Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Quick Check In...

W passed this morning when Papa (with the backing of the rest of the family and hospital staff) decided to pull the life support and let him go.

I'm not going to lie....

Even though we all knew this was coming, it has still hit me pretty hard....

Seeing the old and real "him" again over the past six plus months is something I wouldn't trade in the world.  It brought Papa and W close together again. 

But, damn it made saying goodbye to him even harder.

Papa is holding up okay so far.  He's really sad (of course) but knows that there wasn't any more that could be done for W.  And, even if W could have stayed on the liver list, his newer bleeding issues would have taken him off said list anyway.

I'm going to take some time to take care of Papa.  I'll be back to blogging when I can - hopefully later  this week or early next.

Love to you all....

Monday, August 21, 2017

Waiting Game....

Even semi long time readers know about the saga with Papa's brother, W, and his struggle with alcoholism/addiction.

W has been in the hospital since before we went on vacation - as a matter of fact we weren't even sure we would be able to go at one point since his condition has been so iffy.

Since Saturday, he appeared to be doing okay...not great but at least stable...

Until 2:30 this morning when Papa got a phone call that W had coded.

While the hospital was able to revive him, he is on life support.  The doctor told Papa that he is 95% sure that this is the end.  W's organs are failing from the high level of ammonia in his system and his blood pressure being so low.

Papa has been at the hospital (not the one he works at but a sister hospital 45 minutes from home) since he got the original call.  He is planning on coming home to get some sleep soon. (I think.  He did say he was coming home soon so that's what I am assuming.)

Papa & W had the "end of life" discussion and Papa has Power of Attorney...which essentially means he decides when to pull the plug if W doesn't flatline before then.

Please keep us in your thoughts as we face this difficult (but inevitable) situation....

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What's Cooking This Week....

Time to get back to menu planning this week!  Especially since I would love to stay within my August grocery budget!

Cold Cereal
Egg McMuffin style sandwiches
Toast/English muffins with jelly or peanut butter

Grilled Cheese & Chips
Mac n cheese
Tuna Salad (Papa)
Loaded Nachos
PB&J with chips


First official day back from vacation so I made something easy, quick, and used ingredients left in my pantry....adding the bread from the farmer's market trip.
Baked Ziti
Garlic bread

My birthday!  Papa cooks!  Yay!
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breasts
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Green Beans with Grape Tomatoes

Flank Steak with Shitake Mushrooms
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Corn on the Cob

Mini Meatloaves
Jasmine Rice
Honeyed Carrots

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (never got around to it yet)
Baked Potatoes
Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Mexican Corn

Breakfast for dinner

I'm leaving next weekend open for now since it's the last weekend before school starts and I don't know what G2's plans are.

What does your menu look like for the upcoming week?

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Back From An (Almost) Perfect Vacation....

Emily's Bridge...one of the gorgeous old covered bridges in Vermont
I will post more pictures from our hikes once I get them up on my computer!

The weather was unbelievably perfect...
The hikes were breathtaking...
The family (aka the Guppies) were getting along really well...
So what was the problem?

Well, you know the mantra "Cash is King"?
Yeah, well I guess I learned it is.

Now, I was actually using "cash" out of our checking account via our debit card....
Anyone know where I am going with this yet?

Wednesday evening we did a quick run to the local Shaws to grab some more drinks for the room and...
Since the fellow before me also had his card declined, the cashier thought something was wrong with her register.  Not thinking much of it, I paid with cash and went on my way....

Until later that night when we did a quick run to the mini mart next door to the hotel and....

My credit union doesn't have 24 hour customer service so I had to wait to call until Thursday morning at 9am.  I thought that the card may have been marked for possible fraud since purchases were made in Vermont.

Here's the gist of the conversation with the rep Thursday morning...

ME:  "Hi, I'm on vacation and my card was declined twice last evening. Can you tell me why?"
REP: (After a brief hold)  "Ma'am are you in Miami Beach?"
REP:  "Or Arizona?"
ME:  "NO!  I'm in Vermont!"

Two very large transactions were attempted Wednesday night for Miami Beach and Arizona...which is why my card (thankfully) got flagged.  I verified MY purchases so no money was lost from the account at all.


My debit card was immediately null and void.  I couldn't use it at all.  Not to withdraw cash even.  It's a great precaution but I was 250 miles from the closest branch of my credit union with another two days to go in vacation!

Luckily, Papa did have his credit card (our only active one) in his wallet.  So, the rest of the trip was done on his card (with me making an additional payment online once we got home to cover the extra expenses).

Also as luck would have it, a little voice told me the day before we left to pull out the money for our dog's boarder (who only takes cash) and I actually listened!  LOL  So the money was safely tucked away at home and I could pick her up bright and early this morning.

My new debit card and pin are on their way and will be here within....


The closest branch to my house is in my parents' town (20 to 25 minutes away).  So, when we went to pick up the ferret, I made a quick stop in there to withdraw what I should need until I get my new card.

Now I have to go through all my automatic withdrawls and suspend them/change them to our checking account number rather than the debit card number. 

But, like I said, at least no cash is missing from my account right?

This is the very first time I have had any trouble like this at all!  And I'm super disappointed it happened in our favorite place in the world!  The card never left me besides when I gave it to servers to pay for food!  The bank representative told me it happened between Tuesday's and Wednesday's dinners.  I never thought twice handing it over to pay for our meals.  You bet I will now!  Especially if/when we go back to those two restaurants!

Anyone else ever had something like this happen to them while on vacation?

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August Grocery Shopping: Week 2

So, if you recall, I have made a very ambitious goal to be at or under $250 for groceries for the month of August!  That's $300 less than my usual goal!

Last week I spent $44.07 which left me with $205.93 to spend for August.

Let's see how I did this week....

Big Y:  $7.87
1 (8oz) container of Daisy sour cream
1 container of Kosher salt
2 (32 oz each) store brand distilled vinegar*
2 (32 oz each) boxes of baking soda*

*including these items with groceries but bought at least one of each to help force out the possible dishwasher clog

A quick check in both the kitchen and bath pantries showed I was down foil (needed for ribs) and toothpaste....so a quick trip to Dollar Tree was in order.
Dollar Tree:  $6.38
2 rolls of aluminum foil
2 tubes of toothpaste
1 bottle of White Rain shampoo
1 roll paper towels

Neighborhood Farm:  $3.50
6 ears of corn on the cob

Big Y:  $9.87
1 container chocolate frosting
1 package vegetable sushi & sauce

Total for the week:  $27.62
Total spent so far in August:  $71.69
Left in August budget:  $178.31

So, I think I have been doing pretty darn well this month but, quite honestly, I have some extra motivation due to vacation.  But, that DOES prove that I CAN do much better most months than I have been doesn't it? 

I am thinking about keeping track of *some* of the things we buy during vacation (like snacks & water for hiking) but next week there won't be any big grocery trips, obviously.

My list for when we do get back from vacation IS growing since supplies here are dwindling down considerably.  Hopefully I will be refreshed and ready to tackle this and stay under budget!

Anyway, I'm not sure I will be able to do any posting next week so, in case I don't, have a great week everyone!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Day Book for August 12th, 2017

One of my favorite places in the world - Sterling Pond in Stowe, Vermont...

Out my window....
It looks like the rain has (hopefully) completely moved through our area and it's partly sunny!  Lots of people out and about this morning in cars and walking/jogging.

What I am hearing...
G2 getting ready for the day, Papa out in the garage working on something or other, the dog eating her "breakfast" even though it's already 11am.

What I am wearing...
Pastel PJ bottoms and pink oversized T shirt since I literally just rolled out of bed like 15 minutes ago!

What I am feeling...
First off, I'm physically feeling yucky - which I can hopefully shake off before we go on vacation!
Other feelings....
Excited to get away and hike/bike/relax with Papa and the Guppies
Worried about my brother in law W, who is back in the hospital again and once again almost died
Tired just thinking about all the things we have to do before we go away

What I am reading....
Still reading that Moth Radio Hour book - it's really good!  And, I love the fact that each story is less than twenty pages long so I can pick it up and read it whenever I have a few minutes.

From the kitchen....
Not too much going on in there since it's clean and I would to keep it that way mostly!  LOL  We will be eating odds and end today and tomorrow.  However, G2 and her adorable boyfriend made a cake the other day to bring back to his house for dessert after dinner with his grandparents.  How cute is that?!?!

Weekend Plans....
Besides that HUGE to do list?  Hopefully fitting in some sleep!  Hahaha!

This is the first time I have turned my computer on in about four days!  I'm so sorry that I haven't been up to date/commenting on everyone's blogs....

I'll catch up soon!

Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Decent Score On A Neccessity

While doing laundry recently, I noticed that Papa's underwear was getting a little ragged....like a good 60% of it was nearing the end of their usefulness.

Not wanting to spend a tremendous amount, I headed down to my local Bobs Store (which hasn't closed yet) to scour a deal.

After looking around a bit, I found one of Papa's two preferred brands in his preferred style....
A 6 pair package for $39.99...


That's a lot more than I wanted (or could) spend!


My (free) store card entitled me to 30% off all clothing items which brought the price down to $27.30....

That's a bit better.


I had squirreled away TWO $10 coupons - one sent to all card members (I'm assuming) and one for my birthday month.


With tax, I spend out of pocket, $9.03 for six pairs - about $1.50/pair!

And, it's a decent name brand with a track record of holding up for a very long time so these should last Papa at least a good year plus!

I'm pretty satisfied with this purchase!