Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Info on FREE

 Just a heads up all of you in the U.S..  You can still get 'free' C19 home tests via the mail UNTIL 9/2/22. All ordering will be suspended on that day.

You get to order 8 tests and they are to be sent in packages of 4.  I sent my order the other day.  On the affirmation I received, it says I can order one more time (8 more).  I am going to do that - not for me - but in case someone I know needs a test.  (ordered the other 8).   I only ordered a set (4) once back in the winter - that may be why I can order another batch.  Not sure.

You will want to go to https://special,
Place your order now - as the offer ends in a couple days.


I will be out of town today - so will not be responding much.
Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Holding off on Turning Heat Up

 I know it is pretty darn warm - hot - in many, many places.  Let us just say - it really will be chilly and cooler much sooner than we think.  Times flies - and fall and fall weather is just around the corner.  
Now, I really do love fall weather.  Cooler temps, windows open, sweatshirts, campfires, and pretty leaves.
THEN it gets cold very quickly.
Heat bills in all forms will be going up this year.  No matter what you heat with - increases are happening.
Today I thought I'd just mention a few ways to keep the bills lower and maybe JUST MAYBE keep the heat off as long as possible.

I always turn the AC on later than most people, and I turn the heat on later.  I have a pretty good comfort range and truthfully, I use many of these ideas and it really does save some dollars.

When it is sunny out - open those blinds and curtains!!!!!!  Follow the sunlight.
Not only does it make the cheery and bright - but the sun provides a lot of warmth.  Keys times to open the curtains is between 10AM - 5PM.  On the reverse - block those windows in the evening to keep that warmth inside!!

If you normally line dry your laundry outside - during those frigid cold months, that can be hard to do.  Oh, I remember frozen sheets on the line when I was a kid!!  LOL
Get a simple accessory to put on your drier vent.  It allows you to vent all or some of the heat from drier into your basement or home.  Now I hear a lot about it also allows moisture.  It may put off some humidity - we need that more in winter.  I have a piece of nylon hose over the open end of mine to catch any lint that may blow out.  I have no heat vent in the basement and all my pipes are in the ceiling of the basement.  Using the drier in this way (along with natural temps) is enough to keep it nice down there all winter.
ALSO - in this same vein - after baking anything - prop the oven open when done and turned off.  That allows that heat to venture into the house.  Never waste heat from anything!!  Recycle it.
ALSO - make sure you keep those furnace filters CLEAN!

Add extra bedding to your bed.  Extra blankets or quilts!  Many people use and love flannel sheets.  They are much warmer.  I cannot do that - they are waaaayyy too much for me.  I am one of those crazy people that has to have cold sheets 365 days a year!!!!
Extra covers are a plus for keeping the temps lower at night.  Snuggle with your honey or your fur babies!!!  Either one can keep you warmer!
Afghans and throws are wonderful for any couch or chair.  I have a little living room - but I always have at least 3 throws in there during the colder months - easy to grab and snuggle in any chair.  Warm blankie, hot chocolate and a book - winter bliss!!!!!!!

Wear many layers.  You can always remove clothing if you get hot - but once you are cold - it takes a while to get your body warm.
Of course you may be that person, who is still wearing shorts in December!  I am not.  I do not like being cold.  I hate shoes - but that is mandatory in this area during winter (socks too).  House shoes in the house or socks - will keep those tootsies warm.

MOVE - get outside and do yard work if at all possible.  Move around the house.  You work up a sweat sometimes.  You get fresh air and sunshine - nothing bad about it.  Even when the weather is frightful - you can do something.  I HATE to exercise - but in the dead of winter I turn on the radio to oldies some days and dance like I can!!!  LOL!  If I am watching the silly boob tube - I stand in front of the TV and do a few lunges or toe taps, or arm exercises.  Just don't sit on that BUM all day every day!!!!!

Spicey food and drinks help the body warm.  Hearty foods stick to your ribs and make you feel full and the body feels warmer.  Chili, stews, crockpot dinners, roasted foods, casseroles - is this really a thing - or do we just THINK we are warmer.  I don't know, it may be psychological - but whatever works!!!!
Hot drinks, like hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate all help you feel warmer.
Heck, even a hot toddy now and then doesn't hurt!!!!  I only do those if feeling sick from a cold/flu.

Think about getting or having a couple space heaters.  You can often use them to just warm a room up ENOUGH.  You don't have to keep it on for a long period, they will warm the area in need quickly and for less dollars than the furnace.  BE CAREFUL if using any type of space heater.  That is so very important.

Make sure you change the direction of those blades on the ceiling fan.  Heat rises - so pushing it back down into the room just makes since.  You don't want it just going up through the ceiling and out the roof!
NOTE - it sure helps to have insulation in those attics or ceilings.  When we had blown-in insulation added, they 'guaranteed' our heat bills would fall by half.  It did!!!!!!  It makes a huge difference.

Don't stop drinking just because it isn't hot out.  Fluid intake is important.  Warm fluids are great.  Again, hot tea, coffee, hot cider, warm OJ, warm lemonade (tasty), hot chocolate, etc.  It all helps your body feel warm.

A nice hot shower is wonderful feeling on a cold day.  I love taking a 'spa day' for myself.  A candle in the bathroom, maybe a warm drink and a hot soak with some scented Epson salts in the water.  Yep, that makes me right as rain.  After having that hot bath or shower - again let that warm air flow into the house.  I do not have towel warmers or heated floors - but I do throw my towel on the floor vent until I need it (when bathing) and I have a fuzzy mat to get out on.

SO there you have it.  A few ways to stretch your heating dollars a little.  I can usually cut a month off each end of the heating season by doing most of these things.  It may not seem like a lot - but a couple months of heating bills could make or break it for some homes this winter.

So what ideas do you have to stay warm and keep that bill down a little.  We would all love some new ideas.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 8/28

 Hello all - hoping this finds you all well and healthy.
What a week this has been.  I have much to share.

First - basically Momma is gone.  She had a few good moments then it went downhill quickly.  Last night when I got home - she was breathing so shallow.  I didn't want her to be alone when passing - so I brought her in and held her from 7:30 PM until this morning.  Never let her down.  Held her, petted her, kissed her, talked to her, and just loved her and CRIED!  She is 99% gone.  Her pupils are dilated and fixed.  She slept all night with her eyes open.  There seems to be nothing behind those sweet eyes.  Her body is totally limp.  She doesn't seem to be aware of anything - just barely breathing.  I believe SHE is gone - and the vessel is slowly shutting down.  Just breaks my heart.
I am so lucky she chose THIS place to live and that I got to enjoy her and love her for so many years.
Coogy wasn't sure what to think.  He didn't understand why he wasn't getting all my attention last night.
He was stressed and he got sick once.  But he was very kind and respectful to her.

I have not been to bed yet (yeah, I stayed up all night) and I still have on yesterday's clothes.  What a mess I am!

Not the best pic - taken through a window and screen.  Gold finch on the echinacea eating the seed.

I found out yesterday that my 'ex' broth-in-law passed away.  He was my deceased sister's husband and the kids stepdad.  He has remarried - but we still kept in touch and talked.  

On a happy note - I got to meet Mr. Miles - my newest nephew.  Oh my goodness he is tiny!!!!!  He is the tiniest baby I have held in ages.  What an absolute sweetheart.
Got to be with family yesterday afternoon at a cookout - I needed that.

Blackie and Fluffy were weird this AM.  I went out to feed and Blackie scarfed wet food and Fluff wanted 2nds - that NEVER happens.  Blackie never wants wet food in the morning.  Just strange.  Good but strange.

  • I did mow and trim everything - it looked so pretty when first done.  Now it needs it again!
  • I cleaned out between drive and fence about 50' length.  Mainly stuff growing from next door - but it is all clean now
  • Froze more tomatoes and okra
  • Picked some grapes and froze
  • NO grocery at all - didn't even look at ads
  • Dehumidifier water in washer
  • Made a pasta/veggie salad to take to cookout - heavy on veggies (it was a hit)
  • Made new feed and refilled the hummingbird feeders.  They are really active
  • Taking care of Momma
Meals this week:
Reuban sandwich and pickles
Sloppy Joe and fresh veggies
Dirty rice w/chicken and salad
Rice with beans added and sliced tomatoes
Breakfast - eggs, sausage and toast
Family cookout

How was your week?  Did you get any deals or do any frugal things?  How are those gardens?
Life sure can change on a dime - so I hope you are all enjoying life.

I pray that you each have a healthy and safe week.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures, according to their kinds; cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds."  And it was so.
Genesis 1:24

Thank you Lord for all of nature and thank you for the sweet animals we have taken in as pets and family.  I feel they make us better people and enrich our lives in every way.
Thank you for blessing us with all of nature.  Amen

Friday, August 26, 2022

UPDATE on Momma

 Well, yesterday was much to do about nothing!   I could get NO help whatsoever!  To say I am p**sed is an understatement.  This would be a great city to have Vets that actually do what they pledged to do.

I called 6 different vets yesterday - all I got was "we are 2 weeks out", "end of Sept.", and "no new patients".  Then go 'to the emergency vet'.  We have 2 - one I will ever go to again (they killed a cat of mine years ago - yes they did).  The other was at least a "6 hour wait to be seen" per them!!!!  Then you are there for 3 - 4 hours.  One vet on duty.  I can't see to drive at night - and it would have been late coming home from there.

I got testy with the last of 6 that I spoke with.  I said Indy would be a great place to have a vet clinic.  She said - they are everywhere.  I said well, they all appear to useless as crap!!!!!  
I used to call and could get in my regular vet anytime.  They would squeeze you in for an emergency.  Not anymore.
I truly don't understand why things like this have not gotten back to normal.

SO, this Mom is taking care of her baby herself.  I learned how to take care of her glands on the Internet (you can find anything).  I did that - doesn't seem to be a problem.
I think she may not be pooing as much, since she is eating less.  She is drinking and urinating, that is good.

She has had hip problems for a long time (being a big girl) and she is 13+ years old.  That is substantial for an outdoor cat.  Monday she quit meeting me at the back door.  She jumps up on a trash can - then over the fence to a table - then jumps down to drive.  I think she acts like she is just hurting in her back end more (her stride is a little different).  We have been through this before.  I have given her a little pain med, increased CBD, and yesterday just to be sure - a dose of milk of magnesium.
Yesterday morning - she wasn't even outside when I went out in AM.  This morning she was waiting at the gate.  She only ate a couple bites of wet food - but appears to be eating some dry. Not losing weight.
She is resting a lot.

I will take care of her and make her comfortable as can be.  She seems to be responding slowly.
I will make an appointment for Sept. to have her checked.
Thank you for your kind thoughts - please continue to send good vibes for her.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

One Thing or Another

 I like to have each day 'sort of' planned out the night before.  I kind of make a plan of what needs done, then go forward.  Well, we all know what they say about the best laid plans!!!!!
Not sure at all how today will play out.

                                                                    Hanging in there

I do believe I am going to have to take Momma kitty to the Vet today.  She has seemed different for a couple days, and yesterday I noticed her trying to poo several times with no success.  I gave her some mineral oil - but she still seems off this AM.
Hopefully it is an easy fix - expression or enema - but one never knows.  She is probably over 13 years old - so I hate to see her sweet self be uncomfortable or feeling bad.

So, I have no clue what the day will bring.  Please send good thoughts!!!!!!

I guess that is a good thing about being retired - plans change and nothing is etched in stone.
So today is going to be one of those, by the seat of my pants kind of days.
I hope you all have a great day!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Looking at Things From a New Perspective (when shopping)

 We all have our tricks and ways to save money at the grocery.  I have done a lot of posts about those many things.  Today let us talk about a few different things to think about.

When you buy less, you waste less!
I know we are all on a binge to stock-up, but think about some other things.
Don't get more fresh produce than you can reasonably use before the next store visit.  Eat it, freeze it or can it - DON'T waste it!
There is no good reason to dump food in the trash.  Keep those frigs organized and cleaned out - so you know what you have and make sure it is used!


Most cheap food is unhealthy - yet a lot of healthy food is cheap
I can still find some healthy foods for a decent price.  Often the produce department has markdowns and Kroger has their .99/bags.  Sometimes the items are even organic.  I like places like Fresh Thyme - as they have some great weekly specials on sale fresh and real food.
Keep you eye on those kinds of places - Trader Joes, Fresh Thyme, any whole earth markets or farm stands or farm markets (even barter).  I know many farm markets are costly - they have transportation to get there and things just cost a little more (but they are super fresh).  It all depends on what is important to you!!!!
Fresh and healthy food - or buying packaged goods and chemical laden items.

Have a cultural experience.
Look at shopping at ethnic stores.  You can get so many items cheaper than a normal grocery.  There is usually less expensive produce and variety!  Many new things to try.  Beans and rice of all types.  Pasta's that are different.  Spices galore. 
Make it an adventure.  Learn something new, try something new and get some great prices!

Just because the item is a great price - doesn't mean it is a great buy!
Don't buy things just BECAUSE it is cheap.  Remember that saying - buy what you use and use what you buy!!!!!!!!
I have been guilty in the past of this - saw a super price and bought many.  Not necessarily something I would use - and didn't.  Shoot, if we do this, we might as well just drive down the street and throw money out the car window!!  Make sure those deals are things you will use.

Being frugal takes too much time!
Eeeeekkk!!!  I hate when folks say that.  Is your hard earned money not worth a little work to save it???
Think about it.  All good things are worth waiting for.  I find that spending a little extra time reading the ads, looking for the clearance and deals well worth the few minutes it might take.  Once you get into a habit of looking for deals - it becomes much easier.  Saving your hard earned dollars is never a waste of time!

Try the cupboard special!!!!
Yep - go through that pantry thoroughly.  Clean that freezer.  Find those things that have been pushed to the back and the bottom and USE THEM.  You may be amazed at the amount of time between shopping trips if you use what you have!!!  Don't let things go to waste.
Use it up, use it all, get creative and have meals without spending a penny!

Just a couple of things to think about.  We all know the basics, sometimes the obvious just seem to be ignored.  There are so many options to save a dollar or two at the grocery.  Excuses are not on the list!!!!!  Get creative and pay attention.  Know your priorities and have fun.

What creative ways do you use to find a bargain and save?

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Eggs - Get the Most for Your Money

 I know eggs have gone up in price all around.  I am still getting a dozen large eggs for less than $2.  I know that many are paying much more.  I would pay more, especially if I could get farm fresh eggs.  I like eggs, although I don't eat every day.  I will continue to buy them.  In my opinion there are a few things that I will keep buying regardless of the cost.  For me - milk, eggs and cheese are must haves!
                                                                        not my picture

There are ways to stretch the use.  You can substitute other things for part of the eggs in baking goods.
I think many of us have heard about using applesauce to sub for an egg.  Actually, most fruit sauces will work, and add flavor as well.  Below is a chart of some other subs - click on the picture to enlarge for easier reading.
You can stretch eggs when scrambling by adding crushed crackers.  We used to do this all the time when we went camping.  There were always lots of mouths to feed (we did group meals), so we needed to stretch things.  We would beat up the eggs, add a bit of crushed crackers (flavored can be used too) and add a bit of water - and then scramble.  You could never tell there were crackers.  They were light and fluffy.
*Another tip I have learned and use now - don't use milk, when making scrambled eggs - use water.  You will end up with fluffier eggs and they won't be wet and hard to cook.
**I ALWAYS buy large or extra large eggs.  I can use one instead of 2 when baking - I always do that.  Buy the bigger eggs if you can.  Get the most for your money.

If you find a good deal on eggs - stock up!!!!!  You can freeze eggs easily.  I have done this many, many times.  Then I have eggs for cooking, when I might not have fresh or they are hard to find at store.  I freeze in muffin tins - one egg peer hole.  Pop out when frozen and put on freezers bags.  You can fry or bake with these. (I grease the tins first - but if difficult to remove - just set the bottom of pan in warm water for a moment - boom out they pop).

I know people use the float method to determine the freshness of eggs.  Honestly, I have only had 2 eggs that were bad in my entire life!!!!!!  I don't do the float test - never have.  I crack over a separate dish (just in case).  My counter and sink in right next to a window - so each time I get ready to use an egg - I simply hold it up to the light of the window.  IF it were icky inside - it will be dark.  Otherwise it will look light.  This hasn't failed me yet!!!!!!

                                                      In case you are interested.

You can also cook your eggs (scramble the best) and freeze, so all you have to do is re-heat and many people dehydrate cooked eggs.  I have not tried that yet.
I see lots of people who water glass eggs to preserve on the shelf.  Mixing fresh (unwashed) eggs with water and lime.  Another thing I have never tried - as I do not have fresh eggs.

You can fry eggs and make biscuits, sandwiches or burritos for quick and easy meals or breakfasts.  Wrap separately and simply warm when ready to eat.  Fast food from home!!!!

You can buy egg replacer for baking.  It is not really an egg product (vegans often use).  It is purchased in the baking aisle of the store.  I always have this on hand as well.  It lasts a long time on the shelf and it only takes a little to bake with. 

If you know someone who has chickens - maybe work out a deal to get eggs from them.  You may be able to barter other goods for eggs.  Fresh is wonderful.  It is also helping a local economy if you buy from a local person.

Eggs are full of protein, and if you are able to (or choose to) eat them, they provide nutrition for your body.  Use them wisely and substitute now and them and you can stretch your egg dollars a little more.
Have an EGG-cellent day!!!!!!! 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 8/21

 Hello all my lovelies!  Happy Sunday.  I hope this finds you all well and safe.
We are still having some cooler temps - by cooler I mean not 90's!  Yesterday we got rain 2X and we had rain overnight.  Looks to be a cloudy and maybe rainy day here.  
The grass is sure lovely and green now - it was so brown and dormant for so long.

I guess my old ramp must have looked worse than I thought it did!  I sure have had a lot of compliments on how nice it looks out front.  Of course, in my defense - not many of the neighbors (I have now) ever saw the house without it (it was there for about 10 years).  It does really make a difference.  I still haven't decided what to do with the area.

Looked up Friday and saw this.  Look at all the contrails in the sky!  New ones were being made as I watched.  The picture doesn't do it justice - it was pretty amazing looking.  Never heard a plane - they were high.  There were dozens of trails

My week:
  • Doing the daily harvests - tons of cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, peppers and okra.  Not much in the way of cukes this week.
  • Mowed the yard and trimmed
  • Got the big pile of rotted wood taken out back for burning at some point.
  • Did a repair on the back handrail - replaced a section of top.  More to do - but a good fix for the moment
  • Made myself a step for the right side of my porch (using ramp wood).  Makes getting off the porch on that side easier and I don't have to walk all the way around the porch now
  • Painted the mailbox post and got the brass numbers back up (you couldn't see the post or numbers when ramp was up)
  • Froze more okra and tomatoes
  • Trimmed my hair
  • Talked with a neighbor, a retired professional painter - and he has agreed to take down and paint my front shutters and to sand and paint my security doors in the next few weeks.  Gave me a great price!
  • Made 2 no-bake cheesecakes on Saturday.  One for a friend and one for here.  Each was peach flavored using peach yogurt and a blended fresh peach.
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do
  • I ran to the library on Tues. for the first time in ages this week
  • I stopped at the last day of a Kroger sale on Tuesday - got ground beef for 2.79/lb., Jimmy Dean sausage for 2.49/lb. and white peaches for .89/lb.
  • Went to Aldi this week - first time in ages.  Yes, prices are up a little - but they are still better than most stores and they were very well stocked.  I didn't need them - but eggs were 1.99/doz. there and they had lots of fresh potatoes (a little up in price).  I got cauliflower (huge), lettuce (huge), tuna, canned chili beans and kidney beans, dried potatoes, crackers and dirty rice mixes.  I even bought 2 bottles of wine.  I spent less there than I have spent anywhere for a long while,
Cauliflower (on a dinner plate) was 1.99 for the head!!!!
Lettuce - was 1.69 a head.  It is super firm

Meals this past week:
Sauteed zucchini, tomato & cheese and a steakburger
Chicken strips and a tomato/radish/pepper salad
French bread pizza
Pigs in a blanket and fresh veggies (used crescent rolls and jalapeno smoked sausage)
Loaded burger and chips
Tuna patty, mac n cheese and sliced tomato
Taco salad topped with tons of veggies
SNACKS - fruit, cheese-nips, and leftover mac n cheese

So there you go - nothing exciting, just keeping busy.  How was your week?  Any good deals or exciting happenings?  Love hearing from you all.

I hope this week is good to you all.  Stay cool. 
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.


Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.
Psalm 68:19

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Easy Dinners in Minutes

 Happy Thursday my friends.  Today I am just going to throw out a few ideas for some very quick and easy dinners.  It doesn't have to be a major task to have a good meal.  We can easily have tasty meals for little money and little time and using just what you have on hand.

This is a great way to use up any leftovers you may have.  You can even add just tiny bits of meat - so it is a great way to stretch meat.  You can even make it meatless.  Rice, veggies, maybe an egg or two and meat if desired.  A little soy sauce or teriyaki seasoning - and you are good to go.

Fry up a little ground meat add your seasonings and you have a great base for tacos.  Chop up tomatoes, lettuce, cheese or whatever you like.  Add salsa or sour cream if you have it on hand.  
Burritos are also super easy.  Such a wonderful way to make a yummy meals using  little.
*A tip is to add beans, rice or lentils to your taco meat to stretch it for more hungry mouths!

You can make sandwiches as simple or complicated as you would like.  You don't have to keep it to a simple sandwich and chips.  Load those sandwiches up with all kinds of goodies.  Make your own Subway sandwiches at home - you can really throw on the veggies, or the cheese or the meat you desire.

Salads are a great dinner.  You can keep them all veggie - you can add fruit and nuts, you can add meat or eggs, you can add cheese - you can add ANYTHING!  It is a great way to use up bits of chicken or steak or tuna.  You can make bean salads or pasta salads.  Salads are just so versatile, and you use what you have.  I love a chef salad!

Think about using hearty breads for a quick and easy dinner.  You can rip off chunks of bread and dip into anything.  Hummus, dips, fondue, soups, stews.  Dinner doesn't have to be a 5 course meal.  It is what you like - even if it is one thing!  Make some bread bowls and add soup, stew or even a great mac n cheese.  You eat the soup and then eat the bread and all its soaked up goodness!  You can really have a very filling meal using bread.
                            This makes my mouth water!!!!!!!  I am a mac n cheese junky!!!!!!!

Breakfast is always a fast and easy dinner.  It can be anything.  Pancakes topped with fruit, waffles , eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits/toast and gravy - anything.
I prefer breakfast foods for dinner.  I am not much for cooking eggs or bacon in the morning - later in the day is perfect.

Just like with fried rice - this is a great way to use up all those leftovers in a new way.  Add any bits and bobs you have.  Season and serve over rice or pasta of any sort.  I like making a lo-mein dinner using up leftovers and adding spaghetti or fettucine noodles - a little soy sauce and YUM!

Soups and stews and chili of any sort.  I know it isn't quick to make homemade soup on the fly - but you can have soups or stews leftover in your freezer or simply jazz up a can of soup.  You can add some pasta or rice to a can of soup - or serve it over pasta.  You can serve with hearty bread.  Sometimes a can of soup is what you have time or energy for!!!!!

NO - they don't cook in a few minutes - but they can be easy to throw together, then turn on the crockpot and forget it.  It can be anything you want to put together.  Get creative.  Dump in the ingredients and then turn on the pot and go about your day.  Pretty darn simple and you can have a wonderful warm dinner.
I guess lots of people use Insta-Pots now (I don't have one) and I understand they are pretty quick as well.

So never feel overwhelmed that you can't provide a nice filling dinner for yourself or your family.  You CAN and you can do it cheaply and quickly.  Busy days don't have to keep you from a good meal.
Get creative and use what you have on hand!
Do you have a favorite easy and quick meal that you throw together?

Have a great Thursday!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Just a Moment in Time

 Good morning and happy mid-week!!!
Each morning when I go out to feed the cats (6:30AM) - I get this wonderfully lovely aroma that just smacks me in the face.  It is light and sweet and flowery.  It is a bit heavenly.  While the cats eat (I bring in wet food dishes when done), I stand outside and breath in every ounce of this wonderful scent I can.
I get the same sensation each evening, when I go out and pick up all the food dishes at about 7:30-8PM
I don't tend to smell it during the day.

THIS is what I smell - the phlox.  I swear each time I stand and look at them and smell them - I am taken back to childhood.  They were everywhere around our home - these came from there.  I have just a huge patch of them this year (in a few spots too).  I didn't think they were doing very well - then the rain came!!!!   I just love the delicacy of each little flower.  The hummingbirds have been loving them too!
These are in so many new places this year.  I have bunches and bunches and they are even growing in the neighbor's yard.  They have spread so much.  Such delicate little flowers. It is also a great herb - mallow.
Clematis is blooming again.  They aren't huge flowers but they sure are pretty.  Lavender seems to be the color of the yard at the moment!

This looks pink - but it is actually salmon colored.  So fragrant.
My oldest rose - was established when we moved here 36 years ago.  It IS pink and smells wonderful- looks like the bee thinks so as well.

Just a moment in my back yard.  I thought I would share.  I know you all love flowers too.

I will leave you with this thought today.  It is so very true.
We tend to get so impatient - but God knows when the time is right and what is supposed to happen and when.
Keep the faith.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Potpourri of Posts - This, That and the Other

 A little of everything today.  Just touching on a few topics that have been on my mind.
Nothing pressing!

I have been seeing people complain the Dollar Tree is just TOO expensive anymore!  True, they are no longer a $1 - but a $1.25 and that is a 25% increase.  Well, for 30 years or more things stayed at a $1.  I cannot think of any other store that has not raised their prices - not even once - in all that time!  Can you?  They are also complaining that now there are items that may cost $5 there.  Yep, that is the "plus" department - with higher priced items - that many shoppers were requesting.
I don't go there often - because many things are just cheaper elsewhere - I know that sounds weird - but it is true.  Look at the size of package and then price - sometimes the deals aren't that great.
I do love it for bags, cards, and tissue paper and things at the holiday!!!!!!

New cooking show!  Has anyone watched the first episode of Big Bad Budget Battle on the food network with Ree (Pioneer Woman) as host?  In U.S. it is on Tuesday night.  Well, I recorded it last week (#1) and finally watched.  3 people compete for a years worth of groceries.  They get $20 to shop for 2 meals - which they know nothing about - and they have a pantry.  They make the best budget meals they can with what they have, and they have to make it in 20 minutes.  
It seemed right up our alley!!!!!  I kind of liked it.  The people (just everyday folks) were creative and made some tasty looking food.  They are judged by 3 chefs.  Might give it a look see!!!


I am jealous of you folks that have the scratch and dents stores or discount grocery stores.  You always have the best deals to tell us bout.  I sure wish we had something like that around here.  I have even checked websites that give locations of these kinds of stores - only one listed here - went out of business many years back.
I want a discount place!!!!!!!!!  LOL

I would also love to have a farm market that looked like this!!!!!!  WOWZA. (not my picture).  What a beautiful sight this is.  We have markets - but they sure don't look like that!
I remember back when I was a kid, and even right after we got married, we used to go to the outside market - which was not far from where I live now.  They sold produce both commercially and to individuals.  It was something to see.  Anything you could imagine was for sale there.  Rows and rows of covered tables of beautiful fresh produce.  That was a thrill in itself - just walking around there.
Nothing much like that now.  That place is a parking lot and an offices (sadly - in the name of progress).
Do any of you have a great farm market that is just totally abundant with lovely goodies??

POTATOES - there is something go around that there is going to be a potato shortage this fall.  Not sure what to believe.  Maybe - maybe not.  
I guess the thing to do is be prepared, just in case.  Dehydrated potatoes (slices, chunks, or hash browns), maybe potato buds, canned, or can your own or get them and keep in your cold storage area.  I will probably have some of all.  My brother grows potatoes and cans them - I always get what I want.  I usually have store canned potatoes as well and frozen potatoes of different sorts.
Just a heads up IN CASE.  Not sending out panic or stressful messages - just plan ahead.
We can conquer anything if we have the mind to!!!!!!!

Lastly, I am sorry so many have been not getting notices via email and having problems leaving messages on the blog.  Blogger has changed so much, and I am not super computer literate - so bear with me please!  I keep trying to figure it all out - it just gets me so frustrated.  I did figure out that some that have said their posts disappeared - were in the background of the blog - asking me if it was Spam!!!  I said no, and to post and it did.  SO if you have a long post that disappeared - send a short note and let me know - I will hopefully find it and post for you!!!!!
UGH - I hate change!

OK, there you be - my rambling mind this morning.  I write things down and sometimes forget to post about them - so I just made a menagerie post of items today!

Look forward to your thoughts!  Have a great day everyone!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 8/14

 Happy Sunday all.   Here we are halfway through August.  My how time flies.
I hope this finds you all well and safe.

I had a very busy week and accomplished quite a bit - for me.  I don't usually accomplish a lot of bigger projects and this week, happily I did.
We have had some rain this week, and finally the temperatures dropped a little as did the humidity level.
It looks to be a lovely week ahead, with highs in the low 80's and low humidity.  Wonderful - especially for August!!!

I still have phlox blooming and the roses have a few blooms.  I even saw a couple blooms, again, on the clematis and the D'oro lilies.  The surprise lilies are looking sad now.  Soon the New England asters will bloom - then it will be officially fall!  The large woodpecker is back in my area - it sure is a neat thing to see.
We have had a few showers this morning - then the rest of the week looks to be dry.

My week:
  • Harvesting - tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, okra and cukes
  • Froze some tomatoes for canning later and froze okra
  • Cut more basil and thyme and dried
  • I did a lot of weed whacking!  A little around my yard - but mainly next door AGAIN!  They have been there 3 1/2 months and still no weed eater - and very little mowing as of late. (I understand many of us haven't had to mow a lot lately).  There is a spot in back they have never set foot - and it was soooo overgrown and taking over my fence.  Well, I cut and trimmed all I could from over the fence - and cleared out my fence row.  UGH.  It looks much better.  That was quite a job.  I guess we take what we get - at least they are nice and quiet.
  • Went on Sunday to Menards and got a new light for my backyard.  Also got furnace filters, a new belt, 5 lbs. of peanuts for squirrels, and salsa mix.  The mix is Mrs. Wages, and one I have not found for several years (mild).  I also found some canned cat food flavors - I haven't seen in ages.
  • Got the dusk to dawn light installed with the help of my neighbor.  It works wonderfully!!  It took us a while and it was really hot that day - but it has been worth it,
  • NO grocery store at all this - never even thought about it
  • Fixed 2 of my back steps that had loose treads
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do.
  • The ramp is gone!!!!!  2 people - 2 days and it is done!  Wow what a job that was.  It was so much more unsafe that I had actually thought.  So much rotted wood - so happy that it was not being utilized - that could have been awful.   I kept a lot of good wood, gave away a bunch (it was all gone within 1 hour of finish on 2nd day), and there is a huge pile for burning.  Let's just say - not a splinter, smashed anything, or broken nail - but a lot of sore muscles I didn't know I had!!!!!!!!!  Dang this body is sore!  BUT the job is done, and it sure looks different.  Now to decide what I plan to do out there.  ***** By the way - there was a raised platform off of porch that was 6 x 10 and then there was a 24' ramp with side rails.  It was a real job!!!
                                             Much of the rotted wood - not all.

Meals this past week:
Fried egg, cheese and tomato sandwich
Leftover casserole (freezer) and fresh cut-up veggies
Smoked sausage, kraut and mashed potatoes
Cheesy potato cakes and sliced tomatoes
Cheese topped ravioli and tomatoes
Broccoli cheese soup (from freezer) over noodles
Chicken tamales and sliced tomatoes
SNACKS - bal. of watermelon, veggies and dip, chips and cheese dip, sandwich

I feel somewhat accomplished this week.  It was good wholesome hard work, and the Lord gave me the strength (both physically and emotionally) to do it.  I am thankful.  I really needed to be involved in the removal of the ramp system, to get my mindset in a good place.
Some weeks I DO get physical!!!  LOL
Today will be a needed day of rest.  It is wet and gloomy looking, and this body is tired - so I will hang out and maybe nap.
I must say I have slept well most nights this past week.

How was your week?  What deals have been found?  What is going on in your area?
I hope all you Arizona gals are OK - I understand there is much flooding there.  Seems like flooding has happened in so many places lately - such a dry summer - then flooding!  So sad.

I pray each of you is safe and healthy.  Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.
Have a wonderful week!

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 7:15

Dear Lord, help us to know who to listen to and follow.  Not all we hear is good - help us to be able to discern.  Help us all realize that we need to follow You and Your lessons, not man's lessons, and we will be fine.  Lord, we thank You for all our many blessings and the gifts we receive each and every day.  AMEN

Thursday, August 11, 2022

What's Up?

 Gosh, here we are at Thursday already - the weekend is almost upon us.  Being retired - the days all run together.  Weekends are not all that special anymore!  I do whatever I need to do whenever I feel like it.  That is kind of the nice part of being retired.  I am now my own boss!!!!!

With the garden getting in gear, there is about to be canning, freezing and preserving.  I have been cutting and drying herbs.  The grapes are starting to get a light hue of color - won't be long!!!!!!

I pick okra a few at a time.  It isn't something that you can keep that long before using - so I cut it up, flash freeze and then I bag for future use.
I have sliced and put on a Rubbermaid lid to freeze.  It doesn't take much room in the freezer and it freezes quickly.  I bag, and I can take out what I want without everything sticking together.

Tomatoes are starting to get busy!!!  I picked yesterday, and many had big splits from the weather.  Instead of inviting more fruit flies inside my home - I cleaned them up, blanched and skinned and cut up a few and stuck in a freezer bag until I have enough for salsa.
                                                 Frozen tomatoes for salsa - when enough
I think within the next couple weeks, the canning kitchen will get busy!  That is good.  Free food, organic food, all added to the pantry for yummy eating and gifting.

I have plans to do yard work in the next few days, as the weather is cooling a bit and the humidity is dropping.  Goodness, take advantage while the weather cooperates!!!!!

I think maybe my friend and I will be working on taking down at least part of the ramp out front.
This is quite stressful for me.  It means putting a HUGE chapter of G behind me - that just makes me sad.  The ramp is not needed, and it is starting to have bad wood and not look nice - so it does need to come down.  I will keep some of the better nice boards (as wood is so expensive), share some with a guy across the street (he is always making something crafty), and then maybe burn some.  It will all get a home. (That will become ash for garden).

I need to trim hair - not sure if that will get done or not this week.
I am about to go out and do my morning harvest.  Then who knows what this girl may do!!!!!!  I kind of fly by the seat of my pants.

What are you all up to at the ending of this glorious week?  Bigs plans?  Yard work, gardening, house projects?  I just love hearing what everyone is doing.  I think we help each other stay motivated.
Let us know what is happening at your homestead.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

My Words for Wednesday

 Happy, happy Wednesday all.  Mid-week again!  It sure is flying by.  Today, just an encouraging word for all.  We all need those from time to time.

I just want to thank you all for being here.  I have a great group of supporters here.  I love how caring and loving everyone is - to me and to others.   We seem to be growing - slowly - but growing.  I love that.  
I love how we keep this a place a goodness, joy and peace.  There is enough anger, stress and worry in the world.  We all need an oasis for SMILES and encouragement!

I thank you all for your support.  You guys have gotten me through some horrible moments, and many sad days.  Even when you aren't aware of it.  I think maybe many others can probably say the same.  The love and support is wonderful.    I wish the world was full of more people like this.  Maybe it is, we just aren't aware or see it a lot.

There is always some light out there - somewhere.  Never, never be consumed by the darkness.
God gives us a chance/gift each day to get it right.  To appreciate more, to love more, to be more thankful, to live more, to give more, to laugh more - just a chance to be better.

Be joyful and go forth.  The more we do this, the more light there will be.  Spread joy - spread it like butter - it is worth so much.

Be thankful for everything.
Today I am thankful for another new nephew!  Miles is perfection and healthy.
I am thankful for being able to walk out in my yard and get food.
I am thankful for those little cherry tomatoes - it is like popping handfuls of vitamins each day!
I am thankful for rain - we got more yesterday than any single day since April!
I am thankful for my sweet, darling kitties, that give me joy and love each day.
I am thankful for wonderful and helpful friends.
I am thankful for my wonderful family.
I am thankful for all the wonderful "family" I have here - yes, you are all like family to me.
I am just so thankful for everything.

Make sure you take a moment or two or three today, and every day, to be thankful and grateful for even the smallest of things.
Life is truly glorious and it is a GIFT.  

Be the light, be the sunshine - for you and for others.  It is contagious!!!!!!  That is something we should all be trying to spread!
Have a wonderful and blessed day my friends.

                           I am now going out to pick some 'grow'ceries!!!!  How cool is that?

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

My Strategy for Stretching Stuff

 Happy Tuesday all!  Today I want to speak about making things last longer and making things go further.  I do this with about everything.  Do I need to?  No!  Why then?
Well, this is how I was raised.  You made everything go as far as possible and you wasted nothing.  
I still feel that is important.  I can pretty much buy what I want now - but I see no sense in wasting things.

I have done this for years.  It is just who I am.  I know it has helped save money as well.  I think whatever I can do to be a good steward of money and things, helps!!  That allows us to do other things and saves a bit from the landfills.

Here are just a few things.  There are many - so I know I can't possibly mention them all.

*I do not use fabric softener sheets, except once in a great while in the winter (when static is really bad.  Then I only use a third of a sheet.  I have had the same box for a couple years.  Generally I line dry (or hang inside) or use vinegar in the rinse.  I can tumble in the dryer for a few minutes with a damp cloth to remove wrinkles

* Laundry detergent - I use way less than the say to use.  My clothes still get very clean.
I have been using this bottle for way over 2 years, and there is lots left.  I sometimes do one load a week, sometimes multiple, and sometimes none.  You use waaaayyyy too much if following the bottles directions.

*Juice - I always water it down.  I pour my first glass of juice from a bottle - then add water.  It always tastes plenty flavorful

*Toothpaste - I use a pea size dollop - that is plenty.  If I don't use toothpaste, I use a bit of baking soda.
*Dish soap - always gets watered down.  I mix water, soap and a bit of vinegar in another bottle.  Works great! (vinegar helps cut grease)
*Shampoo - gets watered down as well.  I mix a third of a bottle to 2/3's water.  Let it set a while, then shake up.
*Make my own foaming soft soap.  I have an old bottle from foaming hand soap that I re-use.  I add about 1/3 bottle of bath wash or other soft soap (I get free as gifts) with water.  It is perfect foaming soap.

*Bread - a loaf can last me a couple weeks.  I remove all air from the bags - and close tightly.  It stays nice and fresh tasting
*Meat - I never use what a recipe calls for.  I generally use 1/2 lb. or 1/4 lb. to anything I make.  I always used less when cooking for two as well.
*A pound of veggies can be stretched like crazy.  I can make carrots, radish, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts - you name it - last for a long while.  I mix lots of things together - so a little goes a long way.
EXCEPT tomato! - If I cut a tomato - it is eaten completely.  There is never leftover tomato - I eat it all!!!!!  As Justin Wilson used to say "I guarantee"!!
*Leftovers always get used in some form.  Maybe as they are for another meal or remade into something new.  I may freeze and use another day.

*I use rainwater outside for plants when possible - I also bring in some bottles of rainwater - to use on my hair in the winter months.  My hair gets drier feeling, so the rainwater makes it soft when washing. No need for conditioner.
*I only wash clothes when they are dirty or stinky.  I don't just wash to be washing.  I often wear something more than once.  Jeans for a few days if not dirty.
*Sticks and limbs - I keep some for plant stakes.  Many larger ones work perfectly for bracing up a garden plant.  I have even used a nice branch in my vining houseplant in the house.  It just kind of blends in, and the cost was FREE
*Leaves are used as mulch and weed barriers.  I either toss behind my shed to prevent grass from growing or in my garden.  Great compost

*Buy smaller bites of sweets.  I do love a candy bar now and then.  I don't buy full size candy bars - but I get bags of candy bites when they are on clearance.  A couple of those small pieces satisfies my craving.  Less sugar, less money and still satisfied!
I ONLY buy bags of candy on clearance, and I make it last. Just a piece or 2 is all it takes.

* I use old rags or old washcloths on my swifter.  They are washable and last forever.
*Old t-shirts become plant ties, rags or hankies
*I use my portable dehumidifier water in my washer
*I often just lightly dampen a rag for dusting.  No need for fancy sprays
*I clean mainly with vinegar and baking soda or just plain water.  Sometimes I wipe the inside of windows down with just a damp cloth - to clean kitty kisses.  Sometimes I mix with vinegar
*When we camped, I would save dryer lint and TP tubes (stuff lint in tubes) for campfire starters

OK - my brain is done for the morning!!!!!  LOL
How do you stretch items around your house?  Do you do it to save or just because you always have?
I love getting new ideas.  Let us know what you do!!!

PS - It's raining, it's pouring - the old man is snoring!!!!!  YAY

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 8/7

 Happy Sunday all.  One week of August over already!  It will be September before you know it. It is hot here again - hoping for better temps and humidity this upcoming week.  We did get some rain as well, so that helped things a bit.  I think it sure made the Robins happy, as I saw them out there yanking up worms!!  Poor birds have been pecking away at the 'cement' dirt for ages!

We had a couple cooler days and the outdoor kitties sure did love them.  Lounging out on the front porch and in the glider and just hanging out on the back walk.  Usually they are finding some cool place to honker down for the afternoon.  Can't say that I blame them.

This week I got to enjoy an old classic from the 40's that I just adore.  The Secret Garden.  It is just the most lovely movie.  I just happened upon it last Sunday on TV.  I think it is one of my favorite old movies.

These 'secret ladies' popped up in my garden this week!!!!  I just love them.  I always feel mom and daddy are here with me when they bloom.  Such a shame we only get a few days, once a year, to enjoy them.

I got a lovely card and letter from a reader this week. Shout out to Cindy W from WV.  Your card and note were lovely, I was really touched by it.  She is having a hard time trying to figure out how to post - if anyone can offer tips, it would be appreciated.  I think one needs a Gmail account - but I am not sure if that is all true.  Can you guys offer her some advice?  Please and thanks!

Kind of a quiet week here.
  • I went out and cleaned out the front flowerbed and walk area and then the side of the house - of all the spent spiderwort plants.  Sure makes a difference
  • I went to lunch with a very long-time friend.  We probably haven't seen each other in 10 years except on FB.  We started working together back in the 70's.  Had a great time catching up and spent the afternoon going to antique shops in the area (a new thing).  Seemed like the old days!
  • I followed a friend to the mechanic shop and then took him back another day to get his car.
  • I got new wiper blades for the Blazer and got them on!  What a difference they make
  • Harvest - tomatoes, cucumbers - (got my first big one), cherry tomatoes, okra and peppers - zucchini seem to be done
I get a bowl like this or bigger every day of cherry tomatoes.  They are growing crazy good!  Gosh, good thing I love them and eat them like candy all day long!!!!!!!
  • I did make a run to Kroger.  I got a seedless watermelon for 2.49, bananas, 2 - milk 1.29/half, 4 huge rolls of paper towels for 5.49 (Brawny) that will last all year, and some cat treats.  I also got a few markdowns that were nice!
4 pack of lettuce - 1.39, French bread - .99, 2 - 2packs of individual sirloin steaks for 3.99, and some tasty donuts for 1.29 (my treat)

I have already made one 'bunch' of lettuce last for 3 meals.  The bread will be 4 meals of French bread pizza for a crust of .25 each!  All other ingredients from what I have.
The steaks are perfect size for me (not a big steak eater).  That is $2 a meal for a steak dinner!!!  NOT BAD!!!!!
  • While out I did stop and fill my gas tank.  I got gas for 3.89/gallon.  Not great, but better than it has been.
  • Made plans for a Menard's trip for today.  I am getting a light for out back and made a list of other items to get there as well.  I don't go often, so I will get all I need.
  • Just general cleaning - dusting and vacuuming.  That is about it on cleaning, the house never gets messy
Meals this past week:
Leftover zucchini/rice/cheese and a tomato sandwich
Fish, fries and cucumbers
OUT TO LUNCH it was yummy.  Went to a tea house called Rustic Root. Def. a girly place!
Big plate of cut up veggies and ranch dressing
Ham, cheese and veggie sandwich
Italian bread pizza
Taco salad
SNACKS - lone pork chop leftover, watermelon, banana, sweets

French bread pizza - 1/4 loaf.  Used all things I had open/cut in the frig for toppings!  It sure was tasty!

How was your week?  Did you all find any bargains?  Are you canning or freezing?  I know some of you are - so far I haven't had enough to can with - just eat and share with neighbors.  I am really enjoying eating a lot of fresh goodies.
Give us a shout out.  I love hearing from you all.

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:7-10

Lord, we thank you for this week and for all our blessings big and small.  Help us to continue to be our best selves and to be humble servants of Thy word.