Tuesday, September 24, 2019

My Zipadedooda is Zapped...Getting Ready for Fall


Italian prune plums in my huge bowl waiting to be cut and then dehydrated.

Fall has come early this year and we are expecting a killing frost and possibly a bit of snow by this weekend.  Jeff and I have been frantically trying to get things done here so we are ready for the cold weather.  Not complaining about the cooler weather since Fall is my favorite time of the year and I do much better with cooler temperatures than I do the heat. 😉

   All the jobs, that we normally have another month to get done, have to be done by this Thursday.  Believe me, the list is long and the energy, on my part at least, is short.

   Jeff has been up on the garage roof replacing all of the screws and washers that hold the metal roofing on.  The roof has been leaking for years now and he is determined to get it done and waterproofed.  Now that all the screws are replaced, he only has the ridgecap to fix.  He was hoping to get that done today but between the high winds and the fact that he got home at 7:30 this morning from work, I don't thinki that is going to happen, at least I hope he does not get up there today.

   While Jeff has been up on the garage roof, he has been picking prune plums for me from the neighbor's huge trees that overhangs our garage.  Our neighbors are wonderful people told us to pick all we want.  We have!  Once they are picked though it is up to me to get them all cut up and on the dehydrator.  That takes lots of time and energy for me.  So far I have done one batch on my huge dehydrator and I have another batch to do today.

   I finally got all the applesauce done that we need and am now dealing with the last of the tomatoes, squash, beans and cucumbers from the garden along with the glut of blackberries.
I have been freezing and giving away tons of blackberries this year!  I am dealing with the cucumbers but sharing with friends and neighbors and making lots of quick pickles, which I eat on a daily basis.  The tomatoes have been finding their way into lots of my dinners and lunches lately and my middle grandson has discovered a love for them, so Grammie here is trying to feed that new obsession...literally.  The beans are finally done and we ate the last batch of them last night with dinner.  To be honest, I am relieved.  One less thing to deal with but oh, they were so good!  The squash is another matter all together.  Yes, I have shared lots but I still have a ton here.  I need to make a bunch of zucchini bread or muffins and I plan on freezing some and taking them over to Montana next month when we all descend on my parents in the days before Josh and Lauren's wedding.  My mother will be busy feeding a crowd and I want to be able to help here with that by providing some food that is already done and ready and that my brother Fritz will also enjoy.

   Within the next few days I need to pick the rest of the tomatoes before the frost and let them ripen slowly inside the house.  I also need to pick more blackberries before the killing frost gets them also.  I would like to pick more apples and some of the wild yellow plums that are growing alongside the road up the hill from us.  That is a lot of work, but as a wise farmer friend of mine has always said, you need to make hay while the sun is shining.

   Jeff and I have also been getting the inside of the house ready for the colder weather.  He got the wood pellet stove all cleaned out and ready to go and cleaned up and lubricated that fan we hang at the end of the hallway that pushes the warm are from the stove down the hall to the bedrooms.  He also got the swamp cooler all emptied, winterized and shut down for the cold weather to come.  Some of our warmer weather furniture, both indoor and out, is being put way and so are all the hoses from the gardens.

   I have been busy washing up and lighter weight blankets and getting those put away and swithching out for the warmer ones.  I have also decorated for Fall, got out the Fall themed cozy throws and blankets for the living room and still need to switch out the cloth napkins to the Fall and Winter themed ones.  The pictures on the walls that are Spring and Summer themed ones have come down and been replaced with my Fall and Winter ones also.  I love the warm glow they give to our living room at this time of year.  It makes it feel so cozy in there and is where I spend most of my time once I cannot be outdoors as much.

   All of this has left me very tired and zapped of my energy.  It is worth it though as we head into this season of being able to cozy up by the fire and know that we have put away lots of food from our gardens to be used throughout the Fall and Winter months.   Being able to pull some homemade applesauce out of our freezer to enjoy with pork chops or to use in baking in a real treat.  All those bags of raspberries, plums, blackberries and blueberries will find their way into muffins, cobblers, pancakes and possibly some jam.  They are like treasures that I will unearth from the freezer over the long months ahead and bring a taste of Summer to us.  I have been getting things ready for this time of year as energy allows and have spent many days in bed or on the couch as I have overdone it.  I know that time is short when it comes to getting everything in and out of the garden and this year, it is even shorter.  That reminds me...I have to get some more herbs and green onions in and dried.





Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/6-12 2019

   Yes, I am very late once again in posting this.  We had a very busy Friday getting lots of things done around the house.  Saturday we took our youngest grandson to the fair while his parents got some much needed down time to get a few things done at their place.  It's hard to clean and organize when you have a pint sized tornado, who refuses to nap, following right along beside you. 😉  Jeff and I remember those days well with our 3 boys.  Steven made this Grammie's day when he clearly said my name though...talk about welling up with happy tears!  Sunday and Monday were both huge crash days for me.  Here it is Tuesday and having finally fallen asleep at 5 this morning and sleeping until around noon, I finally can focus well enough to get this post finished.  Such is the rollercoaster of life that I live.  Hopefully once Jeff gets up, I will be able to get some bread made for the week and also do some more cooking.  We have a rainy weather front coming in and I can feel it in every fiber of my body but life must go on right?   So here we are with last weeks frugal doings:

~I harvested tomatoes and beans from the garden.
~We took Caesar for a nice walk.
~I watched some videos on YouTube to give me more meal ideas.
~We had leftovers and produce from the garden for dinner.

~We stayed home because Jeff was not feeling well.
~Dinner was a sheet pan meal of chicken cordon b
ue and roasted potatoes.
~We watched some shows on YouTube.
~We hot tubbed to ease those aching muscles once again.
~I made two loaves of bread.
~Jeff and I got the house all decorated for Fall with things that we had here already.  I love the way the house looks now.
~Jeff found some black slacks that no longer fit him so he is giving them to Chris.

~I picked squash from the garden.
~We had a surprise birthday party for Jeff at Chris and Heather's.  He has no clue, even as we drove up and he saw the cars there. :)  It was a potluck and so much fun!
~Chris sent us home with locally grown blueberries that he got from a friend's farm.
~Heather sent home most of the birthday cake with us.
~I left the rest of the pasta salad I made with Chris for his lunch Monday.
~Jeremy paid me for a table we had at his shop that sold.  I took that money and went to Winco and stocked up our pantry even further for the colder weather ahead.  I do not like to go out when there is ice on the road or the weather gets bad.  I feel much safer with a stocked pantry going into the colder months.

~Jeff picked blackberries for me.
~We got a movie from the library.
~I spent the entire morning in bed dozing on and off.  I was totally exhausted after the family party yesterday but it was so worth it!
~I watched some tv shows online after Jeff went to bed for the afternoon and early evening.
~I made a cheese ravioli casserole and garlic bread for dinner.

~We had more rain coming in and it really did a number on my fibromyalgia so Jeff picked the blackberries for me since I got dizzy any time I leaned over.
~Leftovers from last night were for dinner.
~I made some more quick cucumber pickles with cucumbers from our garden.
~Lunch was cherry tomatoes from the garden and cottage cheese seasoned with dill from the garden.
~Jeff substituted for a friend at bowling league so his bowling was paid for.
~I watched several videos and shows online.

~I borrowed another season of Downton Abbey on dvd from the library.  I love that series and find it very calming to watch.  I'm also a sucker for anything based in that time frame.
~I harvested more tomatoes, beans and cucumbers from the garden.
~Jeff grilled up some burgers and zucchinis for an early dinner/late lunch.
~We took Caesar for a walk when we went down to the library and to the post office.
~I froze more blackberries from the garden.

~I cooked up 2 chicken breasts in the InstantPot.  One I turned into chicken salad and the other I went on to make chicken alfredo using some green onions and cherry tomatoes from the garden.  It was so good and easy!
~We picked more blackberries and froze most of them.
~I used one of the Williams and Sonoma Fall leaf plates as a base for an battery powered candle.
~I went through some of the things in our pantry and got them more organized.

   On another note, please make sure you fill up your vehicles with fuel...prices are going to go up according to the news with the fires in Saudi Arabia's oil fields.  Jeff and I got both our vehicles filled up before the prices started to climb and are going to limit the use of my car until they go back down again or we have to do a major shopping trip.  Be blessed all!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

No More Dr. Phil for Me

   It is no secret that I do not sleep well at all.  It has gotten to the point where I am not falling asleep until Jeff gets home around 5:30ish in the morning now.  Even then, my dreams are strange and at times very scary.  I started thinking about it and really taking a good look at what was going on in my dreams and realized that it is all Dr. Phil's fault.  This is said tongue in cheek, but there is a grain of truth to it.

   Since I don't sleep at night, I have been watching Dr. Phil on YouTube and boy is it bringing up all kinds of issues for me.  A lot of his shows revolve around child abuse and sexual abuse and exploitation.  Having been a victim of child molestation myself, which led to all kinds of maladaptive behaviors, I can relate to so many of his guests.  It also takes me down trails in my mind that I do not want to go down again.

   Yes, I have been in counseling for a lot of this, but there are still some "doors" that remain locked and closed because I am not strong enough to deal with them in my waking hours.  It seems those doors are opened at night in my dreams though and I wake up with full on panic attacks.  

   Some door should remain closed.  There is no need to open them and go through the horrific pain again.  I have blocked many of those memories for good reason.  I have worked hard to come to the point where I am able to get myself through panic attacks and be a more possitive person on a regular basis.  The last thing I need is for me to spiral down that big black drain of depression again.

   So no more Dr. Phil for me.  I just can't deal with it right now.  With the news so focused on the horrible sexual explotation of children by Jeffrey Epstien and his cronies, it is more than I can handle.  My heart aches for all the victims and I hope and pray that every single person involved in the abuse is jailed for life! Yes, I feel very strongly about all of this because what I went through is just a tiny fraction of what they went through and I live with the damage done to me every single day of my life. I cannot even imagine how those victims are even able to function.  Please keep them all in your prayers and that justice is served for them...they deserve at least that.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Good Eats Lately

Teriyaki, rice and peanut sauced veggies.

Blueberry pancakes and Portuguese sausage.

Meatloaf, roasted garlic potatoes and a cucumber and tomato salad.

Homemade bread.

Grilled burgers, zuchinni and homemade jojos.

BBQed beef on buns, carrot sticks, cucumbers.

Fried tomatoes and tomato gravy over bread.

Corn and potato chowder.

Squash casserole, plums and blackberries.
Caramelized appled over ice cream.

BLTs, shoestring potato fries and quick cucumber pickles.

Avocado toast with tomatoes.

Most of the produce came from our gardens.  It has been a great year for the gardens!

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/6/19

   OK, so here is the deal.  I am trying to type this out on my new computer which has a much smaller keyboard than my old one.  The keys are also slick since it is new and my fingernails keep slipping on it.   Also, I have not been keeping a daily record of my frugal doings this week because of computer issues (I just got this new one up and running last night), busy days and fibro flares...such is life right? 😉  So, what I am going to do is list some of our frugal doings lately along with some pictures of meals we have had and some preserving that has been done.  Here we go!

   Frugal doings:

~I'm still making and freezing applesauce like a mad woman.  Our tree still has apples on it and I need to get out there and pick more of them.
~The blackberry bushes are producing lots of lovely berries.  I have been freezing some, giving some away and eating a bunch of them.
~The tomatoes, squash, beans and cucumbers are going nuts and providing us with lots of fresh produce.
~I'm making lots of quick pickles with the cucumbers.
~I sat down and made a menu based on what we have on hand.
~Butter was on sale at $2.50 a pound.  I bought 10 pounds and froze it.
~Winco puts out coupons for when the college students come back for school on things like beef jerky, popcorn, yogurt, chips, poptarts and other items.  I made two trips to Winco and used the coupons to stock us up and also gave coupons to our girls to use.
~Jeff and I gave each other haircuts.
~I cooked up two preseasoned porketta roasts.  We had some over rice and I froze 3 more meals worth.  I still have some in the fridge for Jeff's dinner tonight to use over buns.
~I've been baking bread again.
~Goodwill has been kind to us lately.  We found 3 Williams and Sonoma Fall leaf small condiments plates for .99 each, shirts and sweaters, dvd series that I have been on the hunt for, furniture repair pens, fleece fabric in a old bowling print (Jeff wants a robe made out of it), shoes for me for Josh and Lauren's wedding, and a few other items.  All of these were either half off, or 20% off.
~We went out to dinner for Jeff's 60th birthday and had a buy 1 get 1 free beer deal and they gave him a free slice of cheesecake.
~I've been hanging out the laundry to dry when I can.
~Rachel bought me lunch on Tuesday.
~We were blessed to spend time with all the grandboys, Rachel, Heather, Chris and Jaysn on Tuesday.
~I continue to watch shows online and also listen to beautiful music online also.
~We stocked up on ziplock type bags from the Dollar Tree.  I use them to freeze applesauce in along with fruit and veggies from the garden.
~I was tempted to buy some new Fall decor pieces but realized that I already have lots of things here and do not need anymore. OK, so I did buy those little plates, but they were just so darned cute!  I did avoid the wreaths, swags and signs...so that is a positive right?  LOL!
~The library has been getting some great books and movies in lately so I have been taking advantage of that.
~Jeff and I have been trying to get out with Caesar and take more walks. Free exercise.
~I sent some frozen homemade applesauce down to Rachel's mother who is recovering from surgery.
~We received some free samples and magazines in the mail.

   That is about all I can remember at the moment.  One more day of hot weather and then it's more Fall like weather.  I can't wait to start decorating this weekend.  Be blessed!