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good weekend, and cheap!

August 31st, 2016 at 07:31 pm

After work on Friday I met my friend M in a nearby small town where we walked for almost an hour and then chatted for a bit on a park bench before parting ways. I was on day 12 (I'm now on day 17!) of eating no sugar, so that negated any desire to splurge at one of two local ice cream establishments. It was a free, healthy and satisfying evening activity.

I spent most of Saturday at home cleaning up and relaxing. M's partner and daughter were away for a few days and she loosely suggested doing something. She ended up contacting D & T, old friends of ours who we haven't seen in a very long time, and they were free and invited us over for dinner. We made the hour trek to their neck of the woods and on the way we stopped at a beautiful swimming hole for a dip in the icy river, which felt so good on a hot day!

We continued on to our friends' house and the four of us and their dog went for a long walk on a quiet dirt road. We then hung out on their deck, which affords a gorgeous view, drinking beers and eating chips and tomatillo salsa that M had made with items from her garden and tomatillos from a friend. The salsa was so delicious and I chowed down.

Then we had dinner - grilled sweet corn on the cob, grilled corn tortillas with black beans, rice, cherry tomatoes, cheese, scallions, parsley, salsa, and a big pile of steamed green and yellow string beans. All of the produce except the corn was from T's and M's gardens. We finished the meal with local grapes that I provided and wild blackberries that T had picked in the woods.

It was really fun to see D & T again. Time really flies. They were two of my best friends back in the 90s and early 2000s. But they live an hour away with a mountain in between and, at some point, I just got busy with work and life and depression and didn't have the energy to drive as much as when I was younger. They had a son and our lives went in different directions. But, over the past few years we've managed to connect once in a while, but I haven't hung out at their house in a very long time. Back in the day, I'd go over for dinner on Friday evening and end up staying until Monday morning...I was the guest that wouldn't leave! At the time, I lived in an apartment and it was much more fun to gather at their beautiful house, so I visited them more than they visited me. Anyway, the passage of time and the losses that occur with that reality make me feel sad.

If our Saturday visit hadn't been so spontaneous, I would have shopped and contributed more to the meal, but there are no good food stores on the drive to D & T's place. I brought four beers that I happened to have in my fridge, some local grapes that I bought on Friday, and a can of black beans from my cupboard that didn't get used. I also brought some leftover salsa that I had in the fridge just in case the salsas that M and T made were too spicy. They both love the heat and I'm a wimp! We would have stopped to get the corn, but we weren't going to pass any farm stands, so D picked it up on his way home from an earlier outing.

The food was all so fresh...I love this time of the year and most of my friends are dedicated gardeners and healthy cooks. A different friend D invited me over a few weekends ago for soft tacos made with local beef and some homemade cookies and cream ice cream. Yum!

I spent most of Sunday annoyed at myself for one of my more unsavory financial flaws. I have a tendency to overbuy when I clothes shop because I have a hard time making decisions in the store. I spend a ton of money with the intention of returning some of the items once I get home and try things on. In late July, an old college friend C spontaneously texted and invited me up to his cabin on a river in northern Quebec for a few days. I said yes and then, I'm not sure why, went to TJ M@xx to look at clothes.

I ended up spending about $360 because I was in a rush and couldn't make decisions. I took a few things on my trip and only ended up wearing one item, which I really like. Then the bag sat in my house for 29 days until Sunday, which was the last day to return items for a refund. Ugh. I finally tried things on and decided what to keep. I was annoyed because at 7:00p (I had procrastinated all day) I had to drive to the town where I work on a non-work day to return the unwanted items! I couldn’t wait until Monday and do it while in town for work because I would have missed the 30-day refund period. I returned about $170 worth of clothes. Oh, well, live and don't learn Smile because I'm sure that I will do it again.

While in that section of town, I stopped at a grocery store that I don't frequent because of its inconvenient location and bought cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese for tomato season, and baby wipes. TMI alert, but because of a previous health problem, I need to use "wipes" in the bathroom and the conventional brands irritate my delicate skin Smile. So, I've been using natural brand baby wipes for years and this particular grocery store sells them in bulk. I tear them in half before using to make the quantity stretch.

I spent $16.80 on those three items, making it a low-spend but enjoyable weekend.

4 Responses to “good weekend, and cheap!”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    I have a friend who does the same thing with clothes. My observation is that she buys things she doesn't even really like, and at some level she knows it, but she's panicking and she thinks she won't find anything else. My advice is not to ever buy anything you don't LOVE! If you are familiar with Marie Kondo's book on tidying, this is her philosophy. Anything you bring into your life should spark joy. If it doesn't, leave it in the store! Much easier, and much more satisfying.

    (Hope you understand I'm offering this in the spirit of helpfulness, not criticism.)

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Glad you got the stuff returned before the deadline. It sounds like you had a nice visit with your friend.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    A few days on a river in a cabin in northern quebec sounds wonderful.

    Any photos? I love Canada.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Sounds like a really lovely time. Nothing better than a relaxing home-cooked meal and conversation with friends. I'm really happy to hear about you reconnecting with them. It is sad when we don't hang out with people as much anymore, but sometimes it's nothing personal, just different routines and life getting in the way.

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