31 May 2009

Peek in Our Fridge

I love it when I see the online articles and pictures of what's in who's fridge. We try to guess who the bachelor is, who's the professional chef... Here is a snap shot of our fridge pre-shopping. A little sad but at least our egg bin is full :-)
When we travel our fridge can be barren or when we are super busy it can be loaded with leftover containers! When we are home I do try to stock up with meats a couple of times a month, and I try to get fresh fruits and veggies once a week. It has been three weeks since I last went shopping and we traveled before that so it looks like we got a lot. I am hoping that we can make it at least another two weeks before I do a big shop again!
I did a coupon experiment this week. I made my shopping list like normal, then I spent about twenty minutes online looking to see if there were coupons for any of the items on my list. I was shocked at how many I found. So I printed the coupons from the various sites- http://www.coupons.com was the best I found. You didn't have to give up any info to get the coupons. I also grabbed the doubling coupons from Stop and Shop, and printed a coupon page from Shaws. I still looked to see if the off-brand was less expensive (it was for Sudafed and Dole salad) but otherwise I used the coupons. I spent $97 and $44 ($141) at two different stores. I saved $14.50 at one, and $9.65 with club card discounts at the other. That was a total of $24.15! Just for taking a few minutes to print some silly coupons! Will I do that again? Uuummmmm... Heck Yeah!
Growing up in Utah instilled a good sense of pantry in me. What does that mean, you ask? I stock up on dry and canned goods to last through an emergency and then some! I am not as much of a pack rat as I used to be but I do stock up if they have a sale, like this week they had their canned tomatoes 10 for $10 so I got them because I know I will use them eventually so I might as well save when the saving is good!
We are lucky to have a separate bar/game room in our house. So we keep all the beverages in there, well the cold ones anyway ;-) I also use it to stash any zip-seal fruit from our garden that I couldn't cram into our regular freezer.
Hope you enjoyed the tour through my pantry! All this talk of food is making me hungry! and thirsty!! I'm going to go get a snack :-)>

23 May 2009


Spring has arrived in New England with of it's glory! The seeds are being planted, the flowers are beginning to grow, the black flies are out in force, and new baby chicks abound! Today we ran around doing last minute errands with hubby driving right past Blue Seal which was on my list. So we went to Tractor Supply instead. Happy day! There is a farmer's market set up with all sorts of plants, new ducklings, bunnies, and chicks galore! I have had my eye on getting silkies since I got my chicks! Of course, there were many silkies at TS today! Hubby groaned when I reminded him that I did ask to go to Blue Seal and HE is the one that drove right past and decided to go to TS! We came home with two adorable new silkie beaks :) Wanting to continue our alphabet scheme of naming that left us with I and J. Inga- yikes, isla, ingrid... No. Then I thought we could break with tradition and name one Sam and one Carter (Stargate...) We settled on Isabel and Jesabel, with hubby reserving the right to call one Igor if it turns out to be a roo.
Miss Jesabel checking out her new digs.
Isabel has a set of lungs! Every time I left the coop she would hop up on her box and start peeping at the top of her lungs!
I just love fluffy hineys!
Too cute for words!
The other girls are loving the warmer weather!
Elliot is having a time out because he has been a very naughty bird lately. Pecking, attacking, bullying...
Seeds have been planted in the greenhouse and beans are beginning to sprout in the field.
We have a serious chive patch already!
We kept our tradition of starting off the summer with a drink at Poco's in Portsmouth sitting on the deck watching boats and jellyfish in the water.
Blizzy has slimmed down to twelve pounds because she runs around all day now. She loves to play with chipmunks. She missed the memo that she is supposed to eat them but loves to chase them!
Other flowers around the yard.
We even have these little daffies hanging on!
Happy Spring 2009!

07 May 2009

Vacation alone...

We just got back to a green and wet New Hampshire that has several cases of swine flu. We were in sunny Mazatlan visiting my folks and having fun with Art's sister and her hubby. Note: Sinoloa has NO cases of swine flu. NONE. ZERO!
The big Swine Flu scare in Mexico City happened the day we were leaving. We are not prone to panic and didn't think anything of it. Besides, my folks are in Sinoloa not Mexico City. This is drive of over 17 hours or almost 600 miles as the crow flies. That is like saying you won't go to Chicago because of a riot in New York. Silliness.
The American media has been screaming at the top of their lungs that we should NOT go to Mexico, and we should shun those who have gone there. As the first week of our trip wore on we found that there were fewer and fewer tourists. A little odd since they had several holidays including Labor Day, el dia de los ninos (National Children's Day), and Cinco de Mayo which isn't as big a deal (partywise) as in the US but rather a regional holiday to celebrate the Mexican's defeat of the French in Puebla. Mazatlan is a big tourist destination for Mexican Nationals, Canadian's, Europeans, Japanese, as well as from the US. Yet they were all slowly disappearing- or not coming...
It is really disappointing to see the effects the American media has had on Mexican tourism. First with the border gun scare. Which ironically is more of an American problem, not a Mexicans running wild with random guns problem as they suggest. Tourism in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo (among many others) were hit very hard by this series of media warnings and scare tactics.
The flu scare seemed to be more of the same or perhaps worse. The Mexican government did an excellent job of stepping up cautions and controls. They mandated that all food servers wear masks- even in Sinoloa which to this date has had ZERO cases of swine flu. They canceled schools, stopped bus services, celebrations, and flights. They were very proactive in containing and helping to come up with a solution. Yet, when the Mexican health official determined that the flu was reduced in strain and not a threat any longer, the US stepped up their fear mongering scare tactics. It is hard to watch these individuals whose livelihood depends on tourism. Not just American tourism- tourism. Times are tough all over yet we deliberately take food off the tables of thousands of taxi drivers, hotel workers, food service, and entertainment workers because of fantastic coverage. Not fantastic as in wow- fantastic as in fantasy, overblown, ridiculous fear mongering. It really makes me angry!
We had a wonderful vacation and highly recommend Mazatlan, or any Mexico beach destination for a fun in the sun vacation. The exchange rate is also very favorable right now. VISIT Mexico :-)