Saturday, August 29, 2015

Frugal Doings for the End of August 2015

~made 4 half pint jars of spicy pickled dilly beans with beans from our garden
~made 2 quart jars of yellow squash bread and butter pickles with squash from our garden
~dried some leftover dill (that I had bought to make pickles with) 
~used a sample of a hair treatment to make more of my own leave in spray on hair conditioner
~using some body wash that I got on sale to wash my delicate laundry items 
~we've been giving away lots of produce from our garden to family and friends

~Uncle Bob blessed us with cucumbers and cantaloupe from his garden
~was given a huge bag of ciabatta bread rolls and froze half of them to use later
~got some free groceries when we did our volunteer work
~I worked my points programs and cashed in for gift cards to Walmart
~dehydrating some of the tomatoes from our garden to use is soups, sauces and casseroles
~picked some wild plums

~my husband picked all the plums off the branches of the trees that he had to cut down since they were attacking our garage
~made good use of leftovers to create new meals with
~made many loaves of bread and homemade croutons
~trying to use as much of our garden produce as possible in our meals
~evaluating products for various companies (they send me the products to try for free)
~cashed in at another one of my points programs for $21
~printing off high value coupons that I then combine with sales

~got some more free coupons out of the recycling bin
~have been getting quite a few samples in the mail
~borrowing books and movies from the library
~family parties have been potluck style
~went shopping at some thrift stores in Spokane and was blessed to get lots of things for .25 and .99 since those items had the marked down colored tags that day
~trying new recipes to use up more of our produce from the garden
~have been eating blackberries like a mad woman and enjoying every single bite since they are home grown in our own backyard

~using homeopathic treatments for some health issues
~cutting our own hair
~my cousin Jeremy gave us a canister of Morning Moos chocolate drink mix that my husband uses in his coffee
~my cousin Marisa and her husband Scott treated me to lunch
when I met them for the first time up in Spokane while they were in town for a convention
~My son Chris treated me to dinner when I also met him up in Spokane where he was for SWAT training
~attended a family potluck Ladies Brunch with some of my favorite women
~have been using my crockpots more to cook in while keeping the house cooler

~got the air purifier going in the living room since we have smoky skies and I have been having trouble with my asthma
~we reduced our Dish network package down to the basics to save money
~we have been watching some of our favorite TV shows on the computer since we no longer have them on on Dish network package
~while cleaning out the closets, we found some of the legos and blocks I had been saving for my grandchildren
~we gave a bunch of our boys clothing that they had left here and no longer fit them to our friends that have boys that wear those sizes
~donated a bunch of things to the thrift store
~taking Caesar to a vaccination clinic here in our town to get him up to date on his shots
~regrowing the bottom of the green onions to make more of them

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fires and Smoke Filled Skies.

We have many wildfires burning in our area and the smoke is thick and hazardous to our health.  I have been forced to spend most of my time inside since I have been having trouble breathing.  There are so many fires in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho that are burning right now and not enough local resources to fight them all.  We literally have people coming from all over the United States, Canada, American Samoa, New Zealand and Australia to help get these things contained and put out.  Many people have lost their homes, livestock, crops and sadly, there has even been the loss of the lives of 3 firefighters and another who is fighting for his life in a burn unit in Seattle.

Please say a prayer for rain, protection and for people who have lost everything to be able to rebuild their lives once more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I'm Sorry I've Been MIA

   I'm sorry I have been MIA.  There has been so much going on in our lives.  Some have been wonderful like my cousin Jeremy getting a job and moving up to our area.  We are so thrilled that he and his sweet dog Mya will be here full time and join our fun loving family. :)  We have also been spending lots of time with our kids and grandsons that live near us as well as visiting with friends/family.
   Other things, that have not been as happy, have also been going on and to be completely honest, have taken a huge toll on my family and myself (both emotionally and physically).  It left me in a bad place and I needed to get myself together and try to be there for my hubby, kids and grandkids, who are also dealing with the same hurtful situation that has been steadily getting worse and finally reached the breaking point.  I don't know if things will ever be resolved and to be honest, I don't hold out much hope they will.  We have all done everything we can on our end so we can at least have some peace in knowing that.
    To that end, I want to just focus on those people who we have healthy relationships with.  I want to surround myself with friends and family who are there for one another and are supportive, loving and caring. I want to focus on the good things and not be dragged down by toxic situations that keep trying to pull us back in.  So there ya go, time to make hard but needed changes again in our lives.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Thank A Farmer!

   I live in one of the most fertile farming areas in the nation and every year, up on the hill above my home, I see this beautiful scene.  That is wheat that has just been harvested and is being loaded into the grain truck. If it were not for our farmers, there would be no bread, pizza or heaven forbid, doughnuts!  
   My area also is known at the Pea and Lentil Capital of the World because we grow amazing crops of both of them.  This coming weekend in the Lentil Festival in Pullman, WA and it has become a pretty big deal with lentil cooking contests, new products being introduced, music, and fun run and lots of fun activities and displays.
   The farmers in this area also grow garbanzos, barley and oats.  There are a few who are also growing canola.  Since we live near 2 agricultural colleges, many of the local farmers will grow test crops of new strains of wheat on their land for the University of Idaho and Washington State University.
   Agriculture is the backbone of our community and without it, we would be in bad shape.  Our farmers put in long hours and take huge risks each year with their crops.  They are hard working people who care about the land and about their communities and are very involved in the little towns and schools that dot this countryside.  So next time you run into a farmer, thank them for all their hard work that helps to feed all of us here and also abroad.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Time for a Virtual Vacation: Kaukahi Featuring Gary Haleamau

    When I need to get away from it all and time is short and funds are low, I frequently pull up videos on youtube featuring my childhood friend Gary Haleamau.  He is an amazing musician and his voice is one of the best I have ever heard.  He and I were in Chorus and in the Hawaiian Music and Dance class back in high school.  What a privilege that was to be able to hear him share his amazing gift each day.  His beautiful wife, Sheldeen, is dancing hula in this clip.  Listening to him play guitar and sing, while watching her dance takes me back to my childhood in Kona, Hawaii where many evenings were spent listening to the soothing sounds of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar and falsetto singing while sitting outside with torches glowing and the cool trade winds blowing.  I can feel my body release the tension as I imagine myself being there once again.
Thank you Gary and Sheldeen for your many gifts that you share with all of us.

Monday, August 3, 2015

My New Little Friend

   Look who I found lurking among the leaves on my poles beans. :)  Such a tiny and happy little frog.  What a nice surprise!  I do hope we meet again.