Monday, June 27, 2022

Thank You All and Some Frugal Doings Lately


   I wanted to thank all of you who have reached out to me and have been keeping our family in your prayers.  It really means the world to me to know that we have prayers and good thoughts coming our way.   ((((((((HUGS))))))  I did finally get to chat with my sister, which just helped relieve some of the stress there.  The news was not good health wise, but we are praying she gets through this and she is one determined lady, so if anyone can beat it, she can!  We laid Carl to rest on Saturday and his service was full of love, laughter, shared memories and yes, some tears too.  They showed a slide show of his life and I was amazed at how much Heather's brother's 2 youngest sons look like their great grampa Carl at the same ages!  Joby, the youngest of the boys was just tickled when I told him that. 😊  I have not heard from my friend recently, but I heard from a mutual friend that she has accepted the Lord as her Saviour, and I pray that is true.  The other situation has to deal with my husband's family, and it is still not something that we want to be dragged into, so we have opted to just continue to stay out of it.  There is nothing we can do anyway and we do not need or want the stress.  We have too many good things in our lives and don't want to be dragged down by the bad.  Now onto some of the frugal doings lately...

~I stopped at the thrift store and was able to get some shirts for .50 each on their discount rack.  I also picked up a brand new purse there for $5 that I had seen previously at Marshalls for $80 on sale. In addition to that, I found a lovely glass bottle with a lid that I can store my homemade vanilla in.  I did pick up a few other odds and ends there but only ended up paying $13 for everything.

~The Dollar had shirts for $1.25 each, all meat chili, pesto, and large tubes of toothpaste.  I have been stocking up on things that we need.  They also had my favorite large bottles of shampoo and conditioner in once more.

~Grocery Outlet had turkey bacon on sale for .99 a package (I got 4 and froze them), and ricotta cheese for $1.49 a container.  They also had large packages of string cheese at buy one for $4.99 and get the other one free.

~I made some banana peel fertilizer.

~Most of the laundry was hung out on the line to dry.

~The tomato plants that I grew in the greenhouse were all transferred out into the garden.

~I made a nice lasagna without mozzarella cheese to save money.  I also added finely chopped spinach from the garden to the ricotta cheese along with some seasoning.  I also omitted the egg in the ricotta cheese mixture.  It still came out amazing and all the flavors were there.

~I had some leftover hot dog buns that I buttered, added some garlic salt to and set under the broiler.  It made for nice "bread sticks" to go with out lasagna.

~For Father's Day, we bought tickets to go see the new Top Gun movie at the more "posh" theater with the reclining seats.  We were able to use the senior pricing, which is even cheaper that the matinee ticket prices.  Yes, this was a splurge, but we only go to the theater once a year or less on average.  We LOVED the movie!

~Jeff and I stopped to pick up a few grocery items at Winco before heading home after the movie.  Milk has doubled in price! 😟 We will definitely be cutting back on our milk consumption in this house.

~I baked 2 loaves of homemade bread on Monday 6/20.

~I made a veggie and Spam (don't judge LOL!  I grew up in Hawaii) lo mien dish for dinner.  I used some produce from the garden that I needed to use up in it.  Huge hit with Jeff and we had leftovers.

~My sister Leonie and I had a wonderful and long visit over the internet filled with laughter, shared memories and some serious issues also.  We may be separated by miles of land and a HUGE ocean, but we remain close at heart. It warmed my heart to see her doing so well.  She has been struggling with her health again and had me very worried.  On another note, she shared with me that they are seeing the same kinds of inflation, food shortages, and political turmoil that we are here.

~It got hot all of a sudden and we were not prepared for it.  Jeff had not been able to get to getting our swamp cooler up and running when the heat first hit.  I got out an oscillating fan and set it up in the living room next to where I sit.  It was able to keep me cool enough so that I did not get sick.  I cannot regulate my body temperature on my own so I can get overheated and really sick from it quickly.

~The laundry was hung out on the line to dry. On my way back to the house, a rather large snake slithered out in front of me.  This is why I wear shoes in the garden now!  YIKES!

~Jeff finally got the swamp cooler up and running just in time for the 90 heat.  Thank you Jesus!  

~We ended up having to trim the bottom half of the branches on our cherry tree off since it got hit with a fast spreading fungal disease.  It was taking out all the cherries, as well as the leaves.  I think we were able to save the top half of the tree, so we should still get some cherries off it.

~Salads, salads and more salads!  I am trying my best to keep up with all the lettuce that the garden is producing before it goes to bolt in the heat.  I am also making cold pasta salads, which taste amazing on hot days.  Last night we had another taco salad and today we are having a tuna pasta salad since the temperature is supposed to get to 91F today.

~I'm trying to get all my daily chores done either in the early morning or in the late evening when it is cooler.  I got bread made, croutons made and the pasta salad made, along with harvesting lettuce from the garden and getting laundry done and hung out to dry this morning.

~I got more sugar bought and stored in the free bakery buckets.

~Jeff worked on his car and got the oil all changed out.  We also bought some extra engine oil at Walmart before the prices go any higher or we can't find it anymore.  Oil was in very short supply there.

~Steven and I stopped to see the bears at WSU when we were in town doing some shopping last week.  He loved it!  He even donated some of his own money to help feed the bears.  That just touched my Grammie heart so much!

~We were able to facetime with Josh, Lauren and Tate.  Tate kept asking for G-pa by name until Jeff came in from the garden and he got to see him.  Tate is also working on trying to say Grammie, but so far all we have is "G".

~I was able to see Bradley and Isaiah and give them big hugs.  We have to plan a sleepover with them soon!


   Well, that is about it for now.  I need to get the croutons out of the oven before they burn and I think I will call it a day work wise until it is time to get the laundry off the line later and get the gardens watered tonight.  I may even take a nap since I got up so early this morning to beat the heat.  Be blessed all and thank you once are all so kind!


Friday, June 17, 2022

I'm Sorry...Lots Going On Here


   I'm sorry that I have been MIA.  There has been a lot going on here.  Some of it wonderful, but a lot of it has not been exactly uplifting.  Some of it has been extremely heavy on my heart and has taken a toll on me.  

   Heather's grandfather, Carl, who was a wonderful man, died yesterday morning. 😭  He is no longer in pain and we know he is in heaven, but our hearts are breaking for his wife and Heather's family.  Isaiah took it well saying that Grandpa Carl was no longer in pain and is now in heaven, but Bradley took it really hard.  For the rest of the family, it is just starting to sink in that he is really gone.  We loved Carl and he loved us.  He gave the best bear hugs and I will miss him so very much.

   A childhood friend is still in the ICU with congestive heart failure and tumors, which they do not know if they are cancerous or not.  Her heart is too weak for them to operate to find out.  She is in limbo and searching for "home".  Another friend and I have been working on trying to show her Christ's love and lead her to him.  We fear that she is not much longer of this earth.

   Yesterday we also found out some more devastating news, which I am not at liberty to share at the moment.  Please pray for us as we navigate the choppy waters of all of that also.  I'm going to trust my husband's discernment and follow his lead on how to deal with all of it.

   I'm still waiting to be able to talk to my sister in Tahiti to get a real update on how she is doing.  She said we would do a facetime call once she got home from the hospital.  Since we have not and she has not been online much, all I can do is assume that she is still in the hospital.  I have messaged her and told her we need to talk and that I love and miss her.

   So yes, there is a lot going on here.  If it was not for our family and the time we spend with them, I would be a total wreak.  As it is, my anxiety is super high at the moment, so those times with the grandkids is what keeps me sane.

   I'll try to be back posting when my heart blessed all.


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

This and That Around our Frugal Home


       We got some bad news about an extended family member whom we love dearly.  To say that I am frustrated with the medical system is an understatement at this point.  They give you bad news and then expect you to wait for up to 2 months before they can see you.  Meanwhile the disease continues to grow and spread making the person weaker and weaker and in pain with less of a chance to have a possible good outcome with treatment. My heart is just breaking for them and for their spouse and the rest of the family. 😞  I just don't understand it at all.

Update: they had a last minute cancellation and were able to get him in this morning! 

   Our grandson Isaiah had his tonsils and adenoids taken out last week and he is healing slower than they thought he would.  Poor kiddo takes after his Grammie here I am afraid.  A simple one store grocery shopping trip totally wore him out and he took a nap after getting home.  I know he will feel so much better after he heals up, but right now it is hard for him to see that.

   I just finished getting another bucket full of spinach from our garden all washed and most of it put in the dehydrator.  The ones that did not fit will be part of a nice salad to accompany our dinner.  Honestly, the gardening and preserving are keeping me really busy, even on the days when our Steven is not here.  Jeff keeps telling me that I need to slow down, but there is just too much to do and anyone who gardens knows that gardens do not wait for you to be ready, but rather need to be taken care of when the timing is right for them.  I have spinach and Boc Choi that are starting to go to bolt, so they both need to be dealt with.  I also have more spinach coming up and have tomatoes plants that need to be put in the garden.  The potatoes need to be hilled again, but I will wait for Steven to help me with that.  He was a little put off with me that I did it without him last week.  I won't be making that mistake again. 😉

   The dryer broke and Jeff is still working on getting it fixed.  Thank goodness for a gorgeous day so that I can hang out the laundry to dry!  I love my old fashioned laundry line and I can imagine the generations of families that have put it to good use!

   Last night, after Jeff got the dishwasher loaded, the garbage disposal stopped working.  It is getting power to it, but not turning.  Since the dishwasher is linked in directly with the garbage disposal, we could not get it running either.  Hopefully Jeff will be able to tear it down and fix it.  Meanwhile, I have one kitchen sink that is still working, so I can deal with it for the time being.

   This afternoon I got 3 loaves of banana bread made and saved the peels and put them in a gallon jar, along with some water, to make banana peel fertilizer.  I then made some tomato plant fertilizer using dried eggshells, Tums, and a bit of Epsom salt all powdered up.  I will add the tomato plant fertilizer on top of the roots of the tomato plants.  The banana peel fertilizer will be watered onto the roots of plants also when it is ready.  It adds potassium to plants that is much needed.  I have been taking notes and adding them to my gardening section of a large notebook that I keep on hand.  I think we all need to be looking at ways to fertilize our plants naturally since it saves us money and with all the shortages, many of us would not be able to find what we need in the stores soon.  Also, I am a huge fan of doing things as naturally as possible and limiting chemicals.


   My greenhouse has been such a blessing.  Most of the plants that I started from seed came up and are thriving, other than the peppers, which have not come up at all.  After I get the plants out into the garden, I will have extras, which I am sharing with my girls, Heather and Rachel.  Both of them are starting gardens at their homes and I do not want them to go out and buy plants if I have them here to share.  Heather will be starting a lot from seed, but this will give her a bit of a head start.  

   Chris went morel mushroom hunting the other day and got close to 9 pounds!  They sold 3 pounds of them already and Chris is dehydrating a pound of them for me too.  What a lovely gift!  Their whole family had gone previously and got about 10 pounds at that picking.  They sold a lot of those too and have been enjoying mushrooms every day themselves.

   So that is a glimpse of what is going on here.  We are trying to stay positive despite personal setbacks, extended family illnesses and the way the world is going downhill fast.  I want my home to be that soft landing spot for friends and family.  I still want to cook good meals and work in my garden.  I also want to preserve as much as I can from the garden.  Yes, times are hard right now and are just going to get harder, which is even more reason to do all we can to try and insulate ourselves as much as possible and stock up on what we need.  Be blessed my friends and continue to do all you can to live a frugal, yet beautiful life!





Monday, June 6, 2022

It's Getting Scary but Still Enjoying Life to the Fullest...


   It is getting scary out thereGas is now over $5 the a gallon and food prices are going through the roof and are just going to get higher.  Jeff and I are trying to do everything we can to save money, yet still enjoy life to the fullest within a strict budget.  I'm trying not to waste food and to preserve things that are coming in abundance in the garden that we cannot eat right away.  I'm looking for sales on meats to freeze.  I am spending more and more time in the garden planting and starting seeds in the greenhouse.  I think we all have to prepare for what is to come, stock up on canned goods and baking supplies as well as canning jars, and seeds before they are gone from the stores once again. Please heed the warnings and get prepared now.  Here are some of the things that Jeff and I have done this past week and weekend, as well as plans for the near future...

 ~Jeff cut my hair.  I wanted to go back to short hair once more with the hot Summer months coming up.  I get hot really easily and having shorter hair off my neck really does help keep me cooler.

~We stopped at the bread outlet down in Lewiston and got some English muffins, Hawaiian sweet bread, and some large onion hamburger buns.

~We also stopped at the Salvation Army thrift store and I found 2 movies (one was half off so it cost me .49 and the other was .99), a half off older cookbook (.49) and a pretty oil painting for $2.99.  I collect oil paintings that reflect the 4 seasons and use them to decorate my home by the seasons.  The tag on the back on the painting showed that it was bought in 1985 for $35.  I need to do more research on the artist now.

~We found a large package of sausages at the Grocery Outlet for $3.99.  I cut them up and had enough for 6 meals.  These went into the freezer.

~Treet meat, kind of like Spam, was .99 each at the Grocery Outlet, so I picked up 4 of them to add to the pantry.  Jeff loves it!

~We found 5 pound bags of potatoes at Walmart for $1.50 a bag so I picked up one.

~I did use my "personal allowance" ;) to buy two beautiful hanging baskets of flowers that were on the clearance area at Walmart for half off.  The hummingbirds come every year and enjoy the hanging baskets as much as I do.

~Jeff fixed our hot tub that had sprung a leak again.

~We stocked up on supplements from Vitacost and used a 20% off coupon and went through Swagbucks so that I can get points for my purchase.

~I've been trying to work the points programs online that I have joined.

~There is no way we could eat all the spinach that is ready in the garden so I have been dehydrating it.  I will use some as flakes to add to soups and pastas and some will be powdered to add to things to boost nutritional values.

~Some of my Bok Choi was used in a homemade Asian style soup.  The soup served me for 2 meals.  I also added some of the spinach from the garden to it also.  I like lots of greens along with green onions in my soups.

~The larger celery plants were plants in the garden.

~I had an overgrown green onion that was going to seed so I harvested it and used the green parts in several meals.

~Steven and I did some watercolor painting with paints I had gotten awhile back at the thrift store and some heavy drawing paper that I had gotten for free while "treasure hunting" after the college students left for the Summer.

~Jeff got some more raspberry starts out of our garden and potted up for Heather's mom Tammy.

~I talked to someone in the Pharmacy at Walmart to make sure that I was getting the best price on my prescriptions.  Some are cheaper going through my insurance, while others are better going through Good RX.  Always try it both ways to see how much money you can save.  In this case it saved me well over $100.

~I dug through one of the freezers and found some venison burger.  I stretched it by adding a crumbled up hot dog bun I had on hand and then seasoned it and added an egg to bind it all.  This gave me 6 burgers.  We had three of them for lunch on Sunday with all the fixings and corn on the cob while sitting out on our back porch.  Yummy!  I now have 3 burgers leftover, along with a large cob of corn.

~Jeff mowed the lawn and did some weeding.  He added the grass clipping and weeds to the compost pile.  I also added coffee grounds and banana peels to it.

~Our dryer was acting up again.  Jef immediately knew what the problem was (something broke in the squirrel cage) so he tore it apart and will be picking up a replacement part (hopefully they have it in stock) so he can fix it this week.  Meanwhile I dried all the laundry on the line between the rainstorms and even hung some over chairs on the porch to finish drying while it rained outside.

~Steven enjoyed real fruit juice popsicles that I had gotten at the Dollar Tree, along with cookies that we made here for his special treats this past week.

~We loved watching our little baby birds grow so quickly!  Saturday we came home to see that they had literally "flown the nest".  I was sad that they were gone, but so thankful for the opportunity to have watched them over the past few weeks.

   These are just a few of the things that I can remember.  I'm trying hard to squeeze every penny at this point, while still enjoying life.  I'm making it a priority to try to live in the moment and enjoy myself at the same time.  I had a hummingbird come and say hello while I was taking down the laundry off the line.  He just flew around me and then stopped right in front of me as if to say "thank you" for getting the hanging baskets of flowers for him to enjoy. 😊 While driving into town to pick up my prescriptions, I opened the sunroof of my car and cranked up the music.  It was a beautiful day and I thought to myself that I needed to enjoy this last bit of being able to drive to town by myself, rather than having Jeff to run all the errands on his way home from work, before gas prices went even higher.  I enjoyed my drive so much more and it brought back wonderful memories of my college days.  Cheesy I know, but I loved it. 😉  Steven and I have gone over to Auntie Shannon's house next door for him to play with her dogs and cats and also to see how the tadpoles in her pond are growing.  Shannon and I savored our visit while Steven wore out her dogs from them playing so hard.  Win-win for both Shannon and I.  You see, you can still live a full life while saving money.  You just have to change your mindset and live in the moment.  Life is still beautiful and full of amazing things if you just open your eyes, slow down and notice them.