Last night we had a pretty intense severe thunderstorm roll through Tampa. It was severe enough to take out a few tree branches in my neighborhood, as well as scare the hell out of Maddie. It’s the type of storm that is not uncommon this time of year in Florida. The clouds usually start to darken the sky around mid afternoon, the intense rain begins around dinner time, and by nightfall it’s all over. The same thing happened today and it will probably happen again tomorrow.
And while we do welcome all the rain, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Maddie and I discovered that this morning when I drove her to her favorite dog park and was greeted by lots of water and mud, but no doggie friends to play with.
Bummer. I thought about bringing Maddie in and letting her have at it, but I didn’t have a towel and a muddy Maddie didn’t sound like fun to me.
Instead of letting Maddie run loops of the dog park to burn energy (she’s the fastest dog-park looper that I know), we went on a walk of the much larger loop of the whole park. There was no running, but I think she still enjoyed walking.
The dog park wasn’t the only portion of the park that was flooded, the whole place looked like a swamp was taking over. Which, I discovered, wasn’t too far from the truth.
Halfway around the loop I had two women with strollers pass me. They looked at Maddie, then told me to be careful – they heard an alligator in the flooded woods next to the path and a little dog would be the perfect snack.
I didn’t think too much about it, but then I turned the corner and heard a very distinct croak. Gulp. I looked to my right and saw where the water disappeared in the woods and a swampy, scary scene was starting to form. I pulled the leash a little tighter, walked a little faster, and kept looking for anything that resembled a gator’s head. Then I heard the croak again. I grabbed Maddie and got the hell out of dodge.
Once I got past the woods – and was surrounded once again by people and cars – I put Maddie back down and continued our walk. Only at quicker pace, with a faster heart beat.
I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I’ve discovered gators in my parents’ swimming pool, under the car, and even ridden my bike by them several times. They’re scary, but I know if you leave them alone you’ll be ok.
But having Maddie there was different. Knowing she barks and challenges anything that crosses her path, she couldn’t be trusted. I could see her chasing after the gator and trying to show him whose boss. Little does she know that the gator is boss, not Maddie.
Better to hurry and get her out of there as quickly and safely as possible.
After our walk, I broke out leftovers for lunch.
Okay. Technically Derek had already broken out the leftovers, but I was happy to reheat the bowl of vegetable soup he had left on the counter for me.
I also made a mini cheese quesadilla with a slice of provolone and two corn tortillas.
- vegetable soup: $ 1.02
- 2 corn tortillas: $0.18
- 1 slice of cheese: $0.20
- Total: $1.40
Derek and I were pretty boring the rest of the afternoon, watching TV and hitting the mall for a quick trip to return something.
I had the last piece of cornbread for an afternoon snack.
- cornbread: $0.19
And had a little fun with dinner.
Remember those lentils from Wednesday night? I finally got around to doing something with the remaining lentils.
Hello, Lentil and Beet Burgers!
Simple. Easy. Healthy. And tight-budget friendly.
All you need are:
- 3 cups cooked lentils ($0.90)
- 1 cup rolled oats ($0.28)
- 1 egg, scrambled ($0.14)
- 1 15-oz can original cut beets, drained ($0.67)
Preheat the oven to 415
Place oats in food processor and grind them for 30 seconds to a minute.
In a medium bowl add the lentils, beets, egg, and oats. Season with salt and pepper. Work the ingredients with hands until everything is combined and mashed together. Let the mix sit for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, form patties and bake for 20 minutes at 415.
7 Lentil and Beet Burgers comes to a crushing total of $1.99! Not only are they a cheap deal, but they’re full of fiber, rich in nutrients and protein, and they taste pretty good too. I
I had two on top of a bed of greens with sauteed zucchini and yellow squash and cheese on top.
The “burgers” were crunchy on the outside and mushy on the inside. I ended up crumbling them and making them more of a salad topping.
I cleaned my plate.
- 2 Lentil and Beer Burgers: $0.57
- 1/8 block of cheese: $0.31
- zucchini + yellow squash: $0.33
- romaine lettuce: $0.20
- Total: $1.41
A handful of granola for dessert.
- granola: $0.18
Derek’s meals today were pretty identical to mine. Only he had three burgers, and two of the cheese quesadillas.
One of the major hurdles of the #SurviveOn35 challenge was making it through the weekend without eating out. I can’t tell you the last time – if ever – we’ve done this. Usually we grab lunch or dinner out twice through the weekend, simply for the convenience of it. It’s pretty typical that we’ll be out somewhere, hungry, and wanting to to try somewhere new.
While I missed the adventure of eating somewhere new, it was nice to stay home and cook for ourselves through the weekend. We had to play around a little with timing so we would be out and about and find ourselves suddenly starving, but it worked out. I think we should try challenging ourselves with not eating out over the weekend more often.
Alright, it’s been a quiet week, but I’m still ready for bed.