Friday, June 21, 2019

Floods and Food Prices


   I read an article that talks about how the floods in the midwest have decimated the corn and other crops.  I have also seen photographic evidence of it and our Lauren has seen it first hand when she went home for a visit.  The article stated that we are going to see prices on wheat, corn and other products at least double, if not triple.  This does not just affect food prices, but anything that has these grains, including corn in it.  Here is an older article that lists some of the items that we may not associate with having corn  in them.

   Jeff and I, having seen the writing on the wall so to speak, decided to stock up now on things that we use before the prices go up.  To this end, we bought a 50 pound bag of unbleached wheat flour for $12 since we bake a lot of our own bread, pancakes, muffins, biscuits, etc.  I will be buying more cornmeal (I store it in the refrigerator and freezer) and more canned and frozen corn since this is something that we use a lot of in the colder months.  I have also been told that other veggie prices will be going up so we will stock up on frozen broccoli, canned beans, etc.  Lots of hops have been destroyed by fires in central Washington state, so beer prices are expected to go up here also.  Some of the orchards also were burned so we expect to see local produce prices go up too.

   Luckily for us, our fruit trees and bushes are doing well (despite having lost half of our cherry tree when a huge branch came crashing down here about 1 1/2 weeks ago) and it looks like our squash and cucumber plants are going to do well this year also.  I am going to freezer, dehydrate, and can as much of this as my energy will allow.  I already have rhubarb cut and in the freezer and will do another batch of that.

   I have already seen prices starting to climb, so the "stock up" window is getting smaller and smaller.  I am going to do so while I can still afford to and that will save us a bundle in the long run.




Catching Up

Bradley, Auntie Lauren, Uncle Josh, Steven and Isaiah

   I want to thank everyone that was praying for our Caesar.  We got him into the vet last Wednesday and they did a biopsy on his lump.  It was just a fatty tumor praise God!  They did put him on some medication to help with pain and some antibiotics which cleared up his bad breath and helped with his gas problem.  He is back to his old energetic self but cannot understand why the treats (peanut butter on hot dog buns with his pills inside) have stopped. 😊  Silly boy!  We were so busy getting ready for our son Josh and his fiance Lauren to come for a quick visit that I did not get on to update...sorry.

   Speaking of Josh and Lauren, we drove over to St. Regis on Father's Day morning to meet them and my parents there. I got to hug my Daddy and give him his Father's Day card in person while we all had a nice lunch together. It was a nice bonus for a full day of 6 hours round trip to get the kids before we had another big family BBQ later that night out at Chris and Heather's place.  Everyone had a wonderful time together playing cornhole, football, eating, visiting and just being together.  Monday we spent the day with Josh and Lauren.  We all got to visit with Uncle Bob and Aunt Norma, who were thrilled to see Josh and meet Lauren,and then went bowling. They spent Monday night out at Chris and Heather's.  Tuesday they spent the morning with Chris, Heather, Bradley, Isaiah, Jaysn, Rachel and Steven before getting in a visit with Jeff's parents (Josh is the only one Jeff's mother will have anything to do with).  They then came home here for a quick dinner before we headed up to Spokane so they could catch their flight home.
It was a quick trip but we all felt so blessed to have them here and it really perked Aunt Norma up to see Josh.  I have to say, it really was the best Father's Day gift that Jeff could have ever hoped for to have all his kids and grandkids together!

   I have to say, I did better than I thought I would with everything going on around here.  It was a mad rush to get ready, then Caesar's health scare, getting the kids in Montana, spending time with the family, etc..  Then came the crash.  It hit hard!  

   The couch and my bed have been my constant companions.  Even taking a shower has worn me out.  I'm sitting here with crazy hair right now because I went to sleep with wet hair last night and did not have the energy to even rinse and style it again today.  Of course someone came over today and saw me in all my scariness.  YIKES!  The weather has not been helping either.  It has been raining the past few days and that always messes with me too.  I am hoping it clears up here for this weekend because we have Bradley and Isaiah spending the night tomorrow for a long overdue and much anticipate sleepover. 😉  They really do understand that Grammie has health issues and are perfectly fine with cuddling up on the couch and watching a movie with me and then hot tubbing with G-pa.  This coming week Steven will come out for a visit while his Mommy goes and picks strawberries out at one of our friend's farms.

   Hopefully I can get back on a regular blogging schedule here soon.  Life has just gotten away from me yet again!  Be blessed~



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Prayers Needed....

   Caesar needs prayers.  Our big white happy go lucky boy is not doing well.  He has been having some health issues and slowing down more and more.  Then I found a lump on his side.  We called and made an appointment with the vet for this Thursday.  

   For the past few days he has not been eating or drinking much at all and yesterday we could not stop shaking.  We called the vet last night when this was happening and were told that we would have to call the vet school and they would just observe him overnight and then do something in the morning.  We kept him home with us so that he would be comfortable and feel safe (and not be locked in a cage where he would freak out) and got an appointment for later today (Wednesday).

   It was a rough night for him, myself and for Jeff who had to go to work and was worried about him all night long.  This morning Caesar seems better and asked to go outside to lay in the sun.  This is a huge improvement over last night when he could barely move his hind end.  He is out there now enjoying the outdoors and will be checked out later today by the vet.

   Not going to lie...I am just barely holding it together at this point.  We lost a beloved dog, Brandi, in the past to cancer and I am so afraid that Caesar may have it too.  We also just lost our Doofy cat suddenly and I am still mourning his death.  Aunt Norma next door is not doing well at all and her family is all coming to see her before it is too late.  My own Josh and Lauren are making the trip home Sunday to see her too and Jaysn and Rachel are coming over Saturday to see her. Chris has been coming over as much as he can.  One of her sons shared with me that he would be surprised if she made it to the end of this month.  So heartbreaking.  I'm spending a lot of time with her and Uncle Bob trying to be a support to them and help them out as much as I can.

   Please keep everyone in your prayers...this is a rough time for us all.  Thank you.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Slow Day


   It is a slow and cold day here.  We went from high temperatures and dropped down into the low 50 F range today after some rather impressive thunderstorms last night.  I love to watch them but oh my goodness, the change in the barometric pressure just wrecks my body.  I had felt it coming yesterday morning and did not get much done early that day and even ended up in bed for awhile before we headed out to watch Bradley and Isaiah's T-ball game.

   When we got home from their game, our internet was down and yes, that is a problem for me.  I was in so much pain and one of the ways I cope is to watch YouTube videos out in the living room to distract me.  I tried watching shows on PBS in our bedroom (it is the only TV that is hooked up to the antena and we do not have cable), but I needed my recliner.  Not much sleep happened last night due to the pain so today became another slow day.

   This morning I laid in bed until shortly after 10 a.m. and then finally crawled out and got dressed in soft and warm leggings and a soft long sleeved shirt.  I got the coffee going and then saw that my internet was back up and running.  Since I had planned on making homemade chicken noodle soup with part of a cooked chicken that I had frozen, I got the water boiling for that and plopped that chicken down in it.  I sat out on the porch, had some of my coffee and then came back in to get the veggies all chopped and into the pot.  In went carrots, onions and celery along with some seasoning.  Within half an hour, the chicken was ready to come out and the meat to be picked off the bone.  While I was doing that, I put some broken spaghetti noodles into the boiling broth with the veggies to cook through.  Within a short amount of time I had thick and delicious homemade chicken noodle soup, which is perfect for a cold day like today.  Oh my, did it ever taste good!

   It is now mid afternoon and I have a load of laundry going and am taking another break.  Jeff brewed up some decaf coffee for me (I don't have caffeine in the afternoon) and I am cuddled under one of the quilts that my mother made while I type this out and sip that rich brown nectar of the gods. ;)  I'm thinking that some YouTube or a movie may be on my list to entertain me for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  I have been needed a slow day like this for awhile now and I am going to enjoy every moment of it.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Fading Away


    I try to post a Frugal Friday Wrap Up post but this week there won't be one.  There are more important things that have taken precedence this week and that has been my focus.  

   Our sweet Heather had surgery this week and the recovery is harder on her than expected.  Chris took time off to be with her and her mother has also been there as much as she can be.  Her church and friends started a meal train for the family and that has been a huge blessing.  I had offered to take the little boys but they already had it covered.  They did however come and spend some time with Jeff and I yesterday much to the delight of Steven who was also coming out with Rachel.  It was wonderful to see Bradley, Isaiah and Steven all enjoying each other's company.

   Over the holiday weekend, Aunt Norma (our neighbor) fell and hit her head.  She had a pretty bad deep brain bleed and was in the hospital for part of the week.  Upon release from the hospital, Uncle Bob made the decision to bring her home to take care of her instead of having her go to a medical rehab center to have strangers caring for her.  He thought she would be happier at home.  Sadly he has found that he cannot meet her many needs at this point and they are now working on getting her into a rehab center.  

   Aunt Norma has dementia and she is fading away from us all.  This fall has taken a huge toll on her and she has decided that she does not want to fight anymore and wants to go home to the Lord.  I spent time with her yesterday and had Chris come over also because he is like a grandson to them and they share a very deep bond.  We took all the grandbabies over so that Norma could see them and to also cheer up Uncle Bob.  Yesterday she could still say a few words but from what I understand, that is not the case today.  I really feel like she is just ready to escape the body and mind that is holding her captive and be free from the bonds of this illness and pain she is in once and for all.  

   Uncle Bob and I had a long talk about that yesterday and I explained that it is not that she wants to leave him, she loves him, but that she is just tired of fighting this health battle and wants to go home.  He loves her with every fiber of his being...she is his entire world.  They have been married since she was 16 years old.  Even through this horrible illness, she still would look at Bob with that deep love in her eyes and smile at him.  She would tell us stories of their life together.  Now that light is gone after this fall.  She just does not have the strength or ability to do anything at the moment and it is heartbreaking.

   After Jeff gets up later this afternoon, we will go over and visit with them again and see if there is anything we can do to help.  I would love for Uncle Bob to be able to get a break, even just going downtown for coffee, but he refuses to leave her side and I totally understand that.  He is so afraid of losing her and it is just killing him to see her fading away. 😢  My heart is breaking for him and for her and the rest of their family. 

   May I ask a favor?  If you could keep them all in your prayers, thoughts, etc. I would greatly appreciate it.  They are our hanai family and we love them deeply.  Thank you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Home, My Sanctuary

   As I was wandering around my garden today after a very busy and long weekend, I was overcome with a feeling of profound gratitude and contentment.  I looked around at our home and gardens and realized that I am surrounded by beauty and that my husband, children and I have created a sanctuary here where love abounds and that our gardens and home are a reflection of our lives thus far.

   Over the years, we have added to our gardens through generous gifts from friends and family who have given us flowers and plants from their own gardens.  We have also bought some plants and are now gifting others with new plants and starts from our gardens so they can expand their own.  It is wonderful to look around and remember who gave us what and the joy they had in sharing with us and the continual joy those plants bring to us.

   Over the years we have added fruit trees, like the pear tree above, raspberry bushes, blackberry bushes, blueberry bushes, strawberries and rhubarb.  We also added an Arctic Kiwi that has done nothing but produce a vine until this year where it looks like we might be getting some flowers on it.  Praying that this is the year for kiwi!

   Our garden nourishes us through the fruits, herbs and veggies we grow, but also through the beautiful flowers that feed my soul.  I need to be surrounded with beauty because it really does delight me.  As I look at God's amazing handiwork with the varieties of plants He has given to us, I am so very thankful.

   Have you ever deeply breathed in the perfume from an iris?  It is absolutely intoxicating.  I have several varieties here and I treasure them all.  Some were gifts from others, and some were gifts I gave myself.   I would rather have a plant that cut flowers because they come back year after year to bless me over and over again.

   This year our Columbine were very prolific and out of a few plants, we now have many.  The colors have cross pollinated and every year it is a surprise to see what colors we will have.  They will grow just about everywhere, including in front of the steps to get up to our hot tub.  Jeff dug those out and we gifted them to my mother, another huge fan of these beautiful and delicate flowers.  We also sent her home with more thornless raspberry starts.


I am surrounded by all this beauty.  It makes my heart sing and it just makes me so thankful to be alive and to have this place to call home and share with my friends and family.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Yes, I Post A Lot of Food Pictures

    After doing my last Frugal Friday Wrap Up post, I realized that I do post a lot of food pictures.  It made me think about my reasons for doing so and here they are in no particular order:

~This is an area where I can be creative in.  I love making nice meals for our family and using up what we have on hand.  I'm good at it, if I do say so myself, and it is also one of the few things that makes me feel accomplished and "normal" while dealing with this horrible monster called Fibromyalgia that limits me in so many other areas of my life.
~I frequently forget what I have made in the past and looking back on the pictures reminds me of those good meals so I can make them again.
~It is one of the areas that I can be most frugal in, thus being a huge part of my Frugal Friday Wrap Up posts and in controlling our budget.
~Making delicious and frugal meals is one of the ways that I show my love and appreciation for my family and friends.  On a daily basis, my hubby works so hard for us both at his job and here at home.  I want to give him nourishing and nice meals to show him how much I do love him and appreciate everything he does for us.  He is very appreciative of the meals I make and honestly, it helps soften the blow when I can't cook. ;)
~I like to share our meals in hopes of inspiring others.  I know that I appreciate seeing what other people are making and eating because it gives me new ideas for meals here at our home.  So thank you to all who do post pictures of your meals also!😘

Here are just a few of our favorites over the years:

Pepper Steaks, Wild Rice and Radishes

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Loaded Udon Noodle Soup

Banana Bread

Twice Baked and Stuffed Potatoes

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Garlic Chicken Pizza

Shrimp, Squash and Cauliflower Stir Fry

Ham and Cheese Calzones

Tuna Pasta Salad

Our favorite Pasta Salad made with Mini Cheese Raviolis instead of regular pasta noodles this time

Taco Salad

Dairy Free Ham and Potato Chowder

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Ravioli and Asparagus

Homemade Croutons


Homemade Bread and Biscuits

   I hope this gives you some ideas!