Monday, May 31, 2010

He Ain't Buying It!

Well, we are off to a good start. The amount saved from the week of May 24th breaks down as follows:

$24.93 -- amount left over from grocery budget
$18.98 -- rebates
$00.87 -- change in my wallet
Total: $44.78

The way I figure it, we will need to save somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 a week in order to reach our goal. So far, so good.

Now for the rest of the story.

I caught my husband reading one of the travel books the other morning at breakfast. That was huge. That tells me one thing.

He is interested!

I really knew I had him hooked when he interjected a factoid from his reading into a conversation.

That can mean only one thing.

He's really interested!

So when I say, "He Ain't Buying it!" I mean something totally different.

There are two somethings actually, the first of which has to do with my husband's lack of desire to be my gondolier. He is sure that those gondolier dudes are not going to turn their long, flat bottomed, money-making boat over to an American. Unfortunately, I think he is right about that, but I'm going to keep bringing it up anyway because I think it's a fun thing to imagine. I expand on this visual image all the time and find amusement in his resistance.

The second problem is more of an annoyance than a real problem. You see, my husband is one of the most frugal men around (unless, of course, you are talking about his girls, and then in that case he absolutely loses his mind). He really does not spend money. He has no expensive hobbies, drives an old car, wears simple clothes, and lives a very simple life. He prefers to eat at home and lately seems to have a thing for tuna fish. The annoyance arises from the fact that he now has even more reason to be frugal. His new favorite thing to do is throw up his hands in protest and say “Italy!” anytime I mention an occasional dinner out....and I even have a coupon! “Italy” (picture his hands raised in protest) has become his favorite new way of getting out of doing stuff he never wanted to do in the first place. It also keeps me in the kitchen making food, something I really don't want to do much anymore now that the nest is empty. Something about this whole situation stinks......

and it's not just the tuna fish.

(picture me stomping my foot in protest and pouting like a 3 year old).

On the bright side, though, I am grateful for a husband like him. His frugal ways will help make it possible for us to reach this fun goal. I think his new love for tuna fish is probably him going into survival mode and finding a way to nourish himself. He's just hungry...and he likes my cooking. What's so bad about that? I should be flattered. Right?

Okay, I'm not. But I should be.

For now, I will just take comfort in the fact that when we go to Italy I will not have to cook




for 2 weeks!

For now though, what in the world should I cook for dinner?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tossing a Coin

The Fontana di Trevi (or Trevi Fountain) is the most famous and beautiful fountain in all of Rome. Neptune, god of the sea, is the central figure of the fountain. He is riding a chariot that is pulled by two sea horses. One is calm and obedient and the other is restive (restless, nervous, or uneasy). They symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea. On the left side of Neptune is a statue that represents Abundance. The statue on the right represents Salubrity (conducive or favorable to health or well-being).

Wow! This fountain is an appropriate picture for this blog! You may think I'm calm and obedient (and I mostly am), but there is definitely a growing restlessness inside me as I contemplate the balance of my life and how I want to spend my time. I'm a little restive, for sure. I still have my health and a general sense of well-being. I've also been blessed with an abundance of blessings. As I contemplate the future I see a vast sea of possibilities, and it is quite overwhelming sometimes to know what to do next. The truth is that I just never have liked it when I have too many choices. Give me 2 or 3 options and I'm good. Give me more than that and I just sort of shut down.

Today I had a breakthrough. This morning I was browsing my regular coupon sites online when I happened upon a blog entitled "Couponing to Disney." Cool idea, I thought. Later in the day I had lunch with MH at Olive Garden. I love their food, but those plates on the wall always capture my attention. I love the colors and the decor as much as the infamous salad. I'm not sure when my love for all things Italian really began. All I know is that I would enjoy nothing more than to one day find out that my ancestors were Italian. Maybe that would explain it. I saw the movie "Letters to Juliet" last week and was mesmerized by the Italian setting. So it was right there during our leisurely lunch that it hit me. A switch just turned on in my head and I knew. I have to go to Italy. It all happened right there in a booth at OG. How cool is that? I've wasted no time. On the way home MH hooked me up with some travel videos and our husbands have been advised of the plan. Yes, they are coming too. I would have no one else but my husband row that gondola for me. (Wouldn't he be cute in a Fabio wig?)

One more thing.

A well-told legend holds that if visitors to the Trevi Fountain toss a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to The City of Rome. Well, that's all fine and dandy, but I've gotta get there first. Therefore, I'm gonna toss my coins into a jar and keep on going until I save $5000 for this trip.

Incidentally, approximately $3500 is tossed into the Trevi Fountain each day. The coins are then collected at night and used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's poor population.

Isn't that nice?

I wonder if they accept coupons.