending and while I might say it's all pushed by retailers the truth is some of it is push from peers to do things big. I find it a disturbing trend.

Deanna, I recall when we had just one car. In order to have it, I had to rise at 5am, drive my husband to meet the folks he car pooled with and all of that with an infant in tow. Mostly I just stayed home and didn't bother. And if we wanted soda in those first tough days of newlywed bliss, we went out on a Saturday morning and gathered the glass bottles people would toss from their cars and return them for deposit. If we were especially lucky we could get a sausage dog AND a soda! lol

Debby I've seen people show up at church in four separate cars, all having left from the same house. I think that is beyond ridiculous!

Terri Cheney said...

Gramma D I laughed at your comment. Yes we are 'easy dates' as John would say. I was quite puzzled one day when he told me a woman was 'high maintenance'. I said "But she does her own nails and hair and shops at Goodwill!" Turns out in his language 'high maintenance' meant a woman who was super needy and required a LOT of attention. Oh...Guess I'm not high maintenance on any score.

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