Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Good morning and a warm hello to all my blog friends whom I have missed dearly.
After six weeks of no computer--we are now back in the grand 'ol swing of things. A guy at Ed's work charged us only $60.00 to fix our PC and said we could pay him in increments.
He basically just cleaned everything out and reinstalled Windows XP, as well as installing a new virus protection program. We had 'McAfee' (which we paid $80.00 a year for!), for all the fat freakin' good it did us.
Nothing is fool proof so all we can do is hope for the best--I'm just tickled to be back on-line.
"WHAT'S HAPPENIN', HOT STUFF?"
We file bankruptcy on December 4th--and are waiting for the other shoe to drop as nothing about this process has seemed to go smoothly thus far.
Yes, I realize that makes me a 'glass is half empty' kinda gal; after having the rug pulled out from underneath us one too many times--we come to expect the worse while always hoping for the best...
I know, I know....let me just beat my critics to the punch right now and say 'Waaa! Waaa! Waaa!', 'Boo-hoo!' and 'Oh, woe is me!'.
See? Who says I don't have a sense of humor????
This post is brought to you today by the word 'Poop'.
Last week we nearly lost our beautiful and much beloved sweet tempered black lab mix, T.J. He's ten years old and suddenly became very lethargic, not eating nor pooping!
I tried homeopathic methods first trying to get him to stabilize his system (a.k.a. poop!) such as blending a concoction of flax seeds with boiling water, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup (as a sweetener attempting to make it more appealing) to lubricate his bowels. Nada.
Then we put him on a bland diet of rice, chicken and chicken broth--nothing doin'! So, I blended it and fed him with a turkey baster several times a day to get some protein and energy in him. Nothing.
Finally we broke down and took him to the vet where they took an X-ray and found he had an enlarged kidney. From there they wanted to do an ultrasound to find out why his kidney is enlarged, however, that was an additional $200.00 we did not have, so, sadly, we had to pass on that. As it was, this visit cost $218.00 for the X-ray, antibiotics and a bottle of pain pills (he has a bad back due to his his size and age). B put the vet visit on his credit card--and we paid him back with our income tax return (which Ed filed late--thank God).
So, I give T.J. six pills a day, switched him from Pedigree adult dog food to Pedigree rice and chicken flavor and he has not only got back to normal (eating and pooping) but is better than before.
Something indeed to be thankful for!
We weren't ready to lose him and, for a while there, it looked like we might.
Random fact of the day: B and I saw a roadrunner in our front yard! You couldn't have surprised me more if if you rolled me over, stapled my head to the carpet and colored me silly!
In other news, I thought I would share some of how we eat on a tight budget--none of this is particularly original, mind you, but perhaps someone somewhere can get something out of my experience:
I scour the ads every week for each supermarket looking for eggs for .99 cents and ten pound bags of potatoes for the same as well as ground beef, veggies, etc.
I recently got eight pounds of onions for $1.00 (which will last a while) as well as eight pounds of cabbage for the same. I look for hot dogs on sale (usually an eight pack for $1.00) and 'Cup 'O Noodles' which you can typically find four or five for $1.00. Pair the 'Cup 'O Noodles' with grilled cheese for a casual dinner night.
Sometimes I have to go to four or five different places to get all I need but it is so incredibly worth it when one has less than $100.00 for two weeks (including toiletries, household items and pet supplies).
With the hot dogs, I make a poor mans version of 'Wienerschnitzel's' Polish sausage sandwich:
I take one hot dog per sandwich, slice in half length wise and grill in a frying pan with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. I place them between two slices of bread (I get loaves of wheat bread for .88 cents each at 'Food-4-Less') with mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce and tomatoes. The boys love them!
I also divide a pound of ground beef for each recipe (I only buy ground beef if I can get it for $1.00 a pound or less). When there are only two people who eat meat (I'm a vegan so that excludes me, naturally), ground beef can be stretched a mile.
For example, I use only 1/2 pound ground beef for a package of 'Hamburger Helper' (store brand, of course, but sometimes you can find a brand for $1.00 at 'Fresh 'N Easy' for example) instead of the recommended full pound it calls for--and it proves to be plenty.
I save the other half pound to make meatballs for Ed and B to go with the next nights pasta (again, 1/2 pound is plenty and they're big guys, too) or I use it for the following:
Top Ramen with veggies and ground beef:
~Cook one or two bags of Ramen noodles per person (depending on their appetite)--do not add the seasoning to the noodles (Ramen noodles typically run about .20 cents each)
~I brown 1/2 pound of ground beef and don't drain it. The juice from the meat helps the noodles serve easier, which are normally dry and stick together once drained
~Take all the seasoning packets from the noodles and add to the cooked ground beef
~Add two cans of veggies (usually .50 to .70 cents each) with the juice, don't drain
~Drain the Ramen noodles and stir in with the ground beef/veggie mixture.
This is one of their favorites and only costs about $3.00--or less--to make.
We also discovered that rice and dried beans in the bins in the markets are so much cheaper than buying them in pre-packaged bags.
So, one of our favorite (and vegan friendly) meals has been for me to cook up a big pot of beans, make some rice and then pair it with an easy stir fry of cabbage, onions and jalapenos (peppers courtesy of a friends garden).
One night Ed said: "Too bad we don't have tortillas to go with this". No money to go buy any so I got creative and took some unbleached flour I had in my cabinet, tossed in some water, vegetable oil and salt. I rolled it out (put some flour on the rolling pin and the counter) flattened it and fried it in a pan with about a tablespoon of oil per 'tortilla' to make a quick, easy and quite yummy flat bread to go with our beans, rice and cabbage. No specific measurements--I just played with it until I got a dough-y consistency.
We pile the beans, rice (sometimes I cook the rice in vegetable broth, if I have any on hand, for even more flavor) and veggies in the flat bread/tortillas and top it off with 'Tapatio' or 'Valentina' hot sauce (about .99 cents a bottle and will last a long time)--OH MY GOD!
We could be wealthier that Bill Gates and I would still make this meal twice a week!
So, that's just a few of my 'tricks' and ideas--again, nothing earth shattering I know, but it sure has helped us out.
Well, my 'oldest son', 'J', is now here and has waited patiently for me to finish this so we can watch a movie--so, for now, I'm off like a dirty shirt!
I'll be back later today or tomorrow to visit my blog friends pages and spread the blog love--can't wait to catch up with y'all!
Much peace, love and happiness,