The Crunchy Sunflower

aboutthecrunchysunflower Well, I decided to take the plunge and create yet another blog. Why? Possibly I’m simply obsessed with self-expression, or perhaps I’m beginning to wonder if I will actually get a job. That being said, it seemed like the thing to do at the moment, especially when there seem to be few job prospects on the horizon.

The Crunchy Sunflower will be a blog that explores my attempts to create a happy and healthy life on a small budget. Thus it will include a wide range of posts, such as recipes, tips, and crafts. I’ll go ahead and show you my failures as well as my successes, providing you with some benefit from my experience. Too maybe it will inspire you to live a full and frugal life!

My husband, of course, is more than happy to sample foods other than frozen pizzas. Perhaps we will all benefit from the new addition.

Mother Teresa on Silence

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature–trees, flowers, grass–grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  -Mother Teresa

Dinner Time

Original Photo by  kumarnm on
Original Photo by kumarnm on

Lately, my husband and I often wind up having a conversation such as that below around dinner time:

Him: “What do you want for dinner?”

Me: “Mmm…I don’t know.”

Him: “Do you want to go out?”

Me: “No, let’s just fix something here.”

Him: “What? A frozen pizza?”

Perhaps you too have such conversations in your own home. The inevitable nature of them makes them somewhat humorous and pitiful at the same time. With the speed and busy-ness of our daily lives, many often leave behind organizing their home life in favor of the ease of frozen foods or restaurants.

This didn’t always occur in our household. I admit that I have become rather lazy in this area of our lives. After spending much of my energy attempting to find recipes that everyone would enjoy, I decided that we would just eat frozen food. And we have for a few months now.

With the cool summer and the continuing lack of job prospects, I’m thinking I’m going to have to return to my organized, frugal ways and make my own meals and other food items such as yogurt and granola. Much more in the way of work for myself, but certainly cheaper as far as grocery bills.

Last night, we had a conversation similar to that above. After some fruitless discussion, we were close to going out for Thai food. I searched for the phone number and considered the price of the meal, which would have been somewhat expensive; I decided then and there to whip us up a meal from the food we had on hand. Maybe not Thai, but it was spicy. It’s just too bad we didn’t have a bit of something to drink along with it.

I have to admit that it felt darn good to be cooking again. There’s something innately satisfying about creating something on the fly and feeding your family. Definitely more satisfying than warming up a frozen meal or a pizza, and probably more nutritious.

Who knows? Perhaps my return to my old frugal, DIY self may provide some fodder for another blog. At the very least, we’ll be getting away from constant meals of frozen foods and the futility of having the same conversation every day.


Anakin with Lambie
Anakin with Lambie

“There are three faithful friends – an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.” –Benjamin Franklin

Commitment—even when it entails sacrifice—seems to have gotten a bad reputation of late. In our society’s rush to pleasure and enjoyment, we often forget that true love must come with commitment, and this with self-sacrifice. Whether it is a marriage or caring for an elderly dog, there may be some suffering along with the joy.

Yesterday, I took our beloved little Anakin for his first post-chemo checkup. He appears to be in remission at this point, but there is some evidence of further age-related deterioration. At the age of nine, he is a senior dog, but not necessarily elderly. We have begun to see some weakness and loss of coordination, along with possible signs of dementia. Small things in the larger view of his health and abilities, considering that he is an overall very happy and loved dog.

For us, he is still that straggly little dog who showed up on our front doorstep at the age of one. He was scared and wet from the rain, but he seemed to know that he had found the right house. We took him in and helped him through most of his problems. He learned to bark and play, realizing that the abuse that he had experienced before he met us was finally over. He was our “Little Mister,” and we were his family.

Now, eight years later, we all have aged. Some may question why we went to the expense of chemotherapy for a dog, but we couldn’t imagine not giving him that chance for additional life. I was brought up to believe that taking care of pets is a commitment that you don’t simply discard when things get rough. Like marriage or any other worthwhile relationship, you stick with it, showing that person—or little dog—just what love really means.

Anakin is still our Little Mister. He may not be able to run like he did when he was a younger dog and may require some extra supervision, but we love him just the same. His abilities and health may change, but our love only grows stronger. And that’s the true result of commitment, a strong and abiding love borne out of sacrifice and pain.