Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This Week...Beyond Money TWO WEEKS 5/22 - 5/28

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 got some collard, onion and scallion transplants from the farm stand and popped them into my garden.
* We have lots of lovely growth in the garden. Overall, everything is looking good.
* I harvested some mulberries from the garden and also foraged some when we went out hiking.
* We stopped at the farm stand twice. The first time I just got a head of lettuce, bunch of beets and some sugar snap peas. The second time I got collards, kale, lettuce and peas. All but the lettuce from the U-pick. I harvested some sugar snap peas and some that were a bit more mature. I figured that leaving them on the vine would reduce future yields, and I would love to have some fresh peas to serve this week.
* I harvested the largest garlic scape harvest yet.
* Trucker whacked down some of the Japanese honeysuckle. It will surely be back with vengeance, but at least he keeps it from overtaking the house. Japanese honeysuckle is by far my least favorite plant right now.

* I made an epic brunch one day. I made fried eggs (free from mom; she got them in exchange for watching a friend's chickens while they went on vacation), Brussels sprouts ($.99/lb on managers special), collards (from the farm), toast ($.50/loaf from aldi) and grits ($.10/box at salvage grocer; used 1/3 box and added herbs from the garden). I served hot grape gelatin to drink (never had it? It's an Amish drink for when you aren't feeling well. We use it to get extra gelatin in our diets).
* I made a wonderful quiche for lunch one day with enough leftovers for each of our lunch the following day. I made my own pastry and filled with leftover Brussels sprouts (manager's special), collards (from the farm stand), sliced sugar snap peas (from the farm stand), sauerkraut (free from Trucker's job) and garlic scapes (from the garden). I used 3 eggs (on sale for $.69/dozen), the rest of a container of spinach artichoke dip and milk for the custard and used both mozzarella and romano (manager's special) cheeses. It was amazing the first day and better cold for lunch the next.

Food Preservation:
* I froze some garlic scapes, diced up. I'll add these to soups, casseroles, tacos, and whenever sauteing a mix of veggies as a base.

* I had one particularly rough day. We decided to stay in and relax. Trucker went out to pick up pizza (we had a BOGO coupon in our entertainment book, so we got two mediums for $10 with plenty of leftovers). We cuddled and watched movies all evening.
* We had a couple coffee dates.
* We went fishing one day at a new place. We went a little too early in the afternoon, so they weren't biting well. I caught two, but nothing big enough to keep. Trucker caught no fish, but did catch a turtle. We were able to get the hook out without hurting him.
* We went to another gallery hop. It was one of the nicest evenings I can remember.  There were just a lot of good shows. Lots of hope in spring. My favorite shows was one in which the artist had painted each and every one of her possessions. It definitely makes you to take pause to consider the Tyler Durden quote about what you own owning you. The weather was perfect. The company was perfect. I guess that makes for a perfect night.
* A theatre troupe in our area does Shakespeare in the Park. We went one evening to see Julius Caesar. It was my first time seeing it live. We packed a lovely picnic from home: manager's special seafood salad, manager's special crab and jalapeno dip, manager's special beer cheese, store brand crackers and drinks from home. Total cost for the food was around $6 and was comparable to the cost to prepare dinner at home (In general, I tend to make nicer dinners on the weekends since I don't have time to cook at all during the week). I always love spending a nice evening outdoors, watching talented actors, eating good food and hanging out with Trucker.
* In planning our vacation, we decided to buy an Entertainment book for the city we were staying in. For Memorial Day they had a $10 sale with free shipping. At that cost, using it for one meal or museum would pay for it. They had a 25% off promo code if you bought two or more books. I called my parents and asked them if they wanted in. They got one as well, bringing our cost to $7.50 each. They are going as a big group (My parents, all three sisters, plus 1 husband and 1 boyfriend), so the BOGO coupons at most restaurants won't be a great deal for them. However, they plan to use a lot of pizza coupons, as they can order whatever size pizzas needed to feed them all. For us, BOGO coupons will make up whatever meals we will need to buy (We plan to use gift cards for 1-2 meals, eat breakfast at the hotel and get no more than 1 meal out a day). Also, a lot of the area museums have BOGO coupons, so we will be able to have affordable options if it rains.
* After a long day of working on the house, we went out for pizza. We went to a place just down the road that had a special since it was Sunday ($10 pizza and one of the best in the city). Whenever we knock out a big project or spend a day doing work we hate doing, we take a little cheap date afterwards to relax and reward ourselves.

* We went for a couple mile walk at the Audubon. There is an obstacle course which I of course ran. I love seeing all sorts of less-common birds. Next time I need to bring my field guide.
* We went for a 4 mile walk at the park. It was a nice, warm day. We didn't see a lot of wildlife, but we did see loads of pretty plants. I loved seeing that the blackberries are coming along nicely.
* We went hiking a few more times.

* My mom's cousin looked at both our cars. Trucker's exhaust was broken in two places and he needed spark plugs changed. He charged $40 for all. I had him look at my car to make sure everything was looking good for our vacation. He replaced the radiator cap and charged me $10. We would be in so much trouble without him.

House and Home:
* We are still line drying clothes. I enjoy it for the most part. I've only once had to go to work in (slightly) damp work pants, which is pretty good when you consider how often it has rained, how high the humidity is and how much we work.
* Trucker made an online query to get some quotes on our electric work. We will get several quotes before we decide on a particular person.
* When we were at the gallery hop, we found a store going out of business. They were selling everything for really cheap. I got some little boxes to use for storage for $.50 each.

* I worked overtime several days. I took one day off (without pay but without using a call-off day) and we had the day off for the holiday so I got a 4-day weekend. It was so needed.

* We went to the gym several times between the two of us.
* I went for a run out in the real world!
* Trucker got a sty on the inside of his eyelid. It was causing him a lot of discomfort so we went to the Little Clinic at the grocery store to be prescribed an antibiotic eye drop (free with our insurance since we asked for a generic). We definitely wanted to get it looked at since his uncle died from not treating the cancer he thought was just a sty.

* One day as we were getting ready for bed, Trucker noticed that my tire had gone flat. This was particularly frustrating because his car was in the shop over the weekend. The plan had been for him to ride with me to work the next morning, drive my car home and my mom would meet me with one of their cars to borrow (We could have borrowed it earlier but I didn't want them to be short a vehicle, especially since we didn't really need it if I was off work). We tried to get the tire off, but we couldn't (torqued too tightly). We called our insurance and they sent someone out who was able to replace it for us. The next day Trucker took it to the tire shop, where they replaced it for free since we had a warranty.
This is my favorite piece from the gallery hop.
* My sister sent me a text and said that at her job they were throwing away the items that had been in the lost and found box for a long time. She said there was a really nice black coat and asked if I wanted. It was a black Dockers brand heavy-duty coat in great condition.  Trucker has been needing a nice, black coat and had just asked me two weeks ago to look out for one for him. This one fits him well.
* When I stopped by the farm stand, my former coworker said that the volunteer she was supposed to meet hadn't showed. She had no one to run the farm stand, but had needed to do some deliveries for her business. I ended up running the farm stand for a couple hours. It was really nice to see some of my clients.
How was your week?

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