Thursday, May 31, 2018

Feeling the Love of Family


   We got back from our family reunion on Monday and I have been trying to play catch up around here.  It was better than any of us could have imagined with lots of love, laughter, good food, time out on the lake, kayaking and family heirlooms shared.  My parents had rented the house next door to their home for my crew and it was amazing and had room for all of us plus there was a hot tub that my kids, grandkids, brother Eric and his boys all enjoyed also. 💓

   We finally met Josh's girlfriend Lauren and she is a total delight and fits right in with the rest of us.  😊  She is strong and determined, down to earth and so much fun.  I can totally see why our Josh loves her so much.  Speaking of which, the home they are buying is now officially theirs and the are busy picking out paint colors for the walls.  Yay!

   Our grandboys and our nephews, who are all 14 years old and younger, played really well together and created some new "cousin bonds" that will last the rest of their lives.  My sister in law Christie brought over some bubble gloves and had the whole crew out playing with them on the front lawn.  Christie is an amazing mommy and auntie who is always thinking of fun things to do with the kids.  Everyone should have a Christie in their lives.

   It was so nice to spend time with both my brothers and my parents, and see my cousin Jeremy get to know the whole crew also.  One of the highlights of our time there was watching the joy on my father's face as he looked out from his porch down at the dock where lots of the family was gathered playing in the water and on the floaties and kayaks.  I asked him if he could have ever imagined that moment when they first built their home and he said no.  The pride and joy in his eyes and the smile on his face at 80 years old seeing his legacy and family all together nearly brought me to tears.  It is one of those moments in time that I will always cherish.

   My parents blessed us with a night out at the Bigfork Playhouse for a musical review of the 80's.  Josh, Lauren, Jeff, Cade (my oldest nephew) and I all went to it.  It was a night full of music, trivia with audience participation, laughter and good music.  It amazed me that my nephew knew so many of the lyrics to the songs!  He also shared some deep personal stuff with us and I felt honored that he trusted us so much to do so.  I love both he and his brother so very much and I want them to know that Uncle Jeff and I will always be here for them.

   One of the activities that my parents had us do while we were there was for all of us to go through the house and pick out things that we wanted after they were gone.  At first we were all a bit uncomfortable with it but Mom explained that it would make it easier on them and on all of us later.  Each of their children, adult grandchildren and my cousin took turns picking things out.  It was amazing to see what meant the most to everyone.  Some of the things have great monetary value, but most were sentimental items and those were the things that were picked out first.  My mother had us go through her quilts and pick which ones we wanted also.  Some of them came home with us now and some will come later since she still needs to finish them or she is still enjoying them.  My parents sent some of the other things home with us now and we will be getting the rest of the the items later.  One of the things that evoked a lot of laughter was when we opened a box that had my old majorette uniforms in it.  My boys could not believe that I fit in that tiny little sequined bodysuit. 😁 I could not believe Mom had kept it!  It was in a box full of family heirlooms including both my mother and my Uncle Dave's baby book along with their baby shoes.  That box came home with me along with Grandma's teacup collection.  We asked Jeremy if he wanted his father's baby book, but he told me to keep it which is totally understandable given their relationship.  My cousin was given an antique family clock that belonged to our Grandpop and we were all very happy about that since he and his brother are the last of the Ricker line of men in our family.  

   As for how I fared health wise, I did have several flares while there due to overdoing it and eating way too much rich and delicious foods.  I am still flaring (but I expected and planned for it) and I know it will take some time to get back to my "normal".  My entire family was amazing though and really watched out for me telling me to relax and pitching in when they could see me fading.  My mother and I had a talk about my health and we can trace symptoms and other things back to my childhood.  She also has been researching some things and is sending me information on what she has found that might be able to help me.  

   I think all of us came away from our family reunion with a deeper love and stronger bonds than ever before.  Lauren even mentioned to Josh that she felt like our family had accepted her and made her one of us.  My mother had everyone make quilt squares where she had us draw on them with something that represented us, our family or our time there.  She is making a memory quilt using those along with pictures from our time there and I am sure that it will be a much treasured piece of our family history.  While Lauren was making her square, I told her that it was official, she was going in the family quilt and that made her part of the family already.  She and Josh are planning on getting married in the future.  I could not even hope for a better future wife for our Josh...she is simply lovely inside and out!

   Upon leaving to come home, we were all looking forward to another family reunion in the future.  We realize that our time together is precious and with my parents aging, that opportunity to all be together is limited in how many more years we may have to do this before they are gone.  As our family continues to grow, I pray that we have many more opportunities to gather together and enjoy each other's company, share good food, lots of laughter and love.  Family is the greatest treasure and blessing in our lives and fills my love tank to overflowing.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/12-5/18 2018


   Please forgive me if you find typos in this post.  I am going on about an hour of sleep today.  I had all the grandboys up here early this morning while Heather, her mother Tammy, Jaysn and Rachel all ran in the Color Fun Run here for our town's celebration.  The little boys were so good helping me take care of Steven.  It's Steven's first birthday today also!!!  I can't believe that baby is 1 year old already!🎈🎈🎈  Our water heater went out early this morning so Jeff took a cold shower when he got home very early this morning after I had been asleep for about an hour. He could not get warm after that so I was up with him.  I ran down and took a shower at Jaysn and Rachel's at about 7:00 a.m.. and got home right in time for the little boys to get here.

~Saturday Jeff and I stayed home and he worked on the getting the side garden finished off so I could get things seeded in.  While doing this we found lots of volunteer kale, sunflowers and dill.  Free food!
~We gave a flat of strawberry plants from our garden to our neighbors.
~Rachel came up and helped me get the lettuces, swiss chard, collards, and cabbages all seeded in.
~I made a huge pasta and veggie salad for our family Mother's Day and Jeremy's birthday celebration the next day.

~Jeff and I used the hot tub that night.
~Sunday Jeff and I used the hot tub during the day when the water's temperature was a 90F.  It felt good on a hot day but still helped relax our muscles.
~Later that afternoon the family all arrived and we had a feast with everyone contributing something.  Jaysn and Rachel brought hamburgers and hot dogs (which Jeff grilled up) and buns, Heather brought two delicious desserts, Jeremy brought pickles, multiples bags of different kinds of chips, pineapple and watermelon, I did the pasta salad, juices, iced tea and the condiments for the burgers and hot dogs.
~There was tons of food leftover and most of it was left with us.  We sent some home with Jaysn and Rachel later in the week.
~My gifts and cards from the kids were just lovely.  Rachel and Jaysn got me an orchid lei (made me cry because it is part of the culture that I grew up in) and Heather, Chris and the boys gave me a beautiful framed picture of their family (I had been wanting one).  Josh sent me two sentimental that made me cry and the other was hilarious!  Jeff gave me the sweetest card and had already gotten me my fuchsias.

~We took a short walk down to the park so the big boys (yes, the men) could play basketball.  We had to leave early though since someone was using Round UP and that set off my allergies big time.
~Our neighbors, who I gave the strawberry plants to, gave us 4 basil plants and 3 sage plants.  I sent a basil plant home with Heather and another with Jeremy.  Rachel and I have our's here along with the sage plants.  I thought it was so sweet of her to share with us.
~Monday we had leftovers for dinner.
~I went to the library and borrowed 2 movies..."Justice League" and "Paddington 2".
~Lots of laundry was washed and hung out on the line to dry.
~Jeff finished cleaning out the front garden of all the thistles so that I could get that planted later in the week.
~I made 2 loaves of bread.
~Steven saw Grammie go by in the car from his window and got really sad when I did not stop so I went down to see him later in the day and fed him while his daddy got something to eat.  Rachel, who had a bible study class, came home a bit later and we had a nice time together before I headed back home.
~Jaysn and I looked up how to recharge the freon in his car on YouTube.  Unfortunately, the filler kit valve we had was defective so it did not work right when we tried to do it.
~It has been getting really hot here over the weekend and at the first part of the week so I have been trying to get the cold air in at night and the early morning hours and then close up the house during the hottest part of the day.  Jeff did not have the Swamp cooler ready to go so we relied on fans until he was finally able to get to it.  He has been super busy trying to get the gardens ready for me lately.  Love that man of mine!

~Tuesday was a stay at home morning for me and a hot one.  I decided that I would put off cooking up huge batches of shoyu chicken until the next day when it would be much cooler.  I took the opportunity instead to try and get caught up on some things online and greatly enjoyed seeing what many of my online friends were keeping busy with also.
~Around noon I realized that I had not eaten anything so I fixed myself a bowl of cottage cheese and some of the leftover fresh pineapple from Mother's day....YUM!
~Jeff and I headed into town to drop off some donations at the Goodwill.  They give you a 20% coupon off one item with your donation.  Jeff found a surge protector power strip that was all fancy like so he got that and used the coupon in it.  I found a slide out lid organizer to help corral all the lids to my Pyrex containers.  We also found a mug from the college that my parents went to.  The last items I found were all on the half price color tag sale and I was thrilled!  I had been wanting to pick up the dvds of the show "Family Affair" that I watched as a young child with my mother.  They had seasons 1-4 there along with season 1 of the show "Eight is Enough".  I got each season for $3.  I paid less for all 4 seasons at Goodwill than I would have on one season through!
~Wednesday I ran errands with Rachel (I drove this time) and found some Pedialyte marked down that was still good until next year.  I bought some to have on hand for Steven since it has been getting so hot so quickly and I worry about him getting dehydrated.
~I picked up more of the soda Jeff likes at the Dollar Store since they are only $1 for 2.5 liters.
~I found a kitchen set with 2 towels, a hot mitt and a pot holder for under $5 at Walmart.  It will be a wedding gift for some friends that are getting married this weekend.
~It rained both Wednesday night and for most of the day Thursday on and off so that saved on having to water the gardens.  I noticed on Thursday morning that some of the seeds I planted are coming up in the side garden and I am beyond thrilled!
~Thursday I cooked up 7 family packs of chicken thighs for an upcoming family event.  We did have 3 chicken thighs for dinner along with some rice and avocado since there was no way I was going to cook something different for dinner after doing the chicken in batches.
~Jeff and I watched "Survivor" online.
~Friday I was dealing with another flare so I rested for the day.  I did managed to get some laundry done and vacuumed since my hubby had to run some errands in the afternoon.

   I hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Slugs on the Ceiling, Oil on Doorknobs and a Sink Full of Chicken

   Oh what a morning it has already been and it is just a little after 8 a.m.!  I got up, turned on the coffee maker and went to let Caesar out into the backyard.  It had rained last night and we had a small thunderstorm so everything smelled nice and fresh, just the way I like it. :)  However, that thunderstorm seemed to have caused something I have never experienced before...slugs on the metal roof and inside ceiling of our screened in porch.  This was not a sight I really wanted to see first thing in the morning before I even had coffee in me.  I got the offenders down before the cats flipped out and went after them.  Somehow the thought of them eating slugs makes me want to gag. 😝

   Next on the agenda was to get my computer out of the front bedroom so that I could check on the weather forecast for the day.  My sinuses and head were telling me it might be a doozy of a day and I wanted to check and see.  I went to grab to doorknob and found it covered with motor oil.  All I can figure is that my husband decided to change the oil in one of the cars when he got home early this morning and while I was still asleep.  Either that or we have a bad oil leak in one of the the cars and he was checking on that...I sure hope not.  That is the last thing we need right now.  Either way, it was gross and I was not happy at all about it.

   Now, for the sink full of frozen chicken.  I need to get enough chicken cooked for our family reunion next week.  I am making shoyu chicken, which I will precook and then freeze so I can safely take it over with me.  We will then thaw it out and throw it on the grill to caramelize.  It is amazing stuff!  I found the chicken thighs on sale awhile back and bought 8 packages of them.  Each package has 6 large thighs in it.  I am cooking up 7 of those packages later today.  That should give me 42 pieces of chicken to feed 18 people (well 19 if you count Steven, but he is not eating that kind of food yet).  I figured on 2 pieces of chicken each with a few extras.  One of the 18 does not eat meat so he will just have the side dishes and one of my nephews will just eat one piece, while the other, who is a teenager will most likely have 2 or 3 pieces.  I never know with my older two grandsons how much they will eat but I do know they love chicken fixed this way so I am thinking 2 for each of them.  I'll cook the chicken in batches reusing the same sauce for all the batches.  It takes a lot of soy sauce to make this dish since you have to boil the chicken in equal parts sugar, soy sauce and water with some garlic and ginger added in also.  Luckily, I stocked up on soy sauce when it was on sale awhile back also.  I'll serve brown rice, salad and corn as the side dishes and will figure out a dessert also.  This is typical Hawaiian style comfort food.  My youngest brother's wife, Christie, was also raised in Hawaii and their kids eat lots of local style foods so I figured this was a safe bet since their youngest son is a very picky eater.  I also know it is a winner with everyone else in the family.

   So that is the start to my day.  I'm now sitting out on the porch with my coffee, listening to the dog next door bark because he is not happy about being told he has to go potty before being let in the house.  Poor Ollie, he is a cutie and I love him. ;)  Meanwhile, my Caesar is just laying out there in the yard enjoying the cooler weather with that super thick coat of fur of his.  What a life!


Monday, May 14, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/5-5/11 2018

Free kitchen items including Pampered Chef Pizza Stones.

~Saturday I cashed in at Swagbucks for a Walmart gift card.  Since it is my first cash in of the month, I got it for 2,200 points instead of the regular 2,500 points.
~Saved a liquid creamer container to use to put sugar in over the Summer months.  We tun our swamp cooler when it is hot and the sugar gets caked up in the sugar bowl due to the moisture but should be fine if we use the creamer container to keep the moisture out.

More free kitchen stuff.

~I watched a lot of the Kilauea volcano eruption coverage online.  I grew up on the island where it is happening and have friends that live in the area that is being affected.
~Jaysn, Rachel, Steven, Jeff and I all piled into our car to make a spontaneous ice cream run on Saturday afternoon.  It was so much fun and Steven sure enjoyed his ice cream!
~We stopped at Walmart and I found a beautiful fuchsia hanging plant marked down from $28.?? to $11.48;  I got it and told Jeff it was my Mother's Day gift from him. 😉

Penne pasta with sausage and fresh buttered bread.

~Jeff and I watched a movie that I borrowed from the library.
~I made a nice dinner Sunday night with Penne pasta, garlic herb sausage and garlic herb pasta sauce along with French bread.

Free storage drawers...I already gave some away.

~Sunday Jeff and I went "treasure hunting" again.  I am shocked by what the college kids throw out.  We found more furniture, household goods, cat toys, wood that Jeff can use to build things, clothing and bedding (we donated a ton of it), cleaning supplies, and even a smaller HP laptop that I had Jaysn wipe the old files from and get set up for me.  The battery does not work (I can replace that) but it works fine when plugged in.  I will use it when we travel since it is compact and the top actually closes (the one I use on a daily basis does not let the top close).  Oh we also found bags of canned foods that the students who were leaving were just throwing out.

Some of the clothing items I kept.

~We gave Rachel and Jaysn a smaller dresser that was on wheels that we found for them to use for Steven's toys in their living room.  I also gave Rachel one of the Pampered Chef pizza stones that I found last week after I got it all cleaned up of course. She mentioned that she wanted one and I was more than happy to share my bounty with her. 😊
~Monday I made 2 loaves of bread, a batch of cookies, 2 batches of croutons, did 6 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and then went into a major Fibro Flare/crash.

Winter jackets, wool jackets, leather jackets, brand new purse and backpacks...all found treasures.

~I actually took a nap on Monday when the flare/crash hit.
~Jeff cooked up a pot pie for dinner for me.
~Jaysn and Rachel gave us a gas container with gas in it for our lawnmower which was a huge blessing since Jeff was just about out of gas.  They also brought up the propane tank from their grill (which they have in storage) for us to use since we will all be using our grill for awhile.  I do love having them so close!
~Doofy cat is loving the kitty toys we found.  He goes and picks out which one he wants to play with out of the basket and then goes nuts!  The other cats are not very interested in them at this point.
~Tuesday I continued to do laundry and hung it out on the laundry line to dry since it was a breezy and warm day.  I did pace myself though since I was still having a flare but it was not as bad as the day before where I had to hang onto the walls to walk.

New Hamper.

~I took a walk around the garden and soaked in the beauty of all the flowers that are starting to bloom.
~I cashed in for a $10 Walmart gift card through MyPoints.  It came right away into my inbox and I found the one I cashed in for at Swagbucks waiting for me there also.
~Tuesday evening we had a storm system move in with high winds.  I went outside and took my hanging fuchsia plant down and set it on walkway next to the house where it would be protected.
~Dinner on Tuesday night was a frozen pizza that I baked up and a side salad.  Both Jeff and I were too tired to cook much since I was still feeling my Fibro flare and he had been working out in the yard for about 2 hours.

Pizza and salad for dinner.

~Wednesday was a bad day flare wise so I spent most of the day in bed or in my recliner.  I watched a lot of YouTube and later Jeff and I watched Survivor online.
~Jeff and I split a chicken strip dinner from the tavern.  I did not have the energy to stand up and cook and it was all that sounded good anyway.  It was the first meal I had all day.
~Around 11:30 p.m., I was hungry so I made a batch of pancakes with my homemade mix.  I had one and refrigerated the rest of them for a future meal.
~Thursday I placed an order through for dog food, cat food and 2 40 pound bags of kitty litter.  My original order came to $85.96 but after sales, coupons and free shipping, I got it down to $36.61 and they deliver straight to my door.
~I had leftover pancakes for lunch.

Medium sized pet carrier and a vacuum cleaner...yep  Free!

~Safeway had some amazing Just4U coupons that I uploaded to my card. One of the coupons was for free ice cream! 🍨
~I pulled some frozen homemade chicken noodle soup out of the freezer and heated that up for dinner.  I also pulled out some frozen homemade chunky applesauce, thawed that and made a nice apple crisp type dessert with it.  Hubby was very happy!
~Friday I made a detailed shopping list so that I would not forget anything.  Still in a fibro flare so my brain is mush and my body is aching big time.

Apple Crisp made with homemade chunky applesauce.

~We used our $35 in Walmart gift cards to buy what we needed and a birthday gift for my cousin Jeremy.  We got him a huge tomato plant for his garden.
~Dollar Tree was my go to to find all kinds of bath and pampering items for my girls for Mother's Day.  I was able to give them matching all natural soap and lotions sets, and 2 different kinds of bath bombs.  They loved it! I got all the cards we needed their also.

Movies from the Dollar Tree

~Dollar Tree also had some movies so I picked up 4 that sounded interesting.
~I got my free gravy mix at Safeway but they were out of the .99 each artichokes.  I got a raincheck for 8 of those.  I also found marked down fake crab and some marked down shrimp.

New men's dress shoes....Free and we scored 2 pairs.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Link Between Bad Weather and Fibro Flares


   I'm totally frustrated today.  Monday morning, I overdid it and we had a bad weather front coming in that evening.  By the afternoon, I was feeling it and had to hold onto the walls to walk because I was in so much pain from a bad Fibro Flare.  Tuesday I could walk without holding onto the walls and felt a bit better but was still on more pain than my normal everyday pain.  Wednesday was a bad day and I had to cancel out on taking care of my youngest grandson.  Thursday I managed to do some laundry and cook dinner, but that wiped me out.  My day was made brighter by a short visit from my son Jaysn and grandson Steven.  Friday, when I thought I should be over this flare already, I was still in it and was frustrated and just plain mad.   What kept it going despite my resting a lot?  The bad weather....grrrrrrr. 😠

   It has been gray, cold, windy and rainy for the most part.  We have had some breaks of sunshine and I notice my pain will ease up a bit when that happens, but then it gets yucky again and my pain levels rise and my energy drops.  In talking to other people with Fibromyalgia, weather changes seem to be one of the huge contributing factor to our flares.  Some people are affected by the cold weather, some by the hot weather and then there are the "lucky ones", like me, that are affected by hot, cold and every barometric change coming through. 😝  It is miserable!

   I am on day 4 of living in my pajamas.  Yesterday I did not even have the energy to shower since I used it all up doing 2 loads of laundry and making dinner.  Today I need to run to several stores to do the grocery shopping and to get Mother's Day gifts for my girls and a birthday gift for my cousin Jeremy.  We are having a family BBQ up here at our house on Sunday afternoon and everyone is bringing a dish to share which makes life a whole lot easier for everyone.  If the weather does not get better, Jeff will be helping me chop all the veggies for the veggie pasta salad.  This afternoon, after he gets up,  he will be driving me to all the stores since I can't trust myself to drive when the pain levels are this high.  Just taking a shower, styling my hair and getting dressed is going to take a lot of my limited energy, but it has to be done.  I am going to need tomorrow to rest again so I can be semi human and functioning for Sunday.  I have a feeling that I will be heading straight to bed or to my recliner as soon as we get home from shopping.  I'm just praying that tomorrow the weather will change to being nicer and that my flare will finally subside.  Such is life with this debilitating disease that has no cure.  How fitting is it that tomorrow is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day?  Very much so indeed.




Friday, May 4, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 4/22-5/4 2018 Two Week Edition

   This is another two week version of my Frugal Friday Wrap Up Post.  I have been really busy lately and have not had the time to keep up on anything it seems.  I still need to go and visit all of my wonderful online friends post.  Hopefully I can get to more of that this weekend...

~Saturday Jeff and I stayed home and got some things done around the house.  Jeff worked in the garden and draining and cleaning the hot tub and then refilling it while I did a few things in the house.
~I made steak salads with leftover steaks.
~Rachel was doing laundry up here and hung almost everything out on the line to dry.
~Sunday we watched Steven so that Rachel and Jaysn could have a day to themselves and go out to lunch after church and then to a movie.

~We took a nice walk around town and that finally got Steven to sleep.
~We picked some flowers from our garden and took them over to Aunt Norma which delighted her and Uncle Bob.  They both enjoyed watching Steven shamelessly flirt with Aunt Norma. It was great to see them really enjoying themselves.  They have had a really go of it lately with Aunt Norma's health.
~I made us a nice dinner of skirt steaks marinated in Yoshida's sauce, brown rice, salad, green beans and squash.  I saved some of the steaks for another meal later in the week.
~Jaysn brought up some Devil's food and raspberry cupcakes that Rachel made as a thank you for watching Steven.  They were delicious!
~Jeff and I hot tubbed and it felt wonderful.  I slept for 10 hours after that which surprised even me.  I guess I was more worn out than I thought. Most of that was light sleep, but hey, I'll take it.
~Monday Jeff pruned the raspberry patch and got the raspberry stalks tied back up so they will be easier to pick from.
~I washed all the sheets, towels and our comforter and got them hung out on the line to dry.

~We had our main meal of the day for lunch.  I made salmon loaf, brown rice and sliced apples.  The kitties and Caesar were treated to the skin and oil from the canned salmon.  Talk about happy furbabies!
~With the weather being so much warmer, I made a pitcher of iced green tea using 4 teabags.  It will be so good as the temperatures continue to climb.
~A menu plan for the week was done up with input from my amazing hubby.  I am trying to include some of his favorites in each week.
~Tuesday Rachel came up and asked me if I wanted to go into town with her since she had to run some errands.  I happily accepted.
~We stopped at the home Improvement store and I found the water cleaner stuff I needed for the hot tub, mouse traps (cats were chasing a mouse in the early morning hours that morning), and a lemon thyme plant.
~At the thrift store I found 3 more shirts for me for .50 each.  I think I am all set for the Summer now.

~Safeway had my favorite seltzer waters in the clearance section so I got both that they had.  I also got pizza dough for .99, break and bake cookies for $1.25 and Cream of Mushroom soup for .69 each.  I also won a free loaf of French bread in their Monopoly game.  I gave the rest of the game pieces to Rachel to see if she could win something. :)
~Dinner was cheddar beer brats on buns and sweet potato slices along with some fruit.
~Jeff and I took a walk after dinner and stopped to visit with Uncle Bob and Aunt Norma.  I love that we live in a small community where people still stop and visit when you are out on a walk.
~Wednesday I was in another bad Fibro flare.  I did have a good run there with good days so this was to be expected.  It's ok though...I am just thankful for the run of good days.  This too shall pass. 😉
~I made 2 more loaves of sandwich bread and some croutons for Jeff.
~A book came in at the library that we requested for Steven so I went down to get it.  While I was there I ran into one of my favorite former students who is now expecting her first child. It was so nice to share a hug and see how she is doing.
~More banana peels were put around the base of the rose bushes.

~Rachel and I got the strawberry plants relocated back into the strawberry bed. 
~Thursday I was feeling better but still took it really easy in the morning.  By the afternoon I had some energy and decided to drive into town by myself and do all the shopping that needed to be done.  I figured that if it wore me out, I would still have Friday to recover before the little boys came to spend the night on Saturday. I did really well driving and being able to pay attention.  I would NOT have driven if I felt there was a chance that I could not do so.
~I asked a big strong college student for help in the parking lot at Winco to lift the 50 pound bag of flour I bought.  He was very sweet and did it for me.  I stocked up on sale priced apples, cucumbers, coleslaw mix and some other things.  I also found marked down lamb chops and pork sirloins so I bought those and stuck them in the freezer.

~I went to Safeway and got my free French bread and mushrooms, the .99 a packages of sliced cheese, found bacon marked down to half price (I bought 4 packages and froze them), found some candy marked down at half price and later gave one to Jaysn who came up to help me unload all the groceries, and found a few other good deals.  I also got more Monopoly game pieces and won tomato sauce and more French bread.  I gave the rest of the game pieces to Rachel to add to her board.
~The Dollar Store was my last stop in town and I picked up more of the Ajax and Fab laundry detergent, for some fancy soaps that smell divine along with a lotion that matched one of the soaps (they are all natural products so the matching soap and lotion will be going in my gift cupboard), some spring rolls and onion rings from the freezer section (had the spring rolls for dinner), more strawberry applesauce for the little boys, some deep conditioning hair treatment, and some barrettes.
~My hanai sister Shannon and I had a nice visit across the fence as the sun was setting.  It was a very warm evening.
~I watched some shows online.

Week Two:
~Jeff and I went "treasure hunting" at the apartment complexes where the college students are moving out of.  We found lots of pans and pans, clothing (some were brand new with tags), a medium sized pet carrier (we needed one), 2 brand new sets of insulated black out curtains (Jaysn and Rachel needed some), a vacuum cleaner, a fan, several storage containers with drawers, wood that my husband can use, cleaning supplies, backpacks, purses, pots for plants, a really nice wristwatch display case, 2 Pampered Chef Pizza Stones (I had been wanting these for the longest time), hair styling tools, towels and blankets, and many other things.  We will sell some at our yard sale, donate some and of course share with family and friends.

~I cooked up the pork sirloins that I had preciously got on sale and then froze in the crockpot and added some BBQ sauce to it when it was finished cooking.  We had some of it over hamburger buns for 2 meals and I froze the rest for a future meal (or 2). ~I took a day off just for me and decided to pamper myself. I made myself an artichoke in my pressure was delicious.  Artichokes are one of my favorite foods but I rarely buy them.

~I've been trying to dry as much of our laundry on the laundry line as possible.
~We borrowed another movie from the library.
~Shannon gave us three bicycles.  Jaysn and Rachel will be taking 2 of them and we will fix up the smaller one for our oldest grandson since it is the next size up from the one he has now.
~I've been trying make our meals from our freezer, refrigerator and pantry.  My goal is to limit my grocery shopping for May to dairy, fresh fruits and veggies and a few other items.
~Since the weather has been nicer, I've been trying to go on more walks.
~Watched more shows online.
~Our oldest grandsons, Bradley and Isaiah, spent last Saturday night with us.  Steven, Rachel and Jaysn came up to spend some family time too.  It was wonderful to see the grandkids all playing together.  Jaysn was making them all swords with rolled up newspapers.  Jaysn and Bradley also had a "dance off" which was hilarious to watch!

~I'm trying to use up some of our older venison from the freezer so I made a nice venison meatloaf for dinner one night.
~I did stop at the thrift store and found some new shoes.  I had been needing another pair that was comfy with memory foam in them and there they were. For $3.98 I was a happy camper!
~I mended some shirts
~More iced Green Tea was made.
~I found free coupon inserts in a local ads paper.

   I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Taking a Day for Me

   Life has been a whirlwind lately.  That is not a bad thing though.  We were blessed with spending time with all three grandsons over the weekend.  Our oldest two, Bradley and Isaiah, spent the night on Saturday and Steven and Jaysn came up to play that day.  Oh the boys had so much fun together as Jaysn made them all swords with rolled up newspapers!  Why do we spend so much money on toys when just being creative with things we have on hand can bring so much joy to little ones? 😊  When Rachel got off work later that day, we all headed into town to go bowling.  It had been quite awhile since we did that as a family and both Bradley and Isaiah love to go bowling, so it was a real treat for them.  

   Sunday afternoon, Jeff and I took some time out for just the two of us and went on a date.  We went to lunch, hit the thrift store and then went to see the latest Avengers movie.  It was nice just to have that time with each other.  I think we need more date times.

   With the weather getting warmer again, I have been trying to spend more time outside and go on daily walks.  Some of the time Rachel, Steven and Jaysn will join either myself or Jeff and I both.  Steven loves these walks as he has a comfy ride and a nice view from his stroller. I'm also enjoying being able to hang the laundry out on the line to dry.  It smells so good!

   This time of year I am also busy trying to get things caught up around the house that I put off over the colder months since my health does not cooperate then.  With the warmer weather, I feel better and am able to get more done.  I still need to be careful though not to push myself too hard or I will end up in a bad flare/crash.

   That being said, I have been pushing myself a bit too much lately and it has not left me with much time or energy to blog or even read my friends blogs.  I miss doing so and I miss keeping in contact with everyone.  My Frugal Friday Wrap Up for last week was never finished, so I will be combining it with this weeks meager frugal doings.  I forgot to write things down this week so I am sure there will be many gaps in the post.

   Today I decided just to take a day for me.  It's kind of a "mental health vacation day" as one of my old bosses would say.  He actually required us to take two of those days each school year since Special Education teachers have a very high burnout rate.  If we did not take them, he would call us into his office and basically tell us that we were going to be taking them so pick a date or two.  He was a very wise and loving man who genuinely cared about his staff.  Recently I have found myself becoming a bit overwhelmed and craving some down time so when I woke up today I thought this would be the perfect day to take that time for myself.  I have no outside commitments, it's a gorgeous day and I also have nothing here at home that absolutely needs to be done right now.  I'm "investing" in myself and recharging my battery. 😉 I can't even express how good it feels to just relax and not feel any pressure to do anything or feel any guilt whatsoever for making the choice to do so.

   Sometimes I feel like we, as women especially, try to do too much and be there for everyone else and forget about taking care of ourselves.  We get so caught up in making sure that everyone else's needs are being met and put aside our own needs much of the time.  As a young mother, my husband was very good at seeing when I was reaching my burnout point and would send me off for a few hours of peace and quiet.  I can see when my girls are reaching that point too and try to give them needed breaks also.  Being a mother is hard work and you are at it 24/7.  

   Now that I am a grandmother and  home full time, I still need those breaks.  I do rest a lot on a daily basis in between my daily tasks due to my health but this is different.  This is a day to do whatever I please with no pressure whatsoever.  I'm not looking at a "to do" list covering most of my white board.  I'm not seeing appointments on the calendar that need to be gotten to.  I'm not even going to be bothered by the weeds in the front garden that need to be pulled...they can wait until tomorrow.  This day is for me and I am going to fully embrace and enjoy it.