Saturday, May 21, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/20/22


   This has been a busy week for us with baseball games, and most importantly, Steven turning 5 years old on Thursday!  How can that be?  I remember the first time I held him in the hospital and our first sleepover together when he was just days old as his beautiful momma battled for her life in the hospital.  I am so thankful for answered prayers and the wonderful staff there that finally figured out what was going on and saved her life, while at the same time allowing Steven to bunk in with her for most of it.  Yes, I overdid it once again, especially while still battling the remnants of this virus.  It usually takes me a good three weeks to clear these things from my body, so about 2 more weeks to go.  Now onto the frugal doings!


~Jeff worked on the greenhouse and finally got it done!  Yay!

~I was sick so meals were simple and easy.  One of the meals I made was teriyaki meatballs over rice, a salad made from lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and kale.  I also had radishes and green onions from the garden.

~Sadly we had to miss Steven's birthday party.  I hated to have to do it, but did not want to get everyone else sick.  Due to having autoimmune issues, I get hit really hard and it takes me a long time to recover from any illnesses.

~I moved all the plants and seedlings into the greenhouse.

~The weather was so nice for most of Sunday, so I could open up the sliding glass doors to the screened in porch and let the house air out.  The cats loved being able to come in and out.

~Jeff got the lawn mowed for the second time in a week.  It is growing so fast due to all the rain.


~Two loaves of fresh bread were made, much to Jeff's delight.

~Leftovers were for dinner.

~I harvested more radishes.

~Jeff and I headed into Pullman to pick up a prescription a and to pick up some groceries and needed items.  We were very careful in what we bought since prices are going up and we also saw many empty shelves.  I did find a great deal on 5 pound bags of Manderin oranges, so I picked up one of those since we will have Bradley and Isaiah spending the night on Saturday night and they love them and go through lots of them at a time. We also picked up a thermometer for inside the greenhouse so that I can monitor the temperature as to not fry the poor plants.

~Jeff bought 2 5 gallon gas cans at Walmart for the same price that he would have paid for one elsewhere.

~I cleaned out the refrigerator and took inventory of what we have in there.


~Jeff was off so he got the raspberry patch all pruned, cleaned up and tied back again.

~He also filled up the gas cans.  It cost him $50 to fill both up!  That is $50 for 10 gallons of gas!

~I harvested more radishes from the garden.  I added the small tender "seedling" leaves to our salad.  I love to snack on radishes at this time of year when they are crunchy and not so hot.

~Craving something "summer like", I made a large tuna pasta salad using up some celery that needed used ASAP, some green onion, and some dried dill from last year's garden in it.  I save the root ends of the green onions and have them growing in water right now.  I will transplant them out into the garden in a few days for more fresh green onions.

~Laundry was hung out on the line to dry.

~I picked more tulips from the garden to put in a vase inside the house.  I am really enjoying being able to change out the colors since my tulips come in at different times.

~We picked up Isaiah and Bradley from their Grandma Tammy's dance studio and took them down to Bradley's baseball game.  He did so well!  Meanwhile, Isaiah and his cousin Joby wiped out several times on the skateboard and came to me for wipes to get their scrapes cleaned off.  They went through most of the wipes that I had.  Luckily those wipes were free from Safeway earlier in the year and did not sting, so that made it easier for the boys.


~I was completely wiped out from all the frugal doings and going to the game, along with dealing with the stress of an extended scary family medical issue.  I slept in until 10:50 a.m..  YIKES!  Yes, I am also still dealing with the summer cold too, which I am sure also played a part in it.  I decided to just be kind to myself and have a slower day since I will have Steven for the next 2 days and then have Bradley and Isaiah overnight on Saturday.

~I put some beautiful music on YouTube and got the digital coupons loaded up on my Safeway card.  I also checked out the other grocery store ads online.

~I had pulled some cooked squash and onions out of the freezer the previous day and used it today to make a squash casserole.

~Dinner was a sheet pan dinner of Italian sausage and sweet potatoes.  We had the sausage on buns and Jeff had a green salad while I had squash casserole as a side dish.


~It was our Steven's birthday!  He turned 5 years old.  Jeff and I got him an emergency vehicle garage with an ambulance, police car and fire truck complete with keys to lock the garage up.  We also got him a towel for the pool this summer.  I had found the toy at Goodwill and the towel was on clearance at the end of last summer.  I had put them back for his birthday and am so glad I did since the cost of everything is going up so high right now.

~Steven and I spent the day together and watched "The Land Before Time".  He is really into dinosaurs right now.

~He and I picked some radishes and spinach from the garden and watered the plants in the greenhouse.

~We made cookies for us and for him to take home.

~Rainwater was used to water the plants in the greenhouse.

~Dinner was cheesy shredded potatoes, the leftover Italian sausages and a spinach salad.  Cheesecake for dessert.

~Steven and I worked on his numbers using dominos to match and count numbers and also worked on writing the letters A and B and also learning their sounds.  We read stories and did an I Spy book.

~Steven had hot dogs for lunch and I had some of my squash casserole.

~Jeff stopped by the grocery store and got potatoes, onions and milk on his way home from work.


~Steven and I got squash (3 kinds), flowers, cucumbers and more basil all seeded into pots, watered and into the greenhouse.  He loved the new watering wand Jeff bought for me and tried out all the different settings.

~Steven cleaned off the top of the hot tub cover with , you guessed it, the new watering wand. 😉

~Jeff and I had leftovers and sandwiches for dinner since I was so wiped out.

~During the day, Auntie Shannon (my hanai sister and next door neighbor), invited us over to play with her dogs, cats and to see the frog eggs and tadpoles in her pond.  She left a container out for us to use whenever we came over, even if she was not home 😊 , to scoop up some water and see how the tadpoles are growing into frogs.  I think this is going to be wonderful for Steven to see their growth cycle and will be amazed at the little frog legs as they form on the tadpoles.

   I hope that everyone is doing well and continuing to stock up on things and putting in a garden or even things growing in pots.  With the way grocery prices are going up, we are all going to need to be doing all we can to try and cut corners somewhere.  I figured that Jeff and I have already saved about $20 on salad fixings and radishes from those being grown in our garden.  I have lots more coming on too, so we will be eating well! I'm sure you have seen the news about some of our gas stations running out of gas over here in Eastern Washington State and I can confirm that is true.  One of our neighbors works at a Mobil gas station in Pullman and they have run out multiple times.  They are not getting the deliveries that they usually get of gas and it is really hurting their business.  I pray that he is not laid off because of the lack of customers due to the lack of gas.  Get some gas can my friends and fill them up!  You never know when the gas pumps may run dry and you need that fuel for you vehicle.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Feeling like Doogy Doo Doo and a Flood Watch


   Yesterday we missed Steven's birthday party because I was sick and napped throughout the day.  I woke up feeling better this morning, but then the tiredness and sinus pressure took me down again.  It does not help that we are under a flood watch for later today and the barometer is jumping around either.  I am so sensitive to any changes in air pressure even without being sick with a cold, so this just makes it worse.

   Jeff is outside trying to get my greenhouse finished up today.  I sure hope he is able to complete the job before the bad weather comes in around 4 p.m..  He had most of it done already so there are just a few things left to do on the outside and then he can work on the inside floor and the shelving.  I really need it to get done so I can start more plants in there from seed and my tomato plants can also move in there to give them a HUGE head start before I risk putting them directly out in the garden.

   The flood watch is in effect for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. this afternoon.  There are some burn scar areas in Idaho that they are worried will slip down into the rivers clogging them up and causing widespread flooding.  One of those rivers runs through our area.  I am worried about a friend who lives down by the river and could be cut off by the flood.  She lives alone now since her husband passed away and she is not in the best of health.  Hopefully one of her kids can convince her to come stay with them for a few days.

   Well it's time for me to switch out some laundry that I am doing and then go and lay down for a bit.  I'm dizzy, my ear hurts, and I got nothing energy wise.  Be blessed all and please try to not get this cold like I's not fun!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Trying to Prepare for what is to Come

I think by now we all realize, wherever we live, that things are getting rough financially for so many of us. Rising costs on just about everything and shortages on things like baby formula and now disel, should scare you. The problems that led to the baby formula shortages we known about months ago, and yet the FDA has not allowed to manufacturing plant to reopen, even though the problems have been fixed. Meanwhile, there are pallets and pallets full of formula in warehouses down at our southern border for people who are crossing into our country illegally. I realize that the babies being brought in also may need formula, but what about the babies who are legal citizens of our country? Why are they deemed "not importantant enough" to warrent the same abount of concern? I just don't get it and quite frankly, it makes me angry! Jeff and I are very concerned about what is to come with the rising costs. I am a planner and want to have all my ducks in a row so to speak in order to feel safe. Jeff on the other hand will get overwhelmed with all that there is to do and is not fond of my list making and discussions about what all we need to do. He is more than willing to work on the projects that I have lined up for us, but with his new work schedule, there is less time in the day to do them and that is stressing him out. I am trying to get more things done to take some pressure off of him, and our Steven has been a wonderful helper to me. I think Jeff is now feeling what I have for most of my life, being totally overwhelmed by too much to do. It is like we are swithching roles in a sense and I don't think either of us are really thrilled about it. In trying to save money to put elsewhere where it is needed, we are doing some familiar things and others, that are not something that we have normally done. I did buy the capri leggings pictures above for $3.33 each, and they were brand new, at a yard sale a few weeks back. I needed a few extra pairs since that is what I live in during the hotter months of the year. I also found some plain colored shirts for $1 each at Dollar Tree, before the prices went up. I'm glad I got them then. Speaking of rising prices, I realized that the 50 pound bags of flour that I got for $12.00 a year ago where now $29.00 at Winco the last time I checked! They are only going to get higher too. I am so glad I bought an extra 50 pounds awhile back when the prices were at $19.00 a bag. The college students are leaving and at one of the colleges, WSU, many of the students just throw out their things. We were able to get a nice chair, which we will sell, some clothing, a door mat, and a metal headboard, which I will use as a cucumber trellis in the garden. I am hoping to go back and find more things. I know in the past we have found furniture and sold it, but it seems more people are now strapped for cash and are doing the same thing we do. With the pressing issue of the diesel shortages, I asked Jeff to please buy 2 more gas cans and fill them up today before he comes home. Diesel is needed to power the trucks that deliver the gas and we are already seeing some gas shortages in our area. I want to have at least 10 gallons of gas set aside just for filling up Jeff's little comuter car. I also want him to top off one of the ones that we have here already and have been using for the lawn mower. I do have a 4th can and that is just for the generator if needed. My big fear is that gas prices will either go sky high here soon, or we will not be able to find gas and that Jeff would not be able to make it to work. He commutes about 34 miles each way 5 days a week. Luckily his paycheck is a bit higher this time due to some overtime pay, so we can comfortably do this at the moment without it taking away from something else. Jeff is hoping to finish the greenhouse for me this weekend and I, if I am able since I am sick right now with a horrible cold that I think I caught from our Steven, want to get more seeds going in the greenhouse. I also need to do more direct sowing of some of the cooler weather plants. I have already started harvesting spinach and radishes from my first planting and the second planting is coming along nicely for the most part. Sadly, the pok choi did not come up and I have no idea why. I will try a second planting and see what happens. I've made a detailed list of things that we will need and are low on or that I just feel need to be added to what we already have. Yes, I started to read the list to Jeff and he kind of shut down a bit. That is when he told me about how he was feeling. I had totally forgotten that he had told me this before and I appologized to him. I will keep the list in my notebook and pick up what we need without telling him everything. My goal honestly is to have at least a year's worth of stuff that we use on a regular basis on hand. Jeff has his own list of things that he wants to have here and bills that he wants to get paid off. It is stressing him out to not be able to put bigger chunks of money on paying off some of the bills, and I understand that. Luckily for us, Summer is a time of being able to eat more out of the garden, so we will spend much less on fresh produce. Jeff has gotten really good about trying new things in his salads, so that is really helpful when it comes to nutrition also. I'm super proud of him for that. The laundry line, rain barrels, free buckets, and other things will all be used extensively to help save us money. Steven and I will be working the gardens like crazy and will be doing more succession planting. I'll be sending home fresh produce with him and also giving some to Chris and Heather, while still trying to preserve a bunch of it for us. Heather has said she will continue to provide us with eggs free of cost, so that is a huge help right there also. Be blessed all and try to stay positive in these unsettling times. By the way, this is not supposed to be all one big run on paragraph, but blogger is being strange and this is how it all came out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Some of our Meals Lately

Fish, cilantro lime rice and apple slices.

Here is just a sample of some of our meals lately.  Yes, we do eat a lot of canned green beans and rice.  They are favorites.  I do try to mix things up a bit and remake leftovers into other meals like a few slices of steak that went into making the soup you will see later down the list of pictures.  The small amount of dry fettuccini noodles that we not used in the fettuccini side dish (where I used the last of the bagged spinach before it went bad) were broken up and used in the homemade chicken noodle soup.  I am doing my best not to waste things as everything is going way up in price.  By the way, has anyone else noticed how bad the produce is?  I mean I bring tomatoes home and they start shriveling up in about 2 days! That is just ridicules.  Now before you ask how we can afford steak, know that it is venison or elk steaks that were given to us by Chris and Heather.  There is no way we could afford them otherwise!

Cheese and spinach pizza.

Steak slices, green beans and rice pilaf.

Rotini bake.

Teriyaki meatloaf, green beans, rice and homemade applesauce.

Tortellini and steak soup.

Homemade chicken noodle soup.

Herbed pork loin and a side of creamy herb and spinach fettuccini.

Sweet Italian sausage and potato bake.

Elk steak, green beans and baked potato salad.

Baked pork chops with an herb and butter sauce, chicken rice pilaf, baked asparagus and a side salad.


Monday, May 9, 2022

Tate Has Some Big News to Share



Yes, our Tate is going to be a big brother!  November of this year we will be adding grandbaby number 5 to our family!  Josh and Lauren are thrilled and so are we. 😊

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Prayers for my sister Leonie


   My beautiful sister, Leonie, needs prayers and good thoughts.  I facetimed with her yesterday and was shocked and very concerned about how she was looking.  Sadly, her cancer appears to be back and she is once again undergoing chemo.  This is leaving her very tired and the chemo fog is taking it's toll on her too.  

   For those of you reading this that may not know my background, my sister came to live with us when she and I were in high school.  She came from Tahiti up to school in Hawaii and things did not work out for her to stay with her family members there, so my mother invited her to come live with us.  Even though she came kind of like a foster sister, she quickly became part of the family and my parents even did a "statement of parenthood" once she turned 18 since they could not legally adopt her.  

   My sister means the world to me and I love her beyond words.  We are trying to keep her spirits up and planning for a visit when she is up here on the mainland again this Fall.  Oh how I wish I could just reached through the computer screen and given her a huge hug today.  My heart was just breaking for her and still is.  Please keep her in your prayers for healing and the strength to get through this quickly.

   Mahalo Nui (thank you very much)

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Greenhouse Build and Other Things Gardening Related

   It has been busy around here and thus my absence from this blog and not responding to comments, although I do read and enjoy them...thank you!  😀  Please keep them coming!

   Jeff and my latest project has been building a greenhouse.  I have wanted one for so long and it is now becoming a reality.  I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!  Jeff has most of it framed up and brought home the rest of the materials to finish it off.  Hopefully that will happen on Sunday and I can get busy starting seedlings to put out in the garden when it is safe to do so.  I was telling Jeff that our Steven is going to think it is his own personal playhouse since he will be spending so much time here with me this Summer (or maybe sooner).  Being able to share that experience with one of my grandboys just makes my heart sing!  My plan is to get lots of seeds started so that I can maximize not only every space in my own garden, but to also share with my family and friends.  I am sure that having plants to put out in their own gardens will be a wonderful "gift" that I can share with others.

   Yesterday I was finally able to track down some seed potatoes, Walla Walla Sweet onion starts, along with some celery seeds to grow, and a rosemary plant.  I talked to one of the ladies that runs the nursery part of a local building supply and garden center and she gave me some interesting information.  She told me that their shipments of edible garden type plants are really delayed and that they have no idea if and when they will arrive and how strange that was.  She also told me that when the limited supply that they have gotten in so far arrives, that it is bought up quickly.  She is a younger woman, whom it appears has not been following the news much, so I filled her in on the reasons that all this is happening.  She seemed shocked and thanked me for the information.  

   Once I got home I got dinner started and then got busy getting my rosemary plant trimmed up since it had been hit by frost (it was discounted because of that but I knew all it needed was a trim on its tips and would be just fine).  After that, I got the onion starts into some water so the roots would not dry out and then got busy chitting the potatoes.  The potatoes I chose were called Montana Huckleberry Gold.  I chose these because they could tolerate the cooler weather so I can start them earlier and they were the kind that I did not need to peel to eat and made great mashed potatoes!  Yes, I do love mashed potatoes and I can also use them in soups and for roasting.  Plus, how could I not try growing  potatoes with such a cool name since Montana is my favorite place to vacation in?  Yes, I do have strange reasons for picking this particular variety of potato to try to grow, but hey, it is worth a try right?

   One of the things that I really needed to do was to figure out how to make my compost bin work faster, so I research that and found that I was not adding enough "brown materials" to it.  So one of my projects today is to rip up cardboard boxes into smaller pieces and add that to the bin, along with some old non glossy newspaper shreds.  I will get that all mixed in and we will then go from there.  I tell you, I am always trying to learn new things and how to improve my gardening skills.

   Anyway, I need to get going and get this day started, even if it is now a little after 12 noon.  I got a late start to the day and I am okay with that since yesterday was a busy day of running around for me trying to find all the plants, seeds, and doing some other shopping for food and picking up one of my prescriptions.  Usually Thursday is my day to relax and not do anything, but that is not something I can afford to do at the moment.  I need to work on things when my body allows (the constant weather changes are playing havoc with my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms).  Be blessed all!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Snow, Some Shopping and Preparing for Shortages


   As I sit here typing out this post we have round 2 of our Spring snow storms.  This round is much lighter than Sunday's, which dumped about 4 inches of snow and weighed down my daffodils to the ground.  I had told Jeff that we would be getting more snow as he worked in the yard on Saturday leveling out an area to build a small greenhouse for me.  I really want to be able to start as many seeds as I can to save money on starts and also provide more food from our garden.  Saturday was a blustery but sunny day and I found every excuse I could to be outside as much as possible. 😉 Sunday found us in the house watching movies, me giving Jeff a much needed haircut, him cleaning out the back bedroom so I could once again sleep in there on nights that he, or I, was restless or having a rough time sleeping.  I was so tired that day that I slept through his cleaning.  I curled up on our bed in our room and apparently was out for the count.

   Since we did not want to have to go anywhere over the weekend, we did our shopping on Friday night.  I had gotten a  phone call earlier in the day from Walmart saying that they wanted to know if I wanted to participate in a auto refill programs where they would consolidate my pick up days on my meds instead of me having to make multiple trips.  Looking at when my refills were due, I could just have to make 2 trips this month.  Sounded good to me!  After I hung up with them I got to thinking that this program may also be so they knew how much medications they were going to need in advance for their regular customers.  I know that there are shortages on some medications and there have been times when they have had to order in more of one of my medications because they did not have enough of it on hand.  I asked my neighbor, who works at a hospital about this and she confirmed that it was most likely what was going on.  So off we went to Walmart once Jeff got home.

   On the way into Walmart, I floated an idea to Jeff about getting an electric long reaching tree trimmer.  They had them on sale at Harbor Freight and it would make Jeff's life so much easier and I would not have to worry about him as much.  He quickly agreed!  I told him that would be our "gift" to each other for past birthdays and our anniversary, along with Mother's Day for me.  This will cut down on the time he has to put into pruning all our fruit trees each year and our kids can also borrow it to do theirs as well.

   Along with Walmart and Harbor Freight, we also stopped at Safeway and Grocery Outlet.  I had uploaded digital coupons onto my Safeway card for milk, pizzas, and a case of water.  I found some marked down pork in the reduced section and grabbed that quickly and added it to my cart.  My biggest score though was found in the bakery.  There was a worker in there and I asked if they had any food grade buckets that I could have.  He said they had a lot of them and asked how many I wanted.  I told him I would take them all!  He filled a large shopping cart up with them and the lids and sent me on my merry way with all those lovely FREE food grade buckets!  I had already filled up the last 6 I had picked up from there previously and needed more.  These will be used for more long term food storage, homemade laundry detergent, some for gardening and some to share with my girls.  SCORE!!!!  I only found a few items at Grocery Outlet, mostly snacks for Jeff, but overall, I did not spend much at any of the grocery stores since I am pretty well stocked on most items and am trying to be really careful with money right now since we ended up owing on both Federal and Idaho taxes, so I had to get those sent off earlier in the day.

   Our weekend meals were simple and frugal to boot.  I had thawed out some homemade Zuppa Toscana for dinner on Friday and got that heated up while Jeff took a shower after we got back from our shopping trip.  Saturday I cooked up a Bacon and Ranch Suddenly Salad kit and added cheddar cheese, some leftover bacon, half of a bag of coleslaw mix and a diced up Roma tomato.  I served it with some Little Smokies sausages, and a cut up apple for Jeff and some grapes for me.  Jeff made up some brownies later that evening and they were so good!  You can never go wrong with chocolate brownies, am I right?  Sunday night we just threw a pizza in the oven and had that for dinner.  Easy Peasy and yummy!

   Today I am playing "catch up" and trying my best to make the most of what we have here.  Earlier I got 2 loaves of bread mixed up and kneaded and then set them on top of the pellet stove to rise, which they did beautifully!  While those were baking, I cut up the last of the bread from the previous week and got those ready to pop in the oven.  I love making homemade croutons.  They are great on salads, as toppers for soups, and just to snack on.  Two loads of laundry are now finished and ready to be folded.  I put away a bunch of cases of water and consolidated them into one spot.  My next project of the day is going to be organizing my sewing supplies and trying to get most if that in one spot also.  At this point in my life, I really crave organization so that I know what I have and can find it easily.  This saves me so much time and money, so that I don't buy things that I already have on hand and don't need more of.  For example, I have enough white thread to last me for years!  No need to buy any more of that.  I am however in need of replacement needles for my sewing machine because I don't have any on hand if I break the one that is on my machine now.

   I suppose I should get off the computer and get working on that last project.  I'm still trying to decide what to do for dinner.  I may just go with cheese tortellini and pesto sauce, along with some fresh fruit.  That does sound good.  Okay, that will be the plan.  Be blessed!



Thursday, April 7, 2022

A Thrifty Thursday



   Well, yesterday proved to be a day of unexpected bills.  I did the taxes and we thought we were going to be getting a refund...NOPE!  We owed both Federal and Idaho state taxes.  Jeff works in Idaho, so we have to pay non resident taxes in that state.  I paid online for the federal, but we are mailing in the Idaho stuff since Tax Act wanted to charge me for it.  Luckily we did have the money in savings to cover it all, so that was a huge relief.  Jeff came home to me just finishing up the taxes at dinner time and took pity on me and made grilled cheese sandwiches for our dinner.  I love that man! 😘

   That being said, today is one of those "I'm on the frugal warpath" kind of days.  Luckily the weather is cooperating, so I was able to hang the laundry out on the line to dry.  It is unseasonably warm (in the low 70's), but we are expecting more rain, freezing temps and even snow within the next 7 days or so.  There is something so calming to me when I am hanging out laundry to dry...I have no idea why, but hey, I'll take some moments of calmness in this world that has seemed to have gone totally crazy.

   While the laundry was going in the washer, I got some water boiling and thinly cut up a potato into small dices and then added it to the water.  I the added some Auguson Farms cheesy broccoli soup mix to it, along with a handful of frozen broccoli that I had in the freezer that need to be used up.  I let that simmer while I moved on to my next project.

   Remember those large cartons of ricotta cheese that I found for $1 each, well I had one left that needed to be used.  I mixed the ricotta up with some parmesan cheese and some Olive Garden herb mix.  I then layered the sauce, noodles (uncooked), ricotta cheese, a handful of mozzarella cheese from a bag I pulled out of the freezer, and then repeated that pattern all over again until my pans were full and the top layer of noodles was covered with sauce.  I was able to make 3 pans to pop into the freezer.  This is our idea of convenience meals and makes it easy to grab one to give to someone who might also need a meal.

   I had to break the lasagna noodles up to fit in the pans, so I had lots of broken pieces of noodles.  I never throw them away.  I put them in a bag to use in homemade soups in the near future.  This is something that I learned many years ago from my mother, who was a great teacher in all things frugal!

   While out in the freezer putting the lasagna in, I grabbed some cotta salami for Jeff and also a bag full of frozen Zuppa Toscana.  The soup will be dinner tomorrow night since we are expecting bad weather to move back in.  Soup on a rainy night is something that brings me comfort and makes me feel all cozy.  Again, having that soup all made and in the freezer for me to just pull out is convenience food at it's finest.  I may make some garlic and cheddar biscuits to go with it.  That just sounds delicious and I know Jeff would love it!

   It's now mid afternoon and I am going to take the rest of the day off, other than bringing in and folding that laundry when it is done drying.  Jeff has bowling tonight, so I don't have to make dinner for the two of us.  I'll just grab something easy, maybe those egg rolls from the freezer??? 😉 I am in the middle of a bad fibro flare, but have been pushing myself to get some things done.  My pain levels are going back up again, so I may have to talk to my doctor about raising me pain medication dosage.  I need to get adjusted to it before I have Steven here a few days a week this Summer.  Sometimes it takes me a good month or more to adjust unfortunately. 

   So that is it for today...stay busy, stay frugal and stay prayed up and sane!


Monday, April 4, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 4/1/22



~Jeff brought home a bunch of free pallets from work that we will be using in the construction of our greenhouse.

~Jeff and I were both wiped out so we rested when he got home from work.  

~We watched several episodes of Survivor.

~Dinner was a salad for me with some of the leftover chicken and grapes added to it and Jeff made himself some sandwiches.


~Jeff worked on fixing the gas cap latch on his car and also did a few other things to it.

~I made a huge pot full of hearty chicken noodle soup using the rest of the chicken from the deli along with carrots, onions, celery and some diced potatoes.  I added some broken up fettuccini noodles that I had leftover from making another dish a few weeks back.  It made for a wonderful meal with lots of leftovers.

~I pulled some homemade applesauce out of the freezer to thaw.

~We took the evening to relax.

~We Facetimed with Josh and Tate. Tate actually said hi and bye to us, showed us his tummy, eyes, mouth, nose and ears and even his feet when asked to by us and interacted much more with us this time.  He is a funny little thing who is extremely happy most of the time, but man, when he is not, you hear and see it.  He is just like his father was at that age. LOL!  

~I dehydrated some fresh strawberries that I sliced up.  I love these!


~Two loaves of sandwich bread were made.

~I had some of the leftover soup for lunch.

~Dinner was what I called "Thanksgiving Casserole".  It was a total experiment that came out great! I combined a small can of chicken with its broth (much to the disappointment of the cats who wanted the broth), a can of green beans with their liquid, and a can of cream of mushroom soup.  I seasoned this with a touch of salt and some black pepper.  I then added a box of prepared chicken stuffing to the top of the mixture that I poured into a greased baking dish and covered the dish.  It cooked for about 45 minutes at 400F and I then lowered the heat to 375F with the lid off for another 15 minutes.  The stuffing soaked up most of the liquid in the bottom half of the dish and made for a very delicious meal!  My hubby loved it and so did I!

~Jeff picked up some free ice cream at Safeway on his way home so we had some of that for dessert.  I had downloaded the coupon for the free ice cream onto my Safeway card.


~I had the leftover casserole for lunch.

~Another "nudging" came over me to get more food set aside and I am so glad that I listened.  I headed into town and was able to find saltines for under $1 a box (I bought 4 boxes), cereals on clearance for $1 a box, big containers of Ricotta cheese for $1 each (I got the two that they had), more canned meats, 10 pounds of white rice, pork loin roasts on sale and some other items to stock the pantry and freezer.

~Safeway's bakery had a bunch of food grade buckets that they gave me for free and the super sweet guy working there said to come bake anytime for more since they have a lot throughout the week.  I use these for gardening, bulk food storage, etc. and I also will be sharing some with my girls.

~Dinner was leftover chicken noodle soup since I was totally wiped out after all that shopping.

~I got 2 more pounds of frozen corn going in the dehydrator.

~Jeff got some compost worked into the front raised garden bed so that it is ready for me to plant lettuce.


~Safeway's digital coupons were not that great, but I still uploaded the few I could use.  Their sales ad however was pretty good, so I will be making a list and have Jeff pick up some of the items on his way home from work either Friday (after he gets paid again) or early next week.

~I got the 2 pounds of dehydrated corn put way and started another 2 pounds going in the dehydrator.

~One of the $1 containers of Ricotta cheese was used, along with some Parmesan cheese and the last of a block of Mozzarella cheese, to make a nice big lasagna for dinner.  We had this with a side dish of homemade applesauce.  There were leftovers for at least another meal for both Jeff and I.  

~I froze the last of the homemade chicken noodle soup for another meal in the future.


~Jeff took some of the lasagna for his lunch at work and a sandwich to have for dinner before his bowling league.

~I had some of the lasagna for lunch.

~Dinner for me was homemade mashed potatoes along with a asparagus and ham stir fry and some strawberries.

~I worked on the pantry some more and found even more split peas and things. They are a great source of protein and luckily Jeff and I both enjoy split pea soup.

~The dehydrated corn was put away.  I had Jeff try some (dried) and he really liked the taste of it.  It will be handy to have on hand to eat dried and rehydrated.  I would really like to do more of it.


~Jeff took the last of the lasagna for his lunch.

~Towels and sheets were washed and hung out on the laundry line to dry.

~I took the kitchen scraps, along with the used coffee grounds out to the compost bin.  I uncovered the bin from the plastic cover we had on it, turned the compost and then left the cover off so that it can get some of the incoming rain on it this weekend.

~Shannon (my much loved hanai sister/neighbor) and I had a lovely visit over the fence.  It was so nice to catch up with her and share hugs.

~Leftover mashed potatoes were my lunch.

~We had pineapple and teriyaki meatballs, along with rice, green beans, and some fresh apple slices for dinner.

~Dessert was more of that Java Chip ice cream that Jeff got for free from Safeway.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

This Song Sums Up My Feelings on the War in Ukraine


(4) Edwin Starr - War (Original Video - 1969) - YouTube

(War) h'uh
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin) uh-huh, uh-huh
(War) h'uh
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin')
Say it again, y'all

(War) h'uh (h'uh) look out!
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin')

Listen to me

Ooh war, I despise
'Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears, to thousands of mother's eyes
When their sons go off to fight and lose their lives
I said, war (h'uh)
Good God, y'all!
(What is it good for?)

Absolutely (nothin') 'gin
Say it, again

(War) whoa (h'uh) whoa-whoa, Lord

(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin')
Listen to me!

It ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker!
Friend only to the undertaker

Ooh, war
Is an enemy to all mankind
The thought of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest

Within the younger generation
Induction, then destruction
Who wants to die?
Ooh war, Good God (h'uh) y'all!

(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin')

Say it, say it, say it
Woah-h'uh (h'uh) yeah uh
(What is it good for?)

(Absolutely) nothin'
Listen to me

It ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker
It's got one thing and that's the undertaker

Ooh, war
Has shattered many a-young man's dreams
Made him disabled, bitter, and mean
And life is much too short and precious
To spend fighting wars each day
War can't give life
It can only take it away
Oh, war!
(H'uh) Good God, y'all
(What is it good for?)
Absolutely (nothin')

Say it, again
Whoa (h'uh) whoa-whoa, Lord
(What is it good for?)
A-absolutely (nothin')
Listen to me!
It ain't nothin' but a heartbreaker
Friend only to the undertaker

Peace, love and understanding tell me
Is there no place for anything else?
They say we must fight
To keep our freedom
But Lord, knows there's got to be
A better way

God, y'all! (uh)
(What is it good for?)
You tell 'em! (h'uh)
Say it, say it, say it
Good God (h'uh) now, h'uh
(What is it good for?)
Stand up and shout it

Songwriters: Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: Musixmatch

I hate what is going on in the world right now with the war in Ukraine.  So many innocent lives lost on both sides.  Many of the Russian soldiers were lied to and had no idea that they were going to be invading and waging a war in Ukraine.  People are fleeing Ukraine, and the lucky ones are those who actually make it out alive.  Husbands and fathers have to stay behind to fight and say goodbye to their wives and children, knowing that they might not ever see them again.  Their wives and children know this too.  Families being tormented and terrified as bombs rain down as they shelter in basements, praying that they will make it through another day and be able to escape to safety.  Captured Russian soldiers being terrified of what they may face upon their return to their homeland as their parents relay that their government is already planning  their funerals.  Mothers and fathers, mourning the deaths of their loved ones and children being orphaned and all for what?  Would someone please tell me the truth about WHY anyone would start a war?  Is the suffering of the innocent in both countries worth it?  We have a Russian friend that I reached out to and he told me that he was touched by my concern for his family, who remain in Russia.  So many people blame the "Russians" as a whole for this...I don't.  I blame the egomaniacal politicians who sit in their bunkers while they send their soldiers out to die and just see them and the people who they are killing as collateral damage.  It's pure insanity and has to stop!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/25/22



   Hello friends. 😊  We had a busy week and weekend, so this post is late again (as usual).  I have been pushing myself way too hard and it has started to catch up with me.  I can't help it, I feel this urgency to get so much done.  I had my pantry to redo and organize, found some huge gaps that needed to be filled, there was, and still is, lots of gardening work to be done, and we had Steven with us one day during the week.  Steven was a HUGE help with the pantry stuff since he could "ferry things from G-pa to Grammie. 😉 That alone helped save my back and legs!  Now onto the frugal doings!...


~Jeff and I stayed home and just relaxed.  We watched a few movies and got a much needed rest.

~I made pancakes for breakfast and we refrigerated the leftovers.


~Jeff started work on the shelving for our front bedroom turned pantry.  We needed more space in there to store not only food, but also linens and gifts.

~I made a nice pork steak and rice casserole with some pork steaks I had gotten on half price and then froze.  I served it with green beans.

~We watched another movie on YouTube.


~I had a leftover pancake for lunch.

~While Jeff was at work, I did laundry and also worked on organizing the pantry with one of the new sets of shelves.

~Josh called to let me know that their next base will be in Utah!  I am so excited because we can drive there within about 9-10 hours.  That means even more family time for all of us!


~Steven came to spend the day with us since he has a double ear infection and needed another day to rest more than he would at daycare.  He is on antibiotics and was already starting to feel much better.  He was a wonderful helper and helped us get so much done on the pantry project with helping Gpa build a second set of shelves and then helping us get them organized and filled up.  We could not have done as much as we did without his help.😀

~I made a list of things that we are low on, like Saltine crackers, and Jeff will be picking those up on Thursday.

~I made Steven macaroni and cheese for lunch and he also had grapes and popcorn as a snack.

~I made two loaves of bread, with Steven's help of course. Jeff and I had a ham sandwich for lunch,

~Dinner was leftovers since we were both exhausted.

~Chris managed to find the ammo for Jeff's gun in Montana, so he picked him up some.  If we make a trip over there this Spring of Fall, we will try to pick up more then also.


~I was still really tired and sore, even after going to bed early last night.  It triggered my IBS, so I figured my best course of action was to try to do some less strenuous tasks today and also take some medicine to help.

~I did several loads of laundry and hung the sheets out to dry on the laundry line since it was in the low 60's today.

~With the weather being so nice, I got out in the garden and did some more cleaning out of the garden beds.  I also noticed that my radishes are starting to come up...Yay!!!!

~The back glass door that leads out onto the screened in porch was opened wide to air out the house.  The cats loved being able to come in and out as they pleased.

~The compost pile got more used coffee grounds.

~I have been trying to make more "pantry meals" with canned and packaged goods, as well as trying to make more room in my freezer and making sure I use up bits and bobs of things.  Tonight I used a Velveeta Broccoli and Rotini boxed meal and added about 1 cups of leftover dried noodles from a different meal, some frozen broccoli and a small can of chicken to it.  I also thinned the cheese sauce with a little of the saved pasta water.  It made for a tasty and frugal meals since I had gotten the boxed meal for .99 at the Grocery Outlet store. This is a meal that I can recreate without the packaged mix also using items I have on hand.  We had enough for 3 large servings, so Jeff took the 3rd serving for his lunch at work on Thursday.

~Sometimes you just need something sweet so I made some flourless peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.  I used a small container of peanut butter that Jeff and I were not fond of the taste of (Trader Joes brand) that had been given to us.  It did make for good cookies though.  Again, I am trying to figure out things to make with things from the pantry and without things that may be in short supply in the near future, like flour.


~I spent the good majority of the day working on the pantry and have most of it organized now.  I just have a few more things to get done on this huge projects.

~My spinach is starting to come up in the garden!

~Uncle Bob was up at his house today so I was able to have a nice visit with him.

~I rewarded myself with a frozen pizza that I popped in the oven to cook for dinner since I was really wiped out by the evening.

~I got 2 packages of mixed veggies going in the dehydrator.

~Have you ever got a bad feeling?  Well I did today so I locked up our garage to make sure no one could get into it without a key.

~I went down to our food giveaway near the end of it because I wanted to try to organize a diaper and formula drive for them.  I know that so many families are hurting right now and with the increasing cost of everything and the shortages on things, I thought this might be something that could really help out our community.  One of the ladies there, who is really bossy, could not shoo me out of there quick enough and would not even let me present my idea to her or to anyone else.  She questioned where I was from, even though she has seen me in town for years, and told me they had all the connections they needed and herded me to the door.  I have to tell you, that left an awful taste in my mouth and is NOT the way that anyone should be treated.  She acted all high and mighty and like I was someone who was way beneath her.  BTW, I was not there to get any food and it was still during the time period that they should have been staying open, but they were already taking things down and many people were just standing around talking that help out there.


~I packaged up the mixed frozen veggies that I dehydrated.  Two pounds pre dehydrating took up very little room in a canning jar after they were done.  I will be doing more of these!  I want to have lots of dehydrated food on hand for the future.  After seeing how wiped out shelves, freezers and coolers were at Walmart when we were there earlier in the week, I am very worried about what is to come.

~I decided to head into town to do some topping off of things that I was either low on or missing in my pantry.  I called Jeff and asked him to meet me at Winco after he got off work because I would need his help lifting things.

~My first stop was the Dollar Tree where I stocked up on coconut milk (I thought this would be a good shelf stable substitute for creamer), a new plunger for use along with a bucket to wash clothing with if we did not have power, some more shampoo, some early learning books for Steven and I to work on this Summer, big aluminum baking pans with raise plastic lids to use as seed starting trays and some canned potatoes.

~I next went to Walmart to price out steer manure and compost.  All of the steer manure had been bought out right after they unloaded it apparently.  It's ok though, that worked out in my favor because I realized I have a free source of well rotted horse manure from Heather's parents.

~Last stop was Winco.  They were completely out of the 50 pound bags of unbleached flour.  They were also out of all the other things that come in the 50 pound bags like rice, oats, sugar, beans, etc..  I picked up more canned meats, Powerade, frozen veggies, a cooked chicken from the deli, bananas for Jeff, pickles, soda for Jeff, canned pears and canned veggies.

~As soon as we got home, I got some Yukon Gold potatoes washed, cut up and boiling.  I made them into mashed potatoes and we had that, along with some of the chicken, for dinner.

~I opened two 2 pound bags of mixed frozen veggies and got them going in the dehydrator overnight.

~We watched a few episodes of one of the old Survivor series that we had not seen before.

      Jeff and I continue to make plans for a greenhouse and are gathering up materials for it.  I found the perfect spot for it and hope that we can build it next weekend since Jeff will have 2 days in a row off then.  I really need to get seeds started that I can then transplant out into the garden once all danger of frost has passed in our area.  More than ever, I feel a need to plant as much as I can.  Anyone else feeling this way also?