Sunday, November 29, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/29

 Good morning my friends.  I surely hope this finds you well and safe.
Hard to believe that this is the last Sunday in November (boy it flew by) and that we have 4 weeks to prepare for Christmas.  Five weeks and we start a new year!   My goodness.

I hope that all in the U.S. had a great Thanksgiving.  Mine was different, but nice and quiet.  I guess that is the only constant in the world - things change!!!!!  We can always be sure of that.

We have  had a couple pretty, sunny and semi decent days.  Love seeing the sunshine - it sure is a mood lifter.  This coming week is supposed to be colder and they have even thrown around that nasty four letter S word!!!!!!.  It looks like my area may get a few flurries or a dusting - but that is about it (I hope). 
So December will be coming in more seasonal than November has been.  Ba-Humbug!  LOL
I look forward to the daylight hours to start getting longer instead of shorter - after winter solstice!

My week:
  • Did a ton of paperwork - paid all bills I had in house, balanced checkbook (ugh), and filed away lots of papers
  • Received and wrote a snail mail letter
  • Did all the usual - laundry, vacuum, dust, and cleaned inside windows, mirrors and glass
  • Got the other rain barrel drained and put away
  • Final rake of the season
  • I fixed a downspout I had that was leaking
  • Put up my (few) Christmas decorations inside and placed wreaths, mailbox cover, Christmas flag, and pots of fake poinsettia's out front.
My lantern, tiny little tree and Tiffany like turtle (red light).  The little turtle is festive in color.  I have more things around the house - but this is my little tree area.
  • I baked a turkey breast, a tiny chunk of ham, baked a pan of mac n cheese.  Made a peach cheesecake and made brownies.  I wanted something crunchy on top of mac and had no dried onions or corn flakes - so I ground up some Cheetos and topped it.  Cheese and more cheese!!!  Yum.
  • Ended up with a pint of broth from the turkey pan and then cooked the bones down and ended up with 3 quarts more for the freezer.
Richness  and goodness straight from the turkey pan.  The picture doesn't do it justice - it was golden!
  • Went to the feed store and did a big stock up of critter goodies to last past the end of the year.  Got the best ear corn I have seen in ages - the ears are HUGE
  • Got my holiday cards out and ready to address
  • Got to share my Thanksgiving food with a couple of neighbors and a friend.  They were pleased.
  • NO shopping - grocery or gifts

My meals this past week:
Bean/rice leftover and scrambled eggs
Cheesy beef and rice/bean topped with chopped tomatoes
Sausage gravy over toast
Chili (from freezer) smothered brats (open face sandwich)
Turkey, mac n cheese and dessert
Ham, mac n cheese, slaw and sliced tomatoes - dessert
Ham, turkey and mac - dessert

Got to talk with lots of family this week - which is always nice.  It really has been a pretty quiet week.  Last night I slept better than I have in months! (I don't ever sleep well -- never straight through).
I have totally been enjoying the sunshine we have had the past couple days.  Some days it is just those little things that make a difference.
Today I am going to make some turkey and noodles - just sounds comforting.  That is what winter is all about!  

How was your week?  Did you get any deals or do any holiday shopping?  Any crafting?
Baking?  How are you stretching those leftovers?    

May you and yours have a wonderful week.  Let us know what you are doing to get ready for Christmas!
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday Chit-Chat

 Good morning all.  I hope all of you U.S. folks had a great Thanksgiving.  Many may be having it today or tomorrow.  It doesn't matter.  We should be thankful each and every day for WHAT we have and WHO we have in our lives.  I understand we are celebrating the 'first' gathering - but we can be thankful for our ancestors every day.  Without my ancestors coming here and going through all they did (and surviving) I wouldn't be here.  One little change could have made a difference on my existence.

Lots of leftovers here.  I have a friend stopping by today for lunch and we will use some of those leftovers up.  Then I will find new ways to remake them or maybe some will be frozen. 
I watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving last evening!!  I had pre-recorded it last weekend and I watched it for the first time in years!   So sweet and such a good message behind it!
Debbie in KS I watched Michael West's - Gobble Gobble - You Tube video.  That was cute!

No shopping going on here.  I have no desire.  It is amazing to see as I am watching the news this morning - that 'perhaps' people are actually listening a bit this year.  It looks like the numbers of people at the stores is quit small compared to past years for Black Friday.
I have never been an on-line shopper - doubtful I will start this year.  Most are getting goody baskets - things I make, can or special items from grocery.  Other than that - money will be gifted.  I have the littles all done - so teens will get some personal likes/goodies (treats and snacks) and $$.
I was talking to one of my nieces last night and she said she started my 'tradition' of goody baskets with her oldest and is giving just a couple things to younger (teen) children and then money.

This is my newest 'child' Blackie.  He showed up several months back and wouldn't even get close to me or anyone.  I slowly set and bribed him with goodies and now he LOVES me!  He hangs here pretty much all the time now.  He even defends the the yard from unknown kitties!   He gets along pretty well with Momma and Fluffy.  Fluff isn't all convinced about him yet - but she abides him.
I walk outside, and as soon as he hears me open the gate - he comes running to Mom!!  

It is going to get cold this coming week - so planning on finishing up some needed to do items outside this weekend.  It will be a good time for people in my area to finish up any outside decorations - because it is going to way chilly next week. (highs at freezing or below for a few days).

If you are so inclined to shop this weekend - please remember tomorrow is SHOP SMALL Saturday.  Shop those small business instead of the big box stores.  You can get such wonderful and different items.  You may also be helping to put a meal on their table instead of getting some CEO richer!  I doubt I go out tomorrow - but I do plan on stopping in a couple small businesses in the little burg up the road in the coming days.  They look interesting and I may find something I 'can't live without'!
Small businesses have taken such a hit this year - please do what you can to help!

I do need to go to the feed store tomorrow and get stocked up for the remainder of the year.  I am usually in and out in a few minutes.  Got to keep my critters fed!

Seeing a bit of sunshine at the moment!!  YAY - it has been a few days.  That can sure change my attitude and mood.

Well gang, I am off for now.  I will be back Sunday with the weekly wrap-up.  Have a great weekend and stay safe if shopping.  Eat up all those leftovers and stay frugal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


 Wishing you all well!  Be safe and healthy.  Travel mercies for those traveling some where.  
I am so very thankful for each of you! 

Blessings to each of you and yours on Thanksgiving and every day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Food Waste - So Many Consequences

Wasting food is such  a huge problem world wide.  I don't understand why people so easily throw good nutritious food away.
It is SINFUL in my eyes.  It wastes MONEY.  People are going HUNGRY all over.  It wastes RESOURCES.  It is just so wrong.

I know people who refuse to eat leftovers.  My advice - go hungry then!  I know that sounds cruel, but it is crazy.  Remake it into something else.  
Make soup, casseroles, wraps, pizza, quiche............etc..  You can mask it if you try.  Breakfasts, lunches, suppers.  Sandwiches or snacks.

I know so much food will be wasted after this Thanksgiving Day holiday.  I actually have known people who through the turkey away the day after (regardless to how much meat is left).  Aaaacckkkkk!!!  Good grief - I boil the bones!

Give food to another family member or a neighbor.  There are homeless people that would love a sandwich or a tray.  Freeze it for later on.  If nothing else - feed your livestock.  (much of people food is not good for house pets).  Just DON'T throw it away.

Not only does it waste food - when so many are hungry, but it is wasting money.  If you are that eager to throw money away, go out to a parking lot and just throw cash about!!!!!!  At least it would benefit someone.
It is also a huge waste of resources!!!  People don't seem to think about this.  It took farmers from all over giving of their time and work, animals and veggies being raised and fed, someone to harvest, someone to clean and package it, someone to transport, someone to stock shelves and someone to sell it.   Soooooo many wasted resources when you simply throw it away.  
That is disgusting and just plain wrong.
We should be thankful for those farmers and truck drivers and stores for providing us nourishment.

Throw your leftovers in the trash - in many big cities the trash trucks come and get it.  They pack those trucks full - then off to the landfill/dump.  Hundreds of trucks of trash a week are dumped.  That compacts much of the trash down - where even wildlife (birds mainly) can't get to it.  
All that packing causes gases to be made.  Methane gas if made when food items are cut off from oxygen.  Methane is horrible - that is what many call greenhouse gas.
If nothing else compost all you can at home - at least that is beneficial to your food system in the long run.

So before your waste - THINK and PLAN:
  • Cook a little less
  • Have a plan for leftovers - eat as is, re-invent, freeze, or share
  • Use small plates - less likely for people to take food they won't eat (they can get seconds if needed)
  • Shop from your shelves - instead of buying more
  • Plan, plan, plan and be mindful
Just to give you an idea - I recently read that it is estimated that 200 million pounds of turkey alone is throw out after Thanksgiving in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  DISGRACEFUL!!

This isn't just a Thanksgiving or Christmas problem - waste is an every day problem.  Please be mindful of your food, your resources and your money.

Many blessings to you and yours my friends.  Enjoy a safe, healthy and mindful holiday!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/22

 Good morning all.  Hoping this finds you all well and safe.
All is fine here.  It is a dark, wet and chilly morning.
We have had another  full cycle of weather again this week - well, all but snow!  Warm weather and got to open windows, strong winds - was watching for a house and little dog to fly by (LOL) - rain, we should be catching up from drought, and cold - had to plug in outdoor water bowls.

Critters were all hungry.  The little birds were very thankful to have the water bowls not frozen!  It is funny, I don't see them at the birdbath often - unless it is very cold.
I saw a red-winged black bird eating in the yard this week.  Unusual, as I usually only see them in spring and early summer.  Must have been heading southwards.

It seemed to be the week of  'one thing leads to another'.  Every project I did led to another,  It didn't seem anything was just simple.

THIS is a picture of love, contentment and happiness!  My sweet little cuddle bug - Coogy.  May your week be this relaxing!

My week:
  • My neighbor brought me some candy and a pumpkin roll - what a nice surprise
  • Made a batch of corn muffins that lasted a few meals and froze some
  • The light company sent out someone to replace my house meter (garage one already replaced).  It is supposed to more accurate.  The worker walked out back and just stopped and was saying nothing.  I asked if all was OK and he said "I have never seen squirrels come so close to people.  That is amazing!  It ran right up to you."  I then showed him how I feed them nuts by hand.  He thought that was just the coolest thing he had ever seen.  Then he said "look it is waving at us".  It sure did look like it.  LOL!   I got a new more accurate meter and he got a story to tell all day!
  • I wasn't going out - but ran to Aldi.  I got butter 1.79/lb. (no limit), fresh potatoes were 1.89/10 lbs. and I got a gift card and some small items for gifts.  In and out in about 20 minutes.  They were completely and well stocked and only limits was on TP - 2 packs.
  • I raked leaves again.  I did the leaves that collected in a part of the drive up by house
  • Emptied and put away 1 rain barrel.  One more to go
  • Working on the bedroom pantry - I am working on re-arranging and organizing.  I will be adding a curtain as well
  • Been working on de-cluttering and deep cleaning again.  That is where one thing leads to another!
  • Normal stuff - laundry, cleaning, using what I have, cooking from scratch (making simple meals), made carbonated fruit water, reading
  • Got to open windows and turn off heat on 2 days
  • Renewed library books on-line
Meals this past week: Simple but yummy
Cheesy mac with broccoli and cherry tomatoes added and tuna on the side
Complete meal tostado - cheese, taco meat, mac n cheese and slaw all on a tostada
Mixed greens with ham chunks and corn muffins (best bite I have had in ages)
Leftover greens, fried potato and corn muffin
Homemade pizza
Leftover pizza and salad
Homemade beans and rice and brats and corn muffin
Mac with cheese and added broccoli and halved cherry tomatoes

Tostada meal - shell, shredded cheese, taco meat, mac n cheese, homemade slaw and ranch dressing
Mixed greens with ham chunks and  corn muffins - honestly the best meal in ages.  It sure hit the spot!
Pizza using what I had on hand, made crust, sauce, sausage, pepperoni, peppers, olives, onion, sliced Roma tomatoes and cheese - my goodness it was tasty!
Homemade rice (spiced up) and red beans.  Leftover muffin and cheesy brats.

No meal this week probably cost more than a couple dollars and some like greens, mac and pizza cost a lot less than that PER meal!  I loved it all and I used what I have and re-invented a couple things in new ways.  Keeping it simple!

How was your week?  Are you all ready for Thanksgiving?  I think I am staying home and having a friend and a neighbor come by to eat.  I will take something to another neighbor as well - she is battling cancer and treatments.
Did you get any of the great deals being offered?  There sure are some good sales.

May you and yours stay healthy and safe.  
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

This is the day which the Lord has made;  let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Turkey Day Memories

Today I want to put a couple memories of Thanksgiving Days past out there.  I know we all have special memories of different days.

My Mom would bake so many goodies - pies and cakes and homemade yeast rolls. Her rolls were so good.  The turkey was always cooked during the over night.  No cooking bags back then!
It was all you could do - to sleep!!!  The house smelled so incredible.  
She made two types of dressing.  Regular and oyster (ick).  My Dad and brothers and even Glen liked the oyster dressing - oh my I just couldn't stomach that.
I still use some of Mom's recipes for special items and even her grand daughter's do.  Her special dishes are still around.

I think just about everyone came home to Mom and Dad's on Thanksgiving.  They may not have stayed long - but everyone stopped by for a visit and a goody.
We had people in the kitchen, the dining room and the living room.  If nice out - people even used the front porch.  I remember people even sitting on the steps going upstairs.
The house wasn't big - but it sure was full of love.

I remember one year when I was around 8 or 9, Mom had pretty extreme back surgery and had to wear a body cast - hips to underarms.  That thing was massive back then.  Dad decided he would fix Thanksgiving dinner.  His biggest job was the turkey.
I remember him carving up the turkey (which looked lovely) and he found the giblet packet inside!!!!!  Mom was mortified and Daddy thought it was hilarious (as did everyone else).
That was talked about for years and Daddy never got turkey duty again!!!!!!

We had Thanksgiving for everyone a few times here in our little home ( to give Mom some relief).  It was wall to wall people.  Luckily the years we had it, the weather was decent and we got to ship kids outside to play some!  
The last year I did a BIG T-day, was unbelievable.  I had a big ham, turkey and turkey breast, 10 lbs. of potatoes mashed, tons of dressing and green beans and desserts out the wazoo.  I had tons of people RSVP and went with that.  Well...... a bunch showed up that hadn't RSVP'd and they brought boyfriend/girlfriends and kids.   First time ever in my life that I never had a leftover AT ALL.  They ate everything.  That was the last whole family T-day I had.
We went much smaller every year after that.

My favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner is having having a cold turkey sandwich the next day.  That is the best!!!!  I look so forward to that simple little thing.

I sure do miss those days.  Mom, Dad, sis and brother, in-laws that are gone and of course Glen - it was precious. I am glad I can sit and remember.  What a gift!

Life sure goes by quickly.  You turn your head and years seem to fly by.
I truly love being able to live those days over and over in my head.

Do you have any favorite memories of Thanksgivings past?  Any funny happenings - or mishaps?
Please share.  I love reading everyone's stories.
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Frugal Feast - Don't Fret - It's Possible

 Here we are at the holiday season again.  Next week is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.  A feast is always anticipated.  WHY?  
Should we not be thankful everyday for what we have and celebrate each and every day that God has given us?  YES

This year many families are staying home and just having a simpler version of the holiday.  Many folks have been short on money for months and may not have the funds to do a big spread.  That is OK!!!!!!!
A feast can be anything - especially if you are sharing with someone you care about.

In the U.S. turkeys are like stupid cheap right now.  Frozen turkey can be purchased just about every where for .31 - .39 a pound!  You can't get anything else that cheap.
BUT if you can't shop or have no funds to shop or choose to just stay in - have something else!

You can have turkey, ham, chicken (fixed any way you choose), pork roast, pork chops, beef roast, lasagna, spaghetti, chili, meatloaf (or meatloaf burgers*), fish...........................etc..
Shoot fire and save matches - you can have a grilled cheese and tomato soup or a bologna sandwich.  Have whatever you have on hand and BE THANKFUL!

You can even get a bit creative with store bought pre-packaged foods (many can be purchased for little $ right now with sales or even purchased at the Dollar Tree).

Here's a simple idea using inexpensive food and jazzing it up a little.  Stuffing mix - add a can or 2 of chicken meat and a can of cream of chicken soup and a little water or milk.  Bake or heat on stove for a great side with meat added.  Potatoes - add some sour cream or extra cheese or even cream cheese.  Green beans - season up and go.  Have one of those little hams - bake it up with a little OJ over it or some peach jam - spiff it up.

Make your own stuffing - dry up some bread chucks (any kind) add in celery and onion (or celery seed if no fresh) - broth and/or cream of celery or chicken soup.  I always add an egg.  Super easy to make - bake until heated through and lightly browned on top.  Super frugal!!

*Meatloaf burgers (mentioned above).  Mix up your normal meatloaf and make burger patties out of it and fry.  No need for an oven and these taste just like meatloaf.  Easy and yummy.

I am not a big cranberry sauce fan - but I LOVE mixing whole berry sauce with mandarin orange slices (slightly drained - keep juice for other uses) and throw in a big handful of chopped walnuts or pecans.  YUM!  I also like whole berry sauce mixed with applesauce - it is such a good treat.  You could use as a salad or a dessert.
Cranberry sauce added to apples for a pie or crisp is super yummy too.  Sweet and tart.

Have potatoes?  Potatoes are super cheap right now.  Our Aldi has them for 1.89 for 10 lbs. and some places are cheaper.  10 lbs. of potatoes can go a long way!!!!  Cook up 2 or 3 and make yummy and comforting mashed potatoes (for a couple people).  Twice baked potatoes.  Fried, baked, smothered, potato soup, hash browns..........................breakfast, lunch and super!

SO - you aren't doing any special shopping or can't - OK.  Check your pantries and your freezers and add a little imagination to the mix and you can have a SUPER FRUGAL FEAST!!!!!

If you do shop - there are crazy wicked good deals going on right now.  Stock up on what you can and be prepared for the winter months ahead.

Remember to be thankful EVERY DAY for all you have.  What you have in your pantry or freezer could be an absolute miracle to another family.  IF you have the opportunity to help a family that is down and out this season - please do.
God bless you all.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020


 Nuts, nuts, nuts.  Tis the season!  I love nuts of all types and I am so very thankful that I am not allergic, nor is anyone in my family.  I love baking with nuts, I love mixing other items with nuts, I just love eating them.
One of my fondest memories from Christmas is my stocking!  There was always an orange in the toe and then lots of nuts in shells - then other goodies.  We always had a big bowl of nuts in shell on the table during the holidays and the nut cracker was at the ready!  Messy yes - but something I will never forget.  That was just part of Christmas!

Sometimes you know you get a deal - then you actually realize what a deal you got.  I got one for sure with some nuts last week.  I generally only buy nuts on markdown or clearance, as they are so expensive any more.

I found these on the clearance rack for 3.99 a bag for a pound bag.  The tag says regular price 7.99!  I knew it was a deal at half price.
This week I saw this ad for Meijer and the price was decent - but still 6.50 a bag.  I did really good with my purchase!!!!!!!

I make up lots of mixes.  I add all types of nuts, dried fruit (raisins, craisins, etc.), M & M's, dried bananas, etc.  Makes for great gifts and such a yummy and semi-healthy snack.

This has always been a favorite of mine - since I was a child.  Mom would take me downtown around the holidays and it was magical.  We would always stop and get a tiny little bag of these (I am sure it was an extravagant purchase for her).  I felt so special.  I have found these at Kroger in their bulk section for 2.99 for 14 oz.!!!!!!  Oh my goodness - what a deal.  There is a Nut House up the road and IF you can find them there, they run 9.99/lb.!  I have been buying these every time I go and they will be a special item added to gift bags.
The same with these at Kroger - only they are only 1.99 for 14 oz.  I was just dumbfounded at the price.  As you can maybe tell - these are being enjoyed at the current time!

I found these goodies on the clearance aisle as well.  The boxes of candy are the movie size boxes and usually run $1 each.  The raisins are over a pound.
All of these will be used in some way in one of my mixes.  It is fun to get the items needed for such a good price.

I also have salted peanuts - I always have those around.  I think Kroger brand runs around 1.79 a jar.  The M & M's were on clearance.  $5 for 2 lb. 10 oz. bag!!!!!!!  WOO-HOO for sure!!!!!  The candy will be used in mixes and in cookies.
I have a #10 size can of dried bananas on hand - so there will be some nice jars of mixed fruit and nuts given this year.

I have hazelnuts in the freezer that I got on clearance and will be used in brownies, candy and cookies.  My pecans (in freezer) were also purchased on clearance at 6.29/lb.  I have been using these items off and on for months and still have plenty for holiday baking.

Keep your eyes open and always check the clearance aisle and sale prices.  It sure can make holiday baking and eating a much more frugal adventure.
Look at places you may not always think of for baking needs.  Many of the large hardware box stores - Menards and Lowes for example - often sell items like this for really good prices.  Keep an eye open at Aldi, Big Lots, Ollies, etc.  You just never know where you may find a fantastic deal.

Think outside the box a bit with your gift giving.  There are no rules or recipes (in my book) when it comes to mixing up goodies.  A pretty jar or even a baggy holds your yummy snack.  You can buy or make granola and add nuts and fried fruit to jazz it up.  Package and gift for a fun and very useful gift.

Just remember - we all have to eat!!!!
Give something exciting to eat and enjoy!   
My FAVORITE type of gifts!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/15

 Hello my friends.  Hope you are all well and safe.
It is a warmer morning, but very wet and windy.  Temps will be dropping all day and back to cold tonight.  We have had quite a roller coaster of weather this week.  We actually broke records several days for the warmest temperatures for the day (for November).  We have also had a night in the upper 20's.  Still no snow (ugh -such a nasty word in my book).  Looks to be normal and a little above normal this coming week.  I love it!  Each day we get decent weather is one off the list and one closer to spring!!!!

Saturday I looked out the back window and counted 14 squirrels out running, playing and eating in just my yard!  Birds every where.  Oh my.  Some days I feel like Dr. Doolittle!  Always some kind of critter roaming around.

Check this out! (taken through a window and screen)  Squirrel napping in the sunshine!!  That is my little potting table and it laid there and slept for a good 20 minutes.  The red bin is where the empty corn cobs go until I empty in trash bin.  I sure have some content wildlife!

My week:
  • I cleaned out the front flower bed and cut back all flower growth from front walk
  • Raked again and put leaves on the garden.  (one more BIG raking this coming week - leaves all down now)
  • Got to have heat off and windows open at least half of the week
  • Cut my hair at home
  • Changed out the battery in my watch with one on hand.  I still have several batteries left from a 10 pack I got at Dollar Tree for just $1
  • I did go out one day and bought a turkey for .33 lb.  My goodness you can't buy lunch meat that cheap!!!!!  I got a 15 lb.+ for around $5.  The grocery had lots of other great deals going on as well - pre holiday sale.  I also got a few more items for gift baskets (specialty things)
  • My BIGGIE this week - got a new water heater finally!  The leak just kept getting worse - I had small trays that fit under and catching water (which I used) - but I was having to empty at least 5 times a day.  That meant going down basement stairs morning, noon, and middle of the night!!!!!  ENOUGH!
I called and got an estimate and checked several places before agreeing.  Almost twice the price I expected - but it is bigger, it is brand new,  and I have a feeling of safety back (not doing stairs so much), peace of mind and sleeping through the night.  Those things are priceless. 
Did the estimate and repair all in one day.  So thankful.  Had wonderful workers as well - so kind and considerate.
I am blessed to have been able to pay for it and not put myself in any kind of financial bind.
I had been cautious with using hot water the past couple weeks - as I was afraid I would cause it to over work and just thoroughly go.   It is wonderful to use what I want and not worry.
LOL - I took a deep and hot soak in the tub that night!!!!!
  • I have been cooking from home and using what I have
  • Got to hang bedding on the line to dry this week
  • Just doing all the normal stuff we all do!
  • Doing some reading and watching some You Tube
Meals this past week:
Deconstructed egg rolls
Beans & rice and salad
Sausage/egg/cheese and tomato sandwich on toast (dang that was tasty & filling)
Steamed veggies with cheese and tamales (premade version)
Open face cheese steak sandwich and small salad
Baked potato with leftover burrito filling and sour cream
I have munched on fresh turnips (with salt) several times this week and also had carrots and broccoli with dip

I pray you all had a wonderful week.  I hope for your safety and health and that of your families.
Did you stay frugal this week?  Get any pre-holiday sale prices?
I think we have like 39 days or so till Christmas!!!!!!  Are you getting ready?

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

If you can't be kind this week - then say nothing at all.  Silence can be golden.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Little Gratitude

 I have been in a mood lately - as have many of us.  Life is uncertain and confusing.  We have all been doing what we can to stock up, learn, share ideas and just get ready for whatever.  May I say UGH!  I have always been a planner and a prepper - but some days I am over it (the reasons).

We all get in a ho-hum kind of mood now and again.  We let daily events get us down - it is normal.  TURN OFF the news.  TURN OFF the computers.  TURN OFF the TV.  GET RID of the people that bring you down.  

Get up and move, do new projects, cook the food, sing the songs - and like the song says "dance like no one is watching".  Give yourself back the CONTROL!!!!!!!!!

I got up.  In a warm home.  I have my kitties.  Food for them and myself.  The sky was clear and I saw the moon and stars this morning.  The air was brisk and cool and refreshing.  I have clothes to wear.  My birds are singing a sweet song and the squirrels are playing.  I can turn a knob and have clean water.  I can flip a switch and have light.  I have funds to pay my bills.  I have family and friends.  I have health.  I see the sunshine. The list goes on and on and on.

We get so complacent and just take so much for granted.  Shame on us.  No matter where we live or what is going on - there is always something to be thankful and grateful for.  ALWAYS!

We complain about cleaning house - be glad you have lodging.  Many don't.
Today is laundry day - ugh.  I have clothes to wear and shoes to wear.  I can pick what I wear.  Many have what is on their backs.
Crud - there are more dishes to wash.  That means I have food.  Many don't.
I need to clean the toilet today.  I have indoor plumbing.  Many don't.
I go outside and hear the traffic, the dogs barking, the kids yelling and playing.  Many only hear war.
I woke tired, sore and achy.  I was stiff and hard a hard time getting started.  Many didn't wake.
I have family who have big health issues.  They have doctors and hospitals (the best) to care for them and treat them and find answers.  Many don't.
I get bored and do nothing some days.  OK.  Many can't stop - they must keep moving just to survive.
I don't sleep well some nights.  BUT I am in a soft and warm bed.  Many have none.

I think I probably wrote this more today for me than anything.  I need to remind myself some days just how good it is.  Yes, it gets depressing.  Regardless of restrictions and rules - I still have free will and a mind to decide for myself.  Life is still good.
Regardless to world events - you still have CONTROL of your mind and actions.

Take a moment or two and just remember how good life really is.  We all have loss in life and loss of lives - but sadly,  that is PART of life.
Take control of what you can and THRIVE.

We can all come out of this better people.  Learn, live and enjoy whatever you can.
Blessings to each of you.
I am grateful for you all!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Uses for Baking Soda You May Not Know

 We all know that baking soda is used for cleaning, health & hygiene, etc.  There are many, many uses.
It is also very useful when cooking - in ways that not many people may know.

This is how I buy it!  I use it for so many things.  I keep a sealed container in the cabinet (and date it) for kitchen use, have a container in the bathroom, a container in the frig and one in the freezer, and a container under the sink.
So very useful!

Here are a few ideas many don't realize.  I hope you find something you can use.
  • A pinch added to water when soaking dry beans - helps remove gassiness.
  • Add 1 tsp. baking soda to the cooking water for rice to improve fluffiness
  • Omelets are fluffier if you add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to about every 3 eggs
  • If your gravy separates, add a pinch of baking soda to help get the oils and fats to stick back together
  • Tenderize tough meat by rubbing it with a little baking soda.  Let it stand for a few hours and then rinse and cook
  • Rubbing b. soda into the fat surrounding pork chops makes them fry crispier
  • To remove the fishy taste of fresh fish - soak raw fish for an hour or so in 2 Tbsp. baking soda to 1 quart of water.  Rinse and cook
  • Add a pinch of b. soda to buttermilk waffles/pancakes to make them fluffier and lighter.
  • Soften the strong taste of wild game by soaking in baking soda and water over night.  Rinse, dry and cook
  • TEST your acidic level of tomatoes.  Dip a damp spoon into baking soda, then stir in tomatoes.  Bubbling means a high acidity level
  • Cut the acid in tomato sauce or chili by adding a pinch of baking soda
  • Eliminate the gas effect of baked beans by adding a dash of baking soda while cooking
  • Cook cauliflower in water with 1 tsp, soda added.  Keeps it white and reduces odor
  • If you have a boil water order - it does change the taste.  Soften the taste by adding 1 Tbsp. soda to a gallon of water
  • A pinch in a cup of coffee takes away bitterness
  • Add 1/4 tsp. of soda to 8 oz. of OJ, grapefruit juice or real lemonade and stir.  It will fizz (like soda pop), but reduces acidic levels.
  • Add a pinch of soda to potatoes while mashing - it makes them fluffy
  • Tart berries can be sweetened by adding a 1/2 tsp. soda before adding sugar.  You will use less sugar when making pies and cobblers
  • Sprinkle baking soda on fresh pineapple to improve the flavor - especially if it is not quite ripe
  • Add about a teaspoon of soda when making fruitcake to make the color of the cake darker and to soften the fruit a bit
I like to mix some baking soda with vinegar water to clean the waxy build-up on fruits and veggies purchased at the store.

Most people think of baking soda as a leavening agent and it is sooooooo much more.  It is probably the one item we can purchase that has the most uses.
It can sweeten fruit, remove acid, tenderize meat and fix many cooking mishaps.  It can make a good cook an even better cook!!!

I hope this helps and gives you some new ideas to try.
Baking soda - it isn't just for baking any more!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Your Christmas/Holiday Pantry

 It is getting to be that time!  Here in the U.S. Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away and Christmas will be here in a few weeks.  I keep hearing people say that they are not doing their normal baking.  BAKE and ENJOY people.  Don't worry about passing the virus - the heat you bake at is pretty extreme.  None of us know what tomorrow brings, let alone next year.  LIVE and do as many "normal" things as possible.
I worry about a lot of things - but baked goods and food is at the bottom of that list.

I keep most baking and goody items in the pantry at all times, but there are some special ones that we all like to have on hand during the holidays.
Is your holiday pantry ready?

                                               Picture compliments of Gooseberry Patch

We all need sugar, flour, brown sugar, powdered sugar, baking soda, baking powder
Vanilla and all other flavorings
Chips, cocoa, nuts, coconut, peppermints
Marshmallows and marshmallow fluff, corn syrup
Dried berries and fruit
Sprinkles, colored sugars and other decorating supplies
Oatmeal, yeast
Oils, butter, Crisco, Ghee, etc.

Butter, eggs
Cheeses - all kinds - for snack plates as well
Dip items - purchased dip or ingredients to make dip yourself

Crackers of all sorts
Chips for dips
Chick peas to make hummus
Dried French's onions (mmmmm - green bean casserole)
Any types of cookie, brownie or cake mixes you may choose. Some just want a simpler holiday and that is perfectly OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I like to have lots of easy items on hand.  I will have drop cookie dough in the freezer and ready to bake at a moments notice.  I keep dip items on hand and fun chips for impromptu company.
Also keep slicing cheese and crackers - and I have beef stick on hand almost always.
There is always pickles, relish and olives.
Lots of fun and easy things that can be thrown together in a few moments.

My attitude  may differ from yours and that is OK.  I am not saying your way of thinking is wrong or that I am right.  I just have decided I am going to enjoy life.  I don't know how many years I have on this earth - so I want them to be fun.  
Make the goodies.  Eat the goodies.  Give the goodies.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/8

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds you all well.
It is a beautiful morning here.  It seems like a spring morning instead of a fall morn.  60* at the moment and the sun is shining and the birds are singing.  Going up into the mid 70's again today.
We have had some lovely weather this week after starting cold.  It is amazing to be able to have the heat off and the windows open for such a stretch of time - this time of the year.  I think we again have set some new records with weather.

This is how it has looked at sunset almost every night this week.  Just glorious color.

Last Sunday and again on Monday I must have had 100+ sparrows in the yard.  The ground looked to be moving with them.  It was pretty amazing.  You know I have lots of squirrels, but there are a couple that are just downright FAT! (can't imagine why - lol).  My neighbor made the comment that it is amazing the run and play at such speed!  My back handrail is 4" wide and they cover it when sitting there.  There are plenty of little ones as well - but my goodness a couple are big.

                                        Picture doesn't do it justice - this is one hefty squirrel!!!

This week:
  • Made a pot of "stewp".  Veggie/hamburger soup but the consistency of stew.
  • Laundry in cold and hung laundry in basement and outside
  • Made my own root beer a couple times - soda stream for carbonation and sassafras for flavor
  • Renewed library books online
  • Got the remainder if the garden cleaned out
  • Flipped all the cushions on the couch for a firmer sit!
  • Turned off heat and opened windows a lot.
  • Only time out this week was to vote, post office and to my brothers for a quick visit. (all one trip)
  • Got all my Christmas stamps and enough others for well into next year
  • My brother was gifted a bunch of fresh dug turnips and he shared with me and sis.  I love raw turnips with salt (not so much cooked).  I took SIL the ads (they don't get for some reason) as they had a lot of specials on things that I knew they were wanting to stock up on.  We keep each other informed on our prepping!
  • Been cleaning and clearing more in the flower beds
  • Froze 5 individual containers of 'stewp' for future use
  • Removed the mailbox cover that had really faded this summer - and removed all the magnets from it to re-use before trashing
  • Have been reading lots and lots of cookbooks (holiday ones)
  • A friend sent me a coupon for B1G1 coupon on cat food
  • Stayed out of the stores this week
  • Spent time finding some old family recipes that my SIL and sis wanted.
  • Raked leaves and put them on the garden a couple days ago - today you can't tell I raked!
  • Used all leftovers in new ways
  • Just doing all the regular normal stuff

Meals this past week:
Smothered mac - macaroni covered in thickened soup and sour cream/cheese
Smoked sausage, mashed potatoes and sliced tomato
Potato cakes, tuna patty and side salad
Super loaded burger - topped with thinly sliced ham and cheese (oh my)
Chicken and rice with broccoli
Cheesy potatoes with beef
                                              Smothered mac topped w/cheese and sour cream

How was your week?  Are you counting down to Thanksgiving and/or Christmas?  It won't be long on either.  I have been trying to come up with some more gift giving ideas from the kitchen.
Did you stay on the frugal train this week?

Take care my friends. May you stay safe and healthy through the coming days.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.


Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Thursday, November 5, 2020

What's Cooking?

 Good morning all.  Hope you are all well.
I have been trying to use up leftovers this week and sometimes I make new things with them.  Just using what I have.
I am thinking about the holidays as well - pre-planning.  

I have more jelly to make and can.  Grape is huge on the WISH list - I have grapes in the freezer and need to get them made up into jelly.
I am also thinking about making up drop cookie dough and freezing it.  I do it just like the stuff you can buy at the store.  
I drop onto parchment lined baking sheet and flash freeze.  Then I store in containers in the freezer until needed.  It sure is handy to have around, especially if you have unexpected company and need some goodies in a hurry or perhaps you just want a few warm cookies yourself.
The weather is so warm right now, it is hard to get into the holiday frame of mind!

Lots of time I say I have salad with dinner.  It may not be what you think.  Salad for me does not always mean greens are involved.  It can be any assortment of fresh veggies  (even sometimes canned) - it can be slaw - it can be slaw with added diced tomatoes - it may be kraut with added ingredients - it may be pickles and olives - bean salad - hard boiled eggs and carrots - anything.
Here is a side salad from this week.  Tomato, carrots, radish and olives with dressing.  It was tasty.  Used what I have on hand.

I had a craving for mashed potatoes this week.  Of course there was extra.
Day 2 - I made potato cakes - my goodness they were soooooo good.

About 2 C mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 -2 Tbsp. flour
I added dehydrated onion and the last bits of shredded cheese from a baggy.  Fried in butter until golden in each side.  YUM

I made a tuna patty this week as well (instead of salmon).  It was a small can of tuna in oil - so I drained part of oil and then I added crushed cheese nips (kind of stale).  Seasoned and fried.  Yep - no egg - the oil worked as a good liquid and the  crackers were binder.  Quite tasty without egg.
I love trying new ways!
                                                    Tuna patty, potato cakes and salad.

Here is a tip for holiday goodies.
Anybody make buckeyes?  Those little peanut butter yummies coated with chocolate?  They are very tasty - but I always make a huge mess when dipping them.
Here is MY solution!!!!
Spread the peanut butter goodness in a buttered pan and then top with the chocolate.  Once cooled - cut into bites!  SIMPLE  No more dipping.  (I know they don't look the same - but they still taste the same)

1 1/2 C smooth peanut butter (I have used chunky too)
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter (melted)
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 oz. paraffin - (for shine and set)
Combine peanut butter and powdered sugar and vanilla and melted butter.  Roll into balls or spread into a buttered pan.
Melt chocolate chips and paraffin in a double boiler.
Insert toothpick into balls and dip.  OR spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mixture in pan.
Let dry - store in a closed container

What have you got cooking this week?  Any fun foods or special goodies?
We all need new ideas.
Have a great day!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Reflecting and Having Faith

 We all know the world has become quite unsettled this year.  SO many things in the world are just troubling.
It is every where, not just this country.  We are all trying to do what we can to brighten the days for each other.  That is why I am so thankful for the group we have here.  

I read my horoscope in the paper this morning - 
"You set out to lift people, not to lean on them.  And yet, you wouldn't want to rob anyone of the chance to help you.  You need it, and they give it - a perfect confluence of interests."
Not that I believe in horoscopes - but this is so true.  All I have ever wanted to do in life is teach - and I try.  It is not exactly what I had in mind while in college - but teaching is teaching.
The thing I have realized over the years is that I GET more than I can give. 
I love the support and help and loving that everyone here shows.

We are all teachers.  We are all learners.  We are ONE!  We may be all over the world, and we may have different beliefs, different religions, different habits, different ways - but we are more alike than we are different.  Isn't that wonderful?

I have my faith and that gets me through each and every moment of each and every day.  I am not ashamed of it.  You may believe differently and that is OK for you.
We all do what we need.

This is something all the people of the world need to realize.  Actions are so important.  Your opinion is yours - not necessarily anyone else's.  

We all need one another.  No one on this earth can do this thing called life totally alone.  I truly believe that the legacy that we all will leave - is how we helped, treated and supported other people.  

Let us all be kind and giving.  Let us all teach.  Let us all be what we want to see from others.  Let us all be positive and resourceful.
Let us all know that there is someone far greater in control.

This is it!!!!!  Focus on what you can control - your thoughts and actions.  The rest is faith!  
Be compassionate to yourself and others.  Use kind words.  Do good deeds.  Just keep moving forward.
Regardless of what happens today or tomorrow - life does go on.

MAKE THE BEST OF IT and PEACE my wonderful friends and sisters.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Random Bits and Bobbles

 Today is just a few odd and end ideas to pass on.  Many are just reminders.  
I hope some of them helps someone.

If you get sick - replace your toothbrush!!!  If you don't have another - boil yours.
You just continue to spread bacteria and virus if you use the same one after being ill

REMEMBER to WASH your drier lint filter often.  You may remove the lint in the trap after each use - but there is still an invisible layer of gunk that needs to be removed.  Take out the lint trap and wash well with soapy water and rinse and dry.  If could save your drier or your home.

Here is a trick for those of you who feed ear corn to the squirrels (I can't be the only one!)
Some years the growing season is very dry and that makes for very dense cobs on the corn.  They are extremely difficult to get on the feeder.
I use my drill and make a hole in the center of the cob - enabling it to slide over the feeder nail better.  The hole is a bit smaller that the nail - so it isn't easy for the squirrels to remove!

I keep corn in a metal trash bin, and I go out and drill many at a time - so when I have to replace the corn on feeder - it is ready.

If you have any tools in your garage that use batteries - you need to bring those batteries in for the winter (if garage is not heated).  Extreme cold and batteries do not mix well.  I always bring in the rechargeable batteries before extreme cold.  Saves you money on having to replace - those rechargeable batteries for tools are expensive!!!

If you have a drippy faucet - try to get it fixed quickly.  If you can't get it fixed - CATCH the water!!!
Use the water for watering houseplants, pet bowls, dish water, flushing, etc.  Do NOT just pour it down the drain.  DID YOU KNOW - one drip per second = 2,700 gallons of water a year!!!!!!!!  That is crazy.
So catch those drips and use them!  Better yet - get it fixed.

Don't ever THROW away old baking soda!!!!!!  It still has tons of uses.
Deodorant, toothpaste, cleansing powder, w/vinegar to clean drains & toilets, deodorizer in litter boxes or trash cans, antacid, deodorizer for frig or freezer....................
So many uses - so NEVER throw it away.  
Once I replace the box in the frig - I put it in the drain with vinegar to clean drains.  Never wasted.

Make sure you rotate your pantry preps.  Use the oldest first.  No one wants to have things go to waste.
Just remember that those dates are at the discretion of the manufacturer - not mandatory.  They are "best if used by" dates which means optimal flavor - NOT EXPIRATION!!!!!!!!!!!
The manufacturers are hoping you will throw things away and buy more - there is a method to the madness.  The government does not require these dates (except on baby formula).  Many countries have no dates.
To avoid any questions, just ROTATE stock.  Use your oldest stock first!
Keep your pantries organized and neat - it ,makes it easier to not overlook things.

Hope these reminds someone - so we aren't wasteful.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/1

 Happy November to all!  This is just hard for me to believe- 2 months and a new year.
Did everyone that needed to - change your clocks??  UGH - I hate this. So many dark hours now and for a couple months.
I don't know about you - but my internal clock doesn't JUST CHANGE!  It stays the same, as does the internal clock of my pets.  So now I will be getting up an hour earlier according to the clock.  No extra hour of sleep here.

It is a windy and chilly day here today.  Today and tomorrow are supposed to be really chilly and then back to mid and upper 60's this week.
We had a lot of rain earlier this week.  I think the past couple weeks it has been trying to make up for no rain for a couple months.  Wednesday into Thursday we had about 18 hours of non-stop rain.  Then it cleared and no rain predicted for at least another week.
                      God purged the skies of rain and gave us this beautiful sight for a sunset.

This was birthday week - can't believe I am 66!  I keep wondering how did this happen?  It seems like yesterday I was in high school.  LOL
I got to see lots of people and got lots of fun phone calls.  I even got to go out to lunch!  It was a good week.  Thankful God has seen fit to give me more days on this earth.

Another quiet week:
  • Our only nephew on Glen's side came by Sunday for a visit with his girlfriend.  It was a nice time.  I think he visited for about 3 hours!  It was good to catch up.
  • I did a bank run this week - I just want to have enough cash funds on hand for Christmas gifts and for WHATEVER for the rest of the year
  • While out - I did get all the holiday gifts for all the little kids.  The 'littles' are done!!!  Lots of noisy and messy fun to take home!!!!!  (all educational though).  That is what aunties are for!
  • I also got a few more odds and ends for gift basket stuffers and I also got 4 re-usable grocery bags to use as 'baskets' for some.
  • My brother and sister in law came for a visit one day
  • Laundry and used  dehumidifier water in it
  • Made tea and flavored with OJ - tastes like those fancy bottles of tea you can buy
  • My sister took me out to lunch at Arby's one day.  
  • Cooking from scratch, drinking tea and water, using what I have
  • Have been working on de-cluttering in the basement some more - oh my!!
  • Reading and watching some You Tube
Meals this week:
Dinty Moore stew - late dinner
Chili (from freezer) topped baked potato
Loaded cheeseburger and fries
Baked spaghetti (from freezer)
Arby roast beef and cheese and potato cakes - sis shared mozzarella sticks as well
Mac and Mex - mac n cheese topped with leftover meat/beans from quesadilla topped with crushed corn chips
                               Greasy burger and fries - I had a craving and boy was it good!!!
                                                        Beef/bean/cheese/tomato quesadilla

Another basically quiet week.  
This coming week I plan on staying home (maybe for next couple weeks).  I just want to be safe and I worry about the stupidity that might take place after the election.  I really have no reason to shop or go any where except to the PO up the street.  I could put mail out for postman, but I am leery of that.  Let's call me a nervous Nelly!  I know I am not the only one.
I miss the old days where riots and meanness were not an everyday occurrence. 

How was your week?  Are getting ready for the upcoming holidays?  What have you been up to?

I think my gifts are bought - I still have some things to make - and maybe a couple GC's to buy (but can get them at grocery).  My plan is in motion and getting done!  
How about you?

I pray you have a wonderful week ahead.  Stay safe and be healthy,  Stay frugal and on track.
Sending blessings from my humble little home to yours.

When pride  comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2