Saturday, October 31, 2020

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/30/2020


   It has been awhile since I did a Frugal Friday Wrap Up post.  As is my new normal, I forgot to write down things daily, so we are going from a very befuddled memory here...bare with me please. 😉  In no particular order, here is what I can remember:

~Chris gave us a bag full of venison burger.  This is a huge blessing to us!

~We got a check from the consignment store for things that we sold and for some of Jeremy's stuff that sold.  We split the money with him.  It is a huge help for us both right now.  Jeff dropped it off with Jeremey on Monday.

~I cut up 6 peppers and froze most of them.

~I made a stuffed pepper and pasta casserole that fed us for 6 meals.  Three dinners and 3 lunches.  I only used half a box of noodles, but with the tomatoes, corn, venison burger, etc. it mad a lot!

~I grabbed a pork roast out of the freezer and made Kalua Pig in the crockpot with that.  We have had it with rice for two meals and still have more of it.  I'm sure it will get finished this weekend.

Patches guarding the container full of coffee beans.

~Tea has been my "go to" drink late at night (decaf of course).  I am still using my tea bags twice.

~I'm turning down the heat here at night since it is just me until Jeff gets home in the morning.  I like a cooler room to sleep in anyway.

~I am also turning off all the lights after Jeff heads out to work at night except those on the Fall themed tree. ;)  It is so calming.

~Jeff repaired a pair of his work pants that he ripped.

~We borrowed a movie from the library on Monday.  The plan is to watch it this weekend.  This will be the last time we borrow movies from there for the foreseeable future so that we don't have to risk running into someone with Covid-19 since it is increasing in our little town.

~We keep adding to the compost pile and hope to have some good compost there by the Spring to add to our gardens.

~Jeff went to our commodities distribution and got quite a bit of food.  This time he had to wait for 2 hours because more and more people are coming and they are only letting two people in at a time.  Since they were getting ready for a big Thanksgiving turkey basket giveaway in early November, they were trying to clean the freezers out to make room for all the turkeys.  They literally filled up a box with all kinds of frozen meats and gave it to Jeff since it was getting later in the day and they needed stuff gone!  We will share with our kids!

~Jeff has been working extra hours and doing the job of him and his other driver he works with, who is out on paternity leave.  He is being well compensated for that.

~Jeff ordered another ton of wood pellets and he will pick those up next week.  Depending on how much we have left after paying bills with his next paycheck, we may order another ton also.  We are expecting more snow by this coming Friday and into the next week with temperatures dropping again.

~I have been transferring food things that are coming into the house in flimsy plastic bags and storing them in sturdy airtight containers instead.  I have whole coffee beans and some quick rolled outs in Tupperware containers now.  The rice is all being put in food safe buckets.  I do need to get several other food safe buckets to put bulk beans and such in them for safe storage also.  I will have to see if Safeway has any the next time I go in.  The bakery there has given them to me for free in the past.

~While going through one of my china cabinets, I found a bunch of matches in there.  I'm sure at some point I just threw them up there to keep them away from my grandboys.  Anyway, it is nice to know that I have a good stash of them.

~Kitty litter, cat food and more toilet paper were ordered through Walmart and should be delivered by Tuesday to our post office.  

~Jeff and I got my hair cut and I feel so much better.

~ We've been entertaining the cats with Kitty TV.  It keeps them from sprinting up and down the halls when Jeff is trying to sleep.

~This may sound strange, but I like to celebrate the different seasons by switching out my coffee mugs and some of my dishes.  I have been enjoying using some of my heavier hand thrown mugs lately.  Each one is unique and I love that!  Most were thrift stores finds or yard sale finds over the years.

~We had a Zoom meeting baby shower last Saturday for Lauren and our newest grandson Tate (who is due in December).  We all sent our gifts down to her to open.  We played games too and I won a Starbucks gift card!  My mother made Tate the cutest Moose baby quilt. 

~Jeff got a sinus infection and had to go and see the doctor.  When he went to the pharmacy to pick up his prescription it was free!

    Not much more going on here at the moment.  The plan for this weekend is to take Saturday to rest since Jeff is exhausted from fighting the sinus infection and working long hours.  Yesterday it was a 13 hours shift...not good.  Praying that tonight is a lot shorter.  Sunday we may run in and pick up a few things we need at the grocery store like fresh milk and celery.  I have a $5 off $5 coupon loaded onto my Safeway card so we should be able to get stuff for free that way.  Here's hoping!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

It's Made it's Way to my Tiny Town...Covid-19 is Here


    Well, it's official.  This nasty virus has hit our small farming town.  I knew it was just a matter of time. 😔 

   I had seen a post the other day from the health department saying we had a case in our town and I prayed it was not at our assisted living care facility.  Today I found out there were multiple cases there,  but so far everyone is having mild symptoms and I pray they stay that way since the more serious symptoms seem to hit on day 7 or 8 from what I can tell.  

   I checked in with a friend who is going to be starting chemo later this week to see how she was doing and she let me know that there were actually 14 cases now in our tiny farming town.  Some were at the assisted living care center and others are dispersed throughout the community with a few in the apartment building that she lives in.  😟  The last thing that my sweet friend needs is to be exposed to this while she battles stage 4 lung cancer.  This dear friend wanted to let me know so that I could protect myself from it also.  

   I then got a message from someone else sharing a alert that went out in the town where two of my kids work that they are thinking they may have to shut the town down because cases and hospitalizations are ramping up there, as are the deaths.  This honestly is very worrisome since covid-19 hospital beds are in short supply all around us for the most part also.  Some people are already be shuffled from one hospital to another and they are talking about having to send some to Portland or Seattle soon if this continues.

   Jeff had to go to the doctor today for a sinus infection and thank God there was a pharmacy right across from the office in that small town.  He did not have to go to Pullman and they had no concerns that he might have this virus, which was a huge relief to us both.  We did have a sit down talk about how we had to take care of some last minute things and then hunker down for awhile (other than him going to work).  

   He dropped off our ballots at a drop box at the courthouse on his way to work tonight and put in an order with his boss for more wood pellets for our stove.  Those will be there next week and he will get them then.  Luckily I had ordered more cat food, kitty litter and a large amount of toilet paper that day before.  It will also be here early next week.  The pantry is organized now and Chris gave us some more venison, so the freezers are almost fully stocked. We will be doing our towns commodity thing tomorrow and that will bring in more food and should top off the freezers.  I've got a medium sized pork roast going in the crockpot now, which should give us several meals at least and have everything else needed to go with it.  We will not be hurting food wise at all and we thankfully have enough to help out others as well if needed.  

   As much as I love using our library, I think I will put that on hold for a bit now too.  I have some things here we will enjoy and then, once returned, I won't be placing more holds or requests for books or movies.  I did download some more free channels on our Roku and we have tons of movies and books here to keep me busy for a very long time.  As the weather and my health cooperates, I'll still try to get out for walks in the fresh air.  If not, I'll spend some time outside on our back porch and enjoy the fresh air, or relax in the hot tub with Jeff.

   I think in the depths of my heart, I knew this was coming and I tried to prepare the best I could for it.  My heart goes out to all those who are struggling with this right now and for those who are isolated and alone.  I am so thankful that I have my Jeff here with me.  I could not cope without him.

It Seems I Have and Internet Troll


   It seems I have an internet troll that has been leaving hateful comments here on my blog.  Whomever they are, they are a very cowardly troll who leaves comments anonymously and seems to have something against us "older" people.  I've been deleting the comments when I see them in hopes that the troll will grow up and move on.  I mean seriously, you almost have to feel sorry for someone with that much anger and wonder what kind of childhood they had to make them lash out like this.  So to my troll, I'm praying for you to get the help that you need to work through your issues and let go of all that pent up anger.  It is going to eat you up inside.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Old Man Winter Paid Us an Early Visit

   I woke up Friday to see this starting.  The snowflakes started out small but then got bigger and bigger.  

   The street in front of our house quickly became covered in snow and I was so happy that Jeff was taking the truck to work that night and bringing home a ton of wood pellets for our pellet stove.

   Saturday we had a Winter Wonderland on our hands and we took full advantage of it!  We hot tubbed that night, watched the movie "The Rookie" and sipped hot drinks and shared a big bowl of popcorn.

      The momma moose and her baby were making their rounds in our neighborhood and I kept hoping they would come and "trim" my raspberry and blackberry bushes for me.  Unfortunately for me, they already got their fill in our neighbor's yard.

   Sunday found us with a thick crust of ice on top of the snow that crackled when stepped on.  I don't know why, but that sound brings me so much pleasure and a smile to my face.

   I ran outside and started to take pictures because it was so beautiful!


      The way that the snow curves while coming off the roof reminds me of the crashing waves in Hawaii where I grew up and the icicles are sparkling in the afternoon snow just glitter like diamonds.  Thank you Old Man Winter for this lovely early gift.  I think we all need to be reminded of the beauty all around us in these troubling times.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hunkering Down for the Cold Months Ahead


   Jeff just headed out with the truck to get the brakes done on it so we are ready for Winter driving conditions.  Mother Nature decided to say "screw Fall" this year and head into Winter early.  Can't say that I blame here with all that has happened with 2020.  I think she wants it over as soon as possible also.  

   Our night time temps are expected to drop into the single digits this weekend with highs below freezing.  We are also expecting up to 11 inches of snow on Friday night according to the latest weather forecast.  This is unheard of for this time of year and we are forecasted to set new records for both snow accumulation and low temperatures.

   Jeff will be bringing home a ton of wood pellets for our stove this week.  I am hoping that they will be there tonight so that we can unload them in the morning.  We still have about 10 bags, but with the temps dropping, I am sure we will go through a bag a day when we are in the single digits.  We also plan on getting another 2 tons of pellets put in within the next 2 months and that should take us through the Winter and leaves some for the start of the next heating season as well.

   I've taken the quilts that my mom and our hanai Grandma Ann (God rest her beautiful soul) made for us and have them on both our bed and our guest room bed.  They are so snuggly warm and were made with love.  It is like getting a hug from them both.  I look forward to doing this every year.  I have also switched out my Summer quilted throw that I use in the living room (another one my mom made) and am now using a thick fleece one that my hanai sister Shannon gave me after I had surgery years ago.  It too makes me feel wrapped in love.

   The herbs from the garden have been picked.  Some have been dried to use as is, while others have been made into lovely herb salts and herb butters.  The last picking of the blackberries in now in a large jar with vodka to make more blackberry infused vodka.  I found it makes for the best vodka tonics, adding a nice bit of berry sweetness that is perfect.

   The pantry is well stocked with just about everything we need to bake from scratch, including some dark chocolate chucks to add to cookie dough or make chocolate rolls with.  Canned goods, pastas, rice, oats, juices, coffee, teas and sports drinks are also there.  The freezers are stocked well with meats, homemade premade meals, all kinds of fruit from our gardens this year, veggies, homemade soups, butter and lots of cheese.  We will be getting some more venison from Chris and Heather and are so very grateful for that.

   The kitties are set with food and litter for a month or more and we will just pick more up the next time we do a big shopping trip.  I made sure to have all the HBA things like toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and that kind of thing topped off about a month ago. The over the counter type medications are fully stocked and I am about 3 months ahead on my prescriptions.  We did add to our laundry detergent stash and now have about 6 months worth here.

   All in all, I think we are pretty well set.  Chris gifting his Daddy with the truck, even if we have had to put money into it to fix some things, has been a huge blessing.  I know now that we have a high clearance 4 wheeled drive vehicle, with good tires, that can get us through just about anything.  It is nice to be able to haul pellets, wood, and furniture in it also.

   Lastly, I want to add that sadly the covid-19 deaths in our county are going up.  We now have 9 people who have died within this last 2 week period.   I fear that this is just the beginning since it is now in the nursing and long term care homes here in our area.  The holidays this year will be different with no big parties or gatherings so that we can protect one another.  We do have a family birthday party for Jaysn this weekend and my fear is that this may be the last time we can all be together for awhile.  All of us are healthy at this point and we are very good about NOT getting together if we think we may have been exposed or are not feeling well.  I want everyone to stay healthy.  Praying that we can all get through this and be able to gather again with more of those we love soon.





Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Internet Interruptions

    Our internet service has been really bad lately and keeps going in and out.  It has made it really frustrating to try and blog.  Hopefully I can get a new provider soon.  I'm going to post this now before the internet goes out again...

Friday, October 2, 2020

Frugal Doings Lately


   I'm not doing a Frugal Friday Wrap Up for the week because I have been really bad about writing down what I have been doing and to be completely transparent, there have been days on end where I have not done much at all.  Such is my life at the moment and it is what it is. 😉  So here, in no particular order, are the frugal things I have been up to over the past few weeks as well as I can remember...

~I made a turkey pot pie with some homemade turkey pot pie filling that I took out of the freezer.

~I've baked multiple loaves of bread.  Jeff really does prefer homemade bread over store bought and it is cheaper and much healthier if I make it myself.

~I've harvested lots of tomatoes and Uncle Bob has been very generous in bringing me some from his garden along with cucumbers.

~I bought mushrooms on sale and sautéed them with butter and garlic along with some of my homemade herb salt.  They were frozen for future meals.

~I harvested Italian prune plums from our neighbor's tree that hangs over into our yard.

~I found an applewood smoked pork roast in the freezer and cooked that up with some potatoes, onions and celery for a perfect Fall meal.

~Jeff and I have harvested about 10 quarts of blackberries and frozen about half of them and given away a lot to friends and family.

~I made a rustic apple pie and we had that the day that Jaysn, Rachel and Steven came out to pick apples up at the local family owned orchard right over the hill from us.  Apples are still just .50 a pound.  Steven loved picking apples and feeding some to the horses there too.

~Chris and Heather had us over for dinner one night and we gave Bradley and Isaiah each $10 to add to their spending money for their trip to Las Vegas to see Uncle Josh and Auntie Lauren.

~Jeff got a $300 Covid-19 bonus at work.

~Jeff is making me a custom frame for a beautiful picture of some wolves that was a birthday gift to me from my cousin Jeremy.  I have been waiting to get it up for a couple of years now and Jeff is so sweet to do this for me.

~I've started Christmas shopping along with getting a few needed items for myself.  Walmart is having their end of the season clothing sales so I got 3 pairs of capri pants for $1 each for me and some things for Bradley, Isaiah and Tate (new baby due in December).  I could not find anything I liked for Steven yet, but I still have time to find things for him too.

~I've been dehydrating orange slices from oranges that have gone a bit dry to use in an upcoming project.  They look and smell amazing!

~A air fryer has been on my want list for a couple of years now.  The prices have finally come way down and my cholesterol numbers have gone up.  Jeff and I decided that we would get an air fryer so we could cut back on "fried" food.  It is a learning curve using it and I have found that the lowest recommended time is best unless you like things well done to burnt.  We do love how things come out cooked properly in it though.

~I'm noticing lots of empty shelves at the grocery stores on certain items.  There are some items that I have not seen for months.  I finally found some egg replacer (for baking) for half price this Thursday evening.  I have been stocking up on things like cereal (4 for $5 after digital coupon), Gatorade and Powerade when I can get it for .69 a bottle or less (I drink these and the grandboys all love to get a bottle when they are here), lunchmeats and cheese (again, when on sale), reduced priced meats, spices that I am running low on, and condiments.

~Our commodities giveaway at the end of September had so much stuff including lots of produce and frozen foods.  There had to be at least $400 worth of food in the boxes that they gave us.  What a blessing!

~Jeff opened up a Christmas Tree box that we got about 2 years ago while "treasure hunting" when the college kids we moving out and he found it not only had the tree, but also all the lights and decorations for it stored in there too.  We needed more outdoor lights and these lights were for indoor and outdoor use and even in the color we wanted!

~The old truck that Chris gave Jeff needed some work and luckily Jeff has been able to do most of it himself.  It will be nice to have a working high clearance 4 wheel drive truck again.  They are saying we could have a very snowy winter and I will feel better if Jeff is driving too and from work when the snow is bad in the truck.

~We went to the Asian food store and bought more soup mix for making wonton and udon soup.  I love having these on hand because they are comfort foods for me.  I can make a huge bowl (or 2 regular sized bowls) for about $2 here whereas I would be paying $12-$15 if we went out to eat and got the same thing.

~The hot tub is finally fixed (yay Jeff) and we are once again enjoying it.

~The two big freezers in the garage are now inventoried and organized making it easier to see what we have and what we need to use up ASAP.

~More herbs were harvested from the garden and dried.

   That is all I can think of at the moment.  I know there is a lot more, but my brain is mush and I also need to get off this thing and go harvest more tomatoes and blackberries.  On a different note, please pray for our President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump as they both have been diagnosed with Covid-19.  No matter what your political leanings, no one should wish illness or malice on someone else.  I am thankful that Joe Biden has tested negative so far...I was worried about him possibly being exposed during the debate.  This diagnosis has really thrown America into a a hug "what if" scenario and is bringing out the best in some people and the worst in others.  I'll just leave that right there.