I had a very productive week, this week. I did a lot of things that were either free or saved me money. First off, hubby had to go to the DMV office in Kingston this week to renew his license. I tagged along for the ride and to spend his wait time walking the business section while taking in the many sights. Kingston was the first capital of the state of New York. Today, the capital in located in Albany, New York. Still, Kingston has a lot of history and beautiful architecture left behind. Their shopping district is located on a street surrounded in porticoes similar to those you would find in Bologna, Italy.

The first ever Dutch Church in America was built in Kingston New York in 1661. Every spring their cemetery is lined with bright red tulips and white day lilies. The flowers against the backdrop of the many tombstones make for a great photo opportunity. The cemetery grounds, however, have picnic tables scattered about. I’m not so sure I would like to have a picnic in the midst of a cemetery. It did, regardless, create some interesting photographs.

I also passed the Ulster Court House. Built in 1789, the structure was both a jail and a courthouse. During the Revolutionary War, the British burned Kingston to the ground. The city slowly rebuilt. This courthouse is one of the finest and most historic buildings in New York. Sojourner Truth, the famous abolitionist and women’s rights activist successfully saved her son from slavery by arguing his case in this building. The courthouse is free and open to the public.

I also visited a nursery in Kingston. I’ve been buying all my vegetable starts and perennial flowers here for the last twenty years. Their quality is superb even though their prices are a bit high. I don’t mind paying a bit extra because I know their products will survive and last and last and last. It felt great to stand in the center of the nursery and see all the colorful and beautiful flowers all around me. I haven’t enjoyed a spring as much as I am enjoying the spring we are having right now!

I also spent the week making some of my last batches of slow-cooking foods before the summer starts. I again made a batch of New England Baked Beans from scratch and canned the leftovers for future summer BBQs. I also made the last beef stew of the season and used up the last of the winter carrots, celery and one remaining potato. The nights are still cold and the beef stew came in handy. The beef was tender and delicious.

I always advise people to read ALL the labels. Look at your receipts and pay attention to whatever it is that you are buying. I stopped into the food end of the nursery to pick up a few, locally made sausages. They’re made right there in the store. Usually I buy either the chicken or turkey sausages. They are usually priced between $3.49 to $3.99 a pound. I very rarely buy the pork sausages because they are very expensive. I noticed a bunch of pork sausages priced at $2.99 a pound. These were the specialty pork sausages because they contained a very expensive brand of locatelli cheese. Normally, these sausages would go for $4.99 a pound! When I looked at the label, the pricing was for 85% lean ground beef! Naturally, of course, I bought ALL the mis-labled sausages, six packages in all, for a total savings of $12.00!! Score! We cooked up one package for dinner and I froze the rest for future use this summer. Normally I wouldn’t buy them because they are super expensive. These sausages will be a real treat.

Lastly, I’ve been looking for a backyard/camping chair that either reclines or has a raised foot rest. Last year I found the Coleman brand but each chair was priced at $60. So, I held off till this year. I got a notice that Job Lot was selling zero-gravity chair for $49 BUT before I drove down there to buy I comparison shopped online. I found out that Wal Mart was selling the chairs for only $39.50 each! From the beginning search to the final purchase, I saved $41.00 by buying the set of two at Wal Mart. I placed them on my backyard deck for now. But come RVing time, they are going to make this woman a very happy, relaxed camper! Ka-ching! (the chairs even have a removable side table, just perfect for my cell phone, a cup of coffee or a glass of ice tea)

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