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.