Questions and Answers and Comments

It's the start so a new month and time for me to respond to your questions and comments over the past month's posts.  I thought I'd change up my photo this month.  Doesn't this homemaker look busy?  I am sure she's tending to several things at once, just like we do.

Weekly Savings #1  I shared that one our meals was just meat and bread.  Sarah had this to share:
 ...we get an e-mail from the company that my husband got his medical bracelet from. It usually includes 4 or so articles on health related issues. One this time said that anyone old..and they said old is considered 50 and older... should increase their protein intake by 50% !! They suggested many foods and protein they included and a daily sample of how to get this amount. We need this to maintain and build muscle that is lost as we age. It is needed for balance and so many things other than just strength. They said that other health issues are related later too to this loss of protein in our bodies. The article said it was a necessity and that within 4 days doctors can tell a difference in patients. To continue this increase the rest of your life. Also of course if you can to do some strength training the protein increase in food though was emphasized as a Need. I thought that interesting. I suppose their are new articles on line about this.

Laurie if you or any other who blogs is interested in the Blogging for Books visit their site here, fill out the information requested, choose your book and after you've received it, read and review on the site as well as your blog.  I really enjoyed my first selection and have claimed my next book.  They have both hard copy and e-book formats.  Some books only come in one or the other, some you have a choice of format.  It is completely free to you.  You can't claim your next book until your review is posted so there's incentive to read.  They have a nice selection in different categories.  

Weekly Savings #2   Rhonda and Dorie both mentioned my cookie jar in the header photo.  That cookie jar is as old or older than I am.  Mama said the other day that she bought it at the 5c &  10c store just before I was born.  I saw a similar one in the April issue of Country Living.  It is made by the American Biscuit Company.  Their example, which was colored yellow as a chick ought to be, was valued at $65.  Mine has never been yellow, always white but the pom pom on his tam was red once upon a time.  

Georgene G.  Mia's blog is Aspiring Homemaker   You'll need to scroll way down on her side bar, below all the photos to get to her archive list.  I'm looking forward to her beginning to blog anew sometime this spring.  Most of her posts deal with thrift shops and recipes and her families desire and cultivation of a simpler lifestyle which sometimes included going without electricity (on purpose!).  I met Mia and her mother at a friend's home and they were genuine in their pursuit.  That particular night her family were wearing vintage clothing.
Mia eventually went to work at a living history site in Virginia.  I'm not sure what she's up to these days but do look forward to her return to the blogging world.

Penny S. , Kathy, Karla  My first Frugal Boot Camp post will be up sometime this week.  I slipped off the boot camp track the last ten days of the month, but I'm all ready to jump right back on it.

Weekly Savings #3  Not about the savings but about the Living Well portion in which I addressed mental health issues.  I shall never forget sitting in an eye doctor's waiting area reading an article on Suicide statistics about this time several years ago.  I thought, as I read, of my own daily suicidal thoughts for so many years and my mind was blown by the facts.  I recall wondering why so many more men than women commit suicide and why in the Spring months (March through June are the highest suicide months).  Little did I know that within a year my brother would take his own life following a year of depression. 

Weekly Savings #4
I mentioned magic cookie bars.  Sarah asked if I'd shared that recipe.  I don't know that I have.  Some call them Hello Dolly bars, but I find with recipes you'd best stick to what is on the product label or confusion ensues when you go to look up a recipe. One woman's Hello Dolly bars are not always the same as another's Magic Cookie Bars!  These are called Magic Cookie Bars and it is an Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe.

Magic Cookie Bars

1 sleeve graham crackers crushed
1/4 cup melted butter
Press into the bottom of a 13X9 pan

Top with: 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 cup coconut flakes...Really just about anything you want or have on hand works on these cookies: peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, M & M candies, caramel nibs, any type of nuts.  I just dumped on all the little bits of this and that I had on hand.  

Pour over: 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.  Let cool to touch then cut into squares.

Lana shared this 'recipe' for lemonade:

We really enjoy lemonade in the summer and I have found a way to stretch a can of the frozen concentrate from Aldi. I mix the can with 1/2 cup sugar and seven cans of water. It makes nearly a gallon that way and tastes a lot like homemade for way less money. It will keep for at least a week in the fridge.

Mrs. Chrissy T  I sure hope you were able to see the other wardrobe choices I made on Retirement Remedies.  It's been a big help.  I altered my white jeans today so the legs aren't so very wide.  It's almost like having a new pair to have them fit better!  I've been putting darts in the back along the neckline of some of the tee shirts I have too.  The very wide neckline on my narrow shoulders is not attractive and sometimes slips off my shoulder entirely.  Just putting a dart either side of the center back helps take up some of that width there and makes them fit better.  

In My Home Menu/Work #1
 Sarah Yes, I can grow some vegetables in pots.  I just didn't bother to plant anything this spring when I might have.  For summer I have herbs, which satisfies me at present.

Dorie my cream cheese frosting for carrot cake is one Mama has always used.  It is  standard cream cheese butter/confectioner's sugar affair...and then you add toasted pecans and 1 tsp of instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water.   It completely changes the taste of it.  I've had a very light cream cheese frosting recently that was awesome.  No clue how that one was made but it was a subtle flavor.

Karla,  the black in the Black and Blue salad is supposed to be blackened steak.  

 Pam, you really have taken to menu planning with your whole heart!  I am so proud of you!

Jen@Healthfulsave  The chicken and wild rice casserole is very tasty.  I mix 3-4 cups cooked chicken with 1 box cooked wild rice, 1 can  condensed mushroom soup (I use low fat and you'll see why, lol) 1 cup mayonnaise (there's they why!) 1 can drained diced water chestnuts and a little seasoning (onion, garlic if wanted, salt, pepper).  Put into 13 X 9 pan and top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.  

Chari Crowdis Thank you!  I sure am sorry about the storm messing up your fence right after it was fixed.  It does feel like we slip backwards every time we thing we're moving ahead doesn't it?  That's how my budget made me feel last month!

Weekly Menu #3?  I don't know...I'm confused.  Sometimes when I go back to enter jump breaks in posts one will jump ahead from the original post date as though I'd just written it.  I think that's what happened with one of these but not sure.

Ya'll have to go read Shell's post with the talk of Mud elves and floor fairies, lol.  I used to refer to the Good Housekeeper Fairy when my family was at home.

We finally have been having nice sunny days but seriously...I emptied the range gauge twice because it was full.  That was more than 12 inches of rain.  I am not complaining hard.  We were 23 inches below the water levels two years ago and in severe drought conditions for several years.   Now let's all pray Pam and Sarah get the rain they both so desperately need.

Retirement Remedies 1st Quarter
Karla and Sarah  I bought my blinds at Lowe's.  They are 2 inch wide PVC, faux wood blinds.  I bought the store brand, Style Selections and they are room darkening.  For my windows I've paid about $28 each for them.  I have six more windows to do in my home.  It's taken me one year to do the 8 windows I have thus far.

Rebecca Swagbucks is an online system that allows you to 'earn' points called Swagbucks that you can exchange for gift cards in various denominations.  Mostly it's an advertising vehicle.  Some people use the site as an income source.  I'm satisfied to earn about $25 a month.  Someone figured 100 Swagbucks equals $1.  I tend to devote about 1 hour daily to it and I don't push it to much beyond that.

Melissa L.  I find that for me early mornings (before 8 am) is the best our for Swagbucks.  Pages go faster and I can load multiple videos up at once and usually I have a bit more than first goal points at the end of an hour.  Later in the day things go much much slower and I'll struggle hard  with little to show for an hour's work.

 Lana Our internet is through our Public Service Telephone company.  We asked at A&T and they do not have service in our area...nor does anyone else!  It is common in rural ares to find overloaded hubs and no real plans to increase the capacity despite ever increasing numbers of users.

Janelle I'm going to get your blog up in the side bar this week!  I tried once before and it failed to load due to power outages.  Ya'll check out her blog:

Retirement Remedy Stretching Wardrobe 1 & 2
I'm happy that so many of you enjoyed these post.  I'd mentioned doing this to Tammy L. in a private message and she encouraged me to share as a post.  I had no idea others were struggling the way that I do.  As a big girl I've always struggled to dress well.  Money is a barrier (plus size always costs more and quality costs the earth).

When I worked I worked harder at looking nice.  Once I became a sahm tee shirts and slacks was the main wardrobe.  It was Katie who set me straight one day when I refused to buy something for myself.  "Mama, Daddy LIKES for you to look nice."  Her words were backed up by his offer a few weeks later of money to go buy myself a few things.  Ever since I've tried to make it a point to look decent at home and nice when I'm going out away from home.

I'm not a dressy person by nature.  Casual is suitable enough most days for my lifestyle, but like you all commented, I found myself standing before the closet in a time crunch and unable to think how to put an outfit together.  Pinterest was a boon for me on that score.  I simply type into the search bar the elements I had in my closet (coral tunic, white slacks, olive shirt) and then went through the resulting pictures and chose those that suited my style and my clothes.

It's trial and error.  I found the second round a lot harder to put together.  Sometimes the outfits just aren't as comfortable or as right as I'd thought at the time I put it together.   Perhaps, like cooking, if I keep practicing, I'll begin to get a feel for this once more and find that I rely less often on Pinterest to help.   The other day as I was putting clothes away some clothes an inspiration struck and I had an idea for another outfit.   I hope to have a few more posts in the near futures.

Lana if John had any new jeans I'd try that trick of washing mine with his to get them dyed.  I'll pick up a package of Rit dye and run mine through the wash with that.  Gracious...I haven't dyed anything in years.

Janell I so understand the 'coolest, least clothes possible'!

Anne in the kitchen, I've had these white jeans two years already. I never put them on once last year because I had no idea how to really make an outfit work with them.  Now I don't see how I managed to make outfits without them.

Retirement Remedies Brainstorming In the Kitchen  Lots of comments on this post and several shared sites they enjoyed.
Rose shared
Janell shared  Don't Waste the Crumbs  and Budget Bytes 

Lana  said, " I was thinking about what motivates me to come in under budget most months. It is this-whatever is left is mine to spend."  Wardrobe funds for me?  Something to think about!

Dale I replied from my mail...but I've no idea if that reply went to you or not.  Could you please email me at  Thank you so much for your kind offer.  I would love to have those magazines!

Kathy I emailed you too...But just in case you didn't get that reply, I think you'll find it very worthwhile to try Aldi.  Even if you shopped there just once a month the savings is so worthwhile!  My niece and one of my daughter in laws have started shopping there and they both say they refuse to go back.  Bess was is such a fan now that she told Sam she wouldn't move if there weren't an Aldi near their new home.  He made sure there was, lol.

Sarah  I don't do a price book at all.  I have this thing for figures and can keep them in my head for some silly reason.  Funny when you consider what  sieve my brain is otherwise, lol.

Lana  Your experience is appreciated by myself and others.  

Roberta  shared this " A few months ago I made a couple of changes to make my grocery budget work better. First I decided to make a separate monthly budget for non-food purchases and food purchases. The second thing was to use our allowance to purchase extra food if we are having company over (which would otherwise push us over budget). With these changes I have not gone over my grocery budget in over 6 months!"

Coffee Chat  Thank you all...I love my new haircut too.  I like it better this week than I did last week and I was pretty happy with it then, lol.  John still hasn't said a word and I still don't dare ask but I confess, knowing he's not fond of short hair I am keen to make myself look as nice about the house as I can.

Spring Fresh Bedrooms
Laurie  I seldom rearrange a room.  It has to be really problematic for me to even think of rearranging.

Janell I haven't had a headboard in years now.  Partly because John and I can't agree on what we want and partly because I haven't got a truck to haul anything home from the thrift stores which is the only place we ever find one we agree we like, lol
Tuesday Morning is one place I hadn't thought to check out. I need to put that on my list of places to visit.  

Dorie  I found that little side table, which I expect used to be a telephone stand long ago, at the Women's Club sale and paid a whole $10 for it.  I love the shape, the height, the wear on it.  The lamps are from Dollar General as are the red shades, $7 per lamp, $5 per shade.  I had the shades and used them in my master bedroom for a couple of years.

Q, A, & C   Anne I use earphones to listen to things on my computer while John is watching TV...It irritates him no end that I can't hear him make comments, lol.    I think your idea is great.

Book Review  Angela, Sarah I have to agree that the Bible is one of my book companions.  I thought about that as I was typing that review.  The other book I'd choose:  The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge.


Lana said...

I love this post! It is so fun and to see your thoughts and I appreciate all the time it takes to compile it.

A comment on the Magic Cookie Bars-the size of the graham cracker package has changed since the over all ounces of the box has changed and I did not have great success with the ones I made at Christmas even though I have made them for over 30 years. The only thing I could see that could have caused it was less graham cracker crumbs. Next time I make them I will ad few more crackers.

Kathy said...

mmm your magic cookie bars sound good! I want to try the chicken casserole too!

So sorry about the loss of your brother. It is hard to lose a loved one, esp due to suicide.

Thank you for letting me know about Aldi. I didn't receive your email; I need to check to make sure my email address is right on blogger. Thank you for taking the time to respond, and I'll try to check out Aldi when it opens this fall.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chicken casserole recipe! I've been trying to think of something to take to a potluck Saturday night and this sounds so yummy!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for rain prayers! I think this year God is just saying no or at least wait. This week rain is forecasted but so far nothing here. We are the hole in the donut. We have clouds and mist and a tiny bit of rain but not enough to register. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

I know there are many hubbys who care what their wives look like, but my hubs doesn't notice what I wear or how my hair is as long as it stays the length it is and the color. He will notice tracks by the mailbox or any change to do with the farm, but I'm not on his radar. (smile) I know he loves me - it may sound like he doesn't - but he does. He's wonderfully kind. And yes, I would like for him to notice, but after 37 years of marriage, I know it just isn't going to happen. So t-shirts and jeans are my main stays for wardrobe. I do have nice clothes for Sunday. (smile) Pam

a8383 said...

The chicken casserole was a keeper in my house! Angela

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