Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Answered Prayers!

There is a reason why I have not been online...my sister Leonie came for a visit from Tahiti!!!  I have not seen her for almost 37 years.  We celebrated Thanksgiving early with most of the family (Josh and Lauren were in Vegas).  We've been so busy enjoying our time together and building lots of new memories.  Thank you God for answered prayers ad bringing my sister to me.  In the picture above, she is the one holding my oldest grandson Bradley on her lap.  The baby, Steven, especially has really taken to her and loves to cuddle with his great auntie. :)  My heart is full!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 11/1-11/7 2019

Portuguese Sausage and Potato Hash


~Jeff and I did the grocery shopping and stocked up on baking supplies that were on sale that we needed.  We also stocked up on basics and used coupons and sales to further save money.  Our shopping was done at Winco, Rosauers and Dollar Tree.  We spent about $100 total including HBA items.  That should get us through for at least 3 weeks with only picking up fresh fruit, milk and a few items that I forgot even though they were on the list. Fibro fog was bad that day!
~At the Dollar Tree we also picked up toothbrushes (2 pack), antiperspirant, and some half off Halloween candy (candy corn).  I want to try a recipe for making Butterfinger candy with the candy corn.  I had everything else needed for the recipe at home.
~I watched a movie on YouTube.

~Jeff and I stayed home for the day so that we could get caught up on things around the house.
~Jeff worked in the yard finishing getting it ready for winter and sued some of the leaves that he raked up to put around our pear trees that have metal fencing around them.  This works as a great mulch to help protect the roots and also breaks down into compost as the Spring arrives.
~I baked two loaves of homemade bread, cooked a marked down pork roast in the crockpot and also piggy back backed some squash after the bread came out of the oven.
~In trying to get ready for the colder months where I do not venture out much, I took inventory of our HBA supplies so that I know where the gaps are that need to be filled in and started a list for them.
~Laundry was caught up and I finished unpacking some of the things that we had taken over for the kids to use in their wedding.
~Beautiful music soothes my soul and I have found myself listening to some of it via YouTube on a daily basis again.
~We used out hot tube to soak our sore muscles.
~Jeff and I were watching movies on YouTube and they had the Gilligan's Island "The Castaways" on.  I immediately recognized the flyover of the resort that the Howell's supposedly built and laughed at some of the things they modeled the resort after.  I can tell that the writers spent a lot of time down at Kona Village Resort and loosely modeled  the resort in the movie on that and used shots, hidden phones in the lobby, etc.  from KVR as part of the movie.  I had never seen the movie before but it brought back great memories for me because Kona Village Resort was my second home growing up since my father was the assistant manager and later manager there for 38 years.  All the buildings have now been torn down after damage from the tsunami and neglect, but it is being rebuilt by some of the same guests, who are now the new owners of it, who enjoyed it for so many years.
~We enjoyed munching on popcorn popped the old fashioned way while watching the movies.

Cookbooks I picked up at Goodwill

~Jeff worked some more on the garden beds getting them ready for Winter.
~Jeff and I went to Goodwill and found a shirt and leggings for me, pants for Steven, a cd for Jeff, brand new curtains for our guest room, a purse that I have wanted for years after having sold them when I was a teenager, and 2 cookbooks.
~We picked up more discounted candy at Winco since we had to go back there to get Canadian Bacon since I forgot it last time.  I had promised Isaiah and Bradley that we would make homemade pizzas this coming weekend and that was requested as one of the toppings.
~We hot tubbed again and it felt so good!
~I used up the last half of the bottle of red wine from my girl's night last week and made mulled red wine with it.  I cut a tangerine and put it in while it simmered.  So good!
~Jeff and I watched a Christmas movie on YouTube.  I am excited about Christmas this year.
~Chris called to tell us Heather got her doe.  They are giving us all the meat from it since Chris already got a buck and is going to try to get another doe.  Venison is my favorite red meat.  We are going to help them butcher and wrap but we are sending some of it to be made into ground venison and will pay for that and for it to be wrapped by the butcher.  Luckily we have a good family connection with the butcher so we get the family discount.
~Jeff and I both had coupons for a free item (up to $13.50) with any purchase at Bath and Body Works.  Their Fall fragrances were on sale so we got two of the small apple fragrances that I love and then got two of their full sized aromatherapy lotions for free.

~I borrowed a book and a movie from the library.
~Yaki Soba was on the menu for dinner.  I used some of the leftover pork roast in it.
~We got all the bedding washed on our bed.
~I had the last cup of the leftover hot mulled wine in the afternoon to help take the edge off my pain.
~Caesar and I went for a short walk.  Normally this would be a great thing to do on a beautiful Fall day but half way through my back went out and then my neck followed.  OUCH!
~I put in requests for some new movies that are currently in cataloging through the library.
~Bradley's Lego magazine came in so we will be taking that out to him on Tuesday when we go out to butcher the deer.
~My onions had all gone bad so I rehydrated some of my dehydrated ones to use in a potato and sausage fry for breakfast.
~I signed up for some free dog food samples.

Pork Roast, Wild Rice Mix and Acorn Squash

~We went over to Chris and Heather's to butcher the dear Heather got.  Heather set me up in a chair to watch since I was in a bad flare. We brought home venison steaks and stew meat.
~Jeff and I picked up a reduced priced pizza, some chips and some cupcakes that were all on clearance when we dropped off some of the venison to be made into burger meat.  It made dinner so much easier and faster.
~Jeff picked up some freezer paper on his way to work so I can double wrap all the meat.  We already put them in ziplock bags that I got from the Dollar Tree but I like that extra layer of protection from frost and it keeps them from getting freezer burn.

~I found a sleep eye mask in my HBA stash and used it to help block out the light in the morning so I could sleep longer.  I am hyper sensitive to light so this helped.
~I worked my points programs.
~More shows were watched online.
~I cooked up some wild rice mix and had that with leftover pork roast, leftover acorn squash and some pears for dinner.

Cookbook and movie borrowed from the library.

~I again put some beautiful music on via YouTube.  I love calm piano music...it really is soothing and reminds of the days in the past where I would sit at the piano and play for hours just making things up and letting the stress leave my body and soul.
~Jeff picked up an item that the consignment store decided not to sell and also picked up a check for things that had sold.  He did this on his way to his bowling league since he was going right by there anyway.
~I watched some videos on homemade Christmas gifts and make ahead meals.  It gave me great ideas!  There is a recipe on how to make vanilla extract in you Instantpot is life changing. How to make Vanilla Extract in your Instantpot.  The recipe comes near the end of the video.
~It's that time of year where I keep a cozy sweater on the back of my recliner that I can slip on when I feel a chill coming on.  I also have throws on all the chairs and couch so everyone can have one of those too.
~Jeff had bowling league so dinner for me was Easy Mac and some Spring Rolls from the Dollar Tree.  It may not have been the healthiest meal ever, but it was quick, easy and comfort food.
~I've been reading two cookbooks I picked up at Goodwill.  Both are amazing!

   I hope anyone reading this has a wonderful weekend!  Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Just Some Late Night/Early Morning Ramblings

A screenshot of the peaceful video I was listening to of calming music on Youtube.  It is a bit off kilter, just like I am feeling at the moment.

   I've had a rough week both physically and emotionally.  I've been working through some things that resurfaced years after I had them safely tucked away in my mind and thought that these were some things that great progress had been made on in a certain relationship.  It's a strange thing how people can revert back to old patterns of behavior, even if they are destructive and certainly unhealthy, after having worked so hard to move past them and change.

   Stress plays a huge part in Fibromyalgia along with weather changes, overdoing things, lack of sleep, and so many other factors.  Coming off a very hectic time with our Josh and Lauren's wedding (which was beautiful and something I will treasure always) and meeting so many new people and being so social left me exhausted.  I was trying so hard to make sure that everyone felt loved, welcomed and included in everything and trying to put out "fires" before they arose.  In the process, I forgot to take care of myself when I really should have but I did not want to miss out on a single moment with family and friends that had traveled so far to share in this special time.

   I made it about a week after coming home before the collapse came.  I think the adrenalin was still going strong and I also had my hanai sister still in town visiting during that time and was trying to get my house back into order after being gone.  I hit my "Wall" and I hit it hard.  Walking became difficult most of the time and I felt my spine compressing when I took Caesar for a short walk around the block.  It seemed that any time I exerted myself in any way, I'd end up having to go to bed or to my recliner and I'd either be in tears or fighting to keep them at bay.  There was not a single part of my body that did not hurt, including the hair follicles on top of my head.

   My emotions got the best of me too.  I tried to stay upbeat and positive, but there were times of deep despair.  I am thankful for the medications that my doctor has me on to help with this or I would have been a total basket case.  Counseling has also helped me cope better that I did previously and for that I can say that I am proud of myself for learning and implementing the techniques that I was taught.

   I will admit that it has all gotten to be a bit too much at times and the pain has become overwhelming to the point of me wanting to ask my husband to just take me to the hospital so I could get some relief.  But I know deep down inside that would not be a good choice for me since I do build up tolerances to medications rather quickly and my doctor and I have agreed that we have to save the few pain meds that might still work for me to use in case of emergencies.

   After all these years and seeing this thing progress in me, my family is very aware that there are times that I honestly cannot do certain things.  We went over to help butcher a deer that Heather got hunting and that they are giving all the meat from to us.  Heather took one look at me, got me a chair and had me sit and rest.  She set me up where I could still be a part of the conversation and also watch my oldest grandson Bradley entertain me with all his cool tricks on his skateboard.  She, my son Chris, grandson Isaiah, and Jeff all worked on the deer and had it all trimmed out and butchered within a little over an hour.  Isaiah, at 6 years old, has some amazing knife skills since he spends a lot of his time helping Heather cook.  I think we have a future chef on our hands there! 

   It is now 1:45 in the morning and I am exhausted but still cannot sleep.  I feel cold and ache all over, and no, it is not the virus going around, this is normal for me when I am in a flare. I've got soothing and calming music on in the background, had some Gatorade because I felt dehydrated, and watched some calming videos a bit earlier to help slow down my overactive mind and nervous system.  I'm going to try to head to bed here again soon and see if I can get some sleep.  Praying that tomorrow will be a better and less painful day.



Friday, November 1, 2019

Frugal and Easy Girl's Night

   One of my dear friends, whom I consider my sister and was a second mom to my boys, came for Josh and Lauren's wedding (I will be doing another post on that when I have more pictures to share).  She came home with us to spend some time with her mom and rest of her family.  She ended up staying longer than planned due to a last minute job interview (praying she gets the job and moves home).  Huge blessing for me!  I decided at the last minute to have a girl's night with her, her mom and her sister.  Her sister was unable to make it, but her mom, who is also one of my dearest friends, came with her.  

   I was in a fibro flare after all the wedding festivities but was able to throw together a nice little spread due to having a stocked pantry.  It was not much work at all and we could all just sit, laugh, share stories and enjoy each other's company.

   My husband got out my great grandmother's small parlor table for me and I set it up with 2 bottles of wine, one red and one white.  I then got the appetizers ready.  I had some garlic stuffed green olives that I got from the Dollar Tree, snack crackers, also from the Dollar Tree and put these in pretty white dishes.  I used an antique silver pickle fork to serve the olives with.  I then added a cut glass bowl filled with artichoke tapenade that I had picked up at Ross, and a plate of cream cheese covered in mango and pepper jelly that I had picked up on one of my trips to Montana at my favorite specialty food and kitchenware shop.  I had individual little plates for each person along with a small spreader for each to load their toppings on the crackers. All of this was also laid out on my great grandmother's table along with cocktail sized cloth napkins.

   I had some beautiful music pulled up on YouTube playing in the background and set out soft fleece throws for each person to cuddle under.  The fire was going in the pellet stove and the lights were down low with a beautifully scented wax melt going in the bathroom down the hall just to add just a hint of the wonderful cold weather comforting scent.

   My friend Roni snuggled up with her throw and cuddled into the couch with a glass of red wine and a plate full of goodies.  Her mom, Char, cuddled into the corner of the other couch close to the fire burning in the pellet stove.  One of our cats, Midgy made her way over to Roni and got lots of lovies.  Midgy usually does not like strangers, but loved Roni.  Midgy is a great judge of character and knows who she can trust. ;)  I cuddled up under my throw with a glass of white wine and some goodies too.  

   We all had a wonderful visit and it was so good to have them here.  They know that I have Fibromyalgia and am not able to drive myself places other than just right here in town.  They also know that my energy is limited but that I love having them here in my home.  My "love tank" was once again filled by my time with these amazing women that have become family to me.  It did not take much money and I had everything here at the house that I needed to throw together a fun evening at the last minute with minimal effort.

   The time we had together is priceless to me though.  Roni now lives in Palm Springs, CA but is trying to find a job here in her field so she can return home to her sweet little house here in town and to help her mom.  Char lives in a tiny little town close to us, but because I am not able to drive out there, I do not see her much at all.  Char lost her husband Mel in a tragic car accident last year.  Mel was like another father to me and I loved him.  Char and Mel are like another set of grandparents to my boys.  These amazing women have been through a lot in their lives and I have been on the journey with them both for a good part of it.  It has created a strong bond that cannot be broken between us.  I am hoping that we can do many more of these girl's nights in the future because I know it means a lot to us and it just makes those bonds grow even stronger.