Slow Burn

Here we are at the end of September October beginning of November. I don’t remember what all happened at the end of the summer except it rained a lot and I had an eye infection for two weeks and my son hurt his knee, to the point that he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Also, I guess it was hot or humid because my electric bill was 43% higher than last August’s bill.

We put our house on the market a few weeks ago. I am sort of excited because I’ve wanted to move for so long, but also of course terribly sad about it. It’s hard to imagine anywhere else being home. Part of the reason that I haven’t blogged lately is that I’ve been decluttering, hiding clutter, packing and cleaning. We’ll see what happens but most likely we will be moving sometime in the next few months.

I had jotted down a few frugal things from August:

  • Found cleats for Aidan at Play It Again Sports for $2 (after trading in a few old pairs). Of course these are moot now, with his injury.
  • Completed school shopping without spending too much money, via “shopping” the house first, comparison shopping and using eBates and coupon codes.
  • Got a giant bag of premium dry cat food at Acme for $5, on clearance.
  • Paid $5 per person to see a Tuesday night movie by signing up for some movie club (just giving my email address)
  • Been using my homegrown lettuce, cilantro, basil and parsley pretty regularly.
  • Had a relatively frugal birthday party for Gemma here at home, with water balloons, piñata, homemade cake, etc.
  • Discovered some unused gift cards in a drawer (Amazon, restaurants, stores) as well as a $100 savings bond from 1991 (when I graduated from 8th grade). Cashed it in and got about $183. Thank you, relative who gave it to me!
  • Ran into a situation where at long last I thought I was going to have to break down and buy checks, but discovered a workaround.
  • Printed out a form to return Gemma’s Jansport backpack for a free repair of its zipper (but have yet to actually send it).


The past few weeks I have fallen off the wagon and have been stopping at Wawa and other convenient places multiple times a week for coffee, lunches and dinner. I was getting annoyed with myself so I went grocery shopping today directly after work to stock up and so that we could have a good dinner tonight (salsa chicken in the Crockpot on corn tortillas with lettuce, avocado, cheese and a drizzle of lime juice; leftover black beans from the other night; some mac and cheese to please the kids). I also brought a sandwich and snack to work today.

Last night I finally made it into McFarlan’s, the new small grocery store downtown. I had a whiny kid with me so I made it quick, but the selection looked good and included lots of organic stuff and prepared foods. And amazing-looking desserts. If I lived within walking distance it’d be even better. (Who knows, perhaps we will end up on that side of town?) I did buy bread and cat litter.

That reminds me that I recently came across a new winter CSA to try. It’s called Philly Food Works. Things have just been so busy lately with my son’s surgery, his physical therapy, helping him catch up on missed schoolwork, etc. Not to mention Halloween. I have just three more Saturdays at the farm. Maybe after that I’ll have some time to get back to some of the things I want to do as far as food and cooking (and gardening). I enjoy the farm so much but it’s a long drive and I am whupped when I get home. Sometimes truly paralyzed.

Last Sunday made me start to feel a little caught up. Gemma and I went food shopping early, then went to Goodwill for the first time in forever. She and I had a lot of fun marveling over the wonders there and came away with a sled, snow boots for her, some clothes for her including the final piece of her Halloween costume, and a “grow herbs indoors” kit for me, among other things. Back home, I made meatballs and gravy. Later in the day I took all of the kids to Ross, where Aidan got some much-needed pants (there was nothing for him at Goodwill). And everyone got socks. (Then we went to Five Below where they blew some of their own money on crap, then we met my husband and we went out to eat.)

Well, I will try to get back to blogging weekly. I’ve missed it. I know next week will be busy with physical therapy, a PTA meeting, ELECTION DAY and more. There are some other potential changes on the horizon besides the move. It’s a little hard to get back in my nonconsumer groove right now with all the uncertainty, but I’ll have to do the best I can. There’s always craziness and uncertainty and things that need to be done first. Everything might drag on forever or it may happen all of a sudden, but I must do my thing.

I’m alright with a slow burn
Taking my time, let the world turn
I’m gonna do it my way, it’ll be alright
If we burn it down and it takes all night
It’s a slow burn, yeah

— “Slow Burn,” Kasey Musgraves

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