Sunday, June 23, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 6/23

 Happy Sunday to all.  Hope this finds you all well and safe.
We had a very early morning storm come through.  Not a ton of rain - but enough to help the parched earth.  More to come in the next couple days.  It sure was nice to get.  It seems to have helped the feeling outdoors a bit.  Not so muggy feeling this morning. Nice breeze.

Well gang, I had a grand time at the 60's party.  It was fun - better than the reunion, as not quite so many people.  Talked and laughed a lot.  Lots of groovy outfits!  I ended up wearing the tie-dye.  The lace one looked good on, but not as festive.
My frugal week:
  • Did weeding, yard work, raking (yes raking) and watering early due to heat
  • Both rain barrels are full (110 gallons of free water)
  • Cleaned up around the trees - squirrels drop corn and outer shells of sunflower seeds - cleaned up any enticement to racoons!
  • Placed mothballs around the outer perimeter of back yard, garden and under the shed and deck to deter racoons and groundhogs.  So far so good, it seems to have helped.
  • NO grocery store at all this week
  • Left only to go to 60's party on Friday
  • Lots of laundry - used dehumidifier water in washer
  • Took a walk early one morning - around alley and front walks and picked up any trash dropped/blown along the way.
  • Put together new shampoo and dish soap bottles
  • Checked and refilled all fluids in my Blazer (did it myself)
  • Rehydrated mushrooms to use in recipe.  I have so many that I dehydrated a long while back (buy cheap and dehydrated)
  • All meals from home & using up leftovers
  • Just working inside and doing a bit of clothes decluttering
Meals this past week:
Chicken tenders wraps
Tuna patty on bun and salad
Homemade 'Alice Springs' chicken & fries (in air fryer)
Mexican pizzas
Mexican rice bowl (using leftovers)
Grilled ham & cheese and salad
Dirty rice w/chopped broc. & peppers added, jalapeno burger (no bun)

There you have it, a really quiet week here.  It has just been so dang hot and humid out, so not a lot going on.  I know some of you have had really cool and wet weather and others hot and humid.  I even read there was snow this week in one area!!  It truly is amazing how different areas can be on the same day.
How has your week been?  Did you get any deals or are you using what you have?  I still have little in the way of garden to pick - except lettuce.  Things are growing nicely though.  I hope some of you are now getting 'grow'ceries.
Give us a shout out and let us know you are OK.

Hope this finds everyone well, safe and healthy.
Blessings to you and yours from me and my kitties from our humble little home.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27

Lord, thank You for your love and protections.  Let us each go out and try to live as You have taught, with love, peace, and caring for others.  Help us to know, no matter what trials we face, that You will always be there.  We have eternity with You.  Amen


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Want Something Different? Easy and Tasty!

 Hello all - here it is Thursday already.  It might just be me, but this week seems to be going by slowly.  Maybe because I have not been outside much and have stayed home.  It is going to be another hot one, and today looks to be sunny.  The past couple days had a lot of clouds which worked for me!  June is usually wet here in my area, but not so much this year.  Did have a good rain on Tuesday, but nothing else for many days.
Today is the first day of summer!!!!  

I have made some different meals as of late and thought I would share the ideas.  I know I sometimes get tired of the same old things and look for something different.  BUT I like easy and inexpensive.
So here are 2 or 3 dishes I made fairly quickly, with what I had here at home.

Hominy Skillet
I know many say they don't like hominy, I used to not.  Tastes change over the years.  
This was simply one can of hominy (drained), a little chopped pepper, broccoli. and onion, and 2 ground sausage patties cooked up.  Seasoned with some Worcestershire sauce.
You could add any veggies you have or basically any meat.  It could also be topped with cheese.  Serve over rice if wanting to extend.
It was so very tasty and super easy.   Nothing bad for me in it!!!!

Alice Springs Chicken (like Outback)
I love the Alice Springs chicken from Outback.  I haven't been there in many years.  So, I made my own!!
I had some dehydrated mushrooms, that I rehydrated early in the day.
Cooked a seasoned chicken breast until almost done, added mushrooms and some of the water I rehydrated them in - to skillet.  Also added a little Worcestershire sauce.  Once cooked through, I topped with a slice of Swiss cheese.  (water cooks down to sauce like).  Made some oven fries (in air fryer).  YUM!
I think I actually liked this better than the restaurant style!

Mexican Pizza (like Taco Bell)

I cooked up a little ground meat into taco seasoned meat.  Made up a small batch of refired beans.
Bottom - hard shell tostada spread with beans, added some grated cheese and a bit of salsa (you could add taco sauce).
Top - tortilla spread with a little more beans and some of the taco meat.  Place on top of the bean/tostada - 2 layers.  **I placed it before adding meat - just easier.  I used some cheese dip on top, but you could add more grated cheese.  Topped with chopped tomato and more sauce if desired.
I had 2 of these and I was stuffed.  Have meat and beans leftover for another meal.
Super easy-peasy!

Different can be fun and it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.
I am a lover of food - and sometimes I just get bored.  I know we all get in a rut now and then.
GOOD food does not have to be EXPENSIVE food.

Hope this gives someone a couple ideas.  Have fun and play with your food!

Have a great day my friends.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

PLEASE Use Things Up - Not Just For Thrift

 Good morning, all.  First, thank you all for the great responses on yesterday's post!  So many neato ideas!  I will take all of them into consideration before going out this Friday!

It is a muggy morning here.  The temperature is about 77F first thing this morning and the air is just heavy.  Today starts the heat ride.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be the worst - with highs in mid to upper 90's.  UGH - but I need to stop - it is better than below zero!  This too shall pass.
I hope everyone stays safe and cool and hydrated.
(Grrrrr - local news just showed the first story of the summer of kids being left in a non-running car yesterday.  They are OK - and parents have been arrested.  How do you forget kids or animals???    These stories just tick me off to my last nerve.)

Today, let's talk a minute about using it up, making do, getting creative and not wasting.  I know I talk a lot about not wasting food - but it is so important.  Not just for your pocketbook, but for the planet and the environment.  WHY waste???  There is no good answer!
All things can be used in a new way.  IF they cannot then we should recycle them in some way (not trash).

I know some of you have strong opinions about waste - and I don't want to get into any huge debates or disagreements - I just want to remind folks to THINK and recalculate everything, before throwing it away.   THIS IS IMPORTANT!
It is estimated that American households throw away about one-third of all food they purchase!!!!  This does not include other countries, waste at groceries and restaurants, just groceries purchased.  That is disgraceful.  I think of how many would love that food!  I think about the energy used to raise and harvest.  I also think about the money.  Seriously, would one just go and throw dollar bills in the trash or into the fire?  I think not - but they do just throw it in the trash with waste.
It is said about 219 lbs. of food per person is wasted each year.  That is A LOT!!!!

We talk about using leftovers or do-overs a lot.  It is easy, it is good eating and it is important.
Several of my area grocery stores have now started (in past few years) giving past date items and some end of days produce to the Helping missions.  They give to Wheeler's and Midwest food banks - that food is then redistributed to those who need it.
We have a couple organizations that help in other ways.  There is Second Helpings - they get leftover food from restaurants and catering business and grocers and TEACH many people to be chefs!  Yes, it is a learning situation, and gives many people (many have trouble with hiring) a situation to learn a worthy trade and it uses the food and it is creative AND it feeds many homeless!
I noticed another 'restaurant' the other day called Second Servings - much the same thing.  I love that people are getting educated and that they are getting creative and that they are feeding others.

It isn't just food.  Find new uses for other things.  Don't just trash things.  Use them or donate them to bless others!

I had a great conversation with a schoolmate last week at lunch.  He was talking about what he does now that he is retired - I overheard and started asking questions.  He volunteers for an organization called Changing Footprints.  They collect used shoes of all sorts.  They clean them as well as can be - tennis shoes washed and such.  They provide shoes and 'new' socks that people have donated to homeless, to children in schools, to anyone in need.  They keep it local (in state) and have several giveaways.  What a wonderful thing to do.
One of our local church thrift stores (Mission 27) are begging for men's good used clothes.  I still have a lot that will be donated there.

There is generally a use for most everything.  It just takes a little thinking and a little creativeness.
Take a minute and go over to the blog Millies Cozy Cottage (on my sidebar) and look at her post from June 11th!  It is all about her 'junk' garden!  I love it.  It looks like something I would definitely do.  It is so cute.  I often find places to 'plant' throw-aways and 'curb finds' in my yard.  I know the look is not for everyone - but I love it.
Couple old tires, scrap wood and some old bedding - provides shelter for stray cats during the winter weather.  How creative.

Think, think, think before throwing things in the trash.
PLEASE try to be resourceful with your food and water.  Both are limited, both are needed, and both are wasted each and every day.
Save yourself some funds and save yourself some goods to use in other ways.

There is a house a few doors down, adding a room to the house.  Tons of scrap construction goods - they have set aside usable stuff for others to take and use! Love it.
Have a shed or out building that needs a roof?  Use what shingles you can find - they don't have to match.  I know people scoff at that - but a house down the road did that and it is neat looking!  This is especially easy to do - out in rural areas.
USE it up!!!

It isn't just waste on a personal level, but also on a corporate level.  If you see something - say something.  Place the idea in someone's head.  It may surely help another.
Do something yourself as well - if we each get creative, just think of what we could save and who we could help (including ourselves).

Be WISE and get CREATIVE and DON'T waste.
One man's trash is another's treasure!

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Stuff and Need Opinion!

 Happy Tuesday all.  It is 75F this morning - going to about 90.  This is to be the coolest of the week.  Maybe some rain - that would be nice.  It is a bit overcast this morning, and I like that!  It sure was muggly yesterday!
Hope this finds you all well and safe.  Miss seeing some of you.  If you are having troubles commenting (Debby), maybe re-sign in or reboot your computers or something.  Not sure why some are having problems.  Seems every day something changes on my computer, and it is so aggravating.

YAY, they are starting to bloom!  Birdie planted and approved.  There are a lot of blooms and buds out front - so pretty and cheery!  I have to spray them every few days with a little soapy water, to keep the squirrels from eating them.  It seems to be working (knock wood!).
Poor critters are so HOT!  They lay out cooling themselves, wherever they find shade.  The feeders, the jar, the fence rail, the handrail, the yard - wherever the shade is.  The birds sure do love the waterers - drinking and bathing. 
I have been emptying everything in the evenings (water too), to deter racoons.  Hopefully that will become normal for them, and they stay away.
Buddies!  They are so precious.  Blackie is pretty much living his best life!  He eats, sleeps and cuddles some with mommy and his Bits.  He deserves it, after all the years defending himself outdoors.  Bits is just a ball of fun!  If not sleeping, he is playing.  If he sees a gnat, a fly, a tiny ant, or even a spider - he stalks, attacks and EATS it!  LOL. Quite the hunter.  
They sure bring me a lot of joy and laughs.

Now for your OPINION!  I have this 60's thing on Friday and trying to dress a little appropriately.  I know I will win no prize, but this is fun.  I have had a pair a hip hugger bells for years and years and they still fit!  I have a paisley little shoulder bag, a choker, and a pair of big hoop earrings.  Also, a long butterfly print scarf to tie around band of pants, to hang down my side.
Now for the shirt.
I got these 2 - both are fun.
The tie dye - I will alter the neckline a little (scooping it) - as I don't like t-shirt necklines.  I remember tie dye and also open weave and crocheted tops.  Which should I choose?  The lacy one I can wear the white spaghetti strap top under it (or any color), the tie dye would probably have a tank under it as well (once I alter neckline).  I like both and will utilize them both in the future.
You can see the jeans in the center.
This should be fun.  60's music and attire - and friends and acquaintances from back in the day.
I have really been spreading out from my comfort zone a little and growing into a 'newer' version of me.  Sometimes we just have to change it up a little.

OK, that is it for today.  I look forward to your answers.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it a little.  
I plan on staying in most of the day. There is always plenty to do inside.  I spent a half hour or so outside this AM already tending to things.
Stay cool and have a great and groovy day!!!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 6/16

 Hello all.  Happy Sunday.  Can you believe we are halfway through June?  OK - last week I had to edit post, as I jumped the gun.  So today I say - Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there and the mommas who stepped up to be both mom & dad.  May the day be special.

It is a lovely morning, cool and sunny.  Mornings have been blissful.  Yesterday I was out mowing again at 8:30 AM, as it was so cool and breezy and there was no one drop of dew!  Once done with this post - I will go sit on the porch a bit, just to enjoy the cool, as the heat really starts coming in later today and ALL week!
The tulip poplar leaves have started their first messy drop.  Every June and early July it happens.  Such a mess.  The other day I went in the kitchen and the inside door was open and my storm door is glass to the bottom - there stood a squirrel on its back feet standing up and looking in the door!  I can imagine him saying "nut lady - we need you!"  LOL.  It was just so cute.

My frugal week:
  • I did go out to lunch with childhood school chums on Monday.  Meal was reasonable and fun times and conversation were wonderful.  Laughed so much.
  • While out, on the way home, I stopped at the GW Boutique! (Goodwill).  I have an event this Friday evening celebrating all high school classmates turning or have turned 69 this year and 1969 - the year we started high school.  Dress accordingly!!!  I did find a couple 'groovy' goodies.  No extremes for me, but I will try to dress for fun!
  • Pulled, cut and killed LOTS more weeds - just no end.
  • Mowed 2 times this week and trimmed once. Yesterday's mow was because I guarantee it isn't happening this week in the heat!
  • I received a gift from the owner of a house on the block - his late SIL used to live there, and she was a 'cat lady'.  He gave me some cute salt & peppers shakers that are cats and a Boyd's bear that is a cat!  She and I were friends.
  • I sprayed the greenhouse, doghouse and deck area with natural flea stuff.  It will help the neighbor's cat that hangs out and it will help me!
  • Made a gallon of homemade Miracle Grow
  • Picked flowers
  • Renewed library books online
  • Cut mint, basil and lemon balm to dry
  • Been using the air fryer often - instead of oven
  • Cleaned the outdoor unit of the AC.  Sprayed well to remove dust and pollen - should help it run better
  • Mailed all bills I had
  • I did go out to store and got some fruit and milk.  Stocked up on laundry soap B1G1, medicinal herbs B1G1, and got extra furnace filters
  • Made little cages around my tomato plants and peppers - to protect
  • Cooking from home and using up leftovers
  • Lots of dusting!  I love windows open - but it sure makes things dusty.  I WILL gladly dust to have fresh air.
Meals this past week:
Roasted cheese bread and a pasta/veg salad
Out to eat - McAlister's
Nacho's deluxe
Open face sloppy Joe and onion rings
Pepperoni/cheese/sauce calzone (made with pizza dough).  Salad
Jalapeno/cheeseburger and salad
Hominy/veg, skillet 

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?  How are those gardens doing?  Any new frugal things happening in your home?
It is going to be a hot one this week in many, many places.  Please stay well and safe.  Don't overexert yourself.  I do believe I will be home until Friday this week.
I send blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure.
Proverbs 4:23-26

Lord, help us each to live and do the right things.  The world needs us all to be kind and the world needs You at every point.  Help us each to guide the young and the lost in the ways of good.  May our days continue to be blessed with Your ways and gifts.  Amen

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Heat is On!

 Happy Thursday all.  I sure hope all are well and safe.  It is another glorious morning in the neighborhood.  Sunny, cool and just delightful.  I went out earlier and the bluejays were yelling at me "where is our food?".  Other birdies are chirping and singing away.
Have a window open at the moment and the kitties are loving the fresh air.
All in all, a beautiful start to the day.

I do believe that is about to change here and has changed in many areas already.  The extreme heat is coming!!! SOON.
You really need to take care of yourself, any animals and your home during these times.  Be prepared!

Make sure your inside unit has clean air filters - good air flow is important.
Make sure your outdoor unit is clean, free from any debris and not blocked in any way.
Keep the thermostat at a higher number in the extreme heat.  Do not turn it too low - or your unit can work too hard and easily freeze up or just stop!!  Trust me 80F inside without humidity will feel wonderful compared to 95F+ and humidity!!! (for example)
Getting help to repair or replace a unit will take much longer than usual.  (If a senior, make sure you let the repair people know).
Keep blinds and curtains closed more during the heat of the day.
Keep doors and windows closed.  Do not go in and out a lot.  
Just try to stay home and not drive! Vehicle emissions not good for the ozone levels.
Do not use the oven.  Keep the extra heat to a minimum. This is when an air fryer comes in handy!!!
Now is a good time for cool meals!!!!

Drink plenty of fluids - especially if you have to be outdoors much.  Stay away from sugary drinks and those with high salt count. (alcohol and soda pop not good choices during this time)
Wear natural fibers and lightweight clothing.
This is not the time to be mowing or doing heavy yard work.  (I feel so sorry for those who work in that heat)!!!
If you start to feel funny outdoors, get in the shade and cool, drink fluids and place a cool compress on your forehead or neck.  If too bad - call 911 - heat stroke is serious business!

Make sure there is water outdoors for ALL animals (nature & strays will need water too)
If you have pets outdoors - bring them in or find them shady/cooler cover and leave tons of water for them.
If you have hummingbird feeders out - change the nectar more often.  Sugar water will go skunky really quickly - birds won't drink it.  You don't want them getting sick either. 

Keep your plants watered well. Try not to get the water on the leaves, as it will tend to burn the leaves when evaporating.  Water EARLY.
Expect garden plants to lose blossom sets - many blossoms fall off in such heat.

It appears that this heat wave in going to be covering much of the nation and more and it is going to last a week or two.
This too shall pass - but be careful until it does.

Have a joyful day!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sharing - Not This Time!

 Good morning all.  Another cool morning here and a nice sunny one.  Probably the last of the nice cool temps for a while!  I guess it is basically summer, so heat is to be expected.
Aren't these cute?  I love the speckled flowers.  They look like someone splashed them with bleach.  I have a couple pots of these.

Well, as for sharing - I will help anyone in need.  I share my garden produce with lots of people.  I feed all the critters! (yeah I know!).  But, I don't want to share the garden with them!!!!!
Monday morning, I went out to check the garden, and overnight something decided to help itself to 2 of my tomato plants.  Grrrrrr
One was pulled out by the roots and laying on the ground.  The other was out and roots were gone.
I have stuck the one with roots back in - but it is very doubtful that it will survive.
Mind you I have tomato cages around plants - but animals can get under them.

I had figured it was racoons, as I find dirty water in the water bowl some mornings, so I know they are around.  Now this morning I am wondering.  I saw a HUGE rabbit out behind the neighbors yard.  So, whether it be Rocky or Bun-Bun - I have taken better precautions.
I made little cages with mesh wire and placed 'inside' the cages from the bottom up to about 10"-12".  I had a bunch of mesh wire in the shed - so got it out and cut to work.

I have also made some gadgets to try and scare things away.
I started keeping the tops to cat food cans.  I wash them and then string them up all around the garden.  They move in the wind, one side is reflective, and hopefully 'critters' won't like them!  They are free and it keeps them out of recycle. (any pull top would work)
Got to figure out ways to use what we have and protect our gardens!

Now all those FREE sunflowers plants out front became interesting to the squirrels.  I had 2 big buds (about to open) eaten off, and a plant or two bent in half.  Well - dang it.  I want to see them bloom.
I knew squirrels would like them, but last year they didn't bother them.  Sooooooo, I made up a mild solution of water and dish soap and sprayed them down.  I don't think they like the soapy taste - as they haven't bothered again!  Here's hoping!

Oh the frustrations of gardening.  I am just thrilled I don't have the bears many of you keep talking about.  Oh my gosh!  That has to be scary.  You gals make sure you keep whistles with you - hopefully that would scare them off, if they happen in the yard while you are out.

I am going to make up a batch of homemade Miracle Grow today, so I can fertilize the plants.  Everything could use a good drink of fertilizer.
Click on recipe to enlarge for better reading.

How are your gardens doing?  Are you keeping the wildlife out? What tricks do you use?
Do you have 'natural' or 'recycled' ways you use in the gardens?

I love coming up with little tricks to just upcycle and not buy.
Have a beautiful day.