Sunday, July 31, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 7/31

 Happy Sunday all.  Good-bye to July.  I just am having a hard time realizing that we are getting so much closer to fall already!  Goodness.
We have lost a lot of daylight time this month.  It won't be long till I am going out in the dark every morning again!  I think that is the one thing I really hate.

This morning is lovely.  I heard some birds that I have not heard before this morning.  I am not at all sure what they were.  You just never know around here!
Speaking of which!!!  My neighbor called this week and said 'come out back now'.  Out I go and he is looking to towards the alley and then points in an upward motion.  I walk back and look up and holy cow - what do I see??????   A turkey buzzard!!!!!!  Then he points again and there are 2!!!!!!
Never in all my years here have I seen that!  I have seen them out in the country, but never that close to home.  The things are huge and ugly!  Kind of an ominous feeling!!!!!
                                              There was one on another pole as well!
                  Look at the wingspan.  Heck, it looks to be a third the size of the house back there.
I guess you just never know what you might see around here anymore!!!!  LOL!  I need to learn to not be surprised!

We had rain last Sunday and again on Wednesday.  It rained basically off and on all day Wednesday.  Loved it.  It filled my barrels again.  We ended up cooler for a few days - less humidity.  It will be warm again this upcoming week.  I can handle the heat -- it is the humidity that gets me.  My kitties have sure been enjoying the cooler weather!

My week:
  • Told you about racoon wrangling last Sunday!
  • I washed the Blazer with rainwater from the barrel - no spotting!
  • I 'found' a $100 GC I forgot all about having!!  Looks like maybe some free groceries coming up
  • Froze okra
  • Harvesting.  A did get a couple cukes, okra and tomatoes.  Cherry tomatoes are nuts!  I eat them like candy!!!!  Getting regular tomatoes as well now.
  • I finally mowed!  Mowed and trimmed the entire yard.  The grass really didn't need mowed, just all those spindly weeds.
  • Paid everything I had here
  • Worked on cleaning out the big perennial bed - it was a mess of browned lily leaves and weeds.
  • Worked on the flower bed behind the house and also worked on the back fence area (mornings when cooler)
  • I did go to Kroger - SIL called and told me I need to go!  I told her I didn't need anything, and she said GO - you can get some deals on clearance.  Yep, I did.  On top of the clearance, I got a cantaloupe, milk and a few clearance potatoes.  I spent $48 - my monthly total for July!!!!!

Bags of mixed chocolates- 1.99 each.  They are each 2 1/2 pounds!!!!!  In the freezer went 2 of them - neighbor got one - and one for snacking (keeping in frig).  Pasta dated 3/2025.  Re-usable containers - will be great for gifting holiday treats.  A few odd and end other items.  My SIL really knows me!
  • I fix a squirrel feeder that came down this week.  It has been up for years - so reinforced that.
  • Used dehumidifier water in laundry
  • Toasted a couple stale hotdog buns and made cinnamon toast
  • Used food from home and leftovers.
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do.
Meals this week:
Bacon burger and fresh veggies
Cream cheese and veggie roll-ups
Loaded baked potato
Beef and cheese nachos
Tuna patty and fried green tomatoes (had one fall off!)  YUM
Breaded pork steak and zucchini/rice/cheese, sliced tomato
Pork chops, 1 potato and a couple small carrots - all cooked together
SNACKS - fruit, yogurt, cinnamon toast, a few bites of candy

How is your weather?  I know many are still so hot and there is floods and fires all over.  So sad.  I hope you are all well and safe.
Any deals this week?  Garden goodies?  What is happening in your neighborhood?

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful comments on my home this week.  That was not my intention at all but appreciated.  I was just hoping to show someone that you can make a nice home on little money.  New doesn't make it better or worse.  Just use what you have and what you can afford.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22
A man of understanding sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the end of the earth.
Proverbs 17:24

A wonderful section of Proverbs to study!!

Dear Lord, help us each one to choose joy over darkness.  Help us to each spread smiles and happiness each day.  Let us be Your window of hope and goodness to others.  Let us reflect Your love.  Let us all be messengers of goodness and peace, not despair.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

My Life on Little

 The other day we were talking about living our lives on little money.  It can be done.  I am not one that buys a lot of stuff.  I DO HAVE a lot of stuff however!!!!!!  Most of what I have has been given to me or things that I have had for years and years (many family heirlooms).  I am not a minimalist at all!!!  LOL

Back in 2002 we bought new living room furniture and a new dining room table.  That was our splurge.  I still have and use those things.
You can make a comfortable and lovey home with little money.
I will give you a tour of my humble little home today.

The front porch.  The green glider was given to me - the other one is probably 25+ years old.

Different views of the living room - it is really a small room - this all makes it look bigger!
Dining room - just off living room.   Kitchen to left.  That door at back - is my pantry.
Yep, that is my counter space - ALL OF IT!
Added extra storage - utilize all those spaces!
This ties the 2 above areas together.  It is a tiny kitchen!  But I have cooked for 40 in it before!!!!!

Over my bed.  The bedframe is an old waterbed frame with headboard.  One day it will be replaced - it is just nice to have storage underneath!
This is basically the entire bathroom.  You can see toilet, sink and tub and storage cabinet on left (old pie safe).

I do have a 2nd bedroom that I use for extended pantry, office, and kitty room!  Nothing exciting to see in there.  I also have a full house basement.   I am fortunate to have that extra room.  That is where the washer/dryer is  and the furnace and water heater and much storage.  There is also an area that was once used as a TV/family room.
This is what a little $29,000 (purchase price years ago) house looks like.

It isn't huge.  It isn't new and fancy.  It needs work.  It didn't cost a lot.  It isn't in an exclusive neighborhood.  But IT'S MINE!

I just thought I would give a little tour, and show it doesn't take a lot of money to live nicely.  I am very comfortable here.  Life is good.
This is my world living on little money!!!
Have a great day all!!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Easy Summer Delights - YUM

 Thereare many yummy goodies that we can make at home, that taste so much better than any of the jink we can purchase ready-made!  We like using what we have, and we like simple and tasty.  I know I have probably shown these before - but a quick reminder never hurts.

YUM - homemade ice cream sandwiches with homemade or store bought cookies.  I live using graham crackers as well - super yummy if you can find chocolate grahams!  Any cookie will work!

                                                              Banana Apple Bread
Super tasty and easy.  Just know you can switch up fruit and use what you have.  Peaches, apples, banana, shredded zucchini, applesauce, pears, etc.  Have fun with it.  Great way to use lder fruit that needs used and not wasted!

Make up these baggies of dry goods and always be ready for making a batch of brownies.  Great to keep several bags made up (store in a glass jar).  Make great gifts as well.  Just add the wet ingredients when ready and bake.

This was sure a favorite of mine when I was a kid.  I made them often.  It was also a nice treat to come home to after school.  Super easy and yummy.  Get the young-ins involved!

Make your own microwave popcorn.  No chemicals or add ins of junk.  Just tasty and quick popcorn.  This does work.  Use those lunch bags you can get cheaply!

Super inexpensive lunch or dinner.  Can use meat or just veggies - use some cream cheese.  Season the way you like.  I did this for dinner one day this week.  Used softened cream cheese, garlic powder, thin sliced meat and loads of sliced veggies  SOOOOOOOO good.  You can slice up like shown above, or leave like a burrito.  There is no limit to what you can add.

Super tasty treat.  Big cookie, cream cheese mixed with a little sweetener and lots of fruit!  Num-num!
You can make veggie ones as well.  Pizza base or naan bread or tortillas or Italian bread slices - cream cheese and seasoning and top with loads of sliced fresh veggies.  There is no limit to what can be enjoyed.

So there is my weekly treat suggestions!  I hope that maybe these give someone a new and fun idea.  They are all tasty and I have tried them all.  ENJOY and happy eating!


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

How I Can Live on so Little

 I recently saw an article about poverty levels in the US for 2022.  I was slightly amazed.  The dollar figures are low, but I then got to figuring, and I live on less.

Please know, I am in no way being disrespectful of people living in poverty.  There are many who do and have a very rough time.  I hate that for them.
I lived life with a purpose and still do.  My purpose was to have a good quality lifestyle and to be able to do good for others, as well.

POVERTY LEVELS - lower 48 and DC
1 - 13,590
2 - 18,310
3 - 23,030
4 - 27,750
Alaska has a slightly higher monetary amount and Hawaii is a bit higher yet.

I live on an amount that is below the level for one.  I live a very good life.  I want for nothing.  I have all I need.

Years ago, we purchased a smaller and older home (1947) that we paid $29,000 for.  It is about 900 sq. ft. and we do have a basement.  There is also a detached garage and a decent size back yard - the front yard is tiny.  This was purchased in 1985 (right before we married) and I still reside here.
My property taxes are almost non-existent.  I joke each year, that soon they will pay me to live here!  Actually, this year they did go up a tiny bit.
We bought a brand-new vehicle in 2001 (a 2002) and I am still driving it.  It has about 67,000 miles on it.  Still looks nice.

I am NOT a shopper.  I very seldom purchase things for myself.  I keep thinking about new furniture (and I will), but it is not that wildly important obviously.  I am not a clothes hog!  I spend money on groceries and on my pets and nature.  I buy gifts for others.  I donate to certain causes.  That is about it.

I have utilities payments, a supplemental insurance plan and a life insurance/investment I pay each month.  I pay vehicle insurance and property taxes every 6 months.  Both are minimal.  Basically, I spend less than $800 a month on everything other than groceries.  Even with groceries, I believe I live on less than the chart shows for one.  Not because I have to, but because I chose to.  Sure, some months may be a bit more, depending on gifts and donations (but still quite low compared to most people),

We both saved as much as we could for the future.  We knew there was a possibility that hubs would not be able to work at some point.  We CHOSE to live a smaller less expensive lifestyle.
I always donated to 401K (max).  One place I worked for a longer period had an ESOP plan (employee stock ownership plan).  Glen had donations made and added to them in PERF (public employee retirement plan).  We always tried to save at least 10% -15% of our income.  We invested here and there.
We worked out bums off to pay off the house and the car.
Actually, we had older vehicles (that cost little) until the house was paid off.  We made a pact - if the house ever got paid off - we would purchase a brand-new vehicle!  Neither of us had ever had one.
Well, that is what we did.
The Blazer cost MORE than the house did!  I about had a cow - and swore I was going to sleep in it!!  LOL!

We were huge yard sale fans.  We hardly ever bought anything new or for full price.  G was on board, and loved finding tools and gadgets for next to nothing.  He worked for the city garage, and they often brought back things that people had put out in the trash.  Being a mechanic, G could fix anything.  I used our first lawn mower for over 22 years (it was old when we got it).  Since then, I have had to purchase 2 - as nothing is made the same today.  Our tiller cost nothing - I still use it.
Oh sure he had tons of expensive tools he purchased for his job, and a huge tool chest to hold them.  He paid for those over time and had a payment plan worked out with the tool guy.  (That chest and those tools are here).

We were very mindful of our spending - yet we always had a good time.  We camped with friends, and we wondered the roads of IN and saw and experienced a lot of things.  We still had fun!  We would get together with friends for dinners and cookouts or just for patio sitting and having a cocktail and conversation.  We never felt deprived.

I still do NOT feel deprived.  I live very simply.  I really do have a LOT - and I am trying to rid myself of much of it.  I mean how much does one person need?
I have all I  NEED!  I am very fortunate.

Again, I am not saying this in any way to make light of people living below the poverty level.  It is a serious problem.  I am no way trying to be disrespectful.
I /we were able to make choices in life to live the way we did.  Those choices allowed for a good life and a safety net of funds.  It meant living differently than many we knew - but we were happy with our decisions.  It meant being able to survive on one salary of necessary.

Today I chose to live on less (even with inflation).  It enables me to be able to help others when I feel the need. It enables me to have no stress on bills and needs.  It enables me to not panic in the midst of an emergency.
I tell this story to maybe help someone younger make different choices.  Maybe they can see that living life with a purpose in mind, can be beneficial for the future.  It is meant to show that PLANNING and PURPOSE can maybe be better than living large in the moment.
Maybe it will help someone.

What mindful choices helped shape your current situation?

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 7/24

 Happy Sunday all.  Sorry I am a little late this fine day.  My neighbor and I have been wrangling 2 huge very aggressive racoons since about 6:30 AM this morning!  I guess they must have been young, as usually the older ones aren't so aggressive.  I was having none of that - as they even jumped up on the rail where Blackie was sitting.  They had rummaged all through the greenhouse and dirtied all the watering holes.  They tore up my corncob trash can.  Needless to say, they were kind of hungry - so trapping wasn't that hard.  They have been relocated now far away, and they are no longer a threat to our area pets!!  What a way to start the week.  UGH!
Geesh - Cheryl's Critter Corral - is hopefully closed for a while.  As Rosana Danna used to say, "It's always something"!!!   LOL

It has been a hot one for sure.  I know it is so much worse in other places.  Mornings is when I go out to get things done.
This coming week it looks like a more normal week with temps in the 80's and maybe some showers.  They say there is a chance of rain each day.
Yesterday morning a big front moved through.  It got black as night (the sky) and wicked looking and the wind was fierce.  It lasted quite a while - and not one drop of rain!!!!  It did clean out dead wood in the trees.

I do believe that my zucchini are about done.  I know one plant is - and the second plant looks to be about gone as well.  No bugs - plenty of water - just not sure.  

                                          Also, a great neighbor, happy and safe kitties and sunshine

Life has been kind of quiet this week.  Nothing much exciting happening here (until this morning).  It has been so hot, and my energy seemed to be depleted.  Just piddling a lot.
  • Harvesting - okra, peppers, got a hidden zucchini that was a little large, tons of cherry tomatoes, and 3 'regular' tomatoes!   They aren't huge tomatoes - but ripe.  I have some big green ones out there.  Oh, I got my first cuke as well!
  • Dehumidifier water in laundry
  • Did a feed store run
  • Stopped at the bank while out
  • Still no mowing - but I did weed whack around the yard and did half of the newer neighbor's yard (our shared fence)
  • Weeded some in garden
  • No grocery store
  • Changed out toothbrush and put the old one in the toothbrush jar!  I have many, that I use for all sorts of cleaning
  • Yesterday had a ton of limbs come down out of the tree - must have picked up a hundred!
  • Just doing all the regular cleaning and decluttering.  Nothing exciting at all.
  • Worked on baby blanket a bit
  • Used all leftovers in new ways
Meals this past week:
Mexican skillet dinner
Fried fish, corn on cob and cukes & toms
Enchiladas (used leftover Mex)
1 enchilada and bean/cheese tostada
Fried chicken, veggie/rice
Rice/bean/chicken bowl (all leftovers)
SNACKS - yogurt, fruit, cookies

How have you all been doing?  Are you staying cool?  It sure has been a hot and dry one.  Did you get any deals this week?  Garden harvest?
I hope this finds you all well.  Stay cool.  Prayers for a good week for all.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58

Dear Lord, help us to stay on our path.  To be determined in our work.  Help us to be more patient with others and with ourselves.  Guide us each one to know and plan better for our families.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Throw Back Thursday - 2018 Fresh Veggie Uses!

 Today is kind of a throwback day.  Let's take a journey back to 2018 when the gardens were producing great produce.  When items were in abundance at farm markets.  When fresh produce was easy to get and plentiful.

There are a bunch of great recipes to use for summer eating.  We all like to stay cool (especially this year) and these are all nice lunches and dinners and sides that you can probably make with what you have at home.  Love reading back - so many of the same people are still hearing and commenting.  That is just plain downright cool to me!!!!!

Cheryl's Frugal Corner: Garden to Table - Meals in Minutes (

You may get there by clicking on highlighted area - or you may get box with http://cheryl'sfrugalcorner blog - if so click on that!!!!!!!!

Click on the link and go right back in time 4 years!!!!!  Who knew time travel could be so easy??

I hope you all have a fantastic day and find something from the archives that you can use.

                                Easy to decrease ingredients to make a small batch.  YUM!

                                             "SNORT" - just a little chuckle to end the week!

Have a great one.  Stay cool and safe.  Happy gardening my friends!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

My Mind Wonders!

 Happy Wednesday!  Today my mind is wondering - nothing specific.  Just a few observations to share.  Some days it doesn't take much to amuse me!!  Seems like it is the little things - there is that idea of simple joys again!!!!!

It is pretty this morning - going to get hot!!  I don't like the extreme heat - but not much I can do about it.  I know there are many places it is much hotter than it is here.  Heck we are supposed to get right about to a 100*F by Sunday.  Well 96* or 100* it is all about the same - so I guess we deal with it.  Maybe a little cooler next week.

I thought this was a neat statement.  This is true about everything in life.  Patience is a virtue!  Be patient and hopeful - it happens when it is supposed to.

I am again battling poison of some sort on my arms and a little on my face.  It happens every summer.  It may be from ivy, it may be from other plants.  The older I get, it seems I am allergic to most plants.  Tomato plants get me itchy bad!!!!!  I made a new pair of sock sleeves this week - from a pair of old socks that had holes.  Yeah, a little late - but better now than never!!!!!
At least they keep the stuff off my arms.  You know how you get that GREEN gunk from tomato plants?  That stuff is icky.  I remember as a kid, my mom getting so upset at dad.  He would come in and 'wash up' and then dry - and there was all that green stuff on her towels!!!!  Makes me wonder, did anyone every use tomato plants to dye things?  One would think you could!

My hat is essential in the hot sun as well.  I probably look the fool - but I don't care.  Little farmer Cheryl out in the garden working!  My mom had a hat almost identical to mine.  I truly am turning into my mom!
Don't worry what anyone thinks - you wear what helps you.  I keep the sun out of my face and eyes - even with sunglasses the hat works wonders.

I noticed over the weekend that the grandkids were visiting a couple doors down.  It was hot and these folks don't have a lot of frills.  They had probably a 2 and around 4-year-old out running around in their undies and there was a huge tote filled with water!  Their 'swimming hole' sure did bring lots of squeals and laughter from them.  They were having a ball - simple as it was.  Made me think back to being a kid and setting up the sprinkler and playing and playing for hours in it.  Sure did cool me down and it was fun!  Simple fun.

I have been noticing that I get very little mail anymore!  YAY.  I have only a handful of items that I pay - and the rest is junk mail.  Sometimes I go several days without anything.  The mailman walks the street every day - but I get little.  WOW, what a neat problem!

My zucchini seems to be slowing some.  My cucumbers are FINALLY getting a few cucumbers instead of just flowers.  I have picked only one regular tomato but have a few starting to turn!  I go out and get cherry tomatoes each morning and basil about every other day.  Things are growing and I LOVE IT!
That saying above sure makes sense with the garden.  Patience - it will happen in time!

I get a little bowl of cherry tomatoes each day and some opal basil pretty often.  Fresh tastes so darn good.   No matter what I pick - whether a lot or little - it is fresh and wonderful.  Sure tastes better than store bought stuff.  I love my 'grow'ceries!

I hope you each appreciate all the wonders in life - both big and small.  Stay cool and safe.  Make sure there is water outside for critters and pets.
Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow.  I am going out to pick!!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Normal (?)

 Normal - I keep seeing articles and posts about it!

Definitions - Conforming to a type, standard or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical or routine.
The usual, average or typical state or condition.

I see posts on FB and on blogs and Vlogs - "normal is gone forever".  "When will we return to normal/?"  "Life as we know it is over forever".
Talk about DRAMA!   

I don't know about you - but normal to me is just whatever is happening on any given day.  I don't expect anything - I just go with the flow.
My 'normal' if you want to call it that - ended in April of 2019.  I know there are many here that can understand that feeling.  Taking care of my hubby and our home and just being with him was normal - then boom it all ended in a moment. 
So maybe I have a skewed look at normal.  Nothing will ever be the same - but life can still be joyful.  Life does go on!

Today there is inflation, money woes, shortages, extremes on about everything - but seriously these things aren't new.  They have happened before and will happen again.

Each and every one is different.  Normal is different for each.  
I mean when they say "we will never see normal again" - who's normal are they talking about?  Yours, mine, Billy Bob's or Jim's?  

Yes, things HAVE changed, WILL change, and will CONTINUE to be.  Today is a new day - so this is what it is.  Today will never be like yesterday.  Tomorrow will never be like today.  Each day is new and different and that is normal!!!!!

The phrase s**t happens - is very true.  You just never know. All we can do is make the best of each new morning that we wake up!  That is the day you are given - why in the heck would you want to spend it fretting?  
I don't need dread or fear in my life.  I do not need panic and anxiousness in my life.  I do not need negativity added to my like.  
I NEED calm, positivity and wise words and patterns.  I need hope. I need joy.  I need peace.

This is all we can do.  Prep as well as you can, and hand the rest to a higher power and have faith and trust that life is happening the way it is supposed to.  Will we always understand why it is happening in the way it is?????  Heck NO.  
I do not believe in accidents.  I do believe stuff happens for a reason.

I just had to approach this subject - as it has been all over the place lately.  What is normal?  Why do we have to react so panicky?  Why do people feel they have to push the negative?
It seems most people who have lived for very many years have totally forgotten that this garbage has all happened before and yet, here we are.

Stocking and preparing for whatever life may bring should just be normal.  Things happen all the time.  My goodness, I started doing this years ago - being pushed by my husband.  He was huge in being prepared for anything.  Not just inflation, unrest, or political stuff - but illness, loss of jobs, natural occurrences, etc.   I learned from my parents how to do so much and then as my years went on, I learned that we need to prepare for anything.   I am so glad we had the frame of mind to save and be prepared on many levels.

I guess normal for me is "plan for the worst and hope for the best".  Normal is to love each given day and be present.  Normal is to try to find joy in all things.  Normal is to be thankful for what I have HAD and what I HAVE now.
Normal for me is to just trust in my protector that all will be OK.

May you all have a wonderful day full of peace and joy. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 7/17

 Happy Sunday everyone.  My goodness, here we are over half way through this month!  Time is just flying by.
It has been quite warm again this week.  We finally got some soft gentle rain on Friday!!!!  It was so lovely.  Yes, this girl went outside once and like a silly child, I just stood there - arms out and face upwards.  It felt so stinking good!
We had a storm come through in the wee hours this morning.  I got woken up about 2:30 to the thunder.  Rain on and off today!  Today should only get to a high in the 70's (but it is muggy).  Then the heat is back on this coming week.
We still are so low on rain - but tickled to get what we get.  It all helps.

My week:
  • I picked my first 'real' tomato this week.  It will be a while before others get ripe - but I sure did enjoy my first, not so huge regular tomato
                                         I think it is called Black Krim - it sure was tasty!
  • Cut basil and thyme to dry this week.  Basil got cut twice
  • Using water from rain barrels as much as possible
  • Got to air out the house on several cool mornings
  • Harvest - okra, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and a couple peppers
  • Made more marinated cucumbers and onions - so refreshing
  • Working outside in mornings - so many little things.  I trimmed and cut out a lot of wild stuff growing.  Cut out a gazillion daylily stems!
  • Cut up an old t-shirt into strips for garden
  • Tied up and staked tomato plants
  • Used dehumidifier water in washer
  • NO grocery shopping
  • Made oatmeal/raisin cookies - had stuff that needed to be used (Mmmmm)
  • DID rake again!  
  • Made up a quart of nectar for hummingbird feeders.  (I always keep extra in frig).  As I was refilling the one from outside the kitchen window - the hummingbird hovered outside the window, looking in!  It was amazing.  I hung it and within a few seconds it was drinking!
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
Meals this week:
Pizza type zucchini boats
Leftover day - rice, hotdogs and corn
Burgers with tomato, cukes/onions, and fried okra
Chicken tenders and mac n cheese with chunks of a small zucchini in it
Grilled ham and cheese sandwich and chips
Chopped steak, cukes/onions and cherry tomatoes
Sauteed veggies over seasoned rice
SNACKS:  fruit, cookies, cinnamon/sugar toast, cheese

How was your week?  Any exciting news to share?  Gardens?  Deals?  Give us a shout out and let us know what is going on in your area of the world.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours!

And he said to them "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
Luke 12:15

Lord, as we are tempted to accumulate more possessions, help us to be aware and to be content with less.  Help us each to live more simply and to share generously with others.  Thank you for blessing us, each and every one.  Amen

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Groceries This Week

 Let me share a little grocery 'shopping' with you.
This week there is not much in the way of deals at most of my area

I got: 
Ranch and Italian dressing
4 lbs. sugar
Orange juice
100 count tea bags
Chicken tenders
Ground beef
Bagged cat food
Peanut butter
Sliced cheese
Fresh veggies

OH WAIT - I forgot to say I got all that by shopping my freezer and pantry and garden!!!!!!
YEPPERS!  Had it all here, and never had to leave the house, nor spend a penny.

I ate the last of the strawberries I jarred and refrigerated over a month ago and started on the ones from over 2 weeks ago.  Tasted as fresh as the day I bought them.
I have been eating tomato, zucchini, okra and peppers from the garden.
Cucumbers the neighbor gave me and onions I had in basement

I love being able to fix anything I want with what is here.  Replenishing my cabinets and daily pantry from my deep pantry.  Meat from the freezer.  Snacks from the pantry.
Of course I have used other ingredients this week as well like rice, macaroni, cheese, milk, bread, etc.
Today I may make brownies or rice krispy bars - just want something sweet!  Hmmm - maybe both and then I will share with the neighbor!

You all know the pleasure that this brings me!  You do it too!!!  There is something so FUN about having everything you need.
How was your home shopping this week?

Hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

It's the Little Things

Keeping this short today.  I have several things I want to accomplish, and odds are they won't happen (LOL), but I can plan!!!!

I was just thinking about all the little things in life that make me smile and bring me joy.  Sure, I am blessed with all those wonders - like family and friends, being given a new day, health, my pets, my home, etc.

But today, it is the small things.
Those things we just don't think about very often.  That we take for granted.

The hummingbirds came back the first of July (a month late) and they have been flitting around the flowers and feeders

The last groundhog of the neighborhood has been relocated as of Monday.  So glad that worry is gone

I ate my first real tomato of the season.  YUM

As I was washing windows, I smiled - because Coogy likes to get in the windows and 'talk' to the outdoor kitties.  He leaves little smears!  I would sure miss those

I can go out and pick food from my yard!  How neat is that?

Barrels both got full last weekend with the rain and I am using rainwater for plants

Bees are hovering about the cucumbers.  Lots of blooms, no cukes.  Lots of males - so hoping this means there are female flowers and the bees are taking care of business

Walking through the yard and smelling the flowers

The tulip tree seems to have stopped its leaf release until fall!

OH goodness, the heavy trash truck came Tuesday for the first time in 4 months!!!  There has been stuff sitting in the alley all this time. UGH!!  It is all gone!!!!!!!  YAY!!  Happy dance here

My kitties.  They are waiting at the side door every morning at 6:30 for Momma!

Lying in bed and listening to the birds every morning before dawn and getting kitty kisses!

I have some pretty decent neighbors

Love watching my squirrels play.  There are many young ones, and they are a hoot to watch.

I have seen virtually NO pigeons for a week!  Don't understand why - but I love it.  All other birds are here.

Happy that I like simple things!  My tastes are pretty simple and my needs and wants are few.

And following yesterday's post - I have enough!!!!

There are so many tiny little things in this world that bring joy and laughter and smiles.  They don't need to be huge.  I can just stand outside and listen - and I hear kids somewhere playing, birds singing, squirrels chatter, the wind through the trees - and YES, even traffic, sirens and planes - but that is OK.  It is all part of my everyday life.

What little things bring you to a smile or a laugh?  Have you taken time lately to just totally enjoy the small stuff?
It is the small stuff that make up some of our best moments!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Enough - Too Much

 I know that each of us has a different idea of what ENOUGH is, and each has an idea of what TOO MUCH is.  I am curious what everyone thinks.
It can be household items, food, money, just stuff in general.

I know some people may wonder why I have so much food, considering there is just me.  Well, first reason is - it makes me feel secure.  My second reason - it is smart.  My third reason - I can help others if so desired.  Fourth reason - it's none of their business!  Yep - I said it!!!!!!!  LOL

I do have a lot of STUFF in my home that needs to go.  I keep working on that, it seems to never end.  I know what it is like to have to clean out a home after someone has passed - it isn't a fun job.  I really hate the idea of someone having to that at my house someday.  Thus, I keep working on it.

I think each one has a definition of enough.  I am not sure what my definition would be.  Maybe, I can live comfortably each and every day.  Whether it is food, shelter, funds, things, etc.  I am comfortable and know that I have my basic needs covered.

Too much?  Well, for me, I think too much is when things go to waste and help or aid no one.  When we can be comfortable and could help others and don't.  
I don't want food or consumable items to go to waste.  I will share and I will use before that happens.
IF I had tons of money, I would surely do good with it.  YES, I think there is a point that a person has too much $ - but it is not my call.  I can just think that - but they have to decide.
I do help and do good when and where I can with what I have.  Give me a ton of money and I would have a blast!

I guess for me, it comes down to things being wasted and not used.  I don't want to throw food away - goodness knows, that happens all too much today.  I hope that whether it is food or stuff or money, that I can bless someone else.  I don't want to see our resources wasted.

I am very curious to hear everyone's views on this.  Is there such a thing as ENOUGH?  Is there such a thing as TOO MUCH?
I guess I have been doing deep thinking lately, and this is something I have pondered.
What say you?

No judgements - just curious as to different thinking.
Blessings to all.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 7/10

 Happy Sunday all.  Hope this finds you all well and safe.  It is a beautiful morning here.  
We sure had a week!  It got hot, hot, hot!  We had a high temp of 98* on one day (actual temp) and a couple others of 95* and 96*.  TODAY is perfect.  Humidity has dropped, this morning is very cool and my windows are open!
Friday we got rain - sweet, beautiful rain for most of the day and evening.  It was a nice rain - no storms in my area.  It was greatly appreciated.  Enough?  Nowhere close to being enough.  We are like 4" below normal rainfall.  So, still in drought.  But it sure was lovely.  I went outside and stood in it for a while.  I am sure I probably looked like a crazy lady - but that is OK.  It felt marvelous!!!!!

Basically it has been a quiet week here.  I was inside much of it, except for feeding the kitties and checking water bowls.  I did go out early in the mornings to do a bit of yard work - but it never lasted long.

My first tomato harvest!  Orange cherry tomatoes.  The best taste ever - fresh tomatoes.  Waiting on big ones!

My week:
  • Hosed the porch, railings and furniture down - so dusty!
  • My perennial bed is very natural in its growing.  Got out and pulled out a lot of weeds andwild stuff growing amongst flowers
  • Weeded the garden 2X - once first of week and once after the rain.  Amazing how weeds grow even in the dry!
  • Gave the back bushes a little haircut & trim
  • Picking more zucchini, peppers and cherry toms
  • Used dehumidifier water in laundry and lined dried
  • Did cat maintenance!  Trimming Momma's nails - this hasn't taken several sessions - as she does NOT like it.  She isn't super active and her nails had gotten long.  Coming them all - it is so hot, so getting all that extra fur off.  Momma had several hair clumps (she has longer hair) - got those all taken care of.  Again, she was not happy - but has to feel better!
  • Neighbor brought me more cucumbers
  • My rain barrels are now full again!
  • I raked again this week
  • Made a batch of cucumber and onions for munching for a few days
  • I made a Philly beef and cheese mock skillet.  I used ground beef, peppers, mushrooms, and onions and cooked together.  Added drizzle of Soy sauce and a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce.  Served of toasted hotdog buns and topped with Swiss cheese.  My goodness, it was good!
  • Made more hummingbird nectar
  • Just doing all the normal stuff around the house.
  • NO grocery store at all this week.
Meals this week:
Hot dogs and cucumber/onion salad
Fried zucchini and corn on the cob
Grilled cheese, cuke salad and chips
Pork chop, corn on cob and salad
Taco salad
Spanish type rice (rice & salsa) topped with l/o taco meat, sauteed zucchini
Philly beef and cheese
Snacks: fruit, ice cream

I plan on going out in a few and doing a little yard work - trimming things that shouldn't be growing out there!  No grass cutting still - it is still pretty dormant.  I do want to trim around the fence - weeds!
How has your week been?  Are you getting decent weather, or have you been experiencing this awful heat?  Gardens growing?  Deals, this week?
I love hearing from everyone.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding, for the gain from it is better than the gain from silver and its profits better than gold.
Proverbs 3:13-14

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Mixing It Up

 Today is just a couple 'recipes' for mixes to have and keep on our shelves all the time.  It is nice to be able to make up different items from scratch and to taste - and not to have to spend extra money.
These are all pretty simple and easy.

3/4 C instant minced onion
4 Tsp. onion powder
1/3 C beef bouillon powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed, crushed
1/4 tsp. sugar
Mix and store in airtight container.
Use 2 Tbsp. mix to 1 C boiling water.  It tastes stronger than store bought onion soup mix, so you may use less to add flavor to things.
I love this stuff.  I get dried onions in big containers at Ollie's for a very decent price!

2 C dry milk
1 1/4 C cornstarch OR 2 1/2 C flour
1/4 C dry chicken bouillon powder
2 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. thyme (optional)
1 tsp. basil (optional)
Mix well and keep in airtight container.
IF made with cornstarch use 1/3 C mix to 1 1 /4 C water.
IF made with flour - 1/2 C mix to 1 1/4 C water
This is great casserole consistency.  For soup add more water to taste.
I keep this on hand all the time!

8 Tbsp. salt
3 Tbsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
Mix and store in airtight container.
This is complimentary to most store bought 'seasoning salt'.  You can add or tweak it in your own way to your taste.

DON'T FORGET now that garden time is here!!!!
When canning tomatoes or tomato products do NOT throw away your tomato skins!!!!!!  They are seasoning!!!!
Keep the skins and scraps and dehydrate. You can use a dehydrator or your oven at its lowest setting (mine is around 200*).  Dry until crisp.  Then you grind them up and keep in an airtight jar or bottle.
This makes great flavoring for all kinds of things.  I use often in soups and casseroles.  Great way to add tomato taste in dips.
I use a cheap coffee grinder to grind up. (think $1 at garage sale).  You can also use your blender.  Whatever you have that will grind it finely.

Just remember you can powder about anything to keep on hand for flavoring.  I DO keep 2 on these coffee grinders and one is marked HOT which I use for spicey and hot peppers.
You can make you own onion flakes or powder
You can dehydrate lettuce or any greens to add to soups, dips or smoothies
Peppers can be dehydrated and used in pieces or ground
Celery - do the same
I have even heard that people do this with peach skins or apple peels.  Dehydrate and powder.  Oh yum!  I have made jelly with these 2, but I need to try dehydrating and powdering.  I can think of all kinds of uses.

So waste not - want not!
Make your own with what you have in your pantry.  No added gunk - you know what is in your food and seasoning.  Get creative and make up your own mixes.
There are so many things we can mix up ourselves and keep on the shelf.

Have fun and get to mixing and dehydrating!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Let's Talk Pantries

 We all have some kind of pantry.  It may be cabinets, a 'real' pantry, ender the bed storage, a room turned pantry, the basement, the garage, closets..........  Then we have freezers.  Medicine cabinets.  Health and beauty supplies.  Cleaning and laundry.  Pet needs.   There are all kinds of parts to our pantries.

How do you keep inventory?  Or do you?  I think we can all use some new ideas.
As far as my pantries - I just kind of know what I have.  My organization helps me stay on top of things for the most part.  Oldest items to the front and newer to the back.  Helps to ensure that I use things up. (Not always a guarantee!).  Sure, sometimes things get shuffled around and I lose track.  I find them and 9 times out of 10 - they will still get used, regardless of the 'best by date'.

I keep a 'sort of' inventory of the freezers.  I start out gang busters when I clean and straighten the freezers - I have a pen and paper and make a great inventory list.  THEN within a short time - that goes by the wayside and I back to sticking things in where they fit!!!  Yes I do.
I try to keep freezers sorted by beef, chicken, pork and veggies.  It starts out great when first cleaned -, sort of goes to heck!!!!!  So I dig arounnd.

In the actual pantry and dry goods over stock area - I keep like items together and make decent categories.  I keep spices together, soups, beans, tomato products, baking, fruit, dried beans and rices, you get the idea.  Like items together and then try to rotate.
Most paper products (basically TP) is stacked downstairs or in a closet upstairs.  I have a hall closet that contains medical stuff and all my extra health and beauty items.

What kind of organization do you utilize?  What is your system?

Do you find it easy to 'shop' at home?  I think that is so much fun!  When I run out of something, I know right where to go to get extras.  No need to go out and spend money.  That is one of my great satisfying moments!!!!! 
My goal this month, is to stay away from the stores.  The garden is starting to come on with fresh items, and heaven knows I have more than enough food and supplies on hand to take of my needs and probably yours for a long, long while.  
I tend to go shopping when bored.  I spend IF I go - so I need to stay home for a while!  We will see how that goes - sometimes I just need a 'get out of the house' fix - but then I spend.  I guess that is OK, as I do use what I have and share when I can.

Let's share ideas on keeping your inventory and knowing what you have.  Organizational ideas are always welcome as well.  We can all use some new ideas and tweaking of how we do things.
Look forward to what you all have to share!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Life can be Noisy

 Noise!  Life can sure be noisy.  In many ways!
This was a noisy weekend around here and I am sure many communities.  Fireworks galore!  I know Canada just celebrated Canada Day as well - so probably some celebrations there as well.
I have to admit - this year was not nearly as bad as years past.  THANK YOU!
We had a good 3 nights of noise, but not as much and not as late as in the past.

I can't help but think some people either moved, died or finally got an active brain cell in their heads!  The news said fireworks were almost 50% higher this year in price.  Maybe that was it.  I seriously doubt it - but it could have been.  In past years I know that some people around here had to have spent several thousand dollars!  These things were not legal and there were tons of them - all going on for weeks!!!!!
I do not live in an upper-class area - so no one around here is wealthy.  I have always wondered how these people wasted so much money and still paid their bills and fed their families.  Hmmm - maybe they didn't.  All I know I am ever so thankful that the "noise" was less this year.  Less is good!!

I hope you all had a nice weekend and that it was a safe one.  So much going on everywhere!

Other noise can come from the news, social media, family....................
We are inundated with garbage every day!  Sure, we need to be aware, but it doesn't have to overtake our lives or minds.  I know what is happening, I don't need to listen to hours of it daily!  I don't need to read about it every time I want to look at FB.  I don't need to be blasted with it every time I want to look at my computer for something.
BUT that is life.

I just had a person send me a message about a message they received - they needed to talk.  Well, I think person #1 thought I would totally side with them.  Both #1 and #2 are relatives.  I really have no need to get in the middle of this 'thing', as relations have never been great between them.  
I did say I though #2 made some valid points and they should be validated and not dismissed.  Life had not been good for that person when they were young (not their fault).
I guess that was not what #1 wanted to hear.   I got a very polite - thanks for your advice, but it was all in the past - they need to move on.
I think most people realize that the past DOES affect our lives today.  Bad stuff has a lasting effect - sure we need to move forward - but without facing the past that can be hard to do.
Any way - I told them to call me when they had time available (they work) and all I hear is crickets!  

The same thing happens sometimes on FB or on blogs.  People ask for opinions and that is truly NOT what they want.  They want people to agree with them - and if you don't, well they get testy!!!!!
That has happened to me a lot of FB.  If my 'opinion' is different than theirs - I get blasted.
I try to only comment now when I just can't bite my tongue any harder!  I see some things that just makes me wonder how people survive from day to day.  It appears common sense has sprouted wings and taken flight!!!!!!!

You all know how it is.  Everyone gets offended today.  Everything offends them - even the simplest of things.  We all have a right to our opinions.  We don't have to agree.  
THAT is why I stay away from many subjects on here.  No need for anymore 'noise'!  
We all see it and hear each day.  
I can't help but wonder what happened, that people think we all have to agree.

Noise comes in all forms.  Take control, when and where you can to eliminate all that scattered noise.
You will be happy you did.
Have a wonderful day my friends.  Stay cool!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 7/3

 Hello to all and happy July!  This is the 4th of July weekend here in US.  Celebration of becoming a free country.  Despite all the things that go on daily - we still have a great country.  Celebrations actually started around here last night.  People shooting off fireworks.  I do not like them at all - but people will do them.  This year has been better than most to this point.  I will be glad when all the fireworks are done.

It started out cooler this week, then it got HOT!  Dry as a bone here.  We had sprinkles one night and that was it.  Today the humidity is down a bit - so that really helps.  Next week looks to be hot and at least there is a chance of rain just about every day.
We look to lose about 40 minutes of daylight this month!

                                                                Pretties from the yard!
My week:
  • Neighbor across the street gave me a couple cucumbers
  • Trimmed the weeds/grass at fence line on the other side of fence (the newer folks that moved in).  They have yet to get a weed whacker - so I reached over fence and whacked it all.
  • Cut a bunch of wild stuff growing out back in fence row
  • Used some very old apples and made an apple treat - stove top.  Apples and thick pancake mix - made a big and tasty fritter.  Used as dessert/treat a couple days!
  • Raked the back yard MANY times
  • Picked 2 mixed bouquets
  • Worked on the flowers on front walk - deadheaded and cut back a lot
  • Picking zucchinis!  Got 5 more this week
  • Cut my hair and did a little color.  My hair sure needed cut!
  • Just doing all the normal stuff we all do
  • Got to have windows open and air house many mornings
  • Stopped when out and got 100 stamps.  I am good for about a year
  • I ran to Kroger for a couple deals.  Boy, did I get some great deals!!!!  Best shopping trip in a while.  The store was fully stocked - aisles had tons of pallets of goods being unloaded, and actually some decent prices.  I got TP - 12 pack of dbl. rolls for 3.99!  Didn't need - but I will eventually.  CHEESE was on sale 1.49 lb. for 8 oz. blocks and 1.49 - 6 oz. packs of sandwich slices.  I got 5 of each (limit of coupon).  FRESH CORN - .25 ear.  I just got 5 - for eating this week.  ALL BEEF HOTDOGS - 2.49 pack.  Got 5 for freezer.  Seedless GRAPES - .99/lb.  WATERMELON - was to be 2.79 - they didn't charge me for it I noticed when I got home.  Yikes - so Free.  Then I got bags of frozen veggies on clearance.  Broccoli/cauliflower and Brussels/onion/winter squash and one of okra - .50 EACH!!!!!  I got 5 each of the mixed and only one okra (what they had).

These snacks were 2/$1.  Kind like a combo of a brownie and Resse cup combined.  Nice to have treats on hand.
I also got Creamette's elbow macaroni 2 - 1 lb. boxes for $1.  I got 4 more pounds for stock.  A few weeks back I got 4 lbs. (2 lb. boxes) for stock as well.  I should be set with pasta - I have tons of long pasta.
All in all it was a great shopping trip.  I wasn't going to go - something must have nudged me. 
NOW my upright freezer is positively stuffed, jam packed full, and I have no plans on grocery shopping for July.  I will have garden and will use what I have.  Only things might be cat food (of course) or milk.

Meals this past week:
Leftover cheeseburger rice skillet and green beans
Chopped steak and tomato/onion/cucumber salad
Zucchini/sausage/rice skillet and leftover salad
Leftover zucchini skillet and corn fritters (freezer)
Cold cut sandwich and a bit of this and that - just a snacking kind of day
Sauteed zucchini, corn of cob, and onion/cuke salad
SNACKS - fresh fruit, apple fritter

I had a decent week.  I was pleased.  
I had a baby kitty show up for a couple days - and it finally found its way back home (across street).  It was so precious and little!  Glad it got home safely, as I didn't know where it was from.  I saw the neighbors with it - a couple days later.  I was really fretting about it - I sure don't need another cat!
Caught a relocated a huge racoon!  
My babies all got their flea meds yesterday. (I had on hand)
Goodness, there is always something going on critter-wise around here.

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?  How is the garden doing?  Staying cool?
I hope those in US have a nice and safe holiday.  I wish everyone a great week ahead.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we are not contending with flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:11-12

Dear Lord, we ask you to bless our nations, our people and our communities, with heaven's greatest gift and earth's greatest need.  Peace and harmony.  So many have succumbed to Satan's evil ways, and they do not even realize it.  We ask that evil be gone.  Please help us all to be free and at peace. Amen