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 helping.  The truth is that you don't have to have a huge clothing budget to be well dressed nor do you have to take hours to present yourself well.

In the September 2 post  I must have mentioned five times how much I wished I had a gray or navy bag.  I am pretty sure I've shared a number of times how very very picky I am about purses.  We all have a certain type we like and I personally prefer just one big open bag, no multiple pockets, etc.  I get confused and frustrated about which section I've stashed an item or my wallet in.  I'd much rather just reach in and pull out what I went in for.  But that's me.

I earned a good bit of Amazon credit this month with Swagbucks and a surveys group.  Amazon cards at Swagbucks were 2200 points instead of 2500 for $25 gift cards.  I couldn't beat the savings. I'd meant to purchase diabetic supplements with it but then I started trolling about looking at purses and I found Scarleton bags.  I loved so many of the styles but nearly all were multiple pocket affairs. And then I stumbled upon this one:
I hesitated on purchasing it, even though it was marked down from $90ish to $25.  I decided to wait and see how much I liked it in a couple of days or so.  Then I did the last Fall wardrobe post and wished still more for a gray bag and decided to order it.  Well the price had dropped to just a bit over $15 at that point and I was doubly sold.  I'm very pleased with the quality of the workmanship.  It's likely one of the nicest made purses I've had in years upon years.  It doesn't have a clasp or catch on the front though, so I had to edit my things because I also tend to treat my purse as a  pack bag.  However, despite it's large size, over full it loses shape and looks sloppy.  I think it will be a good addition to the Fall wardrobe.  I've no plans to purchase any thing more this season.

Several of you mentioned my scarves.  The bulk of them were gifts or picked up at thrift stores, especially the lovely silk/silky ones.  I've worn scarves for years now and feel they can really dress up an otherwise plan outfit.  I don't wear them as much in summer however, when they just tend to make me feel terribly warm.

Dale, I was a bit surprised myself how just changing out accessories changed the same basic pieces into something fresh.  Oddly enough I stumbled upon my end of year musings from 2014 towards the end of September and one sentence leaped off the page at me:  Why can't my wardrobe work harder with just a change of accessories?  Who knew I was going to be living that random thought?!

Karla, this past Spring, I had more clothes than I've in years hanging in my closet and I doubt I wore 10 % of those pieces.  Finding myself with limited funds made me determined to get more mileage from what I had and then losing weight and finding that 80% of the items no longer fit was a huge incentive to purge deep and really work with what was left.  I'd say clearing out my closet was a real eye opener to me.  At this moment in time, I don't know that I'll ever have as many clothes again as I had at the beginning of the summer (and I didn't have the average number even then).  The truth is I don't need loads of pieces. I just need a few good things and to build on wearing them in multiple ways.

Janell, I have always chosen to purchase pants that fit me and I was quite a large size (still am, just a more common large size) now.  It meant learning that I could hem them to the right length for me.   I'm at that frustrating point between petite and average that is just missed by both, height wise.  I also am short waisted and finally understood that any pant that said it sat below the waist was a better fit for me.  Otherwise the waistband ends up sitting just under my bra.  Lana recommended this site for petite plus sized pants:

As for the scarves, I don't do fancy ties.  I usually fold into a triangle and knot loosely and then I either wear the scarf with the point hanging in front or back.  Occasionally I will roll a triangle and knot it in the middle then tie the ends in a knot and wear it like an over sized necklace.  My face is too small and my neck too short to wear it knotted at my throat.  I just look like I've been swallowed by the scarf when I try that.  Even the infinity scarves sort of bother me as I can't quite get accustomed to the bulk of the scarf being that near my face.   All those fancy tutorials are nice but I'm a basics sort of girl and simple works best for me.  This is similar to what I might do, minus the knots at the shoulders.
                                   Photo source/credit:

Kip, it is still fairly warm here in Georgia off and on now, as you and Janell both know.  Though I did pull out a jacket to take with me this morning when I was out.  But I had on a scarf and that proved to be just the right amount of extra to keep me comfortable.

, I envy your creativity in making purses.  Katie does the same thing, or did.  I don't have many indulgences but purses and costume jewelry and scarves are the areas where I allow my wants free reign.

In Part II  Dale asked if I dress this nicely every day or just when out and about.  Always when I'm out and about and hardly even when at home, though I try to look neat and nice every day.  Right now everything that halfway fits nice for at home wear has paint spots on them though!  I really should keep one outfit only for painting since paint and I have such a strong attraction to one another.

Since it cooled just a bit over the last two weeks I've worn this outfit twice.  It's very comfortable and I feel good in it:

And then I finished up the series last week.  Sarah noted that a print top was harder to accessorize.  This can be very true.  In the case of printed tops I'd rely more on my purse/shoes and bracelets or earrings to carry the accessorizing.  Either picking up a color in the print to use or choosing several colors that coordinate.

Stephanie asked "What do you wear around the house?"  A pair of shorts and a slightly worn tee or jeans and a slightly worn tee.  I'm not dressy at home, as I tend to be the sort that splashes or drips or spills or paints in whatever I am wearing when I'm working about the house.  Usually the tee shirts I purchase are inexpensive ones that only look nice for a few months or so.  When they start to look worn I move them over to the house drawer.   Pants and jeans I pay more for and they tend to look worn far more slowly than the tee shirts do.

The first Savings  post of the month I showed a photo of my 'new' spice rack.  The Coke crate spice rack was not my idea.  I saw it first on Pinterest with a standard six ounce bottle sized compartments crate.  My crate held liter sized bottles, so the spaces are a little more open and it works really well for me.  I'm still happy with it.

In the Season of Savings post Nathalie mentioned checking with the local libraries to see if they subscribed to  I'll have to do that.    Gramma D mentioned that Ancestry gives a discount to AARP members.  We are certainly old enough to be members but we aren't.  We tend to get many discounts with AAA though which we are members of...I hadn't thought to see if they offered a discount.  I enjoyed my free trial of Ancestry and I think at some point in the future I'll rejoin.

Pam, I have to agree that the ketchup/brown sugar topper on meatloaf is the perfect touch and what always makes people sit up and take notice.  I am a huge fan of meatloaf and for years I didn't eat it because John developed a dislike for it.  Then one day he walks in and tells me he's been to a restaurant and eaten meatloaf.  Now I put it into rotation occasionally.

In the third savings post of the month, it was unanimous:  we're all in favor of naps! Not surprising when you consider how much work goes into jobs, home, family.

Karla asked what sort of meat I use for Philly cheese steak sandwiches: Leftover roast beef, sliced rib eye, shaved sirloin, even browned ground beef if I'm really hungry for a Philly cheese.  Usually leftover roast is my go to and I credit that idea to BH&G for suggesting it.

Leigh commented that I am one among many of the bloggers she reads who has mentioned getting my pantry in order.  I do feel the urge and I've found this month has already developed the theme of watching WWII era films related to rationing and getting by.  It is a good lesson in thrift and economy that's for sure!

And in the last savings post of the month  Janell asked what my rolling pin is hanging on...Nothing more than single pronged coat hooks.  I held up the rolling pin while John marked where to hang them.  It's very handy and eliminates the need of having it take up space in a crock or drawer.  I have my measuring spoons hanging from the hook on one side and a micro grater that was Grandmama's on the other.

Anonymous left a comment that she lived in Lucille Ball's hometown...I would love to visit that museum.  I saw a documentary about Lucy a few days ago and they featured the museum in the piece.  It looks so interesting!

Leigh, I always break down bigger tasks into smaller steps.  Often a five or ten minute break is sufficient to declutter a drawer or clear one shelf of a bookcase of unwanted books, etc.  I did the kitchen work on three different days, working about an hour the first day, perhaps a half hour the second day and then finished the task in two 45 minute sessions on the final day.

Karla I have not tried the cauliflower pizza crust but I've seen it all over Pinterest and it does look good.

Now ladies, I thought I'd finish this post tonight, but I was over ambitious.  It's past time for me to head to bed and finish this up later...

Good Afternoon!  I've had a fairly productive morning, though nothing too strenuous.  I finished up the last of the fall deep cleaning in our bedroom and am ready to move into the living/dining room areas.  Thankfully I do enough deep cleaning a bit along that really any seasonal deep cleaning is merely making a point of hitting those things I have missed in the past three months or so.  My only tasks in the bedroom were to get the walls dusted and polish the old wood pieces with Liquid Gold.  Now that is done I am ready to return to normal routine work in that area with the occasional deep cleaning task.

In the second In My Home This Week post I mentioned John's great desire to see the ocean...Vicki asked what he'd have done if I'd said "Let's just go!"  Not a blessed thing.  We'd just loaned money to one of our children and it was no chump change loan. There's nothing like meeting someone else's desperate need to put the end to any fantasies you might have for your own life! We both were feeling the pinch at that moment for all our desire to take off...And then too there was the work schedule to be dealt with, sigh.

 Karla, I didn't see the ocean but once in my growing up years.  My first husband had family in Fernandina Beach, Florida and took me to the ocean for the first real appreciable amount of time when I was in my early 20's.  It wowed me then.  John grew up in West Palm Beach and the ocean and canals were daily things for them, much like Lana's drives to the beach in high school years.  I love our beach vacations.

Jamie the tangy pot roast had a homemade vinegar based barbecue sauce over it.  I didn't actually end up making that recipe which is new to me. Our weather turned off hot and muggy that week, not at all pot roast weather.

In the third In My Home post  Becky L you are so very welcome for any inspiration I've been.  I sometimes let myself get in a funk and sulk over things I can't change, but then I start to do things with what I have and find I might not have the dream spot I'd wanted but I do have something nicer than I'd had.  So I'm encouraged to keep doing.

Coleen, I didn't grow up reading the Bible nor praying.  I was spoon fed for many years by the words of pastors and preachers.  I got tired of not knowing God for myself.  Having a one on one relationship with God is really necessary and reading on our own or praying is the very best way to learn how to have that relationship with Him.  I am sorry you are dealing with health problems, but so pleased to hear that you're finding solace and comfort in your prayers each day.

And finally that last In My Home post for the month  Rose Yes, mince is our 'ground beef' or 'hamburger'.  And while I referred to it as 'creamed' in my growing up years it was known as 'SOS'.  I won't share what that was supposed to mean because it wasn't nice.  I love that humble dish of meat and gravy though, it's one of my favorite comfort foods.  I love that Southern US cooking fascinates you.  I've spent quite a bit of time reading English novels most of my life and am familiar with a few of the English dishes, which fascinates me no end, too!

I have been reading more about diabetes and diet and it is highly recommended that we eat at least 30gms of fiber daily.  I should be hard pressed if I had to control the fiber in my diet as you must do!

Lana, I make my creamed hamburger with a bit of onion and a dash of Worcestershire but otherwise it is the same as yours.  And yes, it does stretch beautifully if there are additional guests but no additional meat!

Judy you and Lana should talk...She too is working on a home, her current one, with an eye towards downsizing in the future.  Good luck on your work, I will say, that these years upon us now were exactly why we purchased the size mobile home we did 20 years ago.  John quite wisely pointed out at the time that the children were going to grow up and move out and then it should be the two of us alone.  The house is truly just right for the two of us,though occasionally I might wish for an added room that could be a permanent craft room or second guest room.

Susie, We do need that protein and a bit of fat to keep hunger at bay.  It's one thing that is very wrong with the tendency to decree all fat as no good.  I hadn't thought to mix in cottage cheese but I can see why it might well be delicious in oatmeal.  The egg in my recipe is blended with milk and the oatmeal cooks in that mixture which is stirred the whole while and makes a sort of custard.  And yes, I often find that though there is just one egg in it that I make it through the morning without even a bit of hungry/gone sort of feeling.  I also find that eating the old fashioned oats rather than the quick ones seem to keep hunger at bay longer too.  Not sure why, unless it's the added fiber?

Karla,  I was tickled at your phone reminder to 'watch dishes'...I should think that was wishful thinking!

Q,A, C for August  Rose in the UK and Joanne Baker John and I pick up coins all the time. I'm always amazed that we find  few cents nearly every time we are in any parking lot.  I don't get why people are too lazy to stop and pick it up!  Katie told me in high school that she and another girl walked over the student parking lot and gathered change daily because there were kids who tossed it in their car ash tray and would just empty it onto the pavement when it was full...I guess some just know the value of money and some don't have a clue.

Lana, Karla, and Pam all shared their use of leftover beef/pork.  Lana adds to noodles with gravy for a casserole dish, Karla uses her mother in law's trick of making a sandwich spread and Pam makes a 'meat salad'...Pam, explain that.  Is it similar to Karla's dish and spread on bread or is it an actual salad?

Pam, I can only imagine how stunned you were to hear that your husband had eaten leftover roast for 38 years without liking it.  I remember sharing with my homemaking group that John had suddenly informed me, after 20 years of eating green beans that he didn't like them...and we won't even mention the shock I got the night he told Katie who was complaining over our meatloaf supper that he didn't like it either but he'd managed to eat it without complaining for years.  Sigh.  I laugh ruefully.  How much easier it would be to just be told right away rather than discover that he'd been 'enduring' all the while.  And like you I finally figured out why he disliked the meatloaf (bell peppers...I leave them out and he eats meatloaf happily now) and adjusted the recipe.  I still don't have a clue why he loathes green beans...

The only coffee chat post this month generated a little chatter.  I'm glad I shared that story about my 'leaves' which were truly a gift of love many years ago.  JD and John still take delight in pleasing me with little things sometimes done in a big way.  It's a nice reminder to me that they might well aggravate snot out of me at times, but they love me mightily, too.

Gramma D I recall a lovely fall afternoon when Amie still leaved in Macon (40 miles away).  Josie and I walked down her street and scuffled through piles of leaves.  I remember how she smiled to herself, obviously pleased that Gramma understood the joys of crunchy autumn leaves.  How happy I am to have that memory of her!  I can't imagine the snow she crunches through now!

Lana, I confess the Robin's Egg Blue front door sounds lovely to me.  I've always been fairly big on painting my doors inviting colors.  I used Butter Yellow at one home and Salmon Pink at another Here I've painted our front door Candy Apple Red.  It desperately needs to be repainted.  And the back door has been standard issue white all these years but I've finally decided I want it to be dark blue.  Not Navy but Marine Blue which is almost Navy.  Right now a fairly common color for front doors here in my area is a sort of spring green, not quite lime, not quite green.  It's very attractive and if my home weren't blue I'd probably consider it.

Sarah,  my leaves are quite 'crispy' and fragile.  I'm glad I went ahead and framed these.  I don't think I will take them out of the frames when the season is over either, but will store them as they are.  I'll just buy more 4x6 frames which are inexpensive enough and redo the arrowheads I had hanging there.  Unless of course, I decide to do something seasonal for Christmas which is also a possibility!

I have, to date, lost 20 pounds since my first doctor visit in June.  I'm not sure what I weighed prior to the hospital but I'm willing to say I was 20 pounds heavier than my first weigh in at doctor office, simply based on how my pants fit prior to the health scare and how they fit once I was out of hospital.  So I've likely lost 40 pounds all told.  I am still attempting to lose.

I too am amazed at diabetics who would rather rely on extra insulin and have what they want to eat.  I was very grateful for the counseling I received over my hospital stay about how to manage and can access those same people all over again if I ever find myself struggling.  But I have found in my study and research that only 26% of people who have diabetes are compliant with diets and medications.  It bumfuzzles my mind how recklessly people will treat their own health.

The best advice I was ever given was by our own Gramma D who assured me that she'd been managing hers for years and I had to find my 'sweet spot' formula of carbs for each meal.  I've about got it worked out now and that's one reason I think I manage well.  I've got it fixed in my head what my portions should be and how to distribute carbohydrates to suit my body.  I've discovered that something as simple as having a salad or fruit or both with most meals will almost always keep my blood sugar lower, as will drinking the proper amount of water and walking/working every day.  And sleep plays a part as well as overall good health.

But no, I don't get at all those folks who refuse to change, won't learn and don't mean to.  This is one place where denial will only lead to a world of troubles!

Karla, I am going to tackle my yard now that it's cooler.  It may seem an odd time to concentrate on yard work, but since we get no snow, I can get lots done in the cooler months.  No fear of construction of any sort in my yard to prevent my working away at it.  Hopefully come Spring I'll have made a major amount of difference in our place.  I am so inspired by Brandi at Prudent Homemaker.  Her front yard makeover is stunning and she did the bulk of the work herself.

Gracious!  For a moment there I got inspired and went out to weed about the back porch and plant some flowers and put those brick about the little iris bed next to my shed...Whew!

Rose, I shall do as you say and leave the rocker and table alone.  I've about made my mind up I like them just fine it's the clutter of mismatched stuff about them that bothers me.  I think painting a few flower pots and moving a lot of stuff off the porch entirely will help my mind settle on the colors far better.

Dear Pam, I am indeed sentimental and romantic and a dreamer.  I've just learned as most of us have to push those things aside a bit so I don't get buried under sentimental attachments to things.

And to you all, I am sorry this was the only coffee chat I made time for all month long.  Shame on me!  I enjoy those chats myself.  I shall do my best to be better about them in October.

I showed you all my home decorated for early fall.  Even yet, here in Georgia, there is very little color aside from the flowers blooming at roadside...So the lack of orange and red and other traditional fall colors doesn't seem at all incongruous with the season to me.  Thank you all for your kind comments.

I do love playing about in my home and I've been blessed to collect some pretty things very inexpensively from thrift stores and yard sales over the years.  I love moving them about, taking them away and putting them aside for a bit (like the arrowheads) and such.  I call it 'playing house' because this part, while it is work, just is so much more fun than the stuff that takes elbow grease and an iron will (can we talk about cleaning porch railings for example?).   I never thought of myself as having any particular skill in decorating as I've never had really nice things, but I do enjoy having pretty things about me and as one of you noted, things that I love for one reason or another.

My very last post for the month was the Third Quarter Report.  Leigh, thank you very much for noting that while I'd accounted for dollars in that report, I'd also accounted the blessings we'd received.

Sarah you commented on the price of the chicken breasts I bought in the second quarter, which were about $1 a pound for bone in breasts.  They are that price again this week!  I mean to go to that store Friday and buy several packages of them.  I want to bone some and others I'll leave bone in.  I don't mind cutting up chickens, but I do prefer white meat for the most part and at that price I feel I can justify buying just what I like!

Now ladies, I am all done with my comments and answers.  Thank you all for reading and 'talking' to me and giving me the inspiration to write or save or keep on going in every area.


a8383 said...

Love the purse! Could you tell me the style/ color name? I can't seem to find on Amazon. Thank you, Angela

a8383 said...

Never mind I found it! Oh the red is pretty too! I would love to see how you store all those purses. My are just crammed on the top shelf which I think is part of why I seldom change them out. If you can't see them.... Angela

Lana said...

Ah, Worcestershire sauce seems to make everything better so I am going to try a splash in my Hamburger Gravy, too. It is my secret ingredient in my meat sauce for pasta that our Sicilian son-in-law always raves about. I have not convinced him though since his mother doesn't put it in hers. But, let me tell you, when he praises my cooking it is high praise in deed!

My Robin Egg Blue door is beautiful but I just don't like the overall look of it on the house. I wish I did since I hate to have to paint it again.

Anonymous said...

In my SOS I add some cumin. Seems to make nice edition...amount? To taste. To my tomato based macaroni goulash I add Worcestershire sauce. To taste but,.. it seems to need a pretty good amount.
I saw the dial soap you got. Our stores seem to carry the fancy types of that brand but not the 'basic' like the Dollar Tree does. I like it. I did find it at one grocery store..same amount at the Dollar Tree but for $2.29. Back to the Dollar Tree till I can find it cheaper elsewhere! I have packages of razors from so long ago that I did not know they had risen in price till someone informed me! Glad I got them then for $1 a bag.
A friend's mother took me round her house when I was in 6th grade and taught me some home lessons. One was as you said, to let bars dry out to make them go further. She kept the next 3 to be used unwrapped to further dry out. I really appreciated her taking the time to teach me.
I dream of having an extra room too. To have the sewing machine up always and room for the ironing board and a table to wrap presents, cut out patterns, use as a desk or fold clothes or many other uses. Then I read like we all do, stories of women who live in one room and have sweet temperaments despite it all and even give away one of the two cooking pots they own to another who has none. I look around and know I am living in a castle by comparison. Plus my temperament is not always so nice at times. :(
There is so much talk around blob land about stocking up and this fall is mentioned as the start of troubled times. I know of a lot of areas fall is a good time anyway to stock up so you don't have to travel to stores during a show or bad weather period of time. I hope many have at least done that if there is trouble. I always keep a fairly good stock and actually was paring it down before all of this talk. I liked keeping less ..then all this talk keeps coming up. Lets face it no one can ever be fully prepared as we can't know totally what might be needed. I had one blogger to also add that the best thing to do it to pray and ask God what He wants you to do. Good advice. Also to grow even closer to Him which is always best to do. So much of the news we hear is sad and many things happen on this earth and its people that upset us daily. If we did not have Him to go to where would we find the strength?
I would sure go back for a $1 chicken breast sale too!! The lowest whole chickens here have been was 88c one time..usually 99c. Breasts alone? ...WAY more!!
I had hoped to get a garden in this year but couldn't. First year without one. This year seemed like the year Not to Not do it too. The mind was willing but the bones were not! :-) I think you have made so many improvements this year. Here and there all over your home and even in your health. It must give you a smile to look around and see all the improvements. And 40 lb!!! WOWWWWWWW!! Not just the pounds off but done while recovering. Learning a new way of eating and studying how to manage diabetes. And do it all within budget! What a lot to get done! Better go before this has to be published as a book! :) Sarah

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

So happy you got such a good deal on your gray purse..It is really pretty.
You are doing such a good job with your diabetic eating and taking care of your self. I have to take Micformin for my beginning stages .I really need to watch my diet more carefully.You are so right, Not taking care of it, will only lead to more troubles. I too, find drinking lots of water helps me.
Love your decorating idea post..Get so many ideas from you. Thank you for sharing so much.
Have a blessed day.

Lana said...

I am glad to know about the Scarleton bags! I was just on Amazon looking around and I love the styles and prices!

Karla Neese said...

What a wonderful price you got as a blessing for waiting to make sure the purse was a good purchase. It's so cute and I know you'll be able to use it with so many outfits for years to come.

We got back from our trip last night and it's so good to spend time today just catching up on things - laundry is done so I'm treating myself to the posts I've missed here at your blog home.

Kay said...

Here it is Dec. 27 and I'm just reading this post and THANK YOU for the purse review/photo. I found a different style and plan to purchase it when I have enough Discover points to use. I only scratched the surface of all the Scarleton bags.

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