Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 42 & cat videos & #HHM2015 (Happiness Happens Month 2015)

This is just a quick post to share how it’s going with this challenge. Well, although I’m still not making a huge dent in my pantry. My freezer gets a bit emptier, & then I end up putting more stuff in there – like fruit that I want to save for later or food that other people have given me. So the stuff with which I started is getting less, & that’s something.

With my pantry, as I’ve mentioned before, most of the stuff are things that need cooking to consume, & I’ve not been cooking much in the heat we’ve had. Today’s a bit cooler, & so I might whip some stuff up later. I have some ideas for what to do with some of my pantry stuff, & so that’s a good thing. That’s all part of it, & I’m looking forward to trying some of them out.

About a week or two ago, a friend brought me some Chicken Helper Sweet & Sour, which has rice in it, & a package of chicken. So I mixed it up, saving one of the pieces of chicken for later. It was good, & the other piece of chicken was good, too, when I made it with just plain ol’ white rice. Yes, I felt like chicken & rice two days in a row. So what? I can do that. haha

I saved the chicken bones & will use them to make soup. I’m looking forward to that! The first time ever that I’ll make chicken noodle soup. I left enough meat on the bones to have some in there, & I have plenty of egg noodles for the soup. For me, thin egg noodles are THE noodle for chicken noodle soup if homemade noodles aren’t available. Smile

From now on, I plan on sharing my Pantry Challenge update once a week. I’ve not yet decided on which day, but Mondays maybe. We shall see. If there’s something special to report in between, then I’ll have an extra PC post. Smile

Cat videos are THE #1 thing watched online these days, & I proudly admit to being a fan. Only one time have I spent literally hours watching cat videos, & it was worth it. Just pure entertainment & time well wasted, some might say. I do spend time every so often watching cat videos just because, & it’s fun. Cats are so amusing and funny. I have no shame in admitting that Dublin amazes me, with his agility & other things. He can jump much higher than his own height with seemingly no effort at all. Sometimes he looks like he’s just floating up there on an invisible elevator or something. He also knows exactly when I need purr therapy & comfort, & this is shown to be a common cat thing.

Cat videos are popular – no one can deny this – & many people I know love watching them. Even if it’s just to get a quick Maru fix or to catch the latest Simon’s Cat animated short, cat videos are a great way to spend a few minutes – or a whole day – here & there.

Dublin Selfie

OK, so this isn’t a cat video, but it is a picture of Dublin that he
took himself using an app called CatSnaps. In case anyone’s wondering,
I have no idea if they have a dog version.

So, what’s #HHM2015, you might be asking? Well, it’s the 2015 edition of Happiness Happens Month, which happens every year in August. During these 31 days, there will be one challenge a day to increase happiness & to share happiness with the world. It’s a great time & is a lot of fun to be part of. I’ve been a part of it for years, even though I haven’t usually shared what I’ve done. I plan on doing so this year, though, including blog posts about it. I invite each of you to join me & many others in participating this year. Even if you’re not feeing the happy, it’s still good to be part of, & it can’t hurt – it can only help. Smile


A very special day that’s part of Happiness Happy Month every year is Happiness Happens Day, & it’s on 8 August. There’s a beverage for it every year, & last year’s was pink lemonade. I did make my own, & it was very good. This year’s is sparkling lemonade, although you can pick another beverage of your choice if you prefer. Sparkling lemonade sounds really good to me. Smile


So, please join me in #HHM2015 & get your happy on!! You won’t be sorry that you did.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 26 & MFP & some numbers that I found impressive

The following is a comment I added to the status that was automatically generated over on MyFitnessPal, aka MFP for future reference.

This is the 186th day of the year. This means that this is the 26th week & 4 day point of the year. There have also been 132 weekdays & 54 weekend days of this year so far. These numbers are counting today, a Sunday. At 8 AM, it's already 28C - ugh! But, thankfully, I have fans & they help a great deal. I only go outside if I absolutely have to. I mentioned the numbers that I did, about days so far, just because I was curious. With those numbers, it means that there are 36 days of 2015 that I wasn't logging in daily here on MFP. Oh, well! I've been here every day since, & that's a good thing. I've been logging in daily since 6 February 2015, & I plan on keeping on every single day for however long I can. I almost missed logging in yesterday because I got home after 10 PM from work, but I made sure to come, if for no other reason than to NOT miss a day logging in. There's a certain beauty in consistency, even in the small things, & I don't want to spoil that. 20 February 2015 was my last day drinking Coke, & I don't want to ruin that, either. A 135 day streak for that, & I'm keeping on. Yes, I still drink other pop, but it's not the same as Coke. That was a daily thing for me, sometimes multiple times, & I am an addict of it. I don't want to drink it again, even though sometimes I crave it like crazy. Ooh da lolly!! I'm doing well with these things, & I really don't want to blow any good progress that I've made. Part of it's due to the support that some of you here on MFP have given me, & I thank each of you who do that, whether you like & comment on my posts, or whether you just like them - that says as much to me as any comment, & I truly appreciate ALL support here.

MFP is a free website that offers a lot of support for weight loss & weight maintenance & weight gain, if that’s what you need. I really, really like it there. I’ve found it a really great fit for me, & I like it better than SparkPeople, aka SP. I used to be really active on SP, but after a while, I stopped. Even earlier this year I was going every single day, but I started to feel that it was just a place that I had to go to, that I had to drag myself over there. It became a burden to me, & so I stopped going every day. I don’t miss it, to be honest, although I’m keeping my membership there because there are a few blogs there that really mean a lot to me. Also, there are many helpful tools there, but I just don’t want to be going to a website if I feel like I have to drag myself there, if it’s a burden. I know others who feel the same way there, while others absolutely love it. I’m glad that they do. SP is a good site and has been super helpful to a lot of people. I’ve received help & support there myself in the past, too.

MFP, though, is different. Yes, there’s an incentive for me to log in every day – my log in streak. Today is my 150th log-in day on MFP, & I’m very proud of that. I’ve been going there every day, seeing what others have posted, & liking almost everything posted by or on behalf of my MFP friends. If I can’t like a post for whatever reason, (usually because I truly don’t like what’s been posted) then I’ll try to comment with something, even if it’s just some kind of simple sentence of support.

It doesn’t usually take long since not all of my MFP friends are active, but those who are, I feel a certain kinship to them. We’re all there for the same reason – to guard & to look after ourselves. Not everyone has weight to lose, & some are just maintaining it because they’ve either reached those goals or are very close to them. I’ve checked out the forums on MFP a few times, but I don’t find them any great help to me, as a rule. There’re lots of threads that include such stuff like “Would you date the person above you?” or “Give a nickname to the person above you” or other silly things like that. What do things like that have to do with supporting others? Yes, it’s cool that people want to go there & to just have fun, & I certainly appreciate that. But threads like that can do some damage if you get mean people on it, & they’re just plain silly.

Yes, there are forum posts on MFP that’re actually helpful, but sometimes it’s hard to get past the silly ones because they’re the most active many times.

Anyway! What I find the most helpful on MFP are the comments that others leave on my posts, as well as seeing who likes them. Some people just like my posts & never comment on them, but that’s cool. I like that they took the time to like them, even if, like me, it’s because they were going through their entire newsfeed there. They still took the time to do that, & it does show that they care. Some people comment regularly, & I appreciate those, too, of course. It’s this personal aspect that makes me return day after day, along with keeping up my log-in streak.

MFP also has articles that can be of help, & sometimes I’ll read through those. I’ve been an MFP member for a few years, but I didn’t discover the articles or other resources for a long time. It’s not the focus of MFP, although they are good to have. MFP doesn’t have all the bells & whistles of some sites, like SP, but it’s still an excellent place where support can be found. At least this is my own experience.

So, how’s my pantry challenge doing? Well, in the past few days, I’ve eaten very little. Yes, I do make sure that I get some protein every day, but I’ve just been so hot & have been focussing on keeping hydrated. I’ve just not been hungry, & when I’m not hungry, it’s hard to eat, although I do make myself eat something. I don’t know how some people cook in this weather, but some people do. More power to ‘em! Me, though, I just can’t, & often its hard for me to even put a sandwich together. Still, I have to do it, & I do it. I have to remain nourished in spite of whether I actually feel hunger or not.

As I said, I make sure that I get protein in every day, but I also make sure that I still eat a well balanced diet. That’s vital at any time, but I find that, when it’s hardest for me, I have to do it even more. It’s worth it because I’m worth it, even though I deny this to myself often.

So, my pantry emptying is sort of at a standstill, but it will pick up again at some point. When looking through my pantry a short while back, I discovered cans of mandarin oranges & a can of fruit salad. Those require no cooking, & so I can eat those with minimal effort & no heat. So that’s good. Yes, there are some times when it’s hard for me to use a can opener, but I do it.

Some people wonder why I’m so weak these days. It’s all about the heat. I’m one of those people who does best in cooler weather. I just can’t handle the heat like some people can, & 20C/70F is the limit of my comfort level. I can go to about 24C or 25C with a decent amount of energy, but above that, & I start to wilt & to hibernate inside as much as possible. I’ve never been one for the heat – ask my mom! – & I’ve always preferred the cool. It doesn’t take much for me to get overheated or to start sweating, that’s for sure!

One reason I’ve been eating so much fruit is because I’ve been finding it helpful to keeping me a bit cooler & to add hydration to my system. Also, the sweetness from fruit is starting to be what I’m craving as opposed to the sweetness from, well, sweets. Like from candy and chocolate bars & the like. This is a very good thing, & I’m glad about it. I find that I’m craving fruit like never before, & it’s very exciting to me. There’re some fruits that I’ve always loved & would gorge myself on if I allowed it, but it’s never been like the past while, eating it as I have been.

Some people would say that I shouldn’t be eating so much fruit, that I should be focussing on vegetables, & I am eating those, too, but I have a very powerful sweet tooth, & I give in to it more than any other craving, aside from milk. I’m a dairy fiend, even more than my new fruit craving. Right now, though, I find that it’s a good thing for me to have lots of fruit, &, compared to other things that I could eat to satiate my sweet tooth, it’s a whole lot better than what I’d previously eat.

Just another side note – I’m watching the end of today’s Le Tour De France. Congratulations must go out to all those who do this race in the first place. It’s not an easy thing, although this is only Day 2, & things might be considered comparatively easy in the Netherlands, where it’s basically flat. Compared to what’s coming for these men – mountains! – this is a piece of cake. It’s not easy, though, cycling almost every single day in high heat, & it’s a huge honour to be chosen for this annual race. I applaud those who do this, &, being a cycling fan, it’s one of the few sporting events that I love to watch, even if I’m on my own. Part of it’s the scenery, but as a cyclist myself, it’s cool to see & to try & pick up some pointers from them.

Of course me being a woman, there are some things that wouldn’t work quite as well for me as for these men, but many cycling techniques are the same for both genders, & watching anyone cycling inspires me. I’ve not gone bike riding for quite a while, but I plan to start up again when the weather cools off or if I get up early enough one day to beat the earliest heat. Lately, though, it’s been quite warm super early, & sometimes all night. So it might be another long while before I get back on my bike.

Clara’s waiting for me, though, & it’ll be there when I’m ready for her. Yes, I named my bike Clara, after Clara Hughes, one of Canada’s greatest all-time athletes. She’s a personal heroine of mine, both for her cycling & for her mental health campaign. She’s a former Olympic athlete who’s won medals in both speed skating (winter Olympics) & in cycling (summer Olympics). It’s a very rare person who’s done this, & she has. She’s humble & a truly engaging person who cares deeply about mental health since she’s struggled with depression for a long time. So I figured that “Clara” was a good name for my bike since that’s the name of one of Canada’s most famous & accomplished cyclists who’s done a lot aside from her athletic endeavours.

The top 3 for today’s Le Tour leg, in order, are Andre Greipel, Pete Sagan, & Fabiano Cancellara. Congratulations, gentlemen!! Well done!

Tomorrow will find the men vying for King Of The Mountain for the first time in this year’s Le Tour, as they enter Belgium & enter the mountains.

Now a different kind of bike racing, & a women’s race no less!! The World Cup at Lenzerheide, Switzerland – Women Elite XCO – Mountain Biking. Cool!! I love mountain biking, & trail riding is the kind of cycling that appeals to me the most, although being out on the road & barrelling down a long, straight strip….well, that has its appeal, too. Zoooomm!

Well, that’s this post for today. I hope that you enjoyed my thoughts on various things. I know that I’ve not been riding all that much about my actual pantry challenge lately, but there’s not much to write on it at this time. I will try to focus on it a bit more in a upcoming posts, but there’s more to my life than that, although this is a very important challenge to me. It really is! Smile

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 23 & a couple of surprinsgly good realisations

Hey, all! It’s been a few days. Almost a week, actually, & I’ve not really had much to say, if anything. It’s been too hot to do much – at least for me – & I found out last night that even my brother, who loves the heat, could do with a little less of it. So that tells you that it really is too hot & isn’t just in my head.

The heat & I have never been friends. I like to be comfortable, yes, but if I have to choose between being too hot or too cold, I choose the cold every time. I’ve always been that way for as long as I can remember, & Mom confirms this. Heat, I am not a fan of you.

This goes for my food, too. Every so often, I have an urge to torture myself & have food that’s a bit spicier than I like, but it’s worth it. There’s something wonderful about the tastes if something’s not too hot for the flavours to come through, & I do like my food to be flavourful. There’s a great difference, though, between having things spicy just for the sake of the heat than having things full of flavour to add that special something to a dish.

One of my Mom’s friends has a very bland diet. Yesterday Mom made two lasagnes for this friend because she likes Mom’s lasagne. Mom’s a really good cook, and she adds flavour without going overboard on it. With the exception of her occasional batch of chilli or spaghetti sauce, her food is never too spicy. Dad & Allen (my brother) like things on the spicier side, & so they can always add stuff if they like. Mom’s food, though, they do like.

Mom comes from a family of good cooks, and one thing that she taught me that’s key in cooking is to taste what you’re making as you go. That way you – the cook – know how things are & whether anything needs to be added to it before it’s done. I do that as well, & I know that it makes a huge difference.

This friend of Mom’s, who’s paying Mom for those two lasagnes, has very few spices in her cupboard. She also doesn’t taste her food as she cooks it, and she’s obsessed with having absolutely no fat if at all possible in her diet. Well, that’s not good. A diet shouldn’t be a full on fat fest, but it should also not go the other way & lack any kind of fat. Fat helps to add flavour to things, and it also helps with cooking, to help make things moist & just a little bit better.

Now I’m saying that you have to use lard or butter or any other kind of animal-sourced fat if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, but there are other ways to get this stuff into your diet so that your cooking is good and so that you want to eat the food you have. Vegetable oils are great, for example.

This post was not meant to be about adding fat to a diet or anything like that, & I’ve changed my own eating a lot. This summer in the heat, I’ve been eating a lot more fruit. I discovered some canned fruit in my pantry, & a dear friend gave me three jars of apple sauce that she made. So I’m looking forward to having those once the jar of apple sauce I  have in the fridge is done. My fresh fruit comes first, as well, but the fruit that I have in the cupboard is going to be good in a few ideas that I have, especially the cans of Mandarin orange slices. They’ll go well with bananas, methinks.

I found an old thing of iced tea powder, & so I used that up to make a pitcher of iced tea. It’s not finished yet, but it’s great to have it in the fridge. I don’t like making iced tea from actual tea, although I do want to try it with chai. I have a recipe for homemade iced tea using tea bags that I am going to try with some chocolate chai tea bags I bought at the beginning of the year.

So, what’s the surprisingly good realisations? Well! Read on, & all shall be revealed. haha

On Sunday, I went to put on one of my favourite skirts, which had been snug a few weeks ago. On that morning, though, it wasn’t! I didn’t have to suck in my gut to wear it, & the same thing with my denim knee-length skirt on Tuesday. I’m shrinking! I know that eating less & sweating a lot more are key factors in this, as well as not having junk food. I’m just not spending money the same way anymore, & that’s making a huge difference in my waistline. I had a feeling that would happen, but to see actual concrete proof of this, well, now – that just hit me more than anything else probably could.

I’ve not yet weighed myself, but I will on Saturday morning, which is when I usually weigh myself. I’ve not weighed myself for a few weeks, but I will this Saturday. I don’t know if it’ll be a huge weight loss – I’m not expecting it to be – but I know that something will have come off, & every little bit of weight that I lose is better than nothing & brings me that much closer to my weight goal.

Weight loss is not the end-all-be-all of health & fitness, & it’s not, by far, the only measure of health improvement or the like. It is quite telling, though, & is an important tool in gauging how things are going, as is clothing size and fitness level and health. I don’t focus on weight loss like some people do, & it’s not the key factor to me, but it is important, and so I include it.

I do admit that there is something wonderful about seeing the numbers drop & to be able to say that I’ve lost weight. It’s a measurable goal, and sometimes we all need those in order to know how far we’ve come & how we’re doing. The key is to not obsess over weight and to make it the all important thing in life. That’s no way to live, & there’s a lot more to life than that.

It was freeing when I came to see this years ago, & it was amazing when it hit me that not having a lot of money can be quite freeing, too. I’m not saying that I like being poor or that I like being on a lower income. In fact, I’m so thankful that my income’s slowly increasing again. It’s just that, not having the money to spend on all sorts of extra stuff that I need & getting away from that has been so very good for me. I still have to be careful to not overspend if I ever get a bit of extra money, but not having extra money has, surprisingly, released me from having the urge to spend just because I have money. I hope that that carries on with me, but I have a feeling it won’t. Having learnt to do without, though, I hope that I can carry on the discipline with me, & I have four people to whom I’m accountable for my spending. That’s great, too.

Some people view being accountable to others as a real drag, & it can be. I’ve been in situations where it’s been such a burden to have to keep myself accountable to people, but in this case, I’m glad that I have these four people to help me out in this way, and it’s great to know that they care enough to do this for me. It certainly doesn’t free me from having to do whatever I need to do to be responsible, & it is ultimately up to me to watch what I spend & how I spend & to not spend unless I truly need to at this time. Being accountable to these four other women by no means makes me any less accountable to God or to myself. Rather, it does make me feel more free because, if the urge to spend needlessly comes my way, I can honestly say that I can’t do it because I’d be letting those four, as well as myself, down. I can refuse to do that because I know that I’d have to report to those people about it, & I don’t want to have to admit defeat or failure in any way. It’s easy enough to lie to myself or to justify something to myself, even if I know deep down that it went against what I’m trying to do. Having to do the same to someone else, though, just doesn’t work.

So it’s great to have these four wonderful friends help me out by asking me every so often how I’m doing with my spending.

The two realisations, in case I didn’t share them here clear enough in my ramblings, are that, because of my current way of spending, I am losing weight and eating a lot healthier overall & that being accountable to these four good friends is a very good & helpful thing.

The first one, yes, also has to do with my change in eating overall, & it’s well past due for me to make these changes. Back in April, the doctor told me that my thyroid was a bit on the hypothyroid side, & so he told me to make some changes & to have two more blood tests to see if the dietary changes help at all. The first one was in May, & I hadn’t heard from him about that. So I assume that either things were the same or had improved a wee bit. The next blood test will be in October. So we’ll see if the changes have made a good enough difference. If I don’t hear back from him after the next blood test, then I know that what I’ve been doing has made a good difference. Losing weight was part of it, & that’s happening right now.

I’m looking forward to the return of cooler weather so that I can once again start to spend more time outside. I will go out in the earlier part of the day if, like this morning, it’s cool & wonderful for me. The breeze was so sweet to feel!

Well, that’s the post for today. I hope that you enjoyed reading it! Smile

Friday, 26 June 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 17 & a super refreshing frozen treat

Something that should’ve been obvious to me wasn’t until I decided to try it. As I’ve already told you, I’ve been using frozen bananas to make something as smooth & creamy as ice cream, but it doesn’t have any cream or milk unless I decide to add some to the bananas. I’ve always loved bananas, but frozen ones that’re well blended is, to me, one of the best foods in the world. It’s so good & healthy, & you can do whatever you want to it. Basically, what you do to ice cream, you can do to frozen blended bananas. For those who’re on a non-dairy diet of any kind & who can have bananas but miss their ice cream, this is a really good thing.

So, the frozen banana thing has already been a part of my life for a long time. Today, though, I decided to add some other frozen fruit that I had to it.

The other day I went through a thing of strawberries that I had. Some were bad, & so I tossed those. I saved a few to eat that day – with Nutella. Mm! – & froze the rest. Yesterday, Mom sent home a bag of frozen blueberries & a bag of frozen raspberries. So I took some of the frozen strawberries & raspberries & blueberries, & I put them in a bowl to thaw a wee bit. Just enough to make them easier to blend, since my hand blender’s not the most powerful thing but does a great job of making my bananas super smooth. I had to let the bananas I’d taken out of the freezer thaw a wee bit as well.

After a while, I returned & got the bananas super smooth. I could’ve eaten it just like that, but I wanted to add the other fruit. The berries were still quite frozen. I added them to the bananas, &, while the mixture didn’t blend into a super smooth mixture, it’s still wonderful. The chunks of berries adds an extra bit of goodness like ice cream often has.

No sugar or milk or cream or yoghurt or anything else added, & so this is good for almost anyone to eat. I know that some people have allergies to strawberries or bananas, & I’m sure that blueberries & raspberries are also not good for some people. You know what, though? This sort of thing can be adjusted. I don’t know what else would work like bananas to make a smooth & creamy mixture, but if there’s something else, please let me know. I’d love to know, & I know that others would as well.

The great thing about fruit things like this is that you can do anything. You can have any fruit with it, & it’s always refreshing & cool on really hot days. I’m sure that you can come up with a hot version, if you prefer, for winter as well, but I’m in full on summer mode right now – it’s unseasonably hot here. So cold foods are on my mind these days when it comes to food.

I’d love to know what your favourite summer treat is, especially when it comes to fruit & frozen goodness.


Here’s a bit of those frozen goodness.
You can see
scrummy chunks of
strawberries & blueberries
here. Mmmm!!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 15

So, it’s been 15 days since I started this pantry challenge. I don’t really feel any different than before it began, although I do have to say that I am having a bit of fun seeing what I can combine that may not be obvious at first. My homemade pasta salad dressing has always been Miracle Whip with dill & parsley, but recently I added yellow mustard to that, & it was so good that I’ve decided to always add it to my pasta salad, unless I’m following a specific recipe that’s different than my own. This is one example of that. Another is using tomato soup when I’d normally use tomato paste. Well, OK, so this isn’t really all that far off the mark, & tomato soup isn’t nearly as thick as tomato paste, but it works & does the trick. One thing about this challenge, too, is seeing what I can use as substitutions for what I don’t have but need.

I froze some spiral pasta in the freezer very close to the beginning of this challenge, & I took it out this morning to thaw it out. So I mixed up a batch of my dressing to go with it. I’m using chicken as the protein part of it since I have no cheese. Well, I do, but it’s cream cheese, & I don’t want to see how that goes – or not – together. Besides, I like chicken. So it’s all working out.

A treat that I discovered but wasn’t really surprised at is a banana with Nutella. I like both a lot & bananas & chocolate go really well together.

This is a short post today, but I just wanted to drop a quick line. I still have to go through my pantry & freezer & take an inventory of it, but I will. If it’s not too hot this coming weekend, I will. We’re supposed to have a heat wave starting tomorrow – ugh! Summer started early this year & it’s supposed to be a very hot one. I am NOT looking forward to that. The heat doesn’t agree with me. I’ll make it through, though. Thankfully I have lots of fans, &, yes, hydration is high on my list of priorities. I have plenty of fruit & I’ll be making smoothies, which I find are good things to keep hydrated in tasty ways, & they have nutrition as well. Of course the best way to get the nutrition from fruit is to eat them whole & as they are, but it never hurts to have them in smoothies or in other ways. Better than other things that could be eaten.

Well, that’s it for today! Have a good one, y’all! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 22 June 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 13 & a most rude awakening

Have you ever been woken up by a horrible smell? Well, I have twice, & last night was the second of those two times. Last summer was the other time.

It was 3:30 in the morning. The reek was from a skunk, & it was really close. The first thing that I did when I got up & was greeted by Dublin was to pick him up & smell him. He smelled fine – so that I knew that the skunk hadn’t sprayed into our home, thankfully! I came out here & closed one of the two windows I’d had cracked open, I sprayed a Febreeze-like product & it helped pretty well right away. I then remembered the other window that was cracked open, & I shut that.

I returned to bed, but I couldn’t fall back asleep ‘til about 5 or so. Ugh! I had to be up for work, &, needless to say, when I got up, I wasn’t fully awake. Thankfully I had my cold chai latte that I’d put in the freezer last week, & I’d taken it out of the freezer last night. It was thawed enough for me to drink it, & so I brought it along to work with me. It helped me be awake enough for my shift & to drive back here to Agassiz.

When I got home, the place didn’t smell all that good. I’d left the windows closed, but I opened one up wide because, even though it’s warm, it’s cool enough with the breeze that’s been going all day to not get hot in here. There was a faint odour of skunk here yet, but there was also the smell of the stuff in the plastic bucket that I was wanting to put into the compost. Our compost thing is right full, though, & so I can’t fit it in. So I just put it in a black garbage back & put two more over that. Because the smell was here before, it’s lingering. I’ve sprayed room freshener, but it’ll be a while before it goes away, I think.Ugh! I had every fan in my place going, including the bathroom fan & the over-the-stove fan, &, while that all helped, it’s still here. *sigh!*

Oh, well! At least I could air the place out when Dublin went outside today for a while. So I happily left my front door open. I also left the door from my kitchen to the laundry room open as well as the outside laundry room door. That did help as well. I’ll do the same when Dub goes outside tomorrow morning, too. I also have the one window wide open.

In time it’ll go away, but until then, well, yeah, ugh!

It was wonderful to have milk here at home this morning! I’ve not eaten much today since I’m not really hungry, but it’s still good to know that it’s here when I want it.

I saw a container of spiral noodles in the freezer last night, & I was going to take it out of the freezer this morning, but I changed my mind. I’m glad that I did change my mind. So I’m going to have it another day. Maybe tomorrow. It’s just nice to know that it’s there.

I went to the local produce store today & saw bags of overripe bananas for 99 cents each. So I bought a bag & put them on a cookie sheet that I’d lined with wax paper. Then I slid that into the freezer. It’ll be nice to not freeze my fingers on the peels later on when I go to use them. Once they’re truly well & frozen, I’ll stick them into a freezer bag so that they’re ready when I want to use them. One of these days I want to make banana bread, but, for now, I’ll most likely use these for “ice cream.” I’m planning on checking the produce store every time I go in for these bags of bananas from now on – it’s a great deal & a good way to make sure that I have plenty of frozen bananas for various things.

When I was there, I also saw 6-packs of small pizza shells. There was one kind that cost $3-something (almost $4, if I remember correctly) & another that cost just over $2. They were exactly the same. So I bought the lesser priced one. They’re good to have because homemade pizza’s just as good as store bought or the stuff from a restaurant. Better in many ways because I can put just what I want on it. If all I want is cheese – which is quite often – then I can have just cheese. Mm!

I also bought Granny Smith apples & one Ambrosia apple as well as some other bananas just for eating now. There were some good-looking strawberries, & so I snatched up a carton of those. They’re not local ones – the local ones looked too soft & I just want the strawberries to eat raw & now. That’s all right. I did buy a 4 litre jug of milk & a large loaf of bread, which is what I’d planned on getting in the first place. So all’s good!

It feels good to buy bargains if they’re things that I’ll use & not just taking advantage of bargains just because they’re bargains. I don’t think that they’re truly bargains then because, chances are, they’ll just go to waste & not at all used. That’s my experience, anyway.

Well, this is today’s post. Take care & thanks for reading it! Smile

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 12 & a confession

Mmmm!! Milk! It does a body good!

Yesterday, I worked two-four hour shifts for the same client, & I shared meals with him & his family. They offered me a glass of milk with both meals, & with tonight’s supper. I happily accepted, making sure that it was all right. They said that it wasn’t something they usually thought of since they don’t drink milk themselves but, rather, use it for coffee or cereal. They were more than happy to share a glass or two with me. So that was good!

On the way home from work tonight, I stopped at the brand new Esso station on Seabird Island for a carton of milk. Well, the only two sizes they had were 250ml & 500ml. So I bought the last 500 ml carton. 4 litres is about a gallon, to give those of you who use Imperial measurements an idea of this. It’s about 1/8 of a gallon, I guess, since 500ml is half a litre, & a litre is 1/4 or a gallon.

So it’s not much, but it’ll be plenty for a bowl of cereal for tomorrow’s breakfast & a drink later in the day.

A very dear friend blessed me with a financial gift this morning, & this allowed me to put a good amount of gas in my car. I put part of it aside, & this is good. I want to have it for what I need. As I said, I spent part of what I brought with me today on a small carton of milk on the way home. On my way to work is when I picked up gas as well as a treat for someone who’s been very good to me.

I admit to splurging today. Yes, i bought that treat for someone else, but I also treated myself. It wasn’t something that I truly needed, & I did enjoy it, but it goes against what I’m doing with my spending fast. This was the first test of my spending fast, & I do feel bad for having done it. However, I refuse to beat myself up over it. I’m not saying that a treat every now & then is a bad thing; but when I put certain stipulations in place, I shouldn’t go against them. So, because of this, I shouldn’t have bought what I did.

Oh, I could justify it & say that it was a refreshing smoothie on a warm day & that I’ve done really well with the spending fast so far, & so I deserve a little treat. I could say that the little bit I spent isn’t going to break me, & I could also say any other number of things.

The fact is, though, that I didn’t follow through on what I’d set forth for myself, & that’s what I’m upset about. No, me being upset is NOT beating myself up. Rather, it’s realising that, as soon as I had a little bit of extra money, I slipped right back into my old patterns. I don’t feel as if I’ve changed.

BUT, having said that, I chose to forgive myself & to not dwell on it. This is a very new thing for me, this spending fast, & this is the first real test in it. It’s not like I went out & spent a lot of money on something that I would’ve bought before, like some knick knack or something else that I’d never use. I’m using this as a learning experience & to keep it in mind for future reference.

Yes, it was worth it, I guess. A chocolate banana smoothie? Oh, yeah! Mr. Sub makes great smoothies, &, in the future, when I’m not being so strict with myself, I’ll remember this.

As for my pantry challenge, I’ve been really good. I’m enjoying eating what I have already in my house, & I am looking forward to buying regular bread & more milk & some cheese & a few other things on Tuesday when I get paid. I have no fresh fruit, & so I’ll buy plenty of those. My sweet tooth is slowly adjusting to fruit being what it craves, & that is a truly good thing, my friends!

I have to mention something that happened to me when I got home tonight.

I sprayed a Febreeze-like product on the pair of pants that I’d worn to work this evening, &, after I put the bottle away, I walked where I’d sprayed. Well, I didn’t realise that it’d made the floor slippery, &, before I knew it, I was falling, taking a kitchen chair down with me. It ended up behind me, & I was down on my knees. Oh, they hurt!! They hurt so much that I felt sick. I managed to crawl ahead to the rug that goes down my very small hallway & into my bedroom – my bathroom door’s right there, too – & then knelt there a little bit. One of my upstairs neighbours was doing laundry & heard me fall & then heard me say, “Oh, mama mama mama!!” as I often down when I’m in pain. Even at times like this I don’t swear. Well, not conventionally, anyway. Not with words that people usually recognise as swear words. haha

He asked me if I was all right, & I said that I was & told him that I’d just slipped. I thanked him for asking & then that was that. I managed to get myself up & into the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet with my garbage can in front of me in case I had to vomit, but, thankfully, it didn’t. I kept praying for the dizziness to go away, & in a super short period of time, it did as I sat there with my head between my knees. I sat for a bit longer like that just to make sure, & then I sat up.

I’d not yet had a shower after work, & so I did at this time. Oh, that felt good on my knees! After drying myself off & getting dressed, I came out here to the living room, where I iced both knees for about 15 minutes – I have two flexible water bottles that I keep in the freezer for times like these, & so these’re what I use. They stay frozen a really long time, which is good for times like this.

Yes, my knees are still sore & I’m sure that they will be when I get up tomorrow morning. I’ll keep an eye on them & go to the doctor if I need to. I can walk, though, &, aside from being slightly swollen & a tiny bit scraped, they look fine. I do know that sometimes the real injuries show up later. I hope that they heal quickly, though, especially since I need my knees to be good for work. I shall keep you posted on them.

So that’s all I have to say for tonight. It’s just after 11:30 PM, & I have to get up for work in the morning. So I shall bid you all good night, & I hope that you have sweet dreams, whenever you go to sleep next.