Monday, July 24, 2017

One of Those Days


   Today is one of those days where I could feel a Fibro Flare coming on before I even went to sleep last night.  I woke up this morning feeling like I had to play "Beat the Clock" before the flare got even bigger.  I set out to do the things that needed to be done and could not be put off for another day. Bread dough was made in the Kitchenaid and set out to rise in the bread pans and then potatoes were washed and gotten ready to pop in the oven to bake alongside the bread.  I then moved onto washing and bagging 3 quarts of raspberries so I could get those frozen.  Once I got that done, I headed out to the garden to harvest the dill (it was getting to the point where some of it was no longer good to use), get it washed and then do a quick dehydration of it in the microwave.  

   I got the bread and potatoes in the oven to bake and then went to take a shower.  My plan was to hang my hubby's work laundry out on the line when I was done with my shower.  By the time I crawled into the shower, I was aching.  I barely could lift my arms up to even shampoo my hair.  I knew I was in trouble.  Getting dressed was literally painful so I opted for the softest things that I could find.  Forget blowdrying and styling my hair.  A quick toweling it dry and a comb through was going to have to do.

   As I emerged from our bedroom, my sweet hubby took one look at me and knew...  He could see the way I was slowly moving and could see the pain written in my eyes and all over my body.  He could also see that I was on the verge of tears yet again.  Between the pain and the guilt of feeling so badly, I get teary when I am in a flare.  Bless his heart, he got my laundry out of the dryer and told me that he was just going to put his load in the dryer so that I did not have to worry about hanging it out on the line or going back out there later to get it off the line once it was dried.  He then got another load of laundry going for me.  I was able to fold my small load and then I headed to my recliner where I spent the next one and one half hours.  My sweet hubby also ran some things down to the library for me and picked up the mail before he had to head to bed for the afternoon.early evening since he has to go to work later tonight.

   After my rest in the recliner while I caught up reading some of my friends blogs, I had enough energy to go out to the front porch and deadhead and turn my potted geraniums and take a walk through the front veggie garden and the side veggie and fruit garden.  I also picked some raspberries before the heat got to me.  Jeff had been weeding the side garden earlier and got about half of it done.  God bless that man!  That was enough for me and I am now back in my recliner and suspect I will be here for a good long while until it is time to make dinner.

   My pain level is at about a 8 right now or in the "red zone".  It was even higher and worse earlier.  I truly despise feeling this way.  I had great plans to get lots done today and then rest tomorrow since I am supposed to go huckleberry picking on Wednesday and then we have our grandson Isaiah's birthday party and our volunteer work on Thursday.  I would bow out of Wednesday, but I have a friend coming with me.  At this rate though I may have to comes that lovely guilt again.  If it come down to that or my grandson's birthday, I will go with birthday party all the way.  After all, you only turn 4 once and that is one thing that I refuse to miss out on!



Friday, July 21, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 7/15-7/21 2017


   In reading over my list here it seems like longer than a week since we met up with my baby brother and his sweet family for breakfast on Saturday.  I'm not sure what to make of that.  I think we just packed so much into one week, so it made it seem longer.  Onto the saving!

~My baby brother insisted on paying for Jeff and I when we met them for brunch on Saturday.
~Time spent with my baby brother Eric, sweet SIL Christie and our nephews Cade and Eli...priceless!  I just wish we had remembered to get some pictures together.
~We filled up my car with gas since we were down to half a tank while we were up in Coeur D'Alene, ID.  Gas is a full .30 a gallon cheaper there than it is down where we live.
~We did not make it to the wedding since it would be a huge rush to get there from CDA and a 3 hour drive, so instead we did some shopping.  Of course we went to the thrift stores and found some things there that we needed. Goodwill was having a 50% off all linens and I found a beautiful and large fleece blanket/throw to use in the cooler months ahead while cuddling on the couch. We also hit Grocery Outlet and picked up a few grocery items as well.
~I knew I was worn out Saturday afternoon so we picked up a frozen pizza while we were at Grocery Outlet to have for dinner that night at home.

~Sunday I harvested peas, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries and tons of raspberries from the garden.
~One of our soaker hoses that winds it's way through the raspberries, prune plum trees and blackberries sprung a horrible leak that just kept getting worse and worse.  Jeff was not able to fix it.  Luckily we had some spare soaker hoses that I picked up at a yard sale several years ago (knowing that we would have to replace the others at some point).  Jeff got the old one taken out and the new one put in.
~The laundry line was used to dry lots of clothes, towels and blankets.
~Sunday we had a surprise 80th birthday party to go to for our Heather's grandfather.  I took cherries and raspberries to contribute to the early dinner.  It was so much fun to be with some of the people that I love most in the world and I did well despite being in the middle of a Fibro flare.
~After the party we went into Moscow, Idaho to Winco to pick up a few grocery items that were needed and then came home.  This saved me a trip into town and lots of gas.
~I finally got the rest of the pepper plants put in the garden.
~We used a voucher for a free night at a hotel in Spokane to book a room for 2 nights.  We are paying for one of those night, but the other is free.  Our breakfast is included in the price and we get free coffee and a free latte each day too.  There are no coffee makers in the rooms anymore, so I will be taking our small coffee maker that I got last weekend for $2 with us.  Jeff and I are looking forward to this getaway...they even have a fun water slide at their outdoor pool. :)
~Jeff helped me menu plan for the week.  We tried to make a menu based on the weather, how busy we are each day and what we have on hand and needs to be used up.

~Monday night I made "Malibu Chicken" for dinner with a multigrain side dish, carrot sticks and steamed broccoli.  It tasted so good and was fairly easy and quick to put together.  I also used only one boneless skinless chicken breast and just cut it in half down the middle and also sliced it horizontally to cut down on cooking time.  We had some delicious carrot cake that our Heather made and sent home with us after her grandpa's birthday party.
~Our post office has been shut down since Saturday and will be closed for 8-9 days or more.  They are doing asbestos abatement since the flooring is being replaced and it contained asbestos.   We now have to drive to another town to get our mail.  I refuse to drive over there daily so I will be picking up the mail when I drive through that town on Thursday on my way to Heather's.  I am worried that it is going to take more time to get this thing done because there was no one there even working on it today when I went down to the library and to try and mail something off.  They even shut down the outside mail box.
~I got in on the free samples at PinchMe on Tuesday. :)
~My husband requested Tuna Pasta Salad for dinner on Tuesday so I got that made Tuesday morning and used some green onions from our garden in it.  It's super easy to make and something that he really enjoys.  Since I was in crash mode on Tuesday, I was thankful for something that took very little effort to make on my part and that my hubby loves.
~Wednesday I took advantage of a free offer for a subscription to "This Old House" magazine via PinchMe.

~Wednesday also found me picking raspberries, blueberries and strawberries once again from the garden.
~I've been working my points programs.
~Thursday I went huckleberry picking with Heather, Chris, Bradley and Isaiah.  We had a wonderful time and I was able to pick 1 1/2 quarts of berries.  Chris and Heather picked about 2 gallons and sold those for $100.  Huckleberries are selling  for anywhere between $15-$25 a quart depending on where you buy them. I kept my huckleberries and am hoping to go back up again this coming week to get more. We took a short drive up to the old fire lookout tower and some people we know had rented it so they gave us a tour.  It can be rented out for $39 a night and the view cannot be beat.  You can see over a hundred miles in all directions!  I would love to be up there during a thunderstorm. 

~Friday 3 loaves of banana bread were made with 5 overripe bananas. I had one very happy hubby when he got up in the afternoon after a really rough night at work.
~I used a black Sharpie marker to fill in some areas on a black picture frame that had gotten scuffed and nicked.

    I'm going to try and make this an early night and see if I can fall asleep and stay asleep.  I have not been getting much sleep all week long and it is starting to take it's toll on me.  We have Jaysn and Rachel coming over tomorrow to pick raspberries and have lunch with us and I am so looking forward to that.  I want to be awake and thinking clearly while they are here.😉  Oh, the picture at the top is my Doofy cat...boy has he got attitude!  LOL!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some of Life's Simple Pleasures



   I had great plans for this Summer (as I always do), but life got busy (and expensive).  My health, along with the health of other family members has limited what we are able to do and where we can go also.  I could have a huge pity party, but I refuse to do that and become depressed.  Instead I am trying to focus on life's simple and free pleasures.  Here are some of the things that I have been taking great joy in lately...

~my youngest grandson Steven's smile (he is 2 months old now)
~the antics of my older 2 grandsons, they never cease to make me laugh
~my hubby and his love for our family 
~my adult children who are all amazing human beings and the closeness we all share
~the coolness of my house when it is so hot outside
~hugs shared with friends and family
~flowers in bloom
~the abundance of our fruit trees and bushes this year
~hummingbirds flitting from flower to flower
~quiet days at home with nothing pressing to do
~listening to the birds outside sing to each other
~the look of excitement and happiness on Caesar's face when I come out into the backyard to play with him
~Doofy cat letting me know in his own special way that he needs my attention
~Our local library where I can borrow so many books and movies
~people with common sense (it seems to be lacking in so many these days)
~the smell of laundry that has been dried on the clothesline
~learning that my son Josh will not be going to Afghanistan...Praise God!
~long conversations lately with my oldest son Jaysn (his becoming a new father has made him want to call us more often and I am totally thrilled about that)
~friends that I have made through this blog
~some cute little finches that have been visiting lately and get pretty close to me when I am out in the garden
~fresh tomatoes right off the bush
~my hubby and I thinking the exact same thoughts so many times about things

   Those are just a few of the simple pleasures in my life.  Right now I am sitting here enjoying the quiet since my hubby has his bowling league tonight so it is just me at home.  His Summer Bowling League is starting to wrap up and I know he has been enjoying it.  We will have a few weeks until his Fall League starts and I want to make those Wednesday nights special.  I have a few frugal plans for those that I will share later. 😉

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Frugal Friday 7/8-7/14 2017

Another bucket full of cherries from our tree.

   I'm late again posting is hectic right now.  I usually try to post this on Saturday mornings, but we had some very important and special people to meet an hour and a half drive up north of us.  it had been 4 years since we had seen my baby brother and his beautiful family so we all agreed that we would make time to have brunch together Saturday morning while they were on their way back to Seattle from Montana. Oh we had such fun and my nephews has so much to tell me, even the youngest who tends to be more shy.  This auntie loves those boys so much! 💖  Onto the frugal doings!

~Another, yes another, cherry tree branch came down.  Poor tree is on it's last legs and will most likely need to come down this Fall.  We had some more friends come over and pick cherries on Saturday.  Jeff is harvesting the rest of the tree like a mad man now because he does not want anyone else near the tree, especially the grandkids.
~Saturday was my birthday and Jeff asked me what I wanted to do.  Since we got a late start, we hit a few yard sales and the thrift store.  I was able to find some more tops that fit me along with some pants for $1 each (some new with tags), an emergency radio, a small coffee maker that we will take with us when we go to a hotel because some hotels no longer provide them in room and CDs for $1 each.  I also found some brand new Hot Sox  for $1 (Christmas gift) and a plate hanger for .50.  At the thrift store I found the coffee filters to go with the small coffeemaker for .49, a really cool scripture coloring book (brand new) for $1.99, a crevice attachment for our Shop Vac for .49, a gift bag for .29, 2 Seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond for $2.99 each, some freezer container labels .49 and a beautiful Brighton purse for .99.  I have been on a roll lately finding Brighton purses and wallets.  I love the quality of them.
~Jeff fixed our Swamp Cooler by installing the new water pump himself.
~I harvested more strawberries, raspberries and started harvesting the blueberries this week.

~Two large canning jars of homemade raspberry gin were started with fresh raspberries from our garden.  I need to pick up more gin at the store.  Some of the gin will be used for Christmas gifts.
~Two more loaves of bread were made along with a batch of strawberry muffins with some of the freshly picked strawberries from the garden.
~We decided to try and sell some of the cherries.  Within a few hours of posting online about them I have people buying quart sized bags for $3 each. :)  Heather and I will split the profits. :)
~I found 4 weekend newspapers with the coupon inserts in the recycling bin at the post office.  I can use some of the coupons at the Dollar Tree to get some great deals!
~I sent Heather home with 2 gallons of cherries and 2 quarts of raspberries for their personal use and to share with her parents and inlaws.
~We took a gallon sized bag of cherries to Jaysn and Rachel.
~Jeff and I watched the movie "The Magnificent 7" that we borrowed from the library.
~I borrowed the movie "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" from the library.  It is a childhood favorite of mine.
~Jeff has been working on his car yet again and was getting really frustrated.  I asked if there was anything I could do to help and within 15 minutes, we had it done.  He just needed an extra set of hands.  I wish he had asked me hours earlier and saved himself some frustration.
~Jeff picked more cherries on Tuesday evening and I picked strawberries and raspberries.  I gave the strawberries and some of the raspberries to our friend Shannon and also sent her home with some cranberry juice concentrate and a vitamin drink since she is fighting a cold.

~I made a squash casserole and used some onions from the garden.
~Dinner Tuesday night was Sloppy Joe Noodle Skillet.  This is just something that I threw together because it sounded good.  HUGE hit with hubby!
~Tuesday night I curled up in bed and watched "Sixteen Candles".  I was in crash mode and needed something to distract me and calm my mind before I went to sleep.  I forgot how bad that movie really is...not going to watch it again but I was too lazy to get out of bed to put a different movie in.
~I needed a prescription on Wednesday and opted to get it at the little pharmacy across from the clinic.  It saved us time and gas money from driving about an hour to our pharmacy.  We will be doing that again since their prices are about the same as Walmart on some of our prescriptions.

~Leftover squash casserole was for lunch on Wednesday and Jeff finished up the Sloppy Joe Noodle Skillet for an early dinner.
~I worked on my points programs this week as much as time allowed.
~Laundry was hung on the line to dry.
~Wednesday I made myself a huge pancake with homemade pancake mix and topped it with fresh strawberries from our garden and whipped cream.  YUM!
~My baby brother and sweet sis in law got ahold of me and told me they messed up on the date they were supposed to be coming through our area, it is Saturday, not Sunday.  It is going to be tight time wise, but we are going to make it work.  We have a wedding to be at that afternoon that is a 3 1/2 hour drive back down south from where we are meeting them.  I'm taking huckleberries that Heather is picking today for them and cherries and possibly raspberries from our garden too.  They have really busy lives and do not have time to do a garden themselves, so this will be a nice treat for them.  No matter how old I get, and how old my baby brother gets, I still want to spoil him and his beautiful family whenever and however I can.  😁
~Thursday I did not go anywhere.  I stayed home, so no gas used in my car, and rested up.  This UTI, along with my other health issues are sure draining me.  I have a busy weekend ahead so I an trying to rest now.

~Jeff dropped some cherries off as a surprise and thank you to our mechanic who is always giving Jeff great advice over the phone.  He is such a blessing to us and we really appreciate him.
~Jeff and I are enjoying watching some of our favorite TV show online.  I love the convenience of it also.
~I found some marked down 22 oz packages of ham lunchmeat...the good stuff!  I bought all 3 packages and froze 2 for using later.
~I bought a family pack of boneless, skinless, chicken breast @$1.99 a pound.  That is the cheapest price I have seen in awhile around here.  I divided them up and put one huge breast in each ziplock bag.  One breast is enough to feed both Jeff and I easily!
~I stopped at the Goodwill and found some new bras that fit.  They were the color tag of the week so I got them for $1 each!  I also found 2 seasons of "Everybody Loves Raymond" (so that give us 4 seasons to watch now) and 1 season of "Home Improvement".  There was a beautifully illustrated Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes book that I picked up for Steven for .49 and I found 2 more shirts for me and some diapers for Steven.

   Not a bad week!  This coming week I hope to get out and pick some huckleberries with Heather, the little boys and Rachel.  Heather has multiple orders for huckleberries and it is a lot of work for her to pick them.  I don't want to ask her to pick some for me so I am going with to do it myself. :)  It will be fun to hang out with her and Rachel and of course the little boys. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

IHOP Has Nothing on Me


   Wednesday night, after a learning I had a UTI and feeling kind of out of it, I decided to treat myself to something rather indulgent.  Jeff was gone at his bowling league so it was just me at home.  I looked in the refrigerator and spied a large container of strawberries that I had hulled and cut up 2 days ago and it came to me...pancakes with fresh strawberries topping it instead of syrup.  I got busy and made the pancakes with my homemade mix, adding some oatmeal to the batter to make it a bit more nutritious.  I made a HUGE pancake (this was my dinner after all), topped with the strawberries and sprinkled them with a bit of sugar.  It needed something more...then it hit me...whipped cream!  Luckily for me, I had some in the refrigerator.  Well you know I may have gone a bit overboard with the whipped cream, but hey, a girl needs a treat to feel better when she is battling a very uncomfortable infection.  Am I right? 😉 

   I sat out on our back screened in porch watching the sun go down and listening as the birds all started to quite for the evening.  I savoured each and every delicious mouthful and was so thankful to God for providing such abundance when it came to our strawberry patch this year.  We have had so many ourselves and been able to share with friends and family too.  I have to admit, I think my dining experience here at home was much nicer than being in a noisy IHOP and the food tasted better too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thankful for Small Town Doctors and my Hubby


   Last night, as I went to bed, I had some symptoms that made me feel like I could be getting a UTI.  I took some cranberry pills, like I usually do when I feel like this, and called it good thinking that it would resolve itself like it usually does.  To be perfectly honest, I had been having symptoms off and on for the past week and a half, but last night was bad.  I stupidly waited until last night to start with the cranberry pills too.  Not one of my more stellar moments.

   This morning I woke up had even more symptoms, ones that I had never had before.  Judging by those symptoms (blood in my urine), I knew I needed to get into the doctor to see if it was a UTI or possibly kidney stones.  I called and they were able to get me in at 11a.m. today because they are awesome like that.  I also fasted to make sure they could do a blood draw because I cold not remember when my last one was done to check my thyroid and cholesterol levels.  As the morning went on, my urine cleared and got back to normal looking, but I kept my appointment.  Sure enough, I have a UTI and my doctor told me it can sometimes cause blood in the urine...that was new to me.  I did not need a blood draw after all, but will in November. I'm now on medication for the infection and am praying this "heaviness" I am feeling will go away soon.

   As for the hubby, well that man got up after only a few hours of sleep to take me to my appointment.  I was a bit light headed from the fasting and had a headache since I had not had my morning coffee either.  Plus, he is great moral support and I honestly did not know what I was dealing with for sure.  I tend to freak out a bit (ok, a lot) when medical things are "unknown" and he keeps me calm.  We opted to get my perscription filled at the pharmacy across the street from the clinic in that tiny town and were so impressed with the customer service and friendliness there.  We will be using them again.  My hubby is now back asleep for a few hours before he has to get up again and head in for his bowling league tonight and to drop off some cherries with a friend.  Oh how I love that man who takes such good care of me and makes so many sacrifices to do so.

   The entire staff at the clinic we go to is amazing and so friendly.  Our doctor, whom we have known for years, has become a friend.  He was super supportive of my using my fitbit to try and figure out patterns for sleep and activity and how that affects my CFS and Fibromyalgia.  He thought it was a great idea and likes that I am being so proactive.  He also has been great about not trying to push medications on me for those conditions because he knows that I don't like to take them unless there is no other choice.  Oh, and another great blessing...we ran into a friend that I had not seen in person in years.  She and I keep in touch via facebook, but it was so good to get to share a hug and have a short visit.  I am so thankful for all these wonderful people in our lives.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Oh The Things We Do For Our Furbabies

We build them towers out of boxes.

Apparently it is comfy there.

We brush them out so they will stay cooler.

And it feels like a day at the Doggie Spa!

Such total goofs and we love them!