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. :)












Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Stop the Political Madness Already!




   Our mailbox has been stuffed full, our phone seemed to be ringing non stop (until we got rid of the land line) and even YouTube has been airing political ads.  Facebook has become a "war zone" with friendships being torn apart, more "F bombs" being dropped,  etc.  Twitter is filled with so many hateful things being said.  It feels like a repeat of what we saw leading up to the Presidential election 2 years ago only this time it is worse and what makes it sad is that I thought it couldn't get any worse than it was then.  Thank goodness today is the "official" election day in my state. Maybe a small portion of it will stop.

   I was hoping that we would be getting a total break from all the madness tomorrow but I know that is not going to happen.  Every day it seems that there is something else going on.  Protests are far from "peaceful".  Trash is left everywhere after "marches" or "occupations" and cost taxpayers thousands, if not more, of dollars to clean up.  People are still being denied service at restaurants and chased down by other people who do not agree with their political views but who obviously have never been taught manners and that the quickest way to shut down any kind of discussion is to start yelling at someone and not be willing to at least be civil and act like a reasonable adult.  Name calling by all sides is childish and does not get us anywhere.  The hypocrisy is staggering!  

   Here's the deal...if you want something to change, then you need to do something constructive and not destructive.  Instead of protesting everything, get involved in your community feeding the homeless.  Take back your communities from crime...become a police officer, form a neighborhood watch association, don't protect criminals.  Communities can come together and raise money for scholarships to help young people go to college or trade schools based on merit and need.  Instead of feeling like you have to counter protest something, just stay away so that it does not get the massive media coverage that the group you don't agree with is seeking and bonus, that should lessen the violence and property destruction that seems to come with these protests.  Make your neighborhoods, towns and cities attractive to new businesses and support the local mom and pop places too.  Get to know your neighbors and find common ground, even if you do not agree on everything.  It's hard to hate on someone who you have shared a nice chat over the fence with, shared a meal with, and so on.  If you don't like a business for whatever reason, just don't patronize it. No need to stage a full out national boycott.  My husband and I have chosen not to support several businesses in the surrounding area with our hard earned dollars because of our personal beliefs and/or bad experiences with them.  We are not out there vandalizing them, screaming at people who are choosing to go there or surrounding and harassing them.

   Please please please people, for the love of all that is good, stop with the madness already!

   

   

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Two Week Frugal Friday Edition

   



   So this wrap up is going to be a little different as in I forgot to start keeping track of things until Tuesday night of the first week.  Time kind of got away from me, the heat turned my brain into mush and there were a couple of days when just walking up and down the hall took all my energy and strength for the most part.  I'm trying to keep as cool as possible by staying in the house and using the swamp cooler in the afternoons and into the evening before switching over to just venting in the cooler night air around 11 p.m. or later and then shutting that down around 6 a.m. before it starts to heat up again.  Luckily Jeff gets home around that time in the morning, so he can just shut the swamp cooler down and I can sleep.  My poor garden has been taking a huge hit with the heat though and some of the plants are burning up no matter how much I soak them at night. 😟  So here is my list as best as I can remember it...




~I've been watering the gardens in the evening and trying to give them a good soaking.
~Swagbucks is running in the background most of the time when I am watching TV so that I can get those points.
~Jeff and I hit the Dollar Tree and found marked downs there.  We got 3 packs of Cracker Jacks for .50 (we got 2 of those and they will be part of a gift bucket that we are giving Isaiah for his birthday), Snickers with Almonds fun packs for .50 each (got 3 of those)and we also bought 2 DVDs,
~Safeway had their Powerades on sale for .48 each so I bought the limit of 10.  They were also clearancing a bunch of products that had packaging changes or were items that they were no longer going to stock.  We got whole grain pastas for .58 and .48 each, eucalyptus essential oil for $3,  and organic baby food pouches for .58 each (Steven loves these and they are great to take when we go somewhere with him).  We also picked up a 12 pack of flavored seltzer water for .99 and a 24 pack of bottled water for $1.89.
~We used a gift card that Jaysn and Rachel gave me for my birthday to go and see the movie "Equalizer 2" and did splurge on popcorn and drinks.  It cost us $12 out of pocket after the gift card but it was sure fun to go and sit in a cool and dark theater on a blistering hot day and just get lost in a movie while munching on popcorn. 😉



~I started a second big mason jar full of homemade raspberry infused gin with more raspberries from our garden.
~We needed something quick for dinner one night so I made a white sauce, put cut up smoked ham in it and then served that over leftover warmed up rice and some precooked smoked buffalo chicken strips.  It was really good!
~More raspberries were frozen.
~I've been picking peas, blueberries and some cherry tomatoes from the garden.
~Some red peppers that were getting to the end of the shelf life were cut up and frozen.
~We were in need of more maple syrup so I got more of that done.



~We are trying to finish eating the rest of the lettuce I harvested from the garden.
~Tuesday I made a nice Greek yogurt sauce with minced green onions, celery salt, diced red peppers and diced celery and mixed that up with some cubed and cooked red potatoes to make a rather delicious potato salad.  The plan was to serve it with ham steaks that night but Jaysn came up and asked if they could BBQ hot dogs and sausages at our place and if we could all have dinner together.  Rachel has also made a blackberry cobbler with berries they had picked down at the river earlier in the morning.  We had a nice family dinner and they were thrilled that I had made potato salad and I was thrilled they were doing the rest of the cooking.
~Jeff cleaned out the glasses and mugs cabinet.  We set some of the larger mugs aside for Heather that Jeff did not use and packed others away to sell at our yard sale this coming weekend.
~I consolidated all of my cupcake and candy making paper products into one large glass jar.  It looks really cute and it takes up less space and keeps them all hand and ay from dust.
~I made 2 loaves of bread and some lemon poppy seed muffins.



~Saturday of the first week Isaiah had his birthday party down at a lake about 2 hours from us.  We took a pasta salad down to share and had a wonderful visit with Heather's grandparents Carl and Sandra.  They are such sweet people.  We ended up not staying for dinner because it was just too hot.  Jeff and I stopped and had dinner on the way home and I ended up bringing a good portion of my dinner home with me and had that for a meal a day later also.
~Jeff got some free wood chips for our garden.  Hopefully that will help not only to keep moisture in the soil, but also build the soil up over the colder months.
~With a Excessive Heat Warning hitting us for 2 days, I cooked up 3 boneless chicken breasts in the Instant Pot and made it into cold chicken salad.  I added curry and some crasins to a portion of it...yum.  This made for 4 meals for us!
~I've been watching the ads carefully and uploading digital coupons to my Safeway card to take advantage of some of the incredible deals they have had lately, including free items.
~The raspberry plants are coming to the end of their fruit production for this Summer but we are continuing to pick what is out there along with a few blueberries also.



~The library has been a wonderful source for free books and movies yet again.
~My cousin Jeremy stopped by for a quick visit and it was so good to see him again,
~We have been going through things and getting them ready to put in Jeremy's new resale store that he is opening.  We have furniture, china, glassware, and vintage linens so far for him.
~I cashed in at Swagbucks for a $25 Walmart gift card.
~I went searching for ink for my printer online at Walmart.com and found it was cheaper to replace my printer with an all in one printer/scanner/copier that came with ink than just to get the ink for my printer.  Walmart did not have the exact model in the store that I saw online but one that was similar so they price matched it for me.  Jeff and I used the Walmart gift card I got through Swagbucks and purchased the printer/scanner/copier to $19 on sale along with a container of kitty litter.  Both were free after the gift card.  We had been wanting a copier and scanner again for us and for the kids to use so this worked out perfectly!
~We were able to get a free product worth $6.99 from Safeway with their digital coupon.  They were out of the second free item so we will check again this weekend to see if they got any more of that item in.  They also had Gatorade for .49 for your first 8 so we stocked up again.  Greek yogurt was marked down to half price so I bought all the key lime ones they had since that is Steven and my favorite.
~Rachel gave me some more of the chickpea curry that she makes and I gave her 2 large squash from the garden.
~Rachel has been picking and freezing raspberries from the garden for Heather.



~Jeff's work clothes laundry has been hung outside to dry.  We do his work laundry separately from the rest of the laundry since he sweats so much in it.
~Steven has been coming up to play here since it is cooler in our house and there is more room to run around.  Wednesday it had even cooled down enough in the early evening that he could be outside in the backyard again so we got out the huge fire truck and riding John Deer tractor for him.  He took great delight in filling up the fire truck with dirt. 😁 Steven also had dinner with us and loved the chow mein noodles, key lime yogurt and cheese stick that we gave him.
~Thursday night Jeff and I each made a homemade personal pizza.  I used fresh basil from the garden on mine.  I had leftover sauce so I froze it for a future meal.
~I had the chickpea curry for lunch...so good!
~We SKYPEd with Josh and Lauren.  I love being able to actually see their faces when we talk and they showed us the new patio furniture they just got.
~My neighbor and I had a really nice visit under the shade of our apple tree on Thursday afternoon.
~I was having some sinus issues so I used my Neti pot to help clean out my sinuses.  We live in farm country where there is lots of dust in the air, the pollen counts have been high and we have had some smoke blow in from forest fires.
~I was also having some problems with inflammation in my gums so I swished with equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide for a minute.  DO NOT SWALLOW this combination.  Spit it out and then rinse your mouth out with water.
~I had some leftover sesame chicken that was not enough for a meal so I decided to stretch it by adding some yellow squash to it from our garden.  Perfect, healthier and yummy!
~Blueberries and raspberries from the garden made for a really nice snack before bedtime.
~Steven enjoyed taking a bath up at Grammie's since we have the deep soaking bath and lots of bath tub toys!




   Saturday is our town wide yard sale and if I get up in time, I will go out and look around for a bit.  We have a company party at a water park in the afternoon/evening about an hour south of us that our kids and grandkids will be joining us for so that should be fun. :)  Be blessed!




Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sometimes We All Need a Break

      


   I know that I have not been online much visiting my blogging friends.  The hot weather has my sleep cycle messing up big time.  Yes, it was screwed up before, but now it is even worse.  Instead of fighting it, I've just been going with the flow.  I've been getting to sleep about 4 in the morning and sleeping until 10 a.m. for the most part.  Some days it is more, some days it is less.  It is not restful sleep by any means, but I'll take what I can get. 😉

   I will totally admit that when the temperatures heat up, my motivation to do much of anything goes straight out the window.  I used to feel terribly guilty about that, but have learned that all that does is stress me out even more.  I'm giving myself the gift of just taking a break from almost everything and just doing whatever my body and mind feel like and can actually do for the day.

   Yesterday was actually a "good day" and I made the last minute decision to drive Rachel and Steven in to drop off the keys to one of their vehicles that was having trouble at the repair shop instead of just loaning her my car.  Since it was Monday, we decided to stop at the Goodwill also to find Steven some more clothes.  They had just changed over the half off color tag of the week the day before and we could also use my 20% off senior discount.  We found him some cute shirts and shorts, Rachel found some Lularoe things for her and I found a dvd series set, a beautiful Brighton wallet and a night light thing for Steven.  While in town, we also stopped at Winco to pick up a few groceries before heading home.  

   Today is a slow day...one where my mind is not clear like it was yesterday.  This is a day where I would not trust myself to drive my car, even just a few blocks.  We have high heat outside along with haze from the fires burning south of us.  The swamp cooler is going and keeping us cool inside though.  I am so thankful that we cannot smell the smoke or I would not be able to use the swamp cooler and that would make it miserably stuffy, hot and uncomfortable in here.  I'm staying inside until later this evening when things cool down and then I will go out and water the gardens.  

   Sometimes we all just need a break.  It is good for us to give ourselves permission to take some time to just go with the flow and not feel guilty about it.  It is a time of refreshing, healing and practicing "self care".  I used to be such a "Type A" person and had a hard time now learning to accept my limitations without feeling guilty about it.  I still have my moments of self doubt, anger and mourning the "old me", but for the most part, I am learning to just go with the flow because there are so many things that are beyond my control.  Life for me is better this way and one that my doctor has been advising me to live for quite awhile now.  I feel calmer and actually more in control of my life this way if that makes any sense at all.  

   Jeff should be getting up here soon so I will end this post so I can spend time with him before he has to head back out into this heat wave again tonight for work.  God bless that man of mine for being so hard working, caring, protective and supportive of me.  He fully encourages me to do whatever I need to do to be the best me I can be on any given day or even moment to moment.  Yesterday he was excited for me that I was having such a rare good day where I had energy and a clear head and that I could go and spend the afternoon with Rachel and Steven running errands.  He also understood when I got home and it had all caught up with me and I needed to rest.  I am blessed!

   

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Happy 5th Birthday to our Grandson Isaiah!





     Happy Birthday to our amazing middle grandson Isaiah!  



    Isaiah is kind, loving, goofy and looks up to his big brother Bradley.  He loves his baby cousin Steven beyond words and is so good with him.  He still enjoys cuddling with Grammie and G-pa, something that thrills us to no end and has lots of questions that he talks over with us.  



   This boy loves pancakes, raspberries, dressing up as his favorite superheros, building with Legos, going on hikes, hunting with his daddy, cooking with his mom, swimming, and riding his bike.  He is also a very good fisherman who usually out catches everyone else in the family. We think he takes after his great grandpa Fred with his love of fishing.


   Happy Birthday Isaiah!  Grammie and G-pa are so proud of you and love you beyond words!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 7/14-7/20 2018




~Saturday we had Isaiah spend the night with us.  We picked raspberries, made pizza for dinner, watched a movie and he hot tubbed with G-pa.  It was so much fun to have him here with us!
~Sunday morning, Isaiah and I picked more raspberries and Jeff made us pancakes for breakfast.  Isaiah took the raspberries he picked home to share.
~Jeff and I went to Goodwill and got the following for $16.00.  A bottle of Shea Moisture body wash (all organic and fair trade for) retails for $5.99, 2 J Jill shirts retails for $69 and $50 each, 2 Scentsy plug in wall units retail for $20 each, and a cookbook that retails for $9.99.  Total cost retail would have been $174.98 for all that!


~We also stopped at the Dollar Tree to get a few things and got 15% off since it was their customer appreciation day.
~Jeff found a new series to watch on Netflix that we are enjoying.
~Dinner was leftovers.
~Monday we had to run and get Jeff's paycheck, deposit it, pay bills and do some shopping.  We went to the Dollar Tree in that town (had been at the one in the other town we shop in also the day before) and found that they had pickle relish with 45% more in the jars than I can get at other stores.  I picked up 2 jars and that should last us for the rest of the year. They also had their garden seeds for .10 each pack.  I picked up some peas and radishes for our Fall garden.


~Thank you to Anne from Flathead Lake  for suggesting the Elete electrolyte drops instead of drinking Gatorade.  I ordered some online through Swanson Vitamins and used a 10% discount code.  My son Jaysn and I are both going to use it and see if it works for us.  I did buy the "refill" bottle because it came out way cheaper per use that way.
~We also picked up some cheap gin so I was able to start a large jar of raspberry gin again using fresh raspberries from our garden.  That stuff is soooooo good!
~Walmart had more of their deli lunch meat marked down so I grabbed another package of turkey an threw it in the freezer one I got home.  I am trying to stock up when it is on sale and take a package out a week to use.  When it is hot outside like it is right now I tend to not cook as much.


~I got some raspberry juice on one of my favorite shirts and quickly washed the spot with Dawn dishwashing soap and it came right out.
~Swagbucks has been running in the background (the encraves) whenever they are available and I think about it.  It's an easy way to get more points.
~The library finally got the movie "I Can Only Imagine" in for me.
~Our oldest son Jaysn came up and did some trouble shooting on my cell phone for me.  It has been using all my data up even though I have not been accessing anything.  He has it straightened out now and even set up my voice mail for me.  He can figure just about anything out if it has to do with computers, cell phones, etc..  Thank you Jaysn!


~I made au gratin potatoes with smoked turkey that I had cubed up and froze at Christmas.  The smoked turkey was a gift from one of the people my husband delivers to on his route and who he also happened to grow up with.
~Tuesday I harvested a bunch of lettuce from the garden before it went to bolt and got that washed up and put in the fridge.
~I mended my favorite pair of soft black athletic pants.


~Jeff had been requesting that I make his favorite tuna pasta salad so I did make that in the afternoon before retreating once again to my recliner.
~I had too many noodles for the salad alone so I made a quick cheese sauce and made homemade mac and cheese with the excess noodles, topped that with some Panko breadcrumbs and stuck it in the oven to be ready when Jeff got up in the afternoon.
~I watched a bunch of videos on Youtube about saving money and learned some new skills in the process.  I love building up different skills and learning new ways to do things.
~I read a short story online.


~Swagbucks was run in the background once again so I could earn points there and I tried to catch as many of the special codes available also.
~Jeff picked up some bread, cheese and chicken that was on sale at the grocery store that he drives by daily.  The chicken was .99 a pound for chicken thighs, $4.49 for a 2 pound block of cheese and .89 for bread.  I'll be making baked chicken later in the week for dinner when Chris comes over for dinner and to do a ride along with his dad one night.
~Wednesday I borrowed 2 more movies from the library.
~I harvested a large mixing bowl full of raspberries along with some blueberries and strawberries.


~We had leftovers for dinner.
~Thursday we checked and found out my health insurance was going up to $600 a month.  OUCH!  We had to figure out a way to pay for the extra expense so we dropped our home phone line (we do have cell phones but our reception can be spotty) and had Jaysn come over and sinc our phones up with our internet in the house.
~We also are dropping one of Jeff's lower payout life insurance policies (he still has his high payout one).
~I took advantage of a free magazine offer that I can donate to the library.
~Our son Chris came over for dinner so I made elk meatloaf with Yoshida's sauce, rice and a salad (lettuce from our garden).  We had poundcake with the choice of chocolate sauce or berry sauce (that I made from our raspberries and strawberries). I cooked extra rice for a few more meals.


~Jeff helped Chris change out a part on his car.
~I watered the gardens in the evening.
~Another gallon ziplock bag full of raspberries were frozen.
~We went over our wants vs our needs clothing wise and both of us are fine for awhile.  We buy most of our things from the thrift store anyway to save money but at this point, we are okay.
~Not much going on Friday...dealing with a flare so I went nowhere.
~I did manage to pick some lettuce and peas from the garden.













Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Prioritizing When You Don't Have Much Oomph



   Today is one of those days when I just don't have much "oomph".  Yesterday I could feel a flare coming on in addition to already battling some other infections at the moment and this morning well...

  I had a long "to do" list for today and was supposed to watch Steven while Jaysn and Rachel went to a movie this afternoon.
I crawled out of bed around 9:30 and knew I was in trouble.  Time to prioritize.

   I got one load of laundry going and found that lifting my arms up straight out in front of me was really painful.  I realized at that moment that taking care of an active toddler was not in the cards today.  I love Steven with all my heart and spending time with him is one of my favorite things in the world, but I just could not do it today.  I called Jaysn to let him know.  By the time I hung up the phone, I was close to tears because I felt so bad for letting the kids down.  Jaysn was great about it but I still felt awful.

   I had lettuce in the garden that needed to be harvested this morning so I got myself dressed in a very soft long sleeveless dress and headed out to the garden.  I harvested 3 kinds of lettuce, got that washed and then put away.  By this time I was spent.  I grabbed a cup of coffee and settled into my recliner after I got the laundry into the dryer (no hanging it out on the line today for me).  And here I sit.

   It's close to noon now and the rest of my day will be spent doing things that keep me pretty much sedentary.  I will be working on my points programs, watching Youtube videos on further ways to build skills and save money, mending my favorite pair of black soft summer pants and doing some reading.  Dinner will be something super easy.  It's going to be close to 100F here today so we will be having either leftovers or a salad for dinner.  I have some precooked chicken in the freezer that would could put on the salad (with the lettuce I picked from the garden this morning) or we could make wraps with them if that is what my hubby wants instead.

   I think all of us have these kinds of day.  Those of us who battle chronic illnesses just have them more often. 😉 We have to prioritize what is the most needful thing or what absolutely has to get done that particular day.  For me, it was the laundry (I needed my super soft clothing washed) and harvesting the lettuce in the garden before it all went to bolt and got bitter.  I have a plan for a super easy dinner that does not require much work or energy and is still healthy.  My hubby can even throw that together if I can't do it.

   One other tip that I really want to pass along is to have easy meals that someone else can make (if you have someone else in the home who can help you) or ones that you can throw together quickly.  I try to have premade (some are homemade and some are bought on sale) meals in the freezer at all times.  This has saved us so much money and time and has been a lifesaver.  

   I'm going to end here and start on my points programs.  I want to earn point that I can cash in for gift cards.  I am hoping that maybe I can accumulate enough to give as gifts for Christmas or can use for us if the need arises.  Be blessed all!

   

   

Friday, July 13, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 7/7-7/13 2018


95F out on the back porch and this is how I find Doofy!


   It's been heating up around here, literally.  Today we hit the mid 90's.  Luckily, it does cool down well at night for us so far and I am hoping that pattern stays the same.  I'm currently venting the cooler night air into the house so that I can sleep well tonight and have the door to the front bedroom, which holds our pantry, open so that it can cool down in there.  This weeks post is going to be very low on pictures because I honestly have been a bit too hot to even think straight most of the time.  Here we go!



~Saturday Jeff and I went to the movies.  We saw "Ant Man and Wasp" at a matinee showing.  He got the senior discount also.  If we had waited one more day, I would have gotten the discount also but we really wanted to go on Saturday.
~We also went to Goodwill and found several pink tagged items (half price).  We also had a 20% off one item coupon.  We spent just a smidge over $25 and got 2 sweaters, 1 dressy type shirt (looked it up and it retails for $220 new), 1 loose warm long sleeved shirt for me, a shirt for Jeff, season 1 of "Will and Grace" and 2 cds for Jeff.
~We  shared a .99 junior sized Frosty on the way home.
~We picked raspberries from the garden.
~Sunday Chris and Heather had us, Jaysn, Rachel, Steven and Jeremy over to celebrate the July family birthdays.  My birthday was that day and Rachel's was on Wednesday the 11th.  We both we given such fun gifts!
~We took raspberries and cherries over for them and for Jeremy.
~Jeff made me a wooden pig with a unicorn horn and a tutu after I showed him a picture of an actual pig dressed up like that and said that is what I wanted for my birthday.  We can't have real pigs here so he surprised me by making me a wooden one. 💖
~We watched the movie "Sherlock Gnomes" that we borrowed from the library and had popcorn with it.
~Aunt Norma (our sweet neighbor who now has memory issues) showed up at our door last night with some cherries that she picked, washed and took all the stems out for us.  She got a little disoriented and sat down on our stairs so I helped her up and Jeff walked her back next door to her house and made sure she got in safely.
~Monday I boiled up a dozen eggs for Jeff.
~Chris and Heather and the boys stopped by for a visit.  I had Heather go through my shoes and take what she wanted (we wear the same size) of the ones that I cannot wear anymore.  I sent her home with a bag full.  Bradley's Lego magazine had also come in the mail so he got to take that home with him too.  They picked some more raspberries because the little boys ate all of them that I had taken over yesterday.  I'm glad they like their fruit!
~I got all the sheets and towels washed and hung the sheets out on the line to dry after Jeff got the lawn mowed.


~Tuesday was another day at home for me and one that I both needed and loved.  I finished reading a book from the library.
~I found the old tv series "My Favorite Martian" on YouTube so Jeff and dI are enjoying that.
~Wednesday I got Jeff's laundry hung up on the line to dry along with a few of my things.
~The watering of the gardens was done in the early morning and late evening.
~I borrowed a book and 2 movies from the library.
~While at the library, Jaysn and Rachel's neighbor gave me 2 eggplant plants.  She had planted too many up at another friend's house and was thinning them out.  They are beautiful plants and I do love my eggplant.
~I mixed up some aphid spray and got that on some of the rose bushes and the cauliflower plants.  The aphids are horrible this year.
~Jeff and I have been enjoying watching "Food Mythical Morning" on YouTube.  Those guys are funny!
~My neighbor came over to pick raspberries in the evening and we had a great visit.  She also brought me some really cute containers.
~I froze the raspberries I picked.  I also found one blueberry that was ripe and two strawberries so I ate those.
~Dinner was beer battered fish, roasted potatoes and homemade coleslaw with craisins in it.
~Thursday I got up early and got some laundry done.  I'm glad I did it early because Rachel needed to do some laundry also.  That meant a nice visit with her and Steven too.
~Both Rachel and I picked raspberries.
~Jeff and I ran into town to pick up some cat and dog food and toilet paper that was on sale at Shopko.  We also picked up a prescription for me, kitty litter and some personal care items at Walmart.
~I recently found that if I drank Gatorade or Powerade in the evening, that my legs do not hurt and cramp up at night as much.  They usually cramp up every single night (isn't Fibro fun?). Luckily it has been on sale at Safeway lately so I picked up 8 more today for .59 each and a cheese pizza that we will add pineapple and Canadian bacon to it when Isaiah spends the night this weekend since he wants "Hawaiian Pizza".


~Jeff treated us to Chinese food from the deli since the heat was really getting to me and I was having trouble even walking while we were out shopping.  I am so thankful he did that.  I had my dinner, watched a few shows and then went and laid down for about an hour.
~I got some free coupon inserts from the free midweek ads papers.
~Since our early dinner was the first meal I had all day, I had leftovers around midnight since I could not sleep and was hungry.
~Friday I took leftover cornbread and mixed it with bbq sauce, an egg, some water, onion, salt and some ground venison to make a meatloaf.  It was really good and something I hope to remember how I did it so we can have it again in the future.
~I have been listening to my friend Gary Haleamau, who is a well known Hawaiian music artist, livestream on Facebook.  I grew up with him and we were in the Hawaiian music and dance classes together in high school and also choir and select choir.  I can't wait to see him in October and meet his beautiful family.
~I did the watering at night since it was in the mid 90's here today and it was burning my plants.
~The sunset was absolutely glorious this evening and I tried to soak all the beauty in.



   We have Isaiah coming to spend the night with us tomorrow and I am very excited about that!  We try to take the grandkids for special one on one time in addition to having the bigger boys stay with us together also.  I have the hot tub ready, his bed is made and we will be making Canadian Bacon, Pineapple and Cheese pizza for dinner tomorrow night per his request.  He is very easy to please. :)