Sunday, June 23, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 6/23

 Happy Sunday to all.  Hope this finds you all well and safe.
We had a very early morning storm come through.  Not a ton of rain - but enough to help the parched earth.  More to come in the next couple days.  It sure was nice to get.  It seems to have helped the feeling outdoors a bit.  Not so muggy feeling this morning. Nice breeze.

Well gang, I had a grand time at the 60's party.  It was fun - better than the reunion, as not quite so many people.  Talked and laughed a lot.  Lots of groovy outfits!  I ended up wearing the tie-dye.  The lace one looked good on, but not as festive.
My frugal week:
  • Did weeding, yard work, raking (yes raking) and watering early due to heat
  • Both rain barrels are full (110 gallons of free water)
  • Cleaned up around the trees - squirrels drop corn and outer shells of sunflower seeds - cleaned up any enticement to racoons!
  • Placed mothballs around the outer perimeter of back yard, garden and under the shed and deck to deter racoons and groundhogs.  So far so good, it seems to have helped.
  • NO grocery store at all this week
  • Left only to go to 60's party on Friday
  • Lots of laundry - used dehumidifier water in washer
  • Took a walk early one morning - around alley and front walks and picked up any trash dropped/blown along the way.
  • Put together new shampoo and dish soap bottles
  • Checked and refilled all fluids in my Blazer (did it myself)
  • Rehydrated mushrooms to use in recipe.  I have so many that I dehydrated a long while back (buy cheap and dehydrated)
  • All meals from home & using up leftovers
  • Just working inside and doing a bit of clothes decluttering
Meals this past week:
Chicken tenders wraps
Tuna patty on bun and salad
Homemade 'Alice Springs' chicken & fries (in air fryer)
Mexican pizzas
Mexican rice bowl (using leftovers)
Grilled ham & cheese and salad
Dirty rice w/chopped broc. & peppers added, jalapeno burger (no bun)

There you have it, a really quiet week here.  It has just been so dang hot and humid out, so not a lot going on.  I know some of you have had really cool and wet weather and others hot and humid.  I even read there was snow this week in one area!!  It truly is amazing how different areas can be on the same day.
How has your week been?  Did you get any deals or are you using what you have?  I still have little in the way of garden to pick - except lettuce.  Things are growing nicely though.  I hope some of you are now getting 'grow'ceries.
Give us a shout out and let us know you are OK.

Hope this finds everyone well, safe and healthy.
Blessings to you and yours from me and my kitties from our humble little home.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27

Lord, thank You for your love and protections.  Let us each go out and try to live as You have taught, with love, peace, and caring for others.  Help us to know, no matter what trials we face, that You will always be there.  We have eternity with You.  Amen


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Want Something Different? Easy and Tasty!

 Hello all - here it is Thursday already.  It might just be me, but this week seems to be going by slowly.  Maybe because I have not been outside much and have stayed home.  It is going to be another hot one, and today looks to be sunny.  The past couple days had a lot of clouds which worked for me!  June is usually wet here in my area, but not so much this year.  Did have a good rain on Tuesday, but nothing else for many days.
Today is the first day of summer!!!!  

I have made some different meals as of late and thought I would share the ideas.  I know I sometimes get tired of the same old things and look for something different.  BUT I like easy and inexpensive.
So here are 2 or 3 dishes I made fairly quickly, with what I had here at home.

Hominy Skillet
I know many say they don't like hominy, I used to not.  Tastes change over the years.  
This was simply one can of hominy (drained), a little chopped pepper, broccoli. and onion, and 2 ground sausage patties cooked up.  Seasoned with some Worcestershire sauce.
You could add any veggies you have or basically any meat.  It could also be topped with cheese.  Serve over rice if wanting to extend.
It was so very tasty and super easy.   Nothing bad for me in it!!!!

Alice Springs Chicken (like Outback)
I love the Alice Springs chicken from Outback.  I haven't been there in many years.  So, I made my own!!
I had some dehydrated mushrooms, that I rehydrated early in the day.
Cooked a seasoned chicken breast until almost done, added mushrooms and some of the water I rehydrated them in - to skillet.  Also added a little Worcestershire sauce.  Once cooked through, I topped with a slice of Swiss cheese.  (water cooks down to sauce like).  Made some oven fries (in air fryer).  YUM!
I think I actually liked this better than the restaurant style!

Mexican Pizza (like Taco Bell)

I cooked up a little ground meat into taco seasoned meat.  Made up a small batch of refired beans.
Bottom - hard shell tostada spread with beans, added some grated cheese and a bit of salsa (you could add taco sauce).
Top - tortilla spread with a little more beans and some of the taco meat.  Place on top of the bean/tostada - 2 layers.  **I placed it before adding meat - just easier.  I used some cheese dip on top, but you could add more grated cheese.  Topped with chopped tomato and more sauce if desired.
I had 2 of these and I was stuffed.  Have meat and beans leftover for another meal.
Super easy-peasy!

Different can be fun and it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.
I am a lover of food - and sometimes I just get bored.  I know we all get in a rut now and then.
GOOD food does not have to be EXPENSIVE food.

Hope this gives someone a couple ideas.  Have fun and play with your food!

Have a great day my friends.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

PLEASE Use Things Up - Not Just For Thrift

 Good morning, all.  First, thank you all for the great responses on yesterday's post!  So many neato ideas!  I will take all of them into consideration before going out this Friday!

It is a muggy morning here.  The temperature is about 77F first thing this morning and the air is just heavy.  Today starts the heat ride.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be the worst - with highs in mid to upper 90's.  UGH - but I need to stop - it is better than below zero!  This too shall pass.
I hope everyone stays safe and cool and hydrated.
(Grrrrr - local news just showed the first story of the summer of kids being left in a non-running car yesterday.  They are OK - and parents have been arrested.  How do you forget kids or animals???    These stories just tick me off to my last nerve.)

Today, let's talk a minute about using it up, making do, getting creative and not wasting.  I know I talk a lot about not wasting food - but it is so important.  Not just for your pocketbook, but for the planet and the environment.  WHY waste???  There is no good answer!
All things can be used in a new way.  IF they cannot then we should recycle them in some way (not trash).

I know some of you have strong opinions about waste - and I don't want to get into any huge debates or disagreements - I just want to remind folks to THINK and recalculate everything, before throwing it away.   THIS IS IMPORTANT!
It is estimated that American households throw away about one-third of all food they purchase!!!!  This does not include other countries, waste at groceries and restaurants, just groceries purchased.  That is disgraceful.  I think of how many would love that food!  I think about the energy used to raise and harvest.  I also think about the money.  Seriously, would one just go and throw dollar bills in the trash or into the fire?  I think not - but they do just throw it in the trash with waste.
It is said about 219 lbs. of food per person is wasted each year.  That is A LOT!!!!

We talk about using leftovers or do-overs a lot.  It is easy, it is good eating and it is important.
Several of my area grocery stores have now started (in past few years) giving past date items and some end of days produce to the Helping missions.  They give to Wheeler's and Midwest food banks - that food is then redistributed to those who need it.
We have a couple organizations that help in other ways.  There is Second Helpings - they get leftover food from restaurants and catering business and grocers and TEACH many people to be chefs!  Yes, it is a learning situation, and gives many people (many have trouble with hiring) a situation to learn a worthy trade and it uses the food and it is creative AND it feeds many homeless!
I noticed another 'restaurant' the other day called Second Servings - much the same thing.  I love that people are getting educated and that they are getting creative and that they are feeding others.

It isn't just food.  Find new uses for other things.  Don't just trash things.  Use them or donate them to bless others!

I had a great conversation with a schoolmate last week at lunch.  He was talking about what he does now that he is retired - I overheard and started asking questions.  He volunteers for an organization called Changing Footprints.  They collect used shoes of all sorts.  They clean them as well as can be - tennis shoes washed and such.  They provide shoes and 'new' socks that people have donated to homeless, to children in schools, to anyone in need.  They keep it local (in state) and have several giveaways.  What a wonderful thing to do.
One of our local church thrift stores (Mission 27) are begging for men's good used clothes.  I still have a lot that will be donated there.

There is generally a use for most everything.  It just takes a little thinking and a little creativeness.
Take a minute and go over to the blog Millies Cozy Cottage (on my sidebar) and look at her post from June 11th!  It is all about her 'junk' garden!  I love it.  It looks like something I would definitely do.  It is so cute.  I often find places to 'plant' throw-aways and 'curb finds' in my yard.  I know the look is not for everyone - but I love it.
Couple old tires, scrap wood and some old bedding - provides shelter for stray cats during the winter weather.  How creative.

Think, think, think before throwing things in the trash.
PLEASE try to be resourceful with your food and water.  Both are limited, both are needed, and both are wasted each and every day.
Save yourself some funds and save yourself some goods to use in other ways.

There is a house a few doors down, adding a room to the house.  Tons of scrap construction goods - they have set aside usable stuff for others to take and use! Love it.
Have a shed or out building that needs a roof?  Use what shingles you can find - they don't have to match.  I know people scoff at that - but a house down the road did that and it is neat looking!  This is especially easy to do - out in rural areas.
USE it up!!!

It isn't just waste on a personal level, but also on a corporate level.  If you see something - say something.  Place the idea in someone's head.  It may surely help another.
Do something yourself as well - if we each get creative, just think of what we could save and who we could help (including ourselves).

Be WISE and get CREATIVE and DON'T waste.
One man's trash is another's treasure!

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Stuff and Need Opinion!

 Happy Tuesday all.  It is 75F this morning - going to about 90.  This is to be the coolest of the week.  Maybe some rain - that would be nice.  It is a bit overcast this morning, and I like that!  It sure was muggly yesterday!
Hope this finds you all well and safe.  Miss seeing some of you.  If you are having troubles commenting (Debby), maybe re-sign in or reboot your computers or something.  Not sure why some are having problems.  Seems every day something changes on my computer, and it is so aggravating.

YAY, they are starting to bloom!  Birdie planted and approved.  There are a lot of blooms and buds out front - so pretty and cheery!  I have to spray them every few days with a little soapy water, to keep the squirrels from eating them.  It seems to be working (knock wood!).
Poor critters are so HOT!  They lay out cooling themselves, wherever they find shade.  The feeders, the jar, the fence rail, the handrail, the yard - wherever the shade is.  The birds sure do love the waterers - drinking and bathing. 
I have been emptying everything in the evenings (water too), to deter racoons.  Hopefully that will become normal for them, and they stay away.
Buddies!  They are so precious.  Blackie is pretty much living his best life!  He eats, sleeps and cuddles some with mommy and his Bits.  He deserves it, after all the years defending himself outdoors.  Bits is just a ball of fun!  If not sleeping, he is playing.  If he sees a gnat, a fly, a tiny ant, or even a spider - he stalks, attacks and EATS it!  LOL. Quite the hunter.  
They sure bring me a lot of joy and laughs.

Now for your OPINION!  I have this 60's thing on Friday and trying to dress a little appropriately.  I know I will win no prize, but this is fun.  I have had a pair a hip hugger bells for years and years and they still fit!  I have a paisley little shoulder bag, a choker, and a pair of big hoop earrings.  Also, a long butterfly print scarf to tie around band of pants, to hang down my side.
Now for the shirt.
I got these 2 - both are fun.
The tie dye - I will alter the neckline a little (scooping it) - as I don't like t-shirt necklines.  I remember tie dye and also open weave and crocheted tops.  Which should I choose?  The lacy one I can wear the white spaghetti strap top under it (or any color), the tie dye would probably have a tank under it as well (once I alter neckline).  I like both and will utilize them both in the future.
You can see the jeans in the center.
This should be fun.  60's music and attire - and friends and acquaintances from back in the day.
I have really been spreading out from my comfort zone a little and growing into a 'newer' version of me.  Sometimes we just have to change it up a little.

OK, that is it for today.  I look forward to your answers.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it a little.  
I plan on staying in most of the day. There is always plenty to do inside.  I spent a half hour or so outside this AM already tending to things.
Stay cool and have a great and groovy day!!!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 6/16

 Hello all.  Happy Sunday.  Can you believe we are halfway through June?  OK - last week I had to edit post, as I jumped the gun.  So today I say - Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there and the mommas who stepped up to be both mom & dad.  May the day be special.

It is a lovely morning, cool and sunny.  Mornings have been blissful.  Yesterday I was out mowing again at 8:30 AM, as it was so cool and breezy and there was no one drop of dew!  Once done with this post - I will go sit on the porch a bit, just to enjoy the cool, as the heat really starts coming in later today and ALL week!
The tulip poplar leaves have started their first messy drop.  Every June and early July it happens.  Such a mess.  The other day I went in the kitchen and the inside door was open and my storm door is glass to the bottom - there stood a squirrel on its back feet standing up and looking in the door!  I can imagine him saying "nut lady - we need you!"  LOL.  It was just so cute.

My frugal week:
  • I did go out to lunch with childhood school chums on Monday.  Meal was reasonable and fun times and conversation were wonderful.  Laughed so much.
  • While out, on the way home, I stopped at the GW Boutique! (Goodwill).  I have an event this Friday evening celebrating all high school classmates turning or have turned 69 this year and 1969 - the year we started high school.  Dress accordingly!!!  I did find a couple 'groovy' goodies.  No extremes for me, but I will try to dress for fun!
  • Pulled, cut and killed LOTS more weeds - just no end.
  • Mowed 2 times this week and trimmed once. Yesterday's mow was because I guarantee it isn't happening this week in the heat!
  • I received a gift from the owner of a house on the block - his late SIL used to live there, and she was a 'cat lady'.  He gave me some cute salt & peppers shakers that are cats and a Boyd's bear that is a cat!  She and I were friends.
  • I sprayed the greenhouse, doghouse and deck area with natural flea stuff.  It will help the neighbor's cat that hangs out and it will help me!
  • Made a gallon of homemade Miracle Grow
  • Picked flowers
  • Renewed library books online
  • Cut mint, basil and lemon balm to dry
  • Been using the air fryer often - instead of oven
  • Cleaned the outdoor unit of the AC.  Sprayed well to remove dust and pollen - should help it run better
  • Mailed all bills I had
  • I did go out to store and got some fruit and milk.  Stocked up on laundry soap B1G1, medicinal herbs B1G1, and got extra furnace filters
  • Made little cages around my tomato plants and peppers - to protect
  • Cooking from home and using up leftovers
  • Lots of dusting!  I love windows open - but it sure makes things dusty.  I WILL gladly dust to have fresh air.
Meals this past week:
Roasted cheese bread and a pasta/veg salad
Out to eat - McAlister's
Nacho's deluxe
Open face sloppy Joe and onion rings
Pepperoni/cheese/sauce calzone (made with pizza dough).  Salad
Jalapeno/cheeseburger and salad
Hominy/veg, skillet 

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?  How are those gardens doing?  Any new frugal things happening in your home?
It is going to be a hot one this week in many, many places.  Please stay well and safe.  Don't overexert yourself.  I do believe I will be home until Friday this week.
I send blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure.
Proverbs 4:23-26

Lord, help us each to live and do the right things.  The world needs us all to be kind and the world needs You at every point.  Help us each to guide the young and the lost in the ways of good.  May our days continue to be blessed with Your ways and gifts.  Amen

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Heat is On!

 Happy Thursday all.  I sure hope all are well and safe.  It is another glorious morning in the neighborhood.  Sunny, cool and just delightful.  I went out earlier and the bluejays were yelling at me "where is our food?".  Other birdies are chirping and singing away.
Have a window open at the moment and the kitties are loving the fresh air.
All in all, a beautiful start to the day.

I do believe that is about to change here and has changed in many areas already.  The extreme heat is coming!!! SOON.
You really need to take care of yourself, any animals and your home during these times.  Be prepared!

Make sure your inside unit has clean air filters - good air flow is important.
Make sure your outdoor unit is clean, free from any debris and not blocked in any way.
Keep the thermostat at a higher number in the extreme heat.  Do not turn it too low - or your unit can work too hard and easily freeze up or just stop!!  Trust me 80F inside without humidity will feel wonderful compared to 95F+ and humidity!!! (for example)
Getting help to repair or replace a unit will take much longer than usual.  (If a senior, make sure you let the repair people know).
Keep blinds and curtains closed more during the heat of the day.
Keep doors and windows closed.  Do not go in and out a lot.  
Just try to stay home and not drive! Vehicle emissions not good for the ozone levels.
Do not use the oven.  Keep the extra heat to a minimum. This is when an air fryer comes in handy!!!
Now is a good time for cool meals!!!!

Drink plenty of fluids - especially if you have to be outdoors much.  Stay away from sugary drinks and those with high salt count. (alcohol and soda pop not good choices during this time)
Wear natural fibers and lightweight clothing.
This is not the time to be mowing or doing heavy yard work.  (I feel so sorry for those who work in that heat)!!!
If you start to feel funny outdoors, get in the shade and cool, drink fluids and place a cool compress on your forehead or neck.  If too bad - call 911 - heat stroke is serious business!

Make sure there is water outdoors for ALL animals (nature & strays will need water too)
If you have pets outdoors - bring them in or find them shady/cooler cover and leave tons of water for them.
If you have hummingbird feeders out - change the nectar more often.  Sugar water will go skunky really quickly - birds won't drink it.  You don't want them getting sick either. 

Keep your plants watered well. Try not to get the water on the leaves, as it will tend to burn the leaves when evaporating.  Water EARLY.
Expect garden plants to lose blossom sets - many blossoms fall off in such heat.

It appears that this heat wave in going to be covering much of the nation and more and it is going to last a week or two.
This too shall pass - but be careful until it does.

Have a joyful day!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sharing - Not This Time!

 Good morning all.  Another cool morning here and a nice sunny one.  Probably the last of the nice cool temps for a while!  I guess it is basically summer, so heat is to be expected.
Aren't these cute?  I love the speckled flowers.  They look like someone splashed them with bleach.  I have a couple pots of these.

Well, as for sharing - I will help anyone in need.  I share my garden produce with lots of people.  I feed all the critters! (yeah I know!).  But, I don't want to share the garden with them!!!!!
Monday morning, I went out to check the garden, and overnight something decided to help itself to 2 of my tomato plants.  Grrrrrr
One was pulled out by the roots and laying on the ground.  The other was out and roots were gone.
I have stuck the one with roots back in - but it is very doubtful that it will survive.
Mind you I have tomato cages around plants - but animals can get under them.

I had figured it was racoons, as I find dirty water in the water bowl some mornings, so I know they are around.  Now this morning I am wondering.  I saw a HUGE rabbit out behind the neighbors yard.  So, whether it be Rocky or Bun-Bun - I have taken better precautions.
I made little cages with mesh wire and placed 'inside' the cages from the bottom up to about 10"-12".  I had a bunch of mesh wire in the shed - so got it out and cut to work.

I have also made some gadgets to try and scare things away.
I started keeping the tops to cat food cans.  I wash them and then string them up all around the garden.  They move in the wind, one side is reflective, and hopefully 'critters' won't like them!  They are free and it keeps them out of recycle. (any pull top would work)
Got to figure out ways to use what we have and protect our gardens!

Now all those FREE sunflowers plants out front became interesting to the squirrels.  I had 2 big buds (about to open) eaten off, and a plant or two bent in half.  Well - dang it.  I want to see them bloom.
I knew squirrels would like them, but last year they didn't bother them.  Sooooooo, I made up a mild solution of water and dish soap and sprayed them down.  I don't think they like the soapy taste - as they haven't bothered again!  Here's hoping!

Oh the frustrations of gardening.  I am just thrilled I don't have the bears many of you keep talking about.  Oh my gosh!  That has to be scary.  You gals make sure you keep whistles with you - hopefully that would scare them off, if they happen in the yard while you are out.

I am going to make up a batch of homemade Miracle Grow today, so I can fertilize the plants.  Everything could use a good drink of fertilizer.
Click on recipe to enlarge for better reading.

How are your gardens doing?  Are you keeping the wildlife out? What tricks do you use?
Do you have 'natural' or 'recycled' ways you use in the gardens?

I love coming up with little tricks to just upcycle and not buy.
Have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

BROKE? Ideas for Meals in Those Times

Happy Tuesday my friends.  It is VERY chilly here this morning.  In the 40's(F).  Yesterday stayed in the 60's all day.  Funny how things can change - yesterday highs in the 60's and in a week, they will be in the mid 90's!  Going from early April temps to mid-July temps in a week.   
Yesterday I took a day off (for the most part) and had a play day!  I laughed so much yesterday - such a fun day.
Now on to serious business.
BROKE?  Many who are starting out on this journey, have not learned ways to feed a family on very little money!  Using what is in the house!  Getting cheap ingredients!  Yep, it can be done.  Now let me say - not all these ideas may be the healthiest ideas on the planet - but starving isn't healthy either.  We as adults can truly eat about anything to fill our bellies and be happy - (not nec. advisable), but children need their bellies full of something other than junk food.
So let us talk about some cheaper things and ways to help get through a rough time.

Pasta, rice, potatoes, oats and dried beans are all relatively inexpensive foods to buy and to have on hand.  They all can be transformed into many things.  Make sure you have these foods on hand (stock in the good times).  Don't forget peanut butter too!

Baked potatoes can be a meal.  Top a nice baked potato with absolutely ANYTHING you have left in the frig, or with cheese, cream cheese, soup, meat scraps, veggies, etc.
Potatoes can be mashed, fried, baked, added to soups and casseroles and made into salads.

Think about spaghetti and sauce.  You don't have to have meat in your sauce, but if you choose you can add any kind of meat you have.  You can also add beans to the sauce.  Remember you can top any style of pasta you have on hand - it does not have to be spaghetti noodles!  Mix up the use of pasta for whatever you have.
You can also turn spaghetti noodles into lo mein.  Add leftover veggies and a little soy sauce in a pan and you can have a yummy meal.
Mac and cheese - add any type meat leftovers you have or a can of tuna.  Add veggies to it and you have a meal.
Pasta can be added to any salad veggies to stretch.  Add to soups as well.

Rice can be a base for a stir fry type meal (using your leftovers) or it can be added to soups or casseroles or it can be a great side dish.  Season your rice to add flavor with bouillon or whatever you have.  Top with anything.  Add to a can of soup to stretch it.  G used to love leftover rice with a little added sugar and butter for a breakfast meal.
Fried rice is so easy - use your rice, leftover veggies or meats, add an egg if you have and some sauce.  Super easy and filling.

There is always soup beans - super cheap and easy.  Throw beans in a crockpot in the morning and you have a cheap dinner.  Add rice or pasta or potatoes if you want.  Love fried potatoes and soup beans!!
Beans and rice are tasty.

For a fun breakfast make a bunch of pancakes or waffles ahead of time.  You can freeze and have for quick breakfasts.  Breakfast burritos (cheap or homemade tortillas) or biscuits are good as well.  How about the old time favorite of 'toad in a hole'!!! (egg in bread)
Make it fun.  Throw and egg in the middle and fry.
Never forget oatmeal!  That is filling and warm.  Add any fruit or toppings you like.  You can even make baked oatmeal - for something different and for those that don't like regular oatmeal.  There is always cereal as well - though it tends to be expensive and loaded with false calories.

Soups - throw together whatever leftover veggies you have with some broth, tomatoes, meat if you have and seasonings.  You can also add rice or pasta to soups to stretch them and make them feel heartier.
How about grilled cheese and tomato soup?  That has always been a go to for me.
If all you have is some canned soups - eat them!  Add things if you want to stretch a can of soup or serve it over pasta, rice or potatoes.  There are many ways to stretch it.
Yes, I know Ramen is bad - but if that is what you have, throw in a bunch of leftover veggies and any meat scraps you have leftover and jazz it up.  Sometimes it is what you have!  Been there and done that!
Heck, I have made tomato soup with pasta added as a meal in years past (I still like it)!!!  
Trust me, many of us have been in this position and have eaten whatever we had to get by!!

Think about cabbage - it is generally inexpensive compared to other veggies,  You can add to soup, or you can saute' or fry.  It is good for you and can be added to many things.  Throw some chopped cabbage, tomatoes, rice and a little ground meat together in a skillet and you have a skillet version of stuffed cabbage!
Goulash is easy - a little ground meat, tomatoes and pasta - hearty and tasty.  Top with some cheese if you have it.

Tuna salad, chicken salad, or whatever you want to make.  It doesn't have to be a sandwich if you have no bread.  Make a nice plate with some crackers and any veggies you have - fresh or cooked.
Think about peanut butter and cracker or a peanut butter sandwich - full of protein and filling.

Veggie sandwiches are very tasty.  You don't need meat.  I love a tomato sandwich often in the summer!

Fritters are easy to make and you can utilize any veggie you have into them.  A little flour, an egg or two and your chopped veggies - then fry up.  YUM

Salads of any type can be added into a meal or eaten as a meal.  Anything can be a salad.  Add pasta to veggies or rice and throw in dressing and you have a hearty salad.  Make a bean salad - throw in a hard boiled egg or two (chopped).  Potato salad, egg salad, rice salad, corn and beans, bean salad, pasta, the list goes on and on.  There is no limit to what can be a salad.

Biscuits and gravy - that was a staple in my house growing up.  It sure is easy to make and costs very little.  Mom fed us a hearty gravy over biscuits and sometimes just over bread.  I still do this.

Super easy and warm and yummy!
Another easy-peasy fix.  Check your pantries - if you have some canned chicken, make nuggets.  Heck you can make patties or nuggets with canned tuna as well or salmon.
Remember you can substitute what you have.

If you have leftover beans and or rice - think about making some enchiladas or burritos.  Add a little salsa or sauce and top with a little cheese or sour cream and you have a new meal.  Always can add tortillas instead of bread.
Think cornbread as well - easy to make.  My siblings and dad and even my G liked cornbread with a little milk on it and it was like a breakfast!  You could also top with a little syrup or jelly.

There is noooooo limit to what you can do.  You have to look at things differently sometimes.  Yes, rice and cornbread aren't always thought of as a breakfast - but why not?  
Use what you have.  Whatever you get from food pantries - get creative with it.  I know often food pantries give basics - but there is a lot that can be made.
Remember not EVERY meal has to have meat!  You can add in other proteins and have a good meal.  

Life can be complicated sometimes.  People worry about feeding their families, now more than other times, as prices have climbed so.  You can use the basics and eat well.  It DOESN'T have to cost a fortune.  
Ask questions on sites like this one or others - go to sites like - it gives great ideas on recipes using what you have.  There are lots of places you can check and get ideas.
Just don't give up.  Feed you family and feed them well.

Many of us have been in this position at some point in our lives.  It isn't fun I know - but it is possible.
Get creative and make do.
I hope this gives someone HOPE!

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 6/9

Hello to all.  Happy Sunday!   It sure a glorious morning here.  Very cool, breezy and NO humidity.  It has been beyond windy the past couple days, and it looks as if today may be as well.  It sure has been a windy spring here. Looks to stay cool and nice until the end of the week and then it gets back to hotter temps.
I sure hope this finds you all safe and well.

I have started to see fireflies (lightening bugs) this week.  Not a lot of them, but they are back.  
Thank goodness I have not seen or heard the first cicada!  Usually there are their sounds every summer evening, but nothing this year.  Guess they went elsewhere to visit the 2nd type! 
Last night the village 'crazies' (being nice), started the noisiness of super loud fireworks and they started at 10:30PM!  So, it begins.  UGH

My week:
  • The owner of the property next door asked me to go in and check the house (he is in Italy).  I still have a key - so I went and checked things.  All good.  He also asked if I knew someone to cut the grass until he gets back - worked that out for him.
  • Worked on pulling more weeds - it never ends.  I also sprayed a small patch of poison in the neighbor's yard (between my fence and his garage).  It is fence high and they won't touch it!
  • Mowed and trimmed everything.  Yard work just goes on and on!
  • Changed out bedding top cover and the throw rug to change the look of things for a while
  • Received a bunch of Sweet William seeds from a neighbor who salvaged them for me
  • Made a gallon of iced tea - so refreshing
  • Picked a bouquet
  • Trimmed all the bushes out back and cleaned that all up
  • Picked rhubarb and lettuce
  • Used up all leftovers in one way or another
  • Tons of laundry
  • Airing the house and enjoying no AC
  • I did run to the church thrift store up the road (for a change of pace).  I received a loaf of sourdough bread and 2 packs of Ballpark burger buns for FREE.  I bought a brand-new top (still had a tag), and 4 brand-new (but outdated - 2023) magazines for .50 each.  One magazine had a retail of 7.99, the other 3 were reg. 13.99.  I got 1 Mother Earth News (Natural Living), 1 Taste of the South, 1 Country Living (Flea Market Finds), and 1 Thanksgiving Recipes.  **Can't believe people would pay that regular price on mags!!!!
  • No grocery

Weekly meals this past week:

Chicken breast, potato cakes and cukes
Breakfast - eggs, sausage and biscuits
Smoked sausage on bun and salad
Cheesy chicken, pasta, bean skillet
Enchiladas (used leftover skillet in them)
Chef salad
Fish sandwich and pasta/veg salad

How was your week?  Did you get any really good deals?  How are your gardens/pots doing?  
I hope you are getting decent weather - there sure is a lot of really HOT zones out there.
I hope that you all have a wonderful week ahead and that you are safe and healthy.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a King above all gods.
Psalms 95:2-3

Lord, we send up thanks for all the many blessings we receive each and every day, no matter how big or small.  We ask you to help those who are in need and guide them on their paths to grow and flourish.  Help us each and every one to be better people and spread Your love.  Amen

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Nature - Take Time to Enjoy

 Happy Thursday my friends.  It is a cooler morning here.  Once the dampness dries from the yard - I will be out and about the yard.  We had a really good rain yesterday and things got watered.  Rain barrels are both full - and I watched the birds sitting out in the rain, fluffing their feathers bathing.  They were so cute.  Nature sure is amazing to me.  Things of beauty to see, things to eat, and just so much to see and enjoy!
I hope each of you will get out and enjoy just the beauty of things.  All things are finally growing and getting just beautiful.  I am always aware of world events, but I turn off the news many days and just enjoy life.  The news is depressing.  Truly not much I can do to change anything - so I will spend my time on earth partaking in the beauty!

Here is a view out front and all the sunflower plants that got 'planted' by the birdies.  There are over a dozen out there and I look forward to blooms again this year.  Last year they were gorgeous!  So much just gets dropped by the critters and then it grows into beauty.
Years ago, I started with a small little clump of Tiger Lily from mom & dad's house.  Now they are in several locations around the yard and covered with hundreds and hundreds of buds and flowers!  The original plants from which these came were older than me!  Dug at the side of a country road decades ago.
The rains have been a blessing to the grapes.  The arbor is just loaded - on all sides, hanging thick with grapes.  I look to make jelly and juice - IF they keep going to maturity!  You can click on the picture to get a good view of the bunches!

Too funny.  Sometimes I think this is true for many people!   I have had trouble in the past with groundhogs and with racoons - but not bunnies. I know nature's critters get in a lot of gardens and they can cause havoc.  My brother lives with a huge woods behind him, and he fights nature at every turn.
I hope those that garden, get a good crop this year.
I so look forward to going out and picking 'grow'ceries.  That first tomato or that first zucchini - those are always my favorites.  I have some lettuce ready to pick now, but that is it at the moment.  SOON!!!
I pray for the farmers everywhere - I know many areas have flooded and others are hot and dry - the farmers are a wonder.  A good crop for them means food for the country and it means an income for them.
May your gardens all do well and thrive - big or little areas (or pots) - it is all food!

I hope you can all get out this weekend and just enjoy nature and the beauty in the world.  Turn off the ugly on TV and look at the beauty!  Go to a park, walk around the neighborhood, breathe the fresh air, dance in the rain, play in the flowers and garden - just get out and enjoy!

Have a tremendous day and weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Uncomplicate it!

 Howdy to all.  Hope you are all well this morning.  It is kind of muggy feeling here this morning.  It is supposed to rain (storm) later in the day.  I think today will be a stay indoors kind of day for the most part.  Next couple days are supposed to be much cooler.

Today is just a reminder about life.  I know many of us try to live a basic and simple life.  For all those starting out - there is a reason for us to do so.  
Just living a simple and balanced life - keeps the stress down, keeps the finances intact, and uses less of the world's resources.  It truly is a WIN-WIN!

You may have a huge home or you may have a very small home - you have a home!  Make whatever home you live in comfortable and pleasant - that really takes no money.  Just use what you have and keep it nice and live your best life.

Modern life wants to complicate your life.  If you watch commercials or many programs - you will see things to entice you.  Don't fall for it.  There is someone in every place we go or on everything we see or hear, trying to convince you that you need more and bigger and better.  You don't.
I am one of those strange birds - that if I see a commercial for something on TV - odds are 99.9% I will never buy it!!! I despise commercials.  I don't like that they think I am stupid.  I don't like that they try to make even the most serious things look enticing and fun.  I just don't like them and I will not buy their product.
That is my simple solution!!  LOL.  I know not everyone feels that way - but it works for me.

You can live and thrive and still have a simple life.  We just try to complicate everything.  
Be grateful for whatever you have.  Be grateful if you can pay your bills.  Be grateful for any help you receive or can receive.  Be grateful for a warm bed or a meal.  Be grateful for a cold drink of water.  SO many in the world would love your life!

If you want more - go for it, work for it.  All people can do is say no - and they may say yes.  You have to try.  
Never give up - no matter how hard it gets.  Anything worth having is worth fighting or working for.  Plan your work and work your plan - that is what my G used to say.  Boy, is that right.  ONLY YOU can set things in motion.  Work hard, do your best and go forward one day at a time.  That is all any of us can do.

But most importantly - you need to keep life simple and balanced!
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Use What You Have - Get Creative

 Happy Tuesday to all.  Hoping this finds you safe and well.  Prayers for those in need.
It looks to be a lovely day here, so I hope to get some outdoor things done.  Tomorrow is supposed to rain - then back to cooler and pretty again.  I am digging this weather!

Today a couple ideas of getting a bit creative and using what you have.  There are so many things we can do every day with things on hand.

I love sausage/bacon egg biscuits.  I made them last week for dinner one day.  I like the way they look at the fast-food shops.  You know, the egg that fits the biscuit!
My trick to make that happen.
I use wide mouth rings from mason jars as a mold.  Sometimes just a little will seep out under - but mostly the egg stays inside.  I grease them really well and when I think the bottom is done, simply flip it over.  Works every time!
I soak and scrub when done.  They can still be used for canning.
                 My end result.  Sausage, egg and biscuit sandwiches!  The egg fits perfectly!  

I told you about cleaning the siding on the back of the house last week.  I still do not have a power washer - so I used what I had.  It was a little more work (maybe), but it worked.  Mainly the lower part of the house was affected - so this worked fine.
This is what I used to clean the siding.  One of those dish scrubbers that you put dish soap in - it was stiff enough to remove the moss, yet soft enough to not harm the siding.  Wet it and scrub.  Then rinse off.  
This is what it looked like before.  This happens over the winter.  It is shady in this area and on the north side of the house.  Generally, down on the lower parts of house.
A scrubby, a little dish soap, and a hose - is what it took.  Oh, and a little elbow grease.  What a difference.
Here is my fix and the homemade rain barrel.  I bought the spicket for about $6 - I added washers and a nut and some sealant.  Works perfectly.  I had the hardware guy explain what I needed, and then I just did it.  I will need to repair the store bought one come fall.  It broke, so now I still have to use the bucket on that one.  I need it to be full, to transfer water to this one (it has an overflow spout).  By next spring I will be good on both barrels!

It is amazing the things we can do, if we just think about it for a moment.  A little muscle work and creativity and it can get done.  We don't have to spend a lot of money for special devices.
Use what you have laying around - you will be amazed.  Life doesn't have to be complicated, sometimes the simplest things work wonderfully!
What have you re-used or gotten creative with lately?

Have a wonderful day my friends!

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Weekly Wrap-Up 6/2

 Happy June to all!  Hope this finds you all well.  It is now meteorological summer here, and winter in the southern hemisphere!  It sure is hard to believe it is June.  
It is a cool and wet morning here.  It started raining yesterday afternoon and is continuing for a while this morning.  A nice soft and gentle soaking rain.  I like that.  This will sure make things grow - including weeds!
My little faucet feature I put in the homemade rain barrel last week - is holding!  No leaks whatsoever. YAY!!   However, this past week, the spicket on the original broke!  It is full - so I guess I will still be using a bucket for a while any way - sigh!
The Tiger lilies and D'Oro have both started blooming.  There will be hundreds of blooms!
'THE' neighbor is 100% gone now.  I finally feel safe.  It is a wonderful feeling.  I didn't realize how tense I had been.
I have a couple fun events to attend this month with old friends.  So, some neat things to look forward to.

My frugal week:
  • Mowed and trimmed everything
  • I did go out and get a huge outdoor flower planter (at Kroger) for my SIL, who lost her brother.  I bought it and took it to their home instead of ordering flowers.  It was half the price of florist, and she can enjoy it all summer.  Our Kroger has beautiful planters
  • I cut my hair and touched up roots at home
  • Deep cleaned all the floor surfaces
  • Cleaned up, filed and cleared away a lot of paperwork
  • Paid bills
  • I worked on the house siding on the north side of house, a lot.  I have been cleaning by hand, as I haven't bought a pressure washer yet.  My north side is pretty shaded and gets 'mossy' looking very quickly.
  • Made a double batch of hummingbird nectar
  • Picked a bouquet
  • Washed some windows
  • Did a ton more weed pulling and cutting - that NEVER ends.
  • Made a batch of biscuits this week
  • Widows open and airing the house
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
Meals this past week:
Chicken strips, corn on cob, baked beans (leftover)
Homemade pizza
Pizza again and salad
Pork chop, broccoli/cheese rice
Chopped steak topped with mushrooms/peppers/onion and mashed potatoes
Corn/bacon/potato cakes and salad
Sausage egg biscuits and salad
SNACKS:  sorbet, watermelon, apples & peanut butter

This week was not quite as busy as last.  I did pretty much take off Sunday and Monday (holiday) and just relaxed.  I porch set a lot and visited with a few neighbors.
How was your holiday weekend and your last week of May?  Did you get any deals?  Any yard/garage sales?  
Please check in and let us know you are OK.  I am still worried about many.
Hope you all have a safe and healthy week ahead.  Hope your June is lovely.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; He is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.
Psalms 62:1-2

Dear Lord, thank You for this life.  I put my faith and trust into You.  I shall not worry about the worldly things that try to distract us and harm us, as I feel I am in Your protective hands.  I pray we all keep our faith no matter what the evil tries to do.  Thank you for our many blessings.  AMEN

Thursday, May 30, 2024

FREE Fun for all Ages!

 Good morning to all.  I sure hope this finds you all well and safe.  It is a beautiful morning here and looks to be a perfect day!  There is always much to do, but a day like this makes it all better!

Today I want to talk about a few FREE things you can do at home to entertain those kiddos.   Many children are on summer break now and instead of allowing them to just sit in the house on their electronic contraptions - have some fun.  It may be your children, grands, or neighbors - you may babysit as well.  It is always fun to do things for free and also that are creative.  I LIKE that too!!!

Get those button boxes out and get creative with them.  There are so many neat things that can be done with buttons!!!!  I love the top pic of flowers made from buttons/wire - the vase is an old salt shaker too!  The hair clips remind me of ice cream cones!  I would wear those.  Love the brochette.  You could also make pretty picture frames or Christmas decorations.  No end to the creative things that could be made. (have them make gifts for others)

Find smooth rocks and paint them.  That is a neat thing now.  Use in flowerbeds, by the entry or in flowerpots.  Small ones can be turned into magnets.  Anything that can be imagined can be painted.  Make animals, bugs, sayings, flowers, etc.
                 Easy-peasy homemade play dough!  Non-toxic and you can make any color.
Of course, don't forget no-bake cookies - that can be made for pennies at home.  These are a hit with kiddos and grown-ups alike!!!!
Make sure the littles help!

Get a book from the library about birds, and then sit outside and see how many different birds you can identify.
Go for a walk.
Make a picnic in the backyard.
Teach them about flowers or have them help in the garden.
Just sit and be together!

There are so many things that can be done and that get the creative juices flowing.  Children don't need to be on electronics all the time - they need fresh air and FUN!  So do adults!!!!!!

Have fun and enjoy some creative, free, down time this summer.
Have a fantastic day!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Surround Yourself & Do You

 Happy midweek to all.  I hope this finds you well and safe.  It is a chilly morning here.  I put on a sweater when going out to feed, and I still have it on!  It got noisy for a while last night and there seemed to be a light show - but no rain here.  It looks to be a nice weather week in my area.  I sure hope you are experiencing good weather as well.

Just a word or two today about doing what YOU need to do for yourself.  You have to be true to yourself.  Don't let others intimidate you into doing things you think aren't right.  SO many people tend to be crowd followers- and in the world of paying off debt and living a simpler life that doesn't necessarily work!

                                            We are your tribe - we will counsel where we can
Keep things simple.  Keep trying.  If you fall - get back up and start again.  We have all fallen away from watching our dollars in our lives - but you can start over - ALWAYS.
Be careful who you take advise from.  Watch people and how the treat their funds.  If they can't manage a dollar, they surely can't manage ten!!!!!  
You have to start small.  Think about little things that tend to eat your dollars - they don't seem like much by themselves - but they do add up.
You know - the coffee out each day, lunch out a few times a week, buying the junk food at the grocery, cigarettes, going to the store every day, etc.
We recently had a post about how $27.40 a day = $10,000 a year!!!!  YES.  Doing that LITTLE stuff over time adds up.  Ten years of living like that is $100,000!!!!!!  That is a lot of money.
Money that could buy a house, money that could be saved, money that could pay off all your bills, money that could be invested - money that IS YOUR FUTURE.

Saving pennies - is saving dollars.  Just start small and make simple changes - use that 'extra' money to pay off things or save.  Start that emergency fund - they can be lifesavers.
Make little changes each and every week.  Don't give up and just keep trying.

Stop blaming others for what you DON'T have - take your control back and do what is needed for YOU!
It is easy to blame others, it is harder to do the right thing.  That is basically a fact in all parts of our life.  No one is responsible for you but you.

Start small, it is where we all started.  You got this - and know we are your tribe.  We are here to help.
Have a wonderful and simple day!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Yummies Made From Home

 Happy Tuesday everyone.  I hope you are all well and safe.  I know I keep mentioning it, but I am worried about many of our contributors/family.  It sure seems the spring storm season has been extra turbulent this year and very devastating. Check in if possible.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  It has messed me up again!!  I have my days mixed up again - makes no sense, because I do not work, but it happens every holiday!  I keep thinking today is Monday.
I spent 2 days relaxing a lot, porch sitting, and talking with neighbors.  Today it is back to work for me here on the home front.
It looks to be a lovely weather week here - very mild.  Good week to work outside.

I want to share a couple of goodies I mentioned in my Sunday post that I made last week.  SO easy using what I had here at home - and very tasty as well!

Not my picture (I forgot because I was hungry!) - but mine looked just like this.  A little fatter than what you buy in the freezer section.
I had everything here. I used the air fryer as well - so no grease.

I used 6" tortillas.  I made up some taco meat and used shredded cheese and homemade/canned salsa.
You could use bigger or smaller tortillas - depending on what you have.

In an open flat tortilla, I placed a line of taco meat, cheese and salsa.  Then I rolled them as tightly as possible.  I put in a warmed air fryer at 365* for 15 minutes (solid side up).  They came out nice and crunchy.  SO yummy.
You could put anything you like in them.  Chicken, taco meat, cheese, cream cheese, salsa, enchilada sauce, beans, rice, etc.
DO NOT over fill!  You put a small amount so as to be able to roll up small and tightly.

I also made SORBET using what I had on hand.
I used a banana I had getting ripe, and about 5 or 6 strawberries I had left and the scrapings from the watermelon to get it all.  I also used the juice from the watermelon.
I know it may sound like a strange combo - but it sure is tasty.

I put all the fruit in the Ninja added the watermelon juice, then a good splash of lemon juice, and 2 packets of Stevia - blended until smooth.  That is it!

You can use any kind of fruit you have, add any type of juice (water can even be used), and a good splash of lemon juice and a bit of sweetener.  Pour into a container and freeze.
I let it set out a few minutes before eating, so it can be scooped out easily.  As you can see by above picture - I have eaten some (2X) from this container.
It is cold and frosty and refreshing AND EASY! And HEALTHY!!
**Not ice cream like - but a cold somewhat crunchy treat.

It is so easy to use up what you have and make new things.  Just take a moment and think about something you like, but don't usually buy - then make it yourself!
Get creative.  Life is boring if we don't try new things.
This was my first time on both of these items, and I was super pleased with the outcome both times.

Have fun, get creative, use what you have, and save some $$$.
Have a wonderful day all!