Sunday, January 30, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 1/30

 Well, I say WOOHOO we have made it to the end of January!  Actually, we got more sun than I anticipated this month, but it has still been a gloomy one.  We got a half inch of snow on Friday.  February will start out warm here - then the bottom will drop out and it will be C O L D by next weekend, with sloppy, snowy weather coming.  YUK!  I guess it is all part of winter - just not the parts I like!  LOL
I guess I better get the snow shovel out!

We had some pretty darn cold days this past week.  The cats always amaze me.  The temps are so cold, but the sun is out - and they love it!  They just love sitting in the sun despite the temps.
I have had many, many cardinals back at around dusk every day.  I think the other evening I counted 6 pairs.  They are just so pretty.  The birds have sure been liking the heated birdbath for drinking.  The squirrels do to.
I see geese going over every evening as well.  They sure are noisy!

Another quiet week here.  I have just been blah lately.  This past week would have been anniversary week for G and I (36 years).  It just got me down a bit. (not looking for sympathy - it is just part of life).  Reminiscing a lot this week and looking at pics.  I am so grateful I can do that.  I think between the holidays being over, less sunshine, cold temps, and special days - I have just allowed myself to wallow!  Now it is time for another new month, and I WILL get myself and my mojo back!!!!!!!!!  Time to get out the big girl panties and get with it again!

My week:
  • I did have a neighbor come by and visit for a while.  It was nice to catch up
  • Did 2 weeks worth of laundry
  • Made a cake!  YUM
  • Worked on going through a lot of paperwork and started shredding a bunch of older stuff
  • NO shopping or leaving the house again this week
  • Been using the pantry and freezer stock again this week and using up leftovers
  • Made a batch of drop biscuits
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do each day 
  • Started boxing up some donation items - things I just don't need.  I have so much stuff to go.
Meals this past week:
Leftover split pea soup
Cheesy potatoes, steak burger and salad
Broccoli rice and chicken tenders
Hard shell tacos
Homemade pizza with all kinds of stuff added
Air fried fish, fries and baked beans
Biscuits and sausage gravy
                                                         Drop biscuits - so fluffy and light

Well, there you have it.  Not much going on here.  How has it been in your neighborhood?  Any deals or frugal finds this week?  
I seemed to spend most of my time going out and visiting/feeding my kitties, watching birds and squirrels, thinking of food (LOL!), and watching some You Tube.  Soooooo exiting!  NOT
Give us a shout and let us know how your week was.
I hope this finds you all well and safe.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Fear not, for I am with you. be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Easy, Frugal, No Waste Yummy Bite!

 We all like easy, frugal and not wasting.  I saw an acquaintance on FB post a recipe she tried, and I figured I had to give it a try.  Well, let me say - this will be my use it up go to recipe for a tasty sweety bite from now on!

Seriously you need to give this a try.
I used an older box of cake mix and a very much past 'best by' date of pie filling!  I smelled it, tasted and all was good.  So I used it.

Here is the easy-peasy cake!
1 box cake mix
1 can pie filling (home canned or store bought)
3 eggs
Mix together and follow the instructions for baking that were on the cake mix box.

                                              I used yellow cake and raspberry pie filling.

Probably not the prettiest color of cake - but it sure is tasty.  Very moist, yet light and has a nice hint of raspberry taste.  I didn't ice the cake - just used a little whip cream on top.  The 2nd piece was eaten plain!!!!!  LOL!  Yes, it was that good.

Think of the possibilities.
Spice cake mix with apple or peach fruit
Chocolate mix with cherry or any berry
White/yellow mix - no limit to what pie fillings you could use

Yes indeed, I will be doing this again.  I still have a few cakes mixes I got for next to nothing that need used, and I have lots of different pie fillings - both home canned pints and store bought.

Great way to use up those past date items, it saves money on snacks, and it does taste soooooo good.  You can't eat just one piece!
Give it a try and ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Creative Storage

 Storage - for our stuff or for food - we all need it.  I constantly hear that people that live in small spaces have no room to store extra food or supplies.  If you get creative, you can have extra storage!  Today - it truly is important!!!!!  I also hear, well I live close to shops and stores and I can get what I need weekly.   That may not be the case as much today.  Supplies are lower in many places, and some shops are closing, and some are just not having 'in person' shopping.  Prices go up each and every day - so if you wait to buy - you will be spending a lot more money!

The normal EXTRA spots are under the beds and under and behind couches and chairs.  Great spots.

There is also those hanging shoe racks that you can put behind doors - great for all kinds of smaller items and toiletries and H & B and even small packages.

I have seen people place very shallow shelves behind doors, that are the perfect size for cans.

How about under stairs?  You can get very creative with that.  That has always been a wasted space in homes and there is no need for that.  My Mom used to keep most of her home canned goods in that space under the stairs!
                                           You can get as creative with this area as necessary.
Add extra shelving to your existing pantry.  I did this and it helped a lot.

Utilize suitcases or baskets or totes.  Old armoires or chest of drawers.  You can fill 5 gal. buckets with goods and stack in a corner.  There are ottomans that open for storage - a great place to store out of sight.

If you have a basement you can even get creative there.  Use the rafters!!!!!

Make a false floor in your closets!  Place cases of goods in the closet floor and then cover with cardboard and use as normal.  Those dark recesses in closets are great as well.  
I added extra shelves to my closets.  Each closets had one shelf and it was a good 3' to 4' from the ceiling.  So I added another.  You could also just place several milk crates or something similar on the shelf you have (opening of crate facing out).  Store in them and on them!

Do you have space between your cabinets and the ceiling?  Use pretty containers - baskets or pretty bins and store up there as well.

Not only do we need extra storage areas, but we may need to hide valuables as well.  A spot to hide some cash or nice jewelry.  Keep some food jars and use them.  I like the idea of a mayo jar - (with label) cleaned and painted white inside - place valuables in it.  Place on a shelf.  Pack in plastic (vacuum seal) and place in freezer.  
Use a canning jar or any jar for that matter.  Place a TP tube in the center and then pour pasta, rice, beans, whatever you want around it.  The tube can then easily hide cash or small valuables!

You could use half gallon or gallon jars as well.  Place your objects in plastic or a small box in the center and then cover with dry food goods.

I saw someone on FB show how they store ammunition so that it is somewhat hidden.  They use old Velveeta boxes!  You can use any kind of food boxes or crates or baskets.  I have an antique crate that is setting out as decoration - it has ammo in the bottom and then there are pretties and books stored on top of the ammo.

I know we have talked about this before.  We have new folks reading and we all need reminders that we CAN find spots to store and prepare as needed.  Times are tough right now and we all need to have extra goods on hand.  You may NOT always be able to get to a store or even afford the product.  Stock up and keep as much as you can now.
Don't say you don't have room - just GET CREATIVE!!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

3 Flavorful Dishes From the Pantry

 We all get tired of the same old things to eat.  It is nice to have some variety.  You all know I love anything that even resembles Mexican food!  I like flavor.  There are just certain flavor combinations that are great together.  You can make these as mild or spicy as you like depending on ingredients.  Also note - these can be changed up to use what you HAVE, there is no set way to make them.  
Hope this gives someone a new idea and a little variety.

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 C corn - can use frozen or canned (drained)
3/4 C milk
1/2 C salsa (mild to hot depending on your desire)
3 Tbsp. oil
1 egg
Heat oven 400* and spray a 9" pan with non-stick spray
Blend all dry ingredients and stir till blended.  Add remainder if ingredients and stir until just well blended.
Bake at 400 for 18 - 20 minutes.
This would be great with beans, fried potatoes or any meal.  I can see using AS a main item for a meal.  I am thinking a big warm slice slathered in butter with a nice salad!!!!!
It would make a wonderful warm breakfast bite as well - or even for an evening snack.

6 eggs beaten (or egg products if desired)
1/4 milk 
salt, pepper
1/2 C diced peppers and 1/2 C chopped onion (use what you have)
refried beans (homemade or canned)
salsa, chili sauce or enchilada sauce
1 C shredded cheese

Mix eggs, milk and veggies and scramble in a bit of oil.    Top tostadas with beans (or put in first in taco shells), top with scrambled eggs, then top with sauce of choice and cheese.
Place in a 375* oven for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!!!!!!!
                                   This combo would be great in tortillas as well - like burritos

Cut into strips a couple pork chops or a chicken breast or even some ham or beef (use what you have)
1 med. onion cut into small wedges
1 pepper cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic
2 C corn (frozen or canned (drained)
1 - 15 oz. can of black beans (or kidney or what you have) drained
1 small zucchini (chopped) - I have also subbed broccoli - use what you have
1/2 C salsa

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet - add onion, peppers and meat - cook 6-8 minutes (until no pink in meat) and veggies are tender.
Stir in corn, beans and zucchini or broccoli and salsa - warm until flavors are blended.
Serve with/or over rice.

Super easy and flavorful dishes, using what you have on hand.  There are no set ingredients kiddos - use what you have.  You can make things as mild or spicy as you choose.  You can top with cheese if desired or add sour cream.  PLAY with your food and have fun.
Good food doesn't need to be complicated or expensive!!

I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can mix and match what you have and make some new and yummy comfort food.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 1/23

 Happy Sunday to all.  My goodness, this month is flying by.  Another week and it is gone!!!!  I hope this finds you all well and safe and warm.  
Cold weather seems to have permeated much of the country.  We are finally having some winter here.  This morning we are seeing a few flurries, maybe an 1".  If we get an inch, that will be our biggest snow of the winter so far!!!!  Crazy winter for sure.  Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining!
We have had some sunshine this week, which is so much appreciated, because it has been cold.  January is our darkest month, so sun is wonderful.  We sure have been having a big, bright full moon lately.  It has been amazing to see.

I tell you it has been another quiet week for me.  I do believe my get up and go has got up and went!  I have no desire to do much.  I do go outside every day, several times, so I get fresh air and sunshine when I can.  Maybe I need to go somewhere (other than outside), but have no desire for that either.  January is always a blah month for me.  I always have a ton of plans - then the month passes and not much gets done.  I do believe it is a seasonal or moon thing.  I will get my mojo back soon!

This week:
  • Again, using from pantry and freezer and using up all leftovers in new ways
  • Paid all the bills I had
  • I did order the FREE C tests - but I still am not sure why.  If I am sick with ANYTHING - I will not be out and about or around anyone and there isn't anything much that can be done other than resting, fluids, and vitamins.  BUT I ordered them!
  • I did spend parts of a couple days downstairs trying to get the craft area and gift, wrapping and storage area back in shape from after the holidays.  I don't think I made much progress - just relocating things!
  • Ran by the PO and dropped off mail
  • Ran to Kroger on my outing to PO.  First time to grocery this month.  I got a lot more cat food (dry and wet) I get it when I can.  I also got fresh goods - broccoli, radishes, mini sweet peppers, lettuce, 2 kinds of tomatoes, 8 lb. oranges, 5 lb. grapefruit, lots of bananas, milk, bread, 1/2 ga. ice cream.  I also got more eye drops and 2 packs of RLS tabs ($20) and found a bottle of Airborne on clearance for 3.99 (reg. 14.99) - spent about $90.  Not bad for the entire month - shouldn't need to go again this month.
  • Made a small pot of split pea soup with various veggies, cooked up a lb. of sausage (froze most), fried a tin of Spam (froze some)
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do.
Meals this past week:
Grilled burrito (stuffed w/leftovers) topped w/salad
Waffles (freezer), eggs and sausage patties
Pulled pork (freezer) soft tacos
Pasta with sauce and meatballs (meatballs from holidays/freezer)
Tamales over rice
Split pea soup with bread and butter
Cheesy potatoes, Spam slices and salad

How was your week?  Any deals or bargains?  How is your weather?  Anyone else in a blah mood???
I hope you have all had a good week and continue to have another.
Well, looking out the window - the flurries have picked up and it is sticking - some big flakes!  Not predicting a lot, it is pretty, but YUK!  LOL

Stay safe, healthy and warm.  Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.
Isaiah 12:2

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Kind of Throw Back Thursday!

 Funny, all the talk about bread got me to thinking back yesterday.  The silly things that trigger memories!!  So today I will share a few thoughts from days gone by.  I bet some people can relate!

Every Saturday night my Mom made hamburger sandwiches (yes, on bread) and homemade French fries and baked beans.  We had that every Saturday I can remember that I was at home.  
She made her hamburgers different from most.  She made the patties and then covered them in flour before frying.  They were so good!!!!  I did that for years myself and somehow got out of the habit.  

We had 'supper' every night.  On Sunday we had 'dinner'!  It was at noon every Sunday and was a big meal.  Chicken or roast or ham and all the fixings.  I truly can't remember a Sunday that was just the 3 of us.  There were always others there to eat.  My Aunt & Uncle lived 2 doors down, so they were there often.  My cousins lived next door and they almost ALWAYS just "dropped by" at the right time!  Of course, my siblings came at times - it was always a big deal.  
In the summer - we would carry everything way out back and eat outside.  The guys would play horseshoes after, and the ladies and kids would play croquet.  I remember those days so fondly and sure do miss them.
I also remember mush of our dinner was things from garden, canned or frozen - and I remember how many times when extra people showed up - Mom would scramble to get something extra on the table and then exclaim how she really wasn't hungry - so there would be enough.  Bless her heart.

ME!!!!  In our old kitchen!
It got remodeled to a more modern kitchen when I was around 10 - but I always loved the old kitchen.  Our big old yellow and gray Formica table and yellow chairs, open cabinets, huge Chambers stove (I still want one of those!) and bright, bright yellow gloss walls!
I think back on helping Mom bake and cook in there.  My fondest memory was sneaking homemade noodles that had been laid out to dry.  I loved them!  LOL.  Or snitching a hot cookie off the table, just as they came out of the oven. 

Until I was 9 or 10, I took a bath in a galvanized tub.  In the summer it set by the back kitchen door and in the winter, it was placed next to the heat stove in the dining room.  Got that 'full' bath once a week and washed head to toe every day at the sink.  We had a sink and toilet in the bathroom and the tub was like a swimming pool to me!!!!!  I was so excited.  My Mom threatened me to not say at word at school about getting the tub!!!!  LOL!  Everyone else had all those 'modern' conveniences - so she didn't want me bragging.

We had a wringer washer until my teen years.  It sure was a lot of work - but it got clothes so clean.  I think we used that same galvanized tub for rinse water for the washer. (It sure had many uses).  We line dried everything - again till I was a late teen.  Then the dryer was only used in the winter for a long time. I remember as a child coming home from school during the winter and knowing it was laundry day.  All the windows were steamed up!!!!  Mom hung laundry from lines she put up every week in the dining room where the heat stove was.  The house was so humid - I used to hate those days!

Helping Daddy out in the garden was fun.  He and I would always go and get a tomato or even a carrot - wipe them off and sit under the shade tree and eat. He always had a saltshaker out there!!!  Helping to pick apples and grapes and then there were the raspberries!  Can we say chiggers???  
When Daddy plowed the garden, I would always walk behind him in my bare feet - loving the feel of the soft soil.  I still love that feel today and always walk through my garden barefoot after plowing!  Some things just never change!!

My first 6 years of school I walked to school.  Even when there was a huge snow - I still had to go to school.  Some kids rode buses, and they would arrive very late on the bad days - but they arrived.  I think I can only remember missing MAYBE one or two days of school because of weather during those 6 years.    Now we get an inch and we have to close schools!  
We wore dresses back then and in the winter on very cold days - we got to wear long pants UNDER our dresses.  That was the only time long pants were allowed until I was in my high school years.
My school was very old and had big rooms and lots of windows.  We celebrated its 50th anniversary when I was in 6th grade.  ALL of my siblings (all older than me) went there too.  It got torn down after I graduated.
My grade school.  I still have dreams about going in there and getting lost!  So many stairwells that went to different areas.  Many different entrances.  It was heated with old boilers via radiators!  Oh, how many crayons got melted on those radiators while waiting in lines!!!!!!!  LOL
*I got my first kiss behind this building!  It was just a peck - but I still remember it and him!!!

I remember in the summer, on a few hot evenings, the fire department (which was directly behind school) would come and string up some big metal ball and they would have 'games' of pushing ball from one end to the other with the hoses.  Those were so much fun - because the real reason for these nights, was to cool everyone off (no such thing as AC then).  The whole neighborhood would show up - kids and adults!
Lots of fun fish fries and carnivals happened at the school as well.

OK, I have traveled down memory lane - probably boring everyone.  There are just some things that never leave our memories (and I am glad).  I had so much fun during those days.
I was truly blessed with the family I had and the neighborhood I grew up in.  I even belong to a group of all those 'kids' from the hood today.  We keep in touch.
Sorry if I bored you in the throw back!

Do you have special memories that will always be with you?
I love stories!!!!!!  Please share.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Being Prepared and Flexible

 Tis the time that we are thinking about being more prepared.  We also need to think about being more flexible.  Some people are not.  If you can't find something or you run out of something, there is ALWAYS a substitute. 
No milk - use canned or dry or just use water! (Been there and done that).  No bread - biscuits, tortillas, cornbread, fry bread, etc.  No spaghetti - use macaroni or any other type of pasta OR sub rice or potatoes.
No fresh meat - use canned or substitute beans, peanut butter or cheese.  Protein!!!!
Use up those leftovers and scraps in soup.  Cheapest meal out there.

I still do this - not about being poor in my house.  Just smart.  Also great with gravy instead of biscuits or a side dish in a meal - stuffing/dressing, bread pudding, etc.   Also dessert or snack - sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar or coated with peanut butter/syrup mixture!!!!!  YUM!

I keep seeing all the posts about empty shelves at the grocery.  I live in the mid-section of the country and have seen little of it.  I have seen the occasional shortage here and there and perhaps limited brands of the same products - but no totally empty shelves.  I am sure that people aren't fibbing - they have to be seeing these things.  I always wonder about the pictures I see though, as most were not taken by the poster - so I wonder about time frame.  Was the store cleaning or repairing?   Were they getting ready to restock?  Was this a day after a holiday weekend?  Was this after a weather event?  I am always skeptical.
I am not a blind sheep - so it isn't that.   It just isn't experienced in my area!  I am grateful.

I understand in places like Alaska - such extreme weather there and everything is more expensive.  Foreign countries rely on cargo ships for much of their goods.   
I have always figured that shortages would appear first in the central section of the country - as things have to travel further to get here.  It would seem the coasts would have better stock.  It appears to be just the opposite from I see other people post.  I don't really understand.

There are so many reasons for shortages.  Cargo ships sitting, truckers, the big C, lack of workers, less production in past year or two, hoarding, gas prices, inflation, extreme weather, so many reasons!  
This is WHY we PREPARE!

I know this gets talked about a lot - but people seem to just keep panicking and that causes even more problems.
To be blunt SH*T happens!!!!!  It always has happened.  
I think back to childhood and the things my parents did to survive and to make sure we had enough!  People persevered and did with what they had.  They didn't complain - because most people were in the same boat.  They knew how to be flexible!  
I am glad I had good teachers.

The only area of a grocery store I have seen totally empty has been at the meat department at one local store - that has been in the fresh meat area (where you picked your seafood or steak) - not the actual packaged meat department.  That has happened because they said they are short staffed and can get no one to work!  That is another thing I don't understand!!!!  This place pays excellent wages!  Their other locations seem better.

I know that things changed over the past couple years.  Prices have gone up and employees have gone down.  It has been a struggle.  
My 2 local 50's diners that have been around for decades have both closed and sold in the past couple weeks!  
YET, every week I read about 10-12 new fancy restaurants opening up around the city.  Maybe I am just dense, but I don't get it.  I can't imagine they are opening up with a plan of going out of business!!

I guess all I can offer is - DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHEN YOU CAN!  Stock as you find things and deals.  Never let your guard down.  Always be prepared for ANYTHING!  Know how to substitute and be FLEXIBLE!

But whatever you do - do NOT panic!!!!!!  
Slow and steady wins the race.

What have you been experiencing?  I can't be the only one that doesn't see the extreme shortages.
DO you have your plans in place and do you know how to be flexible and substitute?
I am so curious!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Ways I Made Extra Income

 I well imagine we have all came up with some creative ways to make extra money in our lifetimes.  I know I have.  Today, is about some of the ways we added 'income' even if it wasn't really considered a job!

I worked all my adult life in accounting and human resources.  There were times that I needed to supplement some extra income to help the budget or because I was between jobs.
In the late 70's - maybe early 80's, I did a 2nd job in retail, which was actually kind of fun.  I worked in women's clothes department.  
I also did a second job as a consultant for at-home parties that sold lingerie!  Yep!  LOL!  It was kind of the same plan as Tupperware and Home Interior - just lingerie.  No there was no modeling! LOL!
While single I worked a 2nd job selling earrings and piecing ears for the Earring Tree.

I used to do a lot of crafts of all kinds - I painted tons of plaster craft, made wreaths, decorated sweatshirts, made jewelry, etc.  My friend and I did lots of home shows and we participated in a lot of craft shows and bazaars.

I was a prolific couponer  for a long time.  No, it wasn't actually making cash - but it kind of was!  Back in the day of double and triple coupons, I got tons of things for free.  That was just extra money in our pockets.  I used to amaze G with my hauls, and he would brag about it!
My best was a weekend triple coupon event at a local store.  They tripled all coupons up to and including .75 ones.  You were restricted to one trip per day (had to use shopper card) - I went 3 different days.  My best buy was close to $400 worth of product for sales tax.  Tax was only applied to non-edible items.  I seem to remember it was less than $10.
I belonged to coupon clubs at the time and received coupons from other states, and my mailman used to bring me all the extra coupon fliers from empty homes on his route!
I did great with that!  Coupons used to actually be good!!!!!!!

I also did surveys.  I belonged to a group that did surveys of all types.  Some were just products received free (no name shown).  You tried products for free and rated them.
Other times, I went to little seminars and watched and listed and gave opinions for $$$$$.  Most often these paid a minimum of $50 and some paid $100.  I rated china patterns, ideas for investing, decorating ideas, and my most memorable was for a product not yet on the market - the TV channel guide system!!!!!  I remember coming home after that one and telling G all about it - and he thought it sounded pretty neat.  Within 2 years there it was on our TV - cable channel guide!

I swear for the first several years of marriage, we never bought bread or sweets of any kind.  Glen had a friend that worked at Kroger - and he would call G at the street department and let him know when they were taking bread and sweets out back (supposedly for dumpster).  G and the guys would go and get all they wanted.  Heck one time we even got tons of frozen chicken and pork, when the high schools electricity went out.  Nothing was even thawed - we just got huge boxes of meat!  They said they couldn't serve - just because!  We lucked out many times.

Of course, there have been yard sales - many yard sales.  We always had plenty of stuff to sell.  G got tons of stuff from the trash (street dept. perk) that was perfectly good.  People just didn't want it.  He would bring it home and we would clean it up or fix little odds and ends and sell it.  Lots of times it was 'guy' stuff and that always sold well at our yard sales.  I think our best one-day sale made about $600.

We raffled off a car we wanted to get rid of once.  Sold tickets for $25 each.  Someone got a decent station wagon and we got money (more than selling it outright)!  G also raffled off a shotgun once - he made some pretty good money on that.  He wanted a new gun and didn't want to take money out of savings - so he made some money!

We sure got creative when we needed to.  Lots of times in life there was a need to just get by and pay off bills and other times it was a WANT that we earned extra money for.

What ways have you 'earned' extra money for things?  How have you gotten creative over the years?  What ways did you find that worked for extra funds? Any ODD jobs?
I think it will be fun to know what people have done.  It may help someone else out as well!
Let's have some fun!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 1/16

 Happy Sunday to all.  Here we are midway through January already!!!!   I hope this finds everyone safe and warm and healthy.  There has been a lot of nasty weather out there (all over) and cold temperatures.  I sure hope you have all managed well through it.

We have had cold days and nights and warmer days.  We have been in what the weatherman calls a "snow hole".  All the snow has gone around us.  We got just a dusting Saturday morning.  Mind you I am not complaining at all!!!!!!  It has gotten what I consider plenty cold here - but again I shouldn't complain, as it is sooooo cold other places.
We are halfway through meteorological winter and have faired quite well.  I think my count is correct - 56 days till we "spring forward" with the time change and 63 days until the equinox (SPRING).  Thinking back that Thanksgiving was over 50 days ago - it doesn't seem so bad.  Time goes so quickly.
I have noticed that the daylight hours have increased some.  It is light longer in the evening and a tad bit earlier in the mornings.

I have been dealing with a rash/hives for over a week.  I have no idea what has caused this.  I have changed nothing, used nothing, nor ate or drank anything different.  All I know that at times the itch has been so intense!!  Benadryl finally helped ease it.  It is doing some better.  Weird how it just popped up.
Oh well, such is life!  If that is all I have wrong - well, I can't complain.

My week has been super quiet.  Nothing exciting or big here.  That is OK.  
  • I filled up some seasoning jars and bouillon jars up.
  • Restocked all the feed containers with stock on hand.  Squirrels and birds have been eating a lot
  • Using Soda Stream and flavor packs and drinking water
  • Have been cleaning door jams, windowsills and woodwork preparing for repainting them.  I have the paint - just need to motivate myself!!!!
  • Laundry all done and all the winter jackets and sweatshirts (daily wear ones) have been laundered
  • No shopping
  • I have been using leftovers, and bits and bobs from freezer and pantry again.  Used 2 very small, pre-cooked pork chops in a meal (2), a single smoked sausage, home canned sauces, pre-cooked fried chicken (homemade), kraut in frig (from making Reubens) just all from my stock I have here.  
  • Doing all the normal daily things we all do
See nothing exciting at all

Meals this past week:
Leftover lasagna
Pork (chops/diced) Mexican rice bowl
Loaded nachos - made w/leftover rice bowl stuff 
Fried chicken breast and leg (from freezer) and veggies and dip (still left from holidays)
Fish, quartered potato and lima beans
Kraut, smoked sausage and mashed potatoes
Pasta, ground beef, zucchini (freezer) pizza flavored skillet
SNACKS - almonds, cereal and fruit

Very basic meals - yet they have all been tasty.  Using what I have and not making even the slightest dent in stocks.  It sure goes to show that I have a tendency to shop too often!

How has your week been?  Have you gotten any of the nasty/cold/snowy weather?  If so, I hope you are safe.  Have you been shopping or getting deals?  Using what you have?  Give us a shout out and let us know what is going on in your part of the world!

Please stay safe, healthy and warm this coming week.  My prayers go out for all and your families.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

So faith, hope. love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 14:13

Lord, help us to love everyone.  It is so hard to do today, there is so much strife and wickedness in the world.  Help us to turn our hearts to love and to turn our eyes and hearts to You.  May we forgive and go forward with the faith that You have us in Your loving and protective hands and that You are our one hope.  Amen

Thursday, January 13, 2022

A Thursday Talk - This & That

 Just some odds and ends today.  Nothing much exciting happening around here.  I thought I would share a couple tips with you all and just offer a couple smiles (hopefully!).

I was having trouble for quite a while with someone hacking my FB account.  I was constantly changing my password and apologizing to people for messages I didn't send.  I came up with some really bizarre and convoluted passwords - figuring no one could figure them out and yet they DID!  Being alone, I just jotted them down in a notebook and never said them out loud.
Someone made the comment that it was almost like someone was watching me do this.  HUH?

Well, call me crazy - but my laptop has a camera at the top of the screen frame.  It is ALWAYS off (or is it?).  Well, I covered it with a piece of black electrical tape and BOOM - no more hacks!   Hmmmm - sure makes me wonder.  I find it kind of scary.  Soooo, just to be safe you might cover up that little camera dot on your device.  It can be removed if you need to use the camera.  
Kind of creepy if you ask me.  I don't think we have any idea how often we are watched and listened to.
I just think George Orwell's 1984.

My little bit of sunshine - inside in January.  My plant is just flowering like crazy.  It isn't the prettiest plant, but those little yellow bits sure make me smile every time I walk by.

A tip for those with air fryers.  I read this tip and decided to try it.  My goodness, it does help with clean-up. When frying anything that may release grease - after your initial preheat - place a couple of flattened coffee filters in the bottom tray and then add meat/whatever.  I did this when heating up some of my homemade pre-fried chicken I had in the freezer.  Not one BIT of grease in the bottom!!!!!!  It was absorbed into the filters.  Amazing!  Yet another use for those filters.

Now this is a quilt!!!  Last month I showed you my little quilty type blankies that I made - but they were so simple.  This is a quilt that was made by G's grandma.  I am using it as a top quilt on my bed this winter.  So warm and so pretty.  I have 2 quilts she made, and they are just so precious.  So much work!!!!!  It always amazes me how ladies had time to do this.  She cared for many children, a disabled husband, gardening and preserving and home and all that goes with it (out in the country) - yet she quilted.  She made bunches of quilts from scraps and whatever she had on hand.   Ladies back in the day sure had a lot of 'grit' in my opinion.

I have to laugh some days watching my outdoor cats.  They do NOT like the hawk coming to our yard.  They chase after it and run it off every time they get a chance.  What is odd is, they don't bother cardinals or blue jays (don't blame them) or doves or even the pigeons.  All are bigger birds - and the cats leave them alone.  Now they do go after little birdies from time to time - but leave the bigger ones alone - that is until the hawk shows up!!!!!  They can be in the greenhouse and supposedly sleeping - yet they come flying out when the hawk shows up and lands on the fence.  I wonder if it puts out some noise or sound that is a frequency that they hear?  I just find it comical and they sure are good watch cats!!!

Coogy, who never gets people food (nor has he ever been interested) has suddenly decided he likes the white meat from chicken!  Not dark - just white!  He came and begged some while I was eating, and I gave him a piece and he just scarfed it down - and wanted more.  He would pat my hand till I gave him another piece!!!   I put a piece of dark meat down and off he walked.  Kind of like his Mommy!!!  LOL.   Dark meat is not my favorite either.

OK, nothing much exciting, just some observations in my little world.  I hope you all have had a good week and wishing you all a safe and warm weekend.  I will be posting again Sunday.
Until then, I will leave with a picture of my sunrise from Monday morning.  What a glorious way to start the week!!!!
Blessings to all and stay safe.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ways to Increase That Nest Egg

 We all strive to have a little nest egg set aside.  It may be for a long term goal or a short term goal. 
It could be for paying off debt, retirement funds, emergencies, a trip, a new vehicle, a home, lots of things.  We often put off current wants to fund future wants.  That is saving!

Many folks feel very deprived and resentful when saving.  If you are striving for a goal, you need to learn to not feel resentful.  The future payout will be great.  Learn to minimize the not spending without it hurting.

We all know the basic ways to save extra.
Buy/shop sales and clearance
Purchase needs and not wants
Ask for discounts when you can (big for seniors)
Have no spend days and weeks
Eat mainly at home - not restaurants
Do NOT waste - find uses for everything
Wait 48 hours before making big purchases
Ask for reduced rates - all they can do is say no and you might get a YES
Cut out things that aren't really needed
Look around for new ways of making extra funds
If working - use every saving option available (like 401K or similar)
There are so many more simple and basic things we can all do!

                 I think we all stive for a better life.  I want to embrace simplicity at its finest!

It is important to have a plan.  Know what you are saving for.  If you are looking to save for retirement and a big long term goal - you need to look back at your past successes and failures.  What worked?  What didn't?

You can't really make any interest today at the bank - so if you are trying to increase your money, you will need to look for a different avenue.  Seriously, hunt for the safest options you can find.
Find a trustworthy advisor.  Ask family or friends who they recommend and trust.  You don't have to get nosey about their finances  - just ask who advised them.
Increase your knowledge - read and study about options.
Connect with like-minded people.

We come in this world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing.  What happens in between is gravy!  Really!  Look at every success as a big thing.  REMEMBER - you really only need enough!  I know many will not agree with that.  That's OK.  I am one of those with the frame of mind, I don't need millions to be happy.  I only need enough to live a nice, comfortable life.

You decide what YOU NEED and go forward.  We all save for different reasons and have different goals.  I do think we all agree nice and comfortable is GOOD!
Just do something and get started NOW if you haven't started yet.

Now all that being said - remember - you can't take it with you!!!! 
So yes, please do enjoy some pleasures and comforts along the way IF you can afford to.
Life is short - DO stop and smell the roses now and then!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Living with Purpose

 Stay at home moms, home makers, retired, widows, whatever the situation - we often question ourselves and our lives.  What am I accomplishing?  Why?  How am I making a difference?  I feel pretty confident that most everyone has asked these questions and had these feelings.  It is NORMAL - really!
We need to live our lives with purpose - it doesn't have to be anything drastic or huge - just simple purpose each day.  That will make each day a value to YOU.  You are already a value to others.

Use each day for some good.  Helping others, being kind, a soft word, a lovely smile, a joke, caring for children or others.  We need a purpose each day.  For years I had a purpose - to take care of my husband who was disabled.  When he passed - I was lost.  What was my purpose?  I am a work in progress on this.  I take care of animals - they depend on me.  I write and try to help others.  I do what I can for neighbors and family.  Little things!  I know there is more to accomplish - but each day has purpose.

Set a goal and work at it.  Quit finding distractions.  Turn off the TV, put down the phone and the computer.  Media is our biggest downfall - it is a rabbit hole!!!!!!  Take a walk, actually TALK to someone, get fresh air and sunshine (even in the cold), clean a drawer or closet, fill a box with discards, educate yourself and your mind - just do something each day.

Make your home pleasant.  Doesn't have to cost anything.  Move things around.  Use a pretty tablecloth.  Let in fresh air and sunshine.  Get a bouquet of flowers for yourself!  Light a favorite scented candle.  Change pillows, bedding, etc.  

We often keep busy because of habits.  Our day can be over, and we wonder what did I do?  Well, we get in a rut of doing the same things every day - and often that is just what they are - THINGS!  We get used to our days being the same.  Same old routine every single day!  It is time to jazz it up a bit.  I read about some people (w/no kids) who CLEAN every day - how did it get dirty over night??  Seriously.  It is a habit.  Not that cleaning is a negative habit - but it can be a habit that just uses your time.  Step outside the comfort zone and do something different!

Get fresh air and sunshine every day!  I am outside every single day of the year at least 4 - 5 times.  Doesn't matter the weather.  I do believe there is much to be said about fresh air and sun.  It really does help keep one healthy and active.

Give thanks every morning - first thing.  Give thanks every evening - last thing.   Whether you pray, meditate, have affirmations, whatever you do - do it consistently.  Whatever you believe in, is your business - I just think that placing those thankful moments out into the world makes it a better place.  I believe our thoughts and gestures DO affect the universe.  It can't hurt!!!  BE THANKFUL.

Be grateful for everything every day!!!!!!!  No matter how big or small it is.  Don't be envious of others.
Have humility in all you do.  Be humble in knowing that you are just a fleck of dust in this big old universe - AND you ARE here!!!!!!!  Isn't that something?  The world needs one of you!
No matter what our situation is - we are here for a reason.
We have all gone through our own WORST days and yet here we are.  We survived them.

Life has kicked us in the britches, it has knocked us down, it has disappointed, it has made us cry AND it has been wonderous, beautiful and full of laughter and joy!  It sure is a mixed bag of emotions and events.  They are all important.

So I say we all need to challenge ourselves each day.  Expand your mind.  Open your heart.  Step outside the box.  Make each day the BEST it can possibly be.  This is something that each and every one of us needs to do.  I know I do.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 1/9

 Hello and happy Sunday!  Here we are one week of the month gone already - one week closer to spring!!  LOL!
I know many have been having some pretty extreme weather.  Lots of snow and very cold temps going on.  It has been and will continue to be quite the roller coaster here.  We have had decent temps and very cold temps.  Just flurries here, so far big snow has eluded our area (I say thankfully).  There are days that the skies look such a dark gray (that winter sky) that it looks spooky and gloomy.  Loving seeing the sun at every chance we get.
I hope you have all stayed safe and warm and continue to.

Even on the coldest days - if the sun was shining - those silly kitties were sitting outside for a while.  Getting their vitamin D!  The little birdies were surely loving the heated bird bath this week.  They were lined up waiting to get a drink

My week has not been too exciting.  It seems much of the week revolved around food and the use of and coming up with new ideas!
  • Straightened and arranged the pantry areas and the freezer
  • Cleaned our many various drawers
  • NO shopping at all
  • Stayed on the property all week - never left
  • Received some FREE address labels - amazingly I had started running low!
  • On a decent day - I scrubbed and cleaned all the heated water bowls and the bird bath - fresh & clean H2O!
  • Added extra bedding in greenhouse
  • Froze leftovers for freezer meal stores
  • Filled up various containers with stock on hand
  • All the normal stuff 
On the food front
  • Using up some older and forgotten items
  • Used some ham that I had in freezer (brought home from brothers at Christmas)
  • Used the corned beef I made in different ways and froze some
  • Made a lasagna and used a random can of Ravioli as a layer.  It is meat, pasta and sauce - and you couldn't tell it was Ravioli.  Good use of a random item
  • Used some various cheese in lasagna - had no ricotta or mozzarella - Used monterey jack - gouda and parm. & home canned sauce
  • Made a gallon of peach tea
  • Made potato soup with a bag of mix I found and added leftover corned beef hash to it and some various cheese pieces - tasty!  Ate 2X and froze 2 meals
  • Used some .10 yeast rolls I got last time at store (Dec.).  They had 12 count bake and eat yeast rolls for .10 pack - due to being mis-shaped!  Got some for freezer as well. 
                                            Makes for quick and warm yeast rolls - .10 pack!

Meals this past week:
Rueban sandwich, dill pickles and chips
Ham slices, salsa mac n cheese and rolls
Corned beef hash, rolls and fresh veggies with dressing
Cheesy potato soup with crackers
Potato soup and toast
Tuna patty, garbanzo - cabbage - pepper skillet sauté (trust me, it was tasty)
Lasagna and garlic toast
SNACKS - T-day cheesecake from freezer, pretzels, veggies and dip, juice

As you can see, cleaning the pantry gets me motivated to use odds and ends.  It has all been very tasty - and most made extra for freezer meals.  It has been kind of fun. I plan to keep going.
Are you using up any odd ball stuff?  Using the pantry and freezer foods?  What have you been up to this week?  Staying frugal or getting deals?  Inquiring minds need to know!!!!

Blessings from my humble home to you and yours.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

AMEN - may we all live in joy and faith - and place all the negativity that we receive and hear, far away from our hearts, minds and lives.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Past - Is Coming Back to Life! (?)

 We live in the time of technology.  That can be very good and that can be bad.  A computer that can be held in your hand or worn on your wrist seems crazy.  I always think James Bond or Agent Smart or Dick Tracy!  Technology has provided many, many medical breakthroughs and remedies.  That is wonderful.  Technology can be a time stealer - that is bad.  I (my opinion only) think technology has taken jobs and has dumbed down the world as well.  Most kids can't read a regular clock to tell time - they can't do math in their head, and they can't count change.....I could go on and on.  (This also includes some adults).
Most places have self check out - I know many love it.  I do not.  Heck, even at my library, you check yourself out.  It just seems that in a time when people are screaming - we can't find help - that so many jobs have been taken away. 
Most things we buy today is made to be thrown away and not repaired.  So much waste.
And I can't help but to wonder this week - what would have happened the other day during a 24 hour traffic jam on a southern interstate in a snowstorm and cold - how all electric cars would have fared!!!!???? 

It does seem there are many that have just gotten fed up and are going BACK.  Homesteaders, living off grid, crafters, backyard farmers, etc.  People are living in many of the old ways again and they can do a lot on their own.  I really love that.
Vintage skills are coming back!!!!  
Gardening, preserving, quilting, sewing and mending, raising animals, foraging, hunting and fishing, learning about medicinal/herbal ways, living a simple life!!! 

I think we need to teach children more 'survival & simple living' ideas in school.  Home economics and shop class we important back in my day.  We cooked, sewed, ironed and learned common household things in home ec.  Boys (and girls) learned how to work with their hands and create in shop class.  We had an economics class.  There was also a vocational school we could attend for credits - car mechanics, business, marketing, engineering, learning to read blueprints, economics on all levels, etc.
Young people need to learn great work ethics and they need to know how to budget, pay bills, invest, create and just plain LIVE in a world where everything isn't done for them.

If you get on You Tube, there are now tons of sights on prepping and homesteading.  People are going back to living the way many lived years ago.  There is a resurgence of living in log homes (my dream) and living tiny.  People are downsizing - realizing, you can live well with less.  Many are relearning or learning for the first time, how to do things for themselves.  They are learning that being prepared for what-ever, and it is a good thing.  Less and small can be a beautiful life.

I have always said (for years), that at some point we would have to go BACK in order to survive in this world.  I still believe that.  I can't help but to think back to Mad Max - that took place in 2021 (then the future).  No, we haven't gotten that bad - but in some ways much of it is true.  Gangs, cliches, learning to survive in a basic way, bartering, foraging, in-fighting amongst people, just surviving day to day life.    

I love that people are learning to live off the earth again and that we are teaching each other older skills.  I love that some of the old ways are 'cool' again.  It will help people survive in a time of distress.  There are many people I know that would never be able to survive without technology and all that is done FOR them and made so easy.  I am sure you know some of them too.

I kind of like that EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN!!!!!!
What about you?

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

It's Pantry Time!

 Happy Wednesday.  Today is pantry talk.  By pantry - I mean food, freezers, health and beauty, pets, cleaning - whatever you stock and use.  
I know there are challenges all over the place this month about using what you have and spending no money.  Well, I generally do that every January and other times during the year.  January is a great time to go through and straighten and "inventory" what you have.  You can figure out what you are low on and what you need to use.  I have a lot of older stuff that I am intent on using sooner than later.  I mean, why should I go out and spend money when I have so much here?  DUH!

There are many that say this is a bad idea, as prices are going up and up and you will diminish your stock that you got cheaply.  It isn't sitting there to look pretty - it is to use.  
No need to buy stock if you don't use it!!!!!!!  I will use as much older stuff as possible (sure I got it cheap) and then when I do go shopping, I will look for deals, clearance and markdowns and replace.  Sure the price may be up a little - that is called inflation.  There is no real way to avoid that.  We can be mindful of what we buy and what we spend.  Look for every deal you can find.  Shop at outlets (if you have them), salvage stores (if you have), clearance aisles, manager specials, even different type stores.  Grow a garden if possible.  USE up leftovers!!!! DO NOT waste!!!!!!!!

Part of my main daily pantry.  Looks like chaos to many - I know what is in there and where.  Organized chaos in my world!!!!!!!
Dining table while cleaning pantry.  I found a lot of mixes and such that I got for pocket change or almost free - that need to be used.  I have those altogether and organized now.  Hmmm - I see some breadsticks in the future with pizza dough mix.

I have my daily use pantry - I have an overstock area - I have a freezer - I have home canned goods.  I can go a long time with no shopping.  That doesn't even count the big tote of dried beans/peas.  Yeah, I'm good.

Remember we have options - you can change things up when necessary.  For a good week or more in December I ran out of milk in frig.  I use some every day.  No problem - I have dry, evaporated, shelf stable and frozen cubes.  Actually, the frozen cubes came in super handy for my morning drink.
Out of bread - think biscuits, cornbread, muffins, tortillas or crackers.  Need a good filler - pasta, rice, potatoes - which ever you have.

So, Monday and Tuesday I spent my days getting the pantry (all areas) cleaned and straightened.  I know what I have.  I also worked on the freezer and got that more organized.
It is amazing what you can find when you really start digging!!!!!!!

Get those stocks straightened and somewhat inventoried.  Pantry, freezer, laundry, medicine cabinet - whatever you have.  If you know what you have you can USE it and save money.  
If you need to add items - always look for the best deals you can find.

It's winter - now is the time to do these projects.  Get creative with what you have.  Use things in different ways.  A rice mix can be made into a soup.  A gravy mix or jar to thicken soup.  A steak or pork chop can be cut up and used in stew or soup or in stir fry or fajitas.  Leftovers can be turned into soup, casseroles or stir fry.  A couple straggler potatoes can be sliced and fried/roasted or added to soup.  Chili can be a potato topper or added to a hot dog.  

Most of all HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

New Year - New Me? Nah

 Changing the date isn't going to change me!  LOL.  I am the same old me.  I do NOT make resolutions, haven't for years.  I found it only set me up for disappointment.  No need for that - there are enough other things in this world that can be disappointing.  Sooooooo - I plan on a couple GOALS for the year - that's it.

Definitely words to live by!!!!!!!!
  • I do NOT set a budget!  I know how much I have coming in - and I know how much my basic bills are - that is my budget!!  I basically spend half or less on my bills from my income - the rest goes to savings.  I live very simply, so no big expenses.  IF I decide I want something or need something or have an emergency - I am covered
  • I make NO resolutions.  I set goals.  Hopefully I fulfill my goals - if not - well I tried
I hope to just become a better person this year.  Kinder to others.  I want to give/help more.
I plan on doing a few home improvement projects.  Nothing big - just some updating - all things I can do myself.  Painting maybe, more decluttering, maybe a bigger garden, just odds and ends.  Goodness, there are so many projects and things that can be done in/around the house.  I think everyone can agree with that. MAYBE I will look for some new living room furniture this year finally.  It isn't a necessity - but a want.  We'll see.

I plan to stay out of the grocery this month as much as possible.  I have lots of supplies here.  I will use up older items and just be a good steward of what I have.  
Staying home, also keeps me healthy!  
Don't get me wrong, I am not scared - just cautious.  I refuse to run scared.  I continue to be cautious, as I have all along.  Life is too short to not enjoy it - just use a little common sense.  I will still do what I want this year - I can hunker down in these cold months - so I can get out and DO in the warmer months.

So basically, there will be NO new me - just the same old me, just trying to do a little better.
Do you make resolutions?  Do you set goals?  Maybe just plan on doing the same as every year - survive!
I think basically people are all alike - no matter where they live.  They want to be happy, safe and healthy.  These are the basics and hope we all get to experience all of them this year.

Remember - always expect the unexpected!  That is just life.
AND - see no problems - just opportunities.  
AND there are no failures - just extra chances to start again.

I think if we all remember these things, we can get through most anything.  Life has a way of surprising us, when we least expect it.  Just go with the flow and move forward - that is the best advice I can give.
Have a great day.  See ya all tomorrow with my first project!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 1/2

 Well kiddos, the party is over!!!!!!  Time to get back to 'normal'.  We have had our celebrations and get togethers and now we get back to regular LIFE!

We ended and started the years quite mildly in my area.  It was in the 50's and 60's and rain.  Today - well BOOM it is cold.  Winter has finally come and will stick around for a while.  This next week looks to be pretty darn cold.  There was even a dusting of snow this morning.  Heck, we are one month closer to spring and about 2 1/2 months we will be there!!!!!  We can do this!!!!  LOL
We had chilly and warmer temps this week.  Rain and more rain which made LOTS of mud!  Oh geez, it has been mud fest here!!  And fog!!!!  Lots of fog this past week.  The grass is so green - it is kind of funny to look out in January and see green grass.

On other news - my sis is HOME!!!!!!!!!  YAY!  She came home the day before NYE.  She is still having occupational therapy and will for quite a while, and still has a bunch of pain.  But she able to be home with her baby and she is trying to get back to somewhat of a normal life.  It will still be a few weeks before she can drive - but we have all volunteered.  My nephew really did a good job in placing a lot of safeguards in her home and even lowered her bed. (It was TALL and she is so short).
This just made my day and a great way to end/start the year!

My week:
  • Did a lot of crock pot cooking this week - with the family get together and with my NY dinner
  • Shared food with neighbor and his son.  Helped them out with a couple meals of meat and some snacks!
  • I had everything here I needed for that family thing, except buns and fresh veggies.  Big spread for hardly no money!
  • Got to actually air the house again 2X this week!  Amazing
  • All holiday stuff (both decor and gifts) is all put away till next year.  The house looks empty!!  LOL (but neat)
  • Cut off the fronts of all cards to use for gift tags (next year) or lists
  • New calendar marked up and on the wall
  • I did my last store run of the year - because I had $20 is discounts I wanted and needed to use before the month ended.  You KNOW I won't lose $20 in free money!!  I got some more milk, fruit, juice and lots more cat food.
  • I topped the gas tank while out, due to really cold weather coming.  I only needed about a half tank.  I paid 2.29/gal. with my discount!  WOOHOO
  • Using up leftovers in new ways and freezing some for later
  • Yesterday I did a Twilight Zone marathon!  YES, I am a TZ geek!  I love it - and most of what I saw yesterday, I didn't remember seeing before.  I know it is sci-fi (and I am not big on that), but each show always has a morale and something to make you think!  That was my quiet NY day - that and finishing laundry and putting away tree.
  • I ended/started the years with fresh sheets and bedding!  LOL - that is always a thing I do.  Just makes both the end and beginning feel fresh!
  • Using what I have here, cooking from scratch, using leftovers, drinking tea and flavored water, laundry and just doing all the normal stuff.  Pretty quiet week!

Meals for the past week:

Last Sunday - made Mex. pulled pork with a loin, BBQ wienies and meatballs, cheese dip, meat and cheese tray, veggie trays and dip, lots of chips and crackers, tea
Pulled pork sliders, chips and veggies
Pork fried rice
Pork soft tacos
Mini cheeseburgers, chips and veggies and dip
Homemade chicken tenders, fries and veggies (fresh)
Corned beef, cabbage and black eyed peas
SNACKS: fruit, fruit juice, meat & cheese w/crackers, Chex snack mix (gift), nuts

Want tacos and no lettuce - no problem.  Soft pulled pork tacos with diced veggies (from tray) and Taco Bell sauce from frig (always keep).  The crunch was nice, and these were great!

How has your week been?  Has everyone finally gotten rested up from festivities?  Do you have your decorations put away?  How have you saved money this week?
Can't wait to hear from you all.  Looking forward to getting back to our normal routine!!!!!

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

Lord, Thank You for the gift of this new year.  Help us to make good of it and to always look to bless others and spread joy. May we always look at the good that You give and may we all resist the negative and evil that tries to invade our lives.  I pray for peace and love for our world.