Saturday, March 17, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/10-3/16 2018

I got this beauty for half off!

   Have you ever wondered what happened to some of your old friends from your childhood?  When I was in high school my sister Leonie and I became friends with a girl named Elaine.  Elaine was from Canada and had moved to Hawaii with her step mother and step father (her parents had both sadly passed away).  Her step parents were NOT nice people and Elaine ended up being abandoned by them.  My family took her in temporarily and she became "the third sister" as we tried to get in contact with her brother and get her back home to him in Canada.  Leonie, Elaine and I all shared a room and it was tight but we loved each other and it was a lot of fun!  Elaine stayed with us for a short time and then moved in with another family friend, who was also Elaine and my majorette advisor, who had more room.  Elaine was finally reunited with her brother in Canada after lots of paperwork and red tape and we lost contact.  Well last night I got a friend request from Elaine on Facebook!  I cannot tell you the joy I felt because I had searched for her there and could not find her.  She apparently just joined Facebook.  We spent about an hour getting caught up and are making future plans for her to come and visit and are hoping my sister Leonie could come at the same time.  It has been 40 years since we have seen each other!  I have to say that being in contact with her again filled a part of my heart that had been missing if that makes any sense.  I just wanted to share my joy and put it down here so that I would never forget the day that "the third sister" reunited with Leonie and I online. 😁 Now onto the frugalness for my week.

I scored these Land's End jackets for .25 each!

~Saturday Jeff and I headed up to Coeur d'Alene for our anniversary.  We had lunch at Texas Roadhouse and used $30 in gift cards that I earned through Swagbucks.  We left a generous tip for our amazing waitress.
~The Dollar Tree had the laundry detergent that we use for Jeff's clothing (Ajax) so we bought some of that, some cotto salami, a eyeshadow brush (I have no idea where my good one went), some 4 packs of diced fruit in it's own juice (will take those to Montana with us in May) and some soda for Jeff.
~St. Vincent D Paul thrift store has everything half price on Wednesdays and Saturdays (we did not know that they did this) and also had .25 bins of clothing.  We really scored there!  Jeff found a bowling ball that looked like it had barely been used with close to the same finger span as his, in the weight he wanted and it was one of the bowling balls that he had wanted for a long time now.  He paid $2.50 for it!  The ball retails for over $100. 😵  He also found some bicyclee tires that he wants to use to build a cart to haul yard waste behind him on his bicycle so he can ride out to the yard waste site in good weather and dump the yard waste there.  Steven is getting some clothes (that kids is outgrowing everything).  I picked up everything that looked good in his size and the next few sizes up for .25 each.  I also got 2 Lands End Jackets and a vest for .25, and 2 shirts at half price.  My great find there though was a Wedgewood cameo necklace pendant set in a sterling silver frame for $10 (half off $20).  I am in love with it!
~Two other thrift stores gave us movies, books, 2 gorgeous blue and white plates, 2 blue and white mugs, cds for Jeff, and some shirts for Jeff and I.

I got 2 of these beautiful Johnson Brothers mugs at the thrift store.

~Grocery Outlet is one of our normal stops when we are up there and I stocked up on some veggies, frozen meals, an 8 pound bag of the sweetest grapefruit I have tasted in years, and specialty cheeses along with some pastrami.
~Sunday Jeff built me some stairs out of scrap wood to get in and out of our hot tub more easily.  They are really nice.
~We finally watched the movie "Victoria and Abdul" that we borrowed from the library.
~We hot tubbed that night.
~Monday I took a nap...oh that felt nice.
~Jeff built me a handrail going up our steps to the back porch with some scrap lumber he had.

~I made us a nice dinner of meatloaf, sweet potatoes and acorn squash.
~Jeff ran the movie down to the library and picked up another book they had waiting for me.  Caesar also got his walk in this way.
~The weather was lovely so we opened up the house to air it out and the fur babies were free to go in and out off the back screened in porch.
~Tuesday our Roku decided to go nuts.  I tried everything they said to online to fix it but that did not work, so it's time to replace it.  We have had it for 2 years and it has lots of hours on it.
~Jeff and I had a late lunch at a Chinese food place (I know we have got to stop going out to eat so much) and I brought half of it home to have for lunch the next day.
~I talked to the pharmacy about getting 3 month supply on my prescriptions.
~We found a New York Cheesecake slice at the bakery at Walmart for .89.  Jeff and I split it for dessert.  Yum!
~I also found some chicken thighs on sale so we bought them and threw them in the freezer. I am stocking up on chicken thighs since I need to make Shoyu Chicken for 18 people for dinner on night at our family reunion in May.

~Wednesday Rachel called and asked if she and Steven could come over the following morning since their house is being shown.  I of course said yes!  I took one look at our floors though and knew they needed to be cleaned after the dogs and cats had got them really dirty so they were vacuumed and then some Lysol wipes were used instead of Swifter pads to clean the floors since Steven would be crawling all over them.  The Lysol wipes were some I got for free.
~I finished my leftover Chinese food for lunch.
~I found a tutorial on YouTube for making a weighted blanket and shared it on facebook.  I am hoping that my mother will make it for me. 😉
~Jeff cleaned out the laundry room and found lots of things in there that we had been "missing".  He organized it.  He did find another stash of paper plates so I put some of them in my large tote that I am taking to Montana so that we can use those and not have to do as many dishes.
~We continue to enjoy watching "The World's Most Incredible Homes" on Netflix (yes, we did get a new Roku).
~There was another refund check from the insurance company for a little over $19.  Yay!

~Jeff got another quick side job that paid him $20 for very little time worked.
~I made 2 more loaves of sandwich bread for Jeff.
~Dinner was leftovers and we split a fresh pear.
~I uploaded coupons onto my Safeway card for things that we needed.
~Thursday Rachel and Steven came out for a visit and she brought lunch for us.  That was just so sweet of her!  Jeff finished off the leftover Caesar Salad with his dinner later that night.
~I got lots of cuddle and play time with Steven...made me so happy!
~I booked our plane tickets to go to Vegas to see Josh and Lauren in October.  I was able to find us a good deal out of Spokane, WA which is much closer to us.  The best day to buy your tickets seems to be on Thursdays.  I noticed a $200 drop in the price since the last time I checked so I booked them now. :)  We are excited and so are Josh and Lauren!
~I ran Swagbucks points earning thingies in the background as I watched YouTube in the evening.
~Jeff set up the drying rack in the big bathtub so we could hang the outdoor vinyl tablecloths to dry there since it had been raining.

~Friday the sun was shining in the morning and it was glorious.  I took the used coffee grounds and sprinkled them around the blueberry bushes and put the banana peels around the rose bushes.  This really does help them to be healthier and produce more flowers (and fruit).
~I had picked up creamers when they were on sale and put them in my freezer.  I was out this morning in the refrigerator so I went out to the freezer and grabbed one.  This saves me time and money!
~I enjoyed my coffee in a new mug that I got from the thrift store this week.  I love to use blue and white mugs in the Spring.
~Jeff and I both use fabric bags filled with rice and heated in the microwave a lot to help with muscle pain.  I got tired of having to go into the bathroom to get them so I moved them to a spot on top of the microwave so they are right there and ready whenever we need them.  Speaking of that, while getting the second load of laundry started, I realized that my muscles were once again screaming at me so one of those rice bags was heated up and used on my neck.  I need to dig out my eating pad for my back as that was aching too.
~My friend brought over some hemp oil lotion that she bought to see if it would help with my Fibromyalgia pain.  
~With Spring here I wanted to switch out my handbags so I went shopping in my closet and brought out one of my light pinkish purple handbags to use.  I also got out a different wallet that was also in my stash.  I love being able to just shop my closet for accessories. 😀

   Our oldest two grandsons, Bradley and Isaiah, will be here in a bit to spend the night with us and both Jeff and are are so excited.  It has been far too long since we had a sleepover with them, mainly due to my health.  I am finally feeling well enough again to be able to really enjoy them and be able to do things with them.💗 There is nothing that fills my "love tank" more than spending time with our grandchildren and children.  We have lots of frugal and fun things planned to do with them!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ramping Up and a Cute Distraction


   I could feel it when I got up this morning.  My anxiety and OCD started ramping up for no logical reason at all.  I knew I was going into a Fibro flare.  Then the IBS kicked in,,,,oh joy!  NOT!  I could not eat anything and it even took awhile to finish my coffee.  I watched some videos on YouTube, hoping it would get my mind off the flare.  No such luck.  I climbed into the shower and kept telling myself out loud to get it together and that I was fine...there was no reason to get all ramped up.  Did that work?  Nope.  Washing my hair hurt, washing my face hurt, my skin hurt.  Blow drying and brushing my hair hurt.  Every time the bristles of the brush (and I used the soft one) touched my scalp it felt like fingernails digging in and running their way down.  My styling brush was even worse.

   I dressed in the softest clothing I could find but had to put on a bra because a very cute little visitor was coming to hang out, along with his beautiful mommy, with Grammie for the morning.  The bra, one of the soft ones with no underwire hurt, the waistband of my softest jeans hurt against my skin, The Fibro rash on my face was flaring up too and even my hair touching my face made it itch and feel like little needles were touching it.  Then came the hot flashes...yes, those come with Fibro too.  It's like being in Menopause all over again.  Yuck!  I stepped outside in the cool air hoping that would help cool me down since these can last for hours.  I took a stroll around the garden to see how my roses had fared over the Winter and soaked in the beauty of the crocuses, grape hyacinths and snowdrops.

   After coming back inside, I took down the Christmas cards that were on the back of the front door (yes, I realize that it is now March) and threw out the paper ones, but kept the photo ones.  I then wrangled cats that are just a bit nuts today.  I folded up Caesar's quilt and put it off to the side so Steven would have more room to play and set up a folding tv tray in front of the pellet stove so he could not get to it and burn himself.  Knowing that my brain fog was bad today, I got out a bag of clothing for Steven that I had here for him so that I would not forget to give them to Rachel.  I looked at the front living room window with all the kitty nose prints and paw marks on it, knowing that it needed to be washed, but decided against doing that.  It was then that I hear Midgey scratching at the bedroom door wanting to be let out.  She had insisted on being in there with Jeff while he slept earlier.  The door usually is left open during the day but with Steven and Rachel coming, I had shut it so Jeff could get some good sleep.

   Rachel and Steven arrived shortly after that and being the sweetheart that she is, Rachel brought lunch with her for us.  Steven played, cuddled and then decided to grab Doofy cat.  Doofy swatted Steven without his claws out as a warning.  Apparently Steven did not learn his lesson and went after Doofy again, grabbing a fistful of hair on Doofy's side.  Steven now knows that kitties scratch if you do not head their warnings.  It was a rather painful lesson for Steven and Doofy to learn since now Doofy knows to stay away from the baby or he will grab you. Steven is sporting some scratches on his arm and hand.

    Josh called while they were here to tell me that the house they were trying to buy fell through.  He heads out tomorrow morning to drive to Vegas from the Washington DC area along with his cat.  They will be stopping along the way to stay with friends.  He now is scrambling to find a place for him, his girlfriend who will be joining him a week later, his cat and her dog.  He wants to find a furnished place that will rent month to month.  I put the word out to my friends in Vegas and they have been wonderful trying to help him.  Within minutes of my message, we started to get some leads.  I am thankful to have grown up with such amazing and wonderful people from Hawaii who will go the extra mile to help anyone who grew up in Hawaii or their is the Hawaiian way.

   Having Rachel and Steven here was the perfect distraction for me and I was sad to see them go but Rachel has a bible study group this afternoon.  She is hoping that Steven will get a nap before then, but if not, she will have to skip it.  He was more than ready to take a nap when they headed out.  We are praying that their home sells quickly and that they could possibly move out here for awhile.  We have a friend with a 1 bedroom apartment right down the street from us that they would love to move into.  Jaysn rented their other apartment years ago and I know they would love to have him back as a renter again.  I would love it too because I would have them very close and could spend lots of time with them and babysit when they needed me too without having to drive for half an hour or more to get there.

   I am feeling much calmer after having them here.  Sometimes focusing on the people I love most in the world is all I need to deescalate me when I am ramping up.  Cuddling with my youngest grandson, laughing with my Rachel are all wonderful distractions.  I just saw that my hanai sister is on here way here from Palm Springs and I am hoping that we can get together tomorrow at some point.  We have our oldest grandsons, Bradly and Isaiah, spending the night with us on Saturday and I'm sure they would love some Auntie time with her too. :)  I really do have so much to be thankful for in my life and one of the things that this illness, along with my others, is to try to focus on the good things and the stuff that really matters because my energy is so limited. So here is to family, furbabies, grandchildren and good friends who all bring me great joy, love and laughter.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/3-3/9 2018

Some thrift store finds!

   Again, late with this post.  We had a wonderful Friday and Saturday celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary! Saturday we were only able to do half of what we planned because of my limited energy and the pain in my back finally getting to be too overwhelming.  Both Sunday and Monday were spent recovering from having way too much fun and eating more than I usually do.  Even today, Tuesday, I am still in slug mode, but oh, it was so worth it! 😉 I wanted to thank everyone that took the time to comment and wish us well.  That was so sweet of you and it really touched my heart.  I have to admit to getting a bit teary eyed reading them today.  Onto the savings...

I have been looking all over for this book and finally found it at the Salvation Army thrift store.

~Saturday we went into town and had lunch at Subway.  They had some good specials and I was able to get a wrap, which cut way down on the carbs.
~A quick stop at Walmart surprised us with marked down Italian sausages.  We bought a package and I made them for dinner Sunday night along with some sweet potato fries.
~We also stopped at Goodwill where we found a toilet seat riser with grab bars.  Jeff got that installed with just one of the grab bars to make it easier to get on and off it in our small bathroom.
~We also found a Backgammon game, some Ziplock space bags, new left handed golf gloves for Jeff, and a pretty basket that is just the right size to fit our cloth napkins in but too small for the cats to fit in. 😉
~Jeff was able to borrow a truck from work to bring home another ton of pellets for our pellet stove.  He buys the pellets from his boss.  I am glad he put in the order a week ago because the supplier is now out of the red fir chips that he uses to make the pellets and does not know when he will be getting more.  It looks like there is going to be a huge shortage of pellets around here which means prices are going to go up too.

Roast Beef and Asparagus Roll Ups.

~Jeff tried to fix our old coffee maker that was brewing really slowly, but that did not work so we saved the carafe to donate, threw away the rest of it and then got our little 4 cup travel coffee maker out to use instead.
~After our trip to town, I was really tired and sore so we curled up in bed and watched 2 movies before going to sleep.
~Sunday was Bradley's birthday party and it was wonderful to see friends and family again!  After 2 hours though, I was again sore and tired so we came home and I got into my recliner until bed time.
~Monday I stayed home and worked on more laundry until I fell and hurt myself.
~Jeff headed in Monday morning to pick up some wood that was leftover from him building the stairs and redoing Jaysn and Rachel's back porch.  He thinks there is enough there to build most of our new front stairs with.
~He brought home Chinese food from the deli for us for lunch.  There was so much food that I had the second half of mine for dinner that night.

I loved this movie that we borrowed from the library.

~We got a refund check in the mail from our mortgage company.  We apparently overpaid by a little over $19 when we made our final payment.  Jeff cashed the check and that gave him some spending money to pick up coffee and things when he is driving for his job overnight.
~I caught up on some of my TV shows by watching them online.
~Jeff wanted some more bagels and I managed to find some in our freezer for him.  I also pulled out a big elk roast to start thawing.
~I borrowed the movie "Victoria and Abdul" from the library.
~Tuesday I printed off gift cards and some free item coupons.
~My phone was about out of minutes so I added a 60 minute phone card to it which tripled to 180 minutes. It also added text and data time.
~Our weather is warming up a bit, but I am still finding myself wearing a sweater or robe inside the house, along with house slippers, so I can keep the heat down.
~I had more Greek yogurt with a touch of agave and some fresh blueberries for breakfast.  Yummy, pretty, good for me and served in a glass fruit dish to make me feel special.
~Jeff picked up 2 bunches of bananas at .39 a pound on his way home from work.  This was the last day of the sale and we waited until today to get them since we still had a few left from our last shopping trip.

Squash casserole and leftover asparagus made for the perfect dinner.

~I had some tortillas and roast beef that needed to be used up so I made roast beef, cold grilled asparagus and cream cheese with onion and chives wraps for lunch. Oh my goodness was it ever good!  I served it with 2 tiny tangerines.  Who says you can't eat well on a budget?  That wrap would have cost at least $10 in a restaurant around here and I have never seen anyone use grilled asparagus in a wrap before.  I definitely will be doing it again however.
~Jeff and I watched the first episode of the current season of Survivor online
~Wednesday was another flare day so I did not get much done other than making my favorite squash casserole.
~Jeff and I hot tubbed and it felt really good!
~Thursday I was again dragging.  I did not sleep well and was having quite a bit of muscle stiffness and pain.  I did get 2 loaves of bread made and went over to take care of our neighbor's fur babies for her.
~We had leftovers for dinner.
~Jeff ran some errands in the town he had his bowling league in.

$2 for each of these seasons...what a deal!

~Friday was our 33rd Wedding anniversary and Jeff took the night off to spend it with me.  I just thought that was so sweet.  We agreed not to buy each other gifts ahead of time and to instead spend time together and see what the weekend brought.  The best present I could give him though was me feeling better and actually having some energy despite not sleeping well again on Thursday night.
~I got some coupons from Bath and Body Works in the mail.
~Jeff and I went out to an early dinner and then hit the Salvation Army thrift store.  I found some new puzzles,  Season 4 and 5 of a BBC series that I love ($2 each), Jeff found some pants and I found a shirt.
~We stopped at the Dollar Tree and picked up 4 bottles of laundry detergent.
~Jeff and I both could not finish our dinner from the restaurant so we brought the leftovers home and had them later that night.
~Shopko had some of their big totes on sale so we bought 5 of them to help organize this house.

These were $1 each at Dollar Tree.  I usually make my own laundry detergent but I think this actually came out to be cheaper.

   Our weather is finally starting to get better and it has helped with the pain, especially in my legs.  The cold just does a number on them so this is amazing.  I was even able to open up the sliding glass door to the porch yesterday, air out the house and enjoy the 68F temperatures.  Some of my crocuses are even up and blooming now!

Friday, March 9, 2018

He is still my Best Friend!

   Today Jeff and I celebrate 33 years of marriage!  We met when I was 19, officially started dating 6 months later when I was 20, got engaged on my 21st birthday and got married that following Spring.  Sometimes it just amazes me that the minute I met Jeff, I just felt this instant connection to him.  It only took us 6 months to run into each other again after that. 😉  From that moment on, we were a couple and spent every bit of time we could with each other.  Our relationship has always been built on the solid foundation of being friends first  From the very beginning, we could talk about anything and became each others biggest encourager, supporter, sounding board to bounce ideas off of.  No one knows us as well as we know each other.  We have shared our deepest secrets, fears, dreams, successes and sorrows together.  We are totally honest with each other and will let the other one know if we think that they could have handled something differently. 😉 We both have each other's backs and our love is, has and will always be unconditional.  Jeff has fully embraced my parents, brothers, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents as his own and they have done the same for him.  He shares a very special relationship with them and for that I am so thankful to him and to them.  He and  I also remain close to some of his cousins, one of my former sister in laws and her husband, and our oldest niece and her beautiful family.   We also love our youngest niece and hope that once she turns 18 and can make her own decisions in life, that we can rebuild our relationship with her.  They are all amazing people and we love them dearly.  We are choosing to focus on those that love and support us and not on the "the others".

   Jeff and I could have never imagined all those years ago the great joy of becoming parents and watching our children grow into the most amazing adults and start their own families.  Back then, being grandparents seemed to be so far off in the distant future but now here we are with a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 9 month old!  We now have these amazing daughters that came into our family when they married our boys and hope to add another one in the near future. 

   My husband is a gift, given to me by God.  He has and continues to stick by my side through my debilitating illnesses that have taken years to get a proper diagnosis on.  He has really stepped up and taken on more and more of the daily responsibilities of running our home and making it easier for me on a daily basis to be able to function here, especially on bad flare/crash days.  He drives me where I need to go most days, comes with me to my doctor's appointments, is there when I have had surgery, takes over anything and everything when I am having a rough day and is my best friend.  I could not love him more! 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy 6th Birthday Bradley!

    Today we celebrate and thank God for sending us this amazing kid!  Bradley started us on our journey to becoming grandparents and the beginning of this amazing new chapter in our lives.  He is smart, funny, loving, kind, sarcastic (how can he not be in this family 😉), strong willed, athletic, and an avid outdoorsman already.  He is fiercely protective of those he loves and is an amazing big brother to Isaiah and big cousin to baby Steven.  He has an understanding of the world far beyond his years.  He makes us laugh and also touches our hearts so deeply with his compassion for us and others.  We feel so blessed to be his Grammie and G-pa and can't wait to see all that he accomplishes in his life!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/24-3/2 2018


   I'm very late in posting this.  I had planned to do it on Monday after a busy weekend, but I ended up tripping over the dog and taking a fall, so I was not up to doing much yesterday afternoon or evening after that.  The dog is fine and so is the computer that I dropped when I fell.  I fell on my funny bone (that hurts) and elbow and also one knee.  The knee is doing pretty good, the elbow hurts and is sporting a bruise, my back and foot are tweaked and today my neck is also sore.  This, on top of the normal Fibro pain, is really limiting me at the moment.  Thank God I did not hurt Caesar or hurt myself any worse.  Onto the saving...

~Saturday Jeff and I made a run into Pullman and had lunch.  We also picked up a few things we needed at the Dollar Tree and then went to Palouse Treasures Thrift store. We made a game of it where we each had $10 and could only spend that much or less and if we wanted to spend more, we had to negotiate with the other person to get some of their money. 😉  We had a lot of fun and each got some things that we wanted.  I can't remember all Jeff's stuff but for me, I got a Nerf football for the grandkids (the cat destroyed the other one), 2 Williams and Sonoma cookbooks along with a India cookbook
, and a puzzle for the grandkids.  Our grand total came to a little over $14 so I think we did well indeed.
~Sunday we went to Moscow to hit Marshall's clearance sale where we found a nice sweater for Jeff, a new hair styling brush for me, a sleepshirt for me, some tea and some agave.
~While in town we hit Goodwill and found some clothes for Steven ($1 each since that colored tag was half off), a really soft shirt for me ($2), 2 mugs (one of which will be a gift), a nice brand new space heater for the garage and a good sized bag of Legos that will be part of Bradley's birthday gift.
~We stocked up on fresh produce at Winco since they had great prices on pears, asparagus, bananas, broccoli and we also got some milk and shrimp.
~Jeff and I watch the old classic Godzilla movie that we got at the thrift store last week.  I remember watching it as a child and call me hokey, but I still love those old movies and I still cheer for Godzilla! 😁

~Monday I cut Jeff's hair.  He no longer looks like a hermit that just came out of the woods.
~I started to do Yoga again this week using some DVDs I have here.  Boy am I sore.
~My DIL Heather and another friend suggested that I try to do yoga with this instructor via Youtube.
~Tuesday I checked out the upcoming grocery ads online that go into affect tomorrow.  There were only 2 items that interested me so Jeff will pick those up near the ned of the sale cycle since one of the items is bananas and we still have 2 bunches here.
~One of my dear friends was rushed to the hospital Monday night so I called around this morning to the hospitals trying to find her.  I finally reached her at home and am glad that she is doing so much better.  I had planned on going in to see her at the hospital today if she was still there.
~I did not sleep well at all Monday night so I took it easy on myself Tuesday.  I still ended up having a migraine, but I knew that something would happen due to my lack of always does.
~There was a documentary on Netflix about Charles the 8th that I watched and really liked.
~Jeff and I decided at the last minute, when he woke up in the afternoon, to go to a matinee movie.  We had been given gift cards for the theater for Christmas.  We had not had lunch so we bought sodas and popcorn and ended up spending $9 out of pocket for everything.  We really enjoyed the movie "Black Panther".
~I had won a free bagel or donut in the Safeway Monopoly game so I picked up a donut and Jeff and I split it.
~While in town, I picked up some zucchini  for .99 a pound.  I have been craving them like crazy lately.

~Jeff and I came home and had leftovers for dinner.
~Wednesday I went down to the library and borrowed another cookbook for the Instant Pot.
~I did the hot tub maintenance and saw that it needed more water so I added some and then laid the hose out in the driveway to drain so it would not freeze and then crack.
~Chopped up celery was added to the tuna salad to stretch it and make it more tasty.  I added a large stalk to a small can of tuna.  I also went light on the mayo since I am trying to eat a bit more healthy.
~I had a swagup 100 point bonus that I had to use by tomorrow so I cashed in for a $5 Texas Roadhouse gift card bringing my gifts cards for there up to $30.
~Jeff wanted to sell some bumper covers that he had in the garage so I got them listed online.
~While putting a bag full of Legos into a Glad container today I noticed that some of the parts were of one of the Star Wars plane kits.  Upon further inspection, I found lots of other cool kit parts too.  Our grandson Bradley is going to be thrilled with Grammie's $5.99 Goodwill find!
~Thursday was another stay at home day for me.  I worked on my points programs for a good portion of the day.
~Dinner that night was baked split chicken breasts with baked potatoes for Jeff and roasted asparagus for me as my side dish.  I am trying to avoid russet potatoes at the moment.
~Dessert that night was Greek yogurt with some agave to sweeten it and fresh blueberries.
~Friday we got more snow so I again stayed home.  The savings in gas is a good thing.
~Jeff needed more bread for sandwiches, so I baked him 2 more loaves.
~I was craving broccoli cheese soup so I quickly made some for lunch...YUM!
~A big salad was my choice for dinner and Jeff made himself grilled cheese sandwiches.
~Both Chris and Josh called and I had a nice visit with each of them.

   I still can't believe it is already Tuesday.  Today is a bright and sunny day and I am happy to see the sunshine.  I feel so badly for everyone that is dealing with the horrible storms in the midwest and back east.  My family members all escaped damage to their homes back east, but some of their neighbors were not so lucky.  Please keep everyone who has been affected by these storms in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Facing Reality and Planning for the Future

   Jeff and I sat down and had a heart to heart talk about aging, health, our future and things that need to be done to make this house work for our changing needs and stages in our lives.  We would love to be able to move to Idaho, but we have to be realistic at this time and figure that we will most likely be here for many more years, possibly for the rest of our lives.  With only one of us able to work outside the home and both of us having health issues (him with degenerative disk disease, foot problems and tendonitis), we have to face the facts that we cannot keep up on the gardens the way they are now, and the house needs some modifications to help me on those days when I am having trouble walking and climbing stairs.  I will never be healed of CFS and Fibromyalgia and find that as I age, things are getting worse, not better for me.  Now that our home is fully paid off, that leaves us some money to tackle some of the projects that have been put on hold.

   The first thing on the priority list to to rebuild the front steps coming into our home.  They are currently a one piece cement monstrosity that is crumbling.  The stair rise is also too high for me and for our youngest grandkids.  On days that I am in lots of pain, getting up or down those things is exhausting and painful.  I asked Jeff if when he tears out the old concrete ones, if he could change the rise of the stairs to make it easier for me and for the grandkids.  That will mean at least one more stair, but the rise will be shorter per stain and that will make it nicer for us all.  He offered to just put in a long ramp, but I told him I am not ready to admit total defeat yet. 😉 

   The next thing on our list to to redo the back screened in porch, tearing off the old plywood and, if we can swing it, redoing it with Trex Deck and also rebuilding the stairs up to it.  The ones there now are super thin and both Jeff and I have slipped on them in the past,  We used the porch about 8 months out of the year and I want it to be nice for us and our family (both human and furbabies).

   The third item on my list is the gardens.  It is getting harder for me to bend over to plant and harvest things.  My back freezes up and then spasms.  Weeding is extremely painful for me and Jeff has had to take over doing that.  He has back problems too.  What I proposed was that we put in raised beds where we can sit on the sides, to plant, harvest and even weed.  We will have walkways between the beds that are covered with a weed barrier and either gravel or wood chips.  This will cut the area that we have to weed way down also.  I would also like a small greenhouse to start things in and also extend the growing season.  As Jeff retires (in about 10 years), we are going to have to live on much less income so I am looking forward to ways to help cut our cost and growing more of our own food is a good and healthy way to do so.

   Pets...we love our fur babies and they are part of our family, but they can be expensive.  Caesar is HUGE and eats a lot.  Our 3 cats are on an expensive food due to Doofy's allergies and go through a lot of cat litter.  Before I go on, let me say that we are not planning on giving away any of them.  This is their forever home and I hope they will be with us for a good long time to come.  Realistically though, as they pass away, I am thinking that we may not get another dog, as much as I love having one.  Caesar is a lot of work and needs to be walked, makes a huge mess of the backyard and produces a lot of dog messes that need to be cleaned up.  Jeff is the one who has to handle that and I would like to make it so he does not have to do that after Caesar is gone.  I am also thinking 2 cats would be reasonable since they could keep each other company and do not require as much work as a dog.  That would also leave us free to go somewhere overnight, just setting out extra food and water, whereas right now we have to hire someone to come in and take care of our fur baby tribe due to the dog's needs.

   I know that we are also going to have to add "grab bars" to the walls in our bathroom as this is also becoming an issue for me on some days.  It will also make it easier for my father when he visits on those days when he is having a rough time. He has come back so far from his stroke, but on days when he is tired, he needs some extra help too.  He and my mother come and stay with us at least twice, if not more, a year so I want everything in place for him as well as for Jeff and I.

   Carpets still need to be ripped out and replaced in all 3 bedrooms and I am hoping our boys can help with that huge project.  We have the carpet but just have not had the time or manpower to get it all done.  All the furniture needs moved out, carpets ripped up, floors sealed and then new padding and carpet installed.  We may just have to hire someone to do the carpets and I just have the kids help us move all the furniture out to the porch and then back in again when the weather is good.  I can't lift any of the stuff anymore and Jeff should not try to do it all by himself.

   So there is my list so far.  Not all of these things will be done right away.  The stairs do have to get done this Spring or Summer though, for safety reasons if nothing else.  Between aging, health and finances, we have to prioritize big time.   It will get done, slowly but surely.



Monday, February 26, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/17-2/23 2018

Our now 9 month old youngest grandson Steven, who we spent Sunday afternoon/evening with.

   We had lots of snow and bad roads this past week and the weather was not kind to my Fibromyalgia at all.  I spend a good part of the week flaring, which limited what I was able to do and I did find myself in bed several times during the day.  Despite that, I did try to find ways to save money and still have some fun.

A nice salad made with cabbage, peppered turkey, and other goodies.

~Saturday Jeff and I made a run into town to deposit his paycheck, pick up a few things and to get our grandson Steven to bring him home with us.  The weather was horrible and so were the roads.  We ended up not getting the baby (but rescheduled to watch him at their house on Sunday) and that was probably a very good thing since I was having a really bad Fibro flare.  I had a really hard time even walking and had to hold onto the shopping cart to just keep going.  Even that hurt like crazy. We came home and I went to bed for most of the afternoon.
~We watched the movie "The Holiday" while curled up in bed.  I love that movie!
~Dinner was a frozen pizza that we had picked up on sale at Safeway last month.

Udon noodle soup.

~Sunday Jeff worked on laundry and some cleaning in the morning while I rested and got caught up on blogging and email.  I was feeling better than I had been on Saturday, but still felt weak and sore.
~We headed in Sunday afternoon to watch our grandson Steven while his parents went on a date.  He was having a grand time until he started to run a fever and got really fussy.  He fell asleep in my arms twice and the second time, after we got him fed and in jammies, he fell asleep for the night.
~Monday I had a doctor's appointment at 9 a.m..  The roads were bad so we gave ourselves and hour to get there.  We had to plow through snow drifts which put me on edge.  Our poor doctor had car trouble (due to the weather) and then had horrible roads, so he was over an hour late getting there and we were the first appointment of the day.  We finally headed home around 10:35 after my appointment and hit drifts again.  By the time we got home, I was in another Fibro flare due to the stress of being on those roads.  Every muscle in my body hurt, along with my head, so I went to bed for 2 hours.

Some thrift store finds.

~My doctor recommended that I try taking Tylenol Arthritis on those nights that I am unable to sleep due to pain.  He said it was a time released medication so that should help.  I got to thinking about how Tylenol does not help so I'm not sure if this would help or not.
~I used our hot tub in the early evening trying to get my muscles to stop hurting.  Although the hot water felt wonderful, I was still really sore.

Homemade quick pickles.

~I made a big salad with cabbage, peppered turkey, pepperoncini, feta cheese and some olive oil and rice vinegar.  It was really good.  I'm trying to eat healthier upon my doctor's advice.
~Tuesday was another Fibro flare day...I am getting really fed up with these flares.  I did manage to work on my points programs since I could do that while I was in my recliner.
~Again, craving comfort food, I made a sour cream and noodle dish for dinner and also made some quick pickles to go with it.

Sour cream and noodle skillet meal.

~Wednesday I did battle with a billing company who screwed up royally and cost us big time.  They sent in the wrong codes to the insurance company so something that was supposed to be covered in full ended up costing us money.  They are now sending us back our check (after threatening to send us to collections because they waited a year to send us the bill) and hopefully this will be the end of it.
~I made some Udon Noodle soup with Kamaboko (fish cake) and Napa Cabbage for lunch.  This is pure comfort food from my childhood. 
~Jeff and I ran into town to do some grocery shopping (since the check was being sent back and had not been cashed by the billing agency, we still have that money in our account) and also hit Goodwill.  I found a lightweight Summer pajama gown and robe set that I used the 20% off coupon that I had on, some Scentsy melts (.99 each), some safety latches (.99), socks and a old Godzilla movie on BluRay that I remember watching as a child.  I love old Godzilla movies.  Jeff found a long sleeved moisture wicking shirt and a CD.

More thrift store finds.

~I borrowed a movie and 3 books from the library.
~Two more loaves of bread were made using the bread flour that Rachel gave me.  Hubby prefers my white bread to whole grain breads that I have to buy.  This is an area that I am more than willing to compromise on.
~Thursday I pulled some homemade chicken noodle soup out of the freezer so we could have that and/or leftovers for dinner.
~Since I have to have good whole grain breads right now to eat and I won't finish the loaf before it goes bad, I am storing it in the freezer and just taking out what I need when I need it.
~Friday I stayed home and worked on my points programs.

New to me pajama set.

   I know I have been days late posting my Frugal Friday Wrap Ups but I am learning that weekends are generally not the time I want to post much.  I try to keep that time open to spend with my hubby and family and would much rather concentrate on them and not my blog.  Family first always!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bitterly Cold, Snowdrifts and a Very Sore Body

   It is bitterly cold here.  The picture above is what the temperature currently is as I type this post up.  It was -7F last night when I headed to bed.  I think we may have broken some records for the low temperatures for this date.  The pellet stove ran almost continuously last night even when set at 60F.    Thank goodness it is due to warm up here soon and we should be hit by another snowstorm on Friday.  Not sure I am happy about the snowstorm, but I will welcome warmer temperatures.

   Yesterday I had an early morning doctor's appointment and had to be there by 9 a.m..  We left an hour before we were due there (it usually takes half an hour to get there in good conditions).  I'm glad we left really early because the roads were bad, as in scary bad.  We had to plow through snowdrifts and by the time we got to the doctor's office, I was starting to have another Fibro flare.  Yuck!  My poor doctor had car trouble due to weather and then hit bad roads as well.  He was over an hour late getting in to the office so by the time he saw us, and we were the first appointment of the day, we had been waiting in the exam room for over an hour.  He felt bad for getting there so late and we felt bad for him for having such a rough start to the day.

   We went over my test results and how I was doing on the new meds.  He was really impressed with how well I handled the transition to the new meds.  We talked diet due to me being prediabetic.  We also talked about my Fibro pain and trying something new for that and he told me to tell other people "NO" more often.  Jeff and I reassured him that I do say no a lot and that our kids, close relatives and friends are all very supportive and understanding.  I have another follow up appointment in 3 months to see what progress I have made on getting myself back into the normal and non prediabetic range.

   By the time we got home from my appointment I was in full on flare mode.  I hurt everywhere and had to head to bed for a couple of hours.  Even sitting up was, and still is, painful.  I tried hot tubbing seeing if that would help, I tried Tylenol...nothing touched the pain.  Saturday had been a similar day of flares and pain.  Sunday was a milder edition of a flare and I rested in the morning so I could help care for our youngest grandson in the afternoon/evening.  I came home worn out and sore from that but happy to have gotten to spend the time with him.  I was glad to be there to comfort him as he was not feeling well and spent quite a bit of time sleeping while curled up in my arms.  I realize how precious that time is and how sometimes, when you are a baby, you just need Grammie snuggles to make you feel safe and help calm you so you can sleep.

   So here we are today and I am still in a flare.  I'm trying to get a few things done like my laundry, blogging, and a few other smaller projects.  My body is screaming at me to just lay down but I am feeling the need to get things done because not doing so is causing anxiety for me.  I'm trying to find that balance between listening to my physical body and not causing anxiety due to things not getting done around here.  It's like walking on a tightrope and being so tense because you are afraid to fall.  Anyway, my laundry is calling me to get it folded and then I will rest for awhile.  I promise.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/10-2/16 2018


   Here it is the end of another frugal week.  That goodness we paid off our home because we have a bill from last January (yes a year ago) from the hospital that finally came in and has to be paid in full now.  That leaves us with under $100 for the next 2 weeks after all the bills are paid.  I am very thankful for a deep pantry and 2 big freezers full of food.  In other news, I got the results of my blood work back and I don't have Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, but did show signs in the high "normal" range of inflammation (due to Fibromyalgia so that was expected) and I am also PreDiabetic.  I have been there before and can get my numbers back down through diet and walking.  Coming off the holidays where I over indulged in way too many sweets and rich foods, this also does not surprise me.  Onto the frugal doings...

Scrapple and apples.

~Saturday morning I really needed to get out of the house for awhile so Jeff and I decided to go and do something on our "bucket list".  He had not been to Palouse Falls before even though he was raised in this area.  We stopped at Subway, bought 2 of their $4.99 footlong sandwiches and headed out.  We had a very cold picnic overlooking the roaring falls and even made friends with a groundhog.
~After being out in the cold, we wanted to get some coffee to warm up so we headed to Dayton, WA to a bakery there.  They closed early so we decided to just head down to Walla Walla, WA and went to the Goodwill store there.  I found another pair of my favorite brand of jeans, 2 shirts, a Wedgewood plate, and Jeff found a shirt and a golf club cover for his driver.
~We stopped at a convenience store on the way back home and grabbed some coffee and something to eat out of the hot deli case.
~Sunday we stayed home for the day and napped...oh it was lovely!
~We watched the movie "Old Dogs" that we already had here on DVD.
~Hot tubbing was a really nice way to round out the night.
~Monday Jeff and I headed into town to buy a new kitchen faucet to replace our's that was leaking.  Jeff found one on sale and got it installed before he had to to to bed in the afternoon.
~I picked up a few items at the Dollar Tree while Jeff went to the pet store to get more cat food for the kitties.
~Caesar and I managed to get a short walk in.
~Jeff was in need of more bread for sandwiches so I made 2 loaves for him.
~Scrapple has been on the menu for weeks now and I finally got around to making some.
~I'm layering up even in the house since the weather has gotten really cold again.
~We had leftover meatloaf and corn bread for dinner.  It really hit the spot and I needed the room in my refrigerator. ;)
~Tuesday started off as a beautiful sunny but cold day.  I got the hot tub maintenance done so that we could enjoy a good long soak later.
~We were running low on my homemade pancake mix so I got more of that made.
~I had not planned on washing all the living room throws, but Patches decided to hack up a rather large hairball on my favorite throw (which I found when I went to cover myself up with it...YUCK) so all the throws went into the washer.

Lamb chops and roasted russet and sweet potatoes.

~I got the last package of marked down lamb chops out of the big chest freezer to thaw for dinner on Wednesday night.
~With us expecting a big snowstorm to hit in the early morning hours Wednesday, I tried to renew a movie I borrowed from the library (that was due Wednesday) online.  It did not allow me to do that so I threw on a long winter coat over my nightgown, some shoes and drove down the 5 blocks to drop the movie off in the drop box so I did not get any late fines.  Luckily I live in a very small town where the sidewalks roll up early on school nights so no one else was out and about.
~Thursday was Valentine's Day and I wanted to do something special for Jeff.  I got a beautiful card out of my card stash for him and then made a really nice dinner of lamb chops, a Romaine salad (he actually threw that together for me) and roasted garlic russet and sweet potatoes.  Neither one of us likes to go out for Valentine's Day because the restaurants are noisy and packed, and they frequently raise their prices with their "special menus" for that night.  I can make us a really nice dinner that we enjoy for a fraction of the cost and hassle.
~Jeff took my car to work that evening because of the road conditions.  We did not want him to get in an accident or slide off the road.
~I again worked on my points programs.
~Thursday I had the leftover roasted potatoes, along with some cheese for lunch.
~Jeff picked up my thyroid medication and it is finally back down to just $4 for a 1 month supply.  Yay!
~Friday it snowed again so I spent the morning enjoying that and working on laundry and watching videos on YouTube from Our Half Acre Homestead.  Bev has wonderful videos on how to make tons of stuff from scratch, gardening, home butchering, and lots of other ways to live frugally.  She also has Fibromyalgia so I can also relate to her on that level too.
~I went through my piles of free magazines and got caught up on some of my reading.
~One of the Facebook groups that I am on, Fibro Society, recommended a movie on Netflix called "Unrest" that documents the lives of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I could see so much of myself in it and was also very thankful to live in a country where we are not forcefully removed from our homes and put in mental institutions because people mistakenly think it is a mental disorder.

Shrimp Yaki Soba

   Not many pictures this week because I was being very lazy about taking any.  Sorry about that.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Palouse Falls


   Jeff and I took a day trip down to Palouse Falls on  Saturday.  It is about an hour's drive from our home and Jeff, having lived in this area for all of his life (other than a 6 year detour in Oregon), had never been to them.  The falls were formed by the ice age Glacial Lake Missoula.

About 12,000 years ago, the valleys of western Montana lay beneath a lake nearly 2,000 feet deep. Glacial Lake Missoula formed as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet dammed the Clark Fork River just as it entered Idaho. The rising water behind the glacial dam weakened it until water burst through in a catastrophic flood that raced across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington toward the Pacific Ocean. Thundering waves and chunks of ice tore away soils and mountainsides, deposited giant ripple marks, created the scablands of eastern Washington and carved the Columbia River Gorge. Over the course of centuries, Glacial Lake Missoula filled and emptied in repeated cycles, leaving its story embedded in the land.
Flood Facts:
  • The ice dam was over 2000 feet tall.
  • Glacial Lake Missoula was as big as Lakes Erie and Ontario combined.
  • The flood waters ran with the force equal to 60 Amazon Rivers.
  • Car-sized boulders embedded in ice floated some 500 miles; they can still be seen today!


   We stopped on the way to pick up some of the $4.99 footlong sandwiches from Subway and had a picnic right on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the falls.  It was a really cold day but the sun was out and there were lots of people there hiking down to the top of the falls.  We even made a friend (a groundhog).  It was a beautiful way to spend part of the day.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.