Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Monday

It is still storming like crazy.

It has been storming for most of the weekend and the past week.

Needless to say, I am pretty tired of thunder and lightning. I guess I can't bitch too much about the rain since it is taking care of my flowers. Too bad I haven't got a veggie garden planted yet since this rain would really be great.

I spent a wee bit more in gas this weekend than I had planned, but I had to go to Stillwater for my niece's baby shower. The burning of gas was unavoidable. I will spend the rest of the week making up for the extra spending on food ($20) and gas (approx $30). I did find a couple books at a thrift store for a total of $2 and bought something to read at Mom's house ($15), but nothing too over the top. I was going to do a little more thrift shop hopping but decided that I'd abstain. I don't need more. Stillwater is a college town, so this is the month that a lot of students go home. As a result, there is usually a lot of really neat stuff left on the curb. My mom's neighbor left a chair on the curb that just begged to be refinished and fixed. It has a lot of potential and won't be too hard to bring back to functional status. There was a cushion that had to be tossed, and that cushion was supported, at some point in the past, by straps that provided the bottom support. Those straps were attached to the sides by a 3" lip. Instead of replacing the strapping, I am just going to get a piece of plywood cut to fit that area and wrap it with fabric before I set it in the base. PERFECT! I will make thick cushions for the bottom and the back. All of this will come together after I strip the chair and stain it a rich golden maple. It will be the perfect chair to sit and knit in the bedroom.

I did amuse myself by working on the mate to a sock I have on the needles. I have been trying to watch my spending this month on yarn or anything knitting related--until I make a dent in the stash I already have. I have done reasonably well in that arena, but I did blow it last week when I bought 3 balls of yarn. I'll work a little harder on keeping yarn buying in check.

Tomorrow I am going to do some baking once I get home for the evening. The goal this week is to cook from what we have without buying any more groceries. I want to challenge myself and be creative. We have done better with actually using leftovers, so that is saving a little green...

Going to Stillwater made me pause and reflect on what blessings I have here in Wichita. We have a wonderful house in a nice town. There are plenty of things to do here and always something to see. I need to make sure I pull back from things that cost cash and start focusing more on entertaining at home. When I was in college, my roommates and I always had people over for impromptu get-togethers. I am getting my house together so we can have dinners or brunch get-togethers with friends, or movie nights. That will also allow me to try out new recipes from my huge collection of cookbooks.

Spending for the weekend trip:
$60 gas (there is still some left in the tank for the remainder of the week, so that a TOTAL amount)

$20 Eating out in Stillwater

$17.50 reading materials

$20 WalMart--(I bought niece some milk and pop, plus some snack/breakfast stuff for me)

total : $117.50

Definitely more than would be ideal. I'll have to budget very carefully this week and for the rest of the month since I am going to Kansas City with a friend to take cooking classes the first week of June. I am really looking forward to taking these classes. I LOVE creme puff and eclairs. One of the classes is a class on making these and cheese puffs using the pate choux dough. This should translate wonderfully into my entertaining schemes..

On the vacation front, we are focusing on mini trips and destinations close to home this year due to the gas prices. I think a lot of people are doing this. I am going to purchase the "Off the Beaten Path" book for Kansas. There is a series of these books which cover most, if not all, the states in the U.S..It has quirky places to visit throughout the state. I have the old one, I need to get the updated version. What are you doing to cut costs?

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