Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My! March 2016

Well! March flew right past didn't it?  Actually it went no quicker than usual and there were indeed days when I thought it dragging along mighty slow like any other month.    Busy days helped time fly a little faster and having John home for two long weeks at a time with extra days off meant it felt a bit like vacation even if we didn't go anywhere.  I look back over March and am amazed I got as much done as I did, even if no 'to do' list was ever completely tended to.  April here started with a roar of thunder, lightning and enough rain to wash everything good and clean and then sparkle it up, too.  I know there was rough weather all about us, but we didn't even have a stiff breeze here through it all, and for that we're grateful.

Now let me get busy replying to all of your comments over the past month.

At least two posts for March were reposts.  They weren't meant to be reposts.  I was merely going in adding jump breaks to older posts and for some reason, after I've done that to several posts, one will suddenly decide it's all brand new and there it is right on the month's line up.  A 2012 post Menu plan was one such post which generated fresh comments from several of you.  Apparently it appeared as fresh to you as it felt itself to be. 

On the Q&A post March 1, I spoke of Bess and Sam's loss.  Thank you all for your condolences and sympathy and prayers.  They are doing very well.  Bess decided to make a memory box for the baby and put in the first sonogram and a few other items that were special to her.  I think it was a lovely way to commemorate her baby's brief time of life and yes, I do consider a baby living from the moment it forms a heart beat.  There were some tough moments for her but I am certain that prayers helped her along the rougher places and brought her to a place where she can move forward.

Now for some unknown reason, I apparently posted a second Q&A!  Who knows where my head was. I thought it a duplicate post but it reads as though it were current.  I don't know.  But since I did post it, I shall address those comments and ask Lana how are your parents doing?  Have any decisions been made yet?  I have you upon my prayer list...

Gramma D posted that she'd been reading a post from November of 2011 here on the blog and what a lot of water under the bridge since then.  You are so right!  Major changes in my life since then and likely to be plenty more. 

It was on this post that Lana and Kathy both sent a thank you to those of you who had been praying for their situations.  Kathy's husband found a new job and you all who prayed had a hand in the answer to their situation!

Assigning Value #1 Beckyathome commented on her liking to have a stocked freezer and pantry.  Me too!  And it's a love Katie has as well though I think she's not as heavily stocked as she was once upon a time.  She was helping me unload and put away groceries here one day after a big shop with a lot of good sales.  She commented as she surveyed our one cabinet pantry at the time that she was sure it gave me a lot of comfort to see all that food, lol.  I think my pantry love goes back to the harvests we put up in the freezer and pantry shelves when I was growing up.  Having grown our own vegetables and foraged for berries and plums and such, Mama turned them into jams and jellies and preserves, home canned vegetables, and froze a load of things as well.  Both my grandmothers kept well stocked pantries and so it just seems natural to me to have several months worth of food on hand at once.

I've always said my stocked pantry/freezer is a great emergency fund.  I've good reason to say this having had to rely on those two more than once in my adult life and it fed my family well during some mighty tough days.

Karla, when we moved into this house, we had a 25cu.ft. fridge and the one that came with the house, a mere 14cu.ft.  It was our intent at the time to use the smaller fridge for beverages and additional freezer space and to use the larger fridge for our food fridge.  Ha.  Within two months the larger fridge died dead and would not be revived.  I crept along with that tinky 14cu.ft. freezer for another 14 years.  I cursed the lack of space, the way things tumbled out of it onto the floor anytime an item was needed, the lack of light (who makes a fridge without a light bulb inside?!).  At one point, John had told me I could get a new fridge and I danced about the kitchen with joy until he spoiled it all by commenting it would be worth just to not hear my constant complaints over the little fridge.  I was so ashamed I refused to go buy the much wanted new refrigerator and limped along with the apparently extremely well built little one.  I have a nice big refrigerator now because my son bought it for us as an anniversary gift after he got out of the Navy, using some of his separation pay to purchase it.  I was never so grateful or happy for a gift in my life, but I learned a lot about biting my tongue in the years between John's saying I could purchase a new fridge and the actual coming of a new fridge into my kitchen.  And by the way, that little fridge was given to a friend whose husband used it to store deer meat and fish after hunting and fishing trips.  It's still running...

After I related my loathing for the cost of checks, this was shared in the comments.  If only our credit union had checking or if only our bank allowed a free box of checks!  Actually if our credit union even offered checking we'd likely do business more of our business with them,  but alas, they don't.

Nancy said...
This is a little late now, but maybe someone else can use the tip. Our credit union gives 1 box of checks free to any members who are senior citizens, and I think they define sr. citizens as anyone over 55. They don't offer, you have to ask. Anyway, even if I don't need them right then, I ask each year and get a free box. Worst they can do is say no and laugh. That doesn't hurt my feelings.

Loyda shared that she has a Facebook group called On the road to retirement...I went over to join today and my membership is pending at the moment.  It's a closed group  but I'm sure if you want to go by and try the group out, she'll be appreciative of the membership.

Assigning post #2  I related my internet woes with the satellite company.  Well the story goes on.   The first month of the 'new and improved, greater gigabyte' service gave me a nasty nasty shock when the first billing arrived.  It was prorated for a partial month credit for the former service and prorated for a half month of the new service plus the next month's charges and zowie kapowie it hit hard, coming in at roughly double what we'd been paying for the lesser service.  I called right away and discovered that the next two months will be lower, the fourth month of service only a little higher than the coming two months.  Is it worth it?  John would tell you indeed it is, since he now enjoys videos without any buffering at all.  I have not yet braved the familiar Swagbucks routine due to other complications which have nothing to do with internet services.    I told John I'll just call it a massive entertainment fund I reckon, but I did strongly suggest that we seriously reconsider our satellite TV costs in August (or September)when the current contract ends because those costs are slowly amping up once more, now that all the discounts are expiring.

Tammy, Susie @ persimmon moon cottage, and Judy all commented on the galvanized garden.  I love that look overall.  I have several more pieces of galvanized metal and am thinking I'd like to use them all along the back of the house.  I keep hoping to get to the grocery to buy herbs to plant in my pots which are currently a mishmash of plants that returned from last year's plantings.  I need more variety in height in the bed but I like my version well enough.  The milk container is a new addition (formerly kept inside my home) and I don't care for the watering can sitting atop it.  I'll work something else out with that in the near future.

Sarah I don't have a Joanne store nearby.  I am wary of 'cheap' thread as I had a really difficult time with my machine not too long ago after buying inexpensive thread, nevertheless I shall keep my eyes open for notions at the thrift stores.  I am sure there must be some newer threads that come in from time to time, just as with any other hobby items.  I thought perhaps someone might have a mail order source.  I'll check Prudent Homemaker for any suggestions she might have since she does a lot of sewing for her girls.

Heat wraps or heating pad for my ankles is one thing I have not thought to try.  I shall do that and see if I can get some relief when I overdo next time.  I am no fan of ice packs, I know that for sure!

Pam I love the look of painted tires as planters, flower bed edging, etc.  I recall a great aunt whom I dearly loved.  Her house was a white cottage with red trim and she had two tires in her front yard that were split at the top into points and planted with red petunias.  She also had a huge weeping willow tree on the kitchen side of her house where the washing machine hose ran water.  It was lush and wonderful.  Anytime I see pictures of the tire planters I think of Aunt Johnny, lol!

Assigning Value #3  Sparkiedoll (Rose), I know Charis  answered you but thought I'd explain why I refer to it as Harvest Day.  It's the end result of John's sowing of 'labor' into his job.  It is our harvest for the work he's done, and it allows us not only to pay our bills but to 'store it up' as we would any other harvest we might make.

Charis how are you getting along with the leg healing?  You are still on my prayer list for this injury. I am praying little pain and fast healing for you.

Lana  I wish my mind could grasp that I don't have to spend my grocery money just because it's there to spend, but it won't.   I generally will stock up in some area where we are low or in an area I've meant to increase but never have.  But yes, there are times when more groceries are just not necessary.  So hello to pet food, toiletries, paper items, etc. and much longed for pleasantries, like green Verde sauce or cooking sherry or cherry preserves.

Judy so glad you enjoyed the strawberry cobbler.  It is a different flavor than uncooked berries.  I mean to make myself a strawberry cake this year.  Haven't had one in ages upon ages.

Laurie, Lana, Anonymous, Debbie all mentioned Swagbucks.  I know they change up how you can earn about once every three months or so and sometimes it's easier to find the pattern of higher earnings.  John and I tried to use Shop and Earn today and I could not get the page to open to the store for love or fussing.  We finally just went directly to the store site.  I've had computer woes and no longer have Chrome so no Swagbutton any more either.  That meant not even a default Shop and Earn this time.  I think it's just time for me to take a season off and return later and see how it goes then.

Lana so terribly sorry about the young police officer in your community.  I kept that prayer request on my list for weeks.

I shared this recipe with Gramma D privately but the pimento cheese I mention is easy:  Just grate 2 cups cheese, add 1 2ounce jar of diced pimentos (or roasted red peppers but I prefer pimentos) juice and all and enough mayonnaise to moisten and make a paste you can spread on sandwich bread.  This is good stuffed into celery, or on bread and toasted as well as a sandwich filling.  Karla you asked for this recipe so pay attention here.

Assigning Value #4 Sarah  shared this tip:  "We got ants in our sugar container and dog food too when we were first married. Grandmother told us to put the container , undisturbed in the sun outside. Do not shake or move the contents at all. When the heat hit the canister the ants started running out without us doing a thing. I would not leave the crunchy dog food out long though as it contains oils I think. Out in the sun the ants left and no new ones got in during the process either. It surprised us that it worked so well."      I will certainly be trying this in the future!!

Sparkiedoll shared this:

Leftover mashed potatoes and cabbage can only mean 'Bubble and Squeak' Yum, yum, yum! Best wishes, Rose (Kent UK)

beckyathome too often the savings is more a matter of shifting money from here to there, but it's nice to have real savings that we can actually add to the savings account!

In My Home This Week, post #1 or This Week in My home.  Apparently I need to really watch that title post as I keep switching the words up.  Pam, I love the image of you with arms raised welcoming the honking geese as they flew over!

Karla, I hope you do use your Grandpa's wheelbarrow as a flower planter.  You are perfectly right in that it's just sitting there anyway.  Use it, enjoy it and be glad you took the time to put it to good use!

Post #2  in which I reverse the words in the post title...Karla I do have the wallboards with vinyl wallpaper on them.  As for holes, we spackle them and sand down.  Mostly I try to reuse nail holes if I possibly can but sometimes I can't.   John does not complain, but he then again he doesn't feel the walls need painting so it's all one and the same in the end. 

Sparky136 I have that first of the morning reading with my Bible study and it's a sweet time each day.  I did make real time to read this month, usually about 9pm, and I have enjoyed that time.

Lana shared this:  There are printable botanicals suitable for framing here-

Post #3  I love reading the comments and learning new phrases from varying regions.  Sparky136 speaks of 'Dogwood winter' and Lana mentions the 'blackberry cold snap'...All to say that the weather is undecided in Spring, lol, but I do love these two phrases...

Rhonda, I know what you mean about the new recipes.  I really do want to make new recipes (and did try two new ones in March that were very good and I will happily share.

Georgene/ Living On Less Money blog asked about my schedule for running errands.  I shared my answer on the comments but will reprint here:
I TRY to do errands just one day a week. It's not a set day of the week due to John's rotating schedule and I don't always succeed in having it just one day if he's home. It is inevitable that if I have something that wants doing he's going to give in to perhaps half and I've half left undone. I just try hard to batch errands as often as I can and stay home as much as I can because after all, if I'm at home I get a lot more done than when I'm gadding about!

Post #4  Joann Baker I hope your hand is doing just great by now.  I've had you on my prayer list as well.

Karla your daughter has been on the prayer list as well.

Miriam thank you for stopping in to read!

Coffee and Tea chat posts were used this month depending upon weather at the time.  First post was coffee   I mentioned my frustrations with Facebook.  I was prompted by the revelation that we were using data every time we logged onto Facebook to severely edit my list of friends.  This did not entirely fix my woes.  I was still getting posts from people whom I 'liked' but had chosen not to 'follow'.  Well in the end, I had to unfriend a few.  I usually end up unfriending a few I never meant to as well but it was very refreshing to find how lightened I felt with some of the aggravation gone.

I think we are all of one mind about Facebook and photos of abused/killed animals and political leanings.  Janell, I unfollowed people multiple times and facebook would continue to show me their posts.  Unfriending sometimes helped...sigh.  But as I said, my woes are currently reduced.

Chat Post #2  Angela  I am on a good sleep pattern at the moment.  I think the sound machine has helped  for the most part.  It was bad enough at one point in March that John prayed over me one night reminding God we had a guest in the guest bed and I'd have nowhere to retreat for sleep if I had to get up, lol.  I think the Turkey curry and the Squash casserole both sound really good!  Please do share them next Tried and True, which is coming up this week.

Shell Abuse of any substance or any thing causes an unnatural balance in a relationship. 

Kathy Yes!  The stick on the mantel is the one I used in going up and down the side of the mountain on our vacation a couple  of years ago.

Tammy My own father, when my mother finally told him she'd had enough and wanted a divorce if he didn't give up his beer drinking, told my mom she'd never leave...and he'd never quit beer.  She did leave and divorce him, but still never addressed the issues that kept her in the marriage for years too long.  My dad did eventually stop drinking, but only after cancer prevented his leaving the house.

The last comment on this post was left anonymously and I have great sympathy for what you must have been through.  However, I have to share this.  The point of forgiveness is not for the sake of those who abused and harmed you.  It is for the purpose of healing YOU, because it allows you to at last lay down the bitterness and hurt and hate that keeps you forever tied to the ones who hurt you something that 'forgetting' alone can't do. 

Coffee Chat #3  Sparky136 A belated happy birthday wish.  And how fortuitous it was that we had birthday cake on your birthday!

Kip You reminded me that at one point I'd thought to try and match the chain that attaches the straps.  I have looked for twill straps to match with no luck.  BUT if all else fails perhaps I can find some sturdy print fabric to cover the straps.  The purse is perfectly good, except for those ratty straps.

Rhonda I too get tired of reading about 'side hustles' aka the young bloggers speak of earning something extra on the side.  I suspect you are quite right.  Being frugal is my strength and while the $35 or so a month is nice I can probably 'find' that too within my budget by doing some sort of savings.

Sarah My favorite was a pale green velvet bodice and dotted Swiss skirt with the same green.  Really lovely.

Joanne Baker  Thank you.  I feel better since I'm not the only Gramma who didn't do anything, lol.

Tammy  I imagine a basket of fruit was a great temptation to you all.  Aren't children funny about wanting what isn't theirs?

Lana shared this.  I don't have a Kmart anywhere near me, but some of you might:
Just saw this on Ball quart jars 12 pack at K Mart for $5.99! I remember you saying that you need jars. What a deal!

The Tried and True Recipes to Share post was so successful this past month I'm going to repeat it this month.  I have tried a new recipe and pulled out a couple of old ones that I hadn't made in awhile that are worthy of sharing.  I hope you all will join in as you did last time.  If you haven't checked out the recipes do so.  I'm pinning a few to try this coming month for my own menu plans.

That wraps up another Q&A!  Looking forward to comments for April.


Lana said...

Thanks for asking about my parents. Mom had a staph infection on her leg that finally required surgery and a drain that was there for two weeks. It has all healed nicely and she is doing much better than she had been for months. She has been released by the surgeon and home health week before last. She makes much better sense on the phone and does not sound exhausted when I talk to her. My sister who lives nearby feels that they are sorted out and can do all right on their own for awhile longer. Family members did go in and clean out tons of old food and got the house sprayed for roaches. She was all ready to come up here and stay with me while my husband is in France. I finally convinced her that I will be okay alone. I hoping that she will not fill up the deep freeze again and also the pantry with food that will just spoil. They really need to be thinking about how they will downsize from where they are but they are SO stubborn!

Tammy said...

Oh, Terri, it wasn't that the Easter basket of fruit was his and not ours, it was that it was filled with delicious fruit! LOL. We didn't want to take his fruit, we just each wanted a basket of our own. Fresh fruit was a rarity and luxury in our house when I was a kid.

Terri Cheney said...

I guess I worded that reply wrong, because I could SEE that it was the idea of having fresh fruit, not that you wanted what was his!, lol

Karla Neese said...

Terri - thanks for sharing updates to the prayer requests so many of us are giving and praying for others about! So good to hear of the answers received!

Thanks for the Pimento Cheese Spread recipe! I can't wait to make it myself!

My daughter did great in her surgery on Friday. She's recovering this week. We are praying it did the trick and fixed the issue completely!

I love that you linked to the original post in this Q&A!! I know that was extra work but it certainly is helpful!

Lana said...

Karla, thanks for the update on your daughter. I pray she continues to heal and has a complete recovery to health.

Anonymous said...

It was so good to hear prayer updates.
Terri, you mentioned when you used Splenda instead of sugar in a recipe you added something else to balance it out. I thought for sure I had grabbed my notebook I note special ideas I get from your blog with that comment but I didn't. Can you tell us again ? I want to use Splenda in some banana bread as the first thing to try it out.
I had to use the heating pad trick on my calf last night and when I did I finally got some sleep. Some nights though I wish I had two heating pads. My shoulder was hurting too and one heating pad. lol I put one of those patches that heat up on it and it helped. Growing old is interesting.... :-) ..and a learning experience!! lol I started using a eye mask when I sleep and it helps too. I always thought them silly till I needed it!!! :-))) I found one with extra cushioning at the bottom so you can actually open your eyes when it is then does not push in on your eyes when worn. It is very comfortable.
Thank you to Nancy for the tip on the free box of checks...all we need to do is ask. If the answer is no, nothing lost. Some of our used stores give seniors 10% discount if they show ID. They do not ask you, you have to tell them you are Sr. They are told not to ask as some seniors get very upset that you think they are that old! Some food places give you the senior discount even when you have a discount coupon for the food you ordered. Others say no to the extra discount. Some places give you a senior drink free..but do not tell you unless you ask if they have any discounts for seniors. Never hurts to ask.
As Granny Miller says the things some now of think as prepper thinking is just the way housewives used to live anyway. Stocking up extra food and such was just done commonly. Then people got used to having so many grocery stores near they did not think to do such and so on. I have always felt more comfortable having some things stored up. Not a room full like some but enough to get us by during a layoff at work or no car running etc. As we all know it really does help. To me it helps both to supply our daily needs and makes me feel more secure knowing I can feed us or others that may need it. Everyone had fruit cellars or a larder in a basement when I was growing up. Farm relatives gave city family excess crops. They were canned for later use and that family that received it would in turn give the farm family something they could provide back to them. Each helping the other. As the song goes: Those were the days my friend we thought they'd never end..... :) Sarah

Chari Crowdis said...

Thank you for your prayers for my broken fibula & tibia. It's been 5 1/2 weeks since surgery. I am still non weight baring which has been difficult. I go to the doctor tomorrow & I'm hoping xrays will show some healing. I will never take walking for granted ever again.

JoAnn Baker said...

Thank you so much for the prayers for my hand. The cast has come off, the stitches are out and even though my hand looks yucky, it is healing nicely.

Terri Cheney said...

Sarah, Yogurt or sour cream work very well. Just add a couple of tablespoons. You could probably also use heavy cream if you have that on hand. I've tried just adding extra fat with no luck but adding the dairy works super well.

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