Friday, July 7, 2017

This Week In Retirement: What I did, Where I Went, What I Made and More

July has arrived, and with it my promise of a mainly no spend July. My exceptions are items to make kits for my craft testers, food and gas and drugs, and whatever the cost is of full admission and all the food I can eat when I go to the midnight showing of Dunkirk (hopefully this movie is at least as good as I think it is).  

I have another post coming with the whys and hows of a no spend period, so more later. Meanwhile, let me say that the goal of a no spend is not necessarily just to save money. So. This was not a normal week, what with fireworks and celebrations going on.

What I made:  Sometimes, whether it's cooking or crafting, you have a really nice material, ingredient or fabric and you just wanna let it express itself. And so it is that I am using this $50 ball of yarn to make a very simple shawl. I have begun this low effort, no cost easy to make team wall art. I'll be sharing the whole process when done for other fan family relatives (or fans themselves)

The little baseball charm will go where the capital is, the letters will go on the outside of the glass frame. You'll love it.

What I cooked:  I made a double batch of chicken cacciatore.  To be eaten and frozen.  since it's been 98 out, our fridge has a fair amount of deli salads, frozen veg, fruit, salad and zappable breads that will make this easy fend for yourself stuff.  I also (hanging head here cause I seriously am the baking queen) grabbed a brownie mix from the pantry on the grounds that it was use it up month.
Out cacciatore tends to be simple and made with thighs rather than breasts. Tomato sauce, peppers, thighs, seasoning, olives and mushrooms.  Even I can make it.

Where I went:  This was not a "going places" week, since both Monday and Tuesday were holidays here and spent at home. I made it to silver sneakers a couple times, knitting and church. No hikes, no class, no fun outing, no girl's day out.  This week, staying in was definitely the new going out. Next week, next week!!

What I watched and heard:  Folks, let me tell you. Forgive the bad lighting, but this thing is a gem, and it's Prime day next week. This little dot can turn on and off and call and check your calendar, but she plays all kinds of play lists, including Amazon and I tunes. AND, SHE WILL PLAY ANY SINGLE SONG YOU TELL HER TO, JUST BY ITSELF.  So I've made two rock and blues play lists, a classical one and a movie hits list. Right now I'm listening to the Hungarian Rhapsodies.  I watched almost no TV except for the finale of Brother vs Brother. Seriously, my reality show fixes tend to be home improvement shows or cooking shows, even though I do neither!  
Brother versus Brother was in Galveston this time, one of the places I look to snowbird next spring!

Another one of these on Prime day?  You Bet!
What I read:  I had a partial winner and a disappointment this week, which doesn't happen often for me. First, I read a book in the Thomas Perry, Jane Whitehead series. He's a favorite author, and The Old Man was a great book, but I had trouble getting into it-perhaps I should start at the series beginning? On the other hand, I had almost given up on Grisham after the coal mining book, and enjoyed Camino Island extensively. Although I'm convinced the ending is a lead in to a second book and perhaps a TV series. 
I really should know by now to begin detective series at the beginning
What I accomplished:  My closet is mainly empty, at least the non-storage half. First, I put all the truly winter clothes away. Then I got rid of everything I didn't love, or no longer fit. Finally, I moved things around.  You see, that marvelous place known as the fluff and fold? People, let me tell you, when those clothes come back, they are folded better than any store display case. So those good shirts that used to hang?  Now in the top drawer, although NOT Ala Marie Kondo.  I've also made some dent in the bottomless chest freezer. I will be able to defrost it in September, I will!! (said in the manner of Vivien Leigh at Tara, mind you).

Folded by others is always good

I'm not quite as disorganized as it looks. The bag, pie and box came from the Kitchen freezer and I need to settle them in.

What I earned/won/got free:  I earned a $25 gift card from Ibotta (it was one of those things where I needed stuff on their list.  On Swagbucks front the apps have been sucky this week (apparantly I have learned more than a few words from my kids and their pals). And I have a request to make a Denver Broncos American doll quilt.

What I learned/am learning:  I was reminded that small expenditures, like small savings make  a huge difference in life enjoyment. $20 bucks to have my clothes washed, folded and pressed is a small price to pay. 

Most readers know that have lived in Germany by choice a total of a third of my adult life. When I get the chance, I read the news in German and German magazines, but my conversational skills are slipping. I've begun conversational class, and downloaded the Memrise app in order to help me with that. 

I also took the second class in my Great Courses drawing class. Beginner that I am, I'm still at the "play with your materials and see what they can do phase".  And finally I'm learning that some times in your genealogical search you simply hit a wall.  

What I'm pondering: This house is inhabited by two people, one of whom does at lest 60 percent of the physical labor, simply because of physical abilities and handicaps. Part of this is because the second person does the entire yard and garden by choice, which she lives for. But a certain part of it is because the other resident is incapable of bending over, doing heavy lifting or kneeling. This is something that was negotiated prior to purchasing our home, but I would be less than honest if I did not occasionally wonder about ways to make things more equitable, especially since the heavy labor person is also working full time (by choice). I'd love to find a way to do that without my spending money that's not available. Does anyone else have this issue?  I would love to hear about it if so.

What I'm loving:   This may sound odd, but I have a new schedule of sorts. I've promised myself every single day I would: pray/meditate, exercise, eat healthy in the morning, spend sometime online researching and saving money, spend at least half an hour on the house and work on one "project each day". This tiny bit of scheduling and commitment has really helped to create a schedule (when combined with my out of house activities) , and I've given myself permission to forgo the last three on busy days as long as I keep the first three.   I love it when an idea actually works with my life.

What I'm looking ahead to this week:  Finally going to the First Friday art walk, getting my testing kits for my book out to my testers, taking a drive to the mountains on Friday, and a girls day out field trip next week.

I hope you all had a lovely 4th of July and an equally happy weekend. How has your past week been?  Did you do anything exciting?


  1. I too want to see Dunkirk. Saw the preview and it looked good. That chicken looks good too!

    1. I finally saw the full, long trailerthe last time I was in a real theater and with the cast alone, I thin it has to be good.

  2. Isn't life full? Barb, re: your pondering section - it seems to me that you and your housemate have worked out mutually-acceptable agreement. If I was the one working out of the home, I would love to come home to that chicken dish. No cooking means more time puttering in the garden. Also, with your sewing/cooking skills, is there any way to barter for some yard work or whatever needs doing? This week, I'm busy with volunteering at the concession for the local amateur rodeo, the 55th annual. Canada has just celebrated its 150th yr of confederation and there's a re-do of the river voyageur trek of 50 yrs ago. I had a paddle from one of the teams from 50 yrs ago. This year's chief voyageur was on Alberta's voyageur team 50 yrs ago and identified the paddle as one from the New Brunswick team. I'm currently reading Ken Follett's Century Trilogy beginning with Fall of Giants. I've cleaned the vegetable garden and perennial bed and the peonies are in full bloom. What I haven't accomplished is any cooking of substance. It's been a busy week and I've been eating on the fly. I'm anticipating 3 days with the grandkids before going to a lake in British Columbia for a week of R&R with cousins. Life is good in July.

    1. Mona, thanks. I tend to agree,but some days as I sit with my laptop in the evening while shes doing the twenty things she feels she needs to do....Let me know how you like the series. And do you know t hat the Pillars of the Earth has a third book coming out in a month or so? I agree, life is good.

  3. Dunkirk does look pretty amazing...although I find it really hard to watch war shows, I know hubby will be watching this. Thanks for stopping by my blog Barbara!


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