If you read my weekly update last week, I want to thank you for indulging my whining. I'm doing much better, and I appreciate your grace!
Daughter started school! I did OK - I was almost back to the car when I started crying, so she didn't see me. She was a trooper, and did just fine. I subbed at the library that morning, which was good, because it kept me busy and kept my mind off missing her. The people I work with are so good. I was there for 4 hours, and the first two, they had me scheduled in the work room, with a box of tissues. I did cry, a little, but part of it was being so appreciative of such thoughtful people, who gave me hugs and agreed that it really is hard that first day. I am so proud to know these fine folks.
A lady whose daughters attend the same charter school as Daughter handed down some uniform shirts her daughters had outgrown. She is a friend of mine...and I guess we are family, in a way - her dog is Taffy's brother! Some of the shirts fit Daughter now, and some will require a bit of growing, so I have them sorted accordingly. I did a little spot cleaning and a bit of mending and they are just fine for school!
Daughter has a binder and planner that will go back and forth each day for school, and she needs a tote or backpack to transport them in. We have several different tote bags around, but a backpack distributes the weight more evenly on her frame. We were looking at backpacks at the store, but I remembered that we had this one:
We got it at the Goodwill Outlet store, for about 80 cents...back in the spring. It is a really nice backpack - heavy duty, and the pockets on either side are nice for snacks and such. It had a small cut hole in it...which is why it has that cute kitty cat embroidered patch on the front. It's iron-on, but it wasn't sticking well to the nylon, so it is sewn on too. I used a discount coupon at Michael's and paid $1 for the patch. Less than $2 for a really well-made backpack is a great deal!
There were just two full school days this first week, and Daughter took her lunch both days. We had an insulated tote at home that she decided would be just right. I picked up two re-freezable ice packs so that we can rotate them - back-up seems like a good idea. We already had a stainless steel thermos and all of the containers for sandwiches, sides, snacks, etc. are things we had on hand. Daughter picked out a water bottle that has a screw-on snack container. It is BPA free and it was just a dollar. I put about an inch of water in it the night before, screw on the snack container (so it doesn't swell funny and keep the container from fitting properly) and freeze it overnight. In the morning, I add snacks to the bottom, fill the rest of the upper part with water, and her water is still cold at morning snack. She really likes it. Our lunch gear cost sits at $3. Grandma and Grandpa were kind enough to pick up a couple more of the lunch totes (we got them when we were visiting a while back) and they will send them in the next goodie box.
My friend had handed down a bag containing several thermoses - they are stainless, double walled, and really keep things cold. The decals on the outside were scraped in places, and some were for characters my daughter either doesn't know or doesn't care for, so I took a stainless steel scouring pad and cleaned off the decals on one a long time ago, and I did another this week. Husband did the remaining two with mineral spirits.
|Basket o' Snacks - we have something similar in the fridge with melon cubes, |
string cheese, etc.
As for food, she is pretty easy to please. She helped me make a list of foods that would be good for lunches, and they are all things that we make/eat pretty regularly. This past week she took sandwiches, carrots and celery, fresh fruit, string cheese (we got 12-packs for 1.99 after sale/coupon!) pretzels, trail mix, whole grain crackers and water. The time for lunch is just 20 minutes, so taking lunch from home gives her more eating time, because she's not waiting in line for her food. I think she will eat these foods more readily, and I won't have issues with keeping the same budget we already have for groceries ($180 a month for 2 adults and 1 child).
|When we stopped our subscription (years ago!) they never |
came for the box, so now it is by my garden, holding hand
tools, a knife for cutting zucchini or lettuce, and plastic
bags to bring in the produce.
In the garden, I've been picking zucchini, green beans, peas (just a few), kale and zucchini (the veg. so nice I picked it twice! har har). The tomatoes seem to think that they don't need to turn red until Christmas. I'm hoping they change their minds soon! I was letting the arugula go to seed, but I lost my patience with the harlequin bugs that kept coming for it. I was squishing about a half dozen a day, but the weather got hotter and drier, and suddenly, I was finding 12-18 on the plants every morning. So, I pulled them and fed the plants (and the resident harlequin bugs) to the chickens. Hopefully, the arugula won't change the flavor of their eggs.
I enjoyed the flowers in our flower beds. I picked a few for inside the house, but mostly, I've just enjoyed them outside. We've also been enjoying all the birds at our feeding station! It is working very nicely as a gathering place for birds, and that lets us observe them through the day. However, when I took this photo, they all flew into the trees.
I checked the orchard, and we have peaches, pears and apples forming. No huge crops, but we had late frosts that took many of the blossoms. We will need to net the trees soon, lest the birds and deer have a feast the day before they are ripe!
Kohl's sent me a post card for $10 off a $10 purchase. Daughter found these towels that she just loved! They were in the kitchen part of the household section, but she wants to have them for hand towels in the bathroom - fine with me! I also picked up this cold drink cup that was on clearance. The total was $9.98, so our cost was zero out of pocket.
I didn't do much grocery shopping this past week, but I did pick up a few items. Milk was 1.99 a gallon, leaf lettuces were .50/head (I am between crops right now), and I got a huge cantaloupe for .75! I also picked up a few peaches for .69/lb and some red tomatoes (hello, tomato plants?) and jalapenos for .59/lb. Avocados were 3/$1, so I bought three. We also went to the bread outlet and stocked up on different types of bread.
I made a batch of little pancakes, froze them individually, and then put them into a container so I can pull out 2-3 for Daughter's breakfast a couple of mornings a week. She eats them with some ginger-peach fruit butter that I made and canned, along with some ham for protein. It's a nice 'treat' breakfast. I made potato salad this week, Husband brought home some chicken from Popeye's. On Tuesdays, it is $1.09 for 2 pieces. I can't make decent fried chicken, so this is an occasional treat. We ate zucchini, peas, kale and green beans from the garden. I made guacamole and salsa on the night we had taco salad, and we grilled teriyaki beef for another night's supper. We had leftovers for dinner a time or two as well, and I made something similar to minestrone with garden produce and some odds and ends from the fridge.
I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday. I sent a card as well, but a phone call is always nice for catching up! We also talked after school started - Grandma & Grandpa wanted to know how their grand baby had done on her first day!
I expressed Taffy's glands and then gave her a bath. I trimmed bunny toenails (sharp!) and Tallulah spent the week acclimating to the bunny barn. Tallulah is our cat. Since she can't read, I will just tell you. We have had that cat since she was about 6 weeks old, and she's never been quite right in the head. She's a spayed female...who sprays. We had relegated her to the basement, but she began spraying down there, too, so we made some security improvements to the bunny barn, and moved her there. She was not happy the first day - outside is a big new world for her - but she has adjusted quite well and seems to be very happy out there. The barn is 3-sided, with a gate along the entire east side. The gate has cyclone fence over it, so she is safe. We added a strip of siding and some wire mesh along the top of that east side, so there is more shade, but still very good ventilation. When I go out to check or tend the bunnies, she greets me with lots of love and affection...when she lived in the house, I barely got the time of day from her, so this seems to be an improvement in her disposition. Hopefully, it will work out. Despite her tendency to be a hot mess of a cat, we do love our Tallulah Mae.
We sold some more items that we no longer need or want, using some local facebook pages for advertising. I had some things that I really like that I was holding onto, even though I didn't have the 'right' space for them. I sold my butcher block table, for example. I really liked that table. It worked really well as an island in the two kitchens previous to the one we have now, but it just doesn't fit anywhere here. I'm a little embarrassed that it took me so long to...let go...but I'm just glad I finally managed it. I used a small portion of those funds to purchase a 'spot bot' - it's a small carpet cleaner that can be used to spot clean, and it also has an attachment for corners and small spaces. I will use it for spot cleaning and stairs.
|Look who we found at the feed store!|
How was your week? What did you do to spend less, save more and make do? Leave me a comment, won't you please?