Sunday, March 31, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 3/31

Here we are on Sunday again, the last of the month.  It is Resurrection Day!  A very meaningful day for many.  I hope this day finds you well and safe.

As I sit here this morning looking out the window - all is greening so much!  The grass is vibrant.  Things are growing and trees are getting that glow of new growth.  The birds are singing.  It is starting out wet here - gray and gloomy looking - but it is a wonderful day that we have been given.

This week was kind of quiet and nice.  We had some pretty chilly days until the end of the week.  We look to have some cool days this next week as well - but they are shorter in duration and fewer!
Daylight hours last much later in the evenings, and the days are just getting nicer overall.

My week:
  • Did lots of laundry and totally changed out bedding to lighter weight bed linens
  • Been doing lots of cleaning and spring cleaning
  • I received a pretty homemade card from Cookie - THANK YOU!
  • I received a gift of a homemade bookmark from a neighbor
  • I went out on Wednesday with a friend.  We went to the conservatory and enjoyed all the beautiful tropical plants & they were also having a little 'gnome' show.  It is spring break week - and lots of kiddos.  We then went to lunch at a small diner and then on to a couple antique shops.  It was a fun day.
  • Mowed all the yard
  • Have done some yard work for spring - so much to do
  • Picked another bouquet - daffies, wild hyacinth, and tulips
  • I received a $1 bill in a survey sent to me.  Didn't do the survey, but I have a $1!!
  • Been using up.  I had a bit of pimento cheese and nacho cheese in frig - added to mac n cheese.  Eating leftovers
  • Got a b/s turkey breast out of freezer (came across it when I cleaned freezer) - baked yesterday for today (an other) meals
  • Made a diced cherry cake - un-iced.  I like it this way and less calories
  • Made a gallon of lemon water - so refreshing
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
  • Aired house yesterday - oh, it was wonderful!  Yesterday was about 100% perfect!
Meals this past week:
Spicey rice - w/added leftover meat/mushrooms, fresh veggies, and garlic toast
Leftover rice, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms
Baked spaghetti (freezer) and fresh veggies
Out to lunch at diner - meat loaf, mashed potatoes/gravy, green beans
Smoked sausage, mac n cheese and asparagus
Pan seared fish, leftover mac, fresh veggies
Breaded burger w/cheese and oven fries

Yes, quiet but nice week.  I like those kind!  How was your week?  Did you do anything exciting this week?  Any great deals?  Having a special day for Easter?
I am having a quiet and reflective day here today.
I look forward to hearing from you all.  May you all have a wonderful day and if you are getting with family - please enjoy each moment.

I hope your upcoming week will be lovely, safe and healthy.  Wishing you and yours many blessings from my humble little home.

Dear Lord, thank you is not enough, but is all we can say.  Thank you for Your Son and our Savior and for the love that is spread over us each and every one.  We are not deserving, but we can try to live the life we should.  Thank you for forgiving us and for loving us and for this life we enjoy each day.
May the Glory of our Savior be spread to all, as we pray for this world.  AMEN

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Nature Can Always Provide

 Happy Thursday all.  Hope you are all well and safe.
Cold frosty morning here - with thoughts of getting warmer today!  At least the sun is shining this morning.

We all have so many options on this earth we can use for food or in foodstuffs.  Nature provides us with most all we NEED!  Notice I said need - not want.
Plants of all sorts - many of which most of us call weeds are good for food and medicinal needs.  Foraging is a great way to find these items.  I look towards my own yard often - as I know I use no chemicals on anything.  That is important to know.  If you live near a woods - you have a huge 'grow'cery store at your fingertips.

Today I will talk about things that are springing forth as we speak!  It is spring and certain things show up then.  Dandelions, wild violets, and soon clover - then peonies will be blossoming in a couple months!
There are so many things we can use - I will add posts about different items in coming weeks.
Flower to root - these are very nourishing and valuable. Not just for us but also for the first bees of spring hunting for food.

Click on recipe to enlarge for easy reading.
I have made this and it is sort of a honey taste.  Very good.  It doesn't look pretty at first (as you are preparing water) - the lemon juice makes all the difference in appearance!

Click on recipe to enlarge
Wild violet jelly is also quite tasty and it is pretty too once it is completed.
These specialty springtime jellies are very expensive if purchased at a specialty shop!  You can have it for the price of sugar, basically!

Click on recipe to enlarge
I have also made peony petal jelly.  It is sweet and a bit tart and a little flowery tasting.  Makes a great appetizer type jelly.  
As you start getting the liquid made to make it - it looks ugly and doesn't smell nice either!  Just fair warning.  That all changes - trust me.  Tasty, tasty!

You can use clover as well for a honey tasting jelly.  I need to look up my recipe for that one.

Many weeds (what we call them), flowers, seeds, fungi and roots can be used for all kinds of things.  There are some people that basically live off nature.  Animals are provided on the earth, fish, fruit, veggies, roots, herbs, you name it.  It is all here for us to use.  Sure, you do need to do a little research when it comes to plants and such - that it is safe for YOU - but there is so much to naturally choose from.
Hopefully I can add some ideas to all in the future posts.

I hope you have a lovely day and a reflective holiday week.

And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of the all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them as food.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has breath of life, I have given every green plant as food." And it is so.
Genesis 1:29-30

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

There Will Always be One of Those Days!

 Morning to all.  Hope you are well and safe.  Kind of gloomy out here today - supposedly we may see peeks of sun.  We will see!

We have all had ONE of those days!!  You know those days, where things go wrong, or people disappoint, or you just feel blah!  Yep.

Yesterday - the guy came about 4:40 to fasten the wires.  I watched from inside and just kept shaking my head.  He was having one of those days for sure.  I don't know if he had a new battery drill he wasn't used to or if he was new or what - but that young man could not get that drill to work right.  From in the house, I could tell what he was doing wrong - it took him 45 minutes to figure it out.
He obviously forgot "righty tighty - lefty loosey"!  It was like he didn't realize his drill had a button to reverse his drill direction.  I just kept shaking my head.  Goodness.
Well, he finally got the simple connector in (with all kinds of tools and 1 hr. wasted) and fastened the wire.  Then I saw him take down the ladder and was leaving the other wire laying on the garage.  I went out to question.  His comment "that wire does nothing - it isn't active".  Me - WELL - why leave it???? I said you realize that will damage my shingles after a while of wind blowing it.  So, after sighing - he removed that wire completely.
All is good - but I wonder about workmanship these days.  I hope for his sake - it was JUST one of those days!!

This made me chuckle.  I guess sometimes we have to be very specific as to what we say, so people don't misunderstand.

It seems so often, no matter how we try it is 'damned if we do and damned if we don't'.  I know we have all felt that way.  Those are the things that make me sigh.  
We try to do our best daily, that is all we can do.  We all have failures. 
When you have a day that things don't work out, or you fall of the frugal wagon, or you get that unexpected bill, etc. - don't give up!!!
Sigh all you want, feel sorry for yourself for a moment - then put on those big girl panties and get up and try again.  ALWAYS TRY AGAIN!
Like we were taught with a classic childhood book - "I think I can, I think I can".

YES, you can.  It isn't always easy.  It isn't always a good day.  It isn't always going to work.  It isn't always going to be a simple thing.  Nothing in this world worth having is really easy!  It takes work and the "I CAN" attitude.

So, whatever you do today - do it with joy and with happiness and with a good attitude.
Today is a gift - it truly is.
Wishing you all a great day.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

LET US PLAY - The Many Uses of........

 Good morning this Tuesday.  It is a windy day here and feels very damp.  We had some storms go through overnight and lots and lots of STRONG wind!  I have phone and internet lines down off the pole this morning!  There is one hanging about 5' above ground and one laying on the garage.  Everything works - so I just need someone out to place back on pole.

Hope everyone is safe - there are a lot of storms going through the country.  Hoping everyone's families are safe and not involved in the Baltimore bridge disaster.  That is just awful.

Today I am going to pick 2 different items that can be used in many, many ways.  Not just the conventional.  I think I may do this once a week for a bit - just as a reminder to all and a push to newbies that things aren't always what they seem!!!

Lots of us make both of these.  I always have several jars on hand - mainly for gifting.  I don't eat that often, and when I open a jar - it often gets sugary before I use it all.  I bet everyone has some of those baby jars on hand - those little jars that come in food gift boxes!  Here are some ideas to use it up.
Make thumbprint cookies
Jelly rolls
Blend with other ingredients to make sauces and BBQ and glazes
Cupcake centers
Melt and use over ice cream
Use with cream cheese on crackers for great snacks
Add to vinegar for specialty dressings
Granola bars
Use in oatmeal, over pancakes and waffles
In yogurt
OH, and maybe a PBJ!

Whether this is homemade, or store bought - it isn't just bread at my house.  Many uses.
I can buy this every day, sliced or whole, for a $1 or less at a couple different stores in my area. 
Garlic bread
Garlic toast
Cheesy bread
Individual slices for mini pizza bites
Party sandwich
Individual sub sandwiches
French toast
Croutons, breadcrumbs
Bread pudding
Bread pizza
Roasted open face sandwiches of any type
Grilled sandwiches
Dipping bread

What different ideas do you have for these items?  Do you use these things in different ways?
I love being creative and using things in a way that many would not.  It sure does stretch the food (no waste) and it helps stretch the budget.  And as a bonus - you get some tasty food and goodies, by playing with your food a little!!

What items would you like to see other uses for in upcoming weeks?  Doesn't have to be just food to eat - many food items can be used for other things.
Look forward to your ideas.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 3/24

 Happy Sunday to all.  It is Palm Sunday and the beginning of holy week for many people.  I hope you are all well and safe on this lovely day we have been given.

It is a sunny day here so far.  Chilly, but sunny. 
The birds were out singing their many songs this morning.  Everything is budding, blooming and sprouting.  It seems the below freezing temps we had, did not really harm too many things.  Maybe it wasn't freezing for long enough.  I just see so much life springing forth outside.
I had the first groundhog sighting of the year!!  UGH.  It was a couple yards down - but that bugger was out and exploring (a bit early to stay out).  I have dandelions starting to pop up - yes, I am one of those that does not kill them.  They are about the first thing the bees can find, and I don't want chemicals on my yard.
It has been a sort of quiet week here.  It was pretty chilly for most of the week - so inside I stayed a lot.
My week:
  • Made hard boiled eggs
  • Did a root touch up
  • Used the remainder of the compote and made a fruity shake/smoothie, and made a chocolate milk shake one day (milk, ice and choc. syrup)
  • Had a neighborhood meeting with a lawyer to see if there is anything we can do about getting speed bumps on our street - to slow speeders.  Not looking good.
  • Used leftover mashed potatoes to make a batch of potato cakes - had some for dinner and froze several
  • Made more OJ from concentrate
  • LOTS of laundry
  • Mowed the entire yard for the first time!  It looks so pretty and boy, did it smell good
  • Made a batch of brownies
  • Did a walk about the neighborhood and picked up trash (it has been so windy) and just admired all the spring beauty
  • Picked more daffodils and wild hyacinths
  • Did a lot of mending, small repairs and re-arranging of pictures and small items
  • Trying to use many items I have in freezer that really need used.  No sense having things if we don't use them!
Meals this past week:
Rueban sandwich and oven fries
Corned beef hash
Asparagus fries and potato cakes (no meat day)
Small pizza w/lots of veggies
Broccoli cheese soup
Leftover soup and grilled cheese sandwich
Hand pies (gr. beef, mushrooms, peppers, cheese) and a side salad

What are you up to?  Did you get to work outside any this week?  Get any great deals?  
Spring cleaning or holiday crafting?
Love hearing what everyone is up to.  Give us a shout out.

I surely hope and pray that you and your families are doing well.  That those with sickness get relief and wellness.  I hope you enjoy each and every gift that is put before you, and that they may give you some joy and smiles.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised!
Psalms 113:3

Lord may we each and every one, know that no matter what happens in our life, You are still our future and our hope.  Help us through the bad that happens and help us to embrace and enjoy the good.  May we all live our best life and may we all forgive any transgressions that we have felt.  They do not serve us well.  Thank You for our many blessings.  Amen

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Mixes and Spices Mash Up - Make Your Own

 Morning to all.  Hope this finds you well on this chilly morn!  
Today is going to be a reminder of some things we can make ourselves and feel better about our food.  I keep seeing articles posted about how people are all panicking about the 'things' in their food.  It has truly gotten to the point that most everything has some item in it that isn't deemed good.
We can make from scratch, and we can make our own mixes and spice combos up and we will know what is in our food product.
It takes a little bit of time - but the feeling of 'knowing' is worth it!

Here is a couple of fun seasoning salts recipes.  Click on recipe to enlarge for easy reading.
I love this stuff.  It is a great mix of seasonings and perfect for salads and veggies. I can make it and there are no preservatives or odd stuff in it!

This is one that I made up - I use my dehydrated tomato skins in it as well as different spices/herbs.  It adds great flavor to any dish.  I have no specific measurements - just use what you want and what you like and what you have!  This is super in soups!

You can make your own 'cream of' soups as well.  It is so easy to make and wonderful to have on hand.  You can make soup, or you can use in recipes that call for cream of soup.  It lasts for ages, and you know exactly what is in it!!!!
I love adding this to any soup I am making to make it creamy.  You can different spices if desired.  It is all about what you like.

Keep all mixes in airtight containers and in a cool and dry space. 
It is just so nice to know that YOU can make your own mixes.  You don't have to buy the stuff at the store with all those yucky added ingredients.
You can use home grown herbs in many mixes - and that saves money.

Have fun and get creative and MAKE YOUR OWN!!!!!!!
More to come in upcoming days! 

****AGAIN - reminder to click on recipes to enlarge for reading ease!!!!****

Have a wonderful and productive day!!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Some Wednesday Words

 Happy first full day of spring.  May your spring and summer be joyful and full of gifts of all sorts.  Life is such a gift and should be enjoyed every day.  We need to reach out and grab life and hold on for a fun ride.  Granted, some days it is not fun or even happy - but it is another day.  When bad things happen - we may never really recover - but we do transform!  Transformation is a part of life - everything does it.  A seed, a sprout, a plant, a flower, a fruit or veggie - beauty and/or nourishment!  Transformation!

We are all so different and so are our lives.  Don't expect everyone to agree with you - it will never happen.  That doesn't mean they don't care or love you - it just means that they have a different opinion.  We all do.
If we were all given a basket of material that was exactly the same and told to make a patchwork - each one would be different.  Yep.  If we each were told to make a gift basket with the same items - they would all look different.  We can be given the same opportunities and the same lessons - and each life will be different.  We see things and hear things differently.  THAT is what makes the world go round!
We each try our best.  All we can do is try our best - do you.
Stop following the crowd - be an individual.

If you are working on having a simple life - remember it doesn't have to be fancy or perfect.  Odds are it won't be.  It can be small and calm.  It can be very selective - whatever you choose.
If you have needs or questions, just ask.  All someone can do is say no!  They may say yes and offer help.  You never know until you try.

It seems everyone in life is in a hurry today.  Why?  They aren't getting anyplace any quicker - they just fill their lives with stress!
Life is beautiful - it really is.  Old fashioned ways and things can be joyful.  I'd rather have them than all the new-fangled ideas and things.
Like Rita encouraged yesterday - get outside.  Walk, stroll, work, breath - just get out in the fresh air and sunshine every single day - regardless of the weather.  Fresh air and sunshine can't be substituted - don't care how you try.
Enjoy each day.  Make each day the best.  Get things done and have a little fun as well.

REMEMBER - for all the things you don't have - you sure do have a lot!

Happy spring - may all things in your life renew and grow as the spring does.
Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Streeeeetch It!!!

 Happy Tuesday to all.  Yesterday was the last full day of winter - and we had the coldest temps in 30 days and snow flurries!  Geesh.  Today is supposed to get a little warmer but be windy.  Our nights are pretty darn cold for a few days. 
So, today (at some point) it will be officially Spring!!!!! Happy spring to all.  I know everyone is not feeling it yet, still lots of cold and snow to be had in some areas.  IT IS COMING!!!!!

Today I want to talk a little bit about stretching out our shopping visits.  Many of us here, don't shop every week or even every other week at times.  Some go all month without shopping.  But you gals (or guys) that are new to this - need to try a few things to stretch the shop times out and try new ways of using it up - and you can shop less often as well!  Seriously!  A bonus is that it saves money too.

I talk a lot about using all your leftovers.  You can use them as lunch the day after (instead of going out), you can even use little bits of food as a snack.  Re-invent the food into new things.  Leftover veggies and meat can go in soup or stir fry or fried rice, etc.  Getting creative really helps the budget.
Remember the old saying - Waste not, want not!!!!   VERY TRUE

Now here is another idea.
I know some people go to the store every day - STOP THAT!  If you do that, you have to stop - you are so very much overspending.  Buy enough for a week - use it all, before you go back.

Many shop every week.  For the sake of keeping things easy - let's say every 7 days.  If this is how you shop - you go to the store basically 52 times a year.  Now here is the challenge.  Stretch that to every 10 days!  Doesn't sound like much - but that is only 36 1/2 trips a year!  Saving you 16 visits!!!!!
For the sake of ease again, let us say you spend $100 each visit - that is $1,600 saved.

Now once you get the hang of that - stretch it to every 14 days.  That is only 26 visits.  That is saving $2,600 a year.
You see where this is going?  Learning ways to shop less often and to use every bit of food cooked and being creative - can save you not only time - but money!

This money can be used to pay off other debt - pay ahead - save.  You could also use some of this to add to your stockpile of food, which allows you to stay out of stores even more.  Add an extra $10 or $20 a week for the extra to stockpile.  Buy the clearance, the sales, the digital coupons, all the DEALS and BARGAINS you can find.  This is food SECURITY!  That is a huge thing as inflation continues and life in general can change at a moment's notice.

Learn to freeze things or dehydrate or can if necessary.  If your fresh goods are coming close to time they need to be used - find an alternate way to keep them.  Ask - people here can help and you can Google these things and learn.  Watch videos and learn from blogs that have been around for a long time.  Ask your older family, neighbors and friends.
REMEMBER - Buy what you like/use and use what you buy.

If you make something and overdo an ingredient and it doesn't taste right - there are ways to fix it!  Don't throw it away and waste good ingredients.  This chart really does help and they are ways to SAVE a recipe!
Keep it in your mind - waste is NOT an option!

Cook from home, shop less, use everything you have, use it ALL up!  These are huge for all of us, especially beginners of the frugal journey.
Read, watch and learn.  There is always something new to learn - always!
Get creative and learn new recipes or try new things.  You may make the best meal you ever had - by just getting a little creative.

I hope this helps someone shop a little less, use up a little more, and save a little money.
We are here to help.  You have a question - just ask!

Have a wonderful first day of SPRING!

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 3/17

 Happy Sunday.  Happy St. Patrick's Day.  Hope this finds you well and safe.  It is a chilly but clear morning here.  We had some wonderful weather this week, and now we are going into a little cool down again.  Nights will be well below freezing - so here's hoping that it doesn't hurt any plants. 😥  
Normal weather for March/April - always changing.
I am still trying to get my body to adjust to the time change.  It just doesn't seem that I have gotten there yet!  Who would think an hour could make a difference?

Shamrocks and 4 leaf clovers are 2 different things!  Many think they are the same.  A shamrock is 3 leaves and to many represents the holy trinity.  A 4-leaf clover is just that - 4 leaves and supposedly brings good luck!

This week was just a lot of smaller things that saved a $ here and there.
My week:
  • Made OJ from concentrate
  • Clipped 'most' of Blackies nails!  He isn't fond of this at all - so I do a couple every chance I get.
  • Got some more yard work done and picked up blowing trash from walks and alley
  • Started packing up a lot of clothes for donation - things that haven't been touched in ages
  • Used the Rainbow vacuum this week on area rugs and bedroom.  It is a water filter system - boy does it pick-up!!!!  I think I vacuumed another cat!  I vacuum all the time - but this does a fantastic job.
  • Cut up a cuke that needed used and added to a pickle jar for flavor (used in salads)
  • Cooked a pound of ground beef - used half for a meal and froze the other half for a quick meal add-in.
  • Picked more flowers from the yard.
  • I keep bird/squirrel food in metal trash cans outside - one lid developed a rusted hole (these are years old).  FOR NOW - I repaired.  I covered the hole with foil and then used duct tape and topped with waterproof tape.  Did this inside and out - worked like a charm.  East fix for now.
  • Got to visit with 3 different neighbors this week
  • Made a gallon of tea
  • Made a 'compote' with fruit.  I used some older apples that I peeled and cored, strawberries and a packet of rhubarb I found in the freezer.  Cooked in a tiny bit of OJ and sweetened with a little sweetener.  Super tasty and a nice, sweet bite instead of something bad!
  • Froze the peels and cores to use w/more later to make jelly or to add to other fruit when making jelly as a natural pectin.
  • I did run to Kroger for a couple things.  Fresh asparagus for .99/lb.  Cabbage for .49/lb.  Found Edy's ice cream on a markdown - 1.5 qt. for 1.56.  Also, combo pork/angus beef - 1 lb. packs for 2.79/lb.

This size and brand regularly sells for 7.99 - that is just crazy!  I would never buy at that price. This was  the only one left.
A deal for sure.  Divided up packs and vacuum sealed and froze for several meals.
  • All meals from home and using leftovers where I could
  • Got to air the house a lot this week - no heat or AC for several days
  • Paid what bills I had
Meals this past week:
Loaded nachos (used leftovers)
French bread pizza (prev. made from freezer) and salad
Unstuffed cabbage roll skillet (used the older pc. of cabbage I had)
Above skillet - day 2
Pork/beef into breaded fritter, asparagus fries (breaded) and salad
Tamales over rice, fresh veggies
Tuna patty, mashed potatoes and asparagus (steamed)

There you have it.  Just doing things to save a little and use up what I have.  I keep thinking about going out shopping for some things, and I keep talking myself out of it!!  LOL
How was your week?  What have you done to use things up or to save a little?  Any great deals this week?  Are you thawing out yet?
Hope no one had damage from the storms this week.  Check in!!!!!

Hope to hear from you all.  We all enjoy hearing what the others are doing.  Gives us great ideas.
May you all have a great week and stay safe and healthy.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Lord, help us to enjoy our days as they happen, instead of always being so regimented.  Let us enjoy according to Your plans.  Let us learn to relax a little.  Help us lighten our spirits and laugh more.  When faced with serious situations may we look to You, as You will protect us.
Thank You for all our many blessings.  AMEN

Thursday, March 14, 2024

It Is In The Air

 Happy Thursday!  Spring has sure been in the air this week at my house.  Yesterday was 70F, and it is currently 60F this morning!  We have a big line of storms that is to come through this early afternoon - yuck!  I love spring, but spring storms is my one dread.  We get a lot of tornados in this area and hail.  Nothing fun about either.  It looks like it may go through quickly but covers a lot of area.

I did a walk about this morning after feeding the birds and squirrels.  Flowers are pretty and things are popping up.  There are a couple of big magnolia trees in the neighborhood, and they are just about ready to pop open!!!  Bad news - they better do it quick - as by Sunday evening we will have freezing weather.  Almost every year this happens.  So sad - as they are such beautiful majestic looking trees.

Sunday is St. Patrick's day - do you have plans?  We have a parade, I believe tomorrow downtown.  It is usually pretty chilly and often wet for the parade.  I have Irish in me but will not be doing anything special - EXCEPT I will make myself a Rueban sandwich this weekend!!!!  I have everything here and look forward to that.
                             The forsythia are in full bloom!  Just bright balls of beauty in the yard!
                                                         Daffies are so pretty for now!
                                             All kinds of flowers (and weeds) are popping up.
        Here is Vinca vine, Spider Wart, Ivy (ugh) and there is some Echinacea in there too.
The grass really needs to be cut - it is growing like crazy.  It is still muddy and will be worse after today - so it will have to wait until next week.

Birds of all sorts singing this morning.  Chickens pecking out front (ugh).  My squirrel is in the feed jar again.  It was in there late yesterday afternoon, came out and sunned, went back in, and stayed all night I suppose.  I am wondering if he lost his nest to another or maybe it got destroyed.  Little guy doesn't stir much for me  - so not sure what is going on.  Nature will work things out.

                                                               That is a gallon size jar.
It has been so lovely to have no heat on, windows open and fresh air filling the house.  Guess that ends after today for a while.  Such is life.  Soon we will all be complaining about the heat!!  You know I am right!

Some of you live in warmer areas, some are on vacation in warm places right now and others are experiencing what I am.  Then there are those who are still being bombarded by snow!  
Whatever your day brings - I hope you enjoy it and are safe.!

I plan on being outside while I can today.  Windows open as long as possible.  I plan on experimenting with a couple of cooking ideas I have this weekend.

Have a fantastic day to all!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Fun & Easy Easter Ideas for Kiddos (and adults)!

 Good morning.  Wednesday again - time flies.  It is a lovely morning here again.  Enjoying it while it lasts - because all good things come to an end!!!  Come Monday, next week, they are saying snow flurries and a low that night of 20*F - say it aint so!!!!!!  (today 70F).

Easter is on the 31st of this month.  I know not everyone celebrates, but the ideas I will share today will make it fun for young and old alike - and they are good for any 'special' day.  Heck, every day is special to me!
Might as well have a little fun.
How fun is this?  Make up little Smore kits with Peeps!  Now days they have Peeps for every occasion (and all flavors) - so these could be made all year.  Camping days will be here very soon - make it fun.

I like this idea.
Many have youngsters that they are teaching the meaning of Easter.  This would be a fun project.  Basically, just use a clay pot/or plastic saucer - a little dirt, yard rocks and some grass seed & sticks.  It would be a fun project.

Baskets - can be anything.  Any type of basket you have or can find, reusable grocery bags, homemade bags, a tote, a bucket......whatever.  Fill it with fun goodies, not just candy.  Hair accessories, bubble bath, nail polish, mini trucks/cars, puzzles, color books/crayons, colored chalk, Bubbles, socks, mini games or card games - the list goes on and on.  Make it fun and useful.
None of these items are expensive and be purchased for little money.  Shoot, I bet you could go through some kids playboxes and find items they forgot about!!!!!!!  (you know it's true)!!

Easter or any day - fun breakfast!  How cute is that?  Super easy, just pour your batter a little different.

Make goodies.  They don't have to be store bought or extra fancy.  Sugar cookies iced in colors and sprinkles.  Chocolate (use chips) covered apples or apple slices - top with sprinkles or nuts or coconut.  Dipped pretzels or strawberries or bananas bites.  You can use white chips and add food color too!
No bake cookies are always fun and they are so easy - and tasty!  

                                                   Another super easy and frugal goodie!!!
         I like to do these kind of like thumbprint cookies too - add a little jelly to the center - fun!

How about homemade Mounds candy or Almind Joy candy bars (bite size).  I have made these many times in the past and it was a favorite of G's.  He was a big kid at heart and loved those special treats.  Something like this only came about on special days!
This was what mine looked like before dipping in chocolate.  Stick in the freezer for a bit until firm then dip.  It makes it much easier to have them really cold.
Click on recipe to enlarge for better viewing.  SUPER easy!!!!!

Colored hard-boiled eggs.  You can buy those packs of fancy dyes - but you can do things at home a lot cheaper.  You can use beets/juice, onion skins, berries, etc. to get colors.  Make sure you add some vinegar to your colored water - it just helps the color adhere to eggs.  I liked using Kool-Aid too.  You can have strong colors and you can mix for special colors.
There is no way you can mess them up - each one will be an original!!!!

**Just a note here - when I make hard boiled eggs for everyday use - I mark them with an X or a smiley face before sticking back in frig.  (I use a marker).  That way they can be stored with regular eggs, and I know what is what!!!  

Celebrations can be fun without spending a ton of money.  Little things say- you are special!  Don't worry if you are on a budget and have no extra fuds - use what you have.  I don't want ANY mommas feeling like they can't make a special treat or day for the kiddos.  
Heck if you have a printer, you can copy off printable color pages of all sorts.  Make you own color books.  You can even make puzzles!!!  Use an old card front or calendar picture - adhere to cardboard - then cut into puzzle pieces (use a sharp blade) - and mix them up and throw in a baggy.  No money needed!!!!
Use your imagination and have a blast. 

Have a fun holiday celebration.  Make all days a celebration - just have fun and enjoy!
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

What's Up? and Another Question

 Happy Tuesday to all.  Hope you and yours are all well.  It is going to be a sunny day here and it is currently 45F this morning.  We are going up to upper or mid 60's.  It appears it will be a lovely week for the most part - then Monday it gets pretty darn chilly again and maybe flurries!  Nope winter isn't over - except in our minds!
The birds are just all singing their songs this morning - it sure sounds like spring.  I just love it.  Had to shoosh the chickens off - I don't mind them, except when they get on the porch!  They CAN be messy - if you know what I mean!  UGH!!

The sun is shining, we will warm up today, there are some spring flowers budding, the birds are singing, and my kitties and I are well.
Bitsy is not sure what to think about the chickens!  He watches and watches and then when they get close (on porch), he runs and hides under my comforter!  LOL.  Such a brave boy - haha.

What are your plans for the week?  Give us a shout out as to what you are up to.  It helps us all get ideas.  Are you going to spring clean - indoors or outdoors?   Are you crafting anything fun for the upcoming holiday?  Are you starting your garden things?

This (the picture) is my week!  All of these things.  I started yesterday outside.  I managed to put a couple things at the curb for heavy trash.  They were so bad, there was no re-use or upcycle left in them - or so I thought.  Someone stopped and took one item last night.  Must have a good imagination!
I just have so many things I want to go through, and donate, and fix, and even some trashing.  
The nicer weather and the sunshine, gets me motivated.
By the time fall comes, I want my house in order, and I want a lot of bigger things done to improve my home.  THIS is going to be my year!

My other question.  WHAT do you WANT to read about here?  
I know I ask this every so often - but I want to keep things fresh and fun.  I want to give posts that are relevant to us all.  I want to give you what you need and want to read.
Any ideas will be considered.  I have my pen and notebook ready to write down your ideas!!

I hope you each enjoy your day and get some sunshine!
Enjoy the simple things in life - they are what makes life a joy!

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 3/10

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds you all well and safe.  Hope you all did well with the time change!  UGH!  I actually went to sleep a little earlier last night, hoping to hedge the drain of today.  Seems crazy, but that hour just changes things!  It got light later this morning, so delayed my going out to feed the critters.  I scared a stray kitty that was sleeping under the side steps!  My kitties weren't sure what to do this morning - I got up same time per clock - not them!  I guess we will all get used to it.

We have had nice weather, we had lots of rain, and we are now having chilly weather.  Looks to get nice again this week - but they are predicting a colder end to the month (last couple weeks).  Oh fun!
This started a couple days ago.  The forsythia have started to flower.  The daffodils are going good.  Lots of yellow and green out there.

I had a sick squirrel for a couple days this week.  It got in the feeding jar and just wouldn't leave.  Not sure if it was hurt or sick, but even walking up to the jar and tapping on it did nothing.  THAT is unusual.  I threw a few peanuts in there and a piece or two of sweet granola bar and finally it left - guess it regained a little energy.  I cleaned the jar well for the other squirrels, in case it was sick.

My cow birds are now back.  I keep seeing more and more different types of birds showing up.  It is getting to that time!  Lots and lots of robins are back now.

My week:
  • Spent some time restocking a lot of my pantry jars and moving some around.  Put back things not used often and put out things used more.  Just a lot handier.
  • Did some raking, weed pulling and light yard work
  • Got to air the house and have heat off for several days
  • Made a small batch of oatmeal cookies
  • I did run to Kroger and got some fresh veggies and fruit (strawberries & asparagus on sale!)
  • Using all leftovers and bits from the frig
  • Did more paper declutter.  It takes a long time, as I have to go through things and make sure I don't throw out something important.  I did find some stuff mixed in with general items, that needed to be kept.
  • I went to the paper shred event - I had 3 good size boxes.  I got there just as it opened, expecting a big line.  I was 3rd in line!  Next one is first of June - will have more for that one
  • Picked a bouquet of daffies!
  • Eating at home and using what I have
  • Lots of little stuff - moving plants around, moving baskets and small things around, just doing some re-arranging.  Put together new bottles of dish soap and shampoo.  Just lots of odds and ends
Meals this past week:
Beans/rice/sausage/cheese casserole
Enchiladas (used some of above rice & beans)
Fried cabbage and little smokies, smashed fried potato
Frittata and steamed asparagus
Chicken bites, cheesy potatoes (freezer) and salad
Seasoned rice w/asparagus added, topped with pulled pork (freezer) & sour cream
Rice w/asparagus (leftover) and fish sandwich

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?  Spring cleaning?  Still getting snow?  I know a lot of you gals north are getting slammed with snow.  I saw OK and TX had some bad storms - hope all are doing ok.
I always look forward to hearing from each of you.

Prayers for all that are ill or have family that are ill and going through so much.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:10-11


Thursday, March 7, 2024

An Information Kind of Day!

 Good morning all.  Here we are at Thursday already.  The weeks are flying by.
It is 44F this morning and cloudy - not bad.  We have a little cooler stuff this weekend, but nothing bad at all.  Not holding my breath, but maybe we have rounded the weather corner.  LOL - yeah, probably not!

Just a couple things today.
Wal-Mart and Aldi are both lowering some prices!!!! 

Wal-Mart has said basic things like eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, frozen fruit, mayo and bread will be lowered in prices back to 'pre-inflation' prices.  I kind of got the idea that this was for the Easter season, by what I read.  They didn't say it was long term.  But heck, take the price reductions when you can!  If you shop WM, hope this helps a little.
Aldi lowered a lot of prices last fall, supposedly they will be doing more.  So far this year they have lowered prices on 23 items up to 13%.  Their plan is to lower prices to about 250 more items by summer.  When shopping look for the red tags in front of items - those are the new lower priced items!
For those that eat fast food!  There are some establishments that are having cut back prices for the month.  $1 and $2 burgers at Wendy's.  Cheap breakfast sandwiches at BK.  One donut shop is having specials.  MOST all of these need you to be signed into an app!!!!!  Not just a walk-in thing.
Most of this is due to DLST, March Madness (basketball), etc.  I won't be using any of these!

Now on the opposite side, Dollar Tree is raising prices again - what I hear - to 1.75.  I knew it was bound to happen.  How long can we possibly expect someone to sell things for a dollar when they are experiencing inflation as well?
I have seen so many people being outraged and saddened by this - my answer is just don't shop there if you don't like it!  
I KNOW some people live in food deserts and dollar stores and convenience stores are their go to.  I hate that for them.
But as for others - I still think some things will still be cheaper than other stores - gift bags, small holiday decorations, cards - even some cleaning supplies and kitchen towels.  You just have to choose what you want to pay for and where.  Probably will still be able to get many basics (pasta, soup, etc.) cheaper at other stores when they run sales. 
Once Dollar Tree was purchased by the bigger dollar store - it was inevitable.


I had a new to me type of hummus, when I attended a shower event recently.  It was chocolate hummus and I must say it was wonderful!  My niece bought it at the deli area at the grocery, but it is so easy to make. 
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - drained**
1/2 C cocoa powder (not hot choc. mix)
1/2 C maple syrup or honey
1/4 C peanut butter (or use Tahini or almond butter, or any other nut butter you like)
1 tsp. vanilla
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth.  Keep extra refrigerated.
Serve with fresh berries, banana pieces, apples, or graham crackers.

***Keep the liquid - can be used instead of egg in baking.  You may want to pour a tiny bit in your hummus as processing - if it seems too thick.

Lastly - DON'T FORGET - it is that time of the spring again!!
                                                                                2 AM

I know many hate this change and many love it.  Everyone talks about more daylight - NO not more, just later!  If you get up early, it will just be dark later (for a while yet) - so it just pushes up the daylight hours. I am a very early riser - so now I will deal with dark again when I wake up.
Also remember animals cannot read the clock!  They have a schedule they are used to and that doesn't change (just the clock does).
I do like later daylight - but not crazy about 9PM stuff.  That is close to my bedtime!!!!!  I want it dark when I go to bed!
I wish they would just pick one and keep it!

So there is my infomercial/public service update of the week!!!  LOL
I hope you all have a great end to your week and a fun weekend.  Stay safe and warm - many are battling lots of snow still!

Have a great day!!!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

It's Almost Time!

 Good morning my friends.  I hope this finds you all well this morning.  Yesterday was a pretty darn nice day around here - except for the rain and thunderstorms.  It wasn't bad though, and the sun came out later.
I have one daffy blooming and many about to pop open in the next day or so.  The forsythia bushes are about to pop open as well.  The grass is sooooo green!  I even went out yesterday afternoon and pulled some weeds - they are thriving.

So it is about time to start thinking garden.  Many people start their own plants at home - I did at one time, but my garden is pretty small - so I just buy a few plants.  I do start my zucchini, lettuce and cucumbers from seed - they pop up so quickly.
I know some folks who have already got NICE plants because they started so early, others are just thinking about planting.  Now is the time in our area.
Today are a few ideas that you can use to save a bit while starting your plants and gardening.

You can buy seeds at the Dollar Stores - usually 4/$1 - granted not a lot of seeds in each and most are not heirloom quality - but they are seeds and they produce food!!  I have lots of seed that I keep over from year to year.  Generally, they are just fine.  Just keep them in a cooler and dry spot.

Start collecting fallen limbs and sticks from the yard.  You can make very cute and natural plant markers.  Clear off a bit of bark and use either a wood burner or a permanent marker for names.  You can make these any size you need.  Also keep those larger limbs that fall for plant stakes.  You can find so many things in your yard to help you all for FREE.

Keep those TP rolls or even tubes from paper towels and use them as your plant starting pots.  Once the plant is big enough these can be transplanted into a bigger pot or the garden as it.  The cardboard will break down in the garden.  My brother starts most of his plants and this is what he uses.  He saves all year long - cuts them in half and has FREE planting pots.
You can also use newspaper for pots.  Easily form them around a used tin can - fill with dirt - plant.  These hold moisture well for the seeds and again, can be planted directly into your garden or bigger pot.  Recycle at its best!

Homemade fertilizer is so easy to make - and it doesn't have a lot of chemicals like many store-bought ones.  The above recipe is kind of like a homemade Miracle Grow. (click on recipe to enlarge).  I use this myself and it works.  I like keeping things more natural.

Get your patio pots cleaned and ready to go.  I plant several things in pots as well as things in the garden.  Over the years the pots get grungy and buggy and it is a good idea to clean them up and out every so often.

I hope everyone can try and grow something this year.  Maybe you can't have a garden where you live - but you can plant a thing or two in a nice flowerpot and place on the porch or the patio.
A tomato plant, a squash or 2, green onions, lettuce, herbs or maybe a pepper plant - something!!! ' 
Do a little 'food-scaping' in your yard.  It can give you 'grow-ceries'!
Every little thing you can grow saves a little money at the store.  The taste and the freshness cannot compare - regardless of the savings.  It all tastes so good.

I am always amazed to think about what can be gained from a tiny seed.  One tomato seed can grow a plant that produces dozens of tomatoes.  One zucchini seed can grow a plant that can literally 'feed a neighborhood'.  LOL - you know what I mean, if you have ever grown.
It is truly awesome.
Nature at its finest!

Make sure you have some lovely flowers around as well.  Bees are so important in pollination of things and we need them - flowers and blooms give them nutrition.  I am one that will never use weed killer on my yard as well.  I let the dandelions and the violets and clover bloom!  YEP, I am that neighbor!!!  LOL
They are the first things blooming many times and it feed the precious bees.  We are kind 'screwed' without the bees.
Not only that - but you can also make jelly with the dandelions, violets and clover.   It is very good and kind of honey flavored.  I have made dandelion and clover jelly before - and it is yummy.  A little work to start - but worth it.
There are so many things put on this earth that we can use to nourish our bodies.  Don't forget the wild onion and garlic as well.
I just love that nature can provide so much and it is all FREE!

Are you thinking about gardening?  I know many still have lots of snow - but that will soon be gone, and you will be seeing the world come back to life.  Get those plants and ideas ready now!
May you have "visions of gardening" dance through your heads as you dream tonight!!!

Have a wonderful day all.