Thursday, October 15, 2020

Random Thursday-ness: Almost there, and hunkering Down Again?

Yesterday I chatted with my brother (we'll probably talk again before I go). He cut his hours in half this spring in order to slowly move to retirement mode, exactly when we had to go in lockdown. Definitely not what he was looking forward to. On the other hand, I may have mentioned that he is the happiest person at home and the least bored, of anyone I have ever met (including me).  All kinds of reasons for that, among them the fact that he has no problem whatsoever self entertaining.  He called me because he knows I have a large Christmas village and he is in the process of making a Halloween village in a shadow box (spraying the box, getting spooky figures and  Halloween Village houses from Michael's and so on). It's a surprise for my sister-in-law and my college age nephew who is learning from home again. Like I said, self entertainment!

We also chatted about Christmas wants and needs for the two I am leaving behind. While I don't want to be non positive as such, we both are pretty sure that it's going to be a long winter before the light of spring. Normally both Thanksgiving and Christmas would be spent as a group and I am pretty sure that son and sister will be alone this year for both days, so we want to make the holidays everything we can at each house. Personally, once I settle in, I'l be mailing goodies, and have decided that in addition to a hand made gift each person will be getting at least one "new hobby" from me. Since my son will have two rooms, I'm considering a good dart board, a good boxing bag and gloves, or maybe electric robots to put together.

For my part, I'll be fine-once I get there at least. After having twenty conversations with myself in my head I've decided sleeping in between two RVs and or driving thirteen hours straight plus stops is not realistic, so for now at least I have a reservation at the Drury inn. As I shared elsewhere, truth be told is that I may sleep in a chair with my own pillow depending on my level of paranoia at the time. I still may change my mind. I am looking forward to driving in the fall, either way. I have missed my drives, long and short. 


This (Houston Chonicle photo), is directly on my path south

Once I am there though, there will plenty to keep me busy and happy for the next few months. I need to organize the place, and make some kind of living alone schedule. I want to, if not "prep" at least plan for shortages here and there. I'll keep busy making gifts for everyone I know, myself included and maybe something for selling even between the quilting/sewing/knitting/painting habit.  And this is the time to work on refreshing that German and teach myself tapestry weaving (While I enjoy painting the cards, I do seem to prefer working in the three dimensional).  For now, I expect to see my daughter once a week. I may change my mind, but she works in nursing homes and is exceptionally careful and my son-in-law in an extremely high end restaurant with all precautions. For now I am going to trust their judgement. And hopefully I will meet new friends from my patio, the occasional walk, and online zoom get togethers. Really, I would be lost without Zoom.  And experimenting with all those small recipes is in the cards as well. 

If you know me you know that whatever I do will be much more freeform and bright than this.



DD has been woring in the apartment again the whole pace is shelf papered

This afternoon I'm going to cut my hair, finish sweeping and cleaning the disaster area left after the packers came (I'm ashamed to say there was a "lost" Vera Bradley purse under my bed for who knows how long), and see what I can get in my car. It is my own fault, but I did not have them pack either the floor lamp I am taking, or the big ironing board.  We are going to see exactly how much this large SUV can hold (I'm not comfortable with a roof container).

As of now the driving happens on Monday. Sunday is my son's day off and we will spend some time together (we can't go out to dinner so we will probably get take out and sit in the car in a park) and finish packing the car. Also, my car has to go to the shop. It seems there is a recall on the darn thing from spring of .......wait for it....2019. That I did not know about. I've driven to and from Dallas at least four times since then.  But, since this has to do with brake flushing and valves staying open (whatever that means), and having to apply more brake pressure, I'm putting a day aside to do it.

I think Sunday is as long as I will last sleeping on a recliner or a couch, that's for sure.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Musings, Voting Edition

The quality control fellow still has not called and I am unsure which day they are coming to move of the next two days. I plan to follow up with the moving company after lunch and be THAT woman. I want to know why they took my card as a down payment through a portal and yet are requiring me to go out and get a cashier's check or money order for the other two payments. During Covid. I also realized that I gave them a box estimate of 65 cubic feet (15 large boxes) and with my mix of mainly small and medium boxes have not reached that number, so today plan to pack another large box and some smaller ones well.  Except for the small sideboard, one big dresser, my desk and white chair and mattress and box spring, I am willing to leave anything else in favor of boxes.

In other news

  1.  I voted. A picture of my ballot is on my Facebook page.  Yes, I believe my ballot is secure, and yes, I live in a state where every single registered voter receives a ballot in October. I just do not understand the problem, or the conflict. While I am preaching to the choir, go out and vote. And remember that not voting or voting for a third party candidate is always the same as choosing the incumbent.
  2. Unsurprisingly, son is experiencing some depression (he already has an emotional, depressive personality, being the kind of child that teachers always wrote "needs to control impulses" about) realizing that all of his close immediate relatives will live two states away. Staying here will be a six month experiment while he sees if the job outlook in his educational field opens up at all, and meanwhile he is working one one, three, and five year plans. By March my sister will be on social secuity and both should be ready to decide on staying or leaving to go south together.
  3. When I left Texas to come to Denver, just as I was getting ready to leave, the priest at my old church (who was there fifteen years), announced early retirement and went to do social justice work. This weekend the priest at my current church announced he accepted a calling in Winchester, Mass to do more social work and raise his kids near family and in a more diverse environment. Is it me?
  4. Everything I own creatve wise and otherwise is packed. The supplies, the patterns, the projects being worked on and the projects that are coming. While I have some cleaning and family time for the next few days, I'll also have a lot of free time and empty hands. I had no choice but to go to the craft store and let them put some fall colored yarn in my trunk so I could knit some pumpkins to keep my hands busy.

  5. My daughter has been working on my patio, as you can see on Facebook.
  6. And finally, a rant that may offend some readers:  Last night I watched a fascinating 60 Minutes episode on theraputic research and possibe vaccines for Covid. A huge percentage of doctor/virologist types who were asked the question of therapy over vaccine said if they could only have one, they pretty much chose thereapy, or fast recovery.  When a similar question was asked (Mask or vaccine/therapy) literally every doctor on the show as I recall stated that they would rather have a mask, first and foremost. Because ...science and social distancing.  So, while I haven't made alot of political statements this summer and fall..............here it is. Wear the damned mask. With family who are not part of your bubble, at sports games, wherever it is required and wherever it makes common sense to protect others, never mind yourselves.  Stop comparing mask wearing requirements and penalties to third world countries or Germany in the thirties or socialism already. Wear a mask if you have asthma, and bring your inhaler. I have a son with asthma who wears a mask his entire work day and a sister in law who does the same. A mask  neither cuts of oxygen nor increases carbon monoxide. The research is clear. Wear the damn mask, avoid large family and other gatherings and do the right thing without complaining about your personal rights every second.  Just stop. The reason every other country has a lower percentage of Covid (even with current increases) is because they have mandatory mask wear and other limitations. Stop worrying about your personal freedoms and wear the mask and social distance. Is it painful?  You bet. But the alternative is to be doing this stuff next fall, people!!

 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday Things, Not All Move Related

Today is M minus 4, and D minus 7 or eight. M being the movers' arrival and D being when I drive. After this update I'll be posting once or twice a day on FB depending but probably wont blog about the move as such as I want to write about other things as well and there will just be wayyy to much to blog about on a day by day basis. I also have some posts coming about total costs, budgeting, what I moved and what I am replacing and why. And yes, it has to be said. I've held off long as I can when it comes to commenting on the current state of the country and the election, so here it comes. Sooner rather than later.

 I started my change of address journey today, beginning with Social Security and the federal retirement system and moving on to USPS. Still work to be done. Either today or tomorrow, the "quality assurance" guy will call from the moving company and we will talk about specific number of boxes and furniture priorities and such-I can be flexible.  I also need to have a conversation with the moving company though! The fee is divided into three payments (reservation, pickup and drop off). I paid the first payment online with my card, but yesterday when I spoke to customer service, they said the other two payments need to be paid with a cashier's check or money order.  I need to follow up on that both because I understood they took credit card payments and because I am really irritated at the requirement to leave my house to fulfill any of the other obligations!

Daughter sent me some additional pictures including one of "my" patio (I've toured the place multiple times but this is my location and so on). There are a some things that need to be fixed, but most of them are done and I am already deciding where pots, chairs and Halloween lights (yes, I am a holiday person, all holidays!) will go on the patio. Following my wishes, she also got me a sleigh bed and a new, smaller table! 





Packing is done except for my clothes although a few boxes have been left open for last minute things, and a couple really big things will probably go into my car, which I can do since I am driving (hello, Kitchen Aid and gigantic wall painting!). Unpacking will be fun, because in order to take care of breakables (especialy pottery, blown glass, and all the Holiday stuff I am taking), there was not necessarily alot of "like items together", with a few crafting exceptions. Yarn is in the crock portion of my slow cooker as a packing method, just saying! 

This morning I woke up very tired with no energy,  possibly because for the last three or four days I have ignored that "nothing but water for half an hour to an hour" rule with my thyroid pills (some of you know about which I speak) and just dove into the caffeine or food.  Since I really have nothing moving related to do that is not sitting on the computer or answering the phone for a few minutes, I have spent the day napping, going out with the dogs on the patio and knitting.

As for some non move related things happening this week:

I got fifty dollars in credit for gift cards today which I turned into Walmart gift cards (cause they have gas in Texas and I can use them at Sam's and so on). One of my many reward sites let me know that they were giving fifty dollars in credit for a fifteen dollar payment to the Sierra Club awhile back (which I felt to be a very great cause!) I took them up on their offer, which I'm sure was so good becase the goal was for people to subscribe permanently. I never subscribe financially to any organization no matter how good, and rarely subscribe via mail and email. I have a monthly budget percentage and I give that to organizations depending on immediate need depending on economy circumstance and the like. Considering what's happening in California and so on I am sure the Sierra club will get a another "real" donation from me sooner rather than later.

This morning, before sitting down to spend my day chilling, I did a quick freezer recon run (inside and out). We've been eating it down and while it's not empty it is low enugh to start refilling with sale items or to defrost depending on the desire of the remaining residents. I pulled out a frozen chicken tortilla soup to have with cornbread tonight and a pound of ground beef which I plan to turn into down and dirty shepherds pie with whatever soup and vegetalbes I have on hand and some frozen Schwan's mashed potatoes.

I buy my adult kids a gift and make them a gift. I was unsure what I was making for daughter and/or daughter and son in law. Someone posted the picture below on one of my Facebook crafting groups (I expect with regard to wedding colors). Since their house is the shades of the various blues and cream, but also is filled with succulents and the other colors, my mission now is to decide whether a throw or table runner, napkins and placemats are the better choice. Son is receiving a throw knitted in Indy Colts colors with a Colt's design on it. Right now the purchased gifts look to be a cricut machine and an air fryer. 




My sweater is coming along swimmingly, but it's a simple pattern and I need an alternative for when boredom sets in so I am looking to begin something else. I did leave out some blank greeting cards and stamps and pens (anything sewing/embroidery/art related is packed) but instead I think I'm going to work on some knitted pumpkins. 





We have way, way to many carbs in this house. We bought a giant pumpkin pie from Costco and forgot to take it to the farewell thing over in my brother's back yard for me. We made banana bread from two dead bananas and we have a bunch of sugar topped chocolate muffins. I'm going with the flow for a couple days, and I'll walk it of later. Because........pumpkin. But I may hold off on that cornbread tonigh and use crackers instead.

sorry folks, did my best to have her looking at me but there were too many other things calling to her.


And last but not least, my sister went back to work today (3 week training and then working at home, but with a closed door except for her breaks). Instead of going in and out with said dogs at will, I took them out just twice. Other than that they seemed mainly happy to be on their respective beds except for barking out the window on occasion. They will, I believe, adjust to being left during the day as needed eventually. Wilson adjusting to me being gone? Not sure how long that one will take.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Mainly Lazy Sunday

While I'm not interesed in a politic discussion as such, I do hope everyone recovers from this Covid outbreak. And that Trump and all his no-mask, the worst is over, kids can't get sick cohort have learned something from this superspreader event. And if you are the praying type in any form, I encourage you to think a moment of the cooks, housekeepers, guards, and all the other "average" folks who have been exposed to Covid because of this debacle.  And who cannot just "go to the hospital", or afford or receive the kind of treatment our president is receiving.

Today I am only doing that stuff I absolutely  have to do like a slow cooker dinner, and mainly ignoring the packing stuff except to supervise! 

Instead, today I am going to miminally supervise my son's packing of all the dishes and kitchen and ask him to double check my wrapping of the collectibles and other decor. My son is a Colts fan, and normally leaves the house every afternoon or evening on Sunday in order to watch the game since we don't get it on TV.  True love is him offering up his youth and packing expertise for both his days off.  True love on my part is offering up both Christmas quilts and one of my nativity sets for his "new life"


Polish pottery and such ready to be packed


In my effort to clean out the freezer, I'm making a rather unusual verson of Italian beef stew consisting of thawed stew meat and a frozen package of stew vegetables that some how got subtituted for something else in one of my many Instagram orders! Life is an adventure, including cooking. Sitting and working on my sweater is also on my agenda. I need to alternate some fun stuff and relaxing stuff with packing and organizing in this final stretch and my hand and shoulders are absoutely killing me after two days of double folding the bottom of boxes, taping boxes, and wrapping breakables first in newspaper and then taping bubble wrap. Knitting with stretch them and the heating pad later will help. I crave to sew and even left out my machine and project, but that's just not happening with l the surfaces covered.

Right now I'm munching on less than heathy orange cinnamon rolls and a glass of milk and looking at the pictures my daughter sent me this morning. She's going to go back with SIL this afternoon and measure everything just in case I need to know. I've decided I'm putting the big dresser in the walk in closet in the master and all my craft storage in the walk in in the studio (and probably taking the door off so I can see inside to plan colors and such). See ongoing pictures and info as they occur here.

In theory fall is in the air, even though it's in the eighties for a high today (and lows of fifty). I wanted to make my normal bucket list and a goal list for October, but I'm not sure about that goal thing. I'm feeling less and less goal oriented in life as time goes on (not related to Covid, just not big on goals as such) So I'm only making a few, and I'm going to imitate Laura and a few other fellow bloggers and try either moving to file cards or writing them ahead in my daily journal. Most of them are things I want to do every day, even (or maybe especially) in the moving process. And if they don't get done?  Eh, so be it.

For October my "maybe" goals are to continue forty minutes of exercise daily (even if it's seated yoga), add a midday quiet/meditation period, work on a creative (preferrably tactile) project daily,  try and spend a half an hour each weekday on my current little earning project (which is research and user testing kind of stuff so challenging my brain to say the least).

And because into every life a little joy must come even during Covid, I want to make or eat at least one pumpkiny thing each week, if not twice a week. I want to decorate the apartment for fall as soon as I arrive, do one fall food and one fall craft Pinterest challenge, stop and explore the leaves on my drive south, and make some "Boo Baskets" (Easter baskets Halloween style) for kids in need down south.

I think football is calling me........ 




Thursday, October 1, 2020

I'm in!! And Chaos reigns!

Well, not in, exactly! But my daughter has signed an hour's worth of paperwork in my name!  She has picked up keys for the apartment, mailbox keys, parking pass, and gotten a pile of paperwork. She also did a quick walkthrough of the apartment, but on Sunday or Monday she and my son in law are going back to look deeper and clean themselves (that's my daughter, and she didn't get it from me)!

She has alot of information for me, not all of it relevant (because all most of the common areas and activities are closed for now). 

Meanwhile friends, chaos reigns in my little corner of this house. Yes, we are at that place. Both sewing tables in the office studio are now stacked with things to pack as I go through shared boxes, pull photos and paintings of walls, and walk around rooms choosing what I am going to take. Funny, I always thought I would send my son off with HIS share of Christmas decorations and Christmas Village, his own ornaments and so on. Instead it's mainly the other way.  Who knew?

Since one or two dressers are emptied, and one has boxes stacked in front of it, my clothes are.....wherever they fit. On top of shelves,  and on top of the file box and sewing machine that have been moved to a dresser in my bedroom since they will travel in the car. Because both those sewing tables are othewise occupied,  I have no desk. I sit with my large tablet on my lap, and plug in all my devices on the nightstand in a surge protector I pulled from the bedroom.

My bedroom has three extra large boxes into which I am throwing donation bags and all those shoebox type organizers with lids that I now use for craft storage but that take up too much space to move, as well as an old suitcase with books to donate. Fortunately I've made a clear path around my bed, out the door and to the bathroom, so I stay in one piece.

I started to take pictures of the chaos, but then decided that was just too much. I will take good photos of the rooms once they are finished, packed, and waiting for the movers. My immediate goal is to have the studio finished by this weekend (as in tomorrow, not Sunday). It will have the furniture and all the boxes to be taken from that room (which will be most of them). The closet will hold things I am not taking on this trip like my serger, and some memorabilia perhaps. But everything else will be swept and cleaned out, and donations put away. My sister will use this as her home office after her period of orientation with her new contract job. I don't mind leaving stuff for my son to deal with in my bedroom as much, so that will be the second week (I dont want to box up clothes until the last minute anyway, and the donation pickup is on the 9th). 


A wall full of packing materials in front of the (not going) china cabinet. An an abstract done by my sister years ago!

I would be being less than truthful if I did not admit that there is still packing everywhere in the house, including piles of bubble wrap envelopes to be used on dishses and other breakables.  But I am seeing an end in sight!  I will be sharing a list of what I took, what I left in the house for son, what I expect son to pack and bring later, and what I got rid of (not that much), as well as what I will need in the first few months next week, for those who may be interested. 




And now onto the second cause of chaos around my Casa.  We (my sister, they, actually) have a dog. She's a rat terrier mix, at least that's what we are thinking. She's been fostered for 9 months and is adjusting very slowly. Isn't she adorable?  Even hiding her head? But friends, she is a climber, and just t0o damned smart. She slept on the sofa last night. Sometime around three am she climbed up the sofa, through the barrier of appliances/cake taker/ect on the counter and pushed through, walked around the counter, knocked the butter dish onto the floor and then either jumped off the counter or wandered back down the sofa and around.  And ate the butter.  At three am.

Since all those appliances and the cake plate are going with me, they're gonna have to come up with a new, much better dog barrier. I wish them luck.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Monday Musings-Why I'm Not Taking All My Stuff and Other things.

A few people, via comments and emails, have wondered why I am not taking all my possessions from this "shared home". The latest was Elle, yesterday evening. Most of the questions have to do with finances and my fixed income (Although I do need to add that fixed income is not an alternative phrase for either "broke" or "poor")  It's a fair question though, so I thought I would attempt to give some answers today.  While I don't want to generalize, I suspect readers who have moved across the country or moved fairly often (waiving to my military/federal friends) may have more of an inkling than others. 

1.  Moving is damned expensive when you have to pay for it yourself, and it is OFTEN cheaper to purchase things at the other end and say good bye to the ones you have. My previous move was completely DIY including a driven Uhaul. Even after I left half my possessions behind (Including a large butcher block kitchen table and a queen sleigh bed and dressers),  I was well onto the four thousand dollar mark at reloction's end. I can bet you I replaced those things for less than the addtional two grand minimum I would have spent.

On this move I will need movers at both ends. Moving a bedroom and sewing room, which includes  a queen bed and frame, two wooden dressers and a wooden bookshelf, a six foot executive desk and office chair, a large wooden dresser and the equivalent of 15 large boxes (plus various lamps and one possible more furniture piece) is $2000 from here to there. I believe that I can refurnish my home on the mainly used market for less than the additional two thousand dollars or possibly more that it would cost me to move other things. 


While this listing is unfortunately a little dark, at $150 its a perfect sample of what will work for me

2.  It would be cruel and unkind to take things from the shared house under current circumstances. When we all moved into this house, the three of us (even my son) all had our own furniture and possessons. When it came to the "shared spaces" (mainly the two living spaces and kitchen, plus the outdoor patio), we generally got rid of and downsized and combined so that we have a comfortable home.  Son's pub kitchen table (which reverts to a game table on the other side), sister's dining table, my large sectional and china cabinet and so forth. It's made a for a comfortable home and I am not comfortable, right or wrong, in dividing it up now. By the same token, when things in the house have been needed, different people have purchased different things. My son bought the patio dining set. I bought the good wood mop. My sister got most of the decor you see in pictures in the lower garden. Various other things were added the same way, and for the most part considered part of the house possessions, rather then "his" or"hers" (at least for now).

If we were ALL leaving at the same time my perspective would possibly be different. If we were ALL leaving the house, possessions would be divided up by who brought them, or perhaps who cared most about them. In these circumstances, that does not have to happen yet, and since the other two are not moving until next spring it gives them (and me) time to think about what they will take and what they will need to replace. I've told my son to take the large sectional and coffee table if he would like them to his apartment or sell them and we'll split the cost! He'll also have to sell the huge china cabinet (I don't want it).

3.  I live in a large home and am moving to an apartment, folks.  I'm at fifteen hundred feet upstairs alone-never mind the patio. I'm moving to less than 900 feet. My dining room area is eight and a half feet square and I need a small four seater table with no leaves. There will be absoutely no room for a three sided sectional and I may not even want a six by four foot coffee table or the chair and a half love seat (which is the dog's favorite pace on earth to be and will comfort him when I am gone).....you get the idea. Again, if there is moving space,  there are some small pieces I will add to the mix. I will need different types of furniture and in many ways my lifestyle will be different

4.  The upholstered furniture especially is old and no longer my taste as such. I purchased the brown sectional in 2008. It has lived through two moves, three dogs with chronic conditions and the use and abuse that people who eat, drink and craft in their living spaces commit. I'm excited to look at different furnishings and have no problem with Ikea and even the used market for anything not upholstered. Yes, it helps that I will be the recipient of a hand me down recliner couch for awhile, but I would have managed either way. I'm actually excited about new possesions and have started knitting decor for the new space. 



5. If you've been reading, I'm leaving pretty much with all the things I care about and need. I have pots, pans and baking pans for every occasion (although I can use more baking sheets) as well as utensis. I'm leaving with all of my good dishes and glassware, as well as all the appliances I need except a toaster/toaster oven. I wouldn't be taking the large casseroles and my roasting pan to cook for just me or occasionally make snacks for a reading or book group when one can do that again (someday, someday)! My so called Amazon apartment wish list includes a set of knives, a toaster oven or toaster, new mixing bowls and cereal bowls (to match my pottery dishes which only have the flat bowls)  and small casserole pans. It also includes things like a shower rod and shower curtains and bath mat, things which I would get new no matter where I went.

There are things that will not fit on this trip for various reasons, but which will either need to come down when my son comes or in my car when I come up to visit, and he will slowly pack those in between now and the first of the year/spring. These include boxes of genealogy and memorabilia that may not fit, some of my large quilt racks, and other things. I'm only taking less than a third of the Christmas stuff and eventually that will have to be divided up (how do you even divide a Christmas village when everone loves the thing?  Get them their own pieces I guess!). There are collectibes and decor items that will also come down later, after my personal packer extrordiaire has packed them and loaded them into his car.

6.  And finally, while I appreciate the interest and love explaining my reasoning and finances (that is why I blog, after all), I need to be clear. I am not doing anything that I cannot afford, or that is detrimental to my well being in the long run. While I did not share my budget specifics when I posted the other day-keeping the discussion to budget areas, my budget in my new home is, as they say, in a really "good place". Not taking everthing that "belongs" to me is not affecting me in a detrimental way-financially or otherwise. Whether it is not taking more things for my new life, helping a kid, or paying the grand for a loving dog's teeth cleaning, I am doing what I can afford and feel is right at this time. My long term plan down the road includes sharing a home with my daughter and son in law as opposed to continuing care/assisted living.  But that's a living situation rather than a financial one. And meanwhile I believe the best gift I can give to my children is to live life well and take care of myself in all aspects. Including finances.

In other news, it's been fall for a week and I have yet to have a pumpkin anything. It may be time for a pumpkin spiced chai latte tomorrow, if nothing else.



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Bucket Lists and Food Budget Adjustments and Dogs!

Today began the "Let's see what Babara can take with her from the kitchen",  experiment. Which quickly turned into the "While we're at it, let's just clean out all the cabinets".


To the far right there is a top to a food processor, with no bottom container!


 We have yet to get to the stovetop cooking pans or tools, but my "to pack" pile in the office now includes  a pottery six muffin pan, a normal sized muffin pan, a couple of round glass cake pans, a pie plate, and a heavy wooden cutting board. Plus my slow cooker and blender, a portable mixer and immersion blender.  Add to that a four or five quart soup pan, my good two quart saucepan, a medium skillet, and a one quart saucepan ( which I may reject in case they need it for bernaisse and hollandaise). We obviously had plenty of pans between us, which my non bending over body has missed.
 
Small Casserole dishes like these and the ones below plus a small loaf pan, are on my short wish list!



The process continues, with me not taking any casserole pans because I've decided that in the future even if I cook larger recipes I'll divide them into smaller casserole pans. Which are on my list (see above).  Still trying to decide on the Kitchen Aid-whether I'll have counter top space for it as well as if I will use it beyond Christmas cookies. I also unpacked the fall decor box (hey, it's officially fall!!), took my stuff and put the rest out around the house.

I've been wanting to come up with a fall bucket list in the midst of this, and think I'll have one to share on Friday as well as a September/October goals list. This one will surely be different from past years. No festivals, no pumpkin patch, no trick or treating, no fall happy hours with pumpkin brew and/or wine, no leaf drives even because of the fires.  There will be fall colored crafting, pumpkin edibles in the extreme, and I am not sure what else. It was excruciating for me to walk away from the the jumbo pumpkin muffins at Sam's this morning, let me tell ya.

In other news, I've been working on the groceries for one angle and trying to figure out my general budget. I began with a grocery budget of a couple hundred dollars which I shared here somewhere around 2014 and that amount has obvously risen exponentially (I'm not including the early Covid grocery spending and delivery in this, I refuse open that one up!!). I'm not the only person who cooks or shops in this house, but I am the one who shops and cooks the most as I am the only non working resident.  I tend to cook and shop for the weekdays and the other two tend to make one really, really good meal each weekend day. I have spent as much as five hundred a month in the current shopping climate, mainly because I am generally getting stuff for large meals that serve three and make piles of leftovers.  That will change, well, drastically. Both because I've been spending wayyy to much in general, and because my eating style will change some.

My best way to estimate was to figure the things I eat every week for breakfast and lunch and snacks and how often I need to shop for them. Add to that two or three family sized meals that I'll cooking and freeze in the beginning, and I have a rought list.  Which I typed into a grocery website as if I was getting delivery or pickup, since I have no math brain whatsoever.   A pal sent me a document that showed average spending based on age and gender from the USDA for 2020.  They show the thrifty plan for a gal 51 to 70 is $171 a month,  the liberal plan is $320 a month, and the low cost and moderate plans in between the two.  For food only. I dont include non food in my food budget as I get it elsewhere than a grocery-I'll share this in a post of it's own. I also don't drink alcohol anymore (Thanks so much, menopause!!)

I fully expect  to exceed the liberal plan by whatever amount necessary for a month or so as I build up my basic stores. I'll completely be starting from scratch here,  from the flour and sugar and salt and pepper to the tea bags and everything else.  While I am a not a great cook, I do like flavor, so spices and sauces and/or the makings thereof will need to be purchased. I'll probably rely on all the flavored mixes and "grinders" available, at least to start. Once pantry stock up time is up, my goal is to keep it at the liberal plan and slowly try to move south of that as I am able and feel comfortable (with no guilt if I can't). I have no plan to go into "prepper mode" in any way whatosever until I have the basics and my kitchen is put together. While I don't figure it in the budget, I will be living right near two cooking fools, so expect  come home every Sunday with food, I admit it.

We'll see how my expectations and reality come together in the food area. As always, I'll share with you, the readers-good, bad, or in between. If any of the single folks want to share how much they spend on food alone, I'd love to hear it.

We have a possible dog adoption "home visit" tomorrow, so this afternoon we are doing the best we can do to make the house presentable considering there are packing preparations going on in multiple rooms. I'll share pictures if this progresses, the sweet girl is a six year old that looks to be dachsund mixed with something equally small as she's under 25lbs. Her mom could no longer take care of her and the family members from afar swooped in and gave the cutie and her sister to the rescue-and the sister is already placed.

As very long time readers know, this was similar to what I did when Magic and Elvis died (at sixteen and seventeen years old).  While my intent was to wait a few months, we were looking at beagles a few weeks later, and had one before the first of the year when the last one died the day after Thanksgiving. Not only are we serious dog people, we are obviously all of the opinion that getting another dog eases the pain!!