Monday, August 27, 2012


Matt decided he wanted to go look for desks at yard sales again this weekend so Saturday we were off after a slight vehicle repair delay.  Matt's truck had a pulley seize up and break a belt.  Quick fix thankfully but he'd forgotten his cell phone so had to walk about a mile (up a steep hill) home to get my vehicle.  One thing we've discovered here is that yard sales are Friday and Saturdays only, nothing on Sundays like we would have had back in Michigan.  We didn't end up finding a desk but we did find several awesome buys.

At our last yard sale we found this deep fryer.  We had to leave the one I bought Matt behind because we just didn't have room to pack it.  We paid 75c for this one!!!!  It's probably a better model too since it has temp control and a couple other features that his other one didn't have.  We don't use a deep fryer often but french fries and mozzarella sticks taste so much better deep fried.

I almost missed this little beauty but Matt noticed it and brought it to my attention.  I love tea infusers so this is a great addition to my collection and only 25c!  At this yard sale we both found a couple more books.  I don't think we'll be needing reading material any time soon with the stack we have going.  My theory is to be well prepared for winter.
I've been looking for a pair of walking shoes for over a year and haven't found a pair that fit and that aren't outrageously expensive.  My last awesome find Saturday was at the Gun & Reel store.  While checking out guns for me we checked out the clearance area.  The first thing that caught my eye was the New Balance design, then the D width, and then the size 7.  They had one pair of this style clearanced from $96 to $20!!!  The pups and I took a 2.36 mile walk Sunday night to break them in.  We're getting ready for a 5K walk for a local pet rescue next month.

This is a picture from the buffalo herd at the museum.  The little one is one of our newer calves just after it approached one of the younger bulls.  The bull swung around really quickly to let the calf know it was not welcome.  The calf wondered back to its mother.  It's it adorable!

Sunday they had a Bluegrass Festival as a Red Cross fundraiser at one of the local churches.  We both enjoyed it a lot.  We arrived about half way through the bluegrass band that played first.  The second band was a blues style band.  Matt talked to the drummer and they may be looking for a bass player so he gave him his business card and hopefully they'll call for a jam session to try him out.  I'd forgotten that a lot of these fund raisers have meals for free will offerings. 


Saturday: Homemade pizza

Sunday:  Pork Sirloin Chops with Cajun seasoning, yellow rice, and broccoli

Monday:  Brats and mac & cheese

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Matt and I went out Saturday on a mission to try and find a desk for me to put in the sitting room.  The desk that Matt was using prior to our move broke and was unfixable.  He has been using my desk for the time being since I have a laptop and can type anywhere.  I decided to let him keep the desk and just get a new one since it's a bit small for when I use it for my sewing desk.  As luck would have it we didn't find one but will continue looking.

We did find some good deals though.  At Goodwill I found a pair of Earth Shoe slides that look brand new for $3.  These will replace the Clarks that ripped apart a couple months ago.  We also found a slate tile with a French Chef on it at Salvation Army for 79c that matches our kitchen theme.  Both of us found several books at both stores.  We went to a consignment store and I spotted this adorable lamp as we were getting ready to leave.  After pointing it out to Matt he said I had to buy it.  It's so me I couldn't pass it up.  I can totally visualize this sitting on my desk after I find one.

We also found a couple pieces of furniture at the consignment store that we are interested in.  There's a beautiful antique drop side table that would be great in the living room or sitting room to do puzzles on and Matt found a buffet cabinet that was really nice.  Maybe when we get some money back in the coffers again. 

I don't know if I mentioned before that our upright freezer died.  Apparently the trip was too much for it.  After we plugged it in it got "really" hot.  We tried to unplug it and plug it back in several times but it would get super hot to the point we were afraid it would start a fire.  Today we took it out of the mudroom to get rid of and discovered a scorch mark underneath it so we're really lucky we unplugged it.  As our side-by-side refrigerator has a small freezer we'll be looking to replace the upright soon. 


Thursday:  BBQ chicken, garlic herb roasted garlic and biscuits
Friday:  Out - tried a local truckstop that we'd been told had awesome beer cheddar soup
Saturday:  Maple Bourbon Pork Tenderloin, parmesian noodles and salad

Brunch:  Leftover
Supper:  Homemade chicken noodle soup

Monday, August 13, 2012


I was blessed to be given a wonderful farewell dinner by the Army personnel I worked.  They presented me with this awesome sword as one of my farewell gifts and they couldn't have gifted to anybody that would have been happier at receiving it.  I LOVE swords and I really like dragons so combine the two together and I'm in love.

The dragons alternate with the dragon claws on the handle.  The dragons collapse in towards the sword when you hold it straight down and then extend out when you lift the sword up.  (hope that makes sense).  The tip is actually double tipped.  It has an engraved plate on the sword itself, which ensures none of my kids (or anybody else for that matter) will attempt to steal it.  It's one of those items that I smile every time I look at it.

Today I got to do payroll for the first time.  Wow.  Caught one time sheet where the person tried to add in her lunch breaks to her time.  Found one who had shorted themselves on hours too.  Hopefully they'll figure out that I pay attention and they'll pay more attention themselves.

Actual Menus:

Lunch:  Egg and bacon sandwich
Supper:  Pizza hut pizza and breadsticks

Lunch: Leftover cheese and potato soup with bacon and cherries
Supper:  Tacos, refried beans

Matt was craving a chocolate pie last week so I made a chocolate mousse pie with a shortcake crust for dessert tonight and topped it with fresh whipped cream - YUM.

Housekeeping Duties:
* washed bedding
* washed load of whites
* washed load of colors
* vacuumed living room

I also clipped all the dog's nails and smoothed them down with the grinder.  Discovered a fat cyst on Lacey under her leg which explains her occasional limping.  I'll have to get her in as soon as I can afford it to have that checked.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I finished my first week at my new position and really have enjoyed my week.  I've been a little overwhelmed with  trying to learn Quickbooks so quickly but we managed to get the reports completed for the board meeting next week.  I even got to take the deposits to the bank Friday.  It's really interesting to meet all the different people and hear where they're from.

The weather this week has been considerably milder then what I'm use to and I've been enjoying it thoroughly.  Today was the coolest temps we've had, waking to a temp of 58 and our high was only 69.  I totally love this type of weather.  To bad there's not a location somewhere where the temps are like this year around.  We had thunderstorms predicted for early morning and then later this afternoon but so far have gotten nothing but a few drops here and there.  The dogs and I did manage to get a wander in this evening although not the longer hike I'd planned to do today.  My boss told me about some trails by work that I wanted to check out but there's always tomorrow.

I did a shopping trip this morning to Coborn's.  This is the first time I've shopped at this grocery store.  I received an email this morning with their ad so I matched up the ad to coupons and tried to keep the total as low as I could.  I still wasn't happy with the total ($89) but until I get the pantry restocked it's going to be higher then I want especially since food prices here are so much higher then I'm use to.  Meat prices in particular are much more expensive here - I've never seen drum sticks and thighs cost $2.79 ON SALE!  I bought shampoo for Matt that he hadn't been able to find since getting here and laundry detergent which pushed the total up too.  They had a coupon for $5 off if you buy 10 items out of a selected group.  When I got to the register, the register would only credit me with 7 of the 10 items.  The cashier tried to refuse to give me the $5 off even though I pulled out the items to prove I'd purchased all of them.  I had grabbed an ad when I went into the store and even showed the manager when he came over that one of the products was the exact one they showed in the ad and he still insisted on "checking".  I also had printed coupons for many of the 10 items that were part of this $5 off and after the store manager finally gave me the credit the cashier tried to refuse my other coupons because they wouldn't scan and she apparently wanted to avoid the extra step of manually entering them.  I finally got all the coupons credited (about $10 worth) but had to get an attitude to do it, which upset me.  I'll probably just take the flyer to Walmarts and have them do a price match over going through that kind of headache again.

Some of the deals I was able to get today included:

* Kraft Mac & Cheese - free with store coupon
* Betty Crocker Cake Mixes 79c and I had a coupon for $1.00/2 = 19c
* Cheerios $1.50 - .50 coupon = $1.00
* Recipe Starter 99c - 50c = 49c

Today's Menu:
Lunch: Turkey sandwich on sourdough bread and Frito's
Supper: Cheesy potato soup with bacon

Menus for the rest of week based on what I purchased today:
* BBQ chicken and Parmesan noodles
* Cube steaks with tomato gravy and mashed potatoes
* Tacos and refried beans
* Broccoli cheddar soup
* Chicken pot pie with biscuit topping

Lunches this week will include:
* Turkey sandwiches
* Egg salad sandwiches
* Tuna salad sandwiches
* Leftovers

I did get the dining room table cleaned off and items put away today and also got the counter in the dining room unit cleaned off.  Pictures coming.  Matt unpacked and hooked up the Wii, stereo, and VCR/DVD player.  I can finally watch Netflix again!!!  He also fixed the toilet in the 2nd bathroom - the bolts had rusted through and needed replacing.  I also got the Jeep unpacked (finally!).  I had the cast iron griddle, 2 dog beds, one of the dog bags, and some other dog items that needed to be brought in still.  I even managed to wash both dog beds so they have nice clean smelling beds to sleep on.  I also did a Tractor Supply run for dog food this morning before I went to the grocery store since it's across the street.  Another example of my sticker shock since getting here.  The food I buy them cost me $19 for the smaller bag or $36 for the large bag and here it cost $26 for the smaller bag and $48 for the larger bag.  YIKES!  On the other hand I was able to get a large bag of cat litter for $2.99. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Breadmaking and a Job!

Today I got the call that the job I've been wanting since before we left Michigan was mine!  I was so excited.  I'll be working at a museum and it's only a half mile down the road.  I start tomorrow.  My menu for today changed since Matt wanted to take me out for a celebratory dinner.  We tried a new place, Fort Frontier Bar & Grill, that is right by the museum.  We discovered it while we were exploring Frontier Village this weekend.  It's right outside Frontier Village.

I started getting my kitchen straightened out today and got my baking center set up.  I decided to make the sandwich bread I've been wanting to make.  I wasn't big on the sourdough bread I bought at the store for sandwiches so needed something else to use for my lunch.  Wish this had smell-o-vision because it smells delicious.

I'm fortunate that the lace curtains in our bedroom were already brown so they work with my color scheme.  The room is long but not super wide.  I love the closet area with the makeup area.  I need to either find or make a skirt for the bottom of the bed.  The wallpaper in the makeup area has to go too.  For better organization I plan to get some corner shelves to put my lotions and such on so everything isn't on the desk itself.  The closet on the left is Matt's and the closet on the right is mine.

North Dakota - we have arrived!

I know I've been MIA but with good reason - WE'VE MOVED!!!  Our wish to move to North Dakota has happened and two weeks ago we completed the move with me joining Matt in our new home.  I'm so excited to start this new chapter in our life. 

It has been like an avalanche that swept us away from the initial phone call asking Matt if he'd be interested in applying for a position to our trek across 6 states.  It took about 5 weeks before Matt was able to come back and help me move all our belongings but we did it and I'm in the final stretch of unpacking. 

Matt way overestimated how much room was in the moving van (26 footer) and didn't take my suggestion of using the bookcases to store things like the canning jars inside of.  Ultimately it ended up forcing me to leave things behind that I really wanted to take but couldn't fit in.  Matt also wasn't able to bring things from the garage that he wanted.  Unfortunately 2 of the big items that had to be left were the snow blower and the BBQ grill.  I had problems finishing with the packing due to the unbearable heat - it was just to hot in the house to do anything physical the last 2 weeks.  We only had a working air conditioner in the bedroom.

The trip took us 27 hours.  We tried to get off at 3 exits to find a hotel but there were no vacancies so we were forced to take power naps at rest areas along the way.  I had the pet mobile with both cats in the dog crate in the back of my Jeep, the border collies on the back seat and Oreo was in the front with me.  All the furkids made the trip without problems, even the cats.  They've all settled into their new home and love it.  The cats are loving the bigger place and love running from one end to the other chasing each other.  They also love the fact there are windows we can open that they can lay in.  The dogs are loving being able to take walks again.  The all seem so much more relaxed and I know there's a variety of reasons for that but it's so nice to see them happy again. 

Unfortunately I have not found work yet but I'm actively looking.  In some ways I think it's been the best thing for the furkids for me to be home for a while before I start working to help them ease into the new place and see familiar things get set back up.  It's probably good for me to have time off before the next phase but I'm ready to get back to working not to mention we need my income.

Due to the lack of space I was forced to leave my all the food I still had in the cupboards.  I'd planned on that helping get us through and now don't have it so the cupboards are almost empty here and we're on an extremely tight budget.  Fortunately I was able to get all the spices packed so I don't have to replace all those as well. 

Sunday:  (Actual)
Breakfast: English Muffin Bread (homemade)
Lunch - Dairy Queen had double cheeseburger combos on special so we paid less then $9 for lunch.
Supper - Spaghetti - we only used a 1/2 pound of burger in the sauce to stretch the burger.  I used the other half a couple days ago when I made Beefaroni.

Breakfast: English Muffin Bread
Lunch: Turkey Sandwiches, Frito's
Dinner: Chicken fried rice - using chicken from a chicken leg quarter leftover from yesterday.

One of the great things with our our new home is all the counter space.  I'm finally able to use my bread mixer and leave it on the counter for frequent use.  I made pizza dough in it earlier last week and then made 2 loafs of English Muffin bread last night.  I'll be making some bread for sandwiches in the next day or two.