Sunday, February 27, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/27

 Happy Sunday!  Here we are at the end of another month.  This one was definitely our winter!  We did great until February came - then winter hit.  We have had a lot of rain, snow and ice.  I am done with that now - thank you very much!!!  LOL
I am sure it isn't done with us though.  This coming week is something to look forward to for my area.  Predictions of sun all week and temps in the 50's!  YES!

I noticed the other morning when I went out at 5:45AM (it is dark) that birds were singing and chirping away.  It was lovely.  That is a sign of good things ahead. 
Blackie has been home for going on 5 days!  Guess he has decided to chill for a while.

I have for sure noticed that weather has everything to do with my mood and motivation or lack of it!  It was proven in force this week.  On the days the weather was nice and the sun was shining, I got a lot done - even if inside.  On the gloomy, cold and icy days - I was a bust!  Weather is my catalyst!!!
I hope this makes you smile like it did me.  A sweet look towards spring at the end of a dismal month.

This last week we had a couple, three decent days - then came the rain again and then the ice.  It seems every Thursday of Feb. we got some sort of system to come through and disrupt things.  I had a lake form again this week, and an ice rink. 
I look forward to a week of dry to dry out the messy yard!

My week:
  • Changed out the tablescapes from winter to more spring looking items
  • Got to air the house on 3 days
  • Took down all the winter decor that was on doors, flags and such outside and changed everything to spring decor
  • Paid all bills on hand
  • Making a list of spring/summer projects to do
  • I don't believe I ever finished fall cleaning!  I have started doing spring cleaning now
  • I am organizing and decluttering so much
  • Working on new bags/boxes for donation
  • Been working on the 'deep' pantry long - life items I have stored.  Arranging and doing inventory - just to make myself aware of what all is here
  • Saved a plastic lid from peanut butter jar - they fit pint mason jars for dry storage
  • Saved a jar from instant coffee mix (I only use in morning drinks for mocha flavor) to use for making up dry soup mixes.  They are the perfect size and no losing my canning jars!
  • I had to make a run to Big Lots this week.  My iron of 30 years + finally bit the dust.  I bought myself a new one - not something I use often - but needed sometimes!   I also needed lithium batteries for my scales - knew they would be cheapest there.
  • No grocery shopping at all this week.
  • Went out on a nicer day and picked up trash (from blowing) and more sticks - the wind has really whipped a lot this week
  • Using what I have and cooking from home.  Doing all the normal stuff
Meals this past week:
Open face sloppy Joe and cauliflower with cheese
Beef hot dogs and cheesy poofs
Small steak with mushrooms/gravy and steak fries
Mac n cheese (w/salsa added) BBQ mini wienies from freezer (holidays) and apple sauce
Fish, leftover mac n cheese and salad
Fried rice
Poor man's Swiss steak and mashed potatoes
                                                    Fried rice with veggies and egg
I seldom eat steak - but came across this in freezer.  I cut in half and used one with some mushrooms and gravy sauce.  Tasty for a change.  Pretty darn cheap - for a steak dinner (1.50)

How was your week?  Are you ready for Spring?  It is just 3 weeks away according to the calendar!  I am sure nature has something different to say about it!!  LOL
Did you get any good deals this week?  Spring cleaning yet?  Love hearing from you all.

Prayers that you all stay safe, healthy and frugal in this coming week.  Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Lord, when send our prayers for the peoples of the Ukraine and for all men and women of the armed services and their families all over the world.  Prayers that peace comes quickly and prayers that the evil one is stopped.  May you shield them all with your loving and protective embrace.  Amen

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Fresh Vs. ???

 We all love our salads and our fresh fruit and veggies.  So often, we all speak of how we could stay out of the stores, except for fresh goods.  When I think about it - I wonder why we call it fresh!!!!!!!
It may look pretty and it may not be processed - but most things are anything but fresh.

I love my citrus - especially oranges.  These are hardly fresh - cause the aint from around here!! 
Lettuce and cherry tomatoes are a basic for me in the winter.  Not fresh either.  Neither one is from my area.  The tomatoes are picked before they are ripened fully to be able to survive for your purchasing pleasure.  That lettuce is some of the best I have found - and it lasts forever.  WHY?  I find it kind of odd that it stays 'fresh' for so long!  That isn't normal.  I can grow lettuce and not be able to keep it as long as this.

So fresh - truly isn't fresh.  Unless you grow it and pick it - or you get it straight from a farmer at a farm market - odds are the items were picked before their peak and spent weeks getting to you at your local grocer.

Canned and frozen fruit and veggies are generally packed and processed within 4 - 5 hours.  They are actually far fresher and contain more nutrients than that 'fresh' we are buying.  Granted canned goods have gone through heat processing - but so do our home canned goods.  I try to buy canned goods that list ingredients as veggie/fruit and water or juice.  No other ingredients.
Frozen items are flash frozen within a few short hours of being picked and then packaged and kept frozen.  This is my ideal product to purchase IF I can't get 'fresh'!  They actually contain more nutrients than the stuff in the produce department.

So, the next time you make a salad or eat an apple, banana, or orange when the snow is flying and the weather is frigid - think about just how fresh it is!
If it is not naturally grown in your area and you are not picking it yourself nor is a local farmer - well kiddos it ISN'T fresh.

We are all lured by the beauty of items in the produce department.  They look so pretty - so perky - so fresh - so they have to be healthy!  RIGHT?
Really stop and think about the areas that your food comes from.  You know a ripe tomato can't survive a trip from another country in various trucks, and in your produce dept. for a period of time and really be fresh!  A real fresh tomato from my garden doesn't last but a few days within getting soft.
How much of what we love and buy comes from nowhere remotely close to where we live?

Citrus only comes from certain area.  Bananas don't grow around most of us.  Melons don't grow around here in the winter.  Veggies are shipped in from other regions or countries.  FRESH??????
Just some "food" for thought.

Think about supplying your pantries with some canned and frozen items.  They are fresher than you think!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Food Fun For One (or 2)

 It can be hard to cook for one person - especially if you have been used to cooking a lot.  I used to cook for 2, but G loved to eat - so he would eat a big meal and would eat all the leftovers for either breakfast or lunch!  I enjoyed cooking.  We used to have family get togethers and I could cook up a storm.  I have always loved to cook.  
I started my cooking when I was my parents' home.  Helped Mom a lot and then when they both worked in my early teens, I would fix dinner for them.  My specialty was spaghetti with homemade sauce.  I think my Daddy got pretty tired of spaghetti!  LOL

Now that I am alone - cooking isn't nearly as much fun.  For a long time, I pretty much ate sandwiches and salads.  Then I started cooking again.  I am slowly learning ways to make less.  I still share some with neighbors and I still freeze leftovers for another day - but that is all better than wasting food.
I have always loved to use fresh ingredients and from scratch.  Sometimes a little CHEAT is in order now.  You know what?  That is OK!!!!!!  
Whatever works for you!  It doesn't matter what others do or think - you need to cook what you like and what works for you.

I love spicey/tangy beans and rice or dirty rice.  All the recipes I have are for huge amounts!  Even when I try to reduce them, well it is a lot!  I now get boxed beans and rice and dirty rice mix.  I buy it at Aldi, as it is just as good as the brand named ones and it costs less.

I LOVE meatloaf.  I don't want to always heat up the oven just for me.  I make up the ground meat with all the ingredients to make meatloaf (using just a half pound of meat) - and then I make up patties and fry them.  YES, you can make fried meatloaf.  It tastes wonderful and you can always have it for a couple days or you can freeze the extra burgers for another day - to just heat up!
You get that nice crust on each side and all the yummy flavors on the inside.

Here is a meatloaf burger with cheese melted on top.  Cheesy potatoes and corn.  This was a hearty and filling dinner.

SOUP - I LOVE soup as well!  Oh heck, who am I kidding - I love food.  Making soup, never comes in small batches for me.  It is hard to make a small amount.  I cheat on this sometimes as well.  I got a lot of soup mixes as part of a gift during the holidays.  I do use them, but I do NOT use them as the package says!!!!  Yeah, this girl often colors outside the lines!

I made potato soup earlier with this mix.  I added leftover corned beef hash to the mix and lots of cheese.  I like having bites of food in my soup - not just creaminess.  I always add chopped potato, and sometimes carrots or ham pieces.

I mentioned last week about making beef enchilada soup.  Yep, this is the mix I used s a starter.  No, I didn't make it according to the package.  I used ground beef instead of chicken.  I didn't use all the water - I used a can of tomato sauce, a half pint of my home canned seasoned tomatoes and a can of water.  I threw in leftover corn and leftover mashed potatoes (to help thicken).  I added a can of kidney beans.
I love thick soup (not watery).  This was wonderful.  I ate 2 meals from it and froze one.

Have fun with your food.  I often get asked what my recipe was - and my response is many times "what is the recipe thing you speak of?"  LOL.  I usually just wing it.  G used to say he really liked something, and would tell me, I should make that again.  OK - if I can remember what I did!!!!  Most things are never made exactly the same way twice!!!

I have learned to make smaller batches of mac n cheese from scratch.  I cook about a handful and a half (that is how I measure it!) and then add whatever cheeses I want or whatever I have.  I may end up with a little left - but may eat it the next day or as a snack later on.

I like melted cheese on things.  Well making a batch of cheese sauce just isn't feasible for one.  I sometimes use jarred cheese (Mexican cheese dip) or I will maybe use a packet of the Velveeta melted cheese ($1).  It is easy and it is tasty, and I don't have waste with it just being me.

This is also a good way to get a cheese topping.  Use straight from can or add just a bit of milk - makes a cheesy topping.  Very tasty.
Velveeta cheese sauce comes in regular and jalapeno.  Both are tasty and packages are not big.

It is fine to use a little help, whether you are cooking for one or for more.  I love scratch cooking - just somethings are totally logical for me to do any more.  
There are so many products out there that make cooking easier and makes it so you don't have to get bored with your food.
I like variety.  It is easy to get in the habit of having the same old thing all the time.

Meals don't have to be complicated, and they don't have to have a bunch of courses!  I tend to eat one or two things - as long as I am full - that is all that matters to me.
                    Simple open face sloppy Joe, cauliflower with jarred cheese sauce = yummy
                                      Hotdogs with home canned relish and some cheesy puffs
                                                         Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Think about egg, chicken, tuna or ham salad sandwiches or served on a bed of lettuce.  Breakfast for dinner.  Biscuits and gravy are easy.  Fried egg sandwiches.  Cold cuts or ham or chicken or fish sandwiches.  Burger and oven fries.  Chili.  Soup.  Tacos or taco salad.  Fried rice.  Rice can be blended with meats to make all kinds of dishes.

There is no need to get bored.  Cook what you like.  If you don't make it all from scratch, don't beat yourself up.  It is a job trying to cook for one!
Experiment a little.  Have fun with your food.  Color outside the lines or work outside the box!!!  
Being one - doesn't mean no variety!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Names Can be Misleading!

 We all know names can be misleading.  Pronunciations can be misleading and different.  It all depends on where you live!  REALLY!!!!  Location, location, location!!!!!

Tomato - how it is said.  Toe Mate O   --------  Toe Mot O
Potato -       """"""         Poe Tate O       """"    Poe Tot O
Pecan -         """""          Pee Can            """"   Pu Con

You see what I mean?  LOL
It depends on where you live, on how you say different words.  I think it is very neat.  There are even various ways of saying names of cities.  New Orleans, St. Louis, Terre Haute, Louisville - all have different variations.  There are so many!!

There are even things that are NAMED differently in different locales.
I know it can be confusing to many.
Let's clear up a couple today.

In North America - this is a biscuit.  It is a bread type bite.  We eat with gravy, and we make breakfast sandwiches from them.  They are great warm with butter and/or jelly.
I believe this is a scone in some places - please correct me if wrong.

This is what we call scones.  They can be sweet or savory.  They are often served with tea or coffee.

These are what we call cookies.  Sweet little treats.  Chocolate chip, peanut butter, shortbread, M&M, Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal, etc.  So much variety.  I do believe these are called biscuits in some places.
I guess I can see why people get confused when we say we have biscuits and gravy!!!  LOL - yeah ICK!

Ground beef = mince
Trash/garbage = refuse
Stroller = trolly
diapers = nappies
Chickens = chooks
Patio = veranda or lanai or terrace
I can things = others bottle or jar them

I just find it all so interesting have different regions have different words or meaning for things.  
What other things have you noticed, or do you know?

Let's increase our knowledge today.  We should all learn something new each day!  My Daddy used to ask me EVERY single day - "what did you learn today?"  I thought it was annoying as a child - now I try to find something new to learn every day.  I challenge myself.

What differences can you come up with?
Let's have a little fun today and learn a little bit as well!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/20

 Happy Sunday to all.  We are less than 30 days out until Spring!!!!!   YAY!
We have had spring and winter again this past week and it looks like the upcoming week will be much the same.  Days in 50's and 60's and then BOOM snow and ice and highs in the 20's!!!!  YEP - one 24 hour period we dropped 40* - went from a high of 60^ with downpours to sleet, freezing rain and snow and a high in the 20's.  Craziness!
We had so much rain one day (ground was still frozen) that there was a lake in the back yard, by the next morning there was an ice rink!  All the warm and rain and there are still bits of snow (from week before) to be seen on the ground.  Hopefully they will be gone for a few days between today and tomorrows warm up.

I have cardinals galore every morning and evening.  They seem to visit just after dawn and at dusk.  They are just glorious.  
Blackie has been doing lots of roaming this week and worrying Mom!  He was gone almost 3 days and came back starved and thirsty - mainly slept for a day and a half and then off again!  He left after dinner this last time (right before the ice storm) and only showed up 48 hours later to eat and then off again (last evening)!  I guess spring makes him think he can still get frisky!!!  LOL
The moon has been so full and bright for what seems forever!  When there are no clouds - it sure has been something to see.

Another fairly quiet week here.
My week:
  • Removed ALL the bedding and laundered.  Laundered throw rugs and towels and my regular laundry.  Amazing to me how one person can have so much laundry to do!
  • Had another half bin of sticks and limbs to pick up in the back yard.  Wind and squirrels!
  • Thoroughly cleaned all the wood floors
  • I ran to Aldi - the last day of sale and got ground beef for 1.99/lb.  I was amazed they still had a lot of it.  There shelves looked pretty darn good.  I didn't notice too much that had increased in price.  Canned veggies were still .50 and less, canned tuna was .65 tin.  Baking supplies were in stock and great prices, and milk and eggs were pretty decently priced.  Of course, their cheese is the best price in town - 1.75/half pound.  $3.50 a pound for cheese can be found nowhere else around here. Overall, I was pleased - I hadn't been there since before Christmas.
  • I did stop at Kroger solely for cat food and litter.  I am just mindful to get as much pet supplies as possible.  That is all I got there.
  • Using what I have and fixing all meals at home.
  • I did get 10 lbs. of the sale hamburger and rewrapped into 1/2 lb. packs for freezer.  I was in no way out - but had to add at the price!
  • Cleaning and dusting, doing all the normal stuff
  • Got to air the house one day
Meals this past week:
Cheese topped chopped steak and pizza bites
Taco meat/beans over Spanish type rice
Using leftover from above - made stuffed pepper skillet by adding chopped peppers (freezer) and cheese
Meatloaf burger, potato wedges and cooked cauliflower
Meatloaf burger, corn and cheesy mashed potatoes
Beef enchilada soup topped with tortilla chips
Beef enchilada soup topped with cheese and sour cream (froze balance)
SNACKS - citrus, apples w/peanut butter, toast and jelly, banana/orange milkshake

                                            Beef enchilada soup - tasted just like enchiladas!

How was your week?  Is your weather getting any better or are you still having the roller coaster that I am having?  Did you get any deals this week?  Have you been "thinking" garden plans?
Love to hear from you all.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy week.  Blessings from my humble little home to yours!

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Lord, guide us through this coming week and help us to be our best.  Help us to avoid the negative and evil that is of the earth.  Guide our eyes to see the beauty and wonder and guide our hearts to help each other with love and hope. Amen

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Living Simply Can Be Beautiful

 You don't have to live FAR below your means - just living within or a little below your means can give you a FREEDOM!  
I don't know about you - but I love freedom - all sorts of freedom.  We can make our own!

So many people think money is the gift of freedom.  Not really.  Sure you can buy more and maybe have bigger - but it doesn't make you happier!  We see that every day just in what we watch on the news and read on the computer.  As good as money is - it can cause grief and worries as well.
Rich people have a whole set of problems that I would never want.

I like living a simpler life.  I have never been rich!  I don't think I have ever been poor either!!!!!!  No, we didn't have money - but we sure weren't poor.
I had things and was taught things that no amount of money could buy.  INDEED!

I had/have love of family and friends
I was taught to respect others
I have my faith in God
I was taught/shown a good work ethic
I have a love of nature and the beauty it offers
I have the sweet simple joys of my pets
I have my humble home
I have food on my table
I have ENOUGH!

You can have money or not and still choose to live a simple life.  Money really has nothing to do with it.  I think it just means living a little slower, looking a little deeper, and loving a little more and appreciating each and everything you have.

Looking out my door and seeing the brilliant full moon glowing in the dark on night.  It was so large and bright it looks like daylight.  This was taken at around 9PM on Tuesday evening.  Isn't it something?

If we take time to enjoy the simple and little things, life will have a wealth to give us.  We just need to open our eyes.  
Heck this morning, there is a lake in my back yard due to hard rains for hours - tonight I will have an ice rink out there - due to huge temperature changes.  Even those are blessings, as it means a promise for spring and a water level that won't be low this spring.  We have to look for the good.
If you don't take time to look for the positive - you will be a miserable person.  Only seeing negative - makes for sad people.  

I am not blind to all the evil and negativity in the world; I just don't celebrate it the way some people do.  It seems to consume them.
I choose positive and happy over negativity.  I choose simple over hectic.  I choose to live my best life.
What do you choose?

Wishing you a simply beautiful life!
Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Practicing What We Preach

 There are so many ways to be mindful of our funds and to be mindful of the earth.  We truly need to practice them each and every day.  If we take care of the small things - it makes it much easier to take care of the bigger ones.  
There are so many simple ways to have a wonderful life and save money as well.  
Here are just a few reminders!

1.  Use dish towels and cloths and cleaning rags vs. paper.  We throw away so much money!

2.  Refillable, washable food containers vs. baggies.  Glass is wonderful and even Tupperware and plastic containers - but they all need to be useable over and over.  Heck, I do use baggies once in a while - they do have a place in my home - but many times I wash them and use them over and over.  Even vacuum seal bags - I trim and reuse.  I guess the only ones I don't reuse are the ones with poultry in them.  I even scald and wash bags from beef with soap and vinegar.

3.  Reusable and washable drink bottles/glasses vs. bottled water and plastic restaurant glasses.  I have several insulated glasses that I use.  They are great.  I have different size ones that I have received as gifts.  They keep items cold and keep bugs out (when outdoors).  I do have several individual pop bottles that my neighbors had and gave to me - I fill them with water for the frig and for the future.  They are heavy and can be reused many times.  Pop bottles can also be used for dry food storage.

4.  Drink tea, Kool-Aid, juice, water vs. pop.  These options are so much cheaper and can be made in preferred flavors and with or without the high sugar content.  They are also better for you!

5.  Take your lunches to work vs. eating fast food.  Eat those leftovers or take a sandwich and fruit.  If you like chips - buy a big bag and fill up individual serving containers.  You can easily save $35 and up a week doing this.

6.  Store brands vs. brand names.  I know this is a stickler for many.  If you really pay attention - many, many store brands are made by those brand name companies!  They are the same just different labeling.  I know some are not and do taste differently.  Maybe that is when you need to make your own product instead of paying high prices!

7.  Make coffee at home vs. going to fancy coffee shops.  You can make it as strong or weak as you wish, you can add whatever flavors you wish.  You can add milk, cream, special milks, etc.  You are saving a ton of money making it at home and you are not adding to all the throw away cups and refuse.

8.  Meals at home vs. eating out.  Home cooked meals are always better than restaurant.  You can 'hack' recipes and make your own.  You know the sanitary conditions of your home - restaurants are just scary!  Many are so nasty behind the scenes.  You know what is in your food. You can control seasonings.  So many benefits.  You can also make snacks and treats.  A slow cooker - crockpot or Instant Pot can be your best friend, especially if you work.

9.  Wash cloth, water and mild soap vs. baby wipes or even TP in a pinch.  I know when I was a little one, there was no such thing as baby wipes.  A damp cloth and a bar of soap in an old bread bag, was common when out traveling/visiting.  The big TP fiasco of 2020 had people scrambling for TP and freaking out.  My goodness, never did I worry (I did have plenty), but I knew I could simply wash myself if necessary.  

10.  Plan trips vs going out every day.  Planning trips is just smart - it uses less gas.  Plan your trips and try to plan a route that allows all to be completed using the least amount of gasoline.  Don't go out running every day just to be running.  Stop at stores or shops on your way home from work.

11.  Reuse and recycle vs. buying new.  So many things can be used for other purposes and remade into new things.  Just because something rips - doesn't mean it isn't good.  Mend it.  If something breaks - fix what you can.  Do not buy one-use items.  Just be mindful.

12.  Use LESS vs more.  Using less is pretty much a good thing with all items.  I use less shampoo, dish soap, laundry soap, soft soap, chemicals by watering things down.  They work just as well if not better!  Eat less food - you lose weight, it stretches food, saves money, no new clothes do to gaining weight.......... you see where this is going!  Use less throw away items.  Use less, whenever and where ever you can.  It is better in so many ways.

We all know so many great tricks to keeping our funds and to being a better citizen.  USE THEM.
If each and every person is just a little more mindful of all that they have - we can take care of a lot of additional problems.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Let's Get Creative

 I love that we all get creative and share ideas.  I think sometimes it really isn't about being frugal - it is just good sense and not wasting things.  I love that so many think outside the box.
Today a couple of foodie ideas and a couple other things I do or did!

The other day I was going to make a tuna patty (like salmon only milder).  I have breadcrumbs (mix of bread and cracker) - but felt like something different.  I have used all sorts of things as a filler - oats, breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, cheesy crackers, and even crushed chips.  This time I used some Chex Mix I have.  I was gifted a tin of it for Christmas and still haven't eaten it all.  So, I put some in a bag and crushed it.  I added that to my tuna and egg mixture and it sure did make for a tasty bite!!!!!! 
So, think outside the box now and then.  You can always use something you have around the house!

Meat spread, luncheon spread, bologna salad - whatever you call it - it is easy to make.  The deli at most groceries sell it and it isn't cheap!
I used a chub of bologna I found in the freezer that I had gotten on clearance at some point.  I cut it in chunks and put it in the Ninja.  It ground pretty nicely.  You could also use a meat grinder - whatever you have.
I don't have a REAL recipe - as I added this and that.  I used mayo and then added some ranch dressing and some onion dip I had left in the frig.  I added some of my sweet home canned relish and a few finely chopped onions.  Mix it up and eat with crackers or on a sandwich.  You can add anything you want.  It was so very tasty and easy.  Makes for a great lunch item.
This is what I used.  Most stores sell it in chubs.  This was the only way we bought lunch meat when I was a child, You could also use sliced lunchmeat as well.  Just grind it up and you are ready to go.  Make as you would ham or chicken salad.
                                                              Makes for a nice meal!

I have short hair - several years ago I decided to go short and have kept it that way.  It is so much easier to take care, and for me it is more age appropriate.  I love long hair - had it for years - now I like easy care!
I do root touch-ups on color every 5-6 weeks.  I don't do it as intensely and all covering as in the past.  I do leave a little whisp here and there of gray poking through and I go lighter than what my actual hair color was.  Those root touch-up kits cost as much as a box of hair dye.
When I buy hair color, I use a coupon and get it cheaper.  I think it usually averages $3 - $3.50 a box w/coupon.
I use the 2 part solutions.  It you look at the product - the parts each measure exactly the same.  I measure out what I want from each part and put in a solution bottle I have kept.  Equal amounts used always.
In doing this I get at least 4 - 6 touch-ups from each box of dye.  That makes for a very cheap coloring!!!

I use one of those little medicine cups to measure out the solutions and then mix them in the solution bottle.  I measure part A and pour in bottle and then measure equal amount of Part B and pour in.  Shake to mix and you are ready to touch-up those roots!  I squeeze the color on hair and use an old toothbrush to distribute through hair.  Super easy!!!!

I keep a little old fashioned alarm clock on the table next to my bed.  I can't see the one on the wall in the middle of the night (w/o glasses), but I can grab the little clock and see it.  Somehow - some way the battery covering back came off and got lost.  I am thinking kitty has hidden it somewhere!
Sure I could buy a new one - if they still even sell them (this one is years old).  But I generally never think of it when I am at a store that might sell them.  
I fixed this one so the battery wouldn't fall out.  Yep - a small piece of cardboard and some electrical tape!  LOL.  It may not be pretty - but it works.  I am the only who sees it, so it doesn't matter.

                                                ALL FIXED!  It works and I am happy!

So think outside the box now and then.  It doesn't matter if it is food, H & B, household fixes, soaps and cleaners, whatever..............  just get a little creative.
WHY?  My question is WHY NOT?  I hate throwing things away and wasting things.  I do what I can to use something I have.  Sure, it saves a few pennies, but it just makes me feel better out my lifestyle and helping the earth in some tiny way.
So, the next time you get ready to go out shopping, or you break something, or you run out of something - STOP and THINK.  What else can I use?
Get creative.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/13

 Happy Sunday to all.  Here we are starting another week - getting closer to spring each and every day.  However, some days it sure hasn't felt like it!!!  I hope this post finds you all safe and healthy!!

We had another roller coaster week this past week and this coming one looks to be much the same.  We have very cold, nice and warm and snow and rain.  It seems we have been getting at least 2 seasons a week lately!  As I type, we are getting flurries (big old flakes) and it is in the teens.  There is still white stuff in the yard - not as much, but still there.  By midweek it will be close to 60 and rain - then back to snow and cold by the end of the week!!!!
This past Wednesday t got up to 50* and yes - I aired the house a bit!!!!  LOL!  I know, crazy - but it felt so good.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday - so those who are having get togethers, please stay safe and healthy!  Not something I will be watching. 
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  A happy, happy day to all.  I have never been one who really celebrated it, as it just seemed like a money maker day - and I always thought you should show your love daily.

Just an update:  Sis has been released by the doctors!  She has been told she can do whatever she is comfortable doing.  They told her she will have pain for probably at least a year, as everything continues to heal.  Not only the break, but muscles and tendons.  Her range of motion will not be the same - but she is grateful to be able to do what she can and what she wants.  So thankful for all the wonderful prayers from everyone.

It has been another quiet week.  
  • I spent a lot of time early in the week, breaking up ice and clearing walks.  It took days
  • Cut my hair
  • Did a root touch up
  • Laundry and line dried in the basement
  • Made a batch of brownies
  • Found a chub of bologna in freezer - made a bowl of meat spread
  • Using what I have and cooking from scratch
  • I did go out to the grocery one day - first for month.  Got some fresh goods, cat treats, milk, snacks, sour cream, crackers, eggs.  There were some holes in the store stock - but they were stocking.  Lots of skids in aisles with supplies.
  • Just doing all the normal things we all do - nothing exciting!
Meals this past week:
Chicken, cabbage steak & fresh veggies
Homemade Vegetable Lo-mein
Potato soup and olive loaf sandwich (both from freezer)
Leftover Lo-mein and fried cabbage
Grilled tuna patty/cheese sandwich, cuke/tomato salad
Meat spread with crackers and fresh veggies
Meat spread sandwich and chips
SNACKS - nuts, fruit and brownies
Homemade meat spread (bologna salad) - used a bit of this and that in it.  Sure was tasty (and simple) for a nice change.

How was your week?  Are you staying warm and safe?  Any bargains or deals?  Give us a shout out and let us all know what is going on in your corner of the world.  Let's help inspire each other.

I pray you all have a safe, healthy and lovely week.  Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 13:20

Lord, help us to know who to trust in this world.  Keep us from evil and those who present themselves as Your sheep but are truly wolves in sheep's clothing.  We are being pursued daily by the misguided.  Help us stay our path towards You and Your word.  AMEN

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Can't Find it at Store? Let's Make it!

 I keep hearing so many people talk about shortages at the store.  I have seen shelves low of some items - but most times, there is a pallet sitting there waiting to be unloaded.  Some have talked about certain things that they can't find week after week.
So I figured I would tackle a couple of those items today.  Both are easy to make at home, with no preservatives and added chemicals!!!!!

1 C powdered milk
2/3 C sugar (or substitute)
1/3 C boiling water
1 Tbsp. vanilla (or almond or your favorite)
2/3 C milk (or coconut milk or almond - whatever you like)
Combine first 4 ingredients in the bender and blended until mixed.  Add milk.  Refrigerate in an airtight bottle.

I guess it isn't the same as creamer - but never understood why people just didn't use milk, almond milk, coconut milk, half n half, dry milk, cream, whatever - if you can't find creamer!!!!!
It doesn't seem that difficult to me - but I am not a coffee drinker.

This is really so easy, and they are good.  Total process actually only takes about 30 minutes!

4 C all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 C unsalted butter (I use what I have)
1 1/3 C milk (or non-dairy)

Coarse salt
1 egg white and 1 Tbsp. water - whisked together

Mix flour and baking powder - cut in butter until you have coarse crumbs.  Add milk - knead into a ball.  Cut into 4 sections.  Roll each section on a floured surface.  The thinner the crisper.  Cut in squares or any shape you wish.  Poke each cracker with a fork a couple times.
Brush with egg white & water whisked together.  Sprinkle with salt. (you can add whatever salt you have or other toppers if desired). Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes.  Check after 10 minutes - they change quickly.  Want a nice golden color.
**Don't re-roll any scraps you have - as it really toughens up texture.  Just bake the scraps as is!!
Store in an airtight container.
You can always reheat if you need to crisp.  !!!You can do this with store bought crackers as well - heat for few minutes and it is like they are fresh and new!!!  I have done this many times.

So do not fret if you can't find something at the store.  Everything can be made at home!  
I love that we can make so many things without all the added garbage that store bought has in it.  Simple and yummy.

We all know about how to make cookies, cakes, brownies, etc. from scratch.  Soups are easy.  I have made lots of seasonings and seasoning mixes.  Dry 'cream of' soups.  There are so many things we can make.

Is there anything that you can't find that you need to know how to make at home?  Let's help each other out.  It is always nice to have an easy alternative.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

What are we Waiting For?

 I sometimes wonder what the heck are we waiting for?  So much of life is put on hold for what I am now seeing as 'stupid reasons'.  At least for me.
We put off using the good china or linen for a special occasion!  What is considered special?  
We put off calling or going to see someone for a better time!  When is that?
We put off buying that thing we want for another time!  When is the time right?

You get where I am coming from?  We put things off and then that day may not come or can't come.  We may not get the chance.  We may be gone.  Someone else may be gone.

We all do it.  We put things off.  THEN we often have regrets!!!!  I know I have.  Life is short - go for the gusto.  If you aren't hurting anyone else, LIVE like it may be your last.  You just never know.
Quit the b*tching and the belly aching.  Quit being so darn negative.  Quit being a Debbie Downer.  Quit saying - what if.  
Just go into each day with a positive attitude and a happy disposition.  Look at the good at things - not the negative.

Prices going up - well it happens.  Be glad you can prepare ahead.
Stock short in stores - be grateful for what you can get.
You run out of something - know you can substitute
You are aching and feeling bad - you have been given another day.  A GIFT
You are just barely getting by - some are not.  Some have no home, family or income

There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!!!!!!!  There is always a reason to just DO IT!

I absolutely love this!!!!
Such true words.  Stuff happens - it always has, it always will - just put on them big girl panties and get busy with being the best you can be!

Life waits for no one!  If you don't do it, love it, use it, enjoy it - no one else will.
All those things we save for special days - well, someday when we are gone, they will probably go into the big yard sale!  It happens.

Enjoy your things.  Enjoy your money.  Enjoy your family and friends.  ENJOY your life!!!!!!
STOP waiting - DO IT!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Sweet Slumber

 Oh, a good night sleep is nothing to scoff at.  The sweetness of slumber is a gift.  I have mentioned before that for most of my life, I have not slept straight through a night.  Never have, still don't, and probably never will.  I wake and look at the clock often.
A long time ago, I realized that I should eat nothing after about 6PM.  I drink nothing with sugar or caffeine.  
I have restless leg syndrome (RLS) and eating just tends to make it worse.  I have finally gotten that regulated pretty well.  I still have an occasional night where it is just crazy, and I get little sleep.

 Coogy is always so relaxed and comfy when sleeping.  I wish I could sleep as 'chilled' as he does!

I am finally used to my mattress, which I hated for ages.  It is pretty comfy to me now.  I used to sleep on the right side of the bed (near a window) - now I sleep on the left side (near door) and the side G used to sleep on.  
I commonly go to sleep laying on my right side.  Sometimes I wake and roll to my left side.
I have found that if I get a real chill, the best way to calm that feeling is to lay on my back.  That is the largest presence I can make on the mattress - thus any heat loss is radiated back by the mattress.  It seems to work for me.  I do love to lay on my stomach - but don't very often.  I generally get a neck ache - so it just isn't worth that.

MORNINGS - Let me say this is MY time!  I wake early and lay there for a while before getting up.  Early mornings are my BLISS!  I am the most comfortable and relaxed that I am all night.  The bed and especially the covers seem to be molded around me.  I could go back to sleep so quickly.  I am just at peace and totally relaxed in the half hour or so before I get up.  I never feel that relaxed at any other time.  I love this time each day.
I am totally relaxed, and I commune with God.  My perfect time.

THEN I get up and get myself together and go out in the frigid temps to feed the cats.  I am usually out there for a half hour or so every morning.  WAKE-UP!!!
I wait till they are done, and bring the food bowls back in.  It is dark and racoons and opossums are likely to still be roaming around, and I want nothing that smells of food out there in the greenhouse to entice them into the kitty's domain.
This happens 365 days a year!  Not so bad when it's warm!!!!

In the evenings when I watch TV, it is from the bedroom.  I record most everything I want to watch ahead of time.  It is a good thing, as if it is something I REALLY want to see, I will usually fall asleep watching it!  LOL!!  I may have to 'watch' something at least part way - 3 or 4 times to see the whole show!! (I also hate commercials and can avoid them)
So, watching a show I am really interested in or early mornings - are my best sleep times.

My sweet slumber time is each morning!  I just love the restful feeling I have each early morning.  I could go back to sleep so easily, but I can't.  My 'children' await their breakfast!  So, I arise and take care of my babies.  I am glad to do it for them.

I remember G would turn over and BOOM, he was asleep instantly.  He slept till morning.  He used to tell me he slept "the sleep of the innocent"!  He would tease me about that when I couldn't sleep!!  LOL

Do you have a special time when you are the most relaxed?  A special thing or routine that helps you sleep? 
Do you nap?  I take one once in a while.
I wish I could bottle my morning time feeling for the whole night.

NEVER disregard a good night's sleep!!!!!!  It is priceless!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/6

 Happy Sunday all.  Boy, this week went by quickly.  It has been quite a week for many.  I hope you are all warm, safe and healthy.
I went from warm temps to zero in a few days.  We started out Wednesday in the 50's and ended it with an ice storm and snow starting!  Things sure can change quickly.
I ended up with about 10" of snow and lots of drifting, all on top of ice.  

Friday, I got the day started as normal and then went out to shovel.  Came in and discovered I had NO water.  Hmmmm - I checked the bathroom - same.  I went downstairs to make sure nothing had frozen - all OK.  I did see a gas truck go by with its lights flashing when I was shoveling.  All of a sudden, neighbors started calling "do you have water?"  "What are we going to do?"  Really people??
I had brought up several jugs of water from basement to use for flushing if necessary or to wash hands.  I also have plenty of wet wipes.  I just stayed calm and figured it would all work out.

My neighbors were freaking out!!!!  I asked each one if they had looked outside.  Well, yes.  Do you see all that snow?  Yes.  Well go out and get some and melt it!  Use that to flush or whatever.  This will not last forever!!!!  "Oooohhhhh - I never thought of that".  Oh my goodness!!!!!

I guess the gas crew hit the water main and it broke.  They had it fixed in just a few short hours.  We ALL survived!  LOL!!  I just had to laugh at all these grown adults panicking.  No one just stopped to think for a minute.  Such is life today!
A 5* morning and yet that bright orb was rising in the sky, giving us hope and beauty on a frigid day.  It never fails us.  The sunrises have been so pretty.

The kitties sure do not like the snow!  Where does one go potty Mom?  They do not get the concept of a litter box (just used to outdoors).  So Mom shovels pathways and spots!!  Mommy cat has used her special spots and Fluff likes to follow a path and go under the shed.  Blackie has been coming up from and using a spot in the flower bed or under the ramp.  They are so funny.  They have their heated beds, and the greenhouse has been much warmer than outdoors - so they are doing good!

My week:
  • I mentioned earlier, that I went to Lowe's for a few things.  I got a new heater for greenhouse (2), a new long handled ice scraper (keeping in the house), extension cord, batteries, etc.
  • On the warmest day - I cleaned and scrubbed all the water bowls for animals
  • While out - I stopped at the bank drive through and cashed a check I received back in Dec.   I hadn't been that direction until this week.
  • I cleaned up limbs and sticks out back.  The squirrels have been nuts attempting to rebuild or build nests.  They had the yard (under the trees) covered with limbs they had removed and dropped!  My trash bin was half full of them.  They have also torn open a cushion that I leave out on a chair (Blackie likes to lay there in the sun) and have been pulling out all the stuffing.  They are a hoot to watch.  So industrious!!!!!!
  • I refilled all the feed bins with stock I had on hand.  Feeders were all filled
  • I follow a neighbor on Wed. to the car shop.  He had to drop car off for repairs, so I brought him back.
  • I have shoveled, shoveled, and shoveled!  Then I ate and ate and ate!  That shoveling makes one hungry!!!!  LOL - have spent a lot of 2 days shoveling
  • I made a nice big pot of chili - several meals and froze balance
  • Made a batch of drop biscuits
  • Yesterday, I went out and cleaned ice and snow (as much as possible) off the greenhouse
  • I have been doing all the normal things - laundry, cleaning, cooking, using what I have
  • Nothing spent on groceries this week - did not even attemot to go
Meals this week:
Chicken and dumplings and green beans
Sausage gravy over biscuits
Red beans/rice with meat, biscuit and salad
Chili with crackers/butter
Chili with biscuit
Cheesy, tuna, broccoli mac and salad
Chili, cheese and ranch baked potato
SNACKS:  Banana milkshake, fruit, nuts, leftover beans & rice and cereal

How has your week been?  Did you get bad weather?  Have you managed to get all dug out?  Did you find any good deals this week?  Hope you are all well!!!!
I pray that each of you are safe, warm and healthy.  I hope your upcoming week is lovely and blessed.  Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

                                                              Something to ponder!  Amen! 

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.  To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Proverbs 21:2-3

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Brighter Days Ahead

 The ho-hums of winter!  UGH.  Many get the winter blues - January was good for that.  The holiday hub-bub ends, and it is just gloomy and cloudy and cold.  Now millions are dealing with the ick of snow and ice and cold.  I guess our HUGE comfort is - this too shall come to an end.  Brighter days are ahead!  We can do this.  In a blink of an eye, the wonders of Spring will be upon us.

A poem:

After the Winter...God Sends the Spring
Springtime is a season
Of Hope and Joy and Cheer,
There's beauty all around us
To see and touch and hear....
So, no matter how downhearted
And discouraged we may be,
New Hope is born when we behold
Leaves budding on a tree....
Or we see a timid flower
Push through the frozen sod
And open wide in glad surprise
Its petaled eyes to God....
For this is just God saying ---
"Lift your eyes to Me,
And the bleakness of your spirit,
Like the budding springtime tree,
Will lose its wintery darkness
And your heart will sing" ---
For God never sends the Winter
Without the Joy of Spring.
Helen Stiener Rice

Do not despair - all gets better.  It just takes time.  
I know many have depression, and this can be a bad time of the year.  If you know someone who is especially suffering, please reach out to them in some small way.  Small actions can mean the world.

If you are experiencing the 'winter blahs' - try to do something to put yourself in a better place.  
Read the seed catalogs, listen to music, buy a bouquet of flowers at the grocery, change up your home decor to springy looking items, paint something, clean something, plan your garden.  Just do something!
I like to turn up the oldies music and DANCE!  No one sees me, it is good exercise, and it lifts my mood!!

So, stay safe and stay warm and KNOW that brighter days are ahead.  Heck, as much as I do not like winter - even it IS beautiful!  We just need to look at things differently.
In a few weeks, and it will be spring again.  God never fails us - He always gives us the beauty after the blah.

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Couple Fun Charts and Ideas

 FIRST - I just want to remind everyone in this winter storm path - to be mindful of your vents!!!  IF your furnace vents out the side of your house instead of a chimney (my furnace does) or if you have a dryer vent at the side of house - MAKE SURE they are clear of any snow!!!!!!!!  This is so, so important and could save lives!  KEEP the VENTS CLEAR!

Now on to fun charts.  I mentioned before that I bought an air fryer at a yard sale last summer (I think).  I paid $10 for a brand new one that someone was gifted and didn't want.  I figured it was worth $10 to try - if I didn't like it, I would give it to someone or donate it.
Surprisingly I really like it.  Is sure makes for crispy chicken and fish.  Great fries.  That is about as far as I have ventured!!!  LOL
Well, I came across a chart that shows all kinds of things it can be used for.  My book doesn't tell most of these.  So I need to get busy and try some new things.  
I just like that I don't have a greasy mess to clean up and I don't have to turn on the big old oven unless I want to.

CLICK ON THIS PICTURE to enlarge print to read.  It gives both F and C on temps and cooking times.  SO many neat things to fix!

Here is another fun and interesting comparison.  I knew there were some difference - but didn't know exactly what.  I usually use butter or oil in my baking.

                                                 Which one you use changes cookies as well. 

Being the oddball I am - I always use 'olive' oil in my brownies.  I get lots of raves about them.  They are always moist, and they taste like high end bakery brownies to me.  I have had people ask, "what is your secret" and look at me like I am crazy when I tell them!  

You have any special ingredients you use that are different?  How about air fryers - what all do you all make in yours?
I need ideas for the fryer!

LOL - here we go talking about food again!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Are You Ready???

 Hello February - I guess it must think it is March.  Coming in like a lion??  Well, yippy-ky-ay (she says very sarcastically)!!!  UGH.
OK, Cheryl quit the belly aching!  My area of the country has seen little nasty weather this year.  Think about an inch of snow TOTAL!  It is time, I guess.
January started and ended with decent temps.  We are to get to at least 50* today - then oopsy, it all goes south.

Much of the country is going to be hit at some point this week.  It looks like a huge weather front coming from the north (we really don't appreciate that Canada)!  LOL
We will be fine till mid-afternoon on Wednesday.  We have rain coming in tonight and it will rain till mid-day tomorrow - then a mix then snow.  Saying 6"- 10" here. 😭😢

Well, that being said - I am as ready as can be.  I had no need whatsoever to go to the grocery.  NOPE I didn't have to fight all the crazies out there!  I need nothing that badly!  I keep seeing posts of "oh our shelves are empty", "the lines are through the store" - REALLY?  that surprises you?  I just shake my head.  Of course they are out of goods and of course the lines are long.  People act like they won't be able to get out and about for a month!!!  I just have to laugh.  I do believe we will survive a couple days.  If we run out of something - we will surely get by for a few days!  
Weather events bring out panic and hoarding at its worst!!!!

Now that being said - I did go to Lowes to get a couple things.  I heat the small greenhouse for the cats and the heater I have is 10+ years old.  I went to get a new one (well 2).  I want to be prepared for them, as we have some zero-degree weather coming in for a few nights.  I now have alternates should a heater fail. 
I also got a 50' heavy duty weather appropriate extension cord.  The house will have power, should the power go down (w/generator).  The garage is not attached to the geni - therefore the greenhouse would not have power (it is all plugged into garage).  I have an outside outlet (for when geni is on) so I can run a cord and plug in the house.  I worry more about the kitties than myself.

I have my shovel out now, my boots are out and ready.  I have my ice melt at the ready (in the house), I also have a car window scraper in the house.  Later today I will rubber band a plastic bag over the handle/lock of the garage to keep it from icing.  I plan on filling all the feeders up today.
I always have food and pet supplies on hand.
I almost feel guilty that we have had no bad weather as of yet (not really!) as many have already had so much snow and yuck.

THIS is one of the reasons we prepare.  No need to go out and fight with the crazy crowds.  Just do what is necessary around the house and be prepared for what nature blows our way.

My former neighbors (from about 5 yrs. ago) contacted me this morning to see if I need anything.  They said they would get it and bring it by.  How sweet is that!!!!!!!

Life happens - all our worry will change nothing.  It IS winter!  Being prepared is always good - worry accomplishes nothing.
So be prepared - and have all the items you will need close at hand.  Stay warm and safe and most importantly STAY HOME!!!!!!
If at all possible - please stay off the roads.