Tuesday, October 6, 2015

This Week...Beyond Money 09/28 -10/4

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.
Beautiful brass fan from the barn sale.
* When I went to the feed store, Manna Pro rabbit feed was on sale for cheaper than Purina. I needed MannaPro for the does. I'll start feeding them MannaPro and feed the rest of the regular feed to Frank. I'm hoping to breed them once before winter. Total cost for the bunnies so far: $162.
* I harvested a few dozen tiny carrots. None of them were that big, but most were Little Finger carrots anyway. It'll be enough for a mess of candied carrots. I save and air dry the carrot leaves every time I harvest them. In winter, I'll toss some in to the bunnies for some variety in their diet.
* I harvested a fair amount of snap beans for how cold it has been. I uprooted all of the dead and dying bean plants. I left them on the beds where I will bury them in compost and rabbit poo.
* I harvested a little over a cup of lettuce.

* I made a big pot of bean and bacon (leftover) soup. I added caramelized onions and sauteed onions leftover from grilling out last week.
* We ate leftover chicken noodle soup.
* Generally, with Trucker being sick all week, we ate soup for most meals, sometimes with toast, sometimes with grilled cheese or quesadillas.
* I made a hot taco dip. I crumbled 2 leftover hamburgers from the cookout and mixed with a can of refried beans and the last of a brick of cream cheese that was getting a little on the old side. I topped that layer with a couple diced peppers, some diced tomatoes, salsa, a layer of cheese, and black olives. I baked it until it was bubbly and the cheese golden. I topped with shredded lettuce and sour cream.

Yummy, unsweetened unflavored applesauce. I keep it basic
so I can use the sauce in any way I want later, adding spice
as necessary.
Food Preservation:
* I cooked down loads of apples into 13 quart freezer bags of applesauce. They are now in the freezer awaiting use in baking and as a snack or side dish this winter. Or as dessert, warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

* We invited my family out for the weekend. Friday night was the party at the antique mall (see below) and they came out to show support (as did our dear friends and their too-cute-for-words baby). The next morning, bright and early, was the barn sale (see below). I went to work for 3 hours as soon as the sale was over and they went swimming at the hotel they stayed at. When I got off work, they, Trucker and I got lunch at the market. We got hot chicken and talked and laughed together for awhile. It was so nice to hang out with them for a couple days. We rarely get that now that I live farther away.
* At the antique mall party (see below), I got a Salvador Dali puzzle for myself. I didn't spend my birthday money because I've been saving it for when I saw something awesome. Dali is my favorite painter and the puzzle was $45+ shipping on Amazon. I paid $8, minus my vendor's discount.

* I bought gas at work where it was cheaper than in the city.
* I paid extra on both credit cards.
* I made a double payment on my last medical debt.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted lots of weird things.
* I used the last of a bottle of shower gel (too little to squirt out) as bubble bath.

* I worked 1.5 hours overtime.
* I worked an extra shift at the factory.
* We had a very busy weekend for the antiquing, so I wasn't able to work a full shift at the farmers market. I did come in for half a shift to help out my buddy who would have been working the whole shift alone otherwise.
* I got a free watermelon and butternut squash from the farm.
* We packed our lunches each day we worked.

This awesome score is a combination medicine tin and
expandable water cup!
* The mall where we sell was having a customer appreciation party on Friday. We cleaned up the booth and fully stocked it. It is advertised that vendors will be on sight to negotiate prices. I was a little nervous at first, but eventually got into the swing of things. I got comfortable talking with the customers and haggling a bit. I ended up selling a lot of items. The party was a great success. The line to check out was over an hour and a half! Lucky for me, the line went right in front of my booth! So while people waited in line, they window shopped and I offered to negotiate prices. I sold a lot of items this way. Towards the end of the night, people started to get a little irritable (the party ended at 10, but the I was the last to check out at 11:45), so I started making jokes and telling funny stories about our picking adventures. I handed out a lot of business cards with info about our other avenues of selling. It was a great night!
* We went to an epic sale. This business model is absolutely perfect. This family rents out dumpsters and the customers fill them and pay to have them taken to the landfill. But before the family takes them to the dump, they dig through them and remove anything that still has life in it. A few times a year they have a HUGE barn sale. It is epic. It is both absolutely thrilling to get such incredible scores and positively depressing to see what people were okay with throwing in the landfill, like vintage globes, 50s general electric box fans, tents, Wheaton bottles, toys from the 50-60s, and hobnail vases.  I once got a suitcase filled with toys, clothes and love letters from the Great Depression for $10! We got a lot of good scores for the booth. My entire family came with and they all found lots of items they wanted. When they had piled all of their stuff (for all five of them), with scores of items, everything from two tents to walking sticks to vases (for my mom and sister to fill with flowers to give as gifts) to glasses (for my sister who is prepping to move out on her own); it cost them $25. My dad was speechless.

These beautiful grains will reproduce
soon with enough grains to make giant
batches of kefir and to give to others.
* I went for a short walk/run one day and a couple of walks with Trucker.
* I got more water kefir grains. I'll do my darnedest not to kill these ones. I used to feel nauseous most of the time. Some time after I had been drinking water kefir daily, I realized I didn't anymore. A couple months after I killed the last batch, I started feeling queasy more often. Hopefully this helps. I paid $6 including shipping for the grains. Since they reproduce it is a great deal.
* Trucker got bronchitis. I tried to take care of him the best I could (95% of which was insisting that the most productive thing he could do was rest so he healed instead of getting worse). He is feeling better now (day 10).

* My friend gave me some seconds apples. They had a few bad spots but were overall good.
I was so excited when Trucker showed me this score! I haven't
seen one of these in years. We giggled and looked at all the
slides together. We sold it the same day we bought it.

How was your week?

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