About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Random Ramblings

I've had a few things on my plate the past week or so, and a lot on my mind, so tonight's post will be a little jumbled ...rather than try to put events in order, I'm just going to ramble about whatever occurs to me.

The job continues to be very good.  My office wardrobe could use some upgrading, but I'm very fortunate in that there isn't really a dress code as such, except that we only wear jeans on Fridays.  That takes a lot of pressure off, since any additions this year (other than shoes and underthings) will be made by yours truly.  I'll try to remember to post them all in the "Projects" sidebar, but don't expect too much all at once!  Since one of my semi-resolutions was to finish everything I start, I think my best hope of doing that will be not to let myself start a project until the previous one is finished.  In the past I've had a tendency to start a dozen garments at once and take forever to finish any of them ... I don't have the space for UFOs to accumulate any more, and I no longer have the time or the patience to sort through a big pile of pieces figuring out which piece goes with what.

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The memorial service for L was last Saturday, and I must confess I found it a little depressing.  Partly, I think, because apart from Big Guy, his brother and nephews, and one friend, I didn't know anyone there.  Partly because although the service itself was fairly dignified, I'm not a fan of organized religion, especially when its adherents natter on interminably about "God's will" and "in a better place".  How can there be a better place than the home she'd worked hard to make and keep with her loved ones?  How can it be "God's will" that she go through what she did because a doctor she trusted misdiagnosed a malignant lump as "just a cyst, don't worry about it"?  And did the video presentation really need so many photos of L in a hospital bed, dying?  I don't think so.  But ... it's not my place to judge; if that's what gave her husband and sons some comfort, I certainly would never dream of telling them what I really thought.

Anyway, on our way home, Big Guy and I agreed that whichever of us goes first, the other one will not do that kind of thing.  We're both pretty much set on "give away whatever parts still work (organ donation), burn the rest, and have a party when the ashes get scattered".  And in the meantime, enjoy each other's company as much as we can, because who knows what might happen tomorrow?

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I spent most of Sunday happily knitting away, thinking I'd have the back of the sweater finished and the front started by bedtime, and then ... I discovered that I'd left out one small but critical step at the beginning of the armhole shaping, and had to rip out about eight inches of work.  I'm calmer now, but still feel rather foolish.  After all, I've been knitting for almost fifty years  -  how could I have not noticed something so basic?  Can I plead a mental hangover from Saturday?

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Daughter J volunteered at a foodie event a few days back, and for her trouble brought home, among other things, a huge bag of assorted exotic mushrooms.  After work today, I helped her get them all set up in the dehydrator; when they're done, we'll vacuum-seal them for future yummy goodness at her hands.  That vacuum sealer has to be the best $5.00 yard-sale purchase I ever made!

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Big Guy is finally back to work, for which we're both grateful.  We don't know how long it will last  -  in construction, when the building (or whatever) is finished, that's it until he gets a call for the next one.  So as long as he is working, we're putting as much $$$ as we can toward paying down debts.  The mortgage is set up so that we can keep up with it on just one income  -  I insisted on that from day one  -  and still eat and pay the bills.  I also insist that whenever one of us is not working, the credit cards don't come out except for the most dire of emergencies  -  the ones that can't be dealt with any other way and can't wait until we can afford them.  Like the roof that started leaking four months before we had planned to replace it ...

At least the past year of dual unemployment showed him that maybe some of the things I'd been trying to tell him all along weren't so "out there" after all.  Things like:

never shopping without a list
never shopping without going through all the flyers first, or without checking the kitchen & pantry to see what we really needed
never shopping hungry
never shopping without my coupons

Actually, the tricky part isn't making a list  -  it's persuading him to stick to it.  I couldn't begin to count the number of times I've said "Put it back, it's not on the list."  Or "I don't care what a great deal/sale/price it is, we don't need it."  At this point, I count any shopping trip that ends with us bringing home fewer than four "off-list" items as a victory of sorts.

I also counted it as a real victory when he finally agreed to let J and me clean out the big chest freezer in the basement.  He's always had the firm belief that anything frozen stays good forever, and that a little freezer burn never hurt anybody.  Um ... no.  J pointed out to him how many of my bad IBS flareups coincided with him cooking something he thought was still perfectly good, and that I wasn't just being "picky" about food that he ate without any ill effects ... I'm told she said something along the lines of "Come on, Dad, we all know you could eat pureed tin cans and be okay!"  So we dug and sorted and defrosted while he sat in the workshop and sulked, but in the end we threw out a lot less than I'd been afraid we might have to.  But folks, I don't care how well-wrapped and solidly frozen something is  -  if it's dated 1999, I am not letting anyone eat it.  And I don't want to hear about that edible mammoth meat they dug up somewhere in Siberia. 

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I've started a list of blogs I read along the side; I'll be adding to it periodically, once I'm all caught up on the ones I try to read regularly. Right now, though, I'm going to go and knit. 

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