Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Tuesday Tip or Two

 Hello all!  Hoping you all are doing well and are having a good week so far.  We made it through some harrowing winds yesterday.  It got kind of scary a couple times - such high winds.  Lots of limbs down here, but there was a tornado in another part of state.  Tis the season!

Just a couple tips and ideas today.  Maybe they will help someone!  Here's hoping.

If you have a soda stream, you know the drink mixes can be expensive.  I only have a machine because I found it brand new several years ago, at a yard sale for $15!!!!  It even came with the carbonator canister and extra bottles.  I lucked out.  Now I do like a carbonated drink from time to time.  This works to fill that craving.  I often add fruit juice to the water after it is carbonated - but generally I like a little more flavor.  
 A machine doesn't take up that much room - and you can have carbonated drinks when you want.
I generally use these little individual flavor packets when I want a carbonated drink.  You can get all kinds of flavors.  It gives the flavor and a little sweetness, and takes away my craving.  Using the little packets is a lot cheaper than buying the flavor bottles.  I most always get the flavors at Dollar Tree or on clearance at the grocery.  Each box gives you several servings!

Need extra counter space when having company?  I have a large metal cutting board that I can place over one half of my sink.  It fits nicely and gives me extra counter space!!!!  Just make sure the faucet if over the other half of sink!!!  LOL
You could also open a base drawer part way and place the cutting board over it.  It gives just that little extra space you may need.

Duct tape, clear packing tape, masking tape, etc. - it is always hard to find the end and start to peel.  I often just fold over a piece of the tape - so it has a flap.  You can also place a paper clip, a bread-wrapper tab, a toothpick, etc. under the edge of tape.  It sure saves time and makes it easier to unroll the tape!

When making a 'breakfast' type sandwich - it is nice to have the egg fit the sandwich nicely.  I make breakfast biscuits often and it is good to have a round egg!  Easy!
Grease (well) a wide mouth ring (from canning jars) and place your egg in it to cook!  Flip over when bottom is done - it will fall a little but stays round.  It sure makes a nice round egg for that biscuit!

Mix together:
1 Tbsp. cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
2 tsps. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 C macaroni
After mixing together you can keep these on your shelf for easy use.  Place in a pint jar or a sealed baggie.  Grab one to make.
Mix with:
1 lb. ground beef (or other ground meat) Browned
2 C milk (or 1 of milk and 1 of broth) - or 2 of broth if you need it to be dairy free
1 C water
Mix these all together with you packet of mix.  Simmer until pasta is done and top with 1 cup shredded cheese.
Make it taste more chili-like by adding a tablespoon of chili powder.
You can change up cheeses or cheese-like options - you can use gluten free pasta, you can add any variety of spices to change it up.
It is always nice to have an alternative to something and to have it be as natural and preservative free as possible.  This is a great BASIC recipe.  Have fun with it.

You can use basically the same seasoning mix - maybe add a little celery seed - for chicken as well.   Mix with 2 cups of pasta for your shelf storage.
Add to a cup of cooked and shredded chicken with a cup of milk (or broth) and 2 cups of diced tomatoes.  Top with parmesan cheese.  YUM a totally different but sort of same recipe!!!!!!

Hoping you found a tip you can use today.  Sometimes the easiest and simple ideas can be time savers.
Any time savers you care to share?
Have a wonderful Tuesday my friends.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/26

 Happy last Sunday of February.  February is the shortest month of the year - yet it has seemed like the longest!  Granted, we have not had the extreme weather many have, but so much rain and winds and winds and more winds!  A few more days and it will be what is called meteorological spring (3/1).  We will be changing our clocks yet AGAIN (ugh) in a couple weeks.  Yes, spring is coming - we just need to be patient.

I did a walk about again this week, and did see tiny red buds peeking out of the ground at the peony plants.  There are poppies, sneaking out (greens), and the forsythia is getting growth.  I see the daffodils getting some buds.  If you stand and just look around - you can see a haze around the trees off in the distance.  Red, gold, green, bronze haze - the trees are starting to set buds!  SOON!!!!!!!!

I have all kinds of birds in the yard.  I see the geese flying over in both directions several times a day - I love hearing them.  Blackie is getting more healthy everyday.  He still has a bit of congestion - but is doing so well and he is loving sunshine and fresh air!
I had damn hawk get one of my small squirrels.  They usually go after birds - so this really ticked me off.  Poor baby was sunning up in the tree and there is no protection.  Sometimes nature makes me so sad.
We got to 70* on Wed. it was also windy and wet - then on Thursday the temps dropped and we had lows in the 20's!!  We have had over 30 days in the 50's since early December.  Lots and lots of rain!  So happy all that rain wasn't snow.

This week:
  • Had to change out a couple light bulbs - why do I mention that?  I can't remember the last time I had to change bulbs!!  I hardly ever turn on lights - so no need to change things out.
  • Baked a batch of brownies - man I had a craving!
  • I had to change out the disk in my digital camera.  I have used the same disk for YEARS!  It finally decided to quit.  I went searching and sure enough I had a new in package one that G had purchased many years ago!
  • Worked on the wallpaper some more - taking it slow!
  • Made iced tea and added a couple apricot tea bags for flavor
  • Got to air the house on a couple days
  • Had my chime/angel on porch get blown over and chime broke.  I fixed it and have it back out there.
  • Paid everything I had for March
  • Did more yard work when I could - just cleaning up some
  • Did a walk about and picked up trash from walks and alley
  • Ran to feed store for corn
  • Went to library and returned and got some more books.  I have looked at a couple I got before - but will re-read.
  • I also went to grocery this week.  I used a $5 off total coupon I had for Feb.  I got a couple buys with digital coupons - strawberries 1.88/lb., cherry tomatoes, milk - 1.29/half gal., Bumble Bee tuna .79/can (limit 5 w/coupon).  I have been going on Friday, when I go lately - as I use the 4X points on Friday coupon.  Points give money off on gasoline.
  • I topped off the gas tank and used last months points.  I saved .50/gal.
  • Eating from home and using leftovers
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
Meals this past week:
Cheeseburger (on toasted bread), cole slaw 
Fish soft tacos
Green beans cooked with potatoes and fried Spam (froze extra Spam)
Leftovers - green beans/pots, fish and chicken bites
Sausage, egg, cheese sandwich (on bun)
Meatball, pepper, mushroom, blk. olive and Swiss mini subs (hotdog buns)
Good golly these were good!!!!!  Easy and yummy.  I used a Tbsp. of brown gravy mix and 1/4 C water over it all to make a gravy.  All cooked up nice and thick!!!!!!!!  Mmmmmmmm

So there you have it.  Nothing much exciting here.  Just trying to do all the normal things.  Enjoying the blue skies and sunshine when given the opportunity and love walking about in the yard.  I have even gone out and set on my bench just to enjoy the fresh air - Blackie comes and curls up next to me each time!
How has your week been?  Are things waking up in your area?  I know many are still experiencing cold and snow!  Hopefully, it changes for you soon.
Did you get any deals this week?  Give us a shout out and let us all know what is happening in your part of the world!

Take care and be safe and warm.  Enjoy each day - a gift from above.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours!  Prayers for all.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.
Psalms 28:7

Dear Lord, thank You for always being by my side.  Many days we have struggles and battles that we try to get through, and You are always there to help hold us up and give us strength.  Please be with others who are battling their own struggles and protect them with your shield.  Amen

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Making Groceries!

 Morning all.  It is so easy to make many of our groceries ourselves.  It costs less and most times it is just better for you as well!
I think back and my mom made about everything at home.  She made treats and snacks, and she made bread and biscuits.  You name it was homemade groceries!
I know many here do this as well.  Sure it may be a little more work - but if you are looking to save a little money or looking to eat a healthier diet - making groceries is for you!

We all know there are all kinds of basic mixes that can be made ahead of time and they are good for many things.  You can make up mixes for baking, spices, soups, etc.

Today a couple of ideas from pantry to grocery!  To yummy!!!

2 C flour (or whole wheat if you want healthier)
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
4 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano or marjoram
Mix thoroughly in a large bowl - start with mixing seasonings into 1 C flour - and mix thoroughly.  Add last cup of flour and blend.
Great for fish, chicken, pork chops, dredging for meats for stews - tasty and yummy!

What a fun treat for the kiddos or self!  Super easy.

4 C flour
4 C cornmeal
1 1/2 C nonfat dry milk
1/4 C baking powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 C shortening
Stir dry ingredients together - cut in shortening until blended.  Place in a glass jar or tightly covered container.  Keep in a cool place and use within a month or so.

CORNBREAD - 4 1/2 C mix, 2 eggs and 1 1/3 C water.  Pour into 8" greased pan.  Bake 425* for about 25 minutes.
CORNMEAL DROP BISCUITS - 2 C mix to about 1/2 C water.  Makes a soft dough.  Drop by tablespoon onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake 425 for about 12 minutes.
CORNMEAL MUFFINS - Grease muffin tin.  Combine 2 1/4 C mix, 1 egg, and 2/3 C water.  Stir to moisten dry ingredients.  Fill tins 2/3 full.  Bake 435 for about 20 minutes.

1 pint vanilla ice cream (or make your own) or slightly freeze some yogurt
3/4 C peach preserves, warmed - you can use any flavor
1/4 C chopped almonds (toasted) or whatever you have
1/4 C flaked coconut (optional)
Divide ice cream into 4 sherbet dishes.  Top with preserves.  Sprinkle with goodies.

**This goes along with our jelly/jam uses this week.  There is no limit to the flavor that can be used - or what toppings you can use!!!!!  Have fun with your ingredients and make FUN!

A loaf pound cake or butter cake
1 - 12 oz. jar of marmalade or jam (whatever flavor you like)
Frosting (if desired)
Chill your cake to help firm it.  Turn on its side and slice into 3 pieces (horizontally).
Add jam/jelly/marmalade into 2 cut pieces and restack.  You can add a regular frosting or a drizzle of powder sugar icing or use plain powdered sugar sprinkled if desired.  I like it plain with a scoop of ice cream!!!!!!
(Reminds me of a jelly roll)

Think about snacks. Popcorn is an easy and cheap snack - there is no limit to the toppings for it.
Homemade potato chips.  Use a mandolin and very thinly cut potatoes and then fry and season.  I have even baked!  I spritz with a little oil & salt - then bake until crispy.  So fresh and yummy.
Tortilla chips - use flour or corn tortillas - cut into wedges and bake or fry (as above) until crispy.  Super easy to make chips.
I have made chips from zucchini as well.  I thinly slice - sprinkle with a bit of seasoning and dehydrate until crisp.  They get eaten in a matter of minutes!!!!!!!  I LOVE THEM!

There is no limit to what we can make at home.  No need to buy expensive junk at the stores.  Use your INGREDIENTS and make your own!!!!!!!!!  It is much healthier and cheaper.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Bellyaching and Reflecting

 Morning all.  Yesterday, I was working on the wallpaper scraping some more.  Ick, what a job.  Some areas are very loose and flaky and then much of it is stuck for eternity!!!!  LOL
I think I could consider it an ancient ruin!!!    Oh my.

Well, any way I was peeling and scraping, the TV was on behind me, and there was a program on about living in the past.  As I sat on the floor cursing the wall - a lot of things went through my mind.  (Scary place to be!).

The solid color is mint and that is the color of the LR.  I peel and what do I find - more wallpaper.  Oh my goodness - that stuff is old.  A good 3 layers of paper!

I am griping and hissing and moaning about this job - and then I think how good I have it.  
All of our ancestors (at some point) had to cut through the woods and forests, to go a mere feet.  As they traveled to new parts of the land - there were NO roads.  They had to hand chop with an ax every single tree out of their way and move every rock and boulder.  Over mountains and through gullies and valleys and over rivers.  WOW
They had to down trees and haul them and then build their homes.  Pretty much had to build everything.  There weren't stores to rush out to, to get new furniture or pretties.  Furniture was made.

They had to do everything.  They had to clear the land.  Down the trees, Build the houses (with crude tools).  They had to grow the food.  Raise the animals.  Hunt and fish.  Spin the wool.  Make the soap.
Tan the hides.  Collect the water or dig the well.  NO cars - ride a horse or a mule.  Chop the wood for heat.  Fight off the wildlife.
Heck even vices had to be done by them - they had to grow the tobacco and make the moonshine!!!!!

I guess my point is we are so fortunate to have all the things we have.  We take most all of it for granted.  Shoot if the oven breaks down, or the washing machine quits, or the microwave stops or the lawn mower stops working - we are just frantic.  What are we to do now?????

We go in and turn a handle and we have hot and cold (clean) water.  Flip a switch and we have light.  Flip another switch and we have heat.  We have mechanical equipment for building and plowing that our earliest ancestors would probably think was the devil at work!!!!!!  

My mind - it can wonder!!!!!  This is where it went while scraping wallpaper and feeling sorry for myself!  I sat on my nice wood floor, in a warm house with a sturdy roof overhead, next to a glass door that looks out to see the sunshine, in my comfy clothes - feeling sorry for myself for a moment.  
Just take a moment and look around today - no matter what you may be fixing or re-doing or remodeling - you are lucky!
I love the history of the past and hearing the stories.  I love watching programs about it and reading about it.  Would I have survived?  Oh probably, as we would have been conditioned to living that way - but it sure was a hard life.  They knew nothing different - I think to myself, what they would think today if they could see things.  Magic - the devil!

Take a moment or two to just be thankful for the life you have and lead today. 
(Promise next week the story of my ancestors and their Indian mishap!)

Have a fantastical day!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Another Throwback and Thoughts

 Good morning.  Today I am going to add a post from 2016!  I know many of you were not here then.  I think I had just a handful of followers then.  I was still pretty new to this blogging thing.  It sure has been a fun ride.  I have learned so much from all of you.
A lot has changed in life over the years - my goodness.  Much has changed - yet much is the same.

This is what our trees still look like.  All dormant and empty!  Blue skies give the backdrop beauty and if you click on the picture to enlarge - you will see dead center a little squirrel sunning itself!  Yes, the trees and earth may still look blah and dead - but they are full of life.  There are squirrels and birds that thrive in these trees, the skies and the sun give hope to warmer days.  Flowers popping up through the ground here and there - give great hope to what is to come in a few weeks.  
Just like nature - we all go through seasons in life.  
Some seasons are happier than others - but in some way they are all beautiful and we learn so much from each of them.  It may not seem so at the time - but we do learn and we continue to grow.

Here is a post from early on.  The many uses of jellies and jams.  It isn't just for peanut butter anymore!
I hope it gives you a few ideas on ways to use this basic item in a new way.  It is fun to learn new uses for things.  Maybe, just maybe, it will help stretch the budget a little.
I always have many jars of homemade jelly around - I know some of you do as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Jelly and jams have many uses other than the traditional peanut butter sandwich!  If you are anything like me, you have LOTS of jelly and jam on hand.  I make several types each year and other than for gift giving, we just don't it that much.
I have decided to get busy and start using up some of the older jars, so I don't feel so bad about making new.  I just can't let things go to waste, and many things get made into jelly easily.

Here is a few non-traditional uses;
  • thumb print cookies or molasses cookies (I always put a dab of jelly in center)
  • oat bar cookies
  • make a flavored vinaigrette for salads (they can be expensive to buy)
  • I make flavored homemade ice cream with jam (raspberry is a favorite)
  • If it doesn't set right - it's called syrup at my house.  Jelly can also be melted down for syrup.
  • use in making BBQ sauce or chili sauce
  • add between the layers of a layer cake for a fun surprise
  • add to smoothies
  • stir in cottage cheese (the Cottage Doublers are pricey at the store)
  • Jelly rolls
  • mix with cream cheese to serve with crackers or chips.
  • top a cheese cake (melt and cover cheesecake with a thin layer of jelly)
  • mix in yogurt (buy cheap plain yogurt and make your own flavors)
  • Make little individual pies with leftover pit crust (we loved these as a kid)
  • Place a spoonful in the middle of muffins or cupcakes before baking.  Fun surprise!
  • Sweeten hot tea (yum - flavored tea)
  • Dollop some in your hot oatmeal.
  • Use as an ingredient in sweet breads (just adjust liquids a bit)
  • Give as gifts
  • use as a meat glaze - apricot, apple, orange, pear, mint or jalapeno are all good on pork or lamb
  • Mix a little in pancake/waffle mix.  Makes them flavored.
  • And of course on sandwiches, toast, biscuits, etc.
Do you have any cool ideas to use jelly or jam in a different way?  Please let us know.
This year I want to make sure nothing goes to waste and I want to get creative.
It seems that seven years later - the sentiment of not wasting and using up what we have it still very relevant!!!  Maybe even more so now!

Celebrate each and every day you are given.  In sadness and joy - each day is still a gift.  
Look toward your family and friends, your pets, nature, the blue skies, the thought of what promises we will have in a few weeks with Spring, and the knowledge that God loves you.
Whatever you are going through at the moment - hope still prevails and love is shared.
Have a blessed day.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 2/19

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds you well and safe.
It sure seems like Suday comes around faster and faster every week.

We have had all kinds of weather this week.  Warm, cold, wet, dry, sunny, gloomy - you name it. It always amazes how many seasons can hit in one week!!!!!  LOL

Yesterday I saw my first red-winged black bird of 2023!  I just love those birds.  They are so pretty, and they have a lovely song.  There are so many different kinds of birds.
I also noticed while out roaming the yard - not only are the daffies popping out of the ground, but also, the tips of tulips, all kinds of lilies, and hyacinths.  Spring will be here soon!

Blackie has had a cold this past week.  He started being a bit sneezy last weekend, then got congested in the week.  He has rested and slept a lot, and he seems to know better than me - starve a cold - feed a fever! He ate what he wanted, when he wanted (despite what I thought)!  He has gotten herbs and vitamins.  He is much, much better today - and ate like a piggy this morning!!!   Yesterday he spent the afternoon outside laying in the sun and getting fresh air.  That was the first time since the beginning of the week.
I did pull all his bedding out and laundered it this week (get rid of germies) and scoured all the water bowls.  But he is well on the mend now!

My week has been kind of quiet.  I just didn't have a lot of oomph for some reason.  Slept badly a couple nights - ate something I shouldn't have too late!  So I had a couple days of just reading, eating and napping!

My week:
  • Had company on Sunday - that was wonderful
  • Took down the winter door decorations
  • Changed out the yard flag from mittens to tulips!
  • Raked up a bunch of stuff in back.  Sunflower seed hulls and peanut shells.  The squirrels need to learn how to clean up after themselves!!!!
  • Picked up a ton more sticks - we had another big wind event
  • Got to air the house 3 days
  • Started stripping wallpaper - oh what a job
  • Saved 2 glass jars to use for jar mixes (for gifting) 
  • Did some mending
  • NO grocery store this week
My meals this past week:
Homemade pizza and chacuterie board
Chili (from freezer) and crackers - some fresh veggies on the side
Fried green tomatoes - spicy mac n cheese
Taco salad
Tator tot casserole 
Broccoli cheese soup
Tuna mac - used leftover broc. soup and spicy mac
SNACKS - leftovers, fruit, fresh veggies, cheese crackers

How was your week?  Did you get any good deals?  Are you seeing things come back to life in your area or are things still all winter?
We sure had some good conversation this week.  I love that - we can all be so different, yet so the same!

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

For He will give His angels charge of you to guard you in all ways.
Psalms 91:11

We ask for Your help in taking better care of ourselves - physically, spiritually, and mentally.  We know we are in Your hands, but we must tend to our bodies as well.  Guide our steps to make positive changes in our lives.  Amen

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Could you? Would you? Do you?

 Today I propose a question to all.  Could you or would you go a YEAR without buying STUFF?  OR do you?
I have been reading about a lot of people and families that have done this as a conscientious way of trying to save and trying to be mindful of everything.

Now these people still pay mortgages, utilities, insurance, taxes, and buy groceries.  They just eliminate a lot of unnecessary things from the budget.   They have managed to save a lot of money by doing so.

OK - here were some of the rules.  No eating out, no coffee or drinks out, no new clothes, no movies, no vacations, no yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales, no beauty shops, just basic grocery purchases - no junk food, just no nothing that isn't imperative for living a basic everyday life.

I kind of chuckle - because this just sounds like ME on a normal week/month/year!  I don't buy much extra.  I can - I just don't.  I do get junk food now and then, but that is my biggest vice. (whoop!)

Many people have made this choice on purpose.  I know many who don't have a choice, as this would be a normal thing.  I do not mean any disrespect to them.
Extreme frugality is choosing NOT to buy.  Poverty is having NO other choice.

I buy very little.  I do love the grocery store, and often overspend there.  I do like to buy gifts for others.  As for me - I need nothing.  I have plenty of stuff in my house - and need to get rid of much.  I would LIKE new furniture and I will get it when I see something that floats my boat.  But I am not rushing out and going crazy to JUST buy.  I am not a clothes horse at all - and I have lots that I don't wear regularly - so I CAN switch things up if I choose.  I cut my hair myself.  I don't use a lot of make-up or fancy toiletries.
Yep, I can, could and do easily do this with no problem.

I live on half of my monthly income (maybe less).  I need for nothing.  I am not a vacationer or an on-the-go person.  I find it a nice, simple, and drama free life.  I like living simply. 
I know that many don't and that is fine for them.  I am not in any way knocking it.  We all know what makes us happy and we spend accordingly.  
People save for various reasons.  Trips, health, emergencies, financial independence, security, etc.

You each have your reason for saving.  I love that we can make choices and live accordingly.

I am just curious IF you could make the decision to have a buy nothing kind of year!  Just basics - nothing extra.  
It is just another option for saving!  Some have saved thousands doing this.  I wouldn't save much extra than I do now.  How about you?

Could you?  Would you?  Do you?

This is just a fun way to see how others feel and think.  I hope you play along.
Have a good day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Easy and Fun Bites

 Today I am going to post recipes for fun and easy bites that are just downright  tasty!  Simple to make for any occasion.  For snacks, meals, game nights, etc.  If you are like me, you like easy foods!

Wanting to make a Mexican meal or Tex-Mex style meal or snacks?  No refried beans - make bean dip!!!

1 - 15 oz. can of chili beans
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
Drain the beans and reserve 2 tablespoons of liquid.  Combine the beans, reserved liquid, and spices in the blender.  Pulse until beans are partially chopped.  Pour it all in a saucepan and heat over low heat - stir constantly.
Great as just a dip or instead of refried beans for tacos, nachos, burritos, etc.

1 - 8 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. chopped black olives
4 oz. chopped green chiles
1 jar salsa
Flour tortillas

Beat cream cheese until smooth - add chopped olives and chiles (drained) and 1/4 cup of salsa - mix well.
Spread over tortillas - roll up and chill.  Slice rolls into 1/2" slices - serve with extra salsa.
** Actually roll-ups can be made with about anything.  I often add thinly sliced meat, cheese shreds, thinly sliced or chopped veggies - whatever you want.  I make these as meals a lot in the summer!!!!
Super easy and frugal - use what you have!!!

1 package of frozen cooked meatballs (or homemade)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 C chili sauce
2/3 C grape jelly
1/4 C Dijon style mustard

In a skillet heat the meatballs in soy sauce until thoroughly heated.  Combine the remainder of the ingredients and pour over meatballs.  Cook until jelly dissolves and all comes to a light boil.
Serve as an appetizer, a game night treat or serve with pasta or rice as a meal.
So very tasty.

2 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 slices stale bread

Heat your waffle iron.  Beat eggs, slowly add milk and vanilla and beat well.  Remove the crust from bread and butter both sides of bread.  When waffle iron is ready - dip bread in egg mixture and place on waffle iron.  Close lid and heat until golden.  Serve with syrup or fruit or jelly.
**Keep the crust and dry for crumbs - don't watste!

2 C self rising flour
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 C milk
Mix all ingredients together and drop by teaspoonful on baking sheet.  I use parchment paper on pan.
Bake at 425 until golden brown.  
It doesn't get much easier!

1 15 oz. can of sliced peaches - drained (keep juice for smoothies or flavoring)
1/2 C marshmallow creme
3 oz. cream cheese - cubed
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg or cinnamon

In a blender combine all ingredients and process until smooth.
Serve with any kind of fresh fruit!
This is so good.  Just a different type of fruit dip.  Makes a great dip for snack or dessert.  Try dipping cubes of cake too!

Hope you find something new and different to try.  None of these are expensive to make.  Most use things we have on hand.
I just love fun foods.  Step out of the box now and then and do something fun and different.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Tuesday Tips and Throwback

 Howdy everyone!  Hope this day finds you well.  Yes, it is Valentines Day!  If you celebrate this day - I hope you have a lovely one.  I have never been much into it - just another of those made-up days to get people's money!  LOL
I know there is some history behind it - but it was never something I celebrated much, except as a kid.
Not my picture - but this looks so much like Momma kitty did.  Have a happy day!

DRU asked the other day, if I could repeat a couple ideas that had been on some very early posts.  I know one or two have been shared a couple times - but it always is nice to get a reminder.  Times can be tough for people - so any tip to help extend the budget is useful.

Casseroles are always a great way to use bits and pieces of things.  Here is a basic formula to help make up any kind of casserole your heart desires.  There are no real rules - use what you have and make a nice new meal.  Click on recipe to enlarge.

Click on pic to enlarge
Now I know I have listed citrus cleaner before.  It is easy to make, uses up scraps and it smells fresh and clean.  It also helps to keep ants away.
Remember peels can be used in different ways.  You can zest the peels and freeze for future use for flavoring.  You can place the peels in a pot of water and heat on the stove or small potpourri pot for a great smell.  They are great for refreshing your garbage disposal.  Place in it, turn it on and grind up.  The kitchen smells lovely - I did this just last night!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Oooooh egg pucky!

I have been hearing about the bird flu and the affect this will be having on eggs.  I am sure you have heard the stories as well.  My first reaction to rising prices was "horse pucky" (sort of!).
According to reports, tens of thousands of egg chickens have been destroyed.  Eggs are rising in price.
Last week at Aldi, eggs were up .80/dozen from the week before.  That's a pretty big increase in one week.  Prices are supposed to hit the peak price this fall and the high prices are supposed to last through Spring of 2016.   We have a few holidays in that time frame, and many involve baking!

The price of chicken hasn't risen yet, and they say it won't.  Egg chickens and meat chickens are raised separately.  I am not believing it!  I have been purchasing chicken and vacuum sealing and freezing whenever I find a great price. (I love my vacuum sealer).
I have also been getting eggs for the future.  HOW you ask?  I am freezing them!

I am using muffin tins to freeze eggs in.  My ice cube trays have small compartments and I always buy large eggs.  Simply use cooking spray or lightly grease tins and pop an egg in each unit.  Break the yellow for more even freezing.  Once frozen I pop them out and store in freezer bags.  I manage to get 2 dozen eggs in a gallon bag.  I put a layer of wax paper between them.  Eggs will last well upwards of a year frozen.  **Always thaw in the refrigerator and not at room temperature.
Buy now while cheap and store for later. 
Egg pucks!!!!!

I have also been using another muffin tray to make large ice cubes as well!  We go through a lot of ice in the summer and I refuse to PAY for it!  So along with the  regular ice cubes I am making giant ones!
Here is a reminder on freezing eggs.  I copied this from the post in 2015.  NOTICE the comments at the beginning of that post about the price of eggs and bird flu!!!!!!!!  Hmmmm - people think this is a new problem.  Nope - it happens every so many years!

***Buy whole chickens when you can.  They are generally MUCH cheaper than buying select parts.  You can get so many meals from a single whole chicken.  I have read many a post about getting a good 8 meals from one chicken.  You can have fried or bake, you can make pot pies, soup, casserole, stir fry, pieces on salad, or chicken salad.  Then you can use the bones and scrap for making stock.
I know some people only like certain parts - but when making soup or pot pie or something like that - all parts can be tasty!!!!  

**Bread, unsweet cereal, crackers of all sorts, crushed chips or even pretzels can be used for all sorts of things.  Use as a breading when frying.  They all make great extenders in things like meatloaf, salmon or tuna patties, even a quiche.  
I have mentioned before a great way to extend eggs for a crowd - add crackers (crushed) & a little water to your egg mixture.  Scramble as usual - and it all tastes like eggs and really extends them.  We used to do this all the time when camping.  I always add some extender to quiche recipes.

**Load up on veggies at your meals.  Many don't like or can't eat rice or pasta (carbs) - so veggies can extend your meal.  Frozen veggies are generally pretty cheap.  Now make sure you buy plain veggies -- not the ones with glazes and marinades (they cost more).  Canned, might be cheap - depending on what you use.  Fresh and garden veggies are wonderful.  This is a great way to extend a meal and it is healthy as well.  No need to make meat the front runner of the meal (use smaller pieces).  
I use a lot of pasta or rice - to extend my meals.  I love both and can eat them with no side effects.  I know not everyone can.  Just another option!!!!!

There you go.  The first three items are from June of 2015 posts!!!!!  That was my first month of being on blogger.  Gosh, a lot of time has passed by since then.
It is almost hard to believe I have been around here since then.  I thank you all for being on this journey with me.
I love that newer readers are going back and reading the older posts.  That makes me happy.  THANKS Dru - for the suggestion!!!!!

Wishing you all a sweet day.  Take care.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/12

 Happy Sunday to all.  Hope this finds you all well and safe.  Gosh, here we are at almost the halfway point of another month.  They sure are flying by.

We had some spring like weather and then a tremendous wind event.  Thursday was sooooo nasty.  The wind was horrible.  Luckily no major damage around here.  Lots of limbs down, but that was it.  We are now in a warming trend for much of the week, then another cool down to winter like weather for a couple days.  There seems to be a lot more decent days than nasty - so that is good.
I love being outside and listening to the birds - it sounds like spring!
They are singing their sweet songs.

I have company coming today.  My nephew and his wife are coming in town.  I am so excited to see them.  I am making homemade pizza and an assortment of veggies and cheese and summer sausage.

It has not been an exciting week at all on the home front.  Just a lot of this and that.

  • I did go out Tuesday to a luncheon with a lot of my high school alum.  They do this every other month - my first time going.  It was really nice and it was what I needed to lift my spirits.  Many of the people I even went to grade school with - so it went back a 'few' years!!!!!
  • Cleaned and scrubbed all the watering holes outside
  • Did a big yard pick-up of limbs and sticks.  Some trash - but most just kept on blowing down the street!
  • Cleaned out a couple more drawers
  • I did run to Kroger to get a few fresh items.  I found a bag of firm, large green tomatoes (3) for .99.  This week is going to be fried green tomatoes!!!!!!!  YUM!
  • I did try the Dove for sensitive skin on my hair this week (Elise).  I liked it.  My hair was very clean and soft. Today I did shampoo - kind of a controlled study.  I think it was much softer with the Dove.  I am wondering now about Ivory bar soap.  I have about 12 bars of that.  It was always advertised safe for babies - hmmmm.
  • Basic cleaning - the mention of company sure does keep the house dusted and vacuumed well!! LOL!
  • I did get to air the house on 2 days - very nice temperatures.
Meals this week:
Baked beans, smoked sausage and garlic toast
Deconstructed cabbage roll skillet
Out to lunch (Mexican restaurant)
Ham/cheese/ranch sandwich and tortilla chips and cheese dip
Roasted squash, Brussel sprouts, & onion over rice
Grilled ham/Swiss/roasted pepper sandwich and salad
Cheesy mashed potatoes, chicken fingers and cherry toms

So there you have it.  Not real eventful at all.  This week, I am going to start doing some projects that may make a mess - just wanted to wait until after company is over!  So many small jobs to do.
It sure seems there is always something calling our names and begging to be done!
How was your week?  Did you accomplish anything major this week?  Any great deals?
I love hearing from everyone.

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

I know I have used this before - but it is always good.  This whole chapter is wonderful!

Better to be a poor man who walks in his integrity than a man who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
It is not good for a man to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet misses his way.
Proverbs 19:1-2

Lord, help us to help others and to pass our knowledge to all who will listen.  We all need to learn and teach, to make our path sure footed in this world.  May we each appreciate ALL we have, and not to be envious of others.  Please keep us each and every one in Your loving and protective hands again this week.  Amen

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Few Thursday Tips

 Today's post kind of follows along with the others this week.  Making what we have go further, making life easier, and just being creative.  A bit of this and that!  Here we go!!

  • Spritz roasting veggies with a bit of Italian dressing before roasting.  Talk about a yummy taste - lots of extra flavor.
  • Top hot brownies or layer cake with about a half bag of chocolate (or any flavor) chips.  Do this as soon as it comes out of oven.  They melt - spread around and you have a delish "icing" or topping.  I am always asked my secret when I make brownies!!!
  • An easy-peasy way to chop an onion!  I always chop by hand (no machine) and this just works so well.
                              Makes for nice uniform pieces and not a lot of handling!!!!!
  • Always keep dehydrated onion flakes on hand - just in case you have no fresh and none in freezer
  • When slicing a tomato - cut slices from top to bottom.  Stem to butt.  I just learned this not long ago - and it makes a huge difference.  It keeps the juice from running out all over everything!!!!  Seriously!  I always used to slice side to side and juice would flow everywhere.  Not now!
  • When making any baked good in chocolate - add a bit of brewed coffee or a bit of instant in water to recipe.  The coffee so increases the chocolate flavor.
  • Have stale chips or crackers?  Place a few at a time on a paper towel (to absorb moisture) in the microwave for a few seconds.  They will taste fresh a new.
  • For a quick fried potato - use a mostly cooked baked potato.  You can microwave until almost done - then place in a pan with a little oil - use your potato masher (or the bottom of a heavy mug) to smash.  Fry on both sides until golden.  These are so good!!!!!
          Item on top part of plate is smashed potatoes.  Soft inside and crispy outside!!!  YUM
  • Use your veggie peeler to make slivers of chocolate from a bar - to add pretty ribbons on top of desserts.
  • Cut on onion in half (kind of like view 1 above) - top to root and then use your veggie peeler to make long uniform slices - easy.  Slice from top to root.
  • Use an egg slicer to slice strawberries, mushrooms or bananas.  Nice and easy.  You can cut anything soft that way.
  • When measuring out something sticky (like peanut butter) - always measure an oil first.  Makes the sticky item come right out of spoon or cup.
  • Keep all kinds of milk on hand for cooking or baking.  I keep fresh, evaporated, dry, shelf stable and frozen cubes of milk.  I also keep Coffee Mate on hand as well - just in case!  Always be prepared.
NOT a kitchen tip - but something I did yesterday that was helpful.  I noticed my remote was pretty grunge looking!  I made sure it was off - then I used an 'old' dry toothbrush to scrub between all the buttons.  Dead skin and basic crud gets around all the buttons. This cleaned it out lickety-split!  Then I took a damp antiseptic wipe and cleaned it.  You don't want to use anything dripping or real wet - so as not to flow inside.  Just needs to be sanitized.  That and door knobs and the phone are the things we touch most often.  Keep the clean and sanitized!!!

Hope you got an idea or two!  You have any tricks to make things easier?
Give us a shout out!!!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Aisle by Aisle

 Shopping by the aisle can really work.  You need to know what to look for and you need to know your prices.  I tend to buy the most items in the perimeter of the store.  I do get some canned goods and of course pet supplies in the center of the store.  Also get some baking supplies.
You can really save a lot if you just follow a few simple rules!

  • Buy what is in season for the best price
  • Check if your store has a clearance area for produce - usually have bags of goodies for .99
  • Check bags of produce to make sure there is no bad item in the bag - that can make the rest of the bag go off quickly
  • Weigh prebagged produce (apples, oranges, etc.)  Not all 5 lb. bags weigh 5 lbs.!!!!!!  Some weigh more!
  • Don't buy chopped lettuces or cut up veggies or fruit - it will always cost more than just buying it whole and cutting up yourself
  • When you get home - DRY off any wet produce before storing.
Most expensive thing you can buy today at the store.   So, plan your meals to use much less or to have meatless nights once in a while.
  • Never pay full price for meat.  Always get it when it is on sale!!!!!!  Stock up and freeze.
  • Most times it is more economical to buy whole instead of cut up.  Whole chickens, whole loins, larger beef cuts, etc.  Cut it up yourself and freeze in meal size packages
  • Look for inexpensive cuts of meat that you can marinate or slow cook to make tender 
  • Don't buy the pre-marinated, seasoned or stuffed meat.  It always costs more.
  • Think about other sources of protein - canned tuna, salmon, beans, etc.
Buy generic when possible.  Most brands are canned in the same factories and just labeled differently.  If you find a great deal on something your family uses and likes - stock up!!!!  Remember "best by" dates are pretty much just suggestions.  Things are good for much, much longer.

  • Day old breads are great for toast, crumbs, making croutons and stuffing
  • Plain pasta and rice are a lot more economical than the pre-seasoned mixes.  You can make up your own flavor combination.  
  • Bigger boxes of cereal are a lot more economical than buying smaller boxes - look for those 'bags' of cereal, they are a different brand, but much cheaper sans box!  Think about buying hot cereal in bulk (oats) - not those indiv. packets.  Make up your own blends.  
  • Frozen fruits and veggies are a perfect way to get some items that are out of season
  • Buy plain veggies - no sauces.  That causes them to cost more and adds calories.  Make your own sauce or gravy or seasoning.  
  • Skip buying frozen pancakes, waffles, biscuits, French toast - etc.  Make your own for pennies and then bag them up and freeze for quick breakfasts and meals.
  • Buy a block of cheese and shred your own.  It isn't necessarily cheaper - but it sure does melt better.  Pre-shredded cheese has an anti-clumping agent added - so not just plain cheese.  Shred you own and bag up.  I freeze shredded cheese for cooking and baking.
  • Check for markdowns on milk or cream - if it is getting close to "best by" date it may be marked down.  You can drink now or you can freeze for later.  I often keep milk fresh and flavorful for more than a couple weeks past the date. (store at the back and bottom of frig - it is colder).
  • Cottage cheese, sour cream or other container items - store upside down in the frig.  That removes the air that causes spoilage and makes it last longer.

I know most of these are common sense, but maybe some might be new to someone.  Be conscious of everything you buy.  Look for those sales and for clearance that your family uses.  If you have the ability - use digital coupons for certain stores.  There are often VERY GOOD deals using those digital coupons.
Make a list - but don't pass a deal that your family can use.  It may not be on the list - but it may save a lot down the road.

Buy what you eat and eat what you buy!!!!!!!
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Shop or Stop

 We all know those people who shop just to be shopping!!  IF it is a deal - it is a must have!!!!  You know them - I know them - Eeeeeeek!

I love a deal with the best of them - but it is no deal, if I cannot use it or have too much already.  This works with everything.  It isn't just about groceries.  There are so many ways to shop, and sometimes some are better than going to the big shiny store!!!!!!

  • First - shop at home first!!!!!  Not just groceries - but all things.  The pantries and freezers can contribute to an endless variety of meals if you just get a little creative.
  • Go through your closets and drawers - your basement or even the attic.  I bet you have a ton more than you can even remember.  I have boxes of holiday decorating things, that haven't been opened in many years.  I have all kinds of goodies tucked away.  I have found brand new undies and socks, that got pushed to the back and bottom of drawers.  I HAD a lot of kitchen small appliances that I never used - finally I got rid of them.  I kept what I could use for something else.
  • Check that garage!  There may be yard things and tools that have been forgotten.  I know my hubs was the king of buying tools of every type at yard sales - and I keep finding things I can use.
  • Borrow what you need.  Borrow from a neighbor or family or friend if it is something you need just once in a blue moon!!!!  Many libraries have a 'borrow' policy as well on tools and such.  Always make sure you get it back to the person in as good or better shape than you got it.
  • Shop second hand - yard/garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, etc.  You can find sooooo many neat things for pennies on the dollar and often for free!
  • Think about swapping with others - clothes swaps, kids toys, books, kitchen gadgets, tools, etc.  What a neat idea!
  • Utilize free local groups if you have them.  Craigs list (for cheap), neighborhood FREE groups, mom groups, etc. (start a group)
  • Think about buying some bigger ticket items second hand.  You have to be aware - as furniture needs to come from a neat and clean place (no buggers).  Furniture is not made as well today as some of the older stuff.  Quality has slidden a lot over the years.  I bought myself a bread maker at the thrift store - you could tell it hadn't been used - for $10 years ago, and it still works.  Just something to think about.  We have some pretty nice high end "thrift" stores around that deal with quality goods.  Check your area.
  • Remake things into something new!  Maybe remake older clothes into new styles.  Alter and adjust things.  Use off the hook types of items in the garden and flower beds as decorations.  Re-use wood in new ways.  There is no limit.
Things are so expensive - so it just makes sense to use what you have, buy second hand or borrow it.
I have read that the average home contains more than 300,000 items!!!!!!!!  Yep, you read that right.
Rental storage units have become one of the fastest growing businesses around!
Many studies show that the more you own, the less happy you become.  I can believe that - stuff can be stressful!

Buy with purpose!!!!!  That is the key.
Don't make rash and quick decisions.  Think about things and try to figure something else out.  Think how much money might be saved, how much that we keep out of landfills, and how many things may get a new life!

IF you get lots of fliers, magazines, e-mails, etc. from places that are selling - opt out!  If you don't see it - you don't know about it.  Seriously, out of sight out of mind.
Stay home more.  DO NOT just go 'window' shopping or just browsing.
Go with a purpose - ALWAYS!!!

Hope this gives someone an idea or two to STOP and not shop!  Look around and have fun.
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 2/5

 Happy Sunday to all my sweet friends.  I hope this finds you all well and safe.
We are going to have a little milder day today with a lot of wind.  40's sure beat teens!  This coming week looks to have warm temperatures for another short while.  Soon the temps will break, and we will be in spring!!!  It won't be long.
The daylight hours are definitely getting longer.  I love that.
I noticed the other day that I have leaves to daffodils up about 2"!!!!!  We have had a couple days of sun as well.  That sure can make a difference.

It has been quite the week - well actually couple of weeks.  So much on my mind.  Much that has just made me think and reflect.  I have done little in the way of accomplishing things - lots of napping, eating and thinking.  That is OK - I am feeling refreshed and I am about to get back on track!!!!!  Yes, I am.  Thank you all for hanging in there with me.

My week:
  • Spent time Monday at the emergency vet 
  • Doing a lot of extra laundry
  • Cut my hair - boy it sure does grow fast
  • I did run to the feed store to get more supplies - great part ALL bird seed was on sale 25% off - deal until 2/15!!!!!  That was a nice savings and surprise
  • Restocked all the feed cans and feeders
  • Got my new months' worth of extra coupons from Kroger - I sure do like getting those now.  I went forever not getting any
  • I did stop at Kroger while out at feed store.  I got milk, bread, tangerines and cherry tomatoes
  • Using supplies I have on hand and cooking from scratch & using leftovers
  • Just doing all the normal things we all do - nothing exciting at all

Meals this past week:
Chili mac (chili from freezer)
Sliced cheese, summer sausage and crackers - just a snack
Beef tortilla soup (from freezer) over mac
Spanish rice, chopped steak and salad
Sausage biscuit and salad
Salad and just this and that in the frig.
Tamales over rice

Not a lot of exciting eating this week.  Just wasn't in the mood to cook much - so odds and ends were eaten, and I was still plenty satisfied.  I don't always need a big meal.

How was your week?  Are you keeping warm?  Anyone else having decent weather for a few days here and there?  Any deals this week?
Give us a shout out and let us know what is going on in your world!!!!!

May you all stay warm and cozy and of good health and safe this week.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours!

I can do all things in Him that strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:29

Lord, You know that each of us gets weary and full of despair at times, but You never leave us.  You hold our hand and guide us through it all.  Forgive us when we have doubts, and when we feel powerless, as we know You are there and You fill us with Your spirit.
Give us each the strength we need to accomplish and be successful each day.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Just a Reminder!

 Just a gentle reminder to all.  Some days we ALL need to be reminded that "stuff" happens we cannot control, and we will get through it - eventually.  TIME is what it takes and that is just fine!

Take time to be gentle to yourself and love yourself.  You are worthy.

I resemble this one!!!!!!! 

Be kind to yourself and others.  Love this day with all your heart.
Have a blessed day.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Howdy Y'all

 I think I am about ready to get back into the real world again!  Geesh, what a week.  I have been emotionally spent and I have been so physically tired.  I am doing better.  Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.  I hope you all saw my comment at the end of your comments on the last post.  I appreciate you all.

Not sure what this post will be today.  My brain still doesn't feel real creative!!!  I had a couple things in mind, then as I sat to type, they didn't float my boat!  LOL

I guess today I will talk about living your life with intention.  I think we often feel that what will be, will be.  In some aspects I guess that is true.  But we need to live an intentional life.  Make things happen - don't just sit back and wait for something to happen.  
Live slowly, mindfully and intentionally.  Have a direction and a purpose in mind.
Make things happen!!!!!   Stop making excuses.

Maybe you want to lose weight, write, travel, learn a new language, study, be in the country, learn to cook, save more money - whatever it is - MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Make a conscious effort to make things happen.  
Life changes - often in ways that we can not even imagine - but we can not stay still.  I know that is our reaction.  It is hard to move forward sometimes.  Very hard.
But, we have to keep living and moving forward.  Not just for ourselves, but for all those who would want us to!!!!!  Think about that.  

Life is relatively simple if we just stop to realize that.  We need shelter, food, and water - the rest is gravy.  Companionship and love is huge as well.  Love comes in all shapes - family and friends - it doesn't have to be a relationship love.  Companionship can be family and friends as well.  I know when we think about those 2 things, we think 'special love' - but it comes in many ways.  We just need to realize that and open ourselves to accept it.

Realize that STUFF will never make you happy.  STOP shopping and buying, trying to fill a void.  It won't.  All it does, is make you have less money!!!!  
If you think you can't save in today's world - you can.  You have to work at it.  Live a simpler life.  Save in little bits - YES dribs and drabs help.  Any of you that have ever read Kim's blog, Out My Window - knows that she has so many methods of saving and they all work!!!!!!  She picks up change, she saves all change received back from purchases, she saves dollar bills or five-dollar bills, she just saves.  She marks things off her list all the time that have been paid.

Buy ingredients (simple ingredients) and cook at home.  Food and meals don't need to be fancy - good simple cooking is just fine.  
You don't have to always be on the go.  Stay home and save gas.
NO junk!  Whether it be food or stuff.  Just stop shopping!  Use what you have - get creative.  Use those pantries and freezers and closets.

Consumerism can be a huge threat to your life.  Yes, there are things we all NEED - but much of what is spent is not necessary.  Now, this is not for everyone.  Many people have saved and saved to be able to do all the fun things they do.  They have been INTENTIONAL on saving to do the trips or buy the things.  Yes, they are living an intentional life.
But for most, spending is not a positive thing.
Stop letting debt and spending control your life.

Stop letting YOURSELF get in the way of having a happy life.  Learn new things, experience new things.  There are so many things we can do that cost us zero money - yet we grow!

So folks, stop making excuses - for whatever.  Know you CAN go forward and grow.
TAKE THE JOURNEY - wherever it may take you.  Get out of your comfort zone!
Care for yourself!!!!!!! (I am still working on this).

Maybe, just maybe if we stop complaining and bellyaching about what we don't have or can't have - and start being thankful for every teeny tiny thing that we DO have it will all work out!!!!!!
We can do this together.
Love you guys!  Have a blessed day.