Thursday, January 20, 2022

Kind of Throw Back Thursday!

 Funny, all the talk about bread got me to thinking back yesterday.  The silly things that trigger memories!!  So today I will share a few thoughts from days gone by.  I bet some people can relate!

Every Saturday night my Mom made hamburger sandwiches (yes, on bread) and homemade French fries and baked beans.  We had that every Saturday I can remember that I was at home.  
She made her hamburgers different from most.  She made the patties and then covered them in flour before frying.  They were so good!!!!  I did that for years myself and somehow got out of the habit.  

We had 'supper' every night.  On Sunday we had 'dinner'!  It was at noon every Sunday and was a big meal.  Chicken or roast or ham and all the fixings.  I truly can't remember a Sunday that was just the 3 of us.  There were always others there to eat.  My Aunt & Uncle lived 2 doors down, so they were there often.  My cousins lived next door and they almost ALWAYS just "dropped by" at the right time!  Of course, my siblings came at times - it was always a big deal.  
In the summer - we would carry everything way out back and eat outside.  The guys would play horseshoes after, and the ladies and kids would play croquet.  I remember those days so fondly and sure do miss them.
I also remember mush of our dinner was things from garden, canned or frozen - and I remember how many times when extra people showed up - Mom would scramble to get something extra on the table and then exclaim how she really wasn't hungry - so there would be enough.  Bless her heart.

ME!!!!  In our old kitchen!
It got remodeled to a more modern kitchen when I was around 10 - but I always loved the old kitchen.  Our big old yellow and gray Formica table and yellow chairs, open cabinets, huge Chambers stove (I still want one of those!) and bright, bright yellow gloss walls!
I think back on helping Mom bake and cook in there.  My fondest memory was sneaking homemade noodles that had been laid out to dry.  I loved them!  LOL.  Or snitching a hot cookie off the table, just as they came out of the oven. 

Until I was 9 or 10, I took a bath in a galvanized tub.  In the summer it set by the back kitchen door and in the winter, it was placed next to the heat stove in the dining room.  Got that 'full' bath once a week and washed head to toe every day at the sink.  We had a sink and toilet in the bathroom and the tub was like a swimming pool to me!!!!!  I was so excited.  My Mom threatened me to not say at word at school about getting the tub!!!!  LOL!  Everyone else had all those 'modern' conveniences - so she didn't want me bragging.

We had a wringer washer until my teen years.  It sure was a lot of work - but it got clothes so clean.  I think we used that same galvanized tub for rinse water for the washer. (It sure had many uses).  We line dried everything - again till I was a late teen.  Then the dryer was only used in the winter for a long time. I remember as a child coming home from school during the winter and knowing it was laundry day.  All the windows were steamed up!!!!  Mom hung laundry from lines she put up every week in the dining room where the heat stove was.  The house was so humid - I used to hate those days!

Helping Daddy out in the garden was fun.  He and I would always go and get a tomato or even a carrot - wipe them off and sit under the shade tree and eat. He always had a saltshaker out there!!!  Helping to pick apples and grapes and then there were the raspberries!  Can we say chiggers???  
When Daddy plowed the garden, I would always walk behind him in my bare feet - loving the feel of the soft soil.  I still love that feel today and always walk through my garden barefoot after plowing!  Some things just never change!!

My first 6 years of school I walked to school.  Even when there was a huge snow - I still had to go to school.  Some kids rode buses, and they would arrive very late on the bad days - but they arrived.  I think I can only remember missing MAYBE one or two days of school because of weather during those 6 years.    Now we get an inch and we have to close schools!  
We wore dresses back then and in the winter on very cold days - we got to wear long pants UNDER our dresses.  That was the only time long pants were allowed until I was in my high school years.
My school was very old and had big rooms and lots of windows.  We celebrated its 50th anniversary when I was in 6th grade.  ALL of my siblings (all older than me) went there too.  It got torn down after I graduated.
My grade school.  I still have dreams about going in there and getting lost!  So many stairwells that went to different areas.  Many different entrances.  It was heated with old boilers via radiators!  Oh, how many crayons got melted on those radiators while waiting in lines!!!!!!!  LOL
*I got my first kiss behind this building!  It was just a peck - but I still remember it and him!!!

I remember in the summer, on a few hot evenings, the fire department (which was directly behind school) would come and string up some big metal ball and they would have 'games' of pushing ball from one end to the other with the hoses.  Those were so much fun - because the real reason for these nights, was to cool everyone off (no such thing as AC then).  The whole neighborhood would show up - kids and adults!
Lots of fun fish fries and carnivals happened at the school as well.

OK, I have traveled down memory lane - probably boring everyone.  There are just some things that never leave our memories (and I am glad).  I had so much fun during those days.
I was truly blessed with the family I had and the neighborhood I grew up in.  I even belong to a group of all those 'kids' from the hood today.  We keep in touch.
Sorry if I bored you in the throw back!

Do you have special memories that will always be with you?
I love stories!!!!!!  Please share.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Being Prepared and Flexible

 Tis the time that we are thinking about being more prepared.  We also need to think about being more flexible.  Some people are not.  If you can't find something or you run out of something, there is ALWAYS a substitute. 
No milk - use canned or dry or just use water! (Been there and done that).  No bread - biscuits, tortillas, cornbread, fry bread, etc.  No spaghetti - use macaroni or any other type of pasta OR sub rice or potatoes.
No fresh meat - use canned or substitute beans, peanut butter or cheese.  Protein!!!!
Use up those leftovers and scraps in soup.  Cheapest meal out there.

I still do this - not about being poor in my house.  Just smart.  Also great with gravy instead of biscuits or a side dish in a meal - stuffing/dressing, bread pudding, etc.   Also dessert or snack - sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar or coated with peanut butter/syrup mixture!!!!!  YUM!

I keep seeing all the posts about empty shelves at the grocery.  I live in the mid-section of the country and have seen little of it.  I have seen the occasional shortage here and there and perhaps limited brands of the same products - but no totally empty shelves.  I am sure that people aren't fibbing - they have to be seeing these things.  I always wonder about the pictures I see though, as most were not taken by the poster - so I wonder about time frame.  Was the store cleaning or repairing?   Were they getting ready to restock?  Was this a day after a holiday weekend?  Was this after a weather event?  I am always skeptical.
I am not a blind sheep - so it isn't that.   It just isn't experienced in my area!  I am grateful.

I understand in places like Alaska - such extreme weather there and everything is more expensive.  Foreign countries rely on cargo ships for much of their goods.   
I have always figured that shortages would appear first in the central section of the country - as things have to travel further to get here.  It would seem the coasts would have better stock.  It appears to be just the opposite from I see other people post.  I don't really understand.

There are so many reasons for shortages.  Cargo ships sitting, truckers, the big C, lack of workers, less production in past year or two, hoarding, gas prices, inflation, extreme weather, so many reasons!  
This is WHY we PREPARE!

I know this gets talked about a lot - but people seem to just keep panicking and that causes even more problems.
To be blunt SH*T happens!!!!!  It always has happened.  
I think back to childhood and the things my parents did to survive and to make sure we had enough!  People persevered and did with what they had.  They didn't complain - because most people were in the same boat.  They knew how to be flexible!  
I am glad I had good teachers.

The only area of a grocery store I have seen totally empty has been at the meat department at one local store - that has been in the fresh meat area (where you picked your seafood or steak) - not the actual packaged meat department.  That has happened because they said they are short staffed and can get no one to work!  That is another thing I don't understand!!!!  This place pays excellent wages!  Their other locations seem better.

I know that things changed over the past couple years.  Prices have gone up and employees have gone down.  It has been a struggle.  
My 2 local 50's diners that have been around for decades have both closed and sold in the past couple weeks!  
YET, every week I read about 10-12 new fancy restaurants opening up around the city.  Maybe I am just dense, but I don't get it.  I can't imagine they are opening up with a plan of going out of business!!

I guess all I can offer is - DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHEN YOU CAN!  Stock as you find things and deals.  Never let your guard down.  Always be prepared for ANYTHING!  Know how to substitute and be FLEXIBLE!

But whatever you do - do NOT panic!!!!!!  
Slow and steady wins the race.

What have you been experiencing?  I can't be the only one that doesn't see the extreme shortages.
DO you have your plans in place and do you know how to be flexible and substitute?
I am so curious!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Ways I Made Extra Income

 I well imagine we have all came up with some creative ways to make extra money in our lifetimes.  I know I have.  Today, is about some of the ways we added 'income' even if it wasn't really considered a job!

I worked all my adult life in accounting and human resources.  There were times that I needed to supplement some extra income to help the budget or because I was between jobs.
In the late 70's - maybe early 80's, I did a 2nd job in retail, which was actually kind of fun.  I worked in women's clothes department.  
I also did a second job as a consultant for at-home parties that sold lingerie!  Yep!  LOL!  It was kind of the same plan as Tupperware and Home Interior - just lingerie.  No there was no modeling! LOL!
While single I worked a 2nd job selling earrings and piecing ears for the Earring Tree.

I used to do a lot of crafts of all kinds - I painted tons of plaster craft, made wreaths, decorated sweatshirts, made jewelry, etc.  My friend and I did lots of home shows and we participated in a lot of craft shows and bazaars.

I was a prolific couponer  for a long time.  No, it wasn't actually making cash - but it kind of was!  Back in the day of double and triple coupons, I got tons of things for free.  That was just extra money in our pockets.  I used to amaze G with my hauls, and he would brag about it!
My best was a weekend triple coupon event at a local store.  They tripled all coupons up to and including .75 ones.  You were restricted to one trip per day (had to use shopper card) - I went 3 different days.  My best buy was close to $400 worth of product for sales tax.  Tax was only applied to non-edible items.  I seem to remember it was less than $10.
I belonged to coupon clubs at the time and received coupons from other states, and my mailman used to bring me all the extra coupon fliers from empty homes on his route!
I did great with that!  Coupons used to actually be good!!!!!!!

I also did surveys.  I belonged to a group that did surveys of all types.  Some were just products received free (no name shown).  You tried products for free and rated them.
Other times, I went to little seminars and watched and listed and gave opinions for $$$$$.  Most often these paid a minimum of $50 and some paid $100.  I rated china patterns, ideas for investing, decorating ideas, and my most memorable was for a product not yet on the market - the TV channel guide system!!!!!  I remember coming home after that one and telling G all about it - and he thought it sounded pretty neat.  Within 2 years there it was on our TV - cable channel guide!

I swear for the first several years of marriage, we never bought bread or sweets of any kind.  Glen had a friend that worked at Kroger - and he would call G at the street department and let him know when they were taking bread and sweets out back (supposedly for dumpster).  G and the guys would go and get all they wanted.  Heck one time we even got tons of frozen chicken and pork, when the high schools electricity went out.  Nothing was even thawed - we just got huge boxes of meat!  They said they couldn't serve - just because!  We lucked out many times.

Of course, there have been yard sales - many yard sales.  We always had plenty of stuff to sell.  G got tons of stuff from the trash (street dept. perk) that was perfectly good.  People just didn't want it.  He would bring it home and we would clean it up or fix little odds and ends and sell it.  Lots of times it was 'guy' stuff and that always sold well at our yard sales.  I think our best one-day sale made about $600.

We raffled off a car we wanted to get rid of once.  Sold tickets for $25 each.  Someone got a decent station wagon and we got money (more than selling it outright)!  G also raffled off a shotgun once - he made some pretty good money on that.  He wanted a new gun and didn't want to take money out of savings - so he made some money!

We sure got creative when we needed to.  Lots of times in life there was a need to just get by and pay off bills and other times it was a WANT that we earned extra money for.

What ways have you 'earned' extra money for things?  How have you gotten creative over the years?  What ways did you find that worked for extra funds? Any ODD jobs?
I think it will be fun to know what people have done.  It may help someone else out as well!
Let's have some fun!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 1/16

 Happy Sunday to all.  Here we are midway through January already!!!!   I hope this finds everyone safe and warm and healthy.  There has been a lot of nasty weather out there (all over) and cold temperatures.  I sure hope you have all managed well through it.

We have had cold days and nights and warmer days.  We have been in what the weatherman calls a "snow hole".  All the snow has gone around us.  We got just a dusting Saturday morning.  Mind you I am not complaining at all!!!!!!  It has gotten what I consider plenty cold here - but again I shouldn't complain, as it is sooooo cold other places.
We are halfway through meteorological winter and have faired quite well.  I think my count is correct - 56 days till we "spring forward" with the time change and 63 days until the equinox (SPRING).  Thinking back that Thanksgiving was over 50 days ago - it doesn't seem so bad.  Time goes so quickly.
I have noticed that the daylight hours have increased some.  It is light longer in the evening and a tad bit earlier in the mornings.

I have been dealing with a rash/hives for over a week.  I have no idea what has caused this.  I have changed nothing, used nothing, nor ate or drank anything different.  All I know that at times the itch has been so intense!!  Benadryl finally helped ease it.  It is doing some better.  Weird how it just popped up.
Oh well, such is life!  If that is all I have wrong - well, I can't complain.

My week has been super quiet.  Nothing exciting or big here.  That is OK.  
  • I filled up some seasoning jars and bouillon jars up.
  • Restocked all the feed containers with stock on hand.  Squirrels and birds have been eating a lot
  • Using Soda Stream and flavor packs and drinking water
  • Have been cleaning door jams, windowsills and woodwork preparing for repainting them.  I have the paint - just need to motivate myself!!!!
  • Laundry all done and all the winter jackets and sweatshirts (daily wear ones) have been laundered
  • No shopping
  • I have been using leftovers, and bits and bobs from freezer and pantry again.  Used 2 very small, pre-cooked pork chops in a meal (2), a single smoked sausage, home canned sauces, pre-cooked fried chicken (homemade), kraut in frig (from making Reubens) just all from my stock I have here.  
  • Doing all the normal daily things we all do
See nothing exciting at all

Meals this past week:
Leftover lasagna
Pork (chops/diced) Mexican rice bowl
Loaded nachos - made w/leftover rice bowl stuff 
Fried chicken breast and leg (from freezer) and veggies and dip (still left from holidays)
Fish, quartered potato and lima beans
Kraut, smoked sausage and mashed potatoes
Pasta, ground beef, zucchini (freezer) pizza flavored skillet
SNACKS - almonds, cereal and fruit

Very basic meals - yet they have all been tasty.  Using what I have and not making even the slightest dent in stocks.  It sure goes to show that I have a tendency to shop too often!

How has your week been?  Have you gotten any of the nasty/cold/snowy weather?  If so, I hope you are safe.  Have you been shopping or getting deals?  Using what you have?  Give us a shout out and let us know what is going on in your part of the world!

Please stay safe, healthy and warm this coming week.  My prayers go out for all and your families.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

So faith, hope. love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 14:13

Lord, help us to love everyone.  It is so hard to do today, there is so much strife and wickedness in the world.  Help us to turn our hearts to love and to turn our eyes and hearts to You.  May we forgive and go forward with the faith that You have us in Your loving and protective hands and that You are our one hope.  Amen

Thursday, January 13, 2022

A Thursday Talk - This & That

 Just some odds and ends today.  Nothing much exciting happening around here.  I thought I would share a couple tips with you all and just offer a couple smiles (hopefully!).

I was having trouble for quite a while with someone hacking my FB account.  I was constantly changing my password and apologizing to people for messages I didn't send.  I came up with some really bizarre and convoluted passwords - figuring no one could figure them out and yet they DID!  Being alone, I just jotted them down in a notebook and never said them out loud.
Someone made the comment that it was almost like someone was watching me do this.  HUH?

Well, call me crazy - but my laptop has a camera at the top of the screen frame.  It is ALWAYS off (or is it?).  Well, I covered it with a piece of black electrical tape and BOOM - no more hacks!   Hmmmm - sure makes me wonder.  I find it kind of scary.  Soooo, just to be safe you might cover up that little camera dot on your device.  It can be removed if you need to use the camera.  
Kind of creepy if you ask me.  I don't think we have any idea how often we are watched and listened to.
I just think George Orwell's 1984.

My little bit of sunshine - inside in January.  My plant is just flowering like crazy.  It isn't the prettiest plant, but those little yellow bits sure make me smile every time I walk by.

A tip for those with air fryers.  I read this tip and decided to try it.  My goodness, it does help with clean-up. When frying anything that may release grease - after your initial preheat - place a couple of flattened coffee filters in the bottom tray and then add meat/whatever.  I did this when heating up some of my homemade pre-fried chicken I had in the freezer.  Not one BIT of grease in the bottom!!!!!!  It was absorbed into the filters.  Amazing!  Yet another use for those filters.

Now this is a quilt!!!  Last month I showed you my little quilty type blankies that I made - but they were so simple.  This is a quilt that was made by G's grandma.  I am using it as a top quilt on my bed this winter.  So warm and so pretty.  I have 2 quilts she made, and they are just so precious.  So much work!!!!!  It always amazes me how ladies had time to do this.  She cared for many children, a disabled husband, gardening and preserving and home and all that goes with it (out in the country) - yet she quilted.  She made bunches of quilts from scraps and whatever she had on hand.   Ladies back in the day sure had a lot of 'grit' in my opinion.

I have to laugh some days watching my outdoor cats.  They do NOT like the hawk coming to our yard.  They chase after it and run it off every time they get a chance.  What is odd is, they don't bother cardinals or blue jays (don't blame them) or doves or even the pigeons.  All are bigger birds - and the cats leave them alone.  Now they do go after little birdies from time to time - but leave the bigger ones alone - that is until the hawk shows up!!!!!  They can be in the greenhouse and supposedly sleeping - yet they come flying out when the hawk shows up and lands on the fence.  I wonder if it puts out some noise or sound that is a frequency that they hear?  I just find it comical and they sure are good watch cats!!!

Coogy, who never gets people food (nor has he ever been interested) has suddenly decided he likes the white meat from chicken!  Not dark - just white!  He came and begged some while I was eating, and I gave him a piece and he just scarfed it down - and wanted more.  He would pat my hand till I gave him another piece!!!   I put a piece of dark meat down and off he walked.  Kind of like his Mommy!!!  LOL.   Dark meat is not my favorite either.

OK, nothing much exciting, just some observations in my little world.  I hope you all have had a good week and wishing you all a safe and warm weekend.  I will be posting again Sunday.
Until then, I will leave with a picture of my sunrise from Monday morning.  What a glorious way to start the week!!!!
Blessings to all and stay safe.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ways to Increase That Nest Egg

 We all strive to have a little nest egg set aside.  It may be for a long term goal or a short term goal. 
It could be for paying off debt, retirement funds, emergencies, a trip, a new vehicle, a home, lots of things.  We often put off current wants to fund future wants.  That is saving!

Many folks feel very deprived and resentful when saving.  If you are striving for a goal, you need to learn to not feel resentful.  The future payout will be great.  Learn to minimize the not spending without it hurting.

We all know the basic ways to save extra.
Buy/shop sales and clearance
Purchase needs and not wants
Ask for discounts when you can (big for seniors)
Have no spend days and weeks
Eat mainly at home - not restaurants
Do NOT waste - find uses for everything
Wait 48 hours before making big purchases
Ask for reduced rates - all they can do is say no and you might get a YES
Cut out things that aren't really needed
Look around for new ways of making extra funds
If working - use every saving option available (like 401K or similar)
There are so many more simple and basic things we can all do!

                 I think we all stive for a better life.  I want to embrace simplicity at its finest!

It is important to have a plan.  Know what you are saving for.  If you are looking to save for retirement and a big long term goal - you need to look back at your past successes and failures.  What worked?  What didn't?

You can't really make any interest today at the bank - so if you are trying to increase your money, you will need to look for a different avenue.  Seriously, hunt for the safest options you can find.
Find a trustworthy advisor.  Ask family or friends who they recommend and trust.  You don't have to get nosey about their finances  - just ask who advised them.
Increase your knowledge - read and study about options.
Connect with like-minded people.

We come in this world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing.  What happens in between is gravy!  Really!  Look at every success as a big thing.  REMEMBER - you really only need enough!  I know many will not agree with that.  That's OK.  I am one of those with the frame of mind, I don't need millions to be happy.  I only need enough to live a nice, comfortable life.

You decide what YOU NEED and go forward.  We all save for different reasons and have different goals.  I do think we all agree nice and comfortable is GOOD!
Just do something and get started NOW if you haven't started yet.

Now all that being said - remember - you can't take it with you!!!! 
So yes, please do enjoy some pleasures and comforts along the way IF you can afford to.
Life is short - DO stop and smell the roses now and then!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Living with Purpose

 Stay at home moms, home makers, retired, widows, whatever the situation - we often question ourselves and our lives.  What am I accomplishing?  Why?  How am I making a difference?  I feel pretty confident that most everyone has asked these questions and had these feelings.  It is NORMAL - really!
We need to live our lives with purpose - it doesn't have to be anything drastic or huge - just simple purpose each day.  That will make each day a value to YOU.  You are already a value to others.

Use each day for some good.  Helping others, being kind, a soft word, a lovely smile, a joke, caring for children or others.  We need a purpose each day.  For years I had a purpose - to take care of my husband who was disabled.  When he passed - I was lost.  What was my purpose?  I am a work in progress on this.  I take care of animals - they depend on me.  I write and try to help others.  I do what I can for neighbors and family.  Little things!  I know there is more to accomplish - but each day has purpose.

Set a goal and work at it.  Quit finding distractions.  Turn off the TV, put down the phone and the computer.  Media is our biggest downfall - it is a rabbit hole!!!!!!  Take a walk, actually TALK to someone, get fresh air and sunshine (even in the cold), clean a drawer or closet, fill a box with discards, educate yourself and your mind - just do something each day.

Make your home pleasant.  Doesn't have to cost anything.  Move things around.  Use a pretty tablecloth.  Let in fresh air and sunshine.  Get a bouquet of flowers for yourself!  Light a favorite scented candle.  Change pillows, bedding, etc.  

We often keep busy because of habits.  Our day can be over, and we wonder what did I do?  Well, we get in a rut of doing the same things every day - and often that is just what they are - THINGS!  We get used to our days being the same.  Same old routine every single day!  It is time to jazz it up a bit.  I read about some people (w/no kids) who CLEAN every day - how did it get dirty over night??  Seriously.  It is a habit.  Not that cleaning is a negative habit - but it can be a habit that just uses your time.  Step outside the comfort zone and do something different!

Get fresh air and sunshine every day!  I am outside every single day of the year at least 4 - 5 times.  Doesn't matter the weather.  I do believe there is much to be said about fresh air and sun.  It really does help keep one healthy and active.

Give thanks every morning - first thing.  Give thanks every evening - last thing.   Whether you pray, meditate, have affirmations, whatever you do - do it consistently.  Whatever you believe in, is your business - I just think that placing those thankful moments out into the world makes it a better place.  I believe our thoughts and gestures DO affect the universe.  It can't hurt!!!  BE THANKFUL.

Be grateful for everything every day!!!!!!!  No matter how big or small it is.  Don't be envious of others.
Have humility in all you do.  Be humble in knowing that you are just a fleck of dust in this big old universe - AND you ARE here!!!!!!!  Isn't that something?  The world needs one of you!
No matter what our situation is - we are here for a reason.
We have all gone through our own WORST days and yet here we are.  We survived them.

Life has kicked us in the britches, it has knocked us down, it has disappointed, it has made us cry AND it has been wonderous, beautiful and full of laughter and joy!  It sure is a mixed bag of emotions and events.  They are all important.

So I say we all need to challenge ourselves each day.  Expand your mind.  Open your heart.  Step outside the box.  Make each day the BEST it can possibly be.  This is something that each and every one of us needs to do.  I know I do.