Monday, March 25, 2013

Austerity Measures

Working at the wine store.

We had a nice, quiet, and - most importantly - CHEAP weekend. Most important because the latest step in our ongoing Adventures in Debt is to enact Austerity Measures. This is nothing new - we've been cutting corners and living a no frills lifestyle for a while now. But it's a helpful way to frame our goals of crawling out of debt and getting through the lean months of summer, when we're both working part time and I don't get my usual monthly stipend from the university. Each time we're tempted to buy a fancy six pack of beer, or go out to dinner, or splurge on something that is more luxury than necessity, we yell "AUSTERITY MEASURES," and then it's easy to pick a cheaper beer, or make a stir fry at home, or simply go without for now. Also, people in stores probably think we're strange, but I'm okay with that. I'd rather be strange than destitute. 

Board game night!

As it turns out, the busier you are, the easier it is to enact Austerity Measures. I worked at the wine shop on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and Nathan had a Friday clinical and a Sunday volunteer shift. Our off time was spent huddled by the space heater (because it's officially spring and so naturally it's been cold and rainy all week), plodding along in our academic pursuits (studying for him, grading and reading and writing for me), and making time for some good, cheap fun with friends and board games. 

I splurged on a latte while working at the coffee shop. 

Banana bread!

A few other small things: 

I've been having a hard time keeping up with the blog these last few months. A First World Problem for sure, but it's still frustrating. I have ideas for posts (I want to post more recipes, give you a tour of the new chicken coop, share my forays into minimalism, talk more about writing and books and school) but I don't have any time to write them. Sure, I could slap something together in a few minutes and call it a day, but that's not my style. I actually spend time on my posts (believe it or not) and prefer them to be well written and thought out. The semester is over at the end of April, and then I'll have more time for writing here, and writing in general. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope you are too. 

I'm doing a little experiment, where I will not drink any alcohol Sunday through Tuesday. I usually have 2-3 glasses of wine a night, pretty much every night, but it's gotten to the point where I'm drinking not because I want to, but because it's part of my nightly routine. It's become a habit, just like walking the dogs and brushing my teeth. I realize this makes me sound like an alcoholic, and I honestly don't consider myself one. I just think that when I do enjoy a glass of wine, it should be intentional. Last night I baked banana bread and had a big mug of peppermint tea while we relaxed on the couch and watched Nikita, and I felt perfectly satisfied. I think this will also make it easier to drag myself to 6am yoga twice a week, which is important. 

If all goes according to plan, our flock will expand by the end of the week. Our local Farm Supply store is going to have baby chicks for sale this weekend, just in time for Easter. We don't celebrate Easter, but now that we have a huge chicken coop, we'd like to add three or four new friends to the mix. More about that later, most likely in nauseating detail, but suffice to say I'm excited. Baby chicks! Eeee!

And with that, I will end this random and disorganized post (what was that I said about well written and thought out? Never you mind.) Have a lovely Monday and I  hope to see y'all sooner rather than later. Until then!