Late Friday: John and I got out of the house and did our bit of shopping. I asked to run into the local dollar store so I could get a make-up item. It was so nice to see the clerks smiling faces! I don't think I've seen a proper smile in public stores in far too long. It made my day.
One thing that I didn't care for, but the boss was obviously quite all right with, was that a girl was stocking shelves and watching tv on her phone with the volume up. I'll grant you she was working steadily but honestly, when did it become ok to watch tv while you were doing your job in a public setting? Or a private one for that matter?
On the other hand, the store we went to next had employees wearing masks still but they might as well not have bothered. 5 out of 6 had them under their nose. I'm sure it must be their personal corporate policy but I don't see much point when they aren't enforcing proper wearing of them.
Our purpose in going out today was to acquire a laundry list of household items. We had things like staples for a staple gun, box cutter, bathroom plunger, a new kitchen broom, hand trucks to help us move heavier items and a few other items on our list. I was not prepared for our final total. John wasn't in the least phased. I am happy that we had only one impulse item in the buggy: a stain pen to doctor up my side tables in the living room where they'd worn about the edge.
John went into a grocery to pick up cheese for pizza and came out with a deli sandwich. Goodness, I was so hungry! I'm glad he bought that sandwich.
On the way home we chatted as always and then about the time we got into our own little hometown city limits, we fell quiet. We were on our way out of town heading home and I suddenly thought of that woman behind us at church the other night, the one who felt she and her husband hadn't anything to say to one another any more. John turned to me at that moment, sighed and said "Well...I guess we are like that woman at church and we've run out of things to say..." I laughed out and assured him that we still had plenty to say but we'd just taken a short break. I thought it awfully funny that he and I were thinking of the same thing, but we do that almost as often as we talk.
Saturday: Yesterday on the way home, I noted that the leaves are almost fully out. Even the pecan tree is starting to put out leaves, usually a sure sign that the cooler weather for the year is over and done. The flowers are blooming everywhere, both wild and cultivated. It's just lovely. But no surprise that rain showed up this morning. When John mowed earlier this week the dust was thick and heavy. We'd been promised rain since Thursday and I was beginning to wander if it was going to show up at all.
I've had a lovely Saturday. Inspiration has flowed in the past few days and I'm so happy to be tapping away at the computer getting writing done. I hope y'all are prepared for extra posts over the next few weeks cause they are coming. I can't promise how long a fit of inspiration like this will last but it's come for the moment.
Sunday: The twists and turns of the mind at night...Aside from my usual bout of thinking I've got to lie awake to gauge every minute that I have left to sleep before the alarm goes off, is that sudden panic attack that comes just at the moment you've drifted off and not even a chemical help can quite shake you free of afterwards. This is becoming such a common occurrence that I really should just stay up on Saturday nights. I can always nap on Sunday afternoons!
Never mind. I was up a little before the alarm went off this morning and went right into get ready mode. I put on makeup, made breakfast and dressed.
I also unloaded the dishwasher and wiped down all of the kitchen counters, and folded the load of throws/afghans I'd washed yesterday before we left and still had a moment to relax and just sit quietly before we left the house.
Our church services changed from 8:30am to 9:00 am last Sunday. When John asked if I was going to allow us to sleep any later this morning I suggested we just stick to where we were. After all, we weren't arriving quite on time as it was. I didn't much think that added half hour was best used for extra sleeping time. We did arrive this morning with a wee bit of time before service began.
As soon as we got home today I went into curtain/windows mode and not only had a load washing right away but cleaned the bathrooms and swept all the floors. I love a good productive home day! I not only tackled living room curtains but I pulled down the master bedroom curtains and washed them, too.
I ended up wishing I hadn't. Though we made sure to wash them on a cold water setting, the bedroom curtains have a plastic sort of film as backing (as does the bathroom and the guest room curtains). Well the backing stuck together and when eased apart pulled backing off the places it had attached itself. As John said later, "They look like a painter's well used drop cloths now!" Needless to say, I'll be replacing these curtains shortly and I won't wash the guest room curtain at all.
The master bedroom curtains came from Target. While I did buy them on sale they were more expensive than those in the living room which came from Dollar General. I can't recall exactly how long I've had those bedroom curtains but not long enough to want to replace them.
However, I did notice about a week ago that the backing was beginning to decay in a tiny spot or two. I'd actually said to myself that in May I'd start looking to replace them, but I felt we had plenty of time between my looking and actually buying them. Well, sooner rather than later is now the time frame. I loathe having shoddy looking things in my home.
Or about my person for that matter. Last week, after nearly a year of making do with a nightie that had runs (think old nylons and you have the idea) in several places. I didn't have the funds last year to get another new gown (these were new at beginning of last year) so I put it off. But I woke up one day this week and noted that the nightie had still more runs in new places. I promised myself that I would order new gowns immediately and did. I found two Vanity Fair gowns (my favorite) on sale for far less than I'm used to seeing them priced. Both arrived this week. The natty looking gown was put in the trash. It felt so good to put it there, too!
Monday: First thing this morning, after coffee of course, I started cleaning the dining room windows. I cleaned the front entry door and storm door. I loosened the cushion ties on the chairs on the front porch and will put them in a trash bag this week. My plan is to use old rugs for the dog and cat to sit upon in the chairs, something easily removed when we want to use the furniture. But until I check to see if I have those in my shed, I'll leave the cushions so that we can remove those when we want to use the seats.
I am also moving the pets feeding bowls around to the back porch. That will mean I can move the food containers to the kitchen near the back door and out of the front entry. I am going to slowly ease the animals off the front porch, though I do know that will take some time. I don't blame them for wanting to stay there. In rainy weather there are no dry spaces at all except in the middle, but most days there is a breeze and shade and sun in good measure. In winter it's out of direct line of the battering winds which can't be said of the back porch. It's very pleasant on the front porch in most seasons...and that's why I'd like to be able to use it for us!
While I was doing all this cleaning, I was also cooking breakfast. After breakfast, I made the bed, and picked up things in my room. Then I packed myself a water bottle, gloves, a hairband to use as a sweatband (those stretchy hairbands are awesome as sweatbands!), the rake, and loppers. Off to the graveyard for one last work session. It's getting warmer and the odds of coming across poison or snakes is increasingly high. I'm okay with not encountering either.
I gathered up the things John cut and piled the other day and cleared the gates. John sprayed an herbicide about the inside edges of the fence to deter those thorns growing right back up. When we were all done, the gates were closed so the dogs wouldn't go into the area. From now until frost, John will mow the area routinely.
After sitting and resting, I went inside and did my Bible study. We talked some more on the porch. We put a flea/tick treatment on the pets. Then I took myself right back out in the yard and spread five bags of mulch. Yeah, I did. And then I was exhausted. Still am.
The back porch had a nice little warm breeze blowing in from one end to the other and it was easy to close my eyes and dream of sitting on the balcony at the beach. John came up to sit down and we discussed this and that and suddenly we were day dreaming of winning that lottery we never play. We planned out how we'd use the money and I think we surprised ourselves because we wanted very little really for ourselves. I still lobby for a pretty landscaped yard about my house but I'm not speaking of anything elaborate. I'd do the reno work inside we've planned, probably replace the windows (on our long list) and make that enclosed laundry room I'd like to have. That's pretty much it. What we really wanted to do was things for others. Granted one or two of those things would be a lovely little thing for us as well but we had the best time planning how we'd use it to be a blessing, too!
At this point, it was 1pm. John wanted to take the trash off and go get gas for the mower. I offered to ride along if he'd pick up lunch...In fairness I also offered to give the last of my allowance towards that same thing. He took me up on my offer and we went off to the dumpsters and then into town. It's so beautiful just now outdoors, with waving grasses and green leaves shimmering, green crops in the fields and all sorts of flowers blooming to admire.
In town at the gas station, a young man spoke to John. He quickly recognized Jalen from when he worked with his grandfather on our underpinning and porch. I think of that young man often and often. He's really smart and good looking. Today we discovered that he has finished his school days (he was homeschooled) and is going into the Air Force. He already knows which A school he'll attend. We are so proud of that young man! He's a real testament to his parents and grandparents.
We picked up our lunch and came home to eat. I was soooo hungry I even ate the pickles on my sandwich. I don't like pickles on anything except BBQ or Chick Fil-A sandwiches. We had a burger and it was just loaded with pickles. Today they tasted very good.
Time for coffee...I've been waiting for this portion of the day to arrive. I'm going to really enjoy that cup this afternoon since I didn't have my second cup this morning. Supper's plan is set.
later: As I made coffee, I decided I could clean the guest room window while it brewed. I got the shade up and the window open and heard the Keurig do that particular sound it makes (like one long last slurp) as it finished filling the cup. In the kitchen, I'd piled all the food on the counter and was going to start meal prep for the rest of the week right away .
Was I tired? Yes. WHY was I pushing myself so hard? I'd just finished two very peaceful homemaking posts. The last was Jenny of Elefantz post "Why Are You Mopping So Fast?" Boy was that a wake up to me at that very moment when I inwardly whined about how tired I was!
So I finished making the banana muffins (I'd already started). (Gathered Fragments: ripe banana, 1/2 can coconut milk or 1 cup and a handful of roasted Almonds and Brazil nuts I made during the holidays that I chopped up), and slid those in the oven.
I stopped briefly to drink the cup of coffee. ( Trueconfession: I gulped it but I did finish it.) I put away every food item I'd taken out except the stuff to make n cheese sauce (I had started that, too) to go in the Chicken Broccoli and Rice casserole. (Gathered Fragments here: milk that was beginning to turn) I went back to the guest room and finished cleaning the window. Then I took 10 minutes and totted up the checkbook (OW!) and started writing down the items that I know we usually pay every month. All of that took me less than 15 minutes.
I have my greens washed and cut for salad. The chick peas have been drained and rinsed. When John comes back, I'll grate carrots and chop olives and onions to add to the salad. We don't have a lot of salad fixings but I have enough. Let that be my mantra this week: I have enough. I'll reheat pizza slices while he showers and then we'll have our late supper.
Tuesday: Yesterday when I was making the cheese sauce, I found I had only about 4 ounces of cheddar. I know my husband. He likes cheddar with crackers as a snack. I am not shopping for any grocery until Wednesday or Thursday of this week. I had a perfectly nice white sauce waiting for cheese. What to do? I decided instead of a cheddar cheese sauce to make an Alfredo sauce. I had plenty of Parmesan on hand and all I really needed beyond that was a bit of garlic. So we'll have Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo with our Rice.
I noted when I got the discount grocery paper today that they have whole Claxton broiler fryers on sale for 88c a pound. I would like to pick up several...I have the room in the freezer just now and what I'd like to do is cut them up. BUT I know that this week is pretty well packed with plans and so is next week. Adding one more thing would not be fun. This store often has that price on whole chickens. I'll postpone buying lots and wait for the next sale. I will however, buy one or two and put whole chickens into the freezer. I like roast chicken. Chicken sandwiches and chicken salad would be perfect for warmer weather meals.
Wednesday: It's been a loooonnnngg day. Nothing bad happened, though I confess that John and I both were snippy. No it wasn't ill tempers nor troublesome things. Just tedious as heck. But I'm going to go back to yesterday and start there because yesterday kind of went off the track, too.
Yesterday morning, I mixed up the Broccoli Rice Chicken Alfredo casserole. It made enough for TWO casseroles, so I put one in the freezer. That used all the potato chip crumbles. I also went on and made the Taco burgers. I put two in the fridge to have for supper and three of them into the freezer for another meal. That empty space I had in the freezer is dwindling to no more room very rapidly.
Yesterday I was having a tired day. I guess Monday was just more than enough to wear me out. I had already gone over the checkbook and was vaguely uneasy/anxious. I'll explain that as I worked on it today, too, but yesterday I was antsy anyway.
When Bess asked if I could run her into Warner Robins to pick up her car I said Yes so quick I startled myself. I didn't think at all. I guess I just wanted to distance myself from worrying over what I'd done wrong with the checkbook.
So I went to Warner Robins yesterday afternoon in a time frame that is fraught with loads of traffic both coming in and going out. Where Bess needed to go was on the farther side of the city. We had a nice chat on the way over which took roughly 45 minutes or so. Good for us both, to have that time to blow off some steam.
When I'd dropped her off, I came back to the nearer side of Warner Robins and picked up my current prescription. As I was coming thru Ft. Valley, I thought "Why not stop and get those chickens that are on sale?" I'd determined three would be enough for just now. I could cook one for weekend meals which would be a bonus meal for me.
I went into the store and wandered about the usual aisles, gasped at the idiotic price of a pound of Butterball Turkey Sausage ($8.57/pound!!!) and apparently that took all my brain power down to zero and I gathered only the usual items and walked out. Just as I was pulling out of the store parking lot, I remembered the 88c/pound chickens. I turned right around and went right back into the store and got the three I'd gone in for in the first place.
By the way, I don't like Butterball Turkey Sausage (bulk tube) but it's a make do thing when I can't find the good Odom's Tennessee Pride Turkey Sausage. Butterball will not be a go to item at that price!
All of this took roughly 3 hours. I had planned, because John was going to mow yesterday afternoon (and he did), to go back over the checkbook. It was roughly 6pm when I came home. I unloaded my few groceries and was just wondering which of my supper plans John would like best when he got done and contemplating tackling the checkbook when I heard the lawnmower make a peculiar grinding noise and then stop altogether.
It seems lately that John can mow either our yard or Sam's but never both in the same week without making a repair on the mower. We repaired it in March and we're going to be repairing it here at the end of April. It's never cheap nor horribly expensive, but it is constant it seems. John came in with a disgusted look and told me what was wrong. Not cheap. Not horribly expensive but very necessary repairs without which the mower won't run. That conversation put the checkbook on the back burner because I cannot concentrate on figures that have me befuddled and think about what we're about to have to spend, too.
John opted to skip the burgers and instead have a big main dish salad (also skipping the pasta dish which was fine since we'd eaten Potstickers for lunch). I boiled eggs while he showered and we ate somewhere near 7:30, I think. I'm telling you, these late supper hours...
That was yesterday.
Today, I knew I needed to pay bills, get that checkbook straightened out and run several errands. I also had a long To Do list. Mind you, I have been laboring under the illusion all day long that it is Thursday, not Wednesday and it's only been in the last five seconds it occurred to me that I was wrong. After all, they don't have church on Thursday night and I was just watching the pastor's sermon...So we'll add that to my muddled mind today.
Even before breakfast was cooked, I was busy on the checkbook. Went right back to it after breakfast...At 11am...No kidding 3 whole hours. I had figured out the balance per the bank but what it kept coming out as on paper was another story. How can this be? It's quite easy if you're prone to NOT add in deposits but borrow from them because you know they are really there but don't know how much you've used of them...Seriously messed up. Once I knew for sure we could move money to savings accounts, I gathered up my bills and birthday card and deposit slips and off we went.
To add to my anxieties today I realized that I'd left my credit card bill too late to arrive on time. I planned to send it priority but wasn't happy when John fussed mildly about that slip on my part. Testy words and more anxiety. To tell you the truth, I have been as dizzy as a springtime bumblebee checking out every single thing even if there's no pollen there. Zip here and zip there and zip back again...It was mentally exhausting and emotionally, as well. In the meantime, John confessed he was having a bit of anxiety and he was as snippy as I. Fortunately he was not as befuddled about everything as I was today.
At the post office, I had the postal clerk check behind me on every thing I did. I told her plainly I was having a ditzy sort of day and I needed someone to check behind me and she did so quite nicely. I got everything there taken care of and then we went off to the bank where we withdrew our allowance for the month. We then headed to Warner Robins which is where we have our other savings accounts.
We had a stop at the church to drop off two items and then John drove over to Buc-ees and we got a BBQ sandwich, drinks (coffee for him/unsweet tea over ice for me) and a cup of apple slices. We sat in the parking lot and ate and watched people and talked and talked. Then we drove on to make our savings deposit.
John wanted to wash the car so we went off to the usual car wash on the northside of town only to find it closed. Of course, it was on the other side of town from where our savings bank is and then we found that car wash closed and the other we knew of was on the far southside. And when the car was washed he wanted to fill up with gasoline but we had only our gas card with us and that meant going clean back to the northside again...I am beginning to realize that he too was a bit like a ditzy bee as well!
We got home just about 5pm. We left home at 12n. This is highly unusual for us (well the 12N part of it seems to be getting normal, but the 5pm is not.
I put the Alfredo Broccoli/Chicken and Rice casserole in the oven and sat down with the checkbook. The only solution was to start way back in March and carefully and meticulously rewrite the pages and add in those tax refunds and stimulus check I'd left off and do it all quite properly. I stopped to dish up supper and then went back to work as soon as I'd loaded the dishwasher and at 8pm I had it all sorted. Or do I? I've just remembered I didn't write out the money we cashed out today! Oy! I'm not touching that checkbook again tonight!
And that has been my past two days. Thank goodness I realized I have two more days to get all I need to do done this week. So much better than thinking I have only one day left. Here's to a better day tomorrow.
Thursday: Oh there was no end to my ditzy phase yesterday. After realizing it was Wednesday and not Thursday as I'd supposed, I went over my To Do list and discovered while out running errands yesterday we'd forgotten to do something major. Not a late fee sort of thing, though that was bad enough, but absolutely necessary for the week ahead and so we had to plan to go out again today. I was not amused with myself, nor the prospects of yet again having to rearrange my day around errands.
I was up early enough this morning and told John my personal intended leaving time and while he did his own thing for the morning, I made breakfast, fed the pets, got the bed made, unloaded the dishwasher and put those things away, swept floors and puttered along in general. It worked out just fine. We left in good time and returned in about a half hour's time. I'd done enough of the daily work that I wasn't pressed to do too much all afternoon and when I reviewed my To Do list, I realized that most of my items that still needed to be ticked off were specially allocated to the days they were to cause the least inconvenience to us. There were a very few things I could go on and do, so I did.
In town today, we had our car battery checked because it is four years old. It's a simple matter of having the guy at the auto parts/hardware store come out and use his meter of some sort on it. John had been certain we needed to replace it right away but no, we can wait. He bought new wiper blades and I've decided that it's worthwhile to start keeping a little notebook page in my homekeeping notebook where I list when the car battery was bought/tested last and when tires were put on and what date we last had the oil changed. He's forever asking me those questions and I can't answer them off the top of my head. Nor can he, for if he could, he'd never bother to ask me!
Also I'm going to note down how many bags of mulch each flower bed takes to cover them fully. The Faith tree bed requires four. I made the mistake of starting out with only two this year and didn't quite finish that job. We had to go buy more. So I'm going to try to record my household/car needs in a place that is easily accessible and doesn't require me digging through files which are stored in the closet, though I shall also keep things filed there, as well. It would just be more convenient to pick up my Home notebook and say, "We last had that done in..."
I did remember to write out the cash we got from the bank yesterday but I didn't go back over it again. I'm still pretty sure there's more money than I think there is, but I can't prove it by my register. I can prove it when I take the bank's balance, subtract the sub account amounts and the checks that haven't yet come back. Then I'll know our true balance. And why, you might well ask, do the two figures not coincide? Because for the past two or three years I've been rounding up checks to the nearest dollar when I subtract them and rounding down deposits to the nearest dollar when I add them so that there's an excess cash amount in the bank. It's like a little added cushion. I just don't know what that cushion is at the moment.
Gathered Fragments: I made the taco burgers for supper tonight and had planned to have chips and salsa with them. I discovered we had very few chips to put on the table. I also knew that John would not eat a tomato salsa for supper because it can be a bit heated at times, even the mild. I mixed up a can each of black beans that I rinsed and drained, a can of drained whole kernel corn, and a can of slightly drained tomatoes with fresh garlic, fresh chopped onion and a bit of cumin and salt and had a rather nice sort of fresh salsa that could be eaten as a salad or as a salsa. I put about 2/3 of that in the freezer for a future side dish. I was rather pleased with myself though I am well aware that it's not a new recipe. But then I'm always rather pleased with myself when I figure out a way to use what I have make a meal for us.
John said he wanted a little 'bite' to it. The onion I used was a yellow onion but I've noted that they are sweeter than what we typically get in a yellow onion. When I take that from the freezer in the future, I'll add some balsamic vinegar to it and see if he likes it better then.
Yesterday, I took the last can of expired peaches (dare I even say that? I'm sure there's another has already reproduced in it's place!) and made a box of strawberry gelatin with peaches. John is very fond of both peaches and gelatin and if you combine them he's even happier.
I put the about to expire carton of shelf stable milk in the fridge to chill well. I've used up all the potato chip crumbs and taco shells and chopped the sprouting onion. I think I've made good headway this week with my fragments.
Friday: Just a quick note. I've been getting a warning notice from Google all week long. Please read the below notice before you stop reading, especially if you subscribe by email.
Briefly for today, I am cooking one of the whole chickens I bought on Tuesday. This will serve us meals for today and tomorrow. I'm using the Fresh Tomato Sauce over pasta as one of my sides for this meal. I'll no doubt have leftover sauce which I'll likely use as pizza sauce on Saturday and then I'll freeze any leftovers. We have a very relaxed weekend planned.
Thank you for taking the time to read and do come share what you did this week to save money or what fun things you might have done.
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