Well here we are with one more month tucked in and put to bed for the year and just the busiest month of the year ahead of us to get through. What a year it has been... There will be little time for thinking deep thoughts this month, little time really to think at all. I'm glad I did all my deep thinking at the very beginning of November.
Let's get started, shall we?
This Week In My Home where in I plan menus started out the month with a planning the year ahead session, mentioned in the first paragraph above. Well I planned out next year and got a lot of good thinking done along the way and even cleared up some last loose ends that I'd let trail along behind (but not the front porch which is apparently destined to remain my loosest loose end this year...at least it's painted). I laughed when I read the first comment on this first post from Sew Blessed Maw where Judy mentions getting her house holiday ready and then planning meals. I somehow completely forgot that particular step! And so I had a panicked post a bit later in the month. Foolish me. I think I'm going to sit down with my notebook and calendar pages and lay out my holidays/birthdays/special Holy Days etc upon the pages so I won't be caught so terribly unawares this year. I felt like I scrambled hard to catch up for all these things this year.
I especially agreed with and felt the poignancy of these words of Sarah's on that same post:
"With all the heavy news across the world and here in America I almost feel there are two worlds. The world outside our doors and the one in. Keeping the home fires burning is the one to concentrate on. We can only do so much to change the world's problems. After that is done we have to turn inward to keeping our families and close ones near. God knew what He was doing creating home. He knew we would need home and family. Some days I have to actually picture closing the home door and to keep out these worrisome news."
Deanna mentioned her own recipe for Moroccan Chicken after my confession that I'd found the recipe I'd tried not very tasty. I think hers sounds better for sure and plan to try it sometime this month:
Post II was mostly about how I was taking it easy due to that stupid cold. Which hung around all month long. Phooey and phooey on that.
Post III for the month, I introduced a new format. I suppose I might have waited until the end of the year but I was feeling restless and frustrated that the new blog design didn't come together as I'd wanted. Meh. I like the new format and it is more interesting to write up the week's plans this way.
Mimi stopped by to visit here and left a comment on this post. I love to plan things, but I have to remind myself that planning without doing is nothing more than daydreaming.
We never did get to have that picnic lunch we'd wanted to have. I'm afraid the cold and the weather and necessary chores just kept interfering with my pipe dreams. Oh well. There's bound to be pleasant days here and there ahead when we might get to go.
Post IV for the month I said I was set for a freezer challenge. Well I made lots of room in the fridge freezer just clearing out the bread pieces I'd saved. I so hate to see those end pieces of bread get tossed in the trash. I made really good use of them this time: bread crumbs and croutons, some for crostini and even a few nicer pieces for French toast making. I was, honestly, shocked at how much bread pieces I had in the freezer because I'd just cleared up a bunch of it last month and made up a breakfast casserole which I'd divided (minus eggs and milk) and put half in the freezer. I see Mimi, Georgene, and Lana joined in the freezer challenge. I was a little bit shocked at how much stuff I had saved for 'other' uses: bananas, onions/carrots/celery ends, bread bits, fruit peels and pieces for jelly/jam making... Well it all adds up to edible food if you actually use it. Right back to that planning and doing combination, you know? Well I planned how to use those items and set myself the task of doing something with them, too.
Crystal H., I think when we have life changes it always hits us hard. Losing your dad this year was a big life change and it's bound to change other areas of your life as well. It's quite all right to feel this year is less than stellar due to hat, but I love your 'tribute' to him having a Thanksgiving meal on his birthday later in the holiday weekend. I think that's a great idea! I ended up doing nothing on Thanksgiving Day. My cold was better but I sounded like I was not better and I felt it was rude to other guests invited to attend the dinner to sit there and cough and snuffle. Yuck, you know? So home I stayed and enjoyed it right well, piddling about in my home and resting as I wanted to do.
In the first savings post of the month Lana asked her husband why they talked so well together when eating out. They decided it was the smaller more intimate table. John and I spent most of the day in the car one day last week and I can tell you honestly we had more conversation than we have here at home all week long. I determined it was the combination of lack of television/computer and the intimacy of being in the car. We sit near each other at home, and at our table, but in the car we practically touch we are so much closer. I think there is definitely something to the smaller, more intimate table/car thing. I really enjoyed that day of talking!
Pam I think this year was the first time I'd seen a photo of Brussels Sprouts on their long stalk and when I did it was a cut stalk, which was really impressive. I really like them a lot, too and always have. And what's more I used to have a cat that thought they were a wonderful thing. When I cooked them he'd jump on the table and grab one (loathed that part) and then eat the sprout, leaf by leaf. Now I admit that part was pretty awesome to watch, lol.
In the second Savings post, Lana shared her frugal doings for the week and I have to say I liked having her list her things there. If any of you would like to share a link to your own posts or give a short list of things you did for the week to save, by all means feel free to share them in the comments section. I know many of you read all the comments when you visit and it's a great way to get inspiration.
Susie@Persimmon Moon Cottage: You brought up a great point in your comment and it's something I struggle with on one hand and thank the Lord I am medication sensitive on the other hand! My doctor told me that every single medication changes how the blood thinner acts. I never thought to check to see what the interactions might be with the only medication I took (a cough suppressant/expectorant). I have double the impact with stuff due to how some medications might affect blood sugars as well, so mostly I just waited this cold out and stuck with the Vapor rub and Normal Saline Spray and called them good enough. Oh and Pineapple juice which seemed to help the most of all, really.
And yes, I agree with the worst of the coughs we used that trick of Vapor rub on the soles of our feet and then a pair of socks over that. It truly did help to reduce the severity of the coughs!
Several mentions were made of butternut pies. I've had them and like them very well, but haven't introduced John to that yet. I was so pleased he liked the roasted squash cubes. Next I've got butternut squash soup to see how he likes that.
In Savings post III I shared a planned possible Thanksgiving table setting. It being just John and I, it's easy to come up with two settings...I'm struggling a bit with the Family Holiday setting. John would tell me to just use paper plates. He doesn't get the fun of making a pretty table. I'll have to do like Angela who commented that her settings were not all matched. I'm all for mismatched settings myself. I think they can look rather nice.
Rhonda is something of a CVS bargain maven. She mentions in the comments that there is a Dollar General group that combines sales/coupons too. Katie is my Target coupon queen. I am inspired to do more....I like awfully well to get things for FREE, you know? lol
Kathy I got a few more boosts to my wardrobe when Virginia came to visit and brought me several tops that were too small for her. It was amazing to take up a shirt and show her the sweater it went with perfectly, not to mention being just what was needed to go with the pants Mama gave me. Gracious I can do a winter wardrobe post based on my 'free' pieces!
I was happy to have more Coffee Chat posts in November. Honestly I like to share my weekly posts on home tasks and frugal things I've done, but I enjoy the chats most of all. In the first coffee chat of the month I shared photos of Blossom. She really is a dear. I wish Maddie would get over feeling slighted, but I recall that Trudy too carried it on for quite a long time. Blossom has already determined that Maddie is all huff and no puff and has even taking to teasing her a bit, lol.
Louise suggested raw local honey for help in overcoming colds. I've heard all kinds of good things about honey but I do not have access to local honey at all right now. I'm keeping my eyes open for anyone who has some. Her instructions: " Did you know that a teaspoon of honey (local – raw hopefully) and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon will usually knock out a cold within a day or two? It’s a cold remedy that kids love – best to take with first sniffles as it will usually take away all vestiges of the cold within 5 hours.
Take twice a day for 3 days for best results. Both honey and cinnamon are antiviral, antibacterial, and anti fungal. Also knocks bladder/kidney infections, reduces sugar levels, blood pressure and acts as a pain reliever for arthritis!"
Kathy shared her wisdom that thinking things over at night is always a mistake. Mr. Harry used to tell me constantly that there was nothing so bad it wouldn't look better in the morning. His other great saying was "Nothing's so bad you can't eat." Lol Becky L noted that when one is feeling poorly is a bad time to try and think out a problem as well. I agree with you 100%. It's exactly why I refused to worry last night when I discovered I'd grossly miscalculated a bill amount. My mind sure did want to worry over it but by morning, I felt it wasn't quite the earth shattering thing it might have been the night before.
Lana recommended Lung Healing from HopewellOils.com for those of you who might find you too have succumbed to this same cold.
Sarah, Blossom does indeed have a beagle-y sort of bark. It's fun to watch her from the window sometimes when she has spied or heard or smelled some other critter about the place. She puts her head up and back and then bounces off her front feet as she barks to give herself even more depth.
And in the final Savings post for November, I shared my savings over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Living On Less Money, I learn from bloggers like you! That's one great thing about the frugal minded community we belong to. We all can learn something from one another.
Lisa Smith, I do know...
Sew Blessed Maw: Not always positive, but will confess that after all these years, I sometimes catch myself thinking, "Well this is FUN!" lol.
Becky Heroux to be called peaceful is the highest compliment in my book. Thank you!
In Coffee Chat two I bemoaned the dreary weather as much as I did the continuing cold. Vickie Morgan I do not for one minute disbelieve that germs don't pass through the computer to others, lol. It's too much of a coincidence that so many others can get sick.
Sally thank you for your kind comment. I am so glad that my words about seasons helped you.
Karla and Lana I do indeed know that Satan will attack when we have a mission. And yes, I cannot stress enough how much we need to praise and worship in our homes as well as in our church setting.
In the third chat Karla shared this link: http://gdonna.com/living-like-the-past/the-pantry/
I went right away and visited and it was truly interesting. I know Sarah and someone else has mentioned this blog as being helpful with food storage and frugal things.
Tammy shared that her traditional Thanksgiving meal was also truly traditional in content, although held the weekend before Thanksgiving to accommodate family schedules. I so understand that concept! Mama felt rather sorry for me staying home on Thanksgiving Day but I confess I was rather looking forward to the time alone. Of course, she felt she had to come visit, sigh, lol.
And in my Planning Ahead, Starting Behind post: Dale was good enough to email me several delicious sounding breakfast ideas, all diabetic friendly, too. John asked that we continue with our traditional Holiday breakfast meal. I found I could manage with care and a change of a fatty sausage choice (Lil beef smokies are delicious but so fat!) for turkey sausage balls worked better for me. I am saving those breakfast ideas because they sounded good!
And Kip that is the sweetest, most generous offer of clothes. I am still quite large compared to the sizes you have available, although I did drop another size this month I think.
So many of you commiserated with me and shared your own feeling that you were behind in planning as well. As I read through my post I couldn't help but smile a little. The cold continued right on into Thanksgiving week and I felt better at times. But do you know that except for the much later holiday dates so many things were done before Thanksgiving that I couldn't help but wonder why on earth I worried in the first place! I bought new Christmas cards and found the ones I'd bought last year as soon as I had them all addressed and stamped. I moved them into the card file so I'll know just where they are next year! I even had them all in the mail prior to Thanksgiving.
Mama and Virginia gave me several clothing items and I lost just enough weight to fit into another pair of jeans. I had plans for 7 of the 8 nights of Hanukkah and I guess that is plenty good enough. I found I needed only a turkey to make our Thanksgiving meal complete after I'd checked my pantry well. And I felt comfortable enough at that point to relax a little. So then we knocked out the Christmas shopping. John's gift to me has already arrived and is awaiting my wrapping it to put under the tree. His gifts have been shipped, as has Mama's.
We had our lovely visit with the Bell family and I sent them off with Christmas gifts and clothing for Virginia from my closet.
Isn't it funny how well it all went? True I need to get busy planning for family visits and our Family Holiday and mine and John's Christmas day meal and our New Year's Eve plans. I've promised myself Champagne this year. I don't want a big bottle, but I've never had any at all and I kind of think I'd like to at least sample it just once.
Leftover Makeover: Thanksgiving I really thought I was sharing something 'new' and fresh. Silly me. I then stumbled upon another blogger with similar ideas and several Pinterest ideas as well. Community thoughts I guess. Louise the stuffing waffles sound good...but I'll pass on those 'jiggly' eggs that topped them, thanks.
Those of you who commented and noted Lana's canning turkey broth she shared this a bit later on the last post of the month:
How to make and can broth-http://www.simplycanning.com/homemade-chicken-broth.html
About canning the broth-ladle hot broth into hot jars and cap. Proccess in a pressure canner for 20 min for pints and 25 for quarts at 10 pounds pressure for an elevation up to 1000 ft. It is the easiest canning I do since there is so little prep of the actual item being canned.
I join Tammy in being glad to have leftovers put away and being ready for 'new food'.
Kathy I hope your daughter is feeling much better!
The final post of the month was "This Week In My Home" and the comments were from Pam who wanted to know how Lana canned her broth and Lana's reply which I posted above. And that winds up November of this year for us.
Hopefully I'll get a Coffee Chat post up this week, too. Fingers crossed!