Saturday, June 23, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/16-6/22 2018

Caspian, my neighbor's cat and my gardening buddy.

   This week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me with my CFS and Fibromyalgia pain and exhaustion.  It has kept me at home for the majority of the week with the recliner and my bed being the places that I have spent the most time.  You would think that I would be sleeping a lot, but it has made it worse for me to try to get good sleep.  Anyway, I did what I could this week to try and save us money.  So here we go...

Rhubarb harvested from our garden.

~Saturday and Sunday found me in one of the worst and most painful Fibro flares I have had in ages.  That kept us home and we did not make the wedding that we had been so looking forward to.
~Leftovers were for dinner on Saturday night.
~Bradley spent the night with us Sunday since Isaiah was having surgery Monday morning.  I pulled some homemade BBQed pulled pork out of the freezer that I had on hand and served that with buns and fruit after Bradley and Jeff finished hot tubbing.
~I fave Isaiah a new stuffed monkey to cuddle with when he had his surgery and sent home the movie "Dumbo" to watch with him.
~We watched the movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" after dinner.  Bradley had been wanting to see that movie and picked it from our movie shelf.
~Monday I renewed a movie online that was due at the library that day.
~I read some books from the library.

Baby kale that I harvested from the garden.

~Jeff brought home Chinese food from the deli because he knew that I was still struggling pain and energy wise. I ate half of mine for lunch and the other half for dinner later.
~I kept the plastic lined large dog food bag once it was empty to use for yard trash.
~A free Country Living magazine came in the mail.
~Tuesday I called the Walmart pharmacy to straighten out a billing and refill error on their part.
~One of the cats decided it would be a great idea to pee on one of the bathroom throw rugs.  I got that one and another one washed and hug out on the line to dry.  I also cleaned the bathroom floor while I was cleaning up the one spot where thee pee was.
~I worked on my points programs as much as time and energy would allow.
~I placed an order at Vitacost going through the swagbucks link, got free shipping, 15% off, some buy 1 get one 50% off on items I needed and got a free product also.
~My tomato plants were not doing that well so I mixed up about 2 tablespoons of epsom salts in a big watering can and used that to water around the bases of my tomato plants.
~I planted another tomato plant and 4 more zucchini plants.
~I harvested rhubarb and baby kale from the garden.  My next door neighbor's cat Caspian came over to help me.  He is such a sweetie but was driving Doofy nuts as Doofy watched me petting Caspian through the window.

Some delicious chickpea curry that Rachel brought up for me to try for dinner one night.

~Rachel was a sweetheart and brought me up some chickpea curry that she made.  I have been wanting to try it for ages and she made some today.  It was delicious!  I need to get the recipe from her.
~Jeff built a attachment thingy for his bicycle so he can haul yard waste out in our garden cart.
~Jeff and I got the blueberry bushes and the strawberry bed covered with some netting hoping to keep the neighborhood cats and birds out.
~Wednesday I got up, did 2 loads of laundry and got the gardens watered before the hottest part of the day came on.  The promised rain may come tonight or tomorrow, but for now it is just muggy and zapping my energy.
~We had plans to go up to the lake this weekend and I was looking online for deals on hotel rooms so I could surprise Jeff.  Everywhere that still had rooms open jacked their prices way up.  I discovered that there was the Ironman half marathon going on there this weekend.  UGH!  I think I will come up with a different plan and place to go because it is going to be a mess traffic wise with way too many people up there.  I don't do traffic and I don't do crowds.
~Thursday I stayed home to get some more rest.  Jeff did make it over for Bradley's T-ball game though.
~I made a huge pot of Zuppa Toscana and added the baby kale that I harvested from the garden.  It made dinner of Jeff and I for 2 nights, 4 more containers that I froze that will make a meal each for Jeff and I and I sent a large container down for Jaysn and Rachel.  It gave them dinner plus leftovers.
~I could not get to sleep on Thursday night so I did more research on Fibromyalgia, Frugal Living, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  The birds started chirping and I realized it was 4 a.m. on Friday and I finally was tired enough to go to bed at 4:30 a.m..

Homemade Zuppa Toscana with kale from our garden.

~Friday I got up around 10 a.m. when the phone rang.  Rachel came up to do some weeding.  Steven flashed the little toothy smile at me and that was it, Grammie melted.  I had coffee while he played and then he had some toddler snacks and string cheese while cuddling with me. It was a wonderful way to start my day. 💕
~Jeff and I headed into town later in the day to pick up a 3 month prescription for one of my meds at Walmart.  We found sugar snap peas and peanut butter for good prices and got some while we were there,
~We also went to Safeway and cherry picked the deals there.  We got free peanuts and a sparkling water via their digital coupons.  We also got .99 for a gallon of milk (1), Gatorade for .59 each (8), .49 for bread (2), .79 for a dozen eggs (2), sliced Havarti and Swiss cheese for .99 each, and my flavored seltzers for 5 for $10 (the large packs of cans which hopefully will get me through the Summer (unless the family all comes over...they love them too).  The seltzer waters seem to help with my Fibromyalgia to perk me back up.

The 4 containers in the front row of Zuppa Toscana were all frozen for future meals.  The ones in the back were for us and for Jaysn and Rachel.
~We skipped going to Winco because it was in another town and I was running out of steam.  Jeff and I did not want to push it.
~Jeff barbecued burgers when we got home for dinner and I made some sweet potato rounds with smoked chipotle salt.
~I got a 2 pack of pork roasts out of the freezer to thaw and will be cooking them up Saturday morning.  One will be Kalua Pig and the other will be made into pulled barbecue pork.  I'll use two of my smaller crockpots to do this and then freeze some of it for future meals.
~I picked some cherries and strawberries from the garden.
~I watched some videos on YouTube about doing a no spend month and about eating from your pantry and freezer.  Jeff and I are planning on doing that for the most part for this next month so that we can use the money saved to pay off the last half of our property taxes and still be able to get money put away in our savings account.

Free peanuts and sparkling water via Safeway digital coupons.

   I do hope that everyone has a great weekend.  I'm not sure what Jeff and I are going to do but we have carved this weekend out for time to ourselves.  We had originally planned on going up to the lake but they are having a Ironman half marathon there so we are avoiding all that commotion and the crowds.  We may go see a movie but we shall see.   Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Home is my Refuge



Today is another bad pain and energy day for me.  Everything hurts and I have very little gumpton left.  I am glad that Jeff and I were able to get some things done out in the garden yesterday because there is no way I could have done them today.

   Despite the pain, or maybe, just maybe, because of it, I have found myself loving my home even more.  It is my place of refuge, rest, and an escape from the demands of the outside world.  Here I am safe.

   My hubby works hard outside and around our home to make this all possible for me.  He knows that there are times when I just can't do anything and need to rest.  He encourages me to do so and takes over the areas where I usually am in control of.

   I used to be a social butterfly and really enjoyed being around people.  Now I can only do people in limited doses because it gets too overwhelming for me.  It has to be a low pain day for me to be out  and away from my home.  If it is a high pain day, like today, just going down to the library and post office can take every bit of energy I can muster and I don't stop to chat with people, but come straight back home, take off my bra (on days like this it hurts to wear one) and collapse into my recliner.

   My home is filled with comfy furniture, soft throws, and multiple beds where I can retreat to and take a nap if needed.  Our swamp cooler keeps things cool during the Summer and the pellet stove keeps it nice and warm during the cold months.  We have a walk in shower along with a deep soaking tub.  Our hot tub, with the enclosure around it to give us privacy and allow us to use it in any kind of weather, is a place where Jeff and I can both relax and our grandkids enjoy playing in it too.
The back screened in porch is used 3 seasons of the year.  We have meals out there, family parties, morning coffee and I blog and read there also.  We also have an extensive video and book collection here so there is always something to watch or read.

   Our gardens provide fresh produce, not only for us, but for our family and friends as well.  We also try to preserve some of it for use during the non gardening months.  The flowers blooming bring me great joy.  I love seeing the hummingbirds flitting from one bloom to another gathering nectar.  Wandering around my gardens is calming and healing in and of itself for me.

   The most important things about my home though is that it is filled with love and is still a gathering place for our family and friends.  It is a place where everyone is accepted, embraced and encouraged.  My grandchildren and children, along with our friends all feel very much at home here and that is as it should be.  It is a refuge for them as well as for Jeff and I.  There is always good food to eat, cats to cuddle with and our big love bug of a dog Caesar who looks after all the grandbabies.  The grandkids have their toy box, personal library, outdoor toys and bikes here.  They even consider the back guest bedroom their room and did I mention that I even have toothbrushes here for them also?

    With all the craziness and downright hateful attitudes going on in the world around us, I am blessed to have such a special place to retreat to.  I can shut out the outside world if need be to get a break from it all.  I do not need to let anyone into my world here either in person or even in cyberspace who will disrupt the peace that I need.  Yes, there will always be things going on and yes, the outside world does creep in sometimes, but isn't it great to know you can shut it out most of the time?

   I am blessed to have the home and supportive family and friends that I do.  I am blessed that our home is a place of refuge for me, my husband and our family and friends.  I am blessed to have the fur babies that we do and the great joy they bring into our lives.  I am just blessed. :)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fibromyalgia Sucks!



   I have Fibromyalgia and it sucks!  I hate being limited and not knowing from minute to minute how I am going to be feeling.  I hate knowing that just being around friends and family and celebrating life is going to take a huge toll on my health and energy levels.  I hate having to miss important events because the pain is so great and has me in bed and in tears.  I hate not being able to run around with my grandkids.  I hate feeling like I am a burden to my family because there is so much that I cannot do now and they have to step in and help me so much.  I hate watching my hubby have to work so hard at his job and then come home and do so much around here when he is also in's not fair to him. 😭 I hate the cost of supplements and medications that I need just to function and the toll it takes on our budget.  I hate knowing that at any moment my digestive tract can rebel big time and that I am going to be miserable and housebound.  I hate never getting a restful and restorative night's sleep and always feeling exhausted.  I hate struggling to find the words or for my thoughts to go out the window mid sentence and looking like a complete idiot in the process. I hate the anxiety and depression and weight gain that come with this.   I hate that there are people who don't think this disease/syndrome are real and think those of us who have it are "faking it".  I hate that I am unable to work outside the home now and cannot contribute financially to our family.  I hate being in pain 24/7 and knowing that it can and does get so much worse during a flare.  I hate knowing that this is how I am going to have to live for the rest of my life unless there is a cure found for it. 

   What brought on this tirade?  I've been in a horrible flare all weekend and had to miss one of my hanai daughter's wedding on Saturday because I could not function and had to be in bed most of the time.  I was in tears and not even Hydrocodone was doing much to help with the pain levels.  We had a bit of a family crisis and baby Steven came up Sunday morning for awhile so Rachel could take care of things.  He toddled back and forth between the living room and our bedroom looking for me and saying "Hi!" all the way down the hall.  Jeff took charge of taking care of him since I could not.  Bradley came and spent Sunday night with us since Isaiah had dental surgery this Monday morning.  He is an amazing kid and knew I was not doing well so he was very gentle and calm with me.  I was able to have dinner with him and Jeff, rested while they hot tubbed and watched a movie with them before he headed to bed.  He was so good about picking up his toys and taking care of a lot of things for himself.  I did feel horrible though that I was not able to cuddle with him while we watched the movie (I was hurting too badly) but he did cuddle up with Jeff and I could see that Jeff really enjoyed that.

  Today I was able to do a load of laundry and that was it.  That alone wore me out and I had to stay in my recliner for most of the day switching to one of the guest beds to rest for 2 hours in the afternoon.  Jeff took Bradley back to meet his daddy and then ran all the errands that I was not able to on Friday since I ran out of steam before getting everything done and had to retreat home and to my recliner and bed.  

   We were making plans for me to go and stay with my parents in July for a week and then ride the train back home so that I could visit with one of my aunts and uncles while they were there also.  Knowing now that I am still not fully recovered from the family reunion and then having a busy week last week on top of it, led to this horrible and over the top flare.  I am thinking with the hotter weather coming that always makes me flare worse, this could be a disaster waiting to happen health wise.  It is killing me knowing that with my uncle's failing health, it might be my last time to see him and I have never met his wife in person before.  Family means everything to me and again, this disease is robbing me of my ability to be able to go and see and spend time with so many of them.  Yes, being with them fills my "love tank", but I am finding that I am paying a heavy price health wise to do so.

   Some hard decisions are going to have to be made here quickly.  I know that I am coming into the hot weather that makes me flare pretty badly.  I also know that I have been pushing myself far too much so that I can spend as much time as possible with those I love.  I'm taking this week to take care of me, rest and hopefully recuperate a bit.  I'm going to do the absolute minimum needed to keep our home running.  I plan on resting, reading the pile of books I have here from the library, watching movies and sleeping in as much as my body will allow me to.  It is a good week to do so since the weather is not going to be great and will be raining a good amount of the time.  I already let Heather know that I will not be making Bradley's t-ball game this week.  He has 2 more next week and I will try to make one of those.  Luckily, she understands and so does Bradley.

   This next weekend Jeff and I have carved out the entire time for ourselves.  Our plan is to go up to the lake near us, go out to Olive Garden (we have gift cards for there) for a late Father's Day lunch and then, weather permitting, go to the beach and the park there and listen to the free Summer concerts that are usually held there on Sundays.  I need to get rested up for that because the last thing I want to do is let my sweet hubby down.  He works so hard and deserves a weekend just for him.

   So yes, Fibromyalgia sucks and I hate that it not only takes a toll on me, but also on my family.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy because NO ONE should have to live this way with no relief or end in sight.  I try to make the best of it and focus on all the good in my life, but there are times, like this weekend, where it all just gets to be too much and overwhelms me.  Sometimes I just need to get it all out of my system so that I can them take a deep breath and start again with a better attitude again.

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/9-6/15 2018


One of our meals this week.  Meatloaf made with Yoshida's sauce, rice with Furikake and Napa cabbage.

   Late again with my Frugal Friday Wrap Up post.  I had the best of intentions to get it up Saturday morning but woke up that morning in one of the worst Fibro flares I have had in a long time.  It was way up there on the pain scale and made me nauseous.  Even Hydrocodone could not get rid of the pain but it did take it down about 1 degree on the pain scale.  We had a wedding to go to that day and I was in tears because there was no way I was going to be able to go.  I spend both Saturday and Sunday alternating between my bed, my recliner and the couch.  It's now Monday and I just got one of the guest beds stripped down and am again wiped out.  Thank God for leftovers and a wonderful hubby who takes such good care of me because today is going to be another day of rest for me.  Onto the frugal doings...

Penne with vodka sauce and fresh basil from the garden.

~Saturday we made a run into town to make a donation to Goodwill and pick up my free 8x10 photo from Walgreen's.
~We got a 20% off one item coupon from Goodwill for making a donation.  Jeff found a nice brand new leather belt that he used the coupon on.  We also found a shirt and some workout type capris for me, and 3 books.
~We grabbed a huge submarine sandwich from the deli for $3.98 and shared that for dinner.
~Hot tubbing was on the agenda for Saturday night also.
~Sunday we cleaned and sorted like crazy people!  We have a tote full of Josh's sports cards, jeans in the next size down for me that I hope to be able to get back into, a bag full of things to take of the consignment store, things for our yard sale next month and both the guest bedrooms are clean now with freshly made beds ready for my parents' visit on Thursday.
~We brought in one of the dressers that we got for free when the college students left and organized all our crafting, office and school type supplies.
~Jeff watched a movie he borrowed from Jaysn.
~Since we were both exhausted, we threw a frozen pizza in the oven and had that for dinner.
~Monday I planted the bottom root ends of some green onions in the garden.
~Two more loaves of bread were made to get us through the week.
~I ran down to the library to pick up a few items that were on hold for me.

Books and movies from the library.

~The leftover coffee grounds that I have been collecting from our daily pot of coffee were spread around the blueberry bushes.
~I made a pot of decaf coffee in the afternoon since it was a bit chilly outside and I wanted something hot to drink.  We have lots and lots of good Starbucks decaf coffee that was given to us so I used some of that.  I felt like I was getting a really nice treat!
~I wanted some chicken salad for lunch and rummaged through the pantry and found some canned chicken.  I added some mayo, 2 stalks of chopped celery, a little celery salt and mix it all together with the drained chicken.  I added some sliced up grapes to my sandwich because I love that combination and Jeff had his on some of my freshly made and toasted bread.
~I pulled some Cotto Salami out of the freezer for Jeff to use for sandwiches that he takes to work this week.  I had found it on sale for .99 awhile back and bought 2 packages of it for him.
~Dinner was whole wheat penne (from the pantry $1), with vodka sauce (.79 after both store and manufacturer's coupons) topped with fresh basil from our garden.
~Tuesday I noticed that something is eating my zucchini plants and I suspect it is slugs.  I put crushed eggshells around all the squash, beans and cucumber plants because I have read that the crushed shells will keep the slugs away since it cuts and kills them.
~I put banana peels around the rose bushes.
~Laundry was dried on the laundry line.
~ I had to run in to town to pick up my prescription.  We decided to just pick up a few grocery items there so that I could do a fruit tray for my cousin and his wife's visit, along with my parents visit.  I'm so glad we did.  As I walked through the door at home, the phone rang and it was my cousin calling to ask if it would be alright for them to come on Wednesday instead of Thursday.  :)
~We also stopped at the Dollar Tree to pick up a few things there.  They had their Basil pesto back in stock so I grabbed some of those along with crackers, Secret antiperspirant, and a few other items.
~Wednesday was a rough day health wise.  I did not sleep well due to being in a Fibro flare and lots of pain.  Luckily I had everything I needed on hand for my cousin and his wife's visit.  I did a fruit tray minus the cantaloupe and then did cheese, crackers and Summer sausage.  It was really good and easy to throw together.  I got it done in the morning so that I would not have to fuss with it later in the day.
~Rachel and Steven came up to visit while my cousin Tim and his beautiful wife Sonya were here.  We all had a wonderful time and it was such fun to be together.  I had not seen Tim since I was 17 years old but it seemed like no time had passed at all. :)  Sonya is a total sweetheart and we instantly bonded. Once Steven warmed up to them, he became a total flirt. 😉
~Rachel "shopped" our pantry and freezer (we have been begging the kids to all do this) while she was working doing their laundry here.  We feel so blessed that we can all help each other out.
~I am friends with our librarian and she dropped off my books and movies that I had on request here with me on her way home since I was not able to make it down during the short open hours today.
~Leftovers were for dinner since I did not have the energy to cook anything.
~Thursday I woke up still flaring and just exhausted.  I spent the morning taking care of me and resting and had leftovers for lunch.  My parents arrived later in the afternoon for an overnight visit which was such a wonderful thing.  I love spending time with both of them.

I found a desk organizer at Goodwill for $2.99 that I am using in the living room to corral the remotes, keep my fitbit charger in the bottom drawer, have notepads and pens handy and a few other things also.

~We had a lovely picnic dinner with pizza in a local park with the whole family.  My parents treated us all to the pizza and we brought home the leftovers.
~We were thoroughly entertained watching Bradley's T-ball game that night.  I am so glad my parents were able to see him play. 😊
~My dad was up early Friday morning so I got up at 4:30 a.m. and joined him.  We had coffee and a nice talk.  I loved having that one on one time with him and realize just how precious that is.
~My parents left around 7:30 a.m. to head to Moses Lake.  I relaxed for awhile and then got myself together and ran all the errands and did the shopping in one huge and tiring trip.
~I found lobster tails (2 tails per pack) drastically marked down to just under $4 a package.  I picked one up as a treat for me since Jeff does not like them.  I later made a nice dinner for myself with the lobster tails, a steamed red potato and fresh fruit along with a nice glass of wine.  It was delicious!
~I also picked up some treats for Jeff and he was really happy about that.
~I used coupons for a free jar of ranch dip, $3 off a huge bag of dog food, and shopped the marked downs in the deli.  I also found Tillamook 2 pound loaves of cheese on sale for $4.99 each and bought 3 of them. 
~The cheese, along with the 2 large Summer sausages, should get us through T-Ball season since I bring snacks, much to the delight of my grandsons, hubby and my grandsons' other cousins. :)
~I donated some things at Goodwill today and found a dress, a new pedicure kit, a letter organizer and some seasons of "Everybody Love Raymond" for half price.  I realized when I got home that I already had one of the seasons, but the sweet ladies at the Goodwill had already told me I could bring any back for store credit if I got home and found I already had that season.
~Chris surprised us by stopping by on his way to the Sprint Boat races.  He volunteers as an EMT at them every year.  We are praying that they don't have to cancel them since we are expecting thunderstorms tomorrow when they run that actual race.

A quiet way to start the in one of my favorite thrifted mugs and reading a book from the library.

   I do hope that everyone has a good week ahead.  We were supposed to have higher than normal temperatures this week but it looks like all that has changed.  I'm fine with that.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Family Visit and a Fibro Flare

Jeff, Steven, myself, Sonya and my cousin Tim

    Last night, as I was heading to bed, I knew I was in trouble health wise.  I ached everywhere and cursed the Fibromyalgia that was making me feel this way.  I took a sleeping pill hoping it would help get me to sleep, but it did nothing to help me. I lay there for hours, tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position and praying for sleep.

   This morning, when I woke up, I felt even worse than last night.  The pain levels had me feeling nauseous.  The only thing I can compare it to is having a bad case of the flu where everything aches and you just want to sleep to escape it.  I knew though that my cousin Tim and his wife Sonya were coming in the early afternoon so I got up, showered, and then got a cheese plate, Summer sausage, crackers, and a fruit tray made.  I then collapsed into my recliner.

   My cousin and his wife pulled up and I got myself together.  I had not seen Tim since I was 17 years old.  I had lived with his family for 2 months between my junior and senior year of high school.  It honestly felt like no time had passed and we were able to pick right back up where we left off.  Sonya, his wife, is a total sweetheart and we bonded very quickly.  Rachel and Steven came up and joined in the mini family reunion and that made it even more fun.  It took all my energy but oh it was so worth it. 😊  My love tank is filled to overflowing once again.

   I'm still flaring and am praying that I feel better tomorrow since my parents will be arriving to stay with us for the night and we have a family dinner at a park and then our oldest grandson Bradley's T-ball game tomorrow night.  My parents understand that I struggle with my health at times and are great about pitching in with whatever is needed.  I really am looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.  I feel so very blessed at the moment.  I may struggle with my health, but my family is so supportive and being with them brings me great joy! 


Monday, June 11, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/2-6/8 2018


   Late again posting.  Jeff and I have been frantically trying to get some huge projects tackled around here and it has taken most of our time and energy.  Lots of sorting of things to keep, save for our yard sale, throw away or take to the consignment store.  I'm still dealing with some ongoing repercussions of eating way too many sugary things while at the family reunion....UGH!  Today is another day where both Jeff and I are pushing ourselves (he has a bad cold) to get things done.  I'm just sitting down for a moment while the bread dough rises and I am in between loads of laundry.  So here we go!

~Saturday Rachel gave us a ride into Pullman so we could pick up my car from the Les Swab (over $500 later to get the brake work done) OUCH!
~We found a deal on a pressure cooker for Rachel that was half the regular price.  We put it in our cart and waited for her at the store since she was also in town and there were only 2 left.
~I made a pork chop and rice casserole with things that we had on hand here at home.  It wa so good.
~Sunday we had a salad dinner with Jaysn, Rachel and Steven since we were both planning on making salad for dinner and our house was a lot cooler inside than their's was.
~Rachel made some pineapple mint tea from some of the mint in my yard and brought me some.  It is really good!
~I pulled some oregano out of the strawberry patch and hung it up to dry.
~I made 2 loaves of bread.
~Monday I borrowed a bunch of books from the library.
~I finally got all my flowers potted up in planters, and got the flat leaf parsley and basil potted up also.

~I took one of the hanging baskets of flowers that I potted up over to my neighbor who is going through a rough time and just needed a little reminder of how much she is loved.  All of the hanging baskets were either recycled from previous years or found when the college students left for home at the end if this school year.
~The towels were all dried on the laundry line.
~I made a tuna pasta salad for lunch.  It is one of our favorites.  I saved the bottoms of the green onions and put them in a glass of water.  The will grow longer roots in a few day and then I will plant them out in the garden.  My other green onions out there have all gone to seed at the moment so this .49 bunch of onions should keep me going for the rest of the summer at least.
~Jeff weeded out the blackberry patch so the bees can get to the blossoms.  Hopefully we will get some blackberries this year.
~Rachel gave us a bunch of their elk and venison steaks since she does not like steak.  I told her to come up and get some ground venison from our freezer since we have a lot of that.
~I made sure to set a timer when I am watering so I don't forget to turn the water off or over water the gardens.
~Dinner was leftovers since I needed to clean out the fridge anyway. 😉

~Tuesday we went to our oldest grandson Bradley's first T-ball game.  I took a variety of cheese, crackers, summer sausage and fruit, along with some water, to snack on.  My grandson Isaiah and his cousin Jobie really loved snacking on everything and I promised I would bring more snacks next week. ;)
~Dinner was leftovers.
~Wednesday I placed an order with Vitacost using a coupon code and taking advantage of their buy 1 get 1 half off off to place a minimal order.  I also got free shipping and went through Swagbucks to get 2 points for each dollar spent.
~I took advantage of a free offer for a "Country Living" magazine subscription.
~Jeff has a cold that is really getting to him so we decided to just spend the afternoon and evening relaxing before he had to go to work.  I popped some popcorn and we watched a movie that I got for $1 at the Dollar Tree.
~Thursday morning Jeff stopped by one of the local grocery stores to buy bananas that were on a two day only sale for .39 a pound.  We got through lots of bananas here at our house.
~Rachel and I worked in the side garden and got a lot of the weeding done.
~Dinner was venison steaks (free from our son Chris), yellow saffron rice ($1 from the Dollar Tree) and salad.
~Friday was another day at home for me.  I got Jeff's laundry done and hung up outside to dry.
~Steven hung our here with us while his parents went on a much needed date.  I got out a huge bowl and filled it with water.  He happily played and splashed for about half an hour.  We then got out our stroller and went for a walk with my hubby and our dog Caesar.  He also got lots of outside play time in our yard in the shady part. He fell asleep in my hubby's arms while watching bowling on TV with him about 6 p.m. 😀
~My basil was not doing too well so I looked up it's care and found out I was over watering it. I moved it away from the garden to a drier spot.
~Leftovers again for dinner since Steven was here and that was what was easiest.
~I took advantage of the free 8x10 photo print from Walgreens deal that is going on.  Through June 17th, you can order a free 8x10 photo online at Walgreen's photo center using the code PRINTDAD. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bradley Starts T-Ball

   Our oldest grandson, Bradley, had his first T-Ball game last night.  He and his cousin Jake both play on the same team so we had a large family cheering section for both boys with 3 sets of grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins there to cheer them on.  I brought snacks which were a huge hit with both Isaiah and his cousin Jobie.  Apparently Bradley was not happy that he did not get any of my snacks since he was playing ball while we ate them, but he did get a cupcake from the "snack mom" who brought them for the team. 😉

   Bradley and Jake both did great in their first game and we were so proud of them.  We had to laugh at Bradley though who took the whole spitting on the field thing, kicking dirt and making faces like the professional baseball players do to a whole new level.  If nothing else, he is very entertaining to if he would only pay more attention to the ball when he is out in the field. Being 6 years old, the attention span is not quite there yet.  😁

   Last night, on the way home from the game it hit me that we are entering yet another chapter in our lives.  It is one that will be filled with going to different sporting events to see our grandkids play just like we did with our own boys.  We are committed to going to one game a week since we have a half an hour drive to get there and it leaves little time once we get home for Jeff to relax before he has to get ready for work later in the evening.  It means a lot to Bradley to have us there and he was so surprised to not only see us, but also his Uncle Jaysn, Auntie Rachel and cousin Steven show up for his first game last night.  Next week he will also have his great grandparents (my parents) there to cheer him on also and I can't wait!

I need help from my European readers

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Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Abbreviated Frugal Friday Wrap Up for the Last Week of May 2018

   I have been pretty much wiped out after coming home from our family reunion and did not keep good records of the frugal doings around her.  I'm going to try and do this from memory, which we all know is NOT good due to Fibro fog and fatigue. 😉  Here is goes...

~We brought home lots of leftovers from the family reunion so I did not have to cook for several days which turned out to be a good thing.
~My car needed an emergency brake job and Jaysn rescued us in town and then Rachel took us back the next day after it was done to get it.
~Rachel and Jaysn helped us with some yard work.
~I am keeping water in the refrigerator in my car so I don't stop and buy that or soda pop when I am out and about. I have to say that little built in refrigerator/freezer had come in really handy.
~My volunteer kale, sunflowers and dill are going nuts!
~I borrowed another book from the library.
~We had Jaysn, Rachel and Steven up for dinner and grilled burgers and sweet potatoes plus cooked up some Sweet Italian sausages for dinner the next night.
~I did not make bread this week because we had some left from Montana and I bought a loaf of sourdough also on our way home.
~I did stock up on some groceries at the Grocery Outlet on Monday since we were going through that town on our way home anyway.
~I made a menu based on what we had here on hand.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Feeling the Love of Family


   We got back from our family reunion on Monday and I have been trying to play catch up around here.  It was better than any of us could have imagined with lots of love, laughter, good food, time out on the lake, kayaking and family heirlooms shared.  My parents had rented the house next door to their home for my crew and it was amazing and had room for all of us plus there was a hot tub that my kids, grandkids, brother Eric and his boys all enjoyed also. 💓

   We finally met Josh's girlfriend Lauren and she is a total delight and fits right in with the rest of us.  😊  She is strong and determined, down to earth and so much fun.  I can totally see why our Josh loves her so much.  Speaking of which, the home they are buying is now officially theirs and the are busy picking out paint colors for the walls.  Yay!

   Our grandboys and our nephews, who are all 14 years old and younger, played really well together and created some new "cousin bonds" that will last the rest of their lives.  My sister in law Christie brought over some bubble gloves and had the whole crew out playing with them on the front lawn.  Christie is an amazing mommy and auntie who is always thinking of fun things to do with the kids.  Everyone should have a Christie in their lives.

   It was so nice to spend time with both my brothers and my parents, and see my cousin Jeremy get to know the whole crew also.  One of the highlights of our time there was watching the joy on my father's face as he looked out from his porch down at the dock where lots of the family was gathered playing in the water and on the floaties and kayaks.  I asked him if he could have ever imagined that moment when they first built their home and he said no.  The pride and joy in his eyes and the smile on his face at 80 years old seeing his legacy and family all together nearly brought me to tears.  It is one of those moments in time that I will always cherish.

   My parents blessed us with a night out at the Bigfork Playhouse for a musical review of the 80's.  Josh, Lauren, Jeff, Cade (my oldest nephew) and I all went to it.  It was a night full of music, trivia with audience participation, laughter and good music.  It amazed me that my nephew knew so many of the lyrics to the songs!  He also shared some deep personal stuff with us and I felt honored that he trusted us so much to do so.  I love both he and his brother so very much and I want them to know that Uncle Jeff and I will always be here for them.

   One of the activities that my parents had us do while we were there was for all of us to go through the house and pick out things that we wanted after they were gone.  At first we were all a bit uncomfortable with it but Mom explained that it would make it easier on them and on all of us later.  Each of their children, adult grandchildren and my cousin took turns picking things out.  It was amazing to see what meant the most to everyone.  Some of the things have great monetary value, but most were sentimental items and those were the things that were picked out first.  My mother had us go through her quilts and pick which ones we wanted also.  Some of them came home with us now and some will come later since she still needs to finish them or she is still enjoying them.  My parents sent some of the other things home with us now and we will be getting the rest of the the items later.  One of the things that evoked a lot of laughter was when we opened a box that had my old majorette uniforms in it.  My boys could not believe that I fit in that tiny little sequined bodysuit. 😁 I could not believe Mom had kept it!  It was in a box full of family heirlooms including both my mother and my Uncle Dave's baby book along with their baby shoes.  That box came home with me along with Grandma's teacup collection.  We asked Jeremy if he wanted his father's baby book, but he told me to keep it which is totally understandable given their relationship.  My cousin was given an antique family clock that belonged to our Grandpop and we were all very happy about that since he and his brother are the last of the Ricker line of men in our family.  

   As for how I fared health wise, I did have several flares while there due to overdoing it and eating way too much rich and delicious foods.  I am still flaring (but I expected and planned for it) and I know it will take some time to get back to my "normal".  My entire family was amazing though and really watched out for me telling me to relax and pitching in when they could see me fading.  My mother and I had a talk about my health and we can trace symptoms and other things back to my childhood.  She also has been researching some things and is sending me information on what she has found that might be able to help me.  

   I think all of us came away from our family reunion with a deeper love and stronger bonds than ever before.  Lauren even mentioned to Josh that she felt like our family had accepted her and made her one of us.  My mother had everyone make quilt squares where she had us draw on them with something that represented us, our family or our time there.  She is making a memory quilt using those along with pictures from our time there and I am sure that it will be a much treasured piece of our family history.  While Lauren was making her square, I told her that it was official, she was going in the family quilt and that made her part of the family already.  She and Josh are planning on getting married in the future.  I could not even hope for a better future wife for our Josh...she is simply lovely inside and out!

   Upon leaving to come home, we were all looking forward to another family reunion in the future.  We realize that our time together is precious and with my parents aging, that opportunity to all be together is limited in how many more years we may have to do this before they are gone.  As our family continues to grow, I pray that we have many more opportunities to gather together and enjoy each other's company, share good food, lots of laughter and love.  Family is the greatest treasure and blessing in our lives and fills my love tank to overflowing.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/12-5/18 2018


   Please forgive me if you find typos in this post.  I am going on about an hour of sleep today.  I had all the grandboys up here early this morning while Heather, her mother Tammy, Jaysn and Rachel all ran in the Color Fun Run here for our town's celebration.  The little boys were so good helping me take care of Steven.  It's Steven's first birthday today also!!!  I can't believe that baby is 1 year old already!🎈🎈🎈  Our water heater went out early this morning so Jeff took a cold shower when he got home very early this morning after I had been asleep for about an hour. He could not get warm after that so I was up with him.  I ran down and took a shower at Jaysn and Rachel's at about 7:00 a.m.. and got home right in time for the little boys to get here.

~Saturday Jeff and I stayed home and he worked on the getting the side garden finished off so I could get things seeded in.  While doing this we found lots of volunteer kale, sunflowers and dill.  Free food!
~We gave a flat of strawberry plants from our garden to our neighbors.
~Rachel came up and helped me get the lettuces, swiss chard, collards, and cabbages all seeded in.
~I made a huge pasta and veggie salad for our family Mother's Day and Jeremy's birthday celebration the next day.

~Jeff and I used the hot tub that night.
~Sunday Jeff and I used the hot tub during the day when the water's temperature was a 90F.  It felt good on a hot day but still helped relax our muscles.
~Later that afternoon the family all arrived and we had a feast with everyone contributing something.  Jaysn and Rachel brought hamburgers and hot dogs (which Jeff grilled up) and buns, Heather brought two delicious desserts, Jeremy brought pickles, multiples bags of different kinds of chips, pineapple and watermelon, I did the pasta salad, juices, iced tea and the condiments for the burgers and hot dogs.
~There was tons of food leftover and most of it was left with us.  We sent some home with Jaysn and Rachel later in the week.
~My gifts and cards from the kids were just lovely.  Rachel and Jaysn got me an orchid lei (made me cry because it is part of the culture that I grew up in) and Heather, Chris and the boys gave me a beautiful framed picture of their family (I had been wanting one).  Josh sent me two sentimental that made me cry and the other was hilarious!  Jeff gave me the sweetest card and had already gotten me my fuchsias.

~We took a short walk down to the park so the big boys (yes, the men) could play basketball.  We had to leave early though since someone was using Round UP and that set off my allergies big time.
~Our neighbors, who I gave the strawberry plants to, gave us 4 basil plants and 3 sage plants.  I sent a basil plant home with Heather and another with Jeremy.  Rachel and I have our's here along with the sage plants.  I thought it was so sweet of her to share with us.
~Monday we had leftovers for dinner.
~I went to the library and borrowed 2 movies..."Justice League" and "Paddington 2".
~Lots of laundry was washed and hung out on the line to dry.
~Jeff finished cleaning out the front garden of all the thistles so that I could get that planted later in the week.
~I made 2 loaves of bread.
~Steven saw Grammie go by in the car from his window and got really sad when I did not stop so I went down to see him later in the day and fed him while his daddy got something to eat.  Rachel, who had a bible study class, came home a bit later and we had a nice time together before I headed back home.
~Jaysn and I looked up how to recharge the freon in his car on YouTube.  Unfortunately, the filler kit valve we had was defective so it did not work right when we tried to do it.
~It has been getting really hot here over the weekend and at the first part of the week so I have been trying to get the cold air in at night and the early morning hours and then close up the house during the hottest part of the day.  Jeff did not have the Swamp cooler ready to go so we relied on fans until he was finally able to get to it.  He has been super busy trying to get the gardens ready for me lately.  Love that man of mine!

~Tuesday was a stay at home morning for me and a hot one.  I decided that I would put off cooking up huge batches of shoyu chicken until the next day when it would be much cooler.  I took the opportunity instead to try and get caught up on some things online and greatly enjoyed seeing what many of my online friends were keeping busy with also.
~Around noon I realized that I had not eaten anything so I fixed myself a bowl of cottage cheese and some of the leftover fresh pineapple from Mother's day....YUM!
~Jeff and I headed into town to drop off some donations at the Goodwill.  They give you a 20% coupon off one item with your donation.  Jeff found a surge protector power strip that was all fancy like so he got that and used the coupon in it.  I found a slide out lid organizer to help corral all the lids to my Pyrex containers.  We also found a mug from the college that my parents went to.  The last items I found were all on the half price color tag sale and I was thrilled!  I had been wanting to pick up the dvds of the show "Family Affair" that I watched as a young child with my mother.  They had seasons 1-4 there along with season 1 of the show "Eight is Enough".  I got each season for $3.  I paid less for all 4 seasons at Goodwill than I would have on one season through!
~Wednesday I ran errands with Rachel (I drove this time) and found some Pedialyte marked down that was still good until next year.  I bought some to have on hand for Steven since it has been getting so hot so quickly and I worry about him getting dehydrated.
~I picked up more of the soda Jeff likes at the Dollar Store since they are only $1 for 2.5 liters.
~I found a kitchen set with 2 towels, a hot mitt and a pot holder for under $5 at Walmart.  It will be a wedding gift for some friends that are getting married this weekend.
~It rained both Wednesday night and for most of the day Thursday on and off so that saved on having to water the gardens.  I noticed on Thursday morning that some of the seeds I planted are coming up in the side garden and I am beyond thrilled!
~Thursday I cooked up 7 family packs of chicken thighs for an upcoming family event.  We did have 3 chicken thighs for dinner along with some rice and avocado since there was no way I was going to cook something different for dinner after doing the chicken in batches.
~Jeff and I watched "Survivor" online.
~Friday I was dealing with another flare so I rested for the day.  I did managed to get some laundry done and vacuumed since my hubby had to run some errands in the afternoon.

   I hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Slugs on the Ceiling, Oil on Doorknobs and a Sink Full of Chicken

   Oh what a morning it has already been and it is just a little after 8 a.m.!  I got up, turned on the coffee maker and went to let Caesar out into the backyard.  It had rained last night and we had a small thunderstorm so everything smelled nice and fresh, just the way I like it. :)  However, that thunderstorm seemed to have caused something I have never experienced before...slugs on the metal roof and inside ceiling of our screened in porch.  This was not a sight I really wanted to see first thing in the morning before I even had coffee in me.  I got the offenders down before the cats flipped out and went after them.  Somehow the thought of them eating slugs makes me want to gag. 😝

   Next on the agenda was to get my computer out of the front bedroom so that I could check on the weather forecast for the day.  My sinuses and head were telling me it might be a doozy of a day and I wanted to check and see.  I went to grab to doorknob and found it covered with motor oil.  All I can figure is that my husband decided to change the oil in one of the cars when he got home early this morning and while I was still asleep.  Either that or we have a bad oil leak in one of the the cars and he was checking on that...I sure hope not.  That is the last thing we need right now.  Either way, it was gross and I was not happy at all about it.

   Now, for the sink full of frozen chicken.  I need to get enough chicken cooked for our family reunion next week.  I am making shoyu chicken, which I will precook and then freeze so I can safely take it over with me.  We will then thaw it out and throw it on the grill to caramelize.  It is amazing stuff!  I found the chicken thighs on sale awhile back and bought 8 packages of them.  Each package has 6 large thighs in it.  I am cooking up 7 of those packages later today.  That should give me 42 pieces of chicken to feed 18 people (well 19 if you count Steven, but he is not eating that kind of food yet).  I figured on 2 pieces of chicken each with a few extras.  One of the 18 does not eat meat so he will just have the side dishes and one of my nephews will just eat one piece, while the other, who is a teenager will most likely have 2 or 3 pieces.  I never know with my older two grandsons how much they will eat but I do know they love chicken fixed this way so I am thinking 2 for each of them.  I'll cook the chicken in batches reusing the same sauce for all the batches.  It takes a lot of soy sauce to make this dish since you have to boil the chicken in equal parts sugar, soy sauce and water with some garlic and ginger added in also.  Luckily, I stocked up on soy sauce when it was on sale awhile back also.  I'll serve brown rice, salad and corn as the side dishes and will figure out a dessert also.  This is typical Hawaiian style comfort food.  My youngest brother's wife, Christie, was also raised in Hawaii and their kids eat lots of local style foods so I figured this was a safe bet since their youngest son is a very picky eater.  I also know it is a winner with everyone else in the family.

   So that is the start to my day.  I'm now sitting out on the porch with my coffee, listening to the dog next door bark because he is not happy about being told he has to go potty before being let in the house.  Poor Ollie, he is a cutie and I love him. ;)  Meanwhile, my Caesar is just laying out there in the yard enjoying the cooler weather with that super thick coat of fur of his.  What a life!


Monday, May 14, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/5-5/11 2018

Free kitchen items including Pampered Chef Pizza Stones.

~Saturday I cashed in at Swagbucks for a Walmart gift card.  Since it is my first cash in of the month, I got it for 2,200 points instead of the regular 2,500 points.
~Saved a liquid creamer container to use to put sugar in over the Summer months.  We tun our swamp cooler when it is hot and the sugar gets caked up in the sugar bowl due to the moisture but should be fine if we use the creamer container to keep the moisture out.

More free kitchen stuff.

~I watched a lot of the Kilauea volcano eruption coverage online.  I grew up on the island where it is happening and have friends that live in the area that is being affected.
~Jaysn, Rachel, Steven, Jeff and I all piled into our car to make a spontaneous ice cream run on Saturday afternoon.  It was so much fun and Steven sure enjoyed his ice cream!
~We stopped at Walmart and I found a beautiful fuchsia hanging plant marked down from $28.?? to $11.48;  I got it and told Jeff it was my Mother's Day gift from him. 😉

Penne pasta with sausage and fresh buttered bread.

~Jeff and I watched a movie that I borrowed from the library.
~I made a nice dinner Sunday night with Penne pasta, garlic herb sausage and garlic herb pasta sauce along with French bread.

Free storage drawers...I already gave some away.

~Sunday Jeff and I went "treasure hunting" again.  I am shocked by what the college kids throw out.  We found more furniture, household goods, cat toys, wood that Jeff can use to build things, clothing and bedding (we donated a ton of it), cleaning supplies, and even a smaller HP laptop that I had Jaysn wipe the old files from and get set up for me.  The battery does not work (I can replace that) but it works fine when plugged in.  I will use it when we travel since it is compact and the top actually closes (the one I use on a daily basis does not let the top close).  Oh we also found bags of canned foods that the students who were leaving were just throwing out.

Some of the clothing items I kept.

~We gave Rachel and Jaysn a smaller dresser that was on wheels that we found for them to use for Steven's toys in their living room.  I also gave Rachel one of the Pampered Chef pizza stones that I found last week after I got it all cleaned up of course. She mentioned that she wanted one and I was more than happy to share my bounty with her. 😊
~Monday I made 2 loaves of bread, a batch of cookies, 2 batches of croutons, did 6 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and then went into a major Fibro Flare/crash.

Winter jackets, wool jackets, leather jackets, brand new purse and backpacks...all found treasures.

~I actually took a nap on Monday when the flare/crash hit.
~Jeff cooked up a pot pie for dinner for me.
~Jaysn and Rachel gave us a gas container with gas in it for our lawnmower which was a huge blessing since Jeff was just about out of gas.  They also brought up the propane tank from their grill (which they have in storage) for us to use since we will all be using our grill for awhile.  I do love having them so close!
~Doofy cat is loving the kitty toys we found.  He goes and picks out which one he wants to play with out of the basket and then goes nuts!  The other cats are not very interested in them at this point.
~Tuesday I continued to do laundry and hung it out on the laundry line to dry since it was a breezy and warm day.  I did pace myself though since I was still having a flare but it was not as bad as the day before where I had to hang onto the walls to walk.

New Hamper.

~I took a walk around the garden and soaked in the beauty of all the flowers that are starting to bloom.
~I cashed in for a $10 Walmart gift card through MyPoints.  It came right away into my inbox and I found the one I cashed in for at Swagbucks waiting for me there also.
~Tuesday evening we had a storm system move in with high winds.  I went outside and took my hanging fuchsia plant down and set it on walkway next to the house where it would be protected.
~Dinner on Tuesday night was a frozen pizza that I baked up and a side salad.  Both Jeff and I were too tired to cook much since I was still feeling my Fibro flare and he had been working out in the yard for about 2 hours.

Pizza and salad for dinner.

~Wednesday was a bad day flare wise so I spent most of the day in bed or in my recliner.  I watched a lot of YouTube and later Jeff and I watched Survivor online.
~Jeff and I split a chicken strip dinner from the tavern.  I did not have the energy to stand up and cook and it was all that sounded good anyway.  It was the first meal I had all day.
~Around 11:30 p.m., I was hungry so I made a batch of pancakes with my homemade mix.  I had one and refrigerated the rest of them for a future meal.
~Thursday I placed an order through for dog food, cat food and 2 40 pound bags of kitty litter.  My original order came to $85.96 but after sales, coupons and free shipping, I got it down to $36.61 and they deliver straight to my door.
~I had leftover pancakes for lunch.

Medium sized pet carrier and a vacuum cleaner...yep  Free!

~Safeway had some amazing Just4U coupons that I uploaded to my card. One of the coupons was for free ice cream! 🍨
~I pulled some frozen homemade chicken noodle soup out of the freezer and heated that up for dinner.  I also pulled out some frozen homemade chunky applesauce, thawed that and made a nice apple crisp type dessert with it.  Hubby was very happy!
~Friday I made a detailed shopping list so that I would not forget anything.  Still in a fibro flare so my brain is mush and my body is aching big time.

Apple Crisp made with homemade chunky applesauce.

~We used our $35 in Walmart gift cards to buy what we needed and a birthday gift for my cousin Jeremy.  We got him a huge tomato plant for his garden.
~Dollar Tree was my go to to find all kinds of bath and pampering items for my girls for Mother's Day.  I was able to give them matching all natural soap and lotions sets, and 2 different kinds of bath bombs.  They loved it! I got all the cards we needed their also.

Movies from the Dollar Tree

~Dollar Tree also had some movies so I picked up 4 that sounded interesting.
~I got my free gravy mix at Safeway but they were out of the .99 each artichokes.  I got a raincheck for 8 of those.  I also found marked down fake crab and some marked down shrimp.

New men's dress shoes....Free and we scored 2 pairs.