Monday, March 29, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/26/21



   Please excuse the lateness of this post...we had a busy weekend and we were also dealing with a bit of a "family emergency" with our dear Uncle Bob having to be taken to the hospital.  Life has it's definite ups and downs and thankfully Uncle Bob is doing better now.


~We did not go anywhere so no money spent on gas or shopping.

~We did buy a chicken strip dinner from our local tavern and split that.  $10 into our local economy for dinner for 2....not bad!

~Chris, Heather, Bradley and Isaiah came over for a visit.  We gave the boys their new jammies (bought on sale for $1 each, some new to them books from Goodwill, a Lego magazine (I got a free subscription years ago to this for them) and also had Chris and Heather take a new package of diapers that Josh and Lauren left here to their friends who are having a new baby soon.

~Leftover soup for 2 meals.

~We watched several movies on YouTube.


~I froze the remaining Zuppa Toscana soup for 2 future meals.

~Two more loaves of bread were made...Jeff said thank you. 😉

~After I got the bread out of the oven, I put in a ravioli casserole to bake for dinner.

~My points programs were worked.

~I called in a refill for my prescriptions and had them sent to our home.



~Jeff had the leftover beef ravioli from the night before for dinner and I made some butternut squash ravioli for dinner.

~I watched a movie on YouTube.

~I cut up a huge pear for Jeff and I to share.

~Jeff picked up some milk, bananas and half price supplements on his way home from work.

~Jeff finally got the new shower head wand that he picked up at Goodwill installed in our shower.  I really like it!


~Jeff decided to have the rest of the sausage, cheese and crackers that we had left-over from my cousin's visit.

~I made some Yaki Soba with things that I rummaged through the freezer and found.

~Hot chocolate with peppermint in it hit the spot for a sweet late night treat.

~Do you wash your house slippers and walking shoes (cloth covered ones)?  I do.  I washed those and then set them up in front of the wood pellet stove to dry.  I find this cleans the shoes well and it actually extends their life.

~I listened to some music hits from the 80's on a YouTube music channel while I did some work around the house.


~I had some milk and celery that needed to be used up so I made a salmon loaf for a late lunch.  I cut up all the celery I had and used half for the salmon loaf and froze the rest to use in a Split Pea Soup this coming weekend.

~Still having some of that milk left, I used it to make Cheddar Bay Biscuits.  I had a mix for it that needed to also be used up.

~Jeff went down and got commodities for us. My goodness there was a lot of wonderful stuff including a turkey, fresh produce, lots of frozen meats, canned goods, cereals, pastas and pistachio nuts.  Jeff brought home 4 big boxes full and told me he declined getting even more.  As it was, we had trouble fitting all the frozen stuff into the big chest freezer. 

~The cats enjoys the liquid, along with some of the skin, from the canned salmon.

~I baked up a frozen apple pie after taking out the salmon loaf and Cheddar Bay biscuits out of the oven.

~Jeff and I hot tubbed to ease those aching muscles.  He had a HUGE load the night before at work and I was in a flare.


~I made 2 more loaves of sandwich bread per Jeff's request.  He has been going through bread like crazy this week.  It's ok though...I'm just glad he likes it.

~YouTube has a documentary called "1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression".  I found it really interesting to watch.  I learned a lot that I did not know before and I see it as a warning since history can and does tend to repeat itself.

~We have Bradley and Isaiah spending the night on Saturday and decided on tacos for dinner.  I already had the taco meat, sour cream and cheese (free from commodities) but needed lettuce, tomatoes, soft and hard tortillas and salsa.  We headed into Winco to pick those up along with some other things.  We found artichokes as well as asparagus on sale, so I got some of those along with red peppers that were .48 each.  They had several large cans of the coffee we usually drink during the week (save the good stuff for the weekend) at $4.98 so we got those before the price goes up.  Powerade was also on sale for .54 each so I stocked back up on those again. All the grandkids love them, as do I. Bagels, hot dog buns, more hot cocoa mix, celery, bananas, and  cucumbers rounded things out.

~I found more videos on how to process a lot of produce at once and learned some new tricks...I love learning!

   I hope everyone has a great upcoming week!

Monday, March 22, 2021

One Thing Leads to Another (Puttering)


   My Grandma used to use the word "puttering" quite a bit to describe just doing little things around the house and garden.  I, like my Grandma, putter a lot. 😉  I do find that I actually am able to get lots done when I putter, you know, those little overlooked things that you suddenly discover when you go about things slowly and just follow the day's lead.  Today was one of those days.

   I woke up quite late in the day because I did not fall asleep until the early morning hours (it was after 4:30 a.m. when I finally fell asleep) due to my fibromyalgia and the pain that brings along with screwed up sleep patterns.  Once up, I had some coffee and spent about an hour with my hubby before he had to head back to bed to get some sleep before his overnight shift at work.  Before he actually feel asleep, I got 2 loaves of bread made in the Kitchenaid mixer and set those to rise in the oven.  I replied to some text messages and called in a refill on my medications and asked that those be sent to me.  By then the bread loaves had risen so I baked them for 30 minutes at 400F.  While they were baking I decided that I would get a jump on dinner, so I got out the last half of a bag of beef ravioli and made a casserole with that to pop in the oven once the bread came out.  After 45 minutes in there, I got the casserole out and added some shredded cheddar cheese and mixed that in, turn off the oven and then put the casserole back in to melt the cheese with the residual heat.  While adding the cheese, I also thought that I might need to use it up soon and made note to use it in some Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits since I had some of that to use up as well.  Also, while looking for the biscuit mix, I found a package of corn bread mix that needs used up along with a can of enchilada sauce...onto the menu for this week is chicken tamale pie now!  It was about this time that I decided it might be a good idea to eat something since I had not eaten yet, so I sat down and had some of that wonderful ravioli casserole with a slice of freshly baked bread.

   Next on my list was to actually write down a menu plan for the week, so I got out my planner and did that along with listing some of the chores I had hoped to get done this week.  That reminded me that I needed to add 2 new mattress top protectors to my shopping list for both our bed and the guest bed.  I wondered if there was anything else we needed that I could just order online through so I went searching my HBA items.  I was stocked up well there but decided that I might as well just restock the bathrooms with extra toilet paper from my stash while I was at it.  I got online, checked my messages there, read some blog posts of friends and commented on them and then got my order ready through but did not place the order at that moment because I am waiting for my sweet hubby to get up from his nap so I can see if he needs me to add anything to the order for him.

   So you see, puttering led me to all these great meal ideas, getting some smaller things done and being able to get an order ready for things that I need so that I will not have to make a shopping trip into town.  We will not run out of toilet paper while in the bathroom at a crucial moment (ahem), hubby has bread for his sandwiches this week all baked and ready to go and I can relax for the rest of the evening.  Winning!


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/19/21


  😉  It is Saturday right now as I am finishing off this post and the weather outside is crazy.  It is sunny one minute and then snowing and blowing the next.  Yesterday it reached 68 F.  Mother Nature is definitely in Menopause. Not too many exciting or earth shattering things to report over the past week...mostly just the usual.  It is the usual though that really does end up saving us the most though isn't it.  By trying our best to just do the little things on a regular basis, it does end up saving us money in the long run.  Onto the savings...


~Jeff and I worked out in the garden and cleared out the back flower beds.  Jeff also cleared out the side garden so it is ready for him to build raised beds in soon and he tackled the very overgrown and messy raspberry patch.

~He ran all of the dead raspberry canes out to the town's composting area.

~I made 2 loaves of bread.

~Leftovers for most of the weekend's meals...really good so no one is complaining.

~We stayed home so no money spent on gas, food out or shopping.

~I watched a bunch of videos on Youtube that we just plain fun!

~The weather started to turn Sunday afternoon with a very cold front coming in which sent me into a massive fibro flare.  Luckily I had the guest bedroom to retreat to where it is very cool and quiet.  I took a 5 hour nap!  Yes, it totally screwed me up for sleep later but I just could not function any longer.  I have made that bed as comfortable as possible and find myself retreating there more and more so that I do not disturb Jeff's sleep.


~Cold and yucky day outside and I felt it way down into my bones.  Back to the guest room for another nap it was.  I did not even bother to get dressed for the day....just stayed in my jammies.  I'm calling this a frugal thing because it made of less laundry generated.  That is my justification...LOL!

~Since I was not feeling up to cooking per say, I got a frozen pizza out of the freezer and cooked that up for dinner.  We had homemade applesauce with it.

~I found some good movies on YouTube that are based in England that I have been enjoying.


~Jeff and I ran into town to do a price check on how much it would cost to get bulk gravel and topsoil delivered to our home.  While we were there, I picked up some potting soil that was on sale so I can start my seedlings of the colder weather crops.

~Our sweet neighbor gave us some fun pop up play tents for the grandkids.

~Jeff and I called Rachel to see if she and Steven were home this afternoon.  They were so we headed over for a nice visit and went to the park next to their house.  Steven was thrilled to have G-pa as his personal playmate. 😊  Jaysn came home right before we left so we got a short visit in with him too. It was so nice to be able to just enjoy a nice afternoon in the sun with family.  It just made my heart smile!

~We picked up dinner from Panda Express and used a coupon for a free extra entre.  I still have half of my meal left and will have it within the next day or two.

~We also went to Winco and picked up a few things we needed there...a very few.  Our pantry, freezers and refrigerator are packed so all we needed was some fresh fruit, a few rice mixes that were on sale (for those days when I really am having a rough time), some plain Greek yogurt, soda for Jeff and some "adult beverages" (ahem) for me.  Those beverages will last a long time in this house.

~I uninstalled some old antivirus programs and installed a newer free one that I have used in the past and like better.

~My hanai sister Shannon and I had a great visit in the evening over the back yard fence.  I am so glad the weather is getting better so we can do that again.


~Our stimulus check came in and we used some of it to pay off our property taxes for this year.  The rest was banked.

~It was a lovely warm day so I took advantage of that to once again open up the sliding glass door to the back covered porch and aired out the house while the cats enjoyed the freedom to come in and out as they pleased.

~I made a big salad for dinner with a Buffalo Ranch salad mix that I added some canned chicken breast meat to.

~Lunch was leftovers and/or sandwiches.

~Jeff pruned the apple tree suckers.


~Jeff worked on the cherry tree, getting it trimmed up.

~I went through the refrigerator and planned our meals for the next few days based on what needed to be used up ASAP.

~I worked on my points programs.

~We facetimed with Josh while he was on his way to Kickball.


~Jeff got the back screened in porch cleaned off and got out my table and chairs for there.

~I had some Sweet Italian Sausage, kale and potatoes that needed to be used so I made a huge pot of Zuppa Toscana soup.

~Jeff headed into work early since he has to do his route and that of another driver (who had a family emergency).  I decided to watch a movie on YouTube since I had slept for half of the day since I was unable to sleep during the previous night.  Yes, it was another one of my "disaster movies"...I have no idea why I love them so much but I do.

   We don't have anything big planned for this weekend with the weather being so crazy.  I think I will try to get Jeff to help me move some pictures around on walls, reorganize the pantry (it got a little messy in there again with all the fibro flares I have had and not being able to keep up on it) and do w bunch of laundry.  Jeff also wants to try out the guest bed this weekend and see if it helps his back.  If it does, we will be moving the guest bed to our bedroom and putting our current bed in the guest bedroom.  We shall see what he thinks and what helps his back the most.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/12/2021


   Spring is here and we are enjoying the sunny days, warmer temperatures and even the unpredictable sudden rain and snow showers.  My snowdrop flowers have peaked their cheery heads up and have given us a beautiful show of white booms!  Plans for my garden this year have been swirling around in my head and at this rate I am going to have to call in the kids for reinforcements to help with the work to make it all happen.  I told Jeff that I will just ask them to do this for me as my early birthday gift this year.  I really want to get the raised beds built and filled in soon and then line the walkways with all the woodchip mulch I got for free last year.  Our covid-19 cases continue to rise here again so I am planning on making the most of my time being at home this Spring and Summer with a complete dining and living room set up on the back screened in porch, lots of fresh produce from the garden and more flowers to enjoy.  I really do enjoy just living outside on the back porch when the weather allows and I look forward to the days I am able to do that again.  I have already been able to use my laundry line to dry some things and that has ramped up my Spring fever big time.  LOL!

Now onto the frugal doings:


~I made a huge pot of broccoli cheese soup with the bag of reduced price fresh broccoli I bought last week, some free cheese, chicken broth, half an onion, some seasonings and a little half and half.  So good!

~Jeff and I watched the movie "Support You Local Gunfighter" on YouTube.

~We had a loaf of reduced price Italian bread to be used up so I cut it in half length wise and used the size with the seasonings to make Pizza with and the other side I turned into garlic bread.  Another big win!

~More loaves of sandwich bread were made.

~I absolutely love primroses so I bought a beautiful one at the garden supply center (cheaper than Walmart and so many more varieties).  I will be planting this out in the garden when the flowers are done blooming so it can come up again next year out there.


~I whipped up a quick dinner of baked chicken breast slices (from the chicken I cooked and froze last week), mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and a nice big salad.  Jeff and I enjoyed it while watching an old episode of Escape to the Country on YouTube.


~Jeff and I celebrated our anniversary by going out to a Greek restaurant.  He brought home half of his dinner because it was HUGE!

~I had a coupon for a free product from Bath and Body Works that we used to get a new body spray.

~I had been on the search for a double tiered stand to put my fruit on so I could clear off more space on the counter.  I found exactly what I wanted at Goodwill.  Jeff also found a brand new shower wand there and used a 20% off coupon on that.  I also found a gorgeous dress for an upcoming wedding this Summer, a shirt for half price, a big coffee mug for Jeff, some books for Bradley and Isaiah, and a brand new cutting board.


~I cooked up 2 pork roasts that I got on discount and now have those ready for future meals.

~My cousin Jeremy stopped by for a visit bringing goodies for a charcuterie board for us all to snack on.  We had a lovely visit with him and he left most of the goodies with us.  He also brought his sweet pittie dog Maggie with him.  It was wonderful to have a dog here in the house again...even if it was just for a few hours.

~Jeff and I had leftovers for dinner.


~I washed and hung the bathroom rugs out of the laundry line to dry since it was a mostly sunny day. 

~We decided to keep Jeff's tracfone for him to carry at work and I reloaded his account today.  I found a bonus code for 60 free minutes, which was added onto the 60 minutes (that automatically doubles on his phone), giving him 180 minutes of airtime.  He only uses this phone when he has to make personal calls and as a way for his bosses to get ahold of him at home.  We keep the straight talk phone as the family phone since it has unlimited minutes per month.

~Leftovers for lunch...I love leftovers!

~Jeff had a doctor's appointment and stopped by the grocery store on his way home.  He surprised me with 2 Snickers candy bars...they are my favorite.

~Dinner was pork roast, homemade rice pilaf, and broiled asparagus.  So good!  I have lots of leftovers for more quick meals.


~I took the last of the baked chicken breast and cut it up to use in a  Buffalo Ranch salad. Yummy!

~Jeff and I finally got my hair was long overdue!  I feel human again.

~We found one of our essentials for our medicine cabinet on sale for half price at Rite Aid.  It was the last bottle they had too!  WINNING!

~We stopped by a local thrift store and I found the last 2 seasons of Downton Abbey for $5.99 and $4.99.  These are the only seasons I  have not watched yet and really wanted to.

~I also found some flannel material to make washable covers for our homemade rice bags and some really nice (maybe worn a few times) Sketchers shoes that will fit when I wear thicker socks when it is colder outside and I want to go for a walk.  These were also found at the same thrift store.

~I was able to SKYPE with Josh, Lauren and Tate.  They are in Utah on a skiing trip this weekend with friends.  Tate is outgrowing all his little outfits that he still fit into while he was here.  Slow Down Little Guy!

~Our hanai son, Ben, was playing a gig at a bar in Montana and he live streamed it so I was able to enjoy seeing and hearing him sing and play guitar again.  He got a call back for the show "The Voice" and we are so excited for him!

~Jeff has been bringing home free lumber this week from on of the places he delivers to.  They told him to take all that he wanted.  We will use this wood for future projects.

   Jeff and I are looking forward to a nice weekend at home.  It is supposed to be beautiful weather wise so we are planning to get some of the garden cleaned up and ready for  more Spring flowers to pop through and get the veggie and fruit beds ready to have the raised beds put into them when they are built.  I need to check my flower seeds and see if any need to be sown in now before the last frost.  Be blessed my friends and have a great weekend!




Monday, March 8, 2021

Happy Birthday Bradley and a Big Frugal Friday Wrap Up Covering Several Weeks!


Happy 9th Birthday to our oldest grandson Bradley who started our journey in this next chapter of our lives!  We love you so very much and are so proud of you!

I am doing a big Frugal Friday Wrap up covering several weeks trying my best to remember things so please bear with me.  In no particular order...

~I cooked a large ham spiral sliced ham to feed our crew while Josh and Lauren were home with our newest grandson Tate.  That ham served us for multiple meals and I still was able to freeze two packages of ham slices and the bone (to make soup with later).

~I got lazy and bought 2 family sized frozen lasagnas along with 2 loaves of French bread.  I made garlic bread with butter and crushed garlic slathered on the French Bread and the lasagnas gave us 4 full meals feeding our huge gang and a dear friend multiple times.

~I sent Tate home with a very soft little hat that his uncle Jaysn had worn as a baby.

~We created a changing table on a set of drawers with a soft towel and a waterproof flannel pad.  I also set a kleenex box stuffed with plastic bags next to the changing table for the kids to put the dirty diapers in.  It worked out great!

~The kids bought diapers for Tate when they arrived (so they would not have to pack so many) and all they could find was the large boxes in his size.  They left us with half of the unused diapers and we will be giving those to a friend who is expecting a child soon.

~Bradley wanted to have a pizza party for his early birthday celebration.  I sent Heather home with a 5 pound bag of mozzarella cheese to use for those.  I also helped her make the homemade pizzas when we were there for the party.  Everyone brought something...I brought salad, Jeremy supplied the drinks and Jaysn and Rachel supplied the fruit for the ice cream sundaes.

~Heather brought over a pan full of her homemade huckleberry rolls...delicious!

~I made a large batch of both huckleberry and plain pancakes...we had lots of leftovers.

~We played the game Relative Insanity with our crew and laughed until we much fun!

~I cooked up 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and froze them for future quick meals.

~I also cooked up a pot of chicken tortilla soup in the instant pot adding whatever sounded good to it...the lime juice just took it to a whole new level!  We had this for several meals and I varied it up near the end by adding some plain Greek yogurt to it to calm the "spiciness" down a bit.  I also added avocado chunks to mine...YUM!

~Josh requested Cranberry Orange bread while he was home.  Luckily I had bough and froze bags of fresh cranberries and had everything else on hand to make it.  I did a triple batch and made some for Chris, Heather and the big boys along with Jaysn, Rachel and Steven too.

~Jeff wanted banana bread so two loaves of that were also made later the next week.

~I found marked down turkey breast lunch meat on sale so I bought 3 packages at $1 each and froze them for future meals.

~More loaves of my homemade sandwich bread were made and Josh really appreciated having that again.  I did not realize how much he missed that since moving out after he graduated from high school.

~I finally got around to cutting Jeff's hair this week.  It was getting really "poofy".

~We found some things at the thrift store that we had been looking happy when that happens.  They had the exact covered tea cup that I had been coveting and I got it for .99 there instead of the $20 that was the retail price online.

~We also hit up the clothing clearance sale at Walmart.  I got new jammies for the grandboys here for $1 a pair, a shirt for Steven for $1 and several shirts for me for $1.

~Steven fell in love with one of my big stuffed animal dogs so I asked him if he would like to take it home with him.  His little eyes lit up and he said yes!  He happily played with it the rest of the time he was here and hugged it all the way home. :)  I am so glad it made him his heart soar!

~I found a box of Belgium waffle mix on clearance and will be making up the entire box and freezing most of the waffles for future meals.  We can just warm them up in our toaster oven when needed.

~Jeff and I took the wolf print that Jeremy gave me years ago to get it professionally matted.  The guy there gave us a 50% discount since business has been so slow.  He also gave us the wire hanger stuff to put on the frame for free.  Jeff already had made the frame and had the glass cut for it.  It is now hanging up in our living room where we are greatly enjoying it.  It was still not cheap to do at all, but it is a numbered original print and we decided this would be our anniversary present to each other.

~We have been finding some amazing deals lately at the Grocery Outlet.  With covid cases on the rise here, we have been stocking up once again knowing that we are going to have to avoid going into town to do any shopping as much as possible.

~I have been greatly enjoying reading the book "An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace" by Tamar Adler.  I found it at one of my local thrift stores for .98 .

~I was down to 2 pairs of black socks so I finally broke down and bought two 6 packs of them.  I don't like them too thick and these are all the right thickness and weight for me.  I won't have to buy any more for years and years to come!

~I sent Lauren home with some homemade herb salts that I made and also some vanilla beans from my sister's garden so Lauren can make her own vanilla extract.  I had already given some to Rachel and Heather, so now all my girls have some from their Auntie Leonie's garden.

~Our big vacuum finally died (it was free to us) so I did my research and found a good Bissel vacuum for a great price at Walmart.  I was shocked to see how much junk it got out of our carpets!  I'm not sure if I should be thrilled at it's power or mortified at how much dirt was in those carpets!

~By using free online genealogy searches along with DNA info from for my hubby, I was able to narrow things down down and finally solve a hidden family secret/mystery.  It took me months to find all the info, but I did it!  My hubby now knows the truth about his ancestry, which is valuable information for him and our children going forward.  

~In need of comfort food, I made a nice meatloaf, scalloped potato and salad dinner for Jeff and I.  We had everything we needed here on hand.

~I had a little bit of leftover chow mien and decided to stretch it to make a meal for myself.  I cute up a huge Napa cabbage leaf into small thin strips, added half a thinly cut up zucchini, 4 fully cooked large frozen shrimp and made a sauce from a dash of soy sauce and about a teaspoon of sweet chili sauce.  It all got mixed together and cooked in the microwave for about 4 minutes.  I then chopped the shrimp up into smaller pieces so I could get some in most bites.  It was delicious and filled my hungry tummy leaving me very satisfied.

~As per usual, I watched some of my favorite shows online.

~I found sliced roast beef and hoagie rolls marked down at Walmart.  I used them to make French Dip sandwiches.  I was able to make these for $3.50 total for both of us, including the au jus.  Last week I paid $11.00 for just one of these sandwiches and some onion rings when we went out to eat.

~Broccoli was marked down so I bought a bag and used it to make broccoli cheese soup since 2 pound blocks of Cheddar cheese were also on sale for $4.99 each.

~I stocked up on yogurts at .39 each, cereal for .99 a box after sale and additional coupons, creamers (you can freeze these) and Powerade at .49 each.  These are all items we use on a regular basis.  I know I could have done better just buying the big containers of yogurt, but this way I got a lot of variety, which I love and consider these a wonderful treat!

~The plunger/locking part of our front door lock quit working.  Jeff replaced the whole thing and just had it re keyed with our original keys so that we did not have to buy all new keys for our kids and one of my best friends.  Much cheaper!

  Not a whole lot going on around here now that the kids have gone home.  We are just puttering and doing smaller projects around the house since the weather has once again turned cold and gray.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A Bit of Catching Up


  Oh my goodness, we had a wonderful time while Tate, Josh and Lauren were here for a week!  Jeff and I enjoyed those baby snuggles, coos, smiles and his little "snorts". 😍  We were able to get the whole family together one night and celebrate Bradley's birthday early while his Uncle Josh, Auntie Lauren and new cousin Tate were home.  We also had many nights of family here for dinner and even had my sista/other mother to my boys Roni up for dinner one night so she could meet Tate.  We had lots of photos taken, which I will do a separate post on once all of them have been uploaded from the rest of my crew.

   Now that Josh, Lauren and Tate are back home in Las Vegas, life is starting to return to semi normal, but the excitement is not over yet.  Jaysn, Rachel and Steven came out for a visit and told us they put an offer on a house.  A day later, they found out the offer was accepted!  The house sits on 2.5 acres so there is lots of space for Steven to run, climb trees and for Rachel to be able to have a garden.  Congrats to them all!!!  They are even talking about getting a dog, which I think will be a wonderful idea since Steven LOVES dogs. 😊 Oh, Rachel also is going to be going back to SEL where she used to work and Jaysn has been working for years.  She is really happy about that because it will be a lot less stress and the benefits there are amazing!  We are really happy for her and know this will take a lot of pressure off her. 

   Chris, Heather, Bradly and Isaiah are adjusting to Chris being on 12 hours work shifts again, which is also the overnight shift.  It is a rough one and will take awhile for them to all get used to.  Since Chris is a police officer, his shifts change over the year and by the seasons.  He will also most likely be getting more overtime put in which will come in handy since they just bought a much needed new to them car.  They picked up a nice Honda Pilot after seeing how nice my parents' one is.  We are really happy for them since Heather's car was on it's last legs. 😀

   Jeff is also back to work again after being off for a little over a week.  Last night was his first night back and after us both getting used to sleeping at night when the kids were here, it has been an adjustment.  I have a feeling this week will be really rough for Jeff as he makes the switch back and gets used to doing the heavy lifting again that comes with his job.  I'm not doing well sleep wise without him here at night either.  I tossed and turned for much of last night.  I have a feeling that I will be making the switch back to sleeping during the days when he does since that works better for both of us.

   Covid-19 cases are once again on the rise here in our area again with the additional tragic deaths of 4 more people last week in our county alone.  Our town also has seen 5 new cases within the last 2 week period and we only have a little over 600 people here. It is scary to see the numbers going up so quickly and all the despite the increase in people being vaccinated. I know the Kent variation of the virus is in our state and the Brazilian one is in Idaho already.  I am wondering if they have made their way up here to our little part of the world yet since the increase is so sharp and the death rate is picking up. 😢  Looks like that little bit of freedom we had to actually be able to go out to eat and such is coming to an end for the time being.

   Jeff and I have been busy tackling a lot of projects here around the house and have a lot more to do.  We got the back guest bedroom all set up for the kids while they were here and I am hoping to keep it company ready at all times now.  I am finding myself retreating to it for naps also, which is now going to come in real handy with Jeff back to his swing shift.  We have decided that we need to do some painting, replacing of doors and trim, installing a fan in our bedroom and a few other projects when the weather warms up again.

   Speaking of the weather, we went from that polar vortex to temps expected near 60 this week! 😎  I went outside yesterday and found that my primroses are already starting to bloom and that the rest of my Spring bulbs are putting up shoots!  I am hoping that we do not get another deep freeze or killing frost because all the plants now are waking up and I need then to do well this year.  I bought some more flower seeds and want to create an English Garden type bed right off the back porch since we don't have a dog who will be digging it all up this year.  I think it will look really nice there and make the view from the back covered porch even nicer.  We had thought about possibly moving to Idaho sometime this year but that has been put on hold now so I will continue to just enjoy my little paid off home and increase the beauty and productivity of the gardens.  Jeff seems to be more accepting of this also since we really do not want to incur any more debt but rather sock away even more money into savings.  You never know what will happen in the future and I want to be prepared financially.

   As for now, we will keep on living our happy frugal lives and try to stay healthy and avoid the dreaded virus.  With Spring coming, I am even more hopeful since I can once again get out into the garden and grow some more of our own food.  I love seeing things bud out and seedings pop out of the ground.  It fills me with a sense of wonder and thankfulness for all we have been blessed with.  We really are fortunate and having the kids and grandkids all together again just filled our "love tanks" to the brim.  Hopefully we will all be together again in June for a few days...looking so forward to that!  Be blessed all!