Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
by Kate Bowler

I heard the author interviewed on the radio recently, and came straight home to order her new book.  

She was raised in a Mennonite community in Canada, and is now an assistant professor at Duke Divinity School specializing in the study of the prosperity gospel.  She was happily married with a new baby, when at 35 she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

Having just completed When Breath Becomes Air, I was not planning on jumping into another book about a young, articulate, caring person with a terminal disease.  But having heard her voice and her beautiful expression of thoughts, I felt I had to read it, and I had to read it now.  It arrived in the mail yesterday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Over the river and through the woods...

We had such a great day yesterday.  We had a trip scheduled to see Carey's mom.  I didn't know the kids had the day off from school.  Caitlyn asked if she could spend Sunday night with us.  I told her sure, but I would have to take her home really early Monday morning unless she wanted to go with us to see her great-grandmother.  She didn't want to spend the majority of the day in the car, so she begged off.  Her sister, however, quickly accepted even though I told her she would have to be up and ready to go at 7 a.m.  

So Caitlyn spent the night with us, and early Monday we took her home and picked up Chloe.  Kasey said Chloe was already up and ready when Kasey went in to wake her.  :)  Smart girl brought a pillow for the car and promptly used it once we got on the highway for the four-hour trip.

Upon arrival she was well rested and 'on' for her day with great grandmother and great uncle and aunt.

She wasn't expecting lunch out at Red Lobster, but was thrilled when she got to order crab legs.  Aunt Carla was sitting next to her.  She had also ordered crab legs, and they bonded as Aunt Carla taught Chloe exactly how to make the most of the rare treat.

Then we went back to Kevin and Carla's house, and Chloe had a ball playing with their adorable Yorkie who knows lots of tricks and isn't shy of performing.  Sadly my phone battery was too low to get photos of the two of them, but Chloe was in seventh heaven, and I wouldn't be surprised if she begins campaigning for a Yorkie of her own.  Aunt Carla also had lots of fun things to do, and poured attention Chloe's way...and she gifted her with a chair(!) which luckily just fit in the back of my car.  Those two became fast friends!  And there is no better way to endear oneself to me than to love my grandchildren.  :)

We got home about 9 p.m.  Just in time for bedtime on a school night.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Giving things up for the 40 days of Lent...

I began reading a couple of new (to me) frugal blogs since the beginning of the year.  This week Happy Simple Living mentioned Uncluttering for Lent which really caught my attention.

I'm not Catholic, but over the years I have many times made Lenten sacrifices...usually things that are unhealthy and/or overindulgences...the years I gave up soda, ice cream, and the Internet come to mind.  I try not to be frivolous about my sacrifice, but choose things that the absence of which will challenge me, and will remind me that God is more important than worldly things.

I'm a few days late getting started this year (Lent is Feb 14 thru Mar 29 this year)...but that's's never too late to decide to do good things.  

Possessions are something that are hard for me to let go of, so I think the solemnity of a religious fast mindset will help me progress.  I know it won't be easy.  The Happy Simple Living post suggests giving away a box or bag of usable items every day.  I made the calendar page above to track what I do daily.  I will post updates, perhaps during Lent, but for sure at the conclusion.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 7...

1.  Before I left WalMart (but after I had paid) I noticed that during my self-serve checkout I ran something through twice.  I went to the customer service counter and was reimbursed $5.88.  (I hate going to WalMart, but after leaving my groceries un-purchased at the other store on Tuesday, the dog and the humans at our house needed some supplies until I can figure out a curbside order.)

2.  I used the validation code for completing a customer survey to receive a free drink from Sonic...for which they gave me a receipt showing $0.00 due...and which had another customer survey at the bottom...sweet!

3.  Carey took care of a minor plumbing issue that had been bothering him in the guest bath.  It didn't bother me in the least, because I never heard it, but I'm glad that he is able to do such things and that he stays on top of maintenance around here.

4.  I stopped by a friend's house for a visit.  This is the friend that I eat out with most often, and aside from being more frugal to forego a meal out, it was lovely to be able to sit and visit in her quiet home rather than a loud restaurant.

5.  Automatic refills of prescriptions seemed like it would be one less thing on my to-do list, but for some odd reason they always fill them at separate times.  Driving seven miles to the pharmacy multiple times is a waste of good gasoline.  I cancelled all automatic refills, and will be ordering them manually to be picked up all in one trip.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  late lunch, skipped dinner
Tuesday:  Tuesday's tantrum *takeout
Wednesday:  Dublin Coddle
Thursday:  *Thai late Valentine dinner
Friday:  Chicken Pot Pie 

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday's tantrum...

I went to the grocery store today.  I went early specifically to miss some of the crowds.  

I've mentioned before that they are rearranging the entire store.  And it has forty-nine acres of floor space.  And it makes my knees hurt.  And there are obstacles for restocking everywhere.  And rude people.  

And their chip card readers are lame.  So when I finally was in line, the person in front of me couldn't check out.  And before I started screaming at the top of my lungs, I walked away.  I left my basket in line and walked away.  Out the door.  And came home.

I came home and barked at the dog for barking at the deer.  He is now pissed off and ignoring me.

And I turned on the television, and it irritated me too.  So I decided to turn on Netflix and and watch the first thing that comes up.

And so I have become acquainted with Grace & Frankie...and after pausing it to take a call from my bff and unloading my belief that grocery stores practice age discrimination by being SO big and SO overwhelming and just not caring about anything but their bottom line...I then un-paused just in time to see Grace lose her a grocery store.

For that alone I am now a huge fan.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 6...

1.  I made a big batch of twice-baked potatoes.  I don't follow a recipe for this, but alter the ingredients according to what I have on hand.  This time I had large baking potatoes, butter, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, dehydrated minced onion, dried chives, salt, and pepper.  We enjoyed some the first night with meatloaf, and the rest are in the freezer.  Future meal planning and prep is easy when I have a side ready that everybody likes, and easy meal prep means I'm not as tempted to resort to budget-busting takeout. 

2.  Quite a few single portions of supper leftovers were packaged and frozen for Carey to take to work.  And still had meatloaf left for sandwiches, as well as broccoli left to make broccoli and cheese soup.

3.  When I was shifting some things in the freezer, I found a package of cooked chicken breast medallions that I had cooked in a big batch and frozen half for later.  Yea!  I had forgotten that I had this in there, and so will use it tonight to make a easy pasta dish.  (edit:  I forgot to take it out to thaw, so will save it for another day.)

4.  I attended our quilting group at the library on Monday.  I took a project that is one I fall back on when I don't have anything else to work on.  It's handy to take since all the fabrics needed are from my stash and in a project box ready to pick up and go.  I can't tell you how many times it has gone to the library with me.  Someday it will get finished.

5.  I'm doing my best to stay out of stores and avoid people.  So far (knock on wood) we have avoided the flu.  I actually should get some medical tests done, but they're not urgent, so I'm not eager to sit in waiting rooms full of flu patients right now.  Costs of non-essential shopping and medical expenses are staying tucked snugly in my account.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  chili cheese tots
Sunday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Monday:  Jambalaya leftovers
Tuesday:  Corn and Crab Chowder w/ garlic bread
Wednesday:  meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  *pizza

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

I think I saw this ebook on special at Amazon during January...think but not sure...and checked my library site and found that it was available.  Either that or I just came across it on library site.  I began reading it when I had left my library hard copy of The Color of Lightning at home while out and about but had my Kindle in my purse, so I have been switching from one to the other.  Interesting to read them simultaneously, as both are about about Native Americans in the same area of the country.  The Color of Lightning is set in 1865, and Killers of the Flower Moon is based on events that occurred in the 1920s.  One is a novel about the initiation of reservation system, and the other is based on fact about some of the results of the system.
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