Saturday, October 25, 2008

Budget recipe for today

It's no secret that everyone is feeling the pinch of this country's downward spiral thanks to capitalist greed. Our budgets are taking a hit and we've all had to give up pieces of our lives in order to cope. I turned off my cable over a year ago and will not be going back anytime soon. I haven't missed it and it saves me over $100 a month! I have not had a land line for over 2 years. Just my cell. Saves me another $40-50 a month. My internet is not dial up, but it's one of the less expensive plans out there and I haven't had much cause to complain. My car is almost paid off and then that's it for several more years. No need to replace it anytime soon..........Hondas are notorious for their longevity.

Now it's time to have fun with the food budget! Most people dread cutting back in this regard, but I think it can be made exciting. This is an opportunity to get creative. Find ways to make those budget meat cuts into gourmet..........or at least into soothing comfort food. I'm also trying to get rid of the wheat in my diet and that adds an extra layer of difficulty. But, hey, anything to take time away from homework. :-)

Today in the crock pot I put:

1/2 lb. cubed steak, cut into bite sized portions
1 onion, sliced
1/2 package sliced mushrooms
1 can cream of celery soup (which I had cream of mushroom, but oh well)
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 package brown gravy mix
frozen green beans
salt and pepper

It's gonna cook all day and then I'll put it over some brown rice.

Hopefully it's good. *wink*

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pass the Sugar, Baby; I mean sugar baby...

This week had been a tough week at work, we are talking ball busting, sailor swearing, throw all of your clients out of a two story window kind of week. Normally I am pretty energetic and not much puts me in a burnt out state of mind, but this week has brought me pretty close to that place.

The first thing I should really do is acknowledge something. I have to do this because, as you know, my daughter has struggled with addictions and I have been adamant with her that she do everything in her power (and mine) to kick her addictions and say no to her demons. After this week of work/client hell, I've had to take a step back and do some self examinations of my own regarding my own ugly little monster. I am going to own it, right here and now, with every cyber person reading this as my witness.


Every kind, every place, every where. We've been using it all week at work as a coping tool. Someone, at some point, decided that it would be a brilliant idea to bring industrial sized bins of Laffy Taffy to the front desk and the sugar inebriation has been continuous ever since. I decided on my own, as I began to notice that my pants were beginning to feel a bit snugger, that I would do a little research about the effects that all of this Laffy Taffy was having on my body. It turns out, (well duh) that the amounts of sugar that my body was adapting to consuming was having effects comparable to heroin, albeit in a smaller way. Yes, it is true, I have been drugging myself to cope with the demands of my job, and my drug of choice is SUGAR.

I decided that if I had the expectation of my daughter to kick her habits, then I could reasonably expect myself to get a handle on this. So, Thursday at work, I did my very best to stay away from everything that had anything to do with the evil white stuff. I watched as my coworkers collectively reduced that bin of loveliness to about half of it's original contents. (Seriously, in a tough week, the three of us can go through 2 of those 2 pound tubs. What is that, 15 or so Laffy Taffy's in a day per person? I do have to point out though that the jokes on those little death bombs are half of the fun.) Anyway, by the end of the day I had a monstrous headache and the shakes and by time I got home I was just jonesing for a fix. I ran to the store and grabbed the biggest piece of animal protein I could find and consumed it in hopes that it would satisfy the demands of my addicted cells. Nada. I craved a glass of white wine ( yep - alcohol is mostly sugar). Friday, I once again resisted until halfway through the day. I put a rubber band around my wrist and snapped myself every time I thought about my demon of choice.

Towards the end of the day, headache throbbing, I confided my in my co-worker and shared my shameful secret. She (a heavy smoker) laughed and shared her philosophy on kicking addictions with me, in summary it being that she doesn't believe in quitting anything cold turkey but feels that in my extreme case that a gradual decline would be more appropriate.

Of course, I caved and sighed with relief, anticipating the end of my headache. Quick Girl, pass the Laffy Taffy....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Vacationing alone

I finish my degree in December and will do the official walk in June. I've been trying to decide how to mark this significant moment in my life..........especially since it took me so long to accomplish. :-) I feel like I should reward myself somehow. Everyone knows the economy is in the tank and big spending is out of the question for the majority of Americans.............and I've never been a big spender anyway. I'm not gonna buy a new car (mine is almost paid off anyway). I'm not going for jewelry. I'm not going for the material.

I would like experience!

I've been kicking around the idea of a solo vacation. Small. Short. Inexpensive. I've never been to the East Coast and find the idea of a visit to Maine or Vermont or DC or Philly appealing. I can do what I want and see what I want and eat what I want. Be on my own schedule. I haven't started checking prices and weather conditions for June yet. This is an idea still in the early stages. I know people in NYC and CT so they may be figured into my plans.

I'm really digging this concept. It's been a while since I've traveled more than a couple of hours outside of Seattle and I'm due for some fun. I also need to restore some of the confidence and fearlessness I had before my marriage. I'm NOT gonna become an agoraphobic like my mother. *wink*