Day 20 – Saturday, June 1, 2013
Thursday ended with a whimper but it wasn't a total waste. I took the car into work that morning so I could bring home some of the personal stuff I would be unable to pack in the upcoming work move. It also gave me an excuse to take the afternoon off and do some quick and dirty price checks at all the grocers I routinely patronize. I needed to have a better handle on what all this is costing us and how I can shave that cost down.
The co-op downtown, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, of which I have been a member for more than 20 years, had most of the ingredients I'm now using, plus the enzymes and vitamins, and the veggie weenies, which were on sale. I could buy those by the case but I could not fit them all in our freezer and my husband shot that idea down. I have to agree. We have no idea whether she will be alive in a few weeks. Best not waste our money on something we ourselves won't eat.
The co-op also had Hemp, soy, and whey proteins but they are all costly. Going by the product labels, servings would last about a week and they were all over $14 a container.
Smart & Final had a few of the beans at the best price, but not all of them. They had brown rice too, in large quantities, but not the best price for those. Safeway had two beans and rice but their prices were not better than anyone else's. Trader Joe's had the best price on brown rice, up to three pounds, but only one bean. I bought some tea for my husband and swung by the Mediterranean Market for four more packages of Fava beans. Wanted to get eight but couldn't find a small basket and slippery packages of frozen beans in my arms was COLD! Was also in a rush, of course, as I had to be home by 1:30 sharp.
By evening I had paired my inventory of last Monday with my price list and come up with a shopping list for this weekend. But on Friday I decided to take another afternoon off so I could shop for seaweed. I was dissatisfied with the over five dollars I had paid for a package at 3.5 ounces. There must be something better somewhere else.
After cranking out letters for my current work, and dropping them off in our business services office to ensure they'd get out into the mail that day, I hit the road by public transit for an Asian market. I had reasoned that if Fava beans, being native to the Mediterranean, were more available in a Mediterranean grocer, then shouldn't seaweed, most frequently found in Sushi and Asian cuisine, be more available in an Asian grocer? I had done some research online and found a Japanese grocer with good reviews on Yelp, one Oto's Marketplace, south of downtown in an area I seldom frequented.
Oto's was fabulous! The mark of a good ethnic establishment is that your see lots of customers of that ethnicity. While there were a few Caucasians like myself there, every aisle had Asians, many turned out to be English speaking but there were also some obvious first generations there too. The staff was also clearly bilingual. While most of the produce had Asian script, they also had English product information, and shelf labels were all in English. I found two generous displays of seaweed and spoke to a couple other customers making seaweed choices. I came home with three generous packages, none of them from China, total less than $6.
I took my time getting around, keeping my itinerary short and simple. As a veteran user of public transit, I have found my energy lasts best if I hit the farthest point first and work my way back homeward. So Oto’s was first, then lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant (full of Vietnamese customers). I took my lunch to go and finished eating it in the dining room at the Co-op. I picked up the veggie weenies, some beans that were on my shopping list, and re-considered the protein powders, then started the long ride home. Got home an hour earlier than normally. Temperatures were in the high 80's and got up to 95 by the time I got home. I was beat.
Today will be, OMG, exhausting. I've got all the ingredients for the beans and rice, so I'll let my husband do the grocery shopping while I get those going. Also have chicken thighs to cook up for myself, think we'll do a pizza dinner, must take an afternoon nap or I won't be able to stay up for the movie Epic I want to see tonight. I reasoned there would be fewer kids if I went to a late night showing on the second weekend. Gotta pay the mortgage and work on the budget, update bus schedules in my Evernote, do a little organization around here.
Crap, just realized that if I want fresh fruit and vegetables at the farmer's market, I would have to hit them myself, as my husband will not be up in time to do it. Or I should say, he'll be up, but not done with his morning routine. Guess that's ok, beans will be in their hot soak by then.
Tomorrow will do up a second batch of beans and rice and have an appointment to take Lucy to the vet to get her nails trimmed and check her weight. That will hopefully tell us if she is getting enough nutrition from the program or if we are over-feeding her (or under-exercising her, which is also a strong possibility). We may or may not have the vet examine her. Haven't discussed it yet. But it's a thought.
Later the same day...
Back from the vet. Looks like she's gained two pounds. She was extremely uncomfortable there, trying constantly to leave. Without Sasha at her side, and perhaps remembering pain from her last visit, she wanted out, badly. Thankfully, our visit was brief.
More bad news... Checked out her swellings, which have so far been just on the right side of her body. Not any more. Small swellings apparent on the opposite side, all three spots. Heavy sigh. Good news, saw a dog program that described how to give dogs pills and managed to get two enzyme tabs down her throat without food. Tried chewable, human multi-vitamins and vitamin C tabs. She wasn't 100% thrilled with them but ate them, with a little encouragement.
Decided to forgo the movie. Just don't have the temperament to deal with the possible patrons at a G-rated movie. I'll wait until it comes out at the Red Box and get started on the bean hot soak and the spring cleaning.
Boy, the hits just keep coming...
Home from the dog park with Sasha, my husband noticed one of the tires is so worn it is showing the metal inside. Has to go out immediately and buy new tires. Guess pizza is the best we can do for our weekend dinner out.
Even changing out only two tires today, tires and labor comes to $264. That much again in July. And let's not forget routine maintenance on the car, which is way overdue.
You know, this is often the way cancer and other long-term illnesses defeat people, they just can't afford to keep up with the treatments. Well, we can only do as much as we can do.
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