Sunday, July 25, 2010

going... going... gone!

The suburban sold today - hooray! It's out of the driveway and on it's way to a new home on a deer lease! Andrew also traded out the Trek bicycle today for some "manly" type toys (stuff for hunting... boys will be boys and all that jazz, eh?). Now to see about selling the Cannnondale bicycle for actual money. That would be a happy thing! LOL

I did some grocery shopping this morning - love the new update on the Grocery IQ app on my iPhone. I hadn't used it in ages, but decided to try it again today, and am absolutely thrilled that you can scan the grocery items in, add the price for the store that you're in, and it keeps track of your grocery total as you go. An absolutely wonderful app for keeping within your grocery budget. I will definitely be putting it to use more often now that they've made it easier to you. (It also means that I can scan items as we use them, and it'll automatically add it ot the grocery list - how cool is THAT?). Definite kudos to the creators of the Grocery IQ app for the updates. It's a happy thing!

There aren't very many good coupons in todays paper, unfortunately... there didn't seem to be much in the way of good sales, either. I did see that Kohl's has Fiesta Ware on sale, though. I'm thinking that maybe next year if I get one place setting per month and tuck it away, then I'll have a 12 place setting set by Christmas. That would be a neat gift for our house.

The kids are getting somewhat annoyed with me - I've already started harassing them about what they want for Christmas this year. Don't they understand that I've only got a few more months to get all of the shopping done? It's creeping up on me! Normally I at least have a plan by April, but it's almost August, and I'm not even out of the starting block! Yikes!

We did pick up the new bull from the butcher the other day, and the gentleman commented that it was VERY tender, and that we'd definitely enjoy it. I took some round steak out of the freezer to cook for lunch tomorrow, so I'll definitely have to give a report on how yummy it is. If the guy who butchers animals for a living says it's good meat, it's gotta REALLY be good, right?

We did head down to the Westheimer area yesterday. There was a nifty Vegan restaurant that we checked out with a friend of ours... it's called The Loving Hut - and while not everything was great, the Golden Vermicelli was absolutely delightful. Whoever brings in their Carrot Cake has a good recipe, too. It was very yummy! (The Wonton Harmony was definitely NOT a highlight dish, in our opinion... the insides of the wontons were very pasty, and texturally unappealing ).

I was glad to have a chance to pop into Whole Foods Market while I was in the area, too. I don't make it there more than once every other year or so... the drive is just killer, and traffic in that area can be a real booger, too. I was able to pick up some all-purpose gluten free flour to try out a pizza crust recipe. I also  picked up some agave syrup, and chaste berry - both items that have been on my list but hadn't purchased.

I was able to get some crocheting done on the road today, and we began listening to a new audio book - The Quickie by James Patterson. We're a little over halfway through with it, I think. We finished Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich this past week... I'm always sad when I finish one of her books - they're so much fun to read!

We've been checking out some of the new television shows that are out this summer... The Glades looks interesting, as does Covert Affairs. We're still watching Lie To Me, Leverage, Psych, Eureka, The Closer, Hell's Kitchen, Cake Boss, Burn Notice, and Top Chef. I think we're kind of outgrowing Psych and Eureka, but they're good to record and watch later as a wind down at the end of the day when there's nothing else to watch. Are there any shows that y'all are watching that are good? We'd love to know about  them....

Time to start heading to bed - we're tuckered out tonight! Y'all sleep well!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It never ends...

There is just always something going on around here... a little puppy showed up on our porch a little over a week ago. She appears to be a Brittany Spaniel - an absolute little sweetheart. The poor thing had several puncture wounds, and a huge nasty gash on it's left side just in front of her hip. You could see all the way into her stomach cavity through it. We've been giving her oral antibiotics, as well as dousing the wound with liquid antibiotics from the neighbor. It's almost completely healed up, and she's doing wonderfully! The first couple of days she didn't do much more than just lay around - she definitely didn't get up and walk around much.... You'd never know she had such bad injuries, though. She gets up and runs around, plays tug of war, and chases everything that moves!

Brittani and Zachary are at church camp this week... I'm sure they're both having loads of fun! Hopefully they'll remember to stay out of the lake, and pay attention to the food. During the high school summer camp, several kids cut their feet on metal shards that were in the lake, and apparently the girl in charge of cooking wasn't fully adept at handling cooking for large crowds. The pancakes "tasted funky" and weren't fully cooked, and the burger was raw inside after taking one bite. Victoria's too polite to take food back, so she ate around the edges of the pancake, and ate the burger bun, so that she didn't just go hungry. Vicki always said they were exercising outside in the heat without water to drink, which is REALLY a bad thing.

We're supposed to drive up to Fairfield this weekend, and trade out a bicycle to someone. It's going to be a nice road trip for the two of us. We'll throw in an audio book, get up there early and have breakfast, meet up with Andrew's buddy, and then head home after that. I'm trying to remember where the German restaurant that the parents of one his friends owns. I'd love the opportunity to have lunch there. The people still own their house in Germany, and rented out one of the apartments that they've turned it into when we took our trip back in 2006. It was SUCH a blast! I'd love to have another trip like that one. We had so much fun!

It's our 20th anniversary this year, and I'm hunting for ideas of a frugal trip for the two of us. I'm totally open to ideas... we've discussed going on a cruise, or seeing if the January flights overseas are still cheap. At one point (January 2007) it was less than $250 round trip to Italy - so we could feasibly spend a few days there, rent a car & a room, and come out for around $1000 to $1200, if the airfare can still be found cheap.

I'm going to start the kids back on school work this coming Monday. I think I'm tired of summer. Hurrying into the school year won't bring the cool weather here any sooner, but it means that when the weather DOES get pleasant, we can take a week or two off and go have fun. That's something we don't take the time to do very often as a family.  We did discuss running out to the lake and dunking everyone into the water for an hour or so... the dogs might not like us bailing out, but they'll get over it. Especially the little miss Crystal (the Brittany Spaniel). She REALLY won't like being left alone.

Time for me to start thinking about supper... I'll be back a different day!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Always busy... again and again...

This past Saturday we loaded up some scrap from a friend - there was a small Matco tool box still decent condition mixed in with it that they didn't need/want any more. We also dropped off some wood to one of our friends they have bird sanctuary:Fortuna's Garden ... We left the truck full of the scrap metal when we went around the corner to drop off the car hauler at a different friends house, and had a mattress dropped off there cause the truck is full...We received a voice mail from Ryan across the street wanting to know if we want a free has a broken leg. We tried calling him back multiple times and before giving up... and we finally leave for family night at the bird sanctuary friends house. While we're there, Ryan calls back with the details about the calf. To make a long story short...we go empty the truck and hook up the white flat bed trailer...we would kill calf there and haul it back to butcher it ourselves... The plans changed again at 9:30pm when he called back and stated that the calf can walk to get in a trailer and to bring the livestock trailer Sunday morning to his brothers in Madisonville, so at 9:45pm we are hooking up the livestock trailer... Saturday finally ended....

Sunday morning we woke up at 5:30am. We arrived in Madisonville at 7:30am to get the bull...notice that I didn't say calf.  It is a year and half at least, and very healthy except for the broken ankle.  We manage to get back home by 11:30am, feed/water and tarp over live bull for shade.  It is very alert and hot (tempered and not because of its broken ankle) was a bucking bull calf, that is what the guy was raising it for... a very interesting but different story.  We leave the truck attached to the livestock trailer and go to Ruth's in Friendswood (she has the car hauler already from Sat).  We hook up her van that has a plastic front bumper and it starts to crinkle it...Ed says don't worry about it, we will just pop it back out...ok by us.  They couldn't haul it on another trailer(they tried and it wouldn't fit...even scratched the lower doors and couldn't be driven because at 25mph it wobbles bad.  Andrew & Ed drive in Ruth's pickup towing the van, with Ruth & I following them in my car. We get going on the freeway, and started calling the guys because there's smoke coming from one of the rear wheels of the van that's being towed.  Apparently Ed didn't lower the parking brake all the way...we manage to get it the rest of the way without incident.

It was fairly late in the evening, so we had Ed & Ruth come over to our house for dinner - their new place isn't set up yet for cooking... we had salad, spaghetti with meat sauce, and garlic bread... totally yummy! And after some time spent visiting, we were definitely ready for the day to end...

This morning, Monday, Andrew was up and out the door before 5am to go camp out at the meat processor that we like up in Cleveland. They unloaded the bull and took our processing order... Hooray! I left the house around 8am to get Victoria to Magnolia to help with VBS at church, and arrived home around 9am right behind Andrew. 

On his way home, he saw a mother and daughter trying to change their tire...He says, "I did a u-turn and asked if they need we got out anyway.  They had all the lug nuts off and couldn't figure out the jack...told her to let me help her...twice. She finally moved and let me change it.   She was amazed at how fast and easy I made it look, and I got back on the road for home."

We checked our emails, he had a teleconference meeting, I put together some packages, and we headed over to Ruth's with the now empty livestock trailer (that Andrew pressure-washed clean), and hooked it up  to their pick up  to take back to Friendswood with them for moving boxes, etc out here. We also loaded up the mattress set that we had dropped off at their house on Saturday. They needed to run to the post office, so we had them follow us to Magnolia, I mailed my packages while there... We headed to commerce street to drop off the mattress to someone who had just moved and didn't have a bed, to the grocery store for cat food, then to church to pick up Victoria from VBS. 

Ruth also said she'd have a side-by-side refrigerator for us, since the people buying their house don't want the one that's in it. That has me completely thrilled, because we're working out of a little apartment sized refrigerator for the 7 of us. It's definitely too small for the amount of food we need stored at any given time... and especially too small for when we want to have a watermelon or make a few batches of Jell-O. 

I made simple sandwiches for lunch, and we've had a quiet afternoon getting work done on our consecutive computers... It's nice to have some quiet time occasionally! (And I'd better enjoy it, because the next couple of days are going to get C-R-A-Z-Y!!)