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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Too Late to Say Goodbye by Ann Rule

It's been ages since I've read any true crime.  I'm counting this as 'a book by someone you admire' category of the 2017 reading challenge.  The topic of her writing may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there are several things I do admire about her.

Her work is always well researched, and she pulls dry facts (and sometimes salacious facts) together in a cohesive timeline and in a style of writing that makes them very readable.  I also admire that she turned varied life experiences into an amazingly successful career.

And I thought the following falls under what I'm reading as well.  


Back when the screen of my first Kindle broke, I set it aside and ordered a factory rebuild of the same model, but held onto the broken one to try my had at repairing.  When I broke the second one I was devastated, and ordered two new screens, so I could try to repair them both.  

That little chore has been on my to-do list for eons quite awhile.  Fear of screwing it up (pardon the pun) has kept me procrastinating.  I finally watched lots of Youtube videos (this very helpful one multiple times and while taking notes) and felt like I had a decent understanding of what needed to be done.
Here was a really scary part of the job...just getting the back off to expose the innards.

At this point I was pretty sure I had made a huge mistake in not just buying a newer model.  See the black specks in the middle upper half of the photo?

Here's a closeup.  I mean, look at the size (or lack thereof) of the screws!  If you are wondering why I attempted to tackle this instead of asking someone else in my household to give it a go...well, I'm used to working with small parts in my crafting, so I figured I would be the most dexterous.


I managed to get both of them replaced, and after charging the batteries I was happy to see that one of them is now working, so I promptly put it in a new more secure and protective case.  The other had more damaged than just the screen I guess, but I will save it to cannibalize the screen for next time I break one.

And I managed to corral all the screws and get them all back in place.  No loose ones.  Today.  :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A day with boys...


We stole Diego (right) away for the day for a little road trip.  We went to the coast to visit Bobby (left) who is loving college life.  He was done with classes by 2, so we picked him up and made a tour of some family spots in towns near where he is now in school.

We took them to visit my grandfather's grave.  Most of my family (parents, all other grandparents) are buried in Nebraska.  All passed away before the boys came along.  I hadn't visited my grandfather's grave in years, so I thought we should let them come along so they are aware of the location.  

Then we went to my and Carey's home town and to a favorite sandwich shop for a late  lunch.  In the past, we have occasionally bought sandwiches and packed them home to share with the family, but the boys had never been to the shop before.  

Then we drove the couple of blocks to show them the house I grew up in, and then across town to see the house Carey grew up in.

Then we drove Bobby back to his dorm.  His campus is on the coast, and this view of the bay is right across the street from the dorms. 

Probably not a massively fun day for them, but Bobby hasn't been home yet since school started, so they hadn't seen each other for a few weeks.  And it's always important to impart some family history, and hugely important to make sure they know we love to spend time with them.  And feed them.  :)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 37...


Successes:
1.  Payday.  Nuff said.

2.  Carey got called back in on his days off to cover for a coworker who is out sick.

3.  No fabric purchases in over a month!

4.  I used up dribs and drabs in the fridge to avoid food waste...half & half purchased for a recipe and the remainder went unused till I used it in mashed potatoes...leftover corn and the end of two containers of sour cream in corn pudding...three boneless/skinless chicken thighs left in a bag and the end of a bag of broccoli for teriyaki chicken & broccoli.

5.  Shopped the Friends of the Library used book shelves and picked up three for Carey to take to work.  He doesn't like to take checked-out books to work in case they get lost.  

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Taco Salad
Sunday:  Sunday supper at Kasey's
Monday:  leftovers
Tuesday:  *taco salad
Wednesday:  Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli
Thursday:  pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn pudding
Friday:  ???

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

I finished this one last night.  I was on the reserve list for it at the library for awhile, and it became available last week.  I try to read the ones with reserve lists as quickly as I can so that I can return it back without making the next person wait too long.

The period is Victorian, and I thought the writing style was very representative of the period.  I enjoyed the story even though I didn't identify greatly with any of the characters.  I found myself thinking several times that it would make an amazing television period drama.

I'm counting this one as 'a book with an eccentric character' on the 2017 reading challenge.  While the characters don't seem exceptionally eccentric in light of modern society, in the Victorian era the main female characters, one a naturalist and one a political activist, would have been considered very eccentric.  The young son of the naturalist, would also have been seen as eccentric as he grew older, since he seemed to have a form of Asperger's syndrome.

Confessions of a Surgeon: The Good, The Bad, and the Complicated...Life Behind the O.R. Doors
 by Paul A. Ruggieri, M.D.

I purchased this one a year or two ago and never got it read.  I can't remember why I felt drawn to read it at the time, but it seems like the kind of book I usually look for after hearing the author interviewed.  I came across it on the bookshelf recently, and since I still need a 'book with a subtitle' for the 2017 reading challenge, I put it on my nightstand to start next.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 36...


Successes:
1.  Staying home to avoid the road hogs lines of cars wrapped around blocks waiting for their turns at the gas pumps.  Staying home also helps me not have to be IN those lines to buy gasoline.

2.  I think I have had my fill of met my quota of pasta-based meals this week.  Oh well, eating from things on hand in the pantry and leftovers in the fridge keeps me away from the grocery store and the drive-thru's.

3.  We had three leftover hot dogs languishing in the refrigerator.  I knew none of us would eat them.  I took them out and cut them in long quarters lengthwise, then sliced the quarters into very thin slices.  I spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet and baked at about 175° F till they were mostly dehydrated.  Then I transferred them to paper towels and pressed so that the paper towels absorbed any extra fat.  I put them in small plastic containers and am storing in the fridge, and I'm using them for training treats for Rudy.  He's only getting the equivalent of about one 1/8 inch slice of hot dog per day.  I really don't even have to give him any to get his interest, just let him lick the flavor of it off of my hand.  :)

4.  I accepted a half day of work next week.  It's in a neighboring town, and I usually don't accept partial days if it involves a commute.  But this is the region leader's branch, and I like the people there, and I like that they trust me, and I want them to keep calling me.  I'll make a list of other errands that may need to be run while I'm there so it will be worth the drive.

5.  We went to see my mother-in-law this week.  I spent about a half hour massaging her feet, ankles, and lower legs.  It helps temporarily with the fluid retention in her feet and ankles.  I try to do this each time we go.  It's something I can gift her that is totally frugal, takes up no room in her small assisted-living apartment, and is something she thoroughly enjoys.

Will Be Trying:  I haven't actually done this yet, but I read it in a comment on The Non-Consumer Advocate.  I thought it was brilliant, and I look forward to giving it a try on our upcoming vacation.  Instead of buying full-price (and basically dust-catching) souvenirs at gift shops, browse the thrift stores at your vacation destination.  You will potentially find souvenir-worthy items that will actually fill a need when you get them home and remind you of your trip with each use.  I always think our local thrift stores have pretty spare pickings, so I think it might be fun to see what one might find in other parts of the country.


Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *Tex-Mex
Sunday:  Sunday family supper with Kasey
Monday:  *out of town restaurant eats
Tuesday:  Tuna Casserole
Wednesday:  Baked Spaghetti
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  leftovers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...


1.  Feeling SO very thankful.  There was a bit of a crisis this week.  Not my story to share, but there were tears and prayers and a safe and speedy (though it seemed like an eternity)  resolution thanks to a very smart woman with a lot of love, a strong will, a cool head, and technical skill.

2.  There are still long lines for gasoline.  And the inconsiderate drivers!  Idiots turning from straight-only lanes on red lights, people not pulling off of roadways to sit and wait in lines meaning that there is no possible way for through traffic to proceed.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

3.  I only have ten books left to complete the 2017 reading challenge.  It's feeling doable, though it is getting harder to find books that fit the categories that are left.

4.   It is time to change the mantel decorations, but I haven't done it yet.  The current mantel decor has been up so long I don't even see it anymore.  It hasn't started to cool off at all here yet, so it seems too early for pumpkins.  I'll have to give it some thought. 

5.  I haven't made a menu plan and shopping list yet either.  I've been able to come up with meals from the pantry, but a menu plan would decrease the last-minute stress.  Yesterday I found and made a new recipe for Baked Spaghetti, which got favorable reviews from the guys.  It feels like I've been relying a lot on pasta, though, and should be enjoying the fresh summer produce while we still have it.

6.  I have to get busy on my sewing machine!  I have blocks that are overdue, and quilting at the library day is only days away.  Also have quilt retreat coming up at the end of the month, and a week of 9 to 5 before that.  Aaagh!

7.  I think I need chocolate.
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