Sunday, August 30, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/30

Wow, the last post of the month!  It is hard to believe that September is about here.  Labor Day will be coming up in a week or so, here in the U.S. and that is the unofficial beginning of fall.  We actually start fall with the Equinox on 9/22.  In the southern hemisphere they are getting ready for their warmer seasons again.
I went out this morning to feed the cats - it was still dark (at 6:45) - and it was 57*F.  WOW - did the temps and humidity drop over night.  It is so delightful out this morning.  This weeks weather will be more seasonal.  Thank goodness - I am over the heat and humidity.
Last night the sunset was incredible.  It looked like the sky was on fire - bright pinks, reds and oranges.  God sure is a great artist!

I have seen another young groundhog off and on in the yard.  It is a different one, as the other one died.  That I am sure of, as I found him a couple days after (oh my).  He is a cute little thing.  He likes my phlox, and stands on his back legs and eats it!
The finches are spending a lot of time on the echinacea flowers out front.  They love sitting on them and eating the seeds.  Amusing Coogy the whole while.  He gets so excited watching them right outside his window!!!!!

My week:

  • Went through tons of old paperwork - have bunches to shred
  • Cleaned out the corner hutch in the dining room - my goodness you can actually see the shelves in the bottom now!
  • Re-arranged the living room a bit
  • Made my bill paying station and put that in the corner hutch out of sight
  • Bagged yard rubbish I cut last week.  I then worked on several areas of the yard in the cooler mornings.  I got the front flower bed all cleaned up and tons of spent flowers out (cut back the spiderwort).  I worked on the side of the house and on the back flower bed by the house.  Just so much to do!!!!  Working a bit at a time as it would just get too hot.
  • Renewed library books online - instead of going out
  • Printed several recipes from the computer
  • Picked more basil and thyme and have it drying.  Cut more chives and chopped and froze
  • Washed windows inside, kitchen and porch windows outside and cleaned all mirrors
  • Made up new bottles of dish soap and shampoo
  • Took down the mini blinds in the kitchen and washed them
  • Made a yellow cake with chocolate chips and pecans this week for snacking
  • Got a Pioneer Woman magazine for FREE
  • Gave myself a really nice and relaxing spa night
  • No grocery shopping this week
  • Been picking lots of garden goodies.  2 zucchini and tons of cherry tomatoes and other tomatoes.  I know I picked hundreds of cherry toms this week.
This is just a little bit of what I picked.  I eat them like candy and have given so many to neighbors

Meals this past week:
Loaded cheeseburgers
Cheesy tuna mac
Sausage/egg/cheese sammies (used buns)
Veggie/stuffing casserole and sliced tomatoes
Casserole again and a side salad
Smoked sausage sandwich (on bread) and slaw and tomatoes
Taco salad

The veggie/stuffing casserole was good.  I used a box of Pork Stove Top, 2 eggs, 1 C water, onion, 1 small/med. zucchini (cut up), some broccoli from freezer and sliced mushrooms.  Mixed together and put in a 8 x 8 greased pan.  Baked at 350 for 20 minutes - topped with shredded cheese and baked 10 more minutes.  Quite tasty and filling.
                                                          Veggie/stuffing casserole

Working on things around the house has lifted my spirits and mood a bit.  I have been more active around here - instead of sitting and watching TV or You Tube!
Saving money shopping the house for redecorating and shopping the pantry for food and snacks.

What has everyone else been up to?  
You harvesting, canning, freezing?  Building that pantry?  How are you saving dollars?
Look forward to hearing from you.

There are many people we come in contact with each day/week that are at their breaking points.  It may be family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, strangers, you never know who - because they hide it.  Let us all remember to not be too busy that we can't be kind, caring and patient with our fellow man.  A little love and caring can go a long way.  It could change someone's world.

Blessings from my humble little home to yours. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Up-cycle, Re-purpose and Making Do - Saves $$

You all know I have been on a cleaning, sorting, purging and organizing binge.   It just needs to be done - so much stuff!
My house has not changed at all in years and years.  Everything stayed in it's spot, paint colors stayed the same and things just kept getting stored away.  My sweetie was not one for change - it created a mess and lot's of work.  He felt bad because he couldn't help and he always said "it all looks fine" and didn't think it was necessary.
Last fall I painted and changed up the bathroom a bit - that was my first real change.
I did take his power chair out of the living room - I just couldn't stand to see it sitting there empty.  I went through some paperwork and tossed - my goodness that man kept everything!
Mostly I have just left things alone.  I felt like I was disrespecting Glen if I changed things up.  It has taken me a long while - but I am realizing that I am NOT disrespecting him - I just need to do something for me.  He would say "go for it!"

OK, that being said - I am just making small changes right now - nothing big.  I am using what I have in new ways.  It has been kind of fun.
I do want a 'new' couch and chair eventually, and I think I know where I will get it.  Not at a traditional store.  We have a recently opened high end thrift store - that sells absolutely lovely and excellent quality furniture for a fraction of the cost.  I have loved everything I have seen on their FB pages.  The money goes to a good cause as well - feeding the community.

My goodness I have baskets and more baskets around this house.  I have put several to new use.  I love using stuff in new ways!

 This little table was sitting behind my couch for ages - just no place for it and I didn't want to get rid of it (family).  I got it out and placed next to my big chair - added a checkered napkin, a candy dish holding a battery candle.  Super place to set a drink or remote when using the chair.

See that box behind it?  That is an antique ammo box Glen was given years back.  He had lots of STUFF in it - I cleaned it out and it now holds all my extra candles!  It is FULL of scented candles!

 Sorry not real clear.  I wear a cheap watch most days - vinyl band.  My belt has been used for ages and both have worn off the edges.  I used a black marker and colored the edges of both and now they look new again!
 Coogy now has a new basket for his toys!  He has a few and takes them out to play when he wants!
 I used some smaller baskets to change up the bath a bit.  I put these on the back of toilet (next to sink/mirror) and my often used items are handy.
A old stool and a basket - make a great book holder.  It keeps it off the floor for dusting and holds several of my favorite cookbooks and my tablet.
I made myself a bill paying station.  I had been keeping the checkbook on the dining table and my other stuff ON the open shelf of the corner cabinet.  It really looked messy.
I have a folder that holds stamps, address labels and stickers.  There is a cup with paperclips.  I have white out, a stapler, a calculator, tape and the checkbook and pen in there now - and it gets tucked away INSIDE the recently cleaned out corner cabinet!   The bills will get tucked in front of the folder and paid once a week on Friday.  I won't forget anything that way.
The corner cabinet looks nice and neat now.
This foot stool has been in the other bedroom for years as there was no room in the living room.  The kitties laid on it a lot - so it had a lots of picks and pulls in the leather.  You can still see them a tiny bit (on the side) - but I used some Old English (dark) on a rag and just rubbed all the leather and covered 90% of the pulls.  (Geez - now I see dust I missed!!!)
I figured I would use it now - how nice to sit back in the big old chair with a book and prop my feet up - maybe add a throw and be cozy!

Just doing little things - simple things - can changed the feel of a room and can boost your mood and attitude!  I know that seems silly, but it is so true.
Not rocket science for sure, just tiny little changes.

So the next time you get bored or get to feeling blah - just move some things around.  Find new ways to use what you have.  It doesn't have to cost a cent to redecorate a little.
Experiment - you can always put it back the way it was.  HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Don't Complicate Things

We all have the tendency to over complicate things - don't we?
We over think everything.  We overthink why people say what they say - why people do what they do - what people really mean.
We over think our actions and those of others.
We can make caring for our homes and families too complicated.
We need to learn to just be a bit more laid back and not worry so much about the WHAT IF's.

Stuff happens.  You can be prepared and should be - but stuff will still happen.  Things you didn't even think about can happen.  We can control 'part' of our daily life - but there is something/someone else MUCH bigger in control.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you have ALL the power.  You don't.  Not for a second.
I take precautions like the next person in this day and age - but I know my God has this.  I am a firm believer that our last day was decided on our first day.  You can't change it - you do not have that power.
I do believe we can determine the 'quality' of this life - but we have NO control on the quantity.  I know this is my belief and not everyone would agree - that is your choice.  I just think too many people complicate everyday life by thinking they can really control the outcome.

I love the feel and smell of an actual book.  I will read a real book IF I get the chance.
I love the smell of coffee - not the taste at all - but there is something comforting about the smell.
Oh a rainy day nap - it has been a while.  They are so relaxing.
Any front porch is wonderful.  I have been doing that a lot lately (until extreme heat came back).  Love seeing the sights, hearing the sounds and feeling the air.
A sunrise or sunset is the most beautiful art project ever!!!!  Our God is a perfectionist and it shows.

I keep hearing people say "I can't wait till things get back to normal".  "I can't wait till things are like they were before". 
That kind of makes me sad.  YES, I am over C19 and riots, and protesting and the pettiness of people. 
BUT truly - if things go back to the way they were before - we have learned NOTHING!!!!!!!    I don't want to see the world lose an opportunity to learn and grow and evolve into a better place. 
I want people to be better.  I want people to learn lessons that last.  I want to see people be better prepared for the stuff they can control.  I want to see people learn that simpler CAN BE better.  I want to see people more involved with each other and less involved with their technology.  I want to more of the "old-fashioned" ways come back and stay!

Don't overthink.  Don't over analyze.  Don't judge.  Don't be petty.  Don't spread discord.  Don't think you have COMPLETE control.  Don't borrow trouble with worry about things you can't control.

Life is wonderful and should be enjoyed thoroughly, each and ever day.
Life should be lived as a journey and not a destination,

Slow down and enjoy all the simple things - you will be so much happier.  The simple things are the things that matter most.
Peace my friends!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Be Observant and Save

Good morning from a hot and humid Indiana.  My goodness you could have cut a square of weather out of the atmosphere at 7AM this morning!  It is a muggy, muggy day.  Thus I will be working inside as much as possible today!
Hope you are all staying cool.

Today I want to comment about just being a little observant and looking around the stores can save you money.  It really happens in more ways than I will be showing, but take a moment and look around.  You won't be sorry.

Many of you have Kroger stores or affiliates.  If not - check whatever store you have to see if they have a reduced price section for fresh produce.
Kroger has a rack in each produce department with bags of produce for .99 a bag.  I check it out before buying any produce.
I can't begin to tell you how much I have saved, looking and purchasing from that rack.  My goodness, I have bought bags with 4 huge bell peppers for .99 - when just across the aisle single peppers are selling for ,79 each!  I buy the peppers and either freeze or dehydrate. 
I recently bought some potatoes.  It is just me and I don't necessarily need 5 or 10 lb. bags!  They will go bad before I can use them.

I got this bag of 6 potatoes for .99.  Perfect for me.
I keep the bags (which are just tied shut on one end) - pull off the tags and then use them for packaging any other fresh produce I buy, instead of using the plastic bags.
I have found onions, peppers, potatoes, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, etc. all for .99 a bag.

I am an olive lover!  They are sure expensive.  I recently realized how I can get them cheaper!  I had picked up a jar of olives in the pickle/olive section and then went on shopping.  I was in the ethnic aisle and looked up and there were olives.  Jars almost twice the size of the one I had - and for less than half the price!!!!  Well you can guess which one I actually purchased!
The small jar was store brand and a little over 5 oz. for almost $4 (this is one I had purchased before).  The large one is almost 10 oz. and was $2.39.  Well - duh!!!!
Now if I ever make it back down to Sam's I will get myself a huge jar - but that is quite a drive and I don't go hardly ever.

A while back I was looking for antiseptic wipes at the store, and as many have noticed - they weren't to be found.  Well, they weren't to be found where we usually look!  I looked in paper products and cleaning section and nothing.  I just HAPPENED to walk to an area of the store that has a clearance shelf and the baby supply department was there.  I just glanced over and what did I see?  Antiseptic wipes!!!!  I would never have thought to look there.  There were plenty of containers of wipes there and the price was right.

I am a lover  of different types of bouillon.  I like the dry types (powders), not the kind that is wet and has to be refrigerated after opening.  I have family that love ham flavored bouillon and the place that I have always purchased it in bulk - no longer carries it.  It is a must for us in green beans and soup beans and many other things.
I have found Ham seasoning packets before at the Dollar Tree - but it seems now most of what they carry is tomato/basil and chicken.
I always look in the seasoning aisles at every grocery I go in - haven't had much luck.  Again, I was in the ethnic aisle and what did my eyes spy????  Ham seasoning!!!  Yes indeed.  I snatched up several of them to add to Christmas packages.  There are several small packets in a box, and generally one is what you need for a nice pot of beans.  Not measuring - no mess.  The best part is they were 1.29 a box!
The chicken bouillon was found there as well.  It was 1.29 a box and in the seasoning/bouillon /stock aisle the same size package of chicken was 2.49!!!!  That is just crazy.
I like the tomato/chicken mix they sell as well - although I rarely find it.  I use my dried and ground tomato skins for that.

I have purchased Masa flour in the Latino section for almost half the price that it sells for in the baking aisle.  INSANE!!

It is amazing how just walking an aisle or two over can save you money.  I don't understand why things are cheaper in the ethnic sections - but they generally are.  This girl has learned to look there first for most things and save money!!
This is why ethnic stores are fun to go in.  You can find so much for a  better price.
Spices are always cheaper at specialty stores - as are rice and dry beans.

Another heads up - I have been seeing lots of people on FB talking about how WM stores are getting rid of their #10 size cans of veggies and fruit.  Many have posted that they are getting them for $2 a can and some have even posted $1 - that is for those giant cans!  Sure could come in handy for that prep and stock-up pantry.
You might want to check it out if you are around/in a WM.

So there you have my lesson for the day!  LOL. 
LOOK around and OBSERVE - it can surely save you money.
Be frugal my friends!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/23

Good morning everyone.  New week and an opportunity for new blessings and challenges.
Hope everyone is well.
This week I started out with decent cooler temperatures.  We had rain on Monday and Tuesday - which was needed.  Got to have the windows open and the AC off for a good bit.  That was nice.  It is now heating back up and the humidity is coming back for a while.  I am not going to complain - as fall/winter will be here soon.  I am not a 'cold' person!

I got the opportunity to see a bit of nature this week that I had never seen before.  I was standing outside just looking at flowers and noticed what I thought was a tiny hummingbird at the phlox.  I was hoping Fluffy wouldn't see it and go after it - it looked so small.
I walked over, figuring it would fly off and it didn't.  It wasn't a hummingbird!  I watched it for a long while and came in a researched.  It was Common Clear Winged Hummingbird Moth!  I never saw such a thing - it was so totally cool.
This is NOT my picture but a stock picture.  That is exactly what it looked like.  Had the long snout and tongue and fluttered like a hummy.  Just the neatest thing.  Here I am 65 and still getting to see new things in nature.  I love it.

My week:
  • I pulled out all the onions planted early in spring.  They had gotten nice size and then I planted more onion sets
  • Working on more yard clean-up.  Dead headed a ton of Coreopsis flowers and cut back a lot of stuff in the perennial bed.  So much to do whenever it is cool outside!
  • Picking lots of tomatoes.  Cherry tomatoes have gone wild!!!!
This is a serving dish and I picked these on Monday.  I did this amount or more 2 more times this week!!
  • Cleaned out the refrigerator and the frig freezer.  I found a very small head of cabbage at the back of frig I had forgot about and a single hotdog size smoked sausage in freezer.  Got both out and used them up.
  • Finished up gallon of milk this week that was dated best 7/30 - still tasted fresh!
  • Both rain barrels are full
  • Mowed and trimmed the yard
  • Not necessarily a frugal thing - but a calming thing I 'UNFOLLOWED' a couple of people this week on FB (not unfriended).  They post dozens of political things everyday  - NOT seeing those posts has calmed my world so much!!!!  Decluttering my mind!  Feel happier for sure!
  • Did a HUGE stock-up this week.  I added 5 more cases of canned cat food, got 6 pairs of new socks and 6 of undies, a carbonator for Soda Stream, some extra foody gifts for holiday baskets, cheese (always get), bologna, Stevia, bought 3 pork loins (on sale .99/lb.) and I found canning lids!!!!  I got 6  packs of lids.  Meijer had all kinds of canning supplies - jars and lids and even canners.  I think I am DONE with the big stock-ups - for a while!
  • I tore apart the living room!  Deep cleaned like crazy.  I took everything off the wall of shelves and cleaned and dusted.  I have boxed up 2 banana boxes of knick-knacks that I will be donating.   They just collect dust and they no longer bring me joy!  Nothing sentimental - just things I have gotten at sales/thrift over the years.  I moved furniture, cleaned register vents, moved the TV armoire and cleaned under (I think I found fur for a doz. cats!), redid all the shelves and then vacuumed all the floors on main level.    More to do - but boy did I wear myself out!
  • Just doing all the regular stuff - laundry in cold, line drying, eating from home, using what I have, etc.
Meals this week:
Egg rolls - from freezer
Cabbage, sausage, zucchini stir fry
Mexican chili mac
Leftover chili mac and salad
Cowboy skillet* and a cuke/onion/tomato side salad
Cowboy skillet leftover and grilled cheese
Bologna/tomato/lettuce sandwich - I was tired!

*Cowboy skillet - my invention!  Ground beef, onion, back eyed peas, jalapeno zucc., salsa and a bit of rice, taco seasoning =  YUMMY!

Just an UPDATE - remember a while back I chopped zucchini and added to my big jar of jalapenos?  Well it worked.  Dang they got hot.  I can use the zucchini  bits in anything I want a bit of spice added to.

I managed to keep busy this week and I really feel refreshed.  Hiding some of FB and accomplishing a good deep clean - really worked wonders for me.  Working outside in the mornings as weather allows is also invigorating.  My home is well stocked and I should be good to go for a long, long while.  
I will be concentrating on more yard work, cleaning and canning this week!  I suddenly feel like I have a huge burst energy and I am taking advantage of it!

How was your week?  Did you add to stockpile?  How are the gardens doing?  Any canning/freezing/dehydrating?  Let us know what is going on your world.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Let us all work on being a better human being, a better friend, a better citizen and a better family member.  The world needs to see our best NOW and always.  Every little positive we put into the world is pure energy and a blessing. 
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

I'm Dreaming of a "Different" Christmas

Yep, it is that time.  We really need to start thinking about Christmas and start planning.  You totally know that things will be different this year.
Family gatherings may or may not happen, products may be in short supply, money may be less, things are just going to be different.

I am a 'different' kind of gift giver any way.  I am not big on traditional stuff.  Very seldom do I buy things for other people.  Young folks are picky - so if I pick out something, odds are it won't be cool enough.  Many people are just plain hard to buy for - I mean they have everything.  So my gifts tend to be something that everyone needs and likes - FOOD!

Now that gardens are coming on and people have started canning - it is time to think of some fun things to put up that would work as gifts.  Get those recipe files dusted off - and go through them and come up with some fun ideas.

I use re-usable grocery bags, baskets from the orchard, ice cream buckets, cups, small name it.  I love packaging things up in my own way - it seems more personal.

Yesterday I posted the recipe to can sweet and sour sauce - that would make a fun and different item for your gifts 'baskets'.  I will be posting other recipes over the next few weeks.
Think about some of the following:

Jellies and jams
Salsa or pasta/pizza sauces
Dry jar soup recipes  (recipes will come later)
Seasoning mixes
Homemade cookies, candy, sweet breads, scones, muffins, brownies, etc.
Homemade bread - wrap in a pretty kitchen towel
There are just so many options.

My brother gives my sister and I  a gift bag of all kinds of home canned goodies each year.  We get green beans, tomato juice, salsa, pickles, relish, beets, sweet potatoes name it.  Such a wonderful gift!  So healthy and fresh tasting - no additives.

I try to gift things that I have made or canned and then add some store bought things that the recipient may not always buy for themselves (yet like).  Just this week I got tinned pink salmon for brother and sisters baskets this year.  They both love salmon patties - but don't buy it often, as it costs TOO much in their opinion!  I got Goya ham seasoning - which they love.  Got some parchment paper cupcake liners for a niece who loves to bake.  I have purchased specialty olives before.  Favorite candy bars or special snack food.
I add different rice's and pastas as well.
I like to add all kinds of different things as well as homemade.
Just pay ATTENTION to the likes of various people and surprise them with their favorites.
*I have a teenage nephew who LOVES Cheese-its - he always gets several boxes in different flavors.  His sister loves dill pickles of every type - she gets them all for herself!
Sometimes you just need to get creative!!

First rule is there aren't any rules.  Do what you want. Have FUN!
You can get gift cards for folks who are staying home and shopping online for groceries.  This will help them get some extras.  Grocery gift cards are great for anyone!  I love getting them

THIS year is different - buy or make some things that are always in need. 
Make hand sanitizer and gift in cute bottles or in a mason jar
Make face masks
Liquid soap in pretty bottles
Not so crazy - TP and Kleenex
Antiseptic wipes

Think about family games.  Puzzles.  Books. 
A CD of a movie classic and make up a movie basket - candy, popcorn, snacks

If you know someone who cans or gardens - look for lids, jars, pectin, seasoning packets, garden seeds, flower seed, gloves, fertilizer, etc.

Make some holiday decorations and craft items.  They will become keepsakes.

Get those brains in gear!!!!  Make a very 'different' Christmas/holiday season.  Don't worry about what restrictions that there may be (no need to borrow worry) - use this time to think about gifting fun and different things.
I enjoy making gifts and putting together baskets.  My family always enjoy them.  We all have to eat - so it is fun getting groceries that are something we may not buy!

Have fun and start dreaming of and working towards a very different Christmas!
It's just 4 months away!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Subs, Tips and Saving

Going to keep it simple today with some ideas for substitutions of things, which saves money, and uses what we have.
Also listing a new recipe (to me) that I am going to make with my garden produce, as a holiday gift for my baskets.  Using what you have is not only economical, but tasty and fun as well!

I love this cleaner - it smells so fresh.  You can use any citrus peels to make.  I have this on hand all the time.

I am a huge fan of the fall scents.  I try to have scented candles on hand all the time.  If no candles - think about making your own potpourri.  So simple - you can use what spices you have and truly like with water - and simmer.  The house will smell heavenly.

I have not done this yet, as I have yeast.  But I have heard that many have and that it works.  Makes sense!

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Click on the pictures to be able to read better.  I know the copy is light and I apologize.  I am making this for the holiday baskets this year.  Everyone I know likes sweet and sour sauce - so it is a winner.  It is a water bath recipe.
It is pretty easy and I have everything I need on hand.

Take care my friends and use what you have to make life good.
No need to spend a fortune to have a good life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Sell, Donate or KEEP

A friend of mine mentioned on FB the other day that she is re-thinking having a yard sale - and maybe should keep her stuff.
I have been going through this as well.  Yesterday I was getting ready to take a box of stuff out to trash/recycle - when I started second guessing myself.  There was a lot of bar type items in the box (we had a bar in the basement -not used in years).  Well, I pulled out some nice heavy bottles and a couple of decanters.  Those can be used for homemade syrups or vinegars or flavored liquors (homemade).

Times are weird right now.  Many items are in demand and short on the shelves.  Many places are closed, so second hand things aren't to be had.  I think many people might want to reconsider some of the things they are getting rid of.  You just never know how handy they could become!
Knick-knacks are things I don't mind getting rid of.  I can not find another use for them, at least not for myself.
Now those may be things that you can consider giving others as gifts.

I never get rid of blankets, quilts or comforters.  If no heat, they sure would be handy to stay warm.  They could be used to wrap pipes.  I can use them for my animals.
Comforters and quilts that have seen better days can also be remade.  Make a new top and attach to the older one.  Refresh it instead of buying new.
Linens  of all kinds can be reworked.  Old pillow cases can be used as pillow protectors or can be topped with new material and re-used as a sham.
Sheets can be used as linings in quilts, can be turned into PJ's, cut down for just about anything.

Rethink getting rid of glass jars, tins, totes, etc.  Now that everyone is stocking more - we all needs good protective means to keep our items fresh and bug free and dry.  Glass jars can be used for storing leftovers and dry goods.  Popcorn tins are good for storing food items, pet food, bird seed, storing sewing and craft supplies - even good to use as packaging for gifts!  Totes can be used for all sorts of storage.  Various tins and totes can be used as containers for gardening as well (give it drainage).

Don't get rid of candles - they can be quite useful if no electricity.

I was going through some older pantry items and found 3 containers of baking soda that was purchased on clearance that was WAY past best date.  I won't be trashing, as it will be used for cleaning and deodorizing.
When checking your pantries and sorting PLEASE, please remember that there are NO EXPIRATION dates!!!!!!!!!  Those dates are "best if used by" dates - which only means ultimate flavor by that date.  If the packages are clean, and sealed the food stuff is good for a long, long time.
NO EXPIRATION DATES - no such thing (except baby formula) - I just can't reiterate that enough.
Don't be wasteful - especially in hard times.
This is my biggest pet peeve ever!!!!

Old purses and backpacks might be useful in making a 'trouble' pack for your vehicle.  Keep socks, gloves, and extra hat, granola bars,  a flashlight, roll of TP, a warm throw, etc. in it.  You will be thankful to have it if you get stranded somewhere.
**You could also give it to someone in need if necessary.

Hang on to an extra set of coats, scarves and gloves for a while.  If you have more than an extra set - please donate for homeless folks.  It may save a life.

Make sure you have some games, books and puzzles around.  What would you do if no electricity and no computers for a while?  You would be bored!  Have something to do - heck even a deck of cards would be helpful.

Older clothes that you might donate - think about!  Material is getting in short supply at many stores (as much comes from China), and with all the trade embargos now, supply is short.  You can use the material in other things.  Great for quilting and crafting, make new clothing items, can use in place of TP, can be used as pet bedding, etc.  You are also helping the environment!!!!!

Family heirlooms - not something that HAS to be kept to survive.  If wanting to downsize, think about gifting heirlooms to other family members.  Free holiday gifts!  Pictures, old documents, etc. should all be scanned into a computer and kept on a zip drive for safe keeping.  If there was a fire or flood or natural disaster, those things could be lost forever.  At least you will have copies.
I have copies of death certificates for dozens of family members and grandparents dating back decades.  I keep for my family research and can share - but there is so much information on them, we just never know when it may come in handy. (Medical history, family lineage, etc.)

I recently purchased a couple new yard tools to make life easier.  I am keeping the older ones for a while - just in case.  I know they are taking up space in the garage, but they aren't eating anything, and I may need them or a neighbor may.  They could also be used in a barter if needed.

So now that we are all home and cleaning like never before - reconsider what you get rid of.  What happens IF you can't get out, or buy, or have no income or whatever?  Could that item be useful to you and your home?
Maybe reconsider those sales and donations, at least for this year.  Wait and see.
Sometimes we just have to look at things a little differently and open our eyes to what MIGHT be!
Stay prepared for whatever may come your way.

Blessings my friends.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/16

Hello my friends.  I hope you are all well and safe.
Here we are starting another new week.  My goodness, how the days tick away.

It has been very WARM to say the least.  Humid as well.  It looks like we get another refreshing break this coming week.  I guess we shouldn't complain about the heat, as nasty old man winter will be here before you know it.  I know some places don't get the kind of winters we get here - frigid temps and snow and ice are not on my happy list!
My allergies have been off the charts this week - I won't miss that.

The hummingbirds have been ever so active the last couple weeks.  I hope it is just because it is not AS hot and not because it is getting time to leave.  I have beautiful butterflies every where and bees galore.
The birds and the squirrels (especially the squirrels) seem to have another food source at the moment.  This happened last year as well, and had me worried.  I keep seeing the remains of walnuts all over, so they are enjoying that great treat.  Isn't it something how they just eat and eat them and crack them so easily with those little teeth?  It takes everything I have to get into a black walnut!!!!

It is very cloudy and gloomy looking this morning.  I think the sun will shine later - maybe a chance for a shower.  Just a good day to relax and feel blessed and thankful.


  • Harvested basil, thyme and lemon balm
  • Made lemon sweetened water (with lemon balm) and froze in cubes to use later in tea - both hot and cold
  • Made and canned a lot more salsa - a gift favorite for the holidays
  • Cut my hair
  • Mowed and trimmed the yard
  • Used dehumidifier water in my laundry
  • Picked 3 zucchini, some small cucumbers and lots of different tomatoes.
The cherry tomatoes are hanging thick.  I have 2 plants and from top to bottom they are just thick.  There are hundreds of blooms as well - if the weather holds out - my goodness I will have tiny tomatoes for ages.  The regular tomatoes are now on phase 2 - pretty much have picked all ripe ones and waiting for second round to ripen.  (click on picture to enlarge)
  • Staked up all the tomato plants after early week storms.  The ground was saturated and the heavy plants were leaning
  • I went out about every morning when cooler - and started cleaning out spent flowers and deadheading flowers in the perennial bed.  My goodness that is a huge job.  Will take weeks to get through it all.
  • Did a bunch of weed whacking in different places - it is so nice to go out whenever I want to do that, instead of having to lug around and wind up an extension cord!
  • Did NOT leave the property once this week.  Stayed home and made no purchases whatsoever
  • Using what I have, making Kool-Aid, laundry in cold, line drying, just doing all the normal stuff
These tiny little Lilies have started blooming - I can not remember the name.  Each flower is about the size of a quarter - and there are several on each stem.  They are so sweet.  The D' Oro (sp) lilies are starting to rebloom as well.

My Meals this past week:

Beans/rice leftover, turkey burger (freezer) and bread sticks
Beef Manhattan
Pizza slice and bread sticks (both from freezer)
Small potato/chicken and cheese skillet mix-up and sliced tomatoes
Chicken sandwich and slaw
Veggie/pasta salad  - heavy on veggies.  Made just a small amount for a meal
BLT - enjoying while I can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My huge frugal this week, was not spending even a dime.  Staying home sure does save money.  Working on my home canning stash and not wasting anything was also frugal.  I am trying to incorporate as much as possible from the great outdoors into my pantry.

How about you?  What have you been up to and how are you staying frugal?  Did you find any good deals?

I just love these little flowers - rose moss.  The variety of color is glorious - I have 5 pots and each is filled with many colors - beautiful.  The pictures don't do them justice - they are so bright!!!!!

I send love, hope and wishes for health and happiness your way. May you each be blessed with health for you and your families in the coming week.  
When fearful and scared please lift your worries up to a much higher power.  We can do this thing called life together - but not alone.

Blessings from my humble little home to yours. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Some Days I Don't Want to Adult

You ever get that way?  Just want to go back in time for a spell?  I think most of us do, from time to time.  I know that many didn't have a good childhood - I am so grateful I did.
I just think about the simpler days - fresh air, hard work, playing until dark, no worries, quiet neighborhoods - it was just nice.

Technology gets the best of me some days.  In ways I love it and in ways I hate it.
Technology started out as a means to make life easier - now it seems to have complicated life.
Refrigerators, furnaces, telephones, cars, electric/gas stoves, flushing toilets, etc. - sure made life easy for the world.  Life upgraded quite a bit.
Now instant sharing on computers, bombardment of FB, computer games that cause young people to only use their thumbs (LOL) not their bodies or minds, artificial intelligence that takes away having to think, etc.
I know technology has good uses as well (many) - but I sure would like to go back in time sometimes.

This is where I went to grade school - one block from home, and walked every day.  It no longer exists.  We played on monkey bars, drank from the water fountains (surrounded by yellow barrier), had swings that reached the stars (LOL) and a tall metal slide that could cook bacon in the summer.  Yet we played on all those things.  The merry go round had a wood slat bottom and metal bars to hang on to.  I remember getting in trouble for laying down on it, face down, as it was going pretty darn fast.  Basketball goals, dodgeball area, softball fields, and a big old hollow tree in the grassy part of the yard that made for lots of fun for decades of kids!!  At one time or another each of us went in the tree and we hid things there.  That tree was huge and it was only in recent years that it came down.

We neighborhood kids rode our bikes to the school in the summer and also down to the creek (crick as we said) and hunted for crawdads.  We had Kool-Aid on the front porch swing and played Riddly Riddly Ree, or counted cars.  Playing Jacks and Old Maid was normal.  We played house and make believe and played with dolls and Barbie's.
We used our imaginations and had a ball.  We had a brick rail around the porch and my friends and I use to make up stories about treasure being buried in the railing and columns.
We would sit out back and eat green apples or rob the grape arbor.
Picnics of bologna or tuna fish sandwiches and homemade cookies and Kool-Aid on the porch rails with my friends.

This is my childhood home.  It no longer exists either - it burned down several years back.  It was nice by the time I came along.  Mom and Daddy paid a total of $4,800 for it and from what I hear it was in pretty bad shape when they got it.  It was bought on contract, and had an affordable monthly payment.  Mom said it had no paint on it when they moved in and the yard was all over grown.  It had an outhouse for years.
They cleaned it up as they could - Daddy always said "neat" doesn't cost much - just a little effort!

There used to be the porch swing where you see the red chair.  There was a garage - never used for a car, a chicken 'house' (coop).  It had apple, cherry, and peach trees, a huge old grape arbor, we had 6 - 100' rows of black raspberries, a huge garden and flowers every where.
My parents at one time had goats, rabbits and chickens.  Those were all done when I came along.
It was a neighborhood for me, but was at one time kind of 'country'.
The house had a living room, dining room, kitchen, closed in back porch (utilities were there) and bath downstairs and 2 attic bedrooms up.  The dining room at one time was used as a bedroom instead of dining.  Mom and Dad raised 5 of us here.

I remember a big old coal stove in the dining room area - that was our heat for the whole house.  Of course we had no AC.  On hot nights, we made pallets on the living room floor in front of the old wooden screen door, so as to catch a breeze.  Daddy often slept out on the porch!
I remember having an inside toilet, but did use the outhouse when playing outside.  We got the first bathtub when I was 9.  I took a bath by the stove in a metal tub in the winter and by the backdoor in the tub in the summer.
Mom had a wringer washer (I wish I had that now), and line dried clothes outside until too cold - then she had lines she put up in the dining room.  It would get so humid and muggy in there!!  She ironed EVERYTHING - and I mean everything.  She sewed and mended for others to make extra money and worked night shift at a bakery up the road for a while.  She got off at midnight and walked home - just what you did.  My sister and Dad would watch me.

All meals were homemade, as were snacks and goodies.  I was a teenager before I ever had restaurant food or store bought cookies.  Water, tea, Kool-Aid or milk were our drinks.
Family meals every Sunday were at noon.  It was hardly ever just us - extended family and often neighbors were there much of the time.  We had some family that always just 'dropped by' at noon.  Of course they ate.  I remember so many times that Mom just wasn't hungry - when they all appeared.  That was what Moms did!
Christmas morning coming down the stairs to all the wonderment.  Horseshoes and croquet in the back yard on Sunday afternoons.  Coming home from school and smelling homemade cookie smells coming out the window.  Huge homemade cookies and popcorn balls on Halloween.
Neighbors watching out for each other.

Those were the days!!!
Kids today just don't know these things (most don't).  Many people don't know their neighbors.  I only know  a few and I have been here for 34 years.  People are distant.

Technology has helped in some aspects, but I think it has raised the levels of stress, chaos, and anguish today.  We are hit with so much so often, that we just can't cope.  I believe this is why so many are depressed.
I think we all need to TURN OFF more often.  Sit in the yard or a park or the woods, watch nature, listen to the sounds, pet the animals and go back in time for a spell.  Calm your spirit and your mind and drift away to a simpler time.
We all need that!

Thanks for coming along on my visit of my youth.  I sure do miss those times and all those people.  Thanking God for the ability to have a memory.

Keep calm and keep the faith.  Never stray from your core beliefs - those are yours and no one can take them from you.  Have faith in your higher power.
Love life and make wonderful memories with someone today.
Blessings to all.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Jazz It Up - Have Fun

Today is more of using what you have, saving money and just jazzing things up or changing them up and still enjoying your food.
We all like to save a buck.  We don't want to be out shopping a lot right now.  We all love to eat.  So let's have fun and use what we have.  GET CREATIVE - there are no rules.

Nuts can be expensive.  I love pecans and walnuts in baking - but we all know they get real pricey real fast.  Sooooo why not use something a little cheaper?  Peanuts.  I realize that peanuts are not for everyone and that they are not a tree nut - they are really a legume.  But if you can eat them without any problems - substitute them in your recipes!
Anything chocolate would be fantastic with peanuts added.  Peanuts ae great in homemade granola.  They are good on top of oats or cereal.  What a taste sensation on ice cream (especially with chocolate drizzle).
I like to use sunflower seeds as well in some recipes.  Just open your mind and give some other items a try.  Both of these items will save money.

Who doesn't love banana pudding?  Ever wonder it has to be banana?  It doesn't.  Use whatever pudding you have on hand.  Play with it  and experiment.
Why even vanilla wafers?  They can be a little pricey around here - especially if you look to buy a brand name.  I found some 'bite size' ones at Dollar Tree - a $1 a box.  OK, that's fun.

No vanilla wafers?  No problem - use graham crackers, any type of cookie, chunky granola.  You can use any fruit as well - different pie fillings would be wonderful.
My head goes to cheesecake flavored pudding, with graham crackers and cherry pie filling!  EEK - that sounds heavenly.  You see where I am going.  Just use what you have and you can come up with a masterpiece!  It may be the best thing you have ever made and it will save $$ as well.

I love lasagna and pizza both.  I also like to play with both.  You can make your lasagna a Mexican lasagna or a pizza lasagna for a change up.
Mexican lasagna - flavor your meat with taco seasoning, add refried beans or black beans or chili beans - maybe corn (drained).  Salsa instead of marinara sauce - still use your noodles as usual, but try some different ingredients.  Use cheddar or Colby cheese instead of parmesan.
Noodles - can be any pasta.  No lasagna noodles - add macaroni or spaghetti to your layers (cooked) - seriously pasta is pasta.
Pizza lasagna - use pizza sauce (marinara is fine), maybe sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives..... whatever you put on pizza.  Use whatever cheese you put on pizza.
Mix it up a bit.

Pizza - well, what can I say?  You can use whatever you have on top of a pizza.  It can be anything from plain old cheese to super duper fancy.  Leftovers are always great to add to the toppings.  Heck, I have even added leftover mac and cheese and let me tell you it was wonderful.
I make Mexican pizza often when I have leftover taco meat - I may add jalapenos too. I have even added refried beans to pizza.
I mean - come on - there is no such think as bad lasagna or pizza!!!!!!

Cornbread is another fun item to experiment with.  I sometimes add a small amount of finely chopped jalapenos to my mix and/or shredded cheese.  It makes for some very yummy cornbread.

Just throwing ideas out there, so no one ever thinks that they can't eat yummy - even if the pantry is getting low.  THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX  and don't be afraid to experiment.

We all take things way to serious any more - life is supposed to be fun and full of surprises.  Enjoy it.  Experiment, play, smile, eat, love, share and pray - it will surely make life better!

For those having trouble finding the video I mentioned yesterday, I am sorry.  I  have copied a picture of the video promo - maybe it will help you find it.
I tried to link the video and couldn't seem to get the hang of it.
Darn it - I hope you can find it.

Have a wonderful day all. 
Be patient and kind to all you meet - the world needs it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Just a Random Morning Chat

Howdy everyone.  It is sure a pretty morning - yesterday started and ended with storms.  Last night was something - wind, lightening, thunder and downpours.
I did a walk around this morning and I did a little wading in the back forty!!!!  I went out to get the trash can (after trash p/u) and had to wade a little.  I need to go out in a bit and stake up the tomato cages.  They are so heavy with tomatoes and with the ground being saturated the are leaning.
Kitties were here bright and early for breakfast - I bet they were scared when the storms came through.
The sky was pinks and oranges this morning and the sun is shining - nothing damaged in my area - all is good.

I got a request on comments from Sunday post from Judy, asking about my salsa recipe.  Well, it is easy.  Mrs. Wages!!!  I love that stuff - it sure makes life easy.  Now I know some who don't like it and others say I am cheating.  So be it!  The packets contain all the spices, dehydrated onion and such needed - I add my tomatoes and vinegar.  I really like the taste as do the family members that receive in gift baskets - so I am no hurry to change it.
I use Mrs. Wages for pasta sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, and my pickles.  You can also find mixes for canning fruit as well - to make pie filling, etc.  I have never used the fruit mixes.

You can always tweak the mixes if you need to change it up a bit.  I use the leftover  brine from pickles for relish.  I have made Kosher relish and sweet relish.
The mixes work out for me - all the spices needed are in a bag.  Many items I wouldn't use for anything else - so no need to waste them.  I also buy these mixes marked down at the end of the season - and use the next year.  Heck I have even used some that were a couple/three years old.  Just keep dry and cool.

I thought I would mention a good You Tube you might want to watch about stretching the food budget.
The channel is The Bealles - and she recently did a challenge to stretch a small food budget over a week.  She spent just under $40 at a outlet grocery (she got some great deals) and she fed her family of 5, three meals a day, for 7 days.  105 MEALS less than $40!!!!!
She used only ingredients that she bought - as if assuming you had nothing else in the house.  It was really neat to see what she fixed and she DID provide some really nice meals.
I liked one idea she used - she needed to make a little rue and didn't buy flour - so she ground up a bit of the oatmeal she had purchased and used that!  Ingenious.  It worked!

What a great way to get oat flour when you can't find it at the store or you can't get out.  I always have lots of oats on hand - this would be a neat way to add fiber to bread recipes.  Nice way to add a lot of fiber without spending a dime.

There are just so many tricks that we can all use to stretch a budget.  All it takes is a little creative imagination and we can save money and eat good.
I have been seeing a lot of FB posts lately about using dehydrated zucchini and squash as a flour type ingredient.  Dehydrate and grind.  Replace some of flour with squash powder.  Adds hidden nutrients and flavor.
I first saw Vickie at Vickie's Kitchen and Garden  post this and then saw it several other times on FB.
I have a LOT of dehydrated zucchini and yellow squash in the pantry that I need to use.
What a great way to add to cakes, breads, cookies, muffins and even sauces!!!!!!  ALL for FREE!  You could add it to about anything!

I love finding new uses for things and ways to stretch the pantry and the food budget.

Tomorrow we will chat again.  I think I will talk about changing' up some ingredients in common dishes - utilizing what you have on hand and to make things a little fun and interesting.

Have a blessed day and BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/9

Good day to everyone.  Hope this finds each of you well and safe.
We had a lovely week of weather this past week - more fall like temps.  Cooler (70's) and lower humidity.  We did get rain a couple times.  It was wonderful.
This coming week it sounds like summer is returning.  Highs in the 80's (not bad) but humidity comes back.  Looks like several rain chances this coming week as well.

My neighbors (who had the doggy) got a new puppy.  I was surprised they did so, as quickly as they did.  I guess the guy was having a hard time adjusting!  It is so cute - it's about 4 months old and it will get big.  But he is pretty mellow for a puppy and just as cute as can be.  I think it is part Lab and part Blue Heeler (?).  Bandit is his name.

We had a bit of excitement (I could do without) in the neighborhood on Monday morning.  There was what looked like a bazillion police cars on the street when I got up!   I guess there was a Federal drug raid on a house about 4 doors down!!!!!  There were supposedly 30 raids around the city that morning all before dawn.  They arrested 2 people (one pregnant) and spent hours and hours at the house.  I guess you just never know what goes on behind closed doors!!!  So glad they shut it down - don't need that in our quiet neighborhood.  No one had a clue about drugs being there.  Scary.

My Surprise Lilies (naked ladies) popped up and started blooming this week.  I just love them.  The bulbs for them are far older than me.  They came from my parent's home -as did most of my pretties.  I have two big bunches of them that are blooming now.

My week:

  • Had company come and visit on Sunday - we set outside on the porch and had a lovely visit.
  • I got to spend a lot of time in the yard this week.  Mowed and trimmed.  Trimmed all the bushes and the berry patch.  Got the garden pretty much weed free!!!!!! YAY!   It always looks extra pretty for a day or two after  - then it all starts growing again!
  • I have been picking tomatoes and a few more cucumbers (tiny).  There has to be hundreds of cherry tomatoes hanging out there!
  • Did a lot of porch sitting this week - had the kitties join me a few times!!
  • Ran to the library to return and got 2 cookbooks to read (like I have none!!)  LOL
  • I did a stock-up run this week.  Checked out the dollar tree (didn't get much there) except my shampoo - enough for well over a year.  I also went to a smaller independent store and did well.  Got hair color, more TP (done for a while), dry bleach, olives, cider vinegar, instant coffee, toilet bowl cleaner, cat food (dry and wet), and litter.  
  • Didn't need any regular groceries this week
  • Had a squirrel corn feeder come down this week.  I went out and put it back up and shored up the other two.  All nice and sturdy again.  Fat little buggers!!!
  • Made and canned salsa!  My first of the season.  I plan on doing more this week
Always looks just so pretty to me.  A start to homemade holiday gifts!!!!!

Take a gander at these Roma tomatoes!  Most of them are this big.  It fills my hand.  They sure are nice.

Meals this past week:
Fried 'zoodles' with sauce, tomatoes and cucumber slices
Ramen noodles with veggie soup (freezer) added
Tortilla chips and cheese dip and sliced tomatoes (I was tired)
Tomato and bologna sandwich - a summer favorite
Beef and bean tostadas
Red beans/rice, chicken tenders and sliced tomatoes

How was your week?  Are you adding to your pantries?  Are you canning/freezing/dehydrating  anything?
Let us know what is going on in your life.

No matter how the days go, no matter what the news says, no matter - REMEMBER - the sun will rise tomorrow, the birds will be singing and the butterflies flying, children will be laughing and there is good in every day.  Make the best of what you are given.

Stay safe, stay well, stay happy and stay frugal.  
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Summer Fun Yums

Today I am giving a couple fun 'recipes' for the summer months.  Oh who am I kidding - I'd eat these goodies absolutely anytime of the year.  Bet you would too!!!

8 frozen round waffles - thawed
1 quart ice cream (flavored best) - softened
Mini marshmallows, hot fudge, chocolate syrup, mini chips - whatever you like
8 cherries (optional)

Warm the waffles - do NOT toast.  Gently fold each waffle in half and set it in a 13 x 9 baking pan - open side up.  Keep rows tight, so they don't fall over.
Add ice cream and any other ingredients you wish.  Cover and freeze until firm.  Drizzle with chocolate before serving.
                                                       (Not my picture) - from cookbook

Mix up your favorite cake batter.
Set up  cones in a flat bottom baking pan.  Fill cones to within 1/2" from top.  Bake at 375* for 35 minutes (or as directed by your cake  recipe).  Cool completely and ice as you wish.
What a cute party idea - great for little ones or grown ups!  Makes eating your cake fun and easy!!
                                                       (Not my photo) - from cookbook

2 C strawberries - hulled and crushed
4 C sugar
1 3/4 oz. pkg. powdered pectin
3/4 C water
5 - 1/2 pint freezer safe containers
Combine sugar and strawberries in a large mixing bowl and set aside
Whisk together pectin and water in a small saucepan - bring to a boil.  Boil and stir constantly for one minute, remove from heat.  Pour pectin water over strawberry mixture.  Stir until sugar is dissolved - about 3 minutes.
Pour into container and secure lids.  Set in frig until it sets up (about 24 hours).  Freeze for up to one year.
What a great gift!!!

Have some summer fun and yum.  I just love cute and simple recipes that makes people smile.
These would be fun for every age group!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Storms in Life

Today is just kind of a follow-up of some of the replies from yesterday.
It sure sounds like most of us are in the frame of mind when it comes to being prepared.  I guess that is why we are all here.
I, for one, don't want to be an ostrich and have my head in the sand.  I want to be aware and alert and prepared.  It seems so many people just don't get it - or they don't want to.  IT WON'T HAPPEN TO ME - a prevalent attitude today.

I said yesterday in reply to someone - we are more alike than different.  It doesn't matter where we live or what we do for a living - we want our families to be safe and strong and we want the assurance of what 'normalcy' we can scrape together.

I loved this saying the second I saw it.  So true.  Quit waiting for things to go back to normal - that may never happen.  Normal will be different from this day forward. 
Instead - learn to DANCE  - or thrive with what you have and the difficulties you are given.
It can be anything.  Losing a spouse, monetary abilities change, job gone, health issues, weather predicaments, etc.
There are just some things we can not change - believe me, I would have if I could have.  We need to learn that our lives change over and over during our years here on earth.  We have to learn and move forward.  That doesn't mean you aren't sad or that you aren't mourning that change.
It just means that we all have to learn a new DANCE at different times in our lives.

Most of us here, like that simpler lifestyle.  We know what to do if  **IT hits the fan.  We are prepared as well as we can be.
Nothing at all wrong with that.  It is smart.
I am a true believer that lifestyles in general are going to change.  I think society is heading for a step or three backwards.  I, for one, find that comforting!!!  I think life was better in years past - easier NO -  but better.

I am so happy to be a part of this community of fantastic, caring, and thoughtful people.  We all seem to be encouraging each other in so many ways.  That is what the world needs more of right now.  I wish we could bottle up the "love and communion" we have here and spread it every where.
I want you to know how much I appreciate each of you.  Thank you for being here.

Don't be hard on yourself - remember you can't be everywhere for everyone - just be somewhere for those that matter.
Be versatile, adept, and endeavor to persevere.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

AUGUST - Prepare and Maintain

I plan to make this month my month for the big push.  I want to make sure that I get the pantry loaded for the upcoming winter (as well as I can), and I plan to maintain the stock I have.
I know that I can't get everything I will need this winter (right now) - but I want to try and really get my stocks up.  I do use what I have - so I want to maintain as well - that means adding.

I will be going through everything and see just what I have.  I want my pantry to have a good years worth of supplies.
I want to can everything I can get my hands on.  I may not grow it - but I want to get fresh goods somewhere to can. (for me/family & gifts)
I want to get all the STUFF out of this house.  I have been going through stuff for months and trying to set aside things I don't want to keep.  Until recently, I could not take them any where.  The stuff needs to go.

Now is the time to get ready.
The world is in an extreme amount of dis-order.  Nothing is the same.  Things seem upside down.
You are the only one that can create ORDER.  You can maintain order in your private environment - you have that control.  DO IT!  Take your power back.  Don't let anyone else have control of your household.  That is your domain.

I am lucky, as I am not a picky person.  I can eat all types of beans and rice (I can jazz them up).  I can eat biscuits and jelly or gravy.  I have lots of flour and sugar and yeast.  I can make bread, flat breads, biscuits or tortillas.  I can make all kinds of soups.   I love soup beans and cornbread.
This girl could live on these things - I have all of this covered.

Stop and think - do you have the basics to make simple meals?  We don't have to eat meat all the time.  Beans are great protein - eggs, peanut butter (or all nut butters) are great proteins.  There are alternatives.  That lets the meat you do have last much longer.  Use less per recipe.
Think simple - there are so many ways to stretch your dollars and supplies.

Do you have what you need for holiday cooking and baking?  If your answer is no - GET IT! 
Do you have plans for holiday gifts?  Make those plans now!  Plan on what you want to give - home canned goods, baked goods, crafts, goody baskets of any type - just make your plans and get started.

Make August your month for preparing and maintaining.  Make August your month for planning.  Make August your month for doing inventories of EVERYTHING! 
Not just food - health and beauty, medical supplies, pet supplies, garden items, gifts, crafts, etc..
Cold weather (for us) and summer (for southern hemisphere) will be here in a minute!!!!!!!!

Can, freeze, dehydrate, buy what you will need WHILE YOU CAN.
We all know that things can change overnight.
Let's get busy!