Thursday, October 25, 2018

This Week...Beyond Money 6/4 - 6/29

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.

Note: I wrote this blog post and then entered an insanely busy period. I meant to come back, add photos and publish, but forgot. Oops.

* Trucker is amazing and one morning before I woke up, he bundled up, went outside and pulled up a bunch of poison ivy. I am doing my best to get it under control, but with how badly I react, it is hard. So thankful for a partner who will do that for me.
* I went out a couple weeks later and sprayed more than had sprouted up. However, some previously very established plots were looking pretty weak. Here's hoping that we are on the right side of this invasion. I am pretty sure that should we ever experience nuclear war, cockroaches and poison ivy will be the lone survivors.
* I harvested some peppers from the garden.
* Whatever ate my tomato plants is coming for my peppers now. The horror!
* I harvested herbs to use fresh in cooking. I may soon have enough to dehydrate some.
Clarisse enjoys the smells at her favorite park

* I made a big batch of taco soup using the homemade stock made from the turkey carcass. It was a little on the thin side so I added TVP and dehydrated peppers to soak up some of the liquid.
* We had baked potatoes one evening, with all the trimmings.
* We had lobster cakes one day. I got them for $3 for 4 on manager's special at Kroger.
* We snacked on popcorn a lot.

Food Preservation:
* I froze some more meat leftover from other meals for the future.

* We went to an arts festival with a friend from work.
* We enjoyed the farm bureau breakfast. It is one of my favorite events of the year. The bureau puts on a breakfast with a made-to-order omelet, sausage, biscuits, orange juice, milk and coffee. Afterwards, we explored the displays and exhibits. Everyone is there, from the beekeepers association, to the pork association, to the extension office. There is information about getting free rain barrels and composters and one community garden booth gave out free seeds (I got turnip, watermelon radish and pepper seeds). We ended the morning with a tractor trailer ride around the Beck's trial fields. It was very informative and fun.
* Trucker bought concert tickets to my favorite musician for our anniversary. We try to see him perform at least once a year, but since going to second shift, I haven't been able to see him (he always comes to one club on Wednesday nights, so it would require burning a vacation day that I'm borrowing from next year). Well, he came to a little venue out in the country on a Sunday night, so we were able to go. It was a magical evening.
* We went out to a movie we were really excited about. Since we got in before 1 PM, it was only $5 each.

* We took Trucker's car to my cousin (who has started working on cars again). He did the bearings and rotors in the back, fixed the door lock in both back doors and replaced a door handle on one, fixed the headlights that were pointed off, and fixed a leaky sunroof  (as well as a few other small fixes that I don't remember since it was Trucker's car) for $350. We gave him a nice tip and are super thankful for his help.

Fur Babies:
* We took Clarisse with us on an overnight trip when Trucker had filming. She and I enjoyed a day of hiking and stopping off at DQ for a slushie (for me, she just enjoyed the treats I'd brought). It is astonishing how well she adjusts to everything life throws at her. Within a half hour she had mapped the hotel room and was good to go. We returned to a park I'd taken her to a couple months before when we went with Trucker for filming. She returned to each place she had stopped and/or peed at the previous visit. It is amazing, but also disgusting. Does everything stink of urine forever and our noses just aren't keen enough to tell?
* Raycat has lost some weight since we got the dog. She had previously been a little chunky, so she is still in a healthy range, albeit on the lower side of healthy. I have been giving her treats a bit more frequently, usually while petting her hoping she will stop thinking of me as a traitor. I am rearranging the kitchen to find a place to put the cat food higher so the dog stops eating it. Ray likes to nibble and return, but that doesn't work with the little curly thief in the house.
* I make Clarisse a slushie every other day. I thaw several ice cubes of homemade bone broth for 30 seconds in the microwave until it is only half melted. I mash the rest up with a fork. She loves it. I offer some to Raycat, but she doesn't care for it. This is practically free and full of nutrients.

* I am working the normal schedule again (12 hour days including commute...yay). We have a break coming up for a couple weeks, then I'll likely be working even more. It's worth it, even if it isn't easy every day. Thankfully I have a great team that I get along with, including on particularly lovely person that I consider a friend.

* We have started a Zazzle store to add an income stream. I doubt it will bring in much money, but we definitely want to diversify as much as possible.
* Trucker finished filming on his TV show. It is super exciting to see him tackle new challenges and see how far he can take this.

* My blood pressure in fantastic and my heart rate is starting to slow.

* I went to my cousin's and my sister's baby showers. I gave my sister a ton of stuff before the shower that I bought at thrift stores: clothes, socks, blankets, burp clothes, and new bottles/nipples in the packaging. At the shower, I gave her a bath set (lotion, shampoo, etc) and a towel set (towels and washcloths). For my cousin, I gave her pacifier set, bibs, socks and a vintage pin in an elephant theme since that is how she is decorating the room.
* For my dad's birthday and father's day, we bought him some new clothes. Being extremely frugal, he tends to not buy new clothes until he has to. As it was, he had one outfit that was nice enough to wear out other than church wear. We got his sizes, then hit the thrift store. We found lots of nice items and narrowed it down first by what we thought he would like best, second by what I thought was the nicest (I have better fashion sense than him) and finally by sales tag color to maximize the number of items we could get. We got him 6 polos, 3 button ups and a pair of really nice like-new jeans for $25.
* My dad had a near death experience (the 4th in as many months since retiring).
* My sister got married to a wonderful guy. I am so happy to see them start their life together. I took her out the day before to get her nails done, helped her move the rest of her stuff into the house and then took her, her BBF and her sis-in-law out for a bachelorette party (Our other two sisters had to work). We went out to Applebees early enough to get the lunch specials-$8 each. Afterwards, we went to Dave & Busters. I had a coupon to get $40 worth of game play for $20. We shared the card and had a lot of fun. Then we went to the church for the rehearsal and back to their house for the rehearsal dinner. Clarisse stayed at their house while we did the party and rehearsal and enjoyed socializing at the dinner. The wedding was beautiful. My mom and her friends did a fantastic job. My job for the day, in addition to being matron of honor, was to keep everyone from being stressed. I got a lot of running in (good thing I decided on the flats instead of the 3-inch heels) taking care of things. Before the wedding, I got the bride and all the bridesmaids taking goofy pictures and laughing. In addition to being effective stress relief, it made for some pictures she will treasure. One of my favorites is of her dancing in her dress minutes before we went upstairs for the wedding. We helped them plan their honeymoon (they are going to the same city we are for vacation, so I knew all of the frugal places to hit). During the speeches, her husband said that Trucker and I meant a lot to them, they love the fun times we all have when they come to the city and that we have shown them what a good couple is. I knew I liked that guy.

How was your week?

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