Spending Less And Living With More In The Pacific Northwest

Gertrude The Hen Is Gary The Rooster

A while back I posted about one of my hens, Gerdy, and how she was bigger and looked a bit different from the rest of the flock. Many people helped me out and gave me their two cents but most thought she still looked like a hen. Since she was still around the same size and not doing any rooster like activities I thought we had lucked out with all six of our chickens being hens.

That was until Monday morning when we heard our first Cock-a-doodle-do.

And there we have it.

We are sad to report that it has become blatantly obvious that Gertrude the hen is in fact Gary the rooster.

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As much as we would like to keep him here on our humble homestead, we ultimately like our neighbors more and would prefer not to interrupt their sleep patterns so that they will continue to speak with us (and let us borrow their tools).

In my attempt to find Gary a good home, I decided to post his dating profile on my Facebook to see if anyone is in the market for a nice looking rooster. Here is my post:

Please see Gary’s dating profile below as this handsome stud is now on the market. 

“Hello, my name is Gary. I’m a .5 year old/male/Delaware Pullet who is single and ready to mingle. I may not look like much yet but don’t be fooled girl, I’m turning into a big burly hunk of feathery man. I’m very friendly but really don’t like human toes, so keep them covered or I will be force to defend myself. My cock-a-doodle-do is improving, but it does currently sound like an electrocuted weasel on a carnival ride. But don’t worry, I only get better with age. 
I can be monogamous but I prefer to spread the love, so I would ideally like a home with 2-6 lovely ladies ready for my affection. 
Only serious inquires welcome as I don’t have time for frivolous games while on my pursuit of love. Holla at me if you are ready to welcome this handsome beast into your nesting box.”

If anyone is in the Portland metro area and looking for a rooster let me know!

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Reading vs. Trip Planning

Sorry for the silence this week. It has been busy at work so I have been putting in some longer days.

I don’t have a reading post today because I’m only about 300 pages into my 600 page book.

Slow and steady wins the race. Right?


I have also been very preoccupied with trip planning that I haven’t made my way through my book as quickly as I had hoped.

That being said the trip planning is very exciting but very time consuming.

I booked two of our six tickets for a trip we taking in April 2017 to Australia and New Zealand. We are spending 7 days in Sydney and 8 days on the north Island of New Zealand.

More details to come and some frugal travel tips as well!

Stay tuned!

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Hot Weekends = Fun Weekends

Happy Monday!

It was 102 degrees here in the Willamette Valley on Friday & Saturday. That is REALLY hot for us Oregonians.

It just so happened we agreed about a month ago to help our good friends move into their new house on Saturday.

Perfect timing right?

Luckily there were about 10 of us so moving only took a couple hours which was about all we could handle with the heat.

We spent the rest of the day at our favorite bar in our old college town of Corvallis celebrating my husband’s birthday.


Beer, pizza and friends. What more could you ask for?

We also got to spend some time wandering around our old college stomping grounds.


Breakfast at our favorite bakery 

Sometimes it is just fun to go back and visit places with so many memories.

This is going to be a great week! I can feel it!

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Birthday Boy And A Day Off

I am taking today off from posting Frugal Friday so I have more time to celebrate this guy:


A big Happy Birthday to my sweet husband.

28 looks good on you 😉

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When Breath Becomes Air By Paul Kalanithi: Just Keep Reading

Saturday evening after work I went to the library and picked up a book I had on hold.

By Sunday afternoon I had completed reading that book.

This book, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, is a game changer.

For anyone that has worked in healthcare, hospice or palliative care you will learn from this book. For anyone that has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or life changing illness you will relate to this book. And finally for anyone that has lost a loved one from cancer or a terminal illness you will be affected by this book.

Many of us only know of the training and schooling doctors go through from fictional shows like Greys Anatomy or ER. Every doctor, no matter the speciality, goes through years of school and then residency and finally, for some, fellowship. Arguably one of the most grueling medical trainings is that of a Neurosurgeon and very few attempt it and almost none complete it. Dr. Paul Kalanithi was one of those few individuals that chose the path of neurosurgery and not only that, he chose to be a neurosurgeon-neuroscientist.

This remarkable man obtained multiple bachelors degrees and a Masters in Literature from Stanford. He attended University of Cambridge  and completed a Masters in History & Philosophy. He attended Yale University Medical School and did his residency in neurosurgery and postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience. Oh and he was only 36 by the time he had completed all these educational milestones.

After two decades of studying, training and practice, Dr. Kalanithi was only a year and some change away from completing his life goal. With the end in sight and all his goals within reach he finds his life turned upside down when he suffers a huge life changing event.  At 36 he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. And not just any lung cancer, but a very rare and incurable type of cancer.

This phenomenal book was Dr. Kalanithi’s last gift to the world. After pushing through and completing his fellowship while suffering back pain, nausea and significant fatigue, he used his last time on earth to write about his search for the meaning in life. His love of literature and reading led him on a lifelong journey to find out what death really means and how we truly cope with fatality. This book is the culmination of his years of experiences in literature, academia and medical practice.

Sadly Dr. Paul Kalanithi lost his battle with cancer and passed away in March 2015 at the age of 37, leaving behind his wife and young daughter (he and his wife decided to have their daughter knowing he was terminal). This brilliant man left behind his powerful little book for the rest of us to start thinking about our own life and our own mortality.

Having worked in hospice this book really struck me in its honesty and rawness. This book brings forward the truth in that we will all die, and we have no control over when that will happen. Having worked his entire career to save lives it seems so unfair that his life was cut short. Why him?  This is a question we will never have the answer to.

Overall, this book inspired me, saddened me, hurt me and made me reconsider everything in life. I cried at the end knowing that we can try as hard as we want to plan our life, but unlimitedly we have no control over the day it finally ends. This book is a must read for everyone because it will bring you back to reality. It brought me back. If you do read this be prepared, it might change your way of thinking and outlook on life. If you are like me you might stop think what your future holds and what your purpose is on this earth. Most importantly this book might lead you to the ultimate question: What makes life worth living?

Just Keep Reading

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Tuesday Motivation

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How is it Monday Already?

We spent a very busy weekend driving, working and running errands. My husband was out of town and I worked Saturday, so Sunday was dedicated to cleaning and prepping for the week ahead.

I am still a little disoriented that Monday came so quickly.

One big surprise that happened over the weekend was I came home Saturday evening to find this:


We knew the property in back of us sold, and they have been slowly working on the house for over year. We weren’t sure if it was to be a single story or multi story, so at least now we know it is only a one story home.

Sadly that means much of our beautiful view is now gone.

But we do still have some view and we can still see the fireworks from town on holidays and the hot air balloons in the summer.

It could have been much worse, so there is no use agonizing over it.

Happy Monday.

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Frugal Friday: Bringing Our Own Groceries On Vacation

Each Friday I write about something I did, bought, made or didn’t do that helps us continue our frugal life. My goal? To show that being frugal doesn’t have to mean going without or making huge changes. Being frugal is about being mindful and intentional with what we buy, what we make and how we spend our precious time. Why be frugal? Because we work hard for our money and our time is valuable. So why shouldn’t we get the most out of it!

Happy Friday!

Sorry for the silence yesterday. I slept through my alarm and didn’t have time to write anything.

Yep. I’m that awesome.

So here we are! Back to Frugal Friday.


Bennington Lake, Washington 

While we were in Walla Walla I was talking to my friend about how wonderful a small weekend getaway can be. Even just a three day weekend can help me recover and recharge. While we love traveling we are also very careful about how much we spend on our three/four day mini-trips.

One way we save is we always bring our own groceries.

We started this practice a few years ago when we realized that 50% of our travel budget was dedicated to going out to eat. Our last big trip was to Hawaii and we decide to give grocery shopping a go since we were staying in a condo with a kitchen. It worked out great!

While on average it costs $30-$50 per meal to eat out, we average $100-$150 in groceries for a 3-5 day trip. That’s a difference of hundreds of dollars and we always end up going home with leftover food which helps later in the week. On top of that we eat healthier than if we went to restaurants for every meal. For us it just seems like a better option especially since we almost always stay in a condo, house or apartment.

Before any trip I always make a large grocery list with lots of easy food. Fruit, veggies, sandwiches, breakfast items, chips and salad. We bring our own beer, wine and mixed drinks to save money on going out to the bar. We also take advantage of small fruit stands and farmers markets depending on where we are visiting. This helps us stay stocked up on fresh food but also allows us to explore the area we are in.

Here are some of my favorite food to bring on trips:

-Whole watermelon, pineapple, apples, peaches and strawberries

-Torilla chips & salsa or dips

-Sandwich items (I make our own bread), flour tortillas & condiments

-Whole heads of lettuce and other veggies for salads & dressing



-Sausages or chicken to BBQ

-Whole russet potatoes (these can be used for a million different recipes)

In the end we realize we can’t bring all our own food on every trip, but we do make it a point to try and bring as much as we can. We also set a small eating out budget so we can try a famous restaurant or go out to a special bar while we are visiting each place. We don’t deprive ourselves of all fun and adventure!

Money Saved: I don’t have a number but we save a lot. I also know this helps stretch our travel budget so we can take longer trips more frequently.

Time Saved: I just integrate the shopping into my normal weekly shopping trips. I do sometimes have to make extra trips but I try to do them on the way home so I don’t waste any extra gas.

Happy Frugal Friday!

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BarksBar Pet Car Seat Cover

I don’t have a Just Keep Reading post today because I haven’t finished my current book!

It’s a LONG one so it is taking me a bit of extra time to finish.

Since I don’ have a book I thought I would post a fun find I discovered on Amazon.

I’m not sure about you but I pretty much live my life covered in pet hair. Between the white cat and fluffy corgi our house, and our lives, are covered in fur.

Since we went on a road trip this past weekend the backseat is now COVERED in dog hair… I mean at least two solid layers built up.

So I’m going to try this nifty item:

BarksBar Pet Car Seat Cover With Seat Anchors for Cars, Trucks, and Suv’s – Black, WaterProof & NonSlip Backing

Price: $26.99 (Regular $69.99)

I’m not sure it will solve all our pet hair problems, but if it keeps me from having to vacuum after every time we go on a trip with the dog I will be happy!

Happy Traveling!

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Walla Walla, Washington


We. Are. Back!

We enjoyed a long weekend in Walla Walla, Washington with some good friends and their dog.

The weather was hot (low 90’s) and the wine was delicious.

We spent most of our time exploring the small town, drinking wine and doing some hiking!

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Bennington Lake Hike


Very tired corgi after a four mile hike


L’Ecole No 41 Winery 


Lovely evening out with friends 

I’m sad to be back home where it is in the mid-60’s and cloudy, but it was nice to sleep in my own bed last night.

Now it is time to switch off relaxing mode and start another week of work.

Happy Tuesday!

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