Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 6/8 - 6/14

For me, a life beyond money is making choices so that you can live the best possible life, regardless of your income level. Obviously, you have to make a living, but there are many ways to improve your quality of life without increasing your income levels and correspondingly your expenses. This regular post will be some of the ways that we improve our quality of life beyond just trying to make more money.
* I harvested another 3 lbs of mulberries from the feral trees. I continue to harvest my tiny trees by nibbling ripe berries while I'm working in the garden.
* There was one nice morning before a week-plus long rain, so I went to the garden. I planted a container of borage, a package of kohlrabi seeds in between rows of peppers, 3 tomato plants (no more cages, so I'll let them crawl), yard long beans around some tomato cages, 3 rows of early blood turnip beets, 2 rows of albino beets, 2 rows of Early Wonder beets, 1 row Danvers carrots, 1 row Red Cored Chantennay carrots, 1 container of basil (heavily planted; I'll thin for super flavorful microgreens), basil around some pepper plants, 1 package Deer Tongue lettuce, 1 package Drunken Woman lettuce, 1 package Thai Oakleaf lettuce, 1/2 large package of Oakleaf lettuce. All of the lettuces were just scattered in an area.
* Hazel-ra is not eating her pellets or drinking nearly as much water as the other buns. I'm going to watch her. If she doesn't straighten up within a month, I'll cull and get another doe. However, if she grows well on the greens only diet she seems to have put herself on, I'll keep her. Wouldn't be a bad thing to have bunnies that grow well on a foraged diet. Frank continues to devour his greens with gusto and resort to pellets as necessary. Nurse Ratched (what I named the mean bunny that clawed my neck, chest and stomach) loves her pellets, but also loves her greens. She grows like crazy, so if her babies also grow as quickly as she does, I am okay with the extra pellets.
* Foraged weeds for the bunnies. I weeded a garden bed and tossed all of the good weeds into a pile to feed to the rabbits. I figured if I had to weed the bed, I may as well consider it harvesting. Makes it mentally more fulfilling. LOL

* I made leftovers quiche for dinner one evening. I made a quick pie dough. I tossed in some leftovers and items that needed to be used up: 3 breakfast sausage links, sliced, 2 small sweet peppers, a few stalks of kale, a small squash, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 3 garlic scapes, eggs (past expiration, but still good), a heaping spoonful of creme fraiche (which is getting dangerously close to sour cream) and topped with the last of a bag of mozzarella cheese. Baked until the eggs were set. Delicious! We ate half for dinner one night and had half leftover for later in the week.
* I baked my first ever mulberry pie using 4 cups of mulberries that were getting kinda soggy. It was the best tasting pie I've ever made.
* I bought some manager's special meat: a 1.5 lb pork loin for $3.50 and a pound of ground chuck for $3. It all went into the freezer for later.
* Made pancakes and sausages for breakfast one morning. I prefer to make buttermilk pancakes, but we had some manager's special milk starting to get a tad sour, so I used that instead.

Food Preservation:
* I froze 2 pounds of mulberries for winter.

* Coffee date at a local spot. No discount for using our travel mugs, but we still avoided waste.
* I went to my parents for dinner with them and my sister one evening.
* A couple of our friends invited us to go hang out at a free art festival downtown with them. We packed a lunch and drinks so we didn't buy anything while we were there (last year we didn't plan ahead and we spent $50 on drinks and horrible food). The food I brought was the leftover quiche, a salad (3/4 of the greens from the garden), a slice of mulberry pie, $.09/package crackers, and lemonade. Super yummy and saved us a lot of money. We had a blast, took funny photos and had good talks.
* Trucker and I went to the Bob Evans Homestead to explore for the day. It was a bit of a drive, but we loved it. There was a log-cabin town to explore, lots of animals, a sorgum mill, a gristmill, a coal mine (that we couldn't go into), a Bob Evans museum and a Civil War Museum. I packed a picnic that we ate at the log-cabin village. It was wonderful, as exploring with Trucker always is.
* I went to a family reunion this weekend. It was a potluck. I brought a 1.5 gallon jar of apple chips. People loved them and I ended up sending a couple people home with the extras.  It was wonderful to get to see everyone, talk and laugh together.

* I've just been enjoying life. I've been taking walks at night when the air is perfect and you can see the stars. I've been wondering at the bug-life in the garden while I work the beds. I've been cuddling my bunnies. I've been watching things germinate. All of nature is a wonder and I love immersing myself in it as close to constantly as possible.
* While we walked around the Bob Evans Homestead, I enjoyed cuddling the animals. I took photos of wild plants.
* The weather has been erratic lately. It'll be perfectly sunny and lovely, then a wicked storm comes in. That has meant some awesome cloud photos.

* I bought a new-to-me dress at the thrift store. Some of my favorite dresses are a little big now, so I am starting to weed out the closet. This dress was a gorgeous rich blue with black feathers and a cutout in the back. It cost $4.
* Curb shopped a work table with a bad top and a solid base. I'm thinking of using it to make a butcher's block for the kitchen. I saw it on the curb while on my run one day. I decided to come back on my way out of town for the reunion and scoop it up. When I got there, it wouldn't fit in the car. So I picked it up (while wearing heels and a sundress) and walked 1/2 mile home. Dropped it off, took off my heels and ran 1/2 mile back to the car and went on my way. I'm definitely the neighborhood eccentric.

Waste Reduction:
* Used our travel mugs when going out for coffee to eliminate the need to use a paper cup, plastic lid and cardboard sleeve.
* I've composted lots of weird things.
* I used some apples that were getting a little on the mushy side to make applesauce.

* Worked 15 minutes over one day and 45 minutes over the other day I worked.
* I voluntarily worked a production Saturday for time and a half for 8 hours.
* We both packed lunches every day to avoid buying out. I've started packing extra because factory work burns a lot of calories, and I didn't want to yield my will to the vending machine on last break. When I would bring the lighter lunches I used to bring at other jobs, I would be weak by the last quarter of the day. I now bring enough to have tiny snacks (a few apple chips, dipped in peanut butter or two large crackers) on breaks as well as lunch. Now I don't have as many issues towards the end of the work day.
* Trucker brought home goodies from his job.
* Trucker picked up an extra day at his job.
* I talked with my farmer friend about helping out at farmer's markets again this year. Last year we had an arrangement where I would stop by for 15-20 minutes to help out and give the worker a break, and they paid me in food. I told him I could do the same thing this year, or could work whole shifts as my regular job doesn't have any production Saturdays scheduled for the rest of the summer.

* I called the bank and discussed mortgage options for 5 years out based on my new career trajectory. The loan officer also let me know of a couple of options that I didn't know about that may help this process speed along, if we chose that that's what we want.
* Worked an entire morning on my online store. Made a couple more good sales, so I'm starting to get excited.
* Went scouting for more kitchenwares to sell. Now that I'm not working in kitchens anymore, turns out I miss it. Selling kitchenwares allows me to have a bit of  fun playing with fun baking and cooking supplies without having to work in the food industry.
* While at work, I've been brainstorming on a couple of writing projects I'd like to work on. When break comes, I jot the ideas down on a notebook.

*I'm going on near-daily walks. It's been really hot, so I have been going late in the night when it's cool.
* Ran 4 days, 35-45 minutes each time. I am able to run longer than I used to. I'm still not at a point where I could run a longer race or anything, but I'm thrilled with my progress. When I first started running (I'm embarrassed to say), I could only run by two houses before I was winded. But I kept at it anyway, and can now run a mile without a walk break (I was able to last summer, but got sick and wasn't able to run for 2 months before winter, and lost most of my conditioning).
* We walked A LOT with our friends for the festival. We walked all the way back to the car a few neighborhoods away. Halfway there, it started to rain, so I ran the rest of the way to the car (yes, I know that you get just as wet when running as when walking, but it was stopping some of the time). I got in probably a mile of running.
* At work they sent around a memo about staying hydrated. They said that for factory work in the height of summer, one should drink up to 1 cup of water per half hour of work. When I use the drinking fountains, I maybe get 2 cups a day (guessing). I bought a water bottle at a thrift store for $.50. It had ounces marked on it and holds 4 cups of water. I make sure I drink two bottles' worth each shift. Having the ounces marked on it lets me know instantly if I'm on track. If I haven't drank my two cups before break, I chug it until I have. Since I got it, I've been getting 8-9 cups a day in. I will increase this as it gets hotter, but for now, I feel wonderful. I haven't been feeling as weak or fatigued, so it's helping my work and my mood.

* Trucker's car died. We had the battery checked for free at Advanced Auto, but it was fine.  We called my cousin to see when we can get him to look at it.

* My mom sent me home after dinner with some apples that were about to turn. She was going to compost them, but wanted to know if I could use them up before they went bad. I made applesauce.
* A few readers commented on various sites last week giving me tips and ideas for tackling my poison ivy problem. You are all incredible! Thank you so much! I'm ready to go tackle the problem in a couple weeks when I have a vacation from work (so that if I get a rash, it has time to fade before I go back! LOL), and I'm feeling much better now that I've gotten such great advice. You're the best!

How was your week?

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