Monday, January 31, 2022

Monday's Mixed Up Emotions


   Please tell me I am not the only one who has felt like they have been on an emotional rollercoaster for the past 2 years with this whole covid-10 mess and all the political games that have been being played.  I'm so tired of the economy taking such a hit and people losing their jobs and businesses.  I mourn for those who have lost loved ones and for those who are suffering from long term covid effects.  I'm tired of people being demonized for making personal choices for their own health. My heart goes out to all the school children who have had their lives disrupted and who have not gotten the education that they deserve and to the teachers who have tried their very best to teach online at times and who try to make the best of a very bad situation when they kids are allowed back in school knowing full well that at any time they can be shut down again and trying to get the kids who have been out sick caught up when they do return to the classroom.  Yes, that is a long run on sentence and no, I don't care.


    With the economy the way it is, and getting worse, supply chain issues, prices rising and the treats of war, low crop production (based on fertilizer being in short supply and so expensive that there will be many farmers who cannot afford that or the seed this year to plant), along with so many other issues, I think we are in for a world of hurt.  There are days when I am very proactive, doing all I can to try and provide some kind of hedge of protection for my family, and other days when I honestly just want to throw my hands up in disgust and say "screw it".  I am one of those people that needs calm and stability to function well, and we are living in a time when we have neither of these.  I have noticed that I am having more panic attacks and my OCD is making itself know once again.  Logically, I realize that I have no control over what is going on in the world outside of my home and all I can do is the best that I can to prepare for what is to come and make my home the haven that I need it to be...but there is always the little niggling in the back of my mind about "what if this happens".  Know what I mean?  I realize that this is a trauma reaction and it is one that I have tried to work through, but sadly, will always be a part of my "coping" to try and anticipate any "danger" and be ready for it.  At this very moment, my body and mind are in "fight or flight" mode, and I can tell you that is utterly exhausting.  I do have medications that I can take to help combat this, but they make me feel like a slug and spacy.  I don't like that feeling at all!

   Now for the "silver linings", because I am always trying to look for those.  Our home is paid for in full.  We have a garden with established fruit trees, bushes and patches, along with a herb garden and raised garden beds for me to grow fruit and veggies in.  I found seeds on sale and stocked up on what would grow well in our climate.  Two sets of our kids and grandkids live close to us and we do help each other out and we facetime regularly with our third set of kids and youngest grandson.  Our pantry is well stocked and I have the knowledge and skills to be able to make tasty meals from what we have on hand.  Over time, I have curated many books on gardening, cooking, survival skills, building plans, health and yes, even entertainment for the littlest grandson up the the older generation (myself included).  My husband is a very handy guy who can do a lot of the car and home maintenance around our home and for our kids too.  He is also a skilled carpenter who can build just about anything I ask him to.  We are blessed to still have my parents in our lives and my mother is more than happy to sew things like aprons, napkins, wall hangings and quilts for us all.  My father provides us with lots of entertainment with all his stories...he really is a good storyteller, and I learn so much from him.  My siblings, cousins and I all have really good relationships with one another, even if we do have very different opinions on some things. 😉  I value their input and they all help me to grow as a person.

   So all is not lost or gloom and doom.  Some days I just have to write things all down to help me clear my mind and I thank anyone reading this for taking this meandering path in my mind with me today.  Hopefully it will help someone to know that they are not alone if they feel this way too and also help them to see that there is always good in the world if we look for it and learn to truly appreciate those around us who are in our lives and mean so much to us.  They are a gift whether they are there in person near you, a phone call away, on their other side of the world or even online.  I know that I treasure all of the amazing people who I have met online through different forums,  facebook groups and here in the blogging world.  Be blessed and thank you for being a part of my life.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/28/21


Box from my mother filled with cloth napkins and cobbler styled aprons that she made for me.

   Can you believe another week has gone by?  The days seem to just speed by and we find ourselves near the end of the month yet again.  This past week I have been enjoying seeing the pictures that Chris and Heather have share of their vacation to Florida (they are now safely home and just in time before the huge storm started really messing up flights).  Unfortunately, both Heather and Bradley picked up some kind of bug while they were there and were not feeling well part of the time and missed out on snorkeling and going to see the manatees. Stomach bugs are just the worst in my opinion.  Jeff got to see Rachel and Steven this week when they stopped in at his workplace to pick up a few items and arrange for a time for Jeff to come and help them finish their trim in their house. We will be spending time with them next weekend and I already picked out some books to take over to read with Steven and then leave for him to keep.  I have an extensive home library filled with books of all sorts, including children's books.  Steven really loves books now so I want to continue to encourage that. I visited with Josh and Tate several times via facetime.  Tate is getting more teeth, walking and discovering how to get around all the obstacles that his parents have put in place to try and keep him contained in one area.  He is very proud of himself for doing so!  LOL!  Now onto the frugal doings for the week...


~Saturday was a day spent at home resting and napping for the most part.  We did watch some movies on YouTube and Disney Plus. We had a snacky type dinner.

~Sunday we headed into Pullman to Palouse Treasures thrift store.  There we found brand new in package jeans from Costco in Jeff's size.  We also found some brand new shaping capris originally $65 retail according to the tag.  The thrift store had them for $4.98 and according to the cashier, they were half off that. I wear sportwear capri pants all the time in warmer weather.  Other things we found were a set of board books for our grandson Tate, a container for me to keep our bulk popcorn in, a book about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (which reminds me of home), a pressure canning cookbook, 2 movies (buy 1 get one free sale) and a blind cleaner.

~We also went to Grocery Outlet and Habor Freight.  Jeff found batteries on sale at Harbor Freight and got some.  I was really happy because they were on my list of needed items.  I got a few things at Grocery Outlet including some gluten free brownie mixes.  One of Jeff's coworkers is on a gluten free diet to see if it helps with his debilitating migraines, and I wanted to be able to send some treats in for everyone to share that he can have also.  Lemons and onions were good prices, so I got a bag of lemons and a bag of onions.  

~From there we headed to Moscow and got some dinner at Panda Express.  I know, I know, I said we were not going to eat out this month but I caved in because I was hangry (I had not eaten all day).  Both Jeff and I were unable to finish our meals, so we brought home the rest of it and had it later that evening.

~Goodwill was our next stop (I was on the hunt for a battery powered radio which I did not find).  I did however find a beautiful plate and a painting that both Jeff and I loved.  I try to change out some of the artwork in our home by the seasons and this one had three Native Americans on horses traveling through a forest in the snow.  Our Rachel and Steven are part Native American so this really called to me.

~Our final stop was Rosauers where I picked up two of their coffee creamers that were half price.  We then came home and relaxed for the evening.


~Jeff worked on his car for a bit.

~We hot tubbed in the evening,

~I baked 2 loaves of bread and some caramel apple cookies.

~Some of the lemons I bought went into the making of the lemon/honey/ginger syrup that I like to have on hand during cold and flu season.  I love it!  Jeff, not so much!

~Jeff had me place an order for some of our supplements and vitamins through Vitacost.  I used a coupon code they gave me for 15% off and free shipping.  I also went through Swagbucks to get points for my purchase.

~Dinner was delicious grilled cheese sandwiches on homemade bread that Jeff so graciously offered to make for us.  Yum!

~Mother Earth News magazines is one of my favorites and a wealth of information.  I decided to get a subscription for a year for $10 total.  Lots of entertainment, inspiration and information for very little money.  I really am trying to not only grow more, but also make our gardens prettier on a budget.


~I watched some videos on frugal living and got a few more ideas where I can cut costs.

~I got out my furniture fix pens and touched up the paint on a picture frame that had gotten bumped around.  It looks good as new now.  It was the one I had bought at the thrift store over the weekend and the picture is now hanging in my guest bathroom.

~Our internet was upgraded so we had to get it changed.  I got a deal where I pay less per month for more speed and I get the first month free, plus free installation and free equipment.

~Going through my cookbook collection, I found a cookbook about the Great Depression and how people made ends meet.  It has recipes, home remedies, memories shared and practical advice.  I am rereading it to get more ideas.

~Dinner was bratwurst, sauerkraut, sweet potato fries and applesauce.

~For a late night snack I had some milk toast.  

~Someone at Jeff's work tested positive for Covid.  He had not worked with her for the past 5 days, but he was told to take a test just in case.  Luckily I had bought a testing kit and had it here at home.  He tested negative, which was a great relief.


~Lunch was leftovers for me and Jeff took some leftovers and a sandwich.

~Safeway had a few digital coupons that I uploaded to my card.

~Trying to save money and stretch our food is a normal thing around here.  I really am trying to be more mindful of not being wasteful and using up things before they go bad.  In the spirit of that goal I browned up some venison burger and added the last half of an onion, finely diced, and some orange and yellow peppers that I had gotten on sale previously and frozen.  This stretched the ground venison, so much so that I was able to take out a little over half of it to be used for another meal.  I then added a can of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic powder to the meat and veggie mixture that remained in the pot.  I simmered that for about 5 minutes and then added the macaroni (2 cups dry) that I had cooked up and mixed that in.  I then added a packet of Velveeta cheese from a cheesy potato kit that I had opted not to use previously (and just used the potatoes in a soup).  This made for a very filling and nice meal and gave us leftovers.

~Jeff baked up some brownies for us for a nice treat.


~Jeff took some of the leftovers from dinner Wednesday night for his lunch, along with a brownie and I had the rest of it for lunch here at home.

~Dinner was sloppy joes with the meat that I had set aside for another meal yesterday.


~I got a check in the mail from a class action settlement with a cereal company.  It was a little over $6, but hey, I'll take it!

~My mother's package arrived and had several beautiful sets of cloth napkins and 3 aprons that she made for me.  I had picked out the material from her rather large stash when we were over there at Thanksgiving.  I love them all!

~I called my mom to thank her for the napkins and the aprons.  We had a really nice visit catching up. :)

~I refilled the soy sauce and olive oil containers from the larger ones. I keep the smaller containers next to the stove for easy access.

~Croutons were made with some leftover sourdough and some of my homemade bread.

~I made a cabbage Asian salad with the second half of a cabbage that I had used previously. and added some ham to it.  YUM!

~Several bags of popcorn were dumped into a larger container to condense them into one place.

~I was able to make a rather large container of ham salad with some leftover and frozen ham, several stocks of celery, mayo, and sweet pickles.  This will last for at least 4 meals!

~The pantry reorganizing continues to be a work in progress, but there is progress being made. 😉

   Jeff is at work at the moment since this is his Saturday to man the store.  I have a worker from Zipley internet services coming this afternoon to finish setting up our new higher speed internet.  Another one of their guys was here yesterday and he got all the lines run, etc. but the company had an outage, so he was not able to finish the set up.  Very frustrating for him after all the hard work he did and I felt bad for him.  He was a really nice young man.  Depending on when this new tech guy shows up will depend on what the afternoon holds for Jeff and I once Jeff gets home from work.  He only works until 2 p.m., so that leaves some time in the afternoon for us to work on a project.  Be blessed, stay safe and keep on praying for all the scary situations in the world right now.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/14/22 and 1/21/21


   Hello all. 😄  It's been a busy few weeks and I have not been feeling the greatest.  Fibro, not covid, as far as I know.  Also dealing with some emotional things and that is not fun, but it is needed.  Silver linings...silver linings. 😜 So here are the frugal doings for two weeks, with pictures of some of our meals and things to follow the list.  We do at a variety of foods and I try to do my best not to waste anything.  Now, more than ever, we all need to be mindful of that.  I was completely taken aback at the price hikes in food, especially meat!  I had a conversation with a lady at Grocery Outlet and she said she told her hubby that they may have to go vegetarian because meat prices have gone through the roof.  Cheese prices are also on the rise big time.  I continue to hunt down good deals and stock up on them when available.  Right now we are doing fine and I try to replace whatever we use ASAP with at least one, or maybe two, of that same item the next time I find it.  It helps keep me sane.  Now onto the savings!

Week 1.....


~Jeff helped Chris with his pole barn/shop build both Saturday and Sunday.  Free labor is a huge blessing for Chris, especially when he had his father, father-in-law and friend helping.  Both Jeff and Bruce (FIL) have lots of construction experience and Bruce was also able to borrow some equipment from work to help lift the trusses up for the roof. Jeff and Bruce both also have a lot of tools to help with the build and Chris has been adding to his tool collection too!

~Saturday I made 4 jars of raspberry jelly with some of the raspberries that I had picked and frozen over the Summer.  Jeff is not a fan of raspberry jelly, so most of these will become gifts.  I still have so many more frozen blackberries and raspberries to use up so there is more jelly making in my future.  I do them in small batches because that is about all I can handle at one time.  Luckily I have a good supply of jars and lids here at home.

~I made a delicious pork loin roast for dinner on Saturday.  I served it with rice, green beans and a salad.  I saved some of the roast to use in another meal.  We also had leftover rice that will also go into another meal.

~I was craving "comfort food", so I made some udon noodle soup and added some Swiss chard that I had picked from our garden before the big freeze along with some green onion (also from the garden and frozen) and some other things to it.  So good and filling on a cold winter day!

~Sunday I video chatted with Josh for a short bit.  He had just dropped off the dogs at their dog sitter since Lauren and Tate are in Ohio for her uncle's funeral and Josh has to head out for a week of training.  Hopefully he will be able to see our hanai son #4 Lee while he is at training in Colorado this week.

~I froze some bananas that will be perfect for banana bread.

~I used the leftover rice to make Taco rice for Sunday's dinner.  It is super easy to make:  

Taco Rice

Just brown some burger meat of your choice and add some minced onion, celery and taco seasoning to it.  When that is all sauteed up nicely add a can of rinsed black beans, a can of diced tomatoes with their juice, a can of corn, again with it's juice, and let simmer for 10 minutes to allow for the flavors to blend. Then add leftover cooked rice to it and mix in well.  Allow this to simmer on low for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with some shredded cheddar cheese on top.  The leftovers are great for lunch or can be repurposed into an amazing burrito filling (which is what I plan on doing with most of it).  I usually make a batch of the burritos and freeze them into portion sizes for Jeff to take to work with him to have for lunch.

~I pulled some cooked squash and onion out of the freezer to thaw.  I will make a squash casserole with this later in the week.


~I called Dollar Tree to see if they had their garden seeds in yet and they did!  I quickly showered and got ready and then headed into town.  I stocked up on lots of seeds 4/$1, 6 laundry detergents in the larger bottles (they are downsizing the bottles), a few grocery items including cotto salami lunchmeat for Jeff, some OTC medications, a few cleaning items and 2 shirts at $1 each for Jeff.

~My next stop was Marshall's where I had a $25 gift card from Jeff to spend.  I ended up getting 2 pairs of pajamas on clearance.  The girl just finished marking down one of the pairs when I asked her what the price was since I could not find it earlier.

~Winco was my final stop.  I picked up a few items including cabbage, milk, Powerade, bagels, canned chicken, carrots, coffee, and frozen pie crusts.

~Once I arrived home,  I got the oven heating up and then popped in a frozen pizza for dinner.  I was exhausted after all the shopping and driving.

Tuesday (exhausted Fibro flare day):

~Even though I went to bed at 11p.m. last night and woke up at 8:30, I was still super exhausted.  I gave myself grace, had some coffee and a snack, watched some TV and then laid down to rest.

~After my rest, I made a squash casserole with some of the squash that I had cooked up and bagged, then frozen, in Ziplock bags.  It was wonderful to have it at this time of year.  Thank you again SJ for the wonderful suggestion!

~Jeff picked up the free pizza that I had uploaded onto our Safeway card.

~Jeff had hot dogs for dinner.


~I used some of the Taco rice to make burritos by also adding some cheese to the filling.  I froze those burritos and the rest of the leftover taco rice for another meal.  I freeze the burritos in pairs in a sandwich type Ziplock bag and then put all of those bags in another Ziplock bag.

~Looking through our big chest freezer, I found some pulled pork and put that in our inside refrigerator to thaw.

~The leftover pork loin roast was cut up, along with some cabbage, carrots,celery and onions.  I then used that to make Peanut sauced Lo Mein for dinner.   It is nice to be able to vary the flavor profiles of our meals during the week.  Since Asian foods are comfort foods to me, and I am trying not to eat out this month, this gives me the "fix" I need. 😉

~More digital coupons were uploaded onto my Safeway card including a $5 off a $5 purchase.  I will have Jeff stop by there on Thursday night before he goes to bowling to pick up a few things and hopefully it will be just a bit over the $5 which will apply the coupon.  I need some rolls for the pulled pork sandwiches that we are going to have Friday night for dinner.


~Shannon came over for a visit and I gave her a jar of my homemade raspberry jelly.  It was so good to have some time to just sit and get caught up with each other after the busy holiday season.

~We had the momma moose and her two babies make a visit in our neighborhood again.  This time they were up eating apples that had fallen to the ground at our neighbor's property.  I love seeing them come and visit.  They provide the cats and I lots of entertainment.

~I had leftovers for lunch and Jeff took two of the burritos I made yesterday for his lunch.

~Jeff picked up cheese at Safeway and using the digital coupons, he got it for one cent!  The cashier asked him how he did it and he explained combining the digital coupons to get that deal so she could so it herself.

~He went to Winco to get the hamburger buns since they are cheaper there.  He also picked up more creamer for me.  He told me that the only creamer they had in the flavor I asked for was in the huge containers.  That is fine with me since I drink a lot of coffee.  Apparently, the creamer section was pretty sparse according to him.

~I had some canned tamales for dinner since Jeff had his bowling league and I think he took something for dinner with him or he could have used his gift card for Arby's to pick something up.


~I got a call from my health insurance company telling me they never got my December payment.  I checked to make sure that we did mail it out and we did.  The other checks for payments to other companies also went out at the same time and many of them have been cashed.  The check for the health insurance had not been cashed yet so I called them and had them put a tracer on it from their end.  Between the holidays, mail delays and being short staffed on their end, the check may just be laying there waiting to be posted to my account and then cashed.  I should know in a few days if they find it and post it.

~The covid cases are soaring again in our state, along with Idaho.  Both are going to crisis care mode again for the hospitals and some clinics.  The Nation Guard has been called in to help in many of the hospitals, including in Spokane. That means nonessential surgeries are once again being cancelled.  Some school districts are going back to online learning due to staffing shortages, which really hurts the kids who have already gone through so much.  I am so thankful for a very stocked pantry so that I do not need to be out grocery shopping or be around crowds.  Shannon told me NOT to go out without an N95 mask right now and she is picking some up for me in Spokane since they are all out in our area.  I listen to her since she works at one of the largest hospitals in Spokane and knows what is really going on.  She is also a very level headed person who is not an alarmist.  Jeff will still pick up the odds and ends we might need since he still has to go to work and I am not asking him to stop his bowling league, which is very small.  He needs that outlet. There is a good chance that it will be shut down if things continue to get worse anyway.

Week 2.....

~We went over to help Chris and Heather on the pole building Saturday.  Heather was making lunch and I added 2 bags of chips and a reduced price veggie tray to it.  It was so good!

~I hit the jackpot at one of our local IGA stores on Sunday.  The reduced refrigerator section had 2 packages of fresh tortellini and 8 packages of teriyaki and pineapple chicken meatballs for $1 each!  I bought them all!  Seven of the meatball packages were frozen for future meals.

~Sunday's dinner was both packages of tortellini with  a homemade cheese sauce.  There were plenty of leftovers and I had some for my lunch the next day.

~Both the federal and our state were offering free covid rapid tests, so I ordered from both sites.  I know that the federal offer was for 4 tests regardless of family size and we know families with more than 4 members, so we can share the tests with them if needed.

~I took one of the packages of teriyaki meatballs and made a teriyaki sauce to simmer it in.  I added sweet red pepper slices from the freezer to it also and served this over rice.

~Tuesday evening we went to Winco to stock up on bulk items like baking supplies and popcorn, and also got some cabbage, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, Powerade, apples, sweet potatoes and bananas.  Apples were half the price there as other places and many other stores were completely out of certain produce items.

~We also went to the Dollar Tree on Tuesday evening and picked up more seeds, some gardening gloves for me, shampoo that Jeff prefers and conditioner for my hair.  

~One of the other meals I made this week was a thin cut pork chop and stuffing bake.  It was delicious!  I served homemade applesauce from our freezer with it.

~Jeff had his bowling league Thursday night so I made a shrimp and cabbage Asian style for my dinner.

~Jeff picked up my prescription while in town for his bowling league.

~I uploaded a free pizza to my Safeway card and Jeff picked it up Friday on his way home from work.

~I had messaged Jeff about bringing home Panda Express for dinner on Friday night and then messaged him back saying never mind and that we would have pizza instead and save the money. 😉

~There were a bunch of loose spices that I had in small bags.  I got them all in small glass jars and shakers then labeled them with a chalk pen marker that I had gotten on a previous trip to Dollar Tree.

~Some of the leftover rice was warmed up along with a half a can of chili for my lunch during the week.

~Plain water just does not do it for me so I have been adding some peach iced tea mix to it.  I already had this in my pantry so that is a winning situation for me.

Following are some pictures from the last two weeks:

   I would like to encourage anyone reading this to continue building your pantries.  We are seeing shortages in our area and it is just going to get worse for awhile with the new mandatory "Fauci Ouchie" in place now for truck drivers in both Canada and the USA.  Cases are drastically rising in our area and I feel like it is just a matter of time before Jeff and I do end up with it.  Both of us have been super tired the past few days.  I am praying we are not coming down with anything since there are also colds and the flu making the rounds, along with strep throat.  I am as prepared as I can be and made some of the lemon/honey/ginger syrup today to have on hand.  I like it in tea, water or even just a spoonful at a time.  Jeff, not so much.  He is not a fan of lemonade, and it kind of tastes like that with a ginger "kick" to it.  Be blessed all and stay healthy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Some Thoughts and Observations


   The photo above is of my oldest two grandboys, Bradley and Isaiah first thing in the morning and yes, they are still in their jammies.  Isaiah LOVES his very patient chicken "Roostie" and was very excited to find chicken halters and leashes online.  He bought a package and there were two sets in there so of course Mr. Whiskers had to have one put on him as well.  Roostie seems to like going for walks with his, but Mr. Whiskers, not so much! LOL!  These boys are always keeping us amused with their antics.

   I did not post a Frugal Friday update for this past week but I did keep track of things and will include it as part of a two week update this coming weekend.  We got busy over the weekend helping (well Jeff did) Chris with his shop build and I spent some lovely time visiting with the grandboys, Heather, Heather's SIL Amber and her two youngest boys.  Sunday we ran into town to do some shopping and found some incredible deals!  My freezer is again filled to the brim.

  Monday and Tuesday found me exhausted and I just needed to "down time".  We did run into town Tuesday night to pick up more garden seeds from the Dollar Tree and some grocery and HBA staples that we always try to have on hand.  I found a great deal on canned veggies for .48 each, so I bought a flat of each of those to add to the pantry.  I am really worried about the state of our economy and all the supply chain issues so I am trying my best to make sure that we have what we need.  I am now the proud owner of many seeds that I can share with my kids and still have enough for two years at least.  I plan on doubling my garden output this Spring, Summer and Fall and will add more container gardens to help facilitate this.  I talked to Jeff about building me a small green house off to the side of the house that gets sun most of the day.  I want to start seeds there this Spring to give them a good head start.

  Speaking of gardens, my kale loving moose are back.  Momma and her babies have been up eating the fallen apples at our neighbor's house.  I am really glad I had our fence between them and I.  I love watching them.  They really are beautiful animals.  They are welcome to eat the kale and even the Swiss chard that is now uncovered since the snow has melted in the garden beds.  However, once Spring arrives, Jeff will be putting up a fence to keep them out of the side garden area.  I really don't want them to eat all the Spring planting that I will be doing.

   The Winter "Blahs" have started with me.  It happens every year at this time.  When Caesar was still alive he and I would go for walks to help me get rid of some of my depression and anxiety.  I sure miss my huge shedding happy dog.  He was my buddy and I loved him so much.  Without him to motivate me, I have spent most of my days inside the house and have had way too much time to let my mind wander to places that I have not allowed myself to go to for a long time.  Those places are scary, dark, and filled with memories that I really would rather not revisit ever.  The nightmares came back, but I now have the tools needed to deal with them, as painful as they are.  Maybe now is the time to deal with them once and for all and then be done with it.  Something to ponder upon...

   Covid-10 has once again found its way into our lives.  Lauren tested positive for it after coming back from Ohio and her uncle's funeral.  More members of her family also have tested positive and Josh is pretty sure that he has it too.  Lauren, Tate and Josh are now home in isolation with Lauren thankfully being able to work from home.  Tate seems fine so far and for that I am very thankful.  Lauren and Josh's symptoms are very mild and they both have been vaxed and boosted.  On a side note, they met someone at the funeral who knows my Uncle Gary, who also lives in that area.  They remember him as a police officer and also the owner of the ACE hardware store that he and my Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Susie bought and ran for years.  Small world.  Please keep them all in our prayers.

   I suppose I should get going.  I have a bed to make and laundry to fold.  There is a list a mile long to get done and I have very little energy to do so.  I may take a page out of my youngest grandson Tate's book and take a nap.  Or...I may take a page out of my grandson Steven's book and make something sweet to eat, complete with lots of sprinkles on top!  This could get interesting.

Be blessed my friends!





Sunday, January 9, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/7/22


   Well hello again!  It has been an eventful week filled with snowstorms, horrible roads, some frugal fails, etc..  However, not all is gloom and doom.  Remember my saying that I am always looking for those Silver Linings?  The best one of the week was being able to have our grandson Steven spend the night midweek since his daycare is still shut down and his parents needed to be able to get back to work.  Oh that was so much fun for me!  He is simply a wonderful little guy and we both enjoyed each other's company.  Now onto the frugal doings in no particular order since I again failed to keep track of them as they happened.

~Steven spent the night with us on Tuesday. G-pa brought him home after getting off work.  We had cuddle time, stories were read and he fell asleep very quickly that night.  He did wake up at 4 a.m., but went right back to sleep when I told him it was still nighttime and that it was not time to get up yet.  He then slept until 8:30 a.m.!  Wednesday morning found Steven and I here alone without Jeff who had to go to work.  It was way too cold with the windchill to go outside so we found some fun things to do inside.  We made cookies and we decorated them with many sprinkles!  LOL!  He took some home with him to share with his parents later when they came to pick him up. We played a bible character memory game, which he was amazing at (it is a matching game that I had here and had found at a thrift store for .49 years ago), played with toys and he actually caught the elusive Midgy cat and was quite proud of himself for doing so. We cuddled up in Grammie's bed and he watched a construction vehicles video while Grammie got some much needed rest and then we played construction site later.  Here are a few snippets of our conversations and my observations that I posted on Facebook, gosh I love this kid and he keeps me on my toes!:

Oh yes, life with a 4 year old...tells me he wants fruit gummies for dinner and that is what his parents let him have. LOL! Good try kiddo but Grammie knows better. 😉 He didn't want the chicken strips and French fries, so cereal it was! Breakfast was fruit cereal bars and cheese. He was really hungry. 🙂 I think we will skip making a snowman because the winds are cold. Onto cookie making it is!

Yet another adventure with the 4 year old grandson Steven...
Steven: "Well my construction hat fell in the toilet" He says while wearing it on his head. "It's okay, I washed it in sink".
Grammie: "could you please put the hat in the bathtub to dry and the towel in the laundry room"
Steven: "Sure"
Grammie: "Here Steven, you can wear my construction hat".

~I sent some of the cookies to one of our friends that works with Jeff and she loved them!

~Here is where the frugal fail happened. Jeff and I had an agreement that we would not be eating out this month so that we could save money and pay off some of our bills sooner. Here is where the frugal fail happened...Jeff ate out twice for lunch. We had a talk about this and why we were trying to NOT do that...he is back on board with the plan once again. We want to get my car paid off and then work on a few other bills big time.

~I made two loaves of bread. We went through one very quickly when we had chicken salad sandwiches for dinner one night.

~Leftovers were on the menu several times during the week.

~I stayed home all week long and happily did so. I was able to get some reading done and work on a few things around the house.

~Jeff stayed home from work on Thursday since the roads were absolutely horrible! There was blowing and drifting snow and so many accidents. A semi truck was even blown right over on it's side and shut down one of the main highways right outside of Pullman! We spent a cozy day together and we both even took naps.

~I watched a few movies during the week on YouTube. Gotta love having that resource for movies from all genres.

~Jeff was so sweet and got all the birthdays and anniversaries filled in on our 2022 calendar.

~I went through the refrigerator and made a grocery list of things that we are getting low on and will need in the near future. Most of it is fresh fruit and veggies. I really am trying not to spend much at all on groceries this month since we do have lots of frozen and canned goods here.

~I've been gathering more recipes on things like hoagie rolls, and more veggie rich main dishes to try.

I think that is about it for what I can remember at the moment. Nothing earth shattering when I comes to saving money. It really is the small savings that add up though. Be blessed!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/31/21


   Happy New Year!  This post is going up on New Year's Day and I just want to wish everyone a prosperous and much less drama and stress filled 2022.  This last year has been a doozy in some ways, but also brought some simply amazing times for our family! I am choosing to focus on the good and remember being able to hug loved ones tight that we had not been able to see in close to two years, spend time with our family and growing grandsons, and with the help of my amazing doctor, finally finding a medication that has helped me greatly with the pain that comes with Fibromyalgia for me.  This year I really want to try and focus on the good and the "silver linings" in all situations.  There really is so much to be thankful for and the greatest of those is Jeff and I is our family.  I want to reach out more to my extended family and strengthen those bonds, as well as spend a great deal more time with my kids, grandkids, siblings, and nieces and nephews.  I want to be able to get together with Jeff's cousins and their families too.  They are all amazing people and we miss them.  I think those are great goals to have, don't you?  Now onto the frugal doings...

Christmas Day:

~We gathered with our family and had a wonderful potluck meal and shared love, laughter and special gifts made or chosen with care.  Bradley and Isaiah both made gifts for Jeff and I and it really meant so much to us.  Steven was very excited about his Paw Patrol backpack that we got him.

~My nephew, Kealoha (sister's son), and I video chatted on Christmas!  He and his wife were in Las Vegas and were going to try to meet up with Josh, but our little Tate ended up sick with a fever, so they were not able to.

~I also video chatted with my sister in Tahiti.  I miss her so very much.

~We called and talked to my parents and my brother Fritz later called me.  He was so touched by a gift that our Isaiah hand made for him.


~We got hit with snow squalls and spent the day at home.  My brother and his family, who spent a lovely Christmas with my parents and other brother, got stranded in Montana and cannot get a flight back to Seattle until Thursday.  More vacation for my brother Eric and the boys, and my SIL Christie will be working remotely from my father's home office.  I'm glad they are safe and will have more family time despite all the travel hassles.  Silver Linings!

~I got the ham I bought going in the crockpot with a can of pineapple tidbits, some brown sugar, allspice and cloves.  Oh the intoxicating aromas that were filling my house as it cooked!  It made for a nice dinner with plenty of leftovers too on this snowy and cold day.

~I saved the ham bone and will be making split pea soup with ham later in the week.

~We watched the movie "The Last Champion".  It was filmed and based mainly in our little town here.  It was fun to watch and pick up on certain references to things.  More on that in a separate post.


~Jeff worked half a day since we had a big event to go to later in the late afternoon.  He stopped at the store to pick up a few things we needed on his way home.

~I got two plates ready to take down to the gathering.  One was homemade cranberry-orange bread and the other was a cheese, sausage and cracker platter.  I had everything on hand to make them all.

~I put some things out on the back porch to freeze since I am out of room in my freezers at the moment.

~Our kids former Christian youth group got together that evening and it was wonderful to see so many of my hanai kids again!  Many of them had families of their own and I finally got to meet their little ones.  We had a potluck and there was singing old praise and worship songs, fellowship, passing around the new babies in our hanai family and watching those little ones play together just as their parents had so many years ago.  Our oldest 2 grandsons decided they really wanted to take home their hanai cousin Lena, who just turned 1. She is a cutie and is the spitting image of her momma at that age with the attitude to match.  LOL!  Our grandson Steven (grand #3) finally came out of his shell and made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed himself!  There were so many hugs, plans made to help some of our hanai kids make the move from where they are living in different southern states to closer to home and other plans made for another big gathering in June.

~Roni, my hanai sister and the youth group pastor, also second mom to our kids, came up to our house afterwords and we had hot mulled wine and chatted late into the night.  We heard a knock on the door around midnight and it was her daughter, son-in-law and a friend coming to remind her that she had to work in the morning.  LOL!  Oh how the tables have turned and we all laughed about that!

~We invited Roni to join us on New Year's Eve since her kids will have left the previous day.  We love her so much and she really is like a sister to us.


~It was a catch up day here at home for me and I spent it doing laundry, watching motivational videos and trying to get the house back in order. 

~I went through all my prescription medications, as well as my over the counter medications, to make sure I had everything I needed and that my refills are current.

~Leftovers and clean out the odd bits and pieces from the freezer for dinner.  A lone leftover pork chop, rice from the pork chop and rice casserole, fish sticks and sliced apples were what was chosen.


~It was bread making day here again!  Two loaves of Jeff's favorite sandwich bread were made.  I let the bread dough rise on top the pellet stove because it is so warm there and then left the door of the oven open to let the extra heat into the house after baking the bread.  It's currently 11F outside so all the extra heat is a huge help.

~I took the leftover ham bone and made a huge pot of split pea and ham soup.  It is one of Jeff's favorites.

~I took some leftover sourdough bread and made garlic bread to go along with dinner.  I thought I made enough so I would have some to go with my lunch tomorrow, but hubby was really hungry.

~Some of the leftover ham was frozen for future meals.  I just put it out on the back porch to freeze quickly.

~I restocked all the baking supplies from our pantry.  It makes it so easy to have back ups of everything I need here on hand.

~This afternoon I was tempted to take a nap but decided to cuddle up and watch a movie instead.

~Safeway had 2 pound blocks of cheese on sale for $3.99 each and their store brand frozen pizzas at 4/$10.  I am having Jeff pick up the limit on both of them.  There was nothing else that I could see that I did not have enough of so that is all he will be picking up.  I'm trying my best to just cherry pick the deals now more than ever.


~I grabbed one of the mac and cheese microwaveable cup thingies to make for lunch.  It is so handy to have a container filled with quick and easy food choices when you just don't feel like cooking.  Everything in that container was also bought on sale too.  Win Win!

~I once again have beautiful music and videos playing on YouTube as I enjoy snowy day.  It ushers in a calm and hygge feeling that is much needed and appreciated.

~I received word that my uncle is once again in the hospital (he just got home the day before), had a heart attack, and had to have a stint put in.  I had tried to call him but the hospital lost his phone.  Praying they find it so I can call and talk to him again.  Some may question why I am posting this here, but I am asking for prayer which is both free and very powerful.  Thank you for everyone who will pray for him and/or send him positive energy.

~Dinner was smoked sausages along with 2 potatoes cut up into oven fries.

~While the oven was still hot, I threw one of the pizzas that Jeff bought for $2.50 at Safeway into the oven to cook for tomorrow.

~While getting the other three pizzas into the freezer in the garage, Jeff dug out one of my flavored creamers that I had in there.  Some flavors are only available during the holiday season, so I stockpile and freeze them for later.

~Our hanai son Lee was not able to make it over to see us on this trip, so his loaf of banana bread is now available for Jeff's eating pleasure.  Lee lives near where the fires were in Colorado, but thankfully the fires were moving away from his place.  Please keep all the people who lost their homes and businesses, along with their pets and livestock, in your prayers and thoughts also.

~I threw the shower curtain from our bathroom in the washer with some towels to get it all cleaned.  It is the easiest way to clean that thing.


~I woke up around noon today.  I think my body needed the sleep badly.  I had slept in the guest bedroom, which I think helped me get into a deeper sleep cycle. The view that greeted me outside was absolutely gorgeous.  It was a 12F winter wonderland with the sun shining on everything and the squirrels playing and chasing each other around the trees and along the fence lines.  They provide hours of entertainment for the cats and I.

~While I had my coffee, I got the laundry going, making sure to get all of Jeff's heavy lined jeans done so they are ready for him to wear once again. I found out my uncle was able to come home from the hospital and I am so grateful for that.

~Jeff took our truck to work with him today so that he could pick up some materials that Chris came in and bought at Jeff's workplace that he needed for his shop build.  We are so grateful to Chris for the gift of the truck and it has come in so handy for not only our use, but for the rest of the family also.

~Being that it was the last day of the month, and I had a check that needed to be deposited at the Credit Union, Jeff took me into town after he got home.  We went to Walmart and found lots of items on clearance.  All the Christmas stuff was 75% off, so I got all the gift bags and cupcake liners that I needed for not only this year, but, when it comes to the cupcake liners, for many years to come.  I also found a shirt for $3 and a 32 piece meal prep kit for $5. Oh, my best find though was the double packs of Stove Top Stuffing at $1 a box.  That works out to .50 a batch!  I bought 6 boxes, so that is 12 batches.  It should meet our stuffing needs to the entire year!

~Grocery Outlet was our next stop and we only got a few things there.  They did not have the German mulled wine that I had bought there previously that is so good.  Bummer!

~Jeff then took me out to dinner at one of our favorite Chinese food places.  It is under new ownership and the food is still the same thank goodness!  I brought home half of my food to have for another meal.  This was out last time eating out before January starts and we don't eat out at all for the month.  He had promised me a date, so that was it.  LOL! Honestly, I just love to spend time with him and not have to cook. ;)

   Jeff just decided to lay down for awhile to take a nap since Midgy had him up at 5:30 a.m..  He swears that she can read the clock and tell time.  LOL!  He tells me she was yowling but I apparently slept through it.  I slept in the guest room last night, where I tend to get into a deeper sleep, and Patchy cat really loves coming in there to sleep with me.  I have a video playing on YouTube on my TV of beautiful winter scenes, that mimic what I am seeing outside my own windows.  The music that is part of the video is also very calming and puts me into a tranquil mood. It is a perfect day to stay home, stay inside where it is warm (it's 12F outside right now and windy) cuddled up under fleece throws and be near the pellet stove with its flickering fire that somehow lulls one to sleep if you are not careful.  ;)  Be blessed my sweet friends!