Tag Archive for Hot dog

The Grocery Paradigm Shift

grocery picFor many, many years our grocery budget always seemed so out of control.  Managing meals and buying groceries for a houseful was always a daunting but necessary task. Trying to keep the grocery budget under control and being able to  provide good meals for everyone was part of my weekly life mission for such a long time.

Now,  we fast forward to only one of our twenty-something’s left in the house with us.  Being minus a few bodies to feed is beginning to open up a whole,  new grocery shopping world.  This is a big deal for us because we had been so used to feeding an army for so, so long.  Particularly when the boys got to their teen years- Yikes!!

Pre-empty nesting,  lots and lots of ground beef or ground turkey was purchased.  Lately we have been eating a lot more steak, of the New York strip variety!!  Travel Man gets home from a trip and he likes to grill.  So of course we run over to the store for a couple of steaks.

Also, our hot dog menu has changed.  Pre-empty nesting,  I would only buy whatever hot dogs were on sale.  ( I’m on a budget here people). Now, since there are a few less bodies to feed I only buy Hebrew hot dogs.  These hot dogs used to be a “special ” treat for us because they are a little more expensive when you are feeding an army and trying to keep on a budget.  Do you realize how many hot dogs a family of seven can eat in one sitting?  The other reason we only buy Hebrews now  is that it is the only hot dog Travel Man will eat.  He has been working in the hot dog manufacturing plants.  Only all beef hot dogs  in our house.

We have also discovered that everything, and I do mean everything is better with butter.  For such a long time we bought the ginormous tubs of margarine at SAMs Club.  Nowadays we are buying the little tubs of butter, and I am cooking with butter all of the time.  Yum, yum so much more flavor in the food when you cook with butter.

At the rate we are going with buying ourselves the goodies we like,  the budget for groceries may not be dwindling anytime soon!!  Travel Man actually brought this to my attention in the past few days.

The one thing we are looking forward to is switching over to organic milk.  This is a silly little thing, and we would  probably be ok taking that plunge now.  But we do not want to go whole hog in our first month of The Great Grocery Shift.  We do need to leave a few food treats until the next month or so.  We should have some delayed gratification right?

These are just some simple, little changes with the groceries.  However,  they are noticeable and distinct changes.  I suppose for me because it is signaling a change in the times in our home.   A change of routine for sure, and a definitive change of lifestyle.  Kind of like a rite of passage.  We have made it  through the child-rearing years, and are coming full circle into a time all our own.

A 50th Birthday and All the Surprises!

1-IMG_0053-001A few Saturday’s ago my loving, wonderful family celebrated my brother’s 50th birthday, Party House style.  The theme for this party was,  You’re Our #1 Son, Brother, Dad, Oinkle (uncle to those of you who have never been here), and Boyfriend.

1-640801This theme was originated by my Mom because of this picture.  And we made these cool decorations to go along that theme.

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Each #1 had pictures of Son,Brother,Dad,Oinkle,Boyfriend

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Everyone signed this for the #1 Birthday Boy!

 We also recreated an elementary school event that my brother always enjoyed called “Hot Dog Day”.  He had told his girlfriend, Elaine, what a great childhood memory this was quite awhile ago.  Elaine made sure to email my Mom and I so we would not forget the idea.  We all agreed this would be a great theme to include for this festivity.  Here’s the awesome banner our resident Cricut department created (thanks Erica & Mary!):

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Hot Dog Day happened once a month or so.  On Hot Dog Day we did not have to bring our own lunches to school.  We would get fill out our own order blanks for hot dogs, chips, and a cup of ice cream.  Of course you could order as many as you could pay for, and that was a treat unto itself.  The hot dogs and buns were steamed, and tasted oh so good.

For our party we got a nifty hot dog steamer, some authentic Jays potato chips,  and the vanilla ice cream cups with wooden spoons.  And my niece recreated the little order blanks for all the party goers to fill out so they could get their dinner, served by an original “Hot Dog Day” lady, my Mom.

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When my brother walked in and saw the hot dog day sign.  He let out a whoop!, and filled out an order blank!  3 hot dogs and 3 ice creams.  He was so surprised, and it was so much fun to see how excited he got.

We had a terrific party filled with lots of laughter, fun, pictures, and wonderful DVD montage that my sister and her husband put together. Then there was the sweet, loving toast from my Dad to my Mom.  My sister and I got all teary eyed. (tissue please)

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This was also a weekend filled with surprises.  Let’s see it went something like this; my sister and her husband from Montana arrived here at the party house Friday night (total surprise, no clue they were going to be here). So when we were getting phone calls from family members on Friday night we had to keep this all hush, hush.  Then Saturday came and the surprises kept on rolling.  My sister and her husband surprised my parents, my nephew from San Luis Obispo surprised his Dad (aka the birthday boy), and then we came in the house, and my brother got surprised by my sister and her husband.  Jim jumped so high in the air when he saw Laura it was like he just started as the center for a Millburn Mustangs basketball game!!

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For me the best surprise of the day was when my brother arrived.  He was the last one to arrive (he planned it that way), and when he got out of the car he had on a tuxedo with a bright blue vest and bow tie.  He made a grand entrance.  There was lots of clapping and whoops and hollers.  He really made his party day special.  I’m not sure how this can be topped.

We’ve had lots of family surprises over the years, but the surprises that happened at this party will go down in the history books for many years to come.  The only thing missing from this page in the family history book was my Travel Man.  (A tissue for me please.)

My sister wins the prize for the most family surprises.  She always shows up at a family event when you least expect it, but you’re wishing she was there with you.  Thanks for making the trek Laura and Steve.  An epic party like this would not have been the same without you here.

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