Monday, August 9, 2010

Money-Free Weekend #3

Last weekend was busy, sweet, and everything I hoped to get out of this project. For a while I’ve wanted to get up early to watch the sunrise together. Matt thought it was a good idea, so we set out alarm clock for 5:00 (sun rose at 5:56 am last Saturday) only half believing we’d actually get out of bed that early. We woke up easily enough when the alarm went off, so we got up and made our way out to watch the sunrise. Matt was all ready for the day, but I stayed in my pajamas. Our sunrise plans were hindered a bit by a heavy fog, but the mountain forests were eerily beautiful in shades of gray and green. We drove up the mountain until suddenly we drove out of the fog and the sun shone all around us. When we rounded a bend, we caught a glimpse of Greenville that took our breath away. Down below the mountain Greenville was covered in a swirling white cloud with just little green peaks of baby sized mountains peaking through the top. Matt swung the car around so I could see it again. I stared at it until a car came up behind us and we had to start moving back down into the fog again. The sun was up in earnest at this point, and the fog glowed in its light.
Matt asked me if I’d be interested in going to Stax Original for breakfast. It’s a local restaurant with a bit of a diner feel that Matt and I used to frequent when we were dating. At first I obnoxiously pointed out that going out for breakfast would completely defeat my attempts to be money free on the weekends, but the look on his face reminded me why I’d allowed a $20 exception for the project. I was still in my pajamas, but Matt assured me that it wasn’t obvious. I certainly hope that was true since we saw about a dozen people that we know. Breakfast was perfect. And it only cost $7. There is something so satisfying about sitting in a booth sipping coffee out of ceramic mugs while ceiling fans spin the scent of bacon, eggs, and pancakes around your head.

Feeling full and somewhat smug about having been up for 4 hours already on a Saturday morning, Matt and I went home to do some weekend chores. Matt tended our plants and pets, and I made bread in the orange Le Crueset my dad gave me for our wedding. We also cleaned and got ready for our company that night. We recently bought a new camera (yeah!), so we occasionally got distracted taking pictures of things that we consider important. We have about 50 pictures of Henry so far.
In preparation of our company, I set up a bread and cheese plate garnished with some rosemary from Matt’s herb garden and left it on the counter. Unfortunately, Henry has discovered that he can reach the kitchen island by jumping up on the bar stools and then jumping on the counter; our attempts to train him otherwise have been to no avail. In order to deter him from eating my parmesan, I pushed the stools away from the counter before sitting down in the living room. It occurred to me that he might try to jump, but I was certain he wouldn’t make it. All of a sudden, I heard a thump on the counter. Henry had propelled himself with enough force to land on the counter. I stood up just in time to see him slide across the counter and fall off the other side. I fell back on the couch laughing and Henry walked around the room shakily trying to regain his composure.
Saturday night I hosted my Greenville book club. Matt went fishing. Beth, Candace and I discussed Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth; then we discussed exercise, diet, and dorm life from our college days. Matt caught a fish, and then threw it back. We ate all of my bread with olive oil and dipping spices.
Sunday, after church, we finally had the opportunity to celebrate Matt’s birthday with his parents. His aunt and uncle moved here recently, and joined us all for lunch. Matt’s mom always cooks us something tasty and comforting, and yesterday was no exception. I love Matt’s birthday, because his mom makes him a delectable blueberry cake. I am not a patient baker and would never put that much work into a cake. I am always happy to eat the fruit of someone else’s labor! We had happy afternoon with the family. We hadn’t seen everyone in a while, and it was great to see them all again.
Sunday afternoon, we went and bought a blue tuxedo urchin for our fish tank. I love him as my own already. Matt acclimated the urchin, and I vacuumed. We had made a spontaneous decision to invite a couple from church over for dinner. I had mentally calculated that we had everything that we’d need (no money!), and assured Matt that I would be calm in my preparation. I enjoy hosting, but sometimes it turns into showing off and intrudes heavily on my husband. Twenty minutes before our company was expected, I pulled out the chicken cutlets and realized that instead of the 1.5 lbs I thought I’d bought, I only had .6 pounds. Oops. So I ended making an insane run to Publix and turned into “Crazy Hostess Lizzie” despite my best efforts (and spent $6). Our company was on the later end of on time, so I had enough time to calm down and cook the cutlets. The food turned out, and we had fun getting to know some new friends. We’re really working on trying to meet new people.
While not as spectacular as our past two weekends, we were both satisfied with how we spent out time; it’s always nice to just do some things together. We spent $13 total. I’m not doing as well on my money-free goal, but I’m learning that putting some effort into planning our weekends make them much more enjoyable and profitable!


  1. Loving your blog! What a joy to read, and the ideas are such an encouragement in a 'everything-cost-something' world.

  2. Favorite sentence--"There is something so satisfying about sitting in a booth sipping coffee out of ceramic mugs while ceiling fans spin the scent of bacon, eggs, and pancakes around your head."

    I also had to laugh regarding your harried hostessing--Nathan & I have had many discussions regarding that very topic. There's hope--just ask Nathan--I have improved! :-)

    PS. Great camera!

  3. I am quite amused with the mental image of Henry jumping and then sliding across the island counter top. I can just imagine his disappointment as the bread and cheese went rushing by only to disappear as the floor loomed towards him. How embarrassing!

  4. Your Parmesan and olive oil photograph rather reminds me of Martha Stewart. Your blog is great fun to read--be sure to keep posting.


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