Sunday, February 20, 2011

Making Good Choices

Because we have options!

The 3 R's come in many forms. When Husband became my carer, it was only ever planned to be a short term options allowing me to focus on recovery, rehabilitation and regaining my balls. The first 3R's. The doctor said it would be great if he could be home for at least 9 months, maybe even a year because I was an emotional mess as well as physically struggling. I love having a doctor who is experienced enough to know what I needed before I fell apart and caring enough to insist upon it.

About 18months after surgery I had a set back. Sadly, trying to help a very good friend, my best friend, when I needed the help and support was part of the down fall - I ignored my own anxiety and depression. It's no-ones fault as such ~ I was trying to be a good friend while not strong enough in myself. Ultimately the friendship of 25years ended and, after many tears and internal self berating conversations, I forgive myself for being human, having emotions and accepting my weaknesses. We all lost on so many levels and we all move on. Reflections, regrets and realisations ~ another 3R's.

I am getting stronger, the brain is there and everything is right on schedule ~ just as my surgeon said. Nothing for a year, some adjustments and recovery in the second, improvement in the third but five years in all. This is the start of the third year and, as he is the Head of Orthopaedics at RMH, my surgeon has the knowledge and experience to know - and be accurate! Too often I have taken on board the expectation of 'non medicos' and those who know what should be happening because they knew someone who had an operation too.  I look forward to getting all this medication out of my system and becoming physically stronger! Rah, rah, rah ~ just another 3R's... *laughs*

Which brings me back to options ~ Husband has applied for some local employment and his former employer wants him to do work to ease some overload on occasion. Naturally the preference is to getting one of the local positions but during the interim, travelling to Melbourne a few times a fortnight is going going to allow him to bring in some much needed income, help me get through this next six months and then, when I can manage in the garden and change the beds without help, he hopes to get full time local work and we can up the debt destruction and save again for our Queensland dream move. No R's there ~ just some hopeful positive goals.

How low can you go?

Pretty darn low compared to others!  Let me tell you ~ I fed four people a 'special' dinner for under $6 tonight including dessert!  We had veal schnitzel, shoestring potato chips and apricot turnovers to finish. Oh it was delicious!!

As often as possible, I try to budget each dinner time meal to be under $3 per head and usually average the weekly dinners to meet this target. My family does tend to like meat of some variety in every meal and I've been known to make a chicken casserole for four using one chicken breast and padding it out with potatoes and vegetables. If Husband happens to take on the cooking duties for a night, which he does for the Sunday roast  he knows I expect enough left to make a pie for the following night - not knowing I usually also make that stretch to lunches and a curry if possible.

Guess the iPhone was upside down 
At the end of January I bought meats which were marked down by 33% - 50% and popped them in the freezer. One lot was 4 pieces of veal schnitzel marked down to $3.84 - at $21pkg this is not an item I'd usually consider - but at $10pkg it made for a 'special' dinner opportunity. To make breadcrumbs, I save the crusts from each loaf of bread especially the seed and grain variety, storing them in a bread bag until there are about a dozen, and whiz them around in the blender until they are crumbs.

A few months back, because we didn't have potatoes in this year, I took the lazy option and got a 5kg caterers bag of frozen shoestring chips from one of those Campbells Cash n Carry type places for $5 - I think you can also get them at CostCo and other wholesale type stores - and used about 500g of these over two dunks in the deep fryer. So that was about $1 worth of chips. We had bought a case of unlabelled, dented tins of pie apricots for $8 from the SPC outlet, 66c a tin. I cut two sheets of frozen puff pastry in half, placing a pile of apricot on each piece, sprinkled a little brown sugar over them for sweetness and folded them over into a big triangle and baked them in the oven until golden brown. Adding a scoop of apricot yoghurt, stored frozen in the freezer - a 1kg tub marked down to $3.30 as it was due to expire - and voila! SmallBoy thought these were the best dessert ever made - so easy to please that boy! Making those again for sure - especially as there's still plenty of yoghurt still in the freezer!!

This week I plan to again spend no more than $21 on groceries ~ and it really can be done. You don't always NEED to spend $200 or more at the supermarket every week - sometimes its just the habit. Don't forget to check what you've got in the pantry before you meal plan - then write the shopping list. I already know every ingredient required for this week's menu is in my cupboards and can substitute an item if necessary.

I really want to get some fresh fruit and veg however I need to get nothing so nothing is what I am aiming to do. There might be a need for milk, possibly some celery and maybe some lettuce ~ but I am also going to see what I can scrounge up, barter and trade - I've definitely got some eggs to negotiate with!! Oh I am a little sick of eggs, but they're here, they're free and they are very very yummy! All going to plan, the menu for this week should go something like this:

Monday: Tuna Mornay on rice
Tuesday: Freezer Surprise Pie - I think its lamb
Wednesday: Chicken curry
Thursday: Chicken stir fry
Friday: Hamburgers on home made rolls
Saturday: Home made pizza
Sunday: Eggs, Hash Browns - we voted for this

Must let you know weaning off medication is not an easy ride. The past few days have been extremely - well weird comes to mind. But its all for the best and hopefully will get easier. It certainly helps to know why 'everything' has been so fuzzy and why its been a few days between posts.

This week...

I am having the first of two competitions with prizes donated from reputable businesses! It's all a bit exciting really. I hope you'll suggest to your friends to start reading and following Our Mission, because the more people you get following the blog the greater the chance you could get a very helpful home item and the opportunity for new giveaways to become available! But you will have to wait a few more days...

Ending with a little piece I wrote not too long ago ~ if you like it, please let me know. I do enjoy feedback and the last post had some positive and helpful comments. I was totally thrilled beyond belief with the support and heaps of little contributions into the Treasure Chest!! Every little bit helps our debt go down and it is even more satisfying to know there was a suggestion or habit mentioned which helped you. Bit waffly - I know - but to know so many thought the pillow slip hint was worth a contribution was such a buzz!

Dancing lightly in the sky
The lonely lovely butterfly
Flutters on the western winds
Soaring up and back again
Colours shimmer in the sun
A butterfly seems to have such fun
I wonder if I'll ever be
Dancing high and totally free

ஜ Gratitude and Love ~ Namaste ஜ

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