Monday, January 24, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/14/22 and 1/21/21

                                


   Hello all. 😄  It's been a busy few weeks and I have not been feeling the greatest.  Fibro, not covid, as far as I know.  Also dealing with some emotional things and that is not fun, but it is needed.  Silver linings...silver linings. 😜 So here are the frugal doings for two weeks, with pictures of some of our meals and things to follow the list.  We do at a variety of foods and I try to do my best not to waste anything.  Now, more than ever, we all need to be mindful of that.  I was completely taken aback at the price hikes in food, especially meat!  I had a conversation with a lady at Grocery Outlet and she said she told her hubby that they may have to go vegetarian because meat prices have gone through the roof.  Cheese prices are also on the rise big time.  I continue to hunt down good deals and stock up on them when available.  Right now we are doing fine and I try to replace whatever we use ASAP with at least one, or maybe two, of that same item the next time I find it.  It helps keep me sane.  Now onto the savings!


Week 1.....

Weekend:

~Jeff helped Chris with his pole barn/shop build both Saturday and Sunday.  Free labor is a huge blessing for Chris, especially when he had his father, father-in-law and friend helping.  Both Jeff and Bruce (FIL) have lots of construction experience and Bruce was also able to borrow some equipment from work to help lift the trusses up for the roof. Jeff and Bruce both also have a lot of tools to help with the build and Chris has been adding to his tool collection too!

~Saturday I made 4 jars of raspberry jelly with some of the raspberries that I had picked and frozen over the Summer.  Jeff is not a fan of raspberry jelly, so most of these will become gifts.  I still have so many more frozen blackberries and raspberries to use up so there is more jelly making in my future.  I do them in small batches because that is about all I can handle at one time.  Luckily I have a good supply of jars and lids here at home.

~I made a delicious pork loin roast for dinner on Saturday.  I served it with rice, green beans and a salad.  I saved some of the roast to use in another meal.  We also had leftover rice that will also go into another meal.

~I was craving "comfort food", so I made some udon noodle soup and added some Swiss chard that I had picked from our garden before the big freeze along with some green onion (also from the garden and frozen) and some other things to it.  So good and filling on a cold winter day!

~Sunday I video chatted with Josh for a short bit.  He had just dropped off the dogs at their dog sitter since Lauren and Tate are in Ohio for her uncle's funeral and Josh has to head out for a week of training.  Hopefully he will be able to see our hanai son #4 Lee while he is at training in Colorado this week.

~I froze some bananas that will be perfect for banana bread.

~I used the leftover rice to make Taco rice for Sunday's dinner.  It is super easy to make:  

Taco Rice

Just brown some burger meat of your choice and add some minced onion, celery and taco seasoning to it.  When that is all sauteed up nicely add a can of rinsed black beans, a can of diced tomatoes with their juice, a can of corn, again with it's juice, and let simmer for 10 minutes to allow for the flavors to blend. Then add leftover cooked rice to it and mix in well.  Allow this to simmer on low for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with some shredded cheddar cheese on top.  The leftovers are great for lunch or can be repurposed into an amazing burrito filling (which is what I plan on doing with most of it).  I usually make a batch of the burritos and freeze them into portion sizes for Jeff to take to work with him to have for lunch.

~I pulled some cooked squash and onion out of the freezer to thaw.  I will make a squash casserole with this later in the week.


Monday:

~I called Dollar Tree to see if they had their garden seeds in yet and they did!  I quickly showered and got ready and then headed into town.  I stocked up on lots of seeds 4/$1, 6 laundry detergents in the larger bottles (they are downsizing the bottles), a few grocery items including cotto salami lunchmeat for Jeff, some OTC medications, a few cleaning items and 2 shirts at $1 each for Jeff.

~My next stop was Marshall's where I had a $25 gift card from Jeff to spend.  I ended up getting 2 pairs of pajamas on clearance.  The girl just finished marking down one of the pairs when I asked her what the price was since I could not find it earlier.

~Winco was my final stop.  I picked up a few items including cabbage, milk, Powerade, bagels, canned chicken, carrots, coffee, and frozen pie crusts.

~Once I arrived home,  I got the oven heating up and then popped in a frozen pizza for dinner.  I was exhausted after all the shopping and driving.


Tuesday (exhausted Fibro flare day):

~Even though I went to bed at 11p.m. last night and woke up at 8:30, I was still super exhausted.  I gave myself grace, had some coffee and a snack, watched some TV and then laid down to rest.

~After my rest, I made a squash casserole with some of the squash that I had cooked up and bagged, then frozen, in Ziplock bags.  It was wonderful to have it at this time of year.  Thank you again SJ for the wonderful suggestion!

~Jeff picked up the free pizza that I had uploaded onto our Safeway card.

~Jeff had hot dogs for dinner.


Wednesday:

~I used some of the Taco rice to make burritos by also adding some cheese to the filling.  I froze those burritos and the rest of the leftover taco rice for another meal.  I freeze the burritos in pairs in a sandwich type Ziplock bag and then put all of those bags in another Ziplock bag.

~Looking through our big chest freezer, I found some pulled pork and put that in our inside refrigerator to thaw.

~The leftover pork loin roast was cut up, along with some cabbage, carrots,celery and onions.  I then used that to make Peanut sauced Lo Mein for dinner.   It is nice to be able to vary the flavor profiles of our meals during the week.  Since Asian foods are comfort foods to me, and I am trying not to eat out this month, this gives me the "fix" I need. 😉

~More digital coupons were uploaded onto my Safeway card including a $5 off a $5 purchase.  I will have Jeff stop by there on Thursday night before he goes to bowling to pick up a few things and hopefully it will be just a bit over the $5 which will apply the coupon.  I need some rolls for the pulled pork sandwiches that we are going to have Friday night for dinner.


Thursday:

~Shannon came over for a visit and I gave her a jar of my homemade raspberry jelly.  It was so good to have some time to just sit and get caught up with each other after the busy holiday season.

~We had the momma moose and her two babies make a visit in our neighborhood again.  This time they were up eating apples that had fallen to the ground at our neighbor's property.  I love seeing them come and visit.  They provide the cats and I lots of entertainment.

~I had leftovers for lunch and Jeff took two of the burritos I made yesterday for his lunch.

~Jeff picked up cheese at Safeway and using the digital coupons, he got it for one cent!  The cashier asked him how he did it and he explained combining the digital coupons to get that deal so she could so it herself.

~He went to Winco to get the hamburger buns since they are cheaper there.  He also picked up more creamer for me.  He told me that the only creamer they had in the flavor I asked for was in the huge containers.  That is fine with me since I drink a lot of coffee.  Apparently, the creamer section was pretty sparse according to him.

~I had some canned tamales for dinner since Jeff had his bowling league and I think he took something for dinner with him or he could have used his gift card for Arby's to pick something up.


Friday:

~I got a call from my health insurance company telling me they never got my December payment.  I checked to make sure that we did mail it out and we did.  The other checks for payments to other companies also went out at the same time and many of them have been cashed.  The check for the health insurance had not been cashed yet so I called them and had them put a tracer on it from their end.  Between the holidays, mail delays and being short staffed on their end, the check may just be laying there waiting to be posted to my account and then cashed.  I should know in a few days if they find it and post it.

~The covid cases are soaring again in our state, along with Idaho.  Both are going to crisis care mode again for the hospitals and some clinics.  The Nation Guard has been called in to help in many of the hospitals, including in Spokane. That means nonessential surgeries are once again being cancelled.  Some school districts are going back to online learning due to staffing shortages, which really hurts the kids who have already gone through so much.  I am so thankful for a very stocked pantry so that I do not need to be out grocery shopping or be around crowds.  Shannon told me NOT to go out without an N95 mask right now and she is picking some up for me in Spokane since they are all out in our area.  I listen to her since she works at one of the largest hospitals in Spokane and knows what is really going on.  She is also a very level headed person who is not an alarmist.  Jeff will still pick up the odds and ends we might need since he still has to go to work and I am not asking him to stop his bowling league, which is very small.  He needs that outlet. There is a good chance that it will be shut down if things continue to get worse anyway.



Week 2.....

~We went over to help Chris and Heather on the pole building Saturday.  Heather was making lunch and I added 2 bags of chips and a reduced price veggie tray to it.  It was so good!

~I hit the jackpot at one of our local IGA stores on Sunday.  The reduced refrigerator section had 2 packages of fresh tortellini and 8 packages of teriyaki and pineapple chicken meatballs for $1 each!  I bought them all!  Seven of the meatball packages were frozen for future meals.

~Sunday's dinner was both packages of tortellini with  a homemade cheese sauce.  There were plenty of leftovers and I had some for my lunch the next day.

~Both the federal and our state were offering free covid rapid tests, so I ordered from both sites.  I know that the federal offer was for 4 tests regardless of family size and we know families with more than 4 members, so we can share the tests with them if needed.

~I took one of the packages of teriyaki meatballs and made a teriyaki sauce to simmer it in.  I added sweet red pepper slices from the freezer to it also and served this over rice.

~Tuesday evening we went to Winco to stock up on bulk items like baking supplies and popcorn, and also got some cabbage, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, Powerade, apples, sweet potatoes and bananas.  Apples were half the price there as other places and many other stores were completely out of certain produce items.

~We also went to the Dollar Tree on Tuesday evening and picked up more seeds, some gardening gloves for me, shampoo that Jeff prefers and conditioner for my hair.  

~One of the other meals I made this week was a thin cut pork chop and stuffing bake.  It was delicious!  I served homemade applesauce from our freezer with it.

~Jeff had his bowling league Thursday night so I made a shrimp and cabbage Asian style for my dinner.

~Jeff picked up my prescription while in town for his bowling league.

~I uploaded a free pizza to my Safeway card and Jeff picked it up Friday on his way home from work.

~I had messaged Jeff about bringing home Panda Express for dinner on Friday night and then messaged him back saying never mind and that we would have pizza instead and save the money. 😉

~There were a bunch of loose spices that I had in small bags.  I got them all in small glass jars and shakers then labeled them with a chalk pen marker that I had gotten on a previous trip to Dollar Tree.

~Some of the leftover rice was warmed up along with a half a can of chili for my lunch during the week.

~Plain water just does not do it for me so I have been adding some peach iced tea mix to it.  I already had this in my pantry so that is a winning situation for me.


Following are some pictures from the last two weeks:












   I would like to encourage anyone reading this to continue building your pantries.  We are seeing shortages in our area and it is just going to get worse for awhile with the new mandatory "Fauci Ouchie" in place now for truck drivers in both Canada and the USA.  Cases are drastically rising in our area and I feel like it is just a matter of time before Jeff and I do end up with it.  Both of us have been super tired the past few days.  I am praying we are not coming down with anything since there are also colds and the flu making the rounds, along with strep throat.  I am as prepared as I can be and made some of the lemon/honey/ginger syrup today to have on hand.  I like it in tea, water or even just a spoonful at a time.  Jeff, not so much.  He is not a fan of lemonade, and it kind of tastes like that with a ginger "kick" to it.  Be blessed all and stay healthy!





















Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Some Thoughts and Observations


 


   The photo above is of my oldest two grandboys, Bradley and Isaiah first thing in the morning and yes, they are still in their jammies.  Isaiah LOVES his very patient chicken "Roostie" and was very excited to find chicken halters and leashes online.  He bought a package and there were two sets in there so of course Mr. Whiskers had to have one put on him as well.  Roostie seems to like going for walks with his, but Mr. Whiskers, not so much! LOL!  These boys are always keeping us amused with their antics.


   I did not post a Frugal Friday update for this past week but I did keep track of things and will include it as part of a two week update this coming weekend.  We got busy over the weekend helping (well Jeff did) Chris with his shop build and I spent some lovely time visiting with the grandboys, Heather, Heather's SIL Amber and her two youngest boys.  Sunday we ran into town to do some shopping and found some incredible deals!  My freezer is again filled to the brim.


  Monday and Tuesday found me exhausted and I just needed to "down time".  We did run into town Tuesday night to pick up more garden seeds from the Dollar Tree and some grocery and HBA staples that we always try to have on hand.  I found a great deal on canned veggies for .48 each, so I bought a flat of each of those to add to the pantry.  I am really worried about the state of our economy and all the supply chain issues so I am trying my best to make sure that we have what we need.  I am now the proud owner of many seeds that I can share with my kids and still have enough for two years at least.  I plan on doubling my garden output this Spring, Summer and Fall and will add more container gardens to help facilitate this.  I talked to Jeff about building me a small green house off to the side of the house that gets sun most of the day.  I want to start seeds there this Spring to give them a good head start.


  Speaking of gardens, my kale loving moose are back.  Momma and her babies have been up eating the fallen apples at our neighbor's house.  I am really glad I had our fence between them and I.  I love watching them.  They really are beautiful animals.  They are welcome to eat the kale and even the Swiss chard that is now uncovered since the snow has melted in the garden beds.  However, once Spring arrives, Jeff will be putting up a fence to keep them out of the side garden area.  I really don't want them to eat all the Spring planting that I will be doing.


   The Winter "Blahs" have started with me.  It happens every year at this time.  When Caesar was still alive he and I would go for walks to help me get rid of some of my depression and anxiety.  I sure miss my huge shedding happy dog.  He was my buddy and I loved him so much.  Without him to motivate me, I have spent most of my days inside the house and have had way too much time to let my mind wander to places that I have not allowed myself to go to for a long time.  Those places are scary, dark, and filled with memories that I really would rather not revisit ever.  The nightmares came back, but I now have the tools needed to deal with them, as painful as they are.  Maybe now is the time to deal with them once and for all and then be done with it.  Something to ponder upon...


   Covid-10 has once again found its way into our lives.  Lauren tested positive for it after coming back from Ohio and her uncle's funeral.  More members of her family also have tested positive and Josh is pretty sure that he has it too.  Lauren, Tate and Josh are now home in isolation with Lauren thankfully being able to work from home.  Tate seems fine so far and for that I am very thankful.  Lauren and Josh's symptoms are very mild and they both have been vaxed and boosted.  On a side note, they met someone at the funeral who knows my Uncle Gary, who also lives in that area.  They remember him as a police officer and also the owner of the ACE hardware store that he and my Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Susie bought and ran for years.  Small world.  Please keep them all in our prayers.


   I suppose I should get going.  I have a bed to make and laundry to fold.  There is a list a mile long to get done and I have very little energy to do so.  I may take a page out of my youngest grandson Tate's book and take a nap.  Or...I may take a page out of my grandson Steven's book and make something sweet to eat, complete with lots of sprinkles on top!  This could get interesting.

Be blessed my friends!


   



   

 

   


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/7/22

 




   Well hello again!  It has been an eventful week filled with snowstorms, horrible roads, some frugal fails, etc..  However, not all is gloom and doom.  Remember my saying that I am always looking for those Silver Linings?  The best one of the week was being able to have our grandson Steven spend the night midweek since his daycare is still shut down and his parents needed to be able to get back to work.  Oh that was so much fun for me!  He is simply a wonderful little guy and we both enjoyed each other's company.  Now onto the frugal doings in no particular order since I again failed to keep track of them as they happened.


~Steven spent the night with us on Tuesday. G-pa brought him home after getting off work.  We had cuddle time, stories were read and he fell asleep very quickly that night.  He did wake up at 4 a.m., but went right back to sleep when I told him it was still nighttime and that it was not time to get up yet.  He then slept until 8:30 a.m.!  Wednesday morning found Steven and I here alone without Jeff who had to go to work.  It was way too cold with the windchill to go outside so we found some fun things to do inside.  We made cookies and we decorated them with sprinkles...so many sprinkles!  LOL!  He took some home with him to share with his parents later when they came to pick him up. We played a bible character memory game, which he was amazing at (it is a matching game that I had here and had found at a thrift store for .49 years ago), played with toys and he actually caught the elusive Midgy cat and was quite proud of himself for doing so. We cuddled up in Grammie's bed and he watched a construction vehicles video while Grammie got some much needed rest and then we played construction site later.  Here are a few snippets of our conversations and my observations that I posted on Facebook, gosh I love this kid and he keeps me on my toes!:

Oh yes, life with a 4 year old...tells me he wants fruit gummies for dinner and that is what his parents let him have. LOL! Good try kiddo but Grammie knows better. 😉 He didn't want the chicken strips and French fries, so cereal it was! Breakfast was fruit cereal bars and cheese. He was really hungry. 🙂 I think we will skip making a snowman because the winds are cold. Onto cookie making it is!


Yet another adventure with the 4 year old grandson Steven...
Steven: "Well my construction hat fell in the toilet" He says while wearing it on his head. "It's okay, I washed it in sink".
Grammie: "could you please put the hat in the bathtub to dry and the towel in the laundry room"
Steven: "Sure"
Grammie: "Here Steven, you can wear my construction hat".

~I sent some of the cookies to one of our friends that works with Jeff and she loved them!

~Here is where the frugal fail happened. Jeff and I had an agreement that we would not be eating out this month so that we could save money and pay off some of our bills sooner. Here is where the frugal fail happened...Jeff ate out twice for lunch. We had a talk about this and why we were trying to NOT do that...he is back on board with the plan once again. We want to get my car paid off and then work on a few other bills big time.

~I made two loaves of bread. We went through one very quickly when we had chicken salad sandwiches for dinner one night.

~Leftovers were on the menu several times during the week.

~I stayed home all week long and happily did so. I was able to get some reading done and work on a few things around the house.

~Jeff stayed home from work on Thursday since the roads were absolutely horrible! There was blowing and drifting snow and so many accidents. A semi truck was even blown right over on it's side and shut down one of the main highways right outside of Pullman! We spent a cozy day together and we both even took naps.

~I watched a few movies during the week on YouTube. Gotta love having that resource for movies from all genres.

~Jeff was so sweet and got all the birthdays and anniversaries filled in on our 2022 calendar.

~I went through the refrigerator and made a grocery list of things that we are getting low on and will need in the near future. Most of it is fresh fruit and veggies. I really am trying not to spend much at all on groceries this month since we do have lots of frozen and canned goods here.

~I've been gathering more recipes on things like hoagie rolls, and more veggie rich main dishes to try.





I think that is about it for what I can remember at the moment. Nothing earth shattering when I comes to saving money. It really is the small savings that add up though. Be blessed!




Saturday, January 1, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/31/21

    



   Happy New Year!  This post is going up on New Year's Day and I just want to wish everyone a prosperous and much less drama and stress filled 2022.  This last year has been a doozy in some ways, but also brought some simply amazing times for our family! I am choosing to focus on the good and remember being able to hug loved ones tight that we had not been able to see in close to two years, spend time with our family and growing grandsons, and with the help of my amazing doctor, finally finding a medication that has helped me greatly with the pain that comes with Fibromyalgia for me.  This year I really want to try and focus on the good and the "silver linings" in all situations.  There really is so much to be thankful for and the greatest of those is Jeff and I is our family.  I want to reach out more to my extended family and strengthen those bonds, as well as spend a great deal more time with my kids, grandkids, siblings, and nieces and nephews.  I want to be able to get together with Jeff's cousins and their families too.  They are all amazing people and we miss them.  I think those are great goals to have, don't you?  Now onto the frugal doings...




Christmas Day:

~We gathered with our family and had a wonderful potluck meal and shared love, laughter and special gifts made or chosen with care.  Bradley and Isaiah both made gifts for Jeff and I and it really meant so much to us.  Steven was very excited about his Paw Patrol backpack that we got him.

~My nephew, Kealoha (sister's son), and I video chatted on Christmas!  He and his wife were in Las Vegas and were going to try to meet up with Josh, but our little Tate ended up sick with a fever, so they were not able to.

~I also video chatted with my sister in Tahiti.  I miss her so very much.

~We called and talked to my parents and my brother Fritz later called me.  He was so touched by a gift that our Isaiah hand made for him.



Sunday:

~We got hit with snow squalls and spent the day at home.  My brother and his family, who spent a lovely Christmas with my parents and other brother, got stranded in Montana and cannot get a flight back to Seattle until Thursday.  More vacation for my brother Eric and the boys, and my SIL Christie will be working remotely from my father's home office.  I'm glad they are safe and will have more family time despite all the travel hassles.  Silver Linings!

~I got the ham I bought going in the crockpot with a can of pineapple tidbits, some brown sugar, allspice and cloves.  Oh the intoxicating aromas that were filling my house as it cooked!  It made for a nice dinner with plenty of leftovers too on this snowy and cold day.

~I saved the ham bone and will be making split pea soup with ham later in the week.

~We watched the movie "The Last Champion".  It was filmed and based mainly in our little town here.  It was fun to watch and pick up on certain references to things.  More on that in a separate post.




Monday:

~Jeff worked half a day since we had a big event to go to later in the late afternoon.  He stopped at the store to pick up a few things we needed on his way home.

~I got two plates ready to take down to the gathering.  One was homemade cranberry-orange bread and the other was a cheese, sausage and cracker platter.  I had everything on hand to make them all.

~I put some things out on the back porch to freeze since I am out of room in my freezers at the moment.

~Our kids former Christian youth group got together that evening and it was wonderful to see so many of my hanai kids again!  Many of them had families of their own and I finally got to meet their little ones.  We had a potluck and there was singing old praise and worship songs, fellowship, passing around the new babies in our hanai family and watching those little ones play together just as their parents had so many years ago.  Our oldest 2 grandsons decided they really wanted to take home their hanai cousin Lena, who just turned 1. She is a cutie and is the spitting image of her momma at that age with the attitude to match.  LOL!  Our grandson Steven (grand #3) finally came out of his shell and made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed himself!  There were so many hugs, plans made to help some of our hanai kids make the move from where they are living in different southern states to closer to home and other plans made for another big gathering in June.

~Roni, my hanai sister and the youth group pastor, also second mom to our kids, came up to our house afterwords and we had hot mulled wine and chatted late into the night.  We heard a knock on the door around midnight and it was her daughter, son-in-law and a friend coming to remind her that she had to work in the morning.  LOL!  Oh how the tables have turned and we all laughed about that!

~We invited Roni to join us on New Year's Eve since her kids will have left the previous day.  We love her so much and she really is like a sister to us.





Tuesday:

~It was a catch up day here at home for me and I spent it doing laundry, watching motivational videos and trying to get the house back in order. 

~I went through all my prescription medications, as well as my over the counter medications, to make sure I had everything I needed and that my refills are current.

~Leftovers and clean out the odd bits and pieces from the freezer for dinner.  A lone leftover pork chop, rice from the pork chop and rice casserole, fish sticks and sliced apples were what was chosen.





Wednesday:

~It was bread making day here again!  Two loaves of Jeff's favorite sandwich bread were made.  I let the bread dough rise on top the pellet stove because it is so warm there and then left the door of the oven open to let the extra heat into the house after baking the bread.  It's currently 11F outside so all the extra heat is a huge help.

~I took the leftover ham bone and made a huge pot of split pea and ham soup.  It is one of Jeff's favorites.

~I took some leftover sourdough bread and made garlic bread to go along with dinner.  I thought I made enough so I would have some to go with my lunch tomorrow, but hubby was really hungry.

~Some of the leftover ham was frozen for future meals.  I just put it out on the back porch to freeze quickly.

~I restocked all the baking supplies from our pantry.  It makes it so easy to have back ups of everything I need here on hand.

~This afternoon I was tempted to take a nap but decided to cuddle up and watch a movie instead.

~Safeway had 2 pound blocks of cheese on sale for $3.99 each and their store brand frozen pizzas at 4/$10.  I am having Jeff pick up the limit on both of them.  There was nothing else that I could see that I did not have enough of so that is all he will be picking up.  I'm trying my best to just cherry pick the deals now more than ever.





Thursday:

~I grabbed one of the mac and cheese microwaveable cup thingies to make for lunch.  It is so handy to have a container filled with quick and easy food choices when you just don't feel like cooking.  Everything in that container was also bought on sale too.  Win Win!

~I once again have beautiful music and videos playing on YouTube as I enjoy snowy day.  It ushers in a calm and hygge feeling that is much needed and appreciated.

~I received word that my uncle is once again in the hospital (he just got home the day before), had a heart attack, and had to have a stint put in.  I had tried to call him but the hospital lost his phone.  Praying they find it so I can call and talk to him again.  Some may question why I am posting this here, but I am asking for prayer which is both free and very powerful.  Thank you for everyone who will pray for him and/or send him positive energy.

~Dinner was smoked sausages along with 2 potatoes cut up into oven fries.

~While the oven was still hot, I threw one of the pizzas that Jeff bought for $2.50 at Safeway into the oven to cook for tomorrow.

~While getting the other three pizzas into the freezer in the garage, Jeff dug out one of my flavored creamers that I had in there.  Some flavors are only available during the holiday season, so I stockpile and freeze them for later.

~Our hanai son Lee was not able to make it over to see us on this trip, so his loaf of banana bread is now available for Jeff's eating pleasure.  Lee lives near where the fires were in Colorado, but thankfully the fires were moving away from his place.  Please keep all the people who lost their homes and businesses, along with their pets and livestock, in your prayers and thoughts also.

~I threw the shower curtain from our bathroom in the washer with some towels to get it all cleaned.  It is the easiest way to clean that thing.





Friday:

~I woke up around noon today.  I think my body needed the sleep badly.  I had slept in the guest bedroom, which I think helped me get into a deeper sleep cycle. The view that greeted me outside was absolutely gorgeous.  It was a 12F winter wonderland with the sun shining on everything and the squirrels playing and chasing each other around the trees and along the fence lines.  They provide hours of entertainment for the cats and I.

~While I had my coffee, I got the laundry going, making sure to get all of Jeff's heavy lined jeans done so they are ready for him to wear once again. I found out my uncle was able to come home from the hospital and I am so grateful for that.

~Jeff took our truck to work with him today so that he could pick up some materials that Chris came in and bought at Jeff's workplace that he needed for his shop build.  We are so grateful to Chris for the gift of the truck and it has come in so handy for not only our use, but for the rest of the family also.

~Being that it was the last day of the month, and I had a check that needed to be deposited at the Credit Union, Jeff took me into town after he got home.  We went to Walmart and found lots of items on clearance.  All the Christmas stuff was 75% off, so I got all the gift bags and cupcake liners that I needed for not only this year, but, when it comes to the cupcake liners, for many years to come.  I also found a shirt for $3 and a 32 piece meal prep kit for $5. Oh, my best find though was the double packs of Stove Top Stuffing at $1 a box.  That works out to .50 a batch!  I bought 6 boxes, so that is 12 batches.  It should meet our stuffing needs to the entire year!

~Grocery Outlet was our next stop and we only got a few things there.  They did not have the German mulled wine that I had bought there previously that is so good.  Bummer!

~Jeff then took me out to dinner at one of our favorite Chinese food places.  It is under new ownership and the food is still the same thank goodness!  I brought home half of my food to have for another meal.  This was out last time eating out before January starts and we don't eat out at all for the month.  He had promised me a date, so that was it.  LOL! Honestly, I just love to spend time with him and not have to cook. ;)






   Jeff just decided to lay down for awhile to take a nap since Midgy had him up at 5:30 a.m..  He swears that she can read the clock and tell time.  LOL!  He tells me she was yowling but I apparently slept through it.  I slept in the guest room last night, where I tend to get into a deeper sleep, and Patchy cat really loves coming in there to sleep with me.  I have a video playing on YouTube on my TV of beautiful winter scenes, that mimic what I am seeing outside my own windows.  The music that is part of the video is also very calming and puts me into a tranquil mood. It is a perfect day to stay home, stay inside where it is warm (it's 12F outside right now and windy) cuddled up under fleece throws and be near the pellet stove with its flickering fire that somehow lulls one to sleep if you are not careful.  ;)  Be blessed my sweet friends!












Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Calm Snowy Day and Silver Linings

 




      I took the picture above this morning.  It is of my side garden with the high sided raised beds my hubby built be.  Those bumps you see in the lower bed are my kale plants blanketed with snow.  I love looking out at this scene.


   From what I read online, the roads were horrible this morning with some even being shut down.  Many places opened late and are closing early today since round two of the snow is hitting us now this afternoon.  I am so glad I had Jeff take my car today.  They are calling for even more snow coming in next week on top of all of this with no melt off, so thing might get interesting.  I'm thinking Jeff may end up having to take the truck to work at some point.  Things could be worse, my brother and his family had their flight back home to Seattle cancelled on Monday and they ended up having some extra time in Montana.  He just posted, that after another delay in flights, they are finally going to get to go home today.  Now he just has to deal with trying to get home from the airport to his house.  Seattle is not prepared for these kinds of snowstorms that have been hitting.


   The cats and I are cuddled up all snuggly warm on the couch.  I have beautiful music playing in the background and I am watching the snowflakes gently twirl as they make their way to the ground.  The chores I had lined up for today are done and since our cell phone service is spotty in bad weather, there are no phone calls coming in, nor going out.  There are many other things that I could be doing but I am choosing to just enjoy the calm and peace that I feel in my home and in my heart right now.  I am also choosing to continue to make my goal for this coming year to find the silver linings in all situations that at first may seem bad or limiting.  I have had to practice that a lot lately, and it has really helped my attitude and level of gratefulness.  In all things, give thanks. 😊 


  


   



Friday, December 24, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/24/21

    



   Here it is Christmas Eve and we are settled in as the snow softly falls outside.  Meanwhile, In Oregon, my cousin is hunkered down as he awaits a huge snow squall bringing up to 10 inches to his front door.  I'm glad we are here, even if we are going to be getting down into the single digits and below in the coming weeks.  I'm very much looking forward to spending time with friends and family both this weekend and this coming week.  Now onto the saving:


Weekend:

*I'm including the the first 4 things we did Friday night into the weekend thread because I had already posted my last FFWU post before we headed into town after Jeff got home Friday night:

~Jeff and I went out to dinner and I brought half of my dinner home since I could not eat it all.

~We went to Target and used gift cards to buy the following: 2 candles (gifts for loved ones), 2 bottles of maximum strength store brand Musinex (We needed to have this on hand in case we end up sick with anything upper respiratory. Omicron variant is hitting our state hard right now.), and 2 boxes of Angel Food cake mix.

~We went to Old Navy to browse their clearance racks and found 3 shirts for a total of $2.03.  You can't beat that price!

~Winco was our last stop of the night to pick up a few needed items.  While there I found some of my favorite Krab salad marked down (sell by date Dec. 20th) so I picked some of that up as well, along with a Dutch apple pie that I baked as soon as we got home.  With grain and wheat shortages being reported and the cost of fertilizer going through the roof, I know that some farmers are not going to be able to afford to plant all their crops this coming year.  Therefore I bought another 50 pound bag of unbleached flour to have on hand.  I go through a lot of flour and I wanted to get it before the prices go even higher.

*Now back to the actual weekend doings:

~Our two oldest grandboys, Bradley and Isaiah, came to spend the night.  They came bearing a gift of cherry chip cinnamon rolls from their mom.  YUM!

~We worked on a puzzle that I got at Goodwill, they hot tubbed with G-pa and we watched a movie on Disney + before they headed to bed.

~We had popcorn with the movie and dinner was homemade chicken noodle soup.  They had never had chicken noodle soup before which really surprised me.

~Sunday morning found G-pa making the boys pancakes while Grammie slept in.  We got about 4 1/2 inches of snow overnight and it was so heavy and wet that I feared we might lose power.  Chris told us that only one lane of the road was plowed coming out to our town.  Apparently we only have 2 snowplow drivers now for our county.  It is going to be a bad winter for driving.

~The boys had so much fun wrapping their gifts and writing notes to their parents. :)  I had bought gifts for all the boys here to give to their parents...it is something that thrills them to bits to be able to do.

~Jeff's disk in his lower back swelled up and put him in a lot of pain.  I had him get himself set up on the couch and watch bowling since it is the only way I know to help him take his mind off the pain.

~We skipped Jeff's company Christmas party since the roads in our county are not good.  I took a nap instead while Jeff rested his back.

~In the evening, we watched an Andy Williams Christmas Special from 1966.  It brought back so may memories for both Jeff and I since it was a tradition in both our households growing up to watch these each year.




Monday:

~Woke up to snow, snow and more snow!  My entertainment for the morning was watching the squirrels gather and eat the seeds from the pods that fell out of the big tree out front.  I think I get a bigger kick out of watching them than my cats do.

~I had Jeff drop off some movies at the library on his way out of town this morning.  I don't like to drive in the snow and I am afraid of slipping on the ice under the snow if I had to walk down the steep hill to get to the library.

~My neighbor needed a can of diced tomatoes and luckily I had some on hand that she could have.

~In need of a comforting meal on a snowy day, I made colcannon with kielbasa.  It is not something I had made before but it sure sounded good so I went ahead and tried it. It turned out great!

 


Tuesday:

~I woke up with lots of pain in my knees.  My inner barometer is telling me that a new storm system is coming in.  I don't even need to check the weather forecast online. 

~I called Walmart about my prescription to see if it was ready.  We went over my other prescriptions and found that I can refill one of my others now as well so that I don't have to make another trip in later in the week.  Jeff is going to make the loop and swing through Pullman on his way home tonight to pick them up.  This will save us on time and gas.

~I decided against making all the candy this year for Christmas.  The only thing my kids and my sweet hanai family members keep asking for is the cranberry orange bread, so that is going to be what I make for gifts.

~We had leftovers for dinner.

~Josh sent us a video of our littlest grandson, who just turned 1 a week ago, walking!  That boy just took off and kept on going!  We video chatted with them all later in the evening and got to see our silly little boy enjoying bath time and being his goofball self.  He recognizes us via video chat and smiles and waves to us.  This just made our evening!




Wednesday:

~Since the roads were clear from snow and ice today, I decided to chance it and take a drive so I do not go stir crazy before the super bad and cold weather keeps me locked in the house for weeks on end.

~First stop was the library where I picked up 2 books and a movie, "The Last Champion", that was partially filmed in our little town.  I can't wait to settle in with Jeff and watch it.  I'm thinking Christmas Eve night would be the perfect time to do so.

~Next, I headed into Pullman, WA and stopped at Walmart.  I picked up some reduced priced and some hard to find items (who knew that canned tamales would be impossible to find for over a year, but I got some today.  I also found a food container set for $5 in the clearance section that I added to my gift stash.

~The Grocery Outlet did not let me down.  I found lots of marked down meats there also and froze most of them.  I picked up some treat type items also, because everybody needs treats. 😃

~I took the package of beautiful boneless pork chops that I found at the Grocery Outlet and made my rice and pork chop baked casserole for dinner.  We had a salad with this.  The pork chops cost me a little over $2 on sale and I had everything else I needed for the rest of dinner here at home.

~Once the groceries were all put away and the pork chop and rice casserole were in the oven, I got busy on some laundry.  I then settled in and had a glass of wine while I waited for Jeff to get home. I also put the Christmas tree lights on and had soothing Christmas music softly playing in the background. It was a busy day for me and I earned it.




Thursday:

~Despite having some not so fun eye problems, I still was able to make 8 loaves of cranberry orange bread.

~I felt bad for my hubby, who is not a fan of cranberry orange bread, so I made 3 loaves of banana bread also.  I think hanai son #4 (Lee) will be here for Christmas (staying with his father), so I had to have my banana bread made for him also.  He loves it and I make him a loaf every time he is home.

~I had leftovers for lunch.

~I made sure that the hot tub was serviced and ready to go for Jeff and I over the weekend.

~I am really dehydrated so I am pushing myself to drink lots of water and a full bottle or Powerade today.

~Dinner was some veggie fries from Nosh (Jeff and I both loved them) along with Swiss cheese and bacon sausages (also really good).




Friday:

~Jeff's workday ended at noon and they had a catered lunch brought in for all the employees.  Jeff also was blessed with a bonus, a gift card and a rather nice cost of living raise!

~I made homemade mac and cheese for Christmas.  I had leftover sauce so I made broccoli cheese soup too!  So good!

~We watched a Christmas movie.

~Our amazing neighbors decorated their ATV's and four wheeler with lots of lights and drove through town honking their horns and bringing lots of joy to everyone! 

~Since tomorrow is going to be really busy, Jeff and I called my cousin Jeremy to wish him a Merry Christmas early.  We miss him dearly!


   I've included two snack bread recipes here that I love and make for  our family and included pictures of here.  As you can see, the banana bread recipe is very well loved!  I do hope that all that read my blog and the wonderful friends that I have made here in the blog world have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!  May you all be blessed!











 






Friday, December 17, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/13/21

 


   Am I the only one who starts to really look back on the past year when Christmas is coming closer?  I am so thankful for all the blessings that we have had!  The most wonderful was being able to spend time with my parents, brother, my cousin, and our kids and grandkids again.  My cousin Jeremy moved to Oregon this Fall and we miss him dearly, but he and I still keep in touch via Facebook and frequent phone calls.  I am so thankful for the time we did have face to face to really get to know each other and for him to become fully integrated into our family.  It was a huge "gift" to all of us to build those bonds that can never be broken.  My grandma would be so happy to know that her grandchildren have built that strong bond after not having that in our childhood years due to not seeing each other.  Other than Jeremy's mother and brother, we are the only blood relatives he has left in the world.  I know that we all treasure our relationships with each other now.   


   Now onto those frugal doings for the week!...

Saturday:

~Jeff and I stayed home.  He desperately needed a calm and restful day.  

~I made French Dip sandwiches for dinner.  They were so yummy and I had au jus leftover that I will use in another meal.

~We watched several Christmas movies.  I popped up some popcorn and cut up some apples to snack on while we enjoyed our movies.

~I washed all the sheets and then Jeff remade the beds.


Sunday:

~We had a pizza that we pulled out of the freezer for lunch.

~We headed into Moscow, Idaho to pick up a Christmas gift for one of our sons.  Our family draws names and we each buy for that person.  Jeff got one of our sons and I got our Heather.  I already bought her gift, but Jeff still needed to get a gift for our son.  While at the mall, we stopped at Bath and Body Works where I used a coupon to get a free full sized body care item.  I found a new body spray fragrance that I love, so I got that to add to my collection.

~We headed up to Goodwill where I found a beautiful Christmas pillow, a pair of gnome  pajama pants and a soft shirt.  I also found a brand new sealed package of 10 masks that I will put in the car in case we forget our cloth ones.  We already had to open up one of the other packages when Jeff forgot his cloth mask.

~Our last stop was Winco where we picked up a few needed grocery items.  I also picked up a fully cooked rotisserie chicken because it was cheaper than buying a frozen one! $4.98 is a great price!

~Before heading home, we drove through the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights and decor.  It is something Jeff and I have done since we first got together so many years ago.  It just brings me so much joy and it's free to do!

~Once we got home, I cooked up some chicken Rice a Roni, made a big Romaine and carrot salad and then cut up the chicken.  It made for a wonderful and easy dinner, and we still have lots of chicken left.


Monday:

~I made 2 loaves of homemade bread.

~The last 2 slices from last week's bread were made into breadcrumbs that went into a nice venison meat loaf for dinner.

~I baked some Russet potatoes and a huge sweet potato alongside the meatloaf.  Since I did this right after baking the bread, I put everything out on the back porch to cool off (it was 38F out there) and then reheated it for dinner.

~The pillow that I bought for $2.99 at Goodwill got a good washing and then popped in the dryer.

~The library had been holding 4 movies that I had ordered for me so I ran down and got them.

~The post office had the new phone books out for anyone that wanted one so I picked up the new one to replace the out of date one that we had here at home.

~Some nice hot tea made for a nice afternoon pick me up.

~I topped off the water in the hot tub since it was getting really low due to evaporation.


Tuesday:

~It was a very overcast day so I cuddled up and got caught up on reading, some paperwork and watched videos on YouTube that taught me new skills or inspired me.

~Dinner was leftovers since I desperately needed to clean out the fridge and make more room in there.



Wednesday:

~This may not be earth shattering or anything, but I seriously resisted going shopping today!  We have waves of snowstorms that will be starting tonight and that always makes me nervous.  Instead of heading in, I texted Jeff and asked him to pick up the two items that I really needed on his way home from work tonight.  Honestly, I really did not NEED anything other than those two items for making meals for the next two weeks.  Saved on gas and impulse buys. 😉

~I tried out a makeup tutorial that I saw on YouTube for us "older women" with hooded eye lids due to our age.  It actually worked and my eyes looked more youthful and bright!

~I went through the depths of my refrigerator and found some questionable eggs and produce.  They are now adding to the compost pile.  Oh the shame of wasted food!  At least they will add to the compost though and not go into the trash can.

~Dinner was chicken carbonara over ziti noodles!  Yum!  It's a great way to use up some of the chicken that I had bought earlier in the week along with some cheese that also needed to be used.  

~I got back to working my points programs once again.


Thursday:

~I made a pot of chicken noodle soup with the leftover chicken carcus and meat, along with some carrots, an onion, celery and noodles.  It was so good on a cold and snowy day.

~I set the pot of soup on the back porch to quickly chill down.

~Jeff took my car to work.  I am glad he did because the snow is getting deeper and he also had bowling tonight.  Taking my car will save us on a towing bill because it is less likely to get stuck or go off the road.

~I worked on Swagbucks for a bit.

~I kept looking at our Christmas tree and thinking it needed something...some bling.  I got out my bags of broken jewelry that I keep for crafting projects and added some of them to my tree.  I love the sparkle it adds and think I may continue doing this from now on.


Friday:

~I woke up feeling very nervous and on edge (this happens with Fibro sometimes) and decided that I was going to be very careful about what I watched on YouTube.  Even some of the titles can trigger a panic attack in me.  I now have beautiful Christmas music playing to help keep me calm so I do not have to resort to medications to help me (hopefully).

~Jeff was able to take his little car to work today which uses less gas than mine.

~Jeff took leftovers for lunch.  I had a bagel.

~Going through some things, I found a series of fun books that I had bought for Bradley a couple of years ago to give to him when he hit that particular reading level.  He is now there so he will get these for his birthday in March. 

~I did not burn the house down!  There was a big spider in my living room (I hate spiders and they have seemed to really want to torture me this year with their presence) and I bravely sprayed it with Raid and then ran away to make sure it did not seek revenge on me.  I keep joking with me husband that I want a blow torch to "take out" those awful arachnids!


   That is about it for this week.  The weekend ahead will be busy with the oldest two grandboys here with us on Saturday night.  I have a craft and a puzzle for us to do together and of course there will be hot tubbing with G-pa!  Grammie avoids the chaos that ensues in the hot tub with the boys. LOL!  We also have Jeff's company Christmas party on Sunday night, which I am also looking forward to.  Be blessed all and I hope in this busy week before Christmas that you all carve out some quiet time to just be able to relax and soak in the beauty and meaning of this special season.