Saturday, September 30, 2023

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/22/2023

    This is a week late, but I thought I would post it anyway.  This past week has been a busy one for me and I have not been good about documenting things. So here is what I did the previous week to save money.  Be blessed my friends and I hope you all have a great weekend.

~Jeff's workplace had a BBQ on Friday.  His bosses bagged up the leftovers and told people to take some home.  Jeff brought home Brats, 4 huge cookies and some chips Friday night.  Saturday he brought home more brats, some macaroni salad and some hamburgers.  That has really helped out with the budget.

~While looking for one of my extra water bath canners to give to Heather, I found a box of brand-new quart sized wide mouth canning jars.  I needed 2 of them for the sourdough starter that Heather gave me.

~Heather not only gave me some sourdough starter, but she also bought me a kitchen scale to weight out the ingredient to keep the sourdough starter fed.

~I found some double ended color dry erase markers at Goodwill.  It has made my whiteboard "lists" so much more fun to write.

~Saturday was the big family birthday party for Jeff and Heather.  Rachel made 2 desserts and 2 crockpots full of lasagna.  Heather brought some of her delicious homemade garlic bread and I brought a Caesar's salad.  I gave the oldest 3 grandboys their matching shorts and they all quickly changed into them.  Jaysn and Rachel recently got 2 kittens, so I was able to cuddle with those precious kitties.  It was all absolutely wonderful!

~We all went to the fair and looked at the exhibits. I now really want one of those giant rabbits!  LOL!

~Sunday and Monday were major fibromyalgia flare days for me, so naps were much needed and taken.  After a big weekend and finally letting go of some emotional baggage, it honestly was not a surprise at all.  I tend to do soon as I am able to let down, I have a flare.  I have always been this way.

~Monday I made a big pot of hearty chicken noodle soup with lemon, garlic and herbs from the garden.  It was incredibly delicious!

~Jeff picked up my prescription for me from Walmart so that I did not need to make a separate trip in.

~Jeff also picked up some cheese that was on sale at Safeway.

~I made sourdough discard buttery crackers and 2 loaves of sourdough sandwich bread.

~Scrapple was on the menu once more.  I used less sausage meat than was called for since I am trying to cut back on meat portions in an effort to save money.  This made for two meals for Jeff and I.

~Tomatoes, squash, beans and blackberries were all harvested multiple times during the week.

~Safeway coupons were uploaded to my Safeway card.

~Using a Walmart gift card, I was able to order new silicone spatulas (I was getting low on them again), some silicone baking mats, and some medical things that we needed.  I ended up paying $13.88 out of pocket.

~I cut back my sage bush and have the branches full of leaves bundled and hung up drying.

~Thursday, I spent the afternoon snapping beans, blanching and then freezing them.  Judging by what I am seeing outside in the bean patch, I will be repeating this again very soon.

~Jeff took our truck to work on Friday and brought home a ton of wood pellets for our pellet stove.  He was able to get them from work at a good price.  Chris and the boys will be coming over Saturday to help unload them.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Finally Letting It All Go


   For the past two weeks, I have been feeling a bit down.  At first I thought it was just from being really exhausted after going nonstop when Josh and family, along with my cousin Jeremy were here and then missing them terribly when they all left.  I have been trying to put on a smile and pretend that everything is fine...something that I have had much practice at throughout my life.  The only person who knew that I was struggling was my husband, and even he did not know the extent of it.  To be perfectly honest, I did not realize exactly what was causing it either.  That was until yesterday...

   As I was trying to figure things out, I remembered how in the past my therapist had asked me I was happy.  My answer surprised me when the word "no" quickly came tumbling out of my mouth.  I told her that although I put on a good "front", there was always an underlying sadness.  I realized that was what was going on once again in my life and the reason I was struggling.  I also had clarity in that moment, about the source of the it, and knew it was time to just let it all go.

   Our Josh, Lauren, Tate and baby Peyton came home recently for a visit before Josh deploys and so that Chris and Josh could celebrate their birthdays together.  Josh has always gone to visit his grandparents on my husband's side of the family when he comes home, even though that side of the family has cut us all off, that is, except Josh.  His last visit to them had been when Tate was a baby.  Things have transpired over the last two years that have hurt all of us, including Josh.  Josh made the decision not to reach out again while he was here.  I could tell it was something that was weighing heavily upon him.  I let him know that I would always support him in whatever decision he made and that I understood how he was feeling.  

   It broke my heart to see my son realizing the ugly truth of this ongoing mess and why we all had been hurt so deeply.  He now understood why the most of us here had to accept that we would never see Papa again.  I was the "holdout" in the group here, not wanting to accept the painful truth that the man that I loved as my second father, had not reached out to his son, to let him know of his mother's death and had not tried to contact us in any way, shape or form for over six years.  As a parent and grandparent myself, I just could not wrap my head around NOT having a relationship with my kids and grandchildren.   So, this was the "trigger", that reopened old wounds for me and left me depressed.   

   It's a blessing that I had been through therapy in the past and learned some coping skills.  Once I was able to identify what the trigger was, it also allowed me to look at the situation objectively. I came to realize that it truly was the "end" of all hope for the situation to change because the person who we wanted to still have a relationship with, was unwilling or unable to fight for us as we had been trying to do for them.  It was another very painful reality check.  However, I found myself being able to finally let it all go...the hope, the struggles, the depression over the situation, the underlying anger, everything.  I felt like a HUGE weight had been lifted off me.  I think it comes in part because I no longer have to worry about Josh being hurt any further by this "no win" situation that was thrust upon all of us.  I think he may finally have some clarity and closure, as do I now and, as my other kids and hubby already have.

   I told my hubby about my realization and that I can finally have the closure that I so desperately needed.  He looked relieved, but you could still see the sadness in his eyes about the pain we had all endured.  My hubby is a very tender-hearted man that puts his family first.  Seeing our kids, grandkids or me in pain, hurts him.  He wants to protect us all, and he, through no fault of his own and for reasons beyond his control, was not able to in this situation.   I do think that now that I will not be wrestling with trying to hold out some kind of hope in a hopeless situation, that it will also help him to have some relief knowing that I have learned to put the situation behind me and no longer let it have any kind of negative influence over me.  This has been a long and painful process and journey, but it is one that has reached its final destination, and I can finally lay it all to rest.



Friday, September 15, 2023

Frugal Friday Wrap Up and Thrift Store Finds 9/15/23


   Here it is the end of another week!  The garden keeps on giving us tomatoes, squash, beans and blackberries.  Sometimes it is more than I can handle.  The Summer apples are winding down and the pears are busy ripening.  It has really helped us with the grocery budget.  Prices in the stores continue to rise, so we are so grateful for our garden helping us out.  Here are some of the other ways we saved money this week...

~I have been cherry picking deals and found a great deal on hamburger at Safeway.  I froze 1 1/2 pounds of it and used the other pound to make a large meatloaf using stuffing mix, one egg and some other seasonings.  Served with assorted side dishes and beans throughout the week, this made for 4 complete meals for us.  All the sides came from our pantry and the beans from the garden.

~I sent a list with Jeff and he stocked us up on cold and flu meds from the Dollar Tree and Walmart.  With the media spreading the story of medications being pulled because "they do not work", when we have been taking them for years and they have been working, we felt it prudent to stock up now!

~I found the above Brighton Christmas retired tote bag at one of our local thrift stores.  There was no price tag on it so I took it up to the counter and asked about the price, and I let them know the bags around it were marked at $5.99.  She looked at the bag and saw that someone had spilled coffee on it so she gave it to me for $4.99.  I knew that I could clean the coffee stuff off it since it was a coated bag.  Sure enough, I was able to get the coffee marks, along with other marks off it.  I am in love with this bag and will be using it this holiday season!  I really get into changing out my purses to match the season and holidays.

~I made some very smooth cinnamon applesauce.  Some was frozen and some was eaten fresh.  YUM!

~During the colder seasons, I love to wrap up in soft cotton jackets and sweaters.  I always try to get a size bigger that I wear because it like it to be very loose.  I found the soft sweater above for $5.99 minus 20% with a coupon.

~Jeff and I curled up with home popped popcorn and watched some shows on YouTube over the last weekend.

~I found some Christmas magazines, a large Pyrex bowl with cover and two books at our local thrift store that helps employ people in need or with disabilities.  The children's book is for my grandson Tate as a gift to help him know that he can always ask for a cuddle when he is sad.  With his daddy deploying in about 2 weeks for 6 months, we thought this would be a wonderful book for his daddy, our son Josh, to read with him before he goes.

~Jeff found a large pull behind luggage bag at the same thrift store and made it into a bag to haul his bowling balls and shoes in.

~Goodwill blessed me with some new house slippers, a beautiful handmade box from India, and some cat toys.  I was in need of the house slippers and they will be perfect for the winter months.  The cat toys will hopefully help get some of the kitties' energy out as they will be spending more time in the house with the days getting shorter.  The box is just beautiful and I can see it being a wonderful gift for someone.

~At a yard sale I found some like new Sketcher's shoes in my size.  I knew the person selling them and she told me she had only worn them a few times.  I got them for $2.00.

~I've found several TV series that I have not watched before on both Paramount Plus and Peacock networks.  It has been fun watching them, along with current TV shows.

~Jeff washed our big living room rug and hung it out on the big, tall chain link fence to dry.  The cats are loving having it back on the floor now since I had taken it out before Josh and Lauren got here for their visit.

   Please my friends, stock up on medications that you may need now.  Please also stock up your pantries.  Prices continue to rise, some astronomically.  If you can afford to put some extras away, I definitely would.  I see it as insurance and a hedge on future price jumps.  Be blessed all!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/8/23


   Yes, it has been a few weeks since my last post.  We had family here and it was delightful!   I will be doing a separate post on that once I get some more of the pictures that were taken of the fun!  After all of the excitement and the go, go, go of it all, my body crashed and I have been trying not to overdo things.  I know that many of my friends reading this will be amazed that I actually am taking it slow and not overdoing it.  Well now, but it was a different story with all the family here. ;)

   We did try to stay as frugal as possible even with having all the kids, grandkids and my cousin here, so that will be included in the frugal doings.  Here we go...

~Jeff and I, along with all the kids, tried to make most of our meals either potluck or picnic style.  

~I was able to use Lauren's military discount to get tickets to the Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park for half price.  This was something that I wanted to give the grandboys as an early Christmas gift while they were all together.  They loved it and little Miss Peyton enjoyed watching.

~We took advantage of Josh and Lauren staying at a hotel to use the swimming pool there.  We also hit the free splash pad and went swimming at one of the lakes nearby.

~I've been harvesting beans, tomatoes, squash and blackberries from the garden.  

~I've been freezing a lot of the Sungold Cherry tomatoes to use in pasta sauces in the colder season when that burst of freshness is much needed and appreciated.

~I had a squash processing day.  I shredded up about 12 cups worth of zucchini and used 2 of the cups to make 2 loaves of zucchini and dark chocolate chip bread.  The rest of that batch was placed in the dehydrator to dry out so that it can be used later.  Did you know that 1/2 cup dried, rehydrated with about a cup of hot water (use more if needed) is equal to 2 cups fresh.  Perfect for zucchini bread or added to sauces, soups or to make casseroles with.  I took advantage of having the food processor out and sliced up some yellow summer squash to make a casserole with.

~Jeff and I went to the Farmer's Market last Saturday and bought some fresh fruit there.  I only bought what I could eat within a week.  They had some nice looking apples there, but our local apple orchard opened at the end of this week, so I will be buying my apples from them.  Cheaper and it supports a locally owned farm here in town.

~Jeff and I also went to a few yard sales last weekend.  I found some chick and hen plants for $2 a pot, some cookbooks including one from Whitefish Montana where Josh and Lauren were married, and western wear shirts and 3 pairs of shorts for me at the final yard sale.  Two of the shirts are flannel and will be staying with me and the other two will be a surprise for my cousin Jeremy who has been selling them in his online store.  I wanted to help him out in some way and was thrilled to find these in like new condition.

~We are continuing to "cherry pick" the sales at the grocery stores and stock up on things when they are at reasonable prices.  Sad to have to say reasonable rather than good, but that is the economy that we find ourselves in now.

~Walmart is clearancing out a lot of their Summer clothing and I was able to but matching shorts for the 3 oldest grandboys for .50 a pair.  I also picked up a robe, a shirt, and some sleep shorts for me for $1 each.  I did pick up some shorts for Jeff for $1, but sadly they did not fit him.  I am going to try and find someone who they will fit, and if not, I will donate them.  They just cost me $1.

~I bought 2 bottles of red wine that were normally $21.99 and I got them on sale for $5.99 each at Grocery Outlet.

~My sweet Heather surprised me with a phone call telling me that she had bought me a digital kitchen scale to go with the sourdough starter that she was gifting me!  We have been discussing how to get me started making sourdough everything and I have been pinning recipes to Pinterest like a mad woman.

~I picked a large bucketful of summer apples from our tree to make even more applesauce with.

~I'm seed saving from squash, flowers and tomatoes.

~We got several rounds of drenching rain so that had cut way back on the watering in the garden.

~Fall decorating has begun in my home and I could not be happier!  Soon enough I will be bringing out the Fall candles to burn at night and I cannot wait for that and the first fire in our pellet stove.