Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No typical Day when you're retired

Today was a free day. No school. The house was clean. Way too nasty outside to pick up the leaves that fell since Monday. So, I decided to go food shopping. In the "good old days" I would get into the car, head for the market and buy what I felt we needed. I had the money to spend but little time. But now I am retired and have lots of time and little money so like a good shopper, I looked in Sunday's newspaper for grocery coupons. I even went on line for additional coupons. After spending the morning clipping and making a list, I headed for our local Cub supermarket. Cub had a lot of "buy one-get one free" offers so that is what I did. I only purchased items if I got a free one. When I was all done, my receipt said I had saved 47% on my purchases, Not bad but I still had items we needed so off to Wal-Mart. Sorry, Scott! but Wal-Mart has the lowest prices around and I would rather keep my money than give it to a grocery store. I shopped like I actually knew what I was doing. An hour later, I was finished with Wal-Mart and was off to the meat market. Our local meat market had an add in Sunday's paper advertising $75 to finish your deer if you bring it in. They also had a mess of "buy one-get one free" offers. Again I saved over 50% off my meat bill. Not bad. I must be a creation of my depression era mother. I just don't feel right unless we have more then enough food in the freezer and pantry. Right now I am all set for another three months. Feels good!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crazy Weekend

We just ended a busy weekend. Friday night we had Scott and Valerie over for dinner. I tried a new recipe (for me at least) of manicotti stuffed with cheeses and spinach. Every time I do some fancy cooking and it turns out well, I am surprised. Everyone said it tasted good and based on the lack of leftovers; they were being honest with me. Later that evening Scott showed me how to enter new members on QuickBooks. Since I am the Certifying Office for our camp, I needed to learn how to bill and post new and renewed member's information.

Saturday morning we had a board meeting at the camp. We had to approve the budget and between that and other business the meeting was trying. People who drink too much, do stupid things. The Board had to balance the good of the community with the rights of the members who do dumb things when drinking. After an hour of debate, you get the sense no one wins on these kinds of issues. Once the meeting was over, Jeanne served up a Chicken and Rice soup I made. I tend to cook in large quantities so sharing the soup helped. I really didn’t want to freeze two gallons of soup. The soup must have been alright since we didn’t have any leftovers.

Saturday night we went over to CJ and Sandy's for dinner. It was delicious and they are just super hosts.

Sunday was quiet as I watched the Viking lose to the Steelers. Jeanne went off to a birthday party and played bingo for the evening. She didn't win so that was a waste of money.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Road Trip

Jeanne and I decided to take a road trip last weekend. We didn't have any place special to go to; we just wanted to leave town and spend some quality time together. We decided (based on a recommendation of one of Jeanne's friends) to head for northern Wisconsin and act like tourists.

We left the Twin Cities about 10 am and headed north toward Hayward. On the, way we stopped at anything that looked interesting, including cheese shops, wild life areas and typical tourist places we normally would avoid. We tried to eat at local “ma and pa” restaurants but discovered that they are harder and harder to find.

We did get a chance to see a large group of Sandhill cranes in a harvested corn field and spent time talking to a chainsaw sculptor. He created the moose on this page.

We spent the night in Hayward in a hotel room equipped with a hot tub. We read about a restaurant in a book in the hotel room that looked interesting so off we went. A half hour later we found the place thirty miles from the hotel. By this time it was after eight and we were starving - but the prime rib was worth the trip. The trip back to the hotel was a little harrowing since we saw numerous deer alongside the road and anticipated one of them jumping out just as we passed by. Fall is rutting time and lots of deer were on the move.

The next morning we were off again, heading north toward Cable and Bayfield, again stopping at fun tourist places. We did find some unusual pancake and wild rice soup mixes that we are bringing to Florida for the family reunion. We had lunch in Bayfield overlooking the Apostle Islands and Lake Superior. The fall colors were fantastic - golds and muted rusts. We stopped at an apple orchard between Bayfield and Superior - a lady waited on us, shivering in an old stone barn - the apples we bought were fresh, cold and crisp. Back on state hwy 35, heading south, we stopped and picked up a couple pounds of long-grained wild rice, harvested recently by local Indians. By 9 pm Sunday evening we were home.
The trip was short and relatively inexpensive but it did give us time to reconnect and talk. We didn't even have the car radio turned on while driving on Saturday, all day, and Jeanne stayed away from reading newspapers, books & magazines! We put on CDs during the last two hours of our trip and sang old love songs as the colors of a fall sunset changed from golds to crimson in the West. After almost 40 years of marriage, we both understand that to keep a marriage healthy takes time and effort, so this weekend was our investment in ourselves and our life together. It was well worth it.