Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day Thirteen, Gift Thirteen

Day Thirteen was absolutely crazy!  I slept much better and woke up feeling pretty energetic.  I had my massage which was especially painful but I survived and am better off for it.  Then I went to work on cooking!  Five of my friends who also have lots and lots of kids and I are doing a co-op...this is how it works, one of us cooks for the other five one day per week. Every night we are fed a home cooked meal but we only cook once per week.  I'm sure they won't mind if I use their names, so for example, on Monday, Katie cooks for all of us and delivers us dinner, Tuesday Brandi delivers, Wednesday is Rachele's day, Thursday is Val's day, and finally Friday is my day.

However, this particular week I switched with Rachele so it wasn't part of my normal routine.  Cooking for five large families (about 35 servings) is no small undertaking!  However, we are all health conscious and have agreed to certain requirements together and it is working beautifully.  It takes a couple hours to cook and deliver but then you are off for the rest of the week!  I made General Tsao's chicken with brown rice and fortune cookies.  How we set it up is you have to make the entree and one side...we have a google calendar so we always can plan ahead and make sure we don't have similar meals in the same week.  Then we shop the sales!  On average we are able to feed all five families for between $40 and $ that is our dinners for the entire week!  On top of this, we do it for a serving of 8 so there are left overs which has eliminated the need to buy lunches.  This is awesome for your grocery budget as then you just need to do paper products, cleaning, breakfasts, and fresh fruits and veggies!

Anyway, our group is loving it so much so I thought I'd share the idea in case any of the other readers are interested in trying it.  Feel free to ask questions about how we got started tip is to have every one in the group buy five pyrex pans with lids for easy transport.  Brandi etched our names on the sides with her cri-cut...oh boy, I could really write about that!  So if your meal is returned in your dish each night, you should have all of your dishes back by your day to cook!  Make sure everyone in your group lives nearby so you don't spend a ton of time traveling on your delivery day :-).

With that said, I made my five meals and Tim helped me package and load them up (he was such a gem and cut pounds and pounds of chicken, thank you!).  I got those delivered and went to my doctors appointment.  It was a little worse news than I was expecting, all my discs are budging with the exception of three.  It's too much damage for even a surgery.  I'm not sure what all my treatment options are at this point, I am going to a specialist.  However, I need to start physical therapy / yoga type exercise around 90 mins total per day.  I have to up my massages and acupuncture and add some new decompression therapy.  I also need to lose a lot of weight fast, so this was a lot of information to digest.

On my way home from the doctors as tears were streaming down my face, not knowing how I was going to tell Tim another major issue, I saw an elderly Hispanic woman pulling a wagon.  Wait!  I recognized her, she was a woman I just read about in the paper.  She is over 80 years old and has been collecting cans for the past 20 years in our town. The paper was thanking her for keeping the streets clean.  She lives here with family and they stated that she fully supports herself on this income.  She walks miles and miles each and every day and never misses a day, not even Christmas or days of 115 degree heat.  She's in amazing physical shape and shows no signs of slowing down even though she's been hit two times by cars!  I immediately pulled over and chased her down.  I had gotten the kids allowance from the bank in one dollar bills earlier in the day.  With tears in my eyes I thanked her for her hard work and keeping our town clean.  I gave her five one dollar bills and told her this was about 500 cans.  That's when I realized that she didn't speak a word of English but our eyes met and she saw I was struggling just as she...we all have our challenges and struggles.  I'll never forget her beautiful eyes.  Here is the article if you are interested in reading her amazing story:

That was my gift for the day.


Anonymous said...

My FAVORITE!!!!!! What a great story. Thanks for providing the link. LOVE IT!!!!