Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Saying Goodbye 2019

My goodness, here it is the last day of the year.  Another year in the history books.  Another year older.  Another year of new experiences, both good and bad, gone.

No one would have ever convinced me that my year would end this way.  Alone.  I would never have imagined it, this time last year.  It is sad - but it is life.
We have all experienced losses and changes this year, yet here we are.  God gets us through each and every day.  I truly believe that.  We have a purpose that we have not yet accomplished.

Our skies yesterday were full of nasty dark clouds and ONCE the sun popped through.  This picture really does not do justice - as the clouds were BLACK.  It was really ominous looking.  The sun spike was so neat though.  Today we are ending the year with high winds, clouds and cold.
I will take it,  considering what is happening in other parts of the world.  Some people have tons of snow and ice and then there is the southern hemisphere where fires, heat and high winds are ravaging so much.  Prayers to all our friends near and far - for safety to you, your families, your homes and property and to all the wild life.

January 1st will be a new month, a new year and a new decade.  It is amazing how many decades we have lived through.  How much the world has changed in my life - and I don't like a lot of those changes.  I think we have become to reliant of artificial intelligence.  There is nothing private any more.  Nothing about your life is private.  
We have things like Alexis in our homes (not me), GPS (not me), store cards that track our every purchase, CC purchases that are tracked, on-line shopping that tracks you, and there are times you can mention something in a comment or say it in your own house and BOOM there is an add on your computer.  I swear I have thought about things (quietly in my head) and within an hour there is an ad popping up.  What is with that??  We have fingerprint scans, retina scans, or palm print scans for various things.  We freely take DNA ancestry tests - thus entering our DNA into a data base (don't believe that they don't).  There are self driving cars.  Computer usage, internet posts, music chosen, You Tube videos watched, even cable shows watched - it is all monitored!  Drones are used for everything and cameras are watching us everywhere.  The list just goes on and on.
I am just an old fashioned girl.  I do like some tech - but this all just scares the beejeesus out of me.  It will just continue on and on - I wonder what it will be like in 10 more years?!!  Scary!

I  look forward to simple changes this year and simple choices.  Shopping and spending less.  What will I plant in the garden?  Subtle changes around the home.  Getting out of my own way - that is huge for me.  I have been in a mindset of not going far from home for years (being a care giver) and it is very hard getting out of my head - that I can go and do.  It is OK to go and not have anxiety.  This will be a huge issue to work on for me this year.  All in all - small and simple things.
I want my life to be a K.I.S.S. life!!!!  Keep It Simple Silly!

Yes I am loved.  Here is a couple of my special gifts I received.  I am so fortunate to have family that loves me and lets me know.  I love them as well.  I am blessed.
I have friends that are wonderful and that love me.

I have all my friends I have met on this blog and from others over the years.  I just can't believe that I have made so many loyal friends and caring people from all over the world!  That is so amazing to me - this little Indiana girl who hasn't done much traveling nor done anything too exciting in life - that I actually have people following me here. (BIG SMILE!!!!)
I guess maybe there are more people than I believe, that just want to live a simple, frugal life.  We are more alike than different.  That is so cool.

I thank you my dear friends for helping me through this year - it has meant so much.
Thank you for reading and following this simple girl's blog.
Thank you for just being you!  I love you all.

I pray for a safe, healthy and wonderful year for you all.  May you be safe and secure wherever you live.  I pray for our world and our leaders that we have peace and security.
I pray for happiness for all of you.

Happy New Year to you all!!!!!!!!!

Thursday we get back to fun, frugal and informative posts!  Looking forward of sharing and learning with all of you!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/29

Good morning my friends.  Here we are on the last Sunday of the month and the year!
We have had an exceptionally warm week.  All the snow from the week before was pretty well gone by Christmas.
Today it is raining and raining  some more and is supposed to be in the low 60's!  It was almost 60 when I went out to feed the cats at 6:30 this morning.  We will have a little cooling this week, but still all above normal.
I am glad we are getting rain instead of the snow many parts of the country are receiving.  I look at this as -  each day we have that is decent is one more closer to spring and one less of cold and snow!

The week was a blur.  Between being busy with last minute Christmas preps, visiting, cleaning and company - it went quickly.  I am really kind of glad - as it was a week that I was not looking forward to.  It ended up being a lovely week of visits with family.

My week:
  • I cut my hair and colored it
  • Thoroughly cleaned the stove, oven and refrigerator
  • Made a Dutch apple pie, brownies, and 3 kinds of cookies
  • House is the cleanest it has been in ages!
  • I actually got to air the house this week.  4 days of no heat and 3 nights of no heat (in Dec.)!
  • Made a ton of ice
  • I received a gift in the mail from an old neighbor (owns the house our friend rents next door).  He sent me a lovely little bird feeder.  The gift came all the way from Lebanon - the country (where he currently lives)!!!!  It was so sweet of him to think of me.
  • I got so many wonderful gifts.  Food items, flavored teas, GC's, home crafted wood items, a warm soft throw, bath items and lotions, a sweater.........  My nieces and nephews sure do love their Auntie!  I love them all so much.

I received the Discover book from a nephew.  It is about 1" thick and is full of coupons for discounts all over town and for all kinds of things.  There is a $5 coupon for every month for Kroger - that is a lot of money saved.   I got GC's for taco bell as well.  Everyone knows I love Taco Bell.
  • I made a lot of goodies for company on Saturday.  Have lots of food leftover to take me through at least New Years.  All was made with items I already had here.
  • I recorded The Wizard of Oz and Coat of Many Colors this week.  May spend new year's day watching movies
  • I gave away the Aldi coupon I had to neighbor.  I decided not to go, and didn't want the coupon to be wasted.  He was glad to save $5
My weekly meals:
Stuffed shells and garlic bread (from my sister)
Burger and oven fries
Just snacked on odds and ends that was in frig
Dinner at my brother's home
Mac n cheese and ham, roll (brought home from brothers)
Small pizza from freezer
Christmas get together with many nieces and nephews - I made shredded salsa chicken, cheese and meat plate, veggies, crackers, tortillas, buns, chips, salsa, nacho cheese dip and lots of sweets

I got to meet a great/great nephew for the first time (they live out of town).  He just turned one.  He is the image of his daddy for sure.  I decided to pass along something to him.  I gifted him the rocking chair I got when I was one (64 years ago)!!!  I also gave him a large teddy bear that my sister (would have been his great grandma) gave me 36 years ago.  It was a hit.  His daddy and mommy was thrilled to get a family heirloom.

I am going to a baby shower today.  I plan on just relaxing to end the year.  Slowly putting away all my lovely gifts and put away all Christmas stuff.

I hope you all had a great Christmas holiday and hope you have a lovely end to the year.  May you all stay safe and healthy this week.  
Blessings to you all from my humble little home to yours.  

(I will be  posting Tuesday as normal)

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Count Down has Started

Well here we are at the end of another decade in our lives.  In less than a week a new year and a new decade will start.  Will this be the 'roaring 20's' ??!!!
We sure never know how the year will be.
We make changes and  changes make us.

I do not like resolutions.  They are just statements that we make that end up making feel bad, because most often we do not follow through.  I don't like intentionally making myself fail!

I may make some simple goals that I know I can accomplish.  The above it definitely doable.  If we want positive change, that is totally up to us.  You don't have to do things that are drastic or dramatic - just small things that make difference.

Smile more.  Unfollow negative people and things.  Show gratitude.  Get rid of clutter.  Get excited about little things.  Do kind things for others.  Try something new...……….etc.
AREN'T THESE THINGS WE CAN ALL DO?  They don't cost a cent and can make such a difference in our lives and in other's lives.

Small acts can make us a success.  Isn't being successful and happy what life is about?

Let us make 2020 a great year.
Let us all continue to offer encouragement and advice to each other.  Share ideas and heart felt emotions.  Let us make this new year a new start - to going forward and making changes in a good way.  Honoring others by moving forward and doing good.

In a week we get back to making new posts about being thrifty and frugal.  YAY!
I so look forward to spending the year chatting and sharing with all my friends here.  I love you guys and appreciate you more than you can possibly know.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


I just want to take a moment to say:


I want to wish each and everyone of you and your families the absolute best holiday ever.  May you make this year's celebration the best.  It isn't about the gifts, it isn't about the food, it isn't about the hustle and bustle - IT IS ABOUT LOVE AND KINDNESS.
It is about the GREATEST GIFT - JESUS.

Hug your family tightly and make wonderful memories to last you forever.
Blessings to all

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/22

Good morning all.  It is officially winter (or summer) depending on where you live.  The daylight hours will start to increase here in the U.S.  YAY!  We gain 30 seconds today!!!!!!  LOL - That is what the meteorologist said.  I am just glad to be going in the right direction again.

We got around a total of 8" of snow this week.  Two snowfalls over two days.  First one, the neighbor did shoveling of drive and front walk for me.  God love him.  Second one I took care of.  Boy it got cold too.  Starting to warm a bit and the snow is melting.  Probably won't be much, if any, left for Christmas.  I know people want snow for Christmas, I just like that it makes for safe traveling, having none.

I watched a couple more different types of holiday shows again this week.  I saw Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.  What a cute show and another cartoon with a message.  Greed will destroy you!
I also watched a show called Love The Coopers.  I had never heard of it before.  It had John Goodman and Diane Keaton in it.  It was really pretty good - kind of a never give up on love/dis-functional family Christmas show.

The blue jays have really been in abundance this week.  They sure love their peanuts.  The  pileated woodpecker has been around this week as well.  Oh how beautiful and majestic.  Big Bird (the hawk) has been around too.  Sure keeps the little birds away and quiet.  THEN one day the crows showed up.  Good grief, they make the hawk look like a parakeet!  They look like turkeys walking around out there - just huge.  Glad they were just passing through.
Of course I have my cardinals every morning and evening and all those squirrels!

My week:
  • I recieved a $5/$30 coupon (again) for Aldi.  Needs to be used by 12/24.  I don't really need anything - but will probably get a little stock and maybe a special item or two
  • I cleaned the wood floors throughout the house - 2X.  They sure needed it again
  • Moved a lot of snow this week
  • Made 2 batches of candy and a batch of cookies.  Cookies were part of siblings gift.  Made chocolate coated mixed nut clusters, chocolate toffee bark and Springerle cookies (batch 1).

  • Finally got the few cards I sent - mailed!  Parcels will be done after the holidays.
  • Finished up the gift shopping
  • Started working of wrapping and bagging gifts
  • Had sibling Christmas yesterday.  Got some nice gifts.  Mixed popcorn in a tin, home canned goods (lots), cash and a gift card for Kroger.  Had a lovely meal that sister made.  It was a nice day.  My brother was soooo funny.  They got lots of jar recipes and homemade stuff, and he kept pulling things out of the bag saying "this is mine, this is mine...."  I told him he reminded of Ralphie's little brother on Christmas morning when they see the gifts!!!!!!! (from Christmas Story).  It was hilarious!
  • Sis sent home some leftovers - so no cooking today!
  • Been cleaning - mirrors, glass, throw rugs, dusting, laundry, etc.
  • Loaded a couple more boxes of donations into the car - when I get down that way to drop off
Meals this past week:
Small pizza
Home made Rice A Roni and asparagus
Gumbo (from freezer) and added leftover rice from day before
Cube steak and mashed potatoes/gravy
Egg rolls (from freezer)
Chicken dumplings and a salad
Dinner at sis's - stuffed shells, chicken alfredo, garlic bread and Éclair cake (YUM)

Isn't it amazing that everyone has been hustling around getting ready for the holiday and it is almost here?  This time next week it will just be a memory!  It comes and goes so fast.
Wednesday I will go to brothers for a while and visit with his kids and grands.  Saturday the kids come up for Christmas here. (other niece and nephews/families).  Sunday next I have a baby shower to go to.  Baking to do in there in as well.  I have all I need for the food for next Saturday.  It will be a busy week I guess.  That is probably a good thing for me!

Are you ready?  What are your plans?  Any special traditions?  
Baking done?  Tis the season - fa la la la la - la la la la!!!!!

Prayers for health happiness and comfort and peace for all this week.  I know there are many who are sad this year - may God touch you and bless you with His presence.

Blessings to each of you and your families from my humble little home to yours.

I will be here again before Christmas - but others may take a break.
Merry Christmas to those taking a computer break this week!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

FOOD for Thought

This is the time of the year that we hear so much about feeding the hungry.  Folks are hungry all year.  We need to be more aware all months - but especially in the winter.  Food keeps our bodies working properly, and when we are cold and shivering, we are using energy - thus we need to eat properly.
Food, water and air - the three things we all need to survive.

I have been noticing many stories lately about ways people are helping, and it warms my heart.

PACK THE PANTRIES - is an event that happens every so often in our area.  Many of the local TV stations have food gathering events and many other organizations do as well.
Many holiday events (that charge for admission) have been donating a percentage of each entry price to Gleaner's.  There are so many in need, and these organizations help so much.

South of us, in another county, there is the GOOD CHEER FUND.  This was started by a child and has spread over the years.  They now fill and donate over 800 bushel baskets of food to give to those in need.  Those will be passed out this Saturday and on Christmas Eve.

Aunt Millie's bread has just donated over 2,000 loaves of fresh bread to pantries in the state.  Most pantries here, only get bread that has been frozen, so fresh is quite a luxury.

Some area school teachers have asked for NO gifts to be given by the children (to the teacher).  They want the kids to bring in non-perishables to give to the pantries.  WIN-WIN-WIN.  Teachers don't get things they don't need and they are teaching the children a great lesson in helping and people are getting food!  I love this idea and think more teachers should do this.
Many of our area schools do have food drives, which I think is wonderful.

We have many areas here in my city (which is amazing to me) that are considered 'food deserts'.  That means there is no real grocery store within a reasonable distance to homes.  There are thrifty marts and corner stores that sell junk food, but no good groceries.  These areas are generally lower income neighborhoods, and stores have all moved from the area.  It seems like IF just one store came in the area - it would do great.  People need to be able to buy food, so why would stores leave?
Buses are costly, and many people have no other option than to buy the junk food or take an expensive bus to another area.
Now there is a program by Lyft (kind of like Uber), and for a $2 fee - people will have the option to ride to one of 6 different grocery stores.  That fee covers both ways.  I have heard stories that some drivers have provided the service for free - just to help out.
I love that the people in these areas now have an option.

Last year the organic grocery store up the road from us, went out of business.  Hubs and I were original investors in that, as the area was a food desert, and this place was providing healthy options.  Well, it kind of lost it's vision - and became the 'preppy' store for all the new age health nuts and got very expensive.  Again, the people in the neighborhood couldn't afford it.
The store remained closed for about a year.  Just recently a farmer from a northern county - opened it back up and is selling excess farm produce and great markdown deals for very little money.
He is donating a great amount of fresh produce from his farm.  He said that he feels it his duty to help!  He has gotten lots of other items donated and is getting many deals from manufacturers.  The people in the area finally have a place they can afford and can get REAL food!!!
Praise the Lord.

Don't forget others.  I know we are all wound up in holiday events and activities - but so many don't have the means for even a warm meal.  We have many soup kitchens and missions around, and lots of churches serve at the holidays - BUT people are hungry every day!

Just my little reminder to you - IF it all possible, think about spending just a little extra each month to donate goods to your area food pantry.  $5 or $10 can provide a lots of basics.
IF EACH AND EVERY ONE of us did this - what a difference it would make.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tis the Season - I Guess!

My goodness it is getting close!  I know I am not the only one having a hard time of getting in the mood.  I have been trying.  HONEST!

Glen absolutely loved Christmas shows.  Kind of funny, if you knew him.  Big ole lumberjack looking type of guy, who could act all gruff at times.  Yep, he loved the Hallmark channel as well.
I have DVR'd many movies this season - just haven't had the heart to watch them yet.

I have taken a more non-traditional road (for this house).  I started out watching Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.  That was so cute.
The other night I sat and watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (1964) with Burl Ives as the snowman.  I hadn't seen that since I was a kid.
Totally forgot about the isle of mis-fit toys.

Isn't that all of us??????  None of us is the total package.  We all have flaws and differences that make us just a bit odd!!!!  Funny how that little cartoon really made me stop and think about life.
We have quirks, different abilities (I don't like the word disabilities), ways of thinking, ideas, ways of doing things, ways of dressing and acting...……………………..
So aren't we all part of that isle of mis-fits????  I think we are.
I kind of like being an odd bird.  Individuality is what makes this world go round.  Embrace it and have fun.

Then I watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Oh dear I haven't seen that in years.  I laughed so hard.  I sure did need that.  So many parts that I had totally forgotten about.  The total package of a dis-functional family at the holidays - yep, there are many.  In the end, there was happiness and love - despite all the weirdos and drama!!
I have been trying to listen to cheery Christmas songs.

Then we got snow!!!  UGH.  One day of it, right after it falls, I like - any after that is just excess in my opinion!  It looks like a flippin' winter wonder land out there.   LOL
I guess I got to this point years ago.  G worked for the city and had to be at work whenever it snowed (sometimes for days).  I have ALWAYS had to be the one to clean and clear and shovel and de-ice and trudge through the white stuff.  Fun - NOT!  Been doing this for 34 years and I am over it.
We got a snow blower and that did help some, but it was bulky and tiring too.  Only a couple times in all the years have I paid someone to do it.
Yesterday morning I got up and my drive and front walk were clean!  My sweet younger neighbor did the shoveling before I even got up.  God love him.  Actually he wanted to use the shovel, which sits by the side door and I think he just decided to it all.  APPRECIATED!
Last night he had to work at midnight, so I had to take care of round two.  I was out feeding kitties and critters and moving snow and the rest of the neighborhood appeared to still be in bed.  Hardly any lights on in houses.  Nicely, it looked like daylight outside with all the white on the ground.

Today the sun is shining, so thankful.  I hope it melts the snow of the cable dish (on the roof), as I can't get TV (it is covered in snow).  I had plenty of things recorded for last night to keep me occupied.  Tonight there are a couple of shows I really want to see - so hoping the snow up there melts!
Also need to get snow off the greenhouse.  It is warmer inside than out and melting snow dripped down in door slides.  That was a pain this morning at 7AM - trying to get door open to feed the babies.  Too bad I don't fit in the kitty door!!!!  LOL

I am going to start Christmas cookies and maybe candy today - that always helps get me in the mood.

I know I probably sound like the Grinch.  That's OK.  I am trying some new approaches to holiday cheer this year.
ALWAYS remember that you can do new and different things and it is OK.  Change is the only constant we have.

So there you go - go watch a funny holiday movie or cartoon.  Let out a little laugh!  Act like a kid for a few minutes.  Throw snowballs at the neighbor.  Sing out loud to Jingle Bell Rock.  Make a snow angel.  Just do something a little crazy and different - it is OK.
It is good for the soul.

Now I am going to start cookies and then go chip ice!  YAY!
Have a good day being YOU!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/15

Happy Sunday everyone.  My goodness, here we are half-way through the month and just a few days before Christmas.  It is just amazing to me how quickly this year has gone by.

We had some really frigid temperatures the first part of the week and then we got back to decent (seasonal) temperatures.  They are predicting snow for tonight and maybe tomorrow.  I don't think it will stick around long as we are supposed to be back in the 40's the last part of the week.  Oh well, it is Christmastime!  Tis the season!
We have had some of the most incredible sunsets this past week and a sunrise that was just glorious.  The colors were amazing.
                                                         God sure is a good artist!
My week:
  • I got the remainder of the mini blinds in the house all cleaned
  • Worked on cards and parcels (still not mailed - I bad)
  • I did go to the Social Security office.  MAJOR accomplishment for me.  I went to a branch on the north side of town so as not to go downtown (town is so busy and congested).  I found the place on my own.  I prayed before I went and God got me through it.  I got Medicare done and now have an appointment for S.S. widow payments.  
  • I got gasoline and saved .80/gallon with my points!  Thanks to 4X points for gift card purchases and survey points.
  • I ran to Kroger for a few more basket stuffers and I got pears in markdown - 4/.99.

           Yum - have been munching on these for snacks.  Hadn't had fresh pears in a long time.
  • I worked on more jar recipes.  Tried to finish up shopping.  I think I only have a couple more small things to get.  Worked on gift bags.
  • Ran to Aldi and got eggs for .49/dozen and butter for 1.99/lb.
  • I got a present in the mail!!!!  A friend from the other side of the country sent me a lovely gift.  I got the warmest socks/slippers, a bag of thick ribbon candy and raspberry candies!!!!  EEK!
These are incredibly warm and cozy.  My feet won't be cold this winter.  Lined and slip resistant!  How lucky am I?   Thank you L!!!!!!!!!
  • Refilled all the feed bins to be ready for nasty weather.  Filled with supplies on hand
  • Made more squirrel treats
  • Cleaning (always), laundry in cold, drinking Kool-Aid and water too, eating from home and from scratch, doing all the regular stuff
Meals this past week:
Beef, bean and cheese burrito
Potato soup (from freezer) and added leftover beef and beans (tasty)
Chipped beef gravy over toast
Mac n cheese and hotdogs
Leftover mac and hotdog and green beans (from freezer)
Hamburger hash
Turkey rice soup (from freezer) and a cold cut sandwich

I learned when the kids will be coming up for Christmas - it will be the 28th.  I have my menu all planned and I do believe I have 99% of it already here.  I only need buns (I believe).  I look forward to their visit.  

Trying to get myself more in the mood, I checked out the Christmas music channel on cable - NOPE too many slow and sad sounding songs.  I decided to check the radio and found a local channel that is Christmas music all day everyday until Christmas.  I have been listening to that.  It is much happier sounding music.
Like I said, I believe I am about done with any shopping.  A couple more odd gift cards to get that none of the local stores sell.  I will need to go in these restaurants to get.  I went out Friday, thinking I would beat the weekend madness.  HAHA!!!!!!  It was a madhouse out there.  Goodness sakes, I couldn't believe it.  By the time I got home, I was so confused and I was thinking it was Saturday.  LOL

I have baking to do each week.  Have you baked?  Shopping done?  Has anyone found any awesome deals?
Let us know what is going on in your neck of the woods.

Prayers for health, healing, and happiness this week.  I pray for all of those missing loved ones.  It makes things tough I know.  The Lord will get you through this.  
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

                                                             BE KIND AND LOVING

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2 Easy Peasy Recipes - Just for Fun

I am late I know!  Today was Social Security day - YIKES!  I promise I will do a blog on all that real soon.

First I just wanted to share a couple super easy yet very tasty recipes that may relieve the stress of your holiday baking some.
Everyone gets in a hurry and tries to make all kinds of goodies - but seriously - NO ONE needs it and why STRESS over it.    Just use the K.I.S.S. principle  (keep it simple silly).

                                                                Such a sweet picture

Click on the peanut butter cookie recipe to enlarge - I know it is hard to see.

There you go.  It can't get much easier than that and they both taste good.  I usually use mini loaf pans when I make banana bread and I can get 4 to 5 out of a recipe easy.  They are great to wrap up after cooled, and give as presents.
I wrap and keep in the refrigerator until I need them.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Keeping It Simple

Tis the season!  Well, this year I am not feeling it.  We all have times in our lives that make the holidays less joyful.  I did put out an item or two to decorate.  I do love lights and decorations - but for me, this is a keep it simple year.  I know there are many others going through this as well.  My heart aches for each of you.
I am not looking for sympathy - I just want you all to know that whatever you do or don't do - IT IS OK!  You have to decide for yourself.
We do what we can and want - and go forward baby steps at a time.

Little Santa and my sweetie amongst the flowers and angels

Snowman and angels and candles galore.  I love the seasonal scents

My sweet snowman I received as a homemade gift

Merry Christmas snowman

Can't forget my little leg lamp (from The Christmas Story movie)  Fra-gi-le'!!!!!

Yep, this is the tree this year

Decorating and making the house festive is nice, but that is truly not what the season is about.  We should be keeping the reason for the holidays in our hearts every day.  We should live it every day.
We should spread the joy and love and giving every day.
Things in life change - that is a given.  The ONE thing that never changes is the love our Savior has for us.

Keep the joy of the season in your hearts and lives every day.  Trust me, you will get as much or more out of life by doing that, than by doing anything else.
HONOR those not with us this year by living your best life.

Blessings my friends

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/8

Good morning all.  Here we are one week into December.  My goodness the time is just flying by.  We will be celebrating a brand new year in just a few short weeks.

This past week has brought us some sunshine, which has greatly been appreciated.  We actually got a few days of sun and that doesn't happen much in December.  It is commonly known in our area to be the cloudiest and darkest month of the year.  We even had decent temps.  Momma and Fluffy (outside cats) sure have enjoyed the nicer temps and the sunshine!  They love playing and rolling around and sunning!  Things, they are going to be a changing!  Rain comes in tomorrow, and then the bottom drops out for a few days and we get a huge blast of cold!  Yep, it is winter in Indiana!

My week:
  • Made a batch of squirrel treats - they sure do love them
  • Cleaned and organized the freezer in the frig
  • On Monday I froze the leftover turkey breast 
  • Made soup (turkey/rice/veggie) and froze much of it as well
  • Made a big feed store run
  • Cleaned and polished the kitchen cabinets
  • Ordered the jerky and summer sausage that is given as gifts every year.  Ordered on Tuesday from Ohio and received it on Friday
  • Did a little bit more small item gift shopping 
  • Got my printer working again
  • NO grocery store this week
  • Made some more jar recipes up for gifting
  • Dealing with Medicare/Soc. Security this week trying to get things set up.  I have been in tears a lot, nothing was working out.  Finally figured out the problem and now have to go into the office instead of doing this on-line (that will be a post of it's own!)  NOTHING is as easy as they claim!!!
  • In trying to do above with Medic./Soc. Sec. I went through tons more paper work and tried to organize it
  • I did buy the trim paint for the inside of house.  I haven't started painting yet - but I have it!
  • Went to a family get together and dinner at my nieces.  Nice afternoon/evening and got to see another niece from out of state (rode with my brother/sil).  Got to enjoy seeing some pretty Christmas lights on the way home - haven't done that in years.
  • Doing all the regular stuff

Meals this past week:
Turkey/nacho cheese open face sandwich melt
Turkey/rice/veggie soup (homemade)
Chopped beef patty and fried potatoes
2 mini cheese burgers on leftover dinner rolls and some chips
Chicken bites and fresh cauliflower/carrots/olives with ranch dressing
Sausage/egg sandwich and a milk shake
Dinner at my nieces - lasagna and salad

I know I accomplished things this week, but it doesn't feel like it.  So much of the week was just downright frustrating!  Oh well.  Live and learn.
I hope this coming week is productive.  I will try to get this Medicare thing done and hope to get what shopping I need to do - finished.  I need to get the cards done as well - that didn't happen last week!

How was your week?  Are you ready for Christmas?  Any great frugal deals this week?

I pray for you and yours and hope you all stay well and safe.  Be happy, be healthy, and be frugal my friends.  God bless you all.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Don't Worry - Be Happy

You all sang that phrase in your head, didn't you!  LOL

I just wanted to give you all a little reminder that all the worrying in the world isn't going to change things.
Worry will not change your situation - actions will change your situation.
Worry about others, isn't going to help - it just makes you feel worse.
Worry never solved anything!
YES, I do it too!  I try not to, but I do.  We all do.  It seems to be a part of our DNA.
Does it help?  Not really.

There are so many situations going on in the world that just has people up in arms every day.  I continually see all the posts on FB about this shortage and that shortage.  This recall and that recall.  Financial insecurity, climate change and global warming.  Doom and gloom every day.
I don't know about you - but I am so sick on this continual bombardment of negative.

Yes, things happen.  Yes, we need to be aware.  But it sure can be over whelming.
We all need to do what we can to be prepared for anything AND we all need to  continue to live a happy life.  Don't let stress take over.
I do believe that some of these things are real, but I also see many things as way to drive up prices.  Greed is real in the world - never forget that.   I see many as politically created situations, and that just ticks me off.  I see many as just precaution - and they say that  nothing has happened, but let's be safe.  That's cool.
These things have been happening for decades.  Weather events have happened, disrupting farming.  Financial ups and downs have happened many times disrupting lives.
Do I believe it is happening more often?  Not really.  I think we are more aware and hear about it more often, because of TV and social media.  Have any of you ever read the book The Jungle?  My goodness, it tells of the meat packing industry back in the day and it is repulsive and horrific.  I actually quit eating meat for a while after I read it years ago.  These things aren't new!!!!!
Our ancestors persevered and so will we.  Things happen and things change - that is our history and our future.  Just be responsible for yourself and your family and you will move forward.

As for myself, I take a lot of it with a grain of salt.  I am going to continue to do what I do - prepare for the future.  I am not going to panic.  I will continue to have faith.
So should you.

I have many people question my faith.  The big question is "how can you have faith today?"  I just do.  It is part of me and without having faith, I would be nothing.
I know there are those who do not have the religious faith I have - BUT you all believe in something.
People set their alarm clocks each night and make lists of things to accomplish.  They plan vacations.  They save money.  They stock their pantries.  They plant seeds in the garden, hoping for veggies. You plan parties.  You do medical treatments and procedures to make you healthier for tomorrow.  You buy gifts for the upcoming holiday...……………….  the list goes on and on.

That my friends is FAITH.  You have faith that the next moment or day or week will happen.  IF you plan ahead, you have some kind of faith.
So have faith that all will be ok.  Be responsible, do the good deed, have hope, love one another and move forward moment by moment.

Let's all make this our motto for 2020!!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


JENZ, a reader here, requested that this article be reposted as a reminder of doing good to help others.
I have to admit, she had a much better memory than I.
Here you go JENZ and for everyone else.

Let us open our hearts and help those less fortunate not just at Christmas, but all winter long.  Watch the sales a do something good and kind for just a little money.

Article on Dec. 7, 2018 

Click on pictures to enlarge for easier reading

So many non-perishable items are needed everyday.  Tuna, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, canned meats of any type, sauces, canned veggies or fruits, cereal, oats, etc.
It takes very little to brighten someone else's day and maybe help fill the belly of a hungry man, woman, or child.

Thanks JENZ for a great reminder.
Blessings all.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Couple Last Minute Makes for the Hard to Buy For

Three weeks and counting - oh my.
There are always those people who are hard to buy for.  Of course there are some people who will never be happy, no matter what they receive (sadly).
You all know I am a homemade kind of gal.  I am working on gift baskets this week.  Some things are store bought (especially for the teens), but much is homemade.

Here are a couple ideas that may help YOU or may make a fun GIFT idea for someone else.

3/4 C flour
1/2 C water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (sold at most grocery stores in multiple packs)
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
4 C - birdseed, crushed nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Mix the first 4 ingredients together and then mix in seed/nuts.  You can use just regular bird seed, sunflower seeds, whatever you have.
You can place in plastic suet packs (re-use old ones), or you can spread this our in a shallow pan or cookie sheet.  Score to cut later - if you want it in the size of suet feeders.  Let this dry overnight and finish cutting.
I just made a double batch as squirrel treats.  They love it.  I cut mine into 1/2" - 1" bites.  They sit and eat them like cookies!  Adorable to watch.
So, if you have a friend that loves nature and feeds the birds and squirrels - this is a super easy make and brings nature much happiness (as well as the watcher of nature!)
Packed them up in the suet containers, or cut and package in 'cookie' bags or some other sort of plastic container.
This was the double batch I put together Sunday.  Spread out on an old cookie sheet to dry.  I then cut into small bites for squirrels.  Storing in an old ice cream tub.
Here's some I made in older suet containers.  They are a perfect in the suet feeder and the woodpeckers loved them.
***Along this line you may also think about GIFTING  a bag of bird seed, a bird or squirrel feeder or suet feeder or a thistle sock filled with feed (I see them at the grocery all the time).  There are many gifts that the naturist would enjoy.  Maybe even a book on birds of the area!

12 C rolled oats (old fashioned)
2 C nuts or seeds
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt.
1 C coconut oil
2/3 C honey

Preheat your oven to 350*
Whisk the coconut oil and honey well to combine thoroughly.  Combine with all the dry. 
**** I like to leave the buts out until almost the end of baking time - or they tend to burn or scorch!!!!
You ALSO can add dried fruit if you like - dried apples or pineapple, dried bananas, cranberries, raisins, etc.  (I put this in closer to the end as well)
Grease 2 cookies sheets (with sides) or use parchment paper.  Spread out the granola mix evenly on the sheets.  
You are going to bake about 30 minutes TOTAL.  Stop and stir mixture every 5 minutes or so.
Add fruit in at about 20 minutes into baking and nuts at about 25 minutes into baking.
Remove from the oven and let this all cool COMPLETELY before packaging.
Makes nice containers of granola (use what you have) or place into baggies.
I like to make with a label that states  - eat as cereal or just as a snack.  Spread over yogurt or ice cream.
This is going in some of my baskets this year!!!!!

So there you go.  A couple more easy and frugal ideas for gifts for that hard to buy for person (or just yourself).  Either one of these makes a nice addition to any goodie bag.

Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/1

My oh my - it is December!  How did that happen?  24 days till Christmas!!  YIKES
This year has been a real blur and I can't believe it is now Christmas time.  My goodness - we will be entering the 'roaring twenties' in a month!

We have had a lot of rain this week.  I am over it!  BUT, I am very glad it hasn't been snow.  Wind and more wind came through Wednesday.  It was crazy.  We had wind gusts of 60/65 mph.  I am so thankful the trees had no leaves, as the wind met no resistance.  Funny thing, the wind managed to corral all my leaves into a couple of areas, so they are rounded up and ready for me to pick up when the rain stops!  This coming week should be normal temps for the season and dry.

My week:
  • I worked on painting a lot this week in the bathroom.  I did take off a couple days and the old back was screaming "stop".  I have a couple spots to touch up - but the painting is done and it looks so fresh and clean.  It is all put back together!!!
  • I put up just a border instead of papering the bottom half of room.  
  • I did go and buy a new shower curtain and throw rug.
  • I changed out the bathroom door handle with a new one I had here
  • I stopped at Lowes this week and picked up many paint samples.  Trying to match the trim in the house.  It is 30+ years old, and I could not remember the name.  I brought home many and tried and found an exact match!  I will go and get paint this week to refresh all the trim in the house.
  • Colored hair
  • Did some shopping for small gifts and stuffers for teens (not Friday!)
  • I made a batch of brownies to take for Thanksgiving at nieces.  They were a hit
  • Put up decorations for Christmas on the doors
  • Did a huge update on the computer
  • Brought home some goodies - food and dessert from nieces
  • Made a turkey breast in the crockpot on Friday - so juicy
  • All the normal weekly stuff
  • I ran to Kroger on Friday and 5 - 4lb. bags of sugar for .99 ea.  I didn't need it - but will put it back for later (at that price).  I also got 4 GC's for gifts and got 4X the gas points for purchasing those.  That will sure help with gasoline purchase this month.  I also got 2 nice heads of cauliflower for .99 each in mark-down bin
                                              Old time lighted tree.  Got photo bombed!!!!

Meals this past week:
I kept things light and easy this week - just too busy
Leftovers from the frig
Beef/bean burrito (homemade)
Tostada's (used leftover beans and beef)
Small pizza from freezer
Thanksgiving Day - meal at nieces
Cold turkey sandwich, mac n cheese and dessert (all from nieces).  She made the BEST mac/cheese!
Turkey and dumplings (Sweet Sue)
Too many desserts!

I am over sweets for a while.  They have started affecting my vision.  I have low blood sugar and sweets really mess with my eyes.  Need to break on all sweets for a while.

This week I plan on putting turkey up.  Make a pot of soup.  Go to feed store. Get as much Christmas done as possible.  Go get trim paint.  Get out all my baking recipes for holiday goodies.  Get my cards done.
MAYBE - start to watch some Christmas movies I have recorded.  I haven't watched ONE yet!  I keep recording.  Glen loved Christmas shows and I just haven't had the heart to watch.  I know he wouldn't want me to miss out - so maybe!

I hope you and yours (in U.S.) had a great Thanksgiving.  Did any of you brave the craziness and go shopping on Black Friday?  That is not for the faint of heart!
Did you stay frugal this past week?
Hope you are gearing up for Christmas - it sure is close at hand.

I pray for health and safety for each of you and your families.  Stay safe and stay frugal.  Be kind and help others if possible.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.