Lots to do…

There are so many things on the to-do list right now I am not quite sure where to start. Robert worked on bread today. He makes a double batch, creating four loaves at once. This lasts 2 1/2 to 4 weeks depending on how much toast we have for breakfast or if we just use it for his lunch sandwiches.

I am so glad that he enjoys doing things like this. I think the two of us could be happy living many different types of lifestyles but it is enjoyable to us right now to work together to save money by doing things like baking our own bread, cooking from scratch and gardening. We make quite a good team and I’m glad Robert doesn’t think I’m nuts for wanting to do these kinds of things!

On Friday I finally found my sewing scissors and rotary cutter. I jumped in and started sewing right away. One of the first things I did was make a pillowcase for Robert. He is a volunteer firefighter and the station he is a part of has a schedule which requires the guys to stay over at least one night per week. Currently he stays two nights per week to take up some slack. Anyway, I had this great firetruck fabric and knew it would make a perfect pillowcase to take to the firehouse. I think he liked it a lot, so I was pretty happy. It was relatively simple to make as well, so even better. I may have to make a few for my nephew for Christmas. They are doing some actual attempts at decortating at the fire station and since Robert doesn’t have any type of fire memorabilia to take down there, he asked if I might make some curtains (after seeing the way cool fire truck fabric). I of course, said yes. We just need to measure the windows and find some equally cool fabric as the pillowcase fabric is several years old already.

We went to the library yesterday and got library cards which was kind of fun – for me at least. I wandered the stacks for quite awhile before Robert came to get me and ask if I was done yet. 🙂

Today I made a short trip to the grocery store to get apples for applesauce while they were still on sale for 88 cents per pound. I got about 25 pounds. I also got some ginger to go with some of the pear recipes. I just remembered that I forgot to b uy lemon juice. Oh well, I still have to go to Walmart ot buy more pectin so I will get it then I suppose.

I also spent some time cleaning out my car today. It was in rather rough shape after the school year and soccer season and such. Hopefully this evneing we can drive it a bit and see if it needs more work done or if I can finally drive it.

I think now, I will go sew some more. Or read some of my library books!

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Where am I and what happened to the heat?

Living in Texas for the past three and a half years I have gotten somewhat used to the seemingly unending heat. It’s just always hot here, or, it seems that way compared to where I grew up in Indiana with nice Lake Michigan breezes.

But lately…

I have had the windows open constantly. The air conditioning hasn’t been on since sometime last week. It IS like Indiana in the fall. Woo! The only unfortunately part is that Robert’s allergies are bad enough thatw e do have to close everything up when we go to bed. But, it still stays cool enough that we don’t need the air on. Awesomeness! I really get excited when we can save big chunks of electricity.

I am doing pretty well on posting this week and actually beginning to get my income on target for the budget that I would like to have. That is definitely a good feeling. And I think in my last post I mentioned that I would tell you my motivational secret this time around. It’s a bit odd I guess and probably won’t work for everyone, or even a lot of people.

My husband is my motivation. Not in the way you might think either. There is no pressure to make tons of money or anything coming from him. There are some clear targets that need to be hit as far as contributing to bills and all that  but honestly, they aren’t all that high. So, the motivation comes from him in a different way.

I was sitting at home one day last week, not feeling like doing much of anything at all. Then I thought about Robert and how much he would love to have the job I have. And then, I thought about him actually having a job like mine. And how he would be going 90 mph with his hair on fire to do the very best (and make the very most) that he could. And I realized how truly lucky I am that I have the opportunity to do this. And that I have him to support me (not in the financial sense, but in the emtional sense). I expressed an interest in this opportunity and did some of the ground work and he has been behind me 100% the whole time.

What an awesome gift. Why on earth would I waste it? Motivating? To me it was.

In other news… I made some amazing muffins this evening. I got the recipe over at Owlhaven for these Baked Apple Donuts. I didn’t have any apples on hand, but I had two pears, which was just the right amount. I didn’t bother chopping them, I just ran them over the cheese grater, peel and all. They are seriously good.

I think next time I will substitute applesauce for the butter in the actual batter and then just brush some melted butter over the tops instead of dipping them in butter (eek!) before dipping them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

At the same time, I baked some brown rice in the oven. It came out pretty well, same as when I make it on the stovetop, but, it was easy and got accomplished while the muffins were baking so that was nice. We had the brown rice with left over proteins from the week – chicken in sun dried tomato sauce and bbq brisket.

I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It will be nice to spend some time with my husband. It’s been a  really long week for him (starting on September 8th since he hasn’t had a day off since then!) so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to spend with him. I’m not complaining… it will just be nice to have some good quality time together. And, he has Monday off. Yay!

Why am I still awake? I dunno…

So, it’s almost midnight. I am not sure what time zone wordpress thinks I’m in as it says it’s 4:58am. I’ll have to look in to that one.

My pre-midnight snack

My pre-midnight snack

I recently (like 30 minutes ago) made some hot chocolate. It was definitely NOT from a paper envelope. My hot chocolate was memories, thoughts, and awesomeness. You see, The chocolate itself was real, and real 77% cocoa from Amsterdam. My husband brought it home from a business trip. He always brings home chocolates from Europe. 😀 I told you he was a good man! The base of my hot chocolate was some organix milk. I’ve recently discovered that while I do not care for “regular” milk from one of those cardboard containers, the organic stuff is pretty decent. I’d prefer glass but can’t find it for the most part. Not glass AND organic.

To the milk and the chocolate I added a touch of sugar, a bit of Texas honey (gotta keep it local!) and some super yummy and amazing vanilla that I bought at a market in Mexico. I served it up in my recently acquired Donald Duck mug. My husband brought it back from his Dad’s house. I found it in a box in the closet and brought it out. I asked if it was ok if I used it. Of course he says. I say good, cause I LOVE Donald Duck! Oh, wow, so did my Dad my husband says to me. There are a lot of people I can do without in this world. I wish I had had the opportunity to know my father in law. To even talk to him once. Or for him to even know we were getting married. He died the month before we got engaged. I’m not sure why it gets me teary eyed and really sad to think about. I just wish I had known him. His kids are the coolest ever.

Well anyway. Lots was done today. I went on a grocery binge. I, um, don’t think I’ll be needing anything next week. So when I came home I decided I was tired of shuffling things around in the pantry and hauled them out, cleaned it up and organized it. Poor husband won’t be able to find anything, even though I feel like it logical (the veggies are together, beans are together, flours are all lined up, etc.). It was no small feat. I am blessed, oh so blessed, with a pantry that makes other women jealous. I could not get a good photo this evening. I will try again tomorrow.

We have filled up the gas cans. We have groceries galore. We’ve brought in all the small things from the yard. We’ve battened down the hatches so to speak. We’ll see what the morning brings with hurricane Ike not so far away from us. We are supposed to get winds in the 60mph range and a lot of rain. My biggest concerns are keeping the packed freezer cold enough if the power goes out and that my tiny baby plant sprouts survive it all ok. Oh, and that my poor husband makes it through the day at work tomorrow (and Sunday probably).

Let’s pray it turns out more like Gustav and less like Katrina. And paray especially hard for anyone who did not evacuate Galveston. I hope they all did. Because it could take a direct hit.