Dewey's Daily Dealing's

Personal Opinions, Backpacking, Simple living, and Life in general.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Progress

I got quite a bit done, but...... If you can figure out how I managed to get my sidebar on the bottom of my page, I'd appreciate the help. Good night!
New Template

Oops..... I just changed my template, and republished. I guess I'll need to get to work on a few changes.
Computer Problems

It's been so long since my last post, and Blogger has changed things up quite a bit. Very Nice!

I'm currently using an old laptop from work to write this with. My super duper high speed and fancy computer is down and out. I'll not mention the brand just yet, in hopes that they will pull through and actually fix the thing. I've been waiting for almost two months now (including attempts at phone support and shipping it out once). A work order has been generated to ship it back to them one more time.

It's been a great summer so far. Going by far too quickly though. In a couple of months, the weather will cool down again, and soon after that the weather will once again force me indoors. That's when my time on the computer climbs.

The garden is doing very well. Tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, and peppers are abundant. The peas and beans did well. I'm already planning to expand the garden next year.

Far too much has happened over the past couple of months to recap, so I'll just pick up where I left off. I'm heading off to Akron Ohio in the morning. The weather should be good for driving. I'll be back home Saturday evening.


Sunday, May 30, 2004

That's Entertainment

We are surrounded by an incredible array of entertainment. TV, sports, movies, books, magazines, computer games, internet, and more. How many forms of entertainment sucked you into its grasp today? I'm making an attempt to scale back on the amount of time I give to pure entertainment. Not easy. Just yesterday, I decided to read a bit from Michael Crichton's book "Prey". As a hockey fan, I decided to rent the movie about the 1980 Olympic Hockey team, "miracle", and I noticed the 3rd game of the Stanley cup was on (U.S. vs Canada), and while I went to rent Miracle, I noticed the Matrix movie is out on DVD now. Many hours will shift to these entertainments. What's so bad about spending several hours engrossed in a book, a hockey game, and a movie or two?

What could I do with that time? First, I could get to sleep at a decent hour. Then I could spend some time on project around the house and yard that needs done. I could write a letter to my Grandparents, I could spend some time with my kids.

See what I mean? I know I can't live in a bubble, and I know there will always be a desire to be entertained, but it is important to pay attention to what entertainment is drawing me in, and what it is pulling me away from, and asking myself if this is something I really want to let happen. That's entertainment.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sabbatical Is Over

Sorry for the lack of posting over the past couple of weeks. I was on an unscheduled sabbatical of sorts. Though I didn't head off to a secluded monastery, I did spend most of my evenings in the garden, reflecting. (I left my camera at work, so I'll have to get some pictures of the garden posted in a day or two. Everything is doing well!)

I'll be 40 in September, and I think it is good to reflect on life up to this point. All in all, things are going well. Over the past several months, I've made some decisions to scale back a little.

Simple is better. I find the quest for more stuff to be very unappealing. I certainly have been guilty of buying more and more stuff, buying my way out of (and into) problems, buying things because, "I deserve them." No more.

These past couple of weeks, I've been going to bed earlier, keeping the radio off while I'm driving, watching only a few hours of TV a week (if that). I'm spending more time building relationships, listening more than I talk (this is a tough one), and arguing as little as possible.

I watch how I spend my money, turn off electrical things when they aren't being used, and drive as little as possible. I've sold several books that I won't read again (on half.com), gave some stuff to the rescue mission, and have several more boxes packed and ready to sell or give away.

In scaling back, I wasn't sure if I'd blog anymore. Everything I do, needs to add value in some way. Either to me or to someone else. I don't know if I'll write an entry every day, yet I have decided to continue my blog. I enjoy reading blogs, and I DO find them inspirational. Everybody has something unique to offer, and I enjoy reading how different people approach their day. Though I may never meet you face to face, I do appreciate a glimpse into your world. Hope the feeling is mutual.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Food Shopping Secret's

A few days ago, I shared that as a family of six, we spend around $100 for two weeks of food (and most of our household items like toilet paper, dish soap, etc.)

In the comments section, Mag asked, "What's your secret?"

Not really a secret, more of a strategy. Here are some of the basics.

  • Create a meal plan using basic ingredients.

  • Create a list based on a meal plan.

  • Buy what you have on the list and nothing more! Retailers are EXPERTS at getting you to make impulse purchases!

  • Be flexible. If there is a sale on an item (especially seasonal produce) substitute that into the meal plan.

  • Don't use convenience foods, make things from scratch.

  • Be willing to use store brands. Name brands do not always mean better.

  • Know how to shop. Pay attention to unit prices, a good deal is not always a good deal!

  • Don't eat out.

  • Don't cook more food than you can eat. If you do cook more than you need at one meal, save the leftovers for lunches and use the leftovers quickly instead of letting them grow in the fridge! If you aren't going to use them quickly, put them in the freezer and include them on the next meal plan.


These are just a few of the strategies we use. This year, I'm trying my hand at vegetable gardening in hopes of adding quality ingredients at a lower cost. A fantastic site to visit for inspiration in this endeavor is Path To Freedom.

If your looking for a great book to help you save money on food (and much more), you will want to get your hands on a copy of The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. She also put out The Tightwad Gazette II & III.

If you are interested in cutting your food expenses, start by keeping track of what you really spend on food. This includes your grocery bills, stopping for a cup of coffee, grabbing a gallon of milk at a convenience store, eating at a restaurant. Everything! You may be shocked by how much you spend. Then try a couple of strategies that you think might work for you. Take it one step at a time.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Back in Town

I've got some catching up to do. As soon as I got home, I headed out to the garden to see how things are coming along. All the Peas are sprouting, as well as onions, carrots, lettuce, beets, spinach, marigolds, endive, and radish's. I planted more carrots, onions, spinach, and radish's. I also planted a flower called Nasturtium.

Once I had everything planted, I sat down to take a break. As I leave the garden, there are a couple of Robins that typically fly in to see if I stirred up any critters for them. Tonight was no exception. They flew in and grabbed what they could find. One of the Robins was a bit to rambunctious in the newly planted section, so I scared him off to see what he was after. I thought he might dig up my newly planted seeds. Wrong! When I got to the garden, I discovered what had his attention. It was a brown Beetle, about the size of a Japanese Beetle. I guess I'll leave the Robin alone next time.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Out of Town

I'm packing my bags again! I'll be heading north to Watertown tomorrow afternoon, and won't be back until Friday night. See you soon...

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Escape!

Click for larger image
Our escape is not a question of whether or not it will happen, it is really just a matter of time.
"The Gray Kitty"


These four little guys are building up skills they hope to put to good use. It is just a matter of time....