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New meals goal and other ramblings

July 22nd, 2017 at 07:49 pm

We are halfway through our crazy week, and AS and I decided to skip the fireworks tonight. The kids didn't even know they were happening; I must have sensed I might not be in the mood, so I didn't tell them our plans. NT's work decided not to host a viewing party this year, and the thought of finding a place out in the crowds was uuuggghhh. NT is at a show tonight so it would've been me and AS. And they don't start till 10 so the kids would have another late night. They've had two recently (last Friday for a sleepover and Wednesday for the Torchlight parade), so we figure that's enough for now. So AS and I are having a quiet night at home and I must say it feels like a FABulous decision. Smile

So our crazy week started Wednesday. The pre-parade kids' festival was awesome (SL had her first pony ride!). I spent less than $20 for game tickets and snacks. The parade was great; the kids were really into the lights and the fancy pageant floats and the music. We saw dark clouds gathering and left a few minutes before the end. Had to walk a ways to get a bus because they'd been diverted for the parade. Got the bus and the heavens opened while we were on it. So we only had to endure a one-block mad dash in the rain, and AS had thought to bring raincoats for the kids, so it wasn't too bad. But it was almost 11pm, so a late night for them!

Oh, and AS brought our dinner: pizza pockets made with Pillsbury crescent dough. They were yummy and we'd definitely have them again! So that's 32 meals tried, 18 to go.

Thursday my work party was tons of fun. Lawn bowling, talking to people about stuff other than whatever we're working on, delicious drinks and OK snacks. Oh, and the morning of that day, I decided to finally broach the subject with my boss of wanting some kind of advancement in my career! She seemed on board though she's newish and doesn't know how that all works; we'll be talking to HER boss (who used to be my boss and is wonderful) soon, I hope. So fingers crossed! I had a great time chatting with him at the party (I didn't bring up the promotion thing), and he opened up and showed me photos of a baby he recently fathered for some friends of his, a lesbian couple. So sweet!

Friday our home party was wonderful. About 15 to 20 people as I'd predicted, but spread out (some early attendees left just as others were coming) so it always felt small and mellow. Which is actually what we were in the mood for vs. a loud party, so we had a great time. Tried several new recipes, but none of them were a meal so I won't count any. But we did strawberry-honey-lime-chili popsicles, a lemon basil olive oil cake, a vegan creamy-cheesy buffalo "chicken" (jackfruit) dip, and pea-mushroom-garbanzo flour fritters. Oh, and two punches: one was ginger-rum-tea-lemon and the other was lemon-vodka-basil-cucumber. Everything went over really well. I had the kids make fruit skewers and it kept them busy as well as provided another snack for guests! Smile

I stayed up until about 3am and drank quite a bit, so needless to say I was a bit slow-moving today. I did a grocery order for tomorrow's BBQ, did a bunch of dishes and walked the kids to the library and then to a coffee shop. And that was about it!

Tomorrow is the alumni BBQ event. I'm not expecting a big turnout but I bought enough food in case every RSVP actually does show up. I'm just going to try and relax and have fun even if there's a poor showing.

Monday I'm still planning on seeing the country music act in the park but I no longer have to entertain a client beforehand, so that's good. She's coming in two weeks, when my schedule isn't quite so busy.

Tuesday is my and AS's 20-year dating anniversary, and I got reservations at a very in-demand restaurant. I confirmed they would be able to accommodate a vegan even though there's nothing vegan on the menu. Sometimes those are the best meals, when the chef gets creative just for you!

Nothing on Wednesday, but the following weeks are pretty eventful too: AS has a happy hour Thursday, we have playdates with different families on Friday, Sunday and possibly Saturday too. Then AS and I have a concert Sunday night (the 30th), and the very next day she leaves for Tahoe for 10 days! She gets back in early August and is home for 2 days before we leave for Va.! Then it's a couple weeks of school starts (SL starts kindergarten!), Labor day weekend, and State Fair (which is an all-day event that we like to do twice). A few uneventful days after all that, then NT heads to England for 11 days in September.

Whew! Anyway, back to this current week.

In light of the crazy schedule, I did something we probably haven't done in over 10 years (except when we're on vacation): We didn't plan a meals menu! We didn't even come up with potential meals. I made sure we had rice and pasta and bread and canned tomatoes on hand, and we have tons of CSA veggies plus extras we bought for Friday's and Sunday's parties. It's a lot of veggies so I hope we can get through them all without a plan and without letting any spoil!

Spending for the two parties was pretty high: Nearly $300 for the Friday party and $122 for the Sunday one. We did stock up on booze and will have quite a few leftovers. It would be lovely if we could eat through our pantry for a week or two and contribute our grocery budget to mitigating our shared spending budget, but we'll have to see how it goes! At least the second amount counts as a charitable contribution on my tax return.

So our shared spending deficit is pretty dismal now. I see several factors that are going to make it a while before we're back in the black:

- Our anniversary dinner Tuesday. (I do have some money set aside for it, but I'm expecting to exceed that.)

- Our vacation to Va. in August to visit family, which I've saved zero for and haven't even factored in a rental car expense or hotels. (We might be able to get away with borrowing a car from family and crashing at their houses, but I was hoping to get our own car and at least a couple nights at a hotel because too much sharing with family can get exhausting. We'll see what I feel like in a week or so.)

Things that don't seem too bad:

- NT's trip to England in September. A) he'll be spending time with family and at a wedding, so his expenses shouldn't be too bad. B) we'll just have him take from the UK savings account, which is our EF. It will replenish automatically with rental income, so it's OK if he uses some of it. So that won't affect our shared spending.

- AS's trip to Tahoe in August. All expenses will be paid and/or reimbursed by the college that's bringing her out there, so that won't affect our shared spending either.

Things that may not be a go:

- My niece's wedding in October. I'm just not sure the budget or the paid-vacation amounts I have left will accommodate it.

- A warm weather vacation after Christmas or after New Year. This is an idle idea that's come up a time or two with NT and with the kids. (Can't remember if AS has been part of those chats.) It would be awesome but it will really depend on how we make up our shared spending deficit once the anniversary dinner and Va. trip are done and fully accounted for.

OK, I think I've rambled enough!

4 Responses to “New meals goal and other ramblings”

  1. Carol Says:

    Wow, you have been busy! Made me breathless just to read it. How fun!
    I'm sure you will, but you can make a meal plan now, knowing what you have to work with. At the very least, I like to make a list for myself of all the veggies, so I don't forget any. (and try to remember to look at it during the week)

  2. rob62521 Says:

    OK, I'm tired just reading about how busy you are and will be. Hope the anniversary dinner is fabulous!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Thanks for the great suggestion, Carol! Last night I wrote out a big list of fruits, veggies, and other perishable staples we have. It makes it much easier, since the fridge is so crammed you can't see everything that's in there. When packing my lunch this morning, I deliberately chose two things I could use up so that I could have the satisfaction of crossing them off. Big Grin And it made it easier to look at the list and say, OK, here's something easy we could fix for the kids this night, and here's what we could do another night. So we don't have a written menu but we do have some ideas that will help use up some of the stuff. And as the list shrinks a bit and we use up the obvious things, I can start getting creative on ways to use the more stubborn stuff.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Wow - lots going on!

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