Sunday, April 5, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 4/5

Good morning to all.  I hope you are all well and safe and that your families are well.
I have had several check in again this week.  An old friend from high school called to see how I was doing - we had a nice catch up talk.  My former neighbors called again, saying they had a grocery run planned and did I need anything.  So sweet.
My neighbor was going to the store and asked if I wanted anything.  Kroger had a nice sale on spiral hams - so I said I wouldn't mind one and a couple other things.  Got it!  Let the neighbor borrow a power tool for the day for getting me things.
People are being kind.  It would be nice if it lasted - but I am not holding my breath (sadly).

              Prayers for you all on this Palm Sunday and for the beginning of a Holy week.

The flowers are getting lush and popping up everywhere.  Tulips are blooming.  Grass is so green and the trees are all budding.  The magnolia trees got to bloom and look gorgeous.
It sure looks like the earth is coming back to life.  I love spring!!

My week:
  • Made up a batch of cheese biscuits  from a mix I got as a gift
  • Made some sausage gravy with 2 sausage patties from the freezer
  • My neighbor got me a spiral cut ham for .95/lb. this week.  I also wanted and got bell peppers (.99 bag) and milk - 1 gallon for 2.19.  That ham will provide a generous amount of different meals.
    Aren't these pretty?  That is a .99 clearance bag.  I cut one of the striped ones and kept seeds - we will see how that works!
  • I did go and drop mail off at the outdoor box at the post office (2 blks. up the road).  I drove a couple blocks further and drove through the park just to see the trees blooming and the flower gardens.  Never got out of the car - it was just a needed and pretty drive for a few minutes.
  • All bills received, paid for the month
  • Cut grass - it sure is growing steady now
  • Got a LOT of yard work done this week.  I worked on an area that was totally ignored last summer (I ignored a lot last summer).  It all looks so clear and nice now.  Even cleaned a bunch on the neighbors (the young couple) side of fence.  It was good to get out and move and FREE exercise.  I sure slept good that night.
  • My neighbor cut a bunch of dead limbs from his trees and burned them.  I asked for all the ashes for the garden.  They were gladly given!
  • Just doing all the normal stuff - eating from home, cooking from scratch, cleaning and de-cluttering, laundry - just normal every day things.  
Meals this past week:
Beans/rice and smoked sausage and biscuits
Rice/bean/chicken tender roll-ups with Ranch dressing
Biscuits and sausage gravy
Club sandwich
Tamale pie
Tamale pie and fresh veggies & dip
Cheesy mac with beef and beans added 
                                      Homemade club sandwich - who needs a fancy deli?

How was your week?  Are you getting a lot of things accomplished around the home and yard?  Hope you are getting some decent weather.

I live in the flight path of the airport - and generally at any given hour you see/hear at least a half dozen planes in the sky (or more).  It sure is quiet now.  I occasionally see and hear a plane, but not many.  There are several helicopters that I see - I think TV news choppers - but few planes.  Seems weird.  
Streets are quiet as well.
My neighbor said the grocery was fully stocked with everything except paper products (of which there were none).  But all aisles were full and they said there wasn't a rush of people.  Maybe things are evening out some.

I pray that God will help us each to surrender our worries to Him and that we strengthen our faith each and every day - and that He will see us through this, as only He can.   Amen

Blessing to you and yours from my humble little home to yours.


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Reach Out

I know a lot is going on in every single persons lives right now.
I know people are scared and stressed.  I know people are ill and some are dying (sadly).
I know we can't visit.  I know our normal isn't normal.
I KNOW!
We are all going through this day in and day out.


Take time to do something for someone else.  Yes, it can still be done.
If you have an elderly neighbor or someone who is feeling poorly - go mow their grass or pull some weeds for them.  Take their trash can to the curb for p/u.  It all helps.
If you are going out for ANYTHING - check with others and see if you can get them something.  (You can leave it at the door)
If you have extra - and you know someone who doesn't - share.
If you have the capabilities to HELP for the greater good - DO IT.   Sew masks to donate, donate to the food pantry, help at a food pantry (most are still open with limited hours).  Make cold lunches for elderly neighbors or kids that may be doing without.  Make hand sanitizer if you have supplies to share with others, etc.
Some churches are working in very small groups around here - making up 'care' boxes (food basics, TP, cleaning supplies, etc.) for a drive-through pick-up for anyone in need.
Pray for others
Face time with others if at all possible.
Call and talk with friends and family - trust me - it will brighten their day  (I know this first hand!)
Talk to neighbors and socialize from a distance  (across the fence several feet apart)

Boy, there are many on here who know this verse is so very true.  My word, I would love to have my parents or my hubby here to worry about - but I don't.  Losing them all were the worst chapters in my life - but I am still here.  They would expect me to keep going.  I know there are many who feel this way.  
Life has a way of knocking us down and smacking us in the face.  We get up and we rub our cheeks and keep going.  That is ALL we can do.

So please - REACH OUT to someone else in some way!  Do a kind deed.  Say a kind word.  
Just do something - I may just change their day, week, month or world! 
(and maybe yours too!!!!!!!!)

God bless each of you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I Will Mend Anything!!!!!

Yep, I pretty much will mend anything if at all possible.  I patch and sew jeans constantly.  I sit in the ground and on the drive quite often pulling weeds and cleaning up - It tends to wear out jeans.  However, I do use the oldest ones for the yard work - keeping a pair or two for 'good'.

I mend rips or tears in t-shirts often with a pretty patch.  Once it gets too bad, then they become hankies or rags.  I have gotten stains on things and instead of throwing them out - I use patches over the spot, embroidery, pretty buttons, appliques or fabric paint.

Totally frayed and worn towels in the past have been turned into wash cloths - I cut and stitch edges and continue to use.  Towels are good for rags as well.

I can't begin to tell you how many things I have mended in some way and continued to use.  I have sewn, used fabric liquid stitch, duct tape, super glue, patches and paint, scraps of lumber and many unusual items.

Last week I did a 'fix' on my work tennis shoes.  I bought 2 pair that fit well several years ago at a super price.  I still have one pair that is basically brand new!  The other pair was worn with jeans for ages, then I started using them when working in the yard.  I have finally worn a hole in the sole.  It doesn't go through 100% - but it allows moisture through.
 See - there is the hole that is worn in the  bottom of shoe.
I have a lot of this stuff around.  It is the material that you place under throw rugs to keep them from slipping around on the wood/vinyl floors.
I cut a piece of this to fit in the upper half of the shoe (like an inner sole).  Even though the hole had not come all the way through to the inside - I did cut and place a piece of duct tape on the inside in that area of the shoe - then I laid this new 'inner sole' in place.  It seems to be working quite well.
If I still get moisture through I do have some tape on hand that is water proofing tape - that I may try.
As you can see these are grungy.  I throw them in the washing machine every now and then to wash and then air dry.  This is them at their best!!!!!  LOL  I realize tape will need replaced after each washing.
I am sure with this fix I will get through this summer at least!  They still work and I see no reason to trash them.

This was the perennial bedding starting back a couple weeks ago.  See that nasty looking green chair?  I keep that out there and either put a big pot of flowers on it (for height variety) or I let the kitties use it to sun.
Well, the seat only had 2 slats left - the rest had rotted through.  The slats run the same direction as the arms - so I found some scrap wood and set it going the opposite direction and screwed it in.  Once the weather warms a bit the chair will get a completely new and brightly colored paint job (I see it in my head!).  
I can either put a pot of flowers there or a cushion for the kitties.  Once the ground flowers grow - the seat will be slightly secluded - so it's all good.
Yep, that is a old metal head board in the middle of the garden!  It is a flower bed!!!  LOL
It gets repainted this year as well.
I can tell you - within 15 minutes of adding those boards on the chair seat - I looked up and Momma cat was sitting there sunning and watching me do other yard work.  That made it all worthwhile!

I have so many projects to do this spring - just waiting for some warm days.  Painting pretty much takes a certain temperature for the paint to dry correctly.  I have MANY items around the yard that I am going to repaint this year to give it a bit more color and just add a bit of whimsy.  I love whimsy in the garden!!!!!
A couple years ago an old time hardware (that I loved) went out of business.  I got all kinds of spray paint in so many colors and even quarts of paint on a super discounted sale.  They are still good and I plan on doing most of my 'coloring' with what I have on hand.

So there you have a couple of my recent repairs.
Have you mended or repaired anything lately?


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tips for Help in the Kitchen

Today will be a few ideas and recipes that I have snipped  for use.  Ideas for using what we have and stretching the budget and the pantry.
Imagination is key today!!!!!   Just remember that every recipe was an IDEA inside someone's head at one time or another.  Someone made that recipe up!!  You can too.
Get creative and save some money.

An old time favorite.  I remember making these as a kid - and still love them today.

Ramen stew.  Use an inexpensive pack of Ramen noodles and add all kinds of veggies and bits of meat if desired.  This is a great way to use leftovers and a cheap packet of soup.  It is cheap, tasty, and you don't waste a thing.

A packet of easy biscuit mix that I got in a gift basket at Christmas.  I threw in a extra handful of shredded cheese before baking.  Oh my goodness they are good.  Make any biscuit mix you have or your favorite easy biscuit recipe and think about jazzing it up.  Throw in a handful of any type of shredded cheese or maybe some chopped jalapenos.  Heck, you could even sweet-ify them buy adding some chocolate chips and sprinkling with sugar.  Biscuits are easy and super cheap to make.
Biscuits and gravy are a good combo as  well.  Think about making a yummy and easy gravy to smother those tasty biscuits.
If you don't have a pound of sausage to use - place 3 - 4 tablespoons of bacon grease or flavorful oil in a skillet and follow the recipe without the meat.  You can also make gravy from any mix you might have on hand.  Beef, pork or chicken gravy would all be tasty over biscuits or toasted bread.  NOT every meal has to balanced!  Filling can mean so much when money is tight or the pantry is low.


Can't get much easier than this.  Just enough for a sweet treat!



Here are a couple of substitution charts as well.  These are helpful to print out and keep close at hand. We have all discovered we are out of something after starting a recipe.  Substitutes are wonderful to have on hand.

Hope these help someone.  Food and goodies don't have to be fancy or expensive.  We can have goodness, variety and wonderful food for little money.

CLICK on any PICTURE to ENLARGE for easier reading.
Enjoy my friends.



Sunday, March 29, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 3/29

Good morning my friends and welcome to a new week.  This is day 9 for me staying at home.  No need to leave for anything just yet.
Hope you are all staying in and staying safe.


This week has been forsythia, daffodils and bright gold finches!  AND bunnies!!!!  Oh yes, I am seeing bunnies again!   Yellows and greens are the colors of the week.  The yards are greening and everything is popping up and growing.  The peonies are really jumping up and my rhubarb is such a pretty plant at this time.  Roses are getting new growth.
And then there is the mud!!!!!!  It sure has been wet this spring and there is just so much mud.
We have had decent temps this week.  Wednesday was so foggy in the morning - you could hardly see across the street!  Last night we had quite a thunderstorm come through and there is a small lake in the back yard  this morning!
Today is crazy WINDY!!!!  Big wind advisory till tonight.

MY week was a  lot of small things:
  • Did a huge vacuum - under, behind , on and over things.  Moved so many furniture items
  • Cut some wild onions to use in cooking
  • Made up a new bottle of dish soap and one of shampoo
  • Cleaned out some really old jars of home canned goods I came across - emptied and cleaned jars
  • Cooked up some dry baby lima beans
  • Did some yard work and clean-up.  Had a couple perfect days for cutting and pulling and bagging things
  • Cut the front grass!!!!!!  IT HAS BEGUN.  (Amazingly it got the neighbors out doing the same)
  • Got the rain barrels out and set up
  • Did a little cleaning in the garage
  • Heat off and windows open a lot this week!
  • Put the spring decor on both doors
  • Mended my work tennis shoes (I'll show that this week)
  • Stayed home all week and spent ZERO money!
  • Cooked up enough ground meat for a couple meals
  • All the normal things - made a gallon of tea, also drinking favored water, laundry, cleaning, etc.
Meals this past week:
Baked potato topped with leftover chili and sour cream
Baby lima beans, smoked sausage and salad
Beef burger patty and pizza rolls
Scratch pizza (used half of gr. beef I cooked)
Pizza pasta - (other half of meat, pizza sauce and mushrooms left)
Egg sandwich and tortilla chips and homemade salsa
Spicy beans and rice with smoked sausage and biscuits
Homemade pizza - it was so yummy.  Pizza pasta and garlic toast for another day.  Just using what I have.  This week seemed to have an pizza theme!

How has your week been?  Are you keeping busy?  Are you finding new things to cook/bake?
There were no grocery ads here this week - probably a good thing - no risk of being tempted to go out!

This coming week I may do some extra posts.  I think I will post some ideas or recipes that I have snipped that are for some super easy dishes.  I think many people are getting into stretching the food pantries as far as possible (and budgets) and easy and fun recipes may help.
We need to look at this situation as our "new normal" for a while - so we might as well learn and practice some new things and ways of doing things.

Try to watch, read, and listen to positive uplifting things. Pass on positive words and hope to others.  Smile and laugh whenever possible.  I am so afraid stress and worry is going to do more long term damage that the current situation.  Don't be a victim!
Please know I pray for you all and hope you stay safe and healthy.  We are all in this together - we need to be each others support and rock!

Blessings from my humble little home to yours.
God bless you all.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Seeing Frugality as Freedom

When you here the word frugality - what comes to mind?
Cheap?  Greedy?  Hoarder?  Smart?  Prepared?  Freedom?

I see frugality as FREEDOM.  I grew up with parents that had to be frugal.  We were probably considered poor - but I never felt that.  We had enough (not always the newest thing), but we had enough.  We had a roof over our head, good food, nice clothes (albeit homemade), warmth, love and parents that worked hard.
Now I must admit that I went through a time when I didn't follow the road of frugality.  I got led stray into having fun and spending too much.
It took a while and a lot of stress before I figured out - I like freedom better!

We each have to be pro-active in our lives.  Planning, saving, and doing with what you have is how you can take control.
Right now, people don't feel like they have much control - but you CAN control your spending habits and you CAN control your reactions to things.
Normalcy is what everyone is craving - keep your home normal.  Yes, you may have to stay home - but that doesn't mean you can't keep normal IN YOUR HOME.

Frugality IS freedom.  Knowledge IS freedom.
Many of us have all that we need in our homes.  We planned and prepared in a way, that today we can have a great life.
We can eat because our pantries are full.  We can help one another because we have more than enough.  We can enjoy our days because we can get creative in our homes and yards.  We can keep busy with crafting and remaking things.  We can pay our necessary bills because we have saved.
We were PRO-ACTIVE.
We are FRUGAL and have freedom and knowledge!!!!

One dollar can start a savings, one extra canned good can start a pantry, one super bargain can be the difference that saves someone, one gesture of sharing can possibly save a life (literally)……….

Adjust your mood a little by getting in the sunshine - you NEED sunshine.  If it is cold - open the blinds or curtains - open the inside doors - get sunlight.  Get outside and MOVE if at all possible.  Front porch, back porch, or balcony sit!!!!!  Just sit out and watch and listen to EVERYTHING.  Be one with the world.
Share what you can when you can.  Help someone in need if possible.
Listen to FUN music and DANCE!!  I know you all think I am crazy when I say that - but it helps!  I have gotten to the place, where a few times a week I turn on the 'oldies' and dance all by myself.  It is great exercise and it really brightens my mood.
These are things you can do that are frugal and good for you and others.

Frugal isn't about being cheap.  It is about doing as much as possible with what you have.  Frugal people hate to spend dollars unnecessarily!  Frugal people get creative.  Frugal people make fun from nothing.  Frugal folks are the BEST!
If you have to purchase anything right now - think about ordering from or buying from a small local shop.  Help a smaller business.  Your purchase can help put food on their table and help keep them afloat. 
We are all in this together - no one is exempt.  
Help where you can.  Be the positive in another person's life.
MUCH can be accomplished with a smile and a kind word and a kind gesture.

Stay frugal and be thankful that you have been frugal.  You have a huge leg up on your situation.  You WILL survive.  You WILL help when possible.  You can be THE ONE!

Blessings my friends.
Stay well and stay frugal!




Tuesday, March 24, 2020

MORE Fun Food and Useful Tips

I think everyone is looking for ways to stretch that budget and  pantry.  Once people have sheltered in place for an extent of time, they will be getting the blues and will need something to brighten the day.  Having children at home can be tough - they get bored easily.  I have a couple ideas for some treats with things on hand.
Enjoy and hope these help someone!

NO CRACKERS
Soups and chili call for crackers - at least at my house.  So what happens if you run out?  You can make crackers pretty easily (Tightwad Gazette has an easy recipe) - but if you aren't in the mood, here are some other things to think about.
Any kind of crackers can be used - including snack crackers of all sorts.  Triscuits, wheat thins, cheesy crackers, corn chips (my chili fav), homemade croutons, potato chips (any flavor), cornbread, tortillas, flatbread, French's fried onions ...…..  So many choices!
You can also place little bunches of shredded cheese on a baking pan and bake until crisp.  Cheese crisps are the bomb!
Also remember - you can use most of the things listed above to use as a coating when frying meat or on top of a casserole.

SALSA
Salsa can be so versatile.  If you are running low on tomatoes or tomato sauce - think about using salsa.  I add it to chili, soups, and casseroles.  It is great to use in dips (with cheese or beans).  You can add it to pizza instead of pizza sauce.  It is even good with fried potatoes instead of catsup.
TOMATO SAUCE
Use in soups, chili, or casseroles.  Add seasonings and use as spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce.  ALL tomato products are so inter-changeable.  Just get creative - you may come up with a fun new recipe that is loved!

FRUITY BROWNIE PIZZA
1 box brownie mix - prepared as instructed on box
***********
1  - 8 oz. pack of cream cheese (softened)
1/3 C sugar
***********
Fruit - whatever you want and chocolate sauce if desired
***********
Prepare brownie mix and spread onto a greased 12 in. pizza pan.  Bake at 375 for 15 - 20 minutes.  Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and sugar.  Spread over cooled brownie
Slice up fresh fruit or canned fruit.  Drain all fruit completely if using canned.  Spread over the cream filling.  If desired, drizzle with chocolate syrup.
YUMMO!!!!!  What a treat and easy as well.




PUDDING-WICHES
1 1/2 C Cold milk
1 package (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix ( or any type that goes with peanut butter)
1/4 - 1/2 C peanut butter
15 whole graham crackers
In a mixing bowl, mix up milk, pudding mix and peanut butter.  Beat on low speed for about 2 minutes.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.
Break crackers in half and spread half of them with pudding mix.  Top with other cracker.  Wrap and freeze until firm.  Can freeze for up to a month.
IF you don't have graham cracker - get creative!!!!!!!  Use what you have.  I think this would be great with cookies (store bought or homemade).
Have fun and make a tasty and easy treat.



UNCONVENTIONAL PIZZA
Pizza is a fun food.  It is an easy food.  Pizza is a filling food.  It can be an ANYTHING YOU HAVE food!
Play with it.
Make a conventional pizza crust.  Use bagel halves.  Use English muffins (halved).  Use hamburger or hotdog buns (halved).  Use French bread (this is my favorite pizza of all time!!!!)  Bread can even be used (I lightly toast first and use just a tad bit of sauce OVER cheese)

Sauce - if all you have is tomato sauce or plain tomatoes - blend with some seasoning.  Use spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce.  Salsa is great for a Mexican pizza.  Alfredo sauce.
Use whatever you have for toppings - leftover meats (any type), pepperoni if you have it, veggies - fresh or cooked (make a veggie pizza if no meat).  Shredded ham or turkey - or thinly sliced lunch meat.  What ever type of cheese you have - a little will do (or use leftover mac n cheese!)



PASTA
Use what you have.  Elbow macaroni, spirals, penne, spaghetti, linguine, lasagna noodles, etc.  they are all interchangeable.  You can break them up and use.  They basically all taste the same and have the same ingredients - use them for whatever you need.  If all you have is spaghetti or lasagna noodles - bread up and use in soup, chili, or casseroles.
Mix pasta into chicken, tuna or ham salad to extend into a more servings.
Add veggies.  I always add frozen peas to my tuna salad!  My Momma always did and so do I.  Fresh peppers, diced carrots, radish, onion, zucchini, fresh asparagus, frozen peas, cheese, etc. can be added.
Pasta salad can be made with all kinds of things - meats, veggies, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, Italian dressing, French dressing, sour cream or dip...…………… add leftovers.


Times are coming when we may need to get super creative.  THERE ARE NO RULES!!!!!!  Put things together and experiment.  Have fun with food.
Come up with solutions.  Don't over analyze.  JUST HAVE FUN AND BE CREATIVE!!!!!!!!

It truly can brighten a day.
Be blessed my friends.


DISCOVER
Discover what invigorates you physically,
Restores you spiritually,
Balances you mentally,
And relaxes you emotionally.
An Amish saying


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 3/22

Good day to all.  Hope this finds you healthy and safe.
All is good here.  Me and the kitties are here and enjoying each others company!  Same with the birdies and the squirrels.
Our weather has been all over the place again.  We had decent temps, but rain.  One night we had thunderstorms.  It got to almost 70* on Friday morning and then was in the 20's but midnight!!  Geesh.  Looks like more spring like temps this coming week, but again spring showers are predicted for most of the week.  UGH!
I am enjoying each day however.  I do get outside EVERY day, several times a day.  Feeding cats or birds or squirrels many times.  This is something I always do - 365 days a year I am outside several times a day.  Fresh air just fills my soul with happiness!!!!!

The first daffodils opened on Friday - the first full day of Spring.  The forsythia are starting to pop as well.  I see buds on all the trees and the birds are singing every day!  I take JOY where ever I can.

My week:
  • I did run out a couple times.  I went to the drive-up at the bank and got some funds.
  • I ran into Kroger for more cat food.  Got many more cans - good for quite a while now.  I also saw baby wipes and got the limit of 4.  My niece has a kiddo under one and has another one on the way - it will help them out.
  • Same day I stopped at the nursery/feed store and got a lot of extra bird and squirrel feed (they would never understand why Momma wasn't feeding them!).  I was the only customer in there.
  • Another day I ran up the road to Post Office and got enough stamps to last for quite some time (I don't pay on-line)
  • While out I figured I'd run a little further up the road to Aldi (it was early morning).  I got a few things for treats (chips) to add to stock and I did get a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.  They had just put out a skid of them.  My neighbor couldn't find any anywhere, so I got them and we split them.
  • Stopped and filled my gas tank and filled my gas can (got a .20 discount per gallon)
  • I worked out in the yard cleaning 2 days the first of the week.  Boy, am I out of shape!  It felt good being outside and doing stuff though.
  • I have been working in the basement a lot.  I am going through all my home canned goods and sorting and moving things around (checking on what I actually have).
  • I have been working on straightening and de-cluttering down there as well - so much to do!
  • Making a list of things I want to accomplish inside this week when raining.
  • All normal things - eating from home, laundry in cold, drinking water, tea, and Kool-Aid
  • Found a container in the freezer of Mexican chicken - thawed and made that into a few different meals.
  • On a super frugal note - I have started saving some of my newpapers (JUST IN CASE)!!!  Never know when it may become TP!  LOL.  If not - I will use in other ways.  Normally I recycle any way
Meals this past week:
Loaded cheeseburger sliders (on biscuits - no buns)  and chips
Eggroll bowl topped with chow mein noodles for crisp
Fried potatoes/carrots and cabbage (no meat day)
Bean/cheese/salsa tostados (no meat)
Poor man's Swiss steak and mashed potatoes
Mex. chicken/rice burritos
Mex. chicken/rice  turned into chili (froze some for another day)
Been eating fruit, carrots and dip, and PBJ's for snacks

I noticed at Kroger pickings were slim.  Many things gone and others were in short supply.  Aldi was much better - they didn't have any TP or much meat (they did have chicken, hams and frozen meat).  Fresh veggies were full and most everything was available but limited in number you could get.  It was early and they had just opened - so they were stocked up.
If folks would give them a chance to re-stock instead of panic buying - things will level out.  They said they have plenty of stock - but they are so busy with customers that they can't get it out.  I have heard many shop managers say that on the news.

I got to talk with an out of state friend this week and got calls from several relatives.  Everyone is just checking in with each other.  I had another past neighbor that called to see if I needed anything.  I have and have had the best neighbors.  The kids next door came over with their little one and we set out on the porch and visited for a while.
I love how people are reaching out again.  Families are having meals together once again.  Neighbors are helping neighbors.  People are learning new skills.  There is some GOOD coming out of this situation.

I plan on staying home this week and getting the basement in better order (it really has been avoided for ages).  Work outside when I can.  

I hope you are all doing well.  Are you staying in?  Have you got yourselves all stocked and ready?  Are you working on home/yard cleaning?  

I pray you all stay healthy.  Take care and spend your time being thankful for what you DO have.  Put your positive hats on - and think happy thoughts.  
Turn off the news and just  take time to observe and LIVE (even if in your own backyard!)  Fresh air is what we all need - and sunshine when you can get it!  That seems to make things seem more right!

Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Let's Play......With Food

I like to try new things and I like having options.  Now is the time to play around a little and try some new and simple recipes that may make life a little brighter!

Today I am going to give a few 'recipes' for items that we normally buy.  So many things can be made from the ingredients we have on hand and they can be quite simple to make.
You guys know I like simple!  I don't go for too much that is all complicated.  So I will share a few ideas with you today, and hopefully they may come in handy - if you need something and just want to stay home.
Let's PLAY!!!!!!!!


BEER BREAD
3 C self rising flour
3 Tb. granulated sugar
1 - 12 oz. bottle or can of beer (cheap is fine)
Preheat oven 350.  Grease a 9 x 5 pan.
In a large bowl mix together all ingredients until just blended.  Transfer into pan and smooth the top.  Bake 30 minutes until risen.  Reduce temperature to 325 and bake 15 minutes longer.
Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
I have made this many times and it is yummy.
(I still have a few beers in the frig from hubby)


NAVAJO FLATBREAD

This is sooooooo good.  It is great served with a meal instead of bread, served with hummus or salsa, or even used to make a fun sandwich.  I like to spread with seasoned cream cheese and eat for a lunchtime meal.


HERB DRESSING MIX
1 C dried parsley
1/2 C dried basil
1/2 C dried thyme
1/2 C dried savory
1/2 C dried marjarom
Mix these ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

For DRESSING - mix 1 Tbsp. of herb mix with 3/4 C oil and 1/4 C vinegar.
*****This is a lot of herbs - so remember you can cut this down by 1/2 or 1/4 to adjust to what you have on hand.  Still blend the same with oil and vinegar.


HUMMUS
A great dip for chips or even flatbread or tortillas
2 C cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas) ***basically 1 regular can
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 Tbsp. Tahini (sesame oil) - or use any flavored olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon  (I have used a splash of apple cider vinegar before)
1 generous pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. water, plus more, if needed
Pulse beans and garlic in food processor until totally blended, then add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Store in frig in airtight container for up to 3 days.

For a variation - think about adding peppers or roasted tomato or parmesan  cheese to the mix.
I have even blended up cooked navy/pinto beans with a bit of oil, garlic, salsa, etc. to make a quick dip.  There are no real rules.  Have fun and PLAY.


DRY ONION SOUP MIX
1 1/2 C dried onion flakes
1/2 C onion powder
2 Tbsp. celery seed
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Mix all ingredients together until combined.  Store in airtight container in a cool dry place for 6 - 12 months.
To use  - 1/4 C of mix is equal to one packet of soup mix.
To make soup - 1/4 C to 1 cup boiling water.


POTATO CHIPS
2 whole firm potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt (or what you have)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
Preheat oven to 400.  Line a large flat baking pan with parchment paper.
Wash and dry potatoes.  Thinly slice them (I use a mandolin - a knife is fine) about the thickness of a penny
Drizzle and toss with the oil
Lay potatoes in a even layer on pan and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown (not burnt).  Remove from baking sheet and let them cool thoroughly - they will continue to crisp up.
Sprinkle with seasonings and enjoy.

Super easy and fairly low fat way to have your chips and eat them too!!!!  


SUPER EASY BREAD
Great way to have fresh bread all the time.  It is so easy.


There is no reason not to have fun with food.  Experiment a bit and never get bored.
If pantry items get short or the family just gets bored - stay in and away from fast food and make some yummy treats right at home.
Hope you find something you can enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

What to Use.......

What to use should you run out of something is on everyone's mind.  Perhaps you can't get out, perhaps the store has none, perhaps you have no money, PERHAPS you just want to stretch your imagination and pantry!

There are so many substitutes for all kinds of every day things.  Some things are just common sense and others involve really thinking outside the box.  I guess the biggest thing to remember is DON'T PANIC - just use a little ingenuity.

COOKING OIL - keep the renderings of any meat that you cook.  Keep fat from beef, pork, bacon, etc.  It can be used in place of cooking oil.  It also can add flavor.  I for one have a couple jars of bacon grease in my frig at any given time!  I also keep grease from ground beef.
Butter, Crisco, lard are options as well.
For baking - you could use these if making something savory - but think about substituting applesauce, smashed bananas, or any blended smooth fruit.  Sour cream could be added (cottage cheese blended up smooth as well).

SOAP - just remember - soap is soap.  Some is stronger than others - but it all cleans.  Bath, hair, dish, laundry - can be interchangeable if necessary.  I always have bars and more bars of soap - for just in case.
Add baking soda to laundry to help clean.  Peroxide is what I use instead of bleach ALWAYS - it is natural.
If you are out of dish or laundry soap - good old hot water and vinegar will work.

PASTA and RICE interchangeable in most recipes.  Both easy to keep in the pantry and last for ages.

BREAD - make biscuits, tortillas, corn bread, Naan bread, etc.

STOCK - dry bouillon should always be kept on hand.  Add cream of soups ( or any soups).  Tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc. added to a soup or casserole.  Tomato powder is great for flavoring.  Make vegetable stock - keep the water from cooking veggies.  Add onion or onion powder, garlic powder.  Herbs for seasoning.  Blend up veggies and add with water for flavoring.  Gravy mixes.
There are so many options.

MEAT - use less.  Use half of what you would normally use to stretch it.  Have some meatless dinners - it won't hurt you and will probably be good for you.  Substitute beans for meat or some of the meat in dishes (I always add beans to taco meat to stretch).  Keep protein powders on hand.  Peanut butter is great source of protein.  All types of beans and lentils.  (You can even make burgers from these).

FRUIT - you don't have to have  fresh.  Canned and frozen will work fine.  Frozen is actually picked ripe and flash frozen - so it is probably better for you than fresh.  Fresh is generally picked before it should be.

PAPER TOWELS - cloth napkins, dish towels, wash cloths, rags.  Washable and re-useable.

EGGS - keep powdered egg product on hand.  Freeze eggs when you have planty.  Tofu.  When baking consider substituting 1/2 banana or 1/4 C applesauce for 1 egg.

CLEANING - SOAP!!!!!!!  I don't buy many cleaning supplies as I like to use more natural things I have on hand.  Vinegar, peroxide, baking soda, salt, even ammonia or bleach.  I always have a can or two of cleanser on hand (for tough scrubs).  I have had the cleanser for probably years!!!!! But I have it if needed.   
Just a reminder - DO NOT MIX any chemical cleaners!  They create toxic fumes and can be deadly.

DRINKS - tea - it can be flavored with juice or Kool-Aid for a different flavor.  Fruit juices, coffee (hot or cold) and good old water!!!!!  I keep seeing people stocking up all these bottles of water and think to myself - "I have this MAGIC gadget in my kitchen that produces water.  Turn a lever and boom - water!"  LOL
Water can be turned into flavored water as well.

TP - Kleenex, wipes,  material from old clothing (cut into smaller pieces), used fabric softener sheets, and my favorite go to (if the need would arise) a wash cloth and soap and water!!!!!!!

SANITIZER - alcohol, witch hazel, vinegar, mouth wash, peroxide and soap and water.  Bleach water can be made - but be careful.  1 part bleach to 99 parts water.

So there you have a few ideas on what you can do when the pantry is running low.  Use what you have.  Experiment a little - you may have a new recipe from now on!  Do some research and learn to go with the flow.
Just remember - this too shall pass.  DON'T panic.  We got this.

Give one another comfort and encouragement - not fear and stress.
Blessings my friends.

Add any ideas you have!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 3/15

Good morning everyone.  Hope this finds each of you well.
It has been pretty quiet around here.

We have had warm weather, chilly weather, wet weather, and yesterday we had a covering snowfall!
This next week is supposed to be in the 50's all week - but a chance of rain almost every day.   UGH!  We all know that when we need that rain - it won't be around.
At least the sun has come out this morning ( a little) - so the snow won't last long.  I am so tired of gloppy muddy shoes every time I go into the yard.  What a mess.
Oh well, I guess it could be worse.  I am able to go out and I have a yard - so that is good.

Yesterday I got a message from my former neighbors (they moved about 4 years ago).  Said they were going to the store and did I need anything.  How sweet was that?  That is how we should all be - every day.  Watch out for each other vs. all this nasty hoarding that is going on.
I have gotten 2 phone calls this week from family, asking if I was OK and did I need anything.  I love how my little community is looking out for each other.
Please look out for your family and your neighbors.

My week:
  • I did get to do some yard work on a couple days - just starting to clean up a bit.
  • Cleaned all the 'watering holes' for the animals and birdbath
  • Cleaned out the desk drawers - what a bunch of un-needed paper!
  • Checked all the fluids in the Blazer - general maintenance
  • Made a batch of biscuits - for now and later
  • I did go out and check a few stores.  Didn't need anything - I was just curious.  Things were good when I checked - but totally changed in a day (once it was announced that schools were closing)
  • I got 4 bottles of peroxide (I use instead of bleach in laundry) at Dollar Tree and 2 packs of wipes (for my purse).  There was plenty at the time.
  • I then ran to Kroger to look around.  I did get some more cat food, just to have.  I also got 2 - very small heads of cabbage.  It was .49/lb.  That will last me for quite a while
  • Got to turn off heat and air house a couple days
  • Paid all bills, ran to P.O. and then the library (which is now closed till Apr.)
  • All normal things - cleaning, laundry, using what I have, cooking from scratch, working on de-cluttering, etc.
Meals this past week:
Oven fish & fries and slaw (home canned)
Chili/cheese dogs and chips
Mac/cheese with leftover hotdogs and chili sauce added, fruit salad
Taco salad
Big loaded salad and an orange milkshake
Chicken strips, rice and peas
Turkey/rice soup (from freezer) and biscuits with apple butter

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?
I know many who come and visit here have big pantries - what a blessing!  We all knew there would be a time that we could sit back and not panic - regardless the reason!!!!!   Being prepared - priceless!

This coming week, I think I need to get in gear and accomplish a lot of things that I keep putting off.  I plan on staying home for the most part - so I want to accomplish stuff around the house.  Busy, busy hands and minds - good for the soul!

I pray that you and yours are healthy and safe.  May you have a fantastic week and accomplish much as well.  Let's use this time to do all those things we have put off.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ways to Live Like a Pioneer

Pioneers DID work hard for everything.  Life was not easy at all.  Everything was a struggle.
BUT, we can live somewhat like a pioneer by learning new "old" skills and practicing them.  We need to learn to be more self sufficient.  There may come a time when you have no one else to help or turn to.  You need to educate yourselves.

COOK FROM SCRATCH
Everyone needs to be able to take simple ingredients and make a filling and nourishing meal.  You don't have to fix fancy or expensive foods.  Basics and well rounded meals will keep you alive.  I often hear people say "I don't know how to cook".  If you can read and follow directions - you can cook.  It isn't rocket science.

PRESERVE.GROW FOOD
I know not everyone can have a garden - but you can grow something to help.  A tomato or pepper plant in a pot, lettuce, spinach or herbs in window boxes will help.  Watch for farm markets and pantries that have fresh food.  You don't need a lot of equipment or skill to preserve some food for later.  An oven can be used to dehydrate - as can fresh air!  Start with something simple such as jelly or pickles or relish or tomatoes for canning.  (If you have a big stockpot you can water bath).  Freeze food.  Read and learn new ways to preserve things for the future.  It may save your life.

Don't have to claim to be a homesteader - just figure out how to live more simply.  It will give you peace.  Once you realize that you don't have to depend on others for everything you gain some freedom!
STOCK UP ON BASICS
Stay stocked up on basic ingredients that can be used in many ways.  Flour - baking, gravy, bread, biscuits, etc.  Sugar - drinks, baking, canning, etc.  Salt - seasoning, preserving, even in some cleaning.  You get it!
If you stay stocked up on basics (things you normally use), there will be no need to panic in any given emergency.  Buy a little extra each week and put it back for another time.  Can, freeze, or dehydrate for later use.  Grow whatever you can - fresh is always best.

USING FIRE
Learn how to start a fire.  You never know when you can't use your stove - you need a way to cook.  I have a gas grill that I can use - you may too.  Learn to use any type of grill or cook over an open fire.  Have a couple pans (cast iron) that can be used on a fire.  You need to have an alternative way to prepare food.  Do your research - there are many options.

LEARN TO USE WHAT YOU HAVE
Figure out ways to remake and reuse things you have on hand.  New purchases may not be available and you can figure out a way to recycle.  That just makes sense any way.  Have 'how to' books on hand and learn what you can from others.  If you have a computer you can learn from You Tube.  I love finding new uses for things.  Not only is it frugal and prudent, it is helping the environment.
Sewing - use old clothes and remake them into something new.  Make quilts and covers.  Hankies and TP.  Different clothing items.  Home furnishings. Mend.
Cooking - use all leftovers to make new and nourishing meals.
Yard - look at new ways to decorate the yard (with older things), reuse wooden skids for projects, use flower pots to grow some food, etc.
There is no limit to the things that can be recycled.

HAVE FAITH
This is the biggest one for me.  Have the wisdom to know that something bigger than you is in control of the universe.
Economies can fail, crops can fail, inflation can happen, illness can spread, deaths can happen, lives can change - and at some point you will experience at least one of these.  That is a given.  FAITH will get you through (trust me, I know).
It isn't about how much money you have, how much stuff you have or your comfort level - it is about leaning on something higher than yourself for strength and guidance.


Stop for just a moment and think about the hardships that the early pioneers went through.  If was unbelievable that so many survived.  We are here today as a testimony to their perseverance, and their abilities to keep pushing forward (even through the worst of times), and their industrious ways.
We can do this too.
Do research, read, learn from each other, do whatever you can to figure out how to survive through bad times.
LEARN TO LIVE LIKE A MODERN PIONEER


**If you have access to the Foxfire book series - get them and read them.  So much knowledge that is getting lost today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Shop to Win - Different Strategies

Most people go to the grocery every week or so.  You may have one or two places that you regularly shop.  Those may not always be the cheapest or best places to find deals.  Think about looking outside the box.

AT THE STORE
MARKDOWNS/CLEARANCE- always, always check the clearance aisle.  You can get so many deals there.  Most items are well within the "best by" dates.  Actually most are exactly the same as what is in another aisle for regular price.  Our area stores markdown all stock that won't fit on the regular display - as they keep nothing in the stock room.
The fresh produce areas often have a markdown section as well.  Kroger has it's .99 bags and the items a near perfect.

AISLE DEALS - always check the aisle for deals.  Those who are familiar with Kroger or affiliates - watch for the white shelf tags that say "manager markdown".  Those are items that the store is no longer going to restock or carry - so you can get some great markdown deals.

BAKERY DEALS - most stores all have an area where they have marked down bakery goods.  These items are much cheaper and can be taken home and used immediately, refrigerated or frozen.

DAIRY MARKDOWNS - always check the dairy aisle.  Often milk is marked down, as is yogurt, cheese, etc.  I can't remember the last time I purchased yogurt for full price (except at Aldi - it's cheap).  Milk can be purchased and drank, turned into cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc.  You can also freeze milk (remove a bit before freezing) and use at a later date.


ALTERNATIVES TO GROCERY STORES
Look outside the box.  You can often find deals in places you would not think about.  I have gotten some of my best deals at stores not commonly thought of for groceries.

DOLLAR STORES - Whether the Dollar General, Family Dollar, or Dollar Tree - there are deals to be had.  Now you need to know your prices - as some things aren't deals - you just have to look.  I get many things at the $Tree, that are super expensive at the grocery.  Shelf stable milk is one thing.  $1 a container at $Tree and at least twice that at grocer.
Cleaning supplies and health and beauty items are sooooooo much cheaper at the $Tree (brand names - watch sizes).  I get most of my first aid stuff there as well.  Why spend money that you don't have to?
Many dollar stores have coupons on receipts that on certain days you can get $5 off $25 purchases.  With cheaper prices and a lot of clearance at these stores - it sure can stretch your dollar.

FARM/BUILDING STORES
I know this sounds crazy - but check them out!!!  Farm & Fleet, Tractor Supply, Rural King, Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc.
I get the best price EVER on vinegar at Rural King.  I always stock up whenever I get there.  Garden seeds can be purchased for lesser prices as well as yard and garden items.  Food of all types are now being sold at these stores.  I have purchased canned veggies for .33/can at Menards and they often have sales on canned chicken/ham/turkey for a $1 can.  Great shelf stable items for your long term pantry.
With all the shortages people keep speaking of on cleaning items, hand sanitizers, and paper goods - check these places.  They usually have ample supplies.

WAREHOUSE STORES
Sam's and Costco are the two big ones.  Can you save money?  Sure - but again, remember, you need to know your pricing.  NOTHING is a good deal, if you can't use it before it goes bad or you simply waste it.  Buy fresh meats and veggies and repackage and freeze when you find a deal.  Non food items are often very cheap at these places.  If you can not store for a later date or you will not use it all, think about splitting purchase with another person.  You both get a deal and stock up.
These stores also have markdowns and clearance - usually because they are going to stop carrying that item.  You can get some phenomenal deals if you watch the labels closely.

SCRATCH & DENT STORES
I am not fortunate enough to have one of these close by any longer.  The last one closed a couple years ago.  If you can find one - go and check it out.  There can be so many great deals.  If I ever get back to the Amish store (quite a drive), I will check out their scratch and dent section.  Make sure the cans are just slightly dented - no leaking and no rust and no bulging.
BREAD STORES - are also great places to get bread and snacks items for a cheaper price.  Our last one of these closed a couple years ago as well.  That made me sad.  Hmmmmm - sounds like we have a couple business opportunities in my community!!!!!

There are places like BIG LOT'S/ODD LOT'S and OLLIES that sell store buy outs and over stock from places.  Many deals can be found at these places as well.

DRUG STORES
Osco, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreen, etc. often have food and grocery deals.  I have found many items on special (especially at holidays), that sure make it worth stocking up on.  Always look after the holidays for at least 50% markdowns on holiday items.  Who cares what the packages look like  - the product is the same.  Stock-up on these deals for a later date.

YARD/GARAGE SALES
In the past there have been many members of the community that were AVID coupon queens and they would sell their deals at yard sales for pennies on the dollar of store prices.
Of course shopping/stocking doesn't always mean groceries - keep eyes open for school supplies, toys, clothes, bedding, household goods as well.
It is amazing what people buy - then never use - and sell for next to nothing.  Obviously they have more money than sense!!!!  Well, sometimes I figure they have little of both!  LOL
You can take advantage and get great deals.
THRIFT STORES can also be a place for good deals.  You can usually find a bit of everything - although these places are looking to make money - so your deals may not be as good as yard sales.

NEVER dismiss any type of store/outlet for a getting a deal.  Think outside the box.  Keep you mind open.
Watch all the ads and watch the aisles whenever you enter a store - sometimes the best deals are NOT advertised!
If you find a great deal - let others know as well.  I realize not everyone will run out and purchase or even look for a deal - but if you can help someone else save a penny or a dime - DO IT!

KEEP YOUR EYES AND MIND WIDE OPEN TO FINDING DEALS

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 3/8

Hello all my friends!  Hope this finds you well.
It sure is a pretty morning here.  We had a bit warmer weather most of the week.  Thunderstorms hit on Tuesday night.  Friday got cold, cold, cold!!!!  My oh my - it was windy, cold and snow flurries!
Looks like we will have above normal temps all next week - but wet!

I have noticed all kinds of things popping through the ground.  Lillie's, tulips, and daffodils and even saw a few red sprouts of peonies!!!!!  Looked out one morning (wish I had the camera close) and there were 3 blue jays and a big woodpecker on the feeder together!  What a sight.
I saw my first two - red-winged black birds of the season this week, and yesterday I saw my first two robins!!!!!!
The squirrels are making new nests and 'remodeling' their existing ones.
This morning the woodpecker sounded like a jack hammer!!  Boy he sure was a head banging!!  LOL
Looking off into the neighborhood, you can see a golden/red hue on all the trees.  They are showing their buds!
Yep, spring is in the air!!!!

Neighborhood news - the kids that live next door said they are going to stay at least 2 - 3  more years until they can build something.  I am so very happy.  There is so much to be said for good  neighbors.
The people on the other side of them FINALLY got evicted.  Thank goodness.  NO ONE is sad to see them gone!  Our elderly neighbor who owned that house, sold it and there will be a new landlord.  He seems nice and is doing a lot of work there.  Hoping we get a good neighbor.

My week:
  • Changed out handbags - spring is a good time to change!
  • No heat on a few days and the door was open and aired house
  • Cleaned out another drawer
  • Picked up a ton of sticks AGAIN.  Between the wind and the squirrels who are working on nests - sticks were everywhere.
  • My brother & SIL came by one day.  They wanted to get some ham seasoning from me - no problem.  That is why I buy in bulk.  He brought me homemade apple butter!  He didn't need to - but it sure will be good on biscuits
  • Straightened the pantry again.  How does it get so messy???
  • My other thumb nail broke below the nail bed too - so I trimmed all my nails down - give them a chance to grow out together!
  • All normal stuff - changing out bedding, laundry in cold, cleaning and de-cluttering
  • I ran to the bank one day - hadn't been since the holidays.
  • Also hit some stores while out.  Ran into Kroger, Ollies, and Fresh Thyme (for suppliments).  Didn't really need anything - it was such a pretty day I wanted to get out.
  • At Ollies I did buy 4 yard flags.  Last year a friend gave me a flag holder - so I got flags for each season.  They were on sale for 3.99 each.  Generally they are about $15 around here.
               I have the spring one hanging outside already - it is full of tulips and spring colors!
  • I ran across to super Kroger and did get fresh asparagus for .99/lb.  I love asparagus.  I also got myself a pair of jeans!!!!!  YES I DID!  They were 25% off and cost me $15.  Those are the first (at a store) pair of jeans I have purchased in years.  I usually get them at a thrift/yard sales.
I am happy to report that at all three stores I went to there were plenty of supplies on hand.  Nothing was missing.  I actually walked all the aisles just to check.  Plenty of everything and no shortages.  Shelves were stocked full!
It was amazing to me as I noticed while driving - all parking lots (malls, stores, restaurants, bars, etc.) were full of cars!  

Meals this week:
Tuna salad sandwich and fruit
Small pizza
Leftover tuna salad mixed with slaw and crostini 
Beef/veggie skillet 2X
Chicken & stuffing and steamed asparagus
Fried - chicken/stuffing patties and asparagus/carrot/tomato salad
Eating lots of fresh fruit as snacks
          Beef & veggie skillet.  It sure was tasty - and filling and used things I had on hand.


How was your week?  Did you get any deals?  Did you stay on the frugal band wagon?  Is your yard coming to life?  Let us know what is going on in your part of the world!  
I love how we have had a lot of new people posting - it is nice to see so many sharing ideas.  You guys are ALL the best!

I pray that you all will be safe, healthy and happy this week.  
Blessings from my humble little home to each and everyone of you.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Fix This and That

Sometimes there are some very easy fixes for things.  Everyday things break, get messed up, or just wear out - that doesn't necessarily mean they are done.  All of us frugal gals know when there is a will there is a way!!!!!

SCRATCHES ON WOOD FURNITURE
It has happened to all of us.  There are some easy fixes (or disguises) for those scratches.  Most come from items we have around the house.
*I like using Old English - I always have that on hand.  I have had 2 bottles (light and dark) for years.  A little goes a long way.  It is really good for concealing scratch marks.
*Use an eyebrow pencil to cover a scratch - then buff
*The right shade of crayon will work.  They do sell furniture crayons in different colors - but if you have kids around, check the crayon box!
*Tea bags - a couple black tea bags in a few tablespoons of hot water makes a great scratch cover.  Dab on with a cotton swab and wipe away excess liquid
*Nut meats work well - walnut, brazil nuts, pecans, almonds, etc.  Rub the nut in the same direction of the scratch until colored.
*Shoe polish hides all kinds of irregularities.  Use a cotton swab to apply.


DEEPLY BROKEN NAIL
I recently broke my thumb nail down way below the quick.  It is too far down to just cut off without pain and bleeding.  My fix - SUPER GLUE
It sure does work.  Cut your nail down to a comfortable place and then CAREFULLY apply a thin coat of super glue.  If bumpy - you can file when dry.  Can be reapplied as need until the nail grows out.
You can see how low the break is - I covered with super glue.  I have even trimmed the nail down further so I don't keep hitting it.  Make sure not to get glue on your skin!!!!!!


MAKING YOUR OWN HAND SANITIZER
2/3 C -  99% rubbing alcohol  (you can also use witch hazel)
1/3 C  -  Aloe Vera gel
Add 8-10 drops of essential oils if desired
Some people like to add 1 tsp. or so of Vitamin E - (open capsules if you have them and use)
Mix and keep in a squirt bottle.

WIPES (for on the go)
If you can't find sanitizing wipes - just keep a couple soft cloths (t-shirt squares or cotton washcloths) in a baggie dampened with alcohol.  Take these with you when you go out - use for cleaning cart handles, door knobs or just cleaning your hands.  These can easily be laundered and re-used over and over.  
You could also make a bleach based liquid - but would need to be careful with getting it on clothes or fabrics.  Alcohol WORKS GREAT!


HAIR COLOR
You all know I color my hair at home.  My hair is short, therefore I don't need to use a whole box of dye - that just gets wasted.
My little kit works great for me.

I use a color that is lighter than my natural color - due to the gray in my hair.  WHEN I do decide to go natural the change won't be so shocking!!  I get three dye jobs out of a box of dye.  (Pretty cheap, especially when you get dye on clearance).  I use one of those little cups that come with some over the counter medicines to measure equal parts of solution.  Mix in an empty bottle (that I have kept) and then with gloves - I squirt over hair and use a small comb to comb the dye through my hair.  A bit of the gray still shows through (on sides) which is fine - as it looks more natural.
Wash the cup, comb, gloves, and bottle to use again.
**Those little OTC medicine cups come in handy for all kinds of things!


Take time and think outside the box.  There are so many fixes we can do - that just makes life a little easier and little bit more frugal.
Get creative.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Strong Faith - Let it Guide You

I know there are many people here that have a strong faith and are quite spiritual.  Many believe in a higher being.  I know I do.  If I didn't have my faith and belief, I wouldn't be here today.
I am not trying to post about religion - as everyone has their own beliefs.

So far, you haven't seen me post about the Coronavirus.  I will mention this today - then you probably won't see me talk about it any more.  I also don't talk politics on here - maybe just my insight now and then.

I am so over all the posts seen every where about this 'new' virus.  People are in panic mode.  It seems that all have forgotten what it was like with Ebola, Sars, Swine, Bird virus breakouts.  Everyone panicked then too.
I understand this is new and scary - but panic gets us no where and solves nothing.
My goodness, H1N1/A and influenza B have already hit 29 million people THIS season (2019/2020).  280,00 or so have been hospitalized from then and over 16,000 have died.  Why is no one talking about that??
New and not understood - sells!!!!!! I believe there is an agenda (my opinion only).
The news has zoomed in on this and it sure has put other things on the back burner.  I find it odd that the things that were so all fired important (basically in politics) have gone by the way-side.  There is always a new crisis in the news and it takes our minds off other things.  How soon we forget.

IF we all have the faith that we say we do - why are we worried?  Seriously.
I do believe in making our life on this earth as pleasant as possible and making it the best quality we can - but we are told by the Good Book - that our days are numbered and our last day was known when we were born.
We can't avoid it!!!!  Make it as happy and pleasant as possible - and just go forward.  You aint getting out of here alive.

I keep seeing stories every where that are only in-sighting fear.  Many are full of misinformation.  Some people just want to feel the power they get by placing fear in your lives and hearts.  DON'T let them.

Shortages on the store shelves - well, yes there is.  People panic and hoard.  Not doing anyone any good.  Things will get back to normal.  Learn to adjust and make do until they do.

Masks - 'I can't find masks'.  CDC says stop buying them!  They say they don't stop you from getting germs - they prevent people from spreading germs.  They are to be used by the sick and medical personnel - who deal with hundreds of sick people daily.

Keep your hands and stuff clean and washed.  Keep your hands away from eyes, mouth, and nose when out in public.

If you are relatively healthy odds are you have nothing to worry about.

Stock market drop - it will go back up.  You LOSE nothing as long as you leave your money alone.  All things rebound.

JUST DON'T PANIC!
***************************

This is all you hear about now - the news is causing panic.  People are causing panic.  
YET, the Olympics are still on schedule for that very part of the world that this all started.  Are they really that worried?  Kind of makes me wonder.

WHY do I mention this?  Have faith that all will be OK.  God is in control.
It doesn't matter if it is the flu, an accident, cancer, your heart, whatever...…. when your day comes, you aren't going to stop it.
I truly learned this first hand last April.  A beautiful, sunny, warm 'normal' Spring day and an odd and crazy set of circumstances changed my life forever! 
I questioned myself and my actions for months.  What could I have done to change things?  What could Glen have done to change things?  Why?   PTSD took over my life.  I couldn't get past that day - it played over and over in my head, just about 24/7.

I finally set and prayed and prayed and asked for God's divine hand to help me.  He helped me realize and understand that nothing could have been done - that was my love's day to go Home.
I still miss him terribly and I am so lonely - but I do know God has this.  My faith let's me know that and gets me through each day.

So I now know and believe that I am not to fret over things I can not control.  That is just the way it is.
I want you to know that you don't have to worry and panic over things that happen in this world - eventually they all work the way they are SUPPOSE to.  Do we understand why?  NO.  Do we always agree?  NO.  Do we have complete control?  NO.

Control what you CAN.  Always be prepared for anything - illness, financial problems, loss of job, etc.  Not just one thing.  Make this a way of life on a daily basis - not just in crisis.  Stay ahead of things and you won't be sorry.
Don't panic.
Don't hoard.
PLEASE don't create doom and gloom on a daily basis.
Spread happiness, love and good will every moment of every day - it is what helps make the world a pleasant place to be.
Love each day and know you can't change what is supposed to be .


I won't be addressing politics or the flu on any other posts.  I don't want to be the negative poster!!!!!! (Please know these are my opinions - you don't have to agree).
I just wanted to help you see that a Higher Authority has this covered.  TRUST and BELIEVE
Blessings to you all.

Keep calm and go forward!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 3/1

Good morning.  It is officially March.  It is now meteorologically spring - however most here in the U.S. wait until the Spring Equinox to claim spring.  It is starting out to be a beautiful day to start the month.  It was cold this morning, but we will get close to 60* today and sunny.
Again this week we had the whole gamut of weather.  Warm, cold, rain, ice, snow, sun, gloom, and warm again!!
This was earlier in the week.  Today, virtually all the snow is gone - just a little in shaded areas.  Rain is supposed to come over night tonight and into tomorrow.   It is going to be a muddy mess again, for a few days!

I have been enjoying the birds and squirrels so much this week.  I have had 18+ cardinals just about every morning and evening.  I had 5 huge blue jays at one time, several times this week.  I think they are all ready for spring as well!

I went to my great nieces wedding yesterday.  It was such a nice affair.  Not too big or small.  It was done a bit differently than any I had been to before.  After they walked down the aisle after the "I do's" - they came back into the church and THEY released each row of people - so they could personally thank each person for coming.  I thought that was really cool.  
There was a lovely reception after.  
They had a buffet of 'finger foods' - wings, egg rolls, fried cheese sticks, fried shrimp, mini sandwiches (turkey & ham) - veggies and dip and lots of fresh fruit chunks.  There was also a dessert bar with cake, brownie bites, cookies, cake pops and cupcakes.  NO ONE left hungry!
I am just so happy I got to celebrate this wonderful day with them and family.  

My frugal week:
  • The neighbor kids (with the dog) brought me a pretty magnet back from their little trip they took (when I dog sat).
  • Had an appointment with insurance agent and now (as of today) I am finally 100% covered by Medicare and some sort of supplemental insurance.  Glad that is over
  • Cleaned out 3 kitchen cabinet drawers (more to go).  Threw out a lot and collected some things to donate
  • Cut my hair at home
  • Colored hair at home
  • Cleaned all my jewelry this week - it looks pretty and sparkles again!
  • I went to the orchard Friday (it closed for season on Sat.).  I got 10 lbs. of apples (2 kinds), 6 lbs. Asian pears, 4 lbs. oranges and a gallon of fresh cider for $21.  I am set with fruit for quite a while!!!!
  • Gave myself a nice 'spa' night
  • doing all the regular things - cooking from scratch and eating what I have, laundry in cold, continuing to clean and de-clutter.
  • My sister gave me 3 magazines

My meals this past week:
Hard tacos - supreme
Grilled turkey (from freezer), cheese and veggie sandwich and cheesy/bacon fries
Pork & veggie stir fry served with rice
Cold cut sandwich, chips and salad
Enchiladas - 2X
Dinner at wedding reception

It was quiet again this week, but it was nice to have a couple highlights.  
How was your week?  Did you do anything frugal?  
Are you still working on your '20' goal?  I have been donating or trashing at least 20 things a week.

I hope you and yours stay healthy, happy and frugal this week.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.