Friday, March 31, 2017

March Goals Recap

Today I am taking a look at March Goals and what I was (and was NOT) able to accomplish.  After reading these, it's more than clear what areas really need improvement!  Those will be moved to my biggest priority for April --- But, to be honest, they were being moved there anyway!

Here is the original list with how I did....

March Goals

I am aiming for $450.  I also need to restock quite a few things in the pantry so this is going to be interesting.  But, I am determined! -- DONE by the skin of my teeth!  Total for groceries:  $447.19!

I am budgeting $130 - this is for just my car.  If I am able to stay under this, any money left will be rolled into a "Summer fund" for the extra driving I do in the summer.    -- DONE!  $20 saved towards summer driving season!

I would like to read at least four books in March.  -- DONE!
Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
Colony of the Lost by Derek Cavignano
Trigger Warnings: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I have been far too lazy so far - okay some of it was due to illness but still I'm way off the mark for where I need to be.
1.  Aiming for 5 miles per day minimum.  I don't have a fitbit but my phone keeps track of my steps taken/miles walked.  I have been using that for about a week now.  While not perfect (I sometimes leave it on the table and forget to have it on me), it's a decent indicator of my level of activity.  --NOPE!  I did the math and figured out my average steps for the month and then converted it to miles.  I averaged 8365 steps per day...a little less than 2 miles per day!  Awful!!
2.  Strength/Weight training twice per week.  -- NOT FOR MARCH
3.  Yoga once per week - try to find a beginner program on Netflix or YouTube  -- FOUND A PROGRAM BUT HAVEN'T TRIED IT YET
4.  Limit diet coke to 2x per day - It really is my weakness.  -- NOT FOR MARCH
5.  Up water intake to at least 16 oz per day - baby steps here. -- NOPE
6.  Weight loss - I'm hoping if I do the above I will see the scale move a decent amount.  I'm aiming for a 5 lb loss in March.  -- HAHA!  NOPE!

1.  Try to make tortillas or pita bread. -- DIDN'T GET TO IT
2.  Try at least four new recipes in March. --DONE!
Cheesecake Recipe
Red Potato Bacon Soup
Corned Beef Brisket
Buttermilk Coffee Cake
Bundt Pan Coffee Cake
I think there was one or two more new recipes during the week Ramsey was here with us but I can't remember!  And, since I didn't keep a What's Cooking log for that week.....

1.  Save/Earn at least $100 in March.  Some of my ideas so far as to how to achieve this include selling things on Ebay and/or through consignment, bottle returns, money saved in grocery budget - if any, Swagbucks, Ibotta, and any of other shaving of bills I can find!  I am also contemplating finding some part time work outside the house.  --- SO CLOSE BUT SADLY MISSED THIS!
There are still bottles/cans to return and a bunch of Nursing Scrub tops to Ebay/Facebook tag sale.  Just didn't get to them for March.  Also still considering part time employment.

Start using a journal/calendar system again!  It fell by the wayside in February and I can see how much I truly need it to stay on track with everything!  I am a complete mess without it!  -- DONE!  Totally helps me stay focused!  Still tweaking the best format but super helpful to be tracking everything again.  I got a new free (with Target gift card) journal to start writing my thoughts down at night too.  So doubly done! 

Way too much red up there!

Going to take some time tonight and figure out April goals.  I'll post those over the weekend.

How did you do on your March goals?

I Just Want a *$@!&*^% Creme Egg!!!

I'll be back later this afternoon or evening with my March Recap post but I had to share this with you this morning....

Yesterday was a very aggravating day....

The dog pulled me around like a ragdoll during our walk thanks to poorly timed interactions with other dogs.  (She's not aggressive and only wants to play)

The tension shower rod fell on me while I was taking a shower....THREE TIMES!

I messed up my medication and double dosed myself.  (Not dangerous beside a major tummy ache)

I went to the mall to return something....realizing when I got there that I actually forgot said item at home.

I was running behind schedule and wasn't going to be able to stop home to eat lunch before bringing G1 to a ninety minute appointment.

So, yeah....

After leaving the mall parking lot, I ran across the street to Target to grab a new journal for myself (free with an earned gift card).

And there they were...
Displayed and ripe for the picking!
And smelling delicious!
My arch-nemesis...
The Cadbury Crème Egg!

I wanted one (or ten!) so badly!

I texted Papa and complained about the morning.
And I complained that I wanted that damn crème egg!
I told him that I was going to buy one too!

But he talked texted me down from the ledge.
And I left Target with my new journal and crème egg free!

Thanks to Papa I didn't go down the slippery (but delicious) slope.
And, I told myself I could have one before Easter...
But I didn't need one now.

Oh and as for lunch?  Rather than grabbing fast food for us, I went to Stop & Shop.  I grabbed sushi for G1 and a premade Boars Head sandwich from the deli area for me.  (Counted in the eating out budget rather than groceries)

I am determined to not let "life" get in the way of my weight loss goals this time!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Groceries This Week With End of Month Total

I am striving to keep my grocery bill to $450 or under for March. I am aiming for $100 less than a "normal" budgeted month.  Don't know if it can happen, but, I'm game to try!  =)
What is included in my monthly budget?  Food, paper and cleaning products, and health/beauty items.  We are a family of four....Papa, Me, Guppy1 (18), and Guppy2 (14).  Plus we often will have an impromptu dinner guest or two thanks to the Guppies!  =)
Last week, I had $19.54 left  for the month.
Let's see how I did this week....

Dollar Tree:  $5.19
1 box of aluminum foil
1 box cling wrap
2 smallish pouches of fruit & nut mixes (to use for granola making)
1 container of gel dishwasher (they didn't have the powder that I usually buy)

Big Y:  $11.54
I went in because we desperately needed butter but took advantage of a few deals while there...
1 lb butter
2 half gallons of G2's favorite flavor of ice cream (thankfully not MY favorite flavor! LOL)
1 container of chocolate sprinkles (for above ice cream)
1 box Frosted Mini Wheats

Farmer's Market is on April 1st so it will count towards April's budget...

Total Spent This Week:  $16.73
Total Spent for March Groceries:  $447.19!!!!

I actually am under budget this month!!!!

I know my parents helped make that easier but I'm still super pleased!

How did things turn out for your March grocery budget?

Day Book March 30th, 2017 and Gas & Garbage

Picture taken earlier this week....My 85 pound puppy thinks she's really a lap dog! This is her earlier in the week with me.  Whenever I feel sick or down she won't leave my side....

Outside my window...
The sun is coming up.  There is the usual hustle and bustle of cars going by and kids walking to the bus stop.

What I am hearing...
Cars, the refrigerator humming, the clothes dryer.

What I am wearing...
Purple long sleeved sweater, black jeans, black socks.

What I am feeling...
Determined....I have to lose this weight now, no more fooling around.  And, grateful to those who have reached out to help support me!  =)

What I am reading...
The Dead and Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This is a four book series.  I really liked the first book a LOT.  The second one has a new set of characters and I'm not feeling it quite as much.  However, because the third book goes back to the first book's characters AND the fourth is supposed to tie all the books together, I am going to finish this one.  Confusing?  LOL   Anyway, the books center around a post-apocalyptic theme - an asteroid hits the moon and knocks it out of its orbit and closer to Earth.

From the kitchen...
The kitchen is currently a MESS!  So, I gotta get on that.  I'm hoping to make some granola for Papa since he's out.  But, that probably won't happen until later this afternoon.


I did it guys!  My budget for the month was $130.  Last time I went to the gas station, I only put in $20.  It's going to be close but I think I can make it until Saturday (April 1st)!  So, I used only $110 of my $130 allotment!  Super psyched about it!  The extra twenty will be "saved" to help defray summer driving expenses.

We had two (13 gallon kitchen sized) bags go out this week.  And a very, very, VERY full can of recyclables.

Today is going to be a busy day for me so I better get moving!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When It FINALLY Clicks....

Sometimes it takes a real scare for something to finally "click".....

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to see my neurologist (whom I adore).  Not going to lie, I was petrified and have been very anxious about my MS relapsing.  Here's why....I have the "good" kind of MS which is Relapsing Remitting.  That basically means I get a "lesion" either in my brain or spine but then it heals itself and I move on with occasional "flares" from the old lesion (particularly when I am sick).  But, sometimes Relapsing Remitting transforms in Primary Progressive MS, which is just plain nasty.  With Primary Progressive, there is just a slow steady marching ebbs and flows.....way worse prognosis.

I was really worried that either:
1.  This was a new lesion that was in a really "bad" spot that could leave me wheelchair bound.
2.  My MS diagnosis was going to change to Primary Progressive.

Neither of which is the case.

Ready for what's going on?

I'm fat!
But, not really LOL.

My neuro is awesome and didn't quite put it that way.
However, the deal is my left leg IS compromised by the MS in that it's weaker.  He is putting me on a new med to help with the night spasms and hopefully will take away some of the pain.  But, I believe he used the words "muscular skeletal" to explain what was happening.
The gist of the conversation:
Me: (completely relieved and practically beaming at Papa) So, what can I do about what's going on if it's not completely MS?
Doc:  (smiles) You aren't going to like what I have to say...
Me:  Go ahead and tell me
Doc: (sheepish grin and waiting for me to jump out of my seat and pummel him) Well, lose some weight and get in shape
(Then he continued by telling me my left leg was weaker, etc)

Am I shocked to find out that I have to lose weight?
Of course not.
I have known for a long time now that my weight was getting out of control.
But, it just clicked yesterday.
I HAVE to put myself first and get this taken care of RIGHT NOW!
It's just gotten too important for my health and future quality of life.
Papa doesn't care if I am fat or skinny...But now he's worried about my health too.  Like he said this morning, it's like my body has reached its breaking point with the weight and MS together.

I am back to doing Wednesday Weigh In's with the lovely Rachel  and plan on updating every week again.
This time I am laying it all out there like she does though.
I'm a tiny bit shy of 5'4" and my weight this morning was 184.7 lbs.
I weighed that when I was nine months pregnant with Guppy 2!
I won't get down this time though.  It's a starting point.  I don't want to see that number ever again. 
Ideally, I want to lose 50 lbs.  I don't think that will happen overnight....or even by the end of this year.  But, it's time to REALLY head towards that number in earnest.
I even told Papa and the Guppies what I weighed - which I don't think I have ever done before.
My family knows they need to step up and help out more so that I can focus on this.
They also know to knock any crap outta my hands before it reaches my mouth too!  Haha!

I was so worried about ending up wheelchair bound....

And now I find out that, at least for the moment, whether or not that happens is completely up to me.

I hope you will follow this journey with me because I'm sure I could use the moral support down the road.  =)

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


This morning finds me filled with worries...big and small. 

Maybe it's partly the gloomy rainy weather that is affecting my mood.

I don't know.

Yesterday morning, I did finally email my neurologist.  He emailed me back within 45 minutes to tell me to make a follow up appointment.  Since my time/date was rejected on the website scheduling program, I had to call the office.  It still amazes me how lacking his office staff is, for the most part.  There is literally one person who is on the ball and she normally works at the secondary location.  Anyway, after telling my story (the morning emails, possible MS flare, needing a follow up), the woman on the phone is quiet.  Finally she says that she is trying to find a spot to get me in.  Okay, fine....

"I can get you in on April 20th."
Wait, what?

I told her that I was in the middle of a possible flare and, by April 20th,  it would probably be over. (And at that point really there is no reason to even bother going in at all besides documenting it.)  I requested an appointment sooner.
She put me on hold to "talk with the doctor".
And came back less than a minute later with an appointment for today at noon.

I'm thankful to have the appointment.  But, besides being nervous about the outcome, the timing is horrible. 

G1 gets out of school at 12:30 today. (She has to walk home.)
G2 gets out at 2pm but has a therapy appointment right at dismissal. (I may or may not make it back in time to pick her up and bring her.)
And, it's supposed to rain today....all day.

I know they aren't made of sugar and won't melt.
We live less than 1/2 mile from the high school.
G2's therapy is a few blocks away from the high school.

But, the rain makes me feel like I am dropping the "good parent" ball.

There are lots of other little and big worries going through my head today as well.  Too many to get into on this post.
I am thinking about taking some time tonight to get out a new journal/notebook and list them all.  Then see what I can do to help/change each worry and make an action plan.

I guess that's the best we can do somedays right?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Positively Monday!

The weeks have been flying by, I swear!

I'm not sure I have very many "positives" of late but I'm going to try to  best since listing the good things helps me quite a LOT.

Here we go...

1.  I am trying my hardest to not have to buy any more oil for this heating season.  I have the thermostat set at 59 degrees so, yeah, it can get a little chilly in the house right now!  LOL  To ward off the chill, yesterday I did some baking.  I made a new to me Bundt Coffee Cake recipe and some chocolate chip cookies.  The house warmed up nicely AND smelled delicious!  Of course, let's not forget that my family was very happy to have some baked treats as well.  Wins all around in my book!

2.  Whatever was going on with our almost ten year old dog's stomach seemed to have worked itself out and she is back to her normal "puppy" self!  No extra vet bills for now!  =)

3.  For the most part, I had a really nice and relaxing weekend! Lots of sleep, reading, watching TV, and snuggles!

4.  I talked to my mom about Easter this year.  Easter was really only a big deal when the Guppies were smaller....Easter dresses, egg hunts, huge baskets, etc.  Since my mom has to work the entire Easter weekend (she's a nurse) and my leg isn't even close to where I would like it to be, we decided to not do the big Easter dinner at my house like usual.  Initially I felt really guilty but my mom said it's actually easier for her to cook the ham and have a small dinner for the two of them at her house.  We will go visit them on Saturday for a bit however.  Like I said, Easter wasn't ever a big deal growing up in my house and only was really a "thing" when the Guppies were small.

5.  My last positive for today I guess is having good healthcare.  I (finally) set up my patient portal for neurologist and will be emailing him after I publish this post.  It's past time to figure out what is going on with my leg.  To be honest though, I am terrified.

Any good positives in your world?
Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

What's Cooking?

I was able to stay on track this week!  Let's take a look at what we ate....

G1 was at a friend's house overnight on Saturday.  She texted me she won't be home until after dinner since a bunch of her group decided to go out to eat. (she is using her own $$ to do this)
G2:  2 Hashbrown patties with syrup
Me:  1 cup of dry Malt-O-Meal version of Lucky Charms
Papa:  Bowl of Cap N Crunch with milk

G2:  Grilled Bacon & Cheese sandwich with Pringles
Papa & Me:  Split a grilled cheese sandwich and we each had a bowl of potato soup (leftover from last night's dinner)

Ricotta Stuffed Shells (G2 requested these rather than the bacon broccoli cavetelli originally planned)
Green Beans with Garlic (leftovers from last week)
Garlic Bread

G1:  2 Cherry turnovers
G2:  Hashbrowns with syrup
Papa:  Maple yogurt with granola (at work)
Me:  1 cherry turnover and 1/2 cup dry Malt-O-Meal Lucky Charms

G1: Scrambled eggs, toast, spicy sauce
G2:  Leftover stuffed shells with garlic bread
Papa: Leftover potato soup with garlic bread
Me:  Leftover potato soup with garlic bread

Steak Fajitas with shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream*
*the Guppies and I did NOT like the steak's texture this time!  It was the usual cut but something was just really off like it was too thick.
Jasmine Rice

G1:  Egg McMuffin style sandwich with American cheese, egg over easy, and sausage
G2:  Poor thing had bad cramps and wasn't hungry.  =(
Papa:  Oatmeal from his stash at work
Me:  1/2 English muffin with peanut butter (half dropped on the floor upside down and the dog happily scarfed it up!  Joke's on her because the wheat is going to make her ears itch later!)

G1: Frozen individual pepperoni piiza
G2: Grilled Cheese & Carmel popcorn
Papa:  Leftover steak fajitas - that man seriously took one for the team today!
Me: One of the individual frozen chicken pot pies my parents bought me last week

G1, Papa, & Me:  Veggie fried rice (made with bits of veggies needing to be used, two eggs, and leftover rice)
G2:  Leftover stuffed shells (not a fried rice kind of gal)

G1:  Chocolate Chip muffin
G2:  Croissant with butter
Papa:  Chocolate Chip muffin and 2 mandarin oranges
Me:  1 cup (dry) Malt-O-Meal version of Frosted Mini Wheats

G1:  Popcorn chicken with spicy sauce
G2:  Cheese and Crackers while we drove over to her therapy appt.  Popcorn once she got home to tide her over until dinner.
Papa:  Leftover veggie fried rice
Me:  Small salad with blue cheese dressing

Papa working late since he had his day broken into segments because he had to drive his brother back and forth to an appointment at the hospital.  His sister is useless lately with helping.  (((sigh)))
G1, G2, & Me:  Fried Dough with sauce and parmesan cheese
Papa:  I have sandwich fixings ready for him to make whenever he gets home.

G1: Chocolate Chip muffin
G2: Croissant
Papa: Oatmeal at work
Me:  1 cup dry Malt-O-Meal Frosted Mini Wheats

G1:  Ate once she got to Ramsey's house
G2:  Ate at her friend's house
Papa:  Leftover seafood salad sandwich
Me:  Leftover Fried Dough

What was originally going to be G2, her friend, Papa, & me ended up just being Papa and me!
Garlic & Thyme Roast Pork (froze the leftovers to use for future fried rice)
Mashed potatoes
Buttered Corn

No school today for teacher inservice.  G1 is spending the weekend up at Ramsey's.  G2 slept at a friend's house and should return by dinner time.
Papa:  Maple Yogurt with granola at work
Me:  1 cup dry Malt-O-Meal Frosted Mini Wheats

Papa:  His department is going out for lunch
Me:  The last of the leftover fried dough (I will freeze half the dough next time rather than make it all!  Blech!  Stomach ache!)

G2: Quesadilla & Salsa
Papa & Me:  Crockpot Chili

G2:  Croissant with butter
Papa:  Smorz cereal with milk (ancient box he is using up for me)
Me:  1 cup dry Malt-O-Meal Frosted Mini Wheats (getting boring since I have been doing it all week but it works)

G2: out with boyfriend
Papa & Me:  Chili with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips

Papa & Me:  Homemade quiche with onions/mushrooms/spinach
G2 came home earlier than expected.  Since she doesn't like quiche, she opted to have leftover pizza from her lunch with boyfriend.  (He had her bring home all the leftovers because they got her favorite type of pizza.)

How did you week go menu wise?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Plans & ATM Fees

Happy Saturday! 

I'm hoping to have a very lowkey type of weekend...However it seems like, whenever I post that, something crazy happens!  LOL
Papa is out getting a haircut right now and G2 is getting ready to go to her boyfriend's for the day.  G1 is already at Ramsey's for the weekend.
So what do I plan on doing today?  Not a heck of a LOT!

Take the dog for a walk
Do a load of laundry (or maybe two)
Finish reading my book
Read some blogs
Make a spinach/mushroom/onion quiche for dinner
Snuggle with Papa and watch TV

The above is what I am hoping for!  We will see what happens...fingers crossed that it works out this way though!  Especially since I know Papa is feeling rundown too.

Onto the lovely ATM fees...

When we moved back in 2003, I knew we were moving at least thirty minutes from any of our credit union locations.  But, at the time, I found it to be a minor inconvenience (especially since I was using my debit card a whole lot more than cash).  I love our credit union - we have been their customer for 20 plus years, no low balance fees, and I do have a few bills that are directly taken out each month which would be a pain to change.
So, whenever I need to take cash out and found myself at a different ATM, I would mentally think of what was coming up and I needed cash for - to try to slow the hemorrhage otherwise knows as ATM fees.
Up until very recently, I would only incur fees from the ATM I was using (anywhere from $3.25 to $4).  Now, my credit union is ALSO charging to use another bank's ATM so add another $1 to my withdrawl fees....which is quite alarming when considering that now, if you want to take $20 out of your account -I never take this low amount but still, it now is going to "cost" you a total of upwards of $24!
While I still don't want to change banks, this is going to take some extra planning on my part. I have a way around these fees for now....
I can take $$$ out when buying groceries with my debit card for no additional charge.  This is how I am going to have to roll for awhile I think, even though I like using cash for groceries.  I am also going to research banks closer to my home and possibly open an account to deposit money (via my current checking account checks) to withdraw as necessary.
I refuse to keep leaking ATM fees! 

Anyway, I'm off to bring G2 to the boyfriend's.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Groceries This Week (March 2017)

I am striving to keep my grocery bill to $450 or under for March. I am aiming for $100 less than a "normal" budgeted month.  Don't know if it can happen, but, I'm game to try!  =)
What is included in my monthly budget?  Food, paper and cleaning products, and health/beauty items.  We are a family of four....Papa, Me, Guppy1 (18), and Guppy2 (14).  Plus we often will have an impromptu dinner guest or two thanks to the Guppies!  =)
Last week, I had $77.10 left  for the month.
Let's see how I did this week....

Stop & Shop:  $57.56
1 small salad from salad bar
1 container of Simply Orange OJ
1 twin pack of Philly cream cheese
1 package of prepared pizza dough
2 (16 oz each) packages of store brand frozen corn
1 bottle veg oil
1 canister of store brand fried onions
1 (100 count) paper napkins
1 marked down fresh mozzarella
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 packages Perdue chicken nuggets
2 good sized pork tenderloins (buy one/get one)
1 bag popcorn chicken
1 (5lb) bag of Russet potatoes
1 package sliced shitakes
1 sleeve (6 pack) garlic cloves

*Opting to not go to the Farmer's Market tomorrow.  We still have an unopened milk and a full unopened yogurt for Papa.  The market starts back up outdoors next week so we will go then! (Also it will be the beginning of a new month's budget so perfect timing! LOL)

Total spent:  $57.56
Left for March groceries:  $19.54!

It's going to be a close one but I'm fairly sure I can do it!  =)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Really Behind..

Happy Thursday everyone! 

Just stopping in quickly before I start trying to get everything done today!

I need to run (well, run isn't quite the right word at the moment, thank you Left Leg) to a mall 45 minutes away because G1 is having a "makeup emergency" and is completely out of foundation.  (My gas and time, her money)  She is heading over to Ramsey's right after school because tomorrow is a teacher in service day...hence said teenage emergency.

G2 texted me and asked if a friend could sleepover tonight.  But, not just any friend...the one who has been having all the depressive issues - she is doing a bit better by the way.  So, how could I say no?  Cue the straightening up of the family room, bringing the mattress down and make sure I have clean sheets for it, cleaning the downstairs bathroom, and figuring dinner out since the friend is partially vegetarian.

Add walking the dog into the mix and the usual laundry....

Oh, and ALL of this needs to be done by 12:30....

And I'm hobbling around!


I downed some Tylenol for the pain and, yes, this afternoon I will probably breakdown and email my neurologist.

And, I keep trying to remember that one day the chaos that is created by the Guppies will be gone...

And I'm going to miss it more than I can even imagine.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day Book for Wednesday March 22, Plus Gas & Garbage

G2 and I are always texting each other silly memes.  I have no idea why but this one cracked me up yesterday!

Outside my window....
It literally just began to flurry...which is strange because I don't remember hearing that in the forecast.  The wind is blowing the trees around like mad.  Other than a few cars going by, there really isn't much activity.

What I am hearing....
The furnace kicking on AGAIN! I really didn't want to fill the oil tank again until after the cold weather was over.  There was something satisfying in being able to say we only filled up twice for the entire winter.  But, with only a quarter of tank left and some more cold weather on the way, I'm not sure I am going to win this one!

What I am feeling....
Meh.  But, I am not going to be one of those bloggers who just complains all the time!  LOL  Yesterday I logged in almost 12,000 steps so that's definitely progress from where I have been lately. So, let's stick with that!  =)

What I am wearing....
Still in PJ's as I have yet to hop in the flannel PJ bottoms, black long sleeved T shirt, and dark blue Disney Beach Club zip up sweatshirt.  Yeah, I know you are jealous of my fashion sense!  Haha!

What I am reading....
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaimon.  It's a compilation of his short stories.  It's awesome so far and I am taking my time with it! 

From the kitchen....
Nothing yet.  Papa was my hero last night when he cleaned the kitchen for me!  So, I have a nice neat kitchen to mess up today!  HAHA  I need to make more granola later on this morning.  And, it would probably be a good idea to figure out tonight's dinner as well!  Papa already warned me he is most likely working late - more snafus in the final phases of the computer portion of his project.

From the learning rooms....
I don't use this one quite often but I have something to say today!  G1 got a formal written warning via email from Gaggle/Administration.  It was beyond ridiculous!  And, I'm not talking about just because I don't agree with it!  It was a form email that said her work had been "flagged for inappropriate words/content" and to "refrain from such language in the future".  Talk about being vague?!?!  No specifics whatsoever!  We have encouraged her to go to administration and ask for particulars!  (As her English teacher did as well)  Before G1 went to bed last evening, she told me she WANTED to continue to turn things in on Google Docs because she strongly believes in freedom of expression in a creative writing classroom.  She even told me the idea she has for her next short story and, wow!  It's a doozy! It draws on past experiences over the years at the high school while still staying in the fiction realm.  It's not her usual gory stuff, but, if she does indeed write it, it will probably freak administration out, which is fine.  Let G1 graduate with a bang!  I'm pretty sure her AP Creative Writing teacher will get a kick out of the story too!  Especially after G1 shows her the one she wrote sophomore year!  Some people may think that we are encouraging G1 to go looking for trouble....What we are doing is helping her find her voice and stand up for what she believes in.

My goal gas budget for the month of March was $130.  This is for my car only.  As of last my last update, I had $73.57 left.  Last Friday night I filled up for $30.43, leaving me with $43.14 for the rest of the month.  I have a little over 1/2 tank currently and will most likely need to fill up again on Friday.  I am considering only putting in $20 and trying to make it the rest of the month with only that.  This way, I can "bank" $23 towards summer driving.  We will see how this goes!  =)

Only ONE (13 gallon kitchen sized bag) this week!  (((cue applause)))  LOL  I'm extremely happy with this!

I'm off to take that shower and get the dog out for a quick walk!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Positively Monday!

Apparently I need this weekly post more than even I realized!  LOL

I can feel the grumpies overtaking my mood so let's see what positives I can come up with to negate it!

1.  My leg is slowly on the mend!  Papa helped out a ton this weekend so I could rest up and it made a decent difference.  While I still can't "lead" with my left foot while walking, it doesn't hurt quite as much,  I am beginning to walk downstairs one at a time again as well - rather than stepping on each step with both feet, if that makes any sense.  Plus, I am trying to batch chores together so I can stay on each floor for a good amount of time rather than taxing myself going up and down the stairs constantly. 

2.  I have cut way back on the Tylenol/Motrin regimen for my leg pain.  Even though it's over the counter, I hate taking meds!  I also never needed to add the valium in to sleep!  So YAY there!

3.  I have very giving parents!  I am very grateful to have the extra food in the house for so many reasons....not just the freebies of it either!  It's great to have organized meals that can be easily prepared.

4.  G1 had a great weekend!  She was in a new social situation and isn't always good with that type of thing due to her social anxiety.  But, this weekend went very well!  She was able to handle even the bumps and hopefully feels more confident!

5.  G2 had a very nice weekend as well!  I had given her $35 to use but she and her boyfriend chose free things to do!  Last night she asked if I wanted the money back even - honest kid!  I told her to keep it since it's a long weekend coming up - Friday is a teacher inservice day.  So, I guess in a way, I  saved some money too since I don't have to give her anymore this weekend!  =)

6.  G2 and I went for a nice night drive on Friday night after she came home from her boyfriend's.  It was great to have time just the two of us and we had a really awesome uninterrupted 90 minute conversation.  =)  Some may say it's a waste of gas but for me, it's precious time to spend with my growing Guppies.

7.  I have reached a little more than the half way goal of wanting to "earn" $100 this month.  I cashed out my consignment account's balance of $28.28 and ordered a $25 Target gift card from Papa's rewards credit card.  I still have a few more tricks up my sleeve so I have a decent shot of surpassing this goal - if I can get my act together!  =)

8.  The plethora of free/cheap magazines I was able to score at the beginning of the year are starting to be delivered!  Perfect timing as it gives me something to do during the short rest periods I take throughout the day for my leg.

9.  We have been having a successful run of new recipes for the most part.  =)

10.  I did a quick averaging of the steps I have been taking, using my cellphone's counter.  While not perfect (since I sometimes walk around the house without the phone in my pocket), I still feel like it's a fairly accurate depiction of my activity.  So far, this month I have walked an average of 8613 steps per day.  It's much lower than I would like BUT I'll take it considering the snow and my decline in mobility for a good portion of the month.

And, with that, I am starting to feel a little more optimistic today!

Happy Monday!

Gagging Over Gaggle & Other High School Hells

Maybe I am being rather unkind, but, the new principal at the Guppies' high school is completely reminding me of the evil Miss Trunchbull from Matilda!

I'm sure everyone isn't going to agree with me here.  And, that's okay. Be prepared for a rant however because I just really need to "get this out".....

But first, a quick history..
When we were house hunting back in the early 2000's and decided to spread our search farther out into Connecticut, we used a LOT of criteria for helping us make the decision as to where to settle down. Schools were one of the top three things that helped our ultimate decision....
Our town's schools were ranked behind only one other town (Madison) for the "best" school system for our town's size when we purchased our home in 2003.  And, for the elementary school years, I couldn't agree more!  With the exception of two elementary school teachers (one for each Guppy), we were thrilled with what we saw.
Middle school was horrific for G1 on so many different levels - especially seventh grade!  Her seventh grade teachers were of absolutely NO help during her depression/anorexia.  And, even said straight to Papa and my faces that 1. she couldn't wear certain clothes other kids could because of her "figure" (ie big boobs even during the anorexia) and 2. when she wanted to promote a benefit concert for a teen outreach program that she was having in lieu of a 13th birthday party, we were told that her teachers imagined her down in some basement with these musicians smoking pot and having sex. YUP!  That really happened!  And we were offended on a THOUSAND different levels trust me!  And those "musicians" were our friends who were good honest guys who never did a thing untoward to her! Oh AND, the day after we met with them to discuss G1's depression/anorexia, they searched her locker for DRUGS!  Didn't find any but no surprise to us there.  (Sorry, first rant over!  LOL)
G2's middle school years were okay.  Definitely nothing special.  But, we did love her eight grade teaching team to be honest.

Onto high school....

There have been many issues here since G1 entered four years ago...
However, one that made us very angry was when her sophomore literature teacher gave her a pretty unfair grade on a creative writing project.  The teacher told her class that nothing was off the table besides pornography.  Well, G1 stayed within her parameters and still got the lesser grade AND a trip to guidance and administration for her disturbing story.  G1 writes a LOT of horror and loves Clive Barker so you can imagine what she wrote.  LOL  In the end, I was okay with the fact that the school wanted to make sure she was "Okay" and brought us in about it. And, the way guidance handled it was an improvement from how we were all treated by her seventh grade teachers.  But, I still won't get over the fact that the sophomore lit teacher gave her a piss poor grade because she didn't like the subject matter.  (Teacher is extremely Christian and story had satanic undertones.  And, yes, G1 did do this on purpose.  I'm not going to sugar coat that!)  We have had this story viewed by other teachers who agree with us that the grading is not fair and the work was actually quite good.

Okay, now to present time....

G1 FINALLY got the teacher I have been wishing for the entire four freaking years!  Starting in January G1 is in a half year AP Creative Writing class with the best English teacher they have. I was probably almost as excited as G1 because I figured she would be able to really blossom and rediscover the love of writing that other teachers had squashed.  And, it worked!  This teacher teaches the class like an actual college course - all things are open for discussion during class and they can write about anything they chose that can fit the parameters of each assignment...

Until now....

There's a new principal this year who I have nicknamed Miss Trunchbull.

And, she has started a new lovely agenda including the use of  "Gaggle".

I had no idea what "Gaggle" was until a week ago.  Gaggle is software than sifts through anything students write on Google Docs - which is how the students turn in assignments.  It looks for "swear" words - hell and damn are even offenders - and "trigger" words.  It then alerts the administration and students can be spoken with, given detention, or even expelled for what is found!
Can Gaggle have some usefulness?  Possibly.  But, IMO, it has no place in a senior AP Creative Writing class!
So, G1 turns in some poetry for this class last week which explores the mind of a murderer.  (This was before we knew about Gaggle)  I read it and it's a great piece that is actually not gory.  But, G1's teacher apologized because, while the teacher knows G1 and her style, Gaggle doesn't.  We are waiting for her call down to administration about it.  (((sigh)))   Papa and I are both very passionate about the subject of creative censorship so, if anything happens to G1 regarding this piece,  we will be down there having a lively debate!
To the creative writing teacher's credit, she announced to the class that she will no longer be having them turn their work in through Google Docs so their creative integrity can stay intact.   So, kudos to her!
But, I have another creative writer (although not nearly as edgy) coming through the high school for three more years so this should be fun....

Also last week...

I'm driving G2, her boyfriend, and her friend home from school.  And, they are all abuzz with  the news they got from their Advisory teachers.  Apparently, students were told that the school could watch everything they did on their chromebooks, personal phones, and personal computers.  They were told that the school has a right to monitor every single song, text, social media picture/post, Netflix movie, website, etc they go to- even while at home!  SAY WHAT?!?  And, if students went on anything/did anything administration disagreed with, the students would be punished accordingly.  I spent the entire ride home explaining to everyone that not even the POLICE could do anything like that without a subpoena and "just cause" so the school had no right to look into anything they did during their own time.  Could they monitor what kids did during school on their school issued chromebooks?  Possibly...if they had a reason to do it.
I'm completely for stopping bullying at school and I know it can extend into social media and texts etc.  BUT, I also think that these cases should be examined on an individual basis.  NOT the school essentially bullying every single student with this kind of scare tactic bullshit!

Also, Miss Trunchbull wants to end "Senior Privilege" - where seniors can leave school up to 90 minutes early if their schedule permits and all required classes need for graduation are completed.  A LOT of these seniors go to an afterschool job or pursue their passions with the extra time.  Whelp, not if Miss T can help it!  She wants seniors in school taking extra classes! 

And, she wants teachers to start actively "checking" that students are completing homework/schoolwork during free period study halls.  Well, when the Guppies don't have any work to complete, they always carry a book to read or listen to Spotify on their phones and draw/doodle to relax.  Again, I don't think it's fair that they dictate how the students use or don't use their study hall time - especially if they aren't being disruptive to others and their grades are fine.

It's not freaking prison for crying out loud!

Bottom line is our high school already places an incredible amount of stress on its students for the almighty "good review/standing" in the state of Connecticut.  Does this principal really need to make it any worse?

Okay, ranting over.  I wish I could say it was out of my system though!  =)

I'll be back later with a Positively Monday post to counteract this one!  LOL

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Semi- Recap of Dinners Last Week & Slow Sunday Prep Day....

I didn't keep up with my usual menu/food post for last week but here are the highlights of dinners...that I can remember (in no particular order)....

One day (Thursday I think) we did take out Chinese.

Orange Brined Roast Chicken with mashed potatoes, roasted yams, and bacon Brussel sprouts (Tuesday)

Corned Beef with mashed potatoes

Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Olive Bread (last night)

Cheeseburgers & Fries

Oh, and homemade Cheesecake for dessert a few days!  YUUUUMMMY!

Honestly that's all I can remember!  But, I do know we had everything else at home besides the one take out day.

This week I hope to keep better track of it all.

Today's prep work for the week is going to be slow going.  First, my leg is still bothering me but not quite as much thanks to Papa helping out yesterday!  I would be shocked if it wasn't MS related though, because as the constant ache has started to go away, I can feel more of the little electric ripples going up and down my leg.  (Electrical ripples are typical MS signs for me.  BUT they aren't usually accompanied by pain.)  I'm trying not to complain too much though because it's starting to get better overall I think.
Sometimes it feels like I just can't win healthwise!
Last night, right when I was done cleaning up the kitchen from dinner, it was like someone flipped a switch in me!  I got shaky, cold, and felt like I was going to throw up.  It was only seven o'clock and I went straight to bed anyway.  I slept through but Papa said I was feverish all night.  This morning I woke up feeling meh but not as bad as last night.  I'm going to try to pace myself and make sure the most important items get done today:

Iron Papa's laundered work shirts
Wash/Dry two more loads of laundry
Figure out easy breakfasts for the Guppies this week - bake muffins or mini cherry turnovers?
Update calendar for next week
Pull bacon out of freezer - DONE (needed for the bacon broccoli cavatelli I'm making)

There is SO much more I want to add to this list but I'm stopping it there.  I need to try to rest more today if I am able.  Papa's project (while mostly done) has been having some snafus and he's been having later nights again (usually between 8 to 10pm) which will most likely continue through this week.  I have to try to be as close to my A game as possible for this week to ensure everything runs smoothly.

With that I'm off! 

Hope you all have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Groceries This Week (March 2017)

I am striving to keep my grocery bill to $450 or under for March. I am aiming for $100 less than a "normal" budgeted month.  Don't know if it can happen, but, I'm game to try!  =)
What is included in my monthly budget?  Food, paper and cleaning products, and health/beauty items.  We are a family of four....Papa, Me, Guppy1 (18), and Guppy2 (14).  Plus we often will have an impromptu dinner guest or two thanks to the Guppies!  =)
After last week's big trips, I had $160.39 left in the March budget.  Let's see what happened this week...
The plan to stay out of the grocery store....and that didn't happen completely.  Having two extra kids snowed in for two days, thus feeding six of us, took more than I anticipated.  However, the loaf of bread stayed mostly intact - LOL....Joke from another post earlier this week.  Plus since I have been having (what we think is) an MS flare up, I needed to adjust some things around.
Here's what I did spend...

Big Y: $73.29
1 store brand cream cheese block
1/2 lb of store brand butter - price was right and it should hold me (hopefully) until a new sale
1 (16 oz) container of Daisy sour cream
1 (32 oz) store brand whole milk (I knew I should have grabbed two at the farmer's market!)
1 (18 count) package of eggs
1.5 lbs American cheese (deli)
1 bag Ore-Ida fries
3 half gallons ice cream (buy one/get two)
1 (12 pack) diet Raspberry Snapple
1 jar pickled ginger
1 container of chocolate sprinkles
1 container of Rinaldi pasta sauce
1 Ortega taco dinner kit
1 package store brand hamburger rolls
4 (32 oz each) Gatorades
1 container fresh salsa
1 bag green beans
1 bag croutons
1 (8oz) container of sliced mushrooms
1 (12 oz) bag of salad mix
1 container of Marie's Super Blue Cheese dressing
1 (2lb) bag of whole carrots

Groceries: $$$?
My parents know that I have been having trouble with my leg and wanted to help in the best way they knew how!  =)  I don't have a receipt so I have no clue what this all cost.   But I feel like I have to add it here to be fair so you guys know that I received more help....and didn't wonder where all the extra stuff for meals came from!  Haha
So, what did we get?  I'll try to break it down into meals first and then miscellaneous.  My parents gave me everything in its "raw" form.  (They figured it was helpful to have the stuff in the house and not need to do any additional walking around the store.)
1.  Chili fixings:  ground beef, cheese, peppers, canned diced tomatoes, canned red kidney beans, onions,and canned diced green chili peppers
2. Stuffed Shells: (G2 loves stuffed shells and they know it!)  dried shells, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, sauce PLUS salad mix, olives from the olive bar, cherry tomatoes, and two types of dressings
3,  Fajitas:  Flank steak, onions, peppers, tortillas, cheese
4.  London Broil, sweet potatoes
Also purchased:
2 frozen mini chicken pot pies (throw back to my childhood)
1 frozen mini turkey pot pie
1 frozen mini beef pot pie
1 large bag of pizza rolls
1 veggie sushi for G1
1 kid cuisine for G2 (she hasn't had this in forever and apparently they can be oven cooked)
1 container of 12 mini St. Patrick's Day cupcakes
1 box Cheez-Its
6 pack of Vitamin Water
6 pack of Sparkling Ice drink
and, in case you are wondering...
NO loaves of bread were purchased...I'm guessing that's because I told my parents how MUCH we went through during Tuesday's storm.  Bahahaha!

Farmer's Market:  $10
1 quart of whole milk
1 pint heavy cream - free!  They were already out their heavy cream at 11:00 am so they gave me the pint  for free because it was at its sell date
1 pint blueberry yogurt
1/2 loaf of olive bread

Total Spent This Week:  $83.29
Total Left in March Budget:  $77.10

We are definitely still in "doable" range to stay on budget.. A large part being the free supplies my parents gifted us!  I have quite a few meals sketched out (in my head mostly) for the coming days which is a bonus.  I anticipate needing fruits/veggies, milk, Snapple, and soda - my downfall and one I'm trying to work on -before the month is over.

How is everyone doing with their March menus and grocery bills?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thank God It's Friday & Miscellany

I, for one, am very happy today is Friday!

And, I am hoping for a fairly quiet weekend where I can relax a bit...I guess we will see how it goes!

To those of you who have reached out, thank you.  It means more than you can imagine!  I'm getting through on a mixture of Tylenol and Motrin.  And, if that ends up not being enough to help me get the rest I need during the night, I do still have a partial bottle of Valium left from an old prescription - though I view this as a last option.  I'm not one to take a lot of meds which ends up being a GOOD thing, because, boy are they effective when I do use them!  =)

Ramsey & G1 have left for the weekend to head over to one of Ramsey's friend's houses two towns over from me.  And, wow!  After having him here since Tuesday, the silence is crazy!  LOL  Of course I'm sad I lost my chef de cuisine from this past week too!  =)

G2 is heading out with her boyfriend tonight for a bit....if they can decide on what to do!
 I'm not sure what she is doing the rest of the weekend yet.  I don't think she even knows!  haha!

And, Papa had to leave work in the middle of the morning to pick his brother up to come to the hospital since he has two or three appointments during the day.  Papa will also be driving him home afterwards so I don't know how late he will be tonight.

On a happy freebie note, my parents gifted me with some more groceries!  Yeah, I know how lucky I am and I have included the "haul" in my grocery post for the week which will be posted tomorrow afternoon most likely.  I have a good six or seven dinners "planned" in my head between what they brought and what I already had.  We will still head to the farmer's market tomorrow, because, you know we need our dairy fix!  =)

I feel like I'm rambling on like a crazy person....or at least one who didn't get a lot of sleep last night!  My almost ten year old puppy has been getting a case of cabin fever because of the snow!  We have finally been able to walk her (briefly) in areas that were cleared but it's been nowhere near as long as usual.  (Leg partly to blame there too)  Anyway, last night around 1am, she started whining.  Between one and three am I took her out a total of three times....Two to just eat snow (seriously?) and one to pee.  I didn't get back to sleep until after four!  And, now this afternoon, puppy puked on my bed (thankfully on one of Papa's bedshirts!) and on the floor of my bedroom!  Hope she isn't sick too!

Oh, and there is some major crap going on at the high school with the new principal!  I'll leave this for another post....maybe over the weekend?  But, I already have a nickname for her....Miss Trunchbull!  Any Matilda fans out there?  =)

Okay, I'm done!  Hopefully I will have more cohesive thoughts tomorrow after a nice night's rest!

Have a great Friday night all!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day Book March 16, 2017 and Gas & Garbage

Trying my best to remember this right now!

Outside my window....
I see a ton of white!  Especially built up around my driveway where the snowplows seem to always dump the brunt of it!  Ah, the joys of living on a corner!  LOL  Schools were off both Tuesday and Wednesday but there still isn't a ton of foot or car traffic out there.  I'm guessing most people decided to drive their kids to school today rather than having them struggling at one of the bus stops!

I'm hearing....
the dog snoring on the living room couch (as usual!), the washer and dryer both doing their thing, and the TV on in the family room - Ramsey is still here and is binge watching a Netflix show while G1 is at school.

I'm wearing....
I'm a real fashion plate at the moment!  I have on baggy pink LL Bean long john bottoms, a black long sleeved t-shirt, and a white cardigan.  (The t-shirt and cardigan are what I wore all day yesterday!)  I guess this means Ramsey is "part of the family" now since I don't care about wearing this "outfit" around him.  Haha!

I'm feeling....
I'm not doing so well right now.  To be completely truthful, I'm pretty depressed and a bit scared.  I have been having a lot of problems with my left (dominant side) leg - not being able to "lead" with it while walking up/down stairs, intense pain when I move it "wrong" or getting into or up from a crouched position, getting into bed using my left leg first, etc.  Originally, I thought it was possibly a strain from walking the dog since she tends to yank at times.  But, it's not getting any better.  I keep trying to trudge through and "ignore" it the best I can.  But, it's getting harder to do that with each passing day.  This definitely could be an MS thing and it's scaring me.  When I was first diagnosed with MS, I worried about two things - being unable to process words correctly (which happens when I can't think of very simple words at times) and being unable to walk.  Even if this leg thing is MS related, I know it will most likely heal since I have Relapsing Remitting MS.  BUT, it would also mean that it's a new lesion since I haven't ever had this issue before AND it could come up when I get flare ups.  I have decided to give myself through the weekend to see if it feels better at all.  If not, I'll call my neurologist.  There isn't much he can do for it anyway, even if it is MS related.  He would order a new MRI to document a new lesion and possibly put me on steroids to help with the healing process...I say possibly because there is some debate as to whether it is more helpful to allow lesions to scar over on their own without medicinal help.

I'm reading....
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman which I borrowed from the library.  I absolutely LOVE Neil Gaiman so I'm really excited about reading this book!  I just finished a book from my huge Kindle collection titled Colony of the Lost by Derik Cavignano with which I was pretty impressed.  I usually don't have high expectations for book I have amassed on my Kindle since they are usually of the free or 99 cents variety.

From the kitchen....
Right now I have Tuesday night's chicken carcass simmering away in the crockpot with some black peppercorns, salt, garlic, onions, and carrots to make much needed chicken broth.  I found a recipe for potato soup that I would like to try but needed to make the broth first!  After I type this up, I have to clean up my poor kitchen too! With the kids home the past two days (and having extra kids around), my kitchen (and our mouths!) have been getting quite the workout!  I also still have to decide what I'm making for dinner tonight....unless I ask Ramsey to cook since he's going to be here until tomorrow night I think.  =)

About Stella the snowstorm....
We survived, obviously LOL!  The state had a HUGE range of snowfall amounts.  My section had an "average" of about a foot or so.  We were lucky to keep our power the whole time, which I hadn't expected to happen.  Papa stayed home from work on Tuesday. And, like I mentioned above, the Guppies didn't have school Tuesday or Wednesday.  I was less than excited about this March snow.  I truly wished it had happened in January or February when this type of thing is more expected!
Oh, and as for that lonely loaf of bread?  Almost the entire thing is still left!  =)

As of last week's posting, I had $101.75 left in the gas budget for my car.  Last Thursday I filled up for $28.18 which leaves $73.57 for the rest of the month.  My car currently has a little under 1/2 tank so I will most likely fill up at some point this weekend.  I think I am doing really well in this category and should be able to stay well under budget.

I peeked in the garage and counted FIVE thirteen gallon kitchen sized bags in the garbage cans!  YIKES! It definitely hasn't been a great week here garbage wise!  But, that does include one full bag of cage/litter waste from our bunny and ferret since I cannot compost during the winter months.  Also included is one bag of miscellaneous "crap" from when the Guppies cleaned their rooms.  Plus, I think one bag may be from when G2 cleaned up after having her little sleepover party last weekend.  I know I haven't been nearly as on top of this as I should have been. As bad as it sounds, I'm just grateful that my family is helping straighten/clean up right now since my health is such a mess.  Hopefully I will be back on track next week!

And, with that, I'm slowly off to take care of my "to do" list.
Have a great Thursday all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Only ONE Loaf of Bread?!?!

I was having a conversation with my mom yesterday about the contingency plans she and my brother had regarding today's snowstorm.  My mom is a nurse at a well known university and was working last night (having to drive home in the storm).  My brother, who is a biomedical engineer assigned to the tristate area plus parts of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, was scheduled to be in Cape Cod this week.  (In case you are curious, Mom got out of work two hours earlier since the day shift was required to show up early.  And, my brother did not have to attempt travel to the Cape.)
The conversation turned towards food supplies.  When she found out that I had one lonely loaf of bread, she was incredulous! Here was the general conversation....

Mom, practically screaming...."Only ONE loaf of bread?!?!"
Me:  "Ummm, yeah."
Mom:  "What if the kids want sandwiches? French Toast?"
Me:  "I think we will be okay. Besides, I have croissants, and English muffins, half a loaf of Jewish rye, and a LOT of crackers.  Plus I could actually BAKE bread if I need it that bad."
Mom:  "But don't you need more bread from the store?"

LOL.  No Mom, I don't think we are going to starve! 
After that conversation, imagine what she said this morning to me (I asked her to call me when she got home safely) when she found out that I have FOUR children in the house instead of just my TWO!  Hahaha!

To her credit, there actually WAS a food shortage back in the Blizzard of '78.  I was only 7 and only remember how much FUN that snow was!  I wasn't a parent worrying about the fact that supplies couldn't reach the grocery stores because the state was essentially crippled for a week.
And, if I'm not completely mistaken (which I may be), I *think* the whole "gotta go buy the bread and milk" stuff began from that 1978 blizzard!

I wasn't pulling my mom's leg about the extra mouths to feed.  I DO have two extra kiddos for this blizzardy snowed in day!  G1 asked if Ramsey could come yesterday afternoon and stay for the duration - which is good since we can put him to work with Papa clearing the snow!  =)  And, then G2 asked to have her BFF sleepover too.  As Papa put it when I ran it by him, "Does it even matter after you add one extra person?"  G2's BFF is practically my third child anyway and, well, Ramsey is fast becoming part of the family too so it doesn't matter all that much to have them here.

As for the snow...

The weathermen are calling for a few hours of possible rain to mix in later but it only lowered my area of the state's overall prediction a tad - we were downgraded from 15 to 25 inches to now 12 to 24 inches.  BUT, now that snow is going to be super saturated and heavy due to any rain we get.  Lovely right?  Winds are supposed to still be brutal and high so the threat of power outages still loom over us.  I have no idea if there will be school tomorrow.

It's 10am and everyone but G2 and me are still sleeping!  Once they wake up, I will make sure everyone is fed and is charging their phones!  I also charged three portable phone charges overnight should we lose power because, hey, I know how teenagers are with their phones!  LOL  I'm hoping to talk at least half of the crew here into a game of Monopoly which I think could be a lot of fun with this many people.  And, much to what will be Ramsey's delight, I will let him start a fire - he's been itching to start one since last night!  =)

Well, I'm off to clean the kitchen and then pull something out of the freezer for dinner tonight....I'm thinking a nice roast chicken could hit the spot today.....Fingers crossed we keep power!

Have a great and safe Tuesday everyone!