Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My! July In Review

Another month gone by!  Can you believe it?  Nor can I.  But there's glory in this month.  For one it's full of summer goodness with fruits and vegetables galore.  And it's just a short time now until Autumn.  I do love the progression of seasons.  Already the goldenrod is standing up tall and the ragweed has started to bloom (Achoo!).

First the July Q&A post netted a few comments.  Sarah, I do so understand feeling lonely in a church.  I can excuse it away in the vast church we're attending at present.  When there are 1000 or more people in a Sunday service, you hardly expect to be noticed at all.  The last synagogue we attended was friendly and nice, but there was never an intimacy there. I've about made up my mind I really should go out and visit some church or another or several here and there on these Sundays when John is working.

NancyK.:  I kept thinking "Why do I feel I should know Jeremy?"  Now I know why the name was familiar.  Thank you for stopping to comment.  The new babies are flourishing.  These Mamas are making them grow fast and strong!  Josh is now smiling, a feat I hope to see in person come Katie's wedding day and Rosie has even more hair than she did when she was born.  She looks like a doll!

For the Nothing Extra Challenge several of you joined with me.  Karen, Stephanie, Sarah, Rhonda, and Pam how did ya'll do?  Well I kinda know how Rhonda did since she posts on her blog most days.  But what about the rest?  I have to say that I talked myself out of going anywhere much and staying at home a lot in order to stay out of stores.  I did very well and didn't make one extra trip to the grocery until the last day of July. I spent only $20 that day which is a sort of record all around!  I began my grocery budget anew August 1 and needed salad to go in John's work lunch this weekend and sour cream to make more of the blue cheese dressing he likes best for salads.  So the foods bought that day really did count towards August and not for July at all, except perhaps the Sherbert I bought.  So I was still $1 under budget as of evening July 31 for groceries.

Meal and Job Plan Posts:  Week 1  Sarah, yes indeed it is being gone and tiring out that makes it impossible to get much done at home.  There's so much I'd planned to do in July that never got done at all, sigh.  But there's August to make up for it.

Week 2 And as I read menus I realize a lot of meals never got made too.  We ate all right, just not what I'd planned!  Fortunately it was stuff we had on hand and not newly purchased items.

Week 3  Sparky136 you asked how much dishwasher detergent I used.  I fill a dishpan (probably 3 gallons of hot water) and then just squeeze in about as much as I use to wash dishes, so perhaps 3 tbsps?  It's not sudsy water but it does feel like it has soap in it.

Anne did you see that I shared that Lemonade Stand pie link?  If not just click here

Sarah, I don't use Dawn.  It is Palmolive DishWASHER detergent.  I find it works wonders on my white tile floors which are 17 years old and have had their share of hard use.  The main path used to enter the house is across those floors and between the dirt and the grit and the fact that it's a kitchen so a little grease despite cleaning well, this just works the best on my floors.  If I had new flooring I wouldn't even consider using this stuff, but being they are white vinyl flooring, I find the bleach in the detergent is grand at making them white once more and it's powerful enough to get me out of  going down on my knees to scrub.

Week 4  Back Porch Writer: I enjoy planning meals.  I don't always have what I plan, however, lol.  But it gives me a clear idea of what I have on hand and how I might use it.  Sometimes we have a whole week of meals just as planned.  And others we run into unexpected outings, repairs or whatever and we have something using similar ingredients.  A plan helps PLAN but is never cast in stone in my house.  I sympathize with working outside the home FT and feeling you never get to all you'd meant to do.  I am home full time and often feel the same way!

Lena, I chuckle over you and your menu plan of watermelon.  When I was pregnant with Katie it was dead winter and all I wanted was strawberries.  Indeed it was all I could keep down for the first five months.  It proved to be an expensive winter for me, lol.  Isn't it nice that you're right in the midst of watermelon season?

Sarah, Especially in summer I look for help in planning menus.  That's when I pull out those magazines and cookbooks with menus and carefully read them through.  A surprising number serve fish three or four times a week.  I like fish, but John isn't crazy over it so that's not going to help us overmuch.  It took some time to come up with a week's worth and indeed two of those came from one of those 100 days of menus booklets inside a magazine!

Vicki, yes indeed my oven door comes off. Most of the ovens I've had you can remove the doors.  It's tricky to get back on, but just lift up and it should slide right off the hinge, which will allow you to get into the oven better to clean.  I think it was the lifting the oven door trying to get it back ON the hinges that caused me to have such a problem with my shoulder (and now my back).  This weekend of rest seems to be easing it up quite a lot.

Manuela, I so agree that I am more a cold weather foods type person.  I like slow braised, slow roasted, hearty type meals but as you know those do not set well this time of year.  I admit that along about now in August, I have to make a pot of soup or chili because I'm so over hot weather cookery!
Moving and organizing stuff in your kitchen.  I still stand before one cabinet looking for items that were moved a year or so ago and have to remind myself where I put them, lol.

Frugal Week/Living Well:  Week 1  Sarah the counter-tops in the kitchen are some sort of laminate type material.  In honesty I disliked them mightily for many reasons number one being they stain easily.  But on the other hand they have held up nicely and though scratched they don't show the scratches so terribly bad and they do clean up beautifully.

A tad of sour cream is always left it seems. I will add to baked goods (richness and additional moisture), any sort of potatoes, sub for yogurt (again richer but just as good though I use considerably less than I would of yogurt) in smoothies, even stir into frosting or pudding along with milk required.

Pam, thank you for saying that about me taking care of my Mama.  The truth is I don't.  I spend a limited amount of time with her, strictly limited, because we tend to rub each other the wrong way rather quickly otherwise.  BUT I do try to HONOR her by being respectful and to do what I can for her within the necessary limits.  I have had to care for her in the past and it was difficult for us both.  I pray that Mama is active and able for many years to come for her sake and mine.

Vicki, I will keep in mind that I can punch down bread dough and start again in future. That loaf of Challah proved to be inedible.  It was my first failure with that recipe.  I shall just make sure we return home long enough to bake bread in future!

Week 2  Lena, I can well imagine a flat rate international box would be very helpful.  I sent out five boxes.  One went media mail and cost nearly $20 to mail.  The rest were all priority boxes and the items arrived in two days as opposed to ten.  I think priority rate was the best postage value as well for my mailings. Not cheap by any means, but the better value of the two rates.

Sarah, I didn't see good sales for July 4.  I was very disappointed.  I'd hoped to find condiments were considerably lower.  Our best buys were on soda and I don't stock up heavily on those as they will go flat on us.

Afternoon Refresher  Karla I try to keep promises to myself.  I figure it's good practice for keeping promises to others.  As it was I didn't get my promise day that week at all, but I did have all of a Sunday afternoon the next week, so it worked out nicely.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, too.

Sarah I think your friend's wisdom is spot on in doing what she can while she can.  I tend to be all or nothing sort: work hard and work hard and work hard some more but seldom take time out for play.  Even my quiet work tends to be intense as I write, or plan or look for inspiration, sigh.  I'm trying to make sure I have a bit of non-work time in every day.

Fried Green Tomatoes  Sarah shares some good tips on telling ripe tomatoes from green ones.  And Sarah, I like green tomatoes or the just barely pink ones for frying.

Alice, I "mmmmm'ed my way through your comment, lol.  You'd have been right at home with me and the hair dresser a few weeks back when we discussed our favorite summer vegetables and how to cook them.

Maranda, what a good friend you are to order green tomatoes from Florida to fry for your roommates birthday!

Deanna, I've never had fried green tomatoes with sauce of any sort, but I'll bet I could get used to it pretty easily.

Dawn, I am surprised you've never made these.  I hope you've since remedied that status...You're missing a treat.

Shabbat Thoughts: The second post of the month, Passing the Baton was the most commented upon.  I forgot that I knew this was sometimes necessary, but a few weeks earlier another friend had written asking for prayer over a matter or two that was worrying her no end.  After reading this post she contacted me to give me a glowing positive update on both her situations. Had she not asked me to pray I might never have realized how desperately I needed to do some baton passing of my own. My situation is not yet resolved, but I must share that I've slept hard and deeply each night.  I've napped frequently over the past two weeks.  It shows me most clearly how desperately physically tired I'd gotten as well as being spiritually and mentally worn out.  I have a great peace overall about the whole issue and for that I'm deeply grateful as well.  I didn't have that before passing the baton to my pastor friend.

I urge those of you who need to do the same to go into prayer about who you should ask.  You want a real prayer warrior (not always a pastor!) whom you trust to carry that baton for you daily.  And be in prayer about when God wants you to take it back, too.  I've been tempted, simply because my peace is so deep, to tell my friend that I'm 'all better now,' but truth is as long as I'm needing this deep sleep and long naps I suspect I'm not really rested up enough yet.  I reminded myself that just as I had to give my shoulder time and medication to heal, I need to do the very same with my spirit.  New testament verses this week have all spoken of how Jesus 'went through' this area or that where Jewish believers were few and enemies abounded.  Healing is a 'went through' process, whether it's spiritual or emotional, mental or physical as well.  It's always best to go all the way through it, not just part of the way otherwise you may find you've gone backwards!

Thank you all for posting your comments.  And thank you too to those few who can't get through blogger comments but choose to email me personally. I so appreciate you all!


Rhonda said...

Good morning Terri,
I could of done better with the nothing extra challenge but it did make me think and do several things cheaper, like using a brown paper grocery sack to line the recyclables can instead of a store bought trash bag. My husband has become remarkably agreeable about mealtime and happily eats anything I set out so leftovers and veggies are never going to waste either.

Gramma D said...

It always surprises me when you say fall is coming. Here in western NY we are not really seeing golden rod or any trees turning. Maybe that is our reward for our long hard snowy winter. You made me happy when you said you don't always stick to your menu. Reduced my guilt for the sandwiches when Gramps says he isn't hungry! I always read your blog and look forward to "seeing" you on Thrifty. I know what you mean by sometimes needing someone else to pray for you. Sometimes I just have to say "okay Lord I don't know the answer but you do". Gramma D.

Stephanie said...

I kind of "slipped" with my no/low spending for July. Between homeschool curriculum and finding some awesome clearance deals at Kohls and Hobby Lobby, well...let's just say I made some extra purchases. Luckily, there was nothing outrageous. The curriculum is a need and the other purchases were to help make my house my "domain". I'm here all of the time so I want it to reflect who I am and I want it give me comfort and happiness. In my eyes, that makes it well worth the money.

August seems to be going much better. Only out of necessity, I believe. We had to replace our hot water heater suddenly (had the money in savings), plus we are replacing the windows in our two-story house (one room at a time and being paid with cash).

As for an early fall, I completely agree with you. Here in central North Carolina, the leaves on the dogwood trees are starting to change. They have that faint shade of red starting to peek through on the leaves. Plus my summer gardens are almost done. Tomatoes are no longer ripening on the vine. Cucumber vines are wilted away and pumpkins are turning bright orange. I say bring it on...I LOVE fall! :)

Anonymous said...

What does Gramma D. mean by she would see you on Thrifty? I am curious! :)
Another blogger who I can't find anymore! :( Said the condiment sales are during Memorial Day sales ads. She stocks up at that time. She said you would think they would be on the 4th ads but they are not. I noticed even the stores had the flags and such out more for that holiday than the 4th this year. After that weekend they sold the stuff for half off and did not get more! What was up with that? :)
I saw some Woman's Days for sale at the used store this week but they said for the monthly recipes to go to their www! These magazines were old so no way of knowing if the recipes would even still be available. I do find current issues though but having to go online took the fun out of it to me. I am tired already of grocery stores telling you to go on line to get the coupons and if not you pay full price for their 'sale' that week. I know of many people that don't have computers and never will. Let alone a printer. Other than a few hiccups though, life is good! ;-) Sarah

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