Thursday, September 28, 2023

My Long and Winding Road

This week is one of those weeks where the past is coming to life again, and so many memories and good times are awakened.
I have mentioned my childhood at home was good, but I wasn't all that popular in school (especially high school).  I didn't conform to the mold that made one popular.  Not a cheerleader or jock - played the violin all through school, no name brand clothes.  I did have a lot of clothes - but I made them!!!  
I had a few good friends and that was it.  But that was fine to me.  I still don't conform a lot and still have those same few friends from back then - although I have added more over the years that were not from school!!!

I mentioned going to lunch yesterday.  That was with gals from high school who also happened to be grade school chums as well.  It was all to welcome 'home' an old friend from Colorado that we hadn't seen in years and years.  It was a great time and lots of laughing and chatter.  
I got to visit with another gal I hadn't seen since graduation!  There is a story here!!!!! (below)
My word I looked up and realized they had placed other people in our little room - and I felt so sorry for them.  No quiet relaxing lunch for them!!!!
This weekend is the 50 year high school reunion.  How in the world did that happen?????  Seems like yesterday we were just kiddos running amuck in a world of carefree fun.

I belong to a group on FB for our graduating class and another for all alum - and there have been so many posts this week with pictures, memories, a memoriam and activities.  A lot of people are coming back from all over the country for this one - and it will be the biggest one we have ever had.
I graduated with close to a 1,000 other kids, so there is no way we all knew each other.  Each reunion is meeting new people!  That is just crazy.

I got to thinking yesterday after I came home - so much has happened over all the years.
There were marriages, divorces, deaths, children, grandchildren.  There are hearing aids, eye surgeries, white hair, balding heads, canes and walkers!  Many, many are no longer on this earth with us.  We have lost over 10%.
And good golly - we are all approaching that 70 mark in the near future!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story I mentioned above:  This gal and I were decent friends back then.  She had a cousin away at IN State University and I had a boyfriend there.  We decided one weekend to go make a visit.  We rode the bus from Indy to Terre Haute (about 75 mi. or so) - there and back (at night).  We stayed with her cousin overnight while there.  Our parents allowed that!!!!!!!  This was around '72 - in my junior year.  I cannot imagine allowing a young woman to do that today or even a gal wanting to.  Times were sure different back than, and never once were we worried, running all over campus and having a ball, talking to strangers and not having a care in the world.  
Side note:  That weekend my crazy boyfriend decided to come and surprise me!!!!!!!  It was not his scheduled weekend to come home.  We both got a huge surprise!!!!!!  LOL

It all seems like a lifetime ago.  I guess it was.
It sure has been a long and winding road from childhood to now.  Many ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and life just happening.
What a week of looking back.  I kind of am looking forward to Saturday evening and seeing many old chums, strangers and maybe making some new chums.  I guess we are never too old for that.
It should be an experience - 50 years!
Anyone else done this yet?

I hope you all have a great weekend, having a wonderful time with family and/or friends.
Here's looking to the future!!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Mid-Week - You are Wonderful!

 Happy Wednesday to all.  A dreary morning here, but cool and otherwise great.  I hope you are all going to have a wonderful day.  I am having lunch today, with some old friends.  That will be nice.
Hoping we get a little more rain - we got a tiny bit yesterday - but need so much more.  getting a few drizzles at the moment!

                                For SMILES!!!!!!  Not my picture - but just sooooooo sweet!!!
                                                 How can you not smile seeing that?????

Yep - something each and everyone needs to hear from time to time!  
Be you and don't let others change you.  Go for what you want in life - and if you aren't sure - explore!
Don't let people push your buttons - try as they might.
Beauty isn't just on the outside - it is an inward quality as well.  Be kind, be just, be calm and go forward.  Glow from the inside out!!!!!!!
Be the beautiful human you were made to be.

Love you all.  Have a fantastic day!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

It Will Soon be Here!!!!!!

 One more week and it will be October.  Many of us are still harvesting 'something' and canning and freezing and dehydrating.  But the time is coming to a close pretty soon.  This year has flown by - we all feel it.  SO - think how fast the remainder of the year will go!
One more month and it will be Halloween time.  Two months is Thanksgiving here in U.S.  Canada Day will be soon upon us.  Christmas is 3 months from yesterday!!!!!  YIKES

Is anyone getting ready or thinking about things?

Coming up in the next couple of months HOPEFULLY there will be some deals on baking goods, candy (chocolate) and gift ideas.  Many foods are seasonal and it will time to stock up on those as well.  Yams, potatoes, turkey, ham, bread and stuffing goods, apples, cranberries, pumpkins............
It will be the time to take advantage to stock up for the winter months.  Get items as cheaply as possible and be ready for winter.  
Lots of things are on clearance now as well.  Nothing says Christmas gifts have to be winter related.  Think about clothes, pool items, fishing goods, camping/hiking, gardening items, etc.  Get a little creative!

I plan on doing the gift/goody bags for adults again this year.  Everyone loves them and expects them.
I usually include homemade salsa, jelly, relish, summer sausage, cookies (their special grandma cookies), and any special items that they may love.  Some it is special olives, cheeses, soups, canned products, sauces, trail mixes, nuts, rice & soup mixes - you get it, all sorts of yummies.

This year I have no baby blankets to make - all the babies have been covered!!!  My niece still wants one done eventually with the baby clothes - but that isn't Christmas.
Any teens now get money or a gift card, plus a small goody bag of fun stuff of their own.  Fuzzy socks, maybe jammies, candy and special items they like, etc.

The littles - well, there is where I will need to get creative this year.  One is really into crafty stuff and loves being artistic (he is 4 1/2).  I got a couple plain birdhouses the other day for him and will get other items to paint and all the paints.  He gets excited with everything!
Maybe baby doll blankets for the little girls or books or art stuff.  Most of the littles get so much stuff these days - it gets tough to come up with something.  Hmmm - maybe cute hats and gloves - but not real exciting when you are little!!!!

Are you all making any plans yet?  Are you thinking about all the goodies you need to stock for the upcoming holidays and/or winter?
I saw my first Christmas commercial on TV Sunday evening.  It was a Glade commercial.  My goodness, they do rush the seasons.  Every place has stuff for sale!

It would be nice to do one thing at a time - you know, like the good old days!!!!!!!!!!!
But money speaks today!

But yes, even me - here doing a post about the upcoming holidays - it has bit us all!!  I do know with holiday gifts - it does take time and effort and some money - so people plan ahead for that.
You got any great ideas to share with us all this year?  I would love some new thoughts.

Have a great FALL day to everyone!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 9/24

 Happy Sunday to you all.  Happy official fall!!!!  Seems like we just said happy spring!  
It is still pretty green here on the trees.  Our peak season for fall foliage is generally around mid-October.  It is pretty darn dry - so that may affect the pretty colors this year.  I have had the usual leaves fall - but that has more to do with the tree than fall.

I have been seeing a little bunny around for most of the week.  Oh goodness it is sweet.  I walk out front to fill the feeder the other day and looked down the road (about 4 houses) and there was a chicken roaming around the front yard!  Only chickens I know are behind me a house or 2 down the alley - and it is surrounded by a tall fence.  I had to chuckle.
I have seen tons of preying mantis, grasshoppers and butterflies lately.  
The last rain we got was a couple of showers last Sunday and that has been it.
It looks like this week will be nice with highs around 80* all week, possibly some rain mid-week.

Today would have been Mr. Hunky Man's (Glen) birthday.  I sure do miss him.  He was just so funny and I miss the companionship.  I always teased him and said - well you caught up with me (I was 11 mo. older), and he would joke - you are still a cougar!!!!  LOL!  I happy to know he is healthy and with the Lord.  That soothes my soul.

You know those sayings - when it rains it pours and one thing leads to another!  Well, that sums my week!!!  LOL

My week:
  • I finally decided on blinds for the dbl. window in the living room.  I decided to get 2 instead of one.  Easier to replace if needed.  I went out and got them.  I also found 2 unfinished birdhouses while out - for my nephew for Christmas.  He loves crafts - so I will get paint too.
  • I ran to the local family-owned hardware while out - got some spackling compound.  I always enjoy talking with the guy there - just friendly and knowledgeable.
  • Mowed the entire yard for the first time in 2 weeks - only certain places looked kind of bad - but it all got done (it looks so nice right after mowing)
  • Did a bunch of pulling and weeding on the big bed - it is a mess! (heat & dry have taken a toll)
  • Pulled pounds more tomatoes - not huge ones, but still good
  • Watered pots and plants with rain barrel water
  • Pulled out ground pork from freezer.  Made up several breaded pork burgers and fried.  Several in freezer for future use.
  • Got the blinds up and installed
  • Putting up blinds - met with repainting all that trim around those windows.  Then cleaning out the window wells - oh the dust and crud.  Then washing those windows - inside and out.  Then changing out from the curtains to lace valances (I had).  It looks lovely - brighter.  The climbing, reaching and bending sure does get to an old body!!!!!!
  • I then decided to change valances in bedroom.  I needed 2 tension rods for those.  I had one the right size and 2 that were too short.  Well, I was dirty and tired and didn't want to go out - so I took apart one little rod and added a piece to the other and made one that fits!  I used some clear packing tape to adhere the extra piece and it can't be seen and it works perfectly!  I love the look of the new (I had) valances in there.
  • I called one day to get the Internet upgraded.  Got a letter that stated it would not be useful after Nov. 3 - so I had to upgrade (to fiber optics).  I called and they said they would be here next day!  WHAT?  That was fast.  Well, things needed moved and cleaned.  TV cabinet got moved and cleaned behind and under (where equip. is) - oh my gosh!  I could have made a whole bunch of rabbits with the huge dust bunnies! Well, I got all new from the pole in the alley to the house and new equipment - which meant he had to go into spaces (in basement) no man has gone in years!!!!!!!!  Oh good golly, I was embarrassed.  The stuff, the dust, the spider webs - ICK!  So lots of moving and assisting him on my part.  It is done - I was mortified and now I have NEW incentive to clean out that darn basement!!!!!!!!!  IT IS HAPPENING THIS TIME!!!!!!!
  • Did lots of laundry and mopped the floors
  • NO grocery this week
  • AC has been off biggest part of the week
Meals this past week:
Loaded baked potato
Chicken strips, lima beans and salad
Tamales over rice
Grilled cheese and salad
Breaded pork burger and salad
Cold cut sandwich and salad
BLT and side of scrambled eggs

What a week.  My poor back feels it.  I don't think I have reached, climbed and moved that much in a long while!!!!  I survived - got new incentives - have new things to look at - and I will keep moving forward.
How was your week?  What has everyone been up to?  Any deals?  How about the gardens?  Are they still producing?  Do you have lovely fall weather yet?  This year is sure flying - another week or so and it will be October!!!!!  Three months till Christmas!  YIKES

I hope this finds each of you well and safe and healthy.  I look forward to hearing from you all.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:17-18

Dear Lord, Help us each to be better citizens of this earth and to be kinder and more mindful of our thoughts and actions.  We pray for peace amongst all beings of the earth.  Amen

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Oh Yes, the Simple Things

 This morning, the sunrise was absolutely beautiful - what a work of art.  The colors were just glorious.  I was standing outside, and I saw 3 robins in the yard - and it dawned on me I had not seen any for a few weeks.  That made me smile.  The bunny that has been visiting daily.  The birds were all lined up to eat and drink this morning, taking their turns as the squirrels scurried around.  Blackie was so loveable this morning and giving kisses.  I thought the hummies may have left - but I saw them this morning.
Brought a smile to my neighbor, when I gave him a baggy of small tomatoes for his and his girlfriend's enjoyment for lunch at work today.
Fresh cool air streaming through my windows this AM - wonderful.
These are the simple and wonderful things I am loving this morning.

I just love this poem.  I think it says it all - such joy!

What simple things are bringing you joy on this lovely day?

I wish you each and every one a glorious day - and hope that you take some time to truly enjoy the many simple joys that come our way!
Have a blessed day my friends!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A Bit About A Frugal Journey

 We have all made the journey at some point in life.  That is mainly why we are here - or why many came at first.  
We have all had different journeys for different reasons.  There is no right or wrong way to be frugal.  Some have been extreme and some just keep a close eye on things.
It depends on the reason you are being frugal.  Some decide to stay home with children, some it is necessity due to loss of job or medical issue.  It may be from divorce or loss of partner.  Some just can't get by any other way.  Some are saving for something.  Whatever the reason - go forward and make the BEST of it.  Have fun with it.  YES, it can be fun as well as productive.  Soon, it becomes a way of life.

In MY eyes, frugality is not really about doing without!  It is about making more precise decisions.  Decisions that serve you well and enable you to have a good and full life.

                  We are all a part of this village!!!!!  In some way - big or small - we do our part.  

In my eyes it is all about just keeping it simple.  Simple food, simple wardrobe, simple decorating, simple gifts, simple home, etc.  Nothing has to be fancy and expensive.  You have all heard the phrase champagne  taste on a beer budget!  Well, it can be done - really!!!!!!
You don't have to give up the nicer things in life.  You just get them in a different way!!!!!

You can make things.  Want the pretty throw pillows or the new kitchen curtains, or a new table cover - make them.  Use things you already have or have purchased for pennies and re-invent them for your new use.
Want to redo a kitchen look?  Go to a resale shop and buy different handles (or at hardware store).  Sand and paint cabinets.  Paint walls.  Add a pretty throw rug - many ways to update a room.  
Get or use an older outdated piece of furniture and paint it a fun color to match your decor.
Watch for yard sales and check out thrift stores.  NO SHAME whatsoever!  I recently bought 3 lovely 'designer' tops at my neighbor's yard sale for $2 each.  I would never go out and buy designer clothes (never have) - but these are excellent quality and will last me for years.  I don't have that desire for designer stuff - I just happened to like these.

Reuse items for new things.  At the simplest level - keep any plastic containers that you would normally trash - like yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream containers - they are now food storage containers!
Keep glass jars that grocery items come in - great storage for wet or dry items, and many can be used for canning or for storage.
A sturdy and heavy shipping box can store excess items in your house, it can become a temporary storage in the pantry.  A big box can be covered and make a bedside table.
Expand from there.  Old socks can become dusters or mops.  (I use one on a Swifter to clean floors) - they are washable.  Old t-shirts or clothes for rags.
Start simple and small and pretty soon you will be thinking of all kinds of things that you can reuse in a new way.
It is somewhat ADDICTIVE!!!!!  And FUN!

Check Freecycle if you have it or neighborhood marketplaces for items.  Put out the word to people you know, family friends, and neighbors "I am looking for............"  Odds are - someone will have 'it' and you can get it.
          Yep, being frugal is nothing new - people have been being mindful for generations!!!!!

If you want to learn new things - online opportunities abound.  You can go on You Tube and learn about anything.  From a foreign language, how to bake bread, how to make a certain salad, grow a container garden, fix simple plumbing, sharpen a chain saw - you name it!!!!!!!  It is all FREE!!!!!!!

Be willing to try store brands instead of name brands.  Many store items are the exact same thing - made by the same manufacturer and just relabeled.  Give it a try.

Visit your library.  There are so many fun things to read.  You have a chance to learn, laugh, and journey to a new place - if only for a while.  There are self-help books and reference items.  They usually have movies to check-out.    They have activities (free) for the kiddos and sometimes for adults.  Some libraries even have lending items such as shovels, power tools, etc.

Remember first and foremost - your journey is yours!!!!!  It is not like anyone else's.  What you do or create to help your family depends on the situation you are in and what you want to accomplish.
It is give and take!!!!!!!
Maybe raising chickens isn't for you - just watch for best prices on eggs.  Maybe gardening isn't your thing - check farm stands or markets, check with neighbors (barter or trade), etc.
If need be - go to the food pantry for help with groceries.  That is why they are there.  Use the resources you have available in your area.
Learn to cook and make delish meals with SIMPLE ingredients.   It doesn't have to be a five-star delicacy.  It needs to be tasty and filling and nourishing.
There are many things we can do without that isn't going to kill us!!!!!  Stop buying the junk food - make cookies or snacks at home.  Don't go out for latte - make a fun coffee at home.  You may find that it is more flavorful and tastier anyway - and you save $$$ as well.
The list goes on and on.

Frugality is about having a goal or a purpose in mind - and living a good and fun life in a simple way - so as to reach that goal.
If you can save $5 a week - do it.  If you can save $50 a month - do it.  Just do something.  
It doesn't have to feel like being deprived, it really doesn't.  
You just need to get a little creative with what resources you have and think outside the box.

So do what is right for you.  Pick and choose what fits and what you can begin with and then branch out.  You will learn new things, have new opportunities and fill fulfilled!
Seriously - make it FUN! 

So, for anyone just starting this journey or having to restart the journey - please know we are behind you 100% and YES you can do it!!!!!!!!!

IF you have questions - JUST ASK!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Just a Little Photo Fun Today

 Some days, do you ever just want a light hearted day?  One with nothing serious going on? 
I do!!!  Some days I just want it to be fun and different.  Escape.
I have days where I skip from thing to thing in a very haphazard way! LOL!  I may not accomplish any one thing - but I still enjoy my day.
Kind of like these pictures today - all over the place.

This picture comes from LaurieS, my good friend and a poster here.  This is a picture she and her hubs took on a recent day trip to Crater Lake National Park in OR.  Isn't it just beautiful?  The blue of the water astounds me!  
We have pretty nature around, but nothing to compare to this.  Funny, right after seeing this picture and another one, I watched a program talking about Crater Lake.  Laurie, and anyone else interested it was on a program called Mysteries of the Outdoors.  The Travel channel - Season 1 - Episode 11.  You can probably catch it online.  It talked about all the mysterious happenings and disappearances and paranormal things that have happened for centuries around this lake.  VERY interesting.
I just can't get over the beauty - it is almost mesmerizing.

Sunflowers coming up - bird planted - and Cheryl approved!  This is across the front porch, under the feeder.  They have popped up in a nice row and will be blooming soon.  What fun to just get random plants - right where everyone can enjoy them!

My little cookbooks from my 2nd and 3rd years in foods in 4-H.  As you can see well stained and well used.  Yep, mom and I both kept everything!  I knew I had these - and came across them while cleaning papers last week.  I guess I was probably about 9/10 while using these.  I remember in my 3rd year our entry for the fairs was banana bread.  My uncle, who was a chef at a fancy restaurant here in town, told me his secret.  Never use vanilla in it - use banana extract instead.  Not sure if it was that advice or not - but I won blue ribbons on it that year!

Any idea what is suddenly growing in my planter?  LOL!!!!!!!!
Oh, that crazy Blackie.  I had to take the pictures through the door, so he wouldn't be disturbed.  I guess it was a warm spot on a cool and sunny afternoon.  This was a new one for me!
If I fits - I sits!!!!!!!!

Click on pic to enlarge if needed
Grade 5 - I am top row, center, in yellow dress.  Oh my goodness, what a blast from the past.  I remember I loved that dress - my mom made it for me for Easter and she also made a lavender coat to go with it.  I was a regular Easter egg that year!  The little redhead in the 2nd row, 2nd from the right - was the first friend I ever made (we met 1st day of first grade) - and we are still friends today - 62 years later!
Sad to say several of these sweet children are no longer with us today.

Anyone remember 'Fun with Dick & Jane'?  That was the first reader we had in school, and this was my workbook from then!  Two old report cards also - back when they were handwritten.

Gosh, just a few little fun and frivolous memories and fun things that are happening around and about today.
Hope you enjoyed!
Have a great day.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 9/1733

 Happy Sunday to all!  Hope this finds you all safe and well.
We are starting with another very cool morning - and I am loving it.  We have had a great weather week.  This coming week to get back closer to normal temps - which means a little warm up.  Other than a tiny chance of rain today - no rain in the projected forecast for the week.

I still have a couple of hummingbirds!  I love watching and hearing the geese fly over a couple times a day.  The birds and squirrels are active.  I am starting to see mice in the vines and flowers around the perimeter of the house.  I need to get something to get rid of them.  Blackie could care less!  I don't want them trying to get in!!!!!!!

My week:
  • Lots of yard work this week.  Did a big clean out of the front walk and flower bed.  Back fence area all cleaned.  Lots of pulling and cutting!
  • Fixed a feeder and fixed a rail on the greenhouse deck
  • Airing the house - NO AC all week
  • Placed some scrap out back for heavy trash day (they didn't come) - someone picked it up - so all is good!
  • Had some very old apples in the crisper - so I made fried apples
  • The gal across the street had another yard sale - I got 3 high end tops (she has great taste), a small evening bag and a Christmas CD for $9
  • I picked several pounds of tomatoes this week - needing to do more canning this week
  • Used an older jar of homemade salsa and soup base to make chili - I have been craving!!!!!
  • Another neighbor brought me a serving of homemade chocolate bread pudding - yum
  • Making progress on the paper piles!  Two piles down and ready to go in trash.  Some set aside to shred or burn.  More to do!!!!!!
  • I now have 3 boxes of stuff to donate so far
  • Ordered and received homeopathic stuff and flea meds for Blackie for the winter
  • Using what I have and cooking at home
  • Laundry in cold and used dehumidifier water
                                   My live forever sedum - can you see all the different bees?

Meals this past week:
Meatball/pizza sauce sandwich and salad
Stir fry veggies (cabbage/onion/zucchini) over rice and slice toms
Fish soft tacos - topped with shredded cabbage, toms and cheese
Burger with grilled onion and a fresh veggie plate
Chili - 2X

How was your week?  What has everyone been doing to get ready for fall and winter?  Geesh, it will be here sooner than later!!!!!  Any good deals?  What are you eating this week?
Hope you all check in - missing several of you!!!!!!

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

O Lord, be gracious to us: we wait for thee, be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
Isaiah 33:2

Dear Lord,  Thank You for guiding us and directing through this life.  We need and want you in our every moment.  Please continue to keep us in Your protective arms.  Amen

Thursday, September 14, 2023

The Weekend is Coming

 Ending this week simply.  Fall is near and the weather is changing - thus the seasons are in the midst of changing again.  Just like life.  
The air is cooler, the colors are changing, the animals are busy making "home" and stocking provisions, the air is fresh and clean, and we seem to settle into a slower pace and all is good.
As the animals do - we all need to be thinking of 'making home' as well.  Make sure you have the stock you will need for the changes that are coming.  Winter will be here in a blink!
Think about your holiday pantry needs, your upcoming gift items, your medicine cabinet, and your bedding and jammies!!!! 
GET IT ALL READY starting now - this is the time!

I do enjoy this time of the year - except for knowing what follows!  Oh heck, even that can be pretty and has its moments!
Now is the time for the last of farm markets, orchards, hayrides, walks in nature, just watching nature, campfires, smores, apples and cider.................all fun and wonderful things.

Oh my is this me!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Flawed for sure - not sure about fabulous - but I know I am not perfect and that is just fine - because I am ME!

So go out there this weekend and be 'your' totally beautiful version of flawed and fabulous!  Have some fun and enjoy life a little.
You be you and I'll be me and that is a perfect family!!!!!!!!

Have the best weekend and just take some moments to enjoy 'the best' of the world we live in!
Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Life is Full of Transformations

I was sitting here going through pictures the other day, and it just really dawned on me how many times in our lives we go through transformations of our self.  We have each had many versions of ourselves.  Some may think not - but think about it.  You had the single gal at home, then perhaps a college gal, then married, then maybe children and grandchildren, maybe a career woman, maybe a widow.  Just so many changes in one life.

I do believe that whatever role I was in, I was always trying to please others.  Just kind of became a way of life.  I guess maybe we all do that.
I was that girl at home, carefree and having a pretty good life.  I dated as a teen, had fun with friends, got into trouble a little, and had a pretty good life.  I always wanted mom & dad to proud though.

I then got engaged and married.  Too young!  We thought we were all grown up and that was exciting.  We played hard and partied hard and spent a lot of money!  Not a good idea for a young (fairly clueless) couple.  Stuff happened and we went our separate ways.

Only spent a little time single again.  Spent most of that time trying to get out of that crazy debt we made earlier.

Met my love, and boom - decided marriage WAS a good thing.  Swore it wouldn't happen again and then it did.  We had such a good life together.  We had fun, we had dreams, we had goals and we worked on all of those things together.  We both had our heads on straight and knew life could very well be different in the future, because of probable handicaps - we planned for that.  I worked hard, and tried to be the best wife I could.  I wanted to make my husband happy.  I took care of him and things when the time came.  That was my life.  Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Oh my goodness, look at these two young kids!!!!!!  Good golly, we weren't even married yet.  This was the Christmas before we married in January.  Young and happy - looking forward to the future together.  By the way - Glen hardly ever smiled in pictures unless acting goofy!  Gosh what a hunky looking lumberjack of a fellow he was - my big teddy bear.

Today - I am a widow.  Alone.  Yet another transformation in life.  Today I do whatever I feel like doing - if people don't like it - well, I don't care much.  I am old enough and have been through enough, that I can be whatever form of me I want to be.  I am still not sure what that is!!!!!!

I would love to still be a wife to Glen - but I wouldn't wish him back to go through those final hours again for anything.  I wouldn't wish him back, knowing what he would have had to go through had that one day been different.  He was still somewhat dependent and that would have changed over time.  He would never want that.
I miss him and nothing is the same - yet it is.  That is when we wonder how can life continue and go on the same every day when someone so special is gone.  Yet it does - the world just continues.

I guess the point of all of this is, no matter where we are in life - each step is a transformation of who we are becoming and who we will end up being.  It makes us who we are.  Life is full of changes - good and bad - and here we are.
We get up and we go through the steps each day.  We mean something to someone else out there and that is good.  
Would I have changed anything is this life?  Hmmmm that is a tough one.  Sincerely wish I hadn't had some experiences - but then I wouldn't be who I am today.  Each thing and experience in life has formed me into who I am.  AND I am OK with that.  I like me.

Just try to be the best you can be, make a difference for someone else in this world, and SMILE!  
Don't wallow in self-pity and worry - it changes nothing for the good.  

Just be your best self!  
THAT is what would make all those lost in our lives happy!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Food - the way we were! Things Have Changed

 Good morning all.
We all need food and water to survive.  But what we need for nourishment and what we put in our bodies is another thing.  We have all become accustomed to eating 'junk' if you will - from time to time.  I love a potato chip or taco chip or two or three - on occasion.  Sometimes they are part of a meal.
Back in the day - that wasn't so much the case.  What we ate was fresher and healthier.  We didn't have all the fancy modern things available now.  I know some of you are younger, and probably grew up with snacks and junk food around, but at my age - that just wasn't a thing - unless it was made at home!!!!!

Click on this picture to see it enlarged for easy reading

Now the brown bread thing - we considered that something of a luxury.  It was purchased in a can, if you could find it at the store - it was mainly an east coast thing.  But mom made her own version.
Raw fish would never have been a consideration - and still isn't for me!!!
We had spaghetti and macaroni - NOT a thing called pasta!
Mom did freeze a lot of our own foods - I don't think we ever bought any.
We did have rice now and then for dinner - but rice pudding WAS a thing!
I was a teenager before I ever had pizza - a Chef Boyardee pizza kit I begged for! (ONCE)
Chips were made at home, or we had popcorn or homemade sweets
So MANY of these were true.  It was just a different time.  Many of these things could never have even been conceived in our brains back then!!!!

We ate foods we grew, traded and bartered - it was all local.  Grocery stores were not on every corner, and there were only a couple chains to choose from.  Standard and A & P around my area.  Both gave stamps, which you could use to 'purchase' things.  Many an item in the house and given as gifts came from green stamps!!!!!
There was no 'fast food', except White Castle - that only happened a couple times that I can ever remember - until I could drive!!!!!
There was A & W - which was once a summer for a frosty mug - daddies idea always!!!!!  LOL
Oh sure, we had our little mom & pop corner stores - as that was all there was for years.  They lasted most of my childhood.

Of course, everything about life in the 50's was different.  We played with our friends outdoors.  We used our imaginations to make up games.  We would sit under the apple tree for long periods of time eating apples.  We would go riding our bikes and knew when to be home!  Our parents weren't overly concerned.  Shoot there were enough of them keeping an 'eye' open - it was hard to get in trouble.
Daddy worked a lot - Mom even worked part time in the evenings at the local bakery (sis babysat me), so it wasn't because 2 parents were home all the time.  It was because it was a way of life and we sure weren't rich (w/money) at all.
This sure seems to be the case today.  Kids get stuffed full of junk food, fast food and crap people call food.  Adults do it too.
There is much to be said about fresh fruit and veggies.  I am a meat eater, but I am careful what I buy.  Sure I have canned meat on the shelf - just in case!
I do like frozen fruit and veggies as well - most are just what they say they are - not much if anything added. (buy unseasoned).
But today there are so many preservatives and chemicals in things, that we shove in our bodies - it just can't be healthy.  I know that is a whole other conversation - but we sure need to be more mindful of what we eat and especially what youngsters eat.  OK I will get off my soap box about that!

Life is just hurry up and get there, or do that - that no one really sits down and truly enjoys their meals anymore.  No one truly enjoys the TRUE taste of food.
JUST ME - we have too many choices!!!!!!!!  Yep, I really think that is a problem - too many choices of stuff that actually isn't food or nutritious!

For those coming up on the end of garden season - just another quick reminder.  If you have a lot of green tomatoes still hanging and the threat of frost pops up - you can - can them!!!!!  I also leave many to ripen on their own in the house.
Here are the instructions again for canning green tomatoes to fry!  YUM

Click on pic to read in larger print!

I love to make a green tomato relish sometimes too.  They never go to waste!

OK, just my walk back in time and reminiscing about REAL food.
Maybe it brought back some memories for you as well.
Have a wonderful day!!!!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 9/10

 Hello and happy Sunday to all.  Here we are starting another week, and getting closer to fall.  Time is just flying by.  
We had a couple of good rains this week - which we needed.  The first one was a big old storm that came through just about at dusk on Tuesday - and boy did it blow and rain.  Didn't last real long - but it came with a punch.  Then on Thursday we had a soft rain off and on all day!
The temps have cooled some.  No longer are we in the 90's.

Some of the trees have leaves changing color and dropping - but most are still all green.  Some trees in my area always change early - depends on the species.
I have seen many white wooly worms - a good sign I am hoping!  I have been watching the younger squirrels play.  Oh, my I wish I had it recorded!!!  Hilarious!  There is one who plays all by itself, running, flipping and flopping, wrestling with sticks, pole dancing with the clothesline pole - just so fun to watch.
My pepper plants are getting lots of new green leaves and they have started blooming and producing new small bell peppers!!!  Tons of green tomatoes yet.  Cukes and zucchini look pretty darn done and haggard!  There cherry tomatoes are about ready to be pulled out.

This week:
  • As reported earlier, I have been delving into the storage/catch-all room!  Over stock pantry is all straightened and categorized by products now
  • Paper - my nemesis!!!!!!  Geesh.  I have so much paperwork and stuff to either burn or shred.  Way too much to shred here with my little shredder.  So I will either burn when the garden is done or wait for a shredding event close by.
  • Found pantry items I had forgotten about and also came across things amongst all the papers that I have either been looking for or had forgotten about!  I found a Siman and Garfunkel CD that Glen had made for me - another copy of the family CD - some childhood books I knew I had, pictures, and yep, you guessed it - more money!  This one was me!!!!!  I remember going somewhere, and taking out my 'gifted' funds from my purse (to not lose!) - and it got stuck in with receipts.  GO THROUGH things - it could have easily been thrown away!!!!!
             The 'special items' tin and the overfloweth mess that came with it!!!!!!!!!!  BEFORE
                               AFTER first purge!!!!!  Much of this will be given to others as well!
  • I received a gift in the mail this week - a total and wonderful surprise.  Thank you Frances!!!!
  • I harvested a zucchini, a cuke and many tomatoes and grapes (grapes frozen until I make jelly)
  • Neighbor brought me 2 more zucchini brownies - yum!
  • I have been refilling lots of jars of stock, spices, etc. from my stock
  • Lots of laundry and used dehumidifier water
  • Doing all the regular stuff - cooking from home, cleaning, purging, using what I have, etc.
  • Windows open and airing the house!!!!  Shouldn't need AC at all this week.
Meals this past week:
Mac n cheese topped with bacon and cherry toms, corn and cukes
Mac N cheese, baked beans and salad
Cheeseburger and leftover beans
French bread pizza 2X - and fruit
Chicken strips, corn and sliced toms

So mainly for me has been cleaning and purging.  Oh my, some much stuff and that is just one room and haven't even done the file cabinet and one book shelf!!!!!
What have you been up to this week?  Are you getting ready for fall?  Harvesting still?  Finding any deals?
Give us a shout out.  Love hearing what everyone is up too - I think it often motivates us all to do other things!!

I hope this finds each of you well and safe and on the road to recovery for those that have been under the weather.  I pray you each have a wonderful week and lots of wonderful days ahead - full of beauty and fun!
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked; for the evil man has no future; and the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
Proverbs 24:19-20

Dear Lord, help us to take care of ourselves, our families and our homes, and not worry about what the evil people are doing.  Let us not worry about the fate of our future, because we know we will be with You in the end.  Please guide those doing things for all the wrong reasons and those just doing evil things to a righteous path.  Thank You for Your protection and love.  AMEN

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Life in the Slow Lane!!!!

 Yep - slow lane.  No fast lane around here!!!!! LOL
Oh, I can go gangbusters for a time - then boom I am done for the day!  I guess that is a sign of aging!

So around here this week - it has been clean, dust, wrangle dust bunnies, and organize.  I have not had a pet inside for months now - it sure makes me wonder where all the dust bunnies come from!  It used to be kitty hair - now I am not sure.  But it seems they multiply at about the same rate of speed as real bunnies.  I open windows a lot - so I can understand dust!  It is quite open in front of my house and there are gravel parking spaces/berms on each side - so it makes for a great turn around area for people.  Grrrr.  Then there is the alley behind, and it too is gravel - so lots of dust.
Now as for stuff and organizing - oh the years have left their mark!!!!!!!  Geesh, there is a lot of stuff here.

I now have some of each of these - here at my house.  The trash & recycle piles are getting bigger.  Lots of paper to have shredded.  Donation pile is getting bigger as well - I just keep wondering WHY I have this crap!!!!!!  WHY did I keep it?  WHY did I not dispose of earlier?  Such is life.

I finished organizing and cleaning the overflow pantry.  That has been a long process, as I just kept getting overwhelmed.  
May I say, I have a tremendous amount of tomato products of all sorts.  Not a bad thing, as I use them all the time.  I have pasta, rice and dried beans out the wazoo!!!!!  Probably not bad either.  Lot's of canned meat products - could be a good thing as well.  Lots of everything - but more of some things than others.
IF it hits THE FAN - I will surely not go hungry.
Found things I forgot I had - so need to use some products soon.  Have paper products I do not remember purchasing and J-Ello to last forever!!!!!!!!!  LOL

Today I tackle another corner of the room - PAPER!  I have a lot of paperwork to go through and a collection of pieces of paper and photos etc. that started out going into a tin.  Obits, cards from funerals, graduation notices, you name it................... well, the tin over-floweth and it spills out to book shelf!  Most will probably be trashed.  I will photograph things that are important and will keep them in on-line files.  Pictures - well, we will see.
I have copy paper out the bum!  No longer have a printer!!!
Old, old health files - back to childhood - of Glen's.  I don't need them now.
You name it, I have it.
I used to use the excuse that if I set down to go through stuff - the cat would try to help!!!!  He did!!  Now I have no excuse - so it is time to 'get er done'!

THIS IS THE QUESTION!!!!!!  I am working on it - I just want a clearer home and less things for me or someone else to worry about.  Slow and steady..........

It is a gloomy looking day here - but much cooler.  Still a tiny bit humid - but that is dissipating as I type.  Much cooler days ahead - so I am busy inside today - and will work outside this weekend.
It appears the AC will be off for several days ahead!!!!! YIPPEE!
(thus windows open and more dust!!!!!)

What projects are you digging into this week?  Do you get overwhelmed as well with all the stuff in life?  It just is finally really dawning on me all the stuff isn't important - it is LIFE, EXPERIENCES, and LOVED ONES!

Hugs to all.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Adding a Little Spice to Life!

 I am one of those people that like things (food) clean and simple during the summer.  I like a bit more heartiness come fall and winter.  I like a lot of different flavors and blends.  I can do a little heated spice - but not a lot.  I just feel like the flavors of fall/winter are comfort - a big hug to the palate and belly!!!

Sure, it easy to go out and buy a jar of this or that type of seasoning - but read the jars some day!!!!  Yikes the stuff they add to them is crazy.
Most often there is added sugar, lots of salt, MSG, sometimes soy and anti-caking agents that you can't even pronounce, just a lot of gunk!
That is why I like making my own blends - often with fresh (dried) herbs or dehydrated ingredients that I have grown or purchased fresh.  Others, sure depending on what it is used for - will have sugar or salt in them - but I can regulate it.

One can buy spices and herbs at dollar stores too, very cheaply - but do you really know if that basil is just basil or if that dehydrated celery is just celery?  Not really!  Could be other things we are not aware of including weeds from fields and such.
I am guilty of buying big containers of dehydrated onions - since I don't want to deal with that here at home.  Most other things I grow or buy fresh.
Now there are also pepper seasoning like cayenne pepper, paprika, etc. that is just easier purchased - just beware of what you are buying and read the labels.

Here are a couple of fun recipes to help out!

1 C nutritional yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. thyme
1Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Mix it all together - and store in an airtight jar
USE - 1 Tbsp. - to a cup of water (more or less according to taste)

2 Tbsp. dried lemon zest
3 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar

8 Tbsp. salt
3 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. paprika
Mix together and store in a sealed container.  Shake and use like any other seasoning salt - to taste

6 tsp. chili powder
4 1/2 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. onion powder
5 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
Use to your taste

(this is fun and wintery to me)
1 C sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. cocoa
Combine and mix thoroughly.  Store in airtight container.
Great for topping puddings, custard, oatmeal, topping sugar cookies - etc.

1 Tbsp. orange peel powder
1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
Mix thoroughly and store in airtight container.
Great to blend into ice cream, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal or add 2 or 3 Tbsp. to cake mix or quick breads.
I am even thinking a tiny bit in brewed hot tea or cocoa.

Use old spice jars, baby food jars or 1/2 pint jelly jars to store different spice blends.  Make sure to mark with a label or on the lid!

A great alternative not many know about!!!
3/4 C powdered milk
1/3 C water
1/4 C oil (olive, coconut, etc.)
A pinch or two of salt
Place the powdered milk in a food processor - then add the other ingredients.
Blend until you start to see it thickening!  Check it every couple of minutes.
NO, it will not be hard butter like consistency - but more like a spreadable blend (more like mayo).
Makes about 3/4 cup
Lasts about a week in frig.  Use on toast, pancakes, veggies, etc.  DON'T use in baking!
Great thing to know in case you run out!!!!!

Not only would these all be great to use in your kitchen - they would also make great gifts for the person who loves to cook.  Maybe a season mix, an apron, some spatulas, etc.  Cute and useful gift.

Hope you all add a little spice to your life!!!!!
Until tomorrow!  Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Life in the Fast Lane - LOL!!!

 Life in the fast lane - NOT me!!!!!  LOL!  Anything but the fast lane.  I just take each day as it comes, and do what I feel is important or necessary that day - and punt the rest.
So, grab a coffee or tea or a bucket of beans that need popped and let's have a chat about whatever!

                                             This was how it was in my growing up days!!!!

My mind wonders today - as it does most often!
Just the odds and ends in life that make me ponder.

I had a quiet weekend - did very little actually.  The neighborhood was really quiet for some reason.  No excessive 4 wheelers or dirt bikes going up and down the road - no loud music or noisy neighbors - just quiet.  There were fireworks at the park up the road on Sunday - they do it then since every brother's uncle does them in July!  I sat at my living room window, in the cool with no mosquitoes and watched.  They were pretty and far enough away not to be too noisy!

I recorded some oldies and some classics this weekend to watch at some point.  I have a hard time watching movies, as it is such a block of time.  As it get cooler - I will watch them.  I recorded a couple oldies - The Pit and the Pendulum and House on Haunted Hill - both old Vincent Price movies.  I also got Fried Green Tomatoes and Stand By Me - both classics in their time.  I have watched years ago - I need a refresher.
Found a new (to me) channel that has some neat stuff.  It is called EarthX.  Not a fan of all the stuff - but there are a couple of fun shows I liked.  Bike to Bites is a neat one - a guy goes to different towns and cities - some small, some ethnic, some artsy fartsy - and bikes all around and eats the food.  Most everything is local or organic and it is just a fun 'ideas' show.
Another is a show out of the UK called Money for Nothing.  She takes people throw-aways from the dump and refashions them into nice things and sells.  The original owner gets the profits.  I remember seeing this a long time ago - and it is just fun.  Both of those shows can be found on You Tube as well.

I ran to Big Lots on Monday, as they were having a summer clearance sale.  Looking for hoses (soaker) - nothing like that to be found.  A few pieces of lawn furniture were about it.  Of course, the sale started on Friday - so I might have missed out.
Lots of fall and Halloween stuff out - as to be expected.  Then there were lit and decorated Christmas trees and many decorations coming out!!!!!!!  Geesh - they just can't let one season end before promoting the next.
The cashier told me that this week, the directors are going to decide if they should start staying open on Christmas Day!  IDIOTS!!!!!  The only day of the year that the store is now closed - and they want to change that.  Greedy Gusses!!!!  Just like so many others.  People need 'at least' one day a year to have celebrations with their families without worrying about work.
She said Thanksgiving Eve they stay open until midnight - then reopen at 5AM Thanksgiving morning!  That is just nuts.
As for the Christmas Day thing - people have 364 other days a year to find a gift or a deal - if you didn't - well TOUGH!  You don't need it that bad. (just my opinion)
Things that make me go Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!

Spent some time thinking about back in the day - how we spent Labor Day weekend camping.  My goodness, the fun we used to have.  Lots of friends camped together - meals together - farm markets and just plain old partying and mayhem around the campfire!!!  We would also spend one whole day at the town (small) wide yard sales nearby.  That was a huge event every year.  The people saved up stuff all year for the droves that showed up - and there were food trucks and lots of walking and just plain fun.  Then we would go back and share a huge pot of beans or stew that had cooked all day.

So, now that I have relieved my mind of some thoughts - I am going to work on cleaning and organizing and decluttering a bit again today.  It sure never ends here - so much stuff to go through and to get rid of.  Yep, we have spent years being packrats!!!!!!
It is still pretty warm outside today - so inside I stay entertaining myself with the dust and clutter I call HOME! LOL
                  I sure hope so!!!  I need to make big difference.  I keep plugging away at it.
Are you back to work today?  Taking it easy?  What's up and on your mind?

Have a great day whatever you endeavor to do!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 9/3

 Happy Sunday and first Sunday of September!  Blink and what do you know - we are approaching fall!  It doesn't feel anything like fall here.  We have started warming up again and the humidity is back.  This will last a few days - highs around 90+, then back into the 80's and less humidity.  
Most of this past week was just super lovely!!!!!!!!
The daylight hours are getting shorter.  Seems like yesterday that my dusk to dawn came on at 9:30PM - now it is 8:30PM.  Sure have enjoyed seeing the big and beautiful moon!  Leaves are starting to fall a bit as well.

Seems the animals are all getting prepped for winter as well.  Haven't seen any critters other than birds and squirrels, since all the live trapping.  Then the other evening I saw an opossum out roaming around.  It didn't stay long in my yard - went next door.  Then the next morning I saw it collecting leaves for a nest. Have you ever seen one collect leaves?  It is amazing to watch - they bunch them up and wrap their tails around them to carry.
The squirrels aren't eating as much here as they seem to be finding walnuts down the alley somewhere.  The younger ones can been seen running down the alley with them - then they come in the yards and bury the whole walnut!!!!  Even the blue jays are hiding peanuts!

My week:

  • Needed to use the soaker on the garden a couple times - went out first of week and boom - the darn hose had broken right up at the connector.  Well, it has been a minute, but I have fixed hoses before.  So I checked the garage and had new connectors in there to use - cut the hose and added the new connector and problem solved.  Sometimes it pays to be a packrat!!!!!  It will get me through this season - as the hose really needs replaced.
  • YARD WORK - lots of it for a good part of week.  Mowed and trimmed everything.  Worked on the fence row on the East side - as no one has ever lived there that gets within a foot on the fence when mowing or trimming!!!!!!  Drives me nuts - now that is all cleared all the way back.  Cleared a lot of stuff back in the bed closest to the back of house.  Trimmed out the raspberry patch area.  I need to work on the big bed - but need to pull a lot of stuff and it is just too dry to accomplish that!
  • Harvesting veggies - not as many - but still growing!  Harvesting herbs as well
  • Made smoothies a couple times using old bananas - milk and ice.  Refreshing snack
  • Laundry using dehumidifier water in loads
  • I did get out the fall-ish looking door decorations and put up - also changed out the yard flag
  • I did run out one day.  I filled my gas tank (hadn't done that since end of June), and only needed less than a half tank - also needed a bit more gas for mower.  Used a .20 gal. discount
  • While out I did stop at Kroger.  I wanted to look at peaches and watermelons that were on sale.  I did get peaches and plums - .99/lb.  A big seedless watermelon for 2.99 (it is so-so).  I got seedless grapes that are huge!  THEN I found DEALS!!!!!!!!  ****** Clearance!  ****** I got several bags of frozen stir fry veggies for .42 a bag.  Crisy green beans (frozen) for .97 bag, big bag of frozen broccoli for 1.17.  Ice cream - 1/2 gal. for 1.13!  (also had a .65 coupon I used too).  Frozen roasted & seasoned small potatoes - .95/bag.  Ground beef on clearance for 2.75/lb. (4 1/2 lbs.) and had a $1.25 off coupon as well.  Watermelon was 2.99 and had a .50 off coupon too.  Found fresh corn for .50 an ear.  Not the best price - but I wanted some.  Cheese was 1.49/8 oz.  Also found Goya olives on manager's special for 1.29 a 6.5 oz. jar.  I AM STOCKED!!!!!!!

                                      Just some of the deals I got - WOOHOO for sure!!!!!!!!!!

I have been craving fruit and veggies all of a sudden!!!

Meals this past week:
Veggie lo-mein
Lo-mein leftover, fried eggs and toast & sliced tomatoes
Fried chicken (freezer) and mashed potatoes (needing comfort food too)
Poor man's Swiss steak and mashed potatoes & toms
Corn, grilled zucchini steaks and sliced tomatoes
Fish sandwich, homemade fries, and slaw w/chopped tomatoes
                                                              Dang, this was tasty!!!!
So how was your week?  Have you found any deals or been putting 'up' any garden goods?  Getting ready for fall/winter in any way?

I sure hope all are well and safe.  There are several I have not seen post in a spell, and please know you are on my mind.  Elise, hope you are doing better with much less pain!  Hoping all you gals in Florida and East coast are OK - and fared well through the hurricane.
Gosh there are hurricanes, fires, and storms galore - just praying that you and your families are all safe, protected and healthy.

Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.
Look forward to hearing from you all this lovely weekend.
ENJOY your holiday!!!!!!!