Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Food Spending Report.....the March Edition

Onward to March's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for MARCH 2020..

I have posted March's totals on the Total Grocery Savings Page located HERE and have updated the Totals there.
I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in March.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 4(3 at home this month). No "kids" under 24.

OOP  $36.48
Value  $68.20
Savings  46.51%

OOP  $5.79
Value  $28.97
Savings  80.01%

OOP  $27.99
Value  $48.03
Savings 41.72%

OOP $27.96
Value  $82.84
Savings  66.25% 

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/BC/GCard  $453.04
Value  $453.04
Savings  100%

OOP  $257.58
Qs/Ads  $346.01
Value  $603.59
Savings  57.33%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, Dollar General at 80.01% and PandR at 66.25%.   My worst savings rate was at Malacari's with 41.72%.
I shopped at 6 different stores in March.  Over  %of my food spending in March was done at Weis(PMITA)Markets.

TOTAL Spent........................................$355.80
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales................$356.16
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased........$711.96
TOTAL Savings of ................................50.03%

TOTAL Out of Pocket for March w/R-A........$355.80
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales w/R-A....................$809.20
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid....$1165.00
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items.....................69.46%

This closes out the March food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into March wanting to stay under my usual $400 monthly food budget last month.
Even with some extra comfort food buying and not adhering to sales and using coupons during the last half of the month because of the panic buying all around me and avoiding as much time spent at the grocery stores, we still stayed under budget.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went UP by 1.20% in March 2020 to 69.46% compared to the February 2019 rate of 68.26% savings average.

With 3 months accounted for, I have spent a Year-To-Date Total of $912.17 on food/toiletries in 2019.

2019 Yearly Grand Total Spent....................$912.17
2019 Yearly Grand Total Value of Items....$3158.40
2019 Grand Total Saved...............................$2246.23
2019 Yearly Savings Total............71.12%

The average per month amount spent is $304.06 in 2020.

LOOKING AHEAD To April 2020.............
Being in the middle of self-isolating and pandemic mode who knows what April's spending will look like?!
At the moment I have no Bonus Cash so I'll be staying out of Rite-Aid for awhile(and not bringing home free toiletries, etc.).  My menu plan doesn't need me to run to the grocery store this week.  We've got some canned and frozen veg and the fresh veg will be gone by the weekend.  Freezers and pantry are still filled here so we'll remain calm and carry on at least for the next little bit.

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in March?

*  Do you track your yearly food spending?

*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?

*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Monday, March 30, 2020

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Be Careful What You Wish For" Edition................

I saved this meme at the beginning of the year but what with this quarantining I just might make a dent in my fabric stash after all. lolz

Moving On....
Onward to the meal planning-

This is what was planned for last week.......
1. Sunday--Ravioli and Meatballs, Salad
2. Monday--Tacos
3. Tuesday--Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus
4. Wednesday--Chicken Enchiladas, Rice and Beans
5. Thursday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Roasted Carrots
6. Friday--small TV Dinners, Veggie TBD
7. Saturday--Broccoli Cheddar Soup

And this is what actually happened--
1. Sunday--Ravioli and Meatballs, Salad
2. Monday--Tacos
3. Tuesday--Leftovers or Fend For Yourself
4. Wednesday--Popeye's Chicken, Cole Slaw, Biscuits, Green Beans
5. Thursday--Salmon, leftover sides
6. Friday--Pizza
7. Saturday--Leftovers

Last week saw 3 nights of home cooked dinners, 1 nights of leftovers/FFY, and 2 nights of Take-Out.  No meals out obviously but some take-out happened.
I made the Broccoli Cheddar Soup but we didn't have it for dinner but it's getting eaten as lunch fare.

What got put into the freezer last week....
* Nothing

What got taken out of the freezer and used.....
* 2 bags of Ravioli
* 1 bag of Meatballs

1 trip to Weis(PMITA)Markets and 1 trip to Aldi this past week  brought spending to $77.99 brings my March Grand Total spending on food so far to $355.80.

I've earned $32.25 in Ibotta rebates and $1.00 in SavingStar rebates too in March.

My savings percentage last week was 39.14%(without Rite-Aid trips)and March's monthly savings total comes in at 50.03% so far(w/out R-A).   

I have 1 more food shopping/spending days in March but I am finished for the month.

Leftovers going into this week.....green beans, potato salad, 1 biscuit and a pot of broccoli cheddar soup plus 1 helping of sizzling rice Chinese soup.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Leftover Chicken, Potato Salad, Green Beans
2. Monday--Roasted Turkey, Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy, Asparagus, Cranberry Sauce
3. Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Veg TBD
4. Wednesday--Turkey or Chicken Enchiladas, Beans and/or Rice
5. Thursday--Pork Teriyaki and Veggie Stir-Fry, Rice
6. Friday--Ham, Corn Casserole
7. Saturday--Leftovers

What needs buying for this menu?  Nothing. I dug through the freezer and pantry and I have everything needed here.
I got mushrooms so Stroganoff is back on for this week.  I'll use leftover Turkey from Monday in the Enchiladas unless that all gets eaten, then I'll use a bag of chicken meat I froze from our last roasted chicken instead.  I pulled a boneless ham from the freezer which should be defrosted by Friday and that will give us leftover ham for next week.  I'm not a big ham fan so maybe I'll take some over to the brother in-law too since they won't be coming for Easter dinner this year.

I may have to go grocery shopping next week as we'll be out of fresh veggies by then.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?  


Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Quarantine Song

Our county is now under a "Stay Home/Shelter in Place" Decree.  I knew it was coming.

This is dedicated with love to Sonya Ann after she yelled at me about going to Rite-Aid and Weis..........

Stay home and wash your hands!


Friday, March 27, 2020

Frugal Friday......the March 27th Edition

Another week of "not normal" so let's try to bring some normality to our lives by doing a Frugal Friday.  In this time of pandemic it's hard to remain frugal(except if you stay home and stay away from online shopping when home-guilty as charged lol).

*  Hubs filed and we received our Federal Tax Return and it arrived via direct deposit into our account this week.  We don't get a very large refund which is good since it means we don't 'loan' the Federal Government our money for a year. ;-)
Of course a piece of that refund will go into the state's coffers since we ALWAYS owe them something. 8-(

* I had to go to Aldi on Tuesday for mushrooms so I picked up some other things there that are cheaper than anywhere else(butter, tortilla chips, cream cheese, almond milk for Hubs, etc.).
I also went to this town's Weis(PMITA)Markets looking for my Stress Relief tea.  I also bought some comfort foods while at Weis--2 bags of potato chips(haven't bought those in months!)and 2 containers of tapioca pudding(which wasn't on sale!).  I Love me some tapioca pudding so I happily paid full retail for that.  8-O

* We got pizza take-out from Domino's last Friday which cost me nothing OOP due to gift cards.  For some reason I have a metric shit ton of gift cards for Domino's(I went a little crazy last R-A Black Friday deal time when I already had some Domino's cards).  For 2020 this is considered free pizza since I paid for all those last year(or in 2018 in some cases).  I think we'll be plowing through this gift card stockpile for the foreseeable future what with our town finally getting it's own Domino's franchise and well, PIZZA!!  ;-)

* Speak of Weis(was I?), they have cancelled Freebies and Fantastic Friday Deals until further notice and there is NO weekly sales ad that should have started today which will cut down on me getting any deals there since I won't be shopping there(much).

* While I was near Aldi since it was "Cheap Bagel Tuesday" I got a Baker's Dozen of bagels at Panera across the street at their drive-thru window.  I used a free gift card to pay that I got with c/c points.

*  I did go to Rite-Aid once this week since I had to get an Rx anyway and I found this stuff.......

1 x Love/Beauty/Planet Conditioner 75% off=$2.24
2 x Baby Ruth candy bars on sale .77¢=$1.54

Coupons Used
1 x $1.50/1 Love/Beauty/Planet item IPQ=$1.50
1 x BOGOFree Baby Ruth ManuQ=.77¢
Coupon Total.....$2.27
$3.78-$1.51+.05 tax=$1.56 paid for with Bonus Cash.

*  As mentioned in my opening I succumbed to some online clothes shopping on Sunday.  I was going to get 2 Summer dresses anyway(as I do each year)but then the store was having a 50% off everything, including clearance items so I bought a bit more.  I went through ShopAtHome and got 3.5% back in rebates on what I spent AND I found a Free Shipping code(which saved me another $19.99).  I'll pay all this from my accumulated WAM.

*  I found money!  On the one day I had to go out I found change, first at Aldi........

First I got a free quarter when the lady wouldn't take my quarter for her cart.  I guess a lot of folks are not wanting their quarters back now.

Then I found 2 pennies in the check-out line near the end by the register/cashier.  I used a Lysol wipe to pick them up.....do you know how hard it is to use a wipe to do that? lol
When a lady handed me her quarter for my cart I had her drop it into the wipe in my hand, so I didn't touch it before cleaning it off.

And at Rite-Aid later that afternoon I found another penny........

This coin was found by the register.  The floor mats in front of the registers are brown like an old penny so it's a good place to find those at Rite-Aid. lol

Again, I used a Lysol wipe to pick it up and all change was thoroughly cleaned once I got it home.

Found Money This Week...... .28¢
Found Money This Year so far....$44.55

*  I earned $1.60 in Ibotta rebates this past week.

*  I made myself a mask for when I have to go out in public again.............

I used sewing supplies I already had, which made this frugal.  While it's no N95 mask it makes me feel a  bit safer among the unwashed masses out there.  I don't go many places but the drugstore and grocery stores anyway but those are the places everyone is in nowadays because they can't go anywhere else. lol

I think our county will become a "shelter in place" county soon.  The infection is spreading here from NYC and Philly and the main county entry point from those cities where cases are exploding went into "shelter in place" status this week.  Our county is a couple dozen cases below them now so it's going to be any day for us. The local bus service to NYC and Philly has suspended service until further notice.
Then word got out that NYC has bussed in convicts from Brookly  into one of our local prisons.  I can see the villagers with pitchforks and torches storming Castle Frankenstein any time now............

That's about it for this week.

Any frugal stuff in your world?
Stay Frugal, Stay Safe and Wash Your Hands!


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Our January Trip to Louisiana.....Part 4

Part 1 of our trip is HERE.
Part 2 of our trip is HERE.
Part 3 of our trip is HERE.

So Chris got home from work and off we went to dinner to a place called The Fish River Grill.

"A Funky Junky Redneck Joint" as the menu says.  My kind of place! lol

It's a local casual dining restaurant that serves local seafood which is right up my alley.
They serve something called "Swamp Soup".
An ominous moniker for a food, but it tasted much better than it sounded.  lolz

Every diner gets a free sample cup of it with your dinner. It's basically a greens and beans soup with a hint of sausage.  I'm not a big fan of beans(except the pork and bean kind)and it has beans in it(Great Northern/Navy)but it had a great flavor.  I may have to try to make this some day...maybe the next time I visit my brother because I KNOW his wife will love this sort of thing!

Hubs got a fish dinner and I got a combo fish and oyster platter(which Hubs had to eat about 1/3 of for me).  I love this photo Lorraine took. I was squeezing my lemon on my fish when she snapped it and the lemon squirted Hubs in the eye so his smile turned into a grimace as he hurled an expletive in my direction.

On the way out of the restaurant I spied these colorful plastic miner hats with headlights attached.
The sign said they were crabbing hats.

Is nighttime crabbing a thing?
I spent Summers of my youth crabbing all. day. long.  We used lines of chicken backs on string to lure them in to shore.
But never at night just using lights and a net.

But it seems to be a "thing" down here and the video below is from a crabber in Virginia where I am from so it's a "thing" there too and I never knew that.

Anyway as we drove back to Lorraine and Chris' house I noticed all the Holiday lights in town........

I forgot that it was still the Christmas Season and decorations would be up. lolz
Home and a couple of hours just talking before bed.

The next morning by the time Hubs and I got up Chris was already at work, Lorraine had run a marathon, painted the house, cured cancer AND gone out to a local pastry shop for Donuts, Kolaches, and Sausage Breakfast Pastries for us.
Nom nom nom

And Lorraine had fixed us each up a present.......

A pack of Abita Mardi Gras beer, beads and a mask for Hubs.........

And a bag of red and white striped candies(Red Bird mints, Hershey kisses)a Peppermint Chap Stick and a handmade soap in the shape of a candy plus a small wooden sign to hang in my kitchen.
I LOVE peppermint Chap Stick and I used to always have one in my purse.  I used my last one up about a year ago so this one will be cherished and used......did she know I loved this?  I don't think I've ever blogged about my addiction to peppermint Chap Stick.  I guess she has omniscience as another one of her Super Powers, huh?  8-)

So after a quick photo together, since we hadn't taken one yet...........

Notice I let Lorraine stand on the fireplace hearth to be taller than me in the photo because ya know, I am soooo much taller than her in real life. *snort*

And a blurry photo of  Zoe where her eyes are glowing and she looks possessed......

No kitty photos because basically they hid from us for the two days we were there.  I hear cats tend to do that around strangers.

And back in the rental car we went and headed West to Louisiana.  We still had a 6+ hour drive to the hotel in Shreveport.
We stopped somewhere in Eastern Louisiana for lunch.  It was rainy and Hubs was in a crappy mood because I tried to use a coupon on my Burger King app AND pay with a gift card for his meal and a freebie coupon for my meal I still had from their Xmas promotion.  He gets annoyed so easily.....especially when he needs more coffee.

I just got the so yummy chicken fries, no drink or anything because I didn't want to sit there with him so I just sat in the car by myself for awhile.
Can you tell from my chicken fries selfie I am annoyed with him? lol

So back on the road with another pit stop somewhere between Baton Rouge and Alexandria, at a McDonald's with the nastiest bathroom I've seen since the Summer of 1999 on a trip down to see my family and we stopped at THE WORST BATHROOM OF ALL TIMES.  There was also a convenience store attached.

3 pennies found by the Mickey D's registers and 1 penny found in the  convenience store while Hubs waited on his coffee order.
I also saw locally made pork rinds.........

And this soda........

Delaware Punch soda.
I'm 60+ years old and I've never seen this soda before.
It's a grape fruit(not a grapefruit)punch flavor, not carbonated and not caffeinated.
I say, "What's the point of it then?". lolz

Seems it can be found in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and around EasternTexas and was invented in 1913 by Thomas E Lyons.  Ya learn something new every day.

Just one more stop for gas and for potty time outside of Chopin LA.  The bathroom was the size of a broom closet and the door knob was in peril of falling out of the door and there was no lock but this place seemed to do a booming business mostly in fried chicken and booze sales.  Well it was a late Friday afternoon so most places do a brisk booze business at that time/day.

We got into the Best Western in Shreveport at 4 something pm.
After checking in and unloading the car we headed back out to meet our older son(who flew in from Virginia), daughter, her fiancé and a couple of his friends at a local Brewery at 5 pm.

They were running some sort of Holiday promotion and were giving out envelopes with prizes in them for every beer you ordered.
Hubs and I paid for this gathering(my daughter's idea of a pre-wedding dinner as there was no rehearsal)and we all won brewery stickers like pictured above, 50% off food items, money off your next beer, and stuff like that.
I gave the 50% food coupon I won to my daughter since we wouldn't be coming back here anytime soon. ;-)

Hubs, our eldest and the fiancé's friend enjoying their brewskis.

They also had live entertainment(a singer/guitar solo act)which was pretty good though we were sitting a little too close as conversing was difficult with the noise level.

Everybody ate and drank and had a good time.  Hubs and I left around 10 pm as we were beat and needed a good night's sleep as the wedding was the next day.


Monday, March 23, 2020

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Pandemic" Edition................

I did get out a bit last week(mostly to Rite-Aid while picking up Rxs)and out to Weis for some foodstuffs and Hubs went out to find a thermometer on Sunday(as ours was about 12 years old and dead).
Trying to limit social contact now and eating from the freezer because it's still darn full as you can see!

Moving On....
Onward to the meal planning-

This is what was planned for last week.......
1. Sunday--Salmon, leftover Mac and Cheese, Green Beans
2. Monday--Hamburgers or Cheeseburgers on Rolls, leftover assorted Veggies or Salad
3. Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice or Noodles, Salad
4. Wednesday--Fend for Yourself
5. Thursday--Hot Dogs and homemade Beans, Sweet Potato Fries
6. Friday--Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Veggie TBD
7. Saturday--I might make Chili for the guys or Tacos or ?

And this is what actually happened--
1. Sunday--Salmon, leftover Mac and Cheese, Green Beans
2. Monday--Cheeseburgers on Rolls, leftover assorted Veggies
3. Tuesday--Chinese Take-Out
4. Wednesday--Fend for Yourself
5. Thursday--Hot Dogs and homemade Beans, French Fries
6. Friday--Domino's Pizza, Salad
7. Saturday--Pork Tenderloins Sandwiches, leftover Tater Salad and Beans

Last week saw 4 nights of home cooked dinners, 1 nights of leftovers/FFY, and 2 nights of Eating Out/Take-Out.  No meals out obviously but some take-out happened.
The Stroganoff didn't happen because we only went to the local Weis and I just couldn't pull the trigger on full price(read overpriced)fresh mushrooms. ;-)

What got put into the freezer last week....
* 3 small tv dinners
* 3 pints of ice cream(yes we went to the grocery store for pandemic ice cream.....if I am cooped up with the family in this house I "need" emergency ice cream--and booze) ;-)

What got taken out of the freezer and used.....
* a big piece of Salmon
* 1 bag of green beans
* 1 pack of hot dogs
* 1 pack of pork chops

2 trips to Weis(PMITA)Markets this past week in the amount of $53.62(a lot of what was spent was for crappy cheap snacks, clearance drinks and toilet bowl cleaner beyond the necessities)brings my March Grand Total spending on food so far to $277.81.
No worries as we are below target for a $400 spend month.  I doubt we'll buy much more before March ends(if anything).

I've earned $32.15 in Ibotta rebates too in March so far.

My savings percentage last week was 27.74%(without Rite-Aid trips)and March's monthly savings total comes in at 52.42% so far(w/out R-A).   The savings rate took a hit but it was for a good cause, ice cream. ;-)

I have 8 more food shopping/spending days in March.

Leftovers going into this week.....1 bowl of Clam Chowder(and 2 Biscuits).

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Ravioli and Meatballs, Salad
2. Monday--Tacos
3. Tuesday--Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus
4. Wednesday--Chicken Enchiladas, Rice and Beans
5. Thursday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Roasted Carrots
6. Friday--small TV Dinners, Veggie TBD
7. Saturday--Broccoli Cheddar Soup

What needs buying for this menu?  I still need mushrooms and Hubs went off in search of cheese on Sunday.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?  


Sunday, March 22, 2020

And the Winner Is...........

For whatever reason(preoccupation with virus prepping, folks not going online as much to stay away from fake news or headlines, not a lot of readers now who haven't won a giveaway, etc.)I had a mere NINE valid giveaway entries.
But don't worry, the giveaways will continue.

So I had Random dotorg pick at random(duh!)the winner this month.
And that person is..............


I haven’t won yet but I love trying! Spring plans have been put on hold with this dang virus. Our youngest is a Junior and his soccer games consume our Spring. They have been canceled and we’re all snuggled at home together Lord help me! 😁. Tebble tebblestearns@yahoo.com

Congratulations Tebble!!
Please email me your complete mailing address and I'll get this out to you asap.
Please email me within 48 hours of this post going live or I'll have to pick another winner.

Thanks to everyone who played along this month.

The April Giveaway will be going live in the first week of the month(hopefully)and it will be open to ALL readers.

Now go wash your hands and stay safe!


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Our January Trip to Louisiana....Part 3

Part 1 of our trip is HERE.
Part 2 of our trip is HERE.

About that other church..........

I had waatched a documentary on Youtube about the Malbis Plantation in Baldwin County Alabama about a year ago.

Here it is for your viewing pleasure in case you have time stuck at home lately with nothing better to do than to learn something.........

The church was a true work of art and I will intersperse photos I took inside with the information below.

In 1906 two men, Jason Malbis and William Papageorge came from Greece to Alabama(via Chicago) to found a colony of Greek immigrants.  Called the Malbis plantation it survived for many years and brought many Greeks here to live communally on the land.

Jason Malbis was born in Doumena Greece as Antonioa Markopoulos and spent the first half of his life as a monk in Greece.  He came to Chicago in 1900, changed his name to Jason Malbis and began looking for land to start an agricultural community like he knew back in the Old Country.  Malbis and Papageorge settled on acreage they bought in Daphne Alabama on which to found their dream.
The Malbis Plantation was a self-contained and self-sufficient community well into the 1970's.

Jason Malbis was on a trip back to Greece in 1939 when war broke out, trapping him there and in 1942 Malbis unexpectedly died, never to return to his community in Alabama.  He had left instructions in his will that a grand church dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus("Theotokos" in Greek), should be built on their land and it was.

 It took 15+ years to raise the money needed but a church was erected, which was known as the Sacred Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Presentation of Theotokos(or Presentation Theotokos)opening in 1965.

While the original community of Malbis Plantation eventually dissolved as people died off and/or moved away(the last original member of the community passed away in 2008)this Greek Orthodox Church stands as a testament to Jason Malbis' dream.

This is only one of six Greek Orthodox Churches in Alabama and the only one not under the  authority of the Green Orthodox Archdiocese of American but under the authority of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

It has no active congregation but special religious holidays and observances are held here as well as weddings.  There is a psaltist(chantor)from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church located in nearby Mobile Alabama who gives tours of the Malbis Memorial Church but we weren't there on a day he gives tours.  That would have been a lot of fun to have a tour.

This Byzantine architecture Greek Orthodox church was dedicated in 1965 as a tribute to Jason Malbis and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2011 and on the Alabama Commission of Historic Buildings since 1977.

The Malbis Church is truly a gem of Byzantine art. Skilled laborers and artists(mostly from Greece) took five years to complete it.   Here is a portrait near the back of the nave of the church, of the church building, with parishioners entering and Jesus and his disciples depicted in the heavens above.

The walls are filled with iconography.  In the Greek Orthodox religion icons are of saints who are venerated not worshiped(that's reserved for God alone).  Veneration can take the form of bowing before them, kissing them, or standing and offering gestures of pious respect.

The Sanctuary and wall in front of  it were exquisitely beautiful by themselves.  This area is reserved for the clergy and can only be entered with the priest's blessing and to perform a specific task.  There was a wooden door with a circular opening so you could peek into this most holy of areas of the church where the holy table is housed.

This pulpit(or Ambon in the Greek Orthodox religion)was raised up(much like I've seen in some English Protestant churches)and intricately carved marble imported from Greece.

Also noteworthy was this carved throne sitting off opposite the Ambon to the right of the Sanctuary.  I didn't get a photo of the whole throne just this detail of one of the peacocks flanking it's sides.  I believe this is called the Bishop's throne and reserved for visiting clergy of high authority like a Bishop.  It is said the marble used in Malbis Memorial Church was mined from the same quarry that was used in Ancient Greece to build the Parthenon.

We went up into the balcony and here's a wide shot of the whole interior, or as much of it as I could get.

One think we all noticed in this church--all the stained glass was not representational, meaning it didn't depict any thing or person.  They were all geometric shapes inspired by Byzantine art.
Those massive pillars look like marble but upon closer inspection they are trompe l'oeil(literally "fool the eye" in French),painted to resemble marble.
The church both inside and out was also adorned with painstakingly created mosaics which I couldn't get good photos of unfortunately.

This small shrine/altar to the right of the sanctuary is dedicated to Jason Malbis and his body is interred behind it in the sanctuary.

But the crowning glory of Presentation Theotokos Church is the dome of the church in the center over the nave.  This artwork was created by an Iconographer from Athens, Greece named Spyros Tziouvaras, along with Haralambos and Chris Tziouvaras.  The dome depicts the artist's interpretation of the "Pantocrator" which in Greek means "the Holder of All Things" or God).

I knew Lorraine, being an artist herself, would enjoy a trip to this gem of a church in her town and Hubs is always up for anything involving religion.
So it was a great way to spend some time on a mild January day in coastal Alabama while we waited for Chris to get off work for the day.