simplify Archives

  1. Syncing bookmarks across Chrome on my PCs and Safari in iOS was working great… Until I began deleting duplicate bookmarks on my iPhone. Sigh.

  2. Found a better home today for an old bass guitar I have held onto for years.

    As they say, “One man gathers what another man spills”.

  3. No Groceries in June — Check!

    I have been rather busy this month, with trips to Belgium, Virginia, and Philadelphia, and I never did a follow-up post to say that I successfully made it through the remainder of June without any trips to the grocery store!

    I cheated quite a bit, with stops for food during my travels, and an occasional beer here and there with friends, but these habits were consistent with how I normally live my life. I’ll also point out again that the eating experiment didn’t truly start until my return from the Adirondacks, a week and a half into June.

    The most creative meal that I came up with while scrounging in my cupboards was a cold pasta dish with a chili kick: pasta, black olives, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. The pasta was a bit thick for the dish, and a can of black beans, some other veggies, and maybe some cheese would have thickened the sauce and given it a better blast of flavor, but it was fun making a meal out of some foods that may not have seen each other in that combination.

    At the end of the month, I saved a few bucks, cleared some room in my cupboards, and still had a few food items left to spare. The foods I missed eating the most were staples like bread, eggs, milk, butter, and sugar, as these seemed to run out the first. If I learned any lesson from not buying groceries for a few weeks, it is that these foods are essential to making me feel healthy, and that foods that I eat less frequently should not be purchased until they are needed for a meal and only if they will be finished.

  4. Eating Experiment – 2 Week Mark

    It has been two weeks since I returned from my trip to the Adirondacks, and two weeks since I began living off of the food in my cabinets and freezer.

    I am sitting here drinking a gin & tonic, with a full belly of kielbasa and sauerkraut, baked beans, and grilled potatoes — The experiment is going rather well.

    In the last two weeks, I have gone through two blocks of cheese, a box of crackers, my emergency Ramen noodle supply, instant pancake mix, instant oatmeal, and a number of canned goods including vegetables, soups, and fruit. About two mornings worth of grits that remain. Fortunately, I have found a pack of bagels in the freezer, which will supplement the grits, sufficiently putting me through the month’s remaining breakfasts if I can maintain eating only bagel halves. I’m not accustomed to bagel halves, so a massive bag of trail mix using my world-famous recipe (peanuts, cashews, raisins, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips) has been gracing the middle of each morning.

    In a day or two, I will deplete my kielbasa supply, and lunches and dinners will transition to pasta, potatoes, onions, some frozen vegetables, and a few frozen meats and seafood including shrimp, pork, hamburger, and some smoked trout.

    What I am miss the most are my dairy products (eggs!), local Musser Dairy chocolate milk, and fresh vegetables. Fortunately, I horded enough Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale and Southern Tier Pumpking beer last Fall to tide over my beer supply until July.

    The most difficult thing about the eating challenge is to make sure that I am eating well-rounded meals, and also that I am eating sufficiently, as I’ve been maintaining my workout regiment through this month, and have also been doing some extensive hikes. (Between you and me, I admit to stopping at a tavern in the Pine Creek Gorge last weekend for a plate of chicken wings after a 12.5 mile hike on the Black Forest Trail.)

    Simplifying my life feels good.

  5. Eating Experiment

    After returning from some traveling early this month, a weekend of gigs kept me from filling the fridge with fresh produce. Scrounging in my cabinets revealed that I have loads of pastas, oatmeal, canned soups and vegetables, and numerous other non-perishables. Many of these things have been around for a year or more, because I purchased them at some point in time with the intent of eating them.

    I’ve since made it my goal is to reduce my grocery bill for the month by not going grocery shopping until July, and instead, I’m cleaning out my cabinets (and freezer) by living off what is in them. While this regiment of foods such as oatmeal, peanut butter, and noodles is not as satisfying as grilled meats and vegetables, it will be a fun challenge to reduce the clutter in my cabinets.

    Today marks the completion of week 1.