Seriously, when will all of this end? Sure, we had a couple sunny days here & there in February, and I thank Mother Nature profusely for the break. But for crying out loud, I'm beginning to think this is the longest, ugliest winter this nation has seen in ages and I'm so ready for it to be GONE. It's not just the fact that I feel all glum when it's ugly and gray all the time either; I don't like being sick all the time, and despite what some folks say, this weather does NOT help at all! I got hit with my 2nd bout of acute bronchitis/borderline pneumonia earlier this week (my doc says whatever's going around has hit a lot of her patients within 2-3 days, just like me, and that it's quite awful) and attempting to go in to work with a storm a-ragin' only sent me to the ER with severe symptoms and the worst asthma attack I've ever had in my life (bronchitis + asthma = no no NO bueno!).
Needless to say, it's just ONE more setback for Poor Girl & her crappy finances, so March is going to be yet another über-challenging month! Fortunately, I've gotten help from unexpected places and a few Tastemaker Program goodies in the cupboards, so I'll be able to jazz things up a bit regardless. And now for some notes from last month and what's in store for the month of March:
~ First of all, I want to give all of you who have donated to the Po' Girl cause another HUGE thank you for your extreme generosity. I said it on Facebook awhile back but want to say it here, too. Without your help I literally would not have been able to get through the month of February. I was able to pay my phone bill & some utilities, so even though I'm still paying February's rent (eek! March will be late now, too. *sob* Thank GOD my landlady's being understanding right now!), I'm at least able to contact people and stay warm through this entire mess. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much this means to me and I hope I can repay you someday.
~ This is terribly embarrassing to admit, but I've admitted so many other things on this blog that I think I'm about out of shame here, so here it is: things got so bad after the loss of my temp assignment in January that I had to swallow the 4 oz. of pride I had left and applied for food stamps. I will be blogging about this in depth in the next couple of weeks, not so that you can feel sorry for me or anything, but so that folks have an idea of what this is like. I have struggled financially for awhile but had been fortunate enough not to have to go "there" until now, and I think that with the state of our economy and so many others suffering in even worse situations than mine, an inside look at what this is like and how broken our system is necessary to bring awareness to the plights of those in absolute poverty. It won't be pretty, but hopefully it'll help to continue movements to end hunger & motivate folks to help in their communities.
~ I am having a hard time with this whole Poor Girl's Shopping List post as I'm still not so sure what you all want to see. I've gotten several emails from folks telling me they want to know what I buy so they can copy what I do; others say they want a list of what's actually in my cupboard & fridge at any given time, etc., etc. Because everyone's tastes are different, I'm having difficulty making this post work. I don't want you buying what I buy and going, "EW!!!" So what exactly do you want to see? Actual food that I buy, or more of a guideline as to how I shop? Please comment below so I can finally get this to you folks! For now, please don't forget to check out the Tips button in the menu bar above, where you'll get a lot of good info on how to save $ whist shopping. For those of you still unsure of how to stock your cupboards, start with Tip #2: Find Your Spice Staples and Tip #3: Find Your Bare Bone Staples.
~ My friend Catherine of Munchie Musings has been generously drowning me in metric tons of grapefruits from her very prolific tree this winter, so I've been having fun with all the free grapefruit juice I can drink! But that can get old too, so I'm also having fun using this wonderful fruit in different ways, so citrus lovers, stay tuned for some good grapefruit recipes!
~ The fine folks of Bertolli have joined with Foodbuzz to provide us Tastemakers with two full sized jars of some of their newest sauces: Arrabbiata and Four Cheese Rosa! I've already played with the Arrabbiata and it is GOOOOOOD! Recipes using these great flavors coming up in the next couple of weeks.
~ I'm obsessed with eating brussels sprouts these days, and since this is March and St. Patrick's Day's a-comin', I think I'm going to be making a lot of green things this month. And green food is so good for you, too! For those afraid of greens, I'll try my best to make even the biggest skeptic a little less afraid of things like chard, and kale, and brussels sprouts..... mmmmm.... :)
That's about all I've got in me right now, folks! I'm about ready to collapse, so it's probably time for some meds to see if I can breathe & sleep. I need to try and get in at least a few hours of work tomorrow so I won't have a nano-paycheck to look forward to, right? Have a marvelous March, all!