Thursday, September 29, 2022

There is a Reason

 I just want to say I do believe that things happen for a reason.  Don't always know what that reason is.   I know not everyone believes this way.  I just can't make myself believe that things are just bad luck or a fluke.  The Bible even tells how everything has a time, a season, a reason and we should know it is God.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1   
Please read verses 1 - 9

So many things happen in our lives - both good and bad - and yet we manage to keep putting our feet one in front of the other.  We don't know how we accomplish that on some days - but it happens.
We each have a purpose in this big old universe.  

I know that I have not met you all in person, yet I feel I know you.  I feel that you are a part of my family - more so than some who are.  I am a firm believer that blood does not necessarily make you family - it just makes you related.  Family comes with love, joy, sorrow, helping, loving, caring and being there for one another.

I cherish the wonderful relationships I have made here.  You are all amazing.  You have NO idea how many times you have all gotten me through a day.

We laugh together.  We pray for each other.  We cry together.  We support each other.  I LOVE IT!
I do believe that each of you have found your way here for a reason - maybe for you, maybe for me, maybe for someone else.
You may not even comment - just read - but you are here for a reason.

Today, I just want to say thank you and bless you.  I love you all, you are just so special to me and a huge part of my life.  This blog is one of the things in life that now give me purpose.

I love how we support each other and hold each other up in all things.  That is what makes you all special.
Thank you for being here.  May you have the best week and prayers you are all safe and healthy.
HUGE prayers being said for those in the path of this storm.
Thank you all for being 'family'.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Homemade Wednesday Part 2 - Check it out!

 As promised more homemade goodies today.  I was surprised last week that there not many comments.  I think I will show you some things I have probably shown before - we all need a refresher now and then. 
I know one is an old post - so I will link where to find it. (Oct. 2016)
You really need to check it out!!!  It is so stinking good and easy.  Even with today's prices of meat - this would still be cheaper than buying preservative loaded product from the shelf!!


We both absolutely loved this.  Glen was a real lover of jerky - all flavors and types.  He even said this was some of the best we had ever had.
Uses ground beef.  I bet you could use ground turkey, venison, pork or chicken as well.  Use what you have. Most sporting good stores sell the seasoning - I got mine at Rural King.  They also have different flavors.

1 C powdered milk
1/3 C hot water
2/3 C sugar
3 Tbsp. soft butter
Put this all in the blender and blend until the sugar is all dissolved!  Yep, that easy - keep for your holiday needs!!!!

1 C cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 C sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C cold water
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Combine cocoa, sugar and blend until all lumps are gone.  Add water and salt - mix well.  Cook over medium heat, bringing it to a boil.  Remove from heat once it boils.  When cool, add the vanilla.

2/3 C ketchup
1/4 C oil
1/4 C vinegar
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. wet mustard
1 tsp. onion powder.
Blend this together thoroughly.  I usually use my stick blender.

1 pkg. unsweetened Kool-Aid (flavor of choice)
1/2 C sugar or sweetener
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C orange juice (you can use lemon or lime juice instead)
2 quarts water
Mix and chill.  It sures saves a lot of money - and you don't need to make a special trip to the grocery, when it is needed.  **I always keep Kool-Aid on hand!!!!!!!

There you go - a few more homemade goodies for the recipe file!!!  Maybe these will help someone in a bind.
I just love knowing that I can make so much here at home.  No more emergency runs to the grocery - saving both time and money.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tis the Season - Fall

 Time for the changes of fall.  Time to clean, remove, sort, make, and button up.  The seasonal change also affects many a mood.  For some folks it is a time of renewal and rejoicing the cooler weather and all the beauty.  For others, it brings sadness and depression, as the weather is about to change to cold and be bleak. 
Take time not just to enjoy the beauty, but to renew and refresh yourself as well.  Take time to actually enjoy the beauty of fall and all the little awesome things it brings.  If you concentrate of the wonders, it removes you from your own sadness for a while.
It is necessary to go through fall and then winter for all things to thrive and grow again.  The same with us.  We need to go through so many seasons in life to get to the beauty it has to offer.  Some are not so pretty - but necessary.  Each day is a new opportunity to experience something new and different - good and bad - sweet and sad.  We are not promised happy days all the days of our lives.  We have to make each day something special.  DO NOT waste these days.

Now, for the foody part of my post!!!!  Tis the season for all kinds of tasty fresh goodies, that are so much cheaper at this time.
In the fall I think about all kinds of yummies.  Apples, winter squash, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, pears, pumpkins, carrots, turnips, greens, potatoes, cabbage.

Tis the season!!!  Whether you grow your own or buy from farm stands - you can get so many fall food supplies at cheaper prices now.  Check your local orchards.  Even check those special groceries, like Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, etc.
Take your time and search around.  If you find great deals - stock up for the winter months.  You can freeze or can items.  Many things like squash and pumpkins can last months just left in a cool dark space.
SERIOUSLY keep your eyes open.  Kroger had an unlisted sale on potatoes for several days - 5lb. bags for .99!  This was in several states!
As we near various holidays - some items get cheaper.  Pay attention folks!  Add to your larder in any way you can.  Fresh goods are just so wonderful.  I love almost all fall crops!

The fall foods listed above just say comfort to me.  I love roasted veggies of all sorts!  Warm fruits and compotes and cobblers.   Mmmmmmm
Soups, stew and casseroles also say comfort to me.  Hot, filling and yummy dishes that warm the belly and feed the body.
Chili, stew, creamy soups, crockpot dinners, biscuits and gravy, apple butter and hot biscuits, spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf - oh my!!!!!!!!!!!
I miss these items all summer.  I tend to eat none of these during the summer.  Just me.  There is so much fresh and light to eat during the summer - so I eat with the seasons for sure.
I am now ready for these hearty and comforting fall/winter dishes.

We are cleaning out our gardens of the last harvests.  We are cleaning up our yards.  We tend to do fall cleaning inside the house.  We get out our sweatshirts and socks.  We make sure we are prepared in so many ways for winter.  Our furnaces, cars, homes, equipment, etc.  We are finishing up much of our canning.  We are starting or working on our crafting projects for the holidays.   Tis the season.

I hope everyone tends to take time to enjoy the beauty of the fall colors.  The smell of the air.  Some days are fresh clean air, others are campfire and burning leaf smells (I love those too).  Enjoy a brisk day and take a walk or get out in the yard and do some work.  Go enjoy nature - whether at a park nearby or out to the country.  Watch the critters all collect and prepare for winter as well.
Watch the beautiful skies and the clouds.  Open a window to air the house.
Just take some time to ENJOY all this season has to offer.

Prepare and stock.  Enjoy and watch and listen.  Breath it all in my friends.
This season will soon pass, and winter will be upon us.  That is another chapter in life.
Have a blessed fall day!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 9/25

 Happy Sunday all!  I hope this finds you all well and safe.
Fall arrived right on time in my area.  We went from 94* on Wednesday to the 60's on Thursday!  We are staying in the 60's and 70's - and that is just fine with me.  I love this kind of weather.  It could stay like this all year long in my opinion.

I got a couple sweatshirts out this week!  I even got my slippers out!
Amazingly, I saw a robin at the birdbath the other day.  That is the first I have seen in about a month.  They usually aren't around in the fall and winter.  The gold finches are just glorious to watch.  Blue jays and cardinals galore.

                            Pretty!  A fall larder is always lovely to see.  Not mine - I wish!

I went to the fall cookout at my brother's yesterday.  His entire family was there, and it was so nice to see everyone.  Those kiddos are growing like weeds!  Just so sweet.
Adi and Remi are thriving!!  Yes, they both still have many medical issues - but to see them, they are just 2 rambunctious little girls who love life.  Adi has to do everything big sissy does!  Layla is now one and she is taller and heavier than both Remi and Adi (3 & 2).  Miles is growing quickly - he is a month now and really filling out. (He was so tiny).  Aden is growing into a sweet little man (7) - he is learning so much and gives great hugs!

My brother taking the 'littles' on "hayride" yesterday.  They thought it was grand!!!  Something they will always remember about great grandpa!  Making memories!!!!!

If you are so inclined, please say a little prayer for my brother (Dick).  He goes in Tuesday to have all his remaining teeth extracted, to get ready for false teeth.  Poor guy.

My week:
  • AC now off - and the house has been getting aired out
  • Using dehumidifier water in laundry
  • Doing general cleaning and vacuuming
  • Received all the free C19 tests that I ordered
  • I did a lot of morning porch sits this week.  It has been lovely
  • Went to the library
  • Got gas fill-up while out.  Not even a half tank needed and I only got .10/gal. off with discount - better than none!!!
  • Got out the fall scented candles and started using them
  • Reeled in the back hose than ran to soaker in the garden.  Garden is winding down and with rain and rain barrels - there is plenty of water
  • Mowed the entire yard
  • Did a lot of misc. yard work - so much to do
  • Polished the kitchen cabinets
  • Harvested tomatoes and okra
  • Threw a quilt on the bed - for just in case.  Not turning on heat for a while
  • Meals from home and scratch
  • No grocery shopping
As you can see, nothing much exciting here.  Just enjoying the weather.  Just doing all the normal stuff we all do.

Meals this past week:
Burrito supreme
Veggie fried rice
Mex. grilled cheese (used leftover burrito filling on sandwich) - YUM
Fish sandwich and potato bites 
Philly beef and cheese open face sandwich (used ground beef) and leftover rice
Pork chop and fried cabbage
Cookout - hotdogs, chili
SNACKS - fruit, salad, popcorn, cheese & crackers, ice cream 

There you have it - see, nothing exciting at all.  How was your week?  More exciting than mine??  Wouldn't take much - LOL.  
Did you get any good deals?  Still gardening?  Crafting for the holidays?
Love hearing from you all.

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

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a man who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
Proverbs 19:1

Dear Lord, we stand humbly before you and ask for your many blessings.  Each day we need your guidance and love to go forth and be the kind of people we should be.  Help us to speak truth and love to all we meet.  We pray blessings on all Your people of this earth, and we pray for peace to reign over the earth.  Amen

Thursday, September 22, 2022

A Step Back in Time

 I received a copy of a local newspaper yesterday.  It is a free weekly paper that covers many stories about this side of my town.  It has been around in some form for decades.
There is a column each week called Reminiscing.  It takes a look back at events from each decade for that particular week.  It goes back 60 years.

50 years ago this week (I was a senior in high school) - there was a recollection of grocery prices listed at a local mom and pop store.  OH MY!!!!

Can of Shasta soda - 5 cents
Dozen eggs - 19 cents
Whole chickens - 29 cents a pound
Gallon of milk - 69 cents
Pound of ground beef - 79 cents
20 pounds of potatoes - 89 cents
2 lbs. Maxwell coffee - 1.48

Good golly!  Hard to believe.

Yes, I remember grocery stores looking like this.  No plastic bags - just paper.  No computers - people actually weighed things at the register and actually pushed keys to entered prices at the register.  They smiled and were friendly.  Most of them knew us personally.
Mom had a grocery budget of $15 a week - for things that we did grow and preserve.  She kept that budget for quite a long while - then she finally broke down and raised it $25.  She just thought that was horrible.  Daddy passed in '84, and she finally had to start buying more things, as she didn't have that big old garden she had before.  She sure hated handing that money over to the stores!

I could spend $2 or $3 on gas for my '64 Galaxy and drive all week.
I changed part time jobs - from working for my parents' shop to working for Topp's discount department store.  I went up to making $2.10/hour and thought I was rolling in the dough!!!!

We hung out at someone's house on the weekends or went on cheap dates.  There were no computers or laptops to distract us.  No mobile phones.  Just your friends.  We had the time of our lives.

After I graduated in '73 I got my own apartment.  I just thought I had to do that to be all grown up!!! (I moved back home after 6 months!!)  All the friends from work would gather at my apartment after work, and I would fix Jiffy blueberry muffins and we would sit around talking and watching Star Trek!!!!!!
Times were so much simpler.

This was my life in the 60's for sure.  I am very thankful there was no technology then.  We had such fun using our own imaginations.  Going for walks, riding bikes, playing in the creek.  Those of us that lived this kind of life, had REAL childhoods in my opinion.  
Front porch summer lunches with friends.  Playing hopscotch and jacks.
The closest we got to technology was calling the radio station in the late 60's and early 70's and requesting a certain song!

It is fun to sit and think back.  Life was pretty darn good.
I sure miss those times and all the people.

A get together at Mom's back in the late 50's. Check out the fashions!  The old-time wooden screen door!  That knobby kneed little in blue shorts is me!  I was about 4.
(Just brother (back R) and I is all that is left from this picture) 💓💔

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Homemade Wednesday

 I promised to list a few recipes from scratch vs. prepared.  These are just things I have tried and liked - not always my original creation - but tried and tested by me.

Maybe it will help someone.  I will try to do some version of homemade 'something' for the next few Wednesdays.

                                           OK - nobody asked - BUT tis the season!!!!!!!

Click on recipe to enlarge!!!!
I love this stuff and I give it as gifts as well.  This was from the original Tightwad Gazette.  I have used with chicken bouillon, beef, onion soup mix in place of bouillon, you can use tomato/chicken bouillon
 - whatever you like.
This makes about 3 cups f mix - 1 cup is equivalent to a box of Rice A Roni.
Now the way it is listed, it is not prepared JUST like the boxed.  If you want it like the box says - you can keep your seasoning separate (mixed) and prepare your rice/pasta in the butter first. That browns the pasta a tiny bit.  Then add water and appropriate amount of seasoning (1/3).

Click on recipe to enlarge!!!!
Again, not asked for - but it sure is handy to know.

Click on recipe to enlarge!
These are very tasty and easy biscuits/scones.  This recipe makes about 30 and they do freeze nicely.  BUT the recipe is such that you could easily halve it with no problem!

1 pkg. of active dry yeast
1 C hot water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. veggie oil (or what you use)
2 1//2 C All Purpose flour
Dissolve your yeast in the hot/warm water.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Beat about 20-25 good strokes, till all mixed.  Let it rest for 5 minutes.  Divide into 2 balls - roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface.  Place on a lightly greased pan - and add toppings.  Bake at 425* for about 20 minutes.  I often make the 2 - and bake the 2nd crust for about 10 minutes - cool - then freeze for next time.  Baking will not take quite as long on the 2nd pizza (unless you like it crispy).
Very easy and forgiving recipe.  

I love baked mac n cheese.  That is just the old fashioned and yummy way to make it in my opinion.  I don't always bake it - I sometimes make just a small amount on the stove.
STOVE TOP - Cook macaroni al dente - add whatever cheese you like (can mix) - some milk and seasoning.  I cook until cheese is melted and most of the milk is soaked up by mac.  It is just creamy this way.  Nothing special.
I cook the macaroni again, al dente - add equal amounts of cheese (or more) to macaroni.  So, 1 pound of mac = 1 lb. of cheese. YEP - at least.  If I am in the mood, I will add even extra cheese.  Seasonings you like.  (I like using at least 1/2 of cheese as a sharp cheddar for flavor)
I make a rue of milk and flour and pour over the cheese and mac mixture in a buttered baking dish.  You just have to use your judgement on whether it is wet enough for you.
I then bake at 350* until it is bubbly, and the top has browned a little.
Soooooo good!
**This is one of those things that I just fix as I go - no real written recipe.

So, there you have some homemade from scratch items from my kitchen.
Hope this answers a few questions.  Again, each week (for a while) I will list some good old homemade recipes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Yep, It's That Time Again!

 We are over halfway through September - just a few days left.  October and November will fly by - you know it will!!!!  This year is on the downward spiral to being over.
So YES, it is time to start thinking about Christmas!!!!!

I think it is time to start projects.  I most generally have a homemade Christmas.  I don't do much at all in the way of traditional gifts.  I do give a few gift cards to teens (they can choose what they desire), but I also add some homemade or special odd ball gifts to go with them.

All people who are crafty, need to get busy.  Time flies.
Check your baking and candy supplies - make sure you have what you need to make those holiday goodies.
Get jiggy with those crafting projects!  Have a very inexpensive and crafty holiday!

To those that sew, crochet, knit, quilt, etc. - now is the time!  Things can be simple or complicated.  Think about using one thing to make another!
I am working on a small quilt that is using some of Glen's shirts for the fabric.  Use a vintage tablecloth (maybe a stain or 2 on it) to make kitchen towels or napkins or an apron.

Use old quilts, that are beyond their best, to make pretty pillows.  Add pieces to a new lap blanket.
Make some sweet ornaments out of old linens or vintage costume jewelry.  You can use pieces in a neat hot pad for dishes.
Make a neat picture (wall hanging) from these same vintage pieces or from old doilies or lace pieces.

Now it the time to think about food items.  Those that can - can give special gifts.  Homemade jelly or jam, salsa, pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce, pickles or relish.  Make a cute basket - maybe jelly/jam and homemade biscuit mix, pizza sauce & all the fixings for a pizza, spaghetti sauce & pasta in a nice strainer.  Salsa and some special chips.
I also add special items that the recipient likes to the goody bags.  Special olives, rice or soup mixes, special mustards, favorite candies, nuts, etc.
Hey, we all have to eat!!!  Give someone something they may not get on a regular basis.

KIDS - youngsters don't need fancy stuff!  Really!!!!!
Start now and make a cute little fun chest of things.  Crayons and color books, puzzles, books, activity books, etc.
TEENS - yep - they love money and gift cards.  It may not seem like a gift to you - but it is FUN for them. You can always add a little something more personal.  I make the teens a goody bag with all their favorite snack items, chips, candy, fuzzy socks, pickles (yep), gum, etc. to go along with their gift cards.  They love it and ask for it every year!!!!!!

Even for adults - with prices going up - every little bit extra is appreciated.  Maybe a gift card to their favorite grocery store or to the neighborhood gas station.  You can start buying gift cards now.  Most grocery stores sell all kinds of gift cards - so get a $20 or $25 card each time you shop.  I get 3 packs of $15 G/C's for gas - and separate them so I give one to each teen boy.  They get homemade snacks as well.  
If I buy G/C's at Kroger I also earn extra points that I can use for a discount on gas.  WIN-WIN!

Start looking for pretty mugs (used) to gift with tea, or chocolate or coffee mixes.  Add a candy cane for a stirrer.  Makes a nice gift for teacher, neighbor, co-worker.  A book for a secondhand store.  Maybe some warm fuzzy socks or a pretty candle.
Things don't need to be fancy or expensive. 

Think about making up jar mixes for soups, brownies, cookies, biscuits, pancakes, etc.  Not only are they great to give, but they are nice to have on your pantry shelf.

Absolutely love this idea.  IF you buy goods, please buy local - they truly do need your help to survive in this day and age.

So, yep it may seem soon, but we are about 3 months out, 14 Fridays!!!!!!!  Folks, it will be here before you know it.
Don't go expensive or crazy with things.  Keep it simple, keep it full of love and personal touches.

Are you working on anything at the moment or do you have any creative, yet simple ideas?
Have a great day.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 9/18

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds you safe and healthy.
It is a beautiful day here - the sunrise was again beautiful.  Sunrises and sunsets have been exquisite the past few days.  I hear it may be because of the ash in the air that has traveled from the west coast in the atmosphere.  It may be - or God is just a wonderful artist!
We may have storms come through overnight tonight, then it gets back to 90's for a few days.  On Thursday - the day of fall equinox - we are to be in the 70's!!!  That is my perfect type of weather.

It seems just like that - the hummingbirds are gone in my area.  I guess they know things we don't.
                        It is that time of the year again!  The bees and butterflies sure do love these.
                                                             And these are still going!

I got a card this week from a reader - it contained a nice little letter.  Thank you, Diane R. from IL for reaching out.  It was greatly appreciated.  I wish I had an answer as to why you can't comment.  Maybe try the anonymous route, and then end with your name.

My week:
  • Worked on my houseplants.  Cleaned them up and removed all dead pieces and leaves - rearranged them for more sunlight
  • Got rid of lots more paperwork
  • Been doing some more deep cleaning
  • I went out and cleaned out the tomato plants.  There was a lot of browned leaves and stems.  Cleaned and still growing.
  • Still getting lots of cherry tomatoes.  Freezing lots of okra and reg. tomatoes
  • My neighbor (the painter) came and scraped, cleaned and painted the security doors this week.  The sure look much better - like new
  • I cleaned the windows from doors, polished the brass, and cleaned the thresholds
  • I cleaned many other windows - some just inside and others both in and out
  • Cleaned out the frig
  • Put the fall door decorations on doors!
  • Mowed the entire yard
  • I did receive a bunch more Kroger specific coupons in the mail
  • I did do a Kroger run - for fresh stuff.  I got milk for 1.29 a half gallon.  Got radish, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage on markdown.  Got some green seedless grapes and bananas as well.  I found 8 packs of Hi-C grape flavor water flavorings on clearance for .49 a box.
  • Got to air the house a lot and do some porch sitting
Meals this past week:
Stew (from freezer)
Dbl. cheeseburger, mac n cheese and sliced tomatoes
Dirty rice (freezer) and tamales
Mac n cheese and spicey smoked sausage on bun
Big salad
Taco salad
Fried chicken and salad
SNACKS - toast and jelly, salad, fruit, leftover tamales

How was your week?  Did you have any great buys?  Are the gardens still going or winding down?
Let us know what is happening in your neck of the woods.

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful week.  May you all stay safe and healthy.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all thy wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High.
Psalms 9:1-2

Dear Lord, I thank You for all the wonderful blessings that touch my life each day. I will continue to tell all I meet of my love for You.  Thank You for this lovely day.  AMEN

Thursday, September 15, 2022

A New Day - A New Blessing

 Today is a new and wonderful day - and we will be blessed again.  Each morning when I get up - I thank the Lord for another chance at this thing called life.  Some are not so fortunate.
Be thankful for all things - big and small!  Life, health, family and friends to the beauty of a flower, the kisses of a pet, to a smile received from another.

Life is short and we need to soak it all up and embrace it.

I do #2 almost every single day - what a glorious sight each day.  No 2 days are alike.  #14 can be difficult for me sometimes.
These are each wonderful reminders to be the best you can be each and every day.
Spread CHEER not FEAR.  Don't be a doom and gloom person - it serves no purpose.  Always try to look to the positive and know that things will work eventually.  Patience is surely a virtue!!!

Yep, these are the most frugal things out there!  These and your faith in a higher power are so very important, and they get you through the roughest of days and moments.  Trust me, I know!

I hope the remainder of your week is blessed and wonderful in every way.  Be the one to give joy to another, accept a gesture from another (it may be all they can give), and just LIVE and ENJOY this season in life.
Yesterday is gone, today is a gift, and tomorrow is hope.  Each day is a gift.

Blessings my friends.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Homemade - let's all play along

 Making it instead of buying it - is generally much cheaper.  It is often healthier too.  You know exactly what is in your food, your cleaning solutions, whatever you are making.

I tend to make a lot of things that most people just buy.  I much prefer homemade chili and soups.  They taste so much better than the stuff in cans!  I can make a little or a lot - if a lot, I can freeze helpings for another time.

I make almost all of my cleaning supplies.  I use basic ingredients and mix them for various uses and I also have my Dawn dish soap - which is good for so much.

I make my own Rice a Roni mixes - I can control salt and flavorings.
Love mixing up my own spice blends.
I just love, love homemade biscuits (scones) - instead of canned.  I can make a batch and freeze and have for another time.
I love my homemade tortillas - they are just so light and yummy and super easy.

I thought it would be fun if everyone gave us an example of what you make at home instead of purchasing ready-made.
Whatever I don't see in responses, I may make a post of recipes of things we can all try.

Hope you all play along.  Love that we can all teach each other and have fun and learn new things together.
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Yes, even the wealthy!

 We all speak of our frugal ways.  We all practice many frugal ways.  Some do it because they have to financially.  Some do it because it is just the right thing to do.  Some do it because it has become a habit.  We all have different reasons.

I think we have all read stories about those people who are stupidly wealthy - yet they have maintained their frugal ways.  I have read many a story about Sam Walton and also Warren Buffett.  Both ridiculously wealthy.  They both maintained their homes they had before they made their fortunes.  Both decided to continue to drive their older model vehicles and both would wear their suits until thread bare.
 I don't think they were being greedy - I think they both just decided that STUFF was not that important in their lives. (I know that sounds crazy to say).
I find it sad that perhaps their families didn't necessarily follow suit - they did have good examples.

With the recent event of the Queen's passing, I came across an article about her and frugality.  She has palaces and castles to live in.  The crown jewels at her disposal.  She attended balls and world events.  She also preferred to east very basic meals.  She made sure food and other things were not wasted.  She had many outfits remade - because it was recycling and prudent.   She had new heels and soles put on shoes.  It appears some of her extended family have followed suit in some ways.

Here is a neat story on her Majesty's frugal ways.

I thought it was interesting to read and nice to know - it isn't just us 'everyday' folks that try to be frugal.  I hope you can open and read.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 9/11

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds you safe and healthy.

Today is the 21st anniversary of the event that changed the entire world.  People may not realize it - here and abroad - but every life WAS changed after that day.  So much changed, and so many lost.  I will never forget that day and many days following.  I live in the flight zone of the airport - and I remember that immediately (and for many days) the skies were silent.  I remember crying and not believing that this could happen.  I remember my momma (who was so sick) not understanding - and crying, saying "what is happening in this world".  I remember it all - I WILL NEVER FORGET!

This week the weather has been decent - not too hot.  We are having rain today.  
The birds have been enjoying themselves.  I keep seeing the hummingbirds, and the finches are sure loving my echinacea flowers.  There were 3 bright yellow finches out there the other day - all enjoying a fresh lunch!  The cardinals greet me every morning before sunrise.  They are the first to show up each morning and give me a lovely serenade as I feed the cats.
We have a couple cooler days coming up (70's) this week, then back to the 80's.

My week:  (quiet)
  • Using what I have and using all leftovers in some way
  • Renewed library books online
  • Mowed and trimmed everything
  • Harvesting each day and freezing lots of goodies until I get myself in a mood to can!!!
  • Cut my hair and did a touch up of color
  • Paid everything I had on hand
  • Got to air the house many mornings and had the window open late each night
  • Sorting and organizing a lot more in the deep pantry
  • Received an unexpected check.  Will probably use it for gift cards and basket goodies for holiday gifts
  • Used the rain barrels this week for watering
  • My shutters have been painted!!!  My neighbor came and took them down and took them home and cleaned and air painted them.  Oh my goodness, they are lovely - they look brand new!  Hopefully this week the doors will be done.
  • I did run up to the Christian thrift store up the road (needed to get out a while).  I bought myself 2 long sleeve heavy t-shirt material tops.  They are really pretty and will be great alone or under a sweatshirt.
Click on pic to enlarge.  Hard to see in this one.  I love them and they only cost $1 each!

Meals this past week:
Baked potato with chili sauce and cheese
2 slices pizza (from freezer)
Cauliflower steak, corn on cob, sliced tomatoes (meatless day)
Ground beef/peppers/mushrooms sauteed over rice
Fried chicken and salad
Egg roll bowl
Leftover cabbage/sausage and mashed potatoes

I have been in a mood lately - just can't shake it.  I need to boost myself up and get myself busy.  So much to do.  I think I need some fun in my life!  LOL.  I guess we all have these down times.  

How was your week?  Did you get any great deals?  Are the gardens still going?  Mine is winding down a little - but still hanging in there.  Okra is really taking off!
I wish you all a blessed week.  Please stay safe and healthy.

Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Dear Lord, I pray that You will help us each to choose hope over despair, that You will help us expand compassion to others.  I pray for peace for everyone and all lands. Let us all practice love for others.  Please bless us as we go into this new week.  AMEN

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Use Those Trays for More than Ice

 An ice cube tray is not just an ice cube tray!!!!  They have so many uses for freezing things.  I have extras that I keep that I do not use for ice.  So many things can be frozen and even when you have dribs and drabs left - you can freeze them and use.
It isn't crazy - it is about using everything up - ALL THE TIME!

Tomato sauce or paste is great to freeze in cubes.  Freeze and bag - pull out just what you need for a dish.

Coffee - freeze leftover coffee.  Put a cube in a super-hot cup of coffee to cool and not water it down.  Nice to have on hand to thaw and add to chocolate goods when baking.  Coffee really enhances the flavor of chocolate.

Herbs - freeze fresh herbs in water in trays.  Super handy to have on hand when cooking.

Gravy and sauces - keep even small amounts.  Throw those cubes in that soup pot bag or bowl in the freezer.  Great for adding a little extra flavor

Freeze iced tea or juices for using in a glass of tea.  Keeps things cold and no watering it down.

Soup or soup stock.  It adds bits of flavor that is great for any kind of dish.  Think stock to use in pasta, rice, beans, etc.

Great for leftover wine.  Again, use to keep a glass of wine cold or to add a bit of wine to a dish.  Throw in a grape or piece of fruit in the wine cube and add a refreshing addition to your next glass!

I used to always freeze Kool-Aid in cubes for flavoring tea - and Glen used to like to just crunch on them!  I also used to freeze yogurt in ice cube trays for him.  He loved it that was.  A refreshing treat.

I freeze milk that is about to go south.  I use it in my smoothies in the morning.  Great for making shakes and malts - use for biscuits and for gravy.  Never be without milk.

I freeze eggs in muffin tins (they are bigger), but many people freeze eggs in ice cube trays.  I just never find them large enough for each egg - but I guess it depends on the size of your cube trays.

Juice left from a can of fruit or from cooking fruit?  Freeze it - great for frozen drinks or flavoring in muffins and sweet breads.

If you have littles - you can puree up unseasoned veggies or fruit and freeze in trays for baby food.

NOT an ice cube tray - but you can freeze mashed potatoes, dressings and even meat loaf in muffin tins.  Nice size for a single serving.

I keep lots of extra trays around for all those things that are not ice!  
Make sure you mark your baggies or bowls with descriptions.  Waste nothing - use in some way or another!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Could You??????

 Today I am going to mention a couple of books I have read in the past.  Both on the subject of limiting our purchases.  One is about NOT buying things and the other is about buying only local (or growing own).

I have read both of these many years back.  Some people like the books and others find them crazy.  I guess it is all about your take on the subject.
The first is called - Not Buying It - My year Without Shopping.  By - Judith Levine.  Now there are a lot of books about this subject and even FB pages - but back in the day, she was the first.
Their philosophy was to buy nothing un-necessary for a year.
Therein lies the catch - un-necessary!!!!!  I guess it depends on each person.
Yes, you need to spend on home and utilities and medical and insurances and food.  It was mainly about not buying new STUFF!  No clothes, no gifts (they were made), no eating out, no frills.  I guess where I had a problem is that years ago, she thought spending $120 a visit at the beauty shop as necessary!  They had 3 vehicles for two people to upkeep.  Some things didn't make since.
For me, it would be about making do with what I have and making new uses of things and recycling what I could.
Could I go without buying stuff for a year?  Sure - I don't buy that much anyway.
Could you do it???

The other book - which I have read several times - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver.
This is a true story of her family that moved out to the country.  They made it a mission to eat only what they grew or caught on their land and what they could get locally from friends and neighbors.
Now in theory this sounds wonderful - but it would also create HUGE challenges for many.
Depending on where you live - many, many things are not local.
Coffee, tea, different grains, and many fruits and veggies.
They used chicory for coffee.  Different herbs instead of teas.  The grains and flours they could get were just what was produced locally.  They made cheese and butter.  They made any goodies or breads.  They experimented a lot.  They only ate local produce - yes, they did try to preserve much for days when it wouldn't be fresh.  No fruits like pineapple, oranges or bananas - they didn't grow there.  All meat was locally raised, as well as milk and eggs.
I can't remember if they had things like baking powder or soda, salt and pepper, etc.
This challenge would be much harder for me to do than the first one.

Living in the city, there is a lot of stuff everywhere - but it is not fresh and local.  Now during part of the year there are the farm markets - which one could visit and utilize in every way possible.  Once winter hits in my area - you would be without a lot of stuff.
Some rural areas would be much easier to realize this.  It would still be difficult, I would think.  I mean, this girl loves her citrus during the winter months when it is cheaper!  There is no local citrus.
I am not a coffee drinker - but I do like tea now and then.  Herbs just don't cut it for me as a tea.  I will mix them in - but I don't like them alone.

Both were very interesting reads and great challenges to take "in part".  The first would be easier for me.  The second one - well - that would be very hard for me.  I DO try to buy as much local as possible - but if you really stop and think - there is much that we get that is in no way local!
Some people do versions of the second one - by buying within a 50 mile radius of home or a 100 mile radius.  But even then - there is much we would do without.

What do you think?  Could you do either one?  Would one be easier than the other?
If interested in how they did it - pick up the books at the library.  They are interesting for sure.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Simplicity and Frugality - It Isn't Just About Money

 People think that we are frugal and live a more simple type of life, because of money.  That may be a bit of it, but for me, it is so much more.  
I realized that in rare form yesterday morning.  I was sitting out on the front porch, very early in the day.  It was soooooo quiet.  Very unusual for my neighborhood.  Being a holiday, I heard no traffic noise, no dogs were barking, there were no sirens or planes and no trains (I do love the sound of the trains).  All I heard was crickets and birds chirping.  There was a cool breeze.  The bestest morning!!!!
That is part of the simple life.
I didn't need to go any where to have a lovely day - I just enjoyed the quiet and then I enjoyed my kitties and going out and picking 'grow'ceries!  Later on, I watched new neighbors a couple doors down, having a volleyball game with the young-ins and grilling (oh the smell!).  I talked with neighbors later in the day.
SIMPLE living.

I think we live our best life when we live a simpler life.  When we finally have our debts paid off and can just live a little free-er.

Not having to rush and hurry all the time.  Just living - that is wonderful.  We all did the hurry up and wait thing for years.  Worked, and saved and tried to pay off debt - when you finally get that chance to slow down - you need to just enjoy it!

It is about having less to me.  The less you have, the less you have to take care of.  Less cleaning, sorting, moving.  Less heating and cooling.  Less upkeep.

It is about taking better care of the environment.  Learning how to use what we have in new ways and recycle things.  It is about putting less in our land-fills.  It is about being mindful about all the land and all of nature.
Being creative is worth so much more than throwing money at things.  The satisfaction one gets is wonderful!

It's about working together on projects and putting our minds together to figure things out.  I miss that part - G and I did that often.  Work with your partner, and know that great minds CAN work together!
It is nice to look back on.

It is about learning new skills.  Life should be about learning, every day.  We are never too old to learn new things and new tricks.  Expand your skills and then you will realize that there isn't much that you CAN'T do!!!
I think it all has to do with less dependence on others.  Being able to live life and depend only on yourself (as much as reasonably possible) is huge.  The world has become a place that it is very difficult to depend on others, sadly.  We must learn to be dependent and capable of many things.

It is about living and eating healthy.  Using what we grow.  Cooking from scratch.  Learning how to use herbs and plants for health.  Knowing that we can maintain good health without so many chemicals being put in our bodies.

It is about not giving a rat's 'ars' what others think about what you do or what you have!  Just being you and living within YOUR means - not how others think you should live.  If others don't like my house, my neighborhood, my vehicle, my choices - I DON'T CARE!  I live this life for me.

It is about choices.  Having the choice to do or not to do.  To have or not to have.  To visit or not to visit.  It is about living the way you choose.  YOU!  You can take a trip if so desired.  You can get new furniture if so desired.  You can have a dinner out if so desired.  Being free of debt, allows you to have freedom to do what you choose to do.

All in all - I think living a simple and frugal life is about truly LIVING.  It makes life a little more enjoyable.  It makes me more considerate of others.  It helps me understand what others may be going through.  It lets me help others in need.  It lets me enjoy all the beauty in nature.  It allows us to simply enjoy the simpler things.  We don't have to be entertained - we know how to do that ourselves.
It is about truly LIVING!!!!

Have you realized a simple and frugal life is better?  Have you learned and appreciated this more as you age?  What is it all about to you?
Have a great and simple day my friends!!!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 9/4

 Happy first Sunday in September.  My, how time flies!!!!
We have been getting rain and muggy feeling days.  The temps are supposed to be in the lower 80's this week, but I do believe the muggy factor sticks around as well as the rain chances.
It is Labor Day weekend, here in the U.S.  I hope you all have a nice weekend.
It is just another day for me - no plans at all.

It has been quite a week.  It has been emotional and stressful - so yesterday, I just took the day OFF!  I did nothing much at all, but lay around, nap, and read.  I needed that.

This week:
  • I took Momma to be cremated on Monday and got to pick her up on Friday.  (sigh)
  • I did some straightening in the garage and emptied the trash bin from there
  • Washed all the cat bedding from the greenhouse
  • I went to the feed store, bank and Lowes on an outing.  I got the paint needed for my neighbor to paint my shutters.
  • Ordered a total of 16 Free C-19 (2 orders) test strips (in case others need)
  • Went to an out-of-town funeral with bro and SIL.  Huge step for me to go out of town.
  • We stopped at the Mennonite store on the way back.  It was fun looking around.  I didn't need anything much, so spent very little.  I did buy a back of clear jell, powdered buttermilk, dehydrated marshmallows (for Christmas project), and fried peas (I love them).  I also got some Mennonite/Amish noodles.

  • I have been battling gnats/fruit flies/drain gnats - whatever you call them.  Nothing has helped much.  I put salt, baking soda and vinegar down all the drains and closed them off for a while.  Then rinsed well - it helped tremendously!!!!  I still have some, but no where the problem I had.
  • Mowed and trimmed and did a big clean-up at the back fence row (in wild flower bed behind garden)
  • Harvesting - eating and freezing
  • I went around the entire base of the house and stuffed steel wool in any and every crack or space I saw in the cement block (basement wall/foundation).  Getting ready to ward off ANY chance of mice getting in.  Never had a problem and don't want one now.  It is the season!
  • Received 12 coupons from Kroger in the mail for $ savings.
  • I did run to Kroger one day - I was in the mood for corn on the cob and it was on sale.  I got a few more 1/2 lb. cheese packs for 1.49 ea., bread, and smoked sausage for the freezer - 14 oz. for 2.49.
Meals this past week:
Ramen soup and 2 peaches
Baked beans, hot dogs and tomatoes
Chopped steak, leftover beans and side salad
Just picked all day - also had a bowl of popcorn 
Taco salad
Chili/cheese dogs and corn chips
Beef tips and corn on cob

What a week!  I guess this was a good reminder that we have strength and fortitude for all things.  God has the sun rise each morning and a new day begins.  Prayers for you all that any problems you are facing, that you hand them to God for His strength and wisdom.

What has your week been like?  Any deals?  Gardening? Fall cleaning?  Look forward to hearing from each of you.
Prayers you all have a safe and healthy week.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure.
Proverbs 4:25-26

Lord, Help us each to live as we should.  To be kind and good and thoughtful.  May we always follow the right path and live according to Your will.  Thank You for each and every new day.  Amen

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Some Thoughts for the Week

 Well, here we are - in September!!!!  We have now entered the 'ber' (brrr) months!!!!!  Cool weather will be here in no time.

This week has been full of heartfelt moments for me.  I lost my oldest sweet kitty.  I lost my former brother-in-law.  I went to a funeral - and as usually happens - had a family reunion of sorts.  I ventured further from home than I have in close to a decade. (no lie).

I never got too far away when Glen was here - as I needed to be close in case he needed help.  I never drove anywhere more than 20 minutes away for ages and ages.  I really thought I would get past that after his passing - well, it got worse.  I didn't drive to the funeral (still not that brave) - but my brother and SIL took me and this was 80 miles from home.  Major anxiety for me!!  Then part of the way driving south, there was tremendous road work and construction, and everything was soooooo different - oh my, was I anxious.  BUT I DID IT!  Big step for this girl!  
This probably sounds silly to most people - but we each have our loads to carry and this is mine.
We all have to start somewhere, and we all take baby steps - but eventually we move forward a little at a time.

I got to see nieces and nephews I only see about once a year - and some I haven't seen in years.  We talked, we laughed, we cried, we hugged, and we all made sure to tell each other how much we loved one another.  
My former brother-in-law had remarried and had another child.  I was amazed that when this sweet lady wrote his obituary, she listed my sister as preceding him in death.  My sister's kids were listed as children (not step).  She had picture boards all around the room that included pictures of 'her' husband and my sis at their wedding and pictures of all of us when we had been visiting.  I told her I was so very impressed by that action, and that it meant so much.  Her response - "You all were part of his life - why would I not?"  WOW.  I do not know that I could be that big of a person.  She has always embraced all of us, and been so kind and pleasant - we were always welcomed in her home.  She and I are friends on FB,
Quite the lady with a huge heart.
I was also pleased to find out that R just recently saved.  I know not everyone holds my beliefs and that is fine - but for me that was a tremendous worry taken carry of.  I now feel comfortable that he is with God.

It was wonderful seeing family and spending the day with my brother and SIL.  I got to go back into a part of the state I haven't seen in ages and so enjoyed seeing all the beauty.  Beautiful fields, farm houses, rolling hills, and open spaces.  AND QUIET!  Standing in the funeral home parking lot - was in the middle of this tiny town - and you heard nothing!  No sirens, no planes, no traffic, no loud music, etc.  What a difference from here.  I could get used to that peace.
It was nice to have a few moments to just listen to the quiet on a beautiful clear day.  We get so used to noise - that I think we sometimes forget how wonderful the quiet can be.  Bliss!

So, I guess my message here is - out of all bad things, something good will come.
I lost my precious kitty - but I have her in my heart and I know she chose me years ago.  I got to have many wonderful years with her.
I lost a family member and friend - but I got to bond with other family, I learned R is in God's hands now, I moved myself forward 'a little', and I got to enjoy some of God's beauty in the country again.
Yes - there was bad - and yes, there was good.
Life is a balance.

Here we are ready to embrace another new month.  I pray it is a good month for all.  I hope you all embrace each moment and make them wonderful.
Grab ahold of every hug, kiss, laugh, and good moment put in front of you - grab them and hold on.  Cherish them.  Remember them.  
Life can be hurtful - but it is still BEAUTIFUL!

Blessings my friends!