Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday This n' That!

So I'm sick again. Which is incredibly frustrating because normally I don't get seriously sick. A mild sniffle here and there, but the last time I was seriously ill was four years ago while visiting my daughter in Texas, and the one year I had no flu shot. I thought I had this thing kicked when I drove to Texas, but either it was still hiding there, or some other germies entered the house through others. This time I said enough, went to Urgent Care and found out that while I did not yet have pneumonia, I had a really bad case of bronchitis. So I am now mega dosing on steroids, those little yellow pills that coat your throat, antibiotics and orange juice. This time, we're gonna take care of things right!

Obviously, this has keep me mainly chair bound and energy low this week. However:

1. On Wednesday, I was just feeling a little "punky" (no cough yet, that started at bedtime or so, of course).  I was craving breakfast for dinner, so we wandered down to the Village Inn where I had.........wait for it...........both Eggs Benedict AND free Cherry Pie  Ala Mode. Sometimes my friends, you just gotta!

2.  March Madness has arrived, yes it has, yes it has! Officially my bracket was ruined the moment Loyola beat Miami, but my final four are intact. For those wondering, my choices are Michigan State, Villanova, Virginia and Gonzaga-but I'm beginning to think maybe Gonzaga may not make it all the way. Sorry Kansas and Michigan folks, but I just think that both teams are too unreliable-you never know who will show up. Yes, for the next three weeks I am all about basketball!

3.As I mentioned on the Facebook page, I'm part of a creative challenge and I'm supposed to write a letter and make a card to put said letter in (or write in the card) this month. A quick trip to Hobby Lobby netted me some papers and stamps and such, and added to my watercolors I should be able to come up with something that I am not ashamed to photograph. I'll work on that this weekend. I'm going with the assumption that all these drugs will show a marked improvement in 24 hours.

4. After a great deal of thought, I'm giving up my Verizon wireless and 4 G service and moving to (mainly) just Wif.  I just ordered the S9 through Xfinity, and while it has a mobile network, you pay by the gig. I really only need non wifi when I am traveling, you know?  I will move from my Samsng 4G tablet to a Wifi only Fire HD 10 (the one that's the size of the IPad) and a keyboard. Truth be told, I'm not fully paid off on the Verizon devices. But I will be by the end of the summer, and meanwhile I am not paying the 100 buck plus service plan that Verizon has in place for me. My new basic service will be $35.00. This is part of along term effort to lower the costs of subscriptions and basic month to month services as much as I can. I may never be able  to get rid of cable itself because of sports, but this cuts down my monthly bill from almost 250 bucks to $35 monthly plus data.

I do know there are many other companies like Ting and such, but I wanted Verizon's towers for those few times I need them. Hence this choice.

5. During my non coughing times, I have been doing through my closet from top to bottom, as I mentioned the other week. In order to see what I had, I put everything on hangars in my closet. I now have an even larger piles of clothes to go. Instead of re-purposing, I've decided my goal is to have them gone. I'll keep the things that can be cut into rags, and let this be a lesson to myself to only buy stuff I love. In the colors I love. And nothing black unless it appears on the lower half of my body. Less is more, less is more. Most of the time at least.

And so it goes. I hope you all had a lovely week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Substitutions, Substitutions..........And Dogs!

As expected when other people are ill in your home, the germs come to visit you. Darn it! My current state is nothing like what it was during my month of cold that is not the flu, but I definitely have a slight cough and sniffles. And it's surely not helpful when the weather changes from 30 to 70 and back, never mind losing an hour.

Of course, yesterday was also my big every two week errand day, which uses up lots of my energy. A visit to Target, the office store and the grocery store probably netted me close to ten thousand steps for the day!

Meanwhile, I had a super frugal win (or two) which raised my spirits a bit.  The dress I shared previously was around a hundred dollars. Not terrible, especially after I spent Monday roaming the mall and looking at stores and boutiques-where the only thing I found  I liked nearly as much was almost one hundred dollars more or very glitzy-the kind of thing I might never wear again. Yea, this is an evening wedding, but I want something I can wear in the future. I'm not into single wear clothing, no matter how glamorous or sexy.

I used my lazy down time to do some online searching. Something along the lines of "fancy maxi dress", or "chiffon maxi dress" and then putting the title of each search-Macy's, Dillard's Nordstrom Rack and the like. When what to my wondering eyes should appear (at Penny's of all places), was the same dress. For less than 40 dollars. At Penny's. Where I could get it delivered to the store. It may have a different brand name and price, but daughter, sister and everyone else I know agree-same dress. The Nordstrom photos are better and more sexy, but same dress. Absolutely. Call it a win. Great, because my idea of frugality is mainly finding cheaper ways to get or do rather than giving up. 

Which leads me to my decision to get Movie Pass. One as a gift for my son, and one for me. After reading multiple reviews on various blogs, including this one, I realized this deal is as good as it looks. If you haven't checked it out, a Movie Pass membership let's you see as many in theater movies you want, one a day,  for an average of ten bucks a month (right now they have a special for 8 dollars). Yes, I'm sure eventually they'll change the dollar amount, and yes, I expect this is a bigger deal for us suburban types than those who live more rural. The map below shows all the theaters available to me. I live about a half an inch above the word Littleton, and the one on the far left is about  fifteen minute drive from me so all are close. Move Pass is owned by Netflix, and if you ask me, the reason the theaters tolerate it is because they don't money on movies (something those who say movies are so expensive should always consider-movie theaters make money from food not from movies. Think loss leader if you will, except for the hugest blockbusters of the year). 

And yea, even with Movie Pass the folks in this abode will still be getting food. So free movies? Nope. Really cheap movies? Pretty much. Which is great for those of who keep lists of movies coming out along with books to read and TV shows to watch. Let me tell you. 

When it's cold and rainy (see towel for drying off) and you make your nest infront of the heater vent!

My son may never get his T-shirt quilt back. Blue chair, quilt, pillow and direct eyeline to the front walk. I think he's happy!

I'm really behind on that daily photo challenge by the way. I need to pt it at the top of the daily list. Today's word was breakfast, and it'll be waiting till tomorrow, because I ate breakfast while half awake this morning. Or maybe, since we are going to the Village Inn tonight for free Pie (and Pi) day, I'll have breakfast for dinner and get that. On Sunday, my word was contentment. While I am not sure this is what they meant, it is what it is. Because dogs, my friends. How can I resist dogs.

And now I'm off for some Easter card/letter decor. A story for another day unless you've read my Facebook post.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Things (Some Frugal)

Guys and gals, both my m and u keys are almost non functional. Not sure why, nothing spillled in terms of liquid that I know of. I am working on it, but meanwhile, I have used spell check twice, edited myself, but there may be a couple of those letters missing in at least one word. Bear with me, bear with me!

So while I still haven't gotten back into the exercising mode that I should, I am mainly recovered from my three and a half day cross country trip. My son, on the other hand, finally got the flu (yep, he had a flu shot, the first year it has ever happened to him).

 Flu or cold, as a "recovering" asthmatic, all turn to pneumonia in this particular offspring, because of his health history. Today he is rasping, miserable, feverish and taking prednisone, using the inhaler he hasn't used in more years than I can count, and many other drugs. This too shall pass. Medical folks will appreciate the hilarity the looks on the faces of ER and urgent care intake workers: "What kind of symptoms are you having today?".  "I have pneumonia, but just in my left lung".  If I had a dollar for every nurse or intake who has responded to this with some form of "Let's let the doctor/nurse decide that shall we", and stood open mouthed after they put their head down to his chest and said "Yep, you have pneumonia in your left lung!", I would be rich. While I appreciate the need of triage workers to be specific and neutral, occasionally we actually know our bodies, and this kid has had pneumonia more times than I have had fingers.

Meanwhile, onward and forward:

1. Many of y'all are from the south, and will appreciate what a "House Party" is in terms of a wedding. Basically, when someone has a fairly large wedding and has more friends or relatives than will fit into a bridal party, they also have the "house party". They dress in similar colors, do stuff like man the guest book and sit at the front of the church venue.  More explanation hereAnyhoo, I misunderstood the pink dress thing. My daughter the female cousin has been asked to wear pink as part of the house party (the bridesmaids will be in blue). The rest of us can wear whatever we want-which has headed me more in this direction than those other pink dresses. A brief discussion post funeral had my niece also explaining that there will be no assigned seats. She's not gonna try and figure out who should sit with who. Which I think is lovely. Because we're all adults, really. 

2.  My only "house-leaving" other than exercise this week was on Wednesday. First to my knitting group, and then to a soup, salad, bread (and cookie ) dinner followed by a program. I didn't even do my normal take myself out to lunch and explore time. On the other hand, I did get to finish more than one book this week!

3. My two big quilt projects and my two big knitting projects are on hold for some big pieces of fabric. I didn't find what I wanted online, and I am determined to only shop on Tuesday-groceries, yarn store, quilt store, lunch and bookstore. I have my priorities, you know. Meanwhile, I had a bunch of blocks and strips that were of fabric I decided I didn't like. I re purposed these into large blocks, am sewing them together and they will become throw quilts for the women in my transitional shelter who have finally moved into a "place of their own".

4. I had my quarterly fasting blood work including my A1C (blood sugar test). While I expect all my other numbers to be exceptional, I'm holding my breath on that one. I wold rather not go back on meds and fully admit my exercise/diet attitude had not been as good as it should be the last few months. I'm always worse in the winter-partly because of my balance/fall issues, but partly because of laziness. I admit it. I also had a trans-vaginal sonogram (guys,you don't want to know. Really), because I have a fat module/cyst in my ovary. With my family history I have to be radical, and will probably have an MRI next week as a precaution. Oh Joy.

5. Although I love to be creative, I don't always actually follow through when it comes to writing or photography or drawing/painting. I need that little jump start, especially since my studio also serves as a sewing/quilting room and a room for making salves and lotions among other things. A bit of set up or preparation is sometimes required, even for me. Which is why I have joined a couple low key challenges and email prompts. I hope to do one art journal page each week, write one family history story each week no matter how short, do one creative writing exercise a week, and try oh try to get a picture a day with my camera. Beyond the dogs. I won't get upset if none of this gets done, but it's a chance for me to stretch and at least start using some of my materials and creative ideas in a different direction. On Monday, I've already planned to just take my different colors of blue and perhaps lavender paints, glitter and a while crayon and make a wintry background on a page. And that's it. 

6. And finally, after feasting on restaurant food, eating too much fast food and using up what was left in the fridge pre-trip so nothing would go bad, I am back to cooking. At least cooking at my skill level, which generally includes an easy but hopefully gourmet meal and some easy sides. Tomorrow, Tuscan chicken (with Alfredo sauce, garlic and Parmesan, sun dried tomatoes and spinach) and both vegetables and a fruit salad.

Happy Weekend, wherever you may be!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Back at Home And Exhausted-My Week In Review

So here I am, at home again. So exhausted after no sleep the night before and the drive back that I went to bed well before ten last night-more than unusual for me.  Our return trip was not quite as stressful as the one down, mainly because we had no blinding Texas rain. But both agreed that while we might consider not dividing the day and half and driving more on the first day (in order to get there earlier and spend more time on the second) driving through is only an option for emergencies and the like. It's especially difficult for me, as I can neither sleep nor read (and therefore not go online) in a car. Meaning that even when it was officially not my time to drive, there was really nothing for me to do but sit and look out the window!!

And let's just say it was a good thing I walked 7 thousand steps on Tuesday and did my stretching, because for the last four days-nothing! Today hopefully I can get at least  little walking and some chair yoga in. My exercising is not where I should be, but with my pain level right now I'll settle for as many steps as I can every other day along with yoga and exercise class when I can fit it in. Friday night as we were relaxing before leaving, we also watched Wonder Woman, which I had not seen. I enjoyed it, but am not sure it would have qualified for a see it in the theater type of movie for me!

The memorial ceremony and interring of ashes portion of the day was simple and lovely. Post reception, we traveled to a high end restaurant chosen by my sister in law, where I had Steak Tartare, lobster bisque and key lime pie. Considering that the next day my daughter and son and I went out to our favorite Viennese restaurant where I had schnitzel and potato salad and lingon berries and German Sacher Torte, the food canceled out any supposed hotel savings. Never mind the calories.

Meanwhile, a few this n that type things from retirement that happened the three days or so before I headed out for said marathon:

I somehow managed on last Sunday to downsize what is basically a large (tall) laundry basket of clothing items from my closet. It's now sitting in my sewing room while I try to decide if any items can be re-used or purposed (beyond the obvious rags). Because I really don't want to send stuff to Goodwill so they can send it to a foreign country and ruin that market. And because, honestly, some of the items are not just things I don't like, but things that have imperfections making them not really donatable (like the large ink mark on one shoulder of an otherwise perfectly good sweater. Long story, don't ask). This pile includes the sheets from before I got my lovely new quilt/sham set, sweater that are not wool, and more. Hopefully, ideas will come.

Along the same crafty lines, I've been using remnants large enough not to throw out but small enough not to fit into other project and turning them into cloth napkins and the like. I also finished a yoga mat bag and plan to make some more, and have been taking my online art classes at least once or twice a week

 I had budgeted for a couple Olli (senior college) classes for this winter session. I don't know if it is me or what, but the only two things even slightly calling to me were a Great Decisions or a memoir writing class-both of which meet as the same time as my knitting group gets together, and I won't give that up. So no senior college class for me this winter. Instead, I'll at short term (One to four session) crafting or language or other seminars as the appear on my horizon and jump into them as they call me (yes, at the last minute).

I had known I would discover where my new outreach opportunities(s) were sooner rather than later. I've stepped up with the Family Promise organization at my new church.  This involves hosting and assisting in hosting of homeless families at our church and various nearby churches, while providing meals and assistance. It's an important mission and meshes with my other outreach that remains on my schedule. This requires active involvement about every six weeks (aside from paperwork and recruitment) and is close to my home, meeting all of my new outreach requirements!!

Along with my "mindless" procedural mysteries, I've begun the book The German Girl for one of my two book clubs this month. On the TV side I've now finished Altered Carbon, La Mante, and both seasons of The Missing. Time to choose my next Netflix/Amazon show, since I know I have a couple weeks before the new Bosch arrives.  Movie wise?  I seem to have missed both Three Billboards and The Darkest Hour in theaters, so a not sure what i out there that I should see right now.

As I plan to head out to dinner this evening on a last minute plan, as well as getting together with people tomorrow night, I am reminded that these occasions are EXACTLY why I keep my calendar even emptier than in the past.  So I can say yes. To dinner invitations at the last minute, to friends stopping by (sometimes een unannounced), to running out of the house to walk with a friend as she goes by, to ignoring house and home and finishing a quilt or reading a book in a day and more. Some of us are planners and schedules in retirement (and other times) others of us are spontaneous in the extreme. I learned a long time ago that being one of the non planners, doesn't mean I do less (or even plan less or have less goals). it just means I get there at an easier, more relaxed, less "pushing" pace. Because pushing myself in retirement is just not where I am, as such.

This coming week have my normal reading, sewing and knitting and exercise classes to look forward to. I also have a new slow cooker recipe to try and add to the "frugal slow cooker" , and a in the process of playing with a healing salve recipe and gardeners hand scrub to sell/give for Mother's Day. I also would like to finalize the fleshing of my summer trip north. I'm trying to figure out how to hit Cheyenne, Jackson, Missoula and Yellowstone while not repeating a route and avoiding less than pictures eastern Montana. Much easier said than done.

Never mind the baking (Easter cookies for the freer and savory muffins) and the fact that I am over due for a day of nothing but wine, books and dogs and there you have it. And I know, I'm do for another care giving, widowhood post somewhere in there .More to come..........

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It May Be Frugal, But Never Again!

So this afternoon is my father-in law's memorial ceremony,  and then the family is going out to dinner. Looking forward to spending this afternoon and this evening remembering him. And so happy to see my daughter and son-in-law, who welcomed us at 9:30 last night with steak off the grill, roasted potatoes and vegetables, God love him.

However, the driving in one day door to door thing, and avoiding a hotel? Never, ever, no matter what is that going to happen after this particular trip.  I would park in a Walmart parking lot between two RV's in my car and sleep first (all you RV folks do know that most WM's let you park overnight for free, yes?) before doing this again.

In all fairness, this was not about the money as such. At least for me. College student had mandatory class that ended late Thursday and had to be back at work Sunday morning. He has enough points for one plane trip, but we have that pink dress wedding coming next month. And there is no cheap funeral flight anymore. To fly into Dallas and out again in three days without going to some small airport that I would have  had to drive him to was like $500 for this funeral. Where are the last minute discounts when you need them?  

ANYWAY,  We decided (or rather I did) that we would drive the full 12 hours (before gas, walking and lunch breaks) in one day. Seriously folks. I know there are people that do this kind of driving all the time, but even with TWO drivers, and roads that allowed for 75 to 85 speeds the entire time, I'm just not doing this one again. In fact, as we drive home on Saturday, I may drive as far as we can, spend the night and then get up at six am or so in order to get said son to work at noon on Sunday. To those wondering why he couldn't take off more time, the answers are he already took off two of the three full days he works each week. So, money. And they need him and are (mainly) good to him, and in another month he needs to take another five days off. 

Cotton, Cattle, Energy and Tourism-it must be Texas

I love driving. Seriously. Whether it be the most gorgeous place in the world, or the Texas panhandle (which, joking aside, as the best non-water related sunsets in the world on some days) But at my own pace, taking time to enjoy what's around me, get out and walk leisurely, and even sit down for lunch.

All I can say is that it's a darned good thing I walked almost eight thousand steps, cripple knee or not the day before! And that we left the dog at home this time. He would have driven us crazy.

And now I'm off to spend the day with family, and put that mess behind me. At least until Saturday.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Vacationer? Traveler? All of the Above? None of the Above?

Yes, my friends, I did it. I tried to republish a post from three years ago, and through the copying, pasting, editing and so on, I inadvertently deleted one (and maybe both) of said post. Probably the most technologically incompetent thing since that day somewhere in the 80's I guess it was when I called my husband and asked him where I could find the "any" key. True story, never lived it down. Meanwhile the disaster disturbed me so much that it's nine at night, and I'm in my jammies and in bed, recovering and typing!

Lately, my eldest and I have been talking about the possibility of taking a girl cruise together. Not even a long one necessarily. She lives in Texas and there are piles of cruises leaving from Galveston going to Mexican and Caribbean ports of call. When we first talked about it I told her we had never taken a cruise in Europe because a single day in most places was just-not enough for me. Her response: Forget about the offshore cruises. This is Mexico and the Caribbean. Think about the beaches. Think about the water and the sun. We're not traveling, we're on vacation. Once said, I gave said cruise idea a second look.

It has come to me just lately that for the most part these days I am not a traveler. I am a vacationer and a day tripper primarily, with the occasional serious "travel trip" I mean, my well discussed planned 21 day train trip has to be considered travel, yes?  But it would be the first, serious trip in three years.  And while I'm not sure what the official definitions or differences are, when I look at what I want to do in the next year, the times I want to leave home are less than they were a few years ago. The places, they are definitely more vacation quality.  More and more, I am interested in finding a place (on the beach, in the mountains, in the woods on a lake), sitting myself down, relaxing and just "being'. Don't get me wrong, now, I still want to wander out to restaurants, look at some natural beauty and see some sights. My real purpose though, is sun, sand, seafood and water. Or in the case of the mountains, sun, peaks, game and beer.  And while I still enjoy the drive portion, the destination is at least as important as the journey these days. 

None of this has anything to do with the alone factor as such. I continued to travel and still travel alone, with great enjoyment. I've driven across the country in many directions by myself with great pleasure, and should I decide to travel further afield would do the same. I'm not afraid of being alone. I actuall feel I meet more people in those far away (or near) places than if I were in a group. And while that spa facation I'm talking about would be a girl's trip, my week to two weeks on a Texas beach would be fully alone. So whatever my temporary reason for deciding the nest in place on the beach or wherever, it's not about singlehood or widowhood.

Yes, this is a spa hotel. In Arizona. And on my list. 

So, yeah,  that train trip west is still on the horizon.. And that trip includes exploring San Francisco. But it also incorporates alot of time enjoying the train experience itself, and a full week in either the Tuscon and/or Marfa area. And every time I look at the map and think "But I've never been to Chicago (truly, I have never in my entire live been there except for the Airport, same for Atlanta), I look at the map some more and say "What about a week at Padre Island", or a cabin in Texas Hill Country, or a week in an Arizona Resort. Or heck, a week in a Hilton Head condo-and I hate golf!  

A comment from a family member, along with some comments on the blog have suggested to me that perhaps rather than not wanting to travel, I am being directed more to less populated places that are more in tune with nature as oppposed to big city type travel with museums, shows and the like. This may well be true, as I look at driving to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Montana environs. Nothing is wrong with this, just a different thing for a semi-city girl who traditionally appreciates big city travel, art museums, shows and the like.

Also, it's also much easier for me to say, cut down on travel, appreciate vacation travel, or concentrate on US travel as someone who has had unique opportunities by living in Europe for as many years as I have. This alone gives me a different perspective than the average travler/retiree.

So. other than said possible train travel, a week on Padre Island. A week at a VRBO in either Santa Fe or western Montana/Idaho. And either a spa vacation or a cruise with my daughter. Chicago? Some other time. Then again-a train trip to Chicago for the weekend to see Hamilton?  Perhaps it won't be so long after all. Who knows. Life is, after all, an adventure!

What about you. Are you a traveler? A vacationer?  An "I'd rather be at home type".  All of the above?  None of the above?  Does it really matter?

Friday, February 23, 2018

10 Friday Things, Most of them Frugal

It would seem that our beautiful Colorado weather, while still beautiful, has taken a dive in the last few days. Today, mid thirties and perhaps some snow showers. Then mid forties for the next week. I suspect that in April and the beginning of May will get slammed in retaliation for our seventy degree weather. Admittedly "slammed" in Denver is not "slammed" in Philly, or DC, or New York or Minnesota or many other places. However said weather does say to me that my late April and month of May travel plans were a good choice.

Meanwhile, my friends, I am staying close to home in this cold weather.  It used to be that staying home meant an automatically frugal/non spending time. These days, the two don't automatically go together! I used to be able to say that staying home was always no spend, but with the advent of Amazon, Boxed and other Internet shopping, it's just as easy to spend by staying home as is by going out!  This week however, I have been mainly making, reading and watching rather than spending.

1. I managed to finish both my quilt tops-the very traditional one for a gift, and the bright modern one purely for me. Frugal because I'm on the way to completed products, I spent time sewing as opposed to doing something else, and I used materials on hand. 

2. One of my two out of the house treks this week was to knitting and my book group (same location, one right after the other). I did get a huge hot chocolate as well as a frosted lemon pound cake. Frugal, because, well, I needed sustenance,  And I'm attempting to duplicate said pound cake. Our book for this month was Ordinary Grace. For those readers who follow the Cork County mysteries of William Kent Kruger, this was a completely different take for me on his writing. We were equally divided, half liked the book and half did not. Fortunately, I don't belong to one of those book groups where people who disagree get all excited. We just dissect said book, agree to disagree and move on. 

3. My only other outing this week was to my Wednesday night Lent program of prayer, soup, bread and salad supper and evening program. For  a small donation I had two cups of potato soup with bratwurst ( I cannot refuse bratwurst, ever), a lovely salad, bread, and more cookies for dessert than I should admit here. Plus a lovely evening that included a program, a discussion of the best books to read and more. 

4.  After muttering here (and elsewhere I am sure) about those recurring subscription prices, I recently joined Craftsy Unlimited. For $15 a month, I now have access to 800 individual classes on art, sewing, quilting, drawing, cooking, weaving and Lord knows what else. Frugal because each individual class costs a minimum of twenty bucks and some times as much as fifty. At this moment, I have 46 classes saved and they include colored pencils, quilting with a walking foot, custard pies and much more. Right now I'm alternating a class on colored pencils with a quilting class so that I can do something fun with the two quilts above. I enjoy ever single one of my subscriptions , and I use each and every one, let me tell ya. But with Craftsy, the Great Courses, Netflix, Amazon Prime and, there is no doubt in my mind that in my life subscriptions now deserve their own budget line! 

5. Wednesday is my father-in-law's memorial ceremony and I'll be sharing a bit about his life and how he helped and supported me along with my mother in law. My son is in the middle of mid-term exame seasons and work. And I'll be traveling back to Texas for a wedding and some vacation/travel time in April. Since we're leaving the unfrugal hound home for this trip (A coonie requires long walks every two hours and a soft bed, regular mealtimes and such, even during travel), we're gonna try driving through, the full eleven hours for the first time. If we cannot stand it and have to hit a local fleabag we will, but it's lighter south and worth the try, instead of our normal good quality hotel, versus motel stay that we normally make on said trip.

6.  A friend went Airbnb-ing last week and got a code, which she shared with me, for a night off if you book a certain amount of nights. I was thinking of saving it for the wedding, but that's just a couple nights. I'm wondering if pricey Jackson Hole has Airbnb. If not I can surely use it in the Texas hill country, so that's a yea for me!

7. I've been trying very hard to work out ONLY at home. Normally I do this part of the time, and then go once a week to yoga, or pilates reformer. However, my discounted tickets at the rec center are out, and the big sale isn't until March 17th-when you get five for every 20 you buy. It wasn't so bad last week when I was out walking but this week I am being creative. Who knows, I may need to break down and get some at regular price. Meanwhile though, I have found a lovely mindful chair yoga hour to add to my repertoire.

8. I have been judiciously alternating our stock of Schwans frozen food (this week we had crab cakes, brats and shepherds pie) with the friendly slow cooker. With two emails per day (one from Pillsbury and one from Betty Crocker) I have a nice pile of new to me recipes to play with. One of today's offerings was Ham and Cheese Breakfast casserole. I'm not a fan of casseroles for breakfast (most trips to Village Inn end with me partaking of waffles or some version of Eggs Bennie) but I am all for trying new things.

9. I don't go to Walmart that often, but I have to say that they do have the best boot socks anywhere. That includes expensive department stores, I've tried 'em all. It used to be Kohl's, but no more. Since I knew they were cleaning out on cold weather stuff, I used Walmart for my exercise today-and picked up one of each color of boot sock, plus many fuzzy socks on sale. I love it when things like that come together (The folks in my nice Target like suburban Walmart are fairly used to seeing me walk up and down the aisles with my cart for a half an hour before doing any shopping)!  

10. Like Laura and some other bloggers/readers, I've left most of the passive earning stuff aside since the beginning of the year. Both cause I have other things to do, and because this is the slow season for offers and ads and such. However, I did place an order with Boxed, which is a bulk ordering site trying to compete with Walmart, Amazon and the like. While I'm not likely to change to all grocery delivery, the opportunity to get enough little V8 cans for a month (I drink one a day, low sodium), along with other things, had me taking advantage of their free shipping at fifty dollars deal. Of course. Swagbucks offered $20 back, and another website offered $20 back on the same deal. I'll be getting those two $20 gift cards in the next few days, making my fifty dollar purchase of necessities a whole ten bucks. A win, a win, and a win again.

Happy weekend everyone. Do feel free to wander over to Bob Lowry's blog on Sunday, where at his request I attempted to do some coherent writing about the financial issues I faced in early widowhood and those I face now. 

Friday This n' That!

So I'm sick again. Which is incredibly frustrating because normally I don't get seriously sick. A mild sniffle here and there, but t...