Monday, May 24, 2021

A New Chapter in Our Lives


   After 12 years of working the graveyard shift as a freight delivery driver, Jeff's time there came to an end on Friday night.  He started his new job in Contractor Sales at a building supply company today and could not be happier. 😊  He called me when he was on his lunch break to let me know how things were going.  There is definitely a learning curve since everything is computerized for inventory, but he will pick it up quickly I'm sure.  He is a hands on learner and picks up things quickly once he is shown how to do something and does it a few times himself.  He is now working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. which works out great for us since it will allow us to go to Bradley and Isaiah's Pee Wee baseball games this Summer, and being just 4 miles from Jaysn and Rachel's house, will allow him to stay with them if the roads get bad this Winter and shut down. 

   It is not just an adjustment for him, but for me also.  I am finding that I am more productive during regular daytime hours.  Today I was able to get 5 loads of laundry done and folded, make split pea and ham soup and work in the garden along with getting some things cleaned on the outside of the house.  I also got the gardens all watered.  There are still the beds to make with freshly washed linens, but I will wait for Jeff to help with that since my back is done for the day. 😉

   Jaysn came out this afternoon after work to borrow the truck so he can pick up a bed they are buying tomorrow.  It was so nice to visit with him for a bit without distractions.  We had fun sharing some memories and I sent him home with some sausages for the big family party this weekend.  They are much easier to just grill that Rachel making homemade pizza and she needs a break at the moment.  Trying to move into a new home and having family come for visits has been keeping her super busy (and stressed).

  Anyway, Jeff just got home so I am going to visit with him but I wanted to check in.  Be blessed!


Friday, May 14, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/14/21


   What a week it has been!  I went from being sicker than a dog from my reaction to my second Pfizer covid vaccine to slowly coming out of that and feeling semi "normal" again.  Even with that, I did manage to get quite a bit done in the garden, along with some cooking.  We did not go hungry by any means. 😉  Today, Friday, is the first day that I am finally free from any obvious side effects from the vaccine and I am so grateful for that.  Do I regret getting it?  Still no.  Onto the frugal doings:



~We worked in the garden getting the raised beds ready to plant.  Jeff put cardboard on the bottoms of the two remaining beds to block the weeds.

~I made 2 move loaves of bread.

~Jeff and I were craving tuna pasta salad so I went out to the garden, got some green onions and then pulled tuna, pasta and mayo out of the pantry.

~I was feverish both Friday and Saturday night with my reaction to my second dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine so I washed all of the bedding from the guest bed and the mater bedroom bed and hung it out to dry on the laundry line.  It smelled so good and was heavenly to crawl into bed Sunday night.

~Jeff made us grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner on Sunday night...mine even had tomato in it just the way I like it.  😋  I know it was Mother's Day but all I wanted to do was stay home and have a relaxing day.

~We talked to all the kids and my parents this weekend either by phone or facetime.  


~Jeff and I went down to our town's assisted living care center to visit with Uncle Bob and got to see several other friends we have not seen in ages also.  We also stopped at the bank to visit with another good friend and at the little store to see if their prices were similar to many at the larger stores....surprisingly, many of them were!

~I made fajitas for lunch.  I already had cooked chicken fajita meat so I just zapped it in the microwave with a quarter of a frozen chopped onion and a sliced up fresh yellow pepper.  So easy and so good!

~Since I was wanting something different to drink, I mixed up a pitcher of peach iced tea.  Oh how I have missed that!

~The green onion bottoms that I had stuck in water after cutting off the tops were finally rooted out enough for me to plant in one of the new raised garden beds.  YES!

~Since I woke up way too early this morning, I gave myself permission to take a much needed nap.  I slept for 3 hours.  I had not planned on sleeping that long but apparently I needed it.


~I got two of the raised garden beds seeded in with assorted lettuces, kale, spinach, radishes and bush beans.  I also got my blue columbine planted.

~The garden bench was in rough shape after sitting out all Fall and Winter.  I gave it a good scrub down so it is presentable again.

~The strawberry bed, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry bushes, along with the rhubarb all got a good watering.

~After doing way too much I ended up in a huge amount of pain (also still dealing with of the covid-19 vaccine after effects UGH) and could barely move.  Jeff got a frozen pizza out of the freezer and we had that for dinner.  I had gotten it on sale previously and it was perfect for a day like this.

~I curled up in bed after dinner and watched money saving videos on YouTube.  I was glad that i did because I had forgotten the concept of weighing decisions based on "how many hours of work will it take to pay for item x, y, or z and is it worth it).  Great reminder!


~Jeff and I ran into Pullman to Walmart to get more soil for one of our raised beds in the garden.  While there I found a queen sized sheet set on clearance for $15!  I bought it since it will be prefect for the guest bed with the warmer weather coming on.  I also found salad mix, cheesecake and hoagie rolls on clearance.  I resisted the urge to buy a bunch more plants even though many of them were on clearance.

~While in town, we ran up to some of the college student apartments and went "treasure hunting".  I found half a case of brand new quart sized canning jars, new shoes in their boxes (will be reselling these), gardening supplies, clothing and show knows what else.  I still have a huge tote to go through full of stuff.

~I was really craving some good burgers so I made some at home for dinner and served that along with some homemade applesauce that I had pulled out of the freezer earlier in the day.


~The mail brought a lovely surprise of a refund check for part of my health insurance payments from way back in 2015.  Hey, I'll take it!  It also brought a free magazine, Country Living, which I will enjoy reading later today.

~I got the squash planted today.

~Jeff and I dug up some of the errant strawberry plants and got them potted up for Steven.

~Jaysn and Steven came for a visit to borrow our blow up air bed since they have some of Rachel's cousins and their kids staying with them this weekend.  Steven was very excited about his strawberry plants that Grammie and G-pa gave him. :)

~Jaysn blessed us with half a gallon of milk.  That was really sweet of him.

~I made a pork chop and rice casserole for dinner.


~I spent the morning on my screened in porch getting caught up on things online and enjoying my coffee.  One of the neighborhood cats decided to come into our backyard for a visit.  My cats were so deeply asleep that they did not even notice.  LOL!

~I hung Jeff's work clothing up on the line to dry after I washed them.  It is so nice to be able to do that again!

~We have an abundance of pineapple mint growing in one of our front beds by the house.  I grabbed a big handful of the mint, rinsed it and then steeped in in boiling water to make some mint tea.  I love this cold on a hot day.

~Jeff and I have both been craving Subway sandwiches so I made my own version of them here at home for lunch.  Much healthier and way cheaper since I had bought smoke turkey slices lunchmeat when it was on sale and frozen it. I got that for $1 a package.  Even with making thick sandwiches, I still have enough meat for one more.

~Jeff and I went down to visit Uncle Bob and helped him with a few things.  I let him know that Chris was going to be coming down in the morning to see him also.  He seemed very pleased about that. :)

~It has been unseasonably hot here and just getting hotter in the next few days.  I made good use of the bamboo blinds we put up on the back porch last year to cut the amount of sun coming in.  I also got the glider rocker all decked out in it's bench pad (an old body pillow that I cover with a twin sized fitted sheet) and a comfy pillow to rest my head on when I lay down and read.  Patchy greatly approves.

   Jeff only has one more week at his current job and then moves on to his new job.  I can tell that he is totally burnt out at this point but continues to do his best, even when asked to go above and beyond at the last minute for others.  Tonight he is doing his route and one of the other routes by himself.  Yes, he will get compensated for it, but it is frustrating to find out at the last minute (this morning) that the other guy wanted time off tonight and yet Jeff has been turned down for time off even when he asks in advance.  Putting in the extra hours tonight will mean that he will be exhausted tomorrow when Chris, Heather and the big grandboys come over in the morning.  We had also planned on going somewhere on Sunday, but we shall play that by ear at this point.  We shall see how Jeff and I are both doing at that point since the heat tends to make me ill.  Be blessed!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/7/21


   I finally feel human enough to be able to finish off this post.  Jeff and I both got our second dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine on Thursday and while he got through with just a sore arm and tiredness, I did not.  I ended up sicker than a dog with teeth chatter chills, sweat pouring down me, high fever, headaches and intense body aches.  It's now Saturday and I still have a bit of a temperature, sore arm, headache some body aches but I am praying the worst is over.


~Jeff ordered 5 cubic feet of gravel to be delivered to our home to redo our driveway and rented a walk behind skid steer to help with the project.  They did not deliver the gravel on Saturday morning and gave us the runaround all day long.  They finally got it delivered mid day on Sunday so they only charged us for half a day rental on the skid steer after realizing how angry we were.

~We used some heavy duty plastic and some pellet bags to put down under the gravel in certain areas where we have bad weed breakthrough problems.

~Jeff got 2 pickup beds full of dirt from Chris and Heather's huge pile that was sitting in their yard from when they put the pad down for their future shop.  Those were used as the base layer to fill the raised garden beds that Jeff built with materials we already had on hand.

~We did spend about $100 on organic garden compost and organic aged manure to add to the garden beds.

~We laid down cardboard in the raised beds before adding the soil to use as a weed barrier.  It will compost down over time but will smother the weeds in the process.

~I took a reduced priced fully cooked chicken out of the freezer and we had part of it for a meal along with homemade baked potato salad.

~I dug up some sunflower starts, along with dill, from the garden before putting in the new garden beds so I could transplant them.

~Sunday I thawed out some homemade BBQed pork and served it on buns for our lunch.

~We used the hot tub both Saturday and Sunday night after working so hard in the yard and garden.

~The rug in the living room was filthy so I took it outside and washed it then hung it over the tall fence to dry.

~Uncle Bob (our dearly loved neighbor) came home with a walker.  He needed a tray on top of it to transport things around the house.  He asked Jeff to build him one.  Jeff was able to whip one out within 10 minutes out of lumber we had on hand.  Jeff added an edge coming down off each side on the bottom to secure it but also make it so Bob could remove it if he wanted to.


~Jeff had an interview for a new job and got it!  Yay!  Since he was already half way there (from our house) already, he proceeded down to Lewiston for the required drug test.

~I put the rest of the chicken from the weekend into the crockpot along with some veggies to cook.  I then stripped the meat off the bones and added some half and half and a can of corn to make a corn and chicken chowder.  We had some for dinner and had lots of leftovers for later in the week.

~Jeff mowed the lawn and added the grass clippings to the compost pile. I also added the veggie scraps and peeling to it.

~I cut up and froze 3 bunches of green onion tops and then put the bottoms into a container to root so I can plant them out in about a week in the garden.  

~I also diced up half an onion (the other half went into the chowder) and froze that for future use.

~Since I overdid it during the weekend, I spent most of Monday looking for new recipes to try in my cookbooks using ingredients I have on hand.

~A menu plan was made based on what we have on hand and needs to be used ASAP.


~Jeff and I went to 2 thrift stores looking for jeans for him.  We did find a pair at one of them, along with a pajama gown for me, a locking lid salad bowl and a spoon rest. We both saw other things we like but did not need so we did not buy them.

~We decided to go out for an early dinner to celebrate Jeff's new job.  We went to our favorite place that serves sushi along with lots of other amazing Asian dishes.  Our sweet waitress came over with 2 fried sushi rolls that she said were miss ordered and asked if we would like then for free.  We said yes since I was planning on ordering sushi anyway.  Jeff ordered what he wanted and we brought half his meal plus one of the sushi rolls home with us because we were so full.  We left her a very generous tip for her kindness and the excellent service.

~We did stop at WSU to see the bears again since it was on our way.  I love watching them lumber along and play. :)

~Both Jeff and I tackled folding several loads of laundry together, sorting as we went as to what to keep and what to donate.


~The cats and I spent some time out on the back porch in the morning while Jeff slept.  It is wonderful to be able to use it again as a dining room/living room and expands our home floor space.

~I cooked up some ground venison into taco meat and we had taco salads for our big meal of the day.  Yum!

~Tulips from the garden were picked and put in a vase to brighten up the inside of our home.  We are expecting possible hailstorms tomorrow so I wanted to make sure I got some in before the hail had a chance to destroy them.


~I looked at the grocery ads on line and did not see a single thing on sale that we needed.  I did notice another hike in prices though...YIKES!

~I talked to Chris and he wants some of the excess strawberry plants too.  Yay!  They will be divided equally between Steven and Chris. 😉

~Jeff and I got our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and they had treats there for everyone.

~I found huge packages of mild smoked sausages for $1.97 at Grocery Outlet.  I bought two of them for our big family party later this month.  I also found peach iced tea mix and bought some of that to have on hand this summer.  It is one of my favorite drinks.

~Jeff made nachos for us for dinner with the leftover taco meat.


~Oh my goodness was I ever sick with the side effects from the second Pfizer vaccine.  Needless to say we did not go anywhere or do much at all.

~I covered up some plants with boxes to keep them from freezing.

   I did start my grocery envelope system and put $100 into it.  I will add another $100 in two weeks when Jeff is paid again.  It really does help me to have to deal in cash because it really makes me think about what I am spending.  Hopefully this will be a good way to keep that all under control.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Income Going Down, Quality of Life Going Up


   In my last post I shared how our income might be going down.  Today we found out it will be and we could not be happier! 😁  I know that might sound strange, but stick with me here.  Jeff applied for a different job at a building supply company as the person who works with the contractors and builders.  He has the skill set and experience for this since he worked at and helped set up a new building supply store in the past, was the yard supervisor there and also worked as a carpenter building homes.  He has the connections in the building industry and he is a local guy who knows a lot of people in the area.  The assistant manager of the store he will be working for is someone he worked for in the past and who knows and appreciates Jeff's work ethic.  The new job is in Moscow, Idaho (Jeff's hometown that he grew up in) and is a daytime shift!  Woohoo!  Mostly he will work on weekdays with an occasional Saturday thrown in.  Yes, he will no longer be part of the night dwelling mole people!  LOL!  His new job is also just a few miles from Jaysn and Rachel's new place, so on the Saturdays that he has to work, he can run out there and have lunch with them and Steven.  He will also be getting off in time to go to most of Bradley and Isaiah's baseball games during the week.  Win-win!

   Jeff called and gave 3 weeks notice at his current job and one of the owners there was really happy for him.  She sees how hard he works and can also see the toll that this job has taken on his body.  He could have just given two weeks notice but he knew that might put them in a bind and wanted to give them an extra week to try and find someone to take over his route so he could train them.  He could have just given them 2 weeks and taken the 3rd week as a vacation, but that is the kind of guy he is...a truly good and caring person.  

   It was wonderful to both hear and see the absolute relief and genuine excitement that he has over this new job.  It is a field that he loves and is good at, will give him great social interaction with people that he knows and cares about, and will be a lot less taxing on his body.  His quality of life is definitely going up, as will mine since he will not be in so much pain.  It has been extremely concerning to me to see how much pain he has been in and the frustration he has been experiencing.  I love him so much and want to do everything I can to protect him.  I have totally been behind him 100% on this much needed change and I know that together, Jeff and I can still do well on a reduced income.  We have a good plan in place and have already been implementing it in anticipation of this. 😉