Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 7/20 - 7/26

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.

* Harvested 2 cups of greens.
* Harvested 1/2 lb of snap beans-Dean's Purple podded, Blue Lake, Appaloosa and Jacob's Cattle.
* Harvested 80+ heads of garlic. Most were on the smaller side compared to last year. This was for a variety of reasons: I planted them closer than last year, the weather has been terrible, that garden bed wasn't fertilized before planting, I planted new varieties that were smaller than the variety I grew the previous year, and I bought random heads of garlic from various farmers instead of buying "growing" garlic. I'm not sure what combination of those things lead to the smaller heads (except, of course, the smaller varieties), but I still got a nice sized harvest overall. I planted 80+ heads in the same space I planted 40 in last year. Even with them being smaller, I got a larger overall harvest per square foot, so I consider it a success. Also, I planted mainly hardneck garlic and got a huge harvest of garlic scapes this year. I may space them out a bit more in the coming year, but overall I am happy.
* Continue to feed weeds to the bunnies. They get so excited when I come up with the greens. Also, all of the bunnies, including the Nurse, have gotten more comfortable with me petting them.

* I made colcannon and sausages for breakfast one morning. I fried sausages in my cast iron skillet. I harvested kale and lettuce from the front-garden container, added garlic and leftover mashed potatoes with some frozen and thawed yogurt (that had a weird texture after thawing but is safe). I fried it all in a bit of bacon fat. This is one of my favorite dishes ever. It's delicious, flexible, a great way to use up leftovers and it is a great, filling meal.
* I made frozen mochas for us one day. We had some instant mocha powder that someone gave us but we never got around to using. I added some to a couple frozen bananas, some yogurt and a bit of ice with a squirt of chocolate syrup. Delicious and much healthier than frozen mochas that you can buy at a coffee house.
* I had a good day of grocery shopping. I shopped exclusively from the manager's specials. I got 8 cans of organic cat food for $.25/can, a box of Chex for $.99, over a pound of ground chicken for $1.88, 1 pound of pork for $1.40, 2 packs of pita bread for $.49/each, a loaf of pickle rye for $.39 and a loaf of baked-in-store 100% whole grain bread for $.39. I froze all except one loaf of bread.
* I made chicken tacos one evening using 1/2 of the chicken, lettuce from the garden, salsa, the last of the tortillas and plain yogurt since I had no sour cream.

Food Preservation:
* Froze another 3 dozen ears of corn. I'm set for winter!

* Trucker and I went to see Shakespeare in the Park, put on by a local theatre troup. Free event. We brought bottles of homemade iced tea and a bucket of popcorn I made right before we left.
* I went out to lunch with a couple of friends from an old job since one of them was visiting from out of state for the weekend. I got the cheapest brunch they had ($6). I parked at a meter that had 3 hours left on it, so parking was free.
* My friend took me out for coffee one afternoon since she had a gift card. We had a great time catching up.
* A friend and I went to the summer film series showing of Young Frankenstein at a nice theatre downtown. I'd bought a strip of 10 tickets for $25 at the beginning of the season, so I treated. Cheap little outing, but we had a blast. She is also a fan of Mel Brooks, so it was perfect.

* I got gas at my job and saved $.30/gallon.
* I got Trucker's oil changed while he was at work one day. I had planned on going to the antique mall to talk with the manager a bit and measure our booth, so I looked up oil change services within walking distance. Then I looked up coupons online. I found that one had a coupon for $17 oil change. I dropped off the car, walked to the antique mall and by the time I was done, so was the car. That saved gas since I was able to combine trips.
* I hand washed a bunch of linens to decorate our booth and to sell. I line dried two loads of laundry.
* I line dried a few loads of laundry.

Waste Reduction:
* Curb shopped for decorating our booth.

* I worked 45 minutes overtime this week.
* We both packed lunch each day we worked.

* Froze more food for the winter.

* I went out thrifting and yard saling for items for display and decoration for our booth. I needed to get some good lighting. I wanted to keep all of the lighting vintage so I could slap a price on it and keep with the overall feel. I scored big! I got a so-awful-it's-great lamp of a lady wearing a lace dress. There's a light on her head and under her dress.  At a yard sale I got a wood and milk glass lamp and 3 wall-hanging glass lights. I found two giant fruit baskets (these are the perfect size to line with the burlap coffee sacks Trucker gets for free from his job), a large basket with a handle, a three-tier wire basket with chipped white paint , and a large, flat wooden box with Japanese writing on it.
* We are spending a lot of time pricing items for our booth. One afternoon, I went to the antique mall to see approximately what others were pricing like at this location. We are racing the clock now. Less than a week til move-in! The kitchen is full of items needing to be washed on one side, and drying items on the other (on towels draped over every flat surface). The living room is full of items that are awaiting pricing or that are priced and packed into boxes. Phew.
* We curb shopped a lovely old wooden ladder. We'll put this over the top of the booth and hang items from it.

* Continue to run most days. I'm able to run farther than I imagined I would a year and a half ago. Very exciting.
* My weight has stabilized at roughly where I want to be. I would ideally like to lose another 5-10 pounds, but feel I'm at a fair weight for me. My focus is mainly on getting more fit rather than just seeing that number on the scale drop.

* My friend's friend is moving and was going to throw away some things. Instead, he offered them to my friend. I drove her over to his place to pick up the boxes and helped her move them. They gave me a pressure cooker/canner since they knew I was wanting to learn to can this year! So sweet.

How was your week?

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