Catch-Up: Still Here, Just Busy!


Our hibiscus did get uprooted during the storm; hopefully staking and replanting will be enough…

School and travel and then this crazy hurricane have kept me from this space, but I miss it! I’m super behind on reading everyone’s blogs, too, but I’ll get to that soon. I’m going to do this bullet-style and just jump in where I am.

  • We were so lucky to experience no damage to our home or property during Hurricane Matthew. We were out of power for about 30 hours. We went out for coffee yesterday morning (note to self — figure out a way to make coffee even if there is no electricity) and were a little surprised by the damage in our area since we experienced so little AND because we were pretty far to the south and west of the hurricane’s path. Anyway, the power outage luckily didn’t affect any of our stored food, which is a blessing for sure. We also realized how dependent almost everything we do is dependent in some way on power — I wanted to work a little bit on my quilting projects, but realized that I would need an iron even to cut out fabric. A little sobering, to be sure.
  • I had a wonderful weekend in Myrtle Beach with a very close friend from college. We really focused on relaxation and reconnecting and overall it was a low-key and wonderful way to spend a weekend. I came back home feeling refreshed and centered.
  • We bought a new car! I’ve never gone through that process, actually, and it was a little intimidating. But we had done a lot of research and knew what we wanted, knew our budget and knew that we wanted to put x amount down. So it went smoothly but still took longer than I expected. I drove the new car up to SC and it was fabulous. Both of our cars were over 10 years old, so the features on this new car kind of blow our minds. 🙂
  • My grocery budget…ah, kind of a shambles, actually. I don’t think it was entirely realistic of me to lump household products into that total and at the end of last month I had kind of a spree at Target where I rather stocked up on boring old cleaning and personal supplies. I know that lots of folks make their own and that others really like the cleaning products from the Dollar Tree. I have tried the LA’s awesome cleaner and it does work really well, but the scent is so strong! I really have trouble breathing and sneeze a lot when I use heavily scented cleaners. Plus they can aggravate a headache. I’m also feeling generally as though I would prefer to pay a bit more attention to my food’s origins and that household products should be minimally environmentally friendly, if possible. I don’t know what this will look like, exactly, but I think that rather than having a strict budget for the rest of the year, I am going to primarily record what I buy and see where we land with these new parameters.
  • School is going really well, but definitely taking up quite a bit of my time. 🙂 I haven’t taken advantage of the wellness center as much as I’ve wanted to, but plan to change that this week. I’ve also decided to go back to this yoga teacher that I really loved a few years ago; I think this and other things will be so helpful to me as far as managing stress and minimizing headaches is concerned.

8 thoughts on “Catch-Up: Still Here, Just Busy!

  1. Glad you survived the storm with no major issues I don’t know what you have in your budget, or cooking capabilities when the power is off, but a tabletop butane burner and a coffee pour over can be figurative life savers. The actual burners are in the 25 dollar range. The canisters of butane are about 5 bucks a can but are great to have in a power crisis.

    1. Thanks Anne! I was thinking about pour over coffee. We don’t have a butane burner, but it’s been in the back of my mind for a while. The lack of power this week amped up that as a priority. I normally buy coffee beans, so might want to grab some preground stuff to stash in the freezer. I’m also considering the Starbucks Via coffee packs — they’re the best instant I can think of.

      I take my coffee rather seriously. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the update. So glad to hear you came through the hurricane without much damage to your home and property. Being without power is scary, isn’t it? As you said, we are so dependent on power for just about everything, these days. Glad you enjoyed taking a break with your friend. A little time off to relax and enjoy yourself is so important, isn’t it?

    Congratulations on the new car. I’m sure you’ll enjoy driving it.

    It sounds like you’ve a good strategy for figuring out a new grocery budget based on your new buying criteria. See how much you spend over the next couple of months and take it from there.

    1. Yes, no power really makes you reflect on how much we rely on it and other modern conveniences. I’m so glad we never lost water as that would have been a real problem.

      I think the biggest thing for me, with a grocery budget, is that when I make it so low that I scrape the ceiling or go over every month I just feel defeated. So making it higher but keeping under that number may well be the better strategy for myself. And I still don’t know exactly how to make up the distance between my ideology (pasture raised animal foods) and my budget. 😉

  3. Get yourself a camping stove and some small propane tanks and don’t forget a lighter. You can heat up water and cook on the stove and use a French press to make coffee. Thrift stores routinely have French presses.

    Congrats on the new car! Doesn’t it make driving so much more enjoyable? are you still looking for your old car in tbe parking lot, though? It always takes me a while to get used to having a new vehicle! What did you get? I’m nosy 🙂

    Sorry about your hibiscus. I hope it comes back to life!

    Good luck figuring out your budget. You’ve got to do what works for you and it may not look like what works for someone else. It’s a trial and error process but, presuming that funds aren’t extremely limited, you can adjust it too!

    1. Yes, I’d had a propane burner on my list but since we have a grill (charcoal) I hadn’t made it a priority. But really I’d prefer to make my own coffee and, as Anne mentioned in a previous comment, they’re pretty inexpensive, so it’s mostly been laziness that kept me from picking up before this. I think a burner will be easier for other non-electric cooking, too, if we were to have an extended power outage.

      We bought a Hyundai Sonata – so far we really really like it. It is an adjustment from the previous car, though!

  4. I am quite sensitive to a lot of scents. I don’t know how you do with lavender, but I am able to buy an eco friendly laundry liquid at Sam’s Club that is lavender scented (but not heavily). My daughter-in-law loves Mrs. Meyers (spelling?) cleaning products and because they don’t have a huge family is able to use them. I do buy dish detergent from Dollar Tree and I buy a Spic and Span cleaner that don’t bother me, but often I end up with Simple Green or something of the sort. While I am not crazy about its scent it does dissipate quickly and it is multi purpose.

    1. I grew up with Simple Green and don’t mind the scent, especially as it isn’t overpowering. But it’s hard for me to find here, for some reason. Right now I have probably enough household cleaners on hand to really price things out and determine what direction I want to take. I love Mrs. Meyer’s products!

      I also love lavender; I’m not a Sam’s Club member, but a friend is and she might be willing to pick up some for me. I also really like BioKleen, which I can get at the local health food stores. Really any “free and clear” scent is fine, but they don’t all work equally well, I find.

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