Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/8/21


~We worked in that gardens and picked another 2 quarts of blackberries.  I froze them.

~Sunday found us out on the boat with Chris.  I took snacks and drinks with us.  I also took lots of pictures.  It was a wonderful day despite almost getting swamped by the wake of a cruise boat coming up the river who did not slow down.  I was left really bruised and swollen on my "seat end" from the pounding I took going over the wake waves.  Amazingly I stayed calm the entire time while Chris and Jeff got really concerned.  I knew Chris had enough experience and knew how to hit those waves head on and when to speed up to avoid getting swamps.  Chris is an amazing fisherman too and caught lots of perch to take home and threw about the same amount back in the water because they were smaller.  He ended up with 15 fish!  We will be going over for fish tacos in the near future.

~All the sheets were washed and hung up on the line to dry.  I also put the feather bed on the guest bed.  Boy did that feel good given how bruised and swollen I ended up on Sunday and of course there is nothing better than crawling into lined dried bed linens at night.

~I made a Teriyaki meatloaf and served it with rice and a side of pear slices from our garden along with some baby carrots.

~We stopped in to see my cousin Jeremy and his super sweet pittie dog Maggy.  He gave me the dehydrator he picked up for me (he ended up getting it for free).  He also said the he did not want to take his 5x8 foot enclosed trailer with him when he moves, so he is giving it to us.  What a blessing for our whole family to use.  We are also going to be trading living room furniture.  He is taking our brown loveseat and newer brown recliner (they are both lighter in weight than his are) and we are taking his tan colored reclining couch and loveseat.  I am really going to miss him but I know that he is someone who really does not like to stay put in one place too long and he has been here longer than he has been in most places.  We are still within a days drive from each other and I do look forward to going to visit him and being able to go to the Oregon coast.


~Jeff got the front flower garden bed all trimmed back since we are expecting killing frost on Wednesday.

~I worked in the gardens harvesting basil, sage rosemary, green onions, tomatoes, squash and beans.  The herbs were all put in the dehydrator, along with some of the green onions.  They will be wonderful for seasoning meals!

~We had not had Scrapple for a long time so I made some using turkey sausage since it is much lower in fat.  I used some sage that I had previously harvested and dehydrated in it.

~I took all the green onions that I harvested from the garden and cut them up.  I ended up with 4 1/2 cups of cut up green onions.  I'm thinking I may dehydrate them once the other herbs are done in the dehydrator rather than freezing them.  It will take up less space that way.

Tuesday: (we are expecting a killing frost Wednesday)

~I picked all the tomatoes that were a good size but still green off the plants to ripen slowly inside the house.

~All the Swiss chard was harvested.  

~I picked all the cucumbers, green peppers that we good sized, cantaloupe that were close to ripeness (hopefully they will still be good) and squash.

~I also picked all the ripe blackberries.

~This is the last warm day so I spent time outside enjoying it before we drop into the 50's for daytime highs.

~Leftover Scrapple and 2 cups of coffee were my breakfast today before I started harvesting stuff.

~I pulled out most of the tomato, cucumber, and all the bean plants out.

~For dinner I made a stroganoff with caramelized onions and 4 slices of roast beef from the deli.  I served it over mashed potatoes.


~I had leftovers for lunch.

~I was getting that "nudging" again to go and get the shopping done before prices go up again.  I was shocked to see some of the prices on meat had gone up, even at Grocery Outlet.  I did pick up things like cereal, more spices, a big jug of olive oil (I use olive oil as my primary cooking oil here), a few frozen items, canned tomato products, egg noodles, and both beef and chicken stock.  These items came from both Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree combined.  I also picked up some HBA items at Dollar Tree like two 3 packs of toothbrushes, face wipes and I also found the movie "Caddie Woodlawn" there.  The author of the book the movie was based on lived in Moscow, Idaho where my husband was born. Oh I picked up some house slippers too!

~The thrift store is my go to place for magazines and books, home dΓ©cor and some clothing items.  I picked up a nice J Jill sweater, a new sports bra, some Fall decorations, Country Woman magazines and 3 books.  One of the books was a cookbook put together in 1979 by the ladies on my little farming community.  It is so much fun to look through it and see so many familiar names and realize that I ate some of the food that the recipes were so generously shared in this cookbook.  Most of the people are now in heaven, but I treasure having this "tie" to them.

~I knew the frost was coming so I had Jeff move the potted herb plants to the hot tub area.  I also did one last picking of things.

~Dinner was baked sausage and cheese balls, a salad and we each had half of a small cantaloupe from the garden.

~I cooked up the Italian Sausage that I had thawed out so it would not go bad.  I will use it Friday to make Zuppa Toscana.  I'll make a big pot of it since Jaysn, Rachel and Steven are coming out Saturday to pick apples at the orchard and we can have it for lunch.  I know both Jaysn and Rachel love it and I can always make Steven and peanut butter sandwich if he would prefer that.


~I was right, the gardens were hit hard by frost.  Luckily the blackberries still seem ok and are still producing.  Everything else, except for the kale, is a goner.  Looks like it is time to finish cleaning out the garden so it is ready for next Spring.

~I packaged up the dehydrated herbs and got half of the green onions I sliced up earlier in the week going.

~The other half of of the green onions were frozen. 

~The last batch of blackberries I picked were made into 2 pints of blackberry jelly.

~Jeff is gone bowling on Thursday nights so I treat myself to a nice meal that he does not care for but I like.  Tonight it was lobster ravioli that I found for $4.99 at the Grocery Outlet.  I had a glass of wine, some pear slices (from our pears from our trees) and some sourdough  toast with it.  YUMMY!


~Not a frugal day at all!  I took some medication to help with my anxiety and it knocked me out.  Jeff ended up bringing home dinner for us.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/1/21


   I came across this picture in my files from a few years ago and thought it was the perfect header picture for our post today.  I remember making that fettuccini with what I had on hand and how good it was.  I'm thinking I may have to work that into our menu again for this coming week. πŸ˜‰  I still cannot believe it is October already.  The maple tree across the street from us is putting on a magnificent show, as is our neighbor's burning bush.  I just Love Fall!

   Here is just a few of the frugal things we have done this week.  Of course I forgot to write things down as I went, so we may we all now bow our heads and pray I can remember things...LOL!

~Jeff and I harvested about a gallon more blackberries off our plants.  We bagged up the first half gallon and spread the love to our neighbors.

~Three more cantaloupes were ready to pick.  YUM!  I took one over to our neighbor/hanai sister Shannon.

~Tomatoes, beans and squash were also harvested.

~I have sliced tomatoes going in the dehydrator.  I will turn them into tomato powder.

~I started my $200 October Grocery challenge and am being careful about what I buy.

~We stopped at the Dollar Tree to get a few things and were very happily surprised that the food aisle had been restocked, as well as the HBA Aisle.  I picked up more parchment paper, fabric band aids, baby wipes, spaghetti sauce, socks, Pink Bismoth, a plastic coated shopping bag and a movie for Steven to add to his Christmas gifts.

~Washington State started it's single use plastic bag ban so we now have to bring our own bags to the stores. I did buy one at the Dollar Tree, but also had a bunch in the car for the other things we bought at Walmart and the Grocery Outlet.

~The Grocery Outlet had all their summer items at half off so I bought more swim googles and diving towns for Bradley and Isaiah to go along with their Christmas gifts.  They have a pool in their back yard and spend hours playing in it.  I wanted them to have extra goggles and toys for when friends come over.

~I found a baby toy marked down to $2.50 in the clearance Aisle at Walmart.  I picked it up for Tate and he will get it early when we see him at Thanksgiving.

~Jeff picked up my feather bed from the dry cleaners and I cannot tell you how happy I am to have it on the guest bed now.  I usually go to sleep in there because I need to stretch out to sleep and sometimes toss and turn a lot.  I don't want to keep Jeff awake in our room.

~Bread and muffins were baked.

~I cooked up a large pork loin roast, along with baked potatoes.  I served it with fresh pear slices from our trees.  YUMMY and it made for 3 complete meals.

~One night I was really tired so we had canned chicken noodle soup (I had not had that in years since I usually make my own) and crescent rolls.

~I made some Krab salad (like you find at the deli) and a tomato, feta, and cucumber salad (using produce from our garden).

~I chose to use my $35 in Walmart gift cards (Swagbucks and MyPoints) to stock up on toilet paper, tissues, kitty litter, and used the remainder of the balance towards groceries.  This will really help with my October Grocery Budget Challenge since that is money that will not have to come out of my personal grocery budget for the month.

~I did skip our town's food commodities give away again this month.  Our Covid-19 cases are really high and I did not want to be in a small building with others that might possibly have it.  I know of families that have been affected by it and some of them are still going down there, even if they should be staying home.  Not worth the risk!

~Since I am still adjusting to my medications, I am not driving myself anywhere, not even down to the library or the post office, which has cut down on the gas bill.

~It's that time of year where I switch out my purses.  I went through my large collection and found a beautiful Brighton leather woven bag that I had not worn yet, so that shall be my Fall bag, for awhile at least.  I did buy it at a thrift store about 2 years ago, but due to Covid-19, had not used it yet since I did not really go anywhere last Fall.

~Jeff's work had 2 BBQ's this week so that is 2 lunches that he did not have to take to work.

~I made a large homemade lasagna and added some red wine to the sauce...oh my goodness did that elevate the flavor!

   I'm sure there are many more things that we did, but at the moment I am drawing a blank.  I'm waiting on the sheets to dry on the line so Jeff and I can make the beds.  He is out winterizing the gardens and doing some clearing out of them.  We are going to pray that we get more cantaloupe to ripen, along with the peppers, before the frost takes them all out.  Tomorrow Chris is taking us out on his boat and up the St. Joe River.  I love being out on the river or on a lake and the Fall colors are just glorious right now so I will be taking a lot of pictures.  If I get some good ones, I want to frame them and use them as part of my Fall decorations.  Chris will be fishing and I had planned on doing that too until I saw the price for an out of state one day fishing license.  YIKES!  So instead I will just enjoy Jeff and his company and the beautiful scenery.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A new Personal Grocery Challenge for October and Frugal Meals Lately


      I have decided that due to Covid-19 cases being so high in my area and the fact that I really want to save money, I will be challenging myself for the month of October to keep my grocery bill under $200 and that includes paper goods and pet needs.  This should help keep me out of the stores, and to be honest, with prices going up, I am really not seeing many good deals anyway.  Anyone want to join me challenging yourself to a certain grocery budget that you set for your own family?  I would love to see how you do and get some encouragement to keep me on track also. πŸ˜ƒ

   I know that I have not been really consistent with my blog posting lately.  There is a lot going on here in my little world including adjusting to new meds.  I was finally approved for the pregabalin and I think it may be helping with the pain, although I am still in the early days of trying it.  I am sleeping better once I actually fall asleep, but I am still some kind of strange night owl type person.  Praying that changes too.  I am also dealing with some really complex feeling due to the death of one of my former pastors who some people are eulogizing like he himself was God when I know the truth about this man and his cult like behavior and abuses of people.  This is also a man who was saying that Covid-19 was just like the flu and that taking the vaccine was a part of government control, etc..  Now I will say that mandating the vaccine is something that I do not agree with, but I also believe that we all have a responsibility to not only have the wisdom to help protect ourselves and our loved one from this horrible virus, but also have to compassion to help protect others around us also.  I am vaccinated, as are most of my family.  I do have family and friends that are not, and that is their choice and I do not think that they should be forced to get the vaccine.  Back to my point...this pastor just died from Covid-19 and from what I can ascertain from their own sermons and the words that came out of their mouths, they tried to cover up that he had it to begin with to their own congregation and now are trying to make sure that anyone outside their church does not know that he died from it.  Someone on staff there, that I personally know, did tell another mutual friend of ours what he died from and when she shared that info online, she got all kinds of backlash and quickly took down her post about his passing.  I am wondering how long it will be before they take down the videos where you can see him struggling with it before he "was out of town".  Anyway, there is a huge part of me that wants to scream to the people that I love and are still deceived by this man that they have been duped by a wolf in sheep's clothing (my personal opinion of this man based on things he said and did to both my family and to many other families) and also recognizing that they really are mourning the death of a person that they genuinely loved and believed in.  Only time will tell if they come to realize what was really going on now that they are out from under his daily influence.

   Anyway, I wanted to share some of the meals that we have had within the past few months.  It is just a small sampling of what we have been eating.  I continue to try and use the produce from our gardens and make the most of what we have and get several meals out of things.  Here we go!

Cantaloupe (we are not starting to get our own cantaloupe out of the garden) and blackberries (also from our garden).

Pork roast with potatoes and carrots along with a side of tortellini salad. 

Tomato (from our garden) and cheese melt on homemade bread.

Lemon Chicken Pasta with produce from our garden.

Burgers with fried potatoes and squash from the garden. The tomato on the burger is also from our garden.

Teriyaki noodles with leftover teriyaki steaks and veggies from the garden.

Tamale pie from pantry and freezer items.

Homemade pancakes to feed the hungry grandboys!

Spicy sausage and potato hash.

Homemade blackberry syrup with some of the blackberries from our garden.

Open face avocado and tomato sandwich with tomatoes from our garden.

Tuna pasta salad with cherry tomatoes from the garden.

Swedish meatballs over egg noodles and a side of fresh from the orchard apple slices.

Homemade cheesy potato and veggie chowder.

Beer brats, roasted russet and sweet potato hash and a side of crisp apple slices.

Homemade cheese lasagna.

Homemade deli style Krab salad and avocado on the side.

Cheesy chicken and rice bake with a side of cantaloupe from our garden.

   Well I am off to get a nice hickory smoked pork loin roast in the oven, along with potatoes and carrots.  I already got a feta cheese, cucumber, squash and tomato salad made with all the produce coming out of our garden.  The pork roast is a pretty large one so it will be made into other meals too.  Be blessed my friends, stay safe and enjoy this beautiful Fall weather!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Preparing for the Winter Ahead


   I realize that we are just inching into Fall, but I have been trying to think ahead to Winter and making sure that I am as prepared as I can be.  The Winter weather forecast for my area is calling for higher than normal precipitation levels with our "normal" for the most part temperatures.  This translates into snow...lots and lots of snow.

   I live in a very rural small farming community and our power does go down due to heavy snow taking down trees that fall onto power lines or ice on the power lines.  We also get snowed in with the roads shutting down.  Jeff and I both understand that this is just a part of being able to live in our beautiful little town where life is slower...just the way we like it.  However, it does present some problems so this is what we have done to prepare for this Winter so far:

~We have a generator that we bought last year.  This will be used to run the pellet stove to keep us warm and also to keep the freezers going so they don't thaw out.  I still need to get the fuel bought for the generator and Jeff needs to show me how to hook it up and use it so I can do that myself if he is not home and power is out for an extended period of time.

~Jeff will have a winter weather overnight and safety bag with him.  This way if he is stuck in town near his job, he can just head to Jaysn and Rachel's house that is only 4 miles from his work.  They have a guest room he can use and Steven will be thrilled to have his G-pa spend the night.

~Jeff will also have emergency supplies in his car in case he gets stuck on the side of the road.  Thick socks, coveralls, a flashlight, food, water, a nice wool hat and gloves will be in his car in a "to go" bag.  This way if he takes the truck or my car to work instead, he will have them with him.

~We got new all season tires on my car, his car and the truck already has great tires on it.  Jeff has had most of the work done on his car now that needs to be done.

~We have a propane grill and a full propane tank so I can cook outside if needed.

~Most of my prescriptions are filled with a 3 month supply and I can get them and the other ones mailed to me if needed.

~We have a nice pantry but I do need to buy more water.  That is the only thing we are low on.  If the power goes down for an extended time, our town's water supply will go down too because the pumps will not work.

~We make sure that we have lots of food for the fur babies on hand.  They are part of the family and I want them to be safe, happy and well fed.

~Jeff and I both have lots of winter weather type clothing, so we are good to go there.

~We also have lots of blankets to cuddle under.  Jeff had wanted me to get rid of some, but I said no.  If we have the grandkids here and the power goes out, I need to make sure that there are enough blankets for everyone to have multiple layers.  I also keep extra hats and gloves on hand for them too.

~We have car chargers so we can keep our cell phones charged up if the power is out in the house.

~Jeff is buying a snow blower from work to make keeping the driveway cleared easier.  It is something that we have been wanting to add for years.

~There is a good stash of candles and batteries for our flashlights in hand here.  You have to have light with the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer.

~I do need to buy more baby wipes and dry shampoo in case we have no power.  No power means no hot water, but we still need to keep clean.  

~When I hear that a storm is coming our way, I make sure to bake up lots of bread, muffins and things like that.  I want easy and quick things that do not need to be cooked on hand.

~I will fully admit that I do get bored easily, so I have lots of books, movies (if the power is still on) to watch, and games here at home to play.

~My HBA items are stocked up and I will just pick up a few more to replace what I will use this Fall before the snows come.

~We got the feather bed into the dry cleaners and once it is home it will go on the guest bed.  It really keeps me warm and I love to sink into it.  I also need to dig out my feather comforter and get that put in a duvet cover.  I tell you, between the two of those things, it is sheer bliss to go to sleep in that bed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A Frugal Brain Foggy Day


    Tate's expression above expresses is exactly how his Grammie feels today.  He is so cute and I love this silly look on his face. 😁


   Today is a major brain fog day.  I get these kind of days sometimes, but today is a particularly bad one.  Not sure if it is just because I am wiped out or because of the gabapentin that I started on last night.  Could be either and only time will tell.  Because of this, there are things on my "to do" list for today that are not going to get done.  I had planned on making applesauce but I really don't trust myself with a knife today.  I did cut open a acorn squash and oh my goodness, that was scary!  So here is what I am attempting to do today that does not take much thinking (or using a knife).  

~I washed all the bathroom rugs and bath mats and hung them out to dry on the laundry line.  It is a cloudy but warmish and windy day so they should dry rather quickly.  I try to do this at least once a month.

~I have Italian sausage and the acorn squash sharing a cookie sheet divided by separate aluminum foil liners in the oven cooking.  Both needed to be baked and this is a good way to do it and save electricity.

~More money saving videos were watched on YouTube.  I seem to glean something new or am reminded of something that I used to do, but stopped doing for whatever reason, each time I watch these.

~The water that was collected in the rain bucket was used to water some of the potted plants in the back yard.

~The cats and I enjoyed some time on the back screened in porch.  I know that our time is going to come to an end soon being able to use this other room that we enjoy so much so we are taking full advantage of it.

~I cleaned out the refrigerator and found some things that needed to be used up ASAP.  This is something that I really do need to do more often. The refrigerator was cleaned out a little at a time since I kept forgetting to get back to it and was getting very distracted.

~I redeemed my points at Mypoints for a $10 Walmart gift card.

~I did some surveys at Swagbucks and earned enough to cash in for a $25 Walmart gift card.

~More clean masks were loaded up into my purse.  Jeff and I forgot to grab some when we went out yesterday and thank goodness I had 2 in my purse.  Those are now in the laundry, so I had to "refill" my purse once again.

~Jeff called from work to let me know that he had accidently run over his phone.  I told him to bring it home and if the sim card was not damaged, we could just put that in my old phone that is the same model.  If not, we will have to get it switched over through the company.  Luckily we did keep my old phone.

~I made a huge lasagna for dinner.  It is a favorite around here and is one of Jeff's favorites.  I used some of the parsley from the garden in the cheese mixture and also put some leftover red wine I had in the refrigerator into the sauce.

~Chris called and we had a really nice visit.  He gave me an update on some friends and relatives that are dealing with Covid and other health issues.  It sounds like the ones with Covid are starting to finally feel better, praise God!

   That is about it for my frugal day.  The plan for tonight is to take things easy, enjoy the lasagna and watch a few TV shows.  I'm hoping that I can fall asleep earlier tonight since I am totally wiped out.  Take care and God bless!


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Cha Cha Cha Changes


   It is another day with more changes happening in my little world.  I had a telemedicine appointment with my doctor today to go over my bloodwork results.  Well...to say my cholesterol levels are a bit elevated would be an understatement.  Those suckers are high!  So onto statin meds I go along with another supplement and after being turned down by my insurance company to go on pregabalin, we are now going to try the gabapentin and hope that I will not have bad side effects from it.  If I do, then we can try to get approval once again for the pregabalin.   I have been warned that the statins themselves can have some side effects, as can the gabapentin...this could get interesting. *  I just found out how expensive my meds are going to be...thank God for GoodRX.com coupons to help bring the price way down even after insurance.

   This past weekend Jeff and I ran up to Spokane to pick up a part for our pellet stove.  While we were up there, there was a shooting a few blocks from where we were.  YIKES!  We also ran into instance after instance of people not wearing masks and no enforcement of the governor's mandate to do so.  There were so many rude people who kept crowding around me even though they could see that I was wearing a mask, which should signal to them that I have concerns about staying healthy.  Trader Joes was a madhouse, as was Marshall's.  The only place people were even slightly considerate was the ARC thrift store, where I did find some lovely treasures.

   Yesterday we went to Moscow, Idaho in the afternoon since I was having a panic attack and needed to get out for a bit.  I think my panic attack was brought on by several things like the shooting in Spokane, covid-19 cases going through the roof with our high school on virtual learning for 2 weeks due to so many students and staff having it (40% of the students were out with it the previous week), family and friends having covid-19 with several struggling and some having to be hospitalized, and knowing that it is hitting the kids in our area pretty hard.  :(  It is sad, scary and in many cases, very preventable.

   Anyway, we went to Moscow and I saw first hand the shortages and price hikes on food once more.  Dollar Tree had very little food on their shelves and the prices at Winco have gone up steeply on some items, while remaining constant on others.  I only found 1 food item and none of the other things I was looking for while at Dollar Tree.  We did stop at Goodwill and Jeff found a brand new car seat cover for his car and a battery powered tool there.  He likes to have multiples of his battery powered tools so he can use one while the other is still charging.  Honestly, I have no problem with him buying tools he needs because he really does use them a lot.  

   Fall is definitely in the air, even though we are having a warm spell here in the day right now.  Jeff ended up breaking the weld on one of the wire connections on the pellet stove when he was installing the new part and was so frustrated with himself.  Luckily for us, he knows how to do welding and our amazing neighbors had a wire welder in their shop that they let us borrow.  Jeff got it all fixed and running and I sent him up with a large container of freshly picked blackberries from our garden as a thank you.  They were so happy to have been given the blackberries and we are very grateful to them for their generosity in letting us use their tools.

   My days are filled with spending time in the gardens trying to coax the last of the produce to ripen before the killing frost comes.  I have had to cover up the pepper and cantaloupe bed several times now, along with the front tomato plants.  The side bed with tomato plants has some natural protection, but I know the time will come soon where it too will either be hit hard or I will have to begin covering it up also.  I'm also enjoying being able to hang sheets out on the line to dry now that the rain knocked the smoke from the wildfires out of the sky.

   Our evenings are now mostly spent with the fire going in the pellet stove and the cats curled up and snuggled in on our laps.  The lap quilts that my mom made us are in constant use now and I have started to have a cup of evening herbal tea once more.  It is a nice routine to be getting back into after the long and busy days of Summer.  Our ROKU had been acting up, so I set it back to factory settings and we are once again able to get things to load and our YouTube channel is also working.  Jeff is happy to be able to watch his bowling...I know he was missing it. ;)

   I'd better go and check the blackberries and see if there is a bunch ready to pick or if I should wait another day.  If they are ready, I shall pick them, if not, I'll water them deeply and try to pick tomorrow.  Be blessed, stay safe and healthy and enjoy the beauty that is Fall!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Let's Chat Shall We


   Oh my goodness, you might want to grab a nice hot cup of coffee for this one.  I have so much to say and share and this is my outlet to do so. πŸ˜€  Don't say I did not warn you all.

   Yesterday I had to go and get my bloodwork done for the year so I could refill my medications.  I chose to go to the small town office instead of the bigger office that is connected to one of the hospitals (my doctor practices out of both).  I am so glad I chose that option as they spaced out the appointments at the small office to try to limit contact among the patients.  My doctor, who is a wonderful and caring man, and I had a long talk about many things including my health and the pandemic and how it is affecting the care of patients in the hospitals.

  A. My health...we are going to try my on gabapentin since my pain levels are getting to the point where it is making me nauseous.  He said there is absolutely no reason for me to have to feel that way and we are now in the process of trying to get approval from the insurance company to try that.  If they will not approve it, there is another medication in the same "family" that we will try.  He also wrote all my other medications for 3 month at a time refills.  He and I both agreed that it would help with my anxiety levels to not have to go out so much and, because I am higher risk even though I am vaccinated, it would help to keep my safer since there would be less possibility of exposure this way.  We also agreed that I can schedule a bone density test when things calm down since I would like to avoid being at any of the hospitals for any reason right now.

   B. Our hospitals in our area are extremely strained at the moment.  Since we are right on the Washington/Idaho border and Northern Idaho hospitals are in crisis care mode, they are sending a lot of their patients to Washington.  This, upon the heavy load we have with our own patient levels, is causing problems.  Apparently our largest hospital, located in Pullman, has converted at least part of the maternity ward into a covid care unit.  Patients that would normally go to Pullman are now going to Colfax for care, causing that hospital to fill up quickly.  I could see the strain of my doctor's face as he talked about it and he said it was only going to get worse for awhile.  He is very worried about the way things are going.

   C.  We talked about my 4 year old grandson Steven who has been exposed multiple times to this virus through daycare and is once again at home on quarantine for 14 days because 2 more kids at his daycare tested positive for the virus and Steven was in direct contact with them.  He has to quarantine, but his parents, do not unless he ends up with symptoms.  They are now trying to juggle who stays home on what day since they both have lots of commitments at work at the moment.

   D.  I also learned that all of his patients that were vaccinated, who did get breakthrough cases of covid, had mild cases and some were even asymptomatic and some only learned they had it when they were routinely tested because they were awaiting surgery or were being admitted to the hospital for other reasons.  My doctor is a gerontologist, so most of his patients are elderly and high risk for this.  And yes, it is funny that I chose him as my doctor, but my body acts and feels old, so there ya go!  Plus, he knows about fibromyalgia, and many doctors around here do not.  I feel blessed to have him.

*  Please keep the doctors, nurses, cnas and other medical staff in your prayers.  They are dealing with so much right now and their stress levels are through the roof.  Thank you.

   After leaving my appointment, I decided to just drive in and pick up my prescriptions.  I had 2 that needed to be handed over in person and 2 that were called in.  Yes, I drove...this turns out to be a bad decision later in the day.  My doctors office is a 1/2 hour drive north on country roads. So I drove there and then back home to pick up a few things before heading in to deal with my prescriptions.  Now where I shop is 1/2 an hour's drive south.  So before I have even headed into town to shop, I have been driving for an hour total.  So I head into town and I am feeling a bit tired and already know that I will be paying for this later...but I am stubborn and just want to get this done, so I stupidly do it anyway.  Upon my arrival at Walmart, it is a madhouse with so many people doing walk ins for the vaccines.  The pharmacist is the one who has to administer them so she has to keep stopping filling prescriptions in order to do so.  I am told to come back in half an hour to pick up my meds, so I go to the Grocery Outlet to pick up some things there and look for cottage cheese since I want to make lasagna this weekend.  No cottage cheese to be found and I notice that some of the prices are going up and there are lots of gaps in the produce area.

   I finish up there and head back to Walmart only to be told that it is going to be another 7 minutes before my meds are ready...ok, I have some shopping to do there anyway, so I go and try to pick up the things that are on my list there.  No cottage cheese and the dairy area is almost empty.  No green onions and lots of gaps in produce with much of it looking really sad.  Lunchmeat is looking very empty and limited but prices have shot up.  Sports drinks...good luck with that!  I did manage to snag the last canister of Gatorade sports drink mix though.  Supplements are cut in half from what they usually have and what they do is in short supply.  I again head back to the pharmacy and am told again that I need to wait.  This was 25 minutes after they told me 7 more minutes.  They were slammed with those walk ins and only 3 people working so I understood that they were stressed, but at this point, so am I.  The lady that I was dealing with does not speak English well at all, so our communication was also difficult.  I ended up just paying out of pocket for one of my prescriptions since I could not get her to understand that I just wanted it sent to me once they were able to fill it under the insurance.  UGH!  (I am still waiting for the gabapentin to be approved)  I went to check out and the self check out machines were having issues and rejecting debit cards.  I had to run mine twice and some people could not get theirs's to work at all at the other machines.  I am so frazzled that I left my groceries there and had to go back to grab them.  I unload the groceries into my car and feel like I am missing something.  I look at the cart to see my cane in it.  UGH!  I go and grab that.  So by this time I am so sore, tired and frustrated that I decide to just grab dinner on the way home.  I pick up Chinese food from the deli and finally also locate some cottage cheese at this 3rd store.  It is way overpriced, but I get it anyway.  

   By the time I arrive home, I can barely walk and my whole body is screaming at me.  I unload the car and put away the groceries and settle into my recliner.  Jeff gets home, we eat and visit via facetime with Josh, Lauren and Tate, and then I head to bed to lay down.  I am exhausted, in tears and hurting so badly, but I can't sleep.  Yes, I way overdid it yet again and no, I will never learn.

   So here we are, the next day, and I am still in huge amounts of pain.  I did manage to finally get some sleep and now have laundry going.  The cats and I are out on the back porch watching the squirrels as they are busy getting ready for the cold months ahead.  I can literally see the weather changing minute to minute.  Today is a day of transition weather wise.  I have so much to do out in the garden and am praying that I can get to at least some of it later.  I also need to remember to cover up the tomatoes and the cantaloupe and pepper bed later tonight just in case of frost.  There are more berries to be picked and frozen, apples to pick, squash and tomatoes to be harvested, applesauce to be made and swiss chard and kale to be harvested and processed.  They may have to wait until tomorrow and I will pray for no frost.

   There is so much more I want to say but my back, neck and shoulders are telling me I need to go and lay down again.  So I shall listen to my body and do so.  Be blessed all!