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  1. #556
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    Great pictures! I love the view from your room, the volcano in the distance is pretty cool. Looking forward to seeing more pics of your vacation.

    Decided that since I'm looking for specific things at resale stores and DH is off work, I have been stopping more on my way home from work to search for things. I normally can't do this because I have to get home to de-water the dogs. Found a couple of things I have been looking for and they were 1/2 off. Going to try some vegetarian chorizo tonight, hope it's good.
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

  2. #557
    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    Sister is visiting and leaving in the morning....haven't spent too much money....went to half price books and got some books but that is about it...
    Weather here is bad.....lots of flooding going on....hope my kids and grandkids get home from work okay.
    Having chicken for dinner...sister is on ww so it hasn't been too bad having to cook....I need to go on ww…..been saying that for years....

  3. #558
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Great pics, CH! It looks beautiful and so interesting.

    The new gh window is in! So happy it's this far along. We had no extra outlay of cash for the project, having used salvaged materials and stuff we bought years ago cheap for other projects that never got done. We saved over $100 by using what we had on hand. We bought 5 new fiberglass panels to replace damaged ones and I am not counting that cost even though we used 3 of them for the window project. Two of the originals are still good and we will use them to replace damaged ones, so that does not impact the replacement plans or costs we have to swap out old panels gradually over the next few years.

    So happy to have this project almost done. It will make such a difference in cooling the gh on hot days.
    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190507_143050_1557263823774.jpg

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  5. #559
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    awesome greenhouse spirit. lovely photos ch! a few people here buy places in costa rica for vacay homes since it is cheap.

    sunny week here. the usual housework etc. actually went to fitness class today. doc appts yesterday went on wrong day but got in and then xrays. ran errands , organized for guides tonight. w the other group..housework relay ..teach girls things like making beds, cut fruit, fold laundry start them young! doing dishwashing and fairy bread stations. knife skills spreading margarine and then using sprinkles leftover from halloween.

    went though the remaining romaine lettuce to make a salad ... the bagged salad kits are so pricey $5 and individual heads $3 -4 but you can get a bag of 3 for $5 but then you have to use them up. use a box of mac n cheese and smoked pork chops for dinner.

    not much sleep tonight. kitten is going to get fixed tomorrow so if he can't get food no one else can and no water after 6am. so he will have to be locked up when dh gets up. so 3 unhappy cats.

  6. #560
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    Put up 5 quarts of green peppers, 1 quart of chard, and 2 quarts beet greens in freezer. Canned 8 pints of applesauce and dehydrated apple rings. Canning zucchini relish tomorrow.

  7. #561
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    CH- Thanks for the photos!..Our neighbors spent a week there and loved it. Do the drivers drive on the right side of the road or left? How was the driving? Are there traffic lights or stop signs?

    My doctor gave me a new prescription and told me to ask the pharmacist how to use it properly...The pharmacist said he didn't have the time or manpower to help me and didn't know much about it (?). He said to stop in another day....Hmmm...Not sure what to do here except either 1) stop in another day and hope it's a better outcome, 2) look on youtube and maybe find something there or 3) bring it to my doctor and hopefully, he knows something about it.... I may end up doing #2 and/or #3. This is so frustrating.

    I put spearmint & thyme outside, added miracle- gro and a bit of water...It's been raining a lot since then. I hope they make it through this weather as snow is coming!

  8. #562
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Rujerro, the drivers drive on the right side, just like in the US and Canada. Though in the country there was a lot of driving in the middle of the road, which was pretty scary coming around a blind curve and finding a big truck coming at you. We had a driver, the tour agency provided us with one going to and from our hotels, and when we had day trips those tour guides came and picked us up. I understand many people rent cars and drive themselves around, but it was not something we wanted to deal with, especially the navigation. There are both traffic lights and stop signs, as you'd expect, though all in Spanish, of course. There were also many cute signs with animal silhouettes and warnings (in spanish) not to run over the wildlife.

    We saw a lot of vacation homes owned by rich foreigners, especially on the coast. Many were closed up as it is the end of the dry season and the rains have begun. We chose small country hotels, not resorts. Our first room was very simple, tiled floor, stucco walls, wooden furniture handmade by locals out of mango wood. We had hot water, a modern bathroom, and AC. The grounds of the hotel seem very lush, but these are native tropical plants not imports. They grow papaya, pineapple, mango, lime and other fruits and vegetables right on the property and serve it in the open-air dining room. We would eat fresh fruit and eggs for breakfast and watch the tropical birds come and peck at papaya rings hung up for them to eat.

    Just a few of the amazing flowers we saw:
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    We took a float trip down a river and saw so many animals. There were all kinds of birds, iguanas and other lizards, monkeys in the trees, and sloth, too. Our guide told us all about the animals and pointed them out for us. They are hard to spot, but by the end of the trip we were feeling like experts. We finished up the afternoon with a simple meal of local foods: fresh squeezed mango juice, fried plantain (the dark squares), fresh cheese (tasted like cheese curds), and a cake made of cassava flour (tasted sweet and a little like toasted coconut), and black coffee.

    2019 Frugal Challenge-img_20190427_101717257.jpg 2019 Frugal Challenge-img_20190427_122753511.jpg
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  9. #563
    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    Got my IRS refund, a bit ticked that it was less than I thought, but it was my fault. I got the letter from them explaining it. Stupid mistake.

    Now waiting for my state refund which will be a check mailed to me.
    Make America Kind Again.

  10. #564
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    More storms today. Canning the zucchini relish and making an apple pie. I’m sick of apples for awhile. Not doing much else. Too tired.

  11. #565
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    CH, thanks for sharing the additional pics, the flowers are gorgeous. The fresh fruit and animals would make me very happy! I am envious that you got to see a sloth in it's natural habitat. The birds have to be amazing too.

    My day off and I spent the whole day inside catching up on cleaning. Since DH is home, he has been keeping up on the yard cutting so I get a break for now. This gives me a chance to do a lot of things in the house that have been badly neglected. I got the shower heads cleaned today, cleaned the floor molding in the back of the house, washed bedroom blinds, cleaned closet tracks, window tracks and scrubbed my shower caddy. I also did a complete go through of the house. I hate that I wasted my whole day inside but feel good that I got a lot done that needs it. LO for dinner so I get a break on cooking tonight.
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

  12. #566
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I have some apples in the fridge and a store bought crust, I should make a pie, too.

    I went to yoga and then spent the afternoon doing housework. Was potting the geraniums I bought a few days ago when the Dr office called. Insurance has finally approved a drug to replace the one I had to stop over a year ago, and the one I took last year that made me even sicker, and the one my Dr wanted to put me on that they won't cover. So glad we are paying them thousands each year for coverage.

    Our third day of vacation we did two tours: a trip to see how coffee and chocolate are made, and a nature walk. Both were very informative, but boy were we tired afterward, it was a lot of walking and it was hot!

    They showed us the lifecycle of the coffee plant., how it is processed traditionally, and brewed:

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    This is a banana tree. It shares pollinators with coffee and they are often planted together.

    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190428_110224.jpg

    After that we got to try chocolate straight from the tree. There are beans inside the pod which have a sweet flesh. That is removed in processing, along with the seed husk to get at the kernel of chocolate at the center.

    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190428_110748.jpg

    The "nib" looks like a raisin and tastes just like dark chocolate. That is ground into a paste. They ground some by hand on an old machine and gave us each a dollop. We added sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, milk powder or cayenne to taste and made our own "bar". Mine looked more like a chocolate turd. It was very rich and tasty, being pure cocoa without additives. (Cocoa butter is often sold to cosmetic companies for a very high price and replaced with another vegetable oil in commercial candy bars)

    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190428_114030.jpg

    Costa Rica has exceptional quality coffee and chocolate. It also costs a bit. A single source bar from a small grower cost in the $8-10 range. Our guide told us the industry was starting to die out, because kids today do not want to do the hard work in the fields any more. It will probably be taken over by big industry, as there is still a large international demand for it.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  13. #567
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    lovely pictures and stories ch! hectic day of surprises to deal with. got my last workcheque which paid for kitten getting fixed. he got his cone off fast a couple of times and went for his stitches so looked up keeping cone on...tie to body so got tensor bandage since no ribbon was handy. he isn't happy. and the two other cats are overacting to his cone big time. in my whole life keeping cats the over doing it. dh got to clean up pee/poo that someone left upstairs because the cat food was taken away for 7 hrs. of course our damaged cat had to pee over things though it isn't about her. lots of cleaning. so will be interesting keeping the cone on him. poor little guy wants some love from them. thankfully for washing machines!

    so wanted to get takeout..dh was in a course today and didn't realize my less then subtle hint about getting me sushi from the asian market he was close by..fresh and cheaper then restaurant. so sandwiches for dinner since it turned out that we had rosemary ham still that ds didn't eat. so that is what dh and I did. used the multigrain loaf I got for free at moms group so dh could have the rest of the white. he can't eat multigrain. so saved money. gave my little blender/chopper to someone else since I don't use it much.2019 Frugal Challenge-59824100_10157681815002971_3246002936467161088_o.jpg

  14. #568
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    Loved seeing everyone’s pics. I need to clean house today, but not sure if that’s going to happen. Concert on courthouse lawn tonight. Two days without rain.

  15. #569
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Poor kitty, hope he heals up quickly and can have his cone off. I have to take mine for an allergy shot today.

    It's not raining today. It's 45 this morning! Who let winter back in? Damn, I hope this doesn't kill the tomatoes I just bought.

    One of the evenings in Costa Rica we went to a volcanic hot spring for a soak. This is probably the most touristy place we went. They had changing rooms and lockers, and a restaurant and a poolside bar. It was full of rich kids with phones in one hand and alcoholic drinks in the other. Mostly we stayed away from them.

    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190427_170048.jpg

    We soaked for ~2 hours, working from cool pools (90* water) to the hotter pools (100+), going back to cool off when necessary. It was very nice. I felt so good the next day. They say the minerals in the water have healing benefits.

    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190427_170154.jpg

    Part of our tour package was a "buffet dinner of typical foods". I was thinking, you know, steamer trays and a table of fruits and salads. It was kind of odd when we arrived for our reservation time and the place was empty, and I didn't see a buffet. They seated us and began bringing out food. Oh, so much food! It barely fit on the table. We had pumpkin soup, beans, rice, salad, mixed vegetables, fish, pulled pork, steak, potato hash, papaya/watermelon juice and more! There was no way two people could eat it all. For dessert DH had a strawberry cream pie and I had passion fruit pie.

    2019 Frugal Challenge-20190427_191218.jpg

    On our last morning in the mountain region we woke up to this. The rainy season had arrived.

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    Last edited by Contrary Housewife; 05-09-2019 at 10:54 AM.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  16. #570
    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    Oh WOW CH that looks beautiful and the food....oh my....looks delicious....sounds like you had a great time....
    SD you GH is very nice.....
    Not much going on here....rain has stopped...flooding is down....I'm going out for milk....sister left yesterday....so I'm kinda down...too quiet....house is clean so not much to do....
    Martha.....Kitty cat looks like he is not happy.....poor baby....

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