Thursday, April 28, 2022

Stocking - It Isn't a New Thing!

 People have been keeping pantries for centuries!  It isn't new.  I keep seeing posts about "how do I do this?"  "where do I start?".  It truly boggles my little brain.  I guess being raised the way I was, I just always thought everyone made sure there was ample supplies to take care of the family for longer than a few days.
I always thought KEEPING  a deep pantry was normal behavior.
I know many don't have funds for big shops.  I know many don't have tons of room.  I know many are just getting by.  BUT getting even a couple extra cans a week, or storing under the bed, or utilizing food pantries for extra - just seems normal and makes sense to me.

People have used cellars, cold storage and deep pantries for ages.  Ladies dried many goods to keep them - including smoking meat.  They used nature at every opportunity, as many had no money.  Men fished and hunted.  Folks foraged for berries, greens, nuts, grains - whatever they could find.  The creek was the water source in many instances.

I wonder WHY people think today is special!!!!  Yes there are some empty shelves, yes there world tensions, yes there have been much higher prices----- but this has all happened before.  Over and over.
There have been many wars.  There have been many, many recessions.  There has been the great depression.  There has been drought, floods, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes and pestilence.  There has always been feast of famine.
If you don't know that - then you have never read the Bible or a history book!

Farmers have had problems forever.  Some years are great, others have been a bust.  I keep hearing about the govt. pays farmers not to grow.  Well, that started in the 30's.  There was such a glut of crops being harvested, that it made the prices drop.  The govt. stepped in to stop that.  Being prolific obviously was not good for retail!
We have had mad cow disease and avian flue many times.  It is a cycle that happens.  
Fires - everyone thinks there is some huge conspiracy happening.  Think about it.  There 10's of thousands of plants in the U.S. alone.  If you do a little research, you will see that there are over 1,000 plant fires in U.S. each year!  Nothing new.
Gas prices are up.  OH MY GOODNESS - this has surely happened before.  I remember gas shortages and high prices in the 70's.  You had a lottery on what days to buy gas - could wait in line for hours and then get none.  Yep!

I remember the panic in the 80's with the market crash.  Y2K had people going nuts.  2008 was a big recession.  70's energy crisis.  2012 was supposed to be the end of the world according to the Myan calendar.  C19 happened and caused people to go nuts.
Hoarding and panic caused a lot of the shortages and still is.  Lack of people working due to many plants closing and laying people off (due to threat of illness) caused some shortages.  Greed caused a lot of the higher prices.  Governments in all their crazy 'wisdom/decisions' (she says sarcastically) has caused a ton of problems.
Stuff happens - it always has.

                                                                 Starts with you.....
If you read this chart - you will see that there had to be a lot of planning, preparedness, and good old common sense for you to even be here today!!!!!!!!  Our ancestors got through a ton of trials and tribulations in 12 generations or more - because here we are.  Dang it - if they all did it - I think we can too!!!!!!

We all need to encourage each other and support each other - don't spread misinformation and don't spread PANIC!  Don't spread conspiracies - just because you believe something, doesn't make it true.  There is research out there, that shows what our history has been - and well, we all know history usually repeats itself.

YES, prepare your pantries and your lauders.  Plant and grow what you can.  Learn to glean and forage. Have a plan.  You need to take care of yourself and your family.  You need to be prepared for ANY emergency - it can be anything.  Make sure you have supplies for more than few days.  Most stores will run out within days if there is a huge crisis in the country.  You need to take care of you - no one else will.

STOP being afraid and spreading fear.  STOP letting Satan discourage you.  That is exactly what happens when you fret and fear.  God gave us all we need on this earth and he gave us a mind to THINK and to help ourselves.  Have faith and go forward with confidence.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;  fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger and forsake wrath!  Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.  For the wicked shall be cut off; but those who wait for the Lord shall possess the land.
Psalms 37:7-8

Keep stocking - don't panic.
We have this - if you want to spread something - let it be hope and encouragement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Midweek Affirmations - Blessings

 I woke this morning with the notion that I needed to change the post I had written.  I just have a feeling someone needs to be lifted up.  I know many here are going through a lot.  Illness, family worries, life happenings, and sadness in general.
We are here for one another.  I hope each and every one of you have a blessed day and week.

I think each of these are self-explanatory.  We need to realize that we can only control so much and then we have to turn it all over to a higher power.  
Life needs to be enjoyed, loved and lived each day.  We are ALL guilty of spending days doing nothing or feeling sorry for ourselves.  Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder that there is so much more than US!  Life is beautiful and it is grand.

I pray you each get a lift today and that you go through the remainder of the week with a happy heart.
Be kind, be happy, be joyful.  God loves you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Doing a Little for Our Part

 Hello all.  I didn't do a special post on Earth Day this year, as I always do.  I actually consider everyday earth day.  We should do our part each and every day to make this world a little better.  Our environment is so affected by us in so many ways.  We over use, over populate, over trash, and sometimes, we under care!
We can all do a lot of little things that will add up and help.  No - it may do a lot for you - BUT if we all do things - it will do a LOT for the globe.
Being mindful is so very important.

  • Do more recycling - try to recycle or reuse all that you can
  • Use more reusables - cloth grocery bags.  Your own drink bottles or cups.  Water jugs for frig.  Filter and use your own water.  Grow whatever you can grow.  Rework things into new things  Just reuse whatever you possibly can
  • Pick up trash where eve you are.  If taking a walk - pick-up any trash you see.  If hiking pick up trash you see.  Go to the park - pick up trash.  Walking through a parking lot - pick up trash.  So many people are so inconsiderate by just dropping things or throwing things out a window - DON'T be that person.  HELP instead.
  • Second hand shopping on all things that you can.  It keeps items out of landfills, it recycles, and you save money
  • In your yard - plant food if at all possible.  Any small things helps.  You can plants root crops and lettuce in flowers beds and no one would know (some places frown on food growing! - Grrrr).  Plant flowers that bring in bees - they are so beneficial to all growing things.  Flowers also attract butterflies!  Never use chemical weed killers.  Chemicals get into our ground and it poisons more that just weeds - beneficial insects, pets, food, etc.
  • Collect rain water if you are allowed or if at all possible.  It is far better for your plants than tap water.  No rain barrel?  Place a bucket or a tote at the bottom of a rain spout.  It all adds up.
  • Think of starting a community garden.  Find an empty lot and plant with the community or neighbors and tend it and all use it. (with landowner permission).
  • Start an area clean-up crew for a weekend or a day.  It is great to get out at least once a month and do a good clean-up - plus it is good exercise
  • Use less paper, plastic, tin, etc.  Take your own container if possible when buying bulk or fruits and veggies.  You can make produce bags out of net or lace - keep those mesh bags you get at the store and reuse.  Use cloth grocery bags.  Visit farm markets and take your own bags.  Buy items in glass if at all possible and then reuse those containers for your storage.
  • Be outside more - fresh air and sunshine are your friends.
  • Talk to others and help them to love the environment.  You can have a simple conversation that is informative - sometimes people overlook simple things they can do.
  • Learn to barter, forage and glean if at all possible.  Helping each other and trading or gleaning from the land - saves additional items from being made into trash or maybe from being wasted.
  • Compost what you can.  Even if you can't have a compost pile - you can use egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, banana peels, etc. in your garden or flower beds - natural fertilizer!!!!!!  Any peels or scraps can be blended and added to water to use around plants.  Keep your scraps in an old ice cream bucket or any closed container until using.
  • Look into using more natural herbs and tinctures for medicinal purposes.  Homeopathic medicine can be very beneficial - all I use.  God has put all things on this earth to benefit us.  Do your research. (Not professing stopping meds you need and are currently using without medical advice).  Just do your own research.  
  • Look at nature for food and ingredients.  Dandelions, wild violets, lavender, redbuds, peonies, roses, honeysuckle, clover, edible 'weeds', wild onions or garlic, seeds, nuts, wild grapes, mushrooms, crab apples, young Hosta shoots.................  the list goes on and on.  I will do a post of edible/useful weeds soon.
Gosh, there is just so much we can all do.  Every little thing you  do helps in some way.  Individually we may not make a huge difference - but collectively we can.  We have one earth - that is it.  We need to take care of the resources we have and use what nature provides.  We need to quit polluting and trashing this beautiful planet.

God has provided us with this earth - we owe Him the respect of taking care of it.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 4/24

 Hello everyone.  Hope you are all well and have had a good week.
We started the week with snow - and ended with 85* yesterday!!!  Craziness.  Storms coming through this evening and then cooling again for the week.  No snow predicted just cooler temps.

I did go out and do some yard work on the days that were dry and a little warmer.  We haven't had too many dry days or days that the wind isn't trying to take us to Oz!  I have a muscle that keeps spasming in my lower back now.  Boy, am I out of shape.  Need some nice weather for days on end - so I don't have to try to get it all done in a day or two!!!!!
                                        My sweety is always with me - I feel him every day.

I went to my gr. gr. nieces first birthday party yesterday.  It was nice to be with family and to celebrate that sweet peas special day.  I needed it.  Yesterday was also the 3rd anniversary of Glen departing this earth for his eternity in heaven.  He would have wanted me celebrating life!
Tuesday was actually 3 years to the day - Tuesday after Easter.  I woke at 5:00AM to the smell of his cologne!  It was very distinct.  It lasted about a half hour and then was gone.  Just one of those little things that happens every now and then.

       Auntie and Layla!  My goodness that girl is a chunk.  She is such a happy and sweet girl.

My week:
  • Made a turkey breast tenderloin that gave me several meals and then froze the balance
  • Made a cheesecake with items I had on hand
  • Tons of laundry
  • Made a feed store run for corn, peanuts, and sunflower seeds for squirrels
  • Ran across the street from feed store to super Kroger.  Used my $10 off coupon I was gifted.  Got 'of course' cat food, bananas and salad items
  • Did a bunch of pulling, cutting and cleaning out back in beds
  • Not using lights to speak of.  Daylight hours are such, that I hardly ever turn on a light now
  • Got to turn off furnace for a good 3 days - so far.  Windows open and airing house
  • Using what I have and cooking from scratch
  • Doing all the normal things
Meals this past week:
Turkey breast and mac n cheese
Turkey tator tot casserole
Alice Springs turkey and fries
Homemade pizza
Pizza and salad
Fish, baby lima beans and fresh veggies
Egg sandwich at home - Mexican buffet at party
Snacks:  cheesecake, fruit

I hope you are getting into the swing of spring.  Hoping the weather is cooperating.  I am making lots of plans of things to do - no gardening yet or for a bit.  Did you get any deals this week?  What have you been up to?
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

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, please guide us and help us to make the best of every moment on this earth.  Help us to appreciate and be grateful.  Help us to rid our minds of fear and live in love and hope.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Those of a Certain Age - Just for Laughs

 Today is for those of us that have become a certain age and have very similar memories.  Just to make you laugh a little and I guarantee you SEVERAL will be singing oldies today!!!!!!

                                           We have to stick together and support each other.

This is just about right.  I love it.  Click on picture to enlarge so you can read it better.  Guarantee someone will be singing at least one of these today!!!!!!!

                                                     Yep, yep and yep!!!!!!!  Such is life.

Sometimes the good old rock n roll says it the way it is!  The Stones seemed to get this phrase right.  True words for sure!!!!!!!!

We all get so serious in life today.  We need to laugh more.  We need to lighten up a bit.
I thought most of these were absolutely true and yet so very funny.  Hey, if we can't laugh at ourselves - something is wrong.

Live, Laugh, Sing, Dance and Have a Little Fun!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Getting Creative - Using what I have

 Just a couple items today.  This weekend I had a craving for cheesecake.  I didn't need cheesecake - but it sure sounded like a treat.  I wanted it to be a little different.  I always top with fruit - so predictable!  LOL!
So I got to looking around and going through my stock and I had a brainstorm (for me).  Use some pudding!
So I found an instant pudding mix from clearance I had stuck back in my storage.  It has been here a while.  I had everything else for a no-bake cheesecake.
I mixed the pudding with 1 cup of cold milk (instead of 2 as directed).  Then I blended it with my cream cheese and Cool Whip and a tiny bit of sugar.

I ended up with what I call a Dreamsicle cheesecake.  (it really did taste like that!)  It was darn tasty.  Gave half to the neighbor.   My neighbor loved it.
Sorry I didn't take a picture of the dessert before eating it!
You could use any kind of pudding mix and have a tasty new concoction all the time!!!!!  I am thinking pistachio or dark chocolate next time!

 I cooked one of those clearance turkey breast tenderloins I got a while back.  I ate Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and will have again today and then froze enough for at least one more meal.  That would make it about .70 per meal for meat.  Not too snaggy.
Monday I made my own version of Tator Tot casserole.

Chopped up some turkey
1 - older can (drained) of mixed veggies - had for a while
equivalent to about 1 C of condensed cream of soup
Mixed together and placed in a pan.
Topped with potato rounds (I found when cleaning the freezer) - baked according to time for 'rounds' and then topped with some shredded cheese and stuck back in the warm oven for a few minutes.  YUM!
You could use hash browns, fries, tots, whatever you have.
                                                               I used an 8" round pan.

I also on Tuesday made 'Alice Springs' turkey - instead of chicken. Like you get at Outback Restaurant - my favorite thing I have ever had there.  Sauteed up mushrooms (from freezer), added slices of turkey and covered in Swiss cheese until melted.  Mmmmm, Mmmmmm - good!

OK - here is my last item.  NOT food.
I saw an ad on FB for long garden sleeves - to protect you from poison, briars, whatever.  Now granted you can purchase them in designs (looks like a tattoo when on) - but I have been making my own for years!
22.99!!!!!!!!!!!  Yikes

Mine were the cost of a used pair of socks!!!!!  LOL
I have used old tube socks or baseball socks (very stretchy) - cut the toe area out and you are good to go.  I usually cut mine about at the heel - so they go from wrist all the way up the arm.  Have saved me tons of NOT getting poison ivy and cut by briars.

Here is one of my version.  I have a ton of socks from G - he always wore the long ones - so I have made good use of them.  He is still protecting me!!  You could use women's knee socks as well.

So fear not - you can come up with anything to get creative and save a buck or two!
Why spend good money on stuff we have right at our finger tips?
A little creativity is all it takes.
Have a great day!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Your Frugal Journey - How did you start?

 We all have a story to tell.  Our frugal journeys happened at various times and for various reasons.  We all did things differently.  There is no perfect way or time to start.  I know mine started early - then went off track - then got back in line.  

I learned to cook, sew, garden, can, mend, launder, and work hard to have what I wanted early on as a child.  We all worked around the house doing things.  We knew not to waste.  Whenever there was something special that I 'WANTED' - I worked and saved for it.  I wanted contacts as a teen and my parents said there was no way they were buying them for me.  I saved and bought them myself!  I bought my first car.  I bought some 'special' clothes that I wanted.  I learned a good work ethic early.

I got married and got off track there.  My ex's family spent money like crazy and it became a bad habit - leaving us full of debt (and no happier).  After leaving that situation - I started getting back in the right frame of mind.  Luckily, I found a partner in life that agreed me.  We both worked very hard to pay off any and all debt, to save and to prepare for the future.
I learned new things and new ways from others as well.  I would say my first BIG boost came from the newsletters of The Tightwad Gazette.  I saw Amy on TV and ordered her newsletters and then ended up with her books.  I would read them front to back over and over.
I know today many of the things are out of date - but the basic ideas are still fantastic.  I got all 3 books at yard sales for next to nothing - then  I found the complete book years later at a sale. (I do believe the complete has a few things the others don't).  I still have all those newsletters too!!!
She truly motivated me to get creative.
Notice all the post-it notes sticking out.  These are well marked up and worn from years of use.
These books gave me lots of ideas.  This is when I started watering just about EVERYTHING down.  It is where I got my Rice A Roni recipe and my cream of soup recipe.  So many tricks and tips and ideas.
I still go through these books every year at some point, just to get myself motivated again.

I have read others and there are a ton of books out there.  I used to consume everything I could find (cheaply) on living the frugal life.  When I started working hard on this journey - there was no computer and internet at my house.  When I did get a computer - it was dial up internet!!!!  So needless to say, the world didn't have as much info available as it does today.  I READ!!!!

This is a great cookbook with lots of good tips included.  Simple and easy recipes.  I got all the Living on a Dime books back in the day - got a deal for 3 or 4 books.  It was another source of great tips back then.

I have read so many people.  I love Gooseberry Patch books - but those things are expensive.  I think I have gotten most of mine at thrift stores and yard sales.  Books on the Amish are always good sources. I have read books from the Ultimate Cheapskate, the Twins, Amy D, Mary Hunt - you name it.  There are many out there.

Now I don't do everything they say - as some of the suggestions are pretty far out there!  I don't necessarily believe everything I read.  I take what works for me and leave the rest.  No one person has all the answers.
That is why I do not follow many You Tubers.  They are just plain old folks like you and I who are offering up ideas.  They have no "insider" info - they are just offering opinions  - and we all know what they say about those!!!!   Some (many) of the ideas are based on fear and panic.  That is NO way to learn anything.  

If you are still on the plan to learn (as we should all be) then read good quality info that is not inspired by fear and drama.  Follow and read those who are level headed and calm.  Nothing can be achieved over night.  It truly is a life process.

We should all continue to learn.  Each day we should learn something!  Take in the info that is good for you and your family and use it.  You can adjust it to fit your family.  NO ONE has all the answers and NO ONE knows everything.  You need to grab bits and pieces here and there.

Tell us how your journey started.  Was it a goal?  Was it getting out of debt?  Was it a necessity?  
I love hearing how people got started on the frugal journey and who/what motivated you.
I think we all learn from each other on here - so lets make today another learning opportunity!
Look forward to hearing from you all.
Be blessed!!!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 4/17


Good morning and wishing you all a special Easter Day.
I am staying home and having a quiet day today.  I will see some family next weekend.  It is a glorious sunny (but cold) morning.  
We had the gamut of weather again this past week.  We had storms, tons of wind, cold, and even a warm day or two!  Maybe flurries in the morning and predictions of 80* by end of week!

The bright yellow finches are back at the feeders.  Dandelions and wild violets are popping up!  The trees are starting to leaf out.  Looking out, I can see so many shades of green and copper and bronze on the horizon - the trees will all be leafed out in another week or so.
Daylight hours have sure lengthened.  I no longer need a flashlight when I go out to feed the kitties in the morning and it isn't really dark 'dark' until about 8:45 - 9:00 PM.

My week:
  • I got to do some yard work - did some trimming and cutting.
  • I fixed my dead bolt lock on the inside front door and the one on the security door.  Both had gotten so incredibly hard to unlock (for too long).  I took off the knobs and took apart the locks and cleaned and greased - and they work wonderfully now.
  • I did FINALLY get the taxes done!  I owed the state about $65, and the federal govt. wants to give me money!!!!  Not sure why - but I will take it.
  • I did get to air the house quite a bit this week.  Actually had 2 full days of no heat whatsoever.
  • Picked 2 different bouquets (above is 1).  Love the spring flowers
  • Did a walk one day and picked up trash from all the crazy winds we have had
  • Have the bottom end of a store bought romaine lettuce rooting in water
  • The tax gal gave me a coupon for $10 off at Kroger if used by 4/25
  • Cleaned up and out a lot of paperwork
  • Cut my hair and did a root touch-up
  • Went through the big freezer and I have more than I thought.  So much variety and plenty of meat  feeling very blessed
  • Cut and trimmed the entire yard
  • NO GROCERY shopping.  I kept talking myself out of it.  I have no need to go - so just staying home.
  • Using what I have and using all leftovers in new ways.
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do.
Meals this past week:
French bread pizza (leftover)
Pork chops and salad
Taco salad
Mexican Rice bowl (used leftover taco meat/beans - added some corn)
Cheese burger and green beans & corn
Dirty rice (with chopped summer sausage in it) and leftover green beans and corn
Dirty rice 'burgers'/patties, chips and pickles

I used the leftover dirty rice/meat and added egg and bread crumbs and made patties and fried!  Used on a sandwich - really tasty.  I have some in the freezer for another day as well!

How was your week?  Did you get a lot done?  Any deals?  Give us a shout out and tell us what is going on in your area.
I hope you all have a wonderful upcoming week and stay safe and healthy.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Thank You for the greatest gift and blessing the people of earth could ever receive.  May we each and all try to be worthy of the love You show for each of us.  Amen

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Having Fun - Throw Back Day!!

 Yesterday was a nasty wet, windy and gray day.  Instead of doing all the things I should have been doing, I sat and looked at old pictures.  It sure got me to thinking back to the 'good old days'!  SO many memories - so many people gone - so many fun times.  Then I got to thinking about things that I remembered from back in the day that you just don't hear about today.

ENJOY the trip back in time!

Remember when you could color coordinate your TP to your bathroom???  Florals and pretty colors.

Oh my gosh!!!!!  You have to admit this screams "Green Acres is the place to be....."!!!!!  My daddy the farmer, skinny old geeky me, mom is her dress (always) and my pretty sis (our Zsa Zsa - LOL) - all big haired up!
My outfit (had shorts underneath) and of course mom's dress were homemade.  Oh my -what a snapshot of our life.  I laugh every time I see this picture!  This was our life!!!!!!
I am the only one left from this pic.

Junior year - all dressed up for a dance.  I made that dress and was so very proud of it.  That is the ONE thing from back then that I still have!!!!  No way it would fit (not even close) but I just loved it.
Gosh short dresses and long legs!  No lack of either - LOL!

Hula hoops
Chatty Cathy
Hot pants and go-go boots
Transistor radios
Troll dolls
Fish fries at the school
Huge backyard family picnics
No such thing as charge cards!

Easter outfit.  Oh my, hats and gloves - we all did that!  My pretty homemade dress and I had a lavender linen homemade coat that went with it.  I think this was my first year for nylons!!!  I was a walking Easter egg!!!!  I think I was about 12 in this pic.

This is my maternal grandpa - taken at the Soldier and Sailor's Monument (what we call the Circle).  This was taken before I was even born.  Grandpa passed with I was under 2 and he was retired by then.  The monument is still here and the actual center of our city!  What a dapper looking fellow!

3 channel black & white TV
.35/gallon gas
Lincoln Logs
Fishnet stockings and platform shoes
Pick Up Stix
New cars for under $5,000
Paint by number sets

I had more fun with paper dolls.  Those were so popular.  Then along came Barbie, Ken, Midge and Skipper!!!!!

Gosh, we played simple.  Slides, swings, hide n seek, red rover, bicycles, etc.  
We lived simple - gardens, sewing, making our own entertainment - very seldom watched TV (we didn't have one till I was like 6), doors unlocked and never had a worry, much front porch sitting, Sunday school and Sunday family dinners.
We worked hard.  Push mowers (not gas), gardened, canned, sewed, wringer washer and line dried laundry.
For me - these were good days - hard yes - but good and what seemed SIMPLE.
I miss those times.  Thank goodness for memories. 

Life sure has flown by and things sure have changed.  Thanks for coming along on my little walk in the past!  Hope it brings to mind some fun memories for you as well!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Just Some Thoughts

 Here we are again midway through the week.  I have been doing some thinking and I know it may be repetitive, but I am going to chat a little about living a good and simple life.
I used to watch several You Tube channels - and have pretty much stopped all but one or two.  They are just all so fear and panic driven.  They give these titles that reel you in - there is a reason for that!  MONEY!  The more people that fall for those titles and check in the more money they make.  They are just regular folks like you and I.  Not experts in any way - yet people think their word is gospel.  I don't get it.  So, I quit watching.  I don't need that negativity.

We have enough garbage in our lives, we sure don't need to go hunting for it.  I know, many think I am not aware.  They think I simplify things too much.  They think I am a Pollyanna of sorts.  They think I have my head in the sand.  NO!  NO!
I just am not going to get all worked up and panic about the situations of the world.  It doesn't do a damn bit of good!!!!!!  
I will continue to work on my pantry and my home slow and steady as always.  I will continue to live the simple life.  I will continue to pray.  I will continue to live.  I just will NOT panic and live in fear.
God is in control and I give it all to Him.  I do my part, and then turn the rest over to God.


We have always had abundance and little.  Feast and famine.   That is the way of life.  We have war and peace.  We have good leaders and bad.  We recessions, depressions, high prices, and good times.  There is life and death (death is part of life).  Health and disease.  Hope and despair.
It always gets better.  Sure, it sucks going through the bad times - but it happens to every generation.  Hopefully we all learn from those bad times.  

I have chosen to live simply, so as not to be too affected by the LACK OF....!  No big bling, no fancy house, no fancy lifestyle.  Just honest, humble and simple living.
I do not judge anyone for what they have or don't have.  BUT that being said, I will not feel too sorry for those living way over their means when things go down the tube.  
Just because yesterday was bountiful and full, doesn't mean tomorrow will be.  We all need to plan and prepare.  It can all go to s**t in a second.

Same old advice - pay off what you can as soon as you can.  Don't live over your means.  Down size if at all possible.  Live simply.  No unnecessary buying/spending.  Adjust your habits.  Learn new ways.  
Yep, we usually get in our own way and that throws a wrench into things.

Life is good - it really is.  Do not panic.  Stay calm.  Most of all, be prayerful!
Know just how blessed you truly are.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

TIPSy Tuesday!

 Howdy everyone.  A couple of tips today.  Just things that I have figured out and do to make life a little easier.  I hope they give someone an idea they can use!

I like parchment paper for some baked goods.  I have a huge roll (Sam's Club) from years ago.  I am always having to measure and tear the correct size.  It seems it always too big and I waste some.  The other day I was going through the pantry and found something I forgot I had!  (imagine that).  I had made a purchase long ago on sale and with a coupon - now I am finally using it!!!
Parchment sheets:
Now I know I had to have gotten a deal or I would not have purchased.  But once I opened it, well let's say my mind got busy!
Each sheet is folded into quarters.  Just being me, nothing I fix is really enough to use the whole sheet.  I can tear in half - lengthwise or across.  Generally one quarter sheet is enough for what I am baking.  So I can get between 70 - 140 uses from a box of 35 sheets!!!!  That is a deal if you don't want to keep a big roll around or is there is only one or two in your home!

Here's another thing I do!  I have these little flashlights every where!  Yes, I do.  I have one in my purse, one in the car, one in my jacket/sweatshirt pocket (great for those dark corners of the garage or shed), one in the pantry, one in the basement and one by the bed.  My pantry is deep and has no lighting - it is not a walk-in pantry.  It sure does help. 
These are L.E.D. and are very bright and they cost me a couple dollars each at the hardware store.
I love getting these and sticking them in my gift bags at the holidays as well.  Who doesn't need an extra flashlight?

Lastly:  I can't repeat this enough!!!!  Waste drives me crazy - and so many people waste because of dates.

PLEASE NOTE the repeated PHRASE - "It is not a safety date"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Food does not expire and the suddenly go bad on a magical date some random person placed  on a package.
I absolutely hate the word "expires".

Please use your food.  Save your dollars.  Food does not expire.  Products are good for a long, long time past those random dates.  I have used things that are 3-4 years out - maybe more.  Perfect.
There is such tremendous waste in this country and world today.  We tend to waste time, funds, food, and the earths supplies of everything.  We truly need to STOP IT!!!!!!!
Use what you have.  Rotate and continue using the older items first.  You may truly be hungry someday and trust me, that food will be wonderful.

So there you have my tips of the day!
Have a great day and enjoy life!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 4/10

 Happy Palm Sunday to all.  Hope each and everyone has had a good and safe week and that this finds you well.
It is a very frosty morning here.  The sun is finally out, but it is cold and frosty.  I tell you what, I have the chilly rain blues!  It has been chilly, wet and gloomy for most of the week.  Makes me just not want to do anything.   UGH!  This coming week is going to be much warmer, but we still have a lot of rain and April showers predicted for much of the week.

It is amazing to me just how beautiful the forsythia and daffodils still are.  Just gorgeous.  Things are really coming to life.  I even saw my first groundhog of the year the other day.  Good grief after trapping and removing so many last year you wouldn't think there would still be any around the area.

My week:
  • On a warmer couple days I did get out and pick up lots of sticks and did some yard clean-up
  • Cut the front grass
  • Made some soup using a package I was gifted of soup mix and added dried veggies and more goodies to it
  • Changed out the bedding from winter to summer things
  • Froze 2 containers of soup
  • Got to air the house a couple days
  • Got a $39 check from insurance for some class action suit - no idea what - but I will take it
  • Did more deep cleaning
  • Ran to Kroger to check cat food (and get out of house).  I got 120 cans of food.  YAY - won't last all that long - but you get it when you can!  I also got some milk and fruit.  The store was well stocked.
  • I topped off the gas tank - only need about $15 worth.  Gas has gone down almost .40/gallon here
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
Meals this past week:
Pork and fried hominy over bread and fresh veggies
Broccoli/cheese soup with added veggies and crackers
Baked potato topped with broc./cheese soup
Pasta pizza skillet - 2X & salad
Tuna patty sandwich and salad
Chili/cheese fries and hotdogs
SNACKS:  toast & jelly, popcorn, fruit and fruit smoothies

How was your week?  I hope you all had a good one.  Any deals?  Any outdoor work?  What is up in your area?
Prayers that your upcoming week is safe, healthy and prudent.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13


Thursday, April 7, 2022

This, That, and the Other Thursday

 Thursday seems to have become my ramble on day!  A little of this and a little of that.  Some throw-backs.  You just never know what I may come up with!!
Today is a real mis-mash of items!!!

We'll start with this.  Have a wonderful Thursday and weekend.  How blessed we are to be here right this moment!

                                                                      Crab Rangoon
I have made these and they are terrific.  This is one of a few things I like from Chinese restaurants.  So easy and not expensive to make.  No grease from frying.  Pinch together in the centers and bake.  I always placed on parchment paper so no sticking.

This was my mom and dad's garden shop.  This ad was from around 1971.  Hard to believe it was over 50 years ago!
The store started out as a chain store and the chain was run poorly.  Mom & dad and I worked for them (I started at barely 15)
My mom and dad bought this location after it closed and managed to turn it into something wonderful.  It was the best time I ever had working.  I loved it there.  Mom and dad worked so hard to build it up, and they truly did it on little money, considering what business start ups are today.  They had a grand total of $5,000 to their name.  They never used credit from a bank and paid C.O.D. for a while, till venders got to know them.
I did a bit of everything.  At 16, many people thought I had to be in my 20's, because I was very knowledgeable of all the plants and all the chemicals we sold.  I planned landscaping for people's yards and then helped my dad go and plant it.  I knew which fertilizers people needed.  Mom and I would work the store and the register and we all had such a wonderful time together.  My first and best job ever!!!!!!
LOOK at the prices!!!!!!!!!

Grilling season is upon us again.  Fish always tends to break up for me on the grill.  Here is a great idea to keep it from sticking and all in one piece.  Place on a bed of lemon slices.  Flip fish - leave lemon, when ready to cook other side!

Every day I have at least one!!!!!!!  When that happens it makes me so happy.  A person is never gone from our life as long as we have those memories.

Earlier this week I mentioned baked oatmeal in our basic foods discussion.  Here is a great recipe.  You can change up to whatever fruit and/or nuts you have or you like.  This kind of oatmeal I can eat!!!  
2 pics - click on each to enlarge for better reading

I will leave with this one!
Never - ever disregard a person because they seem different.  Life is made up of all kinds of people.  We should be blessed to have a variety of people in our lives.  We may learn some of our most important lessons from those who have a 'free' spirit and express themselves openly!

Have a great day everyone. 
Open your eyes and your mind to all the wonders of this beautiful world.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Pantry Storage Containers - I Do Simple

 Howdy everyone!  Today I want to talk out storage containers that we use to keep items in our pantry and/or long term pantry.  There are many options out there and many that you can buy!!  I do simple and don't really buy a lot or spend a lot of money.  
It may surprise some people - but I do NOT buy mylar bags or oxygen absorbers.  I do not have one of those vacuum sealers for jars (although I wouldn't mind one).  I do have a vacuum sealer for sealing bags (great for freezing meat).

I have always kept desiccant packs from bottles of vitamins and use in many of my storage jars.  I keep glass jars of all sizes and types.  Years ago we used to buy pickles and olives in gallon glass jars - I have all those jars!.  I keep glass jars from instant coffee and those from anything else I might get. 
I have never had a rodent problem, but know many do.  Glass can not be chewed through and it keeps items nice and dry and protected.
I use Bay leaves to protect items from any type of bugger or weevil.  Yes, I do find that they work well.
PS - I throw a few grains of rice in with ground spices and with salt to keep from packing somewhat solid.

I love old canning jars and have accumulated many over the years.  They keep things nice and fresh.  They look pretty too.  I keep everything from pasta to dried beans to instant milk to instant potatoes in them.

I had a friend ask me the other day - about storing pasta - did I do mylar and special tins?  No.  Much of my longer pasta is still in the boxes - Those boxes are kept in baskets or boxes.  I do have a gallon jar with some spaghetti in it - it always has to be broken to fit in the jar.  I have never one time had a problem with pasta.  If kept dry and cool (I keep in a darker spot) it lasts almost forever.
I do have a couple food grade buckets that we bought years ago.  I use for various items long term - but they were purchased to use for a homemade water purifier (I have the filter and spicket as well).  Just not put together yet.

I use old milk crates and even some of the small ones from the dollar stores to hold boxes of different things.  It just keeps things nice and neat and all together in one spot.
Split peas and lentils keep nicely in these type of jars.  I cut out instructions from bag on cooking and throw in the jar as well.

You can see the gallon glass jars.  Labeled with item and/or instructions.  They keep things for ages!!!!  Also you can see boxes of long pasta in a box on a side shelf.  I like using gallon size ice cream buckets as well for various things.  My pantry is dark once the door closes - it is very cool in there all year.

When I get flour - I stick it in the freezer for several days (wrapped in a grocery bag).  Supposedly it kills any bug eggs that may still be in the flour after it is processed.  Yes, I know that sounds just gross - but you would be amazed what is in the food you buy!  I take it out of the freezer and let it set at room temp for a day or two - then I place the bags of flour in totes or in old popcorn tins.
I keep all my sugar in it's bags and place them all in popcorn tins (you know the holiday tins).  NEVER put oxygen absorbers in with sugar - it will become rock hard in no time.  Sometimes mine has hardened a little - just a good hit with my hand (palm) breaks it free.  I don't eat a lot of sugar - but I use a lot in summer for hummingbird feed and for canning.  I keep a good 75 pounds on hand all the time.

I have a couple huge totes that I got after Christmas many years ago.  The kind they sell to store holiday stuff in.  I actually store a lot of packs of dried beans and other goods in them.  I keep so much in jars - then the remainder is stored in it's bags in the totes.  I always throw in a few Bay leaves for good measure!!
Gives you an idea of some of the containers you can get and use.  They are not expensive at all. And it keeps things nice and tidy.  Small blue baskets (in middle) hold Jello and pudding boxes.  Pink and orange hold boxes of different crackers, snacks (chips) and any super cheap mixes I might find.  Basket holds bags of bulk specialty pasta and noodles.  Notice all my tomato products - I feel you can't have enough tomato stuff (does not include all the home canned).
I have several of those small blue baskets in my kitchen cabinets as well.  They just keep many like items organized.

You don't have to spend a fortune to have storage containers.  Mason jars, old glass gallon jars (check w/family and friends), jars from food or drink.  Use totes, baskets, milk crates, and even boxes.
You know if you home has a problem with rodents - and you plan accordingly.  
So many things last for ages and ages (no it doesn't *EXPIRE!!)
* I truly wish the word EXPIRES was removed from the English language!!!!!  It causes so much waste!

It is nice to have like items stored neatly together.  It sure makes life easier when you are needing to know your inventory and it makes it so easy for your cooking pleasure.  If you know what you have and where it is - you will cook and use it more!!!!!  Trust me!!!

So look around your home and hunt for items that would organize your goods.  Check with family and friends to see if they have jars or tins they don't want.  Check with FB marketplace - post a request - you may get all kinds of storage items.  Watch at yard sales and thrift stores (lots of tins).

Get your pantry organized and neat - don't spend a lot of money to do it.  You will never be sorry if you get organized.  It saves you so much money and frustration.  
Happy storing and cooking!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Don't Break the Bank - Eating Well

 I know I have posted a lot lately about food.  I hope this doesn't turn you away.  I just hear so much about how people are struggling.  Prices up and supplies short.  
A lot of people don't want to have to shop multiple stores.  Coupons are not a big option anymore.  Folks don't all like using pre-packaged food.
So cooking from our pantries with simple and honest ingredients is now what many want to do.

Just more ideas today for a lot of SIMPLE pantry meals.  **PLEASE remember, if you are struggling now, that a full belly is what matters.  Not fancy meals, different courses, fancy ingredients - just good old fashioned basic cooking.  It is good, it is simpler, and it is cheaper.
Here we go!!!!

  • Roast veggies - root veggies are easy to do and actually you can use any veg.  Roasting gives another layer of flavor.  Use whatever vegs you have  ** Try roasting asparagus, brussel sprouts or green beans - Mmmmmm
  • Beans and rice - I know people say UGH.  There are dozens of kinds of beans and dozens of kinds of rice.  Use combos of what you have.  Jazz it up with salsa, scraps of meat, relishes, etc.
  • Sloopy Joe casserole - great way to stretch meat.  Make up your favorite sloppy joe recipe, add pasta, corn, green beans, whatever you want.  Top with corn bread and bake or top with fried onions, or biscuits.  You can add cheese if you have it.  This is a great meal stretcher.  You all know I am NOT a follow the recipe kind of person!  So I experiment and mix things together - most times it is just plain yummy. 
  • Fried rice - add any leftovers you have to rice - meat or veggies.  Throw in a scrambled egg.  Season.  Makes a meal on it's own
  • Tuna casserole - tuna, pasta, creamy soup, also think of adding cheese or any leftover veggie you have
  • Creamy mac and veggies.  Pasta of any type (or rice) - add creamy soup of any sort, throw in veggies.  If you have any type of leftover meat - add.  Use what you have.
  • Gravy (any type) over toast or biscuits/scones
  • Spaghetti and sauce  or baked spaghetti.  Mix together pasta and sauce, maybe some cheese, add an egg or two as binder - bake until set in a moderate oven.  This is a favorite of mine.
  • Poached eggs on toast.  This is not one I could do - I don't do runny eggs!!!!  BUT, I can do scrambled, fried or hard boiled - and it would be filling
  • Chili made with LENTILS instead of meat.  Lentils take the place of the meat.  Make lentil tacos or burgers (see bean burgers below).
  • Pinto beans with salsa over rice - any kind of beans
  • SOUPS - any kinds of soups.  You can totally throw any type of veggie and/or meat together with tomatoes, broth, gravy, etc. and have soup.  Season and you have a hearty meal.  Serve soup with bread or crackers.  Soup is one of the easiest and best ways to stretch the food dollar and the pantry
  • Hash - chop veggies and leftover meat - and 'fry' it up.  I love hamburger hash - potatoes, carrots, onions and hamburger - corned beef hash is great (same way).   Sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, turnips, onion, pepper - whatever you want to add
  • Black bean or lentil burgers!  I am not a fan of the "new" veggie "meat" being sold - plus it is expensive (& too many additives).  Make your own and you know exactly what simple ingredients are in it.  Beans (drained - I also smash a little), breadcrumbs or oats, egg for binder and seasonings.  Form patties and fry like a burger.  Protein and a great sub for expensive meat.  Actually, you can use any kind of bean you have or want - it doesn't have to be black beans.
  • PBJ sandwiches.  For a spin on that - add banana or thinly sliced apples and grill like a grilled cheese - oh YUM!
  • Baked oatmeal.  I am not an oatmeal (in a bowl) eater.  Love baked oatmeal.  I make up a batch of oatmeal, add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, peanut butter, applesauce - whatever you have - place in a moderate oven and bake until top is crusty.  Cut and serve with a drizzle of syrup or honey, or a dab of jelly.
  • Baked potatoes - topped with anything.
  • Tuna salad - served in a sandwich or open face on bread, or with crackers, or in a lettuce wrap.
  • Salads are always good, especially in summer with fresh veggies.  Pasta salad, potato salad, meat or egg salads - serve with crusty bread or crackers
Just a few ideas.  There are hundreds of ways to stretch your food and your dollars.  There are so many ways to make soup or a casserole - there is no limit to your imagination.  Top casseroles with mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, pie crust, crunchy onions, cheese, crumbs from chips or breadcrumbs, etc.
Keep that 'soup' starter container in the freezer - throw all leftover bits in it - when full, make soup.

We all try to keep the basics in our pantries and freezers.  Beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, canned/frozen veggies, canned meats and frozen meats.  Use a little imagination and you have a culinary world of delight at your finger tips.

No reason to get bored.  No reason to bust the budget with fancy ingredients.  No reason to go hungry. No reason to say 'we have nothing'.  Keep your stock of basics on hand - replace as used. 
Nothing super fancy - but good eating!!!!!
That is all I care about!!!  How about you?