Fall Friday Feeling

It’s Friday the 13th but I’m feeling pretty lucky and in a good mood. Maybe because the Eagles won last night. Maybe because it feels like fall, finally. The house is quiet and peaceful, the windows are open. I had a nice walk of a few blocks up to the mailbox this morning, and also dropped off some blankets to my friend C., who is taking a bunch of stuff to an animal shelter. I got the lowdown on some real estate happenings in the neighborhood, and am happy to see that the market seems pretty up. I’m thinking of having a little shindig soon, if the weather cooperates — because it will have to be outside, not inside where everything is a mess because of the painting.

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Speaking of painting, it’s still dragging on. I’m doing the dining room trim this week, and trim is such a bitch. All the different surfaces. The drips! Must catch the drips. Blah. But I’m so close to being done in there.

I took a lap around the garden earlier, and it felt like I hadn’t done that in forever. A new little batch of green beans is almost ready. I keep collecting a few tomatoes every couple days, and need to make more sauce. The runner beans are dried up and done. When the sunflower heads finish drying up, I’ll harvest those seeds and try to make a snack out of them. Still eating the basil. And the one lone pepper is starting to ripen.

The powdery mildew did indeed kill all the pumpkin plants, but I still ended up with not one but two decorative gourds. The half-grown Cinderella pumpkin, which I thought would make a nice decoration as well, turned out to be big-time rotting on the bottom. Boo!

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Last week, I returned the groundhog trap that I never used to Ace Hardware, got a store credit, and used it to buy painting supplies. I also used a $10-off coupon that was mailed to me, so I spent no money out of pocket. The cashier (owner?) gave me the eentsiest bit of pushback, saying that he already had ordered more traps and didn’t need this one. But hey, it’s a metal cage, it isn’t going to go bad or go out of style, so… please.

We got our annual report from the company, Sunnova, that we lease our solar panels from. Because they slightly overestimated what our kilowatt hours (kWh) would be, we are getting a $95 credit on our bill. Woo! The actual number of kWh turned out to be around 9,300. Pretty cool. I know by our PSE&G bill that we still used more electricity than that, but at least most of it is now solar.

I have a new mental trick for trying to reduce electricity use. Every time I put on a light or fan or the AC (in this hot autumn), I ask myself if I’d be willing to ride a bike to create the power for that use, the way some off-grid people have to. And that makes me stop and rethink it. Because exercise is that abhorrent to me. Ha! But seriously, it makes me stop and think about the fact that I will paying for that energy come the end of the month. Case in point, I’ve stopped automatically putting the light on in the bathroom when I shower during the day. Sometimes it’s kind of dim in there, but the light is not really necessary.

I also think I might remove the light bulb from the overhead light in the powder room. Because NO ONE ever turns it off when they are done in there. So they can either start learning to turn it off, or pee in the dark. (Most likely they would just start peeing with the door open.)

Last weekend I sold some reusable grocery bags that clip into your cart, as well as a kids’ telescope that we never really used. $20 total. Note to self, I need to remember that Saturday and Sunday evenings are the best times to list stuff. This week I’ve been unloading all the Isagenix (weight loss system) that my foolish optimistic husband bought over the summer and then never used. It’s good, I need the money, but I certainly wish that he had never bought it in the first place. I’ve had about four different takers for that so far.

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Dinners and lunches have been very basic and thrifty. Things like leftover black olives are making it into the kids’ lunches. Chicken nuggets, egg noodles, spaghetti with freezer gravy, canned peaches. I did my grocery shopping at Shop Rite this week to get a little more bang for my buck. My mom brought over some nice strawberries and some pumpkin scones. Last night we ordered pizza to support a school fundraiser and the leftovers will be dinner tonight!

Last Friday, I made homemade fried rice and some frozen potstickers and it was the best thing ever. The kids were out with my husband. I felt like a real cook, with the wok all hot and sizzling.

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As mentioned in my last post, I made banana bread, but I still have more bananas left, plus frozen zucchini and cauliflower rice that I need to use up.

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Last weekend, we went to my little nephew’s first birthday party and brought along a handmade card and some of our favorite books that we have outgrown (mom requested no gifts). I hit the Sunday farmers’ market before going and bought a little sweet treat to bring along, plus some sweet potatoes and a pumpkin. The apples were a little too bruised for me.

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This weekend: soccer games; painting; a fashion show for charity, with mom; a birthday party. Tonight: a Halloween-themed fundraiser at another school in town.

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I was talking to someone on the phone just now that I hadn’t seen in a while and she asked me how things were. “Oh you know, busy, busy, lots of soccer and playdates, that kind of thing.” “Oh, all good stuff, then,” she said. Yep, all good stuff.

Ding-dong! Someone’s at my door to buy more Isagenix. Have a great weekend!

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