Home > Archive: January, 2017
Archive for January, 2017
January 30th, 2017 at 10:51 pm
Since My English Castle posted about having some lima beans and the fact they are haunting them...I thought for the fun of it, I'd ask my Facebook friends what they thought. My question was simple, do you like lima beans? The results were interesting and closer than I imagined they would be: 36 said yes and 45 said no. Those who said no, were adamant they disliked them. Many of the those who said yes often added they had to be fixed a certain way or in soup.
As you can tell, I am easily amused.
Food / Groceries
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January 29th, 2017 at 09:08 pm
It has been a busy week getting back into the swing of things so to speak. DH and I both did our volunteer stuff, plus grocery shopping and all those other things you have to do to keep up with stuff.
When we were on vacation, we picked up sea shells to share with the classes we volunteer in. I did a little presentation for the fifth grade class showing them the beach and Civil War forts. This class is fairly high poverty so I imagine very few will ever travel outside of our city unless they travel to visit family. All the classes seemed to appreciate we thought of them while we were away.
There is nothing like appreciating your home after you have been away. The kitchenette in the condo was tiny. It worked, but I feel like my kitchen is huge now so maybe that is a very good thing. I also appreciate having a stocked pantry and freezer. I cooked while we were away, but cooking is far more fun in my own place. I fixed a pork loin roast for supper last night and we are going to have pulled pork sandwiches for supper tonight. I like it when you can cook once and eat twice off of stuff.
Last summer we went to a friend's garage sale and I picked up some crochet thread. It was her mom's and it had some age to it. I finished a scarf for a shelf last night. I'm trying to do projects to not only keep my hands limber, but there is something about making something that is so very satisfying. I don't have a lot of money in it so that doesn't hurt.
It is a dreary day with some snow flurries. We had some sun yesterday and it is amazing how that little bit of sunshine lifted so many spirits.
I was reading some of the other blogs and one person had posted about the things they did this month to save money. One thing I did a few months ago was to change our cell phone plan. We had a plan and when I decided to get a smart phone a couple of years ago, the salesperson told me I HAD to have so much data. I didn't think I would use that much, but stupid me, I went with it. He promised me I could lower the amount. Well, I tried, and he did walk me through lowering it a little bit, but I felt like we were paying for far too many minutes and far too much data. We went with Consumer Cellular a couple of months ago. My old phone was shot so we bought wo new phones...I got another smart phone and DH got a flip phone which is what he wanted. Other than buying the phones outright, the rest of it was easy and a lot cheaper. We are paying a lot less, over half in fact. I'm happier with my phone than I was with the other one that was far more expensive. DH likes his new phone too -- bigger numbers and less features. He had a flip phone before, but it had far more on it than he would ever need. So, I think it another month, the savings we have gotten over switching will have paid for the new phones. The service is fine and guess what? I haven't used all the data and I'm paying for less than half of what that rep at the other company claimed I had to have!
Hope you all are having a great Sunday.
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January 22nd, 2017 at 07:31 pm
I haven't been around for over two weeks. No, I wasn't boycotting SA. I was either getting things ready or away on vacation. Yep, you read that correctly...two weeks of vacation. Never in my life have I been on vacation that long. It as something we had planned and saved for. In fact, we've been planning this for a few years. A goal we had once I retired was to rent a condo in Savannah, Georgia, and spend some time there. A friend suggested we rent one on Tybee Island so we did.
It was an enjoyable time, but I can say from my perspective, two weeks is too long. I missed my home. I missed my routines (does that mean I'm getting old and crotchety?).
We planned to eat out some, but we ate the bulk of our meals at the condo. I took many non perishables and we bought some fresh stuff while there. There is an IGA on the island and we made friends with the butcher. I asked him to tenderize some meat and he told me it would be a little bit because he had to clean the machine...fine with us. But get this, we were going to come back to the meat case but we didn't have to. He found us and delivered the meat to us! I felt like Tybee was a small town. We had lunch at a place and the owner was friendly and learned our names and was happy to give us directions and advice. Although I took some things with us, it isn't the same as having things in my pantry and freezer, so I had to plan carefully what I would fix because I didn't want to buy unnecessary things.
Our condo had a beach view. It was fun looking at the freighters and fishing boats as well as other boats. One afternoon and night it was really foggy over the ocean so there was a ship that had a continual fog horn. Living in land locked central Illinois, this was truly a new experience.
We found Sandra Bullock's house on the island. We viewed it from afar, but DH is a big Sandra Bullock fan so that was pretty exciting, even if she wasn't there. We did eat at a restaurant there she supposedly likes called the Breakfast Club. It is a small building and not real fancy inside or out, but the breakfast was marvelous. We were fortunate because we didn't have to wait for a table...I guess there are often lines outside waiting to get in.
We went into Savannah a few times. Let me tell you, if you go to Savannah and Tybee, be sure and have a pocketful of quarters. You pay for parking everywhere from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We mostly went to eat some place. We really like Leopold's Ice Cream Shop. We've been to Savannah three times before this, so this is a must do place on our agenda. It was as good as ever. While we were there and parked, we walked around to some of the different shops. I did buy some tea from a locally owned shop and some spices from another that sells only things grown/manufactured in Georgia, I am not a big shopper so I don't think we increased their economy much. We walked to some of the shops on the main highway in Tybee and I got a bigger kick out to finding some pinecones on the way. Georgia pine trees are much taller than those here in the Midwest and the pinecones are huge. We also collected sea shells on the beach which we will give to the 5 classes DH and I volunteer in as souvenirs. Here are photos of DH and then me on the beach. I hate having my photo taken, but I figured I'm not getting any younger and I'm not going to ever be beautiful, so why not?
We had saved money to pay for everything. I still owe the credit card for two hotel room stays, one on the way there and one on the way back, but I have the cash put in the checking account to pay that. So, we walk away from our vacation not having a big bill over our head.
I think the best thing was getting home. It was an adventure -- we have never rented a condo before and we haven't been beach folks either, so it was something different and sometimes challenging. The condo was small -- we knew that and it isn't a criticism. We couldn't see paying more for the condo than we would for a hotel room. But, after being in a place so small, our house which isn't huge seemed very roomy! I'm glad to be home and I'm glad to be back on SA.
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January 1st, 2017 at 08:59 pm
Happy New Year to all of you! Hope 2017 is a happy and prosperous year for all of us.
Last week I posted a photo of our table and tree and received some very lovely comments. I appreciate the comments and feedback and the fact so many of you take the time to read my ramblings and even comment on them. I posted the same photo on Facebook and I had to laugh when my pastor wanted to know if we had new dining room furniture. I guess the tablecloth and Christmas runner made everything look different. He has been to my home before and eaten with us. I have told DH repeatedly that moving stuff around and changing linens give things a different look.
This has been a busy week for me. Partially because DH has been under the weather so he hasn't wanted to do too much. He is getting better so that is good, but I used the time to clean and declutter. We took a bunch of stuff to a thrift store to donate this week. Some of it was hard to part with -- I hate getting rid of kitchen items, but I have run out of room and these are items I haven't used. It is crazy to keep them. I tend to use the same things over and over again. Only one item did I purchase new and that was several years ago -- everything else was bought used so I didn't have a ton of money in them. But they are useless if they are just in the cabinets taking up space.
Since I'm on the cleaning kick, I'm trying to do the same thing in my pantry and fridge and freezer. I want to make sure I use stuff before it either goes bad or gets freezer burn. Right now the fridge is starting to look a bit bare, but that is OK. It is by choice and not because I haven't been shopping. Years ago, and I might have mentioned in a past blog, there was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune named Mike Royko. He wrote a column where every week he would go grocery shopping and he and the kids would eat all the easy to fix foods and leave the other stuff. So, he made a new rule, they had to eat everything before going to the store. I'm sure he exaggerated a bit, but it was funny when he said they had to get creative with some of the stuff, like an onion, flour and some water. He said it also encouraged his sons to find friends or their families who could cook or learn themselves.
My newest vice has been crocheting and knitting on a loom. I joined a group of ladies at church and they taught me to knit on a loom and we make hats to donate. We make small hats to give to hospitals for preemies, and then we make bigger hats and donate them to schools and organizations. I also crocheted a scarf to go along with a hat and donated it to one of our places for the homeless. I encouraged my friends on Facebook to do the same because I thought they might be useful in the winter. I am struggling a little bit with the crocheting because I am not allowing myself to go crazy on buying yarn. My church has some yarn that was donated and I used a bunch of it to make the hats, but I refuse to use that yarn for stuff for myself. I did buy some yarn and crocheted a cover for a throw pillow. My mom sewed the pillow covering a number of years ago, but it was looking pretty downtrodden so I thought crocheting a new cover would be nice. I finished it and it does look pretty nice. But of course I have part of a skein of yarn, so I have been looking for little things to make that can use up the yarn. I made myself some Swiffer broom covers out of some of the leftover yarn. I am now making dish cloths. I have been experimenting with different patterns to see what I like best. As I tell DH, it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble!
Guess I better get back to cleaning. I think taking care of one's belongings is a good way to save money, don't you?
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