Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gas & Garbage


Whew!  It's a rainy rainy Wednesday morning!  But, I am NOT going to complain (too much) about it since we are about SIX INCHES below where we should be with rainfall for the year.  With all the rain today and storm Joaquin potentially heading our way for Sunday into Monday, my guess is this deficit will be a memory by mid next week.

Anyway, on to my totals for this week....


GAS:    I was really close to not having to put anymore gas in for the month BUT extra errands have popped up.  While I may have been able to squeak by with the little gas I have left, I just don't want to risk getting stuck on E.  So, later this morning, I will put $24.20  -- OOPS! I mean $23.20 -- into the tank, meeting my budget of $50 for the month.  I really wanted to be under budget, however, at least I start the new month with a fairly full tank.



GARBAGE:  Another three bag week, which seems to be the norm at the moment.  It's recycle week (every other week here) and the large can is filled to the brim.  So, at least I am doing something right with the recycling.  =)


Hard to believe it's September 30th already!  Over the next few days I will be recapping my grocery spending totals (ouch!) and how my September reboot went.

Have a great Wednesday!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sticker Shock at the Pharmacy....



The good news is Papa's ear is going to be okay.  After way too long at the doctor's office yesterday (including a procedure to flush out all the crusty blood and junk in his ear canal!),  the ENT was able to see that he just somehow badly scratched his ear canal and it's inflamed.  As a precaution, the doctor wants him on ear drops for the next 3 to 5 days.  Easy Peasy right?

Wrong!!!

Obviously with my MS and Papa's migraines, we are not strangers to prescription medications. Now, admittedly it has been quite a while since I had to get ear drops - I think the last time was when the Guppies were toddlers - but, I almost fainted when the pharmacist tech checked me out.  One teeny tiny bottle of Ciprodex  costs a whopping $44.19 for our copay!!  

Even though there was a longish line behind me, I had to ask....Um, what is the price without copay?  $250!!!!  What an outrageous amount for a fairly common antibiotic (cipro) in ear drop form!!!  I bit the bullet and paid for it, although Papa told me I should have told them to forget it.  

Yesterday afternoon, I checked and there is no generic version of this drug.  BUT, I did find a possible rebate on the Ciprodex website.  I saved the page and will try to look at it later today.  I *think* you are supposed to fill out the information before getting your script filled but the ENT didn't tell us what she was medication she was calling in.  If I can get that rebate though, I am doing it!!!

It blows my mind that this copay was almost equivalent to the copay of my MS medication ($50) when my meds cost thousands of dollars (without insurance) each month.

Have any of you experienced this kind of sticker shock at the pharmacy lately?



Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Morning...Let's Be Friends, Okay?

I am trying to like you Monday, I really am.  Let's try to be friends okay?



Not thrilled that Monday has rolled around again...However I am trying to "make nice" with it...If I leave it alone maybe it will leave me alone?  LOL   I think I have had enough excitement for awhile, don't you?

Papa is taking this morning off because he has to go see an ENT about the bleeding in his ear.  His primary doctor saw the blood but couldn't see where it was coming from since the otoscope can only see straight in.  The ENT will flush out his ear and use another otoscope which can bend downward to see the source of Papa's issues.  The hope is that it is just a blood vessel that has poked through and is irritated. 

Since his appointment isn't until mid-morning, I'll have company while walking the dog.  And then we will head over to the library so I can return some items and he can find a new book or two for his downtime during the business trip (although I'm not sure that's going to happen since he has to work the weekend this time too).

This past weekend was simply gorgeous out and I hated to see it end.  On Saturday (for those wondering what we ended up doing), we went to a used bookstore in Bethany (in a totally decrepit and creepy looking barn) and then another one in Derby (less creepy but still too unorganized to see much).  The Guppies were far from impressed but we had a few great laughs AND we were out of the house!  And, while I know some of you - Nathalie definitely - are going to think I am crazy - especially after my Durham fair rant, we did go out to Friendly's for dinner.  It cost us $50 bucks including tip.  BUT, I can't even begin to tell you how long it has been since we went out to dinner as a family and the girls had so much fun.  And, G2 had leftovers which she had for lunch yesterday.  I guess my only defense is that it still was only $50 when getting into the Durham Fair before food would have been almost as much. 
Sunday we just hung around for the most part besides our trip over to Home Depot.  We found a couple of hot water heaters that we liked well enough.. One was in the low $400's and the other was $529 (I think).  I am a little worried about getting the more expensive one because it has the whole electronic panel thing going on and that's what was messed up with our current one.  But, like Papa pointed out, this one is a different brand that our current one and this one has a longer warranty.  

***Mini rant -- Papa and I have decided that we hate Whirlpool brand anything now.  We bought a new stove when we moved into this house - completely shot after two years!  As in the door kept falling apart and burners no longer worked.  Then we had a Whirlpool dishwasher - died after four years. Our washing machine also failed after no more than five years.  This water heater?  You guessed it!  Whirlpool!  You can wonder if I am possibly just very tough on my appliances...truth is I may be. But every time we replace things with another brand, we have been fine. KNOCK ON WOOD!!!***

My MS flare up has been such a PITA over the past week.  It was really bad over the weekend especially!  At first I thought maybe it was completely because I was decompressing from all the stress last week...Now I'm not so sure.  TMI  but my cycle has been "off" and I know that hormones can wreak havoc with my symptoms too.  Maybe in a week when my period is over I will feel a little more back to normal.

It's going to be a busy week ahead so I am going to get as much housework stuff done today and tomorrow so I can get to the library to write on Wednesday.  Plus I want to be in good shape for when Papa leave for Ohio on Thursday since I will be running everything by myself until Tuesday night when Papa gets back.

I can't decide if I did a better job with my menus last week when I just had a list of dinners or if I did better when I assigned certain dinners to certain nights.  I think this week I am going to go back to assigning the nights and see if I can keep to the schedule without rearranging.

Okay, enough rambling. Time to hit the shower!  

Have a happy Monday!  =)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September Electricity!



Remember how I wanted to get below $200 for my electric bill this month?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  Yeah, right....

Totally did NOT happen!  To add insult to injury, the bill actually went up!  It was $259 and change last bill.  This bill was $272.23!!!

I am at a total loss as to what the heck is going on!  I rarely have the tv or any electricity going for that matter during the day while the Guppies are at school.  We have even used a lot LESS of the air conditioning!  I cannot figure this one out.  Unless it comes down to all the clothes washing and drying....Other than that?  Maybe the dying water heater is running more than it should be?

At this rate, I may just turn into Ebenezer Scrooge and make everyone eat and do homework by candlelight!

Update on the :Plumber.....



So, I went down to the water heater this morning and saw that the newspaper is indeed still wet.  I switched it out for dry paper and will (obsessively) continue to watch over it.  Everything I had read on line about this type of leaking (there isn't anything near it that could be causing the water besides pipes overhead that are bone dry) points to the water heater needing to be replaced.  In truth, I have never liked this water heater.  When we purchased it, we almost immediately had problems with the electronic panel board needing to be constantly reset.  We were sent out a new one for free but even then it would blink out once in awhile and need to be reset.  I am planning on double checking the brand before we go to Home Depot and avoid this brand/type.  It's disappointing because, if I remember correctly, this one was fairly expensive.

Apparently I am in luck and will not need to find a plumber.  While talking to my mom on the phone yesterday, she mentioned that my dad and his friend (A PLUMBER!) could install a new water heater for us.  Yay!  Of course I will get his friend some sort of "thank you" gift card or something but it will still be much cheaper than hiring a plumber or even using the Home Depot contractor for installation.

IF there is a catastrophe while Papa is away in Ohio I have reinforcements!  This is a load off my mind, trust me!  =)

Since my dad's friend is a "snow bird" we will have to get a new one sooner than later.  (In case anyone is wondering, a "snow bird" is a person who lives up here in the summer but flies down to Florida for the winter months.)  No worries really there, as long as he doesn't leave before October is through.  Obviously this is an issue that can't wait too long anyway.

Isn't owning a house so very much fun?  LOL

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Durham Fair....Am I Just Being Too Cheap?


It really is a gorgeous day here in Connecticut and I really really want to get out with my family today....And, I love fairs - we haven't been in a looooong time but Papa and I used to always go in the fall (before kids).

Papa HATES the Big E so that is out but guess what?  The Durham Fair is this weekend.  I haven't been to it but I was thinking it was the Big E on a smaller scale.  On their website it said there were tons of animals (yeah I'm sold), craft booths, food, entertainment, etc.  But then I got to the admission price...For my family of four to WALK into the fair it would cost me....

$43.00!!!!!!


If you just added in paying for food for the day, we would easily be reaching the one hundred dollar mark!  Fair food around here is crazy expensive!!!  It would be totally irresponsible to do this considering the hot water heater replacement coming up.

We are looking for a "Plan B" now.  One Guppy doesn't want to go hiking and the other is "tired".  Sometimes I miss the days when I could park their little behinds in a stroller and just take them where I wanted to go!  LOL

On the bright side, maybe Papa and I will head out on our own for a bit.  It would be nice to get some time with him after all the craziness of late.

Anyway, what do you guys think about having to spend $43.00 so your family can walk around fairgrounds to spend even more money?

Gimme a Break.... PLEASE!




Sometimes you just have to laugh, I guess.....Because if you don't, you will probably end up bawling, right?

Last evening I went down into the basement to put some clothes in the washer and saw a smallish puddle of water against the hot water heater.  I put some newspaper down to absorb the water and waited.  This morning, while the puddle isn't any bigger, the newspaper closest to the tank is still saturated.  (((sigh)))  The two pipe (release valve) things have aren't wet so it appears I have a small leak coming from the bottom of the tank.  Everything I have read on the internet states that when this happens it's time to replace the whole unit.  I'm not sure how long a water heater is supposed to last but this one is not even ten years old.

I'm hoping that this one holds out a little longer (like a week or two) so we can wait until Papa is back from his business trip.  In case that doesn't happen, Papa and I will probably go look at water heaters this weekend so we know which one we want and I can go purchase it myself if it gets worse while he is gone.

Anyone else had a similar issue?

I miss the beginning of this year when there wasn't a major catastrophe/crisis to deal with every month!  LOL

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Trying to Decompress Now...

There has been a reprieve in the crisis that has been consuming my every waking moment. Or at least I *think*  there has been one.  And right now I feel like my body has turned to mush from all the stress I have been under.  Quite frankly, I'm still trying to wrap my head fully around all that's been happening.

But, I am going to try my best to fill you guys in.  This post is probably going to be long and rambling - I'm sorry about that.  And, if you chose not to read this particular post, that's okay too.....

As I have mentioned before, Papa's younger brother has had some health issues.  To be perfectly blunt, he is an alcoholic and has been for at least ten years - with the past four years being "rock bottom".  He has had at least four or five "close calls" with death in the past four years.  The last one resulting in his being hooked up to a ventilator because he couldn't breathe on his own and his kidneys starting to shut down.  He has virtually no living liver left and every drink he takes could be his last.

Most of you probably already know where I am going with this story....

He has been going to Yale for a multitude of tests to see if he is able to be put on a liver waiting list.  One of the doctors there (not his regular liver doctor closer to home) pretty much told him he needs to find a living donor and have surgery by the middle of October or he will die.  Papa's mother went into a panic (though Papa denies this, I know from what he's told me of their conversations) and has been asking Papa to do it.

For anyone wondering, a "live donor" is someone within the family or close to the family who offers half of their own liver.  This way the patient gets a liver more quickly and doesn't need to stay "on the list" of when organs become available through the hospital. A lot of people in my brother in law's situation die before they can have surgery through the hospital organ system.

Liver donation is not without its risks - though Papa is healthy and the liver will regenerate to 95% capacity in the donor by the end of one year.  Papa would be out of work for at least 8 to 16 weeks  - not something we can financially come close to covering.  And recovery is very painful.  I would essentially be a single parent taking care of the Guppies and Papa.  Given my own health issues, yeah, that would be fun.  Also, the chance of changes jobs for Papa would essentially go out the door.  He couldn't possibly look for a position at the moment.  Papa's brother's insurance is supposed to cover both surgeries (Papa's liver harvest and the transplant into his brother) but he's on state Medicaid.  I worry that the hospital may come after us for some of the bills to boot.

Papa has a sister who wasn't at first stepping up to help out.  She is older than Papa and currently lives with my MIL because she lost her own house due to back taxes.  She does not work.  There is no reason for her not to be number one on the screening list.  Apparently, she is now willing to be screened as a possible match.

Things slowed down to a less heightened status earlier this morning when...

Papa went with his brother to his regular liver doctor this morning to talk about what was happening at Yale and that liver team.  This doctor thinks Yale is pushing panic buttons right now that don't need to be pushed.  Yale does want to push these surgeries to "up" their success rates - which is deplorable, IMO.  Papa was able to tell both this doctor and his brother why his being screened as a match is a complicated decision - the impact it would have on everything I mentioned above.

Not having to make this decision immediately is a relief.  But, honestly, I don't want Papa doing it at all.  I'm very very angry about the whole situation.  No one in his family seemed to understand that we could lose everything - even if Papa survived and did well with the surgery.

I will support Papa with whatever he decides (if a decision has to be made at all now) but he knows that I don't agree with it.  His brother has not gotten the help he has needed for his addiction and has lied about "not drinking" for at least two years.  Although Papa swears he believes that his brother has been doing much better over the past six months.  This is something he did to himself - as he refused both inpatient and outpatient help when it was offered.  I can't forgive the fact that he has taken down his own family and now wants to mess with mine due to the alcoholism.

I love Papa's brother.  I don't want to see him die.  And I get the whole alcoholism thing - my biological father, his father, and my maternal grandfather were all alcoholics.  I understand it's a horrid disease.  I understand that it's tough to beat.  But, I am not willing to risk my future with Papa and the welfare of our girls on someone who hasn't been able to help himself.

It is beyond unfair that his family (who knows he is the "fixer") has put them on one side of the equation and me and our girls on the other - asking him to chose.  That's what I am most angry about - along with the fact that Papa's brother DID this to himself.

Part of me feels like a cold hearted unfeeling bitch for feeling this way.  But, the larger part of me has been in protection mode for my own family and everything we have built up to this point.

Anyway, like I said, crisis mode seems to be done with for the moment.  There is no immediate hurry to make a snap decision regarding this anymore.  I am still very uneasy with everything going on but at least we have bought some additional time to think this through.  And Papa's sister will be screened as a possible donor too.

Honestly, if you were in my situation how would you handle this?  I feel like I am living some twisted version of the Jodi Picoult book, My Sister's Keeper - which I never read because I knew I could not handle to subject material..... Irony at its finest.

Thanks for listening....






Food Waste Friday...



There was waste this week and quite a bit of it.  But, in all honestly, when I cleaned out the fridge on Wednesday (garbage night here), I just tossed it all out - besides the scraps of leftover roast beef for the dog.  With all that is going on in my crazy world right now, I just couldn't handle cataloging my waste.

With that, I also want to apologize for being so negative and secretive about life at the moment.  Hopefully later today or tomorrow I will write that post to connect all the dots for you.  While part of me thinks it may not be the greatest idea to write about it on this blog, the bigger part of me knows that I could use some additional points of view/opinions/suggestions.  I would add that maybe I could help others struggling with something similar, so they can see that they aren't alone, but this is not that type of common situation.

Anyway, I need to get ready to go with Papa to his doctor appointment.  I'm happy that he asked me to come along to ask questions, although I don't think his regular doctor can give me a lot of the answers I need.  (His health is fine by the way.  Probably too fine in this circumstance.)

Happy Friday and keep us in your thoughts this morning please.  I could really use a miracle right about now.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Odds & Ends...

Just a bunch of miscellany running around my head today.....


***  Papa needs to take another business trip to Ohio at the beginning of October.  He was really hoping to stay under the radar for this one but, the division in Ohio specifically asked for him to be there for the conversion.  I feel bad for him. He's going from a Thursday to a Tuesday BUT they are working ALL weekend long as well.  He's "salary" so he won't get overtime AND his company doesn't give out "comp" time either.


*** Speaking of Papa and jobs....We decided that the first job he interviewed for (the small new-ish company) isn't the job for him.  It would be too much of a risk for our current stage of life.  They are due to call him back within another week or two and when they do, he will decline the offer.

        Papa did talk to the other recruiter and another job came up that is way more promising.  It's within a 30 minute commute from our home, a medium sized stable company, not as much travel as his current job, more people under him and more control of the division, and the starting salary is about 20K more than he is making now!  So, again we wait until after he comes back from his Ohio trip and hopefully an interview will be scheduled soon after that.


***  More with Papa.....I'm happy he has a doctor's appointment for tomorrow.  One of his ears is bleeding from inside.  I can't see much with just a flashlight (definitely need the otoscope to see what's going on). His hearing is fine and it only hurts when he puts the q-tip in to clear out the blood buildup.  Yeah, gross.  Sorry that was probably TMI.  LOL   Hopefully it's just an ear infection that can be taken care of before he has to fly.


***  G1 stood up for herself at school and a teacher actually backed her up.  Apparently two girls she has known since elementary school were assigned to do a small project with her.  They exchanged email addresses and never got back to G1 about the assignment.  Even after G1 kept asking them about it!  The teacher asked her what happened with the assignment and G1 spoke up and told him what happened.  One of the girls gave a snarky response back to the teacher when questioned (No surprise there.  I know the mom and can tell you that apple didn't fall from the tree!).  The teacher told G1 to speak up sooner if anything like this happened again and gave her the opportunity to do the project herself without penalty.  Now hopefully the two girls will have points deducted from theirs since "cooperation" is factored in to the grade.  This is a big deal because, in the past, the teachers can't be bothered with helping students in G1's situation - they just tell the kids to deal with it.  Nice for G1 to have a teacher have her back.


***  G2 is truly making a break for her independence.  It's nice and sad at the same time.  She's my "baby" and it's bittersweet to watch her grow up too.  I dropped her and three friends off at a coffee shop close to her school so they could hang out. (Thankfully she was using a gift card)  I was going to bring my book and wait for them in the car but they decided to walk over to the middle school after they finished their hot cocoas.  Yay for getting a little extra time this morning!


The poor dog is sitting next to me giving me some very adorable sad puppy dog eyes.  I think she wants her walk!  LOL

Happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Library for Me Today!


Since the kids are off from school today, I won't be going to the library like last Wednesday --- BOOO!  I know.  LOL  I will be trying to do some writing at home this afternoon however.  G2 won't be home and G1 will probably take a nap by then since she was up late last night playing her new video game (which she purchased herself - thank you YMCA job!!!).

Truthfully, I am not sure how well I will be able to concentrate since there is too much other crap clogging up my brain.  But, I ran to the library on Monday and grabbed some books I needed for background research to make my book as accurate as possible in "real" details so the fiction aspect is believable. I think I can, at the very least, go through a few of these books and take notes.

Or...


One of my favorite literary magazines, Glimmer Train, is holding a contest entitled "Family Matters" which ends on 9/30.  I would be cutting it close deadline wise, but I am considering trying to write a piece for that - morphing my reality into some fiction and hopefully get out some frustration along with it.  Top Prize is $1500.  I doubt I would win but what's happening does make a great story, unfortunately. 
Sometimes writing can be very very cathartic.

More Grocery Totals...


This is the first month I have truly truly tried to pay close attention to exactly where the grocery money has been going.  And, I have found it - My family is literally drinking our money away!  I didn't save all my receipts since I have been blogging the total spent and what I bought.  However, next month I have decided one of my new goals will to keep the receipts and create some sort of spreadsheet to keep even closer track.

Anyway, I have done two more small trips (One to Stop & Shop and one to Big Y).  I have been staying local (as my gas consumption suggests from my earlier post today) so those were my choices in grocery stores.  Also, I don't believe Aldi carries what the Guppies wanted drink wise.  I have spent an additional
$32.55 which leaves me with $62.58 until the end of the month.  And, G1 is complaining there isn't any food in the house!  (Thank God I don't have teenage BOYS!!!  LOL)

Here's what the $32.55 got me, and, I warn you, it's not much:

6 pack Diet Peach Snapple
Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade packets (for Papa and me)
Crystal Light Fruit Punch packets (Papa & me)
12 pack of Diet Raspberry Snapple
3 cases of various flavored Coke (G2, Papa, & me)

Pitiful!  I need to get some control over this!  I already told everyone in the house that what we have left for drinks is what has to last until the end of the month or it's tap water for you!  It's insane to go through this much flavored junk and it's not healthy one bit....So maybe I shouldn't have acted like "tap water" was a punishment, huh?

There are things I need to get before the end of the month....

Milk
Butter
Heavy Cream
Kosher Salt

Those are the top four that come to mind.  I may just bite the bullet and drive over to my closest Aldi's today after dropping G2 off at her BFF's.  We'll see how I am feeling since the additional stress I have been dealing with is making one of my biggest symptoms (weakness and tingling in my arms, hands, legs, and feet) rear its ugly head big time!

I am NOT going to get too down on myself about the grocery totals because what is done is done.  I can't change it for this month BUT I can go into next month with more open eyes right?  Especially since there is a good chance that my budget may need to be squeezed even harder - more on that on Friday.

Gas & Garbage



The Guppies have today off from school due to the Jewish holiday and I am happy to have them home to keep me busy!  (And not constantly thinking of what may be looming ahead....)

Anyway, here are my gas & garbage totals:


GAS:   I'm still working on that initial tank from the beginning of the month!  Yay me!  I have a bit less that 1/2 tank so, even though I am going to try my hardest, I am not sure I will be making it through the entire month with just one fill up!  We'll see how the rest of this week goes.


GARBAGE:   2 & 1/2 kitchen sized (13 gallon) bags this week.  I chose to throw out the 1/2 bag because I was worried it would end up making the kitchen smell funky.  Better to start my new "garbage week" off fresh.   =)



Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Freebies!


I have gotten quite a few freebies in the past twenty four hours!  Here's a list of my loot:  =)

* Hot apple cider & Spinach Feta Croissant (BFF insisted on paying yesterday!)
* 'wich Craft sandwich cookbook (BFF purging her house again!  LOL)
* Newest issue of Palate magazine (BFF finished it and passed it on)
* 4 little cute copper mugs (BFF purge - not sure what I will use them for.  May end up consigning!)
* 5 assorted "women's" magazines (Mom finished them and passed them on)
* Huge stack of coupons from recent newspapers (Mom saves them for me after she clips hers)
* Quart sized Ziploc of coke caps (Mom passes them on since she can't be bothered doing MCR points)
* Large bag containing around 15 - 20 apples from my brother's apple tree in Maine (down for the weekend    so he brought some to share!)
* Free transportation of old couch and love seat to dump (Thanks Dad!)
* Free dumping of couch and love seat (Dad drove them back to his town where dump is free.  Mine is not.    I guess that's kind of "cheating".  Oops!)


Haven't had many freebies lately so it was nice to have them come in such a large spurt!  Especially when I needed a little extra help/mood boost!




Yesterday I spent about two hours at the local coffee shop with my best friend.  We known each other since our late teens, lost touch for quite a few years, and reconnected exactly where we left off.  She knows me better than almost anyone - except Papa.  In the five or so years that we have been close again, I don't think I ever texted her and said "Hey, I need to talk to you asap"  I freaked her out more than a little!  Which is why I added the follow up text that said Papa & I were fine.  =)

She knew just by looking at me when we met what was going on.  I haven't been sleeping well and the worry was written all over my face.  Because this has been an ongoing saga over a good four years with this potential outcome as a possibility she knew what the deal was.  And, she let me vent -- AFTER I told her to please let me know if I was being a brat - which she would have done if I was.  While talking to her did NOT change the situation, obviously, it did give me a chance to get out all my frustrations and now at least I am not ready to pummel the next person I meet because I am so angry.

I will probably write a post about what's going on in the near future.  Papa and I have an appointment on Friday which may give us a little more information.  The person we are talking with I trust tremendously and I think he can shed some light on the difficult decision Papa is considering.  I want to have more facts and, frankly, want to get my frustration in check even more before trying to explain the craziness that has exploded in front of my face.

For those wondering, honestly, Papa and my relationship is as strong as ever.  He is my rock and my very best friend in the world.  And, while I may not agree with his ultimate decision, I will be there for him through it.  The weight of the world is on my poor husband's shoulders right now and I HATE it!  And, I am very very angry with the people who put it there.  They are selfish and clearly not thinking of the implications to my husband - which also then trickles down to our girls and me.

If my posting here is a little more sporadic over the next month of so, or if I seem a bit "off", please bear with me.  I am going to try my best to keep on blogging because it does help keep me sane and I enjoy it.  Things might get a little overwhelming though and some things may fall by the wayside, unfortunately.

So, it's brave face time!  Going to try to keep a smile on my face and do what my blog says and "just keep swimming".  In the end, it's the best we can do.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Menu Planning




Breakfasts

Yogurt & Fruit
Croissants
Nun's Puffs
Peanut Butter Toast
Cereal






Lunches

Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwiches  (Don't knock it til you try it!  LOL)
Rice & Bean Wraps
Leftovers
 Pasta Salad
Granola Bar, String Cheese, & Fruit
Naan & Hummus



Dinners

Asian Grilled Salmon with Rice OR Baked Ziti
Leftovers
Eye Round Roast, Baked Yams, Roasted Broccoli
Chicken Enchiladas
Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Rolls
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Balsamic Glazed Carrots

As you can see, I have not assigned "days" to the meals  Last week was so up in the air that I thought possibly this week would work better if I have an idea of dinners I want to cook and then evaluate schedules the night before (in case defrosting is necessary).
We'll see how it goes....




So, I'm off to shower and get ready to meet my BFF for coffee.  (Well, hot apple cider for me)  She's seriously like my sister - which is great in this case because I know she won't mince words and will give me an additional view of a very large situation Papa and I are dealing with.  (No worries about us - we are solid!  It's his family that is causing some major problems that could affect us for the rest of our lives and difficult decisions have to be made)  Anyway, if I seem "off" or kinda funky over the next few days, please bear with me.  I will probably discuss the whole situation later this week to get everyone's advice/opinions. 


Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

More September Grocery Shopping!



I really need to get back in the habit of posting my totals the day I go shopping!  It will make it much easier I think in the end to keep track!  Maybe this will be another September reboot goal for the last week or two...

Anyway, over three small trips (the farm up the street, Big Y, & Stop and Shop) I spent another $79.40.  This leaves me only with $95.13 for the rest of the month!  EEEEEEEKKKKK!  Here's what I got:

1 large butternut squash
2 large garden tomatoes
3 yams
16 oz sour cream
3 half gallons of Friendly's Ice Cream
5 2 ltr bottles of soda
2 tubs of hummus
4 pack of cinnamon buns
8 count croissants
4 count mini naan
1 loaf of rye bread
1 loaf of white bread
1 package (8 count) sandwich wraps
.37 lb of olives from the olive bar
2 packages of cream cheese
1/2 lb Boars Head roast beef
1 lb of LOL white american cheese
1 box Special K
3 bags of Doritos
1 package (3 count) romaine lettuce
1 package croutons
16 oz tub of Stop and Shop fresh mild salsa




I need to go back to the store (AGAIN!) for more Snapple.  However, G1 had given us money to run over to a video game store (we were already going to be near it) to buy a game for her.  I kept the $3 change and told her it was going towards buying more Snapple.  I felt kind of bad doing it but she's been going through them like, well, water!  LOL  She was okay with it so why do I still feel guilty?!?!?!

Went to Buy Vegetables & Came Home with a Couch and Loveseat




Yesterday :Papa and I walked up to the farm about 1/3 mile away from our house to pick up some veggies since we missed our weekly farmer's market outing.  On our way there we passed a neighbor's moving sale and saw a gorgeous loveseat and couch set.  Now, we have been in desperate need of a new (to us) set for our living room since the one we have (also bought second hand) had seen much better days.  There were holes on both sides of all cushions, the springs weren't "springy" anymore, you get the idea.  But, it's been on the financial back burner because it's not like we are rolling in money here.

So, we walk by the sale on our way to the farm.  We both saw the set and once we were a reasonable distance past them, we began to talk.  We figured it was way expensive since no one had snagged it yet.  And, Papa had seen some of the smaller items they were selling - think decorative wooden knick knacks, signs, etc for $5.00 and up. But, as we walked back after going to the farm, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask about the set.  I'm so happy we did!  They sold us the set for $200!  AND, the husband owns a truck and offered to drive it down to our house!  Granted, we live about six houses down but he didn't have to do that, you know?

Over the next few days I will be deep cleaning the living room....weeding out junk, moving stuff around, etc.  My dad (who owns a truck as well) will do a "dump run" for us on Tuesday to dispose of the old couches and anything else I can fit!  However, until then, we will look a little bit like Hee Haw since the old furniture is sitting in our driveway near the garage.  LOL

It feels great to have this need taken care of a LOT earlier than we expected to be able.  And, it spurs me on to try to save more money for when these types of deals do come our way.  If there wasn't anything in the bank at all, we would have had to walk away from this and that would have been a shame.

Slowly but surely I think I am learning.  It's taking a while but I am getting there.


Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Missing My Farmer's Market & Other News....



It feels like FOREVER since Papa and I went to the farmer's market "for real".  The last time we went (a few weeks ago) neither of us were *feeling it* since we went later than usual and only picked up a few  things.  Today will sadly be another day we miss out.  An exit of I-91 (the way we normally get into New Haven) will be closed due to the opening of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge - party on the bridge and people will get to "walk it" before it opens to vehicle traffic.  Also, Papa started to not feel very well (HIM TOO?!?!) yesterday afternoon and is dragging this morning.  And, finally, our beloved Sweet Madeline's Donuts will not be there - They posted on Facebook that they will be at the Big E for it's entirety (17 DAYS!!!).  Happy for them and my waistline I guess!  LOL    I may take a walk up to the farm near our house later this morning to see what veggies are available since we are almost out of everything.  And, *possibly*  take a drive into Hamden (town over from mine) to see what The Soup Girl has available since I had planned to buy some soup from her at farmer's market.  We will see how badly I want soup later.  =)


In other news....




Papa aced his interview yesterday!  He likes the company but has reservations.  It is a very new company (only a year old) with literally only four or five other people working there.  It would be a great challenge for him (he gets bored easily) and a place to really stand out/take charge.  However, salary hasn't been discussed yet (although he made it clear what he makes now and he needs to make at least a bit more to move positions) and INSURANCE hasn't been discussed.  Since it is such a small company, we aren't sure they even offer health insurance - although they may since this company is a spin off of a larger one.  As much as I complain about Papa's current company's insurance, it would be virtually impossible to survive without any insurance/having to pay for it ourselves.  (My MS injections alone are more than 30K per year!)

The other recruiter wasn't able to meet with Papa yesterday but they will be meeting up next week.  This job is also closer to home (Central Connecticut) and seems to be a good fit so we will see if this leads anywhere while he waits to hear from the first company.




Since Papa had the afternoon off, we took advantage of the time before the Guppies came home!  We went over to my favorite apple orchard and picked a small amount of apples.  (None of our favorite varieties are ready yet).  How nice it was to go apple picking during the week!  We practically had the whole orchard to ourselves!!  It was bittersweet, however, not having the Guppies with us. While we are still doing a larger picking with them later in the season, this was still a glimpse of what the future is going to be.  I will love having more time with Papa and reconnecting with the things we used to love to do (pre-kid era), but, it still is a bit sad to know that this transition will be here before we know it.



Later today I will most likely update my September Grocery Spending totals to reflect the apple picking and also (another!) Stop and Shop run!  I am fairly sure I will NOT be getting the balsamic vinegar (my reward for staying under the $500 budget) but I have learned a lot this month in regards to our grocery habits.



I am also thinking about working on the way my blog looks.  I am not blog savvy so this may take awhile!  LOL



For anyone interested, my time at the library on Wednesday went really well!  It is going to take some time to get back into the swing of things since I haven't picked up my YA manuscript in about a year! But, since it is my favorite piece, I wanted to work on it first.  I think there will be quite a bit of revision on what is already written and some more fleshing out of characters but this is work that I quite frankly love to do!  The time at the library flew by so quickly that I am considering giving myself more than just Wednesdays to work on it.  I may try to set up some sort of work space at home too (although where I have no idea) or just spend "x" amount of hours at the library per week with Wednesdays being the "long" work day.  I really have to spend some time thinking this through but, it's nice to have Papa behind my 100% in this.  He believes in me way more than I have ever believed in myself!  =)



Happy Saturday everyone!  Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Food Waste Friday & Feeling Off


After last week's debacle, where I actually did TWO posts on food waste (UGH), this week wasn't bad.  Here's what went down:



Fed to the dog:
Approximately 1 1/2 pork chops -new recipe not much of a hit but at least the dog was happy


Fed to the bunny:
1/2 large container of salad greens - I seriously need to stop buying it like this!  I do much better with using    up whole heads rather than these mixes.  Go figure.


Fed to the compost pile:
The usual mix of onion peels, broccoli stalks, etc.  I don't usually write this down.  I'm assuming that     everyone "knows" this is a given, right?  =)




I was reading Nathalie's blog over at Imperfectly Frugally and noticed that, when recapping her Thursday, she mentioned that she (along with other bloggers) were mentioning feeling a bit off.  It was actually good to hear because I have been having that issue too....

It started Wednesday and I thought it was the MS - because some of my symptoms decided to drop in and say hello.  But, now I wonder if it could be the shortening of days in conjunction with the MS?  Not really sure but hey I am in good company right now I guess.  =)

I'm glad that Papa will be home today after his job interview.  He always helps raise my spirits and maybe he and I can take a longer walk with the dog before the Guppies get home from school.  (Gotta soak up the sunshine!!!)

Have a great Friday!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Update on Food - Shopping & Menu



Let's talk about food this morning!  I am a little behind on updating you with my grocery expenditures. Since I last updated this blog, I have spent an additional $88.57 (divided among three separate trips).  So I only have $174.53 left for the month of September!!!  I'm not exactly a happy camper at the moment!  However, I am learning more as I track so that's a win at least.  Rather than breaking down each trip, here's a grouped list of everything I bought during those recent trips:

2 package of S&S cream cheese
2 ribeye steaks
1 package of white mushrooms
1.5 lbs russet potatoes
1.5 lbs Boars Head roast beef
1 large tomato
1 5 hour energy drink
8 mini croissants
4 individual yogurts
1/2 lb deli cheese
1 package flatbread
1 package S&S waffle fries
2 6 packs Snapple
4 bottles Diet Coke
1 24 pack of water



Now, onto the menu situation....The Guppies have been KILLING me with their schedule changes!  G1 has had a few last minute meetings for work this week and will be adding a few extra days in over the course of the next two weeks for training.  (I can't complain about this because she is going to be certified in CPR and first aid on her job's dime, not mine!)  And G2 has had some last minute after school meetings as the clubs she belongs to start up for the year.  So, most of the menu planning I did for this week has been thrown out the window.  BUT, I have been able to cook "on the fly" and NOT order take out (except for tonight for G1) so I am very happy about that.  And, some of the dinners I planned for this week will be moved to next.

G1 has another meeting this evening after her shift at work, adding an extra hour to her "workday".  This gives her practically no time in between work and her concert - thankfully the vocal teacher had to cancel tonight's lesson so that is out of the crazy equation!  So, tonight I will get her a veggie sandwich from Subway (supplemented with chips and a drink from home) that she can eat in the car on the way.  G2 is eating at her BFF's tonight.  And, Papa and I will eat the chili that I threw together in the crockpot this morning (using all ingredients I already had). Although, I will have to stop at the store for sour cream.

This morning has been wonderfully strange for me.  I have been using up the "last" of things in the kitchen.  The last onion bagel, last of the mini wheats, last of the chili powder, last of the bell peppers, and the last of the cream cheese.  It's nice to be finishing stuff up before it goes bad!  LOL

The Guppies have started to grumble about the "lack of food" in the house.  But, trust me, there are tons of snack foods left!  (Pretzels, popcorn, goldfish, cheezits, and fruit to name what directly comes to mind)  Later this morning, if I have time, I will probably do a little baking to satisfy them AND use up some more of the things in the pantry.

Happy Thursday everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gas & Garbage


This will likely be my only post for today since I'm heading over to our public library to try to get some real writing time in.  =)


GAS:  I still have 3/4 of a tank since my last (and only!) fill up this month!  I have been really cutting down/limiting my driving time so I am hoping to make it as close to the end of the month as I can without filling up again!


GARBAGE:  Sadly, I am back to three bags again this week.  I am thinking it had to do with G2's sleepover on Saturday night -- these kids generate a TON of garbage!!!  LOL  Honestly though, I can't blame them completely can I?  My garbage situation seems to ebb and flow.



Okay, well I'm off to the library!  Wish me luck on a productive morning!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bits & Pieces, A Recipe, and Finding a New Workspace



It finally feels like the Fall season is going to happen....eventually here in Connecticut!  Last night, I was able to keep all the windows open in the bedrooms. And, when the Guppies woke this morning, they were complaining the house was "cold".  It was a chilly 66 degrees in the house and I absolutely LOVE it!   I even had to wear a sweatshirt walking the dog this morning.  The weathermen are predicting temps to go up to the high 70s/low 80s this week but I didn't hear them say anything about humidity...Let's hope that's not part of the deal this week!

G2 and I went out to her favorite coffee shop before I brought her to school. Not for coffee though, she loves one of their other specialty drinks.  She used a portion of her birthday gift card and we had a nice chance to chat just the two of us.

Papa has some recruiters very interested in him and he has a job interview this Friday.  As I think I have mentioned in the past, he's not really all that happy in his current position and would love something closer to home, if possible.  (His commute is at least 45 minutes each way, on a good traffic day!)  While it will be scary to lose the security he has at his current job - he's part of a company project that is slated to take another four plus years,  I hate seeing him unhappy.

I stumbled across a recipe that I figured I'd share for a sandwich spread.  I tweaked it a bit and it's freaking delicious!  We had it on roast beef sandwiches for our lunches yesterday and I can't wait for lunch time today because I'm definitely having it again!  Here it is!

8 oz cream cheese (I used a chive/onion one because I had it from over the summer)
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 scallions, chopped
2 T horseradish
Just mix the ingredients together and spread on your choice of sandwich bread.


Even though things are going well with the reboot, I am still struggling to find time and a place to focus on my actual writing.  I have several short stories, an elementary school novel, and a YA novel all in various stages of completion.  I am able to blog fairly consistently because it doesn't take very long to write a post and  I know there is a set "ending".  When I am working on one of my writing projects, I never know how long I will be working on them.  Added to this I am having a major problem with distraction.  In the back of my mind, I am thinking about the laundry I have to fold or the dishes in the sink or the room I have to clean.  You get the point.  I was talking to Papa about it over the weekend.  Since we don't have a spare room to give me a true "office", we both agree I should try to find a place to work on my writing away from home.  He suggested one of two local coffee shops that I love.  Both are very "work friendly" and let you plug your devices into the outlets, have extension cords at the ready, etc.  But, I would obviously have to buy *something* while there.  Even if I only bought a hot chocolate (around $3 to $4), I would still be spending money and I'm not sure I want to do that every week since I'm pinching pennies in other areas.  The other option I have outside the house is our local library.  They have a large "quiet" room in the lower level with their non-fiction and research books.  There are long tables and small cubby style desks perfect for working. (No outlets though)   So far I have decided that Wednesdays will be my "work" day and I will probably alternate between the library and a coffee shop to see which works best.  Honestly though, I am hoping it's the library solely because it's free.  Maybe I will "reward" myself a day at one of the coffee shops while I am finishing a project?  Or maybe just go once out of every 6 weeks?  I don't know yet.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

Okay, well I am off to get some ironing accomplished!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Menu Plan....



Being rather upset by the vast amount of money that I tend to spend on liquids (soft drinks and Snapple mostly), I am going to try to stay out of the grocery store as much as possible for the last half of the month.  I am not sure how "do-able" this is, but I am going to try my best.  (I'll probably end up there buying drinks anyway...LOL)   With that in mind, here is my Menu Plan for this week:



Breakfasts:

Oatmeal
Various Cold Cereal
Muffins (type still TBD)
Hashbrowns
Bagels
Yogurt




Lunches:

Sandwiches & Chips
Pasta Salad
Granola Bar, String Cheese, & Fruit
Leftovers




Dinners:

Sunday:
Steak
Choice of Mashed Potatoes or Yams 
Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions
Corn


Monday:
Pork Chops
Mashed Potato Cakes (made from Sunday's leftover potatoes)
Corn


Tuesday:
Grilled Salmon or Baked Ziti
Rice (For Salmon)
Sauteed Yellow Squash


Wednesday:
Chicken Stir Fry
Rice (leftover from Tuesday)


Thursday:
Leftovers Night
G1 has work, vocal lesons, AND a concert to attend so I'm keeping Thursday super simple


Friday:
Roast Beef
Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
Parker House Rolls



I'm only going as far as Friday for now because that's all my brain seems to be able to process at the moment.  I started this post YESTERDAY and just was able to finish figuring out the menu to this point now!  LOL


Have a great Monday!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Yesterday's Big Y Run



As I mentioned in a previous post (I think), I did a quick run to the grocery store to grab a few things before G2 had her friends over.  Here's what I spent:

Money Spent at Store:  $28.02
Monies left in September budget:  $263.10

Here's What I Bought:

1/2 Gallon of Milk
1 lb Big Y Butter
1 Newman's Own Lemonade
Large Bottle of Hawaiian Punch
3 6 packs of Coke
2 packages of Entenman's Mini Powdered Doughnuts
2 lbs of red seedless Grapes



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Today I am....


Happy...  I picked Papa up from the airport last night!  It may seem weird but we truly don't like being separated....even after being together for 24 years!  Last night was the first good night of sleep I have had in a week.


Busy...  G2 is having a bunch of friends over (some to sleepover) since we live the closest to the Fall Festival/Fireworks display going on in town tonight.  (Fingers crossed they don't get soaked since possible thunderstorms are predicted)  I spent most of yesterday cleaning up the house (as usual!) and today I am baking some goodies to go along with the snacks I already have stashed in the house. I am determined to not have these get togethers/sleepovers break the bank!


Proud...  September's reboot is still going well.  There are things I am struggling with still - Budget tracking and such mostly.  But all in all I am plugging away at it and not giving up.  I have been the Queen of "Starting Fresh Next Month" and I don't want to continue that anymore.  LOL


Wishing...  That my fairy godmother would wave her magic wand and fix everything that I am not happy about in my life.  But, since that's not going to happen, I guess I need to put the plan and hard work into action!


Hoping...  That you all have a great Saturday!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Food Waste Friday



I have to say, it wasn't too bad a week here waste wise!  But, then again,  I need a *good* week after last week's debacle!  Here's the scoop:


Fed to the Dog:

One small piece of leftover salmon (maybe 2x2?)



Fed to the Compost:

1/2 container of strawberries - I really need to follow Nathalie's lead and rinse them in vinegar/water
                                            for longer storage!!
1/3 container of blueberries- molded and shriveled up



Fed to the Disposal/Drain:

1 cup-ish of milk



And that's it.  Hopefully I can keep it up from here on out!  =)

Aldi's Run



Papa had asked me to take his car in for an oil change while he was away this week.  The service station is within one mile of our closest Aldi's so I stopped by.  Here's what I got:

Monies Spent at Aldi's:  $23.06
Monies left in September budget:  $291.13


2 Boxes Marshmallow Stars Cereal
1 Box Crisp Rice Cereal
1 Box Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal
1 can Kidney Beans
I can Black Beans
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
Wedge of Parmesan
2 lbs of Butter
5 lb bag of Flour
16 oz tub of fresh style Salsa (G1 snubbed her nose at it so Papa and I will be the ones to try it first!)



Very obvious that Aldi is THE place to shop as much as possible!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Changing the Menu Today.....



G2 bit the inside of her lip yesterday BUT GOOD at school.  It wasn't bleeding and I didn't think much else of it....unitl this morning.  My poor little baby woke up with a HUGE fat lip - like been in the ring with Mike Tyson fat lip!  We already had an orthodontist appointment scheduled today but I had them bump it up a few hours so they could take a look at it quicker.  The outside isn't bruised but the inside of her lip is just nasty.  (I will spare you any more details. LOL)  She couldn't face the kids at school (not that I could blame her) so I took pity on her and she is home with me until the ortho appointment. She is my overly studious child so I know any and all work she is missing will be completed either today (looking for assignments posted on the PowerSchool portal) or tomorrow when she goes back.

Anyway....she may be home for dinner tonight with us.  And, I'm thinking that sandwiches and salty chips may not work so well for her mouth.  A quick look in the kitchen and problem solved!  Tonight I will be making French Toast Casserole for dinner with fresh berries and bacon for sides.  I used up some petite croissants that the Guppies didn't care for as much as the larger ones.  Also, I was able to use quite a bit of leftover past-the-expiration-date-but-not-turned-yet milk.

Tonight is the high school's "Parent Night" where we get to meet all G1's teachers and follow a "day in the life of your student" schedule.  I hate Papa isn't here to assess her teachers with me but, since she seems to like *most* of them, I am hopeful this will be an easier year than last.  (Remember this is the child with the 504 which is why we are so concerned/involved).

So, a French Toast Casserole is actually a win all around.  Easy for G2 to eat, easy to make on a night I need to run out, and eliminates food waste!  It makes me a happy Mama!

Eating more Frogs!



Even though this past week has been kinda screwy - me being sick, Papa being away - I am still not going to let my September reboot go off the rails!  (Although I am noticing that I didn't post any new "tasks" for this week.  Whoops!)

Here's a list of "frogs" I want to eat (aka things I have been procrastinating doing (or just don't want to do) but need accomplished!). My goal is to have all these done by September 18th...


1.  Clear out the smashbook/scrapbooking pile on the floor in the corner of the dining room!  -- DONE!!

2.  Finally get G2 completely signed up for Washington DC trip in May -- DONE!  Don't know why it took me so long to do such a quick and easy online task!!!

3. Clear off the hallway stairs and vaccuum. (I hate this chore!)

4. Reorganize the games/printer area in the family room.

5.  Reorganize/inventory the kitchen cupboards.

6.  Fully detailed cleaning/organizing/purging of upstairs bathroom.  It's the only full bathroom and used solely by us -no guests allowed in! -  because it is always disastrous!  There are THREE females sharing one bathroom...enough said!  Except thank God for our "company" half bath downstairs.  LOL

7.  Start weeding out my closet.  Take out some of the summer clothing I know I won't wear again this season.  Move some of the lighter fall stuff in.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

About That Menu Plan....



With Papa gone this week, my life has been extra crazy.  I am doing all the running around where as he helped with some - like dropping G1 off to school on his way to work, picking G1 up from her job on his way home from work, helping clean the kitchen after I cook.  Plus a lot of other little things I take for granted - and notice when he's NOT here to do them!  LOL

Anyway, this week is all about quick and easy!

Breakfasts:

Croissants
Hashbrowns 
Blueberry Muffins (I took the half I froze from last week's batch out)
Peanut Butter Toast
Bagels




Lunches:

PB&J
Granola bar, string cheese, and grapes
Pasta Salad
Leftovers



Dinners:

All about ease here!

MONDAY
We had a late lunch early dinner before bringing Papa to the airport
Grilled Salmon
Grilled BBQ chicken legs
Mac n Cheese
Rice
leftover Kale Salad


TUESDAY:
Chicken Rice casserole (a G1 favorite)


TODAY (WEDNESDAY):
Spaghetti and Meatballs (a G2 favorite)
Salad
Garlic bread


THURSDAY:
Just G1 & me so probably...
Sandwiches & Chips 
or
Leftovers


FRIDAY:
Maple Pork Chops
Baked sweet potatoes
Sauteed Squash


SATURDAY:
G2 is having a ton of girls over for a sleepover after they go to the carnival and local fireworks display at the park very close to our home so I'm thinking...
Take Out Pizza
will probably be the cheapest way to go!  I originally thought hot dogs but G2 and Papa are extremely picky about hot dog brands so pizza is definitely the cheaper of the two!





So.... there is the laid back meal plan for the week!  It's done and I can still count it as a success on my reboot plan!  =)

Gas & Garbage



GAS:  Spent $26.80  I had to get gas on September 6th. I'm kinda bummed about it because I really wanted to make it until the 10th. Oh well.  A little more than half my budgeted monies gone. But, I *think* I can still make it at or under the $50 budget!


GARBAGE:  Same story different week.  2 13 gallon sized kitchen bags went out this week.  It would be nice to find a way to get down to one consistently. I am very happy with our recycling efforts however.  Our recycling gets picked up every two weeks and is always full - think BIG green trash can!



Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Explanation by Emoji

Busy day today trying to (still) catch up from the two "down time" days of being sick.  I have a million scattered thoughts going around my head right now!  Here are some of them...courtesy of emojis!




HAPPY!

* Both Guppies seem to be settling into school nicely.  This is especially good news since G2 gets major anxiety when anything "new" comes along!

*I'm happy I got the dog out and walked already this morning!  It's supposed to be a scorcher today with high heat and humidity!

* I'm also happy/thankful to have A/C!  (which will be on all day by the way!)











TIRED!!!

*I didn't sleep well last night due to my cold and because Papa is away.  I never sleep well when he is on business trips!   Unfortunately, MY cold kept the Guppies up a little last night too!  They kept coming into my room to wake me up/tell me to stop coughing, sniffling, snoring (((blush))).  Oh Gupps! I would have if I could have!!










(This emoji doesn't quite fit the other two in style but was too cute not to use!)

SAD!

*One of my all time favorite bloggers in the world - Carla over at halfdozendaily.typepad.com is thinking about calling her blog quits or at the very least going private.  I have been reading her blog for at least three years now and I will be more than sad to see her stop.  She has always been very open and honest about her way of life and views - which has been very refreshing/helpful to me.  However, trolls are getting to her now.  And I know it has to be bad for her to consider closing the blog or privatizing it!  She is a pretty thick skinned lady!  She has to do what is best for her family and if this stresses her out, then of course she should stop...But Geez Louise!  I would miss her!






ANNOYED!

*At TROLLS that bother bloggers to make themselves feel superior.  

*At TROLLS on facebook! Here's an example...Some Connecticut schools are calling for a half day due to the extreme heat. (Ninety percent of CT schools don't have A/C.)  You gotta love the people that put their two cents in on the local news facebook pages - SMH!  Here are some of the doozies I read today:
When I was young, we had to wear woolen trousers and long sleeved shirts in this weather and we were okay!
Those entitled brats just suck it up and stay in school!
This is why America is now a land of wussies!  (I saw this one in different variations also exchanging the "w" in wussies for the letter P)








BUSY!

*G2 has drum lessons today so I have to get at least part of the house "presentable" I have way too much stuff to do in only a few hours!
Plus, I have a list of things I want to get done today -- Menu Plan anyone?






With that, I'm off and running!  Have a great day!  I am going to try to post my meal plan later this afternoon!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Big Y Shopping Trip (September Shopping Trip #3)



Originally, I was going to write this post on Saturday night, berating myself for only going to the in-town store again and NOT heading over to Aldi and Shop Rite. But, I am going to cut myself a bit of slack since I was well on my way to getting sick!  And, Big Y did have a LOT of buy one/get two and buy one/get one specials.  In a perfect world I would have gone and grabbed these, THEN headed over to Aldi.  But it's not a perfect world and I certainly am nowhere near perfect so.....

Here's how I did...Money Spent on this trip:  $114.65
                           September money left:     $.314.19


BAKERY:

Apple Caramel Strudel (4 pack)
Petite Croissants (10 pack)
6 count of onion bagels

PRODUCE:

1 medium zucchini
1 medium squash
3 lbs idaho potatoes
1 lb broccoli crowns
3 bags baby carrots
1 lemon
1 Basil plant (completely free with gold coin)
1 1/4 lb sweet potatoes
Tub of organic spring mix
Sweet kale salad mix
.28 fresh pitted olives


SEAFOOD:

2 pkgs of frozen salmon (enough for two dinner plus leftovers)


MEAT:

1 pack of chicken drumsticks (8 count)
2 packages of split chicken breasts (2 large breasts per package)
3 pillow packs of pepperoni


MISC. GROCERY/PANTRY:

1 bottle of Asiago Peppercorn dressing
3 Dynamo laundry detergents (50 oz each)
1 Heinz Ketchup
1 box CapNCruch cereal for Papa
1 bag of Lays
3 32 oz bottles of Diet Lemon Snapple
3 32 oz bottles of Diet Peach Snapple



FROZEN:

2 packages of hash brown patties (10 count each)
4 Lean Cuisine BBQ chicken pizzas (G1 loves these but they are hard to find so I stocked up)
1 Tai Pei General Tso Chicken entree
1 Tai Pei Beef with Broccoli entree
4 Friendly's sundae cups




There you have it.  Trip#3.  I will be trying to look at what I have in the house now to make up the menus for the week.  (Tonight is already planned out for before I take Papa to the airport.)  G1 has decided she wants to learn to cook so I need to take that into consideration while making meals this week too.