Showing posts from April, 2016

In My Home This Week: Planning for the Unknown

In my home this week:
The roses look much like this this year, but the lantana is already growing and the spider wort is no longer there.

I knew this time was coming, so it's not unexpected.  We are prepared for it as much as one can be and cautiously looking forward:  our home will bulge a little at the seams as my son and his family move in with us as they sell a home, buy a home, transfer job, etc.  He is already here with us and his family will be here next weekend to visit and then later in the month come to stay with us while they are in transition.
It is not my first time having a child return home.  Only my boys have come back thus far, both when leaving the service and getting established in their civilian life (or transition to another branch of service) and now.  It's never too hard, nor easy as you'd hope.  It is always a bit of a challenge and a bit of a fruit basket turn over but it works out.
One way I cope is to accept a small room and board fee.  Keeping ou…

My Frugal Week: Out and About

Saturday:  No prep work done yesterday for today's meal but I wasn't much worried about it.  I knew I had several frozen homemade entrees in the freezer, there was produce to use up prior to leaving home.  I came home from the Strawberry Festival and popped a meal in the oven, made us an appetizer plate of cheese and crackers (by the way anyone else like Stilton as much as I do?) and put on a pot of coffee.  In honor of what we're terming 'the start of vacation' we had an adult beverage with our cheese and crackers.  Lovely.

Yes, we went to the local Strawberry Festival. Not sure what John spent but I'd guess less than $1.50.  My own stack of books was $2.20 and I donated the rest of the third dollar to the Womens Club Building Refurbishing Fund.  It's a good cause since the Women's Club is in an 1830s home and a project that is near and dear to me is historical preservation.  Happily will I donate to any group that is trying to maintain one of our few …

Budget Recipes to Share

Sorry for the blurry image but the image I saved was rather small.  I enlarged it so you could better see the cover.  This book was printed in 1971.  The book is listed on Amazon for prices ranging from $.01 to $12.  There were several listings on eBay ranging from $1 to $15. 
In April, I decided to cook my way through this cookbook, which I purchased at a thrift store.  I confess I am a soft touch for any title with the words 'budget', 'thrift', or 'frugal' and if it's a cookbook as well, just go on and mark it 'Sold'! 
That said, I'll tell you what I like about the book.  It's set up initially with menus and the recipes to go along with the menus.  I like to READ menus, y'all, almost as much as I like to cook.  It's just one of those things that almost always wins me over to a cookbook and I can assure you that almost all of my most favorite cookbooks have menus.
There are pictures for the main menu pages, some photos of recipes…

In My Home This Week: A Spring Frame of Mind

In my home this week:

We've been infected with Spring fever.  I suppose it's the smell of honeysuckle and privet in the air and the soft sunrises with birds screeching.  It could be the sweet serenade of the mockingbird who sits on the porch railing each day or the leaves fluttering on the trees.  It could be the long shadows that stretch across the lawn or the clear blue skies or the roses blooming with abandon.  It could be the rabbits that dance on the lawn in the early morning and late evenings or the bird nest on the cabinet shelf on the back porch.  The endless sun, gorgeous blue sky, the green trees...It could be just about anything that IS right at the moment.
It makes me restless, has my feet tapping impatiently, wanting to be off and away.  Shall I leave home for a bit or take flight in a book?  There's the question.  One I shall ponder over this weekend as I look at the week ahead.  For certain, this weather is not meant for working long and hard or dwelling ins…

Weekend Reading List

I hope you all will take time to relax today and peruse some of these items I'm sharing.  I think they are sweet, funny, useful...Just a good old fashioned mixed lot of nice little things to explore.  Enjoy!
I'll start with TV news.  A new program on HGTV...I saw a pilot show today called 'Good Bones' but apparently it's also billed under "Two Chicks and a Hammer".  You can read up on the program here.  I liked the pilot right well.  Not quite a Rehab addict but it's a renovation type program with a mother and daughter team and they house was really pretty if overpriced on the renovation part.  Frankly I'm so tired of marathon showings of each week that it's nice and refreshing to see a new program on the horizon.

My Frugal Week: Adjusting and Readjusting

The yellow knock out rose bloomed this weekend.  I really do mean to try to get a cutting from this to root.  I think a row of yellow knockout roses would be pretty in front of my back porch, in between the chairs I mean to plant the seats of...Spring dreams!

Saturday:  We had a quiet day at home, which is not at all unusual for us.  We really do like to 'keep' Shabat what it's meant to be, a day of peaceful rest where we try to put our focus on God.  What does that have to do with being frugal?  We very rarely will do any shopping on a Sabbath.  I encourage myself to forgo housework as much as possible. I generally only make our bed.  I plan meals ahead and do as much prep work and cooking as I can on Fridays.  Dishes are put away before Shabat begins on Friday evenings so I can simply rinse and stack dishes all day long on Saturday.  It becomes the restful day it is because I work hard on Fridays to make sure that its that way.
Made pizza for lunch today.  I didn't ch…

Retirement Remedies: What I'm Wearing This Spring, Working With a Limited Wardrobe

I have new pieces this year, but not a huge number. Fortunately many of my accessories are weight change friendly and so they have moved into this new season with me.  Some of the photos are reproduced from last year's photo log but either pieces are the same or so similar that it really oughtn't change how they will look overall. 
What I've bought this spring is four t-shirts in pink, baby blue, aqua and beige, an olive green top, a new scarf, a black maxi, a navy blue tunic with long sleeves and a pair of white jeans.  I guesstimate I have spent about $70 this year for my spring/summer clothing and I don't plan to buy any more this season.  I have a few pieces I'm recycling from last year: a chevron striped taupe and white maxi skirt and a blue gauze shirt, a white tank and a gray tank top.. I have a shirt I picked up over winter at TJMaxx for $10 that will do nicely for spring as well that is a coral 3/4 sleeve top.  I have a pair of blue jeans and an orange t…

Book Review: The Book of Joan

This month I've read, The Book of Joan, written by Melissa Rivers in honor of her mother's memory.  I liked Joan Rivers in her early days and really enjoy watching reruns of her old talk show on JLTV.  I wanted to 'find' that Joan Rivers once more in the pages of her daughter's book...
Melissa's book is not so much a memory of her mother as a compilation of Joan's one liners and a plethora of her own.  The humor in it is harsh at times and the language is sometimes questionable.  What I found was that Melissa's 'voice' is much the same as Joan in the latter years.  I find it difficult to believe that some of the supposed conversations took place at the young ages Melissa suggests they might have. 
If you are looking for sweet memories of a loving mom, or a history of Joan's early years, then look elsewhere.  The book becomes an unrelenting and never ending 'routine' and isn't really anything more than overly long script for a f…

In My Home This Week: Sunshine and Shadows

In my home this week...

It's lovely out this evening but for the first time in days.  It's been cool out there as well.  Nothing unseasonal, mind, but today has been one of those heat in the morning, air conditioner in the afternoon sorts of days.  I was glad to see the sun come out this morning.  Glad to find myself up early with time to pray and have coffee long before John rose.  Glad too, that it was Shabbat.  I love the pace of our Sabbath day.
I was 'reading behind' this afternoon, going back to read of other Mays on the blog and suddenly was bitten by the nostalgia bug, so I went over to Yahoogroups and pulled up the old back issues of Penny Ann Poundwise newsletter.  I think I got back to 2012 and there I stopped.  Looking back at that May, at that year, was painful.  I was just beginning to be aware of some boundaries in my life I was never going to cross over, right in the midst of a frustrating realization that old dreams were dead and gone and never were to…

My Weekend Reading Spot

I'm so glad you all enjoyed last week's reading post. I haven't had as much time as I thought I might to peruse items but I have a few to share with you.

Dee shared the link to this item on her Facebook page.  I thought it lovely.  I guess really it doesn't matter what country, I like the look of country d├ęcor.
This room was my favorite.  I'd like to see it a tiny bit more yellow.  I swooned over the fabric on the chair.

Coffee/Iced Tea Chat: The Itching Season

Now isn't that pretty?  Well, you'll not have fancy cookies with me here, but we've banana bread and peanut butter and crackers and some lovely chilled slices of orange to snack upon.  You can take your choice of coffee or tea in  this weather, which is middling cool and a tiny bit muggy.  Pull up a chair, take a bite to eat and let's talk, okay?
Pardon my odd blotchy appearance.  Poison Ivy.  I get one spot to settle down and stop itching and another starts up.  I have it from chin to mid-thigh and heaven help me I really don't know how that is possible since it was the most covered parts of me.  None on my hands or arms which were completely exposed.  I'd love to say I got it during my weeding, but the lack of poison on my arms and hands belies that.  I'm kind of laying odds it came off doggy paws, as he was steadily putting his paws all over my chest while I was trying to pet his great big self.  That is a 'grand' puppy, belonging to my son and …

Tried and True: Recipes To Share II

There was a nice amount of participation last month in the Tried and True post.  I hope that you will participate this month and if you didn't join us last month, please do this time around.  If you'd like to see last month's recipes, just check in the archives file in March 2016.

For my part,  I made two old favorites I haven't made in  quite a long while and I tried a couple of new recipes as well.  I'll share all four of them.
I used a turkey breast roast, and greatly decreased the ingredients for the size of my turkey.  I forgot the rosemary entirely and look forward to adding that to my next try at this recipe.  Even though I had a bit of a disaster with the turkey roast falling apart when I removed the binding to stuff and rub.  If I use the Aldi turkey breast roast again, I'll be sure to have cooking twine on hand.  All in all, despite difficulties in executing the stuffing and despite over cookin…

What I've Read This Week

Over the past few weeks I've come across some really interesting articles, items, blog posts, etc.  Each time I've thought, "Oh I'd love to share that with my readers..."  Well having, thoroughly enjoyed Dee's weekly newsletter and blog, and Rhonda at Down to Earth 'Weekend Reading' post, I  thought I'd start archiving these things for you all to check out, as well.
I've been following Rhonda's blog If You Do Stuff for a number of years.  In the past two weeks, she's shared several great posts but these two really stand out.  If you don't know Rhonda's blog, then please check it out, not just the two posts I'll be highlighting.  She's something of a CVS aficionado and really works the deals there.  This week she shared her most recent haul and her stockpile in this post: She loves to have a great manicure and has found, for her, press…

This Week In My Home...

This week in my home:
...I expect I'll be seeking out a quiet spot.  Family in this weekend.  Family coming in next weekend.  I'm looking forward to having my dear family back in the state but they are house hunting and trying to a sell a home and dragging about the baby and dog and frankly it's a little stressful for them and a little stressful for us.  So in order to keep stress levels as low as possible, I mean to relax, rest and plan for the coming weekend.  I'll not be pushing myself hard to accomplish a whole lot of stuff.  I've done plenty of that in the past week or two anyway, which my 'to do' list this past week reflects.
I reminded myself when overwhelm threatened me this weekend to enjoy this as part of my 'new season' and if that means decreased project work and resting up to spend time with family, then I'm going to do just that.  It's times like this I recall my promise to myself to grab hold of the things I cherish and enjoy …

My Frugal Week

Our porch will see more and more use now the weather is warming.
Saturday:  Our morning started out a little cool but it soon warmed up outdoors.  I opened windows to warm the inside.  We had them open all day long and didn't need AC at all come late afternoon.
I'm consciously trying to use up items that I typically 'forget' are in the freezer.  I prefer fresh produce and that's what I typically use but we've quite a stock of frozen and canned stuff on hand that will expire unused if I don't start to use it up.  I have a secret desire to retire the small freezer and just have the larger one, but emptying out all the unused stuff first means eating what we have on hand.  I cooked Italian flat beans from the freezer today.  I have just one more meal's worth of those to use up.  I need to plan my week's menu again to incorporate more of those things.
Pulled a thrift store find cookbook from my shelf and used it to plan meals this…

Tried and True: Recipes To Share

There was a nice amount of participation last month in the Tried and True post.  I hope that you will participate this month and if you didn't join us last month, please do this time around.

For my part,  I made two old favorites I haven't made in  quite a long while and I tried a couple of new recipes as well.  I'll share all four of them next week. 

The same request as last time.  Enter your recipe or link in the comments.  I'll move to a second post and delete the comment.

In the meantime, I'll share an old favorite that I  made this week. It is not entirely my recipe.  It's a recipe I got from Rhonda which I altered just slightly, and I mean only slightly.  I've made it as she wrote it and liked it very well, too.  I wanted to link to her original recipe, but can't find  Here's my version, made this morning.

Rhonda's Red Enchilada Sauce: My Slightly Altered Version

1 small onion very finely diced (2 1/2 ounces per Rhonda's reci…

A Season of Prayer

Recently I've been told here on the blog how much some of you appreciate my prayers on your behalf and I've watched with a happy heart as more and more of you openly ask for prayer from myself and other commenters.  This is one of my main ministry areas, teaching others how to live well and thriftily and to use what they have to enhance and better their lives.  Prayer is also a huge ministry area in my life and has been for sometime.  To combine the two here has been unexpected and awesome.

Prayer ministry is something God laid on my heart years ago,  but it took me a little while to 'get into' it.  First of all, I had to learn how to pray,  for myself and others.  I know most people have been taught that prayer is what we do for others but they never ever pray for themselves and will apologize for asking for prayer over themselves as well.  I was taught that prayers for personal needs was selfish and somehow wrong and that we ought to wait upon others to see a need a…

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 reaso…