Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More drama in the neighborhood

The neighbors are after me about the plants again. Not my neighbors specifically, not those people who live next to me and are the only people who should care what is going on in my backyard, just other people who don't like that I have wildflowers and ugly vegetable plants instead of a boring grass lawn. Anyway, someone has complained, and the office left me a notice that I have violated some rule, and that the plants must be removed from the fence.

I have looked around, and about two-thirds of us have stuff grown in and around our fences. Of the people who don't have anything on the fence, about half of them don't have fences, which is another problem entirely. Two-thirds of us did not receive notices about removing the plants, just some of us, mostly those of us who aren't friends with someone at the office or on the board.

I have read the rule book, and there is no such rule against growing plants on the fence, only that tall grass growing in the fence be removed, which I don't have much problem with. There is another rule about not allowing wild trees to grow (and a great many of these appear in fences and cause problems), and I have several of those to deal with, and most of them are in the fence, and if I see one in time to cut it with the shears, I do that. I have already done my part for the year, though I did miss a couple of things last year, which is causing me problems this year, and I will probably have to borrow some power tools to deal with that. There are more of these in the fence and too close to the fence, but so far as I can see, most of them are on my neighbor's side, not mine. To be sure, I have gone around again and cut what I could.

But the notice says to remove plants, not weeds and such, just plants. The plants include honeysuckle, blackberry, iris, daylily, and something else that might be grape. I will have to go and ask if I'm being instructed to remove all of those plants.

It is already too late in the season to safely transplant anything (even if I had a place prepared for that), so if I am being told to remove all those plants, basically I'm being ordered to kill all of those plants.

I'll have to get clarification on that later today.

I had thought that maybe someone would be reasonable, and I wrote a letter pointing out that there are no such rules to be obeyed. But they are sending notices to other people regarding other rules that do not exist, ordering some people to paint their storage sheds a certain color (which is not a rule, and again they are only ordering certain people), and ordering other people to take down structures that they do not like (supposedly the entire structure has to go for not having done something a certain way, and one cannot be expected to know that is a problem after watching management construct things that same way), while directly across from them an older structure of the same sort and similar appearance was not ordered to be removed.

There was a meeting, and someone asked me to speak, and I declined, but I went to the meeting anyway. I had thought that someone else was going to speak on the subject, and I would just back up that other person, as there are rules limiting the speakers to one per subject, and I am not good at public speaking anyway. I was upset enough already. Then we were all given a paper listing the police reports in our area for the last two months, with the nature of the crime listed, the date listed, and the address listed.

Line four was about a rape. There are laws that are supposed to protect the victims identity. The laws are a bit odd. If the victim does not want her name used, it isn't allowed, and public reports will say something like Jane Doe was assaulted. However, if Jane Doe was also robbed, her real name is used to report that. So if someone really wanted to know the victim's name, you could figure it out from the report of the robbery that happened at the same time.

So if I am reading this correctly, something similar was done here. Though her name was not on the list, and the exact address was not written on that line, the line beneath that was listed as "follow up report" and the address was reported.

Most of the people I spoke to are furious. But at the meeting he was publicly thanked for providing the information. I do not know the person attacked, so I cannot say for certain that she asked for the Jane Doe bit, but it does look that way since there is no exact address for the first report, only a reference to "the block of" where the report was taken.

After the meeting, someone actually defended this man's right to distribute information that is part of public record. And it is true that this is all on public record, though it would not be arranged in such a way that it seems to point to the address of the victim.

Some days I just really hate this place. But it is home, and I don't know where else I would go.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trying to eat what is good for me

Someone I know is going to try going on a diet. He's ordered two weeks of frozen dinners, and if he eats nothing but these dinners and some snacks that are included, he'll lose weight. I wonder how long this is going to last.

About a week ago I had the place to myself and tried to do the dollar a day thing for a bit. I usually am able to do this and have both yogurt and a small cola every day. This time a few prices went up, and I had to skip the yogurt. Not that I've been eating the yogurt for a while now anyway.

But I must start eating right, and I would like to stop spending so much money, and I would like to lose weight. The one time I did lose weight (safely), I ate a lot of spaghetti with a lot of veggies. And I ate yogurt. And I ate popcorn and drank V-8.

I've been reading a blog by someone who is trying to eat on a dollar a day for a year. She's a vegetarian. Her plan is to buy a lot of basic stuff and then after she has the rice and flour and such she would spend a certain amount every week or two on fruits and vegetables. Since she's a vegetarian (and almost vegan), she doesn't have much else to buy that needs to be bought fresh and kept refrigerated. Sometimes she might add some tofu and soymilk. Everything else is kept in the pantry and possibly bought in bulk.

I am not a vegetarian. Last week I tried writing down what I thought that I should be eating (plus a few sort of splurges that I tend to eat when I am not feeling great). I didn't write down the cost of veggies, cause those prices tend to change with the seasons, so I'd never really know what that would cost until the week of purchase. Still, there is almost always something I like on sale, so I didn't think that should add too much.

I was disappointed that after I added everything up I didn't have much that could be kept in the pantry except for spaghetti, and that what I wrote down added up to more than sixty a month. That is with the new low price store that just opened. I'm surprised how much I take for granted that they didn't have. They have a great price on milk, but they don't have 1%, so if I buy the milk there I will have to mix skim and 2%. And they have a great price on eggs, but I didn't see anything like Eggbeaters. They had sodas, but no diet cola. No sugar free pudding mix. Other things were good deals, but not really great deals. My plan for one-stop shopping isn't going to work here.

Okay, so with the what I think I'm supposed to eat plan (which is not vegetarian but has one vegetarian meal everyday), I'm spending sixty dollars a month plus veggies (the thing that I'm supposed to eat the most of), and I forgot to add popcorn and V-8 (another thing that they don't seem to have at the new store), and this is before I go to the added expense of buying any special diet stuff or substituting stuff like Eggbeaters for eggs.

I think that I'm going to try this on Monday, for about a week (except that I'm going to see about getting free breakfast at Subway on Tuesday). We've already had junk food this week, and I don't think that we need more. But we'll see how it goes.

Monday morons--design a better DVD case

I have hated the DVD cases from day one. For some reason, most of them are designed so that they hold onto the disk so securely that you have to bend back either the case or the disk or both to get the disk out of the case. CD cases were not designed that way, at least I don't remember buying any like that, and CDs and DVDs are pretty much the same, so I don't see why they needed to be in differently designed cases. I assume that the DVD cases were made a bit taller so that they did not get stocked with the CDs by mistake, so that part made some sense, but there doesn't seem to be any reason for making the inside of the case different.

So now we have a number of DVD movies, and there are also many DVDs of television shows, and they will often sell a whole season of episodes together in one box. The box often contains a number of smaller individual DVD cases, or cases that hold two disks each, with one disk held on either side of the case. But lately I've encountered a design that is even more annoying, with one case attempting to hold seven disks. So this very securely holds one disk on one side of the box, and one disk on the other side of the box, and they are as difficult to remove as from any other DVD case, that is, that you almost have to bend back either the case or the disk to pry the disk loose from the case. But then over those two disks are two more disks that are quite easy to get at. The real problem then comes with the three disks that are held in place over those, or rather, not held in place over those, as they usually fall to the floor as soon as you open the case.

Last week I noticed that multiple CD cases, such as those that hold audio books, have a totally different design, and in my opinion, a much better one. The case contains a bunch of clear plastic envelopes held together, and each envelope holds one CD, or maybe it holds two CDs, one on each side. These can hold as many as twenty CDs, and the disks do not fall out as soon as you open the case, nor do they refuse to release any of the disks, and there is no confusion about which disk goes where or having to remove all of the disks to get to a certain one or any of the other problems that you get with having multiple disks in a DVD case.

Why didn't they just design DVD cases to be taller CD cases?

This is only a problem for me now with library loans and such. I've bought a travel case which holds 144 disks in clear plastic envelopes that are held in a three-ring binder, and most of my DVDs are stored there.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sorry I have not posted

I have started a couple of posts, but then not finished them.

I have had the place to myself for a few days. I debated on going, but then decided that I could get a certain thing done better by myself, even if I did not get anything else accomplished.

You wouldn't think this would be something I would want to do by myself, but there just doesn't seem to be room for me and the junk and other people, so other people are out.

I told him that there would be a surprise for him when he got back. I didn't tell him I would be moving furniture, but that did kind of commit me to do something impressive while he was away.

It would have been better to clear away some space in the backroom first, and I did sort of try that for a bit, but I gave up on that about halfway through. Friday I needed to deal with the bedroom, thinking that I would get halfway and need the halfway point to be Friday night when I went to sleep. But I got to that point earlier than I thought, and managed to get the furniture moved Friday night.

Of course then most of Saturday was spent in bed watching TV. But I have moved furniture from one wall to the opposite wall, and also removed everything from another bookcase so that I could clean behind it and spray for bugs. And I threw away a lot of stuff. Now all I have to do is move three more pieces of furniture, clean under the other side of the bed, and throw away more stuff.

Okay, not even done with one room. But this is a big deal, that I was able to move the furniture by myself (should have just done the one piece and left the other, as the other piece had to be lifted instead of just dragged to the new spot, but I managed), and that half the room is the way it is supposed to be, and the other half should be easier (no furniture needs to be lifted, and most of the actual trash is gone).

I am about out of certain cleaning supplies, so I can tell myself I took a break because of that and get right back on it Monday.

So my husband came home to his surprise and said that is just how he would have moved things, if he weren't so lazy.

Anyway, after all the complaining about not having enough work, this week stuff has been added from another division so that he has six things scheduled. He is starting to whine a bit about stuff that might happen at the other division, but I am thinking that a total switch might be best. It might have most of the advantages of having a new job, without the stuff like losing our health insurance.

Today we will probably go out (though I'm not sure where), and then after lunch we will go to my brother's and watch Riverworld. While they are hoping that it is better than the last one, I had never read the book and thought the last one was okay. Anyway, it is a two-parter, which usually means that they have put more work into it than the usual SyFy movies. We will see.

Well, I did manage to do one thing yesterday. I made yogurt, which if I did it right should be ready to use just about when I finish writing this. I didn't do any special measuring or take temperature readings or anything. No fuss. I just decided to accept that everything done last time was correct and try doing it without the thermometer. If I'm going to do this on a regular basis, that is the way it will have to be. If I have to spend all day checking on it then it becomes a serious chore and I'll make excuses for not doing it. This way I'll have no excuse.

Also, after today, I plan to eat what I am supposed to for the rest of the week and compare that to the dollar a day thing. So we'll see how that goes.

Now back to the usual stuff, like whining about cleaning and such.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Job?

Not for me. For him. He's actually going to talk to someone about a new job today. I just don't get why.

Things are not going well at the job, and everyone is complaining and everyone is saying how that they need to quit and find something different. That is what everyone is saying. I'm not sure if anyone actually means to find something different, or how much effort they are putting into finding a new job if that is what they want to do.

Anyway, my husband is looking, just in case, and occasionally filling out applications and such. So last week someone called to talk to him about a new job. Fine. They are going to talk more about it today.

I guess what surprised me was that they are still talking about it. The actual job that needs to be filled doesn't pay very well. Compared to what he made this year (and this was not a good year), it would be a significant decrease in pay.

I doubt that I would take this job. Not that I would be offered this job, as this is my husband's speciality, not mine. (Not that I have a speciality.) But if I were offered a job with similar pay and similar hours at someplace near this location, I wouldn't take it. Now, things are bad, so soon I will have to consider things like this (though I will not be considering driving to the other side of Dallas to do them). With this amount of pay, I would not be able to take care of myself if I were by myself. Usually, if a job pays enough that I want it, my husband needs twice that much before he's interested.

So it was really a surprise that he kept talking to this guy after he found out what the pay was. He can't pay the bills on that. It has been many, many years since the two of us were trying to live on this amount of money, and back then we weren't paying for two cars, and we were putting a lot of stuff on credit cards, and currently we do not have any credit cards to use while we wait for the pay to increase.

That seems to be why my husband is interested in this job, because the guy said that there would be more money after thirty days, and possibly he would then get moved to a different position.

I guess that I've heard that one before, and I just don't take such things seriously. That's just a carrot that they wave in front of people so that people will work this job when it isn't enough money. There's a raise after three months. This job isn't much, but we'll be needing a supervisor soon, and right now we don't have anyone who can do the job, so you might get it. So someone will take the job that doesn't pay enough and then keep it for a few months because they can't get their old job back, and then the boss tells this same story to someone else to replace the other person when he figures out that the raise is a quarter and that either there isn't a supervisor job or that everyone else has also been almost promised that same job.

So that seems to be it, that my husband doesn't care anything about this job, he's just been told that it will lead to this other job. I just don't believe that there really is this other job, or that my husband would be getting this other job soon. And my husband's idea of a raise and this employer's idea of a raise probably aren't even close.

I'm trying to stay out of it. Maybe this is really something good and my bad vibes will spoil everything.

Note to self

I just missed the plant sale at the botanical gardens. It was April 10th. Next March I need to remember to look into that.

Anyway, earlier this week we went to look at the irises and such, and that's how I knew that we had missed the sale, cause the signs for it were still up.

Not that I needed to buy any more plants. I think that I have just killed the last one that I bought, and another one is soon to follow.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last week's dollar a day thing

Okay, so Monday's total was $0.79, Tuesday I got sick and had a total of $2.11, Wednesday's total was $0.62 (because my mom bought me a sandwich), and Thursday's total was $0.63. Plus I twice ate popcorn for breakfast, which I have yet to figure out what that cost, and I had a bunch of crackers, which again I'm not sure how much that cost but I think it was twenty-five cents.

I did not make the rest of the quinoa, only the third of a pound that I have already listed (which I got on sale so only cost $0.34 for what I ate the two days). Friday and Saturday I ate spaghetti instead. I know that whole grains are supposed to be better for me, but I really like spaghetti.

On Friday, my brother gave me half of his hamburger for dinner. On Saturday I drank most of the remaining orange drink, and I had spaghetti twice.

(?) popcorn
.14 diet cola
.28 black bean soup
.04 orange breakfast drink
free half of hamburger
.46 (plus popcorn)

.16 egg
.04 orange breakfast drink
.14 diet cola
.17 pasta
.17 pasta
free asparagus
.06 more orange drink

Now, I can't really figure in the little bit of oil or the sprinkles of Parmesan cheese or the salt, so I'm just not going to count them. If I count twenty-five cents for the crackers and another twenty five cents for the popcorn, the total is $5.85, or just a bit under the six dollar goal. But if the popcorn turns out to be fifty cents, then the total would be $6.10, and I've gone just a bit over.

In either case it doesn't matter, as my husband came home sooner than expected, and we went to Burger King. Now, I had already eaten my spaghetti, so I didn't need to eat anything myself, but I did go with him (and steal some of his french fries) and I ordered a very small Coke, which was a dollar, so that puts me at either just under or just over seven dollars for the six days, and ten dollars for the whole week.

You'll notice that my husband was only home for two meals this week, and we ate out at both of them.

So while I don't really think that I could live on a dollar a day for more than a couple of weeks, I can do a lot with that amount of money, and I can really do a lot with about twice that amount of money. But I can't do anything social (except when other people buy me stuff, or when it is just bringing homemade foods), and I can't do it at all if we don't actually stay home and eat what is in the frig.

In the past experiments I have had homemade yogurt, which I did not make this time, partially because I didn't think there was enough money left to do it, partially because some of the things cost more now than they did last time I did the experiment, and partially because the area of the kitchen where I would make the yogurt is currently a big mess and I can't deal with it right now. Anyway, I've been bad and haven't been eating my yogurt anyway, so I didn't see that it was totally necessary to have that as part of the experiment this time. But if I were doing it for real, for a long period of time, the yogurt would have to be in.

I had no dairy to speak of this time. I had planned to eat six eggs this week, but with the upset stomach once I thought ramen noodles would be better, and two other times I ate popcorn instead. Not the best of choices. And except for the sprinkles of Parmesan I didn't have any milk or anything made from milk. As a woman, I am supposed to have three servings a day, and I think what I ate might count as half a serving a day. The price of milk has gone up, so I think a cup of milk would have cost at least nineteen cents, and the homemade yogurt would have cost at least twenty-five cents. If you have those three times a day, that takes up most of a dollar.

I did not spend the whole week wishing I could eat a lot of meat (maybe this has something to do with being given a sandwich on Wednesday and half of a hamburger on Friday), but I was surprised how bad I wanted a pickle. (There's a song about wanting a pickle, but we won't get into that.) And olives. I want olives. Things like pickles and olives would add up, and I didn't have any this week, except for those on my sandwich and half hamburger. That would get annoying, to either give up little things like that or else have to make them part of the budget and have to count every little pickle and olive and pepper and such.

And of course, there's very little stuff like chocolate. I bought some clearance Easter chocolate, but I didn't eat any of it, it is saved for next week. I almost went the whole week without any, except that I took some asparagus to my mom and she gave me half an ounce or so.

There would hardly be any snacks, except for popcorn, unless it was something that came out of the garden.

I'm sure that I am going to go someplace for lunch. But later I will eat something at home and eat pickles and olives, and later this week I expect to bake something, probably cookies. I have had no cookies for more than a week. That's a long time for me to go without cookies.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The week so far

Okay, Monday I got a lot of work done. Tuesday I felt a bit sick and really didn't do anything except run a couple of errands. Wednesday I got a bit of work done, but not as much as Monday, and then Mom called and said she wanted to buy me a sandwich. Thursday, about all I did was paint some boards, which is some work, but mostly is a lot of time waiting for stuff to dry. Still, at the end of the day I am quite worn out, so the painting is more physical work than I am aware of while I'm doing it.

Tuesday, I went to mail the tax returns. I almost put the thing in the mailbox without a stamp (the census forms did not need stamps). We had stamps in the house, but they turned out to be old, and I couldn't find any that were forty-four cents. So I had to go to the post office. The machines were taken out of the post office, because they were getting old and they didn't have replacement parts for them. So I had to stand in line a little bit to buy one stamp from a real person.

I had to pay sixty-four cents. Apparently the envelope provided for the tax returns counts as an over-sized envelope. So not only do we have to buy a stamp (when you think you wouldn't have to since the envelope is going to the federal government), then you get charged twenty cents extra cause the federal government selected a large envelope. But I guess that it was good that I had to talk to a real person, or else I would have bought a regular stamp and maybe had the thing returned to me for insufficient postage.

On Wednesday my mom called and asked if I wanted to got eat something with her. She had a buy one get one free sandwich coupon, so I could have a free sandwich. Sure, why not. And it actually was a pleasant meeting, and she did not try to guilt me into doing anything or discuss anything that I told her was off limits.

My husband has not called recently. He sent me an email saying that the phone didn't work. (Odd that there was no phone but at some point there was a computer.) Anyway, if you are reading this, someone called about camera equipment and craigslist. I wasn't really paying attention, and I'll have to listen to the message again.

Here's my latest attempt at the dollar a day thing.

I was going to start Sunday, but I didn't, cause we went to McDonald's. I suppose I could say that someone bought me stuff at McDonald's and not count it, but I don't think it is in the spirit of the thing if it's my husband doing the buying, as it is the same money that I would be spending if I were buying something myself. The rest of Sunday I ate leftovers. So the dollar a day thing was shortened at least to six days, which would then start on Monday instead of Sunday.

.04 orange breakfast drink
.16 egg
.14 diet cola
.28 black bean soup
.17 quinoa
free asparagus

.04 orange breakfast drink
.15 ramen noodles
.14 diet cola
.28 black bean soup
1.00 chocolate milk
.50 half a package of mac and cheese
(?) popcorn (I will have to look this up later)
2.11 (plus popcorn)

.04 orange breakfast drink
.16 egg
.14 diet cola
.28 black bean soup
free sandwich and coke from Mom

.04 orange breakfast drink
(?) popcorn
.14 diet cola
.28 black bean soup
.17 quinoa
free asparagus
.63 (plus popcorn)

Plus I have eaten a bunch of crackers, which I'm not sure how much they cost, but I'm guessing about twenty-five cents. But you can see that at this rate I'll go a bit over six dollars, unless my mom gets me another free sandwich or something. And this is for feeling a bit sick and spending an extra two dollars, instead of getting what I really wanted that day--pecan sandies, ice cream, and Chinese takeout.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Tuesday, I just didn't feel well. Not quite actually sick, but just not feeling right. At times I would think that it wasn't going to be so bad, and I might as well get up and do something. And then I would get a twinge and think, no, that's not a good idea. I'm going to get worse. I'm really going to be sick and I might as well get used to the idea and do something so that it won't be so bad.

I thought about what would make me feel better. Eating a whole lot of cookies makes me feel better, but that isn't really good for me. But I was thinking that I could make a whole lot of cookies out of this cake mix I got on clearance (not this year, and not even last year, and I still have lots of it left) and all I would have to do was add a half stick of margarine and two eggs. That would cost about fifty-five cents. Then I could eat cookies. I could probably eat cookies instead of eggs for breakfast. Maybe I could even eat cookies for dinner. I could eat cookies and still do this dollar a day thing.

But the dollar a day thing isn't important. I was going to drink less soda this week, have less sugar, and here I was thinking that eating cookies for breakfast might be the thing to do.

Probably not a good idea.

I gave up and went to the dollar store for some over the counter meds, and while I was there I bought mac and cheese and a pint of chocolate milk. So I have so far spent an extra two dollars that I had not planned to spend. And I think that I will just have to say that I've gone over six dollars and leave it at that.

I keep thinking of something I saw, maybe with John Hirsch, maybe in Taxi (though I really can't remember and I never did watch much of Taxi). Anyway, there is this man at a restaurant that he probably can't afford. And he keeps trying to make it work out that he can eat there. He keeps asking the waiter what comes with what and can he make substitutions. And then he ends up saying something really silly, like can he substitute another meatloaf for the sprig of parsley.

So I keep thinking that maybe I can substitute something and still only use six dollars for the six days. But I should give up on that. The chocolate milk and the mac and cheese did make me feel a bit better, and without most of the added sugar of eating a whole bunch of cookies. Spending less than a certain amount of money isn't really the important thing this week. Not being sick is important. Getting some work done is important. Maybe not ingesting a lot of sugar is important.

It may not always be that way. I think that if I don't want to do eat what I have planned to eat, I don't have to. There are other things in the house to eat, and if I really wanted to, I could spend ten dollars or so and go buy Chinese food, or a pizza, or ice cream, or something at a bakery. I could do something like that to make myself feel better.

If I really only had four hundred dollars to spend on food for the year, and I spent a dollar a day, and then I didn't feel well and went out and spent ten dollars, I could do that, once. I could do that a second time and a third time. The fourth time I wouldn't quite have ten dollars left, and I would maybe look around on the ground for someone's dropped change. The fifth time I would just be out of luck, unless I happened to find a ten dollar bill that someone dropped.

Anyway, I felt good again yesterday, but this morning, not so much. We will have to see.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

And now I'm going to be sick

Of course I'm going to be sick. Whenever I feel like I'm almost going to get something done, something happens. So I'm not feeling good.

Okay, so on the one hand I have gardening to do, and cleaning to do, and I usually get more of that done when I have the place to myself, which is what I have this week, so I should be getting stuff done. And then I thought I'd do this dollar a day thing, and maybe I'd save some money, and maybe I'd lose a couple of pounds.

I think I got a lot done yesterday. I think that I might have done more, but the main thing that I wanted to do was empty and move a planter, which I did, so that's good. After doing that much work, I don't feel well. Doan's pills really do a lot for me, so my back doesn't feel like it did, but the rest of me still hurts.

Anyway, I woke up last night after only being asleep for about an hour, and I saw a few bugs. And I recently bought this "green" bug spray, which doesn't quite smell as bad as regular bug spray. So I chased away a few bugs. I'm not sure if "green" bug spray kills as much as regular bug spray, but it got rid of those.

And then I tried to go back to sleep. Only now there's this smell of "green" bug spray, which isn't as bad as regular bug spray, but still it bothered me a bit, and I couldn't sleep. So with the smell of bug spray and not getting as much sleep as I hoped for, I feel a bit nauseous.

So now I'm just mostly staying in bed watching Star Trek DVDs. Now I wonder if I drop the whole dollar a day thing and eat something that would make me feel better, would I feel good enough to go back to work and get everything done? Or, should I go ahead an ate what I had planned? It might be that I'm just not going to feel better either way, and I should just stick to what I was doing, go back to bed, and watch more Star Trek.

Another thing I could do that would make me feel better but would really not be good for me is to eat a lot of cookies. And, oddly enough, I could get some really cheap cookies and still spend less than a dollar. But that is tons of sugar. Here I had bought diet cola, and I'm thinking of making cookies.

Okay, I'll decide later. Back to Star Trek.

Monday, April 05, 2010

A dollar a day week

I found another blog about trying to spend only a dollar a day for food. Only this one is a bit more ambitious. She's trying to do this for a whole year.

Well, most of a year. She cheats once in a while. And, since it is for the whole year she isn't totally cancelling her social life either. If someone wants to make or buy her dinner, she will let them.

So I was going to do the dollar a day thing with her this week. I have the house to myself for a bit, and I should like to save some money, so this is a good time to do it.

Okay, yesterday before my husband left we went to McDonald's. I had breakfast off of the dollar menu, but still, that adds up to three dollars and tax. So yesterday doesn't count. I ate leftovers the rest of the day.

Okay, so I'll do six days instead of seven.

First thing I always do is make black bean soup. I went to the store and spent $5.13, $1.49 was for two rather sad looking onions. Onions, even at my cheap produce place, have gone up to $1.29 a pound. While I usually make twelve cups of the soup for less than three dollars, this time it cost $3.38.

Still, it isn't too bad. About a week ago I found some quinoa on sale for a dollar a pound. It is usually more like three or four a pound, so I bought ten pounds. I keep wondering if I should have bought more, but I had an image of greedy little me emptying the shelves, spending a lot of money, and then having something happen resulting in either me not cooking or the grain getting spoiled some other way, so I decided that ten pounds was enough. I don't usually eat the stuff on a regular basis. Maybe I'll get tired of it before the ten pounds are gone.

Where was I? Oh, yes, I've measured out about a pound of the quinoa, which cost me $1.03. And I bought a dozen jumbo eggs, after being surprised that the large eggs weren't on sale for Easter. The eggs were $1.89 a dozen, and I plan to eat half of them. And I plan to eat half of the soup. And I plan to eat asparagus with the quinoa. And I spent $1.10 on my special diet cola, and then thirty cents on some diet breakfast drink I got on sale quite a while ago but forgot to make.

So that's $1.69 for the soup, $1.03 for the quinoa, $0.95 for the eggs, and $1.40 for the drinks. And I'm getting the asparagus out of my garden for free, so that's $5.07. I don't know how to figure in a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or herbs, but I should think that it would be less than the $0.93 I have left. I'll probably add something to this, like popcorn. And I'll make a note if I decide to eat more of the soup or an extra egg or something.

And, like the new blogger, I reserve the right to quit if I should win the lottery, become ill, or find some other good reason. And if someone should invite me to lunch, I will probably accept.

Friday, April 02, 2010

It is four in the morning

This is one of those times when it would have been good if I had the place to myself. I don't feel well. Not that I'm that close to being actually sick, just not feeling well and sleep doesn't seem like an option now. If I were by myself I'd pop in a Star Trek DVD and watch TV in bed until I fell asleep again. But I'm not by myself, so I'm in here.

I have just left the world's longest comment on someone else's blog. The blog wouldn't let me publish anything that long, so I took out all the extra lines between points and then also deleted three paragraphs on points that weren't that important (I can always go back and add them later). I was trying to be helpful while I still remembered what I wanted to say.

Earlier I had a weird dream about someone who looked like an actor. I think his name is Colin Firth. Only this wasn't really that guy, this was someone who would look like that guy, if that guy weren't an actor and didn't have to diet and/or go to the gym to get his next paycheck.

Okay, it is later. I finally did get some sleep. The somewhat disturbing images of someone who looks like Colin Firth are fading. I can get on with my life now.

Only now it is raining. I should have known that it would be raining. I checked earlier in the week and found out that it would probably be raining on Easter, so I had planned to do a lot of work in the garden before then. And I figured to be on the safe side that I should plan on the rain coming in on Saturday rather than Sunday. So I was planning to do certain things on Friday, thinking that it would be best to plant things right before the rain and such. I mostly took the day off on Thursday, except for buying those last few plants. Only by that time the forecast had changed and the rain was predicted for Friday afternoon. Still plenty of time for me to get things done on Friday morning.

Well, that's what I thought. It was already starting to rain about twenty minutes after I went outside. And there was actually talk of hail, so instead of planting things I ended up bringing stuff inside if it wasn't already in the ground.

And so it is raining, and I'm just sort of waiting around to see when that might be over. While it is raining, it would not be a good time to do my scheduled errands, as that partially would have been to go to Home Depot and pick up some mulch. Not something to be done in the rain. I might skip that part for now and do the rest, except for that whole thing about there might be hail or severe weather. Not a good time to be out doing anything at all.

It seems to have stopped for now. If only I had any confidence that this was the end of it for a bit. It just hasn't seemed like all that had been fussed about, so there must be more coming. I should wait.

Later again. I waited another hour or so, and the sky seemed to clear up. I think that it was mostly a beautiful day after that. We only got a little wet. It seemed to mainly rain a bit just to mess up my plans. I went on and got the errands done, and then I went to the dollar theater to watch The Blindside.

It's all good. It probably won't rain again today or on Easter, but it will probably rain Wednesday, so should get plenty of gardening done by then.