Friday, November 17, 2023

A Somewhat Frugal Friday Wrap Up 11/17/23


   I'm finally sitting down to a nice cup of apple/cranberry tea served in one of my recently thrifted mug and tiny dish in which to place my tea bag.  I love being greeted by the picture of Peyton once I get signed just makes me happy and I still find myself in awe of finally getting a granddaughter to join in with our 4 grandsons. 😄 Speaking of Peyton, Grammie here has been slowly adding to my Raggedy Ann and Andy book collection to one day give to her.  I found 2 more books in the series at a used bookstore a couple of days ago.

   Jeff and I finally finished watching all the Harry Potter movies and I am now in "mourning" that the next one is not out yet. 😉 To cope with this horrible reality, I decided to do a dark academia themed Christmas this year.  I had picked up some owl stuffed toys at the yard sale Jeff and I recently went to, along with some pretty ornaments so all I needed was a smaller pre-lit Christmas tree to sit on top of my grandma's hope chest in the living room.  I found the a 4 foot tall tree at the thrift store, along with some pretty Christmas hand towels and a soft Winter themed fleece throw with chickadees on it.  Those are now washed and ready to be used.  I am hoping to start my decorating on Sunday.  At another thrift store, I found a really nice Nutcracker cookie jar.  This is the perfect gift for Heather's parents as her mother loves all things Nutcracker.  I will be giving it to her next week when we see her as an early Christmas gift so she can enjoy it through the holidays.

   I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, so Jeff switched his day off from Tuesday to Wednesday this week.  Everything went well at my appointment and we were able to get my meds renewed and I had bloodwork done to test my thyroid levels.  After my appointment, Jeff and I headed back to another town to get my meds and then headed to Pullman to grab some lunch.  We went to a new Mexican place that we had heard good things about and were pleasantly surprised at how good the prices were for lunch.  The food was great and so was the staff.  We will be going there again.  After lunch, we headed up to the Grocery Outlet.  I have been gathering treats and things to send over to Josh in his Christmas box.  I found several things that I know he will love and I picked up another bottle of wine for $5.99 that is really good.

   This week I made another 2 loaves of bread and more sourdough crackers.  I decided to add some parmesan cheese to the cracker dough this time and still do the 2 day ferment in the refrigerator before baking them.  Oh my goodness, they are delicious!  I also made a HUGE deep casserole dish full of lasagna since I had cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese that needed to be used up.  This has fed us for 3 meals already and we will be finishing it up tonight for dinner.  Jeff and I really do not mind eating leftovers for a few days.  If I had room in my freezers, I would have frozen half of it, but alas, I do not.  Not that having full freezers is a problem, but more like a blessing.

   Onto the updates on my Josh and my sister Leonie.  Isis has apparently decided to now declare that they are going to go on the attack on all US personnel in the Persian Golf region.  Yes, that is where my Josh is.   My stress levels have gone up even higher now and I check in daily with Josh to see how he is doing. Jeff and I decided that we are going to be getting our passports and I am so glad we made that decision.  I talked to my sister yesterday and her donor has not yet decided if they want to go through with the bone marrow transplant surgery. My sister is undergoing more chemotherapy at the moment and is exhausted by it.  If the donor does decide to go through with it, then they will do it down in Tahiti, with the doctor flying in from France.  If they do not, then we hope and pray another can be found before it is too late.  I have not told my sister this yet because I wanted to wait until I had my passport in hand, but my plan is to fly down to Tahiti to be with her.  She has already offered to pay for me to come down in the past and I am hoping that she will be able to still do that for me.  If not, Jeff and I will figure out a way to pay for my airfare there and back ourselves.  My sister is stubborn and very proud and will not admit when she needs help unless it is from me or from one of her very close friends in Tahiti.  Even then,  she will try to push herself to the point of exhaustion to get things done.  She really does need someone there to keep her in check and help her.  Her good friend works full time and has already done so much for my sister.  I want to be able to give her a much needed break and step in to not only help, but just to spend time with Leonie.  I will also be able to finally meet my nephew Kealoha and his wife while enjoying the beauty of Tahiti.  The only downsides will be missing my Jeff, kids and grandkids while I am gone and also possibly running into my ex-boyfriend who also lives there, who I have been told has never gotten over me.  I have no desire to see or deal with his cheating self.  I am a very happily married woman with a wonderful family thank you.  

   Well it is getting close to the time when Jeff will be getting home from work so I had better get going.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Thanksgiving.  We all have so much to be thankful for!





Friday, November 10, 2023

Crawling Out of my Cave to Say "HI"


Homemade broccoli, potato and cheese soup, along with a nice glass of wine, sure hits the spot on a cold and wet evening.  The potatoes are some that we grew in our garden, the broccoli was marked way down, and the cheese was on sale.  The boxes you see in the background are holding some of the treasure we found at an estate sale last weekend.

   Yes, I am still here.  I have had to take a break and just take care of my mental health for a bit.  I have still been doing money saving things around the house while dealing with backed up kitchen sinks, being worried about friends and family members serious health issues, and living in a constant state of stress while my baby boy Josh is in the Middle East sandwiched between 2 countries that hate the United States and have been actively attacking our military bases in the area.  

   I've made bread, sourdough crackers, and made a serious effort to eat from our pantry, fridge and freezer for the most part.  Loads upon loads of laundry have been done and I have gone through my clothing so see if there is anything that I need since so many things do not fit me or that I really do not like anymore.  This has led to a search for flannel shirts that I can wear as is or over other shirts. I have also been seeking out fun and oversized sweatshirts that make me giggle because of what they say on them.  I've taken bags of clothing, shoes, and appliances I don't use anymore to the thrift stores and have gotten 20% off one item coupons for doing so.

   Jeff and I went to an estate sale and he found a rolling rack thingy to extend his table saw when he is using larger pieces of wood for building projects.  I found big pillar Christmas candles, Christmas ornaments including some from Hawaii, 2 seasons of McHale's Army, some other DVDs, some full slips for me (I have had a horrible time finding any), and some owl mugs and stuffed animals.  Jeff and I have really gotten into the whole Harry Potter series, which we can stream here, and I want to do some of kind of old worldy library theme for this Winter after Christmas.  I think it will be fun and cozy.

   We've slowly been purging things that we no longer use, including those items that hide in the shadows under the sink.  I love seeing the progress and the opening up of space under there.  I'm starting to use a better system to make sure I rotate our food in the pantry and so far it is working out well.  

   One of my childhood friends had open heart surgery this morning and they almost lost her a couple of times according to her mother who is there with her.  She had suffered a stroke a few years back and she has some severe heart issues.  I am so thankful that she has pulled through and I pray for healing for her.  I know she has a long journey ahead of her.  She and I have reconnected and have rebuilt our friendship over the years and I would hate to lose her just as she is starting to heal emotionally from things that she is just now coming to terms with and learning to stand up for herself and set healthy boundaries.  I am so proud of her for doing those things!

   I chatted quickly with my sister this morning and she gave me some wonderful news...they found a bone marrow donor for her!  She had a doctor's appointment this morning and they are doing more testing to make sure they have everything in place and ready.  She has been told to rest as much as she can and save her energy.  My sister's heart is not the strongest anymore and I am praying that everything works out with this donor because I don't think my sister's heart can take much more chemotherapy or radiation treatments.  Jeff and I are waiting on some money to come in so that he and I can get our passports and I can be ready to fly down to be with her.

   As for our Josh, I try to keep in close contact with him on a regular basis.  Sometimes it is just a quick few lines on Facebook messenger and other times we do a video chat.   He vents to me when he needs to and other times we laugh at silly things and tease each other.  We have always had a tight bond and can both be very sarcastic....we just get each other. :)  Jeff and I are also keeping in close contact with Lauren and the grandkids and recently had a video chat with them as our now 1 year old Peyton opened up her birthday gift from us.  She loved the washable soft stuffed bunny we got for her and immediately started hugging it.  We also got Tate a indoor putting green set up since he loves golf and his daddy bought him a set of gold clubs.  When Lauren gets that all ready to set up, we are going to video chat then too.  He has no idea yet that we got it for him.  He is going to be very surprised and happy!

   Now, as a Public Service announcement, I give you this:

 Ruptured Natural Gas Pipeline Near Pullman Repaired

November 10, 2023 Evan Ellis News
The natural gas pipeline that was ruptured North of Pullman on Wednesday afternoon causing the regionwide outage has been repaired.
Williams Pipeline was able to fix the line on Thursday. The repair means that Avista Utilities can begin the relighting process which could take between three and five days. Avista is hoping to begin the relighting process today.

AVISTA RELEASES TIMELINE AND MAPS FOR NATURAL GAS SERVICE RESTORATION: Avista says almost all customers have already been shut-off in preparation for restoration of natural gas services, and Avista’s distribution system has been repressurized. Avista has released these maps for each region, along with zones which indicate the order of restoration and a window of time crews are expected to be in each zone. Relight sequencing times are based on geographic location of the infrastructure. However, critical customers, such as hospitals and medical facilities, are being prioritized.

The rupturing of the gas line affected many communities, was spread over a large area and left thousands of people without heat. They are hoping to get everything restored by this Wednesday. We have friends that have been affected by this and many businesses, including restaurants, had to shut down. Schools were also closed, including the one my grandson Steven goes to. Hopefully he will be able to go on Monday. Stores sold out of all their heaters and were scrambling to get more ordered and shipped to them. One of the hotels still has heat, but their water heaters, the swimming pool and kitchen all depend on natural gas. They slashed their prices and brought in a whole truckload of portable hot showers for their guests to use. Since there are so many without heat in our area, they were trying to do this to help the community. Here is the reality of the situation, so many people absolutely panicked. They did not have electric heater as a back up source of heat and were stumped at how they would cook for themselves. Luckily there were kind people on hand who gave them ideas like using their microwave, crockpots, air fryers and instant pots, along with gas grills (outside) to make meals. Many of the restaurants around them shut down, and they had no clue as how to cook food for themselves. Yes, this happened in the two college towns that I live near. The lesson that we should all take from this is to make sure we have an alternate source of heat or a way to power our pellet stove in my case (we have a generator and lots of gas), a way to cook if we lose power to our homes, flashlights and lanterns, extra blankets, candles, matches, canned and ready to eat foods, water, and pots that you can use on your grill or even over an open fire in your firepit or rocket stove, or have a camp stove with plenty of fuel to use.
On a more "smelly" subject, please also have an alternative way to use the bathroom because the water pressure may go way down too. We have several heavy buckets on hand and thick bags to line them with. I still need to get a foam pool noodles and cut it to fit around the edges of the bucket to make it a bit more comfortable for using in an emergency.

On that note, I will close this post out since Jeff will be home soon from work. I hope you all have a blessed weekend and stay warm and dry. My love to you all!
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