Sunday, February 26, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/18-2/24 2017


   I'm sorry I am late posting this.  We have our grandson Isaiah this weekend while his mommy, daddy and big brother Bradley went skiing. This past week had been a busy one and it seems like last weekend was ages ago.  Some weeks are just like that. Onto the savings...

~Saturday Jeff and I went to Goodwill and found a few things.  I scored big time on a University of Idaho puffer coat that was marked down to half price since all their winter clothing items were on sale.  The coat had just been put out on the rack when we got there.  I'm an alumni of that college so I snapped it up.😀  We also found a baby food cookbook for our Steven since his mommy wants to make all his food, a brand new rug for the bathroom (Jeff really wanted it) and something else that I can't remember at the moment (dang brain fog).

University of Idaho Puffer coat that I got at Goodwill for half price.

~Jeff needed new eyeglasses.  His health insurance paid $45 for the exam, $150 towards frames and I also found a $10 off coupon at the store.  Even with the discounts, his glasses cost us over $500. 😨 It's a good thing we got our income tax refund.  We had budgeted about $350 to $400 for his glasses and exam and were shocked to find out how much more it was but it was a needed expense.
~I picked up more non stick cooking spray and Secret antiperspirant at the Dollar Tree.  Those items can be hit or miss there so I try to get them when I see them.
~We tried a new to us restaurant that we had heard rave reviews about.  It cost us the same amount of money to eat there as it does at a fast food place and the food is all delicious and cooked to order on the spot with huge portions.  I was only able to eat half of my Po' Boy sandwich and fries so Jeff, who was really hungry, finished the rest of it off for me.  We also just had water with our meal.

Breakfast for dinner.

~Jeff has been wanting a smaller digital camera with a zoom lense to carry with him since he frequently sees amazing things on his work drive in the mornings on his way home.  Chris was trying to sell 3 of his cameras and was not getting any bites on them and the pawn shops were paying very little for them.  We are going to buy one of them that has the really good zoom lens on it for $50 from him.  He was going to just give it to us but we know that he needs the money to buy another handgun to carry on him when he is off duty since as a police officer, he is always at risk.
~Saturday night we watched a Medea play on dvd that we borrowed from the library.  We were amazed at how much if it related to what we and one of our dear friends is going through right now.
~Sunday we sorted through the boxed of pears and apples that we had been given and took out the ones that are going bad.  We spread those out across our garden and they will compost down and enrich the soil.

Fried boneless chicken breast served with potato salad.

~I made more bread, croutons, and biscuits this week.
~Sunday night Jeff and I watched to movie "DeepWater Horizon" about the BP oil rig explosion and disaster.  It was really intense.  We had borrowed the movie from the library.
~I found HUGE boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.47 a pound.  I froze most of them for future meals. One breast alone can feed my hubby and I and we still had leftovers.
~Our local Goodwill is starting to get in lots of donated items from Target, even though we do not have one near us.  Monday I found brand new Nexxus Hair Repair kits, feminine liners, and a few other items at a fraction of their retail cost.  These are things I needed and I loved getting them at a fraction of the full retail cost.

A huge salad with some of the leftover chicken breasts, baby Spring greens, tomatoes, avocado and ranch dressing.

~I found another lightweight all cotton summer weight nightgown at Goodwill for $3.99.  I needed another one because I just had to toss one that I completely wore out and it ripped.
~Jeff has to take a low dose aspirin each day.  I have found the best deal on these at Walmart where I can get a 500 count bottle for $3.64 .
~Tuesday, after I finished teaching at MOPS, I ran up to Walmart and found lots of marked down deals.  I got bread, pork chops, cookies, potato salad and cheesecake!  Non marked down items were sausage and some bananas.
~Tuesday I cut up one of the huge boneless chicken breasts, seasoned and fried it up for dinner and served some of the reduced priced potato salad with it.  It had been a long day with me just getting 3 hours of sleep Monday night and I had worked in the morning so I needed quick, easy and comforting food.  I still had 2 pieces of chicken leftover so I saved those to use in a salad later this week.  We did have some cheesecake for dessert too.  Yummy!
~Wednesday Caesar and I took a walk downtown and picked up a video from the library that they had on hold for me and some mail.  I did get 2 free magazines and a sample in the mail which always makes me happy. 😁
~Wednesday night I divided up the package of pork chops that I found on clearance at Walmart on Tuesday.  I froze the 2 humongous ones for another meal in the future and made a pork chop and rice casserole for dinner for Jeff and I with the other 3 pork chops.  We still have some of the rice leftover but my hubby was really hungry so he had 2 of the pork chops (one of which was large enough to feed 2 people) and I had 1.  We did have some cheesecake for dessert.

Pork chops and rice casserole.

~Petco Pet Pals Rewards sent me a coupon for free cat treats.  The timing is perfect because Doofy is just about out of his favorite treats.
~I worked my points programs as time allowed.
~We did our volunteer work on Thursday and got a big box of food including ice cream, cat fish, pasta, canned goods, cereals, juices, breads and potatoes.
~After volunteering for 5 hours, I was really sore so I came home and used our hot tub.
~Jeff came down with a cold and wanted soup for dinner on Friday night.  I had one container of Zuppa Toscana in the freezer so I added a bit more broth and some more potatoes to it along with some freshly chopped spinach and baby beet leave to it to help stretch it and also to add some more nutritional value to it.

   This coming week is going to be a busy one for us and I am going to do my best to try and save as much money as I can.  There are just a few days left in the month and we will be in March already...where has the time gone?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Just Some Random Thoughts and Confessions

😉  I thought I would give you a peek into my somewhat random thoughts that go running through this sometimes clear and many times not, brain of mine.  Buckle up and I pray this comes out coherently.  My poor long suffering hubby is asleep right now so I can't run it by him before I post this.  He usually helps me find the right words when I cannot come up with them.  Gosh I love that man!

First confession...I am a mixture of "I don't care if I stay in jammies all day or about how I look" to "Oh goodness, I'm having a good hair day...we can't waste that.  Let's go somewhere since I actually look good today".  Hahaha!  Please tell me I am not the only one who functions at both ends of the spectrum. 

Second confession...I really love to read all the comments on my blog and to respond to them as well as read blogs of my friends and comment on them.  However, it may be days or even weeks sometimes before I am able to read and comment and I feel horribly guilty at times about that.  There are also times where I will read someone's blog and think I have commented on it, just to find out later I did not.  Well it's either that or my comment got lost somewhere in cyberspace which has been known to happen.  Sometimes this is due to me being really busy and sometimes, it is due to me not being able to even think clearly enough to concentrate on reading, blogging or commenting.  Please forgive me for this.  Lots of times it is the latter and there is nothing I can do to change my situation.

Third confession...I think I seriously need a 12 step program for my purse and scarf obsession.  I am getting better about the scarves (I don't need anymore since I have 4 boxes and baskets full plus a huge hanging rack full of them) and have not bought any in quite awhile but the purses still just call my name!  They sweetly whisper "buy me, you know you want to" as I walk by them.  I do switch them out the way one switches earrings to match an outfit but even after culling some this past Summer, I have brought even more in.  Thank goodness for thrift stores and cheap prices or my addiction would break the bank!  I added up the cost of the purses I got last week and if I had paid full retail price for all of them, it would have been well over $400.  I spent under $20.  See, I can justify that purchase. ;)  My family has given up on even trying to stop me from buying more...they know it is a lost cause but in my defense, I am getting better about really looking at the bags I am interested in and if I already have something similar, I am putting it back for someone else to find.  

Fourth confession...When I get really angry, I cry.  When I am super happy, I cry.  When I watch a parade, I cry.  When I hear bagpipes, I cry.  I am a very emotional person and when I am overwhelmed or overcome by good or bad things  I cry.  Now in the case of the bagpipes...well I blame that on my Scottish blood because dang it, they really stir something deep inside me. ;)

Fifth confession...I am an extremely loyal person and I have naively expected others to be the same way.  If you are my friend (or family), I will stand by you and go out of my way to help you through anything I can.  I have been blindsided more times than I want to even count by people who I thought were my friends (or again family) who just used me and then tossed me aside when they no longer had need of me or when they found that they could not control me.  The worst are the people who actually lied about things...stupid things.  I am now learning to be more selective about who I let into my "circle" and am walking away from relationships that are not working for me anymore.  It is called self love and valuing myself as a person.  It's taken me a long time to get here, but I am finally making good progress.  I feel so much better not having to worry about what those people may be doing or saying now because honestly it is a reflection on who they are, and not who I am.

Sixth confession, the older I get, the more of a homebody I am. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I dislike people in general, it's just that I am so uncomfortable in big crowds now.  I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone and am a very friendly person, but there is so much negativity out there and also lack of common courtesy that I find so maddening.  My patience level for hateful, mean spirited and obnoxious people is next to zero at this point in my life and it's better for me to just stay clear of them.  I am my mother's daughter and it is really hard for me to keep my own mouth shut when something or someone is really bothering me. ;)

Seventh confession...I can't stand the "Lawrence Welk Show".  My grandfather used to love it and make me watch it with him and my grandmother.  All I wanted to do was escape and read a book in the bedroom but he would not allow that.  He also would not allow me to read a book while the show was on.  Reading was the main way I "escaped" from things in my life when I was a child because it transported me into another place.  My grandfather did not understand that about me.  He also made me watch the nightly news with the gory pictures from the Vietnam war.  I was a young child then and was and still am haunted by those images.  He told me I needed to learn about the horrors of war.  It gave me nightmares!  He had family that was killed in the Holocaust and I'm sure he was just trying to make sure that I would be part of the generation to never let something that evil happen again.  He did not understand though that I was a child who was not yet mentally ready to deal with all of that.  I think I associate Lawrence Welk with the awful stuff on the news because they were back to back shows and about the controlling nature of my grandfather.  I  did love him, despite our rather tumultuous relationship, and when I became an adult we forged a very deep and close relationship, one that had been lacking in my childhood.

Eighth  confession...I am a serious weather and natural disaster freak!  I love weather reports and am fascinated by natural disasters.  I have always been this way.  Maybe it is because I grew up on an island with an active volcano that we used to go and watch and I saw first hand how the lava would just burn and cover anything in it's path.  Maybe it was having all those earthquake and tsunami drills in school and knowing that the ocean, while beautiful and life giving, could also wipe entire towns out as it had done in years past on the other side of the island I lived on.  Maybe it was the funnel clouds that formed over the ocean and ripped a path of destruction though our sleepy little fishing village.  Whatever it was, it has always fascinated me.   I think it is because it is something that is totally out of our control and something so powerful and beyond us.

Ninth confession...I must have a cat in my life!  I cannot function well without a cat in my home.  Cats have alway been a great source of comfort to me.  My grandmother recognized this and gave me 2 kittens during a very difficult period in my childhood.  We had cats in our home during my childhood from then on until we sold our home and were building a new one.  My mom made us give away our cat because we would be living in rentals and they did not allow cats.  Our dog went to live with our new neighbors who were also our contractors and were building our new home so we still got to see Plato about 4 times a week and once the house was finished he just trotted across the lawn to live with us again.  I did not cope well that year at all. As soon as we moved into the new house, we got cats again.  In college, my apartment did not allow pets, but there was a very friendly big tom cat that came to visit me on a daily basis and I loved him!  I bought a cat for my hubby for Father's Day when we were still just dating because he could have cats at his place. ;)  I think the most time I have been without a cat since we got married was 3 days.  Once was when we moved to Oregon and then again after our Daisy died and we had to wait to bring Doofy cat home after he got his last shots.  Is anyone else like this about dogs or cats?

Tenth husband and I are one of  "those couples."  You know, the ones that you see holding hands, always saying "I love you" to one another and hugging.  Our Rachel says we are "schmoopy".  LOL!  She says it is a very good thing. ;)  Both she and our Heather were not sure what to make of Jeff and I and our closeness because their parents did not have the same kind of outwardly affectionate relationship that Jeff and I share.  They have learned to love it though and are glad that we led by example and our sons are following their daddy's way of how to treat their own wives.

So there you have it.  Ten rather scattered confessions!  If you have been able to follow along, stuck with me and understand this then you get 10 brownie points for doing so! ;)  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap up 2/11-2/17 2017

New Columbia brand fleece jacket that I got for half price ($7.49) at Goodwill.

   This has been another great week of thrift store finds!  January and February typically are the months where you will score great deals because people have donated lots of items at the end of December to get those tax write offs and those items are making their way to the retail areas of the thrifts stores.  It is also the time of year where stores like Target are donating items as they clear old unsold merchandise to make way to the new season's stuff.  Add to that sales in the thrift stores where they are trying to clear out all their Winter items to make room for the warmer weather items.  Our local Goodwill is still putting out Winter wear items and discounting them to half price.  Onto the savings...

Brown Sweater that was $2 since it was part of the half price sale at Goodwill.

~The thrift stores were very good to us on Saturday! 👍  We found so much good stuff it was ridiculous.  There were lots of brand new baby items so I picked up clothing, baby books, electrical outlet covers, safety latches and the cutest little Fedora hat for Steven that will match his daddy Jaysn's hat.   More finds were shirts for Jeff and I, new with tags shorts for me, a Columbia brand fleece jacket that I think is brand new and a sweater (both of those were half price because Goodwill has all their winter gear on sale) and some amazing purses!  I even scored a vintage leather Coach purse for half price when they announced a special half price 15 minute sale on all purses, bags and wallets. Someone had hidden the purse in the luggage section behind all that totes and backpacks.  I have been looking for one of these for ages and was thrilled with my find.  I also found Brighton, JCrew and another bag at my favorite thrift store that helps people with disabilities.  Some of the various items we scored were .24 each.  :)

Purses found at 2 different thrift stores.

~While at one of the thrift stores I found some of the credit card protector sleeves that keep people from being able to use a "reader" to steal your credit card information.  I bought the whole pack for .67 and then ran some up to Heather and Chris who were at the bowling alley for a birthday party.  Heather in heading to Florida along with her mom and Bradley on Tuesday so I gave her some for her and her mom.  I also gave Chris one since he and Isaiah are heading out on vacation to see my parents and brother Fritz on Tuesday.  Jeff and I now have our cards protected too.
~Jeff and I hit the Dollar Tree while we were in town and stocked up on hairspray, 3 packs of bar soap, snacks and some other things.  They had big boxes of flower seeds so I picked up some zinnias.

Some more of my great finds at the thrift stores this week.

~Sunday Jeff took the pully thingy off his old car and replaced the one on his newer car that was having issues.  He also stripped out some other good parts from his old car that he can use on his newer car.
~I made 2 loaves of bread and croutons this week.
~Jeff watched a movie on Netflix while I slept in on Sunday morning.  This has become our routine since I do not sleep well and had been up until 2 in the morning.
~Jeff made us pancakes for breakfast on Sunday morning and I noticed we were starting to run low on my homemade mix so I quickly put together another batch of it.

Books from the thrift store.

~I menu planned for the week based on what we have on hand and needs to be used up.
~We did not go out for Valentine's Day but I made a special dinner here at home.  We had some lamb chops in the freezer that we were given (they are a huge treat for us) and served it with wild rice mix, a salad of baby spring greens, orange bell peppers and homemade croutons.  We had iced brownies for dessert.
~I saved the bones from the lamb chops and made soup with them.

Homemade Scotch Broth made with the lamb chop bones.

~Monday I found water all over the laundry room floor.  Jeff took the washer out, examined it and came to the conclusion that it had just overflowed since it had a huge load of laundry in it.  He cleaned the laundry room and ran a smaller load with no problems.
~Monday brought 2 free magazines, some feminine hygiene samples and a True Lemon variety pack of samples.  I love freebies!
~The True Lemon amples came in a padded mailing envelope with a mailing label on it.  I was able to just take the mailing label off it and I will be able to reuse the envelope.👍

Free magazines and sample that came in the mail.

~I had a bunch of onions that needed to be used up ASAP so I made French Onion Soup for dinner on Monday night.
~For Valentine's Day Jeff got me a card, wrote me a cute little poem and gave me a huge Cookie Monster shortbread cookie!  He "gets" me and knew the cookie would make me laugh. 😀  I got him a card, new socks and some new fleece lined khakis.  He needed the socks and khakis but I knew he would not buy them for himself so I did and he can't complain because they were a "gift". That man will sacrifice for everyone else and not buy things that he wants or even needs most of the time.  Both the package of socks and the pants were on sale making it even better.

Homemade French Onion Soup with homemade croutons and some cheese on top.
~I found 2 shirts on clearance at Walmart that will be gifts for Bradley and Isaiah.
~Goodwill had some really nice things when I stopped by on Tuesday.  I was able to find some brand new items that will be perfect for gifts, a shirt for Jeff, a shirt for me and some books.
~I lucked out at Walmart when I stumbled on a bunch of reduced priced salads, bread and dessert.
~We had leftovers both Wednesday and Thursday since I had a big health crash.  I used some of the leftover taco seasoned elk meat on Thursday to make nachos for dinner.  Yummy!

One of the shirts I bought this week at the thrift store.

~Jeff picked up my prescription on Thursday when he went into town for his bowling league.
~Jeff found a pair of fleece lined jeans on clearance for $17 at the Walmart where he picked up my prescription.
~We used the hot tub multiple times this week to help ease sore muscles.
~Thursday night I was thirsty and wanted something kind of tart but sweet so I used one of the samples from True Lemon for their raspberry lemonade.  Let's just say I am glad I got the samples for free to try first.  It will not be going on the shopping list.
~Since I was spending lots of time on the couch for 2 days, I watched lots of YouTube videos.

Two hand thrown pottery pieces that will be Christmas gifts for someone special.

~I made a big pasta and tortellini salad with things I had on hand.
~Jeff worked on our vehicles checking air pressure in the tires and making sure all the fluids were up where they needed to be. 
~I worked on my points programs in spurts this week.  I just was not very motivated and my health crash did not help matters any.

Tortellini and veggie pasta salad.

   Despite my health crash, I did still manage to find some good savings this week.  This next week is going to be a very busy one for us so I am planning a busy day followed by a day of doing almost nothing.  I know myself well enough to know that as I age, not only do my illnesses take more out of me, but it also takes me longer to recover.  I'm continuing to try and find more ways of working smarter so that things take less time and energy.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day Followed by a Crash

   Yesterday was Valentine's Day and I wanted to make it special for my sweet hubby who sacrifices so much for us.  I planned everything out and, with exception of eating by candlelight serving dinner on our wedding china, I made it happen.  I ran into town while he was sleeping to get his gift, did the grocery shopping and made a really nice dinner of lamb chops, wild rice mix and a salad of baby Spring greens with sweet orange peppers and homemade croutons.  I also had a glass of wine with dinner.  After dinner we hot tubbed and then had a nice dessert of iced chocolate brownies.  My hubby had started the say off with a sweet surprise for me and I wanted to finish it with something special for him.  Mission accomplished! 

   After he left for work later in the evening, I could feel a major crash coming on.  My head started to ache and the pain in the rest of my body got worse.  As is common with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I desperately needed to sleep, but it kept taunting me for hours.  I finally feel asleep in the early morning hours and crawled out of bed around 9:30 this morning, only to still have the headache and feel like I had been hit by yet another huge truck.  My day has been spent for the most part on the couch watching "A Different World" on Netflix.  It helps my mind to escape for awhile and to be honest, it is about all I can handle right now.  Even typing this on the computer hurts my hands, back and neck.  I had hoped to get some laundry done today, but lifting the laundry baskets and transferring  heavy wet laundry from the washer to the dryer is too much for me at the moment.  I'll have to ask Jeff to do it when he gets up for the day.  I wish I were stronger and healthier, but this in my reality.  Days like this make me so thankful for days where I can get things done.  Praying that tomorrow will be a much better and less painful day.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 2/4-2/10 2017

The new TV Chris and Heather gave us.

   This week has been one that seems to have stretched on and on.  I'm glad that I jot things down as I go during the week because honestly, I would have forgotten to list a lot of what I have here if I had not done so.  Gosh I hope that made sense. I'm a bit rummy and really should be in bed. 😉  Onto the savings!

~I cashed in at Mypoints for a $10 gift card.
~I reduced my stress level by walking away from a person who had become toxic.  It was not an easy decision to make but one that had to be made for my own health and peace of mind.
~My sweet hubby and I sat down and watched more episodes of "The Flash" in Netflix.
~Chris and Heather gave us their 36 inch flat screen TV.  They are were given her grandmother's even larger TV.  We will see if someone wants our TV that is now in our bedroom and if not, we will donate it.
~The hardware store had a bunch of their seeds on clearance so I bought some that I did not have already.
~Chris and Heather invited us over to watch the Superbowl so we took some snack food over with us and had a wonderful time visiting and cuddling with the grandboys.  I love my family!
~Heather gave me 3 beautiful scarves that had been her grandmother's and a book.
~Jeff and I went to Goodwill and found more brand new baby stuff, some books, a new cordless phone system, some lawn games, a pretty blouse for me, a nice warm Nike pullover for him and a draft guard for around the door.  Some of the items were the half price color of the day.  SCORE!!!!

My new $2 blouse.

~Chris taught us how to stream anything directly from the computer to the TV.
~Dollar Tree had Secret antiperspirant in stock again so I bought 4 more to add to our stockpile.  I had been looking for it for months and they did not have any so when I saw these, I stocked up a bit.
~We borrowed 4 movies from the library.
~Sunday evening, Jeff and I worked on our menu for the week.  It really does help to have his input.

~Monday I made 2 loaves of bread and cut up the remaining half a loaf from the previous week and made croutons with it.
~Dinner Monday night was Teriyaki beef, rice, corn and salad.  I found the Carne Asada meat marked way down at the store and it is perfect for making Teriyaki beef with.  Of course I made my own marinade for it with Shoyu, sugar, ginger and garlic (all to taste since this is how I learned to make it as a child).  Comfort food from my childhood.

Homemade Teriyaki Beef, brown rice, corn and a nice green salad.

~Our Credit Union credit card offers us rewards on our card.  I took the cash back option and had them deposit the money into our savings account.
~Heather, Bradley and Heather's mom are flying to Florida to be part of a friend's wedding next week.  Since the airline they are flying on charges for each piece of luggage, Heather asked me we had a large suitcase they can borrow and put all their stuff in it so they only have to pay for one bag. I am so glad that I kept one of the large ones my parents gave us when they were cleaning out their luggage collection.
~I cashed in at Pinecone Research for a prepaid virtual Visa Card.  I will apply that to my gift card balance.
~Tuesday, after I got off work, I stopped at Winco and did some grocery shopping using coupons and saved us right under $10 in coupons alone.
~I stopped in at the Salvation Army and finally, after 2 years of looking, found a nice pair of gray leggings that I can wear in public with a long shirt or sweater over them.  They are JJill brand which always fits me just right. ;)  I also found the DVD "Return to Oz" that I have been wanting for awhile now.
~My wonderful hubby was honored by being voted into our areas Bowling Hall of Fame.  I surprised him with one of his favorite dinners and ice cream to celebrate. 💑

Homemade Guacamole

~There were several avocados that needed to be used up along with some red onion.  I made a bowl of guacamole.  I wish my youngest grandson had been here to share it with me. That boy will lick the bowl clean!
~Thursday night just called for soup.  I quickly threw together a Cheddar Cheese and Beer soup.  I had never made it before so I did look up some recipes as a guideline and then just did my own thing.  Hubby and I both loved it!
~Jeff's car had been making a strange sound so he stopped in to see our favorite mechanic who found the problem very quickly.  He even told Jeff how to fix it himself since it was not a complicated job.  We love our mechanic!
~Thursday night I was laying in bed watching PBS.  I love to watch cooking shows and learning new skills and recipes from them. The show "Lucky Chow" came on.  They were doing a special on Thai food and the best chefs in the United States that specialized in this cuisine. In the opening shots I instantly recognized my cousin Andy Ricker and was delighted to see him and his "Thai mom" mentor prepare a meal together later in the show. 😊

Homemade Cheddar Cheese and Beer Soup

~Caesar finally got both Jeff and I to take him on a walk Friday.  The ice and snow had melted enough that the roads were clear.  We walked down to the post office to mail off a package to our Josh.  I used a bubble wrap mailer envelope that I had gotten at the thrift store awhile back and sent a nice brand new knit hat with his college logo on it (again thrift store), a military battle book I had sent away for that was also free and some mail of his.
~Jeff and I had leftovers for dinner on Friday night.
~I added more movies and TV series to our Netflix watch list.
~My points programs did not get as much attention this week as I had hoped, but that's life.
~Entertainment for me this Friday night is watching the lunar eclipse.  :)

   As you can see, we have been very blessed this week!  I hope you all have been as well!  On a side note, please forgive the difference in font size...Blogger in not cooperating or allowing me to fix it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Learning When to Let It Be


    Over the past few months, I have really been working on trying to learn how to just "let it be".  I think everything came to a head when I broke down in my doctor's office a few months ago and shared some things with him that I had kept bottled up inside.  My sweet hubby was there with me and very lovingly filled in the blanks when I could not complete my thoughts because I was just overwrought.

   Ever since then, I have been reevaluating relationships in my life.  It has caused me to look at how certain relationships affect me.  Are they healthy?  If they are causing me stress, why is that and is it something that can be worked through?  Is the relationship something that I even want to save and continue with?  Is a friend going through a rough time right now and needs my support?  Have they been there for me when I needed them or have they not cared or not had time for me when the shoe is on the other foot?  In some cases, do they even want to make their lives better or do they continue to play the victim card?  Lest I sound like most of my friendships are unhealthy or strained, please let me reassure you (and myself) that most are healthy, but there are a few that definitely are not and are being "pruned" from my life. 😉

   Recently I have had to learn to just "let it be" with a few friendships and a few I had to completely walk away from.  One of my friends struggles with drug addiction.  She has had a rough life and recently hit rock bottom and was arrested by my son of all people. 😥 My heart aches for her and I have tried to be as supportive as I can.  She knows that I love her.  She is making choices though that I cannot support and that I can see may end up killing her.  I have tried to offer suggestions and get her help, but she continues to make the choice to go back to unhealthy relationships with people that she cannot be around if she wants to stay clean.  I just have give her up to God and let it be at this point.  I cannot save her from herself.  Another friend also is making unhealthy choices and no amount of love and support from others will change her life until she realizes that she is worthy of being loved and valued for her and until she makes some choices to change her life for the better. Sometimes I think she has played the victim for so long that she is comfortable there because it gets her attention. Lots of people have offered her advice, support, and physical things to make her life easier, but she does not follow through and that leaves people frustrated with her, myself included. This is another case of "let it be".   The ones that I have walked away from are the ones where the person has just been downright unkind, uncaring, and has no regard for my feelings or the feelings of others.  They are the people who use people to get what they want and then discard them.  They are the manipulators and I have no time or room for that in my life.  

   I can now look back and see how much time and energy I have invested in people who I really should not have.  I have been deeply hurt and betrayed by some of them.  Others, I still love but I can't help them because they refuse to do what they need to to to help themselves.  My energy is limited and I am choosing to continue to invest in relationships with people that I love and care about and who love and care about me back. Some of those people are going through horrible times in their lives right now and I will continue to be there for them because I know that they are the kind of people that are also there for me when I need them.  My relationships with them are deep, real and reciprocal.  

  It has taken me this long in my life to finally get to a point where I am setting healthy boundaries for myself and learning to walk away or "let it be" from unhealthy relationships and not feel guilty about doing so.  This is a HUGE milestone for me in my own healing and one that I am so thankful for.  I am also so grateful to my friends and family that have helped me get to this point.  Many of those friends are you, the friends that I have made through this blog who have prayed for, encouraged and shared your own stories with me.  So thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to grow and learn when to walk away and when to just let it be.  I am forever grateful for you.

My Hubby in a Hall of Famer!

   I am so proud of my hubby!  He was nominated for the Palouse Area Bowling Hall of Fame that inducts 1 new member into it each year.  I just got the phone call telling me he won!  He has been bowling since he was a young teen and worked in bowling alleys for years also.  He did take a large chunk of time off from bowling when finances were tight while we raised our boys.  When he was able to return to bowling, he fulfilled a long time dream of bowling with all 3 of our sons on a team for 1 year on a bowling league. This man of mine has won many tournaments and bowled in Region Pro tournaments too and done well in them.  He helped coach Special Olympians in bowling for a year and had a wonderful time working with those special athletes, many of whom remember him to this day!  What I am most proud of him for though is that he not only bowled with a younger kid who had watched and admire my hubby and asked him (my hubby was 19 year old at the time) to bowl with him in a tournament, but the way Jeff handled it when that boy had bad day and was feeling like he let them down.  Jeff told him not to worry about it...sometimes you have good days and other days don't go as you want them too.  Jeff then thanked the young man for asking him to be his partner in that tournament and told him he had a good time bowling with him. That left a huge impression on that young man. :)  My hubby has a huge heart, great character and loves to encourage young people to continue to enjoy that sport that he loves so very much.  Yet another reason to love this man of mine!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Ups 1/28-2/3 2017

Seeds for our Garden.  4/$1

   Before getting into this week's Frugal Friday Wrap Up, I want to first thank you all who have been so supportive by both reading and/or commenting on my little blog here.  I had no idea when I started documenting this new chapter of my life that I would both meet and become friends online with so many wonderful people.  You have enriched my life in so many ways and I just feel so blessed by each and every one of you. 💗  Now onto the frugal doings for this week...

Gifts and education aids for Bradley and Isaiah.

~Saturday Jeff and I went to the thrift store and found lots of CDs that he wanted for $1.50 each, some brand new Star Wars items that our soon to be 5 year old grandson is going to love for his Star Wars themed birthday party this year, a gorgeous book on flowers and some homeschooling things for the little boys.
~We watched a movie Saturday night here at home.  It was nice to just be able to cuddle on the couch, snack on goodies and pause the movie when we needed to use the bathroom. ;)  Yes, age has a way of sneaking up on you. ;)  LOL!
~Sunday Jaysn and Rachel came over and we sent them home with lots of fresh fruit, canned goods and chicken fried steaks.  I had a brand new nice Chaps shirt in the closet that fit Jaysn so he went home with that too. :)  I love being able to share what we all have been blessed with with our family and friends.
~Monday morning Jeff and I settled in to watch the movie "Sully".  Oh my goodness, it was so good!  Jeff returned it to the library when we were done watching it.
~Looking ahead to Spring and starting seeds indoors, I have decided to save all the clear plastic salad containers.  They make great mini greenhouses if you just cut some ventilation holes in them.

Saving salad containers to use to start seeds in.  They make great mini greenhouses.

~Jeff and I made the loop on Wednesday to pick up his paycheck, go deposit it and then do some grocery shopping.  We treated ourselves to dinner out and used our customer loyalty reward card to get one of our meals free.  We also took his little car instead of mine since it gets way better gas mileage and the roads were clear.
~Dollar Tree just put out their garden seeds in our area.  I stocked up on things that I know I will be growing.  The seeds were 4 packages for a $1.00 .
~Dollar Tree also got some dvds in and I was able to find a movie that looks pretty good for $1.00 .  That is cheaper than even the thrift store prices.
~I mixed up some more spray in conditioner for my hair using some sample packages of conditioner that had been sent to me.

Some of my Dollar Tree finds this week.  The salt was just .50 .

~One of the grocery stores has 2 lb bricks of Cheddar cheese on sale for $3.99 each limit of 2.  Jeff picked some up on his way home from work since he drives right by that store. He picked up 3 of them and they honored the $3.99 price for all three.  They know that he is a good customer. 😉
~I cashed in at Swagbucks for a discounted $25 gift card.  I also added the remainder of a prepaid credit card balance to my gift card balance.  We need to buy more filters for our hot tub and I get them through

DVDs, CDs and golf balls found at the thrift store.

~We needed more supplements so I placed an order at going through the link at Mypoints who will give me 2 points per dollar spent.  I used a code I found online to get 15% off, also ordered something for my DIL who was out of one of the things she uses, hit a buy one get one half price for my menopause support supplement and got free shipping.
~I wore through another pair of fuzzy house slipper/socks so I looked in my gift closet and found another new pair in there.  I was saving them to give as a gift for someone special but decided that "I" was someone special and would enjoy them too. :)  So now they are on my feet keeping them warm.
~After hot tubbing on Thursday night I was craving something cool and fruity.  I rummaged through the freezer that is above the refrigerator and found some homemade nectarine sorbet that was hiding behind the frozen blueberries.  I served myself a small bowl of it and topped it with a maraschino cherry.  Perfect, fruity and fun!

Homemade nectarine sorbet.

~Jeff picked up a box of Wheat Thins at Safeway for me since he was going right by there on his way to his bowling league.  I had a coupon loaded on my Safeway card to get a box for .99 .
~We were craving ham so Jeff checked one of the freezers in the garage and found several packages of sliced ham that I had put in there from our last ham that I cooked.  We are using them in salads and making sandwiches with them. YUM!

Asian style salad with ham and peppers.

~Friday morning I was working on our taxes online when we lost our internet service.  So frustrating!  It finally came back and I was relieved to see that the information I had submitted was saved.  Such a relief.  I was able to file for free and we are getting a nice refund that will cover the cost of new glasses for my hubby and still give us some to put towards our property taxes too. :)
~I cooked up a pot of brown rice and then zapped some Asian style entrees in the microwave for dinner.  That was followed by ice cream complete with whipped cream.  Comfort food on a cold Winter day.
~I baked up 2 more loaves of bread for sandwiches for Jeff for work.
~I've been working my points programs as much as time allows.

Vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge bits, whipped cream and cherries on top.  Lovely treat at the end of a rough week.

   I feel pretty good about our savings this week.  It's not my best ever, but it's not too shabby either.   Be blessed!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dealing with a lot Right Now


   I know that I have been pretty quiet on the blog this week.  I have tried to reply to previous posts here on my blog and I have read a few posts from some of my favorite bloggers, but am woefully behind on that also.  It's been one of those weeks when I have been absolutely floored by the horrid behavior of some people in our country with their rioting, hate speech and utter disrespect for a fallen hero who lost his life trying to make the world a safer place.  People that I have loved and respected for years are turning into very bitter and nasty beings that I no longer recognize.  We also have dear friends who have lost loved ones and/or are going through heartbreaking situations at the moment and it has been all I can do to just be there for them.  It's been a rough week.

    My stress levels went through the roof on Monday after a rather hurtful conversation with someone that I consider family.  It's sad when someone attacks someone that has been there for them for years when all I did was express sorrow, hurt and compassion for those (myself included) that had lost friends and loved ones in a horrible accident that keeps being replayed year after year on TV and the rest of the media as well.  Her response was that we need to remember and honor them and that people under the age of 31 needed to "see it for themselves".  I agree that we need to honor these people but none of us needs to see their painful and tragic deaths played out again and again.  That is not honoring them, that is exploiting them for ratings.  She then went on a tirade against me. I had to unfollow this person, whom I love, on facebook because I just can't deal with the negativity and the lack of compassion shown for others.  This is not the first time she has done something like this and I just can't deal with her right now.  I am hoping that this will help lower my stress levels again.

   One of my friends has been dealing with the whole process of watching her father slip away and finally go to heaven this week.  Another friend lost her father-in-law this week. My heart aches for them.  Other friends have gotten horrible news on the health of their loved ones.  And another friend is dealing with the ultimate betrayal that a woman can experience.  I have tried to be there for all of them.  I am a person that takes others pain and worry onto myself.  I have always been that way and it is something that as painful as it is, I do not want to change about myself because it is part of what makes me "me".  

   On a more positive note though, I was greatly relieved and so thankful for God's hand in protecting my son Josh.  Josh has been transferred to another flight line on the air base that he works on and is trying out for an elite team.  One of his higher ups did not realize that he had been transferred and just told him today when he found out that he had just put him on the list to deploy again with some of his last team but since he transferred and might become a member of the elite team, he would have to take him off that list now and Josh will not be deploying.  Josh asked where he would have been deployed to and the guy got really quiet and then said he could not tell him.  That is military speak for dangerous hostile zone.  Josh's guess is Afghanistan.  Josh has served 2 deployments in the Middle East already and I don't want him deployed there ever again, especially now!  One of my friends lost her son, who I also knew, in Afghanistan during some heavy fighting where he died saving the lives of the rest of his platoon.  Jake is one of many fallen heroes that deserve our honor and respect and his family and friends will forever miss him.  I am thankful that for now at least, my son will not be going to that same part of the world facing hostile forces.  I don't know if I would ever recover if something happened to any of my children or grandchildren.