"To grow old is to pass from passion to compassion."
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Accounting For A Year
When your CPA drawls, “If you don’t get me those numbers soon, you’ll be getting’ your knickers in a knot,” the interpretation: Get off your lazy butt and close out your 2006 books.
So I’ve been buried inside a mind bending accounting software program, and polishing my blue language for over a week now. I’d rather pull thorny weeds from the hot and hard panned soil. But that’s not today’s tale.
My latent accounting slam disallowed the pooch’s (Hank) and my morning walks. Today we walked. This walk compared to our last Saturday morning walk was different. I could not hear birds whistling, no cottontails jumped out of our path (and making Hank nearly insane), and no steady hum of vehicles in the distance. A telltale roar ripped the late August air, shocking me back to the real world. At 7300 feet, summer can end quickly. So as I approached my neighbor--attired in a t-shirt, shorts and boots, sweat leaving trails along his face--I waved. He slowed the telltale-roar’s culprit. I shouted, “This can’t be! We can’t be that close to summer’s end, can we?”
Not wanting to loose time with his project, he answered, “I can’t wait. I love it when it’s cold.” He put his noisy chainsaw back to work dismantling one of a thousand dead pinon trees that lie in fields near our homes.
That’s it! It’s late August 2007 and I can’t account for more than five days of this year.
Stunned, I called Hank back from his short foray into the woods and we moseyed back home. I poured iced water for both of us. (Apparently, nothing gets as hot as a Golden Retriever in the summer.)
Now that my 2006 books are nearly complete, I should make some nasturtium vinegar for the winter, begin my holiday to do list, and put off posting 2007 numbers until sometime next year. Photo: Hank playing pirate.
Stella, the gorgeous poodle pictured across from Hank, was just sent in by her human, one of the best realtors in Santa Fe, Joan Grossman. When Hank saw Stella dance at a Hanukkah celebration, that was it. Love. Total love.
Northern Californian, Marty Molidor, says "Yes" to cutting costs. This Six-oh-dear-dude even admits to being a skinflint. Skinflinting is a good idea. Here's what Marty has to say:
"I have some lifestyle things that help to save pennies...I maintain a spreadsheet of the things that (I) regularly buy at Costco (I try to get as much food and household stuff there as possible--not convenience stuff but bulky regular stuff). So, my spreadsheet has a row for each item. Example: chicken broth--which I now use with regular bulk rice instead of flavored rice...
The next column is the price, then the quantity (12 cans in the chicken broth example), then a calculated column which amounts to price per can. I keep a copy of my shopping list... so that if I find myself in a Safeway or FoodMaxx and I see their sale price for chicken broth for 80-cents a can, I compare it to my list which shows the Costco price at 66 cents. If the Safeway sale price is lower (rare) I stock up.
My wife will note when Safeway has this or that on sale for so much. I consult the list and let her know that the Costco price is still much better.
I print the (two sided) list every Saturday for my Costco trip and I check off the stuff we need. This just keeps me from having to write out what is needed. I also wear the list , attached to a lanyard around my neck like a convention badge, when I go shopping. Did I mention nerdy?
But the main idea is to keep aware of the Costco prices so we can avoid getting sale stuff elsewhere when we see sales...
Another thing we do is use a landline phone ($20 per month?) and keep a prepaid cell phone for when we need it. This only works if one's cell use is very occasional and not the main phone you own.
My kids laugh at this approach but sixty-somethings may understand. Also, no long distance carrier. I got sick of all the AT&T fees and charges. We use an MCI card for those occasional long distance calls. As in the case of the prepaid cell, the per minute charge is high but both have the beauty of no monthly charges/fees/taxes, etc. If you don't have a long distance carrier, you don't want to accept a collect long distance call, trust me. I paid $17 for a single collect call before I realized this."
Note: How does the Santa Fe Mother Blogger's spouse react when he opens the freezer? "Owy Cwap! What's with the bags of bones?"
No bone in the Santa Fe Mother Blogger's kitchen goes to trash. If I can't process them right away, the carcass and/or bones go into the freezer. (I have good bone density. Some I credit to this habit of recycling bones from chickens, turkeys and cattle).
When the need for broth arises, I place the carcass on a cookie sheet, blast some salt and pepper on it, then roast the bones at 450-degrees until good and crispy. That gets tossed into a big pot of boiling water spiced with refrigerator leftover celery, onion, whatever.
I cook it down to the point of where the smell is so good that I just gotta have some now. I strain it, then use that broth for just about anything. Oh yeah, I always make enough to freeze for the times I don't have the time to go through this process.
The roasting of the bones is what gives it that extra zing.
Nutrition on the Cheap-Lentil Sprouts
Try sprouting a handful of lentils.
Santa Fe Mother Blogger Reflects
After an 8-day freewheeling adventure in Baja, Clif caught me with a cup of coffee at the fabulous La Fonda in old Cabo San Lucas.