Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A Bit of Catching Up

 



  Oh my goodness, we had a wonderful time while Tate, Josh and Lauren were here for a week!  Jeff and I enjoyed those baby snuggles, coos, smiles and his little "snorts". 😍  We were able to get the whole family together one night and celebrate Bradley's birthday early while his Uncle Josh, Auntie Lauren and new cousin Tate were home.  We also had many nights of family here for dinner and even had my sista/other mother to my boys Roni up for dinner one night so she could meet Tate.  We had lots of photos taken, which I will do a separate post on once all of them have been uploaded from the rest of my crew.

   Now that Josh, Lauren and Tate are back home in Las Vegas, life is starting to return to semi normal, but the excitement is not over yet.  Jaysn, Rachel and Steven came out for a visit and told us they put an offer on a house.  A day later, they found out the offer was accepted!  The house sits on 2.5 acres so there is lots of space for Steven to run, climb trees and for Rachel to be able to have a garden.  Congrats to them all!!!  They are even talking about getting a dog, which I think will be a wonderful idea since Steven LOVES dogs. 😊 Oh, Rachel also is going to be going back to SEL where she used to work and Jaysn has been working for years.  She is really happy about that because it will be a lot less stress and the benefits there are amazing!  We are really happy for her and know this will take a lot of pressure off her. 

   Chris, Heather, Bradly and Isaiah are adjusting to Chris being on 12 hours work shifts again, which is also the overnight shift.  It is a rough one and will take awhile for them to all get used to.  Since Chris is a police officer, his shifts change over the year and by the seasons.  He will also most likely be getting more overtime put in which will come in handy since they just bought a much needed new to them car.  They picked up a nice Honda Pilot after seeing how nice my parents' one is.  We are really happy for them since Heather's car was on it's last legs. 😀

   Jeff is also back to work again after being off for a little over a week.  Last night was his first night back and after us both getting used to sleeping at night when the kids were here, it has been an adjustment.  I have a feeling this week will be really rough for Jeff as he makes the switch back and gets used to doing the heavy lifting again that comes with his job.  I'm not doing well sleep wise without him here at night either.  I tossed and turned for much of last night.  I have a feeling that I will be making the switch back to sleeping during the days when he does since that works better for both of us.

   Covid-19 cases are once again on the rise here in our area again with the additional tragic deaths of 4 more people last week in our county alone.  Our town also has seen 5 new cases within the last 2 week period and we only have a little over 600 people here. It is scary to see the numbers going up so quickly and all the despite the increase in people being vaccinated. I know the Kent variation of the virus is in our state and the Brazilian one is in Idaho already.  I am wondering if they have made their way up here to our little part of the world yet since the increase is so sharp and the death rate is picking up. 😢  Looks like that little bit of freedom we had to actually be able to go out to eat and such is coming to an end for the time being.

   Jeff and I have been busy tackling a lot of projects here around the house and have a lot more to do.  We got the back guest bedroom all set up for the kids while they were here and I am hoping to keep it company ready at all times now.  I am finding myself retreating to it for naps also, which is now going to come in real handy with Jeff back to his swing shift.  We have decided that we need to do some painting, replacing of doors and trim, installing a fan in our bedroom and a few other projects when the weather warms up again.

   Speaking of the weather, we went from that polar vortex to temps expected near 60 this week! 😎  I went outside yesterday and found that my primroses are already starting to bloom and that the rest of my Spring bulbs are putting up shoots!  I am hoping that we do not get another deep freeze or killing frost because all the plants now are waking up and I need then to do well this year.  I bought some more flower seeds and want to create an English Garden type bed right off the back porch since we don't have a dog who will be digging it all up this year.  I think it will look really nice there and make the view from the back covered porch even nicer.  We had thought about possibly moving to Idaho sometime this year but that has been put on hold now so I will continue to just enjoy my little paid off home and increase the beauty and productivity of the gardens.  Jeff seems to be more accepting of this also since we really do not want to incur any more debt but rather sock away even more money into savings.  You never know what will happen in the future and I want to be prepared financially.

   As for now, we will keep on living our happy frugal lives and try to stay healthy and avoid the dreaded virus.  With Spring coming, I am even more hopeful since I can once again get out into the garden and grow some more of our own food.  I love seeing things bud out and seedings pop out of the ground.  It fills me with a sense of wonder and thankfulness for all we have been blessed with.  We really are fortunate and having the kids and grandkids all together again just filled our "love tanks" to the brim.  Hopefully we will all be together again in June for a few days...looking so forward to that!  Be blessed all!

   

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Family Genes Run Strong!

Uncle Ronnie, Grandpa Duerr, Uncle Gary and my father, Fred Duerr


My father, Fred Duerr, holding up a baby quilt my mother made for the first great grandchild of a good friend.



   The pictures above just amaze me.  The top picture is of my father, his brothers and my grandfather many years ago.  My grandfather passed away years ago and my Uncle Ronnie passed away within the past few years.  That only leaves my Uncle Gary, who is the youngest brother, and my father, who is the oldest brother.  The bottom picture is one taken within the past week of my father.  I did a double take when I first saw it...he looks exactly like his father, my grandfather, did!  My mother agrees!


   This is the one of the many times we have seen how strong the family genes are and how they continue down through the family.  The artist Albrecht Duerer is one of our relatives and there is a picture of him that also made our jaws drop as one of my brothers looks just like him.  So many generations between them, and yet there is no mistaking that they are definitely related.  My mother looked just like her grandmother did as a child. I have a large picture of my Tutu (great grandmother) as a child and every time I look at it I see my mother.  


   We are seeing the same thing in our grandsons.  We can see the family genes coming through strong in Steven and Tate, who look like their daddies did at the same ages.  I can't wait to show Lauren the pictures of Josh as a baby and have her see what I am seeing!  I will get that chance tomorrow and I can't wait!




 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/12/2021

 




   Well I finally got it done!  Jeff and I worked together to get the antique teacup display shelf up on the dining room wall.  My cousin Jeremy gave me display shelf saying that I should have it since it was made in Paris, Maine and we have strong family ties to that town and Maine in general.  When he first gave it to me I did not realize exactly what it's purpose was but quickly discovered it upon a closer inspection.  It is perfect because it finally allowed me to be able to safely display my grandmother's teacup collection.  The ones on the bottom and middle shelves (with the exception of the rose one at the right end of the second shelf) are all hers, as is the little creamer on the top shelf.  The rest are mine collected over the years because my eyes were just drawn to them.  I call this a frugal win since Jeremy gave me the shelf, I had the teacups and they bring me great joy!


Other frugal doings in no particular order:

~I made a nice lemon pasta chicken that fed us for 4 meals.

~I also made a old fashioned boiled dinner with potatoes, sausage, carrots and onions...lots of leftovers that will have corned beef added to make another 2 meals over the weekend.

~We sold the bunk beds to a lovely family that are going to be doing emergency placement foster care.

~Jeff ground up a bunch of bulk coffee beans that we had been given.

~Jeff had a doctor's appointment and they are trying a new medication for his sinus issues.  Luckily the little pharmacy across from the doctor's office had the medication he needed and it was just $10 so that saved him a 45 minute trip one way to Walmart.

~More loaves of bread were made.


~I watched more disaster movies on YouTube...cheap entertainment.

~We got a bigger coffee maker out to use while Josh, Lauren and Tate are here this coming week.  We are all big coffee drinkers.

~I made a detailed shopping list so that I don't overspend and I don't forget anything.

~A menu plan was also figured out for the next 2 weeks since we will have lots of family here for meals.  Luckily I have the makings for homemade mac and cheese, lasagna, a ham dinner and a big turkey dinner all on hand.  I will use the leftover turkey for turkey pot pie and the ham for sandwiches and ham and scalloped potatoes.  I almost forgot, I also have everything here to make shoyu chicken and rice too!  YUM!

~I was able to consolidate all of my seeds for the garden into a large plastic container.  That will make them much easier to sort through and find this Spring.

~I've been having fun learning about the meanings of our family surnames and have learned some interesting things about our family's past .


   Not much else going on in the frugal department.  We have been busy trying to get the house ready for the kids' visit.  I still need to get the guest room finished being set up and get the pack and play all cleaned and ready for Tate.  I have managed to get the kitchen floors and cabinets all scrubbed and just have the rest of the floors to do now along with the dusting and some decluttering.  Hopefully we can get to most of that this weekend.


Be blessed!



 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Godzilla and Country Songs

                                                                     ðŸŒŽ


   Strange title for a blog post...but bear with me and it might actually make some sense...at least I hope so.   ðŸ˜‰


   I actually think this whole pandemic dragging on and on and on, along with the dysfunctional political climate is starting to drive me a bit batty.  Seriously!  I also think my husband would totally agree with me on this.  He is used to my random thoughts, fluctuating moods, and yes, even depression but this is a whole new ballgame.


   So the other day I saw a trailer for the Godzilla vs King Kong movie.  Now, I grew up in Hawaii watching the old Godzilla movies where Godzilla battled with the bad monsters who were out to destroy Japan and the world. Godzilla was often misunderstood, but he tried to protect his territory from evil monsters even if the military did not understand that was his goal.  He really was a good guy! 😀  By the time I actually saw a King Kong movie, Godzilla had already won over my little girl heart.  Fast forward to this new movie trailer where, to my absolute horror, they were portraying my beloved Godzilla as the bad guy!  I kid you not, I got so upset!  Poor Jeff just looked at me while I ranted about how Godzilla was a good guy and just misunderstood and how it was totally unfair that they were portraying him this way.  I even ended up having nightmares about all this.  Yes, I did!  After much thought about this, I realized that I had somehow connected my feelings of unfairness about Godzilla being painted as a bad guy to what is going on in our country politically.  Think about it...police officers who risk their lives every day are being vilified by some of the highest ranking politicians in our country.  Even after an officer was killed during the riot on Capitol Hill, we have a certain member of the House of Representatives who tried to paint them in a bad light when they were trying to protect the same said member from being hurt.  She even accused them of possibly trying to send her into harm's way.  Her "story" is falling apart at the seams at the moment so who knows if she made the whole thing up or not BUT it still remains that she is trying to paint the brave Capitol police officers in a bad light even when one died of injuries, one committed suicide shortly after this and many others were hurt.  Yes, I am pissed off, one of my Josh's friends used to be a member of the Capitol police and my son knows many of the officers who are still a part of police force.


   As for the country songs, well have you ever listened to the lyrics of some of them where they talk about just going out and enjoying the simple pleasures in life?  You know, a day out on the river or lake, singing around a bonfire, camping out under the moon with not a care in the world with your friends and family?  Yes, I miss those moments in life!  I miss going out on the boat with my parents in Montana (it's been more than a year since I have been able to see them in person and spend time with them) with the breeze blowing in our face while we explore the lake.  I miss going camping with my kids and grandkids, sitting around a campfire and roasting marshmallows and making S'mores.  I miss having the freedom to just jump in the car and go explore small towns without the fear of catching this horrible virus.  Most of all, I miss being able to just be with my friends and  family and share hugs with them.  I am a hugger and this is killing me not being able to do that.


   Sadly I fear that this virus will remain with us for a long time with all the dangerous mutations that are happening with it.  Restrictions will remain in place for a long time.  Our political climate is getting even more divisive and it will destroy our country if we don't figure out a way to regain some common sense, human decency and start actually following the law and holding everyone to the same standards.  It seems to me right now it is a "I want my way no matter what the cost or harm it might cause" kind of thinking for many people.  What they either don't realize or maybe don't even care, is that they are destroying the country that our ancestors fought so hard for so that ALL of us could have the freedom to pursue our dreams, worship whomever we choose to, and not live in fear of someone coming to lock us up for simply sharing our thoughts.  We need there to be consequences for those who harm others, who steal, destroy property, loot and burn down buildings.  We need there to be consequences for those who lie to further their own agendas.  We need there to be equal standards for what is unacceptable about using racial, homophobic and other hateful and hurtful rhetoric no matter who says it!  Wrong is wrong.  Do I believe people have made mistakes in their past and can learn and grow from it?  Absolutely!  The key is actually learning, acknowledging, growing and changing their behavior.  We all make mistakes in life and hopefully we do learn from them.


   So here is to Godzilla, who is misunderstood and really is a good guy, country songs, campfires, family, friends and common sense to once again come to pass.  May we all be able to hang on for a bit longer and once again be able to hug and gather with our loved ones, and not worry about being called every bad name ending in "ist" because we believe in everyone being treated with respect and dignity and also believe in common sense.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/29/2021

 





               A peek inside of the bag and boxes that we were blessed with at the commodities giveaway.  So much stuff that will really help with the grocery budget and some to share with the rest of our family also.  I know some little buys who are going to enjoy the juice boxes that are packed in one of these awesome blessing boxes.


   I'm impressing myself.  I am actually getting this post typed up late Friday night and will most likely get it posted right after midnight.  YES!  😎  As anyone who reads my blog knows, this is NOT normal for me and I am usually a few days behind (or more).  The fact that I am even sitting up in the living room and have not crawled into bed in a miracle in itself.  This has been a horrible week Fibromyalgia flare wise and the majority of the time has found me in bed.  My sinuses were killing me earlier today but then it snowed and the swelling went down.  Maybe I needed the moisture in the air to feel better?  Who knows...all that matters is that I am doing better now right?  Anyway, onto the very limited frugal doings for the week:



                           


Saturday:

~I made French Dip sandwiches and served them with fresh apple slices for dinner. I had bought the roast beef on sale from the Walmart deli awhile back and just popped it in the freezer until I needed it.

~I had some leftover au jus and will be using that in another meal later in the week.

~Jeff and I hot tubbed.

~Jeff watched an old Western movie on YouTube in the living room while I watched old episodes of The Ghost and Ms. Muir in the bedroom.


Sunday:

~I spent most of the day in bed with a bad flare.

~I did manage to make dinner...ravioli, garlic bread and a salad.



Monday:

~I called again about my missing phone...have to call back on Wednesday to see if they will send me a different model since they are now out of the one I originally had.  UGH!

~I downloaded several free books to my Amazon cloud kindle reader.

~Dinner was leftovers and makeovers.  Jeff had leftover ravioli and I used a leftover Salisbury steak, some leftover au jus, a bit of plain yogurt and made stroganoff which I served over mashed potatoes.  There remained had enough leftover for another meal.

~I "fed" the compost pile with kitchen scraps.



Tuesday (The Fibro flare is still here):

~Leftovers for dinner.

~Watched some fun videos on YouTube.

~I spent a lot of time in our big pantry rearranging things and found that I had way more soy sauce than I thought I had.  I won't have to buy that for a long while.


Wednesday:

~I managed to make dinner using some ground venison that Chris gave us along with a Velveeta Skillet meal kit that was about .32 cents at the Grocery Outlet.  It was pretty darned good!  I hope they have more the next time I go to the store at that price.

~I found a season of a TV show online and watched that via YouTube.

~Lunch was a bowl of cottage cheese with about half a can of mixed fruit in it.




Thursday:

~I made two loaves of bread.

~As soon as the bread came out of the oven I popped in two pizzas, one for dinner and one for leftovers to eat for another meal.

~Jeff ran down and got commodities.  As usual they loaded him up!  Shampoo was a nice non food bonus this time.  We got frozen meats,  fresh and frozen potatoes, frozen strawberries, about 6 pounds of butter, yogurt, canned goods breads, pastries, grapes, tons of canned goods, juices, waffle and pancake mix, dried fruits and nuts, tuna and so much more.  I feel so blessed!

~I made a nice cup of tea in the evening.

~My prescriptions were delivered.


Friday:

~Some homemade chicken noodle soup was pulled out of the freezer and heated up for dinner.  There were leftovers for another meal.

~I went through some of my cleaning supplies and found some magic erasers that I wanted to use to clean the kitchen cabinets and backsplash.

~I watched more inspirational videos about cooking from the pantry.  I think it is good to get new ideas and vary our menu a bit more.

~Josh has been sending me videos and pictures each day of Tate.  Jeff and I are so enjoying watching him grow from afar. Only a few more weeks and we get to actually see and hold him!

~I chatted with my cousin and he will be going down for a job interview in Oregon soon.  If he gets the job then he will be moving and we will be getting his living room furniture since he does not want to take it with him.  I will try to sell our furniture that we have now and send the money to him.  He does not know that is the plan, but it is!  Shhhhhh......😉

~While doing some purging, I found some Air Jordon shoes that I will be selling on a local sales site.





   Our Covid-19 numbers are going up again and I am worried about the new variants that have made their way up to the United States.  We do have the UK variant over on the west side of the state which means it will be here within a few weeks time, if not less.  I need to really be careful to limit possible exposure since we have Josh, Lauren and Tate coming up to stay with us in a few weeks.  I would hate to get this and them not be able to come. I know we will have to make another trip to the grocery store soon to pick up a few things, but I may just do the curbside pickup and spend a bit more money unless Jeff and I decide to make a very early morning run into town and go to Winco.  We will see.  I know that this weekend we plan on getting the guest bedroom ready for the kids and that means a total clean out, taking the bunk beds down and setting the new bed up.  I may see if Jaysn can come out and help with that.  It would be nice to have him, Rachel and Steven come out for a visit anyway.  It has been way too long since we have seen all three of them and I know they are trying to be very careful too but really do want to come out.  😊

 






Saturday, January 23, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/22/2021





Hi all!  I have no idea why, but I am having a hard time being able to reply individually to comments that are left on the blog here.  Therefore I will try to answer a few questions before I list my frugal doings for the week.


Orange chicken recipe:  I'm sorry to say that this was just a sauce I picked up at the store and "gussied up" with some soy sauce and honey.  All I did for the chicken was use boneless, skinless chicken breast and thighs along with whatever veggies I had on hand and sautéed them all up and then added that sauce.

My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing with covid-19, Fibromyalgia and any other issue.  ((((((HUGS)))))

Via a message: Am I happy about the results of the election?  I'm a freedom of speech, anti cancel culture, believe in the right to bear arms, Christian who believes in the sanctity of life and that ALL people should be treated as equally.  My family is about as diverse as they come when it comes to gender beliefs, religious beliefs, nationalities, political views, etc. and I love them all.  I believe that everyone should be held to the same standard and that violence is wrong...period!  I will continue to be praying for our nation. That is what I have to say about that. 😉

Yes, I think we have to be extremely good stewards of all we have been blessed with and continue to prepare for hard times ahead.  Our current political climate continues to be scary along with still dealing with the pandemic and the shutting down of more businesses in our area at least.  


Now onto the savings that we managed this week in no particular order:

~I ordered more supplements from Vitacost going through a link via Swagbucks (6 points per dollar spent) and used a coupon code to get a discount also.

~I made 4 loaves of bread.

~I was able to find a gently used (1 year) queen sized bed on a buy and sell group from a graduate student who is moving for $50 for the mattress, box springs and frame.  Of course I will spray it down well with Lysol and then let that air out to make sure there is nothing on it that should not be.  This bed will be going in our guest bedroom and I will be selling the bunk beds that are in there currently.  I wanted a nice bed for Josh and Lauren to use when they are here and was really happy to find this deal.

~We took a truck bed full of lumber, fencing materials and a t poles over the Chris and Heather that we had here on hand for them to use.

~I also took over some homemade mac and cheese and Heather added a salad and dessert to that.  It was nice to have a lunch with them and cuddle with my grandbabies and their cats along with seeing all the big boys new creations!

~Jeff and I had the rest of the mac and cheese that would not fit into the casserole dish before we took it over for dinner the night before.

~Jeff called and got approved for 7 days off in February when Josh, Lauren and Tate come up!

~I trimmed my bangs.

~I watched some movies online. 

~I researched more about Native American culture and history.  Rachel and Steven are part Native American and I had an ancestor kidnapped by Native Americans in the distant past.  I now understand the "whys" of children of homesteaders being taken.  I also had ancestors who were saved by the native peoples when they first landed on the shores on this continent on the Mayflower.  It is important to learn the history of our country...both the good and the bad, and to be able to see things from a point of view that was/and still is not taught in our schools.

~The hot tub was used to soak away some soreness in our muscles.

~Jeff and I have both spent some time purging and sorting through things.

~Jeff picked up some fuel stabilizer for our generator.

~We filled the truck and one of the cars up with gas in Idaho...much cheaper there.

~I put the celery leaf trimming in the freezer to add to soups.

~One of the things I really enjoy doing is changing out my purses "just because", so I did that again this week.  Given that I have a huge purse collection, this is a free and fun thing for me to do.

~Hot tea and cider were my preferred hot drinks in the evening.  Luckily I have a huge stash of both on hand.

~Jeff and I found some amazing deals at the Grocery Outlet and another grocery store.  Large packages of cookies for .17 to .47 cents each (these will go in Jeff's work lunches), Oscar Meyer hot dogs for $1.00 (grandboys will love these), huge bag of Smart Pop Skinny Pop for .99 cents, a case of peach seltzer water for $2.99, turkey pastrami for $2.99 for a package from the deli, bananas for .47 cents a pound, Velveeta Skillet meals 3/$1 and a few other items.  We also found a game on sale that we bought for Bradley's upcoming birthday gift from us.

~Jeff got oil and filters he needed to work on both of the cars.


~Meals this week:

Homemade macaroni and cheese

Spicy Italian meatballs (very spicy, froze the leftovers to use sparingly in soups and sauces), rice, salad and fresh apple slices

Salisbury steaks, rice, carrots and pear slices

Grilled cheese sandwiches

Cheese omelet for Jeff

Homemade Krab salad for me

Leftovers

Split a chicken strip basket from the tavern ($10)

Homemade huckleberry and plain pancakes

Cereal, toast, oatmeal for breakfasts

Nachos

Snacks were fruit, popcorn and chips


   

   Plans for this weekend are to relax on Saturday and then get busy on some projects here in the house.  I have to take pictures of the bunk beds and list them for sale before we take them apart so we can move them out to the garage and get the new bed set up.  I also need to purge a ton of stuff and get it loaded up into the back of the car so we can drop it off and donate it to a thrift store.  I do not want to put big projects until the last minute before Josh, Lauren and the baby get here.  I want them done early so I can recover and hopefully not be in a flare when they come.  







 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Buy Your Seeds Now!

 



   Do any of you follow Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead?  She has a blog and a YouTube channel.  I've met Jill once in the past when she was home visiting her family and we know her sister Jenna well.  Her sister was really good friends with our Heather growing up. :)  Jenna is also Bradley's Godmother.


   Anyway, Jill was just put out a video on seed starting and how to do it on the cheap.  I just loved all her frugal ideas for doing so.  She also cautioned that seed companies are running out of seeds quickly this year, so if you want some, pick them up or order them now!


   I still have a lot left over from previous years, but I am not sure about their germination rates.  Therefor, I hedged my bets a little and picked up some more flower and veggie seeds at the Dollar Tree.  I will buy my tomato plants because I can never get them big enough and keep them healthy enough before they produce much.  If I buy established plants, I do much better, so I set money aside for that each year.  I am planning on picking up a few more seeds since I am now seeing them out at Walmart.  I will pick up things that I cold not find at the Dollar Tree.  I have a feeling that the seeds at the Dollar Tree will be very sparse or completely out within a week's time here.  They had just put them out and there are already gaps in the display.


   Just wanted to give everyone a head's up!