(pic is of brussells sprouts...halved and seared in a bit of olive oil with some crisped turkey bacon tossed in...yum!)
It's been a while since I did the Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do Without update. Here's how things are stacking up these days:
Use It Up:
1. Trying to use up fridge contents before they migrate to the hidden recesses and languish there too long. In order to keep the process simple, I'm buying fewer groceries at a time since we have our larger staple quantities already in the pantry. I'm also making a decisive effort to include more greens and eat them before buying anything else. The brussels sprouts are on sale right now and are really cheap. We have those and some cabbage to use up before cycling through and buying more fresh produce.
Do better? I need to use up the remaining frozen turkeys we bought last winter.
2. Some of the leftovers now go to the dog...(now that we have one, yay!) I don't really utilize my beef fat (tallow) after I separate the roasting pan juices, but now I can store it in the fridge and melt a spoonful at a time for including in his kibble, along with some of the other leftovers. His coat needs conditioning.
3. I've been pulling a lot of our frozen soups out of the freezer for quick meals, and freezing the roasting juices from any meats we cook once I separate the fat. The roasting juices are the best soup starters I've found yet.
4. Our moringa and cranberry hibiscus branches need harvesting. The moringa leaves have to be individually picked off and either cooked fresh like spinach or dried and powdered to use in cooking. They are nutritional superfoods according to what we've read up on them. I'm interested in experimenting with the cranberry hibiscus leaves, which are good raw in salads with a tart lemony flavor. I want to try them dolmas-style as a substitute for grape leaves to see if it will hold up and if the flavor is good that way. I also want to see if the tenderer ones can be processed till fine with a bit of olive oil to make a pesto, and then take it a step further and see if it might be a nice addition to an olive tapenade...the color, the burgundy/magenta, would surely be beautiful.
Wear It Out:
1. The lawnmower - aye-yi-yi! It's embarrassing to admit just how long our lawn went unmowed since late June. I was sick all that time until recently with sinus that graduated into bronchitis/flu/ruptured eardrums/blahblahblah, and Jack was called on to work a challenging work schedule. What with everything falling a beat behind paired with bouts of pouring rainstorms, let's just say we became children of the jungle. Well, the jungle had to be hacked away at and our small lawnmower has been a trouper, but it's no match for thigh-high bermuda. Jack checked into renting a more powerful one and the cheapest rental was $85 a day...no way. So my hero has been wrestling lawnmower and stalk for days now, chawing away at the wall of green. He's nearly won, but we've had to keep replacing lawnmower parts. A more powerful one is on the wish list, but let's see...we keep holding out hope that moving to the place we hope would allow animals to be the yardcare specialists...we're tired of mowing what would be some gorgeous fodder! So for the time, the lawnmower stays.
2. Most of my pants have bit the dust, but I am able to still use two of them. The ones with repatched holes are being saved for patches. I'm embarrassed to say that all my everyday shirts were stained, shapeless, and looking very worn, so for very little I bought two chambray shirts in the least likely of places...the men's department...for $5.00 each. I love chambray for its durability and comfort. I'm not typically a "wear men's clothing" sort of gal, but truly there is no difference in the look between these shirts and the women's. I bought each in a shade that matched my two remaining pairs of pants and voila...fresh and crisp. So I sort of did a "wear it out"...with the pants, and bought the shirts frugally with the pants in mind to complete two "new" outfits. The other shirts and pants...WORN OUT. I have to figure out whether to save some of the fabric or what to do. Some of them are so far gone I'd hate to donate them to anything. Rag bin might be their fate :)
Make It Do:
1. Reorganizing closets, spare bedroom, garage, etc, little by little. I'm repurposing containers from one area to use in another. Am using a small woven throw rug (after a good cleaning) as a runner for my kitchen table. Grouping things together until it's decided whether to reuse or give away. The big Comet goldfish is still in a too-small tank, and prices being what they are for larger tank setups (even on craigslist...I don't seem to hit the good ones in time), I'll craigslist the fish for 50 cents and go get two very small ones for less than that to repopulate mine.
2. Exercise -- it's hot. Hot, hot, hot. The heat does a number on me, and since I work in intense heat on my work nights, it is draining. HOWEVER, this is one of those Make It Do scenarios...I'm trying to get it to work with me instead of against. I'm eating less and I've lost some weight slowly. Now that we have our wonderful dog (yay!!), an hour before sundown is the perfect time to go for long walks. No excuses...I used to belong to a gym back in the day...one with an indoor pool, ahhhhh :) But I have a perfectly beautiful scenic set of roads that I'm no longer afraid to explore by myself (because we have the dog, yay again!) and I want to step up the fitness and weight loss. I want to see bigger results this year! I'm down 24 pounds since last year, and each pound was a killer to get off. But I have a very long road ahead. No excuses = "make it do"...no matter what, there is something I can be doing.
1. Well, we do this so much, it doesnt feel like doing without :) It just seems like "ok, it's just not the right time for it." I've put off ordering some supplements that would benefit us because we're paying off a lot of bills just now and I want to see where the totals fall here soon, so we know exactly where we stand.
2. In the bad side of this one, for way too long I was NOT utilizing my health insurance and really put off some doc visits for various reasons. I needed to get caught up with my maintenance meds and get labs checked as well as get current with those "female exams" etc. Those are being caught up on. It's just not sensible to delay it further as long as I do have insurance. There are things we shouldn't do without if we have a choice. With that said, though, I have been altering my eating and growing some herbs to help me with my blood sugars, and have asked the doc to remove me from a couple of meds if the numbers come back within a decent range. My thyroid used to be very borderline normal/abnormal but after taking the meds for about three years, my usually very thick hair began thinning noticeably (to me, at least). I took myself off it. We'll see what the counts look like but it's one of the things I hope to not have to use again.
I guess that's it for now!
We are so happy to have the dog. This was a planned-for thing, and yes, the set up comes with expenses. They were planned for after having nixed considerable debt recently (yay, God!). I don't know where on here he fits, but he does fit. He is now my constant shadow and alerts me to anything unusual going on outside, especially when Jack's elsewhere. The peace of mind and companionship that brings me is beyond words. The motivation to get outside and go for walks is now a joy instead of a chore.
And that's where I'm headed now. It doesn't seem like "exercise" since Kaleb is sooo happy tooling around down the paths and through the bushes...fun!
I hope your weekend is great...if you get time off from work and/or get to be with family or friends, enjoy! I go now to walk my four legged furball and see his silly happy grin :)