Saturday, April 27, 2024

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 4/26/24

   Jeff and I have been super busy this past week.  We took a trip up to see his aunt on Sunday and to start cleaning out her home and getting the things out of there and down here that she wanted to keep.  Chris, Heather and the boys came up to meet/visit with Aunt H and she was delighted to see Chris as a grown-up man and meet his family.  We went over some care and legal matters with her and Jeff was named Power of Attorney, with Chris being a backup if needed.  Jeff is Aunt H's favorite nephew and Chris knows the medical side of things, so they were both the best options in my opinion.  

   Chris and Heather were an amazing help getting things out of Aunt H's place.  She has some great artwork pieces from other artists, as well as some that she did herself.  We also took her computer, the rest of the family pictures, some furniture that she wanted to have us keep for her, financial documents, the television set, and some nick-nacks that mean a lot to her.  She gave us a list and we followed it and then picked out more things that we were sure she would want out of there and added those to the bins that we took up to store it all in.  The biggest item, her car, was given a good jump start.  She gifted the car to Chris and Heather so that the boys, Bradley and Isaiah, could share it when they got their driver's licenses.  What a generous thing for her to do and we were all very touched by it.

   Other frugal doings:

~We stocked up on baking supplies before the prices go up again.  We had been down in the valley and found that prices at Winco are cheaper there than up by us.

~Jeff and I ran into a dear friend that we had not seen in years!  Years ago, she and her husband ministered here in our town and our kids got to be good friends.  She and I became very close friends too and it was hard when she moved away.  We are able to give each other hugs, get caught up on each other's lives, and share great memories.  What a blessing it was to see her once more since I had been wanted so badly to see her and had just been thinking about her moments before.

~I bought 4 beautiful Geraniums on sale for $1.99 each and am going to try my hand at propagating them.

~Meals were eaten here at home, or, if we were out, we bought a sandwich to share from Winco.

~I found a Ninja Turtles walkie talkie set on clearance at Walmart.  This is a gift for one of our hanai son's birthday. I also found a gift bag to put it in at a thrift store.

~Jeff and I went to watch Bradley and Isaiah's baseball game on Wednesday.  We took popcorn and our drinks with us.  Jeff also gave Heather's dad a box full of some screws that he can use.  He was blown away by how many there were and only took one of the two boxes full.

~Jeff also found someone who wants to buy some of the drywall screws that he has here from that pallet of screws and nails he bought for $50 from work.  He is going to charge them $25 for them which is a great deal for them and gets Jeff back half the money he spent.

~Jeff bought a new taller toilet from work and of course got his employee discount on it.  We needed to replace the toilet in the guest bathroom.  He will be installing it this weekend.

~I bought some steaks on sale and will be repacking most of them and freezing them for meals at a later date.  Steak is something that we can rarely afford, so when I saw the amazing price on these, I jumped on it.

   Now, an update on Remmie, or Miss Hiss, as I have nicknamed her. 😉 She is settling in more and more each day but cannot be left without supervision.  She tried to jump up on the curio shelf with my grandmother's teacup and saucer no, that is not happening!  When we leave our home to go somewhere, Remmie has to go into the guest bathroom where her food, water, liter box and her cat bed are.  She is not happy about this arrangement, but sadly, it has to be done.  She is getting more and more loving with both Jeff and I, but will hiss at us when she is told no or just randomly.  He and I are learning to ignore her when she does this since we are sure some of it is attention seeking behavior.  She still gets lots and lots of lovies from us both and is slowly learning what the rules are in our home since she basically ruled the roost in Aunt H's house.

   Be blessed all and have a great weekend. 


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?