Today I did my last shopping trip before we move to Israel – when thinking about doing the trip, I wasn’t even sure it was worth it since I wasn’t getting anywhere near as much as usual. But I really needed eggs, so in the end, we went, and were all glad we did. I’ve been shopping in this particular area for over 5 years (and a year or two before that in an area an hour away from there), and it’s been an enjoyable thing for me and my family to make part of our regular routine. I’ve watched the children of our dairy farmer grow up (and they’ve seen my kids growing up, too), and though I can’t say that I have deep and meaningful connections with any of those where I shop, I do have a nice warm feeling toward them. It was only at the last store that I realized that I wouldn’t be back again, and had a chance to say goodbye to a couple of the women I usually see – the woman in the frozen produce section (she’s used to getting cases of vegetables for me) gave me a big hug and lots of warm wishes, and the cashier who I usually chat with about gluten free cooking and other stuff also gave me a very warm goodbye. I was sorry not to have said goodbye to others at the other places I was at, but it was good to have closure in whatever way I did. I really enjoy my life here and even when you have something positive to move toward, it doesn’t take away from the fact that so much of what we’ve enjoyed here is ending. I have this poignant kind of feeling pretty often lately.
I hope to move in ten weeks (some big factors regarding selling our house and finding a place to live are still up in the air, so this isn’t definite), and shopped with that in mind. At this point, I need to focus on using up the staples that I have, and minimize the food I’m buying so that I’m forced to use what I have. This will require some additional menu planning and thought, like using up your chometz before Pesach. In January (before we decided to move) I cut my food budget down to $400 a month (which was really challenging for Pesach and I didn’t manage to stick to – it went up to $500 that month). So I’ve been steadily using up staples, but I think I need to focus on it more to whittle it down.
So what did I get?
- 60 dozen eggs
- 40 lb. yams
- 50 lb potatoes
- 50 lb onions
- romaine hearts (6 pkg of 3 each)
- 3 gallons raw milk (just because it was our last trip and Shavuos is coming – otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten any since I don’t have the extra space in the fridge)
- lots of dairy for Shavuos – pumpkin cheesecakes (4), sour cream (6), Greek yogurt (6), organic blueberry yogurts (12 small), plain yogurt (8 – 32 oz)
- ten gallon container of ice cream (Shavuos, you know :))
- a few packages of tempe and Gimme Lean (soy-based meat substitute – not something I usually buy, but I’m considering it a treat food that will add some nice flavor to the beans and grains I need to use up, and the price was amazing)
- a case of pizza sauce
Hmm. I’m looking at that list and wondering what else I got that cost $200. Other odds and ends, I guess.
I need to buy chicken for this month and will round out what I have with some fresh vegetables for Shabbos, plus some stuff for ds5’s birthday party the day after the conference. But otherwise we’ll be working our way through our home-canned and store bought fruits and vegetables (though the canned pickled vegetables I made aren’t going to get used – my girls and I were discussing if I should throw the food away and then sell the empty jars or if people would want the food for the same price. The food is fine, it’s just that when I started canning I made lots of interesting things that we don’t really eat – fancy apple and pear chutneys, zucchini relish, and other pickled dishes. Once I had more experience canning, I thought more about what we’d really want to eat, not just what recipes looked fun to try!)
As far as canning jars go, I’ve sold loads – I sold about 20 – 30 dozen about 8 months ago to one person who was moving to Alaska after many years in the Coast Guard to her home she was building by herself. Now with this move in the works, I’m selling the rest, but this time it’s been a few dozen here, a few dozen there. I probably have about ten dozen jars left, not including the jars that currently have food in them. It’s no problem selling them, though – there’s plenty of interest. Funny, though, my storage area doesn’t seem noticeably emptier, though obviously it is! I think I haven’t yet reached the tipping point in that particular area, which is pretty small and with my freezer and some other things still stored there, it doesn’t yet look empty.
The rest of the house is emptying out, though, and it’s finally noticeable at this point – my mil was emotional when she walked into the living room yesterday; it’s a visible reminder that we’re moving, a topic which hasn’t even slightly been alluded to in conversation with me since we told them we’re moving over two months ago. I know that it’s hard for them and I suppose not talking about it makes it easier to not think about it. But it’s hard to have something so major in your life – something that is relevant to most of the things that I do every day – that I can’t mention anything about.
Anyway, in the living room, we sold our wood climber, took our pull-out couch to the dump, and gave away our piano to a frat house. So there’s just an end table and love seat left. We refinished the hardwood floors on Sunday (unlike lots of jobs that I delegate, I did most of this job – very fun and rewarding) and they look great. It’s very nice, actually – it feels more spacious and it’s so much easier to keep clean!
I’ve given away dozens of bags of clothing, toys, boxes of books to the book exchange, sold our dressers – so what’s left in the bedrooms for the most part is just beds, with clothes stored in the closet and underbed boxes. Even though I’ve whittled and whittled away at our clothing, we’re going to need more downsizing once we have to fit all of our stuff into the suitcases. We’re not taking a lift so our limit will be our limit; though if I knew of anyone in this city making a lift to the north of Israel, I’d buy space for sefarim, homeschooling supplies and the electric grain grinder.
On the home repair side of things, we had a funny situation. A week and a half ago we noticed the smell of mold getting very strong over a period of about three days from the powder room (has a sink and toilet) on the main floor. We’ve done a lot of work on our home to make it nice and keep it nice, and neither dh and I were comfortable selling a house that might have mold. Dh noticed there was some moisture in one of the walls in that room close to the base, so he pulled out the walls. To pull out one of the walls, he had to pull out the toilet, which then cracked. And as he removed the toilet, the tiles on the floor broke. And after taking out all the old walls and tiles and throwing it away, we could still smell mold. Guess what we finally found? The source of the smell – a wet roll of toilet paper at the bottom of the garbage can in the powder room – there wasn’t mold in the bathroom at all! So dh ended up totally renovating the bathroom, which wasn’t what he was planning. But it looks great – it has new walls, new tiled floor (done by dd14 while I was sanding the hardwood floors – I literally would have gone crazy doing a job that tedious and precise, and she told me it was the first home repair job of all she’s done that she really enjoyed!), and a new light fixture that is newly wired. He’s a trooper and did all this extra work with a great attitude even though his time is at a premium and it ended up being a much more intensive project than he envisioned.
Ds17 put in new light fixtures in the living room and the boys’ bedroom (though the other ones were fine, they were more dated) and did some painting while he was here. All the kids did a lot, not just the jobs I’m mentioning or the people I’m mentioning, and thanks to the work of us all, on Monday night our house was ready when there was a neighborhood home buyers tour (and that was despite me being in the emergency room all day with dd16 and getting home a half hour before it started).
Dd16 had a friend for Shabbos, another friend over for Saturday night, then another friend scheduled to come this Shabbos. Then after that two more friends are coming to spend a few days with us in time for the conference. She’s trying to spend time with her closest friends before she leaves on May 31, since she’ll stay in Israel until we get there and won’t be coming back. And she and I have been busy with appointments – blood work, doctor appointments (osteopath and gastroenterologist), dentist, oral surgeon, energy work, and still more appointments (had an MRI on Monday in the emergency room, endoscopy of upper and lower GI scheduled for tomorrow). We’re doing what we can to figure out what is going on.
So that’s a very shortened version of some of what we’ve been busy with lately.