Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Calm Snowy Day and Silver Linings

 




      I took the picture above this morning.  It is of my side garden with the high sided raised beds my hubby built be.  Those bumps you see in the lower bed are my kale plants blanketed with snow.  I love looking out at this scene.


   From what I read online, the roads were horrible this morning with some even being shut down.  Many places opened late and are closing early today since round two of the snow is hitting us now this afternoon.  I am so glad I had Jeff take my car today.  They are calling for even more snow coming in next week on top of all of this with no melt off, so thing might get interesting.  I'm thinking Jeff may end up having to take the truck to work at some point.  Things could be worse, my brother and his family had their flight back home to Seattle cancelled on Monday and they ended up having some extra time in Montana.  He just posted, that after another delay in flights, they are finally going to get to go home today.  Now he just has to deal with trying to get home from the airport to his house.  Seattle is not prepared for these kinds of snowstorms that have been hitting.


   The cats and I are cuddled up all snuggly warm on the couch.  I have beautiful music playing in the background and I am watching the snowflakes gently twirl as they make their way to the ground.  The chores I had lined up for today are done and since our cell phone service is spotty in bad weather, there are no phone calls coming in, nor going out.  There are many other things that I could be doing but I am choosing to just enjoy the calm and peace that I feel in my home and in my heart right now.  I am also choosing to continue to make my goal for this coming year to find the silver linings in all situations that at first may seem bad or limiting.  I have had to practice that a lot lately, and it has really helped my attitude and level of gratefulness.  In all things, give thanks. 😊 


  


   



Friday, December 24, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/24/21

    



   Here it is Christmas Eve and we are settled in as the snow softly falls outside.  Meanwhile, In Oregon, my cousin is hunkered down as he awaits a huge snow squall bringing up to 10 inches to his front door.  I'm glad we are here, even if we are going to be getting down into the single digits and below in the coming weeks.  I'm very much looking forward to spending time with friends and family both this weekend and this coming week.  Now onto the saving:


Weekend:

*I'm including the the first 4 things we did Friday night into the weekend thread because I had already posted my last FFWU post before we headed into town after Jeff got home Friday night:

~Jeff and I went out to dinner and I brought half of my dinner home since I could not eat it all.

~We went to Target and used gift cards to buy the following: 2 candles (gifts for loved ones), 2 bottles of maximum strength store brand Musinex (We needed to have this on hand in case we end up sick with anything upper respiratory. Omicron variant is hitting our state hard right now.), and 2 boxes of Angel Food cake mix.

~We went to Old Navy to browse their clearance racks and found 3 shirts for a total of $2.03.  You can't beat that price!

~Winco was our last stop of the night to pick up a few needed items.  While there I found some of my favorite Krab salad marked down (sell by date Dec. 20th) so I picked some of that up as well, along with a Dutch apple pie that I baked as soon as we got home.  With grain and wheat shortages being reported and the cost of fertilizer going through the roof, I know that some farmers are not going to be able to afford to plant all their crops this coming year.  Therefore I bought another 50 pound bag of unbleached flour to have on hand.  I go through a lot of flour and I wanted to get it before the prices go even higher.

*Now back to the actual weekend doings:

~Our two oldest grandboys, Bradley and Isaiah, came to spend the night.  They came bearing a gift of cherry chip cinnamon rolls from their mom.  YUM!

~We worked on a puzzle that I got at Goodwill, they hot tubbed with G-pa and we watched a movie on Disney + before they headed to bed.

~We had popcorn with the movie and dinner was homemade chicken noodle soup.  They had never had chicken noodle soup before which really surprised me.

~Sunday morning found G-pa making the boys pancakes while Grammie slept in.  We got about 4 1/2 inches of snow overnight and it was so heavy and wet that I feared we might lose power.  Chris told us that only one lane of the road was plowed coming out to our town.  Apparently we only have 2 snowplow drivers now for our county.  It is going to be a bad winter for driving.

~The boys had so much fun wrapping their gifts and writing notes to their parents. :)  I had bought gifts for all the boys here to give to their parents...it is something that thrills them to bits to be able to do.

~Jeff's disk in his lower back swelled up and put him in a lot of pain.  I had him get himself set up on the couch and watch bowling since it is the only way I know to help him take his mind off the pain.

~We skipped Jeff's company Christmas party since the roads in our county are not good.  I took a nap instead while Jeff rested his back.

~In the evening, we watched an Andy Williams Christmas Special from 1966.  It brought back so may memories for both Jeff and I since it was a tradition in both our households growing up to watch these each year.




Monday:

~Woke up to snow, snow and more snow!  My entertainment for the morning was watching the squirrels gather and eat the seeds from the pods that fell out of the big tree out front.  I think I get a bigger kick out of watching them than my cats do.

~I had Jeff drop off some movies at the library on his way out of town this morning.  I don't like to drive in the snow and I am afraid of slipping on the ice under the snow if I had to walk down the steep hill to get to the library.

~My neighbor needed a can of diced tomatoes and luckily I had some on hand that she could have.

~In need of a comforting meal on a snowy day, I made colcannon with kielbasa.  It is not something I had made before but it sure sounded good so I went ahead and tried it. It turned out great!

 


Tuesday:

~I woke up with lots of pain in my knees.  My inner barometer is telling me that a new storm system is coming in.  I don't even need to check the weather forecast online. 

~I called Walmart about my prescription to see if it was ready.  We went over my other prescriptions and found that I can refill one of my others now as well so that I don't have to make another trip in later in the week.  Jeff is going to make the loop and swing through Pullman on his way home tonight to pick them up.  This will save us on time and gas.

~I decided against making all the candy this year for Christmas.  The only thing my kids and my sweet hanai family members keep asking for is the cranberry orange bread, so that is going to be what I make for gifts.

~We had leftovers for dinner.

~Josh sent us a video of our littlest grandson, who just turned 1 a week ago, walking!  That boy just took off and kept on going!  We video chatted with them all later in the evening and got to see our silly little boy enjoying bath time and being his goofball self.  He recognizes us via video chat and smiles and waves to us.  This just made our evening!




Wednesday:

~Since the roads were clear from snow and ice today, I decided to chance it and take a drive so I do not go stir crazy before the super bad and cold weather keeps me locked in the house for weeks on end.

~First stop was the library where I picked up 2 books and a movie, "The Last Champion", that was partially filmed in our little town.  I can't wait to settle in with Jeff and watch it.  I'm thinking Christmas Eve night would be the perfect time to do so.

~Next, I headed into Pullman, WA and stopped at Walmart.  I picked up some reduced priced and some hard to find items (who knew that canned tamales would be impossible to find for over a year, but I got some today.  I also found a food container set for $5 in the clearance section that I added to my gift stash.

~The Grocery Outlet did not let me down.  I found lots of marked down meats there also and froze most of them.  I picked up some treat type items also, because everybody needs treats. πŸ˜ƒ

~I took the package of beautiful boneless pork chops that I found at the Grocery Outlet and made my rice and pork chop baked casserole for dinner.  We had a salad with this.  The pork chops cost me a little over $2 on sale and I had everything else I needed for the rest of dinner here at home.

~Once the groceries were all put away and the pork chop and rice casserole were in the oven, I got busy on some laundry.  I then settled in and had a glass of wine while I waited for Jeff to get home. I also put the Christmas tree lights on and had soothing Christmas music softly playing in the background. It was a busy day for me and I earned it.




Thursday:

~Despite having some not so fun eye problems, I still was able to make 8 loaves of cranberry orange bread.

~I felt bad for my hubby, who is not a fan of cranberry orange bread, so I made 3 loaves of banana bread also.  I think hanai son #4 (Lee) will be here for Christmas (staying with his father), so I had to have my banana bread made for him also.  He loves it and I make him a loaf every time he is home.

~I had leftovers for lunch.

~I made sure that the hot tub was serviced and ready to go for Jeff and I over the weekend.

~I am really dehydrated so I am pushing myself to drink lots of water and a full bottle or Powerade today.

~Dinner was some veggie fries from Nosh (Jeff and I both loved them) along with Swiss cheese and bacon sausages (also really good).




Friday:

~Jeff's workday ended at noon and they had a catered lunch brought in for all the employees.  Jeff also was blessed with a bonus, a gift card and a rather nice cost of living raise!

~I made homemade mac and cheese for Christmas.  I had leftover sauce so I made broccoli cheese soup too!  So good!

~We watched a Christmas movie.

~Our amazing neighbors decorated their ATV's and four wheeler with lots of lights and drove through town honking their horns and bringing lots of joy to everyone! 

~Since tomorrow is going to be really busy, Jeff and I called my cousin Jeremy to wish him a Merry Christmas early.  We miss him dearly!


   I've included two snack bread recipes here that I love and make for  our family and included pictures of here.  As you can see, the banana bread recipe is very well loved!  I do hope that all that read my blog and the wonderful friends that I have made here in the blog world have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!  May you all be blessed!











 






Friday, December 17, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/13/21

 


   Am I the only one who starts to really look back on the past year when Christmas is coming closer?  I am so thankful for all the blessings that we have had!  The most wonderful was being able to spend time with my parents, brother, my cousin, and our kids and grandkids again.  My cousin Jeremy moved to Oregon this Fall and we miss him dearly, but he and I still keep in touch via Facebook and frequent phone calls.  I am so thankful for the time we did have face to face to really get to know each other and for him to become fully integrated into our family.  It was a huge "gift" to all of us to build those bonds that can never be broken.  My grandma would be so happy to know that her grandchildren have built that strong bond after not having that in our childhood years due to not seeing each other.  Other than Jeremy's mother and brother, we are the only blood relatives he has left in the world.  I know that we all treasure our relationships with each other now.   


   Now onto those frugal doings for the week!...

Saturday:

~Jeff and I stayed home.  He desperately needed a calm and restful day.  

~I made French Dip sandwiches for dinner.  They were so yummy and I had au jus leftover that I will use in another meal.

~We watched several Christmas movies.  I popped up some popcorn and cut up some apples to snack on while we enjoyed our movies.

~I washed all the sheets and then Jeff remade the beds.


Sunday:

~We had a pizza that we pulled out of the freezer for lunch.

~We headed into Moscow, Idaho to pick up a Christmas gift for one of our sons.  Our family draws names and we each buy for that person.  Jeff got one of our sons and I got our Heather.  I already bought her gift, but Jeff still needed to get a gift for our son.  While at the mall, we stopped at Bath and Body Works where I used a coupon to get a free full sized body care item.  I found a new body spray fragrance that I love, so I got that to add to my collection.

~We headed up to Goodwill where I found a beautiful Christmas pillow, a pair of gnome  pajama pants and a soft shirt.  I also found a brand new sealed package of 10 masks that I will put in the car in case we forget our cloth ones.  We already had to open up one of the other packages when Jeff forgot his cloth mask.

~Our last stop was Winco where we picked up a few needed grocery items.  I also picked up a fully cooked rotisserie chicken because it was cheaper than buying a frozen one! $4.98 is a great price!

~Before heading home, we drove through the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights and decor.  It is something Jeff and I have done since we first got together so many years ago.  It just brings me so much joy and it's free to do!

~Once we got home, I cooked up some chicken Rice a Roni, made a big Romaine and carrot salad and then cut up the chicken.  It made for a wonderful and easy dinner, and we still have lots of chicken left.


Monday:

~I made 2 loaves of homemade bread.

~The last 2 slices from last week's bread were made into breadcrumbs that went into a nice venison meat loaf for dinner.

~I baked some Russet potatoes and a huge sweet potato alongside the meatloaf.  Since I did this right after baking the bread, I put everything out on the back porch to cool off (it was 38F out there) and then reheated it for dinner.

~The pillow that I bought for $2.99 at Goodwill got a good washing and then popped in the dryer.

~The library had been holding 4 movies that I had ordered for me so I ran down and got them.

~The post office had the new phone books out for anyone that wanted one so I picked up the new one to replace the out of date one that we had here at home.

~Some nice hot tea made for a nice afternoon pick me up.

~I topped off the water in the hot tub since it was getting really low due to evaporation.


Tuesday:

~It was a very overcast day so I cuddled up and got caught up on reading, some paperwork and watched videos on YouTube that taught me new skills or inspired me.

~Dinner was leftovers since I desperately needed to clean out the fridge and make more room in there.



Wednesday:

~This may not be earth shattering or anything, but I seriously resisted going shopping today!  We have waves of snowstorms that will be starting tonight and that always makes me nervous.  Instead of heading in, I texted Jeff and asked him to pick up the two items that I really needed on his way home from work tonight.  Honestly, I really did not NEED anything other than those two items for making meals for the next two weeks.  Saved on gas and impulse buys. πŸ˜‰

~I tried out a makeup tutorial that I saw on YouTube for us "older women" with hooded eye lids due to our age.  It actually worked and my eyes looked more youthful and bright!

~I went through the depths of my refrigerator and found some questionable eggs and produce.  They are now adding to the compost pile.  Oh the shame of wasted food!  At least they will add to the compost though and not go into the trash can.

~Dinner was chicken carbonara over ziti noodles!  Yum!  It's a great way to use up some of the chicken that I had bought earlier in the week along with some cheese that also needed to be used.  

~I got back to working my points programs once again.


Thursday:

~I made a pot of chicken noodle soup with the leftover chicken carcus and meat, along with some carrots, an onion, celery and noodles.  It was so good on a cold and snowy day.

~I set the pot of soup on the back porch to quickly chill down.

~Jeff took my car to work.  I am glad he did because the snow is getting deeper and he also had bowling tonight.  Taking my car will save us on a towing bill because it is less likely to get stuck or go off the road.

~I worked on Swagbucks for a bit.

~I kept looking at our Christmas tree and thinking it needed something...some bling.  I got out my bags of broken jewelry that I keep for crafting projects and added some of them to my tree.  I love the sparkle it adds and think I may continue doing this from now on.


Friday:

~I woke up feeling very nervous and on edge (this happens with Fibro sometimes) and decided that I was going to be very careful about what I watched on YouTube.  Even some of the titles can trigger a panic attack in me.  I now have beautiful Christmas music playing to help keep me calm so I do not have to resort to medications to help me (hopefully).

~Jeff was able to take his little car to work today which uses less gas than mine.

~Jeff took leftovers for lunch.  I had a bagel.

~Going through some things, I found a series of fun books that I had bought for Bradley a couple of years ago to give to him when he hit that particular reading level.  He is now there so he will get these for his birthday in March. 

~I did not burn the house down!  There was a big spider in my living room (I hate spiders and they have seemed to really want to torture me this year with their presence) and I bravely sprayed it with Raid and then ran away to make sure it did not seek revenge on me.  I keep joking with me husband that I want a blow torch to "take out" those awful arachnids!


   That is about it for this week.  The weekend ahead will be busy with the oldest two grandboys here with us on Saturday night.  I have a craft and a puzzle for us to do together and of course there will be hot tubbing with G-pa!  Grammie avoids the chaos that ensues in the hot tub with the boys. LOL!  We also have Jeff's company Christmas party on Sunday night, which I am also looking forward to.  Be blessed all and I hope in this busy week before Christmas that you all carve out some quiet time to just be able to relax and soak in the beauty and meaning of this special season.















Thursday, December 16, 2021

Snow and Soup Kind of Day

 



      The snow is gently falling outside and starting to cover everything.  There is something so magical about snow falling around Christmas isn't there?  I have Christmas music playing softly in the background which just adds to the whole Winter wonderland and holiday mood.  The snow is expected to keep coming on and off through Christmas too!  I can't wait for my oldest two grandboys, Bradley and Isaiah, to be here this weekend and to help me build a snowman in the front yard.  We are also supposed to head down to the valley on Sunday evening and go to Clarkston, WA for a company Christmas party.  I think we will go the Idaho route for that one to get there since Idaho is much better at keeping their highways maintained during snowy times than Washington state is. Anyway, I am getting off topic again...it's one of those days. πŸ˜‰


   Snowy weather is equated with hot homemade soup in my mind so I have the rest of the chicken that I had bought at Winco simmering away making a nice chicken broth at the moment.  I will strip the rest of the meat off the bones and add that to the broth, along with some veggies, garlic and noodles, to make a delicious and warming soup.  Jeff and I love homemade chicken noodle soup.  It was not something that he had growing up, they always had canned soups, so he was pretty amazed when he tasted real homemade chicken noodle soup the first time I made it eons ago.  It was something I grew up eating because my mother was, and still is, the queen of making things stretch and not wasting food.  I learned so many important lessons from her while growing up and it is just second nature to me now to throw together all kinds of soups based on what we have handy in our home and what needs to be used up ASAP.  Thank you Mom for imparting your wisdom onto me.


   Tonight we are expecting the temperatures to drop down to 16F.  I'm thinking I may need to add another blanket onto our bed and the guest bed too.  I never know which of the two beds I will end up in.  Last night I slept in our bed and poor Jeff was really restless waking up almost every hour after midnight.  I'm sure he is exhausted today.  I was able to sleep for a long stretch after he left for work and finally got up at 11 a.m..  That is really late in the day for me to get up, but it still only gave me 6 hours of good sleep.  If it is not windy tonight, I may opt for the guest bed if Jeff is having another rough night.  I don't like to sleep in the guest bedroom if the wind is blowing because the front awning makes noises that keep me awake.  Before anyone thinks that there is "trouble in my marriage" because I sometimes sleep in the guest bedroom, I can assure you that we are fine.  It is just that some nights either one of us can be really restless and toss and turn for the majority of the night keeping the other from getting good sleep.  Patchy cat loves the nights that I sleep in the guest bedroom because she joins me in there and cuddles up to sleep.  Midgy's domain is our bedroom and bed, so it is rare that Patchy will come up there unless it is a really cold night and both Jeff and I are sleeping in there.  Then she will risk the wrath of her sister to come snuggle up next to me while Midgy remains near Jeff's feet.  There has been more than one occasion where a cat fight has taken place over the top of Jeff and I when they have decided to go at it.  UGGGG! 


    I want to end this post by saying that my heart aches for and goes out to all those who lost loved ones, their homes and businesses in this awful weather that has been hitting our nation here in the USA.  I have friends who have had damage to their homes also.  My love and prayers are with them all.




   


    

Monday, December 13, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/10/21

 


Weekend:

~We got the Christmas tree up and decorated with some of the ornaments that we had easy access to.

~Jeff got the outdoor lights up.

~I used Christmas gift bags that I got on clearance last year to wrap this year's gifts in.

~Two loaves of homemade sandwich bread were made.

~Bradley and Isaiah had their Christmas dance recital, and they did so well!  It is a joy to watch them dance and their Grandma Tammy is a great teacher!

~Jeff and I went to Winco to pick up a few items. We were floored by steep rise in costs on some items. I scratched some of the "want" items off my list and decided that there was no way I was paying such a high price for them.

~I had picked up a beautiful sweater (Chico's brand) at the thrift store in Montana.  It had some stains on it that I thought I could get out, so I had chanced it for $2.  I was able to get the stains out with presoaking them with Oxiclean and then washing it.

~I made a salmon loaf for dinner on Sunday along with cilantro lime rice and served canned pears with it.  This was a pantry and refrigerator meal and so quick and easy to make.


Monday:

~It was snowing so it was a perfect day for me to just stay home and work on a few projects around the house.

~I went through all my medications to see what I was due to get refills on and got those called in to Walmart.

~Leftovers for lunch for me and sandwiches for Jeff.

~Dinner was some Zuppa Toscana that I had previously made and frozen.  So easy to just heat up!  I served some crescent rolls with this.


Tuesday:

~I was really good today when we went to Walmart and only got my prescription and a supplement that Jeff needs.

~We had booked our medical appointments back to back and knocked out 3 of them.

~Jeff and I made a pot of decaf coffee and shared it in the evening.


Wednesday:

~I had leftovers for lunch since I did not have the energy to make anything else.  The side effects of our Pfizer booster shot are taking a toll on me with fatigue, muscles aches and a headache.  So far though, there have not been any fever or chills like the second shot had.

~Jeff made us grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.


Thursday:

~I think I am doing better today than I was yesterday.  I still slept until 10 a.m. though after a very restless night. I settled in with a nice cup of coffee and chatted with a friend of mine via Facebook messenger.  She is a nurse in Illinois and told me her hospital is nuts right now. :(

~I made some Udon soup for dinner using green onions and Swiss chard from our garden that I had harvested before the freezing weather hit.  I also added some shrimp and komoboku from the freezer to it.  So good!

~I could not sleep well that night so I got up and made some milk toast using up the homemade bread ends that Jeff does not like for sandwiches.


Friday:

~I did a bit of decor rearranging "just because".

~Once again, I put Christmas music on via YouTube.  I love the calmness it brings to my home on a very cold Winter's day.

~Jeff and I headed into Pullman after he got off work so I could pick up a prescription at Walmart.  While in town, we also went to Grocery Outlet to pick up a few things and found organic Romaine lettuce on sale.  We picked up a package of that and it will give us at least 6 big salads.




Friday, December 3, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/3/21

 


Goofy G-pa and Tate


   Hello again and yes, this is a Frugal Friday Wrap Up!  I really do like doing these to not only remind myself of how I saved money and be able to look back and glean ideas again when my frugal mojo is waning, but to help others find inspiration as well.  Part of our time for this week's frugal doings was spent in Montana where we had Thanksgiving with our son Josh, our Lauren, grandbaby Tate, my brother Fritz and my parents.  It was so wonderful to be able to be together again and see my brother after 2 years, spend time with my parents and of course enjoy time with our Josh and Lauren and to be able to love on our little man Tate.  Oh my goodness, has he got personality plus!  So many precious memories were made and I will cherish them for the rest of my life.  I did forget my camera at my mother's house (she is going to mail it back to me), so there will be no pictures this week. Now onto the frugal doings...


~My mother made turkey and rice soup with the leftover turkey.  It was so good!  I have not had it in years since Jeff prefers turkey noodle soup, so that is what I usually make with any turkey carcus that I have on hand.

~Mom sent me home with some more of her homemade pot scrubbers.  I love them!  She also gave me a beautiful Winter hat that she knit in a lovely teal color...so pretty!

~My mother and I went through her fabric stash and picked out material for 3 cobbler style aprons and 4 sets of 6 napkins.  This is what I really wanted since my favorite apron is now threadbare.  I will be sending it to my mother to use as a pattern to make the new aprons.

~We found matching Montana shirts for Bradley, Isaiah and Steven on sale.  They will get those on Christmas.  We will have them all open them at the same time.  They love to dress alike so this will be fun!

~I found a shirt for Steven, a Chico's sweater and dress for me and a thirty one brand Christmas bag at the thrift store in Bigfork Montana.  I spent under $10 for all of them.

~My mother saw all my pill bottles and how I had to remember what to take in the morning and what to take at night.  She had an extra AM and PM pill case that she gave to me so I can just fill them up at the beginning of the week and not have to worry about it.

~Josh treated the whole family to brunch at our favorite restaurant in Montana the morning that we were leaving to come home.

~Josh also gifted Jeff $60 for gas money for the way home.  He knows we are on a tight budget and wanted to bless us.

~My mother made us our traditional Christmas crepe breakfast while we were there.  I have missed having that on Christmas morning so very much and it was so sweet of her to do that for us!  There were so many crepes left, along with 4 fruit fillings, that she was able to freeze them to have ready when my brother Eric, sweet SIL Christie and my nephews Cade and Eli spend Christmas with my parents and brother Fritz.

~We stopped at the Dollar Tree in CDA on our way home and got lots of 4-packs of plastic containers for me to be able to package up Christmas treats in.  They also had one of my favorite teas that I cannot find at our local Dollar Tree, so I bought several boxes.

~We also stopped at the Winco up there and I found my almond bark that I needed on sale along with some Andes chocolate mint chips that I am thinking of using to make fudge with.  We picked up some bread and milk while we were there, along with apples, bagels, and a few other items.

~Jeff made us grilled cheese on Sourdough bread on Monday night while I unpacked us after the long drive home.

~Tuesday found me at home for the day getting caught up on the mountain of laundry and having my Telemed appointment with my doctor.  I got some meatballs going in the crockpot and added some onions soup mix along with a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Later I added some Chardonay wine to it, along with some sour cream, cooked up some egg noodles and added those to the meatballs.  It made for a delicious and easy meal and yielded lots of leftovers for Jeff to take to work the next day and also for me for lunches for 2 days.

~Wednesday I ran down to the library to pick up a book that was on hold there for me.  They had free enrichment activity kits so I picked up one of those for Bradley and Isaiah since it was at their age level.

~I ran into Pullman to pick up my prescription at Walmart and do some shopping.  I found some lovely plush bath towels and hand towels in someone's favorite on sale and picked those up as a Christmas gift for them. I also found the outdoor solar light stakes for .97 each, some butane lighters, a candle and a silicone small brush on sale.  They also had refrigerated crescent roll dough for .50 a tube and cinnamon roll double packs for $2 each.  I bought some of each. Walmart also had the best price around on canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup.  I bought a flat of each (a dozen cans) because we go through a lot of these.

~Of course no trip would be complete without a trip to the Grocery Outlet.  I found ham on sale there and got a nice one for a little over $8!  Everywhere else that I had seen them they were $20 and up!  I bought one for Christmas and Jeff was thrilled!  He loves his ham on Christmas and this year he will have it. 😁While there I also picked up a big bag of oranges, some sweet potatoes, a large 3 pack of smoked sausages (I will divide these and freeze 2 of them for future meals), chips and cheese balls (huge container and bag) as treats, specialty cheeses (again treats), huge boxes of Jeff's favorite cereal, and more.  

~Jeff and I had agreed that our trip to Montana was our Christmas gift to each other, but I still wanted to get him something small to open on Christmas morning.  I bought Lindt dark chocolate bars in 80%, 85% and 90% dark chocolate for him to try to see which is his favorite.  He loves dark chocolate, so I thought this would be a huge hit with him.

~Speaking of chocolate, my amazing Uncle Gary and Aunt April once again sent us a large box of Esther Price chocolates for Christmas.

~I made Crescent Roll Calzones for dinner on Wednesday night.  They were so easy to make and Jeff loved them.  He took the last one to work for his lunch on Thursday.  I had leftover pizza sauce that I will use in another upcoming meal.

~My mother needed new almond colored switch plates and dimmer switches.  She could not find them anywhere in her area.  Jeff was able to order some for her through his connections at his job.  I know she will be thrilled to get them and this will be a "just because" gift from us to her.

~I had found mixed nuts in shells on sale so I got some and put them out along with a nut cracker and nut picks.  I remember my grandparents always had these out at Christmas time and it was so much fun to crack those nuts and eat them.

~Christmas music has been filling home via YouTube.  Christmas candles have also been lit at night to further that warm and cozy feeling.

~I changed out some of the Fall themed pictures for Winter themed ones and also added some Christmas /Winter themed throws and Christmas pillow shams that my mother made on out pillows.

~I called my mother on Friday morning to chat and tell her that Jeff had found those switched at one of their other stores.  He had mentioned that there were a few more in stock there, but that was it.  My mother wants him to buy up all they have and send them to her so she has them on hand.  They are not being made anymore from what Jeff and my mom have seen, so when they are gone, they are gone.  I sent a text to Jeff telling him to order them all!

~My mother also told me about a former student of her's who bought some old books and noticed in one of the little children's books that it had an inscription that said "To Debbie from Lynn".  My name is Debbie and my mom's name is Lynn.  She got ahold of my mom and sent it to her thinking it must have been one of the ones my mother had sold years ago before moving to Montana.  My mom thought it was odd that she would have signed it Lynn, but upon further inspection realized that it was a Christmas gift to me from my old babysitter when we lived in California before moving to Hawaii when I was 3 years old!  How cool is that?  Mom is sending it to me. πŸ˜€

~We have a deep freeze and snow coming so I harvested the Swiss chard, some green onions and some kale from the garden. I cut up and froze most of the green onions and I used the kale as part of dinner Friday night.

~With Winter and the Christmas season here, I swapped out some of my regular coffee mugs for my Winter and Christmas themed ones.  There is just something "cozy" about having Christmas and Winter themed mugs this time of year to drink my coffee, tea, hot cocoa, spiced cider and hot mulled wine out of.  It really is the little things that can make life more special.

~We are still having tomatoes that we harvested when they were green ripening.  Friday I used several on Avocado Toast for lunch.  It was so yummy!

~Jeff called and told me he was able to get an appointment to have his knee checked (he is way overdue to have his knee replacement checked) half an hour after we have our Covid boosters.  The offices where we need to be for both share the same lobby and are next to each other.  I will get my labs done before we get our shots.  I am so glad we can combine them all together on the same day and back to back since they are all in the same complex.

~Jeff got a great deal on some materials from work.  He will definitely be using them to build things for us and our kids.

~I have really enjoyed going through my Christmas books and getting new ideas for decorating, crafts and recipes.


   

   I should probably wrap this post up and actually get it up online.  The sun is starting to get lower in the sky and I will have to turn on some lights here in the house soon.  Praying that everyone who reads this has a wonderful weekend!