Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Get the Most Out of Your Food Dollars

 Food is money!!!!!  FACT!
If you are wasting food - you are wasting money.  It always makes sense to use up everything and not waste - but as times change - and items become less available - it makes even more sense.  Waste not - want not!!!!  There are ways to use up and not waste and be creative and eat well!

I know some of these ideas have probably been presented before, but we always need reminders.  Just a few ideas to get creative and use it up!
  • Add a grilled cheese sandwich to any soup dinner.  Good protein and very filling.  I have even made a grilled cheese sandwich by using leftover mac n cheese - it was GOOD!!  LOL!  A sandwich can really extend the meal to provide for more people
  • Add noodles, pasta or rice to soups to extend servings
  • Turn a simple tuna noodle or mac n cheese dish into more of a meal by adding veggies - you can add broccoli, peas, carrots, etc. You can also add a little meat to mac n cheese if needed (I like tuna or smoked sausage bites).
  • Got an 1" or so left in a bottle of dressing?  Add 2 tsp. of vinegar and shake vigorously.  Then add 1/2 cup of mayo or sour cream and shake again.  You have just created a new type of dressing and didn't waste a thing!
  • Pizza can be anything!!!  The crust can be anything - pizza crust, bread, tortillas, etc.  Toppings - use all your leftovers - can be meat, veggies, etc.  Scraps and bits can make for a flavorful pizza.  No sauce - maybe use a white sauce or thinly slice tomatoes or canned tomato chunks.  Get creative.  Any type of cheese can be used - or serve without cheese.
  • Keep your bacon grease.  Not only is it a free oil, but it adds so much flavor to your food.  Use it to fry up potatoes, or any other veggie for added flavor.  Flavor and spices makes things more desirable!!!!
  • Use those ketchup and mustard containers for decorating icing!  You can get those generic containers at the dollar stores or clean and use the actual containers.  Great for decorating
  • Keep a shaker of flour next to your stove for quick uses.  I keep a mason jar topped with a parmesan lid.  Makes it simple to add flour to a dish and not make a mess getting out canister or spillage
  • TIP  - don't put oil in a cold pan then heat up.  Heat pan and then add oil - this helps keep food from sticking!!!!
  • Use ground meat (mince) - beef, pork, poultry - when needing to stretch your meat budget.  Ground meat seems to go further, as you can get by using less
  • Don't store apples and carrots together.  The gases the apples put off tend to make the carrots taste bitter when cooked
  • CRAZY TIP - don't use milk when making scrambled eggs - it makes your eggs watery.  Use WATER and your eggs will be fluffy and not watery!!!!
  • If you need to measure something sticky like honey or molasses or corn syrup - first spray the cup with oil spray or measure oils first.  Sticky stuff comes right out.
  • Throw all those leftovers into eggs for a fun omelet or quiche.  Hides the leftovers and uses up everything
  • Freeze all those ends and bits and pieces of cheese.  You can chop and add to pizza or macaroni or any dish - all assorted, for a unique taste!
  • Freeze leftover coffee in cubes to use in your chocolate dishes.  Coffee really enhances the flavor of chocolate.  Also can add to brown gravy for a heartier flavor to gravy. (Red eye gravy)
  • Use flat pop - to make Jello.  Creates some new flavors and tastes
  • Need a side dish to feed several and only have odds and ends of veggies?  That's OK.  Mix them all up - any kinds of veggies.  You can roast them, or steam them or saute' and then add cheese sauce or soy sauce or any flavoring.  Stir fry them - just mix and serve.
  • Keep those chips from the bottom of the bag or flavored cracker remains to use as a tasty topping to a casserole.
  • Keep cookie and cake crumbs to add to ice cream or pudding as a topping.
  • Need to extend eggs to feed several people?  Crush up some crackers and add to your scrambled egg mixture.  Extends the eggs and it all tastes like eggs.  We used to do this when camping a lot.
  • Add crushed cracker, bread crumbs, or oatmeal to ground meat to extend
Yes, stretching our food and our dollars is very important.  Our Moms and Grandmas knew how to do this well.  Many of these ideas were used back in the depression and always when times and funds were lean.
It is shameful to waste food when so many are hungry.  It is shameful to waste funds that you have worked hard for.

Learn to extend things and get creative.  It is so IMPORTANT.
This could possible help you or someone you know not be hungry.  Spread the word!
We all need to be teachers!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/29

 Happy Sunday.  My goodness, we are on the last Sunday and weekend of the month.  For much of the U.S. this is considered the end of the summer season - Labor Day will be celebrated in a week - and that is usually the last summer hoorah!  Other countries are just now ending winter and starting summer.  That is so hard for me to wrap my head around!!  LOL

It has been hot, hot, hot and HUMID!  UGH.  We did get a huge rain on Wednesday that was not even predicted (rains were very spotty).  It sure did help.  What was so amazing is that much rain in a normal time would have flooded my back yard.  Not this time - it just soaked right in!  Got sprinkles a couple times after that.
This next week is supposed to cool a bit - to 80's!  YAY!!  No cool nights yet.  It looks like a lot of chances of rain early in the week as the effects of the aftermath of the hurricane move north.

My week:
  • I did a deep watering before the rain came.  It was so dry early in the week.
  • Harvesting garden goods.  I got 1 cucumber and 1 zucchini this week and tons of tomatoes and even started harvesting a few grapes!
  • I did run to Kroger on Tues.  They had empty meat bins - they had thoroughly cleaned.  A truck must have come in that morning - as there were skids loaded all over the store.  By the time I left the meat bins were pretty full as they had several people stocking.  I got more dry, canned and treats for cats.  I bought a case of pint canning jars for 9.99.  I have tons of quarts - but was running lower on pints.
  • I did a fuel fill-up on Blazer.  Gasoline was down .35/gallon from a couple weeks ago - from seeing the signs (I hadn't purchased for a while)
  • Trimmed my hair
  • Canned 5 quarts of seasoned tomato soup/chili base
  • Canned 7 more pints of salsa - did spicier version this time
  • My zucchini plants have finally bit the dust - they are done for this season.
  • I picked some grapes and destemmed.  I ended up with 2 lbs. after removing stems.  Froze till I have enough for jelly.  (going back out today to pick!)
  • I went to my bank on Friday to discuss options for CD's that are maturing.  They will serve no purpose after matured (rates too low).  I wanted ideas on something safe, nothing long term and something that benefits me a bit (makes a little interest).  Hard to find now days!  I think I got some decent options to mull over this coming week and then will go back after holiday.
  • Continuing to de-clutter - I have 2 more boxes ready to go.  Still working in it.
  • All the regular stuff.  Eating from home, using garden produce, laundry in cold, normal cleaning, etc.
  • Cats all got flea meds from supplies I had here
Meals this past week:
Baked potato topped with nacho cheese and meatballs 
Cheeseburger and salad
Tamales topped with chopped tomato
Small pizza - some veggies, but  mainly tomato and cheese
Chili/cheese fries
Grd. beef/hominy/zucchini skillet dinner topped w/parm. and sliced tomatoes
SNACKS - pistachios, cheese on Tris-cuts, fruit, ice milk

                                                Chili/cheese fries - oh so tasty!  A nice treat

How has your week been?  Staying frugal?  Getting decent harvests?  Give us a shout out and let s know what is going on in your neck of the woods.

Prayers for all of those in the path of the hurricane.  Praying for your safety.  This sounds so scary.  16 years ago today was another dreadful day for Louisiana.  I sure hope this isn't as devastating.
Please pray for the military and civilians in harms way in Afghanistan as well.  SO many sad situations.

Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.  
Stay safe and healthy in the coming week.

Apply your mind to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.

Lord help us to continually learn and grow in Your ways and the ways that will aid and help our families and friends.  Teach us to be thankful for what we DO have and not disgruntled about the things that are lacking.  Teach us to be flexible and grateful.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Managing Your Pantry

 It pays to know what you have.  You want to be able to access your goods, use your goods, and not run out and to be always prepared.
So get it organized!!!

My theory of doing this.....
Take everything out.  Yep, this is time consuming and makes a mess!  No doubt about it.

Go through your items and make a pile of things to donate.  You know - those things you bought thinking you would like, but didn't!  Or things you thought you would use, but didn't!  Don't waste the goods or the money.  Gift them to someone else that can use them.  Donate to your local pantry or your church pantry or to a shelter/soup kitchen.

Clean the shelves.  Wipe everything down - shelves and cans/jars.
Do you have packages that have been opened?  Make sure that it is good and has no pests and then either place it in  baggies or jars and label.

ORGANIZE as you put things back.  Do you use baskets?  Do you use dispensers?  Or do you just stack things together.  I use some baskets/tins and I stack.    My main pantry has several deep shelves - so I can organize by TYPE of items.
Soups, canned veggies, baking goods, canned meats, pastas, fruit, etc..  I try my best to keep like items together.  It just makes it easier to find things.
Of course we all know we have pantry 'gremlins' that mess things up often!!!  LOL.  Even living alone, they visit!  I guess we all get in a hurry putting up groceries and just stick things in - and BOOM in no time, things are a mess.
You can make dispensers from old pop boxes!  Leave them plain or wrap in contact paper or gift wrap to pretty up.
Great idea for organizing all those little packets of things that accumulate.  Use a shoe organizer that hangs on the back of the door.  I use small baskets for my small packs of goods or drawers in free standing organizational units.

Make sure as you put things back in after cleaning - you put back with the oldest items in the front.  Use the oldest first.  The old adage of first in - first out is WISE.
Just remember PLEASE - 99% your pantry items DO NOT EXPIRE!!!!!!!  I can't say that often enough.  The dates are "BEST if used by" dates and are listed by the manufacturer.  They are not mandated by the government or any other agency.  They are random.  They are used to get you to buy MORE!!!!
Sure some things will lose a bit of nutritional value as it gets older or taste may change - but it is still OK to eat.  Not all countries do this.
Things like oils will go rancid after time and they smell.  
If your pantry items are sealed, not leaking or rusty, and are properly stored they will last AGES past those best by dates!!!!
It could mean the difference of being hungry at some point!
(Just remember the items in that can or package have NO idea what the date is!!!  They don't magically go bad over night).

I have my main pantry, I have a pantry area for home canned goods, and I have an overstock area (my store!).   They all need to be kept clean and organized.  
I imagine we all have many areas that we consider pantry - health, beauty, pet, laundry, cleaning, food, etc.

Make lists of what you have, or label bins or shelves.  Just know your inventory.  Then you can fill in the gaps.  If you don't have a good understanding of what you have - then you don't know what you really need!   This enables you to buy what you really need and not overstock on things you have a lot of.  You know that happens!!!
A full pantry is important for a lot of reasons.  You never run out of supplies and you can fix anything and not make a store run.  It may get you through lean times.  It may help you and family if things get out of hand in the world.  
We all need to keep plenty of supplies on hand for various reasons.

Organize, clean, and sort those pantry items.  Inventory and list what you have.  USE what you have.
A pantry is a wonderful thing!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Big Girl Toys

 We all know men have their big boy toys - well so do some of us gals!!  LOL
I have some kitchen gadgets that I have gotten cheaply over the years that really help me in my work.  I know there are other ways to do things (I have done those too), but over the years I got some deals.  
Yep, more stuff to store most of the time - as not all big girl toys are used everyday!

Of course there is my canner!  I use my water bath canner every year.  This year it is getting used more than it has in the past  couple years.  I used my Mommas canner for years and years and it finally developed a small hole.  I do have 2 - so I always have a spare.
I have a pressure canner - but have never used it!  (I was gifted that by an Aunt) . Yep, I am a chicken!!!!!!!  I have pressure cookers too - but don't use those either.  Glen was the one who would cook in the pressure cooker - not me.  They just scare the beejeebus out of me!

I have been using my dehydrator too.  Tomato skins dried to grind for powder.  I got my dehydrator for around $30 at Rural King several years ago.  It is real basic and I got extra racks - so I can do a lot at a time.  I usually dry my herbs in the air.  Just hang and let them dry.
You don't have to have a dehydrator - you can also use the lowest setting of oven (around 200*-220*).  I have done that in the past as well.  Heck you can even use your vehicle.  It gets very hot on a sunny day in your closed car - I have even heard of people who have cooked in the car in an emergency!  

I really like my spiral cutter.  I got mine for $8 at a yard sale and it was brand new - never used.  The same thing at Kroger is about $30.  I noticed a small hand version at Kroger the other day for $11.99!  It was kind of scary - looked like you could get cut pretty easy and it didn't make as many different cuts.
The spiralizer really make great use of squash - making 'zoodles'.  I use those raw and do slightly cook at times.  You can make ribbon cuts and you can thin cut or regular cut pasta like veggies.  This great to make spiral fries.
Would I have purchased it at regular price?  NOPE.  **I did find a deal one year on line and got 3 for gifts for half price.
It really is a pretty cool gadget!  You can fancy up just about any firm veggie for presentation!

I would never have thought I would like an air fryer.  Never did I think I would buy one.  As I told you earlier in the summer - I saw a new one for $10 at a yard sale - so I thought "why not"?  I figured I would give it a try and if I didn't like it, I would give it away to someone who might use it.
Guess what?  I kind of like it!!!
Now I have never been a fan of the dark meat of chicken.  I have lots of it still in the freezer - vacuumed sealed - from when Glen was here.  He loved dark meat.  Well I figured I needed to use some of it - so a while back I fried up a bunch of chicken on the stove.  Of course I ate the white meat right away!!  I then froe the fried dark meat.  Well, I got out some (on 2 different occasions) and stuck it in the air fryer.  I was sooooo good!  
I guess my thing with dark meat is that it never tasted DONE to me.  This made it perfectly for my taste.  I really have enjoyed eating the legs, thighs and wings!  Go figure!
It makes great fries as well.  No heating up the oven or the big old stove.  I love it - and it is pretty quick.
It is kind of cumbersome - but I do like it and use it far more than I figured I would.

I use my Ninja every morning to make my cold morning drink.  It is great for making smoothies, ice milk, milk shakes, etc.  I can add the bigger blender section and it is great for chopping veggies for about anything.  I use it for making slaw, or chopping veggies for making relish or salsa.  Just pulse till I get the appropriate size pieces - super easy.  Beats chopping it all by hand!  (I did that for years)

I have also been using my stick blender again as well.  It works great for pulsing my tomatoes when making salsa.  I used my gloved hands to squish the tomatoes from large pieces - then I use the stick blender a bit to break down tomatoes into smaller pieces for my salsa.  Perfect.
It works great if you want to just juice your tomatoes - blends everything up perfectly.
I also use the stick blender when making 'cream of' veggie soups - gives a great consistency!

Yep, this girl has a few toys for the kitchen that I have come to enjoy!
I would not have paid full price for the air fryer or the spiralizer - EVER!  Deals were had.  I was gifted my Ninja.  I probably wouldn't have spent that kind of money either.
The stick blender - I have 2 - crazily I got both at different times years ago at the flea market.  They were a big thing and were advertised on TV back in the day - so everyone was buying them!  That always means you can eventually find them second hand!!!
That is kind of how it is with many small appliances.  The next BIG thing - will soon show up at the flea market, yard sale or thrift store!!
(I have a bread maker as well -- paid $5 for it at thrift store years ago. (I have for in case!! - it works great for the rising and mixing - I bake in oven)
As I get older I guess I think more of the philosophy of "work smarter - not harder"!!!!!!!!!!  LOL  The gadgets help!

What kitchen gadgets do you have that help you a lot?
Have you gotten any great deals of your kitchen helpers?  

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Let's Play - WHAT IF?

 You can not get to a store to buy bread - or the store has none.  You have NO yeast in your pantry.  What do you do for bread?  First, even if you don't normally make bread - you might want to get some yeast and stick it in the freezer.  It lasts a very long time there.  It could be a good bartering item!!!

OK - now back to the question.  I say no problem.  I know many options for making some type of bread to eat with meals, make sandwiches, use as toast, whatever you use it for.

A little lesson about leavening agents.  There is no perfect replacement for yeast.  Nothing gives quite the same taste.
We can come up with some neat replacements.  Baking powder is basically a combo of baking soda and cream of tartar.  Cream of tartar is an acid and baking soda is a base.
You can also mix a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and lemon juice.  1/2 tsp. lemon and 1/2 tsp. baking soda is equal to 1 tsp. yeast.

You can also use a sourdough starter.  That takes a few days to ready but is a decent substitute.  Generally I have been told that you use 1 cup of sourdough starter for 2 tsp. yeast.

Always think about crackers as well - they can be eaten with meals too.
Now on to some fun options - NO YEAST - NO PROBLEM

Cornbread - it is very easy to make and very tasty.  Follow the directions on the cornmeal pack or keep Jiffy mixes on hand.  You can also make corn cakes with cornmeal.  Love them all fried up!  Throw in some chopped zucchini, or chopped onion, or chopped jalapeno - and YUM.

BISCUITS - so easy and so scrumptious (scones)

                                       This makes a lot - it can easily be halved.

BEER BREAD - a tasty hearty and dense bread.  NO it doesn't taste like beer.  I always keep a couple cheap beers in frig for this reason.

Think using PIE CRUST for hand pies or calzones.  Meat, veggie and 'bread' all in one!

These are very tasty and easy to make

These can be used to make breakfast sandwiches or as a side with jelly or honey for any meal.  Use as roll-ups with fruit and jelly.

Great way to use leftovers  - can use 'real' mashed potatoes or prepared instant

                                     Mix together and drop dough into pans.  Makes 5-6 rolls
                                           Bake at 350* for about 15 minutes

TORTILLAS - super easy and cheap to make

2 C self rising flour
1 C buttermilk (or whatever milk yo have)
1/4 C oil
Mix this all together - it is a sticky dough.  Let it set for 5-10 minutes after mixing.  It kind of rises a bit.
Toss out on a floured board and form into a rounded ball.  You could cook it this way - it would take longer.  Best best is to divide into about 8 pieces.  
You need a very heavy bottomed skillet with a lid.  Get it pre-heated - medium.
Place about 4 roll size pieces in skillet (leaving room in between for more rising).
Heat about 5 minutes and then turn them over and heat for 5 more minutes.  Each side should be golden brown.
These make great hamburger rolls or just basic sandwich bread or bread (cut in half) to eat with a meal.
This has been around for centuries.  
I well imagine most every country grandma made this.

I have never tried making English muffins or English muffin type bread.  That is something I might to to research one day soon.
I have each and everyone of these recipes saved in my computer and in my recipe files.
I have tried almost all of them and YES - they are tasty.!!!!!

So never fear - no yeast - no bread - YOU GOT IT COVERED!!!!!

Give these a try.  They just might become a family favorite.  Most are cheap and use basic ingredients in the pantry.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/22

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds everyone safe and well.
All good here - except the heat is on AGAIN!  Yes it is.  We had a couple of really great days to start the week - nice and cool - then BOOM, back came the heat and humidity.  This coming week is predicted to be some of the hottest of the season.  UGH!  Not a fan, but it isn't snowing and freezing, so I am good!
We have had an extremely dry 30+ days - some of the driest weather reported in decades.  Thursday evening we got a chance of one of the very spotty downpours that happen around here.  It rain almost 2" in a very short time.  The ground sure drank it up.  Friday we got a brief shower.  So thankful for what we got - it was really needed and appreciated.

My week:
  • I emptied and washed the canister set (Tupperware).  I don't do that often and it needed a nice cleaning.  I soaked and scoured the can opener as well.  Just those little things that we do randomly!
  • I got to have the AC OFF on Sunday and Monday - windows open and fresh air enjoyed!
  • I dropped  off the Blazer load of donations to the thrift store.  It sure looked like everyone has been doing the same.  The store was so packed full of product.  They always get bread from area grocers and it is FREE to anyone who wants it (they had lots).  I got a 6 pack of blueberry bagels and a 12 pack of hoagie buns all for FREE.  Repackaged the buns and froze most.
  • While out I ran up the road from thrift store to the feed store and got supplies.  This is the only time I left the property this week!
  • Doing all the normal stuff - deep vacuum, cleaning, continuing to declutter, laundry in cold, eating from home and using what I have
  • Harvesting POUNDS of tomatoes.  I haven't had such a good crop of tomatoes in many years.  They are really producing and they are so pretty.  I picked almost 50 pounds just this week.
                              This baby weighed in at 1 1/2 lbs.  The biggest one so far. 
  • I canned 14 pints of salsa.  I canned 7 pints of spaghetti sauce.  I can use that for pizza sauce as well.  Still more to do.
  • I tried my hand at fermenting.  I am anxious to see how it turns out.  I have made kraut for years - but never tried anything else.  From what I understand you can ferment about anything you want.  I did some mixed veggies.  We'll see - I will keep you posted.
                                  They sure look pretty.  It is just using a salt water brine.
  • Dehydrated the tomato peels to grind for tomato powder
  • I talked myself out of going to the store literally every day this week!  I don't need anything - and if I went I would just spend.  Talked myself down!!!
  • Trimmed the straggly looking pieces on the back bushes
  • I got a sweet tooth and wanted something different.  I made myself some "ice milk" of sorts.  I used frozen fruit, a can of evaporated milk, couple packs of Truvia, a splash of vanilla and s few ice cubes.  Put it in the Ninja till smooth.  YUM - It made about 8 cups worth.  Enough for a few days of snacks.  I made pineapple/banana!!!!!
           A cool and tasty treat for sure.  Topped with chocolate - how could it be bad?!!  LOL

My grapes are starting to get ready.  I picked a few to taste this past week and my goodness they are good.  I imagine I will be harvesting a lot in the next couple weeks!  Grape jelly will be in the plan.  
Tomatoes are still going strong - don't see any let up there for a while.  My neighbors are sure enjoying eating "real" tomatoes as well!!!

Meals this past week:
Chopped beef burger with fried onions, sauteed zucchini and sliced tomato
Fried green tomato and bacon sandwich, chips
Homemade subway type sandwich (w/free buns)
Tomato/onion/zoodle salad and fried chicken legs (from freezer)  made zucchini type 'noodles' strips
Bean/cheese burrito topped with salad
Chicken tender hoagie and sliced tomatoes
Tomato and bologna sandwich - YUM - a summer favorite for me!!!!
SNACKS - peanut butter on crackers, beef stick and cheese on crackers, blueberry bagels, ice milk

How has your week been?  Any canning or freezing?  Did you find any deals this week?
I love hearing from everyone.  We sure do share ideas and support one another.  I just love it.
I hope you are able to stay cool.  Prayers for all in the areas that are having fires and dry weather and those in areas of flooding.  So much diverse weather going on.

Prayers for everyone for health and safety.  Stay safe, stay well.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

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

Lord help us be kind and helpful to others.  Help us spread positive words and not fear.  

Thursday, August 19, 2021

My Cheap Therapy - What Works for ME

 At some point in our lives we all go through something that may make us need therapy.  Way, way back in the day I tried going to a therapist.  It wasn't for me - or maybe I just didn't find a match for me.

Music provides me with a type of therapy.  I love music - all types - but for the most part I am an oldies goldies fan.  I love 60's and 70's rock music.  I still have every album that both Glen and I had.  I have cassettes and CD's.  I get music of every type on my cable TV.  I love the classic rock.
The oldies take me back to a time and a place - every time.  (I guess that could be bad as well).  I remember the song Moni Moni by Tommy James and the Shondell's - I am on my Mom & Dad's front porch sitting in the swing on a summer evening listening to the garage band across the way - play that song over and over and over!!!!!  LOL.  It drove my Dad nuts!!!!!  I still crank that song every time I hear it and sing along - oh yes I do.
The song Blueberry Hill - by Fats Domino brings back memories of junior high.  In the mornings before school started, we got to listen to records in the gym.  We sat and talked, danced, and just chilled before the day started.  That song, caught the attention of a stuffy teacher (LOL) and it got banned from morning record time.  Too suggestive!!!  My first time knowing that things could be banned!
My first ever concert - Three Dog Night!!  I was soooooo grounded, but Dad let me go with the guy I dated off and on (Dad liked him).  It was summer after sophomore year.  His old car broke down on the way home - and I knew Dad wouldn't buy that excuse!!!  So we called him and woke him up to come and pick us!!!  LOL

More often than not - if you see me alone in my car, I am tapping the steering wheel, bopping my head and singing at my loudest!!!  Just ignore me - I am in my own world!!!!!   

I was a fan of Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Croce, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Doors, America, Stones, and Jethro Tull.  I was kind a fan of the unconventional groups.  I can hear the music of the past and I still sing and I still dance (great exercise as well).  HUGE therapy for me.

PRAYER is also my therapy.  When everything seems hopeless - I turn to prayer.  That is so comforting to me.  I can feel the tension leaving my body - because I think God has laid His hands on me.  I know not everyone has the same faith, but for me this is a huge relief and help.  I have read the book and I know the ending!  I am comforted in that!!
I pray many times a day - I just catch myself praying automatically, doesn't matter what I am doing.  I make sure to THANK God for all my blessings as well. 

I also commune with nature and my pets.  Animals are so loving - unconditional love.  Our pets seem to know when we are sad and low.  Kisses, snuggles, hugs - they all work for me.  Watching the beauty of the birds and hijinks of the silly squirrels brings peace.  The squirrels make me laugh - they are hilarious!  They have such unrestricted fun!!!  Looking and and smelling the flowers, seeing the leaves change color in the fall, feeling the crisp air - it all calms me.

Figure out what soothes you and do it often.  
LAUGH as often as you can - laughter is great medicine.  It has been proven to be a mood lifter and good for health.  PRAY - whenever you feel the urge, it soothes the soul.  JAM to the music and just let loose and enjoy that moment.  Sing and dance!!!!!  LOVE all of nature and your fur babies.  They can all bring calm and peace.

Therapy can be whatever brings you joy!  It doesn't have to cost a cent - just release yourself in the moment.

**Please note that I am not advocating staying away from professional therapy - there is a need and that is what it takes for many.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

How Much Do We Waste?

 I try not to waste much of anything - but I do have trash go out for pick up each week.  Cat litter, maybe an occasional pop can, some newspapers (I need to recycle those again), just random odds and ends.  Much of it is limbs, sticks and poison yard waste (weeds) I don't want to put in compost bin.
Sometimes in the winter I can go 3 or more weeks without putting out trash.

We are a society of waste.  We live in a throw away society.  If something breaks - just replace it.  I just hate this.  I try to use everything and many things I use in a new way.
Here are a few ideas for everyone. (most you probably know)

  • Leftovers - either eat for lunch or at another meal or remake them into something new and different.  I know there are folks who 'don't like' leftovers - but if you jazz them up and hide them in a new dish - Wah-la!!  Add veggies to make soups, stews or casseroles.  Freeze for another day.  Mix veggies in with eggs for omelets or quiche.  Add to pizza.  The list goes on and on.
  • Shells and peels can be added to compost.  You can actually crush egg shells and add directly to the garden and cut up banana peels for around roses.  Citrus peels can be made into cleaners,  Peels from apples and cling fruit or pears can be cooked down and made in jelly.  You can add peels and cores to vinegar to make a flavored vinegar for dressings.   Don't forget to dehydrate those tomato peels when you are canning.  Grind - and they make great flavor enhancer.  No need to waste a thing!!!
  • Leftover meat can be used in stir fry or fried rice.  Add to soups.  Add to eggs for great scrambled or omelets.  Meat bones can be added to a big pot of water and boiled down for homemade stock.  Use the bones and any trimmings for extra rich flavor.  You could even throw in the trimming from veggies as well.  You can freeze in baggies (sealed tight) and lay flat to freeze or in jars - but leave a good 2"+ head space for freezing expansion.
  • Bread - can be turned into croutons, bread crumbs, dressing bread, bread puddings, French toast, etc..  Freeze French bread and make pizza out of the halves.  If you get down to bread that is starting to go bad - break off any mold!!!!! - and then throw out balance to birds.  Never give them moldy bread.
  • If you go out to eat - take your own containers with you.  I know that sounds strange - but why bring your leftovers home in something that will never, ever break down (Styrofoam).  OR if you know the servings are big - split the order with someone else.
  • Clean out your refrigerator every week and use up what needs using.  Make something with all the leftovers or with veggies or fruit that is on it's last leg.  Use it up!  That was money at one point!!!!  Would you just throw dollar bills out in the trash?  Doubt it!  You either eat it, remake it, or freeze it.  You can also declare a "find what you can" night.  Just make sure it gets used.
  • Veggies that have been cooked or steamed  in water (without salt) or water from boiling eggs - can be cooled and poured on plants to water them.  There are lots of vitamins in that water.

  • Paper products - if at all possible quite using much.  I know most will always use TP - although there are alternatives.  Wash cloth, bidet, washable cloths, etc.  Not sure how many are open to some of those.  I do have a huge supply of wet wipes for emergencies (never flush).  Paper towels are so wasteful.  I usually keep a few rolls around - only to clean up cat yack!  I use old rags or wash cloths for everything else.  I need to start donating my newspaper again to the animal shelter - they are always in need.  They can also be used to make crafts like paper mache' or for wrapping gifts.  I love the funnies for kids.  You can also turn newspaper into starter pots for plants or you can use your TP rolls for the same.  We can get real creative if we just thing about it!!!!!

  • If you use bar soaps - keep the slivers and sew them in an old wash cloth - great for cleaning garden hands.  Or make a slit in a nice sponge and insert chips for cleaning messy hands.  They can be melted down and used a a liquid soap
  • Scraps of material - make a scrappy quilt or leg throw.  Keep buttons and zippers off old clothes that are becoming rags
  • Over ripe fruit - bananas getting dark or bruised peaches or apples, etc.  Use in smoothies, or use in a milkshake or malt or make your own flavored ice cream or ice milk.  Make apple sauce or peach sauce or pear sauce.  It doesn't matter if it is bruised.
  • Old cards you have received.  Cut the fronts off and use as postcards or use for making shopping lists - I ALWAYS have someone at the store comment about my shopping list as it is most often from  Christmas card.  Use the fronts to make your own cards.  Glue or double sticky tape them to card stock and use your own phrase or writings inside.
  • If you have old towels, blankets or sheets that you just aren't willing to re-invent into something else for yourself - DONATE to animal shelters
  • Old magazines can go to doctors offices, car mechanics, oil change place, or nursing homes for crafts.  Check with pre-schools as well.
  • If water is an issue in your area - keep a bucket in your shower and catch the run off.  Use to water the garden or flowers or even flush the toilet.  You can use dish water - scoop with a pan - to water plants as well.  I always pour my scalding (w/vinegar) canning water in the fence row or in cracks in drive where weeds grow.
  • If you drink soda pop at your house and have some  that goes flat - use it in Jello.  It will add extra flavor.  Old coffee or tea or leftover wine (LOL) - freeze in cubes.
  • Have knick-knacks you don't want or can't use - GIFT them to family (if heirlooms) or donate
Just a FEW ideas!!  LOL!!

The old adage - waste not -- want not - is so very true.  Try to find uses for everything.  The things you bring into your houses, the things you flush or that goes down the drain -- COST MONEY!
We would never throw dollar bills in the trash or flush them down the toilet - but yet we do it ever day - just in a different form.
Save what you can and where you can.
Not only does it help you - but our environment as well.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Choices - Make YOU Happy

 I realized something today - we are always talking about living simple and cutting back and making do.  MAYBE what we need to do is SIMPLY LIVE!!!!!!

Quit trying to make everyone in the world happy - it can't happen.  Quit trying to do what everyone expects you to do - do what you want/need.   
Now I am NOT advocating do anything morally wrong or illegal in any way at all.  Just do what makes you happy!  Maybe if we do just that - then in turn we are happier people and it will show with others.

I have always said I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up - well, guess what?  I still don't!!!  I love doing a lot of things - so I guess I will just practice many things and be a master of none!

This is so true!  Everything is a choice in life.  We get one shot at this thing called life - so YES, choose wisely.  I like the last half of that list!!!!!

Do you like to paint? - Then create.  Paint pictures, paint rocks, paint frames, paint walls, paint fabric - just paint!
Do you like to sew? - then create wonderful items for yourself or others.  Create - sew, crochet, knit, quilt,  whatever you love.
Do you  love animals? - Then take care of your pets.  Pet sit for others.  Volunteer your time at animal shelters.  Feed nature and watch them.  Do what you love.
Do you like photography? - Take pictures of nature, of birds and animals.  Take pictures of foods.  Take pictures of trees and flowers.  Frame them - gift them - enjoy them!
Do you love to cook? - Then create wonderful dishes for your family and/or friends.  Create foods and sell them. 
Do you love to shop? - Make it a business - do it for others.  Now more than anytime, would be a great time to shop for others.  At least the orders would be delivered correctly??? !!!  LOL
Want to own a business? - Do it.  It doesn't have to be brick and mortar - it can be an Etsy shop or something.
Help others.  Volunteer at homeless shelters or at food/supply pantries.  Start a neighborhood clean-up.  Start a "village" garden (something for next year).  Start a Christmas gift drive for disadvantaged children.  Do whatever you can to help others - you are not just helping others but yourself and you will be setting a wonderful example.

 Do what makes you happy.
I have a niece who is a very spiritual young woman, she also loves being healthy, exercise and nature.  She worked at her church for many years as a 'teacher' of sorts.  She taught exercise classes, nutrition and spoke of Biblical lessons we should all follow.  Well, as most things last year, that came to an end.  Not to be stopped - she started her own business.  She takes groups on camping and hiking trips to commune with nature and God - she still teaches nutrition (while in the woods) and teaches God's lessons.  She is doing all the things in life that make her happy and she is making a good living and she is helping others.  They get scripture, exercise, fresh air, nutritious food and a wonderful weekend in nature.
Pretty cool for doing what makes you happy!

So take  some time and decide what is your passion.  Decide your joys in life.  Decide what makes you happy.
We all know family, friends and pets are our joys!  That is for sure.  I am talking about other things that make you smile.

The same goes for taking care of your home.  You know what you want and need to feel prepared for whatever.  No one knows your heart and mind.  If others don't follow suit - so be it.  Keep doing you and do what makes your home your FORTRESS.
If you get criticized - smile and thanks for your advice, and then continue what you are doing.  When it comes to your home and your well being - you know what is right.   You DO YOU!

Don't let others hold you back.  People can criticize and judge all they want - this is your life.  As long as you can afford what you do, do not put upon others, and you are happy - then LIVE.
It isn't all about living simply - but SIMPLY LIVING.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/15

 Good morning to all.   I hope this Sunday finds you well and happy.
It is in the 60's this morning!!!  No humidity.  I actually shivered a bit when I went out this morning!  LOL
What a difference a couple days can make.
It was so incredibly humid and hot this past week.  This is just a wonderful relief.  Windows open and house airing.
We got a little rain on Monday (not much) and nothing to speak of after that.  Everyday they reported a chance - well it didn't happen here.  I have had to water all week,

My week:
  • Last Sunday I went to the once a month farm market in Irvington.  It was nice to go again (I hadn't been in 3 years).  Not as big - but plenty of things to see.  I got 6 peaches and a HUGE cantaloupe (11 lbs.).  All has been so tasty.
  • Harvesting garden.  Zucchini has really slowed as has cukes.  I did find a huge 'baseball bat' zucchini out there!!!  Tomatoes are really starting to come on great!  So enjoying those.
  • I did finally get the old grill out to curb for heavy trash.  I kept the grates for 'just in case'.  It didn't make it to heavy trash - someone picked it up.  Glad it is gone - I just kept forgetting to get it out for heavy trash (once a month)
  • Paid bills, balanced checkbook, cleaned paperwork up and sorted
  • Been working on  my big declutter and doing well.  I am up to date on items removed for the  entire month.  I have 3 boxes, 4 bags and 2 large items in the vehicle to drop off so far
  • When working downstairs I found 4 boxes of very old baking soda.  Brought up for cleaning use in bath and kitchen
  • Line dried laundry.  Hung all the t-shirts on hangers to dry - and once they dried (windy day) - they were ready to hang up in closet!
  • Spent Saturday (first cooler day) working outside.  I deadheaded all the coreopsis and pulled some weeds in flower bed.  Got the front flower bed cleaned out of lots of spiderwort, ivy and Vinca vine
  • Glen's aunt took me out to eat at the 50's restaurant and then came back and spent the afternoon catching up on Tuesday.  That was nice.
  • Shredded, cubed and chopped zucchini for the freezer for winter use
  • Made a meal of goulash this week and remade it into a different dish on day 2.  Ate some and froze a helping
  • Kept some seeds from that cantaloupe I got and some seeds from zucchini.
  • I did make a run to Kroger this week.  Supplies were good and shelves full.  Cat food was back a lot more than usual.  I got 70 cans of cat food.  I found 10 snack packs of pistachios for .49 each!  My favorite nut and they are always so expensive.  I also used a GC of $25 at Kroger that I had forgotten about!

Meals this week:
Leftover beans & dirty rice and cukes and tomatoes
Lima beans, smoked sausage and sliced tomatoes
Went out to eat with Glen's aunt
Goulash and tomatoes and cukes
Pizza casserole (used leftover goulash) and tomatoes
Sausage dogs and sliced tomatoes
Macaroni/cheese, salmon, and sliced tomatoes 
Fruit for snacks

How was your week?  Anyone else decluttering?  How are those gardens doing?  Anyone canning yet?  I think I may begin canning this coming week.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.  Stay well and safe this week.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under the heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Help us Lord, to understand that all things happen in Your time - not necessarily ours.  
You are our light and our hope.  AMEN

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Live on Less and Have Fun With It!

 You can live on less money and really have a great life.  It is TRUE!
It can also be fun!  I like to challenge myself to see how LOW I can go!  LOL.  Being frugal has become a way of life for me and many of you.  If you haven't gotten into the habit of frugal yet - make a game of it.
There are many things to do -  that saves money.

  • Buy ingredients and make your own food.  Stop buying processed and junk
  • Avoid the middleman - buy from farmer's and farm stands and farm markets
  • Use what you have in the frig - don't let things go to waste
  • Don't over eat - saves money and you will be healthier.  Eat smaller portions
  • Don't be afraid to ask people for things you need.  Fixing something or building something - maybe someone you know has parts!
  • Use salvage materials and make do with what you have
  • Share big ticket items if possible - chainsaw, tiller, rug cleaner, etc.
  • Check FREE sites for your area - you may find all kinds of neat things
  • Pay bills on time and avoid paying interest or late fees
  • Take advantage of weather - sun can heat your home, fresh air on cool days, save rain water for plants, etc..
  • Wash clothes in cold water when possible. 
  • If you leave your home for an extended time - turn down/off water heater
  • Unplug electric devices when not in use
  • Stay home and out of stores if you don't need something - do not just browse
  • Plan your trips in the car to utilize the  shortest trip or car pool

  • Have a big night out? - maybe borrow an outfit instead of buying something you may not wear again
  • Buy clearance or shop thrift stores or yard sales
  • Keep your health in check - it is cheaper than doctors
  • Try to have you bills reduced - internet, cable, phone plan, insurance. etc.
  • Entertain at home
  • Draw names for holidays and do a swap instead of buying for everyone
  • Put a spending cap on gifts
  • Try to make homemade gifts
  • Always use what you have - don't buy things you would never eat or use or wear
  • Shop from your pantry and freezer first - ALWAYS
  • Rotate your food - Use the oldest first
  • Do a stay-cation
  • Recycle, Reuse, Reduce and Reinvent
There are so many more things that we can all do - but this is a start.  Just try spending less and look around for new ways and ideas  on how to do things.
Start small and work your way up.  Little changes can actually make big differences.
I know this may be repetitive to many - but hoping new folks that come aboard can get some ideas.
We can ALL use reminders!

Live on less - have fun - and save a bit of money!

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Blessed in so Many Ways - Thinking About History

 I had a couple things written down to maybe write about today, and then I read Maebeme's post over at My life, my world.  She wrote about an adventure she had this week and it looked so lovely and so full of history.  It really got my mind going.

I started thinking about my ancestors (and yours) and how we have all become so 'soft'!  It is true.  Sure, we have all had challenges in our lives and we have had hardships - but I wonder how many actually come even a smidge close to what our ancestors faced.

Think about it.  There were no roads.  No fancy vehicles.  No stores at first.  No lumber yards.  No meat markets.  No heat or AC.  There WAS just raw nature!!!
The first settlers had to face wilderness.  They had to cut their own trails through dense woods and over hills, rivers, mountains, etc.  They had horses and if lucky, wagons.  Many had to make their own tools to work with.  As they cut those trails it was with axes - no chainsaws then!
They had to cut trees for lumber to make their homes.  They had dirt floors.  IF lucky they had a fireplace for heat.  No cooling.  
They had to cut ice from rivers and lakes for any cooling and try to keep it as long as possible in dugouts.

They had to grow what they ate or forage the woods and meadows.  IF they had meat - they killed it themselves (before it could maybe kill them).  They learned through trial and error ways to preserve food for harsh winters.
This would have been a fanciful cabin.  Porch and rails, flower boxes and real windows!

Clothes were what you had or made.  Bedding was made from scraps of worn out clothes.  Many used hides and skins for warmth.  They hides were often used for footwear as well.

My ancestors came here in the early 1700's and were looking forward to a life without religious persecution.  They went through so much - even having one of my many times great grandfathers being captured and held for years by Indians. There are many history stories about this.  The things these people endured is beyond my imagination.  
We have all seen shows like Little House on The Prairie and think WOW.  It had to be so much worse in the years before that was represented.  Before towns and any kind of rules.  Just wilderness and nature and you surviving by your wits!!!!
Doctors  were hard to come by and hospitals did not exist in those early years.  No modern medicine.  People used nature as remedies.  If you got hurt out in the wild - odds are you died.

Even in recent years (1800's and up to mid 1900's) many people lived in such basic ways.  Times were hard.  Think rural areas and mountain areas and it was even worse.  No electricity in many areas, only fireplaces and wood stoves for heat.  No way to cool down except maybe a dip in the crick.
Grow what you ate or kill what you ate.  No formal schools.  Buying new clothes and such just didn't happen much.  Just going to a town was a huge adventure.
Hard to believe but scenes like this still happened in some of or lifetimes and definitely in our parents'.  It really wouldn't surprise me at all, to learn they still happen today in the back woods areas.

Newspaper or feed bags lined walls to keep out cold drafts.  Shoes were not a necessity.  Everything was used over and over!  Life was at it simplest and bare essentials was all many had.  Some not even that.

I guess my point to this is boy oh boy - are we FORTUNATE!!!!!! 
It seems we have all become a bunch of panty wastes!!!!  LOL!    SO spoiled with little imaginations or skills.  We would most likely not survive if the worse happened and we had to revert back to old times.  Sure we all like to think we know enough and YES, we do know from reading and TV what people did.  But could we do it and survive?  Who knows.

Maebeme see what your sweet adventure post did to me?  LOL!  Boy you got my mind going.
I love watching shows like Barnwood Builders because they talk about the history of old barns and buildings they are trying to preserve.  I find it all so fascinating.
So many of these buildings were built before this was even a country and still survive.  That is amazing - the workmanship and skills these people had.  I can't believe it would happen much today.

So the next time the AC goes out or the furnace for a day or so, stop and think.  Next time you run out of something and you jump in your vehicle and run up the street to the fancy store to buy something - think.  The next time you are stuck without water for a while - think.  The next time something you have breaks or wears out - think.
They next time you dig into a nice steak or seafood dinner - think.  Next time you fill glass with ice cubes to keep your drink nice and cold - think,  They next time you take a good look at your stocked pantry and freezers - think.  Next time you need a doctor or a hospital - think.

I applaud people today learning and trying to live off the grid.  What gumption.  
Even with living off grid today - supplies and towns and vehicles are there and can be reached and used.

Take a moment today to just think about the past and what your ancestors went through.  If not here, then in another country.  No matter who you were or where you came from - there were times when THINGS that we know did NOT exist.

Be ever so grateful for the little things and especially for the big things.
Our lives are pure comfort compared to history!!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A Challenge to ME

 I have been reading de-clutter posts on various sites and have decided to YET AGAIN, challenge myself to a major de-clutter.   I seem to work on it all the time - but I am going to do a major clean-out this late summer/fall.  Almost 35 years here and a basement full of stuff (not even mentioning the garage), and something has to give.
I sure don't want relatives to come in some day and have to do this.  I don't want to worry about it as I get older and maybe less able.  Someday I MAY have to move, and I sure don't want to worry about this stuff then.

                                                   Would seem so at times!!!!!

My plan is AT LEAST 5 things a day to go in donate box or trash.  I am working on getting things caught up right now for the first 9 days of the month!  Through today - I should have at least 50 items to go! (easy peasy).

Now this sounds daunting - but not really so much.  Think about it - it could be a book, stack of magazines, an old handbag, items of clothes or shoes, maybe a knick-knack......it can anything. 
Cleaning out old paperwork as well.

I truly have so much stuff in the basement, that has been stored for ages.  I haven't needed it to date - therefore I don't plan on needing it.  I still have all of hubs clothes.  I have thought of doing a quilt with some of them - but sure don't need them all.  
I feel I can bless a lot of other people with items that maybe they can't afford to buy at a regular store.

I truly feel the urge to downsize and I am going to make a donation each week.  This will make sure it gets out of the house.
Anybody want to join in the fun?????

Time to get things in order before winter.  These hot dog days of summer can be useful for something!
What say you? 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up 8/8

 Happy Sunday to everyone.  Hope all are well and safe at the beginning of this new week.
Life and our days sure are flying by.  
It is back to being HOT!  We had such nice weather for the first part of the week.  I got to have the windows open for several days.  It was glorious.  We have a prediction of showers each day this coming week - but I am not holding my breath.  We are back to dry weather.
It MAY rain in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow (according to radar) - it looks probable for then.  I just hope we don't get bad storms.
Looks like the heat will last for the week, then back to low 80's.  I can really handle the heat - it is the humidity that makes things bad.
According to weatherman - we will lose about an hour more daylight this month!  UGH

I walked out yesterday morning and oh my, the surprise lilies lived up to their name..  I had about  24 stalks pop up with about 4 or more flowers on each.  Beautiful.  (I didn't get a picture).
The cats sure don't like this heat.  Laying in shade under bushes and up by the house foundation to keep cool.  They aren't eating as much in the heat.  I guess if I had to run around in 90* heat & humidity in a fur coat, I wouldn't either!!!
I change water everyday in bowls and birdbaths and boy do the birdies like it.  No more than change it, and they flock to it - drinking and bathing.

                                                       See  it?  They are starting!!!!
My week:
  • Did more yard work and dead heading.  Cleaning more fence rows.  Pulling weeds in flower beds.  Cut back a bunch of spiderwort - so much more to do
  • I used the crockpot for the first time in ages this week and made a very small pork loin.  I gave me 4 different meals
  • Mowed and trimmed
  • Got to have windows open up through Wednesday evening
  • My neighbor brought me some tomatoes and a couple burpless cukes and I gave her zucchini - nice trade!
  • I am now starting to get get ripe tomatoes!!!!  Slowly - but getting one here and there!
  • Been harvesting - zucchini are slowing a bit - not 4/5 a day - just that in a week!  Getting peppers, tomatoes, cukes, onions
  • Froze, dehydrated, traded and ate zucchini
  • Ran to library as a book I requested came in
  • Stopped at CVS while out for library.  They are about a block apart.  I got 2 Vit. C, 2 Tart Cherry and 2 Turmeric B1G1.  Saved $40 and I am stocked for quite a while
  • Found 50 cents in the library parking lot
  • Made a gallon of peach tea.  That sure has been refreshing to drink
  • NO grocery shopping at all.  Needed nothing
  • Doing all the normal things we all do
  • I ran over to a yard sale a neighbor was having yesterday.  Got a couple of deals.  She works for a vet and when they order supplies they let workers order stuff as well.  I got 2 Lysol toilet bowl cleaners for $1 each and 2 - 75oz. bottles of Dawn for $3 each!!!!  My goodness, did I get a deal.  I am set!

Meals for last week:
Taco bowl
Burrito supreme (with leftover taco stuff)
Pork roast, green beans/potato, sliced tomato
BBQ pulled pork sandwich and salad
Veggie/pork stir fry over rice
Pork soft tacos topped with garden veggies
Dirty rice with beans added and a small fried green tomato

I am not really loving all the heat - but I am thankful, as it could be worse.  Some of you have extreme temps right now and I feel so bad for you.  No rain for a while here - but I can water & things are growing - so thankful for that as well.  Probably won't have to mow this week  - so thankful for that.  Getting fresh veggies and loving that.  I get sunny days to enjoy.  I have my babies and all of nature.  Still enjoying seeing the hummingbirds.   Just so much to be thankful for that could be over looked.  It is the little things!   Each day and thing is a blessing.

How has your week been?  What are you harvesting?  Are you managing to stay cool?  Crafting?
I look forward to hearing from you all.
Prayers for each of you for safety and health.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13