Monday, August 18, 2014

Goals for the week

I am trying to stay more focused LOL. So here are my goals for the week.


1. Make and follow an exercise schedule - 3 out of 5 so far
2. Schedule time with a friend
3. Plan & eat healthy afternoon snacks - 3 out of 5 so far
1. Go through Mom’s paintings in closet
2. Print and mail genealogy documents to my brother
3. Go through packing materials in basement

1. Transplant more Nandina to bare spot
2. Buy and spread more bark chips
3. Weed next to driveway
4. Prune next to sidewalk
5. Prune large azaleas in front yard


1. Complete house clean
2. Sweep shed
3. Vacuum basement


1. Made a blouse instead out of other fabric (Start sewing blue print skirt)
2. Go through fall clothing to decide what is needed

1. Shop from fall clothing list

1. Work on canal painting
2.  Start working through colored pencil drawing book

We shall see!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I am grateful

This past week I was especially grateful for:

- Finding the motivation to do needed yard work on days it didn't rain
- Seeing with friends a play at our favorite local theatre
- Lunch out with a friend and dinner out with Hubby
- The great team that makes up our Friends of the Library board and volunteers
- My daughter in law who is planning my 65th birthday party while working long hours

Friday, August 15, 2014

Personal cost of living increases and spending priorities

I knew our property taxes were going to increase substantially this year, but a 36% increase was a surprise. I had budgeted for about a 25% increase knowing we were going to have a triple whammy - our property tax freeze from a valuation appeal a few years ago was expiring, property values have increased significantly (nice if we were ready to sell LOL), and the tax rate increased over last year. We are living in this house until Hubby retires at the end of 2017, so we will continue to pay taxes for more house than we need because it doesn't make sense to move now.

These are the kind of things that can destroy family budgets and retirement financial plans. So while healthcare and food costs are often mentioned as things that are increasing more than inflation, house related items can also increase substantially and need to be handled in our planning.

If you are having difficulty dealing with your own cost of living or simply want to save more for the future, check out this Take along printable decision card from And Then We Saved

So we continue to be thrifty in the areas that are lower priority to us or give benefits in other ways. As much as I hate doing yard work it is good exercise! So this morning I transplanted some bushes to fill in an area that is looking empty, pruned and am rooted two new oak leaf hydrangea bushes from cuttings. Tomorrow I need to head out the door early and spray for mosquitoes for the final time for the summer. They really haven't been too bad this year but are definitely increasing.

I definitely made progress on my August goals with a half of them completed so far.

1. DONE WK 1 Spray for weeds/invasive plants in the wooded area on the next non-rainy day
2. DONE WK 1 Prepare everything needed for Friends of the Library book sale that will occur while I am on vacation
3. DONE WK 2 Make a pair of sleep shorts - bought thrifted pair of PJ pants and shortened them
4. DONE WK 2 Transplant some plants in yard to area that needs more coverage
5. Go out to coffee with friends times 3 but not otherwise - FAIL on the not going out myself - I am a coffee addict and I love to get out of the house; SUCCESS I did have lunch with a friend this week
6. Finish one of 2 paintings that has been in progress forever - no progress
7. DECIDED Decide what to make with fabric given for Christmas and get started - I have made a "muslin" (actually red poplin) of a sleeveless top using a free PDF pattern and it came out good enough that I am going to finish it off to wear. I'll make the same top and a skirt with the fabric I have.
8. DONE WK 1 Resolve stacks of paper on desk
9. Eat dinner at home every day before vacation - so far so good!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Eat for $4 a day - what a great resource to try no matter what your budget

I happened upon The Salt, NPR's food blog, and a link to this cookbook that was created by Leanne Brown in fulfillment of a final project for a master's degree in food studies at NYU. She has made it available as a free download and raised money through Kickstarter to print and distribute copies to SNAP recipients.

You hear about people taking as a challenge trying to live on a SNAP budget and complaining about the food they have to eat. Well she has created recipes that any one of us would be happy to cook and eat. I love the ideas for varying oatmeal and plain yogurt as well as other ones.

Take a look and tell me what you would cook first! Then try it out and report back.

A SNAP Cookbook: Good and Cheap

Other people recommend this additional resource: The Stone Soup


Poor puppy dog - good vet

Sleeping in her crate in the morning. Sudden and apparently urgent crotch licking sessions. Something was definitely not all right no matter how avidly she raced out to try to catch chipmunks or eagerly she went for walks.

Turns out she has both bacterial and fungal infections - well you can guess where. Three medicines for 20 days and she should be back to fine Poodle Princess form.

The meds are knocking her out so I guess we will see a lot of sleeping princess for now.

Love our vet. Smart, good diagnostician and very kind and gentle. He picked the right career.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Picky feet and restraint when shoe shopping

I ventured out again this morning in search of new shoes - about the 5th shopping trip I think and the first 4 were unsuccessful. Today I was too successful as I found numerous shoes that fit. They were comfortable for walking, didn't hit my ankle bone or rub the bone at the base of my big toe. They were in basic colors and acceptable prices. At one point I had 4 pairs lined up to buy including a pair of sandals that I wouldn't need until next summer.

The sandals went back first as I reminded myself that in all likelihood there would be sandals for sale next spring LOL. Then I thought about the pair of black loafers I had at home that were still fine for everyday wear and a similar pair went back. But I wanted a pair that wasn't black! No, dark brown isn't different enough but maybe I could find those in my size in blue on the internet - back they went.

That left on pair of black flats that actually were what I was looking for although a bit more casual but so comfy.

Then I came home and ordered the navy pair in my size. Happy feet, happy shopper, happy wallet.

No more shoe shopping until Spring!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Grateful and happy

What a week of good things.

- I am grateful that my FIL is moved into his new "independent living" home and has the attitude that he will adjust.

- I am very happy that Hubby is home from helping with the above.

- Laughing at my dog rolling around on her back while grateful to the vet care that keeps her alive and happy.

- Grateful for all we have earned, saved and inherited. It helps our future be secure.

- My friend and fellow book sorting library volunteer was ill and now is back to feeling great thank goodness.

There is more but 5 is good. What are your 5 for the past week?