Saturday, March 31, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/24-3/30 2018


My favorite snack of the week.

   I'm "plum tuckered out".  I have not been sleeping well at all and it has taken it's toll on me.  It's now Saturday and I found out last night that Jaysn and Rachel's move has been put on hold for another few weeks...this is after I made a huge pasta salad to feed the moving crew and did some cleaning of our home so it would be ready for everyone and I could concentrate on taking care of our grandson Steven.  Jeff is at their home today getting some things fixed that the home inspector found and I do not expect him home until much later.  I opted to stay home today to rest.  My legs are really hurting today and I'm just feeling "off".  I think we will hot tub later when Jeff gets home and see if that helps.  Just a note...I make my list out here throughout the week each day because well...fibro fog and all. ;)

~Saturday we went over to visit my cousin Jeremy and his dog Maggie and pick up the garden cart that he bought for us at the auction the previous weekend.  Heather and the boys met us there so we could return Bradley's glasses that he left here at our house.  We had a lovely visit and it was so good to be able to spend time with Jeremy (and Maggie) again. 😁
~We headed into town to stop at the Salvation Army to look for the 2 week pill boxes but they did not have any.  They were however having a great sale on certain colored tags.  I managed to find 8 beautiful older china plates that match one that I already have and 4 gorgeous Noritake "White Scapes" dinner plates that look that they were never used.  Jeff found a cd.  Our grand total for all of that came to just a little under $9.00!  The Noritake plates are selling for $43.99 each at

~Sunday we stayed home.  I marinated some skirt steaks in Yoshida's sauce and served those with brown rice and carrot sticks for dinner.  YUM!
~Monday Jeff finished the temporary steps that are sitting directly over the crumbling cement front steps.  We want to take the old ones out, but can't afford to do that right now and then build a new wooden porch and steps, so these will do for now and he was able to use wood we had around here.  They may not be the prettiest things, but they work.
~Jeff ran down to the library for me and picked up 2 more cookbooks that they had there on hold for me.

~I discovered that my computer has a talk to type program but I am finding the formatting strange so I have yet to work that one out.
~Two more loaves of bread and another batch of croutons were made.
~We had leftovers for dinner.
~Tuesday was a stay at home day for me as well.  I did not sleep well again and was still flaring.
~I took a long bath with lavender scented epsom salts  that I had bought previously at the Dollar Tree.  Each bag is enough for 2 baths, so that is .50 a bath.  Not bad.

~When Jeff got up, he made us grilled cheese sandwiches on my homemade yummy!
~I worked on my points programs.
~I was able to have a long chat online with one of my best friends and she shared some wonderful news with me. 😊
~Dinner was a pizza that Jeff pulled out of the freezer.  I stocked up when they were $3.49 each.

~Wednesday Rachel and Steven came out to hang out with me for awhile.  I made us lunch here and we took Steven to the park.  When Jeff got up, he played with Steven before we loaded Rachel's car up with boxes so she could get more packing done.
~I borrowed 3 more movies from the library
~Since I still had some energy but knew that I was going to need to take it easy for the next 2 days so I could help with the moving on Saturday, Jeff and I ran into town and did the grocery shopping.  I scored big time on center loin pork chops in large family packs.  I bought the 2 they had marked down and divided it into 5 meals with 4 pork chops per ziplock bag.  We did use 4 of the chops for dinner that night but froze the other 4 packages.

~I used the leftover brown rice to make a pork chop and skillet casserole for dinner.
~My strawberries needed to be used up so I sliced them and had some of them with dinner.
~I found marked down deli meat, crackers, and yogurt in addition to the pork chops.
~I caught a mistake that was made when we were checking out and that saved us a $4 overcharge.

~Walmart is clearancing a bunch of their winter wear.  I found 2 fleece shirts by Cuddle Duds for $1 each.  They are super soft and warm and are perfect for my flare days when I need the extra warmth.
~Several more shows were watched late into the night online since I was up with a sick dog.
~We earn rewards on our debit card and credit card through our credit union.  I cashed in my reward points for the cash option and had that added to my savings account.

~Thursday turned into a bad crash/flare day so I did the minimum possible.  I got 3 loads of laundry washed and dried, but Jeff had to fold them for me.
~I managed to get some ground venison made into taco seasoned meat for future meals.
~I worked a bit on my points programs.
~Since I was confined to my recliner for most of the day, I watched some more shows online.

~Thursday is Jeff's bowling night.  I needed something easy and that was "comfort food" for dinner since I was flaring.  I used the leftover tuna from Wednesday and made a grilled tuna and cheese sandwich.  It really hit the spot.
~Friday I was feeling a bit better so I made a large container of tortellini pasta and veggie salad to help feed the moving crew that is helping Jaysn and Rachel move on Saturday.
~Jeff picked up a bag of potatoes on his way home from work that were on sale.

    I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter!  Be blessed!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Nudgings and Keep On Keeping On

Doofy cat on his throne (the back on my recliner) after wreaking havoc all over the house.  You can see some of his handiwork on the floor there.

Do you feel it?  That nudging to stock up your pantry, medicine cabinet and everyday household needs like toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, etc?

I don't feel "safe" unless I have a good stock of things here in our home.  Maybe it is because of having so little in times of financial crisis in the past.  Maybe it is because of being raised on a small island where everything had to be shipped in and having lived through shortages.  Maybe it is because I know that my reality, living in a small town with no grocery stores and dealing with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome among other illnesses on a daily basis means that I may not be able to get to the stores to get what I want and need at any moment.  But maybe, it is God nudging me to have my storehouse in order for any and all possibilities.

My crazy fur babies depend on Jeff and I to keep them fed, groomed and taken care of.  We need to make sure that they have what they need.  Wouldn't it be nice not to have to worry about things like they do?  They trust that we will always take good care of them, that their food dish will be full, their water bowls will have fresh water and that the kitties will have a clean litter box.  Treats will be handed out on a regular basis...just because...  😁

Those nudgings also push me to keep on keeping on.  Living with the illnesses that I do means that my energy is limited and that at any moment, I may crash and/or have a flare up.  I do try to pace myself and I look at what I have coming up activity and commitment wise each week and plan accordingly.  

This week I had Rachel and Steven over yesterday and Praise God, I was having the best day with the lowest amount of pain I have had in ages.  I also had quite a bit of energy.  That both thrilled and scared me because it meant that I could get a lot done, but it also usually means I will be having a crash soon.  Yes, it is one of those weird Fibro things again.  I took advantage of that though and got my grocery shopping done in the afternoon, cooked a nice meal for dinner and then retreated to my recliner for the rest of the evening and early morning hours while dealing with dog with an upset stomach.

Today I am working on getting the laundry caught up, doing some more baking and working on a few little projects, making sure to take lots of rest breaks in between.  I am aching and my pain level is steadily getting worse.  Yes, I knew this was coming...I felt it.

Tomorrow will be a day of rest for me for the most part.  I will need to get a huge pasta salad made to help feed the moving crew that will be helping Rachel and Jaysn move on Saturday.  I will have Steven with me on Saturday while the chaos of moving is going on and I need to be well rested to keep up with that little munchkin.  We had planned on going to church with Jaysn and Rachel on Sunday, but I am thinking that I will be in crash mode at that point, so we are playing that one by ear.  I do not do well with big effort and energy output days back to back and usually need a few days in between to recover and get ready for the next one.

I am really trying to work on listening to both those nudgings from God and to my own body about what it is that both He is telling me and what my body needs.  I am admitting defeat at times (that is the hardest thing for me, admitting that I can't do it all and that I need help) and coming to terms with my new "normal" and that I am not the person that I once was.  My amazing family has been totally supportive of me and are willing to help me whenever needed, including knowing that if I can't make an event, that it is not because I don't want to, but that I just am in too much pain to do so.  That is a huge gift from them to me grace.

We just keep on keeping on around here, doing what we can to make life easier for both of us.  My hubby also has chronic pain in his back and hands (what a pair we make) and I worry about him.  He and I both try to do what we can to ease the burden on each other and we push through pain as much as we can until one of us tells they other to stop and rest or we come to our senses on our own.  One of us is better at doing that than the other...just saying. 😉  I'll let you guess which one that is.

Update:  Well I went into crash mode big time and the baking did not get done.  I managed to get the laundry washed and dried, but Jeff had to do the folding for me.  I did also get some ground venison made into taco meat, so that is ready for us to use but everything else has been put on hold for the moment.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/17-3/23 2018


   I know, I am late again.   I am having trouble typing today and my hands are really hurting.  Yesterday and today have been bad flare days and today, I am really feeling it in my hands.  I've also popped a new Fibro symptom, so that takes me up to 169 out of 200.  😖  So please bear with me as I get thos post done and forgive me in advance if there are typos...the Fibro Fog is bad today also.

~Saturday we had our oldest 2 grandsons spend the night with us.  We worked on puzzles, hot tubbed, they each got to pick out a toy at Goodwill, we watched one of their favorite shows and spent lots of time cuddling.
~My father has his 80th birthday coming up and he and my mom are planning a big trip to Europe.  I was trying to come up with an idea for a gift for him.  I stumbled across a brand new in package luggage locking strap with a built in scale to weight your luggage.  It originally retailed for $30 and I got it for $5.99.  This is a useful gift for both my parents and one that will come in handy as they have fun shopping all over Europe and have to bring things home. 😉
~We stopped at 2 pet stores to pick up some things and the little boys were thrilled to see all the animals there.
~I had a coupon for a free bag of cat treats from Petco and got some.

~I also had a coupon for a free item at Bath and Body Works.  Isaiah helped me pick out a aromatherapy spray that is really calming.
~I did not sleep well Saturday night so Jeff got up early with the grandboys on Sunday morning and made them pancakes with bananas.  I was seriously impressed and the grandboys love it!
~Sunday Jeff and I did our big grocery shopping trip and were very careful to watch our budget.
~We stopped by to see my cousin Jeremy at an auction at the fairgrounds.  There was a garden cart there that Jeff wanted so we set a limit on what we would pay and Jeremy was able to get it for us for under our limit!  Yay! I need to go and pick it up and leave him a check for it now. Jeremy also surprised me by bidding on choice of sterling silver rings and had me pick out a ring.  I picked a beautiful turquoise ring.  I told him that had to be an early birthday present.  Jeremy spoils us all!

~Monday I trimmed my bangs.
~Our library had a book and and movie on hold for me.
~Jeff pruned our Summer apple tree and Caesar "helped" him with all the branches.
~I was really tired by the end of the day but still managed to make us a quick dinner of pan fried chicken and two side dishes.  Jeff had mashed potatoes and I had quinoa and kale.
~I loaned my neighbor my heat and vibrating hand held massager.  Her doctor told her that it should help break things up in her lungs (she has pneumonia).  I told her that she should come and use our hot tub too as the warmth of the water and the jets would help loosen things up also.

~I harvested some green onions from our garden to use in a salad for lunch.
~I got a letter in the mail from our old health insurance company saying that they denied the claim for my recent doctor's visit...well of course they did, we are no longer with them!  I called my doctor's office to tell them about the mix up in billing.  Our doctor's office does not do the billing themselves since they are part of a larger network but the sweet receptionist said that she had our newer insurance info on her computer and that she would call them and have them enter that right information and send the claim to the right insurance company for me.  Sometimes I seriously wonder about some of these billing departments.
~Tuesday was a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed looking throughout my garden and see what all was coming up!

~I got a free magazine subscription from PinchMe and will be donating the magazine to the library.
~I'm trying to work my points programs as much as I can.  The goal is to go back to getting Walmart gift cards to help with expenses so that frees up more money to use for our two vacations this year.
~Wednesday was NOT a good day pain wise so I spent a lot of time getting caught up on shows online.  I was also going on about 4 hours of sleep, so that did not help.
~Despite the pain, I still managed to get 2 loads of laundry done, make 2 loaves of bread and made some homemade croutons with the leftover bread from last week.
~Jeff made me a sandwich for dinner because I was totally spent by the time that rolled around.

~I had Jeff stop and pick up some precooked BBQ ribs that we half price at the grocery store.
~Thursday Jeff and I watched "Survivor" online.  We love that show!
~I discovered that the Roku channel has some of my favorite old TV series on it!  I am excited to be able to watch "Grace Under Fire" and "I Dream of Jeanie" again.  Jeff is excited for the old westerns.
~Caesar has a problem with his ears so I cleaned them out and put some olive oil in them and massaged it in.  It made him feel better.
~I did manage to get a shower and get dressed in real clothes (not jammies) and even blow dry my hair.
~Lunch for me was some leftover quinoa and kale sauteed with some olive oil, garlic, lemon and some salad shrimp.  It was delicious!

~Jeff picked up another baby gate on sale at Shopko.  We needed one for in front of the pellet stove so that Steven could not get to it and get burned.
~Dinner was clam chowder.  I try to always keep my favorite brand of clam chowder in the is comfort food.
~Friday I had more energy and decided to run into town by myself to pick up my prescription.  Probably not the best idea I found out later.  I did not realize how bad my brain fog really was.  I decided to cut my trip short and just make 3 stops.

~At Walmart I picked up a reduced priced sandwich (since I forgot to eat), some reduced price cheese, my peach flavored vitamin drinks, milk and my prescriptions.  I was able to get a 3 month supply of one of them, but my health insurance will only help pay for a 1 month supply at a time of the other. 
~My next stop was the DMV to get an application for a handicap placard for my car.  I am going to ask my doctor at my next appointment about getting one for those days when I am flaring but still need to go somewhere.  Walking on those days is difficult enough without having to walk from the far end of a parking lot.

~My final stop was at the thrift store.  I knew I needed to look for something there but could not remember what that was (see, this is why I need to always write things down).  I figured that I would remember when I got in there...nope.  I did however find 3 movies and a really comfortable long casual dress that I can wear here and will also be taking to Las Vegas when we go in October.  It will be cool enough to wear in the heat and with a light jacket, can also be worn at night for going out.  The movies were $2.99 each and the dress was $4.48  When I got home I remembered that I was supposed to be looking for 2 week pill boxes for Jeff and I.  I frequently see them there and I wanted 2 of them for our trip since the ones we use at home are for 1 week.

~Jaysn and Rachel came out to look at an apartment and to meet with the owners.  They have it on hold for them and will know on Thursday if the sale of their house is definitely going through.  They have to be out of their home by April 18th if all goes well.  The apartment is across the street and 2 houses down from us!  We watched Steven (he is now walking at 10 months old just like his older cousin Bradley did) when they went down there and then we had them all stay for dinner. 
~Dinner was precooked BBQed ribs that we got earlier in the week at half price, baked sweet potato rounds with Chipotle salt and a Romaine lettuce salad with your choice of hard boiled eggs, avocado and dressings.
~I gave Rachel a bag full of transition cups that moves from bottles to soft nipple sippy cup to regular sippy cups for Steven.  He did pretty well with the soft nipple sippy cup I have here for him that he tried for the first time today. 😊  I also sent her home with a Money magazine (free subscription).
~I watched an episode of "Frontier House" on Youtube.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Things We Don't Spend Money On

Green beans from our Summer Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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

I got this beauty for half off!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ramping Up and a Cute Distraction


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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

Some thrift store finds!

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

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

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

Roast Beef and Asparagus Roll Ups.

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

I loved this movie that we borrowed from the library.

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

Squash casserole and leftover asparagus made for the perfect dinner.

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

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

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

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

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