Thursday, September 28, 2023

My Long and Winding Road

This week is one of those weeks where the past is coming to life again, and so many memories and good times are awakened.
I have mentioned my childhood at home was good, but I wasn't all that popular in school (especially high school).  I didn't conform to the mold that made one popular.  Not a cheerleader or jock - played the violin all through school, no name brand clothes.  I did have a lot of clothes - but I made them!!!  
I had a few good friends and that was it.  But that was fine to me.  I still don't conform a lot and still have those same few friends from back then - although I have added more over the years that were not from school!!!

I mentioned going to lunch yesterday.  That was with gals from high school who also happened to be grade school chums as well.  It was all to welcome 'home' an old friend from Colorado that we hadn't seen in years and years.  It was a great time and lots of laughing and chatter.  
I got to visit with another gal I hadn't seen since graduation!  There is a story here!!!!! (below)
My word I looked up and realized they had placed other people in our little room - and I felt so sorry for them.  No quiet relaxing lunch for them!!!!
This weekend is the 50 year high school reunion.  How in the world did that happen?????  Seems like yesterday we were just kiddos running amuck in a world of carefree fun.

I belong to a group on FB for our graduating class and another for all alum - and there have been so many posts this week with pictures, memories, a memoriam and activities.  A lot of people are coming back from all over the country for this one - and it will be the biggest one we have ever had.
I graduated with close to a 1,000 other kids, so there is no way we all knew each other.  Each reunion is meeting new people!  That is just crazy.

I got to thinking yesterday after I came home - so much has happened over all the years.
There were marriages, divorces, deaths, children, grandchildren.  There are hearing aids, eye surgeries, white hair, balding heads, canes and walkers!  Many, many are no longer on this earth with us.  We have lost over 10%.
And good golly - we are all approaching that 70 mark in the near future!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story I mentioned above:  This gal and I were decent friends back then.  She had a cousin away at IN State University and I had a boyfriend there.  We decided one weekend to go make a visit.  We rode the bus from Indy to Terre Haute (about 75 mi. or so) - there and back (at night).  We stayed with her cousin overnight while there.  Our parents allowed that!!!!!!!  This was around '72 - in my junior year.  I cannot imagine allowing a young woman to do that today or even a gal wanting to.  Times were sure different back than, and never once were we worried, running all over campus and having a ball, talking to strangers and not having a care in the world.  
Side note:  That weekend my crazy boyfriend decided to come and surprise me!!!!!!!  It was not his scheduled weekend to come home.  We both got a huge surprise!!!!!!  LOL

It all seems like a lifetime ago.  I guess it was.
It sure has been a long and winding road from childhood to now.  Many ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and life just happening.
What a week of looking back.  I kind of am looking forward to Saturday evening and seeing many old chums, strangers and maybe making some new chums.  I guess we are never too old for that.
It should be an experience - 50 years!
Anyone else done this yet?

I hope you all have a great weekend, having a wonderful time with family and/or friends.
Here's looking to the future!!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Mid-Week - You are Wonderful!

 Happy Wednesday to all.  A dreary morning here, but cool and otherwise great.  I hope you are all going to have a wonderful day.  I am having lunch today, with some old friends.  That will be nice.
Hoping we get a little more rain - we got a tiny bit yesterday - but need so much more.  getting a few drizzles at the moment!

                                For SMILES!!!!!!  Not my picture - but just sooooooo sweet!!!
                                                 How can you not smile seeing that?????

Yep - something each and everyone needs to hear from time to time!  
Be you and don't let others change you.  Go for what you want in life - and if you aren't sure - explore!
Don't let people push your buttons - try as they might.
Beauty isn't just on the outside - it is an inward quality as well.  Be kind, be just, be calm and go forward.  Glow from the inside out!!!!!!!
Be the beautiful human you were made to be.

Love you all.  Have a fantastic day!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

It Will Soon be Here!!!!!!

 One more week and it will be October.  Many of us are still harvesting 'something' and canning and freezing and dehydrating.  But the time is coming to a close pretty soon.  This year has flown by - we all feel it.  SO - think how fast the remainder of the year will go!
One more month and it will be Halloween time.  Two months is Thanksgiving here in U.S.  Canada Day will be soon upon us.  Christmas is 3 months from yesterday!!!!!  YIKES

Is anyone getting ready or thinking about things?

Coming up in the next couple of months HOPEFULLY there will be some deals on baking goods, candy (chocolate) and gift ideas.  Many foods are seasonal and it will time to stock up on those as well.  Yams, potatoes, turkey, ham, bread and stuffing goods, apples, cranberries, pumpkins............
It will be the time to take advantage to stock up for the winter months.  Get items as cheaply as possible and be ready for winter.  
Lots of things are on clearance now as well.  Nothing says Christmas gifts have to be winter related.  Think about clothes, pool items, fishing goods, camping/hiking, gardening items, etc.  Get a little creative!

I plan on doing the gift/goody bags for adults again this year.  Everyone loves them and expects them.
I usually include homemade salsa, jelly, relish, summer sausage, cookies (their special grandma cookies), and any special items that they may love.  Some it is special olives, cheeses, soups, canned products, sauces, trail mixes, nuts, rice & soup mixes - you get it, all sorts of yummies.

This year I have no baby blankets to make - all the babies have been covered!!!  My niece still wants one done eventually with the baby clothes - but that isn't Christmas.
Any teens now get money or a gift card, plus a small goody bag of fun stuff of their own.  Fuzzy socks, maybe jammies, candy and special items they like, etc.

The littles - well, there is where I will need to get creative this year.  One is really into crafty stuff and loves being artistic (he is 4 1/2).  I got a couple plain birdhouses the other day for him and will get other items to paint and all the paints.  He gets excited with everything!
Maybe baby doll blankets for the little girls or books or art stuff.  Most of the littles get so much stuff these days - it gets tough to come up with something.  Hmmm - maybe cute hats and gloves - but not real exciting when you are little!!!!

Are you all making any plans yet?  Are you thinking about all the goodies you need to stock for the upcoming holidays and/or winter?
I saw my first Christmas commercial on TV Sunday evening.  It was a Glade commercial.  My goodness, they do rush the seasons.  Every place has stuff for sale!

It would be nice to do one thing at a time - you know, like the good old days!!!!!!!!!!!
But money speaks today!

But yes, even me - here doing a post about the upcoming holidays - it has bit us all!!  I do know with holiday gifts - it does take time and effort and some money - so people plan ahead for that.
You got any great ideas to share with us all this year?  I would love some new thoughts.

Have a great FALL day to everyone!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 9/24

 Happy Sunday to you all.  Happy official fall!!!!  Seems like we just said happy spring!  
It is still pretty green here on the trees.  Our peak season for fall foliage is generally around mid-October.  It is pretty darn dry - so that may affect the pretty colors this year.  I have had the usual leaves fall - but that has more to do with the tree than fall.

I have been seeing a little bunny around for most of the week.  Oh goodness it is sweet.  I walk out front to fill the feeder the other day and looked down the road (about 4 houses) and there was a chicken roaming around the front yard!  Only chickens I know are behind me a house or 2 down the alley - and it is surrounded by a tall fence.  I had to chuckle.
I have seen tons of preying mantis, grasshoppers and butterflies lately.  
The last rain we got was a couple of showers last Sunday and that has been it.
It looks like this week will be nice with highs around 80* all week, possibly some rain mid-week.

Today would have been Mr. Hunky Man's (Glen) birthday.  I sure do miss him.  He was just so funny and I miss the companionship.  I always teased him and said - well you caught up with me (I was 11 mo. older), and he would joke - you are still a cougar!!!!  LOL!  I happy to know he is healthy and with the Lord.  That soothes my soul.

You know those sayings - when it rains it pours and one thing leads to another!  Well, that sums my week!!!  LOL

My week:
  • I finally decided on blinds for the dbl. window in the living room.  I decided to get 2 instead of one.  Easier to replace if needed.  I went out and got them.  I also found 2 unfinished birdhouses while out - for my nephew for Christmas.  He loves crafts - so I will get paint too.
  • I ran to the local family-owned hardware while out - got some spackling compound.  I always enjoy talking with the guy there - just friendly and knowledgeable.
  • Mowed the entire yard for the first time in 2 weeks - only certain places looked kind of bad - but it all got done (it looks so nice right after mowing)
  • Did a bunch of pulling and weeding on the big bed - it is a mess! (heat & dry have taken a toll)
  • Pulled pounds more tomatoes - not huge ones, but still good
  • Watered pots and plants with rain barrel water
  • Pulled out ground pork from freezer.  Made up several breaded pork burgers and fried.  Several in freezer for future use.
  • Got the blinds up and installed
  • Putting up blinds - met with repainting all that trim around those windows.  Then cleaning out the window wells - oh the dust and crud.  Then washing those windows - inside and out.  Then changing out from the curtains to lace valances (I had).  It looks lovely - brighter.  The climbing, reaching and bending sure does get to an old body!!!!!!
  • I then decided to change valances in bedroom.  I needed 2 tension rods for those.  I had one the right size and 2 that were too short.  Well, I was dirty and tired and didn't want to go out - so I took apart one little rod and added a piece to the other and made one that fits!  I used some clear packing tape to adhere the extra piece and it can't be seen and it works perfectly!  I love the look of the new (I had) valances in there.
  • I called one day to get the Internet upgraded.  Got a letter that stated it would not be useful after Nov. 3 - so I had to upgrade (to fiber optics).  I called and they said they would be here next day!  WHAT?  That was fast.  Well, things needed moved and cleaned.  TV cabinet got moved and cleaned behind and under (where equip. is) - oh my gosh!  I could have made a whole bunch of rabbits with the huge dust bunnies! Well, I got all new from the pole in the alley to the house and new equipment - which meant he had to go into spaces (in basement) no man has gone in years!!!!!!!!  Oh good golly, I was embarrassed.  The stuff, the dust, the spider webs - ICK!  So lots of moving and assisting him on my part.  It is done - I was mortified and now I have NEW incentive to clean out that darn basement!!!!!!!!!  IT IS HAPPENING THIS TIME!!!!!!!
  • Did lots of laundry and mopped the floors
  • NO grocery this week
  • AC has been off biggest part of the week
Meals this past week:
Loaded baked potato
Chicken strips, lima beans and salad
Tamales over rice
Grilled cheese and salad
Breaded pork burger and salad
Cold cut sandwich and salad
BLT and side of scrambled eggs

What a week.  My poor back feels it.  I don't think I have reached, climbed and moved that much in a long while!!!!  I survived - got new incentives - have new things to look at - and I will keep moving forward.
How was your week?  What has everyone been up to?  Any deals?  How about the gardens?  Are they still producing?  Do you have lovely fall weather yet?  This year is sure flying - another week or so and it will be October!!!!!  Three months till Christmas!  YIKES

I hope this finds each of you well and safe and healthy.  I look forward to hearing from you all.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:17-18

Dear Lord, Help us each to be better citizens of this earth and to be kinder and more mindful of our thoughts and actions.  We pray for peace amongst all beings of the earth.  Amen

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Oh Yes, the Simple Things

 This morning, the sunrise was absolutely beautiful - what a work of art.  The colors were just glorious.  I was standing outside, and I saw 3 robins in the yard - and it dawned on me I had not seen any for a few weeks.  That made me smile.  The bunny that has been visiting daily.  The birds were all lined up to eat and drink this morning, taking their turns as the squirrels scurried around.  Blackie was so loveable this morning and giving kisses.  I thought the hummies may have left - but I saw them this morning.
Brought a smile to my neighbor, when I gave him a baggy of small tomatoes for his and his girlfriend's enjoyment for lunch at work today.
Fresh cool air streaming through my windows this AM - wonderful.
These are the simple and wonderful things I am loving this morning.

I just love this poem.  I think it says it all - such joy!

What simple things are bringing you joy on this lovely day?

I wish you each and every one a glorious day - and hope that you take some time to truly enjoy the many simple joys that come our way!
Have a blessed day my friends!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A Bit About A Frugal Journey

 We have all made the journey at some point in life.  That is mainly why we are here - or why many came at first.  
We have all had different journeys for different reasons.  There is no right or wrong way to be frugal.  Some have been extreme and some just keep a close eye on things.
It depends on the reason you are being frugal.  Some decide to stay home with children, some it is necessity due to loss of job or medical issue.  It may be from divorce or loss of partner.  Some just can't get by any other way.  Some are saving for something.  Whatever the reason - go forward and make the BEST of it.  Have fun with it.  YES, it can be fun as well as productive.  Soon, it becomes a way of life.

In MY eyes, frugality is not really about doing without!  It is about making more precise decisions.  Decisions that serve you well and enable you to have a good and full life.

                  We are all a part of this village!!!!!  In some way - big or small - we do our part.  

In my eyes it is all about just keeping it simple.  Simple food, simple wardrobe, simple decorating, simple gifts, simple home, etc.  Nothing has to be fancy and expensive.  You have all heard the phrase champagne  taste on a beer budget!  Well, it can be done - really!!!!!!
You don't have to give up the nicer things in life.  You just get them in a different way!!!!!

You can make things.  Want the pretty throw pillows or the new kitchen curtains, or a new table cover - make them.  Use things you already have or have purchased for pennies and re-invent them for your new use.
Want to redo a kitchen look?  Go to a resale shop and buy different handles (or at hardware store).  Sand and paint cabinets.  Paint walls.  Add a pretty throw rug - many ways to update a room.  
Get or use an older outdated piece of furniture and paint it a fun color to match your decor.
Watch for yard sales and check out thrift stores.  NO SHAME whatsoever!  I recently bought 3 lovely 'designer' tops at my neighbor's yard sale for $2 each.  I would never go out and buy designer clothes (never have) - but these are excellent quality and will last me for years.  I don't have that desire for designer stuff - I just happened to like these.

Reuse items for new things.  At the simplest level - keep any plastic containers that you would normally trash - like yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream containers - they are now food storage containers!
Keep glass jars that grocery items come in - great storage for wet or dry items, and many can be used for canning or for storage.
A sturdy and heavy shipping box can store excess items in your house, it can become a temporary storage in the pantry.  A big box can be covered and make a bedside table.
Expand from there.  Old socks can become dusters or mops.  (I use one on a Swifter to clean floors) - they are washable.  Old t-shirts or clothes for rags.
Start simple and small and pretty soon you will be thinking of all kinds of things that you can reuse in a new way.
It is somewhat ADDICTIVE!!!!!  And FUN!

Check Freecycle if you have it or neighborhood marketplaces for items.  Put out the word to people you know, family friends, and neighbors "I am looking for............"  Odds are - someone will have 'it' and you can get it.
          Yep, being frugal is nothing new - people have been being mindful for generations!!!!!

If you want to learn new things - online opportunities abound.  You can go on You Tube and learn about anything.  From a foreign language, how to bake bread, how to make a certain salad, grow a container garden, fix simple plumbing, sharpen a chain saw - you name it!!!!!!!  It is all FREE!!!!!!!

Be willing to try store brands instead of name brands.  Many store items are the exact same thing - made by the same manufacturer and just relabeled.  Give it a try.

Visit your library.  There are so many fun things to read.  You have a chance to learn, laugh, and journey to a new place - if only for a while.  There are self-help books and reference items.  They usually have movies to check-out.    They have activities (free) for the kiddos and sometimes for adults.  Some libraries even have lending items such as shovels, power tools, etc.

Remember first and foremost - your journey is yours!!!!!  It is not like anyone else's.  What you do or create to help your family depends on the situation you are in and what you want to accomplish.
It is give and take!!!!!!!
Maybe raising chickens isn't for you - just watch for best prices on eggs.  Maybe gardening isn't your thing - check farm stands or markets, check with neighbors (barter or trade), etc.
If need be - go to the food pantry for help with groceries.  That is why they are there.  Use the resources you have available in your area.
Learn to cook and make delish meals with SIMPLE ingredients.   It doesn't have to be a five-star delicacy.  It needs to be tasty and filling and nourishing.
There are many things we can do without that isn't going to kill us!!!!!  Stop buying the junk food - make cookies or snacks at home.  Don't go out for latte - make a fun coffee at home.  You may find that it is more flavorful and tastier anyway - and you save $$$ as well.
The list goes on and on.

Frugality is about having a goal or a purpose in mind - and living a good and fun life in a simple way - so as to reach that goal.
If you can save $5 a week - do it.  If you can save $50 a month - do it.  Just do something.  
It doesn't have to feel like being deprived, it really doesn't.  
You just need to get a little creative with what resources you have and think outside the box.

So do what is right for you.  Pick and choose what fits and what you can begin with and then branch out.  You will learn new things, have new opportunities and fill fulfilled!
Seriously - make it FUN! 

So, for anyone just starting this journey or having to restart the journey - please know we are behind you 100% and YES you can do it!!!!!!!!!

IF you have questions - JUST ASK!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Just a Little Photo Fun Today

 Some days, do you ever just want a light hearted day?  One with nothing serious going on? 
I do!!!  Some days I just want it to be fun and different.  Escape.
I have days where I skip from thing to thing in a very haphazard way! LOL!  I may not accomplish any one thing - but I still enjoy my day.
Kind of like these pictures today - all over the place.

This picture comes from LaurieS, my good friend and a poster here.  This is a picture she and her hubs took on a recent day trip to Crater Lake National Park in OR.  Isn't it just beautiful?  The blue of the water astounds me!  
We have pretty nature around, but nothing to compare to this.  Funny, right after seeing this picture and another one, I watched a program talking about Crater Lake.  Laurie, and anyone else interested it was on a program called Mysteries of the Outdoors.  The Travel channel - Season 1 - Episode 11.  You can probably catch it online.  It talked about all the mysterious happenings and disappearances and paranormal things that have happened for centuries around this lake.  VERY interesting.
I just can't get over the beauty - it is almost mesmerizing.

Sunflowers coming up - bird planted - and Cheryl approved!  This is across the front porch, under the feeder.  They have popped up in a nice row and will be blooming soon.  What fun to just get random plants - right where everyone can enjoy them!

My little cookbooks from my 2nd and 3rd years in foods in 4-H.  As you can see well stained and well used.  Yep, mom and I both kept everything!  I knew I had these - and came across them while cleaning papers last week.  I guess I was probably about 9/10 while using these.  I remember in my 3rd year our entry for the fairs was banana bread.  My uncle, who was a chef at a fancy restaurant here in town, told me his secret.  Never use vanilla in it - use banana extract instead.  Not sure if it was that advice or not - but I won blue ribbons on it that year!

Any idea what is suddenly growing in my planter?  LOL!!!!!!!!
Oh, that crazy Blackie.  I had to take the pictures through the door, so he wouldn't be disturbed.  I guess it was a warm spot on a cool and sunny afternoon.  This was a new one for me!
If I fits - I sits!!!!!!!!

Click on pic to enlarge if needed
Grade 5 - I am top row, center, in yellow dress.  Oh my goodness, what a blast from the past.  I remember I loved that dress - my mom made it for me for Easter and she also made a lavender coat to go with it.  I was a regular Easter egg that year!  The little redhead in the 2nd row, 2nd from the right - was the first friend I ever made (we met 1st day of first grade) - and we are still friends today - 62 years later!
Sad to say several of these sweet children are no longer with us today.

Anyone remember 'Fun with Dick & Jane'?  That was the first reader we had in school, and this was my workbook from then!  Two old report cards also - back when they were handwritten.

Gosh, just a few little fun and frivolous memories and fun things that are happening around and about today.
Hope you enjoyed!
Have a great day.