The Week Behind: A New Path

Saturday:  A few changes afoot here in my week behind posts.  I'm going to be sharing more than just how I saved money but including thoughts and reflections that I might have had during the week as well.  I get too unbalanced when I'm all about being frugal.

A couple of months ago I asked John, before he retired, "What are we saving for?  Death?  Or do we try to continue to save but also spend wisely in getting some enjoyment from the life we're leading?"  It changed our thinking entirely about how we'd retire.  We'd never  really planned for what we'd do in our retirement years.  We just had a vague 'some day' idea of retirement.  With it looming on our horizon it was time to think about what we did want to do. 

A lot of our plans look like our past.  We want to  improve and keep our home in good repair to the best of our ability.  We want to be able to support missions as we are led.  We want to be able to continue to live comfortably on our own without having to seek help from family.  We want to be prepared for the inevitable repairs and replacements that will come.  We've been very blessed but both our dishwasher and our washer/dryers are 25 years old.  Our cars are 13 and 14 years old.  Those are the things that were absolutes.

When we talked about it we agreed we'd like to  eat out now and then, do day trips, take vacations (my ideal is twice a year but John's not as on board with that thought yet), go do things we've missed doing due to the job schedules we've dealt with for the past 26 years like local festivals.  We might want to indulge in a new hobby or pursue an old one in a new way.   In other words, we might want to spend a bit here and there, and I thought it time we gave ourselves permission that we might do those things if we were both in agreement.   Eventually we'll be too old to do things like this and now's the time to enjoy them.  I don't mean to spend my life saving just for the sake of saying I'd saved!

That said, not saving is not in my nature either.  So yes, you'll still see savings featured on this post each week as well.

I didn't make bagels this past week as planned, nor did we go to the grocery as we'd planned yesterday where I'd thought we'd purchase I took cinnamon rolls from the freezer to thaw overnight and reheated those this morning.  They were yummy.

Sam and Bess came by and brought me four pounds of ground venison.  I've suggested to Sam that if he's able to get a third of fourth deer next year, I'd pay to have one processed for our freezer...We'll see.  In the meantime I put in a request for two dozen fresh eggs.   They have refused payment for both venison and eggs.  I've thought about it and think I'll make them a loaf of fresh bread.  I know they enjoy it and seldom get the chance to bake their own.

I went to the door to greet Bess and just that brief moment at the door caused my ears to itch and swell.  I grabbed the regional spray I'd bought and used some then took it to the living room so I'd be sure to use in 8 hours...and that's when I noticed the bottle is for the northeastern region...Well good grief!  I checked and realized that the troublesome company I'd dealt with had gotten my order wrong.  sigh.   I went to another vendor which I'd used before and ordered two bottles of the Southeastern region and yes I checked my order three times to be sure I was supposed to get the right one!

John is happy.   Sam had a chain saw that wasn't working.  He was going to take it to a repair shop and John suggested he bring it down here and let him look it over.  I think Sam was a little leery.  He's sort of got a notion that John can't do mechanical things.  I guess he's just never realized that John can but if there's someone else to do them then he'll let them do them!  Anyway, he used to do small engine repairs with his dad.  So he took the chain saw and has puttered about it with it over the last week or so.   He has it up and running now and it will go back to Sam without their having to pay a repair fee.

John bought ice cream yesterday and said last night, after we'd eaten a bowl, that he wished we'd had a cone.  Well, I had cones in my pantry!  So I brought them out today and fixed him an ice cream  cone after we'd eaten our lunch.

I finally filled my dishwasher to max and ran a load of dishes.   I won't unload until tomorrow but I do allow to air dry as much as possible so the door was opened for an hour.  I've noted that generally the steam rushes out (not a bad thing when it's cold as it is today) and the dishes are dry pretty quickly after that.

Our supper will be a casserole I made on Thursday.  I'll add a salad and garlic toast.

Sunday:  We set clocks back last night, at least all those that are manual.  I'm so happy that my car requires me only to push the hour button to set the time for DST.  Our former car you had to turn the ignition on, hit this button and hold for 3 seconds, wait for a flash, then find the correct time, turn the car off and on again.  It was ridiculous.  Even John's requires that you push three or four buttons on the radio of all things in order to reset the clock.  I'm glad mine is so easy...Someone got wise, lol!

Made an easy breakfast of grits and toast.

I did something I've never done before this morning: I left the house with the dishes piled in the sink, stuff strewn here and there and the bed unmade.   Call it mutiny or call it reality bite or whatever, but this Sunday morning marathon of me feeding everyone (just John and pets now but it used to be kids) and then doing dishes and unloading dishwasher and finding this for that one and doing that for this one and trying to make the bed and get myself ready too just struck me as pretty stupid.  Especially when everyone else (yes, John) gets up, dresses, eats what I set out and then watches TV while I'm straining to keep up the pace in order to get out the door on time.    Guess what was waiting on me when we came back home?   Dishes and unmade bed.  The nerve of it not getting offended and leaving the house!

We went by the grocery after church and I had a list with me.  I finally got smart about saving my list on the store apps.  Technology does make some things a good deal easier!  So when John said how many bags do we need and what are you getting, I pulled up the app and read off my list.   Well I skipped a couple of items on the list and added in two more that I saw as we walked down aisles but we came out at about $50.  Of that $50 roughly $40 of it was chicken breasts that were on a buy one get one free sale.  I divided them up after we'd had lunch today and I think I told John we have 12 meals from those packages.     I bought ahead on this sale because the sale ends Tuesday and we don't get a check until Wednesday.   This is not a regularly timed sale that I can tell at present, but I am keeping track of sales in my notebook so I'll know how often things do come up and will know when it's best to stock up again.

While in the area we stopped and filled up with gas.  It's almost always about 20c a gallon cheaper than it is in our hometown.

We did not buy any extras today or pick up anything for lunch.  When John mentioned what he'd like to eat, I told him I had all those things at home and so we came home and ate what we had.

I read a tip online this past week that said straight Dawn detergent would remove sticky residue left by tape on items.  I have Goo Gone which I've used plenty but I thought I'd just try it today when I went to wash those pretty new glasses of mine.   The booth owner had not only put a small sticky label on the glasses but had then covered that with tape, so there was quite a little mess to clean.  I put a dab of Dawn on a corner of a dishcloth and rubbed and voila!  It came right off...and off the other three as well without adding any more detergent to my cloth.  I'm impressed!

John had worked on a leak a couple of months ago in our bathroom sink.  Over the past week I'd noticed we were having a drippy faucet and as the week went on it dripped more and more rapidly.  He went to work on that this afternoon and fixed it.  This time it was a hot water drip, so I'm especially glad he went on and tackled it!

I said in  The Week Ahead post for this week that I was bored bored bored with our meals and had spent a lot of time reading recipes online and in cookbooks of late.  I keep saving recipes to try but haven't made even one yet...but that's another story, lol. 

What I wanted to share today was a trend I've noticed online, especially on food blogs: over long narratives preceding the recipes.  I have my own recipe blog which I sometimes remember to add to and like anyone else, I like to give a little insight into why I make a recipe, or my family history with it, etc.  I get that. 

What I'm reading lately begins with the 'history' so to speak of how they served it and how the family liked it.  And then they launch into a complicated narrative about the quantity needed of each item,  how they prepped each item in the recipe and any component recipes that went with the meal,  then a long narrative about how you might substitute this or that to save money or cut the heat or calories or whatever other thing will make it long and convoluted, with about fourteen pictures of the finished dish  that looks like all the pictures before, interspersed with 19 pictures that are ad related and finally at the bottom of the page is the recipe if you're lucky.  Essentially, it's like reading a recipe in longhand before getting to the short hand version of it.  Some bloggers only link the recipe and you have to visit a whole other page to get to read it!   God bless those who realize that a seasoned cook might just want to read the recipe and offers a 'Skip ahead to recipe' tag at the top of their page.

What recipes am I saving at present?  I'm looking for recipes that include things I normally keep in my pantry and don't require unfamiliar, hard to find, or one use ingredients.  I'm looking for recipes for all food categories and not only for meat entrees but meatless ones. I'm looking for recipes that might help cut the heat in the kitchen this summer.  And YES, I do plan to start trying out these new recipes.  I also want to start paying some serious attention to my recipe blog once more and try to get a few pictures of dishes up to go with the recipes there.  They won't be stylized photos but true photos of real food that's been truly cooked and is ready to serve.  And yes, I would like to continue to offer a little narrative of my family history or impressions of each recipe but I promise it won't be a pages worthy report of every detail preceding the actual list of ingredients and directions!

Monday:  I think I have spring fever...I walked through the house yesterday and realized that I was ready to do a spring cleaning.  And when I woke up this morning the sun was shining and I found myself feeling very energized and ready to tackle something bigger than usual.   I decided that I'd try to run my usual household routine first and then I'd tack on anything extra.    This worked out very well for me since Monday is usually my laundry day to do to sheets and towels.

Before I could hang out the clothes, John was ready to go out to mow the lawn, so I just went ahead with drying them in the dryer.  I've found that drying the sheets first and then drying the towels makes better use of drying time.   I'm glad I can wash them all at once...

I had pretty much decided to start my cleaning in the kitchen, so I cleaned behind the fridge today (and retrieved my whipping attachment for the mixer).  I'd cleaned out from under the stove about two weeks ago.  Then I cleaned the counter and wall between the stove and sink.   A bit shocked by how much dirt came up off that wall (mostly steam grease film).  And thanked whomever decided that our countertops were suitably cheap enough to put in our mobile home.  I have no idea what the material is, some sort of laminated surface but it cleans up very nicely every.single.time without a lot of effort.

I broke the glass in a large picture frame several weeks ago and decided that it was high time I moved things so I could get to the glass (lying flat on the sewing table) and get it into the trash.  It was large spiky shards and I certainly didn't want us getting cut or stabbed with it.  I made a sort of sleeve to put it in of some old plastic cutting boards and tape which kept the glass nicely secure and prevented injury.

John made several phone calls this morning to attend to various things he's been meaning to get done.  We laughed after one of his calls because he'd not changed his withholding at work and that meant that half his recent work check went directly into the credit union.  I told him that was one way to insure we'd save some money when he worked.  My only request was that he make sure I had enough leftover of each check to pay the tithe on it.

Sam came over to borrow jacks for his truck so he could work on the brakes.  I took advantage of his tall self to get him to refill my bird feeder.  While the guys were talking I walked about and looked at flower beds.  The tulips are coming up!  Not all the tulips I planted came up but most of them have and that pleases me.  The muscari have been blooming for weeks and the daffodils, which seem to decrease in number each year rather than increase as they are meant to do, have just about finished blooming.  I'll need to do little weeding or adding mulch in areas where I worked last year so that leaves me with just one major weeding job to attend to and then I can indeed begin working on the flower bed I've been slowly putting around the house.

John worked outdoors for more than four hours today.  I puttered about indoors but never did start dinner for tonight nor take anything from the freezer to thaw.   John can be unpredictable and I'd no idea what time he meant to leave to go get his check.  I also have no idea what idea he might have where supper is concerned.  Now and then he decides to go buy a pizza at the pizzaria or stop at the grocery to pick up something we mightn't have at home.   Well as it happened we were after 3pm leaving to go down to his work place.  We just made it to the bank on time to make our small deposit.  Then he went to fill his car with gasoline, drove to an auto parts store to pick up a replacement bulb for his car's rear brake light.  Only after we'd done all these things did he ask what my plans for supper were tonight.  At that point it was almost 4:30 so I told him what our options were and we came home where I prepared dinner from what we had.

When we went to the bank, John cashed his check then told me to take out the tithe amount, which I did.  He then told me to split what was left between us.  It wasn't a lot of money but it's a little bit extra which I immediately tucked away in my purse.  He asked me what I planned to do with my money.  "I don't know yet.  Probably save it until I know what it is I want."  He sort of laughed over that but it's how I operate my personal finances.

Tonight's supper not on this week's menu at all.  I made the Aldi Fusia Asian Inspirations Orange Chicken with a side of brown rice and stir fried mixed veggies (all from my own fridge).  I used broccoli stems, green beans, celery leaves, green onions and a carrot cut into thin sticks.    I'm truly impressed with how good these Aldi frozen oriental chicken dishes taste.

Tuesday:  Not a sunny day but not really a heavily dreary rainy day either.  We've had sprinkles and we've had some sunshine, enough to cause objects to cast a shadow and then it will disappear.  Our whole next ten days will be well above frost/freezing so we might have come out of winter...but we shall see.  We've had unexpected frosts as late as May.   I'm by no means tempting Spring to show out!

After easy basic household chores this morning, I decided to 'gather my fragments'.  I'll share about that phrase in a moment.  What I did: Made a casserole of mac and cheese.  I used up a half box (8 ounces of a 16 ounce box) of Rollitini pasta.  Not John's most favorite pasta form, which I've noted and will try to remember not to buy again but I have finished off the rest of a box so no waste.  I used up bits and pieces of cheeses that were in my cheese basket in the fridge to make my sauce.

I made up a pot of vegetable beef soup (mostly beef due to the broths used) using up a few cans of this and that and a few items from fridge, spice shelf and freezer.

I took a Beef Pot Pie from the freezer to thaw.  I think that's going to be supper tonight which means I need to go pop it in the oven.

I boiled the last of a carton of eggs and ordered three more dozen from Sam and Bess.

I trimmed a partial head of cabbage of the dark spots and then sliced it thinly.  My plan is to make up a batch of egg roll filling.  I have wrappers in my fridge.

I prepared bean and rice burritos for our lunch with a partial package of flour tortillas, a tiny bit of grated cheese (saved from my cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese).   The beans were some pinto beans I cooked last week.  I put the last of the beans into the soup pot.

Now about this 'gathering up my fragments'.  I stumbled upon that phrase in an Amy Maryon video...Now I have to share with you all that I like her and I don't.  She talks very fast and I find it a little difficult to follow.  I always have that problem with people who speak really fast.  However, I love some of her points, her recipe ideas for her large family, etc. 

Anyway, yesterday in a video she talked about gathering up her fragments.  Then later yesterday evening, I came across the phrase on a blog and she mentioned the Doris Longacre book...Suddenly it hit me where that phrase originated:  John 6:12 Christ told the disciples to gather up the fragments remaining after he'd fed the multitude...

Well I love that phrase!  So much nicer than merely saying it's leftover.  No indeed!  It's extra!  Over and above what was needed!  And yes, I know I am over using my exclamation point but I am truly excited over this simple little way of looking at what we still have to work with when we've made our meals and think we've got nothing to work with.   So that's why I did today.  I looked at this week's menu plan and thought "Oh I can't make mac and cheese, because I don't have enough cheddar cheese...and I don't have enough cabbage to make coleslaw, and I don't have..." 

So I went to the fridge and I went through my cheese basket.  I found grated Parmesan, Mozzarella, a partial packet of cream cheese, and mixed with my little bit of cheddar I had plenty of cheese to make cheese sauce.  It's just a fancier cheese sauce than I'd normally make.  It's 4-cheese Macaroni and Cheese!  By the way, I like to use mustard in my cheese sauce rather than nutmeg.  It just adds something more (besides a little extra color) to the sauce. I  had a bottle of mustard that John kept trying to toss because he said it was empty but there was enough mustard in that bottle to flavor my cheese sauce, a good heaping teaspoonful.    I used milk that has just begun to taste as if it might be about to go off.  I'll use up the rest to make biscuits.   No waste.  Gathering my fragments.  Making good use of all the extras I have that I wasn't even aware might be there.

I went over my grocery list for Katie and edited it.  She's supposed to come out today and I'll give it to her then.  If not, then I'll send her a picture of the edited list tomorrow along with cash so she can pick up my groceries for me tomorrow.

Felt restless after I'd sat and rested for a bit, so I went outdoors to empty that compost bucket into my big trash can where I keep such.   Then as I came back  towards the porch, I saw that flower bed that needs weeding so badly.  I just stayed there and got about half that done.  It's a good size plot probably 12 feet across the front and about 10x10 across the back and just full of weeds.  Now that job is well started.  I'm going to try and even out all the high and low points there and then I'm going to fill it full of flower seeds to grow in that good soil.

John didn't head back home until about 5pm today (he'd gone over to Sam's and mowed the front yard in between helping Sam work on brakes on the truck.   By the way, earlier this afternoon I laughed as John went over to Sam's on the mower.  I thought I heard a mower coming back.  Well I didn't... I heard two coming back!   Sam and John had met halfway across the field, each coming over to see the other, lol.   Sam had wanted to borrow something.  Then they got back on  their mowers after a bit and went back across the field.  I've been lobbying for a golf cart for running back and forth and down to the mailbox but I think John and Sam are pretty clever to use the mowers, lol.

So when John was coming home about 5pm, I was in the kitchen putting soup away (2 quarts, besides enough for a meal for us), and noted that the venison had thawed.   I decided making Salisbury steaks was my plan for tonight since we'd eaten low meat meals today already.   I managed to get 14 small meatballs (and used up a handful of crackers that were about ready to go stale) from that packet of meat plus two good sized patties to make Salisbury Steak.  I browned the meatballs in the pan with the Salisbury Steaks.

I made mashed potatoes and milk gravy using the almost ready to turn milk.  John's asked for sausage gravy for breakfast so the chances are good I'll use up all that milk and not have to pour any of it down the drain.

I feel like today ended up being a well accomplished day even though I had a slow start.  I love when the day is done and I know I've worked well making good use of what is in my own home.

Wednesday:  Some  I had my plans and apparently John had his and the two didn't match up.  I offered to cancel my plans and John decided to cancel his.  I don't mind him being spontaneous...but I do wish I'd had a heads up when I got up this morning rather than discovering after I was ankle deep in my work that he'd wanted to attend to other things today

In the meantime...I had my plans and I followed through.  I made a dozen bagels.

I worked on our accounts and got them in order.

I made tuna salad for sandwich fillings.

I looked up some information for John needed to do another task...It took quite a bit of working at it but I was so happy to be able to find the information needed online.  I ended up having to use a free trial at Ancestry to get the information, so this evening I will start doing some more research before cancelling this membership before it charges my credit card.

I made 20 egg rolls using the last of a head of cabbage and carrots, onions and green onions.  I discovered I had no garlic at all, but fortunately I'd decided to stock a garlic powder just in case of such a thing happening.  So glad I did!   I shared egg rolls with Katie this evening.  It's one thing I know she really enjoys when I make them.

Tonight, I made roasted vegetables as a side dish for supper.  I added the end of a punnet of mushrooms, some onion, a tomato and one long zucchini...I looked in the fridge before putting the dish in the oven and saw a jar with about a half can of chickpeas in it. I added that to my roasted vegetable dish, too.

Katie picked up groceries for me this afternoon.  She is very good to get exactly what I have on my list, even though it meant she had to stop at a second store.  I told her that next time if it's not at Aldi not to worry about it.  If it's a desperate need I'll take time to go get it myself, but I do appreciate her doing this.  It's keeping me to a tight budget more easily because I'm not putting impulse buys into my shopping cart.

I worked hard today from the time I got up until 7pm this evening.  I was well and truly tired and a little frustrated while writing out what I did today.  It seems like such a little but I promise you I was rarely idle today and never even sat in my chair for coffee at all until now.

Thursday:  We ran errands today but there's been some underlying tensions around John and I and it came back and bit us today.  Let me just share some minor backgrounds, ok?

Men and women listen differently to things.  I don't know why this is so but it's true and I'm sure every single woman reading this is nodding her head at present because you know, too...

A few weeks ago we went to sign off on getting retirement funds released.  The clerk explained how the whole thing would work. I was there.  I was listening to it all.  I watched as John signed paperwork and had to sign off on some myself.   I know what we were signing and why. That's all fine and well.

Yesterday we got two phone calls from two separate investors who have been handling his retirement funds.  Essentially I don't know what was said.  I could only tell you what John said from his side of the phone.  I am completely in the dark, ok?  But the gist of it all seems to be that right now is not the best time to close our accounts.  We figured that out as soon as we'd  heard the stock market was plunging the evening of the day we'd signed off on them.  We've watched as it has continued to plunge.  It's been a bit hard to watch and know that now likely wasn't the right time...But who knew this was all going to happen?

 Not having heard the other side of the calls, it sounded like from this side that John agreed to not withdraw the money.  I don't know this even though I've asked him several times what was said, because all he does is say, "I don't understand any of this..." sigh.   I tried asking questions but got nowhere.

 So I finally said "You know what?  I can't figure this out from anything you've said and I sure didn't hear anything the other side said, so let's just place this in God's hands, Ok?  It will be fine..."   Now I do truly believe that God knows we're not the smart ones in this situation and has it all under control and I'm not just choosing to cop out on this.

Now hold that thought in mind as tension one.

Yesterday we also got the monthly check we'll be receiving as part of his retirement.  I sat down with it and wrote out a ledger sheet of what is coming from that check.  The tithes were paid.   The money for the bills and the sub account funds has all been allocated.  Our grocery money is spent for the month.  There's no more.  We got our allowances.  There's no more allowance.    We've enough funds after these allocations left to pay for prescriptions and gasoline for this month.  We're done with that particular spending.

So I had that added tension on my shoulders as we left the house today to run errands, wondering if I was going to have to rein John in even though he's not a big spender or one to spend foolishly.   The burden of knowing that this is what we must live off of this month and learning where to tighten the belt and where to loosen is difficult just now.  I know that eventually I'll work it out and we'll live comfortably but it's figuring it all out at present that is hard.   And the idea that what we have is what we have and there's no more is hard, too.  We have a good balance in our account but who wants to watch a balance drop?   I want to make it on what we have coming in, not on what I managed to save while he was working!

This amount of money is less than we've been accustomed to have to live off each month.   I want to find my way to make this work.   On paper it comes out more than  fine.  Budgets are ideal in that way.  They tell you why it ought to work.  As with all budgets, it's dealing with the reality and figuring out everything in real life that is a little harder and takes a bit more time.  I can crunch numbers all day long but it's handling the cash that makes it all true, you know?   So there's tension number two...

And yes, if I said the word John would go back to work part time in a minute   But golly gee I don't want that!  For one thing just now he'd go back to EMS which is HARD on the body and mind and soul.  John needs to find something to occupy his time, as we discussed earlier today.  But if he does go to work part time I don't want it to be for the money.  I want it to be for his own emotional well being.  Hold that thought, too, as tension number three...

This week has not been an easy one between us.  We've been at cross purposes more than once.  I know part of it is just typical marital stuff that happens.  It's not all roses and sunshine all the time in the best of marriages and I do have a 'best' marriage. 

On the way home today he told me he's had a hard time all this week with being retired and being 66...  We've got back to  that second thought I asked you to hold...He needs something to occupy his time.  Well there's naught I can do about any of that.  I knew full well there was something going on with him but he hadn't said what and frankly this is his thing to have to deal with.  I can reassure him we'll manage and I can reassure him I like having him around (and I do) but feelings are feelings and we have to work those out on our own.

So tension one plus tension two, plus tension three equals snipping and snapping and frustrations on both our parts.  And then he kept 'not hearing' me as I'd ask him to do something or not do something and frustrations mounted to fever pitch.  Which meant we had words as normal people generally will do when everyone is feeling stressed for whatever reasons.  And there's no space between us at the moment.  I mean, he's not going off to work, nor am I.  We're here.  Together.  And this too is part of adjusting to retirement.  Because let's face it, it was a lot easier to get over a mad spell if he was off at work and I had a whole house to myself for 24 hours to sulk, work and come right again.

No upset between us is ever lasting.   Generally we'll be speaking again in an hour or three but again, the reality of retirement has reared it's head thrice in the past two days and I know that several of you have mentioned that this is the road you are heading down, as well.  So maybe you all can be a little better prepared for the potholes!

We had bagels this morning for breakfast.  They are so good homemade.  I thought yet again that homemade really does taste so much better than store why on earth am I buying at the store?!  It takes a minimal number of ingredients, costs pennies of what the store bought ones cost.  Hands on time is easy, too.   It's five minutes to mix and an hour to rise, five or six minutes to shape and 10 more minutes to rise then 90 seconds in boiling water and onto a baking sheet to bake for 15 minutes.  Hands on time is about 20 minutes tops.    I made a dozen bagels which will last us about a month usually.

Realized as I got dressed to leave home that I've only about one more week of wearing my current capsule and that makes me happy.  Time to start pulling together my spring wardrobe.  I would love to buy white jeans/pants for wear.  Last year's pair were just a little too big but I'm going to try them on  again just to check how they look.

We did our usual pre-flight plan.  Gathered trash and mail to go out.  John had a list made out to shop by.  I had only a vague idea of what was planned today.  Yes, I asked.  Never mind...

We picked up prescriptions.  Now that John hasn't got work insurance one of his prescriptions was going to cost us more out of pocket.  The clerk suggested he check into Medicare Part D.  That plan costs more than the prescription will cost us all year long.  The deductible is higher than the cost of the prescription all year long.  He tooled around online and found coupons to lower the cost of the drug which worked for us.

We went by Lowe's with our lists.  Mine was short.  I wanted paint for the planter John gave me last May.  I chose a pretty pink sort of color...Then realized as I walked out that this is a color I'm choosing a lot of late for outdoors use.  Oh well...I'm either dull or consistent.

John thought to ask Sam if they had an item we could borrow instead of going to buy it.  They do and we'll borrow it.

We stopped at Burger King to eat.  Tensions plus real hunger and rapidly fading blood sugar began the downward slope of our relations today, sigh.

I have a supper plan thank goodness, and it's thawed, so there's that bonus. 

Friday:  I don't know what on earth...I slept until 9am this morning!  And I slept hard all night long, easily falling asleep again whenever I awoke.  I guess I just needed that rest and I'll certainly take it!

So this morning, up a bit late, I rushed in to make breakfast.  I had French Toast in the freezer, which was quickly thawed and heated in the microwave and fried up some Turkey Spam as a side to it and breakfast was on the table in five minutes time.  I added water to the pan I cooked the Spam in and poured it over the dogs food.   They like that little bit of something wet on their dishes now and then.

I spent my morning puttering around the house getting things straightened up.   This morning that also included putting houseplants to soak (those that can stand that treatment).  The house was in shape fairly quickly.  I'm finding if I'll just follow my own routine chores I often have time and energy to tackle some job I'd noticed really needed to be done.  Last night, I noted that the guest room just looked unkempt.  I gathered up a box of stuff I'll carry out to the shed, cleared surfaces and set the room to rights.  I even took time to organize my sewing box properly since it was in a huge mess. 

I baked bread and a cheesecake today.  I have a whole chicken thawing for a meal tomorrow and a corned venison roast is thawing and soaking in cold water to remove some of the salt cure Sam put on it.   He suggested I soak it in several fresh batches of water, which I shall do.  I'm curious as to how this turns out.  I bought regular corned beef in the grocery but I've had this roast for some time and didn't want to waste it by letting it get freezer burned.

I groomed Maddie this morning.  She let me cut away LOADS of matted areas, where she typically tolerates about three snips and is done.  I could have made a fur coat for a dog from what I got off her.  Not done by any means, either but I got enough that she seems to feel better and when my back is not aching from bending over her for such a long spell, I'll tackle a few more if she'll let me.

This morning I've heard more and more about closings due to the c-virus.  I know that there are people infected and that it is very contagious, however, moderation is called for.   The best, most sound advice I've seen too date is to wash your hands frequently and to not touch your nose or eyes or mouth or food until you've washed after touching common surfaces.   This is no different than the usual cold/flu protocol.    There is no need for a vaccine to be given if you do contract the virus.  Rest, fluids, your usual over the counter medications for cold/flu and cough are recommended as well as a regimen of Tylenol followed by Ibuprofen, alternating them every three hours to keep fever in bounds.  And please stay home if you are sick or someone in your family is sick.

If you are stocking up for your household, you really only need the usual items you'd need in a two week period.  There is no need to buy ALL the hand sanitizer (soap is BETTER anyway) or toilet paper.  This is not a stomach virus.  You really only need what you'd normally require for your household for a two week  period of isolation. 

Remember these facts please: There is a 99% survival rate with this virus.  Those with compromised autoimmune systems and weakened lungs will likely be the ones affected the most adversely, followed by inactive seniors with weakened immune systems.  For the majority of us, it's really just another flu and we will be fine. 

I expect what we'll see in days to come is not a huge pandemic as predicted but a lot of economic fallout.  Businesses shutting down due to this will adversely affect our economies world wide.  I understand their abundance of caution, but in the end, we the consumer will pay the price for the losses they experience at this time so be aware that costs will likely increase and prepare yourselves to see that happen. 

In the meantime, I pray you all have good health and use common sense practices.  Try to take a break from the news and relax.
(C) Terri Cheney