Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Scorching Heat and I Took a Tumble



      You see that temperature above?  That was yesterday afternoon on my porch in the shade.  It was hot enough that it melted the glue that helps hold the roll up blinds on the porch in place and the middle blind fell off!

      I heard a thud in the afternoon and went out to find the middle blind down.  Upon inspecting the hardware and then the blind itself, I could see the melted glue on the blind.  That is the blind, now waiting for the heatwave to pass so I can fix the stupid thing!

   We have a Swamp Cooler to keep the house cool and it normally works great, but it would not compete with this freakishly hot heat wave.  My hanai sister/neighbor/friend called me yesterday afternoon to see how I was doing and I told her I was hot.  Apparently she could tell by my voice that I was in trouble even if I did not realize it myself at that moment.  Being the amazing, generous and loving person that she is, she immediately sprung into action and got her extra air conditioner over her, along with a huge fan.  She and Jeff got it installed and going.  I did not realize that I was experiencing heat exhaustion because I could not think clearly.  After about 20 minutes, I could think clearly again and my body temperature was back down to normal.  Everyone needs a sweet friend like Shannon who goes out of her way to make sure those she loves are safe.  I cannot thank her enough!  Midgy cat was also having trouble with the heat and I had been putting ice packs on her to help cool her down.  Patchy was at the vet's office having surgery (she comes home today) so she was fine there and the AC will help keep her comfy while she further recovers at home.

   This heat is taking a huge toll on the wheat crops all around me.  You can literally see the wheat drying up in the fields (we do not irrigate fields here).  The projected yield this year was already low before this heatwave hit and now I fear the farmers are going to take an even bigger loss.  If this continues, it will affect the other crops as well and being that we are the biggest split pea and lentil producing area in the world, this could be a HUGE hit not just to the farmers, but to the food supply as well.  Meanwhile, my friend in Illinois posted pictures of the corn fields completely flooded in her area.  It's not looking good folks...not at all!

   This morning I woke up to the temperature outside rising quickly.  It was 7:30 a.m. and we were already getting close to 90F.  I quickly got dressed and went over to Shannon's to let her dogs out to go potty and then to give them and her kitties some lovies since she had to very leave early in the morning to go pick something up in Portland, OR.  When I got home I decided the best plan of action was to get the berries picked before I had my coffee.  Big Mistake.  Apparently that magic elixir is much needed for my brain to work properly.  My brain and feet were not communicating and I took a tumble down the back deck stairs.  Thank God there are just a few of them and I was able to land on my rather well padded behind, but not until I had screwed up my arthritic foot and become the proud owner of that much coveted "fashion accessory" of scrapes and bruises, which I will now be sporting for the rest of the week at least.  I also managed to tweak my already bad back...Yay me!  NOT!

   After all this I have decided that my recliner and I will be spending a lot of time together today.  I have the swamp cooler on (before it gets to the point where it is not cooling the inside air and then will switch over to the AC) and have the big fan going too.  At the moment I am still feeling cool and comfortable.  I will be taking a shower soon and not blow drying my hair.  If my neighbors see me, they will have to deal with the wild haired woman that I am if I do not style my hair.  Tough cookies for them...LOL!  They all know I am semi crazy anyway, so it is nothing new. 😆

   While I am home in my recliner, our sweet Heather is doing a Costco run and picking up some new microfiber sheets for me.  They have the queen sized sets on sale for $14.99 so she is picking up two of them, one for our bed and one for the guest bed.  I love microfiber sheets and have been looking for a great deal on them for ages.  They just are so soft and with my fibromyalgia, I need super soft sheets that do not bother my skin.  I am so blessed that she asked me if I needed anything from Costco today and that the sheets I want are on sale there. 😌

   I'm off to get yet another big glass of water to drink.  Praying that everyone reading this is safe and staying cool or warm (whatever your need is).  Have a great day!






Sunday, June 27, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap 6/25/21


  Late posting again...the heat is on here and it is making me melt.  I am thankful for a home that is staying coollish thanks to the swamp cooler.  My heart goes out to everyone who is having trouble with this heat and has no way to cool down.


~Jeff had to work on Saturday until 2 p.m..  Once he got home we made a trip into town to pick up things like kitty litter, bananas and a few other items.  I found grapes on sale at Walmart for .98 a pound!  We did notice that there were lots of gaps on the food shelves including huge ones in produce and dairy.  Hopefully this is not going to become the new "normal" for awhile.

~Rite Aid had their plants all marked down to 75% off.  I found some rather scraggly looking tomato plants and bought them.  I figured $1 for 4 plants was worth the risk.  We also bought 8 sweet pepper plants at another place.  The price of peppers had been outrageous lately so I wanted to try and grow some of our own.

~I harvested most of the spinach and planted the scraggly tomatoes in their place.  They are looking so good now and seem to love it.  I knew they just needed some TLC. 😉 

~The  pepper plants were planted in the front garden raised bed and seem to like it there also.

~Oh I found a 24 pack of Yoplait yogurt at the Grocery Outlet for $1.97.  Snacks and breakfasts for me!

~The strawberries are doing well and each day I seem to be able to harvest more and more.  YUM!

~For Father's Day I marinated some venison steaks in red wine and herb salts and served that with cheesy julienned potatoes and a salad made from kale and spinach from the garden.  Jeff had his salad with homemade croutons and thousand island dressing while I made a strawberry and spinach salad with homemade dressing.  It was all so delicious!

~We watched several movies on the Disney Channel.

~We talked to all the boys on Father's Day.  How did Jeff and I get so blessed to be their  dad and mom? 💓

~We put a lattice trellis up over the radishes and some of the lettuce hoping to keep them from burning in the hot sun.


~Sheets were washed and hung out on the line to dry.  Jeff was a sweetheart and made the beds with the freshly washed and dried sheets in the evening while I was out doing the watering in the gardens.

~I harvested more strawberries from the garden.

~Venison burgers and corn on the cob, along with salad from the garden, for dinner.  Rhubarb cake was dessert.

~I've been reading my "Cooking with Stored Foods" cookbook to get more ideas to use with my food storage items.  No, I am not Mormon, but I am prudent and believe in food security after having gone through some very rough times in the past.

~Later in the day I harvested a bunch of radishes and snacked on those.

~It has been over a year since I went to our town library.  I went down today and found two interesting books to read.


~Leftovers for lunch.

~I harvested lettuce and more strawberries from the garden.

~I spent some time watching gardening videos on how to increase my yield of tomatoes and peppers.

~The squash plants got a leaf trimming so the bees can find the flowers more easily.

~It is hard for me to remember to drink water and I really have to force myself to do so.  Grapes however, I love!  They are loaded with lots of juice so I make a deal with myself that I can eat those IF I will drink water after doing so.  I know, it may seem silly, but I had to find a way to actually get myself to drink more water.

~The temperatures are climbing higher and higher.  It was 90F out on the covered back porch even with the blinds blocking the sun at 2 p.m..  I have started closing up the house earlier and earlier before the temperatures get too hot so that it remains cooler in the house for a longer period of time before I have to turn on the swamp cooler.  I am also taking cooler showers mid-day to help cool my core body temperature down and I let my hair dry naturally.  We are supposed to be up in the 100's this weekend.  UGH!

~I used to love reading Laine's Letters and printed off a bunch of them.  I'm going back to reread them once more because I found them calming, inspiring and it helped me to appreciate all that I have been blessed with and not fretting about the budget so much.


~It was cloudy and overcast, so it kept the temps down into the 80's.  Since it was a bit cooler, Jeff and I decided to go to our oldest two grandsons PeeWee game in the evening.  When I had Heather ask Isaiah if we could come or not (I knew he would be excited!) he replied "Why would I ever say no?"  Oh how I love that kiddo!

~I picked more roses and greenery from the garden and made 2 flower arrangements.

~The citrus mint was trimmed back from the newer Clematis plants.  I took all the trimmings and dried the leaves for tea.

~I made chicken meatballs in BBQ sauce and homemade mac and cheese for dinner.  A definite hubby pleaser. 😋 It may not be the healthiest of meals but dang is it good.

~I got the hot tub all filled back up with water (the level went down due to evaporation) and the chemicals refilled also.  With the heat coming I know that we will be using it kind of like a plunge pool to cool off in.

~I was able to help a few friends that are going through a rough time...sometimes all you need to do is be there to listen and love them.

~We had some very happy grandsons, Isaiah and Bradley, to have their Grammie and G-pa at the game.  They won!  Is there anything better than hugs and "I love yous" from your grandkids?  I think not. 💗


~I cleaned out the refrigerator and the pantry.  I was able to consolidate a lot of things so there is more room in the pantry now.

~Strawberries were picked, sliced and frozen for future toppings for pound cake, pancakes and waffles.

~I also picked most of the radishes that we left in the garden and got those topped and stems off so they are ready to add to salads.

~The laundry was done and most (except for Jeff's work shirts) was hung out on the line to dry.  Jeff's shirts dry really quickly in the dryer so very little energy used there.  I dry them in there because they need to be wrinkle free.

~Jeff took leftovers for lunch.

~The mint I dried the previous day was all packaged up and ready to give to someone for tea.

~We got commodities today and I am so very thankful!  In addition to the food (I only got about half of what they had since many of the items were not ones that we would use (canned ravioli, canned carrots) or items that we already had a surplus of, so I left them for someone who would, they gave out $40 gift cards to local grocery stores.  I have only seen them do this one time in the past and that was in the Christmas baskets that we gave out years ago when I was running this community blessing.  Such a huge surprise and one that was much appreciated and will help us tremendously!

~While in the garden this morning, I was able to see that the Cos lettuce is doing very well under the shade of the zucchini leaves. YAY!!!

~I was so tired and hot after going to get commodities and working in the yard that I just pulled a homemade frozen meal out of the freezer to heat up for dinner.  Chicken fajita and rice served with salad from the garden is what is for dinner.

~I have one of the whole chickens we got from commodities thawing in the freezer.  This will be cooked up Friday in the crockpot so I can make various meals, including soup that I will freeze for a future meal when it is cooler.


~I harvested more lettuce and strawberries from the garden.

~Two hours were spent trying to get my health insurance stuff all uploaded and documented.  UGH!  Very stressful and my body reacted accordingly.

~The bathroom rugs and towels were washed and hung out on the line to dry.

~Two more loaves of bread were made.  I also cut up a loaf of sourdough bread and stuck it in the refrigerator so it will not go bad in this heat.

~The chicken was cooked in the crockpot until it fell off the bones.  Serving this with mashed potatoes and a big green salad.

~I had to take Patchy cat to the vet...yes, I drove because Jeff was at work and the kids are either at work or out of town.  At least I had my free Kitty Carrier to take her in so she would not be roaming the car the whole time.  The HomeoPet seemed to be working but it got worse again today so we went.  Turns out she does have a urinary tract infection and stones (big ones) that will have to be removed surgically.  Her surgery is set for Tuesday. 😢  Another hit to the finances, but we had no choice...she is our fur baby.

~I brought in both of the fans from the garage and am using them to help circulate the cooler air in the house.

   Here's to staying out of the heat for the rest of this coming week!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/18/21


   Oh my goodness, this week has been a rollercoaster of emotions.  It started out so wonderfully but took an ugly turn on Tuesday that left me totally shaken and feeling unsafe in my own home.  I won't go into many details other than to say that someone we know acted out in a totally uncharacteristic for them way.  They hurled false accusations at me, threatened physical violence against one of my sons and threatened to have Jeff and I arrested.  All this happened in my home while Jeff was at work.  Jeff of course wanted to protect me when he heard what happened but I asked him to please let things cool down first (I was in tears). I did let my son know what happened (he is a police officer) and of course he said all the claims made were baseless and he will be working on things from his end also.  We are trying to get this situation dealt with and see if anything can be done to get the person who did this some I said, totally out of character for them so something is definitely going on but they cannot and will not be allowed to ever pull a stunt like this again.  They were projecting their insecurities and issues upon us. This all threw me into a big Fibro flare (stress is a huge trigger for me) and left me making sure that doors are locked at all times when I am home now.  

Anyway...onto the frugal doings:


~We stayed home so that no gas was used in the car.  It was Jeff's 3 day weekend and we concentrated on getting things done around the house.

~Jeff was able to "fix" my recliner so it works better for me again.  He will use the new one we bought.

~I made homemade pizza and waffles over the weekend...Yummy!

~We watched the movie "Grease" that we have here on DVD.  Fun!

~We also used the hot tub.

~I harvested some spinach and basil, along with strawberries.

~We switched out our clothing to the warmer weather clothes...neither of us needs any more clothes at the moment.

~I also made up bags of clothing to donate or try to sell at the consignment store.

~I made some more "maple" syrup for hubby since he finished off the real stuff.


~Jeff potted up some oregano, strawberry and raspberry plants to take with him to work on Tuesday to share with his coworkers who are starting gardens.

~I made a big pasta salad and used oregano and basil from the garden again in it.

~The laundry was all hung out on the line to dry. Most of the laundry was sheets and towels with just a few clothing items.

~More spinach was is so good this time of year and our spinach plants are really producing well.

~Our roses and Shasta daisies are blooming so I picked some and made a small bouquet.  It just looks so "happy" in the living room. 😊

~We are expecting some strong storms to roll through our area so all the potted plants and new starts have been safely (I hope) tucked away in the hot tub area to protect then from large hail and high winds.

~Jeff did his best to try to secure lumber across the raised beds to help protect the plants there also.

~Jeff talked to Uncle Bob and he is letting us put the truck under his carport to help protect it.  It has a cracked windshield and if hit just right with hail, might shatter.  We do not have the funds at the moment to replace it.

~We had pastrami sandwiches and fries for dinner.  Yum!

~I blessed a friend with a lot of green onions from our garden...she was thrilled!  I love sharing our bounty with friends. 😊


~Jeff uncovered all the raised garden beds before he went to work so they can get a good soaking from the rain later in the day.

~Going over the budget yet again to see what further cuts we can make.  We did pay off the hospital bill taking money out of savings to do so but I still need to make more cuts, without totally depleting our savings, to balance the budget.

~Found another way to cut the budget...paying off the credit card in full so we do not have that monthly payment.  I still have money left in savings for an emergency.

~I picked strawberries from the garden and put all the potted plants back out so the rain can soak them well.  No need to water today!

~Later in the day another storm front came through so I moved all the potted plants back under cover and moved the truck's front into our neighbor's carport so that the front windshield would not be shattered by hail. back is now screaming at me.

~Dinner was homemade Zuppa Toscana (from the freezer) and crescent rolls.

~Jeff used the chainsaw Jeremy gave him for Christmas to cut up a branch that came down into our front yard during the storm.


~Rough day all the way around so we had leftover pasta salad with spinach (from our garden) added to it and Pastrami sandwiches.

~I made some popcorn and we watch "The Happiest Millionaire" on the Disney+ channel.

~Jeff picked up milk and bananas on his way home from work.

~I did some weeding in the garden.

~I picked a few strawberries from the garden also.

~Jeff's car is acting up so he had to buy some parts to fix it.  Another hit to the tight budget.  It is still cheaper than taking it in to have it done though.  I will just have to cut the grocery budget down to $40 for the rest of the month.  We can do it though because we are well stocked up.  Thank you God for blessing us with such abundance that things like this won't cause a crisis for us.


~I baked 2 loaves of sandwich bread and made croutons with the leftover ends of the other loaves.

~While the oven was still hot, I baked up 5 potatoes that needed to be used up ASAP.  I will make these into a delicious potato salad since the heat is coming on strong outside in the next few days.

~I picked spinach, baby kale and radishes from the garden and made a nice salad with them to go along with dinner.

~Dinner was a pork stroganoff over rice, served along side that salad.

~I scrubbed most of the rust off (as much as I could) my old metal birdbath and let that dry.  Later in the afternoon I painted it with some black Rustoleum paint.  It looks beautiful again!  I can't wait to use it in the garden.

~I had a nice chat with both Uncle Bob and my hanai sister Shannon.  I love them both so very much!

~I "fed" the compost pile again.

~Watering was done in the evening.

~Jeff took a Italian Prune Plum tree that had volunteers in our yard to one of his coworkers who is starting a garden at her home.  She was thrilled and so touched that he would gift her with it.  


~I harvested rhubarb from the garden and shared some with Shannon.  I also gave her the 2 ripe strawberries from the strawberry patch.  I love being able to share from the garden and I know she takes great delight in it too.

~With the rhubarb I made Jeff's favorite rhubarb cake as an early Father's Day gift.  Jeff claims to not like rhubarb but he loves this cake...go figure. I get a huge kick out of it really. 😉

~I used those potatoes that I baked on Thursday to make a baked potato salad.  I added green onions and chives from the garden and used plain yogurt and celery salt for the "dressing".  I figured this was a "healthierish" (yes, I made that word up) salad.  We had it with fish and green beans as a side dish with dinner and there were still plenty of leftovers.

~Jeff and I got out in the evening into the garden and he weeded a bit while I watered.  I was thrilled so see some of the Cos lettuce coming up next to the zucchini plants.  The leaves of the zucchini will provide some much needed shade for the lettuce as the days get hotter.

~Patchy cat developed a UTI.  I looked online for homeopathic remedies since we cannot afford a vet bill right now.  I dosed her up with some cranberry capsules and then had Jeff stop by Petco to pick up some HomeoPet UTI medication.  I asked him to have them price match their online price instead of paying the instore price (which was $10 more) and they did.  Hopefully this will clear things up for her.  She is not running a fever and seems to be her normal self for the most part so I think we caught it early enough for this to work for her.

   So that is what is going on here.  We are heading into much hotter weather this coming week so Jeff and I will try to get as much done as we can this weekend to get the gardens ready for that.  Since the spinach is starting to bolt, I may just take that out this coming week, strip down the leaves and plant something else that thrives in heat in it's place. Crop rotation is a good thing!  I am also thinking of planting some more lettuce and spinach in a shaded part of the back yard garden where the soaker hose is that goes to the raspberry and blackberry patches.  It should do well there and will get the water it needs without me having to hand water it.  I'm still waiting to see if the carrots and pepper plants come up in the front raised bed.  If they don't I will see if I can find a half price closeout sale on pepper plants at the stores and pick some up that way.  Still trying to grow as much as we can here.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rainy Day Ramblings


    As I write this post it is raining...glorious much needed rain! 😊  Oh it makes me so happy!  The trees are getting a good soaking right when they need it while producing fruit and so is the rhubarb that has been struggling a bit this year.  I'm sure the blueberries, strawberries and cane fruits are loving it too.

   Since I am having to stay inside and not work in the yard, I took some more time to go over our monthly budget.  I needed to shave another $100 off of it and had been racking my brain how to do so.  The answer was staring me right in the face.  It was our credit card payment.  I decided to just pay the balance off completely and eliminate that payment all together (took the money out of savings).  I still have money in savings for an emergency and I can balance our monthly budget.  Yay!  We are still cutting down in any areas that we are able to so that we can have a "cushion" for those quarterly bills that come due.  I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I finally realized what the solution was.

   That being said, our food budget will be slashed to $100 a month now. That includes HBA and cat food and litter also.   Since we have a very full pantry and 2 full freezers and the garden is starting to produce, I know we can do it with careful planning.  We do also get monthly commodities and that is a HUGE blessing and help. I will be preserving as much as I am able from the garden as well as sharing with family and friends and still eating lots fresh ourselves.  Yes, it is going to be tight, but hopefully Jeff will get a raise after his probationary period with this new job.  He is already proving to them that he is a go getter and team player and they really do appreciate that.

   I've been busy looking for recipes that use what we have on hand in the pantry and being very picky about what we buy from the grocery store.  Jeff wants to be able to bowl on a league this year but that is not financially possible.  However, he could be a substitute and his bowling would be paid for so that is what he is going to do at this point.  That was another one of those ideas that popped into my head while going over the numbers with him.  He gets to bowl and it is all paid for!  We will be using the little commuter car except on the hottest of days when I have to be somewhere away from home.  That should save us about $50 a month is gas costs.  During the Summer I try to stay home and inside where it is cooler as much as possible anyway.  Jeff will be picking up most of small fill in groceries we need in town before he comes home and we will only do a larger shop once a month and I will go with him to do that.  I have also talked to him about portion control and not picking up sodas or coffees when he is at work.  I am more than willing to put a 12 pack of his favorite soda into the grocery budget each month so that he can have it as his "treat".  Everyone needs one treat item right so they don't feel deprived or frustrated. 😉 Luckily he likes the Shasta knock of of Mountain Dew.  I have my gardens that produce some of my favorite Summer fruits, so I am covered there already.

   I cancelled our out of town trip at the end of the month to go to a wedding.  Between hotel costs and gas costs, it was going to go over budget.  Realistically, there was a good chance we would have had to cancel anyway since it is in a very hot area and is an outdoor wedding.  Heat makes me super ill and I cannot handle it anymore.

   Anyway, that is what is on my mind for today...many rambles.




Friday, June 11, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 6/11/21


   I thought I would do a cumulative Frugal Friday Wrap Up post today covering several weeks since I have not been good of keeping track of things on a daily basis...please bear with me here.  Between being busy, the heat making me really ill, and Fibro Fog, it really has been difficult to keep up.  So here ya go with what I can remember. 😉 

~The first of the strawberries are starting to ripen and I still have to try to beat the birds to get them.  I love serving them in my thrifted Haviland small fruit bowls.  I have a soft spot for Haviland china and have several complete sets that I inherited but these blue ones are a set that I am slowly gathering myself since I absolutely love them!

~I thinned out the radishes in the garden and used the tops to add to my salad bowl...yum!

~The compost pile is being fed rather nicely with lawn clippings, egg shells, banana peels. etc..  It should give us some wonderful compost next gardening season.

~My parents brought us the HUGE and expensive BBQ grill that they bought at Costco years ago.  It is getting to heavy for my father to move around so they bought a smaller one and gave the old on to us.  We can feed an army off that thing!  They also brought us over their smaller portable camping grill since they are no longer using it.

~Mom also brought us some homemade yummy!

~Jeff installed a new dishwasher for us after ours died a rather noisy and slow death.  This new dishwasher was not cheap but since Jeff and I both have back problems, it beats having to stand there and do dishes by hand.

~I as able to find health and vision coverage for me through our state's heath insurance exchange.  After the subsidy that we qualify for, I was able to get a great plan that is better than my last one and will be paying about $38 per month out of pocket!  That sure beats the nearly $700 a month we had been paying for all these years with Jeff's previous employer for me.

~I've been using the overripe bananas to make delicious banana bread.

~Jeff got the swamp cooler hooked up so that I would have a cool place to retreat to and help me  from getting too sick from the heat.  I have been using the water run off from it to water the fruit trees and other plants.  Win-Win!

~Our town had it's monthly commodity distribution and I was given so much food.  I am sharing a bunch of it with our family so that it will not go to waste.

~I froze leftover chicken fajita mix and rice, along with some jambalaya for future meals since we had so many leftovers and there was no way Jeff and I could eat it before it went bad.

~The laundry line has been getting a good workout with a lot of our things being dried out there.

~My garden is coming along well for the most part except for the beans...something is eating the leaves at night.  I may have to cover  it up with some mesh to keep critters out.

~While my parents were here they had us join them to go swimming at the hotel they were staying at and also treated us to drinks.  It was nice to just have some one on one time with them without the distraction (as wonderful as they are) of our kids and grandkids. 😉

~Our "treasure hunting" yielded some brand new canning jars, clothing, shoes (new and will be sold), household goods, and some gardening supplies.

~Of course sandwich bread was made...I did not make it for a week and Jeff  had to rely on store bought bread.  He was not really happy about that. I also made him croutons with the ends of the previous loaves...another win!

~Our family gatherings were potluck style as per usual and very fun!

~We lost YouTube on our Roku so have been finding some other channels to watch.  I still get YouTube on my computer and can stream it to the TV that way so all is not lost.

~I transferred some of my homemade vanilla (made with beans my sister grew in her garden in Tahiti) into a smaller bottle so it is more convenient to use than the 1 gallon jar I have been making it in.

~I also transferred more flour into my big glass cannister to make life easier than having to open the big buckets that I store the bulk of it in.

~We did start the envelope system for grocery shopping and are doing well with it.  Parting with cash is harder for me to do so this helps keep me in check.

~I cooked up a big batch of waffles and froze them for future meals.  They rewarm and crisp up great in the toaster oven.

~Needing more ideas for meals, I have been going back and reading through my cookbook collection.  So many great ideas come from there, especially the ones that were from the more frugal type or old farm cookbooks.

~Jeff and I gave each other haircuts.

~We have been going to the oldest grandsons (Bradley and Isaiah) Tee Ball games and I have been packing dinner to take with us.  So far we have had grilled chicken salads and ham and cheese/ smoke salmon tortilla wraps.  Not sure what I am making for next week yet.

~We bought a basically new recliner off Facebook Marketplace from a family that was moving.  Jeff is still going to try to fix my old one that I love also.  I need recliners for my back since it is difficult for me to sit upright for long periods of time with my back issues.

~Jeff and I have had great luck at Goodwill finding shorts for him for work, 2 sleeveless and soft summer shirts for me, a new dress for a wedding for me, some gardening tools, dvds and Hawaiian music CDs (.99 each).  One of the CDs was signed by one of the artists and his cousin and I are friends.  How cool is that?  I do love my Hawaiian music by the local artists.

~I am now in the process if filling in every blank spot in my garden with more seeds.  Lettuce will be ready before the other plants grow big enough to take over the area.  I also seeded in pots of garlic, petunias, hollyhocks and zinnias.  Oh yes, I also have seeded in marigolds around the squash and cantaloupe plants to help protect them from bugs.

~We have a wedding out of town in a few weeks.  I booked us into a hotel that had great reviews, free breakfast and had low prices.  I don't want to be driving home on dark twisty country roads late at night.  My friend/hanai sister Shannon will be taking care of our cats for us while we are out of town for the night.  We trade off taking care of each other's fur babies.

~Speaking of Shannon, she came bearing gifts of wine and sparkling cider one night.  I had dinner all made so we had a spur of the moment "family dinner" with her here. 😀  Lots of fun and so much laughter!

~I am very carefully looking at the grocery ads and only buying most things when they are at rock bottom prices and stocking up on them IF they are non perishable or have a long life before expiration date.  I was able to get some free BBQ sauce the other day along with assorted cream cheeses for .99 each and boxes of Cheerios for $1.25 each.  I still do need to buy things like bananas for hubby and I can't wait until my lettuce is ready in the garden to eat so I can stop buying that at the store.  We are doing a lot of eating out of the packed freezers and pantry right now since we have an abundance of food there also.

~Our rain barrel is set up since we are going to be in a severe drought this Summer and I am trying to collect all the rain water I can at the moment.  It is very sporadic at this point but I will take what I can get.

   That is about it for the time brain is not working so well this morning as I am finishing off this post...what else is new right?  LOL!  Gotta does a heart good you know. 😉 I need to get off this thing and get a few projects done before we head to a graduation party later today.  Be blessed all and have a great weekend!


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Taking a Slow Day for Me


   Jeff and I have both been pushing ourselves to get projects done around the house and had a really busy weekend.  This, on top of a busy week last week and me hurting my back, coupled with the unseasonable high heat, has left me needing a day to rest and recover.  I decided this morning that today was going to be that day.

   Since I had a rough night last night full of nightmares that left me exhausted, I decided to go back to sleep before Jeff left for work.  I honestly did not even hear him leave so I must have fallen into a much needed deep sleep cycle quickly.  I switched from the bed in the guest room (where I sleep better due to the mattress in there) back to our bed for this second "sleep" since I felt "safer" after my nightmares in there.  I finally woke up around 9:30 a.m. rested, but still very sore.

   I took my time and had coffee on the back porch and got caught up on a few things online, and panicked when I remembered that I had neglected to take my medications when I first got up.  That taken care of, I planned my slow day and then took the buckets of water from the overflow of the swamp cooler and watered one of the pear trees.  I will do the other trees as the day goes on and the buckets fill up again.

   First on the agenda was to get some boneless, skinless chicken breast marinating in a lime vinaigrette to cook up later.  I planned to cook them in my Airfryer and serve them with a cold and crisp green salad for dinner.  Easy and delicious!  I then got two loaves of bread dough mixed up, kneaded and set out on the hot tub to rise in the heat out there.  They got HUGE!  I brought them in and popped them in the oven to cook.  Jeff has been having store bought bread for sandwiches and I know he prefers homemade, so he will be more than happy to have more on hand.  

   Being that it was such a sunny and hot day, I took some pictures of a few on my Columbine plants and then headed inside and got the Swamp Cooker turned on to cool the house way down before the intense heat of the day got too bad.  We are going to have a planned power outage from 10 tonight to 6 in the morning o Friday so I really needed to get things cooled down in the house before that happens.  I also made sure to get flashlights, battery operated candles and anything else we might need ready to go and I made sure that the cell phone was completely charged up. I also got the hot tub chemicals taken care of so that stays nice and clean.

   Lest you think I got a lot done and so much for a "slow day", I really did take things slow and spent a lot of time watching slow living type YouTube videos in between different tasks.

   **Later in the evening:  Jeff came home to me in the kitchen finishing off getting dinner ready and seeing the homemade bread.  He was a very happy man. 😊  Dinner was delicious and I added some broccoli cheese rice to the menu to round things out a bit.  Jeff is now up on the roof trying to tighten the clamp on the water hose and adjust the float arm so that we do not have as much water leaking down the roof.  Hopefully after that he can relax a bit since he has had big projects (including putting in a new dishwasher since our old one died) all week long and we have Bradley and Isaiah's PeeWee ball game tomorrow night and then he works for part of the day Saturday and we have a graduation party to go to as soon as he makes it home to pick me up.  Hopefully he will agree to rest Sunday since he has to be back at work on Monday.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Four Generations Finally Together Again!

   It had been since October of 2019 since we have been able to see my parents and we finally were able to get together this past weekend!  They came over for a combined birthday, housewarming, and anniversary family party.  We had so much fun and I honestly could not stop hugging my mom. 😌 My father and I had some of the most in depth talks we have ever had and I learned a lot about both him and my mom.  It was wonderful to have everyone together, visiting and just catching up with each other once more...perfectly priceless!

     I tell you, the fun never ends with this crew!  I can't wait to be able to all get together again in the hopefully near future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Heat is On


    The heat is on...literally.  We went from comfortable 70's to the 90's this week.  UGH!  Those of you that have been with me know that I do not do heat well at all.  It make me physically ill.  My gardens also are having a hard time not knowing how to cope with this sudden change.  Here is how I am trying to cope.

   Jeff got the swamp cooler all up and running on Monday for me.  It is a lifesaver!  However, the overflow water drips off the roof of the house.  In order not to waste water, I have a bucket to catch said water positioned under where it drips down onto the ground.  I will use this water to water the plants in my flower borders in the back yard.  I do have the rain barrel set up but there has been very little rain so it does not have enough water to even fill a bucket yet.

   I'm attempting to get up early in the morning so that I can get things done before the heat of the day comes on and also take so time to enjoy the cooler morning air while I have my coffee.  Since I am hanging out more things to dry on the laundry line, I do a load of what ever it is that I am going to hang out in the morning the night before.  This works well for me with everything except the sheets on our beds.  Those I have to do in the morning and then get them hung out to dry.  We do love  good line dried sheets in this house. 😁

   Veggie and fruit gardens are watered in the early evening.  This gives the water time to soak in and not be evaporate off with the hot sun.  Jeff had not had time to set up the soaker hoses in the raised beds yet so I have been doing it with hose in hand.  Luckily I have a bench set up by the side veggie garden so I can sit there while I water and it has become a nice little evening ritual for me.  I enjoy watching the birds come in while I water to enjoy the coolness of the water and look for bugs.

   Cooking ahead and in bulk is something that also helps me deal with the heat.  I'd rather spend one day in the hot kitchen and have meals for a week rather than trying to do it daily.  We also tend to have a lot of cold pasta, veggie and potato salads this time of year.  Having homemade prepared meals in the freezer that are quick to grab is also one of my secrets to dealing with the "I am just too hot and tired to cook" dilemma. 😉

   Ice cold beverages are a must!  I refrigerate the leftover coffee from the morning and then add creamer and half and half to it later for a refreshing afternoon pick me up, or I will have that instead of hot coffee if the morning is air temperature is already climbing quickly.  I try to have some iced tea in the refrigerator and I make sure the ice cube trays are kept full in the freezer.  Jeff and I drink a lot of water also.

   Yes, we still use our hot tub.  We do use it at a lower temperature though when we need a good oak to help our sore muscles but we also use it to cool down in on the hottest of days.  By mid Summer, when the temps are in the high 90's and low 100's, you will find me in there, sometimes with an "adult beverage". 😄

   It might sound weird, but I watch a lot of movies during the day when it gets really hot outside.  I have the swamp cooler cranked up to keep me cool inside the house, curtains closed for the most part and put on a movie to keep me amused.  I especially like to watch Christmas movies or winter themed ones.  There is just something about them that helps me feel cooler...strange but true.

   Jeff taught me a trick that helps when I am nauseous from the heat.  He has me put a ice pack, wrapped in a towel, on the back of my neck.  This helps cool me down and helps with the muscle pain.  I also learned that our cat Midgy loves to have the same ice pack put on her back on hot days to help cool her down.  She is a rather rotund cat with thick long fur and needs some help getting cooled down herself.

   Those are just a few ways I am coping with the heat.  I know that we have a long hot Summer ahead of us and I am going to try to do everything I can to stay cool and not get as sick as I did last year from the heat.  Be blessed all!