Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Things We Don't Spend Money On

Green beans from our Summer Garden

   I know that a lot of my friends like to live a fun but frugal life so I thought that I would share some of the things that we don't spend money on.  I get great ideas from other people and I hope that my sharing may help someone else and I hope that my friends here in Blogger land will share some of your ideas with me!  Here we go...

Cable or Satellite TV:  We got rid of both over the years and to be honest, we do not miss it.  We have a Roku that we can stream things online.  I stream YouTube, Netflix (gift from our Jaysn as he put us on his account) and many other channels.  Did you know you can download PBS and many other channels and stream them for free on Roku?  For things that I cannot stream via Roku, I can usually find online.  

New Release Movies on DVD and New Bestseller Books:  I borrow all of those through our local library. They will also make their way to the thrift stores and yard sales soon enough for me to pick up there.

Expensive Cell Phones and Plans:  We use Tracfones and have the phones that triple our minutes, data, and texting.  I have to buy a $19 card every 3 months for each of our phones and our unused minutes do roll over.  Our phones are smartphones, but I got them on sale for under $50 each and we will use them for years to come.  I don't want or need to expensive I phones.

Most of our Red Meat:  We are blessed with hunters in our family that supply us with venison and elk meat.  Sometimes they even give us fish that they have caught.  This is a huge savings for us and much healthier because we know the meat is not pumped full of antibiotics.

Most of our Breads and Baked Treats:  I make most of the loaves of bread that we eat here.  I will buy bagels, hot dog and hamburger buns and the occasional English muffins.  I also make banana, pumpkin, cranberry orange and zucchini bread.  Cookies are almost always made at home (unless I run across a deal that makes them cheaper than making them at home).  Just a heads up.  Sometimes the cookie mixes are cheaper to use when they are on sale than making them from scratch.  Mixes like peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia nut and pumpkin have been on sale for $1 or under for the big sizes and I stock up on those, along with brownie mixes when the prices drop.  This honestly not only saves me money, but time and my personal energy as well.

Haircuts and Coloring:  I honestly don't remember the last time I got my hair cut by a professional.  Jeff and I have been cutting each other's hair for years and years now.  Together, we make a wonderful team and are much happier with our haircuts that we do because we know the "quirks" of each other's hair.  As for coloring.  I stopped coloring my own hair years ago also.  It was such a hassle and the color never lasted very long.  As I got more gray hairs, they became harder and harder to take the color anyway.

Fine Dining at Expensive Restaurants:  Growing up, I was treated to fine dining a lot due to my father being the manager of an exclusive resort.  Not only did we eat there a lot, but when we traveled and stayed at nice resorts, we also were treated to amazing meals there.  Not only is that not in the budget for Jeff and I now, but it physically pains me to see how much people will spend on a nice fine dining experience, especially when I know that I can make the same food here at home for a fraction of the price and it will taste just as good and in some cases, even better.

Expensive Vacations:  While friends of ours drop thousands of dollars on vacations, sometimes multiple times a year, we don't.  We seek out great deals at hotels, go camping or stay with family for our vacations.  We are planning a trip to Las Vegas in the Fall and by watching the fares for airlines and buying at the right time, I was able to save us about $1000.  We will be staying with my son Josh and his girlfriend while we are there for a week.  We will be taking them out for dinner and a show one night as a thank you and we will buy some groceries while we are there and I'll make some of our meals since they will most likely both be working for the majority of the time we are there.  I want to make some of Josh's favorite meals.  They are trying to buy a home in a gated community with a pool so we can enjoy that during the day.  Josh is also letting us borrow his truck so we can go and see my friends that live down there too.  We would like to go and see one of the Circ d Soleil show and I have found some places to buy the tickets at a hugely discounted rate.  You can find all kind of coupons for B1G1F deals down there too.  In planning for a future family cruise, we are already researching discounts for those.  A cruise is on our bucket list and is something that we feel I can handle since I can rest when I need to.

Lawn and Garden Care:  Although we are both getting older and it is becoming harder for Jeff to take care of our yard, we are implementing a few new plans to make it easier for us.  We just got a garden cart at an auction that will help with some things and we are planning on building raised beds in the near future to cut down on bending and weeding.  One of our sons used to have a lawn car business years ago as a teenager here is town and was paid good money for doing people's yards for them but that is not something that we can afford.

Having Pizzas Delivered to our Home:  Well this is an easy one for us since we do not live in a town that has this service or even has a pizza parlour. 😉  There are advantages to living out in a small farming town.  It is so easy just to pick up a frozen pizza on sale and stock my freezer for times when we want a quick pizza.  Other times, when I have the energy, I will make them myself.  When our boys were growing up, I almost always made pizza from scratch because it was so much cheaper and my kids and hubby could plow through multiple pizzas at a time.  There are no places here in town that deliver anything, so that alone saves us a ton of money.

Full Price Movie Tickets:  We do not go to the movies much, but when we do, we go to matinees.  It saves us quite a bit of money.  Most of the time though, we just wait for it to come out on dvd and them borrow it from the library, Redbox it or wait for it to come on Netflix.  

Full Price Clothing from Retail Stores:  Most of our clothing comes from thrift stores or yard sales.  If we do shop retail, it is from the clearance rack or a really good sale.  We stock up on things like socks and underwear during the back to school sales when it is the cheapest and shop the off season clearance racks to find amazing deals on other items.  Sometimes they are even cheaper than the thrift store prices.  We spend less per year on clothing than most people would spend in one shopping trip to a retail store buying 4 items or less at full retail prices! Our closets are filled with Columbia, North Face, Land's End, Eddie Bauer, Coldwater Creek, Michel Kors, Lane Bryant, Carhartt, Talbots and other expensive brands of clothing, outerwear and shoes.  My handbag and purse collection has Kate Spade, Brighton, Vera Bradley, Tyler Roden, Coach, Whiting and Davis, Mulberry, Coldwater Creek, Aldo, Rolfs, J Crew, Cole Haan, and many others.  All these were thrift or yard sale finds.

Expensive Jewelry from Jewelry Stores:  Don't get me wrong, I love pretty jewelry, especially anything "opal" related. I can count on one hand the times we have bought things at jewelry stores and that includes our wedding rings 33 years ago.  The other things were a ruby ring and a necklace and earrings set (a gift from Jeff to me) that we deeply discounted.  All those were bought years ago.  I find nice sterling silver, gold and even diamond and other gemstone jewelry at thrift stores, pawn shops and yard sales.  The rest of my nice and "expensive" pieces were inherited or given to me over the years by my mother and father.  I have passed down some of my jewelry to my girls already so they can enjoy it.

A High Mortgage:  We do not need, nor do we want a McMansion or huge home.  Our home is about 1,200 square feet and is where we raised our boys and frequently had their friends, some for extended periods of time, stay with us too.  We paid $400 a month for our mortgage (and that was adding some extra money above the minimum payment) and have been here for 25 years now.  After refinancing several times due to unforeseen things happening in our lives, it is now paid off.  I hope that we never have to pay on a mortgage again.  I am happy here in our home and I love the security of knowing that it is paid off now.  We will do everything we can to make the changes needed as we age.

Certain Fruits and Veggies:  Our garden provides us with Summer apples, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, mint, parsley, oregano, chives, blueberries, strawberries, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet cherries, green onions, and fresh salad greens, green beans, kale, tomatoes and squash during the growing season.  Each year I try to plant something new for us to try.  

   I know there are more things, but I can't think of them at the moment.  Please add to my list in the comments of what you don't spend money on.  I would love to learn from each of you also!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/10-3/16 2018

I got this beauty for half off!

   Have you ever wondered what happened to some of your old friends from your childhood?  When I was in high school my sister Leonie and I became friends with a girl named Elaine.  Elaine was from Canada and had moved to Hawaii with her step mother and step father (her parents had both sadly passed away).  Her step parents were NOT nice people and Elaine ended up being abandoned by them.  My family took her in temporarily and she became "the third sister" as we tried to get in contact with her brother and get her back home to him in Canada.  Leonie, Elaine and I all shared a room and it was tight but we loved each other and it was a lot of fun!  Elaine stayed with us for a short time and then moved in with another family friend, who was also Elaine and my majorette advisor, who had more room.  Elaine was finally reunited with her brother in Canada after lots of paperwork and red tape and we lost contact.  Well last night I got a friend request from Elaine on Facebook!  I cannot tell you the joy I felt because I had searched for her there and could not find her.  She apparently just joined Facebook.  We spent about an hour getting caught up and are making future plans for her to come and visit and are hoping my sister Leonie could come at the same time.  It has been 40 years since we have seen each other!  I have to say that being in contact with her again filled a part of my heart that had been missing if that makes any sense.  I just wanted to share my joy and put it down here so that I would never forget the day that "the third sister" reunited with Leonie and I online. 😁 Now onto the frugalness for my week.

I scored these Land's End jackets for .25 each!

~Saturday Jeff and I headed up to Coeur d'Alene for our anniversary.  We had lunch at Texas Roadhouse and used $30 in gift cards that I earned through Swagbucks.  We left a generous tip for our amazing waitress.
~The Dollar Tree had the laundry detergent that we use for Jeff's clothing (Ajax) so we bought some of that, some cotto salami, a eyeshadow brush (I have no idea where my good one went), some 4 packs of diced fruit in it's own juice (will take those to Montana with us in May) and some soda for Jeff.
~St. Vincent D Paul thrift store has everything half price on Wednesdays and Saturdays (we did not know that they did this) and also had .25 bins of clothing.  We really scored there!  Jeff found a bowling ball that looked like it had barely been used with close to the same finger span as his, in the weight he wanted and it was one of the bowling balls that he had wanted for a long time now.  He paid $2.50 for it!  The ball retails for over $100. 😵  He also found some bicyclee tires that he wants to use to build a cart to haul yard waste behind him on his bicycle so he can ride out to the yard waste site in good weather and dump the yard waste there.  Steven is getting some clothes (that kids is outgrowing everything).  I picked up everything that looked good in his size and the next few sizes up for .25 each.  I also got 2 Lands End Jackets and a vest for .25, and 2 shirts at half price.  My great find there though was a Wedgewood cameo necklace pendant set in a sterling silver frame for $10 (half off $20).  I am in love with it!
~Two other thrift stores gave us movies, books, 2 gorgeous blue and white plates, 2 blue and white mugs, cds for Jeff, and some shirts for Jeff and I.

I got 2 of these beautiful Johnson Brothers mugs at the thrift store.

~Grocery Outlet is one of our normal stops when we are up there and I stocked up on some veggies, frozen meals, an 8 pound bag of the sweetest grapefruit I have tasted in years, and specialty cheeses along with some pastrami.
~Sunday Jeff built me some stairs out of scrap wood to get in and out of our hot tub more easily.  They are really nice.
~We finally watched the movie "Victoria and Abdul" that we borrowed from the library.
~We hot tubbed that night.
~Monday I took a nap...oh that felt nice.
~Jeff built me a handrail going up our steps to the back porch with some scrap lumber he had.

~I made us a nice dinner of meatloaf, sweet potatoes and acorn squash.
~Jeff ran the movie down to the library and picked up another book they had waiting for me.  Caesar also got his walk in this way.
~The weather was lovely so we opened up the house to air it out and the fur babies were free to go in and out off the back screened in porch.
~Tuesday our Roku decided to go nuts.  I tried everything they said to online to fix it but that did not work, so it's time to replace it.  We have had it for 2 years and it has lots of hours on it.
~Jeff and I had a late lunch at a Chinese food place (I know we have got to stop going out to eat so much) and I brought half of it home to have for lunch the next day.
~I talked to the pharmacy about getting 3 month supply on my prescriptions.
~We found a New York Cheesecake slice at the bakery at Walmart for .89.  Jeff and I split it for dessert.  Yum!
~I also found some chicken thighs on sale so we bought them and threw them in the freezer. I am stocking up on chicken thighs since I need to make Shoyu Chicken for 18 people for dinner on night at our family reunion in May.

~Wednesday Rachel called and asked if she and Steven could come over the following morning since their house is being shown.  I of course said yes!  I took one look at our floors though and knew they needed to be cleaned after the dogs and cats had got them really dirty so they were vacuumed and then some Lysol wipes were used instead of Swifter pads to clean the floors since Steven would be crawling all over them.  The Lysol wipes were some I got for free.
~I finished my leftover Chinese food for lunch.
~I found a tutorial on YouTube for making a weighted blanket and shared it on facebook.  I am hoping that my mother will make it for me. 😉
~Jeff cleaned out the laundry room and found lots of things in there that we had been "missing".  He organized it.  He did find another stash of paper plates so I put some of them in my large tote that I am taking to Montana so that we can use those and not have to do as many dishes.
~We continue to enjoy watching "The World's Most Incredible Homes" on Netflix (yes, we did get a new Roku).
~There was another refund check from the insurance company for a little over $19.  Yay!

~Jeff got another quick side job that paid him $20 for very little time worked.
~I made 2 more loaves of sandwich bread for Jeff.
~Dinner was leftovers and we split a fresh pear.
~I uploaded coupons onto my Safeway card for things that we needed.
~Thursday Rachel and Steven came out for a visit and she brought lunch for us.  That was just so sweet of her!  Jeff finished off the leftover Caesar Salad with his dinner later that night.
~I got lots of cuddle and play time with Steven...made me so happy!
~I booked our plane tickets to go to Vegas to see Josh and Lauren in October.  I was able to find us a good deal out of Spokane, WA which is much closer to us.  The best day to buy your tickets seems to be on Thursdays.  I noticed a $200 drop in the price since the last time I checked so I booked them now. :)  We are excited and so are Josh and Lauren!
~I ran Swagbucks points earning thingies in the background as I watched YouTube in the evening.
~Jeff set up the drying rack in the big bathtub so we could hang the outdoor vinyl tablecloths to dry there since it had been raining.

~Friday the sun was shining in the morning and it was glorious.  I took the used coffee grounds and sprinkled them around the blueberry bushes and put the banana peels around the rose bushes.  This really does help them to be healthier and produce more flowers (and fruit).
~I had picked up creamers when they were on sale and put them in my freezer.  I was out this morning in the refrigerator so I went out to the freezer and grabbed one.  This saves me time and money!
~I enjoyed my coffee in a new mug that I got from the thrift store this week.  I love to use blue and white mugs in the Spring.
~Jeff and I both use fabric bags filled with rice and heated in the microwave a lot to help with muscle pain.  I got tired of having to go into the bathroom to get them so I moved them to a spot on top of the microwave so they are right there and ready whenever we need them.  Speaking of that, while getting the second load of laundry started, I realized that my muscles were once again screaming at me so one of those rice bags was heated up and used on my neck.  I need to dig out my eating pad for my back as that was aching too.
~My friend brought over some hemp oil lotion that she bought to see if it would help with my Fibromyalgia pain.  
~With Spring here I wanted to switch out my handbags so I went shopping in my closet and brought out one of my light pinkish purple handbags to use.  I also got out a different wallet that was also in my stash.  I love being able to just shop my closet for accessories. 😀

   Our oldest two grandsons, Bradley and Isaiah, will be here in a bit to spend the night with us and both Jeff and are are so excited.  It has been far too long since we had a sleepover with them, mainly due to my health.  I am finally feeling well enough again to be able to really enjoy them and be able to do things with them.💗 There is nothing that fills my "love tank" more than spending time with our grandchildren and children.  We have lots of frugal and fun things planned to do with them!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ramping Up and a Cute Distraction


   I could feel it when I got up this morning.  My anxiety and OCD started ramping up for no logical reason at all.  I knew I was going into a Fibro flare.  Then the IBS kicked in,,,,oh joy!  NOT!  I could not eat anything and it even took awhile to finish my coffee.  I watched some videos on YouTube, hoping it would get my mind off the flare.  No such luck.  I climbed into the shower and kept telling myself out loud to get it together and that I was fine...there was no reason to get all ramped up.  Did that work?  Nope.  Washing my hair hurt, washing my face hurt, my skin hurt.  Blow drying and brushing my hair hurt.  Every time the bristles of the brush (and I used the soft one) touched my scalp it felt like fingernails digging in and running their way down.  My styling brush was even worse.

   I dressed in the softest clothing I could find but had to put on a bra because a very cute little visitor was coming to hang out, along with his beautiful mommy, with Grammie for the morning.  The bra, one of the soft ones with no underwire hurt, the waistband of my softest jeans hurt against my skin, The Fibro rash on my face was flaring up too and even my hair touching my face made it itch and feel like little needles were touching it.  Then came the hot flashes...yes, those come with Fibro too.  It's like being in Menopause all over again.  Yuck!  I stepped outside in the cool air hoping that would help cool me down since these can last for hours.  I took a stroll around the garden to see how my roses had fared over the Winter and soaked in the beauty of the crocuses, grape hyacinths and snowdrops.

   After coming back inside, I took down the Christmas cards that were on the back of the front door (yes, I realize that it is now March) and threw out the paper ones, but kept the photo ones.  I then wrangled cats that are just a bit nuts today.  I folded up Caesar's quilt and put it off to the side so Steven would have more room to play and set up a folding tv tray in front of the pellet stove so he could not get to it and burn himself.  Knowing that my brain fog was bad today, I got out a bag of clothing for Steven that I had here for him so that I would not forget to give them to Rachel.  I looked at the front living room window with all the kitty nose prints and paw marks on it, knowing that it needed to be washed, but decided against doing that.  It was then that I hear Midgey scratching at the bedroom door wanting to be let out.  She had insisted on being in there with Jeff while he slept earlier.  The door usually is left open during the day but with Steven and Rachel coming, I had shut it so Jeff could get some good sleep.

   Rachel and Steven arrived shortly after that and being the sweetheart that she is, Rachel brought lunch with her for us.  Steven played, cuddled and then decided to grab Doofy cat.  Doofy swatted Steven without his claws out as a warning.  Apparently Steven did not learn his lesson and went after Doofy again, grabbing a fistful of hair on Doofy's side.  Steven now knows that kitties scratch if you do not head their warnings.  It was a rather painful lesson for Steven and Doofy to learn since now Doofy knows to stay away from the baby or he will grab you. Steven is sporting some scratches on his arm and hand.

    Josh called while they were here to tell me that the house they were trying to buy fell through.  He heads out tomorrow morning to drive to Vegas from the Washington DC area along with his cat.  They will be stopping along the way to stay with friends.  He now is scrambling to find a place for him, his girlfriend who will be joining him a week later, his cat and her dog.  He wants to find a furnished place that will rent month to month.  I put the word out to my friends in Vegas and they have been wonderful trying to help him.  Within minutes of my message, we started to get some leads.  I am thankful to have grown up with such amazing and wonderful people from Hawaii who will go the extra mile to help anyone who grew up in Hawaii or their children...it is the Hawaiian way.

   Having Rachel and Steven here was the perfect distraction for me and I was sad to see them go but Rachel has a bible study group this afternoon.  She is hoping that Steven will get a nap before then, but if not, she will have to skip it.  He was more than ready to take a nap when they headed out.  We are praying that their home sells quickly and that they could possibly move out here for awhile.  We have a friend with a 1 bedroom apartment right down the street from us that they would love to move into.  Jaysn rented their other apartment years ago and I know they would love to have him back as a renter again.  I would love it too because I would have them very close and could spend lots of time with them and babysit when they needed me too without having to drive for half an hour or more to get there.

   I am feeling much calmer after having them here.  Sometimes focusing on the people I love most in the world is all I need to deescalate me when I am ramping up.  Cuddling with my youngest grandson, laughing with my Rachel are all wonderful distractions.  I just saw that my hanai sister is on here way here from Palm Springs and I am hoping that we can get together tomorrow at some point.  We have our oldest grandsons, Bradly and Isaiah, spending the night with us on Saturday and I'm sure they would love some Auntie time with her too. :)  I really do have so much to be thankful for in my life and one of the things that this illness, along with my others, is to try to focus on the good things and the stuff that really matters because my energy is so limited. So here is to family, furbabies, grandchildren and good friends who all bring me great joy, love and laughter.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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

Some thrift store finds!

   Again, late with this post.  We had a wonderful Friday and Saturday celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary! Saturday we were only able to do half of what we planned because of my limited energy and the pain in my back finally getting to be too overwhelming.  Both Sunday and Monday were spent recovering from having way too much fun and eating more than I usually do.  Even today, Tuesday, I am still in slug mode, but oh, it was so worth it! 😉 I wanted to thank everyone that took the time to comment and wish us well.  That was so sweet of you and it really touched my heart.  I have to admit to getting a bit teary eyed reading them today.  Onto the savings...

I have been looking all over for this book and finally found it at the Salvation Army thrift store.

~Saturday we went into town and had lunch at Subway.  They had some good specials and I was able to get a wrap, which cut way down on the carbs.
~A quick stop at Walmart surprised us with marked down Italian sausages.  We bought a package and I made them for dinner Sunday night along with some sweet potato fries.
~We also stopped at Goodwill where we found a toilet seat riser with grab bars.  Jeff got that installed with just one of the grab bars to make it easier to get on and off it in our small bathroom.
~We also found a Backgammon game, some Ziplock space bags, new left handed golf gloves for Jeff, and a pretty basket that is just the right size to fit our cloth napkins in but too small for the cats to fit in. 😉
~Jeff was able to borrow a truck from work to bring home another ton of pellets for our pellet stove.  He buys the pellets from his boss.  I am glad he put in the order a week ago because the supplier is now out of the red fir chips that he uses to make the pellets and does not know when he will be getting more.  It looks like there is going to be a huge shortage of pellets around here which means prices are going to go up too.

Roast Beef and Asparagus Roll Ups.

~Jeff tried to fix our old coffee maker that was brewing really slowly, but that did not work so we saved the carafe to donate, threw away the rest of it and then got our little 4 cup travel coffee maker out to use instead.
~After our trip to town, I was really tired and sore so we curled up in bed and watched 2 movies before going to sleep.
~Sunday was Bradley's birthday party and it was wonderful to see friends and family again!  After 2 hours though, I was again sore and tired so we came home and I got into my recliner until bed time.
~Monday I stayed home and worked on more laundry until I fell and hurt myself.
~Jeff headed in Monday morning to pick up some wood that was leftover from him building the stairs and redoing Jaysn and Rachel's back porch.  He thinks there is enough there to build most of our new front stairs with.
~He brought home Chinese food from the deli for us for lunch.  There was so much food that I had the second half of mine for dinner that night.

I loved this movie that we borrowed from the library.

~We got a refund check in the mail from our mortgage company.  We apparently overpaid by a little over $19 when we made our final payment.  Jeff cashed the check and that gave him some spending money to pick up coffee and things when he is driving for his job overnight.
~I caught up on some of my TV shows by watching them online.
~Jeff wanted some more bagels and I managed to find some in our freezer for him.  I also pulled out a big elk roast to start thawing.
~I borrowed the movie "Victoria and Abdul" from the library.
~Tuesday I printed off gift cards and some free item coupons.
~My phone was about out of minutes so I added a 60 minute phone card to it which tripled to 180 minutes. It also added text and data time.
~Our weather is warming up a bit, but I am still finding myself wearing a sweater or robe inside the house, along with house slippers, so I can keep the heat down.
~I had more Greek yogurt with a touch of agave and some fresh blueberries for breakfast.  Yummy, pretty, good for me and served in a glass fruit dish to make me feel special.
~Jeff picked up 2 bunches of bananas at .39 a pound on his way home from work.  This was the last day of the sale and we waited until today to get them since we still had a few left from our last shopping trip.

Squash casserole and leftover asparagus made for the perfect dinner.

~I had some tortillas and roast beef that needed to be used up so I made roast beef, cold grilled asparagus and cream cheese with onion and chives wraps for lunch. Oh my goodness was it ever good!  I served it with 2 tiny tangerines.  Who says you can't eat well on a budget?  That wrap would have cost at least $10 in a restaurant around here and I have never seen anyone use grilled asparagus in a wrap before.  I definitely will be doing it again however.
~Jeff and I watched the first episode of the current season of Survivor online
~Wednesday was another flare day so I did not get much done other than making my favorite squash casserole.
~Jeff and I hot tubbed and it felt really good!
~Thursday I was again dragging.  I did not sleep well and was having quite a bit of muscle stiffness and pain.  I did get 2 loaves of bread made and went over to take care of our neighbor's fur babies for her.
~We had leftovers for dinner.
~Jeff ran some errands in the town he had his bowling league in.

$2 for each of these seasons...what a deal!

~Friday was our 33rd Wedding anniversary and Jeff took the night off to spend it with me.  I just thought that was so sweet.  We agreed not to buy each other gifts ahead of time and to instead spend time together and see what the weekend brought.  The best present I could give him though was me feeling better and actually having some energy despite not sleeping well again on Thursday night.
~I got some coupons from Bath and Body Works in the mail.
~Jeff and I went out to an early dinner and then hit the Salvation Army thrift store.  I found some new puzzles,  Season 4 and 5 of a BBC series that I love ($2 each), Jeff found some pants and I found a shirt.
~We stopped at the Dollar Tree and picked up 4 bottles of laundry detergent.
~Jeff and I both could not finish our dinner from the restaurant so we brought the leftovers home and had them later that night.
~Shopko had some of their big totes on sale so we bought 5 of them to help organize this house.

These were $1 each at Dollar Tree.  I usually make my own laundry detergent but I think this actually came out to be cheaper.

   Our weather is finally starting to get better and it has helped with the pain, especially in my legs.  The cold just does a number on them so this is amazing.  I was even able to open up the sliding glass door to the porch yesterday, air out the house and enjoy the 68F temperatures.  Some of my crocuses are even up and blooming now!

Friday, March 9, 2018

He is still my Best Friend!

   Today Jeff and I celebrate 33 years of marriage!  We met when I was 19, officially started dating 6 months later when I was 20, got engaged on my 21st birthday and got married that following Spring.  Sometimes it just amazes me that the minute I met Jeff, I just felt this instant connection to him.  It only took us 6 months to run into each other again after that. 😉  From that moment on, we were a couple and spent every bit of time we could with each other.  Our relationship has always been built on the solid foundation of being friends first  From the very beginning, we could talk about anything and became each others biggest encourager, supporter, sounding board to bounce ideas off of.  No one knows us as well as we know each other.  We have shared our deepest secrets, fears, dreams, successes and sorrows together.  We are totally honest with each other and will let the other one know if we think that they could have handled something differently. 😉 We both have each other's backs and our love is, has and will always be unconditional.  Jeff has fully embraced my parents, brothers, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents as his own and they have done the same for him.  He shares a very special relationship with them and for that I am so thankful to him and to them.  He and  I also remain close to some of his cousins, one of my former sister in laws and her husband, and our oldest niece and her beautiful family.   We also love our youngest niece and hope that once she turns 18 and can make her own decisions in life, that we can rebuild our relationship with her.  They are all amazing people and we love them dearly.  We are choosing to focus on those that love and support us and not on the "the others".

   Jeff and I could have never imagined all those years ago the great joy of becoming parents and watching our children grow into the most amazing adults and start their own families.  Back then, being grandparents seemed to be so far off in the distant future but now here we are with a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 9 month old!  We now have these amazing daughters that came into our family when they married our boys and hope to add another one in the near future. 

   My husband is a gift, given to me by God.  He has and continues to stick by my side through my debilitating illnesses that have taken years to get a proper diagnosis on.  He has really stepped up and taken on more and more of the daily responsibilities of running our home and making it easier for me on a daily basis to be able to function here, especially on bad flare/crash days.  He drives me where I need to go most days, comes with me to my doctor's appointments, is there when I have had surgery, takes over anything and everything when I am having a rough day and is my best friend.  I could not love him more! 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy 6th Birthday Bradley!

    Today we celebrate and thank God for sending us this amazing kid!  Bradley started us on our journey to becoming grandparents and the beginning of this amazing new chapter in our lives.  He is smart, funny, loving, kind, sarcastic (how can he not be in this family 😉), strong willed, athletic, and an avid outdoorsman already.  He is fiercely protective of those he loves and is an amazing big brother to Isaiah and big cousin to baby Steven.  He has an understanding of the world far beyond his years.  He makes us laugh and also touches our hearts so deeply with his compassion for us and others.  We feel so blessed to be his Grammie and G-pa and can't wait to see all that he accomplishes in his life!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/24-3/2 2018


   I'm very late in posting this.  I had planned to do it on Monday after a busy weekend, but I ended up tripping over the dog and taking a fall, so I was not up to doing much yesterday afternoon or evening after that.  The dog is fine and so is the computer that I dropped when I fell.  I fell on my funny bone (that hurts) and elbow and also one knee.  The knee is doing pretty good, the elbow hurts and is sporting a bruise, my back and foot are tweaked and today my neck is also sore.  This, on top of the normal Fibro pain, is really limiting me at the moment.  Thank God I did not hurt Caesar or hurt myself any worse.  Onto the saving...

~Saturday Jeff and I made a run into Pullman and had lunch.  We also picked up a few things we needed at the Dollar Tree and then went to Palouse Treasures Thrift store. We made a game of it where we each had $10 and could only spend that much or less and if we wanted to spend more, we had to negotiate with the other person to get some of their money. 😉  We had a lot of fun and each got some things that we wanted.  I can't remember all Jeff's stuff but for me, I got a Nerf football for the grandkids (the cat destroyed the other one), 2 Williams and Sonoma cookbooks along with a India cookbook
, and a puzzle for the grandkids.  Our grand total came to a little over $14 so I think we did well indeed.
~Sunday we went to Moscow to hit Marshall's clearance sale where we found a nice sweater for Jeff, a new hair styling brush for me, a sleepshirt for me, some tea and some agave.
~While in town we hit Goodwill and found some clothes for Steven ($1 each since that colored tag was half off), a really soft shirt for me ($2), 2 mugs (one of which will be a gift), a nice brand new space heater for the garage and a good sized bag of Legos that will be part of Bradley's birthday gift.
~We stocked up on fresh produce at Winco since they had great prices on pears, asparagus, bananas, broccoli and we also got some milk and shrimp.
~Jeff and I watch the old classic Godzilla movie that we got at the thrift store last week.  I remember watching it as a child and call me hokey, but I still love those old movies and I still cheer for Godzilla! 😁

~Monday I cut Jeff's hair.  He no longer looks like a hermit that just came out of the woods.
~I started to do Yoga again this week using some DVDs I have here.  Boy am I sore.
~My DIL Heather and another friend suggested that I try to do yoga with this instructor via Youtube.
~Tuesday I checked out the upcoming grocery ads online that go into affect tomorrow.  There were only 2 items that interested me so Jeff will pick those up near the ned of the sale cycle since one of the items is bananas and we still have 2 bunches here.
~One of my dear friends was rushed to the hospital Monday night so I called around this morning to the hospitals trying to find her.  I finally reached her at home and am glad that she is doing so much better.  I had planned on going in to see her at the hospital today if she was still there.
~I did not sleep well at all Monday night so I took it easy on myself Tuesday.  I still ended up having a migraine, but I knew that something would happen due to my lack of sleep...it always does.
~There was a documentary on Netflix about Charles the 8th that I watched and really liked.
~Jeff and I decided at the last minute, when he woke up in the afternoon, to go to a matinee movie.  We had been given gift cards for the theater for Christmas.  We had not had lunch so we bought sodas and popcorn and ended up spending $9 out of pocket for everything.  We really enjoyed the movie "Black Panther".
~I had won a free bagel or donut in the Safeway Monopoly game so I picked up a donut and Jeff and I split it.
~While in town, I picked up some zucchini  for .99 a pound.  I have been craving them like crazy lately.

~Jeff and I came home and had leftovers for dinner.
~Wednesday I went down to the library and borrowed another cookbook for the Instant Pot.
~I did the hot tub maintenance and saw that it needed more water so I added some and then laid the hose out in the driveway to drain so it would not freeze and then crack.
~Chopped up celery was added to the tuna salad to stretch it and make it more tasty.  I added a large stalk to a small can of tuna.  I also went light on the mayo since I am trying to eat a bit more healthy.
~I had a swagup 100 point bonus that I had to use by tomorrow so I cashed in for a $5 Texas Roadhouse gift card bringing my gifts cards for there up to $30.
~Jeff wanted to sell some bumper covers that he had in the garage so I got them listed online.
~While putting a bag full of Legos into a Glad container today I noticed that some of the parts were of one of the Star Wars plane kits.  Upon further inspection, I found lots of other cool kit parts too.  Our grandson Bradley is going to be thrilled with Grammie's $5.99 Goodwill find!
~Thursday was another stay at home day for me.  I worked on my points programs for a good portion of the day.
~Dinner that night was baked split chicken breasts with baked potatoes for Jeff and roasted asparagus for me as my side dish.  I am trying to avoid russet potatoes at the moment.
~Dessert that night was Greek yogurt with some agave to sweeten it and fresh blueberries.
~Friday we got more snow so I again stayed home.  The savings in gas is a good thing.
~Jeff needed more bread for sandwiches, so I baked him 2 more loaves.
~I was craving broccoli cheese soup so I quickly made some for lunch...YUM!
~A big salad was my choice for dinner and Jeff made himself grilled cheese sandwiches.
~Both Chris and Josh called and I had a nice visit with each of them.

   I still can't believe it is already Tuesday.  Today is a bright and sunny day and I am happy to see the sunshine.  I feel so badly for everyone that is dealing with the horrible storms in the midwest and back east.  My family members all escaped damage to their homes back east, but some of their neighbors were not so lucky.  Please keep everyone who has been affected by these storms in your thoughts and prayers.