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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

So I've been adapting to the vegetarian lifestyle easily! Other than missing the convenience of "canned meats" I don't have a problem at all. Actually, I am enjoying the recipes, and have stocked my freezer with a healthy variety of veggie burgers, fillings for tacos, beans and rice dishes, etc.

When I cook a batch of beans, I divide it into a lot of individual portions and freeze. And while it IS time-consuming, time is something I have in abundance now.

I also bought an iron skillet for cooking; vegetarians say it's a great source to help supplement iron intake.

Here's just a few tips for those who want to save money at the grocery store:

Buy dried beans: pintos, navy, lentil, black, peas, whatever. You can get literally whole meals for mere pennies compared to can beans or frozen prepared stuff.

Buy white and brown rice, the long cooking kind, not those instant rice boxes.

Buy a large bag of popcorn and make your own individual servings in a microwave popcorn dish. Not only can you get dozens of individual servings, you also control the amount of salt, etc.

Take advantage of farmer's market produce and/or your own garden. I have been preparing vegetables for six or seven people at the same time, and then freeze it for individual servings.

There's more, but those are just the easiest to save quickly, especially if you are living alone.

What I'm trying this month is now that I'm stocked up on the basics, I will only buy fresh produce or lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes etc for the next 30 days. Maybe soy milk, bread, but nothing in cans or instant, quick stuff. And not a minute too soon: At Walmart the other day I discovered that Boca Vegan Burgers (that I'd been eating off and on for 5 years) suddenly jumped from $2.24 per package of 4 to $2.72!

Otherwise, I'm busy with the part-time writing online position and then, late in the afternoon, walking the dogs and biking. We're sweltering here, of course, but this next week promises to bring a horrid heat wave with heat indexes of 105!! Not looking forward to that.

Renters paid the rent Friday afternoon, and now they are busy putting a new wood floor on the back porch. I gave them permission to do it, but didn't knock any off the rent. Apparently someone gave them some really good wood, and they said they'd like to replace the old wood porch. Fine by me. They also have cut down a few dying pines from the backyard, and trimmed the other tree limbs that were getting into the power lines. I have come to believe they just enjoy working around a place, and that is my good luck. Of course, in about 3 years I plan to sell that house and IF they are still there, I will certainly try to help them buy it.

My mother continues to do fairly well, but at her last medical checkup tests showed her kidney functioning has deteriorated. This has been an off/on problem over the past several years, and she has refused dialysis, so I guess time will tell. I planned to visit today, but decided I'll wait until Tuesday when my sister will be here and go with her.

Rambo and Oscar are thriving, and happy to have me home with them! I would say they are spoiled, but the truth is, they are well-behaved dogs. True, they get plenty of love and affection, but now they've been with me so long we've all learned routines, etc. And they understand "No!" and "Stop!"

My three kitties are doing okay, though Princess sleeps most of the time. She's going on 14 years old, and that's to be expected. I'm not the sure mite problem is completely gone either, and occasionally they shake their heads, etc. I am using Revolution, plus an ear cleaning solution about once a week on their ears. Eventually I may have to take one to the vet, but last time, all she recommended was Revolution.

With that, I'm outta here for today.

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