Monday, October 30, 2023

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/27/23


      Well the killing frost hit and our temperatures plummeted into the high teens here at night according to my outside thermometer.  Our outdoor cat Ginny still prefers being outside so are doing all we can to make sure she has a safe and warm place to retreat to.  I got my Winter jammies out, along with all my sweatshirts, wool socks, winter coats and gloves.  Jeff got the cars ready for the cold months too.  The fleece blanket went back on our bed this week and the cats are loving it!  I frequently have both cats snuggled up either upon me or right by my side out in the living room.  The pellet stove is also turning on more often and I am really enjoying the warmth and ambience of it.  Below are a few of the things that we have been doing this past week while trying to be frugal...

~Jeff and I got all the tomatoes and pears picked since our temperatures are going to be plummeting below freezing.

~Jeff worked Saturday and brought home some popcorn from the popcorn machine at the end of the day.

~We watched 2 more of the Harry Potter movies over the weekend.

~I placed an order for more vitamins and supplements from Vitacost.  I used coupons to get it even cheaper.

~We had a lovely facetime visit with Lauren, Tate and Peyton on Sunday.  Tate had so much to tell us! :)  I am so proud of Lauren or holding down the fort while Josh is on deployment.

~We have been able to facetime with Josh also and it really helps calm my nerves.

~I got Josh's package mailed off to him.  I sent it priority mail and got the military discount since I was sending it overseas to him on deployment.

~I harvested herbs and green onions from the garden before the killing frost hit them.

~Jeff stopped by Safeway to get the pizzas that were on sale and to get a replacement on a block of cheese that went moldy before it was opened and way before it's use by date.

~A quick dinner was thrown together of Sloppy Joes (made with venison given to us by Chris and Heather) and pears from our garden on Monday night.

~I cut up an old and ratty fleece bathroom and made soft and cozy "cat blankets" with it for our outdoor cat Ginny to snuggle with in her cat house that Jeff made her.  Ginny prefers being an outdoor cat and would be unhappy having to live inside.  She is the cat that showed up and adopted us.

~I used the sleeves and pockets of the bathroom that I cut up as dusting cloths.

~Tuesday was a bad Fibro flare day for me with high anxiety and a headache.  I had to cancel our dinner plans with Chris, Heather and the boys.  Jeff offered to bring home dinner for us but I politely decline his generous offer.

~Wednesday, I uploaded digital coupons to my Safeway card and made a list.

~I made 2 loaves of bread and a double batch of long fermented sourdough and cheddar cheese crackers (this was an experiment that went exceptionally well.)

~More tomatoes were sorted and lots were frozen to make sauce with later.

~I went through the squash and took out the bad ones.  I planted way too many plants this year and they got a little out of hand.  Our compost bin now has another addition to go with all the used coffee grounds.

~I found a few blackberries and raspberries.  Oh were they ever good!

~We were in need of comfort food on Friday night so I made homemade Biscuits and Gravy.  Jeff was a very happy man!  We even had leftovers.

~We've had a visit from a momma moose and her yearling.  We look forward to seeing the moose every year as they come down into town to eat the apples and pears that are left on trees or have fallen to the ground.

   My prayer for all reading this is that you are staying warm, safe and are stocked up.  The world seems to have gone completely crazy and I am appalled at the antisemitic rhetoric and the actual threats to harm or kill Jewish people around the world. A branch of my family is Jewish and I am glad that they are no longer around to see this all playing out as I am sure it would break their hearts.  My heart aches for the hostages taken by Hamas and their families and for the families of those who were so brutally slaughtered.  I am also appalled and my heart aches for the innocent Palestinians who are being used as pawns and human shields in this twisted war that Hamas brought on.  We are witnessing pure evil.  I feel a deep heaviness in my heart and am always on the edge of my "fight or flight response".  I worry about our service men and women in the Middle East and the attacks on our bases there.  My son has to put on body armor just to go from one building to another or anytime he steps outside.  That is not comforting to a mother who already has some pretty severe anxiety issues.  I do pray for God's protection over ALL our servicemen and women and I do put my trust in Him, but it is still hard.  For all the other parents out there who might have kids serving there, you are also in my prayers.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/20/23


   This week has seemed to both drag on and yet, at the same time whizzed by.  How that is possible, I do not know, but it just is.  It is Saturday as I am wrapping this post up and I am finally fully recovered (I think) from working the Ruck for the Fallen booth last Saturday.  I had such a wonderful time doing it, but my body paid for it big time in the following days.  I HURT!  Needless to say, I did not get a whole lot of things done around the house and yard, so now it is crunch time before the freezing temperatures hit.  So here is a look at my week...

~Jeff and I worked the Ruck for the Fallen booth on Saturday afternoon/evening.  (5) Ruck for the Fallen | Facebook It was wonderful to see a whole line of Veterans lined up to greet our ruckers as they came into town.  We sold so much merchandise and our silent auction was a huge success and raised lots of money to help our military and first responders in need while also honoring the fallen.  Jeff bought a large insulated cup and I bought a pair of earrings in honor of our first responders and military members in our family.

~I bid on some things at the auction and won something special for my son Chris and also a wine tasting bundle of 4 bottles of different wine and 2 beautiful wine glasses. 

~Jeff was able to finish off replacing the screws and silicone seals in the roof of the house.

~We tried to find new shoes for Jeff in the same style as he has been wearing for years.  They had the shoes at the store, but they have changed them so they are narrower (even in the wide size) and the sizes seem off.  A size 12 was way too small for Jeff, but the size 13 had a huge space between his toes and the front of the shoe.  Needless to say, we did not buy them, but headed up to Goodwill after that and found him some nice Timberline boots that were barely ever worn.  We also found a sassy sweatshirt for me that says "I'm not bossy, I'm just aggressively helpful."  I know my sons, daughters and oldest two grandson are going to get a huge kick out of it.  In addition to those things, I found a gift for one of my girls who is I know is going to love it!

~Jeff and I have been gathering up some things to send over to our son Josh who is on deployment.  Some of the items are ones he requested, and others are surprises for him.  Thank goodness the Dollar Tree had some of the items because things were getting kind of expensive.

~Isaiah shot an elk earlier in the season and got a buck on Tuesday night.  We will be getting some of the meat from both of them.  I am so proud of my grandson!

~More beans, tomatoes, squash and pears were harvested.  We also found a few blackberries before we trimmed the bushes back and some of the raspberry canes were producing berries also.

~Jeff and I have been watching more of the Harry Potter series of movies.  We are having great fun watching them while either being cuddled up in bed or out in the living room snuggling under our warm throws with cats upon or next to us purring away.

~Jeff brought home another ton of wood pellets and was given 6 bags that has been broken open for free.  We like free!

~I've been shopping the sales and am continuing to build up my pantry and freezers.

~I cut Jeff's hair on Tuesday morning.  He was very overdue for a haircut.

~Wednesday night, Jeff heated up the leftover rice from earlier in the week along with some stew from our pantry.

~Jeff did the shopping at Safeway for their loss leaders that I wanted for me and he also picked up more fabric softener sheets at the Dollar Tree.

~Josh and I have been using Facebook messenger to chat with each other.

~Jeff picked up a case of Black Rifle coffee expresso drinks at Grocery Outlet for .99 each.  That is an amazing deal on them and he loves the caramel flavored ones.

~I cashed in our points that we earned on our debit and credit cards for an Olive Garden gift card.  It is one of the restaurants that we really enjoy going to once in awhile as a treat.

~Friday night we pulled two frozen pizzas out of the freezer and baked those up for dinner.  It gave us leftovers for lunches also.

   I'm off to get dressed and out into the garden.  I need to get all the tomatoes harvested, green ones too.  I will lay the green tomatoes in a box to slowly ripen.  I have done this in the past and we were eating tomatoes from our garden will into November.  Jeff will have to help me pick the pears when he gets home.  He is working until 2 p.m. today.  Be blessed and stay safe my friends.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Asking for Prayer


   My sweet friends, I am coming to you asking for prayer.  The Middle East is mess right now and is just getting worse.  The atrocities done to the Jewish people in Israel is horrific.  Hamas is pure evil as is Hezbollah. There are those who will take every opportunity to lie and capitalize on this and will attack innocent people all over the world.  My heart aches for all those innocent people in Israel, Palestine, and everywhere else this evil has spread.

   A dear friend of mine's son-in-law is from Israel.  He is in the USA with his wife and baby, but his parents are in Israel.  Last I heard, they were safe for the moment, but as we all know, everything can change in a heartbeat there.  Please pray for their safety, as well as all the other people living in fear.

   My son is currently serving in the Middle East at a base right in the middle of all this.  He is in a country that is friendly with the USA, but they have had attacks on that base in the past and they are doing everything they can to be alert and prepared for that possibility again. Some of my son's troops are in a different Middle Eastern Country that is not friendly with the USA and they have come under attack.  He was initially supposed to be there with them, but got assigned to the other base instead.  He is struggling because he wants to be with them.  He wants to protect them and keep them safe so they can go home to their families when their deployment is over.  I understand my son's heart and why he is having a difficult time with this.  But, as his mother, I am so very thankful that he is not there.  I want him to be able to come home to his wife and children also.  I know he would put himself in harm's way to save his troops because that is the kind of man he is.  Please pray for protection for him, his troops and all those brave men and women there from all countries trying to do everything they can to protect others while this "powder keg" is blowing up all around them and they are feeling the "fallout" of it.  Please also keep the people in the embassies, who have or will come under attack, safe. 

   Here on the home front, protect us from the evil that this is.  I pray to God to root out all those who wish us harm, whether foreign or domestic. Our country does not currently have a strong president or vice president and our senate and congress are so busy infighting, that they are not doing their jobs that they were elected to do.  A weak country is easily toppled, and I fear that we are ripe for the picking at this moment.  We have had many who have crossed our borders illegally and we have no idea where they are or what their goal is.  We do know that there are "sleeper cells" here in the USA and that they can be called on at any time to unleash whatever it is that they are told to do.  The "chatter" has confirmed this and the warnings have been made public now.  We have, in the past, had someone arrested near us that was working with Isis, using coupons to cash in and get money for the terrorists.  He came on a student visa and was attending college here. Hiding in plain sight as they say.

   Finally my friends, please be aware of your surroundings.  Please stock up on food, water and medications.  Our economy is in real trouble too.  Inflation continues to rise and the cost of everything is going way up.  Hedge your bets by buying the things you will need for a while out.  I'm trying to look out at least a year for most things if possible.  If you have the ability to purchase, or already have a weapon, make sure you have enough "lead" for it and practice with it.  Jeff and I are going to get our concealed carry permits and will be getting more training from some of the best teachers we know and love.  We want to be safe wherever we are and not become victims of any kind of crime.  We also want to be able to protect our kids, grandkids and others around us.  

   Thank you, be safe and know that I am praying for you all too!


Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/13/2023


~Jeff got a $2 an hour cost of living raise at work.  Yay!

~Jeff's bosses brought in a cooler full of various cuts of pork for the employees to take home.  Jeff got pork spare ribs and more bacon.  His bosses buy several hogs at the fair, and then share the meat with the employees at the 3 different store.  It is a very nice little bonus, for which we are very grateful!

~Josh is now in Kuwait.  I have been able to chat with him there and knowing that I can do that with him is helping to save my sanity.  I still a nervous about him being in that part of the world, especially now, but I have to trust God to protect him and all the others serving in that volatile area.

~Jeff got the front porch painted and it looks really good!

~Jeff also got most of the screws and silicone washers replaced on our metal roof.  Hopefully he can finish it this coming weekend.

~I made a really nice dinner of Elk roast (from Chris and Heather), potatoes from our garden, celery and seasonings.  I served it with a side salad and a cut up apple.  We ended up with some delicious leftovers too.

~Two loaves of bread were made and I gave one to Shannon.  I also gave her a zucchini from the garden.

~The pears from our trees are starting to ripen, so I have been picking them as they do.

~Sourdough crackers are quickly becoming a favorite around here, so I made another 2 batches and used my homemade Tuscan Herb seasoning salt to top them.  YUM!

~A nice cheesy lasagna was also on the menu this week.  It is definitely Fall weather now and I had everything on hand that I needed to make one of our favorite meals.  I even used some chopped spinach that I had previously grown in the garden, then blanched and froze, mixed into the cheese layers.  Hubby was very happy to come home to such comfort food.

~I'm still harvesting tomatoes, beans, squash and blackberries from the garden.

~Combining coupons and sales, we were able to get a 16 pack of toilet paper for $6.99.  I would say that is a good deal.

~I was finally able to facetime with my son Josh who is on deployment in the Middle East.  He is in one of the safest jobs and in a country with strong ties to the USA thank God!  They are still a target by the terrorists, but are in a better position than many others serving in the Middle East.  I asked him to give me a list of what he wanted and could not find there on base so I could send it to him.  His list consisted of Black Rifle brand coffee and Chick Fillet sauce.  :)

~Chris and Heather are going to butchering their chickens that have stopped laying eggs.  These are not "meat chickens", but will still be good for making soups and pot pies.  They are going to give us several of them.  I love making homemade chicken noodle soup and then freezing it so I have it on hand at all times.

~Friday I made 2 loaves of sandwich bread and another batch of the sourdough crackers.

~Heather and Chris dropped off 2 gift certificates for her homemade cinnamon rolls for the Ruck for the Fallen auction and our Christmas gift from my parents.  The gift my parents sent us was a gorgeous hand painted large round vase from Japan.  It was a gift to them from my father's former bosses from Japan.  Our Christmas gifts from my parents are now coming off the lists we all made for items we wanted from their home when they passed away.  They decided to give us the items as Christmas gifts so we can enjoy them now.

~Friday was our home "date night".  Jeff was in charge so he made us grilled cheese sandwiches and we watched the first of the Harry Potter movies.  It was a wonderful and relaxing way to spend our Friday night!

Monday, October 9, 2023

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/6/23


   In the spirit of full transparency, this post is a conglomeration of what I can remember for the past 2 weeks.  As per usual for me lately, I have not been good about noting things down each day, so this is what my spotty memory is "downloading" to this post currently.  Off we go!!!

~Jeff and I went up to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho just to get away and to see the beautiful Fall foliage.  Well, the trees just starting to turn colors, and were not very exciting (should have waited another week).  We still made the best of it and hit some thrift stores.  We found a golf club bag for Jeff for $15.  His old one is ripping out. At that same store I found a beautiful Fall themed picture for $15, some fall plates for $2 each (spendy but I loved them).  At the next store, I found a Fall ceramic pie dish for $2 also.  At the Goodwill, I found a very nice pair of Lane Bryant jeans that looked like they had been worn only a couple of times, if even that.  Jeff also found a pair of jeans.

~The Dollar Tree in CDA had bagels, rolls and English muffins.  We bought some.  Apparently, they buy them from the Franz Bakery Outlet up there.

~I have continued to harvest beans, blackberries, squash and tomatoes from the garden.  I froze more of the tomatoes.

~Jeff and I headed up to the apple orchard right over the hill from our house here in town.  We picked 22 pounds of apple and only paid $11 for all of them.  We got a mix of sweet apples and some with a little tartness to them too.  We are sending some over with Chris and Heather to give to my parents when they go to visit them this weekend.  My mom loves fresh apples from that orchard, so this will be a nice surprise for her.  We also gave a bag to Chris and Heather, and to Jaysn and Rachel.

~I made some Udon soup and added half of a small bag of frozen chopped blanched spinach from our garden to it.  This made 2 meals for me.  I took the other half of the bag of spinach and added it to a frozen chicken and onion pizza from Safeway.  I also added some halved yellow tomatoes from our garden to it also.  Yum!

~One night I was in a hurry to make dinner, so we had hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes.  We had leftovers of the hamburger gravy, so I turned it into a noodle and Stroganov casserole that fed us for another 2 meals.  The last meal was also served with green and yellow beans from our garden.

~Jeff found a pair of jeans on clearance at Walmart.  He rarely finds jeans that will fit him on clearance.  We also got a doormat for the front door that really goes well with the color of our home.

~I have been carefully shopping the grocery sales.  This week I only see one item that I will be picking up.  Since I will be in town this Thursday to meet Rachel so she can take Steven to his dentist appointment, I will pick the item up at that point.  Steven is off this Thursday and Friday, so he will be spending Thursday with me.  I love spending time with him.

~Our sweet Heather is generously donating a dozen of her homemade cinnamon rolls in the flavor of the winner's choice to the Ruck for the Fallen silent auction and sale that I am a part of this next weekend.  She did not even hesitate when I asked her.  I told her I would pay for any of the needed ingredients. This is an organization that is close to all of our hearts in our family.

~I found some new watercolor pens at the Goodwill in the town where I do a lot of my shopping.  I am going to try and learn to use them with some tutorials I hope to find on YouTube.  I think it will be a wonderful hobby this Winter for me.  I also found some wonderful slipper socks and a 5 pack of really cozy and pretty socks.  

~Jeff and I both switched out our warmer weather clothing for our cooler weather clothing.  Thank goodness we did so that I did not overbuy things that I already had.

~I donated a bunch of clothing that I had not been using and really was not very fond of to begin with.

~My sunflowers are being raided by the squirrels!  Isaiah almost tripped over one as it was running away with one of the seed heads.  It's okay, I really enjoy watching the squirrels and don't mind providing some food for them.

~We got a huge surprise in the mail this Thursday.  Our health insurance overbilled us and sent us a refund check.  I took $120 of it and bought a new food processor (mine is limping along), some Christmas gifts, crafting items, clothing and a few other items.  I also took our grandson Steven to McDonald's for lunch since he was spending the day with me and had been so well behaved as we ran errands.  The rest of the money from the refund is being saved.  Oh, Steven also got a rocket ship toy at the thrift store that he was totally into.

~Speaking of thrift stores, yes, I went again to 3 of them this time.  I was looking for another black multi-photo picture frame.  I found one for $2.99 (as opposed to the $20 price tag at Walmart). Yay!  I also bought some books, magazines, mugs, cute little dishes, a brand new boxed set of Kilner canning items, more canning lids, some inserts for the canning lids to turn them into cute country vases where the flowers are each supported, a brand new in box cherry pitter, and some more new warm fuzzy slipper socks with the grippy bottoms.

~Since I was on my own for dinner Thursday and had a long day of running errands, shopping and spending the day with my Steven, I stopped by Winco to pick up a quick dinner.  I found some of their chilled chili lime shrimp and clearance for half the normal price.  For $3 I had that, some homemade sourdough bread, and cherry tomatoes from my garden.  Yummy!

~My tomato plants all got a good pruning and "haircut".  I took off most of the branched that did not have tomatoes already on them.  This opened the plants way up and will help force the tomatoes to ripen quicker.  It is supposed to be hot this weekend, but then get cold and wet next week.

   As I end this post, I ask for prayers for the people of Israel, the hostages that have been taken, and for the innocent Palestinian people who are being used as human shields in this horrible war that is unfolding right before our eyes.  The images are absolutely horrific.  I am watching live webcams right now as I type this and seeing the retaliatory response from Israel on Gaza City with the heavy bombing in the night and the replays of what had gone on during the day.  War is an ugly thing and my fear is that we will be drawn into it also.  For those of us with loves ones in the military, especially if those loved ones are in the Middle East, along with those in the European theater (with all that is going on with the Russian/Ukranian War), we are on edge and in prayer.  Please keep our own military in your prayers also.  I am asking this as the mother of one of these military members.  Thank you so very much and so much love coming to you all.