Saturday, October 19, 2019

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/18

~Lauren and Josh are in the final stages of getting everything ready for their wedding but still needed a few items.  Lauren mentioned that she needed something to put cards in and also a cake stand.  Luckily I had exactly what she needed here so I will be taking a gorgeous glass cake stand and basket that goes perfectly with their cabin and outdoor type theme over to Montana for their wedding.
~Bradley needed some dress shoes for the wedding and I was able to find him a nice pair at Goodwill.  They were even half off!
~Bradley and Isaiah needed more snow pants.  I found a pair at Goodwill and since they did not have a price sticker on them, the girl ringing us up gave them to us for $5.99 even though all the other snow pants were marked at $9.99.  I also found a winter coat for Steven, who needed a second one, for $5.99.  The coat was brand new!  I want all my grandkids to have at least 2 pairs of snow pants or snow bibs, 2 jackets, and 2 sets of gloves and hats so that they can use the second ones when the first ones are wet from playing outside.
~Jeff found a draft dodger door thingy to keep the cold out for $1.99.  Rachel and Jaysn needed one of those.
~I found a sweater (I used a 20% off coupon on this item), a lightweight jersey material type jacket, a pair of Sketchers shoes (half price) and lots of Ziplock storage containers that were $2.99 for a 4 pack.  Again...Goodwill!
~Heather invited us over for lunch and Chris grilled venison steaks.  They were so good!
~G-pa (Jeff), Chris, Bradley and Isaiah all worked together to build a cornhole game for their friends for Christmas.  Between Chris and Jeff, they had all the materials they needed to both build and paint it.  We left the rest of the wood we took over for Heather to use for making signs or other crafts.
~Saturday we were able to spend some time with Jaysn, Rachel and Steven.  We had not eaten lunch so we took a huge sub sandwich and some chips over there that we bought at Winco.
~Jeff helped me get all of my Summer clothing packed up and my colder weather clothing unpacked and into my dressers.  While switching things out, I purged lots of items that I no longer fit into or no longer use.  It was great to find things that I had forgotten about in the process also!
~I made a delicious tomato and pepper fettuccini dish for dinner one night using some of the tomatoes from our garden that I am ripening inside the house.
~More homemade bread was made.
~My sweet friend, Shannon, blessed me with a pitcher full of freshly pressed apple cider that they made up at the orchard over the hill from us.  I have been enjoying it hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
~We stocked up on treats for our house sitter. :)
~I found 2 books at the Dollar Tree that I thought were wonderful and very gift worthy.  I also picked up some cold coffee drinks (for our trip), some coloring books, more medicated powder (Jeff uses it every day), and some toaster pastries.
~When I find fully cooked chickens reduced price at the deli at Walmart, I try to pick them up and then freeze them for future meals.  Being in a bad fibro flare, I was able to just pull one out of the freezer, thaw and then add some green beans and baked potatoes to it to make a nice meal without a lot of work.
~Jeff picked up 4 bags of fully cooked meatballs and 4 large cans of green enchilada sauce.  All were half price.
~I used one of the packages of meatballs and simmered them in a brown mushroom gravy.  I served it over rice with a side of carrot sticks.  I had enough of the meatballs an gravy for another meal along with enough leftover rice for several more meals.
~Chris came over for a visit and I sent him home with the snow pants we picked up for the boys, some books for them and some bean bags for a cornhole game that they are working on to give as a gift to their friends.
~I watched several movies on YouTube.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Frugal Friday Wrap Up and Snow! 10/11/19

   Yes, that is snow you see in the picture above.  It is our second snow this year.  I don't remember us ever getting snow this early.  I took that picture right after it started.  We still have some snow in the shaded spaces in our back yard as of today.  We had to start using our heat early because we have gotten down into the lower 20's with highs only reaching the low 40's on some days.  Chris and Heather were really sweet and picked up a ton of wood pellets from the building supply store today (they were able to just put it on our account there since we have them listed on our account to use it also) and brought it out to us and unloaded it with Jeff.  I am so grateful and so is Jeff for all their help.  It was wonderful to see our oldest grandsons too and hear about their trip to the coast with their mommy and grandma. :)  Oh, the pellets were also on sale this month....Bonus!!!

   My days this past week have alternated between trying to get as much done as possible and then going into huge Fibro crashes.  This whole finding balance thing is not happening in big part to the weather changes that throw me into huge flares also.  I'm also trying to readjust my sleep schedule to normal people hours before we head over for Josh and Lauren's wedding in 2 weeks and it is NOT working.  As it is, I get the best sleep if I stick with Jeff's sleep times which means I sleep from about 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. or noon.  I am making the best of those hours though and doing house cleaning and baking in those early morning hours.

   So here are the frugal doings that I can remember from this past week:

~Jeff needed some new black slacks for Josh and Lauren's wedding.  We could not find any in our area so we headed up to Spokane and found some at JC Penney's for $24.
~I found 2 pairs of jeans at Sears.  They were going out of business.  The jeans I bought were identical sizes, brand and style.  I tried on one pair and figured the other would fit also....wrong.  I am going to see if they fit Rachel and if not, I will just take them in where needed.  She and I are close to the same size but are shaped very differently.  I really hope they fit her though.
~I made a huge pot of elk stew in the InstaPot and served it with rice.  It was delicious and made lots of meals for us.

~We needed breakfast and snack foods for when we go over to my parents' home for a few days before Josh and Lauren's wedding since most of our crew, along with Lauren's mom and stepfather will be there.  I wanted to help my mom out with all of that since she is feeding the masses as it seems. ;)  In addition to the two gallon sized bags of zucchini muffins that I made about 2 weeks ago and froze, I also made 2 more gallon size bags full of raspberry/blackberry muffins and froze those.  All the berries and squash came from our garden.  I'm glad I froze so many bags of berries now.
~I made 2 loaves of bread and a squash casserole (again, squash from our garden that I saved before the big freeze took everything out.
~I sorted through the box of tomatoes that I had picked when they were green (again, trying to save them from the frost) and pulled out the ones that have ripened.  I sent some of those with Heather today since she needed some for a salad she was making.
~I consigned a bunch of jackets at a new consignment store near us.  They took almost everything I had in that department.  I love having another outlet where I can make some money and clean out my closet at the same time.
~There is a toy drive going on in our town right now for Christmas presents for kids who are in one of the hospitals in Spokane over Christmas.  Our house sitter organized it to give back to them after she was the recipient of gifts on Christmas morning there about 2 years ago when she had to have emergency surgery.  It meant the world to her to have presents Christmas morning when she was stuck there after that surgery.  I had some brand new children's games and toys set aside in my gift closet and donated a Candy Land game to the drive.  I figured that would be a great gift for a child who was stuck in bed.  They could play with their parents or siblings while at the hospital and then later at home also.  It was my favorite game as a young child too! Fun fact...she and I were talking and I realized I had taught her father years ago when I first started subbing at the high school.  Small world (and town).
~I borrowed the movie "Ugly Dolls" from the library.
~More free magazines came in the mail.
~Our town had a Fall Clean Up day and we took full advantage of it.  They hauled away all kinds of stuff for free for all of us here in town.

   I leave you with the following picture of Caesar and Midgey cuddled up together.  Only the coldest of weather could bring her to cuddle up with him.  I thought it was so precious!



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Leaks in the (Frugality) Boat


   Jeff and I have bee trying so hard to be as frugal as we can lately.  However, the SS Frugal has sprung a leak and it was a pretty decent sized one too.  UGH!  

   We have a trip to go over to Montana for our son Josh's wedding to his beloved Lauren in a few weeks.  Since the weather had been strange and we have already had snow, we decided to pick up some chains for our tires because they are required on some of the passes when the weather gets bad.  Well we found some for $160 at Les Swab that will fit our tires...ouch.  If we don't have to use them this season, we can take them back on April 1st and get a full refund.  Nice if we can do that...but still.

   Our old microwave oven decided that it was not going to seal properly anymore, so out it went.  I will not take chances on our health.  Since we use our microwave daily, we went to Walmart and picked up a midrange one for $70.  It has a higher wattage than our old one, so we will have to get used to it.  While there, we also picked up another phone card refill for Jeff's tracfone and I added that to his account along with a bonus 60 minute code tonight.  I also found some marked down bread products and picked those up as well and a reduce priced chicken from the deli.

   We are still on the hunt for some nice dress slacks for Jeff and stopped at one of the thrift pants to be found but we did find a beautiful print from Hawaii that was signed by the artist, a warm fleece jacket for me and one other item that I can't remember now (Fibro fog has struck).

   In order to patch some of those leaks in the SS Frugal, we continue to try to do things here to save money to offset some of the bigger costs that we have incurred.

~I mended 4 articles of clothing.
~More sandwich bread has been baked along with biscuits.
~We harvested and froze more berries and green onions before the big killing frost hit.
~Jeff finished fixing the garage roof so it should not leak anymore.
~We pulled some butter, elk steaks and creamer out of our 2 big freezers that live in the garage.
~I have no idea why, but natural disaster movies are one of the few things that I can watch that will take my mind off the constant pain I am in.  I found a bunch of them on YouTube and even got Jeff involved in watching them.
~I found a channel on YouTube called relaxdaily that has some of the most beautiful and calming music...I have it on right now.
~I have been gifted lots of plums and pears...yum.
~There is yet another bucket of apples picked from our tree before the frost hit that I need to make into applesauce or dehydrate.
~My Scentsy wax burners were pulled out and we have the most amazing fragrances going in them.  All of the fragrances and burners were either gifted to me or I found at thrift stores.  I have a drawer filled with them.
~We did find a brand new spy voice decoder toy at Goodwill over the weekend and bought it and put it away for a Christmas gift for our spy loving oldest grandson Bradley.  Jeff also found some Yak Trak things that you strap onto your shoes to keep you from slipping on the ice (these are for him, I already have a pair) and some bean bags for a corn whole game that Jeff, Bradley and Isaiah are building together for a Christmas gift for their friends. :)
~A large pot of split pea soup was made with things we had in our pantry and refrigerator.  It was so good!
~Starkist sent me a coupon as part of a settlement that was for up to $5.03 worth of Starkists products.  I was able to get 6 cans of tuna for just a few cents after using the coupon.  These are great stock up items for the pantry.
~Even though we are having to use the pellet stove to heat our home, we are still keeping it turned down as low as we can but are still comfortable if we are dressed warmly and cuddle under blankets when we are watching tv or sleeping.  It got down to 26F here this morning...brrrrrrr.....  We also pulled out the warm houseslippers and fuzzy socks.

   With that all that listed above, I will not be doing a Frugal Friday Wrap Up this week.  We have another storm coming in and it is greatly affecting my health.  I can feel it taking me down so I wanted to get this done before it completely did.  If you need me in the next few days, I will most likely be in bed or in my recliner dozing on and off.  Such is life these days.  Be blessed!




Tuesday, September 24, 2019

My Zipadedooda is Zapped...Getting Ready for Fall


Italian prune plums in my huge bowl waiting to be cut and then dehydrated.

Fall has come early this year and we are expecting a killing frost and possibly a bit of snow by this weekend.  Jeff and I have been frantically trying to get things done here so we are ready for the cold weather.  Not complaining about the cooler weather since Fall is my favorite time of the year and I do much better with cooler temperatures than I do the heat. 😉

   All the jobs, that we normally have another month to get done, have to be done by this Thursday.  Believe me, the list is long and the energy, on my part at least, is short.

   Jeff has been up on the garage roof replacing all of the screws and washers that hold the metal roofing on.  The roof has been leaking for years now and he is determined to get it done and waterproofed.  Now that all the screws are replaced, he only has the ridgecap to fix.  He was hoping to get that done today but between the high winds and the fact that he got home at 7:30 this morning from work, I don't thinki that is going to happen, at least I hope he does not get up there today.

   While Jeff has been up on the garage roof, he has been picking prune plums for me from the neighbor's huge trees that overhangs our garage.  Our neighbors are wonderful people told us to pick all we want.  We have!  Once they are picked though it is up to me to get them all cut up and on the dehydrator.  That takes lots of time and energy for me.  So far I have done one batch on my huge dehydrator and I have another batch to do today.

   I finally got all the applesauce done that we need and am now dealing with the last of the tomatoes, squash, beans and cucumbers from the garden along with the glut of blackberries.
I have been freezing and giving away tons of blackberries this year!  I am dealing with the cucumbers but sharing with friends and neighbors and making lots of quick pickles, which I eat on a daily basis.  The tomatoes have been finding their way into lots of my dinners and lunches lately and my middle grandson has discovered a love for them, so Grammie here is trying to feed that new obsession...literally.  The beans are finally done and we ate the last batch of them last night with dinner.  To be honest, I am relieved.  One less thing to deal with but oh, they were so good!  The squash is another matter all together.  Yes, I have shared lots but I still have a ton here.  I need to make a bunch of zucchini bread or muffins and I plan on freezing some and taking them over to Montana next month when we all descend on my parents in the days before Josh and Lauren's wedding.  My mother will be busy feeding a crowd and I want to be able to help here with that by providing some food that is already done and ready and that my brother Fritz will also enjoy.

   Within the next few days I need to pick the rest of the tomatoes before the frost and let them ripen slowly inside the house.  I also need to pick more blackberries before the killing frost gets them also.  I would like to pick more apples and some of the wild yellow plums that are growing alongside the road up the hill from us.  That is a lot of work, but as a wise farmer friend of mine has always said, you need to make hay while the sun is shining.

   Jeff and I have also been getting the inside of the house ready for the colder weather.  He got the wood pellet stove all cleaned out and ready to go and cleaned up and lubricated that fan we hang at the end of the hallway that pushes the warm are from the stove down the hall to the bedrooms.  He also got the swamp cooler all emptied, winterized and shut down for the cold weather to come.  Some of our warmer weather furniture, both indoor and out, is being put way and so are all the hoses from the gardens.

   I have been busy washing up and lighter weight blankets and getting those put away and swithching out for the warmer ones.  I have also decorated for Fall, got out the Fall themed cozy throws and blankets for the living room and still need to switch out the cloth napkins to the Fall and Winter themed ones.  The pictures on the walls that are Spring and Summer themed ones have come down and been replaced with my Fall and Winter ones also.  I love the warm glow they give to our living room at this time of year.  It makes it feel so cozy in there and is where I spend most of my time once I cannot be outdoors as much.

   All of this has left me very tired and zapped of my energy.  It is worth it though as we head into this season of being able to cozy up by the fire and know that we have put away lots of food from our gardens to be used throughout the Fall and Winter months.   Being able to pull some homemade applesauce out of our freezer to enjoy with pork chops or to use in baking in a real treat.  All those bags of raspberries, plums, blackberries and blueberries will find their way into muffins, cobblers, pancakes and possibly some jam.  They are like treasures that I will unearth from the freezer over the long months ahead and bring a taste of Summer to us.  I have been getting things ready for this time of year as energy allows and have spent many days in bed or on the couch as I have overdone it.  I know that time is short when it comes to getting everything in and out of the garden and this year, it is even shorter.  That reminds me...I have to get some more herbs and green onions in and dried.





Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/6-12 2019

   Yes, I am very late once again in posting this.  We had a very busy Friday getting lots of things done around the house.  Saturday we took our youngest grandson to the fair while his parents got some much needed down time to get a few things done at their place.  It's hard to clean and organize when you have a pint sized tornado, who refuses to nap, following right along beside you. 😉  Jeff and I remember those days well with our 3 boys.  Steven made this Grammie's day when he clearly said my name about welling up with happy tears!  Sunday and Monday were both huge crash days for me.  Here it is Tuesday and having finally fallen asleep at 5 this morning and sleeping until around noon, I finally can focus well enough to get this post finished.  Such is the rollercoaster of life that I live.  Hopefully once Jeff gets up, I will be able to get some bread made for the week and also do some more cooking.  We have a rainy weather front coming in and I can feel it in every fiber of my body but life must go on right?   So here we are with last weeks frugal doings:

~I harvested tomatoes and beans from the garden.
~We took Caesar for a nice walk.
~I watched some videos on YouTube to give me more meal ideas.
~We had leftovers and produce from the garden for dinner.

~We stayed home because Jeff was not feeling well.
~Dinner was a sheet pan meal of chicken cordon b
ue and roasted potatoes.
~We watched some shows on YouTube.
~We hot tubbed to ease those aching muscles once again.
~I made two loaves of bread.
~Jeff and I got the house all decorated for Fall with things that we had here already.  I love the way the house looks now.
~Jeff found some black slacks that no longer fit him so he is giving them to Chris.

~I picked squash from the garden.
~We had a surprise birthday party for Jeff at Chris and Heather's.  He has no clue, even as we drove up and he saw the cars there. :)  It was a potluck and so much fun!
~Chris sent us home with locally grown blueberries that he got from a friend's farm.
~Heather sent home most of the birthday cake with us.
~I left the rest of the pasta salad I made with Chris for his lunch Monday.
~Jeremy paid me for a table we had at his shop that sold.  I took that money and went to Winco and stocked up our pantry even further for the colder weather ahead.  I do not like to go out when there is ice on the road or the weather gets bad.  I feel much safer with a stocked pantry going into the colder months.

~Jeff picked blackberries for me.
~We got a movie from the library.
~I spent the entire morning in bed dozing on and off.  I was totally exhausted after the family party yesterday but it was so worth it!
~I watched some tv shows online after Jeff went to bed for the afternoon and early evening.
~I made a cheese ravioli casserole and garlic bread for dinner.

~We had more rain coming in and it really did a number on my fibromyalgia so Jeff picked the blackberries for me since I got dizzy any time I leaned over.
~Leftovers from last night were for dinner.
~I made some more quick cucumber pickles with cucumbers from our garden.
~Lunch was cherry tomatoes from the garden and cottage cheese seasoned with dill from the garden.
~Jeff substituted for a friend at bowling league so his bowling was paid for.
~I watched several videos and shows online.

~I borrowed another season of Downton Abbey on dvd from the library.  I love that series and find it very calming to watch.  I'm also a sucker for anything based in that time frame.
~I harvested more tomatoes, beans and cucumbers from the garden.
~Jeff grilled up some burgers and zucchinis for an early dinner/late lunch.
~We took Caesar for a walk when we went down to the library and to the post office.
~I froze more blackberries from the garden.

~I cooked up 2 chicken breasts in the InstantPot.  One I turned into chicken salad and the other I went on to make chicken alfredo using some green onions and cherry tomatoes from the garden.  It was so good and easy!
~We picked more blackberries and froze most of them.
~I used one of the Williams and Sonoma Fall leaf plates as a base for an battery powered candle.
~I went through some of the things in our pantry and got them more organized.

   On another note, please make sure you fill up your vehicles with fuel...prices are going to go up according to the news with the fires in Saudi Arabia's oil fields.  Jeff and I got both our vehicles filled up before the prices started to climb and are going to limit the use of my car until they go back down again or we have to do a major shopping trip.  Be blessed all!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

No More Dr. Phil for Me

   It is no secret that I do not sleep well at all.  It has gotten to the point where I am not falling asleep until Jeff gets home around 5:30ish in the morning now.  Even then, my dreams are strange and at times very scary.  I started thinking about it and really taking a good look at what was going on in my dreams and realized that it is all Dr. Phil's fault.  This is said tongue in cheek, but there is a grain of truth to it.

   Since I don't sleep at night, I have been watching Dr. Phil on YouTube and boy is it bringing up all kinds of issues for me.  A lot of his shows revolve around child abuse and sexual abuse and exploitation.  Having been a victim of child molestation myself, which led to all kinds of maladaptive behaviors, I can relate to so many of his guests.  It also takes me down trails in my mind that I do not want to go down again.

   Yes, I have been in counseling for a lot of this, but there are still some "doors" that remain locked and closed because I am not strong enough to deal with them in my waking hours.  It seems those doors are opened at night in my dreams though and I wake up with full on panic attacks.  

   Some door should remain closed.  There is no need to open them and go through the horrific pain again.  I have blocked many of those memories for good reason.  I have worked hard to come to the point where I am able to get myself through panic attacks and be a more possitive person on a regular basis.  The last thing I need is for me to spiral down that big black drain of depression again.

   So no more Dr. Phil for me.  I just can't deal with it right now.  With the news so focused on the horrible sexual explotation of children by Jeffrey Epstien and his cronies, it is more than I can handle.  My heart aches for all the victims and I hope and pray that every single person involved in the abuse is jailed for life! Yes, I feel very strongly about all of this because what I went through is just a tiny fraction of what they went through and I live with the damage done to me every single day of my life. I cannot even imagine how those victims are even able to function.  Please keep them all in your prayers and that justice is served for them...they deserve at least that.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Good Eats Lately

Teriyaki, rice and peanut sauced veggies.

Blueberry pancakes and Portuguese sausage.

Meatloaf, roasted garlic potatoes and a cucumber and tomato salad.

Homemade bread.

Grilled burgers, zuchinni and homemade jojos.

BBQed beef on buns, carrot sticks, cucumbers.

Fried tomatoes and tomato gravy over bread.

Corn and potato chowder.

Squash casserole, plums and blackberries.
Caramelized appled over ice cream.

BLTs, shoestring potato fries and quick cucumber pickles.

Avocado toast with tomatoes.

Most of the produce came from our gardens.  It has been a great year for the gardens!