Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kentucky ponderings and oh, yes... my grocery list

I know, I am suppose to be going through all of my CTB & Me e-mails right now but I've been watching the rain outside and pondering. It was so pretty this morning that I pulled out the umbrellas for the deck tables, placed my reading materials on one of them (table, not umbrella) and took a few pictures of flowers from my hostas growing along the fence line.

How grateful I am for the two small tables, one my daughter bought me and the other purchased really cheap for the graduation open house from an unexpected gift (a gift which made the open house PERFECT for Christopher's special day!).

However, it started raining (did I miss that in the weather forecast?)... so I grabbed my books, cell phone, and camera (another gift!) before they could get wet and hurried inside to the family room. I left the french door open and pulled the screen shut so I could listen to the rain. It was lovely until my husband walked in the room and looked like I was letting the devil in so the door was quickly shut. I suppose when one has mold allergies that is what they think of rainy weather in the woods.

Speaking of woods, Christopher left last night with some of the other guys from church to stay somewhere near the Indiana/Kentucky border. One of the adults has an uncle who owns a cabin there and it is perfect paintball terrain... hilly forest area. It is beautiful country. My mom is from Elizabethtown, Kentucky and my Dad was from the New Albany area so we would drive through southern Indiana (which is really northern Kentucky) on the way to Kentucky proper.

The last time I was in Brown County was on our way to a family reunion at my cousin's restaurant in a small town near Elizabethtown called Glendale. My cousins owned a restaurant there and it made the perfect place for a family gathering. It was in autumn and the area was gorgeous. That was the year before Christopher was born. I am sad to say I lost contact with all my Kentucky relatives once Mom's health deteriorated in the early 90s.

How did I get off track? Oh, yeah... Christopher being near Kentucky and all...

I've been working on my grocery list and since a few of you have asked what I'll do with my income decreasing by a third, I thought I'd share some of my plans. For one thing, all "junk" foods are greatly reduced or not purchased at all. I need to find a way to get more fresh fruit and veggies in the diet while reducing costs so I may let my pastor know that I'm available if anyone wants to dump extra zucchinis or yellow summer squash (love them!).

I'm looking through my recipe cards and books and pulling out a few that center around beans and brown rice (I keep brown rice in the freezer, having had it go stale too many times). For the most part, I have been using meat as part of soups and casseroles and such for years now but I'll stretch it even farther.

I definitely won't be able to stock up much, if at all, with my grocery budget. I'll still purchased essentials like canned tomatoes when they are half price. I'll also start putting back a few bags of my favorite dried noodles to have them ready for cold weather meals, especially as I find them on sale.

I'd forgotten to mention a few items I keep in my Hospitality Pantry (now a section of a shelf). That is a large can of peach pie filling along with the yellow cake mix to make a quick cobbler, or a large can of crushed pineapple and a box of angel food cake mix to make a quick cake (a Weight Watcher's recipe). My sister, Jean, gave me the quick cobbler recipe and I sent her the Weight Watcher's cake recipe that I found online... we're even. She also keeps a fairly good sized pantry, although now that her hubby has passed away, I expect she won't be cooking as much.

Normally when I work at the bookstore, I use half my paycheck for an item or two from our Priority List. Most of it this time will have to go to everyday expenses like gas and food but I think I'll take a little to buy at least one half-gallon (and perhaps two) of local honey from the honey man before the farmer's market ends this year. Our pump for the well has been shorting out so I have a sneaking suspicion we will have to have that checked out with some bookstore funds. (We cannot not take our pay in books... although we do get a discount on Christopher's textbooks.)

Christopher has been asking me what I want for my birthday. I don't want him to spend any money since he does have college expenses coming up but there is this garden gnome at the bookstore that I've had my eyes on for a long time, now... especially when he was facing my cash register last Book Rush. If any of my family members read this it would be fine if they posted on his Facebook site that Mom would really, really like one of those University Gnomes for the front porch. Hey, it is a fraction of the cost of Vera Bradley, at least a large VB bag and he does get a discount.

Oh, yeah... grocery list. Did I tell you the nice nurse practitioner at the doctor's office said my failing memory may only mean I need to take more thyroid medicine? I'd love to think it is just that and not something I can't control... like getting another year older. Anyway, I'll write more when I actually use my grocery list and see how it all turns out. I need a little break now and then a return to e-mails. Sigh, don't ever let me get this far behind, again. I love getting e-mails and comments but you wouldn't know it by how long it takes me to respond at times.

Added Note: I found SALLIE again, one of my favorite bloggers. I had her new site's URL and somehow I lost it and couldn't find it again. It is now in Bloglines and on my list of Favorites here so she will not get lost again.


Anonymous said...

For fresh vegetables & fruit check out your University Extension Office. In Ohio they give older Adults I think 55 and over coupons to use at the local Farmers Market for something like $25 once or twice a month. Then at the Farmers Market they have signs on the booths that take the coupons. Most counties will have an Extension office.


nanatrish said...

Brenda, I am so sorry about your loss of income. I can't remember the reason and I try to read your blog everyday. You are such a sweet and very sensible person and I just hate it that you guys would lose some of your income. I will help you pray about it. I think I have told you before that I lived in Indianapolis growing up and we used to go to a big park in Brown County for family reunions. It was so pretty. Thanks for reminding me of those memories.

Terri said...

Really? E-town? I'm from Radcliff. Met my husband when he was stationed at Ft. Knox. I haven't been back in so long...I miss it.

Brown County has an arts fair every fall. It was a lot of fun back in the day. I read somewhere recently, though that because of Meth labs in the area, it's not a safe a place as it used to be. Isn't that sad?

God bless.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Is there a food bank in your area? We have one and anyone can avail themselves of produce or canned goods, etc., by volunteering some time. It would be one way to stretch the budget, but not if it's too far away!

In the meantime, I think a whole lot of us are waiting to see what God will do and how He'll provide. I know that I am.

Mrs. Maybrook said...

I'm not from E-town, but rather a few counties over. I was born and raised in Hopkins County, KY on a small farm. What a neat thing to learn of your connection to KY. Are you familiar with Santa Claus, Ind.?

Firefly Nights said...

For someone already pinching pennies, it must have been a big kick in the teeth to suddenly learn that benefits for your son ended when he graduated.

I don't know if this will help, but here's a suggestion. You seem to have good computer and photo skills. Have you ever thought about doing work that you could do at home on your computer -- like a virtual assistant or similar? Times aren't too good in the real estate field, but perhaps some Realtors are still looking for help to maintain their mailing lists or contact files. Many in our area paid people to work at home for them. From what I gather there are a lot of jobs that one can do online, and at your own pace. I've forgotten what your disability is, but perhaps working online would work well for you and bring in some extra money.

Also thought the idea of seeking out produce from friends and church members with overflowing gardens was a great one.

Anonymous said...


As one of your regular readers but one who doesn't post.

I'm real sorry to hear about the loss of some of your income.

Have you heard of Angel Foods Ministries. It is an organization that helps people get the food they need at a very reasonable cost. I have given you the site address below to check it out.

I have not used their services but a co-worker has at one point in her life. She was satified with their services.

There are no income limits that need to be met. Check and see if they are in your area. Maybe they can help you stretch your money to help you cover eveything.

If you do use them, please let know how you like them.

I have been thinking about looking into the program for myself.

Sharon in KY