Sunday, November 24, 2013

The First Week

Things have been going great! I think I am going to love my new job. It's very challenging and there is SO MUCH to learn, but it's all right up my alley. I'm very excited for this new adventure and to help youth learn to lead a better life. We were granted Thanksgiving and the day after off, so it's going to be a short week this week. You can't beat that!

I get so exhausted working all day. My days start by waking up at 5:30, showering, making my fatty, cheesy omelette, and getting coffee started. I then have an hour commute to work. I work until 5 when I take my hour lunch, and so I don't get home until a little after 6pm. I like to make supper, so then I'll get things together from my meal plan that I created. By the time supper is cleaned up, I have about an hour to relax before I go to bed. It's an early bedtime for me with waking up at 5:30. I try to get to bed by 9:30 at the absolute latest.

So this is what it's like to lead a normal schedule and life! I like the routine because I am eating better and I have been taking all my doses of vitamins without forgetting! This is a major accomplishment! I've dropped 4 pounds of my regain in a week. I eat low carb during the morning/day to avoid tummy upset while at work, but when I get home, I'll eat more. I find it easier to control my eating when I don't cut out carbohydrates completely. So I eat what I want, just on a different schedule AND I've lost weight!

I'm very new at this meal planning business. I'm trying to learn the art of meal planning to save money and to eat healthy. We have a lot of junk to eat up in this house (such as Knorr Pasta Sides, Hamburger Helper, etc). I want to be able to move completely away from convenience foods and eat more whole foods. Some people say that they don't have the time to eat healthy, but there are tricks I've learned to save time. For example, last night I make biscuits with supper. I cut out about 30 biscuits, baked 10 of them, and froze the rest. The next time we want biscuits, we just have to pull a few out of the freezer and put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Ouila! There's no measuring ingredients, cutting in butter, etc, etc. The hard work is already done. I've created my own convenience foods! Like I said in a previous post, biscuits are expensive when you buy the ready to bake, canned ones. Mine cost just pennies per biscuit when made from scratch.

We had a sewer back up last weekend. That was rather unpleasant. Since the house had been empty for nearly three years and the sewer not being used, roots from all of our trees grew through the clay tiles in the piping and caused it to block up. The plumber let me look at the video camera as he went into our sewer. It was really neat and he got everything all cleaned up now. The downside to it, is that the roots will grow back and he estimated that we will need another pipe cleaning in 3-5 years. Drain-o and other such products don't actually help with the roots because while it's being flushed through the drains, it doesn't have time to sit on the roots to do much root killing. It's just another one of those expenses to home ownership.

We got DirectTV this week, and it is SO nice to be able to watch TV again! I haven't had a TV in over 3 years because I'm a tightwad and didn't want to pay for it.

Baking and making chili are in my plans for this chilly Sunday. I'm dreaming up some ideas to make some apple turnovers or apple crisp and I want to make some Thanksgiving cut-out cookies if I ever get off this couch.

All settled in! :) 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Big Move

It finally happened! I'm here for good.

It was SO hard saying goodbye to my coworkers. It was awkward saying goodbye to some because I was about to burst into tears so I gave hugs and turned away, drinking my coffee...trying to hold it together. I couldn't stop crying when I said goodbye to my fellow housekeepers, favorite cook, and supervisor. I still randomly tear up thinking about it. It's extremely difficult knowing that I won't see some of my coworkers ever again.

The move was uneventful. I got to Browns Valley in 5 hours or so. It was about 25 degrees in Duluth when I left, and it was 65 when I got home. That was a nice change! I got everything unpacked and relaxed.

I sold some antique nails that we found in our basement to someone in town. I still have a bunch of vintage items that I would like to get rid of. I foresee a garage sale in our future.

On Thursday, I kidnapped my grandma and met my aunt at the Wedding Shoppe to buy my wedding gown. I got it for 40% off. We also went to lunch and shopping. On my way home, I picked up a little table and chair set for our kitchen that I bought at an online auction. Our kitchen looks pretty complete now.

I'm on the hunt for more furniture for my sewing room and would like to find a small hutch for the dining room.

We have yet another problem with the house. We had water backed up in the basement when I washed clothes or showered. Eric's dad brought someone over to look at it this morning and we have a backed up sewer main. There's toilet paper and sewage in the basement, so now we have to deal with that. I hate not being able to use my bathroom. A plumber from Watertown is coming today to try to fix it.

My cats are settling in just fine. I think they are very happy with all of the space. I am too! They don't track litter all over the house because the litter boxes are down in the basement, and the litter granules fall off their feet as they run back up the stairs. Sometimes I can't find them during the day, probably because they are hiding in some neat new places.

I'm feeling pretty anxious about starting my new job. I am putting myself under so much pressure to do a great job. I hope I make it through the probationary period, so I can be a long-term employee for the State of South Dakota.

I plan on doing some baking this weekend. We have next to zero freezer space, so I want to use up some pumpkin to free up space. We have three freezers down stairs, and not one of them works. I'm giving one of them another try and plugged it in. I'll check on it soon and see how cold it is. We desperately need freezer space for all of my baking, cooking, and food. I want to buy a bunch of ham when it goes on sale for the holidays. We could eat it all year long. Hamburger was on sale for $2.39 per pound. I bought 10 pounds of it. That's pretty cheap for hamburger out in this area. Cheese had amazing prices yesterday too! It was $3.00 per pound, so I bought 5 pounds of it. Cream cheese was .99 per pound- got 4 of  those.

I'm grateful for our huge pantry downstairs, even though it has an inch of water in it right now (ugh! stupid sewer!) I love that I can put anything extra down there to save space in our tiny cupboards upstairs.

Today, I'm going to research how to build a compost pile and try to tear out the vines in the garden today since it's still nice out. I have a ton of raking to do as well. It should be a busy weekend. :)

Arnold is the biggest cuddle bug.

Arnold decided to help me search for recipes. :)