A Fine Weekend

Temperatures greatly improved this weekend, reaching almost 50 degrees today. I had hoped to go for a walk at some point but that did not happen. Yesterday the weather was miserable with rain. Today I was distracted with something and we had a family party to go to so I didn’t make it. I did take some photos yesterday but unfortunately I misplaced the cord I use to transfer pictures over.

My sister in law is in town for a few days. Back in October she moved to California and this was her first trip back East. I think she’s coming over for dinner tomorrow as we didn’t have a chance to really catch up. Based on her Facebook posts though, I think she’s really liking California. She is working for Green Peace and if very passionate about it. I can’t wait to hear some stories from that.

Hubby and I also spoke to my BIL this morning who is currently working in China. He had a bit of good news to share with us though I am going to hold off on sharing it until it’s a little more official. I’m excited by the news though, and pretty thrilled as I love my BIL. I just wish I was a bit more awake when he called as it was before 8am. On a Saturday. So yeah…I was half asleep when we were talking to him.

I am thinking of cutting back on my blogging. For the past month or so I’ve basically blogged every day, even pre writing blogs for for when I’m at work but it’s getting a bit much. There’s only so much I can write about at one time and there’s other stuff I would like to concentrate on besides writing blog posts all the time. I don’t even want to put myself on any certain schedule, I’ll just post when something interesting comes up and when it doesn’t…well, I won’t stress out too much.

Shopping Day!

When Hubby picked me up from work today, we decided that as the weather was actually nice for a change (40’s!) we’d head up to Binghamton to do a bit of shopping and maybe revisit the Asian Buffet we visited a few weeks back.

Our main priority was shopping for the puppy so we headed to a pet store that we’ve been in several times before so I could check out the puppies. I’m really glad that we went in there as they had a pretty decent new puppy package that worked out really well. We got a crate, cushion, bag of treats, food and a bottle of cleaner for $86. Of course we picked up some other odds and ends, as well as some treats and toys for the cats so hopefully they will then associate Lucy with positive things like new treats and new toys. It’s probably wishful thinking though.

After the pet store, we had lunch at the Buffet and enjoyed ourselves. This time I ventured over to the regular food, not just the sushi and they had quite an assortment. I was quite pleased and enjoyed everything I had. The price is good as well, especially as this time we didn’t have wine. Instead we stuck with lemonade and tea (which is free).

After we finished with lunch, we stopped at Goodwill. I found a new pair of jeans and a few teeshirts in preparation for summer. I also picked up four new books and a few odds and ends. A pair of weights, a teapot and a few kitchen utensils that Hubby found.  I love both Goodwill and Salvation Army. I think almost my entire wardrobe is filled with stuff I picked up there or at the town’s rummage sale that they hold twice a year. As Hubby describes it, it’s indoor yardsaling.

We probably could have visited a few more places while we were in Binghamton (Barnes and Noble for example) but I was getting off two full days of work (I called out sick on Monday) and Hubby wanted to get home to attend a Lion’s Club meeting (I begged off).  So instead we headed home and I settled in with a hot bath and a book and Hubby headed for his meeting.

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda this weekend. The temps are suppose to stay in the 40’s so I’ll be heading out for some walks and hopefully spending some time with the inlaws as my SIL is home from California for a few days.  For now though I’m going to take a glass of wine and my Kindle and head off to bed.


Downton Tabby

I’m not really a fan of Downton Abbey, but when I came across this video I had to share.

Even if you aren’t a fan of the show, you have to admit that it is cute. Plus I love the fact that 1. It’s promoting a local “business” aka an animal shelter called Pets Alive, located in Middletown, NY, 2. it’s a no kill shelter and 3. it’s creative.

Fiscal Responsibility

Next year, Hubby and I want to start looking for our own house. Although we love where we live now, the truth is…we are only renting and when you are renting…especially if there is no lease, you can never be quite sure what’s going to happen month from month. Granted, not having a lease came in handy at our last place…as we were able to move out and into our current place almost immediately with no consequences but renting just is not the same.

So hopefully this time next year, will be on a mission to find a house.

I have always been fiscally responsible. I am always on time with any kind of payments. I finished paying my college loan and my car loan ahead of time. I have a few credit cards, but have always paid them off each month. Neither hubby nor I owe any money anywhere. We live modestly. Granted, we are more or less a one income family but I’m hoping that this changes in the near future.

I am not sure though, if this is enough. How much should we have for a down payment? What sort of credit rating would a bank look for? We’ll have some assistance through the VA, but how would that work? What should we look at in a house?

I have so many questions. I do have a friend that is in real estate…or rather, a friend of a friend. Perhaps I should try to talk to her to kind of get an idea of what I should do to plan for home ownership.

Until then, perhaps I should start Googling houses for sale in the area…if only to get an idea of what we’ll have to work with.

Comfort Food

To put a positive spin on all this crappy winter weather we’ve been having lately, it does give an excuse to indulge in some good old fashioned comfort food and drinks. Granted, come spring time it’ll be time to regret all that food…but sometimes all you need is some good old fashioned comfort food to help bare the cold weather.

I was fortunate to grow up with two parents who were pretty passionate about food. My mom is an amazing baker, and a very good cook and my Dad had experience in pizzerias and bars and could definitely hold his own in the kitchen. Although I’m not nearly as good a cook or baker as either one of my parents…I grew up loving food and definitely having an appreciation for good, hearty food. Perhaps we were never the most sophisticated of eaters, but we sure do know what we like.

Although my family has no Italian blood between us, you probably would not believe that when it came to our kitchen. Between a plethora of pasta dishes and my parents’ homemade pizza a good chunk of my favorite comfort foods are of an Italian decent. I love pasta in just about all forms, but especially the very simple spaghetti and meatballs (or sausage). Mom always made massive batches of tomato sauce and froze it by quarts so that we almost always had tomato sauce on hand. So easy to defrost that, cook up the pasta and have a quick and satisfying meal. We ate a lot of this growing up and while I actually don’t make it often for Hubby and myself…It’s still something I love.

Pizza is another favorite. Now, as I mentioned…my parents love making their own pizza. My Mom’s in charge of the dough and my Dad’s in charge of everything else. It’s always a huge mess but oh my god, so worth it in the end. Best pizza ever. Unfortunately it’s made me quite the pizza snob and it’s kind of rare for me to find a place that serves a great pizza consistently. And no, chain pizza places are out. If they can be avoided, they will be.

Chicken. I am not a huge meat fan believe it or not. I know I post a lot about venison, but truth be told…I would very happily be a vegetarian. But I do love my chicken.  Even  the smell is comforting. And as a bonus, it’s such a versatile meat that you could literally eat chicken for a month straight and no have it the same way twice. Ideally anyway.

Chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies. Like I said, Mom is an amazing baker and she is capable of some amazing things in the kitchen but a simple cookie is my favorite. Fudge brownies are a very close second. Which reminds me, I haven’t had one in ages.

As far as drinks go…coffee and tea. I used to drink a mug of tea nearly every night with my parents…especially on the days my Mom worked. My dad would always make us tea. I usually only drink it now when I’m at my MIL’s.

Beer…this is an all year drink for sure, but I love dark beer during the winter. Right now I’m obsessed with Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers.

What are some of your comfort foods to get you through the cold winter?

It Had a Good Run

For the last two weeks, Hubby and I have been in mourning.

About two weeks ago, our favorite place to eat/drink/hangout closed up shop. I won’t get into the finer  details, other than to say this had been coming for awhile now. Still, having known that it might happen didn’t make things easier. It still felt very sudden and for a town as small as our town…the loss is felt quite sharply. Sure there is a bar, but we’re not really bar people. Too noisy. Too rowdy. And most importantly, not exactly the place for a pair of self professed beer snobs. Then there is another place that is just a little too pricey for us.  There’s a diner, but again…just not the same. If I wanted a dose of coffee, great. But a pint of beer? Nope. Sorry. No beer for you.

So we’re sad.

I guess it’s good in some ways. We’re saving money (and calories) as we’re less likely to spontaneously show up at our spot or to order a pizza (now the only two options is a subpar bar pie or a subpar frozen pizza). It’s forcing us to cook a little more, and getting more creative.

But we’re sad.

Because sometimes you wanna go where everyone knows your name….

Valentine’s Day

Due to weather and finances, Hubby and I opted for a low key Valentine’s Day this year and I could not ask for a nicer evening.

I knew that things were going to be low key. We weren’t exchanging gifts or cards. We couldn’t go too far as the weather was nasty and our usual go to place in town has closed down (a post for another day)…but we’d picked up some treats at the supermarket on Thursday and Hubby offered to make dinner for us.

Hubby worked that day and I spend the time doing a bit of housework and then got ready for him to come home….which on a normal day doesn’t mean much at all, but as yesterday was a special occasion, and I wanted to surprise Hubby at least a little bit…decided that I would dress up for our night in. I took a bath and painted my nails. Did my hair and put on make up then put on a little black dress that I bought second hand almost two years ago…and just never had an opportunity to wear. I even brought out my wedding pearls!

And yes, hubby was pleasantly surprised.

Then we settled in for a movie night. We watched Muriel’s Wedding, Spaceballs, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Clue and Planes. Trains and Automobiles…(you can probably guess who chose what!) and we ate a delicious dinner and never quite made it to the dessert we picked up. Instead we nibbled on chocolate candies that my MIL sent over to us.

And even though there was no fancy roses or jewelry boxes from Tiffany’s…it was still a perfect Valentine’s Day for us.

Love you Hubby!

And That One Time, During the Snow Storm

I guess it’s a good thing Hubby and I didn’t bother making plans for Valentine’s Day. We’re in the middle of what is promising to be a two day snowstorm. Last month we had played around the idea of going away for the weekend but as the weather has been so unpredictable and volatile this winter we figured that there was no point. We’d probably end up getting snowed in or something. So we didn’t plan anything.

Instead we’ll stay home. Today we stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few treats. Shrimp, asparagus, cheese spread and a cake and we have a venison loin marinating in the fridge. So we’ll eat well this weekend at the very least. And I will be able to dose myself up with some Vitamin D thanks to the Light Box hubby was able to score thanks to the V.A.