Sunday, June 30, 2024

Weekly Wrap Up 6/30

 Happy Sunday to all.  Holy heck, here we are officially halfway through the year and the days will soon start getting shorter again.  The year is flying by.  This week we celebrate our Independence Day here in the U.S. on the 4th.
We have been all over the place weatherwise this week.  It was nice and it was hot.  We had humidity and wonderful days.  We had storms and rain.  Today is lovely after a very humid, gloomy and stormy day yesterday.
Butterflies are all over the place!  The cicadas have finally started making themselves heard.  Not the brood, just the normal ones.  I like hearing them at night.

The garden is coming along nicely.  The tomatoes and peppers are full of blooms and a few little veggies.  I have a zucchini that seems to be growing overnight!  Baby cukes on the vine and the cabbages are getting huge.  There is even one double one out there (yes one plant split).  I will try to get a picture of that.  The rain surely helped with everything.  It won't be long and I will be picking something.  I know some of you are already getting produce - YAY!  Got to love our gardens!

               Some pretties from the garden!  I love picking flowers.  These have lasted all week!

My frugal week:
  • I did make a little run to the feed store for a few things
  • Picked myself a bouquet and a huge bunch of flowers for the neighbor to take to shut-ins at work
  • Made more hummingbird nectar
  • I needed a new notebook to write ideas in this week - I got one from my .25 each stash!  Those past school deals are still paying off!!
  • Made hard boiled eggs
  • Picked and used purslane in cooking
  • Mowed and trimmed the entire yard.  Did a lot of dead heading of lilies at the back of the yard (need to do the big flower bed today), pulled weeds and cut things back.  A couple hard days of work.
  • Had 2 gals from across the street come and porch sit one evening until skeeters decided to get us!  Very enjoyable evening.
  • Made OJ from concentrate
  • Cut up some older fruit & made a small fruit salad - no waste
  • Did finally run to the grocery store.  Got lots of fresh fruit and veggies, of course cat food and litter, and some ground beef marked down on clearance.  I spent out of pocket $78 and my savings with coupons and markdowns was $70!  I did good!  I bought NO junk, & NO canned or frozen.
  • Meals from home and from scratch
  • Air the house each morning - then close windows & blinds.  Trying to keep AC off as much as possible.  Windows open now and cool air coming in!!
Meals this past week:
Rice/cheese burritos (leftovers used) & salad
Fish wrap and fresh veggies
Tuna salad on sourdough
Breakfast - eggs, bacon & fried potatoes - used purslane & green onions in eggs
Plain burger and salad
Chef salad and fruit
Corn on the cob, smoked sausage on bun, cukes & onions
Eating lots of fruit for snacks - watermelon, cantaloupe, & cherries.  Also had some crackers w/cheese slices

How has your week been?  Have you gotten any rain to help your gardens, or have you gotten too much?  Some places have really flooded - that is so sad.  Did you find any deals this week?  Many stores are starting their holiday sales already.
Any fun stuff on your menus?

I hope you all have a safe and healthy week.  May you all enjoy some time with family or friends over the holiday and that it is a safe day for all.  If you are traveling this week - please be safe.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old received divine approval.  By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.
Hebrews 11:1-3

Dear Lord, we know You are with us in every way and in every day.  Please help us to help others to understand Your word.  Faith is believing in what we cannot see and that is hard sometimes.  Give us each strength.  Prayers for our nation, our people and the world.  Amen

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Snacks for Young & Old - Don't Break the Bank

 Howdy all!  Hope this find you well.  It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood here today.  Cooler, no humidity and sunny.  We got some rain yesterday and it was lovely.  Looks like there will be a high heat reprieve here for a week or so.  YAY!
Hoping to get some yard work done in the next couple days!

I keep reading FB posts from folks that now have children home for the summer, and trying to stretch the food budget.  It can be hard for some folks.  When in school children get a lunch for their mid-day and at home, things can be tight when there are more mouths to feed at home.
Here are a few idea that may help those in need.
These ideas can also be used for anyone, including the elderly on limited budgets.
First and foremost, make sure you buy things on sale and from clearance aisles.  Keep it simple.  IF you  NEED it, please utilize food banks for help!!!!!

Watch your grocery stores for their clearance sections.

FRUIT - our grocery has a .99/bag section of markdown fruit.  It is still perfectly good, and you tend to get several pieces of fruit for the price.  Watch for those special sales and digital coupons that get you a good price.
If you can't get fresh fruit - try frozen or canned (with no sugars added).
So as not to waste fruit - cut it up in smaller pieces.  Children often waste a good portion of a whole piece of fruit.  Use leftover fruit in slushies or milk shakes.  Make popsicles.  Freeze bananas - they are like eating a popsicle (you can dip in chocolate first if you have it).
Melons are coming into season and can be cut up into bite size pieces.  One melon can be several servings!

Fresh veggies cut up and added to a little homemade dip is a tasty treat and healthy.  Never forget the old time snack of celery with peanut butter or cheese.  I had that a lot when a kiddo.    Fresh carrot sticks or any fresh veggies from a garden can be added to some pasta and a little dressing and you have pasta salad, which can make a healthy snack.
Buy whole carrots and stalks of celery and cut up yourself - don't buy those bags of pre-cut or baby carrots (they have bad stuff on them).  Pickles and olives can be added to the mix as well.
Keep a lot of cut of veggies in the frig for a quick grab!

Homemade simple treats.
Make some simple cookies or a cake if you have the ingredients or have some mixes on hand.  Brownies, cookies, cake (doesn't even need icing), fudge, popsicles, pudding, Jello cups (homemade), etc.  It doesn't need to be fancy.
IF you have cereal at home - even a bowl of cereal and milk can be a snack.
JUICE - is always good as well - whether fruit or veggie.

POPCORN - is very cheap and easy.
Instead of buying chips of all sorts, make popcorn yourself (not the microwave stuff).  You can have popcorn with any type of seasonings.  Jazz it up a bit.  Make popcorn balls if you have the ingredients, or get creative and come up with your own type of popcorn snack. (balls, bars, indiv. sized)

Think about other stuff as well.
PBJ sandwiches.  Hummus (make your own) and veggies.  Pudding or yogurt topped with leftover cereal crumbs.
Toasted bread or buns with a little butter and cinnamon/sugar.
Toasted bread with peanut butter and slices of apple or banana.
Homemade mini pancakes/waffles with some peanut or jelly added.
Easy homemade biscuits with topping of cinnamon/sugar or served with jelly.
Lunchmeat sandwiches.  Tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad - whatever you can throw together to make a sandwich filling.  Again - cut them up into smaller sections so that nothing is wasted!!!!
I still love a treat of apple slices and peanut butter!
Roast some garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for a tasty snack.
Nuts of any kind are filling.

There are so many options for easy and cheap snacks.
I remember having lots of popsicles as a child.  Made from Kool-Ade or fruit juice.  Sometimes if there was a little pudding left, mom would add some milk and freeze as a popsicle.  You can also freeze in ice cube trays and a fun treat. 
Mom always had a cookie jar with some kind of homemade cookies.  Usually sugar cookies.  My friends thought "my" cookie jar was the bomb (they only got store bought)!  If you have fruit trees - there is a good treat.  I loved picking apples or cherries or grapes when a child. 

There are lots of cheaper options available - you just have to think a little and get creative.
Nothing is off limits for a snack - even leftovers.
Keep those young-ins and yourselves full.  A hungry belly is miserable for anyone.

Always remember - if you need help, please ask for it.
Keep your snacks fun and simple.
Happy snacking!!!

List your ideas for tasty snacks.  Looking for all ideas that help someone!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

A Random Day

 Happy Wednesday to all. Here we are at mid-week again.  Yesterday afternoon we had a doozy of a windstorm come through.  We got some rain a couple times yesterday, but my goodness the wind!  South of here, there was a lot of tree damage.  Lots and lots of trees down - from a microburst.  No tornado, but there were still almost 80 mph winds.  Luckily here, it was just a few branches down.  A lot of the dropped leaves from my yard are gone!  Oopsy - someone else has them now.

The temps are supposed to stay in the low 80's for a week or so, which is gladly received.  Tired of the 90's and the humidity.  It feels pretty humid this AM, but that is supposed to change over the next few hours.  Have a bit of drizzle at the moment.  More rain later today maybe.
I need to get out and mow and pull weeds soon.  I sure hope I get a good opportunity this week.

Some of my pretties at the moment.  These were both taken out front.  It sure makes it look pretty out there.  The gold finches are really enjoying both of these!

I have been watching a few You Tube videos of people living small and off grid over the past few days.  I sure do admire these folks.  It is absolutely amazing to me what people REALLY need to survive.  These folks are in all different regions and even countries and they are basically 95% self-sufficient.  
Talk about a simplified lifestyle!  It sure frees them up to enjoy all that is around them and to use the earth for their nourishment and needs.  I am totally fascinated by this. 
I doubt that I could ever be that sufficient, but it sure is good to know the basics.  Jackie has been talking about making salves and oils from what most people consider weeds over on her blog,  In The Land of the Living Skies II.  It is pretty cool, to use what the earth has provided.  At one time all medicinal needs came from nature.
I just love how so many are getting back the basics and getting creative with what they have.
We all need to be learning and figuring out alternatives.

I haven't been grocery shopping for a bit now.  Just using things I have here.  I have such a nice pantry and freezer reserve, that I can do this for a long while without putting a dent in things.  Really, I can't see any difference.  There have been no great deals in the ads lately, so I have not felt an urgency to shop.  Oh, I know many vloggers and bloggers and FB groups say shop, shop, shop NOW!  All because of the what-ifs!  Well, I know I am good.  I do not panic!  AT ALL!
I feel sure things may get worse as far as prices, supply, and demand - but I am not sure how panicking is going to help that.  Well, I am sure - it isn't going to help. 
Just go forward and stay the path and know you are prepared for what may come.  That is all we can do.
Panic and fear mongering doesn't help one tiny bit!  I can't stress that enough.

Yesterday, I didn't feel like cooking.  I was hungry, yet just wanted something simple.
I made tuna salad for my meal.  A can of tuna from the pantry (I am sure it was gotten cheaply), added a hard-boiled egg, a couple green onions from the garden, some homemade relish from what I made last year, a little mayo.  Served on toasted sourdough bread - that I got FREE a couple weeks ago and froze for later.  Oh, I added some home-grown lettuce to the sandwich.  What salad that didn't go on the sandwich was eaten later in day with crackers.  I am sure that meal cost very, very little - probably under $2.
I was full and satisfied.  I got my protein, my carbs and a few veggies.  I had a piece of fruit later in the day as well.
Meals don't have to be complicated or fancy.  They can be simple, tasty, and inexpensive.

Bits is being a hoot this morning.  He obviously found my loofa in the bathroom!  He came out carrying it in his mouth.  LOL.  I sat here a bit ago watching him catch a gnat and eat it.  Every time I walk into another room, he follows and talks to me and loves on me.  He is so spoiled.  Blackie had breakfast, took his bath, and is now in his assumed position for the morning - on the back of the couch!  Oh, these babes make me smile.  I do not have a throw rug that is safe from Bits - he attacks them over and over during the day and they end up in a heap, and walks away as if to say "that is better, my work is done".
Fun times.

Well, there you have my random thoughts and ways this morning.  Life is full of simple joys - we just need to pay attention and delight in them.  Life is really sweet, and we are the ones that complicate it.

Keep it simple and keep it joyful.  SMILE!
Have a wonderful day all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

SIMPLE Such a Joy

 Good morning to one and all.  Happy to have you here today.  I hope you are all well and good!
A bit of an overcast morning here - maybe some rain coming.  YAY!  We can use it.
I have fed the babes, been out to feed the critters and picked a huge bouquet for my neighbor to take to work.  She works at a nursing facility and has a couple hospice patients that get no visitors (so sad).  So, she will divide the flowers between them - hopefully it will make them smile, if just for a moment.

FYI - Hey kids - 6 months from today is Christmas!!!!!  LOL

We talk about living a simpler life and living with less.  Living BELOW our means, and just using what we have and being happy.   Well, I think many of us who have been around the block a few times get it.  There are newer folks here that may not.

You truly don't have to have all the fancy stuff and the newest devices.  You don't need the biggest house, or the fancy car.  You don't need tons of clothes or brand names.  You can keep your meals simple and be healthy and full and happy!

I read this recently and love this.  No name was given for the quote.
"You can't change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails to always reach your destination."
Boy is that true.  
You have to decide what is important to you and then make a plan to get there.  It isn't an easy trip, and it takes time and some work.  When you live a simpler life, it doesn't take as much time to get there!

You truly don't have to do without things to live a simple life.  You just adjust.  You can have a nice SMALL home with fewer nice items inside.  You can have many a great meal, using what you have and being creative.  You can have nice clothes for you and your family for less - think thrift stores and yard sales.  There is NO shame in this.  HONEST!
You can actually have more - by living a simple life.  More happiness, more joy, more funds, more creativeness, more family time - more PEACE.
You will learn about yourself and what it truly takes to make you happy and what it takes to feel content.  You may be very surprised!

No matter how many designer clothes you have, how fancy your house or car, or how much money you save - you aren't getting out of this life alive!  No one will be remembering those things at your funeral.  They will remember your kindness and your love.

The reason we 'prep' or keep a stocked pantry and freezer, is so we can just use what we have, no rushing out or spending on the spur of the moment.  We buy things on sale, on clearance and for the best price we can - so we can have that stocked pantry.  We grow anything that we can - even if it is just lettuce or some herbs.
We glean if possible.  We learn 'old time' ways of canning and freezing our abundance.  Making a few jars of jelly is so satisfying and it tastes so yummy.
If you or yours enjoy hunting or fishing - you have a resource to free protein and you do something that you find enjoyable.
All of these things allow us to have plenty and to eat quite well.
Yard sales and thrift stores allow us to decorate our homes with little money, or to have some clothing items (basics) for little.  They can help with our crafting as well - cheaper yarn, material and craft supplies.
Children outgrow clothing so fast and get bored with toys quickly - no problem when you are buying them cheaper.
Start a clothing, toy or book swap in your neighborhood.  You know you aren't the only one looking to save a little and live a little simpler!

As many of us get older, we are going for a simpler lifestyle.  It just feels better.  We have finally realized what matters and what doesn't.  Many younger folks and those just starting the frugal journey, haven't learned this yet.  Maybe this will set the idea in someone's head.
Simple is lovely!

Be happy and content and do it with less stuff and more JOY!
Have a wonderful day.

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!