Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A Phone Call, A Family Reunion, and Remmie.


   Life has been so busy and we thought it was starting to slow down, when we got the phone call.  Jeff's aunt needed us and we dropped everything to go up and be with her.  Arrangements were made to take care of our cats and I quickly made a hotel reservation.  Jeff and I packed an overnight bag and headed up her way.

   We had a wonderful in person reunion with her (it was supposed to have already taken place but we did not have a vehicle to get to her until we bought the new one since the truck was also having issues).  Lots of hugs, tears, memories, and the starting to make plans on how to handle things.

   The main concern, and rightly so, was her beloved cat, Remmie, who is a beautiful 18-year-old Russian Blue.  Remmie needed to be rehomed and we told Jeff's aunt that we would take the cat before even meeting her.  Upon meeting Remmie, we were greeted with lots of vocalizations, figure eights around our legs, and the need for lots of lovies.  Jeff's aunt had been concerned that Remmie might hiss at us and even bite or scratch us.  There was some hissing, but only when we had to get her in the kitty carrier to bring her home with us the next day.

   There were other things that needed to be taken care of and we were able to get a few of them done, but will be going back up again with our son Chris to pick up things from her home that she wants us to keep safe for her.  Chris will get to see his great aunt once again, since he has not seen her since he was a child.  His great aunt is very excited to see him again too.

   If I may, let our family be a lesson in how lies, jealously and deep hurts can tear a family to shreds, but there is hope for reconnecting with other family members who have also been victims of all of the above.  People, who were innocent, have been blamed for things they did not do, and that led to further divisions within the family.  The past two days, more lies were brought to light, and I think we all realized that so much time and energy had been wasted for all these years.  As for us, and for Jeff's beautiful aunt, we are just so thankful that we never gave up on reaching out to her and that now she knows the truth, that we always have, and always will love and want her in our lives.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

My Oh My!


   I am beyond exhausted and just want to find a warm spot in the sun and take a nap!  So much has happened over the past few weeks, and I have felt like I was in either "push it to the max" or drowning mode.  We have had medical emergencies including a late night run into pick up Steven from the emergency room where Rachel was for the second time within a 24 hour period (it turned out to be a very nasty and painful stomach virus that mimic gallbladder trouble, she is fine now thankfully) and bring him home with us and then get him back into his town for school the next morning.  We have had horrible news about our car and how much it would cost to fix it.  The fix is more than the whole car is worth, so we had it towed home and decided we would contact a salvage company to come and get it.  Jeff and I have both been battling sinus issues and our backs have been really acting up but gardening season is upon us, so we could not let down.


   We finally decided to bite the bullet and start test driving cars.  The first two we test drove were not our favorites and Jeff did not even fit well in either with his long legs.  The salesmen there tried every high pressure gimmick they could though to get us to buy one of them though.  We walked away from them and their nefarious ways!  I saw a Subaru Forrester that I thought would work for us so we went down to see it and before we could even get the keys to test drive it, Jeff saw the Chevy Impala above.  Jeff was sold on it!  We took it for a test drive, they took our Ford Flex in for a trade in (and they are going to pay to have it towed), and we also put some money down, so our payments are around $200 a month.  That is more than doable, and we will be throwing extra money at the payments to pay it off early.


   I've been trying to stretch the money like I stretch a chicken!  Above its meals 4, 5 and 6 off a roasted chicken that I got from the Walmart deli that was marked down to $3.32.  The first two meals were chicken legs, thighs and one of the chicken breasts.  Oh, I also made a chicken salad for sandwiches, so that would be meal three.  I then took the remainder of the chicken and put it in a shallow crockpot along with some water and a little chicken seasoning and let that cook overnight.  That gave me a rich broth that I cooked the cheese tortellini in while I picked the chicken off the bones and put most of it back into the pot.  I did save some and put it in the freezer to add to some soup later.  I also made some udon soup with green onions from our garden and made Jeff some crispy chicken sandwiches for dinner another night.

   Jeff and I stripped out our strawberry bed in the side garden and since we had to cancel our trip to see my parents because of all the car issues, I put out a post on Facebook that I was looking for some ever bearing strawberry plants.  A dear friend said she had some and that I could have all that I wanted.  Upon our arrival at their home I was met with the cutest little dog who wanted nothing more than to love on us and at least 12 raised beds of various types of strawberry plants.  We got ever bearing for the side and are trying some June bearing in the front around the bird bath.  Luckily Jeff had our side garden bed ready for the plants and he was I both worked on getting them in after I got dinner started.  We had a 30 minute window to get them planted and watered in while dinner cooked and we just made it!  We were both really sore with our backs aching and mine having locked up to the point where Jeff had to help me stand, but we did it and hopefully will be rewarded with at least a small crop of strawberries this year.  I am dreaming of more fresh strawberry topping for pancakes, waffles and Angel food cakes. 

   That is about it for now, I need to get the taxes all signed, copied and sent off in the morning after having finished them today.  I have a feeling that today was a rough day for Jeff at work and I did not want him to have to help me again with them tonight.  Anyone else think doing taxes is a real pain? 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/8/24 and 3/15/24



   Our oldest grandson Bradley, pictured above, is now 12!  We are so very proud of our incredibly smart, creative, kind and yes, still sarcastic and quick witted young man.  He does not like seeing people left out of things and is our 6 year old grandson Steven's favorite cousin because he always goes out of his way to play with him.  Steven absolutely adores him!  He is a "country kid" and loves hiking, hunting, exploring, camping and playing baseball.  He also is getting really good at driving.  Again, country kid and it is very common around here for kids to learn to drive early to help out on farms and such.  He was and remains our favorite anniversary gift ever!

   Our car remains in the shop waiting to figure out all that is wrong with it and hopefully, it will be cheaper to fix it than have to buy a new (used) vehicle.  Good news is that Jeff's Social Security was finally approved and we had 2 checks deposited into our bank account!  We have no doubt that most, it not all, of it will be spent on the car repairs or purchase of a new to us vehicle.  We can live on just what Jeff makes at his part time job thankfully.  Now onto a 2 week Frugal Friday Wrap Up...


Week 1:

~I found some marked down fried chicken at Winco for half the regular price.  That made 4 meals for Jeff since he loves fried chicken. 

~I had a "feeling" that we needed to stop in at Goodwill because there would be something golf related there for Jeff that day.  There was, it was a brand new golf glove in his size.  We rarely see those there.  I also found a beautiful Fall themed throw blanket with a pumpkin and fox print on it.  So very pretty and will become part of my Fall decor since I keep a basket of blankets in the living room for anyone to grab and cuddle up under.

~Jeff and I have been binge watching the various "Traitors" shows from around the world on Peacock. It is interesting to see how people react to each other as they try to figure out who the traitors are.

~Pantry pulled meals are what is on the menu this week.  Jeff got a package of ham slices out of the freezer and I used half of it to make Fettuccini Alfredo with some of the dehydrated zucchini from our garden boiled along with the noodles.  Very yummy and made for 2 meals!

~Chris borrowed a trailer from another one of his friends to haul our car over to our mechanic.  He traded his truck for ours to haul the car and took the truck our home with him since he used our truck to tow the trailer with the car on it.  We will trade him back when we go over for Bradley's birthday dinner next week.  I gave him $50, which he reluctantly agreed to take.  I told him to buy the guy who he borrowed the trailer from some beer and use the rest to help pay for gas for his truck.

~I tried something new with the sourdough discard.  I made some everything bagel crackers and did a long ferment on them.  So GOOD!!!!

~More homemade washcloths and a scrubby pad were crocheted on Monday while I watched some television.

~Tuesday we had leftovers for dinner.  It had been one of those days when I just had to rest both physically and emotionally since my nervous system was overwhelmed.

~I had some leftover coffee at the end of the day so I made an iced coffee as a pick me up as my energy waned.

~Homemade biscuits and sausage gravy with a side of fresh pear slices was dinner on Wednesday.  Comfort foods at it's finest.

Week 2:

~Jeff and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary over the weekend.  We ended up going out for lunch (much cheaper than dinner).

~I found 3 feather pillows for the living room for $1.99 for the smaller one and $2.99 for the two larger ones.  I have been trying to change over all of our living room pillows to high quality feather ones. Yes, this was at the thrift store.  I also bought 2 shirts for .75 each.  Jeff found a pair of work pants for $5.99 also.

~Jeff chose teriyaki meatloaf, rice and corn as our anniversary dinner here at home.  I also scrubbed up some potatoes that needed to be used and baked those alongside the meatloaf.

~Six of the baked potatoes were used in a huge pot of veggie chowder.  This gave us many meals!

~Our family celebrated Bradley's 12th birthday on Tuesday.  Can you believe he is a "tween" now?  I started this blog when we found out that we were going to become grandparents for the first time.  We all had a wonderful time together!  Oh, Chris sent me home with 3 bottles of beer since he was not fond of them.

~While at Chris and Heather's for Bradley's birthday, we filled up a large garbage can with well-rotted chicken poop and bedding.  This is going into our garden beds and will be worked in well.  Free fertilizer is always welcome!

My best find of the week, hands down, was a Magic Mill food dehydrator.  It was $34.98 at Goodwill.  It looks brand new and has the silicone drying sheets and screens with it.  I price checked on Amazon and they are welling for around $200 there.  I had been wanting to replace one of my dehydrators that has seen better days.  I was so very happy to find this one!

~Jeff got all the fruit trees and the berry bushes pruned and cleaned out.  That man works so hard for us!

~Our dryer decided to make an awful noise!  Jeff took things apart and found out the squirrel cage had gone out again.  We picked up a replacement part for it and Jeff will be installing it this weekend.  Luckily for us, we have our clothesline so we were able to get all the sheets dried out there.

   So there you go, another 2 weeks' worth of savings, bargain hunting, trouble shooting, gardening, cooking and 2 very wonderful celebrations of in our family.  As always, family is our main focus, for family is the greatest treasure here on earth that God has ever blessed us with.  We also continue to try to build up and expand our gardens, our food preservation tools and our skills here at home.  Be blessed my dear friends.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/2/24


   Hello all.   I am trying to get this post actually up on the day that it should go up.  I'll count this as a win thank you. There is so much going on in our lives right now and the stress of it all continues to take a toll on my health.  I know, I know, so many people say I have to not let it, but it does, it is just part of how I am wired.  We got news this week on our relative's health and it is worse than first thought.   The cost to fix my car keeps climbing as more things are found to be wrong with it.  We did get a bit of good news amongst the bad though. We were able to talk to someone in the Lewiston, ID Social Security Office and he sent to message over to the Auburn, WA office about there being no movement on Jeff's claim since January 4th.  That apparently helped to get them to start actually working on said claim.  Thank goodness the claim for benefits is retroactive because we will need those funds to help pay for the repairs to my car.  Now, onto the frugal doings...    

~Chris came over with a trailer that he borrowed from his police chief to haul my car over to the mechanic in the next town over.

~I have been trying to build up our at home library with books that will help us be even more independent food wise and live a more frugal life than we already do.  I picked up a book on foraging and a book on retirement for .99 each at Goodwill.

~I found a beautiful gray throw blanket at Goodwill for $3.99.  Jeff found a cover for his windshield to keep snow and ice off it and a Seattle Seahawks shirt.  He used a 20% off coupon on the most expensive item.

~I made several batches of sourdough and cheese crackers and also a batch of Everything Bagel crackers.  They have become a favorite here.

~More sandwich bread was baked.

~We stocked up on more bottled water.  We had a situation in our town recently where our water was injected with way too much chlorine.  It smelled like a swimming pool whenever you ran any water.  I am so glad that we have a Berkey and lots of bottled water on hand.

~Jeff and I finally got my hair cut.  I feel so much better now.

~We had a nice facetime visit with Josh.  He is up for a great promotion and from what he is hearing, he will be getting it.  Lauren is also applying for another job and we are praying that she gets it.

~Heather's parent gave us a beautiful gift of a honu (turtle) with a meaningful design on its back wood carving that her father Bruce made.  He is an amazing artist and is finally selling his carvings.  I will treasure this gift and it will go down through our family as an heirloom for generations to come.

~We had Steven spend the night with us this past weekend while his parents had a date night and went to see the musical "Stomp".  We had so much fun with him!

~We are eating out of the pantry, fridge and freezer for the most part.  Jeff has been helping me more with making meals since he is semi-retired.  He made us pancakes for breakfast on Monday.

~I was feeling rather stressed out on Tuesday while my car was in the shop.  Jeff and I headed into town to pick up a few things (we took his little car to save gas).  I found 2 beautiful coffee mugs, a gorgeous little vase ( I had been wanting one that size to put roses from my garden in), a Wizard of Oz book that had the complete first 5 books in it (gift for a grandson whose birthday is coming up), a beautiful Thomas Kincaid print with an inspirational bible verse that is a much needed reminder that God is always with us (beautifully matted and framed) and 2 shirts (on clearance for .75 each).

~We stopped at Grocery Outlet after the thrift store and found a 20oz. package of refrigerated chicken and herb tortellini on clearance for .77 (that became dinner once we got home with a homemade garlic butter, parsley and spinach, dehydrated from our garden last Summer) sauce.  That made for 2 complete meals for both of us.  We also found a party sized package of mozzarella sticks for $3.99.  I could not even make them from scratch for that price!  Gala apples were $3.99 for a 5 pound bag, so we got some of those too.  They had our new favorite coffee there for $5.99 a large can so we bought 2 of them.  We picked up a few more items to round out our pantry and I feel like we are set for awhile now. 

*******************************************************We picked up my car from the our mechanic and he did a great job replacing the CV joint and fixed another issue he came across.  Unfortunately, upon driving my car home, the transmission decided to act up big time> UGH!  Jeff thought it was just the CV joint causing the issues but now we know it was a multitude of problems.


~I made a menu up based on what needed to be used up ASAP so that we do not waste anything.

~I had to cancel our planned visit to my parents and brother due to the car problems.  It broke my heart to have to do so, but we are still planning ongoing to see them when we loop up to them in late April after going to see Josh, Lauren and the littlest grandkids.

~I had avocados to use up so I made a big batch of guacamole with them.  I had that with tortilla chips for dinner on the night that Jeff had his bowling league.

~My husband blessed me by mixing up some chicken salad and made us chicken salad sandwiches for dinner on Wednesday night while I took a shower.  It was so nice to come out to dinner that was made.

~Walmart is being hit with a class action lawsuit over prepackaged organic fruit and prepackaged meats saying they weighed more than they did.  I just filed with the settlement claim for a check for $15 because of all the meat I had bought there from 2018 to 2023.

      As you can see, we have had quite the emotional ride.  Prayers would be much appreciated for our relative and our finances also.  Jeff and I continue to try to keep the budget low for things we can control, and we do take advantage of good sales and things when we find them.  I still am in shock at the price we found the tortellini for.  I just wish there had been more than one package so I could have thrown a few in the freezer for future meals.  Since Jeff is at his bowling league tonight, I think I will look and see what kind of flower seeds I have here on hand.  Then I can dream of where I shall plant all those flower seeds once it is time to do so.   I am so looking forward to Spring!  

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lots Going On...


      Well...Um...I know I say this a lot, but wow.  We have had so much going on and my head is just swimming at this point.  Sometimes I feel like I am just trying to tread water and keep my head above the waterline.  We have had some heart-breaking news in our family, and also a much prayed for reconnection with a relative that had been deeply hurt and cut out, as we have been, by some within the "other" side of our family.   This teeter totter of emotions has been exhausting.

   While all of this has been going on, we are also dealing with my car having issues.  My car is now in the shop.  Our new mechanic played t-ball with our boys all those years ago, which is making me feel very old.  My mother gleefully pointed out that yes, we are old.  She got a real kick out of being able to point that out. 😆  Yes, we have a very warped sense of humor is our family and I am glad that she got a good giggle out of the situation.

   Added to all of the above, we are still waiting for Social Security to approve Jeff's application.  He applied on January 3rd.  We were told that it should have been approved by now, but if it had not, to call the local office.  We have tried to talk to someone in the local office, but have been put on hold and waited for 1 1/2 hours yesterday and today, they can't even give us an estimate of how long we will be on hold and were told, via a computer, to call back another time.  UGH!

   So yes, things have been a bit crazy around here with all that is going on.  Some of it is good, and some not at all.  Hopefully we will have another answer to prayer relating to the heartbreaking news and things will turn around there.   I just wish we were living closer to that relative so I could help care for them.  




Friday, February 16, 2024

Valentine's Day


My Valentine's day was filled with a rather painful follow up medical screenings at the hospital, followed by wonderful news, and an emergency visit to see Dr. Ellis, followed by the removal of a molar that I had broken badly. The staff at the hospital in Colfax were amazing, as was Dr. Ellis and staff at the Whitman Dental Clinic in Colfax. We also got to visit with Katie Ellis and her adorable little boy who looks just like his daddy (Dr. Ellis). We have known Katie since she was a little girl and we love her dearly! We also had a short but fun visit with our friend David Farmer. Jeff took me out to lunch between appointments and to do some thrift store shopping. We also got a phone call from Jeff's cousin Alan about Jeff's aunt and Jeff reached out to her. Thanks to Alan, we are now reunited with her and are so happy to have her in our lives once more.
God has a way of turning things around and removing obstacles. I am so very grateful for those HE has placed in our lives and for my very loving, calm and caring husband who is there for me and holds me when I am scared and prays with me. All in all, it turned out to be a very good day!

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Bike:1 Isaiah:0, Frugal Doings and Some Thoughts


      Bradley and Isaiah were supposed to spend Tuesday night with us.  A few hours before we were due to pick them up, Heather called to tell me she was on the way to the doctor with Isaiah who had a rather bad bike crash.  She thought he might have broken his arm right above his wrist.  A trip to the doctor and then to the hospital for x-rays showed that yes, he had indeed broken his wrist.  Thank goodness it was not on the growth plate.  Since it was not a really bad break, they splinted it and will see if it is healing well without a cast to begin with.  Last night Heather loosened the splint because it was bothering him and she was afraid he would have trouble sleeping.  This morning he apparently forgot that it had been loosened and promptly told his mom, and I quote "Mom, I can already feel my muscles atrophying because my splint is loose".  LOL!  Yes, his parents are both EMTs and the boys have grown up learning things right alongside their parents.  Bradly even had his own emergency medical kit and knows how to make a splint and use a torniquet.   Isaiah is in good spirits and the pain meds are working.  He told me yesterday that this was going to get him out of writing because of where the break is on his hand he writes with.  Silver linings and the bright side of things is what he has come away with, along with the broken arm.  Gotta love his take on life. 😁 

   Last Friday Steven spent the day with us and we made it all about him.  G-pa and Steven made paper airplanes and gliders, built with Legos and even made a paper chain lei for Preston, our oversized piggy bank.  We had to run a few errands and then stopped at McDonald's for lunch, where they also have a play area for the kids.  There is an Air Hockey table there, so Steven and G-pa played a game on that, both really enjoying themselves.  We hit a few more stores and Steven got some more treats before his mom met us to pick him up.  Having G-pa home when Steven is here on a weekday is new for Steven and he was soaking it all up!  It just filled my heart with so much joy to see the two of them having such a wonderful time together.  💖

   Now for some frugal doings:

~I bought some more heavier duty thin and tall Tupperware containers to store some of my baking supplies like powdered and brown sugar in.  They will take up less shelf space and keep things dry and fresh.

~I was lacking bigger containers to store soup, casseroles and such in the refrigerator.  Dollar Tree has some of their largest containers in stock.  They were going very quickly and I was so glad that I was able to grab one.

~I found a bag of Ball brand shaker snap lids that go on canning jars so you can use them for herbs, etc. to shake on things.  The whole bag cost m $1.99 at the thrift store.  Major score!

~Some other goodies I found at the thrift stores were 2 t-shirt that had some funny sayings on them (one will be going to Jaysn), a 5 pack of brand new and soft peach colored washcloths which I will be using in our bathroom and putting the older ones in the "clean up dirty messes" basket, a large glass jar with lid for storing pasta in, and some books.

~Since we are were on a no spend January that turned into a low spend January, I have been very careful about using up what we have on hand food wise.  Our grocery bills have been under $100 for the month and yet we have had some amazing meals.  I've been using things up from the freezer and pantry.

~Breads, crackers and baked good treats were all baked and enjoyed here at home.

~I finished up making a crocheted dishcloth out of cotton yarn.  It had been sitting there unfinished since before Christmas.  It felt good to finally just pick it up and within 15 minutes, have it done!

~We found and bought a new large print study/devotional Bible for Jeff at the used bookstore.  The one we had bought previously had been put out by the Jehovah's Witnesses and had some things in there that did not align with our beliefs.  

~I gave Jeff a haircut.

~Oh, I found a fun game called 5 Second Rule, that again, say it with me folks, I found at the thrift store.  I can't wait to play it with our family and friends.  We are having a Superbowl party at Jaysn and Rachel's and I will be bringing this game for us to play.

~While cleaning out things, we came across some items that we thought Heather might want, so we offer them to her.  She was delighted and took all but 1 item, which I will now sell.

~Jeff and I watched lots of movies on Paramount and Peacock.

   Now for some thoughts...I don't know about you but the illegal migrant situation is totally out of control  in my opinion.  Just this morning I saw a video of some attacking police officers in New York.  One of the men caught has several prior arrests for  assaults and robbery since coming in illegally to our country.  And here is the kicker, the court let him go...again!  Why was he not deported? This is a man who is also getting free housing, a phone, money, and being fed by our tax dollars.  This just infuriates me! We also have a known terrorist who waltzed across the border and made threats against our country.  How many others are also here?  How many gang members, drug and and human traffickers, how many sleeper cells that mean us harm are scattered across the country?  This is what happens when our laws are not allowed, by the powers that be, to be followed and our border control agents have their hands tied so to speak. It is a disaster and a dangerous situation to ALL Americans.  I know that I have to state this again, I am totally onboard with legal immigration, but not this!  And now we have a ongoing standoff in Texas between our federal government and Texas, along with 25 other states, and many, many fed up US citizens.  I just pray that this will not lead to violence and the implementation of martial law.  I do think that is what some in power really want though...continuing to destroy our country from within.  Sadly, I have lost trust in our government and  many individuals who have proven themselves to be liars, cheaters, and self-serving bigoted people who are only in government to get rich and who have no loyalty or love for our country.  They don't care about protecting us here or our military serving overseas.   And yes, I realize that by publicly stating my opinion, I am putting myself at risk of being on some list somewhere (if I am not already on one).  So be it.  

Friday, January 19, 2024

Polar Vortex, Frozen Pipes and Incoming Freezing Rain


   My poor birdbath has been through the ringer.  First we had a Polar Vortex that left the water in it frozen solid and then the snow came, lots of snow.  Now we are expecting freezing rain, right in time for the afternoon/evening commute.  Just lovely....not!

   We had the Polar Vortex cause us to have below zero temperatures here on the Idaho/Washington Palouse.  Many people had water pipes that froze and burst.  Luckily, we just had the hot water pipes going to our master bathroom freeze.  The cold water pipe still worked though.  Thank goodness the pipes in the rest of the house were okay and we have a second bathroom that we had hot water in so we could still shower.  The kitchen hot water also remained working.  Yesterday the hot water pipes to our master bathroom finally thawed out so I was able to use the shower in there this morning.

   During the Polar Vortex, we were going through 2 bags of wood pellets a day to keep the house warm.  We did plan ahead and bought a Buddy Heater in case we lost power.  We also have our generator if needed.  Even with Jeff home for 10 days, we did not get a lot done because we spent most of our time cuddled up under cozy throws and blankets near the pellet stove keeping warm.  Jeff also had a sinus infection (which he finally went to the doctor for), so he was not feeling all that great before he got his meds.  

   Jeff is back at work today and will also work tomorrow, then start his new work schedule next week.  He will be working 3 days one week and 2 days the next, rinse and repeat. 😉  We are still waiting to hear from Social Security on his claim, but we do know that they are processing it.  We planned ahead, so financially we will be fine if it is delayed a bit.  Since we are also doing a "no spend January" other than needed things, it is saving us a lot of money.  We are eating out of the pantry and the freezers for the most part, just supplementing here and there for some fresh fruit, veggies and a few other items.  I'm glad we are because 1 1/2 bags of groceries the other day was $70, and we did not get that much!  The only meat we bought was some salad shrimp, and those were marked down.  I divided that package up into 3 smaller portions and froze them to use in salads.  Each portion is about $1.10 this way.  

   Earlier this week, we had our friend Roni, who is like a sister and is also our kids "other mother", up for dinner.  I made some lemon chicken pasta with chicken that our Chris and Heather grew and processed.  She brought a nice bottle of wine.  Both the wine and the dinner were really good, but the company was even better.  We talked for hours and laughed about so many things. 😆  She is one of those friends that you can always pick right back up where you left off, no matter how long it may be between visits.  Hopefully we can make those visits happen more often though...we have all missed each other.

    I had better get going, Chris just called and I need to talk with him.  He has a lot going on and just needs to talk.  Poor guy is so busy and just exhausted.  Be blessed all.

Friday, January 5, 2024

It has Finally Come to Fruition!

                 Come Celebrate with Us!!!! 

   After years of dreaming and planning, buckling down and paying off debt, we have finally been able to do it.  Jeff talked to his boss got the thumbs up from them and we filed the paperwork to get the ball rolling with Social Security.  Yes, Jeff is going to semi retire!  He will start part time at work on Monday! 😁

   I cannot even explain how happy this makes both him and I.  I can see a huge weight has been lifted off of him.  He has worked hard for 50 years and yes, he deserves to be able to relax a bit, pursue some hobbies and spend more time with our kids, grandkids and our extended family, along with our friends.

   In typical Jeff fashion, he has already made a list of things he wants to accomplish here at home before Spring hits.  At the top of that list is clearing out the garage and making that into a nice woodworking workshop.  He plans to build outdoor benches and chairs from wood pallets and sell them.  He would build them and I would paint them.  He has built them for us and for our kids who live near us and everyone who sees them comments on them.  I do think they would sell well.

   Of course I am beyond thrilled that I will have my best friend home with me more often.  To be perfectly honest, I desperately need help with keeping up on the house and garden (when it is gardening season) and I will need help with canning in the upcoming canning season.  I also really miss him when he is gone at work.  Yes, I also enjoy and need some "me time", and I will still get that.  

   We have already started a list of things we want to get accomplished, places we want to explore, and people that we want to go and visit.  I see many more camping trips, picnics, going to visit Josh, Lauren and the 2 youngest grands, spending time watching the 2 oldest grandsons playing baseball in the Spring, G-pa and Steven time during the Summer when Steven is here once a week, more grandson sleepovers,  and going to spend time with my parents and brother at the lake.  We are looking forward to more time spent BBQing and then spending Summer days having lunch and or dinner out on our screened in porch.  We will also be able to go for boat rides up the St. Joe River with Chris, and I think hubby might enjoy doing a ride along with him one day or evening at work. 

   So yes, we are continuing to buckle down financially and will be trying to live on just Jeff's part time work or his Social Security checks alone.  I know we can do it.  We have run the numbers and, with having all but one debt (which we will be paying off within 4 months) gone, it is possible to do this.  Our frugal ways have served and will continue to serve us well into retirement.  Oh I am so happy and so is Jeff!