Home > Archive: January, 2013

Archive for January, 2013

It's Saturday....Happy Dance!

January 26th, 2013 at 02:26 pm

In the Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy used to do a happy dance when it was dinner time. Well, if I danced, I would be doing one because it is Saturday. I made it through this week. I'm still fighting whatever it is, but other than returning a book to the library, there isn't anything I HAVE to do today.

I worked on data yesterday for school and two classes really made progress on the practice tests we gave. My email report had one word with the attachment: Celebrate!

I think sometimes we need to stop and celebrate the little things as well as the big things.

So, I'm celebrating it is Saturday, that my fridge and pantry are full, and life is pretty good overall!

Clean fridge, full tummy, life is good!

January 25th, 2013 at 12:57 am

After yesterday's pity party, I want to thank everyone who gave me words of encouragement. I think part of it was frustration and part of it is I don't feel well. Plus, I think sometimes when we get stuck in a rut, we get disgruntled.

I had a meeting today and could have gone out to lunch. During regular school days we have 30 minutes so going out during the regular lunch time would have been a problem. We had more time today due to the meetings, but I decided to pack the lunch anyway. I couldn't see spending the money and starting the car to go somewhere. I had an opportunity to eat and get some work done. When I finished, one of the ladies came back from lunch and noticed my lunch bag. She said she thought the duct tape made it look like it was thermal. Isn't it interesting how one person can see something differently than someone else. I didn't feel ashamed of it anymore.

As for the title, last night I couldn't decide what to do with leftover pork tenderloin. I really wanted something beyond sandwiches. So, I looked in the fridge and had part of a bell paper, zucchini, celery, a partial container of mushrooms, and carrots. I always try to keep an onion around. I sauted all these together, tore up the meat, added some chicken broth I had in the freezer, and then added some lentils I had in the pantry and the small wheat elbow macaroni. I didn't have much of the macaroni and the last time I used it, I had such a small portion left, but hated to throw it away. Good thing, because it made it into the pot. This simmered for two hours last night and then I stowed it in the fridge.

Tonight I heated it up, added some leftover cottage cheese in a separate dish, and used some crackers and it was a hearty supper.

Since my fridge was pretty empty by then, I cleaned the shelves and the crispers so it is tidy and sparkling.

I figured by using up all the stuff in the fridge I didn't waste food, we had a fairly nutritious supper, and I know I had plenty to eat. DH will have leftover stew for lunch tomorrow so he's a happy boy.

My fridge may be empty and my tummy full, so I guess I won't mention the overflowing dishwasher! :-)

Feeling a little discouraged...

January 24th, 2013 at 12:48 am

It's cold and dreary here in Central Illinois. I feel like I have something, but not sure what...I know I'm congested and I sneeze a lot. It could be far worse. Maybe this is why I kind of had a pity party the other day.

As many of you know, I cook a lot. I don't mind cooking. And I try to repurpose leftovers for other things if at all possible. But last week, I just had it.

I take my lunch to work as well as a Thermos of coffee. I also take an extra drink...sometimes it is cold tea, other times it is cold coffee, for an afternoon pick me up. I drink water from another Thermos for lunch. It just seemed more than I can handle anymore. I'm tired of taking my lunch. I'm tired of lugging these things around. Am I really saving money? Plus, there are some folks who just get on my nerves who inform me that they can buy a bottle of water or run down to the service station and get a Polar Pop for less than a dollar and how silly I am.

I have a large lunch bag that is sort of lined and it started falling apart so I took duct tape to it. It looks bizarre, but it seemed to do the trick. Am I being too cheap?

I keep telling myself I'm saving money.

I have been perusing some saving sites and so many have the same things over and over...take your lunch, eat at home...make your own coffee...all of these things I do.

Anyway, I am hoping my downheartedness is simply because I'm tired and not feeling well.

Are liberries in season?

January 20th, 2013 at 02:27 am

I'm feeling a bit funny...often our students don't pronounce library, and say "lieberry" and a teacher friend used to ask if lieberries were in season. We all would chuckle.

Well, our "liberry" must be in season because I checked out a bunch of things. I checked out magazines and a bunch of different books.

I love looking through the glossy pages of magazines, but I hate the expense and the waste of purchasing them. I would imagine a I save a fortune by checking them out.

DH and I like to look at flea markets, antique malls, garage sales, and consignment shops. I checked out some books on antique values. I don't picture us trying to buy things and resell them, but it is interesting reading up on things. A friend of mine collects Currier and Ives dishes and I have learned that many of the dishes came from detergent and some of the glasses were given as premiums from A and P. It is kind of interesting.

I also enjoy cooking and I'm always looking for ideas on organizing the kitchen. I checked out 5 books on kitchen remodeling and reorganization.

I certainly get my money's worth when it comes to the library -- we pay taxes to support it and I don't resent paying it one bit.

It is interesting because we can tell what part of the month it is. By the middle of the month, there are fewer new books available and by the end of the month, there are hardly any. I think the economy has made library use go up.

So, are liberries in season where you are?

That Darn Maid...

January 19th, 2013 at 03:35 am

didn't show up again! Imagine me with my nose in the air and humphring..."Good help is so hard to find!"

Well, we don't have a maid or a house cleaner. I usually gripe and say the maid didn't show. She never does.

I kind of wonder if I would even want to have a maid, money aside. I think it is a nice idea to have someone clean, but I kind of wonder if my mindset would keep me from being a good employer.

After all, would I be willing to hand over the house to someone to clean? And would they clean to my specifications.

Well, since I will never have to worry about that, on to better things. Well, at least getting the house clean.

Purposeful Planning

January 13th, 2013 at 04:45 am

DH made a comment that so many of our friends do not plan. I would agree.

One couple eats out at least once a day. They complain about not having enough money...hmmm...wonder why! Everything is spontaneous and they grouse because they might call and ask us to join them and we often don't because I have already begun the meal or have something defrosted and feel like I need to cook it,

Each Thursday night I figure out what the menu is going to be for the next week. I will admit we are kind of in a rut for Sunday brunch and Sunday supper, but DH is happy and we are eating at home, so there is a comfort in that, I also try to fix things for suppers so we have leftovers for lunches.

Besides meal planning, we have separate accounts beyond our checking and regular savings accounts. We have a Christmas Club, a vacation, and our mad money account that we use to save up for things. In the past we have saved up for a new stove and dishwasher. It means we try to make regular monthly deposits in these accounts,

As for shopping and running errands, we try to plan for that as well. We try to bundle our trips together so we aren't making a lot of extra trips.

We are not, by any means, perfect, but we have seen a substantial savings in the past few years with our planning. Perhaps we are considered stodgy, but I feel the ends justifies the means. I think one has to purposefully plan to succeed.

Friday fridge

January 12th, 2013 at 04:21 am

Today is clean out the fridge day around here. We eat leftovers. DH also went to Aldi so it is also fill up the fridge Friday.

Lunch was a bit different for me...I took leftover meat and had crackers and fruit with it. I hate wasting food plus I felt like I saved money.

Wisdom or Whining?

January 5th, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Today is my birthday; I turned 52. With it, I wonder if I have become wise or just jaded.

No offense to those who do not live in the US, but I am frustrated that so much of the "stuff" that is for sale in stores is from China. I mentioned to DH today that if we were cut off from China's exports, we would be hard pressed to have anything. DH received a set of WWII dvds, and it talked about industry stepped up to provide so much for the war effort. I don't believe we could do that today.

Then, I think about the Civil War and the fact that the north was industrialized and the south was not, and it certainly hurt the south. I know there was much more than this issue for the war, but it is kind of scary. We, in the US, do not seem to manufacture too much anymore.

My own city has an economy that is hurting. We used to be a blue collar town with many industries. So many of those factories have shuttered and we have so many folks without work or underemployed. This has gone on in the past decade, and the recent recession has not helped. Although factory work is hard and grueling, it almost always included benefits and wage increases. Those folks who had the jobs spent the money at the stores and restaurants that helped the service industry so they in turn could buy some of the things manufactured. The circle has been broken, that's for sure. I know some are embarrassed about the blue collar image, but honest hard work is nothing with which to be ashamed.

So, perhaps my age is making me see the big picture. Or maybe I'm just jaded. I am hoping that it is leaning more towards wisdom.

My dad used to say...

January 3rd, 2013 at 04:11 pm

My dad used to say that when you no longer want things, you are dying. Interesting concept, yes?

We went to Menards yesterday to buy light bulbs since we were already close to them. (Granted, 12 miles from home isn't huge, but we try to cluster our northbound trips together.) We walked around and looked at things and DH asked if there was anything I wanted and I said, "No, not really."

Right now DH and I are saving up for hardwood floors for the family room, dining room, and hallway. I guess I'm thinking of trying to find ways to save money and sock more of it away. This is over and above our regular savings and my retirement account.

So, to one extent I don't really crave anything, except looking forward to new floors. And shopping for the sheer thrill of it doesn't excite me either. But, I'm not sure my dad's idea rings true entirely. What do you think?

Shame on you, Paula Deen!

January 1st, 2013 at 09:30 pm

DH and I went to the mall today. Not to shop, but because the weather is cold and the sidewalks are icy, so he could walk. Normally, when I'm at work, DH goes by himself, but today, I thought I'd join him and browse. He never worries because I basically am not a spender and I only came so I could walk around a little too.

First, let me say I am a Paula Deen fan. I like the fact she started on a shoestring and worked hard and has been successful. Years ago we went to Savannah and we took the Paula Deen tour. One thing the tour guide kept saying is how she remembered the folks who helped her out when she started and continued to purchase things from them although she has made her way. For example, there was a fruit and vegetable stand that gave her 'credit' each morning when she was running the "Bag Lady" lunches. She would go and get her vegetables and fruits and she would charge them until the lunches were sold and she could pay the bill later that day. A local antique store found her chairs for her first restaurant and let her buy them on time.

So, I love the fact she was an American success story and loyal to those who helped her on the way up.

So, my gripe? Every single thing she now sells is made in China. I saw pots and pans and bake ware and dishes and everything had "Made in China" on the boxes and dishes.

Come on, Paula, you are American so how about helping the American economy and having stuff made in America? Be one of the first of the Food Network stars to show where your patriotism is! Help put Americans to work, because it is, after all, Americans who helped you realize your dream!