Sunday, September 25, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/23/22

   This is going to be in list form since I was horrible about trying to keep track of what I was doing each day.  Major Fibro Fog due to high stress levels just took me down yet again and I am slowly rebuilding my stamina.  This is something I have learned that I cannot rush or it is a "one step forward two steps back" kind of thing.  I'm trying to keep my sleep schedule semi normal, but there are still nights that despite taking medication to help calm me, I still have a multilane freeway going on in my mind.  Such is life and I cannot stress about the fact that it just happens, or it makes it worse.  This is NOT a "feel sorry for me" post, just the opposite.  It is an acceptance of what my life is and it feels good to finally be able to not put more pressure upon myself.  😊 It has taken me a long time to finally get to this point (many, many years) and I am proud of myself for finally getting here.  Yes, I still get frustrated at what I cannot do, but I no longer beat myself up about it.  There is always going to be stresses in life, but I no longer add to it by feeling guilty about that stress affecting me...does that make sense?

   Anyway, that is not what this post is really about is it?  πŸ˜‰ It's about how we have been trying to save money and live a frugal life.  Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how much grocery prices are jumping up more and more quickly?  Oh my goodness, I was shocked at my bill at Winco the other day.  I paid at least twice what I did for the same items just a few months ago!  Not only that, but my coffee, the Winco house brand, not only went up in price by $2 a can, but they also shrank the can.  Seriously, I kid you not!  I am trying to get ahead of the holidays and stock up on things that we need for those celebrations, along with getting all the gifts for the grandkids.  Anyone else doing this?  Anyway, onto the frugal doings...

~I found some Sesame Street board books for our little grandson Tate.  He loves Sesame Street!  I found the books at the Dollar Tree.

~I stocked up on 40 pounds of flour.  It was cheaper to get it in the 10 pound bags than any other way.  I got them all emptied into washed out food grade buckets with tight fitting lids that I had previously gotten free from Safeway.

~Jeff and I picked all the pears off the trees.  We got a bucket full this year, which is more than we have gotten in previous years.

~I went to Jeff's work for a free BBQ lunch and also got some beautiful robin egg blue paint for half price to paint our front door with.

~I sent some tomatoes to work with Jeff for our friend Dee.  I have an abundance of tomatoes and I wanted to bless her.

~The green larger tomatoes were all picked since the bugs were starting to really get to them with the weather getting colder at night.  They will slowly ripen here in the house.

~Blackberries, blackberries, blackberries!  Oh we have so many!  Jeff and I have both been picking them like crazy.  Most of them are being frozen for me to make jams/jellies, pies and syrups.  I have also been gorging myself on them fresh!

~We finally used up the last of our Montana Huckleberry potatoes.  They were delicious!  We did find that they are not good "keepers" for storage, so we know that we will need to grow some additional good "keeper" type next years also.

~We skipped the county fair this year, even if it was free to get into.  One of the customers that came into the store Jeff works at said that he spent $400 😬at the fair for food and rides.  He also said it was so crowded and they waited for an hour per ride.  Now Jeff and I do not do the rides, but I also do not do huge crowds!  It will send me into a panic attack, and nobody needs that.

~I froze some over-ripe bananas to use later for bread.

~More loaves of my homemade bread were made and quickly consumed.

~I have been planning meals around what we have and needs used up in the fridge and freezer.  Some of the meals we have had were a Sloppy Joe noodle casserole, Little Smokies sausages in the BBQ sauce, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, broccoli cheese soup and pulled pork sandwiches.  I served these with side dishes of carrot sticks, sauteed squash from our garden, sliced crisp apples, green beans, and coleslaw.

~Kitty TV once again entertained my indoor cats.  I love YouTube and apparently, they do too. πŸ˜‰

~My dear friend/sistah Roni (also known as my boys "other mother" and I am know as the same for her girls) came over for a girls' night.  We had soup and she brought carrot cake and macaroons for dessert.  Delicious and so good to have some time to just sit. relax and catch up on each other's lives.

~We have been waiting for the new "Rise of Gru" Minion movie to come out on one of our streaming services and it finally did!  Jeff and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

~Jeff fashioned a blackberry picking container out of an old coffee can and a bracket.  He hangs it on the fence as he picks.  Genius I tell ya!

~They had lots of leftover frozen burgers and chips at Jeff's work so they have been BBQing burgers for lunch for the employees and having them bring home some of the chips.

~I thought the microphone on my computer had pooped out on me and tried for hours to figure it how to fix it.  I talked to Josh about it and he offered me his old Macbook to use so we could still do facetimes with Tate.  I did finally figure it out and restored my computer's microphone, but Josh still wants me to bring home the Macbook just in case.

      So that is what we have been up to.  The garden is still producing more cherry tomatoes, squash and blackberries.  The acorn squash continues to grown and I am still praying we get some before the frost hits here.  Jeff has been working on winterizing our house, hot tub and buying more wood pellets to heat with. I've been puttering around and slowly changing out the pictures and flowers over to Fall themed ones.  Soon the new rug will go down in the living room after this (hopefully) last heat wave we are due to be getting starting today.  I am happy for the slower pace of Fall and the shorter days and longer nights.  It just makes me feel more comfy cozy. 😊Be blessedf my sweet friends!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Fall is Finally in the Air and some Thrifting


  Fall has finally made its way into the Pacific Northwest and I could not be happier.  Last night we had some rain that knocked down some of the smoke from all the wildfires burning around us.  The air felt crisp, clean and clear as I let the cats out into the back porch this morning.  I decided to join them there and have my coffee while enjoying the cooler clean air.  I breathed in deeply, something I have not been able to do while outside for what seems like an eternity.

   After my coffee, I got the sheets into the washer.  I also made plans for switching out the quilt on the guest bed to one in green tones that my mother made.  I love handmade quilts that hold memories and make you feel like you are wrapped up in the hugs of some of the precious people that spent their time in making them.  I think I will also change out the extra blanket in there that I always keep on the bed to a green one to match the quilt.

   Yesterday Jeff and I went into town to get me out of the house for a bit and pick up a few groceries.  I asked him if we could stop at two of my favorite thrift stores.  I was looking for some decorative plates in a Fall theme that I could hang in my kitchen.  I have been having a wonderful time switching out plates per season, but I had not had any luck finding some in the Fall like colors. 

   Upon my arrival at the first thrift store, I found two matching plates that were perfect for my Fall plate display.  I shared a picture of one of the plates above.  It was made by Johnson Brothers and I just love it.  I got my new to me plates put up in my kitchen now and am enjoying them immensely.  

   The second thrift store I went to is where I found a blanket that I had been eying for over a month now finally marked down to half price.  It is in what I call the "lumberjack" red and black wool pattern.  I had been wanting it to add to my winter cozy and cuddle up decor and for people to be able to use when they came to visit.  I also found a silk scarf that I am in love with and will be taking with me on my trip down to Las Vegas later this Fall.  I love silk for its beauty, softness, warmth and its breathability.

   Habitat for Humanity's resale store is where we really scored though.  I had been unhappy with a lamp we bought for the dining room since it gave off a "buzzing sound" and was not exactly what I wanted.  We stopped in and were greeted with big hugs from one of Jeff's former coworkers, Mike, who is now the manager there.  We found the light fixture that I wanted for $20 and also found fuses for our garage's fuse box (it takes the old screw in fuses).  Mike gave us the fuses for .25 each!  We got all that they had (5 in total) and an electrical adapter that we also needed.

   Now for the grocery shopping, I found a package of 2 rather large, marinated pork roasts marked down to $7.33.  This was an amazing deal!  As soon as we got home, I got both the roasts put into my slow cooker and set it on high.  They completely filled the crockpot.  I flipped them over a couple of times while they were cooking and then, when done, shredded them both up and then put it all into the refrigerator. I now have a very nice meal for us tonight of pulled pork sandwiches, along with leftovers. There are some hamburger buns that I needed to use up ASAP, so the pulled pork will go on them and I will serve it with homemade coleslaw and homemade applesauce on the side.  I also packaged up and put away 2 bags full for other meals.  Quick meals in the freezer are such a blessing since I can just pull them out for us or for someone else that may need a meal.

   Well, that is it for now.  I have things to get done before the hubby comes home later after work.  Luckily, because of the rain, watering can be taken off my "to do" list for today.  Since Jeff picked blackberries for me yesterday, I don't have to do that today either.  We have already frozen a bunch and we are just at the beginning of the harvest season for them.  I'm going to make more blackberry infused gin or vodka, since that came out so well last year.

   Be blessed my sweet friends!


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

When Your Heart Yearns for Things Unseen


   Lately my heart has been yearning for something...something unseen.  I can't quite put my finger on it other than I want that feeling of peace, comfort and safety.  I used to feel safe in this little town that I love, but it has changed, and not for the better.  I keep my doors locked even during the day because I am afraid someone may come barging in.  I am also afraid of what may happen due to the "extracurricular activities" of some people who live near me.

   The feelings of not being safe started when Uncle Bob's son came into my home in a rage and was threatening me.  I have not had anything to do with that awful man since then and I hope I never have to.  I do know that Uncle Bob read him the riot act for what he did to me though.  He "apologized" because his father told him to.  He also made excuses for his behavior, so it was a non-apology in my books.

   I have known of the drug activity taking place in our little town and have seen first-hand the comings and goings of certain individuals.  These people are all connected to other people that my son Chris, the police officer, has dealings with on a regular basis.  The other day I heard a police car siren and it stopped here in town.  I just found out this morning that it was because of a home invasion and armed robbery.  The robbery took place due to money being owed for drugs.  The people who committed the robbery were arrested when they got back to Pullman, where they lived.  I know the person who's home was robbed, along with his family.  His ex-wife and I are friends and I taught his kids, along with one of the kids of his current girlfriend.  My heart breaks for all the kids (who are now adults).  They have gone through it with the drug addiction and selling of drugs by their parents.  

   This is a small town with a population of a little over 600 people.  Most of them are decent and hardworking.  They want to raise their kids in a "safe" environment, or they are like Jeff and I... getting into our retirement years.  I also see the pain and destruction that a few "bad apples" have and continue to cause.  It also puts me into a constant stage of high alert, which is not healthy for me.

   I want to feel safe and calm.  I don't want to have to worry about my home being broken into because someone needs "drug money" and thinks they can find things here to sell to get that money.  I don't want to have to worry about seeing a well known drug dealer's car in my neighborhood at all hours of the day and night.  I don't want to see people under the influence of drugs driving their children and grandchildren around either. 😟 And yes, the police are well aware of what is going on.  They have been for years and years now.

   I yearn for a place where I am able to relax and not have to worry about all of the above.  I yearn for a feeling of calm, peace and safety.  Unfortunately, we are not in a position to be able to move out into the country like both Jeff and I would like.  It is like that unattainable beautiful dream that you long for instead of the nightmare that you find yourself trying to wake up from.  That is the best way that I know to describe how I am feeling right now.

   Praying for all of my sweet friends that read this and I do apologize that it is not a bright and cheery post.  I just needed to put down in words what I am feeling right now, at this very moment.  Be blessed, stay safe and know that you are all amazing!




Friday, September 2, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 8/26/22


~We shopped at the thrift stores and found some prepackaged quilt batting (I will give them to my mother who is a quilter), lots of interesting books, a picture frame, some china (one with my Scottish Campbell clan crest and tartan pattern on it), a nice basket, and a few other items.

~Always on the lookout for great deals, I found packages of pork and beef tamales on sale for $7.99.  These are the good ones in the corn husks.  I brought them home and repackaged them into 4 meals for us and then popped them in the freezer.

~Sunday I surprised Jeff with a day that was just all about him.  I made him promised that he could not say "no" before I told him that we were going to take him to the bowling alley so he could practice and try to see if he could bowl with his other hand since he was having pain in the one he usually bowls with.  It worked!  It was so much fun to watch my hubby so excited and figuring out how to "tweak" this approach and positioning of the ball.  We did go out to lunch, again his choice of places.  It was a fairly cheap "date" since we went out to lunch and not dinner and I picked something inexpensive but yummy from the menu and Jeff got league rates for his bowling games. Once we got home, I gave him a haircut. We then settled in with a snacky kind of dinner and watched a few of our favorite shows.

~Monday, I made Pasta Primavera with produce from our garden.  It made for a very frugal and yummy dinner!

~I did not hang the sheets out to dry this week.  With the flea beetles being so bad, I did not want to risk the possibilities of them getting on my sheets.  The "ick factor" overruled the frugal factor.  LOL! πŸ˜‰

~I'm continuing to harvest tomatoes, squash and the last of the blueberries from the garden.  I noticed that the blackberries are starting to ripen, and I am very excited about that!

~Jeff's cousin's wife Janine and I had a wonderful talk over the phone.  She is an amazing, kind and caring woman and we have so much in common.  It just made my day!

~Tuesday's dinner was teriyaki chicken and pineapple meatballs in teriyaki sauce that I added half of a yellow onion all cut up, and a small cut up zucchini to help "bulk it up" and add some more nutrition to our meal.  I served this over rice and had carrot sticks and crisp apple slices on the side.  Yummy!

~Steven and I went out to our garage and dug out my backpack so I could get it all washed up and ready for our trip later this Fall. 

~Wednesday Steven and I went to the swimming pool.  It was $4 for the both of us.  Not a bad way to spend the afternoon on a hot day.

~Leftovers were for dinner Wednesday night.

~Steven brought his puppy Gus over to play on Friday when he came to spend the day with me.  It was so nice to have Gus around.

~We went next door to "Auntie" Shannon's to see the frogs.  Steven had been patiently waiting to see the tadpoles turn into frogs.

~Jeff brought home dinner for us from Panda Express on Friday.  It had been a long and emotional day for me and I was just spent.