Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 29 - Social and Productive

Other than truly feeling “normal” (so much so that they noticed that I was back at knitting), the notable thing about this week was parking.

I had gotten a note for 3 months of handicapped parking the last time I went to the knee doctor and it expired on Wednesday. It was absolutely wonderful being able to park right beside my building and more impressive, being able to leave campus at lunch because I knew I could find parking when I got back. Now there’s a parking lot right across the street that I could probably get a spot in (the vice chancellors control who parks there) but I already pay $47/month for my crappy parking and a reserved space would be almost double that. Between my knee being iffy and having gotten the taste of the difference easy parking made in my ability to run errands at lunch, I was considering asking for one. Then an email went out from the VC saying there were spots available and asking if anyone was interested. That was the catalyst I needed so I responded that I did want one, justifying the cost because I’m now cleaning my own house so am $80/month ahead. Now the waiting to see if I’ll get a spot. Now that I’ve asked, I want it NOW!

So since the tag was expiring Wednesday, I forced myself off campus at lunch both Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn’t really NEED anything but drove to Trader Joe’s to get replacement bagels (free) for the ones I’d bought last week that molded in 2 days. I also hit Michael’s and got some stocking stuffers in the bins but no yarn, which is what I’d gone in to check. But I scored big time when I went to Joann’s at lunch on Wednesday. By then the heat and humidity had set in so I wasn’t into going out but it was my last day with the pass so I did. Well, they had a bunch of yarn at 50% off so I bought, you guessed it, sock yarn – enough for 7 pair and the single bare skein I’d gone in for to get with my 50% off coupon. Then I hit Big Lots next door and picked up a few things there too. Then I topped it all off with a drive to Starbuck’s for an afternoon frapuccino. So all in all, I made my last days of easy parking worthwhile and got yarn to boot. Nice.

Having not had to search for parking in months, I was thrilled to find a spot in the loop (my old preferred parking lot that I gave up on when they closed half of it off for stadium construction) at 7:55. Maybe I could park there until my reserved spot came through? (See the positive thinking there?) It was blazing hot but I walked to lunch with Kelly, the new person in HR. We tried a new burger place downtown and it was good – both the food and company. I had made plans to meet swimming friends at HyVee for steak after work so went, despite being tired and not hungry after my big lunch. I managed to eat my entire dinner and we had fun chatting too. Plus it meant I could pick up the groceries I wanted afterwards, thereby saving me another trip. That was a nice bonus.

Friday was my first lunch without easy parking in a long time and since the cost of meters had doubled since I got my pass, I was in a quandary. There’s one free space on the street that Josh had been parking at while I had my pass but others had wised up so I decided to leave for work super early so I could get that spot because if I didn’t, Layton and I would not be going off campus for lunch. I got to campus at 7:30, which is when I usually leave Wahoo, and it was free. Yay! I spent some quality time with my campus cats and got to my desk before 8:00, which is a rarity. Layton and I went to HuHot for lunch, where I consumed a huge amount of veggies so satisfied my daily fiber quota. I went straight home after work to get ready for Saturday.

Darla was at my house at 7:00 a.m. for strawberry pancakes and bacon and we headed for Omaha, aiming to be at the first Goodwill when they opened. We were only a few minutes off and found a few treasures in the racks before heading to the one we had great luck previously. Not this time. We were in and out in minutes so stopped at another that was on the way (I can tell you the best route to hit every Goodwill in Omaha – go figure) and we hit pay dirt. Darla’s find of the day was a wool/llama sweater in a men’s XXL (the taupe one in the pic.) I’ll frog that baby and end up with hundreds of dollars of yarn for 99 cents. Gotta love it. The next stop was Penzey’s, where I was redeeming 2 sets of coupons (Andrea’s and mine) and getting the prize for the brownie bake off I organized at work. Right next door is Smash Burger, which I’ve always wanted to try but I’m usually at Penzey’s with Andrea, who eats like a bird. When Darla suggested getting lunch, I jumped at the chance and had the best burger I’ve eaten in years. Maybe ever. It was an avocado burger with bacon, lettuce and tomato. Add sweet potato fries and I was a very happy camper. After that, we made our last stop at Aldi for groceries. Darla had to be back in Lincoln by 3:00 so we were aiming for Wahoo at 2:00 and hit it on the dot. She went off for round 2 of socializing and I crashed, spending the rest of the day knitting and watching TV with only occasional little chores. What a fun day!

I had a big list of chores for Sunday and got busy before noon. I got sidetracked while I was stripping my bed and ended up trying on every short sleeved shirt in my dresser, ending up with 3 bags to go – one each for Goodwill, Darla and Helen. That done, I grabbed lunch then started chores – 4 loads of laundry (including the Goodwill sweaters) with about half hung on the line, neatizing the entire house and then the kitchen.

The frig was full of stuff that needed to either be cooked or chucked so I started there. A few hours later I had a frig full of yummy food, a big bag of scraps for Lori’s chickens and had added just a few things to the compost pile. And talk about using things up! Lori had given me 3 kohlrabi so I found this recipe online and although I didn’t follow it exactly, I was happy with the results. I cut up a melon and prepped 2 pounds of strawberries then used the less pretty ones with some rhubarb from the garden to make a streusel topped strawberry/rhubarb pie to take to knitting (streusel topped because I only had 1 pie crust in the frig.) I finished with corned beef casserole and Brussels sprouts for dinner. I didn’t get all my chores done (the floors are a mess) but at least my frig is cleaned out (long overdue) and I have healthy, yummy food for the week. It’s been a long time since I've had a cooking Sunday and I’m glad I finally did. It’s a nice way to end the week because it feels productive plus sets me up for easy meals for the next week. And the using up stuff makes me so happy. I am my father's frugal daughter.

What a great week! Nothing extraordinary but satisfying, productive and social. Plus I finally feel good again. What more could I want?

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