Thursday, September 9, 2010

Long time, no see

Well, finally I'm back to joining you in cyberspace. Jeez--a month since I've posted anything!! I wish I could show off new tan lines, shopping bags from French Rivera giftshops, and tales of my mimosa-inspired adventures...but my time away has been far from that chi-chi, dahling.

Today, I put away two containers of curried chicken for future freezer meals, along with two batches of Tex-Mex breaded chicken fingers--also for the freezer. I also froze three breasts plain for future use, probably cut up in casseroles. I figure that the package of chicken I bought for $9.00 will go for 6-8 meals. I'm sure that there are folks out there that can do even better than seem like such a bother to me, and I don't do the warehouse stores...but I thought it was pretty economical, just the same. Check out the book, "Fix, Freeze, Feast" by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik. So far, every recipe has been a winner at our house...and my hubby can be picky.

I'm attempting another cut to the grocery budget. My goal is to spend an average of $30 a week for the two of us, including toiletries and extra non-perishables here and there to put in the cupboard for 'just in case'. We have a store in our town that sells dented cans and other slightly 'off' merchandise, and I have sticker shock every time I go in there--but in a good way, if you know what I mean! Last night, I made goulash (a quick skillet dish of tomato sauce, browned hamburger, onion, chili powder, and macaroni), a fresh zucchini and tomato salad, courtesy of our own garden, and crockpot tapioca pudding. I roughly, and generously, estimate that we spent under $2.00 a plate--if even that. Yeah...this frugality thing is really making us suffer...chuckle, chuckle.

We are still waiting for more of our tomatoes to ripen. Darn it, it's hard to garden in a northern climate! This year I've learned: how to make a compost container out of a garbage can, that tomatoes often have 'cracked shoulders' when they are left to vine-ripen too long, and that tomatoes and cucumbers really shouldn't be planted together. Our tomatoes turned into mutants this year and choked out every little trace of cucumber out there...

Last month, we received the stunning news that not only are we going to be grandparents, but that we are going to be grandparents of TWINS! I am embroidering a baby blanket for each of these shavers, and having a blast doing them. I was taught how to cross-stitch and such when I was about nine years old--and it's still just as fun as it was then. (But I do think that bi-focals might be just around the corner.) I'll post pictures of it when they are done. Along with the five or six paintings I've always got going on in the studio, it makes for enough projects to keep the days full. It's weird, maybe it's an age thing, but although my art is still such a part of me, it's becoming more of a companion now than a taskmaster. I'm not so driven to get the shows, the accolades, the attention any more. I just want to make good work, and live a good life. I know many artists that reach this point, of just being happy, healthy people--but unfortunately, the media loves to celebrate the Picassos, the Basquiats, and all the others who live and die with needles up their arms, a string of abusive love affairs, and their cars wrapped around trees. Makes me think I might be a bit boring, but I'll take it.

I ordered a book for my recent birthday called, "Never Done". It's a history of housework, that also includes many of the old advertisements for products and appliances used in the kitchens of long ago. I can't wait to get it...Lordy, Lordy, I'm such a wierdo....

(Image: "Sustenance #1" Acrylic on Canvas, Cory Jaeger-Kenat, 2010.)

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