Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Loaf is a Loaf

Wintertime is when we all seem to make more sweet or savory breads.  I like to make smaller ones for gifting.  I do that at home sometimes as well, just so we won't be temped to eat too much right off the bat!!!  (I wrap and freeze extras).

It is so easy to make several at a time and put some in reserve.
Do you know how much batter is needed for various size pans?  Me neither.  I usually just kind of wing it and hope I evenly spread it out.
Here is our answer!


Hope this helps you with your yummy winter baking!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Keeping it Natural

We see that many are just tired of all the commercialism of Christmas and the holidays.  I think we all get tired of it.  It is always in your face to spend.....spend.....spend!  It starts early in the fall and goes on through the end of the year.

If you haven't started or if you are determined not to fall into the trap, here are some neat and very frugal ideas!


Be observant of what you do, so as not to do harm the earth.  So much trash  is made during this time of year.  Do your part to 'do no harm' and stay frugal.
GIVE WITH PURPOSE

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Keeping the Joy

For many the holidays are NOT a good time.  It could be remembering the loss of loved ones, bad memories of the past, weather, S.A.D. disorder, financial strain, etc.
Whatever the reason, it is real for those who feel it.

I do believe this has happened to everyone at some point.  Maybe not every year - but it happens.
Please respect those who feel this way.  Do NOT tell them to get over it, do NOT dismiss their feelings..............Listen if need be and just give a hug and a kind word.

Thanks to LaurieS for posting this on FB - I knew the second I saw it, that I would use this.

Do not succumb to the pressures of spending money you shouldn't spend.
Do not feel bad if you miss a gathering.
Do not give up faith that things will get better.
********************************

DO try to do something that helps the less fortunate.  If at all possible - work at a food pantry or a mission serving meals or passing out supplies.  Go to a hospital neonatal unit and hold babies.  Go visit shut-ins in a nursing home.  There are so many ways to help others - and in turn it helps you.

DO try to get more sunlight in your life each day.  Get outside and get fresh air and light - it helps more than you can imagine.  Take Vitamin D as well.  Take a walk.  Get exercise.
DO make plans for the future - make a bucket list.  Anything that takes you out of the past.
DO watch a funny movie or read a classic book.
DO something just for YOU!  Give yourself a spa night.  If you can afford it - maybe a massage or a mani/pedi.  Get your hair done.  SOMETHING  FEEL GOOD!

DO turn it over to a higher power.  Faith can get us through most anything.
Just remember - you have been through bad times before and you are still here.  YOU CAN DO IT.
******************************

The joy of Christmas is a "feeling".  We can keep it everyday - not just one time a year.  It is inside of each of us.
IF you can't get yourself to participate now - then spread the joy and love at another time.

It's OK to feel sad.  Please just don't let it take you over!
Keep joy in your heart all year.

Please know you are loved here and we will listen and understand.  Seek understanding and peace from your Maker as well.  Turn your troubles over to a higher power.

God bless each of you having a rough time.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Frugal Happenings 12/9

This month is flying by and I still have much to do.  I haven't baked the first thing yet!  I definitely need to work on that this week.
I have received all orders that I placed for gifts - so all the big stuff is done.  I still have some small things to take care of.

It has been cold in these parts.  Today we are actually seeing sun - for the first time in a week!

It truly has been quiet around here.  I just can not get in the Christmas spirit this year.  I really need to kick myself in the bum and get busy. 

My frugal week:
  • I did go and 'purchase' 92 cans of cat food and 2 bags of dry food and 4 containers (laundry baskets) for some gift baskets all FOR FREE!  Used part of the GC we received from the bank.
  • Picked up a script for G and it  was for 3 months and FREE
  • Got cards addressed - just haven't mailed yet.  (sigh)
  • Received FREE address labels and a notepad from a charity.  I wish they would quit doing that and save the money for the charity. 
  • I went to the funeral of a former neighbor this week.  We have known their family the whole time we have lived here (over 30 years).  Like family in some ways.
  • After the funeral I went a couple blocks up the road to Kroger to get weekend specials.  I purchased 10 jars of peanut butter for .99/jar, 40 lbs. of sugar for .99/4 lb., and 25 lbs. of Gold Medal flour for 1.49/5 lb.  The cashier let me do 2 different orders!!!!  I am now good for the following year on sugar and peanut butter and probably flour. (I still have lots of sugar purchased on sales from earlier)
  • G's TV/cable seemed to mess up this week.  We did trouble shooting online and everything seemed to lean towards having a service call.  No one came up with an at home fix.  WELL....  I went to work and did some things myself and WOOHOO I fixed it!!!
                                                                             Too cute!

Meals this past week:
Leftover turkey and noodles and stuffing
Open face tuna melts and salad
Red beans/rice with ground sausage & jalapeno poppers
Beef fillets (grilled), waffle fries and salad
Ground beef/mushroom/onion/Swiss mix over bread and salad
Hamburger stew 2X

I have to get started baking this week, as I have our first family gathering next Sunday.  I need to get all the gifts sorted and baskets finished.  I also need to run up the street to the post office for stamps and mailings.
Non Christmas stuff - I need to go to feed store and I need to visit with insurance agent about my health insurance for next year.  I think I may keep busy!

Are you all ready?  What did you do this week to stay frugal?  Any good deals?

I send prayers for all to stay healthy and safe.  I also pray that those who feel depressed this time of the year - may you be able to focus on other things and get through the season.  I know everyone does not feel warm and cozy this time of the year.  Comfort be with you.

Blessings from our humble home to yours.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Helping

It costs nothing to be a kind and good person.  It costs little to help a family have a hot meal.
We should be aware year round, but it seems to come to our attention even more around the holiday season.  So many have NOTHING.  So many go hungry.  So many are homeless.  So many have NO ONE to listen or turn to.
Let us all be the someone who does SOMETHING.

I love this idea.  If we each put back something each and every day - it does not hurt us at all - but will fill the bellies of another.

If we would ALL do this EVERY month - it would sure help our fellow man.
Thank you.

Click on picture to enlarge image

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Safety

There is so much crime in today's society.  It is really scary at times.  There are many ways to stay safe and keep your home safe, ESPECIALLY at the holidays, that costs little or no money.


HOME
  • The most obvious - keep your doors locked
  • If you don't have a security system, you can post signs that says you do
  • Perhaps think about getting an outdoor camera (can even be a trail cam)
  • I know people that have  a sign that says 'guard dog' and have auto recorder attached to door - that are action activated.  The recording is the barking of a large dog.
  • Keep bushes and trees away from windows - they are a great hiding place
  • Have motion activated security lights
  • Those living in colder areas - please keep your walks shoveled and salted.  If not for your family - for the postman, utility readers or paper boys.
  • Make sure  that any animal that stays outside has a warm and protected area to be.  Make sure they have food and 'water' (not ice).  If it gets too cold - animals need another warm protected area to be.
  • DO NOT use the oven for a heat source if at all possible.  Carbon monoxide can kill
  • If using baseboard heat or portable heaters - keep anything and everything away from them
  • Make sure you have working smoke/fire detectors and a fire extinguisher close at hand.  It is also a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector in or around where you furnace is.   (These are good gift ideas as well!!!!!)


Here's an idea for extra safety in your home.  This is call Jammer and it is added protection for home security.  We have one on each door during the night.  They don't cost a lot - but they give us a little added peace of mind.  Living in the city or suburbs can be intimidating now a days.  We like having a bit more security.   It slides up under the door handle and then you kick it in place.

CAR
  • Always lock your car
  • Do not leave packages in view - cover them in some way
  • Do NOT leave handbags, computers, phones, CD's, money, chargers, etc. in view (even in a locked car)
  • Be ever vigilant of your surroundings when walking back to your vehicle
  • If at all possible walk out with other people or a crowd
  • Try not to shop or walk in parking lots at night
  • If living in area with snow and ice - make sure that ALL of your windows are clear of snow and ice - this not only keeps you safe - but others as well.  DO NOT put others in jeopardy because you have an obstructed view
  • If you do a lot of traveling or travel in unpopulated area - keep food and warm blankets (or clothing) in the vehicle.  Have a shovel, ice melt or cat litter for getting stuck, and flairs.  Snow can act as water - but you need warmth for sure.
  • Make sure cell phones are always charged when traveling

DURING HOLIDAYS
  • Do not put gifts under a tree that can be seen from outside - that is an invitation to crooks
  • If having deliveries made - make sure you will be home or have them delivered to your work or to a neighbors.  There are so many stories every day of packages being stolen from porches
  • Be careful of what real holiday plants you have in your home IF you have pets.  Many plants are toxic if eaten.
  • Keep trees, throws, blankets, etc. away from heat vents.  Trees dry out quicker and that can cause fires.  Depending on the heat source - material can catch fire.
  • Keep LIVE trees properly watered
  • Keep tinsel and garland out of reach of animals.  If eaten it can cause damage to their organs
  • Do not feed pets overly rich and fatty foods.  Chocolate and many other items can cause animals to be ill

IN GENERAL

DO NOT "advertise" on ANY social media outlet that you are going on vacation or traveling.  That is like telling crooks "the house is available for you".

IF you have to attend a close family funeral that has been in the paper - TRY to leave someone at the house to 'house sit'.  Crooks watch the obituaries.

Another tip - when shopping - I keep my car keys and my cell phone in my pockets and not in my handbag.  IF someone gets off with my handbag - at least I can get home and I can call police!  
Sadly this is the world we now live in!

BE VIGILANT, BE SAFE, BE MINDFUL
and STAY SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Random Reflections


The Christmas Spider Story




I have a pretty crystal spider that is always out at Christmas time.