Showing posts from October, 2015

This Week In My Home: Seasonal Savings

It's taking a little time to make, but I'm enjoying the handwork, all created from fabric remnants I've picked up over the years.

Saturday:  Blossom the Beagle has joined our family.  Bess brought her bed, food and leash with her as well as biscuits.  Blossom has been quite happy over all and she and Maddie have played a good bit.  She's done well today with Bess gone.  I've got my fingers crossed that the transition to country dog is so fascinating she doesn't have a period of adjustment.

Despite it being Sabbath I ran a full load of dishes.

John washed a full load of clothes and hung them out to dry.

Josh wet through his clothes last night.  We took the pack and play outdoors to dry in the sunlight.  I'll spray with Lysol too, but the sunshine should really help with any aroma.

Our meals consisted of leftovers.  Leftover bagels I found in the freezer.  Leftover chicken and dumplings for dinner.  A mix of leftovers for supper.  The only item made fresh toda…

State of the Union: In Answer to Kathy

Proverbs 27:23-27  23Be sure you know how your sheep are doing, and pay attention to the condition of your cattle.  24Riches do not go on forever, nor do governments go on forever. 25Bring in the hay, and let the new grass appear.  Gather the grass from the hills.  26Make clothes from the lamb's wool, and sell some goats to buy a field.  27 There will be plenty of goat's milk to feed you and your family and to make your servant girls healthy.

I have mentioned the desire to deepen my pantry, to stock up on things we might find ourselves needing in the future.  Someone asked if I 'foresee' something in the future since this seems to be a common theme on many blogs at present.

So some of my thinking is just about being prepared.  You'll note the Proverb at the head of this post is really about just that.  It doesn't mention a great war coming nor a disaster about to occur, but it does mention changes.   The verses do seem to  say to know the state of your assets a…

This Week In My Home: A Well Seasoned Saver

As I tried to determine what my theme this week would be, I worked on menus.  "Well Seasoned" seemed to be a good term to describe the hearty sorts of meals that were filling my menu...and I realized that as a homemaker and a frugalite I am well seasoned, having stood the test of time over these years, honing my skills year in and year out  whatever season of year or life I found myself.

I was contemplating this as I worked on the menus and then Samuel called to chat.  I put aside my work and went to the chair in the kitchen sitting area and listened to him talk of the work he'd done in his yard this week, his hopes for the future provision of his family and his dreams.  Then he started telling me of a class he'd had to attend for work.  "We were asked to tell the defining moment of our lives, when we realized who we were for the first time," he began.  He told me of the stories others had to share as he waited his turn.  " I told the class that my de…

This Week In My Home: Well Seasoned

When it comes to meals seasoning is everything, agreed?  We can eat very bland meals or we can spice (and herb) things up until they take on a new personality.  The trick with seasoning is balance and knowing what compliments what.  Certain flavors just go together naturally.  Others are surprises to the palate but work very well.  For instance, did you know that allspice adds a nice little something extra to a pot roast or stew or even cubed steak?  It has a knack for enriching the beefy flavor somehow and making it richer.  That is especially lovely in the autumn.
Now many people love the taste of pumpkin or at least, per Pinterest they do.  I'm not a huge pumpkin fan but I must say here and now that the Pumpkin, Bean and Chicken Enchiladas I made last week pretty much wowed me.  They will definitely be on  my future autumn (and possibly winter)  menu lists.  Today I found a recipe for a roast chicken that has nice rich autumn flavorings and combines with onions, sweet potatoes…

I Wonder As I Wander

Autumn finally arrived here in a day of cool breezes, the bluest of skies and a flutter of leaves sailing through the air and falling to the ground.

My friend Susan came to spend the day with me Sunday, our first really cold morning.  I had on long sleeves and had put on socks, my concession to the cold.  She wore a thick hoodie.  At one point we stood at the kitchen window and I said "Oh look at the leaves!"  The Faith Tree had just let go of a spate of leaves, all of which sailed past the window.  "I just love fall!" Susan exclaimed next to me and sighed happily.

It was a nice reminder.  I've said in the last few years I feel a certain sadness when autumn days began to arrive.  Saturday I'd said to John that I felt a little reluctant to feel the cold...But somehow Susan's happiness was contagious.  She went to the living room and unpacked the projects she'd brought to w…

This Week In My Home: Practicing Thrift

I recently rejuvenated this broken pot.  It's now a unique vessel for my favorite little flower bed.  

We've tried to glue this pot back together before and it didn't hold up.  I suggested we use tape as well as the glue.  As long as the pot is sitting upright it stays together.  I really wanted it lie on it's side but this is the way it works.  I filled it with kale and a tiny seedling coleus that came up in front of the back steps.  

Saturday:  One of my favorite rituals on a Saturday morning is to take the pot of coffee, my pretty little cup and saucer from Katie last Christmas, a pretty creamer and put it all on a little tray.  Then I drink cup after cup of hot coffee.  In reality I am drinking no more coffee than I do on any week day but it feels like more because the cup doesn't hold as much as a mug.  With all the frou frou, it feels very indulgent and I like that feeling of plenty and extravagance for absolutely no cost to me at all.

Last night I toasted chee…

This Week In My Home: Practice, Practice, Practice

Saturday as I prepared our meal I thought out my choices very carefully, not for dietary reasons alone, but for economy and overall appeal.  It was cool and breezy outdoors and cool indoors.   I wanted a hearty warming meal that was inexpensive but delicious.  It meant planning both that meal and the leftover meal that would result from making the planned meal.  The meal itself was moved from last week when we had no need of this menu.
I've been thinking hard this week.   I spent more than I meant to spend on groceries and I did not fill any gaps in my pantry at all.  I'm not in the least happy about that.  As well, John and I were talking over various things we want to do and we must plan for spending even small amounts these days.  I've decided that instead of planning to buy more groceries this next pay period, other than fresh dairy and produce, I'll plan to spend what I have (without spending ahead) on pantry supplies and fill in some of those gaps.  I won't …

This Week In My Home: Practice Makes Perfect

I'm expanding the "This Week In My Home" post and adding in one that deals with the same theme. This week's theme is "Practice Makes Perfect" and the inspiration for this post is gravy.  Just plain old gravy.

I've shared before that in my Southern family each woman is known for a signature cake, or meal, and that is something they work to perfect and then present flawlessly every single time.  In my family Granny made the most beautiful little biscuits.  Mama's biscuits were cracked rough looking things and my first efforts were the worst of the family.  I soon discovered a recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook which I use to this day.  From my first batch, these biscuits were good, but I had to make them several times before I could honestly say they were perfect.  I could make them almost blindfolded at one point and Samuel learned to make them by watching me.  Now his biscuits easily rival my own as they tend to be super tender and lig…

This Week In My Home: Fair Savings

Know what this is?  $8 worth of smiles that will last me months, from now until deep Spring.  
Saturday:  Rain woke me extra early this morning.  I turned on the light, took up my book and read in bed.  Gracious but that felt luxurious. And it cost me nothing but one hour of missed sleep.  No complaints over the rain.  It was a nice watering for my freshly planted things.
Made Apple Gingerbread waffles from Pancake mix, spices and one last wrinkly apple that was about three weeks old.  Boy were these good!
I put water in the pan I cooked sausage in and scraped it down good.  This went over Maddie and Misu's foods.  
I wanted a baked potato.  I'm allowed waxy potatoes but not Russets which have a higher starch content.   I decided to bake the Yukon gold potatoes I had.  I chose one about the size of what I'm allowed to have.  I wanted to dress up my potato so I sliced it, sliced onions thin, cut slices into the potatoes but not all the way through, and fit the thin onion pie…

Coffee Chat: Isn't It Lovely To Have Fun?

My day yesterday didn't at all go as planned...For that matter, I struggled long and hard to remember what day it was!  In my head it was Wednesday all day long and if you think you can't possibly lose track of time in such a way believe me you can when your husband's day of work changes each week.  Every day he goes off to work feels like Monday and every day he's home after working it feels like Saturday, which is strange when you consider we've never had a proper routine weekend in years upon years.    It's not date that bumfuzzles me, it's the actual day.  Sometimes we sit here and flip channels and demand to know why some show or another isn't on...and then we realize that it's not the day for it after all, that we've gone through a whole day thinking it was another day entirely.

Well right now I am sure of what day it is, but only because I got sick of being confused and looked at a calendar.  Which means the weatherman was perfectly rig…

This Week In My Home: Fair Days

It is the week of the Georgia National Fair, something we look forward to and sometimes are able to attend.  This year the plans are to go...we'll see if our plans hold.  The weather at least will be very nice and pleasant all week long IF the forecasts are correct...but then again we only had a 30% chance of rain Saturday and guess what?  It was 100% raining from 5 until 7am that morning and after the skies cleared off it was clouding again by noon.  Pfft! Weather men.  The only sunshine I've seen today is on the televised football game.  I don't mind if it's cloudy when we go to the fair, but I will mind if it's rained out!

I did a lot of extra shopping this past week.  We purchased our quarterly bulk beef supplies at the meat market.  I stocked up on breakfast sausages (polska kielbasa, beef links and turkey sausage patties) and chicken breasts ($.88/pound and I'm figuring we'll get two servings from each breast as they are BIG).  So with the freezer fu…

In My Home This Week: Settling into the New Budget Quarter

I often wish to renovate a space but renovations are not in my budget.  The creative side of me has to figure out how to make what I have work.  This is not a recent project, but it illustrates what a bit of  "Use what you have" can accomplish.  In this case  I had a cleaning closet without one item to help maximize the space was transformed with a $2 clearance key rack (that's where the broom and fly swatter is hanging) and four milk crates I'd used in my master closet but decided would best be re-purposed here.  Now  I have a space to hold cleaning supplies and the trash can, as well.

Saturday:  Last night before sundown I cashed in my Pinecone Rewards for $18 in Pay Pal credits.

Today I received my new purse in the mail.  I ordered it using Amazon credits earned through surveys and Swagbucks.  I am very pleased. The purse was a clearance item, formerly selling for $90 and I got it for $15.  It is the grey purse I kept saying I wished I could add to my wardrobe.  I …

Questions, Answers and Comments

Socks on my cold feet, Antiques Roadshow on the television, the dog barking outdoors at the dark. Maddie is likely barking at a possum or another night time critter after the Persimmons on the trees about the house.

I thought I'd try to catch up with comments from September before I get too absorbed by October. I'm kinda feeling funny about October this year.  In years past, it has been our vacation month.  This year, there's no vacation time left to take and no money to vacate with anyway.  I'm not complaining. This has been a year full of occurrences and special things already.  I am curious what the next three months shall bring  us. But it feels very odd not to be leisurely this month and have plans to travel hither and yon.

I did Fall Wardrobe posts in September.  I am truly amazed at how many of you comment on these posts with my humble wardrobe, but I get a huge kick out of hearing how many of you have changed your own wardrobes and give me the credit for helpi…

Retirement Remedies: My CVS Shopping This Week

I earned $10 in ECB (Extra Cash Bucks) rewards a few weeks ago and I've been scanning ads ever since trying to determine how best to spend them.  I missed a golden opportunity last week but I just couldn't make it over to the store and so I decided I'd see what was coming up.  I knew I had a few more days to spend before they expired on October 15.

John and I discussed this yesterday as I looked over the Sunday paper.  I explained that if I didn't spend the ECBs I might just as well set fire to a $10 bill, because it was essentially earned store credit that I just let the store keep rather than get any value from it myself.  I'll just bet there are loads and loads of ECBs that don't get used by folks and I was determined to use mine.  I resolved this year to make my money work harder for me and letting rewards go unused is not making it work hard.  It's just a clear sign that I've grown lazy!

I knew added to my CVS card two high value EBCs this past we…

This Week In My Home: Settling Into a New Season

I had fun Friday evening watching a British video, "Back In Time for Dinner".  I watched the 1950's episode which is roughly an hour long.  It was so interesting how meals evolved in that era for the British.  It begins with rationed meals and then goes through a short period of even more stringent rations.  The protein allowance was 1 ounce per family member.

While this family lived in town I should think the ones who lived in the country had slightly better times, as they at least could hunt for rabbits or deer and likely had their own dairy and poultry stock to boost the family rations.

It made me think long and hard about how we utilize our foodstuffs today and it makes waste that much more abhorrent.

Well all that aside, the rainy cold/muggy warm weather is most undecided and frankly makes meal planning a bit of a hit and miss thing.  I have decided that it's supposed to be autumn, so I shall plan autumn meals and if they don't suit the day, oh well.  I&…

Random Musings: I Wonder as I Wander

I felt more like a rambling post this week than a coffee chat.  It's so humid outdoors that it's positively muggy even when the temperatures are below 60F. So muggy that we've still got the AC on in the house, set to come on if the temperature goes over 73 indoors and unbelievably it is still coming on! Appearances are completely deceiving, as it looks like autumn, complete with blooming golden rod and scattered leaves on the lovely green (and very wet) grass but it does not feel in the least autumnal. Ugh.  I'm hiding out until the really cooler air shows up!  With this hurricane/tropical storm slated to hit us with rain I don't know if that shall be any time soon.

I've been trying to follow several long favored bloggers and I've decided to give up a few.  Want to know why?  Several are very popular blogs and I really like the individuals who write them but the mass advertis…

In My Home This Week: Listing MyWays to Save

How refreshing a simple coat of new paint can make things look!  This is my current work in progress but even unfinished it looks 100% better.

Saturday:  While my intent today is to rest, I will be jotting down brainstorming ideas for new savings.  I have an added incentive to save.  John and I have a bit over three years before our 25th wedding anniversary.  I want to do something bigger than the norm, like going on a cruise sometime during that 25th year.  I need to start saving now.

Used up the last of the grapes in a salad today.  There were only about ten but those ten left to wither still represent waste.  I want to stop waste in my kitchen that is related to my lack of usage.  I can't prevent things spoiling on their own, but I can avoid that waste that is based on this human!

Saved a mushroom container.  The ones at Aldi are plastic and just the right size to fit in my big shallow dresser drawer.  I've sorted necklaces by color and each color fits perfectly in this punn…