Wednesday, November 13, 2013

QFC Grocery Basket 11/13

What is it, you ask??  This beautiful piece of titanium is what my new hip will look like and I'm pretty sure it will set off all the bells and whistles at the airport from now on.  Dr. Watters tells me that he will saw (oooh!!) off my old hip and stick this thing down into my bone which will then grow around it.  My socket will not be replaced but he will "machine" it so that it will be nice and smooth again.  Sounds pretty straightforward.  I can't wait!!

Getting ready for a major surgery and the recovery after has been a real big deal and I'm not talking about the many doctor visits, x-rays, and blood work.  I have been surrounded by endless lists hoping to make things go smoothly.  My motto has been "plan for the worst, hope for the best."

I had to arrange for someone to stay at my house and take care of my babies while I am in the hospital.  My old schnauzer, Pici, requires meds twice a day and a diaper at night because sometimes she wets when she goes into her deep, deep sleep.  There are also two more dogs, a cat, and a couple of horny parakeets that have to be tended to.

I need someone to pick me up when I'm ready to go home and my dear sister, Miss SmartyPants, is putting her life (which involves raising her three small grandchildren and running a tax accounting business) on hold and driving up here from the southern Oregon coast.  The thought of spending time with her is getting me through all this with a big smile.

My son, the plumber, is bringing his crew up today to start installing a new walk-in shower which will certainly make things easier and safer.

I just spoke with Miss Judith who runs the HomeLibrary program for the library which I used to be involved with.  This is a wonderful program which allows shut-ins to have library service.  The way it works is - once a month Judith comes to your home with books, music, movies, etc., and takes back the empties.  She will either choose for you (after an interview about your tastes) or you can choose your own materials on the library's website.  It never occurred to me way back then that I would be using this fabulous service.  My tax dollars at work!!

Okay - let's look at the ad this week.  I thought that we would be looking at sales on turkey this week at QFC.  Maybe next week but Safeway has it on sale for $ .68 a pound and Butterballs for $1.29 per pound.  QFC is still running the Buy 10/Save $5 promo on a lot of items that come in handy for holiday dinners.  Don't forget to visit their website and download digital coupons to help with the savings.

Here are the highlights this week:

Kroger Spices - $2.50/ea
Starbucks Coffee - $6.99/12oz
Kroger Pumpkin - $1/15oz
Fage Greek Yogurt - $1/7oz
Kroger Cheese - $2.99/lb
QFC Large Eggs - $1.99/18ct
Handi-Foil Foilware - $3/1-3ct
Draper Valley Whole Chickens - $ .99/lb
Winter Squash (select varieties) - $ .89/lb
Pears - $ .99/lb
California Cuties - $3.99/3lb bag
Cranberries - $2.59/12oz bag
Jumbo Artichokes - $2.50/ea
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.69/lb

Buy10/Save $5 Promo:

Betty Crocker Cake Mixes - $ .99/ea
Carnation Evaporated Milk - $ .89/12oz
QFC Milk - $1.29/64oz
Campbell's Cream Mush/Chick Soup - $ .69/ea
French's French Fried Onions - $2.49/6oz
Hunt's Tomatoes - $ .79/14.5oz
Swanson Broth - $ .49/14.5oz (those cans are getting smaller)
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce - $ .99/14oz can
Challenge Butter - $1.99/lb
International Delight - $2.49/qt

This will be the last post until after my surgery because I have so much to take care of between then (Monday) and now.  Don't worry, I will tell you all about it.  I'm also going to talk about maneuvering the health care system and its high cost.  I have excellent insurance and have already forked over $2000 plus in co-pays and we are not done yet because we still have 48 days left in 2013 and a major surgery coming up.  Remember when I said that medical and vet bills were the wild card in your well thought out budget??  Man!! I sure knew what I was talking about.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November, the Best Month to buy...

Yesterday when I slapped down my new Medicare card for my new titanium hip I knew without a doubt that I am no longer young, or barely middle aged, for that matter.  How the hell did that happen??  And when?? 

Before I retired last year I had a really spiffy job as the Acquisitions librarian which involved all the materials ordering for the library, along with selecting the adult fiction, and time on the Reference Desk.  Cool job, huh??  I was surrounded by very intelligent and funny coworkers who really kept me on my toes intellectually, if I could use that term when referring to myself.  I was up on all the new books, movies, music CDs, and magazines, plus, all the new technology that came down the pike.

Now that I'm retired the trick to keeping all those gray cells up and running is front and center.  As I've mentioned before I belong to a group of the world's best whack of knitters.  This is a combination of two knitting groups that was held at Port Hadlock Yarns before it closed this summer.  We are a loud and lively group who shuffle back and forth between the library and the Shold Center for our weekly get togethers.  We have been told to pipe down at both places.

The fuzzy picture above, and I apologize, was taken last night and it shows nine different socks knitted by one of our whack who is doing a sock knit along.  The tenth pair was still on the needles.  What I'm getting at here is that being around all this excitement where knitting is concerned is quite heady and thrilling. 

I have always knit by "throwing" which means that I carry the yarn in my right hand.  I am now being tutored by a really patient knitter on "Continental" knitting, or "picking" where the yarn is held in the left hand and it has been a real adventure.  This is just like learning to knit all over again and my fingers and brain are getting a workout.  I think I was about 10 when I had a piece of knitting so full of holes, slipped stitches, and yarn overs from who knows where - all knitted so tightly I can barely get the needle in each stitch.  But I'm determined.  I'm starting to feel better about knit stitches but those darned purl stitches are a real bugger.

Okay, let's take a look at November's deals, being on the lookout for a good sale on:

Aluminum Foil & Plastic Wrap
Disposable Baking Pans
Carpeting & Flooring
Trees, Shrubs, Bulbs
Recreational Vehicles
Air Conditioners


Baking Supplies
Holiday Dinner Items (cranberry sauce, etc)

Seasonal Produce:

Pears, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, Kiwis, Citrus Fruit, Winter Squash, & Root Veggies

For those of you who are certifiably insane Black Friday is coming up the day after Thansgiving and more and more stores are opening at 8pm Thursday night.  That gives you time to take a nice nap after putting away enough calories to last until Christmas when we do it all again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

QFC Grocery Basket 11/6

I was talking to an old friend of mine the other day who is getting ready for retirement at the end of the year.  I told her that one of the really cool things about being retired is that you actually have time to stop and smell the roses.  When you have a job your whole life revolves around it and you are always in a big rush to get things done so you can get to work.  But now that things have slowed down I notice the "little" things around me, such as the sun shining through the leaves of this plant...and that the ficus needs a serious going over.

Okay - let's get to the add because there is a lot to cover.  QFC is running the Buy 10, Save $5 promo on a lot of items for holiday meals and baking.  There aren't any real good deals on proteins this week but we have all stocked up when there was, haven't we?? so we can shop our freezers.

Here are my suggestions:

Starbucks Coffee - $6.99/12oz
Fage Greek Yogurt - $1/7oz
Kroger Cottage Cheese - $1.25/16oz
Simple Truth Cage Free Eggs - $2.50/doz
Kroger Frozen Vegetables - $1/12oz
Fresh Dover Sole - $5.99/lb
Grape Tomatoes - $2.50/10oz
Honeycrisp Apples - $1.78/lb
New Crop California Navels - $ .68/lb
Pomegranates - $2/ea
Zucchini/Yellow Squash - $ .99/lb

Buy 10/Save $5 Promo:

Orowheat Bread - $2.49/loaf
Betty Crocker Cake Mixes - $ .99/ea
C&H Sugar - $1.99/4lb
Carnation Evaporated Milk - $ .89/12oz
QFC Milk - $1.29/64oz
Campbell's Cream Mushroom Soup - $ .69/ea
French's French Fried Onions - $2.49/6oz
Hunt's Tomatoes - $ .79/15oz
Swanson Broth - $ .49/14.5oz
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce - $ .99/14oz
Challenge Butter - $1.99/lb

I love all cranberry sauce but I REALLY love my sister's and I'm hoping that she will make it this Thanksgiving.  The plan is for her to arrive on Saturday before Thanksgiving to help me out after my hip surgery.  She mentioned that she would cook us up a turkey dinner but if things go as well as I hope with my new hip, we might bundle up and head to my son's house for their big blowout dinner, complete with Miss AslynGrace, my great granddaughter.  Check her out watching "Christmas Vacation" with Grandpa.  We start them out young in our family.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Costco Coupons 10/30 - 11/20/2013

Well, here we go again.  I'm nothing if not an optimist.  I thought that this amaryllis bulb was done for after sitting out on the deck all summer and doing absolutely nothing.  I took the bulb out of its pot and inspected it only to find that it was all soft and squishy, so I just left it laying on a shelf in my mini- greenhouse, intending to throw it into the compost.  Imagine my surprise when I found this when I was cleaning out the greenhouse the other day!!

I rummaged around and found its old pot and filled it with Miracle Gro potting soil, being careful to leave the top third of the bulb above the dirt.  It is now taking a short vacation in the dark and cool recesses of my walk-in closet.  I figure that when I get home from my hip surgery it should be about ready to do its thing.  At that time I will water thoroughly and hit it with a good jolt of Miracle Gro liquid fertilizer and let it sit in the sunniest place in my living room...and hope for the best.  After all, this bulb is four years old, only blooming its second year of life.

Anyway, here is my list of interesting coupons for November:

6 QT CrockPot - $10 (with additional $5 mail in rebate)
FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System - $30
Kitchenaid Stand Mixer - $60
Swanson Chicken Broth - $2.30
Gain Detergent - $4.50
Palmolive - $2
Pine Sol - $2.50
Finish Powerball Tabs - $3.30
Neutrogena Rainbath - $4
Colgate Optic White Toothpaste - $4
Halls Cough Drops - $2.50

The Bradster and I were down at Costco today and I took advantage of the broth, Gain, and Palmolive.  I've been stocking the larder for my hip rehab since I probably won't feel like traipsing the isles of Costco for a while, but I'm pretty sure that the critters will still want to eat and use the cat box.

I checked out the CrockPots and they are pretty fancy looking, so if you need one, or, another one, take a look.  It is even a better deal with the mail in rebate. 

I have two CrockPots and I couldn't keep house without them.  The person that came up with that idea really had some smarts.  Must have been a woman...actually, I just did a quick search.  Irving Naxon dreamed up the idea, which he got from listening to his Jewish grandmother tell of her days back in the shtetl in Lithuania.  He was bought out by the Rival Company in 1970 and the rest is history.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Photo Dump 11/2

Last night the Bradster and I attended Ray Serebrin's retirement party, as well as everybody else in the county - or so it seemed.  The party was held in the barn at the Olympic Musical Festival site just out of Quilcene and it was a great party with good people, food, and drinks, of course.  Ray is leaving our precious library in the very capable hands of Meredith Wagner who has been with the library for about 25 years or so.  Knowing Mer like I do, I know that she is going to be great as library director. 

Ray has threatened promised that he will return every Thursday for his reading, viewing, and listening materials before heading out for his Rotary meeting and afternoon radio gig because we have the best library around.  I can vouch for that since my library card is the most important card in my wallet.

Okay - let's take a look at the photos. 

When I add a plant or shrub to my flowerbeds I'm always thinking about how they will look in the fall after all the crazy gorgeous blooming is over.  The dahlias in the veggie garden froze to death last week when we had a 30 degree night but the two out front, which are protected by the house, are still going at it.  I love this fall colored yellow beauty with pinkish tips pictured above.

As the weeks go by the sedums just get deeper in color and more beautiful.  My sedums came from the Lucia homestead and I have shared them around with my gardening friends.  Remember:  when your sedums get large and want to flop in the middle, prune in June by a third, and they won't be ugly come fall.  Scary idea, I know.  Thanks to my daughter-in-law, Miss PeggyRae for this tip.

I'm a lover of barberries - you know those prickly shrubs that you see along highway dividers??  There are several varieties and colors to choose from and they are bullet proof and really add something to the garden.  And they have little bright red berries for the birds.

I'm not real sure what to do with this smoke bush.  My friend, Miss Cassie, suggested it and I think it is lovely but I'm going to have to do some research on getting the best from it.  If anyone has ideas, feel free to let me know.

Remember my giant hostas from Jurassic Park??  In the fall they turn this gorgeous color then melt down into the ground for winter.  I clean them up and compost the leftovers and spread mulch over where they used to be.  In the spring they rear their little heads and start over again.  I douse them really well with Sluggo when they start to peek out of their winter bed because the slugs and snails love them.

I tried to get this shot with the hydrangea in the background so you could see how beautiful the blueberry bushes get in the fall before they drop their leaves.

This was a surprise!!  I was looking for DC, the cat, yesterday and spotted these.  I had a pot of them on my front porch last spring.  When they got all yellow and ugly looking I dug a whole in the back of the flowerbed and threw them in because I didn't want to compost them, and then forgot about them.  Who knew that they would come back??  Mrs CutiePie says she has some from her father-in-law's garden that she has had since he passed away and they just keep coming back.

What is it, you ask??  Remember that I had that big sunflower in my garden this year that came from God, or the birds??  When I was cleaning up that bed I cut the stalk about two feet down and hung it in the tree.  As you can see the birds have been at it.  In the past when I used to grow a lot of these big boys, I would hang the heads in the shed and then feed them out all winter.

And here we are at the end of garden season.  This is my old workhorse composter which I just keep piling more on.  The pile actually goes down about a half foot every week.  My double composter is full on one side and I'm working on the other.  I give them a turn every time I empty my inside compost bucket and they make beautiful black gold.


Turn your clocks back tonight before you go to bed or you will be early for your seat down at the Valley for the 1:00 Seahawk game tomorrow.