Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A Few Smiles Today

 Today just a quick post to share a few things that make me smile.  There are so many every day.  Take time to smile and be happy.  These are random and in no certain order and sure don't encompass  everything.

                                             Simple little garden groupings
Can you see it? (center of pic)   Mr. Groundhog!  I know it shouldn't make me smile - but it is so funny to see it frolicking all over the yard.  (Sorry not so clear - taken through window and screen)
      Family - my big brother and my sis (and me).  She is now 90 and he just turned 80.
                          Things are starting to grow and make the world pretty again.
                                            Blackie - "you can't see me - I'm napping"
      Babies!!!!!  Just one of my gr. gr. nieces!  We have a lot of babies in the family right now.
                                  Squirrels and birdies make me smile everyday!

Of course - my family and friends make me happy.   ALL my kitties make me happy.  Nature and all it's glory makes me happy.  Hearing the birds makes me happy.  Sunshine days make me happy.  Waking up and being given a new day by our Creator makes me happy.

Take a moment and think about what really brings a smile to your face.  Forget all negative today - just SMILE!!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Beans - A Wonderful Protein

 I know there are many who can't eat beans due to allergies, and that makes me sad.  Beans - legumes in general - are such a great protein source and they are so very frugal and versatile.
I love beans of all sorts. 
Beans can be eaten as a stand alone dish,  in soups, casseroles and stews, can be eaten with grains, can be turned into replacement items (bean burgers), used in salads and on and on.

Here is a list of various beans - I am sure it is not complete in any way!  These are what we most often see and keep on hand.  I think I have some of most of these!

BLACK BEANS (or turtle beans) - small dark colored.  Can be used in most ways - but popularized by South America.  Can be used to make vegan burgers!

BLACK EYED PEAS (Cowpeas) - Creamy white with a black eye.  Particularly popular in the southern states.  "Hoppin John' is a great dish.

CHICK PEAS (Garbanzo) A nut like flavor makes them a favorite of mid eastern dishes.  Great roasted and eaten as a snack.  Mixed with tomatoes - make it a fun southern dish.  Mashed and turned into a dip (hummus)

FAVA BEANS - looks like a lima bean on steroids!  Kind of nitty flavor - yet kind of meaty.  Excellent flavor

KIDNEY BEANS - Deep red beans used a lot in chili.  Can be used in anything.  Great when mixed with other types.

LENTILS - Unlike other beans these do not need presoaking before cooking.  Great substitute for meat meat in casseroles and soups and even burgers

LIMA BEANS - Flat broad beans in a variety of sizes.  Great by themselves and excellent in casseroles and rich soups.

PINK or PINTO BEANS  is a relative of kidney beans and can be eaten in many ways - good to make refried beans

SPLIT PEAS - available are available in green and yellow.  They have had their skins removed by a mechanical process.  They have a relatively short cooking time and don't need to presoak

WHITE BEANS  - often called great northern beans, navy beans and marrow beans.  Very mild flavor - used in may types of soups and even in baked beans

When purchasing dried beans - they can be kept in the pantry for a long time.  I like to keep in glass jars - but have many tucked away in deep pantry in buckets.  They can be cooked on the stove - which can take a while or they can be cooked in a slow cooker.  I have done that many times.
They older the beans get - it does take longer to cook.  Some say they never get completely softened - but I have used beans that were several years old and just cooked a little longer.  
I also figure - if I am hungry and all I have is beans - I don't think I would care if they weren't perfectly soft!!

Beans, beans the musical fruit.......  LOL!  We have all sang that little diddy!  Yes, they can create gas in many humans.  I always add baking soda to my soaking water - then rinse and add clean water for cooking.  However, I still add a bit of baking soda to the cooking water as well.  I know there are lots of ideas on how to rid the beans of gas.  If you have a special way - let us know!!!!!
Also I like to add about a tablespoon of oil to cooking beans - as it seems to keep them/the water from foaming.

Beans are a perfect food for preppers to keep on hand and for those of us who just want to be prepared for anything.  They are a huge source of protein and can take the place of meat.
I bet many of you don't realize how much protein they contain.  I didn't until I did a bit of research.

They contain way more protein (1 cup cooked) than 1 cup of cooked rice or 1 cup of cooked spaghetti or 1 baked potato.  Actually they contain more of all the basic vitamins and minerals than these other options for all aged groups.  So why not use beans instead??

They contain more protein per pound than so many meat items that we use.  The items that are basically higher are fish (especially tuna and halibut) and Swiss cheese!!  Beans contain more protein per pound than eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, beef, lamb, and even pork.
AND did I mention - they are CHEAP and FRUGAL!!!!!

If you can eat them - it is one item that should be kept in all pantries, especially those deep pantries for emergencies.  I know a common thought is - well, if we have no power - how are we supposed to cook?
There are ways - I have cooked many a pot of beans over a campfire while camping.  Many people can beans - that way you can really just open a jar and eat as is if necessary. 

So think about this frugal and highly nutritious  item to add to your preps.

"Beans, beans the musical fruit... the more you eat the more you TOOT!"  LOL!!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up 5/2

 My oh my it is May!!!!  Hard to believe. Haven't done anything in the gardening way as of yet - will wait a couple weeks.  By then temps should be stable.
Weather wise it was decent this week.  We did have lots of wind and one pretty darn chilly morning (and frost).  It looks like this coming week will be pretty soggy and just average temps.

The other day I walked into the bedroom and looked out back - and what did I see?  I wasn't sure at first - then I got the binoculars out to see up close.  OH MY!  What a beautiful bird at the feeder.  My first time that I have ever seen one in my yard in 34 years.  Maybe they have been here, but God never graced my with seeing it.  What a beauty.
                                              Rose breasted Grosbeak - not my picture

I have a new gr. gr. niece!  Yes, she was brought into this world a few weeks early - but she is beautiful and perfect.  Layla Grace!  

My week:
  • My neighbor changed out the idler pulley bearing and belt on the Blazer - the whining noise is all gone!!  I didn't ask - he volunteered to do it.  He gets bored a lot and looks for things to do.  Nice for me!  He plans on doing a couple other things on the list
  • I went to a small wedding.  Glen's only nephew got married on Sunday.  He lost his Mom (G's sis) 3 months to the day of Glen's passing - so he and I have kind of bonded.  It was a very small and simple affair - but it was so them!!!!!  It was lovely.  It was held at a barn type facility at a horse farm - such a lovely place.  I wasn't sure what reception would be like - so I didn't eat.  It was cake - and a wonderful cake!!  (OOPS I did stop and got fast food on the way home - yes I did!!)
  • I went to the cemetery after leaving the wedding.  Glen, Mom & Dad, Brother & SIL are all there.  I had flowers with me to decorate.
  • Mowed and trimmed entire yard
  • Worked on cleaning out fence/drive space (it's about 4" - length of drive).  Cut back ornamental grass, trimmed bushes - there is sooooo much to do
  • My neighbor kitty corner across the street called to see if I wanted a red metal chair - she was going to give to goodwill and thought maybe I would like it - because she knows me and colors!  Yep, I took it.  Right now it is on the deck, outside the greenhouse (so I can sit and visit kitties) - but it may change.
  • I went to Kroger and did a good stock-up.  I replenished and added to canned meats, instant potatoes (just in case), cat food (they had on the shelves this week), fresh veggies and fruit and some frozen veggies.  The store stock was great - all shelves were pretty full.  I keep hearing on places with no milk - the dairy section at Kroger was full!
  • I filled all the feed bins with stock on hand.
  • Vacuum, dust, general cleaning.  Laundry, using what I have, scratch cooking, just all the normal stuff.
  • Watched some You Tube that was different.  Watched a few vlogs of Frugal Queen in France .  Love the accent - she is working at it just like us.  Saw videos on very expensive and terribly small living spaces in NYC.  They call them apartments - nope - they are boarding rooms IMO.  Share all bathroom facilities with many others and have 100 sq. ft. space.  NOPE that isn't an apartment.  Also watched about Monster buildings in Hong Kong.  Oh my - they just made me shiver.  Tiny spaces in huge buildings.  I kept thinking what happens if the elevator stops or there is a fire.  Oh shiver!!!  It sure is interesting how other people live.
  • Made a list for Aldi and Dollar Tree - hope to go to these places soon.  Been a while on both
  • No heat or AC this week and much fresh air

Meals this past week:

Big Mac - yes indeed!!!!  It was so good - haven't had one in ages
2 veggie and cheese sandwiches (used hamburger buns)
Tuna salad sandwich and chips
Burger, salad and chips
Fish soft tacos
BLT and a side salad
Mex. veggie topped rice - rice topped w/spicy beans & corn, cheese and ranch

Rice topped with veggies and cheese - no meat.  Tasty!!  Will use leftovers in a burrito with other stuff!

What is going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you getting decent weather?  Staying frugal?  Any good deals or finds?
Look forward to hearing from you all.

May you all have a great week and stay safe and healthy.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of the present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of the wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:11-12

Friday, April 30, 2021

BOOKS - Health (as promised)

 I will post a couple pictures of the books I have read and learned from over the years.  None of them are new - they have been around a long time - but they contain so much useful information.
You can click on the pictures to see better.

I have these as part of my permanent library and will never get rid of them.

As we go forward, I will try to make a post now and then of some of the wonderful information that some of them contain.

Hope this helps.  They are so basic and good, I sure hope they are still available in libraries or to buy.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Nature is the Best

 I have been asked about what I do for my health that is natural.  I do a lot of things - but will list a few today.  There are so many things that this earth gives us that is so very helpful for our health.  Our earth is awesome.  God has said that he has given us everything we need on the earth - I believe it.
I am not against conventional medicine, as I know many depend it and use it.  I - however - try to stay away from it.  We all use our judgement and have our own opinions. 
I am in no way trying to change someone's mind nor am I criticizing - so I hope everyone follows suit.

I eat lots and lots of carrots and beans.  Tomatoes have to be a favorite of mine.  Fresh fruits and veggies are just so healthy.  I like fresh as often as possible as we have not cooked anything out of it.  Ever tried eating fresh green beans or asparagus?  I love both!!!!  Sounds crazy - but I prefer the taste of fresh.  There are not many fruits and veggies I don't like.
I eat oranges or drink orange juice absolutely every single day - fresh Vitamin C!!!!!!  I do keep vitamin C around - just in case - but fresh citrus is just something I crave.

I keep honey around all the time.  IF I would start to get a sore throat - that is my go to.  A spoonful of honey soothes and heals the throat.  (honey has been used since Biblical days).  I take turmeric capsules every day and often times tart cherry capsules.  
There are certain foods like broccoli that are great for cancer patients.  They contain natural chemicals that boost immune system.  (Do your food research)
I use garlic and salt all the time as well as onion which is healthy.  I know many who swear by black coffee for migraines (or Coke which isn't natural) - it is the caffeine that helps I believe.
I sure have used cloves in the past for a toothache.  Boy does it numb!

Herbs and vitamins of all types are great for the body.  I keep Aloe Vera capsules, gel and juice on hand 100% of the time.  It is so very healing both inside and outside of the body.  If I am having belly issues - I drink the juice and take the capsules (have given to my cats as well) and I keep the healing gel on hand for skin abrasions of all sorts.  Healing time is minimal when using it.

I keep Echinacea & Goldenseal on hand always.  IF I start to feel like I am getting a cold or something, I start taking immediately and it never gets very far.  I use Echinacea once a day with my cats as well (outside cats).  Sometimes kitties get colds or get an infection - they heal in no time.  I sprinkle a little in their wet food and mix in.

I also keep and use CBD oil.  It truly helps.  It is an anti-inflammatory.  If I have over done it or just have back/muscle pain for whatever reason - I take it.  I use this on my Momma cat as well.  She sometimes gets inflamed gums (she is old) and this prevents it.  Again I sprinkle in wed food once a day.  Many people do give this to pets - especially older animals or big dogs that have hip problems.  It is amazing how well it helps.
I know some find CBD - voodoo medicine - but it works & it is natural.  When hubs was here - it made a tremendous difference in the pain he had in his back and legs (from sitting and not being able to walk).  He received so much relief.  I have sprained and strained muscles - and the relief was  wonderful and quicker healing.

I take Vitamin D3, Vitamin C (if I have no fresh citrus),  and Vitamin E every day.

I keep many other things on hand for occasional use IF I feel like I am getting ill in some way.  Reishi mushroom capsules are always in my herb cabinet - they help immune system.
I use fresh herbs from the garden and 'weeds' that are beneficial as well.
I grown thyme, chives, lemon balm (makes great calming tea), mint (great soothing on bellies).  I pick and use purslane in salads - then there is nettles, dandelion,  and many others.

Natural health aides is something everyone should look into.  I mean even modern day aspirin came originally from willow bark.  Our ancestors knew all the things to use.  The early people of our lands knew what to use, where to find it and how to use it effectively.  Then big pharma took over and started putting a lot of chemicals in our bodies - and we followed along.

I agree there are diseases that needed that big pharma fix - natural didn't help.  
Don't get me wrong I am not anti  medicine.  Not at all.  There are times and things that are necessary.

Take time to do some research - you may be amazed.  A healthy diet can make a world of difference to our every day lives - we each so much processed food/junk and that can't be good (we all do it).
There are many natural items that truly do offer relief.
I hope this answers a few questions, as to what I do.

****  DISCLAIMER - I am not a medical person and don't advise you to stop your treatments/medications without great research and knowledge.  You do you and I will do me!!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Common Sense - It's How to Save $

 I have mentioned before that my ancestors were Amish.  I don't know if it is possible to have daily practices and ways in our genes - but if so - I DO!  Things were obviously passed down from them to grandparents and then to Daddy and to us children.  However, none of us thought about or were told it had anything to do with being of Amish descent.  I don't know that Daddy even knew we had Amish ancestors.  I found out on my own after he passed.  How crazy is that?????

Whatever it was - we all were taught to be mindful and frugal with our dollars.  How to do the best we could with what we had.  Maybe that came from being passed down OR maybe it just came from not having much!  Either way, it has become engrained in us - as my siblings are the same way.

  • Avoid debt and charge cards if at all possible.  IF you have debt - get it paid down quickly.  We  all have had debt at some point - but it is important to pay extra and pay down quickly if there is any possible way.  The Amish loathe debt - and try to avoid it all.  If they need a business loan - their first priority to pay it off quickly.  When you owe others - your money is never yours!
  • Grow, barter, glean whatever you possibly can.  If there is any way to preserve it in some way - do it!  Not everyone can have a garden - but perhaps look for ways to get fresh goods cheaply and use those.  End of day at farm markets, road side stands, friends/family, glean, food banks, etc.
  • Be as self sufficient as possible (I am not talking off the grid).  Know how to do stuff!!!!!  Take care of your own.  The Amish can MAKE about anything - cleaning products, baking goods, cooking from scratch, gifts, making clothes, quilts, gardening, compost, great craftsmen, etc.
  • They enjoy enjoy EXPERIENCES instead of stuff.  Have a picnic, play games, go to the swimming hole, take walks, enjoy nature, etc.
  • DON'T waste - and fix everything!   Find new uses for stuff instead of putting it in the trash.  Food, peels, etc.. can be compost or animal feed.  Use leftovers in new ways.  If something breaks, figure out how to fix it.  We have become such a throw away society - it is pitiful.  Either fix something or figure out something else that will do the job!!!!  Heck if the tea pot sprouts a hole - you can heat water in a pot.  No need for a microwave - use the stove.  You get the idea!
  • Don't pay retail - and shop at second hand shops.  Look for sales and clearance whenever you can find it.  Thrift stores and yards sales can be your friend!!  Let someone else pay the high price and you get it for pennies!
  • Buy in bulk when possible.  The Amish do this a lot and they split the deals amongst family or neighbors when they can't use it all in a reasonable timeframe.  This way you get a great price and you are also helping others
  • KNOW the difference between wants and needs!!!!!  HUGE  You need basic food to live, but you want the expensive deli items.  You need shelter for your family - but you may want a home that is too large.  You need food - but you want fast food.  See - we all have weak moments.  Yes, sometimes it does the body good to get a WANT - once in a while it is fine - but don't over do it. If we always do without those wants - it is a chore and we feel discouraged - so splurge once in a great while
  • Buy quality.  Quality will last and last.  It is better to spend extra to get a nice item than to replace it over and over.
  • Stay healthy!!!  Do all that you can manage to stay healthy.  Use natural and herbal remedies if you can.  Learn about these things.  It may not be something that is realistic in your case - but knowledge is golden and can help someone you know.    I have been very fortunate as I still take no medications and only take herbs and vitamins.  I work on staying healthy - that is huge for me.  Diets, lifestyle, herbs and vitamins are big factors to staying healthy.
  • Make gifts and novelty items for others.  I love getting something homemade - many do.  It can be food, canning items, crafts, candles, you name it.  
Living the simple life as many seem to think the Amish do - is NOT simple.  Hard work and determination  is what their lives are each and every day.  It is the life they choose - but it isn't always easy.  The work ethic they seem to have, should be bottled!!!!!!!  I don't agree with a lot of things that the Amish do - but that work ethic is wonderful.  I wish more had it - we would all be better off.  So many just want to take what they can get and find shortcuts to having  things - I find that sad.  
Good old fashioned hard wok, determination, and striving to be the best you can be - is what makes it all good!  

The greatest gift we can take from our ancestors is BE GRATEFUL!  Grateful for every little thing you have and you acquire in the world.  It may be things, food, home, abilities, knowledge or the people in your life - be grateful for them.
Life offers us many gifts and we need to be more aware and more appreciative.

Use common sense and you will find you become a frugal person.
Make the MOST of what you have.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Changes - Ups and Downs

 We all have many changes in our lifetime that we deal with.  Some are good and some are bad.  Ups and downs.  Most of us have re-invented our lives a few times.  It could be from anything.  Marriage - divorce.  Job/career changes.  Having children.  Loss of loved ones.  Moving to new locales.
We fall down  -  we get up and dust off - we fall down  - we get up....... repeat, repeat, repeat.

It takes a lot of work.  Life is work!  If you want to gain the good things and enjoy the wonderful things and have great relationships - it takes work.  We each work hard to build out little slice of the world and have happiness and peace.

We each and every one have the opportunity to change the future.  You can make your life better - never think you can't.
Things happen that we have no control over, that is true - but we can handle how we react and behave.  Sometimes things happen that just plain suck.  We can wallow in our pain and sadness or we can get up and make the best of the situation we have been given.  It is up to us!!!

In all these life changes we see, we have to learn new things and new ways, we have to become more independent, we may have to become more self sufficient.  We have to grow.  Is it easy??  NOPE!
Nothing worth having is easy - it is work.  It is worth the work.

You will get tired and feel defeated.  You will get sad.  You will get angry and upset.  You will feel these things at some point in life.  It is OK - we all do it.  
BUT - remember - when you can move forward a little and make a new accomplishment happen, you will smile!  You feel a bit of peace and happiness.  THAT my friends is what makes it all worthwhile. 

Every day that you are given is a gift - make the most of it.  I know many people are going through bad things and have worries and problems.  Sadly, that is part of life.  We truly wouldn't appreciate the BEST days if it weren't for the bad ones.
There will be new BEST days for sure.  Not the same as the old best days - but best days none the less.

Despite all the wickedness, sickness, poverty, and uncertainty there is in the world - there is still GOODNESS around every corner.  Hunt for it, find it, and enjoy it.
Life is precious and one of or greatest gifts - LIVE and SMILE.

**PS - I know there are others so tired of all the negativity in the news and media - just like myself and I want you to know you aren't alone.  I just want my little corner to maybe lift someone and be positive.
Let us spread love and joy together!