Monday, October 31, 2022

Frugal End of the Month Wrap Up 10/31/22

   It is currently raining outside, but yes, we did get some snow as you can see by the picture above and we are expecting more later in this week.  The temperatures continue to drop and the days are getting shorter.  Jeff and I got the rug we bought out for the living room and put that down.  It adds some much needed "warmth" to the living room and just makes it feel all that cozier.  I've been having more cups of hot tea during the day and at night while snuggled up under a soft fleece blanket.  I've been making sure that our pantry has everything we need to make delicious and nourishing meals that "stick to your ribs" as my grandfather used to say. 😉 

   Our excitement is also building as we anxiously await the birth of our darling granddaughter Peyton.  She could be making her grand entrance into the world at any time now!  It still does not seem real that we are finally going to have a baby girl join our family after all these years.  My mother and I are both so very glad she is though. 💓 While we wait, here are some of the things we have been up to...

~I harvested and dehydrated more basil and sage before the frost got it.

~I picked the last of the blackberries and made some very thick syrup with them.

~Fresh tomato sauce was made with the larger ripe tomatoes, and I froze a bunch of the cherry tomatoes. 

~I cut up a good!

~Scrapple was made with some breakfast sausage meat that Jeff's boss blessed us with.  They also gave us a large package of ham steaks, bacon, and pork chops.  They bought 2 pigs from the fair and had them butchered. They decided to bless all the employees with some of the meat.  That was so very sweet of them and much appreciated.  The scrapple gave us two meals.

~Jeff got the outside hoses all drained, the hot tub winterized (we were not able to fix the problem after all so we had to drain it again), and the rain barrel put away.

~Jeff sealed all the wood on the new door he put on my greenhouse.

~We have been eating the pears from our trees and I have been having blackberries in my cereal.

~Rachel's mom came for a visit and we celebrated her birthday.  We gave her some of the Tuscan Herb salt that I make, along with a nice candle as a gift.  She blessed us with some Fall decor pieces and gave us a pair of leather baby moccasins that she made (she is part Lakota Sioux) for baby Peyton.  That just blew me away!

~We stopped at the Dollar Tree and picked up some Liquid Skin, pineapple, and treats for goodie birthday bags for Jaysn and Heather.

~I overdid it last Sunday and then could not sleep that night.  I finally drifted off to sleep around 4 a.m. and slept until 11 a.m.  That left me very out of it on Monday.  I was so glad that I had made the homemade tomato sauce the day before so that we could have it for dinner with pasta.

~My cousin Jeremy called and told me he had closed on a house he is buying.  I am so happy for him!  We chatted for over an hour.  I miss having him up here near us, but it is sure nice to know that we will remain close at heart and over the phone and Facebook.

~I'm seriously thinking of renaming my cats Patchy and Midgy to Thelma and Louis.  I woke up to them ripping into a bag of cat food that I had bought for Ginny (the outside cat that seems to have adopted us).  This is the second time I have caught them.  Ugh!  Not to be outsmarted by the feline dynamic duo, I repurposed an old coffee can to put the rest of the cat food in.  I give them a few days to figure that one out. 😉

~That tomato sauce that I made was used as a sauce for tortellini for dinner on Monday.  Jeff took some of the leftovers for work one day and I had some for lunch another day.

~I mended a ripped pocket on a pair of Jeff's jeans.  I also put a new button on another pair of jeans for him.

~Tis the time of year to switch out the warm weather clothing for the colder weather clothes.  I did set aside some capris and short sleeved shirts for our trip to Las Vegas in November though just in case it is warmer.  The kids told me it is in the 60's at that time of year and they also keep their home really warm because of the kids.  Oh, I also realized that I need one more pair of comfy jeans, so I will be on the lookout for those at Walmart and the thrift stores.

~We "visited" with Josh, Lauren and Tate via Facebook chat with the camera and Tate is making progress with saying Grammie.  I am no longer Dammie.  Yay!  😉  He gets really excited to see G-pa and keeps saying his name over and over again.  G-pa is a big goof and Tate just loves him. LOL!  Lauren's bump has definitely dropped and our precious little Peyton is getting closer and closer to making her grand entrance into the world.  Tate already loves his little sister and kisses his mommy's tummy and talks to his baby sister.  It is absolutely adorable!

~I downloaded digital coupons to my Safeway card.  One of the coupons was for frozen pizzas.  Jeff picked up 4 pizzas for $10 and baked up 2 of them on Wednesday for dinner and we froze the other ones.  Yes, there were leftovers for other meals from the ones I baked up.

~Jeff and I cut my hair and I feel so much better!

~Remember those jeans I mentioned needing to find earlier?  Well Thursday I took a trip into town and stopped on my way at the thrift store in the next town over.  I found a pain of J Jill jeans there for $1!  I also found some brand new pillows there that someone had just donated for $1 each.  I got 4 of them.  They are down filled and have a tapestry print on one side and leather on the other side.  Apparently, the lady had ordered them and did not like them when they came in, so she donated them.  The woman running the store was telling me about them while she was putting them out.  I also bought 2 books there.

~I went to Goodwill and found some pajamas, a brand new bra with tags on it which was the exact bra that I had been wanting to get and it was my size.  Thank you God!  I found some brand new in package Addidas hairbands and some cozy and soft Lucky Brand socks. Oh, I almost forgot, I found a Frozen 2 Monopoly game.  I needed some new games here to play with the older grandboys and this looked like fun!

~I made a huge crockpot full of homemade macaroni and cheese for our Sept/Oct birthday party for Jaysn and Heather.  I had extra sauce left over, so I made some broccoli cheese soup with it.  That made for several meals.

~I did some grocery shopping on Thursday and on Saturday night (after the family party).  I found jewel yams on sale for .99 a pound.  We really like these as a substitute for the more expensive sweet potatoes at this time of year.  They had fully cooked sausage patties for .99 too, so I got 2 packages of those. I picked up some instant potato packages with butter that you just add water to.  They were one sale and with the price of milk and butter going up, I thought this would be good to have on hand and save us some money in that department.  We did find that some things that we wanted were missing at Winco.  I asked our checker about it and he told me they had no idea what would be sent to them when anymore.  Oh, he also accidently rang one of our bulk bin purchases up wrong and luckily, I caught it.  That would have been a $30 mistake had I not.  I really can't blame the checker...the tags they have you write the information on are tiny and my hubby does not have the best handwriting.

~I had a Telemed appointment with my doctor to go over some test results and about where we stand on the echocardiogram (insurance company is being awful about approving it so my doctor sent in some additional information on why it was needed).  Having a Telemed appointment saved me from having to travel to the office.

~We've been watching more movies and series on our free to us streaming services and on YouTube.

~Our hanai sister/neighbor Shannon is in Ireland right now and has been sending us pictures of their adventures!  It is so much fun to see all the sights through her eyes.

~I had a long conversation with my parents over the phone one day.  It was so nice to be able to get caught up with one another.

~I gave Chris and Heather the Christmas gifts for my parents and brother Fritz.  They are taking them over to Montana for us since they will be heading over this week.  My mother is sending the whole gang here Christmas presents back with Chris and Heather.  Mom and Dad decided that they would pick something off of the lists they had us make of things that we each wanted once they passed away and would give those to us now to enjoy.  I thought that was a wonderful idea!

   So there you have it.  As we close out this month, I look forward to the next few where we will be spending more time with family and celebrating together.  I have Steven coming to stay with me several times when his school is not is session am so happy to be able to having my Bubby with me again.  I have missed having him here with me.  I am also hoping to have a sleepover with the older 2 grandboys seperately, so they each get their special one on one time.  Our Isaiah was asking me if we could do this soon.  You know Grammie here said yes we could!  You all be blessed, stay warm, healthy (my doctor told me covid is really rampant here once more), and safe.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/12/22


   It has been a busy week as far as getting all the frugal things done.  I already shared about the onions from the garden and preserving all of those.  That was so much work, and I was sore for 2 days afterwards.  I had Jeff bring home frozen pizzas from Safeway one of those nights because I would not even get the energy up to make us dinner.  To be perfectly honest, I am glad that we have rain today and are expecting a rain snow mix later tonight.  That means the gardening season is over and it is time to tackle the indoor projects and cuddle in for some much-needed rest as well.  So here is a peak at what all I have been up to this week in addition to the onions...

~I made another batch of Tuscan Herb Salt from the herbs in my garden.  I had made a batch a few weeks ago but needed more since I also give it out as gifts for Christmas.  

~I harvested the rest of the larger green tomatoes, as well as the ripe ones from the garden.  The green ones will ripen up inside the house.

~The celery was also harvested.  I apparently did something wrong because the stocks were spindly and tough.  I was able to salvage the leaves though and dehydrated them.  I can use them in soups, stews, casseroles, etc. or I can make celery salt with them.  Celery salt is's a 1 to 1 ratio of crushed celery leaves to salt.  You're Welcome. 😉

~I made a nice chicken pot pie with homemade chicken pot pie filling that I froze and a frozen pie crust.  Easy peesy!

~Another night I pulled frozen tamales out of the freezer and made some Spanish rice to go with it.  I also sliced up some pears from our garden for another side dish.

~The blackberries are slowing down, but I still managed to pick another gallon and put that away.  We are expecting a freeze tonight, so I think that was the end of the blackberries for the season.

~That Krab salad from the deli with the cheese is one of my favorites.  I made some here at home and it was so good!

~Shannon (hanai sister and neighbor) came over for a visit a few times this week.  It is so nice to have time with her.

~The last of the summer squash was harvested and made into a nice squash casserole. YUM!

~I moved the basil plant and the two potted up rosemary plants into the greenhouse.  I am hoping to extend their lives this way.

~Going through my smaller toiletries', I was able to find something for Shannon to take on her trip that will take up less space in her luggage.

~I did more seed saving.  I got some of my favorite tall marigold's seed saved.

~While having another panic attack, I discovered that going into my pantry and sitting there calms me.  I think it gives me a sense of security.  After I calmed down, I got busy putting things away and getting 15 pounds of rice into a food grade bucket.


   With Autumn upon us, I'm more ready than ever to just get cozy and relax.  I'll admit, I am still tired and needing rest both physically and mentally.  I have been pushing myself way too hard trying to get it all done and preserve everything I can from the garden.  My "spidy senses" are telling me that we are just at the beginning of some very hard times to come our way as not only a nation, but also as the world.  I know that it is a very real possibility that my husband could lose his job if people stop building houses in our area.  I'm trying to make sure we are prepared for that and that we could make it through until unemployment benefits kicked in.  Even with the benefits, things would be tight.  I wonder how many other people around me are feeling the same way and how many remain blissfully unaware of how fragile everything is?  Anyway, I'm going to try not to dwell on that and just look forward to having a nice weekend.  We are going to be having lunch with Rachel, Jaysn, Steven and Rachel's mom Joyce on Saturday.  It's Joyce's birthday so we are having a little birthday party for her.  I'm looking forward to that very much!  Be blessed all!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Seventeen Cups of Onions are now in the Freezer

   I got a late start to the day, but I knew I still had to get my "to do" list done.  On the top of that list was processing most of the Walla Walla Sweet onions that I had grown and getting them cut up and frozen before they went bad.  We do love Walla Walla Sweet onions because they are milder in flavor, and we really enjoy that.

   The best place for me to do this is on the back porch.  Luckily the weather had been unseasonably warm, so I was able to be out there in my capris and a short-sleeved T-shirt.  My plan of "attack" was to have my big crate of onions on one chair where I could easily reach them and the "for the compost bin huge stainless-steel bowl on the chair to the left of me.  I also had another huge stainless-steel bowl on the table to put the diced onions in, a chopping board, knife and my onion cutter.

   The other two things I needed were my computer to watch videos of listen to podcasts to keep me from getting bored and a towel for my nose.  My nose always runs when I am chopping onions!  

   Well, I sliced and diced and ended up filling the stainless-steel bowl on table to the top!  I also cut up some of the sprouting greens.  The cut-up greens were about 1 1/2 cups worth but the onions themselves just astounded me with their amount.


    I bagged up the diced onions into 1 cup bags.  All in all, I ended up with 17 cups of diced up onions.  I loaded the smaller 1 cup bags into 2 gallon sized bags and took them out to the upright freezer.  In order to make room for them, I had to take a few things out.  I ended up taking out some chicken pot pie filling and a piecrust.  Those will be made into dinner tonight since I am now beyond sore.

   I am rather proud of myself for finally getting this done.  It has been on my list for 2 weeks now.  I know that those onions are going to come in handy when I need onions in a recipe.  Each cup equals about 1 onion, so that really makes it easy to just grab what I need.  My grandpa would be proud since I am "making hay while the sun still shines".😊

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Blue Doors Make Me Happy and Other Frugal Doings 10/16/22

   I have not so secretly been desiring a Robin's Egg Blue front door for years now.  I had made my desires known to my husband and we finally bought the paint for it.  Well today was "paint day" and I was so excited to get it done.  Jeff said he would do it, but I told him I wanted to paint it myself and he could get some other projects done outside BEFORE the cold and wet weather starts to hit us.  So, while I painted, he worked on the shed door, which was in need to of some work.  Oh my goodness, I was absolutely giddy about getting it all painted!  The weather was nice and warm, so the paint dried really quickly.

   This week I also made some homemade applesauce with the apples we picked up at the orchard.  I filled the large crockpot to the top and ended up with 8 cups of applesauce.  Two of those cups were eaten with dinner one night, along with a nice pork loin roast and a sweet potato and russet potato hash.  Since I made the applesauce really smooth with the immersion blender, I thought it would be a great replacement for oil in a cake recipe.  I looked up easy applesauce dump cakes and found a wonderful and easy one with great reviews.  The cake was super moist and so easy!  I thought I had bookmarked the link, but I cannot find it at the moment.  It only took a yellow cake mix, 3 eggs, 2 cups of applesauce and some cinnamon sugar to add to the top after it is baked.  I do remember that part. The remaining 4 cups of applesauce were frozen in 2 cup portions to be used in future cakes.

   I also made some other great food this past week.  I was craving some of that delicious krab and celery salad, so I made enough for two meals for myself since Jeff is not a fan of it.  In addition to the pork loin roast, I also made an elk roast in smaller crockpot earlier in the week.  Both were amazing.  I saved half of the pork loin roast and will be using that in Sweet and Sour Pork (adding extra veggies to bulk it up and boost the nutritional value) and serving that over rice.  I'll also pull some veggie egg rolls from the freezer to have as a side dish.  Jeff took the leftovers from the elk roast to work one day and had some very envious co-workers.  One of them always asks Jeff what I made for dinner the night before.  That really makes me both happy, and dare I say it proud, that my hubby is able to eat healthy and yummy food that he brings from home.

   Saturday, after Jeff got off of work, we headed into town to do the shopping.  I had to replace my dying blow drier, so I got one the folds up and has a retracting power cord.  It will make it much easier to pack away when we travel down to Las Vegas at the end of November to spend time with our family there and love on the grandbabies!  We did the grocery shopping and pretty much stuck to my list.  There were some items that we wanted that were missing in the store, and some things were just too darned expensive, so they were crossed off the list for now and I will wait to see if they go on sale.  Considering that most of them were baking related, there is a good chance that they will be soon.  I used some coupons, which saved us $5...that just about covered the cost of tax on food in Idaho for this shopping trip to Winco.  We used more digital coupons at Safeway and saved another $7 on apples and Swiss cheese.

   Other frugal doings for the week included picking another gallon of blackberries.  I froze those.  I also harvested a bunch of baby zucchini and some of that will make its way into dinner tonight in the Sweet and Sour Pork.  The cherry tomatoes are continuing to produce more fruit and my acorn squash continues to grow bigger and bigger.  Yes, one acorn squash...the rest of them withered up and died.  My celery is ready to be harvested and used or preserved...that will be one of my projects in the coming week.

   I pray that all that are reading this are blessed with good health, good weather (this Fall is just gorgeous in the Pacific Northwest) and warm homes.  Remember to take breaks in this busy season and enjoy the beauty all around you.  Even in this chaotic and sometimes downright scary world that we are living in, God still shows his love for us all in the beauty that surrounds us from the changing color of the leaves to the magical sunsets and the crisp night air.  Can you tell this is my favorite season of the year? 😉



Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Getting All the Medical Things Done


   I've been busy getting all the medical stuff done and scheduled.  Yesterday Jeff and I both had appointments with our doctor.  Since it is a small-town clinic, they schedule us back-to-back and just combine our appointments together.  Jeff had some x-rays done on his foot (luckily no break or fracture) and I had bloodwork, a mole check and some changes in medications and dosages.  My doctor also wants me to have my mammogram, a bone density scan and an echocardiogram, since he heard a slight heart murmur.  I have had one in the past due to rheumatic fever as a child.  He just wants to check and make sure I do not have a slight leak in a heart valve.  Gotta say, that did not make me feel very good.  Heart issues scare me.

   Today I got my mammogram and bone density appointments set one after the other, and they are looking out for the echocardiogram order to come through. They will try to get that done the same day while I am at the hospital for the other appointments.  I'm going to have it done on November 2nd.

   The reason for the wait until November is due to me adjusting to new medication and to new dosages on some that I am already on.  They may make me sleepier and/or dizzy until I get used to them.   I don't want to drive myself anywhere until I know that I can do it safely.  Jeff is going to try to get that day off by switching with someone else so that he can drive me there just in case I can't drive myself.  It will make me less nervous to have him with me anyway.

   Now I am just waiting on my bloodwork to see if I can get off one of my medications and to see if we have to make any adjustments on another.  I am praying I can get off one of my meds that has caused more weight gain.  I hate that I am so heavy and can't drop the weight even though I really don't eat that much.  My thyroid medication may need to be upped also.  We shall see.

   While at my appointment I asked the CNA if she had heard about any shortages at the hospital or the clinics.  She told me the hospital was in good shape and was still able to get everything they needed at the moment, BUT there was a shortage on certain childhood vaccines.  She has a baby and told me that she was very concerned about there not being the vaccines available that her child needed.  So, if your children need to have their booster shots or vaccines, you might want to call your doctor's office and find out if there is also a shortage in your area.

   Jeff and I both need to get our eyes checked again and should also go to the dentist.  Jeff has dental and vision coverage and I only have the vision part.  Jeff has horrible teeth, so he really needs to get in.  Luckily his old boss and good friend's son in law just started his practice as a dentist, so we will be going to him.  He was raised in the next town over from us, so he is a local boy and we want to support him.  We will have to wait though on doing some of these things until after we get the bills for my echocardiogram, bloodwork, bone density scan and Jeff's x-ray.  I have a feeling it is going to be an expensive next few months, medically speaking.

    With all that is going on in the world right now, IF you are able to, get those medical appointments done.  If you have a job, be thankful for it and know that things could change quickly at any time.  Get a copy of  your expected social security payments upon your retirement.  That is something that Jeff and I are working on too.  Depending on what my medical tests say, I may definitely qualify for disability in the near future.  Up until this point, it was one of those things that I put off because of the stress of fighting for it.  With my back the way it is, the bone density test may show WHY I am having so many issues.  

   So if you have read this rather long and boring post, thank you!  Sometimes I just need to get things out there you know?  It does get lonely at times being home all day with just me and the cats.  I do try to go over and visit with Uncle Bob a bit when he comes up to his house and I also try to spend time in my garden.  This past weekend, we had Bradley and Isaiah spend Saturday night with us and we went down to our town's Harvest Festival.  That was a lot of fun and it was nice to see so many people that I had not seen in years.  It also made me acutely aware of how many precious people we had lost or were in the process of losing due to age and illnesses.  A friend and I both remarked that now we are the older generation in this town for the most part.  I'm not sure I am ready for that responsibility.  I know the older generation really helped guide and teach us so many wonderful skills when we first moved here.  I hope I can do them proud and share what they taught me to another younger generation.  Anyway, I need to finish this off and give my back and neck a break from sitting up.  Be blessed all!

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/7/22


   Another week has gone by.  Gas, electric, insurance and food prices continue to rise.  I saw a news report that all of this combined, along with rising interest rates, is costing an average of over $7,000 per family here in America and it continues to rise.  So how do we deal with this?  Some of us cut way back on our spending, try to pay off debt, and others continue to live like they did and put things on their credit cards. 

   Since Jeff and I are saving up for our trip to see our little granddaughter Peyton and her big brother Tate, we have cut back a lot in order to have cash for our trip.  Every decision we make impacts how much money we will have for that trip because we are paying for half of the ticket price (Josh and Lauren gifted us the other half and already bought the tickets as a wonderful surprise).  We are also paying someone to take care of our home and kitties while we are gone.  In addition to that, I really want to have some spending money for while we are there because we would love to treat our kids to a meal out as a thank you, have breakfast with a dear friend of mine and have some additional spending money so I can go to Ikea and pick up a few things there.  At the same time, we are paying down debt and stocking up our home for the long winter ahead making sure we will be warm and well fed.  That means that even on days when the pain is great, I need to be out in the garden harvesting and then processing produce.  There are a few days that I have missed, but for the most part, I try to push through.  Jeff works hard at his job and then comes home and helps me with things along with trying to keep up on the weeding, lawn mowing and fixing things around the house.  I really do love and appreciate him so very much!  I know that some people would say that we should cancel our trip, but here is the thing...with the world being what it is today and with Josh becoming eligible for deployment again in March, and Lauren being in the reserves, anything could happen that would take them away from us and from their children.  We need to build memories while we can because tomorrow is never guaranteed.  We have to continue to live our lives but do it in a financially responsible way.

   I have other friends who live by the motto of "you can't take it with you, so spend it all now and heck, put it on those credit cards too".  They continue to live ABOVE their means, getting deeper and deeper into debt.  They could easily live within their means but choose not to do so.  It breaks my heart because Jeff and I lived that way in the past and it took us years to climb out of it and retrain our minds to think differently.  I don't want them to go through the pain that we did.  That whole "we'll pay it off later" thing was how we (and now our friends) justified that reckless spending, never even considering that something might happen that would or could prevent us from being able to earn enough to actually pay things off quickly.  Hard lesson to learn and even harder to live through.  Been there and continuing to pay things off from having to live off one income instead of two and having some high medical bills.  We borrowed against my life insurance policy to pay for my medical bills up front since they hospital needed that money before they would do the surgery I needed.  We are in a much better position now though because we did pay off a bunch of other debt.  

   So here are the frugal doings for the week...

~We picked more blackberries, froze some and gave some to our neighbors, who were thrilled to receive freshly picked blackberries.  I have also been adding them to my cereal and snacking on them fresh.

~Jeff and I went up to the local apple orchard here in town and picked apples.  They are still just .50 a pound, which is an amazing deal!

~Jeff fixed Jaysn and Rachel's lawn mower that we are borrowing.  He was then able to get our lawn mowed.  Jaysn told him to just hand onto the mower since they now have a riding one.

~I had a lovely visit with Uncle Bob.  We had coffee and he shared some of his memories of his childhood.  In all the years that I have known him, I had never heard about how hard his childhood was on him before.  It really did explain why he values family that way he does and why our family is so special to him, as he is to us.

~I made a large batch of herb salt and it took me 2 hours of hands-on time since I had to strip the rosemary and tiny little lemon thyme leaves off their branches.  It was so worth it though because now I have enough to last me for another year and to also give some out as gifts.  My mother requests it every Christmas now as her gift from me, so she also will be set for another year. 😉

~Jeff and I did the grocery shopping over the weekend and were very careful with what we bought.  We noticed that prices are going way up, but that there were still deals to be found if you looked carefully.  We pretty much stuck to the basics like cheap produce like a 5-pound bag of carrots, a 10-pound bag of potatoes (both of these were much cheaper per pound to buy them in these quantities), milk, creamer (ok, this is a splurge item, but something I use on a daily basis), hot cocoa mix (another splurge item, but Jeff loves it and uses it daily), store brand cereal, ketchup (it was on sale and had a long out use by date), store brand crackers ($2 less per box than the named brand stuff), brown sugar on sale and a few other items.  I had offered to do the shopping on my own, but Jeff did not want me to do that with how crazy people have been acting.

~We watched several of the Mission Impossible movies here at home on Paramount channel and made popcorn to snack on.  Fun evenings and frugal too!

~More bread was made.  I am just appalled at the price of bread in the grocery store.  It is so easy to make yourself at home and so much cheaper and better for you!

~I used the leftover rice to make jambalaya for dinner on Monday night.  The tomatoes and onion I used in making it were all from our garden.  The smoked sausage was bought previously on sale and tucked safely into one of our freezers.  Celery was bought on sale a few weeks ago, although I do have some that is still growing in size in my garden.  The seasonings are ones that I always have in my pantry.  This is one of our favorite and very easy meals to make and a great way to stretch out meat since You don't have to use a lot to get all that yummy taste.

~I made some chocolate chip cookies with some cookie dough that I had bought on clearance and had frozen.  It was cheaper to buy it on clearance than make it from scratch.  It made for a very nice surprise for my sweet hubby that had a very long and frustrating end to his day at work.

~One of our sweet neighbors, that we gave some blackberries to, baked us some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  They were delicious!

~Our hanai son, Benny Weag, is on the TV show "The Voice".  It is so wonderful to be able to see him pursuing his dreams!  Now we have to teach our youngest grandson Tate to say "Team Blake". 😊

~I was able to harvest more squash and tomatoes from the garden.

~A major fibro flare hit again this week.  Jeff made us pastrami sandwiches for dinner one night (I had bought some pastrami at a good price a while ago and froze it) and another night I made a quick 4 cheese pasta and pepperoni casserole using only pasta, spaghetti sauce and cut up pepperoni.  I had everything I needed here at home.  A well stock pantry is a huge money saver.  Sure, I would have loved to have Jeff bring home Panda Express for dinner, but that would have cost about $20 or more.  

~We skipped going to the thrift stores over the weekend while we were in town doing the grocery shopping because although I have things to donate, the temptation to go in and "browse" usually ends up with me buying something.

~Thursday nights are Jeff's bowling league night so I am on my own for dinner.  I made a salad for dinner using cabbage, carrots, celery, and sliced almonds.  So yummy!!!

~Friday night I made lemon chicken pasta with the lemon juice from the lemons I zested for the herb salt earlier in the week, some homemade frozen compound herb butter that I made last year, 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast sliced thinly, 3 cloves of garlic, about half of a Walla Walla Sweet onion, a red bell pepper, farfalle pasta and some sliced up zucchini from the garden.  It was so good, easy and is one of our favorite meals.

~Jeff and I got caught up on watching "The Amazing Race" on Paramount Plus.  It is something we both enjoy, but comes on to late for him to watch during the week.

   So that is our week in a nutshell.  We did learn Friday night that Uncle Bob had a heart attack and is in the hospital for observation.  Please keep him in your prayers.  If he is not home by tomorrow, we will head over to see him.  The last time we had a visit over at his house, he told me he did not think he would be around for much longer...just the thought of losing him breaks my heart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Thoughts a Swirling Around in my Boggled Brain


   Go ahead, laugh at the title of this post...I did! 😉 This brain of mine is very rarely NOT boggled.  And yes, I do question if it is a result of my Fibromyalgia or if it is a result of dealing with PTSD.   Either way, it is what it is, and I am blessed to have a husband that understands and supports me, as well as grown children, who also understand.  My grandkids have never known me any other way, so to them, this is Grammie's "normal".  So what if they think I am a bit crazy...they know I love them with all my heart and that is all that really matters right?

   I have the oldest two grandboys, Bradley and Isaiah, coming to spend the night this weekend.  We are going to do homemade pizzas and I made sure to get the toppings that they love best to put on their own pizzas.  Bradley is my pepperoni fiend, while Isaiah is all about the Canadian Bacon and pineapple.  We may head up over the hill and go to the apple orchard while they are here to pick some more apples, both for here and for them to take home.  It is something we have been doing since they were babies and had become a tradition.

   I am really missing my Steven and need to make a sleep over date with him here soon also.  Maybe we will work it into the first of November when he is coming to spend the day with me since his school has a day off then.  He was such a big part of my weekly life this past Summer and I miss my time with him so very much!

   Our little Tate is growing so quickly and is still trying to master my name.  We have made progress, and I am now called "Dammie".  Hey, I'll take it and we can work on changing the d sound to a gr sound when we go down to see him and his brand- new baby sister Peyton at the end of November.

  Our Lauren is still thinking that baby Peyton will come before her due date.  Knowing our Lauren, she is most likely spot on with what she is thinking.  It is finally really hitting me that yes, we are having a granddaughter!  I was looking through my jewelry the other day and picking out special pieces for her that were my grandmother's, my mother's and some of mine.  She will get them when she is older on special occasions like graduations, her wedding and, as for my wedding ring, upon my going to heaven.  Other pieces will go to my girls, Heather, Lauren and Rachel, with a request that they be passed down to their granddaughters and or great granddaughters.  If I am blessed to still be around when my grandboys get married, some will go to their spouses also.  It just occurred to me that I have some sterling silver hair barrettes that were my great-grandmother's.  I always had super thin hair, so they did not work for me, but if Peyton has her mother's hair, they will work for her.  Yippee!

   All this leads me into the thoughts that have been plaguing my brain...what world are my grandbabies growing up in and will they remain safe and have happy lives?  

   The world as we know it today is a scary place, economically, politically, spiritually and physically.  Although our kids are doing their very best to give their children the best childhoods possible, I worry that with the world being what it is, and getting worse, that my grandkids are going to face hardships in the future beyond anything that we, or our grown children, have ever had to go through.  I keep praying that saner heads will prevail with the whole Russia, China and North Korea mess and the threats of nuclear war.  I pray that people will find ways to stay warm this winter and that there will be enough food to go around worldwide.  I pray that evil people will stop messing around with biological weapons.  I pray that economically people will start to realize that government handouts/bailouts ALWAYS come at a high price that eventually has to be paid.  I pray for people to come to realize that there are dark forces at work trying to pit us against one another and if we play into their game, we all lose. 

    Yes, I pray a lot!  For now, all I can do is try to be as prepared as I can to take care of my beautiful family and to make my grandkids childhoods the best they can possibly be.  I pray for my two kids, Josh and Lauren, who are either active or reserve military, and for my son Chris, who is a police officer.  They are all in jobs that can or do put them in danger's way.  We have made contingency plans in case we have family that needs to move in with us since our home is totally paid for, where some of our kids' homes are not.  We've been reaching out more to our neighbors and trying to bless them with produce from our garden because we know that everyone is facing some scary times and we want to bring a smile to their faces and for them to know that we do care and appreciate them.  

   Uncle Bob made a very keen observation the other day when I was visiting him and said that we are pretty safe here in our small town, but go 40 miles in any direction and you might run into more trouble.  Uncle Bob is one of the last of the "older generation" of people that welcomed us when we moved here 30 years ago and I trust him with my life, and that of my family.  That man is full of wisdom and lots of "spit and vinegar".  LOL!  Sometimes I do have to try to rein him in a bit because he will say what he thinks before realizing that it may cause him some issues in the future. 😉 I scolded him the other day (in love and he knows it) for something he said to someone (that could have led to a fight or worse) and told him that it would look bad if Chris had to come bail him out of jail.  He gave me that sly smile of his because I know that he would not want to put Chris in that position since Chris is a police officer and he loves Chris dearly.  Anyway, there is a lot we can learn from the "Uncle Bobs" of the world and we need to.  They survived the Great Depression, multiple wars, and have so much wisdom to share if we only take the time to sit down, have a cup of coffee with them, and listen.  I learned to can and garden from the "grandmas" and "grandpas" that took me into their hearts and homes when we moved here.  They lavished their love, wisdom and shared their skills, knowledge, plants from their gardens, stories and even taught me how to hand tie quilts.  Yes, we still had quilting bees when I moved here and I now have one of those quilts.  I am forever grateful to them and am looking forward to seeing them again in heaven one day!  

   I guess the point of this post, which I know rambled a bit, is that we need to learn the skills to make it through what is coming.  We need to do everything we can to honor those that came before us and who are filled with knowledge that we all MUST learn in order to survive and thrive.  We need to do everything we can to give our children and grandchild a great childhood to the best of our abilities while still preparing them for what is to come.  We need to reach out to others and form a strong community and watch out for one another.  Most of all though, we need to pray and try to lovingly lead people to Christ who do not already know him. 

   Be blessed my sweet friends and know that you are in my heart and prayers!


Monday, October 3, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/30/22

      Patchy is loving the warmer days to bask in the sunshine and then cuddle up at night.  I frequently have her on my lap and Midgy right by my legs on the recliner in the evenings.  It's comforting and something that I really love about the cooler nights.  Now onto the frugal doings...

 ~We had some lovely warmer weather at the beginning of the week, along with clear skies, so I took advantage of it.  I hung the sheets, cloth napkins and sheets out to dry on the laundry line.  Oh did they ever smell good!

~Jeff and I went to 2 thrift stores and found some books for the grandkids (I love giving them special books), and a squeegee that he wanted for his car.

~Walmart had been having some amazing clearance items.  I got a long-sleeved shirt for $1 and we found a ratchet strap set for a little under $13.  I thought it would make a nice gift item since Jeff did not want at first to get it for his own truck.  We have 2 other kids with trucks.  However, in the end he decided that yes, it would be a good idea to have some for his truck since he does haul a lot of stuff around.

~Say it with me gang...more blackberries were picked!  Lots and lots more. 😉  Jeff took a 2 gallon container of them to work with him on Monday to share with his coworkers.  We try to send in special treats and even plants to share on a semi regular basis.  We have been abundantly blessed and it just feels good to share those blessings with others.

~We were very good and only bought bananas at the grocery store.  I am trying to get through the last week of the month NOT buying anything else there.

~Monday, I had a lovely phone visit with my cousin Jeremy.  He just put an offer down on a house and I am praying he gets it. It has been a long journey for him to find another home to buy after selling his home up in our area and then moving to be closer to his mother. Update:  He got it!

~My sister Leonie and I were finally able to have a nice video chat.  She is currently in New Zealand undergoing more treatment for cancer that has returned.  She is hopeful, but also shared with me some of her fears.  Overall, our chat was a very positive one though and I am so glad that we were able to actually see each other over video as we talked.  I miss her so very much!  I will be forever thankful that we did have a chance to visit when she came up here and finally met a good chunk of my family. Praying that she can make another trip up when she beats cancer again!

~So we have a beautiful calico cat (I named her Ginny), that has been hanging around our place and Shannon's next door.  She had some awful matting on her fur, so I cut the mats off and she seemed so relieved.  Both Shannon and I have been feeding her and she just wolfs down the food.  She is super affectionate, and she seems to have adopted us as her people.  I am going to have Jeff make her a warm little house, that is protected from the wind and snow, for this Winter.  That way if she continues to stay here with us, she will have a snug, warm and safe place to be since she is an outdoor cat, and my kitties are NOT fond of any other kitties in their home.  Update:  I found out who Ginny's owner is and that her name is actually Kat Kat.  Since she responds to "Ginny" and continues to hang around here, I will continue to feed her with her owner's blessing.

~I made a large container of chicken salad with lots of crunchy celery in it.  It made 2 meals for Jeff and I.  Of course I added some sliced fresh tomatoes from our garden to mine.  YUM!

~Looking at all that is happening in the world and with our economy here in the USA, Jeff and I made some changes to our money management system.  I am starting to get a little freaked out about things again....not going to lie.

~A sweet friend from Hawaii sent us a package in the mail with 2 bags of Kona coffee from their coffee farm on the Big Island and lots of other goodies.  One of the bags of coffee is for my mom and will be sent with their Christmas package.  Oh the memories of my childhood growing up in Kona just came rushing back.  Did I ever mention that my father bought a coffee farm shortly after we moved there?  He got it dirt cheap and later sold it to help buy our first nice home there.  We also lived on another coffee farm at one point.  The only safe drinking water came from a tap outside the house.  The rest of the water was rain catchment.  This was all before my brothers were born.  Once Grandma saw where we were living, she and Grandpa bought a house and rented it to my parents so that we would have a nice place to live.

~Rain, glorious rain!  We finally got some much needed deep and drenching rain on Thursday.  Oh it just made me so happy!  I stayed in my jammies and robe all day long.  Looking at the plants outside on Friday morning made me smile because I can see that they loved it too.

~Some nights I have cereal for dinner...Thursday was one of those nights. 😉  Jeff was at his bowling league and I just did not have the energy, nor the desire, to cook anything.

~Our lawn mower decided to stop working and nothing that Jeff did fixed the darn thing.  He called Jaysn to borrow their lawn mower and Jaysn said to just keep it as long as we needed it since they bought a riding one.  Our lawn needs at least one more mowing before the frost comes and kills it.

~Craving some comfort food, I made a meatball and mushroom gravy casserole.  I added a diced up Walla Walla sweet onion from our garden to it while it cooked.  I served it over rice and it was so yummy!  We had enough leftovers for several meals.  I also cooked up way more rice than we needed so that I could use some of the rice in a meal for this coming week.

   Be blessed my beautiful friends, stay safe and please, be prepared for anything that may come your way.  My heart goes out to all the people who have suffered losses from this horrible hurricane Ian.  The devastation there is just unimaginable. 😢 I have kept in touch with friends there and some of them have damage to their homes, but nothing like those in the hardest hit areas.  Please keep all the people there in your hearts and prayers.