Showing posts from November, 2012

Using What I Have Celebration

I have an iron clad rule: no buying Christmas decorations until I finish Christmas shopping and I am not quite finished.  So nothing new for me though I did see something I just longed to have last Wednesday.  Even if I had been finished with my gift buying I'd have hesitated over the price of those two items...but you know, there's nothing like wanting something new to make you even more tired of what you were already tired of using for Christmas decorations, lol.

A few years ago I wanted to go glitzy/glamorous with my tree and it was just beautiful.  But in the past year or so I've been trying to change over my rooms to better reflect the beauty of a farmhouse home.  I've made good progress, but the tree stayed the same.  This year I mean to change things up with my Christmas decor and because I am frugal and get such a kick out of 'making do' as Granny used to call it, I've been looking for ideas that I can use.

Simply Southern At Heart posted a photo …

More November Fun: A Stormy Sea, Sweet stuff, and Intrigue

We started our journey very early.  We left the house far earlier than we've managed to yet.  It was cold and drizzly and bleak and for once we kept the heater on in our car all day long.  I brought along a sweater and my fuzzy warm slippers, too.  John chose to drive along old state highways to Florida.  We thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace from the usual interstate route.  I didn't take many photos that day.  It was so dark and drizzly and foggy and drear that none of them turned out very well but it was a journey worth making all the same.  We drove along Highway 341 at first, very familiar territory to us as we've taken that portion of the route so many times now in visiting the oldest son and his family.

In Baxley, we turned onto Highway 441 and drove South to Florida.  The surprise wasn't the tiny little towns that 'used to be' and still clung tenuously to life.  The surprise to us was Douglas, Georgia which appeared to be a very good sized city, a co…

On the Mend...

Wondering where I've been?  Under the weather, sick abed.  But I'm on the mend and feeling a bit more ambitious than I've felt in a couple of days.  I'll be back shortly with plenty to share.

Our Fun Friday

Two weeks ago today, we were expecting the son and daughter in law and grandchildren to come up from south Georgia.  John knows I tend to (a) work too hard in preparing, and (b) get anxious and a bit snippy as the day goes on and I get more and more tired.  He'd taken menu planning in hand himself for this particular visit, leaving me to tend to the shopping only.  Then he said on Thursday night, "We're going out tomorrow," which tossed me into a momentary panic but he added, "after all, I'm on vacation."  Well he knew full well that would put me more in a frame of mind to leave the house and let go of my 'must do' list.  I asked only one question: "Shall I pack a picnic lunch?"  This time he said "Yes, do." lol 

So we started another journey on a bright fall morning.  I took all sorts of photos along the way and filled my memory card long before we got to our destination.  Sadly I had to delete most of them in order to take…

Coffee Chat: Time to Put Your Feet Up

(Started Thanksgiving Eve)  Hasn't it a been a long while since our last chat?  And a long day today for many of you I'm willing to bet.  Some worked outside the home and have been hurrying about this evening to put the house to rights and start as much of tomorrow's great feast as possible.  Not so in my home...No, not at all.  I've a tiny turkey breast roast thawing in the sink which I'll pop in the crock pot tomorrow morning for sandwich meat for supper.  And that my dears is the big Ta-Da! for Thanksgiving in my home.  Don't think that sounds too sad, please.  I've had a perfectly lovely two months of time with my husband which culminated this past weekend in an early Thanksgiving dinner at my eldest son's home combined with a celebration of one year of life for the twins.  So no sad tears here for what I've already had and enjoyed thoroughly. (And now I'll wish you all Happy Thanksgiving. I'm sure many of you ARE sitting with your feet…

This Spiritual Journey...Part 4

"I wonder what it would be like to worship God the way that Jesus, His Son, did..."   What a journey began in that moment!

There was a ministry group (several members belonged to our church) which began to have monthly meetings at our church on Saturdays.  This was the day the worship team came in for practice and as things will work out we were soon asked to provide the music for their ministry.  I confess I was put out by this and didn't want to participate in this ministry at all.   I had good reason to believe that 'somebody' belonged to this group.   I was especially upset one particular Saturday, almost to the point of open rebellion.  The guest speaker had been announced (and as memory goes, I cannot for the life of me tell you who she was other than her name was Gisele something), and I was adamant to John that immediately following the music portion of the program I was going to walk out and go home.  John had attempted to coax me to change my mind, but…

This Week's Meals

It's been two months of vacation and off time and very little work time for us.  And I say this quite sincerely...If we could just figure out how to have an income and no need of heading out to work, I'd enjoy this on a more consistent basis, lol.  Well it all ends this week, the day before the holiday starts to be exact.  From here until well into next year it's routine work weeks and squeeze in what we can during the off week.

So what did we do this past week.  Rather than sit here at home we took off to go to the beach!  Yep, went to the beach and then we stopped off to visit the grandbabies, so we could have our family Thanksgiving and celebrate the twins first birthday and wish a happy anniversary to their Mama and Daddy.  We came home yesterday and as I said it's pretty much routine for the next several months.  Well, truly, life is anything but routine with my husband around.  He likes to shake things up routinely, so who knows what routine is really all about?…

Weekly Meal Plan

I love my husband and I'm pleased as punch that he has thoroughly enjoyed football this season...but I definitely think I might as well stop talking to him until this season is over.  Even when he initiates a conversation his attention drifts back to the television before I get my reply started, sigh.  I think I've got this thing figured out, the football thing I mean.  He is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  Football is on the other four days, lol.

Meals this week are more iffy than usual.  We've a busy week ahead that involves more fun, our last opportunity to enjoy ourselves freely and fully until next May or so when John will again begin using up vacation days.  We have certainly made the most of these lovely autumn days this year. John surprised me Thursday night saying we were going out on Friday.  This was a subtle ruse on his part as well as an attempt to squeeze in a bit more fun.  He was distracting me from working too hard on the housework while we awai…

Budget Stretcher - Wardrobe Essentials

Kelly Jo is a relatively new 'friend' online and she asked me a question that I felt was a great idea for a budget stretcher item: a working wardrobe.

Although I've been 'at home' now for a number of years, I have experience building a working wardrobe and still require a few good pieces to dress for certain occasions.  I'm not much of the jammy pants and tank sort of gal for going to the grocery.  I might wear jeans these days, since I've acquired a pair in the past year but I like to look well put together when I walk out of the door. I think it's a reflection of myself as well as John and I try to look as put together as I can.

Kelly Jo wrote: My current struggle is maintaining a professional wardrobe. Our office is "professional dress" - and clothes are so expensive. Thoughts?

Quite a few, actually! lol

Clothing is indeed expensive.  In my working days (as well as in my current wardrobe) I lean hard on classic with a few trendy pieces p…

My Frugal Week

In the Kitchen:  I noted turkeys on sale this past week.  I'd meant to buy one because they are always a good bargain even at full price, but especially so on sale.  Aldi had a smoked Butterball turkey on sale which I thought would be good for sandwich meat.  I baked the turkey Sunday (it's a shorter time of baking but like any smoked meat must be cooked for a time to heat it thoroughly).  I divided the turkey into two breast halves, two thighs, 1 packet of legs and wings, and 1 bag containing the carcass and wing tips.  The meatier pieces will be our sandwich meats, the carcass will do nicely for soup and bean pot seasoning.

One thigh from the smoked turkey fed John and I supper one night with enough meat left on the bone to make picnic sandwiches for a day trip tomorrow.  I saved the bone and skin to add to the bag with the rest of the carcass.  I've found a recipe for a wild rice soup that calls for smoked turkey meat.

Do you do that?  Look at recipes and earmark those …

Home by Eleanor Scates Dulany


Give me a home that two have built
    With dreams and sacrifice and song,
Where youth and age have laughed and wept,
     And love has mellowed every wrong.

Whose walls have echoed with the ring
     Of children's voices in and out,
The merriment of festive board,
     And human kindness 'round about.

Give me a home where selflessness
     Is spent in doing little things
That rate so high in happiness
     The whole house breathes the peace it brings.

Then give me grace to understand
     That men may build from house to dome
With all the art of masonry
     But only love can build a home!

- Eleanor Scates Dulany
as published in the 1934 November Better Homes and Gardens Magazines

This Spiritual

Never underestimate a determined woman.  I wanted to attend church with my husband and after that Baccalaureate evening I saw hope shining before me.  I made a few phone calls and discovered that the church was in our home county, albeit a good little drive from home.  I happily informed John, who looked a wee bit like a deer in the headlights for a moment, but he is nothing if not a man of his word.  He did attend with me and while he assured me he had no intent of being there every single Sunday and absolutely no Wednesday nights at all, he did attend with me more often than not.

This was a little Baptist church in a rural setting and the young pastor was a gifted preacher.  We attended that little church for four years I think. I objected to one thing only when we joined that church and it was that the pastor insisted I had to be baptized into the Baptist church.  Stuff and nonsense as far as I was concerned but since I'd already been baptized twice, a third time could do no h…

This Week's Meal Plan

This past week we bought a Butterball Smoked Turkey at Aldi.  At $1.89/pound it is pricier than most turkeys, but I thought it far less expensive than most turkey sandwich meats and bound to taste superior.  I 'heated' the turkey yesterday (sort of like a 'fully cooked ham' this turkey required about an hour and half of baking to be 'safe' eating so be forewarned on that score), we sampled the meat and all proclaimed it delicious. We're thinking we might buy another one and store in the freezer for the future. Now is the time to stock up on turkey and holiday meal items for the rest of the year.  Turkey will keep (whole) up to a year in the freezer, so feel free to buy as many as your budget will afford and your freezer will hold.

Sunday:  Chicken and Dumplings
Yes just chicken and dumplings.  Katie came down to visit and offered to make the meal.  She said she'd made it earlier in the week but her dumplings hadn't turned out well and she needed to …

My Frugal Week

In the Kitchen:

Made cookies for the cookie jar (and a tin too as it happens, lol).  I used some graham crackers that had just expired.  It seemed a good way to use up most of the box.

Bought a family pack of boneless skinless breasts this week.  I had 7 (why odd numbers in these packages? 3or 7?  Why not 2 or 6?).  I cut the last breast into three thin fillets and oven fried them for a chicken sandwich.

My soup this week was a mix of leftovers that I'd been popping into a container and ziploc bag.  Broth from a roast or two, some au gratin potatoes, mushroom stems, vegetables left from side dishes.  It was rather tasty with hot cornbread and all the better with the blustery day outdoors.

Bought flour while on sale at the local store.  It was priced lower than the flour at Aldi (which I think is the same). I got 20 pounds and put in the freezer to kill any bugs or larvae in the bags.

I talked myself out of stocking up further on two items: pumpkin and evaporated milk.  They are very we…