Monday, April 22, 2013

So Much Going On!

Taking a break from the kitchen pantry clean up.  Saturday I cleaned out the fridge, purging spoiled left overs...why we bring home food from eating out that will never get eaten is beyond me.  Neither can I believe how much produce I end up loosing...such a waste of money.  Although, this time, the fault was with a fridge that had been turned up to high...or down to low rather...and it froze my produce.  See, I have two fridges and I keep the extra milk, eggs, produce, wine and hubby's beer all in the spare fridge.  We even froze the milk.  Trust me, frozen 2% milk is not a  pretty or tasty site.  Of all the things that I ended up having to throw away, from the spare fridge, the 18 count carton of eggs really hurt.  They did not freeze, but I had my daughter put the eggs in a bowl of water...every one of them floated to the top.  They had been in there a tad to long I think.  After cleaning out the main fridge, the poor thing looks so bare.  I have two chicken breast that are thawed out, will be throwing them out today.  They have been thawed out way to long, at least four days, and I just don't trust chicken. 

Sunday, I started on the pantry.  OH WHAT A JOB!  Everything had just been shoved in here and there and it had gotten to the point where I just couldn't find a thing I needed to cook up a meal.  Was buying things I already had and had no room for stocking up.  Not that I really need to stock up, I truly believe that I could feed this family for at least 6 weeks with out buying a thing, but the family would not like what I would be fixing.  On the other hand, they are about to not have a choice anymore.  I am sick and tired of cooking on the spur of the moment and I am not a short order diner.  I have really had enough of the chaos that has taken over my life and am putting an end to it. Life changes, different chapters and all, so I have to change with it. One thing I have realized...our family dynamic has changed, my daily routine has changed, I have not.

Here are the goals.

I am getting back to menu planning.  I just needed to know what I have on hand to work order to know that I had to clean it all up and inventory it. As I said, I am taking a break, my back just can't handle it like it used too.  May even have to admit that I am getting older. But that is thought for another time.

Changing buying habits.  As I said, the family dynamic has changed.  I no longer have two teenage boys at home, my youngest daughter is in a healthy-diet-making different food choices stage and I now have an added driver at home (now that Miss Zebra has her license) so there is no reason to buy three loaves of bread and 6 gallons of milk each week.  Plus, with the opening of more grocery chain stores (Walmart, Winco) the stupid California way of forcing the customer to buy gallons of milk in twos to get the price discount.  Now that I don't have to buy so much of everything, and I can send Miss Zebra to the store, I don't have to stock pile so much.  Besides, it is not a savings if you stock pile so much the products expire before you can use it.  OH...flashes of Extreme Couponers just went through my head. The stupidity of that show, not to mention the blatant illegal practices involved is a story for another time.


I have recently become a consultant for Pampered Chef.  Really looking forward to seeing what I can do with that.  I am not a salesman, so this kind of thing is hard for me, but I am hoping to refurnish my kitchen with some quality equipment as opposed to quantity.  That is a project for this summer, when I have Miss Zebra home to help watch Mr. M.  I will clean out an reorganize all of my kitchen cabinets...dishes, pans, pots, mixing bowls...and such.  I was putting it off because in the near future...I hope near future...we are gutting the kitchen, taking a wall out and redoing it all. Was going to wait until then so I only had to empty the cabinets one time. contractor (my hubby) has put some other things ahead of the project so I am not waiting any longer.  Soon as I get some things out of the way, I am emptying and purging my kitchen cabinets.

I also, after much thought, made a major investment in to my sewing/quilting hobby.  I purchased a new machine. A Pfaff to be exact. It does it all, sewing, quilting (nice large throat space - automatic quilting foot), and embroidery (large area). Now, thanks to a little inheritance money, I have the money in hand to pay for it.  I have put it on layaway because I am just not ready to have it in the house yet, just too tempting.  I need to finish up a quilt project...which would be nice to try out the new machine on...along with the kitchen cabinets...along with would be way to easy to get side tracked with playing with the new machine.  Along with tutorials for my new software programs. that I have had a nice little rest...back to work.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Once I know what I have on hand, I can plan menus tonight.  I will be able to then cut down the cost of groceries, hopefully enough to put a little toward the new Pfaff to save on my little egg money account.  See...what ever I have left over each pay day from the household budget is mine to keep, to use how I want, on what I want.

Thanks for dropping in, I am back to work.  Besides it is lunch time.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Big News!

NO...we aren't adding to the least I am not.  We do have a grand daughter due to arrive in July.  My oldest son's second child.

I just signed up to become a Pampered Chef consultant.  I love their products, love their recipes, so felt it was a good fit for me.  I am not really a salesman type person, nor am I comfortable speaking in front of groups.  Will see how this works out.  I figure though, if nothing else I will be able to outfit my new kitchen with all the great gadgets I want at a discount, since I will be using the kitchen for demonstrations may even be able to write some of it off the income tax as business deductions.  That would be sweet.  At least what I buy, my kit and books, gas to demonstrations, can be deducted.  AND...I know how to cook, can have some fun learning to cook healthier as a bonus.

When it is all set up, I will share the link to my  Pampered Chef page.  You can order items through me.

Until then, I am off to catch up on some other things.  Plan out the week's meals.  Make a grocery list.  You know, all the normal junk.  Also, tonight I will be working on my mom's taxes.  They are not really hard, and since she passed away in the middle of the year she didn't have that much income, but due to the cancer, her hospital visits, the donations to Goodwill of her personal belongings, she should have some itemized deductions.  I know she will get a little bit of refund, and I am not really in the mood to just let the government just have it, so to get the refund I have to file.

I hope for my loved ones sake, I die on December 31 of any year.

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Well, well, well!

It has been exactly a month since I posted.  That is truly pitiful.  I must work on posting a little bit more often.

On a good note, everyone is finally well.  Hubby surprised me with an impromptu trip to Las Vegas since Miss Zebra was out of school for Easter break...yes they still call it that here.  Mr. College wondered home for a visit as well, as his college was having their Winter Break...what they call the same time.  We had  good Easter, I hope all of you did too.  My oldest son, Mr. M's dad, didn't want to come over to eat an Easter dinner because he didn't want "old food". 

Guess that one is partly my fault, I made the mistake of saying that I found a ham in the freezer and was going to clean out my pantry before I bought more food. is not like I am a food hoarder and the items are really old.  The ham has been in the freezer since I bought it on sale.  I had picked up one for New's Year Day and just picked up an extra.  Three months, exactly, is not that old for a fully cooked ham that has been in the freezer since it came home from the grocery store.  The nerve, where does he think all those steaks and burgers come from.  Yes I stock up slightly when I catch a good deal, but only what I feel will be used with in a two month time frame.  As for the pantry...I clean it out and reorganize it every other month.  Purging anything that may have expired, donating what I know won't be eaten to the local food bank.  I swear, the oldest thing in my pantry may be a jar of Miracle whip bought 3 -4 months ago or a box of cake mix that may have gotten hidden that may be 4 or 5 months old.  For one, I don't stock up on things like that, and two, it just doesn't last that long around here.  Good grief, wonder what he would think if I turned in to an extreme coupon/hoarder.  They have years worth of supply stocked up in make shift shelves all over the house.  Good grief, does this child have no memory of when we were lucky to have wieners and canned tuna for several days until we got paid again?  Guess not.  On the other hand, maybe that is a sign that I did a great job of getting our family through some rough financial times, which everyone has from time to time.  I never had to get assistance of any kind for us.  Thankfully I also had the best teacher in the world, my mom.  She saved every thing and pinched a penny until it chirped.  When we cleaned out her home of 30 years to move to a smaller home, there were bags of glass jars she saved, margarine and whipped topping bowls, pieces of foil, even twist ties from bread bags.  She also washed and reused ziplock bags and Solo cups and bowls.  Oh well, I guess I should be happy for him that they aren't going through those hard times like we did.

So...goals for this month are many.  I need to get back to basics.  Basic home cooking, basic cleaning, and time for my crafts.  In spite of son, I am going to be cooking from the pantry and freezer this month.  I have a lot of cleaning to do, now that spring is here and it is warmer I can actually open up the windows and get some fresh air going through here.  I also have to get it together and even though I don't want to, have to file my mom's tax return.  Even though she passed away last year, she still had income for 6 months of the year.  On the good side, she should get a refund and I don't want the IRS to have one cent of what doesn't belong to them.  I have about 5 more quilts to make for the church orphanage project.  Now that I have received all the software programs I  purchased for quilting and embroidery, I need to sit down and work through the tutorials to learn how to make the most of them.  Oh, and I also have picked up some wonderful historical non-fiction books.  Published collections of various diary entries for civil war era, early 1920's, and World War II (from the perspective of a woman living in England).

Guess I better get some dinner going.  Thanks for stopping by.