Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 10/24 - 10/30 TWO WEEKS

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.
This has been a rough week for us. Trucker had a car accident. He will be okay, but it has been rough. He hit the median on the highway and flipped the car a few times before landing upside down. Somehow he managed to get himself out of the car and was walking around. He got someone to let him use their cell phone to call me. He ended up having to have a 4-inch Y shape sewn in the back of his head (we think from when he unbuckled and fell into the broken sunroof) and has a concussion. No internal injuries/bleeding and just a lot of tiny cuts from broken glass and two lacerations that could have used a stitch of two but he said he'd prefer not). He has some swelling, but it seems to be controlled with ice. We aren't sure yet what will happen, and are taking it one day at a time.

I went out to pick up a hot pad and his meds. When I came home it really hit me how close I came to not hearing him cry out my name as soon as I walk in the door. So for today, he sleeps, and I sit next to him and hug him often (but not too hard because he is still sore).

I have forgotten a lot of things that have happened over the last two weeks, but will do the best I can.
* Some of the electric infrastructure was replaced in our area. They had to drive some big machinery into the yard, and right over my garden. It tore down everything and compacted the soil some, but it will be fine.
* I bought garlic to plant. I went to two farmers markets pricing things. Most places were selling garlic for $2-3 a bulb. I finally found someone selling satisfactory heads for $.50 each with volume discount. I got 14 heads for $5.
* I harvested bits of herbs to use in cooking from the indoor garden.

* I made tomato soup from scratch using tomato puree I put up earlier this season.
* Trucker made lunch of fried chicken, soup and salad.
* We had popcorn as a snack a few times. We don't load it with butter, and use random seasonings. It is a frugal and relatively healthy snack. Certainly better than chips.
* We ate some salvage grocer squash soup with toast.
* We made tacos. I reserved half of the meat before seasoning to use for another meal. I used a bit of enchilada sauce, as this is much cheaper than using seasoning packs for us. We served with lettuce from the farm, homemade pickled peppers and radishes (am I the only one that LOVES radishes with tacos?), homemade Hungarian Hot Wax pepper sauce, salsa (salvage grocer), black olives and sour cream. The tortillas were from the freezer; I'd frozen several packs when I found them for $.25/pack.
* A couple nights later I made enchiladas and cleaned out the frig a bit: leftover meat, refried beans, random veggie leftovers, the last of a jar of salsa, etc.
* I've been making hot black cocoa instead of coffee lately, and lemme tell you, it is amazing. I use unsweetened black cocoa. It has a fantastic flavor and I much prefer it to coffee or hot chocolate. I add just a hint of brown sugar and use straight hot water, no milk.
* We had baked sweet potatoes (free from the farm) with butter, salt and pepper for dinner one evening. Perfect.
* I found tortellini on sale for $.75/box. My stock up price is $.99, so I bought 12 boxes. We had it for dinner one evening with mornay sauce and sauteed vegetables (onions, garlic, peppers, kale and spinach, all free from the farm or garden).

* We went out for a coffee date with travel mugs and free refills. We got a free pastry, using our rewards card.
* We checked out books and movies from the library.
* We took a road trip last week. Last year Trucker ordered tickets for a conference. Tickets were usually $65 each, but he got them for $30 each. We got a hotel from hotel.com ($120, special for $57, and earned a night towards a free one). We packed loads of snacks and drinks from home (salvage grocer or homemade) and a tub of veggies to snack on (celery, radishes, hakurei turnips, cherry tomatoes, carrots). We brought a thermos of coffee so we only had to stop one time on the way there. We ate a good breakfast before leaving, and packed PB&J sandwiches. We left early Friday and got to the conference by 1. We enjoyed the conference, then we were on our own for dinner. We found a hole-in-the-wall place selling sandwiches for $7 each. We each got a sandwich and shared half. Afterwards, we found a bar that had $1 beers, so for $17, we had our dinner out. After dinner was a debate and some socializing. The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel (omelets, waffles, sausage, cereal, fruit and juice) and then went swimming. We got a nice little work out and got to stretch our limbs a bit. On the way home, we passed through Waukegan, IL: childhood home of Ray Bradbury (my favorite author). We got to see his childhood home, the library that inspired Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the Ray Bradbury park. We found the ravine that I suspect was what inspired The Lonely One. In that story, women are being murdered in the ravine that cuts through the quiet little town. When we got to the bottom of the ravine, we found a woman's shoe! Spooky! For dinner, we stopped at a Panera Bread. We had a free you-pick-two on my card, so we split that. Coupled with snacks in the car, it sufficed. Overall it was a very frugal trip and we had a blast.

* We both got our hair cut when the salon was having a sale. It cost $6.99 each instead of $13.99. We tipped well, but it still was a bargain. We were both satisfied with the quality of the cuts.
* Trucker's cell phone disappeared during the accident. He still owes $120 on it. He isn't under contract, so I will likely pay off the cell with my card and get him on my family's plan. The cell will be free with a two-year contract and will cut his bill from $80 to $35. He currently can't receive phone calls or texts, which I guess is fine since he isn't supposed to use screens for awhile.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted some random things such as dryer lint and pasta boxes (plastic window thrown out, but cardboard torn up).

House and Home:
* We worked together to organize some rooms upstairs. Trucker worked on the storage room (for items we plan to sell) and I worked on a room that we are converting into a secret-special-project (hopefully soon I can announce; but no I am not pregnant!)

* I worked extra hours to make up for day off.
* I took home seconds: arugula, peppers (sweet and hot), eggplant (Thai and fairy tale), turnip, beets and carrots.
* I worked Trucker's shift one day so he could recover, but his boss wouldn't have to handle the pickup all by himself. I also wanted to make sure Trucker had some money coming in.

* Trucker got a clean bill of health in regards to the issue going on all summer. This happened a day and a half before his accident. So frustrating. Hopefully he recovers with no lasting effects. I'm very nervous and over-analyzing everything trying to make sure I don't miss something and have him get very sick. I've never cared for anyone going through something similar, so I am completely out of my league. Fortunately, one of my friends is a MD and Trucker's boss used to be a firefighter and an EMT before that, so I've been hassling them a lot.
* My diet has been crap. I've basically been comfort eating since the accident.

* We still have no idea what will happen with the medical stuff. Taking it a day at a time and trying not to worry about it before we know what is happening.
* We went to an open house for the school I was thinking of going to and both came away with a bad vibe. If I'm going to pay through the teeth to go back to school, I need to be sure I am making a good decision. I'm disappointed, because I've been enjoying my personal education, but know without a degree or some sort of education, a career is unlikely.
* This was my last full-time week at the farm. I will work part-time for another two weeks.
* After that, I will be starting a part-time job. It should pay enough (maybe?) until I figure out next steps. I am considering whether to just go back to the factory and have done.

* It was really great to see how everyone was there for us during this time. From my boss who drove me to the hospital and called later to check on him, to his boss who called this morning just to make sure he was still okay, to my parents who drove over an hour each way to sit with us at the hospital, to all the friends wishing him well and offering to help.
* Steve's boss sent me home with a bag of cat food and his wife sent me home with bags of chips.
How was your week?


  1. Sending positive thoughts your way!

  2. OH MY!!! I hope Trucker heals well and quickly. I know you are worried - positive thoughts for you both!

  3. So sorry to hear about Trucker. I am glad he is on the mend. I know it could mean a frugal set back, but that's where being frugal comes in. When you have emergency you can be prepared to take on extra setback expenses.

    1. Agreed. We are very fortunate to know where we can cut back. We have survived rough times before and know we can be scrappy.

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  5. So sorry to read this. You must have been startled to death. Bad wordchoice. I trully hope your husband will recover soon. Take it easy for a while. Things like this put your life in perpective again: what's important and what not.

    1. Thank you, Wendy. He does seem to be doing a lot better, thankfully. :)


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