Archive | April 2012

Fiscal Fast Day 7

Yes, I did it!  I made it 7 days without buying anything!  Some days were definitely harder than others.  I learned a lot about myself and a lot about how and why I buy things.

I am glad it is over, but I really don’t have anything that I absolutely must have tomorrow!  I am out of black and white trash bags, but I have been improvising for 3 days, so no big deal.  I am out of butter, but that margarine spread has gotten us through.  We could use some variety for our breakfasts, but no one is really complaining.

I love that I had the self-discipline to make it through!

Yeah me!

Fiscal Fast Day 6

I made it another day with no money spent!  Today was much easier.  I find when I stay home I am not nearly as tempted as when I am out running around.  Since it was a weekday, I stayed home with not trips to get my daughter after Pre-K.  I cleaned the place up and did laundry.

I am running low on several things.  We are out of breakfast stuff.  I searched the pantry shelves for something that we could use and I found a whole jar of Nutella (yum!)  This will certainly help to keep the kids happy for the next couple of days.

I have been able to make do with what I have much better than I expected.  I made some homemade granola bars to have with the Nutella.  I followed this recipe.  They are pretty good.  I might try some different additions next time, but I will definitely be making them again.

I have tried a few new recipes this week and that has made my family happier.  I am trying to get us out of the rut we’ve been in with food.

Only one more day.  I’m sure I can make it now.  Here’s to saving some money this week!

Fiscal Fast Day 5

Another day down.  I soooo wanted to get something today.  Nothing in particular, but anything.  I wanted Wendy’s, I wanted Penn Station, I wanted a Coke, I wasn’t even hungry but I wanted to spend money.  I just wanted to CHEAT!  But I just couldn’t.  So, no unauthorized food or drinks for me!  I have been enjoying looking at my file cabinet.

Top drawer all cleaned out and organized!

Bottom drawer cleaned and organized too!

I have enjoyed having extra cash in my wallet.  I am enjoying not being so busy running around, but I am not enjoying telling myself no.  So, that probably means I need to tell myself NO more often.

For me, this journey of not spending for a week is more mental than physical.  I want to do what I want, when I want.  Another day down.   I hope tomorrow is a little easier!  I’ve been dreaming about what I will buy first when Thursday gets here!

Fiscal Fast Day 4

I didn’t spend a thing today.  But I felt like today was much harder.  My kids were being wild and I just wanted to get out for a little while, but when you aren’t spending money, there really isn’t anywhere to go!

I got the file cabinet completely finished today.  I ended up with another white trash bag of shredded paper from the upper drawer in the file cabinet.  I am embarrassed to say that there was stuff in there waiting to be filed that was 3 years old!!   I will post pictures tomorrow hopefully.  It sure was a lot of work.  It is nice to have it completed!

I am really sore from the run yesterday.  I missed the long run the week before and boy could I tell.  My quads are super sore.  I was a little slower in my duties, but on Sunday, that isn’t all bad.

I have been doing some reading too.  I am reading the Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary and the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  One of my 2012 goals is to read 6 religion books.  Considering this is April and these are my first two books, I better keep at it.

It was a good day, but it was harder for sure!  How did you do?

Fiscal Fast Day 3

Another day under my belt!  I am amazed at how much easier this is getting.  Yes, I am getting lower on supplies, but I have been being more creative.  For example, I had stew meat in the freezer and I had some stir-fry vegetables in there too.  I found a bunch of recipes on stir-fry and incorporated what I had in the kitchen and our stir-fry dinner was pretty good.  Normally, I wouldn’t have looked through the freezer so carefully and I would have gone to one of my standby dinners.

I had a good day, no shopping temptations at all.  I am getting ready for a half-marathon, so today we ran 10 miles.  I had plenty of chores to keep me busy around the house.  I was afraid after the long run, that I might not have enough energy to get all that I wanted done.  My energy was definitely lower than usual, but I moved slowly through my chores and amazed that I got so much done.  I shredded another big stack of papers, and I am down to one small stack that I need to file.  I hope to do that tomorrow.  Then I will be done with the bottom of the file cabinet!  The top is just a bunch of current stuff that needs to be filed.  I hope to get that done tomorrow as well!

Here is all of the shredding completed!

One stack still to be filed.

After a busy day, I am pretty tired and sore tonight.  Here are the highlights:

Played Monopoly Junior with my 7 and 5 year olds.  I lost again 🙂

Played 2 games of chess with my 7-year-old.

Finished the shredding.

Made a nice (and different) meal than usual!

I got 2 baths in today!  One to warm up after the run.  It is amazing how quickly you go from warm when exercising to cold after you stop.  I was freezing.  Later tonight I got in the tub again to help with some sore and achey muscles.

The house is clean!

Tomorrow is Church and 4H.  The finances are looking good!

Fiscal Fast Day 2

I survived another day on my fiscal fast!  Today was much easier, but I did find myself parked outside of a store ready to go inside to “browse” when I remembered I’m not shopping.

Other than that close call, I was good all day!

I started working on my file cabinet and shredding all of the older documents.  Here is the before photo.

This is such a mess!

A big stack of papers that need to be filed!

I got the bottom drawer cleaned out.  There is a big stack of papers that need to be shredded.

This is what is shredded so far!

I made pretty good progress for the day.  I will work on it some more tomorrow if I have time.

I made the croutons that I was contemplating in yesterday’s post.  They were so easy and tasty too.  It really helped my salad!  Here is the recipe that I used.  I got the link from Gail’s blog.  It sent me to this site

I got another bath, and played Monopoly Junior with A.  She loves playing games.  Oh, I also got a 4 mile walk in first thing this morning.  It was a good day.

Playing Monopoly Junior

Here’s to a no-spend weekend!

Fiscal Fast Day 1 Recap

I made it through the first day!  It wasn’t easy.  I wanted to get a coffee at the YMCA while my daughter took her ballet class, but  I remembered in time.

Then I decided that I needed to get my bangs cut because they are really long and driving me crazy.  I’ll have to wait until next week on that.

I am almost out of butter and about to panic, but I remembered that we had some kind of fake butter in the  fridge that I will be using up.

I like balsamic vinaigrette dressing on my salad and I used the end of the bottle today.  I have some Raspberry vinaigrette that I bought to try and didn’t really like, but I will use it up.

I am also out of croutons.  I love croutons.  I will have to try to make some homemade croutons to see how I like them.

I wanted to try Gail’s iced coffee, but I searched high and low, but I didn’t have any sweetened condensed milk.  Bummer.  I did however find 4 cans of evaporated milk which I never use.  Here is her recipe.  I will have to try that next week too.

Frugal Iced Coffee

6 cups of strong brewed coffee 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
Mix ingredients together and serve over ice.  You can also freeze leftover brewed coffee in ice cube trays so that your drink doesn’t get diluted by regular ice cubes.   Makes 1 pitcher full at around $2 per pitcher.

We mowed the grass tonight and I was thinking about how much gasoline we have in the can and we will have enough I think if we are careful.

In just one day, I have really been thinking about spending money without actually spending it.  I can see already how I just get this or that without any real thought.  This is going to be a challenging week.

On a positive note, I did take a long hot bath, and I did play Jenga with my daughter.  We had fun playing with the blocks anyway.

A built a fire and I built a 21 because we counted our blocks and I had 21 blocks

A built a "double triple-decker"

I built a house

I can see that this is going to be a tough week.  I buy little things here and there like they don’t really count, but I am realizing they do.  This is going to be harder than I thought.  Here’s to tomorrow.

Our Package Of Bees Have A New Home

Our package of bees arrived at the post office Tuesday morning.  They called first thing in the morning wanting the bees out of there quickly.  I picked them up and brought them into the garage and gave them a spritzing of water.  My husband had school, so they just hung out until this evening when my husband got home from work.

A package of bees is 3# of bees plus a mated queen.   There are about 10,000 bees in a 3# package.

3# package of bees

Here are a few shots of the bees.

My husband opened up the package and got the queen cage out.  She was in good shape.  Here are a few shots of the queen cage.

the Queen and her attendants

The queen lays eggs and that is it.  The attendants feed her and get rid of her waste.  She is a full-time egg layer and she can lay up to 1500 eggs a day!

Our supplies are ready

My husband is our primary beekeeper.  He remembers everything he reads and bees are pretty complicated.  I tried to do some stuff with the bees, but I can’t remember all of the details like he does.  So for now I am his assistant.  I run and get anything that he needs so that he can stay and do the things he needs to do at the hives.

While we were out there at the hives, my husband checked our other two surviving hives.  They look really strong.  The middle hive was a new package last year, and they survived.   When we opened up the hive there was burr comb and larvae on top of the frames.  This was a good chance to check for varroa mites, which we didn’t see any of, thankful.  The hive looked great and we put a honey super on for them to fill.  Here is a picture from the top of the hive.  This is a nice calm hive.  I got right up there and took the picture without any problem.

Tons of bees wanting more space to expand

When we opened the hive we could see larvae and burr comb--they need room to expand!

Our third hive is a different story.  They are our only hive that survived our American Foulbrood infection several years ago and they are defensive.  The last time I was out there, in February, they were crazy.  The same for my husband today.  They were buzzing around and all over the hive bodies.  They don’t like being disturbed.  They are a strong hive too.  We also put a honey super on for them.  We are planning to requeen this hive to hopefully calm it down.

It was a good day with the bees.

My husband will get the queen cage out in 3 days.  We will put sugar syrup on their hive to help them get started.  I hope this is a good year for honey!

I’m Doing A Fiscal Fast

I’ve read both of Jeff Yeager’s books.  I’ve watched Sharon do a couple of fiscal fasts, and I want to join her.

I have a tendency to fly by the seat of my pants for a large part of my dinner preparations.  We buy 1/2 of a cow each year and a whole pig to put in the freezer.  I  always have plenty of meat, but usually I am lacking in variety.  My husband says I serve the same 10 meals over and over.

I am hoping not purchasing sides, etc. on a whim like I usually do, that I will be more creative with my cooking.  I really don’t mind cooking, but I without a plan I go to the same meals, because it is easy and I know the kids will eat it.

So, from tomorrow Thursday, April 19 until Wednesday, April 25 I will be trying to not buy anything.  Will I be able to do it?  I don’t know, but I will give it my best shot.

What do I hope to gain?  Time to be more creative in the kitchen, to orgainize my file cabinet, to stay home and enjoy a little more leisure time.  I would like to read a little more, play games with my daughter, and take long hot baths.

I will report back each day and let you know how it goes!

Eye Surgery Completed

Getting ready for surgery

I love all of this attention!

Getting his last bit of TV

My 10-year-old son T, had his eye surgery on Wednesday.  We are thrilled to have it over with.  He was a real trooper through the entire ordeal.  We had taken the tour that the hospital offered to try to calm his fears.  You can read about it here if you want.

Anyway, the morning of surgery, my son wanted my husband to go with him while I ran kids to school.  I really didn’t want to go with him to be put under the anesthesia, because I have heard (from my husband) that it is really emotional.  I was already emotional, so I’m glad he wanted his dad.

My son knew where to go and what do because of the tour.  He seemed to be totally comfortable my husband said.  It all went very well until they started to wheel his bed to be put out.  He got really nervous for that couple of minutes.  My husband said he did a great job breathing in the gas and was asleep in about 20 breaths.

I got to the hospital at about 9:15, his surgery started about 9:10.  They wheeled him out of his room to go to surgery right about 9:00.  It took a few minutes to get everything organized.  My husband was already waiting in the waiting room.  The surgery took about an hour and a half.  Then we talked with the surgeon who said that everything went according to plan.  We were then sent back to the waiting room to wait to see him in the recovery room.  That was the longest 30 minutes ever!

When we saw him, he hadn’t awakened yet.  He was crying in his sleep and he had the worst grimace on his face.  I felt so badly for him.  His pain was a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1-10.  They gave him some IV painkillers quickly and some oral Tylenol and his pain went down to a 3.

My first look at him after the surgery

It hurts me to see him hurting so much

Just out of surgery

We have him some Coke to sip slowly.  He was pretty thirsty.  He didn’t have any nausea, which they said was common with this eye procedure, and he had no nausea from the pain medication!

We were out of the recovery room in about an hour.  He rode quietly reclined  in the van with a cold wash cloth covering his eyes with no problems.

Resting at home on the recliner

He rested at home in the recliner with sunglasses covering his eyes because they were so sensitive to the light.  He put his glasses on a few hours later and then was up playing a game on the computer.  His eyes were still very sore, but the computer seemed to distract him from the pain.

Up and on the phone and computer with a bowl full of candy just a few hours later...amazing!

We had to put ointment in his eyes that evening and that was terrible.  His eyes were very swollen and sore to touch, but we had to get the antibiotic in there.  With a lot of crying and repeated tries, we were finally able to get the job done.

He slept through the night and the next morning his eyes were gooey like they said, but not as bad as I thought.  A warm compress loosened the gunk and he was good to go.  His eyes were the sorest on day 2.

Day 3 we headed to the doctor for our post surgery appointment.  They want to rule out infection, and thankfully everything looks great!

This entry was posted on April 17, 2012, in T. 1 Comment