Sunday, February 18, 2018

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


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

Scrapple and apples.

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

Lamb chops and roasted russet and sweet potatoes.

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

Shrimp Yaki Soba

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Palouse Falls


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

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


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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/3-2/9 2018

Doofy waiting for the pellet stove to kick back on so he could warm himself after being out on the back porch.

   I'm late as usual getting this posted.  Jeff and I took the weekend off just for us and I stayed offline for the most part.  We visited Palouse Falls and had a cold picnic overlooking the falls and then headed down to Walla, Walla, WA on Saturday.  Sunday we spent here at home, napped, hot tubbed and just relaxed.  I'm still adjusting to the new medication so I am sticking very close to my hubby and limiting being around other people for the moment.  Onto the savings...

Homemade syrup.

~Saturday Jeff and I decided to do our grocery shopping and run some errands.  Big mistake shopping the day before the Super Bowl at the grocery store.  It was packed with so many people and the stockers were busy trying to fill all the shelves as people depleted them.  We mainly bought lots of fresh produce since we are trying to eat healthier.
~While in town we stopped by several thrift stores.  Salvation Army had dropped their prices on their books to .89 each.  I was able to find quite a few homeschooling science experiments books for Heather along with some wonderful cookbooks for me.
~Goodwill yielded some treasures for us too.  I found a MegaBlocks set for Steven, a huge Spiderman floor puzzle for Bradley and Isaiah, a nice shirt for me and Jeff found a digital converter box for the TV in our bedroom so that we can get a few more local stations.

Such a cute story done in the style of Downton Abbey.

~I found a source online for my Poha (ground cherry) seeds that I wanted for .99 a package.  I also was able to get some other seeds that I have been wanting to try at .99 a package and the shipping was just $3.95 for everything I ordered.  Most of the other places I tried were sold out and/or wanted an arm and leg for the seeds and then outrageous shipping costs on top of that.
~Sunday we stayed home and I am so glad we did.  The weather was horrible with high winds.  We watched a movie and lots of "Escape to the Country" on YouTube.
~I made 2 loaves of bread and more pancake syrup.
~Monday we ran into town to pick up my prescriptions.  I was pleasantly surprised that it cost under $6 for both of them.

Quick dinner of pot pie and salad.

~My doctor recommended a website called "FitnessBlender" that has a variety of workout videos for every fitness level.  It is free and has everything from gentle stretching (his recommendation for me) to getting ready for a marathon.  You can pick your fitness level and also if you want the man or the woman trainer. He thought it would help me with my Fibromyalgia pain and motivation.  I was having a Fibro flare when I went to my appointment and although it was not one of the worst ones I have had, we had a long discussion about that since he could clearly see how much pain I was in. We came up with a plan of to help me.  He is also testing me for Lupus (again) and RA.  Have I mentioned how blessed I feel to have my doctor?
~Jeff took me out for lunch and I ordered the Sushi special.  Jeff got a teriyaki chicken katsu and pork.  Both of us ended up bringing part of our meals home to have for dinner later that night.  We were celebrating paying off our house!!!!  YAY!!!!! 😀

More books found at the thrift store.

~Tuesday was another stay at home day for me.  I worked on my points programs and had enough swagbucks to cash in for a $25 Texas Roadhouse gift card.  Since it was my first gift card redemption of the month, I got it for 2,200 points instead of 2,500 points.
~We took a long walk around town with Caesar and it felt so good.  My legs were aching later in the night, but I don't know if that was from the walk or just my regular Fibro pain.
~I was in need of comfort food so I got some of the smoked turkey and noodle soup that I had previously made out of the freezer and got that heating up.  I added a can of corn, along with it's liquid, into the pot and then mixed up some cornbread and got that to baking.  It made the perfect comfort meal and was much appreciated by my hubby.

Cornbread and Smoked turkey and corn noodle soup.

~Jeff got his all in one gym machine thingy out again in the garage and is back to using it now that the weather is warmer.
~Wednesday I was talking to my friend about how the cloudy and gray weather just gets me so down.  She had me start using her "happy light" to see if that helps.  She is so sweet.  Doofy sure loves it.
~I borrowed a movie from the library.

Pot stickers and braised napa cabbage.

~Jeff and I decided to go with our own personal comfort food for dinner (are you sensing a theme here with comfort food this week yet?).  I cooked up some burritos and made a salad for him and I had potstickers and braised Napa cabbage (this is something I remember from my childhood that was served in the cafeteria, our head cook there focused on local produce whenever possible and was amazing).
~Thursday I worked on a few things around the house like getting laundry caught up.  I hung  the towels up over the bathroom shower curtain rod to dry since it was just a small load of them that Jeff used yesterday when doing some cleaning.  I took breaks between starting loads of laundry and folding them since it hurts to raise my arms up too high at the moment.

Oreo mint chocolate chip ice cream.

~I'm trying to get better about eating at regular interval throughout the day.  It used to be that I ate too much when I was stressed, but I have gotten into the habit of forgetting to eat for the day until my hubby wakes up in the afternoon.  I am making an effort to eat something before 10 a.m. now, have an early afternoon snack and then have dinner with hubby later in the evening.
~Green tea has been my "go to" pick me up drink, along with hot water mixed with my lemon/ginger/honey syrup.
~I won 100 Swagbucks in a search win!!!!

More thrift store finds.

~Friday I ventured out on my own into town since I was feeling a bit more confident and not having a bad anxiety attack.  I stopped and got some Chinese food from the deli for dinner for Jeff and I.
~The thrift store has some great books, some heavy duty organization baskets for me freezer, a bracelet, a Starbuck insulated mug, some Philosophy body wash, and a few other odds and ends.
~I found a marked down cheesecake at Walmart...Yay! 

Strawberry Cheesecake that I got at more than half off.

   We are preparing for more snow later this week and I am praying my plants will be okay.  It has been getting down into the high teens here temperature wise and all the Spring bulbs are up and the trees are budding out.  I am hoping that the snow will help insulated some of the bulbs at least.  Be blessed.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

More Tests and a Health Update


   Monday I had a doctor's appointment for routine blood work and I also had a physical.  Unfortunately, or maybe it was fortunate in some ways, I was have a Fibro flare and was having trouble sitting down, getting up and even walking.  You could clearly see the pain in my eyes too.  My doctor took one look at me and immediately knew that I was struggling.  I told him that I was having a flare and also told him it was on the milder end of the scale compared to some.  He asked me to describe what a bad one was if this was "mild" and I told him it was when I had to hold onto the walls just to walk and was in even more pain than I was right then.  I also shared that I was in pain every day, but that flares took it to a whole other level.  He took a look at the rash on my face and told me that he was going to test me again for Lupus, R.A. and for inflammation in my body along with all the other things he normally tests me for.  We talked about how all of this was affecting my mental health, along with the stress brought on by the ugly extended family situation and me no longer being able to work and how this is affecting every aspect of my life. I shared that I feel like I have lost a huge part of who I am and it just makes me feel sad and I want the old me back.   He then worked with Jeff and I to come up with a comprehensive plan to try and help me feel better and is having me try a new medication to see if that helps.  He knew that when I actually conceded to try a new medication, that I must be desperate because I do not like taking medications at all, preferring to use just natural supplements and such.  He then examined me, asked some more questions and then gently helped me sit back up. He then told me that I was to call him, his nurse or the hospital if I had any questions or problems with the new meds or if my anxiety gets worse, especially since Jeff is gone at night for his job and I am alone.

   I am still awaiting the results of my blood work, but do have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks to see how I am doing.  I suspect that we will be going over my blood work at the time and making more treatment plans if it comes back that I have Lupus or R.A. or both.  He is really leaning towards thinking that I may have Lupus, although I have tested negative for it for years even though I have the "butterfly" rash on my face that past doctors had thought was just Rosacea.  Since it is getting worse, he wanted me tested again.  On one hand, I do not want Lupus at all, but on the other hand, there are medications that you can take that help with that and with the pain that comes with it.  At least that gives me hope if I do show that I have it.

   Some of the many reasons I appreciate my doctor so much is that he sees all of his patients as individuals and gets to know and really care about each and every one.  He takes an interest in our family and always asks how our kids and grandkids are doing.  He is gentle and caring and you can see the kindness in his eyes.  He goes out of his way to help you and will really listen and support you.  He knows that finances are tight for us, so he suggests things that are low cost or free to help us get healthier.  He is also there for us when we need him and we do not have to wait for weeks to get in to see him for the most part.  We can usually get in within a few days time.  He actually takes time with each of his patients and becomes their friend, as well as their doctor.  He is honestly one of the most compassionate people I have ever known.  I have been in a puddle of tears in his office several times now and he is so good to try and help me in any way he can and comfort me. He understands my anxiety issues and does not dismiss me thinking I am "off".  He also understand that I need to have Jeff with me for most of my appointments and is fully supportive of that.  If he can't treat me for something, he seeks out the best doctor he can find who can and follows up to see how I am doing. 

   So now we try the new things he suggested and wait to see what the results of my blood work are.  I am already starting to see a difference in my sleep and have gotten 2 nights of having a little over an hour in the deep sleep stage, something that has been eluding me for years now.  I track my sleep on my fitbit so it has been interesting to see the changes already.  I am also getting more of the REM stage of sleep.  So far, it is helping and I hope it just keeps getting better.  Even this little change is giving me more hope.



Friday, February 2, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/27-2/2 2018

Fresh pineapple is comfort food for me.

   I first want to say thank you to everyone that reached out to me this week (and in the past) as I struggled with major anxiety and some depression this week.  I also want to thank you for your prayers and support as I bared my soul and also for you sharing your struggles with me. It really does help to know that I am not alone.  You all honestly touched  my heart so deeply and helped me see that I was making the right choice to seek more help in dealing with these issues.  I just want to give huge ((((((((HUGS)))))) to you all!  Despite this being a really tough week emotionally for me, I did manage to get some frugal things done.  PSA, this post is going to be very heavy on the food pictures because it seems like most of my frugality revolved around food this week.

Chicken and avocado salad.

~Saturday our son Jaysn called and asked if we could watch Steven at the bowling alley while he bowled with some of his coworkers.  Rachel sadly got the flu and was not up to taking care of Steven when she was feeling so poorly.  Jeff and I went in and used some money on gift cards from the bowling alley for him to bowl and for us to have an early dinner there.  Some old friends were there so we had a really nice visit with them and of course had a wonderful time with Steven too!
~We watched the movie "Crocodile Dundee", which we have on DVD
~With the flu going around we picked up some Sambucol just in case.  Since Rachel has been sick, we are trying to be prepared.

Chicken salad round 2, curried chicken salad.

~Sunday I made some chicken salad with one huge boneless skinless chicken breast.  I made up a basic chicken salad, since that is what Jeff likes and I will add some chopped apple and curry to a small portion of it for me.
~I read several library books that I have here.
~Jeff and I have been enjoying watching the show "Carver Kings" on Netflix.
~Monday I had my annual mammogram and luckily that cost is covered under my health insurance plan.

Turmeric friend pork chops and rice. 

~Jeff offered to take me out to breakfast after my appointment, but I opted to just come home and get something here.
~We took Caesar for a long walk and then worked out in the yard for a bit.  Free exercise and it felt so good to be outside while it was not raining.😉
~Poor Rachel, it turns out she has Strep Throat.  She is now on antibiotics and we are praying that Jaysn and baby Steven don't get it.
~I read more books from the library.
~Tuesday I was not feeling well and had a low grade fever and started to get a sore throat.  I took some Sambucol and within half an hour the fever was gone and so was the sore throat. 👍
~Jeff made us homemade pancakes for dinner.  That reminds me, I need to put some more pancake mix together and make more Mapleline syrup.  I still have plenty of my homemade fruit syrup from my mom but Jeff likes the Mapleline best.

The moon.

~I tried to get some good shots of the moon but it was so bright that it threw my camera off.
~Jeff was a Sweetheart and made me a list of all the supplements I take and their dosages so that I can give have a copy made for my doctor and also have one on hand here for me in case he is not home to get all my pills sorted and ready for me for the week.  I know it sounds strange, but I can't always remember what I take and what dosages, but he does.  I would be in serious trouble if it were not for that man of mine.
~Jeff brought home some coupons he found in the recycling bin for me.

My wonderful hubby bowled a 266 game on Thursday night.

~Wednesday was not a good day for me at all.  I was going on 4 hours of sleep, had a major anxiety/panic attack and just prayed to get through that until my hubby got up for the day so we could go for a walk with the dog.   Josh did call while I was having my panic attack and that helped put it on hold for a bit, but it just ramped up again once I was off the phone. 😧
~Chris called me from Costco to tell me what the prices were for some of the vitamins and supplements that I need were.  Only one of them down there, the Vitamin C 1,000 mg was cheaper there than I can get it at Vitacost.

Potstickers with homemade sauce.  Way cheaper and better tasting than going out.

~I was craving Chinese food for dinner so I pulled some potstickers out of the freezer, cooked those up and made a sauce with apple cider vinegar and soy sauce to go with it.
~Thursday was a much better day for me.  I got out and took the dog for a walk and enjoyed the sunshine.  Caesar did really well on the walk and did not pull at all.  I think he knows that I need him to behave and rose to the challenge so that he and I can go on more walks while Jeff sleeps.
~My neighbor needed to borrow something so she came over and we had a short but nice visit.
~Sugar cookies were made from some premade cookie dough that I got on clearance as a treat for my hubby.

The blanket I won in the drawing at the hospital.  They even folded it like a butterfly.

~The hospital where I had my mammogram called and I was terrified that it was bad news since I had not gotten a letter yet and was told if they needed me to come back in, they would call.  The sweet lady that did my mammogram told me that they enter everyone's name that comes in for a mammogram each month into a drawing and I had won a blanket.  I thanked her and asked her if she could check on my results for me since I had not heard anything yet.  She was surprised that I had not gotten a letter with the results yet so she looked it up and told me I was a "winner twice" because I won the blanket and my mammogram showed no abnormalities.  Praise God!!!  Jeff picked up the blanket on his way to get his paycheck since it is in the same town.  I can breath again. 🙏
~Salad just sounded good for dinner.  Jeff was gone to his bowling league so I made a Asian shrimp and cabbage salad and it really hit the spot.
~I am trying to be good to myself and started to use my Scentsy warmer again so I can fill our home with wonderful and comforting fragrances.  Jeff really likes it too.

Asian shrimp and cabbage salad.

~We have way too many old newspapers here so I bundled them up and will run them down to the post office to put in the recycling bin there.
~Jeff picked up some sale priced 2 pound blocks of cheese for us.
~I had put some items in my cart at Vitacost the other day waiting for Jeff to get paid so I could order them.  Since I did not check out, they sent me a coupon for 10% off to complete my order.  I shopped some of the B1G1 half off sale and also went through Swagbucks to get points there.  I used to coupon code they sent me and also got free shipping.
~Friday I worked on my points programs, just like I try to do every day.
~Jeff and I hot tubbed before he headed to work.  We had not done that for awhile and it felt really good to soak my tired and sore muscles (today was a flare day).

Dinner Friday night.

~Dinner was elk backstrap steaks, sauteed mushrooms, baked potatoes and Fuji apple slices.  Between Jeff and I, it only took 10 minutes to cook the entire meal since we did the potatoes in the microwave to save time and energy.
~I had some avocado with lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and Himalayan salt for a late night snack we ate dinner so early and I had not had either breakfast or lunch.  Avocados are so good for you and really help lower your bad cholesterol levels. 
~The fur babies have provide me with lots of entertainment this week.

Apparently Doofy could not be bothered to wait his turn to eat so he went straight to the source.

   Jeff and I are planning to have a relaxing weekend.  We do have some shopping to do Saturday, but then are going to come home and shut the rest of the world out (unless the kids need us) and watch movies, play board games, hot tub and take walks if the weather cooperates.  I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday for bloodwork and a physical and will be discussing my need for more help managing my anxiety issues.  Be blessed my friends and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me.  Much love to you all!