Thursday, March 31, 2016

On the Menu Lately 3/31/16

   I had someone ask me just what kind of meals we eat on our tight budget so I thought I would share a few of them that we have had in the last couple of weeks.  It is possible to eat well on a budget and have lots of variety. :)
Green Salad with some leftover Chicken Salad added on top

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Bread

Homemade and previously frozen Last of the Garden and Ravioli soup.

Pasta with Mushrooms, Peppers and Garlic Chicken Sausage

Pot Roast with Gravy and Noodles served with Apples and Grapes

Leftover Chinese with some fresh Peppers and Mushrooms

Oven Roasted Asparagus, Pork and Peppers and Sour Cream Red Potato Salad

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Unplugging and Anxiety

   My husband and I cancelled our DISH network subscription 2 weeks ago and have already noticed some wonderful benefits, other than the financial savings of course.   The first  two days were hardest on my hubby, since he uses the TV to "fill time".  He did watch some of the Rick Steves travel dvds I had bought him and enjoyed those, but as the days went on, he did not rely on the TV as much.

   He and I began to reconnect more and actually were having dinner conversations instead of watching TV while we ate and I noticed that I was putting more effort into making our meals nicer.  If there was a show we wanted to watch, I could pull it up on my computer and we would cuddle together on the couch while we watched.  We worked on more projects together here at home and spent more time talking and enjoying each other's company.

   One of the biggest benefits though has been a total surprise to me.  I have anxiety issues and when something horrible happens in the world, the television stations play things over and over and bombard us with information and images, many of which are very disturbing.  For someone like me who can't get those gruesome images out of their head and has nightmares as a result, this has been a huge problem for me.  It just ramps my anxiety levels way up.  With the horrific attacks in Belgium and all the nonsense being spouted and childish behavior of our political candidates, it has been a blessing for me to just be able to go online and see snippets of the news without being overwhelmed by it all.  I can choose to read a news story or see a news video or not.

   I have found that my anxiety levels have gone way down.  I feel so much more peaceful and am not rattled as easily.  In the past, there were things that would come on TV that would cause me to have a panic attack.  Now I don't have to deal with that.  Even though we may still have some stressful things going on in our lives, I think that unplugging from the TV networks has really helped.  It will be interesting to see if this pattern continues.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/26/16


  Oh what a mixed bag of weather we have had this week.  It could be 60F one day and then 38F with snow the next.  I had hoped to be able to get out in the garden and get some things done but we had other things that came up and took priority over that.  I still have some plants that need to be relocated and trees to be pruned.  Hopefully the weather will start to cooperate here soon so Jeff and I can get some of those things done so we can have another productive garden this year.  Now onto the things that we were able to do this week. :)

~Our son Chris and DIL Heather's dishwasher broke.  Heather injured her hand and had to have surgery on it.  She is not able to hand wash dishes right now and won't be for awhile and with Chris' work schedule (he is a county police officer and is also a volunteer EMT and firefighter for his little town) he has very little time to get the dishes all hand washed and still be able to spend time with his growing boys.  Jeff and I decided to buy them a new dishwasher as their anniversary and their combined birthday gifts this year.  I was able to find one on sale, get them a 2 year warranty and after all my coupons and going through Shop Your Way do it all for under $300. Jeff and I picked it up and he got it installed for them on Wednesday, the same day that Heather had her surgery.
~For dinner one night this week we made gussied up grilled cheese sandwiches.  We used the last of the Muenster cheese, half a tomato and a small package of turkey bacon that I got for .25 at the Dollar Tree awhile for the fillings.  Yummo!
~Since the weather was better over the weekend we took Caesar for several long walks.
~We found some free coupon books for different businesses in our surrounding area. 

~My husband called Dish Network to cancel our subscription for next month.  Last March when I called they told me that our contract was up in April of 2016.  Today the lady he spoke to told him is was up last March 2015...we could have cancelled then.  That is what I had wanted to do but the man I talked to last March told me I could not until this April without a huge penalty.  Oh I am so angry with them for lying to us and having us pay for another full year!  Needless to say we cancelled right away while he was on the phone with the lady this time. Since we bundled that package with our phone and internet, our bill is now going from down from $117 a month to $72.96 a month.
~I had more bananas that were over-ripe so I made another 4 loaves of banana bread.
~I had some green onions that were starting to go bad in the veggie drawer of my refrigerator.  I took the bad parts off and cut up the top green part of the onions and froze them.  I put the bottom root ends in 2 baby food jars with water so that they can regrow more green onion tops.  When the weather is a bit warmer, I will plant them outside in  one of my veggie gardens.  I currently have 2 patches of green onions that are doing great after surviving the winter and sending up new growth in both of the gardens.  I don't think I will need to buy green onions again until the next killing frost hits.

~My DIL Heather had her hand surgery this week.  I took care of my grandsons at their house while she had her surgery.  I knew that it would be a long day for her and my son so I took dinner over with me so that they would not have to worry about cooking when they got home and they could both concentrate on the boys and Heather could rest. I also pulled some venison stew and rice out of the freezer for them for another meal and took over some homemade banana bread for breakfast for the next morning.
~The day I had the grandkids I took them to Goodwill to each pick out a toy (this is another thing we do on special Grammie days).  We also went out to lunch at one of their favorite places and they shared a kid's meal (I did buy an extra child's size drink).  Their meal came with a coupon for an ice cream cone but they were full so I put it away for another time.  I now have 2 of those coupons so we will just go and have ice cream cones another day. ;)  After lunch I took them to one of the smaller strip malls that has a fun children's play area that is free for anyone to use.  The boys had a great time making new friends, playing and of course, checking out the public restrooms multiple times (what is the fascination with kids and public restrooms?).  When we got back to their house, my hubby got busy installing the dishwasher and I popped in a movie I had borrowed from the library for the little guys and I to watch.  The big hit of the afternoon though was that the boys got to play in the huge dishwasher box and make it into a fort. :)
~I loaded some electronic coupons onto my Safeway card so they are ready when I go shopping.

~While putting my beautiful Primrose plant away in the front guest bedroom for the night (so that Rufus does not munch away the rest of the leaves), I found a sample packet of Advil PM that I must have placed in there one day when I was quickly cleaning off the dining room table (where we deposit our mail before we go through it) before the grandboys came over.
~I found another of Rufus' plant victims...this time it was a Christmas cactus start that I have been nurturing that came from our dear Grandma Anne's plant years ago.  I saved what I could and put it in water to root.  Hopefully it will take and I can replant it and try to find somewhere that Rufus can't get to it.
~Saturday was a gorgeous and warm day so I hung Jeff's work clothing laundry load out there to dry.

~Rufus wears pheromone collars to help keep him semi calm (he is a total spaz without them).  At Petco store they cost $16 each.  I found them online at for $6.99 each, I got 6 of them.  I placed an order for them and a Yoga dvd.  I had a $5 credit that I applied to my order and got free shipping.
~My hubby bought a loaf of buttermilk bread that was on sale for $1.99 on one of the days that I felt the worst with this cold.  The loaf was gone within 2 days.  I went back to making my own bread and realized what a huge savings that alone is.  Sometimes we all need a concrete reminder of why we make our own "staples" as opposed to buying it in the store. ;)
~I had just a bit of leftover coffee so I substituted that for the water called for while I was making some dark chocolate brownies.  It gave it a deeper and richer flavor. :)
~While the weather was so warm on Saturday, I washed down the hot tub cover after I did the hot tub maintenance. I already had the hose out since I had to put a little more water in the hot tub.  I also noticed that the wasps were trying to build nests in the hot tub enclosure so I sprayed them with a hard blast of water, pulverized and knocked them down.  I am allergic to bees so I don't take any chances. I then washed down the siding on the back side of our house.
~I cut some fresh green onions from the garden to use in a Asian noodle soup both as garnish and to give it some bright fresh flavor.
~My husband and I took inventory of our hot tub supplies and realized that we have enough to possibly get us through the Summer.

~We had a few unseasonably warm days (in the lower 60's) so I took advantage of that and opened up the windows to let the house air out.  With me being sick, we really needed to get some fresh air in here.
~I saved 45% at Safeway by combining sales, coupons and marked downs. For $21.66 I got 2 32 oz. Coffeemate  Creamers, a carton of eggs for free, 3 packages of pork sausage, 2 2 pound loaves of Cheddar Cheese,  and 2 large boxes of Kleenex.
 ~Monday found us with warm weather once again so I washed the sheets from our bed and the guest bed and hung them out to dry on the laundry line.  I love the smell of line dried laundry.
~Monday also found me running into town to pick up a few things,  I stopped at Goodwill and found a few more movies, some depression glass plates, a cute mug, a huge bag of Duplo blocks for my grandsons, and a cross stitch kit.

~I used up the small remaining amounts on some gift cards I had to Walmart when I purchased and few need items there.
~I found a lovely beef roast marked way down and put that in the crockpot to cook for dinner on Tuesday along with some onions, carrots and celery.  I had originally planned to serve it with potatoes but decided to switch gears at the last minute and made a gravy with the broth and veggies (pureed them) and added some cornstarch slurry to thick it up a bit further.  I then added some of the extra noodles that I had cooked up the night before and oh boy was it yummy!  I served it with the roast, some apple slices and some grapes.  It was the perfect meal since the weather turned very cold and windy once again.
~My husband and I finally got around to getting most of the pantry cleaned out and organized.  I do not have to buy pasta or beans for years!  I am going to have my kids and my cousin shop our pantry for any of those things that they may need for awhile. ;)
~One of the meals I made to take advantage of some of the pasta overflow was cutting up some chicken and herb sausages and cooking them with onions, mushroom, garlic, red peppers and then I made a while wine and butter sauce and added the pasta to it all.  So good!

~I put the banana peels around the roses...they are such great fertilizer.
~I saved the egg shells from my baking this week and am drying them out.  I will crush them up and add them to my gardening supplies for this Spring.
~Oh how I love our little library here in town. :)  This week brought another movie, 2 yoga dvds and  some cookbooks for me.  Years ago I was the branch manager of our town's little library and I loved being able to help people find books and movies. :)
~Thursday found me at home, recovering from the full day before with my very energetic grandsons. ;)  I used that time to make another loaf of homemade sourdough bread, some homemade croutons, and do 3 loads of laundry.  I realized I was down to my last box of dryer sheets.  I cut the sheets in half so now instead of 55 dryer sheets, I have 110.  I find that half a dryer sheet works just as well as a whole one.  As the weather gets warmer, I will be hanging the laundry out to dry on the line for the most part so I will use even less dryer sheets.  This box will last me for a few months.

~We did our volunteer work this week and again were given many free groceries.  That helps out so much with the budget and is a huge blessing.
~I had lots of leftovers this week and with us on the go so much, it sure helped us avoid eating out as much knowing that we already had a meal waiting for us at home.
~This week had been kind of hit or miss for me working on my points programs, but I do work on them when I can.
~I started a yard sale box to put things in for our big family yard sale that is coming up next month.
~One of the nights that Jeff was gone at bowling I just made a big bowl of popcorn for dinner.

~Jeff and I scored big this week at the thrift store that benefits people with disabilities in our area. We found 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of yoga pants, a nice pair of shorts for Jeff, 2 sweaters for me, an 8 box package of paper clips, a spoon rack, 2 mini pylons for the grandsons to add to their "tools" to play construction with, 12 small baskets with handles to store things in,  a cute small suede purse from Talbots, and 2 dvds.  I looked up the retail prices of the sweaters and the purse and boy was I shocked.  The sweaters new cost $129 and $79 and the purse was $89.  I paid $2.97 for each sweater and $1.49 for the purse.

   My hubby is not feeling all that great and thinks he may be getting that cold that I had.  Thank goodness I am stocked up again on cold medications, tissues and homemade chicken noodle soup.  They may prove to be very valuable this week.  Be blessed and I hope you all have a great Easter Weekend!

*Please excuse the difference in the size of the letters and words.  Blogger seems to have a mind of it's own today and will not allow me to fix it no matter what I try.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Belgium Terrorist Attacks...Pure Evil

   Yesterday, as I checked in with Facebook to see if my DIL Heather had posted any pictures of my grandsons, I was horrified to read that Belgium had been the target of 2 terrorist attacks.  They have now linked the attackers there to the same evil people who carried out the sickening attacks in Paris.  We here in America know the terror that comes with such cowardly attacks, having experienced the attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the courageous men on the plane that stopped yet another plane from hitting it's target, the White House and the Boston Marathon bombing.  I have a family member that was in New York when the World Trade Centers were hit and narrowly missed being a possible victim herself on that fateful day, having been staying at a hotel right down near ground zero that took a heavy hit.  She lived through the terror of it all.  My father was also in mid flight on a business trip when all that happened and was one of thousands of people who's planes were forced to land at the nearest airport as the skies were closed to all air traffic.   When they landed at the airport, they saw the carnage on TV and sadly, my father saw the buildings where he had business associates and friends in flames and later collapse.  He learned later that some of those people did not survive and helped set up scholarships for the children of those victims. He and the rest of the people in his group were stranded on the mainland and unable to get home to Hawaii until they once again opened the airspace again. 

  Our son Josh traveled to both Paris and Brussels on business and our son Jaysn also was blessed to travel to Paris with Josh for pleasure.  Josh fell in love with both cities with their rich history and amazing architecture.  I saw an interview with a family that had a son that was injured in the attacks and had just narrowly missed being injured in Boston Marathon bombings, having just left the area where those bombs went off minutes later.  The parents did not know the extent of their son's injuries and had not been able to talk to him yet.  My heart went out to them because I thought, that could have been me if my sons had been there, and with Josh's job a few years ago, he could have easily been in either Paris or Belgium when they were attacked.  I am so thankful that by the end of the interview, they got a call from their son and the father said he would be taking a plane to Paris to be with him.

   These cowardly terrorists do not think for themselves,  They blindly follow "pure evil" believing that they will be rewarded with 12 virgins upon their death.  It has been proven that many of them are on drugs to "give them courage" to carry out their suicide missions.  Our world is becoming a scarier and scarier place with these horrible people carrying out these cowardly acts.  So many innocent people have lost their lives or have been injured both physically and emotionally by these attacks.  It is just pure evil and hate that drive these terrorist to do what they do.  

Silly Caesar

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Perfect Day for a Pot Roast


   I woke up to a rain/snowy mix this morning after hearing the rain pouring down until about 2 this morning.  It seems that it kept on raining after I fell asleep because there are huge puddles in front of our home and there is a small stream running down the sidewalk.  Quite the change from yesterday with our near 60 degree F temperatures.  We are expecting highs in the 40's today.

   Having known this change in weather was coming, I planned ahead meal wise for something warm and filling for dinner tonight.  I found a large beef roast marked down at the grocery store yesterday and thought it would make the perfect meal.  We do not eat much beef, but rather venison and elk for the main meat choice.  Our son Chris hunts as do the the rest of our family from Heather's side.  They are very generous and provide us with lots of meat to last us throughout most of the year.  Every now and then though, I just get a craving for a good beef steak or pot roast.

   I got up early and trimmed the fat off the roast, seasoned it, added the last of some red wine into the crockpot along with about 1 cup of water and then threw in some carrots, onion and lots of celery.  It is now happily cooking away.  I'll make some mashed potatoes to go along with it later.  Jeff has to leave early this afternoon to fill in for someone on a bowling league so we will eat around 4 p.m..

   While I was getting the pot roast going, I turned on that miracle beverage making machine, my coffee maker. ;)  It was perking away while I worked on the roast and by the time the roast was ready to start cooking, I was ready to have some coffee.  I sliced myself a few sliced of some of the banana bread I made yesterday, filled my cup with some vanilla creamer and that life giving elixir and settled in to have my breakfast and go through one of my favorite catalogs. I adore the comfort and quality of Coldwater Creek's clothing and their styling is not to be beat.  I have many pieces of their clothing, most bought at thrift stores (they still look brand new) and 2 dresses that I bought directly through them when they were heavily discounted. I also have several pieces of their jewelry and a purse and wallet also. I also use their catalog as inspiration on how to put different looks together.  Upon perusing the latest catalog, I found that I had many similar items of my own as the clothing that they were featuring.  They also have some charmed sweater pins that would be easy enough for me to recreate myself with bits of broken jewelry that I already have on hand.  Don't you just love it when you find a look that you love and one you can recreate with things you either already have on hand or that you could use most of what you already have and just pick up one key piece to complete the look?

   After my super busy day yesterday and going to take care of my grandsons tomorrow while their mommy has surgery on her hand (poor girl sliced through a tendon on her ring finger last week), I am welcoming a slow day at home.  I'm still fighting with that cold and really want ot to be gone, like now!  If you are so inclined, could you send up prayers for my daughter-in-love Heather's surgery tomorrow?  Thank you and have a beautiful day!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

It's 1:30 a.m. and Sane People are Sleeping


   It's 1:30 a.m. and the lights in all the house around me are off. The sane people that live in them are sleeping.  Yes they are. Our house however is still has a soft glow coming from behind the living room curtains due to the lights still burning because although one sane person lives here, the other, not so much! 

   Sane people do the majority of their housework during the day, early evenings or on the weekends.  Me...I do mine late at night.  The reasons are two fold.  First, my hubby works the graveyard shift so he needs to sleep during the day.  I cannot be running a vacuum cleaner in the bedrooms or cleaning our master bathroom.  There is no hanging pictures and pounding nails into the wall.  Big reorganizing projects...well since I tend to drop things and sometimes rather loud and not so pleasant things escape my mouth when the object hits my foot (which I have broken in the past) cannot be tackled during the normal daylight hours.  I am able to do some cooking if I close the bedroom door for a few hours to at least muffle the sounds of the mixer but even that gets me into trouble sometimes.  My hubby, a man who clearly loves good food, frequently wakes up to the aroma of something good baking or cooking in the oven and then has a hard time getting back to sleep himself. Since he drives a long route at night, sleep is kind of an important thing for him.  So I do my stuff late into the night when he is at work.

   The second reason, that makes this all possible, is that I have insomnia and strange sleep patterns.  Most of the time, even if I go to bed at what most people would consider a normal time like 10 or 11 p.m., I will lay there and toss and turn for hours. I'm lucky if I can get to sleep before 2 a.m. on any given night and it is frequently much later than that.  Now, I will say this, if I am allowed to (by his highness Rufus the crazy cat or Caesar the needy dog) I will sleep until about 10 a.m.  This is a newer development for me because for years I was still up by 7 or 8 a.m. if I did not have to work and if I did, I was up between 5:30 and 6 a.m..  Do you see how this could pose a problem for me?  

   I blame menopause on all this...yes, things just got worse after I hit menopause.  So throw in the waking up soaked in sweat or throwing covers off and on for hours because one minute you feel like someone cranked up the furnace in your body to the "incinerate heat" setting and the next moment you realize that the temperature in your bedroom is in the low 60's so that you can hopefully sleep and you are grabbing for those blankets again and covering up before you freeze and you have a recipe for little sleep.  And yes, I do take natural supplements to help with the hot should have seen how much worse it was before I started taking them.

   So if you have gotten this far you can most likely guess who the sane one in this house is and who the not so sane one is.  My kids always did say I was a bit crazy...well now they can finally justify that sentiment. ;)


Friday, March 18, 2016

Anybody Else Have a Cat Like This?

   This is Rufus's "I'm ticked off at you" face.  Apparently I or my husband have committed some cardinal sin yet again against his highness.

   Right before this I heard Rufus using his kitty box in the laundry room.  After he was done with all his digging and throwing kitty litter all over I heard him knocking and hauling something around.

   Upon inspection, this is what I found.  Why am I showing you a picture of his kitty box you may wonder.  Has she lost her mind?  That is just gross right?  Well my people...look at what Rufus put in the kitty box...nope not his poo...but his pooper scooper.  Yes, HE did that...yet again!  

   I will admit the first few times he did it, we though it was a fluke but by about the 10th time..well we had to admit that this is one finicky but smart cat that knows how to get his point across.  We keep the pooper scooper across from his box so it is not like he just knocks it in accidentally. He has haul that thing over and put it in there on purpose.

   Can you see his highness there in the bottom right of the picture?  He followed me in and looked at me like..."Do you get the hint now woman?" "Clean that thing out!" "I'm here to supervise to make sure you do it right!"  Such a sassy boy!  It's a good thing he is so darned cute and knows exactly when to cuddle up and make nice to me. ;)

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/18/16


   Tuesday night I feeling yucky and by Wednesday it was starting to hit me full force...I had caught the crud that was going around.  Luckily I had a bunch of free samples of Emergen-C to use but Jeff and I did make a run into town to get me another box of the stuff to get me through the rest of this cold/flu/whatever it is.  He took me out to a small local Italian restaurant to get some dinner after we picked up a few things at the store because he could see that I was not up to cooking and by the time we got home I was down for the count.  Luckily that restaurant serves wonderful homemade food for the same price as a bad for you "value meal" at a fast food place.  It would have been more frugal to eat at home, but sometimes convenience wins.

~Jeff and I have always wanted to see James Taylor in is on our "Bucket List".  I did get the more expensive tickets but I got a screaming deal on a hotel room by going through  I was able to get a really nice room at hotel that we have always wanted to stay at for 70% off the rack price.  The concert is in July and was selling out quickly even though the ticket just went on sale the day I booked much so that the website kept crashing.  I finally just called and got tickets that way.  This is Jeff and my birthday gifts to each other this year. :)
~The mail brought some free Yogi tea, 3 free Twinings tea bags and 5 magazines
~The weekend was a busy one with a birthday party for Bradley on Saturday where we were treated to some delicious birthday cake and a trifle and then Sunday we were invited to lunch at Chris and Heather's along with Heather's parents and her aunt and uncle.  Great fun!
~I had bought all of Bradley's birthday presents ahead of time and on sale.

~I reused some bags from Bath and Body Works to wrap Bradley and Isaiah's gifts. Since Isaiah is only 2 years old, I got him a gift too for Bradley's birthday.
~Jeff and I had leftovers for dinner on Sunday night.
~Saturday night we watched the movie "Love the Coopers" that we borrowed from the library.  If you have not seen it yet, you really should. :) 
~Again watching shows online that we either missed or don't get on TV.
~I used a $25 Walmart gift card to get the following: a apple pie (reduced), a sweatshirt that was on clearance for my hubby, a loaf of French Bread (reduced), 2 bars of Fel's Naptha soap, 1 box of Borax, 1 box of Washing Soda (these three ingredients will be used to make more homemade laundry detergent), a bottle of Thousand Island Dressing, a foot long sandwich from the deli (reduced).  I still have some money left on the gift card to use for other things. :)  All were free to me after the gift card.

~I used the rest of the whole cooked chicken I had and made both chicken salad and a huge pot of chicken noodle soup.  I also used up some celery, onion and carrots that needed used.  I will be freezing some of the soup for future meals.
~I made more sourdough bread this week.
~Croutons were made from some of the leftover bread.
~I tried to buy some movies from the Redbox Kiosk and the machine messed up and listed them as rentals to my account, and not as being bought.  I am getting a full refund from Redbox since I now have to drive all the way back into town (60 mile round trip) to return them.  They would not allow me to just buy them over the phone and authorize payment.  I was not happy with them at all!
~We went to Goodwill on Monday.  It was Senior Citizen discount day and the pink tagged items were on sale.  We bought some new Carhart pants for my hubby, a shirt for me  ($1), a crystal wine glass, a brand new candle (that went into the gift closet), a golf club cover and 3 books.

~We have another family birthday coming up so we bought a card at the Dollar Tree for .50, and some baby wipes (I used them to clean my dog's ears) and some facial cleanser.  My hubby also picked up 3 more solar lights.  Oh I also found garden seeds at 4 for $1 so I got 8 packages.
~I borrowed some more movies and books from the library.
~I needed to cool down the huge pot of soup that I made quickly so I put it out on the back porch to chill down since the temps there were in the high 30's at the time.
~I am trying to drink more water to help flush my system and keep my body working the way it should be,
~Bath and Body Works sent me some coupons, one of which was for a free item up to $5.  I wanted the body spray which was a dollar more so they just charged me the extra dollar for it. :)  They have amazing customer service there.

~Tuesday was eat leftovers day. ;)  My husband happily had leftover Kalua Pig and rice and I had a small bowl of leftover "Last of the Garden" soup and then made a big green salad and topped that with the last of the chicken salad I made yesterday.
~My husband was asked to substitute on another bowling league Tuesday night.  The substitutes pay a small fee of $3 and the person that they are subbing for covers the rest of the league cost for bowling that night.  $3 is a cheap night of entertainment for my hubby and he gets to bowl with some old friends.  He is considering switching to this league next year instead of the Thursday night one he bowls in now since Jaysn, our oldest son, will not be bowling next year on that league.  This will be a good opportunity to see which one he likes better before he makes his decision for the next bowling season.
~The weather turned cold, wet and generally uncomfortable around here again.  It even snowed and we are down in the upper 20's at night once more.  I have been dressing in layers and putting extra blankets on the bed again.  You know it is cold when a hot flashing Grammie needs extra blankets! ;)

~My hubby gets paid this week so I am looking online at the ads to see who has the best deals on things that we need.  On my sitting "stock up list" are butter, toilet paper, bath soap bars (this is what hubby prefers to use while I continue to use body wash), olive oil, and a few more Asian seasoning sauces.
~Banana peels are great fertilizers for your rose bushes.  I know some people bury them next to their rose bushes but with the ground being a bit hard with this cold snap, I am just laying them beside it.
I have done this in the past also and my rose bushes are thriving!
~I froze 2 meals worth of Kalua Pig to have later.
~Since I am not feeling well, I pulled some homemade chili and rice out of the freezer that I had previously frozen.  I had that for dinner Thursday night topped with half a diced up avocado while Jeff was at his bowling league.

~I have been putting not only the leftover coffee into the thermal carafe after it brews but have also been using a thermal coffee mug with lid to keep my coffee hot in the morning since I drink it slowly.
We have amassed quite a collection of not only the travel mugs but also were given some nice Starbucks ones by my parents for home use.
~Thursday night found me curled up in bed watching the movie "Four Christmases" that I had bought at the thrift store awhile back.
~Jeff has been picking up things that we need at the store (like more tissues and bananas) on his way home from work in the morning.  
~Wednesday I found another whole deli chicken marked down to half price at Walmart.  I froze it for future meals.  It is cheaper than me buying an uncooked one...go figure.
~I have been working my points programs when my energy and attention allows.

   So here it is the end of another week and despite being ill, I did pretty well overall.  There are things that will remain on my "to do" list for another week.  If I don't have the energy to make banana bread today with the overripe bananas, they will be thrown in the freezer and pulled out to make it at a future date.  I did learn that I need to keep better track of and stock up on Emergen-C and tissues when they are on sale.  I had not checked my tissue supply since my last huge stock up and that was a mistake.  Hopefully I will be able to kick this virus over the weekend and be back to my more frugal ways by Monday at the latest.  Be blessed!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Snow, Sickness, Sliced and Sleep

   Snow...and ice...and fog.  That is what I woke up to this morning.  The fog was both outside in the world and inside my head.  

   I'm sick...with a bad cold.  It is hard to stay awake.  The cat and I took a long nap this morning and I think I will be taking another one soon.

   Sliced...that is what my dear daughter in love Heather did to her ring finger last night.  Poor girl is meeting with a surgeon on Friday because she cut through a tendon in her finger.  I'm not sure what she is more upset about, her injury and looking at surgery or having to cancel their vacation that they were due to go on today.  :(  I feel so bad for her.  Prayers for her upcoming surgery are very appreciated.  I wish I could be there to help her with the grandboys today but this Grammie is just too sick to go anywhere at the moment.  I am so thankful that her parents live near them and are able to help.

   Back to bed...that is what I am going to do now as I watch more snow fall out of the sky.

   Be blessed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Giving Up is Not Always a Bad Thing

  Here we go with another "deep thoughts" post. ;)  I had a conversation with someone who was troubled by the hurtful behavior of another.  They were trying to work with them to "change" their behavior.  Now, past behavior, coupled with the same current behavior, frequently is a good indicator of future behavior, though not always. To be clear, we are talking about adults here, not children. ;)  

  This hurtful person has a pattern of behavior of blaming everyone else for their unhappiness and failures in life and lying about other people in order to "justify and validate" their bad behavior.  This has been an ongoing issue for most of this person's life.  I and others feel it stems from jealousy and feelings of inadequacy along with a feeling of entitlement.  They want what they want, they don't want to share, they want to be the center of attention at all times, and they will try to eliminate anyone from their lives, in any way they can, that sees them for who they really are.  They are also very good at using guilt to manipulate those around them.

   Anyway, the person I was having the conversation with was feeling guilty (yes, they were being manipulated by the troubled person) because they felt it was somehow their fault that the troubled one was acting out and being so mean and hurtful to others, myself included.  So this is what I told them...

   I have come to a point where I have decided that if someone wants me in their life, that is great.  If they don't, that is their decision.  I want to do what is best for myself and my family and to live a happy life.  There is nothing I can do to change the behavior of someone else.  I can only be the best "me" possible.  They may say they are "changing" but their behavior indicates otherwise and I will not be drawn into that game anymore.  I hope one day the person in question will come to realize that they need to make a huge change in their own lives to be happy, because they truly are not and it affects those around them.  I want them to be happy, I want that for everyone, regardless of how they have treated me in the past or treat me now.  Truly happy people treat others with kindness.  I want this for them...I really do.

   I have given up on trying to change the situation due to this person's behavior because honestly, there is no way you can change something if that someone does not want it to change.  Therefore, the situation remains the same until you decide to remove yourself from it the best you can.  Sometimes you have to just give up because that is the best thing you can do for you.  It does not mean that you have failed, it means that you have finally come to realize that you are not responsible for trying to change another person's behavior or the situation that they have created and that you value yourself enough to not allow yourself to be manipulated anymore.  

   I told the person who came to me that I hoped that they too would come to realize this and would just do what is right for them.  They are responsible for their own lives, not everyone else's and they need to do what makes them happy and what is right for them. Life is too short to keep worrying about and trying to change a situation or the person who refuses to change their own behavior.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/11/16


   This week had been kind of hit or miss with the frugal doings.  I was in bed all weekend not feeling well at all so that did keep us home all weekend.  Jeff watched a movie we borrowed from the library while I dozed on and off one of those nights.

~The mail brought the following freebies this week: 2 magazines and a coupon for a free candy bar.

~Jeff bowls on Thursdays and we love the tv show The Big Bang Theory which airs on that night.  We spent Saturday afternoon and early evening binge watching 6 episodes online and getting caught up on it.
~Lots of leftovers have been on the menu this week.  I'm trying hard not to waste food around here.
~I used my coupon for a free candy bar to get a Snickers candy bar.

~Sourdough bread was again going in my breadmaker multiple times this week.

~Watching more of my TV shows online again.
~I have a running shopping list that I jot things down on as I find we need them.
~Jeff and I celebrated our 31st wedding Anniversary on Wednesday and used gift cards to Buffalo Wild Wings to pay for our late lunch there.  Since it was Happy Hour, we got a half price appetizer to share while we waited for our main meals to be done.  We also just had water to drink.  The mark up on soda and alcohol are just ridiculous!

~There is a pawn shop closing this week and we found some great deals there on a wood router tool for my hubby for $40 and 3 movie dvds and 2 seasons of Friends.

~Our son Josh gave us $40 for our anniversary and we used that to pay for the router for my hubby. :)
~I had been searching for a lightweight longer gray sweater for 2 years now...I finally found one at Ross for $10.99  Yay!!!!
~Goodwill yielded some nice finds this week for us also.  I bought a nice gray casual shirt, a heavy duty plastic storage basket with handles to store all the dog treats in and Jeff found a CD set and a nice pullover jacket in the exact blue color of his eyes.  He looks really good in it.

~We are trying to eat a bit more healthy so we stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies and I was amazed at how much food we got for our money doing that and eliminating some of the processed stuff.
~I was really good about not going shopping or running errands until I could combine them.  My car spent most of the week sitting in our driveway.
~My husband borrowed a friend's truck one night this week so he could haul some things.  He did put gas in it for them. :)
~I worked on my points programs and cashed out for a $25 Walmart gift card via Swagbucks.

~Thursday found me once again light headed due to allergies so I pulled a pizza that I got at the reduced price of $2.98 from the deli at Walmart and stuck in our freezer.
~Spring is in the air and I so wanted some flowers for in the house.  I ended up finding a beautiful primrose plant with both pink and purplish-blue flowers and got that instead.  I will plant it outside when the weather gets warmer.  It cost me $1.38. :)
~It has been rainy and gloomy here so Thursday I pulled out some soup I made and froze using the last of our garden harvest this past Fall.  I added some tomato powder that I made from dehydrated tomatoes from our garden and it was delicious.

~A dear friend is coming for dinner tonight and she is longing to return to Maui for a nice vacation.  Since she cannot go there right now, I thought I would bring a taste of Hawaii to her.  I'm making Kalua Pig and rice for dinner.  She is bringing a salad.

~My friend that is coming over and I are going to have a girl's night and have a nice soak the hot tub.  My hubby has to leave early for work tonight so he will have dinner with us before he leaves.
~Caesar and I took several walks this week...great exercise for us both.


   This has not been my best week for savings but I have made a few improvements in some areas.  My hubby and I only ate out once and we used a gift card to cover the cost there.  Instead of buying a bouquet of flowers that would die, I bought a flowering plant.  That has to count for something right?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday Bradley!

Happy Birthday to our oldest grandson Bradley who is 4 years old today!  The announcement of Chris and Heather expecting this little guy was my birthday gift 5 years ago and then his magnificent arrival was our anniversary gift!  He was born the day before my hubby and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.  Best anniversary gift ever!!!!

Bradley made us first time grandparents upon his arrival and it was instant love.  This strong willed, smart, sassy, curious and loving little boy keeps us all on our toes and can at one point drive us batty with his stubbornness and in the next moment totally melt our hearts with his kindness and love.

Bradley loves his little brother Isaiah and in typical brother fashion will be fighting with him one moment and then helping him the next.  Lord help anyone who messes with his little brother though because they will have to answer to Bradley who is fiercely protective of him.  

Bradley and Isaiah love to go on hikes with their parents, play at the playground, and go fishing with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa.  They also love to help G-pa in the yard and go hot tubbing with with Grammie and G-pa. They both enjoy cooking with Mommy and are becoming quite the little chefs.  Bradley is currently doing preschool with his mommy and is learning to write his name and read.  He is one smart cookie!

There is something so special and amazing about seeing your own son become a daddy to 2 precious boys.  It floods you with pride and causes you to giggle a bit when he calls to tell you of their latest antics, and with Bradley, there are many. ;)  You reassure him that Bradley, although challenging to raise at times, will be fine because he has people that love him, reign him in when needed and provide loving limits and yet give him the freedom to explore and provide him with opportunities to learn at his level and pace and also allow him to be who his is.

So here is to Bradley and to his amazing parents, Heather and Chris, who had no idea all those years ago while they were anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first child and counting down the days until she gave birth to him how much he would change their lives and not only would they fall deeply in love with this little guy, but fall more deeply in love with each other.

Happy Birthday Bradley!  You may be too big for me to hold you like this when you sleep now but I cherish each and every moment with you and enjoy watching you grow.  Grammie and G-pa love you buddy, you stole our hearts from the minute of your arrival and you will always be our favorite Bradley in the whole world!