It's been a busy week around here. With Shane working fewer hours, I decided to start doing a bit of mystery shopping again. I was feeling burned out with it, so had quit for several months, but so far this month I've found a few shops that were quite lucrative. I've been earned a $32 cash payment, a free cheeseburger combo and a free medium pizza so far this month, with another $105 in cash on the books awaiting payment. Not bad for just four shops and a grand total of about six hours of my time!
Tomorrow is my friend Janelle's cookie exchange and as of right now, I have no idea what kind of cookies I'm going to make.
We may be keeping Mittens after all. The jury is still out, but in the days we've been trying to find her a home, things have settled down just a little and habits are becoming clearer. She has quit using the bathtub as a litter box (with the help of some clementine peels tossed in it when it's not being used; apparently cats don't like the smell of orange oil). We learned she WILL use the litter boxes if she can get to them without being accosted. So, we've been sequestering the older cats in our bedroom for a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon to give Mittens a peaceful run of the house and the chance to use the box in peace. The rest of the time she still lives under the couch. We'll see what happens, but it's a start.
We finally got our tree up. I was beginning to think that if it didn't get put up soon, I'd suggest just skipping it this year. I like it once it's up, but I don't like putting it up or taking it down, so those jobs are up to Kat and Shane. I think they did a good job.
Here's the outside of our house, too. Of course, it looks more impressive in real life.
Shane has worked every day this week. Unfortunately not all of them were full days, but it's better than nothing.
Tomorrow night is the Christmas party at our friends house. (John and Trish are still our friends although they refused to give mittens a new home.) There will be about 15 people there and the plan is for a big winter bonfire, a taco bar (inside), small gifts for the kids who will be there, some drinks and some laughs. I normally don't wish for rain and/or snow, but for tomorrow I do, because I want that party to be moved inside where it's warm.
I took myself to Chinese buffet for lunch yesterday. I was out for a mystery shop and had made a lunch to take with me, but I forgot to grab it on my way out. The food wasn't that great (not bad, but nothing special) and I remember thinking at one point that one of the chicken dishes tasted like they'd used a lot of MSG in it. Later last night, I started feeling achy and flu-ish and ended up going to bed early. I feel fine this morning, so I'm wondering now if maybe I had a bit of a reaction to the MSG. I don't recall that ever happening before, but it seems like I'm sensitive to a lot of things that didn't bother me in the past.
Finally, here's the run-down on my grocery spending since my last update. I think I did better this week, except for the unplanned lunch out.
Two 2-liter bottles of generic soda, two 1-lb. boxes of Lipton loose tea, 1 pkg. white baking chips, 1 can evaporated milk, 1 pt. sour cream, 1 gal. whole milk, 1 bag each of corn chips and nacho tortilla chips, 2 bags regular tortilla chips, 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 jar dry roasted peanuts, 1 can jumbo flaky biscuits, 1 bottle yellow mustard, 12 oz. carton grape tomatoes, 1 box lasagna noodles, 1 lb. penne pasta, 1 qt. buttermilk, 1 qt. salad dressing (Miracle Whip type), 1 qt. mayonnaise, a 6 oz. can tomato sauce, and 5 lbs. all-purpose flour.
Groceries* Purchased 12/7, 12/8 and 12/9: $40.68
Total Groceries* Purchases for December: $115.51
Money Spent on Dining Out: $24.57
* Edible items only.