saditycents











{August 26, 2016}   Movie Review: Z for Zachariah

Z For Zachariah

Z For Zachariah 
Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine

PLOT: The last three people on earth are struggling to survive; secrets, suspicions and threats are revealed to show true human nature when you are the last humans on earth.

I haven’t read the book, but this film makes me want to read it. I thought it was curious that they changed the title character’s name to “John.” Perhaps as a means of creating greater mystery in the film. I find the ending both intriguing and infuriating. I like that it was an apocalyptic tell full of mystery. There was no definitive cause for the desolation of the population, there isn’t even a clear good and evil. I like films that make you work as the audience. However, this film made me work and didn’t provide equal payoff. Though not every question needed to be answered, I wish some of the burning mysteries of the plot line had answers that were alluded to in a more concrete way. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it would have been nice to have at least an 80% certainty of what happened or at least some kind of moral undertone or message. Instead, you come in with questions and leave with more questions. With that said, I thought the acting and suspense and silent moments were wonderful. I will say, had I not read other reviews I would have never known that this was supposed to be set in America and I don’t think the director should have tried to set the film in America. The scenery clearly wasn’t American and the actors weren’t either. They were so refined in their mannerism that they should have just stayed true to their European roots. Besides, who says that the only surviving people of the Apocalypse will be American? Still, its worth the watch.



{August 24, 2016}   Sadity Cents: Grow Your Own

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but money saving plants can.

One of the the things I longed to do in Korea, but didn’t get a chance to do because we lived in an apartment, was start a garden. I enjoy gardening for the sake of gardening, but I also just enjoy cooking with and eating fresh vegetables and herbs. Of course there are healthy benefits to growing your own vegetables, but have you ever thought about the economic benefits?

As many vegetables as my husband and I are eat (which is A Lot) it seemed prudent to grow some on our own. But there are a couple things to consider.

One, many of the garden shops or home improvement stores sell plants at a ridiculously high rate elemenating the potential benefit.

Next, even if you find vegetable plants at a reasonable price the set up can be expensive as well. You see, unfortunately, though we are in a beautiful area prime for gardening, base housing doesn’t allow us to dig anymore and even if we could the rabbits are out in droves. So what’s a girl to do? Start a patio garden of course!

First, I needed supplies. I bought a couple of plastic bins rather than buy garden boxes for $20 (or more) a pop. I suggest going to a thrift store first. The boxes I found are those cheap plastic storage boxes most stores have available near the begin of the school year. These are great for gardening because they are easy to punch drain holes in and the price makes them great to experiment with  and mess up on. I also bought plastic dishpans. You can get these dishpans for about $3 at most stores and for $0.50 at a thrift store. You don’t need these exact bins, but you will want something that you punch holes in or that has small holes for draining.

Next, I needed plants. There are some nurseries in town, but I knew that a large box home improvement store was having a sale. Now timing is everything. Part of the reason they are having a sale is because gardening season is nearly over, so they need to get rid of inventory.

Take time to look through the plants and find ones that are somewhat dry, but whose main stem still has life in them (i.e. still green). I didn’t buy expensive dirt or extra sprays. You really don’t need it. Plants have been growing for centuries without manufactured dirt. At the register, of course, I first asked for a military discount. So there was 10% right there. Then as I chatted with the sales clerk, I pointed out the dead leaves. By the time we were done she’d dicounted some of the aging plants and even gave me a tomato  plant for free. The attendant was throwing out plants that seemed to be dying and said I could take the tomato plant if I thought I could revive it.  I would take a look at some of the dying plants at your local store and see if the store will give them to you. Many appear to be dead but can be revived. Anyways, I bought two large bags of soil, and 8 plants (plus a freebie) for $30. Not a bad deal.

I made sure that the plants I bought were suited for a fall garden. I also bought some herbs which are very easy to keep and last but not least some lavender to defend my garden against bugs and rabbits without pesticides.

To build my garden I prepped my boxes by taking a screw driver to all four corners and hammering a whole in each corner.


Then I filled each with varying levels of rocks. The bins were deeper than I needed so I used the rocks in my garden bed as filler.

This serves two purposes: 1) It keeps me from having to buy unnecessary dirt to fill the bin. 2) The rocks help with drainage so that the plants aren’t sitting in water that will eventually sour and poison the plants. This can happen with potted plants.



Some of the bins I filled with rocks  in a gradient or sloping manner so that the plants would have the appropriate amount of dirt. It also helps with water flow.

The plants I chose are quick sprouting and do no have deep roots. So they don’t need a lot of dirt and they thrive best with soil that drains well.

Then I filled each pot with the appropriate amount of dirt. One pot is for shallow roots, another for deeper roots, and yet another for vine plants.

Here are the plants I bought and the depth of dirt for each bin:

6″ Bin

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Mint

8″ Bin

  • Bell pepper
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Sage

12″ Bin

  • Tomato
  • Pumpkin



I gave myself a few weeks to just relax, after literally traveling around the world… Ok, I didn’t do it on purpose. Our household goods are scheduled for three separate deliveries. The first two came in four weeks after we moved into our home. Ugh. So now its time to set up house. Yay! Starting with the most important room in the house.. The Kitchen. Nothing makes a house feel like home like home cooking.

Kitchen

  • Place drink ware near the refrigerator — It just makes sense for quickly getting drinks.
  • Place espresso maker near the drink ware and refrigerator — You need both for your espresso or coffee.
  • Plates and bowls go near the dishwasher — Ideally it would be between the sink and the dishwasher.
  • Silverware right above the plates or as close as possible.
  • Pot holders, serving spoons, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil all go near the stove.
  • Cookie sheets, cooling racks and cutting boards in the tall thin rack near the stove.
  • Dish towels and dish cloths near the sink, if possible. My kitchen doesn’t allow for that, so I put them close to the silverware.

 Bathroom

I did the bathroom next because… well its important. I just can’t relax without a good bath or shower. My husband and I are blessed in this house to have our own separate bathrooms, but I still like to know where everything is at. For some reason, my closets, bathrooms, etc. always become the overfill rooms. So I’m the one with all the extras.

In the bathroom I grabbed some baskets and plastic drawers and basically categorized all of the items under my sink as that is the most cluttered spot. I tried to organize based on my daily routine.

  • Teeth and eye products go in the medicine cabinet.
  • Face products (main face wash, eye cream, and facial toner) went into the closest drawer to the sink on the left.
  • My everyday hair products (rubber bands for work outs, hair pins for work) went into the next closest drawer.
  • Under the sink:
    • Feminine products to the side, but close to the front. Just in case of emergencies.
    • Additional hair products (gels, moisturizer, spray) I use those regularly, but not everyday.
    • Hair appliances (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryer) I only use on special occasion so they are in the back in a basket together.
    • On the other side near the front is extra toilet paper, again in case of emergency. Lol
    • Extra body lotions and extra body wash are in the back.
    • I also have very basic cleaning supplies for everyday use ( I keep the heavy duty supplies in the hall closet. Homemade shower spray, paper towels for cleaning, and plastic bags for the trash can.
  • On the back of my toilet I keep wipes and face tissue.

Bedroom

Because we haven’t received our home goods yet I haven’t done much with the master bedroom except make it sleep-able. We were on a air mattress for about a week before I begged my husband to go mattress shopping with me. We needed a new one anyways so it wasn’t exactly a spontaneous purchase, although I was going to wait until the bed frame arrived. I’m glad I made the purchase. Nothing ruins a day more than poor sleep.

Discount Tip: When shopping for a mattress everyone knows to comparison shop, but do you know how to use it in your negotiations? That’s the real key to great deals on large purchases. Click here for a short story.

 

 

 

 

http://organized31.com/2012/06/moving-into-new-home-how-to-set-up-your.html



Its been a busy week. We’ve had a shipment from our household goods come in, so I spent most of this week unpacking. Hubby has been hard at work and school and then he comes home and unpacks some more! I love him 😍. So its nice to take a moment to just relax on our porch and enjoy a date night in.

We just bought a new patio set and want to enjoy as many evenings outside as possible. Luckily the weather has been very cooperative.

What’s on the menu tonight? Well, Sam’s club had a great deal on Wild-caught Alaskan Sockeye salmon. I couldn’t resist, look at how beautiful these fillets are! I’m also trying my hand at a new recipe: Grilled Artichoke. I was inspired by a Grilled Artichoke and Parmesan recipe. Instead, I tried goat cheese as a pairing instead of Parmesan. Because artichoke produces so little fruit for all of your efforts, I’m also adding our standard grilled veggies and some quinoa and brown rice by Seeds of Change (seriously love this stuff).

The verdict for tonight’s dinner was delicious! I loved the artichoke     I will say it probably won’t be in constant rotation because it takes so much time, with so little reward. But we thoroughly enjoyed our treat. 



{August 17, 2016}   Sadity Cents: Patio Set Find

It’s been awhile since I blogged about the topic that was the nexus of this site: Great deals at a steal! It isn’t that I haven’t found great deals, but I intended to help people find deals that they can replicate and most of mine I stumble upon or sweet talk my way into them. Still, I feel like fellow savers will enjoy hearing about my great finds. I think I’ve written about the fact that my husband and I are setting up house with one another for the first time. When we met, he was doing a tour overseas and I had a practice to take care of, so we spent a good deal apart with our own places. When we married and moved in together, we were stationed overseas. Many apartments, like ours, came furnished. So there wasn’t much we had to do. Now we are combining his stuff from two apartments (he left stuff in storage before going overseas), and my stuff from overseas. So finding furniture, getting rid of furniture, and organizing just a lot of stuff will probably be the them of many of my Sadity Cents posts.  

Its not just finding things cheaply, but also finding items that fit into my idea of classy and sophisticated. Thus Sadity Cents!

 I have always had champagne taste on beer money and often a fountain water budget. LOL.  Thus, my passion for finding great deals. You don’t always have to pay an arm and a leg for nice things. Thus, my latest find:

  


I’ve been wanting a patio set like this for some time. Most are propane, but I really wanted one that could host real wood and even charcoal. It wasn’t easy. But we did it. I saw this set at Albertson’s (of all places) a few weeks ago. Even further back , years ago, there was one at Kroger that I loved. I couldn’t justify the price as a graduate student. Fast forward to now, and I saw this set. I wanted it immediately, but again I couldn’t justify the price. Not because we couldn’t afford it. It’s just that I plan on completely replacing several rooms of furniture and I don’t want to spend a significant portion on patio furniture. Not to mention, I just have a slight allergic reaction to paying full price for big ticket items. I spent time searching for something similar or pieces I could put together to create my patio…Nothing. I found cute items, but they were so expensive or they weren’t exactly what I wanted. See my ideal was a real wood fire pit table that I could grill on. Items that matched that description costs around $2000 on the cheap side. Other fire pit tables were propane, so they were cute, but useless. And most fire pits didn’t have a real table element around the fire pit, rather they usually had a ledge where you could place small plates and glasses.

Then as luck would have it I stopped at Albertson’s on the way to buy another set. A set, I didn’t really love, but felt was “good enough.” I talked to the department head and they only had one set left, the display. Well, people have not because they ask not. I make it a practice to ask and walked away with my patio set $250 cheaper than its original price. The best part, because it was a display, it was already put together. Less work for me (and by me, I mean hubby)! It took three trips back to our new place since it didn’t come in the flat boxes, but worth it to me. For about $20, I found a camp fire grill to put over the top to grill food and the table I wanted came to fruition.



Death By Fire AND Sea

Remember that time our car was burned up in the middle of the sea?! 

Yep, that happened. On its way from Belgium to Korea our car, which we immaculately detailed before leaving, was destroyed by fire while on a boat. Everyone asks if we got insurance money for it. Yes, we did. But when the military insures, you get a flat rate they apply to a range of models. It doesn’t matter how nice you kept your car, it doesn’t matter how much it will be to replace it with a similar make and model. Nope you, get your flat rate… So we have one car now.

Read the rest of this entry »



{August 12, 2016}   Movie Review: A Beautiful Belly

I know I haven’t done movie reviews in a long time on this site, but I’m doing this thing where the many blogs and social media sites I’ve shared my opinion on are now all converging on Sadity Cents. It’s just to hard to keep my life segmented like I did before.

Anyway, I probably will only review a few movies, but I plan on reviewing movies that are outside of mainstream. There are enough people discussing the latest block buster. Rather, I want to use this forum to highlight independent films and documentaries that I enjoyed. Things you may not have heard of, just to bring awareness. I will warn you the genre will probably be mostly in the relm of “Christian movies, I don’t find corny.” Because they are so hard to find. But I promise to keep them short and sweet… (mostly) 🙂

A Beautiful Belly

 

Chris Worley

A Beautiful Belly

PLOT: After an unplanned pregnancy and a hasty marriage, an aspiring children’s entertainer and his bar-tending wife are forced to confront difficult choices about their future.

I thought it was realistic. It didn’t have all of the Hollywood stereotypes. There was a dad who actually enjoyed being a dad. Moms who worked non-traditional jobs. Christians who didn’t spin out a Mary Poppins scene. Nor was their Christianity shoved down your throat, or made a mockery of, or relegated to Sunday only. Rather it was integrated into their everyday life without discussion or fanfare. It showed a realistic theme that when things happen fast, adjusting can be hard, and when you neglect your spouse they will seek comfort other places. Neither is right, but sometimes its life. Life isn’t as black and white as Hollywood makes it. Still the film showed that just because you are tempted doesn’t mean you have to give in. I liked the redemptive quality of resisting your initial emotions and doing what is right and honorable.

 



Just some old military spouse pictures I found and an article that I thought held some wisdom.



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5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn from Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

Being a military spouse is not a new thing.

From the camp followers of the Revolutionary War who followed the troops from location to location, military spouses have remained a fixture of our armed forces. And since we’ve been around for hundreds of years, we’ve learned a thing or two.

A lot that was learned has been regaled to the history books simply due to changing times. There are some things, however, that remain the same, and we can continue to learn from the examples of the military spouses who have gone before us.

Here are five things we modern military wives should make sure to safeguard and pass on to those who come into our military family each and every day.

1. Patience

It was called the U.S. mail, and it was the only mode of communication. I know many of you can’t fathom a life free of cell phones, Skype, email, Face Time, etc., but believe it or not, there WAS a time where our Old School Sisters relied on paper, ink and stamps exclusively. Sometimes it took months for letters to be exchanged and every word of those were read and re-read again, cherished and tucked away for future generations to read.

We of the instant gratification generation demand daily communication and get annoyed and upset when that doesn’t happen. We are spoiled and impatient. A little patience goes a long way for the heart, mind and spirit- our Old School Sisters had it, and we should learn to cultivate it.

2. Appreciation

Hearken back to the day where there were no FRGs (I know some of you are looking for a time machine to jump into after hearing that!), no Child Development Centers, no MWR facilities or activities- basically you had a house and that was it. And let’s not forget being notified by telegram of the death of a service member instead of in-person by a Casualty Notification team.

There are so many people who have grand expectations of what the military should be providing to them- gimme, gimme, gimme is the name of the game.The bottom line is you aren’t owed anything for marrying a service member. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even a stipend (best Miss Vicki column EVER!).

So, instead of whining and demanding more from an already financially distressed DoD furloughing civilians and cutting precious training time for service members, be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the benefits afforded to you that our Old School Sisters didn’t enjoy-like the ability to have the GI Bill transferred to you.

They appreciated the simple fact that their spouses came home from war alive, which is much more important than worrying about the commissary being closed an extra day due to furlough. If you don’t believe me, ask a Gold Star Wife. She’ll set you straight.

3. Dignity

Our Old School sisters didn’t wear pajamas to the PX, to the commissary or out in public anywhere. Just because Wal-Mart shoppers do it doesn’t give the practice a seal of approval.

Take pride in your appearance. At least upgrade to something resembling actual clothing to be worn outside the house i.e., yoga pants, running pants, etc.You don’t have to get all white gloves and pill box hat like our Old School ladies, just look like you actually give a darn.

Which leads us to our “things not to wear at any military event” portion of dignity. We’ve all seen THAT photo on the Internet, where the spouse is flashing it all at a ball. Don’t be that girl who goes viral. There are ways to be sexy without baring 89 percent of your flesh.

A ball isn’t a night club — it’s a formal military event which has ceremonial aspects to it. Don’t walk in looking like you’re looking for the nearest pole to swing on. Look like you’re going to the White House. Or the Oscars. NOT the MTV Video awards.

Old School Wives wore suits or dresses, hats, white gloves, and the dreaded stockings (not pantyhose — stockings) every day at some point. Be happy those standards have lessened, but let’s not take the lax dress requirements of modern times to the extreme.

Wear real “outside” clothes, dress appropriately for the occasion (essentially, look at Roxy’s ensembles in the first season of “Army Wives” and do the polar opposite) and wear clothes that don’t flash your business and you’ll be okay.

4. Respect for and Pride in Your Servicemember

This one gets people all kinds of riled up. I know spouses who think it’s their job to talk about how crappy the military is, how much they hate it, how much they are against the wars, etc. That’s fine and dandy. But do you really need to share that constantly with your fellow military spouses and, especially, your servicemember?

Back in the day, the Old School Wives rocked the Blue Service Star flags in the windows and planted victory gardens. They also despised war, but understood their servicemembers didn’t all get together and elect to go kill people and risk dying themselves of their own volition. They were ordered to go. By the government. Not the military — the government. So hating on the military for what the people in power decide for them to do is silly and futile.

A great example is one of the most fabulous Old School Wives I’ve ever known. She was a total hippie freak in the 70s. I am talking the quintessential love-child-flower-carryin’-Joan-Baez-singin’-long-hair-lovin’-bra-burnin’ lady in bell bottoms. She was also married to an Army major in Vietnam. Not a draftee, but a career officer.

While he was gone on all three tours, she protested at every turn. She carried signs, she sang, she sat-in. What she never did, however, was direct or associate any of her protests to her spouse or the military. She protested to and about the decision makers calling the shots, not the people following their lawful orders. She understood the two were separate.

Her husband understood her need to voice her opinion and appreciated that she chose to direct it at the right people and not involve him or the military. And that’s probably also why they had three Vietnam-era babies back-to-back and were married until they died.

So, get mad and use your voice.  Just do it in the right way and to the right people.

5. Manners

This is the most simple, and the most abused by modern military spouses. If you get an invitation, respond. Respond “yes” or “no.” How hard is that? Apparently, extremely, since most people I know at some point either complain that people didn’t RSVP, or confess they themselves didn’t RSVP.

Tie this one with point two: appreciate that unlike the Old School Wives, our invites are no longer by hand and for sleep-inducing teas. We don’t have to wear gloves. Or heels. No, our modern invites are usually by email and involve cocktails and a fuzzy dice game (Bunco, anyone?).

So, even if you don’t want to win prizes and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage, have the decency to decline the invite (though I will never understand why anyone would do that…). Good Old School manners never go out of style, unless you won’t hand over the fuzzy dice when I ding the bell and scream “BUNCO!.” Then, I make no promises about being polite or minding my manners.

“Ansley” is an Army spouse and resides in Alexandria, Virginia

5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn From Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

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https://i0.wp.com/cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/files/2011/05/06-army-wife-1975-03-06-Vol-26-No-40-Monmouth-Message.jpg

http://cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/page/89/

 

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When you’ve been grilling as much as hubby and I these past few weeks, you’re bound to have a couple mishaps a.k.a burnt chicken. So what’s a girl to do? Well when life gives you burnt chicken, make chicken salad! Yep. Its time to put a new spin on my famous (among friends and family) chicken salad. I guess you could call this version Cajun Chicken salad. I added more savory flavors than sweet. This time I included some crushed red peppers and eliminated the pecans and fruit, except for the apples. I made tomato bowls to serve the chicken salad in by scooping out the middle of ripe tomatoes. Then I added additional salad onto the plate and topped it with some spicy guacamole. It was a great summer meal as always and wonderful way to avoid waste.

IMG_1305[1]



Date night is back after much traveling! I’m so glad we are getting back into a routine. Last Friday hubby text me and told me to be ready by 6 pm to go out on a date. I was pleasantly surprised. This is NOT something my husband does. Yes we go on dates but planned and orchestrated entirely by my husband, never. We went to a cute wine shop in town that was so sophisticated and cultured that for a moment I forgot where I was… For a moment. The place is small and gets crowded easily so they had to make a table in the wine room for us. It was actually very romantic, it was like we had a private room. The food was superb. To our surprise the chef is a military spouse and trained in European cuisine. The staff is very friendly and you can tell the my take pride in their restaurant. We had a wonderful time. I will say that it is a little pricey, but considering that there are very few places with that kind of attention to detail and excellence in their cuisine its a nice place to treat yourself.  Here are our dishes:



et cetera