Sunday, June 23, 2013

Relay For Life 2013

Last night was the York County Relay For Life.  We gathered early in the afternoon to set up our camp.  We had a horrible experience in the rain last time where it took us hours to set up and meanwhile everyone and our stuff was standing around in the pouring rain.  Thunderstorms and showers threatened us this relay as well.  It turns out that downpours appeared on the radar all around us but other than one 5 minute drizzle early in the evening and a shower around 2am when we were already holed up in the tent playing a game of Yahtzee, we remained completely dry.  Even driving home in the morning the streets of Portland were drenched.  I commented that nobody would believe us when we said we stayed dry!

Here are a couple shots of our campsite:

There was a short opening ceremony and then I joined my mother and best friend out on the track.  They are both cancer survivors.  My favorite part of relay is walking that first lap and seeing people lined around watching us walk by and clapping for them.

I also really enjoy the luminary ceremony when the lights are dimmed, the bagpipe player walks the track and the names are read of those honored.

There was silliness on and off the track:

At the last relay we were drenched when we took a team photo.  We really wanted to recreated that picture this year in a much sunnier setting:

And here is the entire Cacklin' Hens 4 A Cure Team!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Now THIS is a party!

Thursday night I headed to Topsham for a summer solstice party.  I had been invited before but this was the first time I was able to attend. To me a large party is like 10-15 people standing around with a drink for a couple of hours.  I had heard of large annual blockbuster gatherings but had never been to one.  Until Thursday.

I pulled up and started counting cars.  I lost track after about 35.  Later in the evening I couldn't help myself and started counting people.  There had to be at least 100 people including kids.  This was good for me as it's a bit easier to hide out in a large group and just sit back and be an observer.  There was a band playing so I lost myself in listening to them.  They were not some little amateur act but a real band who plays at weddings and clubs and such.  They were really entertaining!  They played a little bit of everything. Here are The Veggies:

There were also more hula hoops than I could count with children and adults all over the lawn hooping to the beat of the music.  I'm really sensitive to not taking pictures of people's children so I got the next few shots from behind and far away.

Later the band took a break so that everyone could engage in a silly string war.  Everyone headed to this nearby field and ran around like crazy until all of the silly string cans were empty. Someone had posted on the event page that afternoon about how the stores were selling out of silly string.  I thought that comment might be a bit dramatic but I now I realize it had to have been entirely true!

After all of the excitement I decided to wonder around their property. I knew they were right on the water.  A very short stroll led me to the most amazing beach I've ever seen.  The water was crystal clear, there were green islands in the near distance, and the sand was perfectly clean and lightly colored.  

I left just as it was getting dark as the band played on and people continued eating and drinking.  I got to see a few old friends and meet a few new ones.  It was the perfect start to a four day weekend!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Toying With The Idea For A New Blog

I am officially hooked on saving money by way of couponing!  I never thought that I could get any benefit from it so I have been absolutely blown away by the results!  I discussed how I got started here: Help With My Grocery Budget.  One thing that I've noticed comes up frequently when I talk to people is they express disbelief that given my vegan diet I can be successful in any way using coupons.  When I mention that every single week I use coupons for produce I actually get an open mouth stare.  Yet it has been amazingly easy to save great amounts of money of fruits, vegetables, organic brands, natural items etc.  I have subscribed to several blogs and while there is a bit of overlap I find that between all of them I seem to hit on most of the good deals.  However, I also find myself weeding though coupons for Hormel meat, Ramen noodles, and tub of margarine to find the little gems that interest me.  I searched for a  coupon/savings site geared toward a natural plant based diet and found nothing.  There are a whole lot of blogs about eating healthy and living a natural lifestyle.  There are a bunch of recipe blogs.  I couldn't easily find anything that showed ways to save money on these items.  It got me thinking of what might be involved in starting another blog devoted to that single topic.  It's one thing to do this little blog that only about a dozen people read and another thing entirely to try to create a blog that is intended to be "the real deal".  So, I'm exploring the options and what is involved and in the meantime I am going to share my deals of the week!

I got everything in the photo below for completely FREE!  It's about $20-25 worth of stuff and it's my haul from just the past week and without really doing any major research or going out of my way at all.  This just doesn't get old!

The photo below is an honorable mention of super cheap salad mixes.  These were just on sale for an amazing price of .97 cents each.  I had a coupon for $1.50 off two Fresh Express.  Folks-That works out to 22 cents a bag!!

So, I will continue to mull over this new blog idea and continue to keep looking for great deals!