travellers must be content

Since we traded my sweet BigLaw income for a sweet SmallTown lifestyle, I've been dabbling a bit with couponing. Yes, couponing. It never made much sense to me--such a hassle to save 50 cents--and even now with my altered economic landscape that seems like a paltry payoff. But what I had not realized is that there are various strategies that have to be followed that will multiply those 50 cent coupons to a more meaningful amount of savings. So I'm trying it. I even walked around Costco yesterday with my little pricebook, scribbling down the prices of everything I regularly purchase.

But here's the frustrating thing. Couponing really does not lend itself to a nutritious, whole-food lifestyle. When's the last time you saw a coupon for produce? I can think of one. I got a free pound of baby carrots recently. And a free bag of cookies with the same purchase. Really effective coupon shopping requires buying a lot of processed foods, which is not how I like to feed my family. Further evidence that the obesity war is not being fought on a level battlefield.

Those free cookies would have wreaked havoc on my calorie-counting regime this week if I hadn't finally gotten with the program on my long-laid plans to exercise regularly "now that I have time." Yesterday I even went for a 90-minute, mostly uphill hike. Albeit by accident. I set out to do a half-mile loop that is the only trail in the Olympic National Park where dogs are allowed (Peabody Creek), and I somehow got a couple miles up the trail to Hurricane Ridge before I realized that something had gone awry. Perhaps it is a good thing that the dog ban has kept me from doing more hiking.

Fortunately, my balcony offers views like this, no hiking boots (or compass) required:

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