Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thank You



   Thank you all for your sweet support and love at the loss of our dear friend/hanai family member Mel.  I read all of your comments but got overwhelmed so I did not respond to each one individually.  I was just trying to hold it all together and remain strong for his family.  I have yet to totally let down and grieve.  We went from dealing with all the emotions of that to going to Montana to spend time with my parents and brother there.  I could see my own father ageing and slowing down.  It scared me even though I know that we all age and that he will be 80 this coming year.  I spent all the time that I could with him, my mother and my brother. I am so afraid of losing him like my friend Roni has lost her father.  I felt like crying a few times, but held it in because I was afraid if I started, I would never stop.  

   My Jeff, Josh and Jaysn helped my parents and brother trenched in an underground electric fence around an acre of land.  It was a huge job and it took them all day.  Everyone was exhausted by the time it was done.  Rachel made a wonderful dinner for everyone and she and I took care of baby Steven.  I did go into town once with my father that day to pick up something and helped him with a few small projects also.  I took great delight in seeing my parents and my brother with our grandson Steven.  It was the first time they had met him.  My mother snuggled that baby every chance she got!  How precious is the time that great grandparents have with their great grandchildren.  It is a gift that so many do not have the chance to share.

   While in Montana, my parents took us for a ride on their boat.  We stopped at a tiny island in the lake and I found a heart shaped rock.  I have a sweet friend who lost her mother some years back and feels like her mother leaves her messages that she is still there through random heart shaped things.  I found a heart shaped rock just waiting there on that little island and picked it up for her.  Yesterday, we stopped in at her place of work and I told her I had something for her from her sweet momma.  I gave her the rock and she was visibly moved.  She shared with me that it was 8 years to the day since her mother died and later also shared how much that rock meant to her since she has been having a rough day.  It was just another reassurance to her that her mom was still there looking out for and loving her.  I know in my heart that rock was placed there for me to find just for her.

   Jeff, Josh and I came home yesterday.  Josh will be leaving to go back to Washington DC on Sunday and Chris will be going back for a week with him.  I am treasuring my time with Josh and encouraging him to spend time with his friends and not feel like he has to spend all his time with us.  I know that is important to him and as his mother, I need to make sure that he knows that I want him to do that also.  He and Jeff are spending the morning today golfing.  It is their special thing to do together and something that I know they both look forward to. While they are out doing that, I am here trying to get caught up on the laundry and spending some much needed time alone.  Everything is catching up with me, especially my emotions which I have been trying to keep pushed deep down. I am on edge and my son Josh can sense it.  He does understand that part of it is due to my illnesses but another part is me trying to be strong for everyone else and all that we have been dealing with.  I am on the verge of another panic attack and I am hoping I can just have a good cry this morning while he and Jeff are gone and let it all out.  I know I need that but am so afraid of falling apart right now.  I may just have to take a shower and let it all out then.  I don't know why but I seem to feel safe letting it all out in the shower.  Maybe it's because the water washes away my tears and muffles the sounds of my sobs.  I just know that something has to give before we all get together again tonight.  I do not want to fall apart at the bowling alley.  Josh will be spending tonight with Chris, Heather and the little boys.  It has become a tradition for Uncle Josh to have a sleepover with the little boys every time he comes home for a visit. That is another thing that I treasure...seeing him and them have something special just for them.  He was saying that when Steven is a bit older, he wants to do that with him too.  He is a very good uncle to all of his nephews and I know one day he will be a great daddy to his own children.

   I suppose I should go and get more things done around here.  This afternoon and evening will be a busy one for us and filled with lots of people.  I know I will be fine in the long run...I just need to let all these pent up emotions out and grieve for the loss of Mel, the finality of decisions that had to be made with my husband's parents and that situation, and with seeing my own father ageing so quickly before my eyes.  It is utterly overwhelming me.  Hug your loved ones and make sure they know how precious they are to you.  Be blessed and thank you again my friends for your love, encouragement, understanding, prayers and good thoughts.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Sudden Loss of a Loved One

   Yesterday about mid morning, while trying to get things caught up around the house, I could not shake the feeling that someone I loved had passed away.  It was that little nudging that I have felt many times before.  I kept waiting for the phone to ring with bad news.  

   After I got everything done that I needed to, I checked the local obituaries online and the local news sites to see if I could find anything there.  There was nothing.  I still could not shake that feeling though.  Then came the phone call.  My son Chris called and asked if I had been on Facebook yet.  I told him that I had not.  He then delivered the bad news...our dear friend M, who is part of our hanai family (and is actually a distant relative of mine we discovered while discussing genealogy), had been killed just hours earlier, mid morning, in a car accident. 😪  M and his wife C, are like grandparents to my kids.  Their daughter R is like a sister to me and her girls are like my own kids and sisters to my boys.  R is a second mom to my boys. C is one of my most beloved friends and so is M.  I was devastated.  Then came the second call within minutes of Chris' call.  It was R and she was clearly in shock.  As soon as I heard her voice I told her that I had just heard about her father and that I was so very sorry.  R and I have been through so much together and have always been there for one another.  I reassured her that I would be here for her through this too.  She told me her plans to drive up here from California and to pick her oldest daughter up in Oregon along the way and that she was getting ready for her and her youngest daughter to leave. I told her I loved her and would see her soon.  I then called C, her mother, to check on her.

   Grief is a strange thing.  While R was in shock and numb, C was also in shock, but was filled with nervous energy trying to take care of all the details and let family know before they heard it from others.  I asked her if she needed me to do anything for her and she asked me to tell my boys about what happened.  I did what she asked, letting my boys know and passing on the information that she gave me.  She had other family with her, so I know that she would not be alone.  I suspect that last night, when she was finally able to sit down, that it would sink in and she would then fall apart.

   My boys, Chris and Josh, started changing plans so they could be here for the family and for their "sisters".  Chris cancelled a fishing trip and Josh made arrangements with my parents to borrow their truck and drive directly over here after he landed tomorrow in Kalispell, MT while on leave. My mom even offered to drive Josh over if he was too tired. My mom loves R and the girls and they hold a very special place in her heart.  I was not able to talk to Jaysn, who was at work, but I did talk to Rachel and she said to let them know what they could do to help.  I messaged both of R's girls telling them I was so sorry, loved them and was waiting here with open arms to give them both big hugs and lots of love. I got a reply back from one of them...she said "Thank you Mama".

   Late last night, I could not sleep.  I got a message in the early morning hours from R.  She and her youngest daughter had made it to Weed, California and were stopping there to get some sleep before heading up to Oregon in the morning to pick up her oldest girl and then head home.  My heart ached for her. She is exhausted and is not dealing well with the loss of her father.  I don't think I would be either if I were in her shoes.  I am trying to be strong for all of them and not break down.  My sweet Rachel did hear me break down once though when she asked how I was doing. I cried and asked her to please keep everyone in her prayers.  

   This morning I am the one running around with nervous energy.  I have so much to get done since R and the girls arrive later this afternoon or evening and I need to be available to them.  Josh is coming over Thursday, so I need to have his room ready.  I still have my normal "to do" list with lots of produce that needed to be processed and laundry to be done. My fibromyalgia is flaring and my neck and shoulder muscles feel like they are on fire but I need to just push through.  This is family we are talking about and if you know me, family always comes first.  You do whatever you have to do to help and then you can fall apart later.  We are still planning on going over to Montana on Saturday to spend time with my parents and brother, along with Josh, but the timing on that depends on if the funeral is that day.  If it is Sunday, then we will not be able to make it to the funeral, but will spend time with everyone before that.  It is also important for us to spend time with my parents and M's sudden passing away just drives that point home more and more. 

   I don't know if I will have much time to blog for about a week.  Between this, going to Montana, then returning home and spending more time with Josh before he and Chris fly back to Washington DC so they can spend a week together there, I just don't know how things are going to go.  Right now I need to take care of my family and spend time with all of them.  Our tomorrow is not guaranteed and every day is a gift.  



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/9-9/15 2017


   As usual, I am late posting this.  I have been offline for about 3 days now.  Life has kept me busy with family, the fair, apple picking at the orchard, visiting with some of our hanai kids and grandkids and friends too. 😊  We also were "tested" this weekend with running into two of the people who have gone out of their way to hurt us and others.  One of them was "family" that are toxic and the other is one of the most vile child abusers that we spent years reporting and who finally got their parental rights terminated.  The child abuser did everything they could to try and get our attention, but we totally ignored them and the family member...well they did their best to be as nasty as they could with their expressions but again, we ignored them while feeling very sorry for their other family members who had to put up with their bad mood.  Nothing we can do to help those people at this point either unfortunately.  Monday I got really sick and I think it was the change in the weather that got me most (and yes, I did push it too much this weekend also).  I woke up with the most horrible headache and spent most of the day sleeping on and off.  I was not running a fever and am fine (well, as fine as I can be other than being my normal sore self) today.  I've been trying to play catch up on all the things that need to be done around here and that has kept me more than busy today. Now, onto the savings!

~Saturday night Jeff and I popped a bunch of popcorn and curled up to watch the original "Dr. Doolittle" movie on dvd.  It has always been one of my favorites and I found myself singing along and even saying dialogue right along with it. 😁  Jeff offered to take us to see a movie at a theater but there was nothing on that I wanted to see and it was way more comfortable to be able to just curl up here at home.
~I managed to find 1 ripe blackberry and 3 blueberries while I was out in the garden in the morning.
~Sunday Jeff got my hair cut and I feel so much better now.
~I snapped 3 ziplock bags full of beans for dinner later that night while I watched the hurricane coverage on YouTube.
~Chris, Heather and the boys all came over for dinner on Sunday night and I made oven baked chicken with some of the .99 a pound chicken thighs I picked up last week, green and yellow beans from the garden and baked potatoes.

~Uncle Bob gave me quite a few Early Girl tomatoes from his garden.
~I picked beans, squash, a cucumber and lots of cherry tomatoes along with a few Roma tomatoes from our garden.
~I read a book that I borrowed from the library.
~Chris got a cow elk on Saturday night so he is giving us a bunch more meat!  Yay!  I was starting to get low and elk is my favorite.
~Monday Jeff and I headed up to the car dealership where we bought my car to get some work done on it (all of it done for free).  While we were up there we went to 2 thrift stores and bought a few things taking advantage of the Senior Discount that Jeff gets.  I found some things on my list that I had been needing and some fun items too!  I even found a really cool christmas gift for one of my girls...
~Jeff and I had lunch while up in CDA and there was just too much food so we brought home the leftovers and had those for dinner.
~We filled the car up with gas while we were in CDA.  It is .30 per gallon cheaper there than it is down where we live.

~Tuesday Jeff and I hit our favorite thrift store and found some great deals there.  They had a whole clothing rack full of things for .25 each so we picked up some shorts, a couple of shirts and a pair of capris.  We also found a Chico's brand jacket for me that looked brand new (there were other Chico's brand clothing new with tags right next to it but I did not like the way that they fit) for $3.96 that retails for $109.00. 😯  Seriously, who would pay that much for a lightweight windbreaker type jacket?  I also picked up some 2018 Calendars for .20 each and found a brand new Pampered Chef pie dish for $3.99 (this will be a gift for someone).  There were a few other things that made it into my basket also like a silicone bib for Steven and a CD by Diane Reeves (I sang back up vocals for her years ago when she was doing a concert at the University of Idaho Jazz Festival and she is just the nicest and encouraging person).

~Jeff picked up some sale priced milk on his way home from work on Wednesday morning.
~Steven came to play on Wednesday and I am so glad we kept the Pack and Play that we bought when Bradley was a baby.  Since Steven is now rolling over, I needed something to corral him in where he would be safe.  I thought I would use it more than I did, but he was fussy so I spent most of the day holding him.
~Chris and Jeff finally got Chris' truck up and running again.  While they worked on that, I helped Heather homeschool the little boys.  I bribed them with popcorn and orange soda to get their work done and they enjoyed a bath here too before they left since something is not working right with the bathtub at their rental at the moment.  Chris thinks he can fix it easily though, he just has not had the time (they are renting from another family member).
~Thursday I made 2 more loaves of bread for Jeff to make sandwiches with.
~I was in need of comfort food, so I took a leftover chicken thigh, some celery, 2 small squash from the garden, peeled and chunked up 2 leftover baked potatoes and made a creamy chowder with them.  It was perfect for a cooler day and one where I needed to take it easy since I was having a pretty bad fibro flare and working through and processing several emotionally draining and devastating  situations.

~Dinner Thursday night was more comfort food.  This time it was fried tomatoes and creamy tomato gravy over homemade bread.
~Friday I stayed home.  I was still feeling the effects of a fibro flare brought on by all the pain, anger, hurt and devastation that I was dealing with this week.  I internalize not only my own emotional pain, but the pain of others around me too. The school shooting brought up feelings of fear that I had from being a victim of gun violence as a child and my fear of just this kind of situation happening in our school district also.  I have had a student threaten to do harm to me with a weapon in the past (in that case, it was a knife).  We were also dealing with having made the hard decision to walk away from and not have anything to do with my husband's siblings and parents due to the ongoing hurtful manipulation and mind games being played on their part.  It has taken us this long to come to that decision because of the "guilt" that we felt about walking away from family, no matter how unhealthy and hurtful the situation was to us.  When Jeff got up in the afternoon to spend some time with me before he headed off for work later in the evening, he could see  the toll it was all taking on me.
~More free magazines and a box of samples from PinchMe came in the mail.
~I checked our rewards through our credit and debit card and converted my earned points into cash and had that deposited into our savings account.
~YouTube is frequently my "go to" place to find soothing videos and music.  I spent quite a bit of time there Friday night.

   I am sorry that this post is seriously lacking in the picture department.  I just did not get around to taking many this past week.  Hopefully I will remember to do more for this next week's post. :) I am also hoping to get around to reading blog posts from all my friends online.  When life gets busy, I tend to put that off until I can sit down and really enjoy and respond to everyone's posts.  Be blessed all!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lives Forever Changed by Cold Hearts


   This has been a rough week and I have struggled to try and make sense of the senseless.  We started out the week having to make a tough decision after years and years dispicable and manipulative behavior directed our way by members of my husband's family.  It was a long time coming and one that we had to do for our own sanity.  Then, on Wednesday, the unthinkable happened not too far from us.  There was another school shooting in a small school district that rocked our entire area to the core.  People we know are friends with and/or related to some of the victims and a young man tragically lost his life while trying to talk the shooter down.  Of course there were some people who quickly jumped at the chance to try to politicize the heartbreaking situation, including someone on my side of the family who does not live anywhere near here and is not dealing with the aftermath of this horrible tragedy.  That too left me shaken and questioning why they would do such a thing.  I had planned on doing a few posts this week, but the above situations have taken a huge toll on me emotionally and physically.  When I am upset, my Fibromyalgia flares up big time and I am left feeling totally beat up and broken.

   As some of you, who have been reading my blog for awhile know, we have had an ongoing situation within our extended family for years and years now.  For me, it started shortly after my husband and I became engaged...for my husband, it has been going on for his whole life.  There are some people who seek to control others and who enjoy inflicting pain on people, both emotionally and physically in some cases.  They enjoy pitting people against each other and lying and manipulating. They cannot and will not own up to their own horrible behavior, so they project that upon others and pick a scapegoat to dump all their garbage on...I became the chosen scapegoat. When someone fights back or figures out the "game" that is being played and cannot be controlled anymore, in the eyes of these people, they must be destroyed and gotten rid of.  They will stop at nothing to do this and launch a full on attack, doing whatever they can to hurt not only their target, but those people connected in any way to their target.  I had two of them figured out long ago, but never imagined that another one of them would turn out to be the same way.  I trusted that person and had confided in them years ago about the thing that had hurt me the most in my life and that still haunted me and was a great source of ongoing pain.  I thought that person truly loved me and I let down my walls.  I was there for them and became their confidant and biggest support system.  I tried to protect them over and over again, from the ugly truth about the behavior of others and put up with false accusations against me so that they would not have to suffer great pain that no parent wants to ever hear or know. Over the past 5 years, the situation has escalated and gotten so much worse.  We have forgiven time and time again.  Then came the final blow...the person that I had trusted but who had hurt me over and over again, did the one thing that I had told them hurt me the most in my past. They intentionally used that one thing to inflict the worst kind of pain on me, knowing that it would devastate me.  They also did the unthinkable to their own son, my husband.  Even after all that, the mind games continue. Actions speak volumes and we are not being sucked in again by false and manipulative words and mind games.    As much as I hurt for me, I hurt even more so for my husband.  My husband's "crime"...being a truly good, loving, hardworking and supportive person who puts his own family first and who is an amazing father, husband and grandparent.  Yes, he has been rejected because of that even though he has been there for the people who have hurt us time and time again and sacrificed so much for them also.  A wise mental health professional. who I greatly respect, pointed out the obvious saying if these people were not family, would you put up with this kind of behavior or would you not have anything to do with them?  Our answer...we would not have anything to do with them but have felt guilty if we walked away because they were "family".   It is toxic to us and we have to not buy into the false guilt anymore and just walk away from it all.  We are done.   It is like a death in some ways and we are mourning it as such.  Our grown children have our full support in whatever they choose to do, but we cannot and will not put up with any more of this destructive, manipulative and abusive behavior.

   While I was dealing with the above and all the emotions that come with that, one of my biggest fears and one of the reasons I no longer teach happened.  I found out that there was a school shooting just north and less than an hour up the road from us.  I was holding my baby grandson in my arms when I saw the awful news and my heart broke.  The community that it happened in is a tight knit one, much like the community that I live in.  Many of the people that I know are either friends with, know someone or are even related to students and staff at the school where this took place.  There were multiple "red flags" and there were steps being taken by the school from what I am reading to get the troubled young man help, but he still chose to walk into his school and start randomly shooting people.  Another young man, whose own father had been tragically killed on Father's Day of this year, tried to step in and reason with the young man and stop the shooting, was the first to be shot and was killed while trying to prevent anyone else from getting shot.  His mother and sister now are mourning the death of a second family member within a 3 month period.  😢  Three young women were also shot and praise God they survived and are on their way to healing physically from their injuries.  The emotional injuries to all the students and staff, and to the community as a whole, are going to take years and years, if ever, to completely heal from.  I am seeing first hand how this has affected teenagers in my own community who know the teens that were shot and injured.  They are having trouble coping with all the emotions that come with this kind of tragedy.  Questions like, could this happen in my school?  What if that had been me?  I know someone that is struggling too...are they going to snap and shoot people too?  All these questions and more are bubbling up in their minds and leaving them shaken and feeling very insecure and unsafe at the moment.  At a time when we should all be coming together to support everyone that has been affected by this horrible tragedy, there are those who are using the victims as "poster children" for their own political agendas.  I find that reprehensible.  One of my friends lost his wife in another school shooting years ago and he was also on staff at the same school when it happened.  He not only had to deal with the horror and unspeakable pain of losing his own wife that day, but also had to help get the situation under control and be there not only for his own children, but also for the rest of the students and staff.  He shared with me that the politicizing of his wife and other's deaths was one of the hardest things to cope with after the fact that he lost the love of his life and students that he also loved.  One of my extended family members, who does not live anywhere near here, did "share" a post doing exactly that within hours of the shooting and I kindly responded that although I know that she feels strongly about the political issue, that right now the community needed our love and support and not to become "poster children" for anyone's political cause and shared how my friend, who had gone through this same kind of tragedy himself, had shared with me how much that had hurt him and his own children.  She did not respond to me (which honestly I was ok with), but did respond to another one of our cousins, who had pointed out that the original source that she shared the post from, was always quick to politicize any kind of violence, if it involved a gun.  That was a bit tense and I am not getting involved there...I have stated how I feel about it all and will leave it right there.

   There are situations in life that leave scars that can never be erased and things that can never be undone.  There is a saying that time heals all wounds.  I find that to be does not and cannot heal them all.  For the family that lost their precious son in the school shooting and who are still reeling from the loss of their husband and father, nothing will ever heal their hearts.  There will always be a hole in their family where these two amazing men should be right now.  For the girls who were randomly shot and injured, I suspect they will always have at least a small part of them that will be on alert for danger and feel a bit unsafe in crowds.  I realize that these are extreme situations, but I also feel like the same thing applies to any situation that leaves deep emotional scars on someone; betrayal, rejection and manipulation by someone you loved and trusted and especially by a family member, being right up there.  In both situations, it was a deliberate choice by someone (or someones) to try and inflict horrific and gut wrenching pain on others who did not deserve it.  And for those that try to capitalize on the pain of others...I'm sure you can surmise how I feel about that also. 

   Trust has been broken.  The feeling of being safe around people that you thought you knew is gone. Knowing that you can be kind, caring, loving and forgiving but still be a target for someone's hate, anger and jealousy is deeply unsettling.  I myself have been a victim of gun violence as a child and the fear of being killed has never left me.  It took me at least 30 years to even be able to be around a gun and 40 years before I could even hold one.  I finally had to come to the realization that it was not the gun that threatened to kill me and my babysitter, but the person with the cold heart holding it. They could have done the same thing holding a knife, a rope or a baseball bat.  I try to avoid people with cold hearts because I know the pain that they can inflict on others and not have any remorse for doing so. There are all kinds of ways people seek to destroy lives and this week, we had to come to terms with and make a decision to walk away from and in a sense "divorce" family due to one of those situations and another where we witnessed the carnage of yet another school shooting and are doing our best to comfort those who have been affected by this senseless tragedy. 

   In light of the school shooting, I ask that you keep everyone in your prayers who has been affected by this.  A precious life has been lost, three more have physical injuries and the emotional scars on students, staff, emergency and law enforcement workers (some of who's own children are in that school), and the community at large are great.  Hug your loved ones, encourage your friends, really listen when someone is struggling and be kind to each other.  You never know who may be struggling and you also never know what tomorrow or even today may hold.  Be blessed.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/2- 9/8 2017



I would like to apologize for those of you who have seen a certain commenter on my blog who includes a link to a rather disgusting adult entert@inment site.  I am trying to delete it as soon as I see it and I would hate to have to start moderating comments, but if they continue to comment here, I may have to.  So if you are reading this and are that certain commenter, please knock it off and do not comment on my site.  Now that that little piece of bloggy business is out of the way, let me give you an update on the fires around us.  We continue to struggle with smoke and fires here and the winds are whipping up here as I write this on Saturday 9/9/17.  The wind is helping to blow some of the smoke out of the area right now, but it also promises to blow more back in later.  There is also the fear of it making the ongoing fires that are burning explode once again and jump containment lines.  I know that the media is focused on the devastating hurricanes, but we are also dealing with devastation due to fires up here also.  Please keep everyone that is dealing with any of this and our brave emergency workers in your prayers.  We all need it right now.  Now, onto the savings...

Jeffs dinner...Chicken breast, green beans from the garden and stuffing.
~We celebrated Jeff's birthday by going out to lunch on Saturday and used gift cards earned through Swagbucks to pay for it.
~We got a free magnetic tool keeper thing after coupon at Harbor Freight.
~I found 2 gorgeous leather Banana Republic purses at a resale shop for $5 each.
~We picked up a few things at the Grocery Outlet while we were up there.
~We bought a new car!  Not the most frugal thing, but the repairs on the other car were going to cost more than it Blue Booked out at.
~When we bought our car, they gave us multiple nice tote bags to put all the stuff from my old car in it to transfer to my new car.
~Our car insurance is going to cost us less due to all the safety features on my new car.

My dinner...chicken breast, squash and tomatoes from the garden and stuffing.

~Sunday we celebrated the baby dedication of our youngest grandson Steven at church and they were very sweet to bless us with a loaf of poppy seed bread.
~We also had a BBQ/potluck at Jaysn and Rachel's house with Rachel's mom and sister, along with our crew to celebrate Steven's dedication and Jeff's birthday.

~More apples, beans, squash and tomatoes were harvested.
~Monday we stayed home so there was no money spent on gas or anything.
~The little boys, Bradley and Isaiah, came and spent Tuesday with us while Chris slept after being up all night fighting wildfires and Heather had appointments.  We had to stay inside due to the smoke so we watched movies, played with Legos and bowled in our long hallway. 😁

~I have been putting the kitchen fruit and veggie peels and cores around the fruit trees to break down into compost.
~Jeff shook out our huge piggy bank and got enough money out of it, along with some other spare change, to pay for his first week of bowling.  The first week costs an additional $25 on top of the weekly fees.
~I've been planning menus and cooking based on what we have on hand for the most part.
~I baked 2 loaves of sandwich bread.

~The library had a book and a movie for me that I had requested.
~We are finishing up the TV series "Last Man Standing" before it is taken off Netflix later this month.
~I placed an order for our supplements at Vitacost using codes there to save 12% sitewide and an additional 20% on all of their own brand vitamins and supplements.  I also went through a link at Swagbucks to get 3 swagbucks per dollar spent.
~I froze a gallon of cherry tomatoes from our garden.

~I made another crockpot full of applesauce from our apples and froze it.
~Chris and Heather gave us $30 to help pay for cat food and kitty litter since we have their 2 cats here living with us.
~I've been working my points programs when time allows.
~The mail brought more free magazines.
~Thursday I stopped at Staples and bought 2 huge double roll 12 packs of toilet paper.  After my coupon, I only paid $2.03 out of pocket!  The young man checking me out was very impressed!

~I stopped at Goodwill looking for some cheap bathtub toys since I had to throw out the old ones and the grandboys were not happy about it.  I did not find any there but I did find a new package of outlet covers for .99 (Rachel needed more for baby proofing because guess who is now beginning to scoot) and a new pair of soft and cozy slippers for $1.99 (future gift or maybe mine).
~I took advantage of some really good deals at one of the grocery stores.  I bought 5 pound bags of onions for $1.67 each (will dehydrate these), mushrooms at $1.47 for 8 oz (I got 2 of these), chicken thighs for .99 a pound (I bought 5 packs and threw them in the freezer), shampoo for .50 a bottle (6 bottles), a cantaloupe for .37 a pound, a container of sour cream for .99, a huge Summer Sausage for $4.99, and bananas at .37 a pound.
~The long haired cats have been leaving hair everywhere and hacking up hairballs so I stopped at the Dollar Tree and got them a brush so I can try to get some of that hair off them.  I picked up a few other items we needed while I was there too including some lavender scented epsom salts to out in my bath and help soak away some of my aching muscles.

 ~One of the hardware stores had all their gardening stuff on sale so I picked up an seed starter kit and am going to try and grow some lettuce inside the house over the cold months.  I have a grow light that I will have Jeff set up for me.
~I gave Jeff a much needed haircut.
~After all my running around, doing the shopping and cutting Jeff's hair on Thursday, I rewarded myself with a nice glass of wine here at home. 😊 Not going to lie, it helped with the stir crazy feeling of being locked up in a hot house due to the smoky skies outside too.

~Friday, my wonderful hanai sister Shannon brought me over a air purifier to use and a bottle of wine.  She is such a sweetheart!  I sent her home with a basket of freshly picked cherry tomatoes from our garden.
~We have been watching the news on Youtube of all places since they have the live streams.  It has helped keep us up to date on the areas that have been hit or will be hit by the hurricanes since we have friends and loved ones in those areas.
~I spent Friday here at home and got my free foraged plums cut up and frozen.
~Friday night I had some Bruschetta, grapes, crackers, summer sausage and wine for dinner.  It was really good and I enjoyed it while watching some shows on Netflix.  Sometimes a girl has to treat herself and I had everything here on hand to do so.

~We SKYPEd several times with our son Josh this week.  It is always so nice to be able to actually see him while we talk.  Only a few more weeks and I get to hug that boy tight!
~I've been monitoring all of our accounts online, especially since the whole Equifax breach.

   So that is it for me my wrap up.  Yes, we spent lots of money on a new car, but it was a need and one that hopefully will serve us well for years to come.  I'm praying that this coming week will be a lot more frugal for us. I'm also looking forward to spending more time with all 3 of our grandsons!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

When You Get Shut Out of the Master Bedroom

Jeff needed to get some sleep on Tuesday afternoon/evening after the long holiday weekend before he headed to work later in the evening.  I closed the master bedroom door so that none of the fur babies would disturb him.  After some pitiful whining, I opened up the door to the back guest bedroom and promptly forgot about it for awhile.

After about an hour, I realized it was way too quite so I went to check things out.  I thought that only Midgey would be in the back bedroom, but nope, she was joined by not only Caesar, but by Doofy too.  They each found a comfy spot to claim as their own.

Does it surprise anyone that Doofy got on the pile of clean blankets and pillows on the top bunk where he could survey his "kingdom" from up high?   They are usually not allowed in this room so they were taking full advantage of it.   

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meet Magnum, My New Ride!

    We were up on Coeur D'alene, Idaho on Saturday celebrating my hubby's birthday and decided to just take a look at what cars they had for sale.  Honestly, we were just going to look.  My car had some electrical problems that were going to be more costly to fix than the car was Blue Booking out for.  It also could not fit all the grandbabies and their car seats in it at one time.  This was a huge problem for this Grammie and needed to be fixed.  I had been doing my research and could not find anything that would work for us that was not super high in mileage for a used vehicle.

    We drove onto this car lot and decided to inquire as to what they had in stock.  My needs list were either 4 wheel or all wheel drive, automatic transmission and a 3rd row of seats.  My wish list, which I did not mention to the sales guy was the automatic lift for the rear hatch, a back up camera, leather heated seats, a great sound system and maybe even a dvd player for the grandboys to watch on long trips.  He showed me was love at first sight!  Magnum is fully loaded with everything I wanted, wished for and more!  Magnum has a built in little cooling compartment between the second row of seats to keep drinks and things cool, a dvd player in the dashboard in addition to the one in the back for the kids (I don't think I will be using the dashboard one), a navigation system, blu tooth sync to our phones for hands free phone calls, can record and store your favorite cds in your own personal jukebox, the has and brake peddles are adjustable for the needs of short and very tall people,   It also has viewing windows with shades over the 2nd and 3 row of seats plus a sunroof over the driver's seat.  The 3rd and 2nd row of seats fold flat to hauling larger cargo.  The best part though is the crumple technology that they have for it would get into an accident.  It has zones in the front that crumple one at a time and the engine drops down below so you do not have the entire thing come right into the cab if you are hit head on.  I love that!  Yes, we did spend more than we wanted to but Magnum is still young since he is a 2011 model and it fit all of our needs.  We did get a trade in on my old car and put some money down too.  Magnum is still surprising us with all his features and we just let our oldest son play with him to discover them all and then he teaches us about it.  Everyone in the family is in love with Magnum and is very happy to welcome him into the family.

I wrote this post before the smoke got too bad on Sunday Morning.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Smoke Filled Skies and We are Burning Up

We are surrounded by wildfires burning all around us.

There are currently 74 wildfires in our state, Montana and Idaho that are all seriously affecting our air quality.

The smoke has made our air quality in the hazardous for you health range.

It seeps into our home at night and we wake up coughing.

My throat is raw and sore and we can't use the swamp cooler when the air quality is like this.

Our son Chris had been been coordinating the firefighting efforts at one of the fires that is near his brother in laws house and is now the official police liaison with the press.  The State of Idaho has finally taken over command of coordinating the fire fighting efforts themselves. He is not only a police officer, but a volunteer firefighter as well and knows the area that is burning better than most people since he does the forest patrol there in the Summer.
Our son Chris who has already put in 60 hours at work as a sheriff's deputy on this fire and who is heading out tonight as a volunteer firefighter to try to keep it from spreading any further.

Please pray for all the firefighters, people affected and the animals too.  While Texas is drowning and getting lots of attention, we up here have one of the hottest and driest Summers in history and are literally burning up.

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 8/26-9/1 2017



It was a long week with lots going on.  This weekend has also been a very busy one that has kept us on the go, so I am late getting this posted.  Our skies have been filled with smoke off and on and some days have been absolutely horrible...more on that in another post.  So here we go, better late than never.

~Jeff and I took Caesar for a walk and foraged for more plums.
~Bradley and Isaiah ended up staying here for part of the morning on Saturday while Heather ran into town to get a flat tire fixed and they helped me harvest tomatoes, beans and peppers from the garden.  The practiced their pitching by throwing rotten apples at the cherry tree (yes, that was my idea) and we pulled some Dora cereal with marshmallows in it out of the pantry for breakfast. 😊
~I watched the hurricane coverage online.  Friends of mine had homes in some of the areas that were hardest hit and I am so glad they evacuated.
~Jeff made some brownies on Saturday from a mix I had in the pantry.

~I was not sure how many people we were going to have here for dinner on Saturday night so I made a bacon ranch pasta salad and added fresh red pepper and some blanched broccoli to it to stretch it and to give it a nutritional and yummy boost.
~Our grandsons love jello with fruit in it so I mixed up some strawberry jello and added the rest of a package of mixed frozen berries that I had in the freezer.
~Chris' truck developed some problems in his way through our town on his way to work the Sprint Boat races on Saturday.  Heather came to pick him up and take him to it and upon arrival here, we found she had a flat tire.  We sent him on to the races in Jeff's car and kept the little boys while Heather went and got her tire fixed.  Heather came back and picked up the boys.  Jeff decided to go and look at Chris' truck and found that the radiator is leaking...not the hose, but the actual radiator. It looks like Heather can return the thermostat that she bought because that was what Chris initially thought was the problem.

~Sunday morning we headed down to the park with Isaiah to hear our hanai son #5 play music for a special service they were having down there.  Listening to him sing and play beautiful worship music was wonderful!  I was also able to reconnect with another young man who we had watched grow up and that I have remained connected to.  It was so good to visit with him also.
~After coming home from the park, Isaiah and I played in the hot tub, not heating it up of course because it was a HOT day.  It felt so good to be in the cool water and Isaiah had a blast.
~Jaysn called and found that they had a water leak in the valve going to their washing machine.  Jeff and I headed in and while Jaysn and Jeff worked on that issue and getting the valve replaced, Rachel and I visited and played with Steven.  Steven is so close to rolling over and it was fun to watch him work really hard trying to do so.  Jaysn and Rachel fed us dinner since we were there until about 8 p.m..
~Bradley, Isaiah and I enjoyed playing the Memory game I picked up recently at Goodwill for $1.99.

~Multiple loads of laundry were hung out on the line to dry.
~Monday Jeff pulled some bagels and a loaf of sourdough bread out of the freezer so I would not have to do any baking.  I was wiped out from our big weekend and the weather forecast was calling for temperatures in the high 90's.  Not a good combination for me.
~I tried to get as much done as I could in the early morning hours on Monday.  We have smoke filled skies again with an air inversion so it locks in the heat later in the day.  I got the gardens watered, the beans picked and started on the laundry.  Both beds needed to be stripped and changed.
~Our dishwasher got a good deep cleaning which was desperately needed.  It was either that or replace the danged thing, and we can't afford to do that right now.
~We had lots of leftovers from the weekend so I did not have to do any really big cooking at the beginning of the week and planned our meals around what we needed to use up.
~I cashed in for $10 in Walmart gift cards at both Swagbucks and at MyPoints.
~Jeff was digging around under the kitchen counter and found some heavy duty cleaners under there that he is going to use to clean up some of his shop stuff.

~I cut a box of fabric softener sheets in half so that gives me enough for 110 loads.  I had previously bought the box at Dollar Tree for $1.
~The smoke got thick in the air with smoke again (from the wildfires) so we closed up the house and got the fans outs to move the air and not bring any more smoke in.  And yes, all the furbabies were brought inside too.
~We received several free magazines and some address labels in the mail.  We had run out of address labels so this was a very nice and welcomed surprise.
~Tuesday we received a coupon for $10 off $10 in regular priced merchandise at Staples, a box with samples in it from PinchMe, and more magazines.

~I made another crockpot full of applesauce from our apples on Tuesday also. I froze all 3 containers of it.
~Jeff picked up 8 more plastic food safe storage containers for me at the Dollar Tree so I can make and freeze more applesauce later in the week.
~Jeff got the battery and alternator tested on his car and found out the alternator was bad.  Luckily he had another one with him and that tested out fine.  This was free to do at the auto supply place.
~I was exhausted and sore after making all the applesauce so Jeff picked up dinner while he was in town.  He bought a take out Chinese meal at the deli and we split it because there is enough food for 2 people.
~Two loaves of sandwich bread and 3 loaves of banana bread were made despite my having something come up in the morning that put me behind on my "to do" list.
~I've been watering early in the morning or later in the evening, depending on what the overnight low temperature will be.

~I heated up some previously frozen homemade split pea soup for a quick lunch.
~Watched more of my tv shows online this week.
~Thursday I made a huge pasta salad using some of the tomatoes from our garden for a big potluck birthday party for our son Chris (I am really missing my son Josh today since he lives in the Washington DC area and it is his birthday too).  It is one of his favorites and luckily is super easy and frugal to make and feeds a crowd.  I was having a bad day pain and energy wise so that is about all I was able to do.
~Jeff picked up 4 two pound blocks of cheddar cheese @ $3.99 each!  SCORE!
~Jeff and I may be upgrading my car since it is having issues, has high miles and I am going to need a bigger one anyway with more seating to fit all the grandkids in.  I went online to see what is available in my price range.
~Friday I picked beans from our garden.
~I printed off some Walmart Gift cards I had earned.
~I worked on my points programs.

~With prices going up again and with the hurricane damaging so much, which will increase prices even more, I took inventory of what we had on hand and made a shopping list of basics that I want to stock up on like flour, sugar, etc. before prices go higher.
~Jeff and I used the $20 in Walmart gift cards to towards a huge bag of dog food for Caesar and a marked down loaf of French bread.  We ended up paying $3.23 out of pocket after the gift cards were applied.
~At Winco we stocked up on things like a huge commercial sized bag of flour for a little over $14.00, some bagels, grapes, milk, creamer, chips on sale (we each got a bag as a treat), sugar, and a few other things.
~We did not grab dinner in town but came home instead and threw something together.

   We made a big but needed purchase over the weekend, so we are needing to cut back on some things even more.  More on that coming up too!