Thursday, October 4, 2018

Just Popping In for an Update



   I'm sitting here on a cold Fall night with the pellet stove running beside me.  The warmth is going deep into my bones and I love that feeling.  I also have Doofy cat curled up in my lap enjoying that I am again wearing his favorite flannel nightgown.  The days have been beautiful with the changing colors of the trees and the nights have been cool and make sleeping (when I can get there) all the more comfortable.

   We've been apple picking and to the pumpkin patch with the grandboys and all had a wonderful time together.  They are growing up so quickly and this is a tradition that I hope we can continue for years to come. It was so much fun to watch all three of them pick out their pumpkins this year!  We also had a family dinner at my cousin Jeremy's new store and had a great time going through all the stuff he has there.  I am already planning some of my Christmas gift shopping. ;)  We still need to get a bunch of our furniture, books, and vintage linens and dishes over there for him to sell and I need to help him set up the table displays.

   The progress on Chris and Heather's new home has been amazing! It really warms my heart to see their dream coming true.  Family has been pitching in whenever they can to help get it up and dried in before the bad and wet weather hits.  I wish Jeff and I could do more to help, but time and health has not allowed that unfortunately.

   Jaysn and Rachel are finding they need more room for their family and we went apartment hunting today.  The first place we saw was not going to work at all but a dear friend happened to have a 2 bedroom apartment here in town that he is repainting right now and that turned out to be just the right place for them.  They are even going to be able to put up a temporary fence to keep Steven corralled in the backyard and Steven has made friends with some of the neighbor's cats already. :)  Rachel is happy because it also has an in unit washer and dryer that will make her life so much easier and will not have to haul all their laundry up here to our house to do it when the snow comes.  They will only be about 6 blocks away from us and will be down the street from the swimming pool so that will be great for them come this next Summer.

   We head out to see Josh and Lauren here in a little over a week now and Jeff and I both cannot wait!  We are so looking forward to spending time with them, seeing their new home, exploring Zion National Park and seeing old childhood friends of mine.  It will also be nice to lounge around and swim at their neighborhood pool. ;)

   As for not posting lately or visiting my friends in blogland, please know that it is not for lack of want but rather lack of energy, motivation and the like.  I have continued to struggle with my health and when I overdo it (as I did with the day with the grandkids mentioned above), my pain levels spike up even higher for days after that.  Those are not good days at all.  Weather changes affect me negatively too.  I'm also working through some things emotionally and that takes so much energy out of me.  My posting and visits will most likely continue to be spotty at best for awhile and I do hope you will bear with me.  I need to focus on my health and my family at the moment.  Hopefully things will get better here soon and I will be able to be back on a more regular schedule.  Until then, be blessed and Happy Fall!

   

Friday, September 14, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up (The Scatterbrained Edition) 9/14/18




   I'm trying to get back into some kind of posting rhythm again and get back to doing a Frugal Friday Wrap Up post.  However, I have not been good about actually getting on the computer daily and making notes of what we have been doing frugality wise around here lately.  So......I am going to try to remember some of the things we have done over the past few weeks and share those here.

~We have been harvesting squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and blackberries from the garden.
~Since I caught Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and am unable to eat anything acidic, I have been freezing the blackberries to use later.
~Jeff grilled up 3 large elk steaks that I marinated overnight.  I cooked up some beans that Rachel's mom sent up and also made a 4 grain side dish that was delicious (it was a mix I picked up at the Grocery Outlet)
~Jeff and I have had some great luck at the thrift stores lately.  We bought a jacket for Steven for .25, shoes for me at $2, lots of books, a talking Elmo doll, some pants for Jeff and wait for it....a Berkey Water Filter system for $8!  It came with the filters and everything.  That is something that I have had on my wish list for years and years!
~Jeff had been fixing up a second bike for Isaiah to ride here.  He found some pedals that he needed at the thrift store.
~We had been talking about getting a area rug for the living room for the colder months to make it more comfortable for everyone.  Jeff found one for $20 on sale at Walmart. Yay!!!
~I have been trying to have us eat mainly out of our pantry and freezers and only buying fresh produce, some baked goods and dairy products for the most part.
~We have been watching shows online and on Netflix and YouTube.
~Since the weather has gotten so much cooler, I am back to enjoying a cup of herbal tea at night or in the afternoon.  It warms me up, soothes me and helps me to stay hydrated.
~I have pulled out the Fall throws and blankets to cuddle up under in the living room.
~My leave in hair conditioner was almost empty so I mixed up a new batch using a sample packet that came in the mail via PinchMe along with some warm water.
~I was able to get some free mayonnaise with a coupon I recieved.
~Winco recently had coupons in one of the local college newspapers that allowed me to get some terrific deals.
~Bradley and Isaiah got a lesson in how to lay bricks to build a strong wall from Jeff while they were here one day.  They love building anything and the pile of bricks proved irresistible to them.






Monday, September 10, 2018

Sidelined Again...UGH!

   Well the plan was to come back to blogging on a regular basis and go and visit my friends "homes" here in blogland, really it was.  However, as life often does, it sidelined me once again.  In addition to my "normal" health struggles and issues, I am now dealing with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.  My youngest grandson Steven got it, then his Mommy Rachel got it from him and now it seems, it is my turn.

   My symptoms are mainly centered in my mouth.  I have blisters and sores on my tongue and all around the inside of my mouth.  It makes eating and drinking most anything difficult at the moment.  I just finished a cup of coffee with creamer in it and that hurt.  However, if I don't have my coffee, we will be dealing with a whole other problem of caffeine withdrawals and nobody wants to be around me if that happens. 😉  I do also have a few spots on the rest of my body also.

   In order to try and keep my hubby from getting this too we have taken measures to try and stop the spread of it.  In addition to frequent handwashing, I am sleeping in a different bedroom than he is at the moment.  We also threw away his toothbrush and got him out a new one, got a seperate water glass and even a new tube of toothpaste for him.  He is keeping his stuff in the guest bathroom, way away from mine.  I'm not cooking much this week because I am afraid of my germs getting onto the food...well that an my energy level is nilch at the moment.  With that said, my hiatus from blogland my be a bit longer than I had planned.  For now I am going to go and lay down for awhile.  My brain is way foggier than my normal everyday fog and I have a bad headache.  Praying that no one else ends up with this...it is no fun!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thank You All and an Update



   I want to start this off by telling you all how much I appreciate the sweet comments and thoughts that you have left me here on the blog and via email.  All of them have touched my heart so deeply.  I'm still needing to respond personally to each one and I hope to be able to do that tomorrow. :)

   I have taken some time to really reflect on things and focus on my family.  Both of my oldest grandsons ended up with a nasty flu like virus and then the baby ended up with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.  Now my sweet Rachel has the same virus the older grandsons had.  I have been trying to help out where and when I can and the baby has been spending time up here or I have been going down there to play with him since he can't be around many people until he is over this.  I was able to spend some quality time with the older two grandsons too and that was wonderful!

   Chris and Josh turned 29 on Friday and Jeff celebrated birthday # 59 on Monday.  We celebrated by going bowling with Chris, Heather, Bradley and Isaiah (they were finally feeling better), and had dinner with Jaysn, Rachel and Steven up here at the house the next day.  Steven is still sick and we are trying to keep the grandboys away from each other so they don't keep passing things back and forth.  Josh also paid for Jeff to go golfing on Monday.

   Jeff has been helping Chris build his home whenever he has a spare moment.  This past week he was unable to help much but spent Saturday morning and Sunday morning helping him.  Now they are just waiting for the trusses to come in so they can get those set.

   Saturday I found out that a friend passed away the day before.  I have known both Greg and Linda since I first started college and even dated Greg's brother for awhile.  Greg and Linda wished their oldest son John a Happy Birthday earlier in the morning and a few hours later Greg had a heart attack and passed away.  Linda and I were really close in college and I attended her and Greg's wedding and was thrilled to see two people I loved get married.  The last time we saw Greg and Linda in person was about 2 years ago when we had dinner together when they were up visiting one of the kids in college and Greg was saying how he was counting down the last 6 years before he could retire from teaching.  Both he and Linda are amazing teachers.  It breaks my heart that he never got to have that chance to enjoy retirement and that Linda has lost the love of her life and her best friend.  I feel so bad for their kids, especially John, who lost his father on his birthday, and the grandkids.  I also know that his brother Jeff is having a really hard time too with all of this.  They were very close.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

   I was able to finally spend some time with my hanai sister Shannon today and to say that I have missed her is a huge understatement.  Since we got rid of the landline phone and our cell phone reception is spotty, we have not been able to have our normal phone calls.  It was so good to share hugs, pick some cherry tomatoes from our garden and just be able to get caught up with each other again.

   Jeff and I ran into another friend over the weekend that I had not seen in ages.  She also has Fibromyalgia and shared with me that she is taking Methyl Vitamin B 12 at 2,500 mcg dose daily and it has really helped with her pain.  I've read some studies that support this.  I am not a doctor and am not I offering medical advice.  I'm just passing along information and you need to do your own research and consult your own doctor.  As so often happens with Fibromyalgia, CFS and other chronic invisible illnesses, what works for one person may not work for another.  I am trying it and am really hoping it helps. I am also hoping that if it reduces pain levels, that will allow me to sleep better.  I'm still struggling with that even with the medications that I am on. 

   Life has been busy for us lately with lots of things going on and will continue to be this way for awhile with helping with the building of Chris and Heather's new home (not that I can help much with that but I can provide food and help take care of the grandkids while Jeff helps with the actual construction), the opening of my cousin's new store and sourcing things for that, and trying to get the house and yard ready for the much anticipated and appreciated colder weather.  It is already cooling down at night into the 40's and we even hit 38F one night.  The leaves are starting to turn on the bushes and trees around here and the apple orchard opens up tomorrow for picking.  Fall is here a bit early and I am loving that!  Life is starting to look a bit brighter again. 😊

   

   

   
   

   

   

   

    



   

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Depression and Anxiety are Ugly Things

   


   I know that I have not been posting on my blog or even reading and commenting on friends blogs lately and I feel like I need to explain why.  It's not that I don't want to visit and comment but I just don't have the energy to do so.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks and my OCD has been ramping up, I'm not sleeping well at all and am up most of the night and it is taking most of my energy to just hold it together at times.  I do have happy times between these down times and my family has been wonderful about being there for me and understanding that I am not choosing to feel this way...it is just happening and I wish it would stop.

   Last week it finally got to the point where I called my doctor's office in the middle of a panic attack and they were able to get me in within a few hours.  They are wonderful!  There was a new nurse there and she told me my blood pressure was a bit on the high side.  I told her that was because my anxiety was really high.  She told me that you could not tell by looking at me.  I told her that I had gotten good at hiding it on the outside but was shaking on the inside.  Later I realized that is what I had been trained to do from a very young age.  I have survived through the years by faking calm when I am falling apart, scared and feel like a caged animal that needs to escape danger.

   My compassionate doctor, who has been a huge blessing to me, and I talked about what was going on and came up with a new plan to help me.  My anti anxiety medications are being adjusted, I have something to help me sleep (that is not working so far), will be getting some counseling to help me deal with the grief that comes with the loss of who I used to be and who I am now and I have a disabled parking placard to help me since walking can be painful and very tiring a good majority of the time.  I think the thing that helped me the most though was my doctor looking me straight in the eyes and saying "This is not all in your head, what you are feeling is real and you are not alone. There are a lot of other people who have this (Fibromyalgia) out there and are going through the same things you are."  He validated the fact that this syndrome is real and is multifaceted with so many painful things going on physically, emotionally and is totally draining and exhausting.  The depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are just a few of the many symptoms that can come with this but honestly, they are some of the most challenging to deal with.  Well that and the "brain fog" that frustrates me to no end.  That makes it hard to focus and concentrate on anything and leads to more anxiety and depression and I also believe contributes to the OCD at times.

   Living with the uncertainty of IF and WHEN you will get to sleep (last night I was awake until 5 this morning when I finally was able to sleep and here it is closing in on 2 a.m. now and I am still wide awake even though I am exhausted), what your pain levels will be like, if you will be able to walk without holding onto the walls or if you are out shopping if your legs, arms, and back will hold out until you are done is scary.  It's not being able to get the words out or even find them in your cloudy mind.  It's fighting back tears and pretending that everything is ok when people ask how you are doing because you don't want to let them down or let them see your pain and struggle.  It's the confusion of having a manageable pain day one moment where you can do a load of laundry and the next being in horrible pain and having to sit or lay down trying to find some relief because regular OTC pain meds don't do a thing to help.  It's unpredictable and it hurts to have to cancel plans with friends and family because of it and know that I am letting them down. It is also knowing that at this point, there is no cure for this thing and that I may have to live the rest of my life like this.  And, it's the added financial burden for more meds, counseling costs, etc. and me not being able to work to help pay for all of it.  That is a lot to deal with.

   I'm sharing this because I need to get it out there.  I'm not asking for sympathy, just understanding.  I'm struggling at the moment and I hope that my sharing this will also help someone else who may also be struggling so that they too know that they are not alone.  So please understand that if I don't always respond to comments, blog, read and comment on friend's blogs, it is not because I don't want to...it's because I just don't have the energy, can't focus or am putting everything I have into trying to just survive at the moment.  I'm working on areas that I can to feel better and I hope to be back to being more upbeat and cheerful and at least regaining that part of my life  soon.  Thank you for understanding and God bless.

   



   

   

   

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Frugal Food Lately

Grapes washed and stems cut to make for easy snacking.


   I'm not going to have a Frugal Friday post this week because I forgot to keep track of things.  However, I thought I would share some of the frugal meals and food that we have had lately.

   We start off with me cooking up about 2 pounds of elk burger into taco seasoned meat.  This is what I did with it.





       


Taco salad made with .50 sale priced bagged salad, tomatoes from the garden, taco meat, crushed tortilla chips and Thousand Island dressing.


Burritos with taco meat and cheese, Mexican rice made with tomato powder from our tomatoes last year and served with watermelon and blueberries.

Taco meat and cheese served over the leftover rice served with a side of grapes.

The last of the taco meat and rice layered between 3 huge soft flour tortilla and a homemade enchilada sauce made with tomato sauce and cream cheese poured over it all and baked in the oven.  I served it with more of the sale priced bagged salad with craisins, Feta and a lime vinaigrette dressing.

Next up are a few more meals that I made this week. 

Squash from the garden sauteed with shrimp.

Mashed red potatoes with parsley from the garden, tomatoes from the garden, marinated elk steaks and onion rings.

Zucchini with parmesan cheese and sausages. 

Baked chicken and potatoes.

And lastly something sweet...

Three loaves of banana bread made from overripe bananas.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 8/4-8/10 2018

   Sorry that this is not a very good post and is lacking pictures but to be totally honest, the heat, smoky air and changes in air pressure have really been taking a huge toll on me.  I'm having trouble forming complete thoughts, nevermind getting them onto the screen here.  I'm also hypersensitive to everything at the moment and in lots of pain with nausea coming because of that. I'm also having nightmares again.  Until the weather gets better and the skies are cleared out of the smoke, I fear I will continue to be like this. I'm just fatigued, sore, frustrated and am still trying to put a smile on my face and remain as positive as I can be.  I really want to be positive and happy and am trying my best to be that way despite all that is going on with me right now.  Onto the savings...


~The town wide yard sales were not as plentiful this year but I still managed to get some nice things for dirt cheap.  Jeff's best deal of the day was a bicycle for $1 that he is going to fix up for Isaiah (we have everything we need here already to do so) and mine was a pair of sterling silver turquoise and coral Native American made earrings for .10, yes ten cents!  They were mixed in with a bunch of cheap costume jewelry so I am assuming that is why they were still there and no one had found them for hours before I got to the sale.
~The company Jeff works for throws an employee appreciation party each year.  This is the second year in a row that they have held it at a waterpark and told the employees to bring their families.  Also this year they booked it for 4 hours and brought in pizza for everyone.  It was so much fun and our kids and grandkids really enjoyed themselves!
~We stopped at the Grocery Outlet store in Lewiston Idaho before heading home from the water park and found some wonderful deals there.  We got Nutrigrain blueberry granola bars for 2 boxes for .97 (gave one of them to Rachel for Steven who polished off 2 of the bars in the box before they even left our house), chocolate chip cookie dough for $1.47 with a B1G1F deal, and found several other great deals also.
~I was able to get in on some of the higher value encraves at Swagbucks and cashed on on Sunday for another $25 gift card for Walmart.  I took advantage of the discounted price and also got a 100 sbs rebate.
~Three loaves of banana bread were made and then I baked up a pan of sweet potato wedges since the oven was already hot.
~I sent one of the loaves of banana bread home with Jaysn, Rachel and Steven when they came by for a visit.
~We hung the towels and bathing suits out to dry after washing them.
~Jeff built a new shelving unit with some wood he had here on hand and attached it to the side of our entertainment center (which he also built) to house more of our dvds and cds.
~Dinner was clam chowder for me and oatmeal for my hubby.  I had no more energy and neither did he.
~Rachel harvested and enjoyed some tomatoes from our garden. That makes me happy!
~Monday Jeff and I gave each other haircuts.  We were overdue for them and with the heat climbing into the triple digits, it was time to get it done!
~I made some cold tuna pasta salad and the fur babies got some of the tuna water from the cans.
~The Summer apple tree did not do as well this year fruit wise, but I was still able to get some apples off of it to make either fried apples or applesauce with.
~Since I know it will be too hot to cook for the next few upcoming days, I took some frozen turkey lunch meat out of the freezer along with some chicken thighs.  The turkey lunch meat will be used to make sandwiches and the chicken will be dinner Monday night and also again later in the week.  I'll bake some potatoes, sliced up under the chicken too as part of our meal and enough for several other meals also.
~The laundry was hung out on the line to dry.
~Jeff got the plants in the front garden all mulched to help hold in the moisture in the soil since we are going to be in the triple digits temperature wise.  He got the mulch for free.
~I watered all the garden beds, trees and flower beds in the back of the house in the evening.  I forgot to do the front flower beds so I will have to get those tomorrow.  I did remember to water all the potted plants though.
~Tuesday it was hot so I stayed inside the house for the most part and worked on my points programs.  Rachel brought Steven up for awhile.  He got shots yesterday and was a bit fussy.  He likes coming up here to play where it is cooler and he has more room to run around.  We got out a big bowl and filled it with water for him to splash in...he loved it!
~Dinner was turkey sandwiches since it was too hot to cook.
~I found the link for the recipes from the cookbook "Good and Cheap" https://www.leannebrown.com/index/  It has some really good recipes there and you can download the cookbook for free also.
~Before I went to bed, I ran Jeff's work laundry through the washer so it would be ready to hang out in the morning when I got up.
~Our salt container from the store broke so I recycled a baby's puffs treat container to hold the salt.
~Wednesday I needed to head in to Pullman and pick up a prescription at Walmart.  My prescription cost jumped up under the new health insurance which ticked me off a bit.  While I was there I looked in their clearance areas and found a black swim skirt (I needed another one), 2 shirts ($4 and $5 each) and 2 pajamas ($4 and $5 each).  I also picked up some marked down corned beef from the deli along with a marked down chicken bacon ranch sandwich for Jeff, a watermelon and some bananas.
~Safeway had a surprise special of prepackaged salads marked down to .50 a bag.  I bought a bunch of them and gave some to Rachel and Jaysn also.  We will be eating lots of salad over the course of a week and I am good with that.  I love salads when it is hot outside.  Some other great deals that I scored were cooked shrimp and hummus at half price, mayo at half price and a large container of blueberries for $2.99.
~My best scores of the day came from the thrift store.  I stopped in to see if I could find some more shirts for Steven since he is outgrowing everything.  They had a .25 sale on all blue tagged clothing items.  I was able to find 5 shirts for him, 1 for Jeff, a shirt to resell (Nanette Lapore brand) and a pair of denim skinny cut jeans for me...all for .25 each.  I also found a birthday gift for Chris, 2 cookbooks, a Disney drawing book for the little boys and a Chicago Cutlery knife.
 ~Jeff's laundry was hung out on the line to dry.
~I watered the gardens in the evening.
~The mail brought a free Country living magazine, coupons, including one for a free item, from Bath and Body Works, and a box from Pinch Me that had a hair mask and some Starbucks coffee K cups in it.
~I watched a presentation by a doctor who specializes in Fibromyalgia treatment and learned a few new things.
~Thursday was a blazing hot day so I spent most of the day inside.  I had the swamp cooler running overnight to get as much cool air into the house as possible.  Jeff shut it off when he got home at 6 a.m. since it was already starting to get hot outside.  I turned it on again later in the day when it got hot in the house again in the afternoon.
~I used my Instant Pot to cook up 2 artichokes.
~Dinner was leftover oven baked chicken, potatoes and a salad.
~My encraves were finally back at Swagbucks, so I ran them in the background while I got other things done on and off my computer.
~We invited Jaysn, Rachel and Steven to come up this afternoon to cool off in our home and also have some watermelon and cantaloupe. :)  It was nice to visit with them and laugh at Steven's antics.
~After they left, Jeff and I used our hot tub (unheated) to cool off in even more.  I needed to cool my inner core down and that worked well.

  I hope you had a good week. :)