Sunday, February 25, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 2/25

 Hello to all.  Here we are on the last Sunday of the month AGAIN! Daylight hours getting longer each day.  Less super cold and more warmer days (at least here).  Flowers are popping up here and there.  I have daffodil greenery about 4" above ground.

The bed sure felt good this morning.  I have had a few nights of some really strange dreams - not sure where this stuff comes from.  I was laying there this morning all relaxed, and the kitties kept trying to get my attention - then I felt this gentle patting of a paw on my nose!!!  "Mom - it's breakfast time!!"  LOL.  Yep - you know when it's time to get up!

We had a really nice weather week for the most part.  Rain (lots of rain) came in and boom it got cold again.  Saturday morning we had very cold temps and flurries!  That after a couple days before we were in the upper 60's!  We are warming again, then another day or two of coolness.  At least the colder days are less.  The moon has been big and bright the past several evenings (when I could see it).

                                                                        Nature's beauty
This past week:
  • I had a long lunch one day with grade school chums - BJ's Brewhouse.  So much laughter and memories (about 25 of us)
  • Checked all the fluids in my Blazer and cleaned all the windows (here at home)
  • Flea meds for the kitties (had on hand)
  • Lots of laundry - used dehumidifier water in a load
  • Got to air the house a few times
  • Received a lovely gift in the mail from a friend
         A lovely devotions book, 64 assorted tea bags, and a sweet magnet!  Thank you Laurie!!!!!
  • Froze parts of 2 different meals made this week - for later
  • NO grocery shopping at all - "shopped" from pantry instead
  • Cleaned my jewelry
  • Cooked up a pound of ground beef and froze half for another time
  • Using pantry and freezer for meals - tried using all odds and end up in some way
  • Finally organized and straightened the upright freezer a bit.  Found some items I forgot about - I am good on most items.  Feeling blessed.
  • Used a jar recipe I had for blue berry muffins.  I chopped and added the last few strawberries I had and added them.  Instead of making muffins - I made it like a cake.  So tasty to have on hand
  • Had a REALLY long conversation with sis this week and got caught up
  • Just doing all the normal things we all do around the home
Meals this past week:
Leftover beans & rice and sauteed portobella mushroom strips
Loaded nachos
'Stoup' from freezer and added leftover nacho cheese to it - crackers
Out to eat
French bread pizza using what I had on hand
Fish sandwich, oven fries and side salad
Baked spaghetti, side salad
SNACKS - fruit, strawberries & ice cream, nuts, cheese, muffin cake

I have extra French bread pizza and baked spaghetti in the freezer now for another day!

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?  Are you getting any 'better' weather than all the winter nastiness?  Spring cleaning?  It is less than a month until it is spring here in the northern hemisphere.  Some count March 1 as meteorological spring.  It won't be long.  Of course, many of us have the unappreciated time change coming up soon as well!

Debby and Frances thinking about you both!  Please check in.  

I hope this finds each and every one safe and healthy.  May you have a great week ahead.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Dear Lord, thank You for our many blessings.  Please continue to be with us, as we need You in our lives daily.  None of us are perfect, and we slip and fall from time to time, and need You there when we get back up and go forward once again.  Hold our hands and continue to place Your loving hands upon us all.   AMEN

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Value of Moments

 Happy Thursday to all.  I hope this finds you all well and safe.  We are expecting rain and stormy weather today for a while - but it sure is warm outside this morning!

We talk a lot about frugality and finances here.  Getting the best deals.  Using things up.  Ways to save money.  Growing and gardening.  SO many things.  I just want to make people aware (especially those just starting) that there are other things that go along with all this.
MOMENTS - there is great value in moments.

Isn't this sweet?  A friend of mine posted this picture on FB the other day - and I loved it.

Mindset is so valuable.  You need to watch your actions and your finances - but you also need to put value of MOMENTS.  They can be the most valuable thing you have.  They are the simple joys.  They make you feel safe, warm and beautiful.
There will always be bumps in the road (many of them), there will be rough edges, but you can still enjoy a simple life in so many ways.  It can soften everything.

Whether you call them blessings, moments, smiles, life, etc. they are special.

Example - last week I had several special moments that made me realize how special life can be.  I met with old friends and enjoyed a day of laughter, I got to be with family and welcome someone new into the family, I was out on the day bad weather was coming in.  I had another person with me - I made it home as the snow was starting  and got settled in before all the nastiness grabbed hold.
Watching and listening to the kitties do zoombies around the house - they are so funny.
This week I got to join in with another group of old friends for a delightful time.
I get to watch and enjoy nature.  I am comfortable in my little home and feel so blessed.
I have wonderful family and friends.

Those things are worth more than all the money and material items in the world to me.

Take time to sit back and enjoy the moments in life.  Don't get yourself stressed with all the financial issues you may be facing, just relax now and then.  It can change your attitude on many things.

Grab a nice beverage, pull up a chair next to the window and just watch and listen. Give praise for what you DO have!  Enjoy the little things - they really aren't so little.  When it comes right down to it - they are the big things.

Laughter, smiles, nature, a hug, a helpful hand, a warm sunny day, a comfy bed..... these are all special.
I sit here typing this listening to all the birds chirping like crazy.  My kitties are cozy and safe.  
I just feel life is so much more than the money we talk about all the time.
Just giving a little reminder of that.

ENJOY your MOMENTS today!!!

                                       I want to enjoy and relax in this blissful sort of way!!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

More Use It Up ....Hedging Inflation

 Here we are mid-week again.  It is a beautiful sunny morning here. Today will be lovely.  Hope this finds you all well and safe.

Today will be a few more ideas to USE IT UP!  We are at a point in time, that anything we can do to hedge inflation, if just a tiny bit, is important.  It is also very important to pass our knowledge on to others.  Many ideas and ways have gotten lost over time - I think those of us that still do them need to educate others!!
It really could help someone out in the best way.

Yesterday cloth napkins and linens were mentioned in the comments.  There are other uses beside being used as napkins.  I get them super cheap at yard sales or thrift stores and have all sorts of them.
I use on some of my chairs to keep the kitty hair off the cushions!  Yep, they love the chairs and the chairs are a pain to vacuum and clean.
Here is Bitsy modeling this technique!!  LOL.  It sure helps keep the seat fur free and they are easily washable.
Use as simple little table covers.  You can use them to line baskets as well.  SO many uses.
You could find some unusual ones and utilize in a quilt or bed cover as well.  Great resource of material for pennies.

When making potatoes - don't throw away those skins!  Once washed and dried, spritz with oil and a little salt and bake until crispy - super tasty chips for FREE!  Those of us of a certain age remember when loaded potato skins was a huge thing at restaurants.  We paid good money for those!!  You can make them at home.  Clean and dried skins - top with cheese (whatever you have) maybe some bacon pieces and bake.  Very tasty, and free.  The skins contain vitamins as well!

Watermelon rinds - pickle them! That is a pricey delicacy when purchased.

Apples - keep those peels and cores when you use apples for pies, etc.  You can make jelly with them, you can make vinegar, you can also sprinkle with a little sugar and bake the skins for a yummy treat.
Click on pic to enlarge for easy reading!

Tomato skins - when canning tomatoes - save those skins.  Dehydrate in dehydrator or low oven until dry and crispy.  Grind in a processor or coffee grinder until it is a fine powder.  Makes great added flavor for soups and casseroles.

Old bread - not moldy - but stale.  Dry even more and make breadcrumbs for coating foods.  You can make bread pudding, croutons or dressing cubes.  French toast is another good use or just toast it!
I use for grilled sandwiches as well.

Garden decor and projects - you can use things you have and not spend any money.  I like eclectic things in my gardens - it makes it fun and whimsical to me.  I know that isn't for everyone.  I have an old red metal bed headboard in the center of my back perennial garden.  It is a flower BED!  LOL.  It is a cute accent.
I have used an old wagon that has rusted to hold my many rocks and fossil rocks.
I gave my neighbor a lot of the good wood from tearing down the ramp out front.  He is very crafty.  Well, he used some of it to make seats for his firepit and made myself and others accent benches for our gardens.  So, I still have a bit of the ramp.
Old wood from other things can be made into birdhouses or feeders.  You can make raised garden beds, or any kind of yard displays.  Many people use old skids for the wood.  Many very neat ideas can come from used wood.

Ladders or step ladders can be used in gardens.  Great for flowerpot accents (set those pots on the steps of a step ladder) or use ladders as a trellis.  Just because you can no longer use the ladders safely for climbing, doesn't mean something else can't climb on it!  Paint them bright and pretty colors!
Paint some rocks for the garden or for flowerpots.  Big ones for accents or small ones for cute.  This is fun to get the youngin's involved with as well!
Broken flower posts can be broken more and used as drainage in the bottom of other pots.  Make a frog refuge in your flower garden with a broken pot on its side!
Big pots with cracks or leaks can be laid on their sides and planted - to look like a spilling pot of flowers.
Old statues or wooden or metal chairs can be used in gardens.  Just get creative.  It is getting to that time of the year!!

Cardboard was also mentioned yesterday in the comments.  It makes a great ground cover/weed preventer in the garden or flower beds.  It will eventually decompose and help the dirt, it allows water through and keeps the water in the soil safe from evaporation.
You can use boxes in many ways in the house for storage as well.
They can be used in the pantry area for storage.  Use what you have or what you are gifted.  Shoe boxes make great small storage for spice jars, seasoning packets or any small items.  You can always wrap the outsides with plain paper or old gift wrap to fancy up.

Gosh, we can go on and on.  There are just so many ways to USE IT UP!  
I just hope this gets those creative juices going.  Maybe someone has seen something that can help them.  Everything is so expensive today and finding something you already have to RE-use is wonderful and saves money.  It also saves things from the landfill.
Check out free neighborhood pages or listings - you can get things for $0 very often.  Share and barter.

Good luck and happy creating and reusing!!!!
Have a beautiful day!

PS - Frances you are on my mind.  Hope you and your husband are ok - please check in!
Amelia and Elise hope all is well with your moms.  Let us know.
You are all in everyone's prayers and thoughts.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Use It Up ...............

 Howdy all.  Hope you are all well and safe and warm.
Today we are going to talk about using it up!  We have all heard the saying - use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!  Well, it really is a good way to live.  Not only does it teach us how to be good stewards of what we have, but it saves a little money and helps the environment.  It also just makes sense!  If we stretch things to the max and get every ounce of use from them, we are also stretching our dollars.

I know we have talked out this before, but reminders are always good and maybe someone new will see something they never thought of.  We are here to teach and help - hopefully this helps.

I believe this saying with all my heart.  We have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring, what life may dump upon us, how our finances can change - it is all uncertain.  Knowing what to do IF it happens is important.  I like knowing that I have 'practiced' all along the way and that I will be OK.  

We talk about stretching food a lot.  There is so much you can do with food and leftovers and bits and pieces.  You just need to get creative.

Those bones from any type of meat - can be cooked in a big pot of water to make great stock.  You can also throw in all those scraps from veggies - to enhance it.  Freeze or can this - and you have fully natural broth/stock to use in your cooking!
Whatever is left after that can be composted or dried and ground into free garden nutrients.

Use those leftovers in different ways.  Leftover veggies/meat can be made into soups, casseroles, stir fry, fried rice, added to pasta or rice - the list is endless.  Shoot, unless highly seasoned, you can even make pet food.

Oranges or citrus - it isn't just for eating!  Eat the fruit, juice the fruit - lots of vitamin C.  BUT you can use the peels as well.  You can zest and freeze for special recipes.  You can candy it and eat - that stuff is expensive to buy.  Candied peels not only taste good to eat - but it is great in hot tea or coffee or a warm cup of cider.  It can be used in potpourri.  You can use the peels for a great smelling natural cleaner (also helps keep ants away).  You can compost.  The fruit that just keeps giving.

Water!!!  Yep, you can use it again!  If you are cooking pasta or veggies - you can use that water (strained) to water plants.  It contains lots of nutrients.  Now if you use salt or vinegar in your water - you don't want to water plants - but you can pour over compost or you can pour on weeds.  Keep that water that just 'goes down the drain' when showering (or warming water to do dishes).  Keep a bucket in the shower to catch it.  Free water for plants, bird baths, pets, flushing, cleaning etc.  I dump my scalding canning water on weeds outside - it kills them quickly (plus it has vinegar in  it).
Some places have water troubles - it is good to use it in another way.

If you are throwing away clothes that cannot be donated - use what you can.  I keep buttons and good zippers.  Also, elastic.  You can cut those items up and use for rags for cleaning.  Keeps us from using so much paper.  Grandma always had a button box - so did mom - guess what?  I do too!!!  We should all keep those odd and end buttons - they can replace one on clothing or they can be used in crafts.  SO handy.

Baskets - they are pretty and they can contain about anything.  Books, kitchen towels, napkins, TP, crafts, spices, plants, toys, anything you can think of.  Depending on how big they are - they can hold throws.
                                                                           Pet toys!
                                  Any shape or size - can be used in some way.  Get creative.
Your baskets don't have to be just the pretty ones.  Keep those baskets from farm markets or orchards.  They can be turned in handy garden aides (carry your garden picks), or they can hold packets of seasonings.  They can carry items from basement or pantry to kitchen or other rooms.  They can be turned into gifts.
I have gifted more items in baskets than I can count.  I generally place a couple (thrifted) checkered napkins in the baskets (hanging over sides) - then fill with home canned goods or make a spaghetti dinner basket, pizza bake baskets, home baked goods, coffee/tea baskets, etc.  There is no limit!!

Old towels can be cut, and edges sewn to make wash cloths.  They can be used for pet bedding, They can be used as rags.

We could go on and on today - but I will stop for now.  There are just an abundant amount of uses for just about everything out there!  Use it up!!!!!  

A simple life isn't always an easy life - because living on less takes some work and thought.  But it sure can be a fulfilling life.  You can feel good about knowing you got your money's worth out of something - you kept it from a landfill - you saved a little money - and you are just being a good steward.
Learn to live on less now and IF or WHEN you HAVE to, it won't be such a culture shock.
We have become such a consumer driven world - people push it.
I say have self-gratitude for 'what you have' and don't feel the need to keep up with others.
It is all a mindset - you get to the point it is just LIFE - not "oh, crap I have to do without this week"

I will offer some other ideas to extend and stretch more items again this week.
Take a deep breath, look around at what you have, and use it and make it work for you!
Have fun and have a wonderful day!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 2/18

 Good Sunday morning to all.  I hope this finds you well and safe.  I woke to another very cold morning here - it is in the teens.  We went from a warm (open doors) kind of weather to cold and snow in a matter of a couple days.  We got our biggest snowfall of the entire winter on Friday!  At my house I got about 4"-5" of snow.  It is pretty!  Yesterday despite being very cold - my drive pretty much melted with all the sun we had.  I made a few swaths across it with the shovel and it heated nicely and melted.
It is supposed to warm this week again, so just a roller coaster of weather.  SOON warm will be here to stay!
I saw my first red winged black bird of the season last Sunday and it has made an appearance every day since.  The chickens are back!!  Yep, they showed up again, and back to wondering.  They did stay home once the snow came - but I am sure they will be roaming again soon.

Isn't this pretty?  It is a Valentine that Cookie made for me.  I love the depth/dimension of the card and it looks so old fashioned. Thank you again!

This week has been emotionally frustrating.  I have learned a keen lesson, that you can't please all the people all the time.  It was just frustrating, as I was asked to be precise with an answer and I tried to answer as delicately and honestly as possible - and it still upset people.  Maybe to the point of leaving.  Worry does not suit me well - it only frustrates me.  So, I choose to concentrate on my many blessings I had this week.  God has a way of showing us things and turning things around - so I intend to move onward and upward with head up and shoulders back. 

My week:
  • Lots of laundry including ALL the bedding.  Used dehumidifier water in the laundry.  Changed out bed linens completely - nice to have a change of scenery!
  • Had lunch with many of my old friends from high school.  That is always fun. Even met a couple new people.
  • Went out and picked-up trash that has blown all over the place.  It has been windy, and people do not secure their trash properly - so I picked up from all around my area. Nice exercise too!
  • Got to air the house a bit this week
  • Scoured all the watering holes outside - the birds and stray cats sure do appreciate the water, especially in this cold
  • Ran out and got 2 cards and gift bag at dollar tree.  They still have some cards 2/$1, but many are now 1.25 ea.  Still cheaper than elsewhere.
  • Ran into Kroger to get strawberries on sale.  1 lb. for 1.88 and they were beauties!  Huge, red and sweet!  I found 6 bagels on clearance for .99 and 2 huge Portobella mushrooms on clearance for 2.39.  That was it.
These were just so pretty and tasty

  • I put the spring door decorations out on both doors - then 2 days later it snows!!!  LOL
  • Changed out a couple missed/forgotten batteries.  I usually change out at first of year - missed one smoke alarm (it let me know), the thermostat started flashing - so changed that one, and my bedside clock started running slow.  Had all the batteries on hand.
  • I received a letter this week and I wrote a letter in return.  We just don't do as much snail mail as we should.
  • I went to a bridal shower/brunch for a soon to be new niece!  It was a lovely family get together.
  • Just doing all the normal stuff we all do - cooking, using leftovers, and cleaning
Meals for this past week:
Stir fry leftovers and slaw
Dbl. cheeseburger and oven fries
Out to lunch - McAllister's - had a club wrap - boy was it tasty!
Made a charcuterie board for one - fun and good
Sliced beef sandwich and fresh veggies (beef from freezer)
Brunch at family's house - 3 different quiches, potato casserole and lots of fruit and goodies
Red beans and rice with little smokies

                               Charcuterie for my meal - meals can be fun, easy and tasty too!

How was your week?  Did you get snow and cold again?  Any good deals?  
I hope you are all had a good week.  Please check in and let us know how you are doing.  Linda at Practical Parsimony - hope you are OK.  Haven't seen you post any replies or new things since Wed.
I look forward to seeing what everyone is up to.

Have a lovely and safe and healthy week.  Prayers and thoughts to all who are undergoing personal problems in their lives and health issues.
Sending blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.
Love you guys!

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

Lord, help us keep our hearts full of understanding and compassion and love.  Help us each grow and not get weary of doing good. We all have our best intentions questioned at times, and we often grow weary - help us all stay strong.  We know we are never alone, as You are with us.  Thank you and the harvest we reap will be the reward we receive for being faithfully Yours.  To Your glory, Amen.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Kitchen Tips!

 Good morning to all.  Hope this finds you well and hope you enjoyed your yesterday!
Just a couple meme's on some kitchen tips.  Always nice to have these useful ideas on hand.

It is always nice to have a new tip, recipe or ways to do things.  These are not the only ways - but a good sampling.  Hope you find something you can use.

Those of us alone, often don't want to make full recipes.  You can cut down any recipe for a smaller batch. (click on pic to enlarge).
I cut back a cookie recipe last week and made a small batch.  You can reduce just about any type of recipe.

Homemade dressing is so easy and tasty.  No chemicals or preservatives - just your ingredients.  You can adjust and select the ingredients you use.  These are basic ideas - but always remember that nothing is written in stone.  Adjust the herbs and flavors to your taste.
I have done oils and vinegar with seasonings for years.  Just so flavorful.

I have done every one of these at some point.  
I think the pasta trick is just super helpful.  I can almost bet every single one of us has over cooked pasta.  Just a bit of oil (regular or flavored) and fry the pasta up.  Gives it back some texture.  No need to waste - when there is a fix available!
These fixes are just using what you have at home and can remedy a bad situation!

So there you go.  Waste not!  Have fun with your cooking and your food.  

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Enjoy Your Day

 Happy Wednesday to all.  It is Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday.  
I do not celebrate V Day - haven't for many, many years.  I have never attended Ash Wed. services.
I know many do celebrate and I wish you all a great day.

If you celebrate with another - have fun.  You can keep things simple and lovely at the same time.
A meal at home, a special dessert or just cuddle time.
If alone, do something nice for yourself.  Give yourself a spa night at home, or buy yourself some flowers at the grocery, or make a yummy you don't usually have.
As for me, I will be home just chilling with my kitties.  Nothing special going on.

Years ago, we decided to stop spending good money on the many days that indicate we do such.  They seemed to be money traps to us.  We bought what we wanted when we wanted.  We had no need to wait for a special day.
And for showing love - that should be an everyday thing.

If you desire to do something special - look at doing something for someone in need.  Donate to thrift stores or shelters, help with a food pantry, donate somewhere.

Have a lovely day to all!

My mission is to promote the older ways of living and to lead others to a simpler and somewhat frugal lifestyle.  If this isn't for you, please let us that do - enjoy ourselves.  We do not need to defend or explain ourselves to others.  Thank you for following along and for your 'positive' ideas.