Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My: August 2015

Well here we are with a fresh new month ahead of us.  What shall it bring?  I've no more clue than you have but I'm looking forward to the new season.  Summer was a bit tough over all, you know?   Well it's at an end...and so is August for that matter.  Time for a Q&A post.

In My Home, Savings Posts:  # Peggy Lineberry thank you for stopping by to read here.  I so appreciate it when a reader says they feel inspired.

Sarah, outdoors John used to scoop up a small spade of ants from one mound and drop them into another mound.  They pretty much killed themselves. We had the worst time with fire ants for the first years here but they appear to have moved on.  I don't know if it's the colder winter we had or the drought that drove them away but one of those things worked.

Lana, I love those little KFC sides containers.  You'd think we'd eaten just tons of KFC but it's about a once a quarter or less treat.  The containers last very well and they are the perfect size for a serving of most foods for anyone who must measure or control portions of certain foods.

Savings Post #2  Mindy Lewis, thank you.  Those are kind words to say I bring peace to you with my simple life.

Sparky136 That mother in law's tongue plant was started from the most pitiful little runt of a piece you've ever seen.  I had it and a small palm from the same sorry potted plant from the clearance section and both grew and grew.  I lost the palm two summers ago, but the mother in law's tongue is on it's second divide and that pot has now gotten quite full.  I was just wondering what to do with the 'extras' this next potting.  My friend in Australia has them planted in her yard but I doubt they would last well in my own yard.

The back porch was the focus of the rest of the comments on this post.  I was inspired to really put some life out there and it's coming right along.  Weather is coming in at the time of this writing (last weekend in August) but if IF it decides to bypass or slip right over I should finish it off before September is actually here.  It is meant to be an inviting place.  I hope eventually to put a bench out there but until that day it's use what you have, and so I do.

The bed springs on the wall were some Granny had in her flower bed near her porch.  They are rusty and rustic for sure.  They once went into the baby bed my Mama and her brother used as infants so they are a sort of 'family piece'.  I love that I'm getting to repurpose that piece.

#3 Angela, I so understand the need to tighten the budget due to big expenses...and the absolute desire to have those things we need/want as well.  I'm glad you ordered your shoes for Fall.  I am glad I purchased those new sandals, the handful of tee-shirt type tops and a new pair of jeans.  I figured after putting 2 inch darts in front and back of all my pants the next step is definitely new jeans.  The saggy baggy bottom of the old pants is making me feel both self-conscious and dowdy.

Our Aldi egg prices are running $2.69 a dozen with no limitations on purchase.  The Publix store eggs are about $3.69 a dozen and our local store was $3.99 last time I stopped in about two weeks ago.

Wendy and Janell When you live in a rural county and crops are sold fresh at farm stands, it's hard not to regret the passing season, isn't it?  Here in our community it's peaches and strawberries sold fresh at local sites and of course, later in the fall we have peanuts and pecans.  The next county down sells tomatoes and corn that are locally grown and harvested.  It's well worth trips down to pick up good fresh grown close by foods.  My doctor mentioned last week that he'd had one peach all summer and it tasted like nothing so much as water.  I told him he needed good locally grown peaches.  I think next summer I'll go to the office bearing gifts of fresh peaches, lol.

Thank you Becky L for stopping by and taking time to reply.

Lana Our adult children can indeed bring us a world of heartache!  I tell my young mothers that whatever experiences they gain now in grieving over their babies suffering is just God increasing their strength for when their children are older!  We've a family grief at the moment and sometimes all we can do is just stay quiet and pray extra hard and wait!

Sarah how interesting that you mention the popular French book on staying slender.  I was just reading a blog post this morning here on this blog by a French woman and I couldn't help but think how her hints for eating as the French women do were really a good diabetic diet except for her assertion that they avoided dairy milk  (but not cheeses).

Rhonda, Grammy Goodwill, Crystal H.  I had this same discussion with my daughter's partner one day.  We both spied change in the road and he looked at it with disgust.  "It's only a penny!" he said and stepped over it. I bent down and picked it up.  I said to him "It cost me nothing but bending my back to pick it up, took less than one second and I've a penny more than I had."  I was trying to drive a point home but I think there are so many who just plain miss it.  Money is a wonderful tool and found money is a sort of gift whether it's a penny or $100!   I think having saved our change for years I have some idea how the little bits add up.  We went on many a family vacation for the saved change and one dollar bills for years.  Now we drop found money and all change into a charity box and we have a nice sized donation to give monthly to two worthy ministries that provide basic needs for others.  Nope, I'm not above picking up pennies.  I picked one up just yesterday in Walmart!

Kathy,  I think peach cobbler is just lovely.  In winter we even use canned store bought pears to make cobbler now and then...but fresh peach cobbler is the very best.

#4  Lana  The only problem I have with Aldi is that they apparently change contracts with toilet paper manufacturers and what I buy over a period of time won't be the same as what I buy in six months.  I prefer a certain brand for a variety of reasons some of which include allergies, preferences and what will work with our soft water in our plumbing and septic tank.  I can't get that consistently with the Aldi paper which I find frustrating.  Typically I find the paper on very good sales at Target, but I'm struggling with the 'new normal best buy price' lol.  I just have to figure it out.

Lana shared this tip:
Here is a leftover meat tip. We grilled a London broil while our son was here and had some leftover. Reheated steak is terrible in my book so I do what my Mom does. She puts the cold meat in the food processor and shreds it. Put it back in the saved juices and reheat. This makes an awesome Philly cheese steak sandwich which is what we had for super last night.

Thank you for sharing that tip!  It sounds a winner to me and I think would work with roasts which I also dislike to reheat.

Iced Tea Chat: Dancing with Lizards version  Lana  I took up the neckline of my too big blouses in the back by inserting two darts, one either side of the back center and this helped extend wear.  Of course, I did this with the inexpensive t-shirts and not the very nicest blouses.

Lots of comments about the lizard/skink and your own experiences with them which are very amusing.  I was NOT amused with my little house guest however, lol.  And I appreciate the shared memories of Melmac and Melamine items in your childhoods as well.

Coleen Gold  I noted your remark on the higher grade service not being much better and shared it with John.

Well here's the update on internet in our area.  John finally got fully fed up and stopped at at&t who have merged with DirecTv and were advertising internet service.  It seems that in the infancy days of home internet providers were wily to say the least.  Certain entities bought 'lifetime rights' to territories.  The affiliate store we visited has to use another provider even though at&t IS their own service!  And in our area, it's strictly the one company period and no use asking anyone else for service.

So we stopped at the office and complained of the service.  To their credit, even though it was 2pm they sent a technician to check the line by 4 or so that Friday afternoon.  He said we had a good strong signal when he tested and he re-tested before leaving.  He checked the 'box' thing that provides our signal and said we're near enough we should have good clear service.  He asked about our equipment set up and suggested a filter be removed and since we don't use the land line phone that we just plug our router directly into the phone line.  We had 30 minutes of slow but consistent service.  And at 4:57 it went out and stayed out for 3 or 4 minutes.

John's logging time outs and so far we're hitting on four or five outages an hour of duration lasting from 1 minute to 15.  We'll be going back with a record of outages and asking they get to the bottom of this mess.

And for the record, when the technician was here he laughingly told John that the tech support for our service "really gives folks the run around about equipment."  He isn't even kidding!  That's why we went right to our local office this go round.

Really my post seems to have contained a good many complaints about internet and about facebook.  I don't know if either will get any better, I truly don't, nor do I know what the answers might be, except to change what I can and look for better solutions to what I can't.

In the 2nd coffee chat post of the month I spoke of relationships I'd determined were not worth the pain.  This resonated with several of you. Lana, Anne and Kim all commented they'd been through the same thing. Karla wrote this: This post reminds me of a quote I just love from The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. “The painful things seemed like knots on a beautiful necklace, necessary for keeping the beads in place.” 

It takes so very long, it seems, to finally see ourselves as God sees us, and to allow only His best into our lives, doesn't it? But He is so faithful to patiently take us through the process because He sees the outcome when all we can see is the stuff that we've tried to change or the pain or whatever. It really is relief when we finally have the courage to say no more and allow it to leave our lives so there's room for the better.

Susie@persimmon cottage  I agree that the 'sweet seasons' seem to pass by more quickly.  I doubt very much that is truth, but certainly a painful season does feel  longer if only because we must endure it while the sweet season is savored.

Crystal H  that is just what I meant in my post!  I don't want to whine, and I do want to see this whole health scare thing for what it was, a chance to stop repeating trips about a mountain that isn't mine to travel round and an opportunity to travel differently.

and in the last Coffee Chat  everyone of you who commented 'got' my dissatisfaction.  I guess it's just something we all must go through and get ourselves all straightened out once more.  I don't shop often because I tend to spend money on stuff I don't need or even want. I took a vow two years ago that I'd make any money spent 'count' and save it for the bigger things I want.  I've done very well overall.  It's those funds that put the blinds in three rooms and refurbished the kitchen this past winter. It's just sometimes, I get bitten by the blues when I see the things I can't seem to save up for.  It's like Angela's new AC unit (and someone else too had a new unit plus a new roof this year) which curtailed spending.  Well my small bank balance which funded those things is shot for this year and I can't seem to get ahead with any savings for all the necessities that pop up these days and I let it get me down.  I really need to remind myself it's just a season, like any other.  This too shall pass.

Lana  I didn't think I was so terribly down in this post, but I do think I was overtired.  I'd had a couple of nights poor sleep, which I've noted does affect my blood sugar a little and perhaps that was why I seem down.  The cinnamon and the Grape Root Extract seem to be working rather well at lowering day time blood sugars, so much so that I've done as the doctor suggested this past week and 'experimented' in eating a variety of foods I thought I'd have to swear off for a lifetime.  They seem to have shown very little impact overall and I feel the supplements are the reason for that.

I'm back to counting carbs/calories only because I rather like the ease I've experienced in losing weight and would like to continue.  I have another goal set and would like to reach it before my birthday next year.  I'm breaking it down into smaller goals.

Tammy I'll be looking forward to seeing your front porch on your blog, too.

Pam, I just realized that I never commented on those photos you sent me of your beautiful ears of corn!  I so love having a bit of summer in my freezer and used to thrill at the sight of Mama's pantry in the autumn when we'd put up jar after jar of fruits and vegetables and pickles and jellies.  It does seem looking back that we might have spent less on groceries with all that lovely provision but we never seem to have done so.

And thank you for a lovely long chatty coffee break comment.  I really enjoyed that!

Sarah  I did know about the flax seed meal being a good egg substitute not to mention how healthy it is (rich in Omega 3s and fiber rich too), but I didn't think of it at the time of speaking of egg prices.  I need to get some ground flax seed, I can buy it at Publix.  I saw whole flax seeds at Aldi this week while shopping but I've found the whole ones need a stronger grind than I can give.

Speaking of flax seed, my grandmother used to tell me that a whole flax seed placed inside the lower eyelid would 'cure' pink eye.  I'm afraid that bit of home remedy might never be tried by me at least, lol.  I dislike the idea of any foreign object in my eye!

This post resonated with many of you...Shame I didn't read through it before letting dissatisfaction bite me so hard just a week or two later!  I think we all realize most clearly what it is to be poor.  I believe many have lost perspective however, or never knew what poor was.  And yes, we all knew some who had even less than  we did at the time we were living without.

In this Homekeeping post I shared my tricks for keeping my home neat.  I think most of you who commented also do the same things but I was most amused and impressed by Anne who admitted puzzlement over keeping the house ready for visitors.  She rightly noted that this day and time it's rare to have visitors drop by unexpectedly and she is so right!  Not even family visits as they once did.  I puzzled over that as I wrote the post...but it seemed silly to write how I kept the house clean just for the two of us, lol.

Rose  I chuckled over your 'normal'...most people are alike under it all, and what makes us different is what keeps things interesting, lol.

The only weekly homemaking post I'm commenting on is the last one published.  Lana shared the answered prayer story of her lake house retreat.  Go read it!  Crystal I'll have you and your family on my prayer list!  Most all of the rest of the comments seem to be like minded women: time for a kitchen decluttering.  I'll keep you all posted on my work in my kitchen.

The final post of the month was about my back porch makeover.  John made comment as he came in from mowing today that it looked really nice on the porch.  Thank you to all of you for leaving comments.  I will respond to only a couple of them here but I've appreciated all of you who took time to comment.

Lana, I was thinking of taking my solo breakfasts and lunches there as the weather cools down a bit.  John refuses to eat outdoors on the back porch.  He says the animals make him feel bad as they want to be with us.  Fortunately they are not the begging sort, but I think John just wants to keep his routines indoors.

Dale, I'd love a trip to Vermont....especially in the Fall months, lol!

Angela I think a pillow for the rocker in the same fabric as the sunflower center is a great idea.  I'll look for a cheap pillow to use as the form.  I have plenty of fabric.  I'm thinking of making a throw too for those cooler days ahead, just to cozy things up a bit.

Pam, I'll back up and do a full view shot when I get the last bits of stuff that don't belong there off the porch, lol.  Look for it when I get fresh plants.

Sarah, I know just what you mean.  I stalk a house in my little town where the woman keeps a changing tableau on her front porch and back deck.  I'm nosy about her decorating style!  I'd love to get a glimpse inside her house.


Lana said...

LOL! My KFC containers have been here for a very long time too! I can't remember the last time we actually ate there.

I make beef and noodles or pork and noodles from leftover roast. A handful of meat and the leftover gravy watered down some and a few ounces of noodles cooked along with it all is an easy supper and my husband's favorite. I also freeze meat and gravy in containers for future quick meals. If I am cooking a large roast I treat it as freezer cooking and make a large amount of gravy so that I can get those future meals in the freezer.

Karla Neese said...

Here is another tip on the leftover steak or roast. My mother-in-law makes what she calls meat spread. Just like a ham salad only you grind the cooked beef - same concept - mayonnaise or miracle whip, celery, carrots, onions, relish, hard boiled egg and a little bread all ground together. Very yummy.

Sparkiedoll said...

'See a penny, pick it up...all the day you'll have good luck'
In the UK it seems to be that a lot of young people don't bother with brown money, so 1p and 2p pieces get thrown away. I've seen it! Well, all the while I can bend down and pick the coins up off the floor then I will. I work hard for my money and if you don't want yours then. 'thank you very much - I'll take all the 'free' money' I can. Rose x

Crystal H. in Nevada said...

Thanks so much for the prayers. I really appreciate it. Going up to Oregon to help mom for a few weeks. Dad being on Hospice has been really hard on her and I have Hospice experience. (Just not with a family member - that will be new) Got the cancer removed from my nose and some reconstructive surgery done. Please, please, please use sunscreen and/or a hat everyday. Especially on your face, ears, and neck. I was never a sun worshiper but it happened to me (and my younger brother) this year.

As usual I so enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

sparky136 said...

Perhaps you can pot up some of the mother-in-law plants in planters from the thrift store and sale them in your booth.

Lana said...

I was wishing I could send you some peaches today when I happened to hit the produce stand on the very last day of the season and everything was BOGO, too.

Anonymous said...

I make meat salad in my food processor. It gets whatever thrown in. My hubby really likes it. After 38 years of marriage, he informed me he doesn't like roast re-warmed. It's too dry. Who knew?! So now I have a new plan in place. We use it as a stand alone salad or we use it as a meat spread. Pam

JoAnn Baker said...

Every time I see a penny I pick it up as well. I read a book many years ago regarding pennies from Heaven (can't remember the name of the book). Each time I see a penny on the ground now, it reminds me of people that have gone on before me.... so nice to have a memory of a loved one pop up!

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