Monthly Archives: April 2011

how my brain works – food budget

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See epic long entry prior to this to understand why I need the security of planning shit like this to keep me sane… even though this will sound completely insane.

Living together means eating together. He provides the cash and I provide the cooking, budgeting, and list making.

In an effort to prevent repeated meals, getting into a rut, and to save money by planning things out, we took a calendar and between the two of us we planned out 6 weeks worth of dinners. I’m not talking big descriptions, just something like “Beef Stroganoff” or “pasta night”.

The next step was to figure out how daily lunches fit into this. Then breakfasts. Then I allotted for a few nights in that time frame where other people are cooking (like Passover and Easter), where he’s bartending (random side job thats not steady) and when we’re going out with friends (going away dinner) and his birthday.

14 days with 3 meals a day is 42 meals for two people (so really 84) and of that about 10 are not coming out of our budget (my business trip is company paid, his birthday will be other people paying, bartending nights are leftovers nights, etc.)

Yes, this is how my brain works… I plan and I’m good at it, but I tend to over think it.

Breakfasts were easy – cereal for him, instant breakfast for me. Lunches were moderately challenging since we have different appetites but that was still easy and cheap. The dinners were a challenge because side dishes weren’t included in the generic calendar ideas. Fuck.

So first I made my lists of ingredients I’d need for each meal, then I thought of sides and added those ingredients in, and then went through those lists and consolidated into one very long grocery list. I mean LONG.

Today was shopping day and after a trip to Sams Club (bulk), Walmart (hello cheap!), and a pricey local grocery store for 5 measily ingredients, we got all but about $20 worth of stuff we HAVE to wait to buy for freshness sake.

Now the challenge will be to make this stuff last, but with fresh and canned fruit I can do the fresh stuff one week and canned the next, alternating snacks and alternating between sandwiches and leftovers, I think this is totally doable.

The next challenge? Making everything we bought fit in the apartment! We had to clean out the fridge, freezer, and pantry to do it, but it worked.

Yes, this is totally insane. Yes, I’m a nutball for needing to plan. No, I don’t regret it and damnit, we hit our budget! I did all of this for $250.34. 70ish meals for 2 weeks for 2 people for only $250!

Not only will we be eating healthy, but now (since we’re on a tight budget in order to save up for some things) there’s no money left which is actually a good thing because that means no trips to the grocery store for two whole weeks! No money left to splurge and regret to eat take out meals, buy junkfood, or stray off the plan. No more scrambling the last 30 minutes before the work day is over wondering “wtf am I gonna make for dinner?” and then scrambling to find groceries, a recipe, AND energy to cook. Now it’s “Oh look, i can make this this or this.” POOF! And it’s changable. After all the shopping today and the cleaning yesterday I was so fucking tired that I knew making a big dinner wasn’t happening so I picked a 30 minute meal and whipped up beef stroganoff. Easy peasy.

And damn it, I’m fucking proud of us! We did it together (the shopping part and some of the planning) and while he was all “ooooh shiny!” in the bulk store and wanted everything, I had to be the “no we’re up to $150 in this store and still need this many groceries” or “yes, I forgot that in the list so grab it.” But it still worked.

The next time I do this in two weeks, it will take half as long and pretty soon, I’ll have this down to a fine art. By the time we have kids in the picture, I’ll be a fucking professional at this shit!

so March kinda sucked…

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I’ve always been one of those people who prefers to get the bad news out of the way first and then end on a high note. When given the choice, I will ALWAYS pick the worst news first and work my way down. However, to keep this in sequential order, it’s gonna jump around a bit.

March started off with such amazing potential. My dad checked himself into rehab! I got new glasses and contacts! My sex life was awesome! I gave myself a mini makeover by deciding to grow out my bangs, dye my hair, and get my eyebrows waxed for the first time ever. I even got a fancy pants haircut at a real salon! I also got a tattoo and had awesome girlie time with Marion! YAY!!!!!!!

And then…

That tattoo? Yeah, I had my first allergic reaction to a tattoo EVER! I have 6 other tattoos and not once did I endure this kind of agony. My foot swelled up so bad I couldn’t walk on it. And then the itching. Dear Jesus the itching. It was like my worst mosquito bite reactions and I was scratching my skin off! Marion’s got infected too, but for a different reason. Such fun! I ended up at urgent care and walked away with antibiotics, prednisone, and diflucan (so could avoid a yeast infection because I swear to God, if that that happened on top of everything else, I would have thrown in the towel.)

And then…

I was put on sex restriction because Dean had his sperm test coming up. We made a deal that if he couldn’t have an orgasm for 12 days, neither could I. Why I agreed to this, I will never know. Suffice to say this made me a cranky bitch.

And then…

Ever since we got back from the beach in September, Dean has been getting coughs and colds a lot. (Interestingly enough, we took mom’s dogs with us and the one dog got violently sick with a lung infection and died a month later. I also got horrendously sick there and now Dean? We are never going back to that house.) For someone who isn’t sick often, once a month is a lot. A few weeks ago he went to the doctor, got on antibiotics, took a bunch of meds, felt better, overexerted himself moving his stuff in while I was at work (brilliant!!!) and then got worse. He went back for a follow up and the doctor sent him for a chest X-ray. The results of that came quickly and they saw enlarged lymph nodes in his throat area so the doctor sent him for a chest CAT scan. That scan revealed enlarged/swollen lymph nodes throughout his entire chest. The doctor told him it was one of two things: Sarcoidisis or Lymphoma and he needed to see a pulmonologist. What they did not say was that this could also be viral so about 30 seconds after I got off the phone with Dean, I burst into tears and called my mommy. I spent the entire weekend keeping Dean afloat and refusing to let him sink into depression. There was nothing to get upset about yet – we didn’t have a diagnosis. Between us and our two moms and lots of phone calls, we all held it together.

And then…

My mom had asked me to contact Chet about a website he’d built for her business and needing something changed. I couldn’t figure it out so I emailed him. He didn’t reply for about a week and then there it was, the reply. It was actually a very pleasant exchange of emails and after a week went by, everything was fixed. I actually felt like I had the final bit of closure I needed to stop seeing him as a bad guy. Yeah, we had our problems and no, it wasn’t a good relationship for me, but the experience of it set me up for the amazing relationship I have now. I will always love Chet on some level, but I’m glad we ended things when we did.

And then…

We met with the pulmonologist and had our fears eased. That doctor said and I quote “I would bet money this is not cancer” and it was like I could breathe again. Okay so it’s probably sarcoidosis but you know what? That’s treatable, can go away on its own, and if it is that, he’s had it for years. It was pure chance they even found it and they only did because the physician was ruling out pneumonia! I can deal with this! But then he tells us about the biopsy that still needs to be done on the lymph nodes and after looking at charts and diagrams, I now understand how complicated it is to take a biopsy of a lymph node in your chest. He will have to be asleep for this and under anesthesia and then they’ll use a sonogram on the surface to find the right nodes to biopsy. I’ll be taking that day off from work because yes, it’s probably sarcoidisis, but on the off chance it is lymphoma? Fuck you, I’m not leaving the love of my life alone to deal with this. Except no “fuck you” is needed because my boss is amazing and told me “just tell me when”.

And then…

I had my monthly owner bill at work the same week as the pulmonologist appointment AND we were moving on site from one trailer to a new trailer in a new spot on the same property. You have any idea what all goes into a move like that? Let me tell you in one phrase: complete and utter fucking chaos.

And then…

We started fighting. The stress of it all started hitting us and we fought about 13 times that week. Small nothing arguments that were really just mutual outbursts.

And then…

I had lunch with both of our moms. I wanted them to meet each other and secure our future. I knew they’d hit it off and the lunch was a huge success. We had a blast!

And then…

Somewhere in February Dean decided he’d be moving in for good at the end of March and then POOF! He was just there all the time and suddenly this was daily and suddenly I was out of money because I kept having to buy groceries because we weren’t planning anything and FUCK! I have to make breakfast? And lunch? AND dinner? And clean everything? And balance everything else going on in my life? Are you fucking kidding me? Shit motherfucker fuck shit.

And then…

Meanwhile through all of this, my dad is going through the stages of rehab and as he continues to progress, he starts to understand what a fucking bastard he’s been and there are many phone calls. Plus, he’s using my address as his for now since he doesn’t have one and I’m constantly involved.

And then…

I was walking my dog one night and Will/Stone was driving by at the exact moment so he decided to stop by. I didn’t see him until I was walking back up the steps to my apartment and he was too and it was this “WOAH! WTF?” moment. I took Nola inside and grabbed a poop bag (hello, forgot one!) to walk back out and clean up after her and had him come with me. We had a very brief exchange that summed everything up for the last year and then I lied and told him I was married. Not entirely sure why I did either. Holy fuck, my mind was blown and I was spinning. The one that got away came back again and while I felt a flutter of the old, I had zero desire to remove my clothes and look at that, more closure! We gave each other a hug goodbye and I took off for Maryland because the next morning were more tests for Dean and I needed to be with him so it was easier to spend the night at his mom’s house. I was going to wait to tell Dean because of the tests the next day and I didn’t want them affected, but I knew that was worse. I said “If I had something to tell you that I know you wouldn’t be happy about, would you rather hear it now or after your tests tomorrow?” He said he’d be furious if I’d waited so I told him about Chet and Will and waited for the backlash. No backlash! I mean I know nothing happened, but I was bracing for impact anyway. Dean was happy I told him, glad things were resolved with the menfolk, and then we moved on. *whew*

And then…

Among the other tests that morning, Dean had his sperm test and it was awkward initially but then I said “come the fuck on! We’ve done far kinkier shit than this!” and then I took my shirt off and we finished the test. No results for another week, but hey, it’s over with and now we can have sex again!!! YAY!

And then…

Instead of having sex or being intimate, we started doing too many things and then I was 14 days without an orgasm and he wasn’t so I was evil. We had a big fight and he left and I didn’t think he was coming back and I didn’t care. That’s how utterly fucking drained I was and how pissed off I was at his ungratefulness for everything I’d done the last few weeks. That didn’t last long though and when he came home I had a total meltdown and finally told “I cannot do everything! This is a partnership and yet I’m doing everything. I can’t deal with the owner bill and the move at work and hold you up during this cancer scare and deal with my dad constantly and still keep a happy face while going to lunch with our moms to secure our future and still take my meds that make me feel like shit every fucking day and support my brothers who can’t deal with the dad stuff AND still come home and cook and clean. I CAN’T DO IT ANYMORE! It’s your turn to hold me up because if you can’t then we have no future. We have to hold each other up.” Poof! Problem solved.

And then…

Make up sex! FINALLY! Thank God for make up sex.

And then…

My dad being in rehab is quite possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to him and us. I’ve had the first real honest to God back and forth exchanges of dialog in over 5 years. It was always dad dad dad whenever he called me to the point I started ignoring his calls. He was totally unreliable too and he’d constantly tell me we’d meet up for dinner and then blow me off. Now it’s the opposite. Now I can rely on him. I won’t lie, it’s weird. (Then again, it’s hard for me to adjust to what most people call normal things… like having healthy relationship with Dean, being supported by a man, having a dialog with my father, HAVING a father again.) He’s found a group home for men to move into next week when the live-in program is over and he “graduates”. He also fired his lawyer and found one hell of a shark to replace him so I have more faith than I did before that the bullshit charges will be sorted out from the legit charges and he’ll get the correct punishment, not the wrong one. I’m leaving it at that.

And then…

The surgeon who is doing the biopsy on Deans lymph nodes? Hahaha yeah. They won’t even SCHEDULE the biopsy until we send them a CD of the Chest CAT Scan. Really? You can’t just use the films we already gave the pulmonologist who will be involved in the biopsy? You have to have a CD? REALLY? Yup, really. So Dean’s mom swung into action, picked up the CD, overnighted it to the surgeons office, I called the office to give her a heads up… and nothing happened.

Now…

Now it’s April. We have wait for the sperm results, wait for the doctors to get their shit together and schedule this fucking biopsy, wait for biopsy results, wait to find out what my doctor will say based on the sperm results, wait to find out the future of our baby making ability, and wait wait wait some more!